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Wang-Bu
07-02-2007, 10:56 AM
Amnesty talk

By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J.
Inquirer
Last updated 01:03am (Mla time) 07/02/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- Once again there is talk of a possible amnesty proclamation. I am all for efforts at peace and reconciliation. And if amnesty sincerely offered as a gift and not as a trap for the unwary will work, by all means, let's have it. Unfortunately, however, aside from the lingering distrust under which the present administration is still held, there are difficulties in the amnesty process which neither the President nor Congress can solve. They are constitutional and judicially made difficulties. I am hopeful that the new defense secretary, who to my knowledge has no corrupting links with the military, and the highly human-rights-conscious Chief Justice, will help toward making amnesty work.

When amnesty was first brought to the Philippines by American jurisprudence, it was not seen as distinct from pardon but merely an aspect of the pardoning power. The distinction between amnesty and pardon was merely philological and not legal. Hence, amnesty could be granted when pardon could be granted, that is, at the discretion of the President. (Recall that Richard Nixon, after resigning from the US presidency, was immediately pardoned by Gerald Ford.) It was only later that we adopted the doctrine that pardon can be granted only after final conviction.

Now the juridical distinction between pardon and amnesty is clear. Amnesty may be granted before conviction or even before charges are filed, whereas pardon can be granted only after final conviction. Pardon after conviction is now at the discretion of the President, but amnesty may be granted by the President only with the concurrence of a majority of all the members of Congress. Pardon is generally granted to individuals irrespective of the kind of offenses they may have committed; amnesty on the other hand is offered to a group who generally are political offenders. Amnesty therefore is more clearly a peace and reconciliation instrument.

In its treatment of amnesty, Villa v. Allen made this additional observation: "Where the pardoning power is vested in the legislature and is exercised by legislative grant, and is in the nature of a general amnesty for strictly political offenses, it has been considered in the nature of a public law, thus having the same effect on the case as if the general law punishing the offense had been repealed or annulled."

The present jurisprudence on amnesty does not go to the extent of saying that amnesty repeals an existing law. But amnesty "so overlooks and obliterates the offense with which he is charged that the person released by amnesty stands before the law precisely as though he had committed no offense."

Over the years, however, there has developed a doctrine which has made amnesty unattractive to potential beneficiaries. It is the judicially created doctrine that in order to avail himself of the benefits of amnesty, a person must admit guilt. How did this doctrine come about and can it be changed without constitutional amendment?

The earlier doctrine on the subject was that a plea of guilty was not needed for availing of amnesty. As the Court put it: "There is no necessity for an accused to admit his responsibility for the commission of a criminal act before a court or Amnesty Commission may investigate and extend or not to him the benefits of amnesty. The fact that he pleads not guilty or that he has not committed the act with which he is charged, does not necessarily prove that he is not guilty thereof. Notwithstanding his denial, the evidence for the prosecution or complainant may show the contrary, as it is generally the case in criminal proceedings, and what should in such a case be determined is whether or not the offense committed is of political character. The plea of not having committed the offense made by an accused simply means that he cannot be convicted of the offense charged because he is not guilty thereof, and, even if the evidence would show that he is, because he has committed it in furtherance of the resistance to the enemy or against persons aiding in the war efforts of the enemy, and not for purely political motives."

Later, however, a dissenting opinion argued thus: "The writer of this decision maintained in previous decisions, contrary to the view of the majority of the Court, that it is rank inconsistency for one to justify an act, or seek forgiveness for an act, which according to him, he has not committed; that amnesty presupposes the commission of a crime and that when an accused says he has not committed a crime he cannot have any use for amnesty; that where an amnesty proclamation imposes certain conditions, as in this case, it is incumbent upon the accused to prove the existence of such conditions; that a petition for amnesty is in the nature of a plea of confession and avoidance, under which principle the pleader has to confess the allegations against him before he can be allowed to set out matters which, if true, would defeat the action."

This dissenting opinion became doctrine in 1963.

I believe that this doctrine should be changed especially now in the context of fabricated charges of rebellion or sedition. When a person signifies his intention to avail of amnesty, he should be seen as welcoming either relief from punishment for guilt, if truly guilty, or, if innocent, relief from the trouble of having to prove innocence.

^^^ Hango sa Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Naisipan ko lang na mag-umpisa ng usapang pang-lgal yaman rin lang may mga abugado daw tayong kalahok dito sa gameface.ph.

Wang-Bu
07-02-2007, 10:58 AM
Revisiting EO 464

By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J.
Inquirer
Last updated 00:22am (Mla time) 06/25/2007

MANILA, Philippines - As senator-elect Antonio Trillanes IV pre-pares to take his seat in the Senate, he has begun to make noise about what he intends to do. He tells us that it will be his special mission to seek an investigation of extrajudicial killings. And since investigations involve the calling of witnesses, among potential witnesses who have been identified is the Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon.

For his part, Esperon, according to media reports, has made it known that he will invoke EO 464, the instrument through which President Macapagal-Arroyo attempted to clothe executive officers with a mantle of inscrutability.

Sometime last year the Supreme Court came out with a long disquisition on the scope of the protective mantle made available by EO 464. To what extent can Esperon avail himself of it, if at all?

EO 464 deals with two kinds of investigation, the "question hour" and investigations in aid of legislation, and two classes of officers, heads of executive departments and other executive officers. Department heads may not be summoned to a "question hour" without the blessing of the President; but no one, except the President and Supreme Court justices, is exempt from being summoned as a witness in an investigation in aid of legislation. Does this mean that Esperon cannot escape confrontation with Senator-elect Trillanes?

The answer is not a simple one. It involves a careful understanding of the dynamics of what in jurisprudence is called "executive privilege."

Executive privilege, as the phrase indicates, is the right of the President and high level officials authorized by her to withhold information from Congress, from the courts, and ultimately from the public. The privilege is a function of separation of powers. Among the types of information which have been judicially recognized as privileged are state secrets regarding military, diplomatic and other national security matters. You can be sure that this is what Esperon will invoke. It is thus important to understand who may invoke the privilege and how it is invoked.

Since the privilege belongs to the President, it can be invoked only by the President or by officials authorized by her to invoke it. As our Court has said: "In light of this highly exceptional nature of the privilege, the Court finds it essential to limit to the President the power to invoke the privilege. She may of course authorize the Executive Secretary to invoke the privilege on her behalf, in which case the Executive Secretary must state that the authority is 'By order of the President,' which means that he personally consulted with her. The privilege being an extraordinary power, it must be wielded only by the highest official in the executive hierarchy."

Further the Court said: "It follows, therefore, that when an official is being summoned by Congress on a matter which, in his own judgment, might be covered by executive privilege, he must be afforded reasonable time to inform the President or the Executive Secretary of the possible need for invoking the privilege. This is necessary in order to provide the President or the Executive Secretary with fair opportunity to consider whether the matter indeed calls for a claim of executive privilege. If, after the lapse of that reasonable time, neither the President nor the Executive Secretary invokes the privilege, Congress is no longer bound to respect the failure of the official to appear before Congress and may then opt to avail of the necessary legal means to compel his appearance."

It must also be added that the claim of privilege must be specific, e.g., whether the information sought to be withheld involves military or diplomatic secrets, closed-door Cabinet meetings, etc. "Certainly, Congress has the right to know why the executive considers the requested information privileged. It does not suffice to merely declare that the President, or an authorized head of office, has determined that it is so."

What happens, however, if the President and Congress cannot agree on whether the matter is privileged or not? Then the Court must come in to determine the validity of the claim of privilege. It is good to recall what happened in the leading case of US v. Nixon involving the validity of US President Richard Nixon's claim of executive privilege against a subpoena issued by a district court requiring the production of certain tapes and documents relating to the Watergate investigations. "The claim of privilege was based on the President's general interest in the confidentiality of his conversations and correspondence. The US Court held that while there is no explicit reference to a privilege of confidentiality in the US Constitution, it is constitutionally based to the extent that it relates to the effective discharge of a President's powers. The Court, nonetheless, rejected the President's claim of privilege, ruling that the privilege must be balanced against the public interest in the fair administration of criminal justice."

It is true that the Nixon case was not about congressional investigation but about criminal prosecution. Presumably, however, any congressional investigation of extrajudicial killings would have for its objective the fashioning of legislation that can effectively deliver criminal justice.

^^^ Ito pa mga katoto.

Wang-Bu
07-02-2007, 11:00 AM
‘Either knew or… should have known’

By Raul Pangalangan
Inquirer
Last updated 02:47am (Mla time) 06/29/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- When it comes to extrajudicial killings, there is a tendency to confuse and conflate two different kinds of international responsibility. The more traditional is called “state responsibility,” by which the government is blamed, and the newer form is “individual criminal responsibility,” by which certain military officials (or for that matter, armed rebels) may be punished. Either way, the President may be held to account, whether as head of state under state responsibility, or as commander in chief under individual criminal responsibility.

State responsibility is governed by the International Law Commission’s Articles on State Responsibility. A government is responsible for the “conduct of any State organ [whether] legislative, executive, judicial or any other function, whatever position it holds in the organization of the State, and whatever its character.” Just in case Malacañang is minded to wash its hands by saying that private militias did the dirty job, the ILC says that such acts shall still be attributed to the state “if the person or group of persons is in fact exercising elements of the governmental authority in the absence or default of the official authorities and in circumstances such as to call for the exercise of those elements of authority.”

Finally, in the event that the Philippine government thinks it can just look the other way, the International Court of Justice most recently held the Serb government responsible for failing to prosecute the genocidal maniacs who conducted the ethnic cleansing against Bosnian Muslims (and that is after the Court had earlier said -- in a disappointing copout -- that it had no evidence showing that the Serbs directly ordered the genocide).

Moreover, as I have earlier written, the “Who, me?” defense embraced by Malacañang had been thrown out by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights when it held Honduras responsible for the disappearance of a student activist at the National Autonomous University of Honduras. “Those disappearances followed a similar pattern, beginning with the kidnapping of the victims by force, often in broad daylight and in public places, by armed men in civilian clothes and disguises, who acted with apparent impunity … The disappearances were carried out in a systematic manner [especially considering that the] victims were usually persons whom Honduran officials considered dangerous to State security.”

The Court said that the state’s obligation under the human rights covenants is not just “to respect” human rights but “to ensure [these rights] to all individuals within its territory….” “What is decisive is whether a [disappearance] has occurred with the support or the acquiescence of the government, or whether the State has allowed the act to take place without taking measures to prevent it or to punish those responsible.”

On the other hand, the most authoritative definition of an individual’s “command responsibility” is laid out in the 1998 Rome State of the International Criminal Court, which in relevant (but not all) aspects codifies the classic concept of “command responsibility” that the world first saw in the case of the famous Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita. As professor Harry Roque, director of the UP Institute of International Legal Studies, has emphasized in his many lectures here and abroad, “command responsibility” arose from a Philippine case, the “Rape of Manila” during the last few days of the Liberation, when the Japanese troops went on a rampage against civilians, most terribly in the area of the old UP campus in Padre Faura.

Although the Philippines has signed, but not ratified, the Rome Statute, the Philippines has ratified the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which imposes an obligation of “good faith” to abide by a treaty’s “object and purpose” during that interregnum between signing and ratification. Of course, Malacañang is suspect from yet another angle. You see, President Joseph Estrada signed the Rome Statute before he left Malacañang, but President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has since sat on the Statute and refused to forward it to the Senate for ratification, thwarting a procedure laid out in the Constitution.

Moreover, the Rome Statute’s codification of “command responsibility” is widely seen as an authoritative restatement of what is called “customary international law,” which under the Philippine Constitution’s “incorporation clause” is deemed “part of the law of the land.” Read Article 28, titled, “Responsibility of commanders and other superiors.” It anticipates every possible defense by dastardly governments.

The test is that the commander “either knew, or owing to the circumstances at the time, should have known that the forces were committing or were about to commit such crimes.” A commander is responsible not just if he had “effective command and control,” but also if he “failed to exercise control properly” or “consciously disregarded information which clearly indicated” that the crimes were being committed. Also, international law has declared obsolete the doctrine of head-of-state immunities for humanitarian law violations. The Rome Statute declares that “official capacity as a Head of State … shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Statute.”

Finally, a commander is responsible for “fail[ing] to take all necessary and reasonable measures within his or her power to prevent or suppress their commission or to submit the matter to the competent authorities for investigation and prosecution.”

I sat as member of the drafting committee of the Rome Statute in 1998. I couldn’t have imagined that the “her" would become so apt nine years later.

^^^ Para naman sa mga Tibak, hango pa din mula sa Inquirer...

Wang-Bu
07-02-2007, 11:04 AM
A miscalculation

Inquirer
Last updated 00:59am (Mla time) 07/02/2007

MANILA , Philippines - Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Koko Pimentel had the advantage, and threw it away. There is a saying among lawyers that a person who represents himself in a case is a person who has hired a fool for a lawyer.

Pimentel certainly didn't lack for qualified and experienced representation; but his choice ended up privileging himself and, in the process, ignoring the larger advocacy, the more crucial mission, his petition before the Supreme Court was supposed to uphold.

For it to matter, an election must take place and it must take place under circumstances that do not leave the results of the election in doubt. Furthermore, an election must be accompanied by the credible counting of the votes. People must be free to express their will at the polls; the actual polling must have taken place, for its results to matter; and what matters is the manner by which the determination of the election's result is made. In the absence of any one of these requirements, disenfranchisement takes place.

Many things could have been said to support Pimentel's meritorious petition to set aside the results of the Maguindanao vote. There was certainly no shortage of evidence to support the contention that the Commission on Elections had embarked on a flawed, and ultimately unfair, canvassing.

The solution proposed by the Comelec, to ignore all the doubts raised, and instead insist on adding up votes that substantially lacked verification, and thus, credibility, was a non-solution, and indeed, an anti-democratic one. Pimentel could have proposed that under such a staggering amount of suspicious circumstances, the sensible recourse would be to hold a fresh election in Maguindanao, under strictly controlled circumstances guaranteed to accurately reflect the true will of the electorate.

Instead, since he insisted he would be the one to face the Supreme Court, in the face of questions that were neither harsh nor unreasonable, Pimentel ended up undermining his own case. Asked if he had any evidence, he said he had none. Yet his lawyers, but they couldn't argue, as it was Pimentel who insisted on appearing at bar, knew, and said, otherwise. Pimentel suffered from either a spectacular failure of nerve, or an incredible lack of appreciation of his own case. In the face of such a statement, the Supreme Court had no recourse but to turn down Pimentel's prayer for a temporary restraining order.

This does not bode well for Pimentel's real petition, the setting aside of the Maguindanao vote. It cannot be denied that Pimentel suffered a reversal of fortune, for which, in the eyes of many, he has no one to blame but himself. But the collateral damage includes all those who labored mightily, and fought courageously and against great odds, to insist on the rule of law and the purity of suffrage in Maguindanao.

A dirty, discredited election may be on its way to being validated. The disenfranchisement of the people of Maguindanao, a process that began when the Comelec permitted people already discredited by the 2004 elections to once more hold sway over the conduct of the province's election, may become, once the high court rules on the petition, an accomplished fact.

The failure to win a TRO led to the decision of the Comelec, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, to finally canvass the Maguindanao votes. The inclusion of these irremediably tainted votes, for which proof of election fraud does in fact exist, did not immediately defeat Pimentel, or achieve victory for Team Unity candidate Jose Miguel Zubiri, but it has made other, equally suspicious and discredited chunks of votes matter all the more.

If Pimentel's failure to win a TRO foreshadows the final fate of his petition, he may have set back the cause of clean elections in general and in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in particular. That means those who defrauded the voters and the country are going to laugh all the way to the victory banquets of those they helped to win.

It would take a miracle for a real winner to finally emerge with a credible mandate. It will certainly take a little more time before the Supreme Court can rule on the petition to void the Maguindanao vote. But Pimentel's miscalculation has given the forces of fraud unexpected relief.

^^^ Usaping election na din, mula sa Inquirer...

Wang-Bu
07-02-2007, 11:14 AM
Revising the Rules


By Isagani Cruz
Inquirer
Last updated 07:20am (Mla time) 07/01/2007


MANILA, Philippines—I fully support Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno’s plan to call a summit meeting to study the rewriting of some of our procedural rules that have obstructed the administration of justice, particularly in the protection of civil and political rights. In some, nay, many cases, the enforcement of substantive rights is defeated by the requirements and prohibitions of the Rules of Court as promulgated by the Supreme Court itself.

I have in mind particularly the writ of habeas corpus, which is called the great writ of liberty. Its purpose is to test a person’s detention. So important is the writ that under Art. VII, Sec. 18 of the Constitution, the President of the Philippines himself cannot suspend its privilege except in case of invasion, insurrection or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, and for a period of 60 days only unless it is shortened or extended by joint majority vote of Congress in regular or special session. Sec. 13 of the Bill of Rights also provides that “the right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended.”

A petition for habeas corpus takes precedence in the calendar of the courts and must be acted upon immediately because the subject is a person’s liberty. It is usually decided without much delay where the issue is purely civil, like the conflict of separated spouses over the custody of their minor children. The parties dutifully appear before the court to discuss their respective arguments and the case is resolved by the judge soon afterwards.

But for all its acknowledged importance, the writ is often frustrated where the detainee is a political dissident whom the authorities want to punish by illegally depriving him of his liberty. If a petition for habeas corpus is filed on his behalf, the respondent, who is usually a military or police officer, will simply deny that the detainee is in his custody and the court will then, perhaps gladly, dismiss the case for lack of merit.

Many desaparecidos suffered under this procedure from the Marcos bullies, and it is not unlikely that the subterfuge is still being practiced even now by the constables of the present regime. Jonas Burgos, a government critic like his late father during martial law, was reportedly arrested last May by uniformed men and has not been seen since then. The armed authorities supposedly looking for him have yet to locate the young activist who may desperately need but is forcibly prevented from invoking the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

Even if the alleged detention can be shown or is not denied by the respondents, the government will usually have a legal ground to evade the petition. During the dictatorship, a person’s unlawful arrest could be easily sustained with the production of the PDA, the tyrannical presidential detention order issued by President Marcos or by his authority, for the court to tamely acknowledge as the legal basis for the dismissal of the case.

Or more authoritatively, the respondent could invoke a provision of the Rules of Court issued by the Supreme Court that it could not reject, as illustrated by the notorious case of Ilagan v. Enrile, 139 SCRA 349, decided in 1985.

Three lawyers were arrested pursuant to a mission order issued by a general. The IBP and two other law organizations filed on their behalf a petition for habeas corpus that the respondents moved to dismiss on the ground that the detainees were covered by a preventive detention order issued by Marcos. For lack of evidence of the subversion charges against them, the Supreme Court ordered their temporary release on recognizance of the principal counsel, former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion and retired Justice JBL Reyes. This was not obeyed by the respondents, who later further alleged that an information for rebellion had been filed against the detainees and a warrant for their arrest had been issued by the regional trial court, making the petition moot and academic.

The Supreme Court agreed. It cited Rule 102, Sec 4, of the Rules of Court providing that if “the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court or a judge, or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court of record, and the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process, render the judgment, or make the order, the writ shall not be allowed…” Justices Claudio Teehankee, Hermogenes Concepcion, Vicente Abad Santos and Lino Patajo dissented.

Even if the information was obviously manufactured, it was enough to defeat the petition for habeas corpus under the above-quoted section which, lamentably, is still part of the law of the land now. I think it is one of the questionable provisions of the Rules of Court that should be re-examined and corrected by the same Supreme Court that promulgated it and so can rewrite or reject it now. Such a move would be in keeping with Chief Justice Puno’s objective of making the administration of justice more realistic and less technical in the defense of individual liberty.

^^^ Habeas-in mo mukha mo!

Wang-Bu
07-02-2007, 11:18 AM
‘Lacking in perfection and perfectibility’

By Isagani Cruz
Inquirer
Last updated 03:08am (Mla time) 06/30/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- The term of the candidates elected last May will begin today, to continue for three years except in the case of the senators, who will serve for six years unless their incumbency is terminated by the revision of the Constitution before 2010.

This appears to be the plan of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Speaker Jose de Venecia as well, although she has called for the end of political bickering now that the elections are over. De Venecia may not be as purposeful because he still has a fight on his hands against the challenge of former governor and returning representative Pablo Garcia, a worthy opponent who many say can be a better leader to repair the ragged reputation of the House of Representatives.

The attempt of the Arroyo-De Venecia team to change the Constitution through the initiative was struck down by the Supreme Court last year and their subsequent plan to convert Congress into a constituent assembly for the same purpose was later scuttled by the Senate. Their mission was suspended by the election campaigns last month, but it is possible that they will try again this year because of their insistent ambition to remain in power after the end of Ms Arroyo’s term in 2010 and the possible replacement of De Venecia as Speaker of the lower House.

President Arroyo’s appeal for an end to the bitter squabbling during the election rigmarole and the pursuit of a non-partisan endeavor to concentrate henceforth on the improvement of the welfare and future of our country deserves everyone’s support. Provided, however, that it is sincere and not just another one of her rhetorical artifices like the one she made in 2002 that she would not run for the presidency in 2004. As for De Venecia, I do not recall his having abandoned his resolve to see the replacement of Congress with a unicameral Parliament where he expects to be prime minister.

Still recovering from the excitement and deceptions of the May elections, the people are at this time not enthusiastic over the resumption of the plan to reexamine and revise the Constitution. But even as Ms Arroyo has called for a political truce, she may again exercise the female privilege to change her mind and fan the political winds again in her obsession to be at the helm of the proposed parliamentary government. De Venecia will also be pushing for the revision of the present charter, although it is not certain that he and Ms Gloria will again be on the same side.

It is even doubtful that they will succeed this time to enlist their former followers in a revived effort to rewrite the Constitution according to their own designs. I say “former” because they may not have the same cohorts anymore, considering that they are practically lame ducks already, with Ms Gloria ending her present term in 2010 and De Venecia possibly even earlier with his replacement as head of the lower House by a resolute and formidable adversary.

I believe that the present charter, which was adopted 20 years ago, will sooner or later be revised by the critical people with no self-centered reasons as the present politicians. Their only purpose will be to correct the shortcomings of the otherwise generally praiseworthy document that, being a human document, is “lacking in perfection and perfectibility.” I can only hope that this reexamination will be done later rather than sooner, at any rate not in the near future when the past election fever will still affect, and perhaps infect, the better judgment of the prospective framers.

As a humble student of the Constitution, I am one of the many citizens who believe it should be rewritten to correct some of its serious flaws we have discovered since its ratification on Feb. 2, 1987, with 76.27 percent of the voters in favor and only 22.74 percent against. Opposition to the draft, while spirited, was disorganized and consequently ineffective. Many people, while doubtful about some of its provisions and especially its length, nevertheless approved it in the end because they felt it would provide the stability the country sorely needed at that time.

There is not enough space in this article to discuss all the shortcomings of the Constitution, so I will mention only one basic requirement of a good written constitution, to wit, that it must be brief. The Constitution of 1987 is not brief; in fact, it is kilometric. One reason why the fundamental law should be brief is so it can attract the interest and even the study of the great document that should be familiar to the people in general instead of only lawyers and politicians. Just the inordinate length of the present Constitution is enough to caution the ordinary citizen that it is not a charter of liberty but a codification of trivialities.

To illustrate, its Preamble speaks of, among other goals, “a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace.” When I asked Justice Cecilia Muñoz Palma of the Constitutional Commission how much longer they would take to finish drafting the Charter, she replied, “Only this morning, Commissioner [name withheld] took one-half hour explaining the meaning of love.”

^^^ Saligang Batas daw o!

Wang-Bu
07-02-2007, 11:23 AM
The supremacy of civilian authority

By Isagani Cruz
Inquirer
Last updated 03:48am (Mla time) 06/23/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- Now that Navy Lt. Antonio F. Trillanes IV has been proclaimed as one of the winners in the recent senatorial elections, the chief of staff and the other generals of the Armed Forces of the Philippines will have to salute their humble military subordinate as Sen. Antonio Trillanes beginning June 30. This reversal of roles will be in keeping with the constitutional provision under Art. II, Sec. 3 that “civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military.”

This salutary rule is prescribed in all republican regimes where sovereignty is supposed to reside in the people, who exercise it through their elected and appointive representatives. It is rejected in autocratic countries where the people are governed not by their sovereign will but through the barrel of the gun.

History is replete with the gory records of military brutality prevailing over civilian authority in many lands. The king was the bygone ruler who established his primacy by force of arms over his less valorous subjects. His simple code was to kill all his enemies to protect his crown. And he had his soldiers behind him to defend his right by military might.

Power was won in the ancient hills with the bludgeon and the sword and the skill to kill. Genghis Khan and others like him won this right by being mass murderers. Through the ages and up to the present time, the annals of mankind are drenched with the blood of casualties, combatants as well as innocent victims, in the endless struggle for the right to rule.

The victors were mostly tyrants. Caligula of Rome, Attila the Hun, Ivan the Terrible of Russia, Phedon of Argos in Athens, Ludwig I and II of Bavaria, and in the modern world, Francisco Franco of Spain, Mao Zedong of China, Idi Amin of Uganda, Augusto Pinochet of Chile, Pol Pot of Cambodia, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, are among many other villains who have demonized the world.

Some have, despite their sanguinary past, won tribute rather than scorn and ignominy. Napoleon Bonaparte set Europe on fire but is now remembered not for his sins but his military victories. Simon Bolivar, who liberated many South American countries at much cost of blameless lives, is now honored as an audacious nationalist. Fidel Castro, who freed Cuba from the oppression of Fulgencio Batista, is now its glorified oppressor.

In fairness, let it be noted that there are a number of military leaders who were not tyrants but are revered as heroes of their race. Among them are George Washington, who is first in peace and war in the hearts of his people, Ulysses S. Grant, who led the Union Army to victory during the US Civil War, and Dwight Eisenhower, who also became President of the United States. Gen. Douglas MacArthur who was overwhelmed with the wildest reception in New York for his victories in the Pacific War was nevertheless denied the same post by his Republican Party.

In our country, Emilio Aguinaldo, who commanded the Filipino soldiers against the Spaniards and later the US invaders, was elected president of the first Philippine Republic, which died a-borning. During the American regime and up to the presidency of Diosdado Macapagal, the Armed Forces were kept in place and were not allowed to interfere in civilian affairs. That arrangement was abruptly changed when Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in 1972 and needed the military to maintain it.

To this end, he pampered the military and gave it important positions in his dictatorship. The Armed Forces became no longer of the Philippines but of the President. The generals became privileged viceroys and ordinary sergeants and corporals began to swagger like colonels. The uniformed upstarts redeemed themselves, however, by joining the people power revolution in 1986.

But their coddling by Ferdinand Marcos gave the Armed Forces an unwarranted influence they still enjoy in the administration of non-military matters. President Corazon Aquino cordially thanked them for their role in Edsa People Power I; President Fidel Ramos naturally preferred them as his comrades-in-arms over their civilian rivals; President Joseph Estrada acknowledged their help in installing him in Malacañang; and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is afraid of them and is avoiding their displeasure at all costs.

Many Filipinos must have cast only a conscience vote for Trillanes to symbolize their support for the cause he espoused during the Oakwood mutiny he led in 2003. They probably did not expect him to be elected senator, but he was. Now they see him as the brave knight on his white charger raring to expose and combat the abuses of the Armed Forces that their commander in chief is unwilling to correct.

Senators Rodolfo Biazon, Gregorio Honasan and Panfilo Lacson have not shown much eagerness to investigate their “mistahs” [fellow military academy graduates] who have been accused of many misdeeds and shortcomings unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. Let us hope that with the youthful enthusiasm of their new colleague to lead the way, they will together look more closely, representing the supreme civilian authority of the government, into the tattered record of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

^^^ Basta AFP puro utak-pulbura, Your Honor.

Wang-Bu
07-02-2007, 11:24 AM
Revising the Constitution of 1987

By Isagani Cruz
Inquirer
Last updated 05:15am (Mla time) 06/10/2007

MANILA, Philippines—The 2007 elections are over except for the valid protests that will not be decided before the 2010 elections and so will be conveniently dismissed for having become moot and academic. President Macapagal-Arroyo must now be desperately considering how to retain political power, and presidential immunity as well, now that she has been reduced to a tolerated lame duck with little prospect of electoral redemption.

It must be a great consolation for her that despite her humiliating defeat in the senatorial elections, the new Senate may still not be able to muster the needed two-thirds vote to convict and remove her if she is impeached by the House of Representatives. Which is practically impossible because she at least continues to control that decrepit body as long as it can gormandize the pork barrel she feeds it like life-sustaining fluid to a brain-dead patient.

Even so, as things now stand, she cannot see her public persona surviving beyond 2010, when she will be disqualified from running for re-election, even assuming she can win, which is highly improbable.

The only alternative left her is to become the president again or the prime minister in a parliamentary government that she hopes will prevent her enforced retirement. To this end, she tried to have the Constitution amended or revised through the faulty initiative the Supreme Court decisively struck down last year. She is likely to re-invent the method this year, but there is little hope it will receive the people’s support, which has tremendously diminished with her disgrace in the recent polls.

The initiative failing again, President Arroyo will perhaps try to persuade Congress to act as a constituent assembly as she and her equally self-interested partner, Speaker Jose de Venecia, attempted last year. That method, if they had pursued it, would have been defeated too because of the known plan of the House of Representatives to replace Congress with a unicameral Parliament without the Senate.

The last resort available to GMA is Art. XVII, Sec. 3 of the Constitution providing that “the Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members, call a constitutional convention, or by a majority vote of all its Members, submit to the electorate the question of calling such a convention.”

Like many other Filipinos motivated only by the public good, I believe that the Constitution of 1987 could stand a major revision. For all its many outstanding virtues, this human handiwork “lacking in perfection and perfectibility,” to use the words of Justice Jose P. Laurel, could be vastly improved with the correction of its many shortcomings discovered during the past 20 years.

However, we should take care that its re-examination is not prompted by personal reasons or pretexts, like the plan of President Arroyo, and President Fidel V. Ramos in 1997, to remove the term limits in the Constitution so they could run for re-election. The fundamental law is chiseled in granite and may be changed only for urgent valid justification, not by infatuations with personalities and ideas less than selfless or meritorious.

I have two suggestions for the constitutional convention that may be called to re-write the Constitution of 1987.

The first is that the intended revision should not be scheduled now but only after the 2010 elections, which should include the election of the delegates to the constitutional convention. This will avoid the suspicion, or the reality, that the change is being planned only to accommodate covetous ambitions and not to improve the Charter. Moreover, we will not have to incur the unnecessary expense of holding special elections for the delegates to the proposed body, which, as an added benefit, will not include the members of Congress.

My second suggestion is to entrust the revision only to civic-minded and intelligent citizens whose only purpose will be to frame a better Constitution. Traditional politicians should be excluded and prevented from diluting that purpose with their usual machinations. The law establishing the body should expressly disqualify such trapos and also their relatives within the third civil degree of consanguinity or affinity as involved in family dynasties disfavored but not prohibited by the present Constitution. The delegates themselves should be ineligible for public elective office for five years from the dissolution of the constitutional convention.

I know that the second suggestion is rather harsh and will probably be rejected by Congress. Nevertheless, I hope it will accept this draconian precaution for the good of the country and as proof of its laudable intentions. Everyone should cooperate in the worthy effort to adopt the best Constitution ever to insure our prosperity and safeguard our liberty. We owe this imperative mission our common participation.

^^^ Tama ng Cha-Cha, TAKATAK na lang!

Wang-Bu
07-02-2007, 11:31 AM
Tantrums of the demigod

By Antonio J. Montalvan II
Inquirer
Last updated 01:05am (Mla time) 07/02/2007

MANILA, Philippines - Eleven million voters were wrong. That's 11 million voters who were mesmerized by Antonio Trillanes IV as a knight in shining armor who comes to save the republic from the ignominy of an unpopular administration.

But mesmerized by what, search me please. His words do not enthrall. His pronouncements are no spellbinders. In fact, I suspect there is nothing between those ears. His oft-repeated boo-boo that he will initiate the impeachment process in the Senate against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo only exposes his gross ignorance of the legislative process.

Now comes Ramon Tulfo's findings, supported by documentary evidence, that the guy is not even the epitome of the swashbuckling hero against government corruption that he has styled himself to be. And if Tulfo were to be believed, not only the 11 million Trillanes voters but the entire republic itself should now endure the empty antics of a pseudo-hero for the next six years, in a Senate that has long ago contradicted its traditional designation as an august body.

Tulfo calls him the "boy with a new toy." I think he is your typical neighborhood bully in a perpetual tantrum who simply calls attention to himself.

But even long before Tulfo made known his findings of the man whose personal life is largely hidden from public knowledge, we should be thankful to the Dutchman Adriaan de Jager and his Filipina wife Ana Santarin who related the injustices they had to endure under Navy Lieutenant Trillanes.

They were evicted by Trillanes from their Novaliches property without any court order; Trillanes swooped down on the De Jager home with a gang of armed goons. He did not even introduce himself as a Navy lieutenant, but reportedly misrepresented himself as a businessman. Trillanes later used the basement of the house to store a cache of explosives and ammunitions. Because of that, De Jager languished in jail for 15 months.

Do all these sound familiar? Those of us who lived through the Marcos dictatorship should hear bells ringing. The whole Trillanes adventure reeks of politicized military men using their misplaced powers to abuse their role as protectors of the state. That is the bottom line. Military men, including Lacson and Biazon and Honasan, have entered the fray of politics out of a confusion that stemmed from the immense powers the military acquired during the Marcos regime.

But what makes Trillanes a worse case is the sheer hypocrisy of his pronouncements that seemed to have clinched the good impression voters had of him. The anti-corruption demigod that he now is was a lieutenant senior grade in the Philippine Navy whose monthly pay was less than P20,000, but who had the luxury of a Mitsubishi Pajero, a Nissan Terrano, five Mitsubishi Delicas and a Kawasaki motorcycle.

Completing what should make for the glitz of a lifestyle that belongs only to the rich and famous is a posh unit in the Town and Country Club Executive Village in Antipolo. But Trillanes made sure to maintain his "poor and honest" image by listing BF Homes Caloocan as his address in his certificate of candidacy. Tulfo found out that that is the residence of Trillanes' mother. The 11 million voters have been had.

Can anyone please tell me the new definition of moral ascendancy?

The Trillanes campaign was reportedly bankrolled by Jamby Madrigal, another of our more confused senators. But the tittle-tattle says more, that it was actually greased by Estrada money whose jailed patriarch made sure Trillanes won. That is certainly plausible. The disgraced former president always gets linked to anything that has the potential of undermining the administration of his equally disgraceful nemesis in Malaca¤ang.

The storyline has always been clear: accusers are no different from the accused. Ours is a politics of personalities who all represent the same socio-economic and political interests. Does anything surprise us? Nothing should. Under our hypocritical political system, anything is possible. A mutineer becomes senator. Lintang Bedol gets kid-gloves treatment for dereliction of duty. Lani Cayetano gets elected as congresswoman. Dato Arroyo gets minted as the latest dynast in his family. The fightingest anti-Marcos Pimentels are now dynasts too like the late dictator's family. And the Binay family is in power eternally. And more of their ilk in the rest of these 7,100 islands.

Meanwhile, the neighborhood bully with the perpetual tantrum who thinks he is your formidable demigod against other bullies is now in the Senate.

When will the real hero come to save this republic?

^^^ Welcome to the Senate, Mr Trillanes...

Sam Miguel
07-03-2007, 10:12 AM
This is one reason why Rina Jimenez David just makes my day...

A Sunday dress code

By Rina Jimenez-David
Inquirer
Last updated 01:09am (Mla time) 07/03/2007

"Another newspaper had on its front page yesterday a picture of folks entering a Catholic church presumably for Sunday Mass wearing decidedly casual clothes. One man was even shown wearing floral-printed “puruntong” shorts and rubber slippers, which I seriously doubt would qualify as the classier-sounding “flip flops” that cost much more but look a lot like the lowly "tsinelas."

Anyway, the decision to allot such major space on the front page of a daily to what people were wearing in church was justified in the caption citing a dress code issued by the Archdiocese of Manila last week.

The “dress code,” presented in a poster issued to the various parishes in the archdiocese, says the regulations on “proper” and “improper” dress during Sunday Mass are based on “our dignity as baptized children of God,” and that “the sacredness of the Eucharistic celebration urges all participants to dress, manifest the importance of what they are doing.”

In a circular, Fr. Godwin Tatlonghari, assistant minister of the archdiocese’s Ministry of Liturgical Affairs, said the guidelines were a response to “many requests” they had received from Mass-goers who were disturbed by other members of the faithful “who come to church to attend Mass or other liturgical functions garbed in a way that disrespects the sanctity of the House of God and the sacredness of the Liturgical Celebration.”

The poster illustrates what constitutes “proper” and “improper” outfits for Sunday Mass and other liturgical celebrations. While “proper” garb calls for the usual short-sleeved or long-sleeved shirts, pants, dresses or uniforms, the injunctions against wearing certain types of clothes in Church seem more interesting.

“Improper” church attire seems to consist of anything that bares one’s shoulders or arms, such as sleeveless or spaghetti-strapped tops and sports jerseys, reveals too much leg, like shorts or miniskirts, or directs the eye downward, such as blouses with plunging necklines. And yet, the pious faithful also seem disturbed by men wearing baseball caps inside church, which has been deemed “improper.” (Would a jaunty fedora qualify as “proper” garb?)

* * *

TO THINK we are decades away from the era when women and girls had to check where their hemlines fell before they felt they could go to Mass, or lugged along lacy veils to wear on their heads before entering a church.

When I was in grade school, a teacher warned us to make sure we were dressed properly for Sunday Mass because she heard Mass in different churches and if she spotted any of us wearing a too-short or sleeveless dress, she would personally haul us out of the Communion line.

I wondered then -- and still do now -- what Catholics had against bare arms. Were they an occasion for sin? I would think being required to move around at the height of a tropical summer in long-sleeved shirts and trousers would be a bigger sin. I mean, who could keep one’s mind on the Mass then?

I suppose we can blame Vatican II for this, as a result of which women religious finally abandoned their wimples and floor-grazing habits, and women gleefully shucked off their veils, along with missals and kneelers.

We’ve certainly come a long way from the days when we took pains with our Sunday outfits, dressing up in frilly party dresses or discreet white habits with blue sashes; to these days when everyone in church seems dressed for a picnic, or a beach party.

* * *

THEN again, I suppose people for whom loose cotton shorts and plain T-shirts, rubber slippers and jeans constitute dressy attire, the new, more relaxed dress code would have been a welcome development.

After all, not everybody can afford to dress up for Sunday Mass, or else their idea of “dressing up” might not be what their more prosperous co-parishioners would consider decent wear. But if the lack of proper attire keeps the poor and disadvantaged “unchurched,” too embarrassed to show up in the House of God looking disheveled, then I say, to hell with a dress code! The major concern of parish priests and lay leaders should be to get people to go to church, not to pose as fashion police.

And if Mass-goers are distracted by bare arms, knobby knees and colorful baseball caps, then I think they’re not paying enough attention to what’s going on at the altar, or what their hearts and minds are telling them. If you go to Mass intent on policing what other people are wearing or doing, then you’re going to church for the wrong reasons.

I would think our social and religious betters aren’t giving God enough credit if they think He’d be scandalized by the fashion of the day. From what I know, He’s more concerned about what’s going on inside of us, not what we wear on Sundays.

* * *

THIS reminds me of a priest who warned his parishioners that women who were wearing IUDs would not be allowed to receive Communion in his parish. I wondered how he proposed to carry this out. Would he post himself at the Church door each Sunday and conduct an internal exam to search every woman for telltale signs of an IUD?

Who knows the state of the soul of every Mass-goer? Even if he should be clad in "puruntong" shorts, or she was traipsing along in a strapless, backless gown, does that necessarily reflect the person’s state of grace -- or sin? Bringing people closer to God is the point of a community liturgical celebration, not a picture-perfect congregation hewing to the standards of some Order of Decency."

Sam Miguel
07-03-2007, 10:18 AM
Of course I love Bel Cunanan even more, bless her conservative pro-government heart...

Teodoro as foil to Trillanes

By Belinda Olivares-Cunanan
Inquirer
Last updated 01:09am (Mla time) 07/03/2007

"President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is apparently keeping the matter of a Cabinet revamp close to her chest, as few officials seem to know much about it, although talks of Cabinet changes have been rife for the past two weeks. Rumors of the impending appointment of former Tarlac Rep. Gilbert Teodoro to the defense post had swirled for a whole year and intensified after he turned down the President’s suggestion that he run for senator. When Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane was moved to the defense department, the rumors about Teodoro died down, but it turned out that the former was merely warming the seat for him.

* * *

Teodoro, 43, has been quite low-key in the House and even during the heated debates in the two impeachment attempts, he was hardly heard. But the few times he opened his mouth to speak, he sounded suave, articulate and polished. He seldom gave interviews, but his credentials were enough to attract attention: a graduate of the University of the Philippines' College of Law Class ’89, Harvard Law School for his master’s and the National Defense College; bar topnotcher; chair of the House committee on defense and former head of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) in the House (from about 60 members several congresses ago, it’s now down to about half its old strength).

But for the media, Teodoro’s most significant qualification is perhaps his being the favorite nephew of industrialist Eduardo Cojuangco. One can feel resistance to his appointment because of this factor, but his supporters argue that he was too young to fully understand what his uncle was up to in the 1970s with the coco levy funds and Marcos, and that they are two separate individuals. But certain acts of Teodoro in the past indicate how close their interests were.

* * *

From what I observed in the House, Teodoro preferred to operate in the background. I recall that he was obviously pulling the strings in the NPC’s attempt three years ago to impeach then Chief Justice Hilario Davide in what was widely believed to be a proxy war for his uncle who had several unresolved cases in the Supreme Court. At that time, the NPC was the biggest bloc next to the ruling party and it flexed its muscles hard. During the deliberations on Davide’s impeachment, Teodoro’s good-looking wife, Nikki Prieto-Teodoro (who was elected recently to his old Tarlac seat), and other Cojuangco women were prominent in the galleries.

In the light of public outrage over this move against the popular and respected Chief Justice, young Representatives Wimpy Fuentebella, Darlene Custodio and Jack Duavit were sent to the Inquirer to explain the NPC’s action. They were met by hostile editors, columnists and reporters who reduced them to tears or migraines. The journalists castigated their party for bringing the nation to the brink of a constitutional crisis, through a deadly confrontation between two branches of government. I recall asking to myself, “Where is Teodoro?” I hope he has since matured about the use of political power.

* * *

Teodoro’s new appointment comes at a crucial time for the DND. The new Human Security Act of 2007, more popularly known as the Anti-Terrorism Law, will take effect on July 15 and it is causing a lot of anxieties among activist groups. His legal background, honed for eight years in the law office of Estelito Mendoza, could provide him handy tools.

Then there’s the Armed Forces’ modernization program began by lawyer Avelino Cruz, which calls for close monitoring to avoid the pitfalls of built-in graft. And there’s the peace processes that must be pushed as a crucial requisite to sustaining economic growth. Teodoro’s appointment sits well with those who have clamored for another civilian in the mold of Cruz, who was viewed as a rather detached reformist technocrat. Let’s hope he’s not overwhelmed by his political baggage, as Cruz was by his ties with “The Firm.”

* * *

It’s quite possible that Teodoro was chosen by President Arroyo to dazzle and awe the Armed Forces with his impressive credentials, so that he becomes a counter-foil to the high-powered media buildup of Antonio Trillanes who’s in the same age bracket. To quote our Inquirer colleague from Mindanao, Antonio J. Montalvan II, the former Oakwood rebel leader mesmerized 11 million Filipino voters by presenting himself as “a knight in shining armor who comes to save the republic from the ignominy of an unpopular administration.” This he did by looking persecuted and hardly opening his mouth. It proved a very good campaign strategy, for after his election, Trillanes seems to be confirming suspicions that, as Montalvan put it, “there is nothing between those ears.” Teodoro, by contrast, is expected to be sharp, bright and poised -- a rich kid with brains.

He should be a foil as well to the two new opposition senators who never authored a single bill in the House and who won overwhelmingly because of their incredible press.

* * *

As for Ebdane, many people thought he had slid seamlessly into the defense post, after Ms Arroyo took over briefly from Cruz. Thus, a good number of people were surprised when the appointment of Teodoro came. But what makes Ebdane’s return to the Deparment of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) more significant is that it comes at a time when a recent survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS) placed that department among those with “very bad sincerity” (below 50 points) in dealing with corruption and bribery, along with the Bureau of Customs.

The seventh in the annual SWS Business Survey on Corruption conducted with the Makati Business Club stressed that the DPWH and the Bureau of Customs had improved their ratings from minus 66 to minus 55 and minus 74 to minus 68, respectively, but still the two agencies remained at the bottom, indicating that a lot of cleaning up is needed to be done there.

Will Ebdane rise to the challenge of the new buzzword -- “reformist governance” -- while he pushes for the completion of mega-projects until 2010?"

Joescoundrel
07-06-2007, 10:08 AM
How's this for the "Dumbest Ideas in the World" contest? A little something from my friends at the Heritage Foundation__

July 5, 2007

The War on Terrorism: Habeas Corpus On and Off the Battlefield
by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.

WebMemo #1535

"Congress is considering legislation to extend habeas corpus rights (i.e., the ability to challenge the legality of detention in a civil court) to unlawful enemy combatants. Granting terrorists rights to which they are not entitled will not make the world a safer place and will not win over America's enemies and critics.[1] Worst of all, it will make armed conflicts more dangerous for soldiers and civilians.

The current legal framework allows U.S. armed forces to do their job without adversely affecting military effectiveness or going against standards of international law. Congress should not undermine the United States' ability to detain unlawful combatants and, if appropriate, try them for war crimes.

Soldiers and the Laws of War

Separate laws regarding the conduct of war were established for a reason: The environment of armed conflict differs significantly from everyday civil society. Soldiers must be able to accomplish the mission and obey rules of conduct while under stressful, chaotic, and dangerous conditions. The laws of war also give soldiers the legal means to deal with enemy soldiers, civilians, and unlawful combatants who intentionally ignore the rules.

Encouraging Lawlessness in Armed Conflict

Granting unwarranted legal rights puts soldiers and civilians at risk by rewarding treachery with privilege. Unlawful enemy combatants--individuals who do not adhere to the traditional laws or customs of war--are not entitled to Prisoner of War (POW) status or the full protections of the Geneva Conventions, let alone unfettered access to U.S. courts. Summarily granting them these privileges would cripple the integrity of the laws of war. Enemies will be less inclined to follow the rules if they suffer no consequences for breaking them. Contrary views rely on guilt-ridden, utopian thinking that says America deserves her enemies and that they will love and foreswear violence against her if only she just meets some indeterminate but much higher standard of justice and fair play. When only one side plays by the rules on a battlefield, that side is likely to disproportionately suffer from illegal acts of war.

Impeding the Effectiveness of Military Operations

Soldiers have a number of equally compelling responsibilities in war: accomplishing the mission, safeguarding innocents, and protecting their fellow soldiers. These tasks are difficult enough. Soldiers should not be required to provide to unlawful combatants, in the same manner and to the same extent as would be expected of a civil court, the full array of civil protections afforded to U.S. citizens by the Constitution and created by judges since the 1960s. For example, it is highly unrealistic to expect soldiers during active operations to collect evidence and insure the integrity of the chain of custody for that evidence. American soldiers would effectively face a Hobson's choice: on one hand, win the war, bring fellow soldiers home, and safeguard innocents; or, on the other hand, meet novel legal standards that might result in prematurely releasing war criminals who will go back to the battlefield.

Crippling Intelligence Gathering

Gaining timely, actionable information is the most powerful weapon in uncovering and thwarting terrorist plots. Requiring the armed forces to place detainees under a civilian legal process will severely restrict their access to detainees and, in turn, cripple their capacity to obtain intelligence through legitimate, lawful interrogation.

Military authorities are giving Gitmo detainees treatment that is as good as or better than that typically afforded to U.S.-held POWs. The only real difference is that Gitmo detainees may be interrogated for more than name, rank, and serial number.

Unnecessary Burdens

Changing the legal framework governing unlawful combatants is simply unnecessary. The military is already meeting its obligations to deal justly with individuals in its custody.

Since the inception of the Geneva Conventions, no country has ever given automatic habeas corpus rights to POWs. Furthermore, such action is not required by the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that, at most, some detainees were covered by a statutory privilege to habeas corpus. The Court concluded, in other words, that Congress had implicitly conferred habeas corpus rights to certain individuals. However, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 repealed that privilege and, so far, Congress has not acted to restore it.

The Department of Defense already operates two tribunals that safeguard the legal rights of detainees. The Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) uses a formal process to determine whether detainees meet the criteria to be designated as enemy combatants. Tribunals known as Administrative Review Boards (ARB) ensure that enemy combatants are not held any longer than necessary. Both processes operate within the confines of traditional law-of-war tribunals and are also subject to the appeals process and judicial review. In addition, Congress has established a process under the Military Commissions Act to allow the military to try any non-U.S. detainees for war crimes they are alleged to have committed.

Conclusion

Imposing U.S. civil procedures over the conduct of armed conflict will damage national security and make combat more dangerous for soldiers and civilians alike. The drive to do so is based on erroneous views about the Constitution, the United States' image abroad, and the realities of war.

U.S. military legal processes are on par with or exceed the best legal practices in the world. While meeting the needs of national security, the system respects individuals' rights and offers unlawful enemy combatants a fundamentally fair process that is based on that afforded to America's own military men and women. Having proven itself in past conflicts, the current legal framework can continue to do so in a prolonged war against terrorism."

atenean_blooded
07-07-2007, 01:40 AM
Pustahan tayo, joe, kahit hindi naiintindihan ni Bush yan, veto yan sigurado. ;D

atenean_blooded
07-07-2007, 01:46 AM
Puentevella files bill to criminalize video, photo voyeurism
www.abs-cbnnews.com

A bill which seeks to criminalize video and photo voyeurism has been filed in the House of Representatives, ABS-CBN News reported Friday.

Reports said Bacolod Rep. Monico Puentevella filed House Bill 472 which seeks to impose punishment to individuals or groups who will acquire video or photos of persons or groups performing sexual acts with the intent of making money out of it.

Puentevella has filed the bill following the proliferation of sex scandals which are mostly stolen video footages taken from hidden cameras in dormitories or motels, uploaded in the internet and reproduced for the public.

"This is a blatant invasion of privacy, an act which could only be described as maliciously motivated and therefore, should be criminally prosecuted," Puentevella said.

He said that some may find the videos or photos amusing but victims of voyeurism have been humiliated and may be scarred for life.

"It is high time that such person/s or groups be punished to the fullest extent of the law," Puentevella said.

bluewing
07-07-2007, 01:51 AM
Puentevella files bill to criminalize video, photo voyeurism
www.abs-cbnnews.com

A bill which seeks to criminalize video and photo voyeurism has been filed in the House of Representatives, ABS-CBN News reported Friday.

Reports said Bacolod Rep. Monico Puentevella filed House Bill 472 which seeks to impose punishment to individuals or groups who will acquire video or photos of persons or groups performing sexual acts with the intent of making money out of it.

Puentevella has filed the bill following the proliferation of sex scandals which are mostly stolen video footages taken from hidden cameras in dormitories or motels, uploaded in the internet and reproduced for the public.

"This is a blatant invasion of privacy, an act which could only be described as maliciously motivated and therefore, should be criminally prosecuted," Puentevella said.

He said that some may find the videos or photos amusing but victims of voyeurism have been humiliated and may be scarred for life.

"It is high time that such person/s or groups be punished to the fullest extent of the law," Puentevella said.



F*CK!

muddatrucker
07-07-2007, 10:22 PM
Puentevella files bill to criminalize video, photo voyeurism
www.abs-cbnnews.com

A bill which seeks to criminalize video and photo voyeurism has been filed in the House of Representatives, ABS-CBN News reported Friday.

Reports said Bacolod Rep. Monico Puentevella filed House Bill 472 which seeks to impose punishment to individuals or groups who will acquire video or photos of persons or groups performing sexual acts with the intent of making money out of it.

Puentevella has filed the bill following the proliferation of sex scandals which are mostly stolen video footages taken from hidden cameras in dormitories or motels, uploaded in the internet and reproduced for the public.

"This is a blatant invasion of privacy, an act which could only be described as maliciously motivated and therefore, should be criminally prosecuted," Puentevella said.

He said that some may find the videos or photos amusing but victims of voyeurism have been humiliated and may be scarred for life.

"It is high time that such person/s or groups be punished to the fullest extent of the law," Puentevella said.



F*CK!

In other news, camera phone sales have plummeted to a record low.

Seriously though, this should have been illegal a loooooong time ago.

bluewing
07-07-2007, 10:25 PM
may loophole!

"...House Bill 472 which seeks to impose punishment to individuals or groups who will acquire video or photos of persons or groups performing sexual acts with the intent of making money out of it."

kung private/personal consumption lang... walang krimen!


allllll riiiiight!!! (quagmire)

atenean_blooded
07-08-2007, 12:28 AM
Ang sasaya ng mga voyeur websites nyan. ;D

Wang-Bu
07-09-2007, 12:12 PM
Trillanes in jail

Inquirer
Last updated 02:41am (Mla time) 07/09/2007

MANILA, Philippines - Hard cases, the American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. reminded the community of lawyers over a hundred years ago, make for bad law. Difficulty is a function of public passion or, in Holmes' elegant phrasing, "some accident of immediate overwhelming interest which appeals to the feelings and distorts the judgment."

The charges against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV make for one such case. Should the soldier accused of leading a coup d'etat be allowed either temporary or conditional liberty, to allow him to discharge his duties as a new member of the Senate? Should he enjoy a change in his custody status, from military detention to perhaps the custody of the Senate? Not least, should his election to the Senate, on the strength of over 11 million votes, be considered as absolving him of his liability?

It is important to note that, while the Magdalo uprising which Trillanes is alleged to have led is familiarly described as a mutiny, mutineering charges against him have already been dropped. To date, Trillanes faces "only" two charges: Before a general court martial he is accused of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. And before the Makati regional trial court he is accused of taking part in an attempted coup.

If the court martial finds him guilty, he will be punished with a dishonorable discharge from military service. Since under military rules any soldier who files a certificate of candidacy is immediately considered resigned, this punishment is somewhat redundant. Trillanes has already been dropped from the rolls.

If the RTC finds Trillanes guilty, on the other hand, he can receive the maximum penalty: reclusion perpetua.

A lawyer familiar with his case suggests a way out for a military leadership embarrassed by Trillanes' election victory: drop the conduct unbecoming charge, because his candidacy had already discharged him from the service. And then cooperate with the Senate to transfer custody from the military to the upper chamber.

This solution has the appeal of a conqueror's sword slicing a Gordian knot in two. It will certainly soothe the "immediate overwhelming interest" of a public eagerly following the telenovela-like fate of a detainee-turned-senator. For this very reason, however, a reconsideration is in order.

The need of the moment is for Trillanes, as an elected official, to be allowed the opportunity to serve his mandate. This does not mean substituting the elections for the court proceedings he must undergo; it only means allowing him to attend all Senate sessions and committee meetings necessary for his work as a legislator.

This arrangement can be made even without dropping any of the two cases he is facing. In the first place, precisely because both trials are ongoing and there is no finding yet, Trillanes must be presumed to be innocent. He cannot be deemed to have forfeited any of his political rights. (A determination by either the court martial or the RTC that he cannot attend Senate sessions at all confuses accusation with conviction.)

In the second place, effective discharge from military service is not the same as dishonorable discharge. For policy reasons, AFP Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon may well drop the Trillanes case and end the court martial proceedings; by exactly the same token, however, he may decide to let the trial continue, perhaps to send a message to other military adventurists. If he does so, he will run right smack into a Great Wall of resistance: as the post-election survey of military voters revealed, a great many in the AFP voted for Trillanes and consider reform in the military a just cause. But that is Esperon's decision, and his own lookout.

In the third place, the crime of coup d'etat is serious indeed. Election into office does not extinguish criminal liability. Now that Trillanes is a senator, it is incumbent on the Department of Justice, if it truly has the evidence to send Trillanes to jail, to prosecute the case to the best of its ability. Prosecution, however, should not prevent the DOJ, the AFP and even the Senate to enter into a temporary arrangement, one that will allow Trillanes to serve in the office he was elected to.

Justice may be blind, but it can, and it should, also listen to the roar of the crowd.

^^^ Hango sa Inquirer.Net

May tanong lang ako: ganun ba talaga batas natin? Kapag ang isang taong akusado sa isang krimen ay tumakbo at nanalo bilang isang opisyal ng bayan siya pala ay otomatikong abswleto na mula sa kanyang saguting legal? Anong batas naman ang sumasaklaw dito, ang Civil Code ba, ang Omnibus Election Code o ang Revised Penal Code, o meron bang Special law na sumasaklaw dito?

Hindi ba ganito din ang nangyari sa kaso naman ng manyak na si Romy Jalosjos? Ibig bang sabihin nito ay dapat na ring palayain si Jalosjos?

Ano-ano ba ang mga pamantayan bago maabswelto sa saguting legal ang isang akusadong nanalo sa isang halalan?

Wang-Bu
07-10-2007, 09:32 AM
^^^ Dugtungan natin ang usapin sa taas...

Trillanes, Jalosjos: What is sauce for the goose …

By Ramon Tulfo
Inquirer
Last updated 03:33am (Mla time) 07/10/2007

I disagree with my newspaper’s stand that Antonio Trillanes IV should be allowed to attend Senate sessions and committee meetings to serve his mandate as senator of the Republic (Read yesterday’s Inquirer editorial).

If Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Romeo Jalosjos was not allowed to attend sessions and committee meetings at the House, why should the rule be reversed to favor Trillanes?

What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

* * *
If the argument is that 11 million Filipinos voted for Trillanes while only a few hundred thousand voted for Jalosjos, does that mean that a congressman is considered lower in category than a senator just because the former is elected locally while the latter is chosen nationally?
Remember, both congressmen and senators are national legislators.
If, on the other hand, the contention is that Trillanes has not yet been convicted while Jalosjos had been convicted when he was elected congressman, the rebuttal is that Jalosjos’ conviction was on appeal at that time and was not yet final.
* * *
The impasse can be resolved by having the Makati Regional Trial Court fast-track the trial of Trillanes on a charge of attempted coup.
If he is found not guilty, then he should be released immediately.
And if he is found guilty, then he can appeal his case but he should still stay in jail while the appeal is being heard, like what happened to Jalosjos.

* * *

Trillanes has filed two bills in the Senate seeking to increase the pay of soldiers who, he says, have put their lives on the line to protect “our people, our institutions and our democratic way of life.”
I have no argument with Trillanes on increasing the pay of soldiers, but why not also increase the salaries of policemen and public schoolteachers?
Cops also risk their lives in protecting the citizenry, while our public schoolteachers mold the country’s future leaders.

* * *

Here are some pieces of information that the public might want to know about the detention of Trillanes et. al by the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

1. At the height of the search for Gringo Honasan (elected senator for the second time), Trillanes was a “special guest” at the christening party of the first-born son of Capt. James Layug and his wife Aimee.

2. The party was held at the official function room of Isafp officers called “Sampaguita Lounge” inside the restricted compound of the Isafp, Camp Aguinaldo.

3. The date of the christening party: Dec. 23, 2005.

4. The party was serenaded with music exclusively played by the Isafp band.

5. The food served at the party was catered by Teriyaki Boy restaurant.

6. The bill amounted to P36,000 more or less.

7. MIG (Military Intelligence Group) 21 took pictures of the entire event.

8. Fellow mutineers Captains Gerardo Gambala and Milo Maestrecampo, who both apologized to President Macapagal-Arroyo, did not attend the party.

9. That was not the first party Trillanes and his group had while detained at the Isafp detention center. Other events like Christmas and birthdays were celebrated at the Kitanlad Hall inside the Isafp compound.

^^^ Baka naman may gustong sumagot diyan, mukhang interesanteng usapin ito.

JonarSabilano
07-10-2007, 01:24 PM
Hindi ko alam kung legal-legalan nga ang film clip na ito, pero ang astig e.

http://www.atomfilms.com/film/consent.jsp

Wang-Bu
07-10-2007, 03:19 PM
Sir Jonar kung humantong na sa ganyan ang bembangan sapakan na lang... :-X

Joescoundrel
07-11-2007, 12:49 PM
Something I just recently got to reading from the eminent Prof Solita Monsod:

How PHAP turned a health issue into a trade issue

By Solita Collas-Monsod
Inquirer
Last updated 03:45am (Mla time) 06/23/2007

"MANILA, Philippines -- Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila tells me that he does not recall -- and neither does his office have a copy of -- a private letter that, according to Representatives Etta Rosales and Risa Baraquel, he wrote to Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera regarding the Milk Code issue. I accept his statement. But information I obtained subsequent to our conversation is that he had a private talk or talks with Devanadera (I am given to understand that she wasn’t falling for his line) regarding the issue. I leave it up to Secretary Favila whether he wants to deny that, too.

What Favila’s office provided me were copies of (1) a letter he wrote to Health Secretary Francisco Duque referring to the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines’ “concern over the negative effects” of two provisions of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (RIRR) and asking Duque to “revisit or review” them -- it is noteworthy that the letter was dated May 18, 2006, three days after the health secretary signed the administrative order that contained the RIRR; and (2) the official position of the Department of Trade and Industry on the proposed RIRR submitted to the House Committee on Trade and Industry. I am still waiting for Favila’s response to US Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donohue’s letter to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in effect lobbying against the RIRR. I want to compare Favila’s response to that of Duque’s, who essentially told Donohue that he was totally off-base.

But how did the House, and particularly the Committee on Trade and Industry, get involved in a health issue? I am informed that this was a result of the efforts of infant milk-producing pharmaceuticals to convert the issue into a trade issue, since they weren’t making any inroads into the health secretary’s position, despite the intervention of the US Embassy, through its commercial attaché, and a US government functionary concerned with Southeast Asian trade. Presumably the House committee wanted a copy of the RIRR in “aid of legislation,” and wanted to hear what the DTI and others had to say about it. But in light of the recent massacre of the cheap medicine bill in the same House (to the benefit of foreign pharmaceuticals and to the gross disadvantage of Filipinos who buy exorbitantly priced medicines), one is not sure anymore what the two hearings it conducted were in aid of.

One thing was certain: There was a sea change in the attitude of some congressmen between the first (unsympathetic to the pharmaceuticals) and the second (reduced animosity, bordering on sympathy) committee hearing. I leave it to the reader to guess why. There is also another interesting sidelight, which would be amusing if the implications were not so disgusting: After Duque signed the RIRR, three separate house bills on Milk Code amendments were introduced within the space of a month; and, surprise: All three hew pretty closely to the pharmaceutical industry’s line!

But, in any case, it is clear to me that the Department of Trade and Industry’s official position on the RIRR exhibits both gross ignorance of the issues and an indefensible partiality toward the pharmaceuticals.

That may sound like harsh judgment, but anyone who reads (with an open mind, that is) the two documents that Favila’s office sent me is bound to come to the same conclusion.

How’s this for ignorance: As per the official position of the Department of Trade and Industry, “While we agree that ‘breastfeeding is good for babies up to two years,’ we also recognize that the practice of breastfeeding is slowly becoming uncommon, as supported by a report of the World Health Organization showing Filipinos spending P21.5 billion yearly on infant formula.”

Helloo! That “slowly becoming uncommon” phenomenon is precisely why the Department of Health and every right-thinking Filipino, are getting concerned -- because it is accompanied by unnecessary infant and children deaths and morbidity. The Department of Trade and Industry seems to think it is a phenomenon that must be taken as a given. And it seems to be blissfully unaware (ignorant?) that the pharmaceuticals’ official position is that “there is even a decline in the use of breast milk substitutes in the domestic market,” what with a low “penetration rate” of 9 percent (changed to 7 percent more recently) -- a figure which is the result of combining two very unrealistic assumptions -- one that increases the denominator of the ratio, and the other that decreases the numerator.

Moreover, Favila’s letter to Duque cites the two provisions of the RIRR which the pharmaceuticals object to -- but it cites truncated, incomplete provisions which make them appear unreasonable. The complete provisions are eminently reasonable.

The partiality of the Department of Trade and Industry toward the pharmaceuticals is obvious from the following: First, the only provisions of the RIRR it takes exception to are the very same provisions that the pharmaceuticals also take exception to. Second, again per its position paper, “The Department of Trade and Industry, meanwhile, charged with the mandate to protect the rights and welfare of the consumers, has to balance the mandate of the law with a friendly environment conducive to the growth of business.” And yet in doing so, it has weighed 16,000 lives and an even greater number of infant and child ailments against the profits (derived from misleading ads and promotions) of four pharmaceuticals -- and clearly finds the latter more deserving of concern.

Hey, the Department of Health isn’t creating an environment that stops those four pharmaceutical firms from growing. They can grow -- as long as they don’t do it at the expense of the growth and health of Filipino children. Capisce?"

Is there really no limit to the avarice of the giant multinationals? Could their regard for human life and basic decency really get any lower than this?

Kid Cubao
07-11-2007, 01:35 PM
iba talaga pag pera na ang pinag-uusapan. perhaps not many are aware that multinational drug firms line the pockets of certain hig-ranking members of the Philippine Medical Association. you want proof? then proceed to the PMA headquarters in north avenue, which is right across the new TriNoMa and next to the Block. once inside, scan the names of their conference halls and facilities. kulang na lang magpagawa sila ng bagong "Viagra proctology seminar room."

that is why i truly admire social reformers like dr. alran bengzon who, as health secretary during the aquino administration, was instrumental in providing the material basis for the generics law. God knows what he was up against when he successfully pushed for its ratification.

WampumTribe
07-11-2007, 07:20 PM
Hindi ko alam kung legal-legalan nga ang film clip na ito, pero ang astig e.

http://www.atomfilms.com/film/consent.jsp


Sh*t, i've been working in the Middle East too long. This clip turned me on. That is until the negotiations moved from the coitus articles to the commitment clauses. Fortunately, the third-party provision saved the day.

Wang-Bu
07-12-2007, 10:23 AM
Army sues Left leaders for bringing kids to street rallies

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
Inquirer
Last updated 07:14am (Mla time) 07/08/2007

ILOILO CITY, Philippines—A spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Western Visayas has filed a complaint at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) against Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria Sison and leaders of militant groups here for bringing children to protest rallies.

In a two-page complaint filed before the CHR yesterday, Capt. Lowen Gil Marquez, chief of the AFP’s Civil Relations Service in Western Visayas, alleged that militant groups Gabriela, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and the party-list group Bayan Muna violated the rights of children under Republic Act No. 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act) and Presidential Decree No. 603 (The Child and Youth Welfare Code of the Philippines).

Aside from Sison, named respondents were Boy Bosque, spokesperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Panay; Wenefredo Dubliso, KMU-Panay spokesperson and Lucy Francisco, regional coordinator of the Gabriela Women’s Party.

Marquez claimed that he saw around 100 children age 5-15 years old holding streamers and placards “under the scorching heat of the sun” during the Labor Day protest rallies held at the Iloilo provincial capitol on May 1. The children were among 2,000 protesters that joined the rally and marched in the main streets of the city.

He attached with his complaint pictures, news clippings and video footage of the children attending the rally.

Marquez said that he included Sison, who is in exile in The Netherlands, because the militant groups are among the CPP’s alleged “front organizations.”

He said protest rallies are “not a good environment” for children below 18 years old because these are usually outpouring of grievances that might confuse the children.

“They are developing potential recruits in the leftist movement,” Marquez told the Inquirer in a telephone interview.

He said he did not want to prosecute the children, or the parents, but to stop the practice of bringing them to protest rallies.

Militant groups denounced Marquez and denied that they were forcing the children to attend the rallies.

“Their parents bring them to the rallies because no one is left at home to tend for them. We do not force them and we ensure that they are safe and secure and they are made to understand the issues,” said Francisco in a telephone interview.

Francisco pointed out that under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children, children have the right to express themselves and peacefully assemble for redress of grievances.

“The parents of these children believe that their children should be part of these protest rallies because the issues that they carry, like joblessness, poverty, low wages and high tuition fees, affect the whole family,” said Francisco.

She said Marquez should “stop pretending to be an advocate of children’s rights.”

“If Marquez is really concerned with the welfare of children, then he should help put a stop to the killings and abduction of activists whose children are agonizing daily if their parents are alive or dead. He should also call for a stop to the massive militarization in the countryside that is victimizing civilians especially women and children,” said Francisco.

Bosque said the complaint is part of the AFP’s campaign to “harass” militant groups and their leaders by filing criminal complaints similar to the rebellion charges filed against militant lawmakers which were later ordered dismissed by the Supreme Court.

^^^ Mabuhay ang AFP! Akala ng mga Komunista at Tibak sila lang marunong manloko ng huwes at korte? O ha! Bakit nga naman kasi nagdadala ng mga bata sa mga rally? Wala akong pakialam kahit sino may pakana ng rally, hindi dapat nagdadala ng mga bata dun. Para namang alam ng mga bata ang lahat ng issue tungkol sa pinagra-rally nila.

Joescoundrel
07-13-2007, 10:37 AM
This is from PDI's main editorial today___

Savages on the loose

Inquirer
First posted 8 hours and 24 mins ago

"MANILA, Philippines -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called it right. Last Tuesday’s ambush of a search-and-rescue military convoy in Albarka, Basilan -- 14 Marines looking for kidnapped Italian missionary Fr. Giancarlo Bossi were killed, 10 of them beheaded -- was a bestial act, the work of savages. To this deliberate provocation the national leadership must respond with both iron fist and open mind. The Armed Forces of the Philippines must bring the savages to justice. But the government must also push peace negotiations with Moro separatists, finally, to a fair conclusion.

A senior military officer said the beheadings were a sure sign that Abu Sayyaf bandits were involved. “Only the Abu Sayyaf is into beheading people,” the officer said.

But the presence and the participation of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels in the ambush, confirmed on Wednesday by Mohagher Iqbal himself, the separatist movement’s chief negotiator, complicates the matter considerably. The government is engaged in peace negotiations with the MILF, an undertaking that may be only several months away from completion. The MILF’s role in the ambush has cast a pall on the peace talks. Because of the ambush, the nagging question that drives critics of any peace agreement has gained emotional resonance: Can the government, in fact, trust the rebels?

The MILF has certainly some explaining to do. Iqbal could readily claim self-defense as the reason for the MILF’s armed response to the convoy’s passage through Barangay Ginanta, but he was at a loss to explain the beheadings. “I received the report that our troops beheaded seven Marines. We are investigating and determining the identities of those involved.” (He also said MILF rebels had recovered 11 headless bodies, not 10.)

Many of the details of the ambush, described by GMA Network reporter Jun Veneracion as hell on earth, remain enveloped in the so-called fog of war. But a careful review of the first reports tells us that the following facts are key, and that together they paint a bleak picture indeed.

First: The ambush took place in Barangay Ginanta, the site of an MILF redoubt. The entry of seven military vehicles into the area suggests that it was the MILF -- taking advantage of the pouring rain -- that started the skirmish. Iqbal said there was lack of proper coordination; rebels could have taken the unexpected sight of unknown military trucks as a provocation. But Marine spokesman Lt. Col. Ariel Caculitan criticized that line of thinking: surely, he said, lack of coordination was “not a 'go' signal to consider attacking Marine troops.”

Second: The ambush started in the morning and lasted about 10 hours. The military estimates that about 400 bandits and “lawless elements” took part in the ambush. (The MILF claims four of its guerrillas were killed and seven were wounded.) The duration of the skirmish suggests that it could only have been sustained by other armed groups joining forces with MILF rebels. Caculitan has raised that same possibility: “Considering blood relations and other connections in the community,” it may well be that “other lawless groups” joined the battle.

Third: According to Veneracion, the houses in the village that the convoy passed through were ominously empty. This, soldiers had told him some time before, usually meant “trouble” ahead. Why? Imminent armed action naturally forces villagers to flee to safer ground.

Taken together, what do these facts, and the logical implications they carry, tell us about the situation in Basilan?

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) remains on the losing end of the war for hearts and minds; we find it telling that not a single resident tried to send a warning to the military convoy.

Also, the lines that divide anti-AFP forces are porous indeed: MILF, Abu Sayyaf, “lawless elements” -- in certain villages the differences may not make much of a difference, or may not exist at all.

This lack of public support at the local level and the ambiguousness of the “enemy” make it difficult to root out the causes of insurgency, terrorism, even crimes of opportunity like kidnapping. All the more reason to forge a fair deal with the MILF. Those we smoke the peace pipe with have less incentive to lie in ambush, in the pouring rain."

I find it ridiculous that a separatist group that has done nothing but flout this nation and this republic for decades should have its "own" territory within our sovereign land. How the hell we ever let this happen is mind-boggling, and an absolute insult to any claims we may have to genuine nationhood. No self-respecting state would nor should ever agree to ceding control to any degree to those sworn to set up their own country within a country.

The AFP has always said that these insurgencies are under control. Now I believe, with this latest barbarous and tragic episode, it is high time for the AFP to put up or shut up. After all, would the AFP want the people to believe that these insurgents have been around as long as they have simply because they've done good business with the colonels and generals while the foot soldiers have been left as fodder?

The marines who lost their lives, and especially those who lost their heads, deserve better.

WampumTribe
07-15-2007, 09:55 PM
Thousands of Women Killed for Family "Honor"
Hillary Mayell
for National Geographic News
February 12, 2002


Hundreds, if not thousands, of women are murdered by their families each year in the name of family "honor." It's difficult to get precise numbers on the phenomenon of honor killing; the murders frequently go unreported, the perpetrators unpunished, and the concept of family honor justifies the act in the eyes of some societies.

Most honor killings occur in countries where the concept of women as a vessel of the family reputation predominates, said Marsha Freemen, director of International Women's Rights Action Watch at the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Reports submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights show that honor killings have occurred in Bangladesh, Great Britain, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Sweden, Turkey, and Uganda. In countries not submitting reports to the UN, the practice was condoned under the rule of the fundamentalist Taliban government in Afghanistan, and has been reported in Iraq and Iran.

But while honor killings have elicited considerable attention and outrage, human rights activists argue that they should be regarded as part of a much larger problem of violence against women.

In India, for example, more than 5,000 brides die annually because their dowries are considered insufficient, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Crimes of passion, which are treated extremely leniently in Latin America, are the same thing with a different name, some rights advocates say.

"In countries where Islam is practiced, they're called honor killings, but dowry deaths and so-called crimes of passion have a similar dynamic in that the women are killed by male family members and the crimes are perceived as excusable or understandable," said Widney Brown, advocacy director for Human Rights Watch.

The practice, she said, "goes across cultures and across religions."

Complicity by other women in the family and the community strengthens the concept of women as property and the perception that violence against family members is a family and not a judicial issue.

"Females in the family—mothers, mothers-in-law, sisters, and cousins—frequently support the attacks. It's a community mentality," said Zaynab Nawaz, a program assistant for women's human rights at Amnesty International.

There is nothing in the Koran, the book of basic Islamic teachings, that permits or sanctions honor killings. However, the view of women as property with no rights of their own is deeply rooted in Islamic culture, Tahira Shahid Khan, a professor specializing in women's issues at the Aga Khan University in Pakistan, wrote in Chained to Custom, a review of honor killings published in 1999.

"Women are considered the property of the males in their family irrespective of their class, ethnic, or religious group. The owner of the property has the right to decide its fate. The concept of ownership has turned women into a commodity which can be exchanged, bought and sold."

Honor killings are perpetrated for a wide range of offenses. Marital infidelity, pre-marital sex, flirting, or even failing to serve a meal on time can all be perceived as impugning the family honor.

Amnesty International has reported on one case in which a husband murdered his wife based on a dream that she had betrayed him. In Turkey, a young woman's throat was slit in the town square because a love ballad had been dedicated to her over the radio.

In a society where most marriages are arranged by fathers and money is often exchanged, a woman's desire to choose her own husband—or to seek a divorce—can be viewed as a major act of defiance that damages the honor of the man who negotiated the deal.

Even victims of rape are vulnerable. In a widely reported case in March of 1999, a 16-year-old mentally retarded girl who was raped in the Northwest Frontier province of Pakistan was turned over to her tribe's judicial council. Even though the crime was reported to the police and the perpetrator was arrested, the Pathan tribesmen decided that she had brought shame to her tribe and she was killed in front of a tribal gathering.

The teenage brothers of victims are frequently directed to commit the murder because, as minors, they would be subject to considerably lighter sentencing if there is legal action. Typically, they would serve only three months to a year.

In the Name of Family Honor

Officials often claim that nothing can be done to halt the practice because the concept of women's rights is not culturally relevant to deeply patriarchal societies.

"Politicians frequently argue that these things are occurring among uneducated, illiterate people whose attitudes can't be changed," said Brown. "We see it more as a matter of political will."

The story of Samia Imran is one of the most widely cited cases used to illustrate the vulnerability of women in a culture that turns a blind eye to such practices. The case's high profile no doubt arises from the fact that the murder took place in broad daylight, was abetted by the victim's mother, who was a doctor, and occurred in the office of Asma Jahangir, a prominent Pakistani lawyer and the UN reporter on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions.

In April 1999 Imran, a 28-year-old married woman seeking a divorce from her violent husband after 10 years of marriage, reluctantly agreed to meet her mother in a lawyers' office in Lahore, Pakistan. Imran's family opposed the divorce and considered her seeking a divorce to be shaming to the family's honor. Her mother arrived at the lawyer's office with a male companion, who immediately shot and killed Imran.

Imran's father, who was president of the Chamber of Commerce in Peshawar, filed a complaint with the police accusing the lawyers of the abduction and murder of Imran. The local clergy issued fatwas (religious rulings) against both women and money was promised to anyone who killed them.

The Peshawar High Court eventually threw out the father's suit. No one was ever arrested for Imran's death.

Imran's case received a great deal of publicity, but frequently honor killings are virtually ignored by community members. "In many cases, the women are buried in unmarked graves and all records of their existence are wiped out," said Brown.

Women accused by family members of bringing dishonor to their families are rarely given the opportunity to prove their innocence. In many countries where the practice is condoned or at least ignored, there are few shelters and very little legal protection.

"In Jordan, if a woman is afraid that her family wants to kill her, she can check herself into the local prison, but she can't check herself out, and the only person who can get her out is a male relative, who is frequently the person who poses the threat," said Brown.

"That this is their idea of how to protect women," Brown said, "is mind boggling."

WampumTribe
07-15-2007, 10:08 PM
Buti nalang ang Honour Killing version ng Pinoy more in line sa Sicilian vendetta. Pag winalang hiya ng husto pamilya mo, ubusan na ng lahi.

Joescoundrel
08-03-2007, 10:31 AM
Why oh why do we put up with this kind of shit from the pharmaceutical industry...?

"Cheap medicines bills explained

By Neal Cruz
Inquirer
Last updated 02:40am (Mla time) 08/03/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- A few days ago, a front-page story in the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that foreign pharmaceutical companies in the Philippines have put together a P1-billion lobby fund to kill the cheap medicines bills. I am inclined to believe this report. The local pharmaceutical market, after all, is worth P100 billion a year, 70 percent to 80 percent of it controlled by the foreign drug companies. What’s P1 billion to kill a bill that would drastically reduce their profits?

Look at these facts:

The Philippines ranked second to Japan as having the highest medicine prices in Asia. Filipinos spent for medicines the equivalent of $1 billion a year, from 1997 to 2001, the highest in Asean, notwithstanding that half of the Philippines’ 80 million population have no access to essential medicines. The cost of medicines here is 40 percent to 70 percent higher than in other Asean countries. For Filipinos who have access to medicines, their budget for total health-related expenses (not just medicines) is a measly P2,000 per person per year.

The government has tried to provide the people with cheaper medicines by importing them, through the Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC). The efforts of the PITC, however, are puny and doesn’t even make a dent on local drug prices. In a P100-billion market, the PITC’s yearly import budget is only P300 million. What’s more, it has few outlets for its drugs. The two biggest drugstore chains in the country, Mercury Drug and Watson’s, refuse to sell medicines imported by the PITC.

How can the multinational drug companies get away with such profiteering? Mainly because of the law on patents and the Intellectual Property Code. These two laws allow pharmaceutical companies exclusive rights to manufacture and sell products they have developed. The multinationals have taken advantage of these laws by pricing their medicines for as much as the market can bear. They can price their products at any level because there is no competition. Any medicine importer, including the government, can be sued by the multinationals that do not like imported drugs to compete with their products.

The Philippines is clearly in the grip of a cartel or oligopoly. The medicine market is controlled by foreign companies who have their own association with plenty of money for propaganda and lobbying. Their products are manufactured here by one or two companies, also foreign-owned. They are distributed by only one foreign company and retailed by two drugstore chains, one of them (Watson’s) foreign-owned.

The Constitution mandates the government to prevent restraints in trade, such as cartels and monopolies, but lawyers say it is difficult to prove the existence of a cartel, hence government exerts no effort to enforce the ban although we have cartels not only in the pharmaceutical industry but also in cement, petroleum products and the power sector. What is obvious to the layman – cartels -- the legal profession refuses to see.

The government has tried to fight back with legislation. The first was the Generics Law wherein doctors are mandated to write the generic names of the medicines they prescribe and the drugstores to carry generic equivalents of branded ones. But many doctors still forget to write the generic names, and the drug companies have mounted a subtle campaign to make people believe that generics are less effective than the branded, and expensive, medicines. On parallel importations, they have a campaign painting imported medicines as “counterfeit,” even if these imported products are genuine ones manufactured by their sister companies.

Congress is counterattacking with two bills, one in the Senate and the other in the House. The Senate passed its version before the 13th Congress adjourned, but the House failed to pass its version for lack of quorum. The bills have been refiled in the present Congress. Their main authors are Sen. Mar Roxas for the Senate bill, and Rep. Ferjenel Biron for the House version.

Kapihan sa Manila invited the two lawmakers to explain the differences between the two bills. Biron was there but Roxas only sent his legal counsel Blas Viterbo. Former Health Secretary Quasi Romualdez and former PITC chief Obet Pagdanganan were also there.

The differences are quite simple. The Biron bill seeks to impose price controls on medicines, while the Roxas bill seeks to amend the Intellectual Property Code.

In a separate interview, Roxas outlined the provisions of his bill:

“1. Disallow another patent for new uses of an existing substance (already patented) so that drug manufacturers can immediately copy off-patent products without fear of lawsuit.

“2. Allow parallel importation and international exhaustion of intellectual property rights for patents. Parallel importation refers to the importation, without the consent of the patent holder, of a patented product that is marketed in another country. International exhaustion refers to the regime where the supply and price of a product is moderated by competition. Both would allow the Philippines to shop around for a quality product with a better price.

“3. Allow the ‘early working doctrine’ to enable generic drug companies to experiment and test generic versions of patented drugs before their patents expire. It will also allow them to produce and sell generic versions of patented drugs upon their patents’ expiration.

“4. Restructure provisions of government use. At present, the government is required to apply for a license before it can use patented medicines or processes for manufacture. The bill does away with this compulsory licensing, making it easier and quicker to respond to public health threats without fear of law suits.”

Kid Cubao
08-03-2007, 10:42 AM
^^ as i have said, look no further than the philippine medical association. they've been in cahoots with multinational drug companies for the longest time. as far as the bills are concerned, mas maganda ang version ni mr palengke because he focused on relaxing the major provisions in our current intellectual property regime that provide the basis for these multinational drug companies to uphold their patent protection to the ultimate detriment of the filipino consumer.

Joescoundrel
08-08-2007, 12:06 PM
Will scams never cease...?

RP stockholders may be cheated in P12-B deal

By Neal Cruz
Inquirer
Last updated 01:33am (Mla time) 08/08/2007

There were two related stories in the newspapers this week on the corporate sector. The first is the disclosure by the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) of a report by the Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp. that at least four local corporations have breached the limit set by the Philippine Constitution on the ownership of local publicly listed companies by foreign interests. These are Asian Terminals Inc., Edsa Properties Holdings Inc., Mabuhay Holdings Corp., and Philippine Racing Club Inc. (PRCI), which owns and operates the prime 26-hectare Sta. Ana racetrack in Makati City.

The second story was about the denunciation by its minority stockholders of a sellout of the PRCI to a shell corporation controlled by Malaysians. In fact, it has the appearance of another multibillion-peso scam. The assets of PRCI would be swapped with a company with only a P25-million capitalization called JTH Davies Holdings. The firm has admitted that it has been consistently in the red until 2005 and that it has disposed of all its earning assets.

A P25-million firm without assets would be swapped with the PRCI whose main asset is the 26-hectare racetrack in Makati worth P12 billion. The racetrack is the only big open space left in Makati, and you can put two Rockwell shopping centers in it. That is why land developers are salivating to get their hands on it. That property will be swapped with a shell company with a P25-million capital? There’s something very wrong here.

PRCI is a public corporation whose shares are sold in the Philippine Stock Exchange. It has many small stockholders. At least 25 percent of the shares are held by Filipino minority stockholders. Whatever happens to it is, therefore, of public interest.

The Filipinos objected to the deal for two reasons: (1) they were kept in the dark regarding the transaction, alleging that the Malaysian-led group refused to furnish them with documents and details pertaining to the transaction; and (2) the swap would have taken away from the racing club its most important earning asset, the racetrack.

The Malaysians partnered with the Cua family in PRCI. The Cuas are led by 80-year-old Santiago Sr., who also goes by the name of Cua Sing Huan. His three sons -- Santiago Jr., Solomon and Simeon -- also own significant holdings and important positions in the racing club. Santiago Sr. is the honorary chair, Solomon is president, Simeon is executive vice president, and Santiago Jr. is a director.

The Malaysian interest in PRCI is represented by the Kuala Lumpur-based Magnum Holdings Berhad, which has four board seats, led by Datuk Surin Upatkoon.

A look at the Internet on the backgrounds of the Cuas and Datuk Surin will send shivers climbing up and down the spines of Filipino shareholders. Santiago Cua Sr. once served as president of Wincorp Corp. Santiago Jr. served as senior executive vice president of the defunct Westmont Bank. Wincorp, it will be recalled, was involved in a giant misadventure in the late 1990s, which saw a lot of companies and business personalities go under. Westmont, on the other hand, went bankrupt and closed down. Many cases filed by investors and depositors are still being tried by the courts.

Datuk Surin Upatkoon, a.k.a. Lau Khin Koon, on the other hand, figured in the Temasek Holdings scandal that rocked the Thai business community and led to the downfall of Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Datuk Surin turned out to be the major stockholder of a private firm used in the controversial takeover by Temasek Holdings of Thailand’s Shin Corp. The takeover was the fuse of a major political scandal in Bangkok. Thai politicians accused Datuk Surin of being a “Temasek stooge” or “front.”

The takeover generated overwhelming Thai anger. Thais call the Temasek takeover a “sellout” of their country’s sovereignty. They believe Datuk Surin was the key player in that deal.

The takeover of our own multibillion-peso racing club is very similar to the Temasek takeover. Is Datuk Surin about to do a Temasek on PRCI?

According to the PSE, PRCI breached the limit on foreign ownership in 2005. It was also in 2005 that PRCI led by the Malaysian group purchased the moribund JTH Davies and apparently started preparing the ground for the swap.

It would seem that the Magnum group bought more shares in PRCI in 2005, over the limit of 40 percent. No other foreign group would want to get into PRCI unless it can control the firm, either directly or through local “representatives.” Magnum may have also decided to buy more shares to fund the JTH Davies purchase. Also, Magnum may have decided that it is cheaper to breach the constitutional limit, fund the JTH purchase and then swap its shares with the prized Sta. Ana property rather than directly buy it. JTH Davies is a P25-million firm; Sta. Ana is a P12-billion property.

It is understandable that Filipino shareholders would protest. Take the Sta. Ana racetrack out of PRCI and its share prices will plunge.

There is, therefore, public interest that must be protected here to preserve confidence in the capital market. Filipino minority stockholders must also be protected from becoming victims of an emerging scam.

For most of those who breached the cap, it looks like a simple case of foreign investors wanting to cash in on infrastructure development opportunities in the Philippines. For the racing club, it looks like a scheme for a very cheap way to get hold of a prized real estate.

danny
08-09-2007, 01:56 AM
Why oh why do we put up with this kind of shit from the pharmaceutical industry...?



Because corporations rule the world with the Nation-States as their enforcers. ;D

Wang-Bu
08-10-2007, 03:20 PM
LOOKING BACK
Crossing the race barrier

By Ambeth Ocampo
Inquirer
Last updated 01:31am (Mla time) 08/10/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- It has always been a puzzle to me that very little academic attention is focused on the Philippines in graduate and post-graduate university programs on Southeast Asia abroad. Maybe it’s the fact that the Philippines isn’t as exotic as Burma (Myanmar) or Cambodia. Maybe it’s the fact that a student or scholar does not have to learn Filipino to undertake research in the Philippines because they can get around with English. I have always wondered about the lack of interest in Spanish and American universities to study their former overseas colony. To think that Filipino historians must undertake archival research abroad because much of our library and archival holdings were destroyed during the Battle for Manila in 1945.

I also wonder why Filipino students are not given some Spanish or American history in order to help them understand the colonial days and the way in which our republic today relates to former colonial masters.

Gaps in my inadequate education in American history are filled by TV and movies, which are sometimes more effective than teachers or textbooks. For example, I remembered Rosa Parks while reading the memoirs of Victor Buencamino. Parks made history by challenging segregation. She simply refused to move from a front-row bus seat reserved for whites to a seat in the rear set aside for people of color. I had forgotten that segregation was also practiced in the Philippines during the American period, until I read about people like Buencamino and, of course, Manuel Quezon who literally crossed the line and made history that we have unfortunately forgotten.

By his own reckoning, Victor Buencamino’s claim to fame is that he was: the first Filipino to earn a doctorate in veterinary medicine; the first Filipino to hold the post of director of the Bureau of Animal Husbandry; the first Filipino to establish a veterinary hospital in the Philippines. He was one of those responsible for the founding of the College of Veterinary Science in the University of the Philippines.

I don’t normally read material outside my area of expertise but, kept indoors the other day by rain and flood, I decided to sit down and see what Buencamino had to say about the Philippines of his times. What caught my attention was that he was one of the founders of the present Philippine Columbian Association way back in 1907.

The Columbian clubhouse today is better known as a venue for sports. I used to swim in the club in its old place along Taft Avenue, and I remember entering its formal, wood-paneled library feeling intelligent even if I didn’t open or read a single book. I didn’t realize that the Columbian was originally founded as a social club for Filipinos who were denied membership in other clubs like the Polo Club, Manila Golf Club, YMCA and the Army and Navy Club.

Buencamino and nine other friends decided to found the Philippine Columbian Association exclusively for Filipinos who had studied in the United States. Later they relaxed membership rules, and Jorge Vargas was admitted even if he had not studied in the United States. The association became nationalistic and its clubhouse in 1934 became the headquarters for the national Congress for Philippine Independence. Manuel Quezon held many strategic meetings there.

Buencamino narrates that segregation was not confined to “Americans-only” social clubs, but also to the dance floors of the Lerma and Santa Ana cabarets. Quezon was the first to cross the line with the support of US Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison, who should be better remembered aside from the street running along seedy parts of Pasay and Manila today. Harrison reserved a table for a small party at the Lerma cabaret and was given one in the “Occidentals-only” section. Then the governor-general arrived with his guests, among them Manuel Quezon, Buenaventura Barona, Victor Buencamino and their ladies. The management was too stunned to do anything as they sat in the segregated part of the cabaret, feasted on juicy steaks. Buencamino recounted: “[W]e danced all night, somewhat pleased inside us that we were making a little bit of history. Thus was demolished forever the race barrier in these once exclusively white cabarets. Gradually, the other exclusive clubs also dropped the racial barriers.”

Time has softened the sharp edges of colonial history. Many of us today cannot imagine that the only Filipinos allowed in the Manila Hotel were servants. Or that the Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club was founded by William Shaw because his wife and “mestizo” child were not welcome in the Manila Golf Club then in Caloocan. Or that Manuel Nieto, aide to Quezon, was denied membership to the Manila Polo Club so the President encouraged the Elizaldes to establish the alternative Los Tamaraos, now a residential subdivision in Parañaque.

Crossing the race barrier seems insignificant today, but it must be remembered as a footnote in our development as a nation.

^^^ Akalain mo nga naman, parang ang hirap paniwalaang dati mayroon din palang segregation dito sa bayan natin. Sabagay, ngayon kahit naka-Amerkana ka at naka-puruntong lang ang kasabay mong foreigner sa isang 5-star hotel mas pinapansin pang foreigner lalo na kung Puti. Ilang waiter, waitress, bell boy at security guard ng namura ko ng malutong dahil sa ganitong gawain. T-ang---, PILIPINO ako tapos gagaguhin ako ng kapwa ko Pinoy at papaboran ang banyaga sa sarili kong bayan? Sapakan na lang!

Wang-Bu
08-21-2007, 01:54 PM
Dito na lang siguro ito, tutal may kinalaman naman sa paglabag sa batas.

Former pro cager, female TV reporter exchange blows

INQUIRER.net
Last updated 09:19am (Mla time) 08/21/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- A former professional basketball player and a TV reporter figured in a scuffle inside a Mandaluyong police station Tuesday morning, a radio report said.

The brief fight happened after Paul “Bong” Alvarez allegedly elbowed ABS-CBN reporter Gretchen Malalad in the face as the latter was about to ask the former cager why he was detained in the police station, a report of radio dzMM said.

Being a taekwondo black belter and 2005 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, Malalad instinctively defended herself and countered with several blows against Alvarez, the report said.

The apparently intoxicated Alvarez was earlier brought by barangay officials to the police station for roughing up a taxi driver whom he blamed for trying to overcharge him by taking a longer route -- passing through Boni Avenue in Mandaluyong City -- to his residence in Quiapo, Manila.

Alvarez had hailed the taxi near Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City and initially asked the driver to take him to Pasig City but later changed his mind, the report added.

^^^ Hindi ba KARATE ang martial art ni Gretchen Malalad?

chocoks77
09-11-2007, 07:42 PM
Guilty ba si Erap o KAILANGAN i-GUILTY para ma-"legitimize" yung pagiging pangulo ni GMA nung 2001-2004?

tigerman
09-11-2007, 11:36 PM
Guilty ba si Erap o KAILANGAN i-GUILTY para ma-"legitimize" yung pagiging pangulo ni GMA nung 2001-2004?


If we follow the decision of the Supreme Court decision in the case Estrada vs. Arroyo, which was basically about whether or not GMA's rise to power in 2001 was legitimate, there's no need for Erap's conviction in order to make legitimate GMA's takeover in 2001. SC held that there was "constructive resignation" on the part of Erap and hence, there was reason for GMA to replace him due to permanent disability to discharge the functions of presidency. Section 8, Article 7 of our 1987 Constitution provides that, "In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall become the President to serve the unexpired term."

Other factors that made legimitate the GMA government back then were the acquiescence of the people and the acceptance by the international community.

Anyway, let's pray for peace in our beloved country.




USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

atenean_blooded
09-12-2007, 12:23 AM
Guilty ba si Erap o KAILANGAN i-GUILTY para ma-"legitimize" yung pagiging pangulo ni GMA nung 2001-2004?


If we follow the decision of the Supreme Court decision in the case Estrada vs. Arroyo, which was basically about whether or not GMA's rise to power in 2001 was legitimate, there's no need for Erap's conviction in order to make legitimate GMA's takeover in 2001. SC held that there was "constructive resignation" on the part of Erap and hence, there was reason for GMA to replace him due to permanent disability to discharge the functions of presidency. Section 8, Article 7 of our 1987 Constitution provides that, "In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall become the President to serve the unexpired term."

Other factors that made legimitate the GMA government back then were the acquiescence of the people and the acceptance by the international community.

Anyway, let's pray for peace in our beloved country.

USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!



I was laughing out loud when I read that doctrine.

tigerman
09-12-2007, 12:40 AM
^ The "Angara letter" was the difference-maker.* ;D





USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

JonarSabilano
09-12-2007, 09:31 AM
This just in: Erap has been found guilty of plunder and innocent of perjury. Jinggoy was acquitted.

chocoks77
09-12-2007, 09:49 AM
Conspiracy Theory: They needed to have him guilty sa plunder lest a question in the credibility of the sitting president in which the power was wrested in 2001... :D

JonarSabilano
09-12-2007, 09:59 AM
^ My sentiments too. And it's just not about 2001, but by extension, it's about 2004 as well. I can see GMA clutching at straws now. I was at EDSA Dos, too, but I recognize maneouverings when I see it.

chocoks77
09-12-2007, 10:21 AM
^I was also at EDSA 2 supporting and thinking that GMA would eradicate the so-called mafia and kickbacks. Parang nasa huli ang pagsisisi. They created a much bigger and more prominent hoodlums in power. Look what is happening all over the country to which no one in the government would like to answer(EO464 and MO108?).

Economy is flourishing, yes, but to which they retort thru the vice-president that the sign of a booming economy is lots and lots of people going out of the country to work abroad.

Minsan napapaisip din ako who is really leading the country, is it really GMA or the military bigwigs that surround her and the people that have helped her the "victory" in her being in Malacanang

john_paul_manahan
09-12-2007, 02:06 PM
is it more of a military coup under the guise of a civiian discontent?

atenean_blooded
09-12-2007, 10:12 PM
is it more of a military coup under the guise of a civiian discontent?


There are all sorts of theories. One of them is that it's actually Ermita running Malacañang.

JonarSabilano
09-13-2007, 01:02 PM
is it more of a military coup under the guise of a civiian discontent?


There are all sorts of theories. One of them is that it's actually Ermita running Malacañang.


Si Ermita? Hindi ba si Norberto Gonzales? ;D

danny
09-14-2007, 01:14 AM
is it more of a military coup under the guise of a civiian discontent?


There are all sorts of theories. One of them is that it's actually Ermita running Malacañang.


Si Ermita? Hindi ba si Norberto Gonzales?* ;D


It's Norberto Gonzales of the Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas and a Jesuit priest to be precise. Forgot the name of the priest, though. Takot daw dyan sa dalawa si Gloria.

The priest made a Security Council briefing last year ,I think, where he stated that the country is in a revolutionary situation already.* ;)

There might actually be a struggle between the military and the GMA's ideologue. Syempre ang may armas ang mananalo.

Remember last year, Senator Biazon "exposed" the supposed "brainwashing" being undertaken by PDSP among the junior officers?

tigerman
09-16-2007, 07:52 PM
Should the Senate continue with the Hello Garci investigation or not? What do you think?





USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

Kid Cubao
09-17-2007, 07:09 AM
no, because again it will be an abuse of their quasi-judicial function. besides, what new evidence will they present this time? meron ba? eh parang ang lumalabas ay pakawala ni ping lacson si vidal doble.

atenean_blooded
09-17-2007, 12:29 PM
Ayusin na lang yang gulong yan ala-Ancient Rome.

Bakbakan to the death, tapos yung mananalo, yun yung favored ng Diyos.

JonarSabilano
09-17-2007, 12:38 PM
is it more of a military coup under the guise of a civiian discontent?


There are all sorts of theories. One of them is that it's actually Ermita running Malacañang.


Si Ermita? Hindi ba si Norberto Gonzales?* ;D


It's Norberto Gonzales of the Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas and a Jesuit priest to be precise. Forgot the name of the priest, though. Takot daw dyan sa dalawa si Gloria.

The priest made a Security Council briefing last year ,I think, where he stated that the country is in a revolutionary situation already.* ;)

There might actually be a struggle between the military and the GMA's ideologue.* Syempre ang may armas ang mananalo.*

Remember last year, Senator Biazon "exposed" the supposed* "brainwashing" being undertaken by PDSP among the junior officers?*




Even if Father Intengan is a family friend, I still think the PDSP is anything but Democratic Socialist. >:( My dad didn't like Norberto Gonzalez during his SocDem days, and when Father Intengan started issuing those comments about political killings being par for the course, he started drifting away from the SD/DS fold.

The country might be ripe for a revolution, although I don't subscribe to the AS doctrine. Magiging madugo e. Especially with a Left this fragmented. Masyadong madaming "kaaway" ang rebo.

atenean_blooded
09-19-2007, 12:13 AM
Wow. Mike Arroyo's being invited to air his side of the whole "mystery man" drama before the Senate. And if he refuses, he can be issued a subpoena.

If ever Arroyo does go to the Senate to speak (because his brother, Iggy, did say that Mike is "not going to back down"), will he simply invoke his right to remain silent in an attempt to filibuster?

Note that the Senate has the power to hold a person in contempt, and can even have a person detained. In several key decisions, the Supreme Court countenanced the detention of individuals who were detained by the Senate for being held in contempt.

pachador
09-19-2007, 02:02 AM
if there is evidence why dont they bring the ZT case to the courts? why bring it out in the senate? its just another political circus to gain media mileage for this senators who are jockeying for the next presidential elections.

the proper forum for corruption cases is the courts where evidence can be presented by both sides devoid of political color.

atenean_blooded
09-19-2007, 02:07 AM
if there is evidence why dont they bring the ZT* case to the courts? why bring it out in the senate? its just another political circus to gain media mileage for this senators who are jockeying for the next presidential elections.

the proper forum for corruption cases is the courts where evidence can be presented by both sides devoid of political color.


This is the Philippines, and so we automatically elevate things to the court of public opinion.;D

pachador
09-19-2007, 03:00 AM
yup, your right. another court of public opinion resorted to by rich politicos is the issuance of press releases , press conference ,or press interview 'kuno' to pillory or destroy the image or reputation ng kanilang kalaban. this is similar in a way to the showbiz shocking or chismis news wherein artistas air their sides sa da Buzz

and if you are unjustly and maliciously attacked(without basis whatsoever) in a press article and you file a libel suit, you will then be accused of trampling on press freedom .* ;D

on the other hand, specially in the provinces, its very very important that you have the right ties or back-up(including armed back-up) in case meron ka nakabunggo sa bar , sa diskohan or sa karaoke bar na malakas(influential) person who have their own armed back-up. woe to those who who are puny ordinary citizens and they face the unjust wrath of a rich guy or politician's son, etc.

another variation naman are professional squatters backed by the NPA who suddenly descend on your land. what can you do? unless your a rich haciendero with a private army, your land is goodbye courtesy of the land-grabbing NPAs. there has been numerous cases of this in mindanao.

The Philippines is indeed a wild , wooly and free-wheeling country where the rule or law can go either side. hahay nako* ;)



.* *




if there is evidence why dont they bring the ZT* case to the courts? why bring it out in the senate? its just another political circus to gain media mileage for this senators who are jockeying for the next presidential elections.

the proper forum for corruption cases is the courts where evidence can be presented by both sides devoid of political color.


This is the Philippines, and so we automatically elevate things to the court of public opinion.;D

tigerman
09-19-2007, 11:08 AM
Sec. 21 of Article 6 of our Constitution
"The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected."

One of the favorite provisions of the Congress in our Constitution. :P





USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

Kid Cubao
09-22-2007, 09:49 AM
tigerman, the operative term there is "inquiry," not "inquisition."

Joescoundrel
09-28-2007, 03:02 PM
One of the best bunch of reasons not to go on with any inquiry conducted by THIS f---ing Senate. From the Inquirer___

"PASSION FOR REASON
Anti-Chinese racism

By Raul Pangalangan
Inquirer
Last updated 01:11am (Mla time) 09/28/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- Wednesday’s Senate hearing brought out into the open whatever latent racism lingers within the Filipino soul. The irony is that we are a nation of migrant workers, who are often victims of racist bigotry in host countries abroad, and those of us in the old country protest each time we hear a derogatory stereotype against one of our kind.

If only for that reason -- and there are other and better reasons -- the anti-Chinese remarks by no less than the chair of the Senate committee on foreign relations have no place in the records of the Senate or, for that matter, in any conversation in the Philippines.

Many of the senators have cast personal affronts against the dramatis personae in the National Broadcast Network (NBN) scandal. I lament them all, these terrible slurs against individuals: Chairman Benjamin Abalos’ friendship with a woman (only his friendship with ZTE officers was at issue), Jose “Joey” de Venecia III’s past drug habit (he smoked and did inhale while in college), or Secretary Romulo Neri’s credentials to chair the Commission on Higher Education (he lacks a PhD, a job requirement, but then he holds office merely in an “acting” capacity).

These insults cross the line on what questions are proper for a Senate inquiry. If President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo earlier had the gumption to issue Executive Order 464 to shield witnesses from inquisitive and inquisitorial senators, it was precisely because of these public displays of arrogance by the senators themselves. They grate against the Filipino sensibility. The personal questions asked during the NBN hearings -- and for that matter, the probing into the love life of the amorous former T/Sgt. Vidal Doble during the Garci Tapes hearing on Tuesday -- merely remind the public why Malacañang was so cocky that it had public sympathy for its gag orders. The Senate must not give the Palace more ammunition in this battle.

But it was the wholesale attack against Chinese the world over that takes the cake. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago proclaimed: “China invented civilization in the East and corruption for all of civilization.”

Sure the Senate must not be used to enforce honor among thieves -- and it was this that infuriated Santiago -- and the NBN debate truly has elements of a “squabble over kickbacks,” as she says, or a “battle among commissioners,” in Sen. Joker Arroyo’s words. And it can also be fairly said that the Chinese government’s sweetheart deals with local predatory elites are part of its charm offensive that pushes “tied aid” one step forward; it ties the donee to the donor state, and the donor state to the local political lords. But this does not allow us to impute corruption as a national trait, indeed, as ingrained historically in the character of a people, and worse, to use the pejorative label “Intsik.”

The insular Filipino must be reminded that the Middle Kingdom can very well claim to have the world’s finest civilization, and -- while racial discrimination exists all over the world, against foreigners, in general, and against Asians, in particular -- it is only in Southeast Asia where a specific form of anti-Chinese bigotry persists. In other words, it is mainly in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines where we find the potent cocktail of an ethnic group that is economically well-placed but politically excluded.

To be fair to the Philippines, our record on this score is much better than our Asean neighbors’. Malaysia has racial quotas in school admissions and even faculty appointments, and yet has managed to stay below the radar screen that could have easily spotted a clear case of apartheid. In Jakarta, as recent as the May 1998 riots leading to the fall of President Suharto, there were genocidal attacks against the ethnic Chinese, committed by gangs of men prowling freely while the police looked the other way. In contrast, the Philippines has elected as president no less than Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino, a second-generation Chinese, and has long hailed as its national heroes Chinese “mestizos” [of mixed blood] like Jose Rizal.

There is a classic 1957 Supreme Court decision upholding the exclusion of all foreigners from the retail trade, when in fact the target was Chinese storekeepers. The Court adopted the nationalist credo that “alien control and dominance [endangers] the national interest.” The alien “owes allegiance to the country of his birth … his stay here is for personal convenience … gain and profit.” He does “not invest [his earnings] in industries that … increase [our] national wealth” but instead remits them to his family back home. But let us ask ourselves: Don’t OFWs today do exactly the same thing, and aren’t we all the better for it? Or is it just karma catching up with the narrow-minded Pinoy?

But the real peril of racial prejudice is this quote from the Court’s decision. Citing all the “pernicious” trade practices, the Court concluded: The Chinese have “cheated the operation of the law of supply and demand.” Whoa! Hold your horses! So finally we have met Adam Smith’s nemesis, someone who can defy the law of supply and demand and, along the way, maybe even the law of gravity as well!

The Philippine Congress has wisely repealed the retail trade nationalization law and I hope that Filipinos have gotten over the racism of the 1950s. The Chinese-Filipino community has prospered even more -- thanks to the retail nationalization law, they abandoned their “sari-sari stores” [variety stores] and invested in banks and manufacturing. “Chinoy” [Chinese-Filipino] culture has thrived and, in my reckoning, has already mainstreamed.

We are stereotyped as illegal aliens in First World capitals, and we fight it. But we cannot fight invidious stereotyping if we ourselves engage in it. We must put an end to this bigotry once and for all."

Joescoundrel
09-28-2007, 03:10 PM
2001 = Erap followers storm Malacanang on the proddings of demogogues and are turned back by anti-riot cops...

2003 = Oakwood Mutiny, to break the tension all of a sudden rebels wear their armbands and almost in comical responce the government troops break out their own armbands...

2005 = Hello Garci and the impeachment circus roll into town, of course no one wants to listen to the WHOLE recording which would have shown impeachers also saying "hello" ...

2007 = ZTE and NBN, backing off never looked so high nor so appropriate, shit man, you're the Speaker's boy for godsakes...

And through it all GMA reigns supreme.

Is this just coincidence - that psycho-babble thingie about believing what you want to believe and seeing what you want to see - or is this Mrs Arroyo's way of saying "I really am smarter than you bastards think..." ? Nothing like a good periodic smokescreen to show off the greed and powerlust even in those who supposedly "speak for the common tao". I have always believed those who question the ones in power do so only so that they can grab power for themselves and then resent being questioned by the next bunch of would-be usurpers.

pachador
09-28-2007, 10:41 PM
The writer is correct in condemning racism. however, he is highlighting or spotlighting too much whatever latent anti-chinese bigotry we have in the philippines .However, relative to malaysia and indonesia, the chinese are much much more tolerated in the philippines. The Philippines relatively speaking is a haven of tolerance. The last time we had race riots in the philippines was during spanish times while malaysia and indonesia periodically have anti-chinese riots the last ones being the last few years only. Credit needs to be given to the average FIlipino for being more tolerant not only of the chinese but of other races. After all, we are one of the if not the most racially mixed country in the world. I sure hope the writer was not paid by the chinese chamber of commmerce to write this article, and even if he was not not, he needs to apologize for writing such as one-sided article that seems to give the impression that we are a virulently racist country. He should know by now that the lady senator who railed against the chinese is prone to periodic outbursts against anyone who earns her ire so what else is new?






From the Inquirer___

"PASSION FOR REASON
Anti-Chinese racism

By Raul Pangalangan
Inquirer
Last updated 01:11am (Mla time) 09/28/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- Wednesday’s Senate hearing brought out into the open whatever latent racism lingers within the Filipino soul. The irony is that we are a nation of migrant workers, who are often victims of racist bigotry in host countries abroad, and those of us in the old country protest each time we hear a derogatory stereotype against one of our kind.

If only for that reason -- and there are other and better reasons -- the anti-Chinese remarks by no less than the chair of the Senate committee on foreign relations have no place in the records of the Senate or, for that matter, in any conversation in the Philippines.

Many of the senators have cast personal affronts against the dramatis personae in the National Broadcast Network (NBN) scandal. I lament them all, these terrible slurs against individuals: Chairman Benjamin Abalos’ friendship with a woman (only his friendship with ZTE officers was at issue), Jose “Joey” de Venecia III’s past drug habit (he smoked and did inhale while in college), or Secretary Romulo Neri’s credentials to chair the Commission on Higher Education (he lacks a PhD, a job requirement, but then he holds office merely in an “acting” capacity).

These insults cross the line on what questions are proper for a Senate inquiry. If President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo earlier had the gumption to issue Executive Order 464 to shield witnesses from inquisitive and inquisitorial senators, it was precisely because of these public displays of arrogance by the senators themselves. They grate against the Filipino sensibility. The personal questions asked during the NBN hearings -- and for that matter, the probing into the love life of the amorous former T/Sgt. Vidal Doble during the Garci Tapes hearing on Tuesday -- merely remind the public why Malacañang was so cocky that it had public sympathy for its gag orders. The Senate must not give the Palace more ammunition in this battle.

But it was the wholesale attack against Chinese the world over that takes the cake. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago proclaimed: “China invented civilization in the East and corruption for all of civilization.”

Sure the Senate must not be used to enforce honor among thieves -- and it was this that infuriated Santiago -- and the NBN debate truly has elements of a “squabble over kickbacks,” as she says, or a “battle among commissioners,” in Sen. Joker Arroyo’s words. And it can also be fairly said that the Chinese government’s sweetheart deals with local predatory elites are part of its charm offensive that pushes “tied aid” one step forward; it ties the donee to the donor state, and the donor state to the local political lords. But this does not allow us to impute corruption as a national trait, indeed, as ingrained historically in the character of a people, and worse, to use the pejorative label “Intsik.”

The insular Filipino must be reminded that the Middle Kingdom can very well claim to have the world’s finest civilization, and -- while racial discrimination exists all over the world, against foreigners, in general, and against Asians, in particular -- it is only in Southeast Asia where a specific form of anti-Chinese bigotry persists. In other words, it is mainly in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines where we find the potent cocktail of an ethnic group that is economically well-placed but politically excluded.

To be fair to the Philippines, our record on this score is much better than our Asean neighbors’. Malaysia has racial quotas in school admissions and even faculty appointments, and yet has managed to stay below the radar screen that could have easily spotted a clear case of apartheid. In Jakarta, as recent as the May 1998 riots leading to the fall of President Suharto, there were genocidal attacks against the ethnic Chinese, committed by gangs of men prowling freely while the police looked the other way. In contrast, the Philippines has elected as president no less than Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino, a second-generation Chinese, and has long hailed as its national heroes Chinese “mestizos” [of mixed blood] like Jose Rizal.

There is a classic 1957 Supreme Court decision upholding the exclusion of all foreigners from the retail trade, when in fact the target was Chinese storekeepers. The Court adopted the nationalist credo that “alien control and dominance [endangers] the national interest.” The alien “owes allegiance to the country of his birth … his stay here is for personal convenience … gain and profit.” He does “not invest [his earnings] in industries that … increase [our] national wealth” but instead remits them to his family back home. But let us ask ourselves: Don’t OFWs today do exactly the same thing, and aren’t we all the better for it? Or is it just karma catching up with the narrow-minded Pinoy?

But the real peril of racial prejudice is this quote from the Court’s decision. Citing all the “pernicious” trade practices, the Court concluded: The Chinese have “cheated the operation of the law of supply and demand.” Whoa! Hold your horses! So finally we have met Adam Smith’s nemesis, someone who can defy the law of supply and demand and, along the way, maybe even the law of gravity as well!

The Philippine Congress has wisely repealed the retail trade nationalization law and I hope that Filipinos have gotten over the racism of the 1950s. The Chinese-Filipino community has prospered even more -- thanks to the retail nationalization law, they abandoned their “sari-sari stores” [variety stores] and invested in banks and manufacturing. “Chinoy” [Chinese-Filipino] culture has thrived and, in my reckoning, has already mainstreamed.

We are stereotyped as illegal aliens in First World capitals, and we fight it. But we cannot fight invidious stereotyping if we ourselves engage in it. We must put an end to this bigotry once and for all."

danny
09-29-2007, 12:50 AM
Ayan na naman ang ilang pulitiko. Sumasabay sa anti-China sentiments ng Amerika. Talaga naman.

tigerman
10-25-2007, 07:57 PM
Just heard in the news that Erap was granted an executive pardon by GMA.





USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

aircanda
10-25-2007, 09:18 PM
Just heard in the news that Erap was granted an executive pardon by GMA.





USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!


pampapogi.. ZTE scandal, impeachment, g2 bombing.. kailangan na talagang magpapogi..

danny
10-26-2007, 03:44 AM
Bwahahahahahaha. Banana Republic? ;D

chocoks77
10-26-2007, 10:52 AM
Bwahahahahahaha.* Banana Republic? ;D




Kangkungan Republic. Para makahingi din ng pardon si GMA pag siya na

JonarSabilano
10-26-2007, 11:01 AM
Bwahahahahahaha.* Banana Republic? ;D




Kangkungan Republic. Para makahingi din ng pardon si GMA pag siya na

;D

freak
02-18-2008, 05:59 PM
Bwahahahahahaha. Banana Republic? ;D




Kangkungan Republic. Para makahingi din ng pardon si GMA pag siya na


chocoks..

parang malapit nang mangyari ito ah.. may pagkaprophetic ka pala :o

chocoks77
02-19-2008, 04:30 PM
Makukulong ba o babagsak o patuloy pa din? PARDON naman dyan ;D. Ika nga ni Jun Lozada...1 vs THE MOB

tigerman
02-25-2008, 04:05 PM
MANILA, Philippines - Why have I not joined the clamor for the resignation of President Macapagal-Arroyo? The reason is not because I am of the same mind as the Assumption schoolmates of the President. Nor is the reason because I do not find Jun Lozada credible, even if he is a self-confessed sinner. I do. Neither is the reason because I believe Gen. Avelino Razon or Sec. Eduardo Ermita or Ignacio Bunye and other apologists of the President. I find that difficult to do. My simple reason is that I do not see her voluntarily relinquishing her office.

President Ferdinand Marcos did not voluntarily leave office. He was ousted from office. Joseph Estrada did not voluntarily surrender his office. He was pressured out of it. Resignation is a voluntary act. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will not resign. One clear lesson I am sure she has learned from the experience of Marcos and Estrada is that for her to leave office now would mean jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Out of office she loses her immunity from suit and she becomes fair game. I do not see her wanting to go into exile in Hawaii or to settle in her own Tanay.

Will I therefore join those who advocate extra-constitutional ouster? The advocacy for this option is loud in volume and rich in rhetoric. But I do not see it as a viable option now. Let us look back to 1986 and 2001.

In 1986 the nation reverberated with two complementary cries: “Tama na. Sobra na. Palitan na!” and “Cory, Cory!” Neither one without the other could have succeeded.

I participated in the search for an alternative to President Marcos who had called for a “snap” election. Among the potential alternatives in sight the only person who won the support of all was Cory Aquino. Thus, when the time for action came, she was the rallying point. But the effort was completed only when the military turned against the Commander in Chief. If the military had not turned against Marcos, there could have been blood in the streets.

How about 2001? The mass movement was immediately triggered by the impeachment exercise which ended in the walk-out of senators and prosecutors. As to potential alternative, there was, waiting in the wings, a constitutional successor who at that time was still mabango and enjoying popular support. After all, she had earlier topped the senatorial elections and handily won the vice presidency. She had also inherited the support won by her father. But, as in 1986, the ouster of President Estrada only became possible when police and military again turned against the Commander in Chief.

Thus in both 1986 and 2001 the participation of the military was an essential ingredient.

As I see things now, although there is widespread and mounting outrage against corruption in the administration, extra-constitutional action is not in sight. And if such action will be successful, it can only be with the full support of the military. I do not believe that our people, grown weary of military adventurism, are prepared to accept a Burmese type of government.

How about “snap” elections? Besides the fact that a special election is allowed only when there is a vacancy, under present circumstances the electoral process can be less credible than that of 2004.

What do I support therefore? I favor attempting a rehabilitation of the presidency. To start with, I favor the complete dismantling of EO 464, the notorious gag which the President has clamped on the mouths of executive officers who are in a position to reveal incriminating truth.

True it is that the objectionable portions of EO 464 (Sections 2b and 3) have been declared unconstitutional. But the executive department continues to behave as if Senate v. Ermita never happened. You will notice that, whenever executive officers are called to testify in an investigation, rarely do such officers claim the lame excuse of executive privilege. They simply say that they are prevented by EO 464. EO 464, although constitutionally dead, remains the biggest obstacle to the discovery of truth. Its dark spirit remains.

How dismantle EO 464? The most efficient way would be for the President and the executive secretary to forget it. Easy, no; difficult, yes. Nevertheless this is a more viable goal than trying to persuade the President to resign and effectively jump into the fire. Moreover, the total abandonment of EO 464 can be the beginning of the rehabilitation of her ailing presidency. E.g., she should now allow the exposure of those who were involved in the corruption that caused her to cancel the ZTE contract. It would be a very concrete way of substantiating her loud cries against corruption. With political will, between now and 2010, much can be achieved toward rehabilitation of the presidency.

Whether or not the dark spirit of EO 464 will be totally neutralized must also depend in large measure on the insistence of Congress. Congress is the institution most directly affected by the crippling effect of the EO. The Supreme Court, because it is generally a passive institution, does not grant relief unless properly asked. Now we are awaiting what the Supreme Court will do with the Romulo Neri case. But it was Neri who started it, not the Senate.

In conclusion, I am hoping that much of the energy being expended toward demanding that Arroyo resign will include in its focus a clamor for the total abandonment of EO 464 and the dark spirit that inspired it. I am also hoping that the bishops, as a body, and the religious sector will join in this specific clamor. It would be a very concrete way of campaigning for truth. The truth can make even a beleaguered President free.



http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20080224-120943/1986-2001-2008


A very interesting article by Fr. Bernas.



USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

mighty_lion
02-25-2008, 04:13 PM
^ What is EO 464?

tigerman
02-25-2008, 04:18 PM
http://www.ops.gov.ph/records/eo_no464.htm





USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

danny
02-26-2008, 06:05 AM
The SC declared portions of EO 464 unconstitutional already. Still nothing happened. So what's the next step in dismantling EO 464?

"The most efficient way would be for the President and the executive secretary to forget it." - Fr. Bernas.


Why would GMA and her executive secretary do this on the first place? They are better off with the status quo. :D

tigerman
02-26-2008, 07:31 AM
I find this latest admission of GMA similar to her unforgettable "I am sorry." statement at the height of the Hello Garci scandal. ;D





USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

Kid Cubao
02-26-2008, 08:58 AM
EO 464 is basically a gag order for cabinet secretaries and heads of government agencies from appearing and testifying in senate investigative hearings. now that the supreme court has declared EO 464 as unconstitutional, maybe they could do all of us a favor and also declare the senate's quasi-judicial function as unconstitutional.

Jeep
02-26-2008, 09:47 AM
^yeah, why not take it a step further and push it to its logical conclusion? ;D

but really now, it's either secretaries mendoza and gaite (i think it was) are lying, or their boss la presidenta is. coming before that senate committee, those two said they would prove that the deal was clean and above-board, only to have the president say just a few days later that she had it cancelled because of "anomalies" in the deal.

to paraphrase an old saying, "the more crooked the deal, the more elaborate the web of lies one has to spin to keep it looking clean." the problem is, the spider is now getting itself caught in this fancy twist.

Kid Cubao
02-26-2008, 10:49 AM
they will keep tripping up with their testimonies because they only know a fraction of the whole truth. it's romulo neri who the senate blue ribbon committee is really after, because he was at the center of the botched ZTE deal and he knows the whole truth. recall that malacanang was put at the defensive when, late last year, the former NEDA director general and current CHED chairman exposed then COMELEC chairman benjamin abalos's shady role as "middleman." heto ang ayaw mangyari ng malacanang--that chairman neri would begin naming the personalities that poisoned the well, so to speak, in his gallant attempt to save the agreement, bribes and all.

oca
02-26-2008, 01:38 PM
When the Senate issued an arrest warrant on Neri, the later went to the SC to contest the warrant.

On March 4 the SC will sit en banc to rule on the matter.

I think we should mark that date.

If the SC rules that the Senate warrant is enforceable, we should expect Neri to be back in the Senate hearings and my gut feel is he will speak.

If the SC says the warrant is unenforceable, then there is no other way to resolve this issue but to bring it to the streets.

LION
02-26-2008, 02:01 PM
Personally, I am inclined to believe that the arrest warrant issued by the Senate is not enforceable outside the Senate. The law is clear. Only the courts can issue arrest warrants.

If the SC eventually rules that the arrest warrant is enforceable, then does it mean that the Senate can also issue search warrants by invoking the almighty privilege of investigating in aid of legislation?

The thing is, we deserve Gloria. Same way that we deserved FEM, Cory, FVR and Erap.

Soon, we will also deserve the likes of Legarda, Lacson, Villar, Joe de V, de Castro and the rest of them.

What the heck, at least this hell, which we call government, is being run by Filipinos.

Kid Cubao
02-26-2008, 02:13 PM
para sa akin, they can take this case to the streets and on the court of public opinion, and still reveal nothing of worth. this is why i join a growing number of people who urge for the filing of charges in court. this is still a government of laws, not of men. if joey de venecia feels that he can substantiate his claims of overpricing and bribery against the government, then he must undertake the necessary legal procedures--notwithstanding the fact that his company amsterdam holdings inc. only has a market capitalization of $250,000 yet tried to enter a $242 million project.

jun lozada has already filed attempted kidnapping and murder charges against his alleged captors. however, when we study the facts uncovered in the senate hearings, heto ang malinaw:

1. jun lozada never wanted to testify in the senate in the first place. he feared for his life, which is why he requested protection from his immediate superior, environment secretary lito atienza, and his sister carmen when he returns from hong kong.

2. while in hong kong, jun lozada arranged with the la salle brothers to stay at the LSGH dorm upon his return. this crucial detail he did not make known to secretary atienza.

3. upon his request, he was brought by his escorts to la salle greenhills in the evening of february 5th, where his family and three of his bodyguards awaited him.

4. jun lozada was assigned a room at the 3rd floor of the LSGH dorm away from his police escorts. they were not allowed upstairs and thus stayed in the ground floor.

makes you wonder why lozada's family loudly proclaimed in media that they could not find jun, to the effect that they filed writs of habeas corpus and amparo before the supreme court for the authorities to produce neri's former technical adviser.

freak
02-26-2008, 02:31 PM
I agree with manong Kid.. Neri is the key to the ZTE Scam.. kaya parang siyang si keymaker sa Matrix na pinag-aagawan nina Morpheus (Senate) at nung Merovingian (GMA). ;D

oca
02-26-2008, 03:20 PM
I think GMA will be very happy if this becomes a legal matter and confined to the court of law. That will ensure she completes her term and gives her more time to hedge against all possible demanda.

She can continue appointing "sympathetic people" in the Judiciary. She can appoint enough people who will be biased to her favor, people who whose tenure will last 2 to 4 years beyond 2010.

...but by then...who would care about today's current issues.

BigBlue
02-26-2008, 03:57 PM
i agree with oca. the thing about all this is that it seems that malacanang and its chief resident choose to turn a blind eye towards all this. nakaka-suka na. i guess the only way to unseat gloria would be thru impeachment. kaso with the lower house all loyal to gloria and her 500k gift bags, imposible atang mangyari yun. parang wala na tayong effective way out of this conundrum we have.

KC, at the time the Violet Lozada filed the writ of amparo and habeas corpus, Jun Lozada was again taken away from LSGH, and from his family. he was brought to the office of Atty. Bautista to finalize and sign the affidavits prepared for him. His wife and family (and thei lawyers assisting) had no idea of where he was brought, and if he was even coming back to them. that's how i understood the story, anybody feel free to correct me.

oca
02-26-2008, 04:54 PM
Allow me to make a fool of myself by making this post and my last on this particualr discussion.

Let me start by asking, "Why did Neri contest the Senate warrant?".

That warrant challenges the Presidential prerogative as manifested in EO464. Yet it was not the Executive Department who went to the SC but Neri in his personal capacity.

Why Neri didn't seek the protection of the Office of the President in evading the warrant still puzzles me.

Now, from another angle.

Lozada was compelled to appear in the Senate because of that warrant. If a Senate warrant is not enforceable, why didn't the President's Men just hire a dummy lawyer for Lozada and contest the warrant at the SC to prevent the latter's appearance in the Senate?

Hindi nila yan ginawa.

They did not challenge the warrant.

They just tried to evade it.

Then, napag-isip ko...

Ito bang pagpunta sa SC ay sinadya ni Neri hoping that the Court will uphold the warrant and give him a cloak of protection when he divulges what he knows. I mean, the President's Men cannot prevent him from appearing if such will be the ruling and, consequently, publicly defy the SC. Suicide na yan!

I believe Neri wants to speak. But with EO464, he just cannot.

But there is a gray area in EO464 vis a vis the Senate. Technically, walang provision in the SC ruling on "warrants". The absence of a clear provison on warrants gave Neri a reason to go to the SC.

Neri would not want to just submit to that warrant and earn the ire of the President's Men. If he must speak, it must be under conditions where he cannot be blamed for doing so. Hence, pumunta siya sa SC.

But what if the SC says walang bisa ang warrant?

Hehehehehe... I don't think they will make that ruling....

Oh, yes, a non-lawyer making such a statement...don't worry guys, di na ako makikigulo sa usapin ito. Pramis! ;D ;D ;D

Kaya kayong mga gustong mag-testigo si Neri sa Senado... napag-isip-isip niyo ba na ang unang totoong labanan ay nasa SC?

danny
02-27-2008, 05:45 AM
I find this latest admission of GMA similar to her unforgettable "I am sorry." statement at the height of the Hello Garci scandal.* ;D



USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!


Wala sinabi yang sorry na yan dito:

"Hello Garci...yung dagdag yung dagdag."

danny
02-27-2008, 06:07 AM
I think GMA will be very happy if this becomes a legal matter and confined to the court of law. That will ensure she completes her term and gives her more time to hedge against all possible demanda.

She can continue appointing "sympathetic people" in the Judiciary. She can appoint enough people who will be biased to her favor, people who whose tenure will last 2 to 4 years beyond 2010.

...but by then...who would care about today's current issues.


Matatalino ang mga mafiang* abugadong nakapaligid kay GMA. They probably have their asses covered in the legal front.* Furthermore, who wants extra-consitutional means when the power brokers will just replace her with another of their own.

Let us say that:

1. GMA will resign, enter Noli. Palit din ang crony capitalists. Erap - Cojuangco, GMA - Razon, Noli - Lopez? :D

2. Assuming, GMA will be ousted and a revolutionary government will take over. Sinong kampon ni Batman and pipili ng uupo sa Civilian o Military Junta? Sino pipili? Mga power brokers na naman na eventually magiging gahaman.

Pagkatpos ng junta-juntahan, democracy-democracy ala post EDSA 1 scenario with the same* galamay, coup and "langaw" lang sa Edsa comment. :P

3. Snap election? Sino na naman po ang tatakbo?


Paano na to? :D


We deserve GMA. We deserve the kind of government that we have.

Jaco D
02-27-2008, 06:41 AM
Di pa ba tayo natuto?* It's one thing to commit mistakes; not learning from them is anothing thing.

salsa caballero
02-27-2008, 10:32 AM
No, hindi pa tayo natututo. Yes, the largely feudal socio-economic and political systems that gave rise to the FQS and FM's reflex actions that in turn, set in motion a "series of unfortunate events", are still in place.

In essence however, we remain a country in transition. I am confident that eventually, we will get our act together somehow. The United States after independence stood up against the mighty UK in the War of 1812, then endured a painful civil war, various economic crises and a slew of conflicts before it got to where it is today. Chile, while enjoying unprecedented growth in the midst of its neighbors, also suffered through a dictatorship just like we did. Closer to home, Singapore was literally an economic backwater. Where is she now?

We, on the other hand, are poised for growth provided that we sieze the opportunities before us as afforded by our latent resources and global conditions. Of course, we cannot ignore local political realities and should confront them squarely and decisively so that we can concentrate on the more important business of growth and development. My take? Let's take the bull by the horns -- hail the responsible officials to court (not the Senate) all the way to where the buck stops. Mete out the proper sanctions without fear or favor-- although it may be good to be pragmatic and consider exile as a sanction in itself if a head of state is involved -- and get on with our lives.

Jeep
02-27-2008, 11:58 AM
after less than a century of existence, the US was in danger of being torn apart by civil war. britain was also in danger of sliding back into absolute monarchy before oliver cromwell stepped up to challenge the royalty. japan was pretty much a motley collection of absolute fiefdoms and a dvine emperor with barely over a half-century of experience in democratic processes. i'm confident that, over time, the philippines will mature into the democracy we want it to be.

which is why i see what's happening now to be all part of the process of evolving as a democratic state. even the US today, torn as it is and has been for the last two presidential elections they've had, is now coming to grips with the possibility that their electoral system may need to be changed as the present system of an electoral vote no longer provides a clear majority, i.e., a clear mandate for the victor. democracies are dynamic, but adhere to a system that promotes the peaceful and orderly introduction of change. so far, we've been able to achieve that even though admittedly the "orderly" part has been often been left by the wayside.

it may not be in our lifetimes, but i'm confident that we as a people are on the steep end of the democratic learning curve and will be absorbing more as this and subsequent events come to fore. what is clear, though, is that our people are committed to democracy -- warts and all -- and will not allow a slide back to authoritarianism whether of the left, as reps. crispin beltran and risa hontiveros-baraquel have proposed with their 1000-day junta (without elections! pambihira!), or the right, as proposed by senator-elect trillanes and his group. for sure, people would rather live with the imperfect democracy embodied in the corruption of gloria than the pristine exactness of a dictatorship. i've always believed that an individual, given the right set of information, should be given the right to choose whatever life he or she wishes, without some big brother (or sister), however well-intentioned, making those choices for him or her. that, i believe, is the way we should go, and our people's stand on this in the last few decades has been clear.

atenean_blooded
02-27-2008, 11:53 PM
As much as I enjoy the daily entertainment I get out of the news, I sometimes find that I can still be very cynical when it comes to looking at our darling political situation.

One of the biggest bones of contention about the Arroyo administration is its penchant for resorting to coercion, threats, and maybe even actual violence whenever it faces what it perceives to be dissent or public outrage over some form of scandal. I only need to point at EO 464, PP 1017, water cannons, and even extrajudicial killings in order to cite examples.

But the tough part about engaging the Arroyo administration head on is its vast resources in terms of cash, of goons, and of wealthy allies in the military, the police, and Congress, which are capable of crushing dissent through force or through a "tyranny of numbers." The frustrating thing is the reason cited by our esteemed congressmen, military, and police officials: Their loyalty remains with "the President," "the Commander-in-Chief," both terms pointedly not being "the sovereign Filipino People" that created the office of the President/CiC. Thus, Arroyo is able to muster enough real and political force to give her administration at least some semblance of legitimacy, and is thus free to continue testing the waters and limits of executive power vis-a-vis Congress and the courts.

Okay, so let's assume Neri comes clean, and spills the beans on ZTE-NBN. What then? Unless Arroyo's allies in Congress turn away from her, impeachment will not happen. Unless the military drops its support, the administration will still be capable of harassment or quelling any violent, extralegal solution.

And we insist that we cannot afford another people power. Why? Remember EDSA I and the joke called EDSA II: Both did not succeed until the military was sufficiently politicized and forced to take sides. Both set precedents for taking things to the streets if legal solutions do not work. People power? Revolution? Sure. But we will be treading down a path that we will not be able to walk out of without violence breaking out in the future, because the source of power will no longer be legitimacy accorded by we the sovereign Filipino people, but by they the military and police and their guns and weapons.

You know what's sad? Let's assume for the time being that our legal systems work. And let's assume that there's zero corruption, period. What happens if we have a president who's elected by a majority (or even a plurality), who manages to maintain the popularity for a while, and is backed by a Congress which is made up of his or her equally popular allies? Let's assume for example that they all won landslide victories, made some really stupid decisions, and always turned to the mandate of (stupid) people who elected them. We would be in no different a situation, where our courts are pretty much powerless to counteract the combined power of both the executive and Congress. This is going to be quite similar to what we have under Gloria Arroyo, and from what I've been told, quite similar to the darker days of the Marcos presidency. The courts, for all the writs and rules it can come up with, cannot just stop the combined might of the purse and the sword of the state. And the courts will not dare be undemocratic and challenge a coalition which can lay valid claim to a popular mandate, no matter how stupid, how damaging, how inutile, it turns out to be.

danny
02-28-2008, 03:58 AM
The moralizers like* the moralizing middle class, the moralizing church, the moralizing Makati Business Club and all the other* moralizing institutions are disgusted with GMA because of the moral bankruptcy of her government. The NDs are* disgusted not just with the moral bankruptcy of the government but the moral bankruptcy of a semi-feudal semi-colonial society. The other left (BMP, Sanlakas) are disgusted not just with GMA but also the moral bankruptcy of the infantile capitalist system. The Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas , is not disgusted with GMA per se (they are still partners of the ruling administration and are* advisers on national security concerns) but with the moral bankruptcy of the whole society, thus a peaceful revolution towards socialism is the call.* :D

The ordinary people? Disgusted with all of the above with all their moralizing. The ordinary masa understand graft and corruption. They live ,eat and breathe corruption in their daily lives. This* "suhulan" is not unusual for them.* Panahon pa yan ni Mahoma.

Who are we kidding? Filipino leadership has always been morally bankrupt. Should we start with the Ilustrados? Or should we begin the journey with Aguinlado's betrayal of the Revolution? How about Mr. Tabako?

This government is* a reflection of our collective moral bankruptcy perpetuated by the powers that be supported by* institutions with no accountabilyt to the people. The ordinary people are themselves victim and perpetrators of corruption. But just leave the masses alone from this ongoing political battle between opposing factions of the ruling class. Kapag ginalitin niyo yan, baka lahat ma-garote ng hindi oras. Lahat tayo talo.

If these moralizers cannot trust the very institutions they built like the Justice System, why should the ordinary people* trust them on the first place. The ordinary masa understand democracy in simple terms. They vote, you rule. Just don't kill them* with bullets and at least give them some crumbs. Life will go on as it has always been for ordinary Juan dela Cruz.

They ask ordinary Juan de la Cruz to mobilize and speak out during a crisis within the ruling class (this is after all a crisis among competing power blocs). During "peace time" election, they will condemn the ordinary Juan de la Cruz for installing a moron. And everyone loves democracy.* Freaking double standard.* :P

The economy is growing under a morally corrupt administration of Gloria. The highest in 30 years. This is probably the take-off stage despite a corrupt regime. Makuntento na sana muna diyan ang mga moralista, e pare pareho lang silang imoral.

Tita Cory. Remember Mendiola Massacre? I was there."Lupa hindi bala."* Goddammit. :D

BigBlue
02-28-2008, 11:36 AM
kahit na ba maganda ang ekonomiya, balewala din lang lahat nyan kung kinukurakot din lang ng mga nakaupo sa itaas.

BigBlue
02-28-2008, 12:50 PM
an engaging read from Ricky Carandang's blog (http://www.rickycarandang.com/?p=133). it looks like the ZTE mess is just the tip of the iceberg, and that there are other, more disturbing implications that have not been fully discussed yet:

Ricky Carandang Reporting
Treason (http://www.rickycarandang.com/?p=133)

Allow me to expound a little on a story I did for The Correspondents on February 19th.

Seven countries claim ownership of the disputed Spratly Islands, just off of Palawan. China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malsysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines all claim to own part or all of the Spratlys. These overlapping claims have been a source of tension over the years since the Spratlys (we Filipinos call them the Kalayaan Islands) are believed to contain significant reserves of oil and natural gas. China was the most aggressive in pursuiung its claim. In 1999, the Philippines–under President Joseph Estrada– led an effort to prevent tensions by getting all the claimants to agree not to take actions to provoke other claimants.

But in 2003, the Philippines–now under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo– rocked the boat that it previously steadied when it signed an agreement with China to jointly undertake seismic studies of the Spratlys and explore for oil and natural gas. Naturally, the other claimants were angry. After getting them to agree not to rock the boat, the Philippines sucker-punched them with the China deal. China’s traditional ally, Vietnam was so angry they it had to be let in to the deal to appease them.

Aside from angering our neighbors and potentially undermining regional stability, Arroyo’s action may also be illegal. Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez–who was then acting justice secretary–told former Senator Frank Drilon, who was then allied with the administration, that she believed that the deal violated the constitution, because while it was a deal between the state owned oil firms (PNOC of the Philippines and CNOOC of China) of the two countries, it implicitly gave China access to our oil reserves. Officers of the Foreign Affairs Department were also upset because the deal effectively strengthened China and Vietnam’s claim to the Spratlys.

What would compel Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to sign a deal that potentially undermines regional stability, possibly grants China parity rights to oil reserves in the Spratlys that we claim to be ours, and likely violates our constitution?

How about $2 billion a year? After the Spratly deal was signed, the Chinese government committed $2 billion in official development assistance a year to the Philippines until 2010, when Arroyo is supposed to step down from office. My sources tell me that the Spratly deal was an explicit precondition to the loans.

A sizable amount to be sure, but for the Arroyo administration the China loans are particularly appealing. Not so much because the interest rates are so low and the repayment terms so lenient, but because Chinese loans do not have the cumbersome requirements that loans from the US, Japan, the EU, and big multilateral lenders have. Requirements for documentation, bidding, transparency and other details that make it very difficult for corrupt public officials to commit graft. In fact, in November of last year, those cumbersome requirements made it impossible for some government officials and private individuals with sticky fingers to avail themselves of the World Bank’s generosity.

It had gotten to the point where a corrupt government could no longer make a dishonest buck. That is until China’s generous offer came along. Given China’s laxity with certain conditions, its no wonder why almost every big ticket government project funded by Chinese ODA has been the subject of allegations of graft and corruption. There’s Northrail, Cyber Education, the Fuhua agricultural projects, Southrail, and of course the ZTE National Broadband project.

Until the ZTE National Broadband scandal, the Chinese government has had little official reaction to any of these allegations. Why should they? The $8 billion is a loan, not a grant. It enhances their influence in the region, strengthens their claim to the Spratlys, and expands their influence in the Philippines. The best part is, regardless of what Philippine officials do with the money–whether they put it to good use or steal it–it still has to be paid back. Its no wonder that anytime some midlevel Chinese official comes to the country, congressmen and adminstration officials literally trip over themselves to roll out the red carpet.

For corrupt Adminstration officials and their cronies, $8 billion represents unprecedented opportunities for graft on a scale that would shock ordinary Filipinos.

And at the end of the day, that $8 billion is going to be paid back. Not by the grafters in and out of government; not by the Chinese citizens; but by the millions of ordinary middle class Filipinos who go to work everyday, pay their taxes, struggle and to keep their small and medium businesses afloat. The price will also be paid indirectly by tens of millions of poor Filipinos who will not have access to health care, quality education, and a functioning court system because those resources are not going where they should be going.

There’s a word for that. Its called Treason.

Lucas Palaka
02-28-2008, 01:29 PM
As much as I would like to be open-minded about the ZTE Senate hearings, the reason why I can't trust the outcome of this exercise is the conduct and integrity of the three so-called "star" witnesses. Magalit na ang magalit, but the one thing all three have in common aside from their vanishing hairlines is the growing suspicion they all graduated from the Ping Lacson Finishing Academy for Malacanang Whistleblowers, whose veritable alums include Vidal Doble, Ador Mawanay, and the Mahusay dude whose first name I now forget. *

Case in point: former ZTE consultant Dante Madriaga. Now after practically inviting himself to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings Tuesday, he came out smoking and flatly accused the First Couple of graft, named the members of the Greedy Group Plus Plus, and detailed how the ZTE contract, which he claimed was originally "pegged" at $50 million, ballooned to its current valuation of $329 million, in effect tying up the loose ends in Jun Lozada's earlier testimony. Makes for very compelling courtroom drama, right? Not only that, meron pang mga media releases prior to his testimony saying that Sen. Lacson originally rejected Engr. Madriaga as witness after the latter allegedly "asked" for a P5 million fee in exchange for his bombshell. Of course, Madriaga denied ever requesting that amount.

And then Senator Gordon started asking questions. Finally he lowered the boom when he noticed Madriaga's unsigned sworn affidavit, which sparked an uneasy round of questioning about his reasons for not signing. Suffice to say I wasn't the only one who noticed that it was Senator Lacson who flinched and panicked by repeatedly raising points of order over the right against self-incrimination. Say what, Pinko?!? That prompted Senator Gordon's telling insinuation that Senator Lacson was coaching Madriaga all along. Sick, sick, sick...

danny
02-29-2008, 02:47 AM
O di ba. Ang galing ng mandarmbong na mag-asawa. Nagnanakaw na umuunlad pa ekonomiya. Saan ka pa? Besides yung growth rate nating napakataas nung isang taon, sa tingin ko yan na ang "Non-inflationary rate of growth" ng ekonomiya natin. Taasan mo pa ng kaunti, baka sumipa ang inflation. ;D


Matagal na ang kurakutan sa goyerno, sangkot din yang mga natakot sa buhay nilang witness.* *Nagugulat pa ba kayo sa katindihan ng korupsyon sa gobyerno? Lumabas kasi kayo at makisalamuha sa mga simpleng taong gobyerno at masang malapit sa korupsyon para malaman niyo ang tunay na katayuan ng lipunan. Kung pupunta sa Serendra, dumaan muna kahit man lang sa isang* malapit na LTO at namnamin ang suhulan.

Ang tanong ko sa matatapang na middle class, hanggang saan niyo dadalhin ang laban. Hanggang saan niyo ba kaya? Kung ayaw bumaba ni Gloria at ng mga alipores niya at walang miltar na papanig sa inyo paano na? E di balik din sa mga corrupt pero ligal na institusyon ang labanan.

E paano nga* naman kung mag-resign? E di kay Noli de Castro na tayo, ang ligal na dapat pumalit. Gloria resign! Mabuhay si Noli! Baka naman ayaw* niyo na naman kay Kabayan dahil wala daw alam sa pagpapatakbo ng bayan. Paglilinis ng kobyerno pa.



Kaya kesa mag-moro moro sa Senado , kasuhan na ang mga* pwedeng kasuhan tulad ni Abalos, Neri at kung sino sino pa. Yang mga ebidensyang ibinigbay ng mga "hero" natin ngayon, uubra ba yan sa korte?

Si Gloria hintayin niyo ang* 2010. Hindi bobo si GMA para mag-resign. Gahaman lang. Habang wala pa ang 2010 asikasuhin ng maayos ang mga ebidensya para bitay ang katapat niya. Kung lumayas ng bayan, madami pa ding mga paraan...

Pero kung wala na talaga kayong tiwala sa tatlong sangay ng gobyerno, e ibang usapan na yan. Hindi eleksyon at chacha ang solusyon. Baka duguin kayo. :D

danny
02-29-2008, 05:13 AM
Now back to EO 464.


---

Joker on EO 464: What’s there to revoke?
By Christina Mendez
Friday, February 29, 2008
Malacañang and the Senate should stop their battle for “political supremacy” by putting a stop to the bickering over the imposition of the controversial Executive Order (EO) 464.

Sen. Joker Arroyo said yesterday EO 464 has been used by Cabinet officials as an excuse to snub inquiries at the Senate.

Arroyo lamented that even the Supreme Court is becoming the “naive victim” of a power struggle between the Palace and the Senate.

“Unfortunately, both sides are engaged in a battle not for good governance but for political supremacy, and the Supreme Court is becoming the naïve victim of this power play, and being baited to respond to every disagreement between the two political departments of government,” Arroyo said.

He said Malacañang should take into consideration the Supreme Court’s decision over its review of EO 464, whose interpretation by the Palace frustrated the Senate in its inquiry over some pressing issues.

Arroyo cited the raging controversy over the national broadband network (NBN) contract with China’s ZTE Corp. He said hearings on the issue have reached 69 hours so far.

“What is there to revoke, or to study, or to revisit or to re-examine in EO 464? The Supreme Court has adequately passed upon EO 464 in the case of (Senate vs.) Ermita. It has laid down the parameters of what the Congress can do and cannot do; and what the executive can do and cannot do in respect to congressional investigations,” Arroyo said.

Arroyo represented the Senate before the Supreme Court in defending its position against the controversial gag order.

“In short, it (the SC ruling) has defined the delicate balance between the executive and the legislature in this area. To push them further into their respective straitjackets is impractical in statecraft,” Arroyo said.

He said the SC decision could have been enough had both the Palace and legislatures obeyed the ruling.

“If both sides were to follow the strictures therein, there will be no problem,” he said.
EO 464 was issued in September 2005 to protect officials from perceived abuse of the Senate’s power of inquiry.

In April 2006, the Supreme Court ruled EO 464* was constitutional as far as the need for presidential consent is concerned but said it cannot be used to prevent other government officials from testifying at congressional hearings in aid of legislation.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued a statement Tuesday calling for the abolition of EO 464.


http://philstar.com/index.php?Headlines&p=49&type=2&sec=24&aid=20080228153

oca
02-29-2008, 08:42 AM
Pareng danny, i dont think the middle class will bring it that far by themselves. Hanggang sigaw lang yan and they will NOT initiate any violent action for they stand to lose the most in that scenario.

The rich are well entrenched, the poor has got nothing to lose at all; and for as long as the rich and those in power maintains the structure of patronage, hindi gagalaw ang mahihirap. At pag pinagalaw ang mga iyan, sino ang mananatili sa itaas? Mayaman at makapangyarihan pa rin, iba-iba na nga lang ang apelyido. Minsan nga pareho din, ibang sanga lang ng family tree.

It's not the poor who will bring real change, imo. Definitely not the rich. But the middle class.

That is if they are willing to risk all which I doubt.

danny
02-29-2008, 09:10 AM
Tama ka oca, ang mahihirap kasi simple lang para sa kanila ang buhay at ang demokrasya. Boboto sila, kayo magpatakbo ng gobyerno. Huwag niyo lang gutumin ng husto at putulan ng Wowowee, hindi yan magaaklas.

E baog ang middle class. Paano na yan?

oca
02-29-2008, 09:15 AM
Tama ka oca, ang mahihirap kasi simple lang para sa kanila ang buhay at ang demokrasya. Boboto sila, kayo* magpatakbo ng gobyerno. Huwag niyo lang* gutumin ng husto at putulan ng Wowowee,* hindi yan magaaklas.

E baog ang middle class.* Paano na yan?




Naku, mahabang talakayan yan... Hanapan ko ng oras yan....

LION
02-29-2008, 09:18 AM
Baog? Sino baog? *Aba aba aba.......... * ;D *

Yung mga magagaling sa ganyan e namayagpag nung dekada 70 at 80 (sige isama ko na rin yung early 90s, baka may umangal ;D) . *Pagkatapos ng panahon nila e anong klaseng kabataan ang mga pumalit? *Walang binatbat. *

Yung mga leader estudyante nung dekada 70 at 80 e nagpapahinga na at executives na sa mga multi-national corporations. * ;D *

Kid Cubao
02-29-2008, 09:32 AM
danny, hindi baog ang middle class. the middle class--at least the silent majority--will not take part in any mass action led by these power-hungry groups not because of cowardice but rather because of a growing realization that this preoccupation with politics is becoming a hindrance, not an enabling tool, for sustaining the economic gains they have achieved over the past few years. the bickering and posturing have ultimately become venal and destructive, and many no longer want any part in it.

look, cory and jun lozada and erap can gather and march and denounce the evils of the current administration for as long and as often as they want, but if the middle class says no, enough is enough, we'd rather work and provide for our respective families than join you in the streets, mamamaos lang ang mga lalamunan at lalong mabubutas ang mga bulsa nila hanggang 2010.

gfy
02-29-2008, 10:32 AM
Ang maganda na kakalabasan sa ZTE na ito ay ang mga tao ay galit na sa mga corrupt. Before, accepted na ang culture of corruption at pagtatawanan ka pa kung di mo ginamit ang position mo para magpayaman.

salsa caballero
02-29-2008, 10:36 AM
^ That's a good point. I just hope the general sentiment stays that way.

oca
02-29-2008, 12:13 PM
I don't think baog ang middle class.

Ang baog ay yaong walang kakayahan. That's not the case with our middle class. Fact is they are capable of producing a critical mass, but unfortunately they haven't gone beyond that. They'll come but after that they'll let their efforts be hijacked by the economic and political elite. Walang follow through.

Ang unang nakikita kong problema natin, at hindi lang ng middle class, ay may kataasan ang sukdulan natin sa kahayupan. Yes, we are a forgiving people, pero bago pa yan, talagang yung pisi natin para magtiis at hayaan magpatuloy ang kahayupan, without even forgiving, ay mahaba.

This may seem out of line to the discussion, pero naiisip niyo ba bakit walang binitay na collaborator nuong matapos ang digmaan (nagpahahalata na ba ang edad ko? ;D). While liberated Europe and Asia dragged to the streets the collaborators, shamed and hanged them, ano ang nangyari dito?

Seriously, pag-isipan niyo.

At the end of WW2, Manuel Roxas was the annointed one by the Americans. Roxas deemed it convenient for his political ambitions to pardon the collaborators. They'll owe him a debt of gratitude and he can use it for political purpose. That ploy by Roxas was seen by the same economical and political elite to w/c he belongs and cultivated it for the protection of everyone within the same class. They cultivated it to perpetuate their position in society.

Fast forward.

Ano sa palagay niyo at biglang na-pardon si Erap?

In South Korea and other countries, covicted Presidents serve 1 to 2 years of their sentence before receiving pardon. Dito? Ginawa ba yun ni Gloria out of benevolence?

Many have said na matiisin tayo at mapagpatawad. Hindi ako naniniwala dyan.

At dito papasok yung pangalawang problema na nakikita ko-- wala pa lang tayong pinuno who has the balls to enforce the law to its literal meaning. (Yes, literal! Laws are never written to be enforced by its spirit. Pvtang ina yang spirit of the law na yan! It is by its literal meaning that it gains it power.) Wala lang tayong pinuno na di nag-isip na pangsariling interest beyond his/her political tenure when enforcing the law is concerned.

So, balikan ko yung sinabi ni danny, "Paano na yan?", referring to the middle class.

There's no hope in having leaders from the same economic and political class we have now. Generation after generation, they will just secure the perpetuation of what they enjoy. Protect their kind from whom they'll seek their own protection in times of distress.

New leadership must rise from the middle class. Middle class citizens are hardly beholden to anyone. They think independently and are fairly economically independent- meaning not dependent on political doleouts, at least. Let someone from their ranks come forward and lead this country.

Is this possible, if in the first place, the current elite will do everything to perpetuate themselves?

New leadership is not about the war of the classes.

It's about setting the directions. The right direction.

If a leader will show and demonstrate he will not go out of bounds. Not think beyond his term. I firmly believe, everyone will stay within that level playing field.

But I don't see it happening soon. I rest my hopes on the emergence of a new middle class. One that will rise out of the economic independence brought forth by our OFWs.

At gaya ng maraming diskusyon dito...nag-sanga na ang usapan.....

danny
02-29-2008, 05:22 PM
Yan ,oca, ang ibig kong sabihin sa kabaogan ng panggitnang pwersa. Critical mass hindi niya makuha, "national leadership" pa.

Hindi kayang patalsikin ng panggitnang pwersa si Gloria gaya ng inuudyok ng mga lider na nanggaling din lang sa naghaharing uri. Ang masa inuudyok din. Yan ang delikado...kung magkagulo, isang rehimeng totalitarian ang susulpot mula sa kaliwa o sa kanan man. Ang bulto ng mobilisasyon ay kalimitan "organized left" dahil lagi na yang nakaabang. Kung si GMA natuto na sa EDSA 2, ang kaliwa natuto na sa EDSA 1 . Ang militar, pinatitindi uli ang internal propagandang magalit sa Kaliwa (c/o PDSP inspired Oplan Bantay Laya). Parang PC at Metrocom days ang nagaganap na dukutan. Habang ang panggitnang pwersa, napagod na.

Kid, the middle class is not the silent majority. It has always been the toiling masses. Indeed the middle class is tired and weary and they are expected to refrain from the moblizations, except for a few. At this moment, we really cannot expect any leadership coming from the middle class. Too busy with wealth accumulation that is badly needed by their respective families.

The conflict within the ruling elite is growing. Be safe people.

lekiboy
02-29-2008, 11:53 PM
Kid, the middle class is not the silent majority. It has always been the toiling* masses. Indeed the middle class is* tired and weary and they are* expected to refrain from the moblizations, except for a few.* At this moment, we really cannot expect any leadership coming from the middle class. Too busy with wealth accumulation that is badly needed by their respective families.

The conflict within the ruling elite is growing.* Be safe people.



sinabi mo boss danny.... pagod na pagod na din ako sa walang ka-kuwenta-kuwentang mga nangyayari sa atin ngayon...eto na naman at nagkakasama-sama ang iba't-ibang uri ng magnanakaw at ang kalaban ay magnanakaw din....tsk - ginamit pa ang mga masa at ang mga mag-aaral na hirap na hirap pag-aralin ng kanilang mga magulang-

sa ating mga nagtatrabaho at itinataguyod ang ating pamilya sa araw-araw- sila ay mga pahirap sa buhay, nagpapalala ng daloy ng trapiko at nakaka apekto sa ating hanapbuhay--- ngunit ano ang mayroon sila? nag-aaway dahil nagkagulangan sa hatian ng mga ninanakaw nila sa mga buwis na ibinayad natin...

sila ay nangudyok lang ng mga mapupusok at bago pa sa kalakaran ng pagpupunyagi sa kalsada. mga magnanakaw... buwisit sa buhay... at pagkatapos ng malaking kagaguhan este kaguluhan...ano? bayad tayo ng buwis at sila ay patuloy na magnanakaw??... itinatatwa ang isa't-isa pero sila naman ay galing din sa iisang uri at kulay.... napaka - masalimuot talaga ng buhay.

ang usapin ng kung sino ang tama at nagsasabi ng katotohanan ay lampas na sa aking pag-iisip- ang tingin ko na lang sa kanilang lahat ay mga demonyong iba-iba ang kasuotan at nagpapanggap na kasagutan sa ating mga suliranin....

hay buhay..... basketball na lang nga tayo... :):)

oca
03-05-2008, 08:41 AM
Tinamaan ng ewan itong Supreme Court natin.

Naturingang SUPREME pero nag suggest ba naman ng compromise. Alam ko sa lower courts lang yang compromise.

What this nation needs is a definite and final ruling on the issue of Excutive Privilege.

When public interest is at stake, with no repercussion on national secuirty, but only with the security of tenure of those in position, tama bang i-invoke ang Executive Privilege?

Their decision may go either way and will definitely not be favorable to one party. But that decision must be made.

Compromise?

T@ng-na, para naman kayong barangay court.

Kid Cubao
03-05-2008, 01:31 PM
based on my understanding on the so-called compromise, what this facilitates is for romulo neri to appear in the senate ZTE hearings without fear of being detained, a fate that befell national security adviser norberto gonzales in the hands of nene pimentel, drilon, et al.

in this set-up, the members of the senate blue ribbon committee can grill romulo neri on the details of the ZTE deal provided they do not impinge on what he discussed with president arroyo. so that means neri can refuse to answer questions:

1) whether the president followed up the NBN-ZTE project with him

2) whether he was dictated by the president to prioritize the NBN-ZTE project

3) whether he was told by the president to go ahead with the project after being told of the alleged bribe offer.

now if i were a senate blue ribbon committee member, i would still proceed to ask these questions in order to pressure the supreme court to rule definitively whether to allow it in open hearing or it falls under the scope of executive privilege. eh kung makakalusot, bakit hindi? on neri's part, he will most likely be held under contempt for invoking executive privilege, but he will not be detained or sanctioned.

dito natin makikita kung may utak o wala ang senator sa pagtatanung nya.

gfy
03-05-2008, 02:14 PM
What about first amendment rights,i.e. self-incrimination? It was funny that the Senate detained N. Gonzales because he didn't want to talk. Does the Senate have that right? If the Senate grants immunity, will the courts honor it?

Kid Cubao
03-05-2008, 02:28 PM
gfy, norberto gonzales's detention was a gross abuse of the philippine senate's quasi-judicial powers. now these clowns want to expand its scope to include the granting of immunity and witness protection for their pet whistleblowers. at the rate they're going, they'll be encroaching in no time the mandates of the department of justice, the cabinet agency solely authorized to grant such privileges.

heto lang ang sa akin: if indeed the quasi-judicial powers the senate possesses is essential in aid of legislation, do we know of any new law that resulted from any of their investigations, past and present? i really wanna know. perhaps the lawyers out there can give an assist, and it'll be very much appreciated ;D

oca
03-05-2008, 02:42 PM
However one looks at the compromise, in the long run it will just be used as means for the Executive to avoid confronting issues head on.

Just imagine, tuwing may anomalya na mabubulgar at magkakaroon ng imbestigasyon, "executive privilege" agad. When the Senate asserts itself, magtatakbuhan na naman ulit sa SC para humingi ng compromise... este ruling?

Ganon at ganon ang mangyayari, paulit-ulit na may dudulog sa SC. Unless a ruling is made which will become part of the statutes of the land, walang kalinawan yan.

Of course, things would have been different kung may functional na Ombudsman tayo. Pero isa pa yang tinamaan ng lintek, ilang buwan na mula nang unang pumutok ang balita at may naghain na sa kanila ng reklamo, nitong Pebrero lang sila kumilos.

Bakit?

Dahil gusto i-invoke ng mga tinuturong kasanggot ang ruling ng SC sa kasong Bengzon kontra Senate. Kung saan sinabi ng Hukom na pag nagsimula na ang pagdinig sa isang kaso sa korte, dapat na rin itigil ng Senado ang kanilang mga hearing.

Di magtatagal isa sa mga tinuturong kasangkot will invoke that SC ruling. Nagtuturuan pa siguro sila kung sino ang mag-i-invoke.

oca
03-05-2008, 02:53 PM
Regardless kung may concretong batas na ibinunga ang mga nasabing investigation in aid of legislation, the fact is, it has been an effective tool in bringing out to the open anomalies in gov't. In a few instances, it has even served as a good deterrent in the commission of the same kind of anomalies.

The fact that the NBN contract was scrapped altogether is justification enough to for the Senate to conduct it.

Ang problema talaga ay nandun sa prosecution ng mga kaso. Pagdating sa Ombudsman... patay ang kaso.

Isipin niyo, maraming ayaw humarap sa Senado, eh di naman sila mabibitay o makukulong duon. Pwedeng ma-detain sa isang airconditioned room, pero parusa ba yun?

Sa Ombudsman, pag guilty ka, totoong kulungan ang bagsak mo pag nagkataon. Maraming taon na pagkakulong at walang aircon ang selda duon.

Pero walang takot humarap ang mga akusado sa gobyerno sa lintek na Ombudsman na yan!

Isipin niyo....

Kid Cubao
03-05-2008, 02:58 PM
yes, that's right, but the press has done a fine job exposing anomalies in gov't for a long time even before martial law, and i think they'll do fine without additional help from the legislative branch. so the question there remains: meron na ba?

oca
03-05-2008, 03:34 PM
The press isn’t exactly diligent in reporting what laws has been passed by the Legislative. TV airtime is deemed too expensive to be devoted on that. People in radio are not as knowledgeable as they present themselves to be.

It's only when an election is forthcoming that Legislators would issue press releases about what the have accomplished during their term. The Senate and the House would even buy full page ads for that purpose. Pero dahil parating na nga ang election, that's when I abstain from reading current events, except sports/basketball. Pero kahit dun nakikisawsaw ang politiko pag may parating na election. Kaya abstain na rin ako.

..and please don’t ask me to go to the National Library or go to the Senate just for that.* ;)

One may call it by another name, as what Bunye has done, "...in aid of grandstanding". But if it serves as a deterrent, its good enough for me.

Uncle Toots
03-05-2008, 03:36 PM
sa pagkakaalam ko, the passing of the AMLA was in part abetted by the erap impeachment hearings at the senate, mga amigos :)

tigerman
03-05-2008, 03:38 PM
heto lang ang sa akin: if indeed the quasi-judicial powers the senate possesses is essential in aid of legislation, do we know of any new law that resulted from any of their investigations, past and present? i really wanna know. perhaps the lawyers out there can give an assist, and it'll be very much appreciated ;D


Sir, pasintabi na po but just want to correct you with the term quasi-judicial powers.

As defined in the book of Atty. Carlo Cruz (son of Justice Isagani Cruz), quasi-judical power is the power of administrative bodies to make determinations of facts in the performance of their official duties and to apply the law as they construe it to the facts so found.

Quasi-judicial power is incidental to the power of regulation vested in administrative bodies but is often expressly conferred by the legislature through specific provisions in the charter of the agency.

Hence, quasi-judicial power is available to administrative bodies like the NLRC, NTC etc.

Peace.





USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

atenean_blooded
03-05-2008, 10:44 PM
1. On gfy's questions: "What about first amendment rights,i.e. self-incrimination? It was funny that the Senate detained N. Gonzales because he didn't want to talk. Does the Senate have that right? If the Senate grants immunity, will the courts honor it?"

The right against self-incrimination you point out is found in Sec. 17, Art, III of the Constitution, which provides that "No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself." It is normally meant to allow persons to avoid answering incriminating questions. And a question if incriminating even if it only tends to elicit a response on a fact (ex. an act or omission constituting an element of a crime) which pertains to an element of a crime or which might lead to conviction. It is a right that pertains to testimonial compulsion. It can be asserted in ANY judicial or administrative hearing, or any official government inquiry.

But does this mean that the right can be used to defeat the ends of justice, or pushed to absurdity? Of course not, especially when there is no incriminating question asked. And in that regard, the Senate can properly detain a person by holding him in contempt until he answers a non-incriminating question. The Senate has done this before (lawyers and law students will remember the case of Arnault v. Nazareno), and the Supreme Court upheld their action. Recent jurisprudence, relating to the detention of Gonzales, follows the same lines.

The key question is, of course, whether or not a question that might be asked is "incriminating." Note that to be incriminating, it must pertain to the person who is answering the question.

I am not sure if the Senate even has the power to grant a person immunity, but I suppose that the Courts will, out of respect for the Senate, abide by it. Of course, the Senate can pull a similar act like the Batasan 5 did, and house their key witnesses to bring them physically under the Senate's protection.


2. Executive Privilege and the compromise agreement

I do not understand why there is suddenly a big hole as to the question of executive privilege and E.O. 464. The Supreme Court has in a number of cases, the most recent one being Senate v. Ermita (when it declared certain provisions of E.O. 464 unconstitutional), ruled on executive privilege, and has categorically stated that the rule is that it is the PRESIDENT and the PRESIDENT ALONE who can invoke Executive Privilege although the President can probably extend this privilege over a particular Cabinet member, who is merely the President's "alter-ego" anyway, PARTICULARLY when concerned with questions that might involve STATE SECRETS, NATIONAL SECURITY, and DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS.

In short, ROMULO NERI CANNOT INVOKE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. He can only be benefited by an extension of it by the President, but it must pertain to STATE SECRETS, NATIONAL SECURITY, and DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. In short, in the context of ZTE-NBN, NERI CANNOT INVOKE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE.

I also do not know why the Court did not hold creatures who invoked the struck-down portions of E.O. 464 in contempt before it was revoked.

Why the hell was there a need for a compromise agreement? The ball was in the government's court. The Senators should have pushed the Court to ask Neri why he should not be held in contempt. Or the Senate should have just ordered Neri's detention.

In any case, the latest news is that the Senate has properly REJECTED the compromise agreement.

gfy
03-12-2008, 08:16 AM
^ I don't think one can force anybody to talk if he doesn't want to at least in the U.S. Whether accused or not. Who decides what is incriminating or not? One question can lead to another you know. And to be threathened to be detained at the Senate UNTIL he talks (what they want to hear). The circus that I watched yesterday in the Senate hearing showed how some of our senators can learn from Fr. Intengan's words of wisdom - that our political discourse has become so partisan that one doesn't listen to the other anymore because he is pro or anti administration. Winnie Monsod's column in the Inquirer about Lozada's half-truths was criticized by some religious because they say Winnie is pro-administration. By golly. Imagine senators not liking what they hear from Leo San Miguel (my kababayan and schoolmate in grade school). They are proposing that he be detained (maybe Jamby wants company). Who decides who's telling the truth?

My whole take on this ZTE:

1. Corruption has been there since as far as I can remember. Maybe the degree has changed.
2. This kidnapping/abduction was the most inept and laughable if true. Why would the PSG for example register their names and car at the airport? If they wanted Lozada killed he would have gone the way of Bubby Dacer and others. Who wants Lozada killed now? He has already told everything. As the Standard Today said - the horse is already out of the barn.
3. If Lozada was an important player, the administration would have bought him off (30-50 million not peanuts like 50k or even 500k). Why send Lozada to HK or London with no money?
4. Hearsay, hearsay and double hearsay.
5. This I think is the most important. If Gloria resigns or is forced out of office, who takes over? The opposition can't even agree. Bro Eddie Villanueva proposed something that could come only from somebody who got 1.5 million votes vs. Gloria's and FPJ's almost 10 million and said na dinaya siya. Opportunists can grab power e.g. military or Jamby :D. Gloria has a little over two more years to go and her administration has already been put on notice that the people will no longer tolerate corruption. Let her finish her term and throw the book at her by filing cases in court after she steps down.

Joescoundrel
03-14-2008, 04:41 PM
What I find suspicious about Jun Lozada's "testimony" is that he seems to be parceling it out a little at a time, one chunk of details here and there for every day he appears at the Senate. It smacks of too much cleverness as far as I'm concerned. Every time he says something it isn't as factual as he would have us believe, i.e. "Ito po ang recollection ko ng mga naganap..." after which he goes on to just give his IMPRESSIONS and ANNOTATIONS of his recollections and not purely recollection, i.e. "Naka-Amerkano po si Chairman, ang ganda nga po nung kurbata niya, magandang print..." If we were in court he would've drawn an objection from opposing council. "Objection, relevance?"

God, the whole nation set on its ear by such an obvious con...

atenean_blooded
03-15-2008, 12:38 AM
^ I don't think one can force anybody to talk if he doesn't want to at least in the U.S. Whether accused or not. Who decides what is incriminating or not?

The courts can decide what is incriminating or not.



One question can lead to another you know. And to be threathened to be detained at the Senate UNTIL he talks (what they want to hear).

Again, see above. While it does suck that the Senate CAN detain you until you answer a question (whether or not it's what they want to hear), the same has been upheld by the Supreme Court.



The circus that I watched yesterday in the Senate hearing showed how some of our senators can learn from Fr. Intengan's words of wisdom - that our political discourse has become so partisan that one doesn't listen to the other anymore because he is pro or anti administration. Winnie Monsod's column in the Inquirer about Lozada's half-truths was criticized by some religious because they say Winnie is pro-administration. By golly.

It's unfortunate, it is.



Imagine senators not liking what they hear from Leo San Miguel (my kababayan and schoolmate in grade school). They are proposing that he be detained (maybe Jamby wants company). Who decides who's telling the truth?

That's politics for all of us. We have a similar situation that happens (although the cause is different), when the House majority pledges allegiance and loyalty to "the President" instead of the "sovereign Filipino people," or when some of them go so far as to say, "this is politics, and in the end, it's all about the numbers."

gfy
03-15-2008, 06:56 PM
One thing I find very suspicious about Lozada is that he met several times with Ping in December and then turned around and asked Neri, Gaite, Atienza etc. for help like he was setting them up.

danny
03-19-2008, 04:42 AM
Why Lozada is losing support

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

...


***

Catholic bishops and other members of the religious hierarchy are finally seeing lachrymal whistleblower and instant celebrity Jun Lozada for what he really is. They have distanced themselves from Lozada’s tours of campuses and other venues. They have discovered that his orchestrated appearances and emphatic speeches make him no better than politicians playing up to the mob.

Lozada had it coming. He had been overdoing his act as “probinsyanong Intsik” to solicit support and sympathy. Fortunately, many are now seeing through his veneer as a tool for the vested interests of the opposition and everybody else wanting to oust President Arroyo.

As for his alleged “search for truth,” a slogan chorused by the anti-Gloria elements, what truth is Lozada looking for when he has already decided that President Arroyo was guilty, just as the power-grabbers have? Santa Banana, this is the height of hypocrisy!

The Senate investigation on the government’s cancelled US$329-million national broadband network deal with ZTE is hardly the place to get to the truth. The testimonies we have heard are mere allegations, hearsays and even double hearsays. These can be struck out in court.

And neither can we find the truth with the mobs out to lynch GMA. Just look at the Jews who welcomed Jesus Christ in Jerusalem with “Hosannas,” waving palms. On the third day, the same mob wanted to crucify him.

Least of all, can we really expect to get the truth out of Lozada? His testimonies in the Senate have been nothing but allegations and hearsays. They are still-uncorroborated testimonies that don’t have a leg to stand on in court.

If there are still some bishops like Dagupan-Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz and Novaliches Bishop Ted Bacani, and others like Fr. Robert Reyes, Fr. Joe Dizon and nuns and La Salle Greenhills brothers who continue to coddle Lozada, that’s their problem. But during the Holy Week, a time of meditation, reconciliation and renewal, it would do them well to reflect on what they are doing.

***

If Lozada is again shedding crocodile tears over what’s happening to himself, his son who has been dislodged from the honor roll and his wife who he claims needs counseling, I have no sympathy for him.

Lozada knew what was he getting into. He played both sides of the political fence. He sought the help of administration people to prevent him from testifying. But at the same time, he also played footsies with opposition Senators Ping Lacson and Jamby Madrigal before he appeared in the Senate.

He should have known the repercussions, and the backlash, of his acts.

But, sad to say, because of all the adulation and the cheers from the mob, especially from former President Cory Aquino and everybody else who wants the President ousted, Lozada’s self-importance went to his head. My gulay, perhaps thinking that he’s now a hero and somebody to idolize, he’s now on a campus tour—what he calls his search for truth—when he has already adjudged the President guilty.

Santa Banana, if that is not the height of hypocrisy, I don’t know what is.

Now, Lozada is lamenting his fate. When he allowed himself to be used in an orchestrated and scripted campaign to have the President unseated, he should have realized what he was doing.

In the same way that Joey de Venecia, who also claimed there was bribery and corruption in the ZTE deal, should have known that the ultimate consequence of his action was the ouster of his father, Rep. Jose de Venecia, from the speakership of the House of Representatives.

Perhaps Joey hated his father for leaving his mother.

There’s a lesson to be learned in all these: Regret comes later in the day for those who become swell-headed. As they say, it’s all “karma.” Whatever goes around comes around—and it oftentimes hits you. Put briefly, whatever you sow, you reap!

***

When a person so passionately alleges that he is searching for the truth but at the same time shouts to high heavens for the resignation of the President—as Lozada and his coddlers do—one is guilty of “performative contradiction,” to quote Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino, dean of the San Beda College Graduate School of Law.

Thus, if you search for truth, you do not know whether or not one is guilty. Logic dictates that if you do not know this yet, you do not yet have a reason to ask anybody to resign. Going further, this could be the basis for anybody to lead a lynch mob, as some are now doing, to grab power.

I find many of my colleagues who have joined the mob calling for the President to resign and yet claim they are searching for truth irrational. Neither can we find the truth in opposition newspapers and biased television networks.

My gulay, come to think of it, even as the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines calls for objective reporting, the slips of many biased opinion writers and reporters are showing. Objective reporting has become reporting with an objective—the object being what they have concluded in their biased minds.

***

http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=emilJurado_mar18_2008

Sam Miguel
03-20-2008, 08:52 AM
From the good people over at the Republican Think Tank ...

Off the Rails in the Philippines

by Walter Lohman
WebMemo #1856

A major American ally is in trouble. A massive scandal involving a Chinese telecommunications company has driven politics in the Philippines off the rails. As the Philippines seeks to address the scandal, the United States should help it avert what has the potential to become a major constitutional crisis.

The Scandal

That the intersection of business and politics in the Philippines is rife with corruption is hardly a revelation. Nor is it extraordinary by the standards of current practices in Asia. What is troubling, however—perhaps only because, unlike corrupt dealings in other countries, it takes place within a lively, often raucous democracy—is the way corruption has come to dominate public discourse so thoroughly.

The scandal involves a $330 million contract to provide the government with a national broadband network. The company involved is a major Chinese telecommunications company, ZTE Corporation. The principal allegation under examination in the Philippine Senate is that the obviously inflated price is a result of a new, shameless level of corruption. Who exactly is accountable is the devil buried in the details. Suspicions and investigations have converged on President Arroyo’s husband and a few key officials.

As big as the scandal is in dollar terms, the most spectacular charge to emerge from the controversy is that the contract flows from a 2004 China–Philippines deal to put aside sovereignty claims in the South China Sea in order to conduct a joint seismic study. The South China Sea, of course, remains a source of contention among several countries, including the Philippines and China. The dispute has been mostly dormant since 2002, when ASEAN and China reached a working accommodation to resolve differences by peaceful means and not to “complicate” or “escalate” the dispute.

The striking thing about the seismic study is that it will include not only disputed areas of the South China Sea, but also parts of the Philippine continental shelf. The obvious danger is that such cooperation—far from the China mainland but close to the Philippines—will eventually threaten Filipino sovereignty. A study today will lead to a joint tapping of resources tomorrow and ultimately reinforce Chinese claims on the territory. Indeed, such a concession is difficult to understand strictly from an assessment of the Philippines' national interest.
The ZTE deal is only one element to emerge from $2 billion per year in Chinese project loans offered soon after the deal on the seismic study. The loan program extends until 2010, President Arroyo’s last year in office, and has already facilitated dozens of deals beyond the ZTE broadband project. Another massive deal that has aroused suspicion is the 25-year concession to the Philippines’ power grid. The biggest privatization in Philippine history, the $4 billion deal has a similar confluence of factors: Chinese involvement, high-value assets, and charges of connections to the Filipino first family.

The economic costs of corruption are well documented. What is alarming about these cases is the possibility that corruption in the Philippines may have reached the point of trumping national interest. Judging by the public debate, that is the conclusion reached by a great many prominent Filipinos. The most sensational of the commentary is calling the South China Sea deal “treason” on the part of the President. While to date the evidence of a connection between the seismic deal and official corruption appears circumstantial, the new depths being plumbed in this “debate” are reason enough to be concerned.

What’s at Stake

The Philippines is one of America’s principal allies in the Asia Pacific. A country with a unique historical, cultural, and even demographic connection with the United States, it is a natural American ally. As Washington calculates its diplomatic and geopolitical interests, politics in Manila going completely off the rails should be a serious concern. Even more disturbing is the thought that a pillar of the United States’ historic presence in the Pacific may be for sale.

President Arroyo deserves a fair hearing, if for no other reason than that she is the duly elected President of the Philippines. The immediate situation may be salvageable. If not guilty of “treason,” the government may yet garner enough trust among the Filipino elite to put the controversy behind it. Certainly, judging by the still-meager protests, public outrage has not reached a level that rules out amicable settlement.

However, if the Philippine people—as represented by their representatives and senators—determine that the President is guilty of impeachable offenses, the Constitution of the Philippines has mechanisms for dispatching her. If opponents judge the process too corrupt to render an accurate judgment, the answer does not lie in appeal to extra-constitutional means, but in a concerted effort to fix the system, however difficult and lengthy that may be. From the perspective of a concerned friend, it would be far more preferable for the President to finish her term in office—even if under a cloud of suspicion—than for the Constitution to be breached.

What the U.S. Can Do

The United States should hold up a mirror to the Philippines. The U.S. does its Filipino friends no good by pretending corruption is any less than a cancer eating away at its body politic. The recent decision by the Millennium Challenge Corporation to qualify the Philippines for “large-scale grant funding” is a major step to that end. Above all, the U.S. must be crystal clear that it supports the constitutional order in the Philippines.

Walter Lohman is Director of the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation.

tigerman
03-25-2008, 08:47 PM
I just heard in the news that the Supreme Court, in a vote of 9-6, has decided that CHED Chairman Romulo Neri cannot answer the 3 controversial questions thrown at him by the Senate. According to the majority decision, the said questions are considered to be part of the executive privilege. The SC went as far as saying that the Senate acted with grave abuse in its investigation.

And to add more spice to the controversial decision, 8 out of the 9 Justices who voted are GMA appointees with Justice Quisumbing as the lone exception. Chief Justice Puno heads the minority six.

This decision is a big blow to Lozada's testimony. Neri can no longer corroborate what the former testified.



USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

AnthonyServinio
03-26-2008, 02:15 AM
Why Lozada is losing support

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

If there are still some bishops like Dagupan-Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz and Novaliches Bishop Ted Bacani, and others like Fr. Robert Reyes, Fr. Joe Dizon and nuns and La Salle Greenhills brothers who continue to coddle Lozada, that’s their problem. But during the Holy Week, a time of meditation, reconciliation and renewal, it would do them well to reflect on what they are doing.


http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=emilJurado_mar18_2008


* * *Armin Luistro is part of the group seeking the truth but the very school he heads is well known for its cheating in basketball tournaments by fielding ineligible players!* ::) >:(

LION
03-26-2008, 09:12 AM
Why Lozada is losing support

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

...*

* * *
***

Catholic bishops and other members of the religious hierarchy are finally seeing lachrymal whistleblower and instant celebrity Jun Lozada for what he really is. They have distanced themselves from Lozada’s tours of campuses and other venues. They have discovered that his orchestrated appearances and emphatic speeches make him no better than politicians playing up to the mob.

Lozada had it coming. He had been overdoing his act as “probinsyanong Intsik” to solicit support and sympathy. Fortunately, many are now seeing through his veneer as a tool for the vested interests of the opposition and everybody else wanting to oust President Arroyo.

As for his alleged “search for truth,” a slogan chorused by the anti-Gloria elements, what truth is Lozada looking for when he has already decided that President Arroyo was guilty, just as the power-grabbers have? Santa Banana, this is the height of hypocrisy!

The Senate investigation on the government’s cancelled US$329-million national broadband network deal with ZTE is hardly the place to get to the truth. The testimonies we have heard are mere allegations, hearsays and even double hearsays. These can be struck out in court.

And neither can we find the truth with the mobs out to lynch GMA. Just look at the Jews who welcomed Jesus Christ in Jerusalem with “Hosannas,” waving palms. On the third day, the same mob wanted to crucify him.

Least of all, can we really expect to get the truth out of Lozada? His testimonies in the Senate have been nothing but allegations and hearsays. They are still-uncorroborated testimonies that don’t have a leg to stand on in court.

If there are still some bishops like Dagupan-Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz and Novaliches Bishop Ted Bacani, and others like Fr. Robert Reyes, Fr. Joe Dizon and nuns and La Salle Greenhills brothers who continue to coddle Lozada, that’s their problem. But during the Holy Week, a time of meditation, reconciliation and renewal, it would do them well to reflect on what they are doing.

***

If Lozada is again shedding crocodile tears over what’s happening to himself, his son who has been dislodged from the honor roll and his wife who he claims needs counseling, I have no sympathy for him.

Lozada knew what was he getting into. He played both sides of the political fence. He sought the help of administration people to prevent him from testifying. But at the same time, he also played footsies with opposition Senators Ping Lacson and Jamby Madrigal before he appeared in the Senate.

He should have known the repercussions, and the backlash, of his acts.

But, sad to say, because of all the adulation and the cheers from the mob, especially from former President Cory Aquino and everybody else who wants the President ousted, Lozada’s self-importance went to his head. My gulay, perhaps thinking that he’s now a hero and somebody to idolize, he’s now on a campus tour—what he calls his search for truth—when he has already adjudged the President guilty.

Santa Banana, if that is not the height of hypocrisy, I don’t know what is.

Now, Lozada is lamenting his fate. When he allowed himself to be used in an orchestrated and scripted campaign to have the President unseated, he should have realized what he was doing.

In the same way that Joey de Venecia, who also claimed there was bribery and corruption in the ZTE deal, should have known that the ultimate consequence of his action was the ouster of his father, Rep. Jose de Venecia, from the speakership of the House of Representatives.

Perhaps Joey hated his father for leaving his mother.

There’s a lesson to be learned in all these: Regret comes later in the day for those who become swell-headed. As they say, it’s all “karma.” Whatever goes around comes around—and it oftentimes hits you. Put briefly, whatever you sow, you reap!

***

When a person so passionately alleges that he is searching for the truth but at the same time shouts to high heavens for the resignation of the President—as Lozada and his coddlers do—one is guilty of “performative contradiction,” to quote Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino, dean of the San Beda College Graduate School of Law.

Thus, if you search for truth, you do not know whether or not one is guilty. Logic dictates that if you do not know this yet, you do not yet have a reason to ask anybody to resign. Going further, this could be the basis for anybody to lead a lynch mob, as some are now doing, to grab power.

I find many of my colleagues who have joined the mob calling for the President to resign and yet claim they are searching for truth irrational. Neither can we find the truth in opposition newspapers and biased television networks.

My gulay, come to think of it, even as the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines calls for objective reporting, the slips of many biased opinion writers and reporters are showing. Objective reporting has become reporting with an objective—the object being what they have concluded in their biased minds.

***

http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=emilJurado_mar18_2008


Totally agree. "Performative contradiction".

What search for truth e nauna na yung kariton kesa sa kabayo? And Lozada is not totally clean. He self-classified his own sins as part of his "permissive zone", kaya ok lang. Yung ibang tao sa "forbidden zone", kaya meron siyang "search for truth".

Kung hindi siya nagbiglang liko papunta kay Lacson pwede pa siguro. Ang nakikinabang lang e sila Lacson, Madrigal, Villar, Erap, Joe "Moral Revolution" de Venecia at kung sino sino pa who are just promoting their own selfish agenda.

By all means, let's have a moral revolution but this should not be spearheaded by politicians. Otherwise maglolokohan lang tayo.

gfy
03-26-2008, 12:03 PM
This is purely legal-legal but is one obligated to report a crime, alleged or not, to the proper authorities at the risk of criminal prosecution? What I heard before in the States is that one does not have to and cannot even be compelled to testify if he doesn't want to.

tigerman
03-29-2008, 04:41 PM
The Supreme Court has just released the results of the 2007 bar exams. 1,289 passed out of I think 5,000+ hopefuls.

http://misosat2.no-ip.org/

Congrats to all the new lawyers!



USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

atenean_blooded
03-29-2008, 04:54 PM
The Supreme Court has just released the results of the 2007 bar exams. 1,289 passed out of I think 5,000+ hopefuls.

http://misosat2.no-ip.org/

Congrats to all the new lawyers!



USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!





The top 10 who passed the 2007 bar examinations, with their grades, are the following:

1 Mercedita L. Ona, Ateneo De Manila University, 83.55
2 Jennifer Ong, University of the Philippines-Diliman, 83.35
3 Yvanna BL Maalat, Ateneo, 82.75
4 Jennie C. Aclan, University of San Carlos, 82.10
5 John Michael F. Galauran, University of Nueva Caceres, 81.60
6 Karen S. Canullas, San Sebastian College, 81.40
7 Cecille L. Mejia, Ateneo De Manila University, 81.35
Sheryl Ann D. Tizon, University of the Philippines-Diliman, 81.35
8 Marforth T. Fua, San Beda College, 81.20
9 Ruby M. Luy, Ateneo De Davao University, 81.15
10 Christian B. Llido, University of Cebu, 80.90
Vivian S. Tan, University of the Philippines-Diliman, 80.90

tigerman
03-29-2008, 05:04 PM
^ Looking at the scores of the top 10 passers, mukhang mas mahirap ang mga tanong ngayon ah.

The usual suspects dominated the top 10 (blue, maroon and red). But just like last year and the previous ones, provincial schools got into the mix of things.

By the way, do you have the no. of passers and passing rates etc. of the schools?



USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

atenean_blooded
03-29-2008, 05:55 PM
^ Looking at the scores of the top 10 passers, mukhang mas mahirap ang mga tanong ngayon ah.

The usual suspects dominated the top 10 (blue, maroon and red). But just like last year and the previous ones, provincial schools got into the mix of things.

By the way, do you have the no. of passers and passing rates etc. of the schools?



USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!


Not yet. Those figures should be out over the next few days, though.

batangueño
03-29-2008, 07:41 PM
I was at the Supreme Court when the results of the 2007 Bar Exams were released. According to Justice Adolf Azcuna, the chairman of the Bar Exam Committee for 2007, the passing average was reduced from 75 to 70 because of many exam takers had quite a difficulty in the Criminal Law part of the exam. If there was no reduction in the passing average, instead of a 22 percent passing rate, the passing rate would only be five percent.

One thing's for sure though: the Criminal Law part of the 2007 Bar Exams was the most difficult and became the waterloo of many of those who took the exams.

Congratulations to the new lawyers, most especially my friends from the UP College of Law, the Ateneo School of Law and the San Beda College of Law. :)

gfy
03-29-2008, 08:38 PM
Matatalino na yata ang mga girls ngayon ah. Kaya A Blooded I expect you to top the bar exams ok? Congrats to the fifth placer from my hometown.

tigerman
03-29-2008, 08:55 PM
According to Justice Adolf Azcuna, the chairman of the Bar Exam Committee for 2007, the passing average was reduced from 75 to 70 because of many exam takers had quite a difficulty in the Criminal Law part of the exam. If there was no reduction in the passing average, instead of a 22 percent passing rate, the passing rate would only be five percent.



Are you sure with this one?

It is explicitly provided in section 14 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court that;

In order that a candidate may be deemed to have passed his examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without falling below 50 per cent in any subject. In determining the average, the subjects in the examination shall be given the following relative weights: Civil Law, 15 per cent; Labor and Social Legislation, 10 per cent; Mercantile Law, 15 per cent; Criminal Law; 10 per cent; Political and International Law, 15 per cent; Taxation, 10 per cent; Remedial Law, 20 per cent; Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises, 5 per cent.


In my recollection, the Supreme Court has not made any amendment of the provision mentioned above.



USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

batangueño
03-30-2008, 01:10 AM
Kabayang tigerman, yun ang sinabi ni Justice Azcuna sa press conference. Hindi ko lang ma-pinpoint yung exact na sinabi niya pero sigurado na ibinaba ang passing average from 75 to 70 dahil kung hindi daw ibinaba, five percent lang of the total number of examinees ang papasa dahil nahirapan silang lahat sa Criminal Law.

stonecold316
03-30-2008, 01:46 AM
Congratulations sa mga pumasa sa bar exams. I just hope kahit walang pumasok na Thomasian sa Top 10, marami namang Tomasino ang pumasa sa pagkahirap-hirap na bar exams.

;) ;) ;)

stonecold316

stonecold316
03-30-2008, 01:49 AM
1,289 pass bar exams; 4 from Ateneo, 3 from UP are on top
03/29/2008 | 03:51 PM
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MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court on Saturday announced that out of the 5,626 law graduates who took the Bar examinations last year only 1,289 or 22.91 percent passed. Four of the 10 topnotchers are from the Ateneo de Manila University, while three are from the University of the Philippines.

The complete list of the successful examinees are available here.

Mercedita L. Ona, a graduate of the Ateneo topped the exam with a rating of 83.55 percent, followed by Jennifer T. Ong of UP with 83.35 percent.

Another Atenean, Yvanna DL Maalat placed third (82.75%). Fourth was Jennie C. Aclan of of University of San Carlos (82.10%), while fifth was John Michael S. Galauran of University of Nueva Caceres (81.60%).

Sixth to the 10th placers are: Karen S. Canullas of the San Sebastian College (81.40%); Cecille L. Mejia of Ateneo and Sheryl Ann D. Tizon of UP who tied in the seventh place (81.35%); Marforth T. Fua of San Beda College (81.20%); Ruby M. Luy of Ateneo de Davao University (81.15%); and Christian B. Llido of the University of Cebu and Vivian Tan of UP who tied in the 10th place (80.90%).

According to data from the high court's Office of the Bar Confidant, 5,626 out of 5,799 law graduates from 109 law schools nationwide completed the four-Saturday examination at the De La Salle University on Taft Avenue, Manila.

The 22.91 percent of passage in the 2007 bar exam was the fourth lowest result in the last eight years. The lowest percentage for the said period was in 2002, where only 19.68 percent of examinees passed the bar. The second lowest was in 2003 with 20.17 percent, while the third was in 2000 with 20.84 percent.

The 2003 bar exam was marred by controversy when the Court ordered a retake of the Mercantile law due to alleged questionnaire leakage.

The first bar exam was held in 1901, with 13 examinees, while the 2007 bar examination held last September was the 107th. The 2001 bar exam had the highest number of passers - 1,266 out of 3,849 examinees, or 32.89%, while the 2006 exam had the highest examinees - 6,187.

Just want to pass

Ona, who now works as a legal associate at the Sycip Law office, told GMANews.TV she just wanted to pass the Bar.

“Basta gusto ko lang pumasa. Sobrang hirap yung six months preparation. Mahirap 'yong buong bar experience," she said.

She said she will now become an associate in her office after successfully passing the examinations.

She earlier said that she would not go the Supreme Court to check the result.

“Nakakakaba kasi e. Baka yung family ko pumunta," she said in a phone interview with GMANews.TV.

A bar candidate must meet the following academic qualifications to take the exam:

* Holder of a professional degree in law from a recognized law school in the Philippines

* Holder of a bachelor's degree with academic credits in certain required subjects from a recognized college or university in the Philippines or abroad

* He should also meet certain non-academic requisites:

* A Filipino citizen
* At least 21 years of age
* A resident of the Philippines
* Satisfactory evidence of good moral character
* No charges involving moral turpitude have been filed against the candidate or are pending in any court in the Philippines

Candidates who meet all the admission requirements usually enroll in special review classes after graduating from law school. These programs are held from April to September in law schools, colleges, universities, and review centers.

Program schedule, content, and delivery differ from one review program to another. Lecturers in these programs are called bar reviewers. They are usually full-time professors and part-time professorial lecturers in law schools and universities. Most review programs invite incumbent and retired justices and high ranking public officials both as a marketing tool and as a program innovation.

The examinations are held during the four Sundays of September of every year in the campus of De La Salle University-Manila in Taft Avenue, Manila.

The Supreme Court appoints members in the Committee of Bar Examiners, the official task force for formulating bar exam questions, instituting policy directives, executing procedures, grading bar examination papers, and releasing the results of the annual bar examination.

The committee is chaired by an incumbent Justice of the Supreme Court, who is designated by the Supreme Court to serve for a term of one year. The members of the committee includes eight members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, who also hold office for a term of one year.

While the Justice who shall act as chairman is immediately known, committee members must exert every effort to conceal their identities until the oath-taking of the successful bar examinees, approximately six months after the bar exam. - AR Sabangan, Amita Legaspi, GMANews.TV with additional data from wikipedia

stonecold316
03-30-2008, 01:51 AM
Atenean who topped 2007 bar just wants to pass exam
03/29/2008 | 04:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines - MANILA, Philippines - Mercedita Ona, 27, who topped the 2007 bar, said she just wanted to pass the examinations and never imagined she would finish on top.

“Basta gusto ko lang pumasa. Sobrang hirap yung six months preparation. Mahirap 'yong buong bar experience," she said.

She said she will now become an associate in her office after successfully passing the examinations.

She earlier said that she would not go the Supreme Court to check the result.

“Nakakakaba kasi e. Baka yung family ko pumunta," she said in a phone interview with GMANews.TV.

According to data from the high court's Office of the Bar Confidant, 5,626 out of 5,799 law graduates from 109 law schools nationwide completed the four-Saturday examination at the De La Salle University on Taft Avenue, Manila.

The first bar exam was held in 1901, with 13 examinees, while the 2008 bar examination was the 107th. The 2001 bar exam had the highest number of passers - 1,266 out of 3,849 examinees, or 32.89%, while the 2006 exam had the highest examinees - 6,187.- Amita Legaspi, GAMNews.TV

stonecold316
03-30-2008, 01:53 AM
A bonus, bar topnotcher says of her triumph
AMITA LEGASPI, GMANews.TV
03/29/2008 | 05:26 PM
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MANILA, Philippines - A bonus.

This was how Ateneo de Manila University law graduate Mercedita Ona described her topping the 2007 bar examinations.

In an interview shortly after the Supreme Court announced the examination results Saturday afternoon, the 27-year old Ona said she did not expect to top the bar examinations, known to be the most difficult in the country.

“Hindi ko iniisip ang pagta-top ng bar. Bonus lang ‘yun. (I didn’t expect to top the bar exams. It was just a bonus)," a jubilant Ona told GMANews.TV.

Only 1,289 of the 5,626 bar examinees, or 22.91 percent, passed the exams, according to the high court.

Ona said she just wanted to pass the exams, for that would entail her to become an associate of the Sycip Law office, where she is currently employed.

Before taking up law in Ateneo, Ona took up Business Administration and Accountancy at the University of the Philippines, where she graduated cum laude. She is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Ona, who said she learned of the news from a friend in SC, credited her bar exams success to “studying" and “prayers."

“Kanina nagdarasal lang ako. Kinakabahan ako bakit wala pang nagte-text (ng result). Sabi lunch lalabas ang result. Nagdasal ako sa PEA (Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration) chapel (I was praying the whole day. I was nervous because it’s already lunch time and nobody’s texting me of the results. So I prayed at the Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapel)," she said.

Ona said she will come back to the PEA chapel later in the day to say her gratitude, and that no victory celebration is in the offing yet, though she and her family have plans to visit Batangas Sunday to attend the blessing of her father’s office.

Ona has eight siblings, one of them is a doctor.

Asked for her plans, Ona said she would continue working for her present employer.

“Tuloy lang. Satisfied naman ako sa Sycip (I’ll continue working with Sycip. I’m satisfied with the company)," she said. - GMANews.TV

tigerman
04-16-2008, 01:50 PM
I found this from another site. (thanks to stolensummer) Some useful law sites and blogs...

www.libertas.ph
www.libertas.ph/forum
www.attyatwork.com
http://bar.attyatwork.com




USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

danny
04-29-2008, 04:17 AM
Jonas Burgos is a fellow Bedan. A patriot who served the common Filipino. We may agree or disagree with his politics, but I do hope our legal system can do more for the growing number of desaparecidos in our country.

------------------------------------
http://philstar.com/index.php?Opinion&p=49&type=2&sec=25

EDITORIAL — The disappeared

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

About a hundred relatives and friends of Jonas Burgos marched yesterday from a shopping mall to a church for a commemorative Mass. A year ago the son of press freedom fighter Jose Burgos Jr. was dragged to a van from a restaurant at the Ever Gotesco Mall in Quezon City by armed men and a woman. Jonas has not been seen again.

Suspicion has focused on the military, especially after the license plates on the van were found to have been taken from another vehicle impounded at the camp of the Philippine Army’s 56th Infantry Battalion in Norzagaray, Bulacan. Jonas, an agriculturist, is a member of the Alyansa ng Magbubukid ng Bulacan, a local chapter of the militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. Security forces see the KMP as a communist front organization. Jonas is reportedly suspected to be a member of the New People’s Army.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has denied involvement in extrajudicial killings and the disappearances of left-wing activists and journalists, insisting that many of the victims identified by militant groups were killed in legitimate counterinsurgency operations. Cases of unexplained killings dropped last year, but complaints of disappearances, led by the kidnapping of Jonas Burgos, have not abated.

The truth cannot be known unless the perpetrators are arrested and prosecuted. Yesterday police tagged the NPA in Burgos’ abduction. Security officials have blamed a number of the reported unexplained killings and disappearances on communist rebels, who periodically undertake violent purges. But the truth can only be known if killers and kidnappers are arrested and convicted.

Every unsolved murder or kidnapping reinforces the culture of impunity that should have no place in a functioning democracy. If security forces have truly identified those behind the disappearance of Jonas Burgos, they should exert all effort to get the culprits. Perhaps then the fate of Burgos can be known, and one name can be deleted from a growing list of the Philippines’ desaparecidos.

BigBlue
04-29-2008, 05:19 PM
eto, usapang church/state, care of our natoinal clown/politician wannabe Ely Pamatong:

Lawyer files criminal raps vs Pope, Cardinal Rosales (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view_article.php?article_id=133423)
‘Disturbance of order, swindling, immorality’
By Tina Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:32pm (Mla time) 04/29/2008

MANILA, Philippines -- A lawyer filed on Tuesday a criminal complaint before the Manila prosecutor's office accusing Pope Benedict XVI and Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales of human rights violations, including alleged disturbance of public order, swindling and teaching immoral doctrines.

Elly Pamatong claimed the Pope and Rosales "have been arrogantly, oppressively and offensively mounting loudspeakers on church rooftops, towers, belfries and trees that are blaring with monotonous false dogmas and doctrines."

"They have been disturbing the peace and quiet of non-Catholics throughout the country," he said in his complaint.

Among others things, Pamatong wants the court to rule that those who will not respect the rights of non-Catholics to live in peace "be deported to the Vatican and forever barred from entering the country."

Kid Cubao
04-30-2008, 01:35 PM
hmmm, di ba si pamatong yung nagsusulong ng US statehood para sa pinas, at sya rin yung may pakana ng pagpapakalat ng metal spikes sa EDSA not long ago?!? man, this guy is so... kaka ;D

BigBlue
04-30-2008, 02:37 PM
hmmm, di ba si pamatong yung nagsusulong ng US statehood para sa pinas, at sya rin yung may pakana ng pagpapakalat ng metal spikes sa EDSA not long ago?!? man, this guy is so... kaka ;D


Hindi lang yun KC, when he was running for President, spikeboy mentioned that if elected, one of his first tasks would be to declare war on friggin' China.

JonarSabilano
04-30-2008, 02:55 PM
The man of the hour! ;D

http://www.thirdtestament.ph/imgs/author_wanted.jpg

Joescoundrel
06-22-2008, 09:21 AM
From the online version of Inquirer...

By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:42:00 06/16/2008

"MANILA, Philippines - It is not that the US Supreme Court decided against compensating Marcos human rights victims for what they had suffered—although I must admit that the practical result of the US Supreme Court decision is that they will have to wait much longer, if they will receive their compensation at all.

Nor is it that the Philippine government is claiming that their rights have not been violated at all, nor that, if indeed their rights were violated, they do not deserve compensation.

The issue all along in this long litigation has been who should compensate them and how they should be compensated. It is perhaps best to simplify the story.

We might begin with 1972 when President Ferdinand Marcos incorporated Arelma, S.A., under Panamanian law. Shortly thereafter Arelma opened a brokerage account with Merrill Lynch in New York in which it deposited $2 million. By 2000 the amount had grown to $35 million.

We are familiar with the many crimes alleged against Marcos. After his fall from power thousands claiming to be victims of human rights violations filed a class suit in Hawaii against Marcos and his estate. The district court rendered a nearly $2-billion judgment in favor of the class. The declared winner in the class suit sought to enforce the judgment by attaching the Arelma assets held by Merrill Lynch.

In response, the Philippine government claimed that the assets did not belong to the Marcos estate but to the Philippine government. The Philippine claim was based on a pre-martial law statute, RA 1379, declaring forfeiture in favor of the state of funds found to be unlawfully acquired by a public officer. Relying on this law, the Presidential Commission on Good Government in 1991 asked the Sandiganbayan to declare the Arelma assets forfeited in favor of the government.

Unfortunately, that litigation is still pending in the Sandiganbayan.

Meanwhile Merrill Lynch was confronted with the problem of having to decide to whom it should surrender the assets—to the human rights victims, to Arelma, or to the Philippine government. Thus Merrill Lynch filed an interpleader action to compel the various claimants to litigate among themselves as to who was or were entitled to the assets.

When the Philippines was named defendant in the interpleader action, the government and the PCGG asserted sovereign immunity from suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, a Federal law. Moreover, arguing that the case could not proceed without them, the Philippines asked for the dismissal of the case.

The long and the short of it, however, is that the Hawaii Court and later the Court of Appeals, while they accepted the immunity claim of the Philippines, proceeded to consider the merits of the case in the absence of the Philippines and eventually granted judgment in favor of the human rights claimants. Hence the Philippines brought the case to the US Supreme Court.

The US Supreme Court addressed a number of key questions. This is not the place for a discussion of all of them; let me just address two. First, were the lower courts correct in rendering judgment on the merits in the absence of the Philippine government? The Supreme Court ruled:

“The Court of Appeals erred in not giving the necessary weight to the absent entities’ assertion of sovereign immunity .... Once it was recognized that those claims were not frivolous, it was error for the Court of Appeals to address them on their merits when the required entities had been granted sovereign immunity. The court’s consideration of the merits was itself an infringement on foreign sovereign immunity ...”

A second question, of course, is about the Philippine claim of sovereign immunity from suit. How important is that for world order? Allow me again to let the US court speak even if the doctrine of sovereign immunity is also part of our legal system:

“The doctrine of foreign sovereign immunity has been recognized since early in the history of our Nation. It is premised upon the ‘perfect equality and absolute independence of sovereigns, and th[e] common interest impelling them to mutual intercourse.’ The Court has observed that the doctrine is designed to ‘give foreign states and their instrumentalities some protection from the inconvenience of suit’ .... The District Court and the Court of Appeals failed to give full effect to sovereign immunity when they held the action could proceed without the Republic and the Commission.”

And how important is immunity in this case for our dignity as a nation? Again the Court:

“Comity and dignity interests take concrete form in this case. The claims of the Republic and the Commission arise from events of historical and political significance for the Republic and its people. The Republic and the Commission have a unique interest in resolving the ownership of or claims to the Arelma assets and in determining if, and how the assets should be used to compensate those persons who suffered grievous injury under Marcos. There is a comity interest in allowing a foreign state to use its own courts for a dispute if it has a right to do so. The dignity of a foreign state is not enhanced if other nations bypass its courts without right or good cause. Then, too, there is the more specific affront that could result to the Republic and the Commission if property they claim is seized by the decree of a foreign court.”

Pithily the Court concluded that the “judicial seizure” of the property of a friendly state may be regarded as “an affront to its dignity and may .... affect our relations with it.”

Briefly, then, the Sandiganbayan should decide the case soonest!"

tigerman
07-15-2008, 10:41 PM
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquire...s-SC-reprimand



MANILA, Philippines—Just because you are a University of the Philippines (UP) law graduate doesn’t make you smarter than others. So says the Supreme Court, in effect.

Saying no school had monopoly of knowledge of the law, the high court reprimanded a Calamba City Regional Trial Court judge who told a lawyer that since the latter did not graduate from the UP College of Law, he and the judge could not be equals.

Reprimand

The court sanctioned Judge Medel Belen with a reprimand after finding him guilty of conduct unbecoming of a judge, and warned him that he would be sanctioned more severely if he repeated such an act.

The lawyer, Melvin Mane, had filed a complaint against Belen over the judge’s remarks but later withdrew the complaint, saying he filed it because of his impulsiveness.

But the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) pursued the administrative proceedings against Belen.

In its June 30 decision penned by Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales, the high court said a lawyer’s competence should not be judged based on the law school he went to.

“An alumnus of a particular law school has no monopoly of knowledge of the law,” the court said.

“By hurdling the bar examinations which this court administers, taking the lawyer’s oath, and signing the Roll of Attorneys, a lawyer is presumed to be competent to discharge his functions and duties as an officer of the court, irrespective of where he obtained his law degree,” the court added.

“For a judge to determine the fitness or competence of a lawyer primarily on the basis of his alma mater is clearly an engagement in an argument of ad hominem.”

Proud MLQU alumnus

Mane’s complaint cited the transcript of a Feb. 27, 2006, proceedings in court in which Belen asked him if he graduated from the UP College of Law. Mane said he graduated from Manuel L. Quezon University and was proud of it.

Belen replied: “Then you’re not from UP. Then you cannot equate yourself to me because there is a saying and I know this, not all law students are created equal, not all law schools are created equal, not all lawyers are created equal despite what the Supreme Being [said] that we all are created equal in His form and substance.”

Explaining to the OCA the circumstances behind their court exchange, Belen said Mane had filed a motion for Belen to inhibit himself in a case and that the motion contained a direct assault on his integrity and dignity.

‘Insulting, unwarranted’

Belen said the motion implied that an earlier order he had issued was not based on the merits of the case.

The judge also objected to Mane’s request for the unedited transcripts of court proceedings, saying it implied that the court was illegally and unethically changing the transcripts.

The OCA, in its findings, noted that Belen did not deny the exchange with Mane and said the judge’s “insulting statements” that questioned Mane’s capability because the lawyer did not graduate from UP was “unwarranted and inexcusable.”

The OCA said that though the statements could be attributed to human frailty, judges should use courteous language and be patient and temperate.

Befitting a gentleman

The high court said the OCA’s findings were well-taken and cited more portions of court transcripts in which Belen asked if Mane was taught in MLQU about a certain principle of law. He even directed a court employee to show the lawyer the judge’s statements of assets and liabilities, among others.

The court said a judge should address the merits of the case and not the counsel’s person. It added that if he felt his integrity and dignity was assaulted, the judge did the correct thing in directing Mane to state why the latter should not be cited for contempt.

But the judge went out of bounds when he “engaged in a supercilious legal and personal discourse.”

“This court has reminded members of the bench that even in the face of boorish behavior from those they deal with, they ought to conduct themselves in a manner befitting gentlemen and high officers of the court,” it said.




USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

Joescoundrel
07-21-2008, 03:29 PM
^ I don't know about the rest of you but I'm with the judge on this one.

It is true: not every one is created equal. And whether we accept it or not, there really are some lawyers and some law schools that simply could not hold a candle to lawyers from the better law schools. Is that fair? Maybe, maybe not. But I've been around the profession long enough to know, at least from personal experience, that it really does generally make a big difference what law school a lawyer came from. The better law schools generally produce better lawyers.

It is a lot like athletics - how on earth are varsity athletes from small, underfunded schools going to compete against the larger and wealthier schools? The larger and wealthier schools have better facilities, better equipment, better food and nutrition. Look at one particular practice - taping up the feet of basketball players. Poorer schools only do it for games because tape is expensive. Richer schools do it even in practice.

Equals and equality. Since when...?

Kid Cubao
07-21-2008, 04:35 PM
the thing is, nobody can claim monopoly of legal excellence anymore, not even alums of the university of the philippines college of law. the rankings of the last five bar exam results bear this out. besides, the judge crossed the line when he made it a matter of public knowledge that he sneers at fellow lawyers who do not possess his academic pedigree. call it arrogance, whatever--he's a freaking judge, he should be fair and objective in his own courtroom! dun sya magyabang sa mga kainuman nya sa mga patay-sindi establishments sa timog ;D

salsa caballero
07-21-2008, 04:45 PM
I honestly wouldn't know how I'd react to such a statement directed at me by this judge. Flummoxed, flustered and flabbergasted I'd be. Maybe I'd move for the statement to be stricken from the record then wait for him to over rule me. The very next day, I will make sure to procure my very own copy of the TSN and go to town with it...

Sam Miguel
08-12-2008, 11:23 AM
From PDI...

Moro homeland pact becomes a ticking bomb

By Amando Doronila
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:03:00 08/11/2008

MANILA, Philippines—When the Supreme Court stopped the signing on Aug. 5 of the draft agreement seeking to establish an expanded Bangsamoro homeland, Mohagher Iqbal, chief negotiator of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, said that the last-minute cancellation made it clear to the international community that “the Philippine government does not possess the capability of entering into a peace conference.”

The abortion of the event became a diplomatic embarrassment as Ambassador Kristie Kenney of the United States, Ambassador Sayed Elm Masry of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, together with Ambassadors Makoto Katsura of Japan and Roderick Smith of Australia, had assembled in Kuala Lumpur to witness the signing.

As key stakeholders in the peace process in Mindanao, the presence of the diplomats signified the blessings of their respective countries to the agreement and implicit recognition of the pact. They were there to accord legitimacy to the agreement.

Iqbal’s remark may have told the truth of the political capacity of the Philippine government, but it also underscored the MILF’s contempt for constitutional processes, which the memorandum of agreement (MOA) on ancestral domain stayed by the high court’s temporary restraining order (TRO), gave short shrift as the defining framework of the proposed Bangsamoro homeland and, indeed, of the political settlement of the 40-year-old separatist war waged by the MILF.

Reflecting this contempt, the MILF’s vice chair for political affairs, Ghadzali Jaafar, maintained that the MOA was a “done deal” and had become binding after it was initialed by the government and MILF peace panels on July 27.

What is more insulting is his remark that the TRO was “purely an internal” problem of the government, implying that the MILF does not recognize whatever the court decides on the issues raised by local officials protesting the inclusion of their municipalities in the expanded Bangsamoro homeland.

Thus, the MILF has served notice that the court’s decision would not be binding to them.

The TRO reveals not only the political capacity of the government to enforce a peace package but also of the weakness of the executive department to bring into line countervailing departments—such as the judiciary and legislative—behind its diplomatic initiatives.

Dangerous mind-set

It is a reasonable assumption that the court was aware of these offensive remarks of MILF leaders and their implications for the system of checks and balances underpinning Philippine democracy. In issuing the TRO, the court was sending the message that this principle was not suspended by the MOA.

These remarks of the MILF rebels reveal a dangerous mind-set on the issues of the political capacity of the government to enter into binding agreements and of the primacy of the Constitution. They represent the land mines that the negotiations have to tread when the talks are resumed in Malaysia in the last two weeks of August.

These issues foreshadow that the MOA has set back the negotiations further away from a settlement than where they were before the MOA was initialed by the opposing panels. The revelation of the details of the MOA on the eve of scheduled signing after the government kept the agreement in secret for a long time is fortunate.

It revealed not only the antidemocratic mind-set of the MILF but also its contempt for and hostility to constitutional niceties. It provoked the timely intervention of the Supreme Court.

The intervention forced up the surface the hidden issues of the agreement. The petitions by the protesting parties against the agreement exposed it to scrutiny for its transparency.

Negotiated land grab

If the MOA had not been revealed in time, no one would have had the slightest idea that the area awarded by the memorandum to the expanded homeland represented the biggest negotiated land grab of national territory to a separatist group in the country’s history.

The MOA added 700 villages in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Norte, and North Cotabato, including parts of Palawan, to the area of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to make up the expanded Bangsamoro homeland.

The MOA pictured the mutilation of Mindanao areas in the redistribution of territories to expand the Bangsamoro homeland. The dismantling was done in such a way that it appalled local residents.

When the mayor of Iligan City unfolded to his constituents in an emergency meeting a map showing that eight out of the city’s 44 barangays would be absorbed by the proposed Bangsamoro Juridical Entity, the city residents, who were never consulted about the partition, were shocked to learn that the 44 villages comprised 82 percent of the city’s territory.

The city erupted in protest. This illustrated the deceitful, let alone, the secretive way the redistribution was carried out.

Inflammatory issues

The unrest unleashed by the MOA over the territorial grab, the grant of sweeping powers that have the main elements of a sovereign state outside the compass of the Philippine Constitution has undermined the capacity of the Arroyo administration to deliver a peace pact.

Instead, the MOA has become a package of TNT, containing enough inflammatory issues that can easily ignite a new explosion in Mindanao. In its haste to conclude the pact, the administration has inherited a ticking time bomb.

Sam Miguel
08-12-2008, 11:24 AM
^^^ What a magnificently cunning strategic move by the government.

gfy
08-13-2008, 09:21 AM
The Philippines has about 90 provinces compared to Thailand's about 55. Malaysia has, I think, less than 20 states. If this federalism thing will streamline our bloated bureacracy, well and good. Otherwise, it will just be another bureacratic layer we can do without.

This MOA stinks. A Gloria ploy to remain in office.

Joescoundrel
08-16-2008, 10:43 AM
From one of the most cerebral former UP Law Deans, courtesy of PDI ___

Separating Church and State, Fact from Fiction

By Raul Pangalangan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:39:00 07/25/2008

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Daily Inquirer front page on Tuesday featured a photo of a mother and three small children silhouetted against the light, living in a hammock under a bridge, with the fetid tide just two feet below them. I noticed that the children, presumably all hers, were spaced barely a year or two apart, with a newborn cradled in her arms and two older children, neither of whom could have been over five years old. On that same day, the latest Social Weather Stations survey reported that 14.5 million Filipinos experienced “involuntary hunger” between April and June 2008, a record high equivalent to almost three million households.

At the same time, House Speaker Prospero Nograles—proclaiming, “I am a devout Catholic”—called for a “ceasefire” in the all-out assault by the Catholic Church against the reproductive health and population control bills pending in Congress.

The good bishops talk about the sanctity and dignity of life. Living with three children under a bridge: Where is the dignity? Where is the sanctity? Do we respect life by making it difficult for that woman to plan for her family? So that her sleeping two-year-old won’t accidentally fall into the foul stream and die, if not from drowning, from swallowing poisoned water? Do we respect their dignity if we condemn them to an earthly hell where they inhale putrid air with each breath day and night?

This is not a debate about the nuances of Catholic theology. This is simply about the most dearly held norms in our Constitution, the basic distinction between truth and falsity, and plain common sense.

Hardline clergy have labeled as “evil” the sponsors of the Reproductive Health Care bills pending before Congress, and have called them “abortionists.” That is a lie.

I have read the various bills authored by Senators Rodolfo Biazon and Panfilo Lacson and Representatives Edcel Lagman and Janette Garin. I can categorically say that there is not a single mention in any bill of legalizing abortion. In contrast, a computer search shows that the bills mention the word “abortion” solely in order to reiterate that “abortion shall remain to be penalized under the Revised Penal Code and relevant jurisprudence” and to provide programs to teach people about the “proscription and hazards of abortion.”

In fact, each time they define “family planning” (so that couples may “decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children”), they always affirm that “abortion is not included as a family planning method” and that the methods “exclud[e] abortion, which is a crime.” In case the bishops still have any doubts, the authors go out of their way and affirm that “abortion remains a crime and is punishable.”

Indeed, when the bills refer to family planning programs, they actually aim “to help women avoid abortion [by] preventing unintended pregnancies and ensuring access to quality family planning methods.” They cite convincing evidence that access to contraceptives is the best way to reduce abortions.

One-third of all pregnancies in the Philippines have ended up in abortions and, in 2000 alone, they recorded 473,400 cases of induced abortions, more than 90 percent of them by married women. A survey by the poll group Social Weather Stations shows that 97 percent of Filipinos want to be able to control their fertility and plan their families—and almost 90 percent of the respondents are Catholic. One woman out of six wants family planning but can’t practice it for lack of access to family planning health services. Almost 60 percent of contraceptive users depend on government for their supply of contraceptives. If the bishops truly oppose abortion, why exclude contraceptives from the government’s family planning services when we all know that to do so will simply lead to more abortions?

The only way for the bishops to sustain their argument is to say that contraception and abortion are one and the same thing. But that is a matter internal to Church doctrine. It is binding on true believers. It cannot command nonbelievers. Not all Filipinos are Catholic, and not all Filipino Catholics subscribe to the same level of dogmatism as the local bishops’.

Our own Constitution recognizes the “right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions.” In a famous US case cited by the Philippine Supreme Court, it was said: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion ….”

Which family planning method to use is for the spouses alone—not for any government—to decide in their behalf. To confine family planning to the clergy’s approved methods is to impede that free choice.

What galls me about the raging debate is the in-your-face brashness of the Catholic clergy. Having twisted the facts, they now intimidate our secular officials to toe dogma, threatening to withhold from them the sacraments. I wonder: Do they still give communion to that bishop in Antipolo City who was found a few years back to be keeping a mistress? To the infamous plunderers in government? To all those sexual offenders referred to by no less than Pope Benedict XVI last week? The bishops must be consistent in telling the truth and in punishing sinners before they can pontificate.

Otherwise, what they show is not theological devotion but secular arrogance, the bluster of power, cocky in the knowledge that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, bereft of legitimacy and opportunistic to the core, will yield to expediency, kiss the hand that anoints, and lend the sword of an unworthy Caesar to carry out a strained—and self-defeating—reading of scripture.

There are those who believe without questioning, but there are those who question because they truly believe.

gfy
08-19-2008, 07:47 AM
Re this MOA MILF thing, our negotiators are BOBO. They promised MILF the moon so, of course, they wouldn't accept anything less anymore. And why have this Bangsamoro when we already have the ARMM? The Malaysians who brokered this thing must be laughing at our STUPIDITY. Remember Sabah?

amdgc82
08-19-2008, 08:58 AM
^
http://www.mindanaotimes.com.ph/column.php?id=3801

Letter to the Editor By KILUSAN PARA SA PAMBANSANG DEMOKRASYA (KPD) - MINDANAO
Bangsamoro Juridical Entity: A US crafted territory

THEinterventionist manuever of US government is again at work during these last few years in Mindanao. Using the United States Institute for Peace (USIP), the American government guided the final outcome of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the GRP and the MILF to serve its tactical and strategic objectives in the country as well as in the Southeast Asian region.* Such guidance is ensured through the USIP Philippine Facilitation Project, 2003-2007.* It is of no surprise that the signing of MOA is scheduled this year.

The USIP is created and funded by the US Congress. It has made its presence felt in practically all areas immersed in local wars, ethnic wars, and* regional conflicts. It ensures that through their sponsored conflict resolution mode,* US strategic interests in these areas are safeguarded.* Mindanao is no different.

The entry of US in the peace talks was facilitated by the direct plea for help of the MILF late Chairman Hashim Salamat to Pres. Bush in January, 2003.* Washington’s commitment was hinged on the MILF’s renouncement on terrorism and the late Chairman* made this policy public in June* 2003.* The conspiratorial yet the most decisive role of US is being held a secret since then.* Yet at some time, MILF’s Kabalu has said, “at the moment the US is playing a clever role; they are involved, but only via the USIP”.* * *

The US has already established its military presence in the island through the* Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines (JOSTFP). This command has been rotating* its forces every six months and is composed of marines, air force, navy, army, and special forces personnel.*

After the nationalist lawmakers in 1991voted to end the US’ long military presence in the country, the US has been looking a for* a possible new hosting arrangement t for their military installations in the country.

The MILF has hinted on several occasions that it has been approached by undisclosed US authorities about the possibility of establishing US military bases in the MILF controlled territory as part of the final peace deal.* The MILF’s spokesperson has confirmed this.* According to him, “this is negotiable, it is possible”. He added, “if the American interest is really in pushing this peace process, then we can talk about military bases.”

Expectedly, the GRP-MILF draft pact on the Bangsamoro homeland provided the latter with the broadest concessions. One of this is the agreement of both parties “to invite a multinational third party to observe and monitor the actual implementation of the comprehensive compact…..”.* The establishment of the military installations within* the BJE would serve a de facto peacekeeping role between the two sides. The possibility of a US sponsored UN peace keeping force with the latter’s headquarters in the former’s future military installations is a not a far fetch reality.* Such facility is* pivotal to their whole military strategy in this part of the globe.* Gen. Abat, the former senior envoy to Beijing, contends that “establishing a US military base in Mindanao would make strategic sense for Washington on several fronts, including possible future naval interventions in the South China Sea, defending Taiwan from a preemptive Chinese attack and providing a launch pad for anti-terrorist operations in Indonesia, Afghanistan and Iraq.”* * *

US knows that the greatest obstacle to the full realization of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity remains to be the nation’s constitution and laws.* Yet what is happening now is a classis case of putting the cart before the horse. Without any iota of decency, the GRP panel stooges and a bully clothed* as presidential peace adviser proceeded with the MOA without laying first the constitutional basis for it. Obviously, the US as their masters, has no respect on the laws of its neocolony as long as its actions* can ensure its strategic interests.

Yesterday, the Philippine Daily Inquirer carried on its front page, “US envoy brightens dark mood in Malaysia.” After all, it was only a “purely temporary impasse”. With the Philippine Supreme Court issuing a temporary restraining* order on the scheduled signing, US Ambassador Kenney commented,* *“it is the rule of law. So, I don’t think this as embarrassment.”* *After crafting a GRP-MILF draft pact as a route towards installing their military bases in Mindanao, she said, “respecting the democratic process is never a cause for embarrassment.” A doubletalk that she only can deliver best.

Kilusan Para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD) – Mindanao

danny
08-20-2008, 02:13 AM
What's new? ;D :D

It's good that the* media has noticed this. :)

Toward Peace in the Southern Philippines: A Summary and Assessment of the USIP Philippine Facilitation Project, 2003-2007 (http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr202.html)


Philippine economic progress and U.S. counterterrorism objectives will remain precarious until the Mindanao conflict is resolved. The roots of conflict in Mindanao are primarily political, not economic or religious. Preference for military "solutions" will likely miss the delicate nuances of intergroup conflict and could even worsen the situation. To move the peace process forward, U.S. policymakers must give higher priority to the GRP-MILF negotiations and commit to working with both parties long enough to reach an agreement and implement it. The Philippine government, for its part, will need to muster the political will to address Moro grievances more effectively, especially on land claims, control over economic resources, and political self-governance. When an agreement is reached, implementation will require long-term monitoring by a committed international body. Today’s complex diplomatic landscape increasingly requires new tools and techniques of conflict management, including quasi- and nongovernmental actors, to accomplish U.S. foreign policy goals. Because of its ability to deal with nonstate actors and sensitive issues underlying civil conflict, USIP can be a useful instrument for advancing U.S. interests.


We are all Nationalists now! ;)


Profile of the United States Institute of Peace, the lead US agency in the creation of the separate state in Mindanao.

From the horse's mouth. THE U.S. INSTITUTE OF PEACE:
A HANDS-ON APPROACH TO RESOLVING CONFLICT (http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/itps/1102/ijpe/pj73solomon.htm) in favor of US interest. ;D


The United States Institute of Peace is a unique entity in the increasingly crowded Washington foreign policy "think tank" community. Perhaps the most obvious aspect of our uniqueness is that we are a creation of the U.S. Congress. We are an independent federal entity. However, its most salient aspect is that we take a hands-on, pro-active approach to fulfilling our mission of promoting the peaceful resolution of international conflicts. Some of our staff-members, in fact, like to refer to us as a "think-and-do tank."




Now check out the rest of the Philippine Facilitation Project (http://www.usip.org/philippines/) by the USIP as requested by the US State Department. :D



USIP's Philippine Facilitation Project, created to help end a decades-long conflict between the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a Muslim insurgent group operating in the southern island of Mindanao, ended on June 30, 2007. Acting on a mid-2003 request from the U.S. State Department, USIP worked with Philippine officials, MILF leaders and civil society to further efforts to create an “equitable and durable peace agreement” to foster reconciliation and stability in the Philippines and surrounding areas of Southeast Asia.

The facilitators? (http://www.usip.org/peacewatch/2003/12/phil.html)


The team of senior peacemakers includes Institute chairman Chester Crocker; former U.S. ambassadors to the Philippines Nicholas Platt, Richard Murphy, Frank Wisner, and Stephen Bosworth; retired Marine Corps general Anthony Zinni; and the Instititute's executive vice president Harriet Hentges. The project's executive director is Eugene Martin, a former deputy chief of mission in Manila.

Big names!



THE MOA is the result of this facilitation.*

danny
08-20-2008, 02:28 AM
The Washington agenda? This was already clear when the "War on Terror" was started. The local press was simply way behind the curve.

;D

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/HH23Ae01.html

US, Philippines weigh new military marriage

By Fabio Scarpello

COTABATO CITY, Southern Philippines - More than 15 years after the US was forced to close its military bases in the Philippines by nationalist politicians, there are growing indications that Washington is angling to re-establish a permanent military presence here - though US diplomats strenuously deny the speculation.

The United States' behind-the-scenes role in mediating a peace deal between the Philippine government and a group of Islamic rebels and its assistance to the Philippine armed forces in chasing down another rebellious Islamic organization has, for many Filipinos, lent credence to growing speculation that the US has designs on establishing new bases on the country's southern island of Mindanao.

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP), an independent, non-partisan institution established and funded by the US Congress, is involved in the negotiations between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which has been fighting for independence for more than 30 years. The USIP, however, is conspicuously not a party to the broad, Malaysia-led peace talks, which were launched after the two sides signed a tentative truce in July 2003.

The MILF, the largest rebel group in the Philippines, has hinted on several occasions that it has been approached by undisclosed US authorities about the possibility of establishing US military bases in MILF-controlled territory as part of a final peace deal. "This is negotiable, it is possible,"said Eid Kabalu, the MILF's spokesperson.

"We are facing reality. We know that Washington has its own agenda in Mindanao, and that this has mostly to do with terrorism," said Kabalu from his modest residence in central Mindanao's Cotabato City. "However, if the American interest is really in pushing this peace process, then we can talk about military bases."

For nearly a century, the US military had use of two major bases in the Philippines, one at Clark Air Force Base and the other at Subic Naval Station, representing for a time the United States' largest military installations in Asia. After the 1986 fall of Philippine dictator and erstwhile US ally Ferdinand Marcos, nationalistic lawmakers in 1991 voted to end the United States' long military presence in the country.

The subsequent US military withdrawal was widely expected to create a regional power vacuum, bringing the Philippines into territorial disputes with Japan, China, Taiwan and Malaysia, particularly over competing claims to the reputedly oil-rich Spratly Islands. Meanwhile, in the late 1990s, the US made overtures to establish permanent military bases in Thailand - which were spurned out of hand.

From the United States' perspective, the concomitant rise of regional Islamic terrorism and China's growing military ambitions have fundamentally changed the region's security calculus and accentuated the strategic need for new installations in the region. And from a regional perspective, the Philippines is arguably the best fit. The Islamic-rebel-racked southern Philippines has recently emerged as a key theater in the United States' counter-terrorism campaign in Southeast Asia.

The US has in recent years poured hundreds of millions of dollars of military-related assistance into the Philippines, including funds earmarked for military training. The US has also provided technical assistance for the Philippine military's campaign in the southern province of Sulu against the Abu Sayyaf, an Islamic rebel organization that Washington contends has links to al-Qaeda.

Strategic motivations

Security analysts in Manila agree that Washington has a strong strategic interest in re-establishing permanent military bases in the Philippines. According to prominent political analyst Antonio Abaya, the short- and mid-term military objective would be to undermine activities of Jemaah Islamiya, the Indonesia-based regional terrorist group that is believed to have training camps in the Philippines' Sulu Archipelago and West Mindanao.

Retired General Fortunato Abat, a former Philippines defense chief and senior envoy to Beijing, contends that establishing a US military base in Mindanao would make strategic sense for Washington on several fronts, including possible future naval interventions in the South China Sea, defending Taiwan from a preemptive Chinese attack and providing a launch pad for anti-terrorist operations in Indonesia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Furthermore, it would complete the US security arc providing additional strength to what the US has in place in Japan, Korea and Hawaii to forestall any Chinese adventurism in Southeast Asia," Abat said.

Writer and historian Renato Redentor Constantino concurs with such assessments, noting that Mindanao is now in the midst of a US-financed infrastructure spending spree that he contends goes well beyond what the region's development would need. "Yes, the US is interested, and no, it is not only because of the war on terror," Constantino said.

Philippine-based US diplomats strongly dismiss such speculation. "There are no talks along those lines. The US is an ally of the Philippines and, at the moment, military bases are not allowed here," Stacy MacTaggert, deputy press attache at the US Embassy in Manila, said in a telephone interview.

Eugene Martin, executive director of the Philippines chapter of the USIP, sounds similar denials. "As the Institute of Peace is not a US government agency, I do not know what and if any discussions on this matter are or have been held. But the institute is not in any way engaged in such talks as we focus on trying to help the two sides reach a viable peace agreement," he said in an e-mail response to Asia Times Online queries.

"Personally, I would be surprised if there were such discussion, since the US military is working closely with its Filipino counterparts on counter-terrorism training," Martin said. "Furthermore, as long as the prospective Bangsamoro homeland is within Philippine territorial boundaries and sovereignty, I believe the national constitutional provisions barring foreign military bases would prevail. Legal scholars and nationalists in Manila would find it difficult to accept such bases."

Sources close to the Philippine-based US intelligence community claim that talks about establishing bases are under way, are spearheaded by a parallel unofficial diplomacy on the ground. "It is an ongoing discussion. The two parties are close, and Manila has agreed. One big problem is to find a formula that can be sold to the strong local opposition," a source said.

Peaceful latecomer
Washington's strategic interest in the region followed al-Qaeda's September 11, 2001, attack on the US, when evidence emerged that some of the plot's leaders had held meetings in the Philippines. The US later became militarily active in the region after reports emerged that various Islamic terrorist organizations had taken sanctuary in Mindanao's thick forests, including some groups that had allegedly relocated their camps from Afghanistan after the US invasion of that country in 2001.

Intelligence sources in the Philippines say the Moro rebels welcomed many of the mujahideen fighters, who brought with them weapons and expertise. Then, their relocation was made easy by Manila's incompetence in identifying and combating the new threat, because of weak anti-terror legislation, a tattered intelligence network and a lack of resources and manpower.

The United States' involvement in the region was partly triggered by a direct plea for help made by the late MILF chairman Salamat Hashim, who wrote to US President George W Bush in January 2003. Washington's commitment was partially based on the MILF's pledge to renounce terrorism, which was made public by Hashim in a policy statement released on June 20, 2003. This was followed that same month by a similar request for assistance by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who had by then emerged as Asia's most vocal supporter of the US-led anti-terrorism campaign.

Since then, the US has substantially increased its assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In the past few years, Washington has poured roughly US$300 million into the AFP's coffers and sent hundreds of American soldiers to conduct prolonged training exercises with their Filipino counterparts. This May, the Philippines and the US signed a new agreement establishing a formal board that will determine and discuss the possibility of holding joint US-Philippine military exercises against terrorism and other non-traditional security concerns.

The US military presence in and around Mindanao arguably has a more permanent feature in the shape of the Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines, which advises Filipinos on how best to fight terrorism. The JOSTFP, which rotates personnel every six months, is composed of marine, air-force, navy, army, and special-forces personnel, all under the US Pacific Command.

The JOSTFP's main target is the Abu Sayyaf Group, a small but violent rebel organization operating mainly in the Sulu Archipelago that has historically been involved in kidnappings for ransom. The US has since September 11, 2001, included Abu Sayyaf on its list of global terrorist organizations.

The MILF and Manila have optimistically stated their joint intention to sign a final peace agreement by the end of this year. Provisional indications of the deal include a power-sharing governmental system, which would place part of Mindanao under the Moro's direct day-to-day control while at the same time maintaining Philippine national and geographical integrity. The establishment of US military installations would conceptually serve a de facto peacekeeping role between the two sides, while also providing Manila and Washington a valuable beachhead to combat Islamic terror groups in the region.

The MILF's Kabalu said his group would like official US participation in the peace-talks process, which since 2003 has been led inconclusively by Malaysia. "We would like Washington to make its position official, like Malaysia, Brunei and Libya, who take part in the consultations on behalf of their governments.

"At the moment the US is playing a clever role; they are involved, but only via the United States Institute of Peace," he said, adding: "We have nothing against the Americans. As a matter of fact, in our 30-year-long struggle, we have never hurt one American. If they help, then they are welcome."

danny
08-20-2008, 02:41 AM
Check out the 2005 USIP report. :D

Where do you think the concept of "ancestral domain" first appeared? Where do you think that the idea of an acceptable political structure came from?

Certainly not from the BOBO Arroyo panel. These politicians are not dumb. They are simply following orders from abroad. Para namang may nagbago. :D

February 2005 | Special Report No. 131 The Mindanao Peace Talks: Another Opportunity to Resolve the Moro Conflict in the Philippines (http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr131.html)


Second, the parties will have to reconcile their divergent positions on the issue of political structures. Although the talks are designed to forestall discussions on the contentious issue of political structures, the parties will have to address it sooner rather than later. After all, negotiated settlements are essentially political deals, and issues such as ancestral domain, security, and rehabilitation cannot be resolved without a consensus on a certain kind of a political arrangement. Moreover, a political system must be put in place as a mechanism for effective implementation of any negotiated settlement.

Some arrangements that will most likely figure in the discussions on political systems include any or a mix of the following:

* A structure separate from the existing political system for the development of MILF communities; integration of MILF troops into the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the Philippine National Police; and the strengthening of institutions for "personal autonomy", such as Islamic education and Sharia law.
* Areas constituted as special zones, perhaps like Swiss cantons, where Muslims can exercise a higher degree of self-determination.
* A new and expanded autonomous region with more powers.
* A Muslim state under the federal system of government.
* An independent state where Muslims are in the majority.

danny
08-20-2008, 02:57 AM
If you are engaged in a perpetual war, you need perpetual peace in your strategic bases. Mindanao is one. It's the weakest link in the "War on Terror". They need peace in Mindanao for their perpetual war.

A 2006 report in an Australian Daily. This is not just about Arroyo. ;D


Mindanao the weakest link in war on terror (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19059385-2703,00.html)


So what is to be done? US forces are probing the sanctuaries in the guise of training exercises, and they are backing targeted air attacks. But they must tread lightly, lest they be drawn into a shooting war, which would catalyse new alliances among the local and foreign militants.

A conventional military approach failed in Cambodia and Lebanon. It would fail in Mindanao, too. Instead, surgical military strikes based on an expanded intelligence effort should complement the peace process, prising the extremists away from the MILF mainstream.

A crucial, if embryonic, mechanism in this campaign is the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group, established by the Philippine Government and MILF negotiators to facilitate co-operation against "lawless elements" in MILF territory. The group's mandate should be widened and resources should be provided to allow it to tackle terrorism explicitly.

In return for MILF co-operation, the US, Australia and other interested countries must pick up the political slack and build the Government's capacity to deliver a sustainable peace agreement for Mindanao. Prompt and substantial infusions of post-conflict aid will be an indispensable ingredient for peace.




How to deliver peace in Mindanao? Now we know.

I will say it again. We are all Nationalists now! ;)

danny
08-20-2008, 03:14 AM
Those "Washington Bullets" again. True then. Still true today.

Remember "The Clash"? From my favorite album "Sandinista!". These British punk rockers may have deeper insights than many local pinoy media practitioners. :(

"Washington Bullets" by The Clash (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z8vPthghRE&feature=related)

;)

tigerman
10-10-2008, 04:07 PM
http://www.yehey.com/news/Article.aspx?id=226275

Teehankee qualified for release as early as 2003
Manila Times
9 October 2008 | 12:10 AM

Claudio Teehankee Jr. was entitled to be recommended for commutation as early as five years ago or in 2003, according to the Department of Justice’s guidelines for recommending executive clemency.

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez also clarified Wednesday that Teehankee’s double life sentence was covered by the commutation of sentence granted by the President, citing Article 70 of the Revised Penal Code.

Prison records showed that Teehankee, 67, only actually served a prison term of 17 years, two months and three days as of October 7.

Following the line of the Justice chief, a senior Justice official, who requested anonymity, said Teehankee while in prison got an additional credit of more than four years for his good behavior.

He explained that under the “credits system” of the Board of Pardon and Parole, Teehankee was deemed to have served 21 years, two months and 25 days even if he actually served 17 years, two months and three days as
of October 7.

“Obviously there will be people who will not like what happened, but this is how our system of rehabilitation works.” the senior official said.

Gonzales, for his part, explained that under Section 4-A of the 2006 Amended Guidelines for Recommending Executive Clemency, the prisoner should have served “at least one-half of the minimum of his indeterminate and/or definite prison term for the aggregate minimum of his indeterminate and/or definite prison terms” and “at least 12 years for prisoners, for prisoners whose sentences were adjusted to 40 years in accordance with the provisions of Article 70 of the Revised Penal Code.”

In Teehankee’s case, his time served at the Makati City Jail with credit for preventive imprisonment totaled four years, seven months and 16 days. He was first confined to the Makati jail on July 24, 1991 and was transferred to the New Bilibid Prison on January 16, 1993.

Gonzales also showed what he said was a copy of a notice published informing the public that Teehankee was about to be released.


Convicted soldiers also entitled to commutation

Soldiers who were convicted for the Aquino-Galman double murder case are deserving to be released from prison, the chaplain for the National Bilibid Prison said Wednesday.

“They [convicted soldiers] should be freed, they have been in prison for a long period of time,” Prison Chaplain Monsignor Bobby Alegierre told Church-run Radio Veritas.

Alegierre could not hide his disappointment over the sudden release of Teehankee.


The Public Attorney’s Office has been pushing for the release of soldiers convicted in the Aquino-Galman case due to health reasons.

Of the 15 soldiers convicted for the Aquino-Galman murder case, one died in prison and another one, Master Sgt. Pablo Martinez, was released following a conditional pardon from President Gloria Arroyo.


Joker scores ‘double standard’

At the upper chamber of Congress, Sen. Joker Arroyo questioned Wednesday the “double standard of reaction” on the pardons given to former President Joseph Estrada and to Teehankee.

Arroyo said both “big names” committed heinous crimes—Estrada, plunder and Teehankee, double murder - but Estrada’s pardon drew no protest while a howl was raised on Teehankee’s.

“When President Estrada was convicted of plunder and sentenced to life imprisonment, President Arroyo immediately extended to him an absolute pardon, without going through the review process by the Board of
Pardons and Parole. There was nary a protest,” he noted.

Estrada was never detained in a real prison in deference to his former position. He was detained at his Tanay residence except for a short stay at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.

Arroyo said the President acted on her own, under her constitutional power, to pardon Estrada, “unimpeded by any intervention.”

He said Teehankee has served 20 years of his life sentence at the National Penitentiary and has indemnified the family of his victims as ordered by the court.

“Strangely, the very same people who are complaining about the Teehankee release were strangely silent when Erap was pardoned. Why the double standard of reaction?” he asked. ;D

He also noted the resistance to the release from prison of the “lowly enlisted men” who were convicted in the Aquino-Galman double murder case.

He said the enlisted men were following orders from big people who were never brought to trial.

“But there is resistance for their release. Triple standard of reaction!” Arroyo said.






USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

danny
10-30-2008, 07:24 AM
Another Bedan, this time a Pro-Labor lawyer, has disappeared. The most recent was Jonas Burgos, a former "The Bedan" staffer.* This time Atty. Remigio Saladero Jr.

Ahhh...pasismo ng estado...para sa madaming Bedistang namulat sa mga kaganapan at mga karahasan sa Mendiola, ito'y hindi nakapagtataka.




-------------

MANILA, Philippines - The chief legal counsel of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) Remigio Saladero* Jr. has been missing since 4 p.m. on Thursday from his house in Antipolo.

According to the KMU, the doors of his house were open, the floors muddy, things in disarray, and his computer central processing unit and laptop were missing. All his cell phones were unattended.

Saladero was just recently accused as a member of the New People's Army responsible for blowing up Globe cell site in Lemery, Batangas. He was charged with arson, destruction of property, and conspiracy to commit rebellion.

Saladero, a San Beda law graduate, was in the top 20 of his bar examinations. A former law professor at the Lyceum of the Philippines and the Dominican College, he is a member of the Pro-labor Legal Assistance Center (PLACE).
Saladero is also a columnist of Pinoyweekly, a weekly newspaper based in Quezon City. He writes essays on various labor cases.

The KMU is now preparing for search operations in Antipolo and other areas.

On the same day of his disappearance, the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) issued a statement to media urging the government to clear Saladero of what it called "false criminal charges."

"These charges against him are not only unjustifiable but incredibly ridiculous," the CTUHR said. This is the latest desperate attempt to harass and frighten the law office for handling even the most controversial labor cases on pro-bono basis."

According to the CTUHR, harassments and surveillance to PLACE law office started in 2006, during the height of political turmoil experienced by the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. - D'Jay Lazaro, GMANews.TV

salsa caballero
10-30-2008, 10:58 AM
^ My prayers are with Atty. Saladero. He is obviously a man of courage and conviction.

Sam Miguel
12-23-2008, 07:44 AM
From John Nery...

Marian, Karylle and politics of virtue

By John Nery
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:21:00 12/23/2008

Filed Under: Entertainment (general)

I have no wish to subject the beautiful actress Marian Rivera to ridicule or innuendo, but something she said last week startled me into thought, and made me reconsider the politics of virtue in a new light.

Obviously I am not referring to her very public quarrel with the luminous singer Karylle, or the past or future shape of Karylle’s relationship with actor Dingdong Dantes. (Like millions of other Filipinos, I too would like to know the answer to the essential question: What did Dingdong do, and when did he do it?)

I am referring to Marian’s outburst on Dec. 15, when she faced the movie press. She criticized Karylle for implying, through her now-famous answering smile, that she, Marian, was pregnant; reading her series of statements online, I was at first entertained and then, to quote Tom Wolfe in “The Painted Word,” “I noticed something!”

It happens, although all too rarely: Sometimes a throwaway line or an ordinary statement hits you with the revelatory power of a scientific experiment or a scriptural passage (choose your poison). Famously, for journalists of a certain age, it happened with Wolfe, who suddenly understood the vapidity of much of modern art when, one fine Sunday morning, he was “jerked alert” by a New York Times critic’s matter-of-fact assumption presupposing that, without a theory, you can’t see a painting. (Hence, the “painted word.”)

Now I do not know if my translation will do Marian’s outraged sentiments justice, so let me quote an entire passage from the Philippine Entertainment Portal report in the original (available, as it happens, on the website of Marian’s television network). “Na-offend talaga ako. Hindi naman ako tanga at lalong hindi na ako bata para magkamali ng ganoon na magpabuntis. Marami pa akong gustong mangyari sa career ko at kung mangyayari man yun, ako na ang magsasabi sa inyo.”

My translation: “I was really offended. I’m not dumb enough and what’s more I am not naive enough to make a mistake like getting myself pregnant. I have many plans for my career, and if that ever happens, I will be the first to tell you.”

In other words, Marian felt offended not because she was accused of immorality but because she was accused of stupidity.

I understand that the actress is enjoying the flush of success after a false start in show business. Her acute awareness of the mistakes that can waylay anyone’s career plans, therefore, is moving proof of the dues she has already paid. But her answer, the wound her pride sustained because she thought she was being accused of being dumb and insufficiently committed to her career, of not knowing how to play the game at its highest levels, betrays an altogether different concept of honor.

For Marian, or so it seems to me, honor consists not so much of personal integrity but the highest degree of professionalism.

* * *

I am reminded of another show business controversy which had the similar effect of disorienting me. I do not remember exactly what it was now, except that it involved a pair of brothers in an exchange of words with (if I am not mistaken) Kris Aquino. The show I happened to be listening to on dzMM was anchored by stalwarts of the entertainment press, one of whom memorably dismissed the brothers’ side with a cutting remark. “These brothers have some gall,” he said, more or less in these words and to the same effect. “They’re not even promoting anything.”

The inversion of the values of the ordinary world seemed to me to be complete: The fact that one side to a controversy had nothing to promote was taken against them as proof of insincerity. Surely it should have been the other way around?

* * *

This is not a broadside at the entertainment industry, of which I am (like many others) an avid consumer. And I certainly want to make a distinction between reporting and mere gossip. I am also keenly conscious that the same inversion of values takes place in other fields, politics and journalism among them. But the model of government we chose for ourselves is a republican democracy—and that model is based on the idea of public virtue.

If I understand the theory correctly, public virtue does not mean the Christian values (such as meekness of spirit) but the civic virtues. John Adams, in one of his many letters, set the tone from the start of the American democratic experiment: “Public Virtue cannot exist in a Nation without private, and public Virtue is the only Foundation of Republics. There must be a positive Passion for the public good, the public Interest, Honour, Power and Glory, established in the Minds of the People, or there can be no Republican Government, nor any real liberty.”

Reinhold Niebuhr thought these civic virtues of honor, power, glory were ultimately incompatible with the Christian virtues. As Arthur Schlesinger Jr. summed it up: “The obligation of the individual, Neibuhr wrote, is to obey the law of love and sacrifice: ‘from the viewpoint of the author of an action, unselfishness must remain the criterion of the highest morality.’ But states cannot be sacrificial. Governments are not individuals. They are not principals but agents … In short the individual’s duty of self-sacrifice and the state’s duty of self-preservation are in conflict.”

Which brings me back to Marian. Could it be her concept of honor is more public virtue than private, more becoming that of a collective than an individual? There is a positive passion, but this time for the personal good.

Kid Cubao
12-23-2008, 08:00 AM
^^ it's all about the image she projects especially now that her career has skyrocketed with the runaway success of marimar and her on-cam chemistry with dingdong. wala na talaga sa kanya kung may moral consequences yung tsismis ng pagkabuntis nya, just as long as her public persona continues to be a hit with fans. so it is more public virtue more than anything else.

Sam Miguel
12-23-2008, 08:25 AM
From Atty Raul Pangalangan...

F word, PI, and the profanity-in-chief

By Raul Pangalangan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:23:00 12/19/2008

Filed Under: Charter change, Politics, Language, Laws, Personalities

Sen. Mar Roxas can take comfort from a three-decade-old ruling of the US Supreme Court, which has been cited favorably by our own high court: “Surely the State has no right to cleanse public debate to the point where it is grammatically palatable to the most squeamish among us. For, while the [F word] is perhaps more distasteful than most others of its genre, it is nevertheless often true that one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.” The senator is right to stand fast, and to say so boldly in a privilege speech at the Senate.

[Read related stories: Rage vs Arroyo, Charter change; Roxas won't apologize for outburst]

In Cohen vs California, a man had worn a jacket emblazoned with the words, “F--- the draft,” “as a means of informing the public of the depth of his feelings against the Vietnam War.” He was arrested for disturbing the peace “by offensive conduct.” In that decision, the US high court broke with established doctrine and held that the F word was protected speech.

The general rule is that “personally abusive epithets,” expletives and profanities lie outside the protection of the freedom of speech. The First Amendment is a product of the Enlightenment; it protects mainly speech that contributes to the robust debate indispensable to the functioning of a democracy. It protects ideas, and “effing” ain’t no idea at all. “Fighting words” flow straight from the gut, without making a detour through the mind. It is instinctive, not cognitive, or in the words of the dissenters in the US case, they are “mainly conduct and little speech.”

That facile distinction was rejected by the majority. Sure, the court said, words serve a dual function: to convey “ideas capable of relatively precise, detached explication” but likewise to vent “otherwise inexpressible emotions.” And indeed, “words are often chosen as much for their emotive as their cognitive force [and sometimes] that emotive function [may] practically … be the more important element of the overall message sought to be communicated.” That is why “[w]holly neutral futilities ... come under the protection of free speech as fully as do Keats’ poems or Donne’s sermons.”

I’m sure there are those who will split hairs over this decision. One, they will say that in our case, there is no attempt to censor and punish, but merely to chastise — and to which I reply: Yes, indeed, in Mar’s case, we won’t jail him. We’ll merely burn him at the stake. Two, they will say that we must exact higher standards of democracy’s elected deputies, who speak from the podium rather than through jackets or bumper stickers — and to which the senator can reply: That is precisely why I had to express the people’s disgust as faithfully as possible.

Others would agree with the substance of his position — they are aghast at the attempt to amend the Constitution to enable the President to stay in power. They take exception only with the manner, the “distasteful mode of expressing” these views. This would parallel the pre-Cohen doctrine, to treat the anti-Charter change position as speech (and therefore protected) and the expletives as conduct (and therefore unprotected). And the Cohen rationale would reply: Try separating the idea from the outrage and let’s see who will listen to your truth. How naïve to imagine that one can be so cool and composed when confronted with the endless litany of scandals, from raiding the public treasury to killing the activist youth. Indeed even if that were possible, we choose “emotive” language deliberately to express ideas more effectively. In other words, we want people to listen not only with their ears but with their hearts as well — and it is that which should make the emotive protected speech of the highest order.

Why the urge to drain the discourse of all feeling, and to distill only the purest of ideas divorced from passion? For goodness’ sake, why attend a rally if you wanted the purity of thought without the inevitable sweat and dirt of action? But come to think of it—that’s exactly what the Palace wants. A grand debate, all for naught, while they plot and steal under cover of darkness. Make that, under cover of executive privilege, of Executive Order 464, of presidential immunity, of every possible legal maneuver to conceal rather than reveal.

Would the epithet have mattered less had the utterer been less urbane and suave than the pedigreed Mar Roxas? Or would we have been loss perturbed had he cussed in English rather than in saltier and more pungent Filipino? If you answered yes to either question, you may have just confessed to a tinge of class bias. Here I find the defensiveness of the “petty burgis” in its unrelenting struggle for bourgeois respectability. Or conversely, perhaps those who concur with Mar’s now famous “outburst” just aren’t the guys who write or get interviewed — yes, perhaps they are the guys who have been numbed after a lifetime of receiving high society’s p-ñ--as? I imagine that the educated Filipino would in fact find an occasional English-language expletive more civilized than, God forbid, the plebeian “P … I..!”

What is more unholy than Press Secretary Jesus Dureza leading the Cabinet in prayer, imploring God to help President Arroyo lead the nation “even beyond 2010” when her term ends under the Constitution? And Dureza has the gall to say that by using such “crass language,” Roxas has “stooped so low”? You mean, lower than you, Mr. Dureza? “All that is holy shall be profaned,” Karl Marx said in the Communist Manifesto, and today the truly profane in Malacañang have declared themselves holier-than-Mar.

And finally, who would you believe? A Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, with eyes contrite and melancholy, saying, “I-am-sorry”? Or a Mar Roxas boldly saying “I am not sorry”?

Joescoundrel
12-29-2008, 10:51 AM
Today's lead editorial from the Inquirer. Honestly, what nerve these people have, not even from this neighborhood and already acting with such self-importance.

Barbarians on the Green

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:51:00 12/29/2008

THAT the son and namesake of Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman and his bodyguards viciously beat up a 56-year-old golfer and his 14-year-old son on a golf course, because of a misunderstanding about golf etiquette, is the sort of crime that strikes at the heart of the middle class—it captures the law-abiding citizen’s sense of vulnerability that has only grown during the Arroyo years.

That Pangandaman himself was on the scene and did nothing to stop the two beatings (apparently, his son was not content with just one) is the sort of criminal passivity that we have come to expect from the Arroyo administration.

Today, the police will file charges (including child abuse) against the young Pangandaman, Nasser Jr., who as it happens is mayor of Masiu, Lanao del Sur, and his goons, for assaulting Delfin de la Paz and son Bino on Friday, Dec. 26, at the Valley Golf Club. We will find out soon enough if President Macapagal-Arroyo shares the growing public outrage—or is maneuvering to help her Department of Agrarian Reform chief circle the wagons.

A post on the personal blog of De la Paz’s daughter Bambee, who was part of the golf flight that was attacked by the Pangandaman party, narrates the sometimes riveting details of the attacks.

“We leave. We walk to the clubhouse to file a complaint. My brother asks for a doctor. My dad could barely walk. Their group comes to the clubhouse, sees my brother. Once again my brother pleads, says sorry, and is crying. He was crying, for crissakes. But no. The relentless mayor still punches him in the face, and then sees my dad and goes after my dad again.” And then again: “I am pretty sure the Secretary of DAR did not take part in the fight, but he just watched all this happen.”

So at least we know that the largely invisible agrarian reform secretary is consistent. In the face of serious conflict (think Velez-Malaga, think Sumilao), he is passive.

Both Pangandamans will have their day in court, even if they apparently don’t believe in the rule of law that makes the very concept of day in court possible. But the De la Paz family and other outraged citizens are not without recourse even while the predictably slow wheels of justice grind. They can directly appeal to the President, a golfer herself who understands the underlying assumptions behind golfing etiquette, to ensure the minimum: an impartial investigation, a credible prosecution, a fair trial.

But not everything is up to the President’s discretion. Nothing prevents Secretary Pangandaman from going on indefinite leave, immediately, to avoid any perception of undue influence. This assumes, of course, that the man in charge of the government’s landmark social justice program understands that his son’s brutal behavior is a justice issue.

And nothing prevents the Department of Interior and Local Government from immediately beginning proceedings to place Mayor Pangandaman under preventive suspension. The abuse of power is self-evident. The victims and the witnesses all agree that the obscure, small-town mayor was motivated by an inflated sense of ego. “Hindi mo ba ako nakikilala? [Don’t you know me?],” he is reported to have kept saying, throughout the brutal attacks. Now we do.

gfy
12-29-2008, 11:51 AM
Sa totoo lang wala naman talaga nakakakilala sa kanya :D. I hope these people are put in their proper place, that is in jail.

blueatheart
12-29-2008, 01:37 PM
It's very sad that a politician and a government secretary have such huge heads. Everyone here should support the victims, especially the Atenean gamefacers as the son, Bino Lorenzo, is a member of the Ateneo family.

Joescoundrel
12-30-2008, 11:13 AM
A black lawyer goes in for an interview and is interviewed by a white senior partner. The white guy is impressed and says, "You're very articulate. You don't sound black." At which point the black guy walks out in a huff feeling very insulted and *ahem* denigrated.

Two days later the white guy gets an anonymous phone call at the office and the caller says there is a bomb in their building. He reports it to building security and the police. When asked if he could describe the caller in any way the white guy said, "He sounded black." After checking phone records and a swift but thorough investigation the cops indeed arrested a black guy who confessed to making the crank call. The cops thank the white guy for his help.

Why is it in the first case referring to how some one sounds based on one's idea of race "wrong" while in the second case apparently referring to how some one sounds based on one's idea of race is "right"?

And yet in both cases it is the same guy making the same reference. Isn't it pretty clear and honestly very clear when some one sounds like he is of a particular race? The typical Filipino speaks English in a certain way, and when he is described by foreigners as sounding "Filipino" is that a "wrong" remark to make? Is that not just an honest and indeed objective statement as to how one sounds?

When some one is described as sounding like he is from Australia, or from New Zealand, or Cockney, based on how that person speaks English, is that a "wrong" thing to say?

Sam Miguel
01-06-2009, 09:56 AM
From Atty Raul Panglangan...

Cheesecake and the almost Weberian clerk

By Raul Pangalangan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:05:00 12/26/2008

Filed Under: Politics

I come from a family of serious eaters, and one afternoon last week, we decided that it was going to be cheesecake for dessert. But the pastry shop said they no longer had any whole cake to sell, only a cake with one slice already cut. So we told the clerk, “Why don’t we buy that, and you can just adjust the price?”

The clerk did exactly that, except for the shocking result. She said that because it was one slice less, the cake would therefore be more expensive! Imagine. Because she was giving us less than what we were paying for, she had to charge us even more! Kulang na nga ang bigay, sobra pa ang singil. But, she explained oh so rationally that if she sold the cake as separate slices rather than as a whole, she would charge more per slice. Therefore, what she was selling us was not one whole cake minus a missing slice, but rather expensive slices which merely happened to be almost a whole cake.

Atrocious and absurd, you might say. But for this professor, I thought: Whoa! Halleluiah! I have finally encountered the first and only Weberian Filipino. After all, the clerk had a perfectly sound explanation: We have “controls” to follow. Just imagine their cashier at the end of the day, perplexed and stupefied at how a cake retail priced at nine slices suddenly morphed into a whole cake all over again minus one slice! Sounds like a quizzer for the CPA exam.

Then my son Raphael offered a solution: Suppose you just charge us the price for the whole cake, and we will just pretend there was no missing slice? The clerk suddenly said Yes! My son, a philosophy freshman at the University of the Philippines, said, so it really had nothing to do with “controls”; the mystery of the morphing cheesecake would still be in their books. Worse, the manager soon came in to say it turned out they actually had another whole cake in stock, which led me to suspect it was being reserved for a favored client.

Thus did the whole Weberian façade eviscerate before my eyes. It was episodic profiteering and anecdotal politicking after all—a deformity by Weberian standards. (Max Weber described the “ideal type” bureaucracy as one where trained personnel applied explicit rules impersonally, beholden to no master, the neutral servant of society. The rules may appear cumbersome, but in the end their general application is the most efficient way for large organizations to work.)

This was not the first time I encountered the highly bureaucratic, non-common sense impulses of the Pinoy mind. Whenever my siblings and I split the bill for our huge family’s gatherings and we hand our credit cards to the waiters, I almost always find a Dan Quayle-kind of blankness in the eyes of the crew. Abroad, this is usually a no-brainer: if the waiter gets two credit cards, the cashier simply splits the entire bill right down the middle, and swipes two cards. Locally, I have been met with two possible reactions. One, “hindi ho talaga pwede—one receipt, one card.” That’s plain bureaucratic fiat, take it or leave it. Or two, the cashier will actually split the entire bill into two receipts, and painstakingly transfer just enough drinks and food to a second receipt so that it evens out with the first. Technically, the cashier is still tethered to the “one receipt, one card” rule. Sure the orders will look weird—one receipt with all the drinks, dessert and yang chow fried rice, and the other receipt with all the ulam (viands). But who cares if it is nutritionally bizarre, so long as it looks bureaucratically in order?

There is a famous scene from a movie (oh, please tell me the title if you remember which) where Jack Nicholson was at a diner and ordered french fries, only to be told by the waitress that they don’t have fries on the menu. Then Nicholson looks around and says, “But they’re having fries at the next table!” The waitress then explains that fries are only a side dish, and can’t be ordered separately even at a higher price. Thus Nicholson’s order: I would like a hamburger sandwich. Hold the mayo, hold the ketchup, hold the mustard and onions, hold the hamburger and the bun, and just give me the fries. And the waitress said: One order coming up!

(When I travel abroad, I notice that the phenomenon of over-bureaucratic waiters is actually more endemic to Third World cities. I suspect it’s a combination of two things: One, the schools—the “bright” kids are usually the most mechanical thinkers and memorizers, trained to be efficient clerks rather than poets and dreamers. Two, the job market—some “bright” kids do end up as waiters and clerks, employed I suppose by the original daydreamers and slackers.)

The amazing thing is that we Filipinos encounter the Weberian insistence on rules and legality, on systemic rationality, in all the wrong places. Me, I expect to encounter the Weberian Pinoy when I deal with my government—and jos ko po, don’t get me started on Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the vanishing republic.

Rather the Filipino bureaucrat is so subordinated by the politicians and warlords that he has become their servant rather than their overseer. For him, the rules carry no meaning, and are merely weapons by which to carry out the bosses’s bidding. Worse, when the boss has no preference and he can finally exercise his discretion, he then reads the rules as narrowly as possible, in the most unfriendly, nonsensical way, and exalts it as the triumph of the rule of law. He must be taught that his true client is the sovereign public, not the trapos, and that common sense and common decency are written into every line in the rule-books.

Sam Miguel
01-07-2009, 10:46 PM
A "history lesson" from Neal Cruz of the Inquirer...

Abraham and Moses to blame for Gaza war

By Neal Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:39:00 01/07/2009

The current war between Israeli and Palestinian forces in Gaza is but the latest flare-up in a conflict in that dates back to biblical days. In fact, it goes back to the patriarchs, to Abraham and Moses. It can be said that these two started all the trouble. Isn’t it ironic that the most troubled part of the world is the cradle of the world’s three great religions: Christianity, Islam, and the Jewish religion? Here is a tongue-in-cheek retelling of what happened:

If you remember Cecil B. de Mille’s opus (many people have seen the movie but have not read the Bible), Charlton Heston, or rather, Moses, led the Hebrews out of bondage in Egypt, parted the sea and crossed it, wandered in the Sinai desert where he got sidetracked when God called him to the summit of Mt. Sinai and gave him the tablets containing the Ten Commandments. (That was the “Exodus.”)

Here, old Mr. Moses was probably already footsore from all the walking and preferred to stay behind. It was left to his lieutenant, Joshua, to lead the Israelites in search of the Promised Land. Even then promises were not being kept and the Israelites wandered for 400 years in the wilderness looking for that Promised Land.

Finally, the Jews got tired of wandering (hence, the term “wandering Jew”) and settled in Palestine. This would have been all right, except for one thing: the place was already settled by nomadic tribes now known as the Palestinians. If that were the Philippines, the Palestinians would be the original settlers, or owners, of the land, and the Israelites, the squatters. So there was constant warfare between the original settlers and the squatters, and this continues to this day. But then as now, the Israelites were better in warfare and soon subdued the scattered tribes.

They soon founded a kingdom, Israel, and had kings like Solomon who became legendary. Their vaunted savvy in war was no match for those of neighboring kingdoms, however. Worse, the Israelites could not get along with one another and soon the kingdom split into two. Thus weakened, they were soon easy prey for their neighbors. Israel was conquered and occupied by a succession of empires, and the Jews were dispersed all over the world, especially in Europe and New York in the United States where they call the shots in business and finance. All the time, the Jews longed to go back to their homeland, Israel.

In Europe, the Jews were so shrewd (remember Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice”?) that Hitler, in World War II, decided to eliminate their race by gathering them in concentration camps and making soaps, candles and lampshades of them. That was what is called “The Holocaust.”

After World War II, the clamor for the Jews to go back to their homeland became intense. The Jews resorted to terrorism to force Britain, which then occupied the Holy Land, to give back to them their homeland. Yes, the first terrorists were the Jews and among the first Israeli leaders were former terrorists. The present Palestinian terrorists learned the ropes from Israelis.

Finally, the League of Nations, the predecessor of the United Nations, carved an area in Palestine as the homeland of the Jews. This is the present Israel.

Jews from all over the world immigrated to Israel. Naturally, the surrounding Islamic nations didn’t like this. As soon as Israel was inaugurated, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, etc. attacked the new nation but the Israelis proved once more that they were better in warfare and defeated the attackers in air and tank battles. That was the Six Day War.

There were other sporadic wars which the Israelis also won with their superior forces. The present war in Gaza is just the latest of these sporadic clashes.

So you see, Moses can be blamed for all the trouble now. If Moses and Joshua had not led the Israelites to Palestine and grabbed the land from the tribes already there (the Israelites were also the first land-grabbers and squatters), there would not have been any war now.

Let me go back farther to the first patriarch, Abraham, who is also to blame.

Abraham was married to Sarah, who could not beget him a child. So Sarah gave her maid, Hagar, to Abraham. Hagar bore him a son. But as usually happens, as soon as Abraham had a child by Hagar, Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to her own son. And again as usually happens, the legal wife became jealous of Hagar and she demanded that Abraham cast Hagar and her son into the desert. Then as now, wives always had their way with their husbands, even if the husband happened to be a patriarch. So Abraham was forced to shoo Hagar and her son into the desert.

As mother and son wandered in the desert, dying of thirst, Hagar prayed to God to save the boy. God took pity on them. When the boy fell in exhaustion on the sand, a spring welled from under him. This saved mother and son from dying of thirst.

It is said that the Jews and the Muslims descended from the two sons of Abraham. The descendants of the two half-brothers have been fighting ever since.

Kid Cubao
01-08-2009, 06:25 AM
heto kasi ang nangyari sa gaza: the israeli government, fearing that the security situation in gaza was spinning out of control, decided to withdraw its citizens from the area. ano reply ng hamas hardliners ng palestine? they fired rockets toward israel para lalong takutin ang mga nag-e-evacuate na israeli. big mistake by palestine for not policing (or refusing to police) its militants, because they have not heard the last from the israelis even to this very day.

tigerman
01-10-2009, 09:08 PM
To the Erap as well as FPJ supporters:

Sorry but your idol is disqualified from running in the 2010 Presidential Election.

- par.1, section 4 of article 7 of the 1987 Constitution


To the honorable members of the House of Representatives who are insisting that the Senate and the House should vote jointly and not separately for purposes of amending the constitution through a Constituent Assembly:

I was the one who broke the tie when the plenary voted on the issue of whether to adopt a bicameral or unicameral legislature.

I voted for a bicameral form because I was strongly convinced that in the process of lawmaking, we need the countervailing power of some more senior and wiser persons of the likes of the outstanding senators in the past such as Lorenzo Tanada, Jose Diokno, Ambrosio Padilla, Emmanuel Pelaez, and Raul Manglapus. These are the individuals who can rise above parochial (although legitimate) interests of the members of the House of Representatives. As a general rule, the older, more experienced, and wiser senators have the ability to take a more comprehensive and longer term view of what is the common good for the Filipino people. The typical member of the House of Representatives is too affected by the day-to-day concerns of his constituents to be able to take a more global and strategic approach to national problems. That was the theory I had in mind, although I am fully aware that in more recent times, a good number of people elected into the Senate do not fit my ideal of a senator.

For this reason, my opinion is that those who voted in favor of the bicameral chamber will definitely object to the House of Representatives railroading the passage of Charter change law without allowing the Senate to vote separately. Although the Constitution is silent on this point, becuase of an oversight (a unicameral chamber was assumed in some of the provisions), there is no question in my mind that the issue of Charter change is vested with such strategic and long-term implications that this is one instance when we badly need the countervailing power of the upper house whose members can take a more comprehensive view of the common good against the very parochial interests of the majority of the Lower House. They really deserve the term "lower" because the majority of them are unable to see beyond their noses.


- Bernardo Villegas (a member of the 1987 ConCom) in his January 2, 2009 Manila Bulletin article

tigerman
01-18-2009, 09:45 AM
Justice Diosdado Peralta, a former professor of mine, has just been appointed to the SC by GMA. I hope he maintains that independence and integrity he's known for.



USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

Sam Miguel
02-02-2009, 09:38 AM
From Neal Cruz of PDI. Gotta love them urban poor settlers, or whatever the blazes you call these animals now...

QC councilors are squatter coddlers

By Neal Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:16:00 02/02/2009

WHAT is this? The Quezon City Council has proposed an ordinance declaring a moratorium on the eviction of squatters in the city “until there are enough relocation sites for affected families.” That means squatters from all over the Philippines, professional squatters or otherwise, will flock to Quezon City because here councilors coddle squatters. QC is already known as the “squatter capital of the Philippines.” It has the most number of squatters and it has the biggest squatter colonies. The new QC ordinance will make the city named after President Manuel Quezon the “squatter capital of the world.” I think this is the QC Council’s gimmick to gain entry to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Why are the councilors doing this? Simple. Next year is election year and squatters are voters. And politicians will do anything, even sell their own mothers, to get votes.

It won’t only be the squatters already in place who would vote for the councilors who passed the ordinance but also the new squatters from other parts of Metro Manila and the Philippines. So you see, the incumbent councilors would have the advantage over all other candidates because of the squatter votes. The ordinance, the councilors would say, is for humane considerations. But it is actually in aid of political considerations.

The presiding officer of the QC Council is Vice Mayor Herbert Bautista. Herbert is the heir apparent of Mayor Sonny Belmonte and is expected to be the next QC mayor, there being no announced aspirants except Rep. Mary Ann Susano of the second district. But if this is the way the QC Council is performing under him, then it bodes ill for the city. How can Herbert and the councilors have the temerity to ask the people of Quezon City to vote for them when they are selling them, the taxpayers, down the river?

The taxpayers, the homeowners and businessmen, have made QC the richest city in the Philippines, richer than Makati with its high-rise condos and even higher real estate prices. Thanks to these taxpayers, QC has more than P3 billion in the bank—and growing. Think of the commissions the grateful banks give to those who decide where to deposit the funds.

Where does the money go? The government spends it for the millions of squatters in the city who do not pay taxes at all. And for the councilors. Those useless tarpaulins polluting the city, greeting GMA and INC Bishop Eraño Manalo happy birthday, congratulating graduating students, wishing “happy valentine” and “happy fiesta” to nobody in particular—they were all paid with the taxes you paid. And all for what? To remind the voters of the names and faces of the councilors.

Those basketball courts and pool halls in the squatter colonies—they were paid with your money. Those concrete semi-arches with the names of the councilors etched in stone like the Ten Commandments at the boundaries of each barangay—they were paid with your taxes. Those unnecessary waiting sheds (unnecessary because the Metro Manila Development Authority is already putting up better waiting sheds) with the names of councilors painted in big bold letters on them—they were all paid with your taxes.

What do you, the taxpayers, get in return for the taxes you pay? Nothing. You would expect the city government to at least help you reclaim your property from the squatters because you are a taxpayer and they are not. (They use up your taxes instead.) But does the city government help you? Are you kidding? I have been trying to get the QC government to recover my lot from squatters since the time of Mayor Adelina Rodriguez. Did any of the mayors help? Ha ha ha. If they did, why are the squatters still there and I am still here looking from the outside?

What do the councilors do to help the homeowners? Help the homeowners? On the contrary, they pass ordinances increasing the real estate taxes for lots squatted on. The owners pay those taxes, not the squatters who use the lots. They may pass more ordinances prohibiting the ejectment of squatters.

Can the councilors pass an ordinance overturning the rights of ownership? Can the council prevent lot owners from ejecting squatters from their properties by the mere passage of an ordinance? Can the council prevent the city government or the MMDA from performing their duties of ejecting squatters and restoring law and order? Of course they cannot, but why do they try to block the enforcement of laws? Because of votes.

When there is a squatter demolition in any part of the metropolis, who are the first to show up to stop the law enforcers from doing their duty? The councilors—and the congressmen, especially Rep. Bingbong Crisologo. They will berate the law enforcers and play up to the squatters, not realizing that they are actually guilty of obstruction of justice. Because of votes. Votes are actually more powerful than the law or justice. Politicians will beg, steal or borrow, sell their own mothers and violate the laws in exchange for votes.

What can we taxpayers do? Well, aside from a tax revolt, the best way is the ballot. Do not vote for the squatter coddlers. If a councilor or congressman tries to stop a demolition, remember his name and don’t vote for him in next year’s election. Vote for his rival, whoever he is, so long as he is not a squatter coddler himself. Don’t vote for the politicians whose tarpaulins you see polluting the city. They are stealing your taxes to pay for those tarpaulins. Don’t vote for politicians whose names you see painted on waiting sheds. They did not pay for those waiting sheds. You did. Don’t vote for politicians whose names you see on the backboards of basketball goals erected in the middle of streets so that squatters can play basketball, instead of working, and preventing the public from using the street.

Don’t vote for squatter coddlers. By the way, the author of the proposed ordinance granting a moratorium on the eviction of squatters is Councilor Bernadette Herrera-Dy.

aircanda
02-02-2009, 05:02 PM
^ nakakainis naman talaga yang mga politicians na yan eh.. nasasayang nga pera naten sa mga walang kwentang banner.. maski dito sa Manila ganun din.. pero pag tinignan mo mga health center, eskwelahan.. kulang kulang sa gamet..

Gina_Rose
02-27-2009, 03:14 PM
A "history lesson" from Neal Cruz of the Inquirer...

Abraham and Moses to blame for Gaza war

By Neal Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:39:00 01/07/2009

The current war between Israeli and Palestinian forces in Gaza is but the latest flare-up in a conflict in that dates back to biblical days. In fact, it goes back to the patriarchs, to Abraham and Moses. It can be said that these two started all the trouble. Isn’t it ironic that the most troubled part of the world is the cradle of the world’s three great religions: Christianity, Islam, and the Jewish religion? Here is a tongue-in-cheek retelling of what happened:

If you remember Cecil B. de Mille’s opus (many people have seen the movie but have not read the Bible), Charlton Heston, or rather, Moses, led the Hebrews out of bondage in Egypt, parted the sea and crossed it, wandered in the Sinai desert where he got sidetracked when God called him to the summit of Mt. Sinai and gave him the tablets containing the Ten Commandments. (That was the “Exodus.”)

Here, old Mr. Moses was probably already footsore from all the walking and preferred to stay behind. It was left to his lieutenant, Joshua, to lead the Israelites in search of the Promised Land. Even then promises were not being kept and the Israelites wandered for 400 years in the wilderness looking for that Promised Land.

Finally, the Jews got tired of wandering (hence, the term “wandering Jew”) and settled in Palestine. This would have been all right, except for one thing: the place was already settled by nomadic tribes now known as the Palestinians. If that were the Philippines, the Palestinians would be the original settlers, or owners, of the land, and the Israelites, the squatters. So there was constant warfare between the original settlers and the squatters, and this continues to this day. But then as now, the Israelites were better in warfare and soon subdued the scattered tribes.

They soon founded a kingdom, Israel, and had kings like Solomon who became legendary. Their vaunted savvy in war was no match for those of neighboring kingdoms, however. Worse, the Israelites could not get along with one another and soon the kingdom split into two. Thus weakened, they were soon easy prey for their neighbors. Israel was conquered and occupied by a succession of empires, and the Jews were dispersed all over the world, especially in Europe and New York in the United States where they call the shots in business and finance. All the time, the Jews longed to go back to their homeland, Israel.

In Europe, the Jews were so shrewd (remember Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice”?) that Hitler, in World War II, decided to eliminate their race by gathering them in concentration camps and making soaps, candles and lampshades of them. That was what is called “The Holocaust.”

After World War II, the clamor for the Jews to go back to their homeland became intense. The Jews resorted to terrorism to force Britain, which then occupied the Holy Land, to give back to them their homeland. Yes, the first terrorists were the Jews and among the first Israeli leaders were former terrorists. The present Palestinian terrorists learned the ropes from Israelis.

Finally, the League of Nations, the predecessor of the United Nations, carved an area in Palestine as the homeland of the Jews. This is the present Israel.

Jews from all over the world immigrated to Israel. Naturally, the surrounding Islamic nations didn’t like this. As soon as Israel was inaugurated, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, etc. attacked the new nation but the Israelis proved once more that they were better in warfare and defeated the attackers in air and tank battles. That was the Six Day War.

There were other sporadic wars which the Israelis also won with their superior forces. The present war in Gaza is just the latest of these sporadic clashes.

So you see, Moses can be blamed for all the trouble now. If Moses and Joshua had not led the Israelites to Palestine and grabbed the land from the tribes already there (the Israelites were also the first land-grabbers and squatters), there would not have been any war now.

Let me go back farther to the first patriarch, Abraham, who is also to blame.

Abraham was married to Sarah, who could not beget him a child. So Sarah gave her maid, Hagar, to Abraham. Hagar bore him a son. But as usually happens, as soon as Abraham had a child by Hagar, Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to her own son. And again as usually happens, the legal wife became jealous of Hagar and she demanded that Abraham cast Hagar and her son into the desert. Then as now, wives always had their way with their husbands, even if the husband happened to be a patriarch. So Abraham was forced to shoo Hagar and her son into the desert.

As mother and son wandered in the desert, dying of thirst, Hagar prayed to God to save the boy. God took pity on them. When the boy fell in exhaustion on the sand, a spring welled from under him. This saved mother and son from dying of thirst.

It is said that the Jews and the Muslims descended from the two sons of Abraham. The descendants of the two half-brothers have been fighting ever since.


hi, has anybody here tried getting a memento ultrasound at In My Womb? What was your experience?
It's 3d 4d daw and it's great to see your baby moving about in a mtv style video.

haven't tried it personally though.
found them here: http://www.inmywomb.com

gina rose

MonL
02-27-2009, 04:08 PM
A "history lesson" from Neal Cruz of the Inquirer...

Abraham and Moses to blame for Gaza war

By Neal Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:39:00 01/07/2009

The current war between Israeli and Palestinian forces in Gaza is but the latest flare-up in a conflict in that dates back to biblical days. In fact, it goes back to the patriarchs, to Abraham and Moses. It can be said that these two started all the trouble. Isn’t it ironic that the most troubled part of the world is the cradle of the world’s three great religions: Christianity, Islam, and the Jewish religion? Here is a tongue-in-cheek retelling of what happened:

If you remember Cecil B. de Mille’s opus (many people have seen the movie but have not read the Bible), Charlton Heston, or rather, Moses, led the Hebrews out of bondage in Egypt, parted the sea and crossed it, wandered in the Sinai desert where he got sidetracked when God called him to the summit of Mt. Sinai and gave him the tablets containing the Ten Commandments. (That was the “Exodus.”)


OT:
At one point during the 1974 Arab Oil Embargo, when gas stations closed and supply was scarce, comedian Bob Hope quipped:
".. and it's all Charlton Heston's fault. After he crossed the Red Sea he should have turned right!*
Back to topic. ;D

LION
03-11-2009, 04:59 PM
^ Sir, your age. Your age. ;D

Kid Cubao
03-12-2009, 08:57 PM
i know some people who were old enough to remember when the dead sea was still sick ;D

tigerman
03-13-2009, 09:33 AM
top 4 presidentiables according to a pulse asia survey
Noli - 19%
Escudero - 17%
Erap - 16%
Villar - 15%

De Castro and Erap? When will the Filipinos ever learn? Hayyyy >:(
Heck, Erap is not even qualified under the Constitution.




USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

Kid Cubao
03-16-2009, 04:47 AM
^^ either that, or someone paid a handsome sum for that survey. political surveys are always manipulable, so don't trust them too much.

batangueño
03-17-2009, 11:53 PM
‘Nicole’ recants rape, absolves Smith
Written by Joel San Juan / Reporter
Business Mirror (http://businessmirror.com.ph/home/nation/7609-nicole-recants-rape-absolves-smith.html)
Tuesday, 17 March 2009 21:29


‘NICOLE’ has recanted her rape story against US Marines Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith in a sworn statement executed on March 12 and submitted to the Court of Appeals (CA) where Smith’s petition for review of his conviction is still pending.

In her five-page sworn statement, Nicole said that “she would rather risk public outrage than do nothing to help in ensuring that justice is served.”

“I expect many sectors to question my motives in executing this statement more than three years after the incident. However, as I practically grew up interacting with American servicemen in Zamboanga City who treated me and my family very well, and thinking over and over again how I may have conducted myself at the Neptune Club, I can’t help but entertain doubts on whether the sequence of events in Subic last November of 2005 really occurred the way the court found them to have happened,” Nicole said in her affidavit.

Nicole’s lawyer Evalyn Ursua on Tuesday disclosed that the victim’s mother has confirmed that her daughter is now in the United States and that her legal services had already been terminated on March 12.

Ursua was terminated by Nicole on March 12, the same day she received P100,000 from Smith’s counsels in satisfaction of the judgment of the Regional Trial Court in Makati City with regards to the payment of compensatory damages in the rape case.

“Consonant with the satisfaction of the civil aspect of the case, private complainant Suzette Nicolas terminated the services of Evalyn Ursua as her counsel in the case and all other cases arising from or related to the case, which are pending before the CA and the Supreme Court, as evidenced by the notice of termination dated March 12, 2009,” the manifestation said.

Smith was sentenced to a maximum prison term of 40 years for rape and is now detained at a detention facility inside the US Embassy on Roxas Boulevard, Manila. He has appealed his conviction before the Court of Appeals.

But Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez said Nicole’s flight to the US “will not disturb the decision which is final.”

“I don’t think it [flight to the US] will affect [the case] because you can’t compromise anymore after conviction. The compromise agreement, whatsoever, assuming there was a settlement, can’t undo the judgment of the judge because that is not a newly discovered evidence,” Gonzalez said.

He also denied insinuations that the government pressured Nicole into abandoning the case against Smith, saying it is a very “sensitive and touchy” issue for various sectors in the country.

The DOJ chief said he has no information whether Nicole has indeed fled to the US considering that she was initially seeking help to get a visa for Italy since she has a brother there.

Ursua said one of the reasons Nicole left was that she lost hope she would get justice.

Gonzalez said Nicole has no reason to feel that way since Smith was found guilty by the lower court.

“If she just went to Italy maybe that would be more illustrative of her feelings against the US, but she did not go to Italy, she went to the US,” he said.

Attached to the manifestation and submission was Nicole’s five-page sworn statement which she executed “to clarify certain aspects” of her testimony given during the trial of the rape case.

In her sworn statement, Nicole said that she could have drank too much, which made her lose her inhibitions and became intimate with Smith and did more than just dancing and talking with him while at the Neptune Club.

“Looking back, I would not have agreed to talk with Daniel Smith and dance with him no less than three times if I did not enjoy his company or was at least attracted to him since I met him for the very first time on the dance floor of Neptune Club,” she said.

“With the events at the Neptune club in mind, I keep asking myself, if Daniel Smith wanted to rape me, why would he carry me out of the Neptune Club using the main entrance in full view of the security guard and the other customers? Why would the van park right in front of Neptune Club? Why would Daniel Smith and his companions bring me to the sea wall of Alaba Pier and casually leave this area that was well lighted and with many people roaming around? If they believed that I was raped, would they have not dumped me instead in a dimly lit area along the highway going to Alaba Pier to avoid detection?” Nicole said in her new sworn statement.

She added she could not have remembered that Smith kissed her lips and neck and held her breast if she was indeed unconscious when she was brought to the van by the former.

“Daniel Smith and I were alone on the third row of the van which had limited space and I do not recall anyone inside the van who held my hand or any part of my body. What I can recall is that there was very loud music and shouting inside the van,” she added.

Nicole added she was at first very hesitant to board the police car that took her to the headquarters for investigation, not knowing how her mother and boyfriend would react if they learn that she was last seen with Smith and that a condom was seen in her pants after Smith left her at the parking lot of the Alaba Pier.

“My conscience continues to bother me, realizing that I may have, in fact, been so friendly and intimate with Daniel Smith at the Neptune Club that he was led to believe that I was amenable to having sex or that we simply just got carried away. I would rather risk public outrage than do nothing to help in ensuring that justice is served.”

Kid Cubao
03-18-2009, 08:25 AM
sino ba ang niloko ng abugado ni nicole na ni-rape ang kliyente nya? para sa akin, isinasalaysay lang nitong haliparot na ito na kusa syang sumama kay daniel smith dahil na-attract sya sa sundalong amerikano, at kung ano man ang naganap na pagtatalik, ito ay boluntaryo at pareho nilang ginusto. what a blow to the national women's month.

the other thing i hated was how the media played up "nicole" as the avenging angel striking hard to defend the honor of filipina women. never fooled me ever that this character is nothing more than a money-grubbing opportunist and a pro in what she's doing. let's see how the media will react now that they've been had.

batangueño
03-18-2009, 11:14 AM
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20090318-194694/SWORN-STATEMENT


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
CITY OF MAKATI

I, SUZETTE S. NICOLAS, of legal age. Filipino, a resident of Zamboanga City, after being duly sworn in accordance with law, hereby depose and state:

1. I am a Bachelor of Science graduate, major in Management Accounting, of the Ateneo de Davao University. Soon after my graduation, I took up nursing in 2004 at the Ateneo de Zamboanga City and at the same time assisted in managing our family owned canteen located inside the military base of the Southern Command. My mother was a civilian supervisor of the Philippine Navy for 25 years while my deceased father was a Philippine Navy Officer.

2. Since our canteen also catered to American servicemen who stayed at the military base every time their vessels docked in Zamboanga City, my family came to know many American servicemen who would go to our canteen to eat and buy souvenir items. We treated them as family and we would go out of our way to talk to them, play cards and on many occasions, my mother would even cook special meals for them. They would even entrust their ATM cards to us to withdraw money for them from the bank. My former boyfriend, Brian Goodrich, is also an American serviceman.

3. After working in Swift Foods Inc. since January 22, 2007, I decided to quit my job as a Credit Accountant to pursue my studies in the United States through the help of my family, relatives and close friends. I know that they supported me so that I could finally move on after my tragic experience in 2005 in Subic, Zambales which led to the trial and conviction for rape of Daniel J. Smith.

4. Deep inside, however, I know that I may never be able to move on for as long as I continue to search for answer to so many questions that have lingered in my mind regarding the incident in Subic more than three years ago. Daniel Smith was convicted of rape because the court accepted my version that he took advantage of my intoxication in raping me inside a van that took us to the seawall located at the SBMA Alaba Pier at around 11:30 in the evening of November 1, 2005.

5. Daniel Smith’s witnesses said that while we were at the Neptune Club, I sat on Daniel Smith’s lap and that we kissed each other passionately. I remember that before I met Daniel Smith at the Neptune Club, all I ate was a slice of pizza at the Grand Leisure Hotel. After the pizza, everything else was alcoholic drinks from vodka sprite, B52, Singaporean sling, B53, long island ice tea to bullfrog all of which I drank bottoms up. I do not recall Daniel Smith having ordered any alcoholic drink for me. My drinks were all paid for by Chris Mills who invited me to go to the Neptune Club.

6. I had no opportunity to deny in court that I kissed Daniel Smith but with the amount of alcoholic mixed drinks I took, my low tolerance level of alcohol and with only a slice of pizza all night, it dawned upon me that I may have possibly lost my inhibitions, became so intimate with Daniel Smith and did more than just dancing and talking with him like everyone else on the dance floor. Looking back, I would not have agreed to talk with Daniel Smith and dance with him no less than three times if I did not enjoy his company or was at least attracted to him since I met him for the very first time on the dance floor of Neptune Club.

7. When I danced with Daniel Smith for the third time, my companion, Chris Mills has already left Neptune Club since he had to catch their curfew time at the military base. The lighting was sufficient for people to recognize each other and other marines were with their Filipino partners drinking, dancing and enjoying each other’s company and kissing and hugging among partners was a common scene.

8. With the events at the Neptune Club in mind, I keep on asking myself, if Daniel Smith wanted to rape me, why would he carry me out of the Neptune Club using the main entrance in full view of the security guard and the other sources? Why would the van park right in front of Neptune Club? Why would Daniel Smith and his companions bring me to the seawall of Alaba Pier and casually leave this area that was well lighted and with many people roaming around? If they believed that I was raped, would they have not dumped me instead in a dimly lit area along the highway going to Alaba Pier to avoid detection?

9. I told the court that Daniel Smith kissed my lips and neck and held my breast inside the van. Recalling my testimony, I ask myself now how could I have remembered this if witnesses told the court that I passed out and looked unconscious when I was brought to the van by Daniel Smith. How could I have resisted his advances given this condition? Daniel Smith and I were alone on the third row of the van which had limited space and I do not recall anyone inside the van who held my hand or any part of my body. What I can recall is that there was very loud music and shouting inside the van.

10. If the travel from Neptune Club took only several minutes and with the driver of the van trying to beat the curfew time of his passengers, how could I have instantly regained my consciousness and talked to the people upon reaching the seawall of Alaba Pier? When people gathered around me at the seawall, everyone seemed to have drawn the conclusion that I was raped except for one who called me a bitch.

11. Based on the account of SBMA police, I was very hesitant to board the mobile police car that brought me to the headquarters for investigation. I was so confused and the first thing that entered my mind was how would my mother and boyfriend react if they learn that I was last seen with Daniel Smith and that a condom was seen on my pants after Daniel Smith left the van? I was scared of losing not only my American boyfriend but the chance of living in the United States. In fact, I did not immediately tell my boyfriend that I was raped by Daniel Smith. All I said was that something bad happened to me.

12. I expect many sectors to question my motives in executing this statement more than three years after the incident. However, as I practically grew up interacting with American servicemen in Zamboanga City who treated me and my family very well, and thinking over and over again how I may have conducted myself at the Neptune Club, I can’t help but entertain doubts on whether the sequence of events in Subic last November of 2005 really occurred the way the court found them to have happened.

13. My conscience continues to bother me realizing that I may have in fact been so friendly and intimate with Daniel Smith at the Neptune Club that he was led to believe that I was amenable to having sex or that we simply just got carried away. I would rather risk public outrage than do nothing to help the court in ensuring that justice is served.

AFFIANT SAYETH NAUGHT.


SUZETTE S. NICOLAS
Affiant


SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO BEFORE ME this 12 day of March 2009, affiant exhibiting to me her Philippine Passport No. PPO845449 bearing her photograph and signature, issued on 18 Feb 2005 at Zamboanga City and valid until 18 Feb. 2010.

Doc. No. 37
Page No. 9
Book No. 1
Series of 2009


ABRAHAM REY M. ACOSTA
Notary Public for Makati City

Joescoundrel
03-18-2009, 02:26 PM
Hay naku... why does this not surprise me? So now I guess every one knows what this Nicole creature really wanted: some cash and a US Visa. Hopefully the good Lance Corporal will now be released forthwith, allowed to rejoin his unit, and return to fighting the real bad guys.

Kid Cubao
03-19-2009, 05:14 AM
joe, what really gets me all worked up is how this nicole character was able to get away with screwing the system twice--first, by falsely accusing daniel smith of rape in order to collect damages, and second, by recanting her original testimony allegedly in exchange for a US visa and pocket money.

chocoks77
03-19-2009, 06:56 PM
Dati pa halata na peke naman ang rape. Alam naman natin na maraming pinay na gusto quick visa or quick citizenship e. Dami talaga bobo. AYan nabigyan recant na. Wala na rape. Dapat pawalan na yung batang Smith!

gfy
03-20-2009, 07:35 AM
Rep. Magsaysay explained that the affidavit was closer to the truth which Nicole told her early on. These militant groups possibly influenced Nicole to change her story to make a case vs. Smith and advance their anti-USA agenda. Hey guys the USA is no longer the dominant force that it used to be. It is the Chinese - Spratleys, drugs, and fake products - that you should fight. To me my anger is practical. I've been caught in several traffic jams these so-called nationalists cause by their almost daily demonstrations along Mendiola and Roxas Boulevard.

MonL
03-20-2009, 08:28 AM
Rep. Magsaysay explained that the affidavit was closer to the truth which Nicole told her early on. These militant groups possibly influenced Nicole to change her story to make a case vs. Smith and advance their anti-USA agenda. Hey guys the USA is no longer the dominant force that it used to be. It is the Chinese - Spratleys, drugs, and fake products - that you should fight. To me my anger is practical. I've been caught in several traffic jams these so-called nationalists cause by their almost daily demonstrations along Mendiola and Roxas Boulevard.


Not possibly.

Probably.

They never really cared about Nicole at all.

And that is why I never ever trust groups with leftist associations, specially at the labor front.

As I experienced many years ago, they never really cared about negotiating for employee rights when they arbitrarily staged a strike at my former office to force their recognition as the representative union. Happily they lost in a certification election.

And in the case of Baxter Travenol along EDSA ages ago, for along time I saw poor misguided elements still picketing and showing streamers like "Baxter di totoong sarado," even when all that was left of the complex was its water tank with the Baxter Travenol logo.

LION
03-20-2009, 09:10 AM
Tama yung nakalagay sa diyaryo. She just gave "rape" a bad name.

Simula pa lang halata naman na hindi ni rape yung babae. At maraming pang mga psycho na ganyan. Kaya konting ingat lang mga pogi.

Sam Miguel
03-21-2009, 10:54 AM
Was she...?

By Michael Tan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:20:00 03/20/2009

The “Nicole” case has taken a bizarre twist over the last few days with a “recantation” from the alleged rape victim, more than a year after a court convicted her assailant. Reactions have been mixed, the most extreme ones being: “I told you she made it all up” and “She was forced (or paid) to recant by the Americans and Malacañang.”

Whatever views people have on the motivations behind the recantation, the question that will continue to haunt many of us will be, “Was she raped or not?”

Sexuality is — to use that overused word — complex; and rape, an aspect of sexuality, even more so because so many emotions and motivations are involved. But precisely it is this complexity that makes it all the more important for society to be more thorough and introspective when handling these matters.

Violent rape is actually the “simplest” because it is so explicit. In times of war, for example, the victors force themselves on women and there can be no doubt about the existence of rape. Yet, even in such brazen violations, people often forget that the motivations are complex. Some will see it simply as the soldiers’ pent-up libidos being released, vent on the women. But wartime rape involves much more than hormones gone berserk. Rape is a display of power and in the context of the victors, it is power pushed by contempt: the soldiers rape to get back at the enemy. This sexual assault of the enemy is pushed to the limits, even involving male-to-male rape because it represents the ultimate in humiliation. When women are raped, this will often be done in front of the victims’ husbands, fathers, sons — again a male display of power against other males. Even more perversely, the invaders’ intention is to get the women pregnant, their seed a lasting reminder of the enemy’s conquest.

Even war rape has its variations though. We saw the ordeal of “slow” rape, perpetrated over several years, by the Japanese soldiers who rounded up local women in the Philippines, Taiwan and Korea, and used them as sex slaves through World War II. Here we begin to find the gray areas around rape. No doubt, there may have been Japanese soldiers who were not quite as brutal and forceful in their use of the sex slaves, but the broader social context — a country occupied by enemy forces and its women sequestered and tagged for sexual use — spells out rape all throughout.

Consent

If rape is so difficult to define it is because the very idea of “consent” in sex is fairly recent. For much of human history, one had sex because one party, usually the male, had the power to get sex. No one questioned the power arrangements, especially in the domestic sphere, where it was always presumed a husband had the right to have sex with his wife. The assumptions are built into society and culture and become “naturalized, meaning people will presume that is what God, or nature, intended. Last year at an obstetricians’ convention I talked about “sexual rights,” which included the right of a spouse (husband or wife) to refuse to have sex. During the open forum, one lawyer challenged that assumption, saying this violated the law and could be grounds for annulment. I later checked with lawyers and they said this was a “stretched” interpretation of the law. If a spouse refuses to have sex over a “certain period,” this could certainly open the way to having the marriage annulled. On the other hand, if a person forces himself (or herself!) on the spouse, the “assailant” can be brought to court and charged with marital rape. The Philippines is one of a handful of countries in the world that allows such a legal move. Most of the world is still unconvinced about this idea of marital rape.

You can see now how complicated a definition of “rape” can be, despite claims that it is, simply, forced sex. But there may even be instances where “consensual” sex is still considered rape. I’m referring here to statutory rape, where one of the sexual partners is below the legal age. Even if the young partner said “yes,” the law considers her (or him) to be too young to have given consent, and therefore rape exists. That was why Rep. Romeo Jalosjos was sent to jail despite claims during his trial that he did not know his partner — who was in fact being paid for sex — was underage.

The concept of “consensus” is always tied to power relations. Thus, even if two people are of legal age, a power differential caused by age and/or class could strain the definitions of consent. Many schools warn their teachers against courting students because as a teacher, he or she wields power over the student. Teachers also have to be more sensitive to possibilities of sexual harassment — a perfectly innocent gesture or statement could be interpreted by the student as having sexual overtones, simply because it came from the teacher.

Then there’s this matter of date rape. A date is obviously consensual, often enough with sexual intentions. But no matter how strong the sexual intentions and undertones are, any of the partners can still change his or her mind, even if they’re already in bed. And if one of the partners insists on pushing through with sex despite the other party’s reluctance or resistance, rape charges could be filed.

Asking for it?

The power dimensions of rape go beyond the violation itself. In contemporary society, rape cases are brought to courts, which are themselves influenced by society. Women often find it difficult to file a rape charge because once the legal proceedings start, they might find they are the ones on trial, rather than the alleged rapist. Investigators and, sadly, judges, will move heaven and earth to prove the woman was “asking for it.” The questions thrown at the woman say it all: “Why were you out at midnight?” “What were you wearing?” “What did you do with your boyfriend earlier in the night?” “Did you ever have sex with this man before?”

In the most perverse twist, our laws actually allow a rapist to absolve himself if he marries the victim, and judges have been known to pressure families, and victims, to take this option. The reasoning here is that if a man violates a woman’s honor by raping her, only he can bring back the honor ... by marrying her.

Even more distressing here is that there are many cases, in the Philippines, where a woman raped by her boyfriend, and who becomes pregnant as a result, will actually decide to forgive the boyfriend and just marry him, “for the sake of the child.”

So, was Nicole raped or not? One can’t help wondering again how much of power relations — she and the soldier, she and society — is behind the ambivalence. If anything, her case only underscores how society needs to become more aware of the power dimensions surrounding rape, and to do whatever can be done to minimize the risks for those most affected by power inequities. That could mean a whole range of preventive measures — from child protection laws to legislation around gender-based violence, to a rethinking of an agreement allowing the hosting of foreign military bases or personnel (no matter how “friendly”).

^^^ From Dr Mike Tan of UP who has a regular column in the Inquirer.

gfy
03-21-2009, 12:46 PM
I think the key word is consent. How does one determine whether there was consent or not? Nicole stated in her affidavit that she might have given the impression that it was ok or might even have wanted it. Now if she was totally intoxicated (or drugged) that she wasn't in control and didn't know what was happening, then it's a different story.

Re these leftists, my Tsinoy classmate used to own a factory in Caloocan. It was losing and he opened the books to the union to obtain concessions from them. But the union, supported by leftist organizations, didn't want to talk. So my classmate shut the factory down.

These frequent demonstrations require the deployment of a few hundred PNP personnel who should be going after snatchers, holduppers, robbers, hired killers instead.

danny
03-21-2009, 11:41 PM
Guys , easy on the "left".* The global left-wing movement has given us a lot of things in their historic struggle.

But if you are simply referring to JoMa's Maoist abomination, I can agree on certain points.

Central Banking, Social Security, public education, public heath care, nationalization (like Citibank, AIG and all bastion's of capitalism that needed bailout..), labor laws, company benefits, etc.ect.. These are results of the Left wing ideas gone mainstream.

Keynesian Economics itself is left wing. Keynes is after all a Fabian Socialist. European governments are generally leftists in their social programs.

The "Left" is a broad movement. Anyway, as Newsweek and* Wall St. proclaimed, 'WE ARE ALL SOCIALISTS NOW".

Just a clarification. From a former left wing partisan gone Bourgeoisie. kuno.* ;)

http://justgetthere.us/blog/uploads/Newsweek-We-Are-All-Socialists.jpg


A list for us to chew:

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc.


Oh. Before I forget. The list came from The Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx. Hmmm...I thought I was reading a mainstream political platform.* *The truth is, I blame Lenin for the one-party view of Socialism. His Theory of the Vanguard Party even after the revolution killed the Socialist dream.

Vladimir!!!!! We can all be like Socialist Sweden you know!!!* :D ;D

danny
03-21-2009, 11:58 PM
We hate demonstrations in Manila now. The middle class use to love it in the 80s during Macoy's term.

When the Americans turn to the streets once again, the ever so copycat pinoy middle class and peti-B will follow. The Europeans are going back to the streets. Haven't you guys heard? Next will be the Yankees brought to them by their imperial hubris.

Pinoys" went to the streets during the Vietnam War when the Yankees were doing it. Shouts of Che Guevarra, Ho Chi Minh and Mao were common among the intellegensia and Piny peti-B. Even the Black Panthers probably influenced the modern Moro liberation movement.

Give it time. Soon it not be the organized left marching the streets. The self-righteous middle class and peti-B will. Then they will clash with the unorganized lumpens. Before we now it, it's Martial Law once again.

The left will be blamed once again but never the fascists. Just like America I guess.
And many will love "peace with the bayonet".

danny
03-22-2009, 12:07 AM
Sa mga taga-AIG diyan. How is this for a treat?

------------------------

The Real AIG Scandal
It's not the bonuses. It's that AIG's counterparties are getting paid back in full.
(http://www.slate.com/id/2213942)


By Eliot SpitzerPosted Tuesday, March 17, 2009, at 10:41 AM ET

Everybody is rushing to condemn AIG's bonuses, but this simple scandal is obscuring the real disgrace at the insurance giant: Why are AIG's counterparties getting paid back in full, to the tune of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars?

For the answer to this question, we need to go back to the very first decision to bail out AIG, made, we are told, by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, then-New York Fed official Timothy Geithner, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke last fall. Post-Lehman's collapse, they feared a systemic failure could be triggered by AIG's inability to pay the counterparties to all the sophisticated instruments AIG had sold. And who were AIG's trading partners? No shock here: Goldman, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, UBS, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, and on it goes. So now we know for sure what we already surmised: The AIG bailout has been a way to hide an enormous second round of cash to the same group that had received TARP money already.

It all appears, once again, to be the same insiders protecting themselves against sharing the pain and risk of their own bad adventure. The payments to AIG's counterparties are justified with an appeal to the sanctity of contract. If AIG's contracts turned out to be shaky, the theory goes, then the whole edifice of the financial system would collapse.

continue (http://www.slate.com/id/2213942)

danny
03-22-2009, 12:12 AM
This is criminal to the bone. Yet we hear no rage. Not in Manila of course.

The World According to Monsanto. (http://swVjzIVqRUA)

gfy
03-22-2009, 10:01 AM
Danny, this financial /banking crisis hasn't really affected us so we don't see the outrage. Except for the very wealthy and some financial/banking institutions which lost some money like BDO, our financial/banking system is ok. Some companies like Ayala were losing a bundle on forward contracts/futures that the BSP "agreed" to make the exchange rate stay at around 48-49 for a while to reduce their losses.

We are getting tired of these frequent demonstrations vs. VFA, USA etc. sponsored by leftist organizations. Why no outrage vs. the Chinese re Spratley for example?

Obama has to put a handle on these bailouts and make sure it takes into account what former Gov. Spitzer was talking about (that's what derivatives do). Between Socialist Europe and Capitalist America, I think it's time for some hybrid just like the automobiles.

Jaco D
03-22-2009, 10:55 AM
I find it hard to take former governor Spitzer's AIG comments seriously considering Spitzer used Hank Greenberg/AIG in the same manner Rudy Giuliani used Michael Milken/Drexel Burnham Lambert as fodder for their political gain.

danny
03-22-2009, 11:43 PM
Trust me gfy, me too got tired of these demonstrations. It's a question of tactic that has always been debated especially during my college days in Mendiola.

Most of the low-level leadership could not understand that a simple traffic jam can antagonize the unorganized masses. There are tactical moves that can show outrage but never inconvenience those at the sidelines. Utak Pulbura ang tawag diyan sa mga walang utak na liderato.

In principle, even these Maoists have lofty ideals. Yung mga lang, just like any other organization from all political spectrum, they can be corrupted.

As to the Pinoy Maoists, the international left believe that they are dinosaurs that should be buried with Mao. They have "romanticized" the revolution too much that they forgot t to put into concrete economic plan the so called 12-pt program. Probably they can't. The intellectual backbone of the once robust Maoist left in Manila have branched into different "shades" of Left. Some actually went anti-revolutionary.

From the ground, pareng gfy, you will hear the common union member ask why always the Americans when "the" enemy are the local Filipino Chinese owners of business. As to the Spratlys? When it becomes a more high profile case, expect the Maoists to analyze the tactical gain in pursuing the issue. Otherwise, they will cover the more emotional ones.

It's not the Americans per se. It's the American imperial policies that is being opposed not just by local left but by the International Left, the Libertarians and the true Conservatives (not the neocons and other Reaganomics offshoot). Even my favorite financial planners and analysts oppose the policies of America especially their Imperial Finance. Now this is loooonggg story worthy of at least a semester in the university. For the local left, based on their own literature, they have a low level understanding of the American interest in the Philippines which is also another long story.

The Chinese Communist Party is no friend of the CPP. The Pinoy Maoists actually accuse the Chinese as Capitalist roaders. Enemy of the revolution.

Damn. Why am I explain their position. I'm not their spokesperson...hmmm...

Go home JoMa! There's no revolution in the Netherlands. Don't expect to be shipped back to Manila by "International Bankers" (ala Lenin being trained backed to Moscow to create trouble ;D). Hinahanap ka na ng mga Kasama mong puspusang nakikibaka...makiisa ka naman. :D

danny
03-23-2009, 12:04 AM
Local banking did not bet burned because there is no such thing as Investment Banking in Manila. The source of income has always been Retail and Commercial Banking.

This is also true in Canada where the banks have gone up in North American rankings while the US counterparts heavy on the Investment Banking side went belly up.

America has always been a hybrid. There is no nation on earth that is actually purely capitalist. I am more worried that America will turn into a technical Fascist, the union of business and the state, but without a Fascist Party (unless the government declares Martial Law when the militias opposing these gifts to big business have gathered enough strength). With all these money flowing to favored but bankrupt and too big too fail businesses, many are recognizing the dangers when the expected hyperinflation of the Weimar kind will eventually arrive. Then expect all hell on earth!

A falling empire will always make a last stand. Wars and rumors of war to lift a dead economy.

The American money printing press is in full throttle. Expect inflation or even hyperinflation to kick in soon. I say Gold at US$ 2,000 an ounce next year.

easter
03-23-2009, 08:52 AM
Question: Is a "list of facts" like names, addresses copyrightable in the Philippines?

Ex. If a person copies list of company numbers in the phone book and sells it, is this violation of the law here in Pinas?

In the US this is legal.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/copyright/cases/499_US_340.htm

If for example you are from the Philippines and the list is form the US (which is legal to copy it) Ccan they still take legal action against you?

Joescoundrel
03-23-2009, 10:43 AM
^ The depth and breadth of the litigious American society never ceases to amaze me.

A list of names, addresses and telephone numbers, to me is plain fact, they exist of and by themselves whether or not anyone should compile them. To copyright the same is ridiculous.

fujima04
03-23-2009, 01:33 PM
Kung illegal ang pagcopy ng mga list of names, addresses, contacts, etc.

Di ba yun ang principle ng yellow pages at telephone directories natin?

Sa palagay ko legal naman.

batangueño
04-23-2009, 09:38 PM
RP court acquits US Marine convicted of raping Filipina
GMANews.tv (http://www.gmanews.tv/story/158272/RP-court-acquits-US-Marine-convicted-of-raping-Filipina)
04/23/2009 | 04:39 PM


MANILA, Philippines - Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith, the American who was earlier convicted by a lower court of raping a Filipina in Subic, was acquitted by the Court of Appeals (CA).

"Wherefore, on reasonable ground, the accused Lance Corporal Daniel Smith is hereby acquitted of the crime of rape as alleged in the information," said the appellate court in its 71-page decision.

The decision, penned by Associate Justice Monina Arevalo-Zenarosa of the CA’s Special Eleventh Division, reversed and set aside the ruling of the Makati Regional Trial Court on December 4, 2006. The Makati-RTC's decision made Smith the first-ever American military personnel convicted of committing crime on Philippine soil.

Concurring with the CA decision were two other female magistrates, Remedios Salazar-Fernando and Myrna Dimaranan-Vidal.

The CA likewise ordered Smith's immediate release from detention unless there is another case filed against him. Smith is currently being held at the JUSMAG building inside the US Embassy in Manila.

The court said no evidence was introduced to show that "force, threat and intimidation" were used by Smith against Suzette Nicolas a.k.a. Nicole "even as prosecution vainly tried to highlight her supposed intoxication and alleged unconsciousness at the time of the sexual act"

"What we see was the spontaneous , unplanned romantic episode with both parties carried away by their passions and stirred up by the urgency of the moment caused probably by alcoholic drinks they took only to be rudely interrupted when the van suddenly stopped to pick up some passengers," the CA said.


Improper disclosure

Earlier, the Supreme Court ordered CA presiding justice Conrado Vasquez Jr. to conduct an investigation on the alleged improper disclosure of a draft ruling acquitting Smith, and to submit a report and recommendation within 90 days from receipt of records.

The high court also ordered the lawyers of Smith to explain why they should not be sanctioned for allegedly executing the affidavit of Suzette Nicolas a.k.a "Nicole", which in effect weakened her testimony against the US serviceman.

Last March 12, Nicole changed her statement hinting that Smith did not rape her.

In a five-page affidavit, Nicole admitted that she "possibly lost her inhibitions" and became "intimate" with Smith, after drinking "alcoholic mixed drinks" with him when they met at a bar in Subic, Olongapo City on November 1, 2005.

"Looking back, I would not have agreed to talk with Smith and dance with him no less than three times if I did enjoy his company or was at least attracted to him since I met him for the very first time on the dance floor of the Neptune Club."

It was also on March 12 that Nicole wrote a letter terminating the services of her lawyer in the celebrated Subic rape case and signed a document attesting that she received money from Smith.

Court documents showed that Nicole wrote a "Notice of Termination" to her counsel, Evalyn Ursua last March 12. The papers also showed that on the same day, she signed a "Receipt and Release" document stating that she received P100,000 from Smith.

Her receipt of the amount was in accordance with the December 4, 2006 order of the Makati-RTC, Branch 139 to indemnify the victim with P50,000 for compensatory damages and P50,000 for moral damages.

Nicole is staying in the United States. She left for the US last month, according to her mother.


Not surprising

The militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) condemned Smith's acquittal, but said that it was not surprised by the court's decision.

“This denial of justice is but the logical conclusion of the maneuvers of the US government and the Arroyo government. The Smith acquittal is exactly what Malacañang has been praying for and working for from the onset," said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“Everything from the Nicole affidavit, to the leakage of a draft decision acquitting Smith, up to the refusal of the Arroyo government to get back Smith despite a Supreme Court decision, these were all leading up to a Smith acquittal," Reyes added.

In Malacañang, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said that while Palace officials had not yet read the decision, "we will respect its verdict whatever it will be." - with reports from Carlo Lorenzo, GMANews.TV

Sam Miguel
08-14-2009, 11:21 PM
From Dean Pangalangan ---

When Construction Cranes Fall

By Raul Pangalangan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:19:00 08/14/2009

Filed Under: Laws, Litigation & Regulations, Consumer Issues, Justice & Rights

Last month, a six-foot tower crane fell from the top of a building, hitting a car and almost killing its passengers, including an infant and the grandmother. It happened right in the heart of the Ortigas business district, along Topaz Road close to the busy Robinson’s Galleria shopping mall at around noon. That crane could have snapped out several lives in one fell swoop. It could’ve been any of us.

The only precaution was a “catchment net” to protect passing cars and passengers from falling debris, but it was obviously no match for a falling construction crane. Yet, based on what I heard over the radio, the most that the erring company offered was to pay the victims the cost of the total wreck of what used to be their car, a Mazda. That kind of an offer shows the primitive state of our tort liability laws or, to be more precise, their enforcement—and conversely, the weakness of the local consumer movement. If you encounter a similar accident in the United States, you can imagine the millions of dollars that will be offered to settle the case to fend off litigation. A measly reimbursement for a damaged car is an insult not just to the victim’s family but to the public.

I am aware that the “tort explosion” in US law is widely lamented and criticized even in its own turf. The most notorious example is the McDonald’s case, where a woman bought coffee from the drive-in window, placed that cup of coffee between her legs, spilled the coffee and was hospitalized for third degree burns. In a “runaway jury verdict,” she was awarded $200,000 in compensatory damages and $2.7 million in punitive damages, equivalent to McDonald’s gross receipts for two days of coffee sales (reduced by the court to $480,000).

The tort explosion has also led to ridiculous product warnings that warn of the obvious. Read the message etched on your side view mirror: Objects in mirror are closer than they appear. (My personal favorite is the Japanese warning to motorists: “When a passenger of the foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet at him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage, then tootle him with vigor.”)

We have spurned the US path because we fear the “slippery slope.” Yet precisely for that reason, we are forced to put up with defective traffic lights, ill-placed and barely visible U-turn markers, falling construction cranes, or for that matter, that police car driving “counter-flow” on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City at the height of the rush hour Thursday morning. We tolerate slippery floors where you can slip and fall even if you’re wearing a non-slip Teva; dark corridors and bus stops where students can be held up or molested; spoilt milk or fruit juice from grocery stores that failed to use proper refrigeration. If all these guys knew that they or their office will be held to answer for their negligence and stupidity, they would behave themselves.

We need to look at laws as instruments by which we shape peoples’ behavior, by which we create incentives and disincentives. That is why the law provides for different kinds of damages: compensatory damages (to replace the value actually lost), punitive damages (to punish) and exemplary damages (to make an example of the tort-feasor). Culturally, we may be more intuitively inclined toward criminal sanctions—which the press abets with dramatic photographs of the victim pointing the accusing finger at the culprit—but we assume a higher burden of proof, and typically end up punishing the small-fry only. By shifting to tort liability, we avoid those problems, and reduce the debate to the rational calculation of costs and benefits. For the erring construction company in Ortigas, what is cheaper, a functioning and well-secured tower crane, or P10 million in punitive and exemplary damages?

Sure there are many arguments for us to go easy on this. After all, we are a poor country and US-scale awards will make it difficult for Filipino businessmen to survive on their relatively thin margins. I can also imagine the anti-imperialist argument: Increase tort liability and the only companies that will survive are the giant US conglomerates who can absorb such losses and who will drive the Filipino competition to the ground. Finally, I have heard the familiar argument: with tort reform, everybody loses except the joyful insurance companies.

Such fears are premature if not misplaced. One, in the Philippines, such awards will be decided not by “a jury of one’s peers,” but by a professionally trained judge. Sure there will be the occasional populist judge who thinks he’s one of those TV judges, but if the fear is that of the runaway jury, the Philippine answer is, we don’t have juries, we have judges.

Two, it doesn’t matter who causes the damage, foreign or local. In the Guimaras oil spill, the fishermen and their families suffered. The polluter was Petron. Would they have suffered more if it had been Shell? Yet imagine the “nationalist” rhetoric if, God forbid, the polluter had been foreign.

Three, foreign or local, they face the same risks and will be similarly covered by insurance. In other words, the controlling factor is the peril insured against, not the nationality of the insurer.

Four, I agree: the insurance industry will cry all the way to the bank. But the cost of building safe tower cranes and the cost of insuring against defective cranes are legitimate costs of doing business. And we thus create yet another constituency, the insurance companies, to lobby for safety measures and clearer standards. They need this for their own sakes.

If it was your family riding that Mazda at noon on Topaz Road, would you even think twice about deterring irresponsible contractors with tort awards?

gfy
08-15-2009, 07:42 AM
^ It's about time. Maybe something in between the excessively litigious USA and what we have now. I, for the life of me, cannot understand why a truck driver, for example, has to be detained and put in jail if it's very clear and obvious that he wasn't at fault. The van of a friend of mine crashed into a "counterflowing" motorcycle in Batangas and I was surprised that he has to pay PhP 75,000 for the death of the motorcyclist because that is the law. At least he wasn't put in jail. In the USA, motorists who don't have the right of way (including changing lanes or making turns) are always deemed at fault because they should only do those when it is "safe and clear". Here no. Kung ikaw nakabunggo sa side or from behind ikaw na ang may kasalanan kaagad. Kasi nauna na siya eh. Hahaha.

Joescoundrel
02-01-2010, 10:57 AM
This is from Lourdes Tancinco of the Inquirer:

Jason Ivler is no Daniel Smith

CALIFORNIA, United States—There are several indications that may connote that road rage suspect Jason Aguilar Ivler will attempt to obtain preferential treatment during his trial. His mother already sought the assistance of the US embassy.

Will Ivler obtain preferential treatment because he is an American citizen and a former member of the US Marine Corps?

Ivler is facing criminal charges both in the US and in the Philippines. He is also wanted in the US for failing to appear in court on charges of illegal drug use and possession with intent to sell.

After his arrest in the Philippines two weeks ago, Ivler was immediately charged under Philippine law with murder, illegal possession of firearms, resisting arrest, and frustrated murder.

With criminal charges in both the US and the Philippines, there is apprehension that Ivler may find a way to escape and depart for the US.

If Ivler were a Filipino immigrant in the US facing charges, the Philippine consulate may provide assistance during his trial. But as observed, the consulate’s assistance is more on ensuring that the Filipino nationals’ rights and interests are protected. There are no special treatments accorded to immigrants facing charges. It is anticipated with reservations that Ivler will not receive any preferential treatment and be treated as an ordinary suspected criminal alien.

Issues raised

The media had an extensive coverage of Ivler during his arrest in his home at Blue Ridge, Quezon City. The victim in the November 18, 2009 road rage shooting for which Ivler is being charged is not an ordinary citizen.

Renato Victor Ebarle Jr. is the son of the undersecretary of the presidential chief of staff. On the other hand, Ivler claims, as reported, is also not an ordinary American citizen. He is the nephew of a world-renowned singer Freddie Aguilar. Most interestingly Ivler was also a former member of the US Marine Corps once deployed in Iraq.

‘Anak’

But unlike Lance Corporal Daniel Smith who was tried, convicted, and later acquitted of rape charges, Ivler is no longer in active military service. Neither is he assigned in the Philippines under the Visiting Forces Agreement. Unfortunately for Ivler, he does not have the protection of the provisions of the VFA. He is not expected to be under the custody of the US embassy pending the legal proceedings against him.

The fact that he is related to a celebrity is not a favorable factor to his case. In fact, he is best described in the song popularized by his uncle, “Anak,” where his stubbornness had caused his mother to bear the embarrassment and humiliation of his arrest before millions of viewers.

No treaty with US

Had he surrendered voluntarily and not escaped from authorities, he would have prevented unnecessary spending on government resources to arrest an innocent OFW also named Jason Aguilar in Qatar and prevented injuries to special agents to the National Bureau of Investigation.

Ivler once attempted to escape. There are speculations that he may also try to evade his prosecution or detention. The circumstances of his case may not be favorable but just like any suspect in any criminal case, Ivler is entitled to his rights. He will be afforded the right to his hearing.

Compared to Spain, the US does not have a treaty with the Philippines that allows transfer of detainees to their home state. Ivler’s case is not similar to the case of Larrañaga, a Spaniard convicted of rape. Larrañaga was allowed to depart the Philippines to continue his detention in a Spanish prison.

A number of Filipino immigrants are also incarcerated in US prisons and serving sentence for crimes that they have committed. I have yet to see the coddling by the Philippine government of a convicted Filipino immigrant languishing in jail for violations of criminal or immigration law.

The strict policy against criminal aliens is apparent in the US. The immigration law contains harsh provisions against criminal aliens especially those convicted of violent offenses. Despite serving sentence based on the criminal conviction and no matter how far back the offense was committed, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement is mandated to incarcerate and deport the alien after completion of his criminal sentence.

This is also the same policy that is being expressed by the Philippine government where officials publicly mentioned that Ivler is going to be tried first in Philippine courts before he is sent back to the US to face his criminal charges before the criminal courts in Reno, Nevada.

Immaterial to his defense

All citizens and aliens alike are all expected to respect the law. The government is mandated to defend Philippine law and sovereignty against aliens who are convicted of committing crimes against Filipino nationals.

The celebrity status, and the fact that Ivler is an American and a former member of the US Marine Corps are of no consequence and immaterial to his defense.

Justice must be served and the rule of the law must be upheld. But in these times of uncertainty, it remains to be seen how the wheels of justice will turn for the families of the murdered victim.

Tancinco may be reached at law@tancinco.com or at 887 7177 or 721 1963.

Joescoundrel
02-01-2010, 10:59 AM
Lest we forget what the great Revillame hath wrought:

Ultra stampede victims protest postponement of hearing

By Beverly T. Natividad
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines – Victims of a stampede in Pasig City three years ago staged a rally before its courts to question the postponement of a hearing on the case that was scheduled Thursday.

The group, led by members of Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, also sought a dialogue with Mayor Bobby Eusebio on the matter.

But staff of RTC Branch 261, which is hearing the case, now known as the Ultra stampede, said the postponement was due the Supreme Court's appointment of a new presiding judge to the branch and that the branch was informed about the appointment only on Thursday morning.

About 70 people were killed in the stampede at the Philippine Sports Arena (formerly Ultra) in 2006 when a huge crowd lining up to get inside the arena for the anniversary show of ABS-CBN’s noontime show “Wowowee” rushed toward the gates, causing a panic as those who were nearer the entrance were crushed.

AnthonyServinio
02-01-2010, 11:20 AM
Lest we forget what the great Revillame hath wrought:

Ultra stampede victims protest postponement of hearing

By Beverly T. Natividad
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines – Victims of a stampede in Pasig City three years ago staged a rally before its courts to question the postponement of a hearing on the case that was scheduled Thursday.

The group, led by members of Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, also sought a dialogue with Mayor Bobby Eusebio on the matter.

But staff of RTC Branch 261, which is hearing the case, now known as the Ultra stampede, said the postponement was due the Supreme Court's appointment of a new presiding judge to the branch and that the branch was informed about the appointment only on Thursday morning.

About 70 people were killed in the stampede at the Philippine Sports Arena (formerly Ultra) in 2006 when a huge crowd lining up to get inside the arena for the anniversary show of ABS-CBN’s noontime show “Wowowee” rushed toward the gates, causing a panic as those who were nearer the entrance were crushed.

THAT GOOD FOR NOTHING SHOW SHOULD HAVE BEEN AXED IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE ULTRA STAMPEDE! IF THE VICTIMS CANNOT GET JUSTICE HERE ON EARTH, REVILLAME AND ALL THOSE INVOLVED WITH THAT IMMORAL SHOW WILL GET THEIR PUNISHMENT IN HELL!

ANTI WILLIE REVILLAME MOVEMENT ON FACEBOOK (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=126156564264)
26,648 MEMBERS AND GROWING EVERYDAY

Sam Miguel
03-31-2010, 12:12 PM
From Yahoo News - - -

Vatican offers 3 Reasons it's Not Liable for Abuse

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer Nicole Winfield, Associated Press Writer – 59 mins ago

VATICAN CITY – Dragged deeper than ever into the clerical sex abuse scandal, the Vatican is launching a legal defense that it hopes will shield the pope from a lawsuit in Kentucky seeking to have him answer attorneys' questions under oath.

Court documents obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press show that Vatican lawyers plan to argue that the pope has immunity as head of state, that American bishops who oversaw abusive priests weren't employees of the Vatican, and that a 1962 document is not the "smoking gun" that provides proof of a cover-up.

The Holy See is trying to fend off the first U.S. case to reach the stage of determining whether victims actually have a claim against the Vatican itself for negligence for allegedly failing to alert police or the public about Roman Catholic priests who molested children.

The case was filed in 2004 in Kentucky by three men who claim they were abused by priests and claim negligence by the Vatican. Their attorney, William McMurry, is seeking class-action status for the case, saying there are thousands of victims across the country.

"This case is the only case that has been ever been filed against the Vatican which has as its sole objective to hold the Vatican accountable for all the priest sex abuse ever committed in this country," he said in a phone interview. "There is no other defendant. There's no bishop, no priest."

The Vatican is seeking to dismiss the suit before Benedict XVI can be questioned or documents subpoenaed.

The preview of the legal defense was submitted last month in U.S. District Court in Louisville. The Vatican's strategy is to be formally filed in the coming weeks. Vatican officials declined to comment on Tuesday.

Plaintiffs in the Kentucky suit argue that U.S. diocesan bishops were employees of the Holy See, and that Rome was therefore responsible for their alleged wrongdoing in failing to report abuse.

They say a 1962 Vatican document mandated that bishops not report sex abuse cases to police. The Vatican has argued that there is nothing in the document that precluded bishops from calling police.

With the U.S. scandal reinvigorated by reports of abuse in Europe and scrutiny of Benedict's handling of abuse cases when he was archbishop of Munich, the Kentucky case and another in Oregon have taken on greater significance. Lawyers as far away as Australia have said they plan to use similar strategies.

At the same time though, the hurdles remain enormously high to force a foreign government to turn over confidential documents, let alone to subject a head of state to questioning by U.S. lawyers, experts say.

The United States considers the Vatican a sovereign state — the two have had diplomatic relations since 1984. In 2007, U.S. District Court Judge John Heyburn rejected an initial request by the plaintiffs to depose Benedict.

"They will not be able to depose the pope," said Joseph Dellapenna, a professor at Villanova University Law School an author of "Suing Foreign Governments and their Corporations."

"But lower level officials could very well be deposed and there could be subpoenas for documents as part of discovery," he said.

McMurry last week filed a new court motion seeking to depose the pope; Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, currently Vatican secretary of state but for years the pope's deputy at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal William Levada, an American who currently heads the Congregation; and Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Vatican's representative in the U.S.

On Tuesday, McMurry filed a memorandum in support of his demand to question Benedict based on court documents unearthed last week detailing the role of the Congregation in shutting down a canonical trial for a Wisconsin priest who allegedly molested up to 200 deaf boys.

"These documents confirm that the CDF, under Pope Benedict XVI's lead, discouraged prosecution of accused clergy and encouraged secrecy to protect the reputation of the church," wrote McMurry, who represented 243 sex abuse victims that settled with the Archdiocese of Louisville in 2003 for $25.3 million.

Jeffrey Lena, the reclusive architect of the Vatican's legal strategy in the U.S., is seeking to have the court rule on the Vatican's other defenses before allowing the pope to be deposed, in hopes that the suit will be dismissed. In his filing, Lena noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that when a defendant enjoys immunity, a court shouldn't allow a "discovery fishing expedition on claims that are baseless or speculative."

Lena also has argued that the pope's deposition would violate the Vatican's own laws on confidentiality, and would set a bad precedent for U.S. officials.

"If Pope Benedict XVI is ordered to testify by a U.S. court, foreign courts could feel empowered to order discovery against the president of the United States regarding, for example, such issues as CIA renditions," Lena wrote in a 2008 brief.

McMurry is eager to find out what the Vatican knew and did, in particular, about Rev. Louis Miller, who was removed from the priesthood in 2004 by the late Pope John Paul II. Miller pleaded guilty in 2003 to sexually abusing one of the plaintiffs in the Kentucky lawsuit and other children in the 1970s. He is serving a 13-year prison sentence.

In a deposition transcription obtained by The Associated Press, Miller said he had offered to resign as early as 1962 to his then-Archbishop John Floersh, and that two subsequent archbishops knew of his crimes but continued to keep him as a priest, moving him from parish to parish.

In explaining why he wanted to resign, Miller said: "I just knew that the crime was so horrendous in my own mind that I didn't feel that I was worthy to remain a priest."

But he said Floersh was "compassionate," kept him on, and told him, "You will always be a good priest."

Plaintiffs in the Kentucky suit contend that bishops are employees of the Vatican. That point is crucial to determing whether the Holy See can be held responsible for their behavior.

There's a general consensus among legal scholars that an employee is someone who works for the employer, who controls the details of the work. Attorneys for the Vatican are expected to argue that diocesan bishops do not work for the pope, and that the Holy See does not exercise the day-to-day control over their work necessary to create an employment relationship.

Also crucial to the Kentucky lawsuit is the 1962 document "Crimen Sollicitationis" — Latin for "crimes of solicitation." It describes how church authorities should deal procedurally with cases of abuse of children by priests, cases where sex is solicited in the confessional — a particularly heinous crime under canon law — and cases of homosexuality and bestiality.

McMurry argues that the document imposed the highest level of secrecy on such matters and reflected a Vatican policy barring bishops from reporting abuse to police.

Lena declined to comment Tuesday, but he has tried to shoot down McMurry's theory by arguing that McMurry's own expert witness, canon lawyer Thomas P. Doyle, has rejected theories that Crimen was proof of a cover-up.

The plaintiffs, Lena wrote in a 2008 motion, "fail to offer any facts in support of their theory that Crimen caused their injuries, nor indeed any facts that Crimen was ever in the possession of the Louisville archdiocese or used in Kentucky."

McMurry insisted Tuesday that Crimen is a smoking gun.

"The fact is, this document and its predecessors make it an excommunicable offense to reveal any knowledge of allegations that a priest has sexually abused," he said in an e-mail.

The existence of Crimen did not become publicly known until 2003, when a lawyer noticed a reference to the document while reading a 2001 letter written by Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. McMurry is seeking to subpoena Ratzinger's letter, which instructed all bishops to send cases of clerical sex abuse to him and to keep the proceedings secret.

In 2008, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the go-ahead for Kentucky lawsuit to continue, ruling that an exception to sovereign immunity, which shields most foreign governments from U.S. lawsuits, should be applied.

The 6th Circuit eliminated most of the plaintiffs claims' in its late 2008 ruling before returning it to district court.

(This version CORRECTS SUBS graf 21, to correct that reference is to one of the plaintiffs, sted defendants in the Kentucky lawsuit.)

Sam Miguel
03-31-2010, 12:17 PM
Prosecutors and plaintiffs should just go after the individual priests who allegedly committed these crimes. Coming after the Catholic Church as an institution will get them nowhere. Overzealous lawyers will always relish having clients only too eager to make some money more than get any real "closure" or "restitution" for being allegedly wronged. These lawyers are trying to make this scandal out as some sort of "holocaust-lite" that is akin to the "final solution" of Nazi Germany. They are treating priests, bishops and the Pope and his Cardinals as if they were "war criminals" who were at some point and in some way involved in a massive, pre-planned crime. That is the only legal case they can make if they expect to nail the Pope or the Holy See on anything. Good luck with that.

oca
03-31-2010, 10:28 PM
Dapat ang strategy ay "KISS"--- Keep It Simple Stupid.

Malinaw sino ang "gumawa ng krimen". Yun ang habulin. Whatever took place after the crime, the alleged cover etc, should be for another case.

tigerman
08-13-2010, 02:25 PM
60% ng bar sa 2011 ay multiple choice na.



USTE LO MEJOR!
VIVA SANTO TOMAS!

gfy
09-30-2010, 10:49 AM
For a change, Esposo wrote a sensible column in today's Star re the stupid Lina law. Two things: squatters are claiming that the property is theirs because they have stayed there for so many years and they are demanding good relocation, money, etc... He mentioned that in the U.S. property rights are sacred. True, trespassers are immediately evicted over there.

The government should immediately evict squatters when they are just starting to build their houses. On prime land like the North Triangle. On esteros where they pollute, obstruct and where their lives are put at risk.

A comment by our household help should put these things in perspective. Ang sabi niya - "Bakit ba ang mga taong yan ay matatapang pa at nanirahan na nga sila ng matagal dyan na libre. At kung ano-ano pa hinihingi. Lumabag sila ng batas. Kami hindi. Tumira kami sa Bacoor kahit na malayo. Bakit special ba sila?" Interesting comment indeed.

mighty_lion
09-30-2010, 11:31 AM
^ It has something to do with our culture. People will rationalize something correct even if it is fundamentally wrong by adding a phrase "paano naman kami" in an argument.

BigBlue
09-30-2010, 01:21 PM
The government should immediately evict squatters when they are just starting to build their houses. On prime land like the North Triangle. On esteros where they pollute, obstruct and where their lives are put at risk.


Problem is, it seems like some elected officials "encourage" squatting, and even help these squatters out, with the end goal of snagging them as voters for the next election.

From what I've been told the greater majority of the settlers in the North Triangle area have already agreed to move out; those who remain are those who may have small business in the area, mga nagbebenta ng tubig, sari-sari stores, etc, as well as professional squatters who actually rent out spaces with rates of Php700-1000/month.

muffetteer
10-01-2010, 09:43 AM
^ It has something to do with our culture. People will rationalize something correct even if it is fundamentally wrong by adding a phrase "paano naman kami" in an argument.



Or the overwhelming sense of entitlement that some people have.

danny
10-03-2010, 04:10 AM
Officials would rather accommodate the squatters than fuel an urban insurrection. Whether we like it or no, the middle class who are salaried and pay their taxes religiously, will always be at the losing end. This is in both the status quo or in an insurrectionary condition (fuelled by attacks against the informal settlers).

Jaco D
10-03-2010, 01:14 PM
^^ I guess that's why the middle class have been "voting with their feet" these past few years.

bluewing
10-07-2010, 01:59 PM
i hate squatters. and i hate the local government officials who coddle those motherfuckers. t@ngin@, sila na nga nagnakaw (i consider it stealing because they took without permission for their personal gain), sila pa babayaran? at eto namang mga lecheng government offiicials, parang mga baog.... mga walang silbi.

put@ngin@ nila. i am passionate about this because my family is a victim of these illegal settling bastards. pag ako napuno, i will have to heed the advice of a senior lawyer friend of mine: "kumuha ka ng mga pusa, ilublob mo sa gas. sindihan mo, tapos patakbuhin mo sa compound ng mga squatter. tignan natin kung di sila umalis doon... " sound legal advice, if i do say so myself.

Joescoundrel
11-17-2010, 12:32 PM
Lahat ng colorum bus, jeep at tricycle pasabugin. Lahat ng nag-operate at nagmaneho ng colorum tadtarin at gawing compost.

Wang-Bu
12-02-2010, 08:47 AM
^^^^^ boss joe tama ka diyan, lalo na mga bwaknangna na mga kuliglig, matapos ang ginawa nilang kabalahuraan sa kalsada kahapon na kinaipit ko sampu ng libo pang mga commuter at motorista. sapat na binigay na palugit sa kanila mula pa nang magsimula itong kasalukuyang taon, at alam naman nilang labag sa clean air act at sa panlunsod na ordinansa ang pagpasada nila sa mga pangunahing lansangan. kung umasta ang mga barbaro na ito akala mo utang na loob pa ng buong lunsod ng maynila na nagkakalat sila sa daan. anlakas pa ng loob nung isa na sabihing lahat sila mga dating holdaper at pasensiyahan na lang kung ayaw silang ipagpatuloy ang hanap-buhay nila. dapat pinaulanan na lang ng bala mga lintibi na 'yan.

unang-una na hindi naman sila pinipigilang maghanap-buhay, maari nga lamang bawal sila sa mga pangunahing lansangan gaya ng roxas blvd at taft ave. hindi naman tama na hayaan silang lumabag sa batas para lang maghanap-buhay, e di wala na silang pinagkaiba sa holdaper. ganun din naman ang holdaper, katwiran 'yun lang ang alam na hanap-buhay, alangan naman hayaan natin ang holdaper na lumabag sa batas. kung ang holdaper dinadakip dahil lumalabag sa batas, diyata lahat ng lumalabag sa batas dapat din dakpin at hindi sapat na dahilan ang hanap-buhay.

tsaka dapat pianulanan na din ng bala lahat nung mga hilaw na aktibista at komunista na sumusulsol pa sa mga putaragis na kuliglig drivers. ni hindi man lang sila mga driver o operator nangingialam sila dun.

Wang-Bu
04-28-2011, 09:26 AM
Hango sa Inquirer:

Theres The Rub
Rx

By Conrado de Quiros

OVER THE past several weeks, I’ve heard these arguments against the RH bill. None of them finds its mark.

The first is that the RH bill won’t solve poverty.

Of course it won’t. Not by itself anyway. What bill or measure will solve poverty? Not land reform, not environmental protection, not government subsidy for food production. Not by themselves anyway. That is not an excuse to drop land reform, protecting the environment, and giving farmers enough to live on. Taken singly, they can, and do, help to push back poverty. Taken collectively, they can, and do, help mightily to push back poverty.

The same is true of the RH bill. Taken singly, it can, and will, help to push back poverty. Taken along with other things, it can, and will, help mightily to push back poverty.

Variations on the theme include: One, what matters is not the size of the population but the distribution of wealth. Two, limiting the size of the population is counterproductive because a country’s real wealth is its people.

Well, China is one country that has redistributed its wealth more resolutely than others, but it still feels the need to limit its population. For good reason: Limiting population and redistributing wealth are not opposed. They go together. There’s just no way even a well-intentioned government can feed a runaway population, never mind distribute wealth. China is the second richest country in the world after the US, but it still maintains—arguably draconian—a policy of one couple, one child. RH is nowhere near that.

As to the people being a country’s wealth, yes and no. Depends on the quantity and quality of the people. This is a case where more is less. You have a teeming mass of uneducated people, you don’t have an asset, you have a liability. You don’t have inducement to creativity, you have an invitation to criminality. While at this, the people who say this should stay at least a day in Payatas or a squatter area anywhere in Metro Manila so they can have an insight into the meaning of wealth and poverty.

The second is that contraception kills, producing a host of unborn children.

That one really takes the cake. RH is not abortion. President Benigno Aquino III has been absolutely clear on that. Edcel Lagman has been absolutely clear on that. The supporters of RH have been absolutely clear on that.

Using a condom no more produces an unborn child than sleeping produces an unborn masterpiece. An unborn child does not exist. It is no more real than an unborn thought, an unborn romance, an unborn heroism. You want to light a candle on the grave of the child that “died” from contraception, feel free to do so. But don’t include others in your lunacy.

You want to have an idea of life and death, again go visit the teeming mass huddled inside cardboard boxes that pass for shelter beside the mountains of trash and jutting over dead creeks and rivers. And see what that does to very real, very tangible, very born children.

The third is that contraception is ineffective anyway. It’s just using taxpayers’ money for something that doesn’t really bring down the population.

Well, land reform hasn’t worked famously either, but that’s no reason to throw it away. Economic planning hasn’t worked famously either, but that is no reason to throw it away. Even marriage hasn’t worked famously either, but that’s no reason to throw it away—although some will want to make a case for it.

I don’t know that contraception drives haven’t worked in most parts of the world. I do know they have met with all sorts of problems in societies like ours, not least the opposition of religious fundamentalists. That is quite apart from bureaucratic bumbling, or corruption.

If so, then the problem is not the conception, it is the implementation. The solution is not for government to forget the campaign, it is for government to push it more vigorously. The solution is not for government to spend less for it, it is to make every peso count.

The RH bill cannot guarantee that the population will decrease dramatically anytime soon. That is so for reasons that go beyond the opposition of the Catholic Church or bureaucratic baggage. That is so for reasons of culture. What the RH bill will really be up against is a culture that puts a premium on huge families.

Part of that owes to machismo. This is a macho culture, one given to men drinking themselves to a stupor, engaging in knife fights, and boasting not just about conquests but about how many children they’ve fathered. Not being able to accomplish the last leaves one open to barbs about having a broken pipe, or butas ang tambutso. Not surprisingly, the preferred gender of the children is male. Having a brood of females is pambayad ng utang, payment for the women one made to weep.

But the other part of it owes to the very poverty that runaway population spawns, which makes it a vicious cycle. The most popular, and insidious, form of gambling in this country is not jueteng, it is breeding. One has as many children as possible, hopefully male, to get one out of the rut of poverty. Maybe one of them can make it well enough to get the rest of the family by. A gamble that almost always makes one lose. A gamble that certainly always makes the country lose. That is the culture the Church abets by its position on the RH bill: By all means breed like rabbits. That is good not just in the eyes of man, or rabbits, but in the eyes of God.

Thankfully, that is not how most thinking Catholics in this country see things. For them President Aquino is no more a bad Catholic for pushing RH than Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a good Catholic for pushing her luck. For them, being challenged by a priest to leave Mass if they believe in RH is for them to rise to that challenge. For them RH is just Rx.

Just what the doctor ordered.

chocoks77
06-28-2011, 09:00 PM
What is the DOJ doing or for that matter,what is this government up to? Looks like we are retrogressing

Joescoundrel
06-29-2011, 12:44 PM
A woman in a hot-air balloon is lost, so she shouts to a man below, "Excuse me. I promised a friend I would meet him, but I don't know where I am."

"You're at 31 degrees, 14.57 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude," he replies.

"You must be a Democrat."

"I am. How did you know?"

"Because everything you told me is technically correct, but the information is useless, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've been no help."

"You must be a Republican."

"Yes. How did you know?"

"You've risen to where you are due to a lot of hot air, you made a promise you couldn't keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it's my fault."

Joescoundrel
06-29-2011, 12:45 PM
What was Leila De Lima thinking when she went on that little moro-moro with the supposed new witnesses in the Vizconde case?

I hope the Webbs really do file a disbarrment case against her, because that was out and out vilification that served no real purpose.

chocoks77
06-29-2011, 08:54 PM
As chair of CHR, she wanted to prosecute Rody Duterte for human rights violation...now, all she does is re-investigate amd redundancy

Sam Miguel
07-28-2011, 08:54 AM
From Inquirer Online___

Why China will not bring the Spratlys issue to the United Nations

By Ted Laguatan

Based on applicable international maritime and related laws, China knows that if she petitions the United Nations International Court of Justice or the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to affirm her dubious claim that she owns everything in the South China Sea aka West Philippine Sea — her chances of winning are about as likely as having a snowfall in the Sahara desert.

Both Courts have proper jurisdictions to settle sovereignty issues between nations regarding marine territories — such as those concerning the Spratly and Paracel islands.

Let’s imagine what most likely would happen if China does take her case to the International Court of Justice and the representative of China — let’s call him Mr. Lee — is before the Court headed by the Presiding Judge. Consider this scenario:

Judge: “Please inform this Court of the basis for your claim that the entire South China Sea aka West Philippine Sea belongs completely to the People’s Republic of China?”

Mr. Lee: “Thank you, your honor. Our claim is based on the historical fact that this entire area has belonged to us since the Han Dynasty.”

Judge: “How do you intend to prove your case?”

Mr. Lee: “I will present to this Court an almost two thousand year old Han Dynasty map that indicates the limits of the Han Dynasty kingdom.”

Judge: “Let’s assume for purposes of discussion that the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and other surrounding countries were provinces or part of the Han Dynasty during its time even if the map you hold may just actually be a navigational map which does not really define the limits of the Han Dynasty. Now my study of China’s history indicate that the Han Dynasty lasted from 206 B.C. To 220 A.D. Is this correct?”

Mr. Lee: “Yes your honor.”

Judge: “I assume Mr. Lee that you are familiar with Alexander the Great, the young Macedonian king who conquered much of the ancient world.”

Mr. Lee: “I am, your honor.”

Judge: “At the time of his death in 323 B.C., Alexander’s kingdom included Greece, Syria, Persia now known as Iran, Egypt and a part of India. Are you aware Mr. Lee that Macedonia, Alexander’s country — is now known as the Republic of Macedonia?”

Mr. Lee: “If you say so your honor.”

Judge: “Good! You appear to know your history. I assume you are also familiar with the Roman Empire which existed for over a thousand years.”

Mr. Lee: “Thank you your honor, I do read history.”

Judge: “You are then aware Mr. Lee that at its height, the Roman Empire included most of Europe and parts of Africa and Asia.”

Mr. Lee: “I am aware, your honor.”

Judge: “Now Mr. Lee, since the time of Alexander, the Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty — through the course of time and historical events, various independent countries have emerged in Europe, Africa and Asia — which now have their own respective territories. This is a reality which we all have to accept, wouldn’t you say?”

Mr. Lee: “We cannot deny reality, your honor.”

Judge: “Now Mr. Lee, another undeniable reality is that Alexander’s empire, the Roman empire and the Han Dynasty kingdom are no longer existent — am I correct in my observation?

Mr. Lee: “You are correct, your honor.”

Judge: “Now Mr.Lee, in all candor, do you seriously believe that if the Republic of Macedonia and the Italian government were to come before this Court and petition us to affirm that they own the territories of these now independent countries because they were once a part of Alexander’s empire or the Roman empire — that we would be persuaded to grant these petitions?”

Mr. Lee: “I understand what you are getting at, Judge — but most of what we are claiming as ours is marine area and not land.”

Judge: “The Spratlys and the Paracel islands are not land? Anyway, isn’t it a fact that China is a signatory to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which she ratified on July 6, 1996 thereby agreeing to be bound by its provisions — and part of which is that anything within 200 miles from the baseline of a country belongs to that country?

Mr. Lee: “China did agree to those provisions at a time when it was not yet aware of the far reaching consequences of UNCLOS to her national interests.”

Judge: “I will not mince my words Mr. Lee. What you mean is that at that time, the world, including China, was not yet aware, that vast deposits of oil and natural gas were to be found within the territorial limits of neighboring countries. Now because of this awareness, even if China knows she is trespassing and violating international law, she is using the coercive might of her size, military or otherwise — to grab these enormous reserves of petrowealth from the territories of her smaller, weaker, poorer neighbors — who badly need these assets to improve the plight of their own people.

Postscript: In view of all the facts and existing applicable law, the likelihood is that the UN court will find China’s petition to be without merit.

Notwithstanding requests from the Philippines, neighboring countries and the United States to bring West Philippine Sea sovereignty issues to the United Nations, China has steadfastly refused to do so. Instead, it is constantly involved in mind games, using scare tactics, insisting that everything in the whole West Philippine Sea is theirs and that this issue is non-negotiable.

By so doing, the gigantic oil hungry dragon seeks to condition the national minds of her neighbors to forcibly accept inequitable bilateral settlement agreements — without United Nations or United States involvement. The Philippines, Vietnam and other neighbor countries must not fall into this trap. They should unite and create an alliance and insist — with the aid of the global community, with military means if necessary — that China should respect their rights and leave their national patrimony alone.

The most loudly applauded part of President Benigno Simeon Aquino’s State of the Nation speech was his strong affirmation that what belongs to the Philippines stays in the Philippines. Everyone understood his meaning: The Philippines will stand firm against China’s bully tactics and mind games in trying to grab our energy and marine resources.

What a big difference to have a trustworthy President who provides moral leadership and looks after the interests of the nation instead of one ready to sell out the country’s patrimony for personal gain.

Sam Miguel
08-12-2011, 07:21 AM
From the Inquirer Online by a former UP Law Dean - - -

‘Freedom for the Thought We Hate’

By: Raul C. Pangalangan

Mideo Cruz may have blasphemed but precisely for that reason we can only boycott but not censor him. His work “Politeismo” has been vandalized and now suppressed together with the rest of the artwork in the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ exhibit named Kulô. The ensuing outrage has exposed grave misconceptions about why we offer communal protection for expressive freedoms.

The first fallacy is the view that if many people find it offensive, then it can be censored. Susmaryopsep. That’s precisely why we have the Bill of Rights! It protects, in the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes, “not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.” Robert Jackson (who was also the US chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials) also said: “[T]he freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order.”

The fallacy puts democracy above liberty, and leaves marginalized minorities at the mercy of the frenzied mob. It forgets that human rights are essentially counter-majoritarian. Again citing Jackson: “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights [is] to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities … [T]hey depend on the outcome of no elections.”

The second fallacy is that it would have been okay if the offending art was displayed in a private gallery, but not at the CCP, “on public property and by a public agency,” “a state instrumentality [which] makes [the government] complicit to an attack on religion.”

On the contrary, my dear Watson. A private gallery is completely free to judge art according to its aesthetic biases. But a publicly-funded gallery is bound by a document called the Philippine Constitution, which requires it to respect “freedom of speech [and] of expression” (Article III, Sec. 4) and “foster … a Filipino national culture … in a climate of free artistic and intellectual expression” (Article XIV, Sec. 14). By shutting down Kulô, the government is reduced to being the henchman of the neighborhood thug.

The third fallacy is that the CCP merely “succumbed to pressure by permanently closing the exhibit.” Not so fast, amigo. Read the fine print of the CCP’s statement. One part rightly speaks of public pressure: it was “due to numerous e-mails, text messages and other letters” sent to the CCP and the artists. But another part speaks of what we call the “heckler’s veto”: due to “hate mail” and “an increasing number of threats to persons and property, the [CCP has] decided to close down” Kulô. There is a world of a difference here. In the first rationale, the censor is the CCP itself. But in the second, the censor is the bully who forces the hand of the CCP to lower the boom not on “content-based” (i.e., the irreligiosity) but on “content-neutral” grounds (i.e., the risk of violence).

The fourth fallacy is that Politeismo deserves less protection because it is lesser art, a “mere” collage, in contrast to, say, a “real” painting. What is art, after all? If you have to ask, Rambo, you’ll never know. The CCP’s curator selected only well-known artists, and this exhibit has been previously housed at two universities, the Ateneo de Manila and the University of the Philippines.

The most potent argument against the CCP is that Politeismo is hate speech; it is “injury-specific.” “Such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.” But Philippine jurisprudence has been uneven. Look at the Philippine case involving an outright insult against Islam (a tabloid stupidly saying that Muslims consider pigs “sacred animals”). The Supreme Court threw out the case because “the hurtful speech maligned a large class of people, a group too vast as to readily ascertain who among [them was] particularly defamed.” The Court was lackadaisical when it was a minority that was slurred, and it will be finicky now that the religious majority feels slighted?

The fifth is the braggadocio by church lawyers that the Revised Penal Code provides enough basis to punish any person who publicly “offend any race or religion.” Remember that the law likewise criminalizes defamatory speech, but—in order to reconcile it with the Bill of Rights—the courts have concocted the New York Times v. Sullivan test (adopted by the Philippine Supreme Court) that makes it more difficult to convict when it is a public officer who is defamed.

The sixth fallacy is to assume that by defending Politeismo, I am endorsing it or that I really like it. I don’t. The political philosopher Michael Sandel says: “Liberals often take pride in defending what they oppose …. [They] distinguish between permission and praise, between allowing a practice and endorsing it.”

The seventh fallacy is that the CCP violates religious neutrality by exhibiting irreligious art. So conversely it violates religious neutrality if it exhibits religious art? Let us dream briefly: What if the Vatican lends us Michelangelo’s Pieta? If we shun the Pieta, we are all diminished.

The deed is done: vandalism, aborted arson, threats, and the heckler’s veto. In the coming days, I urge the CCP officers to avoid the limp ratiocination that I have heard from them of late, to stand fast by artistic freedom and not resign, and to stare down a benighted public barely aware it is actually the one getting screwed when we let the hecklers win.

Sam Miguel
08-12-2011, 07:24 AM
^^^ I didn't mean to have those lines across the last three paragraphs and I have no idea how that happened or how to remove it... :-X

Sam Miguel
08-12-2011, 07:56 AM
More from Inquirer Online - - -

Does Desecration of Christ’s Image Qualify as Art?

By Ted Laguatan

Mideo Cruz, 37, who styles himself as a visual and performance artist who intentionally aims to shock and awe with his work may indeed have shocked many with his recent presentation at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), but awe he did not. Instead he has been bombarded with death threats and hate mail since the exhibit opened on June 17.

Cruz’ presentation is entitled “Poleteismo” (Poletheism). He explains that it is about the worship of relics and how idolatry has evolved through history and modern culture. Among other things, he shows an image of the face of Christ with a penis as Christ’s nose. He also presents a wooden cross with condom hangings and a bright red penis that moves vertically up and down. What can be more revered symbols in Christianity than the image of Christ and the cross? The Philippines is about 85 percent Catholic.

According to Cruz, the shock effect of his presentations is meant to spark debate. That it surely did with this exhibit. With some very angry Catholics however, the only debate issue is: “Do we hang this guy by his neck or by his nuts?”

Prominent Catholic individuals and Church organizations such as the Knights of Columbus are demanding for a boycott or a shutdown of the exhibit. Others are calling for the resignation of the Board of Directors of CCP, a government entity. Another group is preparing a lawsuit against Cruz and the CCP Board.

During the Nazi years, some SS operatives went inside a church and desecrated the sacred hosts and statues. This of course grossly offended many Catholics and some wanted to kill them. Some even wondered why God did not strike them dead after this gross sacrilege.

Of course God did not strike them dead because I presume He does not have a Nazi’s mind. Instead, He has a Christian mind: Love your neighbor, including your enemies and forgive. This is what He taught. That’s probably why he has not struck Cruz dead either as many would want. For sure, Cruz’s work turned many Christians to unChristian thoughts.

If Mideo Cruz had portrayed Muhammad as a dick which is what he did with Jesus—most likely, millions of fanatic Muslims worldwide would go on a hysterical frenzy. A fatwa death sentence coupled with a thousand tortures from countless imams (Muslim priests) would most likely have been issued. Inevitably, if he is not careful, Mideo would most likely be kidnapped, subjected to horrible torture, decapitated and his penis stuffed inside his mouth. Some Catholics are wishing that the Muslim style of vengeance be inflicted on Cruz.

In defense, Karen Ocampo-Flores, head of CCP’s Visual Arts Department stated that the mandate of CCP is to cultivate artistic expression and urged that the exhibit be seen as a whole and not in pieces. She added: “I would call it moralist hysteria or religious myopia.”

However, even if we assume that Cruz’s presentation is art in eyes of some and not the garbage that many say it is—the fact is that the patently offensive depictions of Christ and other Christian symbols does show disrespect and gross insensitivity to the feelings and beliefs of millions of Christians—not only in the Philippines but worldwide.

In the name of art, was CCP justified in allowing this patently offensive material to be displayed?

Here’s my take on this:

Art is one thing. Common sense and appropriate respect for the beliefs and affections of others is another.

Cruz’s defined objective is to shock. Therefore, the more shocking is his presentation, the more he sees himself as a success as an artist. As such, putting a penis on the face of Jesus or attaching it to a cross—he calculates—will shock the sensibilities of many. So he intentionally does it. He justifies it as art and the fools who also want to be tagged as artists or claim to understand the minds of artists sympathize and side with him and say: “That is because he is an artist!”—meaning that it’s all right.

But it’s not really all right.

Artist or not, art or not –we have to draw the line somewhere on what ought to be proper for display.

If shock artists like Cruz are allowed to go uncontrolled, what is to stop them from carrying on with more offensive presentations such as for example depicting toddler in various sexual positions with old men in their eighties?

Art ought not to be used as a carte blanche license to present anything that an artist would like to present. Like anything, it is a means to an end—not and the end by itself. Real art should bring out the best in people. Here, Cruz’s offering brings out the worst and—causing them to be angry and to hate him with a vengeance.

I agree with President Aquino’s order to CCP to remove Cruz’s exhibit which is grossly offensive to the sensitivities of millions of Christians. A good artist can communicate his message without resorting to offensive cheap inappropriate attention getting tricks.

I would not go so far as to demand the resignation of the CCP Board. It was more likely a case of a lapse of good judgment caused by an overzealousness to promote artistic expression with no malice intended. However, they should learn some important common sense lessons from the aftershocks of Cruz’s non awe inspiring presentation.

Recently a Filipino couple was arrested for producing sex fetish videos called “crush videos”. Among other cruelties, confiscated videos showed naked young women stepping on the eyes of tied up dogs and blinding them. Had they styled themselves as “avant garde artists giving free expression to the visual arts”—they might not have been arrested and probably even allowed to do a public exhibit.


Note: The California State Bar honors Atty. Ted Laguatan as one of the best lawyers in the U.S. He is one of only 29 lawyers officially certified for more than 20 years as an Expert-Specialist in Immigration Law. He also does accident injuries, wrongful death and complex litigation. For communications (San Francisco area): 455 Hickey Blvd., Ste. 516, Daly City, Ca 94015 Tel 650 991 -1154. Fax 650 991-1186 Email laguatanlaw@gmail.com

Jeep
08-12-2011, 12:22 PM
the ateneo community is getting ready to stage a rally to protest SMDC's blue condominium project at the corner of aurora and katipunan/C-5. i asked my son what the reason was for this protest, and he said, with a 40-storey structure, the thing could, in a temblor, conceivably fall on its side and, in his words, "crush ateneo" (something another SM group member, NU, would have more difficulty doing ;D ).

levity aside, and beyond the brass tacks of the structure holding (or not), what i think is more objectionable is the way by which this project got approval from the QC council -- it was rather hasty for something of this magnitude. even more objectionable was the fact that no consultation was ever held with the community -- the university and the residents of the immediate neighborhoods. AFAIK, neither SMDC nor anyone in the SM group has contested these facts.

if so, this is one practice that apparently is consistent across all of the SM group's businesses. BDO, for instance, has also surprisingly received unusually light penalties for not maintaining capital adequacy ratios other than perhaps a gentle reminder to raise capital to meet those requirements -- where other banks would get the whole nine yards of several tens of thousands per day per penalty. and when it does get to raise capital, it's usually through unsecured, subordinated debt -- not that there's anything wrong with that in the first place. but because of the higher risk profile of this type of instrument, the monetary board would normally have to go beyond the usual audit procedures and due diligence before it gives the go-ahead.

or how about the case of SM outlets themselves: a friend who is an academician and researcher at UST used to snipe at his students who, perhaps being influenced by the left, took SM to task for unfair business practices. he told them we should all in fact be happy that SM is expanding throughout the country because this creates more jobs than the local businesses in every city and province ever could. he reconsidered his view of SM's saving graces, however, when he spoke with a struggling entrepreneur who supplied SM with small gift items (giveaways, trinkets, picture frames, etc.). the entrep would be lucky if SM settled his accounts receivable with them in 60 days -- the standard is 90 days. if he so much as winced, no problem for SM -- there would probably be 30 or 40 suppliers who would be happy to take his place.

the bottomline: the sy family has this country by the balls, whether we like it or not. and all of us, in one way or another, are willing to let them have it because we value our SM advantage cards more than ensuring no one has an undue advantage over the rest.

oh, and while they're rallying and asking questions, why don't the ateneo community and the nearby neighborhoods ask the city councilor at the time this blue condo project was approved by the city council how this thing got the nod so quickly? he's always in the general vicinity of the DLSU bench these days. for sure, el bigote would know how this thing came about.

Joescoundrel
09-06-2011, 10:11 AM
From the New York Times ___

CHINA'S Challenge at Sea

AMERICA’S fiscal woes are placing the country on a path of growing strategic risk in Asia.

With Democrats eager to protect social spending and Republicans anxious to avoid tax hikes, and both saying the national debt must be brought under control, we can expect sustained efforts to slash the defense budget. Over the next 10 years, cuts in planned spending could total half a trillion dollars. Even as the Pentagon saves money by pulling back from Afghanistan and Iraq, there will be fewer dollars with which to buy weapons or develop new ones.

Unfortunately, those constraints are being imposed just as America faces a growing strategic challenge. Fueled by economic growth of nearly 10 percent a year, China has been engaged for nearly two decades in a rapid and wide-ranging military buildup. China is secretive about its intentions, and American strategists have had to focus on other concerns since 9/11. Still, the dimensions, direction and likely implications of China’s buildup have become increasingly clear.

When the cold war ended, the Pacific Ocean became, in effect, an American lake. With its air and naval forces operating through bases in friendly countries like Japan and South Korea, the United States could defend and reassure its allies, deter potential aggressors and insure safe passage for commercial shipping throughout the Western Pacific and into the Indian Ocean. Its forces could operate everywhere with impunity.

But that has begun to change. In the mid-1990s, China started to put into place the pieces of what Pentagon planners refer to as an “anti-access capability.” In other words, rather than trying to match American power plane for plane and ship for ship, Beijing has sought more cost-effective ways to neutralize it. It has been building large numbers of relatively inexpensive but highly accurate non-nuclear ballistic missiles, as well as sea- and air-launched cruise missiles. Those weapons could destroy or disable the handful of ports and airfields from which American air and naval forces operate in the Western Pacific and sink warships whose weapons could reach the area from hundreds of miles out to sea, including American aircraft carriers.

The Chinese military has also been testing techniques for disabling American satellites and cybernetworks, and it is adding to its small arsenal of long-range nuclear missiles that can reach the United States.

Although a direct confrontation seems unlikely, China appears to seek the option of dealing a knockout blow to America’s forward forces, leaving Washington with difficult choices about how to respond.

Those preparations do not mean that China wants war with the United States. To the contrary, they seem intended mostly to overawe its neighbors while dissuading Washington from coming to their aid if there is ever a clash. Uncertain of whether they can rely on American support, and unable to match China’s power on their own, other countries may decide they must accommodate China’s wishes.

In the words of the ancient military theorist Sun Tzu, China is acquiring the means to “win without fighting” — to establish itself as Asia’s dominant power by eroding the credibility of America’s security guarantees, hollowing out its alliances and eventually easing it out of the region.

If the United States and its Asian friends look to their own defenses and coordinate their efforts, there is no reason they cannot maintain a favorable balance of power, even as China’s strength grows. But if they fail to respond to China’s buildup, there is a danger that Beijing could miscalculate, throw its weight around and increase the risk of confrontation and even armed conflict. Indeed, China’s recent behavior in disputes over resources and maritime boundaries with Japan and the smaller states that ring the South China Sea suggest that this already may be starting to happen.

This is a problem that cannot simply be smoothed away by dialogue. China’s military policies are not the product of a misunderstanding; they are part of a deliberate strategy that other nations must now find ways to meet. Strength deters aggression; weakness tempts it. Beijing will denounce such moves as provocative, but it is China’s actions that currently threaten to upset the stability of Asia.

Many of China’s neighbors are more willing than they were in the past to ignore Beijing’s complaints, increase their own defense spending and work more closely with one another and the United States.

They are unlikely, however, to do those things unless they are convinced that America remains committed. Washington does not have to shoulder the entire burden of preserving the Asian power balance, but it must lead.

The Pentagon needs to put a top priority on finding ways to counter China’s burgeoning anti-access capabilities, thereby reducing the likelihood that they will ever be used. This will cost money. To justify the necessary spending in an era of austerity, our leaders will have to be clearer in explaining the nation’s interests and commitments in Asia and blunter in describing the challenge posed by China’s relentless military buildup.

Aaron L. Friedberg, a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton, is the author of “A Contest for Supremacy: China, America and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia.”

LION
09-06-2011, 02:59 PM
the ateneo community is getting ready to stage a rally to protest SMDC's blue condominium project at the corner of aurora and katipunan/C-5. i asked my son what the reason was for this protest, and he said, with a 40-storey structure, the thing could, in a temblor, conceivably fall on its side and, in his words, "crush ateneo" (something another SM group member, NU, would have more difficulty doing ;D ).

levity aside, and beyond the brass tacks of the structure holding (or not), what i think is more objectionable is the way by which this project got approval from the QC council -- it was rather hasty for something of this magnitude. even more objectionable was the fact that no consultation was ever held with the community -- the university and the residents of the immediate neighborhoods. AFAIK, neither SMDC nor anyone in the SM group has contested these facts.

if so, this is one practice that apparently is consistent across all of the SM group's businesses. BDO, for instance, has also surprisingly received unusually light penalties for not maintaining capital adequacy ratios other than perhaps a gentle reminder to raise capital to meet those requirements -- where other banks would get the whole nine yards of several tens of thousands per day per penalty. and when it does get to raise capital, it's usually through unsecured, subordinated debt -- not that there's anything wrong with that in the first place. but because of the higher risk profile of this type of instrument, the monetary board would normally have to go beyond the usual audit procedures and due diligence before it gives the go-ahead.

or how about the case of SM outlets themselves: a friend who is an academician and researcher at UST used to snipe at his students who, perhaps being influenced by the left, took SM to task for unfair business practices. he told them we should all in fact be happy that SM is expanding throughout the country because this creates more jobs than the local businesses in every city and province ever could. he reconsidered his view of SM's saving graces, however, when he spoke with a struggling entrepreneur who supplied SM with small gift items (giveaways, trinkets, picture frames, etc.). the entrep would be lucky if SM settled his accounts receivable with them in 60 days -- the standard is 90 days. if he so much as winced, no problem for SM -- there would probably be 30 or 40 suppliers who would be happy to take his place.

the bottomline: the sy family has this country by the balls, whether we like it or not. and all of us, in one way or another, are willing to let them have it because we value our SM advantage cards more than ensuring no one has an undue advantage over the rest.

oh, and while they're rallying and asking questions, why don't the ateneo community and the nearby neighborhoods ask the city councilor at the time this blue condo project was approved by the city council how this thing got the nod so quickly? he's always in the general vicinity of the DLSU bench these days. for sure, el bigote would know how this thing came about.


This I like. Pwedeng editorial na ito, Jeep. :)

Joescoundrel
09-08-2011, 12:48 PM
Pinamimigay na lang ba TRO ngayon lalo sa QC...? Where and how can I get one...?

Joescoundrel
09-21-2011, 03:40 PM
From the LA Times ___

U.S. to have tough time in Suits against 17 banks over Mortgage Bonds

By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times

September 20, 2011, 5:45 p.m.

Reporting from Washington — The government's latest attempt to hold large banks accountable for helping trigger the Great Recession could fall as flat as earlier efforts to punish Wall Street villains and compensate taxpayers for bailing out the financial industry.

Federal regulators, in landmark lawsuits this month, alleged that 17 large banks misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the safety and soundness of $200 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities sold to the two housing finance giants, sending them to the brink of bankruptcy and forcing the government to seize them.

Targets of other federal lawsuits and investigations have deflected such claims by arguing, for example, that the collapse of the housing market and job losses from the recession caused the loss in the value of mortgage-backed securities.

The big banks, though, might have a more powerful defense: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were no novices at investment decisions.

The two companies were major players in the subprime housing boom through the mortgage-backed securities market they helped create, and they should have known better than anyone that many of the loans behind those securities were toxic, some analysts and legal experts said.

"I can't think of two more sophisticated clients who were in a better position to do the due diligence on these investments," said Andrew Stoltmann, a Chicago investors' lawyer specializing in securities lawsuits. "For them to claim they were misled in some form or fashion, I think, is an extremely difficult legal argument to make."

But the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which has been running Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac since the government seized them in 2008, argued that banks can't misrepresent the quality of their products no matter how savvy the investor.

"Under the securities laws at issue here, it does not matter how 'big' or 'sophisticated' a security purchaser is. The seller has a legal responsibility to accurately represent the characteristics of the loans backing the securities being sold," the FHFA said.

The sophistication of Fannie and Freddie is expected to be the centerpiece of the banks' aggressive defense. Analysts still expect the suits to be settled to avoid lengthy court battles, but they said the weakness of the case meant that financial firms would have to pay far less money than Fannie and Freddie lost on the securities.

Stoltmann predicted that a settlement would bring in only several hundred million dollars on total losses estimated so far at about $30 billion.

In the 17 suits, the FHFA alleged that it was given misleading data.

For example, in the suit against General Electric Co. over two securities sold in 2005 by its former mortgage banking subsidiary, the FHFA said Freddie Mac was told that at least 90% of the loans in those securities were for owner-occupied homes.

The real figure was slightly less than 80%, which significantly increased the likelihood of losses on the combined $549 million in securities, the suit said.

GE said it "plans to vigorously contest these claims." The company said it had made all its scheduled payments to date and had paid down the principal to about $66 million.

The federal agency also has taken on some of the titans of the financial industry, including Goldman Sachs & Co., Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., to try to recoup some of the losses on the securities. That would help offset the $145 billion that taxpayers now are owed in the Fannie and Freddie bailouts.

The suits represent one of the most forceful government legal actions against the banking industry nearly four years after the start of a severe recession and financial crisis brought on in part by the crash of the housing market.

The FHFA had been negotiating separately with the banks to recover losses from mortgage-backed securities purchased by Fannie and Freddie, but decided to get more aggressive.

"Over the last couple of years, they've been doing sort of hand-to-hand combat with each of the banks," said Michael Bar, a University of Michigan law professor who was assistant Treasury secretary for financial institutions in 2009-10. "The suits are an attempt to consolidate those fights over individual loans."

Bar thinks the government has a legitimate case.

"The banks will say, 'You got what you paid for,'" he said. "And the investors will say, 'No we didn't. We thought we were getting bad loans and we got horrible loans.'"

Edward Mills, a financial policy analyst with FBR Capital Markets, said the FHFA has a fiduciary responsibility to try to limit the losses by Fannie and Freddie. But the independent regulatory agency also probably felt political pressure to ensure that banks be held accountable for their actions leading up to the financial crisis, he said.

"There's still a feeling out there that most of these entities got away without a real penalty, so there's still a desire from the American people to show that someone had to pay," Mills said.

Although the suits cover $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities, the actual losses that Fannie and Freddie incurred are much less. For example, the FHFA sued UBS Americas Inc. separately in July seeking to recover at least $900 million in losses on $4.5 billion in securities.

The faulty mortgage-backed securities contributed to combined losses of about $30 billion by Fannie and Freddie, but a final figure is likely to change as the real estate market struggles to work its way through a growing number of foreclosures.

Some experts worry that the uncertainty created by the lawsuits makes it more difficult for the housing market to recover, which adds to the pressure on the FHFA and the banks to settle.

The government case also could be weakened by an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into whether Fannie and Freddie did to their own investors what they're accusing the banks of doing — not properly disclosing the risks of their investments.

Banks are expected to make that point as well. But both sides have strong motives to settle the cases and move on, said Peter Wallison, a housing finance expert at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

"Within any institution there are people who send emails and say crazy things, and the more these things are litigated, the more they get exposed," Wallison said.

Because of flaws in its case and political pressures, the FHFA also will be motivated to settle, Wallison said.

"There will be a settlement because the settlement addresses the political issue … that the government is going to get its pound of flesh from the banks," he said.

jim.puzzanghera@latimes.com

LION
09-21-2011, 05:25 PM
Pinamimigay na lang ba TRO ngayon lalo sa QC...? Where and how can I get one...?


Unang tingin ko boss akala go GRO ang pinamimigay.

Joescoundrel
09-22-2011, 07:05 AM
^ Abot hanggang Lagro pila kung GRO pinamimigay boss...

danny
10-01-2011, 03:32 AM
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/14209/filipino-maid-wins-hong-kong-landmark-case

Filipino maid wins Hong Kong landmark case


HONG KONG—A Filipino maid won the opening legal battle in her fight for permanent residency after a court ruled on Friday that an immigration provision excluding hundreds of thousands of foreign maids was unconstitutional.

The decision to grant Evangeline Banao Vallejos the right to apply for residency under the Basic Law—Hong Kong’s constitution—was a major legal victory in a case that has divided the city with accusations of ethnic discrimination against the foreign maids.

Vallejos, who was not in court because she was busy working, “said thank God” after learning the outcome, said one of the lawyers handling her case.

Residents say the verdict would open the floodgate to about 292,000 foreign maids, most of whom are from the Philippines or Indonesia, to also claim the right of abode.

The decision could also draw in Beijing, which might seek to reinterpret the laws under which the territory is governed, analysts said.

Justice Johnson Lam, ruling in the Court of First Instance, said the immigration provision denying the maids the right to gain permanent residency after seven years—as other foreign residents can—was inconsistent with the Basic Law.

The government is likely to appeal the ruling.

Maids excluded

Vallejos, a longtime foreign domestic helper, sought a judicial review after her bid for permanent residency was rejected.

“The mere maintenance of link with her country of origin does not mean that (a maid) is not ordinarily a resident in Hong Kong,” Lam wrote in a 78-page judgment.

Lam said it was unconstitutional to deny foreign maids the right of residency even though many were employed on short term, two year contracts, that are often repeatedly renewed.

Under Hong Kong’s constitution, foreigners are entitled to permanent residency—and with it, rights to voting, welfare and other services—if they have resided here for a continuous period of seven years. But maids were specifically excluded.

‘Win for rule of law’

Vallejos challenged the restriction, saying it was unconstitutional and discriminatory, but the government argued in court it was “appropriate” and that it was empowered to define who was eligible for residency.

“To be clear, Ms Vallejos won on the unconstitutionality of the provisions,” said Mark Daly, one of her lawyers.

Daly lauded the court’s decision as “a good win for the rule of law.” He said Vallejos also “thanks all the people who have helped her, including her employer and her lawyers.”

“She is busy working so she has no time to be here today,” he added.

Vallejos has worked as a maid in Hong Kong since 1986. She applied last year for the judicial review after the immigration department rejected her permanent residency application in 2008.

Government appeal

Daly said he expected the government to appeal within the 28-day deadline. Another court hearing will be held on Oct. 26 on whether Vallejos can now be declared a permanent resident.

Two similar cases involving five Filipino helpers are set to go before the courts in October.

The case has divided opinion in Hong Kong, with some arguing that immigration provisions barring maids from applying amounts to ethnic discrimination.

The vast majority of the city’s 292,000 foreign domestic helpers—most of whom are women—are from the Philippines or Indonesia, but some also come from Thailand, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

120,000 Filipinos

The immigration department website puts the number of Filipino maids in Hong Kong at about 120,000. A Reuters news agency report put their number at 139,000 and the number of Indonesians at 146,000.

Of the total number of foreign maids, 117,000 have been continuously working in Hong Kong for more than seven years and potentially eligible for residency based on the court’s judgement.

Foreign maids in Hong Kong are entitled to better working conditions than in other parts of Asia—they are guaranteed one day-off a week, paid sick leave, and a minimum wage of HK$3,740 ($480, or P20,000) a month.

The maids are a big source of help to the middle and upper classes of Hong Kong, where it’s common for families to employ one or more to live with them to do household chores and look after children.

Influx of migrants

But many complain that giving the maids permanent residency would result in an influx of their family members, which would put a strain on the densely populated city’s housing, schools and other resources.

“I am personally disappointed by the judgment,” Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang told reporters. “One thing is quite clear. We are fully prepared for an adverse judgment at this stage and for that reason we would be doing what we need to do.”

Hong Kong, a British colony for 150 years, returned to Chinese rule in 1997 and is supposed to retain a high level of internal autonomy.

Protesters cry betrayal

Several dozen people protested outside the courthouse against the maids as the ruling was released. They carried placards and chanted “Civic Party betrayed Hong Kong!”—a reference to pro-democracy legislators, who backed the maids.

The money sent home by the maids is a big source of income for their families. According to the Philippine government, workers in Hong Kong accounted for $312 million of the $18.8 billion sent home by expatriate workers last year, or about 10 percent of the country’s annual gross domestic product. Reports from Reuters, AP, AFP and Inquirer Research

---------------------------------------------


I wonder what Esposo or Fr. Lana of Letran would say about this.

Will they champion the rights of Filipino maids to work, reside and become permanent residents in that foreign land?

;D

danny
10-01-2011, 03:56 AM
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/14209/filipino-maid-wins-hong-kong-landmark-case

Fil-Ams win US racial suit


LOS ANGELES—Four Filipino-American health workers, who were fired for speaking Tagalog in the workplace, have won the discrimination lawsuit they filed against the Bon Secours Health System, a hospital based in Baltimore, Maryland.

The ruling was “a big win for diversity and an important victory for Filipinos in America,” said the health workers lawyer, Arnedo Valera, coexecutive director of the Washington DC-based Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC).

This is because aside from the fact that the ruling benefits all bilingual and multilingual immigrants, it is also the first time the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) came up with a ruling specific to the Filipino language, he said.

“I feel relieved, happy and thankful,” said Jazziel Granada, a 30-year-old health unit coordinator who was two months pregnant when she and nurses Corina Yap, Ana Rosales and Hachelle Natano were dismissed for violating the hospital’s “English-only” policy in its emergency department last year.

In a ruling dated August 16, EEOC Director Gerald Kiel said he found reasonable cause that the health workers were subjected to “unequal terms and conditions of employment, a hostile work environment, disciplinary action and discharge because of their national origin in violation of Title VII (of the Civil Rights Act of 1964).”

The health workers filed their discrimination suit in June 2010.

The EEOC is an independent federal agency that enforces laws against workplace discrimination.

“Everyone has the right to speak their own native language in the workplace so long as it does not adversely affect their job performance or put their patients’ lives in danger,” said Valera.

The EEOC has ordered the Bon Secours Health System to discuss a financial settlement with the health workers. The settlement may also include a demand for an apology and diversity training for management and staff, according to Valera.

Never in front of patients

In their affidavits, the health workers said they made sure they spoke English while performing their work and only spoke Tagalog to each other during breaks.

Natano, one of the nurses, recalled in her affidavit that she had once been reprimanded for replying “Salamat po, doc” (Thank you, Dr.) to a Filipino physician, who had offered her food, speaking to her in Tagalog.

“During patient care, we did not talk Tagalog in front of the patient. There was no incident reported that talking in Tagalog could cause harm to our patients or our coworkers,” said Granada.

After she lost her job, Granada was forced to return to the Philippines because it became more difficult for her to find a job as a health unit coordinator because of her pregnancy. She is now back in Baltimore and has given birth to a boy who is now 9 months old.

Fight for rights

Rosales said she felt both anger and sadness at being arbitrarily fired.

“I treated patients with compassion, love and care… I never compromised the safety of my patients by speaking Tagalog,” she said in her affidavit.

Rosales said she lost the medical insurance for herself and her four children, and she had a hard time finding another nursing job.

“With the economic crisis we’re facing right now, most hospitals have a hiring freeze,” she added.

“I was crying on the way home,” recalled Yap. “I didn’t know how (to tell) my family because I paid most of the bills.” She fell behind on her mortgage payments and nearly lost the family home to foreclosure.

“There were nurses in the ER who committed mistakes that put the lives of their patients in danger but they’re still there because they’re Caucasian,” Yap added.

Yap said she hoped their victory would serve as “an inspiration not only to Filipinos but also to other immigrants whose primary language is not English.”

“I know that we did the right thing—to speak up and fight for our rights,” she said.

Victory against discrimination

The New York-based National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (Nafcon) said the ruling was “a victory for all Filipino-Americans,” praising the health workers, Valera and the MHC for courageously pursuing justice for the health workers.

The California Nurses Association (CNA) and the National Nurses United (NNU) described it as an important victory in the fight against discrimination.

“Discrimination still exists and we have to remain vigilant in protecting our rights,” said Zenei Cortez, CNA/NNU copresident.

The NNU has close to 160,000 members in every state and is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States.


----------------------------------

In the NCAA, the representatives of so called Catholic schools (whose roots are foreign Friar Oders and a non Filipino Christian Brother) like Letran, San Sebastian and Benilde are the same people who are encouraging discrimination against non-Filipinos.

Racist pero gusto niyong umarteng imported. Para kayong si Queen Isabela ng Al Andalus...este Espanya, na anti-Arab/Islam pero ang libiingan puno ng Koranic texts at Arabic Art.

Kitid kasi ng utak. Parang walang pinag-aralan. ;D


;D

oca
10-01-2011, 06:51 AM
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/14209/filipino-maid-wins-hong-kong-landmark-case

Filipino maid wins Hong Kong landmark case



Courts do not make laws.

The law was there to begin with. Someone had invoked it and went to the courts for interpretation and enforcement.

Ngayon, naghihimagsik ang kalooban ng mga locals.

They have to look at their history of being a colonial territory. They surely must have many laws that grants privileges and rights to non-locals during their colonial past. Intended for non-locals, who then were mostly Europeans, primarily British.

Etong mga tutol, they better form a group to review their laws dating back to colonial rule and identify anything similar to this. Baka may batas sila that allows foreigners to be elected to top positions in government.

Pag nagkataon baka humiga na sila sa mga riles ng tren nila as protest.

oca
10-01-2011, 06:57 AM
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/14209/filipino-maid-wins-hong-kong-landmark-case

Fil-Ams win US racial suit



Meron sa HK, meron sa US. Landmark cases both.

All about availing and/or asserting Rights.

Sa dami ng Pinoy na nagkalat sa mundo, di maglalaon, Pinoy na ang mangunguna sa pagsulong ng civil rights ng mga dayo sa isang lugar sa iba't ibang panig ng mundo.

Buti at dahan-dahan Pinoys overseas are shedding their attitude of docility.

maroonmartian
10-01-2011, 07:03 PM
^ Filipinos leading the civil rights movement? Nah mahirap yan. UNLESS IF THAY WILL BENEFIT THEM (SUPPORTING THE MOVEMENT). If not, we will still discriminate the lower "classes" while letting ourselves be exploited by foreigners who are richer and stronger than us. The hypocrites. ;D

oca
10-01-2011, 08:56 PM
^ Filipinos leading the civil rights movement? Nah mahirap yan. UNLESS IF THAY WILL BENEFIT THEM (SUPPORTING THE MOVEMENT). If not, we will still discriminate the lower "classes" while letting ourselves be exploited by foreigners who are richer and stronger than us. The hypocrites. ;D


To advance a cause is premised on the benefit one derives from it. That's human nature.

Dito sa Pilipinas, iba ang standards sa pananaw ng Pinoy. Kahit pakikinabangan, pero kung sa unang tingin ay mauuwi rin sa wala, di na lalaban. Pero sa labas ng Pilipinas iba naman ang pananaw ng parehong Pinoy.

Isipin mo, we tend to think and behave differently pag nasa ibang bansa. Ewan ko kung human nature yan, pero ganyan ang Pinoy.

maroonmartian
10-02-2011, 06:52 AM
Let's assume school A sues school B for fielding a foreigner as a player, arguing the foreigners are taking the slots meant for Filipinos. I bet there would be two possible decisions and it is quite possible that it could happen in a span of six months (heard of the case regarding the legality of Dinagat Islands conversion as a province or the more popular Manila Prince Hotel case which was abrogated by a later case?).

Decision 1: In favor of school A. Foreign players are banned.
Reasons: Nationalism, police power of the state to regulate athletic leagues, promotion of sports FOR Filipinos

Decision 2: In favor of school B. Foreign players are allowed.
Reasons: Equal protection clause (the one that killed the Truth Commission), Anti-racial discrimination

One court, two decisions in less than a year. This could happen ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES.

Hiling ko na lang kasi sa mga Filipino, maging consistent naman.

danny
10-05-2011, 04:56 AM
^^^

You do not need to sue these schools. You only have to brand them as such based on the actions that they will take. They are trying to manufacture an image of "nationalism". Unfortunately for them, the NAZIs used nationalism as an excuse for racism. These racist clerico-fascist will learn a lesson or two.

For schools, especially those struggling with enrollment, image is everything... :D :D

maroonmartian
10-12-2011, 03:36 AM
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/74607/supreme-court-under-fire-over-recall

Supreme Court under fire over recall
High court ‘teetering on the abyss of incredulity’
By Cathy Yamsuan, Marlon Ramos, Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquire

Brickbats fell on the Supreme Court Tuesday from its two coequal branches, after the high tribunal recalled a supposedly final decision on a plea by letter writer Estelito Mendoza.
Fearing a reversal of fortune, the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (Fasap) urged the court to explain the “compelling reason” behind the recall on October 4 of its ruling reinstating 1,400 of its members after a 13-year legal battle against Philippine Airlines (PAL).
The court’s spokesperson, Midas Marquez, said on Monday the ruling should have been handled by the Special Third Division instead of the Second Division, a technicality which he said was pointed out in a letter by Mendoza, PAL’s blue chip lawyer.
“I think the Supreme Court owes us an apology for this shameful act,” Fasap spokesperson Dennis Ortiz said during a protest action outside the tribunal by scores of employees wearing black armbands who were sacked by PAL after a strike in 1998.
“What compelling reason justified the Supreme Court recall?” Fasap said in a statement, pointing out that the Constitution provides that “no decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based.”
Annabelle Lesaca, one of the dismissed employees, said she could not help but think that PAL owner Lucio Tan had “already bought the entire Philippines.”
“The Supreme Court must be sure not to make the same mistake again if ever this time the technicality was overlooked,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told reporters. He described the ruling as “something out of the ordinary.”
Internal rules violated
Senator Miriam Santiago, a former Quezon City judge, called the reversal “extremely unfortunate,” pointing out that the tribunal apparently violated its own internal rules.
In an ambush interview, Santiago warned the court was “teetering on the abyss of incredulity” for acting in favor of PAL after receiving a “mere” letter from Mendoza.
“According to the internal rules of the SC, no second motion can be filed without prior permission from the Court. First, one has to file a motion pleading with the Court to allow the filing of a second motion. Only then can one file a second motion for reconsideration. Was there an order by the SC allowing the second motion? It was not even a motion but a mere letter,” she noted.
The court’s internal rules, Santiago said, dictate that there shall be no second motion “except when the original decision is legally erroneous, patently unjust or will probably result in irreparable damage or injury.”
“I am angry because I fear citizens would turn (their) back against the bulwark of civil liberty. It would be impossible to regain it once it loses it this instant,” she fumed.
Flip-flopping
Senator Franklin Drilon said the recall of the decision was not surprising because the court had also “flip-flopped” in decisions giving 16 towns the status of cities.
“There was already an entry of judgment yet the court also reconsidered and had a new decision. I am no longer surprised at the rate it is flip-flopping,” said Drilon, a former justice secretary.
Senator Francis Pangilinan warned that the reversal could result in a serious backlash against the tribunal.
“The ruling is a cause for serious concern. Regardless of the parties involved and the arguments given, the public perception it creates casts doubt on the image and reputation of the SC as a court of last resort and a bulwark of democracy,” he explained.
“How can the public know for certain that a case will be decided with finality when its decisions can so quickly be recalled? The uncertainty it brings is a cause for concern especially for countless of petitioners who have pending cases before the highest court of the land,” Pangilinan said.
Court of injustice
Anakpawis Representative Rafael Mariano said this latest court decision was “highly condemnable.”
He said it showed a pattern of successive antifarmer and antiworker decisions favoring business tycoons like Lucio Tan, Eduardo, “Danding” Cojuangco and the Cojuangco-Aquinos.
Mariano noted that the decision on the PAL cases followed the loss of workers in the coconut levy case and the Hacienda Luisita agrarian dispute.
“What happened to (the saying that) ‘those who have less in life should have more in law?’” Mariano asked.
He said the high tribunal was fast becoming the “high court of injustice” with the series of antipeople rulings it had issued on high profile cases of national concern.
“In the hierarchy of employees’ rights, the right to security of tenure is high, if not the highest. The paramount value of that right is recognized and guaranteed under the 1987 Constitution. The other complementary rights are meaningless to an unemployed worker,” he stressed.
Nothing to explain
Sought for comment, Marquez said: “I’ve explained everything there is to explain regarding the issue at this time. I don’t see the necessity to react to that anymore.”
Lucio Tan and his companies have been getting favorable decisions in its legal battles.
Last month, the Court of Appeals allowed PAL to proceed with its P730-million damage suit against its former pilots who staged a labor strike that crippled the flag carrier’s operations in June 1998.
On September 29, the National Labor Relations Commission junked the unfair labor practice case filed by the flag carrier’s ground crew union in connection with the airline’s alleged refusal to start negotiation for a new collective bargaining agreement early this year.
Last week, the appellate court awarded P68 million to Tan’s Asia Brewery Inc. regarding the damage suit it had filed against rival San Miguel Corp.
The appeals court also granted PAL’s petition questioning the excise tax levied by the Bureau on Internal Revenue on its imported jet fuel.
On the other hand, the Supreme Court approved the P491-million tax refund claim of Fortune Tobacco Corp., also a member of Lucio Tan Group of Companies.
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NA NAMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

maroonmartian
10-12-2011, 04:22 AM
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/73877/supreme-court-recalls-final-ruling-on-pal-cabin-layoffs

Supreme Court recalls final ruling on PAL cabin layoffs
Mendoza’s letter does trick; airline union outraged
By Philip C. Tubeza

In an unprecedented move denounced as a “travesty of justice,” the Supreme Court has recalled its “final” decision ordering the reinstatement of 1,400 Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight attendants purportedly because a wrong division issued the ruling.
In a two-page resolution dated October 4, the court en banc decided to handle the case after PAL lawyer Estelito Mendoza wrote the tribunal and questioned its Second Division ruling ordering the reinstatement of the members of the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (Fasap).
“Pursuant to the … internal rules of the Supreme Court, the court en banc resolves to accept (the case) and to take cognizance thereof. The court en banc further resolves to recall the resolution dated Sept. 7, 2011, issued by the Second Division in this case,” the tribunal said.
Fasap president Bob Anduiza said it was “mind-boggling and deeply disturbing” how a mere letter from Mendoza had prompted the court to recall what it had declared as a decision reached “with finality” and that “no further plea shall be entertained.”
“The Filipino public should stand witness to this travesty of justice. The law is being mocked in this case. It sends a very shocking and shameful message to the world that in our country, workers do not stand a chance against the rich and influential businessmen,” Anduiza said. “This is really very, very dangerous.”
Misapplication of rules
Court spokesperson Midas Marquez said the court en banc had to recall the order because the Second Division erred in ruling on the case when it was supposed to have been handled by the tribunal’s Special Third Division.
“Apparently, there is a misapplication of the rules on which division should resolve that issue and therefore the court en banc decided to accept the case,” Marquez said.
When asked why a mere letter, and not a formal pleading, from the PAL counsel was filed and was able to move the high court, Marquez said: “Perhaps, they were also in a quandary as to which division to address the case.”
“This is the first time I’ve encountered something like this and it was brought about by the series of retirements. It’s a technicality but this is a very important case so we want to remove all doubts,” he said.
‘Naked power play’
Fasap pointed out that the high tribunal had said three times that “PAL’s retrenchment was illegal” and its dismissed members fighting a legal battle for the last 13 years were “entitled to full back wages and reinstatement.”
“Did the ‘honorable’ men and women in robes take in consideration the welfare of the PAL employees? Or did they weigh in favor of the interest of the big and rich businessmen? We cannot help but describe this as a naked power play, where the victims are again the lowly workers. It is decisions like this that tarnish the image of the Supreme Court and the country,” Anduiza said in a statement.
“Imagine, by a mere letter from Attorney Mendoza, the Supreme Court recalled three previous decisions! Where else can the workers seek for justice!” he said.
Incidental matters
Marquez explained in a press briefing how the case ended up erroneously in the Second Division.
He said former Associate Justice Consuelo Ynares-Santiago, a member of the tribunal’s Third Division, wrote the decision denying PAL’s first motion for reconsideration. Santiago retired in 2009.
Under the court’s internal rules, further motions or “incidental matters” raised about the case should have been resolved by the Special Third Division since the ponente (author) of the initial ruling had retired, Marquez said.
He also noted that three other members of the five-member Third Division that issued the ruling Santiago authored had also been replaced.
“Look at the original composition that decided this case, only one of them remains and that is Justice (Teresita Jose Leonardo) de Castro. All four retired already therefore all these four members have been replaced by designated members of the Special Third Division,” Marquez said.
Ruling not yet final
“What could have happened here was that a regular member of the Second Division, who was designated to sit as a member of the Special Third Division decided it and thought that he or she was deciding as member of Second Division,” he said.
“And therefore, he submitted his draft and members of the Second Division concurred with him,” Marquez added.
Marquez also said that the Second Division ruling had not yet attained finality because there was still no entry of judgment in the case.
“There have been several cases in the past that even with denial with finality, the court still considered a second motion for reconsideration. That is, if and when a party asked prior leave of court for them to file a second motion for reconsideration,” he said.
“To avoid any further confusion and to erase all doubts, the en banc decided to accept this case,” Marquez said.
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The issue here is predictability. Now if the highest court themselves are unpredictable, how could it guide the lower courts in their deliverance of justice? Sana ginawa na nilang crafty as CJ Enrique Fernando did during Marcos times. Ang masama kasi pinaasa pa ang FASAP.