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Like a bad case of the Clap, it keeps coming back
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on August 23, 2007 102 Comments 7 min read
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There’s an extremely interesting article in Slate titled The Heart of Queens: Can Nancy Pelosi single-handedly take impeachment off the table? Which castigates the first female Speaker of the US House of Representatives, for saying something along the lines of our local politicians: no impeachment, not now, not before the next elections, which means, not ever (see Opposition not rushing to file new impeach case vs Arroyo).

There’s this great passage from the article, which looks not only at American public opinion at present, but which also explains why public opinion is crucial when it comes to proposals for impeachment:

According to public opinion polling, the percentage of voters supporting the impeachments of both President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are now approximately 45 and 54 percent, respectively. Most Americans instinctively feel the president is an untrustworthy steward of the Constitution’s checks and balances because, among other things, he flouts laws, prohibits White House aides from testifying before Congress, consistently defends an attorney general who is an inveterate liar, and detains citizens and noncitizens indefinitely as enemy combatants on his say-so alone. The prevailing barometer of acute public dissatisfaction with the White House surpasses the corresponding disaffection with President Richard M. Nixon when the Senate Watergate hearings began in May 1973. And Mr. Nixon had recently trounced Sen. George McGovern in the 1972 elections, winning 49 states.

Sounds familiar? The principles remain the same, just as there have been those who’ve pointed out the at times uncanny similarity between the administration’s take-no-prisoners approach and the Republic playbook in the States. As the article goes on to explain,

The prospect of an impeachment inquiry by the House judiciary committee would concentrate the minds of the president and vice president wonderfully on obeying rather than sabotaging the Constitution. But Speaker Pelosi has at least figuratively joined hands with the White House in opposition. Emulating the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, she has threatened the removal of Michigan Rep. John Conyers from his chairmanship of the House judiciary committee if an impeachment inquiry were even opened, according to reliable congressional chatter.

The writer says it’s unproductive for the Speaker to undermine the Judiciary Committee chairman:

With more than four decades of service in the House, Chairman Conyers is a veteran of constitutional battles between the branches. The speaker, in contrast, is a novice on such matters. Unlike Conyers, she never experienced the Nixon impeachment travails that sobered and toughened the chairman against executive abuses and secrecy. If she had, she never would have emboldened President Bush and Vice President Cheney to intensify their assaults on congressional power by pronouncing that “impeachment is off the table.”

If you still don’t get it, here’s the clincher, the similarity that’s so relevant:

Not surprisingly, after receiving that reassurance that there would be no consequences for their misconduct, the White House swiftly choked off the authority of Congress to expose executive lawlessness or maladministration by instructing current or former White House officials, including Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, and Joshua Bolton, to refuse to appear for testimony. And despite the recent enactment of the Protect America Act of 2007 – which amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 for the ninth time since 9/11 to suit the administration’s fancy – President Bush continues to claim constitutional authority to ignore the law at will and in secret.

Now the President, herself, of course has come out swinging, as Jove Francisco recounts:

She was even wearing a powder blue number, her color of choice during the biggest political storm that hit her administration ever. Gloriagate. (So that’s why she’s back to wearing blue lately…)

A revival of sorts…amidst the sudden revival of the Hello Garci Controversy.

This time though… Mrs Arroyo also threw punches at her opponents.

Mrs. Arroyo, reading the teleprompter in front of her, said: “I have a country to run, I have terrorists to fight, I have a peace to win and a bright future to secure for these children. I embrace work and will just leave the titans of hate to have a monopoly on the politics of destruction.”
(On cue -some say “as rehearsed”, as soon as she uttered the word children, she slightly turned to touch one of the babies at the back. What registered in the faces of Bingbong Cirologo and Sonny Belmonte were precious. They were even reading with her. Not much choice really, napatayo na sila nung tumayo ang Pangulo.)

(BTW, there was even a debate whether PGMA said “PYTHONS OF HATE” or “TITANS OF HATE”… official OPS transcript stated for the record that she said “will just leg a title of hate”. That confused all of us more, so we had to playback our tapes and realized that she actually said TITANS of hate.)

And her factotums have come out swinging, too: Gonzalez uses Aragoncillo case vs Arroyo foes (how can you punish a Filipino for soliciting information on a foreign power? What the Americans punished was one of their own assisting citizens of a foreign power; and what if, as it’s been suggested, the President or her people were reading the same documents that Estrada and Co. supposedly obtained?). The administration bloc flexes its muscles in the Senate, too: Arroyo allies stall Garci probe over concerns of tape legality. And the legal armor’s been dusted off: Palace to invoke EO 464 again (the spiritual armor, too: Arroyo declares Sept 12 Nat’l Day of Prayer, Reconciliation).

In a powerful entry in Philippine Commentary, Dean Jorge Bocobo argues that when the Supreme Court struck down portions of the controversial executive issuance, it actually left intact the bits most precious and useful to the administration. Bocobo also says,

But a potentially explosive new development in the saga of the Garci Recordings is the accusation that a MAJOR TELECOM firm was involved in the alleged illegal wiretapping operation of the Intelligence Services of the AFP. Now here the Senate has a chance, because even Chief Executives like Manny Pangilinan and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala are NOT covered by EO 464. I think these telecoms could lose local and international licenses and franchises and become the subject of intense Congressional pressure if these accusations of participation in illegal wiretapping operations turn out to be true.

Which goes to the heart of a news item like this: Smart: We don’t have capability to bug phones. Newsbreak asks, Wiretap Scandal: Was there a Basement? Gen. Esperon says, there isn’t one; the reporters say, someone like Doble could easily confuse the ground floor with a basement.

In other news, HSA overlooks $-denominated terror funds, the President’s inlaw says: Iggy Arroyo says solons want DAR abolished (during my past visits to Bacolod, I’d heard the hacenderos were, indeed, looking forward to the Arroyos spearheading the abolition of CARP, and not out of objections to it on grounds of efficiency). Palace submits P1.227-T budget proposal.

Newsbreak also has two articles of note: GRP Backtracks on Self-Determination Offer to MILF and New Marines, Isafp Chiefs in Massive AFP Revamp.

Overseas, Asian stocks rise, looking to the Fed, as Fed chairman signals US interest rate cut. However, even as While the west takes a battering, China weathers the global storm, there’s Subprime hits German state banks. William Pesek warns, Bernanke must avoid Greenspan’s Asia bubble mess. In our neck of the woods, Burma rounds up protest leaders (see Fuelling discontent in Myanmar).

My column for today is Visions in isolation. Also, Connie Veneracion looks at Malu Mania; Tony Abaya investigates Ninoy’s assassination.

In the blogosphere, some, like smoke, aren’t amused by the latest Lacson bombshell; Patsada Karajaw is delighted; Philippine Politics 04 says it brings up unresolved questions over past events.

Mong Palatino defends playing basketball in the streets. Pedestrian Observer on Malu Mania, saying enough with the fat jokes, and Superblessed makes an appeal for sobriety and calm.

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  1. The chances of a crucial rate cut of the Fed Fund rate will probably not happen. Four major market making banks (Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citi and Wachovia) have ceremonially accessed the lending window to try to remove the stigma of accessing the lending window. The lending term has been extended to 30 days. More time for those in trouble to unwind their positions and come out in the open.

    Bank of America has already infused additional capital into Countrywide that had experienced a plain old bank run. The sharks will line up to pick up the pieces in sifting between the layers of the so called toxic waste of paper. Containment measures are being put in place to prevent toxic wastes from polluting the better paper.

    The guys who will take most of the hit are the high flying investment banks who are at the center of this fiasco. Next in line are the hedge funds. Both are unregulated by governments.

    After the last Depression Glass-Steagall was legislated by Congress in the 30’s that separated investment banking from commercial banking. This was repealed in the mid 90’s through the efforts then of Robert Rubin to benefit Citibank. Part of the deregulation process when Citi merged with Travelers Life.

    Now the merchants of financial toxic waste have to unwind their positions with the help of the Federal Reserve.

    The trick is to try to slow down the deflationary pressures in home prices. Last week the entire home mortgage market in the U.S. almost came to a halt. I think a lot of people got a look at the edge of the cliff. Everyone is now backing away from that cliff.

    The U.S. economy has now fundamentally changed but remains the same. As Jagdish Bhagwati, doctrinaire equilibrium economist from Columbia once said, in the past it was GM. What was good for GM was good for America. Today it is Goldman Sachs. What is good for Goldman Sachs is good for America. It is like a return to the gilded age of J.P. Morgan who singlehandedly acted as the Central Bank of the U.S. during the financial crisis of 1907.

    You have the street smart guy from Goldman Sachs in the person of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and the book smart Bernanke who made the history of the last depression
    his life’s work.

    Together they rule this planet for now. The problems of overproduction will have to await solutions once again.

  2. Doble blows the whistle on Operation Lighthouse.

    What’s your evidence?

    Garci Tapes.

    Oh you can’t use that. It’s against the law to use tapes of a wiretap as proof of wiretapping,

  3. Will we ever know who killed Ninoy?

    We can’t get to the real killers because it points to someone else and not Marcos. We just can’t believe it so we stop. The luster of Ninoy’s heroism would diminish much if Marcos is not the culprit. It would be one less sin from Marcos’ sins against humanity. That could not be. It’s blasphemy! Marcos is evil, period.

  4. What is the legislation that should come out of the Garci Investigation?

    I think in so far as EO 464 will be used to stop it, the Senate investigation will become less about Garci and wiretapping and more about executive privilege and Congressional Oversight, which are the opposed principles that must be given both due course and proper balance.

    In general I believe that there are many legitimate reasons for claiming executive privilege, and many illegitimate ones. There has to be a legal mechanism by which a blanket, unpierceable wall of executive privilege is not ever attained, without prejudicing its legitimate use.

    I think we need a proper WHISTLEBLOWERS LAW to provide such a mechanism that would not destroy the executive’s privilege of confidentiality and even secrecy in impt matters, eg of national security, or destroy public reputations by imputation, but which provides a means by which heroic public servants can “jump the wall” so to speak and expose true wrongdoing at the highest levels in matters like election fraud, corruption, etc.

    The Garci investigation should be in aid of legislation like a Whistleblowers Law, to provide a check and balance mechanism against abuse of executive privilege for secrecy and confidentiality. It should especially cover whistleblowers in the active military, which makes it a challenging law to write, but which would requiring the testimony of the highest levels of the military.

    Such a law would really be aimed at protecting institutions like the military against their prostitution to partisan political affairs, and providing a carefully controlled mechanism by which “sumbungeros” can effectively help to root out graft and corruption, and treasonous acts like wiretapping a President.

    Again without allowing false claims to get undue publicity.

    This way the investigation can even call back the Garci generals to get their recommendations about how to build a strong and potent military intelligence system that ought to make whistleblowing obsolete.

    The crux of the investigation should be the Military. Its legislative intent should be to build a strong, powerful and independent Armed Forces of the Philippines!

    One that is the true bulwark of Democracy, that is absolutely loyal only to the Constitution.

  5. I believe it will be very hard to break the normal flow of “BUSINESS” in the military.

  6. mb,
    again you misunderstand the law! that is NOT what the antiwiretapping law says at all! Don’t you see, the garci tapes are evidence of crimes against the antiwiretapping law, section one. It is precisely the kind of wiretapping that Lorenzo Tanada sought to outlaw, except he would never have guessed that its most famous case has as the target of the wiretapping not some activist or journalist, but the President of the Republic. Thus it is not only a violation of the right to privacy, but a breach of national security.

    The crime that the Garci Tapes prove is not electoral fraud at all, but illegal wiretapping of the President under RA 4200!

  7. On basement issue:

    Unless the CSAFP staff quarter’s changed in location and structure from the time of Sen Biazon till the time of Gen ABU,he does not need a senate investigation to tell us that aint so.

    And I don’t recall the CS quarters got destroyed or burned,I believe it was the vice chief’s quarters which burned at one time per recollection.

  8. The crime that the Garci Tapes prove is not electoral fraud at all, but illegal wiretapping of the President under RA 4200!

    I claim this crime exists even if the conversations were nothing more than sweet pleasantries being exchanged between texmates.

    Who ultimately is culpable and liable for this crime?

    That is the most interesting question of all!

  9. DJB,

    And what would stop officers like Trillanes from interpreting the Constitution as they please?

    I urge you to read “The Ethics of Officership” by Richard Swain, an article published in Parameters, the professional journal of the US Army War College. I tried to attach the link but my earlier post is still awaiting moderation because of the built-in filter.

  10. Nasilip ng driver si misis at ang kanyang boyfriend sa bedroom making love. Kinunan ng picture.

    Binigay ng driver ang picture sa husband who confronted the wife.

    Husband: You committed adultery with your boyfriend!

    Wife: What’s your proof?

    Husband: This picture, taken by the driver.

    Wife: Gago, it doesn’t prove that I committed adultery. It proves that your driver is a peeping tom!

  11. DJB,

    GMA was not the person being tapped. As Doble claimed, she was “collateral damage.” She only figured in the tapes because she called Garci.

    Some suspect that it was not GMA who ordered the surveillance of Garci. If she did, she would probably refrain from calling. I think she is not that stupid as to call a tapped phone even if she was the one who ordered it. I guess it would be some GMA cohort, someone who probably wanted to ingratiate himself with the administration, who ordered Garci’s phone bugged.

    GMA and the leaders of the cheating machinery might have been concerned that Garci would turn the tables on them. Baka gapangin ng kabila. She probably ordered the intel service to keep a tight watch on Garci. She probably didn’t know they can tap Garci’s phone.

  12. DJB,

    Again you misunderstand what I wrote.

    “again you misunderstand the law! that is NOT what the antiwiretapping law says at all! Don’t you see, the garci tapes are evidence of crimes against the antiwiretapping law, section one”.

    Paano naging iba ang sinulat ko – “Oh you can’t use that. It’s against the law to use tapes of a wiretap as proof of wiretapping.”- sa sinasabi mo -“the garci tapes are evidence of crimes against the antiwiretapping law, section one”?

    Maybe I should use big bold type for you?

    Aren’t gloria’s legal beafles arguing the Garci tapes are inadmissable?

    So how can you prove there was an illegal wiretap if you are not allowed to present the evidence the tapes the living proof you have in your possession?

    Hindi ko sinabi evidence ng cheating yun. And sinabi ko evidence of illegal wiretapping yun.

    I don’t know if I can make it any simpler for you

  13. DJB,

    Nga pala my first sentence was, “Doble blows the whistle on Operation Lighthouse.”

    OPERATION LIGHTHOUSE! Hindi cheating in 2004, hindi Garci tapes.

    Common sense should tell you I was referring to am illegal wiretap operation carried out by the ISAFP.

  14. DJB,

    To paraphrase Shaman – How can Doble prove he was an eavesdropper if he doesn’t nake you listen to his tapes?”

    Get my point Mr. Wannabe Lawyer?

  15. “Who ultimately is culpable and liable for this crime?
    That is the most interesting question of all!”

    Dean,

    I thought the most interesting question is why is it this government or this administration is not at all interested in pursuing the case on illegal acts that has been done against this president.

  16. Shaman, that analogy was spot on! However, i think DJB’s approach does look promising a-la Untouchables where they got to Al Capone via his accountant. This time around, looks like the role of Al Capone’s accountant goes to the Telecom moguls.

  17. “Will we ever know who killed Ninoy?”

    It’s not “who killed him” but “who ordered him killed.” It’s pretty much an open and shut case that Galman shot Ninoy. Just like Lee Oswald was for JFK. They’re both patsies, and the real mastermind was never really found. Question is, were the Americans able to move on despite never having caught the mastermind or are they like us, stuck on this rut?

    And yet in Ninoy’s case it would be easier to believe that Marcos was behind it all. Period. We had People Power, and whether or not Marcos was behind the assassination, Ninoy’s death served its purpose. Does failing to catch the mastermind lessen our honoring of Ninoy’s sacrifice? or does failing to even teach younger kids who Ninoy was and what he stood for, a bigger crime?

    I’ve given up long ago that the truth of who masterminded the event will ever come out. But that doesn’t mean I’m denigrating the sacrifice Ninoy did by acting as if I don’t care if the mastermind was never found. I’m simply accepting the truth that after all these years, the facts will be so convoluted that even a half-truth will be very hard to come by. I’ve accepted the fact that, Ninoy died for the Filipinos, and that’s all that matters. His killer’s name is no longer any concern of mine. Let him languish in ignominy for all I care. Justice of this world may never be given to Ninoy, but in the after-life, I think the mastermind will have plenty of justice to face. And that as they say, is priceless.

  18. Devilsadv8,

    better get your facts straight.

    the heirs of galman fought to have him acquitted of the conviction by a mock court. it’s quite unfair that after being held innocent, you point to him as the “open and shut” case assassin of ninoy.

    on retrial of the case, the courts found constable first class rogelio moreno as the triggerman in conspiracy with other soldiers. Galman was a mere escape goat.

  19. And they say I am so fond of cliches and old analysis formulas. 😉

    E yung mga isyu sa Pilipinas panay yan pa rin e. No wonder there is no progress. No, wait. There IS progress. Kaya lang paatras.

  20. as for the release of the soldiers who were linked with Ninoy’s assassination, I say only one thing. Pardon can only be granted to those who’ve said they’re sorry for what they’ve done. they’ve done their time, and if by the Penal Code they are indeed eligible for parole (or clemency or whatever) then who are we to withhold our forgiveness? Or are we better than God? of course forgiveness is only contingent on those who repent.

  21. jaxius, tnx for the correction. it still doesn’t change the fact that Moreno was still a patsy. or get us closer to the truth of who masterminded the assassination.

  22. MB,
    I am mad at myself for not having the literary skills to explain this very impt point well enough so others can see what I think I see clearly in my head. But as Manolo’s new blurb says, we will use every means of explaining stuff…

    It’s to do with the question of what can or cannot be done legally with illegally wiretapped conversations.

    Very early on in the controversy the palace was able to convince everybody that the answer to this question is: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. They insisted that the Antiwiretapping law made such material “poisoned fruits” and that anyone even possessing such material is violating the law. This argument stuck and most people have never seen through it. Dick Gordon even used it yesterday to oppose the opening of the Senate investigation.

    All sorts of arguments against it have been tried. The favorite of Chiz Escudero is a citation of the Bartnicki case, in which the main theme is the public’s right to know. But it’s not the best refutation of poisoned fruits that I have found.

    The best refutation is in the Antiwiretapping law itself! After naming the acts considered illegal without Court Orders in Sections 1 and 2 (recording, consent to record, possession and repro of recordings, etc), author Lorenzo Tanada brilliantly states in Section 3 that none of those acts are illegal in cases where such material is evidence of crimes against national security, or in the special case of kidnapping.

    In other words, it is NOT ILLEGAL to possess copies of the Garci Recordings, to report them in media, and all that, because they literally are prima facie physical evidence of criminal wrong doing on the part of unknown persons, since no RTC has come forward to say that it issued Court Orders to wiretap the President and Garci.

    BTW the “court orders” authorizing the handling of wiretapped materials are not limited to court orders that allow wiretapping be done sometime in the future, the “court orders” can be authorization to examine, use as evidence or otherwise handle illegally wiretapped material done by someone else in the past.

    The law explicitly allows Courts to authorize wiretapping and the utilization of wiretapped material, before during and after any crime involving national security.

  23. The Dean is right, Doble should be jailed and sentenced to die by musketry for wiretapping the President. Wiretapping is so very illegal.

    Calling an election commissioner to increase one’s votes by a million is, you guessed it right — a lapse in judgment.

  24. Violation of the Antiwiretapping Law by constitutional officers is an impeachable offense as it is a national security statute as well as a protector of civil liberties.

    It was our first Human Security Act.

  25. tagabukid,
    ahh, but Doble is a mere accessory or accomplice, not a principal in this crime. he is in fact its whistleblower.

  26. DJB, sorry if i’m slow on the uptake but i just want to double confirm – if Section 3 (i.e. “none of those acts are illegal in cases where such material is evidence of crimes against national security, or in the special case of kidnapping“) of the Anti-wiretapping law is the lynchpin because as you say “it is NOT ILLEGAL to possess copies of the Garci Recordings, to report them in media, and all that, because they literally are prima facie physical evidence of criminal wrong doing on the part of unknown persons“, then why did you say in your previous comment that “I claim this crime exists even if the conversations were nothing more than sweet pleasantries being exchanged between texmates.“?

    Is it because the relevant crime (against national security) is the military’s eavesdropping against public officials (i.e. Arroyo who was then still President via EDSA Dos and COMELEC official Virgilio Garcillano) and not what they talked about (i.e. manipulating the election results)?

  27. i’ve said this long ago, the bush admin would actually welcome an impeachment against them. because it’ll backfire on the dems and this will deflect the issue from iraq.

    the president’s popularity may be low, but the Dem-controlled congress is lower. What, around 18%? LMAO.

    most people disapprove of bush, but not to the point of having him impeached.

    and according to polls, most Filipinos actually wanted arroyo impeached (if possible) or resign, but knows that it’s not going to happen under the admin controlled House and Senate.

  28. i’ve said this long ago, the bush admin would actually welcome an impeachment against them. because it’ll backfire on the dems and this will deflect the issue from iraq.

    the president’s popularity may be low, but the Dem-controlled congress is lower. What, around 18%? LMAO.

    http://www.galluppoll.com/content/?ci=28456

    most Americans disapprove of bush, but not to the point of having him impeached.

    and according to polls, most Filipinos actually wanted arroyo impeached (if that’s possible) or resign, but they know too that it’s not going to happen under the admin controlled House and Senate.

  29. But then, you [DJB] also said above that the garci tapes “are evidence of crimes against the antiwiretapping law, section one“.

    Does that mean that if the target of the wiretapping is an ordinary citizen (not then President Arroyo), Dick Gordon’s logic (as stated by MB above) prevails?

  30. An illegal act to prove another illegal act. Ah, that truly cannot prosper. So in the future, let us ask the courts ourselves to grant permission to wiretap all candidates during elections and wait if one of them will call the ‘ol commissioners.

    So the wiretapped Garci tapes were illegal. Does that make whatever it contained less truthful? By all means have Doble be state witness and have him produce the masterminds of this act and prosecute them for endangering the national security (never mind Gloria’s security in Malacanang). And then afterwards, let’s move on to punishing those involved in the election scam as well. After all, we can’t possibly successfully prosecute the illegality of the said wiretapping w/o accepting the fact that its contents were real. Either there was wiretapping, or just a lot of air being recorded. Which explains Malacanang’s silence or rather its refusal to search out who bugged GMA’s phone. accepting GMA was indeed bugged is tantamount to accepting the Garci tape contents were real, and not fabricated. And to contend GMA was bugged but the recordings spliced to create a new conversation as perfectly as what we heard in the Garci tapes is hard to believe. Malacanang’s only recourse is to claim there was no wiretapping at all, and whatever we heard was a voice impersonator. In which case no one violated the anti-wiretapping law and we can all go to sleep soundly.
    Or perhaps the Garci tapes themselves came from CIA? what Philippine organization has the capability to wiretap its own president? unless GMA ordered herself to be wiretapped and then stupidly forgot the order. were the tapes a threat from the white house that if GMA didn’t hew close to Junior’s war on terror, she may very well kiss her presidency goodbye?
    Btw DJB, nice ideas abt the whistleblower act.

  31. DJB,

    your explanation was what I tried to condense in a sentence.

    “Oh you can’t use that. It’s against the law to use tapes of a wiretap as proof of wiretapping,”

    I should have included national security.

  32. benigno

    “E yung mga isyu sa Pilipinas panay yan pa rin e.” If u are referring to the Garci tapes, well that issue never died. It was buried alive. By inept morticians like you

  33. cvj,
    I’m not sure about the answer there because there is a specific crime–kidnapping–which is included in the big list of national security crimes but which clearly is not the same situation.

    I guess that is because the most common use of wiretapping authorized by the courts is for tracking kidnappers.

    But in general I think the answer to your question probably is this: yes, if the tapes are of a private person and there is no national security issue involved, it would be illegal to possess such material.

    That is only reasonable of course because Tanada sought to protect the private sphere from govt spying. Even if it could prove guilt of some other crime, not against national security.

    Also, it is what makes illegal the recording of others and putting them to ridicule by publishing or reproducing such recordings, which might reveal true things, but should not be allowed because that is eavesdropping.

  34. MB, okay i got it,hehe.

    So here it is, the antiwiretapping law is dangerous to the wiretappers, but they were able to convince everybody that the antiwiretapping law protects them. It does, except for Section One!

  35. DJB,

    you mean sec.3.

    Anyway, how do we resolve the following:

    Suppose I was busted for a crime and the info that alerted the cops to my criminal activities came from an illegal wiretap. I get hold of a copy of the tape of this illegal wiretap, Can I use it in court as evidence that my arrest was based on an illegal wiretap?

    OR

    Does this apply:

    “any communication or spoken word, or the existence, contents, substance, purport, effort, or meaning of the same or any part thereof, or any information therein contained obtained or secured by any person in violation of the preceding sections of this Act shall not be admissible in evidence in any judicial, quasi-judicial, legislative, or administrative hearing or investigation.”

    AND

    the law punishes those who “knowingly posses any tape record, wire record, disc record, or any other such record, or copies thereof, or to replay the same for any other person or persons, or to communicate the contents thereof, either verbally or in writing, or to furnish transcriptions therefore, whether complete or partial, to any person.”

    Can I use the recording as proof or am I up shit creek?

  36. Section 1 of RA 4200 prohibits wiretapping “by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape recorder, or however otherwise described.”

    In Gaanan vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, [145 SCRA 112 (1986)], a case which dealt with the issue of telephone wiretapping, the Supreme Court ruled that the use of a telephone extension for the purpose of eavesdropping on a private conversation without authorization did not violate R.A. 4200 because a telephone extension device was neither among those “device(s) or arrangement(s)” enumerated therein, following the principle that “penal statutes must be construed strictly in favor of the accused.”

    Now, Doble used a cellphone in wiretapping Garci and, serendipitously, GMA. If Doble is to be believed, the telco, with the use of a splitter, converted Doble’s cellphone into an extension of Garci’s cellphone.

    Following the SC’s ruling in the aforesaid case, does it mean that Doble’s eavesdropping did not fall under the ambit of RA 4200, since a cellphone “extension” is not among the devices or arrangements enumerated therein? And that the statute “must be construed strictly in favor of the accused”?

  37. shaman,

    I’m not a lawyer but maybe it’s not against 4200 to eavesdrop but it’s prohibited to make a recording.

    But if the SC agrees with you, then the little lame duck is a cooked goose.

  38. manuelbuencamino

    “Suppose I was busted for a crime and the info that alerted the cops to my criminal activities came from an illegal wiretap. I get hold of a copy of the tape of this illegal wiretap, Can I use it in court as evidence that my arrest was based on an illegal wiretap?”

    That “evidence” ( illegal wiretap) not being used as evidence pertains to the police. They cannot use it as evidence. On the matter of “your arrest”, other pieces of evidence made sure of that.

    In other words, the burden of illegal wiretaps is being shared by the wiretapper and the wiretapped.

  39. Devilsadvc8:

    I think you have hit the nail squarely on the head on all points. The very reason no heads have rolled on the Garci wiretap is because pursuing the case would prove that a conversation was indeed wiretapped–something that would create more problems (for the admin) than it would solve.

    And I do find the CIA (or at least US) angle plausible. But does that make Doble a US asset?

  40. Mike, Doble did not act alone. In fact, he was just following orders from his superiors. If there were any US assets, they would be in the upper echelon.

  41. Doble and company might have performed SIM cloning not signal splitting. An employee inside SMART can make a copy of Garci’s SIM and give it to Doble. Or Doble can just buy a SIM card reader/writer and store the Ki code in a generic SIM card.

  42. supremo, if I remember right, Doble mentioned “splitting” in his videotaped testimony.

  43. DJB, thanks for the response. I just read RA4200 and got the impression that it only applies to ‘peace officers’, and not just anyone who possesses the recorded material. Anyway, for Section 3 to be applicable in the sense that you envision it, devilsadc8’s logic (at August 23rd, 2007, 10:25 pm) must apply so the content of the tapes do matter.

    Also, i’m interested on knowing the basis of your assertion that “the ‘court orders’ authorizing the handling of wiretapped materials are not limited to court orders that allow wiretapping be done sometime in the future, the ‘court orders’ can be authorization to examine, use as evidence or otherwise handle illegally wiretapped material done by someone else in the past.” That interpretation is not apparent from the law itself.

  44. ‘…it only applies to peace officers…’ above should read ‘…Section 3 only applies to peace officers…’

  45. shaman,

    Like an elevator in the US is a lift in the UK. We are talking about cell phone conversations here. Do you know how cell phone signals work? Read about it. All data about your account is in the SIM card. Have you seen Bourne Supremacy? Go straight to the scene where Matt Damon was interrogated in the airport. He copied the SIM card of the agent. The SMART employee did the same thing but using SIM information stored in their system then gave the copy to Doble.

  46. shaman,

    Like an elevator in the US is a lift in the UK. We are talking about cell phone conversations here. All data about your account is in the SIM card. Have you seen Bourne Supremacy? Go straight to the scene where Matt Damon was interrogated in the airport. He copied the SIM card of the agent. The SMART employee did the same thing but using SIM information stored in their system then gave the copy to Doble.

  47. funny this. people keep writing “pieces of evidence.” i think “evidence” alone will suffice. woot!

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