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Lameduck

Five years into retirement, Chief Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales is no longer the powerful lady she once was.
Long been accused of protecting the Yellow administration of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, and at the same time doubling as its attack dog against perceived enemies, Carpio-Morales got rebuffed last week by no less than the Supreme Court which had ordered the suspension of the Sandiganbayan’ arraignment on weak case her office had filed against Aquino, former Philippine National Police Chief Alan Purisima and former Special Action Force Commander Getulio Napeñas to pave the way for a review of the Ombudsman’s complaint over the bloody Mamasapano debacle.
It can be recalled that the Ombudsman had filed a case for graft and usurpation of power against Aquino and his bossom buddy Purisima despite the fact the operation, the planning of which Aquino personally oversaw, resulted in the death of 44 SAF operatives.
Aquino reportedly ordered a stand down on the SAF’s request for rescue and extraction operations from the Armed Forces of the Phlippines allegedly to save his Nobel Peace Prize nomination.
But with the suspension of the proceedings, a review of the complaint can now open the possibility of Aquino being slapped with reckless imprudence leading to multiple homicide.
And this time, Carpio-Morales might be no longer in position to extend protection to Aquino lest she risks losing everything – from her benefits to whatever is left of her credibility.
Actually, she might have been sitting on her post on borrowed time.
She could have been impeached a long time ago. According to sources, Carpio-Morales rejected earlier resolutions her subordinates came up on the plunder case filed against former president, now Pampanga Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo and her co-accused which called for the dismissal of the case, and stood pat on the filing of the non-bailable case of plunder just to keep the former chief executive in detention to please Aquino.
The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption was also set to file an impeachment case against her last year on charges of of betrayal of public trust, which stems from Carpio-Morales’ brand of selective justice. And included as ground is the case filed by relatives of 44 Special Action Force killed in a controversial police operation in 2015, wherein she absolved Aquino.
In July 2015, investigators of the Office of the Ombudsman said they found no evidence that would point to Aquino’s accountability over the incident, even if it was established in the congressional inquiries called for. It bore the blessings of the former commander-in-chief.
Actually, it’s not the only case wherein Carpio-Morales’ integrity is being questioned. According to House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre had confided to him that there are at least 120 cases in the past six years which have yet to be filed. And those allegedly involved mainly cases concerning allies of the former administration.
The case however did not prosper as according to sources, lawmakers were hesitant to endorse the impeachment complaint against Carpio-Morales as they have pending cases before the Ombudsman.
And while President Rodrigo Duterte, on several occasion, had lambasted Carpio-Morales in his speeches, the fact remains that she is the aunt-in-law of presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
But all these are expected to change now. History which has been grossly distorted by the previous administration, can now finally be corrected as the protector is now a lameduck.

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Last Sunday, the Philippine Travel Agencies Association concluded its 25th edition of the Travel Tour Expo.
Touted as the biggest travel expo yet according to PTAA president Marlene Dado Jante, the three-day even occupied the whole SMX Convention Center of the Mall Asia, all of its 16,230 square meter with close to 400 exhibitor and 995 booths.
The expo featured 28 of the biggest airlines servicing the country, 133 hotel and resorts, 94 travel agencies, five cruise lines and seven theme parks all over the world.
PTAA’s media bureau should also get credit for the event’s success for a job well done with regards to the expo’s promotion and comprehensive media coverage.
Special thanks to Rodel Alzona for extending assistance to all the media who covered the affair.

 

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