Today, I say goodbye to my beloved readers as this will be the last article I will write for a newspaper. Being a candidate in the coming election, I am no longer allowed to write my column as I am prohibited by our election law starting Feb. 12. I express my sincerest gratitude to our dear publisher, Ms. Ninez Cacho-Olivares for giving me the opportunity to write for the Tribune and with that, I was able to express my views on burning issues of the day. Goodbye.
Justice has finally caught up with Police Officer Hansel Marantan. A couple of years ago, the same Marantan together with his horde was accused of shooting three young people in a Pasig City street. Marantan and company made it appear that the incident was a shootout and since he was very influential with certain powerful personalities in the police hierarchy, he was able to get away with such dastardly act. The parents and relatives of the young people killed refused to budge and to this day has continued the quest for justice against Marantan. In a side issue of ABS-CBN news recently, Noli de Castro interviewed the parents and relatives who were filled with disgust as they denounced the killings of the three victims. They appealed to President BS Aquino to have justice finally served on Marantan.
Perhaps God but not BS had answered their prayers because a few days ago, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was said to have finished its investigation in another case involving Marantan which is the so-called Atimonan shootout incident, and it was reported that Marantan and the other police personalities as well as soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines were recommended to be prosecuted for murder charges. There were 15 policemen and 10 soldiers belonging to the Army’s First Special Forces Battalion who participated in the so-called shootout. In the said report, the NBI refused to believe that a shootout happened, it was a rubout and the murder of innocents. It was obvious that rubout transpired because Siman’s group was wiped out but on Marantan’s side, the latter was the only casualty and very light wounds were inflicted on him. It was also found out that excessive force was used on the victims as can be shown by the gunshot wounds as well as the great number of bullet holes piercing the victims vehicles. Kudos to the NBI and the able leadership of Secretary Leila de Lima for their fearless findings of the truth about the incident.
However, people are asking, how come the findings of the NBI and the Department of Justice have to be reviewed by Malacañang and by BS Aquinos legal team headed by Ochoa? Some sectors are worried that such review by Malacañang might lead to attempts of massaging the NBI findings such that it will end up in the archives. It should be recalled that Secretary De Lima had earlier recommended to BS Aquino and his legal team to prosecute and file cases against those involved in the Luneta massacre where many Hongkong tourists died. When the report reached Malacañang, nothing had been heard of any cases filed against the perpetrators except for Ombudsman Gonzales who was eventually exonerated by the Supreme Court. But the big fish got away with murder, thanks to the good manipulators in the legal team of Malacañang. We should bear in mind that there are personalities involved in the case who are members of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC). There were reports that the said body has authorized the operation of Marantan and company upon the direct orders of Glenn Dumalao, who is remembered to have been involved in the Kuratong and the Dacer-Corbito case. Furthermore, the PAOCC is under the wings of Secretary Paquito Ochoa who is expected to head the legal review in Malacañang. Isn’t there a conflict of interest here?
Secretary De Lima should have insisted on filing the case immediately. The appropriate fiscal can immediately act on the case and determine probable cause instead of sending the records and the report to the Palace. Let’s see what happens next.
Before the year ended, a spokesman of Malacañang bragged that the best year the country ever had in a long time was 2012. Certainly, he was referring to the BS Aquino’s second year in office as President of the Republic. And this means also, the said achievements surpassed all the other achievements accomplished by Presidents before him. Really? Isn’t this dreaming coming from the Malacañang “dreamer boy?”
According to this dreamer, BS Aquino’s great achievements are, the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona, the hospital arrest of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo after being charged with electoral sabotage, the signing of Bangsamoro Framework Agreement, and the Pantawid Program or the Conditional Cash Transfer Program(CCT).
And why he considers the above-mentioned enumerations as great achievements by BS Aquino is anybody’s guess or puzzlement to say the least. In fact The Daily Tribune’s editorial dated Dec. 29, 2012 finds this braggadocio “pathetic.”
Achievements or accomplishments can only be measured in terms of how these contributed to the peoples’ welfare and progress. The question also is, did these trickle down to improve the lot of the poor and downtrodden Filipinos, such as lessening their hunger and improving their economic situation?
Let’s take a look at what these so-called achievements are and if it is indeed something that Malacañang can brag about.
First, can the CJ Corona’s impeachment be considered an achievement? Perhaps not. What it accomplished was only to divide the nation and destroy the implementation of the much needed economic programs of government. During the whole impeachment zarzuela, everyone was glued to it, including the workers of government who should have been doing their assigned tasks but were asked to help and appear as witnesses to the long drawn impeachment process. And of course the waste of precious time and resources of government. The time that the lawmakers could have devoted in passing laws that would address the problems of poverty and hunger, laws that would have improved transparency in government such as the Freedom of Information(FoI) bill and perhaps important legislation that would address the China and the Philippine situation. All these were set aside. This is not to mention the resources wasted, such as the pork barrel which was used to entice the 188 members of the House of Representatives to sign the impeachment complaint without them even reading the said complaint.
As to how much funds were used to entice them to convict the Chief Justice is your guess and mine.
Did the conviction and replacement of the Chief Justice Corona improve the administration of justice which brought about the appointment of the new Chief Justice? Not at all, in fact it instead resulted in divisiveness and infighting within the court itself as the new appointee appears to be disliked by the majority members.
The action of the new CJ is always scrutinized by the majority and oftentimes rebuked by the members of the court.
This impeachment controversy which brought about the removal of Chief justice Corona and the appointment of the new Chief Justice which created disunity among members have eroded the faith of the people in the highest court. Can we therefore conclude that the impeachment of CJ Corona was an accomplishment as claimed by the Malacañang dreamer?
Of course everyone in the country would want justice applied to everyone regardless of the position in life. And if a big fish such as the former President is the one accused of the crime and conviction is reached based on real evidence, we certainly cheer that indeed justice is alive and well in the country. But when we perceive that an injustice is done because trumped-up charges are made against anyone including the former President, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and the basis for her conviction is through the use of machination and intimidation unto the judge by the powers that be, the conviction arrived at can never be called an achievement. And such is the case of the former President.
Malacañang dreamer boy wants to impress upon the public that the incarceration of GMA in the Veterans Hospital is already a conviction such that he is claiming already an achievement of the government of BS Aquino.
The Framework Agreement is no achievement also unless there is a detailed final agreement between the GRP and the MILF. We likened the Framework Agreement as a mere draft and still to be worked on further by carving the final details as well as the complete definitions of certain terminologies agreed by both parties. For example, a Bangsamoro sub-state. Is this substate just purely autonomous or will it have independence or maybe a state of belligerency? The panel has not arrived at the details yet and we already heard that conflicts arose in the last meeting in Malaysia. And besides a question on its constitutionality has again been brought to the Supreme Court.
Lastly, the CCT program is not really an achievement, not by any sort. The 4Ps or Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program is a GMA program. This administration is a copycat. All the BS government did was to provide additional funds and created its own bureaucracy by hiring people to do the work where it used to be coursed through the local governments. CoA has questioned the very heavy administrative cost of the BS Aquino’s CCT program. There is strong suspicion that the CCT program under Dinky Soliman is a political arm of the administration to be tested in 2013 elections.
If indeed this is an achievement, this is an achievement of the previous administration which started it.
So dreamer boy, your braggadocio is not only pathetic, its shameless.
Sunday, 16 December 2012 00:00 Published in Commentary
If the latest survey conducted on the senatorial candidates be made an indicator of the peoples’ choice among the country’s leader who can command votes, Vice President Jejomar Binay is counted as the number one influence maker, topping all the others including the President of the Republic.
Pulse Asia, in its survey conducted Nov. 23 to 29, showed candidates closely identified with the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) not only landed in the top 12 but most of them landed in the top 7 of the senatorial wannabes.
In contrast, senatorial candidates especially handpick by BS Aquino and those so-called purely-bloodied Liberals, not one of them entered the magic 12. The trend seems to point to the future of Binay in the 2016 election.
UNA candidate Jejeomar Binay will surely have the best chances at becoming the next President of this country.
In the survey, Chiz Escudero, Loren Legarda, Jackie Enrile, JV Ejercito, Greg Honasan, Nancy Binay and Migs Zubiri, all identified with UNA, have made it to the magic 12, although the administration party, the Liberals will claim that Chiz and Loren are also their candidates. Whoever one belongs to will actually be shown once campaign time arrives and you’ll see these candidates climb the stage and make their campaign speech. But if the 2010 election is made as indicator, Chiz Escudero campaigned for Jejomar Binay while Legarda was with Manny Villar. The others who made it to the magic 12 in the latest survey are Cynthia Villar; Nacionalista Party, Allan Cayetano; Nacionalista Party, Trillanes; Nacionalista Party, Koko Pimentel; PDP, and Sonny Angara is from LDP. No one from the Liberal Party nor names like Hontiveros, Bam Aquino, or Jun Magsaysay identified as pets of BS Aquino made it to the top 12.
In the case of Cynthia Villar, I know deep in her heart, she would not join the Liberal slate, because she intimated to me personally during the wake of Mrs. Ninez Cacho-Olivares’ husband that she will not at all join the Liberal, but of course there are unavoidable factors which transpired along the way that must have convinced her to be part of the administration slate. Sonny Angara too, as the family has its interest in Aurora Economic Zone to protect now that the indigenous people are fighting against the economic zone. The best is to align with the powerful and influential at this time. As to Koko Pimentel, well, judge for yourself.
If not for these volunteers who are willing to be used by the administration to be their winning candidates, God knows who among, from the real Liberal Party members can make it to the Senate. I always thought, Erin Tañada could have been the bet for the purpose, however, he seemed to be not the pet of BS, probably because Erin is independent minded and his strong advocacy toward the passage of the Freedom of Information bill might have caused the ire of the hypocrite who once was an avid pusher of the FoI while he was still in Congress.
Anyway, as the election fever progresses, because of the very strong charisma Binay has on the Filipino people, together with Erap and JPE, expect more from UNA to dislodge the non-UNA candidates who are already in the top 12 for the time being.
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Very scandalous- Talking of the biggest scandal this country ever encountered, I can say that this one is for the books. We’re talking of a Chief Justice (CJ) being rebuked by her fellow Justices for making “palusot.” Imagine, the CJ coming out with a purported resolution creating a Regional Administration Office to be placed directly under the command of the Chief Justice, when the said resolution in fact did not have any approval from the Supreme Court (SC). And yet, the same CJ went to Cebu, launched the said new office pretending that the creation was duly approved and sanctioned by the SC. Well I congratulate the majority members of the tribunal, especially Associate Justice Teresita de Castro, who strongly fought against the resolution which did not have their imprimatur. This scandal in the SC should not escape the eyes of the executive and the legislative branches when it comes to the issue of the administration of justice and violation of the Constitution by a member of the highest tribunal. If 188 Congressmen voted to impeach CJ Renato Corona, this issue is more serious and should not be placed under the rug by those who were very eager to get rid of the former Chief Justice.
This is not new when it comes to the questions being raised about the conduct of the members of the Supreme Court. I recall, Associate Justice Brion had asked the SC to reveal his grade in the interview concerning his psychiatric and psychological well-being. There was an order directed to the Judicial and Bar Council by the Supreme Court, and yet there why any public disclosure to this. There was a question earlier that why the results of psychiatric/psychological tests of the other applicants which include the new Chief Justice have not been revealed too for the purpose of transparency as advocated by the new government. There has not been any action on this matter. This kind of questions when not properly addressed by the SC erodes the trust of the people in the highest tribunal.
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