Puno may be spared

The number 13 is an unlucky number to many people and President Noynoy may not subscribe to this belief but to make sure dire predictions related to this number will not come true, he may probably acquit Rico E. Puno and leave the remaining “dirty” dozen guilty as recommended by the fact-finding committee of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

This is in contrast to the 13th man in the Last Supper where Judas the disciple gave Jesus the kiss of death. Judas later hanged himself, an honorable thing in the light of recent developments where every friends of Noynoy are scampering to hide under the protective skirt of the President.

But most of the remaining 12, while they may be indicted later, are also likely to be pronounced innocent for lack of evidence and logic.

Two of them, however, may have to go to the Court of Appeals and later to the Supreme Court to seek a reversal of a higher court’s prospective decision to jail broadcasters Erwin Tulfo and RMN anchor Michael Rogas.

ABS-CBN, GMA 7 and TV5 were also held liable for the Aug. 23 bloodbath.

We were among the first to suspect that broadcast media would be made the scapegoat in this bloody incident.

Former Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr., counsel for RMN radio, said his clients were innocent. “Media are being made a scapegoat here,” he said.

Asked what Noynoy thought of the media’s inclusion in the recommended charge sheet, Mr. Aquino initially said he did not want to preempt the review but indicated the media should not have intervened during the negotiations.

Mayor Lim was fuming mad when he learned that President Noy had recommended that appropriate charges be filed against the mayor, the vice mayor and the policemen who risked their lives to free the hostages and assault the hostage-taker, dismissed  Senior Insp. Rolando Mendoza.

Lim, during the Edsa revolt and subsequent military mutinies, risked his life for President Cory Aquino but her son, the new president, appeared helpless in defending Lim against a panel of interrogators Noynoy had created to appease a visibly irked China.

To my mind, Noynoy is inviting trouble .The police and media will never forget the humiliations and censures they got from the de Lima fact-finding body.

No members of the Cabinet were invited or questioned during the de Lima probe when they were one of the chief sources of misunderstandings and confusions that bungled the whole negotiations for the surrender of Mendoza and the release of the Hong Kong tourists.

Puno was only an undersecretary but he had an equally rank at the Department of Interior and Local Governement (DILG). That is not to mention that he is also a shooting buiddy of the President who is now being accused of receiving jueteng money from the lords.

“My first obligation is to the people, not to friendship, relatives or party men,” Noynoy said. They could also be the same friends and relatives Puno could no longer remember since two to three months ago. Deep Fried/Raul Valino

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