Category: grace poe

waiting for cocoy, what about sotto, calling out grace

sometime during the senate hearing on fake news by the committee on public info and mass media last wednesday, i said on my facebook wall that i found the talk refreshing, it was good to see and hear edwin lacierda, abigail valte, and manolo quezon, nakaka-miss ang intelligent discourse. (public status. 13 likes.)  we kinda took it for granted back in pre-duterte days.

not that the trio said much, except to deny that they were responsible in any way for the anonymous dilawan blog silent no more or that its webmaster was once part of pNoy’s comms team — though cocoy dayao wasn’t around to confirm the denial, so correct me if i heard wrong — and to demand that rj nieto prove his allegations, produce evidence, that mar roxas was responsible for the nasaan-ang-pangulo anti-pNoy campaign in the time of mamasapano.  nag-buckle lang si lacierda on the question of whether he is part (or something like that) of silent no more, and justifiably, because does one become a part of silent no more when one “likes” and / or shares the link of any of its blog posts on facebook?

smart of cocoy dayao not to show up.  but he should show up next time or he might have to go into hiding and then be tracked down by the cops a la ronnie dayan, ewww.  that would be so uncool.  cool would be if he came to the next hearing with bells and whistles, including a hotshot IT lawyer.  i expect that he would refuse (even in an executive session) to name his clients, i.e., the writer/s and / or owners of silent no more (and other anonymous blogs under his admin) on grounds of confidentiality.  it would be a test case on a citizen’s right to anonymity and privacy.

it would be interesting to see how sotto, and other feeling-aggrieved senators, will deal with that.  sotto, in particular, who was tagged a rapist in the controversial seven-sens post (6,600 likes, 2066 shares, 780 comments) has reason to cry LIBEL!  but then that would mean opening himself up to questions re the pepsi paloma rape case back in 1982.  under oath he would be crazy to insist that no rape happened as he has claimed in recent years.  the rape hit the front pages just 35 years ago.  marami kaming adults na noon na buhay pa ngayon, and we remember what a scandal it was, and we still marvel at how they managed to get away with it, dared brazen it out, the show must go on, eat bulaga!  no fake news that.

and because dayao was a no-show, napagtuunan tuloy ng oras at pansin at puna si mocha uson, duterte’s social media muse (5 million followers), at si rj nieto aka thinking pinoy (700K followers) who is second only to mocha when it comes to bashing dilawans and others critical of duterte, imagining scenarios based on iffy data, yet whom committee chair grace poe couldn’t praise enough for his “neutrality” and “excellent research,” never mind the times that nieto has had to issue “errata” dahil nagkamali, tao lang daw.  argh.  i’ve been blogging 10 years now and i don’t remember ever having to issue an erratum.

anyway, the next morning, on my fb newsfeed, a u.p. prof was wishing for the likes of recto, laurel, salonga and santiago in the chamber; the discourse would have been so radically different daw. (for fb friends only. 142 likes and counting.)  hmm.  miriam too?  “I lied!” was one of her favorite punchlines.

pero recto, laurel, salonga, oo naman, except what’s the point in wishing for better, based on a romanticized past, when there’s work to do confronting what is, now, and looking to the future.  roby alampay, tony la viña, and florin hilbay were outstanding.

as for senator poe, she can redeem herself by pushing through with the committee’s promise to plug legal loopholes that allow bloggers earning undeclared income from advertisements to avoid payment of taxes.  and senator nancy binay is right, tax also the so-called “influencers” promoting products and services on their social media accounts, said to be an underground billion (peso) industry.  better late than never.

Mar and Grace must speak out

… The two won a combined vote of 18.6 million compared to President Duterte’s 15.9 million (Santiago and Binay earned a paltry 6.7 million votes combined).

If Poe and Roxas speak out, Duterte may taunt them as losers. If he does, that’s all right, that’s his style. But having had a combined vote larger than Duterte’s, they’re in a position to call out the government to rein in the police.

We all – government supporters and dissenters – must work together to make sure the nation’s direction is righted before things deteriorate and all will be lost. We cannot afford to have another Marcosian nightmare that we had from 1965 to 1986.

This is not a call to arms, a coup d’etat, or another People Power uprising. Rather, this is a call for enlightenment, for discernment, for open-mindedness, and for unity.

Leandro DD Coronel

Grace’s China response

B00 Chanco

Frontrunner Grace Poe is usually well briefed by her panel of expert advisers. But the second debate revealed she needs a little more polish on how to respond to the China question. Not that there is a really good answer to how to respond to the regional bully, but a future president must show savvy that can elicit respect here and abroad.

Read on…

The Supreme Court and the Poe disqualification case

Raul V. Fabella

The Philippine public has been treated to many erudite and well-reasoned treatises on how the Supreme Court (SC) should decide on Senator Grace Poe’s disqualification case. The legal issues are either involved and lengthy or simple and open-and-shut depending on who is making the case. Should the SC display judicial restraint, follow precedents, and hew closely to the letter of the law? Or should it display judicial activism and blaze a new judicial trail in pursuit of some perhaps new principle of jurisprudence? The SC did display a considerable capacity for judicial activism in allowing Juan Ponce Enrile to post bail though the charge against him is legally and constitutionally non-bailable. The new principle of jurisprudence, “humanitarian grounds,” which law students now have to learn has no accepted definition and one can drive an oil tanker through its portals. Be that as it may, not being a lawyer myself, I’d rather leave that to the legal eagles.

The purpose of this piece is not how the SC “should have decided” on the Poe case but what could be expected from revealed SC decision making in general.

Three theories on the decision making of the SC are salient and competing (see, e.g., Pacelle, Curry, and Marshall, 2011): (a) the legal theory — that what governs SC decision making are no more and no less than legal precedents and the Constitution; (b) the attitudinal theory — that what governs the SC decision making are the substantive prior preferences and ideologies of the justices; (c) the strategic theory — that SC decision making is governed by strategic considerations, especially in relation to outside forces, say, the other branches, especially elected branches of government. The President, the Senate, and Lower House have the power to retaliate (as, for example, through the budget allocation) in case of open display of contempt. Granting Juan Ponce Enrile the right to post bail on an unbailable charge clearly violates the legal theory. It may be understood as flowing from ingrained preferences (or biases as sometimes it is called) or from strategic considerations (or future payoffs as sometime it is called).

Pacelle, Curry, and Marshall (2011) tried to compare how these three theories perform as explanatory (proxied) variables in actual decisions of the US Supreme Court. Their logit regressions showed that none of the three theories can be rejected as correlates of SC decisions. I prefer to dwell on the strategic motives for decision making.

What appears to be a salient instance of strategic decision making by the US Supreme Court occurred during the New Deal Era. Then-US President Franklin D. Roosevelt — frustrated by repeated rebuffs by the US Supreme Court of New Deal legislations — threatened in 1937 to emasculate the SC with his Court Reorganization Plan. Known also as Roosevelt’s court packing plan, it came in the form of the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937.

It sought to grant the President the power to appoint an additional justice of the Supreme Court for every member of the Supreme Court over the age of 70 and 6 months and up to a maximum of six new associate justices.

Since it was Congress — not the Constitution — that established the composition of the SC, it can recompose it. Soon after Roosevelt won a sweeping victory in November 1936, the SC decided 5-4 upholding a Washington minimum wage law which the New Deal (in keeping with the Keynesian view of putting purchasing power in the pockets of the poor) favored. The tie was broken by, of all people, Justice Owen Richards who had previously opposed New Deal legislations.

In 1938, Justice Harlan Fiske Stone opined in the US vs Carolene Products that the SC should show deference to the elected branches in matters involving economic policy though not in matters of civil rights and civil liberties. The SC seemed to have acted to ease the political pressure and protect its identity (exemplified by the court packing plan).

Although the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill never became law, the message seemed to have been heard loud and clear in the halls of the US SC. But that is the US SC. We are in the land of “only in the Philippines.”

The question is what strategic considerations bore on the SC’s decision on the Poe disqualification case? We may never know.

But consider that candidate Rodrigo R. Duterte has said he will cure every ill in three months. Although that is mostly campaign bluster, to accomplish within his term what he promises implies realistically that he becomes a dictator, which calls for a clash with — and eventual dismantling of — the Supreme Court.

If Poe was disqualified, it is likely that Duterte is the only alternative to Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay, Sr. whose own defense being “No court has found me guilty” fools nobody, let alone the SC justices. If Poe was not disqualified, she will likely win (she was still leading the polls as of March 6 despite the case hanging over her campaign) and the Supreme Court should feel safer in her hands than in either Duterte’s who will not stand judicial obstacle or Binay’s who will need to judicially extricate himself. That is one possible strategic motive bearing on the SC decision. There may be others.

And, of course, their own beliefs about the suitability of the candidates for president should be factored in. One thing is sure: Poe being allowed to run is nowhere near the judicial activism displayed in the doctrine of “humanitarian considerations.”

Raul V. Fabella the chairman of the Institute for Development and Econometric Analysis, a professor at the UP School of Economics, and a member of the National Academy of Science and Technology.