A video emerged yesterday showing “senator” Antonio Trillanes IV congratulating his “good friend” Tony Tiu on the launching of the SunChamp Agri-Tourism Park. Trillanes, in the last several days had been insisting that Tiu was being used by current Vice President Jejomar ‘Jojo’ Binay as a “dummy” or “front” to conceal his “ill-gotten wealth”. Trillanes asserts that Binay and Tiu are in cahoots in using Sunchamp Agri-Tourism Park, as a holding company for a 350-hectare property in Rosario, Batangas that Binay supposedly owns — the subject of a media circus that has been raging for weeks.
No less than the venerable Inquirer.net joined the fray splashing a front-page panoramic aerial photo of the property, an act described by Manila Times columnist Rigoberto Tiglao as a travesity of journalism. Tiglao writes…
And what’s the PDI’s basis for these screaming headlines and striking photos of an estate that beats Imelda Marcos’ lifestyle?
There are no land registration documents, as in the case of police chief Alan Purisima’s ‘rest-house;’ no report on it in Binay’s SALN, in contrast to Purisima’s case. In fact, the town land registrar issued an official affidavit that Binay had no properties in the area.
That Binay and his family own it is solely, entirely, completely based on the allegation of one and only one man: his former vice mayor who became his sworn enemy when Binay didn’t allow him to succeed him as mayor of Makati and, instead, had his son run for the post.
And that allegation has been labeled a lie by a respectable businessman Tony Tiu, who heads the corporation running the estate, which is an agritourism park.
The whole trouble with Congressional “inquiries” is that they achieve absolutely nothing — certainly nothing within the scope of its real purpose which is as a tool in the aid of legislation. Perhaps Filipinos should ask “senator” Trillanes what the legislative agenda is underlying the use of million-peso Senate time to launch these “inquiries” into Binay’s alleged “ill-gotten wealth”.
Then again, now that this video had emerged, perhaps we should ask the “senator” what his definition of “good friend” really is.
One virtue we could credit Trillanes with is consistency. He is a consistent turncoat, evidently to his “good friend” Tiu and, in his colourful past, to his own government. Of Trillanes’s involvement in several acts of rebellion in the early- to mid-2000’s, Amando Doronila observed how…
Trillanes appears unrepentant he had taken up arms against the government — an offense that in other political systems would have led to instant execution by a firing squad.
This attitude does not herald a smooth adjustment of Trillanes’ mindset to civilian ways of doing things in a democratic and consensual milieu once he is granted amnesty with concurrence of Congress, allowing him to take his seat in the Senate.
Unrepentant. This is an attitude thrust in front of a people who are famously characterised by a quickness to lynch those who they perceive to have delivered even the slightest offense to their “pride”. Apparently, the fact that Trillanes had deliberately risked hundreds of civilian lives in his military adventurism back then did not seem to bother Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III who, in one of the first of his projects as president in 2010, granted the convicted mutineer a presidential pardon. This is an excerpt from Proclamation 50 granting “amnesty” to Trillanes and his mob taken from the ABS-CBN News site…
WHEREAS, it is recognized that certain active and former personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and their supporters have or may have committed acts or omissions which may be punishable under the Revised Penal Code, the Articles of War and other laws in connection with July 27, 2003 Oakwood Mutiny, the February 2006 Marines Stand-Off and the November 29, 2007 Manila Pen Incident and related incidents;
WHEREAS, there is a clamor from certain sectors of society urging the President to extend amnesty to said AFP personnel;
WHEREAS, Section 19, Article VII of the Constitution expressly vests the power to grant amnesty upon the President;
WHEREAS, in order to promote an atmosphere conducive to the attainment of a just, comprehensive and enduring peace and in line with the Government&rsquos peace and reconciliation initiatives, there is a need to declare amnesty in favor of the said active and former personnel of the AFP and their supporters; […]
… in other words Malacanang recognises that Trillanes and his mob have violated the law; and as such have given the following reasons for this amnesty to be granted these bozos:
(1) Because there is a “clamor” for “amnesty”; and that,
(2) Because the President can; and,
(3) Said “amnesty” is “needed” to foster “a just, comprehensive and enduring peace”;
The rationale of this “amnesty” boils down to (a) a motivation stemming from popular pressure, (b) availability of the power to do it, and (c) some vacuous nebulous goal. You wonder then where exactly is this daang matuwid, the “straight-and-narrow path” promised by President BS Aquino when he campaigned for the highest office in the land.
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