THE crackpot is one Rizza Joy Laurea who appears to be a lesbian since she identifies herself as “Rjhay Gwapito“ in her (his?) Facebook account, and cross-dresses as a male, with an Elvis Presley hairdo.
He — I use from here on the masculine pronoun out of respect for LGBT rights — even posted on his website, a photo of himself dressed as a street toughie making goo-goo eyes at a sexy lady in a bare-midriff top and short shorts.
The National Bureau of Investigation or the National Telecommunications Commission should investigate what he advertises as his “TV Kalinangan.” It isn’t a TV station at all but merely a YouTube “channel” with videos — with total subscribers as of this writing of 5. Yes, five. The BIR or the trade department probably should probe the outfit as it has been asking for donations to be deposited at ”BPI account #2259-0708-75 account name: Rizza Joy Laurea).” Has she registered it as an income-generating firm that should pay taxes?
He obviously isn’t well-off at all. He claims in his Facebook account that he is a marketing manager of a store owned by his brother that sells plaques and trophies, located at Avella Alley, Bago Bantay in Quezon City. He was formerly a sales agent of condos and a “recruitment coordinator” at “After Call Modelling Agency.” (How much more can one hint at with that kind of company name?)
Yet even with his modest means Gwapito from out of the blue last June filed with the Judicial and Bar Council his “vehement opposition” to the nomination as associate justice of Supreme Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez. He followed this up by filing graft allegations against Marquez at the Ombudsman, involving an issue raised and dismissed 15 years ago.
Unless somebody prodded him into undertaking these actions, I don’t think that Gwapito, who I am told was a college dropout, would even know where the Ombudsman’s office is, or even that a JBC existed, or that Marquez has been nominated for the post of associate justice to the Supreme Court. I don’t think he could even write the complaints he claims he wrote, as no lawyer was reported in the documents to have written it.
The graft charge is so totally preposterous and will be certainly be dismissed. There is only one reason for Gwapito to file the charge together with the opposition at the JBC: To malign Marquez, one of the most qualified to be Supreme Court associate justice, in order to put doubt in President Duterte’s mind so he wouldn’t appoint him.
Why on earth would Gwapito spend his limited money and time to do so?
I can only think of another eccentric employing, on the cheap, a crackpot to throw dirt at Marquez: Ma. Lourdes Sereno, who hates him so much because she thinks he helped a lot in the court’s declaration of her as a fake chief justice. It was one Mylene Mendoza, Sereno’s press officer, who invited media to Gwapito’s press conferences on his complaint.
My suspicion is bolstered by the fact that at his press conference, Gwapito maligned only two other government officials: Supreme Court Justices Samuel R. Martires and Teresita Leonardo de Castro — whom Sereno publicly claims plotted to remove her from the court because of their disdain for her. In his very limited world, I don’t think Gwapito, a former condo salesman and a former recruiter for “call models,” would even know that these two people existed.
Gwapito also urged the JBC to look into Martires’ statement of assets, liabilities and net worth over an alleged undeclared market stall at Maharlika Building in Baguio City. How would Gwapito know about that obscure detail? Only Sereno would, as she wants to stop the very competent Martires from being appointed Ombudsman.
Gwapito also claimed Justice de Castro was biased in the deliberations on the quo warranto case that led to the ouster of Sereno. How would Gwapito be so well informed about allegations an average Filipino doesn’t really care about? Only Sereno would have briefed him on that.
Only a Sereno could have contracted a low-grade PR hit man like Gwapito. With all the time in her hands now, she would have very easily written Gwapito’s complaints to the JBC and the Ombudsman. Legitimate PR men have refused to touch her with a 10-foot pole. She could have bought from SM the ill-fitting suit Gwapito wore when he filed the complaints, and asked her husband to drive her. Sereno though would have overpaid Gwapito if she paid him P20,000 for the job — Gwapito is so easily exposed because of his many posts in his Facebook accounts.
For the case filed by a nobody, media outfits on Monday lapped up Gwapito’s allegations, portraying him as a concerned advocate for justice — and wittingly or unwittingly helping Sereno’s shameful project to hit back at those she felt were most responsible for booting her out of the court.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer headline referred to Gwapito as a “Youth Leader,” since he claims to head the Unified Youth for Social Change, the members of which would fit in a minivan. ABS-CBN News’ website referred to him as a “rights advocate,” although there is not a single report or evidence even in his Facebook accounts that he ever championed whatever “rights” of any group or person, even that of the LGBT sector.
What’s become of media? Do they simply swallow the allegations of even the most absurd and easily exposed hatchet operations? Haven’t they heard of Facebook and Google, through which one can, through a few keyboard and mouse clicks, do a background check on people claiming to be this or that?
Sereno is so totally history, and her petty attempt to get back at Marquez and Martires won’t fly. The street-smart Duterte can very easily see through such kagaguhan, to use his favorite term.
However, this Gwapito episode is significant as it is another one of the many sad commentaries on the state of media today, on how so easily it can be manipulated even by such an obscure low-grade operator as Gwapito — and how Sereno thinks mediamen now are so stupid they’d easily believe this charlatan.
Disclosure: I don’t personally know Marquez, nor, if my memory serves me right, have I ever met him. The Philippine Judges Association and the Metropolitan and City Judges Association have recommended him to Duterte for appointment as associate justice of the Supreme Court, citing his 30 years of service in the tribunal as well as his integrity and competence. I admire him though for his loyalty to Chief Justice Renato Corona despite the tremendous pressure put on him by the Yellow Cult, especially by the Philippine Daily Inquirer that savaged him during the impeachment trial, and his professionalism as Court Administrator both under Corona and Sereno.