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See Attack of the Romulan.

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    • manuelbuencamino on September 27, 2007 at 2:40 am

    Bencard,

    Ir will serve your so called legal whatever to read the Philippine Supreme Court’s decision. They’re who we follow around here,

    • Bencard on September 27, 2007 at 2:42 am

    buencamino, you call me “panero”. if i remember right, only lawyers call other lawyers panero in the philippines. if i may ask, are you one? how come you cannot distinguish a lawyer’s argument from a testimony, or even a “judgment” – a prerogative of a judge? oh, btw, you’re sure their watching the “performance” was for the purpose of supporting neri?

    • Bencard on September 27, 2007 at 2:47 am

    buencamino, and what would you say to mlq3 who invokes the “opinions” of americans, huh? and, last time i read the s.c. decision on eo 464, they invoked liberally from american jurisprudence, didn’t they?

    • rego on September 27, 2007 at 3:14 am

    Haay, Bencard, Eh ganyan naman talaga lagi at mulat sapul di ba? Asa ka pa. They are they majority in this forum remember so they they believe they should dictate the rules or they rule itself. And that include what reference to use and even the definitions.

    • rego on September 27, 2007 at 3:19 am

    On neris implicating only Abalos and spared Gloria…

    You see Brian thats why I was bored following the live blogging. There is just no indication that Neri will implicate Gloria…

    Ayan nafrustrate na naman toluy ng husto ang ang Pathetic Loser Crowd. And ang ending nito, kastiguhin nanaman nila ng Move On Crowd…

    • BrianB on September 27, 2007 at 3:56 am

    Rego, I never expected Nery to become more than a team player. I don’t know this guy personally, have not followed his career, and, to be very judgmental, he is a wimp, a sissy and has a practical look about him. He’s an accountant for crying out loud. I think someone posted a YouTube clip of the untouchables here yesterday. Nery was the Bookkeeper not Eliot Ness. The bookkeeper stepped out of the train but Ness was nowhere in sight.

  1. Bencard,

    All the reactions here to Neri’s cowardice in the Senate are not just about law books or legal opinions by brilliant legal minds like yours, like Ermita’s (who instructed Neri to invoke e.p.), or by American jurisprudence; the reactions expressed here are perfectly human reactions – much like your own feelings for us here who do not appreciate Gloria and her cabal of officers; of course, you can’t expect to find them in law books.

    If people were to consult law books before they even utter a word for fear of hurting the powers that be, what kind of world would that be? Even you would not have a place in that kind of world… that will be Hitler’s world all over again.

    You have to respect that there are poeple here who cannot think the way you do about Gloria because they do not believe that she is the person you think she is. It is your right to revere, adore and put her on a pedestal but you cannot on the strength of your feeling for her or on the basis of what your law books say, change what is fundamentally inherent in people – the right to differ from you.

    I think that’s called democracy.

    • Bencard on September 27, 2007 at 5:47 am

    mbw, i see your point but it really is not about about gma, fg, abalos, the senators or the powers that be. its not about you, mlq3, buencamino, rego or me. its not even about the law books and court decisions that govern us. its not easy, but it is all about how it is to live under a rule of law and not of men. a hundred years from now, all of us will probably be not here in our present state, but the norms, precepts and principles we live by will endure as long as generations coming after us will respect, obey and observe them.

    • nash on September 27, 2007 at 6:02 am

    Manila bay watch: Godwin’s Law!

    • pete m. on September 27, 2007 at 6:28 am

    mlq3,

    Would it be descretionary then on the part of the senators to divulge to the public parts of what discussed in the exec session to the public?

    Will they vote on whether what were spoken by neri in ES are covered by executive privelege?

    • tonio on September 27, 2007 at 6:34 am

    ah well, contrary to all you guys, prof. neri behaved true to his form! i think quite a few of his former students at AIM will agree that old coot behaved exactly as we expected him to behave. apologies to all those who thought neri could’ve been a hero or something, he’s just NOT the type.

    on EO464: not a legal authority or whatever, but i think what the SC did, by invalidating section 2b and 3, was to limit the scope of executive privilege to heads of departments of the executive branch. how does that apply to neri, who is no longer director-general of NEDA? and i think, per US and other examples of Philippine jurisprudence as provided in the SC decision, the invocation of the privilege requires that a specific question be posed, in order to determine whether or not such invocation of the privilege is warranted. can anyone confirm that?

    as for getting GMA and FG on all of this. from the start i thought it was a long shot. Abalos had been such a conveniently larger from the get go, and the fact that he’s established himself as a consummate liar is not helping. if the objective was to sacrifice someone, well abalos is that sacrifice.

  2. Nash,

    dont think so.

    • baycas on September 27, 2007 at 6:43 am

    The buck went through mama gloria’s ear and stopped in her brilliant brain.

    President Truman, in his speeches, referred to the saying “The buck stops here!” and specifically asserted: “The President – whoever he is – has to decide. He can’t pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That’s his job.”

    I believe Mr. Neri was candid and forthright when he recounted telling gloria of the bribe attempt. I am pretty sure Mr. Neri doesn’t get to hear a lot of these bribe attempts (as he might have been appalled when abalos said it to him). Therefore it’s possibly not everyday that he reports to gloria such attempts to make her callous in not doing anything about it.

    Mr. Neri already elevated the situation to the acting highest (but probably the smallest) official in the land and yet that official did nothing as if no wrongdoing has been committed. gloria is remiss in her duty.

    I hope gloria doesn’t go scot-free this time even though it’s just bribe attempt that was phoned to her. As others may recall, garci has intimated (also through phone – the garci wiretap) to her the “soft touch” policy (short of labeling it kidnap/hostage-taking) employed during the Rashma Hali Affair. gloria didn’t prevent it from occurring that’s why Ms. Harriet lost Rashma, their witness, to the government side. The latter incident is a more serious offense but the main difference now is that there is one Romulo L. Neri who is declaring gloria knows of the bribe attempt and that gloria or her minions are not disputing this statement!

    —–

    What I like to ask Mr. Neri is these:

    You said you have poor memory, but aren’t we all (not expecting an answer)? There are situations wherein you can recall incidents in your life when it’s worth remembering or even not good to remember, like embarrassing moments, am I right? Anyway, let me ask again…Did you report abalos’ bribe attempt (as you have conjectured abalos was doing) to your president? How come you remembered (hoping to extract the circumstances surrounding it that made him recall the incidents)?

    Do you often get to receive bribe attempts? How many? From whom (no names please – just designations, public official or private individual)? For how much?

    Do you often report these bribe attempts (if there are any, other than abalos’ attempt) to your president?

    Are you credible to your president when you phoned the incident to her? How did you feel when you unburdened yourself of that responsibility?

    Now, did it ever occur to you that there was no investigation on the bribe attempt simply because you weren’t questioned about it?

    • pete m. on September 27, 2007 at 7:21 am

    Mlq3, bmw

    Neri’s personality profile is relevant. A switik is a tight-wad tending to be rapacious or greedy. (A play on alma mater ‘jesuitic’ ateneo). Neri exhibited greed for cheap china loans almost in disregard of more important considerations. He is better placed as a tight-wad DBM head than a NEDA Dir Gen where foreign loan and investment policy decisions has more serious impact not only on the economy but on national interest and security.

    GMA needs cheap china loans as a drug addict needs drug money. GMA is addicted to power. She justifies take-over and continued stay as president by showing an improving economy. She purveys cheap china-loan financed projects to political allies and propagandize an accelerating economy.

    • Karl Garcia on September 27, 2007 at 8:02 am

    Godwin’s Law is often cited in online discussions as a caution against the use of inflammatory rhetoric or exaggerated comparisons.

    —–

    i needed to look it up,as francis says;the more i learn, the less i know.

    • cvj on September 27, 2007 at 8:14 am

    BrianB (@3:56AM), i was the one who posted the youtube video. I did that precisely because Neri reminded me of the accountant/bookeeper, particularly towards the end of that clip.

    • Karl Garcia on September 27, 2007 at 8:17 am

    From the chairman of the senate committee of foreign relations:

    a tantrum,saying that the chinese,being the cradle of civilzation in the east started corruption…etc.

    better find another committee,madam chairman.

    kala nya showbiz foreign relations.

    we are already perceived as like those mentioned by benign0 tapos may committee chair pa tayo kagaya ni Brenda….patay na !

    • kampupot on September 27, 2007 at 8:19 am

    Got this from philstar.com

    DEMAND AND SUPPLY By Boo Chanco
    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    New chemical element

    I got this from an e-group and I am not sure the one who sent it wants to be identified. But it is too good to pass up.

    The recent graft and corruption issues are proof of the existence of a new chemical element. A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element has been named Governmentium.

    Governmentium (Gv) has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

    Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would take less than a second what would normally take over four days to complete.

    Governmentium has a normal half-life of three years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

    This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

    When catalyzed with Money, Governmentium becomes Administratium — an element which radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons. When catalyzed with MORE MONEY, Governmentium and Administratium combine to become a true dastard of an element, Atemugloriam popularly referred to as Ate Glue.

    • Karl Garcia on September 27, 2007 at 8:28 am

    Maiba tayo

    si enrile gusto patunayan na hindi pa sya ulianain..

    imagine trying to recall the sc decison on eo464,me kodigo naman sa harap nya.

    kaya tuloy pagdating ke gordon sinabi..I have the sc decision in front of me.

    nakita ko lahat ng senator me binasa pag eo464,si jpe,I am trying to recall palagi ang banat.

    in fairness, mas matindi si joker….we already won,so let’s go easy (on Neri)

    • patsadakarajaw on September 27, 2007 at 8:59 am

    it was a very frustrating day for us. Neri just cop out. He protected Gloria and FG but pinned Abalos.

    The questioned is, would Abalos fight back againts his bosses.

    I dont thin so. Maybe thats part of the game plan to escape from this current mess. Protect GMA, pin Abalos, Abalos does nothing and tapos.

    • Beancurd on September 27, 2007 at 9:13 am

    Bencard, there you go again about the rule of law. Have you ever heard or read the name Acsa Ramirez? You may want to research on her so that you would know that the rule of law does not operate in a vacuum. Tama si erap, in this country your kind of rule of law is weather weather lang yan.

    • rego on September 27, 2007 at 9:27 am

    “mbw, i see your point but it really is not about about gma, fg, abalos, the senators or the powers that be. its not about you, mlq3, buencamino, rego or me. its not even about the law books and court decisions that govern us. its not easy, but it is all about how it is to live under a rule of law and not of men. a hundred years from now, all of us will probably be not here in our present state, but the norms, precepts and principles we live by will endure as long as generations coming after us will respect, obey and observe them.”

    ——————————————————-

    Oh I love this, Bencard. Mabuhay Ka!

    This is very much aligned to what I have been saying since the very start I joined teh blogging community.
    If only we woudl all be principle based, I dont thik there will so much chaos in this blog world.

    You just cannot be an advocate of anti government corruption and revered the Erap after his convicted of plunder.

    Just cannot cry injustice, unfairness yet be unfair to Gloria or to the move on crowd.

    • rego on September 27, 2007 at 9:28 am

    And there is just no way that you can break principles. You will just break yourself against it.

    • rego on September 27, 2007 at 9:33 am

    “Tama si erap, in this country your kind of rule of law is weather weather lang yan.”

    —-
    Yeah right and you expect us to believe what Erap said? Who is Erap anyway?. A great Pinoy Thinker? And what has he done to the betterment of the country that we shoudl believe on what he said?

    • Bencard on September 27, 2007 at 9:45 am

    beancurd, who says its win, win all the time? you win some, you lose some. that’s the way the game of life goes. don’t have a one-track mind. one instance of failure of the rule does not warrant its destruction, however profound you think what erap says is.

    • hvrds on September 27, 2007 at 10:27 am

    As applied to the separation of powers to each branch the legislative in is oversight functions also have subpoena powers. Executive privilege is not absolute. However in the Philippine setting it seems that people in government are not bound by laws which regulate mere mortals. They have assembled unto themselves the roles and personalities of Demi-Gods.

    Unfortunately the quality of legislators is similarly suspect.

    A crime was so obviously committed.

    Case law from UNITED STATES v. NIXON, 418 U.S. 683 (1974)
    418 U.S. 683

    UNITED STATES v. NIXON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, ET AL. CERTIORARI BEFORE JUDGMENT TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT.
    No. 73-1766.

    Argued July 8, 1974.
    Decided July 24, 1974. *

    Under Philippine jurisprudence this will be used as basis for any challenge to executive privilege.

    “The President wants me to argue that he is as powerful a monarch as Louis XIV, only four years at a time, and is not subject to the processes of any court in the land except the court of impeachment.” — James D. St. Clair, Richard Nixon’s counsel, arguing before the Supreme Court

    “Mr. St. Clair, what public interest is there in preserving secrecy with respect to a criminal conspiracy?” —Justice Lewis Powell during oral arguments

    * However, neither the doctrine of separation of powers, nor the need for confidentiality of high-level communications, without more, can sustain an absolute, unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances. The President’s need for complete candor and objectivity from advisers calls for great deference from the courts. However, when the privilege depends solely on the broad, undifferentiated claim of public interest in the confidentiality of such conversations, a confrontation with other values arises. Absent a claim of need to protect military, diplomatic, or sensitive national security secrets, we find it difficult to accept the argument that even the very important interest in confidentiality of Presidential communications is significantly diminished by production of such material for in camera inspection with all the protection that a district court will be obliged to provide. [418 U.S. 683, 707]

    The impediment that an absolute, unqualified privilege would place in the way of the primary constitutional duty of the Judicial Branch to do justice in criminal prosecutions would plainly conflict with the function of the courts under Art. III. In designing the structure of our Government and dividing and allocating the sovereign power among three co-equal branches, the Framers of the Constitution sought to provide a comprehensive system, but the separate powers were not intended to operate with absolute independence.

    “While the Constitution diffuses power the better to secure liberty, it also contemplates that practice will integrate the dispersed powers into a workable government. It enjoins upon its branches separateness but interdependence, autonomy but reciprocity.” Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S., at 635 (Jackson, J., concurring).

    To read the Art. II powers of the President as providing an absolute privilege as against a subpoena essential to enforcement of criminal statutes on no more than a generalized claim of the public interest in confidentiality of nonmilitary and nondiplomatic discussions would upset the constitutional balance of “a workable government” and gravely impair the role of the courts under Art. III.

    Chief Justice Burger – Vote was 8-0

    • The Ca t on September 27, 2007 at 10:36 am

    He’s an accountant for crying out loud.

    He is not an accountant. He’s not even an economist. He finished Business Administration major in Marketing at UP. His masteral was Finance and International Management.

    And I am sure it is his staff who did the evaluation.
    He must have been given only the salient points to discuss.

    Proofs.

    When P. Cayetano asked about the IRR:

    Cayetano: Isn’t it true if there’s a difference if NBN was through BOT or through loan, as economic benefits wouldn’t be there as public wouldn’t have access?

    N: Rate of economic return would be same.

    FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, the EIRR will be different because in the Build/operate/transfer, there will no loan obtained by the government. In the NBN-ZTE, the project is funded by a loan tied up to the procurement.

    Then as P. Cayetano has mentioned, one is with public access and the other doesn’t have access. Therefore income is generated as they pay not only savings.

    Another statement that made me look at his background.

    N: You only look at right hand side of balance sheet. We don’t look at right hand side, which is financing.

    REALLY?

    N: I did not know that, we do not conduct financial audits.

    True, but as evaluator, you have to know the capital exposure of the proponent especially if it is BOT.

    To think that he just endorsed the idea NOT the project of J. de Venecia III(without a feasibility?) sabi nga isang papel lang?

    As evaluator of a multi-million project, they could have hired an outside consultant who can do the canvass and verification of materials. This is the work of the consultant which could be very objective and thorough because he does not have direct interest on the project.

    Neri should have presented alternatives in acquiring the broadband technology.

    Option 1. Build/Operate and Transfer

    1. EIRR
    2. Payback
    3. NPV

    Option 2 NBN ZTE ODA

    1. EIRR
    2. Payback
    3. NPV

    Option 3 NBN ZTE PRC Loan

    1. EIRR
    2. Payback
    3. NPV

    Which among these options give the highest EIRR?
    Which among the options give the shortest payback?
    Which among the options give the highest positive NPV.

    He was talking about 29 per cent EIRR but what is the basis that it is profitable. He admitted that there was no benchmark. Because they didn’t work to evaluate the options.

    Sabi nga ni Mar Roxas,don’t make bola-bola. Sabi ko naman, don’t confuse us with terminologies. Some of us can understand what you’re saying and what you’ve failed to do.

    • cesar on September 27, 2007 at 11:00 am

    So where are the other senators now? Now that the issue is on the necessity of the broadband deal wala na sila? Senators talaga… all they wanted was to grandstand…. ngayon d na interesting ang issue kaya wala na sila…

    • tonio on September 27, 2007 at 11:22 am

    Cat:

    all of Neri’s hijinx were an obvious attempt to confound the senators with b-school jargon. (Behold! I will now confound you with my incomprehensibility!) i’m glad someone put him in his place. AIM pa lang, ganyan na yan eh. buti nga sa kanya.

    cesar:

    wala ng media value, so the bulk of the senators won’t bother. that’s just the way things are. you think those guys would be interested in really doing work?

    • mlq3 on September 27, 2007 at 12:27 pm
      Author

    bencard, i don’t think you will find us arguing that neri be stripped of his rights, or the president deprived of hers. we can express opinions on executive privilege as a concept: rthere are historians (kaiser among them) who prove, convoincingly enough, based on documentary evidence., it’s a fairly recent invention which then entered jurisrudence. and there’s the problem. being in jurisprudence in america and then here in the rp, we’re bound by it. but when a principle enters law, you either interpret it in a way maximally beneficial to the one claiming it, or challenge it. which is why when eo 464 was issued, it was challenged. thats the legal system, too, and the senate won a partial victory.

    notice no one sensible, i think, directly challenges a claim to privilege by the ex.: indeed even the senators said, there are three grounds. they rightfully asked, which do you invoke; neri said, i dunno, but i invoke it and will ask my bosses to explain why.

    which then leads us basically a situation similar to someone claiming the fifth. its there as a guarantee agains hanging yourself; when you invoke it, no one can hang you -but everyone can conclude aha, the only way you escaped hanging, was to invoke your right against self incrimination.

    against the statutory rights of even the chief executive and the cabinet must be balanced principles that are far older and more basic to democracy: transparency, accountability, and the fact that we live in a political world. when an official invokes privilge, and the question -bencard remember, invoking the exec. privilege in this case hinged on a question that did not seem to engage military, diplomatic secrets or natiolan security, but rather, presidential acts of commission or omission upon being informed of a bribery attempt, which is a crime- and that then neri invoked the privilege, suggests it’s a tactical move note in the national interest, but solely the presidet’s political and legal interest.

    go back to the question, bencard, and where the question was headed. then look at the legitimate grounds for invoking presidential privilege. then see whether the two match. i don’t think they do. perhaps you do, but then tell me how. neri is offered a bribe. as is his duty, he tells his boss. his boss says, don’t take it. what else did she say or do? ah, then neri wouldn’t say. why not?

    • mlq3 on September 27, 2007 at 12:28 pm
      Author

    pete m/. , i think an executive session’s bound by confidentiality.

    • tonio on September 27, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    from the supreme court decision:

    If the executive branch withholds such information on the ground that it is privileged, it must so assert it and state the reason therefor and why it must be respected.

    i see in Section 1 that what Neri’s hiding is definitely covered by 464. Neri asserted executive privilege, but where’s the reason?

    • Willy on September 27, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    From a layman’s point of view:

    JDV3 accuses Chairman Abalos of $10M bribe. Abalos denies.
    One or the other is lying. Nothing can be proven though.

    Sec Neri accuses C. Abalos of P200M bribe. Abalos denies.
    One or the other is lying. Again hard to prove.

    In spite of all the legal, ministerial, gov’t control mechanisms, and procedural intricacies in the system, no one in the government can justify a $329M project. You just hear: “It is not our job to do so and so, we just etc.,etc.,”… being passed back and forth.

    Sec Neri reports 200M bribery attempt to PGMA. Invokes e.p. in response to queries about their conversation in this regard. And so story stops there. One would readily imagine the only valid response to a report of bribery is to say don’t take it, immediately order an investigation, and suspend any related activities to arrest probable wrongdoing. Thats it. No-brainer, really. Thus, it makes no sense to invoke e.p. if just to avoid admitting this was the actual response. It does make sense though to invoke e.p. if the response was something else. But its a dead-end here, e.p. you know. No negative speculation is proposed here, just saying its a dead-end.

    Where to now? Lets move on (to the next controversy).
    Then play the same zarzuela all over again. TV entertainment doesn’t get any better than this anyway.

    • tonio on September 27, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    sheesh. at least television writers know better than to use the same plot over and over again.

    • Karl Garcia on September 27, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    Things to learn:

    NEDA is nothing but a rubber stamp for all the agencies.

    I don’t know if thay have been like that,but Neri seeemed to tell us that they are like that now.

    Next,

    as in the corporate world,the military,etc.
    we are at the mercy of the best case scenario proposals.

    then,
    That the government is not there to make profits per Enrile,but to serve the public. Oh cummon!

    another point

    Public bidding eliminates corruption, per Roxas,

    What happened to the old fashioned under the table,is it no longer practiced..AS IF we were bornn yesterday.

    ——

    Our law makers are incapable of making laws,with out the help of their staffs.

    Imagine Escudero asking magkano talaga ang babayaran natin after 20 years?
    It was repeated by Cayetano today,wwhen he asked his professor from UP?

    we have to many lawyers,wala tayong maagagwa dyan.

    I agree with Geo:

    Geo :
    Geez, I take it back re: Escudero. Add Cayetano to the “got no clue” department. Goodness, it’s like these guys have no knowledge whatsoever about simple economic basics…don’t they know the effects of inflation on long term loans?………

    September 26th, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    • Karl Garcia on September 27, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    But when speaking to Neri of couse,who is not an economist,but a finance man
    he does not factor in inflation but rather the future value of an investment.

    maybe,Neri from the begining did not deserve the post… I remember upon his entry,he proposed not to focus on macroeconomics but instead on microeconomics. I wonder why pgma bought that.

    • Karl Garcia on September 27, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    To cut some slack to escudero,he was right when he pointed out to his fellow lawyer Asec Formoso, that he was talking about depreciation,not obsolescence.

    was it formoso or neri,he was talking to?

    I don’t care.

    ________

    If this is the way we craft laws,and we run business,madami pa tayong kakaining bigas.

    And this is not just a pinoy thing,a friendly reminder to the guys from the OZ and the US and elsewhere.

    • Karl Garcia on September 27, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    Now brenda is sending an apology to China..

    Now she loves and admire the chinese,and she even has a chinese for a mother in law.

    Now,she tells us.

    • Karl Garcia on September 27, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    Having a chinese mother-in-law…..

    Maybe that’s is her qualilification for being chair of foreign relations other than a harvard(?) degree on foreign law.

    • Karl Garcia on September 27, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Miriam is doing what Mattel did: offer an apology to China.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20903731/

  3. “…bencard remember, invoking the exec. privilege in this case hinged on a question that did not seem to engage military, diplomatic secrets or national security, but rather, presidential acts of commission or omission upon being informed of a bribery attempt, which is a crime- and that then neri invoked the privilege..”

    Manolo, maybe it does hinged on one of the three, perhaps even two.

    1. diplomatic secrets with China (shh. atin-atin lang to, pero binebenta ko na sa inyo ang bayan ko – Ate Glue to the Chinese)

    2. National Security (per Gloria’s actuations – I am the nation, and if my security is threatened, then it’s a threat to national security! jail the destabilizers!)

    so you see, we can’t really blame Neri. He said on TV, I have no intentions of being a hero. Translation: oo alam ko I am threading the fine line of truth and white lies but what can I do? My family is held hostage by PNP watching over my house. The president can’t blame me. I was under oath, I tried my best to speak the truth without speaking the WHOLE truth. It’s the best I can do. Don’t be too harsh to judge me. I am an old man. And when you’re an old man, you are bound to discover that you don’t really want to die for a lot of things that you wanted to die for when you were young. You want only simple things: to watch your kids live a good life, and retire peacefully.

    Can any kind hearted Christian deny Neri this much?

    Don’t be too harsh to judge unless you’ve been on the same spot as the one you’re judging. I can almost imagine myself agonizing over the same things Neri’s agonizing over. to sell my soul for a piece of peace and quiet for my family…

  4. Karl: “Maybe that’s is her qualilification for being chair of foreign relations other than a harvard(?) degree on foreign law.”

    That’s funny!

    • Bencard on September 28, 2007 at 5:57 am

    sorry, mlq3, but quite honestly, i never heard of blogger, mr. kaiser and his “legal scholar”, raoul berger, during my studies of legal history and constitutional law both here and in pinas, or during my 41-year law practice here and there. but of course, that doesn’t mean they are not “authorities” on the subject of executive privilege.

    nevertheless, thanks for lecturing me on constitutional law. it’s not everyday that i get lessons in law from a journalist/historian.

    i just want to correct certain statements that you have made. first, executive privilege is not derived from statutes (act of congress), rather it is born with the constitution of a democratic nation as integral part of the separation of powers principle. it follows that, as a concept, it is by no means a recent “invention” but instead as old as the idea of democratic constitutional government.

    second, jurisprudence (or case law) is part of the law of the land and has the full force of law in all subsequent cases involving similar issues. constitutional principles and precepts not explicitly stated in the constitution, e.g. separation of powers, checks and balances, supremacy of the law, sovereign immunity, full faith and credit, etc. are observed and acknowledged through jurisprudence without the necessity of statutory enactment. i don’t recall “transparency” and “accountability” being among those principles that are inherent in the constitution. they are more appropriate subjects of statutory regulations of all public officers.

    in the specific case of neri’s invocation of the privilege, what makes you, or anyone, so sure that a crime has been committed upon the sole assertion of neri; that gma did not take any action; or that if she did not, she violated the law? and what is wrong with discreet investigation? a high public official is being accused of having committed what could be an attempted bribery. is it prudent or proper for any president to initiate a nationwide scandal out of an uncorroborated allegation. even the nbi, or the pnp, or the prosecutors, withhold giving information on actions being taken on allegations of crime to protect the rights of the accused who until an airtight case is established or a formal indictment is made may not be put to embarrassment, shame or ridicule. how would it look to you if one of your mail staff in abs-cbn “the explainer” show accuses a co-employee of sexual abuse, confidentially reports it to the management, and the latter calling a press-conference in addition to broadcasting it in “tv-patrol” disclosing that so and so is being investigated for sex abuse?

    btw, i think whether or not an invocation of executive privilege is necessary is the first call of the one who owns it. then it is the court who will ultimately decide whether or not the exercise is proper. until then, the senate must wait.

    • Karl Garcia on September 28, 2007 at 9:25 am

    MBW,
    I forgot to add to Geo’s list of senility miriam dahil she already is brenda even before.

    akala nya,foreign relations is all about international law.

    bakit kasi di sya sinama ni Abalos o ni pgma mna lang sa China,sya chair ng foreign relations.

    • Bencard on September 28, 2007 at 9:39 am

    p.s., how would anyone know for certain that what gma said to neri, after he told her about the alleged offer, was: if you think he is bribing you, don’t accept it because it is illegal. it is so unfair to assume that she was already convinced, right then and there, that a “crime” has been committed. an allegation that a crime has been committed does not necessarily mean that a crime has in fact been committed. an assertion, even if made by an angel from heaven, is still an assertion, not a fact.

    • Bencard on September 28, 2007 at 9:43 am

    correction: a question mark (?) after “illegal” on 3rd line.

  5. Re: “how would anyone know for certain that what gma said to neri, after he told her about the alleged offer, was: if you think he is bribing you, don’t accept it because it is illegal. ”

    Bencard, easy! Gloria should refute Neri’s statement publicly or in the very least, tell the Filipino nation what she herself said.

    Her cabinet man tells the whole world, he reported the bribe to her – it would be so easy for her to either deny it or confirm it and furtehermore, reveal what she herself said to him.

    Yours is a speculation too: “if you think he is bribing you, don’t accept it because it is illegal.” It must come from the horse’s mouth.

    • Bencard on September 28, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    mbw, sorry but it seems you didn’t digest my comment very well. how could “Gloria” make a prejudgment for or against neri’s assertion? i said even the law enforcement agencies (nbi, pnp, etc.) do not publicize the name of their suspect, until they are ready to make an arrest upon probable cause, for good reasons which i explained. neri’s telling the “whole world” was his responsibility. he is a grown man and should, at least, know the rudiments of law enforcement as a responsible public official, and his personal liability if he is found to be lying. gma did the right thing by being discreet. the allegation puts the entire integrity and reputation of a constitutional official on the line. she could not afford to be cavalier about it like some irresponsible gossip mongers to whom mere suspicion means guilt.

    of course, what i think pgma said was speculation too, as everything at this point is speculation. but i’m not the one criticizing her for alleged “inaction”.

  6. i would agree with bencard on this point, except i’d wonder why if there was already suspicions of impropriety on the deal, GMA only ordered a supposed “discrete” investigation, and then we don’t know anymore what happened with that investigation. also, even with that knowledge, she still wanted the deal pushed through and yet now that there’s public furor, ordered the deal suspended (even though the SC has already beaten her to the punch with a TRO). parang pakitang tao na lang yung pag order nya ng suspension. if she really believed that everything’s above board, why order the suspension? there’s already a TRO and no need to order something redundant. unless you’re jz acting for PR. and if there’s nothing illegal with the deal, why would she order it suspended?

    i would even think that even the claimed investigation is just an afterthought when the ZTE deal was already exposed. methinks there were no investigations when Neri informed the president abt the bribe, and this supposed “discrete” investigation is just an act.

    ay oo, nagpa imbestiga ako nun malaman kong may posibleng krimen na nangyari sa deal na yon?

    ano po nangyari sa imbestigasyon? ba’t di po nalaman ng publiko?

    ay sikretong malupit na namin yon. ang tawag namin don ay: discrete. kaw ha, be discrete abt this interview too, ha?

    • Bencard on September 30, 2007 at 12:12 am

    devils, of course we wouldn’t know “what happened” to the ‘discreet’ investigation. in fact, no one, outside of the president and the investigators, was supposed to know that an investigation was being conducted. yes, not even neri until he unilaterally divulged his claim to the media after joeydv “spilled the beans”.

    judging from the turn of events, we can speculate that the investigation did not reveal existence of a probable cause (no corroboration of neri’s allegation), thus the cabinet approval of the deal.

    as to the “suspension”, the official explanation is that it was necessary because of the supervening controversy over the project. no question the frenzy was generated by media hype and salivating senators anxious to pin down the first couple (not to mention the controversial abalos).

    frankly, devils, i don’t see anything wrong with the suspension even as a pr gesture as you suspect it. filipinos are very impressionable people. politicians live and die on “pakitang tao”. what do you think of these senators trying in vain to look and sound good in front of tv cameras (e.g., the black-haired pimentel’s smart-alecky questioning of abalos regarding a rumored child with another woman)? in any event, the tro was a judicial process while the suspension is an executive action. i don’t see any incompatibility as they serve the same objective. to persistent fault-finders, it could be made to appear malicious. but…oh well, what do you expect?

    btw, i thought it was “discreet” (adv), not “discrete”(adj). the former means prudent, the latter non-continuous. merriam-webster dict.

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