Friday, September 11, 2009

Hallelujah! Or is it too Early to Celebrate?

Por fin, after waiting for months, or to be exact, 8 months after the first filing of cases against Celso and his cohorts, the DOJ issued a resolution last Friday finding "probable cause" of estafa against Celso de los Angeles and two of his officers. If you think this is a cause of celebration, first read on and then decide whether you should upraise your hands in praise or clench them into fists of rage.

In the original case filed by Sen. Mar Roxas, the respondents were Celso and 19 board members and directors of the defunct Legacy Consolidated Plans Inc. However, only De los Angeles and his employees, Christine Limpin & Edgardo Marasigan were included in the DOJ resolution announced last week. Limpin was Legacy's SVP for legal, while Marasigan was the corporate secretary.

For reducing the case respondents to 3 from the original 20, the DOJ resolution is a watered-down version of the syndicated estafa case filed by the senator. A syndicated estafa is committed by a syndicate or at least 5 people and is a non-bailable offense. Since the DOJ resolution covers only 3 respondents, the case is effectively downgraded into a simple estafa, which is a bailable offense.

Remember the pledge of DOJ Secretary Agnes Devanadera? who upon assuming the mantle of leadership, that she would revitalize the department and work for the speedy disposition of cases, specifically mentioning among other, Celso and the legacy cases. Well, she followed up on her promise but as expected, bending backwards to accommodate the powerful perpetuators. Now, she can say that she is true to her word, but she is also true to her profession as a government official who protects the powerful at the expense of the hapless victims. Devanadera is the mirror image of Ombudsman Gutierrez, who if not sitting on high-profile cases, files cases that are lame and full-of-holes.

And they are women. Isn't justice depicted as a woman who holds scales? These two could have risen above personal loyalties and monetary incentives(?) to become women of substance. But the same thing could have been said of their boss who is a woman. Perhaps, Cory Aquino was who she was because she had a hero of a husband. So does this mean that the three other women in power now, have zeros for husbands?

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