Common prejudice and VP Binay’s litmus test

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Ej Lopez

Ej Lopez

Still fresh in our mind was the case of the 22-year-old woman (later referred to by the media as “Nicole”), who was allegedly abused by American military servicemen. Reports said the case was filed before the Olongapo City prosecutor’s office as a criminal complaint for gang rape against USS Essex military servicemen Chad Staff Sergeant Carpentier, Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, Lance Corporal Corey Burris, Lance Corporal Albert Lara, Lance Corporal Keith Silkwood, and another John Doe. The rape allegedly occurred in Subic on November 1, 2005.

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The local media blitz to seek justice for “Nicole” brought about subtle bullying tactics by the United States to save the American soldier from conviction. As expected, nothing came out of our call for prosecution, four years after the case was tried in our local courts. As if to add insult to the injury, the 22 year-old victim “Nicole”, expecting gloomy prospects of her fight for justice, compromised her position by deciding to live in the United States, the land of residence of the very same people who violated her rights.

Now here comes another incident, certainly more brutal than the Nicole case, the Jeffrey (Jennifer) Laude case. Laude was found dead inside the toilet of an Olongapo City motel room late night of October 11, 2014. A witness identified Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton as the person the victim was last seen with before Laude was killed. Laude’s sympathizers and supporters are clamoring for justice. Despite what seems to be formidable odds against Pemberton’s conviction and possibly a repeat of the Nicole case almost a decade ago, people are hoping that this time, the authorities will uphold not only Laude’s rights but collectively the Filipinos’ rights as well. Hopefully, the Laude case will not be another unsolved statistic in the records of human rights violations flagrantly committed by the supposed protectors of democracy.

US record of human rights violations
According to apologeticsindex.org, “the United States government frequently speaks out on what it considers to be human rights violations throughout the world – and often does so when commenting on the treatment of certain religious cults and sects, as well as movements it views as ‘’religions.’ But while a concern for human rights is to be commended, America’s approach is seen by many as ill-advised at best and hypocritical at worst.”

The Office of China’s State Council said in a report that the United States attacks more than 190 countries and regions including China on their human rights issues, but mentions nothing about its own human rights problems. It is an obvious case of double standard meant to criticize other countries yet spare its own, in fact worse actions.

Once source revealed that in 2004, the atrocities of US troops abusing Iraqi POWs exposed the dark side of human rights performance of the United States. The scandal shocked the public and was condemned by the international community. U.S. assertion of human rights violations committed by other countries like China, Iraq and other countries including the Philippines only exposes itself to hypocritical acts primarily designed at striking double standards in interpreting or misinterpreting their more flagrant actions or desecrations.

While less developed countries like the Philippines can only bow to the whims and caprices of more powerful countries like the US, it should be borne in mind that in many instances, these violations are tolerated by our local authorities, therefore submitting ourselves to American jurisdiction. These actions belie our supposed continuing struggle and crusade to seek fair and just treatment from the United States.

VP Binay’s quandary
The never-ending blitz of negative bulletins against the Vice President seems to have gone from bad to worse. The consistent avalanche of information linking him to “unexplained” ownership of grandiose properties has obviously affected his “campaign” to occupy the highest position of the land. Regardless of whether there is a tinge of truth or none behind this crusade to discredit him, it has considerably affected the people’s trust in him as shown by the steady decline in his popularity, survey after survey, irrespective of the surveying firm whether SWS or Pulse Asia.

At this point of the VP’s dilemma, he has no other choice but to prove to all and sundry that all of these allegations linking him to possession of lavish properties are all untrue. This can be better defended, to erase all doubts against him, if he will appear before the Senate body that is investigating his alleged wrongdoings.

It should be beside the point if the Senate body is out to discredit him, because if all his elucidations and proofs are beyond suspicion, then VP Binay should not worry because the people can appreciate and can fully discern the difference between what is right or wrong. For after all, we should always adapt our ideologies on that age-old adage, “the truth shall set you free.”

For comments, e-mail: doc.ejlopez@gmail.com.

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6 Comments

  1. Binay is already guilty according to the Blue Ribbon committee of 3. It’s a no-win situation for him, so why bother to attend?

  2. Even if Pfc,Pamberton settle with Laude family thru money,he will still go to military jail for murder,there is no blood money with the US military.

    As dictator of Makati City for 21 years Mr.13% VP Binay got addicted to corruption.There is no escaping he is going to jail Guaranteeee.

  3. Don’t you ever wonder why our military is castigated by the West for human rights violations but are silent about Israel’s. Why the double standard? Because Israel is their ally. Does that mean the NPAs are also their secret allies? Why would a communist insurgency use American issues like democracy and human rights? Those are political issues that Americans use against their enemies while communists are supposed to be fighting for social and economic equality. After digesting that ask yourself why the NPA founder and leader Joma Sison was adopted as a citizen by a staunch American ally and anti-communist NATO member Netherlands? Why do a lot of left leaning NGOs get their funding from that country and not from China, Cuba, North Korea etc. In the world of geo-politics, what you see is not what you get, get it?

  4. In both cases, it involves victims that came from joints catering for the flesh. The first one, an alleged rape cast so much doubt on the person of the alleged victim since she engaged in drinking spree with men. Maybe you will argue that even in this condition, women must be respected. But the victim is a willing and cooperating one.. Int eh second case, aside from the death of the victim, the cause of how this crime was committed pointed to the practice of deceit, a crime commonly committed by transgenders and gays, trying to pass themselves as females.

  5. Its funny how when a filipino looks at a case involving a filipino & a foreigner that they will always take his or her side against the foreigner. That woman accused a gang of men of gang rape. Then she changed her story to just one of them raped her, then she dropped those charges so she could move to the states. Could it be that was in her mind all along & that those charges were all bogus. But hey when it comes to believeing a foreigner of a filipino it will never happen in this country. Take the bribes in the mrt scandal, we now have proof it was the filipino who was lying. The foreigner was telling the truth but up till the evidence came out the filipino was blindly believed by all filipinos.
    To get to binay, isnt that is what you are supposed to do if allegations are made against you, refute them. Its up to them to provide evidence of guilt & what should happen in this country is there should be more inter agency checks on people. Remove this corrupt bank secrecy law as thats how they hide their illegally gotten monies. I think there is more to this & when it all comes out i think we will find binay is as corrupt as the 3 senators awaiting trial right now.

  6. I observe that in all the articles released in media (printed and broadcast),the issue about the tolerance or nonchalance by most of us as we watch TV programs, read articles portraying gays, lesbians and transgenders/transsexuals as if the scenes are part of everyday culture just goes unnoticed. Does our Philippine government have anything to say about this? Are the media companies aware that their shows impact the mindset and lifestyle of our new generation of youth? How about the church? Do our church leaders include the issue of morality assertively during homilies? Do celebrities (like Kris Aquino) unintentionally or nonchalantly display their unwed pregnant friends on their T.V. shows to promote their products or business? How about the issue of separated couples already having new relationships and living under one roof without their previous marriages being annulled perceived by the new generation of Filipinos? Poor couples who cannot afford annulment costs suffer society’s stigma and repercussions on the family. Has the church initiated measures to solve the problem of making annulment easier and cost-effective for those with unresolved marital problems? Meantime, other major economic/mundane concerns in everyday life get in the way of all these issues I’ve discussed above and the ensuing deterioration of family life and values continue on an escalated level. Does any organization try to help women victims of human trafficking/prostitution to help get back on their feet through genuine reforms? Carrying out government reforms will become more complicated though the official’s intent for good governance is sincere and honest if people continue to see corrupt officials remain in positions and dispensing of duties is secondary to amassing wealth for personal gains. Transparency and accountability in governance can still be a legacy of president Aquino if he seeks his conscience and disregard party affiliations in making right and wise decisions.