Heroes are out of fashion.
—Morgan Freeman in The Contract
PeDxing was busy keeping track of monster storm Lawin when a little birdie flew by to tell what he learned while sifting true legal documents.
And what birdie found could unleash a political storm threatening to sweep local executives off their lofty perches.
The case involves alleged kidnapping and other crimes that could easily make for an afternoon telenovela with a political twist and lots of intrigues.
If you still believe that facts are not stranger than fiction, read on and be amazed.
Here’s how our little birdie tied the strings of facts together he culled from legal records:
Former Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza and eight of his henchmen, among them a lawyer and a police general, are facing criminal charges for the alleged kidnapping and serious illegal detention of a teen-aged boy who claimed that the accused coerced him to falsely testify on a murder case in 2012.
Complainant Jestin Aquino, of Mapandan, Pangasinan, identified the other respondents as lawyer Leonido “Bodie” Pulido, police senior superintendent Marlou Chan, PO2Aldo Calaunan and PO2 Ronald Federico, and four John Does.
Records of the case filed last week at the Quezon City Prosecutors Office showed that Aquino was presented as a lone witness in the murder of Infanta Mayor Ruperto Martinez and implicated then Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino, Jr. and Congressman Jesus Celeste as the alleged plotters in the killing of Martinez.
But the Justice department has eventually cleared Espino and Celeste of the murder raps in a resolution issued on June 1 last year.
In his complaint, Aquino averred that the accused ,allegedly acting on Braganza’s orders, brought him against his will to Metro Manila where he was illegally detained in several places and threatened to be killed unless he agreed to implicate Espino, Celeste and his own newsman father Jaime in the murder of the Infanta mayor.
But in a bizarre twist, the younger Aquino turned back on his former tormentors, saying that the criminal acts committed against him must not go unpunished.
“They have threatened my life; they have deprived me of my liberty; they have abused my well-being; and they have continued to threaten the very lives of my family,” Aquino stressed.
Only 16 years old at the time, Aquino recalled that on Jan. 8, 2013, his captors even presented him to then Justice Secretary Leila De Lima who interviewed him about the Martinez case.
Aquino said he tried to flee several times but failed, thereby drawing the ire of his captors who handcuffed and kicked him for his attempts. However, he made good his escape on Nov. 24, 2013 in Camp Crame by outwitting two Special Action Forces who were assigned to guard him.
Btw, Freeman’s character in the movie is an “exterminator” contracted to eliminate “obstacles to progress” in exchange for “the sweet stench of money”.
Shouldn’t we be all glad that in this country only those generally considered to be “clear, present, and verifiable” danger to public safety and security as well as threats to peace and order are targets of regular police operations?
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Ped Xing would like to thank former National Press Club president Benny Antiporda, paramount NPC director Boying Abasola, and the NPC Board for having a big heart for colleagues in dire straits and undergoing medical treatment. Salamuch! Keep the flame burning brightly.
Behold God’s glory and seek His mercy.
Pause and pray, people.