Archive for the ‘Gen. Carlos F. Garcia’ Category

“Mental stress” as a cause of non-appearance in court

February 12, 2009

It’s the medical judgment of Dr. Antonio Sibulo that Jose Miguel Arroyo, the husband of Pres. Gloria Arroyo is unfit to appear in the inquiry regarding the collusion of government officials in rigging the contracts of World Bank-funded projects. It’s hard to know where the truth lies in Dr. Sibulo’s decision.

“Mental stress” can adversely affect the course of an illness, but it’s difficult to ascertain how it influences Mr. Arroyo. After undergoing aortic aneurysm operation in April 2007, he seems in no immediate danger if he testifies in the senate. With nothing said in the contrary, in all likelihood his surgery has healed.

Many assume Arroyo keeps proper medications which make him function proximate to a normal human being. His health hasn’t been an issue until lately when he is summoned to shed light to his alleged involvement in the WB anomaly.

Mr. Arroyo’s local and international travels are just as “stressful” as playing golf or watching Manny Pacquaio fight in a boxing match in Las Vegas. As far as the public knows, the doctors haven’t advised the controversial palace gentleman against such ”stressful” situations.

How can clarifying a scandal in public be so taxing if the man is innocent and has nothing to do with the case? Dr. Sibulo has this worry: “the mere sight by a patient of an ‘unlikeable’ person can increase stress. ‘What worries me as I see it in TV, temper and emotions run high and it takes a long time for such a hearing.’ ”— (02/12/09, Dedace, S)

There is a pattern that Filipinos see when suspected felons are called upon to testify on public crimes. This is particularly true with cases of national importance which have made the people cynical and incredulous.

The public has seen it in Jocelyn Bolante, a US deportee, who spent weeks in St. Lukes Hospital for “urgent” medical tests which delayed his testimony on the multimillion peso fertilizer scam that rocked the country. As observers rightfully believed, the hullabaloo in Bolante’s medical tests came out negative. Why can’t the senate keep a clinic, a team of doctors, and an ambulance to take care of medical emergencies if they happen?

Yolanda Ricafort, the infamous bagwoman of Pres. Joseph Estrada appeared in an inquiry on a wheelchair with a nurse ostensibly waiving a stethoscope and sphygmomanometer to guard her patient’s hypertension. After her dubious testimony, Ricafort escaped to the United States to avoid further questions regarding Estrada’s misuse and plunder of government money. How can Filipinos counter the rampant use of health problems as cover to impede the conduct of investigations?

The exploitation of health issues as props in criminal investigations was also evident in Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia who chose to stay in UST Hospital for extended in house treatment. At the end of the round-about investigation, Garcia was found guilty and later court-martialed for theft and money laundering of funds of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) which brought disgrace to the whole nation.

With the glaring examples above, how can the public readily believe Dr. Sibulo? If mental stress will be used as basis for non-appearance in an all investigations, it is likely all attempts to find truth won’t prosper because everyone’s health is at risk—all because of “mental stress.”

Mr. Arroyo has a long list of corruption charges—all of which remain unproven because of many reasons: lack of witnesses, judicial sluggishness, “insurmountable” medical conditions among others. It’s time that Arroyo comes out clean and show his courage to rescue the entire nation from international embarrassment of corruption. There must be a way, with Dr. Sibulo’s help, to make him testify so that he’ll not be perceived as guilty or be accused of malingering and cowardice. (Photo Credit: ButchokoyD) =0=

RELATED BLOGS: “Corruption and apathy: where will these lead us?” Posted by mesiamd at 2/10/2009; “Corruption scandals hurting Filipinos under Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo” Posted by mesiamd at 1/29/2009; “Hospital: a vacation house or a sanctuary for malingerers?” Posted by mesiamd at 10/29/2008.


Hospital: a vacation house or a sanctuary for malingerers?

October 29, 2008

The spectacular show of Jocelyn (JocJoc) Bolante continued at the airport when an ambulance rushed him to St. Lukes’s Medical Center on his arrival on October 28, 2008. The deportee who lost his appeal for asylum in the United States allegedly complained of “chest pains” and hospital authorities are mum about his medical condition

“…as the then undersecretary for finance of the Department of Agriculture, Bolante was the architect of embezzlement of more than P3 Billion (around $64M), including P728M fertilizer fund, that were intended for farmers’ benefits…reports suggest that the fraud-tainted money was used as campaign fund of Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo in the 2004 presidential election.” UP “Accused of Plunder, Jocjoc Bolante, Returns from US a Deportee’ (10/29/08, Gimpaya, A)

Accused of stealing money from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP,) Maj. Gen. Carlos F. Garcia committed a crime similar to that Bolante is charged of. Both needed some hospital stay. Garcia had himself confined in UST for alleged serious medical problems at the height of his trial only to be found guilty of corruption and acts unbecoming of a soldier.

Convicted child-rapist Romeo Jalosjos had been reported to have sought medical confinement for conditions like cough and high blood pressure that could well be managed on an out-patient basis.

Pres. Erap Estrada used the Veterans Memorial Medical Center as a private detention house until he was brought to Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal. Later he was put under “rest house arrest” in his cozy villa across the camp on the bases of questionable medical reasons. His supporters were delighted, but the public couldn’t hide their scorn.

Yolanda Ricaforte, the bag woman in the Estrada plunder case also used some medical excuses. She pompously appeared in public in a wheelchair with a personal nurse during an investigation. With eyes shielded by dark sunglasses, she blamed hypertension for her “fragile” health. Her nurse in a white uniform plus a stethoscope on her neck stood by her side as though she could do something in case an emergency arise. After that appearance, Ricaforte surreptitiously rode a plane, skipped Manila to hide as a fugitive in America.

Filipinos understand that medical problems are used as props, distractions, and excuses during an inquiry or litigation. Lawyers exploit health reasons for their clients with the cooperation of their doctors. Not negating the need to stay in the hospital if there is true medical indication, the public is usually distrustful whenever people like Bolante goes straight to stay in a hospital suite (not the emergency room?) after his arrival in the airport. (Photo Credits: shashamane; suetortoise) =0=

UPDATE: GMA News reported on October 30, 2008 that Joc Joc Bolante is confined at St. Luke’s Medical Center for medical tests that will take 5 days—rather slow for a VIP. There is no apparent medical justification to keep him in bed in the hospital which can be better used by sicker patients. Many MDs suspect, with Bolante’s “stable” status, such tests on him are better done on out-patient (ambulatory) service.

Malabong paliwanag sa bayong-bayong na pera sa airport

October 16, 2008

Ako’y nagtataka sa ating mga opisyales na pumupunta sa abroad. Pag sila ay nahuhuli na dala-dala ang “bayong-bayong” na pera sa kanilang paglakbay, an daming mga paliwanag na sa huli ay parang mga palusot. Nawalan na yata tayong hiya, maski magmukhang stupido.

Meron na naman nahuli, isang retiridong Philippine National Police (PNP) comptroller na may dalang P6.9 million (EU 105,000.) Alam ng karamihan na $10,000 (P470,000) lamang ang legal na dala ng pasahero pagpunta sa ibang bansa. Iyan ay paulit-ulit na pina-aalala sa lahat na viajeros (written declaration of money) sa mga eroplano at customs. Pero itong si Eliseo de la Paz ng PNP ay may dalang sobra na hindi dineklara ayon sa anti-money laundering law.

Heto ang paliwanag ng isang taga-pagtanggol na si DILG Secretary Ronaldo Puno sa ginawa ni de la Paz:

“Sa Europe, the hotels are easily triple the hotels that we pay for here, so talagang mahal yon. It’s really an expensive proposition and that is an Interpol meeting. Remember that was a meeting of all the police agencies throughout the world. Hindi naman pwepwedeng pupunta ang delegation natin don na parang mga pulubi, so they had to go there in the standards of the average police force,” (10/16/08, Abelgas, G.)

Pero ang totoo, pwede naman malaman kung magkano ang gastos sa mga hotel kung magtanong o magreserba ng advance, na karaniwang gawi. May telepono, may internet, may banko, na pwedeng gamitin para hindi magdala ng “bayong-bayong” na pera. Ano ba talaga ang preparasyon na ginawa ni de la Paz at mga kasama para mag-ibang bansa? Ang paliwanag ni Puno ay parang ang mga Pilipino ignorante sa paglakbay. Maski pa mayaman, sino ba naman ang dadala ng milyon-milyon sa isa lamang na meeting?

Ayon kay de la Paz ang P4.5 million sa P6.9 million na nasa kanyang “bayong” ng papunta doon sa Russia ay sarili niya. Ganyan ba kayaman ang mga tauhan ng militar ngayon? Ano ang kanyang gagawin sa P4.5 million, perang sobra sa doble ng 8-kataong budget ng delegasyon? Kung wala siyang balak na iba, bakit hindi niya ipadala sa banko o ideklara sa customs o gumamit ng credit card? Sa interpol meeting pa naman sila pumunta, bakit niya ilalagay ang Pilipinas na suspetchahan ng panibagong korupsiyon?

Hindi daw siya dapat ikumpara doon kay Gen. Carlos F. Garcia, na isa rin nahuli ng 2003. Pero kitang-kita, pareho sila lumabag ng batas. Mag tatanga-tangahan na lang ba ating mga opisyales at ang taong bayan ang magdadala ng kahihiyaan? Maliban sa budget ng delegasyon, kanino ba talaga ang P4.5 million ($95,744.00) na dala ng isang PNP officer? Paano ni de la Paz mapapaniwala ang tao na sa kanya talaga ang pera. Ito ba ay kasama sa pondo ng militar na hindi sakop ng audit ng Commission of Audit COA (i.e. intelligence funds?)

Paano ang mga mamayan maniniwala sa ating mga lideres pag ganire ang nangyayari? Ang sabi, itong si de la Paz, retired na. Hindi na siya dapat kasali sa delegasyon ng mga dumalong Pilipino sa 77th Interpol General Assembly in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Photo Credit:; jhayrocas; gmaresign) =0=

Note: Untruths, persistent lies, and twisting of facts by our leaders frustrate the inroads of credibility our hardworking citizens, OFW’s, and other expatriate Filipinos have carved for the Philippines. If we don’t have the discipline to curb our proclivities for deception and lies, we’ll always be among the bottom heap of countries with the greatest corruption problems. Truly, Eliseo de la Paz needs to be investigated, but his situation seems to speak for itself. He broke the law during his travel.