"Sarile Kong Pananaw"
Fake news is too hot to handle, but too cold to ignore; a damn if you do, and damn if you don't situation.
Ignore it, then you allow it; you debunk it, then you repeat it...
Repetition is a repetition, it attracts credence or the very least you open a subject for a debate.
Sadly, many of these fake news spread like wildfire especially if it is repeated by a prominent personality, either with the intention to spread it, ride on it, or to debunk it.
Fake news has a life of its own, the more oxygen you feed, the bigger it grows. A cold douse of cold facts and details may sometimes be not enough to extinguish it.
The best way to attack a fake news?
Take away the emotion, go to the root and be ready with your facts. But always remember that the goal of the purveyor is not about facts but about spreading rumors and lies...
And with the advent of technology, online information became a forest and haywire of truth and lies; it is like swimming in a shark infested water, or drifting in a vast of ocean on a boat.
And, may the best swimmer survive...but is not even a guarantee.
We grew up to the belief that lies falter when confronted with truth; but the truth nowadays is relative, people will believe what they want to believe...for in the end, it is the best presentation that will matter.
As they say, be kind as a dove, buth wise as a serpent.
Truth and Lies...
“The fact is that we have no way of knowing if
the person who we think we are is at the core of our being. Are you a decent girl with the potential to someday become an evil monster, or are you an evil monster that thinks it's a decent girl?"
"Wouldn't I know which one I was?"
"Good God, no. The lies we tell other people are nothing to the lies we tell ourselves.”
― Derek Landy, Death Bringer
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” ― Thomas Paine
“I don't mind being called a liar. I am. I am a marvelous liar. But I hate being called a liar when I´m telling the perfect truth.” ― Patrick Rothfuss
(Hmmm, that one sounds like Mocha Uson)
“People would rather live in a community with unreasonable claims, than face loneliness with their truth.” ― Bangambiki Habyarimana
(If you can't beat 'em, join 'em?)
A story is not always a lie," said Tristan.
"Some stories are truer than truth."
Truer than truth? That sounded like something liars made up to tell people who found them out.” ― Mette Ivie Harrison, Tris & Izzie
(I always have doubts if someone starts his argument with 'honestly')
“A half-truth is even more dangerous than a lie. A lie, you can detect at some stage, but half a truth is sure to mislead you for long.” ― Anurag Shourie
(I call it mixed, half of it is truth, the other half is to direct you to his lies)
“Lies are a little fortress; inside them you feel safe and powerful. Through your little fortress of lies you try to run your life and manipulate others. But the fortress needs walls, so you build some. These are justifications for your lies.” ― William P. Young
(And so many were trapped in their own web of lies, as they continue to build lies to support their previous lies)
“Truth does not need publicity, lies do.” ― Abhijit Naskar
Allow me run deep and be religous about it...fake news are lies, a deceit, whether it is half truth or half lies, as the intention is to deceive, period. No more no less.
What does the Bible say about deceit? It is very clear in the Bible that deceit is an act that God hates. There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
(Proverbs 6:16-19). In order to follow the Lord’s path deceit cannot be in your heart and soul.
And lastly, a warning: Psalm 101:7 "He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight."
RED OCTOBER DAW? Ang pagsasangkot ng militar at ng kapulisan sa mga unibersidad sa kilusang rebolusyonaryo ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas ay hindi na bago; mulat' mula pa ng itatag ang rebolusyonaryong komunista, ang pangunahing layunin nito ay malinaw at patuloy na pabagsakin ang pamahalaan, kahit sino pang nakaupong panguluhan.
Ang bago sa kasalukuyan ay ang pagbabalik ng anino ng batas militar, ang walang habas na patayan gamit ang madugong gyera laban sa ilegal na droga. At kumakailan lang, ang pagpapalutang ng militar sa tinaguriang Red October, na sinasangkot ang mga lehitimong organisasyon politikal at ilang sibilyan grupo sa tinaguriang planong pagpapatalsik sa pangulo. Ngunit' hindi nagtutugma ang pahayag ng militar at inamin din nito na hindi pa beripikado. Nilabas ang alegasyon bago sumapit ang pag-alala sa batas militar na dineklara ng yumaong Ferdinand Marcos Sr..Setyembre 21, na taon taong inaalala ng bayan.
Makalipas nga ang araw na ito, ay unti-unti na rin binawi ng militar at nilinis ang pagkakasangkot sa oposisyon at ilang organisasyon.
Ang pagsisiwalat ng hindi beripikadong inpormasyon na nakalap daw ng militar sa isang raid sa kampo ng NPA ay lumalabas sa pananaw ng mga kritiko na isang malinaw na pananakot sa posibleng dumaraming alyansa ng mga sibilyan at politikal, na naglalabas ng mga hinaing sa mga pagkukulang ng pamahalaan na pinamumunuan ni Duterte.
Mga lehitimong isyu na tinatalakay ng sambayanan, katulad ng madugong gyera sa droga na sa panananaw ng mamamayan ay laban lamang sa mahihirap; na napapatay at inaakusahang nanlaban. Dagdag pa rito ang libo-libong hinde nareresolbang pagpatay ng hinihinalang mga vigilantes na sa ilang pagkakataon ay naakusahan na rin na ginagamit mismo ng pamahalaan.
Nakadadagdag sa masamang pananaw ng nakararami ay tila nakatutok lamang ang gobyerno sa mga mahihirap na nalulong sa droga, samantalang ang mga malalaking sindikato o tinatawag na drug lords ay malaya, kung ito ay mahuli man ay nabibigyan ng tamang proseso sa batas at napaliligiran ng mga abugado upang idepensa ang kanilang sarile; pagkakataon na hindi naibibigay sa mahihirap, na kadalasan nga ay napapatay o sinasadyang patayin?
At ang nakatutuyang pagpasok ng tonetoneladang droga, o bilyon-bilyong halaga nito na idinadaan sa
mga pangunahing pier ng bansa, na lumalabas ay may sabwatan sa mga opisyal o ang mga nagpapalakad nito.Sa pandinig nga sa senado ay naisangkot pa ang anak ng pangulo at ang tinaguriang Davao group.
Mga isyung pinalala pa ng gumagapang na kahirapan, sa pagpapataw ng mga bagong buwis na dagdag pahirap sa bulsa ng ordinaryong mamamayan. Mga buwis na nagpapataas sa presyo ng mga bilihen na nakakaapekto sa araw araw na pamumuhay ng tao.
Ang korapsyon sa gobyerno ay nagpapatuloy, dagdag sa galit ng taumbayan ay tila pagkunsiniti ng rehimen sa mga opsiyal na nasangkot sa katiwalian, ang kadalasan ay tinanggal sa isang pwesto at nilipat lamang sa bagong puwesto.
Ang tila pamamayagpag ng Tsina dahil sa tuwirang paypayag ng pangulo o pagiwas na ipagtanggol ang ating karapatan. Naging malaya ang Tsina at walang imik o reklamo ang pangulo sa pagsakop sa kabuan ng South China sea o ang West Philippine Sea na nakakapekto na sa karapatan ng ating bansa sa layang pangingisda o pakinabangan ang yaman ng dagat ayon sa tinatawag na EEZ o Exclusive Economic Zone o sakop ng Pilipinas.Tila pagbalewala sa ipinanalong kaso sa pandaigdigan korte ng bansa laban sa Tsina na pinawalang bisa nito ang pangaangkin ng Tsina sa kabuuan ng South China Sea o ang tinatawag na 9-Dash Line ay hinatulang ilegal.
Sa mga kasalukuyang kaganapan, nakikita na rin ng mga kabataan ang tila pagkiling at hindi naman din kinaila ng pangulo ang paghanga nya o pagpabor sa pamamaraan ng dating diktador na si Marcos. At unti-unti, nalalantad sa publiko ang tila pagiging diktador din ng pangulo.
Mga pahayag at aksyon ng pangulo na nagpapatibay sa hinala na sya ay isang diktador at kinokopya ang pamamaraan ng dating diktador na si Marcos.
Hindi pinalalagpas ng pangulo ang mga puna sa kanya at nakatitikim ng talas ng kanyang dila, ito man ay galing sa loob o labas ng bansa.
Hindi rin nakaligtas ang mga pangunahing kritiko ng pangulo, tulad ni Senador Leila De Lima, na kasalukuyang nakakulong pa rin, sa mga akusasyong na tila gawa-gawa lamang ng rehimeng ito. Sa ngayon, ay patuloy ang kaso na paulit-ulit na kinakansela ang mga pandinig na tila paraan para pahabain ang pagkakalulong ng senador.
Sumusunod sa listahan ay ang isa pang senador na si Antonio Trillanes IV, na binuhay ang isang patay na kaso ng rebelyon at pag-aaklas na binura na ng nakaraang administrasyon sa pamamagitan ang amnestiya. Kakatwa ang paraan na ginamit ng gobyerno na inimbalido ang amnestiya dahil sa kakulangan daw ng aplikasyon at hindi pag-amin sa mga kasalanan. Pinalabas na malapit lang daw ang senador sa dating adminsitrasyon kaya nabigyan ng amnestiya.
Kakatwa sa kadahilanan: nawawala ang aplikasyon ng senador sa kustodiya ng militar. Dagdag pa rito ang pagamin ng hepe ng Department of National Defense na hiningi ng solgen o pangunahing abugado ng gobyerno ang mga papeles ng amnestiya ng senador bago naisagawa ang isang paguutos mula sa pangulo na iniimbalido nga ang amenstiya ng senador. Nataon pa ng ang solgen ay iniimbestigahan ng senador sa isang malinaw na 'conflict of interest' sa pagkopo ng kumpanyang pagaari ng solgen at ng pamilya nito, sa mga kontrata sa gobyerno na aabot sa daan-daang milyon.
Ang parehong solgen ay sya rin nagpatanggal sa dating punong mahistrado ng korte suprema sa pamamagitan ng 'quo warranto' o walang bisang nominasyon ng dahil sa kakulangan daw ng ilang papeles ng panahon na magaplay ang punong mahistrado. Ang dahing mahistrado ay isang kritiko rin ng pangulo at kumontra sa paulit-ulit na pagpapalawig ng batas militar sa Mindanao.
Mga lehitimong hinaing na umabot na nga sa kamalayan ng kabataan, at ang mga progresibong pagiisip nito. Unti-unti ay nabubuo ang mga organisasyon ng kabataan, mga namumulat sa kalakaran ng panahon at ng nakaraan.
Kumakailan lang ay ang tuwirang pagsasangkot sa mga unibersidad na nagiging lugar daw ng panghihikayat at pagrerecruit ng komunista sa mga estudyante para sumapi sa NPA. Dagdag pa ng militar na ang pagpapalabas ng mga dokumentaryo at pelikula tungkol sa batas militar nung panahon ni Marcos ay ginagamit na panghikayat sa mga mag-aaral.
Sinusugan ito ng mga kapulisan, at ang hepe nga nito ay nagpahayag ng tila pananakot sa mga guro at magaaral. Pananagutin ang mga guro na nagtuturo ng mga kinukonsidera nilang paglaban sa gobyerno. Bakit daw, paaral ang mga ito ng gobeyrno at hindi pa nakakagradweyt e nilalabanan na ang gobyernong nagpapaaral sa kanila. Kasama na rin daw ang mga gurong nagtuturo na itulak ang mga estudyante na lumaban sa pamahalaan.
PARANG kailan lang, mukhang nagbabalik ang kahapon. Ganitong ganito rin nuong panahon ni Marcos, ang panimula ng panggigipit ng pamahalaan sa mga mamamayan na naghahayag ng hinaing sa mga kakulangan o pagmamalabis ng gobyerno.
Paratangan ang mga nagrereklamo ng rebelyon o subersibo upang manahimik? Ipakulong ang mga pangunahing kritiko upang magbigay ng takot sa publiko?
Ang paggawa ng mga kung anu-anong senaryo ng pagsasabwatan upang patalsikin ang pangulo at ng sa gayon ipatupad ang mas mahigpit na polisiya na batas militar?
Kinatatakutan ba ng pamahalaan ang pagkakamulat ng kabataan sa mga pagmamalabis at paniniil ng mga namuno nuon at namumuno sa ngayon?
Kung sa pagpapakita o pagaaral ng mga kalabisan ng batas militar ng panahon ni Marcos ay tinuturing na isang pangeengganyo sa kabataan upag magaklas, hindi malayong pati ang mga libro na nasulat ng ating bayani na si Rizal, ang Noli Me Tangere at El filibusterismo ay ipagbawal na rin? Ang 1896 Rebolusyon, ang libro ng manunulat na si Raissa Robles - Never Again, o mga dokumentrayong tumatalakay sa batas militar (Martial law). Isasama na rin ba nila ang mga pelikula tulad ng Dekada 70, o ang Panahon Ng Mga Halimaw?
Natatakot ba ang pamahalaan sa multo ng kahapon, o gumagawa ito ng sarile nyang multo?
Isa ang malinaw sa lumang panahon at sa makabagong panahon, ayon nga kay Dr. Jose Rizal, "walang mangaalipin, kung walang magpapaalipin."
SA MGA OFW na natutuwa sa paglakas ng dolyar dahil sa paghina ng piso...magisip po tayong mabuti, dahil anuman ang ganansya nyo o tumaas ang palitan ng kita nyong dolyar laban sa piso, ang tanong saan nyo ito gagastusin o ipapadala? Hindi ba sa Pilipinas? Sa pagbagsak ng piso ay ang otomatikong paglobo ng utang ng bansa na umabot na ng 7.016 Trilyon piso.
Simpleng kalkulasyon lang: kung may utang tayong 1 dolyar at ang palitan nito ay P53., at bumagsak ang halaga ng ating peso ng P1 laban sa dolyar; ang utang natin ay otomatikong naging P54 agad.
Bukod pa rito ang epekto nito sa presyo ng petrolyo, dahil kailanganin natin ng mas maraming piso upang magimport nito dahil dolyar ang currency sa pamibili nito. At syempre, ipapasa lang ito ng importer o ng malalaking distribyutor (Petron, Caltex, at iba pa) sa konyumer. Syempre, dahil ang nagpapagalaw sa mga produksyon at transportasyon ay langis, tataas ang gastos sa gasolina at diesel kaya ipapataw din ito sa produkto. Kasama na rito ang pagkain tulad ng bigas, gulay, karne, isda, at mga (processed) o pinroseso tulad ng mga delata, tosino, hotdog, tapa, at iiba pa. Bakit? Syempre, gumagamit ng transportasyon para mailipat ang produkto mula sa iba't ibang lugar papunta sa mamimile.
Sisipa rin ang gastusin sa kuryente at tubig, dahil sa FCDA o Foreign Currency differential Adjustment o ang diprensya sa pagtaas at pagbaba ng piso laban sa dolyar. Bakit? Dahil ang mga utility companies tulad ng Meralco, Maynilad, at iba pa ay umutang ng dolyar para sa mga improvement project at napagkasunduan (gobyerno) na ipasa ang diprensya sa konsyumer. Pabor kapag lumakas ang piso dahil bababa ang ipapasa, at syempre kapag humina ang piso ay papasanin naman ito ng mamamayan.
Ang pinagsamang paghina ng piso, pagtaas ng inflation, at pagdagdag ng buwis (TRAIN), ay lumalatay sa Pinas. Kung solusyon ang paghihigpit ng sinturon para makaraos, ilipat nyo na sa leeg nyo ang sinturon at higpitan nyo pa!
via Inquirer Business: With a weaker peso and the retail treasury bond (RTB) sale in June, the national government’s outstanding debt breached the P7-trillion mark last month, the Bureau of Treasury reported Friday night.
A VOTE for Bong Go is a vote for Peter Lim the drug lord?
One netizen said that "he is the one being referred to as the real power behind the throne, while another said 'that he is the one whose name shall not be mentioned'.
If that is the case, I will not mention his name...the man needs no introduction as his name and his face are all over the country. in major thoroughfare, malls, carinderias, in almost every major places in the cities. Anyways, he is also the special assistant to the president.
Briefly, he was born June 14, 1974) is the current Special Assistant to the President, with the rank of Secretary, with supervision over the Presidential Management Staff in the Philippines. He was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte. [He is an executive assistant and personal aide of Duterte since 1998].
He is a grandson of August Tesoro, whose father founded one of the largest printing press in Davao City. Go attended De La Salle University and graduated with a Management degree.
During the 2016 election campaign season, Go was often described as the "national photobomber" by the media, for being always in the photos at the side of Duterte in his campaign sorties.
Lately, he is being criticised for being an EPAL or epalitiko, using his office or the president's office for premature campaigning. it is an open secret that he intends to run for a senate seat. But just like the usual EPAL when asked, will surely deny it. But his screaming banners, posters of his face and name have been placed all over the country, by his supporters, so he claims.
He is also been busy lately attending government affairs, seen giving donations, cellphones, shoes, slippers, ambulance car, etc. With or without the president, he is visible attending events as guest or as keynote speaker. His new found hobby to be in the public eye or feeling celebrity?
When confronted by media, he claims that the banners, including the gifts are gifted by donors and friends. But this raise some questions, if the man is prematurely campaigning; and is it ethical for a public officias to accept gifts or donations?
He will get away with premature campaigning as the COMELEC rules that premature campaigning was not an election offense, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said the commission en banc had decided that there’s no law against premature campaigning whether for manual or automated elections.
This was seconded by the Supreme court ruling: The omnipresent posters and activities of politicians and personalities widely perceived as premature campaigning are allowed under the automated election law.There is a Supreme Court decision that removed premature campaign as an election offense,” citing the 2009 SC ruling on the disqualification case of then mayor Rosalinda Penera of Sta. Monica, Surigao del Norte town that changed the rule on premature campaign, which used to be an election offense under the manual election system.
However, The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials (Republic Act No. 6713) prohibits the direct and indirect acceptance of gifts of significant value. Also, under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act states that it is illegal for a government official to “directly or indirectly” request or receive “any gift, present, share, percentage, or benefit, for himself or for any other person, in connection with any contract or transaction between the Government and any other part, wherein the public officer in his official capacity has to intervene under the law.”
It would be difficult to stop this EPAL, for one, he is not explixitly stating in his banners that he is running for an elected position, nor indicating to vote for him. It was deliberately using a slogan, just like a commercial product being advertised. As to the merit of receiving donations and gift from friends, it may be worthwhile but too difficult to prosecute.
Anyways, let me do a little shift. it's this little itch that I've been wating to scratch.
In one of the president' s speeches, the president bragged that the man whose name shall not be mentioned, is a billionaire. Must be from inheritance, or a self made man? Well, he is simply known as the loyal 'dakilang alalay' of the president, way back in Davao. So obviously, he knows a lot about the president's personal life and professional career.
If that is the case, we can assume then that they both share common friends, including very close friends, associates, and businesses?
So why did I assume that a vote for this EPAL translate to a vote for Peter Lim the drug lord?
First, shall we start with an incident that happened in Cebu, the road rage incident that almost killed a male nurse, shot by a raging man due to a traffic altercation.
The shooter fled and hid, later on was named as David Lim Jr., from a prominent (very rich) clan in Cebu. He just happened to be the nephew of a very infamous man, called Peter Lim.
Well, Peter Lim has been on the headlines of major news outlets as the identified big time drug lord from Cebu. No less than the president himself publicly disclosed his illegal drugs dealing, using the infamous narco list matrix; identifying Lim as the head of all drug lords. It was seconded by no less than the PDEA chief, as verified.
In a senate hearing, Kerwin Espinosa a self confessed drug lord from Leyte, identified the same Peter Lim as his boss, and named Lovely Impal as one of his distributors covering Mindanao.
Peter Lim was known also as AKA Jaguar. Though another Jaguar, Jeffrey "Jaguar" Diaz and one bodyguard were killed in a shootout in Las Piñas, in June of 2016.
After a few months, August 2016, another alleged drug lord, from Iloilo, named Melvin Odicta Sr. and his wife Meriam were shot dead at the Caticlan airport, after giving a visit to DILG sec Sueno in Manila, trying to clear his name, as being implicated to the drug trade by the president.
And who can forget Rolando Espinosa, then mayor of Albuera, Leyte, shot to death on November 5, 2016, at the Baybay City Provincial Jail. He was the father of Kerwin Espinosa the self confessed drug lord who fled the country; his father was not so lucky, detained, shot dead while inside the jail by CIDG operatives.
Thus, many suspect, early on, that the drug war was actually designed to eliminate competitions, with the exmption of Peter Lim, the biggest of them all; the real Jaguar of Cebu. Coincidentally, Lim, a kumpadre of the president. So we can then assume that the campaign against small time pushers and users is simply a smokescreen.
If that is the case, the death of Diaz, Odicta, and the younger Espinosa now detained, out of the market, then who is now filling in the gap or the distribution of the illegal drugs?
Is Peter Lim being protected or maybe now in partnership with the man from the south [with a dragon tattoo] by the strike of luck, able to corner the supply and distribution in Mindano,
Visayas, and Luzon?
Going back to the man whose name shall not be mentioned...whose face and name is being discreetly suggested in all his posters/banners splattered all over the country; one would recall that his name cropped prominently during the Cebu road rage incident, last March of 2017. The story:
via @sunstar: March 20, 2017
CEBU (Updated) -- City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, along with policemen, stormed the house of one David Lim Jr., who was identified
as the man who shot a nurse during a road rage in Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City.
For the record: Tomas Osmeña said, "the judge has refused to issue me a warrant of arrest. Under the doctrine of hot pursuit, I have ordered SWAT to execute the raid on David Lim's house and will be with them personally. I accept all legal responsibility."
Osmena said it was him who ordered the police to conduct the operation Sunday night even without an arrest warrant. He said, the judge, whom he did not identify, did not issue the warrant of arrest.
In passing, in a television interview, Mayor Osmena mentioned that he had to coordinate with the man whose name shall not be mentioned, to effect a raid on the house of David Lim, the supect in the road rage incident [knowing that the team is not able to secure a warrant from the court].
via @ ABSCBN: President Rodrigo Duterte's top aide, Christopher "Bong" Go, facilitated the surrender of road rage suspect...David Lim, Jr., nephew of alleged Visayan drug lord Peter Lim, a police official said Tuesday.
The younger Lim sent surrender feelers to Go on Monday through his family, following a raid in their home by Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, said Central Visayas police director Chief Supt. Noli Taliño.
"Nakipag-ugnayan itong family ni David Lim Jr. Nagpadala siya ng surrender feeler kay secretary Bong Go at iyun nga ang nagsabi sa akin na makipag-ugnayan sa mother," Taliño told adio DZMM (The family of David Lim Jr. coordinated and sent a surrender feeler to Secretary Bong Go and he's the one who told us to coordinate with the Lim's mother).
Go himself shared with the media a text message from Lim's family, asking for his help in facilitating the surrender.
"Sir Bong, the family decided to follow your advise to surrender my son David Lim Jr to the regional commander Chief Superintendent Noli Talino tomorrow… Pls help us facilitate his surrender [and] safety," read the message.
Duterte's executive assistant, however, denied that he is personally acquainted with the Lim family, whom he said contacted him through the help of a Davao City resident.
Really now? The mother of David Lim, who is the nephew of Peter Lim, has a direct access to the man whose name shall not be mentioned? In one interview, he admitted that the mother contacted him to seek advice. In any case, shouldn't this matter be left to the police or to the mayor? Instead of him facilitating, advicing, or whatever...?
I say, he has direct contact to the Lims, and of course to Peter Lim. A local mayor cannot effect an arrest to a suspect for a continuing crime without seeking his advice?
Also, many suspect that he is the go-between China and the president being of Chinese heritage or by blood. Firt time in the Philippine history or Philippine politics that a special assistant to the president would carry such clout or power. And, would even dare to consider running for a senate seat.
Another Manchurian candidate in the making? Who are his backers?
Some known local supporters are prominent personalities like, Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corporations, Dennis Uy of Phoenix Petroleum...
Of course, he must have some kind of support from the son of the president's friends like Charlie Tan, Kenneth Dong, etc. His association with the president must have given him access not only to the friends of the president but also to the siblings, including political supporters of the president.
I say, vote for him and you voted also for the people behind him.
Was Pepsi Paloma murdered?
By: Rodel Rodis - @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net US Bureau / 12:45 AM March 15, 2014
Pepsi Paloma, a Filipino American who was born Delia Duenas Smith, starred in her first movie, Brown Emmanuelle, when she was only 14. While promoting the movie several months later, she was gang raped by three well-known Philippine TV personalities. Three years later, after starring in 9 movies when she was still only 17, she committed suicide. Or did she?
One of the few dailies allowed to publish during the martial law regime, the Times Journal on June 1, 1985 carried the banner headline, “Pepsi Paloma Kills Self by Hanging.” The front page news article reported that the day before, Pepsi Paloma’s “limp body, clad only in a flimsy yellow night gown, was found hanging inside a closet from a three-inch thick and 36-inch long cotton sash.”
Pfc. Willy Borgonia, the officer in charge of the Quezon City police investigation at the scene, told reporters that his “suicide” conclusion was based on the presence of the cotton sash around the victim’s neck and the discovery of her personal diary which indicated that she was depressed because of “monetary problems.”
There is no record that the Quezon City police checked for any fingerprints around the closet to determine if there was any foul play involved. There was no report of the presence of any stool or box inside the closet to provide some indication of how the victim managed to hang herself. There was also no attempt to verify if the handwriting of the diary actually belonged to Pepsi Paloma.
It was an open and shut case as far as Private First Class Willy Borgonia was concerned so there was no need to bother with forensic crime scene investigation. Except that Pepsi’s manager, Babette Corcuerra, disputed the official police explanation of “monetary problems” as the cause of her alleged suicide.
“She was earning well and was fully booked for dancing performances. She just finished the Pepsi Paloma Show at the Bughaw and 10 other beerhouses” which paid her at least 2500 pesos per performance (a large sum in 1985) and she had three film offers lined up, Corcuerra said.
Even though she was only 17, Pepsi had adopted a 4 month old son whom she was reportedly very close to. She wanted to provide for this child what she did not have. From all indications, Pepsi Paloma was a remarkably responsible young girl, not the type who would just loop a sash around her neck and just kill herself.
Corcuerra told the Times Journal that Pepsi was so looking forward to celebrating her 18th birthday the next year. “She even made me promise to throw a big party for her at a hotel because it would be her debut,” Corcuerra added.
One reader recalls attending the funeral wake of Pepsi Paloma when he was only 9 years old and noticing visible marks around her neck which indicated to him that she was “strangled”. Even a 9 year old boy knew then that a cotton sash could not have caused the marks he saw around her neck.
A friend used to joke that it was a waste of time to use metal detectors on Filipinos traveling to the US because Filipinos do not blow themselves up in planes.“It’s not in the DNA of Filipinos to commit suicide,” he observed. Even Filipino Muslim jihadists in the Philippines detonate bombs from a distance rather than blow themselves up“, he added.
Generally, only those suffering from severe mental depressions are likely to commit suicide and there was no indication that Pepsi Paloma was experiencing bouts of clinical depression that would cause her to end her life.
So if she did not commit suicide, was she murdered?
Pepsi Paloma was only 14 years old when she and another actress named Guada Guarin reported that they were drugged in a bar and brought to a room at the Sulo Hotel in Quezon City where they were “gang raped” by Joey De Leon, Vic Sotto and Richie D’Horsie, the comedian hosts of the popular TV show “Eat Bulaga!”
Pepsi Paloma reported her gang rape to her mother who contacted the police authorities where it made the headlines of the dailies. But the police would not file criminal charges against the rapists unless and until Pepsi Paloma hired a private prosecutor to pursue the criminal case. Pepsi sought the help of then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile who referred her to Rene Cayetano, the lead attorney of the ACCRA law offices, who agreed to represent Paloma for free.
But while Cayetano was preparing to file the formal complaint with the police authorities, Pepsi Paloma was suddenly reported missing. In 1982 martial law Philippines, no one got abducted or “salvaged” unless it was done by the Metrocom Intelligence Security Group (MISG) led by notorious human rights violators Col. Rolando Abadilla and Capt. Panfilo Lacson and they did not abduct Pepsi Paloma. Assigned the task of finding Pepsi Paloma, Abadilla and Lacson knew exactly where to find Pepsi Paloma.
They tracked down Bienvenido Mendoza known infamously as “Ben Ulo”and their suspicion proved accurate when they found Pepsi Paloma held captive by Ben Ulo. They knew he was the likely suspect because he was known as the main enforcer of the Castelo clan which is on the maternal side of the Sotto family.
Ben Ulo had been sentenced to life imprisonment for the June 15, 1953 murder of Manuel P. Monroy who was a prosecution witness against then Secretary of National Defense Oscar Castelo (the uncle of Vic and Tito Sotto). The Philippine Supreme Court affirmed his murder conviction on May 30, 1964 (G.R. No. L-10774) but it is not certain how much time he actually spent in prison.
Ben Ulo readily confessed to Col. Abadilla that he was an “accomplice of the Castelos”. Despite his arrest and confession, however, there is no record that Ben Ulo was ever charged with any crime connected with the abduction of Pepsi Paloma.
After her rescue, Pepsi reported that Tito Sotto visited her and “coerced” her (by reportedly placing a pistol on the table in front of her) into signing an “affidavit of desistance” for her not to press rape charges against Sotto’s brother and his cohorts.
In exchange for the dismissal of the rape charges, Joey De Leon, Vic Sotto and Richie D’Horsie issued a public apology to Pepsi Paloma which was published in the People’s Journal on October13. 1982:
“We hope that you will not allow the error we have committed against you to stand as a stumbling block to that future which we all look forward to. We therefore ask you to find it in your heart to pardon us for the wrong which we have done against you.”
In the Philippines, people do not commit crimes, they only commit “errors”. It was simply an “error” for Joey, Vic and Richie to drug a 14-year old minor and then gang rape her.
If this “error” had occurred in the US, the perpetrators would have been charged and sentenced to the maximum allowed by law and that wouldn’t even be their worst fate. While in prison, they would likely be “gang raped” or even killed by convicts who rate child molesters and child rapists the lowest of the low, the most depraved of the depraved. If they somehow managed to survive their incarceration, they would be required to register as “sex offenders” in every place they move to for the rest of their sorry lives.
If this “error” had occurred in India, well it actually did. On December 16, 2012, in New Delhi, a 23-year old female intern was beaten and gang raped by five men. The woman later died from the beating in a case that ignited widespread protests all over India. The perpetrators were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder. One of them hung himself while in police custody; the rest went to trial and were found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. [Coincidentally, this week the Delhi High Court affirmed their death sentences.]
But there were no protests in the Philippines against the gang rape of Pepsi Paloma in 1982 and no calls for an independent investigation of the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death in 1985. No charges were ever filed against any of her rapists or abductors.
Instead, 57-year old Vic Sotto is the reigning box-office king of Philippine movies and has been linked romantically to a succession of beautiful actresses from Dina Bonnevie and Pia Guanio to Pauline Luna.
Joey de Leon was 36 years old when he participated in the gang rape of 14 year old Pepsi Paloma, who was young enough to be his daughter.
There were very few commentaries about the rape of Pepsi Paloma at the time but one was found by former Sen. Heherson Alvarez who posted it on his blog: “Tito Sotto’s talent in politics was first tested in October 1982 when he spearheaded the settlement for the rape case filed by sexy stars Pepsi Paloma and Guada Guarin against Tito’s younger brother Vic Sotto and his “Eat Bulaga” co-hosts Joey de Leon and Richie D’Horsie.” (Talk Show, Fundy C. Soriano).”
Vicente “Tito” Castelo Sotto parlayed his “talent in politics” into a successful run for Vice Mayor of Quezon City in 1988 followed by two successive terms in the Philippine Senate from 1992 to 2004 and then another senate election in 2010 and possible reelection 2016.
Would Tito Sotto have enjoyed his political success and Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon their commercial success if Pepsi Paloma had still been alive to serve as a constant reminder to the public about her gang rape when she was just 14? Who knows?
When my article http://globalnation.inquirer.net/99861/the-rape-of-pepsi-paloma was published in the Inquirer online edition on March 5, 2014, I expected some response from the TVJ principals. But none of them responded to deny any of the assertions of the article although a number of their rabid fans rose to their defense by wildly speculating on what my motivation may be for bringing up the issue now.
To them, I quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The arc of the moral universe may be long but it bends towards justice.”
One fan of Tito, Vic and Joey even used the name “Jim Paredes” to defend his idols. The real Jim Paredes immediately posted on his Facebook page that an impostor had maliciously used his name to express a sentiment he did not share. The real Jim Paredes wrote: “I also wish to say that like many people, I believe Pepsi Paloma did not get justice.”
So far, over 128,000 people have expressed a similar sentiment and downloaded and shared my Pepsi Paloma article on their Facebook pages. It has officially gone viral. Perhaps it will spur a movement to boycott Eat Bulaga and the show’s advertisers to finally retire it after 35 long years. Perhaps people will now openly talk about what happened to Pepsi Paloma.
There was no social media and no free press in the Philippines in 1982 when a 14 year old minor was gang raped nor in 1985 when a 17 year old girl with a 4 month old adopted son committed “suicide”. There is no excuse for silence now, for perpetuating the culture of impunity.
Justice for Pepsi Paloma.
(Send comments to Rodel50@gmail.com or mail them to the Law Offices of Rodel Rodis at 2429 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94127 or call 415.334.7800).
Disclaimer: This article was originally written by Rodel Rodis of Global Inquirer...copied for the purpose of archiving.