The recommendation of the Sandiganbayan, First Division, is really surprising. Just a few days ago, after the news came out that Masaranga Umpa, 73, former assemblyman from Lanao del Norte and also former ambassador to Nigeria in 2007, who was just recently sentenced to 52 years for malversation of public funds, is now recommended by Sandiganbayan for executive clemency on account of old age, and several other reasons. The crime was committed in 2007 when, as ambassador to Nigeria, he received $80,478.80 for use in negotiation and repatriation of 25 Filipino seafarers who were kidnapped in Nigeria in February 2007. I understand his connections in the government during the term of GMA, whose administration was riddled with various cases of graft and corruption must have exerted strong efforts to repay him for this kind of recommendation. We should know that many of the "crooks" in GMA administration before are now in the good graces of P-Noy because they already transferred their allegiance to P-Noy as "political butterflies." And they are now the one strongly urging for this recommendation to repay their gratitude to him. But nobody asked what happened to the 25 seafarers who were supposed to be the recipient of such big money assistance to bail them out of their big problem. This is a one-sided and shameless recommendation which ought to be thrashed to the nearest garbage immediately!
Footnote: This comment came out in connection with a news item in Philstar, entitled, "Sandiganbayan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy." It came out in March 28, 2015.