The Red commander

The Abduction

The story begins in July of 2006, in a remote hamlet in the town of Hagonoy, Bulacan.

“Four armed men passed us holding Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan. Ate Sherlyn was screaming and begging for help while they were being brought out of the alley.”
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Jul 3, 2011 under Opinions | no comment


In the friendliest country in the world, where tarsiers grin under coconut suns, and waves sparkle blue against the whitest of white sands, the luckiest man west of the Pacific discovered his luck the same day the Department of Health discovered 136 bags of HIV positive blood.
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Dec 5, 2010 under General, Opinions | 1 comment


In his first few days on the job, he has laughed with Anthony Taberna over radio dzMM, toured TV Patrol through his office, pointed out the graduation picture he autographed for his mother, smiled under keno lights in an ABS-CBN studio, sat for an interview on GMA7’s Reporter’s Notebook and across a red-suited Karen Davila and talked about missing the wife who once had no time to take care of him.
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May 29, 2010 under Politics | no comment

In the court of the crimson king

When the doors open, the chatter stops, and the people rise as a body. There is silence as he strides up to the dais, grave-faced and sober-eyed. In this temple he is high priest, his is the way, the truth, and the light. He does not understand, however, that they do not rise only because he is Reynato Puno, champion of human rights, hero of the press, the anointed son of Holy Mother Church. They stand because of the dark robe that falls in heavy folds to his feet, because of the gavel he carries, because of the soaring ceilings, because of the compulsion of decades of other men and women rising to the idea of a judge, the man of unimpeachable character who has risen above all men to preside as the Chief Justice.
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Aug 16, 2009 under Elections, General, Politics | 2 comments

The warrant for Cheche Lazaro

Branch 47 of the Pasay City Metropolitan Trial Court is on the second floor of the Hall of Justice, a short walk from the Municipal Office. Outside its door is a torn paper sign, gone brittle with age, the branch number printed with graying ink. Inside, at half-past noon on a Friday, there is an air of expectation. The floors are white and spotless; untidy piles of paper are being marshaled into order, and a little girl in purple is having her hair brushed by a doting mama. Is she here, they ask, is she coming?
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May 10, 2009 under General | no comment

Welcome to bedlam

Chief Justice Reynato Puno believes that there is a need for a “moral force” in the country. He believes himself to be a catalyst, and is calling on “moral leaders” who can be found in “all cross sections of society” to form “a broad coalition” and act as “watchdogs for morality.”

“They will be our moral stewards; they will always remind us that every moral decision has its cost so that we can translate all these standards of morality, or our principles, into definitive actions.” All that is necessary, he says, “is for this moral force to be more manifest, more visible, to be more active in playing its role as the moral ballast against misfeasance and malfeasance in both public and private sectors.”
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Jan 18, 2009 under General | no comment


It rained Tuesday. It was the sort of day that had vendors standing underneath the pink-and-blue overpasses, selling thin P100-apiece umbrellas to soaking pedestrians. On that day, Court of Appeals Justice Vicente Roxas was found “dishonest and untruthful” and was removed from his post because of his “undue interest” in the Meralco case against the Government Service Insurance System. On that day, Sept. 9, two congressmen were convicted of corruption, 21 were killed in a landslide in Compostela Valley, four Caloocan houses were ravaged by flood, and the website Star-mo-meter chose Angel Locsin as the most beautiful Filipina over her dimpled, hip-slinging rival in GMA7.
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Sep 14, 2008 under Politics | no comment