Friday, August 12, 2005

Ilonggo Lauded

Honest cabbie recognized by airport authorities

Nikko Dizon
Inquirer News Service

TAXI driver Reio Lance was recognized on Friday by Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) authorities for his honesty when he returned 150,000 pesos cash left behind by his passengers at the domestic airport.

Lance, 28, appeared mildly embarrassed by the attention given him at the MIAA, as photographers asked him to pose with the agency's officials while being handed his rewards: a plaque of recognition and 10,000 pesos cash.

Lance said he was reluctant to receive any reward because he only did what he believes is the right thing to do.

Last Sunday, Lance returned 150,000 pesos in cash to his passengers--Felixberto Angana and Remigia Acosta--who inadvertently left the money in the taxicab after alighting at the Manila Domestic Airport in Pasay City.

The money was to be used for the operation of Angana's daughter who has brain tumor.

Lance, an Iloilo native who lives in Taguig with his family, drives the taxicab during weekends. On weeknights, he sells balut (boiled duck's egg with embyo), earning a measly 150 pesos a day.

During the day, Lance works on his application to become a seafarer.

Witness Assailed

Gonzalez doubts audio expert's credibility

Tetch Torres

(UPDATE) THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) has doubts over the credibility of an audio-recording expert Malacañang presented to media Friday who claimed that controversial wiretapped recordings had been altered.

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez said Jonathan Tiongco had visited his office twice this year offering his expertise to determine if the alleged conversation between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano was authentic.

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Michael Defensor said in a news conference Friday that Malacañang would ask Congress to throw out the impeachment case against President Arroyo after presenting findings by Tiongco and US experts dismissing the tapes as digitally altered.

"The tapes, as we have clearly shown, have been spliced and I dare the opposition to prove this otherwise," said Defensor, adding that Malacañang would present to the justice committee of the House of Representatives a technical study of the tapes to prove they had been "spliced."

The house committee is conducting an inquiry on the wiretapping, which opposition legislators believe would lend credence to their claims Arroyo cheated in the May 2004 presidential polls.

Gonzalez said Tiongco, a digital sound engineer, offered materials to buttress his claims that the audiotapes were tampered.

"I just told him to leave whatever he had and I will study [it]," Gonzalez said at a press conference, adding that Tiongco even offered his services to the National Bureau of Investigation to help in the probe.

In an affidavit detailing his credentials, Tiongco claimed he was recruited as intelligence consultant and deep penetration agent for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in 2000.

He also said he was secretly trained in forensic examination of counterfeit audio material and had been assigned on a few "high risk" and confidential operations to infiltrate big triads in Hong Kong and Macau.

"He might be trying to over blow himself to convince people on his expertise, but the thing is if he is an expert whether he boasts about it or not," Gonzalez said.

But Tiongco brush aside Gonzalez's statements.

Tiongco, who first appeared in the Senate in May when he opposed the confirmation of Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes, said Gonzalez is just "sourgraping," adding that his findings were even confirmed by US-based sound forensic expert Barry Dickey.

In a phone interview with, he said all the credentials he claimed, including working on "high risk" assignments and confidential operations were all supported by documents.

Department of Justice

Dy Snubs Senate

Dy to testify in impeach trial -- Escudero

Philip Tubeza
Inquirer News Service

FORMER Isabela Governor Faustino Dy Jr. will testify against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should an impeachment trial be held in the Senate, according to House Minority Leader Francis Escudero.

Escudero said Thursday that Dy assured him when he talked with the former governor in the United States that he was willing to testify in the impeachment court that election officials met at the President's house in La Vista subdivision in Quezon City.

"Based on his statement and our talks, he said that he would come back to the Philippines and testify if he is called by the impeachment court when the charges against the President are brought to the Senate for an impeachment trial," he said.

"In saying that he will testify only in the impeachment trial, it is clear that he will say something big about the charges against President Arroyo in the impeachment complaint," he added.

Escudero said that Dy decided to testify even after several "close friends" of the President discouraged him from doing so.

"While I was there, Governor Dy received many calls from allies and close friends of the President and... also from those who wanted him to testify immediately in the Senate or in the (House) justice committee hearings," he said.

"At this point, I will not yet mention who they are and what was the theme of their conversations although I personally witnessed and heard the calls," he added.

Escudero said that while the former governor was expected to testify against the President, Dy was not keen on testifying in the current Senate investigation on jueteng.

Escudero said he did not promise anything to Dy in exchange for his testimony.

"I am not in a position to promise anything. The man is getting old and he's thinking about his children's future," he said. "He was given a new perspective after the 2004 elections and, the way I see him, I don't think he's interested in politics anymore," he added.

Dy allegedly felt bad that he did not get enough support from the President during the race for governor of Isabela in the May 2004 elections, which he lost.