Category: Laws and Policies

Napoles Guilt Over Pork Barrel Scandal


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.

JPJhermes, Nagpapatrol

Napoles not ‘most guilty’
12:02 am | Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
It is disputable that Janet Lim-Napoles is the “most guilty” in the stupendous P10-billion pork barrel scam.  She is an ordinary citizen, without any official governmental power.  On the other hand, the legislators and other public officials who are her co-accused are cloaked with public authority. They were the custodians of public money. They had the sworn duty to preserve and spend public money for the public good. Instead, they allegedly plundered it.
Every public official is required by law to take an oath to “well and faithfully discharge to the best of his ability the duties of the office or position upon which he is about to enter; and (to declare) that he voluntarily assumes the obligation imposed by his oath of office, without mental reservation  or purpose of evasion” (Sec. 40, 1987 Administrative Code of the Philippines).
Napoles had taken no such oath, not having occupied a government position. But the public officials did.  Their oaths usually end with the phrase, “So help me God.” Therefore their crime, if proven, would be a “betrayal of the public trust,” for failing to “well and faithfully discharge” the duties of their office.  It would also be sacrilege for falsely invoking the name of God.
In his March 26, 2012, column (“Betrayal of public trust”), Fr. Joaquin J. Bernas,  former dean of the Ateneo Law School, quoted Constitutional Commissioner Ricardo Romulo as saying that “betrayal of the public trust,” one of the causes for impeachment of public officials, could “cover any violation of the oath of office.”
Commissioner Rustico de los Reyes, author of the amendment, added that “the term … includes betrayal of public interest, inexcusable negligence of duty  (italics supplied), tyrannical abuse of power, breach of official duty by malfeasance or misfeasance, cronyism, favoritism, etc. to the prejudice of public interest and which tend to bring the office into disrepute.”
Further, the crime of plunder, under Republic Act No. 7080, is primarily directed against “public officers” who acquire ill-gotten wealth or misappropriate public funds amounting to more than P50 million.  A private person who participates in the crime is also punished for the same offense, but he or she is not the principal accused.
Even if Napoles is the mastermind, which is unlikely, considering her being an outsider, Napoles cannot be the “most guilty” since she could not have committed the crime without the assent and participation of the public officials who have custody of and power to dispose of the funds.  These officials had the duty to “turn her in” or charge her for simply making an indecent or illegal proposition.
It is to the public interest that Napoles be made a state’s witness, if her testimony is assuredly necessary to convict the public officials concerned, in order to forewarn all incumbent and future officials to be faithful to their oath of office, under pain of punishment under the law.  An additional requirement of course would be for her to return to the state all the proceeds she may have enjoyed from the scam.
Movement for Truth in History,

Household Chores and the Law

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

Children ironing

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.

Roaming Charges on Death Throes in Europe?!!!

mobileThis 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: Tel: +32.229.57361 Twitter: @RyanHeathEU

The Plight of Yashika Bageerathi

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

Yashika BageerathiYashika Bageerathi’s case sparked a petition which has 175,000 signatures

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.

‘Needlessly cruel’

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

Protest against Yashika Bageerathi's deportationDemonstrators in London’s Parliament Square highlighted the case

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!

3 Avril 2014


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.

$287 M Loan Package from Japan will go down the drain?

Poor Janet Napoles!!! Encarcerated and out of the loop!  Who is to take her place?!!!

It was very generous of Japan to arrange a loan for the Philippines.  I am sure that as much as most Filipinos are grateful to Japan for the loan, most are concerned that the monies will go straight down the drain and into the pockets of corrupt politicians, their relatives and friends.  And the sad thing is that the Philippines will still be saddled with the debt, whether the monies were put into good use or not.

The only way that this can be monitored is to have total transparency which may be possible if Freedom of Information  is enacted in the earliest possible time.  Unfortunately, it seems the tabling of Freedom of Information (FOI) was done tactically, having been given to a complete neophyte, a newbie who is willing to do the job but seems not hungry enough.  FOI continues to languish on the sideline.  It seems FOI is not a priority and we know why.  It would be a key to Pandora’s Box.  All manners of evil will be let out and I think most politicians won’t be able to face it.

The Freedom of Information would allow people to take a peek on the progress of whatever project is being done.  And I hope the Government would apply proper accounting to ensure that the monies are spent as it should be.  Another major thing that needed doing if the monies are to be spent in Tacloban is allowing everyone to see proper planning and  the stages of constructions.  It is most important that  submitted estimates and tenders are made public and transparent.  We do not want the project to be given to friends and relatives of high ups and pocket most of the monies while doing a haphazard jobs.


JPJhernes, Nagpapatrol



PHL gets $287-M loan package from Japan during PNoy trip

By , GMA NewsDecember 13, 2013 3:43pm
PNoy, Abe meet at Japan-ASEAN summit

PNoy, Abe meet at Japan-ASEAN summit . President Benigno Aquino III is welcomed by Japanese PM Shinzo Abe at the start of their working lunch at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo on Friday, December 13. Japan is boosting bilateral currency swaps with some Southeast Asian nations ahead of its weekend summit meeting with ASEAN leaders. The deals that come at a time when Abe hopes the Japan-ASEAN Commemorative Summit , which excludes China or South Korea, will promote closer ties with Southeast Asia.Reuters/Koji Sasahara/Pool
President Benigno Aquino III and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday witnessed the Exchange of Notes on at least $287 million worth of loans for the Philippines signed in Tokyo.
At a press conference in Manila, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Aquino attended a bilateral meeting hosted by Abe at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence in Japan, where the two heads of state saw the signing of the Exchange of Notes on three items:
  • Post Disaster Stand-by Loan worth ¥ 10 billion ($ 100 Million)
  • Multi-Role Response Vessels for the Philippine Coast Guard worth ¥18.732 billion ($ 187 Million)
  • Revised route schedule on the Philippines-Japan Air Services Agreement.
Also possibly discussed during the meeting were “regional issues” and other topics related to “cooperation for disaster management and reconstruction,” Valte said.

Aquino arrived in Japan on Thursday to attend the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez had earlier said the West Philippine Sea dispute may be tackled during the meeting.

Honorary degree from Sophia

Before the bilateral meeting, Valte said Aquino attended a courtesy call of Chancellor Toshiaki Koso S.J. and President Tadashi Takizawa of Sophia University.

The university, a Jesuit global learning institution, conferred on Aquino an honorary doctorate law degree for his “significant achievements in the promotion of good governance and peace in the Philippines, which have contributed to the remarkable economic development of the country in recent years.”

Aquino is a product of the Ateneo de Manila University, another Jesuit institution.

In a speech during the event, Aquino related how he gets strength from public support in addressing leadership challenges.
“People always ask: How did you manage to do this?
“Time and again, I have answered: ‘Definitely, not by myself. I am merely the instrument of our people’s will.’
“In fact, the whole reason I am here is the people made a collective commitment – one in which I am playing my role, but will hopefully continue even after I step down from office,” the President said.
Valte said the President likewise met with the Japan Business Confederation, where he highlighted opportunities for Japanese businessmen in the Philippines. – VS, GMA News