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Oct 30

The machinery’s in place

Back in 1997-1998, President Ramos ordered the presidential palace, rather run down and ramshackle after a decade of being uninhabited, repaired so that, as he put it, his successor would have a place fit to live in. At the time, it seemed Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would be a contender for the presidency, and I recall telling some friends (who were shocked) that if she won, you could be sure she would never step down. If she climbed the stairs of the Palace in an act of symbol repossession, I said, the only way she’d ever leave would be on a stretcher.

They asked me why I said that, and I remember correctly, I explained that she’d shown power was more important than anything else. She’d been elected to the Senate not as a Liberal, but as something else, despite her father having been one of the few absolutely loyal party men the country’s produced (DM got many people to switch parties but from the time he entered politics to the day he died, he was always a Liberal, and proud of it).

This told me, I said (engaging in some amateur psychology) that we should consider that the one, enduring lesson she’d learned from her father’s rise and fall, is that Nice Guys Finish Last. Every presidential family’s fall from power is traumatic to the members of that family, but the fall of Macapagal was followed by the longest period of political obscurity any presidential family’s had to endure: Macapagal was more often than not, used as a figure of fun by the Marcoses and so the psychological wounds would have been particularly great. The daughter had already done better than the father (DM had failed in his senate bid in the 50s), and she could look forward to not only posthumously vindicating her father by becoming president (a dream that had eluded Serging Osmena, Gerry Roxas and Doy Laurel), but also, to relishing the role of being the top dog after decades of having her family treated like dogs, relatively speaking. Like her mother, she has a long memory and nurses grudges.

What changed my mind was her biding her time, and her going for the vice-presidency: she’s capable of holding her ambition in check, I thought. And more or less I felt I’d unfairly estimated her as she proved overall, a good boss and as President, she seemed inclined to be generous to the memory of her predecessors and more inclined to institution-building. The high point of this was her announcement not to run for the presidency in 2004. I remember being quite touched and telling anyone who would listen, how proud I was to be working for such a president. This was a thing of personal importance to me, because in my article on Corazon Aquino as the Person of the Century, I’d argued that what our country has had all too little of, are leaders who willingly, and serenely, relinquish power (which is why I continue to admire Cory Aquino). And I recall my irritation when other people in the Palace (belonging to the camp of the President’s husband) were either non-committal or openly disappointed with the President’s decision.

But I began to return to my original impression of the President when she announced, a year later, that she would, after all, seek election to the presidency. Whether I should continue serving her or not was, in a sense, decided for me when the Inquirer offered me a job on condition that I relinquish any official appointment; I could return to focusing on my profession while supporting her but no longer as as part of her administration. And still, I tried to soldier on in support of her until 2005 proved that she would stop at nothing, thereby proving that, indeed, her guiding principle was, Nice Guys Finish Last. My decision to stop supporting the President has been chronicled in this blog, and there’s no need to revisit it.

An economist I recently met told me he’d had the President as his professor, and that he felt she’d been a lousy teacher. Why, I asked. She conducted classes, he said, like a bully. She gloried in bombarding her students with questions, saying it was how law students toughened up. The economist said that’s not the way questions are approached in economics, as a discipline, and that furthermore she derived too much enjoyment from demonstrating her authority every which way she could. She tried to pander to female students, he said, but the female students, oddly enough, resented it.

I do believe the President thinks she is doing the country a favor and that as she survives crisis after crisis, this belief has been buttressed by an absolute certainty on her part that she will do the country good even if the country thinks otherwise. Hers is the essentially self-defeating attitude of a weak person who becomes a bully, and thinks that it’s a virtue to hold on to power by appealing to the mercenary instincts of those who surround her. This is self-defeating because there always comes a point where someone can not be bought, and will no longer be for sale; while leaders who appeal to the higher instincts of their followers can often ask them to make superhuman sacrifices for a cause the leader’s been able to identify as a shared goal both leader and follower possess.

All this is a lengthy prelude to what we observe today. Two articles put the the recently concluded baranggay elections in perspective: Village polls become prep work for 2010 race and Arroyo seeks allies in villages, doles out more power, perks. In most healthy democracies, public opinion is what leaders aim to cultivate; in the case of the President, it is the machinery that she lovingly oils, and which hums its gratitude, in turn. This is what I called The “vision thing”, in 2005.

Yet the absence of an inspiring vision matters less than a thorough, even if contemptuous, mastery of the levers of power. A mastery that trumps everyone trying to seize those levers.

Here’s s very interesting observation in The Blog:

This entire drama is being played out between the ruling classes, and there doesn’t appear to be any space presenting itself for a legitimate democratic revolution – who would lead one anyway, with the Left bitterly divided between the powerful Communists and the less radical but more responsible center leftists?

There is one interesting possibility that should be noted. Though no space has arisen yet, there is an opportunity for some opportunistic elite politician to finally decide to take the first shot and engage with the Left (who have all but completely sat this current fight out). A leader like that, from outside the left, might be able to unite the factions and lead a legitimate democratic revolution.

In another interesting development, that I haven’t seen anyone writing about or discussing, there is a gathering storm slowly approaching Manila. Though mostly out of the headlines in the capital, the MAPALAD farmers are gathering support from communities across the Philippines in their march from Mindanao to the capitol. Their 1998 hunger strike became a tremendous media event, earned them a later-broken promise from then-candidate Estrada, and probably was the single biggest factor in the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Today, CARP is up for extension again. With the political situation as it is, if, as we suggested above, an opportunistic trapo were to bring in the Left, the arrival of MAPALAD circa Dec. 10th would present a unique opportunity to gain mass support of many in rural communities and their allies. The Communists aren’t in favor of extending CARP (they oppose reform, and seek rather to overthrow the complete system and seize the land from the current landowners), but the NPA itself expressed support for MAPALAD in 1998. The symbolic value of MAPALAD could be the catalyst and rallying point for a real democratic uheaval in this country. The space isn’t there yet, but opportunity to make it is.

The blogger, incidentally, doesn’t think the Speaker will fall (see his article in Newsbreak, Ethics Complaint vs JDV Doomed; see, also, similar views in Philippine Politics 04), but considers what will happen if he does. This involves the baranggay elections which represent a political consolidation, and an investment in the future, by the President:

With barangay elections out of the way it’s full steam ahead into the legislative session as the House comes back from recess. If JDV falls, proving me wrong and possibly ending my journalism career before it ever begins, Arroyo will likely get an ally of hers in the House. This would set the stage for another fight over ChaCha (charter change), through which Gloria hopes to reorganize Philippine government under a parliamentary system, paving the way for her to stay in power through 2010, the end of her current constitutionally mandated term.

In his column, Tony Abaya thinks he has it all figured out (and I happen to think he pretty much does):

Readers may also recall that in the latter half of 2006, there were concerted efforts to shift to the parliamentary system.

One through a people’s initiative led by the Sigaw ng Bangaw, the other through a Senate-less constituent assembly shamelessly maneuvered by Speaker Jose de Venecia (who wanted to become interim prime minister, before the whip-wielding dominatrix takes over in July 2010.

That both maneuvers failed, thanks to an outraged public opinion and an uncooperative Supreme Court, does not mean the efforts toward parliamentary have been abandoned. Less than 14 days ago, President Arroyo, out of the blue and without anyone asking her, called for a shift to a federal form of government “by the year 2012.”

This means that agitation for federalism will begin before her presidential term ends in 2010. This would be a signal for the Sigaw ng Bangaw to launch another people’s initiative towards a simultaneous shift to parliamentary.

Proof? The baranggay investment strategy, the trial balloon involving names for possible Comelec appointments (keep your friends close, and you enemies even closer), and the rallying of support of the congressmen in cassocks known as the Catholic hierarchy. A thorough analysis of the dynamics within the Catholic hierarchy is in Conservatives Now Control CBCP; Bishops Won’t Join Resign-GMA Calls:

Although Lagdameo got a fresh mandate for another two years, the bishops–in a surprise move–replaced CBCB vice president Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro.

In CBCP history, members of the permanent council usually enjoy two terms in office, with the vice president normally succeeding the president when his term expires. Ledesma, described as a progressive bishop and a Lagdameo follower, was supposed to succeed Lagdameo at the end of the latter’s term in 2010.

But breaking tradition, the conservative bishops ousted Ledesma and replaced him with Bishop Nereo Odchimar of Tandag, considered a conservative.

A CBCP officer privy to the June election disclosed that Lagdameo in fact barely won the presidency. He had to undergo three secret balloting before he was able to garner the required majority for his reelection.

The replacement of Ledesma, as well as Lagdameo’s tough reelection, showed that most of the bishops are already uncomfortable with the CBCP’s active involvement in political affairs.

In her column, Ellen Tordesillas gives us an insight into the dynamics of the Arroyo-Estrada AgrementL

Sources privy to the negotiations of the pardon said Estrada was dictating the terms. What Arroyo wanted from Estrada is for him stop funding the protests against Arroyo and for the ousted president to rally his loyalists to support the one who engineered his ouster.

Estrada complied in his statement early afternoon Friday when the delivery of the pardon was being delayed. In a statement read by his lawyer, Ed Serapio, outside the gate of his Tanay estate, Estrada addressed Arroyo “President” and thanked her for granting him “full, free and absolute pardon midway through her term.” The sentence recognized Gloria’s Arroyo’s term stolen from his dear friend, Fernando Poe Jr.

This was the clincher that finally made Puno chopper through cloudy skies to deliver the pardon: “I believe I can best continue to repay to our people the blessings that God has so graciously given me by supporting from hereon the programs of Mrs. Arroyo that are intended to attack generational poverty and hunger.”

Arroyo must indeed be desperate to hang on to this assurance by Estrada. If she thinks Estrada’s loyalists will love her because of the pardon, she is hallucinating. The adoration of Estrada’s fans of their idol is not transferable. In fact, they see the pardon as something that she owes their idol. No thanks to her.

Estrada’s funding of rallies has long been a non-factor among the “protest community”. If he was not able to gather an impressive crowd last September during the Sandiganbayan promulgation, he is not expected to subsidize the gathering of warm bodies for any protest activity. Besides, Edsa One and Two type of protest is already a thing of the past, rally organizers concede.

Ellen points out that the President’s much-diminished core group of supporters have to be troubled by the President’s efforts to cozy up to Estrada. Not least because the apparent easing out of Executive Secretary Ermita in a showdown over strategy with Sec. Ronnie Puno, puts the President’s political prospects in the hands of someone widely assumed of being the epitome of the mercenary.

As John Nery says, in his column,

Another traditional politician is in charge of the President’s own fortunes. Ronaldo Puno is not only the secretary of the interior and local government (and thus head of the country’s police forces), he is also the presidential adviser on political affairs. He chairs President Arroyo’s own political party, Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi)…

There is no question, however, that Puno is a political animal — in Aristotle’s original sense, of a species whose nature it is to live for the State.

But his many years in government service or political work (he also served as Joseph Estrada’s interior secretary) have given Puno a reputation associated with another philosopher: Machiavelli.

I am certain he will dispute the following characterization, but his political work can be said to display a signature style. He is fond of the feint; he is a whiz at the use of funds; his trail is followed by accusations of fraud.

He is adept at diversionary tactics (his crucial role in Estrada’s pardon, effected at a time of political scandal, has been both recognized and condemned). Political operators say he knows how to use special funds strategically (his own secretary-general in Kampi, Francis Ver, was involved in the attempted bribery of opposition congressmen; his own undersecretary at the DILG just happened to be in Malacañang during the alleged distribution of cash gifts in paper bags). And fraud continues to dog his name (he has been accused of masterminding the so-called Sulu Hotel operations, which reputedly gave Ramos the margin of victory)…

The point of all this: Is Puno the right man to guide President Arroyo in the endgame?

Granted, he can win elections; indeed, his signature working style (marked by those three F-words) works best, and was perhaps first perfected, in election campaigns. But it is a mistake to treat the President’s last days in office as though it were only the continuation of electoral warfare by other means.

John could also have observed, that every President who’s relied on Puno has had their ambitions foiled: Marcos fell; Ramos had his desire for a term extension thwarted; Estrada fell. And the President?

An an altogether unrelated note, this entry in Bayang Magiliw is just an enjoyable read.

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186 comments

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  1. d0d0ng

    “Dodong, don’t you mean the President isn’t the only problem, Congress is too? You can’t condemn the bribe-takers but absolve the bribe-giver, right?”

    Did it come to Filipinos that how many times you remove a sitting president, the direction of this nation is certainly not straightforward because of the quality of congressmen controlling the budget and deciding the fate of a president?

  2. triolosbogus

    Adolph Hitler, was never charged ”

    He was dead, you know. If he managed to survive war, he would be tried as war criminal.

    And I know that Gloria Arroyo is still alive, then if she managed to survive her term, she would be tried for all the allegations as a corrupt leader, and also violation of human right for unexplained disappearances. And maybe how about conspiracy? (with the military and others to oust the incumbent President by Unconstitutional means? any doubt as to the evidence?)

  3. cvj

    [Hitler] was dead, you know. If he managed to survive war, he would be tried as war criminal. – d0d0ng

    And even if Hitler did not undergo such a trial, he is still considered a criminal. Same principle applies to Gloria Arroyo.

  4. d0d0ng

    “And even if Hitler did not undergo such a trial, he is still considered a criminal. Same principle applies to Gloria Arroyo.”

    Hitler’s atrocities were enormous based on concrete, tangible evidences and on world reaction to his crime. No similarities to Gloria, except unproven accusations motivated by politics.

  5. Bencard

    bogus, you can use any term you want. you can even call a convicted criminal a “hero”, for all i care. in the real world, in every system, only wrongdoers who are convicted in a court of law are called criminals. no such thing as “unconvicted criminal” unless you are a clueless ignoramus.

  6. triolosbogus

    “Hitler’s atrocities were enormous based on concrete, tangible evidences and on world reaction to his crime. No similarities to Gloria, except unproven accusations motivated by politics.”

    But during the height of his power, so is as Gloria at the moment, everything of Hitler Crimes were just allegations, accusation until the conclusive investigations and trials of his underlings and testimonies from all eyewitness and survivor. There seems to be similarities between the two. People are just untouchables while they are in power, especially when the cards are all stacked in their favors.

  7. levi

    Bencard,

    There is politics and there is lawyering.

    Right now, Gloria Arroyo is playing and is subjected to the rules of politics.

    Reserve your lawyerly arguments when finally gloria is brought to the courts of justice.

  8. Jeg

    Bencard: jeg, let me put it in the simplest terms that you can comprehend. suppose a neighbor of yours who hates your guts somehow got an “envelopmental” journalist for a good price to publish an article in the “Daily Gossip” that you stole his fighting cock. after reading it, cvj goes around telling your mutual friends that you are a “thief”. they believe him. would that be fair to you? what are you gonna do assuming there is no law against cvj’s act, and no lawyers to protect your “rights”?

    Beside the point, Bencard. Youre still speaking legalese which just proves that we’re not having the same conversation. Incompetence is not a crime. My assertion is that GMA is incompetent since scandals continue to hound her house unabated. Granting for the sake of argument that GMA is a saint and that the law can’t touch her, the fact that corruption in her circle continues is a sign of incompetence. Economists can judge her competence on the economy, defense experts can judge her competence on security, but the ordinary citizen can judge her competence on leadership. This ordinary citizen has judged her incompetent. As in your analogy, the ordinary citizen readily believes news or gossip of scandal involving her because the general public has lost trust in her leadership. What say you?

  9. Carl

    Scandals do not necessarily imply incompetence. Sometimes you only need an irresponsible media to create a scandal. I’ve read of people who have been unjustly vilified by the media and consequently convicted by the public (read about how Al Gore was treated by an irreponsible press and its effects on the US 2000 elections).

  10. Bencard

    “GMA is criminal. At worst. At best, she is incompetent and has betrayed the public trust.” Jeg.

    was that another jeg who wrote that or was it you? impostors are known to visit this blog, you know. it happened to me recently. thanks to mlq3’s prompt action.

    btw, what is “legalese” in my hypothetical? did i not specify there is neither law nor lawyers? and why do you use the term legalese as though it’s a dirty word? whether you like it or not, legalese could someday save your liberty, or even life, from the same type of people who hate the word.

    calling pgma “incompetent” for the perceived recalcitrance of her subordinates is like calling a parent a derelict for the wayward behavior of his/her children after doing his/her best to guide them. was esperon “incompetent” because trillianes, querubin, et al, are being prosecuted for turning their guns against the government they have sworn to protect? NOW, WHAT SAY YOU?
    perhaps you will say, “command responsibility” as some

  11. Bencard

    (continuation): know-it-all people here would claim. even if there is proof of wrongdoing, there is a democratic process of involuntarily disciplining an accused office holder. i say command responsibility is only appropriate where there is absolute authority as in a martial law regime or totalitarian system.

  12. d0d0ng

    “Hitler Crimes were just allegations, accusation until the conclusive investigations and trials of his underlings and testimonies from all eyewitness and survivor. There seems to be similarities between the two.”

    There is direct instruction of Hitler to Nazi’s SS soldiers to exterminate Jews and the prison camp is the direct evidence. Extrujudicial killings maybe attributable to the military but that did happen long before Gloria was the president. Hard to prosecute the military for extrajudicial killings, even harder to prove culpability of the President as commander in chief.

    That is where apparent similarities end.

  13. d0d0ng

    “command responsibility is only appropriate where there is absolute authority”

    To illustrate the point. The president did not have command responsibility of the military in the Garci tape.

    The military by admission violated the president’s communication which is treason and punishable by death. Hello, this is Philippines. So both the spineless senators and congressmen were after the President instead of the military perpetrators. Funny!

  14. triolosbogus

    There is direct instruction of Hitler to Nazi’s SS soldiers to exterminate Jews and the prison camp is the direct evidence. Extrajudicial killings maybe attributable to the military but that did happen long before Gloria was the president. Hard to prosecute the military for extrajudicial killings, even harder to prove culpability of the President as commander in chief.

    That is where apparent similarities end.

    But all of these were revealed after the Nazi was defeated and the subsequent investigations and trials. So was Marcos plunder of the treasury and all allegations of disappearance during his tenure were all uncovered officially after he was ousted. Erap plunder including the fake accounts under Velarde, were just as allegations as the Pidal and all the sudden Appreciations of assets of most of her relatives and cronies, until he was tried after he too was ousted.

    Even Pinochet crimes were all allegations during his tenure.

    So the similarities still is apparent and when Gloria lost power somehow and that too is a possibility all these allegation during her tenure, including the acts of Military under her command as chief of the AFP( as differentiated from Chief of Staff)may also be proven like the rest of them. But until then, everything is just hypothetical as during Macoy long hold of power and all the other despots.

  15. the bystander

    cvj, ay naku, watchful eye, bogus, levi,

    as the old saying goes, you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. it’s his call to refuse to “see” even when his eyes have already been “opened”. he’s the classic example of one who sees fact as fiction and fiction as fact.

    hindi na magbabago ang isip nyan. napasubo na eh. 🙂

  16. the bystander

    and there’s no such thing as an unbiased eye. c’mon, only hypocrites say that.

  17. ay_naku

    My assertion is that GMA is incompetent since scandals continue to hound her house unabated. – jeg

    I don’t think GMA is incompetent at all. She’s very competent in lying, cheating, stealing, bribery, cover-up, and abuse of power. She knows what she’s doing, and what people around her are doing.

  18. Bencard

    bystander, back to your old tricks again? running out of good arguments so you have been reduced to lamenting your inability to convince me, or follow your flawed way of thinking?

    ay-naku, seeing evil where there is nothing visible could either be clairvoyancce or psychosis.

  19. ay_naku

    Bencard, not seeing wrongdoing when it clearly exists could either be “nagbubulag-bulagan at nagtatanga-tangahan” or, well, just plain stupidity. Wait, maybe senility as well.

  20. broadbandido

    Guys and Glas:

    No name-callings, please. Let’s be civil with each other as a sign of respect for each others opinion.

    But you can call the unano in the enchanted kingdom by the stinking river any name you want!

  21. broadbandido

    Guys and Gals (sorry, nabulol)

  22. triolosbogus

    crime [ 1. krīim ] (plural crimes)

    noun Definition: 1. illegal act: an action prohibited by law or a failure to act as required by law

    2. illegal activity: activity that involves breaking the law
    “TYPE=PICT;ALT=””TYPE=PICT;ALT=”measures to combat crime

    3. immoral act: an act considered morally wrong

    4. unacceptable act: a shameful, unwise, or regrettable act ( informal )
    “It’s a crime the way some people waste food.

    crim·ii·nal [ 1. krímmin’l ]

    noun (plural crim·i·nals) Definition: somebody acting illegally: somebody who has committed a crime

    adjective Definition: 1. punishable as crime: punishable as a crime under the law

    2. prosecuting criminals: relating to or involved in the prosecution and punishment of people accused of committing crimes

    3. relating to criminals: relating to or done by criminals

    4. morally wrong: morally wrong, whether illegal or not

    5. unacceptable: shameful, unwise, or regrettable ( informal )

    Bencard, nowhere in the definition of both the criminal and crime is there a mentioned of conviction in the court of law.

    A criminal is simply a person who committed a crime, those that got convicted are sentenced and pardoned by the Lady President, those that are not charged get to laugh all the way to the banks, like the Pidals, the Iggys, the Abalos, and the thousands of them. But who knows, the rule of law might someday reign over this country of ours before it becomes a complete Banana chiquitita (a failed state)

  23. triolosbogus

    Criminal: example, I stole some item in the Apple Store, like a macbook without getting caught, does that mean I’m not a criminal since I was not caught, charged and convicted in the court of law? what a logic for a lawyer that is, bencard…

  24. the bystander

    “running out of good arguments so you have been reduced to lamenting your inability to convince me, or follow your flawed way of thinking?”

    -it’s not a question of “running out of arguments”. nobody here has the monopoly of knowledge. i could engage anyone here in an argument as long as there’s a need to argue. however, there’s just no use arguing with a “dual citizen residing in the U.S. but keeping himself abreast of what is happening in the land of his birth” who is bent on defending the “unano in the enchanted kingdom by the stinking river” come hell or high water. that is why my message was addressed to cvj and co. to remind them at least of what to expect in the comment threads.

  25. the bystander

    i’ve said it before and i will say it again: GMA is a CHEAT,a LIAR,and a THIEF. she will go down in history as the most unpopular, unloved, hated, despised “President(?)” this country ever had.

  26. the bystander

    fiction: GMA won the 2004 presidential elections FAIR and SQUARE

    fact: she said i’m sorry for having called a Comelec official who happened to be Garci

    hehe. example lang yan sa napakaraming eskandalo ni GMA. 🙂

  27. Abe N. Margallo

    Sometimes you only need an irresponsible media to create a scandal. I’ve read of people who have been unjustly vilified by the media and consequently convicted by the public – Carl

    Many a time on the other hand, the media acts irresponsibly or as imprudent or willing conspirator only because of uncritically examined information fed to it by certain political operators unleashed by the powers that be.

    It may not be a perfect example, but the Glorietta 2 explosion drives home the point just noted. While PNP has yet to finish its investigation and issue official reports, the media is already awash with some conclusory reports, woven into fuzzy sound bytes or reckless spin, serving first to muddle and then settle the issue, i.e., that the blast was accidental.

  28. grd

    i’ve said it before and i will say it again: GMA is a CHEAT,a LIAR,and a THIEF. she will go down in history as the most unpopular, unloved, hated, despised “President(?)” this country ever had… the bystander

    and the sad part is, she’ll get pardoned too.

  29. Bencard

    yeah, abe, i agree with you. foremost example of this is trillianes’ boast that it was a government-conspired bombing in which he has “in custody” two alleged witnesses. he presented one who is supposedly a former member of ji involved in previous bombings but whose “testimony” appears to be mere conjectural. trillianes says that the other witness will talk in a “senate investigation”. all these despite findings of the pnp, fbi, & other foreign investigators that the blast appeared to be “accidental”, i.e., gas explosion.

    i think the media should make their own reality check before publishing anything, especially information coming from people with axes to grind whether pro or anti administration. outright lies and unfounded propaganda ought not to see the light of day in a respectable media outlet. if the media will not police itself, or be “irresponsible”, the pendulum will eventually swing against them, and may God help all of us then.

  30. Bencard

    grd, too bad, what you say counts for nothing, yeah, zip.!

  31. Bencard

    ooops, that was meant for bystander as much as to you, grd.

  32. Bencard

    bogus, so you stole a macbook from the apple store, huh? is that a voluntary confession? if so, there’s no need for any other evidence for you to be convicted of the crime of theft (unless of course you are insane and pleads insanity). btw, you have to be charged and prosecuted, which i’m sure you would be, considering your confession.

  33. vic

    bencard,

    so until then

  34. vic

    “bogus, so you stole a macbook from the apple store, huh? is that a voluntary confession? if so, there’s no need for any other evidence for you to be convicted of the crime of theft (unless of course you are insane and pleads insanity). btw, you have to be charged and prosecuted, which i’m sure you would be, considering your confession.”

    bencard, so until bogus, is prosecuted and convicted then he is not a criminal yet, granting he stole that macbook from apple store. as far as I know, by stealing, he is already a criminal, whether he’ll be arrested, charged, convicted for thief.

    so anyone in the Philippines stealing money from the treasury, committing bribery, election frauds are criminals and these things are happening, yet nobody so far has been charged or prosecuted for these acts, does that mean that no crime has been committed, since there are no criminals? now, it is getting confusing, isn’t it?

  35. Bencard

    vic, to convict, it must be shown that (1) there is a “crime” defined and punished by law; (2) the crime was committed (corpus delicti); and (3) the accused committed it. the fact that a crime was committed does not depend on whether or not there is a criminal.

  36. Abe N. Margallo

    Bencard, “you will do a better spin job than bunye.” – Dirk Pitt

    Oh well, but I’m not gonna grouse about it to Manolo.

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