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P oetry Reality
Vol. II No. 72 • ISSN 2094-4098 OCTOBER 24-30, 2011 • P15.00
IT’S THE GLORY OF DEATH
By BERTENI “TOTO” CATALUÑA CAUSING
So that he or she writes his or her last will and testament to command his or her heirs or executor or executrix to bury him or her in the particular place he or she desires. And if he or she does, that is respected under the rule on succession in honor of the dead. And if he or she willed it, let thy will be done. Absent any hindrance on moral or divine or legal reasons, the will of the dead should be followed to the letter. In the case of Marcos, there has been nothing on record that shows he left a will. And if he did not leave any last will and testament, then the first rule is the everlasting maxim that says: “Dust thou art to dust returnest.” This rule may be subject to another rule: the will of his loved ones.
ET the dead bury their dead.” This passage is quoted from the Book of Luke, Chapter 9 of the New Testament. But how can a dead man bury his corpse when he is already dead? This simply means that a man or a woman has the right to choose his or her graveyard.
But all these rules can be followed only when no one is offended, that the state is not offended, and history as the teacher of the future is not offended. After all, right ends where the rights of others begin. In the case of the dictator who ruled the Philippines with iron hand from 1965 to 1986, can it be said that the wishes of his loved ones should be complied with or be allowed? The dictator’s wife, Imelda, who now serves as the representative of the Second District of Ilocos Norte, his daughter Imee who serves as the governor of Ilocos Norte, his other daughter Irene MarcosAraneta who is a private person, and his son Ferdinand Jr. or “Bongbong” who serves as a senator are demanding from President Benigno Simeon “P-Noy” Aquino III to allow the former dictator to be buried at the heroes’ place. This cry of the Marcoses began when the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani the dead body of former General Angelo T. Reyes, who died by shooting himself before the graveyard of Angie’s mother and father after having been investigated by the Senate on military corruption issues. A confidante of P-Noy said that it was the military leadership that decided to bury Reyes there and the President was only caught unaware that when known it was too late to say “no.” It is more than 22 years since former strongman Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Sr. breathed his last on September 28, 1989. Until now, his earthly remains are still there for the viewing inside a freezer on his ancestral house in Batac, Ilocos Norte. The process of maintaining freshness of the corpse is costly. But his loved ones felt no pain of money: they can afford it even in billions of dollars. As had been reported, Marcos and his wife Imelda had moved billions of dollars of public funds to the United States, Switzerland, and other countries as well as into corporations of cronies during their 21 years in power. It was further reported that when the Marcoses fled to Hawaii in 1986, the United States Customs agents uncovered 24 suitcases of gold bricks and diamonds hidden in diaper bags as well as certificates of gold bullions in billions of dollars. Critics also tagged Marcos as the quintessential kleptocrat for looting billions of dollars from the Philippine treasury. The glamorous life of Imelda was unveiled when 2,700 pairs of her shoes were seized in the presidential mansion. Actually, Marcos, also called “Apo Lakay” by the Ilocanos, can be a candidate for the Guinness Book or Ripley’s Believe it or Not as the only man whose body has been preserved in a freezer for 22 years now! As recorded, the only human cell or tissue that had been successfully preserved in 22 years is semen. In an experimental preservation process called cryopreservation – a process where cells or whole tissues are preserved by cooling to low sub-zero temperatures, such as To page 2
KWOK DIAMONDS LOOTED!
By DYARYO MAGDALO TEAM
IAMOND is forever. And, as years pass by, the price of this precious stone appreciates, and constantly winning perception that it is only for the beauty of the rich and the famous. But what happened to the diamonds seized by then Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG) from British national Siu Ting Alpha Kwok reversed both the nature and the value. This is because as years count on, the seized precious stones depreciated. Highly-placed sources revealed that small pieces of these diamonds seized from Kwok were looted by agents. At the time of seizure, instead of doing an inventory some agents pocketed those small pieces. The sources bared that some of these diamonds may have already been sold that many agents acquired sports utility vehicles. The bad reputation of this agency created by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during her watch was the reason that President Benigno Simeon “P-Noy” Aquino III did not renew the lifetime of PASG. As a result of this extremely bad reputation caused by numerous complaints from importers, many law enforcers detailed in this agency were placed in floating statuses or given assignments of less importance.
On August 10, 2009, the defunct PASG that was perceived to be so corrupt as their boss seized the To page 2
Lim fires own man for bribe take
IT’S THE GLORY OF DEATH
Vol. II No. 72 October 24-30, 2011
From page 1 −196 °C (the boiling point of liquid nitrogen) – only a semen sample has survived in 22 years. After 22 years, that semen sample has to breathe its last and is no use for human fertilization. Marcos’ remains will definitely look fresh seemingly sleeping tight not like semen that should be thrashed after 22 years. But for the dead body of Marcos, he should be given a dignified burial even as a simple man, not only for the fact that he was a part of the nation’s history, no matter how bad that part was. The stand of Dyaryo Magdalo is, if indeed the Marcoses want to bury their dead, let it be buried to his kingdom come: in Ilocos Norte. There, no one and nothing would be offended. There, he will be judged. Whether he was on the wrong side of history, let all the children someday learn and say so. Bongbong is now a senator and he is the senator of the whole State. So that means he should act for the State and not for his family’s sake. Be a statesman, Bongbong. By becoming one is to ensure that one’s acts are in congruence with the interest of the State for a peaceful country. Bongbong knows that about half of the Filipino population is against the proposal to bury his father at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. As a statesman, he should look at the entire situation not on strength or weakness of the argument that his father did a morally and legally dignified job to the country. He should listen to the passion against his father. Bongbong should not force the issue of whether his father is a hero or not. He should rather let others say so. After all, a person is a hero or not depends on the reputation of that person. Reputation means what others say of that person; it is not what person says of his self. Bongbong should not insist on whether P-Noy has no word of honor for refusing to bury Ferdinand Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. He should listen to the word of the people that is always honorable because they are the voice of God. After all, it is the word of the people that matters and not of PNoy’s. The bad blood between the Marcoses and the Aquinos are not material here. Bongbong should not be swayed by the pain of their hearts. He should listen to others’ hearts. Most importantly, Bongbong should remember that he is a senator. As such, he is not only a senator of those who voted for him. He should know he is also a senator of those who did not vote for him and who are still angry at his father. Being a statesman has never been to wipe away the pain in one’s self. It is for one not to cause disturbance to the peace and quiet of the State even to the point of pain to one’s self. The better rule of prudence is for him to do either of the two things: (a) to bury his father in Ilocos Norte; or (b) to keep that dead body refrigerated forever. After all, the better act of a statesman is to give a sacrifice. So why not make a sacrifice if you really love the Filipino and not only the “loyalists”? Presidents Manuel Luis Quezon, Sergio Osmeña and Ramon Magsaysay were buried somewhere else. People look high on them. The real 14th President Fernando Poe Jr. was buried only at the North Cemetery. But he is revered as “The King.” Ninoy Aquino was buried at the Loyola Memorial Park beside another president, President Cory. But he is called a hero and his wife a democracy icon. Jose Rizal was buried at the Luneta. But we all look at him as the National Hero. Andres Bonifacio was killed and buried in the mountains of Maragondon, Cavite. But we also agree that without Rizal he is undisputedly the “King of Heroes.” Lapu-lapu was buried in the place we do not even know. But history makes him the First Hero. Sultan Kudarat was buried in an unknown place. But he is our hero, too, for giving his life for the country just to drive away the Spanish colonizers. Hashim Salamat was buried in the hills we don’t know. But he is undoubtedly the hero of the Bangsamoro people who are also the country’s people. Turn back the page of time and know whether Bongbong’s father deserves to enter the gate of the Libingan ng mga Bayani that says: “I do not know the dignity of his birth, but I do know the glory of his death.” Ferdinand Marcos is best or worst remembered as the late strongman and his wife Imelda as the “Iron butterfly.” Their powers are best memorized by the phrase
Manila International Airport upon his return from a long exile in the United States. The worsening political turmoil that followed forced B o n g b o n g ’s father to call a snap election
“conjugal dictatorship.” The late strongman declared martial law on September 21, 1972 by virtue of Proclamation No. 1081 that he twisted and tweaked to his liking and he succeeded by using the law of force and not
the force of law. The stronghold of the Marcoses, including the young Bongbong then, shook hard when Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino was assassinated on August 21, 1983 at the tarmac of the
that he won in February 1986. But the massive election fraud drove the masses to install Corazon “Cory” Aquino to power. It is not the burial place. It is the glory of death.
From page 1 Kwok and seized assorted diamonds, precious stones and pieces of jewelry secured in two security vaults. The PASG said it was discovered that Kwok did not have any business permit from the barangay or the Business Permit’s Office of Pasig City. The PASG added that she also did not issue receipts for all her sale transactions. The PASG said its verification with the Department of Labor and Employment established that Ms. Kwok had no Working Permit, making here violate her visa.
Chairman Antonio “Bebot” Villar, Jr. This even led to accusation of Alentajan that he was mauled by a deputy officer of Villar. These reported events were culled from newspapers’ and columnists’ accounts.
Kwok diamonds looted!
Looting pieces of small diamonds
It was reported that the reason the values of the diamonds seized were reduced in terms of the number of carats was that agents of PASG pocketed small pieces. Some of them thereafter acquired luxury sports utility vehicles. Actually, supporting the report that agents stole some pieces of the diamonds is the fact that the PASG had been reported to be involved in raids and arrests that were intensely questioned. The PASG was also questioned for the escape of the owner of the big chunks of shabu worth billions of pesos seized inside the Subic Freeport. That was so, although there were reports pointing to SBMA officials as the culprits who allowed the captured shabu bearer to escape. In many other incidents, there were groups of importers and brokers who rose against the PASG for being robbers and raiders without any legal basis. It was also gathered by Dyaryo Magdalo that two top officials of the PASG nearly came to duel over acts of one protecting another’s catch. In one incident, one official went inside Villar’s office, shouted at another official being talked to by Villar. This incoming official shocked Villar and this official with the shout: “Bumunot ka, barilan na lang tayo!” After recovering from the surprise, Villar told the two officers to allow him to leave first and let them settle their scores at each other inside with only the two of them. It was learned that when one of the two officials raided and apprehended smugglers and smuggled goods, the other officer would order the same agents on the field to let go of the arrested persons and goods. In other incident, the other officer would arrest the smugglers protected by that officer who made the
challenge to a duel. It was not known how Villar pacified his two officers.
Confirmed diamonds smuggler
Kwok was perceived as a true-blooded smuggler. She was said to have admitted she was also the same Kwok Siu Ting caught for unlawful importation of assorted jewelry at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on March 8, 1997. She was also said to have also admitted she was apprehended and investigated by NAIA CusTo page 3
Doing business by referrals
diamonds, other precious pieces of jewelry and loose stones. The PASG raided Kwok’s condominium unit at Pacific Place Condominium, Amethyst St., Pearl Drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Kwok, a British national, was said to have been caught red-handed as she was going about her business of selling and trading diamonds and other precious stones in Ortigas
Center, Pasig City. The PASG said the bust came after a PASG operative pretended to be a buyer of diamonds while surveying the place of business of Kwok. The PASG further said that with a search warrant issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court, its team led by Police Senior Inspector Carl Joseph B. Jaucian and Police Officer III Florante Azur raided the condominium units of
It was known that Kwok did business only by referrals. During her stay in the country for 17 years, Kwok traveled more than 170 times to and from Hongkong. In all those years, her business must have flourThe escape ished because she manIt was reported that aged to stay that long and Kwok slipped through the live in a high-end lifestyle. eyes of PASG agents because their hands were full Devaluation of values of at the diamonds and their seized diamonds eyes were amazed seeing the brilliance they never To dertemine the genusaw before. iness of the seized preIt was also reported that cious gems, a licensed the PASG was only lucky gemologist was hired by because the Bureau of Im- the PASG to help in the migration (BI) was timely inventory of the seized alerted that its agents man- diamonds. age to apprehended her on It was learned that the immigration violations. value was pegged at first at When she was arrested, half a billion pesos. Kwok posted bail before On August 14, 2009, the BI. the PASG claimed that the In other words, she was appraisal of less than one arrested two times. third of the whole lot was Through his lawyer P100 million pesos. Bonifacio Alentajan, AlThus, the diamonds pha Kwok filed a com- lost their luster. plaint before the Office of From that claim of the the Ombudsman against appraiser, the PASG dePASG officers led by now clared that the total value Dangerous Drugs Board was only P250 million.
RONALDO E. RENTA TOTO C. CAUSING Editor-In-Chief
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RONALDO B. HERICO
LIM FIRES OWN MAN FOR BRIBE TAKE
October 24-30, 2011 Vol. II No. 72
By BERTENI “TOTO” CATALUÑA CAUSING
YARYO Magdalo obtained an “unspoken of” news that Customs Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Danilo D. Lim has fired a man he brought with him to supposedly execute the trust of the people in him through the mandate of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. It was not immediately known who this person was except for a piece of information that said that the man fired by Lim was a military officer close to him. highly-placed sources told Dyaryo Magdalo that Lim somehow sacrificed an enduring friendship when he decided to give this person a walking order after confirming from his own sources that this officer he trusted then so much strayed away from the public trust by receiving a bribe. This somehow reconfirmed the reputation of the man who once was said to have refused millions of pesos and freedom from prison offered
Gives his cellphone numbers, email address for people to ‘text’ or email him
him in exchange for a cooperation with the administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. To avoid shaming his man, Lim did the dismissal by just telling the person to walk away without any more discussion. The former chief of the Army’s Scout Rangers once led a band of rebel soldiers in the 1989 coup d’etat against then President Corazon Aquino, mother of the man who appointed him to the Customs’ No. 2 position. Lim was detained by the Arroyo administration after having been accused of trying to lead his full-battle-geared men in a march against her when the controversial Hello Garci tape scandal went at its highest. After attending a trial of the rebellion charges along with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Lim marched with Magdalo soldiers and renegades to seize Manila Peninsula Hotel, that almost duplicated the seize of the same group of Oakwood Hotel also in Makati City. He ran for senator under the banner of Liberal Party but he landed beyond the top 12 but within the top 20. After the one-year ban for appointment to election losers, P-Noy named him to the No. 2 post with fellow defeated senatorial candidate Ruffy Biazon getting the top post as Customs Commissioner, replacing the controversial Angelito Alvarez fired after failing to account for the 2,000 missing container vans. Having learned from the behavior of his man, other sources of Dyaryo Magdalo said that Lim expressed doubts on his other men he named to surround him and to take care of the trust reposed in him. As one of his countermeasures to ensure his own men never talks with strange characters, Lim issued a public order after having been informed by some members of the media that “importers are confronted with difficulties in processing their respective shipments reportedly due to strict rules currently implemented in the Bureau of Customs (BOC).” To ensure that anybody, especially the complaining importers, talk to him in confidence, Lim announced his cellular phone numbers 09152312637 and 09279496623 and email address firstname.lastname@example.org and they can call or text him. He further said in this order dated October 21, 2011: “I wish to inform all duly-accredited importers that this office performs an above-board implementation of Customs Laws and Regulations. This office will neither abuse its authority nor circumvent rules in the exercise of its duty. “I personally guarantee that the office will not cause disruption of the normal trade facilitations, unless supported by valid reasons as provided by the TCCP. This office will faithfully exercise its mandate in the highest standards of public duty in order to protect the interest of our State and its people. “We shall remain steadfast in our war against corruption and smuggling at the BOC, a task that is sought by President Benigno S. Aquino III and the Filipino people. I am requesting the support of all importers in this fight by way of providing information directly to me.” Recently, Lim issued a memorandum calling on licensed customs bro-
kers transacting in the BOC to stop bribing anyone using his name as he has neither authorized anyone to solicit “tara” nor will accept bribes. “Let it be a public knowledge that: I neither asked for ‘Tara’ nor appointed anyone to solicit either for myself or for my office,” Lim declared.
Lim has committed to snuff at birth all attempts to undermine or sabotage his missions and mandate by unscrupulous men in the BOC or by anyone closely associated to him. “I am at a firm belief that a tight moral rectitude deserves highest respect from all -- that no one: even a friend, an
ally, and a family member, has a birthright to desecrate what it represents and stands for. I live with this conviction,” Lim said. So far, the BOC Intel chief is highly revered today as the face of integrity and gallantry expected of a public official and as a former Filipino soldier.
toms Arrival Operations Division led by then Acting Examiner Estelita B. Nario for outright smuggling into the country the assorted jewelry weighing 2.2 kilos valued US$3,368. Kwok was apprehended at the arrival area of NAIA while disembarking from Cathay Pacific Airways flight from Hong Kong on March 8, 1997 or 12 years before her apprehension by PASG at her condominium unit in Pasig City.
Kwok diamonds looted!
The precious gems and other glamorous pieces of stones were reported to have been deposited inside a vault of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for safekeeping. Early this year, after a tiresome legal battle to put Kwok behind bars for smuggling diamonds, officials of the PASG turned over the diamonds to the care of the Bureau of Customs, as well as the documents pertinent to the smuggling case. The turnover was sparked by the issuance of Executive Order No. 18 on December 9, 2010 by President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III ordering the abolition of the anti-smuggling agency. With the turnover, PASG Director Jeffrey Patawaran informed Violeta Mejia of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas that the Office of the President has signified willingness to pay all the obligations of the defunct PASG. In can be recalled that PASG officials filed charges before the Department of Justice against Kwok
From page 2
Diamonds deposited at BSP
for violating the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines and National Internal Revenue Code after the precious articles were seized inside her condominium unit. Initially, the panel of three investigating prosecutors absolved Kwok of any crime. However, the PASG appealed and then Secretary Agnes Devanadera reversed the resolution finding probable cause that Kwok committed crimes of smuggling and tax evasion.
PRESS TRIUMPHS OVER EVIL
ew Year, the 59th, starts with a good note for the National Press Club. Too telling why the NPC is a definition of press freedom. First, it wins all its cases that have put the Club in a quagmire of doubt and fears five years ago. All its too-important cases with the Court of Appeals established a firmer foothold: ensuring never again that the Club will be debased by assaults that diminished to some extent its strength to fight for press freedom. The latest triumph over evil came when the Court of Appeals rebuked the theory of the GSIS that the officers of the NPC for the 2006-2008 term were thieves. To the contrary, the CA penned that just is just: one cannot steal his own money. Second, the “blood money” that has been the focus of all these cases have finally found a blood bank that will give true life to the pen men and air men through giving them houses they could call home while at the same time showing a face of assurance of preservation and growth for the blood to be added with more blood of press freedom fighters to found a new blood bank that will give more leases on life for more journalists. Imagine journalists without blood, or some who have but are anemic. Can they write well to the expectations of the society they serve for information on matters of public interest? Going simpler and direct to the details, let it begin from the beginning. In December 2006, the Board of the NPC, led by Mr. Roy C. Mabasa as the president and Mr. Benny D. Antiporda as the vicepresident presided over a grave problem on how to deal with the Vicente Manansala mural painted on a canvass of lawanit nailed to a lumber frame running parallel to Pasig River beside the building. The grains were falling and there was no hope it can be arrested: the restoration bid ran to almost two million pesos. The ultimate remedy beckoned: To sell. The search for better sale than the standing P10million proposal began and ended after a period. No better offer came. The Board was compelled to seal the offer. In 2006, the mural was taken carefully without any damage to the painting or to the wall and the buyer paid in full. Early in 2007, many amongst the olds and “conservatives” cried out, without giving a thought that some of the blame should be on them why the mural decayed or why they say the Club decayed. But they have not done anything to arrest what they call “decay.” They don’t care to regret the decay that they caused. The GSIS joined the fray, upon the urging of some of the “olds” who call themselves “pure” NPC members. They call the young ones who hold the reins as “impure”; but how do you call those who caused them to be “impure”? So the GSIS and these olds called the board members “thieves” for selling the mural. So that this lawcreated firm whose mandate is to attend to the welfare of the retirees from the government service filed a case of qualified theft against the directors. Its head, Winston F. Garcia, used power and influence to cause the Office
Vol. II No. 72
October 24-30, 2011
By BERTENI “TOTO” CATALUÑA CAUSING
that was committed by the NPC directors. The DOJ ordered the Manila prosecutor to withdraw the case from the RTC of Manila that, in response, conducted a hearing on whether to approve its motion to withdraw the information. Until today, the RTC is yet to decide on whether to terminate the case or not. The evil fought back. It cannot accept reason. So that it challenged the ruling of the DOJ before the Court of Appeals, which only affirmed the Code. And since the GSIS now owns the building, the GSIS also owned the painting. The NPC countered that the Manansala mural was movable. The fact that it was removed by the buyer in December 2006 without causing destruction to the painting or damage on he building, it means that the NPC of old did not intend to make the painting a permanent part of the building. Additionally, the NPC insisted it remained the owner of the NPC building by virtue of Letters of Inthe owner cannot be collaterally attacked. But the RTC rebuked it by saying it cannot also collaterally attack the law, LOI No. 500. The GSIS appealed to the Court of Appeals. That is why it got another rebuke from another division of the CA that declared that the complaint of the GSIS was poorly done that it failed to state a cause of action based on its claim that it tolerated the NPC to use the property and that they already withdrew that tolerance.
The GSIS never relented that it filed a motion for reconsideration. But the NPC is confident that the ruling will still declare that the NPC owned the mural until it was sold. The only good thing for the GSIS in this case is that it succeeded for the CA to rule that it was premature for the RTC of Pasay to order the implementation of LOI No. 500 because the Club did not pay a filing fee and that there are some issues yet that need to be threshed out in a trial. To this, the Club argued: there is no need to pay for the filing fee because the claim is a direct challenge and intimately
National Press Club President Jerry S. Yap with the board of directors together with Presidential sister Ballsy AquinoCruz dug up dirt to plant the time capsule at the groundbreaking ceremony held at the NPC Village in Brgy. Tibag, Pulilan, Bulacan. The project, a brainchild of Yap and AFIMA President Benny Antiporda, aims at providing a cheap but decent housing for the members. The appellate court connected to the claim of of the City Prosecutor of ruling that there was no struction No. 500 issued on January 28, 1977 by then clearly lectured the GSIS the GSIS; and that there is Manila that was lacking in case. balls to file a case of estafa Yet the story is not President Marcos, invok- that it did not state in its no need for trial because in court, in defiance of the about to end. The GSIS ing his emergency powers complaint any overt or the only issues left are antime-honored rule that only manifested it will file a under Amendment No. 6 clear act of how tolerance swerable by the court as an air-tight evidence can motion for reconsideration to the 1973 Constitution was given before the NPC these involved only interpretation, construction and justify a filing of a crimi- to present new arguments that said: If the National occupied the building. This ruling of the CA application of laws. nal case in court to justify how can the directors of the Assembly or Batasang The RTC of Manila sacrificing the presumption NPC be considered thieves Pambansa cannot act on favored the argument of of innocence in favor of the when what they sold, the matters deemed urgent the the NPC stating: How can handling the criminal prejudice of warrants of mural, was sold by them in President can pass a law, in the GSIS withdraw toler- case, upon the other hand, arrest and trial that are so the name of the Club and the form of a decree, proc- ance when before the NPC is yet to approve or deny stressing and shaming. the proceeds went to the lamation, executive order started using the real prop- the prosecutor’s request to erty the GSIS did not give withdraw the case against But good will never tri- Club’s bank account and or letter of instructions. The DOJ and the Court tolerance from the start? the same NPC directors. umph over evil by sitting used for its own purposes. After seeing great sucby. To understand what the of Appeals fully concurred How can you withdraw cess in all these cases nothing? So the directors who GSIS is fighting for, this is with the NPC arguments. Undaunted by this de- revolving around the proAside from the criminal were—and are—young their theory. did not take comfort from The GSIS owns the case, the GSIS also filed a feat, the evil went to the ceeds from the sale of Edmund Burke’s everlast- NPC building and the land case seeking to evict the Supreme Court. The NPC Manansala Mural, the NPC ing statement, “For evil to upon which it stands by NPC from its house, the is confident the triumph is now assured that the over evil will be preserved P6-million that remained triumph is for good men to virtue of its purchase of NPC building. thereof would be rolled The Club lost in the until the end of the fight. do nothing.” the real property during the The GSIS also filed over to produce houses Not minding the criti- public auction conducted Metropolitan Trial Court, cisms that could bring by the Manila City Trea- Branch 22, but won in in- a case for a recovery of for the journalists while worst of the names for surer’s Office on April 15, sisting that the Club cannot personal property, seek- getting back the money at them, these directors be- 1975 and the fact that the be compelled to pay for the ing for the court to order the end of the project with lieved more in this: “For NPC failed to redeem the use of the building and the the surrender the mural to modest returns ready for a land to prevent implemen- the GSIS. The Pasay RTC new housing program. evil to triumph is for good property in one year. For the skeptics and the men to do not enough.” So that the GSIS in- tation of the said decision. granted the motion of the The NPC appealed and NPC to summarily adjudge naïve amongst the NPC And so they fought sists that whoever owns back with passion and ex- the building also owns the the RTC of Manila, Branch the case and ordered the members to be assured that traordinary courage. And Manansala mural, argu- 19, reversed the MeTC’s GSIS to implement LOI the invested money will not go to naught, these are the evil is now crushed. ing that the painting was decision, anchoring on LOI No. 500. The GSIS questioned the material clauses and seThe rest is history. intentionally destined by No. 500 that commands The NPC won the case the building owner to be a the GSIS to donate the real the Pasay RTC decision curity features of the NPC before the Department of permanent part of the NPC property to the NPC. The and another CA division Village housing project Justice that ruled there was building, borrowing from GSIS argued that the land ruled that the GSIS has embodied in a joint venture no crime of theft or estafa Article 415 of the Civil title showing the GSIS as never owned the mural. memorandum:
1. The owner of the land valued a little less than P4 million committed the real property to be constructed with 48 houses; 2. The land is located beside NLEX near Pulilan Exit, a high ground that was not even soaked when waters submerged Calumpit and Hagonoy towns in Bulacan province; 3. The NPC committed P6 million to build all these houses on a rolling scheme and that these houses shall be awarded to journalists whose loans were approved immediately by the Pag-Ibig; 4. Right after building the first 11 houses, these shall be fast-tracked to be given right away to the members whose loans shall be processed by the NPC itself as part of the partnership agreement with the Pag-Ibig; 5. Thereafter, the Pag-Ibig releases the payments for the houses to the NPC and the members could pay the amortization in the average of P5,000 a month, more or less, and they could chose even up to 40 years to pay to reduce further the monthly payments, depending on what is the difference between 70 years minus their actual age at the time of the loan approval; 6. The payments of the Pag-Ibig that will not go beyond two weeks shall then be used by the NPC for the next phase of the NPC Village; 7. The process repeats until all the 48 houses are built and awarded to the NPC members; 8. At the end of the project, the NPC gets back all its P6-million capital and the landowner gets the amount equivalent to the lot, while the excess shall be the small profit that would go to the Club, ready for new housing projects aimed at empowering the journalists to be more independent in their work; 9. To assure the project is implemented, the contract calls for the release of the P6-million fund by installments of P3million each and the next P3-million will not be released until the works for the particular phase are not commensurate to the earlier P3-million that was released, thereby compelling the contractor to use up first the P3-million before getting another P3-million; 10. As an added security feature, the contractor was required to post a surety bond of P3 million to be taken by the NPC if the contractor fails in any part in any phase thereof; and 11. Moreover, all the three parties—the contractor, the NPC and the landowner—shall become the surety of each, that in case one of them decides to withdraw from the project the two who remain will complete the same. Indeed, it is a good note. Happy Anniversary to all NPC members.
October 24-30, 2011
Vol. II No. 72
OFWs congressional district outside PHL? Why not?
THIS article was sparked by an OFW who asked: “Can we create a legislative district for OFWs who are outside the country?” My answer is, “Yes, why not?” How can it be done when the Constitution impresses immediately that it limits congressional districts to be located within the territories of the Philippines? Simple. And there are two ways. The pertinent Constitutional provisions But before revealing how, let me quote the pertinent provisions of the Constitution, under Section 5 of Article VI, which are as follows: “Section 5. (1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations. “(2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number of representatives including those under the party list. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector. “(3) Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one representative.” Provisions of subparagraphs 1 and 3 say clearly that the Constitution states that the House of Representatives should be composed of “not more than” 250, that each legislative district should comprise “as far as practicable” contiguous, compact and adjacent territory. Legal means of creating congressional district outside PHL Do these provisions now close the door for OFWs legislative districts outside the Philippine territory? They do not.
By Toto C. Causing
Examining subparagraph 1 shows that it allows the Congress to make a law to have representatives from partylists and sectoral parties or organizations. This now opens the door for a group of OFWs in a region of another country, or in a foreign country, or in a group of countries or states outside the Philippines to be organized by a law into congressional districts without land territories. Examining again the whole of Section 5 shows that the only limitations stated are that the total number of the members of the House of Representatives shall not be more than 250 and that the total number of partylist representatives shall not be more than 20% of the total number that included the number of the partylist representatives. If we look at the provisions again, the Constitution does not specify the procedure on how partylist representatives shall be elected. What is more telling is that the Fundamental Law speaks of sectors and organizations so that it refers to sectors and organizations as different from partylist groups. In other words, the Congress can change the present procedure employed for electing partylist representatives and remove the 2% ceiling or whatever or design another system of how these representatives are to be chosen. It also means that the Congress can create organizations or sectors as distinct and separate from partylist groups. It follows therefore that there is no offense to the Constitution if the Congress passes a law that creates a sectoral group or an organization out of a region of OFWs outside the country as one organization or one sector or one partylist group. Then, the law may design a procedure of electing a representative or a congressman from their group by means of electing at large from them their own representatives. Thus, we see clearly the Congress can create a legislative district outside the Philippine territory. Of course, the law may provide for the abolition or dissolution of that sector or group or partylist group when the number of voters no longer reaches the minimum for one congressional district classified as a sector or a group or a partylist. Another Constitutional way of creating a congressional district outside the Philippine territory is by invoking the “unless otherwise fixed by law” clause in sub-paragraph 1 of Section 5 of Article VI of the Constitution. The exception phrase applies not only to the number of total representatives, 250, that may be changed. This exception clause can also apply to all other provisions that the Congress may want to change by means of a law. And if it can apply to any provision of Section 5, then the Congress can fix a congressional district even without the land territory that should be compact, contiguous and adjacent. Supporting this legal argument is another clause that says, “as far as practicable.” This means that if it is not practicable to have a land territory, then the Congress is authorized by the Constitution to create a congressional district outside the Philippines. Reasons for creation of congressional districts outside the country The first justification is that all—not only the
Filipino voters inside the country—have the right of suffrage, or the right to vote and be voted upon. If that is so, it a discrimination of a class of Filipinos to deprive them of the right to vote for their congressmen other than partylist congressmen when they are also Filipinos. There is no valid justification to look down on the Filipinos outside the country just because of their geographical locations outside the country. There is no law that says a voter becomes an inch-less of a voter if he or she is outside the country or outside of his or her congressional district when he or she were at home. This is so because the laws that the Congress makes affect the overseas Filipinos as much as or as the same as Filipinos in the home front. Further, In the old times, these overseas Filipinos (OFs) were handicapped by the reality of physical impossibility to go home and vote. But with the internet voting that is now being pushed by the Commission on Elections to be done in the 2013 election, there is no more impossibility standing in the way in so far as the physical capability of all voters to vote. Also, it is a persona non grata of the Filipinos at home to outcast their OFs or OFWs who have been toiling out there just so the relatives
back home can eat and live a good life. It is also a big ingrate for the country to deny rights of suffrage from the people it calls “living heroes” who are keeping the dollar strength of the State. Since it is unreasonable or revolting to conscience to deprive the OFs of the right to vote for their congressional district and sectoral or partylist or organization representatives, they must now be allowed to have their own district outside the country and would still be allowed to vote for the partylist of their choice. Further, by creating a sectoral congressional district outside PHL, it ensures against “pseudo” congressmen like Mikey Arroyo circumventing around the law to become a representative of tricycle drivers and security guards, one of whom he even failed to protect against a fellow congressman, who is from Lanao del Sur. It assures that persons who truly are from their sectors are elected. As long as other qualifications that one must be at least 25 years old and a naturalborn citizen, there is no reason to deny a representative each from the Sector Congressional Districts of California Filipinos, Jeddah Filipinos, Hong Kong Filipinos, UK Filipinos and others.
TELL THAT TO THE MARINES!
EXCEPT for battling corruption, this government is not prepared for anything. As we have witnessed in the past, the government of President Benigno Aquino III is unable to move swiftly when it is required by situations. The Manila Hostage Crisis, the typhoons, and now the massacre of our soldiers in Mindanao are proofs of Aquino’s inability to act decisively as the top official of the land. Compounding Aquino’s problems are his set of cabinet members and advisers who are causing him more troubles instead of helping him when things get tough. When a president is “slow” at least his secretaries and advisers must be “heavyweights” to fill up the vacuum of intelligence in Malacañang. But as we see it, nobody in the Palace is capable of running the government the right way. This is why the government’s main peacemakers are confused and are left with no other recourse but to ask the people: “What is the
the last mohican
By Mario F. Fetalino, Jr.
solution?” Tell that to the marines! *** A total of P8 million was stolen by holdup men from DSWD personnel in Samar recently. The heist took place when DSWD personnel were about to distribute huge amounts to farmerfishermen beneficiaries in the province. The incident should be thoroughly investigated because it shows how reckless DSWD personnel are in handling the peoples’ money. It is a big question why the DSWD personnel were carrying such huge cash while performing their duties when common sense dictated they should have deposited the money for protection. Even if the money was set for distribution it did not warrant them to hand-carry the P8 million. They should have considered bank facilities like checks or ATMs. It doesn’t take a scientist to realize this. The incident also makes us wonder if carrying big cash is a common practice of DSWD personnel in the field. If it is, the practice should stop immediately or precious government funds would only go to the wrong hands that have been reportedly happening
“in retail” since Soliman implemented the Cash Conditional Transfer. *** The P72-billion stimulus package being released by the government to perk up the economy appears to be its way of saying: “We’re sorry. We’re no longer hoarding public funds.” The government has a lot to be sorry about because its under-spending caused so many damages to the people and the country. Many lost jobs and went hungry because the government tightened its
financial belt for so long in the belief that everybody is a thief. This P72-billion fund would have gone a long way had Aquino did his homework and refrained from relying too much on his cabinet secretaries like DBM chief Butch Abad who are reportedly more interested in “witch hunting” than moving the country forward. *** For comments, pls. call or text 09285034265 or email lastmohican2004@yahoo. com
Vol. II No. 72
October 24-30, 2011
Simplified Libel Law in the Philippines
By BERTENI “TOTO” CATALUÑA CAUSING
S the author said in Chapter III of this book, “GIJUMO” theory is a general defense that has the effect of a conclusion that there is no malice. So that if there is success in proving the existence of “GIJUMO,” the effect is the lack of the element of malice, one of the four elements in criminal libel. Thus, after proving the existence of “GIJUMO,” one can go back to the defense of lack of an element and get acquittal from the charge of libel in the court or from the Office of the City Prosecutor or the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor. “GIJUMO” is actually the second acronym invented by the author in libel law to make the recall of this defense easy to the laymen and lawyers. The other acronym is “DIMP,” which stands for “Defamation,” “Identification,” “Malice,” and “Publication”; also for the purpose of easy recall of the elements of libel. “GIJUMO” stands for “Good Intention and Justifiable Motive.” Literally, this simply means that the writing or the article concerned was made with good intention and the motive was justifiable.
Chapter V The “GIJUMO” Defense
sonalities are not exempt from being a rightful domain of the public. The acts they make, the words they utter, the partners they take, the love quarrels they are engaged in, and the separations from each other are all rightful part of the staples of the public. Everything in them is an interest of the public.
natural work is characterized by gathering of information, writing them as a report or writing them as a platform for commentaries, and publishing them in any medium: newspaper, television, radio, or internet. On the part of non-journalist citizens, or people whose professions or trades are something else, to invoke this good intention is also available to them as to the reporters’. Those citizens who are proactive can write the information they know or express opinion on what they knew by blogging or any other means as their own commitment to help his community informed. That is, each citizen has a moral obligation to tell the others of what he or she discovered as in the interest of their country. And to make it clearer to all readers, saying “goings on” in the government includes official proceedings. And when official proceedings are concerned, these include court proceedings from the inception of a case up to the termination thereof, including the appeals and review proceedings. These proceedings also include all Senate and House of Representatives proceedings, such as investigations in aid of legislation, privilege speeches, committee hearings on the crafting of bills proposed for enactment into laws, performance of oversight or monitoring functions to see to it if the laws are faithfully implemented by the executive offices and to discover what else that need to be done to improve these laws, filing of bills, acting in the capacities of jurors in impeachment trials, and others. Official proceedings also include all performance of official acts of the executive offices, from the Office of the President down to the lowest employees of bureaus, departments, political subdivisions such as local governments, agencies, and government-owned-and-controlled corporations. Official proceedings also include the routine patrols of policemen, buy-bust operations of anti-drug law enforcers, raids in enforcing search warrants, response actions to criminal incidents, criminal investigations officially done by a police detective, Good Intentions filing of criminal charges before the prosecutor’s offices, response of firemen to fires, performance of jailer’s functions among the provincial and bureau jails, and others. But what intentions can be considered as good? These also include the performance of official powers and functions by indepenThe answer is: The list is unlimited. There is no specific standard as to what intention is dent bodies such as the Office of the Ombudsman, the Commission on Audit, the good but the rule is simple: Any intention that is con- Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Human Rights, and the Commission sidered good under ordinary logic and common sense on Elections. is enough to be said as of “good intention.” But what should be remembered by everyone here Good Intentions on Private Lives of Public Officials is that the intention must not be to malign or not to put another person in shame. If it happens that the intenNow, a question may be asked: Can private lives of these officials be considered tion for goodness and was not meant to malign but the within the province of “good intention”? publication incidentally puts one to shame, then there The author answers this as follows: If the private acts referred to are matters that is no libel. affect the efficiency of an official’s performance of his official duties and obligations For example, a published story about corruption in then these are covered by the mantle of “good intention.” Otherwise, it is not. a city hall can be said as without argument more of one Among the private acts that can be the subject of “good intention” are the illicit done with the good intention of informing the people love affairs of officials, gambling vices, habitual drinking manner, and any other acts of the goings on in their city government. This is be- that affect the morality and efficiency of the offices to which the concerned officials cause it is a fundamental right of the people to know serve. what are happening to the funds accumulated from the On this score, the author argues: More important than academic and experience taxes, licenses and fees they paid to the city, to educate resume for any public official is the moral “biodata.” them to become more intelligent in choosing their next This wisdom is easily seen when it is argued that an official who maintains a misofficials in the succeeding elections, to be informed to tress tends to steal from his office to sustain the second woman. Much more that maindecide whether to exercise their right to seek redress tenance funds become necessary when the other woman becomes the other family. of grievances or their right to recall elected officials It is also easily seen when it is argued that an official who is addicted to casino or their right to initiate a constitutional amendment or gambling is put in a greater risk of losing his salaries and as such he is a big security enact or repel a law or enact or repel an ordinance, and risk to the funds of his office. As such he is prone to be dishonest to sustain the vice. to give them the necessary information needed when The same can be said of officials who are fond of frequenting nightclubs to drink they call their officials to account for what was done. and date with women inside VIPs. A government official who stays late because of the Similar are the reasons in cases of information on love of drinking wakes up late to do his job. Even if he wakes up early, he becomes the goings on in the national government, including the sleepy to do his job. Office of the President, the Senate, the House of RepreIn other words, all private activities that affect the efficiency of the performance of sentatives, and the Judiciary. the official functions of a public official are within the domain of “good intention” to Now, the people compose the public. publish these kinds of stories. Seeing through the reasons or justifications why the people must know what is happening in their govern- Good Intentions Concerning Known Personalities ment and knowing that the people compose what is called “the public” give us a clear picture why informaCan this good intention be applicable to private persons who are popular? tion about the goings on in the local and national Libel law legally calls them as “public figures per se.” The author dares to say this governments and the officials therein are matters even as the legal definition of “public figures” now include public officials and private of public interest. persons who voluntarily thrust themselves into the vortex of the controversy to influAs a matter of public policy enshrined in the ence the resolution of the issues at hand. Constitution, a concept far from the mind of In this particular topic, the application of good intention doctrine is limited to public officials, providing these means of ex- people who are pervasively or notoriously known in a community. Among them are pressing dissent and disgust do not drive the actors, boxers, sports medalists, society girls and women, well-known private persons people into taking up arms and rise against the such as the First Lady or the First Gentleman, and many others. incumbent government. The justification in writing about well-known private persons is the fact that their Thus, it can be said that any story being popular makes them being idolized by ordinary individuals. That being idolabout the goings on in the government ized makes them the interest of the public, that any event happening about popular clearly has a good intention and this in- persons is being followed by the public. This is demonstrated by the fact that people tention is to serve public interest. would tend to ask: “What’s the latest about Michael Jackson?” This intention is obligatory Now, these popular private individuals owe it to show examples of the finest beon the part of journalists, haviors that their fans should follow them. If indecent or improper conducts of these or people whose daily personalities are reported, it is because there is a natural effect of telling the public that these particular acts are bad that ought not to be followed. Thus, it also serves the public good to denounce or ostracize bad conduct. Thus, in all practicalities, virtually all kinds of private lives of well-known per-
Good Intentions Concerning Private Persons
Now, are private persons subject to good intentions in publications? Literally speaking, rats have all the rights to stay alive and to be protected from harm if they stay inside their holes. But if they voluntarily go out, they cannot blame anyone if they are caught by cats. Private individuals who want a quiet life and those who are in reclusion or being reclusive are entitled not to be put in public contempt. This if they do not go out to commit acts that invite the interest of the public or they do not voluntarily speak words or do acts that affect the society or the community. If a private person commits a criminal act, he or she is going out of the secrecy of his or her abode to become a valid interest of the public. Of course, it is always a public interest to know the crimes happening in their midst. A man or a woman who sells marijuana or shabu becomes a valid subject of “good intention” in reporting and publication. A man or a woman who covets another’s wife or husband becomes a valid subject of “good intention” as it is a topic of interest to the public. A man who kills his wife inside their family home cannot claim privacy anymore because that act is always a valid interest of the public to know. Much more it becomes an act that is a valid interest of the public if the act done by a private person has national or community security implications.
Corporations as Subjects of Good Intentions
Can corporations or other entities created by law be valid subjects of “good intention”? Similar to private individuals, corporations are always protected against public glare unless they commit acts through their officers or stockholders and that these acts are valid interests of the public. If the corporations resort to swindling acts they cannot complain. Examples of these are the one that was alleged to have been done by Legacy group of companies, the act of Globe Asiatique to allegedly swindle Pag-Ibig of the funds contributed by Pag-Ibig members, the acts of smuggling goods by several brokerage companies, the negligent acts of food corporations to produce dirty or contaminated products, the negligent acts of Pepsi in its Number Fever fiasco that victimized millions of people, etc.
What are justifiable motives in libel law? To begin with, let us define motive as the one that To page 7
October 24-30, 2011
Rolando Navarette was the WBC world junior lightweight champion in 1981. He later lost the title to Mexican fighter Rafael “Bazooka” Limon. He earned the moniker “The Bad Boy from Dadiangas” for it rang true outside the ring as well.The boxer was involved in violent incidents after his career ended. For a fleeting moment in his roller coaster life, he was once “King of the Hill.”
‘NO RETREAT’ BOxERS COMPARED
By WILLY IRINCO
was all right. His style as a slugger drew the raves and attention of American boxing aficionados. Navarrete, reportedly, whose mother is a Samareña from Catbalogan City, Samar and father from Dadiangas, had a knockout punch that convinced then the late Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, well-known Filipino-Cebuano world junior lightweight champion to offer a membership to the Elorde boxing stable based in Sucat, Parañaque City. But Graziano’s raw ring knowhow, despite his innate ring talent and the trauma of adjusting to the rowdy life of a boxer, doused cold water on his budding career. Navarrete’s left-handed KO punch drew the attention of the late Doy Jacinto, a rich sportsman of the Jacinto Steel Corporation, to ask Elorde that he liked to handle the ring career of the former. As fast as his first triumph, Graziano became depressed fired up by easy boxing earnings making him a frequent visitor of drinking bars which the slum streets of the city was noted for. Prior to Jacinto, Navarrete was also handled by the late boxing manager Mamerto Besa, a businessman, whose Besa Shoes was well-known during that time. Graziano slid from a hopeful boxer to a drunkard that worried his manager-trainer and his wife. He was no longer training in the gym and virtually abandoned his boxing career. This writer interviewed the tattooed Navarrete inside the flooded mosquitoridden old Metropolitan Theater in Plaza Lawton, Manila where the boxing stable of Besa was located. But the prayers to God of his loving wife like a flash of lightning changed Graziano overnight and his trainer was surprised to see him back in the gym punishing the heavy punching bag with lefts and rights. Under Besa’s patience as a veteran boxing manager, liquor-loving Navarrete became a popular Manila boxer. He won the Philippine featherweight crown and later the world junior lightweight title when he knocked Cornelius Boza-Edwards out in Viareggio, Italy. The Hollywood film on Graziano ended with the boxer’s return to the ring winning his bouts anew turning his wife and trainer Rocky Graziano, (below, right) trading punches with boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson, was considered one of the greatest knockout artists in boxing history, often displaying the capacity to take his opponent out with a single punch. His life story was the basis of the 1956 Oscar-winning drama film “Somebody
Vol. II No. 72
HE dangerous professional sports of boxing is one of the modern day versions of the gladiatorial combat during the heyday of the Roman Empire. Gladiatorial combats, history says, were a fightto-death event between two prisoners encouraged by the emperor to entertain blood-thirsty wealthy subjects using imprisoned Christians or defeated warriors from various conquered areas of the powerful Roman Empire. The prize of a winner is freedom and that of the defeated is death during the bloody and cruel armed duel in an arena just like the Roman Coliseum in Rome, Italy. Modern day boxing, on the other hand, originated from bare-knuckled street fights usually between drunk warriors and later on between on rest and recreation (RNR) American soldiers and sailors. Unlike the modern day boxing which has leather gloves, during those times only bare hands were used during the bloody man-toman bout. During the World War II, soldiers played boxing
as a past time during their furlough usually in restaurant or bar. Today, just like Manny Pacquiao, who came from a poor family, who wore gloves to get out of his low hardy life and to try his luck to be redeemed from poverty. He hurdled the tough test. The Hollywood box office hit “Somebody Up There Loves Me” in the 1960s and the “Bad Boy From Dadiangas,” a Philippines’ movie, were two films that tackled the lives of an American-Italian boxer and a Filipino pug from General Santos City who have similar lives and successes. The first film featured the ups and downs of Rocky Graziano, an immigrant from Italy, who arrived in New York to seek greener pasture, but had to train as a boxer to survive in the American city jungle. The second film focused on Rolando Navarrete, a streetfighter from Dadiangas in Mindanao, whose misadventures in his hometown and later in Manila turned him into a sort of jailhouse “boxer.” Graziano’s initial attempt as a prizefighter
happy. But, Navarrete’s big earnings as a prizefighter made him into a habitué of the girlie joints and nightclubs on Roxas Boulevard, a long stretch of well-lighted tourist area from Manila up to Pasay and Baclaran, Parañaque. The unsavory image was observed by sportswriters calling Navarrete a bad boy of Philippine boxing. But his bravado inside the ring be it in Manila or in Rome, Italy put the Philippines again to the international ring world as a land of fine prizefighters which Pancho Villa and Elorde started even before the jailhouse boxer.
Up There Likes Me,” based on his 1955 autobiography of the same title. Paul Newman starred in that film.
Chapter V: The “GIJUMO” Defense
From page 6 impels or drives one to act. So that we can define “justifiable motive” as a justified driving force that impels one person to write and publish about any matter. Some motives are “motive to gain,” “motive to live,” “motive to love,” “motive to advance a cause,” “motive to live in peace,” “motive to stop corruption,” “motive to stop abuse,” “motive to stop pain,” “motive to defend the state,” “motive to defend honor,” “motive to vindicate rights,” “motive to get justice,” etc. Publishing continuously about the happenings in the trial of the accused in Ampatuan massacre is naturally impelled by the desire of the journalists and the people to get justice and not to seek vengeance. This is no doubt justifiable. In publishing about corruption, the clearest motive is the desire to have a good government. In publishing about oppression, the clearest desire or drive is to stop oppression and the revolting conscience seeing oppression. In publishing about an impoverished society, the motive is to help that society in order to attract help from any of those who may have read the publication. But the bottom line here is that people who engage in helping others usually have that passion to pity and that feeling of pitying others becomes a motive to drive another to act accordingly. In publishing about cheating of votes, as in Hello Garci, the motive is driven by the revolting conscience to let the true voice of the people be heard and the revolt in the mind that seeks justice, too. In publishing about a public officials’ poor job, the motive is the demand for better work for the people because the people feel being cheated by people they pay but are not doing enough to compensate the pay. In publishing the demand for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to resign, the motive is to stop very abusive, very corrupt, and very dishonest administration. In publishing the campaign of Noynoy Aquino, the motive is to have an honest leader as the President.
“Good Intentions” and “Justifiable Motives”
The author argues that it is enough to have either
a “good intention” or a “justifiable motive” to be acquitted of libel charge. It does not need for the two to go together to prove there was no malice or intention to malign. This is so because “good intention” and “justifiable motive” are inseparable from each other. Once “good intention” exists, “justifiable motive” is always present. It cannot also be said that one has bad intention or malice if his or her intention is good to begin with. It cannot also be said that one has ill intention or malice if his or her intention is good to start with. Also, these two statements are dare said because either “good intention” or “justifiable
motive” is inconsistent to co-exist with malice. However, in preventing one publication from getting vulnerable to a libel accusation, it is the better part of prudence to set out clearly in the writing both the “good intention” and the “justifiable motive.”
Clear Proof of GIJUMO is absolutely privileged
In libel law, once it is called “qualifiedly privileged” it means that the presumption is there is no malice and it becomes the burden of the accuser to prove there was malice or intention to malign on the part of the author of a published item. But the author presents a thesis that once there is
a proof of clear and convincing evidence that there exists GIJUMO, then the published matter is absolutely privileged. The fact that if it is undisputed that there was “good intention and justifiable motive” or “good intention” only or “justifiable motive” only, it becomes undisputed that there is no malice. Again, any of the good intention and justifiable motive cannot exist when there was malice or intention to shame another. Anyway, what is important right now is for the reader to learn to know what is “good intention” and what is “justifiable motive.”
Vol. II No. 72
October 24-30, 2011
Editor’s Brief Review: Few people may have realized that it is the poetic spirit that is embedded in every heart that has changed the world. It is not seen apparently because those words that have been uttered that have conquered the world or the moon are usually uttered by persons who are not known poets or whose daily work or profession or vocation are something other than writing poems. Take the powerful words of General Douglas MacArthur when he said: “I shall return.” That was passionately spoken when he retreated to Australia while the Japanese appeared winning the war in the Philippines. Given the circumstances, the utterance impassioned those who remained to fight on for the father looked genuine in his pledge. So the children who were the soldiers fought hard, changing the fate of South Asia then gripped by Japan. Yet, MacArthur was not a poet by vocation or profession. As soon as Neil Armstrong made his first step on the moon, he unconsciously said: “That’s one small step for man, That’s one giant leap for mankind.” Since then, those powerful words reverberated throughout the world and the moon lost its myth. And yet, Armstrong was a
scientist. In the year 47 Before Christ, Julius Caesar uttered his message, “Veni Vidi Vici” and he conquered many kingdoms. Literally, the phrase meant: “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Caesar was a conqueror politician and not a poet. Edmund Burke was a politician philosopher but he has awakened many men to break loose from the clutches of oppressors and colonizers. The latest acts of freedom were that of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. These immortal words of Burke are: “For evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” This editor (Berteni “Toto” Cataluña Causing) has modified this to say: “For evil to triumph is for good men to do not enough.” Mao Chetung changed the course of history of China upon seeing the weakness of communism and he said: “Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools contend,” referring to his command to reopen the universities for the intelligent to bloom. Now, the Red republic has the most powerful economy in the world. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a theologian but he drastically changed the attitude of the White Americans toward the Negroes when he spoke the lines, “I have a dream…Don’t judge the Negro by the color of his skin but by the con-
tent of his character.” Sir Isaac Newton was a young physicist yet he changed the world with his words: “For every action is an equal and opposite reaction.” Since then the law of physics changed from those developed by Archimedes and Aristotle. And the latest person the editor can cite is Steve Jobs, the inventorinnovator of Apply II, Macintosh, MacAir, iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Pixar products that were not thought of by any computer nerds but were produced into reality by the genius of him because of the parting words left to him by a magazine publisher through the words printed on the back of the departing bus, which words said: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” Indeed, these products changed the world that brought the dreams to bring technology to the fingertips. Barrack Obama powerfully uttered his words, “Change that we can believe in,” and he made the impossible to happen: for a Black man to be elected president of a predominantly White country. In fields of battles, generals and leaders convinced the people to go to war by the power of their words uttered with force and passion. This simply means that once the spirit of poetry grips any man, his discernment goes very deep, his
ability to see the future becomes powerful, his adrenaline is pumped up, his passion becomes powerfully-charged, unconscious he may be, he is driven to utter words that change the course of time and gets what he wants. It is also that power that makes a young man win the heart of his apple of the eye. Of course, at times, the message is too powerful even without uttering any word. One song even goes this way: “You say it best when you say nothing at all.” The examples are unlimited but the essence is the same. The message is right clear in first lines alone of this poem of Ed Cordevilla, an excerpt of his poemin-progress project entitled: “Ten Thousand Lines Project For World Peace.” This is an epic that is now on its 7,000 lines. The purpose of Mr. Cordevilla is to see things with passion, give them love and emotional importance, dis-
oetry P eality R
see the of what done, press message to m a k e mount a i n s move to win peace. Thus, he began with the lines “the unseen is seen in new light, and the seen is unseen.” And when the power to see is there, one is able to see his ironically familiar dream but he has never seen before because it has been hidden by blinds as referred to by the word “shoulder” that he used. The rest of the lines put emphasis on the same logic in order to bring to light what he meant to say. So meditate and read this poem. Enjoy! cern deeply to unseen, think should be and ext h e
The unseen is seen In new light, and the seen Is unseen, the shoulder conceals What was known, it is a dream Familiar, it is there and not there Among the crowd, within the rush Of blood, the pumping of the heart, In the drumming. The wing hides The other face of truth, and you swear You have dreamt about it, You swear you have heard its music, Its voice, its own dream pressing Against your skin, there only the eye Mirroring, only the eye giving The clue of what was visibly there, And that is still there although unseen. The same principle applies to the desert Where grains of sand own and hide Many of your stories, no wonder You hear the sea in a shell Because it remembers what is already hidden, In metaphors you find memories That remember you. The true poet must be able to write Even in the most impossible of circumstance As poems happen anywhere everywhere, The capturer of that essence needs To shape-shift like water, to be liquid, To mirror that condition, to be involved And yet distant, to be within and without, To be the experiencer and the documenter, To be the opinion of eternity. The true poet must be the meaning And the meaning-maker, the utterance And the speaker, he or she must be Both master and servant of the word. To capture the speed of light In one’s palm and shape light into a word,
To give breath and voice, To give flesh even and allow it to mingle Among the crowd, and even with eyes closed Pin-point its location in the great map Of existence, order its direction And to follow it as well, To let it walk in and out of the page, To make it dine with the gods And converse with the damned. The true poet needs to be the poet Of poets, as a poem should be the threshold of consciousness, It should also be the walker, the traveler, As a poem is an adventure it must also be The adventurer, this much the poet Should perform through this sacred art of utterance, This much the true poet must accomplish, To be the angel and the envy of angels, To be mortal and immortal, To be able to capture the light of joy In one’s palm and turn it into a word; While allowing it to walk among the crowd, To be able to say without saying, To be able to untell without telling, To be able to kill the assassin With the precision of life, To be able to give life By daring and summoning death, the true poet Has to perform these deeds In the stillness of a room Or amidst the chaos of desert war, The true poet is the logic Of the world’s survival, From his or her pen flows The truest essence of living. The act of writing a poem is as sacred As going and worshipping in a church, For every single line in a poem Is a triumph of the world’s humanity, And every single poem victory for the human spirit, It is therefore truth and fact
That poetry assures the universe of its integrity, Despite the changing times poetry holds Certain principles of existence that will never Change till forever, as a petal reminds The beholder that life performs her miracles Even when no one’s looking Or even when the one staring Does not really see. Such is poetry, she happens Because she’s meant to happen, She is deeply rooted in the tectonic Plates of consciousness, and when she moves How she moves, and on that train of history The poet recites her, so that men and machine Don’t miss the essence of their next stop. How the heart that loves shall prevail over history, How the soul that embodies living Shall wield the grace that is kind to many. Who creates the secret codes of the universe And who is tasked to decipher them? The poetic spirit bends metals And explores universes far beyond the horizon Of the naked eye. Reason follows its path, Not the other way around. A single poetic Utterance is always man’s first step Over the moon, the Poetic advances Civilization into the light of courage and knowledge, Deeper into the unknown, deeper into The tunnel of spiritual metaphors and eventual intellectual Comprehension, man’s destiny stored In the dark, with civilization armed With the flashlight of the Poetic.
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