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The Daily Tribune

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Monday, August 1, 2011

SC’s sauce for the goose — for Davide, too?

Herman Tiu Laurel
\"The Supreme Court (SC) has made itself an instrument to suppress or prevent the discovery of the truth… The timing of its promulgation — barely 20 hours after the President delivered his State of the Nation Address where he solemnly declared that the fight against graft and corruption is a personal one for himself and for all the Filipinos who are its victims, and announced the appointment of newly-retired SC Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales as Ombudsman — clearly proves beyond doubt that the court has become a protector of some people… But the Supreme Court will not succeed. For the truth will triumph and prevail despite and in spite of the Supreme Court… I only pray to God, the Supreme Judge, that He will help the Supreme Court redeem its honor and integrity,” thus declared former Chief Justice Hilario Davide in reaction to the high court’s decision junking his beloved “Truth Commission” with finality.

Davide accuses the SC of dishonor and corruption, and of having no integrity. At the same time, he takes umbrage at its suppressing the truth by looking at the issue with a jaundiced eye as opposed to a blind and just court. Such fiery words immediately bring to mind some other critics of the SC whose words were definitely not as harsh but who still faced the full brunt of the magistrates’ ire in the form of excessive penalties. This time, though, the SC is faced with an affront from one of its former leaders, directly indicting it for no less than a gross violation of ethical and moral standards.

We recall that after the SC’s exoneration of Hubert Webb, et al., its spokesman Midas Marquez said that “if (Dante) Jimenez’s (expletives against the high court) will offend the magistrates, then he may be cited for contempt.” True enough, Jimenez was slapped with a P30,000-fine for utterances made in the heat of the moment, which normally can be brushed off as just an emotional outburst. Yet, even as the court took offense to it, it doesn’t seem to treat Davide’s accusations with a greater sense of urgency given that these were issued to media — and in written form at that — making the intention to cast it in a bad light much more evident and deliberate.

Won’t the SC penalize Davide, the same way it pounced on Jimenez or the way it fined Malaya publisher Jake Macasaet P20,000 for indirect contempt when the writer alleged certain anomalies in the SC which the court deemed as “innuendoes that tend, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct or degrade the administration of justice”? Doesn’t Davide’s accusations — especially coming from a former Chief Justice— effectively do the same, if not worse?

Perhaps Davide is held by a different standard. He is, after all, a former CJ (who also happened to be a favorite of the Yellow crowd for being a co-conspirator in the orchestrated Edsa II coup d’etat). But, as a lawyer and member of the Bar, doesn’t his casting doubt on the integrity and motivations of the court itself hurt the highest judicial body of the land, and be considered “conduct unbecoming a lawyer and officer of the court,” worthy of indefinite suspension — not unlike what Davide’s SC in 2003 did to eminent constitutionalist Alan Paguia?

Just to remind everyone, Alan Paguia was suspended indefinitely from the practice as well as the teaching of law for questioning the SC magistrates’ attendance in a blatantly partisan political activity that was the unconstitutional swearing in of Gloria Arroyo in January 2001 at the Edsa Shrine. For that alone, the Davide Court stated that Paguia was guilty of “issuing statements questioning its integrity, impartiality and authority,” and thus suspended him indefinitely for what it coined, “conduct unbecoming a lawyer and an officer of the court.”

Paguia has since been suspended for seven long years. And while the ground for his suspension is still highly questionable, it definitely pales in comparison to far more serious graft and corruption charges against judges or justices that only carry a “maximum suspension of… three but not exceeding six months” (according to Paragraph 2, Section 11, Rule 140 of the Rules of Court).

In 2010, retired Sen. Aquilino Pimentel’s appeal for the SC to reinstate Paguia, stressing that “(the penalty of being) barred from practicing… for more than six years… is too much,” went unheeded.

Earlier, Paguia himself petitioned the SC in January 2008 to lift the suspension, telling it that the purpose of the sanction had already been achieved and “there was no more useful purpose to continue it.” But the SC, on March 10, 2008, even resolved to hold his petition in abeyance pending proof that the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and the civic and religious sectors were favorably endorsing his reinstatement, knowing full well that Paguia is not one to go around beseeching parties that have nothing to do with his case in the first place (another reason I am personally working with a group of concerned citizens to petition his reinstatement).

Meanwhile, we are watching with bated breath how the SC will act on this clear assault by its former chief. Let’s see if the magistrates’ sauce for the goose is also their sauce for the gander. If so, are we likely to witness a Davide suspension anytime soon? Tick-tock, tick-tock…

(Tune in to Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m., and Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; Talk News TV with HTL, Saturday, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)
(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel). 

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110801com5.html

Not the usual suspects EDITORIAL Click to enlarge 08/01/2011

Not the usual suspects

Click to enlarge
Noynoy need not trouble himself with Garci or Lintang Bedol and the other sordid characters who Gloria was said to have summoned to assure her victory in the 2004 elections to know about the massive and syndicated cheating then, since part of the fraud operations then are now part of his close circle.

Senators Francis Pangilinan and Franklin Drilon are prominent names in the unholy alliance that gave Gloria the presidency in 2004 denying opposition candidate Fernando Poe Jr. the title.

Pangilinan was “Mr. Noted” who was most remembered by many as pounding his gavel until its head broke off while saying “noted” and dismissing protests from the camp of FPJ on obviously questionable election documents in the Congress canvass of the votes. Pangilinan’s haste to have all the protests dismissed then only led to the conclusion that he was acting on orders to have the canvass facilitated to proclaim Gloria.

Drilon then was a Gloria ally and Senate President who with Speaker Jose de Venecia, proclaimed Gloria president for another six years, which they now accuse of abuse and manipulation..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110801com1.html

Unmasked FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/01/2011


Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Hooray for Sen. Tito Sotto for frontally unmasking the hypocritical condemnation of 2004 election fraud by the infamous “Mr. Noted,” Sen. Kiko Pangilinan.

It certainly is hypocritical, because no matter Kiko’s and today’s allies of Noynoy — who were then staunch allies of Gloria Arroyo — denials of their having known anything about the poll fraud at that time, they certainly knew what was going on then, and were an integral part of the cover up and ensured that Gloria would be proclaimed president.

And it wasn’t the first time either that they made sure Gloria would take the presidency, if one includes the 2001 mob rule they embraced.

Kiko, Drilon and other congressional allies of Noynoy today really shouldn’t take that sanctimonious stance — especially on that claimed poll fraud, because unaware and innocent, they certainly weren’t. They knew what was going on then, because there certainly were already reports on this at the time it was happening — in the opposition media, since the then pro-Gloria media were killing the reports, as they too, were protecting Gloria, since they didn’t want to see Fernando Poe Jr. in Malacañang, saying he would be a know-nothing president, having no experience and being a high school dropout..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110801com2.html

Somalia drought a conspiracy by infidels — rebels FEATURE 08/01/2011

Somalia drought a conspiracy by infidels — rebels


NAIROBI — For Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked rebels, the drought devastating parts of the country is being exploited by external enemies, claiming that local Muslims were adequately addressing the crisis.
The al-Shebab insurgents have expelled several foreign aid groups from regions under their control since 2009 and reiterated recently that the ban was still in force after the United Nations declared famine in two regions they rule.
Shebab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage denied there was famine in the southern Somalia regions of Bakool and Lower Shabelle as declared by the UN, but admitted that there was drought.
In a speech to the rebel radio, Rage said local traders and other residents have been the main providers of help to the drought-hit population and that “God did not make them need an outside enemy or non-Muslims, the people in the country fed them very well.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110801com3.html

Life lessons C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 08/01/2011

Life lessons

Jonathan De la Cruz
Taking off from p-Noy’s “anti-wang-wang culture” of graft, abuse of power and impunity I am giving space to two articles passed on to me by friends which to my mind complements and, yes, sets in proper perspective in life’s larger canvas the “outrage” (Remember that line: I take the fight against abuse and graft and corruption personally, I hope you will too or words to that effect) which the Chief Executive encouraged each and everyone to muster as he enters the second year of his six-year term.

The first article lifted from the London Times came in the form of an obituary entitled Common Sense while the second is a more upbeat yet prosaic call entitled Enjoy Life —There’s No 2nd Chance which comes across as almost in the same vein as the oft-repeated admonition to those who are “burning their candles from both ends” like some high officials in this administration as well as those getting into the last quarter of their lives as most of those who marched with the first President Aquino who are now into issuing “unsolicited advice” to P-Noy from the sidelines, perhaps in a last ditch effort to turn their Edsa I dreams into reality before they finally, just like the old soldiers of yore, fade away. Here goes;

Common Sense

“Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn’t always fair and Maybe it was my fault..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110801com4.html

House members, Abad face off over frozen pork By Gerry Baldo 08/01/2011


House members, Abad face off over frozen pork

By Gerry Baldo 08/01/2011
A face off between legislators and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad over the wholesale withholding of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel of House members is expected today when Abad appears before the House to defend the government’s budget for next year.

Abad is expected to go through the griller on the first day of the budget deliberations in the House of Representatives.

House Minority Leader and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said the House minority is seriously “considering” boycotting today’s budget briefing and the succeeding committee hearings because of the continued refusal of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release the pork barrel funds.

Some legislators said they are waiting for the golden opportunity to question Abad on why he continued to withhold the pork barrel of a good number of lawmakers in the majority and in the minority blocs..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110801hed1.html

Gov’t warned vs oil, gas hunt in Moro land By Michaela P. del Callar 08/01/2011

Gov’t warned vs oil, gas hunt in Moro land

By Michaela P. del Callar 08/01/2011

Separatist Muslim rebels yesterday demanded the Aquino government to suspend any planned oil and gas exploration in areas, which they said are covered by Moro ancestral domain, warning that continuing such activity would derail the ongoing peace negotiations.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), in its strongest warning yet, said government-sanctioned explorations by foreign companies are deemed to upset efforts by both sides to reach a final peace settlement.
“We have been minoritized in our own homeland of Mindanao due to massive landgrabbing and resettlement programs,” MILF vice chairman Ghazali Jaafar, in a statement posted on the group’s Web site, said. “And now, the little resources that is remaining to us, some of those in the private sector and their partners in government still greedily covet.”

It was the first time the MILF has publicly opposed high-profile government economic projects, adding to the already-burdensome negotiations which have been at a stalemate for years over the rebels’ demand for an expanded Muslim autonomous territory and considerable share in revenues and benefits emanating from natural resources in their areas..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110801hed4.html

Groups up in arms against casinos in Boracay 08/01/2011 By Gerry Baldo

Groups up in arms against casinos in Boracay

By Gerry Baldo
An anti-corruption party-list group yesterday urged religious and other anti-gambling advocates to back the hundreds of Boracay residents in opposing the planned construction of gambling dens in the island resort.

Citizens Battle Against Corruption Rep. Sherwin Tugna said it is imperative that Boracay residents get the support they need in opposing the move.

“Putting up casinos will surely ruin the beautiful scenery in Boracay,” Tugna said.

Tugna also expressed apprehensions that gambling could trigger criminal activities in the island-resort considered by many as one of the best in the world..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110801nat1.html

Huge waves sink ship off Iloilo seas; 147 passengers rescued 08/01/2011

Huge waves sink ship off Iloilo seas; 147 passengers rescued

Battered by huge waves, the Iloilo-bound vessel of Trans-Asia Shipping Lines capsized off Iloilo seas yesterday morning.

The 147 passengers of M/V Asia Malaysia, however, were all rescued by the responding search and rescue teams.

The vessel, supposed to arrive at the Iloilo port at 6 a.m. coming from Cebu, had never arrived as big waves started to pounce the vessel until it tilted to its right side where most of the cargoes were placed and started to sink.

The ship was manned by Capt. Romualdo Gualdizo, together with 35 crew..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110801nat6.html

VACC forms vigilante group to fight carjackers By Pat C. Santos 08/01/2011

VACC forms vigilante group to fight carjackers

By Pat C. Santos 08/01/2011
The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) has formed a vigilante group in response to the increasing number of carnapping and hijacking incidents in the land.

During yesterday’s Balitaan sa Tinapayan forum Arsenio Boy Evangelista, head of the newly formed group and father of Venson Evangelista who was killed and his body later burned by the carjackers in a remote place in Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija said there are an initial 1,000 members of the Vigilantes Against Carnappers (VACnappers).

According to Dante Jimenez, VACC founding chairman and president, they will coordinate with car dealers and manufacturers to gather data base on all the names of car owners who were victimized by carjackers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110801met2.html

Review of P5.184-billion mega flood control project sought By Arlie O. Calalo 08/01/2011

Review of P5.184-billion mega flood control project sought

By Arlie O. Calalo 08/01/2011

An immediate and thorough review should be made by the concerned government agencies on the P5.184-billion Camanava (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela) mega flood control project which has not been effective in resolving perennial flooding in the northern metropolis, Navotas City Mayor John Rey Tiangco said over the weekend.

Unless a comprehensive reassessment is made by the national government, specifically the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), on the multibillion-peso project that was begun in 2003 the flooding problem will remain forever in Camanava area, Tiangco told Tribune in a phone interview.

He said the city government is now no longer relying on the supposed benefits it can get out of the project which was funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as it did not actually serve its real purpose..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110801met1.html

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