Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 September 2015 14:51

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

Could there really be grounds for committing graft when anyone calls on Sec. Leila de Lima to prioritize other cases over the complaint filed by expelled INC minister Isaiah Samson and his family for serious illegal detention, harassment, grave threats and coercion? This question loomed as Atty. Trixie Cruz-Angeles, counsel for the accused, threatened Sen. Grace Poe with a graft case for alleged violation of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

She cited Section 3 (a) of the said law which considers as a crime, acts of “persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with the official duties of the latter, or allowing himself to be persuaded, induced, or influenced to commit such violation or offense.”

Reading the statement of Poe, I truly would not concur with such an argument. This was how Poe was quoted, “Magtataka ka rin, bakit ang tutok doon, samantalang halimbawa ang ibang mga kaso ng gobyerno wala naman silang mga witnesses pa nanaka-hold (You would wonder why the focus is there while for other government cases they have not held witnesses yet),”

She also tasked De Lima to explain the merits of the INC case to the public, and why the DOJ was handling it.

“Siguro mas makakabuti…ay humarap siya sa mga tao na nagra-rally pagmahinahon, at i-eksplika kung ano ba ang sitwasyon, bakit nangyari na gano’n (Maybe it would be better for her to face the protesters when they are calm, and explain the situation and why it happened that way.

I do not really see how in any way Poe has gotten even near to interference in De Lima’s official acts, urging further the DOJ to instead give attention to other cases, such as the Mamasapano incident.

And why would the defense counsel center on Sen. Poe, when  Senator Francis Escudero made the same statement. He even warned that the DOJ’s handling of the case could be misinterpreted as a violation of the right to religious freedom.

“It may be prudent to first let the leadership of the INC resolve what appears to be a purely internal matter,” he said. (All quotes were lifted from TMT on-line)

So it is, as in the case of Sen. Bongbong Marcos who also made statements against the DOJ action on the INC issue, giving me the impression that the camp of the accused is simply delivering a veiled threat for politicians to stay away from the matter.

But then who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?

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And that INC fury is not about to settle. Already given an extension of the protest rally in Mandaluyong, the remonstration is spreading to other parts of the country. At the helm is Davao City, where a massive rally by members of the influential Iglesia ni Cristo will participate. And authorities say an estimated 100,000 people from 22 districts in Mindanao were expected to participate in the four-day gathering in the regional capital. Protesters are from the provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley and Davao Occidental, as well as from the cities of Davao,Panabo, Tagum, Digos and Samal, the participants would have arrived there Sunday midnight, with the rally beginning around 7 a.m. Monday, Aug. 31.

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Truly lucky this Aquino administration, the problems besetting him now have come in the dying days of his incumbency. If it had come earlier, he shall have been facing a lynching mob at this point in time. The latest such big issues he faces now seem dangerously troublesome. Not necessarily in this order. The continuation in office of appointive officials, led by Mar Roxas, who had expressed intention to run for public office in 2016, where it is highly criticized that the administration is using government resources and facilities in pushing for their candidacies. The Cojuangco pullout of support from the Aquino, even initiating moves for his impeachment. The INC protest actions. The OFW uproar, and so and so forth.

On that latter subject, Rep. Johnny Revilla has come up with sharp remarks, “… years of ‘terrible experiences at the hands of corrupt BOC men’ fueled the anger among Filipino workers who have been toiling abroad for their families.”

Revilla said the government’s inability to address complaints of pilferage of balikbayan boxes and corruption added to the furor against efforts of the BOC to inspect balikbayan boxes.

“Our OFWs just do not trust the BOC or this government. Even before this issue incited the collective anger of OFWs, we were already made aware of the various problems faced by those sending packages to their loved ones in the country,” said Revilla.(TMT)

Sharper still is this comment from an OFW party-list organization: It’s all about trust. And right now, the government doesn’t have it. Lack of trust in the government is the main reason behind the howl of protest raised by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) against the Bureau of Customs (BOC) plan to conduct random checks on balikbayan boxes (TMT)

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Here is yet another Aquino folly, as it drew more flak from all corners. The administration could be this tax hungry nowadays. Story of stories. The Bureau of Customs imposed a P6,000 tax on a championship belt bagged by a triumphant returning Filipino athlete, who strove hard, perspired for it and maybe even got hurt in the process.

And it is of common knowledge that winning honors for the country an athlete is to be treated as hero; in this case, a heroine in the person of mixed martial arts winner Jujeath Nagaowa. And there is a law that exempts medals, awards and similar recognition from taxes.

One such highly regarded commentary comes from Sen. Bongbong Marcos, when he quipped that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) should change its policies to make them more “Filipino friendly” because the agency is indirectly violating laws that grant incentives to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and athletes with its onerous duties and impractical rules.

“If the law grants certain privileges or incentives to our OFWs and athletes, the bureaucratic procedures must lean toward making it easy for them to enjoy such privileges. Otherwise, it is no longer a privilege but a burden,” Marcos pointed out. (TMT)

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In spite of certain negativisms, the  demolition the Philippine squad was recently dealt with severity in an international basketball competition must be bearing fruits now, tune-up games as they are called. This showed as the Gilas Pilipinas newcomers manifested as they played “in front of what could be the most hostile environment in the Asian region, when the Filipinos on Sunday night checked an alarming second half skid to get back at Chinese Taipei-A, 77-69, for a rip-roaring Jones Cup start at Xinchuang gymnasium here.

Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva introduced themselves to the international stage in a swashbuckling way, bailing the Filipinos out in the fourth quarter after Gilas had come from a woeful drought in the third to lose a 16-point halftime lead. (TMT)

There is, however, one possible draw-back for Gilas as it is reported that Andray Blacthe may miss the entire tournament as he went home to the US in deference to the death of an uncle. And that effect was indeed noticed when inside the paint, the Taiwanese grabbed several offensive rebounds even if it was late in the game that giants Asi Taulava and Moala Tautuaa fouled out. But by still beating Taiwan, to whom the Pinoys lost last year, it could be a sign they are not a so-so team no more, even minus Blatche.

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