Senator Risa Hontiveros: A Dose Of Her Own Medicine?

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First, let us get this out of the way: we are not saying that any person should be found guilty just by mere association. There has to be more convincing and proven fact that would link anyone to a crime or illegal act — beyond reasonable doubt, as judges and lawyers like to say.

However, we can’t help but be amazed at how certain things that a person says or does circle back in a manner that speaks of the cliche, ‘a dose of one’s own medicine.’

One person we have in mind is Senator Risa Hontiveros, known to be a mouthpiece of one of the factions opposed to Rodrigo Duterte.

On several occasions, Hontiveros used her bully pulpit to condemn Rodrigo Duterte for his public comment on rape and his war on drugs which the senator labeled as a “deadly failure.”

But when a person she is associated with — not be chance but by choice — is the subject of alleged criminal acts that Hontiveros has openly talked about, then she loses her credibility as well as her integrity to comment on both the war on drugs and rape.

Businessman and alleged Customs “middleman” Kenneth Dong was arrested on Tuesday by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in connection with a rape case. He is the same Dong who is now the subject of a Senate investigation on a P6.2 million shabu shipment from China.

“The 33-year-old Dong found fortune and connections by selling industrial weighing scales. He then opened a construction business, and now owns a luxury club in Cebu.
He was a campaign donor to Senators Risa Hontiveros and Joel Villanueva in the last two elections.

Statements of Contributions and Expenditures show Dong donated P3 million and P5 million in 2013 and 2016 respectively for Hontiveros. He also contributed P3 million to the then-TESDA chief in 2016.

Then, for some interesting turn of events, Hontiveros and Villanueva, along with other politicians, became Dong’s wedding sponsors.

In a recent television interview, Hontiveros described her connection with Dong as “not deep.”  Whatever that means.

The fact remains that her association with Dong renders the lady senator void of the moral ascendancy to continue to criticize the president on the two issues.

It would be wise for Hontiveros to recuse herself for now until Dong’s guilt or innocence is decided in a court of law.

 

As Expected, Supreme Court Rules Against Leni Robredo’s Supporters

IMG_3549Several weeks ago, Politikal Pinoy asked a rhetorical question: Is Piso Para sa Laban ni Leni in violation of the Philippine Constitution? 

We knew what the answer was.  Even a non-lawyer would know.

It is clearly in violation of Republic Act No. 6713 which establishes a code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees to uphold the time-honored principle of public office being a public trust. It also lists prohibited acts and transactions pertaining to elected or appointed public officials.

Section 7 of the Act lists, among others, the following prohibition:

(d) Solicitation or acceptance of gifts. – Public officials and employees shall not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or anything of monetary value from any person in the course of their official duties or in connection with any operation being regulated by, or any transaction which may be affected by the functions of their office.

The key words here are “directly or indirectly.” Some Leni supporters had argued that because they were not giving money directly to Leni, it would not violate the law.  They were clearly wrong, and the Supreme Court has just issued a ruling confirming what we thought all along.

Of course, as expected, Leni’s supporters are appealing the ruling.  They surely need some good advice on how to use their resources wisely.  It’s just a waste of time.  Or perhaps, a calculated delaying tactic?

Let the electoral protest process proceed, so that we can put this circus behind us — regardless of its outcome.

The Irony Of North Korea’s Threat To Strike Guam With Its Missiles

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of U.S. Naval Base GuamThere was a reason Japan attacked Hawaii in 1941.  It was not only because it was the closest U.S. state from Asia, but it also was host to one of the largest American military  installations in the Pacific at Pearl Harbor.

Fast forward to 2017.

In the escalating conflict between America and North Korea, the communist nation has threatened to strike the island of Guam, a U.S. territory, with its nuclear warhead.

Guam is even closer to Asia than Hawaii, and it continues to host a huge American military presence and facilities.

North Korea claims it has the capability of firing a missile directly at the U.S. Mainland, California to be exact.

But like the Japanese attack that triggered World War II, a strike on Guam is a symbolic strike on America.  But it is also a strike on the U.S. military, whose installations are just hours away from the Korean Peninsula.

But can you imagine if the Philippines still hosted the U.S. military at Clark and Subic? The country could have been a strategic target by North Korea in terms of proximity and military target.  It seems the Philippines’ decision to say goodbye to U.S. bases more than a quarter of a century ago may have saved the country from being caught in the potential crossfire between North Korea and America.

It is also ironic that while Guam is a convenient target for North Korea, the fact remains that as a territory, the island does not directly participate in electing U.S. presidents. Like other U.S. territories, citizens living in Guam didn’t have a hand in electing Donald Trump who now threatens North Korea with fire and fury if it does, indeed, attack Guam.

 

 

There Should Be No Bail For A Rapist Even If He Is A Man Of God

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Now comes the news that the Marikina City Prosecutor’s Office allowed Msgr. Arnel Lagarejos, the priest caught with a 13-year-old girl while on the way to a motel over the weekend, to post bail and was released from detention at 2:49 p.m. on Tuesday.

In a resolution, Prosecutors Nikolai Salinas, Ricardo Paet Jr. and Linda Adame-Conos granted Lagarejos’ petition and was allowed to post bail of P120,000.

Lagarejos is facing a complaint for violation of Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.

Meanwhile, the 16-year-old pimp involved was not allowed to post bail.

The case against Lagarejos is wrong on so many levels.

First of all, he should have been charged with rape, even if it was not consummated. A criminal act remains a criminal act if there is intent or pre-meditation.

But I can see why the priest was not charged with rape.

The Anti-Rape Law of 1997 otherwise known as R.A. 8353 describes rape as a sexual act with anyone below 12 year of age. In Chapter Three, it says rape is committed “when the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented,” which means over that age it is approved provided there is consent and no force used.  THIS LAW NEEDS TO BE CHANGED!

Common sense dictates that consent is not necessarily present even when the child is 13 years old.  She was forced into a sexual encounter with the priest.  By a pimp.

Granting that prosecutors don’t have the legal basis to charge the priest with rape under RA 8353, there is another law, RA 7610, which provides for special protection against child abuse and exploitation.  This law protects those who are under 18 years of age.

What is a greater form of child abuse than rape?

The decision to grant bail to Lagarejos sends the wrong message to sex traffickers, rapists and child abusers.  And it definitely creates the perception that “men of God” receive special treatment under civil law, when strictly speaking, they should be held to higher standards.