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Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Bias shows too clearly

Sunday, 23 April 2017 00:00 Published in Commentary

Forget international media and human rights reports when it comes to the Philippines as these reports are as biased as they come.
More often than not, these negative reports on the Philippines and of course President Rody Duterte and his Philippine National Police and their war on drugs are merely sourced from the anti-Duterte critics in the media and the has-been yellow politicians who want to get back to political power.
How can these reports not be evaluated as laced with pure bias, when they, whether CNN, Time, the European Parliament  or the  Human Rights organizations, or even the US state department not be perceived as biased, when their reports and interviews hold only one side of the story, and usually the side comes from the yellows, especially the yellow media but without even cross checking those claimed 9,000 extrajudicial killings with the proper authorities and seek the truth of the matter by either getting the figures right or getting the evidence to prove the Philippine police figures wrong.
It floored Filipinos for Time Magazine to call detained Sen. Leila de Lima an “icon” or for other international bodies to demand that she be released from detention, as they mouth the Leila line that she is a political prisoner.
Before calling the detained senator an icon, have they even checked on her past record as the country’s justice chief and how she presented coached witnesses and fabricated evidence in court to persecute the political foes of her yellow president, Benigno Aquino, while protecting the corrupt in the Aquino Cabinet?
The detained senator may be the fiercest critic of Duterte, but she has not been charged nor detained for her criticisms of the president. She has been charged with drug trafficking and contrary to her claims that the evidence is fabricated and that the testimonies from the convicts were coerced by the Department of Justice (DoJ), there is more than sufficient evidence, including independent evidence, to prove that there is, at the very least, probable cause to have her arrested and detained.
Naturally, the state prosecutors are not about to bring out all their evidence against de Lima at this stage, but as the trial progresses, the evidence will bear out the prosecution’s charges against her, which will prove her lies.
These international bodies obviously do not even take into account the acts done by de Lima against her yellow president’s political foes, nor even go by the proceedings and resolutions of the courts that have not favored her petitions.
She, a lawyer, a former Justice secretary and a current senator, certainly showed no respect for the hierarchy of the courts, or even the rules binding her as a lawyer.  For one, Time’s claimed icon had admitted to the High Court that she did not sign her affidavit before a notary public, which is enough to throw out her petition before the High Court on her certiorari charge filed against the lower court.
For another, the case against her filed by the DoJ in a regional trial court leading to her arrest and detention came about because de Lima refused to attend the DoJ hearings, insisting that the DoJ had no jurisdiction over her case saying that it is the Ombudsman that has the jurisdiction. In any democracy, the accused has no right to dictate which court to hear her case.
Since she muffed her two chances to submit her side as asked by the DoJ, the result was her being indicted with the case filed in court, which de Lima again refused to recognize. And she now blames Duterte and the DoJ for her arrest and detention while disrespecting the hierarchy of the courts, and engaging in forum shopping? This is what an icon is, by Time standards and international news critics of Duterte and his administration?
And there went Samantha Power, former UN ambassador, highlighting Leila’s witness, Edgar Matobato’s testimony, portraying him as a credible witness. Good grief! His lies were quickly exposed during the Senate hearing!
One truly wonders today, given their quick jump to conclusions, whether there is truly strong evidence that Syria had used sarin gas during the bombing. For all one knows, what the international media say today on the sarin attack by Syria is no different from the claim of US then before the UN that Iraq had weapons of destruction, when there was none.
Duterte is certainly not the kind of president the US and other international bodies want because unlike Benigno Aquino who was the US’ puppet in Asia, Duterte is no puppet and insists on serving the interests of the country and its people, and does not kowtow to the US or the UN or any foreign governments when their interests are detrimental to the Philippines’ interest.

Useless impeachment bids

Saturday, 22 April 2017 00:00 Published in Commentary

Members of the Liberal Party (LP), including those in the majority yesterday announced that they will vote against the impeachment of both President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo, whom they vowed to continue supporting.
That’s a predictable announcement as this action has been expected for sometime, mainly because there is no way the LP, allied with the majority, and the LP in the opposition, know that there is no chance for the impeachment bids on Duterte to succeed in the House.
For one, it is his Speaker. Pantaleon Alvarez, who controls the majority of the House and the House members in the majority won’t go against him in any bid to impeach Duterte. It may be a different story with the impeachment bid against Leni, that is, if                                                                   the interest to impeach Leni is still alive.
Popular or not, as long as a president is slapped with an impeachment complaint, no matter how strong the arguments and evidence against the President, such complaints will be dismissed by the House, as long as the sitting president continues to control the House. This was proved during the term of then President Gloria Arroyo.
The only reason the impeachment bid against then sitting President Erap Estrada passed the House and went to the Senate for trial, is the fact that then Speaker Manny Villar was not only in on the yellow plot to oust Estrada, but he also broke all House rules and started the session with a prayer, then quickly segued to announcing without a single vote from the House members, that the impeachment complaint will be sent to the Senate for trial. He was thrown out by the House members and went on to become a senator, as the anti-Estrada sentiment was fanned by the yellows.
The articles of impeachment was quickly sent to the Senate for trial, and no surprise, the then yellow Senate president, who was in on the yellow ouster plot, waited till late night to ensure the acceptance of the impeachment case against Estrada for trial.
But even that move to convict Estrada failed, which is why they went into the yellow’s plot to stage a fake Edsa revolt which was a farce.
The Trillanes-Magdalo impeachment against Dutere does not stand a chance of getting to the Senate — at all. The complaint is flawed. The complaint charges Duterte with EKJ killings which occurred when he was Davao mayor, and there is little, if not at none at all, strong evidence that Duterte had ordered the EKJ, in Davao City and as president.
In the same breath, it can be said that the impeachment complaint against Leni may pass in the House, or maybe not, if based on the complaint filed by the perennial impeachment filer, Oliver Lozano.
However, if the complaint against Leni passes the House, there is doubt that the Senate, sitting as a court, will convict her, but one never knows what miracles happen in the Senate sitting as an impeachment court.
What is more possible, however, is that even without being impeached, Leni Robredo may be out of her vice presidential seat even before she is slapped with yet another impeachment complaint in the House, after a year or two years, that is if the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) does not resort to its slowpoke way of resolving presidential and vice presidential protests, which, in the protest case involving Mar Roxas and then VP Jojo Binay, took all of six-and-a-half years to resolve, which resolution, either way, was useless, since the vice presidential seat had already become vacant as the term of the VP was already up, after six years.
This time however, Leni and her lawyer, may just have committed their biggest blunder after they failed to meet the deadline for first initial deposit of some P8 million before the PET for Leni’s protest against Bongbong Marcos, who met the deadline date and put up the cash payment of some P36 million.
It all depends on whether the SC justices will break their own rules to accommodate Leni or stick to their rules on election protestants coughing up the demanded payments on deadline time.
If the SC, acting as the PET, bends its rules to accommodate Robredo, then this act creates a precedent, which would translate to virtually every protestant not taking the demand deposit payment to the PET on time, which could also mean that these protestants are merely lodging protests for publicity’s sake, or some protestants, such as Marcos, who appears serious about pushing through with his protest emerges winner of his protest by default, since Leni missed the deadline, and deliberately, it seems.
She and her lawyer did state publicly that they will not pay until after Marcos and his revisors are done with their task.
But the PET could take some time, since almost a year has passed since Marcos lodged his protest against Robredo and it was only recently that the PET moved to impose a deadline for the protest payments.
Still, the PET can delay the start of the manual recount of the ballots, although win or lose for Marcos, or an abandonment of the case before the six-year VP tenure, it will be the SC that will be keeping the millions. And once again, the Filipino electorate will never know if their sovereign will was upheld or thwarted again.

The law of karma

Friday, 21 April 2017 00:00 Published in Commentary

It certainly looks like karma, the esoteric term for the logical law on cause and effect, is now catching up with the prime yellows, although the principal yellow, Noynoy Aquino, has managed to escape karma thus far, thanks to the protection of his loyal appointee, retired associate Supreme Court justice, now Ombudsman until July 2018.
Former Abakada partylist congressman, Jonathan de la Cruz, is reportedly mulling  plunder, malversation and graft charges against former Interior secretary and losing presidential candidate, Mar Roxas, along with fired Interior chief Ismael Sueno as well as a lot of other yellows, including the current Commission on Audit chief, who can’t b sued for now, as as he is an impeachable officer, for their approval the “unconstitutional” supply contracts for the purchase of 152 firetrucks worth P3 billion.
There should be more than enough irregularities to be found during the stint of Roxas when he served as Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) that had generally gone unnoticed, mainly because the then pro-administration media, also known as as the yellow media, hardly ever gave such stories negative to the Aquino administration prominence.
But there is more bad news for detained Sen. Leila de Lima, as the Department of Justice (DoJ) may just be impleaded since she had reportedly issued and signed a legal opinion approving the supply contract, although de Lima will probably get off easily as a legal opinion issued by her as Justice secretary is not necessarily a binding opinion in court cases.
Still, it could be, at the very least, gross negligence and ignorance on Leila’s part if she had not done enough due diligence and merely issued an opinion.
However, if she had issued such an opinion that was clearly detrimental to the Philippine government, at worst, she too, can be sued, as she will be impleaded in the same case.
It will be recalled that during the Senate hearing on the Mamasapano massacre, where Leila was called in as a resource person, she went into a passionate defense of her principal, former President, Noynoy Aquino, to rebut the claims of the then chief of the Special Action Forces  spoke of Aquino being responsible for the massacre of 44 SAF commandos in Mamasapano as he was the Commander in Chief.
There went Leila, arguing through her “legal opinion” that while Aquino was the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, he was not the C-I-C of the Philippine National Police, despite the fact that the 1987 Constitution clearly says that the President of the Philippines is the C-I-C of all the armed forces  of the Philippines, which means all the armed forces  that comprises the AFP and the PNP, the two legitimate agencies of government under the Executive department allowed by law to carry arms, in defense of the people and the country.
Leila knew that her “legal opinion” was baseless and unconstitutional, but she went on nevertheless with her “legal opinion” despite her being aware of her flawed opinion.
She could have done the same in the case of the alleged anomalous firetruck supply contract, maybe even knowing that big money in kickbacks could be made.
Still, all  this is up to the courts — if, and this is a big IF.
The big question of course is, once the cases of plunder, malversation and graft are filed against these yellows before the yellow Ombudsman, she again goes into “parameters” while reviewing the cases, if she even reviews such cases lodged against the yellows, and may either dismiss the cases against Roxas, Sueno and of course, Leila plus a few more.
Or, the same jaundiced and biased Ombudsman can merely give Roxas and Leila a mere  soft slap on the wrist, forfeit  their three months’ salary in their previous posts.
As for Sueno, who is not a yellow, he may  not be as lucky, and may get hit by the Ombudsman with plunder, malversation and graft plus permanent dismissal from any government appointed or elective post in government, which is what she has done to virtually all the political foes of her benefactor, Noynoy Aquino.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales certainly doesn’t stop there when it comes to Aquino’s political foes out of power, unlike her treatment of complaints when it comes to the yellows, where cases are dismissed quicker than quick, with some hoary excuses, such as dismissing the cases  against Aquino as his no longer being in power, as well as merely giving others charged for malversation like former Budget Secretary Butch Abad, a slap on the wrist and a paltry fine. Heck, such cases never even reach the Sandiganbayan. Morales makes sure of that.
Still, one may have to wait for karma to finally hit the yellows, else the law on cause and effect may just be flawed, just as flawed as the justice system we Filipinos have.

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