Mass murders, surprise burial, and other things that were normalized in 2016 (last part)
THE year 2016 is now being collectively regarded by many as the “worst year ever” due to its series of tragedies that shook the global status quo.
Brexit, Donald Trump’s election, the rise of Isis, these are just some of the things that happened in 2016 that will surely redefine the years to follow.
De Lima challenges presidential immunity After filing a resolution opening the investigation against the spate of summary killings in the country unleashed by the President’s declaration of an all out war against drugs, De Lima’s name has never left the limelight.
The probe against Duterte and his alleged involvement in the extrajudicial killings in the country however did not flourish after some Senators refused to back De Lima up and continue the probe she initiated.
De Lima, the undaunted and staunchest critic of Duterte, is now the subject of the probe being conducted by the Department of Justice on the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison.
In the House hearing on drug proliferation in the state penitentiary, high-profile inmates accused the then-Justice Secretary of receiving monthly payola from drug lords for her senatorial bid.
All these accusations, however, were denied by the Senator.
Challenging the president’s immunity from suit, she eventually filed a writ of hebeas data with the SC seeking to stop the President and his alleged cohorts from obtaining private information about her life and committing unlawful acts that violated her right to privacy, liberty and security.
Robredo trumps Marcos Leni Robredo, the Liberal Party bet, defeated Bongbong Marcos by only 263,473 votes. Her victory is considered as the shock of the May polls since his rival Marcos was a consistent top placer in pre-election surveys.
Claiming that Robredo’s victory was marred by “massive electoral fraud, anomalies and irregularities,” Marcos thereafter filed at the SC, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), a poll protest seeking to set aside the oath taking of Robredo and declare him the country’s Vice President.
Acting on the petition of Marcos, the High Court on July 12 issued a Precautionary Protection Order (PPO) directing the Commission on Elections to preserve the integrity and safety of all the ballots and election returns used during the May 9 polls.
Pending the investigation and the finality of the Court’s decision, Robredo will remain as Vice President of the country.
SC Acquits Arroyo On July 19, the SC has ordered the release of former President and now Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from detention.
After 4 years of hospital arrest, Arroyo walked free after the SC granted her petition for demurer to evidence and dismissed the plunder cases filed against her in connection with her alleged involvement in the release of the confidential and intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office from 2008 to 2010 when she was President.
A demurrer challenges the sufficiency of evidence presented by the prosecution to sustain a verdict.
The grant of Arroyo’s petition means that all the evidence the prosecution filed against her were not enough to prove her guilt.
Months after her release from the Veterans Memorial Medical Clinic, Duterte appointed her as House Deputy Speaker.
Ex-Dictator Marcos’stealth burial Almost three decades after his death, former dictator and late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in Taguig City.
On early morning of November 18, Marcos’remains were secretly airlifted from his family’s mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Norte to LNMB.
Members of the media were only informed of the news two hours before the interment. They were also barred from entering the cemetery.
The Marcos family requested a “simple and lowkey burial” for the former president. He was given a 21-gun salute while the interment was witnessed by his wife, Representative Imelda Marcos, his three children, grandchildren and close friends.
The much-contested interment at LNMB came after Duterte made true to his campaign promise to bury the late president to the heroes’cemetery.
Last August 7, Duterte gave his go signal to process Marcos’burial explaining that the latter should be afforded a resting place at LNMB as he was an ex-president and served in the military.
A total of six petitions were filed at the SC challenging the executive department’s decision to allow Marcos’interment. It argued that the burial is “illegal, and contrary to law, public policy, morals, and justice” as Marcos has been established by the High Court itself as “dictator”in at least 20 jurisprudence.
But on November 8, voting 9-5, the SC dismissed the petitions filed by human rights groups and victims of Martial Law. The SC said there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of Duterte when he ordered the remains of Marcos to be buried at LNMB.
Hidilyn Diaz’s Olympic silver Hidilyn Diaz made history after ending the country’s 20-year Olympic medal drought.
The 25-year-old secured the Philippines a silver medal in the women’s 53kg weightlifting competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Diaz recorded a total weight of 200kg, bagging the country’s first silverware in weightlifting.
The Zamboanga City native also became the first female athlete to win an Olympic medal for the Philippines.
Manny Pacquiao’s fake retirement In April this year, a month before the election where he was running for a senatorial seat, celebrated boxer Manny Pacquiao fought with Timothy Bradley, Jr. in Las Vegas, Nevada, the last in his decade long career, according to him. He won in the fight, both in the ring and in politics.
Pacquiao, considered as the most delinquent lawmaker during the previous congresses where sat as representative of Sarangani, said he wanted to focus on one job this time: as a Senator. But that didn’t last long. In an ESPN interview, the Senator said: “Why stop my boxing career? So, I changed my mind and decided to continue my journey...Public service is my calling but boxing is my passion. I realized this summer I was not ready to retire from the ring. I made history when I became the first congressman to win a world title and now that the good people of the Philippines have elected me to the senate, I want to make more history by becoming the first senator to win a world title,” Pacquiao said.
In September, he took a break from his job in the Philippine Senate and went back on the ring to defeat Jessie Vargas, 27 years old, ten years his junior.
In his five month short retirement from boxing, Pacquiao made a mark in the Senate by initiating the ouster of De Lima as head of Justice panel.
As early as now, Duterte has branded Pacquiao as the next President of the Philippines. It seems 2016 has been pretty good for this legendary athlete. (Sunnex)
PAT C H -U P. Maintenance crew of the DPWH-Pampanga 1st District Engineering Office take advantage of the good weather to patch up damaged portions of Jose Abad Santos Avenue in Barangay Dolores, City of San Fernando.