• The man who would not bribe


    OXFORD ,ENGLAND: Here in England I joined a discussion on the Magna Carta, a document that gave the people of England a bill of rights. The rich and powerful king was forced to sign it into law by the outcry of the people against injustice.

    What greater injustice can anyone endure than to be framed, charged and convicted for a crime he or she did not commit? Hundreds of cases of false convictions have been found in the United States where police planted evidence, or prosecutors hid away evidence that would prove an accused innocent of what was charged. There is new DNA evidence available today that has proven many convicted persons are in fact innocent. President Barack Obama has moved to release hundreds of wrongfully convicted youth in US prisons who received harsh and unjust convictions for alleged possession of cannabis.

    The worst kind of injustice is where the officials, judges, prosecutors and police conspire, or act alone to falsely accuse an innocent person. They select their victim, usually a foreigner or a vulnerable person, on the presumption that he or she is wealthy, or presumed to be wealthy.

    Most of the accused are presumed pay the bribe that is implicitly demanded. That is why they walk free and the charges are mysteriously dropped.

    The abundance of evidence suddenly is found to be insufficient. They are at first pressed with great vigor, and an abundance of evidence is presented to the prosecutor or the court to scare the unfortunate into paying up.

    The lawyer of the victim is supposed to make the approach to the official through an intermediary. In some cases, the lawyers may not pay the bribe and keep the money and then that is a bad day and a dark future for the accused. It is also a black mark against the lawyers for their reputation, unfair and unfounded as that might be. They will of course protest any such allegations of wrongdoing. There is no way to prove it one way or the other. But the perception is damaging. All that may happen in the United States but could it ever happen in the Catholic Christian Philippines?

    The Irish media have raised these questions in radio interviews regarding the case of an Irishman, Edna O’Coughlin. Many are mounting a worldwide campaign to protest and question his arrest, trial and conviction to 12 years for the possession of two sticks of cannabis. Edna is a retired professional psychiatric nurse. He and his wife planned to retire in Laoag, Northern Luzon. He was arrested and detained for alleged possession of two sticks of cannabis at Laoag airport. The man claims it was planted, a real possibility, and he further claims and can prove that the two sticks of cannabis that was used to accuse him was not presented in court. He wisely photographed the (alleged) planted cannabis and what was presented to the court was entirely different.

    The judge allegedly overlooked this important and crucial evidence.

    Everyone involved vows that no bribes were paid whatsoever. Cynics say that that was his biggest failure, not recognizing that he is a stubborn Irishman and when jailed after his conviction he went on a hunger strike and was ready to starve to death to protest the grave injustice and protest his innocence. Amazingly, he was granted bail for P250,000. The judge confiscated his passport. That is the property of the Irish government and they have done nothing that I know of, to claim it back or help get justice for this brave man of principle who would not pay a bribe. He has suffered the injustice of such a harsh and unjust sentence for three years and it has caused great pain and trauma to his family.

    How can one get bail after being convicted? I know of two other cases of bail and freedom for convicted foreigners. It is an interesting form of money collection for the government. If this goes on longer and his conviction is upheld by the Court of Appeals, he might go on a hunger strike again. He is silent on the matter but it is pure conjecture as to what might be the outcome.

    This would be a huge embarrassment to the Irish government and the Philippine government. It may even hurt the trade relations between the two nations. There are as many as 20,000 Filipinos working in Ireland and sending back millions of dollars to the Philippines.

    The sentence alone is an injustice even though the evidence and trial procedure is being examined, studied and questioned. But the campaign can only grow until it is a black eye everywhere for the beautiful innocent Filipinos who suffer so much injustice themselves and much hardship and deprivation by the corrupt officials. These are the minions of the corrupt elite who wallow in wealth and walk to their mansions on the backs of the poor.


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    1. michael hegarty on

      in responce to this article above from father shay cullen and also his previous article in this newspaper link below

      do the elected members of the filipino government and every citizen of the philippines realise how viral this story is actually going and the serious damage it is doing to the vital filipino tourism industry .
      members of the filipino political parties are ignoring this miscarrage of justice . all these big filipino tourism campaigns wow filipino . because of how this nurse was set up , the word is starting to spread here in europe to avoid at all cost taking holidays in the philippines . the corruption out in the country is out of control . on sunday the 19th july the newspaper are running newspaper article about this .

      do you want to hear the radio broadcasts here in ireland ref eannas case .
      please feel free to listen to a prime national radio station here in ireland . scroll down for the podcast on the thursday 9th july and listen to the podcast for eanna o cochlain philippines .

      look at how much damage this has done to the philippines . this was over 15 mins of a broadcast here on national airways here in ireland .

      to the editors of the manila times and to every filipino . in no way is this anti filipino , if anything its a stand up to corruption . look at the lenght that this man eanna is going through just to clear his name .

      on the facebook web site bringeannahome look at the video clip of a video interview that a irish tv crew recently recorded of eanna in the philippines . i am married to a filipino myself and see first hand myself the dammage this filipino police corruption is doing abroad to the image of the philippines .

      is there any filipino elected member of government able to respond to father shays cullens two articles above . can the reporters of the manila times put the above articles above to members of the filipino government and ask what are they doing about this case .
      i find it very strange that the filipino police say they found these items on eanna. but would not a dna test of these items not prove if eanna is guilty or not . what have the filipino police got to hide .

      through the reporters of the manila times i ask the above very public question . what are the filipino hiding from .

      michael hegarty ( Ireland )

    2. Wake up Ireland and protect your citizens abroad !
      2nd anniversary of this sorry tale is 14th July 2015.
      And still nothing happens !
      next week will be 2nd question in Dail and we are approaching 5000 signatures via bringeannahome.com our portal to petition site.
      thanks to all our supporters and of course the author who also wrote Eanna in The Injustice Of It All may 5th 2015 in this paper.

    3. The Irish government must expose the mysterious manner in which the case of Eanna O Coghlain has and is being handled by the authorities in the Philippines. The matter will be raised in the Irish Parliament next week, and has already received widespread media coverage in Ireland. Irish citizens everywhere should email the President’s Office in the Philippines to protest at this inhumane treatment to an Irish citizen.