© Copyright, 2015 (PHNO) http://newsflash.org

EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)

FROM ABS-CBN (BLOGS)

By Inday Varona Espina: GRACE POE, HOW NOT TO DO DAMAGE CONTROL


By Inday Espina-Varona Dear Sen. Grace Poe, You've mostly talked sense -- not all the time, but mostly -- since you campaigned for your current post. During that campaign, when thrown questions on popular issues, you were studied — this part right, but other parts need to be studied. You did very well chairing the Senate probes into the MRT mess. You did even better in the Mamasapano investigation — your committee report is as good as can be expected from the limits of your task. But you were dead wrong in your statements on the Iglesia ni Cristo protest. And you got well-deserved flak for that. Now, your PR people, whoever they are, are compounding that mistake. I’m not sure if these are professionals or close friends, but your son is apparently one of them. Tell them this:Stop sending a truncated video — labelled “FULL Grace Poe response” -- when it is actually only a portion of your remarks. It is a representation. The actual YouTube video says “clip” but your social media label is unethical because it leads people to believe the “clip” is the “full response.” Worse, it is being used to tell journalists that reports on your reactions are wrong. And it is being used as the basis of memes aimed at “correcting” news reports. It is not just an error of fact or a tactical miss. It is an UNETHICAL act. It tries to mislead the public when we journalists were emailed a FULL transcript of that interview by your good office. Why don’t you just release as a note the transcript you sent us so that people can judge — based on the right information? READ MORE...

ALSO by Ellen Tordesillas: INC’s overrated election clout


By Ellen Tordesillas The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) is making a mockery of Philippine laws and personalities who are aspiring for the presidency are either kowtowing to the church leadership or treading lightly on the controversy. Vice President Jejomar Binay has become the INC’s prime protector accusing Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s investigation of reported kidnapping and detention of INC members as ”a clear act of harassment and interference from the administration.” Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., whose father‘s two-decade rule enjoyed the support of the INC, accused De Lima of “mishandling” the INC issue which he said led to the rally that worsened the already bad traffic situation in Metro Manila. Sen. Grace Poe is a disappointment. Asked in a forum in Nueva Ecija on the INC issue, she kept on inserting the Mamasapano massacre. Was she saying that De Lima should not touch the INC kidnapping issue until after the Mamasapano case is resolved which could be forever? She justified the mob in front of the DOJ office in Padre Faura saying,”.. huwag rin nating mamaliitin ang importansiya ng relihiyon. Para sa akin, ang mga tao na yan ang dinidepensahan nila ay ang kanilang paniniwala. Nirerespeto natin yan at kailangan pangalagaan din ang kanilang mga karapatan.” Interior Secretary Mar Roxas tiptoed, recognizing the rights of the INC members to stage a street protest but expressed concern about the public inconvenience that it is causing."While all citizens have the right to be heard and to peaceful assembly, the exercise of these rights cannot impinge on the rights of others or cause inconvenience to anyone," he said. President Aquino has not said anything but the fact that he is not reining in De Lima in her investigation of the conflicts in the INC, even putting the expelled INC minister Isaias Samson under the Witness Protection, is a plus for him. But he should do something to restore law and order. That’s his sworn duty to the Filipino people. The reason for the presidential wannabes' cautious (except for Binay) reaction to the problem which the INC has become is the supposed bloc votes that religious sect can deliver. It is well known that every election, the INC gives out a sample ballot of the candidates for their members. Many candidates plead to the INC leadership to be included in that list. There’s no official number of INC voting members but a 2001 elections exit poll survey by Social Weather Station for ABS-CBN “found that the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) were solid in voting 8-5 according to their hierarchy's advisory..” According to pollster Junie Laylo, then with SWS and now has his Laylo Report, said in 2001: ”The INC's vote strength is only about 1.2 million or 3% of the total electorate, but with a conversion rate of 68-84% that translates to about 800 thousand to 1 million votes for Senatorial candidates endorsed by its leadership. As a solid voting bloc, INC votes can be very influential in helping borderline candidates for the Senate.” READ MORE...

ALSO by CyberBuddy Gomez: By law and jurisprudence, Marcos is toast


Vain attempts to revise the national experience of the Marcos regime, much less erasing it by way of the ridiculously continuing denials of the widow and orphans (children and partisan loyalists) will not alter a whit the judgement of history. It has been writ by democratically legislated law as well as by Supreme Court jurisprudence. After being rescued from public anger, and possibly from a lynching, as a consequence of EDSA 1986, courtesy of a Reagan invitation, travel facilities and initial accommodations, the Marcoses descended upon their Honolulu exile with complaints of political persecution and pitiable destitution. All of a sudden they were poor! And crying about it for all to hear. Without an effort at discouraging offerings of financial aid from supporters, they accepted contributions in cash and in kind from a loving and adoring sector of the Filipino-Hawaiian community. Never denying that they were in fact farthest from ever becoming a charity case, the Marcoses were vocal about wanting to borrow money from almost anyone! In fact, they did attempt. One recalls that on a visit by the late Enrique Zobel of Manila’s Ayala merchant nobility, Marcos attempted to borrow from Enzo $250 Million. They were poor and destitute. There were bills to pay. But Mr Zobel did not abide.
When I served as the Philippine Consul General in Honolulu tasked principally with watching over the Marcoses, I came across and still possess copies of twin documents--then supposedly confidential--signed by and as “Ferdinand Edralin Marcos,” coursed through an intermediary American lawyer, Allen Weinstein. One 3-page letter addressed to President Corazon Aquino and a brief one delineating instructions for Weinstein, referencing the letter to President Cory. All of a sudden, Marcos had $5 billion! That was the amount contained in the then still secret documents addressed to Weinstein for transmittal to President Corazon C. Aquino, offering the sum of $5 billion. The letter to Weinstein stated that he “would provide the Philippine government with $5 billion of my present assets.” However for some strange reason, evidently known only to Marcos, the letter addressed to President Cory does not mention the $5 billion. Something truly strange, which was never explained. To the Marcos mind, perhaps a built-in escape hatch! READ MORE...

ALSO by Raissa Robles: Please make these detained lolos a test case for Enrile's bail


Raissa Robles
  Senator Juan Ponce Enrile has been granted bail despite the fact that he is accused of a capital crime – plunder – that is supposed to be non-bailable.
Enrile’s bail has caused an uproar. Harvard law graduate Oscar Franklin Tan wrote a highly provocative column entitled – Would you grant bail if it was not Enrile? Likewise, Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, Dean of the San Beda Graduate School of Law, wrote: “I wonder: Had bail been granted a 91-year old farmer charged with a crime punishable by reclusion perpetua, would there have been strenuous objections? So, it seems that the protest is directed not really at the justness of the decision, but because it is Enrile involved. “ I’m not a lawyer, just an observer. So’ I’d like to suggest, let’s test the premises of both Atty. Tan and Fr. Rannie with actual cases. In the case of Fr. Rannie, I decided to ask him directly whether he would be willing to go to the Supreme Court to petition for bail for other detained lolos similarly charged with a capital crime. I found news reports on five lolos who have been detained for the non-bailable crime of raping young girls. Fr. Rannie told me he was willing to file a petition before the Supreme Court. I wrote down his exact words to me – “For as long as their counsels agree, If you can get their papers , I will gladly draft a petition (for the lolos) following the theory I’m advocating.” The dean patiently explained to me his theory – “that the denial of bail can only take place after evidence (is presented).” He said that after an information is filed against an accused and the offense is punishable with a life term, the accused usually asks for a bail hearing so the court can weigh whether or not the evidence is strong. In Dean Rannie’s opinion, the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan erred by denying Enrile bail even while the bail hearing was going on. “Because you can deny bail only when you know the evidence of guilt is strong,” he said. But the Dean pointed out that the Supreme Court decision penned by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin did not at all rule on this point. Instead, he said, Bersamin’s decision to grant Enrile bail “rests on humanitarian grounds.” Since this is the case, let’s ask lawyers to petition before the Supreme Court similar bail on humanitarian grounds for this 80-year-old grandfather who is now in jail in Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte accused of the non-bailable crime of raping a four-year-old girl. READ MORE...

ALSO TEDITORIAL by Teddy Locsin: Religion and democracy
[You see real Christianity is not a religion of passive prayer for a crack at heaven. Real Christianity demands prayerful combat in this life, to bring back to earth the kingdom of heaven that was lost by man’s first disobedience, Milton said (Paradise Lost). That is why the first virtue of Christianity is obedience to God and his church—whichever of several it happens to be.]


Teddy Locsin, Jr.
FOR 5 days, traffic on EDSA stalled and INC people power was blamed for it. Traffic on EDSA had stalled for 900 days previously, ever since the MRT flew off the rails thanks to a switch from world-class Sumitomo to a Paniqui-class talyer. Abaya and Tolentino were blamed. As if on purpose, bus companies flooded EDSA with more buses than people, thereby enabling—by enriching—transport officials to run for election next May. Blame fell again on Abaya and Tolentino when the INC pulled out the faithful and yet traffic did not go away. But, no, there was no deal to sacrifice justice kuno for bloc voting. Such a deal anyway cannot be enforced come elections. Yes, bad traffic is aggravating; yet it happens every Yuletide season with the custom of celebrating the birth of Jesus by shopping for friends. For 5 days the INC got the brickbats intended for Abaya and Tolentino—but instead of blaming stupidity and cupidity or kabobohan and kurakot for the traffic, we blamed the high-handed refusal of the INC to be publicly humiliated by de Lima on the mere complaint of a Samson (without hair) who yet enlisted de Lima—I mean Delilah—to get back at his church. What the INC protested was less the inordinate interest of de Lima in Samson’s complaint, as the kababuyan to which the Church was subjected. In that it was correct. The highest right in the Bill of Rights is not something as frequently trivial as freedom of speech but freedom of religion. That freedom demands that the state favor no religion and that it cannot cross the divide between state and church to slap around a church until it gives the Liberal Party its bloc voting. Freedom of religion demands complete respect from democratic government—and that includes respect for the Pope when he visits even if Catholics are timid about their faith. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Dear SeN. Grace Poe: How not to do damage control


By Inday Espina-Varona

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 7, 2015
(ABS-CBN) Inday Espina-Varona, Posted at 08/30/2015 1:51 PM - Dear Sen. Grace Poe, You've mostly talked sense -- not all the time, but mostly -- since you campaigned for your current post. During that campaign, when thrown questions on popular issues, you were studied — this part right, but other parts need to be studied.

You did very well chairing the Senate probes into the MRT mess. You did even better in the Mamasapano investigation — your committee report is as good as can be expected from the limits of your task.

But you were dead wrong in your statements on the Iglesia ni Cristo protest. And you got well-deserved flak for that.

READ: Pandering to the INC

Now, your PR people, whoever they are, are compounding that mistake. I’m not sure if these are professionals or close friends, but your son is apparently one of them.


https://youtu.be/24pDniBgWjc 

Tell them this:

Stop sending a truncated video — labelled “FULL Grace Poe response” -- when it is actually only a portion of your remarks.

It is a representation. The actual YouTube video says “clip” but your social media label is unethical because it leads people to believe the “clip” is the “full response.”

Worse, it is being used to tell journalists that reports on your reactions are wrong. And it is being used as the basis of memes aimed at “correcting” news reports.

It is not just an error of fact or a tactical miss. It is an UNETHICAL act. It tries to mislead the public when we journalists were emailed a FULL transcript of that interview by your good office.

Why don’t you just release as a note the transcript you sent us so that people can judge — based on the right information?

READ MORE...

(UPDATE: A a citizen volunteer for Poe has owned up on the error of that video. Leon Flores, former chair of the National Youth Commission, co-convenor of the Good Governance Pilipinas, a citizen volunteer for the senator. He takes full responsibility for the error.)

READ: Grace Poe volunteer owns up to video error

Just to jog your memory, here’s what your office sent. I am reproducing full transcript and highlighting the portions pertaining to the INC case.

SEN. GRACE POE AMBUSH INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

August 28, 2015

Sen. Grace Poe: ….mga estudyante marami pa talagang kailangang gawin sa kanilang mga adhikain, mga pangangailangan nila. Saka iba talaga ang enerhiya kapag mga bata kasama mo. Yun nga edukasyon ay napakahalaga kasi nga naniniwala ako na ito ang sektor na yaman ng ating bayan. Pero hindi naman sila magiging produktibo na mamamayan kung hindi sila bibigyan ng sapat na tulong ng gobyerno. Yung unang bill ko kasi libreng pananghalian sa public schools. Hanggang ngayon ay tinutulak natin yan, sana naman ay matuloy na.

Question: Dun sa ibang interviews sa inyo, you emphasized, you always replied pagdating doon sa issue ng citizenship. Is this your way of reaching out to more audiences to explain to them ‘yung issue, rather than holding a presscon?

Poe: Oo, kasi alam mo lahat ng tao curious talaga. Ano ba talaga ang buhay nitong taong ito? Pilipino ba talaga siya? Tama lang na suriin nila ang aking pagkatao. Kaya mabuti na nanggagaling na mismo sa akin dahil hindi naman ako nagtatago ng katotohanan sa kanila. Ngayon sa batas dadaan naman tayo sa tamang proseso at hindi naman po tayo nagtatago ng kung ano pa mang kailangang malaman.

Q: Is this your way to gather more public support po?

Poe: Actually, I don’t really. Going around, I’ve been expecting people to ask me that question. But that it’s not really my intention. Hindi ko naman intensyon. Pero curious talaga sila. Yun talaga yung gusto nilang matanong kasi yun ang napapabalitaan nila na ibinabato sa akin, na ako raw ay hindi Pilipino. So at least nandito ako para ikwento sa kanila na bakit nila sinasabi na hindi ako Pilipino. Dahil hindi nila alam ang kadugo ng, kung sinuman ang biological parents ko.

Q: Ma’am, ngayon po nag-iikot po kayo sa maraming lugar ngayong linggo, bahagi na po ba ito ng paghahanda ninyo?

Poe: Kung saka-sakali malaking bagay ito kasi katulad niyan, galing ako ng Zamboanga. Kinausap natin mismo doon ang mga tao, business sector at mga internally displaced person tungkol sa BBL kung ano ang palagay nila diyan. Kasi mahirap naman na nakaupo ka sa Senado, hindi mo nakakausap yung mga taong direktang naapektuhan. Dito sa Nueva Ecija at sa Pangasinan halimbawa, apektado sila ng tagtuyot, El Niño, ano’ng kulang natin? Imprastraktura ng mga dam, ng mga water entrapment facilities. So dapat ay saksi ka sa tunay na pinagdadaanan ng iyung mga kababayan.

Q: So bahagi na po ito ng inyong paghahanda?

Poe: Bahagi. Kasi naman pag ako ay natuloy, kapag natanong ako, ano ba sa palagay mo ang solusyon sa mga problema na yan? Eh baka hindi ko alam.

Q: Ma’am bakit dun sa mga pag-iikot mo, this week ma’am, bakit puro mga estudyante, puro bata?

Poe: Doon sa pag-iikot ko, nakakataba sa puso ko yung assurance na marami sa mga kabataan ay alam ang nangyayari sa ating gobyerno. Let us not underestimate the youth. Huwag natin silang maliitin. Huwag natin apihin ang kanilang oportunidad at pagkakataon. Katulad nga niyan, nagkaroon ng pag-uusap sa CHED. Bagama’t tumaas ang budget nila, binawasan nila ang pera para sa scholars. Eh yun ang pinakaimportante. More than other items in the budget, kailangan ay mag-invest tayo sa mga kabataan at education is the best equalizer. Nagbibigay ito ng oportunidad. E kung babawasan mo yung P300 million, sa halagang iyon parang ipinapahiwatig mo na hindi ka masyadong seryoso.

Q: Sa pag-iikot po ninyo ma’am, were you encouraged sa pagdedesisyon ninyo?

Poe: Para sa akin, ang pag-iikot kong ito, naramdaman ko ang pagmamahal. Hindi lamang nila sa akin kundi, ako sa kanila. Alam mo nakikita ko, ito yung mga pinaglaban noon ni FPJ. Kaya nga kapag sinasabi nilang inclusive growth, it means more than just, it’s not just a buzz word. Ito ang totoo na wala tayong iiwanan dapat sa ating mga paggawa ng tulong sa gobyerno. Dapat lahat ay kasama, hindi yung pipili ka lang ng sektor na uunlad.

Q: Ma’am do you have timeline po before you decide?

Poe: Before October 16.

Q: On INC

Poe: Kasi alam mo unang-una hindi ba ako’y nakikiramay sa marami nating mga kababayan. Alam ko lalo na ‘yung pinagdadaanan nila. Kasi sa hustiya natin sa atin, marami ang nakasampa ngayon sa DOJ. Ihihingi pa natin ng resolusyon. Alam ko hindi madali. Kaya pati na rin sa SAF44 na ngayon hinihintay natin. Siguro mas makakabuti, dahil alam ko naman si Sec. De Lima, sabi nga niya ginagawa niya yung kanyang trabaho, ay humarap siya sa mga tao na nagra-rally. Mahinahon at i-eksplika, kung ano ba’ng sitwasyon bakit nangyayari ng ganun. Kasi after all, kami naman ang nasa gobyerno ang responsibilidad naming ay maipamahagi ng maayos sa ating mga kakabayan, bakit ganun ang aming mga hakbang sa pamunuan.

Q: Pero sa tingin niyo po ba dapat hawakan ng DOJ ang kaso?

Poe: Alam mo sa totoo lamang, maraming inaasikaso ang DOJ. Para sa akin hindi ko alam talaga lahat ng detalye tungkol diyan. Siyempre magtataka ka rin bakit ang tutok doon, samantalang, halimbawa yung ibang mga kaso ng gobyerno wala naman silang witnesses pa, na naka-hold. Halimbawa, tinatanong ko mayroon na ba kayong nakuha doon sa Mamasapano massacre? Mayroon na raw mga inimbestigahan pero wala pa namang naka-witness protection at least, sa pagkakaalam ko.

Q: Mayroon po bang fallback ang Liberal Party in case Grace Poe decides to run for president?

Poe: I’m sure naman lahat ng partido ay naghahanda sa kahit na ano’ng contingency.

Q: Ma’am yung sa INC, even if may kidnapping issue dapat ba hindi makialam ang DOJ?

Poe: Depende kasi sa lakas ng kaso. Pagdating kasi, I think dapat transparent. Ang pagkakaalam ko ng issue, ito’y isang saksi sa taong nakidnap. Pero yung tao nakidnap diumano ay nandoon naman. Hindi ba free? So ako kasi hindi ako parte ng DOJ, gusto ko rin malaman. Kaya nga sinasabi ko, tama yung sinabi ni secretary kung ginawa niya ang kanyang trabaho. I-eksplika niya sa taumbayan kung anong merits ng case. Pero alam mo, huwag rin nating mamaliitin ang importansiya ng relihiyon. Para sa akin ang mga tao na yan ang dinidepensahan nila ay ang kanilang paniniwala. Nirerespeto natin yan at kailangan pangalagaan din ang kanilang mga karapatan. Thanks guys. #

That last paragraph is the pits. And here’s why.

Ang pagkakaalam ko ng issue, ito’y isang saksi sa taong nakidnap. Pero yung tao nakidnap diumano ay nandoon naman. Hindi ba free? So ako kasi hindi ako parte ng DOJ, gusto ko rin malaman.

(You don’t know, but you throw out, “Hindi ba free?” You want to know — how do you want to get at the truth? On the streets? Coffeeshop gossip? A meeting with De Lima? You’re a lawmaker and should know better. This is a criminal complaint, filed with prosecutors. You get the truth — or what passes for it — from a formal inquiry into the complaint.)

Kaya nga sinasabi ko, tama yung sinabi ni secretary kung ginawa niya ang kanyang trabaho. I-eksplika niya sa taumbayan kung anong merits ng case.

(Excuse me? De Lima referred it — a bit late, if I say so; ask the lawyers of the complainant — to prosecutors. That is where the merits of the case are scrutinized and resolved.)

Pero alam mo, huwag rin nating mamaliitin ang importansiya ng relihiyon. Para sa akin ang mga tao na yan ang dinidepensahan nila ay ang kanilang paniniwala.
Nirerespeto natin yan at kailangan pangalagaan din ang kanilang mga karapatan.

(Good god, I don’t care what religion you or anyone professes. This is not about religion. This is about a criminal complaint on a very serious charge. I am hoping you do not believe that HOW “discipline” is meted out is a purely internal faith matter even when such allegedly violates the laws of this land.)

As lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles notes:

Dear Ms. Grace Poe: Sec. 3 of the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act states:

3. Corrupt practices of public officers.– In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:
(a) persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with the official duties of the latter, or allowing himself to be persuaded, induced or influenced to commit such violation or offense.

Now could you repeat your spiel about how the Justice Secretary needs to focus on other cases and not to take cognizance of the case for serious illegal detention filed by one Isaias Samson, Jr?

Again, you are dead wrong. Don’t add to your misery. People, including myself, respect people who promptly acknowledge mistakes and explain their new-found wisdom. This is beneath you.


INC’s overrated election clout By Ellen T. Tordesillas Posted at 08/31/2015 12:12 AM


By Ellen Tordesillas

The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) is making a mockery of Philippine laws and personalities who are aspiring for the presidency are either kowtowing to the church leadership or treading lightly on the controversy.

Vice President Jejomar Binay has become the INC’s prime protector accusing Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s investigation of reported kidnapping and detention of INC members as ”a clear act of harassment and interference from the administration.”

Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., whose father‘s two-decade rule enjoyed the support of the INC, accused De Lima of “mishandling” the INC issue which he said led to the rally that worsened the already bad traffic situation in Metro Manila.

Sen. Grace Poe is a disappointment. Asked in a forum in Nueva Ecija on the INC issue, she kept on inserting the Mamasapano massacre. Was she saying that De Lima should not touch the INC kidnapping issue until after the Mamasapano case is resolved which could be forever?

She justified the mob in front of the DOJ office in Padre Faura saying,”.. huwag rin nating mamaliitin ang importansiya ng relihiyon. Para sa akin, ang mga tao na yan ang dinidepensahan nila ay ang kanilang paniniwala. Nirerespeto natin yan at kailangan pangalagaan din ang kanilang mga karapatan.”

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas tiptoed, recognizing the rights of the INC members to stage a street protest but expressed concern about the public inconvenience that it is causing."While all citizens have the right to be heard and to peaceful assembly, the exercise of these rights cannot impinge on the rights of others or cause inconvenience to anyone," he said.

President Aquino has not said anything but the fact that he is not reining in De Lima in her investigation of the conflicts in the INC, even putting the expelled INC minister Isaias Samson under the Witness Protection, is a plus for him.

But he should do something to restore law and order. That’s his sworn duty to the Filipino people.

The reason for the presidential wannabes' cautious (except for Binay) reaction to the problem which the INC has become is the supposed bloc votes that religious sect can deliver.

It is well known that every election, the INC gives out a sample ballot of the candidates for their members. Many candidates plead to the INC leadership to be included in that list.

There’s no official number of INC voting members but a 2001 elections exit poll survey by Social Weather Station for ABS-CBN “found that the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) were solid in voting 8-5 according to their hierarchy's advisory..”

According to pollster Junie Laylo, then with SWS and now has his Laylo Report, said in 2001: ”The INC's vote strength is only about 1.2 million or 3% of the total electorate, but with a conversion rate of 68-84% that translates to about 800 thousand to 1 million votes for Senatorial candidates endorsed by its leadership. As a solid voting bloc, INC votes can be very influential in helping borderline candidates for the Senate.”

READ MORE...

That’s true. INC votes are helpful for those who are in the number 11, 12, and 13 in the senatorial race. But if you are in the top five, INC’s non-support would not push you out of the Magic 12.

In the presidential and vice presidential race, if the contest is very tight, every vote is important. Thus, the pilgrimage of the candidates to the INC headquarters every elections.

But the INC vote cannot propel a candidate lagging behind to number one.

In 1992, INC supported Eduardo ”Danding” Cojuangco, who was only number three after Fidel V. Ramos and Miriam D. Santiago.

Roxas in 2010 is another good example. He was supported by INC but Binay won over him by 727,084 votes.

INC actually rides with the trend in making their list. Winnability, not integrity or competence, is the primary basis for inclusion in the sample ballot.

One good example is Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV in 2007.

Trillanes, who was in detention then and with not much money for his campaign, was not given a chance to win. Thus, he was not included in the INC list. But he won.

In the 2013 elections, the INC included Trillanes in its list.

De Lima, if she runs for senator, will surely not be in the INC list.

De Lima might find comforting the paper delivered by SWS’ Mahar Mangahas in Egypt in 2009 on “The Challenge of Election Surveys: SWS experience in the Philippines.

Mangahas said one of SWS’ findings in the 2007 elections was “command voting” is limited.

Mangahas said, “Of every five voters, four say―most people here decide by themselves who to vote for and only one says that ―most people here are just told by the leaders whom to vote for.”

The current crisis in the INC all the more undermines the myth of its “solid vote.”

*** Blog: www.ellentordesillas.com / E-mail:ellentordesillas@gmail.com 


By law and jurisprudence, F.M. Marcos is toast By Buddy Gomez Posted at 09/02/2015 9:12 PM

Vain attempts to revise the national experience of the Marcos regime, much less erasing it by way of the ridiculously continuing denials of the widow and orphans (children and partisan loyalists) will not alter a whit the judgement of history.

It has been writ by democratically legislated law as well as by Supreme Court jurisprudence.



After being rescued from public anger, and possibly from a lynching, as a consequence of EDSA 1986, courtesy of a Reagan invitation, travel facilities and initial accommodations, the Marcoses descended upon their Honolulu exile with complaints of political persecution and pitiable destitution.

All of a sudden they were poor! And crying about it for all to hear. Without an effort at discouraging offerings of financial aid from supporters, they accepted contributions in cash and in kind from a loving and adoring sector of the Filipino-Hawaiian community.

Never denying that they were in fact farthest from ever becoming a charity case, the Marcoses were vocal about wanting to borrow money from almost anyone! In fact, they did attempt.

One recalls that on a visit by the late Enrique Zobel of Manila’s Ayala merchant nobility, Marcos attempted to borrow from Enzo $250 Million. They were poor and destitute. There were bills to pay. But Mr Zobel did not abide.

When I served as the Philippine Consul General in Honolulu tasked principally with watching over the Marcoses, I came across and still possess copies of twin documents--then supposedly confidential--signed by and as “Ferdinand Edralin Marcos,” coursed through an intermediary American lawyer, Allen Weinstein. One 3-page letter addressed to President Corazon Aquino and a brief one delineating instructions for Weinstein, referencing the letter to President Cory.

All of a sudden, Marcos had $5 billion! That was the amount contained in the then still secret documents addressed to Weinstein for transmittal to President Corazon C. Aquino, offering the sum of $5 billion.

The letter to Weinstein stated that he “would provide the Philippine government with $5 billion of my present assets.” However for some strange reason, evidently known only to Marcos, the letter addressed to President Cory does not mention the $5 billion. Something truly strange, which was never explained. To the Marcos mind, perhaps a built-in escape hatch!

READ MORE...

The $5 billion gambit was “a secret bid to trade a large share of his wealth for permission to return to his homeland,” (as reported in Los Angeles Times, 28 July 1988, by reporter Bill Rempel, the same investigative journalist who exposed the “Marcos Diaries,” wherein Marcos lied to himself and lived by those lies!)

The humongous monetary offer came at the time when a pending grand jury investigation of fraud and corruption against Marcos and Imelda in New York was fast forthcoming.

In any case, the offer was rejected because of the convoluted manner by which it was presented. An absence of trust and a lingering suspicion of serial insincerity. President Cory was quoted by the Malacanang bratpack (an affectionate collective nickname for young journalists of the time) as having said: “Send the $5 billion first, and then we will talk.”

The Guinness Book of World Records has really never officially designated Marcos as the “world’s greatest thief of all time.”

But our Supreme Court has confirmed the existence of ill-gotten wealth, while not in its suspected entirety but at least a significant portion of it.

In its promulgation dated July 15, 2003, our Supremes speaking unanimously and unequivocally: “The Swiss deposits which were transferred to and are now in escrow at the Philippine National Bank in the estimated amount of US$ 658,175,373.60 as of January 31, 2002, plus interest, are hereby forfeited in favor of the Republic of the Philippines”…… ”In the face of undeniable circumstances and the avalanche of documentary evidence, the respondent Marcoses (meaning Ferdie, Meldy, Imee, Bongbong and Irene---mine) failed to justify the lawful nature of the acquisition of said assets.”

Ill-gotten wealth, what else! That amount is the equivalent of more than PhP 30 billion in current foreign exchange terms.

In acknowledgement of Marcos’ Martial Law mayhem, the foregoing sum was in reality the ultimate source of compensation for thousands of Marcos victims and their surviving heirs. (Checks equivalent to $1,000.00 distributed in 2011 are proceeds from a US court settlement of a class action suit judgment against the Marcoses.

Another PhP 50,000 per victim, distributed earlier this year, was sourced from the sale of the Claude Monet painting discovered and retrieved from Imelda’s secret hoard.)

And then, there is Republic Act 10368. Known as the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.

It is a landmark legislation that provides reparation and recognition of victims of human rights violations during the Marcos regime.

The law intends to “recognize the heroism and sacrifices of all Filipinos who were victims of summary executions, torture, enforced or involuntary disappearances and other gross human rights violations committed during former President Ferdinand Marcos’s time from September 21, 1972 to February 25, 1986.”

Under this law is created “The Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board” charged with the adjudicative process and the settlement of claims from the abused and the aggrieved.

The amount of Ten Billion Pesos (PhP10,000,000,000.00) has been set aside as the principal source of the Law’s implementation.

The mission statement of the HRV Claims Board is: “Tilting back the scales of Justice--acknowledging the wrongs and healing the wounds of martial law.”

Sweet and succinct poetic justice!

In iteration for the benefit of younger Millennials and those of the Filipino Generation Y, mostly an apparently clueless segment of today’s population insofar as Marcos and Martial Law matters go, here is an edification never to be forgotten.

They comprise the target audience of the Marcoses for their inundation of social media (YouTube.com, principally) with political propaganda of how great the late dictator’s regime was, with infrastructure accomplishments and claims of a better quality of life.

Bongbong is even beginning to brag about it. He says of his father, “history will judge him properly” and “What am I to apologize for?”

READ: Bongbong on Marcos era: What am I to say sorry for?

The gruesome scorecard, in absolute numbers, the undeniable body count of victims of Marcos’ Martial Law shows 3,257 extra-judicial killings, 35,000 torture victims, 70,000 incarcerations and 120,000 victims of arbitrary arrests.

The agony of these suffering souls were all caused and occasioned by decrees and issuances of a dictator. (Always remember that Marcos shut down Congress and declared himself the sole lawmaker/lawgiver)

The most infamous, feared, detested and scariest of which edicts carried titles such as ASSO (Arrest, Search and Seizure Order, most often signed by Martial Law Administrator Juan Ponce Enrile), Preventive Detention Action (PDA) and Presidential Commitment Order (PCO).

We cannot just move on, as some quarters would wish, and be unmindful of our past. Marcos Martial Law must remain this country’s living past!

This is unimpeachable history.

Its judgment is final and has been delivered.

One is led to wonder if the Department of Education has already mandated and devoted ample space and importance to this dark and painful episode of Philippine history in relevant textbooks, to defend truth with fervor and vigor ever against the onslaught of shameless lies of the shameless Marcoses.


Please make these detained lolos a test case for Enrile's bail Posted at 08/26/2015 7:01 PM


Raissa Robles
  Senator Juan Ponce Enrile has been granted bail despite the fact that he is accused of a capital crime – plunder – that is supposed to be non-bailable.

Enrile’s bail has caused an uproar.

Harvard law graduate Oscar Franklin Tan wrote a highly provocative column entitled – Would you grant bail if it was not Enrile?

Likewise, Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, Dean of the San Beda Graduate School of Law, wrote: “I wonder: Had bail been granted a 91-year old farmer charged with a crime punishable by reclusion perpetua, would there have been strenuous objections? So, it seems that the protest is directed not really at the justness of the decision, but because it is Enrile involved. “

I’m not a lawyer, just an observer. So’ I’d like to suggest, let’s test the premises of both Atty. Tan and Fr. Rannie with actual cases.

In the case of Fr. Rannie, I decided to ask him directly whether he would be willing to go to the Supreme Court to petition for bail for other detained lolos similarly charged with a capital crime. I found news reports on five lolos who have been detained for the non-bailable crime of raping young girls.

Fr. Rannie told me he was willing to file a petition before the Supreme Court. I wrote down his exact words to me –

“For as long as their counsels agree, If you can get their papers , I will gladly draft a petition (for the lolos) following the theory I’m advocating.”

The dean patiently explained to me his theory – “that the denial of bail can only take place after evidence (is presented).” He said that after an information is filed against an accused and the offense is punishable with a life term, the accused usually asks for a bail hearing so the court can weigh whether or not the evidence is strong. In Dean Rannie’s opinion, the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan erred by denying Enrile bail even while the bail hearing was going on. “Because you can deny bail only when you know the evidence of guilt is strong,” he said.

But the Dean pointed out that the Supreme Court decision penned by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin did not at all rule on this point. Instead, he said, Bersamin’s decision to grant Enrile bail “rests on humanitarian grounds.”

Since this is the case, let’s ask lawyers to petition before the Supreme Court similar bail on humanitarian grounds for this 80-year-old grandfather who is now in jail in Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte accused of the non-bailable crime of raping a four-year-old girl.

READ MORE...

You can read about the news story here.

Remember, the main argument for Enrile’s bail, according to Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin is that

“Bail for the provisional liberty of the accused, regardless of the crime charged, should be allowed independently of the merits of the charge, provided his continued incarceration is clearly shown to be injurious to his health or to endanger his life. Indeed, denying him bail despite imperiling his health and life would not serve the true objective of preventive incarceration during the trial.”

I am presuming that since this lolo is far poorer than Sen. Enrile, and almost certainly can’t afford stem cell injections, he is even less healthy than the senator. Therefore his continued incarceration would be injurious to his health or would endanger his life even more.

But just to get the physical evidence that this lolo is less healthy, let him submit himself to a free health examination. Let’s see if he is less or more healthy than Enrile. Remember that Justice Bersamin noted the following about Enrile:

(1) Chronic Hypertension with fluctuating blood pressure levels on multiple drug therapy; (Annexes 1.1, 1.2, 1.3);

(2) Diffuse atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease composed of the following:

a. Previous history of cerebrovascular disease with carotid and vertebral artery disease; (Annexes 1.4, 4.1) b. Heavy coronary artery calcifications; (Annex 1.5) c. Ankle Brachial Index suggestive of arterial calcifications. (Annex 1.6)

(3) Atrial and Ventricular Arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) documented by Holter monitoring; (Annexes 1.7.1, 1.7.2)

(4) Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrom (ACOS) and postnasal drip syndrome; (Annexes 2.1, 2.2)

(5) Ophthalmology:

a. Age-related mascular degeneration, neovascular s/p laser of the Retina, s/p Lucentis intra-ocular injections; (Annexes 3.0, 3.1, 3.2) b. S/p Cataract surgery with posterior chamber intraocular lens. (Annexes 3.1, 3.2)

(6) Historical diagnoses of the following:

a. High blood sugar/diabetes on medications; b. High cholesterol levels/dyslipidemia; c. Alpha thalassemia; d. Gait/balance disorder; e. Upper gastrointestinal bleeding (etiology uncertain) in 2014; f. Benign prostatic hypertrophy (with documented enlarged prostate on recent ultrasound).42

Dr. Gonzales attested that the following medical conditions, singly or collectively, could pose significant risks to the life of Enrile, to wit: (1) uncontrolled hypertension, because it could lead to brain or heart complications, including recurrence of stroke; (2) arrhythmia, because it could lead to fatal or non-fatal cardiovascular events, especially under stressful conditions; (3) coronary calcifications associated with coronary artery disease, because they could indicate a future risk for heart attack under stressful conditions; and (4) exacerbations of ACOS, because they could be triggered by certain circumstances (like excessive heat, humidity, dust or allergen exposure) which could cause a deterioration in patients with asthma or COPD.43”

And if this lolo, whose name was not given in the news report probably to protect the victim, is found to be similarly “in poor health” like Enrile, then this lolo should also be given his provisional liberty.

Because Enrile is not the only detainee who should enjoy the wisdom and compassion of the Supreme Court.

In fact, working under what could possibly become the Bersamin Doctrine, our lawyers should look around the country’s jail cells and find even more geriatric detainees who should enjoy the compassion of the Supreme Court.

Pronto.

P.S. This morning, curiosity drove me to look for other lolos who have been detained while awaiting trial. I found four others – all accused of the non-bailable and capital offense of raping minors.

Last December, a lolo was arrested in the town of Tigaon, Camarines Sur province after being accused of raping his 10-year-old apo. I am presuming this story is accurate because it was written for GMA News by Joel Locsin, my former colleague in Philippine Star. You can read Joel’s story by clicking here.

In December 2013, the Times Journal reported that a 73-year-old lolo was arrested for raping a 13-year-old girl in Zamboanga del Sur. You can read the news report here.

In 2012, Virgilio Bolanda, 71, was reported as being held at the Pasig City detention center after a mother accused him of raping her daughters aged five, seven and nine. You can read about this here.

Now the lawyers might say that Bolanda should not be granted bail under what might become the Bersamin doctrine because Bolanda might do it again. However, the same argument could perhaps be used against Enrile – that allowing him bail gives him access again to state funds, which he is accused of diverting.

Finally, there is an undated report about 74-year-old Alberto Sioson who was arrested in Hermosa, Bataan for allegedly raping a 14-year-old. You can read about it here.

To summarize, the detention of all FIVE LOLOS can be the test case of what could become the Bersamin Bail Doctrine.


Religion and democracy Teddy Locsin, Jr. Posted at 09/02/2015 8:17 PM


Teddy Locsin, Jr.

FOR 5 days, traffic on EDSA stalled and INC people power was blamed for it. Traffic on EDSA had stalled for 900 days previously, ever since the MRT flew off the rails thanks to a switch from world-class Sumitomo to a Paniqui-class talyer. Abaya and Tolentino were blamed. As if on purpose, bus companies flooded EDSA with more buses than people, thereby enabling—by enriching—transport officials to run for election next May.

Blame fell again on Abaya and Tolentino when the INC pulled out the faithful and yet traffic did not go away. But, no, there was no deal to sacrifice justice kuno for bloc voting. Such a deal anyway cannot be enforced come elections.

Yes, bad traffic is aggravating; yet it happens every Yuletide season with the custom of celebrating the birth of Jesus by shopping for friends. For 5 days the INC got the brickbats intended for Abaya and Tolentino—but instead of blaming stupidity and cupidity or kabobohan and kurakot for the traffic, we blamed the high-handed refusal of the INC to be publicly humiliated by de Lima on the mere complaint of a Samson (without hair) who yet enlisted de Lima—I mean Delilah—to get back at his church. What the INC protested was less the inordinate interest of de Lima in Samson’s complaint, as the kababuyan to which the Church was subjected.

In that it was correct.

The highest right in the Bill of Rights is not something as frequently trivial as freedom of speech but freedom of religion. That freedom demands that the state favor no religion and that it cannot cross the divide between state and church to slap around a church until it gives the Liberal Party its bloc voting.

Freedom of religion demands complete respect from democratic government—and that includes respect for the Pope when he visits even if Catholics are timid about their faith.

READ MORE...

Modern democracy was invented precisely to uphold and protect all religions. The parents of the Founding Fathers had fled the state religions of Anglicanism and Catholicism to the freedom to worship of the American wilderness.

Freedom of religion demands at the very least the same respect, and tact, that this Aquino government extends to the religion of terrorists but will not show to Iglesia ni Cristo—a Reformation and Enlightenment Church. Felix Manalo was a close student of Voltaire’s complete works, as he told my father.

You see real Christianity is not a religion of passive prayer for a crack at heaven. Real Christianity demands prayerful combat in this life, to bring back to earth the kingdom of heaven that was lost by man’s first disobedience, Milton said (Paradise Lost). That is why the first virtue of Christianity is obedience to God and his church—whichever of several it happens to be.

This is aggravating but only to those who think of religion as a private activity like playing with yourself; though mystics warn there is no happy ending but the dark night of the soul instead. (St. John of the Cross, translated by the fine fascist poet Roy Campbell).

True religion is not passive. It is quick to take offense because it involves the belief, as The Little Prince said, that what is invisible matters more than what is visible. This belief is the lifeblood of real religion that democracy was invented to protect.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2014 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE