Interesting opinion about the Chavit Singson-Che Tiongson case

>> Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I found this very interesting editorial from Manila Times and I just have to share it with you because I share the same opinion with the writer's.

The Singson-Tiongson scandal, some people are saying, is one more proof that this country has gone to the dogs.

Here is one of the high officials of the land, a close ally of the President. He is the Deputy National Security Adviser. Undersecretary Luis “Chavit” Singson, a former provincial governor, has admitted beating up his former common-law wife of 17 years, the mother of five of his children.

Her pictures as a beauty and as one with a swollen face, red, black and blue where she received the blows, have been splashed around the world.

He admits having beaten her boyfriend as well. He had found them together in a posh townhouse in Quezon City. He boasts of having in fact saved their lives because the men he had assigned to shadow Rachel Tiongson and Richard Catral thought their mission was to kill them. He stopped his men from killing his former live-in partner and her present lover. He wants to be seen as the victim of a perfidious partner. He told the Inquirer “I am innocent, I am the victim here and I can prove it in court.”

In a Quezon City court, Ms. Tiongson has charged Undersecretary Singson with violating Republic Act 9262, or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Law. He has the opportunity to prove his claim of innocence and victimhood there.

But in all likelihood, given what he has admitted to media, all he can prove is that he acted with the frenzy of a brokenhearted and jealous man whose violence against his beloved and her lover was a “crime of passion.” We are, however, not in a country (like France) that excuses perpetrators of crimes against their wives and sweethearts under the rubric of romantic love. Instead we have Republic Act 9262, the newly enacted Magna Carta of Women and other laws in our criminal code that hold perpetrators liable for attacking and injuring anyone—except in self defense.

Besides, both Ms. Tiongson and Undersecretary Singson have told the media that they have been separated for some time. Therefore, in her reckoning, he no longer has any right over her affections and can have new lovers if she wants.

Malacañang’s response the worse scandal

The greater and worse scandal, however, is the response of Malacañang to this ugly drama. At first, the Palace asked Mr. Singson “to behave.” About that he offered the comment that he was in fact well-behaved and had not killed anyone despite what Ms. Tiongson and Mr. Catral had done to him.

Then, on Monday, Malacañang, through the voice of Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo, sounded a bit more stern. The President, Ms. Fajardo said, was disturbed by the “domestic problem” of Mr. Singson and the charges laid against him who is “regarded as part of her [the President’s] circle, though not part of her official family.” Ms. Fajardo also explained that the President could not suspend Undersecretary Singson because the accusation against him had nothing to do with his job.

So, Malacañang urged him, through Ms. Fajardo, to take a leave of absence—out of delicadeza (a sense of propriety). She also said National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, being Undersecretary Singson’s immediate boss, had been instructed to “make the appropriate recommendations” to the President.

Sec. Gonzales should just fire his Usec

Instead of making “the appropriate recommendations” Secretary Gonzales should just summarily fire Mr. Singson for conduct unbecoming of a high official and for not giving a damn about the rule of law. And he should find out if Mr. Singson has secured the necessary permits to keep a pet tiger at home.

Mr. Singson has virtually dared Malacañang to remove him (according to the Inquirer). By firing Undersecretary Singson, Secretary Gonzales would be helping prove that this country has not yet completely gone to the dogs.


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