Something rotten in Benguet

8

This is the current Baguio phenomenon. Its watershed has been damaged by man-made events for which many parts of the city are paying the price with the contamination of their water supply and the whole city’s seriously devastated environment.

There has been a hue and cry from the public, particularly zeroing in on the alleged perpetrattor, Baguio’s own sitting congresssman.

At this point events should be taking their course which means the damage has been examined and assessed and found to be truly serious. Over 700 trees killed, erosion from the use of heavy machinery to build a road through a forest that is a designated watershed. The appropriate charges have been filed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Baguio Water District.

But here is what is curious. After the filing of the charges in the first week of June, the Benguet Prosecutors’ Office raffled off the cases to the fiscals who have to take them up in court for the government agencies. Suspiciously, on the last week of July (after more than a month that the cases were assigned), the whole Benguet Prosecutors’ Office fiscals inhibited themselves. The reasons they gave were more curious yet – one said he was related through his deceased first wife to one of the contractors charged, another said he was a Mason and could not prosecute a fellow Mason. Flimsy excuses and at the same time convoluted reasoning that is hard to believe or accept. Closer relations to fiscals and fellow Masons have been prosecuted and tried by the same office. Under these circumstances, it looks like the reasons have been concocted. For this a charge of dereliction of duty must be seriously taken.


There seems to be a game plan here for the defense. They prefer that someone else be chosen to handle the prosecution. Maybe someone they can do business with? What is clear is that the route being taken is one of stalling, obfuscating and muddling the issue which is environmental destruction which has affected many people.

Sometimes one has to wonder in this land of an oversupply of lawyers, why the public lawyers, those who act for government to punish lawbreakers are not up to par particularly in expertise and in ethical behavior.

Already one hears the conflict between private prosecutors and public prosecutors in pursuing cases to their ultimate stage for a decision to be handed out and justice to be served. Note the Ampatuan case rife with distrust of the public prosecutors’ work.

There is too the matter of repeated and perennial incompetence by prosecutorial panels who lose case after case for the government. Fiscals in general do not seem to be the cream of the crop of the legal profession, wile those who are go into lucrative jobs in the private sector. Many lawyers even forsake the practice of law but carry the honorific “attorney” to make their way. These are the lawyers this country produces.

One wonders what and how law schools are training the mass of their graduates. Concededly, many in law school come better prepared than others, but must the others be left to themselves particularly in the matter of proficiency and ethics? These are the crying problems we see here in the practice of law.

Fiscals must be upright and conscientious and follow their oath of office. They are in office to defend, protect and enhance public welfare and to charge those who go against it. The Benguet fiscals’ mass inhibition from the case of the environmental destruction of the Baguio watershed is a troubling event that foretells the kind of future actions we can expect of them.

And let us not forget the principal figure here, Congressman Nicasio Aliping, who rants and harangues that he is innocent till proven guilty. Well, let the process of judgment by a fair trial begin to decide whether he is innocent or guilty. Only, he seems to not want it to happen and the Benguet Prosecutors’ Office seems to be on the same page.

Something is rotten in Benguet.

miongpin@yahoo.com

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8 Comments

  1. If Baguio-Benguet Fiscals are afraid of Congressman Aliping, transfer the case to Manila as those cases from Mindanao, Quezon Province and other parts of the country. This case is against the People of the Philippines and Mother Earth…YES as of this date and time, the PEOPLE OF BAGUIO AND BENGUET feels that the case is slowly dying and fading away….if ever the case against Congressman ALIPING will not prosper, FISCALS who are in charge of this case should resign from PUBLIC SERVICE.

  2. A LOT leaves to be desired from the National Prosecution Service (NPS) under the Department of Justice (DoJ). I have been a victim. so I know how the rotten system works. So what “REFORMS” has the Aquino administration done to improve the NPS?

  3. I am fortunate to have the chance to appreciate the pine trees, green floras and fresh breeze of our beloved summer capital decades ago. How unfortunate that it had been replaced by scandalous urban planning, dishonorable local governance and shocking environmental degradation!

  4. Well ive had dealings once with a fiscal myself & i think she was incompetent. She said to me about my properties in the uk ( im an englishman ). I asked her what properties in the uk & her answer well i suppose you have properties in the uk. I got very angry with her & i didnt speak very nice to her. I said you suppose i have properties in the uk, you suppose. Isnt this a court of law. You go on evidence not supposition. So dont suppose, show evidence i have properties in the uk or keep quiet. But to the average pinoy just hearing those words suppose would mean to them that i have properties in the uk. Now they would ten say prove you dont have properties in the uk. Its laughable, as my answer would be you prove first you dont have a rolls royce. Their answer would be well i dont have a rolls royce but i cant prove i dont have one as what proof can there be of you not having something. You can only prove you have something not not have something. But that was your fiscal here. How many times on here do i say i find people in power here totally incompetent, take for instance if manny pacquiao runs for a senatorial position, i think he would get it, & yet he shouldnt as what education does he have.

  5. Edgar G. Festin on

    Is that criminal congressman a member of the Liberal Party and ally of President Aquino, Secretary Abad and Senate President Drilon? If they are, then the something rotten in Benguiet-Baguio will never disappear as long as Aquino is president and the Liberals are in power. Pity the people of Benguet and all of us Filipinos!

    • He is the chairman of the Liberal Party in Baguio City; and proudly shows his letter of appointment too.

  6. Pete Gabriel on

    Congressman Aliping is a crook. He thinks that he is above the law. All the Fiscalls are scared to prosecute the case because they are scared. They are scared to go up against a sitting congressman because he has more resources than the Fiscals. This Fiscals are also government employees and it typifies the fact that they are lazy, uncooperative, and crooks. This is what is going to happen, Aliping will win, he will drag this case until people will forget about this case, and he will come out unscathed, and he will stay in politics and amaze more money at the expense of the people.