Hello world!

papa2I shall be writing topics as it comes to mind. It could be topics, past or present, but relative to the times. I shall also be reacting to articles published, whether domestic or foreign, and voicing my opinion. My views shall always be objective.

Every now and then I shall also be sharing with you videos, photos, sayings and graphics of people, animals, places, etc., that I find interesting, which I hope you will appreciate.

Also, there are times when I will be posting articles about facts – why it happened that way or what could have been if something else happened.

I welcome you to my blog site and I look forward to inter-acting with you.

Your participation, your thoughts and commentaries, either for or against, will be very much appreciated.

We may have differences in opinion but that is the essence of being rational, to be able to agree to disagree. It is my aim that as we go along we enlighten not only ourselves but also those that finds the opportunity/chance to visit this site.

Let us enrich each other in knowledge and build each other up in friendship.

Thank you.

Jesus Sievert a.k.a  Quierosaber

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¡Hola mundo!

Escribiré temas como estos vienen a la mente. Esto podría ser temas, pasadas o presentes, pero con relación a los tiempos. También reaccionaré a artículos publicados, doméstico o extranjero, y expresaré mi opinión. Mis vistas siempre serán objetivo.

De vez en cuando también compartiré con ustedes vídeos, fotos, refranes y gráficos de la gente, animales, lugares, etc., que encuentro interesante y espero que lo aprecian.

También, hay tiempos cuando fijaré artículos sobre hechos – por qué pasó así o lo que podría haber sido si algo más pasara.

Bienvenidos a mi sitio de blog y espero colaborar con Vd. en el futuro.

Su participación, sus pensamientos y comentarios, para o contra, serán muy apreciados.

Podemos tener diferencias en la opinión pero eso es la esencia de ser racional, ser capaz de consentir en discrepar. Esto es mi objetivo que como continuamos, aclaramos no sólo nosotros mismos sino también aquellos  que encuentran  la oportunidad/posibilidad de visitar este sitio.

Déjenos enriquecer el uno al otro en el conocimiento y en la amistad.

Gracias.

Jesus Sievert alias Quierosaber

Debate will only disgrace Binay more

 

Senator Antonio Trillanes and Vice President Jejomar Binay

Senator Antonio Trillanes and Vice President Jejomar Binay

If Vice President Jejomar Binay wants his dwindling lead in the 2016 presidential race from making a nosedive faster than he deems necessary, then he should take back his dare and refrain from debating Senator Antonio Trillanes over the corruption issues against him.

In fact Trillanes is the wrong person to be debating against in defending and proving his probity because the former just happens to be interested in investigating his corrupt practices especially that he is eying for the presidency.

The right person to have been challenged by Binay is his former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado who has been the biggest source of Binay’s woes. His damning allegations should be the ones contradicted and proven false. Trillanes will simply be chanting Mercado’s denunciations against Binay.

Binay, a crafty politician that he is, must have thought that debating against Mercado, an insider in Makati and a former ally, was like putting himself in front of a steamroller. Besides, as we have all witnessed in the Senate investigation, Mercado, a non-lawyer, can also be very articulate in both English and Tagalog.

Prudence dictates, therefore, that for Binay to have the advantage, he should instead challenge Trillanes, who, as a soldier and as a member of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, lacks the fluency or the savvy of a lawyer. One should not wonder that Binay’s challenge wasn’t hurled at Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano. The former knew he would only be a minced meat, for let us admit it, Binay himself is really not that glib and articulate compared to Cayetano.

But if Binay believes he could easily demolish Trillanes, then he has to ponder deeply for after all these hearings the latter has now been able to equip himself with the necessary goods that will make his offensive formidable – thanks to Mercado and company. Special thanks go also to businessman Antonio Tiu’s ownership disclosures about the controversial ‘Binay hacienda’ that are full of holes and the incriminating “Our place in Batangas” Instagram posted by Binay’s daughter, which will only strengthen more Trillanes’ arguments.

If Binay feels disadvantaged for not being able to defend himself before the Blue ribbon subcommittee because of his perceived biased disposition of the investigative body against him, and the reason why he is bringing the case directly to the people , then debating with Trillanes will not change all that. What we have been hearing during the senate investigation will be heard again during the debate and I don’t think Binay possesses the ability to convince the people that Trillanes’ offensive bombs are all duds.

If Binay had the eloquence and the debating prowess of a Salonga, a Marcos, a Manglapus, a Tolentino, a Sumolong, etc., of yesteryears, I wouldn’t doubt the outcome of this looming debate.

But as it is there is only debacle that awaits Binay at the end.

Revilla giving up money if proven guilty

Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla

Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla

Pique by what Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla described as “premature” bid by the Sandiganbayan (graft-court), following the motion of the Ombudsman, to garnish his multi-million-peso assets through a writ of preliminary attachment, the combative senator declared that he would give all the money he earned as an actor if government lawyers can prove that he committed plunder involving his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

A writ of attachment is generally used to freeze assets of a defendant pending the outcome of a legal action. It is simply preventing the accused from doing some further chicanery, considering the history of the case, in a way that the court could no longer recover his ill-gotten wealth if and when it finds him guilty. The assets are said to include multiple bank accounts, real properties, shares of stocks as well as vehicles.

Finding Revilla guilty is a compelling challenge that the Sandiganbayan justices should not take very lightly, including those justices of the other Sandiganbayan divisions handling the cases of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada.

It is a challenge to their intelligence and competency, but more than anything else, it is becoming a demanding challenge to their egos for the decision of the cases before them against the three senators could either shame them or glorify them.

As fearless and cocky Revilla has become in his stance that he could defend all the transactions in his bank account as examined by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), it now behooves on the Sandiganbayan to refute that not all of the wealth amassed by Revilla came from his being a successful box-office star.

“Everyone in the movie industry knows how I make millions of money from one blockbuster movie alone. And in my more than 20 years in showbiz, I can say that the amount of money I am accused of having stolen is quite small compared to my aggregate earnings as an action star.”

Either the person saying this is vulgarly arrogant or is simply pretending that he is lily-white clean – a saint.

The Sandiganbayan, therefore, has a tall order to follow. What makes it even demanding is that the Filipino people are expecting them to perform an impressive job of unmasking and proving the guilt of Revilla, Enrile and Estrada.

It is not enough that both the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan have marred the reputation of the senators. What complete their tasks is to prove that the senators deserve their marred reputations.

Then that will justify the writ of preliminary attachment of their assets and make it even easier to recover their ill-gotten wealth.

No special treatment for detainee Estrada

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada's new look in custody.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada’s new look in custody.

The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division should really be commended for not giving credence to the five-page motion by the lawyers of detained Senator Jinggoy Estrada to allow the latter to leave the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame and observe All Saints’ Day at different cemeteries even for four hours only – 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

I am sure this move was initiated by Estrada and I wonder what made him think of himself so special that he thought he would be granted a breather outside the center.

In opposing the motion, the justices said that a five-hour pass would “create an impression that Estrada, being a high-ranking public official, is a favored detainee over and above other similarly situated detainees” if granted by the Sandiganbayan.

“As a detention prisoner, accused should not be treated differently from all other prisoners who may want to visit the dead and their dearly departed on All Saints’ Day.”

Exactly!

It seems like the confinement of Estrada and his description as a detainee has not sunk in yet until this time.

It could also be that his arrogance continues to blind him from his scandalous indiscretions such that he could not realize reality from fiction especially that he went on practicing his trade as an actor even when he was already a senator.

Estrada is accused of pocketing P183.79 million in kickbacks from dealings with fake NGOs from 2004 to 2012. The Ombudsman said Estrada chose bogus NGOs as “project partners” for livelihood projects financed by his PDAF.

In a world where a rape victim is hanged and a dead rapist declared innocent

Reyhaneh Jabbari

Reyhaneh Jabbari

Perhaps we will never know the truth why Reyhaneh Jabbari, a 26-year old Iranian woman, was hanged in a Tehran prison despite claiming she was a victim of sexual assault.

According to reports, Jabbari’s woes started seven years before in 2007 when she killed Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, an Iranian intelligence agent, who sought her services as an interior designer and invited her to his flat on the pretense of discussing the redesign of his office, but who instead abused her.

Jabbari is said to have stabbed Sarbandi and claimed the killing was an act of self-defense.

She was convicted of his murder at a subsequent trial after confessing, which many claim was extracted under duress, and sentenced to hanging in 2009.

Her pleas of self-defense failed to sway judges at various stages of appeal up to Iran’s Supreme Court and she remained in prison throughout.

Her last chance of reprieve lay with the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but he failed to intervene.

Under Iranian law, the family of victims is to grant clemency in capital punishment cases.

Although Jabarri admitted to stabbing Sarbandi once in the back, she alleged that he was actually killed by someone else in the house.

Jalal Sarbandi, the victim’s eldest son, said Jabbari had refused to identify the man. “Only when her true intentions are exposed and she tells the truth about her accomplice and what really went down will we be prepared to grant mercy,” he told the media earlier this year.

But nothing has changed and not even the United Nations’ as well as Amnesty International’s appeal for the stay in execution mattered. The victim’s family could have saved Jabbari’s life by accepting blood money but they refused to do so. For how could a knife inflicted on the back of the deceased be an act of self-defense?

Seeing Jabarri not telling the truth ever, the Sarbandi family insisted on their legal rights under the Islamic principle of “an eye for an eye”.

Now they are even.

Binay, God, and the truth

Vice President Jejomar Binay

Vice President Jejomar Binay

I do not know if Vice President Jejomar Binay’s God could really make a difference in his pursuit for the truth against the corruption allegations being accrued against him.

But entreating Divine Providence is foolishness for his gradually eroding lead in the presidential surveys only mean that he is up against the God of the Filipino people who have given Him thanks for elucidating them in understanding better the man who would do anything to be president in 2016.

It is not about telling God or the crowd of political supporters called upon to attend his visits to the provinces that some senators are making the senate a stage to attack or ridicule his persona or sadly emoting that he is not the owner of the 350-hectare farm in Rosario, Batangas, as alleged, but rather, it is about proving and justifying that all the claims and accusations against him are hearsay.

If, indeed, telling the truth will set a maligned individual free, then what more fitting venue to refute the issues, in the case of Binay, than to do it at the senate floor so he can confront his detractors at will.

So much have been said by so many, including myself, about Binay’s seemingly hard-nosed attitude in not honoring the invitation of the senate investigation about his alleged corrupt practices with the excuse that the investigative body has already prejudged him.

Binay is a lawyer, so why not disprove the perceived prejudgment and let the same people following the proceedings hear his side?

One cannot help but agree with Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s observation/opinion on Binay’s case.

“That is the normal reaction of an innocent person, he flies up and down, he tears at his hair, drives himself to the roof, he shouts to high heaven for justice and then he presents his evidence. He cannot just say they are all lies, I deny all of them,” Santiago said.

“The natural instinct of man compels him to resist an unfounded claim or imputation and defend himself. It is totally against our human nature to just remain reticent and say nothing in the face of false accusations. Hence, silence in such cases is always construed as implied admission of truth,” Santiago quoted an SC ruling.

Among the many questions that Binay has to answer and defend, there is one that he should explain and make clear to the people: If he is not the owner of the Batangas property, then what reason does he have in donning his much comfortable/homey camouflage military uniform to guide friends and guests, alike, around? If it is not his property, then why make it a point in inviting people to the place? The same question goes to Mrs. Binay. Does it mean that every time the Binays invite guests to the place they have to say – “I don’t own this property, but I am inviting you here because it is world class!”

Absurd, isn’t it?

But then again, silence implies that it could be owned by the Binay’s.

Laude’s death and the Phil-US relation

VFADon’t get me wrong.

I am not denigrating the death of Filipino transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude in the hands of US Marine Joseph Pemberton. Anytime a heinous crime is committed against a person, regardless of his/her sexual orientation, it is always understandable that an uproar ensues and the clamor for justice demanded by the victim’s family, friends and supporters who identify with the victim.

The circumstances surrounding Laude’s death made it a perfect crucible for disappointment and anger for those concerned that it resulted to the demand of abrogating the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the US and the Philippine governments.

But think about it again – do we really have to do that?

Yes, the death of Laude is an issue because an American soldier is involved, but while the case is admittedly still under the purview of the VFA, it should be legally treated separately and distinctly without really jeopardizing the importance and the bigger significance that the VFA is all about.

The Phil-US relationship, through the VFA, is a bigger concern and people should be aware of this. Let not the death of a person, no matter how brutal, overshadow the benefits the country get out of this agreement.

The VFA is not only about strengthening the common security interest of both nations, but it also allows us to develop better the capabilities of our troops through crisis-action planning, enhanced training to conduct counter terrorism operations, and promoting interoperability of the forces.

Let us face it. If the Philippines won’t play a role in supporting the US in its critical pivot to Asia strategy, what would become of us and from whom shall we seek help especially that China is already poised to take over the control of the South China Sea and practically has already a foot in our own territorial waters?

Yes, we have the troops in the AFP but what good are they without the much needed military equipment to protect our land, the sea and the sky? Courage, determination and pride are good to have, but it takes training and military hardware to fight for your country.

So it does not make sense therefore that in crying for justice we take away the umbrella that helps us get shield from evil internal and external threats against the security, stability and sovereignty of the country.

Not only that but even during calamities – like the onslaught of Yolanda. Without asking, America was the first to come to our aid and even now they haven’t stopped helping us.

The current Ebola pandemic is something to worry about and where do you think shall we be turning around for help if, God forbids, it gets to some of our oversea workers and start contaminating people here?

These are just some points to ponder before one starts acting irrationally in condemning a nation that has also done some good to us.

The more Binay snubs senate probe, the guilty he is perceived to be

Vice President Jejomar Binay

Vice President Jejomar Binay

Vice President Jejomar Binay has to retrace back his steps and start on the right foot because by snubbing the senate probe about his ill-gotten wealth and making sorties to the provinces in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to explain what he claims are lies, baseless allegations and politically motivated charges against him are steps started by the wrong foot.

Obviously one cannot discount political motivation, but the existence of serious testimonies, documentations, corroborations and video presentations of his alleged wealth brought about by his corrupt practices during his stint as CEO of Makati City cannot just easily be fabricated or dreamed up unless all those coming forward to divulge the real identity of Binay have mental cases.

But the fact that they had been invited to the senate by the blue ribbon committee to expose the alleged blatant anomalies committed by Binay, to include his wife and children, as rulers of Makati for several decades now, only mean that they are all mentally stable and deserved to be heard – for whatever purpose it will serve the senate.

As the senate venue must be a welcomed forum for the invited resource persons to unmask the real identity of Binay, so are majority of the Filipino people relieved and indebted for the invited individual’s brave attestations considering that their revelations will help us decide whether or not Binay deserves to be the president of the country in 2016.

As a recap, the issues raised against Binay ranges from the alleged P2.28-billion overprice in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II, the alleged kickbacks received from infrastructure projects when he was mayor, and his alleged use of dummies to hide his assets, including the now infamous 350-hectare Binay hacienda.

During the last senate hearing, the arrogant businessman Antonio Tiu, who claims he owns the scandalous 350-hectare hacienda and not Binay, only succeeded in putting the latter dismally in his rut. He and his lawyer finally fall into the trap that Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano set for them, which is admitting that the P11 million down payment, out of the total cost of P446 million, was only for the use of the property and not an absolute ownership of the estate as he don’t even have the title yet. Legally the owner is still one, Gregorio Laureano Jr., from whom Tiu allegedly bought the property. Now it remains to be seen if Laureano has the title and whether or not it has his name on it.

Since the last hearing, some developments have surfaced already. One is that Tiu will be filing a civil case against Trillanes for “defamation” – for saying that he is a “dummy” of Binay. Another is that Binay has challenged Trillanes to a debate.

Now, what a way to defend oneself!

Is wanting to find the truth from somebody an act of defamation? If you are not a dummy then prove it beyond reasonable doubt. Or is it just about braggadocio?

Is wanting to absolve oneself from graft and corruption charges attained by debating a soldier-senator? Why not challenge a more fitting foe – Cayetano?

But that is not my point.

My point is: since the senate has become a forum for these scandalous issues against Binay and if he is a lawyer worth his salt, why not face his detractors at the same venue so his explanation can be easily and speedily brought to the Filipino audiences, who might just change their corrupt perception of him.

But Binay must be articulate otherwise he will just end up convincing the Filipinos that he is what he has been woefully described – a corrupt politician, the likes of those lawmakers in police custody now.