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Oct 18

Commission on Audit bombshell

Today’s movie quote comes from the film, Casablanca:

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
[aloud]
Captain Renault: Everybody out at once!

And so, shocked, shocked was she to find that bribery is going on in here! That an ‘Upset’ Arroyo orders probe of Palace ‘bribery’.

The problem is, that the Palace’s own allies are compounding the problem. If the There’s the Hamlet-like agonizing of Rep. Antonio Cuenco – Arroyo ally torn between telling truth, hurting her– isn’t bad enough, then there’s this: Arroyo present during cash distribution–Manila solon although in a major clarification to a major error, it turns out (CORRECTED) Arroyo wasn’t present, says Manila solon:

full statement of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, parent company and one of the content providers of INQUIRER.net, follows:

“The Philippine Daily Inquirer deeply regrets that it inadvertently reported in today’s issue that Rep. Bienvenido Abante said President Macapagal-Arroyo was present during the distribution of cash handouts to politicians last Thursday. Abante had actually said the President was not present.

“The Inquirer sincerely apologizes for the error.

“We are looking into the matter to ensure that no similar errors occur in the future.”

Even Ramos denies giving gifts to Atienza, solons and the Inquirer editorial says these recent revelations act as indirect confirmation of past testimony. The whole thing’s so squalid that poor Bong Austero has to point out,

I am not saying that what happened last week was justifiable. I am not saying we should condone it. All I am saying is that there is context around it. This culture of political patronage has been around for quite some time and will continue to be around for as long as voters continue to hound their elected leaders for all kinds of assistance.

What made what happened last week galling was the brazenness and shamelessness of it all. In short, bastusan at garapalan na talaga.

Which may be why up-to-now loyal allies of the President are beginning to publicly discuss whether to spill the beans or not (like Cuenco). This can only send the Speaker’s sensitive political antennae quivering. Newsstand is far more inclined to caution than I am, and yet he has begun to wonder,

Now, on dzMM’s TeleRadyo, I see Speaker de Venecia announcing that, as he had promised last night, he had written an appeal to President Arroyo, calling on her to start a “moral revolution.” She can start, he said, by firing some of her Cabinet members.

This, it seems to me, could very well be the signal to start (open) hostilities.

What does this mean? It means, just possibly, that JDV has seen the same thing as the opposition leader did, and has decided to go down fighting.

See De Venecia calls on Arroyo to set up new administration.

I can’t help but recall, as I recently recalled in Jose De Venecia’s Last Stand (essentially reprinting my August 29, 2005 Inquirer column, which, unfortunately, is no longer available on line), that the possibility, even probability, of a parting of ways between the Speaker and the President was something I saw coming even back then, and was of course trying to encourage. A paper published in 2006, Constitutional Reform in the Philippines: Out of Crisis, What? by Joel Rocamora very kindly quoted a portion of my column:

In the great division of our people that took place in recent months, it was the speaker who put foot soldiers, so to speak, at the command of former President Ramos when he decided to support the president. In truth, what Ramos possessed at the time was an impeccable sense of timing, and a residual prestige. It would depend on the speaker, however, to hold the line, and man the trenches in what has become a political battle of attrition, with loyal troops and efficient lieutenants.

But the I-told-you-so part I’d like to point out is this:

In fighting for her political life, the president nailed not hers, but Ramos’ and De Venecia’s colors to the mast, and proceeded to continue sailing the ship in the direction of enemy fire. Furthermore, she has tied both Ramos and the speaker to the mast, which means it is they who are getting shot at, while the president continues to command the show from the comfort of her cabin.

While Ramos has already done all he can do – you can only throw your support behind someone once — the speaker is still being called upon to marshal the troops in the House, and for what? Whatever their view about the president, the majority of the public wants the impeachment process to continue. The speaker might have been able to justify fighting “creeping impeachment” by “stealthily railroading” the throwing out of the impeachment, but the unpopularity both of himself and his parliamentary cause would only be worth it if the president did her part by gambling big on achieving constitutional change. She has done the opposite: She has gambled small, and it may be her real bet is on herself.

And at the end of the day, perhaps he’s taken heart from realizing (see De Venecia can only be replaced if he agrees–solon: Speakership only for Lakas, he says) that even at the age of 70, he could just possibly get a new lease on political life if he remains the party chief. At a time when his party has begun to publicly fret about its association with the President.

But this, I think, will be the story primed to hog the headlines over the next few days: Palace misused charity funds, gave loans sans records – COA. The report details the findings of a Commission on Audit annual audit of the Office of the President.

In particular, this section of this story:

In 2006, COA said the Office of the President received “from various sources” donations totaling P65,413,463.79 or P65 million, for the following purposes:

‘ Donation for the Southern Leyte landslide, P7.1 million
‘ Donation for Socio-Economic Projects of the President, P35.6 million
‘ Donation for Typhoon Milenyo victims, P2.7 million
‘ Donation for the relief and rehabilitation of affected areas in Albay province, P20 million.

COA’s adverse finding follows: “We noted, however, that out of the actual expenses incurred totaling P64,079,173.40 from the donations, expenses totaling P8,807.621.75 could not be identified with any of the purposes of the donations.”

According to COA, Malacanang had reported using the donations thus:

‘ Burial expenses, P795,000
‘ Hotel Expenses, P815,380.15
‘ Maintenance of the Malacanang Golf Course, P900,000
‘ Summit Conferences/General Assembly, P2,295,241.60
‘ Donation to Foundation, P4,000,000

These expenses “out of the purposes of the donations are contrary to Section 13 of the General Provisions of the General Appropriations Act of 2005,” which stipulates that “donations, whether in cash or kind, shall be deemed automatically appropriated for the purpose specified by the donor.”

The golf course and unnamed foundation donations in particular, are primed for heavy political play. The full report can be found online, supposedly, at the Commission on Audit website but when I tried going there, it was under construction. A source familiar with government accounting practices sent me a cautionary note, however:

Just a word of caution on interpreting the findings, it is common practice among government agencies that the findings are first discussed with management before they are actually published. These findings are therefore expected by government. Also, COA can only recommend and most of the time their recommendations are not followed.

Uniffors reports on the rumor mill.

Meanwhile, Senators revive call on Gloria to resign: a case of jumping the gun? What surprises me is that Senator Pangilinan has taken the lead in an issue. And Bypassed Cabinet members reappointed. Tick tock for the armed forces brass: High Court gives CA green light to require disclosure of Burgos report.

This article should be required reading for Filipinos in the IT sector: India’s IT Sector Needs to Reboot.

Part 1 and Part 2 of my column for this week, were on Mabini’s independence blueprint.

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282 comments

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  1. Manila Bay Watch

    Get a life Bencard… what’s your problem? People here say the things they say here because they don’t like Gloria and this is because there are reasons for their/our not liking her. It’s not because you like, nay, adore her that people should feel the way you do toward her and be allowed to be bullied by you into accepting your one-track minded opinion of Gloria, i.e., that she’s wonderful, marvelous, glorious or whatever because they AREN’T TRUE.

    (You say you don’t know her, well, that is an advantage I have over you — I know her, have known her since 1992, have met her on a more than one occassion since then up close and far; even her best friend and former classmate who happened to be one of my close friends as well, and who served under her at the beginning in 2001 didn’t like what she and her husband were doing with some government money and died not liking her at all.)

    If Gloria is not happy with what people say of her here at Mlq3’s, then let her come and say so herself — she’s got many people in Malacanang who can do that but until then, I say let people say what they want about her and her putrid governance.

    If you aren’t happy with that either, sue me, sue us, sue those who say things against her. But for heavens sake, don’t for one moment believe that your opinion is THE ONLY right opinion in this forum. Get a grip!

    Frankly, you are beginning to really sound and seem like a boring old fart.

    (Anyway, what is hanip? If it’s bad then I send it back to you with my compliments.)

  2. Bencard

    ramrod, et al., asking pgma to resign for the vague excuse that she has “lost control” is, with due respect, ludicrous. if half the people of the philippines decide to commit acts that may, eventually, be adjudged a crime, should the president, any president, resign? have you ever heard of any president in history (other than erap, who denies he did, and nixon in the u.s.who was said to be DIRECTLY involved in a crime), under a republican, presidential form of government such as ours and the united states’, who resigned from office because he/she is alleged to have “lost control”?

    resignation is a voluntary act, not forced. it’s a private decision. a president is not supposed to abandon office just because a situation is “too hot”. losers, and haters without a cause, can always find a means to make it too hot for a president to continue in office. he/she can be a weakling and just cower to submission. or he/she can be strong and resist the onslaught. pgma has proven, time and again, that she is strong. i cheer for her and pray that she would remain steadfast in her mission to make the country great.

  3. Bencard

    mbw, better an “old fart” than a foul-mouthed, abrasive old hag. i don’t know about you, but i have a life and it’s great. re your friends, i smell ing-git – that most vicious and self-destructive filipino trait.

    btw, i don’t exactly know what “hanip” is but its sounds good, isn’t it? seriously it means “flea” in our dialect.

  4. justice in waiting

    MBW,
    Bencard claims to be a lawyer, or solicitor or barrister or all of the above, and like every trained lawyer, he is very well-versed in bending the facts to fit their own case, but the problem is he forgets that this is not a “trial” where he can argue about the “rule of law” and the admissibility of evidence but a Political Forum where participants express their political opinions as they interpret the events according to each and everyone interpretations…He will support his “clients” until the Jury hand down its verdict of the trial judge for that matter.

    But if we choose a jury to moderate this forum and let the readers decide the winner, I would not bet my Peso on Bencard’s arguments..just so flawed that he just became one of Gloria’s apologists at about every issue that hounds her and her administration. seems that he already made up his mind, before another scandal or allegation ever hit the Blogosphere..In court, his arguments of sticking to his client’s innocence is admirable, even after a verdict of “lethal injection” was handed down, but that lawyer’s duties to his client and it seemed that Ms Arroyo has now become one of his clients…

  5. vic

    Ram,

    Reading your comments about Ms Arroyos stature, at first i thought you were referring to her “physical stature”. but going thru the whole context, I understood you are referring to strength, unwavering belief in righteousness and sticking to her principles, and may change her ideologies to accomplish her goals that is about every great leader’s dream, the welfare of her people and how to bring them about.

    If I were bring to my always referring to great Canadians, the Greatest of them all was a small man, not even taller than me, but a Giant among men, Tommy Douglas.
    He made mistakes, but always a humble man to correct them and exceeded every one’s expectations, and was privileged to be able to see and hear the Man towards the later years of his political career and you will never see such a humble man in this Ego inflating time of ours..

  6. Shaman of Malilipot

    Bravo MBW!!!!

    “i don’t know about you, but i have a life and it’s great. re your friends, i smell ing-git – that most vicious and self-destructive filipino trait.” – Bencard

    Bencard, you’re an arrogant boor. You think your material wealth makes you stand above the rest? You smell ing-git? You think you’re the only one with millions in the bank and a great life? Envy you? You may have dollars oozing out of your ears, but you’re as morally bankrupt as your fake President. Remember this, material wealth does not automatically endows a person with respectability.

  7. Shaman of Malilipot

    Sorry, “…does not automatically endow…”

  8. vic

    “COA auditors are supposed to be CPAs and therefore they know Accounting. Gone are the days when
    anybody can just become auditor”.

    Then what was wrong with COA reports, and its Qualified opinion expressed on the Executive Accounts. If the CPAs of the Malacanang knew what they were doing, then how come the CPAs of COA still found a lot of “holes” in their Accounts.

    And how come you so ASSUMMING, that this blogger didn’t have any “little knowledge” of accounting. For your info miss C at this one and only was once a CPA, now a CGA and retired. But this is no place to BRAG about it…

  9. Bencard

    shaman, wrong again. i’m not referring to myself. i have more than what i need and my needs are simple, but i’m not oozing wealth by any means. you may be wealthier than i am, you self-confessed “landed” aristocrat, posing as a masses-loving ideologue.

    i was actually referring to mwb’s “friend” when i say i smell ing-git in what she (mwb) related to us about that friend of her’s.

  10. Bencard

    justice in waiting, if you are a lawyer as your sn implies, why don’t you debate me on Law and the Constitution. afterall, you cannot have a blanket entitlement to “truth” by labeling an issue “political”. who determines whether it’s political or not anyway, you? as i said before, the main problem in the philippines is that there’s just too many wise guys/gals and not enough wise men/women.

    it’s really a cultural thing. the bad influence of the spanish colonizers, especially the rapacious friars, had inculcated in the filipino psyche the indelible arrogant attitude, ” a basta, yan and gusto ko, yan ang masusunod” or ” sinasabi ko na na yan ang tutuo, bakit hindi ka maniwala, gago ka?”

    look around, watch the contemptible omnipotent-sounding, mentally-challenged b.s. declaring ” dapat mag-resign si gloria, si noli puede na nating pagtiagaan”; or asking a guest in a senate “inquisition”, “do you have a son with so and so?” (a lady apparently not the guest’s wife); and so forth and so on.

  11. Bencard

    btw, a jury can only act or decide according to the parameters as set out by Law and instructed by the Judge. it’s not a whimsical body that finds facts according to their personal beliefs or emotions. of course, such a jury composed of bloggers here, answerable to no rules, would always find against me and my “client”.

  12. justice in waiting

    Bencard,
    I’m no lawyer or any professional like you are and here in the forum, most can claim of who they are even when they are not. But it is you, who always insist on your point of view and regards others as “childish” or even resort to calling names, when they are just trying to do the same as you, pushing their own opinions and express their own view that may not in total agreement with yours.

    now if you insist that this forum is not political in nature, then why are we discussing politics here, instead of our career? Of course, bloggers here sometimes make comments of their background to reinforce their arguments, but it does not make this forum unpolitical.

    But good manners dictate, that we refrain from calling other bloggers names, like asking “gago ka” yet we can hurl expletives to the subjects mostly discuss in this blog, the dirty politicians, and assume responsibilities for them, even under all kinds of sn…that my fellow commenter is expected from all, not just from MLQ and a few…

  13. Bencard

    now, now, jiw, i never called any blogger here “gago ka”. i was describing a cultural attitude of many pinoys. ordinarily, i only call people names in self-defense, or in defense of my “client”, when provoked. i don’t believe in ad hominems as a tool for debate. i equate that with a moronic husband who beats his wife because he has no capacity to reason with her. i think name-calling weakens an argument and reflects more on the callers bankruptcy of ideas than on his/her adversary.

    i leave it up to manolo to define the nature of this blog. i believe, though, that this is a free-wheeling medium for all kinds of opinion other than libelous or inimical to the security of the state. i don’t think it is limited to “political” issues, no matter how partisan the commenter is.

  14. Bencard

    i was just wondering, this tragic makati bombing occurred right on the heels of the “gloria-resign movement”‘s largely-ignored motorcade. the t.v. reporter specifically says that the reason for the “quiet” motorcade was that the movement could not muster enough “warm bodies” for a decent demo. somebody here made a comment about “right timing”. there you go!

  15. Manila Bay Watch

    Bencard,

    (Been trying to post a message in reply to your previous ‘smelly’ post but seems Manolo’s minesweeper is at work so trying this again before I sign off.)

    Firstly, with regard to my friend’s “inggit”, suit yourself, you can smell it again and again, that’s your prerogative, but afraid you will have to do it where she lies burried. (I suggest however you smell your own inggit first before anything). As I pointed out earlier — and don’t tell me you missed it, I said that said friend of mine who left Gloria’s services in 2001 after she discovered financial hooliganism involving Gloria’s husband and Gloria, never to speak to the couple again, is dead; she died some three years ago.

    I don’t give a hoot whether you believe this or not but my friend was NEVER the inggit type – she was upright, a good person, not an inggit bone in her person, she herself was the daughter of one of the nation’s most respected legislators with nary a taint of corruption to their family name.

    Secondly, am glad you liked the nickname “Old Fart”; also, you say “i don’t know about you” and that’s all in your honour that you finally admit you “don’t know about me”…

    Thirdly, re your ‘foul-mouthed old hag’ name calling, someone said you were 69 years old or older (?), well, you’re almost decades older than me (you’re almost the same age as my Mom who’s 70) so that term should apply to you (or perhaps ‘foul-mouthed hog’ for a man if you are a man?); if you re-read your posts, you will see that you are as foul-mouthed and as abbrasive as anyone here — the term foul-mouthed absolutely applies to you too so plussss, stop being conceited! Stop sounding so self-righteous Mr Old Fart, and maybe, just maybe, you will be credible.

    Lastly, thanks for the translation of “hanip”. Am returning it to you with my compliments, “Anak ka ng hanip”.

    Cheerio, boring old fart!

  16. The Ca t

    Then what was wrong with COA reports, and its Qualified opinion expressed on the Executive Accounts. If the CPAs of the Malacanang knew what they were doing, then how come the CPAs of COA still found a lot of “holes” in their Accounts.

    And how come you so ASSUMMING, that this blogger didn’t have any “little knowledge” of accounting. For your info miss C at this one and only was once a CPA, now a CGA and retired. But this is no place to BRAG about it…

    If he is a CPA, then he would understand how timing difference works whether in the private and government accounting systems.

    A CPA may just be a CPA in title but do not necessarily
    have experience in the different specialized accounting system like government accounting system.

    I for one should keep myself updated in Property Management Accounting.

    Bakit nanggalaiti ka na naman, ikaw ba yong blogger na iyon in another alternick.

    Dami kasing pangalan, pag nacriticize, panay naman ang aray. Hohum.

    Is there such title as CGA? MEron bang board yon?

  17. Bencard

    mbw, i think we’ve gone this road before and i don’t like it. i try to dish out what is given me, and i never start a slugfest in name-calling or the trading of insults. i’m sorry about your deceased friend, may she rest in peace and i hope she had an opportunity to overcome her “hate” before she pass away. you see, we catholics have a belief that hate is the greater sin and that unless one is able to eliminate it before the last breath, he/she cannot expect forgiveness in heaven.

    your source is wrong about my age. but who cares if you’re younger than me? again, i didn’t say i like being called an “old fart” – where did you get that idea? i just said better an old fart (which was the epithet you called me)than “a foul-mouthed, abrasive old hag”. if the shoe fits, then wear it.

    about hanip, now you can add that to your collection of nice compliments. you learn something everyday.

  18. Shaman of Malilipot

    No, Bencard, I no longer own even a square inch of farm land. As I’ve said, I firmly believe that farm land should belong to the tiller, even going against my own mother. I have excellent relations with my mother’s former tenants. I won’t own a farm unless I can work it myself. And I don’t intend to.

    I’m sorry if I misunderstood you. I was going within the context of your statement that I quoted.

  19. vic

    “Is there such title as CGA? MEron bang board yon?”

    To Answer your question, CGA stands for Certified General Accountant and there is one more RIA, Registered Industrial Accountant, regulated each by its own Body.

    The CPA as you might have known by now is equivalent to CA (Chartered Accountant).

    Both the other accounting designations are for employment purposes and training where candidates apply for membership (no post university degree required, just basic knowledge of reading and writing and courses are taken in any colleges and conducted by the bodies own instructors (could be the same as college instructors and professors) and progress is match by progress in employment. As soon as courses are done and progress in employment (promotion and position) is deemed sufficient, designation is granted…lenght of completion depends on individual’s input and progress at work..

    Both can not practice public accounting which is only reserves for CAs, but usually enough to hold the top position in any business or governmental agencies.

    For CA one needs a university degre…

  20. Shaman of Malilipot

    “it’s really a cultural thing. the bad influence of the spanish colonizers, especially the rapacious friars, had inculcated in the filipino psyche the indelible arrogant attitude, ‘a basta, yan an(g) gusto ko, yan ang masusunod'” – Bencard

    Do you ever realize, Bencard, that it’s exactly the attitude of your “client”? That she violates laws, the Constitution, and even the rights of others and covers up her crimes with executive privilege, EO 464, Memorandum 108, all under the guise of the “rule of law”? Of course, with your assiduous encouragement and approbation.

  21. Bencard

    shaman, she happens to be the president, the highest official of the land. as such she has some prerogatives. if her action is questioned, it has to be in a proper forum specified by law. if the forum decides against her, she abides (i have not heard her violate a single lawful court order).

    i was referring to the “cultural” attitude of the average pinoy, regardless of position, education or wealth – in poor imitation of their former masters, and handed down from one generation to another.

  22. Shaman of Malilipot

    Bencard,

    I didn’t know that a President has the prerogative to violate the law. The only reason why evidence of her violations of the law cannot be exposed is because of her cover-up through executive privilege, EO 464, Memorandum 108, bribery of congressmen to frustrate an impeachment case – in short, through obstruction of justice.

    I really cannot understand how a self-professed champion of the rule of law like you can countenance such behavior, unless, of course, you have a vested self-interest in her staying in power, unless you represent her interests in the US. Tell me it ain’t so. Truthfully now. Just among us girls.

  23. ramrod

    “ramrod, et al., asking pgma to resign for the vague excuse that she has “lost control” is, with due respect, ludicrous.” – bencard

    I will understand your inability to grasp the concept of LEADERSHIP, it appears to me that you work alone. If you have ever experienced small unit leadership (leading 6 people) or company size, or battalion size, to corporate size…then you will begin to understand. But then again, you serve a function in this world, in this blog in particular, the moderation “cap.” Without people like you, all of us will deteriorate into narrowminded members of a hate group. Its because of you that we are sharpened, well practiced, and better prepared to face dissenting arguments in other venues.
    Continue you good service…

  24. Bencard

    shaman, see what i mean? why should everything to you have a price? why do you automatically assume that anything anyone does has a quid pro quo? i can ask the same question to you. do you get paid for spewing anti-gma diatribe? ’cause if you do you must be really “wealthy” now.

    i told you before, and i’m telling you again. pgma’s actions according to her interpretation of the constitution are valid and lawful until declared to the contrary by the sc in a proper case brought before it. it appears to me that many a time, she has tested the law to its limits, but i think she has never intentionally violated an ESTABLISHED rule of law. if you still don’t get it, i suggest you consult with your attorney and if he/she is interested, debate the matter with me.

    ramrod, a government is not a business, profit-driven corporation. the president of our country cannot be lawfully replaced at a drop of a hat. there is a process, albeit a long one. leadership is relative and subjective. this is why we differ in our appreciation of pgma’s. a few posts ago, i have commented on the different paradigms of the business of government, on the one hand, and that of a private enterprise, on the other. you’re welcome to review it.

  25. The Ca t

    Both can not practice public accounting which is only reserves for CAs, but usually enough to hold the top position in any business or governmental agencies.

    For CA one needs a university degre

    There you are I am talking about the Philippines and you’re talking about Canada.
    Canada’s accounting is patterned after UK which debits and credits are interchanged.

  26. Shaman of Malilipot

    No, Bencard, I’m not for sale.

    Is it the job of a President to test the law to its limits? Last I looked, it’s his/her job to execute the spirit of the law. When you push the law to its limits, chances are you’ll overstep the line. And that’s what Gloria has been doing to serve not the people’s interests but her own selfish ones. Gloria has violated established rules of law. For one, she violated the electoral laws by calling a Comelec commissioner during the election period, a fact that she admitted on national television. Then she took several actions that were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Isn’t something declared unconstitutional a violation of the Constitution? But, of course, you just choose to sweep these things under the rug and claim you’re strictly for the rule of law.

    You seem to say that everything in life must end up in court. Bencard, we don’t eat legalities for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Many of the things in the ordinary course of daily life are decided and accepted without going to court. I’m sure you take actions in your personal life based on subjective judgment, not because the court has ordered them.

    In more decent and truly democratic societies, public opinion is enough to drive political leaders out of office. Real leaders, that is.

  27. Shaman of Malilipot

    As a layman, I often wonder why there’s no sanction of any kind for an act expressly ruled by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.

  28. vic

    “As a layman, I often wonder why there’s no sanction of any kind for an act expressly ruled by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.”

    Shaman, There is, in other country that is. When the law prohibiting marriage between same sex was Declared or ruled Unconstitutional as violation of the Equality Rights, by the Lower Courts and not contested by the Crown, which denied benefits accorded marriage between man and woman at the exclusion of all other, The Government passed the law to recognize same sex marriage and Pay Benefits to same sex couples (like widow pensions) retro-active to l985 when the Charter took effect in recognition that the law violated its own Charter..that is the consequence for violating the Charter, whichever party does the violation

  29. Bencard

    shaman, so why do you assume i’m paid for my pro-gma views? i’m a professional and i get paid for my professional services, just like doctors, dentists, nurses, accountants,etc., and skilled laborers like carpenters, plumbers, masons, etc. for their’s. if you have the same thinking as cvj, who equates lawyering, or getting paid for services, with prostitution, then you are in “good” company. but then, aren’t we all get paid for what we do for a living, one way or the other?

    what’s wrong with a chief executive “testing the law to its limits”? why should she pre-judge, or second-guess the courts? the point is she is not violating the law. testing and violating are two different things. if she cannot second-guess the highest court, you cannot either, even if you were the greatest constitutional jurist in the world.

    no, i’m not saying “everything in life must end in court”. what i am saying is that every unresolved controversy between two parties would, and should, end in court. would you rather have it end on a smoking barrel of a gun, with the “losing party” lying in a pool of blood dead as death?

    as to sanction, i believe it is limited to invalidating the action in question. however a subsequent violation of the court’s ruling (in a subsequent case involving the same issue) would probably constitute an impeachable offense.

  30. Shaman of Malilipot

    Okay, Bencard, you’re just pro-GMA, period. Fine.

    Still, you haven’t explained GMA’s publicly-admitted talking to Garcillano during the 2004 election period. Was it a violation of the law or not?

  31. Bencard

    shaman, she “admitted” on tv that she had talked with a “comelec official”. if talking to a comelec official was a violation of law, i don’t believe it’s a “high crime” constituting an impeachable offense.

  32. Shaman of Malilipot

    So, Bencard, you cannot claim that GMA never violated the law.

    No more questions, your Honor.

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