Salinas’ faith in judicial process

ABOVE THE BELT | ALEX P. VIDAL“I believe if you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, if you’re grateful, you’ll see God open up new doors.”–Joel Osteen

NEW YORK CITY — It pays to have a positive mindset and to have a faith in the judicial system.

When the Office of the Ombudsman ordered the dismissal from the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Senior Superintendent Cornelio Salinas, Superintendent Nepomuceno Corpus Jr., and Senior Superintendent Michel Amos Filart on Nov 5, 2015 for alleged involvement in the anomalous procurement of 16 police coastal crafts (PCCs) worth P4.54 million in 2009, they didn’t lose hope.

For allegedly making “FPT their sole choice of supplier and dispensing the public bidding for the 16 PCCs despite working knowledge on violations of Section 48 and 53 of Republic Act 9148 (Government Procurement Reform Act),” the Consolidated Resolution of the Ombudsman on June 2, 2015 and the order dated March 26, 2016 found 19 police officials guilty of grave misconduct.

Until the day that their dismissal spread all over the country when it hogged headlines, the three, particularly Salinas, maintained their innocence.

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Salinas and his fellow dismissed officials swore they never pocketed a single centavo from the doomed deal and vowed to appeal their dismissal and clear their names.

They were former members of the PNP Maritime Group’s Bids and Awards Committee that approved the PCC’s procurement.

For this part, Salinas, who was backed by Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., continued to have faith in the Philippines’ judicial process; he pinned his hopes on his “clear conscience” and the fact that there was no solid evidence that would show he took part in an anomalous transaction.

Instead of badmouthing the justice system like what other victims of injustices in the Philippines are doing, Salinas and his colleagues appealed their case in the Court of Appeals.

Instead of hiding from the public and avoiding the press, Salinas, even after he became a civilian after the dismissal, made his present felt in coffee shops and important gatherings to show to the world he was unfazed, didn’t lose his self esteem, and was willing to cooperate with the legal process.

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He cracked jokes with reporters in coffee shops and other public places and made himself available to everyone wishing to exchange a conversation with him as if his police career was never in trouble.

The former chief of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) showed neither rancor nor hatred toward the justice system and those responsible for his dismissal.

Salinas believed from the beginning that there would be light at the end of the tunnel.

The Court of Appeals 13th Division reversed the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman in a decision on January 30, 2018 but was made available only to media recently.

Report said the CA agreed to the petitioners’ claim that they resorted to negotiated procurement due to urgent needs brought by typhoons Ondoy, Peping, Quedan, Ramil, Santi, Tino, Urduja, and Vinta.

As a result of his faith in the judicial process and his positive mental attitude, Salinas and his fellow officers have been reinstated in the PNP service and will “be paid their salaries and such other emoluments corresponding to the period they were out of the service by reason of judgment of dismissal decreed by the Office of Ombudsman,” said the memorandum signed by Deputy Director General Camilo Cascolan, chief of the PNP National Directorial Staff.

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I have expressed my personal stand as a journalist that I don’t agree that press accreditation should be canceled by any administration annoyed by how reporters ask questions during press briefings.

But I also don’t agree that reporters should act rudely and digress from normal discourse and show abusive decorum.

In the end, we are happy though that the White House on November 19, 2018 announced that CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass has been “restored.”

CNN believed White House “bowed” to days of pressure and a federal lawsuit against the administration.

The giant news network signaled that it would drop the ongoing litigation over Acosta’s access to the White House.

CNN said in a statement: “Today the White House fully restored Jim Acosta’s press pass. As a result, our lawsuit is no longer necessary. We look forward to continuing to cover the White House.”

Monday afternoon’s announcement, what the White House called a “final determination,” was an abrupt shift from the administration’s earlier positions.

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SAVING OUR PLANET 1: Clean up with vinegar. Don’t clean up our toilets with a mineral-deposits remover as it contains harsh chemicals that harm the environment when flushed down the toilet into the water system. Vinegar is an excellent substitute to scrub off rush and deposits marks.

SAVING OUR PLANET 2: Let’s salt our silver. Silver cleaners can be abrasive and harsh. Let’s make our own cleaner for sterling (not plate) silver by mixing 1 pint of water with a teaspoon each of salt and baking powder and adding a strip of aluminum foil. Drop the silver into this mixture, boil for a few minutes, remove with tongs and polish with a soft cloth. Add lemon juice for really grimy silver.