JAPANESE WW II AIRPORT REVIVED BY CANDIDATE

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

 BULAN, Sorsogon, Philippines (JGL) – In 1943, the Japanese Imperial Army started building an airport in a small sitio of Bulan, Sorsogon so their soldiers can easily escape if General MacArthur were to return with his Allied soldiers during World War II.

But because of the extraordinary grit and resiliency of the Filipino guerillas (militias), they were able advance the timetable of MacArthur’s return, which caught the Japanese by surprise.

As MacArthur was carpet-bombing Leyte from the nearby Leyte Gulf, the Japanese Forces abandoned the airport they were building in what is now believed to be sitio Oyango in Bulan that ends up in Ticao Pass, a part of the Luzon Strait that connects the Philippine Sea to the South China Sea (Philippine Western Sea) in the western Pacific Ocean.

inlandviewofrunway

(LOLO BOBBY M. Reyes (right) surveys the extend of the runway of the Bulan Airport, which he said he will complete if he were elected Sorsogon governor on Monday, May 9, during his visit to the area recently in Bulan, Sorsogon, Philippines. (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)

Several Philippine presidents since Liberation had dreams of reviving the construction of the airport but an independent candidate for provincial governor LOLO Bobby M. Reyes would like to finally help the people of Bulan (Bulanenos) have their own airport if he is elected governor on Monday, May 9, 2016. Government officials who tried to build the airport just put the money for the airport in their pockets that’s why nothing had come out of the airport, Mr. Reyes said.

Mr. Reyes said he could make the Bulan Airport a reality if his patron, Sen. Grace Poe, is elected president on Monday.

Mr. Reyes, who celebrated his 70th birthday last May 1, said the completion of the Bulan International Airport (BIA) is going to be one of the flag-ship projects of his administration out of the ten priority projects to “reinvent” the Quality of Life in Sorsogon and its “Isles of the Future” and create 300,000 jobs.

 TAKING A PAGE FROM FRIVALDO

 Taking a page from Sorsogon’s longest-serving governor, the late Juan G. Frivaldo, who sported the name “Tata (elderly) Juan,” Mr. Reyes said his moniker “LOLO,” which means grandfather in Bikol, stands for “Law and Order, Less Government and Opportunities equally for all.”

As a long-time Balikbayan from Los Angeles, California, where he was a lifelong community activist, LOLO Bobby returned to his boyhood and high school-age home of Barangay Bibingcahan in what he now calls “Bacon-Sorsogon (Bac-Sor) City” with all the wisdom and perspectives he accumulated so that he could pay back his dues to his  province of birth.

Based on his writings from his travels on his own mabuhayradio.com and Facebook posts, LOLO Bobby now wants to put those ideas into practice if he luckily wins the majority vote of the 425,025 Sorsogon voters, who had an 83.71% voting turnout record in 2013.

Bobby decided to run for governor of Sorsogon when he started to urge Senator Poe to run for president, when nobody did, thru his Facebook posts, which generated tens of thousands of likes and followers and when nobody from the crop of candidates for governor in Sorsogon supported Ms. Poe. Bobby was introduced to Ms. Poe by his daughter, who was a classmate of Ms. Poe from grade one in Antipolo City to high school.

Because Bobby is not allowed to host a radio program a few weeks in the run-up of the elections, he asked some of his friends, including this reporter and Bubot Laguna, to sub for him in spreading his message over Catholic radio station (DZGN-FM, 102.3mHz)(11a.m. to 12 noon) hosted by Psalm Geraldino and PADABA (103.9 FM) (4 p.m.-6 p.m.) hosted by Bhem Emmanuel Desabayla.

 RUNWAY TURNED INTO PALAY PLATFORM

withfarmersIn his visit to Purok 7-B in Bulan Airport with this reporter, LOLO Bobby told the people, who turned the 10-lane runaway of the airport into palay drying platform, that with the grace of God if he were elected Sorsogon governor, he foresees the airport to be his flag-ship project that could generate hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs.)

“I will make sure that you will earn a minimum of P1,000 (US$22.22) a day in contrast to Manila where P450 (US$10.00) a day is the minimum daily wage,” Bobby told one of farmers who were drying his palay over the ten-lane runway.

terminal_edited-1

(ASIDE FROM THIS Terminal building, only the 10-lane runaway is the only visible task that was constructed from an alleged release of P15-M (US$333,333) to construct the airport in 2007. (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)

When asked why he is making Bulan Airport his main project, Bobby said, “I am the son of Cristina Mercado, who hails from Bulan. And I am the only candidate out of the eight candidates for governor, who hails from Bulan.”

It was reported by the Bulan Observer that sometime in 2007, there was funding for the airport in the amount of P15-M (US$333,333) for the parcellary survey, to complete the runway upgrading and right-of-way acquisition that was supposed to be completed by 2008. It did not mention if the terminal building that is the only visible building in the airport was part of the funding.

outwardviewofrunway

(HIS EXPANSIVE runway that was started by Japanese Imperial Forces was being rebuilt by every administration after World War II but has yet to be completed. LOLO Bobby M. Reyes, a son of a native of Bulan, Sorsogon in the Philippines, wants to finish this Bulan International Airport if he is elected Sorsogon governor on Monday, May 9. The runway ends in Ticao Pass, a part of the Luzon Strait that connects the Philippine Sea to the South China Sea (Philippine Western Sea) in the western Pacific Ocean. (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)

Aside from the airport and the other priority projects he wants to pursue, Mr. Reyes said he wants to introduce economic development in Sorsogon because it is one of the 20 poorest provinces in the Philippines. “It’s about time somebody has to do positive things for the province and of course I want zero corruption. I would handle peace and order under a law and order program that will stop corruption and stop crimes from rising, especially drug epidemic.”

He said his projects have been posted on his Facebook page and website, mabuhayradio.com.

Although nobody is bankrolling his campaign, LOLO Bobby likes his chances to be elected governor as he has been rated fourth among the eight gubernatorial candidates by a Sorsogon radio station.

lookingathimself

(BECAUSE HE has no money to pay for his own billboard, Independent candidate LOLO Bobby M. Reyes is very pleased to see and thankful that the office of Sorsogon City Mayor  Sally A. Lee and the Sorsogon City Tourism Office have included his name and photo in the billboard of six of eight Sorsogon gubernatorial candidates. LOLO Bobby said that the “catch” of the ad is actually a backhanded endorsement of one of the candidates, Eric Dioneda (PDP-Laban), whose educational attainment was portrayed as a college undergraduate first-year midwifery education. Mayor Lee’s son, Bobet Lee Rodrigueza (Liberal Party), is portrayed as a holder of a BSBA-Management degree while LOLO Bobby Reyes is a college graduate in AB Journalism. (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)

Mr. Reyes said on or before July 1, 2016, the first day of office when he takes over the “Sorsogon Interactive New Government (SING),” he will launch simultaneously 10 or more crash-programmed projects designed to raise dramatically the “Quality of Life (QoL)” of the people of Sorsogon that will lead to eliminate unemployment and underemployment.

 “PROJECT 2021”

 He said ten separate task forces, with at least 100 trained staffers each, will be organized and fielded to implement the projects that will translate into hundreds of thousands of new well-paying and permanent jobs.

All local-government units (LGU’s) will be asked to provide more manpower and support to the task forces.

The priority projects will be classified into short-, medium-, and long-term goals that shall be the vehicles needed to accomplish the so-called “PROJECT 2021.” “They will be treated like items in a conveyor belt of an assembly line, so that a long-term project can become a short-term goal if the circumstances and needed resources are present,” Bobby said.

Among the “PROJECT 2021” that will take Sorsogon from 20th to the 21st century (2016-2021) are introducing to the province a Health Maintenance Organization that will provide “Patients’ Rights and Responsibilities” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/216368558400241); education reforms, including retraining of teachers, increasing their salaries, lowering teacher-student ratio, school-provided meals to elementary students and acquisition of modern equipment (https://www.facebook.com/groups/390671054351428/); inspection and retrofitting of concrete buildings in the province, including churches, followed by school-based earthquake-and-other-disaster-preparation classes and training and fielding of trained volunteer fire-and-disaster brigades;

Organization or re-organization of tree-farming co-ops in all the province’s 541 barangays (barrios) and crash program of planting cacao, coffee and cash crops and their shade trees, including an extensive cultivation of bamboo, so as to double the income of participating families in five to ten years, thereby wiping out poverty;  organization and reorganization of fishing co-ops in all the coastal barrios of the province, including the massive cleaning (every weekend) of Sorsogon Bay, the province’s 50 rivers and numerous springs, brooks and other bodies of water and reforestation of their watershed areas. (http://www.mabuhayradio.com/ecology-and-the-environment/the-save-our-sorsogon-sos-bay-initiative);

withwidowofairportproponent

(LOLO BOBBY M. Reyes (extreme left) paid a courtesy call on Flor Solis (second from left), widow of the late Sorsogon Rep. Jose Solis (whose photo is hanging above) of the second district of Sorsogon, who lobbied for the construction of the Bulan Airport, in the house of Mrs. Solis and her daughter-in-law, Joanne Solis, who is running for provincial board member for the second district of Sorsogon, Bubot Laguna and journalist, Joseph G. Lariosa. (JGL Photo)

The fresh water of Sorsogon’s 50 rivers and other springs, brooks and streams can be harnessed and exported to different parched countries as today clean potable water is more expensive than crude oil or even gasoline. Launching of food-production centers with grain-storage silos, solar-powered refrigerated warehouse and other equipment; Concreting of the runways, aprons parking spaces of the Bulan and Bacon airports, the construction of control towers, with electronic-and-electrical facilities and fuel depots. (https://www.facebook.com/notes/bobby-m-reyes/how-to-complete-the-bulan-airport-as-revised/10202484307966425); the “New Uber-like Parcel Service and Postal House” (www.nupsph.com); solving the growing squatter problem; massive tourism development program; launching of a law-and-order campaign with a “reinvented” Sorsogon Provincial Sheriff’s Office and fielding of one law-enforcement officer (LEO) with training of five employees that will compose a security force of 5,000 to safeguard millions  of domestic and foreign tourists.
And many other projects that include development of stock market, title insurance industry, workmen’s compensation industry, crop-insurance and/or health-insurance industry, broadband industry, call centers, water parks, solid waste, waste-water (for the Bac-Man geothermal plant) and sewage treatment plants and other environmental friendly energy projects. (
jglariosa@hotmail.com)

Videoclip:  https://youtu.be/oUize3Zp4g4

Joseph G. Lariosa
Correspondent
Journal GlobaLinks
5401 West Lawrence Ave.

Suite 30110
Chicago, IL 60630
Tel. 312.772.5454
Telefax 312.428.5714
E-Mail address: Jgl@jgli.net
Website: jgli.net
Facebook: Joseph G. Lariosa
Twitter: @jogalar
———————–

LGU-Bulan 2010 Budget At 118 Million Pesos

From PIO- LGU Bulan  Mr. Tonyboy Gilana

 

Bulan, Sorsogon, December 31, 2009:

The Sangguniang Bayan has passed Appropriation Ordinance No. 02, series of 2009, authorizing the Annual Budget of the Local Government Unit for Fiscal Year 2010 in the total amount of 118,197,163.00 pesos covering the various expenditures for the municipal government.

In her Budget Message, Mayor Helen De Castro emphasized the need to judiciously manage the finances of the Local Government Unit to properly address the growing needs of about a hundred thousand people in the municipality, through the various programs of her Administration especially in the areas of Health, Education, Livelihood, Environment and Nutrition/Social Services (HELEN Program).

Of this amount, P98,197,163.00 shall come from the Local Government share from the Internal Revenue Allotment, while an estimated P20,000,000.00 shall be from the local taxes and revenues to be generated by the economic enterprises facilities like the Public Market, the Terminal, the Community Park, the Muncipal Fishport and various other revenue-generating activities.

The bulk of the expenditures, amounting to P54,173,506.00 shall go to General Services accounts like personnel services. Social Services Sector gets a share of P15,989,236.41, with Health taking in P8,884,993.00.The Economic Services Sector expenditures are expected next year to be in the amount of P11,281,176.60.

For Other Services, which includes Statutory Obligations, the 20% Community Development Fund comes in the amount of P19,639,432.60. Five percent or P5,909,858.15 is reserved for the Calamity Fund. P63,000 has been allotted as Aid to Barangays. A Lumpsum Appropriations of P2,500,000.00 as Terminal Leave Pay is also intended this year for out-going elective and other appointive officials.

Debt-servicing stands at P8,640,000.00 to cover payments for loans made by the Local Government Unit, and these include the Bulan Integrated Terminal and the DOF Premiumed Loans for the public market.

More municipal roads are due for repair and rehabilitation this year on account of the floods that caused much destruction this year, and the LGU is making sure that the pool of equipment is properly maintained to ensure consistent operation.

The municipal government is still waiting for the full implementation of the budget pending final approval by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, which has the power to review and/or reject the municipal proposal. /

Addendum:

“The Municipal Budget last year 2009 was P103,873,243.00. In 2008, the Budget was P102,078,480.70. So there was a marked increase especially in the share the municipal government got from the national government through the IRA or Internal Revenue Allotment.”

Please take note that the Local Revenues/ Incomes (P20,000,000.00) are mostly estimates. This amount will be possible only if we can realize our collection targets, through our economic enterprises and revenue-generating activities like business licenses, local taxes, service facility charges, etc.

The purpose why we released this news is because it is necessary that we in the LGU of Bulan be  TRANSPARENT  in our fiscal responsibilities and duties to the people of Bulan.

                                                    ……end…..

Kidnapped ICRC Workers: Good News And Bad News

by: attybenji 

 

The good news is – Filipina hostage Mary Jane Lacaba was rescued and recovered alive from the kidnappers (April 2, 2009). Some reports alleged that she was handed-over formally by the captors to the negotiators, not rescued, upon payment of ransom!

The bad news is – the Swiss Andreas Notter and Italian Eugenio Vagni are still under captivity, sad to say, a day after freeing Lacaba, the kidnappers threatened to execute these two remaining captives. We do not know when? May awa ang diyos, huwag po naman sana!

With this new development, authorities are readying the evacuation of over 21,000 residents in 5 towns of Sulu for a possible worst case scenario or armed confrontation between security forces and the Abu Sayyaf bandits, as reported in various newspapers (April 3, 2009)

In retrospect: Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba, Swiss Andreas Notter and Italian Eugenio Vagni have been kidnapped and remained in the jungles of Sulu since January 15, 2009. They were abducted after a visit to a local prison where the Red Cross is funding a water project.

Recall that barely an hour before the ultimatum would lapse, Philippine Red Cross Chairman Senator Richard Gordon asked the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers for proof that the three Red Cross volunteer workers were alive as government troops and tanks moved closer amidst the threats to behead the captives. (April 1, 2009)

Senator Gordon’s messages to the captives, while uttering the words of comfort and inspiration, suddenly tears fell from his eyes, saying – “The whole family of Red Cross prays for you and I’m proud of the way you’ve comported yourself”. “I’m sorry I should be stronger than you because I’m not in the midst of the ordeal you are in now.”

And to the captors he pleaded, – “There was no glory in what the captors are doing. You are just pinning yourself down. These people are not your enemies. They were here to help the prisoners in the city jail by providing them with water and other needs”.

As the crisis deepens, the Catholic Church is urging Filipinos to pray for the release of the kidnapped ICRC workers.

The CBCP circulated copies of a pastoral letter in all catholic churches exhorting all Filipinos as brothers and sisters to reach out to both kidnappers and their hostages with prayers, saying that let it be a whole nation praying that all may experience true freedom and security. Likewise The CBCP is appealing to both kidnappers and the government to use every peaceful means to address thought peaceful process what ever is the root of this on going problem of kidnapping in Jolo, Sulu and the whole country.

We, as peace loving Filipinos, are sympathizing with the plight that the hostages are facing right now in the hinterlands of Sulu. They are facing the uncertainty of tomorrow, “nangangamba tayo na baka gagawin ng mga bandido ang kanilang banta”, God forbids!

– Just try to sympathize with their families, and imagine the sufferings, anguishes, mental torture, psychological-emotional pains, sleepless nights, mental shocks, fears and insecurities. As, anytime from now, the captives would be caught in the crossfire of the battle between the kidnappers and government forces once the latter commences its rescue operations. Also, anytime from now, they can be executed and beheaded by their captors.

From a distance, we can only offer our prayers for the lasting solution to this horrible situation in Sulu and for the release of the two other captives from the hands of the Abu Sayyaf bandits.

After freeing the Filipina, the fate of the hostages is still uncertain and unknown, and the fear of bloodshed is inevitable once the military begins its rescue operations in Sulu. Madaming inosenteng civilians ang madadamay sa bakbakang militar at mga bandidong grupo!

– Also, try to dramatize the situation, and imagine a scenario, or put yourself in the shoes of the families or relatives of one of the hostages, or of all the hostages, coupled with the shocking news update every now and then that the kidnappers are threatening to behead the hostages one by one. For sure, “hindi ka mapapakali, hindi ka makakain, maiihi ka, matatae ka, iikot ang tumbong mo at hindi ka makakatulog”, why? Because these group of kidnappers are known for their barbaric acts in the past. By all means, they have the capacity to exterminate the captives when their demands for ransom, or otherwise, are not heeded, and not taken seriously by the government negotiators, etc.

In fact, I was monitoring this incident for weeks now, and believe me guys while I was watching the news update on TV, a day before Lacaba was released, “naluha ako at naiyak”, because I could not help but to reminiscence the sad memories of the past, similar to the ordeal and nightmare that the hostages have gone thru for months in the mountains, and the tormented mind of the victims’ families as well, …… I cried, and tears fell from my eyes because some years ago my father, Ceferino was kidnapped by the NPAs, and my brother, Edilberto, was also victim of kidnapping years back in Nigeria.

In local parlance, malungkot ang alaala ng kahapon, kaya hindi ko mapigilan ang maiyak at maluha sa ganitong sitwasyun!

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RE; Kidnapping of my father, Ceferino!

Sometime in 1995, my father was kidnapped by the NPAs in San Ramon, Bulan. While my brother, a seaman-engineer, was held captive by the Nigerian rebels in Warri of 2007.

My father, a municipal councilor then, and was active in local politics in Bulan. All of the sudden, one gloomy afternoon, the NPAs had snatched my father in our house and was forcibly brought to the jungle of the unknown, and of place of no return, where most, if not all, of the civilians, who have been held hostage by the rebels were buried thereat after being strangulated, stabbed, or buried alive according the reports; my father used to describe the place as between the boundary of the towns of Juban and Magallanes overlooking the sea from a far. He was held in captivity for almost a week, blindfolded and his hands were tied, and could not sleep well due to the pestering sounds and bites of the mosquitoes, known carriers of malaria virus (hindi pa uso nuon ang sakit na dengue).

Fear of not seeing his husband anymore, my mother has already entertained a thought of committing suicide due to hopelessness, frustration and despair. No news, no update of the incident, or the whereabouts of my father is still unknown, no means of communication, no telephone, no text, no cellular phone to connect thru to the captors at that time. But, worst, the NPAs had advised my mother not to tell anybody about the incident, nor report the kidnapping to the authority, which my mother obligingly did.

Despite said warning, some concerned citizens reported the said incident to the police, and minutes thereafter, the police proceeded to our house in San Ramon to confirm the reported kidnapping of my father, but my mother, for fear of reprisal from the captors opted to remain silent about it and when asked about the incident, she even diverted the interrogation made by the men in uniform saying that my father was in Manila for his regular medical check up, but the men in uniform did not believe her claim, because my mother at that time was uneasy and crying and tears were falling from her eyes uncontrolled by cotton handkerchief.

Luckily, prayers really paid off, because after week long of captivity my father was finally released unharmed somewhere in the mountainous barangay in Irosin.

The reason why he was kidnapped? According to them, my father is a spy for the military, and is having an illicit relationship with another woman. Oh my Gulay, this is a silly accusation? This is a blatant lie and not true. A fabricated and concocted charge purportedly made by his political rivals, who have personal grudge to grind against my father, “mga inggitero” in our barangay. But, this is politics anyway, a dirty politics I should say!

In consideration of his release, a board & lodging had been charged to my father’s account, he was asked to defray of the amount of P45-Thousand pesos, which we obligingly complied with (note: from the first demand of 100thousand pesos, natawaran hanggang umabot ng 45thousand nalang), on the condition that said amount would be treated not as a payment for ransom, but to be referred to as sort of a Donation to the KILUSAN, or as payment for the board & lodging of my father while under captivity. Silly, is it not?

————————————–

RE; Kidnapping of my brother, Edilberto!

My brother, Edilberto, a seaman-engineer, was kidnapped along with the other 23 Filipino crew while their ship was navigating along the Delta River in Warri, Nigeria.

They were held in captivity for 24 days in the jungle of the Warri by the rebels who called themselves, the Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (or, “MEND”), the dreaded and most notorious group of rebels in Nigeria, engaged in piracy, kidnapping and extortion, whose leader opted to remain as a mysterious leader of the group, called “General”.

Within 24 days of captivity, we, the families, have suffered several days of sleepless nights, anxieties and mental shock, and like the ICRC Workers’ hostages, we’re also facing the same fate of uncertainty at that time. Because, the MEND rebels also threatened to execute one by one the Filipino hostages as reported in the CNN and BBC if the government of Nigeria and the ship owner would not heed to their demands. To resolve the problem, the Nigerian government has already called its men in uniform to prepare for the worst case scenario to rescue the captives at all costs, but luckily the purported plan did not push through, because the rebels threatened to use their hostages as human shields once the military pursues its plan.

We were then in constant contact with the representatives of the DFA, OWWA and the Hamonia Shipping Agency, the local manning agency, for more updates, these representatives would always advise us (families of the hostages) not to allow each one of us to be interviewed by media people in order not to jeopardize the on-going negotiations between the Nigerian government and the rebels, as well as the representative of the shipowner.

Amidst the advisory from the DFA and OWWA to shun away interviews by media people, feeling uneasy and worried of the situation, I then defied said warning, and taken the cudgel for all the families of the seamen-hostages by writing a letter of appeal to a local newspaper in Nigeria (the “Guardian”) via email. The contents of my letter was published in Nigeria and in also in various newspapers in Manila. Because of that incident, I was summoned by the DFA and that of Hamonia representatives in their office advising me to please avoid further making an appeal to the MEND rebels because in so doing I might be able to complicate or jeopardize the on-going negotiations. Their reason is “lalaki daw ang ulo ng mga rebelde at mas lalong magdedemand ng malaki dahil umaapela ang pamilya ng biktima for humanitarian considerations”.

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The Picture below, (courtesy of CNN) – where kidnappers displayed their high-powered guns to the Filipino crew hostages in the undisclosed place in Warri, Nigeria.

pix-of-hostages_1

Hereunder is my letter to the Guardian newspaper in Nigeria which was published thereat, viz:

Families’ Plea to Captors: Release Seamen in Nigeria
02/03/2007 | 10:48 AM
Email this | Email the Editor | Print | Digg this | Add to del.icio.us

Families of 24 Filipino seamen abducted in Nigeria last month appealed anew to the captors over the weekend to release their hostages.

In a letter published Friday in the Nigerian newspaper “The Guardian” (www.guardian.newsngr.com), Benjamin Gaspi of Manila sought a win-win solution to end the crisis.

“We, the families of the abducted Filipino seamen, are hereby appealing to the Nigerian militants for the immediate release of the seafarers from weeklong captivity … Once again, we appeal to the kidnappers to release the captives,” Gaspi said in his letter.

“We hope and pray that both the government and the militants should find a way to come up with a win-win solution to end the crisis. The families of these hostages in the Philippines are suffering from severe anxiety, stressful days, wounded feelings, moral shock, depression and sleepless nights,” he added.

Although Gaspi did not specify his relation to any of the abducted seamen, he indicated he was writing the letter on behalf of the families of the abducted seamen.

He said the crewmen should not have been abducted because they were “not interfering nor are they intervening in the internal and political affairs of Nigeria.”

“These seamen have nothing to pay because they have no money to pay the ransom (if any). If they really want money they can let go the crew, then take full custody of the vessel and its cargo, then the owner can now pay as well as all those people who have interest in the vessel and cargo,” he said.

Negotiations are still ongoing for the release of the 24 Filipino seafarers and crew of Baco Liner 2, a German owned-vessel held hostage by Nigerian militants last Jan. 19.

At least seven of the crewmembers were brought to a safe house while the others remained inside the ship under the control of the militants.

Gaspi also voiced concern that the hostages may contract malaria and diarrhea.

“We are very much worried and anxious because we do not even know the names of the seamen who were taken ashore and those who were held hostage inside the ship,” he said.

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 AT HINDI PA RIN PO AKO MAPAKALI, kaya sumulat ako sa Ambasador ng Pilipinas sa Abuja, Nigeria. Ito ang nilalaman ng follow-up letter ko kay Ambasador Umpa, thru email, viz:

February 1, 2007

HON. MASARANGA R. UMPA
Ambassador Plenipotentiary
Philippine Embassy in Abuja
Abuja, Nigeria

Dear Mr. Ambassador,

Warmest Greetings!

Sir, unless the those captives are released from nearly month long of captivity; anxiety, mental anguish, low morale, boredom, sleepless nights, despair and depressions will always be part of the day to day routine of the wives, families and relatives of the 24 abducted Filipino seafarers since they were held hostage last January 19, 2007 by the so called Nigerian Militants-MEND.

Considering Sir, that the DFA has imposed a news black-out on the progress of the negotiation and even told the families to cooperate with them by not entertaining interviews from the local media so as not to derail the negotiations, may we respectfully ask an update or breaking news directly from your good office on the progress or status of the negotiation between the rebels and the delta state government, including the chances of having them released as soon as possible.

We understand also that your good office is doing its best to fast track the release of the hostages. Just to calm down, pacify and appease the feeling anxieties among the families of the kidnapped seamen, please give us an update on this incident.

We hope also that you will not get angry at us for being so “MAKULIT” in asking an update from your office every now and then, after all, the lives of the Filipino people are at stake here.

Thank you so much sir for accommodating always my request.

Very truly yours,

BENJAMIN G. GASPI & FAMILY

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Another picture, (courtesy of CNN) – where kidnappers performed their native dance and rituals carrying with them loaded high-powered guns, firing their guns down the soil and up in the air.

pix-of-hostages_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon receipt of my letter, the Honorable Ambassador Umpa readily replied to my query, as follows:

PASUGUAN NG PILIPINAS EMBASSY OF THE PHILIPPINES
ABUJA

01 February 2007

Mr. Benjamin G. Gaspi
benjiegaspi@yahoo.com
MIS- 43 -2007

Dear Mr. Gaspi:

The Philippine Embassy in Nigeria acknowledges receipt of your letter dated
01 February 2007.
We understand your concern for the welfare of your brother and the rest of the
Filipino seamen abducted in Warri. Rest assured that the Embassy is doing all
its best to work out the release of our Filipino brothers.
I have personally led a six-man Embassy team to make sure that negotiations
are fast-tracked and that the Filipinos are treated well and are in good
condition. Daily contacts with the chief government negotiator are maintained
since Embassy personnel and the Delta State Government officials involved
are staying in the same place.
As regards the conflicting reports, the Embassy assures you that we are
closely monitoring every phase of the negotiations and as such, has the
higher authority to verify and confirm what transpires in the course of the talks
to release the hostages, in close coordination with the chief government
negotiator and other Delta State officials.
Thus, more weight should be given to the Embassy reports than to the articles
written in Nigerian local papers. We reiterate that the 24 Filipinos are safe and
are in good condition. The German office of the ship’s owners, as well as the
representatives of the local manning agency here in Warri have denied being
contacted whatsoever by anyone regarding the critical situation of some of the”
hostages.
Further, the Embassy would also like to inform you that it is coordinating with
the German employers in the event of release of the 24 seamen.
Finally, we are hoping for the best and we are counting on your prayers and
the rest of the Filipino nation’s so that we could see light at the end of the
tunnel soon.

We appreciate your continued support and please feel free to communicate
with the Embassy any time and be up dated with any developments.
Thank you once again and best regards.

Very truly yours,

MASARANGGA A.R. UMPA
Ambassador

——————————

Also, picture below (courtesy of CNN), as told by my brother, sometimes kidnappers would point the barrels of their guns to the captives to intimidate them, and more significantly to catch the attention of the international community. (you see how worried they are in this picture).

pix-of-hostages_3At Last, after marathon negotiation with the kidnappers, the 24-Filipino crew, who were held hostage by the MEND militant rebels, were finally released upon paying of, allegedly more or less, 50M U.S. dollars as ransom.

Released Finally: as published in Manila Times, and other local newspapers and tabloid, viz:

Emotional Reunion for Released Seamen

Monday, February 19, 2007
REUNITED with her husband Roberto, chief engineer of the ship seized by rebels in Nigeria, Jocelyn Arcangel said she and her family would take a holiday before deciding on their future.
Roberto was among the 24 Filipino seamen recently released after being held captive at gunpoint for 24 days. They flew home Saturday to an emotional reunion with loved ones.
“We will have a very long family vacation after this incident and we’ll decide after whether he [Roberto] should leave again,” Jocelyn said.
“My sons don’t want him to leave anymore. It was very traumatic. We have not heard from them for a long time and there are fears that they were harmed,” she said.
Roberto said he just wanted to be with his family before declining to talk further with reporters.
Glenda Cagas said her husband, Herculano Cagas, the ship’s third engineer, would probably ship out again after resting in Manila, despite his traumatic ordeal.

“It is difficult, but we don’t have any other choice. We need the livelihood for the family,” Cagas said, noting that their two children aged six and four have yet to enter primary school.
“The hardest part for us was when we saw them on cable television being threatened with guns by their captors in masks,” she said.
Looking haggard after their ordeal but smiling and waving, the men were met by government officials and a throng of journalists after disembarking from a commercial flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“We are very happy. Thank you very much President [Gloria] Arroyo,” they said in unison to an explosion of camera flashes.
They were quickly taken to Malacañang and tearfully reunited with family and friends.
Gunmen seized the oil workers on January 20 from a Nigerian-flagged, German-owned cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria.

They were held captive under constant threat by masked gunmen in muddy swamps of the oil-rich Delta region, as Philippine and Nigerian negotiators worked for their release.
It is still unclear who was responsible for the seizure, although a high-profile militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, has fingered a rival outfit identified as Fndic.
The men declined to comment on negotiations that led to their freedom on February 13 for fear of jeopardizing the safety of two other Filipinos seized separately. Filipino diplomats are in Nigeria working to free them.
A Filipina woman was abducted on February 7 in Port Harcourt in Rivers State. Gunmen abducted the woman from the center of the city, at the heart of Nigeria’s oil industry.
A day earlier a Filipino employee of Netco Dietsmann-the Nigerian arm of a Monaco-based oil services company-was seized from a company car heading for the airport in Owerri, the capital of Imo State.
Nigeria is one of the biggest employers of Filipino workers in Africa, with some 3,900 Filipinos employed there at the end of 2006.
The Philippines is one of Asia’s biggest exporters of manpower, with an estimated eight million of its citizens working as maids, seafarers, oil rig workers and in other labor-intensive jobs.
President Arroyo has banned further deployments to Nigeria in the wake of the kidnappings.
On Sunday she instructed embassy officials assigned in conflict areas to ensure the safety of Filipinos in their areas.
Besides Arcangel and Cagas, the crewmembers of Baco Liner 2 are Ruben Roble, master; Elmer Nacionales, chief officer; Carlos Abellana, 2nd officer; Mauro Agacid, 3rd officer; Cirilo Nebit, 2nd engineer; Engr. Edilberto Gaspi, electro tech officer; Sukarno Landasan, Rogelio Garcia, Jonel Bernales, Manolo Isidro, Marlon Mendez, Ronaldo Corpuz, Joven Hidalgo, Jose Talde, Samson Mayo, Henry Sebastian, Jonie Saguid, Edgardo Ellera, Evelio Nacionales, Marcelino Caladman, Nelson Aquino and Herman Valez.

The President said the government would maintain close watch over the welfare of Filipino workers worldwide.
“We continue to pray with the same fervor for the remaining hostages in Nigeria in the hope that their situation will also come to a happy ending,” she said.
The President also thanked the officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs who were involved in the release of the Filipino seafarers.
“To those who work to ensure the safety of our Filipino men, thank you, particularly Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Estevan Conejos Jr. and Special Ambassador to the Middle East Roy Cimatu,” she said.
-AFP and Sam Mediavilla

——————————

The Picture below of jubilant Filipino crew upon their arrival at the NAIA, after being released from the 24 days of captivity. My brother, Edilberto, is at the center raising and waving his left-hand to the media people. He is the tallest among the crew.

freed-hostages4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PGMA Welcomes 24 Freed Seamen and their Families in Malacañang

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2007 | OFW

Twenty-four Filipino seamen, who were freed recently after almost a month of captivity by their Nigerian captors in the oil-rich Niger Delta in Nigeria, thanked President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last night for her immediate action to secure their release.

The seamen, who arrived at 6:40 p.m. at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from Nigeria via Hong Kong, proceeded to Malacañang to personally extend their gratitude to the President.

The President, together with Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, hosted a sumptuous dinner for the 24 seamen along with their family members, relatives and friends at the Palace Heroes’ Hall.

During the emotional family reunions, the President went from table to table and had brief talk with the newly-arrived seamen and their family members.

“Maraming salamat po, Madame President, sa inyong mabilis na pagtugon sa aming panawagan na kami ay mapalaya agad,” said the seafarers as they echoed their gratefulness to the President.

“Welcome back to the Philippines. Praise God! Salamat sa inyong pag-sakripisyo. Have a nice reunion sa inyong mga pamilya,” the President told them.

The Chief Executive had earlier thanked Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo for “taking a direct hand” in the release of the Filipino seamen.

She also lauded all diplomats who were involved in the immediate release of the 24 seamen, particularly Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Esteban Conejos Jr. and special envoy to the Middle East Roy Cimatu.

“Salamat sa mga nagtrabaho nating diplomat para masiguro ang inyong kaligtasan, katulad ni Usec Conejos at Ambassador Cimatu. Araw-araw ay sinasabi ko na siguraduhin ang inyong kaligtasan at 24 oras silang
nagtrabaho. Praise God that everything had ended well,” she said.

The released Filipino crew members of Baco Liner 2 who called on the President at Malacañang were Ruben Roble, master; Elmer Nacionales, chief officer; Carlos Abellana, 2nd officer; Mauro Agacid, 3rd officer; Roberto Arcangerl, chief engineer; Cirilo Nebit, 2nd engineer; Herculano Cagas, 3rd engineer; Engr. Edilberto Gaspi, electro tech officer; Sukarno Landasan, Rogelio Garcia, Jonel Bernales, Manolo Isidro, Marlon Mendez, Ronaldo Corpuz, Joven Hidalgo, Jose Talde, Samson Mayo, Henry Sebastian, Jonie Saguid, Edgardo Ellera, Evelio Nacionales, Marcelino Caladman, Nelson Aquino, and Herman Valez.

They were abducted by Nigerian gunmen on Jan. 20 and freed unharmed last Feb. 13 without any ransom paid.

Meanwhile, Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye said President Arroyo is hopeful that the two remaining Filipino hostages in Nigeria would also be released soon by their captors.

“The government maintains a close watch over the welfare and well-being of our workers all over the world, and President Arroyo always takes a personal hand in critical events such as the last one,” Bunye said.

“Active diplomacy at a high level and the active presence of our diplomats on the ground will continue to be our strategy to keep our beleaguered workers from harm’s way and to bring them home,” he added.
– – – xxx

Actually, may isa pa akong kapatid na seaman na si Alberto, ay muntik na rin makidnap ng mga Somali pirates in 2007, buti nalang daw nai-locked nila lahat ang doors ng ship, kaya hindi nakapasok sa loob at umalis agad,,, the rest is history na.

SANA WALA NG SUSUNOD NA INSIDENTE NG KIDNAPPING NG MGA FILIPINO O BANYAGA SA MINDANAO O SAAN MANG SULOK NG PILIPINAS AT MATIGIL NA RIN ANG SUNUD-SUNOD NA PAGKIDNAP NG MGA PIRATANG SOMALIA SA MGA FILIPINO SEAMEN.

GOD BLESS US ALL. SHALOM!

Long live Bulan Observer.

attybenji

                                                                                 ———–end———-

The Bulan-te Connection

Or, The Missing P3million

When Bolante told the House agriculture Committee chaired by Palawan Rep. Mitra that of the 181 recipients (or “farmers”) he listed, only 22 did not avail themselves of  the P3-million to P5-million allocations he gave them, I was delighted to know that there are still 22 “farmers” in our country who are rich and honest and don’t need fluid fertilizers. I was hoping however that this time one of these 22 honest farmers comes from Bulan or Bicol region. But again this turned quite fast into frustration when I read the report of local newspaperman Roy Gersalia in his site Off The Beaten Path that ” Congressman Jose G. Solis said in a press con held Saturday that the P3 million he received were given by him to Bulan town mayor Helen de Castro. But the mayor, however, denied it and said that if such allegations were really true, she would be very happy if indeed the congressman gave her the P3 million intended for the farmers so that she can really help her constituents particularly those engaged in farming” (source : Roy Gersalia’s Off The Beaten Path under news)

A lie is the omission of truth and with such a national government that is founded upon lie, it is no wonder that there will be no shortage of it . A lie begets lie and so even Bolante’s lie has infected Bulan or the Bicol region as a whole. The fact is Congressman Solis accepted the P3 million- to my dismay. He is not one of those 22 who refused. Though I still do not buy Bolante’s revelation about these 22 who refused (a liar is still hard to believe even when he is probably telling the truth -Aesop-) Congressman Jose G. Solis’ case is clear. However, his assertion that he gave the P3million to the mayor of Bulan Helen De Castro could be another lie or maybe a truth. This time the burden of proof rests on Congressman Jose G. Solis. This would have been easy if Mayor Helen De Castro affirmed it right from the start- or if  he had a solid proof to prove his case. But as we know, solid proof attesting to the Truth is not an SOP in Arroyo’s administration. However, now that the mayor “denied” it, it still doesn’t make her a liar. To deny is a normal reaction of somebody accused of something she thinks she did not commit. The mayor could also be omitting the truth, but in this situation, it is a very weak argument.Therefore, granting our mayor her right to presumption of innocence (and the law does not require her to prove her innocence or produce any evidence at all), we should rather focus on Congressman Solis’ corruptible character (for he accepted the P3 million) and pressure him to prove in one way or another his allegation to the public. And though we have never seen yet Bolante’s complete list, with Congressman’s Solis affirmation that he received the P3 million, he already proved to us that he is on the list.

The public has the right to speculate when their public servants are again involved in such a mess. Let’s forget the real poor farmers, but why for example give the whole of this P3 million to Mayor Helen De Castro and not equally divide it to the other Sorsogon mayors? This act alone is already unfair (poor other mayors!). Is Mayor De Castro his padaba (favorite) or he is just using her as a scapegoat? Is this a politically- motivated scenario? …

To assert something without a proof is something that is unethical, or even if you know that there is no such thing anymore as ethics in our political system, you should still avoid giving out such an allegation in a press conference. Congressman  Jose G. Solis should put things in their proper places. We demand that he explains his case to the people of Bulan! But one thing is already clear to the public: If he couldn’t provide solid evidence to his allegation then his argument is not valid and that he is solely responsible for the missing P3million.

Again, this is the result of the logic of greed  among our public servants. Very unpleasant and primitive, indeed. Remember our poor and honest boy Gangga who taught us “Never To Own Anything That’s Not Ours”? Our poor farmers are proud that they did not receive such rotten fertilizers! Mabuhay ang ating mga mag-sasaka sa Bulan! (More power to the real farmers of Bulan!)

 

jun asuncion

Bulan Observer

 

Related News article::

 

MANILA, NOVEMBER 19, 2008 (STAR) By Jess Diaz –

Department of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, Undersecretary Bernie Fondevilla and former undersecretary Jocelyn ‘Jocjoc’ Bolante take their oath during yesterday’s House hearing on the fertilizer fund scam. BOY SANTOS Former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante said a total of 159 members of the House of Representatives and local officials received their share of the P728-million fertilizer fund.
Bolante told the House agriculture committee chaired by Palawan Rep. Abraham Mitra that of the 181 fertilizer fund “proponents” he listed, only 22 did not avail themselves of the P3-million to P5-million allocations he gave them.
Bolante said he could not identify the 22 who did not get their allocations and the 159 who received funds or fertilizer.
He said the Commission on Audit (COA) should be able to identify the supposed recipients.
Bolante listed 105 congressmen, 52 governors, one vice governor and 23 town mayors as fertilizer fund proponents.
The list was part of his request for the release of P728 million in fertilizer funds. He sent the request to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Feb. 2, 2004, three months before the May presidential election.
The following day, Feb. 3, with uncharacteristic speed, the DBM released the funds Bolante requested. Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos signed the document releasing the money.
Several House members admitted receiving fertilizer and not cash from either the DA or Bolante. Others denied getting money or fertilizer.
In yesterday’s hearing, Majority Leader Arthur Defensor, who represents the third district of Iloilo, said he rejected the P5 million offered to him by a certain “Aytona.”
“I told her I was not interested and that she could talk to my mayors and see if they were interested in liquid fertilizer,” he said.
Defensor said he learned later that some of his mayors received liquid fertilizer.
Camarines Sur Rep. Felix Alfelor had the same story.
Alfelor said he told Bolante’s alleged agents to approach his mayors.
Parañaque Rep. Eduardo Zialcita, for his part, admitted receiving a fertilizer fund allocation, which he claimed was used to buy garbage shredders.
La Union Rep. Victor Ortega said he and his brother, Gov. Manuel Ortega, did not receive cash or fertilizer despite the fact that they were included in Bolante’s list of proponents.
For her part, Rep. Mitos Magsaysay of Zambales told the hearing that her father-in-law, former governor Vicente Magsaysay, was not able to get his supposed P5-million allocation.
However, House members who denied receiving cash or fertilizer in yesterday’s hearing did not ask Bolante why their names were in his list in the first place.
Former Lanao del Norte Rep. Alipio Badelles wrote the committee that he was in Bolante’s list but did not get his allotment.
Others who have denied receiving cash or fertilizer include Representatives Cynthia Villar of Las Piñas and Teodoro Locsin Jr. of Makati City, and former Quezon City representative Maite Defensor.
Quezon City Rep. Nanette Daza admitted availing herself of her P3-million allocation, which she said was used to buy garbage shredders for the Payatas dumpsite.
Speaker Prospero Nograles has admitted receiving fertilizer and not cash, and from the DA regional office in Davao, not from Bolante.
Bolante reiterated his testimony in the Senate that President Arroyo had no knowledge of the release and use of the P728 million.
He repeated his assertion that “there was no fertilizer scam” despite COA findings that there was “excessive overpricing” of the liquid fertilizer purchased by Bolante’s proponents.
In some areas, the overprice exceeded 1,200 percent, according to the COA report.
Auditors discovered that many of the lawmaker-proponents were involved in the use of their funds as evidenced by the memorandums of agreement between them and foundations they tasked to purchase liquid fertilizer.
They said House members in Bolante’s list received a total of P404 million.
In his testimony, Bolante also cleared Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap of involvement in the scam. Yap was undersecretary for operations in 2004.
Bolante said he never mentioned Yap’s name in the course of last Thursday’s Senate hearing on the fertilizer scam.
He said it was then Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano who identified Yap as DA undersecretary for operations for Luzon in 2004.
Bolante had told senators that he could not have known the anomalies in the use of fertilizer funds since he had resigned shortly after distributing the money.
He said the undersecretary for operations was the DA official who should have monitored the use of the funds.
Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel told Bolante that he is insulting Filipinos by insisting that the President was not aware of the release of hundreds of millions in fertilizer funds and in asserting that there was no scam.
“You are insulting the public with your ridiculous assertions,” she said.
Bolante replied by saying that he respects Hontiveros’ opinion.
“I will appreciate it if you can prove that what I’m saying is not true,” he said.
For his part, Nueva Vizcaya Rep. Carlos Padilla said his province received its share of P5 million in fertilizer money in 2004.
But what is mysterious is that no Nueva Vizcaya official is listed as a proponent in Bolante’s list, he said.
Padilla said it is possible that the amount his province received “came from sources other than the P728 million.”
Padilla reiterated his proposal for the Mitra committee to inquire into the total 2004 releases amounting to nearly P3 billion.
Meanwhile, Owen Bolante urged the Court of Appeals (CA) to allow his father to be placed under house arrest instead of the Senate’s custody pending decision on the habeas corpus petition before the appellate court.
AccordingtoNoel Malaya, Owen had also submitted a compliance certificate to the CA from his father’s doctor indicating his father was indeed confined at St. Luke’s Medical Center from Oct. 28 to Nov. 8.
The certificate also stated that the elder Bolante underwent medical examinations. The results were also submitted to the CA, Malaya said.
The younger Bolante filed a petition for habeas corpus on Nov. 5 questioning the custody of the Senate of his father.
Two days later, the CA ordered Senate sergeant-at-arms Jose Balajadia to reply to Bolante’s petition.
The CA also ordered Owen to secure a medical certificate from St. Luke’s to support allegations of ill health.
Bolante’s lawyer Dennis Añover explained the writ of habeas corpus is a legal remedy questioning the legal basis of Bolante’s detention by the Senate. -With Mike Frialde

To Senior Citizen

( Translation-highlighted in red- from Bulan dialect to English and vice-versa is done by  and credited to Atty. Benji of Bulan Observer. )

jun asuncion:

As promised, I’m back with my answer to your comment. To keep the overview, I broke down your comment to small units and placed my answer after each unit and used the English language so that others may understand what is going on in our town. (TRANSLATION: Para sa Senior Citizen: Naipangako ko dati, yaa na tabi an saako kasimbagan san komentaryo mo. Para masabutan nato intero, inturunga-tunga ko an komentaryo mo para simbagon ko sin punto por punto an isyu nan masabutan man san iba kun nano talaga an mga nangyayari sa bungto nato.)

senior citizen:

“My congratulations to you dahil sayo ka palan na supporter ni nonong guyala. Yadto tabi na sinabi ni ex-mayor de castro “kund dire niyo gusto kung pano i-administrar an bulan, humali kamo”, may partikular lang tabi ini na grupo sin mga tawo, sayo na doon si nonong guyala. Dire man intero an taga-bulan.” (TRANSLATION: My profound congratulations to you because you are an avid supporter of Mr. Nonong Guyala. Please be informed that when ex-Mayor de Castro uttered the words “If you’re not contented with the policies of the administration, better leave this town.” Truly, he was only practically attributing said utterances against a particular class or group of people in Bulan, one of whom is Nonong Guyala. But not to the entire people of Bulan.)

 jun asuncion:

A legitimate citizen or  group of citizens  acting constitutionally and in the interest of the town, represent the entire citizenry as provided for in the constitution (Article 4 Citizenship) with all their constitutional rights as stated in the Bill Of Rights (Article 3). Hence, to be badly treated as such, to ignore their legal rights and to drive them out of the town is equal to driving out the entire law-abiding citizenry of Bulan as defined in and protected by our Constitution. Dire man intero an taga-Bulan? Why, are there two kinds of citizenry in Bulan? Are pro-government people special people? People representing either the political opposition or the government are one and the same citizenry of Bulan. Another thing, you cannot clean out opposition in Bulan politics by driving them out of the town. Only dictators and autocratic rulers do this. Or just a plain  Mayor who is not in possession of his reason. (TRANSLATION: An sino man na lehitimo na tawo o grupo san tawo na nagtatrabaho para sa interes san bungto ay minarepresentar san intero na katawuhan alinsunod sa pinuproklama san saato Konstitusyon (Article IV-Citizenship), kaupod an intero na mga karapatan san tawo na mababasa nato sa listahan san mga karapatan pantawo (Article III-Bill of Rights). Kung kaya ngani, kapag maraot an pagtrato sa sayo na tawo sa komunidad, pareho san deri pagkilala san kanira mga karapatan panlegal, nan an pagsurmaton sin sige magralayas kamo dide sa bungto kun deri niyo gusto an pag-administrar san Bulan, baga san pareho man lang yun san pinapalayas mo an intero na tawo sa Bulan kaupod an mga nagsusunod sa laye o batas, an mga karapatan na ine ay pinuprutihiran san saato mismo na Konstitusyon. An sabi mo tabi, Deri man intero na taga Bulan? Kay nano tabi, dowa na klase an tawo o grupo san tawo sa Bulan?  Kay nano espesyal tabi na tawo an mga kaapin san administrasyon? An mga tawo na nagrerepresentar san lado san oposisyon politikal o maka-administrasyon sayo man lang na klase yun sin tawo puro mga taga Bulan. Sayo pa na bagay, deri mo basta basta mapapahali an mga nasa lado san oposisyon kun paparalayason mo sira sa Bulan.  An makahimo lang tabi sine na pagpaparalayas san tawo an sayo na Diktador o Hadi. O kaya sayo na ordinaryo na Meyor na medyo haluga an turnilyo sa ulo.) 

To congratulate me as “supporter ni nonong guyala”- in as much as Mr. Guyala was and is being guided by the Constitution in his political dealings, – is true. Do not dare to depict me as being on the wrong side just because I do not support undemocratic and unconstitutional political behavior in Bulan, a behaviour that led me to describe the former Mayor De Castro as deconstructing himself. Mr. Guyala did not deconstruct him, but he himself. In plain words, there is no one to blame but he alone for behaving politically incorrect and the angry reactions of the public thereafter. (TRANSLATION: An pag-umaw mo saako bilang “supporter ni Nonong Guyala”, – nan pareho man kan Nonong Guyala, na nagsusunod sa sinasabi san Konstitusyon manunungod sa pulitika, – ay totoo tabi. Deri mo tabi pagsabihon na ako ay deri nasa tama na lado por dahil deri ko sinusuportahan an deri maka demokratiko o deri mayad na sistemang politikal sa Bulan, kay yun an dahilan na nagkumbinse sa ako na sabihon ko na an saato dati na meyor Guiming de Castro ay inrurungkab mismo niya an kaniya na pagkatawo. Si Nonong Guyala deri man nagpapakaraot san kaniya pagkatawo, si Meyor mismo an nagraraot san kaniya pagkatawo kun maintindihan mo. Sa malinaw sa surmaton, wara sin iba na pwede basulon dide kundi si meyor de Castro man lang por dahil deri tama an inhihimo niya sa pulitika, siempre deri man nato mababasol na maghatag sin deri dianis na komentaryo an mga tawo laban sa pag uugali niya.)  

senior citizen:

“Tagan ta tabi ikaw sin ideya kung baga dire ka man didi nagpipirme sa rugaring mo na bongto, na ini sira nonong guyala kalaban ini numero uno sa politika san mga de castro. Makulogon an mga boot sini kay kada eleksyon pirmi sira pyerde kay halos nubenta porsyento san taga-bulan dire man sa kanira naruruyag. Wara ini na mga tawo inhihimo kundi an pakaraoton an kalaban nira lalo na kung naabot na an eleksyon. Maraoton tabi an komentaryo mo against kay ex-mayor de castro. Dire tabi nira ugali an maging diktador o kaya sadirihon nira an bulan, in papakay-ad ngani nira tabi nira sin mayad an bongto ta kaya ngani sayo kita sa first class municipality sa panahon ta niyan”. ( Translation :Anyway, I will give you an idea here because in so far as I know you are not anymore living here in our town, that people like Nonong Guyala is the number one political opponent of the de Castro. Would you believe, they hated the de Castro so much because they always end up loser in the elections, in so far as I know almost ninety (90%) percent of the people in Bulan were very much disgusted with them. Because what they did during and every election wa s to solely engage in the character asassination against their political opponents and none other.Your remark against former mayor de Castro was very unpleasant and maybe blown out of proportion. As a matter of fact, I would like to tell you that it is not in their personality to become a Dictator nor to claim Bulan as their own property, as they are just doing their best shot for our town, and that is one of the reasons why Bulan has become the first class municipality today. )

 

jun asuncion :

I do not support any political personality or political party per se but support arguments and political results that put our town forward politically, economically, socially and morally. Bulan Observer is waiting for the moment when it would be reporting good things coming from the government- like moral uprightness, sincerity, transparency and democratic political dealings. These are the fundamental elements that will bring progress to our town. One word of advice, senior citizen: That you ought not to proclaim the goodness and holiness of your side by fiercely and unjustly attacking and  insulting publicly the other side. (TRANSLATION: Deri tabi ako nagsusuporta sin sayo na pulitiko o partido pulitikal, pero minasuporta ako sa mga tama na argumento o diskusyon para sa pagpakaayad san saato na bungto, pangpulitika man, pang ekonomiya man, pang sosyal man o pang moral man na isyu. An sa totoo lang an Bulan Observer naghuhulat lang san tama na panahon para makapag balita sin mga mayad na isyu na hali mismo sa administrasyon, pareho san makatotohanan, may sinsiridad, malinaw na transaksyun na wara sin tinatago nan makademokratikong pulitikal na bagay. Mao tabi ine an mga importante na elemento na madara sin tunay na progreso sa saato na bungto. Sayo lang tabi na pasabot ko saimo Mr. Senior Citizen: Deri mo dapat ipagbalangibog o ikurahaw an kadianisan o kabanalan san saimo pagkatawo para lang makapag-insulto ka o rauton mo sa publiko an karakter san sayo na tawo.)

 

senior citizen: 

 “Basi tabi gusto mo bisitahon an sadire mo na bongto kay binanggit mo pa an pagdonar nira san sayo na hektarya para bugsukan san terminal, na pinangaranan mo pa na “de castro terminal”, kay nano tabi, kaya mo man magdonar? Haputa daw tabi an sadire mo kun nano man an na contribute mo sa ikadidianes san bulan? Umuli ka tabi basi maaraman mo an problema san bulan nyan an progreso niyan na eenjoy san mga taga-bulan. (An naniniwala sa sabi-sabi, ay walang bait sa sarili.). ( Translation: Why not try to visit your hometown here, in fact, you mentioned the property being donated by them to be used as Bus Terminal which you named it as the “De Castro Terminal”. By the way, can you donate property also as what the De Castro did? Will you please first ask yourself a question, did you contribute anything for the betterment of the town of Bulan? Come home, and try to visit your hometown here so that you may be apprised of the  problem of Bulan, as you will know Bulan now is becoming progressive and its fruits are being reaped by every taga Bulan today. (The saying that “an naniniwala sa sabi-sabi ay walang bait sa sarili” literal translation is – if you tend to believe a lie, you will end up a liar also”).

 

 jun asuncion:

Don’t challenge me like a little boy does to another one. This is not the point. I’ve listened to the recorded radio program of Bandillo, Radyo Patrol Bulan, etc. Therefore, “maniwala sa sabi-sabi” is beside the point. I’ve heard myself the interview with Mr. De Castro where he vigorously insulted Mr. Guyala, Atty. Deri and the rest of the mandamus petitioners. His case is well-documented. Now, if you mean by contributions “sa ikadidianes san Bulan” a decent hospital, better public school buildings, a jueting-free town, implementation of anti -child labor Law, efficient law enforcement, protection of Bulan environment from illicit business transactions, politics of transparency and accountability, graft and corruption-free political practices, rice and fish for all, then I haven’t made such contributions for I haven’t promised to and been paid by the taxes of the people of Bulan to deliver them these basic services. But did you ask yourself this same question, senior citizen? Did you ask the De Castros this same question? For sure I’ll be coming home someday to my ancestral origin. But here is for you to grasp: that on that year I heard ex-mayor De Castros’ loud yelling ( were you not there at that moment?) on the radio telling some group of people ( who are constitutionally dealing with the municipal leadership) to leave the town,  I’ve been literally back home with Bulan Observer that very same year. (TRANSLATION: Deri mo tabi ako pag-ayaton na pareho san pag-ayat san sayo na bata sa kaniya kababata. Deri ine an punto dide. Nabati ko tabi an recorded radyo program san Bandillo, Radyo Patrol Bulan, nan iba pa. Kung kaya, sinabi mo na “an maniwala sa sabi sabi”, deri man yun an isyu dide. Nabati ko mismo an interview kan Mr. De Castro kun hain maisog na ininsulto niya si Mr. Guyala, Atty Deri kaurupod an mga petitioners na nanguna sa pagsampa san Mandamus na kaso. Ine na kaso ay suportado sin mga mang lain- lain na dokumento. Niyan, kun an gusto mo sabihon nano man an naikontribir o naidanon ko – “sa ikakayad san Bulan” – desente na hospital, mayad na mga eskwelahan, jueteng free town, pag-implementar san laye manunugod sa anti-child labor law, epektibo na pagpatupar san laye, pagprutihir san kapalibutan sa Bulan laban sa mga ilegal na mga transaksyun sa negosyo, malinig na pulitika o may pananagutan sa tawo, wara sin kawatan sa kaban san gobierno, bugas nan isda para sa entero, niyan an masasabi ko Mr. Senior Citizen wara tabi ako sin naikontribir o naiambag na sugad sine na mga bagay-bagay sa bungto, – nan sayo pa deri man ako nangako sa mga tawo, nan deri man ako inbabayadan o inpapasweldo san kwarta na hali sa gobierno para maihatag ko an serbisyo publiko sa kanira. Sa saimo na pag-urup urop nahapot mo tabi an sadiri mo san sugad sine na mga kahaputan Mr. Senior Citizen? Nahapot mo man tabi si Mr. de Castro san sugad man sine na mga kahaputan? Ayaw lang kay sigurado sa mga maabot na panahon mauli ako sa sadiri ko na rugaring. Mao tabi ine an tandaan mo – san taon na yadto nabati ko mismo si Meyor de Casto na nagkukurahaw sin makusugon (sigurado tabi ako na wara ka didto san mga panahon na yadto?) sa radyo sinasabi niya sa iba na grupo sin tawo (na mga lehitimo na nakikipag-istoria sa liderato san municipio) na mag ralayas kamo sa bungto, kay parang yadto man ako nagbalik sa Bulan Observer san mga panahon na yadto.)

 

senior citizen:

“Naistoryahan ka lang ni nonong naniwala ka na? Kun in muromalaki mo an nahimo san lolo mo na pagronda san canipaan, otot hamok yuon san nahimo san mga de castro. Namumundo lang ako kay marasa pa niyan ko lang nabasa na 2008 an imo komentaryo. Sadto mo pa kunta naaraman na ini si nonong guyala na buwaan, sabi niya bright siya pero tolo na beses nabagsak sa bar exam.” ( Translation: Maybe, you have just been apprised by Nonong guyala on the issue and you did easily believe in him. By the way, if you are grandstanding the accomplishment of your grandfather in guarding all over Canipaan. That accomplishment of your grandfather was nothing compared to the accomplishments of the de Castro today. I was just sadden because it was only this year 2008 that I was able to read your remark or commentary. Maybe, this should have been known long before to you that Nonong Guyala is a great liar. He said that he is intelligent, how come he failed or flanked the Bar Examinations thrice already? )

 

 jun asuncion:

You know, senior citizen, I haven’t met  yet  Mr. Nonong Guyala in person and I didn’t know him before. But it seems that we have a few  things in common, i.e., that we both believe in a democratic Bulan, accountability, abhor corruption and we both uphold the constitution of our nation. For these reasons, we do not need to hide behind a pseudo name. How about you, senior citizen? Is there any reason to use a pseudo name? Bulan Observer is a platform for all tagaBulans and fellow Bicolanos where we meet freely and discuss problems that concern us in an effort to bring our town forward. (Translation: Aram mo Mr. Senior Citizen, sa tanang buhay ko deri ko pa nabagat o naimod an pagkatawo sine ni Mr. Nonong Guyala, deri ko man yun kilala dati. Pero parang sa pag urop urop ko may-on kami sin diyo na bagay na maypagkapareho na dowa, i.e., pareho tabi kami naniniwala sa demokratikong Bulan, pananagutan sa tawo, paglaban sa kawatan, nan pareho kami nagkikilala sa kapangyarihan san Konstitusyon. Sa sugad sine na mga rason, deri ko tabi kinakaipuhan na magtago sa sayo na Alyas o Bansag. Ikaw, nanu ka man tabi Mr. Senior Citizen? May-on siguro sin dahilan kun nano kay nagagamit ka sin sayo na Alyas o Bansag? An Bulan Observer ay plata-porma para sa intero na taga Bulan nan mga kaurupod na Bicolanos na kun haen libre kita na magbabaragatan para pag-iristoriahan an mga manglain-lain na problema manunungod sa intero para makadanon kita sa pag-asenso san bungto nato sa maabot na panahon.)

Be that as it may, but I ask you to pay respect to my grandfather, the philanthropist ex-mayor Adonis Asuncion and the rest of our past noble town leaders next time you visit Bulan Observer for they deserved our respect, they deserved their peace.  ( TRANSLATION: Kun nano man an dahilan, sa masunod tabi na bisitahon mo an Bulan Observer blog,  inaayo ko saimo na hatagan mo man tabi sin respeto an saako Lolo, an maugayon na ex-meyor Adonis Asuncion, kaurupod na tabi an mga nakaagi na mga naging lider san bungto, kay dapat lang na irespeto nato sira, para sa kanira tunay na katuninungan sa ika-dowa na buhay.)

I leave the rest of your harsh comments to Mr. Nonong Guyala and to the people of Bulan for him / them to answer. This is fairness. (TRANSLATION: Ipinauubaya ko nalang tabi an mga magaspang mo na komentaryo kan Nonong Guyala nan sa mga tawo sa Bulan para siya, o sira naman an magsimbag saimo. Para patas an laban.)

 

For  A Brighter Bulan,

 

jun asuncion*

Bulan Observer

 

*My biggest gratitude to atty. benji for his translations and for his loyalty to the readers of Bulan Observer! Mabuhay ka atty. benji!

 

 

 

On The 18th World Press Freedom Day- May 3,2008

( or Observe Bulan And Win! )

A free press can of course be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom it will never be anything but bad. . . . Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better, whereas enslavement is a certainty of the worse.” Albert Camus

 “Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, 1786.

 Yesterday, the world celebrated the 18th World Press Freedom Day. As expected, the Internet and news media were filled with reports of all kinds pertaining to freedom of the press.  

It is true that we Filipinos are freedom-loving people for we had in the past expelled out of the country all those foreign invaders. Coming out from those hundreds of years of forced silence, it is no wonder why  the freedom of expression and of the press has been given importance right on day one as a free republic as can found in the 1897 Constitution of Biak-na-Bato in ARTICLE XXII:RELIGIOUS LIBERTY  which states, “Religious liberty, the right of association, the freedom of education , the freedom of the press , as well as freedom in the exercise of all classes of professions, arts, trades and industries are established.”

Today, 111 years after 1897, the Philippines is famous for intimidating or killing investigative journalists, a clear transgression of the law of the land. Protection for journalists at work is also poor. In fact, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)  Impunity Index lists  the Philippines one among the worst countries ( together with Somalia, Russia, etc.) in the world at prosecuting journalists’ killers.This is a clear-cut evidence that corruption is embedded strongly in our politics, in the heads of many of our politicians and that all claims of democracy is but a sham. For the logic of our powerful oligarchs is greed and they control the machinery to sanction truth-oriented journalism.

Still, no matter how the powerful few play around with our constitution, we will continue to hold on to it for it is the truth that we have agreed upon as a nation to guide us as we blaze the trail of civilization.

Here’s what our 1987 Constitution says about communication and press  under Bill Of Rights:

 Section 3. (1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law.

 Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.

Section 7. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.

Here’s are two  examples of using power to disregard Section 7 of the Bill Of Rights:

In the Manila, here is a case in point:

“We are deeply concerned that the First Gentleman, Mike Arroyo, is not using this libel suit to seek legitimate redress. Rather he is redefining libel, a clear affront to the Philippine press. As we know, the test of libel is the presence of malice. But Mr. Arroyo disregards this basic tenet and recklessly uses libel to intimidate and silence the press. The message we’re getting is this: anything that hints of criticism of the First Gentleman or is considered unfavorable coverage of his activities is “libelous.” In effect, he hinders the public’s right to information on matters of public concern.” Pinoy Press

In Bulan, the incumbent mayor caused a scandal that went around the world for refusing to show  to the mandamus petitioners the documents pertaining to her and her husband’s controversial Central Bus Terminal Project. Visit the Sorsogonnews “Kabatas” blogsite ( see Blogroll ) and search for Luisito Panelo’s entry entitled “The Truth About The P80 Million Bulan Bus Terminal Mandamus”.

If you have been reading carefully, you would have noticed that Section 4 is a very defined written law- for it does not express any exception or limitation as opposed to Sections 3 and 7. But all together, these three Sections form a formidable unit of protection and legal basis for every citizen’s right to inform and be informed- verbally or in written form.

Here’s a good news for all Bicol, Bulan Journalists !

According to the Center For Media Freedom And Responsibilty, “the 2008 Jaime V. Ongpin Awards for Excellence in Journalism (JVOAEJ) will focus on corruption/governance, human rights and environmental issues, for reason that ” The country has been rocked by one corruption scandal after another, even as the human rights situation and environmental degradation have worsened.” For Bulan-related articles, go to Sorsogonnews “Kabatas” blogsite and search for the entry ” Bulan’s “Blood” Sand”.

The winning articles can be either investigative or explanatory reports, and will receive the usual cash prize of P70,000 each. Other meritorious investigative/explanatory articles will also be recognized and accordingly awarded.

The awardees will be presented in a ceremony preceded by the JVOAEJ journalism seminar, which this year will be on June 26.”

So, go with your pens, photo/video cameras, observe Bulan write and win!

jun asuncion

Bulan Observer

 

The CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM in the Country:

– dysfunctional system, or effective crime deterrent?

By: atty benji

In Bulan, or in Sorsogon, in particular, do you think criminal justice system is OK?
How about the police? The Prosecutor? The Court? And the Jail or Correctional?

I would recall a year ago during the debate re, abolition of the death penalty law in the country, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo believed that “strengthening the five (5) pillars of the criminal justice system is a more effective crime deterrent than the death penalty law”.

Reinforced by her alter ego’s statement, “So if we are able to address these five pillars of the criminal justice system, this is the most, more effective deterrent than capital punishment itself. That is the point of the President,” Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said.

As an ordinary citizen, I would categorically swear that as long as there are so called SCALAWAGS IN UNIFORMS (police or NBI), Corrupt and Biased Public Prosecutors (fiscal), HOODLUMS IN ROBES (judge or justice) and inefficient and substandard Correctional system manned by rascal government men, we can all conclude that criminal justice system in this country is totally dysfunctional and ineffective channel of justice, and would not be a crime deterrent as well.

When a criminal justice in a particular country is rotten and decomposing (forgive the word), there would be no end to the victims of injustice/s to cry out loud for justice until the end of time, “Justi-is sabi nila, dahil bulok ang sistema!”

What is a Criminal Justice? – It is the system of practices, and organizations, used by national and local governments, directed at maintaining social control, deter and controlling crime, and sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties. The primary agencies charged with these responsibilities are law enforcement (police and prosecutors), courts, defense attorneys and local jails and prisons which administer the procedures for arrest, charging, adjudication and punishment of those found guilty. When processing the accused through the criminal justice system, government must keep within the framework of laws that protect individual rights. The pursuit of criminal justice is, like all forms of “justice,” “fairness” or “process,” essentially the pursuit of an ideal.

There are actually five (5) pillars of criminal justice system, as follows; (1.) Community, (2.) The Law Enforcement, (3.) The Prosecution Service, (4.) The Courts, (5.) The Correctional Institution.

If one of these pillars is dysfunctional, “wala tayong maasahan na hustisya!”

The five (5) pillars of the Philippine Criminal Justice System have important roles to play in the investigation, prosecution and dispensation of justice of the alleged offenders or felons.

The first pillar is the COMMUNITY ( e.g., People & People’s Organizations). It refers to institutions, government, and non-government agencies and people’s organizations that provide care and assistance to the victims or offended party, during and after the onset of a victims’ rights case. The “community” has a significant role to assume in all the phases of judicial involvement of offender as well as the protection process: the prevention of abuse, cruelty, discrimination and exploitation, assistance of offenders who enter the criminal justice system and the acceptance of the offenders upon his reintegration into the community,,, after he goes out of Correctional.

The second pillar is LAW ENFORCEMENT (e.g. PNP, NBI, PDEA, etc.) It involves government agencies charged with the enforcement of penal laws. It is primarily responsible for the investigation and determination whether an offense has been committed, and where needed, the apprehension of alleged offenders for further investigation of the third pillar,,, Prosecution Service.

The PROSECUTION SERVICE (Public Prosecutor or Fiscal) refers to the National Prosecution Service (NPS). The NPS is mandated to investigate and prosecute penal violations. It collates, evaluates evidence in the preliminary inquest investigation and dismisses or files the case in court as indicated.

The Public Attorneys Office or private defense counsel, on the other hand, serves as the defender of offender who is charged before the court and unable to hire the service of the retained lawyer.

The fourth pillar is the COURT (MTC, RTC) )which refers to the MTC and Regional Trial Courts designated to handle and try the case and issue judgment after trial.

The fifth pillar is the CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM (NBP, CIW, BJMP) . It refers to institutions mandated to administer both correctional and rehabilitation programs for the offenders. These programs develop the offenders or convicts’ abilities and potentials and facilitate their re-integration into the community and normal family life.

The rehabilitation and recovery process involves the support of government agencies, non-government organizations and most importantly the family and community so that the offender as well as the offended can heal and recover in order to be able to cope and rebuild their lives.

NB: the fifth pillar is formerly called PRISON or PENITENTIARY, it is now called a CORRECTIONAL (e.g. Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong) because the purpose of the law is to correct and rehabilitate the convict as productive citizen of the country, after he goes out of prison, as he will commingle or return to the community to live a new life as a normal person, not anymore as an ex-convict.

Suppose1: the people (family of the victim) refuses to cooperate in the investigation of the case, then the police would not be as effective to perform his job to arrest the suspect, thus, the first pillar of criminal justice system would be ineffective or dysfunctional.

Suppose2: the people (or family of the victim) or victim herself fully cooperated in the investigation of the case that led to the apprehension of the suspect, but later on the police, thru negligence or bribery, has just allowed the suspect go free and evade arrest, thus the second pillar of criminal justice system is also dysfunctional or rotten.

Suppose3: both the victim and police had worked together closely in the investigation, and actual apprehension of the suspect, however during the preliminary investigation stage conducted by the fiscal, who acted partially and moved for the dismissal of the case due to alleged lack of probable cause, however upon inquiry it was found out later that he did receive a bribe money from the suspect in exchange of a favorable resolution, thus, the third pillar of criminal justice system would also be dysfunctional and decomposing as well.

Suppose4: the victim, police and the fiscal have done their work par excellence and were able to present a strong case in court, but judge, who handled and tried the case, renders a decision acquitting the accused as he did receive monetary consideration from the other party, or thru “pakikisama”, or he is a “compare” of the accused, thus, the fourth pillar of criminal justice system is likewise dysfunctional.

Suppose5: the accused was finally convicted via fair and impartial trial, thru the cooperation of the aforementioned pillars, thereby giving justice to the victim of the crime, but when the accused was formally delivered and turned over to the correctional institution to serve his sentence, but instead of being corrected and rehabilitated therein, said convict was tortured and man handled, etc. (thru mental & physical torture), thus, the last pillar of criminal justice system is also dysfunctional.

To be able to strengthen an effective criminal justice system, all these pillars must perform and deliver their respective job par excellence in the realization of justice. Failure of any of the pillars aforementioned to function well will lead us into chaos and other forms of unrest in the community, because the government that is supposed to be the bulwark and vanguard of peoples’ right will serve nothing but a traitor to its own people, unable to protect the rights and interest of its citizens.

Last year, the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)- a Hongkong based, launched a new report describing how the rotten criminal justice system in the Philippines fails to deliver justice to its people and contributes to the widespread human rights violations in the country.
“The criminal justice system of the Philippines is rotten”, describes how the police and courts fail to investigate and solve various human rights violations because of the lack of sincerity, despite well-established institutions on papers. It calls for the government to reform the criminal justice system and fulfill the promises it made to the Filipinos in the laws.

The report analyses why the criminal justice system in the Philippines fails to function. It identifies as including “command irresponsibility”, the non-existent witness protection programme, the bias of state officers towards victims and their families, and the irregularities in investigation and prosecution .

Flawed and misguided criminal investigations.

The police are the first and biggest obstacle to victims and their families obtaining justice in the Philippines. Where family members and witnesses come forward, they often find that police investigations contradict their versions of incidents. Police investigators sometimes make premature pronouncements about the motive for a killing and its cause, flatly rejecting alternative suggestions, particularly where state officers or persons allegedly connected to them are among the possible suspects. And, due to existence of scalawags in uniform, kotong cops, hulidap cops, that unless these scalwags in uniforms are eradicate, if not obliterated, the Mamang Pulis and Aleng Pulis ambitious project of P/Director General Sonny Razon would only mean nothing but just a scrap piece of garbage program which cannot be complied with in good faith by his men, or else, it will remain as a joke like, “Mamang Pulis-Pulis T…… Matulis.”

Non-existent victim and witness protection.

Most victims of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines have had threats on their lives beforehand; some already having survived earlier attacks. Those who seek protection are frustrated by the unresponsiveness of state agencies that supposedly have obligations to assist in such instances. Many end up dead.

The failure of the witness protection program must be attributed squarely to the rotten condition of its implementing agency, the Department of Justice. Public prosecutors, who are its officers, have also failed in their duty to refer witnesses for inclusion in the protection programme. Even in the most serious cases of extrajudicial killing, torture and disappearance, they are not known to have made recommendations and applications for protection.
Ineffectual and biased prosecutors
Public Prosecutors make little or no attempt to conceal bias in their handling of criminal complaints.

The extent of bias is again best illustrated by the head of the Department of Justice himself. Secretary (Raul) Gonzalez has gone out of his way to defend the government by flatly rejecting legitimate grievances about the inability of the authorities to stop extrajudicial killings, referring to them as “black propaganda.” He has adopted the language of the military and insinuated that unseen forces have taken advantage of the situation as “one way to destabilize the government” by way of creating lawlessness within the country, thereby putting the government into shame in the international community: as if the government was not sufficiently adept at creating lawlessness and putting itself to shame.

That Secretary Gonzalez feels safe in making open presumptions about the guilt or innocence of persons lodging criminal complaints and indicating that the extent of assistance given by his department depends upon what conclusions are drawn by its officers as to the merits of the complainant rather than the complaint speaks volumes about the rot at all levels of the criminal justice system of the Philippines.

Labeling “enemies”

Under section 14(2) of the Constitution of the Philippines “the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved.” In practice the public labeling of accused persons or victims as “communist fronts,” “destabilizers,” “enemies of the state,” or “terrorists” negates this presumption and allows officials to do away with due process. The double standards in implementation of laws are most obvious in cases where such labels are applied. The use of labels also exposes victims, their families and colleagues to the possibility of further violence, and denies them any hope of protection. Once a person or organization has been labeled “leftist” or “enemy” then there is no possibility of safety. Whatever they may or may not have done, they are in a special category of persons and groups guilty by suspicion, for who the ordinary laws and procedures, to the limited extent they operate for everyone else, are suspended.

JUDGE must be impartial and free from influence, like a Lady Justice (na may piring at may hawak- hawak na timbangan).

For instance, we have hoodlums in robes… who based their decisions not on facts and evidence presented during the trial but on some other considerations such as, camaraderie with the litigants, brother or sister in the law fraternity/sorority, compare, or thru “pakikisama”…. or the worst is when the decision is rendered in favor of the highest bidder…

Maybe, President GMA was correct in saying that “these five pillars of criminal justice system to become effective as crime deterrent, the same must be strengthen, and be addressed properly”,

….. otherwise, we will all go to the dogs!

……or better still, in the quest for justice, the victims will resort to the law of the jungle in order to get the justice they deserve, (or the law of survival of the fittest, according to german philosopher friedrich nitzche, that “only the strong must survive, the weaklings must be eliminated”)

GOD BLESS US ALL…..

Protect Yourself

The Right of Self-Defense is as old as man himself, much older than the written laws ( positive law) which came  much later, and is the ultimate right  at his disposal when there is an immediate threat to life and limb. This right springs from our instinct of self-preservation. It is thus a natural, biologically-rooted right. Philippine jurisprudence  sanctioned  this natural right by incorporating it in our body of laws and codes specifically under Section 1, Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines.

Here’s the author  David Kopel for a little legal historical background: “According to  Giovanni da Legnano, fourteenth century Milanese ( Milan, Italy) scholar “self-defense proceeds from natural law, and not from positive law, civil or canon.” While positive law did sanction self-defense, self-defense was not an artificial creation of positive law, but rather was an inherent instinct. Although the fourteenth century world was strictly hierarchical, Legnano allowed for self-defense against one’s superior, or even against a judge, if it were clear that the defender was the victim of an unprovoked violent attack. Even a slave could defend his own life against a master, because the law did not allow masters to kill their slaves. Self-defense is lawful, wrote Legnano, not only in defense of life, but also in defense of lawfully possessed property, with deadly force if necessary.The principle of self-defense allows a person to come to the aid of a relative or friend whose person or property is being attacked. Aiding others is not compulsory, however, unless a person can do so safely. Notably, a victim is not required to use only the precise level of force that his assailant uses: “suppose a strong and vigorous man strikes me with his fist, and I am a poor fellow who cannot stand up to him with the fist. May I defend myself with a sword?” Legnano answered in the affirmative. ” So Legnano’s logic.

Here is what Article 11, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines says about Self-Defense.

Art. 11. Justifying circumstances. � The following do not incur any criminal liability:

1. Anyone who acts in defense of his person or rights, provided  that the following circumstances concur:

First. Unlawful aggression;

Second. Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it.

Third. Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.

Here is the whole thing again:

Everybody wants to live in peace and avoids as much as possible any kind of aggression or violent situation. However, reality teaches us that there are people who cannot resist -for various reasons and motives-  to perpetrate evil actions ( unlawful aggression) against a non-provoking, innocent ( lack of sufficient provocation) third party. Under sudden  attack, any healthy person instinctively repels the attack to protect his own life. In this situation which normally happens unexpected and quick, you have mostly no time to plan your action. Your success is measured in the end by the fact that you are still alive by either causing the assailant to flee or by incapacitating him, worse, killing him. Hurting or killing the assailant in the end is by no means a free-wheeling affair. Now it’s the turn of the legal experts and the court to judge your reaction ( reasonable necessity of the means employed ) and result of such reaction to the said unlawful aggression. The burden of proof rests upon you now. But, first, this is the problem that comes after and doesn’t pose a direct threat to your life anymore and, second, this time you have a lawyer defending you.

Of course we do not wish that we would be in such a situation where we have to fight to defend our lives. However, If there are threats or intimidation happening to you or your family, then it is also your right to do something for your own safety and  to be alert, be careful and be observant and use the tools available. Nowadays there are many ways you can do for your protection aside from directly informing the authorities (Police, etc. if you feel being threatened or intimidated by a third party ) and undertaking those common safety measures that we all know as we go on with our daily life.

If there is a perceived threat, then it’s time to double your alertness and security measures. The following  course of actions may add to improve your personal security:

1. Use of your cellular phones

Create a sort of Tele-Alarm System among yourselves by calling and informing your friend directly about your security problem. This friend in turn calls the next one and so on until everybody on the list of your Tele-Alarm System has been reached and informed. You have to speak  among yourselves during your meetings the course of actions to be undertaken , everything of  course will depend on the nature and gravity of the situation.

In a place where politicians are corrupt, oftentimes you wouldn’t be able to trust even the law enforcers. Once the police have sold their loyalty and professionalism to a crook politician, then they have lost  their credibility and sympathy of the people and are therefore no longer in a position to demand respect. In fact they have reduced themselves to private goons, becoming like poor watchdogs for the selfish interest of  their boss and of themselves and they behave foolishly like licensed criminals.

In such a situation, to act as a group is much more effective than to keep your problem to yourself and to solo your security measures. Prepare  ready-made emergency sms (Text), store it in your cellular phones and just send it quick in situation where you can not call anymore or when silence and discretion is of high priority.

2. Use of your photo, video or cellular phone cameras.

 If correctly (no malice intention ) employed, this method is very effective in documenting your observations- and in exposing abuses , corrupt activities and other malevolent actions of criminal people, corrupt police officers and politicians. Once a domain of photo-reporters, journalists and secret agents, this method is now practically employed by everybody. If needed make use of gratis platforms like youtube to upload and post your materials. Always make a backup of your video materials for future use like court hearings, etc. Latest example of the positive use of video reporting taken by a farmer secretely is the exposure of the  brutal police treatment of the farmers defending their land and  properties after they were disowned by the state in the name of modernization boom (construction of highways, bridges, factories etc.) where the said farmers’ properties happen to stand on the way. The chinese government, repressive and denying as it is, were forced to publicly apologize to the world and to these farmers after the video material appeared in Internet.

 3. Link your group to other people and professionals (Lawyers, local Journalists, Local Radio Reporters, Barangay Captains, Head Teachers, Religious Leaders,  etc.) so that they may know the existence of your group and it’s purpose and so that they may also be encouraged to create one and also to assist you in legal matters and the like. If this would spread in the whole town, resulting in the formation of many such groups, then it would be high time to create, let us say, a  Citizen Self-Defense Network. This is one way to combat abuses and intimidation  from people who are supposed to protect you, yet due to corruption ended up protecting their own selfish interest using their office and ,worse, the weapons paid by you,- the tax payers.

You must always remember that the Philippines is a Constitutional State, it’s a rule of law ( not a rule of one man or woman), meaning our civil liberties and rights are provided for in the Constitution (see Bill Of Rights ),  and that you are not a criminal if you are aware of your rights and if you make use of them, defend or fight for them. And do not forget, Bulan is part of  Philippine jurisdiction, thus the Constitution also applies to Bulan, to every tagaBulan. As I have said before, Bulan is no longer an isolated town with timid population where elected government officials (and a few feudalistic people ) may just rule and abuse their office and people as they wish. Concerned tagaBulans all over the country, all over the globe are now watching Bulan and are ready to help prevent abuses and expose to the whole world  corrupt public servants by their names. In Bulan, sovereignty also resides in the people! It is populated now by people who are becoming conscious of their political culture, people with well-developed sense for justice and duty for the community, people who desire for progress and real change for the better. The tagaBulans are on their way to modernising their thinking yet remaining proud of  their noble  traditions.

Again, let us help one another in protecting the integrity of all tagaBulans.

jun asuncion

Bulan Observer

We Deserve Justice

by prodebate4
January 22, 2008 at 2:24 pm ·
Greetings to you Mr. Asuncion! This is good news– one of the nicest websites of Bulanenos–salamatonon tabi saimo!Ive read through the write ups here. You & Mr. Malajakan both shared very interesting insights and opinions, yet not new to my thinking. I was actually engaged, once–in both sides! I started as the plain-ideological rizalist–the peaceful-thinker and -writer of the campus, inspiring and indirectly influencing the intellectual, rebellious minds of the elite student organizations. Undoubtedly, the same strings of ideas and concepts of changes pulled me into realizing my writings into LIFE.In the end, i myself became the Bonifast(cio)! I became politically aggressive with innumerable factors: esp. of impatience and zero Tolerance capabilities to then Marcos dictatorial, unjust, corrupt regime!

I do understand the bitterness of Mr. Malajakan-for one, i hailed from a very poor family too. Where no opportunities seemed to be in sight-no matter how one tries. Where Hunger is urgent and couldnt wait another day or week.
Where the urgent need of medicines to an ailing brood or mother wouldnt be healed by my brilliant thoughts.
When i struggled for the scholarship, i fought for it. When i was maintaining the scholarship, i also fought for it. Before i graduated, i fought again to abolish dictatorship, long agonies of mass assemblies, vigils, per se joining demonstrations as a Symbol of consistent manifestation towards our Defiance or Resistance to the most degrading Suppression of all human rights!!! When i graduated, i fought again to secure a job against the children of the most influencial sons & daughters of manila`s elite. I was struggling both for my existence and for the freedom of my fellow-vigilant students arrested, disappeared. I was all the while fighting for the causes of my own principles..the democratic rights we all would want to enjoy and live for.

Alas! When Marcos escaped, we won half the battle! A complete Deliberance! Weve finally proven that IF WE ARE GOING TO FIGHT FOR A JUST CAUSE, SEALED ON TIGHT CONVICTION THAT WE DESERVE JUSTICE, NO TASK IS IMPOSSIBLE!

THE PATH TOWARDS JUSTICE IS LONG, NEEDS DEDICATION & SELF-SACRIFICES.

After this era, i should admit im still indirectly struggling with the remnants of the 20 years deep rooted corruption or evils in all sectors of our society. But–this is my country. It will take time to re-educate and create a new breed of disciplined, self-reliant, intelligent filipinos loving their own country and trusting their fellowmen.

The Bulan Municipality is maintained to look clean but it has obviously a powerful-secured- indoor Corruption Hall.

Let this website and other Tagabulans (Kabatas, Kaadman, etc) be the foundation for crushing this indoor corruption hall. Lets build together, with years of undying devotion towards a free-corrupt-justice hall soon!

Mabuhay kamo intero!

Sakaling Umpisahan Nila

 A Letter from a concerned Bulan citizen
kahapon lang muli ko pong nakausap ang aking kasamahan na takot na takot dahil sa kanyang mga nababalitaan na meron na daw pong banta sa aming seguridad at buhay.nag-usap kami at nag palitan ng mga ideya, at pina -liwanag ko sa kanila na natural na ganon ang magiging reaction ng mga decastro sa kadahilanan ayaw nilang mamulat ang ating bayan para sa ganun manatili sila sa kapangyarihan.si mang dolfo na medyo may edad na nag salita at sinabing nanaisin ko pang lumaban at mamatay kesa makitang patuloy na yinuyurakan ang ating karapatan at malugmok ang bulan sa mga katiwalian sa walang humpay na panggigipit at pananakot ng diktadurang mayora at kanyang kasabwat na ex mayor at buong sangguniang bayan.
naka handa na rin po kami sa mga darating na araw na may dugong dadanak at mga buhay na malalagas sakaling umpisahan nila ang bagong antas ng labanan.pagod na rin po ang mga nakakaraming sambayanan ngunit may takot sa isip na baka balikan kong sila ay maki-alam at lumaban sa mala diktadurang pamumuno ng mayora at ex gimeng.patunay lamang na isang instrumento ang pananakot na ginagamit ng administrasyong ito para manatili sa poder.
salamat…

muli para sa malayang bulan
gmbaula

The Solid Foundations Of Your Rights

We treasure the Universal Declaration of  Human Rights as declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations and adhere to our Constitutional Rights as described in our 1987 Constitution under Article 3: Bill Of Rights. They are the solid foundations of our Rights. From these International Agreements and Philippine Laws we draw our understanding of personal protection in our town Bulan. They give us peace of mind and security. Only we have to be conscious about these laws, that they exist and  are made for us. There is nothing wrong to know and to follow the laws of the country. If some people are threatened to know that you are conscious about your rights and that you abide by the laws, then there is something wrong with them. It is our duty to adhere to our constitution to help us realize our vision of becoming a  morally and politically upright people.

jun asuncion

Bulan Observer

Bill Of Rights

Article 3:
Bill of Rights

Principles

SEC. 1.
No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.

SEC. 2.
The right of the peole to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

SEC. 3.
(1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.

SEC. 4.
No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for redress of grievances.

SEC. 5.
No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.

SEC. 6.
The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.

SEC. 7.
The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.

SEC. 8.
The right of the people, including those employed in the public and private sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged.

SEC. 9.
Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

SEC. 10.
No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.

SEC. 11.
Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty.

SEC. 12.
(1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.
(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited.
(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.
(4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions for violations of this section as well as compensation to and rehabilitation of victims of torture or similar practices, and their families.

SEC. 13.
All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required.

SEC. 14.
(1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.
(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy, impartial, and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf. However, after arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable.

SEC. 15.
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in cases of invasion or rebellion when the public safety requires it.

SEC. 16.
All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies.

SEC. 17.
No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

SEC. 18.
(1) No person shall be detained solely by reason of his political beliefs and aspirations.
(2) No involuntary servitude in any from shall exist except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall be duly convicted.

SEC. 19.
(1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted. Neither shall death penalty be imposed, unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua.
(2) The employment of physical, psychological, or degrading punishment against any prisoner or detainee or the use of substandard or inadequate penal facilities under subhuman conditions shall be dealt with by law.

SEC. 20.
No person shall be imprisoned for debt or non-payment of a poll tax.

SEC. 21.
No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act.

SEC. 22.
No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted.

Social Justice and Human Rights

Human Rights

Here’s what our Constitution of 1987 says on  Social Justice and Human Rights :

Article 13:
Social Justice and Human Rights

SEC. 1.
The Congress shall give highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social, economic, and political inequalities, and remove cultural inequities by equitably diffusing wealth and political power for the common good. To this end, the State shall regulate the acquisition, ownership, use, and disposition of property and its increments
SEC. 17.
(1) There is hereby created an independent office called Commission on Human Rights. (2) The Commission shall be composed of a Chairman and four Members who must be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and a majority of whom shall be members of the Bar. The term of office and other qualifications and disabilities of the Members of the Commission shall be provided by law. (3) Until this Commission is constituted, the existing Presidential Committee on Human Rights shall continue to exercise its present functions and powers. (4) The approved annual appropriations of the Commission shall be automatically and regularly released.

SEC. 18.
The Commission on Human Rights shall have the following powers and functions: (1) Investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights; (2) Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court; (3) Provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the Philippines, as well as Filipinos residing abroad, and provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection; (4) Exercise visitorial powers over jails, prisons, or detention facilities; (5) Establish a continuing program of research, education, ad information to enhance respect for the primacy of human rights; (6) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to promote human rights and to provide for compensation to victims of violations of human rights, or their families; (7) Monitor the Philippine Government’s compliance with international treaty obligations on human rights; (8) Grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth in any investigation conducted by it or under its authority; (9) Request the assistance of any department, bureau, office, or agency in the performance of its functions; (10) Appoint its officers and employees in accordance with law; and (11) Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law.

Protect The Integrity Of The People Of Bulan

In accordance with the objetives of Bulan Observer, we will now find ways in helping protect the integrity of the people of Bulan. To start with, below is a copy of the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights as proclaimed by the General Assembly Of The United Nations. The Philippines was elected as a member of the new United Nations Human Rights Council in May 2006. There will be more possibilities to expose crimes and abuses to the people and environment and we will deal with them soon.

jun asuncion

 Bulan Observer

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 1.

    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.

    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

    No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

    Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.

    Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.

    Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.

    (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.

    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

    (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.

    (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.

    (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.

    (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.

    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.

    (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.

    Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.

    (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.

    Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

    (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.

    (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

    (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.

    Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.

    (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.

    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.