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Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Yellows out to destroy foes

Friday, 06 April 2018 00:00 Published in Commentary

Fairly clear is that the political opposition members, most of whom are yellows and their allies, as well as some Reds, for months have been trying to get Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre ll, sacked by the President, although they appear to have been successful this time around as Aguirre has resigned and President Duterte has accepted his resignation.
The same oppositionists were relentless in blackening the Department of Justice (DoJ) chief’s reputation by ascribing to him the many alleged “blunders” committed by him, and even making it appear that indeed, Aguirre is not only incompetent, but that he also should be fired as the same yellows insist that his reputation is in shreds, as he has been linked to the extortion of P50 million from the Bureau of Immigration officers who belong to the same San Beda Fraternity Lex Tallonis.
But pause a bit and think just who have been serving as the wrecking crew against Aguirre, if not the yellows and their allies and some DoJ insiders who wanted Aguirre out. Recall that the leak on the preliminary probe on the drug lords came from insiders.
Liberal Party president, Kiko Pangilinan, reading the report that the DoJ chief is next to be axed, immediately moved to blacken Aguirre’s reputation some more.
Senator Pangilinan stated that Aguirre should not only be replaced by Duterte but also be made to face charges in court over some decisions made in the past and for issues being hurled against him, saying that it has been a long time that we (opposition) have been asking for the sacking of Aguirre. He should not only be fired, but he should also be charged with plunder and anti-graft charges for the many blunders and decisions he made as DoJ secretary.”
That’s the yellows’ trouble. They want Aguirre sacked then charged for plunder and graft, which just shows their vindictiveness and their penchant to soil reputations of their perceived foes, to the point of accusing them of plunder and graft even when there is no evidence at all that Aguirre was part of the alleged BI extortion. He was merely linked to the extortion racket by the detained Sen. Leila de Lima.
But it must be asked: What evidence does Pangilinan have to even suggest charging Aguirre with plunder or graft? What the Senate hearing suggested, even when the committees had absolutely no evidence with which to link Aguirre to the extortion racket? What Aguirre did that was made out by the yellows to be a blunder was the case of the dismissal of the drug lords, Peter Lim and Kerwin Espinosa. Yet this issue was already explained by Aguirre and his prosecutors, since there was no evidence submitted by the Philippine National Police that investigated the case and hence, had to be dismissed for lack of evidence.
Preliminary investigations that lead to a case dismissal are never final and can be reviewed by not only the Justice Secretary but also by the President of the Republic, which is what the law states. So why claim that this was a blunder when it still had not reached Aguirre for a review at the time?
More to the point, this black propaganda resorted to by the yellows and their yellow stained allies, both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives, against not only the DoJ Secretary but also the other Cabinet secretaries they want sacked is done of course to benefity them one way or the other.
The DoJ Secretary was clearly yet another of their ploy to pressure Aguirre to quit and for his replacement to hopefully allow their yellow colleague, detained Senator de Lima to be released, as they even linked the news of Aguirre’s sacking to de Lima’s imprisonment, saying that Aguirre’s drug charges against de Lima are fake charges.
There they went again, claiming that the drug charges are fake. What’s their evidence? And are they now coming out with fake news?
But one must ask why the yellows and Aguirre critics who succeeded in getting Duterte to replace Aguirre with another candidate.
The answer would be simple. The yellows wanted Aguirre out of the DoJ because they feared the new investigation having been ordered by Aguirre on the pork barrel scam, and this time focusing the probe on the other senators and congressmen who were never probed by then Justice Secretary de Lima, and who were also protected by the yellow tainted Ombudsman, Conchita Carpio-Morales, which is also the reason the same frigging yellows were against the DoJ chief getting Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged brains of the pork barrel scam, as a state witness, because she has a lot to testify on them as a government witness and with fingers probably pointed at some top officials of the Yellow Regime.
The yellows are vulnerable these days. Their protector, Morales is due to retire in some two months.
And definitely, the plunder charges against them won’t be fake, unlike the plunder charges filed by de Lima and Morales against the yellows’ political foes, who were the political prisoners of Noynoy Aquino and the freaking yellows.

Getting her day in court

Thursday, 05 April 2018 00:00 Published in Commentary

Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno is still into delaying Supreme Court’s decision on the quo warranto case filed by Solicitor-General Jose Calida against her that calls for her dismissal as SC chief justice on the ground that her appointment to the highest judiciary chief is void from the start due to her failure to submit a complete set of her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALNs).
It was she who had submitted an ad cautelam motion for oral arguments before the SC that ruled in her favor. The orals have been scheduled for April 10.
Sereno wants a full public debate for the orals so both sides, especially hers, will be heard by the public.
The Court also ordered Sereno to appear before it for her to personally answer the questions from her peers.
From Sereno’s motion, it is clear that she would still question the jurisdiction of the High Court over her case and will probably argue that as an impeachable officer, it is the Senate Impeachment Court that has the jurisdiction over her case.
What is even clearer, is that Sereno, in submitting her ad cautelam motion before the SC, is in essence seeking a safety valve for her case.
“Manifestation Ad Cautelam” as lawyers translate this merely means in the case of Sereno and her lawyers, filed the manifestation or motion “for caution” so as not to forestall something for her.
Google search gives this example on ad cautelam motion, saying that such a motion may be filed if one’s “lawyer thinks his motion for extension of time may be arbitrarily denied or if he is still questioning the jurisdiction of the court, but does not want (his client) to be defaulted for failing to file an answer within the time allowed.”
The defenses that one can raise are negative or positive defenses. A negative defense is the specific denial of the material fact or facts alleged in the pleading of the claimant essential to his cause or causes of action.
An “affirmative defense” is an allegation of a new matter which, while hypothetically admitting the material allegations in the pleading of the claimant, would nevertheless prevent or bar recovery by him.”
These include “fraud, statute of limitations, release, payment, illegality, statute of frauds, estoppel, former recovery, discharge in bankruptcy, and any other matter by way of confession and avoidance.”
As an example given for a negative defense, if applied to Sereno, her defense may be to deny the claims made by Calida while an affirmative defense from Sereno may be for her to allege a new matter “which, while hypothetically admitting the material allegations in the pleadings…would nevertheless prevent or bar recovery by him.” These include “fraud, statute of limitations.. illegality… and any other matter by way of confession and avoidance.”
But can Sereno, as well as legal team believe that their public debate with the Solictor-General through her Ad Cautelam motion which would likely focus on jurisdiction as her defense or taking the negative stance, deny all the claims made by Calida in his quo warranto case, as well as the issue of the quo warranto being proscribed, given that these are the same arguments she and her legal team had already raised before the High Court in her comment which was also already replied to by the Solictor-General, with even more specific charges on her having fabricated her SALNs, which is a very serious charge.
Can she or even her lawyers believe they can get away with her “litany of lies,” as Calida has termed it, especially as some of her peers who have testified against Sereno during the House of Representatives’ justice committee sit in judgment of her?
Of course, another ploy of Sereno and her lawyers would be to seek the inhibition of the incumbent High Court justices who had testified against her, which would perhaps reduce the chances of being ousted by a full court through the quo warranto case.
There is another possibility which may or may not come about.
At this point in her life, and no matter the propaganda teams of supporters and spokesmen who have been giving the pubic misleading statements, and perhaps realizing that she would be ousted anyway despite her ad cautelam arguments, she may just opt to resign, to escape an ouster by the High Court.
But one thing she will have that which she has insisted on: Her day in Court.
And she will have it before the High Court itself on April 10.

Ballot irregularities mark revision day

Wednesday, 04 April 2018 00:00 Published in Commentary

Despite the vote recount for the vice presidential race just starting, it is fairly evident that irregularities and probable electoral fraud occurred in the 2016 automated elections handled by Smartmatic, whose voting machines were used—again, and will probably be used again by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in 2019, despite the fraud committed in 2016.
What is really strange is that no matter how many changes in chairmanships and commissioners in the poll body, its officials always, always, for national polls running, Smartmatic and its machines have always, always been Comelec’s choice, despite the fact that from the day the nation turned to automated elections ran by Smartmatic, there were not only too many irregularities occurring, but also a lot of election fraud.
Yet even today, the Comelec’s choice is still Smatmatic.
This time around, however, with the manual recount of the votes, hopefully, all the fraud committed by the vice presidential candidates as well as the fraud that reportedly occurred in the senatorial race, will be proven and that automated fraud must come to a full stop by Congress, through a legislative measure rescinding the law on automated elections and reverting to manual elections, with a slight difference, getting a manual count but at the same time, conduct an automated count though counting machines. This hybrid way may well cure the electoral fraud problem finally.
Senate Majority Leader Tito Sotto also had exposed electoral fraud in the senatorial polls, but to this day, there has been no Senate investigation, given the fact that the Senate is known to be holding investigations in aid of reelection, rather than in aid of legislation.
The automated fraud that plagues our elections every three years, with presidential elections every six years, should come out in full play, with former vice presidential candidate, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos insistent on proving the fraud that he says occurred and shaved off his votes. And he believes that this automated fraud can be proved by not giving up his quest for a vote revision that he and his supporters believe would prove his alleged stolen victory.
Hints of gross irregularities have already sprouted during the initial slow count, such as Marcos’ announced “wet ballots” and “missing audit logs,” which issues were quickly dismissed by Vice President Leni Robredo’s lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, who stated that the “wet ballots” and boxes were not deliberately doused, as this could have been wet due to a December typhoon that Camarines Sur, which however, does not have a ring of credibility to it, since it has been at least over three months since the typhoon and the boxes, as well as the ballots inside would have dried up and not have remained wet to this day.
Macalintal also dismissed the Marcos claim that the audit logs were missing in 38 out of 40 ballot boxes was also not intentional as the teachers may have forgotten to include the audit logs in the ballot boxes.
Again, this explanation from Macalintal hardly flies, considering that 38 out of 40 boxes had no audit logs. It is hardly possible for all the teachers handling the ballots and placing them in the box, would all fail to include the audit logs. Macalintal should try another excuse that would be plausible and acceptable to the general public.
He now sauys that audit logs are never included in the ballot boxes.
Of course, since only a few boxes were opened, no one can credibly conclude that massive electoral fraud had taken place and that Marcos had been cheated out of his victory, or that proof now exists that Leni Robredo won the vice presidency bereft of any fraud benefiting her.
It is just too early to come up with conclusions, save for the fact that once again, the duo of Comelec and Smartmatic have again held elections that are marked with fraud, which has become a habit.
What may be different this time around is that for once, the Filipino electorate will know for certain which candidate or candidates have been cheated out of their victory at the polls.
This is because for the first time, there is a manual recount of the 2016 vote for the vice presidential polls and the Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) will have to rule on who really won the polls—that is, if Marcos does not quit his move to have all the votes counted manually, and if Robredo will drop her counter protest against Marcos.
There are a little over three years for the PET to decide on the winner, based on the vote recount. It would be useless for either Marcos or Robredo to still slug it out, when new presidential and vice presidential polls are ongoing, and with the term of the vice president having expired.

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