Police: Mother describes beating of 2-year-old, hiding her body

November 27, 2007

artgrace1fam.jpg

Police believe 2-year-old Riley Ann Sawyers is “Baby Grace.”

(CNN) — Before dying, 2-year-old Riley Ann Sawyers was beaten with belts, picked up by her hair, thrown across the room and held under water, according to an affidavit from the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office.

The affidavit says the girl’s mother, Kimberly Dawn Trenor, described to police how her daughter died and was put in a plastic storage box that Trenor and her husband, Royce Zeigler, later dumped into a Galveston waterway.

Trenor told police Zeigler tried to commit suicide the weekend before Thanksgiving, and wrote a note that said, “My wife is innocent of the sins that I committed.”

The body of the then-unidentified toddler was found on October 29. A fisherman found Riley’s body stuffed inside a blue storage container that washed up on an uninhabited island in Galveston‘s West Bay.

A medical examiner said the child’s skull was fractured, and a forensic dentist estimated her age at 2 to 3 years.

Police dubbed the child “Baby Grace.” A police artist’s sketch of her was widely circulated in the news media and prompted a call to Galveston police from Riley’s grandmother in Ohio, who had not seen the girl in months.

On Saturday, police arrested Trenor and Zeigler on charges of injuring a child and tampering with physical evidence, the sheriff’s department said. Their bonds were set at $350,000 each.

The affidavit, obtained by CNN, says when police interviewed Trenor on November 23, she “gave a voluntary statement on video with her attorney present in which she describes her involvement, with Royce Zeigler, in the physical abuse, death and disposal of the remains of her daughter, Riley Ann Sawyers.”

Trenor’s statement said on July 24, she and Zeigler both beat the child with leather belts and held her head under water in the bathtub. She said Zeigler picked the girl up by her hair and also threw her across the room, slamming her head into the tile floor.

After her daughter died, Trenor’s statement said, she and Zeigler went to a Wal-Mart that night and bought the Sterilite container, a shovel, concrete mix, and other supplies.

The statement said the box containing the child’s body was hidden in a storage shed for “one to two months.” Then, Trenor said, she and Zeigler carried it to the Galveston Causeway and tossed it in, and she saw it drifting away.

Riley Ann’s father, Robert Sawyers, on Monday tearfully remembered her as a “fun-loving girl … with a big imagination.”

Riley was “very active, very hyper, but also very well-behaved,” Sawyers told reporters in Mentor, Ohio.

She would play “with a water hose … spraying the whole patio soaking wet until she was done with it,” he said, as he sat behind two photographs of his daughter, a toddler with wispy blond curls.

Robert Sawyers’ mother, Sheryl Sawyers, said the family was “devastated” to learn that police believe Riley is dead.

“It’s hard to think that I’ll never see her again,” she said, clutching a red Elmo doll she had planned to give Riley for Christmas.

Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo of the Galveston County Sheriff’s Department said Monday that authorities are “fairly confident” that the toddler whose body was found on October 29 is Riley Ann Sawyers.

DNA analysis is still in progress to confirm the identification. The results will be available in two to three weeks, Tuttoilmondo said.

Tuttoilmondo said Riley is originally from Mentor, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb, and that “she and her mother came down to Texas earlier this year.”

The toddler was last seen in Texas “three or four months ago,” Tuttoilmondo said, although he did not know by whom.

Tuttoilmondo said police did investigate whether Child Protective Services had taken Riley away, something the mother had reportedly alleged. Of that report, Tuttoilmondo said, “What we believe is that is not what happened.”

The affidavit said Trenor admitted that after the body was found, Zeigler had her type up a fake letter from the Ohio Department of Children’s Services saying that Riley was to be taken away.

Trenor left Ohio in late May, after filing an allegation of domestic violence against Robert Sawyers and reaching a joint voluntary agreement that gave her custody of Riley and gave Robert Sawyers visitation rights, the Sawyers’ family lawyer said Monday.

“She disappeared,” Laura DePledge said Monday at the Ohio news conference with the Sawyers.

Sheryl Sawyers said Monday that she saw widely distributed police sketches of “Baby Grace” and contacted Galveston police in November. The girl in the police sketches strongly resembles photos of Riley.

“No, I never did think it would end up like this,” Sheryl Sawyers said Monday, eyes welling. “I guess knowing is better than not knowing.”

The girl’s family in Ohio has been “very helpful” in this case, Tuttoilmondo said, adding that the FBI and a Galveston County police officer visited the family in Ohio on Sunday.

DePledge said Riley was the product of a “teenage pregnancy.” Trenor and Robert Sawyers were together for two years as a result of the pregnancy, DePledge said, during which time they lived with Sheryl Sawyers.

DePledge said Monday that the family, whose grief she described as “simply overwhelming,” wants Riley’s body returned to Ohio for a memorial service. “What Riley needs is to be brought home,” she said. “I think this family needs some closure.”

Tuttoilmondo asked anyone who knew the child or her family to help detectives reconstruct the events of Riley’s short life.

The toddler’s case has touched even hardened police officers, he said. “Any way you look at it, we carry a piece of her with us, and we’ll always carry a little piece of her with us,” he said Monday.

He held up a small, pink-and-white shoe identical to those the child was wearing when she was found. “That says it all. A little-bitty shoe.”

From:Ralph John C.Penaranda

Address:Block C2-A,Lot 18,

Brgy.Nicolasa Virata,

Gen.Mariano Alvarez,Cavite,Philippines

Police: Mother describes beating of 2-year-old, hiding her body

November 27, 2007

artgrace1fam.jpg

Police believe 2-year-old Riley Ann Sawyers is “Baby Grace.”

(CNN) — Before dying, 2-year-old Riley Ann Sawyers was beaten with belts, picked up by her hair, thrown across the room and held under water, according to an affidavit from the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office.

The affidavit says the girl’s mother, Kimberly Dawn Trenor, described to police how her daughter died and was put in a plastic storage box that Trenor and her husband, Royce Zeigler, later dumped into a Galveston waterway.

Trenor told police Zeigler tried to commit suicide the weekend before Thanksgiving, and wrote a note that said, “My wife is innocent of the sins that I committed.”

The body of the then-unidentified toddler was found on October 29. A fisherman found Riley’s body stuffed inside a blue storage container that washed up on an uninhabited island in Galveston‘s West Bay.

A medical examiner said the child’s skull was fractured, and a forensic dentist estimated her age at 2 to 3 years.

Police dubbed the child “Baby Grace.” A police artist’s sketch of her was widely circulated in the news media and prompted a call to Galveston police from Riley’s grandmother in Ohio, who had not seen the girl in months.

On Saturday, police arrested Trenor and Zeigler on charges of injuring a child and tampering with physical evidence, the sheriff’s department said. Their bonds were set at $350,000 each.

The affidavit, obtained by CNN, says when police interviewed Trenor on November 23, she “gave a voluntary statement on video with her attorney present in which she describes her involvement, with Royce Zeigler, in the physical abuse, death and disposal of the remains of her daughter, Riley Ann Sawyers.”

Trenor’s statement said on July 24, she and Zeigler both beat the child with leather belts and held her head under water in the bathtub. She said Zeigler picked the girl up by her hair and also threw her across the room, slamming her head into the tile floor.

After her daughter died, Trenor’s statement said, she and Zeigler went to a Wal-Mart that night and bought the Sterilite container, a shovel, concrete mix, and other supplies.

The statement said the box containing the child’s body was hidden in a storage shed for “one to two months.” Then, Trenor said, she and Zeigler carried it to the Galveston Causeway and tossed it in, and she saw it drifting away.

Riley Ann’s father, Robert Sawyers, on Monday tearfully remembered her as a “fun-loving girl … with a big imagination.

Riley was “very active, very hyper, but also very well-behaved,” Sawyers told reporters in Mentor, Ohio.

She would play “with a water hose … spraying the whole patio soaking wet until she was done with it,” he said, as he sat behind two photographs of his daughter, a toddler with wispy blond curls.

Robert Sawyers’ mother, Sheryl Sawyers, said the family was “devastated” to learn that police believe Riley is dead.

“It’s hard to think that I’ll never see her again,” she said, clutching a red Elmo doll she had planned to give Riley for Christmas.

Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo of the Galveston County Sheriff’s Department said Monday that authorities are “fairly confident” that the toddler whose body was found on October 29 is Riley Ann Sawyers.

DNA analysis is still in progress to confirm the identification. The results will be available in two to three weeks, Tuttoilmondo said.

Tuttoilmondo said Riley is originally from Mentor, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb, and that “she and her mother came down to Texas earlier this year.”

The toddler was last seen in Texas “three or four months ago,” Tuttoilmondo said, although he did not know by whom.

Tuttoilmondo said police did investigate whether Child Protective Services had taken Riley away, something the mother had reportedly alleged. Of that report, Tuttoilmondo said, “What we believe is that is not what happened.”

The affidavit said Trenor admitted that after the body was found, Zeigler had her type up a fake letter from the Ohio Department of Children’s Services saying that Riley was to be taken away.

Trenor left Ohio in late May, after filing an allegation of domestic violence against Robert Sawyers and reaching a joint voluntary agreement that gave her custody of Riley and gave Robert Sawyers visitation rights, the Sawyers’ family lawyer said Monday.

“She disappeared,” Laura DePledge said Monday at the Ohio news conference with the Sawyers.

Sheryl Sawyers said Monday that she saw widely distributed police sketches of “Baby Grace” and contacted Galveston police in November. The girl in the police sketches strongly resembles photos of Riley.

“No, I never did think it would end up like this,” Sheryl Sawyers said Monday, eyes welling. “I guess knowing is better than not knowing.”

The girl’s family in Ohio has been “very helpful” in this case, Tuttoilmondo said, adding that the FBI and a Galveston County police officer visited the family in Ohio on Sunday.

DePledge said Riley was the product of a “teenage pregnancy.” Trenor and Robert Sawyers were together for two years as a result of the pregnancy, DePledge said, during which time they lived with Sheryl Sawyers.

DePledge said Monday that the family, whose grief she described as “simply overwhelming,” wants Riley’s body returned to Ohio for a memorial service. “What Riley needs is to be brought home,” she said. “I think this family needs some closure.”

Tuttoilmondo asked anyone who knew the child or her family to help detectives reconstruct the events of Riley’s short life.

The toddler’s case has touched even hardened police officers, he said. “Any way you look at it, we carry a piece of her with us, and we’ll always carry a little piece of her with us,” he said Monday.

He held up a small, pink-and-white shoe identical to those the child was wearing when she was found. “That says it all. A little-bitty shoe.”

From:Ralph John C.Penaranda

Address:Block C2-A,Lot 18,

Brgy.Nicolasa Virata,

Gen.Mariano Alvarez,Cavite,Philippines

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November 26, 2007

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Christmas in the Philippines

November 24, 2007

images1.jpgThe Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country, has earned the distinction of celebrating the world’s longest Christmas season. Christmas carols are heard as early as September and it is only after Epiphany that the Christmas decorations are removed.

Misa de Gallo (Dec. 16-24)

Traditionally, Christmas Day in the Philippines is ushered in by the nine-day dawn masses that start on December 16. Known as the Misa de Gallo (Rooster’s Mass) in the traditional Spanish, and these masses are also more popularly known in Filipino as Simbang Gabi, or “Night Mass”. The Simbang Gabi is the most important Filipino Christmas tradition.

These nine dawn Masses are also considered as a Novena by the Catholic and Aglipayan faithfuls. This refers to the Roman Catholic and Aglipayan practice of performing nine days of private or public devotion to obtain special graces.

In some parishes, the Simbang gabi begins as early as four in the morning. Going to mass this early for nine consecutive days is meant to show the churchgoer’s devotion to his faith and heighten anticipation for the Nativity of the Lord. In traditional Filipino belief, however, completing the novena is also supposed to mean that God would grant the devotee’s special wish or favor.

After hearing Mass, Filipino families partake of traditional Philippine Christmas delicacies, either during breakfast at home or immediately outside the church, where they are sold. Vendors offer a wealth of native delicacies, including bibingka (rice flour and egg based cake, cooked using coals on top and under), puto bumbong (a purple sticky rice delicacy which is steamed in bamboo tubes, with brown sugar and coconut shavings as condiments), salabat (hot ginger tea) and tsokolate (thick Spanish cocoa).

Christmas Eve

For Filipinos, Christmas Eve on December 24 is the much-anticipated Noche Buena — the traditional Christmas Eve feast after the midnight mass. Family members dine together around 12 midnight on traditional Noche Buena fare, which includes: queso de bola (Span. literally “ball of cheese”; edam cheese), “Tsokolate” (hot chocolate drink) and hamon (Christmas ham), and some would open presents at this time.

In different provinces and schools throughout the Philippines, Catholic devotees also reenact the journey of Joseph and the pregnant Blessed Virgin Mary in search of lodging for the soon-to-be born Jesus Christ. This is the traditional Panunuluyan, also called Pananawagan and Pananapatan.

This street pageant is performed after dark on Christmas Eve, with the actors portraying Joseph and Mary going to pre-designated houses. They chant wika wika bang bang, a traditional folksong that is meant to wake up the owner of the house as the actors ask for lodging. But the couple (actors) are turned away by the owners, also through a song. Finally, Joseph and Mary make their way to the parish church where a simulated manger has been set up. The birth of Jesus is celebrated at midnight with the Misa de Gallo, together with hallelujahs and Christmas carols. Everybody celebrates this tradition happily yet solemnly.

Christmas Day

Christmas Day in The Philippines is primarily a family affair. Prior to the ticking of 12 midnight on 25 December, Misa de Aguinaldo is being celebrated. It is usually attended by the whole family. Misa de Aguinaldo is the Holy Mass celebrated to signify the Birth of Jesus Christ, the Roman Catholic Church and Philippine Independent Church (Aglipayan) in the Philippines’ main means of celebrating Jesus Christ‘s birth.

Misa de Aguinaldo is also celebrated at dawn or in the morning immediately after sunrise before 10 AM, this schedule is preferred by Filipinos who choose to celebrate Christmas Eve with a night-long celebration of Noche Buena.

Preferably in the morning, Filipino families visit members of the extended family, notably the elders in order to pay their respect. This custom has been an age-old tradition in the Philippines called Pagmamano, this is done by touching one’s forehead to the elder’s hand saying Mano Po. The elder then blesses the person who paid respect. Aguinaldo or money in the form of crisp, fresh-from-the-bank bills is given after the Pagmamano, most usually to younger children.

A Christmas Lunch usually follows after the Pagmamano. The lunch is heavily dependent upon the finances of the family. Rich families tend to prepare grand and glorious feasts that consist of Jamon de Bola, Queso de Bola, Lechon and other Filipino delicacies. Some poor families choose to cook simple meals, nevertheless still special. When the family is settled after the lunch, the exchange of gifts is usually done. Godparents are expected to give gifts or Aguinaldo to their godchildren.

When nightime falls, members of the family usually take part in family talks while listening to favorite Christmas carols. Some may opt to have a glorious Christmas feast for dinner.

Niños Inocentes

Niños Inocentes is commemorated on December 28 as Holy Innocents‘ Day or Childermas in other countries. The innocents referred to are the children who were massacred by order of Herod, who was seeking the death of the newborn Messiah.

New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31)

On New Year’s Eve (“Bisperas ng Bagong taon”), Filipino families gather for the Media Noche or midnight meal – a feast that is also supposed to symbolize their hopes for a prosperous New Year. In spite of the yearly ban on firecrackers, many Filipinos in the Philippines still see these as the traditional means to greet the New Year. The loud noises and sounds of merrymaking are not only meant to celebrate the coming of the New Year but are also supposed to drive away bad spirits. Safer methods of merrymaking include banging on pots and pans and blowing on car horns. Folk beliefs also include encouraging children to jump at the stroke of midnight so that they would grow up tall, displaying circular fruit and wearing clothes with dots and other circular designs to symbolize money, eating twelve grapes at 12 midnight for good luck in the twelve months of the year, and opening windows and doors during the first day of the New Year to let in the good luck.

Three Kings (First Sunday of the year)

Christmas officially ends on the Feast of the Three Kings (Tres Reyes or Tatlong Hari in Tagalog), also known as the Feast of the Epiphany. The Feast of the Three Kings was traditionally commemorated on Jan. 6 but is now celebrated on the first Sunday after the New Year. Some children leave their shoes out, so that the Three Kings would leave behind gifts like candy or money inside. Jan. 6 is also known in other countries as Twelfth Night, and the “Twelve Days of Christmas” referred to in the Christmas carol are the twelve days between Christmas Day (December 25) and the coming of the Three Kings (January 6).

Decorations

The Filipino Christmas would not be complete without the traditional Philippine Christmas symbols and decorations. Christmas lights are strung about in festoons, as the tail of the Star of Bethlehem in Belens, in shapes like stars, Christmas trees, angels, and in a large variety of other ways, even going as far as draping the whole outside of the house in lights. Aside from Western decorations like Santa Claus, Christmas trees, tinsel, etc, the Philippines has its own ways of showing that it is the holidays.

Parol

Though not strictly a custom, every Christmas season, Filipino homes and buildings are adorned with beautiful star lanterns, called parol (Span. farol, meaning lantern or lamp-Merriam Webster Spanish- English English- Spanish Dictionary). The earliest parols were traditionally made from simple materials like bamboo sticks, Japanese rice paper (known as “papel de Hapon“) or crepe paper, and a candle or coconut oil-lamp for illumination; although the present day parol can take many different shapes and forms. The parol is also traditionally made of lacquered paper and bamboo, but others are made of cellophane, plastic, rope, capiz shell and a wide variety of materials. Making parols is a folk craft, and most Filipino kids have tried their hand at making a parol at one time or another, maybe as a school project or otherwise. The most basic parol can be easily constructed with just ten bamboo sticks, paper, and glue. These lanterns represent the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Magi, also known as the Three Wise Men or Three Kings (Tatlong Hari in Tagalog). Parols are to Filipinos as Christmas trees are to Westerners- an iconic and beloved symbol of the holiday.

Belen

Another traditional Filipino Christmas symbol is the belen — a creche or tableau representing the Nativity scene. It depicts the infant Jesus Christ in the manger, surrounded by the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, the shepherds, their flock, the Magi and some stable animals and angels. Belens can be seen in homes, churches, schools and even office buildings. The ones on office buildings can be extravagant, using different materials for the figures and using Christmas lights, parols, and painted background scenery. A notable outdoor belen in Metro Manila is the one that used to be at the COD building in Cubao, Quezon City. In 2003, the belen was transferred to the Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan when the COD building closed down. This belen is a lights and sounds presentation, the story being narrated over speakers set up and most probably using automatons to make the figures move up and down, or turn, etc. Each year, the company owning it changes the theme, with variations such as a fairground story, and Santa Claus‘ journey. Construction for this year’s show started around September 1.

Caroling

In the Philippines, children also celebrate Christmas with the traditional Christmas caroling –going from house to house singing Christmas carols. Makeshift instruments include tambourines made with tansans (aluminum bottle caps) strung on a piece of wire. With the traditional chant of “Namamasko po!“, these carolers wait expectantly for the owner of the house to reward them with coins. After being rewarded, the carolers thank the owner by singing “Thank you, thank you, ang babait ninyo (you are so kind), thank you!”

An example of a carol sung is “Sa may bahay ang aming bati” (from Jim Ayson’s Maligayang Pasko! Home Page):

Sa may báhay ang áming báti:
“Merry Christmas na maluwalháti!”
Ang pag-íbig, pag siyàng naghári,
Aràw-áraw ay mágiging Paskó lagí!
Chorus:
Ang sanhí po ng pagparíto,
Hihingî po ng áginaldo.
Kung sakáli’t kami’y perhuwísyo
Pasensya na kayó’t kamí’y namámasko!
Ulítin lahàt

Translation:

At the house we greet:
“A Glorious Merry Christmas!”
If Love were to reign,
then everyday would be Christmas!
Chorus:
The reason we came here
is to ask for gifts.
If it so happens we are a bother,
Be patient since we’re soliciting for Christmas!
Repeat all
 

From:Ralph John C.Penaranda

Address:Block C2-A,Lot 18,

Brgy.Nicolasa Virata,

Gen.Mariano Alvarez,Cavite,Philippinesralph027-486thumbnail1.jpg

BMX extreme sport fav by young Filipinos

November 24, 2007

I know this is a bit late but I noticed a bunch of photos on my hard disk showing young Filipino kids riding their BMX bikes and bicycles up in the air, ho, hum.. it came slowly but the memory of a sports and music event I went to last March finally surfaced. Indeed, I was in Alabang to witness and participate in an extreme sport event showcasing pro (and amateur) BMX riders in the Philippines.

fgfgfgfgfgfg1.jpg It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s a Pinoy BMX bicycle rider float in the air at Alabang, Philippines

The BMX event was organized by Urge Media Group – a sports and outdoors focused bunch of folks. Dubbed as Urge Asian BMX Pro Jam, the event was billed to feature Asia’s Pro BMX Stunt talents from the Philippines led by Southeast Asia’s No. 1 BMX Stunt Pro Rider from the Philippines, Armand Young Mariano, who will be side by side doing daredevil stunts and technical tricks along side with his Malaysian counterparts. Hmm, but I really don’t recall those guys being called out and doing their stunts? Oh I remember, it RAINED and POURED really hard that afternoon and well into the night – that must’ve been the cause the official program was led astray. Poor Pinoy kids who rode their bicycles all the way to Alabang with the hopes of riding the RAMP and floating their BMX in the air. Well, some of them managed to do that – right before the rain poured – and right after the rain subsided. Good decision those BMX kids stuck it out – they got their adrenaline rush and extreme sports fix.

sasasasasasasass1.jpg

Philippine BMX jammer rides the air BMX Pro Jam at Westgate Alabang by URGE Media Group

The BMX sport event was held on March 3 at the Westgate, Automall Parking Area, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. There were also side events like the BMX Flatland contest and the BMX Box Jump Contest lined up, and the night rock concert featuring Urbandub, Hardboiledeggz, Kjwan and Eyescream to add on to the adrenalin rush sports party athmosphere.

From:Ralph John C.Penaranda

Address:Block C2-A,Lot 18,

Brgy.Nicolasa Virata,

Gen.Mariano Alvarez,Cavite,Philippines

November 24, 2007

I know this is a bit late but I noticed a bunch of photos on my hard disk showing young Filipino kids riding their BMX bikes and bicycles up in the air, ho, hum.. it came slowly but the memory of a sports and music event I went to last March finally surfaced. Indeed, I was in Alabang to witness and participate in an extreme sport event showcasing pro (and amateur) BMX riders in the Philippines.

fgfgfgfgfgfg.jpg

It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s a Pinoy BMX bicycle rider float in the air at Alabang, PhilippinesThe BMX event was organized by Urge Media Group – a sports and outdoors focused bunch of folks. Dubbed as Urge Asian BMX Pro Jam, the event was billed to feature Asia’s Pro BMX Stunt talents from the Philippines led by Southeast Asia’s No. 1 BMX Stunt Pro Rider from the Philippines, Armand Young Mariano, who will be side by side doing daredevil stunts and technical tricks along side with his Malaysian counterparts. Hmm, but I really don’t recall those guys being called out and doing their stunts? Oh I remember, it RAINED and POURED really hard that afternoon and well into the night – that must’ve been the cause the official program was led astray. Poor Pinoy kids who rode their bicycles all the way to Alabang with the hopes of riding the RAMP and floating their BMX in the air. Well, some of them managed to do that – right before the rain poured – and right after the rain subsided. Good decision those BMX kids stuck it out – they got their adrenaline rush and extreme sports fix.

sasasasasasasass.jpg

Philippine BMX jammer rides the air BMX Pro Jam at Westgate Alabang by URGE Media GroupThe BMX sport event was held on March 3 at the Westgate, Automall Parking Area, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. There were also side events like the BMX Flatland contest and the BMX Box Jump Contest lined up, and the night rock concert featuring Urbandub, Hardboiledeggz, Kjwan and Eyescream to add on to the adrenalin rush sports party athmosphere.

ralph027-486thumbnail1.jpg

From:Ralph John C.Penaranda

Address:Block C2-A,Lot 18,

Brgy.Nicolasa Virata,

Gen.Mariano Alvarez,Cavite,Philippines

Manny Pacquiao

November 24, 2007

200px-pacquiao.jpg

Manny Pacquiao

Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao, (born December 17, 1978 in Kibawe, Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines) is a Filipino professional boxer and reigning WBC International Super Featherweight champion. He is a former world champion at IBF Super Bantamweight, and WBC Flyweight divisions. Pacquiao has a record of 45 wins, 3 losses, and 2 draws, with 35 wins coming by way of knockout.[citation needed] His brother, Bobby Pacquiao is also a Super Featherweight boxer.

Pacquiao ran for a congressional seat to represent the 1st district of South Cotabato, but he was defeated by Darlene Antonino-Custodio. Custodio had 139,061 votes while Pacquiao received 75,908 votes.[2]

In September 2007, he signed up with GMA Network as an artist.

On November 13, 2007 he was honored by the WBC as Champ Emeritus during its 45th Annual World Convention held at the Manila Hotel.[3]

From:Ralph John C.Penaranda

Address:Block C2-A,Lot 18,

Brgy.Nicolasa Virata,

Gen.Mariano Alvarez,Cavite,Philippines

Suspect in Batasan attack worked at NAIA

November 23, 2007

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — A CAPTURED suspect in the Batasan Pambansa bombing used to work at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Centennial Terminal 2 in Pasay City, giving rise to speculations the Abu Sayyaf Group has been recruiting insiders that could help them carry out their planned terror attacks.

During interrogation, Adham Kusain, 21, confessed he worked as a building attendant at the NAIA Centennial Terminal after he arrived in Manila in March 2005 from Tipo-Tipo, Basilan. Kusain also confessed that before the raid, he learned from the slain suspects they were behind the bombing at the Batasan.

He said that he used to stay at no. 52 Almaciga Street, Northview I, Filinvest Batasan Quezon City owned by former Basilan congressman Gerry Salapuddin who he said is a close friend of his father Ahmad.

Kusain said it was Salapuddin who sent him to a computer science school before recommending him for a job at the NAIA Centennial Terminal 2.

Kusain said he went to the suspected Abu Sayaf hideout in Violago Homes Park Woods, Barangay Payatas B, Q.C. last Nov. 14 after one of the three slain suspects identified as Redwan Indama sent him a text message the day before asking him to get the payment for his Honda XRM with plate no. IE-2549, the same motorcycle used to bomb the south wing of the House of Representatives killing Basilan Rep. Wahab Akbar and three others and wounding 12 more.

The suspect said he allowed Indama to get his motorcycle without paying for it since he knew him personally. He said Indama was with a companion named Bong when he (Indama) took the motorcycle from him promising to pay him P50,000 or give him another brand-new motorcycle.

Kusain confirmed police claims that he, Ikram Indama and Kaidar Aunal were surprised by heavily-armed police officers and quickly whisked away from the house in Bgy. Payatas. That was followed by bursts of gunfire, he said.

He even claimed he heard one officer shouting, “May tama ako (I’m been shot),” before successive shots rang out from the 2nd floor of the house.

From:Ralph John C.Penaranda

Address:Block C2-A,Lot 18,

Brgy.Nicolasa Virata,

Gen.Mariano Alvarez,Cavite,Philippines

ralph027-486.jpg

Political suicide

November 23, 2007

MANILA, Philippines – In the last three days, the Inquirer has sought to put last week’s pardon of convicted plunderer Joseph Estrada in perspective, to explain why—even though we, like many others, saw it coming—it still came as an enormous outrage, a terrible disservice to the country and a travesty of justice.

On Friday, we criticized his lawyers’ appeal to President Macapagal-Arroyo, taking them to task for the intellectual dishonesty and rank condescension of their letter. On Saturday, we struggled with each of the three reasons the President gave for granting her predecessor executive clemency, and found them sorely wanting, trivial even. And yesterday we picked up a theme raised earlier and condemned this obscene pairing of political bedfellows; now, to repeat a phrase making the rounds, it is the People of the Philippines vs Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

One more thing needs to be said, one more attempt at perspective-setting needs to be made: On the strictly tactical level, will the President’s craven bid to ensure her continuing political survival work?

On the strictly tactical level, the pardon doesn’t exactly make sense. At best, it is an unnecessary risk-taking, with make-or-break consequences; at worst, it dooms the political rehabilitation, not of a disgraced former president, but an unpopular incumbent.

The notion (proposed last week by a veteran political analyst, and seconded by a few others) that Estrada could run again, and that his pardon was in exchange for protecting Ms Arroyo should he win again, is not only an absurd fantasy; it is also a legal impossibility. The Constitution bars him from running for Malacañang, the seat of government he abandoned on Jan. 20, 2001, ever again; if he files, he will be disqualified by the Commission on Elections, whoever the new commissioners will be. If he is not disqualified, a suit before the Supreme Court will settle the matter with alacrity. On this point the Constitution is unambiguous; even politicians will understand it.

To be sure, this notion conflicts with the third reason the President gave for granting Estrada executive clemency, but the conflict is of no moment. Estrada can legally run for political office other than the presidency; the only thing holding him back would be that promise not to run again and, as he told an adoring crowd gathered in the City of San Juan, engage in “dirty politics.” But Ms Arroyo herself infamously made a similar commitment, and on Rizal Day yet. What makes her think Estrada will honor his own promise?

The idea that the pardon will usher in a new era of reconciliation, and that Estrada’s supporters will eventually warm to Ms Arroyo, underestimates the depth of the political divide. The same adoring crowd in San Juan and the third of the electorate that conventional wisdom thinks they represent may have applauded her for releasing Estrada, but it is a stretch to imagine that they will forget, not only the former actor’s six years in jail, but the election fraud she allegedly perpetrated against another actor-politician and populist icon, the late Fernando Poe Jr.

Not least, the argument that the deep dismay of the Edsa II forces caused by the pardon could be easily contained, its effect on protest campaigns or election turnout safely managed, is fatally flawed. The real power of the middle forces lies, not in the ability to elect a president, but in its capacity to unseat one. Turbulent as the President’s first six years in office have been, the Estrada pardon will only make her last three years even more tumultuous. She may ride it out to the end of her term, but she will find that her act of executive clemency has limited rather than widened her options for choosing the terms of her exit.

Like many others in society interested in making the country’s democratic project succeed, we have never ruled out the possibility of pardon per se. Like many others, we have always believed that support for any grant of clemency was conditional: It was a question of the timing being right, and nonnegotiable conditions (such as admission and repentance) being met. President Arroyo, however, granted Estrada pardon to meet personal and political ends. That she won’t meet them is ironic; that she politicized the administration of justice is, alas for all of us, tragic.

From:Ralph John C.Penaranda

Address:Block C2-A,Lot 18,

Brgy.Nicolasa Virata,

Gen.Mariano Alvarez,Cavite,Philippinesralph027-485.jpg

Palace not bothering with ‘political noise’

November 23, 2007

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Malacañang Palace

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday said those behind fresh attempts to impeach President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should just wait until her term ends in 2010.

“There is no sense being preoccupied with every political noise created by those who can’t wait until 2010,” Arroyo’s spokesman Ignacio Bunye said.

The House justice committee decided that the complaint filed by lawyer Roel Pulido is sufficient in form.

But it has yet to decide if it is sufficient in substance.

The committee also rejected a supplemental complaint filed by United Opposition spokesman Roel Pulido, citing a violation of the rules.

Bunye said Arroyo is “forging ahead with the business of the people” and is not distracted by moves to oust her.

“There are those who need to be healed, jobs to create, more classrooms, roads and bridges to build,” he said, adding that all the administration’s attention is focused on these concerns.
From:Ralph John C.Penaranda

Address:Block C2-A,Lot 18,

Brgy.Nicolasa Virata,

Gen.Mariano Alvarez,Cavite,Philippines

ralph027-484.jpg


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