Better luck next time – Manila Standard

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I knew that the political weaponizing of the tragic death of Kian Loyd delos Santos, the young man from Caloocan City who was killed by three police officers, was on its last legs when President Rodrigo Duterte refused to be baited into defending the cops who gunned Kian down. I didn’t expect that Duterte himself would write “finis” to the cynical repurposing of the teenager’s death and the genuine outrage (as opposed to the fake variety displayed by certain politicians) that grew out of the incident by meeting with Kian’s parents in Malacañan Palace.

It is indisputable that Kian’s parents, Saldy and Lorenza, did not believe that the President had their son killed. This is diametrically opposed to the position of their politician-advocates, who insisted that the boy’s death was on Duterte and, according to their shriller partisans, grounds for his “ouster.” 

And it’s impossible for anyone to be more outraged that the Delos Santoses when it comes to Kian’s killing by three policemen. Which means that the shameless attempt to link Duterte to Kian’s death has just been irreversibly deflated, because how else can the meeting by interpreted but as a vote of confidence in the President’s promise to bring the perpetrators to justice?

(By the way, special mention must be made of the boneheaded play of Senator Risa Hontiveros, who took three witnesses into her personal custody while they awaited summonses to the various investigations of Kian’s death. It turned out that the witnesses were minors whose parents didn’t even know that the senator had taken their children without their consent; that’s how badly the Yellows wanted to use Kian’s killing against Duterte— they didn’t even stop to think if what they were doing was still legal or no longer so.)

Here I am reminded of two supposed witnesses of the same politicians against Duterte in the investigation of the alleged Davao Death Squad earlier this year. But Edgar Matobato and Arturo Lascanas were obviously given a prepared script that they were somehow convinced to stick to, no matter how incredible, conflicting and illogical their statements became afterwards.

The key difference between the Delos Santos couple and the two supposed star witnesses in the DDS probe is that Saldy and Lorenza did not have any political agenda rammed down their throats by their minders. They just wanted justice for their son—and they are convinced that Duterte can give them that, or else they would never have agreed to meet the President.

Again, I must state that there was a lot of real anger generated by the death of Kian, and this should not be ignored or belittled. But the politicians ruined it all when they tried to harness this anger for their partisan political ends.

I can only wish Duterte’s foes better luck next time, using the next controversy that may just bring him down. And watch as all those fake Kian backers flee the scene of their scandalous crime.

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A Makati City prosecutor has found probable cause to sue three persons for syndicated estafa for allegedly duping the owners of a corporation into investing a total of P21.6 million in a company they formed, after which the investment was never included in the capitalization of the new outfit. City Prosecutor Jorge Catalan Jr. said there is reason to charge Marvin Lim, a native of Dagupan City, Pangasinan, his sister Brigette Lim and Gian Marlo Lee with syndicated estafa based on the complaint of Half Moon Inc.

Records showed that in September 2015, Lee asked HMI to invest in a company they were putting together for the sales and distribution of automotive oils and lubricants to be called Alpha Dragon Trade and Marketing Corp., which will have an authorized capital stock of P10 million, divided into 100,000 shares valued at P100 each.

As proposed by Lee, Marvin Lim would be the principal shareholder, while Half Moon would have 40 percent of the total shares. HMI put in P625,000 as initial payment for its subscription, followed by P16 million and P5 million after that.

Lim and Lee furnished HMI a copy of Alpha Dragon’s articles of incorporation purportedly filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which stated that HMI was an Alpha Dragon investor with a paid-up subscription of P250,000. But when no stockholders’ meeting was ever called and after HMI was not given any updates on its investments, the latter got understandably worried.

Lim’s group eventually informed HMI that it was not a registered subscriber of Alpha Dragon, and had no legal right to intervene in Alpha Dragon’s internal affairs. The HMI representative’s signature was also deleted in the article of incorporations and replaced with that of an “authorized representative” named Jennifer Latil, who was reportedly an SEC employee.

Lee denied any part in the alleged fraud, and tagged Lim as the chief architect of the plot to dupe HMI. The Lim siblings also denied HMI’s accusations, insisting that the P16 million could not be considered as subscription because HMI’s P21-million contributions were considered mere “liabilities” of Alpha Dragon.

Catalan junked this argument. “No person in his right mind would infuse P21 million in a company if the said amount would only be listed in its financial records as a mere liability, without being secured by any collateral, real of personal,” his ruling stated.

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