Transcript required, Yolanda Nov. 14 Tacloban, Roxas (for Aquino) – Romualdez meeting

 

inquirer.net pasted the link of a 42.55-minute youtube video of the Yolanda Nov. 14 Tacloban Roxas-Romualdez meeting.

     my notes:

1.The source of the youtube video is Philippine Star columnist Cito Beltran,  who confirmed this in his column today. He said that Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez gave it to him.

2. DILG Secretary Mar Roxas yesterday did not deny the shorter version of this video except to say that it was not complete or not contextualized. Secretary Roxas himself has a full verbatim transcript of the Nov. 14 meeting, therefore, he apparently has a full  audio recording or a full video of that meeting.

3.Based on these – the confirmation by the uploader Cito Beltran and by the Tacloban mayor and the indirect confirmation by the DILG secretary — the video seems to be a faithful recording of 42.55 minutes of the Nov. 14 meeting (there’s a teeny-weeny jump in the middle but it does not seem to alter the information contained in the video).  

4.Legal implications: The Nov. 14 exchange is not a form of “private communication” but an official meeting of government officials therefore RA 4200 does not apply; besides, even the DILG secretary recorded it — he showed on TV yesterday that he had a full transcript of it.

2.The video is not of broadcast quality, and one needs to strain one’s ears to hear some parts of it; a full transcript is required.

3.Why is the Nov. 14 meeting important (including the meetings that took place between the President and the Tacloban mayor)?

    It gives us the context of the rescue operations, the relief operations, the desperate looting of warehouses, the scattered dead bodies on the streets of Tacloban that remained uncollected, and now uncounted for not being identified.

    (i’m trying to get a full transcript of the video).

     Both parties do not deny that: The Tacloban mayor was required by the national government to execute a letter saying that he was no longer functioning, or that he could no longer discharge the functions of his office.

     The explanation of the DILG secretary for this is that they would not want to be perceived as being improper  in taking over the functions of the local government (“there may be questions about the legality” is what he said in the Nov. 14 meeting).

     The explanation of the Tacloban mayor is that: his lawyer said that declaring that you were no longer able to discharge the functions of your office was tantamount to “constructive resignation”.

     My notes: The lawyer had basis – there are Supreme Court decisions  that state: Even if the government official did not expressly use the word “resign”, the court would construe the surrounding circumstances as a  form of “constructive resignation” . (I don’t agree with this SC Decision but there it is. )

    Today, gma7 news online indirectly quotes the DILG secretary: “The secretary went on to warn those “spreading lies” to “better be careful” as the DILG has a mandate to act for a local government official rendered “ineffective” by a disaster.”

     In other words, if this news story is accurate, the DILG secretary yesterday warned the Tacloban mayor to stop “spreading lies” and “better be careful” because … “DILG has a mandate to act for a local government official rendered “ineffective” by a disaster.”

     Is the DILG secretary referring to the preventive suspension powers of the President under the Local Government Code?

    Can you… preventively suspend the Tacloban mayor for “spreading lies” on ground that he has been rendered “ineffective”?

    Can you?  

   The palace (but speaking thru Sec. Coloma) had distanced itself from what it characterized as “Roxas-Romualdez issue” (DZMM) but in that Nov. 14 meeting, the DILG secretary was representing the national government and was speaking for the President (“you are a
Romualdez and the President is an Aquino”). President Noynoy never disavowed the DILG secretary.

3.What kind of evidence is the video?

        maybe we should paraphrase SOCO and Gus Abelgas “dahil hindi nagsisinungaling ang ebidinsya…SOCO scene of the crime operative. dadalhin kayo ng abs-cbn soco… sa mismong sentro ng imbestigasyon… bawat hakbang ng mga forensic investigations… ay aming sasabayan hanggang sa ang pagpupursigi sa paghanap ng katotohan… gamit ang siyensya, lohika at pagkamaparaan…  ay humantong sa pagkalutas ng kasong aming tinututukan…” For two pennies, i will give you my best Gus Abelgas voice impersonation.

     In the hierarchy of evidence, a video,  properly authenticated,  is considered documentary evidence; and object and documentary evidence are deemed more reliable than testimonial evidence, or more reliable than the say-so or the after-the-fact statements of the parties.

     ANC announced that an hour from now (at 11am), the DILG secretary, the defense secretary, the social welfare secretary, would hold a press briefing.

(video below, but full transcript required)