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ROUGH CUTS | Walden Bello’s arrest: he had it coming

THE Kadayawan Festival organizing committee could not have been more correct in deciding to strictly impose the different health protocols during major activities that are expected to draw huge crowd.

Yes, from the announcement made by no less than Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre who is a leading member of the celebration organizing group, it is clear that they acknowledge the still ongoing pandemic in the city as well as the rising cases noted only recently although mild in nature.

We believe though that full compliance of the mandate of the local civilian and health authorities is easier said than done. There are just too many people who are expected to witness or join the many activities one of which is the Indak-indak sa Kadalanan. How could the authorities possibly monitor every Tom, Dick and Harry competing with each other to get first into the venue of significant Kadayawan events? Of course the most basic of protocols is easier to comply. And we refer to the wearing of mask everywhere the fest viewers go.

In complying with the same anyone wanting to join or witness the Kadayawan celebration has only to cooperate by seeing to it that they will be wearing mask all the time while out there.


Many are saying that certain sectors are sensationalizing the arrest of defeated Vice Presidential candidate Walden Bello after a court in Davao City issued a warrant of arrest against the activist professor for his alleged maligning through cyber space the former City Information Officer of Davao.

Bello was charged with cyber libel in court after the prosecutor’s office found probable cause for indicting him in the rap filed by Jeffrey Tupaz. The former chief of the CIO was reported present during a raid of a beach resort somewhere in Davao de Oro where illegal drugs were found in the possession of some of the visitors. The raiding team later on identified Tupaz as one among the guests in that celebration. This was where Bello painted all sorts of insinuations against Tupaz.

In his efforts to gain grounds in his fledgling campaign for the Vice Presidency Bello attempted to drag then VP candidate Sara Duterte into the controversy, she being the mayor of Davao when Tupaz was the chief of the information office. In the process however, the defeated former VP candidate needed to harp more on Tupaz’s alleged inclusion in the guest list of the birthday celebrant basing his allegations on news reports alleging of Tupaz’s presence.

Apparently sensing Bello’s motive Tupaz ran to the Prosecutor’s Office to seek relief. In the appreciation of his case the Prosecutor in charge found Bello possibly liable for the crime as charged. Hence, the case was elevated to the court which later issued an arrest warrant the execution of which was implemented by the police. Bello was arrested in Quezon City very recently.

Now, did the police “sensationalize” Bello’s arrest as it was one hell of an accomplishment? Or was it Bello who made his arrest more sensational to gain sympathy or perhaps to spite Sara who seemed to ignore Bello’s insinuation of her supposed connection to his accuser?

Our take is that Bello did the sensationalizing himself by immediately making it appear that his case and subsequent arrest is a form of political persecution. He even again linked the Vice President to his arrest.

We have no doubt as to former VP aspirant Bello’s motive if indeed he is the one responsible in “sensationalizing” his arrest. In doing so Bello has nothing to lose. Instead he has plenty to gain. First the expected sympathy from those who belong to his ilk; and second the moral support from those who are convinced that he is the victim in the case and not the real culprit.

Now that he is indicted and probably out on bail, he wants his case heard in another court outside of Davao. Apparently Bello assumes that a Davao City-based court can be influenced by people he believes to be backing his accuser.

We have no doubt the move to get his case out from a Davao court is the accused’s first line of defense.

However, from where we are perched, we can very well sense that the respondent had his arrest actually coming and he thinks he can turn it to his advantage.




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