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Elite conspiracy in Erap ouster confirmed By Gerry Baldo 02/16/2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Former SEC chief apologizes to Estrada, admits civil society used him

Elite conspiracy in Erap ouster confirmed


By Gerry Baldo

02/16/2010

Close to 10 years after the ouster of then sitting President Joseph Estrada through a coup d’etat, which was preceded by the collapse of the Senate impeachment trial deliberately done to trigger street protests, as the then political opposition and the elite civil society walked out of the Senate courtroom, former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman and Bangon Pilipinas vice presidential candidate Perfecto Yasay, the other day, admitted publicly in Davao City that the ouster of Estrada resulted from an elite conspiracy to topple the then sitting president.

Yasay was one of the candidates who showed up for the 25th anniversary of the Tabernacles of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ Sunday, with a reported 30,000 in attendance, when he made the apology directed at Estrada.

Yasay surprised the crowd when he publicly apologized to the former president whom he said he had offended at the time he was head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“I have offended this man and I ask for his forgiveness,” Yasay, referring to Estrada, admitted.

“Please accept my public apology for being so naive for allowing myself to be used by some to grab the presidency from you.

“I know that I have offended this man 10 years ago. I am asking for forgiveness at this time when love governs us all. My public apology to Erap for offending him when I was asked to do what I have to do to carry out my duties,” said Yasay in his speech, which event was carried by media..... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

Notes from Morong 43 Hearing: AFP Now Trapped in Its Own Lies By RENATO REYES JR. Secretary-General, Bayan Published on February 15, 2010

Notes from Morong 43 Hearing: AFP Now Trapped in Its Own Lies


Published on February 15, 2010

By RENATO REYES JR.
Secretary-General, Bayan

MANILA — When the 43 arrested health workers were brought to the auditorium of the Court of Appeals, each was handcuffed to a soldier. If they were going to the rest room, they would be accompanied by the soldier assigned to them. Only when they enter the rest room would their handcuffs be removed. This went on for some time, before lawyers asserted that the handcuffs be removed and the detainees allowed to confer with their lawyers and family members.

It was almost 3 pm when the hearing started. Atty. Romeo Capulong raised his objection to the handcuffs on the detainees even while inside the court room and the inability of the lawyers to properly confer with their clients. He asked the justices not to allow martial law to be imposed inside the court.

As they entered, some detainees managed to smile and raise their clenched fists to the family members and supporters inside the court room. I saw one detainee try to hug his wife, even while he was seated and handcuffed to a soldier. As they hugged, the soldier was right there beside them.

Atty. Capulong also moved that the detainees be transferred from Camp Capinpin to Camp Crame because of the many cases of ill-treatment and difficulty of lawyers to access their clients. The court said it would deliberate on the motion at the appropriate time.

Thus the hearing for the petition of the writ of habeas corpus began. The presiding justice asked if the 43 were present inside the court room. Another justice asked that all detainees stand so that they may be counted. The 43 stood, all of them accounted for.


Jane Beltran-Balleta, one of the Morong 43, emerges from a military bus shackled to a soldier but in high spirit. (Photo by Cris Balleta / Kodao Productions)
Atty. Capulong then asked the court if he can begin the presentation of evidence and witnesses. This was objected to by the Assistant Solicitor General who said that the habeas corpus hearing was not the proper venue to hear evidence pertaining to the conditions of confinement or if there were improprieties in the arrest.
The judge eventually ruled in favor of the petitioners and allowed the presentation of one witness, upon the request of Atty . Capulong. The 43 were also allowed to submit their affidavits detailing their arrest and detention.

The Assistant Solicitor General asked for a “concession” from the court by asking the media to leave the room and to hold the hearing under executive session. The presiding judge ruled that the hearing was a public hearing and that the media is allowed to cover the event, minus cameras.

Dr. Alex Montes, a 62-year-old surgeon and one of the trainers in the health seminar, was called to the witness stand. He gave an account of his arrest and the events since he was brought to Camp Capinpin.
He said that at around 6 am, an undetermined number of soldiers barged into the resort owned by Dr. Melecia Velmonte. They were taken by the armed men but were not informed of their offense. The armed men proceeded to the conference room, he said. He described the situation as disorganized, with people running all over the resort. He was later handcuffed and blindfolded and led to vehicle. The arresting officers did not inform him why he was being taken or where we was being taken. He said they traveled for an hour and a half.

Atty. Capulong asked Dr. Montes what the effects of the handcuffs and blindfolds had on him. He said that he could not walk alone, and had to suffer the indignity of having someone else lower his pants and underwear for him to be able to pee.

Among other things, Dr. Montes related that he was handcuffed and blindfolded until early evening of February 7 (nearly 36 hours) when he and the others were subjected to inquest proceedings. The inquest appeared to be a farce since they were only called out one by one, informed that they were being charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives and afterward, the prosecutor from the Department of Justice left.

Dr. Montes said during interrogation, he was brought outdoors to what appeared to be some cliff or inclined plane. He was repeatedly asked questions about his alleged affiliation with the NPA. During several sessions, he was asked if he knew Tirso Alcantara or Ka Bart. His interrogators said they saw him in Luneta, meeting with two other people, talking about military strategy. They said he was part of the Military Commission of the NPA.

Dr. Montes did not eat from the time he was arrested (Feb. 6), up to the time his blindfold and handcuffs were removed (Feb. 7) . He believed that the drinks given to him were laced with some substance because he could feel them around the mouth of the cup.

When Atty. Capulong asked him of his current detention status, Dr. Montes said that he remains under solitary confinement, only getting some 15 minutes of sun the past two days. He does not get news from the outside world, and visits have certain restrictions.

Finally, Atty. Capulong asked Dr. Montes how this whole ordeal has affected him. It was at this point that Dr. Montes looked up and appeared unable to continue, almost on the brink of crying. He was assisted back to his seat.

The counsels for petitioners and respondents were given 48 hours to file their respective memorandums and then the case is considered submitted for decision within a week.

At the hearing, most of the 43 were in high spirit. When they left the room, some of them waved goodbye then raised their clenched fists, a sign of their continuing defiance. As they left the CA compound, they were greeted by a noise barrage from the protesters outside. The grounds of the CA was turned into a virtual garrison with troops carrying long firearms scattered all over the place.

The police had to push back the rushing mob who wanted to get a glimpse of the 43 health workers. It took some time for the buses to be able to leave the CA compound as protesters were gathered outside.

We ended the rally outside after I gave some updates on what transpired inside the court room. Right now, our lawyers have their work cut out for them. The next 48 hours will be very important for the case. In the next nine days or so, we will know if the petitioners will get the relief that they petitioned for.

We call on our friends here and abroad to intensify the calls for the release of the 43. We hope that the CA will issue a favorable ruling so that in the near future, the 43 will regain their freedom, be reunited with their families and continue with their work.

P.S.
In a statement to the media, General Jorge Segovia of the 2nd Infantry Division now says that the 43 are indeed health workers, but that they belonged to the NPA and are part of the “health bureau.” He described this as a “superbody” that is the equivalent of the Department of Health in the revolutionary movement. This after the AFP insisted that the 43 were being trained to build bombs instead of undergoing a health seminar.

The AFP is now caught up in its own lies. (Bulatlat.com)

__________

SOURCE:  

Bulatlat.com. http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/02/15/notes-from-morong-43-hearing-afp-now-trapped-in-its-own-lies/

(Reprinted with permission from Bulatlat.com)

Power fight EDITORIAL 02/16/2010


Power fight


EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
02/16/2010

Lakas loyalists are now preparing the public into accepting as inevitable the prospect of Gloria Arroyo as the future Speaker of the House of Representatives, following her certain victory at the polls as representative of Pampanga’s Second District.

It is being said that the Speaker is a sitting president’s choice. Whoever the President wants the House to elect as Speaker, gets elected by the majority of the House members under orders from the Malacañang tenant.

This may have been so in the past, so goes another argument, but this time around, it may well be the House members that will decide on whom they want to lead them — if the sitting president is at odds with Gloria and her party mates in Congress and if she and her congressmen have the numbers to get her elected.... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.classicposters.com/commentary/20100216com1.html

Geared for the elite class FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 02/16/2010


Geared for the elite class


FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
02/16/2010

Just as too many cooks spoil the broth, so too, do too many presidential debates spoil whatever public impact they may have hoped for in organizing such debates.

Admit it or not, these debates — including the latest one organized by the foreign correspondents in the country, or Focap — hardly do anything for the presidential candidates, by way of getting the electorate to vote for them.

One or two presidential candidates, who may be more articulate than the rest, can shine at such debates, but do they get the vote of the electorate when they shine at such forums? For that matter, do their answers to questions posed, by way of their claimed plans, programs and platforms, sway the voters, no matter the economic class?.... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.classicposters.com/commentary/20100216com2.html

‘I am not a racist’: Cubans debate prejudice against blacks FEATURE 02/16/2010


‘I am not a racist’: Cubans debate prejudice against blacks


FEATURE

02/16/2010

HAVANA — Half a century after Fidel Castro’s revolution claimed to have done away with racism, Cubans are publicly debating a stubborn strain of discrimination and prejudice that associates blacks here with quarrels, crime, sex and rum.

“I am not racist, but I don’t want my daughter to have a black boyfriend. No way!” said Celia, a 52-year-old former teacher of mixed race. “When she became a young lady, I told her: ‘I married your father to go forward, not backwards.’”

Experts discussed the problem on local television for the first time just recently, but ordinary Cubans readily acknowledge that racism is pervasive in Cuba, a former Spanish colony and the destination of hundreds of African slaves.... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.classicposters.com/commentary/20100216com3.html

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