Friday, October 15, 2010

PNOY shows no Backbone

HK Dismayed by Aquino's Hostage Decision

By MARY ANN BENITEZ, The Standard
October 13, 2010, 8:05pm
The Philippine leadership has been told to show some backbone as Hong Kong's government declared itself “disappointed” by the response to the killing of eight tourists.
The reaction came following a  Manila decision to water down recommended actions against people blamed for the shambles of a hostage rescue attempt on August 23 in Manila.
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday had ordered that only administrative charges be laid against four police officers and three government officials.
He also cleared the Philippine police chief and an interior undersecretary of blame in the miserable and bloody failure of police in tackling the tourist bus hostage situation.
But Aquino's decision ran contrary to an investigation committee that called for criminal and administrative charges to be leveled against 12 officers and officials.
Among them were Manila's Mayor Alfredo S. Lim and former Philippine National Police chief Jesus Verzosa.
That led to the Hong Kong government to issue its statement last night.
“The people of Hong Kong, especially the survivors and the victims' families, will find this hard to accept,” it said. “The Hong Kong SAR government is also disappointed.”
It went on to argue that “eventual actions” must include the Philippine leadership living up to a pledge “to be accountable to the public.”
It added: “That is also what is owed to the dead and the injured.”
There was also a call for Aquino to release in full the report of the investigation into the killing of the eight tourists and injuries to seven others after a sacked police officer hijacked their bus, kept everyone at bay for most of a day and then started killing.
Aquino defended his decision to spare people from criminal sanctions.
“We vowed justice for all,” he said. “We have a process. We are following the law. The bottom line is, just because one sector wants charges filed it does not mean that charges will be filed.”
Also on Wednesday, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who headed the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) that called for heads to roll, admitted she is considering quitting.
“Certain people from certain quarters have suggested – if not prodded – that I tender my resignation,” she said.
Suggestions she should quit started when Aquino called for a review of her committee's report, De Lima said. “And to be honest, that idea crossed my mind.”
But she's still thinking on the matter.
She also said now-retired police chief Verzosa should have been sanctioned for failing to take charge of the hostage situation.
Even if it's not in the hostage crisis manual, De Lima said, her panel believed that, as chief of police, “he should have monitored the hostage crisis continually and intervened when the situation became problematic.”
Back in Hong Kong, a police spokesman said full findings of its own investigation – including reports by experts – will go to the Coroners' Court. It submitted a preliminary report to the court last week. According to the Hong Kong judiciary website, “the task of the Coroner's Court is to inquire into the causes and circumstances of certain deaths… it has extensive powers related to the conduct of affairs relating to such deaths.”
The force would not comment on a report that at least one hostage had been killed by so-called “friendly” fire.

Puno told to resign
At the Upper Chamber, Senate President Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada called on ’’ Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
Undersecretary Rico Puno to resign for the sake of delicadeza (propriety) so as not to add to the leadership burden being shouldered by President Benigno S. Aquino III.
Estrada said there are two strikes against Puno.
The first was his apparent ineptitude during the Aug. 23 hostage-taking incident where eight Hong Kong tourists were killed.
The second was Puno, a close ally of President Aquino, being linked to the “jueteng’’ (illegal numbers game) payola.
In a recent appearance before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chaired by Sen. Teofisto L. Gujingona III, Puno vehemently denied the allegation of retired Pangasinan Archbishop Oscar Cruz that he and former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director-General Jesus Verzosa were recipients of a regular jueteng payola.
“Para huwag ma-embarrass ang pangulo, magkusa siya mag-resign. Dapat magkusa. Magbitaw siya,” he added. (Puno should resign so as not to embarrass the President.)

New charges
The Manila Police District (MPD) on Wednesday filed new charges against the brother of slain hostage-taker who was accused of conspiring in the bloody August 23 bus siege.
The MPD-General Assignment Section (MPD-GAS) said it received an order from President Aquino to file charges for illegal possession of firearms against Senior Police Officer 2 Gregorio Mendoza.
“The President, through the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, has ordered us to immediately file appropriate charges against Mendoza based on the review of the recommendation of the IIRC. We are just following orders,” the MPD-GAS said.

Pure drama
The Secretary to the Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim, Atty. Rafaelito Garayblas, on Wednesday dismissed the vehement reaction of SPO2 Mendoza against Lim's administrative charges as mere “drama.”
“Does he have amnesia or is he just bent on sweeping the real issues under the rug? The fact remains that it was his brother, the late captain, who committed a criminal act and killed all the innocent hostages while he willingly aided his brother in ensuring that such criminal acts continued to the end. Now, he is showing the world that he is the victim? Is it an insult to the intelligence of the people?” asked Garayblas. (With reports from Mario B. Casayuran, Czarina Nicole O. Ong, and Leonard D. Postrado)

Comments



Philippine justice is like one big 'salaan' (filter sieve) with one large hole in the middle. For how else to explain why all the big fishes recommended by the De Lima investigating committee were allowed to get away with nary a scratch on their thick skins?! Let's review their CLAIMED alibis:
1. USec Puno - he has no training in hostage situations; anyhow it was a local thing; didn't occur to him it was "international;"
2. Retired PNP chief Versoza - "I had to go to a seminar"; really?;
3. Mla Mayor Lim - he has had 50 yrs public service; this was nothing new to him;
4. MPD Negotiator Yerba - media hogging the airwaves (c'mon.. lumang tugtugin na yan);
5. SWAT Ground Commander - "our team lacked equipment;" (the panel was right: gross incompetence).
6. MPD Chief & Hostage Crisis Leader Magtibay - (?? what can he say except that he had the handle on things and he blew it, miserably).
7. Probably it's only NCRPO Chief Santiago and Vice Mayor Moreno who could be charged with simple neglect, but they, too, were exculpated.
8. We go to the biggest of them all: Pres Benigno Aquino III - the buck stops with him. So, what did he do? Declare that he wants to do away with "frivolous lawsuits." When is a case where 8 foreign nationals died as a result of Incomepetence ever "frivolous?"
- injunred,
OFW, KL



I do respect Pnoy , but to acquit his friend from alleged wrongdoing is a different thing. I remember his Slogan during election campaign, "Kung walang Korap walang Mahihirap.I believe, the root of the Hostage drama that was happened last Aug 23, is Corruption.
Then Pnoy created IIRC headed by Justice Sect. De Lima, to investigate.And the result of the investigation was very unsatisfactory to Pnoy, because the second man @DLGCD is his best friend,a and his former PNP chief is said to be a trusted friend.
He acquitted these guys from any liabilities from the hostage incedent that was invistigated by IIRC.If Pnoy, truly to his favorite slogan, let his friends defend themselves from their alleged wrong doing, they have their own mouth and prove beyond reasonable doubt before the court that they are not a culprits
Parang lumabas na ; friends is sticker than people.Kaya ang sayana yung 2 kaibigan niya. At yung taga Hongkong, lonely sila.
Sorry guys, ganito ang Gobyerno namin..!

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