A few days ago, I published the resume
of an individual who was one of the few I
admired, Nestor Ponce,Jr. a politician
who refused to be a tradpol and a government
technocrat who did not tire working
for the betterment ofthe lives of the
poor people of Manila. His latest
project won an award from the World
His mom even wrote a stinging "Open Letter"
to accuse policemen of plotting his assassination
- and guess who were on the boat trying to protect
him when he was caught? Policemen. Damn the
hypocrisy of Mrs. Ivler. Damn this idiot
who could have taken a cab home but didn't.
I decided to publish the letter in its
entirety so the readers may share the
sentiment of micketymoc in this
Our son, Jason Ivler, an American
citizen on vacation here in the Philippines
was involved in a multiple-car accident in
the early hours of Sunday 8th August. Jason
was driving our car, a Toyota Prado, with
license plate 23370. He was driving from
south to north on C5 when another car veered
in front of him, forcing him to lose control
of the Toyota and for the Toyota to crash.
Injured in the accident, Jason was placed
on a stretcher and taken by MMDA ambulance to
the nearest hospital Quirino Hospital along
Katipunan Ave. Quezon City. He was refused
emergency treatment at the hospital as it
was reported to be full. He was eventually
taken to the Asian Hospital in Alabang by
Unfortunately the driver of another
vehicle involved in the accident, a Mr. Ponce,
a government official was killed and his wife
slightly injured. Mr. Ponce was driving an
Isuzu Trooper from north to south on the
By 4:00 in the morning of the next day,
Monday, Capt. Lumbania posted PO3 Rivera to
begin a 24-hour "watch" on Jason, who was at
that time was still in great pain and under
observation, awaiting medical results. The
doctor in attendance issued a statement to
the staff of Asian Hospital that his main
concern and responsibility was the health
of his patient and that he forbade any police
interview with Jason as he was in no physical
condition to give an interview.
At 7:00 in the evening, Monday, August 9th
I questioned PO3 Rivera and asked him what he
was doing at Asian Hospital. He said he didn't
really understand why he was there, but he was
told by Capt. Lumbania of the Traffic Enforcement
Group to be there and he gave the Captain's
cellphone number. When questioned why the
authorities had posted a 24 hours watch on our
son, Captain Lumbania said it was "routine".
When questioned if the police do this to every
person involved in a car accident, he refused
to answer the question. When questioned who
gave him the order to put a 24 hour watch on
Jason, Capt. Lumbania refused to answer the
question. I called him twice more and eventually,
he gave the name of the Chief of Police of Pasig,
Senior Superintendent Katugal. However, when
pressured PO3 Rivera gave a different answer.
He said the order came "from the top". That it
was General Valenzuela who gave the order.
I called ADB Security that evening and asked
them to contact Gen. Valenzuela to confirm the
presence of PO3 Rivera. They started calling
his office from 7:30 pm but he couldn't be
reached. I left the hospital at 10 pm that
evening and according to ADB Security Gen.
Valenzuela's office could not locate him.
Afraid and confused, I called a
friend who is a high-ranking government
official and told him what was happening.
He said, "Marlene, call ADB Security. Get
close protection for your son. I feel your
son's life is in danger." I followed his
instructions.My husband and I are very
upset that the Eastern Police District
posted a 24-hour watch on Jason. At the
time no police charges had been levied
against him. The actions of the police,
we believe, are in strong violation of
(I wonder what human right
was violated at this point. Is a person
who is put in a police watch because he
is a flight risk and who continued to
refuse to talk with the authorities
illegally detained )
General Valenzuela of the Eastern Police
District stated to ADB Security the same
evening, Monday 9th, that Jason's life
was threatened. ADB security stated the
following morning that: "we are in close
contact with the police and
they privately have expressed their concern for
Jason's safety. They sense that there might be
an attempt to seek retribution for the accident."
In another email from ADB Security they state that
General Valenzuela referred to a "possible
threat to Jason".
(shame on her. Nestor Ponce,Jr.
was a low profile former Manila representative
who was never accused of wallowing in dirty
politics when he was a congressman. The family
members are not thugs to engage the service
of an assassin).
I called ADB Security the next morning and
was advised that General Valenzuela denied giving
the order for the 24-hour watch on Jason.
Privately police officers from Pasig through the
kindness of their hearts state that it is the Chief
of Police of Pasig, Senior Superintendent Katugal
and Capt. Lumbania who are behind the 24-hour security
watch. That Katugal and Capt. Lumbania are threatening
their own police officers to harass Ivler and
I asked one of the police officers from
Eastern Police District who spoke to me in
confidence, "What would have happened if my son
came from a poor family?" He replied, "You would
have found your son's body floating in Pasig
River already." "Kung pangkaraniwang tao lang
ho ang anak ninyo lumulutang na ho sa Pasig
River ang katawan niyan."
The very real danger of being a foreigner
in this country is not known until you are
involved in an accident, or an incident; most
especially if this involves a government official,
and the country's law may not apply.
Assumed guilty before trial. Assumed drunk,
on drugs, with no due process of law. Is there
no need for due process because you are a foreigner
and as a foreigner you are assumed to be guilty?
Not only immediately guilty but subject to police
harassment, subject to threat of retribution,
subject to threat of death.
(WHO is threatening who ?)
What risk working as a foreigner, working for
ADB, IRRI, the UN, or WHO, or working for a foreign
country, or to even visit as a tourist? The real risk
is, as a foreigner in the Philippines, for
your and for your family, due process of
law may not apply to you.
As of Wednesday, August 11th, Jason's name
has been placed Number 2 in the Philippine
National Police WATCH LIST. Today, Saturday 14th,
we have been issued with a warrant of arrest,
a warrant that both police and our lawyers say
the likes of which is very unusual in
this country, but "in the Philippines,
anything can happen".
The police are treating my son as a fugitive
and a criminal before trial. My lawyers have
advised me "until proven guilty, your son
is free." But in this case which is not
uncommon in the Philippines, since a government
official is involved, the law may not
I would like to remind the Philippine National
Police that there is a diplomatic relationship
between the Philippine Government and the Asian
Development Bank where my husband works.
My son's life is clearly under threat.
I fear for him. I pray no mother should ever
face the tragedy I am facing now. I am a mother
who is appealing to other mothers in the
Philippines and mothers of expatriate children.
Please pray for justice. This tragic incident
could happen to any of us, to any one of our
I have written this open letter knowing that
I am endangering the life of my entire family
including myself. But deep in my heart I still
believe in good and I still believe in justice.
I do not know what kind of political pressure
have been placed upon Senior Superintendent
Katugal and Capt. Lumbania to behave in this
manner. I want them to know that I am the daughter
of the former Chief of Police of Isabela and that
I understand that officers are soldiers who obey
what they are told. I can only hope and pray that
the goodness in their hearts will prevail. I want
them to know that Jason's father died of a car accident
when he was three years old. I want them to know
I believe there is the Will of God that will decide
when a person is taken from his life on earth.
I want everyone to know that I am a mother put
in a very desperate position trying with all her
strength to protect her son.
As God is my witness, I am begging the Philippine
Government and the Police to be fair and apply the
law with justice and equality.
Filipino Citizen, mother of Jason Ivler,
Wife of ADB Official under Diplomatic Status in