It was a comedy of errors, but there wasn’t anything funny in the foiled attempt to transfer Rep. Ocampo to Leyte yesterday. What it shows is the lengths certain factions in the administration will go to achieve their ends. My personal view has been that Rep. Ocampo should face the charges, and he is facing the charges; but the manner he has been handled since he was placed in custody is objectionable.
1. There was no reason to try to transfer Ocampo, at least while he had a pending petition before the Supreme Court.
2. Even the judge the authorities wanted Ocampo to face right away, ordered him sent back pending the resolution of his petition.
3. What’s with the fetish for doing things in the dead of night? Obviously only to deny Ocampo access to his lawyers and to keep the public literally in the dark.
This is the sort of thing that sabotages the administration’s own efforts. The AFP chief of staff, too, I believe, is commenting too much on policy matters.
Another case in point is the latest arrest warrant versus the editors of the Inquirer. The problem here isn’t the court, which is following procedure; it’s the list of individuals the President’s husband has decided to file charges against. Since the law is the law, the President’s husband (who says he’s only working hard to go through the proverbial eye of the needle and enter the Kingdom of God) has recourse to filing suit against writers that offend him. But I’d argue that including a whole slew of editors turns the whole thing into a case of legal harassment. That, and the timing: if, on its face, there is nothing wrong with a warrant, when and how that warrant is served can become an instance of harassment, for example, when it’s served at a time that denies the accused a chance to post bail.
Anyway, I refer you to the blog of Gibbs Cadiz and the waiting of the paper’s staff for the warrant to be served.
In his column today, Alex Magno asserts that sample ballots can account for as much as 10% of the votes of a candidate, and that this is the advantage offered by the political machinery that manages to distributes such ballots. He makes a curious statement, too, that opposition members pointing to public opinion polls conveniently ignore that surveys showed the President leading Fernando Poe, Jr. in 2004.
But if so, he conveniently ignores how the surveys became a bone of contention and that it seems the surveys themselves ended up manipulated by infiltrating their sample base. You can look at how Social Weather Stations did its post mortem on the survey results (particularly the exit polls) or dig around Philippine Commentary who studied the issue exhaustively.
In other words, Magno may be magnifying the power of the machine and downplaying in turn, the ability of surveys to generate a meaningful snapshot of what voters will actually do. Anyway, here’s the latest on the survey on party list preferences.
For those interested in Danton Remoto’s senatorial candidacy, the Comelec it seems, is poised to make its final decision known.
GO said, TU said, scuttlebutt courtesy of the Manila Times.
The blogosphere has its usual round of meaty stuff: baratillo@cubao analyzes news reports on human rights violations. Notes on the Philippine foreign debt from caffeine sparks. A reflection corruption by An OFW Living in Hong (and observations on partisanship and corruption in the United States from History Unfolding). The declining softdrinks market is the topic for Bunker Chronicles.