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Sunday, August 25, 2019
CEBU

Malilong: Sedition inside prison?

The other side

OF COURSE, it’s nothing new when an inmate commits a crime while being incarcerated. Drug lords are known to continue to ply their trade from their prison cells. They themselves told us so on national television some three years ago when the Pantaleon Alvarez-led House of Representatives treated us to a cheap telenovela masquerading as a congressional hearing on the alleged drug activities of opposition Sen. Leila de Lima.

The Bilibid-based drugs trade thrived because the guards either purposely looked the other way or were too incompetent to notice anything unusual happening inside the national penitentiary. Without the corruption or ineptitude of the jail guards, it would have been impossible for those convicted felons to house the nerve center of their criminal operations inside the prison.

It would be interesting to know who the jail guards of the detained de Lima are. She is charged, along with many others, mostly opposition politicians, of having committed sedition. Since she is not free to go anywhere else, she could have done the crime only inside prison, which means that she was allowed to do so by her guards. Shouldn’t they also be criminally charged for making it possible for de Lima to commit sedition?

Absurd? Isn’t everything about the sedition charges in fact absurd, starting with the star witness and confessed perjurer, Peter Joemel Advincula? After what the police said against him before he made a turnaround, shouldn’t they just lock him up to teach him a lesson or two about honesty instead of relying on his uncorroborated testimony to run after the President’s critics?

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra promised that his office will go only by the evidence presented in evaluating the case. Unless the police have more-and credible-witnesses against the respondents, there is not much to go by.

***

His peers honored Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella by choosing him as chairman of the League of Cities of the Philippines. This is the same association that has Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and the chief executives of Manila, Makati and Quezon City, among others, in its fold.

Looks like we’re going to see a busier Cebu City mayor. Last Thursday, when we spoke on the phone, he jokingly said he was in a bomb shelter, signing the appointments of about 3,000 city employees.

***

The recent tragedy in Boljoon that saw nine people, mostly children, killed is particularly painful because my wife is from there and some of the victims may have come from families that I have met. On a number of occasions, I have also traveled the road where the accident occurred.

An anonymous post on Facebook, apparently written by a Boljoanon, poignantly paints the grief that I share with the rest of the Boljoon community. Here, a mother bares her pain as she addresses her dead son:

“Kataas pa man unta sa panahon Nga ikaw ‘nak magmalipayon.”

They say that death strikes like a thief in the night but must it strike someone who is so young and so full of hope?


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