Don’t forget the unresolved 604 kilos of shabu

With so many issues cropping up every day, a controversy is usually good only for a week. Unresolved, it is set aside to make way for another controversy. Nobody gets punished, the culprit gets away with the crime. The problem stays and goes on.

The Gordon-led Blue Ribbon Committee, in its report more than a week ago on the 604 kilos of shabu that passed through the Bureau of Customs under the leadership of Nicanor Faeldon has found Davao City Councilor Small Abellera Jr. liable of direct bribery for allegedly accepting a P5-million bribe from customs broker Mark Taguba as enrollment fee with the Davao Group, which reportedly facilitates the release of shipments at the BOC.

Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the 604 kilos of shabu smuggling. Photo by Alexis Nuevaespaña

Yet, it cleared presidential son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his brother-in-law, lawyer Manases Carpio of complicity with the Davao Group.

Something’s wrong here.
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October 23, 2017 4:36 am  Tags: ,   Posted in: Graft and corruption, Illegal Drugs  No Comments

Founded on false hopes, sustained by more falsehood

Fake news. We have that in abundance direct from the President himself.

Now we have Fake Charge.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio T, Carpio.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio minced no words in his 39-page dissenting opinion to the majority decision (9-6) upholding the warrant of arrest on Sen. Leila de Lima issued by the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court early this year on the charge that she engaged in illegal drug trading while she was secretary of justice.

“Based on the Information itself, the accusation of illegal trade of drugs against petitioner is blatantly a pure invention. This Court, the last bulwark of democracy and liberty in the land, should never countenance such a fake charge. To allow the continued detention of petitioner under this Information is one of the grossest injustices ever perpetrated in recent memory in full view of the Filipino nation and the entire world,” Carpio said.
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October 16, 2017 3:20 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Illegal Drugs, Justice  3 Comments

Former Solgen proposes an Institute for the Integrity of Information

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay at the hearing of the Senate Committee
on Public Information and Mass Media.


I came out of the hearing by the Committee on Public Information and Mass Media on Fake News chaired by Sen. Grace Poe Wednesday stunned by the arrogance of persons hired by the government to handle social media.

The hearing could have been moderate3d much better but the best thing from that proceedings was the statement by former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay calling our attention to another form of impunity that we are witnessing aside from the thousands of killings on our streets – the death of truth.

Hilbay narrowed down on the real problem of the toxic environment: government dishonesty. He proposed the creation by Congress of the Institute for the Integrity of Information, “a sort of Ombudsman for public information provided by government, or an information police for government officials. “

Here’s the full text of Hilbay’s statement:
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October 7, 2017 8:11 am  Tags:   Posted in: Media  8 Comments

Not for lack of Duterte’s desire that Trillanes is alive

Honeylet Avanceña fixes the President’s barong before deplaning in Cambodia. May 2017. Looking on is their daughter, Veronica. Malacañang photo.

Cielito “Honeylet” Salvador Avanceña has weighed in on the more serious issues of her partner’s presidency.
And we are stunned by her logic.

In her talk with the members of the Philippine National Police Monday, Avanceña commented on the allegations that Duterte is a killer, a reputation that the President has cultivated by his boasts of having killed some persons.

Avanceña said, “You’ve seen it, Trillanes has been hitting us since a week before election. Eh bakit buhay pa siya? ‘Di ba? Wala naman nangyayari eh.”
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October 4, 2017 12:27 am  Tags: ,   Posted in: Graft and corruption  7 Comments

Duterte’s threats betray panic

Behind President Duterte’s curse-laden talks is a man in panic.

And the one subject that drives him up the wall is his alleged huge bank deposits that Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV first exposed last week of April 2016, weeks before the election that he won.

The latest development is the receipt by the Office of the Ombudsman of his and his family bank records from the Anti-Money Laundering Council in connection with the plunder and graft complaints filed by Trillanes.

Pres. Duterte lambasts Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno, and Overall Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang before members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Davao City Chapter. Malacañang photo by Joey Dalumpines.


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October 1, 2017 11:31 pm  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Graft and corruption  No Comments

Probe finds PH Navy at fault in death of two Vietnamese fishermen

By Arianne Christian Tapao and Ellen T. Tordesillas
VERA Files

The Philippine Navy is at fault in the death of two fishermen during a sea chase in the waters of Pangasinan on Sept. 22, a source privy to the investigation of the incident said.

Investigators, the source said, cited a 1999 ruling of the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) that states: “In the conduct of arrest, use of excessive and unreasonable force in stopping and arresting a vessel such as firing with live ammunition using shots from large–caliber automatic guns must be avoided, and where force is unavoidable, it must not go beyond what is reasonable and necessary in the circumstances”.

The Philippine Coast Guard, which is investigating the incident, took note that the incident happened 39 nautical miles off Bolinao in Pangasinan, which was within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Philippines, the source further said.

Vietnamese fishing boat involved in the Sept. 22 incident in Pangasinan


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October 1, 2017 8:26 am  Tags: ,   Posted in: Military  No Comments

Who interfered with Salalima?

Now, I pity Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella.

I used to admire him for his manner of speaking that is in sharp contrast with the language of his principal. I used to be amused by his creativeness in dodging issues about President Duterte like telling media to use their “creative imagination” when Duterte contradicts himself or spews out outrageous claims and justifying the President’s lying about the bank deposits of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV as as matter of “style.”

But as reports of corruption and incompetence persist in the 15-month old Duterte presidency, it’s not amusing anymore to listen to Abella talking about “Good governance being the North Star of the Duterte administration” as he urged just-resigned secretary of Information and Communications Technology Secretary, Rodolfo Salalima to shed light on his allegations of corruption in the agency.

Abella’s statement shows that he is not within the power circle in Malacañang. He is far from the snake pit that Salalima found himself in and decided to be out of it.

In his farewell talk with employees of the Department of Information and Communications Technology) last week, Salalima, who was a schoolmate of Duterte, said that his deal with the President when he accepted the position of the new agency was “no interference, no corruption.”

Resigned DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima. Screengrab from ANC.


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September 25, 2017 10:50 pm  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Telecom  No Comments

Is Duterte unraveling?

President Duterte admits alleged Trillanes offshore accounts were products of his imaginaion. Screengrab from PTV4.


President Duterte never ceases to stun us.

Yesterday, he admitted that his story about the offshore accounts of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV was a product of his imagination.
“Wala ito. Produkto ng isip ko ito. Tinanggalan ko talaga. Ginamit mo. Nag-issue ka ng waiver… Iba ang account number, iba ang totoo. Sinadya ko iyan,” he said after Trillanes went to Singapore and proved that the two bank accounts supposedly based in Singapore in the list Duterte read to the public were non-existent.

His admission made him a manufacturer of fake news.

If that was not jarring enough, he bragged that he has fooled Trillanes.”Kita mo siya ngayon. He’s desperate. Pumunta ng Singapore, mag-gastos lang para propaganda lang,” he further said.

We thought only a fool would do that.
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September 20, 2017 2:10 am  Tags: ,   Posted in: Graft and corruption  No Comments

‘Me Pulis sa ilalim ng tulay ‘ in times of EJK

When things are difficult, you laugh and you sing.

Those are coping mechanisms that Filipinos have developed into art.

There’s a song going around social media that is so much fun. It’s a new version of an old game song “May Pulis sa Ilalim ng Tulay.”

The song is usually sang in a party where each one adds a line to the original sentence about a policeman under the bridge. Often, as each one adds a sentence depending on his or her views and wit, the song becomes a sharp commentary.

Photo by Luis Liwanag


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September 17, 2017 11:41 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Human Rights, Illegal Drugs, Philippine National Police  No Comments

CHR explained

When the House of Representatives voted 119 against 32 last Tuesday to give only P1, 000 budget for the Commission on Human Rights for 2018, it showed that stupidity is not the monopoly of its speaker.

Lambasted in social media, some of the congressmen who voted “Yes” have started explaining their vote and they all showed their ignorance of the mandate of the CHR just like Alvarez.

Alvarez lambasted the CHR for not running after those who killed the policemen, military and government officials.
“Kailangan nilang protektahan at pangalagaan ang karapatang pantao ng sinuman, di lang isang sektor, di lang sa karapatang pantao ng mga kriminal, pati ang innocent victims. Kumikibo lang sila kapag against the military, against the police, against government officials. Hindi naman ganun ang mandato nila. Ang mandato nila ay lahat ng karapatang pantao ay protektahan nila at pangalagaan,” he said.

Actually, Alvarez and the 119 congressmen who voted to strangle CHR by withholding funding , are not the only ones who are misinformed of the role of the Human Rights Commission. They are actually only echoing the ignorance that President Duterte has been articulating in many of his speeches.
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September 14, 2017 10:57 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Human Rights  No Comments