Category Archives: Joseph Lariosa

OVERSEAS VOTERS VOTING IN PERSON MUST DEMAND A RECEIPT

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

CHICAGO (JGL) – Overseas Filipino voters, who are interested to find out if their votes match their receipts, should vote in person, not by mail.

But if you don’t care or if you trust the Embassy or Philippine Consulate that your vote will be counted regardless if you want see the receipt or not, then you may just mail in your ballots for as long as you believe that your mail-in votes will be postmarked on or before the May 9, 2016 deadline.

This overseas voter found it the hard way when the staff in the Philippine Consulate in Chicago, who are deputized by the Philippine Commission on Election, to handle the conduct of voting were not able to properly explain to me the nuisances of the difference between voting by mail and voting by person.

It was only after I learned from a complaint of an overseas voter in Hongkong that there was a receipt that validated her vote after dropping the ballot. The complaint of the overseas voter, which was enclosed in a youtube link (http://kickerdaily.com/hk-ofw-claims-she-voted-for-duterte-but-roxas-came-out-in-the-ballot/), which went viral, led me to double check with the Philippine Consulate in Chicago how come I did not get a receipt after I filled up my ballot in the voting precinct in the Consulate.

The complainant said although she voted for “Duterte,” the receipt showed she voted for “Roxas.”

This took me aback and I wanted to find out what happened to the ballot that I filled up and informed the Consulate.

Deputy Consul General and SBEI (Special Board of Election Inspectors) Chairman Romulo Victor M. Israel, Jr. belatedly explained to me that according to COMELEC Resolution No. 10087, ballot receipts are shown only to those who voted personally, meaning those who cast their votes by receiving and accomplishing their ballots at the polling center, and feeding their ballots into the Vote Counting Machine (VCM).

Moreover, after verifying his/her votes as contained in the receipt, the voter will be asked to fold and drop it in a designated receptacle or box. Voters shall not be allowed to bring the receipts with them.

 “BATCH FEEDING”

voting1

FOR THE RECORD: (Just for my record, I asked that a picture be taken of me while I was voting at the Philippine Consulate last Wednesday, May 3.  I never imagined I would be publishing this picture . (JGL Photo)

 When I voted last May 3, I took with me the ballot I received from the mail in the Consulate. I filled up my ballot in the Consulate voting table.

When I asked where I should drop my ballot, I was told the “batch feeding” has been closed for the day.

I was given an option to come back the following day so I will be one to drop my filled-up ballot in the batch feeding. When I asked if my ballot would be deposited with other filled-up ballots, they said in the affirmative.

But there was no mention of a receipt at all by the Philippine Consulate staff. What was mentioned was “batch feeding.”

If not from the complaint of the Hongkong voter that there was discrepancy between her filled up ballot and her receipt, I would just have kept quiet about it.

Technically, because I brought my ballot and filled up my ballot in the Consulate, I really voted in person, not by mail. The Consulate should have told me that because the “batch feeding” is closed, “we cannot hold on to your ballot and you have to come back.”

I would have gladly come back because I wanted to experience the thrill and excitement of seeing the election tools working properly.

Otherwise, I will follow the lead of the Hongkong voter, who had to complaint to media to expose the discrepancy.

Tomorrow, Sunday, I am going to accompany someone, Mr. Marlon Pecson, who has not yet voted.

I would like to find out if the voter will experience the thrill and excitement that the votes in the receipt he took matched with what he had written in his ballot.

Overseas voters have until 4 a.m. , in case of Central Time  in Chicago, Monday, April 9, to come to the Consulate to personally vote.

Those mailed-in ballots postmarked before April 9 and received at noon of April 9 will still be received and counted. (jglariosa@hotmail.com)

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
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GOV. LEE MANHANDLES MINING TRESPASSER

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

CHICAGO (JGL) – A driver at a mining firm, who was suspected of trespassing in a mining concern in Castilla, Sorsogon in the Philippines, was manhandled by Sorsogon Gov. Raul R. Lee in a video clip that is going viral.

govleeattacksdriver

Sorsogon Gov. Raul Lee (in red shirt) is shown messing up the face of a mining driver, who turned his back on the governor, who was asking him questions for trespassing in a mining firm for gold and platinum in Castilla, Sorsogon from this screenshot from a video clip that has gone viral. (JGL Photo)

Although, the incident happened a year ago, it was only now, three days before the Philippine election, that the video clip was circulated by an anonymous videographer, who fed it to the critics of Governor Lee.

It was reported that the governor, who is not running for office this time, was pissed off when the driver turned his back to the governor, who was asking him a question.

It was also reported that Governor Lee was asking the driver, who authorized him to trespass in the mining concern and who his financier was. Mr. Lee, who is a lawyer by profession, was also asking what equipment the driver was using.

When the driver could not answer the Governor’s question, he turned his back on the Governor. This prompted Governor Lee to gang up on him and rough the driver up by crashing the driver’s face with his hands and fingers while Governor Lee’s security officers tried to stop the Governor from causing the driver more harm.

Although Lee can still run for the third term, he decided to pass up the election and let his son, Bobit Lee Rodrigueza, run for  governor. His wife, incumbent Sorsogon City Mayor Sally Lee is running for re-election against Jo Abegail “Bem” Dioneda, the eldest daughter of former Sorsogon Mayor Leovic Dioneda, who died from heat stroke two weeks ago.

Rodrigueza, who is running under the Liberal Party, is up against Sorsogon provincial board member Eric Dioneda, son of the late Mayor Leovic Dioneda, who is running under the PDP-Laban, and six other candidates, including Independent gubernatorial candidate and Balikbayan Bobby M. Reyes, who is running under the ticket of Sen. Grace Poe, on the May 9 elections. (jglariosa@hotmail.com)

Contributed videoclip: https://www.facebook.com/AngPeepNiSally/videos/vb.1554654264852412/1609323166052188/?type=2&theater

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
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CAN DUTERTE END “REIGN OF ERROR” IN PH?

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(© 2016 Journal GlobaLinks)

NARITA, Japan (JGL) – I was on my way to Chicago, Illinois when I got a PM (private message) on my Facebook account that my cousin’s husband was gunned down because he refused to give up his dream to become a councilor in the municipality of Matnog, Sorsogon.

onoy

Onoy

Seven bullets from a .45 pistol were pumped in various parts of the body of Cayetano “Onoy” G. Oro, Jr., 58, an UNA candidate, by two men, who fled after his killing in front of the house of Barangay Captain Nelson Gacis in Pawa, Matnog at about 6:20 p.m. on April 25. 

I felt guilty because I was in Matnog a few days before the shooting for about five hours while I was writing a story for my outlets in one of the Internet cafes there. But I forgot to ask Onoy’s uncle, retired Matnog policeman Nonoy M. Garra, for me to talk to Onoy.

Onoy’s death followed the broad daylight shooting of Onoy’s uncle, also a retired policeman Virgilio “Bilyong” Garra, who was also gunned down after losing his election as Matnog councilor in the 2013 elections.

Like Onoy’s death, Bilyong death was also attributed to the “people’s justice” promoted by the New People’s Army (NPA’s).

In other words, Onoy’s death will be an unsolved crime again — a perfect crime, where killers will never be brought to justice – like Bilyong’s.

Will this murder of impunity stop if Mayor Duterte were elected president on Monday, May 9?

It remains to be seen.

I am not a big fan of Mayor Duterte, in fact I am leaning on voting for the Gobyernong may Puso, but if Duterte wins and make good his threat to pulverize the criminals, like the killers of Onoy and Bilyong, I might warm up to Duterte’s Death Squad (DDS).

Like Hitler’s SS (Schutzstaffel) or Marcos’ Metrocom Intelligence and Security Group (MISG) or Metrocom Strike Force (MSF), who could not shoot straight, President Duterte’s Death Squad (DDS) should still give killers of Onoy and Bilyong a day in court before DDS take matters into their own hands.

These killers should hope and pray that Mayor Duterte does not win on Monday.

 NPA’S CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY TO BILYONG’S KILLING

bilyong

Bilyong

 The NPA’s had already claimed responsibility for the killing of Bilyong because they alleged Bilyong was pushing drugs. But the NPA’s brand of justice is spotty. If the hierarchy of NPA’s only investigated Bilyong first before killing him, they would learn that their intelligence information was flawed.

Bilyong could not have sold drugs because he did not even have money to buy medicine to cure his big boil on his neck. (Please note the towel covering his boil in this photo).

The Sorsogon Philippine National Police cannot go after the NPA’s even after the NPA’s claimed responsibility for the killing of Bilyong because the PNP said the relatives of Bilyong refused to file a complaint. Can you believe the alibi of the PNP? Who of the relatives in their right mind would file a complaint against the NPA’s when the PNP could not even provide protection to my relatives?

PARENS PATRIAE

 When there is dead body, a good police agency can motu proprio (on his own impulse) conduct a criminal investigation even if there is no complainant. The dead body is considered “evidence,” a “smoking gun.” Why wait for the scared complainant to come forward when the government under the Constitutional doctrine of “parens patriae” can extend protection to the victims of crime by prosecuting the criminals?

I’ve been prodding the relatives of Bilyong to sue the NPA’s but my relatives were hesitant to do so, because they feared they would be the next victims of NPA’s.

True enough, their fear and apprehension unfolded before their very eyes when Onoy was killed and the killing was attributed yet again to the usual suspects – the NPA’s.

But Onoy was not even a suspected drug pusher either, nor a common criminal. Onoy just wanted to make his dream as an elected municipal councilor come true.

Where is the outrage of the community?

But I have a feeling the NPA’s are terrorizing the peace-loving people of Matnog, the birthplace of my mother, because the NPA’s are conspiring with or are being coddled by local municipal officials of Matnog and Sorsogon provincial officials.

When the death of Bilyong was brought up two years ago in my conversation with Matnog Mayor Emilio G. Ubaldo, Mayor Ubaldo was silent. (Please see my photo with Mayor Ubaldo.)

According to grape vines when Bilyong ran for councilor in Matnog, Mayor Ubaldo felt threatened by Bilyong’s candidacy.

 BILYONG WAS AS POOR AS A RAT

 How can Bilyong become a threat to Mayor Ubaldo? Bilyong is as poor as a rat. His pension as a retired policeman was not even enough to feed himself. Bilyong did not even have money to buy medicine to cure the big boil on his neck. My sister and nephew gave Bilyong money to buy medicine to cure his boil but Bilyong saved the money for himself so he could keep his small business going while he endured the pain.

Bilyong obviously did not profit from his business because when he was gunned down, his boil was still sticking on his neck and was even growing!

And I surmise, Mayor Ubaldo also felt threatened by Onoy.

Bilyong and Onoy were only running for lowly municipal councilors. Why will Mayor Ubaldo feel threatened?

withmayorcopy

The Mayor (left) with the author Josep G. Lariosa

Mayor Ubaldo has been the undisputed political warlord in Matnog. Bilyong and Onoy were not even challenging him. Why doesn’t he let other people run for office in Matnog so they can also serve the people, like Bilyong’s granduncle, the late Lamberto “Papa Titong” G. Garra, who was a long-time outstanding councilor of Matnog with unblemished record?

Bilyong’s father, Jose “Papa Tote” G. Garra, was also a long-time municipal secretary of Matnog and was never involved in corruption.

NPA’S SHOULD BE PROSECUTED BY HRC

 As for the NPA’s, who are extorting money from politicians by demanding “permit to campaign (PTC),” I suggest the government human rights commission (HRC) should prosecute these NPA’s. Reward money should be given to anonymous tipsters, who can give information of the extortion activities of the NPA’s to the HRC so the NPA’s do not know the anonymous tipster and the NPA’s do not know whom to retaliate against.

In the first district of Sorsogon, NPA’s demanded and was granted P1.2-M (US$26,666) by candidate running for congress while NPA’s demanded but was rejected when they demanded P500,000 (US$11,111) from a gubernatorial candidate (Eric Dioneda) of Duterte’s PDP-Laban party because the candidate does not have money. Eric Dioneda is the son of Sorsogon City mayoral candidate Leovic Dioneda, who died of heat stroke last week. Leovic will be replaced (or substituted) by his eldest daughter, Jo Abegail “Bem” Dioneda.

Onoy is going to be replaced (or substituted) by his sibling.

Another Sorsogon gubernatorial candidate, Bobby M. Reyes, who is running as an independent supporting Grace Poe, said he does not have money to pay the PTC to the NPA’s but he will focus his campaign on airwaves (radio/TV/social media) and print media so his message can hopefully reach out to the areas under the influence of the NPA’s.

If NPA’s extortion activities weaken because of the reward money, then reward money should also be given to anonymous tipsters of terrorists groups, like Abu Sayyaf.

In the case of jueteng lords, these jueteng lords should pay taxes to the Philippine government because they are using the transportation and communication lines and other facilities set up by the Philippine government. (jglariosa@hotmail.com)

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EVILS OF POLITICAL DYNASTY

 

JGL Eye

By Joseph G. Lariosa

(© 2014 Journal GlocaLinks)

 

CHICAGO (JGL) – If the Philippine corridors of power are populated by relatives by blood or affinity, it is not surprising.

The pre-colonial Philippines was ruled by royalties and nobilities, like lakans, datus and mighty warriors, when laws of the jungle were supreme.

The matter of succession was interrupted only by the arrivals of Spaniards and Americans.

Despite the ongoing wars in Libya, Syria and other countries caused by popular upheavals to change their overstaying leaders, like what EDSA I had done, the Philippine Congress still refuses to accept the grim reality that political dynasty is really the main reason majority of the Filipino people are wallowing in abject poverty.

Right after the Filipino people toppled Marcos for overstaying in Malacanang, the revolutionary government of Cory Aquino took the initiative to nip the political dynasty in the bud by approving a provision in the 1987 Constitution that bans a family from monopolizing power.

But the problem is that Section 26 of Art. II of the 1987 Philippine Constitution was merely directory, not mandatory. It says, “The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.”

This policy merely contradicted Section 13 of the same Art. II, that says, “The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.”

How can the youth be encouraged in “their involvement in public and civic affairs” if only the youth of the overstaying politicians are given the chance to get elected into office?

This reminded me of this past week’s Gospel of Matthew 16:23, when Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You (after Jesus told Peter and other apostles that as a Son of God, He was going to suffer death).” 23 But He (Jesus) turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

 

FRAMERS WERE THINKING AS SATANS

The framers of the Philippine Constitution apparently while they were crafting the state policy against political dynasty were thinking as Satans or politicians, instead of thinking of the welfare of the people as God or statesmen. They should not have given Congress the option to “define” anti-political dynasty since it will be in conflict of the interest of these politicians. They should have just made it self-executory. Were them framers trying to drown frogs by tossing them in a shallow river? How myopic could they be?

 Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice (2nd-LP) told former Senator and former DILG Sec. Joey D. Lina over streaming DZMM 630 radio program, “Sagot Ko Yan!,” monitored live in Chicago, Illinois from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. last Saturday (Aug. 30) that his bill, HR 3587, an anti-political dynasty measure, is on life support.

Mr. Erice said although the anti-political dynasty measure has been introduced in every Congress during the last 27 years, it never saw the light of day.

When asked by Mr. Lina if anti-political dynasty “ay malapit sa sikmura ng mga tao” (close to stomach of the people) that would necessitate them to discuss the matter, Mr. Eric responded, very much so.

Mr. Erice said, “Siyam sa sampung pinakamahirap na probinsiya ay pinamumunuan ng mga politikong kinakasangkutan sa dynasty o mga ka-alyado ng dynasty. Bukod sa hindi mabilis ang pag-unlad ng bayan, lalong yumayaman ang political dynasty.” (Nine out of ten of the poorest provinces are headed by, if not involved with, dynasty or be allied with it. Instead of fast-tracking to improve the livelihood of the people, only the political dynasty is getting richer.)

Aside from provinces, cities and towns are also headed by political dynasty. It even starts from the lowly barangay, a training ground of the children of the mayors to run for higher office. And it goes all the way up to vice mayor, mayor and other elective positions occupied by the father, the mother, sister, brother, in-laws, etc. Not only does dynasty control the levers of power, it also monopolizes even the private enterprises.

“Nagkakahawaan na.” (It’s really infectious.)

 

180 OUT OF 291 CONGRESSMEN ENGAGED IN POLITICAL DYNASTY

 Although, his bill had hurdled the committee on suffrage, Erice said each of the 180 out of the 291 congressmen is engaged in political dynasty. He is not very optimistic that these 180 congressmen will ever vote in favor of his bill when it goes for a plenary vote.

Even party-list representatives are now infected by this plague. 

Mr. Erice told Mr. Lina that his bill will not allow an elected politician to let his children, siblings, parents or second degree of consanguinity and affinity, including in-laws, parents of in-laws and children of in-laws to run for office.

Right now, the Vice President (Binay) has a daughter, who is a senator, another daughter, who is a representative, a son, who is a mayor, and a wife, who was a former mayor. Or the Marcoses, who have a senator, a representative and a governor in the nuclear family.

There are at least two in the senate, who are siblings, one half-brothers, before a mother-and-son out of the 24 senators. There are governors, whose wives are either mayor or members of the city or municipal or provincial boards. In the case of Davao City (Mayor Duterte), when the father was termed out as mayor, he ran as vice mayor, then, let her daughter ran for mayor. When, he ran again for mayor, his son was his running mate as vice mayor.

In the case of Camarines Sur, in the last election, the grandfather ran against his grandson, who won as governor. Even Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., who is pushing for the passage of the anti-dynasty bill, is having credibility issues on this bill because his only daughter, Joy Belmonte, is the incumbent vice mayor of Quezon City while his nephew, Christopher “Kit” Belmonte is a representative of Quezon City’s 6th district.

Mr. Erice, however, is willing to compromise: to allow to run “two relatives in the governor’s office, successive or at the same time.Kailangan lang maumpisahan. (We just need to break the ice.) I hope there will be a sunset provision that will end such practice after a term of office.

“It’s better than nothing because peoples’ initiatives and referendum need higher threshold requirements: 3% vote of the electorate and 10% vote of the entire electorate, that is hard to meet.

Like Lina, who said he will not tolerate political dynasty, Mr. Erice said he will never let relatives of the second degree of consanguinity to run while he is in office.

He said if he succeeds with the political dynasty bill, he will turn to other electoral reforms, like electoral voting and how to deal with political butterflies. Stay tuned! (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

Joseph G. Lariosa
Correspondent
Journal GlobaLinks
P. O. Box 30110
Chicago, IL 60630
Tel. 312.772.5454
Telefax 312.428.5714

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SECRET OF FIL AM CENTENARIAN: CHICHARON (FRIED PORK RIND)

 

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(© 2014 Journal GlobaLinks)

 

 

CHICAGO (JGL) – Even when she was already dying inside the intensive care unit (ICU), Luz Diaz Agustin-Mella was still craving for chicharon (friend pork rind).

Her daughter, Heidilynn Mella-Equina, told the Journal GlobaLinks that aside from crediting her mother as having full of “faith and (being a) spiritual woman,” her Mom’s fondness for chicharon might have helped her extend her life to live more than a hundred years.

Ms. Mella-Equina, a general practicing nurse, said part of the food servings of her Mom had been chicharon at breakfast, lunch and dinner despite her and her family members’ warning her Mom that too much chicharon could be very fattening and would merely increase her cholesterol intake.

A Baptist, Luz Diaz Agustin-Mella would quote Psalm 9:10, which says, “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years.” She would say, she had outlived the 70-year biblical injunction’s life span, “Am I not entitled to indulge in chicharon thru the remaining days of my life?”

Ms. Agustin-Mella, a home economics teacher and native of Bulan, Sorsogon in the Philippines, succumbed last March 4 at the age of 100 years and 18 days to complication from surgery to remove a blood clot from her large intestine in the Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center at 5645 West Addison Street in Chicago’s near northwest after eight days of confinement.
“She had continuous vomiting but had continuously prayed for two hours and gave up her fight for her life only when she realized that all her loved ones were by her bedside. She died peacefully,” her grieving daughter said.

“My Mom died a very happy woman. She was able to eat her favorite chicharon, would be very comfortable cooling herself off with a Philippine-spun pamaypay (fan) and would drink three cups of coffee everyday,” Heidilynn said.

Except during her birth deliveries and her last surgical operation and her regular doctor’s check ups, Luz Mella had never been hospitalized. Her only medications were eye drop as she had eye cataract and glaucoma, and Ibuprofen. She did not have any “maintenance medications.”

 

BAPTIST CHURCH IN LAS PINAS STARTED IN HER GARAGE

 

She had no high blood, no diabetes. She did not complain from anything.

Her body might have deteriorated causing her to use a walker for mobility. But her mind was still very good as she prayed and sang her favorite Gospel songs, “In the Garden,” words and music by Austin Miles, and “I Surrender All” by Judson W. Van De Venter that she learned as a Baptist, a Christian denomination she joined in 1968 in the Philippines seven years before immigrating to the United States.

A growing Las Pinas, Metro Manila Baptist church started in the garage of her home in 1970 as she loved to be a missionary to spread the Gospel.

She was fond of listening to Moody Radio, a 24/7 radio broadcast that “produces and delivers compelling programming filled with solid biblical insight and creative expressions of faith that helps take to the next step in your relationship with Christ.”

When Luz turned 100 last Feb. 14 (she was born Feb. 14, 1914), she got centenarian certificates from birthday greeter host Willard Scott of NBC Today’s Show from Washington, D. C. and from the National Centenarian Awareness Project founded by Lynn Peters Adler, J.D., of Redding, Connecticut.

Heidilynn expects some institutions in the Philippines to send her mother centenary greetings when her family plans to hold a memorial service on her behalf on May 4, 2014 at the Manila Memorial Chapel in Paranaque, Metro Manila. There, Luz’ ashes urn will be buried together with her late husband, Vigor De Castro Mella, Sr., of Magallanes, Sorsogon, a civil engineer and a World War II guerilla member under the Escudero Guerilla Unit, who preceded her in death when he met an accident in 1960 while he was a provincial treasurer in Catarman, Samar, and their son, Roland Mella, Jr., an industrial engineer, who drowned in a boating accident in Cedar Lake, Indiana in 1967 at the age of 26.

Luz was cremated Monday, March 10, after funeral wake and viewing last Friday, March 7, at Cumberland Chapel at Norridge, Illinois.

An alumna of Far Eastern University, Luz graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Home Economics and worked for three years as a nutritionist starting at the outbreak of World War II in 1941 at the U.S. Public Health, an agency that offered her to immigrate to the U.S.

After the war, Luz worked at the government’s Bureau of Printing, Department of Finance, taught home economics at the Sorsogon and Goa, Camarines Sur Provincial High Schools, employed at Government Service Insurance System and last taught at Muntinlupa High School for three years after which she revived her U.S. immigration application and immigrated with her family to the U.S. in 1975.

In Chicago, she worked for about five to six years at the Bunilsor Medical Clinic in Chicago before she retired.

Her survivors are her children, Romeo (Ophelia), a nautical engineer; Dr. Lourdes “Ditas” (Jaime) Hilao; Ramon, a retired American Red Cross nurse (Mila Texon); Heidilynn (Elson) Equina; and Vigor, Jr., retired medical clinic network worker (Josephine Belleza); 24 grandchildren; and great grandchildren and numerous nephews, nieces, grand nephews and grand nieces. Two other children preceded her, Roland  (who died at the age of 6 years old) and Roland, Jr., who died in 1967. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

 

 

Mama22

HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY!

Luz Diaz Agustin-Mella (seated second row, third from right) is surrounded by her grandchildren from left to right (back row) Miguel Equina, Penny Mella, Mary Foster, John Mella, Jamie Hilao, Karen Mella and Jay Hilao; second row, from left, Roy Mella, Rocky Mella and Ramil Mella; front row are Kaleya Equina and Lynn Hilao-Tubalinal at her 100th birthday celebration last Feb. 14 at Georgio’s Banquet Hall at 8800 West 159th Street in Chicago’s suburban Orland Park. Luz Mella died last March 4 and was cremated March 10. A memorial service for her will be held on May 4, 2014 at the Manila Memorial Chapel at the Manila Memorial Park in Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines.  (JGLPhoto courtesy of Katleya M. Equina)

 

WITH FOUR YOUNGEST GRANDCHILDREN:

Luz Diaz Agustin Mella

Luz Diaz Agustin-Mella (seated right) is surrounded by her four youngest grandchildren from left to right Ramil Mella, Ramon Mella, Katleya Equina and Miguel Equina during the celebration of her 100th birthday last Feb. 14 at Georgio’s Banquet Hall at 8800 West 159th Street in Chicago’s suburban Orland Park. Luz Mella died last March 4 and was cremated March 10. A memorial service for her will be held on May 4, 2014 at the Manila Memorial Chapel at the Manila Memorial Park in Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines.  (JGLPhoto courtesy of Katleya M. Equina)

Joseph G. Lariosa
Correspondent
Journal GlobaLinks
P. O. Box 30110
Chicago, IL 60630
Tel. 312.772.5454
Telefax 312.428.5714

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NPA’s OUT OF TOUCH, ANACHRONISTIC!

JGL Eye

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(© 2013 Fil Am Extra Exchange)

CHICAGO (FAXX/jGLi) – The New People’s Army used to have my respect for championing the causes for social justice and reform in the countryside.

Not anymore.

If they keep on their murderous streak, like what they did to my first cousin, Virgilio “Bilyong” Miguel Garra, based on their faulty intelligence, they would turn up like the boy, who cried wolf. Nobody would believe them anymore that they could be the
alternative law enforcers or vigilantes for the oppressed Filipinos in the rural community.

Saying that they killed Garra, a retired Senior Police Officer 1 in the Philippine National Police, for being active in intelligence work in Matnog, Bulan and Magallanes in the Philippines against the NPA’s last July 24 at 6:45 a.m., the NPA’s took matters into their hands by executing (salvaging) him extra judicially without mercy in the middle of the street.

The NPA’s accused Garra of reporting their activities to the Philippine government’s Commanding Officer of the 31st Infantry (Army) Battalion.

So, what if Garra would still remain to be in the intelligence community after his retirement? If he would be reporting only the truth, I don’t see anything wrong with him taking a post-retirement second career path!

Garra was like some retired policemen joining a private security agency or as bouncer of some nightclubs or bodyguard to some celebrities and politicians, which are very much part of a field of his expertise. Other policemen, who retired from the mounted service, would even form an escort service to cater to funeral processions and wedding events.

At 55, Mr. Garra was too young to retire and to give up the knowledge he learned after years of training in the field that contributed to the maintenance of peace and order in his neighborhood.

His killers, the NPA’s so-called Celso Minguez Command in Matnog, had blamed him for causing the surrender of two members of the Command during the 90’s and in 2006.

Why would Mr. Garra be deprived of doing something that he loved to do that made him an effective supplier of prized information that helped the local military keep the peace in the neighborhood?

 TRAITOR TO NPA’s, HERO TO THE GOVERNMENT

 In the eyes of the NPA’s, Garra was a traitor to their cause. But in the eyes of the Philippine government, Garra was a hero!

This bunch of thugs and outlaws could not manufacture a more credible accusation against Bilyong. So, they contrived a ridiculous web of lies that Bilyong was being punished for being a “dealer of shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) that wrecks havoc on the health of Sorsoganons.

If my cousin were a drug dealer in the community, “in the schools and in the offices,” why was this accusation not ever raised when he ran for town-wide councilor of Matnog last May?

A real drug dealer, in his right mind, would not run the risk of exposing his reputation as a drug dealer by running for a public office, like Virgilio.

At a street value of 5,000 pesos (US$ 119.00) per gram or $167,683.30 to $251,524.90 (P6.7 million-P10 million) per kilogram, shabu should have made Virgilio a very rich man. He could have financed the surgical operation and the professional fees of the doctors, who could treat his “two baseball-sized boil” in the back of his neck. If Virgilio had sleepless nights, it was not because his conscience was bothering him because he was a  drug dealer but because the boil in the back of his neck could not let him sleep if he lied down flat on his back!

But instead of spending the money sent Virgilio by his nephew, who is in the U.S. military, to have his boil treated, Virgilio used the money to buy a van that he needed in his small auto repair business. But when Virgilio’s wife needed the money to treat her cancer, Virgilio sold his auto repair business lock, stock and barrel to pay for the hospitalization of his cancer-stricken wife, who died last year.

To support his family, Virgilio started a rattan furniture business, which would not have been necessary, if he had a lucrative business in dealing shabu.

THEY SHOULD SHED THEIR DUTCH COURAGE!

 I challenge the killers of Virgilio, who owned up the crime, to come forward and present their evidence against him and extricate themselves from the crime of murder. They should not hide under the skirt of anonymity or have the Dutch courage of their leader Jose Ma. Sison, who waged his war against the Marcos dictatorship from Utrecht.

For the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, it’s about time they give up their arms, come down from the hills, and join the mainstream society. World War II was over a long time ago!

The Hukbalahap (Hukbong Mapagpalaya Laban sa Hapon) has long disbanded. Your North Star, namely, the Socialism in Russia and the Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China, had crumbled and is now turning capitalist! Your raison d’etre is gone!

Why don’t you step out of the shadows and help the Philippine government in its peace and order drive? Tama na an pasaway san mga bulan-bulanan! (Grow up. Enough of being a nuisance!)

If you don’t return to mainstream society, you are just common criminals and petty extortionists, who are considered terrorists by the international community.

If you return to society by renouncing use of arms, you can run for public office. If your campaign would make sense, I am sure you can get some votes and you can even win!

But you have to step out of the shadows as Communism as an ideology, except perhaps for Cuba, is now becoming extinct. And your murderous spree will never endear you to the rural folks either nor to your supporters, local or overseas, who should now be wearing out your welcome.

If your children will realize that their education and their goals under Communism are very limited to taking up arms against their kababayans (countrymates) and the government, they should be deserting you so they can live peacefully by embracing the rules of society. But of course, your children’s desertion will only be possible if the Philippine government can bring education to them and provide them jobs and treat them humanely, not with iron hand.

These children will leave the aging NPA warriors to fend for themselves. When this time comes, it will be the end of Communism in the Philippines.

But if the NPA’s will insist on leading a life on the run, it is entirely up to them to lead an everlasting life of isolation and more hardship. Nobody will cry for their loneliness nor covet their godforsaken kingdom. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

 Virgilio Bilyong Miguel Garra, the candidate for councilor

Photo of Virgilio “Bilyong” Miguel Garra (left), whose hand is being raised by Sorsogon leader, Hermie Aquino, during the election campaign last May when he ran for Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines councilor. (From the Facebook of his daughter, Versie Garra Antonio)

 Virgilio Bilyong Miguel Garra Shot in the middle of the street

Photo of Virgilio “Bilyong” Miguel Garra when gunned down in the middle of the street by the New People’s Army last July 24 in Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines. (Facebook of the NPA’s, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006470253173)

Joseph G. Lariosa
Correspondent
Fil Am Extra Exchange
Journal Group Link International
P. O. Box 30110
Chicago, IL 60630
Tel. 312.772.5454
Telefax 312.428.5714

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Filed under Bulan Observer and Fil-Am Friends, Crime, Joseph Lariosa, The Matnog Environmental Advocates Organization (MEAO)

PH MILITARY POINTS TO “USUAL SUSPECTS” IN THIS MURDER “WHODUNIT”

JGL Eye

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(© 2013 Fil Am Extra Exchange)

 

CHICAGO (FAXX/jGLi) – The .45 caliber pistol was invented by Mr. John Browning to stop cold a raging juramentado, a Muslim armed with a kris, a jagged sword, on a suicide mission for martyrdom to kill Spanish and American invaders in Mindanao at the turn of the 19th century. These juramentados were the precursors of the suicide bombers in some Muslim extremist countries scaring the hell out of their visiting military forces.

But I never had any inkling that my once pilyo (mischievous but lovable) younger cousin, who had grown to become a policeman in my mother’s native town of Matnog in Sorsogon in the Philippines, would be felled by bullets from a .45 caliber pistol (http://tinyurl.com/ppp6bso). He was treacherously shot from behind his head allegedly by “suspected communist rebels.” My cousin was not even a Muslim, nor a juramentado! And he did not deserve to die from such cowardly act.

I don’t know if his murder was personal vendettas by his unseen enemies, whom he owed huge personal debts. But his enemies should have been men enough to face him or should have brought instead a case against him before the court of law if they wanted to settle a score. And not to resort to salvaging him!

If reports were true that Virgilio “Bilyong” Miguel Garra had drawn the ire of the rebels, I don’t know how he earned such wrath.

From what I know, the rebels only go after the big fish in the community, who oppresses the community. They usually go after ranking military officers, chiefs of police or mayors, who violate the people’s human rights. But not Bilyong. For the simple reason that he had lost any power and influence in the municipality after he retired from the police force that would enable him to commit human rights violations.

 

BILYONG DID NOT WORK IN LUCRATIVE PH BUREAUCRACIES

 

Bilyong did not make any money from the police force that should give rebels reason to “levy tax” from him. Unlike some of his rich neighbors, who made it big after brief stints with the Bureau of Customs and other Philippine government bureaucracies. Nor was he on the take in the lucrative Matnog ferryboat station franchise, a favorite milking cow by incumbent Matnog mayors.

Bilyong ran as a municipal councilor of Matnog in the last local lections. As expected he lost because he had nothing to offer but public community service, like his late father, Jose “Papa Tote” Garra, who was Matnog’s long-time Municipal Secretary. Bilyong had no money to buy votes either. So, how would he make the rebels’ blood boil when he did not even have a clout?

If his enemies were politicians, why would politicians still go after someone who is already down?

I do not know who shot and injured him when he was still in the police force when I last saw him in 1998.  Perhaps, police homicide investigators probing his murder should revisit his old case that reached the court.

From initial reports from my sources in Matnog, Bilyong was shot from behind his head in front of his house, which is near a Highway Patrol Group.

If this were so, why would the rebels still take special interest on a penniless election loser?

If Bilyong were shot near the Highway Patrol Group, why would the shooter/s be too brazen enough to fire shots within the hearing and visual distance of the Highway Patrol Group? Were the shooter/s in cahoots with the Highway Patrol Group? If not, did the Highway Patrol Group pursue the shooter after the shooting? If not, why not?

A lot of times after rebels conduct an operation, they usually claim responsibility right after the fact that, in effect, clears the military. I have yet to hear any claim of responsibility from the rebels for the slaying of Bilyong and their reasons for salvaging him!

If the military reports were true that Bilyong was felled by a bullet from a .45 caliber pistol, was the gun used a “colorum” or a “paltik? If it is, then, the chance of identification of the gunman is next to impossible.

 

GUN’S FINGERPRINT OR DNA

 

If not, then, this government-issued firearm can be matched to the serial number of the gun, which is only issued to a military officer.

In the U.S., and I hope in the Philippines, too, all registered firearms are “test fired” twice. One shell is sent to the owner of the firearm and the other shell with the expended bullets is sent to the FBI.

If the gun is used in a crime, the bullet recovered from the crime scene can be matched to the bullet and the gun formation that the gun manufacturer sent to the FBI, that is, if the recovered bullet is not completely messed up.

A Filipino American friend, who is also a gun owner, told me, when manufactured, gun’s “rifling impressions” (the inside of the barrel where bullets pass through) are different from another gun of the same make. Although, built by the same factory, using the same machine and material, the gun’s “firing pin and shell ejector mechanism” are also unique from another gun, and are the equivalent of the gun’s fingerprint or DNA.

If only the shell casing is recovered near the crime scene, gun matching is still possible as the gun leaves very distinct marks on it. The ballistic investigation will focus on the firing pin and shell ejector mechanism.

But if the slug was recovered from the body, then, the investigator can compare it with the rifling impression from the gun’s barrel.

I hope the Philippine government has an airtight inventory of firearms in its database that should make it easy for homicide investigators to trace the owners of firearms used by hired killers.

As I told my relatives, if they happen to have a gun, like Bilyong, who was in the police service, they have to be doubly careful in leading their way of life as their enemies would not be confronting them face to face but would attack them from behind to even things up. And they should always pray.

Goodbye, Bilyong! May you rest in peace! (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

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