A Message to the Filipino People

27 November 2008

We are a nation divided. Peace, unity and development continue to elude us because we have a president bereft of moral or legal authority to lead. She had, in fact, become the greatest continuing threat to the security, cooperative spirit, well being and sense of Nationhood of the Filipino people.

A true leader is a symbol of unity and a rallying figure especially in difficult times. A bogus leader is divisive and stays in power to the detriment of the common good and the National interest.

GMA continues to inflict herself on our hapless people. In the process, scarce government resources are squandered to buy for her dubious loyalties, institutions are prostituted to project a sham imprimatur to an immoral governance, public service has evolved into a buffet of graft and corruption, and morals, values, accountability and responsibility have been reduced to mere flamboyant phrases. She destroyed the very concept of truth as the foundation of every act of government.

We find the country today in deep turmoil. Oppression, corruption and injustice rule the benighted land. Internecine struggles threaten to dismantle the republic. Widespread poverty robs people of their dignity and drives many to prostitution and virtual slavery in foreign climes. Hunger incidence is at an all time high and the country’s human development index is at an all time low. No wonder, an atmosphere of destitution pervades among our normally resilient and patient people. All of these were brought about by 8 years of unelected, hopelessly corrupt leadership and a slew of failed liberal economic and peace policies.

Long starved of good governance, the Filipino people should act now to reclaim their dignity, remove the pretender from power and steer this nation on the path to greatness. I echo, loud and clear, the call for radical reforms and restructuring. The call of the times is for us NOT ONLY TO LISTEN BUT TO MARCH.

November 30, a few days from now is National Heroes Day. Let us recapture the visions and ideals of our heroes and martyrs and give justice to their golden dream of National independence.

This country needs a leader of heroic and nationalist stature who would champion genuine independence in every aspect of our national life. He or she must be committed to challenging colonial economic masters and their local surrogates, abandoning obscene foreign debt payment policies, pushing industrialization, agriculture productivity and sustainable agrarian reforms, ensuring food and energy independence, and formulating a sound economic strategy anchored on the declaration that this country’s patrimony and all of our abundant resources are solely for the Filipinos to develop and benefit from. The current President is the antithesis of that leader. For her personal aggrandizement, she was willing to sacrifice the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by dismembering the Republic in the case of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) and the baseline issue, west of our archipelago.

The latest Malacanang sponsored machinations are designed to extend GMA’s discredited regime. Secretary Dureza’s prayer and the feigned reaction revealed it all. With no semblance of delicadeza, no less than her son is doing the rounds, spearheading a signature campaign that would eventually actualize their foul design. With a subservient congress which frustrates the impeachment process at every turn and some Supreme Court justices willing to do their biddings, then their coast is clear, our political fate is sealed. I dread the thought that our best bet is for GMA to die of old age.

Now is the time to grip hands and act! Enough is enough!

(This statement was read at the KME presscon by Bishop Tobias)

Danny Lim’s eulogy for Marlyn

By Ellen Tordesillas
November 23, 2008

Marlyn Divinagacia, 32,wife of Capt Ervin Divinagracia, one of the 28 officers detained in connection with the February 2006 non-event,was laid to rest yesterday. (Click here for brief background info).

At the necrological rites for her at St. Ignatius church in Camp Aguinaldo, Aloy Lim read the following message of her husband, Brig. Gen. Danny Lim, (also in detention) formerly the commander of the First Scout Ranger Regiment where Ervin belonged:

"When I first heard the final diagnosis that Marlyn’s condition was acute myelogenous leukemia and that she was slowly slipping into coma, I asked God to remove the working tools from those weary hands so her whole being may find final rest, and not long after, when I got word that her mortal remains are all we have, I asked God, why the tragedy?

When someone so young is taken so unexpectedly, it is impossible for man to fathom God’s ways. Their daughter, Francine, is only four years old and my godson, Amiel, is only two, make it even more heart-wrenching.

I wondered if its possible that God in all his goodness, also has lapses and moments of inattention to our plight?

In the bigger picture, could it be possible that God also sometimes forgets the serious situation for our people, considering the venalities, the deterioration of morals and values of our leaders and the ills in governance causing untold difficulties on our hapless people?

These times, truth and justice seem like very scarce commodities in this benighted land. Even Ervin, with his principles and selfless acts, but who has done absolutely nothing illegal suffers in detention while the real criminals are unfettered and enjoying their foul lives to the fullest.

When Marlyn took her last breath, she was wearing a T-shirt which I gave not too long ago. The white T-shirt she wore has my profile and the words, “For what is true, for what is just, for what is right.”

It now becomes perfectly clear to me why she chose to have it on when crossing the river and appearing before the Great White throne.

Those words must have been in her last conscious thoughts and if indeed God can do with some reminders, he can read them loud and clear. Maybe being taken from loved ones and friends so young is too difficult to comprehend, but take comfort that, “for those who believe and love God, nothing irredeemable can happen.”

Her memory lives in our hearts as we remember all the wonderful things about her." -BGEN DANNY LIM

Background about the shirt:

A few hours before Marlyn went into coma, she was sweating profusely and her clothes had to be changed. The first thing that Ervin found in her bag was the large-size shirt with General Lim’s image and the patriotic quotation.

At Marlyn’s deathbed, Ervin quipped to Aloy Lim, “Tingnan mo si Marlyn, mahal na mahal niya si General Lim. Suot-suot pa niya ang T- shirt.”

THE AFP’S ORIGINAL SIN (Adam and Esperon)

By BGen Danny Lim
November 13, 2008

Before the Filipino people, the raison d’etre for its existence, the Armed Forces of the Philippines is currently in a state of disgrace. This alienation is the price soldiers pay for the Original Sin committed by their senior officers, Esperon and his rogue accomplices, who allowed themselves to be “used” and in the process unconscionably got the institution involved in the massive electoral fraud in 2004.

Like Adam and Eve who were unable to resist the crafty snake’s temptation and ate from the Tree of Knowledge, Esperon and his self-aggrandizement group succumbed to the offers of immoral political leaders and helped themselves to the “tree of Garci.” But unlike the Garden of Eden’s original sin, Esperon’s partakes of a mortal character, not merely venial. It was a grievous criminal offense when he and his gang knowingly and willfully violated our election laws and thwarted the people’s sovereign political mandate. And being mortal, such stain cannot be cleansed by Baptismal waters alone. The sin can only be forgiven and the soldier reconciled with his people through a sincere Act of Contrition and the corresponding Acts of Penance.

To be redeemed from its complete separation from the Filipino people, for a start, the military needs to be honest with itself and be truthful to the country it has sworn to serve. The AFP needs to come out of it with a clean breast by admitting the fault, dealing with it squarely and helping initiate moves that would task those responsible to account for their illegal acts. Unfortunately, it is like wishing for the moon at this time; even a watered down version of the Mayuga Report has yet to be made public.

Meantime, a chasm of sinfulness and damnation continue to define the military’s relationship with the Filipino people and its estranged sons and daughters continue to suffer from the stigma of Esperon’s shameless act. Innocent soldiers continue to suffer and pay for the original crime. Some who stood up to be counted for the side of truth and justice ended up in detention and continue to languish in their cells to this day. Add to this the cases of involuntary disappearances, tortures, abuses, etc and you multiply and magnify the gulf between soldiers and civilians.

From accounts in the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden and condemned to perpetual harsh existence where they can only “eat bread from the sweat of their faces.” The serpent’s punishment, “on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life.” No such treatment for Esperon, his rotten crew and the big Anaconda, no matter how well they deserve it. The crooks in uniform were, to a man, amply rewarded for their “invaluable services” with promotions, incentives (including financial) and other perks. They’ve got it made! Their brows need no longer sweat. They were banished to paradise (juicy positions) after retirement. The political serpent is not crawling on its belly. It continues to lord it over the garden and abuse its hapless and downtrodden residents.

Only when the men in uniform and the Filipino people unite and act as one can the Biblical story rooted in crime and punishment come to full realization.


Posted at www.ellentordesillas.com
November 10, 2008

I think Col. Feliciano Loy’s tantrum near the end of last Friday’s court martial hearing of the mutiny case against Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda and 27 other officers was more panic than anything else as reality dawned on him that what he has is a losing case.

“We believe that the prosecution has been trapped, We will have to withdraw from the pre-trial,” he said eliciting surprise, disgust, anger and amusement from the defense lawyers.

Col. Loy is the head of the prosecution team implementing the order of former AFP chief Hermogenes Esperon to have the 28 officers convicted for allegedly planning to withdraw support from Gloria Arroyo in February 2006 following the revelations in the “Hello Garci” tapes that she cheated in the 2004 elections.

The 28 officers including Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim and two Medal of Valor awardees, Col. Ariel Querubin and Lt. Col. Custodio Parcon, were charged with mutiny despite the recommendation of the panel that investigated the February 2006 non-event to dismiss the charge of mutiny (violation of 67th Articles of War) “for lack of factual and legal basis.”

The officers were also charged with conduct unbecoming of an officer and gentleman (violation of AW 96) and conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline (AW 97) and disrespect towards the president (AW 63). But these minor charges were dropped when no arraignment was conducted after two years.

Last Friday was the third pre-trial hearing. At 3:30 p.m., Loy reported to the panel that both sides were through with stipulation of facts and the marking of evidence. He declared the end of pre-trial and for them to go to trial proper. He even made a snide remark for the officers who have been in detention for almost three years “to prepare for a long battle.”

Atty. Donald Diaz, counsel for Lt. Col. Parcon and Capt. Aurino, reminded the prosecution the agreement that no additional evidence would be presented or else there would be no end to the “fishing expedition” and that would defeat the purpose of the pre-trial. No objection was raised to that.

When the hearing resumed after a short break, Atty. Rogelio Bagabuyo, counsel for Maj. Gen. Miranda, said that in the interest of speedy trial, he is admitting “hypothetically that all the evidence presented by the prosecution are true.” He said he is filing a demurrer because the evidence presented “are not enough to convict the accused of mutiny beyond reasonable doubt.”

A demurrer is a pleading in effect that even if the facts as alleged by the opposite party are true, they do not sustain the contention based on them.

All the defense lawyers manifested the same pleading. Atty. Vic Verdadero, counsel for Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, said, “We shall not be using our evidence. We admit that the prosecution’s evidence is true and that they cannot sustain the charge of mutiny.”

The pre-trial investigation report on the Feb. 2006 incident defines mutiny as “concerted insubordination, or concerted opposition, defiance of, or resistance to, lawful military authority by two or more persons subject to such authority, with the intent to usurp, subvert, or override such authority or neutralize it for the time being.”

The pieces of evidence submitted by the prosecution consisted mainly of affidavits of officials who were at the “Gazebo,” a reception area in the residence of the AFP chief of staff in Camp Aguinaldo, the night of Feb. 23, 2006. At that time, it was the residence of the AFP chief Generoso Senga, who is now ambassador to Iran.

They were supposed to be discussing the restlessness of the young officers over the “Hello Garci” expose which validated what they knew that the military was used extensively to cheat in the 2004 elections in favor of Arroyo. There was talk about some officers planning to join the protest rally the next day, the 20th anniversary of the 1986 People Power. The meeting ended with Senga giving the order to “Go back to barracks” which everybody obeyed.

One of the affidavits in the prosecution’s arsenal is that of Esperon, who was then the chief of the Philippine Army.

Loy said the defense team was being “presumptuous” because they have not presented the witnesses themselves.

Atty. Teddy Rigoroso, counsel for Maj. Francisco Domingo Fernandez and Lt. Belinda Ferrer, said since the witnesses are not expected to say anything contrary to what is contained in their affidavits, they would just be wasting time because the defense would just agree to what the witness would say.

Loy asked the court to nullify what transpired in the three pre-trial hearings. That’s when the soft-spoken Bagabuyo, who was a former senior state prosecutor, turned testy. He told Loy that “it is never right for any one to say ‘Yes’ today and say ‘No’ the next day. That is never done.”

Atty. Trixie Angeles, counsel for Maj. Jason Aquino, asked the court to order Loy to “tell the truth” and show cause why he should not be cited for contempt for delaying the trial.

Atty. Gilbert Gallos, counsel for Col. Orlando de Leon, took exception to the allegation of Loy that the “prosecution has been trapped.” He said no one forced the prosecution to submit their evidence. All that the defense was doing was to admit their evidence. “I can’t understand where he is coming from.”

I think I understand. Loy’s statement betrays his own assessment of the weakness of their evidence. What if the court approves the defense’s demurrer? AFP Chief Alexander Yano, in contrast to Esperon who was known to exert pressure on the panel, has always said he will respect the decision of the court.

If the demurrer is approved, the accused officers would be released to go back to the service. Will Arroyo and Esperon allow truth to prevail?

The panel headed by Maj. Gen. Jogy Fojas denied Loy’s motion to nullify the pre-trial proceedings. He gave the defense seven days to submit their demurrer and another seven for the prosecution to comment. Next hearing is on Nov. 28, 2008.

Mutiny lawyer to file motion to dismiss

By Victor Reyes
November 06, 2008

THE defense panel in the court martial of 28 Army and Marine officers linked to the alleged attempt to overthrow the Arroyo government in 2004 yesterday renewed its bid for the military tribunal to dismiss the mutiny charges against the accused.

Vicente Verdadero, counsel for former Scout Ranger Regiment commander Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim and several other accused, informed the court that he is filing a formal motion to demurrer. "It’s like a motion to dismiss," Verdadero told reporters. "The evidence cannot sustain the charge of mutiny."

Verdadero, however, declined to elaborate on the supposed weakness of the evidence of the prosecution headed by Col. Jose Feliciano Loy. "I do not want to telegraph my punches to Col. Loy."

Defense lawyers have filed similar motions to dismiss in the past but these were denied by the military tribunal, now presided over by Army Maj. Gen. Jogy Leon Fojas.

The military court started trying the accused officers in December 2006 for their alleged plan, subsequently thwarted, to march to the Edsa Shrine in February 2006, join the anti-government demonstrators there, and publicly withdraw their support from President Arroyo.

The defense yesterday continued marking its evidence with Rogelio Butch Bagabugo, lawyer of former Marine commandant Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda, one of the accused, offering the sworn statement of his client and 11 other officers, including then AFP deputy chief of staff for intelligence now AFP deputy chief Lt. Gen. Rodrigo Maclang.

Miranda’s evidence included the pre-trial investigation report that recommended the dropping of the case of mutiny against the accused for lack of merit. The recommendation was reversed by a pre-trial advice that was approved by then AFP chief Hermogenes Esperon.

The prosecution in turn presented its issues to the court, to wit: whether the court has jurisdiction over the accused officers; whether there was conspiracy; and whether the accused indeed committed mutiny.

The defense panel’s issues included whether there was conspiracy to commit mutiny, whether the prosecution evidence is enough to overcome the presumption of innocence of the accused; and whether the prosecution can convict the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

Mutiny charges against 16 officers recommended dropped

October 21, 2008

MUTINY CHARGES against more than half of the military officers involved in a 2006 plot to oust the government were recommended dropped for lack of evidence.

Military prosecutors told a court martial yesterday that they have recommended to military chief Gen. Alexander B. Yano the dropping of charges against 16 of the 28 military officers who tried to overthrow the Arroyo administration in February 2006.

Court martial proceedings are being held against the military officers headed by former Marine commander Ma. Gen. Renato P. Miranda and former Army Scout Ranger chief Brig. Gen. Danilo P. Lim.

Col. Feliciano Loy, head of the military prosecution panel, said the letter of recommendation to Mr. Yano "was returned without taking any action. It was neither denied nor approved."

He stopped short of disclosing the names of officials recommended for deletion from the charge list.

Mr. Yano has the authority to convene or dismiss court martial proceedings.

Trixie Angeles, lawyer for Maj. Jason Aquino, one of the accused, and collaborating counsel for Mr. Miranda, said the mutiny charges against all officials should be dismissed based on the prosecution’s admission of lack of evidence to pursue the charges.

Other defense lawyers also asked the court martial president, Maj. Gen. Jogy Leo Fojas, to direct Mr. Loy to furnish them a copy of the letter to Mr. Yano.

Mr. Loy, however, said the letter was a "personal communication between me and general Yano."

Col. Marian Aleido, a member of the court, said: "We could not grant the oral pleading to dismiss the case because we have not heard yet the evidence of the prosecution."

Mr. Loy said other evidences can be presented against the accused.

The 28 officers remain in detention pending the resolution of mutiny charges.

I Shout: happy 53rd bday.

By Aika Lim
June 2, 2008

gloria will soon ruin her own government.. time will come.. tignan nyo nalng sa mga headlines. lahat tumataas… gasolina, kuryente, value of peso, pagkain, harina, kanin, bigas, delata, anu pa.? bka sasusunod pati si ms. president tumangkad bigla! hahah. she wont be there in her throne forever. even the GREAT esperon. i bet once na mawala sila sa pwesto…. lilipad yang mga yan sa ibang bansa. lumalabas na rin lht ng mga dati pang pinag sasabi ng mga taong dati pang naninindigan sa katotohanan at sa kanilang mga prinsipyo. ang hirap ngayun. halos lht ng tao naghihintay na lng, hnd na gumagalaw para maisulong ang katotohanan. takot.

dumating ang panahon na ok na. inter faith rally…. ayun wala ring nanyari dahil magkakaaway din yung mga tao dun… hnd nagkakasundo. nag si alisan nalng… isa pang dahilan cguro. wala na ang magigiting na sundalo… (yung nagtetake life ba) wala. wala na yung naninindigan talaga yung may prinsipyo. yung mga tulad ni(you know: papa)hnd rin bumabaligtad sa kanilang pinaninindigan. grabe. pinagdaanan pa nila yung tear gas na yun. he was detained for almost three years without evidence and without the right cases to detain him. grrr!!!

its dad’s bday. weee. ito lang ang masasabi ko. sa tagal tagal na (alam mo na) si papa. talagang bilib na talaga ako sa kanya well dati pa naman. SHOx eto na nagpapaka emotional na. may dad and i really dont talk alot about these kind of things cguro pag assignment na sa school o kaya naman related dun nagtatanung na ko talaga. that’s why i cant even say na i am the second one that knows him the most. i am still a teenager, but i understand a bit of it already. And to think na sa tagal tagal nya nang nandun sa (alam mo na) mag te-three years na… and for 3 months na mag-isa sya dun grabe… hnd mo iisipin na "kakayanin ko kaya yun walng kausap walng tv walng cellphone?" … eto talaga yung mystery kay dad ehhh… how does he do that???!! sbi naman nya he can turn off o kaya i close yung one side of his brain. IS that really possible? yan ang matatanung mo. tanung nga ni mama sa atty namen kung naniniwala sya dun. sbi nmn ni atty na it might be possible kasi ibang klase daw talaga si papa… weird noh ahahah!!!

pero eto i’ll support it with this nalng. dad can literally remember alot of things. 1st, sa dami dami ng libro ni papa sa bahay parang library na kung tutuusin. he knows what color of the cover, the author, the title, and where he last saw it. grabeh. 2nd, he knows all his god-children from baptisms, weddings and confirmations. lastly, ang pinakanakakatawa he still remembers his classmates from grade 1 or so. he even knows their "kalokohan" during those years. and to think that he is already in his 50’s. NO cONNECT ba? haha

one thing im proud of him. is his principles. grabe. kung titignan mo, tuwing christmas party dati sa kanyang mga battalions, camps, etc. ang daming nag dodonate ng kung anu anu. pang give away, pang kain, pera etc. IF my dad is like ESPERON, GLORIA and her constituents… ay wala na…. MAYAMAN na ako!!!! hahahah!!! i could get my own car, i might even have three cars of my own! hahaha o kaya puro alahas lhat na ng maiisip mo. pero eto lng sinasabi ni dad. "hindi yan para sa inyo, para yan sa mga sundalo, binigay yan para sa kanila." awwww. dad really loves his troops. magaling humawak si papa ng tauhan, inaalagaan pa nya. hahaha. eto pa, ngayun lng kami nag karuon ng totoong bhy! as in puro utang pa toh kung tutuusin. im 17 na at ngayun lng kame nag karuon ng stable na talagang matatawag na home.

mahilig din si dad sa mga hayop ….. tulad ng manok, baka, kambing, ahas, bayawak, at kung anu ano pa…. magkakasundo sila ni KUYA KIM sa umagang kay ganda o kaya sa matanglawin! hhaha. pinagtyatygaan nya talaga yung mga pilay na sisiw… yung abnormal na sisiw … grabe, ang cute

dissent without action is consent.

grabe feeling ko naman na sobrang dami kong alam. madami lng naman akong naisulat. well nagkukwento lng. a tribute? for my dad? well si papa naman kung mag salita maiksi lng pero punong punong ng LAMAN pwede narin cgurong sabihin na diretso. hahaha. let’s just support every Filipino who stands up…

For what is True,

For what is Honest,

For what is Right.

one thing i hate about dad. is that he is so trusting, lahat trina-trust nya. ambaet talaga ni dad haaayy. dad is so unique, you wont find anyone like him. laahat nalng trusted nya. minsan tuloy tinetake advantage ang pagka bait nya.

I love you dad, happy bday. We miss you.

buti naman pinapasok nyo kame kanina kay dad. dyan ko siguro masasabi na napaka taas ang respeto nila kay dad at symphathy samen.

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