Suspicion does not a Crime Make

(Note: This section was added after the original posting.)

Come on, come on, come on… people!  Especially those who consider themselves superior thinkers.   Can you not expand your horizon a teeny-weeny bit more? Your tunnel vision is truly amazing! Is that the best that you can do?

Come on… really… Everything bad that happens in the world, you blame on the Church?! Even natural catastrophes, you take out on the Administration?! Before you know it, even world hunger and pestilence will also be the fault of the Executive Minister!  We just laugh and shake our heads at your silliness sometimes. How can people who like to think they are the smartest people in the world come to the conclusions you come to, as if there is only one possible explanation for everything?! No wonder, save for Rappler, which not many pay attention to, major broadsheets and media network have chosen to ignore your so-called press release, even though it was sent twice! We believe the term the media people used was “media fatigue” – this tiresome, constant drumbeat for sympathy, recycled news and made-up controversy. Oh, but what were we thinking?? The lack of news coverage is due to the influence of the Church, too! Gosh… you know, there are meds available now for your condition. Go seek help, please… Truly, we are concerned. 

All jesting aside, (clearing our throats…) our message is – let’s not be too quick with the finger pointing, especially absent direct, beyond-reasonable-doubt proof. We’ve already said this before. There are subjects that are appropriate to discuss in social media; there are those that are better left for the courts. Allegations of criminal behavior, even implied, against a person, natural or juridical, are a serious matter. One reason why a person would prefer to do that in social media is if the charges are mere suspicions made to appear as facts. (Or Heaven forbid, if the circumstances are deliberately contrived!) So why these FB posters gasp a feigned surprise when the inevitable lawsuit comes is really beyond us. Then sure enough, here come the opportunists ready to trumpet the overused and abused sympathy card, even calling out to various international agencies and this time, even to the United States Embassy in the Philippines!  Incidentally, what happened to the cases that were supposedly going to be filed in “international courts”?! Or was that just another huffing and puffing bluster from the group-which-must-not-be-named? 

The case of missing “defenders” and the “defender” who died a violent death

We never rejoice over someone’s misfortune, least of all, someone’s death. We feel sorry for the family members who are oftentimes, the innocent victims of a tragic or otherwise unfortunate event. At such time, it is normal for the family to only think about the victim’s positive qualities. It is also normal for them to be angry. That is quite expected. However, what is NOT acceptable is for the victim’s loved ones, or more so, for those simply riding on the situation, to presume culpability for the crime on anyone, absent facts and publish the same in social media. It is not only unfair for the person or people being openly accused of the crime, whether directly or by insinuation. Such behavior is reckless and unfortunately for the accusers, criminal!

Actions meant to take advantage of someone’s death or unfortunate circumstance to stir up “defender” sentiment against the Executive Minister, perhaps to – uplift the sagging morale of the “defenders”; or wave the worn-out flag of unity to bring together the various camps; or use it as an instrument of deceit to recruit more supporters who will contribute to H2O’s shrinking coffers; or worse, to milk the situation for selfish gains – are not only reprehensible, they are immoral!

*** Beware, brethren! Not everything you read in social media is true! Be more discerning! ***

Getting down to specifics – Lito Fruto’s case

The first thing an objective investigator looking into this case would do is build a profile of the victim – what was he like when he was living? Understanding the man that he was is crucial in determining who would want to harm him and why. And why his life ended so violently.

Profiling Mr. Fruto 

Far be it from us to speak ill of the dead, but with a personality profile needing to be built, we’ve let his co-“defenders” do the deed. After all, they don’t strike us as the bashful type. Screenshots of their numerous posts and comments are provided at the end of this article but here are the links if you want to follow them:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1465249010158503&id=100000202539035

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1482876515062419&id=100000202539035

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1342363459177473&id=100002114955194

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=363254930697698&id=100010395822211

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=362667090756482&id=100010395822211

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=361659777523880&id=100010395822211

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=361646847525173&id=100010395822211

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=361282174228307&id=100010395822211

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=361279007561957&id=100010395822211

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=358970484459476&id=100010395822211

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=358918177798040&id=100010395822211

The Elias Arkangkel camp, which Mr. Fruto has likewise offended, has also chimed in:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=143061362726527&id=100010679919105

The following posts have been deleted so we can’t provide the links anymore but thank you for the blog follower who sent me these:

To summarize, the overriding theme to all these posts is love of money and deceitful conduct by a man who seemed to be despised by his own comrades – a man who was prone to foul language, unrestrained tirades, and general ill-temperedness.

Fraud case in the U.S. against Mr. Fruto

While some may discount the above posts as unfounded accusations made by a small group of “defenders”, that argument quickly loses force in light of a criminal case involving fraud filed by the United States Department of Justice (“US DOJ”) against Mr. Fruto.

The case, which was tried in the Guam District Court, resulted in a Warrant of Removal issued against Mr. Fruto, remanding him to the custody of the US Marshall for removal to the Central District of California. The charge was for fraud committed against the United States government!

This is the legal definition of fraud:

Details about Mr. Fruto’s case in the US, filed in 1999 and completed in 2005, follow:

Ref: https://www.plainsite.org/dockets/1mqkabbn/guam-district-court/usa-v-fruto/

References to US Codes contained in the above court record:

8 U.S. Code § 1324 – Bringing in and harboring certain aliens

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1324

18 U.S. Code § 1546 – Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1546

18 U.S. Code § 1341 – Frauds and swindles

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1341

18 U.S. Code Chapter 19 – CONSPIRACY

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/part-I/chapter-19

This charge ties in to what Dean Torres alluded to in his post dated October 2016:

Ref. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1482876515062419&id=100000202539035

Mr. Fruto appealed his Conviction

For completeness, we’d like to state that in October 2002, Mr. Fruto did appeal his case to the United States Court of Appeals after the District Court for the Central District of California ruled in favor of the plaintiff, the US DOJ.

Previously, the District Court has convicted Mr. Fruto of “procuring Immigration and Naturalization Service documents by fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1546, on charges arising from his participation in a massive immigration fraud scheme.

In November 2002, without requiring oral arguments, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Pasadena, California unanimously AFFIRMED the decision of the District Court on all counts. Mr. Fruto’s conviction was upheld. Ref. File  #99-50763.

The pattern continued

Back in his home country, it seemed Mr. Fruto did not turn a new leaf. In addition to the ongoing  criminal charges of rape, attempted rape, and libel which made the news, there were lesser known charges of sexual assault filed by another individual against Mr. Fruto as well as indirect contempt filed by an attorney. See attached excerpts obtained from public records.

Estafa 

It would appear, this is not the extent of Mr. Fruto’s financial and legal worries. The word on the street which is also whispered among “defender” circles is that Mr. Fruto was a known “estafa-dor”. Estafa… again, a crime involving money and deceit.

The legal definition of estafa is as follows:

Unfortunately, because we wanted to get this article out as soon as possible, we were not able to do an exhaustive search for all estafa cases filed against Mr. Fruto. Nonetheless, we found this ongoing case filed from back in 2013, two years BEFORE the Defender movement was born. The complainant, a certain Elena Roque Pascual, a heart patient, had filed a case against Mr. Fruto for practicing medicine without a license and for collecting money from her with intent to defraud. Based on the papers we’ve obtained, as of 8/23/2013 or a week after the case was filed, Mr. Fruto was arrested and taken into custody at the Quezon City Jail and NBI in Manila.

With all these ongoing cases, it is no wonder Mr. Fruto seemed to be running out of money all the time. Legal fees are no joke in the Philippines that at one point, he clamored H2O to dish out P150,000/month for his legal and other needs!

“Defenders” used to complain that Mr. Fruto would solicit funds directly from them for one reason or another, but the money didn’t actually reach the intended beneficiary. Sometimes, the beneficiary he would campaign for was 36TS!

Alternate Theories to Mr. Fruto’s Tragic End

Given Mr. Fruto’s sustained pattern involving money and deceit:

Is it possible that Mr. Fruto, with his money-making schemes, might have crossed paths with some seriously bad elements which then led to his violent demise? Or might it also be that the perpetrator is an otherwise decent person who was pushed to the edge and was desperate to get even with him for the wrong done to him or his family?

Admittedly, both are speculations but certainly within the realm of reason.  What we are postulating is this: All told, isn’t it more likely that Mr. Fruto’s death is money-related, NOT principle-related, as deceitful “defender leaders” with ulterior motives would have us believe? But let’s leave the final determination up to the law enforcement and courts of justice, shall we?

Scattered to the wind

Whether this tragic ending is a fitting denouement for someone with Mr. Fruto’s profile is not for us to say. The purpose of this article is not to malign the dead but to prove the ridiculousness of recent noise made by detractors in social media.

In response to the wild allegations and accusations of the desperate cyber town criers against the Church and the Executive Minister, we have this to say:

While this may be difficult, especially for Mr. Fruto’s family to hear, the truth is: whether he lived or died is immaterial to the Church. The same goes for the rest of the detractors. The Church has and will continue to assert its rights under the law and will seek legal redress where it deems appropriate but in the bigger scheme of things, these detractors are INSIGNIFICANT. Their efforts will come to NOTHING. As the Bible foretold, like the rebellious souls who have come before them, they, too, will scatter and disappear, in God’s own way and in God’s own time. (Acts 5:34-39 MSG)

Our Almighty God’s promise to protect and guide His Church reigns supreme. (Isaiah 41:13-14 NKJV) Her enemies notwithstanding, the Church’s many successes under the leadership of the current Executive Minister are a testament to the fulfillment of God’s enduring promise to His nation in these last days. God’s work cannot be hindered.  Let His will prevail!

P.S.  A special note to Lowell: Thank you for reading, rather, perusing our articles. We are glad to be able to improve your lexicon. Feel free to look up any word and add it to your vocabulary. Our writing style is also not copyrighted so carry on and imitate away! Truly, we don’t mind. On the contrary, we are flattered. 

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