Randy also told me that he looked through photos he had taken on his phone on that day in Gingoog and found some "really incriminating" stuff... important people doing stuff that will get them in trouble or something — Randy wasn't very specific.
Normally, the Stirm's case like this against a government like Gingoog would never stand a chance of getting anywhere. The denials and stonewalling and coverups would simply be a complete blanket that would smother the entire process in its infancy. However, the Stirm's case is special simply because of the massive amount of video (and photographic) evidence that Randy and his wife took while this entire event was occurring. In other words, the Stirm's case actually has an abnormally high chance of winning.
Just a thought, but perhaps the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones with video cameras in The Philippines may wind up being the best tool for fighting the endemic corruption here. The prospect... and practice... that any malversation is being recorded might be enough to stifle official misconduct, or at least provide its victims enough evidence to prosecute it.
Also, below is another article from Herbie, and thanks to writer Mark Francisco for letting me post it.
Capitol would help Stirms if couple seeks help, says exec
By MARK FRANCISCO
The capitol said it would help the couple who complained about alleged abuses committed against them in Gingoog city if they sought the provincial government’s help.
A capitol official said the couple, Randy Stirm and his Filipino wife Cherry, could bring their complaint to the provincial government so it could task its legal department to look into their case.
The American and his wife, residents of Jasaan town, Misamis Oriental, have earlier threatened to wage a legal battle against Gingoog city hall officials, the local fisheries office and Navy and police personnel for allegedly holding and damaging their over P2-million fishing boat last Aug. 14. The couple alleged that they were harassed over trump-up charges.
Gingoog is a component city of Misamis Oriental province.
The couple said Navy personnel in Gingoog fired at the fishing boat at least 18 times and local fisheries officers, who did not identify themselves, searched the boat without a warrant.
The operations were made on orders of Gingoog Mayor Ruthie Guingona and it was Vice Mayor Marlon Kho who "called the shots", alleged the couple.
Guingona has admitted that she ordered a multisectoral group to stop big fishing boats operating on Gingoog waters.
Kho, for his part, strongly denied having a hand in the Aug. 14 operations. The vice mayor said he was in Manila at that time, but the Stirms maintained that Kho should be held responsible and that they even personally talked with him.
Provincial attorney Imelda Marie Beltran said she has yet to look into the Stirms case but she said an administrative complaint against the local officials could be brought to the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Office of the Ombudsman or the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC).
Beltran said alleged abuses done in connection with the functions of government officials and employees would be looked into by these agencies.