January 2012

A look back on “Untouched, Unspoiled Batanes”

This post by Filomeno St. Ana III on Vicky Abad Kerblat’s book, Jawid sawen nu Vatan!, brings me back to one of my best Philippine holidays ever, in the practically untouched yet progressive province called Batanes. Allow me to share with you this retro post, published exactly a year ago, about the group of islands that I believe every Filipino should visit at least once in their lifetime. Read more

You be the judge

Let’s see if retired Associated Justice Serafin Cuevas, the lead defense counsel of impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona, can slither out of this one.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported Cuevas claiming that Malacanan was pressuring him to quit as Corona’s lawyer. He said he was being harrassed by the BIR and that an emissary from Malacanan approached him asking him to quit

Cuevas denied he said anything of the sort in an interview with radio station dzBB.

    “Walang pressure ang Malacañang sa akin, walang pinapadalang tao, di totoo yan, walang katotohanan yan,” Cuevas told dzBB.

In response to Cuevas’ denial, PDI published a transcript of their interview where Cuevas made his allegation.

    How did you come in as a Corona lawyer?

    Ilang beses ako tinawagan dito, eh, siguro 2-3 linggo, ayaw ko pahagilap, ayaw ng mga bata, ayaw rin ni misis, masigalot eh, matinik ang kaso, kalaban mo Malacañang, eh.

    Ngayon lang. Meron kaming building sa West Avenue. Dalawang building magkatapat na ganiyan. Eh, ’yong aming administrator do’n ipinasa-submit ’yong aming income, ’yong kuwan ganito. Eh, bakit ngayon lang? Ang tagal tagal na no’n. ’Di ba isa ’yan?

    Building na loan?

    Building na paupahan. Six units. Ang isang unit eh three units each. P15,000 a month ’yan. All right.


    Pinapa-submit po ’yong?

    Pinasa-submit ’yong book of account, lahat lahat, kung anu-ano tinatanong…

    Bakit?

    Eh, hindi natin alam, it must have something to do with this…Ngayon lang, ’yong aming, ’yong sa Manila Bank, sabi sa ’kin ni Lani, sir, tinatanong nila kung magkano binabayad ng Manila Bank sa inyo dati. Ganito. Sa kaso na ’to. Why? Why all of a sudden ngayon lang?

    Parang may konting harassment?

    Hindi lang konti, mabigat na ’yan. I don’t know what will follow next.

    Ano ’yong nakikita n’yo ro’n sa impeachment?

    Siyempre chilling effect ’yan siguro. Baka naman hindi alam ni Presidente, baka naman ’yong gusto lang mag-magaling sa kaniya, pinakikitang oo, ganito, gano’n.

    What do they hope to achieve? May makakalkal na baho or something?

    Ang gusto nila mag withdraw ako eh. (Cuevas pauses, dials a number). Napakadali gumawa ng pami-merhuwisyo, eh, maski sa income tax lamang and so on, lahat.

    Nung mag-argue ako ng case ni Ombudsman Merceditas, ilang BIR nandyan, tatlo. Sabi ko, “Brod, pagbutihin niyo sana ’yan, ha. Dahil alam naman ninyo, ang buhay ganoon lang. Today you are up, tomorrow you may be down…” Recently lang. Kung ano man ang kuwan niyan, pagkatapos, eh, kung ano mangyari diyan, kung hindi naman tama, pagbutihin niyo lang, inexamine lahat ng books, mga kung anu-ano, mga kliyente, na-scare ’yong clients siyempre. (Corona pauses, talks with his secretary.)

    Who wants you to withdraw po?

    Emisaryo daw ng Malacañang…I know him to be with Malacañang. I’m not very sure whether he’s authorized or he is doing it himself. ’Di ba nakalagay na sa peryodiko? Tapos sinabi nag withdraw na nga ako?

    Was the name mentioned?

    Kung ibibigay ko sa iyo ’yong pangalan, baka naman mapagalitan ito, sabihing ganito-ganito…Estudyante ko ’yan before…He was convincing me before na mag-join ng campaign.

    Estudyante sa?

    UP.

    Ano s’ya sa Malacañang?

    Nando’n siya sa pangkat ng rah-rah boys, eh.

    So siya ’yong nagsasabi sa inyo? Ano ’yong sinasabi niya po? Ano ’yong mga sinasabi niya specifically?

    Eh pinagkukuwan…parang ang gusto raw ni Presidente, kung maaari, i-bargain ako do’n sa kaso ni Colonel…’Di nila itutuloy ’yong kaso, provided I withdraw, eh, hindi ko naman pi-nallow up ’yon, eh. In the first place, hindi na ako…ayoko nang…basta sige na lang…

    Anong kaso po ’yon?

    ’Yong si…sa NBI…

    Si Gatdula?

    Gatdula.

    ’Yong kay Gatdula?

    Oo.

    So confirmed ’yon? Kaya nila sinibak because you did not accede?

    Hindi naman, hindi naman…Hindi ko sinasabing…’yon nga hahawakan ko pa…hindi pa kami nagkakausap…’yon ang ibina-bargain… Alam po ninyo, ’wag nang ipagpatuloy iyon at maintain na siya sa NBI…Mag withdraw na ’ko. Hindi naman ako nakipag-usap kay Presidente…hindi naman na ’ko nakipag-usap sa kuwan…Dito lang sa ano…Ayoko nang dagdagan pa…I do not want to add credence to that kuwan.

    Dahil Iglesia rin si Gatdula?

    Yah, oo.

So who is lying, Cuevas or PDI?

You be the judge.

All I can say is Cuevas and Corona are made for each other.

Memorandum of the Prosecutors on Article 2 of the Impeachment Complaint against Chief Justice Renato Corona

The Prosecutors submitted the Memorandum on Article 2 of the Impeachment Complaint 10 AM today, January 25, 2011, to comply with the order of the Impeachment Court.

In the Memorandum, the Prosecutors said that the “charge in Article II goes far beyond mere failure on the part of Corona to mechanically file or disclose his SALN. His duty to disclose his SALN to the public necessarily implies a duty to be truthful, honest, and accurate in the sworn statements thereof (that is why the law requires the SALN to be under oath). Corona’s disclosure of a false, dishonest, and incomplete SALN is as much a betrayal of public trust as his failure to disclose his SALN.”

Please click on the link below to read the Memorandum: memo-1