Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Inciting to sedition raps against Editor and two columnists

What the heck is inciting to sedition? Free press is provided and guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. The Department of Justice under over staying interim Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez and its bias state prosecutors want to intimidate journalists and critical media for exposing corruption, abuse of power of bogus President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her inept government. The Arroyo government is corrupt since it came to power thru coup d'etat in 2001. Political killings targeting journalists, lawyers, religious workers, activists, militant farmers and workers under GMA regime is condemned by foreign governments and international bodies for not doing enough to stop it. It appears that political killings targeting the legal Left is being tolerated if not a national policy of the Arroyo government. Gloria Arroyo and her military clique want to end the 37 years old insurgency by 2010.

State prosecutors cite Olivares’ columns, editorials as proof

Inciting to sedition raps filed vs Tribune chief

By Benjamin B. Pulta


In the day of hearts, the Tribune publisher and editor-in-chief, Ninez Cacho-Olivares, was slapped by the state prosecutors with the criminal charge of “inciting to sedition,” along with two columnists of the paper.

The charges were reported to have been submitted to the Manila Trial Court with a recommended bail of P12,000.

An arrest warrant is being expected by Olivares, who was not even given a copy of the resolution of the case, even as this was distributed to Justice beat reporters.

In a 29-page resolution, Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño approved separate criminal informations against Olivares, Ike Señeres and Herman Tiu Laurel and recommended bail at P12,000 each.

Cited in the charge sheet were seven of the paper’s editorials and five Olivares’ Frontline columns. The resolution dated Dec. 21, 2006 was claimed to have been mailed only last Feb. 5.

The first of the editorials cited by prosecutors, entitled Candles for Truth was published on September 2005 and described the Arroyo

administration as having “turned into a government to buy the people.”

“She (Arroyo) cannot exercise the rule of government except through the buying of support. That was the way she swayed Congress to her side. Support was bought, directly or indirectly, through early release of pork barrels or commitments for such and that should not be denied by those who accepted the virtual bribes.”

The complaint was filed by the national police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)’s National Capital Region chief Asher Dolina.

It is the same unit that led a raid without a warrant on the Tribune’s office in downtown Manila shortly after Mrs. Arroyo’s declaration of Presidential Proclamation No. 1017.

The proclamation was later declared invalid by the Supreme Court insofar as it authorizes warrantless arrests and seizures.

Two police intelligence officials, P/Supt. Generoso Cerbo, Jr. and P/Insp. Felix Cervita presently occupying the post of Chief of the Intelligence Research Center and Section Chief of the Office of the Director for Intelligence were named as witnesses.

“”We cannot but find that strong and unassailable evidence exists to render it our irremissible duty to determine a sufficiently well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and that respondents are probably guilty thereof and should be held for trial,” a portion of the charge sheet said.

“In fine, her (Olivares’) articles and editorials...showed grossly abusive statements against the institutions of the Philippine government as well as to its present officials and called for the booting out of this government as the only solution,” the prosecutors claimed.

Particular mention was made by the prosecutors of a column last Dec.11, 2005 where Olivares stated “that the military willfully engages in illegal activities and follows illegal orders from the commander-in-chief.”

Asked for her reaction, Olivares, who appeared unfazed by the latest criminal lawsuit filed against her, said, “What else is new? Malacañang and its morons in the Justice Department are once again trying to scare me off and silence me. If they can’t do it with a bullet, they will do it through the courts, many of which have been prostituted anyway, and will hold a trial on this, even when there is clearly no case at all,” Olivares said.

She pointed out that the Panganiban Supreme Court had already ruled that the raid conducted by the police-military team, where various documents in the Tribune offices, including the past issues, from where this team obtained its “evidence” against her, was illegal.

“Just on that basis, it follows that the “proof” which is no proof at all, (the so-called police witnesses) was illegally obtained and therefore, is inadmissible in court,” the Tribune publisher said.

She also pointed out that the articles being referred to as proof of her crime of inciting to sedition are at least over a year old.

“If my columns and editorials, as they claim, incited poeple to sedition, who did I incite to bring down the Arroyo government? Tribune readers? It’s been over a year since I wrote those articles and close to a year since the illegal raid on the Tribune. Why charge me now?” Olivares said.

“The answer is: It’s election time again, which translates to Gloria and her stooges attempting again to silence me through intimidation, and trying to frighten me into going soft on my criticisms against her and her government, which regime already has a notorious reputation for suppressing press freedom,” she stressed.

She added that in the case of the inciting to sedition charge against her, for writing that “the military willfully engages in illegal activities and follows illegal orders from the commander-in-chief,” she noted: “Well, isn’t that the truth that Gloria and her military have been trying to cover-up all this time? There is proof that she had given orders, through her Comelec operator, Virgilio Garcillano, for the military and police generals to engage in massive electoral fraud in 2004 to ensure her victory at the polls. That’s an illegal order, and the military did follow those orders. The Hello Garci tapes are proof of that!

“As for proof of the truth to the article that stated she has been buying off congressmen with money, state prosecutors should check on statements in video of several congressmen admitting that they had been offered bribes by Gloria.,” she said, adding “that’s what all the charges against Gloria are, and these are the charges leveled at her by the opposition and some 70 percent of the Filipino people on her lying, stealing and cheating ways. So are they also to be charged with inciting to sedition?”

On the accusation by the police witnesses that the Tribune chief had written “grossly abusive statements against the institutions of the Philippine government as well as to its present officials and called for the booting out of this government as the only solution,” she said: “Well, isn’t that the only solution? Besides,”she stressed, “Gloria and her prostitutes in the military and the police booted out a legitimate President, Joseph Estrada, through a coup d’etat. If their commander in chief today claimed it was not illegal to do so, why should it be illegal for her to be booted out, whether through the ballot or the so-called military backed people power?”

Olivares said there was absolutely nothing “grossly abusive” about her articles, but that in any case, it is not for the “morons in the police force and the state prosecutors” to judge what is abusive or not.

Olivares said she is, as usual a target for persecution, brought about by a “vindictive Gloria Arroyo, to “harass her,” as the many libel suits lodged by her spouse, First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, which has the blessings of the President, failed to intimidate Olivares.

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