Veteran Columnist: Gascon has a P3M govt salary; he spreads lies to the world on PH situation - The Daily Sentry

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Veteran Columnist: Gascon has a P3M govt salary; he spreads lies to the world on PH situation

Screen-capped photo of  CHR Chair Chito Gascon during the Freedom Forum and columnist Rigoberto Tiglao (right) 

A Manila Times article written by a former diplomat and veteran columnist Rigoberto Tiglao calls out the government to be on high alert and watch out for Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chair Jose Luis (“Chito’) Gascon who spread lies to the world.

Gascon is also the Liberal Party’s director general, is one of the highest-paid government officials earning P3 million a year.

Citing Gascon’s huge salary out of the tax payers’ money, Tigla0 said: “Yet he shamelessly paints the blackest picture of the country and of President Duterte, spewing brazen lies in international forums to portray the country as one in which “tens of thousands of Filipinos are being murdered by our government,” and that those opposing the president are persecuted.”

“I nearly fell off my seat when in a speech at the so-called Oslo Freedom Forum in New York (run by the Human Rights Watch based there), he claimed that the Duterte administration — in just another indication that it is an authoritarian regime silencing its critics — had forced Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to resign. (The speech was melodramatically titled “Death and the Democratic Deficit in Duterte’s Drug War,” so cheaply using alliteration in the hope that it sticks in his audience’s mind.)” the former diplomat continued.

Contrary to what Gascon claims, Morales was still in her post at the time he delivered his speech on May 29. The Ombudsman is stepping down on July 26 as it marks the ending of her seven-year term and as also mandated by the Constitution.

“I cannot believe Gascon doesn’t know that Morales is stepping down on July 26 because her seven-year term, mandated by the Constitution, ends on that date.” Tiglao added.*

“If he doesn’t believe me he could call her up now to check if she’s still there. She in fact, for some reason, has recently been in a frenzy of activity, ordering charges to be filed against officials of the past regime for corruption — including President Aquino, but on a very minor charge.” He said.

In the said video, Gascon shamelessly tainted President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s image to other country, making him a killer and a dictator over his campaign against the illegal substance.

Also included in Gascon’s illustration and discussion are the photos of LP’s “strong independent women” who oppose the president.

First in the list is Aquino’s former justice secretary and senator Leila De Lima, who according to Gascon was “arrested and put in jail” but he failed state the reason why.

“Of course, Gascon omitted the crucial facts: that de Lima has been charged for colluding with drug lords, allowing them to use the national prison as their command center, and receiving hundreds of millions of pesos in bribe money. Not just one but three charges were filed by various entities, including the private-sector Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, in three branches of the Regional Trial Court of Muntinlupa (where the penitentiary is). The court ordered her arrest and detention. Of course, Gascon didn’t mention the fact that the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court, ruled en banc that de Lima’s arrest and detention was legal.” Tiglao wrote.*

Gascon presenting his list of women persecuted by Duterte, including Ombudsman Morales who he claimed the President forced to resign. Photo from Manila Times

Also, in the list is the ousted chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who was removed from her office, according to Gascon.

“Of course, Gascon didn’t mention that it was her colleagues in the Supreme Court who decided that Sereno was a fake chief justice, since she failed to meet the minimum requirements for the post - even that for psychological health—and must be removed for them to be loyal to the Constitution.” Tiglao said.

The last in the list of “persecuted women”, is Rappler’s CEO Maria Ressa, who was facing tax evasion case.

“Of course Gascon didn’t mention that it was the firm that set up Rappler, in which Ressa is just one of the minority shareholders, that was “de-registered” by the Securities and Exchange Commission for violating the Constitution by taking in foreign funds.” Tiglao continued.

Though Gascon claims that Duterte is an authoritarian leader in front of his foreign audience, Rappler is still operating, after its appeal to the Court.*

In his speech, Gascon also claimed that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has already started an investigation on the government’s violation to human rights due to its war against shabu and other illegal substance.

“But this again is another lie. The ICC’s Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda merely initiated a “preliminary examination” — a routine chore it does whenever it receives a complaint. As explained by former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, who had been very supportive of the Yellow Regime, Bensouda (probably in two years) will have to get the approval of a higher body called the Pre-Trial Chamber to undertake the kind of investigation Gascon is claiming.” The columnist countered.

Another sickening lie is the use of the infamous “Pieta” pose photo to tag the government as ruthless authoritarian"

“What is so despicable about Gascon’s presentation, as it is so cheaply appeals to the emotions of his foreign audience, is that he uses as his background an enormous projection of that once-famous July 2016 photo of one Michael Siaron’s dead body cradled in the arms of his partner in that classic “Pieta” pose. The Philippine Daily Inquirer photo became a viral poster by anti-Duterte groups to portray the president as a merciless kilIer.” Tiglao added.

Reportedly, after a thorough investigation, the police found out that Siaron was slain by drug-syndicate and not by the police conducting tokhang.

With these, Tiglao said that Gascon should be impeached for betrayal of the public trust and treason.

“This country can’t have another four years with Gascon using taxpayers’ money to malign this nation.” He said.

Source: Manila Times