From the Daily Tribune:
Protecting the criminals
It wasn’t an empty boast from former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante, said to be one of the presidential couple’s bagman, when he reportedly bragged to his fellow International and local Rotarians that he is an “untouchable.”
It does look like he is untouchable, as earlier, the Immigration bureau, despite the Senate’s directive for it to put Bolante on a watchlist and prevent him from leaving the country, did nothing of that sort, and had even given Bolante a royal send-off to Hong Kong, enroute to the US.
And now, from all indications, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), which is obviously into protecting Bolante, evidently on orders of Gloria Arroyo and her spouse, Big Mike, doesn’t care to enforce the law on the passport act and obey the Senate’s directive to cancel Bolante’s passport.
There are three grounds for the denial, cancellation or restrictions of passport under Section 8 of the passport act, such as the fugitive from justice being a passport holder; when the person is convicted and when a passport is acquired fraudulently.
The DFA, already standing accused of a cover-up job on former poll commissioner Virgilio Garcillano of the “Hello Garci” tapes infamy, largely by not moving and delaying obeisance to the directive of the House to check on the whereabouts of Garcillano abroad, now says it can’t possibly just cancel Bolante’s passport just because he has been issued a warrant of arrest.
Why not? If there is a warrant of arrest issued, and Bolante skipped the country, he certainly becomes a certified fugitive, and under the law, Bolante’s passport can be cancelled and no ifs or buts about it.
Bolante does not need to be convicted to have his passport cancelled, which makes it odd for the DFA to now find excuses for not cancelling his passport.
Besides, it is not as it this would be the first time a Filipino accused who leaves the country has his passport cancelled, and without any objections from the DFA.
Too many accused, mostly political foes of an administration, had their passports cancelled immediately. Sometimes, even when they are not even accused of a crime, their passports are quickly cancelled.
The DFA now says it will first seek the Department of Justice’s opinion on this matter of obeying the Senate’s call to have Bolante’s passport cancelled.
And what does the DFA expect the Justice agency under Raul Gonzalez to say, given the fact that the DoJ is certainly not going to go against Gloria in anything, supported by the fact that the DoJ even justifies the unconstitutional and illegal as constitutional and legal.The DoJ is there to serve Gloria and her whims.
Bolante is being protected by Gloria and Big Mike, that is for sure, because if he isn’t given the untouchable status Bolante insists on, he can spill the beans on the presidential couple and they would be blown to kingdom come.
After all, there are already too many documents pointing to the diversion of not just of the P3-billion fertilizer fund scam, but also the fund diversion of various agencies, all being dumped on the war chest of Gloria Arroyo for her presidential campaign, such as the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, the P2-billion road tax that didn’t go into the improvements of the road but to street sweepers who were Gloria’s walking campaign billboards, and not to forget the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. funds, to mention just a few.
After all, it wasn’t for love of Gloria Arroyo that Garcillano and the poll officers nationwide cheated for Gloria. Money certainly made them move. In the same manner, the congressional allies and select local officials of Gloria also moved because of a few millions for each of them to spend for their election to office, apart from fattening their private pockets.
What is clear is that this has become a government that shields criminals and fugitives, and does it willingly.
At the same time, it accuses those who may not have even broken the law, and has these people arrested, simply because they are seen as political foes or threats to Gloria and her fraudulent government.
And she dares speak of the rule of law as a cornerstone of governance?
From the executive department, to the legislature, to the judiciary, all of these branches of government have been ignoring the rule of law and in fact, willfully violate it to serve their personal interests.
The laws they speak of are interpreted to protect their criminal activities, because they insist on being above the law.