Yesterday we went out in droves to vote despite the inclement weather,
Category: Laws and Policies
The article below by Manny Almario, a retired journalist from the Philippines, is certainly thought-provoking. I do agree that Janet Lim-Napoles is not the most guilty amongst her cohorts but at the same time I do not believe that she is less guilty. GUILT IS GUILT! No one is less guilty when one is guilty.
Janet Lim-Napoles embraced criminality of the plunder with so much gusto that she involved – from her side alone – her families, friends, employees, colleagues and God knows who else!
Janet Lim-Napoles enjoyed all the trappings gained from the wanton plunder of public purse.
Janet Lim-Napoles was an active participant in the sorry saga of avarice, looting, robbing and fleecing of the National Treasury. She was aiding and abetting the marauding criminals within the Philippine Government with her eyes, mouth, ears and waiting arms wide open. She is not some innocent ninny that was taken advantage of. She was a grasping she-devil, an opportunist, waiting in the offing to brandish her slick and skilful sleight of hand to make monies disappear, and seem, “now you see it, now you don’t”. She was on par with magicians in the highest order!
Janet Lim Napoles may not be the most guilty but she is equally guilty as anyone else involved in the plunder and she should be given a punishment appropriate to her crime. This should involve confiscation of monies and properties she gained from her criminal act against the NATION!
Letting Janet Lim-Napoles sing like a canary for a free pass out of prison is a criminal act in itself. Janet may sing beautifully but let us remember that the Pork Barrel Scandal is not about Philippines Got Talent or even The Voice. Pork Barrel Scandal is about treason, treachery and betrayal of the sovereignty of the Filipino people and of the Philippine Government.
I say confiscate her properties and lock her up in jail and throw away the keys. Then go for her cohorts, I am sure there are enough materials and evidence to convict the rest of the Pork Barrel criminals.
Sign of the time, it now requires a law for people to do the housework. I supposed this is the right thing to do. It would force children and adults to help with the household chores, in so doing they’ll stop twiddling with their computers and game consules for a while.
The UK should also adopt this law! LOL
Spain: Children ‘must do housework’ under draft law
Spanish children may soon be required to help out with housework, under a draft law that has been approved by parliament.
The measure, which would be part of a wider child protection law, says that children under the age of 18 have an obligation to participate in all areas of family life. That includes “co-responsibility in caring for the home and performing household tasks regardless of age and gender”, the ABC newspaper says. The rules come under a section of the law called “the rights and duties of children”.
Along with doing chores, children would also have to be respectful to their parents and teachers, and have a positive attitude towards learning. But the bill doesn’t say anything about penalties for children who refuse to go along, the Local website reports. Other elements of the bill would see the establishment of a list of people who are banned from working with children, and it would become a crime for people who work with children to fail to report possible abuses against them.
Married Spanish men can also face legal sanctions for refusing to do housework – an update in 2005 to the marriage contract used for the country’s civil ceremonies added a clause requiring men to share in household duties, and the care of children and elderly relatives.
Use #NewsfromElsewhere to stay up-to-date with our reports via Twitter.
This is good news. We are now mobile/cell phones using nations and the end of roaming charges can only be good news to us all. We have heard of much horror stories, which landed so many unsuspecting users with thousands of pounds of hidden and not quite so hidden roaming charges.
The only thing is that, what does it mean the roaming charges are to end by Christmas 2015? Does this mean roaming charges are not quite dead yet?!!!
So we must not celebrate by using our phone’s roaming apps just yet. 😉 Wait a while longer! Easy does it!
Brussels, 3 April 2014
European Parliament votes to end roaming charges, expand consumer rights and make it easier to create better telecoms.
Today the European Parliament voted to end roaming charges by Christmas 2015, as part of a wider vote in support to the Commission’s proposed regulation for a “Connected Continent” (telecoms single market)*.
European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said:
“This vote is the EU delivering for citizens. This is what the EU is all about – getting rid of barriers to make life easier and less expensive.”
“Nearly all of us depend on mobile and internet connections as part of our daily lives. We should know what we are buying, we should not be ripped-off, and we should have the opportunity to change our mind. Companies should have the chance to serve all of us, and this regulation makes it easier for them to do that. It’s win-win.”
“In 2010 I promised to end roaming charges by the end of 2015, and now we are one step away from achieving that result.”
“Beyond the highly visible barrier of roaming we are now close to removing many other barriers so Europeans can enjoy open, seamless communications wherever they are”.
EU Member States will now continue to review the regulation and the Commission expects final agreement of the Regulation by end of 2014.
*The “Connected Continent” telecoms Regulation was proposed by the Commission in September 2013. It aims to bring us much closer to a truly single market for telecoms in the EU, by ending roaming charges, guaranteeing an open internet for all by banning blocking and degrading of content, coordinating spectrum licensing for wireless broadband, giving internet and broadband customers more transparency in their contracts, and making it easier for customers to switch providers.
Tweets from @NeelieKroesEU today included:
“Today EU Parliament voted to end roaming charges by Christmas 2015 !! #roaming”
“We need a digital Europe – today we are another step closer with EU Parl vote for #ConnectedContinent”
“Find out more about the EU plan that is set to end #roaming + guarantee #NetNeutrality on Connected Continent webiste”
Email: email@example.com Tel: +32.229.57361 Twitter: @RyanHeathEU
I must say when I first heard about the plight of YashikaBageerathi, it puzzled me immediately. How can Yashika bear to leave Mauritius, which according to those I know who visited the country, is a paradise on Earth. Apparently the place is so beautiful and just the place to get a second home and possibly retire to. And yet Yashika and her family are making it sound like Mauritius may not be the safe haven that we thought but a lawless country full of violent people and sex perverts?!!! 🙁
Please read below an article by Touria Prayag of Mauritius. She satarised the perceived quandary Yashika is supposedly embroiled in. As an aside Touria commented on the state of education in the UK where an average student from Mauritius is trampling over most of UK’s finest. LOL
Byt the way, I think the UK is right in expelling Yashika out of the country. Enough is enough. Tax-payers should not be footing the bills for anyone who abuses the system.
But having said I wish Yashika well!
JPJhermes, On Patrol
2 April 2014 Last updated at 22:22
Student Yashika Bageerathi removed from UK as legal bid fails
An A-Level student from north London has been removed from the country and has flown back to Mauritius after a last ditch legal challenge failed.
Earlier a High Court judge refused to grant an injunction to block the removal of Yashika Bageerathi.
The 19-year-old’s lawyers had wanted her to remain in the UK so she could take her case to the Court of Appeal.
Her cause sparked a petition which has 175,000 signatures as well as a protest through London.
The student, who has been in the UK since 2011, left on an Air Mauritius flight which took off from Heathrow Airport at 21:00 BST.
Ms Bageerathi, who was two months away from taking her A-Level exams at Oasis Academy Hadley in Enfield, told the BBC it was unfair to force her to leave.
Speaking from the immigration service van taking her to the airport, the student had said she and her family would be prepared to leave the UK for a “safe place” once she had completed her studies.
She told the BBC’s home affairs correspondent Tom Symonds it was unfair she was being forced to leave the UK.
The Home Office said it had received assurances the student would be able to complete her tuition in Mauritius.
Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, wrote to the Home Secretary asking her to “urgently reconsider” the “needlessly cruel” decision to deport the student.
Ms Bageerathi’s school principal Lynne Dawes said the student was “petrified”.
Ms Dawes, who said she had spoken to Ms Bageerathi at 14:00 BST, said: “I just cannot believe they would send her back six weeks from her exams.”
Speaking to BBC News, she added: “Why can’t there just be some compassion and humanity to allow her to stay and do those A-Levels?
“I know there are laws but I just cannot get why, in effect, what is a few more months. It wouldn’t hurt anyone over here, but it would make such a massive difference to her life.”
She said there was “no compassion being shown” and that she was “embarrassed to be British”.
Failed asylum bid
Air Mauritius said it had refused to take her last Sunday because all of the administrative and security conditions had not been met. It said as these had now been fulfilled, it had no choice other than to fly her.
It said it regretted “this situation, but as all airline companies cannot but abide by decisions taken by relevant authorities”.
Sowbhagyawatee Bageerathi pleaded for her daughter to be released
On Tuesday, Ms Bageerathi’s mother, Sowbhagyawatee, had asked the Home Affairs Committee to release her.
In the letter to the Home Secretary, Mr Vaz said that neither a senior immigration official nor Immigration Minister James Brokenshire had offered a “compelling reason” why the student should be deported before being allowed to sit her examinations next month.
“It is a hardship enough for this young woman to be separated from her family and returned to Mauritius where she claims she fears persecution,” he wrote.
“To interrupt her education at this late stage in order to do so seems needlessly cruel.
“It is within your gift as Home Secretary to defer Yashika’s deportation and I strongly urge you to do so.”
Ms Bageerathi’s school principal: “I just cannot believe they would send her back six weeks from her exams”
A Home Office spokesman said: “We consider every claim for asylum on its individual merits and in this case the applicant was not considered to be in need of protection.
“The case has gone through the proper legal process and our decision has been supported by the courts on five separate occasions.”
Ms Bageerathi has been held in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire since 19 March.
Her school friends held a protest in Parliament Square on Saturday.
She had come to the UK with her mother and younger brother and sister from Mauritius in 2011 to escape a relative who was physically abusive.
The family claimed asylum last summer. Her mother and siblings also face removal from the UK.
Owing to Ms Bageerathi’s age, her application was considered separately and she was forced to return to Mauritius alone.
Analysis: Yashika Bageerathi and the law
Why was Yashika Bageerathi sent back to Mauritius? The Home Office says the case didn’t pass the asylum test.
The law is quite clear that an asylum application must be based on the internationally-agreed criteria of the 1951 Refugee Convention.
That means an applicant needs to show that they need protection from persecution on one of the following grounds:
- Political opinion
- Race, religion or nationality
- Membership of a particular social group that puts them at risk because of the particular situation in the country they are fleeing
This is where the problems started for Yashika Bageerathi. Her – and her family’s – application to stay in the UK related to the fact that they were fleeing an abusive relative. On face value, that doesn’t appear to be covered by that core of refugee law. It was not designed to end all of human misery, wherever it may be found.
But that’s not the whole story – the law is much more nuanced.
It has developed down the years as judges have dealt with specific and complex cases which have forced them to look long and hard at what we mean by asylum and humanitarian protection.
‘Social group’ testSo while each case has to fit into what appear to be basic constraints of asylum law – it all depends on how you interpret those constraints and the UK’s international obligations to care for genuine refugees.
Let’s go back to those core tests. One of them is membership of a particular “social group”.
The courts have said quite clearly that in certain specific scenarios women can constitute a social group that needs protection under refugee law.
In 1999, the Law Lords issued a landmark judgement in favour of two women from Pakistan, called Shah and Islam.
The women had escaped from terribly violent husbands and argued that if they returned to their home country, they would be accused and convicted in a local sharia court of adultery. They could face either public lashing or stoning. Critically, that court’s judgement would give more weight to the claims of their husbands simply because they were men.
The asylum claims were rejected – but the Law Lords said that was wrong.
They ruled that the Pakistani women were part of a social group that was persecuted because they had no means to defend themselves.
In other words, in that specific context, domestic violence and abuse against women warranted refugee protection because the state exposed the women to persecution.
There have been many developments down the years to further expand on this concept – but none of them have ever said that anybody can just come to the UK and get protection because they have a horrible relative.
There has to be some kind of connection between the abuse and how their home country functions – or rather how it doesn’t.
Greyer legal areaNow, some cases are in an even greyer area between the letter of the law and the grim realities of a personal situation. This is where a wider and more subjective test comes into play.
The UK is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, the legal agreement between nations which have declared that they will ensure certain minimum standards of treatment towards people living within their borders.
Those minimum standards also include broadly agreeing not to despatch people to horrible fates overseas.
If a woman fleeing domestic abuse cannot find a way to fit into the refugee criteria, this has sometimes proved to be an avenue open to them.
And in practice, lawyers who work in this field have found courts to be sympathetic if the applicant can convince a judge that they face a really awful fate.
Ministerial discretionIn Yashika Bageerathi’s case, judges were not convinced.
There was one final issue in this case: why was the Home Office removing her from the country ahead of her exams?
The Home Office’s guidance states that children who are in school and coming to exams should not face removal at that point – even if they may be sent to their home country in the future. Yashika Bageerathi is not a child – she is 19 years old – so the guidance doesn’t apply.
And that’s why the teenager’s supporters put pressure on ministers. They had the discretion to intervene and stop an immigration removal. It was ultimately their decision.
Welcome back to Rapeland, Yashika!
175,000 signatures and counting, thousands of people up in arms, hundreds on the streets, a headmistress who is either gullible or cynical, two MPs who might benefit by looking up Mauritius on the world map, wannabe-celebrities who have found a great opportunity to achieve their dream and a government which fought hard to resist pressure, the Yashika Bageerathi polemic is a phenomenon which the human mind cannot explain.
Here’s the story which hundreds of thousands of people bought into. The girl ran away from Rapeland and sought protection from the UK authorities as she had been threatened with rape and the rapists-cum-drug addicts were waiting for her at the airport to rape her as soon as she got back. This science fiction scenario takes place – believe it or not – in Mauritius and this is the story which has been unblinkingly strewn all over the place, including the broadsheets.
Worried about the image this cock-and-bull story gave of Mauritius? Relax! It is not that bad, actually, thank you Yashika. We have been portrayed as an island where our rapists are not the beasts they tend to be in other countries. Over there, they pounce on innocent, unsuspecting people, drag them somewhere by force and commit their hideous crime. Here, our rapists are choosy and civilised. They first spotted little Yashika but let her off with a threat of rape. Then they gave her a chance to go and sort out a visa and book a plane ticket to the UK. This kind-hearted gesture must have been highly appreciated by the girl as she reciprocated by giving them a chance too: not a single entry at the police station and not a word to her relatives. I mean one has to have a sense of fair play in all circumstances, you know? Once the girl got away, the rapists started camping at the airport, observing an act of abstinence rapists in other countries could learn from. Their only hope was that the cruel British one day abandon the girl to her fate.
It is perhaps worth mentioning that, because these rapists set up camp at the airport, the government has secretly built another airport. So, while the bad guys are waiting for their prey at the old terminal, women of all ages, shapes and sizes have been safely landing in this country and taking off. So, when Yashika landed back in Rapeland this morning, the dangerous outlaws did not even see her as they were wasting their time at the wrong airport.
175,000 signatures?! I honestly suggest a little course in geopolitics so that the energy of the signatories is diverted towards the thousands of genuine asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, the Congo, the Central African Republic, Syria etc. who would never be able to secure the kind of publicity Yashika is getting because their stories lack the Hollywood ingredients that she offered, sprinkled with a large dose of strong spices: a rather average pupil here, according to those of her teachers who remember her, she was depicted as an exceptionally bright ‘straight As’ pupil who has had a clutch of offers from top universities!
Well, damn it Mauritius, look at the positive side: we now have a brand new airport and our average students are beating the best pupils in the UK to top universities!
In the meantime, please join me in welcoming Yashika back to Rapeland and Shhhh! Don’t let the rapists in on this. Let them continue waiting at the old terminal. Everybody is safe that way.
The most likely suspect of the mysterious Ma’am Arlene was allegedly one called Arlene Lerma, the éminence grise of the judiciary. Lerma, though she doesn’t hold office at the judiciary, is known to exercises power and influence. Lerma is said to be in very friendly terms with judges and justices. These J&Js are for sale. With enough money to grease palms, verdicts can be facilitated in favour of Lerma’s moneyed clients. Justice can be a total joke and can be subjective. If you have enough money and knows Lerma and has her connections, you can dance around the laws of the land!
Just like those many before her( many she was the go between for) Lerma and her corrupt-a-minute transactions will probably not land her in jail because of her connections.
But know this Lerma, you are now out of the shadow!!!
MA’AM ARLENE’S ‘AMIGAS’ Arlene Angeles Lerma (in pink circle), alleged fixer in the judiciary, joins last year’s retirement party for a court official with members of the judiciary. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
A Supreme Court insider has identified the so-called “Ma’am Arlene” who was earlier described as “the Janet Lim-Napoles of the judiciary” for allegedly influencing court decisions in favor of her clients with huge payoffs to judges and justices.
The source said the alleged “decision-broker” in the judiciary was none other than Arlene Angeles Lerma.
Lerma is known to most of members of the judiciary, according to the Inquirer source who asked not to be identified for lack of authority to speak to the media.
The media earlier reported that there were three Arlenes who showered members of the judiciary with gifts and cash.
The source was among those called by the Supreme Court committee under Associate Justice Marvic Leonen investigating corruption in the judiciary.
“We know her because she also attends parties for retired judges and events, but she is not a member of the judiciary,” the source said.
The Supreme Court insider said he overheard Lerma in one party for members of the Philippine Judges Association (PJA) saying “Iniwan ko na yung pang raffle (I left something for the raffle).”
Lerma came with Manila Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso to the PJA party, the source said.
The source said Lerma was close to retired Deputy Court Administrator (DCA) Antonio Eugenio Jr., a former Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge.
RTC judges and Court of Appeals justices are known to issue temporary restraining orders (TRO) that adversely affect or benefit litigants. There are reports that these TROs can be bought.
The source confirmed that the photo obtained by Inquirer was taken at the retirement party of Eugenio last year.
“The party was attended by judges and DCAs and she (Lerma) was there,” he said.
Two-time PJA president
He said Lerma was a strong supporter of Eugenio who served as a two-time PJA president when he was a regional trial court judge.
The source described as “unprecedented” Eugenio’s feat as two-time PJA president.
Lerma’s name cropped up as the “influential person” during the recent election for PJA president in October.
Lerma allegedly bankrolled the election of PJA officers and held parties for members of the judiciary.
Supreme Court Administrator Midas Marquez, who conducted an initial investigation of the alleged vote-buying in the PJA election, earlier said he had asked the three candidates vying for the leadership of the PJA to explain allegations of irregularities during the election.
The PJA candidates for president were Judge Ralph Lee of Quezon City (who won the presidency), Judge Rommel Baybay of Makati City and Judge Felix Reyes of Marikina City.
Hotel bookings, trips
Arlene reportedly booked 50 rooms in a high-class hotel for the judges and their spouses during the election and gave expensive bags and trips overseas as gifts.
Marquez has issued a circular reminding judges to conduct themselves properly during PJA elections and listed prohibited acts.
Isko kid’s godmother
Domagoso acknowledged that he knew Lerma, a godmother of one of his children.
“I never denied it. She’s my friend. She’s my neighbor in Balut, Tondo,” the vice mayor told the Inquirer in a phone interview.
Asked if he went with her to a party of the PJA, he said, “many times.”
He said he knew Lerma as an “ordinary, simple woman” who is a sister of a barangay chair.
“She has no business. She’s employed in a company,” Domagoso said.
He couldn’t recall her specific job and company.
Asked if he was aware of the alleged case-fixing activities of Lerma, Domagoso said, “As far as I’m concerned, I don’t know that’s she’s into [case] fixing. I have a high respect for the members of the judiciary. I don’t think that is happening nowadays.”
Lerma has been likened to Napoles, the alleged mastermind behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam. Napoles, along with Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, and other lawmakers, has been charged with plunder and malversation in the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly pocketing millions of pesos from the Priority Development Assistance Fund, a pork barrel.