Archive for the ‘lies’ Category

The forgotten Reynaldo Galman & his disappeared mother Lina

March 6, 2009

Reynaldo Galman condemns the granting of executive clemency to the 10 imprisoned convicted killers who blame Rolando Galman, his father, as Ninoy’s murderer. Joining the the family of Ninoy Aquino, he decries the fact that the brains behind the Aquino-Galman murders on August 21, 1983 remain undisclosed. He believes his father tagged by the Marcoses as a communist killer is just a fall guy in the blatant plot to kill Ninoy Aquino.

Barely an adolescent when the gruesome murders took place in the airport, son Reynaldo Galman could only recall his ordeal after his father was killed. He was only 10 years old when mother Lina Galman was abducted by unidentified men, never to be seen again after the airport murders investigation began. With only a sketchy memory of his parents to keep, Reynaldo lived the life of an orphan.

After more than two decades, many of the principal players who could have shed light on the heinous incident have died. They refused to tell the truth until the memory of the Filipinos has faded. President Gloria M. Arroyo thinks it’s now the ripe time to set free the incarcerated killers in spite of the unresolved questions surrounding the case.

The 10 soldiers of the Aviation Security Command (AVSECOM) part of the team tasked to provide security to Ninoy have stuck to the official Marcos story which portrayed Rolando Galman of Nueva Ecija as the killer. They insist the “hitman” broke the cordon of their very tight security. But the Aquinos, the Galmans, and the majority of the Filipinos who followed the investigation don’t believe this.

The ugly tail of injustice wags mockingly on Reynaldo Galman who lost a father. Like the Aquinos and the rest of the aggrieved Filipinos, he is one among the victims who waged the People Power in revulsion to the tarmac murders and government corruption. Yet this isn’t enough to make Arroyo desist from favoring the convicted military men in her discretionary clemency. She probably doesn’t know Reynaldo Galman and the rest of the Filipinos have been affected by the murders. Her political nemesis, Pres. Cory Aquino, the widow of Ninoy, aged and ailing, is mum over the pardon.

As one can see, life isn’t fair even on Ninoy Aquino whose towering life could have changed the course of the country’s governance. For giving his life, the martyred Marcos rival has been admired, but it didn’t take long before people forget his sacrifice. A number of his friends have abandoned his cause. Politics have a way of leading leaders like Gloria Arroyo to choose the low road against certain individuals—like Aquino who till his death insisted that “Filipinos are worth dying for.”

There are people who lie without conscience, condone moral aberrancy, and inflict incalculable cruelty on others. In the guise of handing down social justice, they welcome public apathy and forgetfulness, so that no one bothers to question. Expediency and rationalization have been part of how politics work in the country. (Photo Credits: Hoy_Sushi; Britt01)=0=

RELATED BLOG: “Pardon and (In)justice: Ninoy’s killers freed” Posted by mesiamd at 3/05/2009

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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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Bare Truth or Fairy Tale? (Is Little Red Riding Hood & The Wolf One And The Same?)

July 28, 2008

Because tough choices were made, the global crisis did not catch us helpless and unprepared. Through foresight, grit and political will, we built a shield around our country that has slowed down and somewhat softened the worst effects of the global crisis.

We have the money to care for our people and pay for food when there are shortages; for fuel despite price spikes. Neither we nor anyone else in the world expected this day to come so soon but we prepared for it.”

State of the Nation Address (SONA,) Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo, 2nd Regular Session of the 14th Congress Republic of the Philippines
28 July 2008

When will the palace worry about the soaring prices?

June 7, 2008

It is the question that crossed my mind when I read Malaya’s banner news on June 6, 2008 saying Malacanang Palace isn’t worried about the soaring prices. True? I think it’s one of the misleading signals our government wants us to believe—that everything is under control and there is no cause for worry when dark clouds gather like the onset of a storm.

The government insists it has “strong macroeconomic fundamentals,” and thus expected to withstand the “external shock” of a financial downturn. They say the administration has responded well to food shortages by giving cash dole-outs to the poor in its new “Ahon Pamilyang Pilipino” program.

There is indeed free money to give away as an aid package (P6000 /year) for the impoverished Filipinos. With additional health allowance (P500 /year,) education grant (P300 per school child/year,) and fertilizer subsidy (P1500) to farmers, our country seems successful in allying the restiveness of the poor for now. But this move makes many people apprehensive. In the long haul, the public fears the government’s band-aid solution is something we cannot afford.

In many places nationwide, under the blistering heat of the sun, poor Filipinos line up everyday to buy their dwindling ration of rice. It’s a pathetic daily scene of time wastage which deepens despair. The strain it causes gives famine a greater chance of becoming real. It may take only a few months of food shortages before more malnutrition shows up in the 24 million people who live with less than 67 pesos per day.

In the fuel front meanwhile, gasoline in the pump recently gets another round of increase: a P1.50/liter adjustment to reflect the high cost of crude oil and basic commodities. The peso-dollar exchange (P44/dollar) is down. With no end in sight, skyrocketing costs jacked-up inflation rate to 9.6% in the past month, the highest in nine years.

Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo has signed Executive Order 728 on June 2 to give her emergency powers under the National Food and Emergency Council, most likely in preparation for any social turbulence that may result as prices soar. Instead of issuing the order, it should have been better if she leads aggressively to plant rice and veggies—-a full-scale campaign against the failed import policy which brought the nation scrambling for its food supply abroad.

At a plenary session of the High Level Conference of World Food Security held in Rome, Italy, Philippine Secretary of Agriculture Arthur Yap pleaded for an urgent measure “to reverse the double-whammy of shrinking farm production and spiraling prices of basic staples worldwide.” Yap said vulnerable countries in the world aren’t interested with words. They want action.

How then can Malacanang say there’s no cause to worry?

Inquirer’s opinion writer Isagani Cruz wrote a few weeks ago that the lack of government sincerity and honesty sends more alarm than the problem of food scarcity. He opined our present crisis could be exploited to suppress the public’s attention to the corruption scandals which remained tucked under the rug with Pres. Arroyo watching. It seemed the sincerity and honesty that he referred to was what Gregorio Bituin, Jr. wanted to convey in his eloquent Tagalog sonnet about truth and lies:

SONETO SA KATOTOHANAN

Payag ka bang pawang kasinungalingan
Ang mangaglipana sa ating lipunan?
Hindi ba’t maigi ay katotohanan
Itong pairalin sa kapaligiran?

Kasinungalinga’y siyang pumapatay
Sa katotohanang hangarin ay lantay
Pag baya’y nilugmok, sakbibi ng lumbay,
Pa’no pa gaganda itong iwing buhay?

Kasinungalinga’y simpait ng apdo
Kita nang hanapin ang bawat totoo
Harapin ma’y pawang mga sakripisyo
Kahit man banggain ay pader na bato.

Kapag totoo na’y ating nasumpungan
Pukyutang kaytamis ang malalasahan.=0=