Acquittal impossible?

It’s about time: Electric jeepney challenges the old King of the Road.

Even as Call centers craft plan, eye .5M agents, and More medical transcription firms go to RP, An article asks, What are ‘hot jobs’ in Metro Manila? Well,

The top 10 occupations in the talent shortage list were jobs for accountant, computer programmer, engineer, financial analyst, human resources development manager, information technology technician, lawyer, manager, nurse, and sales/marketing representative.

The only item that surprised me is that lawyers are still in short supply! But the list actually goes on and on…

In Newbsreak’s Verdict on Estrada Nears, there’s an interesting report on the jockeying for the remaining vacancy in the Supreme Court, and how the person to get the job might get it, depending on how the Sandiganbayan decides on the cases against former president Estrada.

Even more interesting are the different options the court has, as far as rendering a verdict is concerned. Acquittal seems the most remote, not only because of the evidence, but because under the plunder law, if an official is acquitted, then he is reinstated in his position. Obviously the government wouldn’t allow that. On the other hand, an outright full conviction for plunder (even if followed by a presidential pardon) might lead to trouble in the streets, so that might not be good, either. A more prudent course, some legal observers feel, might be to convict him on a lesser charge (instead of plunder, graft and corrupt practices) which could carry a penalty equal to the time Estrada’s already spent in detention. Anyway, the headlines are, indeed, Verdict on Erap out soon and so it’s handy that Anti-terror law to push through on July 15.

Speaking of other cases, 7 years for 54 Oakwood mutineers, while Gen. Garcia’s wife, kids disappear; lawyers withdraw. So let’s see, the rebels actually faced the music, while the top brass… oh, never mind.

On the electoral front, No. 12 unlikely to be named before August. And say it ain’t so: Joe dumping Nograles as majority leader?

Also, LGUs hurry report for Arroyo’s SONA. And, Arroyo to Cabinet: Where’s my loop?

Sources said Mrs. Arroyo had expressed dismay over the apparent delays in the construction of the link in Metro Manila’s railway system.

“Where’s my loop?” she reportedly demanded.

Sources said she ordered Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando and Presidential Management Staff chief Cerge Remonde on Tuesday to ensure the project’s completion by 2010.

The sources added that Mrs. Arroyo wants the bidding for the project to be conducted as soon as possible.

The directive reportedly triggered bickering among the three officials, particularly between Fernando and Mendoza, as to who should be on top of the project. Remonde is also head of the Palace’s Infrastructure Monitoring Task Force.

So no wonder the President keeps getting into trouble, for every victory she gains.

Peso Asia’s second-worst currency since crisis – DBS. And here’s the clincher, which our government had better pay attention to:

DBS said the fiscal slippage in the Philippines early this year would likely take its toll on the peso.

“Although we still like the peso, we believe that the fiscal story that supported it may have run its course. Looking ahead, further gains may need to be predicated on an investment story,” DBS said.

For the 1997 Asian Crisis and its aftermath, see The Economist Post-Mortem on the Asian Crisis and From the Press: EMU, CDOs/CLOs and Asian Crisis Post-Mortems.

As for deficit news (the slippage the Singapore bank’s talking about),GMA scolds Customs execs for P13-B shortfall in 1st sem; still, scolding aside, the 6-mo. deficit at P37.7B; tax targets stay, and so State considering sale of more assets to cover deficit (in PNOC-EDC and, surprise, surprise, San Miguel Corporation).

Why do we need to connect the dots, and not just leave it to the pros? As David Llorito puts it, Complacency kills!

Overseas, Shops emptied as panic grips Zimbabwe. And for boosters of a strong currency, a cautionary tale: as Baht ‘may hit 30 to $’ Experts urge BOT to be vigilant, there’s cause and effect: Japanese firms cut investments in Thailand.

The Guardian reports Made in China: tainted food, fake drugs and dodgy paint:

China is facing a global crisis of consumer confidence as the country’s food safety watchdog acknowledged this week that almost a fifth of the domestic products it inspects fail to reach minimum standards. Following a number of contamination scandals in the US, the world’s biggest exporter is struggling to prove that it can match quality with quantity….

…Last month, the government published its first five-year plan for improving food and drug safety. It closed 180 food factories in the first half of this year and seized tonnes of sweets, pickles, crackers and seafood tainted with formaldehyde, illegal dyes and industrial wax.

But the government also stands accused of reacting slowly to scandal rather than dealing with the root causes: a lack of trust in the safety standards of a country with a profit-first economic policy and a secretive, unaccountable political system.

Public confidence has not been helped by an official response that includes denial and scapegoating.

The need to counter such exposes is shown by this commentary in China Daily, Teeth for food standards, which tries to sound upbeat about the beating Chinese products have been getting:

Food safety standards are vital to both the health of the public and the development of the food industry. The food we exported overseas was sometimes found as falling below the standards required by importing countries. This is not because the food itself was of low quality but because the standards we use may be lower.

It is becoming increasingly urgent to raise the food safety standards to international levels. GAQSIQ and SSA have apparently long realized the importance of this issue.

The two departments reduced the time limit from 12 years to four years for revising food safety standards. The goal would bring a complete overhaul by the end of the 11th Five-Year-Plan period (2006-10). They want food safety standards to be revised every two years by 2010.

This is good news for consumers. At the same time higher demands will be imposed on food producers. But the higher standards can hardly materialize without the cooperation of producers.

On another China note: Hong Kong’s Media Ignore Falun Gong’s Marchers. Meanwhile History Unfolding reprints a letter written by Lawrence of Arabia complaining of British policies in Iraq -and which sounds as it was referring to present-day American policies there.

Even as GO bets in last-ditch effort to reunite, and Three GO senators told: You are with Opposition, and Nene: Opposition will give Villar no quarter, my column for today is Wrong kind of addition.

John Mangun says IPO’s in the stock market are great, but please, don’t view shares of stock as something like buying lottery tickets.

Geronimo Sy complains we don’t have a national motto. But we do -although it’s kilometric, asinine, and ridiculous. See Chapter III Section 40 of the Flag Law.

In the blogosphere, two views on Trillanes: The last man standing and The Boy with a New Toy.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

97 thoughts on “Acquittal impossible?

  1. An Urgent Appeal to GO Senators (From Enteng Romano)
    This is a letter we sent to GO Senators, particularly Senators Escudero and Cayetano, last 28 June. For the record, we have spoken with Sen. Escudero about this but have yet to receive a response from Sen. Cayetano.

    Dear Senators

    We are alarmed at the way the fight for the Senate presidency is developing. The 14th Congress has not yet opened, and already we are seeing the people’s mandate for an opposition-dominated Senate being squandered.

    We view with grave concern that because of a factious opposition bloc, it is ultimately the administration bloc who will determine the outcome of the senate presidency. And the next senate president is inevitably allied, if not beholden, to the administration.

    We, therefore, urge the opposition senators ‐ if not the whole bloc, then at least those who won under the GO ticket, to hold a caucus and decide exclusively among yourselves who the next senate president will be. We call on each and every one of you to rise above personal ambitions and loyalties for the higher interest of the people who have pinned their hopes and aspirations upon you in the last election.

    The worst thing that could happen is for the opposition to win with an overwhelming mandate the majority of the 12 seats contested, only to end up as the minority in the 14th Congress.

    We were one with you when you fought the good fight and celebrated a well‐deserved victory. We pray that you will not fail us on this very important issue.

    Vicente R. Romano III
    Lead Convenor – Black and White Movement

  2. the big trouble with you, djb, is that you are too fond of making sweeping conclusions and generalizations, and act as though you are endowed with the ability to know what’s in everybody’s heart and mind. why don’t you just speak for yourself?

    so, erap was just a victim of “smarter” people? how come he appears to have made more money during his presidency than a lot of those smarter people that I think you are referring to? in case you don’t know, even though in your eyes he is the “victim”, he is where he is now because a significant number of people thinks he victimized the nation.

    you compare erap’s alleged sins with what you speculate as the “evil that lurks” in GMA’s “vain and unreprentant” heart (whatever you mean by that).

    i ask you, djb, can you cite just one material thing that GMA and her family, presently possess that they could not have afforded to own prior to entering politics? i’m sure you can come up with an answer. you seem to have a direct connection with TRUTH. please, i need fact, not conjecture a la cayetano or panfilo lacson. talk is cheap, you know.

  3. Bencard,

    The Truth hurts don’t it?

    But asking me to name “…one material thing they could not afford to own…” begs the question of what it is that makes GMA get up in the morning. I don’t think MONEY is her obsession however, and so any immoral equivalence with Erap can’t be weighed on the scale of avariciousness. (Though Mrs. Iggy Arroyo still needs to be heard.)

    Yet Erap’s Avarice will be seen as a small vice compared to her lack of palabra de honor. First when she lied to media about sending that fax to the Supreme Court on 20 january 2001; then “I will not run…” (on Rizal Day pa the lying convent girl!); then “I am sorry” in the case of Garci, but no “I am sorry” or even the most casual concern over the political killings on all sides; then Angelo de la Cruz. then…Shall we go on?

    I think her greatest failure is the deep disappointment she has engendered in many old folks like me.Why? Because she does not see the Presidency as a PUBLIC TRUST but as a private entitlement, a part of her great expectations as the First Daughter now come to the Palace herself. In Erap’s case at least, an adoring if foolish people freely gave him every particle of their sovereignty and hope, only to have her GRAB it from him with Davide’s help.

    Sure, Erap was a cur, but at least he was the People’s choice. We could easily have survived another three years of him. Her place in history will inevitably be on its Cold Shoulder, (with Ferdinand Marcos), for making Baboy the Presidency worse than Erap, and hogging it for nine long years.

    No! Not avarice sir, but cold-hearted Pride.

  4. JL,
    I remember Richard Nixon for two other things than Watergate: (1) he’s the guy who established the EPA and (2) he ended the Vietnam War.

  5. DJB,

    I guess that would be the same way wherein I remember Estrada taking back the Narciso Ramos road and MILF camps (Camp Abu Bakar if I’m not mistaken as one of them) in Mindanao.

  6. Being fair, decent and honorable, that’s all cannot be said of GMA. The Bunye “I have two disks” and the “I am sorry” speech are two incidents that can speak for itself about her. GMA really knows how to win and keep it. Good thing that the rallies to force her out are not happening in full proportion, coz I know she will fight for it (whatever it takes) and the consequence is unthinkable.

  7. All these things are happening because FVR allows it. His shady machinations catapulted GMA to power just so the opening of the Saguisag Report can be avoided. When the Garci Scandal peaked, he rescued her too. He is the man and I say damn the man!

    Alone, GMA has nothing save for Mike Defensor. The control of the country’s security forces are hers only as long as she protects the dark lord. She does not have an Erpa-like genuine ascendancy on which she can fall back. If FVR pulls the plug on her, KAMPI will sink. Party skipper Puno will jump ship and expect the other rats to follow.

    FVR is Save Yourself Eddie. After LAKAS served as his party for the longest time, he leaves them wandering. Now that he is no longer president, there is really no need for a party. KAMPI seems to do the job anyway. It is just like what he did to his youth leader for the ’92 elections, Robin Padilla, whom he abandoned when the usefulness of the actor expired. Loyalty is not an FVR virtue.

    The job of the Magnificent 12 is not done. The powers of the Norte Americano continue to f_ck us up. That poison well is the source of FVR’s dark power. Military Aid, schooling and all the goodies from Uncle Sam are within this Carlsyle Boy’s powers to control. The military institution (that has remained fearful of its traditional enemies such as the reds and foreign backed jihadists) depends on these and so he holds them hostage. Add to that, of course, the greed of some commanders who profit from military assistance.

    In the final analysis, all these crap we are getting is the by-product of foreign power play, irresponsibly putting power on whoever obeys their bidding. You think it was over in ’91 when the earth itself (Mt. Pinatubo eruption) booted out the Americans? Guess again.

    This early, I already pity GMA. All these will be blamed on her later. As we persecute (and maybe even prosecute) the president, FVR and husband-private citizen Pidal’s cabalist gang will be enjoying life in the chatteaus of Europe, sending kids to ivy league schools and frolicing with the Vicky Tohs and Baby Arenases of uglidom. Needless to say, when GMA steps down, FVR will step away (again).

  8. djb, what is truth? i don’t think you know the difference between truth and prejudice. truth , for you, is what your self-righteous, judgmental nature tells you it is. so your main beef against pgma is “lack of palabra de honor” what politician, in this day and age especially, have that? and why is anybody or any group so bitter about her decision to run in 2004? is it because it thwarted his/her/their own ambition to have the presidency in hand? did she make a binding commitment and cast it in stone, a reconsideration of which would make her a detestable person, worst than avaricious? since when did apologizing for a perceived impropriety become a despicable act, or saving one person from being beheaded no matter what the cost?

    your equation of erap’s transgressions with gma’s alleged imperfections shows your own debased sense of values.

  9. Bencard,

    I have only my own two eyes, my own two ears and my own sense of right and wrong. If these be the source of my prejudices then so be it. I cannot help the data that comes streaming through nor control the peculiar moods and predilections of my conscience to them.

    But you ask an interesting question:since when did apologizing for a perceived impropriety become a despicable act, or saving one person from being beheaded no matter what the cost?

    Apologizing for a perceived impropriety becomes a despicable act when the impropriety she apologizes for is the act of talking to an unnamed election commissioner, in and of itself a pretty harmless and common occurrence that does not seem to need any apology at all. That made the apology gratuitous and angered lots of folks because it also seemed to insult their intelligence that she was saying sorry for wrong thing.

    What people wanted to hear was confirmation or denial of what they seemed to be talking about and what they did together as a result of that palabra de garci. The I am sorry speech was like if I burglarized your house, raped your daughter and burned them both down then apologized to you for having talked a local barangay tanod on my way there.

    (2) As for saving the head of one person “at any cost,” would you pay a price like those six young men’s decapitated heads last month in Mindanao? For though we pay lip service to it, the fact is, every capitulation to terrorists, especially greased with ransom money, sets up the next beheading, kidnapping or new terror atrocity. Her Retreat from Baghdad of the Philippine Humanitarian Expeditionary Force to Iraq, (they fit in a single HumVee according to Jay Leno) directly and indirectly, in my opinion to the Abu Sayyaf’s killing of 355 people over the last four years. She proved to them that she could be made to kneel and pay as well.

    I see what you mean by pay any cost to save one person’s head.

  10. so, why are those acts worst than avarice? is refusal to confirm or deny an allegation of wrongdoing comparable to plunder of the nation’s wealth? is an unnecessary, even stupid, “gratuitous” apology a heinous act that deserves condemnation? why should she worry about those “angry” people who hate her anyway for any reason or without reason?

  11. Bencard,

    DOES she worry about those ‘angry’ people who hate her anyway for any reason or without reason? when you are around? I get the impression that she doesn’t give a damn about anybody. Am I wrong about this?

  12. Yes you are wrong about it! VERY VERY WRONG!

    BTW no matter how you defend erap, I strong believe that he is UNFIT for the job…He shoudl have seek treatment of his alcoholism first before he took up the job of a president. Geez he ordered the killing of Bobby Dacer et al did he?

    and despite your demolition job on Davide, I consider him even a hero for saving the nation from Erap!

  13. What crap are you saying rego? His being unfit, alcoholic, womanizer and what not doesn’t erase the fact that Erap was elected by the people! Also, Davide might have played a big role in getting rid of Erap but he also played a big role in the current legal limbo the country is in!

  14. Thanks to all those who are against CHEATING,LYING and STEALING. You are contributing so much to the enlightenment and education of many. If not for that, I’m very tempted to say it’s a complete waste of time putting forth these ideas and thoughts before some of the readers of this blog.

  15. The still to be born Philippine nation is at an important crossroads. While people argue on whether GMA or Erap is the bigger crook (we will never know for sure)as unless present institutional realities are not drastically upgraded which is too much to ask for as it requires generations for it to happen. But based on anecdotal evidence it appears both families profited handsomely during their terms.

    The Philippines is at or close to and could be moving close to the edge of a failed state. The case of the ARRM is a prime example.

    When debt payments came close to overtaking the total amounts of government revenues just three years ago the Philippine state was on the verge of a serious economic crisis.

    We are not out of the woods yet. From a scale of one to ten we are at about 1-2 from the bottom of moving into positive territory. (5-6)

    GMA has the distinction of surpassing all her predecessors in piling on debt. She singlehandedly brought us to the brink. If not for the unprecedented liquidity in the global financial markets we would have gone under. That window of opportunity will not last long. It appears to be moving in the opposite direction. The next two to three years will be critical.

    Now the state is hard pressed to work itself out of that position. Spending for public capital and development of human capital have suffered grievously for more than a generation. How do you go back and repair that damage to the stock of human capital?

    The quality of governance depends on the health and effectiveness of institutions. That effectiveness depends on the strength of the bureaucracy (all branches) to stand up to the material self-interest of the different sectors of society. When that itself becomes the problem you have weakened institutions and hence you have a seeming anarchy of what is loosely termed civil society. Now you label bandits and brigands terrorists to get aid.

    I personally believe that there is no doubt that terrorists use the ARRM as a safe haven since they do know that the Philippine state does not exist in these areas. Cardinal rule of insurgency is the safe haven rule to operate from. Al Qaeda uses the tribal areas in the no-mans land between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The last group to conquer those areas was Alexander the Great and his armies. In those days there was no need to win hearts and minds.

    Even the media itself becomes a part of the problem. To survive economically it has to hire itself out for pay and it becomes difficult to distinguish between news and press releases.

    Policy debates become non-existent and it becomes a cockfight in favor of personality/family based interests.

    Just watching Imelda on the news boasting about how the government should stop persecuting her and her family and that they are rightful owners of all those assets makes one realize that John Q Public (mostly the young) in the Philippines is oblivious and badly educated in the ways of the world. Nothing has changed and the failure of governance in this country that led many to leave the country is the only thing keeping the weak state afloat.

    I think the utter failure of the institutional framework that led to the removal of Erap plus the Garci and now Bedol issue has created an even deeper fissure in the rule of law that serves as the foundation for civil society.

    That remains to be the legacy of Big Mike and GMA. For them to go through their own road to Damascus at this point and time is a stretch.

    Their political power is based on having the guns on their side.

  16. GMA and ERAP are both corrupt. They should both go to hell. Bencard, show them the way!

  17. Rego said: “and despite your demolition job on Davide, I consider him even a hero for saving the nation from Erap!”

    I think our judges should just do what they have to do and that is to judge in their best capacity, fairness and sound judgement rather than even attempt or try to be heroic. Let others do that role, let them be on their own role, that is as “judges”.

  18. JM,

    He was elected by the people but he failed the very peopel that elected him. The electiono f Erap is just one of those “subukan natin” experiment of the electorate. But it did not work so tsugi sya! Is n’t that the reason why no artista was elected to the senate in the last election. People are learning from their mistakes. The election of Erap is their biggest mistake!

  19. Rego, what you said is true. But how do you change a president? Let’s let history decide if the way we handled Erap was the right one or not. (BTW, the Erap case is still unclosed so we may have to wait longer for the verdict.)

  20. J Mariano,

    I read before about ex-Pres. Estrada being described to be in legal limbo.

    But you described the country to be in that situation. Can you please elucidate more on this so everyone can express more input on this issue?

  21. another presumptuous generalization, djb. i don’t think its true that she doesn’t give a damn about anybody. but if she does, i think she should just ignore those who, for reason or no reason, hates her, and just continue doing whatever she thinks is right for the country.

  22. JL,
    My comment is related to the situation where Erap is in. I am arguing in the same line as DJB on this issue where there should have been no legal question (or constitutional question) if GMA declared a revolutionary government as what Cory did.

    At the moment we are at a legal limbo because the country (as I see it) don’t have a definite path on how to deal with or handle the Erap case. A legal limbo, don’t you agree?

  23. At the moment we are at a legal limbo because the country (as I see it) don’t have a definite path on how to deal with or handle the Erap case. A legal limbo, don’t you agree?

    May solusyon d’yan, JM: Charter Change.

  24. Jeg, Cha-cha is an answer but what should be written in the law? Would you like to include constructive resignation? How about legalizing people power? I’m sure great legal minds of our nation can solve the problem, but until then we’re stuck.

  25. “legal limbo”? that sounds to me like an oxymoron. whether anybody understands it or not, we have laws “to deal or handle” estrada’s case. just apply them – convict or acquit him – according to the evidence. Constructive resignation is a valid doctrine, not a novel judicial invention, that is well supported by fact.

  26. J Mariano,

    Unless Estrada suddenly dies, the case will come to a head. It has gone so far that a decision will be reached/has been reached.

    DJB’s contention above is whether there is a legal possibility for Estradas’ acquittal. He implies that there is none because a guilty verdict is foreordained by the need of Society for a comforting legend about Edsa 2 People Power.

    Though you obviously share such sentiments; I do not.

    I believe Estrada’s case can be judged not on the issue of such a need of Society if such does exist.

  27. justice league, a “comforting legend”, as imagined by djb, is not necessary. the history of edsa 2 and erap’s debacle are too recent to be successfully altered by revisionists.

  28. Guys, I believe that (1) Erap did not resign, (2) Erap is alive, and (3) Erap was capable to sit as president when he was deposed. In my mind, no provision in the constitution to remove him was present. Even if it is a given as Rego has mentioned (on which I agree) that Erap is an alcoholic, womanizer, and an unfit president there was no constitutional reason for him to be removed. A revolutionary government should have been declared (as in Cory’s time).

    And Bencard, where in our constitution is Constructive Resignation?

  29. Bencard,

    I just didn’t want to be tied up with a side issue of whether such even exists or not. Next thing you know, someone is going to argue that it does exists and is necessary.

    J Mariano,

    We are all entitled to our own beliefs. The SC however doesn’t share your belief on 1) and that is such a dead issue as far as the SC is concerned that it is hardly going to be overturned anytime soon.

  30. JL, I agree with that observation (that the SC believes Erap resigned). Do you think it will overturned if not soon, later?

    It may not matter to many, but “many” is unquantified so far. That is why I believe that history will be the final judge. It may even be overtaken by events and may never be visited again. But such holes in the legal system may be acceptable to some now, but may not be acceptable in the future. (e.g. If exactly the same situation in 2001 happens while Gloria is sitting.) Who knows?

  31. jon mariano, can you find specific reference to rule of law or right to privacy in the constitution? how about executive privilege, check and balances, separation of powers, to cite a few – are they specifically mentioned in the constitution? they may not be but they are essential part of our constitutional set up and are obeyed by every one, including the courts. aren’t they?

  32. That is correct Bencard, but why did we have four specific reasons for the removal of a president and no specific reasons for “check and balances”, “separation of powers” to cite a few? You’re comparing apples and oranges if not stretching your argument too far.

  33. the point, jon, is that the constitution being the basic, general framework of our whole democratic system, cannot contain all the details (doctrines, principles, precepts), else it would not be a “constitution”. One of the 4 specific ways to remove a president is through RESIGNATION. it doesn’t define how, what, and when it could be carried out.the laws and equities provide that. constructive resignation is a valid principle in equity. i don’t know how else could i explain this matter in a way that you would easily understand but, you see, i am not “comparing apples and oranges” nor “stretching (my) argument too far”. the examples i cited are just to illustrate that not all constitutional principles are “specifically” mentioned but they are recognized and are binding no less.

  34. J Mariano,

    I can’t really say whether I think it will be overturned later or even sooner. One can always hope however.

    But yes, whatever is in the legal system that may be acceptable now might not be acceptable in the future.

    When George W. Bush became President; there was all this rife talk that he will pack the U.S. SC with “conservative” judges that Roe vs. Wade was going to be overturned. I am quite interested and waiting but that hasn’t happened.

    It might not even happen during my lifetime. And it might NEVER happen. But should it do, then that is one proof of your assertion.

    To local matters, the COMELEC will be applying the Panganiban formula on the partylist system instead of the usual 2-4-6. No doubt this will be brought before the SC. And I am interested and waiting for that too and hopefully that will just be in the middle of my lifetime.

    But are you in kind waiting for the day that Estrada vs. Arroyo or Estrada vs. Desierto be overturned? What will you be doing while you are waiting?

  35. Bencard,
    I can see where you’re coming from. But I’m sure that you’ll agree with me that the current interpretation is not written in stone. The next set of SC justices might just rule on it somehow. Or Congress might just write a law on that too, but when they do, are they going to give it

  36. retroactive effectivity? I guess not.

    My point though is that the constitution put in there the specific reasons for the removal of the president because it is of the utmost importance to protect the president for cases like that of 2001.

    I’m a layman but I understand perfectly that the SC cannot write laws and their interpretation of what Erap did was akin to writing the law on what resignation should and can be. They could just as easily say the opposite and who could be the wiser? It is apparent though that what was done was done to support a certain extra-constitutional agenda.

    Each legal case that remains unresolved needs to be resolved sooner or later. No, I’m not waiting for those specific cases, I’m waiting for our laws to be strong enough that it cannot be “fooled” even by powerful men to support their personal agenda.

    In the meantime I will express my opinion and adjust it if necessary, and support ideas/movements that work towards my preferences.

  37. J Mariano,

    “Each legal case that remains unresolved needs to be resolved sooner or later.”

    Well you did say that you yourself think that the SC believes that Estrada resigned. So what legal case are you referring to?

    You can’t be referring to Estrada’s plunder case; otherwise you’d just be reiterating the 1st paragraph of my post on July 10 at 10:07 PM.

  38. jon, the SC doesn’t write laws. when they interpret the constitution and/or statutes in relation to an actual case before it, it tells us what the law is and how it is applied. that, my friend, is the court’s constitutional prerogative.

  39. JL, Bencard
    I believe the current SC justices believe that Estrada resigned. This is not written in stone. “Constructive resignation” could have been ruled the other way, i.e. what Estrada did was not “resignation”. I consider this case unclosed.

    As I have pointed out, the constitution put in there 4 specific reasons for presidention succession meaning that outside of that the president (even if he’s unfit to be president because he’s immoral, alcoholic, etc) cannot be removed.

    Now if we contort what is in the highest law of the land so that we can justify the removal of a president, that is akin to “writing” the law. There’s just too much leeway for saying that “constructive resignation” is interpretation of the word “resignation” in the constitution.

    For example, when Nixon resigned, was there any need to interpret it?

  40. J Mariano,

    Well Nixon did employ the precise words.

    But if you want to be likewise; shouldn’t you be complaining also about the “SHE’s” in elected office? How many referrals to “she” are there in the Charter?

  41. jon mariano: no supreme court decision is carved in stone but until it is overruled in a subsequent case, or congress legislate to change it, it is the law. you can disobey or defy it but you will have to go outside the law at your own risk.

    in resigning, estrada did not use the word “resignation” but did all the acts necessary to justify a conclusion that he did resign. for instance, if you leave your wife for good, you cannot say to the court, in the ensuing suit by your wife, that you did not abandon her because you never used the word “abandon”.

  42. Bencard, point taken. Why is a soldier said to be AWOL if he doesn’t report for work and not resigned? Why interpret what Erap did as resigned, instead of maybe “dereliction” of duty?

    To make it clearer, what were the specific acts or series of acts that in your opinion made Erap resign?

  43. i think, from my own observation, what made erap resign, jon, are (1) fear for his life seeing and feeling the wrath of the multitudes; (2) despair over the fact that he was abandoned by most of the people he trusted; (3) belief that he had to give up the fight that, in his mind at least, he could not win; and (4) to avoid bloodshed and save the lives of her loved ones, among others.

    i believe his constructive resignation was manifested in his flight from the palace in very distraught, teary-eyed and in disheveled appearance; saying and/or gesturing final goodbye to palace staff and habitues; and most of all, signing a letter explaining why he decided to give up the presidency, i.e., to preserve peace and prevent possible violence, among other things.

  44. Bencard, you criticize MLQ3 for saying that GMA is in fear but here you’re saying that that is what Erap felt then, but that’s okay because you said that it is what you believe. What we believe can be wrong of course, so let’s leave that aside in the argument over Erap’s resignation.

    You mentioned two things in your last comment, Erap’s signing of a letter explaining why he decided to leave the “presidency”, and his flight from Malacanang.

    Honestly, this is the first time I heard of that kind of letter. Who keeps this letter? Is this letter different from what Erap sent to Congress saying that he’s in temporary leave of absense? Or is it what Dean is saying the “sample” resignation letter GMA’s messengers wanted erap to sign before he’s sent off to exile?

    Secondly, leaving the palace to avoid bloodshed means resignation? Or can it be also construed as it is, just to avoid bloodshed?

    In these two things that you mentioned that meant Erap’s resignation, I personally find unacceptable.

  45. look jon, i am not trying to convince you, one way or the other. we believe what we believe. you have asked me specifically for my opinion. i oblige. take it or leave it. personally, i really don’t care if you find my assessment unacceptable, or that of the supreme court. it’s not gonna change things, believe you me!

  46. J Mariano,

    It seems you and Bencard have made peace.

    But you are asking about the letter.

    Is the letter different? Yes it was.

    Is it the “sample” resignation letter Dean is saying? No.

    Who keeps this letter? I don’t really know what happens to evidence reviewed by the SC afterwards but the SC reviewed this letter. I sugggest you look for it at the SC.

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