The case of the missing crystal ball
Dr Elenita Binay opposed the inclusion of whistle-blower Ernesto Mercado as a witness for the prosecution in the “P21.536 million overpricing of the P72-million contract for panel fabric partitions and connector brackets for the Makati city hall.”
Why? Because the prosecution failed to include Mercado in the pre-trial order of witnesses filed on Sept. 2013.
Her lawyers argued that including Mercado now as a witness “would in effect be another investigation during which the prosecution is free to discover evidence that they should have known in the first place…”
Sounds reasonable, right?
Except for the fact that Mercado only surfaced as a whistleblower about a year after the filing of the list of witnesses or around June 2014.
“To state the obvious,” said the prosecutors, “the prosecution could not have known that Vice Mayor Mercado was a viable witness at the time pre-trial was being conducted.”
But Binay’s lawyers insisted,
“(T)he prosecution should have known all of their potential witnesses and documents during the pre-trial. In fact… (t)he prosecution, at the time of the filing of the information should have already identified all of its witnesses and documents necessary in proving the allegations.”
In other words, it’s the prosecution’s fault and not Dra. Binay’s that the prosecution could not predict Mercado would become a whistleblower. It’s the prosecution’s fault and not Dra. Binay’s that the prosecution did not have enough sense to buy a crystal ball or consult Madame Auring.
Ridiculous argument, diba? Well, maybe to us normal human beings but not to lawyers.
So the judge will have to carefully consider Binay’s motion and the prosecution’s reply before he renders a decision on whether or not to allow Mercado to testify.
If Mercado is not allowed to testify, chances are the doktora will be found not guilty of stealing P21,536M from Makati’s coffers.
Blame it on the missing crystal ball if that happens.
True to form, in last Friday’s broadcast of PBS’s “NewsHour”, New York Times columnist David Brooks called the massacre of 9 blacks in a South Carolina church “completely bizarre”.
- “The horror is the horror,” Brooks said. “I confess, I’m a little confused about how much to generalize. We have a race problem in this country. That is so obvious. But we also have an angry solitary young man problem. And I’m not sure a lot of the angry solitary young men are directly connected. They are obviously loosely connected to the history of race in this country. But they are angry solitary young men looking for hateful and vicious ideologies. Some of them turn into neo-Nazi skinheads. I don’t think we have a Nazi problem in this country. They are solitary and they’re hate-mongers. And the guy sits with the Bible study group for an hour and then starts shooting them. That’s beyond — beyond imagination. And so I — it’s obviously connected, but I’m a little wary of the too pat causations that are linked between our general race problem and this specific, completely bizarre, and completely evil incident.”
That description of a race-motivated massacre is, in and of itself, completely bizarre. It denies a linkage between what Brooks euphemistically calls “our general race problem” (he can’t bring himself to call it by its true name: racism) and the massacre.
What would be completely bizarre is if the shootings occurred in a society that was not racist. Deniers like Brooks perpetuate racism because they want to focus on the individual and not the society that created him.
Brooks describes the killer as “an angry solitary man”.
WTF Brooks? Roof did not spring out of nowhere. He was raised and nurtured by a country that still tolerates the display of the Confederate flag in a state capitol. Does the confederate flag honor heritage or racism? Does not that flag symbolize white supremacy over blacks and the institution of slavery?
These are the words of the Founding Fathers of the Confederacy :
“Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth…”
Brooks adds that he is for taking down the Confederate flag on “simple neighborliness grounds”.
- “If a group of people is offended by it, that should be enough. That should be enough. We are good citizens to each other and we do not things that offend other people in symbolic ways.”
No shit, Sherlock. You take down the Confederate flag not because it offends “other” people but because of what it stands for, that “the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition.”
The Confederate flag symbolizes something that has no place on this earth. Period…unless you are like David Brooks who thinks eliminating racism is important only to “other” people. Muthafuckin cracka in a business suit
In the news is Senate President Drilon saying the BBL is going to be delayed because 12 senators believe it is unconstitutional. Well golly gee.
Whether the BBL is constitutional or not is for the Supreme Court to decide. Whatever the Senate – with all of its self-proclaimed constitutional experts – has to say on the constitutionality of the BBL is just an opinion, a position that only the Supreme Court can decide with finality. So don’t waste our time acting like a pseudo-Supreme Court just focus on making the BBL work.
The question the Senate should ask is not whether such and such a provision is constitutional or not but whether such and such a provision will
(1) grant the BangsaMoro powers that they are willing to grant or not;
(2) whether such and such a provision will help bring about peace and economic development to the area;
(3) whether such and such a provision is the most efficient mechanism for peace and development…
in short Congress should focus on passing a BBL that is effective. That is its job. Pass the bill and then let the SC decide whether it is constitutional as a whole or whether to only strike out certain provisions of the BBL.
Passing amendments after an SC decision that will be constitutionally compliant will be more practical than hoping to pass a law that is constitutionally perfect but will face a challenge in the SC anyway because those who are obstinately opposed to BBL/Bangsamoro will file suit no matter what.
(2) All this talk that not everybody was consulted etc makes for good news copy but what does it really mean?
Senate holds a hearing and you have resource persons who claim they were not consulted. For example, Sulu Princess Jacel Kiram shows up and claims the Sulu royals were not consulted. Actually what she is saying is their position was not given preferential treatment. The same thing applies to the Misuari faction of the MNLF and other vested groups in ARMM. Well, you can’t please them all. You talk to everybody, hold both public and private meetings, but after all is said and done you pay attention to the most powerful group with the most followers and largest general support. That’s just the way it is.
So the princess claims they were not consulted but peace negotiator Ferrer claimed otherwise. She said she talked to three of the royals and the outcome was positive. So now it comes to a question of whom do you believe?
The fact is the overwhelming majority of ARMM supports the BBL.
One must make a distinction between ARMM and the rest of Mindanao because the support of those in ARMM is what counts for more if peace and development of the region is what we want. They are the ones who rose up and wanted to secede.
If there was no widespread support for secession then the MNLF and the MILF would not have lasted as long as they have. Now the MILF and a larger faction of the MNLF have given up secession in favor of autonomy, are we now going to throw away the chance of peace because Sulu royalty is angry that the government did not send military reinforcement to their Sabah adventure?
There is a difference between listening to what everybody has to say and acquiescing to their demands. To repeat, you can’t please them all. You try to achieve a balance, you give to each what they deserve but you always exercise proportionality. Does Princess Jacel carry as much weight as the MILF or the MNLF? No. So when push comes to shove, sorry na lang Princess you cannot have everything you want. And that goes down the line, to all the competing and cooperating factions in the ARMM – Misuari, BIFF, ASG, IPs, and politicians who live adjacent to moro jurisdictions.
(3) Who appointed the MILF as the embodiment or spokespersons for all of ARMM? Nobody. But would any sane person say they are not the biggest most powerful group in ARMM? Can you have peace in ARMM without giving due weight to the MILF? Let’s talk proportionality here.
Some people bring up the idea that ASG and BIFF etc will create trouble anyway so why make peace with the MILF? Well those are bandit groups, the MILF is an organized force both politically and militarily, it engaged in secession not in banditry. Should we give as much weight to bandits as we do a real secessionist group?
The MNLF is divided between those who want to give the BBL/Bangsamoro a chance and Misuari who will not settle for less than being given supremacy over ARMM. So do we delay BBL/Bangsamoro until such time as the bandit groups and Misuari and Princess Jacel get what they want at the risk of the MILF taking up arms again because the government was not sincere about peace?
The MILF has demonstrated that it is for real, it has remained in its zones, it has not angaged in offensive military operations, it killed Marwan’s terrorist comrade, all for the success of the peace. Misuari attacked Zamboanga City to torpedo the peace. Sino ang pakikinggan natin?
The only issue is peace and development in that war torn area. The biggest headache is now willing to partner with the central government.
Let’s focus on how to make that partnership work and stop with all the nonsense issues and political posturing.
From the Inquirer:
- Leftists come out swinging, break silence against Binay
After telling VP Binay to face up to the allegations against him, Bayan spokesman Teddy Casiño added he believed that once Binay pulls out of the 2016 presidential race, the charges against him will quietly go away like what happened to the Nationalista Party’s Sen. Manuel Villar after Mr. Aquino won the 2010 presidential election.
Casiño conveniently forgot to mention that Bayan allied with Villar in 2010 and their senatorial candidates were included in Villar’s ticket.
Ang kapal ng mukha mo!
Ang linya ng mga Binay at ng mga sumosuporta sa kanila ay “Everybody is corrupt anyway…”
So eto ang tanong ko sa kanila,
“If everybody is corrupt then why are the Binaya and their associates billionaires and we are not?”
Following the everybody is corrupt logic, we should all be billionaires, right?
Mahirap kalaban ang mga walang konsyensya
Never under estimate the Maoists in our midst. The president accomplished something that powerful countries did not. He went all out to get a temporary reprieve for a fellow Filipino and he succeeded. That should have been the story.
But the Maoists made a lot of noise, using Mary Jane Veloso’s mother, to drown out the president’s accomplishment. They turned his statesmanship into a controversy.
Yes, the public is angry at Veloso’s mother and the Maoists BUT ask yourself, who is getting the publicity?
Down the road, people will remember the controversy more than giving the president credit for what he did.
It’s an old propaganda trick but it still works because the only way to counter it is by screaming louder and that wil only add fuel to the controversy.
Mahirap kalaban ang mga walang konsyensya.
Photo-bombers sa Veloso reprieve
Biglang lahat na lang ay claiming credit for Veloso’s reprieve. Di ko maintindihan kasi binigay na ng Indonesian gov’t kay PNoy ang credit. So yun mga nakikisawsaw diyan ang tamang tawag sa inyo ay mga “photo bombers”, mga sumisingit at nakakasira sa picture.
I noticed that those who keep blaming the MILF and pressing them to surrender the combatants involved in the Mamasapano encounter are the same people who complain that the peace panel did not include Nur Misuari in the peace talks.
Two years ago Nur Misuari’s group attacked the peaceful city of Zamboanga. Was the Zamboanga attack a terrorist act or not?
How many people were killed or injured in that unprovoked attack? How many lost their homes? How many businesses were ruined? What is the total economic cost of that terror attack by Misuari’s group?
Now how many times since the MILF started peace negotiations – first with GMA and now with PNoy – has the MILF launched an attack on a peaceful city? And yet…
Contrast the MILF’s behavior with Nur. He signed a peace agreement with FVR in 1996, as a reward he was made ARMM governor and given billions of pesos to spend on ARMM. In 2001, five years after signing the peace agreement, he staged an uprising in Jolo that left 100 people dead. He attacked Jolo because he wanted the ARMM elections postponed so he could remain ARMM governor.
Nur has staged two uprisings that left hundreds dead since signing the 1996 peace treaty and yet a well known rabid anti-MILF anti-BBL personality wrote that Nur can be trusted and the MILF not.
Nur the man who can be trusted attacked 2 peaceful cities even after he had signed a peace agreement with the government. In contrast, the MILF has not launched any major attacks since peace negotiations started with GMA, a period of almost ten years now. So which one is the terrorist organization, which one cannot be trusted?
When will those anti-MILF people hold their hero Misuari to account? When will they lay down his surrender and the surrender of his men as a pre-condition to having them at the peace table? Ano ba ang batayan nila sa terrorist?
One’s man hero is another man’s terrorist.
UNA/Binay spokesman Toby “Swordfish because he looks like one” Tiangco claims that Customs Comm. John P Sevilla resigned because of pressure from the LP.
“Masyadong malaki ang pressure ng LP kay Sevilla na mag-contribute ng P3 billion. He and others have felt the political atmosphere in the bureau. Mukhang hindi nasikmura ni Commissioner Sevilla yung mga gustong ipagawa sa kanyang ahensya ng mga pressure groups na ito, kaya nagresign na lamang siya,” he said.
But Sevilla himself told Rappler.com that he resigned because of interference by INC in Customs appointments.
“I said, ‘What is this? Why are we appointing people at the behest supposedly of Iglesia ni Cristo? That just goes against my own principles…So I tried to resist that appointment for as long as I could. I learned fairly recently that the appointment is going to come through. I said, ‘Look there is something that is not right about this and I think it is something that’s important enough to the future of Customs and to me personally to take a stand against.’”
Kanino tayo maniniwala, dun sa spokesman ng mga magnanakaw o dun sa public servant na bumitiw sa pwesto dahil sa prinsipyo?