Thursday, July 16, 2009

Celso is a Negotiable Criminal

Legacy bank-issued CTDs are definitely non-negotiable instruments but Celso's detention in a prison cell is obviously negotiable. All that Celso had to do was get himself admitted in St. Luke's hospital (which would be easy enough), get diagnosed as one with a dread disease, and then undergo medical treatment. And that is what Celso did: if we are to believe news reports, he was a patient in St. Luke's, was undergoing chemotherapy, and then inexplicably obtained medical clearance from his doctor to leave the hospital.

What was so important for Celso to leave the confines of the hospital and go to Sto. Domingo to assume his duties as mayor? Would someone undergoing treatment for cancer risk the long travel from metro manila to Sto. Domingo, a town in Bicol to report to the municipal office? I don't think so... Celso had to go to that town to do something. Hide more documents? Retrieve cash from his safe to pay off his protectors? Well, it must have been important, to risk his health and expose him to arrest. And if we believe again the news reports, Celso collapsed while in town, and had to be returned to St. Luke's.

Pictures show Celso with tubes in his throat and stomach, to underpin his lawyer's claim that though a warrant of arrest has been served to him, he cannot be moved from the hospital. Then a PNP doctor is brought in, and confirms that Celso has to stay put in the hospital to undergo 20 sessions of radiotherapy. Celso must have brought back cash from his house in Sto. Domingo and dispensed them freely, and obviously, successfully. Of course, Celso is not used to giving out cash: he was used to issuing CTDs that were not actually funded. Now that his banks are closed, and his credibility shot, he has to pay cash to get his way.

However, thinking about it, we would gladly see Celso in the hospital getting all the treatments to get him healthy, fit enough to serve his sentence in jail. Death would be too easy for this criminal, but the question is: would our (flawed) criminal justice system dish out the long prison sentence that Celso deserves? Rethinking, I guess death is a surer sentence.

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