Archive for the ‘crime’ Category

Widening gap of justice, abuse of presidential pardons, & the poor who are left in jail

March 20, 2009


It has been said that about 3 out of 4 prisoners in the Philippines are victims of judicial errors Many of them are poor and vulnerable. They are forced to admit guilt so that they can move to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) where food and living conditions are better than the crowded jails in the country. Poor prisoners in other penal colonies languish longer and are treated badly during incarceration than their rich counterparts, making the public believe justice in the country is a farce.

“Inmates are dying in our city jails at an alarming rate. They are suffering from boils, tuberculosis, chicken pox and other simple but highly communicable diseases. In the Quezon City Jail alone, there are two to five deaths per month. The sad fact is that they are dying before being sentenced.” —Raymond Narag (ex-prisoner)

The widening gap of justice truly exists in the country, but almost no one complains about it. In this backdrop Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo commuted the two life terms of Romeo Jalosjos for raping an 11 year old girl in 1996. For his horrible crime which include lascivious acts, the Zamboanga del Norte congressman who shows no remose, enjoyed extensive prison privileges while in jail for only 13 years. Jalosjos put his money and influence to full use—-building a tennis court, a gym, and bakery in the NBP.

These “benevolent actions” by Jalosjos which led to the shortening of his prison stay can’t escape the scrutiny of Emmi de Jesus, secretary-general of the militant women-group Gabriela, who sees gross errors in how justice is carried out. De Jesus who believes Jalosjos’ pardon is a payback to the political help given to Pres. Arroyo said:

“Marso ngayon ano, supposedly Buwan ng Kababaihan. Mukhang ito yung mockery of justice na binibigay ni Ginang Arroyo. Walang remorse, walang pag-amin sa kasalanan niya (Jalojos). Paano na yung mga kababaihan na humihingi ng katarungan na ngayon ay vulnerable sa various forms of violence?” .

[Jalosjos’ release, which happens this Women’s Month, seemed to be a mockery of justice by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. (Convicted rapist) neither showed remorse nor admission of guilt. What about the welfare of the women who are vulnerable to various forms of violence?]—GMA TV News (03/19/09, Dedace, SM)

Quezon Representative Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III is alarmed by President Arroyo‘s exercise of presidential clemency which leads to more rich and powerful inmates being set free. Palawan Representative Abraham Mitra also airs the same concern when he urged Arroyo to use executive pardon “judiciously and carefully.”

But politics and favor-peddling have a lot to do with these kinds of decision. It is easy to understand that a prisoner who donates infrastructures in a prison compound may have motives beyond being altruistic. Special treatment is one thing that rich detainees can work on so they get protection from their friends in the system. It’s one of the easiest ways to cultivate influence and get the graces of prison officials.

After a tedious and costly court battle that eventually convicted Pres. Joseph Estrada of plunder, Arroyo wasted no time in pardoning the felon—a decision that continues to divide and hurt the entire nation. Estrada didn’t serve in a traditional jail, but in a well-furnished comfortable seclusion.

In total disregard of the gravity of the crime and the unresolved questions related to the Ninoy Aquino-Rolando double murder case, Gloria freed the 10 remaining military men convicted of the airport murders. Since 1983, few Filipinos took genuine heart on the significance of Ninoy’s death, ignoring the loss and suffering of the country under Pres. Ferdinand Marcos. Like Jalosjos and Estrada, the 10 convicts in Ninoy’s assassination never expressed guilt or remorse— basic requisites of pardon.

Mostly left in the crowded prisons are the poor and those who have no influence in lording over the weaknesses of the corrupt system. Many are young and defenseless. Filipinos who disdain the unpopular president can only express their cynicism and apathy towards the poor state of the penitentiary. They feel they can’t do anything about the injustice that goes on there. (Phtoto Credit: Suntoksabuwan; planetradio x 2) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “90% of RP crimes are solved in less than 1 year: a lie that can make you cry?” Posted by mesiamd at 12/19/2008; “Pardon and (In)justice: Ninoy’s killers freed” Posted by mesiamd at 3/05/2009

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Ponzi wiz Bernard Madoff sent to prison

March 13, 2009


It’s a little bit like seeing the devil,” said Burt Ross, a lawyer from Englewood, NJ who lost $5 million in Madoff’s swindle. Feeling betrayed, DeWitt Baker, an investor who lost more than $1 million angrily fumed “I’d stone him to death.” —-AP (03.12/09, Neusmeister, L; Hays, T)

Bernard Madoff, the personification of Wall Street greed and reckless extravagance has admitted guilt of pulling the biggest Ponzi scam in history. In the Federal Court of Manhattan, in New York, US district judge Denny Chin revoked Madoff’s $10 million bail and ordered the disgraced swindler’s confinement to a windowless room at the Metropolitan Correction Center instead of being comfortably holed in his lavish $7 million home at 133 E, 64th Street.

For defrauding his clients of $65 billion, at sentencing date in June this year, the former chairman of Nasdaq could get a life sentence—a maximum of 150 years in jail for perjury and financial fraud.

Without implicating anyone except himself, the apologetic Madoff who gave no comfort to his victims, pleaded guilty in all counts of fraud. In doing so, many believed his acceptance of full responsibility was a way to protect his wife Ruth, his family, and friends. His victims were fuming mad. Wall Street regulators ignored the flags of deception which allowed the once respected investment guru to operate without being caught for decades.

Thousands of defrauded clients in the United States and abroad include banks, charities, financial institutions, pension funds, retirees, and private individuals whose life savings and investments have been damaged. In their ranks are those who have suffered irreparable financial ruin with no chance to recover. At least one victim has been driven into committing suicide.

Some of Madoff’s Victims
——————————————Description———————Amount
Fairfield Greenwich Advisors—–investment firm————–$7,500,000,000
Banco Santander——————Spanish bank—————–$2,870,000,000
Bank Medici————————-Austrian bank—————-$2,100,000,000
HSBC——————————— British bank——————-$1,000,000,000
BNP————————————French bank——————-$431,170,000
New York University——————University——————–$24,000,000
Korea Teachers Pension———-Korean Pension Fund———$9,100,000
Marc Rich——————————fugitive financier————–Not available
Yeshiva University———————NY private university——–$14,500,000
Int’l Olympic Committee————–Olympic organizer———-$4,800,000
Zsa Zsa Gabor————————-actress————————$10,000,000
Diocese of St. Thomas—————Cath. Church (Virgin Is)—–$2,000,000
Source: http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/documents/st_madoff_victims_20081215.html

The imprisonment of Madoff is just the tip of the iceberg to the massive scandal that rocks Wall Street. Trust in the financial institutions is at an all time low. Many Americans adversely affected by the economic meltdown are demanding for accountability and prosecution of those responsible in the betrayal of trust. (Photo Credits: Acteon; Jason Smith) =0=

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Ponzi wiz Bernard Madoff sent to prison

March 13, 2009


It’s a little bit like seeing the devil,” said Burt Ross, a lawyer from Englewood, NJ who lost $5 million in Madoff’s swindle. Feeling betrayed, DeWitt Baker, an investor who lost more than $1 million angrily fumed “I’d stone him to death.” —-AP (03.12/09, Neusmeister, L; Hays, T)

Bernard Madoff, the personification of Wall Street greed and reckless extravagance has admitted guilt of pulling the biggest Ponzi scam in history. In the Federal Court of Manhattan, in New York, US district judge Denny Chin revoked Madoff’s $10 million bail and ordered the disgraced swindler’s confinement to a windowless room at the Metropolitan Correction Center instead of being comfortably holed in his lavish $7 million home at 133 E, 64th Street.

For defrauding his clients of $65 billion, at sentencing date in June this year, the former chairman of Nasdaq could get a life sentence—a maximum of 150 years in jail for perjury and financial fraud.

Without implicating anyone except himself, the apologetic Madoff who gave no comfort to his victims, pleaded guilty in all counts of fraud. In doing so, many believed his acceptance of full responsibility was a way to protect his wife Ruth, his family, and friends. His victims were fuming mad. Wall Street regulators ignored the flags of deception which allowed the once respected investment guru to operate without being caught for decades.

Thousands of defrauded clients in the United States and abroad include banks, charities, financial institutions, pension funds, retirees, and private individuals whose life savings and investments have been damaged. In their ranks are those who have suffered irreparable financial ruin with no chance to recover. At least one victim has been driven into committing suicide.

Some of Madoff’s Victims
——————————————Description———————Amount
Fairfield Greenwich Advisors—–investment firm————–$7,500,000,000
Banco Santander——————Spanish bank—————–$2,870,000,000
Bank Medici————————-Austrian bank—————-$2,100,000,000
HSBC——————————— British bank——————-$1,000,000,000
BNP————————————French bank——————-$431,170,000
New York University——————University——————–$24,000,000
Korea Teachers Pension———-Korean Pension Fund———$9,100,000
Marc Rich——————————fugitive financier————–Not available
Yeshiva University———————NY private university——–$14,500,000
Int’l Olympic Committee————–Olympic organizer———-$4,800,000
Zsa Zsa Gabor————————-actress————————$10,000,000
Diocese of St. Thomas—————Cath. Church (Virgin Is)—–$2,000,000
Source: http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/documents/st_madoff_victims_20081215.html

The imprisonment of Madoff is just the tip of the iceberg to the massive scandal that rocks Wall Street. Trust in the financial institutions is at an all time low. Many Americans adversely affected by the economic meltdown are demanding for accountability and prosecution of those responsible in the betrayal of trust. (Photo Credits: Acteon; Jason Smith) =0=

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Bernard Madoff, accused top Ponzi scheme artist is allowed bail

January 12, 2009

Ponzi scheme artist Bernard Madoff who was accused of swindling the business world of a staggering $50 billion had been granted bail against the assertion of prosecutors that he is a flight risk and an economic threat to the community. During the holidays while waiting for indictment, the former Nasdaq chairman sent friends and relatives diamond bracelets, jewelries, and gifts amounting to about $1 million in violation of a court-ordered freeze.

But Federal Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis of Manhattan ruled that Madoff (who did not have prior convictions,) could stay in his luxurious $7 million Eastside Manhattan apartment with some additional restrictions— instead of being locked in jail.

“The anxiously awaited bail decision does put additional restrictions on Madoff, including forcing him to come up with a list of items at his apartment and allowing a security firm to check on the items. The security company will also be allowed to search all outgoing mail from Madoff to ensure that no property has been transferred”.—AP (01/12/09, Neumeister, L)

The judge’s decision disappointed and infuriated many who were victimized by the fraud, supposedly the largest ever in financial history. They believed the accused swindler who was reportedly fitted with an electronic surveillance tag on his ankle got a “different brand of justice than the guy in the street.”

Madoff’s decades-long fraudulent business activity operated similar to a pyramid scam under the guise of a legitimate trading powerhouse which promised high investment yields with low fees. His company which started in 1960 attracted high profile banks, industry leaders, well-connected individuals, loyal friends, and rich celebrities. R. Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, a prominent hedge fund manager-client who lost $1.4 billion committed suicide in his office in Madison Avenue last month.

In spite of the gravity of the accusations and the public clamor that Madoff be confined in prison, the judge’s decision to put him on house arrest shows how the legal system operates. Following the course of a criminal proceeding, it will take some time before a conviction, if apt for this case, will be decided.

Of course this isn’t consolation. The erosion of trust is astounding. At the back of this monumental fraud, the government regulators appear negligent for the red flags of fraud has been there for years. They have not done a good job in protecting American citizens—especially those ordinary investors on the street. (Photo Credit: Adam Crowe) =0=

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Disgruntled "Santa Claus" goes on a massacre spree

December 26, 2008

Santa Claus did not come to cheer the family in Covina, California on the eve of Christmas. Instead, Bruce Pardo, a 45-year old recent divorcee with marital problems personified a costumed Santa Claus visiting with incendiary device and weapons concealed in a Christmas gift. The angry man gunned down an 8-year old girl who opened the door of his former wife’s home. The bloody shooting was intended as revenge against his ex and her parents.

The event which followed became a gruesome killing spree, causing the deaths of at least 9 people including his former wife. Some party-goers sustained injuries and were brought to the hospital. Before Pardo left, he set the house on fire leaving charred bodies on the scene.

Coming out of his red Santa Claus garb, Pardo drove away. He was later found dead with a single self-inflicted gunshot wound in his brother’s home in the Sylmar area of Los Angeles, CA on Christmas day, 25 miles away from the crime scene.

Such tragedy must not be the message of Christmas, but an incident of such brutality and senselessness happens. Marital and family problems need not end in this manner. It makes us ponder of the dark soul that ails some people today. (Photo Credit: AP/ Covina Police Department; blue_fam) =0=

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Shoes versus Pres. George W. Bush, pelting eggs on a Romanian leader & a pepper spray for a Manila socialite

December 23, 2008

There is always something to laugh about or be concerned for when we read that a head of state like President George W. Bush got shoes thrown on his face by a hateful angry Iraqi. The outgoing US president has been blamed for almost anything that has gone wrong—-from the war Afghanistan, the economy, business, and social security. On his last visit to Iraq, he got insolent treatment.

The journalist who threw the shoes has been charged for endangering the life of a head-of-state. Since December 14, 2008, Muntadhar al-Zeidi complains of having been rough-handled and beaten by authorities. According to his brother, the apology he made for the crime was forced; he liked doing it again to the delight of his supporters.

Shoe-throwing-by Filipinos

The shoe-throwing incident in Baghdad had mixed reception in all cultures of the world. Many took it as a prank worthy of a loud laugh. The intelligence community thought of it as a security breach, an insult to visiting dignitaries. Overseas Filipinos (OFW’s) took the event as an occasion to display their own displeasure of Gloria M. Arroyo (GMA,) the president whose administration had been bugged by rising scandalous corruption. They too pulled angry shoe-throwing displays, making GMA’s photos as the apt target.

Egg-throwing in Romania

In the ceremony marking the people revolution of 1989, irate Romanians pushed, jeered, and pelted eggs on Ion Iliescu, the leader who replaced Nicolae Ceausescu. The latter was Romanian’s dreaded communist dictator who was violently ousted and executed in an uprising two decades ago.

A three-time elected leader of Bucharest, Iliescu was blamed for failing to go into the bottom of the deaths of more than 1,000 people during his predecessor’s bloody regime. A 79-year old aggrieved man who lost a son was arrested for throwing eggs.

Pepper-Spray Scandal in Manila

A brawl of two flashy socialites resulted to eye injuries which led Neny Montinola to visit the emergency room of a swanky hospital in the Philippines. According to reports, at a party in the “Embassy,” in November, Patricia Panilio-Cu-Unjieng, a Filipina of alleged upscale breed and wealth, angrily pumped pepper-sprays on her rival’s face to vent rage—at the acme of her “jealousy.’

Controversies which passed the ears of their patrons ensued until the two women decided to end their catty dispute. They chose to bury the scandal’s dagger in the spirit of Christmas. Supposedly bred in some exclusive schools in Manila, the two war-weary ladies reconciled. A public apology was reportedly issued, though no one seemed to have paid attention. The people of the country were too focused in their own mundane concerns.

THE AFTER-THOUGHT

This is the world we are in. People can just attack someone without thinking of the consequences. Anyone can make an apology whose sincerity is up for questions. Whether they are justified in their actions isn’t much of an importance. Violence in whatever form must not be condoned.

We better watch out. There are legitimate ways to protest and redress wrongs in civilized cultures. But it appears the avenues to get justice are threatened by the fraying of ethical traditions and the warping of our own moral beliefs. (Photo Credits: http://www.ChinaDaily.com; http://lakwatsera1.com; Luky-luke; Bo Madsen=0=

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90% of RP crimes are solved in less than 1 year: a lie that can make you cry?

December 19, 2008

When I read that Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Jesus Versoza on Thursday announced that about 90% of crimes in the country had been solved in less than year, I thought it was a typo error. But I made sure I was not reading it wrong.

In a press conference after a closed door command conference with key PNP officials, Verzosa said that of the 62,148 crime incidents reported in 11 months, 89.43 percent have been solved.”—-Inquirer, (12/17/08, Kwok, A)

I was convinced that this is inconsistent to the crime profile of the country that I know. What does “solving a crime” mean to the PNP director? What are the “crime incidents” is he referring to? In my book solving a crime means investigating a case, recognizing the criminal, ascertaining his complicity, bringing him to court, having him serve jail time if guilty, and rehabilitating him to be a responsible citizen before he is released from jail. The process definitely takes longer than a year.

The PNP director is probably lying. I couldn’t comprehend how a top government official has that gall to misinform the public at the expense of himself, the military, and the country. The motto of the police is service, honor and justice. Is he the corruption that has run wild in the military service?

HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES IN THE PHILIPPINES

One can discern the hard reality from personal experience or by doing a little reading. Many crimes go unreported. I know there are many journalists being killed without resolution of their cases. They are part of a large group of crime victims that range from a gamut of circumstances—from simple robbery to mass murder. The US State Department report on the human rights record of the Philippines in 2006, had the following was reported:

“During the year there were a number of arbitrary, unlawful, and extrajudicial killings apparently by elements of the security services and of political killings, including killings of journalists, by a variety of actors. Many of these killings went unsolved and unpunished, contributing to a climate of impunity, despite intensified government efforts during the year to investigate and prosecute these cases.

Members of the security services committed acts of physical and psychological abuse on suspects and detainees, and there were instances of torture. Arbitrary or warrantless arrests and detentions were common. Trials were delayed and procedures were prolonged. Prisoners awaiting trial and those already convicted were often held under primitive conditions.

Corruption was a problem in all the institutions making up the criminal justice system, including police, prosecutorial, and judicial organs. During a brief “state of emergency” in February, there was some attempted interference in freedom of the press and in the right of assembly.

In addition to the killings mentioned above, leftwing and human rights activists were often subject to harassment by local security forces. Problems such as violence against women and abuse of children, child prostitution, trafficking in persons, child labor, and ineffective enforcement of worker rights were common.” http://www.state.gov/ (US State Department) Philippines: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices-2006 Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (03/06/07)

77% OF PRISONERS ARE VICTIMS OF JUDICIAL ERROR

The report about prisoners in the Philippines is telling. Raymond Narag, a law student served 7 years in detention for murder which he never committed. He later worked as consultant on prison reform in the Philippine Supreme Court (SC.) According to him, 3 out of 4 prisoners (77%) in the Philippines are victims of judicial error. The average pre-sentencing detention is 3.2 years. Jailbirds are forced to plead guilty to escape hardships in detention in favor of being in the National Penitentiary where the conditions are better.

“Inmates are dying in our city jails at an alarming rate. They are suffering from boils, tuberculosis, chicken pox and other simple but highly communicable diseases. In the Quezon City Jail alone, there are two to five deaths per month. The sad fact is that they are dying before being sentenced.” —Raymond Narag

Quezon City Jail was built for only 815 detainees. Now, it houses about 3,400 inmates. This means that each prisoner has 0.28 sq2 m of living space which is way below the 3 sq2 m per person the United Nations considers the minimum standard for the treatment of prisoners.” —PIME; http://www.asia.news.it (10/22/04, Evangelista, S)

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

I have no reason to believe that the data above have drastically changed for the better this year. I haven’t heard of any evidence to the contrary. Instead, I recall my dead brother Henry who died from vehicular injuries without retribution on those who sold fake drugs that caused his demise. He was left in Naga City jail for hours without medical attention on a wrong assumption that his stupor was due to drunkenness, not from the brain damage from his injury. At least one doctor in Bicol Medical Center was complicit in peddling the counterfeit medicine.

I remember my friend’s mom, a widow who was stabbed by a robber while walking home after a day’s work in a Quezon City bakery. The sole witness of her slay was himself a victim of unsolved political disappearance, a case unrelated to the murder. My first cousin Orly was killed in a traffic accident in Manila by a hit-and-run driver. No one went to jail for these crimes. They were among at least 10 people I knew who died; their cases remained cold for more than a decade. I don’t know of a single heinous crime in the Philippines that had been solved. So can you see why I don’t believe General Versoza? How about you?(Photo Credits: http://www.bardu.net; ronaldhackson; http://www.bardu.net; planetradio; planetradio; ace_kupal)

RELATED BLOGS: “Journalist killings continue” Posted by mesiamd at 12/09/08; ” Another gruesome journalist’s slay” Posted by mesiamd at 11/17/2008; “When they start telling us we’re unworthy of help” Posted by mesiamd at 12/16/2008; ” On Philippine Corruption And Our Being Inure To It” Posted by myty555 at 12/16/2008; “Rising Road Accidents” Posted by mesiamd at 10/27/2008

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90% of RP crimes are solved in less than 1 year: a lie that can make you cry?

December 19, 2008

When I read that Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Jesus Versoza on Thursday announced that about 90% of crimes in the country had been solved in less than year, I thought it was a typo error. But I made sure I was not reading it wrong.

In a press conference after a closed door command conference with key PNP officials, Verzosa said that of the 62,148 crime incidents reported in 11 months, 89.43 percent have been solved.”—-Inquirer, (12/17/08, Kwok, A)

I was convinced that this is inconsistent to the crime profile of the country that I know. What does “solving a crime” mean to the PNP director? What are the “crime incidents” is he referring to? In my book solving a crime means investigating a case, recognizing the criminal, ascertaining his complicity, bringing him to court, having him serve jail time if guilty, and rehabilitating him to be a responsible citizen before he is released from jail. The process definitely takes longer than a year.

The PNP director is probably lying. I couldn’t comprehend how a top government official has that gall to misinform the public at the expense of himself, the military, and the country. The motto of the police is service, honor and justice. Is he the corruption that has run wild in the military service?

HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES IN THE PHILIPPINES

One can discern the hard reality from personal experience or by doing a little reading. Many crimes go unreported. I know there are many journalists being killed without resolution of their cases. They are part of a large group of crime victims that range from a gamut of circumstances—from simple robbery to mass murder. The US State Department report on the human rights record of the Philippines in 2006, had the following was reported:

“During the year there were a number of arbitrary, unlawful, and extrajudicial killings apparently by elements of the security services and of political killings, including killings of journalists, by a variety of actors. Many of these killings went unsolved and unpunished, contributing to a climate of impunity, despite intensified government efforts during the year to investigate and prosecute these cases.

Members of the security services committed acts of physical and psychological abuse on suspects and detainees, and there were instances of torture. Arbitrary or warrantless arrests and detentions were common. Trials were delayed and procedures were prolonged. Prisoners awaiting trial and those already convicted were often held under primitive conditions.

Corruption was a problem in all the institutions making up the criminal justice system, including police, prosecutorial, and judicial organs. During a brief “state of emergency” in February, there was some attempted interference in freedom of the press and in the right of assembly.

In addition to the killings mentioned above, leftwing and human rights activists were often subject to harassment by local security forces. Problems such as violence against women and abuse of children, child prostitution, trafficking in persons, child labor, and ineffective enforcement of worker rights were common.” http://www.state.gov/ (US State Department) Philippines: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices-2006 Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (03/06/07)

77% OF PRISONERS ARE VICTIMS OF JUDICIAL ERROR

The report about prisoners in the Philippines is telling. Raymond Narag, a law student served 7 years in detention for murder which he never committed. He later worked as consultant on prison reform in the Philippine Supreme Court (SC.) According to him, 3 out of 4 prisoners (77%) in the Philippines are victims of judicial error. The average pre-sentencing detention is 3.2 years. Jailbirds are forced to plead guilty to escape hardships in detention in favor of being in the National Penitentiary where the conditions are better.

“Inmates are dying in our city jails at an alarming rate. They are suffering from boils, tuberculosis, chicken pox and other simple but highly communicable diseases. In the Quezon City Jail alone, there are two to five deaths per month. The sad fact is that they are dying before being sentenced.” —Raymond Narag

Quezon City Jail was built for only 815 detainees. Now, it houses about 3,400 inmates. This means that each prisoner has 0.28 sq2 m of living space which is way below the 3 sq2 m per person the United Nations considers the minimum standard for the treatment of prisoners.” —PIME; http://www.asia.news.it (10/22/04, Evangelista, S)

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

I have no reason to believe that the data above have drastically changed for the better this year. I haven’t heard of any evidence to the contrary. Instead, I recall my dead brother Henry who died from vehicular injuries without retribution on those who sold fake drugs that caused his demise. He was left in Naga City jail for hours without medical attention on a wrong assumption that his stupor was due to drunkenness, not from the brain damage from his injury. At least one doctor in Bicol Medical Center was complicit in peddling the counterfeit medicine.

I remember my friend’s mom, a widow who was stabbed by a robber while walking home after a day’s work in a Quezon City bakery. The sole witness of her slay was himself a victim of unsolved political disappearance, a case unrelated to the murder. My first cousin Orly was killed in a traffic accident in Manila by a hit-and-run driver. No one went to jail for these crimes. They were among at least 10 people I knew who died; their cases remained cold for more than a decade. I don’t know of a single heinous crime in the Philippines that had been solved. So can you see why I don’t believe General Versoza? How about you?(Photo Credits: http://www.bardu.net; ronaldhackson; http://www.bardu.net; planetradio; planetradio; ace_kupal)

RELATED BLOGS: “Journalist killings continue” Posted by mesiamd at 12/09/08; ” Another gruesome journalist’s slay” Posted by mesiamd at 11/17/2008; “When they start telling us we’re unworthy of help” Posted by mesiamd at 12/16/2008; ” On Philippine Corruption And Our Being Inure To It” Posted by myty555 at 12/16/2008; “Rising Road Accidents” Posted by mesiamd at 10/27/2008

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OJ Simpson’s guilt: "What goes around—-comes around?"

December 6, 2008

“What goes around— comes around.” This is what people of the street say upon hearing of OJ Simpson’s sentencing to serve jail time on December 5, 2008. Las Vegas’ Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass has sentenced him to at least
9 years to 33 years for his conviction in 12 criminal charges. These included assault of a deadly weapon, conspiracy, kidnapping, and armed robbery.

With the jail time, Simpson would be 70 before he’d be eligible for parole. But his lawyers planned an appeal. The former football star was obviously upset and emotional when he offered an apology, but many who watched the trial were relieved the sentence was handed in.

You went to the room, and you took guns,” Judge Glass told Simpson. “You used force. You took property, whether it was yours or somebody else’s. And in this state, that amounts to robbery, with use of a deadly weapon.”—AP (12/05/08, Ritter, K)

In 1994, Simpson was acquitted in a racially-charged jury of homicide involving his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. Since then, OJ had been a symbol of dubious carriage of justice which divided citizens on how they regard the American legal system. Many people believed Simpson was guilty of the double murder case which was witnessed in TV and the news like a old time soap-opera (Photo Credit; AFP/ Pool/ Isaac Breeken)

RELATED BLOG: “OJ Simpson conviction: running out of luck and karma takes over?” Posted by mesiamd at 10/08/2008.

"Robbery” in Paranaque subdivision leaves 17 dead

December 5, 2008

One can’t help but be scared with the news that 17 people died in a shoot-out between police officers and alleged robbery gangs of Waray-Waray and Ozamis Group on December 5, 2008.

In the blood bath inside a residential area—the United Paranaque Subdivision, five (5) civilians, eleven (11) suspected thieves and one (1) policeman were killed. Among the dead was Alfonso de Vera, 53 and his 7 year old daughter Avanna.

According to witnesses, they were caught by gun fires from members of the police team as they pursued the suspected robbers. De Vera’s wife theorized that the police might have mistaken their van as one of the getaway vehicles.—PDI (12/05/08, Ramos, M.)

Pending thorough investigation no one for sure knew what went wrong, but the deaths of civilians in this setting raised doubts on the manner the police conducted its operation. There were others who suffered injuries in this incident.

In the past, many innocent people suspiciously died or sustained injuries in similar circumstances. Alarmed people ask if this is another case of “shoot first, investigate later” —a frightening possiblity civilians and police officers find hard to deal with. =0=