Pemberton: the Philippines stands for justice and calm; the Inquirer fails to

Laude-Pemberton_CNNPH (3)

[Photo credit: CNN Philippines]

As I read about the Pemberton judicial findings, homicide rather than murder and a total of P4.5 million in damage awards rather than the P100 million sought by the victim’s family, I was struck that the judge worked calmly and independently to find reason among the conflicting arguments. Her findings did not seem to be shaded by politics or public protests about the VFA, or tabloid editorials, or the exaggerated pleas of the complainants.

Here is a good review of the case by Interaksyon: “Pemberton meted 6 to 12 years for homicide in JenniferLaude case

There remains disagreement about the judge’s interpretation of the evidence, and so appeal is forthcoming: “Pemberton to appeal Olongapo court’s verdict” [Inquirer]. I suppose with a jury trial, the conclusion might not be so vulnerable to disputes about interpretation of facts. But with one judge, it is easy to question whether the weighing was done properly.

The ruling on the case was made by Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde of RTC Branch 74 in Olongapo.

I am inclined to write:

“Your honor, thank you for representing your profession, and the Philippines, well.”

We won’t know how justice is recorded until the appeals are completed, for they are a part of a diligent process. But the initial trial, the place where the facts meet the judge, seems to have been handled forthrightly. However it works out in the end, I hope the young man Pemberton, who found that life sets traps for the temperamental, pays any obligations honorably, in time and money, and gets out of jail as a young adult ready to lead a wholesome and fulfilling life.

There are those who are still upset about the treatment that Pemberton is receiving, that he is not thrown into some local hoosegow with 30 drunks, thieves and murderers, to piss in a pot and eat stringy meat with his rice. That American soldiers are protecting the perimeters around the cell where his Filipino guards oversee his security.

Well, these people complaining are not the President, responsible for building respect and cooperation between two allies. They are the people who rioted over the Nicole case, forcing the US to house the accused soldier on the US Embassy to protect him from lynch mobs and guards whose allegiance was not known and a justice system that was not trusted at the time.

You’ve come a long way, Philippines.

The only wild-eyed protesters in the Pemberton case were: (1) the murdered victim’s family and boyfriend, preyed on by the irresponsible Atty Harry Roque who got a disbarment complaint for egging the victim’s German boyfriend over the jailhouse fence, (2) the usual band of leftists who tried to confuse a case of an individual losing his cool with a crucial international alliance, crassly stepping on the dead victim to support their political cause, and (3) the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which continued its regular pattern of making the news by stirring up trouble. In this case, the Inquirer cast Pemberton’s jailing arrangement as an international incident. We saw this story, run a few days after the ruling:


US defies court order to jail convicted Marine in Bilibid


The US did not defy anyone, but merely exercised her rights under the Visiting Forces Agreement. The problem is, there is no benefit to the Inquirer to run this headline:


US and Philippines work cooperatively to resolve Marine jailing


That, truthfully, is what has been going on this whole time. The US and Philippines started working in partnership as soon as charges were levied. The US even helped gather evidence. Pemberton was quickly turned over to Philippine authorities and he was kept on Philippine soil under Philippine guards from the getgo, with American guards present to fulfill the US obligation to care for her troops.

If that confuses you, it ought not.  The US cannot abandon a soldier or sailor in distress (not yet found guilty ). You may wish to read this prior article on the subject if this point is not clear: “American military culture, or why Pemberton is in US custody”.  I would hope that the Philippines would display a similar dedication to her troops in distress in a foreign land, before court judgment.

What is interesting to me is that the Inquirer has no problem advocating leftist interests, but a big problem advocating Philippine government interests. And make no mistake, showing mature justice is important to the National government in building a strong relationship with the US to defend against China. A relationship based on mutual trust. It did not need another emotional lynch mob like that which arose in the Nicole case.

The Inquirer went lynch mob

The Inquirer chose to publish a report that gave voice to the enemies of the state rather than report on Philippine initiatives to preserve good order in an important alliance. Well, perhaps you don’t see them as enemies of the state, but I have never seen a group so intent upon undermining the National government whilst proposing and doing nothing at all constructive to BUILD the nation.


Bayan slams US for ‘arrogance’ in defying court order on Pemberton


I wonder, when will the Inquirer ever grow up to match the maturity and professionalism of the judge in this case. Or the National government.

Why is the Inquirer always in Banana Republic mode, putting her circulation figures above the well-being of the nation, as if the well-being of the nation has nothing to do with that tabloid’s future?

Had the murdered victim not been a transgender, had he not deceived Pemberton all the way into the bed, I suspect the Inquirer would have had more success selling its papers. But the public agreed with the judge. There was a reason for Pemberton’s violent reaction, and the crime was not pre-meditated. It was homicide, not murder.

As it turned out, the Inquirer eventually got some information that showed how negligent its “US defies . . .” headline was, and reported it in a separate story six days later:


‘Pemberton cell agreed on months ago’


The Philippines and US officials, working together, had already figured out the jailing arrangements. They just could not give the judge that information because it might prejudice her ruling. When the judge was informed of the agreement, she changed her imprisonment guidance to fit the Philippine government’s arrangement.

It should not take the Inquirer six days to ferret out the truth in a case it chooses to headline.

One wonders why the rush to judgment by the Inquirer in the first place. Who did reporters talk to? The dismayed family attorney Harry Roque? The Bayan politicians? When there are many sides to a story, why go with only one?

So there are three takeaways from this episode. We had:

  • A judge who relied on the laws and facts, and not publicity or politics, to define her judgment.
  • Two allied nations working cooperatively in good faith to deal with a sensitive matter.
  • A newspaper that continued its ethically challenged “making” of the news, rather than unbiased and thorough reporting of it.

There are other issues, of course:

  • The degree to which the victim’s deceit of his killer tempered public rage.
  • The unfortunate behavior of Atty. Harry Roque in using protests to incite public rage (including egging the German over the jailhouse fence) while using two cases (VFA and homicide), each to bias the other.
  • How the case will influence debate on EDCA and the US alliance among legislators and other interested parties.

Personally, I chalk this case up as another reason to feel satisfaction with the state of things in the Philippines. Satisfaction for the forthright work done by Judge Ginez-Jabalde to weigh the evidence, and for the harmonious work done by Philippine and US officials to handle the matter together, and not to play to irresponsible public, attorney and media forces.

And I was pleased to read . . . after I had drafted this article . . . President Aquino’s take on the case: “PNoy: Court ruling on Pemberton case will strengthen US-PH relations “.

I would further argue, it strengthens the economy, too.

Reason counts. Calm maturity counts. Laws and agreements count. Justice counts.

I hope Philippine journalism soon catches up with the progress the rest of the nation is making. I hope media stop making the news in favor of reporting it. Stop doing one-sided stories and do balanced reports. Stop elevating enemies of the state to prominence while reducing National government’s role to bad guy. Stop jacking up emotions for circulation, at the expense of the nation.

After all, journalists take care of the arena in which we all live and thrive.

Or they fail to do that which keeps them . . . and us . . . free . . .


73 Responses to “Pemberton: the Philippines stands for justice and calm; the Inquirer fails to”
  1. tom says:

    100% agree……

  2. Thankfully the rule of law and calm reason triumphed over hysteria and swagger, over the leftist groups who, in my opinion, enjoys a permanent slot in the print, radio and TV’s headlines….and I can’t fathom the rhyme or reason.

    • Joe America says:

      It’s like the editors have a low-level anger toward authority, even if authority is duly elected. So they love to shame government or someone good, like Roxas, and love to portray the US as the heavy. Crab journalism, I suppose.

  3. NHerrera says:

    Like your four counts:

    Reason counts. Calm maturity counts. Laws and agreements count. Justice counts.


  4. Squared says:

    I wonder, when will the Inquirer ever grow up to match the maturity and professionalism of the judge in this case. Or the National government.

    If they did, they might not sell much. It might be that inquirer tries to match the maturity of their audience.

    • Squared says:

      It’s not like the other newspaper’s better, everyone’s doing it anyway.

      • Joe America says:

        Yes. I pick on the Inquirer because they are the best of the newspaper outlets. They ought to set a higher standard for the others to look up to.

        • Kiko says:

          That’s easy. But not good for the profits

          • Joe America says:

            I know that is their thinking. But I don’t buy it. Long term, their well-being is better with a prosperous Philippines rather than a banana republic of knee jerk leaders and erratic policies and behaviors. And continued corrupt practices. How hard is it to ask all parties to an event (the Pemberton trial) rather than the loud one, Harry Roque? Or the leftists? THAT is beyond their capacity? They are not courageous enough? They are too lazy? What’s the problem here? Such low standards they aspire to.

            • Inquirer’s editorial standards are rather subpar but it’s still better than The Philippine Star, which really went downhill these past few years. The next best thing is the Bulletin, but sometimes they seem to be a bit too pro-Church.

            • I, too, am a believer that ethical reporting builds goodwill which will translate to strong patronage in the long-run. Maybe, the leadership at the Inquirer should set the tone for this one. Otherwise, it will always be a continuous license to overstep ethical journalism. Well, there has to be an end to link-baits.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, good point. Splash sells. But it ought to at least be truthful splash. And ought not have an agenda to tear down or push the nation down.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, good point. Splash sells. But it ought to at least be truthful splash. And ought not have an agenda to tear down or push the nation down.

  5. Joe,

    Homicide’s a big category. I’m assuming they mean manslaughter, if so was it voluntary (crime of passion) or involuntary (criminal negligence)?

    • Rowena G. Flores says:

      Phil. laws on murder and homicide are different from US laws. The verdict of the court is closest to Manslaughter, voluntary (crime of passion); but Pemberton has filed a Motion for Reconsideration, insisting that it was justifiable (not because of gay panic defence – which he never invoked- it was defence of life and honour).

      • Thanks, Rowena! Makes sense now. I’m wondering if this self-defense appeal is supported by evidence, ie. injuries, etc. Is there a good article over there that covers these details? Thanks.

        • mercedes santos says:

          Pemberton should show the damage done to his manhood and his weenie; that should do it. The male hooker played Pemberton’s dignity. Hope the appeal prospers and let justice triumph. Pemberton displays what real manhood is, too bad his marine training got the better of him. May Pemberton prosper.

          • … it was defence of life and honour).

            Yeah, this got me too, mercedes. Defense of life—- I’m familiar with. But I’m pretty sure defense of honor, as legal defense in homicide, isn’t in US criminal law. I hope it’s not about honor and manhood, I hope there are injuries sustained that point to self-defense in the course of mutual combat.

            What’s Pemberton and this transexual’s weight difference? Weapons? Are you familiar with this case, mercedes?

  6. Rowena G. Flores says:

    Inquirer got it’s “facts” from Atty. Roque. If Inquirer simply asked anyone else in the courtroom (the court personnel, for example) – it would have learned that there was no defiance. The judge stated in her decision that pending clarification of the agreement between the two countries as to the place of detention, Pemberton will be detained in Bilibid. But the agreement between the two countries was already clear- it was the judge who was not aware of the agreement. Hence, the VFA reps and policemen were confused – they knew long ago that if convicted they would bring him to Camp Aguinaldo. The Pinoy policemen and VFA reps were dumbstruck and did not even attempt to go near Pemberton. They wanted to inform the judge of the agreement but the judge quickly went inside her chambers. That compelled us to file a handwritten motion for clarification. After about 30 mins, the matter was resolved. The US guards did not defy the court’s order at all. They patiently waited for clarification from the judge.

    • Thank you for this information. Cant help but say that Journalistic Ethics dictate that both side must be consulted on matters of opinion or interpretation whilst matters of fact need only to be verified against a reliable source.

      Shame on the Inquirer.

      • And shame, too on other news publications, shame on ABS CBN, GMA and CNN Philippines who try to outdo each other to sensationalize everything in the name of sales and ratings. Enemies of the state, they all are, all profit motivated. Excuse the literary license, I got it just recently.

        Last night they are all whining and railing against the government which they say are always late in getting to them during calamities…the LGUs have IRA share allocations, is it where their calamity fund are sourced from?

        When we were young and our roofs got blown away by a typhoon, we never expected help from the local or national government, we sold a cow and rebuilt our homes and replanted veggies and started all over again, and moved on. The people are luckier today as the government is disaster ready and willing to give succor, and yet the people are more angry and prone to be whiners and fault finders.

        • edgar lores says:

          Very good point, Mary.

          Why are people depending on the government — local and foreign — to build houses for them?

          I don’t understand where this sense of entitlement comes from.

    • Joe America says:

      Thank you for that background and clarification. That is my impression, and is what irked me because it seems that the Inquirer took a position favoring the rabble-rousing Roque plus that political attack dog Bayan, and the people’s well-being was tossed to the wind.

      It took the Inquirer six days to report the facts of the jailing arrangement.

      To readers, Atty Flores is counsel to the accused marine, Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton.

    • edgar lores says:

      Thank you for the inside view.

    • NHerrera says:

      It is satisfying to note the exchange here: factual information as against the knee-jerk reaction of the Inquirer. I hope that there is some learnings from this on the part of the media — especially as it involves a sensitive country to country matter, not a run-of-the-mill item. Should it always be a matter of ratings?

    • karl garcia says:

      Nice to have the lawyer of Pemberton sharing information with us.Thanks.

    • Jonathan says:

      This really is something of an institutional flaw in almost all PH media reporting. They rarely, if ever, do actual factual reporting (i.e., they gathered the facts themselves). More often than not they just go interview people… which would be fine if they interviewed actual experts. Instead, they interview:

      – Invariably doctrinaire leftist groups that might as well be on Beijing’s payroll
      – “Political analysts” who are probably interviewed because they were the producer’s professor in college
      – Ordinary “person on the street” interviews that contribute nothing to the discussion.

      The Philippine media is terrible because they don’t do actual reporting. They’re just transcribers.

      • Joe America says:

        Right. Transcribers of those with vested interests who oppose the government, in the main.

        • Jonathan says:

          Sometimes I wonder if they do it out of laziness or ideology – and which one makes them look worse.

          • Joe America says:

            Maybe both, but economics may have something to do with it. They hire junior reporters by the dozens and they file their articles rapid-fire like filler for the pages so they can get their advertising out. There is little professional seasoning or dedication to journalistic principles. I also often think the editors have no idea how they are making (have made) the Philippines into such a wretched, crabby, negative, uninformed place. They are just zombies staggering about glassy-eyed trying to stir up a little circulation.

  7. The way that these “media” outfits act is indeed contrary to national interest. Good old TJ had it right all along, I think. A well- (and I would go as far as to say correctly- ) informed electorate is necessary to true democracy.

    In my opinion, Filipinos today only hold the Inquirer in good regard because they grew up seeing their dads or well-to-do uncles, or their friends, reading it. Today, I can call it a rag. A year more of Inquirer’s gobshite and a lot more will begin to do so, too.

    • BFD says:

      Inquirer of old was regarded as The Newspaper in the 80’s because of it’s factual reporting of news in light of the Marcos censorship. However, when the old guards at the Inquirer broke up for various reasons, they however became what we criticize today.

  8. Madlanglupa says:

    I stopped following the Inquirer after a tussle with Pugad Baboy’s illustrator-author on a controversial issue. Now, given that most media locally has gone over to tabloid mentality worthy of 19th century Hearst, the lowest-common-denominator where sensationalism and selling more matters than intelligent content, and also having the power to shape or misshape how the world views the Philippines or where it’s going, I feel like I have to stop following the local news outlets and look elsewhere.

    • Joe America says:

      What I have done is use my Twitter account as a source of worthwhile articles from people I follow, and I keep that base balanced by having people on the list who think differently than I do. MLQ3 provides extraordinarily rich information on Philippine history and government activities. He is “must follow” in my book, and I hope his function continues under the new administration.

  9. RobDH says:

    US Marine Killed in 2012 Has His Killers Walk Free by Makati City Judge – Philippines Lifestyle

    MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines government is demanding that the Court of Appeals reinstate the arrest of two men convicted in killing an American Marine officer in 2012 in Makati City.

    Killers of a US Marine in 2012 walk free: should be no surprise to anyone who is familiar with the justice system here. I remember this incident and a note of caution to foreigners visiting or living here — this victim would be alive today if he had not been drunk. It does not justify the brutal murder by these Filipinos but it shows how easily one can get in trouble here and how easily a foreigner can be killed. These two punks got off easily.

    The two convicted men were allowed to walk free after a petition filed January 26th, 2015 was filed in the Office of the Soliciter General asking the appellate court to set aside the September 2014 order of Judge Winlove Dumayas – the petition asked to suspend the sentence of Crispin de la Paz and Garlicano Datu III, two of the four men involved in the murder of US Marine Major George Anikow of Bel-Air, Makati City.

    Anikow was killed on the night of November 24th, 2012 after demanding access through a gate going to Rockwell complex. Anikow was reportedly drunk and was beaten and stabbed to death by a total of 4 Filipino men.

    In 2014, Makati Regional Trial Court Branch #59 found De la Paz and Datu guilty, but for a lesser crime of homicide – both men were sent to prison on a six year stint and ordered to pay Anikow’s family in New Jersey 375,000 pesos in damages.

    The other two men were acquitted for their part in the killing – the judge in the case gave the two convicted men a lessor sentence for ‘incomplete self-defense’ and ‘voluntary surrender’ as mitigating circumstances in convicting them on a lessor offense.

    U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg expressed his disappointment over the suspension of the sentence of the two convicted killers, saying that “no one served a day for the brutal crime” of the U.S. Marine.
    The US Embassy and acting Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said the judge in the case acted with ‘grave abuse’ in granting the probation – the judge is saying the men acted in ‘self defense.’ In pre-trial and court trial, physical evidence says otherwise, showing in fact that both men killed Anikow in cold blood.
    One damning piece of evidence is a CCTV camera tape showing Anikow bleeding and fleeing the scene of the crime when the four men chased him down, killing him by stabbing him repeatedly until he was motionless in the video recording.

    • Thanks, Rob. I’m not familiar with this case over there.

      Major George Anikow, a 41-year-old inactive U.S. Marine, was attacked as he walked into the development in an upmarket district of Makati City, part of Metro Manila, early on Saturday morning.

      Police said three businessmen and one student were charged today with killing the father-of-three, who had served as a civil officer in Afghanistan before being posted to the Philippines.

      Mr Anikow had got involved in a row as he approached the development. He saw security guards at its gates checking the identification of four men, who were inside a luxury Volvo, reported.

      The men were refused entry because they did not have a pass for the compound, triggering an argument and a brawl, city police chief Senior Superintendent Manuel Lukban said.

      ‘The men were about to leave when he rapped their vehicle. The suspects then got off the vehicle, and mauled and stabbed him to the back and shoulder,’ Lukban told reporters.

      Read more:

      Is it just me, or does this incident sound very similar to the one described by Wil, about guards at his gated-community and knuckleheads trying to enter without stickers? Is this common then over there? These gated-community brawls and intrigues?

    • Joe America says:

      Vivid. I think there are bad judges, susceptible to social and political influences . . . or money . . . just as there are bad mayors and governors. There are also good ones, and the pressure/trend is toward good under the Aquino administration. That does not justify that horrible ruling, but it does shade it toward the positive, for the future, if the electorate is smart enough.

  10. Olivia says:

    VERY Well Said MR. jOE. you nailed it. Thank you.

    • Joe America says:

      Why, thank you, Olivia. Good of you to visit and say so. I understand that newspapers are probably a dying business, and they have to make money, but I wish they would not drive the nation into the ground to scrape a few pesos into shareholder pockets.

  11. NHerrera says:

    Happy Holiday Season to you and your family, Joe; and to all here at The Society. I hope the good cheer extends beyond May 2016.

  12. My solution – Enact laws that will make news organizations non-profit. Thus, they will work based on commitment to truth and justice, not money.

  13. Off topic to this article, but I was really disappointed by the news that the Ombusdman will no longer pursue dismissal of the Masbate governor, who is a member of the Liberal Party, reportedly on the LP’s orders. They cited the controversial Aguinaldo Doctrine as the reason, the same doctrine that the Binay family is trying to use to defend themselves Really? I thought the LP was better than this. If I were the head of the LP, I would have disowned the governor by now and let justice take its course. Really really disappointed with the turn of events. For a moment I even considered dropping my support for the administration because of it, but now, I think this merely means I’m losing more respect for Roxas. I still like Aquino, but the longer time goes on the more I think his friends are becoming liabilities.

    • Joe America says:

      Maybe the reports are not true. The Ombudsman seems to me to be fiercely independent. Whenever I read their rationale (like why not to charge Abaya), they make impeccable sense. They have to have evidence, they can’t just make a political decision the other way, either. And what does Roxas have to do with it, anyway? He is out shaking hands and kissing babies.

      But certainly, you can choose one of the other candidates. I wonder which one is rising in respect for you.

  14. BFD says:

    @Mami Kawada Lover, can you please provide a link on this information about the Masbate governor. I can find the article when I do Google News or Google Search.

    All I can see is the Ombudsman dismissing Masbate Governor Lanete from her position. Thanks.

    • BFD says:

      It is the Capiz Governor, not the Masbate Governor….

      The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will not suspend Capiz Governor Victor Tanco Sr, a member of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), because the Aguinaldo doctrine still applies to him, the department said in a statement released Friday, December 18.

      However, it was not clear if the Ombudsman agreed with the DILG decision.

      The Aguinaldo doctrine renders moot administrative cases against elected officials once they have been re-elected for the same post. It was because of this doctrine that the DILG did not implement the order, instead seeking a clarification from the Office of the Ombudsman.

      It just said that they’re clarifying with the Ombudsman before they implement the order…

      • Joe America says:

        This illustrates the tendency we all have to be too reactive to individual news reports. Here, in the Philippines, reporters or readers make the interpretations that, because it involves LP, there is automatically politics involved, when, in reality, it is the laws that are engaged. The Aguinaldo doctrine was not thrown out, but was declared no longer operative from “now going forward”. From this poor chain of connectivity, Mar Roxas may have unfairly and unreasonably lost at least one vote. Possibly thousands.

        Thanks for the additional background.

        • Either way, rather disappointed with the turn of events. How come they didn’t ask for “clarification” when it was Junjun who was involved? The fact that they only did so when it was an LP member who was involved, whether or not it was intentional, will make people suspicious, and I think would do more harm than good. I think it would have been better if: 1. they asked for “clarification” back when Junjun was involved (although that would have led people to suspect that P-Noy could have been secretly supporting Binay), or 2. let the Ombudsman serve the dismissal order, then ask for clarification (i.e. only ask for the clarification one the governor was already out). Whatever the circumstances, there still seems to be some kind of double standards involved.

          As for Capiz, yeah, sorry. I was getting confused.

          • Joe America says:

            But don’t you yet get the feeling you are jumping to conclusions? That you are mistrusting players who deserve to be trusted, from all the other thousands of deeds in their deed pile? One incident becomes defining, even though the associations are loose?

            I don’t have a problem with you voting for whomever you choose, but I do have a problem with the whole of the Philippines making decisions on the basis of isolated incidents, as if perfection were something anyone could deliver on.

            • Joe America says:

              That’s what leads to the rationalizations of a strong man as a savior. He may be flawed, but, by gosh, he lays it all on the table for us. None of the trickery we find among all those we distrust so heartily. . .

            • Mami Kawada Lover says:

              What I’m trying to say is: I’m against double standards. The law must apply equally to all, whether they are allies or critics of the administration. If a critic is dismissed because of anomalies, so be it. If an ally is dismissed because of anomalies, so be it. No pulling of strings should be done, justice must be served.

              • Joe America says:

                “I think this merely means I’m losing more respect for Roxas.”

                I agree that double standards are bad, if they exist. But in this instance, the new interpretation of the law was not applied to Junjun Binay and it was not applied in the case of Tanco in Capiz. So there is no double standard as both were grandfathered as “safe” under the old Aguinaldo Doctrine. DILG and the Ombudsman should be given credit for adhering to the rules rather than playing politics. To extend this case to Roxas is representative of the kind of unhinged unreasonable thinking that so many of us (including me) are doing, and that I will write about tomorrow.

              • Joe America says:

                As point of clarification, Junjun Binay has other violations that were not grandfathered as “safe” under the Aguinaldo Doctrine, so he is still in trouble. If Tanco has other violations not covered by the Aguinaldo Doctrine, he could still be held accountable.

          • karl garcia says:

            They did not ask for clarification when junjun was involved because when they arrested junjun the aguinaldo doctrine was not invoked yet.I do not know if that is ignorance of the law or a case if no complaint/no action.
            Correct my layman approach if I am wrong.

  15. Bing Garcia says:

    In a subsequent interview, Duterte admitted that the basic figures Roxas cited to back his myth claim of Davao were true—that the city has the fourth highest crime rate in the country, according to police records. But, he said in defense, the figures were high only because it included the alleged criminals that were now gone from the city streets, presumably exterminated by his long-rumored death squads—once again, a proud admission that he has no qualms violating the law on due process. Inquirer Editorial

  16. Bing Garcia says:

    “We cannot provide exemptions to individuals under our laws and regulations while denying the same to others. If we leave the case of Poe and Duterte in the hands of the people to decide, then we should also ask them to decide on the fate of the 125 nuisance candidates who want to run for president. A situation like that is unacceptable,” Drilon stressed.

  17. slightly off-topic: Inquirer may be bad at times… but it’s Cebu Daily News has a great cartoonist!

  18. caliphman says:

    To deny that the DILG has been selective in prosecuting and applying court orders against indicted and convicted Liberal Party officials accused of graft and corruption. One can pillory the Inquirer of shoddy journalism of maligning Roxas unfairly but the practice of special treatment by Daang Matuwid and the Pinoy/Roxas administration is pretty well established. And it’s been reported by everyone and everywhere. It is no coincidence that the Treasurer of the Liberal Party itself which is headed by none other than the dynamic duo is still serving in that capacity inspite of being convicted for corruption. So if members in this generally proRoxas and proLP blogsite read the same report of selective DILG proLP bias, maybe shooting the messenger Duterte-style should wait until the message is verified.

    • Joe America says:

      “One can pillory the Inquirer of shoddy journalism of maligning Roxas unfairly but the practice of special treatment by Daang Matuwid and the Pinoy/Roxas administration is pretty well established. And it’s been reported by everyone and everywhere.”

      The problem is that we have only anecdotal cases to work with. If an LP member is not prosecuted, the cry of favoritism arises, and it arises most shrilly from those of opposing political camps. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that the attacks on LP are themselves politically motivated. Every time PDAF and DAP are posed as corruption cases, then a gross manipulation of ideas is occurring, because DAP did not involve personal theft.

      The case of Tanco vs Binay and the Aguinaldo Doctrine is another. When one rolls up one’s sleeves and gets to the details, there is no political play, just an independent agency (the Ombudsman) applying rules. I trust that you are not suggesting that Ombudsman Morales is in “LP pockets”. If so, you would say that to her face?

      Even the case of LP Treasurer Governor Alfonso Umali, Jr. is not that clear-cut, or even finalized, so your personal “judicial ruling” of his guilt has no foundation in the legal processes under way. This article explains some of the complexities of the case:

      Vice President Binay, with all that has come down showing blatant corruption, is still in office. Jailed senators are still in office, and Enrile is back in the Senate chamber. The Philippines has a loose set of ethics overall. Public authorities are not asked to step down at the filing of charges, and LP is no different.

      What I would find useful is someone making a case for favoritism that gets beyond the individual anecdotal “proofs”. That is, I would like to see all the cases wrapped up in a clear pattern that shows the Ombudsman is complicit in LP’s political agenda. I don’t think it has been done because it can’t be done. Because there is no favoritism.

      • caliphman says:

        “What I would find useful is someone making a case for favoritism that gets beyond the individual anecdotal “proofs”. i included the article from Rappler because it is generally considered a fairer, more accurate and more reliable source of journalism and news reporting than the Inquirer and other newspapers with a reputation for sacrificing journalistic standards and pushing tabloid type reporting to gain market share. When this Rappler article cites 5 other cases where ii delayed following up an order by the Ombudsman and second guessing the court by seeking clarification and points out without hesitation or qualification that four of those five cases involved Liberty Party officials, can one so blithely dismiss this compilation which excludes the Tanco and Umali cases among others as isolated or individual and anecdotal if not scattered pieces of evidence? Really?? And this is not even recalling the cases where friends of Daang Matuwid escaped sanctions for bungling the Hongkong bus hostages rescue, the sheltering of General Purisima in the Crame White House scandal and his accountability in the Mamasapano massacre, or even Binay being shielded from the raging Senate corruption accusations by his official positions as part of Pinoy’s Cabinet, etcetera, etcetera, and so on. One cannot be blind to the accomplishments of Daang Matuwid in the last six years but neither can one play dumb to its greatest failings that the wheels of justice turned slowly or not at all when friends or party are involved. It is not enough to dismiss these accusations and pattern of behavior as being politically motivated, which is a tired old tactic from the Binay playbook when confronted with facts and records.

        “That is, I would like to see all the cases wrapped up in a clear pattern that shows the Ombudsman is complicit in LP’s political agenda. I don’t think it has been done because it can’t be done. Because there is no favoritism.” Which brings to mind the second favorite ploy in the Binay playbook when confronted with mounting proof and facts. Deny, deny, deny. Neither the Rappler article nor I are making any accusation about the the integrity or the independence of the Ombudswomasn. If one reads the Rappler article carefully, it clearly questions why in 80% of the the cases it lists where the DILG delayed and questioned the Ombudsman’s dismissal orders, Liberty Party officials were involved. this was exactly the same case with Tanco, who as governor of Capiz and senior party chief in the LP would be a very close associate of Roxas whose roots originate from the same province.

        As for Governor Umali, Treasurer and ranking officer of the Liberty Party, convicted along with his son of graft in 2008, what does it say about protestations of his innocence and how fast the wheels of justice turned in his case? He was ruled guilty with finality only in April this year and will be serving a ten year jail sentence this year. Question is, did it take seven years for the LP to realize it is bad practice if not propaganda to have its national coffers entrusted to an official convicted of graft and managing his duties from a jail cell?

        • Joe America says:

          Well, your appeal is for justice from any party or persuasion, and it is hard to argue against that. It is a great ideal and, coming from the American ethical standard, I clearly find fault with the lax sense of propriety here. And LP, claiming the straight path, ought to do more to assure it leads the way rather than wavers from the calling (e.g., the appointment of Lina in Customs). But I would not call it a “great failing”, more an unfortunate submission to the rules of entitlement and political power that is typical for the Philippines. Beyond that, when you cite cases like Mamasapano as an abridgment of justice, then I think you are over-reaching to make your point, because that incident had nothing to do with corruption, but was a case of two people (Purisima, Napenas) taking matters into their own hands and paying the price for it, in the end.

          As for my own argument, I agree that DILG is a political arm of the President and would tend to do that which favors keeping LP clean and strong, so I’d accept that politics is played. And legal tap dancing. Ideally, that should not happen, but I think there is a political reality to “cleaning house” that would not serve the party well. The ombudsman is different, however, as I believe it does function fairly, independently and does not play political favorites. Ombudsman Morales has done tremendous work to try to get the nation straightened out, and that should be celebrated. So I give you 2 points, and keep 1 for myself. 🙂

          • caliphman says:

            Agreed, Joe, that the Ombudsman is not perfect but she along with Secs. Lima, Henares, Purisima, Tetangco, and other shining examples of Daang Matuwid gone right by picking and supporting competent, honest, fearless and committed individuals to change the quality of governance and improve the country’s well-being during Pinoy’s regime. It only seems a great failing only because Pinoy was able to achieve significant successes in the way he inspired and nurtured these people to lead and make remarkable changes in the way their organizations functioned compared to the miserable records compiled by their predecessors.

            You are correct that Mamasapano was not about corruption. It was about that “tayo-tayo” mentality that extended special favors and privileges to Daang Matuwid’s family and selected friends. This is precisely the selectiverness if it cant be called favoritism that is the heart of the issue. Even Mar was outside that circle in this case, supposedly to hold him harmless but leaving instead the impression that he was not to be trusted in something that he should have been.

            If I were to be asked which one thing that all the presidential candidates lack that makes me question whether any of them can meet or exceed the markers for good government the Pinoy administration has set, its this demonstrated ability to pick good and great leaders in their past performance in government. Not that Pinoy is perfect or showed proof of this himself when he ran for president, but should we trust blind luck to have lightning strike twice in the same place?

            And I yield my 2 points to Morales as I believe she has been doing all that can be done within our broken judicial system, from the SC to the CA to the Comelec whose reputation for integrity and blind Justice would only satisfy those who are deaf, Mute, and blind.

            • Joe America says:

              With my point added, Morales gets 3 and we agree DILG is political and not a strict enforcer of the straight path. People (like me} ought not just accept that, but should demand strong ethical character across the board. I hope political will candidates explain what they will do about Customs and DOTC, in particular. And how they will rid localities of corruption, no matter the political persuasion.

              That’s three specific topics for inquiring journalists . . . Customs, DOTC, localities.

  19. Bing Garcia says:

    Moreover, Trillanes questioned Duterte’s anti-corruption stance, claiming that the mayor remained an ally of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo even during the height of the protest campaigns against the former President over corruption allegations.

    “Ang sa akin, noong panahon ni GMA na ino-oppress ang taumbayan…, asan ka? Kakampi mo si GMAeh [Where were you during GMA’s time when the people were being oppressed? GMA was your ally], Trillanes told Duterte.

    “Everybody would tend to assume that he is an anti-corruption political leader, of course not. Tingnan mo ‘yong mga tao…na nakapaligid sa kanya [Look at the people around him]. You have (former Armed Force chief Hermogenes) Esperon, you have the GMA people there,” the senator said.

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