There are two pending House resolutions on charter change. The first was proposed by the House committee on constitutional amendments, also known as the Jaraulla version. The other version is the one submitted by Prospero Pichay.
The two versions differ on the one issue near and dear to Mrs. Arroyo’s heart – to remain in Malacanang for as long as possible no matter what.
Pichay’s substitute resolution, unlike the Jaraulla version, takes care of GMA – next May’s election will be cancelled in favor of parliamentary elections in November 2007 and a provision allowing the interim parliament to impeach Arroyo is deleted.
Pichay enjoys Malacanang’s unequivocal support. Malaya quotes an unidentified Palace source, “They (the Arroyos) are not comfortable with De Venecia at the forefront of the con-ass campaign because of his ambition to become prime minister.”
Speaker De Venecia’s commitment to a parliamentary system is real. He has been advocating it ever since we can remember. Whether his ambition is to become premier or not is, we believe, secondary to his goal of seeing the country adopt a unicameral-parliamentary system.
Mrs. Arroyo, on the other hand, is a recent convert. She adopted it during the 2004 election because a shift to a parliamentary system was part of the Lakas platform. However, her heart was not in it because as soon as she was esconced in Malacanang she said her support for a shift was premised on one occuring AFTER 2010. When the Garci tapes were revealed and her hold on power was threatened, Mrs. Arroyo suddenly felt the urgency for a shift
Will JDV settle for a parliament characterized by Mrs. Arroyo’s own defense secretary as ” tailor-made to suit a particular agenda” ?
Is there really a battle royale brewing between JDV and Mrs. Arroyo or are we witnessing another elaborate “good cop, bad cop moro-moro” ?
It’s obvious Pichay is a trojan whore of the Arroyo couple but what about JDV? Abangan…
Meanwhile, Mrs. Arroyo’s election lawyer, the shyster Macalintal, has joined the trojan whore derby with his own proposal, calling a Constitutional Convention to draft a new Constitution and passing a new law that would authorize delegates who were appointed rather than elected.
Macalintal explained, “the different political parties could nominate delegates in proportion to their seats in Congress” He said appointing delegates would be cheaper and less divisive than electing them.
Cheaper and less divisive for whom?
The Tribune filed a report on Malacanang’s preparations for the 2007 elections. An optimistic Gabriel Claudio is quoted saying, “We have candidates on our line up, with all of them capable of defeating the opposition because of the tight screening that we had imposed.”
Claudio went on to add, “We have to undertake an aggressive formal preparation for next year’s election.”
Let’s put Claudio’s statement in the proper context. This EXCERPT from a PCIJ report tells us exactly what those “aggressive formal preparations” are :
“…the present line-up of regional directors and assistant directors is quite disturbing as it is a virtual who’s who of those who were implicated in the 2004 electoral fraud allegedly engineered by Malacañang to ensure the victory of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the presidential polls.
Among those who have landed top Comelec regional posts are the known lieutenants of Garcillano in Mindanao — as glimpsed from the “Hello Garci” recordings and testimonies of witnesses like Michaelangelo Zuce and retired Brig. Gen. Francisco Gudani:
Renato Magbutay, election director of Region X
Carlito Ravelo, acting assistant election director of Region X
Remlane Tambuang, election director of Region XI
Ray Sumalipao, assistant election director of Region XI and concurrent acting election director of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
Teopisto Elnas Jr., election director of Region XII
Cirilo Nala Jr., acting election director of CARAGA Region (covering the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur)
Francisco Pobe, acting assistant election director of CARAGA Region
Vilfredo Balisado, acting assistant election director of Region IX”
Talagang naghahanda nga ang hinayupak na Malacanang.
Here’s an interesting item buried in THIS REPORT from Malaya.
The camp of President Joseph Estrada on Thursday said it would file malversation and graft cases against Sigaw spokesman Raul Lambino and ULAP president Bohol Gov. Erico Aumentado for wasting public funds on the people’s initiative petition.
Estrada’s lawyer Rufus Rodriguez said their evidence include news clippings quoting Lambino as saying he received funds from mayors and governors.
Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. said local government units (LGUs) are free to spend their money as long as the releases are approved by their councils.
“May sariling budget sila. At dahil it’s local autonomy ay hindi naman namin maaaring pigilan ang anumang gastusin ng LGU kung alinsunod naman ito sa kanilang budget na in-approve ng kanilang konseho,” he said.
How’s that again, Mr. Andaya? “LGUs) are free to spend their money as long as the releases are approved by their councils.” Really?
Doesn’t that statement undermine your regime’s case against Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay and, for that matter, the case against suspended Pasay City Mayor Peewee Trinidad?
Raul Lambino refuses to accept defeat. He will file a motion for reconsideration. He will base his appeal on this : the court had no right to call his initiative deceptive and fraudulent because it was “not a trier of facts” and “should only decide on issues of laws and jurisdiction.”
On the other hand, Fr, Bernas said “Petitioners used Charter provision sloppily and deceptively”
In an interview today, Palace factotum Ermita claimed Malacanang is not blaming Lambino and company for the defeat of the PI .
But yesterday, Ermita was singing a different tune. He told the Philippine Star, “This (SC ruling) is temporary thing that happened. You noticed the voting is very close, which means that maybe IF PROPERLY ARTICULATED the petitioners could put up a very good basis for their appeal,”
Gabriel Claudio, another Palace gofer, echoed Ermita’s line, “We are renewing our optimism in this (motion for reconsideration) and we are counting on the capability of the proponents to mount a MORE CONVINCING ARGUMENT.”
Now is that not blaming anybody for the defeat? Don’t Ermita and Claudio sound just like Fr. Bernas? Mga duguan na nga sina Lambino tatawagin pa ninyong bobo!
Maybe Ermita was thinking someone else should file the motion for reconsideration. Someone who can “properly articulate”. Someone who can ‘mount a more convincing argument’. Someone like Romela Bengzon, a staunch advocate of PI and a lawyer whose skills Ermita knows intimately.
The Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement is hazardous to the nation’s health. In exchange for OFW dollars, i.e. caregivers and nurses to Japan, the Arroyo regime will accept toxic and hazardous trash from Japan.
A good analysis of the double talk by defenders of JPEPA can be found Here
Below is an excerpt of their analysis. (A slight edit was done in the links)
“The Inquirer banner news today is on the JPEPA A government official (Environment Usec. Ignacio) defends JPEPA’s inclusion of toxic waste by saying that “It (JPEPA) will not violate our laws in the sense that they (toxic and hazardous waste) will not be coming in because they are banned in the first place,” and “The objective of the Philippines was to get the JPEPA approved, and the environment is not a concession actually because it has no effect on our laws, that’s why there is no harm, in other words”. Another (DTI Usec Aquino) defends JPEPA by saying that the “(JPEPA) was an ‘all-trade’ pact, which means that all products produced in both countries are covered” and “in essence, the tariffs for these products have no real use because the products are banned. That is why during negotiations (like what we had for the JPEPA), this is one of the easiest and first things to be done — eliminating useless tariffs” and, thus, “following Philippine laws, prohibited products cannot enter the country”.
With all due respect, however, the logic they employed is simply wrong. And beside the point. As we have long pointed out, treaties under our jurisdiction are treated as part of Philippine law and are treated as the equal of legislative enactments. If this treaty becomes effective (and JPEPA, make no mistake, is a treaty), this will have the effect – by simple resort to statutory construction – of overriding previous legislation in conflict with it. To say that toxic wastes will not be allowed in because it’s banned is therefore simply not conclusively true because the JPEPA can be said to have overridden the ban. To say, furthermore, that in an FTA all tariffs for products need to be covered and lowered is also not correct. What the WTO rules actually say is that you have to include “substantially all trade” in an FTA and not all trade and what “substantially all trade” means is still subject to discussion even in the WTO (some countries even interpret it to mean 60%, 70%, 80% of trade, which shows you that “substantially all trade” is far from meaning “all trade”; note that our government is actually resorting to the foregoing interpretations as well, focusing as it does on garments for the proposed RP-US FTA, so the consistency – or lack thereof – in the reasoning here is interesting). Even for “technicality” reasons, therefore, it still is hard to understand why toxic wastes were included in JPEPA and at 0% tariffs at that. [That the issue of wastes is indeed an area of real concern was illustrated HERE and HERE.
Environmental and other civil society groups fear a possible repeat of the Japanese waste scandal in July 1999, where approximately 2,700 tons of infectious and toxic waste labeled as ‘waste paper for recycling’ arrived in Manila.
Custom inspectors were shocked to find in 122 containers tons of used adult and baby diapers, used sanitary napkins, discarded intravenous syringes used in blood letting and dextrose, medical rubber hose and tubes, garments and bandages.
Aside from contaminated hospital wastes, they also found plastic sheets, polystyrene packaging materials, PVC pipes and PVC plastic materials mixed with household and industrial wastes.”
It’s not enough to wipe and wash the butts of Japan’s sick and elderly, we must also store their shit.
But wait. There’s more.
Raul Lambino got what he deserved. The Supreme Court threw out his petition saying,
“(Sigaw) MISERABLY FAILED to comply with the basic requirements of the Constitution for conducting a people’s initiative. Thus, there is even no need to revisit Santiago, as the present petition warrants dismissal based alone on the Lambino Group’s GLARING FAILURE to comply with the basic requirements of the Constitution. “
Lambino had asked people to sign a petition they had not read. The Court said that was “DECEPTIVE ND MISLEADING.”
The Court added,
“An initiative that gathers signatures from the people without FIRST SHOWING to the people the full text of the proposed amendments is MOST LIKELY A DECEPTION, and can operate as a GIGANTIC FRAUD ON THE PEOPLE. “
Lambino also received an English tutorial from the Court. The Court said revision and amendment do not mean the same thing. Lambino’s contention that the two words were synonymous was slapped down by the Court which said, “The Lambino Group trivializes the serious matter of changing the fundamental law of the land.”
The Court concluded its pimp-slapping of Lambino with a direct attack on the latest Palace propaganda line that the people’s initiative was above the law of the land.
It said, “Incantations of “people’s voice,” “people’s sovereign will,” or “let the people decide” cannot override the specific modes of changing the Constitution as prescribed in the Constitution itself.
Lambino and his Legions said they will file a motion for reconsideration. Reconsider what?
The Supreme Court majority decision, penned by Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, can be found in Philippine Commentary, HERE.
Also a commenter in Manolo Quezon’s blog enumerated at least 16 reasons why Raul Lambino needs to take an extended leave.
Manuel Buencamino talks to Manuel Quezom III.
Dispatches from the Enchanted Kingdom
An imaginary dialogue with Manuel Quezon III on ANC’s The Explainer.
“Chief Justice Panganiban spoke of pressure over the People’s Initiative (PI) of Mrs. Arroyo. The reaction of Raul Gonzalez was, ‘I don’t think there’s anything bad about that because he [Panganiban] said it comes from both sides. I think it’s natural.’”
MLQ III: “Bull. In any society where the rule of law is respected, one argues his case before the court and not ‘on occasions they have a chance to talk to these justices.’ Gonzalez knows that. In the course of bragging that he turned down President Aquino’s offer to appoint him chief justice, he had said, ‘my impression of the post of a chief justice is that it is a cloistered job. I’d rather be where the action is.’”
“Noted. And archived.”
Worried that the skyrocketing unpopularity of his war in Iraq will lead to a Republican party defeat in the coming midterm elections, Dubya abandoned his stay the course slogan on Iraq.
His spokesman Tony Snow said, “He’s stopped using it. It allowed critics to say, well, here’s an administration that’s just embarked upon a policy and not looking at what the situation is, when, in fact, it’s just the opposite.”
Bush met with his generals the other day to show the American voter his team was on the ball. And one of his senior advisers, Dan Bartlett, insisted, “It’s never been a stay-the-course strategy.”
But “stay the course” has always been Bush’s slogan. He was still using it last Aug.30, “We will stay the course, we will help this young Iraqi democracy succeed, and victory in Iraq will be a major ideological triumph” in the war on terrorism.”
So how did White House spokesman, Tony Snow, spin the contradictory statements of Bush and Bartlett?
Snow said, “The president is determined not to leave Iraq short of victory. But he also understands that it’s important to capture the dynamism of the efforts that have been ongoing to try to make Iraq more secure,”
Bush shouldn’t have insisted on Iraq as the campaign issue. The ban on same sex marriages would have been a better campaign theme. That way he could say Democrats “stray the course” in Iraq and “traditional” values.
This time Raul Gonzalez, obviously motivated by Mark Jimenez who resurrected the case against former Justice Secretary Hernani Perez, wants the Anti-Money Laundering Council to investigate where Jimenez gets all the money he is donating to the poor.
Hernani Perez who was accused of extortion and who the Swiss authorities say deposited in Swiss banks, under different names, the money he extorted from Jimenez has not been investigated by Gonzalez. His file has been gathering dust on Gonzalez’ desk for the better part of the last four years.
When Gonzalez is not busy getting himself excited by the panty of the Subic rape victim or when he is distracted from UP’s naked runners, he apends his time covering the asses of Arroyo’s gangmates.
As to Nani Perez, we have one advice for him.
“Hire lawyers Jess Santos and Romy Macalintal, invite Mark Jimenez and the press to go to Switzerland with you so you can produce a bank certification that there are no accounts listed under your name. The fact that there are bank accounts in the names of people very close to you is immaterial. They didn’t extort money from Jimenez anyway. At least that’s what we expect your shyster lawyers to say.”
Ellen Tordesillas writes that GMA is looking for a place to dump former AFP chief Generoso Senga.
Sen. Biazon heard Senga was going to be appointed chair of a government-run TV station.
We say, stick with tradition and make him an ambassador, anyway no one in the career ranks of the DFA has the balls to protest.