Category: supreme court

‘piso para kay leni’ nixed by supremes

suspicious daw the timing of the supreme court decision denying the petition of vp leni robredo’s supporters that they be allowed to pay some 6 to 7M of the 15M total in electoral protest fees owed the presidential electoral tribunal (PET).  read rina jimenez-david sa inquirer:

At this point in time almost all “eyeballs” are on the dispute between Commission on Elections Chair Andy Bautista and his estranged wife Patricia. In the heated exchange of accusations and counterclaims, including imputations of hidden wealth, an extramarital affair and the existence of a “third eye,” the name of Bongbong Marcos has cropped up, mainly because Ms Bautista’s lawyer is a good friend of the defeated vice-presidential candidate. Is the marital spat just a conflict between husband and wife? Or are Robredo, the Comelec and the conduct of the 2016 elections the ultimate targets? The timing is suspicious indeed.

i have family and friends who voted for leni, and who are indeed passionate about that win, and they wanted to send money, pero paano ba, tanong sa akin.  kaninong bank account puwede magpadeposito, kilala mo ba ang mga iyan?  so katrina asked a friend in the vp’s camp, and he referred us to the facebook page kung saan nakapost ang essential info. 

but as it turns out, the law is quite clear about it, a public official may not cannot accept goodies of any kind:

Presidential Decree No. 46 prohibits public officials from receiving gifts or any other valuable thing on any occasion when the gift is given because of an official’s position, regardless of whether or not the gift is given for past favors, or if the giver is expecting to receive a favor or better treatment in the future.

The same prohibition against receiving gifts can also be found in Republic Act No. 6713, which specifies that prohibited gifts include those with a value that “is neither nominal nor insignificant.”

and yet and yet bongbong marcos was allowed to accept donations, in fact admitted that friends helped him raise 36M of the 60M total.  napaka-unfair.  bongbong is not a public official, kasi nga natalo siya ni leni, so he lodges a protest and forces leni to engage, tapos siya lang ang puwedeng humingi ng donations?  but should PET rule in bongbong’s favor, what is to prevent those generous donors from exacting favors from the new veep?  such interesting names, presumably donating in the millions, presumably with vested interests in a marcos vice presidency.  next stop, malacañang?  

in contrast, leni’s donors are anonymous citizens, across classes, who won’t be asking the vp any favors except precisely to fight this good fight.  and in fairness, my sib and friends weren’t naive.  alam nila na baka hindi pumayag ang PET, in which case okey lang sa kanila, let the money then go to the veep’s  anti-poverty program, was the attitude.

i’m not sure what they’re thinking now, now that the incredible tish bautista has raised serious questions about the credibility of the 2016 elections.  i’d be thinking, what if leni loses, bongbong as vp will get to use the money?  umm, baka dapat iderecho na ang milyones sa home for the aged or somewhere like that.  but wait, may motion for reconsideration pa daw.  baka naman matauhan pa ang supremes.

if not, LP spokesman barry gutierrez says the robredo camp will be raising the money instead.  the liberal party to the rescue?  bakit ngayon lang.

The Supreme Court martial law ruling: Legal foundation for autocratic rule?


Are we witnessing the early signs of the constitution’s evisceration? Did the Supreme Court lay the legal foundation for the undue expansion of Martial Law to other parts of the country? Have the seeds of authoritarianism been judicially planted?

And just like the criticism on the Supreme Court that legitimized dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ Martial Law regime in 1973, did the present Supreme Court make itself a willing partner emasculating our democratic institutions?

Read on…

Tug of war

Manuel L. Quezon III

As the hearings in the Supreme Court on the martial law petitions take place, many hope to find out what ought to have been put on the record weeks ago—namely, what factors contributed to President Duterte’s decision to impose martial law in Mindanao.

Read on…

marcos burial, duterte, history

There are certain things that are better left for history—not this Court—to adjudge. The Court could only do so much in accordance with the clearly established rules and principles. Beyond that, it is ultimately for the people themselves, as the sovereign, to decide, a task that may require the better perspective that the passage of time provides. In the meantime, the country must move on and let this issue rest.”

that’s from the SC ponencia dismissing the petitions against the burial of marcos in the libingan ng mga bayani.  and here’s president duterte in the wake of that:

“Now the question about the dictatorship of Marcos is something which cannot be determined at this time. It has to have history. Kasi ho, ‘yung nasaktan, and it was a contention really of a political fight initially that turned sour because of the power struggle of the ruling political families in this country, and almost it deteriorated into something almost like a revolution. That part of the sins of Marcos has yet to be proven by a competent court. ‘Yung sabihin lang ‘yan nawala ‘yung pera that is altogether another different issue. As far as the right or the privilege to be buried sa Libingan ng mga Bayani, I simply followed the law. Wala tayong magawa diyan. … He was a president and he was a soldier. I am limited to that issue.”

clearly we have a president and nine supreme court justices who think we’re still in the dark ages and history can be written only after some fifty years, when the participants in a life-changing event or period are either dead or suffering from alzheimers or dementia, that is, with faulty or no memories at all, and by then bongbong or imee or one of their kids would be back in the palace and martial law would be celebrated as a golden age and the four days of EDSA ’86 would come down as a 9/11 kind of disaster for nation, as in, you know, a false flag kind of ugly thingy that unjustly interrupted marcos rule.

in fact, martial law pa lang, the martial law story, the unfolding, was already being documented by amnesty international and other human rights groups, and foreign observers were monitoring developments and taking notes, and soon after EDSA, testimonies of the tortured and the families of the salvaged were put on record, and then the books started coming out: primitivo mijares’s The Conjugal Dictatorship written in ’75, cecilio arillo’s Breakaway (1986), james fenton’s Snap Revolution (1986), raymond bonner’s Waltzing with a Dictator (1987), ninotchka rosca’s Endgame: The Fall of Marcos (1987), lewis simon’s Worth Dying For (1987), Dictatorship and Revolution: Roots of People Power edited by aurora javate de dios, petronilo bn. daroy, and lorna kalaw-tirol (1988), sterling seagrave’s The Marcos Dynasty (1988), stanley karnow’s In Our Image (1989), among many many publications into the ’90s, ricardo manapat’s Some Are Smarter Than Others (1991), mark thompson’s The Anti-Marcos Struggle (1996), paul hutchcroft’s Booty Capitalism (1998), alfred mccoy’s Closer Than Brothers (1999), to name a few, tracking not only the stories and numbers of human rights violations but also of the “rise” and fall of the economy, the ballooning of the foreign debt, the crony capitalism, the institutionalized looting, imelda’s jewels and mansions, the swiss accounts, atbpang kahindikhindik at kalunuslunos na mga kaganapan.

never has the marcos camp issued any categorical denials, issue by issue, with supporting documents — just a finger pointed at ver as the culprit in human rights violations, and another at the fabled yamashita treasure as the source of the marcos wealth.  deafening is the silence of FVR, honasan, and lacson on the stories of torture, murder, and disappearances.

president duterte insists that he is only following the law that imelda invokes, the one qualifying marcos, as former president and soldier, for burial in the libingan ng mga bayani, even as he and imelda et al. willfully ignore the exceptions laid down by the very same law.  read associate sc justice antonio carpio’s dissenting opinion:

AFPR G 161-375, which respondents rest on to justify the interment of Marcos at the LNMB, specifically provides that “personnel who were dishonorably separated / reverted/ discharged from the service” are not qualified to the interred at the LNMB. Marcos, who was forcibly ousted form the Presidency by the sovereign act of the Filipino people, falls under this disqualification.

In Marcos v. Manglapus (1989), the Court described Marcos as “a dictator forced out of office and into exile after causing twenty years of political, economic and social havoc in the country.” In short he was ousted by the Filipino people. Marcos was forcibly removed from the Presidency by what is now referred to as the People Power Revolution This is the strongest form of dishonorable discharge from office since it is meted out by the direct act of the sovereign people.

The fact of Marcos’ ouster is beyond judicial review. This Court has no power to review the legitimacy of the People Power Revolution as it was successfully carried out by the sovereign people who installed the revolutionary government of Corazon C. Aquino. The people have spoken by ratifying the 1987 Constitution, which was drafted under the Aquino government installed by the People Power Revolution. The Court has been steadfast in dismissing challenges to the legitimacy of the Aquino government, and has declared that its legitimacy is not a justiciable matter that can be acted upon by the Court.

As the removal of Marcos from the Presidency is no longer within the purview of judicial review, we must accept this as an incontrovertible fact which has become part of the history of the Philippines. This ouster, which was directly carried out by the sovereign act of the Filipino people, constitutes dishonorable removal from the service. Marcos was forcibly removed from the position as President and Commander-in-Chief by the Filipino people. In Estrada v. Desierto (2001), the Court reiterated the legitimacy of the removal of Marcos and the establishment of the Aquino government:

“No less than the Freedom Constitution declared that the Aquino government was installed through a direct exercise of the power of the Filipino people in defiance of the provisions of the 1973 Consyitution, as amended. It is familiar learning that the legitimacy of a government sired by a successful revolution by people power is beyond judicial scrutiny for that government automatically orbits out of the constitutional loop.”

The removal of Marcos from the Presidency, therefore, was a direct exercise of the sovereign act of the Fiipino people that is “beyond judicial scrutiny.” It cannot be said that this removal was an “honorable” one. Truly, there is nothing more dishonorable for a President than being forcibly removed from office by the direct sovereign act of the people. (pp3-4)

the cruelest and most condemnable cut of all is the way president duterte shrugs off EDSA ’86 as simply the culmination of a political fight between two families and nothing more, when in fact ninoy was mostly helplessly in jail, and then in exile, and then dead on the tarmac, while marcos’s people were mostly committing gross human rights violations with impunity, among other morally turpid stuff.  read marcos, kleptocracy, moral turpitude.

According to Amnesty International, 3,249 were killed; 34,000 were tortured and 70,000 were imprisoned during the Marcos dictatorship. The Human Rights Victims Claims Board, meanwhile, has already received more than 75,000 applications for compensation.

and someone please tell the prez that the “something like a revolution” that successfully ousted marcos was not even endorsed by cory until the third day of EDSA, feb 24, when she finally made a brief appearance in front of the POEA, and only because the sovereign people who were in the throes of revolution gave her no choice but to reconcile and join hands with ninoy’s jailer enrile vs. marcos.

it bears repeating, too, as often as i have to, that also on day three, the dictator marcos ordered the bombing of camp crame where FVR and enrile were holed up.  fortunately for nation, the marines (who did not join the rebel forces and were poised to fire from camp aguinaldo) refused to follow marcos’s orders because hosts of unarmed civilians inside and outside the camp would have been hit, too.  please read my first chronology (1996) here and/or EDSA Uno the book (2013), both fully documented, the latter available at the UP press bookshop in diliman and f. sionil jose’s solidaridad in malate.  or i could send the president a hundred copies for family and friends, cabinet officials and other allies, FYI lang, in the spirit of FOI, just say the word.

i concede that marcos did some good, particularly when he got the U.S. to pay rent for the military bases in subic and clark in ’76, even if it was less than (just half of) the $1B kissinger first offered (that he foolishly turned down) for a period of 5 years.  but land reform?  it was selective, to put it mildly.  infrastructure?  that’s par for the course, isn’t it.  though imelda’s babies — the CCP, the heart, lung, and kidney centers — were / are winners, and so too was imee’s short-lived ECP.

i draw the line though at rice self-sufficiency which was also short-lived.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte during his presidential campaign kick off rally in Tondo, Manila on Tuesday said the late Ferdinand E. Marcos is the best president the country ever had. He said Marcos was a good president before he became a dictator, praising his Biyaya ng Dagat and Masagana 99 programs.

“On hindsight, kung balikan ko ang panahon, noon at ngayon, kung hindi lang siya tumagal ng pagka-presidente, kung hindi lang siya naging diktador na matagal, pinaka the best na presidente na dumaan, Marcos,” he said while the crowd cheered.

thing is, both masagana 99 and biyayang dagat were credit programs that failed, according to this article on AIM’s website:

In the early 1970s, the main challenge was providing credit to the poor; there were market imperfections most experts concluded. If the private service, particularly private banks, didn’t want to provide credit to the poor, could the government do it then? Thus, the government implemented many credit programs for the poor. Even government agencies that were not financial institutions were implementing credit programs to address what was perceived as market imperfections: there was Masagana 99 (Bountiful Harvest 99) which provided loans to help farmers harvest 99 canvas of rice per hectare; there was Biyayang Dagat (Ocean’s Gift), a credit program for the fisherfolks, and Tulong sa Tao (Help for the People), loans for livelihood projects. But all these government-managed credit programs experienced very low repayment rate among the borrowers, even if government agencies were offering subsidized credit programs with minimal or no interest rates. There was also the mindset among those borrowers that what the government agencies were offering were dole-outs. Government credit programs failed. Director Almario teased, “Masagana 99 became Masamang 99, and Biyayang Dagat became Buwayang Dagat.” 

and both were programs launched during martial law, not before.  i have praised president duterte for his sense of history, declaring the little lectures priceless, but only about the moro story and american imperialism.  about marcos, martial law, and EDSA, i dare say the president needs to read up, rethink, and reboot, and so do the nine justices of the supreme court.

it’s not too late, mr. president.  it doesn’t take rocket science, or a crystal ball, to see that a marcos burial in the libingan ng mga bayani will not bring healing, rather it is certain to deepen worsen exacerbate the wounds and divisions that already afflict nation.

i would address the same appeal to the marcos family, but a mutual friend, leslie bocobo, who cheered the SC decision of nov 8, has done me better with this facebook status of nov 12.

It is my personal opinion that after the Marcos family, led by former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, VP Bongbong Marcos, Gov. Imee Marcos and Irene Marcos Araneta, acknowledge and thank the Supreme Court for finally giving its affirmative decision to allow a controversial remains a befitting final resting place in the LNMB, that the Marcoses, as a family, decide thereafter to bury FM in Ilocos Norte. There, a park-like shrine may rise so that the Filipino people may visit him without being interrupted by occasional vandals and rabid Marcos haters that I foresee may happen at the LNMB. The affirmative decision of the SC is enough. That makes it official and a sort of burying the issue (pun unintended) once and for all, thus granting Marcos the accolades and honors for a Filipino soldier. Burying him instead in Ilocos raises him to a higher level. After all, most of our past presidents are buried elsewhere. Rizal stands majestically alone in Bagumbayan. Let Marcos lie in peace in his hometown, but with a monument erected to perpetuate his memory where he too can stand alone – far away from those who hate him, but closest to all those who acknowledge him as a great leader.