Fighting on a different battleground

After recovering on my sleep with a 2-hour siesta, I’m now starting to learn the audio-editing software Audacity to produce better podcasts. With Audacity, I should be able to produce studio-quality broadcasts that I hope will reach tens of thousands of Filipinos here and abroad on the latest news and issues.

I intend to achieve mastery level for the social media platforms: YouTube and Facebook for videos, WordPress, Twitter and Facebook for blogging and a daily podcast through Buzzsprout online.

Technology has changed the media landscape. No longer do print journalists, television anchors and radio commentators have monopoly of audiences. In the past, I needed sponsors to have a weekly radio program, which was quite costly. Now, I’ve gone totally independent. No overhead costs. No need to go to a radio station to broadcast. Everything is now done in the comfort of my home. And I write and broadcast at my own convenience.

I thank the good Lord our God for helping me discover what I can do with the talents He has given me. He is showing me that in my own little way, I can help our countrymen see truth which is becoming a rare commodity in mainstream media.

Power to discipline cops is key to reform in the PNP

I am glad to know that Senator Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa shares my view which I expressed during my YouTube livestream 3 nights ago that the “power to discipline” is lacking in the set-up of the Philippine National Police. It all started when our lawmakers established the PNP in 1990 by virtue of Republic Act No. 6975. Under this law, the PNP departed from the previous nature of the defunct Philippine Constabulary and Integrated National Police as a military organization. It became “civilian in character”.

The PNP law put policemen and women under the supervision of the National Police Commission (Napolcom). It limited the powers of their unit commanders to impose disciplinary sanctions against uniformed personnel who commit infractions, and even crimes. Being “civilian in character”, police officers were governed by Civil Service rules and regulations, with heavy emphasis on due process.

Superior officers could not just order their subordinates to do push-ups or berate them in formation for fear this would expose them to administrative charges. It led to the gradual breakdown in discipline in the rank and file. This has been happening for the last three decades. And because of the slow bureaucratic procedures in disciplinary actions, the PNP adopted the practice of just assigning “bad eggs” to hardship posts like Basilan and Sulu. It didn’t put away the problem. It only postponed situations like what we saw in Paniqui, Tarlac.

A few years ago, I had a conversation with top-ranked officers of the PNP during the birthday of my kumpadre, General (now retired) Cipriano “Jun” Querol, when he was the PNP regional director for Western Visayas and the topic was discipline. All of the officers started their police careers with the defunct PC, and they bemoaned the stark difference in organizational discipline. During the PC days, the mere loud voice of the company first sergeant was enough to strike fear in the hearts and minds of PC soldiers. This changed when the PNP was turned into a civilian organization.

Leni zips mouth on Paniqui double murder

It was classic Leni Robredo. When she saw that the double murder committed by Police Senior Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca triggered a firestorm of people’s anger, she was quick to condemn it as part of a “larger architecture of impunity” and accused the Philippine National Police as an instrument of what she described as “senseless killings” in the government’s war against illegal drugs. Robredo blamed it on the national leadership and tried to connect President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to the incident.

While the incident caused widespread condemnation among Filipinos, it didn’t spill over to bringing President Duterte to be held answerable for what was clearly an individual policeman’s grievous criminal act. Robredo failed to turn that public anger against the President. In fact, many Filipinos even vented their anger at her for trying to use the incident to advance her political agenda. She tried to destroy the image of an institution for the sake of her ambition. It was really shameless.

But the adverse public reaction to her tirade registered in Robredo’s mind as quickly as she had made those stupid and irresponsible remarks. She went on the retreat without delay. No more mention of the issue from the time she made the reckless accusation against the institution. To use a Tagalog phrase, “na-kuryente”. She got burned by the very fire she had ignited. And lamely, she turned to other topics like her relief assistance to typhoon victims.

By this time, Robredo should go back to the planning board and rethink her strategy. Oh, well, I guess that’s asking too much of her. A woman without enough intelligence in her, she is incapable of mapping out her own strategy. Everything is just spoon-fed to her by the Liberal Party. But if she’s got common sense, she should already have detected the public rejection of her very persona. Each time she speaks, her ratings slip even lower. She is the epitome of a public official whose PR strategy could be described as “How to fail as a politician in public relations.”

It would really be better for her to keep her mouth shut. After four years and a half, nothing good has ever come out of her mouth. Nothing she has done or said has improved her chances in the 2022 national elections if she is still thinking of running for President.

Leni owes the PNP an apology

FVP Leni Robredo is now feeling the pressure of the looming 2022 elections. Her panic is palpable from her irrational behavior that has escalated as the country moves closer to the next national and local elections. She knows that time is running out. Unless she and the opposition succeed in agitating the Filipino people to rise in anger against President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, their political existence will be written off 18 months from now. There is no way Robredo and her allies can win in the elections. Their fate is now clear: a resounding defeat at the polls.

This is the reason why Robredo is desperate for issues to hurl against the Duterte administration. All their gimmickry during the last four and a half years have ended consistently in failure. Each time they try something to shake up the government and undermine the President, it always backfires on them.

Robredo’s latest tirade in trying to pin blame on President Duterte for the gruesome double murder committed by Police Senior Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca was simply shameless. Her ambition made her forget the extreme sacrifices made by the men and women of the Philippine National Police, not only in keeping our communities safe, but in doing disaster relief and rescue missions as well. She didn’t care if the image of the PNP would be shattered; for her, it was a ladder step that could just be disposed in her desire to reach the highest office of the land.

It was most unfair. It was most unjust. It was immoral. Political ambition is never a justification for destroying an institution. She owes the PNP an apology.

Dapat bitay ang parusa

Alagad ng kadiliman, at hindi ng batas, itong si Police Senior Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca. Pinasok ng demonyo ang utak niya noong Linggo ng hapon ng biglang pinagbabaril ang mag-inang Sonya Gregorio at ang anak nitong si Frank Anthony Gregorio sa Paniqui, Tarlac. Nothing can justify what he did as a human being. That he is a police officer made the crime even more grave. Nuezca showed cruelty that has no place in society.

It was a simple altercation between neighbors. Voices turned loud and angry. But Nuezca decided to settle the argument with his government-issued pistol. He shot and killed mother and son even if they posed no danger to him. His evil deed captured on video showed a man with no mercy, a beast in the guise of a policeman. The outrage that exploded across the country is only right. What he did must be condemned.

As expected, the opposition was quick to pounce on the double murder case to attack President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. The likes of FVP Leni Robredo, communist legislator Carlos Zarate and disgraced Cavalier Antonio Trillanes blamed it on what they call culture of killings in the country. Gusto nilang i-ugnay ang nangyari sa giyera ni Pangulong Duterte laban sa droga. Marami na raw na inosenteng buhay ang nawala, at ang pagkamatay ng mag-ina ay dagdag sa bilang ng mga biktima.

This is far from the truth. The evil deed of Nuezca was an aberration. Tama po ang sinabi ng PNP Director General Debold Sinas: this is an isolated case. Alam po natin na marami ang abusado sa ating Philippine National Police. Pero hindi po ito nangyari dahil sa opisyal na trabaho ni Nuezca. Walang kaugnayan sa tungkulin niya bilang pulis ang kanyang pag-uwi doon sa Paniqui, Tarlac. At lalong walang kinalaman sa kanyang pagkapulis ang pamamaril niya sa mga biktima.

The entire country is deep in shock with what happened, and an anger is sweeping across the archipelago as well as around the globe where Filipinos are. But it would be unfair to condemn the entire PNP organization, and the government, for the crime. As I explained in my YouTube video, crimes like this happen because there are weaknesses in the PNP organization and its culture. It boils down to one thing: lack of discipline.

Ang pinakamalaking pagkamali na nangyari ay ginawang “civilian in character” ang PNP. Dati, ang Philippine Constabulary ay bahagi ng military, at lahat na patakaran sa loob ng Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines at Coast Guard ay alinsunod sa military law and justice. Malaki ang pagkaiba pagdating sa disiplina ng mga kasapi nito. Noong binuo ang PNP, naging subject to civil service rules and regulations ang mga kapulisan, at naging “lax” pagdating sa disiplina.

Kung military law and justice ang umi-iral sa PNP, ay siguro maari itong parusahan ng kamatayan sa FIRING SQUAD si Nuezca. Mabilis ang hustisya sa military. Unfortunately, he is outside the ambit of military law and justice. At he is guaranteed all the rights and privileges under the Bill of Rights.

What happened is a wake-call for our legislators to heed the call of President Duterte to reinstate the death penalty. Kailangan natin ang bagsik ng batas sa pamagitan ng parusang kamatayan. Nuezca deserves to die for what he has done. It should be done to serve as warning to society at large that heinous crimes will be dealt with severely. Walang awa dapat na ipakita sa kanya.

Hindi na daw siya peke na VP

Pinagmalaki ni FVP Leni Robredo na natanggap na raw ng mga kritiko niya na totoo siyang VP at hindi peke katulad sa mga sinasabi ng marami nitong nakaraang apat at kalahati na taon. Tuwang-tuwang ang lokaret. Akala niya binura ng hashtag #NasaanAngBisePresidente ang dayaan na naging daan upang ma-proklama ito bilang Pangalawang Pangulo ng Pilipinas.

The reality is that she is the incumbent Vice President of the Republic. Nothing can change that except a ruling from the Presidential Electoral Tribunal now headed by dilawan Justice Marvic Leonen as justice in charge. Kahit anong sigaw ng buong bansa na peke siya na Vice President, wala tayong magagawa dahil sa mata ng batas, siya ang Pangalawang Pangulo.

This demonstrates how shallow the mind of this woman is. She twisted the meaning of the hashtag to massage her ego and make it appear there is no more obstacle to her being VP. But that hardly changes anything. As far as majority of Filipinos are concerned, she did not win the elections in a legitimate manner. Nanalo nga siya, pero sa pandaraya. This is the reason why her legitimacy will always be shrouded by a dark cloud of doubt.

It is basic in political law that all powers of the state are derived from the sovereign Filipino people. This is the essence of democracy. Ilang beses na rin napatunayan na pag ayaw ng taong bayan sa isang lider, maari silang sumigaw ng sabay-sabay upang mapa-alis ito sa puwesto. And even if such leaders remain steadfast in their position of power, they become inutile leaders because the sovereign Filipino people have withdrawn their support.

With just one year and a half left in her term, Leni Robredo might just remain glued to her position until the end. The truth will never be known because the PET didn’t fulfill its mandate of determining the outcome arising from the electoral protest filed by former Senator Bongbong Marcos. By October next year, when BBM files his COC for whatever position, the protest will have been rendered moot and academic.

But one thing is certain: Filipinos will never consider Robredo their rightful and genuine Vice President. And she will go down in history as one of the most hated politicians who occupied high office. She will continue to be fake, and no law can force the people to change their minds on that point.

Disaster Leni

For centuries now, the Philippines has been mauled by typhoons, its plains turned into seas by floods, rocked by earthquakes and shaken by volcano eruption. It’s not because the archipelago is cursed. It’s a matter of its geographical location. The Pacific Ocean, where most of the worst weather disturbances are born, lies to its east. The islands are situated in what is known as the “Pacific Rim of Fire”, that chain of volcanos from the Americas to Asia.

Hence, disasters and the Filipino people have had an endless dance together during these centuries. Filipinos are much too familiar with calamities. But each time Filipinos are battered and drenched and shaken, they are always able to get back on their feet. Life goes on. This is the reason why Filipinos have been likened to the bamboo: No matter how hard the wind blows, and the bamboo is bent almost to breaking point, it manages to spring right back into upright position, straight and proud as ever.

Resilience has become part of the national character. No setback is big enough to knock out the people. Each time we encounter adversity, we may become dazed and disoriented for a while. And then it’s back to normal. We pursue life as if we’ve never even experienced pain and loss from these disasters.

But the Filipino people have to confront a potential national disaster squarely. It is not a super typhoon. It is not a volcanic eruption. It is not an earthquake. That grave national disaster is a woman named Leni Robredo.

For four and a half years now, Robredo has been trying to claw her way into becoming President of the Republic by succession. During that time, Robredo and her allies have not taken a brief respite in their efforts to undermine the Duterte administration. Theirs was a program of disinformation and deception with a goal of misleading Filipinos into the belief that President Duterte was unfit to carry out his mandate. They got plenty of help from the oligarchs that control the mainstream media.

The black propaganda, however, did not succeed. Each time, the Filipino people themselves unmasked the hidden agenda behind these pieces of disinformation and shot them down. Rather than weaken President Duterte’s public image, these efforts even served to strengthen the people’s trust and confidence in the Chief Executive.

We have been hoping that the justice system would get rid of this national calamity named Leni Robredo. Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen anymore. There’s 10 months left before the deadline for the filing of Certificates of Candidacy for the 2022 national and local elections. The moment former Senator Bongbong Marcos files his COC for any elective office in October, the electoral protest that has been languishing before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal since June 29, 2016 will become moot and academic. The truth as to who really won will be lost forever.

With 2020 about to end, Filipinos will have to resolve to stop this national disaster from threatening the welfare of the nation and its people. We have to barge into 2021 with a loud voice declaring that Leni Robredo is a pretender and the people will never accept her as their leader. There’s nothing we can do to avert natural disasters; but we can prevent Leni Robredo from spreading doom throughout the archipelago with her ambition and the desire of the Liberal Party to steal back power.

Mabilis daw na kumilos si Leni upang matulungan ang mga nabahaan!

Nag trending sa Twitter ang hashtag #NasaanAngBisePresidente kahapon habang rumaragasa ang baha sa ilang lugar sa Mindanao. Kinukutya ng mga netizens si FVP Leni Robredo dahil alam nila na mag-eepal na naman ito. Aba sumagot si Leni sa kanyang Facebook account, “Leni Gerona Robredo” kung saan sinabi niya na nakikipag-coordinate na daw siya.

Mabilis na umandar ang PR machinery ni Leni at pinalabas na pinahiya daw niya ang kanyang mga kritiko dahil nagtatrabaho daw pala siya.

But was she really “coordinating” with government agencies on the ground? What did she mean by “coordinating”?

Kaya tinanong ko siya sa Twitter kung nasaan nga ba talaga siya noong mga panahon na yun. Kasi wala siyang binanggit kung nasaan siya. Sabi niya lang, “Andito po ako.”

Super tanga at bobo naman itong mainstream media na kaagad nilang kinagat ang pahayag ni Leni. Pinalabas nila na nag-responde ang FVP sa kanyang mga kritiko. But nobody bothered to double check as to her exact whereabouts. The mainstream media just bit her propaganda hook, line and sinker.

Ngayong umaga, nalaman ko kung ano yung “coordination” activities niya. Nag monitor lang pala sa Facebook sa mga ulat mula sa mga LGU at nagpalabas ng “situationer”. As if she’s the only one possessing that information that is available abundantly on social media. Kupal talaga ng babaeng ito!

Forever na si FLM mabibilanggo!

Sa kabila ng paulit-ulit na fake news ng kampo ni Norman Antonio Mangusin a.k.a. Francis Leo Marcos na lalabas na ito ng bilangguan, lumilinaw na ngayon na wala na talagang siyang pag-asa na makapagpiyansa at maangkin ang tinatawag na provisional liberty habang nililitis ang kanyang kaso.

Ngayong araw ay ginugunita natin ang ika-pitong buwan ni Mangusin sa loob ng Manila City Jail dahil sa six counts of qualified human trafficking. Kung matandaan, inaresto si Mangusin ng mga agents ng National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) sa penthouse ng Le Grande Tower sa Eastwood noong umaga ng May 19, 2020.

Gamit ng NBI ang isang warrant of arrest para sa kasong violation of the Philippine Optometry Law laban kay Francis Leo Marcos sa paghuli sa kanya. Pagdating sa NBI, ginawa ng NBI ang isang fingerprint match ni FLM at ni Mangusin na siyang nakapangalan sa kasong qualified human trafficking. Lumabas sa fingerprint match na si FLM at Mangusin ay isa at isang tao lamang.

Nitong nakaraang linggo lang, ibinasura ng Manila Regional Trial Court sa pangalawang pagkakataon ang petition for bail ni Mangusin. Hindi siya pinayagan ng hukoman na makapagpiyansa. Ibig sabihin, mananatili siya sa loob ng MCJ habang nililitis ang kanyang kaso na sigurado aabot ng mahigit dalawang taon. Samantala, nag file ang NBI at CIDG ng mga karagdagang kaso criminal laban kay Mangusin. Lahat ay non-bailable.

Fighting a giant: My battle vs. Drilon’s corruption much like Elliot Ness crusade vs. Al Capone

When I was in hospital confinement a week ago, I got to watch the movie, “The Untouchables” once more. The first time I watched it was over 30 years ago. Thanks to Netflix, I was able to watch it again.

At once, it dawned upon me that there’s a parallel between the anti-crime crusade waged by Elliot Ness, the Bureau of Treasury agent portrayed by Kevin Costner, against American crime don Al Capone, to the anti-corruption exposes I have been pursuing on the projects of Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon.

Like Agent Ness, I was a lone investigative journalist who set out on a mission to unmask the Herculian corruption in the DAP-funded projects of Drilon. At the start, I had the help of Rommel Ynion and friends in the media. But I found myself fighting alone during most of this year, 2020, especially after my conviction for libel became final and executory.

It was a tough battle right from the start. Drilon was at the height of his powers as Senate President when I began my crusade. He was unsparing in using his clout and influence to put pressure on me to quit. He filed libel cases. He had the Iloilo City council declare me persona non grata. He looked the other way when drug lords in Iloilo City had hitmen tail me, looking for the slightest opening to kill me.

And when the Senate Blue Ribbon committee conducted an investigation on November 13, 2014, Drilon put his PR machinery at work to discredit me. Drilon made it appear that my expose on the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) was a dud. I was ridiculed by mainstream media on his payroll. The Philippine Daily Inquirer even did an editorial about that expose, chastising me for daring to come forward without evidence (kuno).

That Blue Ribbon committee investigation propaganda roll-out against me was like Elliot Ness having his picture splash on newspaper front pages holding a Japanese umbrella taken from what he thought was a crate full of bootlegged whisky from Canada.

Drilon was unforgiving. The first wave of libel cases he filed before the Pasay City RTC resulted in a conviction even if he didn’t testify in court as complainant. That deprived me of my Constitutional right to confront my accuser. The court ignored this assertion that a Constitutional right had been violated. We took the case to the Court of Appeals. In quick fashion, the appeal was denied.

Our last chance was the Supreme Court. I was certain that the Constitutional issue would merit a full discussion from the High Court and contribute to libel jurisprudence. Unfortunately, our appeal was thrown out to the trash bin without much of a judicial review.

Drilon wanted to stop my exposes at all costs. He didn’t care if democratic institutions were being prostituted in the process. He didn’t care if an innocent man would go to prison for telling the truth. All he needed was to stop me from exposing his corruption.

When the Pasay RTC convicted me, it meted a penalty of imprisonment that fell within the range to make me eligibile for parole. It was the easy path to take if I wanted to stay out of jail. But I knew that Drilon would use that to wrap a chain of silence around me. With a parole, I would have had to avoid risking another libel case.

No. I refused to be silenced. I knew it was already an uphill battle with the conviction. The naive part of me said I might have a chance at getting justice in the appeals process. After all, the Constitutional issue was a serious matter that needed to be resolved by the higher courts. I had misplaced faith in the judiciary.

Drilon’s power and influence proved more immense than the integrity of the judiciary. Without squarely addressing the Constitutional issue I had raised, my appeal was shot down quickly, first by the Court of Appeals, then the Supreme Court Third Division. My right to confront my accuser as guaranteed by the 1987 Constitution was conveniently ignored. There is no mention about it.

I got word that Drilon, through his lawyers, fast-tracked the issuance of a certificate of finality of the decision. In a matter of two or three weeks, the case records took an express train from the Supreme Court to the Pasay RTC. By Dec. 10, 2019, the Pasay RTC issued a warrant of arrest for me to be thrown into jail and serve the jail sentence.

Had it not been for the Covid 19 pandemic, I would have voluntarily surrendered to the authorities in the 3rd week of March this year. Even though I was a victim of injustice, I was ready to go to jail. I want to demonstrate to Drilon that prison doesn’t scare me. I told myself that my incarceration will have the effect of throwing him inside prison, too. It’s the prison of conscience. I know he knows what grave wrongs he has done not only to me, but to the Filipino nation as well.

Covid 19 gave me the time and space to continue exposing Drilon. I made up my mind to use my energy as a free man to inform the Filipino people the many sins he has committed. The fight for the truth did not end with my conviction becoming final and executory. I prayed that these exposes would reach the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte. I am willing to sacrifice my own liberty just so Drilon’s corruption do not lie hidden.

I will fight until the end. To borrow a quotation from the film that starred Kevin Costner as Elliot Ness, “never stop to fight till the fight is done.”