Category: women

56 Years a Slave

Caroline Hau

The posthumous publication of Pulitzer Prize-winning Filipino-American journalist Alex Tizon’s “My Family’s Slave” has provoked much discussion and some controversy. Many readers were moved by the plight of Lola Eudocia Tomas Pulido, who was eighteen years old in 1943 when the author’s grandfather “gave” her to the author’s mother as a “gift” and who worked for the author’s family for fifty-six years.

Read on…

speaker alvarez, sex videos #everywoman

Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez on Wednesday said he would allow the House of Representatives justice committee investigating the alleged Bilibid drug trade to present the alleged sex scandal of Senator Leila De Lima.

… Alvarez called the sex video the only material evidence to prove De Lima had a relationship with her purported lover, her former driver Ronnie Dayan, who inmates in the national penitentiary and a National Bureau of Investigation official said collected pay-offs for De Lima from the Bilibid drug trade.

mr. speaker, even if those sex videos were proven to be authentic, they would not prove that de lima was the recipient of money allegedly collected by dayan from bilibid druglords atbp.  it is obvious that making those videos public is meant to shame de lima, nothing more.  as if it weren’t bad enough that the prez has seen fit to publicly accuse her of screwing around with whoever.  kailangan pa talagang ipakita, ipalabas, i-exhibit for public viewing sa konggreso, sabay hirit ng isang papoging representante na ito’y “horror” show with “ugly performers”?  the shame’s on you, macho pigs!

this is not to say that i am with #everywoman who “would like to testify in congress” because “it was me in the sex video.”

The hashtag #everywoman on Friday trended in various social media platforms, less to support embattled Senator Leila de Lima and more about taking a stand against gendered attacks launched by certain statesmen.

“gendered attack”???  kung lalaki si de lima, and accused of screwing around with his lady driver allegedly picking up money from criminal gangs in bilibid for his benefit, and there were a sex video of the couple, gagamitin din ‘yan nina alvarez for sure, unless of course the male version of de lima were smart enough to remain calm, cool, and collected, innocent until proven guilty.  i mean, you know, like, vp binay never lost his temper, ever, in the face of all provocation, while de lima in her last presscon was reduced to a screaming banshee, auguring the end of whatever.

the lady doth protest too much when she could be building a defense that will stand up in court.

reeva’s last valentine

the pistorius verdict: not guilty of murder, guilty only of culpable homicide (something like manslaughter) AND BUT still out on bail as he awaits the october 13 sentencing hearing/s — a last month out in the world before he’s locked up for some years?  or a sign of things to come, as in, the lightest sentence, and he practically walks free?  amazing.

of course judge masipa could still surprise us with a reasonably appropriate maximum sentence, as many years in jail as possible, anywhere from 8 to 15 i gather, but i’m not hopeful.

she’s right, state prosecutor nel did not prove his case that the couple had a huge quarrel that led to the shooting.  but i can’t believe that the loud angry arguing voices that a witness heard for some time before the shooting, and the fact that reeva still had partially digested food in her stomach after a full 8 hours daw since her last meal, were dismissed just because these did not jibe with pistorius’s story that incredibly the judge found credible, as though there were no reason for pistorius to lie, or to make up the intruder story — even citing pistorius’s screams for help and the reeva-in-his-arms dramatics post-shooting as proof that he was devastated to find that it was reeva who was dead.  yeah, right. as though it were an impossibility that pistorius was play-acting, playing the intruder card, to cover up what may really have happened.

i followed this case very closely via cable tv, internet websites, and twitter.  i even started re-reading my nadine gordimers, and wondered if she had been aware of, what was she thinking about, the killing of reeva.  the defense had closed its case, and court was in recess before closing arguments, when gordimer diedin july 14, what a loss.  if this had happened in her prime, she would surely be writing a book about the case and how prosecutor nel failed to give legs to the angry-argument story when he could have done so, easily, by grilling pistorius on the valentine’s day angle.  or maybe nel fell for this bit of testimony, hook, line, and sinker?

He (Pistorius) said they had no major plans for St Valentine’s Day the next day, but that he had bought her a bracelet from a jeweler she liked earlier that year and was going to buy a trinket for her to put on it.

“We had both made a thing about not making a big thing out of Valentine’s Day. We were just going to have a nice dinner,” he said.

that sounds to me more like wishful thinking in the light of what happened. and in the light of the fact that the reeva-oscar romance was just three months old, this was their first valentine’s day as a couple, and she had been looking forward to it.

theirs, after all, had been a whirlwind kind of thing, they were really just getting to know each other, reeva hadn’t moved in.  and those three months of “dating” and sleep-overs had not been all moonlight and roses, as revealed by the lengthy text exchanges over the green-eyed monster in pistorius and his temper and controlling ways, and reeva insisting on being heard and admitting that sometimes she was afraid of him.  but it would seem they were in love, and quick enough to forgive each other.  and it would seem that reeva was more happy than fearful in the run-up to feb 14.

according to reports, she spent the night of feb 12 with pistorius. and they must have had a good night because next morning her first tweet (with photo of the shake, and ‘boo’ referring to pistorius) — both she and pistorius had/have twitter accounts — was this:

‏@reevasteenkampv It’s a beautiful day!Make things happen.Starting my day off with a yummy healthy shake from my boo :) feb 13, 2013 

some three hours later she tweeted this:

What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited#ValentinesDay

also sometime that day, reeva was at a shop to have gift-wrapped her valentine present for pistorius: a framed collage of photos of the two of them, and a card saying it was a good time to tell him i love you;

… A Party Box shop assistant who says she wrapped the gift told how Reeva, 29, acted “like any girl in love” on her visit the day before.

The woman who asked not to be named, said: “She was very friendly. We joked about a girl having to buy her boyfriend something if she wants something in return on Valentine’s Day.” 

so really, i don’t believe pistorius’s story.  i think they were awake at midnight when the clock struck valentine! and the quarrel started soon after, in the first hours of that special day for lovers (especially for couples in the early days of a relationship) that reeva had been looking forward to, was excited about, had prepared for, only to be disappointed, disenchanted, and, possibly, as the night wore on, quite infuriated.

disappointed that pistorius wasn’t into valentine’s, and was unapologetic — he’ll take her to a jeweler’s shop daw and get her a trinket for a bracelet he bought her early in the year, what’s the big deal (medyo barat).  disenchanted because pistorius may even have complained about being kept awake, and she may have found herself midnight snacking alone on whatever food and drink she had prepared to mark the beginning of what she thought would be a wonderful day, and quite likely wishing she had gone home to johannesburg instead.  and finally, infuriated –maybe pistorius laughed, sneered, at her for taking valentine’s day seriously?  or maybe, as some reports said, happy valentine’s day texts started coming in for both of them from other men, other women, whatever, and they just both lost it, thus the shouting match, when all kinds of ugly issues may have surfaced?

maybe they even broke up? and reeva decided she was going home, got into her jeans, but pistorius refused to disable the alarm, it was unsafe for a woman out there in the middle of the night, so she got out of the jeans, ran to the toilet to get away from him, with her cellphone, not so much for the light, but maybe to text her predicament to some friend?  which may have freaked pistorius out, an angry reeva could be a loose cannon, oh the stories she could tell about him, goodbye to his golden-boy image, no way could he allow it, and he got his gun, I’ll say I thought she was an intruder, can’t let her mess up my life, bang! bang! bang! bang?

there’s talk that pistorius plans to write a book, make some money on the story, a story full of lies it would seem, to get back some if not all of the huge money he spent to mount a winning defense.  if true, a film or two should not be far behind.  here’s hoping for one from left field that will seriously challenge pistorius’s tall tale and give legs to nel’s allegation that there was no intruder, there was only reeva, and there was a quarrel, and she locked herself in the toilet to get away from him, and he slipped into killer mode and started shooting.


The Oscar Pistorius verdict exposes South Africa’s fraught racial history
Pistorius Trial is over, but has justice been served? 
Judge Masipa got it all wrong on Pistorius
Pistorius judgment: Was there no intention to kill someone behind the toilet door?
Oscar describes Reeva’s last day
Oscar Trial: Pistorius describes Valentines Day shooting 
The Oscar Pistorius trial has me hooked like no other 
Torment on the Stand, but Is It an Act? 
Reeva Steenkamp ‘leaving due to argument’ when Pistorius shot her, prosecutor claims 

a sexist sandiganbayan

so why does gigi reyes deserve to be treated differently, i.e., so terribly misogynistically badly, with handcuffs yet!  compared to the machos revilla jr. and estrada jr. and the former’s chief of staff richard cambe?  is she allegedly more guilty than the two senators and their cohorts?  or is it, as i’ve suspected from the beginning, a strategy meant to pressure her into spilling the beans on boss enrile…  sometimes i wonder why she didn’t just stay away.  i suppose she was promised fair treatment and hearing?  or maybe she was promised that enrile was too powerful, no arrests would happen.  bum steer.

Gigi’s sorrows
by Rina Jimenez-David

The sorrows that Gigi Reyes faces would seem, to some, as simply just punishment for her role in the “pork barrel scam.” She had served as chief of staff of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, one of the three senators accused (and now held in detention) for their part in the diversion of public money into private hands.

Sometimes called the “25th senator,” Reyes was said to be particularly powerful during Enrile’s term as Senate president, when she held extraordinary sway in the running of the chamber, in behalf of her boss.

But regardless of her guilt or innocence in the scam, which should be determined in the course of hearings at the Sandiganbayan, does Reyes deserve the treatment she’s now getting in the hands of the antigraft court?

Friends and relatives raise concern about how Reyes is seemingly being singled out for tougher punishment than her coaccused. Enrile is confined in an air-conditioned room at the Camp Crame Hospital after being arraigned in private, away from the media’s prying eyes. The two other senators—Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla—are being held in a especially-renovated custodial center at the PNP compound, which a human rights lawyer described as akin to a “three-star hotel” for detainees. They are joined there by other coaccused in the case, including Revilla’s chief of staff Richard Cambe, who is Reyes’ counterpart. Even Janet Napoles, considered the “brains” behind the operation, has been “enjoying” a stay at stand-alone quarters at a PNP Special Action Forces camp in Laguna.
* * *
IN CONTRAST, Reyes has been ordered detained in a regular city jail, although she has since been staying in an “isolation room” in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig, a detention center for political detainees and certain criminals.

Recent reports said Reyes suffered an “anxiety attack” while being booked at Camp Bagong Diwa and had to be rushed to a nearby hospital and then transferred to the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City for a checkup. The court later ordered her return to the detention center.

…But if Reyes deserves to be treated like a criminal, then so should all the other accused in the crime—especially the principals.

Reyes’ camp points out a fact that many seem to have forgotten. Reyes, they said, came home from the United States where she could have stayed for as long as she wanted. “But she wanted to clear her name and trusted in the legal system,” a brother asserts. Why is she being singled out for “special” treatment? Is it in hopes that the harsh treatment would compel her to turn state’s witness, like Ruby Tuason, who was even allowed to travel abroad after she surrendered to authorities? Or are people pulling strings to scare her into silence? Your guess is as good as mine.

but wait.  here’s breaking news on @ ANC 24/7 

JUST IN: Sandiganbayan orders transfer of Janet Lim Napoles from Fort Sto. Domingo, Laguna to Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig. Sandiganbayan 3rd Division Clerk of Court Dennis Pulma says BJMP must immediately implement order to transfer Napoles.

so.  the question remains.  why the women only?  why not the men, too?  to think that the enrile cases are being handled by a woman, no less than the sandiganbayan’s presiding justice amparo cabotaje-tang who also heads the third division, and whom the president appointed to the graft court’s highest post last october, bypassing acting presiding justice gregorio ong (for alleged links to napoles) and other senior associate justices. what message are you sending, presiding justice, ma’am?  what message is the sandiganbayan sending?  parusahan agad ang mga babae, pero kaawaan, alagaan, alalayan muna ang mga lalaki?  what discrimination is this!  anti-woman much?