Thursday, November 22, 2007

Rape Victim Punished in SA: An old story in the Philippines

The rape victim from Saudi Arabia who, instead of getting justice, was punished with 200 lashes and six months in prison had become a favorite subject in a number legal circles. Even Philippine government officials are also discussing and condemning the same as unjust and unsound. Of course, they are cautious in raising their voices for fear that Saudi Arabia might mete the country with indirect sanctions considering, primarily, the oil prices which are steadily rising.

But is the case of this rape victim a new story in the Philippines? Mukhang hindi, ah. For instance, some are planning to charge with bribery and violation of the rules and ethical standards for public employees Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio, the person who caught public attention for the questionable Malacang payoffs. Similarly, Joey De Venecia, whatever his motives may be, is being pressed to the wall and is facing accusations one after the other for exposing the ZTE scandal. On the other hand, the culprits and peddlers (does that include Ben Abalos?) go unpunished. Look at Estrada who admitted to have plundered the Philippines by not contesting the facts and judgment imputed to him by the SandiganBayan. He is free as a bird. And where is Garci? And Bedol?

Hmmmnnn. Kaya siguro maingat din ang Malacanang na magpalabas ng statement against the Saudi Government (kagaya ni Bush) dahil baka balikan din sila. Totoo ba?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Glorietta and Batasan Blasts: What's the real story?

A professor from Bicol University, Dr. Carlos Gegantoca, used to say: There are actually three sides in every story -- your side, my side and the correct side.

For this, while Glorietta Management and a number of legislators from Batasan believes that the blasts that happened in their yards are acts of terrorism, the Philippine National Police (PNP) maintains otherwise. For the Glorietta blast, the PNP offers the pozo negro theory -- that is, the blast was caused by methane from the septic tank -- while the Batasan blast is based on an assassination plot against Wahab Akbar.

But what could be the incentives why these groups differ in giving reasons as to the cause of the blast?

  • For Glorietta, accepting the idea that the blast may be caused by methane or faulty wiring simply means admitting that it had failed in its obligation to provide a safe and conducive place for shopping and leisure. That may be detrimental to their business and of course, to their reputation.
  • For the PNP, admitting that the cause of the blast in Makati is caused by terrorism simply shows that they have failed to fulfill their functions to maintain peace and security in their areas of jurisdiction. The same in Batasan.
  • Of course, arguing that the Batasan blast is a product of the Abu Sayyaf will simply mean additional intelligence funds (na nakakabobo) and an intensified operation against these people. Siyempre, if what Lacson said is true about the PNP money as a source of the Malacanang's "cash gifts", then more money will be made available for distribution to local officials, legislators and others. (Read the denial, though.)
  • For the government especially the Arroyo Administration, accepting the theory that the blasts in both Glorietta and Batasan are a product of terrorism simply shows that it had failed to fulfill its duty to provide security to the Filipinos as well as maintain peace and order. It also shows that the Human Security Act is nothing but a crap of paper with regards terrorism prevention and that the Administration is short sighted by being reactive rather than proactive. Sabagay, mantakin mo namang ang PNP leadership pa ang mag-utos na ibigay mo na lang ang cellphone mo sa snatcher instead of them (the PNP leadership) asking the help of the people for crime prevention activities.
  • For some congressmen who claim that they may also be the target of the bomber (like Luz Ilagan, et. al. of Gabriela party-list), the reason could be media mileage. Of course, that may also mean an additional sympathy vote in the succeeding elections.
Muddling the Story

Given the incentives to their sides, Tikboy asks: Ano ba talaga ang totoo, kuya?

To add to the complexities, ba't parehong non-terroristic theory ang angulo ng PNP both sa Batasan at sa Glorietta? This, despite the findings of an independent consultant in Glorietta that the blast in Makati could not be a product of methane and the common sense that an assassin will not make things difficult for himself by shooting a target in a place outside his control. (See also the article: Scientific Assessment on Methane.)

Lastly, and if it is indeed true, why is it that suspects were shot and/or apprehended almost immediately after the blast? This, to consider that the suspects of the murder of Mang Kiko were still at large, and the snatcher of the cellphone of Tikboy are still un-caught. Teka,si Rowena rin na na-rape mga isang dekada na, me balita na ba sa rapist niya? Eh yung nambugbog kay Boyong isang buwan na ang nakakaraan, nadakip na rin ba?

Hmmmnnn... Hmmmn?