Presidential adviser Ronald Llamas spotted buying almost P2,000 worth of pirated DVDs, photographed by reporter

In an article posted on Inquirer.net on January 25 (1:25 a.m.), reporter Dona Policar related that she personally witnessed Presidential Adviser Ronald Llamas buying "a stack of pirated DVDs in one of the stalls at Circle C mall on Congressional Avenue, Quezon City, on Monday night (January 23)." Policar related: "With his two barong-clad security aides hovering nearby, Llamas seemed unfazed by the people who recognized him as a Palace insider as he browsed through the illegal merchandise. Llamas took his time picking his titles, from 7:30 to 8 p.m. He was accompanied by two women who also bought a few DVDs for themselves."

Dona Policar’s article on Inquirer.net and the photo she took of Presidential Adviser Ronald Llamas during his purported DVD shopping spree.

 

In an article posted on Inquirer.net on January 25 (1:25 a.m.), reporter Dona Policar related that she personally witnessed Presidential Adviser Ronald Llamas buying "a stack of pirated DVDs in one of the stalls at Circle C mall on Congressional Avenue, Quezon City, on Monday night (January 23)." Policar related: "With his two barong-clad security aides hovering nearby, Llamas seemed unfazed by the people who recognized him as a Palace insider as he browsed through the illegal merchandise. Llamas took his time picking his titles, from 7:30 to 8 p.m. He was accompanied by two women who also bought a few DVDs for themselves."

 

After Llamas left the area, Policar then went to the vendor who had sold DVDs to Llamas. The vendor told Policar that Llamas had bought almost P2,000 worth of pirated DVDs. Policar’s report did not name the vendor or give additional details about him or her.

 

Policar wrote that she had tried to get in touch with Llamas on Tuesday (January 24). However, she disclosed that her text messages and her calls went unanswered.

 

Policar went on to consult Optical Media Board (OMB) chairman Ronnie Ricketts about the Llamas incident. According to Policar, Ricketts "was not too happy" about it. However, he said that "the government could not do anything about it when someone-even a Palace official-buys pirated DVDs because the country's antipiracy law imposes no penalty on the customer."

 

Policar quoted Ricketts who said, "There's no law penalizing those who buy it just for their personal use."

 

Sun.Star Manila reported that on Wednesday, January 25, President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III was in Iligan when he was asked to weigh in on the Llamas DVD incident. Aquino said that he "had to speak to Llamas first before he makes any judgment" and that Llamas "should be afforded due process." Sun.Star Manila also noted that the president said, "Alam naman ninyo ang dami ng problema natin. Yung DVD medyo mababababa sa priority natin (You know we have a lot of problems to attend to. That DVD issue is not on top of the priority list)."

 

Last year, Llamas got into hot water over the involvement of two of his staff members in a vehicular accident that led to the police’s discovery of a high-powered firearm inside the vehicle owned by Llamas. The road mishap and the subsequent accidental discovery of the firearm happened after the bodyguards had dropped off Llamas at the airport. Back then, Llamas justified the presence of the weapon when he revealed that his life was in danger so he needed protection. He likewise brushed off speculations that the president would fire him for the incident. He had quipped, "I don’t think i should be dismissed, I did not commit serious crimes like plunder."

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For more on this story, log on to Inquirer.net and Sun.Star Manila.

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