Resignation isn’t a get out of jail free card

Let me pay tribute to my former professor, Alex Magno, and his column today, on Burma. I’ve often been critical of him, but this column was splendid.

Concerning Benjamin Abalos,Oragon! asks, why resign? Newsstand and Ricky Carandang boils down the whole thing to its essentials: Abalos knew he’d be impeached, and he decided to fall on his sword to spare his family dire political prospects and spare the Palace fallout. tonyo features a roundup of blogger reactions. And of course, smoke rocks (not that I always agree).

Personally, my view is simple. For those calling for his resignation for ages now, don’t hit a man when he’s down. He resigned to save his ass, but he still resigned. Give him credit for that. Now, on to the harder part, hauling him off to court. Credit is due for resigning but that’s as far as credit goes. In a country where too few resign despite the public clamor to do so, he did it; but he also did it, to avoid what could have been an historic impeachment. So a historic trial necessarily comes next.

A quick note, primarily addressed to faithful reader Bencard, who has gotten me thinking on my tendency to support leniency for former president Estrada. My general principle is imprisonment really does nothing, I think it only leads to hardened and tougher criminals. In fact, my inclination is to support imprisonment only for three kinds of criminals: murderers, rapists/molesters and big-time drug dealers. All other crimes should be handled with fines and some sort of community service truly beneficial to the public. Anyone who has ever visited a jail, talked to inmates, knows that those crammed into jails enter a nightmarish world in which crime rules every aspect of the inmates’ lives.

For political crimes including plunder, which is grand-scale theft, I really think that what that UP Professor pointed out is a good idea. He clarified that what he said was the Filipino concept of justice is restitution, not retribution, that for Estrada, what the public wanted wasn’t just for the money he stole or illegally acquired to be returned to the public, but that he should also then quit politics, having betrayed public trust.

So, I support Estrada’s being allowed to go home, but only on two conditions: that assets forfeited by the courts remain forfeited (Estrada claims, anyway, rightly or wrongly, those assets were never his) but also, a ban on political participation. He can go home, but shut up, and not even be allowed to vote. And that should be the rule for all public officials accused of illegally amassing fortunes: return the money, and quit politics. Without these two requirements, no pardon should be considered or offered, because as so many have reminded me, there is an important precedent that’s been set.

The ever-impressive Mon Casiple gives his analysis of the whole ZTE deal and its fallout:

Neri testified that the President told him not to accept the bribe. He thought that may be sufficient to end the matter, even if it puts Abalos in hot water. However, he refused to elaborate or to testify on other conversations with the President regarding the ZTE matter, citing “executive privilege.”

Of course, this puts the Neri testimony on a continuing downslide thereafter as senators expectedly try to elicit the information behind the “executive privilege.” Many do not believe he told the other half of the truth, may be not even the truth he told — primarily because of his own hypes before the Senate testimony. It is also a glaring inconsistency when he readily volunteered the fact of his talk with the President regarding the Abalos bribe, but not the other talks on the ZTE matter itself.

However, we can already glimpse something from the Neri testimony. One, there is definitely the BIG ONE in terms of information hiding behind the “executive privilege.” Two, there are possibly others–more powerful and far more vulnerable–deeply involved in the ZTE scandal. Three, the ZTE scandal has implications that go to the heart of the survival of the GMA administration and ruling coalition–possibly more than the Garci tapes scandal itself.

Secretary Neri is protecting not only the President but an entire arrangement regarding Chinese investments and loans in the Philippines. The arrangement, I think, stinks to high heavens. It is too early to say but there are certain implications already on Philippine national security, the government’s “special relations” with the United States, Philippine sovereignty and national patrimony, violations of the Constitution, and sectoral concerns.

Senator Miriam Santiago is partly correct when she raised the observation that it is all a “squabble over kickbacks.” After all, at the heart of it all is the purported availability of some $18 billion dollars for Chinese investments and loans for the Philippines–a sum approaching, if not surpassing, the money available during the Marcos one-man rule. Senator Mar Roxas himself said the ZTE deal seems to be a “supply-side” decision–meaning the availability of the Chinese money preceded the project. However, as the ZTE drama unfolds, it is slowly becoming clear that what is at stake is the survival of the GMA administration itself.

Given the situation that she failed to reconcile with the opposition after the 2007 elections, that she still does not have any agreement with any or all of the presidentiables, and that there is the inability (for the present) to force a martial rule, GMA is running a clear risk of going down even before the 2010 term ending. The clock is running out on her, with diminishing influence over events as perceptions increase over her lame-duck presidency. The ruling coalition does not have a viable presidentiable at this time, cannot absorb the pressures, and may disintegrate well before 2010.

The ZTE scandal may well be the Waterloo of the Arroyo presidency.

New Philippine Revolution asks, who’s next?

Meanwhile, Arroyo: Name 4 senators who leaked Neri executive session.

Yesterday’s blog entry triggered a flashback in Slap Happy: there’s a related entry in Tongue In, Anew.

Quixotic Kibitzer asks tough questions concerning the telcos and wiretapping.In an earlier blog entry, Ricky Carandang points out the AFP now has ample justifications for disciplining some of its personnel.

Manila Bay Watch tackles questions of corruption.

stories from the middle earth press room on school rivalries.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

199 thoughts on “Resignation isn’t a get out of jail free card

  1. Shaman, re: impeaching a resigned impeachable official. It is not because the object or punishment for impeachment is the removal from office of the person that a resigned and formerly impeachable official cannot anymore be impeached. That puts the cart before the horse. The reason a resigned official cannot anymore be impeached is because he is no longer an impeachable official. Now, if the impeachment process was started before he/she resigned, that is another matter. Some say it cannot prosper because the objective of impeachment of removing the impeachable official was already met and there is no longer any obstacle to his criminal prosecution. Others say that removal is not the only punishment that may be meted an impeachable official but perpetual disqualification also from holding public office. Under such justification, any impeachment started before the official resigned may be continuedas though it were an administrative case against a former civil service officer who may be barred from public office after conviction by the impeachment court.

  2. cvj,geo,mlq3

    I see where Geo is coming from and frankly I am an advocate of “obedience” to the rules in a black or white application. We are after all a government of laws. I believe in drawing a line that must not be crossed as in doing so would be to infringe on another man’s rights putting it simply and I also believe that it is a leader’s responsibility to clearly, succinctly, briefly, and yes express/explain in the simplest form the seemingly “complex” rules that govern us and enforce them without prejudice. People can be taught to “toe the line” in so many ways, it will depend on your leadership style – you have a choice : modelling, positive reinforcement, and my favorite aversion technique, there are others of course equally effective.

    This being said, i also see cvj’s point. He is looking at the issue from a pragmatist’s point of view, the viability of actual implementation of these rules. Our current leaders, perhaps most of them are lawyers apparently are not intent on implementing such rules but rather are more sophisticated in finding the exceptions, the loopholes, and the technicalities otherwise known as the “gray areas” and exploit them for their own advantage. This is one of the reasons I’m sure why cvj disagrees with “following the rules” blindly.

    The shrewd will always take advantage of this “blind spot” in our society and to a great extent have been very successful, these “puppeteers” sometimes are hidden, some are are so brazen.

  3. Devils, have you been to a remote barangay hall lately? You really think that remote barangay hall and barangay officials need the “national” broadband network? Or maybe you are referring to key agencies? If it is the key agencies, then I guess it can be justified. But national? I do not think so.

  4. Beandcurd, right you are. Key agencies it is. But it would still be national, wouldn’t it? after all, govt key agencies are scattered around the Philippines. City Halls, Govt departments, you name it. But brgy halls – really.

  5. “This is what I’ve been pointing out right from the start of the ZTE scandal. The project is noteworthy, but was hijacked by greedy interests. Unlike what the UP professors claimed, we do need this infrastructure, and contrary to popular belief, private telcos does not have the capability to support this infrastructure.”

    Personally and based on experience I want this project. I want this as much as I hate taking the bus to work or anywhere else when I can afford to buy a car to make my life easier and work more efficiently.

  6. Beancurd,

    If the objective is to mete out the punishment of disqualification from holding public office, won’t a conviction in Sandiganbayan or in any criminal court achieve the same thing?

  7. ramrod, and jz for one example wherein a govt network would help is the nightmare in getting documents at the NSO. you won’t believe the inefficiency of this agency. I’ve been married since January of this year, yet until now I have yet to get an NSO marriage certificate.

    you have to start lining up here in its provincial office in Naga at 5 am. the lines extend past outside the building and snake around it. imagine your horror if you endure this line and when you get at the counter, they tell you Manila NSO is holding your document hostage. they can neither get to it, nor issue one themselves.

  8. mlq3,

    I’m sure the process could have been done better; it always can be. Do you happen to have the 16- or 17-step SOP they are supposed to follow? I’d love to see that. Aside from the tech issues, this was also a muddled, confusing issue.

    You (or Abe?) think it was a “bright idea” though? I’m from the general industry and I think it’s a good idea. The UP profs don’t though.

    I saw their exchange with Enrile…it seemed that the UP guys are — shall we say — on the same page as PLDT…which definitely does NOT like the idea. Look at the name of their paper — “Lacking Backbone”. Half of the two pages are about bad government. That smells funny already…if their task is to convince someone about the technical merits/demerits. Their technical arguments, meanwhile, are like a salesman’s pitch: Half true and purposefully omitting important points that DON’T support their conclusions.

    My position is that we should NOT move on from reviewing and implementing the project (correctly, I must stress) and that the proper authorities SHOULD investigate the alleged hanky-panky (and not just drop it/move on).

    But, the issue should definitely move on from the Senate/Media Circus — they are incapable of doing this right. They’ve proven that already. Beyond a shadow of doubt. Take out the BS politics and do the investigations properly…via the courts.

    BTW, you never answered me — who gets to decide when the rules are too blind and that a certain “context” trumps the rules?

    No, I have nothing to do with the government. When I say “us”, I mean ALL of us (you and me included). There are brazen violators everywhere…starting with red-light runners, bribe givers, tax cheats…..

    The rules are for all to obey. No excuses.

  9. After all the hullaballoo, I thought Joey DV was really after Abalos? Now he goes to the media and says that he is not filing a case agaianst abalos? Did Joey finally realize that he was indeed and should have recuse himself from bidding in the ZTE deal? Due to his affiliation with the JDV. So were it not for the senate hearing and the implication of his illegal bid in the ZTE deal, he would have been equally guilty as Abalos. HAving a hand in the pie not for them. Joey De V is has dirt in his hands too… The senate should have investigated him and castigated him in the same line with Abalos… Now why not? The ever trying hard senator Jinggoy should pose the same trying hard cross-examination technique with Joey!!! Don’t you think so?

    If the senator did the same thing… they might actually find the BIG FISH TUNA from Joey. Who is the other Big fish and the cohorts in this Fiasco…. To top it all the senators might actually catch the whole school of fish involved in this Multi Million Scam….

    On the other hand the senator who castigated Abalos probably are selective of who they want to pin down. Oh well…. That’s Politics…. Personal “interests” of those in power does not necessarily follow that this are interests of the people as a whole.

  10. Shaman, it would indeed, but the big if there is the conviction part. however, the justification for the second view is that the process has already started and the jursidiction of the impeachment court has already been invoked. The question then is, would it be good policy to allow throwing out the jurisdiction of the impeachment court just because the impeacheable official resigned? Like i said, this is one of the 2 views i am aware of on the matter and the SC had no ocassion yet to rule on the issue. What do you think is the better policy?

    Devils, i highlighted the barangay because it is the fourth, fifth, six class municipalities or the “last mile connectivity” that has been harped on as the government’s justification for the NBN project as “national” in scope. the remote barangay hall pretty much sums that up. And the heck, many barangays do not even have a barangay hall and government proposes to supply then with computers to be “housed” under the mango tree?
    And by the way, these private telcos do not exist for public service, that is merely secondary. And as long as no one complains, or rather no one of “significance” complains (if i remember it right, MLQ3 once complained ’bout his DSL connection in his column and, mlq3, did you get fast service then?), they go on their old profitable ways unless threatened with either better competition or government action.
    If government bidding its NBN needs to private telcos would make them shape up, boy, would that not be wonderful for us mere mortals?

  11. Those people who’s reputation was tainted with corruption must quit politics nor hold any public office. people enter politics not from a sense of public service but in pursuit of personal power and advancement. corruption weakens the very structures of an organized society as it undermines the forces of law and order, and reduces public morale. In the long run, both economic and political developments become crippled. The most obvious effect of political corruption is a loss of public esteem for politicians and political life. The cynical view that ‘politics is a dirty business’ becomes a reality.

    There is no saint in political world where everybody steals. They will probably not be caught since investigators are busy chasing other thieves, and even, if caught, the chances of prosecution and a severe penalty for such common crime will be low. Therefore,they steal. As everyone is now stealing, more taxes to the people to replace those stolen have to be acquired. as newly elected politician join the traditional politician, they too are trained how to steal, and the cycle continues. On the other hand, if they work in an entity where theft is rare and the chances of them being caught and punished are high,they will most definitely choose not to steal.

    A contractor offers them a bribe to help him get a lucrative contract even though other contractor could have offered a lower price to the same project. A few hours later, they receive a telephone call from the Godfather who would have liked a cut of their bribe. He suggests that if they accept the bribe, they have a far way to go in politics. They take the bribe and share it with the Godfather, costs of the project rise and more money have to be spent on a contract which could have been obtained much cheaper. These additional costs are passed on to the people in the form of higher taxes which bring out burden to the economic costs, social implications and other rippling effects of the evil of corruption, it spreads uncontrollably, and economic costs rise. Corruption is not an absolute condition. It can range from acts of violence to rules being bent and a blind eye turned to acts that a completely moral society would consider offensive. The range of variations of corruption is as wide as the criminal minds that conceive. Now, Why should I pity Abalos if he resigned ,he need to answer for his crime!

  12. Beancurd, i think KARAH is just getting some SLEEP. In the other THREAD, she was complaining about getting EYEBAGS from too much BLOGGING.

  13. What, in the Government’s track record, will assure me that the NBN system would be run efficiently? The Telepono sa Barangay? The so-called French Protocol?

    Closer to Devils’ heart, who can argue against the benefits of an efficient railway system? But look at the Philippine National Railways.

    What assurance is there that Devils’ marriage certificate will be finally uploaded even with the expensive NBN in place? What reason is there to believe that the Government will be able to digitize all its records even within the 20 years that it will take the Filipino people to pay off the Chinese loan? I checked the status of my SSS premium payments online last week and discovered that they have not uploaded my payments from November 2006 onwards. Enough of real time.

    Why should I think that NBN will revolutionize the work ethics of the government bureaucracy?

  14. Beancurd, personally, I would prefer that Abalos undergo impeachment proceedings. He should have been impeached a long time ago.

  15. Imagine your horror if you endure this line and when you get at the counter, they tell you Manila NSO is holding your document hostage. they can neither get to it, nor issue one themselves – Devilsadvc8

    Why are we assuming that lack of a National Broadband Network is the problem? The bottleneck may be in the approval process (including background investigation) etc. The proper way to go about it is to (1) identify the existing process, (2) identify bottlenecks and improvements, (3) redefine the process (or organization), and lastly, identify areas where automation will help. Of course, interested vendors will be happy if you do the last part first.

  16. By the way, Beancurd, INE raised the matter of to whom should Abalos tender his resignation letter?

    In corporate practice, an employee tenders his resignation to the appointing authority. Since the President appoints the Comelec Chairman, should the latter tender his resignation to the former? Does the fact that the Comelec chairmanship is a constitutional position have a bearing on the situaion? Should Abalos tender his resignation to Congress?

  17. beancurd,

    if you would make an analogy of the impeachment process vis-a-vis the ordinary judicial process in the case of Abalos, I don’t think the jurisdiction of the “impeachment court” has already attached. Take note that the impeachment complaint hasn’t even been passed to the plenary nor approved by 1/3 of the House. Basically, the process is still in the preliminary investigation stage. At any time, there is the possibility that the complaint will not reach the Senate.

    As to the question whether an impeachable official can still resign while undergoing trial in the Senate, that is another question. Because the impeachment court can also impose absolute disqualification from public office as a penalty, it seems logical that the impeachment court can proceed with the trial even if the officer has already quit his post. However, from a pragmatic point of view, it would seem prudent that the Senate should terminate the trial and just allow the courts to impose the appropriate punishment in a criminal case. The Senate can ill-afford to use its time trying the fitness of a person to hold public office. Stated otherwise, the disqualification to hold public office is better determined in a judicial proceeding rather than in a political one such as in an impeachment trial.

  18. But, the issue should definitely move on from the Senate/Media Circus — they are incapable of doing this right. They’ve proven that already. Beyond a shadow of doubt. Take out the BS politics and do the investigations properly…via the courts. – Geo

    The Courts come at a later stage. In this Administration which likes to do things by stealth, the Senate (along with the Press) is one of the few sources by which our society gets to know relevant information about the government’s activities in a *timely* manner. On Paper, it should be the Ombudsman that should be performing that role, but you know how it is.

    BTW, you never answered me — who gets to decide when the rules are too blind and that a certain “context” trumps the rules? – Geo

    Everyone…and no one. In modern society, it cannot be any simpler than that.

  19. INE: I don’t think Abalos has to submit his resignation letter to the President, except perhaps to inform the Prez. As to the “irrevocable” tag, that’s pretty meaningless. A resignation can be revoked only by the person resigning. So, even if he writes “irrevocable” but later changes his mind, he can’t be bound by his letter. Neither can the person resigning bind the person who has final authority to accept the resignation.

  20. Beancurd, I see your point. Incidentally, that “last mile” problem isn’t an exlusive problem of the Philippines. Even the US are having problems hurdling that “last mile.” I linked a related article in a previous thread. The US tried to go the private route in hurdling the last mile, and wouldn’t you know it, their attempt went kaput.

    cvj, shaman – both of you have a point. why am i assuming the problem is in the failure of automation and going online of govt data? and what assurances can we have that this network would indeed improve services dramatically? tough questions that the govt should’ve taken time to explain to us, taxpayers who will eventually pay for this network.

  21. cesar,

    “Did Joey finally realize that he was indeed and should have recuse himself from bidding in the ZTE deal? Due to his affiliation with the JDV. So were it not for the senate hearing and the implication of his illegal bid in the ZTE deal, he would have been equally guilty as Abalos. HAving a hand in the pie not for them. Joey De V is has dirt in his hands too… The senate should have investigated him and castigated him in the same line with Abalos… Now why not?”

    Basahin mong mabuti yun buong Section 5. Prohibition on certain relatives. ng RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act),

    Don’t make the same mistake as Ponce Enrile. He only read that part of the law that supported his argument. Nagmukha siyang gago nung binasa sa kanya ni Joey yun exceptions.

  22. Shaman, i do not know whether there is any one person that abalos should give his resignation letter. i think, maybe, to the Comelec en banc, given its “independent” nature. But certainly not to the president and especially not requiring the consent to the resignation. what i believe is that no one should be made to serve involuntarily, including abalos, but that does not justify abandonment of office in case there is no one to mind the store in the meantime.

    Jaxius, you raised good points. But if you will read the provisions of the constitution on impeachment, it is one seamless process consisting two stages, 1) the initiation stage which concludes with the transmittal of the articles of impeachment to the senate; and 2) the trial stage before the senate. the first one is as much a part of the “impeachment court” as the trial at the senate so that you cannot confine what we term as the “impeachment court” to the senate only. I do not even remember the constitution mentioning the word “impeachment court.”
    It really boils down to the question of what is the better policy, regardless of whether the case is before the House or it is already with the Senate. In any case, it is the sound discretion of the houses involved that would justify termination of the impeachment process, not merely the fact of resignation.
    Take the situation where at the trial before the senate or in the “preliminary investigation” before the house, Congress is at the brink of unearthing materially explosive evidence that they can only get through the impeachment process and would not otherwise be able to get through ordinary civil or criminal litigation, sound judgment dictates that they should continue with the process, at least until the evidence necessary for criminal cases to prosper is obtained. And contrary to some opinion by the high and mighty SC, my opinion is Congress should be the sole judge of that.

  23. Devils, i come from the vendor side of the business (over 18 years) and i can tell you that a lot of the time and effort spent by our industry is to generate wants and hyping up the next big thing. Sometimes the need is genuine but not all the time. I suppose that’s ok when it comes to gadgets like xbox, iPhone, text messages etc. Caveat emptor and all that. However, i believe it should be different when it comes to the people’s (i.e. the public’s) money.

  24. Why not to Congress, instead of Comelec “en banc”, since the former is the people’s direct representative?

    Of course, involuntary servitude is unlawful, but I was wondering about the case of Brazil’s Collor de Mello whose resignation was rejected by Congress and who was impeached instead. I wish our Congress could do the same with Abalos.

  25. if the baranggay’s to be the basic unit of government, then it should be the first place anyone goes to, to transact government-related business. one stop shop. i’d like to just go to my baranggay hall to get my national id card (and renewing it can then also settle my paying traffic tickets, if any, and my community tax certificate), to pay my income tax, file documents needed to renew my passport or get birth certificates, etc. etc.

    a kid who has no internet connection should be able to access the national library, etc. from the baranggay as a right. anyone should be able to get an immediate print out of laws, regulations, etc. relevant to their needs from the baranggay, i mean, the options and benefits are endless.

  26. shaman, constitutionally, a president is immune from suit while in office. so impeachment’s the only way, i believe that also applies to constitutional officers, sc justices and comelec comm., for example. only means of accountability while theyre in office.

  27. geo, i believe the was due to post the 16 step flowchart, it may be up in its special section on zte.

    when sen. biazon was grilling neri on it, i was frustrated because you know, it’s not like overhead projectors havent been around for half a century. they could have projected it so everyone can follow along.

    same thing applies to the process of amending bills. if you just had a couple of giant monitors and clerks on keyboards, they could say, hey, lets substitute this for that, everyone sees it as it happens, a printout’s made, etc.

    another personal obsession i have is the stupid length of time it takes to even hold a vote. in the us congress, i believe they have a system of something like atm cards, when you vote, you insert your card, proof you’re there, and pick the yes, no, or abstain button. the results are tallied immediately on a screen.

    it also then allows a record of who voted how for what and when, to made avaiable to the public.

    recently i was talking to some permanent employees of the house and mentioned it, and they laughed. one said, its expensive. the other said, ah, theyd never agree because then they can’t change their votes…

  28. beancurd, yes it got me a quick response, and so i forwarded everybody else’s complaints. i ended serving as a kind of clearing house for a while, for complaints. hope it helped some people, but goes to show you why media is so crucial here, sometimes its the only way anyone gets what should be basic customer service achieved.

    my mother has been in consumer activism for something like 30 years and boy is it an uphill fight for people like her, even with a law she’s still perpetually having to remind people the “no return no exchange” policy is illegal.

  29. mlq3, I cannot agree with you more on the ideal situation in the barangay. But the realities are far from that ideal situation so it boils down to a question of priorities which should always be asked of government projects. At this time, providing computers in the barangays where there is nowhere to house it in the first place (unless it will be set up in private homes) or there is no access to electricity would just be a waste of taxpayers’ money.

  30. mlq3, in your vision of the barangay as the one stop shop, the first thing that should be done is to pilot such a set-up using existing telco infrastructure (via existing ISP). Start small, see first if it works and iron out the kinks. After it is successful in one pilot then do a larger pilot to see if the scheme works in a larger scale. Once a critical mass is reached, only then can we determine whether a barangay driven network deserves a separate backbone.

    As to the internet-cafe for students, isn’t the public school a better venue for this? There, the equipment can be used for multiple purposes (including consolidating election results).

  31. mlq3, that is one frustration i have with government in relation to media. when media complains, government and even private businesses respond immediately. when it is the ordinary person on the street, you are made to wait for your turn. That is where I do not agree with media’s claim of not being corrupt. When there is a line and an ordinary person is made to await his turn to be at the front, the same basic rule should also be accorded media complaints or complaints coursed through the media. They should be made to wait for their turn. but that is not the case and the media more often than note gets ahead of those lining up.
    some try to make a distinction and argue that that is not corruption. my short answer to that is, well, substitute publicity for the bribe money that facilitates attention to your complaint and see if there is any difference.

  32. Beancurd If you happen to drop by the Article of MLQ3 entitled: “The Empire Strikes Back”, you will find me there. It’s so funny to think that you zeroed-in on the ZTE deal (I think you better read my comments at the previous Blog). Do I smell PARANOIA and DELUSIONS in here? By the looks of it, you’re suffering from one of those. 😀

    Is there a written or unwritten RULE in this Blog of MLQ3 that PROHIBITS what opinion you say or you’re merely attacking my opinions for the simple reason that you disagree with it? That is so low. I would have enjoyed an exchange of views rather than a “misplaced condescending attitude.” Whether I’m being LEGALISTIC or not is my right, is it not?

    The last time I heard most of the Commenters in here are OPEN-MINDED, but what I see in you is that you’re suffering from MYOPIA. Hey, this Blog Entry is not the ONLY Blog entry of MLQ3. Try to visit the other Blog Entries.

    FYI: Whether you like it or not, I’m here to stay. 😛

  33. “I wonder if it is just coincidence. I’ve been following this blog for a while but I have not read Karah before. Then just as the ZTE deal was about to become explosive and the counter-prop of the administration was in full swing, tadah! you have her here suddenly with blazing guns, so to speak. And now that the ZTE probe had gone pfft, she had gone pfft too. Is this just a coincidence or am I reading too much out of this coincidence? And is she not being too legalistic (she sounded exactly like Apostol in her arguments)? Last I heard, this is not the court of law, this space is the court of public opinion, ain’t it?” – Beancurd

    Hmmmmm. What if she’s actually GMA (you never can tell, she’s certainly eloquent enough to be…)or maybe mini me – Luli? hahahahaha! hahahahaha! (ala Dr. Evil)

  34. mlq3, who can argue against motherhood? Of course, all those endless benefits and possibilities are good. But, we are a poor country. We have more basic priorities. Getting a broadband backbone for the government is like a poor family spending its meager resources on luxuries. With the NBN project, the government just wanted to have the trappings of modernity and technological advancement which it could ill-afford, just like that poor family wanting to have the trappings of wealth.

    For all we know, that kid in the barangay might not even have a classroom to go to, or might not even be eating 3 square meals a day.

    Maybe, for us here in the city with a comfortable lifestyle, these technological advances can be taken for granted. But, if we asked the poor rural folks, I wonder if they would choose Internet connectivity over affordable health care services.

  35. karah, good of you to be staying here for quite a while longer. but coincidences are coincidences, there is no disputing the facts. well for one advocating exchange of views, you certainly spared some labels for me. but that is ok.
    we certainly had a good exchange on that common sense thing. And i think Shaman of Malilipot will agree with me on conversations such as the Sec, may 200 ka dito as having to be viewed in the context it is made or, as a sub-context, within the cultural backgound of those having the converstation. Otherwise, if i talk to an Indonesian (according to Shaman) distinguishing an ayam, for which i am referring to a dog, from a manok, which refers to neri, err chicken, then i might probably have my head bitten off by him if i insist on the distinction.

  36. Beancurd,

    I don’t consider the whole impeachment process as seamless because not all impeachment complaints end up being transmitted to the Senate. It is characterized by two distinct stages, as you mentioned (as to the term “impeachment court”, take note that I enclosed the term in quotation marks in my earlier post and only picked it up from your post to which i replied to.)

    We should distinguish between process and jurisdiction. Jurisdiction, as defined, is the power to try and decide a case. The House has no such authority but is merely empowered by the constitution to initiate the impeachment process. It does not act as a “court”. In the case of former US President Nixon, he resigned before he was formally impeached although the articles of impeachment have already been forwarded by the House Judiciary Committee to the plenary, just like Abalos.

  37. Beancurd, certainly I am a great believer in viewing things, both words and actions, in their proper context.

  38. karah, or maybe in the language of the lgbts, theoretically if you are a male, and one of them says to you “papa, may 200 ba ako dyan” despite he/she not being your son/daugther, maybe you can pretend to be his/her papa and give him/her an allowance of say, 200 golf balls?

  39. cjv, re: school pc’s, yes. and a long long way to go. i was astounded when i recently visited adel tamano at pamantasan ng lungsod ng maynila which he now heads. the school does very well in the national board exams in various fields -but when i visited, about 2 weeks ago, they were about to install their very first set of pc’s for the students. three pc’s on that day.

    letran, practically next door, has wifi for everybody and even the grading i do is all on an excel sheet and submitted thru the net to the admin.

  40. “Maybe, for us here in the city with a comfortable lifestyle, these technological advances can be taken for granted. But, if we asked the poor rural folks, I wonder if they would choose Internet connectivity over affordable health care services.”

    Shaman, I actually come from the province, these poor rural folk will prefer food more than anything else but focusing on subsidies for “free” healthcare or feeding programs are probably short term solutions and will not be sustainable in the long run either. If we equip our civil servants to make them more effective, more efficient in their jobs – I’m sure this will translate to increased productivity, not to mention increase morale. I don’t believe all our civil servants are bad…some, if not most, are there good people just like us.

  41. beancurd, it is a situation wide open for abuse. thing is, media’s even more immediately accountable to the public than public officials. you think a journalist has crossed the line, you stop reading -and the journalist’s clout evaporates; take it further, and the paper/station loses readers/viewers. it’s a day-by-day referendum.

    but as it is, the media is a megaphone. the pissed off consumer gets to yell very loud and the yell summons others who were also angry but didnt know what to do. there’s the potential benefit. the dark side is, the media could then warn officials/companies hey, we’ll turn on the megaphone unless….

    as with media, and government, and even civic clubs, it boils down to checks and balances.

  42. jaxius, do you not think that the question of dismissing the complaint should still be left to the sound discretion of the House, notwithstanding the resignation? Afterall, there is nothing in the constitution that says that if the official resigns after the filing of the complaint, then the process is deemed terminated. If the House has that discretion, then isn’t that an exercise of its jurisdiction? Just like a criminal case where the accused dies at any stage after his arrest. The court’s jurisdiction is not ousted or the proceeding automatically terminated by virtue merely of the death of the accused. It is the court’s disposition of the case that finally terminates it.

  43. everyone: if there was ever a luli internet brigade, they seem to have disbanded or decided it’s not worth their while.

    those with pro anti or neutral gma views i think have proven they do so on their own and not because of other incentives.

    which is not to say the minions of she who must not be named aren’t keeping tabs, but let’s leave it at that.

  44. Beancurd Your context is in the “context of how you see things.” I don’t think it’s matter of whether somebody agrees with your or not. It’s a matter of how a person view and sees things. 😛

    Yes, I have a mouthful of words to say for people who think their opinion is that only opinion that exist in this Blog. The game is pretty simple – either you join in or give up. I chose to join in and with it my strategies of how I play the game. 😀 Don’t play the victim.

    My point of view on the matter would border on “the legal aspects” of the said “little chitchat” between Abalos and Neri on the phrase: “Sec. may 200 ka dito.” You have your own opinion, I have mine. So don’t come saying that your opinion is better, okay. It’s so “cheap.” nahhhhhh

    If I ask you this, would the HIS WORD (Abalos) against HIS WORD (Neri) scenario stand in Court? Tell me. As long as I read my name in some comment, I don’t back down. It’s all a game in here and I’m not even serious yet. Just gauging how people react and reply to certain “semantics.” 😀

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