Much has happened since my last blog entry. One day soon I hope to expound more on my thoughts on these, but for now perhaps just a sneek peak into my noggin should suffice.
My thoughts, in no particular order:
1. Luneta Hostage taking
First of all, I think the Office of the Ombudsman should be more heavily investigated than anyone else in relation to the hostage-taking. I believe that had Mendoza felt he received a fair judgment based on incontrovertible facts, and if they had acted quickly on his appeal, then he would not have degenerated into a hostage taker and murderer. But even the Ombudsman’s decision clearly showed that it gave full weight to Christian Kalaw’s sole testimony, and NOTHING ELSE.
Furthermore, the Ombudsman’s assumption of jurisdiction over this case, rather than allowing the PLEB to take over any administrative charges, can only be justified by saying that the PLEB would NOT provide the Kalaws any relief should they have filed an administrative complaint in PLEB against Mendoza. Consider this provision in R.A. 6770, which defines the organization, functions and powers of the Office of the Ombudsman:
“Section 20. Exceptions. The Office of the Ombudsman may not conduct the necessary investigation of any administrative act or omission complained of if it believes that:
(1) The complainant has an adequate remedy in another judicial or quasi-judicial body”
It is bad policy for the Ombudsman to assume that a quasi-judicial body, created for the express purpose of accepting and hearing administrative complaints against members of the PNP, will not carry out its duty of conducting a fair, impartial hearing.
And the fact is, IAS had to dismiss the case because the Kalaws refused to appear in any of its proceedings; for this same reason the Manila Prosecutors’ Office had to dismiss the case as well. In other words, the Kalaws themselves caused the dismissal of the cases, and NOT the PNP. Rather than assert jurisdiction, the Ombudsman should have referred the Kalaws to file the administrative complaint in the PLEB first, citing the provision above.
And one last thing. People who keep attributing responsibility for this directly to PNoy need to get their heads out of their asses.The whole point of having local governments and department secretaries and undersecretaries is the notion that the President shouldn’t have to be directly involved with local matters. Even assuming this argument to be remotely acceptable, what kind of precedent would the President set by intervening directly with a hostage-taking? This would open the doors to other would-be hostage takers in getting no less than the Head of State to listen to and acquiesce to their demands.
2. Venus Raj’s “major major” moment.
I’ve heard Venus Raj speak in interviews, and she doesn’t sound nearly as retarded s she did trying to answer Alec Baldwin’s question. If the gal is more comfortable speaking in Filipino or even in Bicolano (her home province and presumably her native tongue), then why shouldn’t we use translators? Do we seriously think that these other contestants have no idea how to speak English? Come on.
3. The Presidential Hotdog
Staged or not staged? Who knows.