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Ninez Cacho-Olivares

After 2016

Monday, 27 April 2015 00:00 Published in Commentary

Media and Malacañang are making too much of the statement issued by Vice President Jejomar Binay that expressed openness to a joint oil exploration with China in the disputed areas of the South China Sea.
Quite frankly, it is a wise statement made by the VP, which sends a message to China that diplomatic ties with the economic and military power in Asia, now severely strained, may ease up after 2016, when a new government takes over.
The reality is that there is no chance for Noynoy and his administration to get the ties between China and the Philippines mended, considering the fact that the quarrel between Noynoy and the Chinese government has caused the actual occupation of China of certain areas of the disputed territory.
Noynoy and his aides won’t ever admit it, but the fact is that Philippine ties were strained with China when Noynoy came up with that confrontational stance against the military power in Asia.
Worse, Noynoy was treading the American path and its so-called Asian pivot, which already means the establishment of US bases in the country, which incidentally goes against the Constitution.
As long as Noynoy is president, there is no hope for the diplomatic ties to be on friendlier basis.
An experienced and competent leader and statesman would have known that a country with no military defense capabilities to go against China is folly, especially when all China wanted was for bilateral talks, instead of the American line of multilateral talks concerning the China issue over the disputed seas.
But Noynoy and his aides appeared to believe that the US government, if push comes to shove, would come to the military aid of the Philippines by crushing China.
And based on this misplaced belief, Noynoy even gave the US the green light to establish bases in the country, which naturally riled the Chinese even more.
The Noynoy way was for the country to seek judgment from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which may not have been the wise way, especially since China refuses to participate. Moreover, even if the UN body does rule in favor of the Philippines, would China toe the UN line? Chances are, China won’t, which is why it has gone to the extent of creating islands in the disputed waters.
It will be recalled that even much later, when the Philippines announced it was taking legal steps by filing a case in the arbitral UN body, China asked the Philippine government to delay the filing. The Aquino government refused to heed China’s appeal and went ahead with the complaint.
Sure the western world applauded, but that is all it did and certainly didn’t help at all in easing tensions between the Philippines and China.
The Aquino administration knows that it is powerless against Chinese aggression yet it continues to take a confrontational stance, this time, with Noynoy appealing to the world leaders, especially Asean leaders, to issue condemnatory statements against China on its aggressive moves in the South China Sea.
Thus far, not one Asean country has done so.
In the meantime, the country has lost too many opportunities in trade with China, owing to the strained ties between the two countries, while the rest of the Asean neighbors have been enjoying brisk trade with China.
As for territories which belong to the Philippines by virtue of the closer economic zone areas, are now being occupied by China, and there appears nothing that the Philippines can do about it except to issue warnings, about which the military can do nothing to stop China’s occupation.
A new administration that takes on the opposite stance of Noynoy certainly can ease the tension and rebuild ties between the Philippines and China. It would be folly for a new administration to take the same stance Noynoy has taken against China.
While the Aquino administration remains in power and position, and remains firm on its confrontational style while waging a word war with China, nothing can be expected to change by way of relations. But with a new administration in, ties can change dramatically. Chinese investments can come in, oil exploration deals can be made between the two countries, and perhaps, the country that in the past co-existed peacefully with China, can again be at peace with China.

Corruption, poll fraud rule

Sunday, 26 April 2015 00:00 Published in Commentary

No matter how many times Noynoy and his aides, along with his Liberal Party (LP) mates say that they tread the straight path, and that they are certain that the next president, presumably their presidential bet, Mar Roxas, will continue treading the straight path, they can’t expect Filipinos to believe in what they claim.
The reason is that Noynoy and his Palace boys quickly absolve their allies despite negative Commission on Audit reports that speak of missing funds in the billions, whether in the Department of Agriculture under Proceso Alcala or the Department of Agrarian Reform, or the Department of Social Welfare and Development under Dinky Soliman, the Budget miracles happening under Butch Abad, and of course the case of graft under the convicted LP treasurer Umali, to name only a few who are in this administration and in the LP. All of them have been absolved by Noynoy and all of them have not been charged by the yellow Ombudsman.
The latest to cement the national belief that this administration is corrupt comes in the form of the dramatic resignation of former Customs chief John Philip Sevilla, who, at a press conference, announced his resignation, saying that “powerful forces” which can only be forces from Malacañang and the LP biggies, have been putting the pressure on him which is related to the 2016 elections.
This can only mean one thing: These “powerful forces” are making certain that  Customs would be their campaign revenue generating agency for the 2016 polls, which in turn means that these powerful political forces wanted  Sevilla to cough up money for the administration candidate’s  campaign coffers, and in the billions.
The LPs are a desperate lot these days. Their best choice of presidential candidate who can save them all from arrest and detention after 2016 is Mar Roxas, although he isn’t doing as well in the pre-election surveys, compared to front runner Vice President Jojo Binay, at this time.
While Grace Poe is said to be closing in on Binay, according to the Social Weather Stations (SWS’) manipulated survey, the LPs cannot quite trust Poe completely to protect them from court cases. She may protect Noynoy, but not the others, as there would be calls from the public for the administration to press charges arrest them. And if she doesn’t bow to the will of the people, she would be a dead duck politically.
Noy and his allies’ way to win the presidential polls, with Roxas as their bet would be to buy Mar’s victory, and though automation.
Of course, the results of the polls will not be deemed credible by the Filipino people, and not just the electorate, as long as Mar’s survey ratings are down.
Budget Secretary Butch Abad’s BUB where money flows into the hands of the local executives to ensure their and their constituents’ votes ( which are apart, and not in lieu of the automated cheating), may not work as well, considering the fact that in the end, no matter how much money by way of projects, finished or unfinished, or pocketed, they may have been given by this administration, during election time, these same local executives will dump whoever they think is not likely to win and will be hitching their wagon to the likely winner.
This is what happened in 2010, in the case of Manny Villar and his billions for his campaign.
Roxas and his LP will have to work extra hard and pay a lot to get the survey outfits to bring his ratings up, to make the election results credible, along with automated cheating.
The usual yellow surveys are known to manipulate their pre-election results. The fact alone that the two surveys, said to be scientific and national, never come off with the same survey numbers for these presumed candidates. Even when one checks on their past pre-election surveys, it can be easily gleaned that their figures and rankings were all wrong.
In 2010, these survey firms pushed up Noynoy’s numbers and brought down Erap’s numbers, to ensure that he gets no big contributions for his campaign. It was Villar who placed second in surveys yet Erap came in second place, and would have won if the Iglesia ni Cristo gave him the 3 million votes nationwide.
The survey firms today, especially the SWS, have already lost a lot of credibility and will likely lose more, if they keep on manipulating the results.
With manipulated surveys, along with automated cheating with the big help of the Comelec, there certainly will be great political trouble.
The electorate won’t likely take automated cheating the third time around.

Politics at play again

Saturday, 25 April 2015 00:00 Published in Commentary

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales must have been well aware of the fact that Makati Mayor Junjun Binay cannot be investigated or charged, for that matter, for his alleged previous acts in office after he had been re-elected as mayor under the condonation doctrine, which she, as then Supreme Court (SC) associate justice, argued for, and upheld the condonation doctrine in the 2010 case of Salumbides vs Ombudsman.
This was bared by San Beda Law Dean Fr. Ranhillo Aquino, who quoted Morales’ explanation of the rationale behind for the doctrine of condonation thus: “The Court should never remove a public officer for acts done prior to his present term of office. To do otherwise would be to deprive the people of their right to elect their officers. When the people elect a man to office, it must be assumed that they did this with knowledge of his life and character, and that they disregarded or forgave his faults or misconduct, if he had been guilty of any.  It is not for the court, by reason of such faults or misconduct, practically overrule the will of the people.”  
And if the researchers of Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno and the CJ herself, were wide awake, they should have realized that the condonation doctrine was upheld by the SC in 2010, when the 1987 Charter was certainly in place and in effect, with then Justice Morales upholding it. Besides which, Sereno had no call to berate the Binay lawyer for citing, as a defense against the suspension of her client, what is law.
All these moves and acts tend to show that politics plays a heavy hand in this case against the Makati mayor since it does not make any sense that the former SC justice who upheld the condonation doctrine in 2010, and insists on suspending Binay, investigating him on these previous charges  and no doubt later charging Binay for previous administrative acts that are now, in law and jurisprudence deemed condoned by virtue of Binay’s re-election.
In the same manner, with Sereno berating Binay’s counsel, and virtually prejudging the case, the smell of politics certainly fills the SC air.
Astute Philippine political observers can easily deduce that Malacañang and the Liberal Party (LP) are out to control strongholds of the opposition, apart from filing cases and detaining opposition leaders on very weak evidence and on the basis of so-called whistle-blowers who have been caught lying through their teeth.
In the case of the Ejercito-Estradas, the governor of Laguna was ousted by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and upheld by the SC for alleged election overspending. No other LP or administration ally has been charged for the same poll overspending.
In Makati, the Ombudsman tried suspending Mayor Binay for six months on a flimsy excuse that the Court of Appeals cannot issue any TRO or preliminary injunction against her, yet a TRO does not stop Morales from continuing with her investigation.
In the city of Manila, the Palace and the LP tried but failed to stop the victory of now Manila Mayor, former President Joseph Estrada.
As for his son, Jinggoy Estrada, the Palace and its LPs, ensured that he would be charged and detained, to kill his chances of running and winning the vice presidential slot.
In the case of Vice President Jojo Binay, almost 20 hearings in aid of politics have been held by the attack dogs in the Senate of Noynoy Aquino, obviously to destroy the VP’s electoral chances of winning the top post.
The same demolition job has happened in Cagayan, the bailiwick of Sen. Juan Ponce-Ernrile, with his incarceration. The same ploy is being done in the case of Cavite, which is also the bailiwick of Sen. Bong Revilla.
Recall that during the election period, there went the Interior Secretary and presumptive LP presidential bet, raiding the senator’s residence in Cavite, with the policemen, aided by Justice chief Leila de Lima’s National Bureau of Investigation agents, portraying the senator as guilty.
All three are being detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center on charges of plunder of their pork barrel which is being claimed by the Ombudsman to have been pocketed by the three senators. To this day, no other allies senator or LP congressman, and for that matter, no Cabinet member, such as Department of Agriculture Proceso Alcala and Department of Agrarian Reform or Social Welfare Dinky Soliman has been investigated and charged by the Ombudsman, even when the Commission on Audit (CoA) reports show the plunder of public funds.
Malacañang merely absolves its allies, claiming that they have already replied to these CoA reports. Yet when it comes to the opposition senators, no amount of explanation and denials have been accepted by the Palace and its allies.
The truth is, under the Aquino presidency and administration, the so-called democratic institutions have been so prostituted and made highly vulnerable to executive pressure and control, whether it is the CoA, the Anit-Money Laundering Council, the Comelec, the Ombudsman and yes, even the Judiciary.
This is the greatest damage to democracy done by Noynoy and his LP administration.

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