Pleasant news for all medicine-takers: House okays cheap medicines bill; more debates at bicam.
Although the Inquirer editorial takes the President to task over the near-release of Jalosjos, most people are happy that the President met with the Sumilao farmers. Though not everyone: Quisumbing company argues: Facts ‘twisted’.
Arroyo revokes land-use conversion of Sumilao estate, which should encourage Fr. Joaquin Bernas. In his Monday column, A golden opportunity for GMA, the Jesuit lawyer had pointed out that,
One of the principles which first-year law students learn early is what is called the “doctrine of qualified political agency.” The doctrine, recognizing that the Constitution has established a single and not a plural executive, postulates that “all executive and administrative organizations are adjuncts of the Executive Department, the heads of the various executive departments are assistants and agents of the Chief Executive, and, except in cases where the Chief Executive is required by the Constitution or law to act in person or the exigencies of the situation demand that he act personally, the multifarious executive and administrative functions of the Chief Executive are performed by and through the executive departments, and the acts of the secretaries of such departments, performed and promulgated in the regular course of business, are, unless disapproved or reprobated by the Chief Executive, presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive.”
And explained what this means:
Pardon the involved kilometric sentence, but, put simply, when a department secretary makes a decision in the course of performing his or her official duties, the decision, whether honorable or disgraceful, is presumptively the decision of the President, unless she quickly and clearly disowns it.
Bernas further explained the principle behind the authority wielded by cabinet secretaries, in order to point out that the buck stops at the President’s desk:
The secretary of agrarian reform has just made an utterly disgraceful decision in the case involving the farmers of Bukidnon. He has refused to read the law and the rules promulgated by the department itself. You can read the law and rules backward and forward and you will reach the conclusion that the secretary is wrong. He has uttered a decision commanding the farmers to accept an unlawful act and authorizing San Miguel Foods to proceed with unauthorized conversion of the farm land. The land had been previously awarded to the farmers under the Agrarian Reform Law. True it is that the award was taken back, but under a highly controversial conversion order which went through the Supreme Court three times.
So the President revoked the order, giving the Sumilao farmers not the land, but the opportunity to own the land; the whole thing has a ways to go, still.
Land Reform resources: Agrarian reform in the Philippines, by the Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC) and by the Ford Foundation. See also The Antisocial on Land Reform, with the Lumads in mind.
In his column, Manuel Buencamino points out the differences between the involvement in business of Jose de Venecia III and Diosdado Macapagal Jr.:
Now I understand why Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr. said it’s possible the bidders colluded and Monte Oro will sell shares to the losing bidders.
As to the younger Macapagal, “Buboy,” well, he was cleared of any wrongdoing by no less than Raul Gonzalez, the unconfirmed secretary of justice.
Gonzalez said, “Assuming that he participated, it’s unfair that just because he is the brother of the President, he will be deprived of joining [the auction]. He’s a legitimate businessman.”
That’s definitely different from the case of another legitimate businessman, Joey de Venecia. Buboy is the brother of the Gloria Arroyo; Joey is the son of the Speaker, and he blew the whistle on the broadband deal.
Gonzalez added, “It was the corporation that participated. The personality of the corporation is different from the individual.”
Again, that’s different for Joey de Venecia whose personality is inseparable from Amsterdam Holdings Inc., the company whose “no-sovereign-guarantee” bid for a broadband network was shanghaied by Abalos and his principal.
An interesting blog: The Philippine Claim over Sabah: Legal and Historical Bases.