An excellent analysis of the poliical situation by Manuel Quezon III. Read Origibal here.
Opportunity to Change the Ship’s Direction Is Being Lost in Manila
Manuel L. Quezon III, firstname.lastname@example.org
From time to time, I’m asked to present what’s called a “national situationer,” for groups interested in the political situation. The difficulty is avoiding excessive partisanship in order to paint a rosy picture for my own political views, or pander to the audience. They are a welcome exercise in objectivity. Yesterday I had to undertake the process for a gathering of NGOs.
The country’s political battle lines have remained remarkably consistent since last year. When a survey asked people what the best political option for the country should be, 59 percent said the president should go, but divided among five options, with each option roughly equal to any other. The 35 percent preferred the president to remain in office were only divided between two options, with those who said they’d rather that Mrs. Arroyo stay in office until 2010 outnumbering the other, two to one (24 percent and 11 percent respectively). Those who preferred an extreme solution, either a coup or foreign intervention, numbered only 6 percent.
Jarius Bondoc of the Philippine Star writes about a foiled smuggling attempt that led to a frustrated robbery that led to the destruction of evidence and obstruction of justice. READ HERE
“…some Customs men had felt left out of the deal and thus squealed to Gualberto’s cops, that the buyer of the stolen stuff was a certain “Bim Mama”, and that the remainder was never intended to be buried in Pampanga but resold to makers of longanisa and tocino if not for the to-do.
And then came Morales’s order to investigate the cops, and to burn what was left inside the four vans.”
Customs Commissioner Morales was recommended for the post by a notorious protector of smugglers.
Raul Gonzalez started it all when he spread the rumor that Atong Ang received death threats. Now his story unravels.
This exchange between DILG, jail guards and Sandigan Bayab judges comes from Philippine Star
Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta chided the BJMP officials for filing a motion before the Special Division requesting to have Ang transferred to the Metro Manila District Jail and then deciding to effect the transfer without waiting for the court’s resolution.
“You defied a court order. You did not wait for the resolution. You just transferred without the knowledge of the court. That is contemptuous. Do you know that what you did was contemptuous?”
“… the MMDJ is just an extension of the Quezon City Jail. It was just a transfer to another facility but it is still under the same jurisdiction.”
“This is my first time to hear that you can transfer an inmate to Bicutan (in Taguig) without a court order. Do not try to fool the court. If the Quezon City Jail is congested, you should have asked the court for a transfer.”
“There is a jail guard at the Quezon City Jail who was paid to kill Atong Ang,” said Senior Inspector Kenneth Bid-Ing, BJMP-NCR chief legal officer, who acted as counsel for the three officials.
“What is your guarantee that Atong Ang will not be killed by a jail guard in Bicutan if the report is unverified?”
“The DOJ confirmed the raw intel that there is indeed a threat on Atong Ang,”
“Why did you not show us the intel reports before the transfer so we could have looked at it.You may have your reasons but there is a proper way of doing things.”
The offer to kill Ang “allegedly came from personalities in the underworld/leftists to discredit and malign not only the BJMP, but also the Arroyo administration in carrying out their destabilization plot against the government,”
“Now you tell us that there is more to that. But only after the transfer. You believed that intelligence report? Is that the way you operate? Are you saying that you cannot stop one of your men? Why not just remove that jail officer from the Quezon City Jail instead of transferring Atong Ang?”
“Time is of the essence for Atong Ang’s safety. I respect the judgment of our field officers.”
“ The circumstances before, during and after, all negate your explanations.”
Mike Arroyo is NOT the First Gentleman. His wife is NOT the President.
Mike Arroyo was NOT the chief cheating operator in the 2004 election. His wife IS the main suspect.
Mike Arroyo did NOT appoint any of his cronies to government positions. His wife did.
Mike Arroyo did NOT order policemen to arrest a senator and a reporter. The Court did.
Mike Arroyo is NOT Jose Pidal. His brother IS Jose Pidal.
Mike Arroyo did NOT hide properties in California. He was holding them in trust for his brother.
Mike Arroyo is NOT involved in smuggling. Vicky Toh and her brother allegedly are.
Mike Arroyo does NOT have a mistress. He IS faithful to his wife Gloria Arroyo.
Mike Arroyo did NOT receive any jueteng payola from Sandra Cam. His son and his brother allegedly did.
Mike Arroyo is NOT a silent partner in a casino. A Chinese national allegedly is
Mike Arroyo is NOT “el esposo gordo.” He is NOT “el esposo flaco” either.
Mike Arroyo is NOT muzzling the press. He IS protecting his good name.
Mike Arroyo IS a good and honorable man. His lawyer says so.
NEWSBREAK tells us who GMA sided with and why.
“People’s initiative is only the most recent in a series of major differences between De Venecia and Cruz. NEWSBREAK learned that they disagreed on two other issues: the proposal to declare martial law in late 2005 or, after the failed coup in February, and the move not to deputize the military in elections.”
Three congresmen said they were going to file an impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Panganiban and Associate Justice Carpio.
But House Majority leader Prospero Nograles shot them down, “Why should they be impeached for thinking as they do?”
Then from out of nowhere, Speaker Jose de Venecia joined the impeachment bandwagon.
He said, “Just because of eight justices, the dream of millions of Filipinos to pursue constitutional change was finished.”
“But why are you blaming the Court ? Were they the ones behind the deception and the gigantic fraud?”
“I have respect for the Supreme Court. I almost lost my speakership when I was fighting for Chief Justice Davide. I fought for the right of the Supreme Court in order to prevent a constitutional crisis. But I didn’t expect that they would vote this way now.”
“So you will punish Panganiban and Carpio because they have no utang ba loob?”
Gerry Salapuddin, deputy speaker for Mindanao, replied, “The impeachment process is not a political tool for harassment or revenge. The House will not kowtow to any such baseless motives.”
And Rep. Eduardo Veloso joined in, “We assure you that there is no such thing as Cha-cha boys club versus the chief justice.”
And Salapuddin added, “We’ll not jump the gun on the SC chief. Our support to Cha-cha will not matter in such eventuality; it will be the law and the rule of the House which will prevail,”
And Veloso agreed, “House members have always proven their sense of fairness in acting on previous impeachment complaints.”
And Captain Kirk said, “Beam me up, Scotty!”
“Today, I hereby approve the trial by a special general court martial of 30 officers for violations of Articles of War.”
“Are you serious?”
“How serious we are? I’ve just announced that we’ll try them by court martial.”
“But your own investigation panel said, ‘There is no adequate basis for appreciating the existence of a prima facie case to indict or prosecute any and all the officers charged.’”
“We now know about the tape interview of General Lim, and so you can start from there. Just try to listen again to what General Lim said in his tape interview, which was prepared to be broadcast in connection with what they have planned to do.”
“But your own panels said, ‘Mere intention however deliberate and fixed, or conspiracy, however unanimous, will fail to constitute mutiny. Words alone, unaccompanied by acts, will not suffice’”
“The Articles of War 67 do not only cover covert acts of mutiny but also attempts to create, begin or incite mutiny. It also covers cause or attempt to commit mutiny.”
“But your own panels said, ‘In fact, not one from the respondent officers defied the instructions of CSAFP (then AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Generoso Senga) to do everything to stop the plan on joining the mass actions.’”
“The purpose of this court martial is to prove if evidence will hold.”
“Will you testify at the court martial?”
“As chief of staff, if I further say statements or submit statements to the general court martial, I could be influencing the statements of others. I am a reviewing officer to the proceedings of all these and so I do not want to be the accuser this time and the judge.”
“What about the earlier statements you made?”
“I stand by that statement that I submitted.”
“So you have aleady influenced the others.”
“I will not be the one trying them. It will be the general court martial”
“And who will appoint the members of the court martial?”
“I have directed J1 (deputy chief of staff for personnel) and the Judge Advocate General to immediately convene the general court martial, name the members, one president and four members, as soon as possible.”
“So you order and then approve the appointment of the members of the court martial, you decide when to convene the court and finally, as reviewing officer you decide whether or not to accept the court’s verdict. What do you think will happen?”
“If it is not the death penalty…I do not want to speculate on that. I’m not an expert, but it could be reclusión perpetua….”
“… As far as I’m concerned, my job is to try them by general court martial, the matter of pardon is beyond me.”
“…verdict and sentence even before the trial starts…”
“That’s how the military justice system works. It is harsh but we can assure you that it is fair. ”
Backgrounder: Esperon overruled the recommendation of the PTI (pre-trial investigation) panel to dismiss the charge of mutiny against the alleged February coup plotters. Esperon also threw out the pretrial advice (PTA) of his staff judge advocate upholding the PTI recommendation.
“What made you decide to charge those soldiers”?”
“They (PTI and PTA reports) are the basis for my decisions in directing the court martial of the 30 officers.”
“What did the PTI and PTA reports recommend?”
“I will not comment on the contents of the PTI report and the PTA. I will not tell you the contents. Suffice it to say that they are my references. Whatever are their contents, they served as my references in arriving at my decisions.”
“But you overruled their recommendations?”
“I do not have to abide by the PTI report and by the PTA.”
“If I have indeed not approved all of their recommendations, that is my prerogative as the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,”
“Do you know the difference between exercising prerogatives and taking liberties?”