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Threat to Pope Francis in RP real?

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(BY: ATTY. BATAS MAURICIO) LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…`Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm’...” (Psalm 105:15, the Holy Bible).

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THREAT TO POPE FRANCIS IN RP REAL?I am indeed greatly disturbed by the repeated announcements being made by government officials, including by President Aquino no less, that while there is no report of any terror threat against Pope Francis when he visits the Philippines starting Thursday, January 15, 2015, “anything can happen” nevertheless, which may compromise the pontiff’s safety and security.

In fact, in his televised address beamed nationwide in the evening of Monday, January 12, 2015, a significant part was devoted by Aquino in showing video footages of attacks on Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. The question uppermost in the minds of Filipinos was: what was the purpose of the President in showing those footages of attacks on previous pontiffs? 

Is the President saying that there is a real threat to Francis? Is it alright not to disclose any such threat, considering that it is not just going to be the security and safety of the Pope alone but of the millions of Filipinos who will welcome him that is at stake as well? My point is that, it is the duty and obligation of officials of government to publicly disclose any threat, so the public will be forewarned!

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SENATE PROBE VS. MVP A POLITICAL PLOY? Is the investigation being sought by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on the business practices of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan a part of a political strategy to stop him from joining politics in 2016, either as the running mate of Vice President Jejomar Binay or as a presidential candidate himself, or to simply force him to support some other anointed candidates instead?

Undeniably, Pangilinan is a formidable political force in any electoral contest, considering the vast wealth being enjoyed by him as the trusted lieutenant, some reports say, of Chinese-Indonesian businessman Anthony Salim whose interests in the Philippines now include mass media (TV5 and Philippine Star, among others), public utilities like Meralco, Smart, Sun, and PLDT, and expressways.

Pangilinan’s possible foray into politics was sparked mostly by reports in 2014 that he was being courted by Binay as a running mate in 2016, and that he and a group of economic and political advisers met quite secretly in an Asian country very recently to map out his political directions. The same reports said that Pangilinan instructed another group to look for, and buy, a political party for his own use, just in case.

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LIABILITY FOR ESTAFA & CHILD ABUSE:What, if any, is the liability of school officials who collected money from their students purportedly to be paid for insurance coverage while they are studying and yet did not turn over the money to the insurance company? This was the question of a listener in our radio program “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas” which was aired last January 13, 2015 at 92.7 Smile FM in San Francisco, Agusan Del Sur.

According to Art. 315 of the Revised Penal Code, the officials are criminally liable, because not remitting money collected for a particular purpose constitutes misappropriation. It is also a violation of Republic Act 7610, or the Anti-Child Abuse Law, if the students are aged 17 years and below—precisely because misappropriating the money of minor students constitutes child abuse likewise.

Insofar as the estafa case is concerned, there would be a need for the students or their parents or guardians to send demand letters to the officials concerned, either to seek the return of their money or to compel the officials to remit the students’ money to the insurance company so the insurance coverage could push through. 

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