Sunday, May 31, 2009

Soderling Leads Nadal 6-2, 2-1 Live Blog, French Open 2009

31 May 2009

I pick up the French Open match betweeen Rafael Nadal and Robin Soderling with  Soderling leading 6-2, 2-1.  This is a battle for a quarterfinal slot at Roland Garros.

Nadal has just broken Soderling's serve in the third game of the second set.  Nadal has just won the fourth game as well, leads 3-1 in the second set.

Soderling serves with an ace, 40-0, fifth game, second set.  40-15, Soderling's backhand return going out. 40-30, another return by Soderling long and out. 40-40, Soderling's return hitting the net and bounced out of court. Advantage and breakpoint Nadal on a Soderling error. Deuce on an error by Nadal.  Advantage now to Soderling who eventually wins game 5.  It's now 3-2, second set.

They're now flashing onscreen the standing record for most consecutive sets won at Roland Garros, Bjorn Borg 41, Rafael Nadal 32.

Nadal serving, game 6.  15-15 on a long return by Soderling.  30-15 unforced error by Soderling, the ball hitting the net. 30-30 unforced error by Nadal.  Deuce.  Nadal wins game 6.  It's now 4-2, second set.

Soderling serving, game 7.  He wins game 7.  It's now 4-3, second set.

Nadal serving, game 8.  0-15, Nadal's return long and out. 0-30 Soderling able to return a  Nadal drop shot. 15-30 unforced error by Soderling.  30-30 powerful serve by Nadal, weak return by Soderling, ball hitting the net. A soft shot by Soderling near the net gets returned beautifully by Nadal, 40-30.  Nadal wins game 8; it's now 5-3, second set.

Soderling serving, game 9.  Soderling leads 30-0. It's now 40-0, unforced error by Nadal. 40-15, Soderling return, long.  Soderling wins game 9 with an ace.  5-4, second set.

Nadal serving, game 10.  15-15.  30-15 unforced error by Soderling, ball going out on the side.  30-30 unforced error by Nadal, ball hitting the net.  30-40 unforced error by Nadal, ball hitting the net.  Breakpoint for Soderling.  Soderling breaks Nadal's serve with an excellent backhand return. 5-5 second set.

Soderling serving, game 11. 15-0.  15-15 on a brilliant return by Nadal. 30-30.  30-40 breakpoint for Nadal. 40-40 beautiful forehand volley by Soderling. Advantage Soderling. Soderling wins the game with an ace. Soderling leads the second set, 6-5.

A major upset by Soderling looms. The crowd is cheering Robin Soderling. Now we'll know what stuff Nadal is really made of.

Nadal serving, game 12.  0-15 persistent attack by Soderling.  15-15 terrific cross-court return by Nadal.  15-30.  Beautiful shot by Nadal, Soderling could not reach it in time, 30-30.  40-30 Nadal, error by Soderling.  Nadal wins game 12.  Second set tied at 6 all.

Tiebreaker.  Nadal 1-0.  2-0, error by Soderling, ball hitting the net.  3-0, another Soderling error. 4-0, successive errors by Soderling.  All of a sudden his endgame is crumbling. 5-0 Nadal's return hits net but bounces over to the other side.  6-0 It's all Nadal, 6 set points. 

6-1 weak forehand return by Nadal. 6-2 another error by Nadal. 7-2 Nadal wins tiebreaker and the second set 7-6.  Nadal has just survived the scare of a lifetime.  He may yet lose this match but it won't be by a shutout.    

Third set.
Game 1. 

Nadal serving.  15-0 error by Soderling.  30-0, crosscourt backhand by Nadal.  40-0 another excellent cross-court backhand by Nadal.  Nadal wraps up game 1 on an error by Soderling.  Leads 1-0, third set.

Soderling serving, game 2.  30-30.  40-30, forehand winner by Soderling.  Deuce, nice forehand return by Nadal.  Advantage Soderling on a powerful volley.  Soderling wins game 2 with an ace.  Score, 1-1, third set.

Nadal serving, game 3.  Double fault by Nadal, 0-15.  15-15 unforced error by Soderling... 40-30 on an error by Soderling, Nadal wins game 3 with an ace.  Nadal leads 2-1, third set.

Soderling serving, game 4.  30-0 after a cross-court return by Soderling. 40-0.  Soderling wins game 4, error by Nadal.  Third set tied, 2 all.

Nadal serving, game 5.  15-0, long return by Soderling. 30-0, Soderling error. 40-0 another Soderling error. Nadal wins game 5, leads third set, 3-2.

Soderling serving, game 6.  30-15. 40-15.  Soderling wins game  6 easily, ties third set, 3-3.

Nadal serving, game 7.  0-30, a forehand winner by Soderling and an error by Nadal. 15-30, long return by Soderling.  15-40 Soderling on a forced error by Nadal.  30-40, forehand winner by Nadal. Soderling wins game 7, leads third set 4-3.

Soderling serving, game 8.  15-15.  15-30, Nadal's return goes out.  15-40 Nadal falls as Soderling attacks the net and produces a winner.  Soderling wins game 8, leads third set 5-3.

Nadal serving, game 9.  0-15, Soderling attacking the net, making Nadal run and wins the point with a soft shot.  15-15 error by Soderling. 30-15 Nadal.  30-30 error by Nadal. 40-30 short return by Soderling.  Nadal wins game 9, Soderling still leads third set, 5-4.

Soderling serving, game 10. 15-0 long return by Nadal. 30-0 forehand winner by Soderling. Another long unforced error by Nadal, long return, 40-0, triple set point for Soderling.  Crowd cheers Soderling. Soderling wins the third set, 6-4.

The score is now 6-2, 7-6, 6-4 Soderling leading 2 sets to 1.

Fourth set

Nadal serving, game 1. 15-15.  30-15, unforced error by Soderling, ball going out at the side. 40-15.  Nadal wins game 1 easily; leads fourth set, 1-0.

Soderling serving, game 2.  15-0, beautiful return by Soderling. 15-15 error by Soderling. 15-30 error again by Soderling, the ball hitting the net.  Crowd cheering Soderling.  40-0 another Soderling ball hitting the net.  Nadal breaks Soderling's serve, leads fourth set, 2-0.

"Nadal won't go away [easily]," the announcer says.  

Nadal serving, game 3.  0-15, long return by Nadal. 0-30.  0-40 Nadal returns long.  Error by Nadal wins game 3 for Soderling.  Nadal still leads fourth set, 2-1.

Soderling serving, game 4.  15-15.  15-30, short return by Nadal.  30-30, short return by Soderling.  Forehand winner by Soderling, 40-30.  Deuce, short return by Soderling. Advantage Soderling, attacking the net with a drop shot. A forehand winner by Soderling wins game 4 tying the fourth set 2 all.

Nadal serving, game 5. 15-0 Nadal with a baseline winner.  30-0 error by Soderling, long return. 40-0 another short return by Soderling. Nadal wins with a cross-court winner, attacking the net.  Nadal leads fourth set, 3-2.
Soderling serving, game 6.  30-0. Those cross-court hits by Soderling have devastated Nadal all day. Soderling wins game 6, ties fourth set, 3 all.

Nadal serving, game 7.  30-15.  Cross-court winner by Nadal, 40-15.  Nadal wins game 7 with a powerful serve; leads fourth set, 4-3.  

Soderling serving, game 8.  15-0, Nadal's return hitting the top of the net. 30-0. 30-15, forehand winner by Nadal.  Forehand winner by Soderling, attacking the net, 40-15.  Another forehand winner by Soderling, wins game 8, ties fourth set at 4 all.

Nadal serving, game 9.  15-0, short return by Soderling.  30-0, long return by Soderling. Another long return by Soderling, 40-0.  40-15, Nadal attacks the net but ball goes outside. Nadal wins game 9 after hitting a forehand winner straight to Soderling who had to move away from the ball.  Nadal apologizes to Soderling, Nadal leads fourth set, 5-4.

Soderling serving.  0-15 Soderling return short.  15-15, Nadal short return.  30-30.  40-30 forehand winner by Soderling as Nadal tried to move back to position.  Soderling wins game 10 via a cross-court forehand winner.  Fourth set tied at 5 all.

Nadal servng, game 11.  0-15 first point to Soderling on a long backhand return by Nadal. Soderling forehand error, 15-15.  Wide return by Soderling, 30-15.  40-15.  Nadal wins on an error by Soderling, short cross-court return. Nadal leads fourth set, 6-5.

Soderling serving, game 12.  15-0, Soderling forehand passing shot as Nadal rushes the net.  15-15, Nadal rushes the net again, short return by Soderling. Crowd chanting, "Soderling!"  15-40 Soderling ace. 30-40, long return by Soderling.  Deuce, forehand winner by Nadal.  Advantage Soderling on a return near the line.  Deuce, error by Soderling.  Advantage Soderling as Nadal's return falls short.  Soderling wins game 12.  Fourth set tied at 6 all.

Tiebreak. Nadal serving.  Soderling wins first point, 1-0.  Bad shot by Nadal, Soderling, 2-0. Wide return by Soderling, 2-1.  Nadal mis-hits a Soderling passing shot, 3-1 Soderling leads. Long cross-court return by Nadal, 4-1.  Crowd cheers.  Soderling now leads 5-1 after a long backhand return by Nadal.  Short return by Nadal, 5 match points for Robin Soderling.   

Forehand winner by Nadal, 6-2, Soderling leads, 4 match points.  Error by Nadal, Soderling wins the fourth set, 7-2.

Soderling beats Nadal, 6-2, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6.  Robin Soderling of Sweden has just produced one of the biggest upsets in tennis history, beating world no. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain. Rafael Nadal, prior to this match, has never lost at Roland Garros.



Saturday, May 30, 2009

Senator Bong Revilla Promises Results in the Senate's Investigation into the Hayden Kho-Katrina Halili Sex Videos Scandal

30 May 2009

Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr. has promised that the Senate investigation into the Hayden Kho sex videos controversy will yield concrete results.

The Senator from Cavite whose privilege speech on May 19 triggered the series of investigations and heightened public interest in the controversy gave this definite assurance in an exclusive Startalk interview this afternoon with Ricky Lo and Lolit Solis.  

Senator Revilla said that the case against Dr. Hayden Kho has been positively established and that the inquiry now needs to focus on who uploaded the sex videos and on the "big fish" drug supplier alluded to by Senator Madrigal and whom Hayden Kho refused to name during Thursday's Senate hearing for fear of his life and that of his family.


Lolit Solis Reacts, Part 3, Interview with Joey De Leon — She Insists the P4 Million Loan and the P300,000 Monthly Support to Hayden is True

30 May 2009

Lolit Solis has not been appeased and she continues her tirade against Dr. Hayden Kho and his mom, Mrs. Irene Kho.

In this Startalk exclusive, Lolit Solis is interviewed by Eat Bulaga co-host Joey De Leon.  

According to Lolit, she still has some revelations to disclose if Mrs. Irene Kho speaks out again on the issue.

From Paris, Vicki Belo Denies She's Keeping Hayden Kho -- "Hindi Naman Ako Gano'n Ka-Desperada Na Magme-Maintain Pa 'Ko ng Lalaki"

30 May 2009

Taking a break from her shooting in Paris of Belo 101, Dra. Vicki Belo, ex-girlfriend of embattled Dr. Hayden Kho, expressed her love and support for her former lover.

The lady doctor also denied accusations, coming mainly from talent manager Lolit Solis, that she is keeping Dr. Hayden Kho, giving him monthly financial support amounting to P300,000.

"Hindi naman ako ganu'n ka-desperada na magme-maintain pa 'ko ng lalaki or whatever. Alam ko hindi ako gano'n kabata or kaganda pero siguro naman meron akong konting dignidad at hindi ko gagawin 'yon."

Belo also denied Solis' allegations that Hayden's parents are indebted to her financially. Solis claimed earlier in an interview with ABS-CBN's Mario Dumaual that Hayden's parents borrowed P4 million from Dra. Belo to finance their eatery. According to Solis, this happened during the early stages of Dra. Belo's relationship with Hayden Kho.

This is the exclusive ABS-CBN video report direct from Paris via kyte.tv:



May 30, Confirmed H1N1 Cases in the Philippines Now Placed at 14

30 May 2009

There are now fourteen (14) confirmed H1N1 cases in the Philippines according to the DOH.

This is the video report courtesy of GMAnews.tv:

I have written several posts lamenting the DOH's questionable attitude of keeping secret to the general public the details of the flights of people who come in from flights abroad and eventually show signs of H1N1 infection here.

You can do Google searches of countries like Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore and you'll see that they normally publicize the flight details whenever incoming passengers develop H1N1 cases.

Why should the flight details be publicized?

We can give lots of answers to this question but one of the simplest reasons why this should be done is to alert all the passengers who came into the country on the same flights taken by these confirmed H1N1 cases. Once alerted, these fellow passengers can take the necessary self-quarantine or self-isolation measures such as social distancing which will then contribute automatically to the containment of any H1N1 infection.

Katrina Halili Files Libel Charges Against Mrs. Irene Kho

29 May 2009
Actress Katrina Halili, assisted by her lawyers, filed libel charges against Mrs. Irene Kho, mother of Dr. Hayden Kho, who is now the central figure in the Philippines' brewing sex videos scandal.

The libel charges stemmed from accusations made by Mrs. Irene Kho in her interview, aired several days ago on national TV via ABS-CBN, that it was Katrina Halili who pushed Dr. Hayden Kho into using drugs.

This is the video report of Katrina Halili's filing of libel charges against Mrs. Irene Kho, courtesy of GMAnews.tv:.

It will be recalled during Thursday's Senate hearing that both Hayden Kho and Katrina Halili stuck to their original versions of the drug angle of the controversy. Hayden insisted that it was Katrina who first introduced him to the drug known as Ecstasy in 2007 and was the one supplying him with drugs. Katrina denied the accusation.

But Hayden was adamant saying that he knew and could name Katrina's friends who were the ones buying drugs for her.

Hayden admitted that he eventually bought drugs for himself. Near the end of the Senate hearing, however, even when pressed by Senator Jamby Madrigal, Hayden refused to name the person who was supplying him with drugs saying that that person was so powerful and so well-connected that he could have him killed anytime.

This "high-profile" personality, according to Senator Madrigal, is believed to be the same person who bought the sex videos for P2 million from Erik Chua and Mark Herbert "Bistek" Rosario and had it distributed via the pirate video mass market.

Friday, May 29, 2009

May 29, Katrina Halili Goes to PDEA But Did Not Undergo Drug Test, Hayden and Irene Kho, No-Shows

29 May 2009

Katrina Halili went to the PDEA this morning but did not undergo any drug test. Meanwhile, Hayden Kho and his mother, Mrs. Irene Kho, to show up completely at the PDEA. They were reportedly concerned about their security. In short, none of the expected drug tests happened today.

Here is the video report courtesy of GMAnews.tv:

The reason given by Atty. Mamyrlito Tan for the postponement of Katrina Halili's drug test is to give way to the filing of libel charges against Mrs. Irene Kho. I find this difficult to understand. I believe there might be some other reason why the drug test did not take place.

Earlier tonight, I saw ABS-CBN's Showbiz News Ngayon's (SNN) report wherein it was said that the PDEA will use hair samples for the drug test. If you will recall during yesterday's Senate hearing, Dr. Hayden Kho pointed out that drug testing using hair samples is far more effective because traces of drugs remain in the hair for about six (6) years. When asked if they had such drug testing capability, I remember the PDEA representative saying they did not and that hair samples would need to be sent abroad. It's now turning out that that is apparently not true.

I remember seeing last year a documentary wherein a case of poisoning in the United States was uncovered by forensic experts using tests conducted on the victim's hair samples. The tests showed traces of the toxic substance used to poison the victim. A bottle of the toxic substance used was among the items seized from the perpetrator who turned out to be the victim's spouse.

Hayden Kho - Katrina Halili Scandal, — Highlights of Dr. Vicki Belo's Statement Read by Atty. Tamano at Senate Hearing, May 28

29 May 2009

Here's the highlights of the affidavit of Dra. Vicki Belo that was read by Atty. Adel Tamano during the Senate hearing on the Hayden Kho - Katrina Halili sex videos scandal.  

The report is by Joseph Morong of 24 Oras, courtesy of GMAnews.tv:

More on this when I return.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

H1N1 Confirmed Cases in the Philippines Jumps to 10

28 May 2009

The number of confirmed H1N1 flu cases in the Philippines has jumped to 10.

Here's the report from GMAnews.tv:

More on this when I return:

Hayden Kho - Katrina Halili Scandal, — Who Is the High-Profile Mystery Personality, Suspected of Being Drug Supplier and Buyer of Sex Videos

 28 May 2009

Who is the high-profile personality whom Senator Jamby Madrigal suspects is the same person who supplied Hayden Kho with drugs and bought the Hayden Kho sex videos?

Did Erik Chua and/or Bistek Rosario sell the sex videos to the mystery high-profile personality as suspected by Hayden Kho?

In giving Erik Chua and Bistek Rosario the key to Hayden's apartment and asking that they retrieve the laptop and hard disk assigned to Hayden Kho, didn't Dr. Vicki Belo suspect that other sex videos would turn up?  There are questions generated by Dr. Belo's declarations in her affidavit. The public hopes that she's able to give the answers to these questions when she gives her testimony.

Let's press the Senate to continue conducting the Hayden Kho - Katrina Halili sex videos and drugs scandal in public. If he really exists, the public needs to know who that high-profile, mystery personality who supplied the drugs and bought the sex videos is.  

The transparency that Senator Madrigal wants to promote will be defeated once the public hearings turn into executive sessions.  So far, the Madrigal committee has done a good job in spite of what I'd say minor snafus such as the Afuang water-dousing incident.  

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance — vigilance by the people, not just by senators.  Let's support our senators, like Senators Jamby Madrigal, Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, who push for keeping the Hayden Kho - Katrina Halili as public as possible!


VINDICATION! — Mike Defensor Decides to Drop Perjury Charges Against Jun Lozada, May 28, 2009


28 May 2009

Jun Lozada takes another big step in his long journey towards obtaining justice when defeated administration senatorial candidate Mike Defensor dropped the perjury charges pending against the NBN-ZTE scandal whistleblower before the sala of Manila MTC Judge Lorredo. 

The case was set for pre-trial conference this morning and although Lozada was present, Defensor did not appear and instead submitted a letter saying that "... I am no longer interested in pursuing the present case ... I feel that I may not be able to obtain impartial justice from the Honorable Court."

Here are video reports courtesy of GMAnews.tv:

Why would somebody file charges and then withdraw them when the one being charged has demonstrated willingness to be jailed and to answer the charges against him?

What we expected would happen has happened!

To God be the glory!

Live Blog of Senate Hearing, Hayden Kho - Katrina Halili Video Scandal May 28, 2009

28 May 2009   3:05pm

The Senate hearing on the Hayden Kho sex videos scandal, for want of a better term, has been on the air over ANC for about half an hour now.

3:04pm Senators Estrada and Revilla decide to hold a public hearing. As Chair, Senator Madrigal said he has to honor the decision of the majority.

3:07pm There is now an ongoing argument between Senator Jinggoy Estrada and Atty. Lorna Kapunan as to who is making a threat.  Atty. Lorna Kapunan had been quoted by Senator Madrigal earlier that they would walk out if the hearing is not done in executive session.  Atty. Kapunan said she was not making a threat and that it was Senator Jinggoy Estrada who was making a threat.

3:08pm "I never threatened anybody.  Did I threaten you personally?" Senator Jinggoy asks Atty. Lorna Kapunan.

3:09pm "I demand the presence of Atty. Kho in this hearing," says Senator Jinggoy.  Applause from the audience.  Senator Jinggoy Estrada asks that the Senate sergeant-at-arms "bring the body of Hayden Kho to the session."

3:13pm Atty. Kapunan apologizes to Senator Jinggoy Estrada.

3:15pm Atty. Kapunan asks for a two-minute leave to confer with her client, Dr. Hayden Kho. Senator Madrigal gives assurance that the rights of Dr. Hayden Kho will be fully respected by the committee.

3:16pm Senator Jinggoy Estrada accepts the apology of Atty. Kapunan.

3:18pm Senator Bong Revilla is now delivering his opening statement. The statement is strong asking for punishment for those responsible for the abuses on women and refers to Hayden Kho by name.

3:22pm Senator Madrigal speaking ...

3:22pm DSWD representative speaking ... commends the Madrigal committee for its work in protecting the rights of women and children.

3:23pm Commissioner Cardona of the Commission on Human Rights now speaking ... commends Katrina Halili for her courage.  

3:26pm  Commissioner Timoteo speaking ... 

3:28pm  Senator Madrigal says something about her Committee having heard every bill ...

3:29pm Hayden Kho wearing a white long-sleeves shirt, enters the session hall and sits beside his lawyer, Atty. Lorna Kapunan.  He looks relaxed and composed.

3:30pm A PNP official is speaking ...

3:31pm  Senator Madrigal says the Senate has passed the law on cybercrime while Congress which is more interested with Cha-Cha has not done so after six months.  She implores the Congress to pass the bill.

3:32pm  NBI Director Mantaring now speaking. Director Mantaring informs the Committee that the NBI expects to finish its investigation by "next week."

3:34pm  Atty. Rosendo Meneses of the OMB now speaking ... 

3:35pm  Senator Madrigal tells Atty. Meneses that "we are not here to be lectured."  She then asks what the OMB has to say, "Paano nakalusot sa inyo 'to?  Pa'no na-distribute nang hindi ninyo nalaman."

3:36pm  Atty. Meneses 

3:36pm  "Have you confiscated all the discs of this video?" Senator Madrigal.  "Yes," answers Atty. Meneses.

3:37pm  ASEC Santiago of PDEA now speaking.  Assures the Committee of PDEA's full coooperation.

3:38pm  Katrina Halili, wearing a green T-shirt and looking distraught, enters the room.

3:38pm  A shout and then, "Arrest that man!" Somebody wearing a red shirt was taken by Senate guards out of the room apparently for dousing water over.

3:40pm  The man has been identified by Gen. Balajadia as former policeman named "Afuang."

3:41pm  Senator Madrigal orders the man identified "Afuang" arrested.     

3:41pm  Atty. Kapunan asking Senator Madrigal as to how to protect his client against instances such as just what happened.

3:42pm Senator Jinggoy asks the persons seated behind the resource persons to move to the other side and only the Senate guards will occupy the area.

3:46pm ASec Santiago resumes his statement.  He belies impressions that there is generalization that media personalities are on drugs. 

3:47pm  Senator Madrigal asks "best-dressed man" Atty. Tamano to give his statement but before that, another attorney was given the chance to speak.

3:48pm  Atty. Tamano speaking.  Expresses regret that Dr. Vicki Belo could not attend ... by June 9th, his client would be willing to attend.

3:49pm  Atty. Tamano now reading the affidavit of Dr. Vicki Belo ...

1.  Vicki Belo break up with Hayden Kho.
2.  Knew about sex video with Hayden Kho.
3.  On Dec. 9, 2008, Belo asked Hayden's friends, Erik Chua and Bistek Rosario to retrieve the computers and hard drives which were issued to Hayden ... where he may have stored a copy of Vicki - Hayden sex video.
4.  They ... took the computers ...  these did not contain the video they were looking for. 
5.  Hard disk protected by password.
6.  Eric volunteered to find a computer expert who can break the password.
7.  Eric with computer expert broke the password.
8.  Eric gave Vicki a DVD.  "Here, my gift to you."
9.  Eric violated instructions to delete the video.
10. To her chagrin, Dr. Belo discovered that the DVD contained videos of Hayden having sex with other women including Miss Katrina Halili.   
11. Vicki destroyed the DVD.
12.  Mention is made of Mr. Omar Sortijas 

3:54pm Who is Omar Sortijas?  She is someone connected with Miss Katrina Halili.

3:55pm  Oath now being administered to Dr. Hayden Kho.

3:57pm  Katrina Halili now reading her prepared statement.  "Pakiramdam ko po marami pong nagmamahal sa akin... Upang maitindig ang sarili ko mula sa pambababoy na ginawa sa 'kin ni Dr. Hayden Kho... Minahal ko po si Hayden ... para isiping ako lang ang nagmamay-ari ng puso niya."

3:59pm  Katrina, "... imbes na doktor, direktor pala... Hangad ko po ang hustisya ... Gusto ko po siyang matanggalan ng lisensiya... Gusto ko rin po siyang makulong at magdusa sa kasalanan niya... Sa kultura po natin, habambuhay na latay sa pagkatao ko ang ginawa sa 'kin."

4:01pm Katrina, "... may hangganan po ang katangahan ... ilalaban ko po ang aking karapatang mabuhay nang marangal ..."  (By the time she finished, Katrina was crying ... sheer courage from a young woman who is facing the challenge of a lifetime)

4:03pm Senator Jinggoy speaking to Hayden Kho ... the're now talking for more than a minute and everything is unintelligible, must have problem with the microphone.

4:05pm  How old are you?  29

When did you start taking drugs?  August 2007

Only Ecstasy?  Yes.

Who is your source?

Who influenced you in taking drugs.  Si Katrina Halili po.

August 22, 2007 I did a lipo of Katrina.

Katrina asked me to go to Holiday Inn.

There were other people there taking drugs.

That was in 2007?  August 2007.

It was dark basang-basa yung room.  Weird.

I ended up leaving.

So we left na po.

First time, walang sex na nangyari.

We met first Belo Clinic.

After no'n, she kept on texting.

She invited me again to Holiday Inn the week after.

Pinaalis niya si Nimfa, naiwan kaming dalawa.

She asked me to take drugs.

Dalawa daw .  Ayoko.

Finally pumayag ako isa lang.

Sabi niya dalawa, pag isa walang epekto yan.

The result the video with bandana.

Drugs and sex ... drugs and sex

Nagcontinue gano'ng relationship hanggang December 2007.  Last time we saw each other New Year 2008.

4:10pm  Senator Jinggoy asks Katrina to respond.

Hindi po tutoo.  Last week po ng July 2007, nagpa-lipo po ako sa kanya.

Doctor-patient relationship, text text kami.

Matagal niya na kong crush.  Yung jologs na notebook.

Anong ibig sabihin ng jologs, asks Senator Jinggoy (Laughter).

Meron daw po siyang dalawang babae na gusto niyang makadate.  Ako at si Angelina Jolie.

Binola nya po ako, matagal na daw niya kong crush.

Pinanood niya sa kin yung video na binati ko siya nang hindi ko siya kilala.

"Hindi po ako nagdra-drugs," says Katrina.

Ayaw niya pong magpakita sa mga tao.

Pinapalabas niya po ako na nilandi ko siya.  Pinakilala ko siya sa pamilya ko.

4:14pm  Senator Jinggoy asks Hayden if he was still able to set up the video equipment while he was "high" on drugs.

4:16pm "I can name the people who buy drugs for Katrina," says Hayden.

Senator Madrigal, "There is information that the person who bought the videos have something to do with drugs."

"Ganon ba ka-powerful itong tao na ito na nagbabanta sa buhay ninyo?"

"He knows the generals who can have me killed anytime," answers Hayden.
4:19pm  "Dr. Hayden Kho, anong pakiramdam mo ngayon?" asks Senator Bong Revilla.

"Shame, guilt." Hayden.

"Naniniwala ka na ikaw ay dapat parusahan."  Opo.

4:19pm They're now talking about the reasons for making the sex videos.

4:24pm "Marami sa 'kin nakakapagkwento na yung mga video na kinukunan mo sa mga kaibigan mo."  Hayden denies thisl.

4:25pm  Ano'ng nararamdaman mo ngayong nasa harap mo si Dr. Hayden Kho?
4:25pm Galit po.

4:26pm Kapal ng mukha mo.  Nakakatingin ka pa ng ganyan.  Outburst by Katrina Halili.

4:27pm Senator Madrigal calls one minute suspension.  Katrina's comment ordered stricken off the record.  Katrina now crying, covering her face with a handkerchief.

4:28pm Senator Revilla asks the DSWD representative if they have statistics about child and women victims of exploitation.  The DSWD explains their projects.

4:30pm  "Kayo pa ba ni Dra. Vicki Belo."  Hindi po.

4:30pm  "Meron ba kayong sex video?" Opo.
4:30pm  "Ano'ng dahilan kung bakit kumalat ang mga videos?"  May I narrate, Sir?  Yes.

4:31pm  "I was being unfaithful to Dr. Belo .. part of that is recording and keeping videos." 

"August 2007,  I began taking drugs with Miss Katrina Halili.  Dec 2007 naghiwalay kami ni Katrina, nawala nang drugs."

"Something tragic happened to me February 2008, I got into depression, knowing the effects that Ecstasy had on me, I started buying my own ... iba-ibang babae .. I became reckless."

".. pati yung girlfriend ng kabarkada ... Dec 2008 Las Vegas po ako, sinabi na po nung ... sinumbong na po nung girlfriend ng barkada ko na may nangyari na sa min ... Manila Dec 9, 2008, kinausap po ako ng isa kong kaibigan ... apat kaming barkada ... Erick Chua, Bistek at saka ako ... since alam na po ng barkada ... yung isang hindi ko pinangalanan ... tinatanong niya ko kung bakit nagawa ko yung pagtataksil ... pinakialaman mo yung girlfriend niya ... alam ko po si Erik at Bistek nandun na po sa bahay ni Vicki Belo ... sige na bumalik ka na sa bahay mo ..."

Sino nag-utos na kunin ang hard drive?

"Is it true that it was Dr. Vicki Belo na nagbigay ng susi?"  Opo.

"Yung hard drive ko nakuha ... ang ginawa ko tinake ko tatlong Ecstasy tapos bumili po ako ng Valium 30 tinuluyan ko na po sarili ko para magpatiwakal ... nakalabas po ako Dec 23 ... nagpasko po ako sa bahay ... tapos nung January po, first week of January, I think, magkasama po kami ni Dra. Belo ... naglabas na siya ng sama ng loob ... tinawagan ko si Bistek ... sinigawan ko si Bistek .. tumawag si Erik Chua ... dahah-dahan ka sa pagkilos mo ... may hawak kaming videos mo ... magingat ka.  Tinanong ko po si Dr. Belo, tinanong ko po yung nangyari sa hard drive ko at yan na po yung nakalagay sa affidavit."

"sino nagpalabas nito?"

"Hindi ko po alam."

"Bakit di mo masabi?"

"Magpa-file ka ng kaso sa mga taong ito?"

"Pwede mong sabihin kung sino suspetsa mo?," asks Senator Madrigal.

"It's either Erik Chua or Bistek."

"Between the two, mas inclined po ako isa dun sa kanila."

"Nung ginawa mo yung video, may consent ba yung mga babae."

"Minsan po meron, minsan po wala."

"Yung video mo with Katrina?  May permission?"

Yung first, the camera was right infront.

Yung second, the camera was infront of her.

Yung third, she talking right infront of the camera, "She said, I'm peeking."

Yung fourth, wala po siyang, "Alam."

Katrina clarified that the first three videos where she had consent were not sex videos.

4:44pm  "Was Dr. Vicki Belo on drugs in your video," asks Senator Estrada.  "Hindi po."

4:45pm "I became dependent on drugs po," said Hayden.

4:49pm "Maski kailan hindi ka nag-droga?" asks Senator Madrigal.  "Hindi po."

4:50pm  "Starting March 2008, I started buying my own drugs."

4:51pm "Yung pong drugs, it stays in the bloodstream for months but it stays in the hair for years."

4:51pm  "I challenge Katrina Halili to a drug test," says Hayden.

4:51pm  "We're not here to challenge people, please apologize."

4:52pm  "We have information that Erik Chua and Bistek Rosario pinagbili nila yung video sa isang malaking tao na may kinalaman sa drugs,"  says Senator Madrigal.

4:53pm  "Siya ang bumili nito for P2million," says Senator Madrigal referring to the important person who bought the videos.

4:54pm  "These were sold to someone for P2 million," may we ask for clarification from Atty. Tamano.

4:55pm  The instructions to Mr. Erik Chua were to delete the video. 

4:56pm  "Nasa responsibility ito ni Dra. Belo."

4:57pm  "Ako'y nagpapasalamat kay Katrina kasi yung katapangan mo nagbigay ng pag-asa sa ibang biktima," says Senator Madrigal.  

4:58pm  "Pa'no nalipat yung video from the camera to the laptop."

4:58pm  USB lang po.

4:59pm  "Point n Shoot Sony Camera."

5:00pm  Dr. Hayden Kho is being asked the name of the person who bought the videos?

5:01pm  This guy really has a lot of connections ... "

5:01pm  You know him personally?  I'd rather not comment.

5:02pm  "Have you been threatened already by this person?"

5:02pm  "I am receiving death threats from this particular person."

5:03pm  Senator Madrigal presses one more time for Hayden Kho to reveal the drug pusher who bought the sex videos.

5:03pm  "Ma'am, I can't make a decision right now ..." Hayden.

5:04pm  "Ma'am baka the moment I say Yes, paglabas ko pa lang dito, tapos na 'ko," Hayden.

5:04pm  "Malalim ito," Senator Madrigal.

5:04pm  "Baka mamaya nasa likod ko na," Hayden said.

5:06pm  "Katrina, pasasalamatan ka bayan ng habang buhay mo," Senator Madrigal.

Hearing adjourned. 

Who is the mystery drug supplier who bought the sex videos for P2 million?  Who is this powerful person whom Hayden Kho cannot name for fear of his life and that of his family? 

This case is way, way far from over and the stakes I'd say have just gone up several notches higher.

Author's Note: Any mistakes or omissions on this live blog post are mine alone.  Pasensiya na po, tao lang.

28 May 2009  5:38pm

Senator Madrigal is being interviewed by Tony Velasquez at ANC's Top Story and she is saying that they have passed the Anti Child Pornography bill but the Congress has not acted on it.  She is saying that with such a law, mere possession of sex videos involving children would be punishable. 

"I have information that the hard drive [containing the sex videos] were sold and posted on the Internet," says Senator Madrigal.

"I would really like to know if they're withholding information (referring to Dr. Vicki Belo)," she added.

Senator Madrigal says she will talk with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to investigate the drugs angle with another Senate Committee, possibly Public Order, in coordination with her Youth Committee.

Erik Chua and Bistek Rosario will be summoned in the next Senate hearing.

"It's my duty as a Senator to hear things referred to my Committee.  It's a risk we have to take," referring to her decision to hold the hearings also in public but this time making sure that no one but the Senate guards are positioned behind the resource persons.

The interview finishes at 5:48pm.

Congratulations to Senators Jamby Madrigal, Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada for not blinking on this one and for keeping the public informed on this matter of immense public interest.

28 May 2009  6:12pm

These are the video clips from GMAnews.tv:


Mariz Umali's Second Exclusive Interview with Dr. Hayden Kho, May 27, 2009

27 May 2009

On the eve of his appearance before the Senate, Dr. Hayden Kho gave this exclusive interview with Mariz Umali of GMA-7. One of the things Hayden asks for is for the public not to involve his parents anymore in the ongoing controversy.

More when I return from the Senate hearing.

Senator Richard Gordon Pushes Senate Bill No. 2590 Proposing a Ninth Ray to the Sun on the Philippine Flag — A Joyous Flag Day to All!

28 May 2009

Today, May 28, is Flag Day in the Philippines.  Officially, the day is set to commemorate the first time the flag was used in battle on May 28, 1898 when General Emilio Aguinaldo's forces defeated Spanish troops in the Battle of Alapan.  

However, this Manila Bulletin article tries to correct what it calls a "historical error." It points to the first unfurling of the Philippine flag in Cavite Nuevo (now Cavite City) and later on in Kawit, thus:
The first flag-waving therefore took place near the port of Cavite Nuevo, not in Alapan. The latter was where a famous battle took place. Historical accounts do not say that the flag fluttered at the battle. Clearly, it was the sight of the prisoners marching into the Cavite port that prompted Aguinaldo to bring out the flag made in Hong Kong and to display it publicly. It was a festive occasion imbued with patriotism, according to the general, the first battle of the second phase of the Philippine Revolution.

Whichever account is true, this day is a glorious one in our struggle to become a free nation.

With the occasion, Senator Richard Gordon is pushing anew Senate Bill No. 2590 which proposes the addition of a ninth ray to the sun on the Philippine flag.  From information on the Senate website, the bill itself was filed on September 4, 2008.

Here's a report by Marisol Abdurahman of GMA-7's Saksi:

Senator Gordon cited in his bill the immortal Lapu-lapu, king of Mactan, the first Filipino leader to resist Spanish colonization killing in the process the great Portuguese circumnavigator of the world, Ferdinand Magellan; Sultan Kudarat who united Muslim clans in Cotabato, Lanao and Basilan, Rajah Sirongan who thwarted the first Spanish attempt to colonize Buayan and many other Muslim leaders.

In his explanatory note, Senator Gordon paid tribute to the bravery of our Muslim brothers and their invaluable contribution in our struggle to overthrow foreign rule:
With their bravery, our Muslim heroes left an imprint on national history that, at the very least, must be given due recognition in the most heraldic item of national importance — the Philippine flag.  This bill proposes that the rays of the sun on the Philippine flag be increased from eight to nine, to symbolize the community of Muslim leaders who defended our land.  They are our forgotten heroes, and through this proposal we seek to inculcate in the minds and heart of our people a just pride in their native Muslim brothers sacrificed their lives for the country's freedom."
I will post here the full text of Senator Gordon's bill when I return.

Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather, Jr. — "He's Good But Not That Good ... Mas Gusto Kong Kalaban 'Yung Maraming Sinasabi!"

28 May 2009

Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao has confirmed that his next fight will be on October 17.  There are many fighters who want to face Pacquiao but he prefers to fight Floyd Mayweather, Jr. 

"Mas ok nga kung si Floyd Mayweather ... gusto ko nga yung maraming sinasabi," said Pacquiao of his desire to face the former  pound-for-pound king who's been drumbeating his own skills while belittling Pacquiao's fighting record.

Here is Dyan Castillejo's interview with the Pacman courtesy of ABS-CBN Sports via kyte.tv:



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

DepEd Scraps Its P427 Million Noodles with Fresh Eggs, Food for School Program Amidst Charges of Overpricing

28 May 2009

Secretary Jesli Lapus of the DepEd has cancelled its P427 million noodles project amidst charges of overpricing and other irregularities.

This is the ABS-CBN video report via kyte.tv:

These articles discuss in greater detail the background of this case:

Hindi po nakakatuwa ang balitang ito na mismo sa DepEd, tagapagturo ng bayan, ay may nagaganap na korapsyon. Dapat po natin itong talakayin, suriin at kapulutan ng aral.

Lolit Solis Reacts, Part 2, to Mrs. Irene Kho — She Alleges, "Umutang Mga Magulang Ni Hayden Kay Vicki Belo ng P4Million ... Hindi Pa Bayad"

27 May 2009

Talent manager Lolit Solis continues her reactions to accusations by Mrs. Irene Kho.  

This time around, Solis alleges that Hayden Kho's parents obtained a P4 million loan from Dr. Vicki Belo and that said loan is still unpaid. She made the allegations in an interview with Mario Dumaual of ABS-CBN.  Excerpts:
"Nung bago pa relasyon ni Hayden tsaka ni Vicki Belo, umutang yung mga magulang ni Hayden ng P4million ... meron yata silang eatery dun sa Marikina, medyo nalulugi ... whatever (Mario Dumaual, asks, 'Bayad na ba?") Maku I'm sure hindi pa ... dahil kung bayad na yon malalaman ko rin ... di ba?  O, kaya nga nagkaroon na ko ng malisya nung biglang lumabas yung isyu tungkol sa tape ... na 4 million ... Nagbalik ano yung utak ko. Teka di ba 4 million yung inutang kay Vicki noon?  Ngayon, 4 million na naman? Bakit parang ang hilig sa number na 4?  

Hindi lang beholden. ang ibig kong sabihin,  Nakikinabang sila ng malaki kay Dra. Vicki Belo ... bakit hindi man lang matanong nung nanay si Hayden kung paano niya naa-afford yung mga trips, kung paano niya naaafford tumira sa Pacific Plaza ... sa The Fort ... kung paano niya naa-afford yung mga kotseng dati nyang ginagamit, yung Porsche dati, di ba? tapos ngayon bago niyang kotse... Pa'no niya 'yon na-afford?  Di ba pag nanay ka, kaya ba 'to ng suweldo ng anak ko.
Here's the video clip of ABS-CBN's Mario Dumaual's interview with Lolit Solis:


As of May 27, 2009, Six (6) Confirmed H1N1 Cases in the Philippines

27 May 2009  7:36pm

Have to run, just need to post this — six (6) confirmed H1N1 cases in the Philippines as of today. 

This is the latest update from the new DOH website:


May 27, 2009 

Secretary Francisco T. Duque III announced today that there are four new laboratory-confirmed Influenza A (H1N1) cases in the country today. We have 2 females, aged 1 year and 26 years; and 2 males, aged 13 years and 55 years. The two children had history of travel to affected countries (Hongkong and the United States). Both adults are contacts of the confirmed case from Taiwan. All are currently being observed in health facilities. The 13 year old male has fully recovered while the rest still have cough.

Efforts are being taken to complete contact tracing and to place under quarantine those with known exposure to the confirmed cases. Those who are found ill will be brought to designated health facilities. The results of the monitoring will be shared with affected local governments once they are available so that further spread will be promptly prevented.

The Department of Health is expecting more confirmed cases in the coming weeks due to its intensive contact tracing and heightened awareness among the public. Also, since there is continuous international travel and the number of affected countries continues to increase, the DOH has been preparing for this scenario.

DOH however assures the public that the pandemic preparedness and response plan is in place and that it has expanded its referral hospitals to all DOH Regional Hospitals and Medical Centers.

Duque reiterated that if you have traveled to an Influenza A(H1N1) affected country or have been exposed to a confirmed case of Influenza A(H1N1) and have fever, cough, sore throat or other flu-like symptoms, please consult a health facility immediately.  You can also call the DOH Hotline (02) 711-1001 or 711-1002. For the Visayas, you can call the DOH Hotline (032) 418-7636 and (032) 255-1591. For Mindanao, you can call the DOH Hotline (082) 227-2731.

More on this when I return. 

Senator Legarda Appeals to the DOH to "Bombard People with right info on swine flu" — YES! — Start with Flight No. of First Confirmed H1N1 Case in RP

27 May 2009

While browsing the Senate website, I ran accross this press release by the office of Senator Loren Legarda.  Senator Legarda is Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography and what she says about the matter is important: 
Press Release
May 22, 2009

Loren asks DOH: Bombard people with right info on swine flu

Senator Loren Legarda yesterday said that Filipinos must take the first confirmed case of swine flu infection in the country calmly, while taking sanitary precautions like the frequent washing of hands and the use of face masks if applicable.

"The Department of Health must seek the help of media - radio, television and newspapers - to disseminate precautionary guidelines and on what should be done when swine flu infection is suspected," said Loren.

"This is one instance when the people wouldn't mind being bombarded with information by DOH. There's no such thing as information overload when it comes to swine flu. But the important thing is that our people are getting the right information."

The chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Loren added that Filipinos must also work to improve their immune system by exercising, having a balanced diet and getting plenty of rest.

"Being healthy certainly helps in view of reports that most of the 80 deaths worldwide associated with swine flu arose from complications with other ailments," she said.

As the symptoms of swine flu are very similar to common flu cases, Loren said that all Filipinos who feel feverish must immediately seek medical attention.

"The important thing is for us not to disregard symptoms as just a case of the common cold. It's better to err on the side of caution on this matter."

"But what are the symptoms? What should people do, step by step, if they suspect possible infection? The DOH must inform the people because false information can sow panic and complicate our efforts to contain the spread of the virus."

Loren said that the Philippines dealt well with the SARS and avian flu scare, but that health authorities must double their efforts against swine flu.

The senator said health officials must note how the virus quickly spread in Japan from just four confirmed cases to over 200 cases at present in at least three major cities.

Yesterday, before I learned about this press release, I called up the office of Senator Legarda to ask her help in asking the DOH to give the people more information on the H1N1 confirmed cases.  I was told by her staff that Senator Legarda is out of the country but they asked me to communicate with them formally so they can refer the matter to the Senator.

Just today, we have news telling us of Singapore's first confirmed case of H1N1.  What did the Singaporean health authorities do?  UNLIKE THE PHILIPPINES, they informed not just the Singaporean public but the entire world IMMEDIATELY about the flight which brought the patient from New York to Singapore  - the flight is Singapore Airlines SQ 25 which arrived from New York on May 26.  

Dito po sa Pilipinas, hanggang ngayon MYSTERY FLIGHT NO. 1 and MYSTERY FLIGHT NO. 2 for the first two confirmed H1N1 cases.

The DOH wants us to be VIGILANT using GUESSWORK and CONJECTURE.  Hindi po tama ito at dapat tigilan na ng DOH ang pagtrato sa ating mga Pilipino na para tayong mga TANGA! 

Even Tamiflu itself or Oseltamivir, which, in the absence of a vaccine, is the anti-viral drug of choice in combating the effects of H1N1 flu, does not appear to be widely available even now when we already have two confirmed H1N1 cases in the Philippines. I asked a large branch of Mercury Drug yesterday, May 26, in Caloocan City and Tamiflu still costs P150.50 per capsule but they did not have it, referring me instead to their flagship branch in the MCU area. 

Full-course treatment with Tamiflu requires taking ten pills which will cost the patient P1,505.00, something beyond the reach of the vast majority of Filipinos. By now, the DOH should have its stockpile distributed to DOH hospitals at least in key city centers so that people who might need them will have them available for free. The DOH by now should have fully informed us of their plans in this regard.  Tamiflu is most effective against influenza A, which is the type of influenza under which H1N1 falls, if taken during the first two days of the flu. Beyond that, its effectiveness diminishes. The DOH should also have instructed all of us Filipinos about it by now.    

We expect Senator Loren Legarda to speak out publicly, preferably in person, over this vital issue involving public interest as soon as she can! The same goes true for our other Senators, they are welcome to show and express their concern! 

Habang abala po tayo sa pagsubaybay sa Hayden Kho - Katrina Halili scandal, hindi po natin dapat kalimutan ang ibang mahahalagang usapin katulad ng pag-iingat sa H1N1, tuition fee increase moratorium (NA MUKHANG KINALIMUTAN NA NG LAHAT), Pre-Need Scandal hindi lang sa Legacy kundi sa CAP, Permanent Plans, CHA-CHA, VFA, ang mapanganib na bantang pagbubukas ng Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, atbp. 

Gising mga kababayan!  

Lalaban tayo!  

Ganito kami sa Makati!

Ayoko ng may inaabuso! Tulungan natin sila!

Ang KABATAAN dapat aasahan na ng bayan!

Ano pa ba mga slogan natin?!

Mabilis na AKSYON po at SOLUSYON ang kailangan mula sa ating mga opisyal lalo na 'yung magsisitakbo ng Presidente, Bise-Presidente at Senador sa 2010 at hindi slogan lang!



President Obama Names New York Judge Sonia Maria Sotomayor — The First Hispanic and the Third Woman — to the US Supreme Court

27 March 2009

Here, straight from the White House website, is the transcript of the proceedings relating to President Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Maria Sotomayor to become the next U.S. Supreme Court associate justice — the first Hispanic :



Office of the Press Secretary 

For Immediate Release                            May 26, 2009





10:13 A.M. EDT



THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Well, I'm excited, too.  (Laughter.) 

Of the many responsibilities granted to a President by our Constitution, few are more serious or more consequential than selecting a Supreme Court justice.  The members of our highest court are granted life tenure, often serving long after the Presidents who appointed them.  And they are charged with the vital task of applying principles put to paper more than 20 [sic] centuries ago to some of the most difficult questions of our time.

So I don't take this decision lightly.  I've made it only after deep reflection and careful deliberation.  While there are many qualities that I admire in judges across the spectrum of judicial philosophy, and that I seek in my own nominee, there are few that stand out that I just want to mention.

First and foremost is a rigorous intellect -- a mastery of the law, an ability to hone in on the key issues and provide clear answers to complex legal questions.  Second is a recognition of the limits of the judicial role, an understanding that a judge's job is to interpret, not make, law; to approach decisions without any particular ideology or agenda, but rather a commitment to impartial justice; a respect for precedent and a determination to faithfully apply the law to the facts at hand.

These two qualities are essential, I believe, for anyone who would sit on our nation's highest court.  And yet, these qualities alone are insufficient.  We need something more.  For as Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience."  Experience being tested by obstacles and barriers, by hardship and misfortune; experience insisting, persisting, and ultimately overcoming those barriers.  It is experience that can give a person a common touch and a sense of compassion; an understanding of how the world works and how ordinary people live.  And that is why it is a necessary ingredient in the kind of justice we need on the Supreme Court.

The process of reviewing and selecting a successor to Justice Souter has been rigorous and comprehensive, not least because of the standard that Justice Souter himself has set with his formidable intellect and fair-mindedness and decency.  I've sought the advice of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, including every member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. My team has reached out to constitutional scholars, advocacy organizations, and bar associations representing an array of interests and opinions.  And I want to thank members of my staff and administration who've worked so hard and given so much of their time as part of this effort. 

After completing this exhaustive process, I have decided to nominate an inspiring woman who I believe will make a great justice:  Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the great state of New York.  (Applause.)

Over a distinguished career that spans three decades, Judge Sotomayor has worked at almost every level of our judicial system, providing her with a depth of experience and a breadth of perspective that will be invaluable as a Supreme Court justice. 

It's a measure of her qualities and her qualifications that Judge Sotomayor was nominated to the U.S. District Court by a Republican President, George H.W. Bush, and promoted to the Federal Court of Appeals by a Democrat, Bill Clinton.  Walking in the door she would bring more experience on the bench, and more varied experience on the bench, than anyone currently serving on the United States Supreme Court had when they were appointed.

 Judge Sotomayor is a distinguished graduate of two of America's leading universities.  She's been a big-city prosecutor and a corporate litigator.  She spent six years as a trial judge on the U.S. District Court, and would replace Justice Souter as the only justice with experience as a trial judge, a perspective that would enrich the judgments of the Court.

For the past 11 years she has been a judge on the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit of New York, one of the most demanding circuits in the country.  There she has handed down decisions on a range of constitutional and legal questions that are notable for their careful reasoning, earning the respect of colleagues on the bench, the admiration of many lawyers who argue cases in her court, and the adoration of her clerks who look to her as a mentor.

During her tenure on the District Court, she presided over roughly 450 cases.  One case in particular involved a matter of enormous concern to many Americans, including me:  the baseball strike of 1994-1995.  (Laughter.)  In a decision that reportedly took her just 15 minutes to announce, a swiftness much appreciated by baseball fans everywhere -- (laughter) -- she issued an injunction that helped end the strike.  Some say that Judge Sotomayor saved baseball.  (Applause.)

Judge Sotomayor came to the District Court from a law firm where she was a partner focused on complex commercial litigation, gaining insight into the workings of a global economy.  Before that she was a prosecutor in the Manhattan DA's office, serving under the legendary Robert Morgenthau, an early mentor of Sonia's who still sings her praises today.  There, Sonia learned what crime can do to a family and a community, and what it takes to fight it.  It's a career that has given her not only a sweeping overview of the American judicial system, but a practical understanding of how the law works in the everyday lives of the American people.

But as impressive and meaningful as Judge Sotomayor's sterling credentials in the law is her own extraordinary journey. Born in the South Bronx, she was raised in a housing project not far from Yankee Stadium, making her a lifelong Yankee's fan.  I hope this will not disqualify her -- (laughter) -- in the eyes of the New Englanders in the Senate.  (Laughter.) 

Sonia's parents came to New York from Puerto Rico during the second world war, her mother as part of the Women's Army Corps.  And, in fact, her mother is here today and I'd like us all to acknowledge Sonia's mom.  (Applause.)  Sonia's mom has been a little choked up.  (Laughter.)  But she, Sonia's mother, began a family tradition of giving back to this country.  Sonia's father was a factory worker with a 3rd-grade education who didn't speak English.  But like Sonia's mother, he had a willingness to work hard, a strong sense of family, and a belief in the American Dream.

When Sonia was nine, her father passed away.  And her mother worked six days a week as a nurse to provide for Sonia and her brother -- who is also here today, is a doctor and a terrific success in his own right.  But Sonia's mom bought the only set of encyclopedias in the neighborhood, sent her children to a Catholic school called Cardinal Spellman out of the belief that with a good education here in America all things are possible. 

With the support of family, friends, and teachers, Sonia earned scholarships to Princeton, where she graduated at the top of her class, and Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal, stepping onto the path that led her here today. 

Along the way she's faced down barriers, overcome the odds, lived out the American Dream that brought her parents here so long ago.  And even as she has accomplished so much in her life, she has never forgotten where she began, never lost touch with the community that supported her. 

What Sonia will bring to the Court, then, is not only the knowledge and experience acquired over a course of a brilliant legal career, but the wisdom accumulated from an inspiring life's journey. 

It's my understanding that Judge Sotomayor's interest in the law was sparked as a young girl by reading the Nancy Drew series -- (laughter) -- and that when she was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of eight, she was informed that people with diabetes can't grow up to be police officers or private investigators like Nancy Drew.  And that's when she was told she'd have to scale back her dreams. 

Well, Sonia, what you've shown in your life is that it doesn't matter where you come from, what you look like, or what challenges life throws your way -- no dream is beyond reach in the United States of America.

And when Sonia Sotomayor ascends those marble steps to assume her seat on the highest court of the land, America will have taken another important step towards realizing the ideal that is etched above its entrance:  Equal justice under the law.

I hope the Senate acts in a bipartisan fashion, as it has in confirming Judge Sotomayor twice before, and as swiftly as possible so that she can take her seat on the Court in September and participate in deliberations as the Court chooses which cases it will hear this coming year.

And with that, I'd like all of you to give a warm greeting as I invite Judge Sotomayor to say a few words.  (Applause.)

JUDGE SOTOMAYOR:  I was just counseled not to be nervous.  (Laughter.)  That's almost impossible.  (Laughter.) 

Thank you, Mr. President, for the most humbling honor of my life.  You have nominated me to serve on the country's highest court, and I am deeply moved. 

I could not, in the few minutes I have today, mention the names of the many friends and family who have guided and supported me throughout my life and who have been instrumental in helping me realize my dreams.  I see many of those faces in this room.  Each of you, whom I love deeply, will know that my heart today is bursting with gratitude for all you have done for me.

The President has said to you that I bring my family.  In the audience is my brother, Juan Sotomayor -- he's a physician in Syracuse, New York; my sister-in-law, Tracey; my niece, Kylie -- she looks like me -- (laughter) -- my twin nephews, Conner and Corey.  I stand on the shoulders of countless people, yet there is one extraordinary person who is my life aspiration -- that person is my mother, Celina Sotomayor.  (Applause.)

My mother has devoted her life to my brother and me, and as the President mentioned, she worked often two jobs to help support us after Dad died.  I have often said that I am all I am because of her, and I am only half the woman she is. 

Sitting next to her is Omar Lopez, my mom's husband and a man whom I have grown to adore.  I thank you for all that you have given me and continue to give me.  I love you.  (Applause.) 

I chose to be a lawyer, and ultimately a judge, because I find endless challenge in the complexities of the law.  I firmly believe in the rule of law as the foundation for all of our basic rights.  For as long as I can remember, I have been inspired by the achievement of our Founding Fathers.  They set forth principles that have endured for more than two centuries.  Those principles are as meaningful and relevant in each generation as the generation before.  It would be a profound privilege for me to play a role in applying those principles to the questions and controversies we face today.

Although I grew up in very modest and challenging circumstances, I consider my life to be immeasurably rich.  I was raised in a Bronx public housing project, but studied at two of the nation's finest universities.  I did work as an assistant district attorney, prosecuting violent crimes that devastate our communities.  But then I joined a private law firm and worked with international corporations doing business in the United States.  I have had the privilege of serving as a Federal District Court trial judge, and am now serving as a Federal Appellate Circuit Court judge.   

This wealth of experiences, personal and professional, have helped me appreciate the variety of perspectives that present themselves in every case that I hear.  It has helped me to understand, respect, and respond to the concerns and arguments of all litigants who appear before me, as well as to the views of my colleagues on the bench.  I strive never to forget the real-world consequences of my decisions on individuals, businesses, and government. 

It is a daunting feeling to be here.  Eleven years ago, during my confirmation process for appointment to the Second Circuit, I was given a private tour of the White House.  It was an overwhelming experience for a kid from the South Bronx.  Yet never in my wildest childhood imaginings did I ever envision that moment, let alone did I ever dream that I would live this moment.

Mr. President, I greatly appreciate the honor you are giving me, and I look forward to working with the Senate in the confirmation process.  I hope that as the Senate and the American people learn more about me they will see that I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences.  Today is one of those experiences. 

Thank you again, sir.  (Applause.)

10:53 A.M. EDT

More on this when I return.
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