Two Suspects in shooting of PDI man barred from leaving RP

2 suspects in shooting of PDI man barred from leaving RP

Marlon Ramos, INQUIRER Southern Luzon


LUCENA CITY- A regional trial court (RTC) judge here on Tuesday issued a hold departure order against two men suspected to be behind the foiled ambush on Lucena-based INQUIRER correspondent Delfin Mallari Jr. more than seven months ago.


In an open court order, Judge Norma Chionglo Sia of Branch 56 of the Lucena RTC ruled that suspects Armando Encanto and Renato Sudla should be barred from leaving the country while the frustrated murder and attempted murder cases filed against them are being tried in court.


Both Encanto and Sudla are out on bail after paying P320, 000 each after the court issued warrants for their arrest.


The two, who are both in their 40s, are members of the Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity, the same fraternity to which incumbent Gov. Raffy Nantes belongs.


Mallari named Nantes as the brains of the failed attempt on his life, which the governor repeatedly denied.


Lawyers Marcelino Arias Jr. and Elizabeth Matta tried to block Sia’s order by assuring the judge that their clients would not go abroad to evade the charges against them.


Sia, however, doubted the lawyers’ guarantee as she instructed the clerk of court to immediately draft the hold departure order.


For the second time in as many hearings, the counsels of Encanto and Sudla moved for the deferment of the scheduled arraignment, saying the petition for review that they filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) has yet to be resolved.


The petition, which was filed last September 27, assailed the result of the preliminary investigation conducted by Lucena assistant prosecutor Manuel Garcia who endorsed the filing of criminal charges against the suspects.


Arias said they would also file a separate motion for reinvestigation of the case.


Tempers flared as lawyer Vicente Joyas, Mallari’s counsel, questioned Arias’ request for postponement of the arraignment.


Joyas argued that the prescription period of the petition filed by the accused lawyers before the DOJ has already lapsed.


Sia said the arraignment should resume “to give the adverse party (Mallari) an opportunity to air his side.”


“The court wants to have jurisdiction over the persons and of the case. This court wants the arraignment to start so the case can proceed. What do you fear then?” Sia told the suspects’ lawyers.


During the fiery exchange of arguments, an emotional Arias had to be restrained by the judge after he repeatedly raised rules over the prescription period of petition for review.


“Perhaps you can create your own rules but do not confuse this court,” Sia said, eliciting laughter from the people inside the courtroom.


At one time, Sia castigated Arias for raising his voice while he was explaining a point.


“Don’t raise your voice while you’re inside this court,” a visibly peeved Sia told the lawyer.


Sia also pointed out that Arias and Matta’s actions were obviously meant to delay the formal hearing of the case.


“Cases in courts are being delayed because lawyers of caliber like you invoke everything to defer arraignment. If you believe your clients are really innocent, then let them be arraigned,” she said.


After a 40-minute debate, Sia eventually allowed the resetting of the arraignment to February 11 “in the interest of fair delivery of justice.”


Mallari decided not to attend the hearing. He said he doesn’t want to again experience the “sleepless nights” he had after the first time he saw his supposed assassins during the first hearing last September 24.


In an unexpected move, Encanto approached radio DZMM correspondent Johnny Glorioso after the court proceeding and insisted that he was innocent of the charges against him.


Glorioso was with Mallari when they were ambushed while on their way to their radio program last April 19.


“I told him that it would be better if he answers the accusations against him in court,” Glorioso said.


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No Corruption in the Philippines

Ricky Gelido

We are living in a country that is economically stable. We are living in a country that is free from corruption. This is the Philippines under the Arroyo administration.

The Arroyo regime has never been linked to any alleged corruption. It was not connected with the P728 Million Fertilizer Scam of Joc Joc Bolante, former Agriculture Undersecretary. The President herself is not related to Jose Pidal who has an unexplained wealth of P200 million. The President has nothing to do with the overpriced Macapagal Boulevard and the Venable contract of Norberto Gonzales. It is also the same with the $2 Million Power Plant Deal by Nani Perez.

The P1.3 Billion Peso Poll Automation contract and the allegedly anomalous $503 Million Northrail Project are questionable but the regime could not be blamed. The controversial $329 Million ZTE National Broadband Network deal can not be considered part of corruption.

Millions or billions of money are not involved in anomalous contracts. There’s no corruption at all.

Malacañang and the President are pure enough that should not be dragged by the latest issue: the alleged giving of money or “cash gift” – bribery to many – after a breakfast in Malacanang.

But then there are whistleblowers.

Gov. Ed Panlilio of Pampanga was the first. Bulacan Governor Jon-jon Mendoza seconded the Panlilio declaration. Some other elected officials came to the open later. Negros Oriental Gov. Emilio Macias III, Cebu Rep. Antonio Cuenco, Bulacan Gov. Joselito “Jonjon” Mendoza and Pangasinan Rep. Rachel Arenas are among those who admitted that they received money.

Another one who admitted receiving money is Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante. In a report, Abante said that the President was around during the distribution. But President Arroyo is totally innocent about this; that’s why she ordered the PAGC to investigate the matter.

There were already witnesses to the cash windfall. But why the silence of Malacanang? Questions arise. Was the money given with a receipt? Was it given in cash so that there would be no trail? From where was the money? The Department of Budget already issued a statement that the money did not come from its office. Still no bribery?

Excuses are everywhere. Squid tactics are all over. Diversionary issues are always present. All to hide the truth about the lies?

We don’t have a Bribery Republic. We have an untainted President. We have an unsullied government. The Malacanang residents are all clean. There is no moral corruption in the Philippines.

Such an illusion!

Penned by Ricky Gelido for Magandang Balita newspaper editorial (October 2007)

“Cash Gifts” by Ricky Gelido

Ricky Gelido

Pampanga Gov. Panlilio, Bulacan Gov. Mendoza and Rep. Abante are just some of the officials who admitted having received money in Malacañang. The giving of money happened when the impeachment case against Pres. Arroyo was still a threat.

The “cash gifts” issue has never left the Arroyo administration. It has always remained as a stain in the escutcheon of the President.

Several events – advertently or inadvertently perpetrated to divert issues – have dwarfed the cash dole out. Just when the “cash gifts” issue was getting hotter, the Glorietta blast shocked many Filipinos. Just when the issue was a cauldron steaming hot, the Estrada pardon was served.

The two gargantuan events eclipsed the alleged bribery issue. But it was only for a short period.

After the Glorietta blast and the Estrada pardon though, Rep. Abante resurrected the issue by telling the public that it was Rep. Villarosa who handed him the P500,000.00.

Parties and personalities have come out in the open to tell the public of source of the money.

In an Inquirer report, “Puno insisted that the funds came from the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines after pointing to Speaker Jose De Venecia as the source of the money. But the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines denied Puno’s claims.” Then Rep. Villarosa said that the funds came from Kampi, the party of Pres. Gloria Arroyo. Sen. Lacson, on the other hand, told that the cash gifts may have come from the Philippine National Police.

But who would believe the intricate web of lies? Don’t the admissions and denials imply the hiding of something? Don’t they vibrate in one song saying that Arroyo knew nothing about the bribery? Weren’t several explanations given to possibly exonerate Arroyo?

While there is a senate inquiry now, the Philippine Trial Lawyers Association (PTLA) accused Governors Ed Panlilio of Pampanga, who first exposed the cash handouts, Leo Campos of Misamis Occidental, Joselito Mendoza of Bulacan, and Emilio Macias of Negros Oriental; and Representatives Antonio Cuenco, Rachel Arenas, Bienvenido Abante, Mauricio Domogan and Tomas Dumpit Jr. for bribery. When will the source(s) of the money be sued with a bribery case?

With the Batasan blast, it is said that the cash gift issue has taken the backseat. But no matter what happens, this “bribery” issue will always hunt the president and her administration. No matter how many denials and admissions will appear, the fact still remains that cash gifts were given in Malacañang. And the President has no knowledge and has nothing to do about the giving?

This will be added to the very “short” list of alleged anomalies in the Arroyo administration.

PGMA, Dapat nang Magbitiw sa Puwesto – Pulse Asia

Rey Tamayo, Jr.

Ayon sa pinakahuling survey ng Pulse Asia, tinatayang tatlo sa bawat limang Pilipino (59 percent) ang naniniwala na dapat na umanong magbitiw sa kaniyang tungkulin bilang Punong Ehekutibo ng ating bansa si Pangulong Arroyo dahil sa di umano’y pagkakasangkot nito sa mga katiwalian at korupsiyon sa gobyerno.

Ang nasabing survey ay isinagawa noong Oct. 20 hanggang Oct. 31 sa pamamagitan ng personal na interbyu sa bawat indibidwal na mayroong 1,200 rumisponde na may sapat na gulang sa iba’t ibang panig ng ating bansa.

Ang pagtaas ng bilang ng porsiyento na dapat ng bumaba sa puwesto si Pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo dahil sa mga kontrobersiyal na isyu na napabalita kamakailan sa mga pahayagan, radyo at telebisyon na pawang kinasasangkutan ni ginang Arroyo at sumira ng imahen bilang pangulo ng republika.

Ayon pa sa survey, ang ilan sa mga di umanao’y maanomalyang isyu na nakapag-pabagsak ng papularidad ng pangulo ay ang nangyaring suhulan sa mga kongresista at gobernador sa isang breakfast meeting sa Malacañang, pambobomba sa isang mall sa Makati (Glorietta 2), ang bangayan sa pagitan ni House Speaker Jose de Venecia at ng Pangulong Arroyo, kontrobersiyal na NBN-ZTE deal at ang pagkakaloob ng pardon sa kasong plunder ni dating Pangulong Joseph “Erap” Estrada.

Sa isinagawang survey ng Pulse Asia, bawat isang respondent ay tinanong kung ano ang dahilan kung bakit dapat magbitiw sa tungkulin si Pangulong Arroyo. Batay sa nakuhang resulta, mayroong dalawampu’t dalawang porsiyento (22%) ang nagsabi na kasabwat siya sa korupsyon, samantala labingsiyam na porsiyento naman (19%) ang naniniwalang sangkot ang kaniyang pamilya, at walong porsiyento naman (8%) ang nagpahayag na hinahayaan niya ang katiwalian sa gobyerno.

Isa sa bawat tatlong Pilipino (34%) naman ang naniniwalang may matibay na ebidensiyang magpapatunay na sangkot ang pangulo at ang kaniyang pamilya sa graft and corruption.

Samantala, nakakuha ng dalawampu’t limang porsiyento (25%) ang nagnanais na makisangkot sa malawakang kilos-protesta o anumang pagkilos upang kalampangin ang rehimeng Arroyo na bumaba sa kaniyang puwesto. At animnapu’t isang porsiyento (61%) naman ang gustong magpetisyong sa pamamagitan ng public signing upang manawagan ng kaniyang pagbibitiw.

Matatandaan kamakailan lamang ay pansamantalang sinuspende ng World Bank ang tinatayang US$232 milyong dolyar na gagamitin sana sa 2nd National Roads Improvement and Management Program ng bansa. Ang nasabing loan package ng Pilipinas ay nakalaan sa pagpapagawa ng iba’t ibang tulay at kalsada sa ilalim ng kasalukuyang administrasyon.

Ayon kay James W. Adams, Vice President of the East Asia and Pacific Region ng World Bank, dismiyado ang WB sa di umano’y lumalalang katiwalian at korupsiyon sa pamamahalang Arroyo kaya’t minarapat nilang na huwag munang ilabas ang naturang loan package para sa Pilipinas.

Aniya, kailangan umanong ipakita ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas na kaya nitong pigilan ang lumalalang katiwalian sa bansa at kung masusunod ng administrasyon ang mga binalangkas na mga kondisyon na inilatag ng pamunuan ng World Bank.

“Building on the experience of the first phase and the lessons learned from the INT (Department of Institutional Integrity) investigation, and in line with the World Bank’s governance and anti-corruption strategy, the government and World Bank team jointly developed stringent anti-corruption measures for the second phase of the program. With the INT report now completed, the discussion of the phase two project at the board has been deferred until the government and the board members receive the information they have requested,” anang statement na ipinalabas ng World Bank.

Commissioned mural on press freedom altered without artists’ knowledge

Media Release: Philippines                                                                                                   November 8, 2007


Commissioned mural on press freedom altered without artists’ knowledge

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned by the changes made to the press freedom mural commissioned from the Neo-Angono Artists Collective by the National Press Club (NPC) in Manila , the Philippines .

The artwork measuring 2.5 metres by 9.9 metres and illustrating the history of press freedom in the Philippines was commissioned by the NPC for 900,000 and installed on October 24.

The mural was then altered before it was unveiled to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in a ceremony to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the National Press Club (NPC) on October 26.

Among the alterations to the mural was the removal of an image depicting an IFJ statement on press freedom. Other alterations include the removal of the name of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), an IFJ affiliate, from the banners of protesters depicted in the mural.

Officials from the NPC have claimed that the changes were made because the artists had failed to meet the condition that the piece was meant to be apolitical.

The NUJP has strongly protested the changes. The IFJ supports the stance of the NUJP and is concerned at the attack on freedom of expression of a mural that was intended to highlight press freedom issues.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 115 countries

Panghihimasok diumano ng Iglesia ni Kristo sa Kaso ni Justice Ong

Rey Tamayo, Jr

Nakasaad sa 1987 Philippines Constitution sa Article II, Section 6 (Declaration of Principles and State Policies) maliwanag na itinatadhana nito na magkahiwalay ang estado at ang Iglesia. Hindi maaaring panghimasukan ng simbahan ang estado gayundin ang estado sa simbahan.

Ngunit nakakagulat ang ilang balita na minsan ay tahasang pinakikialaman ng simbahan ang estado sa kasalukuyang takbo ng ating pamahalaan.

Sinasabing ang grupong Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) diumano ang nasa likod sa nakaambang pagsibak kay Gregory Ong bilang hukom ng Sandiganbayan sa anti-graft court. Matatandang noong May 16, 2007 inirekomenda ni Pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo upang gawing Associate Justice ng Korte Suprema si Ong dahil sa mga bakante puwesto sa nasabing sangay ng gobyerno.

Ang rekomendasyon ni pangulong Arroyo ay napawalang saysay matapos na tutulan ng Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) ang nasabing pag upo nito bilang isang mahistrado ng Supreme Court. Kinuwestiyon ng JBC ang citizenship ni Gregory Ong matapos na akusahang hindi siya natural-born Filipino.

Sa kasalukuyan ay nahaharap sa isang panibagong aberya si Justice Ong matapos na pag initan ng grupo ni Eraño Manalo na siyang Executive Minister ng Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) makaraang hatulan ng convicted si military colonel Victor Danao na brother-in-law ni Manalo.

Ayon kay Victor C. Agustin, isang kilala at beteranong kolumnista ng Manila Standard Today sa kanyang column na Cocktales, inilarawan niya kung gaano kaimpluwensiya ang grupong Iglesia ni Cristo na kahit ang mga hukom ay maaari nilang patalsikin sa kanilang puwesto.

Ang nasabing petisyon na nakabinbin ngayon sa Pasig Regional Trial Court na naglalaman ng disqualification laban kay Ong bilang hukom ng Sandiganbayan sa anti-graft court sa pangunguna ni Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, na siyang abogado ng INC.

Nakatakdang magharap ang grupo ni Atty. Topacio kasama ang ilang mga abogado ng Iglesia ni Cristo sa isang oral arguments sa harap ni Judge Leoncio Janolo Jr. Samantala nakahanda namang idepensa ni dating senador Rene Saguisag ang usapin sa kaso ni Gregory Ong.

Bukod sa pagiging hukom ng Sandiganbayan, si Ong ay isa sa mga pinagpipilian sa mga bakanteng puwesto sa Korte Suprema tulad ng Court of Appeals Presiding Justice Ruben Reyes, Court of Tax Appeals Presiding Justice Ernesto Acosta, Labor Secretary Arturo Brion, CA Justice Edgardo Cruz at Sandiganbayan Justice Francisco Villaruz Jr. Matatandaang nitong buwan ng Hulyo, itinalaga ni pangulong Gloria Arroyo bilang Associate Justice si Court of Appeals Presiding Justice Ruben Reyes bilang kapalit ni Associate Justice Romeo Callejo na nagretiro noong April 28..

Sa nakalap na impormasyon ng Newsbreak na sinulat ni Aries Rufo noong buwan ng Agosto, ang mga grupo ng Iglesia ni Cristo at El Shaddia ang nasa likod sa pagkakahirang kay Reyes. Si Reyes ay nagdiwang ng kanyang ika-68 taon noong January 3 at mayroon na lamang siyang 1 taon at 5 buwan upang manungkulan sa Tribunal bago dumating ang compulsory retirement sa edad na 70.

Subalit base sa Sec. 2 Rule 8 of the Judicial and Bar Council rules, hindi maaaring sang ayunan ang simunang kandidato na maupo sa nasabing puwesto kung ito’y manunungkulan lamang ng isang taon at kalahati. Ngunit ipinaliwanag ng mga hukom na nakuha ni Reyes ang mga requirements matapos ang nominasyon ng JBC noong May 7.

Kaugnay nito, nagpahayag naman ng suporta ang kampo ni Bro.Eli Soriano kay Justice Ong na ipagpatuloy niya ang kaniyang tungkulin at labanan ang katiwalian sa lipunan. Sinabi pa ni Bro.Eli na nasa likod niya ang grupong Church of God, International na mas lalong kilala sa tawag na Ang Dating Daan na manindigan sa katotohanan at pinayuhang huwag matakot sa maimpluwensiyang grupo ng INC na pati hukom ay kaya nilang patalsikin sa puwesto.

Matatandaang si Bro.Eli ang pangunahing tumututol at tumutuligsa sa mga maling aral na ipinapangaral ni Eraño Manalo na siyang lider ng grupong Iglesia ni Cristo tulad ng paniniwalang Tao si Kristo, Banal na Hapunan na may Abuluyan, Anghel si Manalo, Ang Pilipinas ay ang malayong Silangan at iba.

Makailang beses na ring sinuspende ng Movie and Television Review Classification Board (MTRCB) sa ilalim ni chairwoman Maria Consoliza Laguardia ang programa ni Soriano sa telebisyon na Ang Dating Daan, na tinanghal na “ The Most Informative Religious Program”sa Gawad Amerika Award noong 2006 sa Estados Unidos. Ang isang dahilan umano ng pagpapatigil ng nasabing programa ay ang pagtawag ni Bro.Eli na , “Iglesia ni Manalo” (Church of Manalo) bagay na ikinagalit ng INC.

Bangayan sa Liderato ni GMA

Rey Tamayo, Jr.
Sa kabila ng ipinataw na executive clemency ni pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo sa dating presidente Joseph “Erap” Estrada, nananatili pa ring lider ng oposisyon si Estrada.

Ito ang tiniyak kamakailan ni Makati mayor at United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar Binay matapos ang mga naglabasang espekulasyon na makikipag alyansa na ang dating pangulo makaraang makatanggap siya ng pardon sa administrasyong Arroyo.

Samantala napagdesisyunan naman ng Opposition bloc sa Senado na manahimik muna sa nasabing isyu at huwag na lamang palakihin ang mga naglalabasang intriga mula sa iba’t ibang sektor ng lipunan. Nagkasundo ang Solid 8 sa Mataas na Kapulungan ng Kongreso na sina Senate minority floor leader Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Panfilo “ Ping” Lacson, Manuel Roxas III, Rodolfo Biazon, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, Antonio Trillanes IV, Loren Legarda, at Jamby Madrigal na bigyan ng sapat na panahon ang dating pangulo mula sa halos anim na taong pagkakapiit.

Ngunit sa kabila ng natamong kalayaan ni Erap, plano pa rin ng United Opposition na magsampa ng panibagong Impeachment complaint laban kay pangulong Arroyo kung saan nakapaloob sa nasabing reklamo ang pagkakasangkot ng pangulo sa maanomalyang kontrata sa NBN-ZTE deal ng bansang Tsina na may malaking tyansang maiakyat sa Senado dahil sa may mabigat na ebidensyang magpapatunay na sangkot nga ang kasalakuyang administrasyon. Obligado ang mga taga oposisyon na suportahan ang nasabing impeachment case lalo na kung pumayag si Laguna Rep. Edgar San Luis na amyendahan ang kanyang inendorsong reklamo mula kay Atty. Roel Pulido na nauna ng naghain ng reklamo.

Dumistansya naman si Senate President Pro-tempore Jinggoy Estrada sa hakbang ng oposisyon sa paghahain nito ng ikalawang impeachment complaint laban sa kasalukuyang Punong Ehekutibo dahil na rin siguro sa ipinagkaloob na pardon sa kaniyang ama. Aniya, nasa kamay ng mga kongresista nakasalalay ang reklamo laban sa pangulo. Nanindigan din ang pamilya Estrada na mananatiling oposisyon ang dating pangulo at mariing kinondena na nakipagkasundo na siya (Erap) kay pangulong Arroyo dahil sa ipinagkaloob na pardon.

Kaugnay nito, ang isa sa pinaka aabangang maaaring mangyari ay kung susuportahan ng mga kaalyado ni House Speaker Jose De Venecia ang ikinakasang impeachment complaint sa Lower House. Matatandaang nagkalamat ang ugnayang politikal sa pagitan ni De Venecia at ni pangulong Arroyo matapos idawit ni Jose “Joey” De Venecia III, ( anak ni Speaker De Venecia) na malaki ang naging papel ni presidente at ang esposo nitong si First Gentleman Mike Arroyo sa maanomalyang kontrata ng ZTE Broadband deal. Sinang ayunan naman ni Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman ng Senate Blue Ribbon committee na sangkot ang pangulong Arroyo sa kontrobersyal na National Broadband network (NBN) deal dahil na rin sa inisyal na imbestigasyon ng kaniyang komite sa mga testimonya nina journalist Jarius Bondoc at ng batang De Venecia.

Sa panig naman ng minorya sa Kamara, wala umano silang kapasidad na maiakyat sa Senado ang nasabing reklamo dahil na rin sa hindi sapat ang kanilang bilang ayon na rin kay House minority leader Ronaldo Zamora. Kaya’t nakasalalay sa grupo ni De Venecia ang kapalaran ng Impeachment complaint na inaasahang ihahain ng United Opposition.

Sa patuloy na pag usad ng mga pangyayari sa politika sa bansa, mistulang nanganganib ang ekonomiya ng ating bansa na pilit na hinihilot ni Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita sa taumbayan na nasa maayos na kalagayan ang bansa sa kabila ng kaliwa’t kanan na kontrobersya na kinasasangkutan ng rehimeng Arroyo.

May nakaambang panganib umano sa liderato ni De Venecia, nais ng mga alipores ni Arroyo na patalsikin bilang Speaker si JDV ayon na rin sa mga naglalabasang balita na ginagapang na ng Palasyo ang ilang mga kongresista na tuluyang makisanib sa administrasyon pangunahin na ang KAMPI (Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino) . Ngunit tiyak naman may ginagawang hakbang din na tinatrabaho ang mga loyalista ni JDV upang labanan ang nasabing pagpapatalsik sa House Speaker.

May nakaamba ding impeachement complaint sa pangulong Arroyo bagay na sinusuportahan ng oposisyon sampu ng mga progresibong grupo mula sa iba’t ibang sektor ng lipunan gaya ng Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), Black & White movement, mga militanteng grupo sa Kamara at posible ring suportahan ito ng isa pang paksyon sa Kamara (JDV Group) kung tuluyang hindi na magkakaayos ang House Speaker at ang pangulong Arroyo.

Nagsisimula palang ang bangayan, kaya’t kailangan nating magmasid at bantayan ang ating soberanya.