Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Supreme Court dismisses Case versus the President on electionnering issue.

I'm taking a break from a successive string of loaded working weeks to note that the case filed by senatoriables Boots Anson Roa and Amina Rasul against the incumbent President was dismissed recently by the Supreme Court. See Inquirer report here. I've been really annoyed with the propaganda that followed the filing of that case, especially the song and dance routine that Boots Anson Roa did over several TV channels on the alleged misuse of public funds ek ek chu chu. So they went to the Supreme Court to ask the Court to tell the President to resign or take a leave of absence to prevent her from using her position to campaign for her re-election. I don't really mind the comments that the sudden vibrance of public programs sponsored by the President like the Kalsada ni Gloria is just a ploy for the President to have her name and image plastered all over the Philippines -- They might even be right. But to go the Supreme Court for this? My goodness -- the first and last thing one learns from Constutional Law is that the President is immune from suit. You can shoot her, but you can't sue her.

Ask the Supreme Court to tell the President to resign or take a leave of absence on a Mandamus remedy? Susmaryosep -- Mandamus can only be done if the action required from the public officer is ministerial. That means the action should not involve discretion -- an act that she doesn't have to think about, like a clerk filing a piece of paper. Since when has resignation and taking a leave of absence been ministerial and non-discretionary?

Besides, one of the very few things I learned from my Election Law class with Justice Maambong is that in general, when a public officer files a certificate of candidacy, he is considered resigned, EXCEPT when he is running for President or Vice-President.

Good politics. Bad lawyering. This is one of the reasons why justice is delayed in this country. I have several cases that have been pending with the Supreme Court for years. But because idiots like the lawyers of Boots Anson Roa and Amina Rasul keep on clogging the dockets with baseless cases like this one, I have no choice but to wait until the Supreme Court finds the time to attend to my cases while it bothers itself with nuisance suits.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004


When an incumbent President, who is also a candidate for re-election, implements a program of government, she does so as the Head of State of this country. That is her duty. The fact that it has partisan political color is merely secondary and even incidental. Indeed, she doesn't stop being President just because she is running for re-election. In other words, when she doles out those Philhealth cards with her picture, she doles them out as President not as candidate. Sori na lang po sa oposisyon.

What is my basis?

UNIDO V. COMELEC (G.R. No. 56515 April 3, 1981).

"....(I)t is undeniable and but natural that the head of state of every country in the world must from the very nature of his position, be accorded certain privileges not equally available to those who are opposed to him in the sense that, since the head of state has the grave and tremendous responsibility of planning and implementing the plan of government itself, either by virtue of the popular mandate given to him under the corresponding provisions of the Constitution and the laws or any other duly recognized grant of power and authority, the opposition cannot be placed at par with him, since logically the opposition can only fiscalize the administration and punctualize its errors and shortcomings to the end that when the duly scheduled time for the people to exercise their inalienable power to make a better choice, the opposition may have the chance to make them accept the alternative they can offer.

Therefore, when the head of state is afforded the opportunity or when he feels it incumbent upon him to communicate and dialogue with the people on any matter affecting the plan of government or any other matter of public interest, no office or entity of the government is obliged to give the opposition the same facilities by which its contrary views may be ventilated. lf the opposition leaders feel any sense of responsibility in the premises to counter the administration, it is up to them – and they are free – to avail of their own resources to accomplish their purpose. But surely, it is not for the administration to hand them on a silver platter the weapon they need. We are not aware that there is any existing system of government anywhere in the world which is mandated to be so accommodating and generous to the opponents of the current administrators of the national affairs.

In instances where the head of state is at the same time the president of the political party that is in power, it does not necessarily follow that he speaks with two voices when he dialogues with the governed. Unquestionably, there are matters of vital public interest wherein partisan considerations could in some degree be involved, but then such partisan interest would be purely secondary. The President/Prime Minister of the Philippines is the political head of all the people. His is the sacred responsibility to protect and defend the security of all the people, the stability of the government and the integrity of the national territory, not only for the tenure to which he has been elected but for all times. When, as in the instant situation, he deems it warranted by the circumstances to present to them a plan of government which includes the modification of the existing structure of government together with its concomitant allocation of governmental powers, it is not only his right but his duty to take the people directly into his confidence and impart to them to the fullest measure of his capacity and by all available adequate means the reasons therefor and the corrollarily advantages thereof to their welfare. The opposition, if it opines otherwise, has naturally the indisputable right to make every effort to thwart his objective. But, surely, this is far from saying that it is the duty of the administration to generously grant to them the means to wage their campaign against it."

Thursday, March 11, 2004


Sun Tzu says,

"Those who are skilled in warfare will always bring the enemy where they want to fight and are not brought there by the enemy."

In this morning's Inquirer, a newswriter reported that Erap has started to distribute video CD's showcasing his side of the story in his plunder trial. Knowing that the courtroom is not his battleground, Erap has decided to bring his case to the court of public opinion. With a directed and even fictionalized account of his version of the story, how could Erap lose? No cross-examinations. No legalese. Erap's VCD stands as his Memorandum to history.

What does this mean? Erap is going to use public opinion to get himself out of jail. Public opinion will elect Poe as President. Public opinion will "convince" Poe to give him executive clemency. And in the event that GMA wins, public opinion will stir another EDSA TRES.

Interesting times we live in.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Will Brother Eddie Appoint Jesus Christ to the Cabinet?

As the campaign heats up, Brother Eddie appears to be the only true alternative to the traditional politicians. The others in the opposition are simply loaded with the politicians of old. FPJ has Manong Ernie Maceda and Manong Johnny Ponce Enrile in his senatorial slate. This only goes to show that the Erap gang is behind his candidacy. Raul Roco while seemingly loaded with political neophytes in his slate has Edno Joson in his list. Well, Mr. Joson was Erap's NFA Administrator so I count him out of my list too. Ping has the Zamora Brothers. But Bro. Eddie? He's on his own. So is he the true alternative?

Not so fast. A few years back, I remember Bro. Eddie getting involved in a little fight with Bro. Mike Velarde over channel 11. The two had joint venture agreement when they acquired Channel 11. As both leaders accepted the other as co-equal, they agreed that Channel 11 would be ran by a Management Committee composed of three. Who were the members? Bro. Eddie, Bro. Mike and Bro. Jesus Christ. No kidding. No wonder the two got involved in a bitter fight and no less than Pres. Fidel V. Ramos had to mediate the dispute between the warring religious leaders.

Now, can somebody ask Bro. Eddie if Jesus Christ would get a cabinet position in his presidency? He keeps on saying it was God who told him to run. So will he return the favor with a juicy appointment? "God" must really be fickle. As far as I can remember it was also "God" who told Gringo Honasan to push through with his coups in the 80's and early 90s. It was also God who told Pres. Arroyo to renege on her promise not to run for re-election and to give the presidency a second shot. It's a nutty world we live in.

I guess it's Eddie Gil then.