Uniffors


GMA’s lawyer, Atty. Ferdinand “One Ball” Topacio, on Adolf Hitler

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the December 30th, 2011

YouTube has a video of Ferdinand Topacio at his desk. Behind him is a large portrait of his idol, Adolf Hitler. CLICK HERE

Topacio says of Hitler,

    “His main crime was that he lost the war. History is written by the victors.”

Over at Rappler.com, Chay F. Hofileña reports:

    Single-minded vision

    Under threat of being charged with revisionism, Topacio says that Hitler was, in fact, a revolutionary.

    “Very few people know that the concept of the paid vacation for workers was a brainchild of Adolf Hitler because his party, the Nazi party, is the national socialist workers’ democratic party. That is national socialism, and national socialism was formulated for the benefit of greater rights for the working class.”

    Topacio adds, “From a relatively obscure retired corporal in the German army, he rose to prominence. He was not wealthy. He did not have pedigree. He did not have a high degree of education. He became chancellor of Germany through sheer will power and his vision of a greater society for the German people.”

    What is worth emulating in Hitler, according to him, is his “single-minded vision for what he felt was better for all members of society.”

    When Germans were starving in the streets, Hitler rose up and said that “with a determined leadership, Germany can be a great power again. And in fact, he made Germany a great power – something that the Germans can be proud of. It’s just that he lost the war,” Topacio says.

Now I understand where Topacio’s famous “ipapuputol ko ang bayag ko” outburst came from. His idol, Adolf Hitler, reportedly had only one testicle. What greater tribute is there from a fan than to emulate his idol’s physical attributes?

For more on Toacio and his views on the practice of law go to Rappler.com

Who wrote it?

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the December 28th, 2011

So Chief Justice Corona’s answer to the verified impeachment complaint is to ask for its dismissal because it is biased, done with “undue haste,” and failed to comply with the requirement of verification.

Impeached Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez made a similar allegation when she challenged the impeachment complaint against her but the Court said, “Petitioner contends that the “indecent and precipitate haste” of public respondent in finding the two complaints sufficient in form and substance is a clear indication of bias, she pointing out that it only took public respondent five minutes to arrive thereat. An abbreviated pace in the conduct of proceedings is not per se an indication of bias…. For one’s prompt dispatch may be another’s undue haste…The presumption of regularity includes the public officer’s official actuations in all phases of work.”

Earlier in the same Gutierrez case, the Court showed that one does not have to read every word of a petition or complaint before arriving at a decision. As a matter of fact, the Court confirmed that there is no need to read a petition at all.

It granted a status quo ante order that halted the Gutierrez impeachment notwithstanding the fact that most of the justices had not read her petition. Newsbreak magazine reported: “(Justice Ma. Lourdes) Sereno noted that on Wednesday morning, “a statement was made in the media” that it was the petition’s synopsis that was distributed to the justices and made as basis for the full-court deliberation.”

I guess if a synopsis is good enough for a status quo ante order then a PowerPoint presentation should also be good enough for an impeachment complaint, right? (Do not think apples and oranges, think goose and gander equivalence.)

Corona has yet to sign his answer to the Senate. His lawyers seem to have overlooked the requirement that he verify his answer as true and of his personal knowledge. However it’s also possible that the oversight was intentional so that Corona can disown the document and thus avoid being held “liable for perjury if he is found lying in any of his allegations in his answer.”

Anyway, check out some excerpts from the prefatory statement of the answer Corona submitted to the Senate: “Impeachment for Chief Justice Renato C. Corona came like a thief in the night”; “In blitzkrieg fashion”; “the public’s proverbial mind is muddled with questions about the fate of so-called priority bills long covered in mildew and buried in cobwebs”; “a partisan orgy, devoid of mature deliberation and of lawful purpose whatsoever”; “a rushed, partisan, and insidious attempt to unseat a sitting Chief Justice”; “a callous corruption of our democracy in this staged impeachment”; “Corona bears the happenstance of leading the Supreme Court in the face of a political crusade that readily sacrifices the Rule of Law to its thirst for popularity”; “It appears that Members were expected to sign on being offered tangible rewards, even if denied to read the Articles of Impeachment and examine the evidence against CJ Corona”; the president’s “virulent attacks on Corona and the Court “followed on the heels of the promulgation of the decision on Hacienda Luisita.”

I don’t know why but I had visions of Rep. Edcel Lagman when I came across those words and phrases above. Happy New Year!

Also in Interaksyon.com

Souvenir photo from a butcher’s album…

Posted in Manuel Buencamino,Philip Gilmore Cartoons by uniffors on the December 23rd, 2011

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Marie Yuviengco, in her Interaksyon.com column, posted excerpts from the affidavit of Raymond Manalo, one of the victims of Jovito Palparan.

    The case of Manalo is riveting since it is a chilling illustration of a system gone awry, when the government targets the very citizens it has sworn to protect. Manalo provides a first-hand account from the brothers themselves of their encounter with Palparan. Here is an excerpt from the decision:

    When they arrived in Sapang, Gen. Palparan talked to them. They were brought out of the house to a basketball court in the center of the compound and made to sit. Gen. Palparan was already waiting, seated. He was about two arms’ length away from respondents. He began by asking if respondents felt well already, to which Raymond replied in the affirmative. He asked Raymond if he knew him. Raymond lied that he did not. He then asked Raymond if he would be scared if he were made to face Gen. Palparan. Raymond responded that he would not be because he did not believe that Gen. Palparan was an evil man.

    Raymond narrated his conversation with Gen. Palparan in his affidavit, viz.:

    Tinanong ako ni Gen. Palparan,

    “Ngayon na kaharap mo na ako, di ka ba natatakot sa akin?”

    Sumagot akong, “Siyempre po, natatakot din. . .”

    Sabi ni Gen. Palparan:

    “Sige, bibigyan ko kayo ng isang pagkakataon na mabuhay, basta’t sundin n’yo ang lahat ng sasabihin ko. . . sabihin mo sa magulang mo — huwag pumunta sa mga rali, sa hearing, sa Karapatan at sa Human Right dahil niloloko lang kayo. Sabihin sa magulang at lahat sa bahay na huwag paloko doon. Tulungan kami na kausapin si Bestre na sumuko na sa gobyerno.”

    In a later encounter, Raymond said:

    When respondents arrived back in Sapang, Gen. Palparan was about to leave. He was talking with the four “masters” who were there: Arman, Ganata, Hilario and Cabalse. When Gen. Palparan saw Raymond, he called for him. He was in a big white vehicle. Raymond stood outside the vehicle as Gen. Palparan told him to gain back his strength and be healthy and to take the medicine he left for him and Reynaldo. He said the medicine was expensive at Php35.00 each, and would make them strong. He also said that they should prove that they are on the side of the military and warned that they would not be given another chance. During his testimony, Raymond identified Gen. Palparan by his picture.

    Incidentally, the medicine, it turned out, were sedatives.

Benjamin’s existential question

Posted in Manuel Buencamino,Philip Gilmore Cartoons by uniffors on the December 23rd, 2011

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Philippine Star reports on the life in jail of former Comelec chair Benjamin Abalos. [HERE]

    A source told The STAR that the former poll chief hardly talks. He would just sit down and read books, magazines and newspapers.

    “He will ask me why am I here? I will just reassure him that everything’s going to be okay.” his wife Cora said.

Reminds me of the old non sequitur:
“Maganda ba?”
“Mabait siya.”

Paano nga ba sasagutin yun tanong ni Mang Ben?

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Reflections on Chief Justice Renato Corona

Posted in Manuel Buencamino,Philip Gilmore Cartoons by uniffors on the December 22nd, 2011

Corona might as well resign and run for senator on the Kampi slate come 2013. – Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada’s reaction to Chief Justice Corona’s December 14, 2011 speech

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Chief Justice Renato Corona is not a bad guy. He is a nice guy who made the unfortunate mistake of running with the wrong crowd. He lost his bearings as a result. He now holds the distinction of being the first chief justice to be impeached and the first chief justice to deliver a blatantly partisan political speech on the steps of the Supreme Court.

Corona disparaged President Aquino and the congressional coalition led by the Liberal Party for his speedy impeachment. “Sa isang iglap, nasampahan po ako ng isang impeachment complaint ng mababang kapulungan na kontrolado ng Liberal Party ni Ginoong Aquino at ng kanyang mga kaalyado. Sa sobrang bilis, parang wala po yatang naka-intindi o nakabasa man lang ng halos animnapung pahinang reklamo o habla.”

He has no reason to complain. Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno recounted that the Court voted on the status quo ante order that stopped the impeachment of Ombudsman Merceditas Gurtierez “without the benefit of a genuinely informed debate, since several members of the Court, myself included, had not yet then received a copy of the Petition.” (A Supreme Court delivery receipt proved Sereno’s account to be true. It showed that three justices received their copies of the 60-page Gutierrez petition one day after they voted to grant it. Members of Congress at least got a PowerPoint briefing before they voted to impeach Corona.)

Corona attributed his predicament to President Aquino’s “kasakiman na magkaroon ng isang Korte Suprema na kayang diktahan, na nakukuha sa tingin, at magkakandarapang ipatupad ang kanilang bawat hiling. Tila yata’y napipikon at hindi sila makapagtalaga ng kanilang punong mahistrado kung susundin ang ating umiiral na Saligang Batas. Kaya pati ang inyong lingkod, hadlang daw sa kaunlaran ng bayan at pagpapatupad ng mga ipinangako sa kampanya!” Further into his speech, he said, “Marami po tayong problema. Nandiyan po ang mabagal na takbo ng ekonomiya, kawalan ng trabaho, kahirapan at kagutuman. Mukhang hindi po niya (Pres. Aquino) naintindihan.”

That type of attack is alright for the opposition but not for the Chief Justice. The scales of justice cannot be held by a partisan.

Corona displayed a lack of self-restraint and delicadeza when he accepted his midnight appointment, “Paano po naman naging kasalanan ang pagtanggap ng isang dakilang karangalan tulad nito?”

He demonstrated the same qualities when he welcomed his wife’s appointment to five positions in John Hay Management Corporation. Worse, he resorted to “truthiness” to defend his wife’s appointment, “Lingid po yata sa kanilang kaalaman na si Ginang Corona ay una pang naitalaga bago ako naging mahistrado.”

Indeed Mrs. Corona’s appointment came in 2007, three years before Mr. Corona became Chief Justice. However, Mr. Corona omitted mentioning that he was already a mahistrado in 2007. (Gloria Arroyo appointed Corona to the Supreme Court in 2002.)

Corona’s comparison between the nature of the executive and the judiciary is another example of “truthiness”.“Ibang-iba po ang palakad sa gabinete, sapagkat doon, lahat ng miyembro ay mga alalay, alagad at utusan ng pangulo. Sa loob ng gabinete, ang utos ng hari, hindi nababali. Dito po sa Korte Suprema, ang pananaw ng punong mahistrado ay isa lamang. Gaya nga ng sinabi ko, kami ay patas at pare-pareho lamang na nagbibigay halaga at respeto sa opinyon ng bawat isa. Wala po kaming tungkulin at balak na maging sunod-sunuran sa isa’t-isa.”

A court holiday was declared on the day of Corona’s speech because of a text message enjoining all courts to show their support for the embattled Chief Justice:

    “From the office of the court administrator: A court holiday is declared tomorrow, Dec. 14, 2011, in solidarity with Chief Justice Corona, who will be addressing the nation regarding the impeachment complaint filed against him. All judges and court personnel are therefore expected to suspend court sessions and office work the whole day tomorrow. For inquiries get in touch with OCA [Office of the Court Administrator]. Please pass.”

Court Administrator Midas Marquez denied sending the text. Okay, but if Marquez was telling the truth then it proves the Chief Justice has enormous power and influence. It rivals the power of the president over his cabinet. One text message, origin unverified, was enough to cause courts all over the land to close shop, right? There were also at least half a dozen justices who attended Corona’s speech. Were they “invited”? What does their attendance say about their independence and impartiality? Talk about utos ng hari and maging sunod-sunuran sa isa’t isa.

Sen. Edgardo Angara, in an opinion piece for the Business Mirror, asked, “wouldn’t it be more prudent to invite the parties to come to a settlement even before a painful, divisive impeachment trial begins?” I agree with the good senator. Corona must put country above self and resign. Resigning now and shooting his speechwriter is the best way out of his predicament. Not only will he redeem himself, he will also elevate discourse by ridding the world of a moron, his speechwriter. Corona should revisit Gloria Arroyo’s noble “I will not run” speech for guidance in writing his resignation speech.

The genius of Sotto

Posted in Manuel Buencamino,Philip Gilmore Cartoons by uniffors on the December 16th, 2011

The Inquirer reported that anti-RH vanguard Sen. Vicente Sotto III confronted RH-Bill co-sponsor, Sen. Pia Cayetano, on the ties of the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines to foreign lobby groups. REPORT HERE

    “Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III sought to unmask on Tuesday local lobbyists affiliated with an international organization advocating for abortion and whose founder was a known champion of “eugenics.”

    Eugenics refers to the ideology promoting selective breeding, thereby denying birth for the weak and the useless. Among its chief proponents, Sotto said, was the late Margaret Sanger, who founded the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).”

Sotto went on to say that the possible link FPOP to International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), an organization that offers “contraception, emergency contraception, (and) abortion-related services”, complicates the RH Bill.

Sotto added,

    “If the only ones pushing for this were Senator (Miriam) Santiago (the other co-sponsor) and Sen. Pia Cayetano, I would have agreed to this bill as early as yesterday. But there are other groups behind it.”

SAY WHAT?

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Archbishop pulls medieval rank

Posted in Manuel Buencamino,Philip Gilmore Cartoons by uniffors on the December 15th, 2011

Batangas Archbishop Ramon Arguelles was quite upset that President Aquino did not attend the installation of the new Archbishop of Manila Luis Antonio Tagle.

He said,

    “The installation of the archbishop of the prime archdiocese in the country is so important. It’s a national, an international event. The absence of the President for the very first time in the history of the Philippines was very conspicuous. He snubbed the most important religious group in the country. We are the third largest Catholic country in the world and this is probably the prime archdiocese of Asia. So, to snub that is really a big hurt.”

The president did not snub the most important religious group in the country. President Aquino was attending an official State function. He was at Camp Aguinaldo for the change of command ceremonies.

Archbishio Arguelles would rather that the Commander in Chief reschedule the military ceremony to accomodate a Catholic ceremony. How about that for chutzpah?

Why couldn’t the Catholic Church reschedule its ceremony? As a matter of fact, why does the president even have to attend a purely religious ceremony?

Archbishop Arguelles, one of Gloria Arroyo’s favorites, must miss the good old days when Gloria Arroyo used to jump at the drop of a bishop’s mitre.

Sorry Archbisop “pero wala ng wang-wang.” Not even for the most important religious group in the third largest Catholic country in the world that hosts the prime archdiocese of Asia.

Sorry Archbishop but in this country, under the Aquino administration, affairs of State come first. As they should. Always.

OPLAN: Insomnia

Posted in Manuel Buencamino,Philip Gilmore Cartoons by uniffors on the December 14th, 2011

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“There are two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.”

I scooped mainstream media again. While they were camped out in the driveway of St. Luke’s Medical Center waiting for Gloria Arroyo to board the vehicle that would take her to the Veteran’s Memorial Medical Center, I was receiving live audio and video feeds from inside Mrs. Arroyo’s fifty thousand pesos per day hospital suite.

“Why aren’t you at the stakeout in St. Luke’s?” my wife asked when she saw me getting ready for bed.

“I’m already inside the little girl’s suite,” I replied smiling.

“You have a mole?”

“No, Gloria has a mole. I have a bug.”

Dec. 9, 2011 (Presidential Suite, SLMC, Taguig)

2:00 A.M. (Gloria Arroyo is still awake. She rouses her personal assistant Elena Bautista-Horn, whom she calls Sungay, who is sleeping soundly on a banig at the foot of her bed.)

“SUNGAY, WAKE UP! Help me dress for the trip to Veterans.”

“Ma’am alas dos pa lang ng umaga… matulog muna kayo. I’ll ask the nurse for something that will put you to sleep.”

“You want to put me to sleep?”

2:20 A.M.

“SUNGAY! Where is everybody?”

“At home, in bed, asleep.”

2:45 A.M.

“SUNGAY! What time exactly are they going to take me away?”

“Six pa poh. Ma’am try to get some sleep, you haven’t slept in days.”

Elena beckons the night nurse and whispers, “Do you have something to put the little girl to sleep?”

“I HEARD THAT!”

2: 48 A.M. (The nurse brings Gloria’s pill tray.)

“Your medication, poh.”

“What is this blue pill, nurse?”

“It’s supposed to relax you, so you can get some sleep.”

“Why is everybody trying to put me to sleep?”

3:30 A.M.

“SUNGAY!”

“(Joskopo, hindi niya ako hahayaan makatulog) Poh?”

“Open the curtains, I want to watch the fireworks.”

“Fireworks? There are no fireworks poh.”

“What do you mean there are no fireworks? I can see bright flashes behind the curtains!”

(Elena signals the nurse. The nurse approaches her.)

“Nurse, ano ba yung pinainom mo sa kanya?”

“Yun pong pinescribe ni doc na pampatulog pero mukhang nabangag lang yata siya.”

“I CAN HEAR YOU!”

3:48 A.M.

“SUNGAY! Why is the keyboard melting?”

“Poh?” (Elena jumps out of the banig and rushes to Gloria’s side.)

“Ma’am the keyboard is not melting, please ma’am magpahinga na kayo.”

4:10 A.M.

“SUNGAY! Why is the laptop not responding?”

“You have to turn it on first, poh.”

5:00 A.M.

“SUNGAY!”

(Hay naku! Ano naman ang kailangan niya?) “Poh?”

“Are you sleeping?”

“I was.”

“I am sorry.”

“Okay lang poh, did you want anything?”

“No, I just wanted to know if you were sleeping.”

5:25 A.M.

“Nurse hindi pa ako makatulog, Can I have another pill”

“Ubos na poh.”

6:00 A.M.

“WAKE UP SUNGAY! Do you hear that?”

“What?”

“That one… there…do you hear it?”

“Oh, that’s the helicopter you will ride later.”

“Tell them I’d rather walk than fly in one of those choppers that my husband sold to the PNP.”

6:06 A.M. (Attorney Ferdinand Topacio arrives.)

“Good morning poh, ma’am. Did you sleep well?”

“I’m still alive am I not?”

“Ma’am?”

“Topacio, why am I still under arrest? I want to be out of here before Christmas!”

“Yes ma’am, I will relay your orders to …”

“Just remind them who pays their bills.”

6:10 A.M. (Spokesman Raul Lambino arrives.)

“Good morning, ma’am.”

“You look like you didn’t sleep, Raul.”

“No ma’am, I stayed up all night writing statements condemning the Palace. Would like to go over them?”

(She skims through the statements.) “I’m being harassed, how?”

“Yes ma’am and it’s also mental torture because despite your condition they are asking you to make a very stressful decision. They want you to choose between a chopper and a coaster to take you to Veteran’s Memorial.”

“Memorial? Hoy buhay pa ako, noh!”

6:30 A.M. (Mike Arroyo arrives)

“Buenos dias mi amor, has dormido bien? Me pidió que le pusieran a mi niña a dormir.”

“PUÑETA! Tu tambien?”

“Ano daw? Bakit nagmumura si Ma’am?” Elena whispers to the nurse.

“Sabi kasi ni Sir Mike, ‘Good morning my love, did you sleep well? I asked the nurse to put my little girl to sleep.’”

Also in Interaksyon.com

Fr. Joaquin Bernas: Then and Now

Posted in Manuel Buencamino,Philip Gilmore Cartoons by uniffors on the December 14th, 2011

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Here’s a report on what he wrote Jan. 1, 2010.

    Bernas: Arroyo appointment may destroy SC credibility
    By Norman Bordadora
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    First Posted 01:06:00 01/23/2010

    Filed Under: Politics, Judiciary (system of justice)

    CONSTITUTIONALIST FR. Joaquin Bernas on Friday warned of an undermined Supreme Court should its justices be made to decide on the contentious issues regarding the appointment of the next Chief Justice.

    At a forum to discuss the question of whether President Macapagal-Arroyo, whose term ends in June, can appoint the successor of Chief Justice Reynato Puno, Bernas said it would be risky for the magistrates to deliberate on the matter.

    “The very dangerous thing here is to let the Supreme Court … justices fight over this among themselves,” Bernas said.

    “This would really destroy the credibility of the Supreme Court,” he said.

    The high court is expected to serve as the final arbiter on whether Ms Arroyo will make a valid appointment if she chooses the next Chief Justice when Puno retires on May 17.

    The Constitution bans appointments by a President two months before a presidential election and until the presidential term expires on June 30.

    Ms Arroyo’s allies say she is authorized to name the next Chief Justice. They maintain that the constitutional prohibition on midnight appointments only covers executive positions.

    Her critics argue that she is intent on naming Puno’s replacement to ensure that the Supreme Court is composed entirely of her appointees.

    Can appoint without BC list

    Bernas is of the opinion that the next President after the May elections should be the one to appoint the next chief justice.

    He said that even with the constitutional requirement that a President has to appoint a new Chief Justice within 90 days after the vacancy, the next President still has 45 days to make the appointment when he or she assumes office on June 30.

    “The Supreme Court can enjoin the [Judicial and Bar Council] from submitting the list [to Ms Arroyo],” Bernas said when asked what options were available to prevent the incumbent President from appointing the next Chief Justice.

    But he noted that Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile had both expressed the opinion that Ms Arroyo could appoint the next Chief Justice even without a list of nominees from the JBC.

    In his column in the Inquirer on Jan. 17, Bernas, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, said the President could choose a Supreme Court justice only from JBC nominees.

    “Cory Aquino made appointments without a JBC list, as Senate President Enrile correctly recalls, but only when there was as yet no JBC,” Bernas said.

    SC can stop JBC

    Under the Constitution, the JBC is mandated to screen nominees and applicants to the Supreme Court.

    It follows a process that includes submitting a short list of at least three names from which the President chooses an appointee to the tribunal.

    The President has 90 days from the start of the vacancy to appoint a replacement magistrate.

    At the same forum organized by the Supreme Court Appointments Watch consortium, former Senate President Franklin Drilon said that on its own, the high court could stop the JBC from submitting the shortlist.

    Drilon said the high court had supervision over the JBC and in 1998 ordered it not to draw up a list of nominees for the replacement of then Associate Justice Ricardo Francisco until the end of then President Fidel Ramos’ term.
    “There was no petitioner in that case. The Supreme Court took it upon itself,” Drilon said.

    Not fatal

    Bernas said the absence of a Chief Justice would not be fatal to a democracy.
    “If you think [the justices] can’t handle it, you are insulting [them],” he said, indicating that an acting Chief Justice would be sufficient to guide the tribunal even through the expected political issues in an election year.

    “In my mind, the justices of the Supreme Court should nominate among themselves the acting Chief Justice,” he added.

    Bernas said he could not understand what Puno meant when he was quoted in the news as saying that a new Chief Justice should be appointed in an election year.

    In the event of an election protest involving the presidency and the vice presidency, Bernas said the high court would become the presidential electoral tribunal, but “he [the Chief Justice] is only one vote.”

    He said any person who accepted the post of Chief Justice from Ms Arroyo would open himself or herself to impeachment by the next Congress.

    “If the President wants to get rid of a justice, she can appoint him and hope that he accepts the appointment,” Bernas added.

    The most senior justice in the Supreme Court is Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, a former presidential legal counsel and ally of Ms Arroyo’s.

    Carpio has since decided some cases against the administration’s interests.

Court Administrator Midas Marquez gives marching orders to RTC judges

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the December 14th, 2011

Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros typifies the mind-set of the allies and supporters of impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona.

He said, “I am sad with the turn of events and surprised with the speed…it was politically motivated. Sabi nila walang pakialam ang Malacañang pero kitang-kita naman ang kamay nila. Politically motivated ito.”

I wonder what the bishop and his ilk think of the speech of Court Administrator Midas Marquez at the oath-taking ceremony of the Manila Judges Association (FULL SPEECH HERE)

Below are excerpts from the speech of Marquez. Keep in mind that Marquez is the Court Administrator. That means he is the general manager of the judiciary. He oversees programs and personnel in the judiciary, specially the lower courts with its 2000 judges and 27,000 court personnel. He delivered his speech at the swearing in of the new president of the Manila Judges Association, Judge Antonio Eugenio.

    “Make no mistake. This is an assault not only the person of Chief Justice Corona, not only on his Office, not only on the Supreme Court. This is an assault on all the rights, power and privileges of the entire Judiciary. We are being forced to surrender our constitutionally-mandated powers and functions to the whim and caprice of political machinations.”

    “If I may be allowed to speculate, and I say this not as an official of the Court but a lawyer speaking from my own little understanding of the law and the Constitution, these charges can have no genuine motive other than to malign, to smear and to destroy the reputations of the Chief Justice, the Supreme Court, and the entire Judiciary for obvious political reasons and personal ambitions.”

    “I offer to you, to all of you judges, this brotherly warning that the forces and the issues at play here are aimed at our very offices, our sworn duties, and our important roles in our constitutional structure and administration of justice. To be sure, the perpetrators of this dastardly assault hope to intimidate and inspire fear amongst us with the loud clamoring of their ill-advised leadership. If they can toy with the public’s mind, to put the Chief Justice at the precipice of disaster, how much easier can it be to pressure any other member of the judiciary or anyone of us?”

    “We often refer to the Chief Justice as if he were the Supreme Court itself, and rightly so, because he is the physical embodiment of judicial power. He is primus inter pares for administrative matters but also for upholding the court and our system of justice. As he said in his speech yesterday, not only is he our Chief Justice, he is also our defender.”

    “I am emboldened and inspired by his courage. For me, it is not only a source of strength but a call to duty. It is the same call I ask you all to heed.”

Sounds like marching orders from the Court Administrator, right?

Now here’s Judge Eugenio’s response to the call to arms of Midas Marquez the Court Administrator.

    “When Hitler assumed power in Germany, he was a most popular figure. He put up the Third Reich and trampled on the rights of everyone because he was very popular. We all know what happened to Adolf Hitler.”

    “Today, we cut the umbilical cord…Let the branches be separate and let us be independent on our own. They act, they measure righteousness by sheer numbers. They act on the basis of popularity, saying the perception that the majority of the people believe in their actions, and they measure that popularity is always right.”

Judge Eugenio could have saved a lot of saliva by cutting his speech to three words, “Aye, Aye, Sir!”

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