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Oct 16

Lobbying the Supremes

Over the weekend, Newsbreak finally broke what was being whispered about for weeks: the furious behind-the-scenes lobbying going on involving the Supreme Court.

…people trusted by the President have been lobbying with select magistrates, causing the balance to shift several times the past two weeks between those who find merit and those who don’t with the case filed by the Sigaw ng Bayan Movement and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines.

…As of October 13, the justices were likely to vote against the PI petition, according to Supreme Court insiders. The administration’s lobbying is focused on two justices who can deliver the swing votes. One of them, a senior justice, is reportedly being promised by Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. the position of chief justice. The incumbent chief justice, Artemio Panganiban, is retiring in December.

A pressure group involved is supposedly the Iglesia ni Cristo, to which one justice is sympathetic (if not beholden). While the “sweetener” for another justice who would otherwise be out of the running for Chief Justice is the extension of the age of retirement for members of the Supreme Court. This extension has been in the Jaraula amendments to the Constitution for some time.

Present Constitution: Section 11.The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. The Supreme Court en banc shall have the power to discipline judges of lower courts, or order their dismissal by a vote of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon.

Proposed Jaraula amendments: Section 11. The Members of the Supreme Court, and Justices and judges of lower courts shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy five years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. They shall have the option to retire at the age of seventy years with full benefits. The Supreme Court en banc shall have the power to discipline Justices and judges of lower courts, or order their dismissal by a vote of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon.

But the fresh twist is resorting to an old trick: just as seats in a new, interim national assembly were offered to Constitutional Convention delegates in 1973 -provided they voted to approve the new constitution- so might term extensions be offered strictly on the basis of those justices who decide to vote in favor of the so-called “people’s initiative.” This, supposedly, is one enticement being made. It seems impossible to believe. Such suspicions have been raised because of this provision under the proposed amendments:

Art.XVIII, Section 5. The extension in Section 11 of Article VIII shall apply only to those appointed after the ratification of these amendments.

Meaning: with Chief Justice Panganiban due to retire in December, and the expected next Chief Justice, Puno, already in office when a referendum is expected to take place -the extension in term would apply to whoever becomes Chief Justice after Puno retires.

The papers all delve into what the Supremes might be up to: Justice Puno is the ponente (some sources have it that he was already beginning the writing even before the submission of evidence by opponents of the so-called initative); marathon deliberations are being mentioned; and really, this doesn’t seem to me the wisest of justifications: Revision or amendment? Who cares? Marcos did it, and so, that’s precedent. Hitler fused the office of Chancellor with that of Reich President, too. Good grief.

Law students I’ve talked to unanimously tell me the so-called people’s initiative can’t possible prosper because it’s clearly a revision and not amendment. Established lawyers say the same thing and don’t see how, even with legal contortions, the Supremes could wiggle out of such a basic conclusion. If the Justices are, as some suspect, moral or legal cowards, then the simplest -and maybe, only- way out is to declare the people’s initiative a political question and throw it to the people for resolution in a plebiscite.

On a related note, here’s how the Thais are proceeding with drafting their new constitution.

In the punditocracy, my column today is Fallen shepherd.

Bong Austero is peeved by the pork barrel.

In the blogosphere, Red’s Herring concludes the “let’s move on bandwagon” is the closing drama of a failed state.

Peryodistang Pinay on “queening,” and other aspects of transformational leadership.

Practice lateral thinking and figure out how these three bloggers are facets of one big picture: blurry brain questions the usual conclusions that multinational companies ignore nation-states with impunity. caffeine sparks asks her students what they learned. mongster’s nest considers liberals as part of the problem.

History Unfolding on the unfolding Republican debacle:

The President, faced with a truly serious crisis at home – the probable loss of one house of Congress – is staying in character, most notably in his full embrace of Dennis Hastert, which in my opinion is almost certain to compound a spreading electoral landslide. On September 1, the web site electoral-vote.com (linked below, although the results it shows do not update every day, as they are supposed to), which simply summarizes all available independent polling data, showed the Republicans leading in 52 Senate races. On October 1 that lead was holding steady, and Republicans led 219-216 in the House. Today, exactly two weeks later, the Democrats lead in 50 Senate races with Tennessee tied and George Allen’s lead in Virginia dramatically narrowing – and in the House the Democrats now lead 226-205 with four ties, a swing of twelve seats in two weeks, or almost exactly one seat per day. Should these trends hold up, the Democrats–who have really done remarkably little to awaken the public–will have to prove that they actually have some idea of how to get the country back on course. Whoever can do that may actually earn a great place in American history.

Morofilm starts a list of people he’d like to see in hell.

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  1. manuelbuencamino

    Bong Austero’s call to abolish pork barrel is well-meaning but woefully off-target.

    Pork barrels are congressional earmarks or set-asides. Theoretically, set-asides are supposed to guarantee the independence of the legislature from the executive because the allocation of appropriated funds for congressional districts are intended to be automatic and inviolate. Unfortunately, theory gives way to reality because the executive controls the tap through the DBM.

    Bong Austero’s solution to the problem will lead not to the liberation of Congress but to their complete submission to the will of the executive who, if Bong’s suggestion becomes reality, will possess the sole power and discretion to allocate funds.

    An American senator once described the issue of pork barrel as “the separation of powers, checks and balances and control of the national purse.”

    He said, “It was my understanding of how the history of England was influenced by the struggles over the national purse strings in England, the power of the purse was sharpened, refined, and utilized as a potent weapon to force the king to redress grievances, to resist unreasonable demands by the king, and to promote specific policy objectives that were important to the people’s representatives in Parliament.”

    He added, “This essential tool-control of the purse by the people’s representatives in Congress—lies at the very foundation of our freedoms. This control of the purse is one of the most effective bulwarks ever constructed to repel a despot, control a tyrant, or shackle the hands of an overreaching executive.”

    There is a bigger picture to pork barrel. It extends farther than the tip of one’s nose.

  2. Alan

    If this is true, then we are doomed. If the Supremes will be swayed by the promise of personal gains, then as a nation, we are on the road to Hades. If the Supreme Court cannot protect the sanctity of the most basic document that’s supposed to be the foundation of our country, then where do we run to now? I don’t want to jump on the gun before the Supreme Court hands down its decision but it is certainly tragic if we are not vigilant against the prostitution being peddled by the present administration. The level of chutzpah demonstrated by the present administration and its minions has gone beyond disgusting to totally revolting. They should be stopped.

  3. john marzan

    the republicans will lose the House but retain the Senate. Can you say Speaker Pelosi?

  4. Karl

    Regarding blurrry brains take on the impunity multinationals,he hit the nail right on the head about Microsoft .But if impunity is the topic then the intelectual pirates are the one who acts with impunity,that neither Microsoft,BSA or the state can do anything to at leat minimize it..Now when it comes to those big bad wolf pharmaceuticals,come on now if those generics from India work the same or better than those branded then I have no problem with generics,but if these generics turn out to be a racket between the government to pretend to have low cost medicine for the poor then to hell with parallel importation.

    Now as to the liberals as part of the problem or as Mong’s syas the other radicals,where he lumped David and de Quiros…together with Tiglao and Defensor and add to that the CSAFP may have a reason behind it..eventually we are all in the same blender,with different guys that turn the switch.

    As to the caffeine sparks…I like the part about the chinese together with the Asians are the brightest but were not greedy enough to conquer the world..then I can blame the Mongols and Genghis Khan for making China build a wall,and miss an oportunityy to have commerce in the north,and the Japs for preventing them to move Eastward and Southward and off course Alexander the great prevented them to go south and West and after Alexander,the Persians.

    It is only now we realize that China’s time will come to rule the world in one way or the other.

  5. la bang gwardya?

    there is an absolutely simple solution to this. give arroyo 20 years of marcosion dictatorship and leave our kids to pick up the pieces. Our generation is doing a MISERABLE job learning the lessons marcos piled on us. Lets just forget the whole pile of manure and give these savages what they want. Let those theiving hooligans get the cookie jar. Satan is supposed to rule the earth for a thousand years. Arroyo can start the snowball rolling rite here and now till she turns 70. There is no cure for greed garnished with a dogged insistence on disregarding history. J. Rizal knew what a dickhead a majority of indolent filipinos are. They just refuse to learn!!!

  6. melong gwaldya yata

    p-i is a bold gesture in Hypocrasy. why dont they set up a puppet kamatis republic and forget wasting the Intelligentsias time pretending Joe Devenecias charter change is Gods gift to the Filipinos.

  7. Jeg

    I should think that unduly influencing the Supreme Court’s members is against the law. Is it? Promising them positions and such is bribery.

    Marcos did it: “They recalled that when the 1973 Constitution underwent changes in 1976 to enable the fusion of the legislative and executive powers of government under the Office of the President, the change was simply called Amendment No. 6 instead of being defined as a revision.”

    Calling a pig a rose doesnt make it a rose.

  8. xxx

    I can’t believe Mong Palatino! And he’s what, a mainstream media journalist!

  9. cvj

    The radical radicals persist in a political advocacy which cannot be tolerated by the official ideology but the fashionable ex-radicals are cogs that make the regime more palatable in the eyes of the people.” – Mong Palatino

    Actually, in Arroyo’s playbook, it’s the Natdems who are the ones making the Establishment ‘more palatable in the eyes of the people‘. Mong can afford to dispense with the ‘pare-pareho lang sila’ rhetoric since, for that, we already have Bong Austero. A better use of his time would be in looking for ways to update his ideology in a way that would make it more palatable to his target audience. If their counterparts in the Left can do it in Latin America, why can’t they do the same over here? Without such a makeover (in both the communicative and substantive senses), they are proving to be easy targets to Establishment propaganda.

  10. manuelbuencamino

    grouping Quiroz and David with Magno , Esperon and Tiglao is sloppy simplification and lazy journalism. palatino should fit his thesis to the facts and not the other way around. Quiroz and david have not compromised their principles. magno and company sold-out. how can anyone lump them together?

  11. UP student

    quiroz, every once in a while, does join the the extreme leftists in calling for disregard of the law. You already know what he’ll say about buying licensed software or legit VCD’s. And you know what actions he’ll consider legit regarding the current resident of Malacanang.

  12. justice league

    Should the so called PI be voted favorably by the SC; who knows, maybe a group out there will question the CONSTITUTIONALITY of RA 6735. It might be worthwhile to find out its Constitutionality if it can be used by officials of the government. Local or not; ULAP is composed of government officials.

    Somehow I don’t see that it would be an outright favorable ruling if ever it will be in favor of Sigaw and ULAP.

    My feeling is that if ever favorable, RA 6735 will be held enabling and the question sent back to the COMELEC since the COMELEC hasn’t actually ruled in favor of the petition yet. It has commented that the petition appears to have satisfied the requirements but that still is not a definite stand on the part of COMELEC.

    At which point those opposed to the petition can still slug it out in the COMELEC. Enough time to delay the petition, and thus use that time also to conduct a grassroot education on why the proposed changes are detrimental.

  13. UP student

    And what about Neal Cruz? In today’s column, he calls on some unidentified mass of humans to amend the Philippine libel laws. Neal says “… the law on libel, as it is written and interpreted at present, presumes an accused guilty until he proves his innocence. … In fact, under the present libel law, the complainant doesn’t have to prove malice at all.”

    A law, once found to be in violation of the Constitution, is uneforceable because that law is illegal. The Inquirer can not defend its rights (free speech etcetera etcetera etcetera) if it/the Inquirer does not know how to use the Constitutional shield.

  14. supremo

    What if everyone just goes along with either Arroyo or De Venecia? The problem with the present anti-Cha Cha advocates is that they don’t seem to have a united front. That situation plus Arroyo’s divide and rule strategy spells trouble for the anti. Agree with either devil and let both devils fight it out.

  15. justice league

    How much unity must be asked for those opposed to the present attempt to revise the Charter?

    Thus far we have been united in approaching the SC.

    Sorry but going along with PGMA and De Venecia is not an option as the proposed revisions are too rotten to consider swallowing.

  16. supremo

    You go with De Venecia and he is no longer speaker. You go with Arroyo and impeachment next year will be easier. Just to set the record straight ‘I don’t like both devils!’.

  17. snoopy

    Are the SC Justies under surveillance by Isafp? Were four justices monitored to have been contacted by ‘operators’ . Is one justice the ‘swing man’. Was 90% the assurance given? PI or Conass?

  18. jimmy

    Et tu SC?

  19. jimmy

    Bribe and blackmail the SC for the PI or Conass? GMA appointees are more than willing. Sold.

  20. juan makabayan

    cvj,
    “update his ideology”: Joma, Ka Roger, Satur

    Ideologically, comfort zones are deadlier than the war zones.

  21. juan makabayan

    mlq3, One Voice,

    How about 2007 elections to include a referendum on whether or not the people want chacha between 2007 and 2010? If so how?

  22. justice league

    Sorry supremo but I don’t think you understand the revisions they plan.

    It will be harder to impeach President Arroyo in the proposed changes whether the Concom or the so called PI versions. In either versions, the President will take alomg with her a select team to become members of parliament therefore strengthening her numbers even more.

    In the concom version she is allowed to make a number of people MPs. In the so caled PI version, the entire cabinet secretaries including the VP become members of parliament. Either set are going to be perceived as beholden to the President.

    JDV might no longer be speaker but he could be Prime Minister. Do you know that in the so called PI version the President will pick the PM?

  23. tbl

    both con ass and singaw will have the same end point, after all the adovocates of both are the same people. they are moving these two in parallel, just to make sure they get what they want . the ultimate end point is a la batasang pambansa by makoy.

  24. Amadeo Dela Cruz

    So it’s the last 2 minutes for the Philippines. I think the Supremes will rule in favor of the PI. The number of Arroyo appointees is just too many to ignore. Previous SC decisions against CPR etc. are just for show. Padama lang!

  25. Diego K. Guerrero

    Singaw ng Bayan-ULAP fake people’s initiative and Speaker Jose De Venecia’s CON-ASS is lost cause and waste of taxpayer’s money. It’s a desperate move to fool the Filipino people. What benefit? It’s nothing-zero. Philippine bogus President Gloria Arroyo and Jose Pidal crime family will campaign hard in the 2007 elections in order to retain majority Lakas-Kampi Party congressmen and pro GMA senators. An opposition controlled Congress means Gloria Arroyo will be skinned alive for her crimes against the Filipino people and the State. Gloria Arroyo will not spend a single centavo from her own pocket in the campaign but at expense of people’s tax money. Malacanang Palace is cooking another scam in the P3.5 billion school feeding program thru NFA rice importation . The proposed restoration of the P200 million pork barrel allocations of senators and P70 million each for congressmen under the 2007 budget is seen as an indirect bribe to buy congressmen’s loyalty. The P500million OWWA trust funds and P728 million fertilizer funds for farmers were illegally diverted to Gloria Arroyo’s 2004 campaign fund. The political survival of the Arroyo crime family is at stake and must buy loyalty of the military-police, justices and lawmakers at all cost to survive.

  26. elinca

    Interesting to note that Peryodistang Pinay likened the lady governor of Cebu and the U.P. lady professor as two queens on a chessboard. But a closer analogy should be made to the real Queen, GMA, of the Philippine chessboard. A lowly pawn, after reaching the other end of the chessboard, is transformed to the boardgame’s most powerful piece –the Queen– who can mow down any obstacle that blocks its way. GMA, as most people believe, won’t stop at anything to achieve her goal, playing to the hilt her role as “Queen.”

    Also brings to mind another queen–the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, who chops off the heads of everyone who she finds repugnant or who disagrees with her. “Off with their heads!”

  27. Bencard

    mlq3, I don’t want to regard you as an alarmist but just like the garden variety prophets of doom and gloom, of which we have an abundance in this coutry, you seem to enjoy creating a ghost to haunt others, especially the gullible and the fearmongering GMA-haters. Bribing the Supreme Court justices? While it seems possible, it is highly improbable. Extra tenure of 5 years is too cheap. I would give the justices more faith and trust than what you and your ideological brethren would allow them. Things are not that desperate and hopeless except maybe in your mind.

  28. DJB

    mlq3, I agree with Bencard that the bribery angle makes no sense. It seems too contrived a theory based on the FALSE notion that the case for PI is weak on the merits. In my opinion it is not so weak because the Constitution plainly and directly authorizes people’s initiative to propose amendments to it. But I am disturbed by what JDV said a few weeks ago: “We cannot lose twice!” It would seem to be a great improbability that the administration to be turned away by the Court twice in a row in the next few months.

    Frankly, I think that PI is however, a weaker case than CON-ASS. To approve PI the Court has to effectively reverse its 1997 decision, but to reject CON-ASS they would have to construe the Constitution as saying something it plainly doesn’t.

    Also, the messy nature of the signature collection and the uncertainties of “enabling law” and compliance with it, will cause the Court to force at least a renewed initiative campaign perhaps and a long delay. Whereas a decision on CON-ASS could indeed produce a plebiscite lickety-split. No delays, less procedural issues other than the main “voting separately one.”

    My bet is CON-ASS.

    One question lang of an academic nature. On REVISION and AMENDMENT, has someone produced a succinct definition of these two words sufficient to make a necessary conclusion that the switch to parliamentary is one or the other. If so, what IS that definition?

  29. realist

    Bribing the SC justices isn’t too far fetched. Who swore GMA into office after Erap anyway?

  30. UP student

    Realist… the procedure IS for the Supreme Court justice to conduct the swearing-in ceremonies for the incoming President, isn’t it, or did you expect the High-and-Mighty Leader of the CBCP to do the swearing in?

  31. melvinsky

    So far the SC’s batting average in resolving contoversial issues pass the public’s scrutiny since there were no massive or widespread protests for resolutions it issued.More dangerous is when the SC will come out with a seemingly “win-win” ruling but will be twisted again.Then deadmahan na naman.

  32. realist

    UP Student, with the way things went and with how things are going today, Mike Velarde of El Shadai and Erano Manalo of INC would be more credible.

  33. hvrds

    RE: hot momma B. A heads up. Her thong is showing!
    Read M’s piece in the Inquirer. First I suggest everyone look at today’s Star Business Section page B-5. There appears a picture of our favorite hot momma with GMA and hot momma’s guests, her valued clients Mittal Steel and some companies of the Australian – New Zealand Chamber of Commerce. Peter Wallace’s bunch. There is nothing wrong with lobbying government on behalf of your clients. Lobbying is big business in the U.S. and is transparent and legit. But do not commoditize that accessibility for private gain if one is in the employ of the state. The Jack Abramoff model of government service. Karl Roves hit man. Roves, main secretary a Filipina named Susan Ralston recently had to resign her post as she had on her appointments record numerous instances of Abramoff’s contacts with Rove. Abramoff is going to jail.

    Now our favorite hot momma here got herself appointed to the Constitutional Commission funded by taxpayers and got a lead role in the Adovocacy Commission for cha-cha again on the public dime to push for changes in the basic law in this country that will favor her clients.

    Yet she said she fervently believes in her cause so we should not insult her. The term hot momma in my sometimes neck of the woods is not a derogatory term. She is too mature to be called a hot babe. Unfortunately she will never reach babehood. Street walkers
    are basically working girls who have no choice. But prostitutes are a different breed.

    It appears that our favorite hot momma under a government advocacy group has a private business agenda on behalf of her clients. That is razor thin close to being a crime.

    They accused Christian Monzon (not one of my favorite hired guns)
    of favoring his bosses (Meralco). Big difference as he is not on the government payroll pushing an advocacy to benefit himself. His wife would cut his balls literally.

    Probable scenario:
    On Peter Wallace and his connections with the MRT-7 project that is stuck because of the issue on the projected valuations of land that will support government guarantees on this project. This infrastructure project sponsored by SM and Levin (he represents Israeli interests in engineering) needs a take or pay clause in their contract to get reasonable long term funding. It would help if foreigners could get a piece of the pie in what could become a massive realty development project that will go through property of the Araneta Tuason clan north of the city. Business risk always centers around marginal leveraged investing. In short OPM to mean other people’s money at minimum risk to the proponents. Joe Public actually carries the risks anyway.

    However this apparent conflict of interest is abstract and is dangerously close to being a case of graft. You cannot use a position in government to push for your material interest under a so called principled stand. At the very least full disclosure is required. Private funded lobbying that exists for all to see is a legit act. Right now my take on hot momma has changed. This one is a slick pro.

  34. titanium

    realist: Velarde and Manalo more credible?? Oh yeah, just like Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggert, except that the latter two never meddle in politics in the name of religion. I say your taste is “impecabble”.

  35. hvrds

    Is having sex the same as making love? Amendment or revision.

    Language is a tool.

    The U.S. Constitution is the basic law for a national federal system for a union of states. That is the basic legal foundational framework. The powers of the federal governmenrt were clearly stated in broad terms. Each state had its own constitutions.

    When Lincoln was elected some Southern states immediatley seceeded and Jefferson Davis was chosen President of the Confederacy. The Union was broken. Unilaterally the Southern States tore up the U.S. Constitution.

    In Lincoln’s First address he clearly stated in his own words,

    “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”
    “Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations and had never recanted them; and more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read:”
    “Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.”
    “I now reiterate these sentiments, and in doing so I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case is susceptible that the property, peace, and security of no section are to be in any wise endangered by the now incoming Administration. I add, too, that all the protection which, consistently with the Constitution and the laws, can be given will be cheerfully given to all the States when lawfully demanded, for whatever cause—as cheerfully to one section as to another. There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written in the Constitution as any other of its provisions:”
    “No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.”
    Lincoln however made a distinction from the issue of slavery to the more important issue of the binding agreement of all the States that the issue of seceession was a totally different matter. He said that for the Union to break up, permission must come from the joint decision of all the States and not simply some.
    He clearly saw dissolution of the union as a serious challenge tantamount to the intent of the framers and signers to that Constittution.
    “A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people.” Lincoln
    “Constitutional checks and limitations.”
    Today we have four branches of government.
    Is removing one of the Constitutional checks and limitations on the so called “majority” tantamount to substantially changing the basic law into aa new one?
    I highly recommend everyone read Lincoln’s first inaugural address to grasp his clear understanding of the intent of Constitutional Law.
    He later added an amendment to the Constitution freeing the slaves. A lot of these slaves then simply left their task masters and flocked North.
    Was the Civil war simply about slavery? No. It was about preserving the checks and limitations on absolute power that Lincoln believed would lead to tyranny and anarchy.
    http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres31.html
    Unicameral with the promise of federal provinces and full liberalization. Are you ripping up the constitution and writing a new one or are you amending it?
    The methodology is clear on when and how to use the three means of a single amendment and substantially changing the thrust and direction of the old one to make it in line with the so called new global realities.
    George Washingtons’ second executive order was a tariff wall that stayed in place till the end of the Second World War. Pat Buchanan points out that the four Presidents carved on Mount Rushmore, Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Washington, Jefferson were all protectionists.

    Are we now allowing the dissolution of the work in progress state
    all simply based on someone’s religion of the free markets and free trade?

  36. UP student

    hvrds… The Philippines has its own Constitution. The concept of “state rights” or secession would have no meaning to at least one of the Filipinos who framed the 1987 Constitution.

  37. The Bystander

    Under a regime that knows no bounds and does not have an iota of respect left for the democratic institutions in place, anything is possible. They will push through with the “dance of death” by hook or by crook to maintain themselvews in power.

    We are already in a hopeless situation, politically.

  38. john marzan

    “Bribing the SC justices isn’t too far fetched. Who swore GMA into office after Erap anyway?”

    hindi na kailangan ng bribe. ilan na ba ang na-appoint ni Arroyo sa SC?

  39. UP student

    John Marzan’s 1:48P entry has this insidious tinge of defeatism. There is a huge difference between a SC justice “being inclined to rule in XYZ’s favor” and a SC justice actually ruling in XYZ’s favor despite any and all arguments.

    Yup… defeatism.

  40. titanium

    UP Student, I agree. Some people seem to enjoy putting down our officials and institutions, making ours a country of masochists, naysayeers and cynics. I call this lack of national self-esteem. Who would respect us in the family of nations when we do not respect ourselves?

  41. jimmy

    I support John’s view and concern about the SC. I know some of GMA’s appointees to the SC and how they got there. The JBC, Judicial and Bar Council, isn’t working to safeguard the Judiciary’s, including the SC’s, integrity. Reforms are advocated by lawyer groups to correct this.

    GMA’s ‘territorial piss marks’ (like cats’ and dogs’ piss on tree trunks or car tires) is all over the place. The pattern is obvious, the musky stink is distictly GMA’s.

    Latest example:”LTFRB Chrmn Bautista will be replaced by retired police Gen. Thompson Lantion, also a staunch supporter of former Philippine National Police chief and currently DoTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza”.

    GMA loyalist generals occupy key civilian positions, effectivey giving military men control of beurocracy.

    Is the SC spared from GMA’s ‘piss marks’? Should we blame people who smell something musky or fishy?

  42. Bencard

    UP Student and Titanium, I see what you mean. And many of these people use gutter language to express themselves, “trying hard copycats” of Bevis and Butthead. How they can make conclusive assertions out of pure suspicions is amazing.

  1. Rastafar: is that free?

    Hey guys, any opinions on the new CSSEdit?…

    Uberpenguin, nodnod. HS^: you mean [ST]alin, his clan was Serious Torture, right?…

  2. Santiago vs. Comelec - will the Supreme Court overturn its decision? at Atty-at-Work

    […] There are well-founded opinions that the sufficiency of R.A. 6735 will again be brought to the Supreme Court as a result of the on-going signature campaign through the barangay assemblies [it’s now with the SC, courtesy of Sigaw ng Bayan]. DJB notes how JDV predicted a “parliamentary utopia” in four months, while MLQ3 writes about the “perfect plan” to effect Charter Change [see also “Lobbying the Supremes“]. […]

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