Pinoy joel bander sex scandal victim (1)


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Atty. Bander Set Up in Fake Sex Case …And How He Acquitted Himself with Honor and Dignity

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Pinoy joel bander sex scandal victim (1)

  1. 1. | Joel Bander Sex Scandal Victim Atty. Bander Set Up in Fake Sex Case …And How He Acquitted Himself with Honor and Dignity By Rene Villaroman with PWD Investigative Team2/23/2012 1
  2. 2. On July 13, 2006, Atty. Joel Bander was in Manila providing immigration consultation services when he received an e-mail from Myrna Ang Tiu. The e-mail stated that she desired an immigration consultation for herself and seven (7) friends with similar issues. Bander had earlier advertised his consultation services in the Los Angeles editions of Asian Journal, which then and now is the largest Filipino-American newspaper, and where he was then serving as legal counsel.2/23/2012 2
  3. 3. Based on a deposition made by Lotis Rosario, who was Bander‟s legal assistant inManila, a law student at San Beda College, who has since passed the Philippine Barand now serves as law clerk for the Philippines Court of Appeals, Ms. Tiu arrived afew days later with only one (1) client who called herself „Christina San Jose.‟ Ms. Tiupaid for „San Jose‟s‟ consultation fee of $100.The meeting room was less than one meter away from the reception area. Ms. Rosariorecalled that during the meeting, she went into the consultation room to bring MrBander tea. “Nothing unusual was happening; it was an uneventful consultation, withChristina San Jose leaving the room smiling, almost laughing.” Little did Bander andRosario know at the time that „San Jose‟ was happy because she „thought‟ she hadmade some quick money. 2/23/2012 3
  4. 4. Meanwhile, Myrna Tiu (this is her real name) then consulted with Atty. Bander aboutprocessing her immigration visa. She made another appointment to meet Bander thenext day at the EDSA Shangrila Hotel to pay the retainer fee. But she did not show up.Ms. Rosario recalled that when she called Ms. Tiu to inquire about her arrival, the latterwas “shocked” to find out that the legal assistant was also in the meeting toaccompany Atty Bander. Rosario thought the response was odd.At that point, Bander considered the matter closed and flew home to Los Angeles. Butunbeknownst to both he and Ms. Rosario a devious plan had been hatched to make upa sexual story to malign his good reputation.2/23/2012 4
  5. 5. Then, in the July 27, 2007 edition of Manila Standard, a news report that “sexcharges” were filed against „consular officer‟ Joel Bander appeared, obviously paidfor by people out to ruin his reputation. That story was followed by another newsstory in the August 5, 2006 issue of People‟s Tonight, written by Allan Begornia,who called Bander a „trader‟ and claiming that charges were filed in Branch 73 ofthe Taguig Trial Court.But the real, hard truth is that there is no Branch 73 at the Taguig Court. And therewas never any case in the Taguig Trial Court, even though Balita Media, through itsobedient executive editor keeps repeating a baseless and non-existent „sexualassault‟ case stories filed against Bander. The stories, by their inaccuracies, weretotal fabrications and assuredly paid for, as is the rampant practice in some lessreputable newspapers in Manila and written by reporters with less than sterlingjournalism ethics.2/23/2012 5
  6. 6. But the real, hard2/23/2012 6
  7. 7. A Manila investigator for who interviewed People‟s Tonightreporter Allan Begornia, admitted, after a few shots of hard liquor, that he was paidabout $200 to write the Bander sex scandal story, and whoever it was that approachedhim to write the story really hated Bander with a passion. It was this highly trainedinvestigator‟s opinion that Begornia was an alcoholic. After this brouhaha reachedPeople‟s Tonight management, the tabloid made a retraction and fired reporterBegornia.A few days after September 8, 2006, Ms. Rosario, Bander‟s Manila legal assistant,received a call from someone professing to be Christina San Jose‟s brother. He saidthat the articles in the newspapers were all part of a plan to smear Joel Bander‟s namein the Philippines and that the source of this campaign came from the U.S. The callerfurther claimed that his „sister‟ was not paid, as promised, by this group. Hence „SanJose‟ wanted to retract the false accusations against Bander.2/23/2012 7
  8. 8. “This is a set-up”: Amb. Raul Rabe “It was obvious this was a setup from the start,” said Ambassador Raul Rabe, who had worked with Bander organizing and helping Filipino World War II veterans during the late 1990s, and has remained Bander‟s friend. “I wanted to help Atty. Bander, who did so much for war veterans over the years,” Rabe said. His law office in Manila initially undertook the legal representation of Bander, and developed an overwhelming case demonstrating that the complaint was a fraud and a set-up. However, even with his firm‟s influence, the rampant corruption in the Philippines won the day until the Aquino administration came into office and Bander was ultimately acquitted.2/23/2012 8
  9. 9. His case was made even stronger when:* „San Jose‟ provided a false address, an abandoned warehouse/factory space;* Ms. Rosario still had the receipt of the person identifying herself as „Christina SanJose‟. However, the signature on the Complaint Sheet at the fiscal‟s office was verydifferent than the one on the receipt.Despite Balita‟s repeated and malicious publication of this story without regards forresponsible, truthful and ethical journalism, Bander had placed himself before thecourt in the fall of 2006 by requesting a formal Reinvestigation, which the courtgranted. He appeared at the Manila fiscal‟s office, but the “fictitious” „San Jose‟ didnot appear. “I was amazed how pathetic the Manila Fiscal‟s office looked,”recounted Bander. “They did not even have a phone or a computer at their desks.”2/23/2012 9
  10. 10. “Everyone Wanted a Bribe”Rabe‟s law firm then filed a Petition for Review with the Philippine Department ofJustice in October 2007, with Bander further placing himself within the structuresof the Philippine Justice system, despite Rhony Laigo‟s claim that Bander was“making a mockery of Philippine justice system.” After six months inquiries weremade and a meeting was set up through the assistance of a congressional office. “Iwas quite surprised to be meeting with about four (4) Justice Departmentofficials, and a couple of congressional aides,” Bander recalls. “Then the biggerguy showed up. I think he was head of finance. We ate and talked about the case. Ithanked everyone, paid for the food and left. Afterwards, my then attorney, LloydNonato, told me these officials wanted money too, about $3000. I was incensed, butcontinued to refuse to pay these bribes.”2/23/2012 10
  11. 11. In the meantime, Balita‟s executive editor, Rhony Laigo, was instructed by hisbosses, Anthony Allen and Luchie Mendoza-Allen, to fly to Manila and obtain aHold Departure Order from the Bureau of Immigration through the help of hisfriends and former colleagues at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport beat. AfterLaigo reportedly bribed his way to obtaining a Hold Departure Order, Bander‟slawyer, Lloyd Nonato obtained a personal appointment with the ImmigrationCommissioner on October 29, 2009. He described to the commissioner how thecharges were fabricated and was a big hoax.The commissioner directed Nonato to his aides, who asked for $4000 to lift theHDO. “At this point,” Bander recalls, “I decided to wait for the end of the Arroyoadministration, as I will not pay bribes.” 2/23/2012 11
  12. 12. Aquino WinsIn August 2010, after Noynoy Aquino was elected president, Bander traveled toManila, and with the assistance of prominent attorney Sig Fortun the HDO wasremoved without the payment of any bribes, and a few months later Bander wasacquitted by the trial court. “I want to state,” Bander said, “that at no time didanyone from the court in any way ask for a bribe, nor did anyone even intimatethat I should.” Joel Lucanan was the Manila Trial Court judge. “From my few timesin court, Judge Lucanan treated everyone with dignity and fairness, even thoughhe was just handling minor matters,” Bander added.2/23/2012 12
  13. 13. Atty. Sig Fortun told, “I represented Atty. Bander as abrethren who has helped so many Filipinos. I did not want him to think that FilipinoJustice is so corrupt.”However, corrupt elements of the Philippine American Media that only wishAttorney Bander harm continue to discuss this criminal case as if the underlyingfacts have any basis in truth, or that Bander somehow was running from even acorrupt criminal justice system.2/23/2012 13