By Raïssa Robles
I could not help but shake my head and laugh when I heard on noontime news that the convicted murderer Rolito Go has gone missing from inside the national penitentiary compound.
Then his family told authorities that he had been kidnapped and his abductors were demanding P1 million.
It’s a neat alibi in case he’s found. Or he returns.
It would not add to his prison time that has now run for 21 years.
Rolito Go was among those who tried but were too late to obtain a presidential pardon from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for his life term. The other convicted murderer who tried but failed was Antonio Sanchez – the former Calauan, Laguna Mayor who liked to surround himself with religious statues.
♦ ♦ ♦
Another piece of news that’s hard to swallow (like a melon?) concerns Mrs Arroyo. To hear Congressman Danilo Suarez say it, she’s a very sick woman and only a trip to New York to a specialist there could save her failing health.
If you recall, Arroyo who is supposed to be in a delicate condition was able to leave the military hospital quite fast on her own two feet, shortly after posting bail last month.
And now we are told that besides a displaced titanium plate on her neck which Suarez said could cause “sudden death” (according to her doctor), she has a clogged coronary artery, a lump near her rib cage and previously, a fatty liver.
However, she is apparently healthy enough to fly overseas.
She was also healthy enough to undertake a whirlwind of activities including traveling for hours back and forth in a vehicle from Manila to Pampanga.
The only bit of good news for the Filipino taxpayer is that Mrs Arroyo’s current medical consultations are not costing them a centavo since she is out on bail.
The cases of Rolito Go and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo put a spotlight on what’s wrong with the Philippine justice system. It takes a long time for justice to be served, and even when it is served, there is no assurance that it will stay served.
♦ ♦ ♦
Arroyo’s case reminds me of the physical travails of Joseph Estrada, who remains alive to this day. But when he was in detention, he also seemed to be on the verge of death. Here’s what my journo-hubby Alan wrote about Estrada back in 2003:
Since he was thrown out of office two years ago, disgraced president Joseph Estrada has proved to be a man of many parts – most of them defective.
Just last week Estrada was trundled off to a posh private hospital outside Manila so specialists could examine the “multiple slipped discs” at his back and “torn ligaments” at his knee. Last year the ex-president had a cataract operation, and also an intraocular lens implantation in his right eye. Now his doctors say his arthritic knees require an operation to replace them with prosthetics. His son claims Estrada’s bones haven’t been getting much sunshine and have become brittle. And oh yes, his “coronary risk factors” need further evaluation of his “cardiovascular status.”
What’s noteworthy is that the ex-president, the defendant in a plunder and graft trial which could see him sentenced to death, only started suffering major medical problems once he’d been imprisoned. His doctors and supporters have had one consistent reaction to the various ailments: immediate treatment in the United States.
Prosecutors say Estrada’s medical problems are being used as a ruse to slip the prisoner out of the country and the reach of justice. The deposed president already has access to the best specialists and doctors in the Philippines. In fact he isn’t confined in prison but at a suite in a government hospital where he enjoys unheard-of privileges: Visitors, choice food, videogames and even, on one occasion, a catered party complete with pianist. It’s certainly a strange way to treat the country’s most infamous prisoner.
Yet his lawyers insist their client is suffering and desperately needs treatment abroad. They glibly swear he would NEVER dream of fleeing his trial once allowed out of the country.
I have a suggestion. Instead of having to go around to various hospitals seeking specialist treatment, and to save him the trouble of an arduous trip abroad, Estrada could just stay put in his suite and mail out the body parts that are problematic. Even his bones could be sunned in California.
And who knows? Specialists might even be able to reassemble Estrada at the other end. And then he’d be out of the country – Alan C. Robles.
To read more about Mrs Arroyo, pls click on this link.
To read more about Rolito Go, pls go to this link.
Alizarin Viridia says
This one is for CPMers and Raissa’s readers
Why P Noy can not solve much more ERADICATE the peace and order problems in the country. THERE IS SO MUCH DEVELOPED long drawn deep seated hatred in our hearts. Both rich and poor have had it, this disgust of our dirty surroundings, the arrogance of the rich, the seeming callousness and helplessness of the poor to improve their lot.
We The Filipinos living in cities are WALKING TICKING TIME BOMBS ready to explode. Ride the Metro rail, so crowded that no needle or pin can drop without piercing human skin. Look at their faces their eyes of meekness ready to burst into laughter at the mere drop of a joke hiding their daily wretched conditions trying to survive. Noynoy properly disguised should ride the Metro Rail to feel the hatred he has felt in his heart since childhood. WE NEED TO DOUBLE THE MRT TRAINS if we don’t want our METRO CITIES TO IMPLODE.
WHY OH WHY DID I WRITE THIS ?? Read below and discern why the rich will hate more our wretched poor as a backlash to the hate generated by public sympathy for Fabros.
Alizarin Viridia says
Why MMDA traffic aide took it on the chin
By Niña Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer 2:11 am | Sunday, August 19th, 2012
PAPA’S ANGELS. When MMDA traffic aide Saturnino Fabros got slapped around by a motorist, his 6 daughters gave him as many hugs. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ
All Saturnino Fabros could think of when the Volvo-driving manager of a tobacco firm came down from his car and attacked him were his young, motherless daughters.
“What if he had a gun and had shot me? No one would have been left to take care of my daughters,” the 47-year-old traffic aide for the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said in an interview.
Fabros lost his wife to pneumonia in 2010 and is the sole support of his six daughters, the youngest of whom is 7 years old and a first-grade pupil. The eldest college-age daughter had to forgo schooling because of lack of money.
Fabros was in tears as he recalled the August 11 incident—captured on video by a TV5 researcher—while he was directing traffic at the intersection of Capitol Drive and Tandang Sora Ave. in Quezon City.
The traffic aide tried to apprehend Robert Blair Carabuena, a recruitment executive of Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp., when the latter beat the red light.
After Carabuena’s green Volvo crossed the busy intersection, Fabros gave the car a tap that infuriated the motorist. He saw Carabuena and his brother get out of the car, both of them cursing and swearing at him.
Thinking of daughters
Carabuena removed Fabros’ cap and used it to strike him repeatedly. He then hit the traffic aide in the face.
Fabros said he was stunned at first, which turned to fear when Carabuena went to his vehicle. He thought the motorist was going to get a gun.
“I was just so afraid of what might happen,” he said.
Fabros said it was the first time he experienced violence from a motorist. “Usually, I would just hear curses,” he said.
Fighting back never crossed his mind, however, as he kept thinking of his children—Jusan, 18; Jennifer, 16; Jorraimay, 13; Janica, 12; Jullianne, 10; and Joanna, 7.
Public outrage was instantaneous after the video of the assault on Fabros went viral on the Internet.
But more than that, it focused attention on the wretched situation of the traffic aide who takes home a measly P2,300 every two weeks.
Fabros, known to his neighbors as Sonny, lives in a community called Lupang Pangako (Promised Land) in Quezon City. His 25-square-meter house is one of hundreds of shanties made of rusty corrugated sheets and crude hollow blocks surrounding the towering garbage mountain at the Payatas dumpsite.
Once in a while, the foul smell from the dump wafts into his home on a hilly part of Payatas. “We apologize for the smell,” said one of Fabros’ neighbors.
The house is almost bare of furniture, the only appliance being a broken karaoke. Fabros had pawned his television set and had not been able to raise the money to redeem it. The family’s clothes were piled on a table.
The only decor in the Fabros house are the framed photos of the children in their white togas hanging on one wall.
P200 for food per day
Fabros has to really stretch his tiny salary to partly pay off his debts and the P500 monthly amortization of the house. He can only allot P200 a day for food and other necessities.
“Sometimes it’s still not enough so I have had to borrow money from other people just to get by,” Fabros said. His debts from the MMDA and colleagues have already grown to P45,000.
But the traffic aide, who took on the role of both mother and father to his six children when his wife, Juliet, died in June 2010, is still thankful that he has a regular job.
Before his wife got sick, the couple would scavenge the Payatas dumpsite for empty bottles and tin cans which they would sell to junk shops. For a year, the money they got from scavenging served to augment the income from Fabros’ job.
“We did it on my rest days. But we stopped after my wife died,” he said. Fabros and his children blame the dumpsite for his wife’s fatal lung disease. Juliet was only 37 when she died, he said.
Fabros wakes up at 6 a.m. every day to get his children ready for school, laying out their clothes and preparing their breakfast. He cooks their lunch before he heads off to work.
Jusan, the eldest daughter, cooks Fabros’ dinner before he comes home from his 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. work shift.
‘It’s all right, Papa’
His children were “Papa’s girls” even when their mother was alive. “We would always go to him for baon (allowance) and whenever we need something for school,” said Jennifer.
The four younger children each receive a P10 daily allowance and walk the few blocks to Lupang Pangako Elementary School. The second eldest, a fourth-year high school student, takes a tricycle to Justice Cecilia Muñoz Palma High School on the other side of Barangay Payatas.
The children said they come home every day to find their lunch all ready. They said they watch out for each other and always go home together so their father would not have to worry about their safety.
Jennifer said Fabros is a good father who would always find a way to give them what they need, even to the extent of borrowing money from his neighbors or colleagues.
During the children’s birthdays and on other special occasions, the father cooks pinakbet or pancit.
Asked if he has gotten over his wife’s death, Fabros said: “Not yet, because raising the kids is so hard without her.”
According to Fabros, the children saw the video of his ordeal at the hands of Carabuena in a neighbor’s TV set and their reactions warmed his heart. “They came to me crying and hugging me,” he said.
“It’s all right, Papa. The people who’ve seen it will help you,” he quoted his children as saying.
Support and promotion
True enough, support from organizations, online communities and even from celebrities like comedian Arnel Ignacio kept pouring.
Ignacio has started a fund-raising campaign to give the exemplary MMDA officer a grand treat. TV host Willie Revillame has invited him to guest in his game show on TV5.
When asked what he would want to happen to Carabuena, the mild-mannered traffic aide said: “I am now leaving it to the authorities.”
The incident also earned him a commendation from his boss. But after 27 years of working for the MMDA, Fabros, a high school graduate of Fort Andres Bonifacio College Annex in Taguig City, has never been promoted.
The only thing that could be considered a promotion was when he was made a traffic enforcer after working for 7 years as a Metro aide whose task was to clean and repaint roads and structures in Metro Manila when the MMDA was called the Metro Manila Commission under the dictator Ferdinand Marcos and Metro Manila Authority under former President Corazon Aquino.
Sending girls to college
According to Yves Gonzalez of the MMDA’s traffic discipline office, Fabros, who has a clean record at the MMDA, has been recommended for promotion to traffic aide 2.
“Maybe this time, it will be for real,” said Fabros. He figures that with the prospect of an increase in his monthly salary and the help coming from a lot of people, he might be able to send all of his six children to college.
Fabros’ neighbors said of him that he had always tried to avoid violence and incurring enemies for his daughters’ sake.
“Had that Carabuena known about his situation and what a good father he is, he would not have done that to him. He should come to him and apologize,” said Dominga Resinada who lives just next door.”
If you have read this far, RICH or POOR you have just put a face to your hatred. If not, you are lucky to belong to the indifferent member of the human race.
Alizarin Viridia says
Now I have second thoughts for using the
strongest word HATRED, A better word
for the judicious and kind would be:
deep seated ANGER IN OUR HEARTS.
Alizarin Viridia says
HERE’S THE LINK TO THE MISSING FEATURE ARTICLE
Johnny lin says
Follow up #24
Makati Medical Center Official Information office issued a clarification that the announcement of Dr. Anastacio regarding his “doomsayer” announcement on the condition of GMA was SOLELY his own opinion as attending physician and does not reflect the position of the hospital.
Rightfully so, because the announcement reflected bad reputation to the hospital that it did not have the facilities and expertly trained specialists to handle the problem, which in all probability could be simple natural course of any post surgery tissue healing process.
Maybe Makati Medical Center officials are also reading Raissa blog. After we sided with PMA Dr. Olarte stand and elucidated on the shortcomings of Dr. Anastacio, the denial was issued.
Raissa, your blog is becoming the holy grail of transparency in media; hidden properties of Corona, 5x plagiarism of Sen Sotto, doomsay prediction on medical condition of GMA
He he he
:!: Powers that be has to confer with Raïssa Robles’ blog of opinion makers on matters ‘inside Philippine Politics and beyond’.
:idea: They should use her blog as their own social media outlet for policy surveys, opinion solicitations and test benchmarks on [draft] agenda formulation and public media releases of information.
Johnny lin says
Dr. Anastacio exagerrates the medical condition of GMA. He claimed tge titanium implant moved, but how did he know if he did not compared the position after surgery and after the last scan. All he showed was a displaced metal which could have been intentionally placed tgat way because they were avoiding to further damage the left parathyroids which were the cause of GMA iatrogenic hypoparathyroidism.
Dr. Anastacio claimed that the implant could press on the right carotid which could cause further blockage to her coronaries. The plate is thin and tissues are resilient and expansive.
If Dr Anastacio was meticulous in his exam he should have injected a dye to the carotid arteries to visualize and observe their relationship to the titanium plate. That is the most accurate way to measure the distance between them.
Other than that, Dr Anasatacio is ONLY guessing based on known anatomical positions of vessels and cavities involved relative to plate position. Since there were already 3 surgeries done in same area plus the healed infection, the distortion might be illusionary seconday to scar tissues around the plate, which is more likely rather than Dr Anastacio’s panic warning.
Dr. Olarte is correct to protest the recommendation of Dr. Anastacio because it was not based on specific accurate examination but on “possible consequences” which are not definitive in medicine.
Since Dr. Anastacio did not do his job well, he is trying to refrain from getting the proof that his theory could be proven wrong, thus he resorted to verbal recommendation and speculation rather than doing specific test.
Alizarin Viridia says
iT’S BEEN SO LONG SO DISGUSTINGLY LONG that some of
our so called experts and specialists are getting away with
thunder of inaccurate if not misleading pontifications as if they
are the Pope. Let them taste the saliva of truth from the minds
of CPMers like Mr. J Lin. Some of us should take off our shoes
not in salute of Mr. Lin but to throw them in the direction of modern
vander anievas says
this anastacio is a cheap duck. it is obvious he made such a pronouncement as an advance justification to further GMA’s petition sooner or later to be allowed treatment abroad. they are imprinting a scenario for the next act ala Lacson doing a copperfield escape. who believes him?
Alizarin Viridia says
teka. teka muna, bakit, papaano nasingit si Lacson? Ilapit-lapit nga
ang malayo, linawing ang medio malabo.
If this is true, why is GMA going all the way to Pampanga?
Should she not stay within driving distance from a modern hospital just in case?
Nagsasakitan ang si GMA. Yan ang pinakamahirap gamutin.
The air is fresher in the province? (travel, meet, goodbyes while she still can…)
Wide and free compared within a hospi box room of hangers on, gov’t paid nurses and doctors (except for her private medical practitioners & consultants).
Where is her husband Mike in all these public travels? Just A Thought.
dear gloria, papayag ako at makiki rally pa para ipaglaban ang pagpunta mo ng le cirque, bobby vans at waldorf astoria kung suso mo na ang tumatagas at namimiligro. at least yun, tunay na may dinadala. pero sa kabilang banda, kaya na ni vicky belo yan. ang totoo, gusto ko makita sa tv kung ano ang hitsura ng naco ‘choke’ kuno ng may neck brace at hindi makahinga kasi masikip ang bra. ang saya lang siguro.
ps. where is dra len bautista-horn? i miss her cheeky cheeks. ingat ka palagi, i am learning from you – kung ano ang latest gimmick available para manloko. malay mo naman, may luluma sa neck brace mo at wheelchair. renato corona can’t top it though, even with the crying ang hugging.
I was in the Middle East, in a friend’s house, when GMA was shown on the news in a neck brace. Both hubby and wife were nurses and both laughed at the same time when they saw GMA turning her neck while it was supported with a neck brace and making a comment to the effect that if her neck was supported and stabilized by means of a neck brace, why is she turning her neck. I wish someone could find the film footage of her in her earlier appearances wearing the neck brace. I do not recall if it was ANC or ABS CBN news but do remember their reactions and found it strange GMA did not know how to act while wearing a neck brace.
vander anievas says
gma is a known liar. her neck props are installed to exaggerate her lies and deceit. a great drama herself.
if she was sick then, why were here eyes rolled left to right, down and up. cameras were not just one or two zeroed on all her moves then. together with naughty smiles esp. afront media people.
now gma has a new doctor. dr. danilo suarezzz. he is busy around with his story-telling-a-lie of the bad that may come to gma due to so and so. so be it.
Blocked me? Great!
When it’s about Arroyo, Raissa is so quick to post something about it. But when it’s about Malacañan’s maneuverings in the IBP and JBC so DeLima will be included in the shortlist (which thankfully failed), we hear nothing about it! Hmmmmmmm……I wonder why.
Hindi lang Arroyo. I’ve written even about PNoy.
Have not had the time to write on JBC.
Neurosurgeons,radiologists and cardiologists will be able to give the recomendations.I feel there should be consultations of doctors including the St..Luke surgeons..All of a sudden she decided MMC.I have nothing against MMC.A patient should see the doctor who did the operation.The present doctors should have a discussion of the case.The Representative does not know the medical terminologies at this point to give to the media findings.
Perhaps the well-informed Johnny Lin can shed light on why MMC is the choice Institution now …. Is it because there was a “regime change” at the previous choice institution ?
Or perhaps you don’t want to go back to a hospital and doctors you’ve paid millions and millions of pesos who keeps telling you that the operation was successful and that there’s nothing wrong with you. Yet, you have a problem even just eating a melon?
Or maybe, you don’t want to go back to a hospital where you’ve been operated several times to repair and re-repair, but you still end up with a displaced titanium plate on your neck.
Johnny lin says
If you read my comments before in Raissa blog, I immediately posted that the cause of her hypoparathyroidism was iatrogenic and suggested she should look into the competence of her neurosurgeon and attending physicians.
One obvious reason is she lost her trust on her old physicians. Malpractice suit against doctors and hospital is still being debated among her family members. Her daughter Luli when she came back after delivery of baby in New York, finally convinced her to try other doctors and Makati, partly influenced too by talking directly with MMC owner, Manny Pangilinan. Both are kapampangan.
Sometimes, there are really valid reasons. Believe it or not, even thieves and criminals can have valid reasons. It may be hard to swallow (pun intended), but it doesn’t change it’s validity.
PAALALA LANG PO SA ATING LAHAT. BAKA LANG PO NAKAKALIMUTAN NATIN ANG GINAWA NI GLORIA SA PAGNAKAW NG BOTO NUONG HALALAN NA KUNG SAAN ANG NAGING RESULTA AY NATALO SI FPJ. DAPAT DIN PO NA WAG MAWALA SA ATING KAISIPAN, NA NAGTANGKANG TUMALILIS SI GMA PAPUNTA SA KUNG SAAN UPANG MAIWASAN ANG PAGUSIG SA KANYA. KAPAG SIYA PO AY PINAYAGANG LUMABAS NG BANSA, SA KUNYARING ” FOR HUMANITARIAN REASON” NA KADAHILANAN, YAN NA PO ANG PINAKA-RUROK NG ATING KATANGAHAN. ANG MGA WALANGHIYANG MAGSABI NA SILA AY NAAPI SAMANTALANG MARAMI SILANG NAAPI, KATULAD NG REHIMENG MARCOS. HUWAG PO TAYONG MAGPA-PUWING. DALHIN DITO ANG MGA DALUBHASANG MANGGAGAMOT UPANG MASURI ANG KANYANG KALUSUGAN. SUBALIT, HUWAG NA HUWAG SIYANG PAALISIN NG ATING BANSA. KAILANGAN NYANG MANAGOT SAMPU NG KANYANG ANGKAN NA NAKINABANG, NANDAMBONG SA KABANG YAMAN SA ANO MANG PARAAN.
grace mary a. tan says
hindi dapat paalisin si gloria corrupt sa pilipinas may doktor na man tayo nga magaling. Palusot lang yan
maniniwala lang ako na talagang kinidnap si Go kung after a week ay itutumba sya ng kidnappers nya since against government policy ang magbayad ng ransom.
magkano ba sahod nung mga pinatalsik na BJMP officials? magkano expected end of service indemnity nila? doblehin lang ni Go yung amount, early retirement na sila, walang kapagod-pagod pa kaya ok lang sa kanila na masisante. calculated risk kumbaga…..
Johnny lin says
Rolito Go underwent stem cell therapy in Tagaytay, same place where GMA went to earlier this month.
The kidnapping story put out by BJMP officials to cover their tracts in case something happens to him or he was discovered by media.
BMJP bribe was costlier than stem cell treatment.
jorge bernas says
@ johnny lin,
Parang hindi naman kapani paniwala na magbabayad/mag bribe pa si Go nag malaking halaga gayon puwede naman siyang humingi nang court order para magpagamot nang stem cell therapy, nagtatanong lang po?