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Posts Tagged ‘just my two cents’


For the past two days, I was trying to lose myself from all these “ugly” events happening in our country. Sometimes though, because you have a sense of patriotism and that nationalistic attitude towards your beloved country, you just can’t help but react.

This actually happened more than a week ago when 22 Filipino fishermen at the Red Bank was rammed by a chinese vessel. It took a week for Duterte to react by saying it was an  “an ordinary maritime incident”, instead of investigating what happened and protecting the rights of the 22 fishermen.  He would not dare punish china for intentionally sinking that fishing boat. Now it can be told, he loves china more than he loves his country and his countrymen who he promised to serve.

Let me quote an  opinion of a netizen Allan Bernabe how these people from the government  coerced the fishermen to doubt themselves and eventually retract their own statements:

It’s so tragic that Duterte had to parade excessive force, to cower Insigne into submission. The poor fisherman-captain was taken down by shock and awe.

Piñol was sent to boat owner’s home, in the guise of bringing relief goods. But the real purpose was to force Insigne and his companions to change their story and apologize to Duterte.

When Piñol met Insigne, there’s no doubt that Insigne showed defiance.

But Piñol was ready. Duterte had anticipate Insigne will stand for principle. So he had assigned a battalion of fully armed policemen to go with Piñol, to do nothing else but scare Insigne. Once Insigne resisted, Piñol signalled the troops to surround the house in full battle gear, threatening arrest of the fisherboat captain.

Insigne, who had already received arrest “feelers” prior, must have broken down in fear.

After losing his command of the rammed boat, losing his right to fish in Philippine territories, losing his dignity to Duterte’s lies and fierce fanatics trolling, and almost losing his life to Chinese militia, he cannot afford to lose his freedom.

Not knowing the threat of arrest was only a Duterte’s bluff, Insigne surrendered to Duterte’s propaganda.

The most powerful tyrant of the country crushing the heart and soul of the poor beaten victims of China’s aggression, using the full might of a country’s resources.

Such unspeakable cruelty only a Duterte mind can produce.

Injustice can’t even begin to describe this.

Pinol is the present Agriculture Secretary sent by duterte.He conducted a closed-door meeting with the seafarers. When it was done, they were singing a different tune. You can see from their faces how conflicted they were of what happened, even having their photos taken with that hateful  fist sign like a Nazi salute.

First Lorenzana changed his tune, then here comes the captain of the Philippine vessel who says he is no longer sure whether it was a chinese ship who rammed them or not. What’s happening Philippines? Ganito na lang ba kababa ang tingin nila sa atin?Yung iba diyan, ang daling bumaliktad, may nabibili, may nasusuhulan, may madaling himukin. Yung iba tinatakot at binabantaan ang buhay nila. Which is which people? I am confused  . Or maybe to save your life and the lives of your family, you just follow blindfolded. We can’t really blame those poor fishermen.

(Lorenzana is the present Secretary of  National Defense).

 

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I used to look forward to the celebration of our  independence every  12th of June but then the picture has deemed since someone in Malacanang occupied it.

I read in one of our national newspapers that it would be VP Leni Robredo and Mayor Joseph Estrada of Manila who will do the wreath-laying and the flag-raising rites in Luneta tomorrow. So where is the president?  He does not participate in such an important event like this….haha! Better sleep in Davao???

One hundred and twenty one years  from the time General Emilio Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence from more than 300 years of Spanish rule on January 12, 1898 in Kawit, Cavite and most of us Filipinos are still struggling to remember it. Some people are just happy it is an official holiday. I guess, with all the things happening now in our country, some of us don’t really care. Some would rather follow their “tatay” blindly than show a little nationalism to celebrate it. It’s really sad that after all the sacrifices our forebears did to attain our independence, it seems like they’d rather be under another country’s rule. china is getting closer and closer. There are now so many illegal mainland chinese who are working here depriving some of our local workers of the jobs that are supposed to be theirs. They have put up businesses in some areas of the archipelago. They have caused rents in apartments and condominium units to escalate. Some even set up their own fast food chain and this government is allowing it.

Where are we going?

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Would you believe, we are now at the end  of November. It seems like it was just yesterday that 2018 has come to our doorstep and yet, there is one more month to go before 2018 leaves us  and  we have to welcome another year. I wonder what 2019 would bring us. Not really looking forward to it. The political climate here in our country is not doing quite well and 2019 would be another election year for half of the senators, our congressmen and  our local officials. This early, politicking and early campaigning is what we see every day in social media.

I have no more faith in the political system here. Unless most voters wake up to reality and vote for those with integrity and genuine love for the people and the country, nothing changes. The president has just appointed another lackey in the Supreme Court. When he appointed the retired SC justice who served for just more than forty days a few months ago, he said it is based on seniority but that is only applied to his obsequious followers or what we locally know as his “alipores”. The president is consistent on being inconsistent. What a sad world we live in.

Here comes the next appointment  and I was rallying for Justice Carpio who is the most senior, the most qualified and  was one of the negotiators in the  Hague ruling on the West Philippine Sea  and we won. An honest, dedicated, honorable justice of the land. But he chose to appoint  someone who had made those unpalatable decisions in the past.  The guy is responsible for the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao and its extension, he allowed Marcos to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani despite public protests that he was not a hero, he was responsible for the arrest order of Sen. Leila de Lima who is now languishing in jail even if she is innocent of the accusations on her, he allowed Sen. Enrile to be out on bail supposedly for health reasons but look at  Enrile now, he would run again for senator at the age of 94.  He was also responsible of Chief Justice Sereno’s ouster just because like Sen. de Lima, she is not lined up with the present administration.

Clearly, the president has the judiciary, executive and legislative branches of the land in his hands.  He creates diversionary tactics  so  people would not talk about the true issue which is his connivance with China. Would it be right to say that he sold us to China?  He keeps on maligning the Catholic Church even to the point of blaspheming God and accusing one of our bishops that he is into drugs.  He is clearly not concerned about those tons of drugs from China that enters the country. Maybe it is true, this is just a fake war on drugs. All those big time drug lords are scot-free and some are even his friends.  He deported a nun  back to Australia who had been staying here serving the poor for so many years but is so defensive about the Chinese illegal immigrants who are working here illegally too. Suffice to say, he loves China but not the Filipino people he promised to served. A subservient to the Chinese president.

I am wondering, is this the norm now in Philippine politics? Such a crazy world and yes, some die-hard believers of the president like this brand of leadership. I don’t.

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In his brief message yesterday at the  Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem,  Duterte said:

“I could not imagine of a country obey an insane leader. And I could not ever fathom the spectacle of a human being going into a killing spree, murdering old men, women, men, children, mother”. 

He said further that  “despots and insane leaders “should be disposed of at the first instance. This was the same guy who said two years ago that he’d be happy to slaughter three million drug addicts just like what Hitler did  to the Jews.

Oh my, was he talking about himself? For this is what is happening now in our country.  His enemies in politics are  being persecuted one by one. First it was Sen. de Lima who was jailed  supposedly because of drugs, Chief Justice Sereno who was stripped of her post a few months ago. Then now comes Sen. Trillanes who is so vocal about Duterte’s doings and his failure to address the pressing problems of the country. Last  August 31, the latter issued an executive order revoking the amnesty granted to Sen. Trillanes by then Pres. Aquino back in 2011. Can the executive, without going through judicial proceedings,  declares the nullity of the Amnesty granted to Senator Trillanes just because documents in their own custody “cannot be found”? So if my birth certificate was lost  by the NSO, does that mean that I am not a Filipino citizen? If my marriage contract could not be found in their files, does that mean, I am not married?  What kind of logic is that? I say it is so rotten, BULOK. Or maybe Sen. Trillanes’ application for amnesty was deliberately misplaced so they’ll find a reason to arrest him.  Arrest now, check records later, is that it?

Thank you Geri Apostol for this photo.

He has no pending case in any court of the land. He was jailed before for seven years during La Gloria’s presidency because of staging a mutiny plot to oust the former. And now here comes a president who I think is very much afraid of Sen. Trillanes.  I watched all the interviews and happenings yesterday  at the Senate. Imagine arresting a civilian without warrant.  Sen. Trillanes resigned from being a soldier when he filed his candidacy as senator years ago. He actually won while he was in jail.  He is the only senator who filed the most bills  and most approved too.

It was timed. Does Duterte has to go out of the country before his executive order came  out?  Is this another kind of distraction from the more serious problems of the land? Rice with “bukbok”. importing “galunggong”  with formalin, dwindling dollar reserves and a very low exchange rate for the peso, eroding economy, billions  worth of shabu  drugs that entered the country, the unresolved 25,000 killings that are still ‘deaths under investigation”.  Gosh, in two years the Philippines looks pathetic when it used to be the rising tiger of Asia during Pres. Aquino’s reign.

Again I ask, where are we going Philippines?

 

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There you go, another lovely quote to ponder upon.  I had this for quite sometime on my news feed  and seen it again today so why not blog about it?

Are people judgmental? Some are but not everyone.  Some people  rely on truth and veracity of one’s statements, some are fooled by false promises. Many belong to the latter especially when they meet people with glib tongues echoed by wonderful  but empty words. Some who are wise enough couldn’t care less, they just raise their eyebrows with an unexpressed “unbelievable” word.

Last week, he did it again cursing the Catholic Church and calling God stupid. My God is not stupid, he probably is. Many people reacted not just Catholics but others of Christian faith. That’s clearly crossing the line of propriety and respect. We are all brief sojourners in this world but God is eternal.

Now Duterte would like to create a panel to dialogue with the Catholic clergy.  He had clearly touched  a very sensitive spot in the lives of majority of Filipinos. Too late, the damage is done and those ugly words about the Bible and God won’t be forgotten by many. Why make a dialogue with someone who doesn’t even know how to keep his words and tells more lies while he stays in office? He is there not to serve the people but to divide them. He says one thing today, tomorrow he refutes it. Do you still believe in this guy? I pity you if you still do.

There was a survey released lately. It implied that  he was a failure as president and that crimes are still on the rise. He kept saying that he will resign (for so many times) but why is he still there?  Do it now!

You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.

 

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This is it.

If there is one thing that really clinched and sealed who I will be voting for Vice-President  come May 9, 2016, the first and only debate for Vice-Presidential  candidates sponsored by the Commission on Election, Business Mirror and CNN Philippines  did it. It was held at University of Santo Tomas (my alma mater) Quadricentennial Pavilion yesterday from 5pm to 8pm, a three-hour stay in front of the TV but it was all worth it. And this is way, way better than the first two Presidential debates sponsored by two local TV stations. Give it to CNN Philippines.

Five men and a lady.

Yes, five of them are senators and a lone  congresswoman from Bicol  – Sen.  Cayetano, Sen. Honasan, Sen.  Escudero, Sen.  Marcos, Sen. Trillanes and Cong. Leni Robredo.   I need not describe how they presented themselves to the public and how they courted voters to mark them on their ballots  next month. Some have the usual charm  but their words are without “meat” if you know what I mean.  Some are big in words backed by experience  but not everyone of them deserves to be vice-president.

Sen.  Cayetano – I like him as a Senator, the fighting-outspoken-and so in touch with issues senator  when there are Senate hearings but listening to him parrot his partner’s words (Duterte’s dream of eradicating crime after 3 to 6 months), I don’t know if he is in touch with what is happening around.  How would you eradicate crime in that short span when you’re just comparing it with just one place in the whole archipelago? And it makes me laugh when he said that they would step down if they can’t do it in 6 months.  Tell us how you’ll do it and I’ll probably believe you. Do you have concrete plans or you just have to count bodies in the street and say, “they are criminals and they deserve to die”.  Is that how it should be?

Sen. Honasan – the renegade soldier at the time when Cory Aquino was president. He was one of those coup plotters in the Aquino government. I don’t understand where he is coming from and I won’t even consider him. Issues on corruption which were frequently asked reminds me of his partner  VP Binay who is running for president.

Sen. Bongbong Marcos –  He is a Marcos, what more can I say. Those who don’t know history and how it was during the martial law years would admire or even vote for this guy. He was bombarded with questions about their hidden wealth, atrocities done during his father’s reign etc. He said he won’t apologize for something he didn’t do and he could not give back (meaning the money for martial law victims) something which he does not have.  It makes me puke just imagining another  Marcos in Malacañan. I remember the day they fled the country  last 1986, he was in full battle gear, ready to fight. Never again.

Sen. Escudero – he was one of the dullest speakers in the debate, next to Honasan.  I could not understand the way he talks. As we say in Tagalog “sobrang palabok” meaning, he has gone and travelled a thousand miles before he gets to the point  of what he is trying to say. He is so confident that he and his partner Grace Poe would be able to pull it off. No way baby.

Sen. Trillanes – this guy has promise but he has no political machinery to speak of. I think he is the most hard-working guy in the Senate. A brave soul who thinks that Binay is guilty of corruption and doesn’t deserve to be president of our country. He clearly know what he is talking about. I like him, maybe it is not yet time for him to run but he should  concentrate more on exposing anomalies in the government.

Cong. Leni Robredo – now we are speaking of someone who I think is the best among them all. She is a lawyer and wife to the former DILG Secretary Jessie Robredo who died in a plane crash a few years ago.   Over the years she gave her time and effort  to the poor.  If there is someone who can honestly say that she knows the pulse of the lowest rank in society, she is the one. She started virtually unknown to the public but she is slowly and surely getting to the top slot.  A very intelligent woman, can stand on her own even without mentioning the name of her late husband.  She commutes to and from Bicol just to be with her constituents.  You know, I have this dream of someday visiting  Bicol riding in a bus with her  and talking about not politics but about those people who she  freely shares  her  time with.  My opinion actually won’t do justice to what she has done.

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May the best woman win, Cong. Leni. My family and I are voting for you. I think it’s time we deserve to have an honest Vice-President.

For the win!

 

 

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Caught the Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile  this morning being interviewed by Karen Davila on Headstart at ANC. And I can’t resist quoting his words:

“I stretched the rules of evidence in favor of the Defense, so they would not complain of  grave abuse of discretion on our part.”

“In the beginning I was trying to give the Chief Justice the benefit of the doubt.”

“I don’t understand why the Defense called the Ombudsman and they could not even qualify if she is a hostile witness.”

“No legal or financial mind can invent the content of the AMLC document.”

“I will not accuse him of lying but they were not ready to bring the quantum of evidence needed to explain Corona’s assets.”

“There was some degree of inconsistency in the totality of Corona’s defense.”

“He was measured and I think he failed.”

“He was appointed at Chief Justice, I would presume he was fit as a lawyer to hold the position.”

“I based my decision on evidence. I studied the Corona case more than the Prosecutors and Defense.”

Oh, and I just love it when he said that he made a listing of the Senators who will vote during the judgment then he pulled out the list  from  his wallet and showed it to Karen Davila. It’s a list of the committed, the uncommitted (his name was included here) and the three names for acquittal. He was right on target, the three names appeared to be Arroyo, Marcos and Santiago.

Nice penmanship Manong.  Let me continue:

“Supreme Court cannot review our decision. The Senate Impeachment Court is outside the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.”

He said further that the president cannot appoint an outsider. They should come from the remaining fourteen members of the Supreme Court. He was asked whose speech he liked the most when the senators explained their votes and he said: “Lito Lapid”. He will support VP Binay for president in 2016 but unsure of who will be his VP, saying that either Escudero or Estrada would be okay. He loves reading and memorizing poems and watching old films on TV.  He’s 88 years old  but his mind is so sharp. Nice job Manong Johnny!

(thanks again ANC for the grabbed pic and to Phil. Inquirer for JPE’s photo)

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Would it be proper now if we just call him plain “Attorney”?

For the past five months, I’ve been so focused on  the impeachment trial  that I forgot the weeds growing in my  garden and they look so ugly interspersed with my blooming and healthy peanut grass.  Judgment has been rendered and the Filipino people are happy that democracy still works in our country.  The telenovela is over, not all are satisfied though with the ending because they are talking about the possibility of  filing a petition for review before the Supreme Court. We’ve heard before the rendering of the verdict that both Prosecution and Defense would abide by the outcome of the voting.  And one election lawyer even said that the verdict was incomplete because Senator Enrile, the  presiding officer of the IC did not read in his closing speech the penalty for an impeached chief justice.  As far as I know, “it shall not go farther than removal from public office and perpetual disqualification from public office”. He won’t be imprisoned but he could kiss public office goodbye.

Had he just resigned from office, he could have saved himself and his family the humiliation and the ordeal of leaving the Supreme Court in shame.  It could  have been a graceful exit and  he could have endeared himself more to the people who still believe that he is innocent . But he chose to stay, holding on to the last minute. In his dramatic walkout from the Impeachment Court last Tuesday, May 22 he said in arrogance, “And now the Chief Justice of the Republic of the Philippines wishes to be excused”. He is now excused forever. Quo vadis CJ?

Let us move on and let us move forward. If there is one positive thing that we learned from all this, at least now, transparency in a public office is a must and I’d like to thank him for initiating the signing of a waiver (unconditionally this time although a bit too late to save him) but at least it triggered something that all government employees from the highest officer of the land down to the lowest  barangay councilor must be compelled to sign a waiver too in case their personal assets would be questioned in the future. If you have nothing to hide, why be afraid?

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It’s 20-3 !

The verdict – GUILTY

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PALUSOT! That reverberated through the august halls of the Senate and through the consciousness of the masses (the Juan dela Cruz)  more than the eloquent  speech of the Defense who made their closing arguments based on technicalities. Ask the man on the street, the tricycle drivers, the sidewalk vendors, and they would tell you that they remember what palusot means more than the Foreign Currency Deposit Act and the SALN.

This is it, the culmination of  the trial of the century, the Impeachment Trial of the Chief Justice of the Philippines. I’ve watched the proceedings since day one  and blogged about it the past few months. Tomorrow, either it would be a CONVICTION or an ACQUITTAL.  Conviction means that the chief justice of the Republic of the Philippines will be excused for good and can never come back to any government office.

I deliberately didn’t blog about last Friday’s hearing because I found it so weird seeing the CJ acting as if he hasn’t been in the ICU of the Medical City since that walkout he did last Tuesday.  Credit him for apologizing to the Impeachment Court and to the Filipino people but insisting that it was not a walkout. He demanded the resignation of Ombudsman Morales but when he was asked if he will resign he said he will not. And signing that much talked-about waiver is too late in the day.  If he was really sincere in doing so, why did it take him so long to sign it or was it just another delaying tactic so the trial would go on and on wasting people’s money in the process?

Okay, let’s start with day 43….

Tatang Cuevas,  Atty.delos Santos and  Atty. Dennis Manalo made the oral arguments for the Defense while Rep. Tupas, Rep.Farinas and Speaker Sonny Belmonte argued for the Prosecution. Atty. Quicho of the Defense said in an earlier interview that “We have nothing to lose, we have everything to gain.” Don’t be too sure Attorney, because the people are watching.  There are two aspects that we could look into, the court of public opinion and the impeachment court. Is good faith in interpreting the law impeachable? Does moral fitness apply? My own take is this, since the judicial officers were not elected by the people and enjoy a longer term of office, shouldn’t they adhere to a stricter code of conduct and shouldn’t they be more morally fit to occupy the office entrusted to them? Shouldn’t they show a higher degree of integrity?  Public office is a public trust so everyone say. The higher your office, the greater your responsibilities are and the more transparent you should  be.  Public trust implies  a sense of duty and moral responsibility carry a greater weight, right?

Rep. Tupas, the chair of the Prosecution team was the first to speak. Reading from a prepared closing argument, he has these to say:

“We are called again to make a stand between right and wrong.”

“Tungkol saan po ba talaga ang Impeachment Trial na eto?”  Focus was on the SALN and he said that Corona is no longer fit to head the judiciary. He did not present documentary proofs to back his testimony as regard to his peso account amounting to P80M and a dollar account of $2.4M.

“The question is, are Corona’s assets in his SALN? No.”

Tupas said that Corona’s interpretation of the law of confidentiality is disturbing. By what standard should Corona be judged?

“A dishonest public servant has shallow excuses. Is Chief Justice Renato Corona morally fit”. Same question I posted earlier.

“Let us decide in favor of truth and greatness.”

Atty. Eduardo delos Angeles started the argument on the Defense side. He emphasized that RA 6426 provides that all foreign currency deposits are absolutely confidential. The Defense said that unless the Bank Secrecy Law is amended, absolute confidentiality  of bank deposits stays.  Non-inclusion of certain bank accounts was not tainted with malice or fault, that he cannot be made answerable and should not be removed from office for minor breach of the law, that the failure to disclose the dollar accounts should not be considered as breach of trust. Huh?

Rep. Farinas did  brilliant arguments by calling everything “palusot”. What I understand of the word is, it means alibi or excuse. 

“We tend to contradict ourselves if we do not tell the truth.”

“Let us not be swayed by Corona’s alibi and drama.”

“To keep Corona will weaken the rule of law.”

Atty. Manalo of the Defense said that they never decide cases based on doubt. The camera caught some of the senators yawning and closing their eyes while Tatang Cuevas was speaking. The latter challenged the validity of the impeachment complaint. He said there was no due process. He kept on and on about technicalities but he was tongue-tied when Sen. Enrile asked “If sovereign command, will disobedience constitute culpable violation?”  Enrile asked about risk if a public officer include deposit in his SALN. Cuevas said ” kidnapping & extortion.”  If he fears for his life because he has lots of money, he shouldn’t have accepted  the midnight appointment in the first place because it all boils down to it, the supposedly illegal way he was appointed by Arroyo a month before she left Malacanang.

Speaker Belmonte ended the oral argument by the Prosecution by saying:

“Corona wants to be exempted from the law. Shouldn’t he be the one to set an example for all of us?”

 “Isn’t it disturbing that Judiciary’s highest official is himself the very person hiding behind the laws, bending justice?”

 “Will we allow to continue in office someone who has betrayed the public trust?”

  “Let the truth be your guide. Vote according to conscience and evidence”.

Okay, tomorrow would be judgment day. I really hope and pray that the senator-judges make a thorough assessment of their votes and that they make a proper discernment before casting their votes. Acquitted or not, this trial would go down to history that once a chief justice of the land was impeached and found guilty/innocent.

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