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Ninez Cacho-Olivares

What it’s all about

Tuesday, 16 September 2014 00:00 Published in Commentary

Contrary to what many believe, Noynoy said, there is still time to amend the Constitution and lift term limits.
This was said following his claim that he is still toying with the idea of a term extension for himself because he does not want to become a lameduck, apart from ensuring that his reforms will continue with his chosen successor.
Strictly speaking, there is always time to amend the Charter, if the unconstitutional mode of changing the provisos, by simply having the Congress insert the phrase,” unless otherwise provided by law,” as it reportedly intends to do in the case of lifting economic restrictions.
Still, what the Congress and Malacañang can do, to get the amendments going, does not necessarily translate to instant acceptance by the public of such changes, especially in the matter of the lifting of term limits, apart from the fact that the law which would stem from such changes would be challenged before the Supreme Court (SC) and a decision on this would take time.
It will be recalled that at least two presidents tried to amend the 1987 Charter through a people’s Initiative, with the intention of lifting term limits. They failed.
Recall the Pirma initiative, which went bust during then President Fidel Ramos’ time. Ramos will likely deny this, but there is proof that the Pirma was funded with coconut levy money from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) that was then handled by a Ramos appointee.
Gloria Arroyo also tried it, once with the House of Representatives through a con-ass (constitutional assembly), a constitutional mode. However, it was clear that the electorate was against any change in the Charter, as it was seen, like Pirma was seen, as a move to lift term limits and allow the incumbent president a term extension. This con-ass also failed.
There was a second PI while Gloria was in office. Her legislators called for a barangay meeting of sorts, had those present at the assembly sign their names without knowing what they had signed for.
The PI case was challenged in court and the ponente was SC Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, who did such a fine job in pointing out the unconstitutional means employed to, among others, get the signatories to sign up to get the percentage without their knowing just what they were signing for, since what they had signed was a blank piece of paper, which was then simply attached to the main document. There was also the absence of a congressional act that would spell out the implementing rules and regulations. That too, died at the hands of the high court.
It is also unlikely for the congressional mode of amending the Charter by merely adding the phrase, “unless otherwise provided by law” to pass constitutional muster since this mode is not sanctioned by the Constitution.
Should the SC uphold the constitutionality of such a mode of amending the Charter, then Congress can easily amend every proviso currently found in the Charter, thus revoking that which the Filipino people had ordained in 1987, after ratification of the Charter and by yet another puppet Congress.
It is probably accurate to state that Noynoy knows these changes in the Charter cannot be done, but he keeps on saying that (a) he wants these changes because he does not want to become a lameduck, which he is already anyway, (b), he wants to clip the powers of review of the SC as it has, according to him, abusive judicial (over) reach and (c) and that he also wants to ensure that his successor continues with his reforms.
Noynoy should be told that it is not he who should say who his successor will be and should be to ensure that his reforms (?!) are continued.
It is the Filipino people who decide whom they want to lead them in 2016, not Noynoy, not the yellow surveys and definitely not the fraudulent PCOS machines that for two elections running, have, through massive automated cheating, put in power a president who was not elected by the people, and senators who were elected by the PCOS machines.
Noynoy is out by 2016, whether he likes it or not. And once out of Malacañang, he has no call to tell his successor how to run government, badly or well.
Finally, if Noynoy keeps on harping on constitutional amendments to clip the powers of the SC, it is because he continues to threaten the high court into reversing its ruling on the good faith provision on unconstiutional and illegal acts committed by him and his aides which can have them face jailtime.
This is what all this talk about term extension and clipping the SC powers, as well as the continuance of his claimed reforms which are no reforms at all. That is what it’s all about.

A lameduck is a lameduck is a lameduck

Monday, 15 September 2014 00:00 Published in Commentary

In a recent newspaper report, Noynoy was quoted as saying that he favors amending the Constitution as he said he is serious about stopping what he calls “judicial overreach.”
This is apart from his toying with a term extension as he does not want to become a lame duck. He even says that it is not too late to change the Charter, and that he can succeed his himself.
 “What if they trample on everything you did? Blame you for everything, give you even more problems and put you in even more debt,” he said. And this fear, apparently, is what fuels his paranoia.
Noynoy is truly too full of himself, to think that he and only he and his presidency are the best thing to have happened to the nation.
The reality, however, is that he has made things worse for the people and the country, which is probably the reason he fears he would be excoriated fully after his term is up, apart from being blamed for everything. He doesn’t seem to realize that there is an end to the presidency — or a dictatorship and what he fears will be realized anyway.
It is his administration that has incurred even bigger debts, now at over P5 trillion, and it is he who has given he country more problems. It is also he who has the biggest budget thus far, with today’s P2.6 trillion, which will likely go up to P3 trillion after he leaves office. It will still be his administration that will come up with the 2016 budget.
The strange part about Noy’s frame of mind on this blame game, is that it is he who has been conducting the blame game for the past four years that he has been in office, including the traffic mess in the metropolis as well as the Metro Rail Transit woes on his predecessor, Gloria Arroyo. Yet he has been in office for a little over four years, and certainly could have attended to all these problems much earlier, during his term.
What he does by blaming Gloria and demonizing her, he doesn’t want done to him when he has done more damage to the country and the people?
The truth is, if he had not been so vindictive; if he had offered his hand in peace to his predecessor instead to having her slapped twice over with cases that were no bailable, the nation today would be in a better state. True, cases certainly could be slapped on her, as they can be and should be slapped on him, after his term is up, but to ensure that she remains detained for years on end is the mark of his vindictiveness, that in the end will also have to place him in the same situation Gloria is today.
Besides, his style of “good governance” and his anti-corruption drive certainly only means jailing his political foes while covering up his, and his aides’ crimes, and protecting them to the fullest.
And this is what he fears the most: Being charged and jailed — especially as the Supreme Court had ruled certain acts done in the Disbursement Acceleration Program unconstitutional and that the architects, proponents and implementors of the DAP have to prove good faith in a court of law.
This is the reason he wants the Charter changed, to strip the high court of its power of review, when all he really wants is for him to control the high court, for it to rule on constitutional issues as he wishes, which shows his dictatorial tendencies and worse, his refusal to accept responsibility for illegal and unconstitutional acts he and his aides have committed while in office.
This is also the reason he fears his being blamed for what he did while in office and why he wants a term extension and continuity (Read: he and his Liberal Party being in perpetual power), the reason he can’t get rid of his corrupt Cabinet officials.
As he put it: “I have to be open to the question of continuity. But I’m so very conscious also of anybody who gets dragged in the Calvary. Like my Cabinet,” adding that they have sacrificed too much.
Chances are, the reason for his reluctance to fire any of his aides whom he quickly absolves is that they can, once out, start baring the scams they have all been engaged in.
But their time in jail will have to come. He and his aides have wrought too much damage on the nation and the country, leaving the people with deep wounds that will take a long time to heal.

All done with Noy’s imprimatur

Sunday, 14 September 2014 00:00 Published in Commentary

In demolishing political foes of Noynoy, it has already become a clear pattern for the allies of Noynoy to get his Senate attack dogs, fully cooperated in by Liberal Party stalwart, Senate President Franklin Drilon, to come up with an investigation of Noynoy’s political foes and bank on self-admitted crooks as witnesses, after which they are granted immunity and immediately placed by the Injustice chief, Leila de Lima, under the Witness Protection Program (WPP).
This is of course the prelude to getting Noynoy’s political foes charged and jailed, getting them out of the election race.
The plot to demolish Noy’s political foes certainly succeeded in getting three senators, two of them leaders of the political opposition, charged before the Sandiganbayan for plunder, and kept in detention. His allies, however, are all protected with no charges leveled against them at all.
This time around, the target is Vice President Jojo Binay and his family members, who are all being painted as corrupt — and by the self admitted corrupt whistle-blowers, who have no fear of coming up with lies without any proof of their charges, because they know they will be granted immunity — and by Leila and the puppet Ombudsman, Conchita Carpio-Morales.
This is what happened in the case against the three opposition senators. It is again happening in the case of Binay.
There may however be a problem in the case of Binay, considering the fact that he is an impeachable officer, and thus, cannot be charged with plunder by Morales, as the case can’t be pushed — as long as he remains as VP.
But if Morales and her sidekick Leila, do come up with plunder charges against Binay, then Morales would be in a bind, as she would also have to file charges against her political patron, Noynoy, for plunder, along with Butch Abad and the rest of the administration officials.
This being the case, why then does Leila insist on placing the certified crooks, such as former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, Renato Bondal and two others, who have testified against Binay, under the WPP? Because their lives are in danger, due to their testimony against Binay? That is most stupid, just as it was most stupid of Leila to place under the WPP crooks like Benhur Luy and his group of whistleblowers who have been coached to state in their affidavits and testimonies whatever Leila and her National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) want them to say against the three senators.
It is ironic, however, that Ombudsman Morales takes the word of Luy et al, and grants them full immunity for their crimes, considering the fact that, when she was in the Supreme Court, she was the ponente in the decision acquitting Hubert Webb on murder charges, on the basis of whistle-blower and drug addict Jessica Alfaro having been coached by the NBI to testify that she was an eyewitness to the murder and rape of a young woman.
Yet now, as Ombudsman, Morales must know that Luy and the other witnesses have been coached by Leila and her undersecretary, along with the NBI in their testimony against the three senators — especially as what they testify to, is pure hearsay.
But for Leila to again put crooks under the WPP, whether Luy and his group or Mercado and his group, can only point to their having had the go-signal of Noynoy to ensure the demolition of his political foes, and these are the members of the opposition — as clearly stated by Noynoy in his recent “dialog” with his allies and with his somos or no somos speech, blasting those who are putting up a different candidate that are against his claimed policies and principles — while he keeps on talking about getting a successor that has to follow his claimed reform program — which is no reform at all.
If Leila had not been given the go-signal by Noynoy, she certainly wouldn’t even dare file charges against them, otherwise, if she were truly acting on her steam, why then has she not charged the allies of Noy?
If Noy did not want his political foes demolished, charged and tried in court, then neither Leila nor his Ombudsman would touch such weak cases against the three senators and even Binay.
But they had better watch out, because once out of power, and because they had abused their power and the system to demolish their political foes, they may end up in jail, including all those crooks under Leila’s WPP.  
It is just a matter of time.

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