Friday, December 24, 2010

By Gonzalo "Jun" Policarpio


Christmas is always my happiest day of the year. I somehow cannot really explain this joyous feeling of mine. Perhaps because this day brings lots of memories from the past that were all full of joy mostly from my childhood days.

Like listening to Christmas Carols and stories of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, I never get tired unlike some comments I hear from jerks.

I cannot blame those jerks because they just don't understand the story of Christmas.

Once upon a time, I wrote a column in another Filipino American newspaper in New York complaining that maybe only one radio station in New York does play Christmas Carols during this season. I may have touched the nerve of some non-Christians when I noted a fact that most of these radio stations are managed or controlled by non-Christians or atheists. They called me a "bigot" which is not true. I just exercised my freedom of expression.

I shall always protect the American tradition of Christmas celebration especially when murmurings from political sectors call for the repeal of the law making Christmas a federal holiday.

When I ran for the U.S. Congress in 2008 to represent the 5th Congressional District of New York, I used the issue of incumbent Congressman Ackerman's negative vote on a Congressional Resolution honoring Christmas as an important American holiday as well as Christianity as a religion. Unfortunately I failed to get the endorsement of the Republican Party in New York and another candidate who is not a Christian continued the campaign line against her fellow non-Christian. It was good for her but still she lost the election. The passion of a Christian was not there.

Congressman Ackerman finally admitted he made a mistake in voting against the Congressional Resolution on Christmas. Personally I accepted his admission of error. A member of the U.S. Congress is duty bound to respect the sacred holidays of all religions in America because here unlike in other countries such as China, India, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq, there is freedom of religion.

In my current work as a consultant after retiring from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as an adjudications officer, I informed a certain undocumented college graduate from China who expressed to me his devotion to Christ as a believer and a Christian practitioner about the process of asylum when a person has credible fear of going back to his or her country of birth. He said he was truly scared of being deported back to China where there is no freedom of religion.

Last month he told me that he was granted asylum in the United States. He also said he asked his church congregation to pray for him during the interview.

Let's not argue about it that the United States of America is the best country in the world because of what it stands for: LIBERTY.

Christmas also stands for liberty when Christ was born to save mankind from eternal death.

Lastly, though I am a staunch Republican, I salute President Barack Obama when he greeted the world during the traditional lighting of the Christmas tree in President's Park in Washington, DC in this manner: MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Friday, December 17, 2010

By Gonzalo "Jun" Policarpio


Almost everybody in America even perhaps the whole world believes former football player, O.J. Simpson, killed his wife and her male friend despite the jury's decision to aquit him of murder. The jury composed mostly of African-Americans went along with the impact statement of the late Johnny Cochran, O.J.'s lead defense counsel, that the prosecutors failed to prove the famous African American athlete committed murder beyond reasonable doubt: evidence was tampered and lack of a murder weapon.

O.J. looked very suprised when the verdict to acquit him was announced. After his release, he promised to help in finding the killer of his wife. He failed to help and he is now in jail for another crime. Jay Leno, popular television late talkshow comedian, even advised O.J. to look at the mirror and he will find the culprit.

On another case, without former President Clinton's semen on the blue dress of his young intern, Monica Lewinsky, he would have not been convicted of perjury for saying to the world "I have no sexual relations with that woman."

Consider these two criminal cases and apply them to the controversial acquittal by the Philippine Supreme Court of the son of a former Philippine actor-senator for the heinous crimes of rape and murder and other scions of wealthy Filipino families for the same crimes. Those individuals were previously convicted by a regional trial court and the Court of Appeals.

Based on what I read and listened from the Filipino media, it took 15 years for the Supreme Court to overturn the Court of Appeals' decision to convict. According to the the Supreme Court's spokeman while explaining the decision to the media, the Court's decision to aquit Hubert Webb and the other convicts does not mean that they were innocent of the crime of murder. He said that the reason for the acquittal was that the prosecutors failed to prove the commission of the crimes of rape and murder beyond reasonable doubt: rapists' semen disappeared and only one eyewitness to the murder.

In the case of the Clinton's semen, a friend of the intern kept it and submitted it to the Ken Starr Commission, an independent counsel created to investigate Bill Clinton's wrongdoings.

The Webb family announced that they are willing to help find the real perpetrators of the rape massacre of the whole female members of the Vizconde family of Paranaque. Raising a 150 million peso reward for any information that would lead to the arrest of the real culprits would be a good gesture from the defendants's families.

If the families of those convicts acquitted by the Supreme Court truly believed that their sons were innocent of raping and murdering the wife and two daughters of Lauro Vizconde, then I must say that they should be at peace with their conscience and with God. If not, then they have raped again and murdered again the Vizconde family through a legal technicality. And the wages of such sin is eternal life in hell, if not in jail on earth.

Friday, December 10, 2010

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


The Aquino presidency in the Philippines suffered another humiliating legal knock-out, third in a row, when the Supreme Court, the country’s highest court, ruled as “unconstitutional” the creation of the Truth Commission designed to investigate charges of corruption and other violations of law against the previous administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Now, what do you think about it?

We can say right away that the appointed legal handlers of President Aquino need to sharpen more their legal minds. There is no need to resort to indignant public protests and demonstrations against the Supreme Court. PNOY must tap the best prosecutorial legal minds available at his disposal and field them to finally haul known corrupt government officials already charged with corruption and other violations of law and dump them to a place where they belong.

What is the sense of publicizing again the gathering of information or evidence to proceed with the prosecution of a corrupt government official? If the Department of Justice and other law-enforcement agencies as well as the Congressional investigating committees have already gathered the required solid evidence to convict a corrupt government official, why do it again with a Truth Commission?

The right words to tell President Aquino NOW is do it and enforce the law. Avoid this childish legal encounters with the Supreme Court whose members were all appointed by his main target of prosecution. I believe the evidence is already in the bag ready to convict a group of criminals where some of them may be members of the Supreme Court.

Remember that the government officials under the previous Arroyo administration including Arroyo’s husband and sons accused of corruption already did challenge anybody with guts to file criminal complaints in a court of law if they have the evidence. So what is impeding the current Aquino prosecutorial team to accept the challenge?

It is hard to believe that in a democratic and just country like the Philippines, only one agency is authorized to prosecute top government officials charged with corruption and other violations of law. I am referring to the OMBUDSMAN who has refused to prosecute former Arroyo officials found to have committed graft and corruption by Congress and other law enforcement agencies.

To PNOY and legal advisers, there must be a way to “kick the rascals” out of government circulation.