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Ninez Cacho-Olivares

For the LPs’ personal poll interests

Friday, 19 December 2014 00:00 Published in Commentary

Noynoy reminded the military not to be used for personal interests during the 2016 elections, saying that he expects the military to protect the public’s interest during the polls.

“Elections are near, and we all know that during election time, there really are those who insist on using (the military) for their personal interests,” he said, adding that “what the people want is the assurance of security. They pin their hopes on you to side with the people.”
That’s really rich, coming from Noynoy, considering that when he ran in 2010 for the presidency, he was already clandestinely meeting up with lower ranking military officers and getting them on his side, obviously, for his own interests.
This was reported in the news at that time when these incidents were happening.
The same officers who were partisan and who supported Noynoy in 2010 certainly were richly rewarded, as Noynoy made sure that the then incumbent Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff, who was an appointee of then President Gloria Arroyo would be forced to resign, and replaced by the military officer who pledged personal loyalty to him when he was still candidate Noy.
Quite frankly, Noynoy should be exhorting the National Police not be partisan or be used for the personal interest of the administration candidates and of course the administration standard bearer as it is the police who are generally tapped by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for election duty work.
Better yet, Noynoy, being president, should ensure that there is no massive automated cheating, which almost certainly will occur, especially as it looks like the Sixto Brillantes Comelec is again favoring Smartmatic’s machines for the automated polls — and we all do know that Smartmatic has that track record of its fraudulent machines, including transmission services, ensuring massive fraud, both in 2010 and 2013.
But how can he, or even his Liberal Party demand that of the Comelec, when almost everybody knows that it is they who have been using their power and leverage to ensure massive fraud?
It is the Liberal Party and of course Noynoy who have a lot to lose, should their standard bearer lose in 2016. No longer will the LPs be the dominant party in Congress. They lose their allies to the new Malacañang tenant and their biggest loss would be loss of power and control the LP biggies now exercise in Malacañang, especially control of the funds, apart from which, they may no longer be protected by the new Malacañang tenant, if the new president comes from the opposition side.
In 2013, massive fraud was much too visible, what with the administration senatorial bets — many of whom were very weak candidates and relatively unknown as national figures — winning their seats following a 60-30-10 cheating pattern. Sixty percent went to the Noynoy bets, 30 percent went to the opposition bets and 10 percent were spread to independent candidates. How mathematiclally probable is that pattern, precinct, city, municipal, provincial wide?
And who else but those in power and position in Malacañang today could have pulled that off with the Comelec?
After all, it is they who hold the levers of power, and exert great influence over government agencies. It is only Malacañang that can call the shots in Comelec, despite claims by the Palace that it does not interfere in the affairs of a constitutional body, as well as a different co-equal branch of government. It does, and often enough.
The fact that there are again plans to engage in electoral fraud can be gleaned from the 2015 national budget not providing the Comelec with the funds to lease new automated machines that are more technologically advanced, and ensure that the Smartmatic PCOS will again be used, although even with the budget given the Comelec for elections, there appears to be that move from the Brillantes Comelec to again depend on Smartmatic and it is easy to commit fraud with its machines.
But if Noynoy were truly sincere about ensuring clean and honest polls, why hasn’t he, along with his LPs in the Senate and the House, have a full investigation of the 2010 and the 2013 polls to once and for all, put a stop to this election year poll fraid robbing of the sovereign will of the electorate?

All for show

Thursday, 18 December 2014 00:00 Published in Commentary

Leila de Lima, in a show of bravado, insisted that Marine Joseph Pemberton, alleged killer of transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude will insist on getting the custody of the American Marine.
Presidential spokesman Edowin Lacierda echeod De Lima, saying that the Philippine government has already sought the custody of Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemeberon, even when they know that they can’t get the custody of the American Marine.
Said Lacierda: “There was a warrant of arrest issued by the court. As a matter of procedure, we have to enforce the warrant. We have formally sought custody of Mr. Pemberton.
Already, the US Ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg, isn’t about to turn over one of the US’  own to the Philippine authorities. He shot back, saying that the American authorities should still have custody over Pemberton.
See? Despite having Pemberton in a Philippine camp, the US government always had custody of Pemberton and yet the Philippine authorities kept on claiming that, as Pemberton is detained in Philippine territory, it is the Philippine government that has custody over Pemberton.
Who wants to bet that it will be the American government that will have custody of the American Marine?
And this is not because the US government will lose in the fight for custody on account of the provisions of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). It will be more because once again, the Aquino administration, while making a show of protecting Philippine laws and  the Constitution, as well as argue based on the VFA provisions, will bow to the wishes of the US government.
Recall that in the case of Daniel Smith, then accused of having raped a girl in Zamboanga City, was indeed arrested by Philippine authorities under a court issued arrest warrant. He did go to the Makati City Jail, as ordered. But it was not too long before the administration quickly got him out of the Makati City Jail in the dead of the night, and just as quickly, the American authorities brought Smith to the US Embassy, taking full custody of him.
In between, there was supposed to have been a meeting between the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Justice secretary and the US authorities on where the place of detention would be. The US won. Smith remained under the US custody and US grounds, and there was really no real fight from the administration to insist on retaining custody of Smith.
In the end, the rape victim suddenly recanted and left for the US on reports that she had not only been paid off by the US government to recant, but also was given a green card for her to stay in the US, along with pocket money.  Smith was acquitted, as the case was dismissed, given the recantation.
It will be the same story in the case of Pemberton. He will remain in the custody of the US Embassy and will be present for his arraignment, but that’s it. The Philippine government loses out again over custodial rights and with the way the Philippine authorities have been playing ball with the US government, it is almost certain that they will do all to ensure that the Philippine prosecutors lose the case against Pemberton — if not in the regional trial court, then in the appellate court, even if the case involves murder.
It is hardly any secret that there is animosity between the private prosecutors and the public prosecutors, including Leila de Lima, who even went to the extent of calling on Laude’s relatives to make up their minds whether they still want Harry Roque as their lawyer, as she claimed to have read somewhere that the Laudes don’t want Roque as a lawyer.
Well. Her face should have turned red, because the Laudes not only trust Roque as their lawyer, but they also know that Roque is truly fighting for justice for the transgender.
That the prosecution has been making it more difficult for the Laudes and their lawyer to get information is fairly evident, as not even the Naval Crime Investigation Service report on the Pemberton case has been shared by the public prosecutor with Roque, who represents the Laude family.
One would think that if the Philippine government were truly after giving justice for the transgender, it would go full steam ahead and insist on the US following our laws and the court rules, instead of kowtowing to the American demands and giving them full control of custodial arrangements to the point of the public prosecutor/fiscal keeping documents away from the private prosecutors.
The claim is that whatever is discussed would be through diplomatic agreements.
As Lacierda said: “Since there is the VFA and this involves a US serviceman, we also have to apply the VFA. There will have to be coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs, VFA Commission and the US Embassy.”
That’s all for show. The administration knows that it will give in to the demands of the US government.
What Noynoy wants, he gets from Congress. But what the US wants, it gets from Noynoy. It is as simple as that.

Palace pressure on courts

Wednesday, 17 December 2014 00:00 Published in Commentary

Of course the Palace will deny that Noynoy Aquino put pressure on the Sandiganbayan magistrates--enough for all three justices to seek their refusal, the first ever in this country.
Did anyone expect the Palace to confirm that it has applied pressure on the Justices to deny bail for Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, and for that matter, Sen. Bong Revilla?
Too many times, Noynoy has publicly stated — which is on record — that he wants to see the three senators — and of course former President Gloria Arroyo convicted before his term ends. Why even give such a statement, as that would automatically translate to a strong message to the justices that it is he who wants them detained, with bail denied, and convicted.
That Noynoy is vindictive, can hardly be denied. In the case of Gloria,who had been charged with electoral sabotage in a space of some four hours, but was granted bail due to the weak evidence presented by the prosecutor. Go back to the statements of Noynoy, who had said that Gloria’s freedom won’t be for long. Shortly after, the administration, through the Noynoy follower, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, quickly filed a case of plunder against Gloria, who continues to be detained, and the Sandiganbayan has denied her bail, despite the fact that all her co-accused have been granted bail. How is it possible that it is only Gloria who has been denied bail? It appears that the Palace occupant again dipped his pressure finger on the court.
Yet Noynoy’s spokesman, Sonny Coloma, says there is no basis for such statements of pressure applied on the Sandiganbayan to deny Estrada bail.
Court insiders were quoted as saying that it was also public pressure, as well as pressure from “higher authorities,” who were not named.
There was also the threat of the BIR that has been given the green light to look into the Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and net worth (SALns) of the Sandiganbayan justices, along with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), two attack dogs of Noynoy in making officials bow to him.
Remember the way the SALn, the AMLC, the Commission on Audit, the Ombudsman and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) went after then Chief Justice Renato Corona?
The court insider was quoted by the Inquirer as saying that the decision of the Supreme Court to allow the BIR to look into the SALns of the Sandiganbayan magistrates had also affected the justices’ decision.
“Since the issue of the pork barrel scam broke out in the media, the public perception is that all the personalities implicated in the controversy should be convicted,” the source said.
“Even the higher authorities were consistently and confidently saying in public that all legislators charged in the Sandiganbayan would be found guilty by the court. If you’re a judge, that would definitely weigh on how you would treat this case. It’s a pressure on your judgment,” he added.
This rings much too true. The public has been conditioned to believe that the three senators are guilty and deserve to be not only denied bail but also convicted, which is very wrong, as anybody accused is still deemed innocent and his guilt has not been proved as yet. And the conditioning of the mind of the public was ensured with the Senate hearings and the yellow media’s trial by publicity for months on end, complete with Leila de Lima making such a media show of presenting her “truckload of evidence” which has turned out to be no evidence at all of plunder, as even the testimonies of her principal whistle-blower, Benhur Luy and his co-whistle-blowers who have been granted full immunity by Leila and Morales, were all hearsay, not to mention lies. Even the NBI forensic investigator, a prosecution witness, testified that with all the intercalations and erasures in the digital files of Luy, he could not vouch for the files’ integrity.
Despite all that, the Sandiganbayan justices still denied Bong Revilla bail.
Yet the Palace, with a straight face, even comes up to claim that the courts are independent and belong to a different branch of government and that Noynoy does not interfere with the courts of law.
But who believes the Palace when the records do show that indeed, Noynoy has been interfering with the courts of law.
Who else can apply serious pressure on the justices, if not the vindictive Noynoy and his control over his agencies — and even constitutional offices that he has been prostituting?

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