April 20, 2016

AlDub to Roxas to Binay to Poe: The Child Rapist Romeo Jalosjos

My blood curdled the first time I saw that viral Duterte rape joke video. A rape joke is a bad joke. There’s no defending it, even if he said it in 1989 out of “utter anger” at the rapists [GMA]. The best thing Duterte could do is apologize and hope that Filipinos will forgive him.


Duterte said yesterday, “I apologize to the Filipino people for my recent remarks in a rally. There was no intention of disrespecting our women and those who have been victims of this horrible crime. Sometimes my mouth can get the better of me. [CNN]"

Alright, he did say sorry. However, the fact remains that that candid statement has opened a lot of emotional wounds among rape victims and their loved ones.

But the question stands: Will this faux pas have severe ramifications on his presidential bid? Give it a week or so and we’ll see. Regardless, his three presidentiables opponents were quick to milk this incident for all it’s worth.

Well, Lolo Digong, c’est la vie. That’s life. Suck it up.

Condemnation from Rivals

Three presidential candidates – Mar Roxas, Jejomar Binay, and Grace Poe – swiftly condemned Duterte’s gaffe [Rappler].
  • Poe said, “It is distasteful and unacceptable, and reflects his disrespect for women.”
  • Roxas said, “Rape is a serious problem… Women have rights, they should not be played with.”
  • Binay said, “Mister Duterte, don't you have a mother? Don't you have a daughter?”

All these three statements are right. They are philosophically indisputable. There’s no going around it. Poe even went as far as releasing a political ad to get more political mileage:

A screenshot of Poe's TV ad
 “Bakit tayong mga babae binabastos, binabalewala, minamaliit, hinihiya?” Poe said in the ad [Inquirer].

Then I saw AlDub

I was still sorely disappointed at Duterte. Just look at how I fumed in my previous article. To cool my head off, I decided to watch TV.

I turned the TV on and saw one of those AlDub commercials for McDonald's.
...then I remembered that they became famous through the noontime show “Eat Bulaga!”[Inquirer]...
...then I remembered that TAPE Inc. produces that show [Inquirer]...
...then I remembered that the rapist Romeo Jalosjos owns TAPE Inc [Philstar]...

Natutuwa ako sa Aldub. Nagkataon lang na sila ang naging trigger ng pagkaka-alala ko kay Jalosjos. Wala silang kasalanan dito.

Yes, the convicted child rapist Zamboangeño congressman Romeo Jalosjos.

My blood that was already curdling instantly turned into cheese.

Let me tell you why.

Convicted child rapist Romeo Jalosjos
But first, let's ask...

Who exactly is Romeo Jalosjos?


Romeo Jalosjos was accused of raping an 11-year-old girl in 1996. A year later, the Makati RTC found him guilty of two counts of statutory rape and six counts of acts of lasciviousness. He brought his case before the Supreme Court, but it affirmed his conviction in 2001 and 2002 [GMA]. 
"...In the evening of June 14, 1996...in Room No. 1702, Ritz Towers, Makati City... [Jalosjos] did kiss, caress and fondle [the 11-year-old girl's] face, lips, neck, breasts, whole body, and vagina, suck her nipples and insert his finger and then his tongue into her vagina, place himself on top of her, then insert his penis in between her thighs until ejaculation, and other similar lascivious conduct against her will, to her damage and prejudice. [Supreme Court G.R. Nos. 132875-76. November 16, 2001]"
Jalosjos was sent to Bilibid to serve a life sentence (minimum of 30 years per reclusion perpetua) for each count of rape (2 counts), and reclusion temporal (minimum 12 years each) for each count of acts of lasciviousness (6 counts). [SC G.R. Nos. 132875-76]

30 + 30 + 12 + 12 + 12 + 12 + 12 + 12 = 132.

All in all, the Supreme Court sentenced Jalosjos to a minimum of 132 years of imprisonment.

From 132 years, Down to 11

Upon DOJ’s recommendation, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (PGMA) commuted Jalosjos' sentence in 2007 to 16 years “for good behavior”. With additional sentence reductions, he was freed on 19 March 2009 after serving only 11 years in prison for raping a child TWICE and further molesting her SIX MORE TIMES. [Philstar]

Probe Profiles: Romeo Jalosjos

However, records show that while in prison, the DOJ’s Bureau of Corrections allowed Jalosjos to build various structures in the maximum security compound, such as a tennis court, a playground, a basketball court, a bakery and his own kubol (cubicle or cottage). He also put up another bakery near the gate of Katarungan Village, a private subdivision where he stayed for several months before his actual release from prison [Inquirer].

Yes, he was one of those who turned Bilibid into a gangster’s paradise, let alone the fact that he resided OUTSIDE the penitentiary before his release.

Now, you’re probably asking the question: “So what?”

Mar Roxas and the Rapist Jalosjos

At this point, Malacañang’s preferential treatment for Jalosjos is undeniable. How can someone who practically turned Bilibid into a Resort and Spa be released so soon?

Liberal Party Senator Kiko Pangilinan criticized Malacañang on 20 March 2009, or a day after the rapist’s release.

Pangilinan said, “Lumalabas tuloy na kung sino ang mayayaman at may impluwensiya sa lipunan ang siyang mabilis na nakalalaya sa kulungan (It appears that only the society’s rich and powerful get to be released in jail fast.” [GMA]

In response, then-Senator Mar Roxas said, “Lahat ng bilanggo dapat lamang na bigyan ng pagkakataon na makapag-bagong buhay. At hindi dapat pagkaitan ng hustisya kung karapat-dapat na makapagbagong-buhay.” [GMA]

But something doesn’t add up. Roxas was part of the Arroyo cabinet from 2001 to 2003. He resigned as DTI Secretary only because he won a seat in the Senate, but his ties with the PGMA administration did not cease [Philstar].

Parang wala lang?

Mar Roxas knows what really happened.

Mar Roxas has never criticized Jalosjos for being a rapist.

Why? Because Roxas was too busy preparing for a potential 2010 presidential bid to bother clashing with the Jalosjos Political Clan of Zamboanga [TP: Wikileaks]. Cory Aquino was still alive at that time of Jalosjos' release (Cory died in September 2009), so Noynoy still wasn't a viable candidate at that point. That is, Roxas was still the Liberal Party's presidential contender.

Condoning rape for political convenience, 

Roxas had 2 years in the Arroyo Cabinet while Jalosjos -- convicted in a nationally-televised, high-profile case -- was languishing in jail.

He could not have known anything. Was this his rehearsal for the Mamasapano Alibi?

Daang Matuwid Era: Jalosjos is “Higher than Angels”

But it gets worse.

A year later in 2010, Arroyo left and “Daang Matuwid” took over Malacañang.

Speaking with reporters in 2011, Romeo Jalosjos, the child rapist, defended the VIP treatment of wealthy convicts, saying the it has been practiced since “since time immemorial.”

“As in any place on earth and in heaven, [prisoners] are not all the same. There are angels, and there are [those] higher than angels,” he said [Inquirer].

To add further insult to the justice system, then-DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima said she was considering including Jalosjos in the technical working group that will discuss needed reforms at the penitentiary.

Two years later in 2013, a Discovery Channel documentary showed nothing has changed, as shown below:


Jojo Binay and the Rapist Jalosjos 

Arroyo, supported by her then-ally Mar Roxas, effectively pardoned Jalosjos by commuting Jalosjos’ sentence. However, Roxas and Arroyo parted ways in 2010 as the nation was swept by the pro-Yellow sentiment arising from Cory Aquino’s death. 

However, Jalosjos’ loyalty is for Arroyo, who belongs to the opposition party United Nationalists’ Alliance (UNA). Vice-president Jejomar Binay heads UNA, and Jalosjos served as the party’s figurehead in Zamboanga [Verafiles]. 

Jalosjos supported Binay's vice presidential bid in 2010

(From L to R) Mitos Magsaysay, Ernesto Maceda, Romeo Jalosjos, and Tingting Cojuangco in a 2013 campaign sortie in Zamboanga. TP doesn't know who the man in the green shirt is.
Binay never criticized the rapist Jalosjos. Ever. 

Condoning rape for political convenience.

Jalosjos’ Zamboanga-based “Alliance of Parties for Progress”, mostly containing Jalosjos political dynasts, also pledged its support for Binay’s 2016 presidential bid [Rappler].

That is, until Jalosjos jumped ship.

Grace Poe and the Rapist Jalosjos

Poe and Escudero in the latter's VP declaration in Club Filipino.

Those who know Jalosjos' atrocities were shocked at discovering him in the audience of Chiz Escudero’s vice-presidential declaration in the posh Club Filipino on 17 September 2015. The rapist basically ditched Binay for Poe.

Boom! There he is.
 "Since we hold majority of the elected officials in the province, we can use that clout to ensure that the tandem Grace and Chiz will definitely win in Zamboanga del Norte," Jalosjos said [CNN].

Jalosjos’ support for Poe isn’t new. While he supported Binay in his 2010 VP bid, he also supported Poe and Escudero in the 2013 senatorial elections.

Asked why he decided to support Poe instead of Binay, Jalosjos said, "[Binay] was in Dipolog and I talked to him. He asked for my support and I told him I cannot [support him].”

Jalosjos added, ”I cannot turn my back on Grace, her family is very close to us, the father FPJ (Fernando Poe Jr.), mother Susan, and Grace herself. I will be a traitor if I turn my back on her. [GMA]"

Has Grace criticized Jalosjos for actually raping a child? No.

Condoning rape for political convenience.

Rape Joke versus Real Rape

Alright, it’s time to put things back into perspective. 

What Duterte said was wrong – it’s just plain wrong. However, as with any electoral decision, it’s time to ask this question:
“With that unfortunate development, who is the least evil among the four candidates?”
Duterte demonstrated callous language on a rape-hostage victim, but he actually risked his life to save her and her companions [MindaNews].

Meanwhile, Roxas, Binay, and Poe use very politically correct language when talking about rape, but here they are, coddling an actual rapist – and a child rapist at that.

I am angry at Duterte for joking about rape, but I am angrier at the other three.

Why? Because Roxas', Binay's, and Poe's double standards show that they only feign sympathy for rape victims and their families, that their condemnations are but classic cases of political opportunism.

Roxas, Binay, and Poe, condoned child rape for political convenience. 

Yes, there is no perfect presidential candidate. At the end of the day, it's about choosing the least evil among the four.

On this rape issue, we are faced with two disgusting choices:
  1. One foul-mouthed guy who tried to save a rape victim.
  2. Three sweet-talkers who coddle a child rapist.

The choice is yours to make.

As for ThinkingPinoy, this is what I have to say:

We’ve already had too many good speakers who do evil. I believe it’s time for a bad speaker to good.

UPDATE: Miriam supporters are complaining why I didn't mention her in this article. I didn't mention her for three reasons:

  1. She didn't claim to be on higher moral ground than Duterte.
  2. She has little to do with the Jalosjos case.
  3. She's got her own skeletons in the closet.
However, after insistent public demand and allegations of bias, I decided to release an article that focuses exactly on Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, as shown below:


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