shamelessly sipsip lower house

119 representatives daw voted to cut CHR’s budget to 1K a year.  i wanted to know who these reps are but they have yet to be officially identified.  the official journal of that event has yet to be posted on the congress website (click on legislative functions, then house journals).  will it ever be?

Critics of the decision may want to know the names of those lawmakers, but the chamber only did a headcount, without recording their names.

As Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas explained it: “There is no such record as voting was by ayes and nays.”

umm, we’ll settle for the roll call then and draw our own conclusions.  meanwhile i beg the 119 (maybe less) to please read inquirer‘s editorial Zero understanding of the Charter?  read also philstar‘s jarius bondoc Given House’s reasoning, CHR deserves P1 trillion, and alex magno Backfire.

The House just pulled the rug from under all official pretenses about the rule of law. The legislators have become unwitting parties to those who claim the country has now fallen under a tyranny.

From all indications, the majority of senators appear inclined to restore the CHR’s original budget – and even increase it as a rebuke to the brainless action of the House.

If the House insists on its budget cut, it risks a confrontation with the Senate. That confrontation could bog down the approval of the entire national appropriations act, leaving government without a budget for next year.

The House could not possibly win such a confrontation. It does not have an armory of justifications for taking the action that they did. The CHR may not be the most popular institution around, but there seems to be no public support for lynching it.

More important, a confrontation between the House and the Senate will be a contest between plain pique and vindictiveness on one hand and the properly appreciated demands of statesmanship. In such a confrontation, statesmanship (and thus properly mustered reason) will be on the side of the Senate.

yes, let’s get behind the senate on this.  by katrina’s last count 16 senators including the senate president #StandWithCHR.  sana madagdagan pa.  20 at best, counting out diehards sotto and pacquiao.  but wait, according to harvey keh’s facebook status, even pacquiao wants the CHR budget restored.  hmm.  maybe he got a memo from the palace?  duterte was just joking when he said he wanted the CHR abolished?

sobra naman kasi sumipsip itong lower house.  read philstar’s ana marie pamintuan Budget cut.

… if congressmen weren’t busy licking the boots of their boss at Malacañang, they would be doing justice to their other role in a democracy besides legislation, which is to provide checks and balances to the executive.

As things stand, that function now seems to rest wholly on the Senate. Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who is behaving these days as if he’s ruler of the universe – and creating a host of enemies along the way – should learn from one of the longest serving of his predecessors, Jose de Venecia.

In his final days as House chief, Joe de V went around wearing a wristband amulet. This, he told us, was meant to protect him from all the backstabbers in the House. As we all know, the amulet didn’t work. Joe de V suffered more stab wounds (all in the back) than that corpse fished out of a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija, identified as 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman.

imagine kung wala nang senado.  fair warning to citizens who think a unicameral congress run by the likes of alvarez and fariñas under a federal system is the way to go.  isip isip, mga kapatid.

100 years of ferdinand marcos

BATAC CITY—Opening a forum here on the legacies of Marcos, whose 100th birthday on Sept. 11 had been declared by Malacañang as public holiday in Ilocos Norte province, Imee referred to her late father’s comment when they landed at the Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu after their ouster following the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution.

“We were all in tears and everyone said, ‘The end is nigh, it is finished, we are dead and doomed,’” Imee narrated.

“My father said, ‘No, children. To my family and to everyone, history is not done with me yet.”

… Imee said some people had described the Marcos 100 Forum as “very disappointing because it is very simple.” But the family organized a “humble celebration for an extremely austere and simple almost monkish man like my father,” she said.

She said: “There will be no parade, like what my mother [former first lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos] wants. No concert, like what [former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.] wants, and there will be no shows and dancing, like what I want.”

Instead, the family and the Ilocos Norte government organized debates, storytelling sessions, and a lecture series “that will define Marcos 100 in this very reflective effort, the Marcos legacy,” she said.

hard naman to fault the wife and children, family and friends, for celebrating the centennial of ferdinand marcos in as big a way as possible.  ferdinand marcos, after all, was, truly, unlike any other president we have had. 

The forum, hosted at the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) Teatro Ilocandia from September 8-9, is an effort of the Marcos family to make this year’s commemoration of their patriarch’s birthday mirror his character: “very cerebral, reflective, and mindful.”

It contrasts previous celebrations of FEM’s birthday every September 11, which had involved parades, flash mobs, concerts, and other festivities. Governor Marcos explained, “Gawin natin ang gusto ng tanging ama ko: simple, diretsuhin, payak, intelektwal, at palaisipan.”

The North remembers,” she said, “Ferdinand E. Marcos is, after all, every Ilocano. The story of every Filipino is embedded in that biography of being born of an arid and harsh landscape, struggling through life and every adversity, and finally coming out triumphant.”

Gracing the forum as lecturers are De La Salle University (DLSU) Professor Antonio P. Contreras; Former Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) President Dr. Raul M. Sunico; UP Prof. Clarita R. Carlos; lawyer Estelito P. Mendoza, solicitor-general during the FEM presidency; Marcos’ former Budget and Education Secretary Dr. Jaime C. Laya; and the former president’s namesake, Former Senator Ferdinand “Bong Bong” R. Marcos Jr.

Discussions revolve around Marcos’ sense and narrative of nationalism; the “Golden Era” of arts and culture during his administration; his foreign policy; FEM’s martial law; the Philippine economy during that time; and the barangay in institution-building.

“Why is it that this debate, this argument about who President Marcos is, continues to burn, unabated, a hundred years after his birth? What is his legacy? What do we bear today that bears his mark and will have changed the Filipino people forever and made the Ilocanos what they are today?”

the non-ilocanos remember, too.  i look forward to transcripts or videos posted online.  it could be enlightening to read / hear what some of our public intellectuals are saying about the marcos dictatorship these days, 28 years after his death, 31 years after his ouster.  palaisipan naman talaga.

Ang problema kasi noon, ang dami-daming trabaho ng papa ko na lahat umaasa sa kanya. Sa bandang huli, noong nagkasakit, nagkaloko-loko na kasi. Either talagang nakikinabang, o nag-abuso, o hindi alam ang ginagawa yung mga nasa baba. Kasi everybody, for years and years, siya ang inaasahan (The problem then was that my father was loaded with work that everyone relied on him. Towards the end, when he was sick, things got crazy. People below him either gained, abused or didn’t know what they were doing because everyone relied on him for so long),” the governor pointed out.

it can’t be easy spinning marcos history, especially now that they’ve offered to return some of the wealth that imelda had always claimed to be rightfully all theirs. i wonder now if duterte wasn’t supposed to announce it until after the centennial fiesta, but he couldn’t wait, needed to distract us from all the killings?

marcos was right, history is not done with him yet.  or with imelda and kids.  heto nga’t magsosoli daw ng yaman na hindi daw nila sadyang natangay.  kaloka.

by the way, it is not the first time such an offer has been made.  back in ’89, said vp doy laurel, marcos’s dying wish was to come home and be buried beside his mother, and he was prepared to donate 90% of his wealth to the philippine government and the filipino people via some foundation, except that imelda was willing to donate only 75 to 80%, and anyway cory didn’t even want to hear of it.

so this is a take two.  90% sounds good to me, actually.  that is, 90% of ALL the wealth, found AND unfound.  time to come clean.  may the spirit of the “monkish” father so inspire.

and then maybe let’s put it all in a trust fund of sorts, waiting for a visionary kind of president who truly cares, and actually knows what to do, to make the economy, and the politics, work not just for the few rich but for the many, many, many more who are poor.

who’s got andy’s (and smartmatic’s) back, perhaps in aid of federalism?

it’s beginning to look to me like uunahin ang impeachment complaint laban kay chief justice sereno kahit naunang i-file at i-endorse ang impeachment complaint laban kay comelec chief bautista.  tila marami-rami na ang signatures ng kay sereno, 41, samantalang tila tatatlo pa rin ang signatures ng kay bautista.

nakakapagpatanong:  sadya ba ito?  is this the lower house’s way of telling us that andy bautista will be continuing as our comelec chief (and smartmatic as our election controllers) despite the very disturbing allegations of undeclared wealth and unethical practices?

or maybe i’m just praning.  maybe it’s an extra challenge that the lower house will simply hurl at the so-called upper house: let the senate decide kung alin o sino ang uunahin, or, even, kung paano maipagsasabay-sabay.  e meron pa palang isa, vs the ombuds(wo)man naman.  lalong nakakapraning.  we’d be crazy to trust our senators to competently and justiciously handle more than one impeachment trial at a time, if that.  read kit tatad’s A unique Republic of Impeachments.

An unreasonable burden
The only thing I see that could prevent the simultaneous or serial impeachment and trial of Comelec Chairman Bautista, Chief Justice Sereno and Ombudsman Carpio Morales is the Senate’s capability as an impeachment court to try three or even just two cases at the same time. If the Senate could bear this load, doing so would have the singular benefit of keeping the senators out of the obscene and deranged business of monkeying around with “inverted federalism,” which DU30 and his sycophants seem so eager to railroad through this puppet Congress without any real effort to make the people at their level understand the serious issues involved.

But knowing the carrying capacity of our mediocre institutions and their members, my real fear is that it would be imposing upon the Senate and its members a burden far beyond their capacity to bear.

and read boo chanco’s Impeach epidemic.  why this attack on strong women in powerful positions?

Why are all the so called macho allies of this administration so scared of women leaders they want them impeached? First they wanted to impeach VP Leni. Then Chief Justice Sereno. Now they also want to impeach Ombudsman Morales even if she has barely a year left in her term.

This impeachment epidemic seems like a warning. Some people may have intentions of undermining our democratic system. Just because some constitutional officials refuse to kowtow to them, they want them impeached. Indeed, they imprisoned a lady senator earlier because she had the balls to stand up to them.

… I am sure the President is perfectly capable of dealing with the three women leaders within the framework of the Constitution without impeachment. Those claiming to be his allies should let the President fight his own battles.

again, maybe i’m just paranoid, but early last week, soon after three reps endorsed the impeachment complaint against him, and after the six comelec commissioners said it was time for him to resign and prepare his defense, chief andy told the press that he was praying hard for divine guidance and would make his decision, to resign or not, in the next few days.  the very next day he was quoted as saying na “para namang kakayanin” niyang i-defend ang sarili kung siya ay ma-impeach.  so parang walang planong mag-resign at parang walang takot sa impeachment?

MEANWHILE a graft & corruption complaint was filed in the office of the ombudsman vs comelec commissioner christian robert lim, he who was acting comelec chief in the transition between sixto brillantes and andres bautista in 2015, he who read the statement of six comelec commissioners asking chief andy to resign or take a leave.

what intrigues is that commissioner cr lim is being charged in connection with smartmatic…

The charges against Lim were lodged by former Biliran City Rep. Glenn Chong for alleged corruption and serious misconduct for purportedly giving undue favor to Smartmatic during the 2016 elections which is in violation of the election laws and rules. Chong said his complaint would lay the ground work for an impeachment complaint against Lim for betrayal of public trust.

AND it is the second such complaint.  read Graft raps filed vs Comelec’s Lim

The Biliran legislator said the complaint he filed was a “follow-up” to the graft and plunder raps which Paras filed with the Ombudsman in June 2016 against former Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., along with former commissioners Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph, and incumbent Commissioners Christian Robert Lim and Al Parreño, for approving Resolution No. 992 issued in December 2014.

The resolution gave way to the P240-million contract with Smartmatic to rehabilitate 81,000 PCOS, a deal that was declared null and void by the Supreme Court on April 21, 2015.

According to Chong, Lim pushed through with the negotiations of the refurbishment of over 80,000 precinct count optical scanners through direct contacting, and not through a bidding.

“Comelec failed to prove that direct contacting was legal for the P240-million contract with Smartmatic. There was no public bidding, and that Lim who privately negotiated with Smartmatic,” he said.

Such was “manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government,” he added.

“Respondent cannot feign ignorance of the facts and circumstances surrounding the problems and anomalies of the PCOD machines before and after the ‘midnight deal’ in question because he actively took part and even defended Smartmatic TIM Corp. in the several [congressional] hearings on these issues,” the 19-page complaint read.

Chong, however, raised concern if the Ombudsman would act on his complaint, saying “obviously, Commissioner Lim is a lawyer of the Liberal Party before becoming a commissioner so he is ‘yellow.’”

If Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista is impeached, Lim could take over the poll body, he lamented.

so.  it’s not as if chong wants comissioner cr lim impeached instead of chief andy; it would seem, rather, that he wants both impeached, along with smartmatic.  yes, please.   tama rin si rolly reyes:

While I would like to know the truth about Andy Bautista, I would like to know also the ROLES played by the commissioners during the 2016 elections. They all approved the contract of Smartmatic, kept quiet all these years and are now distancing themselves from the Commissioner? “Napaikutan ng nag-iisang tao? nagmamalinis at naghuhugas kamay?” Hmmmm, we have seen this before.

if bautista’s impeachment does not fly, could it mean that a deal has been struck with bautista (and smartmatic) in aid of winning for duterte the plebiscite on charter change and federalism in 2018, and let’s not forget the midterm elections in 2019 and maybe even the national elections in 2022?  old boys club at work?  or does bautista have a dossier on everyone, too.

as for smartmatic, most instructive is carmen pedrosa’s excerpts from the andres bautista chapter, “Chasing the Wind: Assessing Philippine Democracy,”  of the book Elections as an instrument of political control (2016) edited by Felipe Miranda and Temario Rivera.

“When former Far Eastern University college of law dean Andres Bautista was appointed in May 2015 by President Aquino as the term-ended Brillantes’ replacement as Comelec chairman, many somewhat naïve observers hoped that the former academic might disentangle Comelec’s distinctly unholy alliance with its foreign supplier Smartmatic and restore some measure of openness and integrity into our defective and untransparent automated election system. That hope was initially nurtured when Bautista made the right noises, pledged “cleaner elections,” and launched a charm initiative to try and offset Brillantes’ arrogant and offensive manner.

“More astute observers, however, immediately understood that the appointment as Comelec chairman did not come without strings and that Bautista’s active pursuit of the position – having earlier failed to get his desired appointment to a seat on the Supreme Court – effectively meant that he had accepted those strings. Essentially, those strings meant that he would follow the directives of the ruling political cabal and that Smartmatic control of Philippine elections would remain firmly in place. As events that soon unfolded showed, that understanding would, sadly, get to be validated.

“After barely two months of pretending to listen to the suggestions of IT experts and critical observers of the 2010 and 2013 automated elections, and after pretending to consider two better – more secure and more transparent – systems that had been developed by local software engineers, Bautista was singing an old familiar tune. Using as justification that tired excuse, “time is of the essence”, he announced a decision to hand over to Smartmatic a contract to supply – via lease – 93,977 new PCOS voting and counting machines for the 2016 elections. With a straight face, Bautista claimed that this decision was “the most prudent approach” considering the factors of “costs, timeliness, and technical risks” and would best ensure that the May 2016 automated elections would be a “credible” one. The amount of the new contract would be P8.4-billion. (The original PCOS machines were leased from Smartmatic in 2009 for P7.2-billion and then foolishly purchased – through an option to purchase clause – in 2012 for P2.1-billion, whereupon the machines were warehoused at a cost of P9.6-million a year.)

“The Bautista decision was the denouement of a tiresome cliché-riddled zarzuela [a musical play, often comical] – beginning soon after the 2013 elections – wherein the Comelec Bids and Awards Committee disqualified Smartmatic twice and reinstated it twice, after disqualifying all other bidders.

“In making this reportedly unanimous decision, Bautista and his complicit fellow commissioners were pre-empting any Supreme Court ruling on cases pending before it regarding Smartmatic. Several had been filed by various parties essentially seeking the nullification of contracts with Smartmatic and blacklisting it for failing to meet even minimum system specifications and for assorted other transgressions of law (including the fact that Smartmatic had been revealed to be 100% foreign-owned and not a 60-40 joint venture as claimed). The petitioners included CenPEG, CenPEG chairman Dr. Temario Rivera, AES Watch, AES Watch executive director Evi-ta Jimenez, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, former Comelec commissioner Augusto Lagman, Catholic Bishop Broderick Pabillo and several of his fellow bishops, Mother Superior Mary John Mananzan, TransparentElections.org’s Maricor Akol, Philippine Computer Society president Leo Querubin, past Philippine Computer Society presidents Nelson Celis and Edmundo Casiño, and myself. The legal counsel assisting the petitioners in each one of these cases is the intrepid Manuelito Luna.

“Weighing in, presumably to put pressure on the Supreme Court, Malacañang [the Presidential palace] quickly issued a statement that the Comelec decision to favor Smartmatic with yet another contract “fulfilled its mandate of ensuring orderly and credible elections”. This made clear the level to which the Comelec-Smartmatic conspiracy to control Philippine elections reached: it reached all the way to the top. It was not therefore unexpected that the Supreme Court effectively ignored all such contra-Smartmatic petitions.

“So, despite blatant violations of our election laws in 2010 and 2013 and despite abundantly obvious flaws in the Smartmatic system, the country’s so-called “independent” election body, Comelec, awarded again a supply contract for hardware and software to be used for the 2016 automated elections to the clearly unqualified Smartmatic. It has to be a source of extreme wonderment why the Philippines’ top election officials – by now, three successive sets of them – were so attached to this dubious and shadowy foreign supplier even if its performance has been nothing short of atrocious and it was never qualified – not being the owner of either the hardware nor the software it was providing – to supply the automation technology in the first place.”

and if you’re still with me, read na rin jarius bondoc’s Smartmatic again in Election 2019?

The Comelec is considering six automation options for Election 2019 – all will involve the controversial Venezuelan supplier in the 2010, 2013, and 2016 balloting. That has the info-tech community bristling. Since 2008, when Smartmatic demonstrated its touch-screen voting machines in the Muslim regional election, Filipino computer experts have been critical of its performance. Smartmatic badmouthed the competing optimal mark reading machines then, yet sold or leased the very OMR – for tens of billions of pesos – in the three succeeding national elections. Fraud and law breaches marked those elections, which the Comelec deftly swept aside. Now its six options are to: (1) refurbish the OMR units of 2010 and 2013, (2) purchase the leased OMRs of 2016, (3) combine the first two, (4) lease yet more such OMRs, (5) switch to the touch-screen, or (6) mix up any or all. Smartmatic beamed when the Comelec announced those last month, prompting Philippine Computer Society ex-president Leo Querubin to write Comelec chairman Andres Bautista:

“The national and local midterm election is fast approaching and it seems Smartmatic is again being considered as the election systems provider in May 13, 2019. When will you ever learn?

“I have sent you so many letters highlighting the incompetence and violations of Philippine election laws by this company, and yet you so stubbornly allow this Venezuelan company to ruin Philippine elections.

“In all previous elections managed by Smartmatic, from 2008 to 2016, Smartmatic has violated election laws by accessing elections servers during election day. In 2008 Smartmatic was surprisingly allowed by then-Chairman (Jose) Melo to access servers in Mindanao remotely from Manila. In 2013 I was actually not surprised that you, with the eager participation of PPCRV Chair Henrietta De Villa, authorized Smartmatic to illegally access the election servers, change scripts, and delete files.

“And again in 2016 you permitted a foreigner to access election servers during Election Day. Whether it affected the results or not is irrelevant. Republic Act 9369, Section 28 states that ‘gaining or causing access to using, altering, destroying or disclosing any computer data, program, system software, network, or any computer-related devices, facilities, hardware or equipment, whether classified or declassified’ is a violation of the law and ‘shall be penalized as provided in this Act, whether or not said acts affect the electoral process or results.’

“Marlon Garcia of Smartmatic admitted in a hearing conducted by the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System that he accessed and deleted computer data in 2013. In 2016, he again unrepentantly declared on national television that he accessed and changed computer data.

“You are the valedictorian of your batch in Ateneo Law School, and have a Masters in Law from Harvard. I do not have a law degree and yet I can see that there is a clear violation of Philippine laws.

“And despite these deliberate acts of blatant disrespect of a foreign vendor towards Philippine election laws, which as Chair of Comelec you are obligated to uphold, here you are again allowing Smartmatic to participate in the bid to provide the election system in 2019.

“You may accuse me of having vested interest because I am currently an employee of a rival election vendor of Smartmatic. (Yet) you and I, including the previous and current Comelec Commissioners, know that I have been advocating to blacklist Smartmatic since 2008, when they first showed the arrogance to access the servers in Wao, Lanao del Sur, remotely from Manila during the 2008 ARMM automated elections.

“In 2016 a Venezuelan thought he had the authority to implement a ‘cosmetic change’ in the middle of a tightly contested Vice Presidential race. Marlon Garcia has been managing election projects in the Philippines since 2008. Smartmatic has conducted three previous national elections in the Philippines. I am sure they already know the nature of Philippine elections, and yet they still implemented a cosmetic change to correct the ‘?’ to ‘ñ’. And that ‘cosmetic change’ has divided this country ever since.

“Smartmatic even admitted that they installed secret servers in 2016. Those servers collected all precinct results before transmission to the municipal canvassing and consolidation servers.

“Did you know about this? If you did, why did you allow this? If you did not know about this, what will you do now that you know?

“There is something sinister behind that action, or they are just simply incompetent. Either way, they should not have any business managing elections systems in this country. Ever.

“I do not blame these Venezuelans for what they have done. The Philippines for them is just business, and a lucrative one at that. They do not have a stake in this country’s political stability. They do not care about this country’s future. They do not care how history will judge them.

“I hope you do.”

and the latest is, as of yesterday thursday, the impeachment complaints vs. bautista and sereno are  both with the house committee on justice na.  sino kaya ang uunahin ng honorable solons?  dapat si  bautista.  our elections need fixing, uh, un-fixing, and ASAP.

a marcos milestone: an admission of “questionable wealth”

so, is it to distract us from the alleged links of paolo duterte to smuggling and shabu, this startling revelation by the president that the marcoses are offering to return some of the “questionable wealth” to help the economy?

“The Marcoses, I will not name the spokesman, sabi nila (they said), ‘we’ll open everything and hopefully return yung mga nakita na talaga (those that had been discovered),’” he added. The President said the Marcoses are also willing to return a “few gold bars.”

“Sabi nila na, malaki ang deficit mo, maybe the (sic) projected spending pero hindi ito malaki baka makatulong, but we are ready to open and bring back, sabi niya, pati yung a few gold bars (They said that, your deficit is high, maybe the projected spending but this is not big, maybe it will help, but we are ready to open and bring back, they said, even a few gold bars),” he said. 

in barely coherent sentences, but yeah, we get the drift even if  the president was very careful to say just enough so we get it that there is an offer, and he is open to the offer.  gov imee marcos, for her part, does not deny it, though parang she was caught unprepared, parang the prez didn’t warn them that he would be making it public when he did?

Imee pins hopes on Duterte to end all charges vs Marcoses
MANILA – Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos on Tuesday kept mum about the possible return of the family’s ill-gotten wealth to the government, saying there are no formal negotiations about the matter.

“Wala pa, wala pa. Tiwala kami sa President na siya ang makakapagtapos ng deka-dekadang kaso at yung pamilya nag-uusap pa pero nasa kamay ng mga abogado,” she said when asked if negotiations have started about the return of the Marcos wealth.  Asked if there was an intention to return, the governor said: “Pag-usapan na lang ng mga abogado.”

The governor refused to take any more questions, advising media to instead wait for the statement of their legal counsel.

this distraction is up there as the most distractive of recent times.  because this is the first time ever that the marcoses are conceding that some plundering of the nation’s wealth did happen under ferdinand’s watch.  there is even a justification offered, acc to duterte:

“Sabi nila, isauli nila para walang ano—and the only reason, sabi nila, was the father was just protecting the economy for the [eventuality] na umalis siya. He thought of regaining the Malacañang, that is why ganito ang lumabas na parang naitago,” he added.

ferdinand and fabian did plan to recapture the palace.  the story is, marcos and ver meant to regroup and set up government in paoay kaya lang the marcoses made the mistake of asking the americans, and not the presidential pilots with choppers on standby, to fly them out of the palace.  upon cory’s request and reagan’s instructions, the americans flew him to hawaii instead.  which is why imelda and bongbong insist that they were kidnapped.

this is not to say that if marcos had made it to paoay, naisoli sana agad o nagamit nang maayos para sa bayan ang questionable wealth.  the only thing that’s clear is that if he had made it to paoay and managed to regroup and challenge the legitimacy of the cory aquino government, it would have meant civil war.  at ibinato pa rin sa kanya tiyak ang isyu ng nakaw na yaman, nadiskubre pa rin tiyak ang mga secret $ accounts at ang tone-toneladang ginto, at kung ano-ano pa.

it is quite conceivable, actually, that this is a sign na suko na, give up na, si imelda at ang magkakapatid.  maaaring ngayon lang nila na-realize o natanggap na hindi bibitawan ever ang isyung plunder in the time of marcos, and they’re finally tired of being the bad guys, still the kontravidas in the current telenovela of nation.  i imagine that they must really really like to be done with this three decades old case and wipe away the stain on the marcos name if only for the sake of the grandchildren and, sige na nga, ferdinand in his centennial year.  why not indeed.  in effect, this is a win for nation, panalo ang bayan — the marcoses blinked first.

save the nation movement‘s butch valdes thinks it’s a real offer.

Butch Valdes : … but it would need the cooperation of Duterte to make official requests to intl banks holding the gold. Their previous condition was that the Marcoses are exonerated from all cases against them by the Phil govt. FM’s will indicated that 90% be given to the filipino people thru acceptable foundations. I think Imelda wants it implemented before she goes.

siyempre galit na galit ang mga anti-marcos sa parteng ito: …”we’ll open everything and hopefully return yung mga nakita na talaga (those that had been discovered),” at dito rin: ‘The President said the Marcoses are also willing to return a “few gold bars.”’  dapat daw ay isauli LAHAT ng ninakaw.  at ang tanong nila ay, ano ang kapalit, ano ang ex-deal with the marcoses.  exoneration from all cases din kaya, as with international banks?  read  Palace vows return of Marcos wealth will adhere to laws.

it would be naive to think that the marcoses would ever give up EVERYTHING.  no doubt imelda has documents galore to prove that some of the wealth is legally theirs.  and they will surely quote from the bible: the child will not be punished for the parent’s sins; nor the wife for the husband’s, yes?  heto nga’t gusto na nilang magsauli ng hindi sa kanila.

kung magmamatigasan, negotiations could take another decade before a final settlement.  but because duterte needs the money now na, who knows, baka ma-fast-track nang katakut-takot, and next thing we know, done deal na.  according to justice sec vitaliano aguirre:

The president is authorized and has the power to make compromise or any agreement with the Marcoses. If there will be a new agreement, there should be enabling law or initiative law to be issued by the President himself,” he said.

top off my mind:  if imelda and the children are now admitting that ferdinand was guilty of some plunder, is he now still deserving of the burial as bayani?  what about imelda’s jewels?  will she continue to claim them as legally hers?  sana ibalato na niya sa taong-bayan.  she can spin it anyway she likes, basta she gives up her claim on condition that the jewels are showcased along with her shoes and ternos, soaps and perfumes, as artifacts of a time when she was quite the queen.  as tourist attraction, this would be a gift that won’t stop giving.