Monday, November 16, 2015

Bizwoman indicted for 3 cases filed by ex-hubby

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* President of homeowners group also charged for connivance

CAGAYAN de Oro City (BEN BALCE / Golden Journal) - A businesswoman was indicted for two counts of child abuse, qualified trespass to dwelling and grave coercion after the City Prosecutor’s Office found probable cause on the cases filed against her by her former husband.

The court has already issued a warrant of arrest against Merlyn Jane M. Mindoro who is still at large as of press time.

The court sets a bail of P80,000 for each count of child abuse and P12,000 each for qualified trespass to dwelling and grave coercion.

The court also issued a warrant of arrest against Alberto Yu, president of the Xavier Estate Homeowners Association (XEHAI), for grave coercion.

Yu has already posted bail and arraignment of his case is set on December 8, 2015.

The indictment stemmed from the cases filed by Mindoro’s former husband, Basil Mahadali, whom she married in accordance with Islamic law in 2009 and divorced in 2013.

While still married, Mindoro and Mahadali bought a house at Xavier Estates under their names.
After their divorce, Mahadali allowed his first wife, Rowena Y. Mahadali, and their children Sherwina, Sherna and two minors aged eight and 16 to live at the house in Xavier Estates.

Mahadali, through his legal counsel Atty. Firdausi I.Y. Abbas, filed criminal complaints against Mindoro, Yu, Major Daniel L. Precioso Jr., Alvic Gallamaso, Edwin Masin, Bacol, W.P. and SPO3 Lito M. Baculio for child abuse, grave coercion, qualified trespass to dwelling, slander by deed and malicious mischief.

Precioso is the subdivision’s head of security while Gallamaso, Masin and Bacol are the subdivision’s security guards.

The complaints for malicious mischief and slander by deed were referred to the Barangay Lupon for resolution.

After subsequent investigation, Assistant City Prosecutor Allan M. Radaza said he found probable cause to indict Mindoro for qualified trespass to dwelling, grave coercion and child abuse, and Yu for grave coercion.

Mahadali alleged that on October 7, 2014 at around 4:00pm, Mindoro, accompanied by the subdivision’s guard, intruded into their house located at 0423 Langka St. inside Xavier Estates in Cagayan de Oro City.

He alleged that Mindoro shouted at them and told them to leave the premises, saying she is the rightful owner of the house and is the one paying the bills.

Rowena reportedly requested her to leave but Mindoro merely ignored her.

Mindoro left and later came back at around 8:00pm with SPO3 Lito Baculio from the SM Police Substation.

Mahadali alleged that Mindoro destroyed the house’s main door.

The next day, Mahadali said their children were prevented from entering the subdivision by the security guards, reportedly upon the orders of Yu. 

Mahadali also alleged that on October 14, 2014, his 16-year-old son said he felt humiliated after Mindoro allegedly pointed an accusing finger at him while inside a mall.

Mindoro and Yu denied all the accusations hurled against them.

In his resolution, Radaza pointed out that the house is owned by Mahadali and Mindoro but both conceded to allow Rowena and the children to stay in the house.

“Merlyn, being part-owner of the house, could have retained her right to possess the property to the exclusion of Rowena and his family if only she immediately dissented to their occupancy. By reason of Basil’s authorization and Merlyn’s acquiescence, Rowena, therefore, enjoys the legal right to possess the house. When Merlyn arrived and entered the subject property on October 7, 2015 in order to wrest it from Rowena’s lawful possession, Merlyn committed unlawful trespass to dwelling. The offense committed by Merlyn is Qualified Trespass to Dwelling pursuant to Article 280 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC),” Radaza said.

He said it is “concededly true” that “Basil gave his permission for Rowena and his family to stay in the house, to Merlyn’s consternation.”

Radaza pointed out that Mindoro has equal right to choose who should occupy the house. However, her “acquiescence” of Rowena’s occupancy prevents her to evict them extra-judicially.

“Given that she cannot evict them without court order, then she cannot preclude them from entering the house without proper authority also,” he said.

Radaza also said grave coercion was committed by Mindoro, Yu, Precioso, Gallamaso, Masin and Bacol when they prevented the children from entering the subdivision.

“The facts indicate that all the elements of grave coercion are present. Merlyn, Yu, Maj. Precioso and the security guards prevented Rowena and her family from entering the house without lawful authority,” Radaza ruled.

He added that Yu cannot “hunker behind the move-in form to protect him from indictment.”

“If Merlyn has no right, neither has Yu to extra-judicially evict Rowena and her family. He therefore does not definitely possess the right to bar their entry. The collusion between Merlyn and Yu in the commission of this offense is glaringly exposed,” he said.

The City Prosecutor’s Office absolved Precioso and the security guards, citing they were “merely acting under orders of Yu.”

However, Radaza emphasized that the non-indictment of the guards does not mean that the element of threat or intimidation is absent.

Meanwhile, Radaza said Mindoro should be indicted for two separate counts of child abuse for “committing emotional cruelty” on the children when she intruded the house and for “pointing fingers” at the 16-year-old son while inside a mall.

“On the part of their children, who reasonably lacked complete awareness of what is going on. Merlyn’s outburst hurt them emotionally. The presence of the security guards and that of SPO3 Baculio, the fear of being ejected from the house was real enough. Such emotional hurt authored by Merlyn to immediately evict them without lawful authority is a concrete illustration of emotional cruelty,” he said.

Radaza said Mindoro committed emotional maltreatment when she pointed fingers on the 16-year-old son while inside a mall and in the presence of several mall goers.

It was Mindoro who first filed a civil case for child abuse against Mahadali, Rowena and their children Sherwina and Sherna, including their two minor children.

The case is still pending before Branch 19 under Judge Evelyn G. Nery where the case was transferred from Branch 22 under Presiding Judge Richard D. Mordeno.

Mordeno on February 6, 2015 granted the Motion to Inhibit filed by the respondents’ counsels Abbas and Associates through lawyer J. Ricardo H. Moreno.

Through her legal counsel Atty. Evangeline Tadlas-Carrasco, Mindoro alleged that after their divorce, Mahadali harassed her and continued to harass her. She later applied for a Temporary Protection Order but was denied by Mordeno.

NGCP seeks army help to secure transmission towers

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CAGAYAN de Oro City (Golden Journal) - Officials of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) are seeking the assistance of the military to secure dozens of transmission towers in Mindanao.

Elizabeth Ladaga, NGCP’s corporate communication head, said on Thursday that unidentified culprits tried to topple down another transmission tower in Patani, Marawi City, in Lanao Del Sur last Tuesday.

According to Ladaga, the incident caused power interruptions in some parts of Mindanao, which was restored in the afternoon of Nov. 9, after NGCP implemented temporary measures to transmit power produced by Agus 1 and Agus 2 hydropower plants to the rest of Mindanao.

She said that the incident took place eight days after three NGCP towers were filled with explosives in the same area.

While the explosion did not topple the tower, the damaged it sustained caused it to lean, putting the transmission facility in a more critical condition, Ladaga said.

She said that the NGCP has issued a public appeal to help monitor the safety of the towers so that transmission services remain uninterrupted.

Sometimes the restoration of transmission services to affected areas were likewise hampered by uncooperative landowners who are preventing NGCP from conducting much needed vegetation clearing activity, she said.

The NGCP has also repeatedly appealed to the government and the Philippine Army for assistance in resolving the escalation of security problem and right-of-way issues in Mindanao.

Ladaga said that elements of the Philippine Armed Forces are currently assisting NGCP in entering the properties of the uncooperative landowners to expedite restoration. (BB with PNA)

Marcos BBL version is worse

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(This is the 3rd and last instalment of Sultan Firdausi I. V. Abbas’ opposition to  the “amended” Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by the Senate Committee of Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.)

     Sultan of Lanao

Philippine Citizenship

The last sentence of Article ll, Sec. 4 of the Marcos version reads:

“This provision shall not in any way derogate from the provisions of Article lV of the 1987 Philippine Constituion.”

MUSLIM Bar Association of the Philippines, Inc. (MUSBARAP) 
President Sultan Firdausi I.Y. Abbas (center) was the guest 
speaker at Pimentel Institute for Leadership and Governance’s 
round table discussion on August 29, last year. Associated on 
his right is Dean Ederson Tapia, College of Governance and 
Public Policy, University of Makati and former senate president 
Aquilino Pimentel Jr. (Supplied Photo)
Article lV of the 1987 constitution is a reproduction of the 1935 and 1973 constitutions on Philippine Citizenship.  Article IV, Section 1 of the 1987 Philippine constitution provides “Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this constitution.” This provision is based on the 1973 constitution which provides under Article lll, Section “1) thereof: “Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this constitution.”  This provision is likewise  based on the 1935 constitution which provides under Article IV, Section 1) thereof: “Those who are citizens of the Philippine Islands at the time of the adoption of this constitution.”

The Bangsa Moro is considered to fall under Section 1 of the Article on Philippine C. the constitutionalist Jose N. Nolledo, who was a member of the Presidential Constitutional Commission in 1986 and a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention  pointed out three classes  of  Filipino citizens falling under Section 1– those who are citizens at the time of the adoption of the 1935 constitution:  1. Spanish subjects born in Spain who resided in the Philippines and were residents at the time of the adoption of the 1935 constitution. 2. Spanish subjects born in the Philippines and were residents thereof at the time of the adoption of the 1935 constitution. 3.Spanish subjects by naturalization who were residents of  the Philippines at the time of the adoption of the 1935 constitution.

Moros were never Spanish subjects. They cannot even become Spanish subjects or nationals by naturalization under Spanish law because they were Muslims. The Philippine Naturalization law which is based on Spanish and Christian law also disqualifies a Muslim from being naturalized as a Filipino citizen because one of the grounds for disqualification is Belief in Polygamy, thus a Muslim, even if he is not married, but because he believes in polygamy which his religion allows, is disqualified. This is very clear in CA No. 473, a very pernicious law which to this day is enforced: “Section 4 – Who are disqualified- The following cannot be naturalized as Philippine citizens:

c) Polygamists or believers  in the practice of polygamy.”

Militant Moro student organizations in the mid-sixties rejected this provision and declared that pursuant to the constitutional provision on citizenship, the Moros are not Filipino Citizens because they were never conquered and never subjects of the Spanish crown.

The fault of Senator Marcos is he was concerned primarily with the alleged constitutional infirmities but his version suffers the same defect.  Immediately one sees this  in the preamble of his version “… ABOLISHING THE AUTONOMOUS REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO”. Article X, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, sections 1 and 15 thereof very clearly provides that : Section 1. …There shall be autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras as hereinafter provided.” “Section 15. There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras ….” The autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao is a constitutional mandate and cannot be abolished by a mere congressional fiat. It can be re-organized, re-constituted, reformed, re-established etc., but not abolished.  Furthermore many of the alleged unconstitutional economic provisions are in R.A. 9054.

Marcos failed to grasp the real import and goal of enacting a law for the south and the Bangsa Moro. It is to usher in peace. Peace can be achieved only if there is mutual respect for each other’s culture, traditions, political dogmas and religions as well as equal protection for the pursuit, practice and enjoyment of these rights for as long as laws  are not transgressed; economic contentment which means economic opportunity in the areas, efficient basic services and just administration of the laws. But before all these, there must be acknowledgment of the historicity of the Bangsa Moro and their inalienable right to their patrimony. When the bases-historic and legal for these are negated, then there will be resentment and protest.

To sum it up, what Marcos did was much ado over nothing.

Bangsa Moro Constitutional Convention

Neither the MNLF nor the MILF can solve the problem in the south. The fate of the Bangsa Moro is not even in their combined hands. They are not even .1% of the roughly 16 to 18 million Moros and their arms combined is not even 5% of the arms of the Bangsa Moro. Furthermore, they have failed to prove their competence and ability to lead. The MNLF controlled the ARMM for five years which was a dismal failure. The MILF in a short span of time exposed their ignorance of Islam and the historicity of the Bangsa Moro and their propensity to control the new political entity pursuant to the very law they propose and the appointment of Mohagher Igbal’s nephew as COMELEC Commissioner.

The Moro people yearn for peace and live normal lives. The fiery cry for secession has been tempered by the acceptance of autonomy long ago but unfortunately autonomy has been as elusive as independence. The government must adopt concrete measures to avert the resurgence of radicalism of the Moro youth which if infused with the zealous and fanatical jihadism now engulfing the middle east and aggressively gaining adherents the world over, will be a phenomenal force terribly impossible to pacify and difficult to overcome.

Congress should now pass a law calling for a Bangsa Moro constitutional convention wherein all the Moro sectors shall be guaranteed appointed representatives and together with freely elected delegates duly reflect in this fundamental law the historicity, identity, aspirations, sentiments, hopes and dreams of the Bangsa Moro. Only when all the stakeholders have the right to be represented and participate in the enactment of the fundamental law for the Bangsa Moro can the viable and correct approach in solving the age-old Mindanao problem really commence.

(The writer is the President of the Muslim Bar Association of the Philippines, Inc., Chairman of the Bangsa Moro Party and Chairman of the United Filipino Movement .)