License raj

If you’ve noticed my book for the week, it’s about India, which I believe is under appreciated among Filipinos as a country from which we can learn much. The book introduced me to a highly descriptive term, License Raj, and reminded me of a conversation I recently had on the sidelines with a columnist in another paper who also holds a board seat in a government bank.

In the past, businessmen were enthusiastic contributors to political campaigns but since the 1990s, they’ve become the opposite. Businessmen now make themselves scarce during the election season (implying, too, that they don’t vote), either going abroad or simply making themselves unavailable for phone calls and visits.

The reason businessmen can afford to ignore and actually evade the politicians is that they are no longer at the mercy of the politicians they way they used to be. The era of currency controls is long gone; and the old sugar bloc (divided into the faction of planters and millers) is long gone. Instead, the columnist (Alex Magno) told me, politicians are really in a lose-lose situation: elections are getting even more expensive, but there simply isn’t enough money coming in to finance them. So, he says, the real kingpins in politics are those with illegal funds who now play the role the big businessmen used to play:

!. Drug money
2. Gambling Money
3. Quotas on Customs and the BIR
4. The Philippine National Police

But basically, one big accomplishment is that we’ve succesfully eliminated our own License Raj. While generally hostile, Economic History and the Economy of India explains the License Raj in India and how (and why) it’s been dismantled since the 1990s.

Placeholder takes a systematic -and systemic- look at Philippine governance as it’s developed, and where it might be headed. Take a look at Amando Doronila’s analysis of the recent senatorial survey results.

How do you gage the Palace’s reactions (besides the spalsh of cold water the President received because of some idiot staffer’s snafu: see the Malaya and Tribune stories for added color)? The President pleads for the bare minimum: let her finish her term. Her senatorial candidates try to counter the appeal of impeachment. Her pet party backpedals on aggressively going after it’s coalition partners (Kampi was crowing just a week ago).

Big Mango does everyone a service by presenting a criteria for measuring economic performance, giving credit where credit is due, but refusing to swallow the snake oil. Things to watch out, Business Mirror reports, is the slowdown of the US economy and its effect on Filipino exporters. Bunker Chronicles also explains why the stock market isn’t a good measure of economic progress. John Mangun says the stock market needs to be observed further to see if it will revive or not.

Some readings: Butch Dalisay on Washington SyCip. Gail Ilagan on scientific observation.
Interesting trivia on Iloilo lawmakers over the past century.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

66 thoughts on “License raj

  1. Re: “Kampi Won’t Rise Against De Venecia”–

    If JDV doesn’t see this for what it is–a smokescreen to disguise Kampi’s intention to do JDV in when it comes to power–he will deserve it when he finds GMA’s political dagger sticking out of his back after the election.

    Joe, Joe, Joe: for heaven’s sake, see what they’re doing to you! By now, you should know better than to trust this administration! Do yourself and this country a favor: break away from GMA now! Even if you win in Pangasinan, you will suddenly find yourself in a House you no longer control.

  2. Even if JDV jumps ship, I don’t think he could convince his party-mates to join him. Lakas may still have the machinery in place, but the money to oil that machinery belongs to Kampi. (And jumping ship would do him more harm than good at this point. Hmmm … maybe he could still hope for a term-sharing agreement for the Speakership … )

    The administration is probably throwing their towel in in the Senate but the real action would most probably be in the lower House.

  3. mlq3, many thanks for the link! Regarding the elimination of the license raj, that’s one of the benefits of deregulation and liberalization. It also points the way to eliminating the other sources of illegal funds. For example, trade liberalization will remove the most of the incentive to bribe customs because the need for smuggling will be reduced. Customs checks can then focus on searching for illegal drugs and weapons. By the same logic, legalizing jueteng and other forms of gambling will also make gambling lords redundant.

    These actions will also eliminate some of the sources of police corruption and with fewer activities classified as ‘crimes’, the police can also focus on the real damaging criminal activities such as drugs.

    On the demand side, it would be good to explore the possibility of prohibiting all politicians (and their families) from using cash and credit cards. Instead, they should be given vouchers (with their names on it) which any merchant can redeem from the government. that will allow their expenses to be tracked. Any excess cash or deposits will then be assumed to have come from a corrupt source.

  4. hehehe, the example of the XYZ company in the stock market is funny.

    stock certificates are not debt instruments.(ious). debt instruments are paid for principal plus the interest.

  5. Doronila wrote:

    GO is still a fractious team and its leading candidates, especially those who proclaim their independence, tend to work only for themselves.
    The capacity of Team Unity to mobilize the rural vote, where it is strong, and deliver the vote, cannot be underestimated.

    The statements confirmed my observation written on March 8th, 2007 at 7:29 pm.

    And as the campaign funds for the GO dwindle since businessmen would not part with their money and their expected financier would not part with his money because the son is out of the race, the survey will be good only as a survey.wanna bet.

  6. “Given the odds against it, it is unrealistic for Team Unity to aspire for any result better than 6-6. ” Doronilla

    He he he …I bet on 6-6 too!!!!!

  7. I agree with cvj regarding the legalization of gambling (jueting and the like).

    Of course this would be a hard sell for “gambling lords”, but, if jueting is replaced by lottery just like in the USA and the UK, the share of the government can be assured. Since, people gamble anyway, it is best to legalize it and let the government share the revenue. Government share can be totaly appropriated to support education considiring that the largest portion of the national budget goes to debt servicing.

    In the USA, most state lotteries if not all allocates their share to support education.

  8. Even at 6-6 the Senate will fall to the Opposition with a 2 or 3 senator margin of majority, given the composition of the incumbent senators. Of course 8-4 would give the Opposition a 2/3 majority, a Hanging Senate that is, in case of impeachment. But there are some imponderable unpredictables. For example, if Alfredo Lim wins the Mayoralty of Manila and/or Miriam retires, we could have 14 new senators, and given the close fight in the lower half of the race, things could get dicey for either side.

    Joker Arroyo is the “index species” of Team Unity. He’s already pandering to the Leftists as his poll numbers drop along with his chances of victory. He’s battling it out with team-mate Ed Angara who has a nationwide organization and party, while Joker always needed Jojo Binay to win elections. (he never campaigned a day in Makati but won Congress seats like they fell from the sky). If he drops out of the Magic 12 in the March survey, it’s curtains for the rest of Team Unity.

    The other joker in the deck is that tiff between Lakas and Kampi, which could distract many local yokels from the national races that could significantly affect “the rural vote”.

    There’s always cheating, but you know what? GMA knows another election with unpopular and noncredible results is gonna be blamed on her, not the “winners”.

  9. Between Angara and Michael Defensor who is in 15th place, there is quite a wide gap to overcome…..

    From my end, it’s quite hard to foresee how the administration can pull up its other candidates, who trail all the way down to 25th place (Gov. Luis Singson of Ilocos Sur)…. Doronilla.


    Its not really hard if Doronilla would only review the surveys conducted 2004 election

    In the very first survey released by SWS on Feb 2 2004.

    Mar Roxas was ranked 17 but later on top the senatorial elections. John Osmena was no 3 but did not win..

    Jamby Madrigal and Richard Gordon was no ranked 18 and 19 but also won.

    Singson has very high awareness rating. So is its still possible for him win by really campaigning hard and spending million and million of jueteng (?) money, exploit and optimize the administration machinery.

    So yung mga fans dyan ni Cayetano , ngayon pa lang mag practice na mga linya nyo kung papano kayo na daya. Magaling naman si Cayetano mag bato ng issue eh. Hindi nga lang kayang patunayan….

    At pwede ba wag ng umasa pa ang mga fans ni Koko Pimentel dyan. People just abhor political dynasty. ( Di ba Shaman??)

  10. DJB,

    Don’t forget also the turncoatism. Its a very common habit in the senate. How sure are we that Loren Manny Villar, Kiko Pangilian, Tito Sotto, John Osmena will stick with to their current affiliation????

  11. Rego, re your last post, you took the words right out of my keyboards. Many of these people will go where the patronage is.

  12. mlq3, re your statement “the President pleads for the bare minimum: let her finish her term”, how can finishing a term be considered “bare minimum”? Her term ends in 2010. Isn’t that what the Consitution prescribes? Why should there be a need to plead for it? Who do you think you are fooling?

  13. Isn’t that what the Constitution prescribes? Why should there be a need to plead for it? Who do you think you are fooling? – Bencard

    That’s on the assumption that Gloria is the legitimate occupant of Malacanang. If you assume that, you’re only fooling yourself.

  14. JM,

    No one from any side running for the Senate should be talking about the whatever of the impeachment of the President.

    If there should be anyone talking about it; it should be the people and anyone running for the House of Representative (who will endorse it) who have any priviledge on talking about it.

    People running for the Senate who choose to talk on the matter shows that they aren’t perfect. But then who is?

  15. bencard,

    you’re welcome to revisit all the events since june 2005, to see that the president has been fighting for her political life, and that even up to now, even foreign observers point out the president has to keep her guard up. the reason is that she nearly lost the presidency on several occasions starting with may 2001. the lowest point was july 2005 and february 2006. therefore a general assumption that her term is hers to serve out hassle-free has not held since 2005. which is not to say she will not serve out until 2010. i think everyone by now assumes the odds are in her favor; but also, there is the question of what happens in 2010.

  16. The staffer’s should have briefed PGMA immediately that she would be speaking before a wrong “pala”.

    No doubt that they scrambled for whatever audience they could find. (and likely wasted government money for that)

    Maybe the President should have just stated the obvious that they will still be paid for the day even though they’ve been practically excused from work.

    Mas madami siguro palakpak nya nun kahit na alam nilang ganun nga mangyayari.

  17. Either JDV is jumping ship or he is being thrown overboard.

    Inquirer columnist Belinda Olivares-Cunanan, a JDV loyalist if there were one, is trashing Kampi.

    She wrote,

    “But if Kampi, currently headed by Rep. Luis Villafuerte of Camarines Sur province, has been strengthening its ranks with Lakas’ fallout, it has a lot of image-building to do.

    The recent survey by the poll group Social Weather Stations, which was commissioned by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, included a question about which political party “does many things that benefit the citizens.” Lakas led with 23 percent, followed by LP and Bayan Ko while Kampi did not rate at all.

    Moreover, almost all the reform laws since the time of Ramos have been introduced by Lakas, including the fiscal reforms that shielded the economy from the 1987 Asian crisis and lately the aberrations in the Chinese and US stock markets.

    By contrast, say some Lakas leaders, Kampi is perceived as a party of shadowy politicians.”

    Gloria’s party is a party of shadowy politicians.

  18. All outlaws must be brought before the bar of Justice, no matter how long it takes, starting with the Marcoses and their cronies, the CPP-NPA-NDF murderers, the Kamag-anak thieves, the Ramos and Erap plunderers, GMA and her corrupt, cheating, lying, killing gang.

    Man is unjust.
    But God is just,
    and in the end,
    Justice and Truth
    must prevail!

  19. bencard, i went back to the dead thread justice league mentioned.

    ooohhh…that was nasty. glad you replied – without the screech I might add.

  20. Joker Arroyo is the “index species” of Team Unity. He’s already pandering to the Leftists as his poll numbers drop along with his chances of victory.

    Hehe… tahimik kasi si joker dati eh.

    Siguro “nagising” na talaga si mr. human rights lawyer nung binabatikos siya ng mga dating kaalyado niya sa kaliwa for his deafening silence on the extra-judicial killings issue:

    Filipino Leftist Groups Question Silence Of Human Rights Lawyer -Senator On Political Killings

    March 6, 2007 7:16 a.m. EST

    Komfie Manalo – All Headline News Correspondent
    Manila, Philippines (AHN) – Left-leaning organizations in the Philippines on Tuesday called the attention of human rights lawyer and maverick Senator Joker Arroyo. The groups are pushing for Arroyo to break his silence on the controversial political killings in the country, which were being blamed on the military. Arroyo is running under the pro-administration Team Unity for the upcoming senatorial polls in May.

    In separate statements, the party-list group Anakpawis and fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya said, “What happened to this self-confessed human rights advocate? It is time to open his big mouth and speak out against this state-sponsored terrorism and military-imposed de facto martial law in Metro Manila.”

    Fernando Hicap, Anakpawis nominee for the congressional elections and national chairman of Pamalakaya adds, “Definitely he is missing the action.”

    The groups also challenged the reelectionist senator to take a formal stand on the issue of urban militarization.

    Hicap said, “Senator Arroyo chose to remain silent despite the fact that the situation merits his involvement as a staunch defender of the 1987 Constitution and the people’s human rights and civil liberties.”

    “Didn’t he say that ‘If you’re bad, Joker Arroyo will get you’? This political advertisement will remain a rhetoric electoral campaign piece unless Senator Arroyo breathes life to it through concrete actions,” he adds.

    The group said they hope the senator was “not joking,” in his campaign slogan.

    Yeah, what about the killings, joker?

  21. Mita,

    What I meant to say was that I understood Bencard’s clarification with regards to his assertion of Sen. Jamby Madrigal.

    His previous post arrived later than his next one.

    I just acknowledged also that his post there arrived.

  22. John,
    Yeah what about the killings? — in Inopacan Leyte, I mean, ordered and/or condoned allegedly by Joma, Satur and 51 other top CPP NPA leaders.

    Now that the govt is filing charges in Court against the Left, why is it suddenly fascism according to them and to you? Surely, this is not part of “extrajudicial killings” and is exactly what the govt should be doing.

    This is the judicial process we uphold in a democracy. Even Antonio Leviste must submit himself to trial on murder charges.

    If people believe the Military is involved in these “extrajudicial killings” at some point they too must be subjected to the due process of the Law.

    But we must uphold that process for all, including the Left. It seems to me the Left thinks it is above the law … that is why it has taken up arms against the government.

  23. JOker is acting not as a human rights lawyer now, but a pure politician pandering to the Left because he is in danger of getting knocked out of the Magic 12…by Edgardo Angara and Mike Defensor or Sonia Roco.

  24. “That’s on the assumption that Gloria is the legitimate occupant of Malacanang. If you assume that, youre only fooling yourself.” cvj

    ho hum, zzzzzzzzzz

  25. How can anyone, human rights lawyer or not, possibly ignore the “Hello Garci” tape? The fact that it was illegally obtained may only prevent us from using it to jail GMA… ” De Quiros.


    People who wants Gloria out always invoke ” the ends does not justify the means”. But if you look at their arguements. They are just as guilty…..Garci tape is elligally obtained, but what matter most is Gloria ousted. Military coup and political dynasty is un constitutional. Pero OK lang basta mapaalis lang si Gloria. ‘No ba yan???

  26. Rego,
    Thanks for that quote from CDQ. It distills the essential confusion in the minds of many about the Garci tapes. The fact is the Garci Recordings are prima facie evidence of a crime against RA 4200, the AntiWireTapping Law, NOT against the Omnibus Election Code. The voices on the tapes of the SOLDIERS annotating the conversations, are those of ISAFP men, as attested to by the girlfriend of Doble. But where are their Court Orders for handling them, editing them, acquiring them? Haha! The Garci Tapes, not their contents, are evidence of crimes against National Security. That the Palace has not even investigated who made them and has not charged anyone for them is the stunning admission of who actually ordered them. Because everyone was hung up on the “cheating” issue and because no one cares about the principle of national security, no one went after the authorities and insisted they investigate the issue of who made the tapes originally (who recorded the conversations?). THAT has always been the blind spot of the opposition on this and it is why nothing ever happened to find the perpetrators who wiretapped the President and a Comelec Commissioner. They were hung up on the apparent contents of the conversations, which by themselves PROVE NOTHING.

    The people who think it is ISAFP and GMA herself need to pursue this angle, not the cheating angle. (They must first lay the predicate for that.) If convicted of violating the AntiWireTapping Law, person or persons unknown, if shown to be public officials, would be barred for life from ever holding public office. It’s an impeachable offense.

    I don’t care WHO did it. They are guilty of violating RA4200, the national security and defense acts, of compromising the security and confidentiality of the Office of the President, and ought to be prosecuted on that basis, using the Garci Recordings as evidence.

    Yet no one has even filed a case using the AntiWireTapping law as the starting point…

  27. Legalizing jueteng is a very touchy issue. Just look at where it landed Erap. Just look at how GMA tries her very best to make the gambling lords happy. The biggest and more popular one has even joined the libel game and earned the attention of Harvey Keh. The impunity by which these people operate just shows us how powerful these lords are.

    These are the new king makers and power brokers. Those with dirty money waiting to be laundered and politicians ready to wash it for them. From local level politics, it has now entered the national arena. Erap started it and the current dispensation centralized it.

  28. March 12, 2006

    Joker slams gov’t for ‘fascistic tendencies’
    By Marvin Sy

    Representatives Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casiño, and Joel Virador of Bayan Muna, Rafael Mariano of Anakpawis and Liza Maza of Gabriela have remained in the “protective custody” of Speaker Jose de Venecia for nearly two weeks after being informed of their impending arrest.

    Arroyo was also dismayed by the administration’s insistence on pursuing a case against Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran on the basis of an old charge.

    He pointed out the law that Beltran has been charged with violating has already been repealed.

    Beltran was already pardoned by former President Corazon Aquino and was given amnesty by former President Fidel Ramos, he noted.

    With regards the soldiers in the Metropolis; the IBP already lost a somewhat similar case to ex-Pres. Estrada.

    PGMA probably isn’t that crazy but she can reason out that the military presence will curb the “extra-judical killings” which might be felt as salt on a still fresh wound.

  29. I forgot to say that the above article came from the Philippine Star.

    I am also interested on the outcome of a popssible challenge in the SC to the soldiers in the Metropolis.

  30. justice league, yes i understand that…i just brought your name up because your mention of the dead thread got me curious. my reference of “nasty” wasn’t directed towards you or bencard at all…

  31. With regards to DJB’s assertion that the government should file cases against the left that includes Satur Ocampo; I am not particular to how the “amnesty program” works.

    Maybe those familiar with that here or in other countries can explain it better.

    If Satur or those who have been given amnesty have been found to have committed OTHER crimes similar to those covered under the amnesty; does it follow that those newly discovered ones are covered too?

  32. If we are going to invoke amnesty my thinking was that one should express his willingness to participate in the program before he can avail the priviliges of the said program.

    So the we shoudl also ask if Satur Ocampo et al did avail of such program.

    But then if its true that the law to prosecute these people has been repealed already, then going after them is a waste of time.

    Personally I believe the gov’t should just let these peopel run for party list. And participate in the policy making for the country.

  33. mlq3, “nearly lost the presidency”? That’s a laugh. 30,000 or so noisy demonstrators with big red banners, and old trapos who were all wet, plus turncoats (former allies) who could only convince their own families to join them, just wouldn’t do it. Even the unholy alliance with a small band of disgruntled military men did not stand a chance. It is a big insult to the term “People Power” to call the whole futile exercise one.

    I cannot understand why you seem to have the mindset that PGMA owes it to a particular interest group that she is still in power. You seem to disregard the Constitution that sets the President’s term of office.

    PGMA holding the presidency does not depend on whether or not some people think she was duly elected. She is the lawful president and that is that.

  34. My view, amnesty should be given on the condition that the recipient will have no association with armed violence ever.

    agree with bencard, GMA didn’t come close to losing the presidency even with all the hoopla of the last couple of years…Cory came closer IMO.

  35. justice, re your query about Satur’s previous amnesty here’s my two-cent worth opinion: I believe he was granted amnesty for his alleged political crimes. If he is now being prosecuted for the common crime of multiple murders that cannot be considered politial crimes (the victims were allegedly “purged” from within the same rebel group, I understand) then I would think the previous amnesty would not apply.

    His defense attorney has a tough job cut out for him. He has to prove and convince the judge that the alleged killings, assuming they were in fact commited, were political acts and not “common” murders.

  36. DJB, since you are so bold even just to imply it, would you go so far as to hazard a theory as to GMA’s possible motivation to engage in wiretapping that produced the “garci tapes”? She has to be a complete masochist (which I personally think she is not) to be able to do that.

  37. bencard, if you want to believe the president has been comfortably esconced in power over the last couple of years, nothing i do or say will change your mind. if you won’t take a filipino’s word for it then you can refer to foreign media coverage which indicated a political crisis has been taking place. the gravity of the situation was such that the president at one point prepared a letter of resignation; and even if you ignored every single opposition action and statement simply by reading the president’s statements and those of her supporters you’d have known that everything was not exactly peachy keen over the last couple of years.

    THREE critical aspects of Gloria Arroyo’s management of her own sense of political crisis illustrated the drift in the country’s politics. First, all the issues in focus – the suspected moves by the dissidents in the military forces, the allegation of electoral fraud by the President herself and the charges of lottery kickbacks – were sought to be addressed by the authorities mainly from the standpoint of sustaining Gloria Arroyo in office and not so much from a national angle.

    For the Opposition, in this power-game, the recent death of the well-regarded former Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin signified the loss of a potential rallying force against the President. Although the Cardinal’s potential conscience-vote on Gloria Arroyo’s rule was not known at the time of his death, the popular Church leader had played critical roles that helped propel the previous “people power” campaigns.

    As Mely Caballero-Anthony pointed out in an overview of ASEAN, “democratic consolidation” in the Philippines had become “an uphill battle” because of the country’s “troubled political leaderships and (also) unending list of security challenges”.

    Another glaring aspect of the political crisis, at the time of going to press, was the shadow cast by the President’s survival moves on the efforts to address the deep-seated issues – not just poverty but also the “tragedy” of the communist movement and the “alienation” of the Muslim minority in the Philippines.

    Rizal G. Buendia, who closely studied Manila’s plans to address the grievances of Muslims and the related armed conflict as well as the suspected international terrorist links of Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah, said “the preponderance of state power” and the “human rights violations” on all sides in such an ambience had not helped stabilise and sustain the relevant “peace process”. As for the social inequities, which Filipino communists had traditionally shone the spotlight on, the latest crisis-management exercises in Manila’s political parlours did little or nothing to advance the anti-poverty agenda.

  38. Bencard,

    The most popular theory is that it was Garci that was being wiretapped by ISAFP because person or persons close to the GMA campaign did not trust him and were afraid he would sell out to FPJ and Erap. They were monitoring HIS calls to everyone, not GMA, since his voice is in almost all the recordings that have come to light.

    It was in 2003 that the ISAFP acquired the GSM interceptor eqpt after the Rizal Day bomber Fathur Rohman al Ghozi escaped from maximum security at Camp Crame using cell phones to communicate with outside help and after bribing some guards. This equipment was given by the US to help in the war on terror.

    After the Garci Scandal, a massive wiretapping/data mining operation was also discovered in the US, and there is some suggestion that Philippine telecommunications were also being monitored by US intel. Which caused me once to post a theory that the real source of the Garci tapes was US intel that was being sent en masse to ISAFP for them to make sense of. So it is possible that Garci’s SIMM and cell phone (which came from Lilia Pineda according to Michaelangelo Zuce) were “registered” for monitoring by that data mining operation.

    That is the plausible reason why one gets the distinct impression that the soldiers in the recordings are obviously choosing from a much larger data store. We do know that it was Erap who bought the tapes from Doble (and others unknown) after he got drunk with former colleagues of PACC and first gave a hint of their existence to the Opposition.

    Without any Court Orders coming to light, the recordings are prima facie evidence of violation of the Anti wire tapping law by whoever made them.

    Yet not even the govt has accused/investigated or charged the opposition with that crime. Why?

    Regarding the murder charges wrt the CPPNPA killing fields, this is the perfectly legal and correct judicial step to take in punishing any alleged crime.

    Who has ever been punished for widely acknowledged murders of suspected DPAs? NONE!

    I can’t believe Kiko Pangilinan, Chiz Escudero and who knows what other fools will go over the waterfalls in defending the CPP NPA for these murders on the basis that they were already forgiven for those crimes when they have never admitted to them and are denying their guilt to this day. Even if it is merely political convenience for the admin to prosecute these crimes now during election time, they should still do it because they cannot but have the people support, while Kiko and Chiz slit their political wrists in going out on a limb for the murderers.

    Joker I can understand his pandering to the left because his victory is really in doubt now. But Kiko and Chiz are only hurting themselves and the Opposition.

    Those skulls, those widows, those killing fields could be their political graveyard if they are not careful because the Filipino People, especially the Sharonians won’t understand their placing of the Left’s “civil liberties” over the human rights of the murdered victims.

  39. Bencard,


    However, I wish to share some info on the matter though it doesn’t necessarily show my stand.

    – Presidential Proclamation 347- “Granting Amnesty to Rebels, Insurgents, and All Other Persons Who Have or May Have Committed Crimes Against Public Order, OTHER CRIMES COMMITTED IN FURTHERANCE OF POLITICAL ENDS, and Violations of the Articles of War, and Creating a National Amnesty Commission,” (issued by the President on 25 March 1994.)

    As far as I understand, that proclamation was with accompanying Proclamation 348 and has been amended by Proclamation 21, series of 1998.

    – In G.R. No. 116512. March 7, 1997, the SC stated the following:

    “The NAC was created under Proclamation No. 347 by President Fidel V. Ramos on March 25, 1994, to receive, process, and decide on applications for amnesty. Under Proclamation No. 347 a grant of amnesty shall carry with it the extinguishment of any criminal liability for acts committed by the grantee IN PURSUIT OF HIS OR HER POLITICAL BELIEFS. It also carries with it the restoration of civil or political rights that may have been suspended or lost by virtue of a criminal conviction.

    In the course of our deliberations, the NAC found that the applicants are indeed confirmed members of the CPP/NPA/NDF whose killing of Victoriano Mapa was committed in pursuit of their political beliefs.”

    “Pardon is granted to one after conviction; while amnesty is granted to classes of persons or communities who may be guilty of political offenses, generally before or after the institution of the criminal prosecution and sometimes after conviction.

    While amnesty looks backward and abolishes and puts into oblivion the offense itself, it so overlooks and obliterates the offense with which he is charged that the person released by amnesty stands before the law precisely as though he had committed no offense.”

    – March 2002, (GMA awards amnesty certificates to 150 grantees out of a total of 499 who have qualified for amnesty)

    “Majority of them are former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) from Central and Southern Luzon.

    The grantees also include some members of the Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabansa-Soldiers of the Filipino People-Young Officers Union (RAM-SFP-YOU) who were involved in several coup attempts against the administration of former President Corazon C. Aquino.

    The rest are former members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who filed their applications for amnesty in Metro Manila.

    Tadiar (Chairman of the NAC) said the amnesty grant absolves the rebel returnees from criminal liabilities for crimes they committed in the pursuit of their political beliefs.

    “The awarding ceremony today marks the grantees’ break with their rebellious past and symbolizes their return to the fold of the law and the restoration of all their rights and responsibilities as Filipinos,” Tadiar said.”

  40. DJB,

    Your issue on the Garci tape is loaded (I know you know that) with regards to the Administration to have it investigated as a case of illegal wiretapping.

    I heard/read from someone else that it would be an admission that “someone” was indeed illegally wiretapped. Though not useful except as for incriminating the “doer” it thus lends thruthfulness to the content of the recording .

    We could have only hoped that the admin was that stupid.

    I think the admin would rather have it investigated as falling under Art. 173 of the Revised Penal Code.- “Falsification of wireless, cable, telegraph and telephone messages, and use of said falsified messages.”

  41. JL,

    In several of the more than fifty posts I wrote on Garci I explored the second possibility you mention that the Garci conversations were “staged” or faked in a studio, perhaps spliced together from various recordings of the President and Garci. But this I opined was highly unlikely because of the amount of the material involved — over two hours with nary a pop or glitch or mismatch detectable in the entire digital stream.

    That they are illegal wiretappings is a conclusion forced on us by the fact that no Court has come forward to claim them as under its jurisdiction and Order, either before they were made or vouchsafed as evidence of wrongdoing as required by RA 4200.

    To me it is a clear case of a violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the law. I believe WHOEVER is responsible should be exposed and prosecuted.

    So I am beguiled and mystified by your statement: Your issue on the Garci tape is loaded (I know you know that) with regards to the Administration to have it investigated as a case of illegal wiretapping.

    Can you be more clear what this means? (Say exactly what’s on your mind. My feelings can’t be hurt or insulted coz I’m not like that…)

  42. DJB,

    What I meant to say was that the admin doesn’t want that the “Garci tape” to be investigated as a case of illegal wiretapping even if it would fall under sec. 1-2 of the law.

    If the admin does that; that would be admitting that “someone” indeed was illegally wiretapped (most likey Garcillano). But then that would lend credence to the contents of the recordings (which includes Garcillano’s dialogue with several politicians).

    The wiretap law doesn’t penalize “staged or faked” recordings (which is penalized by Art. 173) so if they use that law; they would have to admit that the contents are real. Which would also implicate Sec. Bunye because he did at least 2 acts under the second paragraph of sec. 1.

    We can debate as to the possibility or impossibility that the “Garci conversation” was staged or faked but it doesn’t matter to the admin because it would be in the best interest of the admin to have us take it as “staged or faked” which is why I think they are not filing a case under the anti wiretapping law.

    I know that you know that the admin doesn’t want to do that because it is an admission that the contents are real.

  43. They are obviously out of touch with reality… even with our laws (re amnesty) .. Filipino ba sila?

  44. “Satur to testify before US Senate hearing on RP killings”

    Yan ba ang reason bakit me warrant of arrest si Satur? To stop him from attending this inquiry?

  45. JL,
    Yes indeed that is the reason I believe they have not prosecuted on the basis of the Anti wiretapping law. But I hope you also realize that the “contents” per se prove nothing and such a prosecution would not lead to proof there was cheating. My main point however is that there is a greater crime than even alleged cheating the election of 2004, and that is the breach of national security by the President and/or Isafp which is tantamount to treason or espionage on the Office of the President.

    We are not a sovereign, patriotic people for not caring enough about that violation of national security and the use of our Armed Forces intel service for partisan political purposes. All we care about is the stupid election, which I believe she actually won, though not by the margin advertised.

    It’s a clever move by Satur to try to hide under Barbara Boxer’s uhmm, shorts. But I don’t think there is anything illegitimate about charging him with murder if they can really prove it. Besides, it is Joma that ought to be the real target. The Dutch have been asking for such charges to be filed and proven so they can deport him. Unless of course he is already a Dutch citizen as is rumored.

    At least such a move is not “extrajudicial”. But I bet Satur is not planning to surface at all and is saying he wants to testify in the US so he can have an excuse to escape justice here.

    I think these charges will force the issue on the parliamentarian Left to break in public with the armed struggle, which is the really important point.

    One important element of amnesty is the requirement that the amnestied really, really return to the fold of the law and not hypocritically use the Law against itself. And I do believe they must first admit that they were outlaws. I don’t know that the cases JL cited amnestied or absolved them for those murders. “Amnesty” is a kind of generalized pardon plus the promise to forget the crimes ever happened. But if these crimes were not owned up to, I don’t think they could amnestied for them.

  46. Francis,
    On second thought I hope Satur does go to the US, so I can send my Congressmen and Senator copies of all those great Bayan Muna manifestoes calling them imperialist aggressors and crowing about the assassination of the war hero, Col. James Nicholas Rowe.

    Maybe he’ll learn the meaning of a true criminal prosecution for murder from the FBI!

  47. DJB,

    The contents of the “Garci tape” can not be used in a court of law to prove something against those to whom the conversation belong.

    Garcillano doesn’t seem to care. PGMA doesn’t seem to care. No one whose voice is alleged to be in or actually in the recording seem to care. It seems that those who are in a position to do something about it don’t care.

    What can those who care about the use of the intel service in that way do?

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