CHICAGO (jGLi)  -- Former President Bill Clinton cleverly employed the parsing of the English language in hiding his infidelities as the United States Senate acquitted him during the trial in the Monica Lewinsky Scandal after the U.S. House of Representatives impeached him on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in 1998.

When he was asked by a grand jury about why he was not lying when he said to his top aides that with respect to Monica Lewinsky, Mr. Clinton said, "there's nothing going on between us."

And this was how Clinton elaborated:

"It depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is. If the -- if "is" means is and never has been, that is not -- that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement. … Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true."

This Orwellian thought process was injected by the elusive Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson in boring a hole into the testimony of his former subordinate Philippine Police Superintendent Cezar O. Mancao II when Lacson said that Mancao misspoke in quoting him as saying, "Ipagsabay mo na at tingnan natin kung sino ang mauuna," in instructing former Philippine Police Senior Superintendent Michael Ray B. Aquino to kill Salvador "Bubby Dacer and former Col. Reynaldo Berroya.

In telling a press conference on the morning of Monday, March 28, (Sunday night Chicago time) two days after he emerged from 13 months of hiding, Lacson said as a native Southern Tagalog speaker from Cavite, it would have been more credible if Mancao said, "Pagsabayin mo na" because that will naturally come out as a force of habit from his mother tongue.

I don't know if Mr. Mancao should be faulted for being imprecise in quoting his former boss when Mancao applied his Visayan, Ilongo and Cebuano languages for his Tagalog word.




But as a Bicolano, who lived in Metro Manila for almost the same number of years as when I was in Sorsogon, I do not see any difference between Lacson’s cherry-picked word "Ipagsabay" for "Pagsabayin." Perhaps, the court, which will try Lacson in the double-murder of Dacer and Dacer's driver, Emmanuel Corbito, would be needing linguistic experts in Tagalog or Visayans to find out if the misspoken word carry the same meaning with "pagsabayin." I believe, Mancao's version would be sustained by the court. After all, didn't Shakespeare said, "a rose by any other name is still a rose for as long as it smells as sweet?"

During the assassination of Philippine Sen. Benigno Aquino, Jr., some in the background were heard screaming "pusila," "pusila," which are Cebuano terms for "shoot him, shoot him." Actually, the term originated from the Spanish for revolver or gun, which is "fusil." Only after Aquino was cut down did Tagalog speakers learn what those strange Visayan words meant. And nobody from some of the commissions that investigated the murder of Aquino protested nor questioned the use of “pusila,” “pusila” because the meaning was crystal clear.

As to accusation of Senator Lacson that DOJ's Hazel Valdez suborned perjury by preparing the affidavit of Mancao in Florida, record shows that Mancao signed the affidavit in the presence of Mancao's legal counsel Bernado Lopez. Lopez waived Mancao's right to question Valdez' preparation of affidavit when he allowed Mancao to sign it before Florida's Philippine Honorary Consul Angel S. Macatangay, M.D., on Feb. 13, 2009.

As for the motion for review of the Philippine Court of Appeals decision finding for the invalidation of his warrant of arrest filed by the Philippine Department of Justice and the Dacer-Corbito lawyers, the Philippine Supreme Court would have to depart from cases in the U.S., which limit the finding of probable cause, not the merits of the case, in issuing an arrest warrant.




But even if the Philippine Supreme Court affirms the decision of the Philippine Court of Appeals in throwing out Lacson's arrest warrant, which I doubt, the DOJ can always start its reinvestigation from scratch. This may buy Lacson time for the preparation of his defense. But it could also prolong Lacson's agony.

But all the DOJ has to do is to retrieve the affidavits docketed in court. One of those affidavits was executed by Alex B. Diloy, a farmer from Bunalejos, Indang, Cavite, who said he was just a few steps away when Digo de Pedro, a civilian also of Bunalejos, strangled the blindfolded man in white (Dacer) while the blindfolded smaller man (Corbito) was strangled by William Lopez, a barangay kagawad(barrio councilman) of Bunalejos 1 (east). The strangulations were witnessed by SP03 Mauro Torres of the PAOCTF.   

Torres got gasoline and pored it on the pile of woods on top of which were the bodies of Dacer and Corbito. The pile was set on fire despite the drizzle night starting at 8 p.m., incinerating Dacer’s and Corbito’s bodies for about two hours on Nov. 24, 2000 near a creek (ilat) in Bunalejos.

In his affidavit, SPO4 Marino Soberano of the PAOCTF-Visaya under P/Supt. Teofilo Vina said he was called by SPO3 Jose Escalante of the PAOCTF-Luzon to go to Dasmarinas, Cavite on Nov. 24, 2000. There, he saw P/Supt. Glenn G. Dumlao, C/Insp. Vicente “Boy” Arnado, SPO4 Roy Taulava, P/Insp. Roberto “Bobby” Langcauon, SP02 Allan Cadenilla Villanueva, SPO1 Mario Sarmiento, SPO1 William Reed, SPO3 Rolando Lacansadile, SPO3 Jose Escalante and two others unknown to him.

Arnado told Soberano they had arrested two leaders of kidnapping with ransom and carnapping.

Langcauon appeased Soberano, saying the two people they arrested were "notorious and walang hiya(shameless)." Arnado added "dapat patayin at gawing polbos dahil ang mga iyan ay walang hiya." (They should be killed and pulverized because they are shameless). Soberano said he hesitated because he was about to retire from the police service.

Soberano said those who proceeded to Bunalejos were Soberano, himself, Taulava, Sarmiento Escalante and a civilian Crisostomo Purificacion.

Out of 22 policemen and officers and civilians name in the information, some of those who cooperated in the investigation gave sworn statements. They had also been accepted under the DOJ's Witness Protection Program.

Since testimonies have been perpetuated, the double-murder case should easily go up to the chain of command. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

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