Monday, September 25, 2006

Coup or no coup?

The Palace appears complacent telling everyone that the men in uniform are intact and are within the chin of command. But many are asking: Which men in uniform? Those who are warming their butts in their comfortable and airconditioned rooms or those who are sweating it out in the field wearing their camouflage and carrying their heavy bags and rifles?

While administration allies are quick to claim that there is no coup, beans are spilling from the ranks of the armed forces saying a quiet reorganization is going on after the arrest of some suspected soldier-leaders. According to the butterflies and bees from the military camps, if their counterparts in Thailand find it successful, there is no reason why this will not be replicated in Philippines. In the very first place, questions of legitimacy still hang in the air and remain as an axe to grind Gloria Arroyo's head.

Gloria's representative from Eastern Samar, Marcelino Libanan, however, maintains that the coup plotters "tried but failed in the past and therefore has no chance to succeed in the future." Which is quite an understatement for the members of the military. Unless these people are indeed stupid and does not have the capability to learn from their past mistakes.

But a bee who was too careful to buzz said that they are being paid to die for the country. If their lives is the cost of showing that the Arroyo administration is illegitimate, they can take it, he said. At least the next generation will not be a victim of history carved from cover-ups and lies. And in so doing, they still won the battle.

Friday, September 22, 2006

He is free, he is not!

President's Corrupt and Graft Government, err... Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) Commissioner Camilo Sabio felt victorious when the Supreme Court ordered "(his) release from Senate custody and suspended the arrest warrants against four PCGG commissioners and five officials of Philconsat Holdings Corp. (PHC) pending resolution of the case revolving on PCGG officials' immunity."

But many are still in doubt that the release would be final. Not unless the high court sees that an executive order has now become more powerful than the constitution.

Of course, let us still wait for the high court for their final judgment and then we judge.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Not the form of government but the honesty of public officials

While Thailand is facing coup d' etat, and Panfilo Lacson's idol, Thaksin Shinawatra, is suffering the fate of being ousted, Hungary's prime minister, Ferenc Gyurcsany, is also in hot water. Just like Gloria Arroyo, he lied not of the elections though but of the economy.

This brings another blow to the Singaw ng Bayan who are advocating the palace-orchestrated people's initiative. Singaw ng Bayan had been advocating a change of government from presidential to parliamentary claiming it to be the solution to the Philippine government's woes. Which is quite unlikely. Both Thailand and Hungary have parliamentary forms of government and still, they are being ravaged by coups and rallies. That is because of the existing leaders that they have. And with Gloria Arroyo whose legitimacy is still being questioned to rule under the parliamentary government, how can we be so certain that things will not be as they happen in Thailand and Hungary?

Well, this only boils down to one thing: it's not only the form of government that works. It is also the sincerity, honesty and transparency of the public officials.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A blackeye on Gloria's cha-cha

Yesterday, pro-cha-cha rahrah boys and girls (some says paid by Gloria Arroyo's camp) had their hair shaved. Their advocacy: speed-up charter change and institute parliamentary form of government.

But yesterday, a coup hit Thailand. Thailand is governed by a parliamentary system. The effect, a heavy blow on the Filipino advocates of cha-cha particularly for the parliamentary form. To quote Inq7: A "BLACK EYE" to the administration's Charter change initiative was how two pro-opposition lawmakers at the House of Representatives described on Wednesday the military coup in Thailand.

Ibig sabihin, nakalbo na, na-blackeye pa.

I do not oppose charter change though. Neither do i object to parliamentary form. But i think it is better that these things transpire after Gloria step down from office. As Cavite's Remulla said: “Ang argumento ng pro-Cha-cha ay mas stable ang [The argument of pro-Cha-cha advocates is that a] parliamentary form of government [is more stable]. The Thai coup just goes to show it has nothing to do with the form of government but has everything to do with transparency, accountability, and honesty in government”.

If there will be charter change and the search for truth still gropes in the dark, its just but a useless undertaking. Worse, cha-cha might even legitimize the wounds Gloria made in Philippine democracy.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nachura and His Statutory Construction Rules

I happened to watch last night's Cerge for Truth at RPN 9 after hours of channel surfing. The topic was about the arrest of Camilo Sabio of the Presidential Commission on Good (or Bad?) Governance and the guests include Solicitor General and former Congressman Nachura and Justice Amado Valdez of the UE-Law.

First strike: Was the arrest of Sabio legal?

In Nachura's point of view, it was illegal. His contention, Executive Order No. 1 particularly Section 4B which states that "No member or staff of the commission shall be required to testify or produce in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding concerning matters within its official cognizance."

But if one reviews the constitution, as Valdez correctly pointed out, Section 21 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution is very clear: The Senate has the right to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation and in doing so may issue subpoenas or warrants of arrest to protect and enforce said right. This is being opposed by Nachura claiming that EO No. 1 is above the Constitution. WHATTTT???? Who taught him that logic?

In the first place, Nachura argued, EO 1 came before the 1987 constitution. As opposed to the latter which, by its name became effective in 1987, EO No. 1 was issued by then president Cory Aquino in 1986. Again, a BIGGGG WHAAAATTTT??? If that is the case can we claim then that the 1935 Constitution is still applicable because it was passed in 1935? Or that Republic Act No. 1 is more powerful than the 1987 constitution? It appears that the SolGen has been mislead by the "last in time doctrine" in jurisprudence? Or has he become too intelligent to notice the very elementary rule in statutory construction?

Second strike: Is EO 1 repealed?

Nachura's claim is that EO No. 1 is not repealed. Well, repealed or not, it should still bow down to the applicable constitution at the present. And considering that the applicable constitution or the constitution in effect is the 1987 constitution, the EO should be interpreted in the light and spirit of the 1987 constitution.

Third strike: Is the 1995 rules of the House applicable in 2006?

Nachura's claim is on the negative. According to him, today is year 2006 and there was no resolution or action adopting the applicability of the said rules. Much more, there was no publication in a newspaper or even in the Gazette. Valdez claimed, however, that even if there is no publication or resolution for the adoption of the rules, it will still take effect and this is through the actions of the members of the House. This is implied adoption.

Considering Nachura's logic, that there should be a formal adoption and publication of the rules to take effect, why then is his lady boss Gloria Arroyo utilizing the 2005 budget when in fact it is already 2006? Hello, Mr. Nachura?

Or simply put it this way. What if, for the sake of argument, somebody steals your cellphone and in the process you did not follow Vidal Querol's advice of simply giving it to the aggressor so you were eventually killed, will your family just say thank you and goodbye to your aggressor because the criminal law was passed decades ago and it is now already year 2006?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Palparan's appointment to NSC, for counter-insurgency or for inciting to insurgency?

The general tagged as "the Butcher", Gen. Jovito Palparan, is now being eyed by Malacanang as the deputy for counter-insurgency. This was confirmed by little Mike, one of Gloria Arroyo's barking dogs and presidential chief of staff. But Amnesty International and other groups are howling against the Butcher's appointment saying he has yet to answer questions regarding the murder of left-wing activists and suspected members of the New People's Army.

Whether little Mike is doing another issue ballooneering to get the sentiment of the public, we do not know. The only thing we know is that he is mishandling the job for being so greedy of becoming Arroyo's parrot -- that is, replacing toting Bunye or Ed Ermita.

Some spirits in the palace, however, are in agreement that the Philippine president with questionable legitimacy is serious of taking in Palparan. As a fact, if Bert Gonzales, the National Security Adviser (NSC), will object to the appointment of the Butcher's to the NSC, Arroyo will still take Palparan but as the chair of the Presidential Anti-Insurgency Task Force now being headed by Ermita. This is also the report of Malaya.

This makes us wonder as to the real intention of Ms. Arroyo. If she is serious in eradicating insurgency, the first thing she should do is to eradicate poverty. Studies have repeatedly shown that people rebel because they have nothing to eat. They turn insurgents because they see some individuals eating to the contentment of their greeds while they, the poor, have nothing. Not even dog food. Second, medical evidences also show that grumbling stomachs usually lead to hallucinations which might include the promises of Utopia. Consider Bert Gonzales who has forgotten his ideology because of his position in Gloria's closet, err... cabinet.

True, there may still be true ideologues even in times of plenty. Just like in Europe where communists and conservatives thrive together. But nobody takes up arms because each is contented. If one is keen on doing a battle, he does it in times of elections and during the sessions in the parliament. And fair and clean.Never bloody. Which is unlike the Philippines. Elections are only for those who know how to cheat while the parliament is only for the rich.

This brings us now to the issue of Ms. Arroyo's intent of taking in Palparan. Because of the present system, because of her greed for power, she wanted to use the issue of insurgency to quash her political enemies. And she thinks only Palparan can do this. With Palparan, she can sow the seeds of insurgency. To note, many people will again rally against Palparan's appointment. These she can call as insurgency based on the Arrovo Dictionary. And, having more insurgents, she can now declare the well-planned "emergency measures" in the "protracted crisis situations" and thereby crack the skulls of her critics. And she was able to pilot this with PP 1017 which the Supreme Court haven't really declared unconsitutional.

Otherwise, if she is keen on uprooting insurgency, she would have faced the impeachment to clear the truth. Also, she would have been serious in using the government's money not for her campaign kitty but for the upliftment of the plights of poor so that the latter will not only eat rice and noodles but also steaks and cakes.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Kapalmuks o ignoramus?

There is a suggestion that "those lawmakers who showed their faces while the Arroyos held a press conference on their expulsion case against Cayetano should inhibit themselves from the hearing at the ethics committee".

But Leyte representative Macarambon, one of the eight administration congressmen accompanied the Arroyos to show support to the First Gentleman and to their two colleagues and face the press in a conference last Wednesday, said that he is not buying the idea of inhibiting from the ethics committee hearing. His arguments: he was elected by the plenary to become a member of the committee, and "it is wrong for anyone to presume that a member won’t do his or her job fairly".

Pero teka, in the Arroyos-Cayetano controversy, fair ba ang sumuporta publicly sa Arroyo family eh ito naman ang primary involved sa controversy?Asan ang isyu of fairness diyan? Kung naluklok na lang sana itong si Macarambon at ang pito pang iba sa kanilang mga lungga noong presscon ng infamous na pamilya, puwede pa. Whic leads us to ask: Is Macarambon playing naive and ignoramus o talagang kapalmuks at walang sense of decency?

But I heard civilized naman ang mga taga-Leyte at kahit di nakapag-aral ang ilan, mas magagaling pa ang mga ito na kumilatis ng tama at mali as compared sa ibang mga noypi. Is Macarambon really a representative of his people? Or is he thinking of the coming elections?


Friday, September 08, 2006

She and her big mouth

Gloria Arroyo, the Philippine president with questionable legitimacy, was all heels to greet Gen. Jovito Palparan during her 2006 state of the nation address. Quoting her:
We will build a roll-on-roll-roll-off port system to link Lucena, Quezon to Boac, Marinduque, like the Batangas-Mindoro RORO.

Sa ganitong mga proyekto, palalakasin natin ang ekonomiya ng mga barangay at lalawigan. And we will end the long oppression of barangays by rebel terrorists who kill without qualms, even their own. Sa mga lalawigang sakop ng 7th Division, nakikibaka sa kalaban si Jovito Palparan. Hindi siya aatras hanggang makawala sa gabi ng kilabot ang mga pamayanan at maka-ahon sa bukang-liwayway ng hustisya at kalayaan.
But it seems Palparan is pulling her down. Aside from a number of human rights violations cases Palparan is facing, the general might soon spend his retirement inside the jail. For snubbing the fourth time the hearing in the Court of Appeals for habeas corpus, "he would be cited in contempt and an arrest warrant would be issued against him", says Associate Justice Jose Mendoza.

But what keeps Palparan from appearing before the Court of Appeals? Is he afraid of something? But Gloria was all praise for him when she said that the general never backs off fighting for justice and freedom.

Or could it be that Gloria is again comitting the never-ending mistake of too much words? Poor little girl! She and her big mouth!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Where's justice in the DOJ?

In the past several months, we have become deaf with the unsolicited statements of Mr. Raul Gonzales of the Department of Justice as he defended his lady-boss Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. But this time, shall we become blind with the mounting unresolved cases in his office?

According to reports, political killings alone from January 2005 to June this year already numbered 423 but until now, none has been heard as to whether or not these were acted upon by Mr. Gonzales and his prosecutors. Hence, opposition senator Aquilino Pimentel was quoted saying: It seems the DOJ and its prosecutors are merely sitting on these cases. They are duty-bound to act expeditiously on these cases and to file the appropriate criminal charges against the perpetrators before the courts.

Or maybe Mr. Gonzales has forgotten that delayed justice is injustice? If he has not forgotten, what then is keeping him from performing his duty? Dead bodies are piling.

Well, we do not question Mr. Gonzales's capability to do the job. But with his machine gun mouth, it appears rather that he is more fit to handle Toting Bunye's post rather than in providing the justice due the victims and their families. The duty of the justice secretary is not to be the spooky person... err, spokesperson of Gloria Arroyo, if this fact escapes his busy mouth...

Friday, September 01, 2006

Melo Commission: Melong conclusion?

She and her big mouth?

The Melo Commission, a commission suffering from lack of credibility tasked to investigate the killings of journalists and political activists, got an additional burden on its head when Gloria Arroyo fired her words absolving the military and blaming her political foes. Tribune noted, however, that the "presidential absolution of the military and police was given to coincide with the first day of work by the Melo Commission".

Her unsolicited comment simply means three things:

  1. There is actually no use for the Melo Commission considering that there is already a conclusion from the person who initiated the organizing of the said commission. By the term "use" we mean "generating the unbiased results and coming up with impartial recommendations on how to solve the culture of impunity, if ever".

  2. The creation of the commission is just another theatrical device to show that the dubious president is actually working and that she really cares for the people. But she really cares... she cares for her ego and her greed to stay in power.

  3. The creation of the commission is just another waste of people's money.


A question from the professor: What is the difference between a 'conclusion' and an 'opinion'?
An answer from a student: kungklosyun, sarado yun. openyun, bukas yun.