Suspicious and intriguing developments
A LAW EACH DAY (KEEPS TROUBLE AWAY) - Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star) - May 24, 2019 - 12:00am

People cannot really help but be intrigued and somewhat exasperated at the recent incident involving former Supreme Court Justice and ex Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales. Based on reports in the papers and on her own account, Justice Morales was detained by the Hong Kong Immigration authorities for more than four hours during her recent trip there together with her family. No reason at all was given by the Immigration people, although some HK airport officials said that it was an “instruction” from somebody they did not identify. According to the former Ombudsman herself, she kept asking the HK Immigration people the reason for her detention  and they only answered ambiguously, “for immigration reason.”

It is quite obvious however that such move is due to the complaint filed by Morales and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, last March 13, 2019 together with a group of fishermen against China’s President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for “crimes against humanity” or for the massive and environmental destruction in the West Philippine Sea in connection with China’s reclamation activities in said area.

Morales and Del Rosario filed said case against Xi Jinping apparently because of the inaction of the Philippine government itself regarding such environmentally destructive activities. It is quite clear that there is really a cause for such action which the government itself should have pursued. The very least the government could have done here is that when Morales and Del Rosario filed said case, it should have joined them and assisted them. Such inaction once more confirmed Duterte’s fear of China and its military might that he first manifested when he refused to enforce the decision of The Hague Court declaring the Scarborough Shoal as part of the Philippine territory despite China’s claim that it is in the South China Sea. People are likewise concluding that Duterte is really favoring China at the expense of the country’s own interest as shown by the influx of numerous Chinese workers without the necessary permits to work here.

This conclusion or observation of our people about Duterte’s favorable treatment of China is again shown by seeming indifference and lack of reaction from Malacanang on the detention of the ex Ombudsman and former Supreme Court Justice Carpio-Morales in HK without any known and valid reason. It must be pointed here that the former government official involved here had previously occupied highly important and quite powerful positions. Aside from being a former justice of the Supreme Court, Morales also became an Ombudsman which has the rank of chairman of a Constitutional Commission. In fact the Ombudsman is considered as the “Protector of the People” against public officials for abuse or impropriety in the performance of their duties or for inefficiency, mismanagement, fraud and corruption in government among others (Please see Article XI Sections 8,9,10, 12 and 13 Constitution). Hence the President himself should have at least expressed his indignation or file a diplomatic protest for such rude treatment of the former Ombudsman. Malacanang’s silence and apparent indifference to this shameful and disgusting incident are indeed quite reprehensible and highly deplorable.

The positive aspect of this bullying incident is its opposite effect on Morales. As she said, such incident “keeps us more resolved to pursue the case, to bring the level of the case to crescendo.” It is indeed encouraging to note here that this HK incident has brought to limelight and has aroused the interest of the people in the case filed by Morales and del Rosario. A lot of people will now really follow up and find out what will happen to the case.

On another note, while I am writing this column, news have come out of social media that Peter Joemel Advincula, the self confessed “Bikoy” who first dared to expose the involvement of the Duterte family in illegal drugs, has once more come out of hiding and is now in police custody. My immediate reaction to this latest news is the complete turn around of “Bikoy” from his previous revelations. He is now telling us that the opposition is behind the series of videos which went viral and that the same was for the purpose of ousting Duterte before his term ends. He even claimed that Vice President Leni Robredo was conniving with Trillanes regarding this plot. My immediate reaction to this latest development on Bikoy is that he really did not hide but was trained or convinced to change his tune. At any rate, what is clear now is that his “story” is clearly incredible and unbelievable because it is contradictory and inconsistent. Nobody believes him now especially our courts of justice which will weigh not only his credibility but also the credibility of his testimony in this regard.

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