Aldrin Cudia not allowed to graduate

aldrincudiaAfter being dismissed for allegedly breaking PMA’s Honor Code, Cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia will not be part of the academy’s graduation rights come March 16.

 Cudia who was dismissed for allegedly lying with his reason for being 2 minutes late in his class was not listed in the graduating class of 2014. In an interview PMA Superintendent Major General Oscar Lopez said Aldrin Cudia was separated from service for violating the academy’s Honor Code.

This issue of Cudia’s dismissal was hotly contested in social media where most people showing sympathy for Cudia and questioning PMA’s process of dismissing a cadet. Although many alumni agreed with the PMA Honor committe’s decision, many civilians still find it difficult to understand. In tonight’s episode of Abunda and Aquino tonight, the topic was also brought out and the point that struck me was Abunda’s question on whether the Honor Code is practiced only inside the premises of the academy. His point which I echoed was if they are very strict in enforcing and honing their cadets with their Honor Code how come there are Generals and high ranking officials in the AFP who were tainted by allegations of corruptions and other high crimes. If they were strictly trained with the Honor Code in the academy how come after they graduated it seemed the code was just forgotten.

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Day 34 : Atienza, Cuevas and Trial Recess (Corona Impeachment Trial)

After 34 days of the trial the Impeachment Court finished today their last day before going to the Lenten break. The session was adjourned passed 6pm this afternoon and will resume trial on May 7, 2012.

But before the trial adjourned 2 witnesses were able to be presented by the defense panel. First to be presented was Miriam Mosuela of the John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC). Prosecution at the onset opposed the offer of her testimony, citing its relevance to the case at hand, but the court admitted. She then testified on the benefits, salaries and compensation Mrs. Cristina Corona earned during her tenure at JHMC.

After her, the prosecution then called on former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza to the witness stand. He testified with regards to the sales of the property owned by the Basa-Guidote Enterprise which is a family business by the Chief Justice’s wife Cristina.

On his testimony he told the court that the property bought by the city government was owned by BGEI and was sold through it’s authorized representative Mrs. Corona. During the direct examination he stated that a cheque of 34.703 million pesos was paid to Mrs. Corona in trust of the Basa-Guidote Enterprise.

The prosecution meanwhile, during its cross examination tried to test the credibility of the witness. They’ve tried to dig-in whether the sale has no indication of some special favors. They’ve also tried to show that there is some degree of lack of due diligence because the owner of the property was the BGEI but the cheque was named to Mrs. Corona and not the corporation.

Thereafter some senator-judges also inquired on the witness Atienza to ask some clarificatory questions. But the one that created the spotlight was Sen. Recto, who in his line of questioning made lead defense counsel, former Justice Serafin Cuevas quite irate. Cuevas even seemingly went into an offensive tirade to Recto saying his remarks was unfair saying they are yet to present evidence on the matter being raised by the senator. Before the conversation becomes more heated presiding judge Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile immediately interrupted Cuevas and said that Recto was just clarifying on the matter being testified already by the witness Atienza.

At the end Cuevas just apologized for his quite over reaction to Recto’s statement and then it was followed by the senate adjournment.

Edu Manzano apologizes after wrong tweet about PNoy and Grace Lee

With the current hype about “Noynoying” which militant groups described as the form of leadership being shown by the president, another Noynoying tweet sparked and spread across twitter earlier this afternoon.

Actor-Politician Edu Manzano tweeted that the President was spotted strolling with TV Host/DJ Grace Lee in Greenhills Shopping Center. This tweet immediately spread all over twitterverse which also caught the attention of Malacanang people.

On his twitter account also, Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Edwin Lacierda, categoriically denied and belied Manzano’s tweet saying the president is inside the palace conducting NEDA meeting.

Later the day Edu again tweeted, this time apologizing for his being “overeager” to tweet the story which according to him was an unconfirmed gossip.

Meanwhile sought for his comments about the twitter incident, the president said “There are really some people who do not have anything better to do. These are the people whom we should find jobs for because they have a lot of idle time to spin gossip. But I just laughed it off.”

Raoul Angelo Atadero Topped 2011 Bar Exams (2011 Philippine Bar Exams Result)

Among the 6,200 law graduates to took the Bar exam last year it was Ateneo Law Graduate Raoul Angelo Atadero who got the top spot.

Announced by 2011 Bar Exams Chairman Justice Roberto Abad this afternoon at the Supreme Court, Atadero with an average of 85.5%, bested other examiness to be this year’s BAR top notcher. Together with him in the top 10 were

2. Luz Danielle O.Bolong als from Ateneo de Manila University with the average of  84.56%
3. Cherry Liez O. Rafal-Roble of Arellano University with 84.46%
4. Rosemil R. Bañaga of Notre Dame University getting 84.1%
5. Christian Louie C. Gonzales of University of Sto. Tomas with 84.12%
6. Ivan M. Bandal from Silliman University getiing 84.09 %
7. Eireene Xina M. Acosta of San Beda College with 84.07%
8. Irene Marie P. Qua another from Ateneo de Manila University getting 84.06%
9. Elaine Marie G. Laceda of Far Eastern University-DLSU (Juris Doctor-MBA) with the an average of 84.04%
10. Rodolfo Q. Aquino of San Beda College with 83.73%

It was noted that this year’s Bar was among the highest percentage of passers at 1,913 out of 6,200 examinees or 31%. And notably no one from the UP College of Law made it to the top 10 this year.

Complete list of the names of 2011 passers can be viewed here.


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Day 25 : Prosecution rested its case (Corona Impeachment Trial)

After 25 trial days the prosecution panel finally decided to rest their case on the articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Just at the start of the trial, the day seemed leading to some unusual events. Before it can take-off in today’s trial the presiding justice needed to suspend the start of the trial because of some logistical problems from the defense panel with most of their counsels including lead defense counsel former Justice Serafin Cuevas stranded in Manila traffic due to the evangelical event of Iglesia ni Cristo in Quirino Grandstand.

But to compensate for the waiting of Cuevas’ arrival they agreed to have the prosecution presented it’s next witness pending the cross examination of ABS-CBN cameraman Ed Llosala. Prosecution then presented Malacanang Records Officer Elenita Gatbonton who testified and authenticated documents that pertained to Corona’s appointment to the Supreme Court as Chief Justice. Thereafter they presented David Piedad and Rochelle Mendez both employees of ABS-CBN who testified on the veracity of the videos being presented by the prosecution.

And just some minutes before 5 o’clock lead prosecutor Rep. Niel Tupas took the podium and issued a manifestation that they are resting their case, thus causing shock and amazement and surprise from people inside the impeachment court.

According to Tupas, they have already presented enough and overwhelming evidences just in the Article 2 to convict the Chief Justice. He said they’ve already presented 25 witnesses and hundreds of documentary evidences for Articles 2,3 and 7 and they believed that those were already enough to get a conviction thus no need for them to present evidences on other Articles. In effect they were also withdrawing those articles that were yet to be presented such as Articles 1,4,5,6, and 8. Several times the presiding justice Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile asked Tupas if in fact they are “dropping” the other articles and Tupas replied in the affirmative.

As for the defense panel’s reaction, they said it was a welcome development for them. Now that the prosecution rested their case, they can now present their defense against all the allegations leveled against their client.

Now that the ball is transferred to the defense side, let’s see if they have substantial evidence to re-butt all the allegation and charges against the Chief Justice.


Day 9 of still UNPREPARED and MIS-MANAGED prosecution (Corona Impeachment Trial)

After more than 2 weeks of the trial, the prosecution still cannot seem to get their acts together. Evident by the mis-management of handling their direct examination to their own witness during today’s trial.  Presiding Judge Senate President Enrile and defense lead counsel Serafin Cuevas seemed lecturing the prosecution counsel on how to conduct direct examination to his witness because it seemed the prosecutor is impeaching their own.

Seating in the witness stand that day was MegaWorld Senior Vice President for Marketing and Sales Noli Hernandez who seemingly transformed as a witness of the defense instead of the prosecution by the way he was asked. Several times that the counsel of the prosecution Atty. Joemar Perez was cautioned by the presiding judge because he’s gearing towards cross examining his witness instead of direct examination. To which found out later that they were not able to confer with Mr. Hernandez before he was presented. During his testimony Hernandez said that the 40% “Corona Discount” on the Bellagio condo unit was brought by the damage in the unit caused by a typhoon and not through any favor.

The trial adjourned it’s day 9 with only 1 witness being presented but noted also during that day is Sen. Villar who as a real state businessman stood and explained that indeed discounts can be possibly given to a buyer due to economic or any undue circumstances. The day also took long time with clarifications and questions from the Senator-Jurors who can’t seem to hide their irate on some topics which kept on repeating.

I hope prosecution will level up their strategy and be more diligent in acquiring and handling their witnesses and evidences because they might loose a good case just because they’re “too lazy” to study the case at hand.

New Archbishop of Manila

Today is another historic day for the Philippine Catholic Church as the new Archbishop of Manila was formally installed. Former Bishop of Imus, Most Reverend Luis Antonio Tagle formally took his seat of the most powerful Catholic official of the Archdiocese of Manila. The 54 year-old bishop, took the place of retired Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales (who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75) to be the 32nd Archbishop of Manila.

I knew Bishop Tagle from his former television show in ABS-CBN. His very humble, and very simple yet his charisma is radiating. When he do his talks on that show, one can easily understood what he wants to implore. Being a graduate of Ateneo Seminary, I believe he embodies the Jesuit nature of being “liberally faithful” to the Catholic Christian teachings. And with that I know he can revitalize and renew the seemingly “tainted” image of the current Catholic Church in the country.

With different issues pressing the leadership of the Philippine RCC concerning it’s own ranks and different social and political concerns, Most Reverend Tagle will have a hand full of duties needed to address. But I believe with his character that I see, he can make or transform the now gloomy Catholic Church into a more vibrant and more energized church. Considering also his young age, he will have a long way of shepherding the 3rd largest Catholic community in the world. And I also believe this new leadership will equate to a new hope for the Philippine Catholic Community in addressing issues not only concerning socio political matters.

“It is rather by being a humble disciple content with the love of Jesus that I would see the advent of him whose love propels us to mission. Love makes one a true shepherd, not position” – Most Reverend Luis Antonio Tagle

Travel Denied

It was an intense day yesterday; full of drama peaked in it’s highest temperature. Late in the afternoon the Supreme Court granted the request for TRO by the camp of former President Gloria Macapaga-Arroyo, giving them the right to travel abroad. On an 8-5 decision the Supreme Court en banc restrained the Watch List Order being issued by DOJ against the former First Couple but with conditions. After complying to the conditions set by SC, the Arroyos then prepared for their flight to Singapore.

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