Thursday, January 05, 2006

Reminder: Wear green this Saturday

We're almost on our 2-months mark. I'm not sure of the status of FX's investigation. My apologies to my readers for the lack of update through the holiday period. My classmates and I talk about this case, but no one's quite sure where it is... so there's not much to report. We just all continue to pray for justice.

This weekend marks the second month of FX's death. I just want to remind you to wear green (or a green armband) to support our quest for justice on Jan 7. When you see someone on the street wearing green, you'll know that they, too, are in support for justice.

In the last 2 months, the untruthful police accusations about FX are slowly being proven wrong by facts. For one, under the police's own investigation, they've concluded that the shot that officer Belmonte received on his leg came as a friendly fire from either his own gun or someone from inside the police vehicle. Therefore, Belmonte and his coward colleagues lied; Angcanan and Reyes lied; and the media group who proclaimed that Belmonte was shot by FX, Anton or Brian lied. To those who say that FX, Anton or Brian shot the cop, please re-read paragraph and realize this truth!

Here's wishing for a positive and fair 2006!

Monday, January 02, 2006

No News Is NOT Good News

There is no news from the Commission of Human Rights on their findings regarding the murder of my friend, Francis Xavier Manzano, although initially they indicated they will have their verdict by mid-December. The non-appearance of the 10 TMG operatives apparently delayed their findings.

Meanwhile, the news everyday during this holiday season continuously confirms that it is common in the Philippines:

a) for the police to kill anyone BLATANTLY, BRUTALLY, WITHOUT CONSCIENCE who have exposed their corruption or who they fear will expose their corruption

b) for police to plant evidence to charge people who go against them

c) for most top police and top government officials to pretend to undertake an investigation to and cover-up

d)eventually for the public who is used and numbed by these to forget the atrocities as they are focused on new killings

See this latest news of the judge who ruled against the govt on the PIATCO case and was killed:

"A police officer will be summoned by investigators for questioning in connection with the murder of Pasay City Judge Henrick Gingoyon in Cavite last Saturday, Southern Tagalog police director Chief Superintendent Jesus Versoza said yesterday. Versoza told Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Arturo Lomibao that investigators were focusing on reports that the police officer might have been involved in the fatal ambush of Gingoyon in Bacoor, Cavite.

Versoza withheld from reporters the name of the police officer. Lomibao created a task force led by Versoza to coordinate efforts in tracking down the killers. Gingoyon was gunned down by two men riding on a motorcycle in Soldiers Hill in Barangay Molino, Bacoor last Saturday afternoon.

Gingoyon was the judge who ordered the government to pay P3 billion to Philippine International Air Terminals Co. (Piatco) for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. The government wants to take over NAIA-3, which has not been used since its completion about two years ago.

Earlier this year, Gingoyon had dismissed a drug case filed by the police officer after concluding that the evidence had been "planted."

Earlier this year, his house had been shot at and he had sought help, suspecting that a chief of police in one of the towns of Cavite was behind the shootings. The shooting occurred about a week after Gingoyon had objected to the promotion of the police chief. Gingoyon had also objected to an award given to the police officer, saying that he routinely engaged in "planting" evidence to justify his arrests.

PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Leopoldo Bataoil said Versoza has been tasked by the PNP chief to make a progress report of the investigation.

Bataoil, however, refused to elaborate on the progress of the case but pointed out Verzosa and his investigators are focusing on the controversial drug cases handled by Gingoyon in Pasay and Paranaque cities and in Bacoor, Cavite.

According to Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr., the killing of Gingoyon will be a setback for the operation of the NAIA-3.

"The net effect of the murder would cause a setback in the opening of the NAIA-3 facility. The new judge will have to restudy the issue of the case and obviously it will take (longer) for the facility to be opened to the people," Pimentel said.

Pimentel, on the other hand, called on his colleagues in the Senate to help out determine the real motive in the murder.

Lawyers’ groups also condemned the killing of Gingoyon. The Counsels for the Defense of Liberties (Codal) said the killing of Gingoyon indicates the continued harassment of the legal profession. Codal also pointed out Gingoyon was a former counsel of the militant groups Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).

"Judge Gingoyon’s controversial decisions as a judge or his previous involvement as counsel of Bayan and KMU does not justify his killing," Codal said.

Members of the legal profession... must not be attacked for the practice of their profession or political beliefs. The attacks against lawyers and judges are attacks against the legal profession and civil liberties," the group said in a statement.

Codal called on the government to "move swiftly and decisively to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of these acts."

Another group called Equal Justice for All (E-Just) led by lawyer Leonard de Vera compared the killing of Gingoyon to those of journalists slain in the line of duty.

"Democracy has no meaning when journalists who expose the truth, lawyers who present the evidence and judges who pronounce the judgments are killed like dogs," the group said. E-Just also decried what they claimed was an apparent inaction of the law enforcement agencies to solve high profile murders in the past years.

"Our leaders condemn with words the assassinations but the killings go on and on. Soon our democracy itself will become endangered specie. One wonders if our government exists to protect our lives," De Vera said. -With Paolo Romero, Christina Mendez, Michael Punongbayan