Arrogance.

With power comes responsibility. But this administration has shown us otherwise.

In the light of the recent political events in the Philippines, President Noynoy and his allies have shown the slightest prudence towards their considered enemies. And many Filipinos, sadly, find joy in such behavior.

I understand completely the ultimate vow of this administration to make the corrupt accountable; and I am with that. It is true, those who have been PROVEN to have committed these acts should pay for their wrongdoing no matter who he or she is. Public office, after all, is public trust. And no one is definitely above our law.

But if we closely examine the behavior of the President’s alter egos and the statements they hurled to the press on the reported threat to President Arroyo and the decisions of the High Court, you will see that it’s not as cheerful yellow as they want all of us to see.

Take, for example, Secretary Butch Abad, the Secretary of Budget and Management. When interviewed on the threats against the life of his former boss (prior to their treachery), he said that CGMA’s spokeswoman, Elena Bautista-Horn, should see a psychiatrist and have a psych exam. Len Horn replied joyfully in agreement, provided that Abad, the entire Cabinet, and the President would do the same.

Clearly, arrogance has taken over the Palace of the People; a palace that should be at the strictest objectivity at a time of crisis. We now see a Palace on war mode, saying statements that festoon nothing but their arrogance and their lack of media savvy.

The President himself has shown his arrogance. In a speech before his bourgeoisie allies at the Makati Business Club, he questions the decisions of the High Court, especially in the issuance of a TRO in 3 days when the usual turnaround time was 10 days. Why did the President not question the more speedy feat of Pasay City RTC Judge Mupas who issued an arrest warrant within a day from the filing of a complaint against CGMA. I guess that’s faster.

Secretary Leila de Lima has also been arrogant. Knowing the decision of the High Court on her watchlist order, she disallowed still CGMA to leave the country for medical treatment. She cites that the disbarment case against her is just part of a demolition job. Wow!

I’m proud I did not cast a vote for this government.

Political Bloodbath

The Liberal Party (Samar and Balay Groups) headed by the President Benigno Aquino III led a political bloodbath last week by defying the Supreme Court’s decision, depriving a citizen of her right to travel, and showing the Filipino people that, in the spirit of political grandstanding, they can file a case and have an arrest warrant issued within the day. While many of the Filipinos, blinded by the bling of this regime, call it JUSTICE, some Filipinos view it otherwise.

This is propaganda; a well-thought-of propaganda of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan and their oligarch allies to maintain their hold to power. It has been the distinct style of the Aquinos in maintaining power; abusing people by forgetting their rights and treating them as rightless citizens. And this government will know no bounds to maintain a good and steady impression.

They are likely to succeed, because by their side are media institutions, handed by President Corazon Aquino to their oligarchic allies after the Marcos ouster. Add to that the disloyalty of today’s politicians, once gracious towards Arroyo and now against her when she was left with no power. They call it siding with the truth, I call that a starfruit (balimbing).

What are we suppose to teach our children? Clearly, many Filipinos have understood the concepts of due process, equality, and rights. We laughed at CGMA when she was to fly out of the country and even tell that she’s just pretending to be sick. We admire a Justice Secretary with no respect for the judiciary. And we honor a President who does not do justice to every man.

I’m so glad I did not waste an ink of my marker for this President, his cohorts, and his oligarch allies.

Watch this video and know the truth.

The Presidential Oath

“I do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President [or Vice-President or Acting President] of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God…”

On the 30th of June every six years, elected Presidents of the country say this oath with his/her right hand raised and the left hand rested on the Scripture. This is the summary of their obligation to the Filipino people and the Almighty. This may, for some, just be a ceremony or a ritual prior to accession to presidency, but this is the President’s contract with the people.

Many of our Presidents have sworn using this exact words, while others have used a form similar to it; but in all versions of this oath the President’s commitment to be the executor of justice and preserver of the Laws are always pronounced.

Today, President Aquino and his cohorts have violated almost every line of this oath. The injustice committed against former President and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo by not allowing her to fly overseas to seek medical treatment is the most perfect example of infidelity to this promise.

“…I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President of the Philippines…”

Noynoy Aquino fulfilled his duty as President, but what he did, even to the rudest critics of CGMA, were in violation of his actual duties.

“…preserve and defend its Constitution…”

Noynoy Aquino violated the constitution by violating section 6, Article III of the constitution, which protects every Filipino’s right to travel.

“…execute its laws…”

When the Supreme Court, the interpreter of the laws of the land, issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against his cohort’s directive, his cohorts ignore it. How do these actions equal or fulfill this part of the oath?

“…do justice to every man…”

The line is clear, but Noynoy perhaps understood it as “do justice to every man except Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her family”.

 

“…consecrate myself to the service of the nation…”

The simple ignoring of a Court directive demonstrates that this administration will not put the national interest FIRST if it does not align with its propaganda. They consecrate themselves to nothing but to the service and benefit of themselves.

IMO, President Noynoy Aquino has violated this oath, and has broken his vow to the people. He has promised to bring us to the well-paved road, never telling us that it will be filled with crime and leadership weakness. He has told us that we are his boss, but acting in the contrary thereof. He has committed to serve this nation, but has done nothing even close to it. Thank God I was given the wisdom not to vote for this man.

Allow me to leave you with a quote from the former President herself, in her final State of the Nation Address:

“…I know what to do, as I have shown, I will defend democracy with arms when it is threatened by violence; with firmness when it is weakened by division; with law and order where it is subverted by anarchy; and always, I will try to sustain it by wise policies of economic progress, so that a democracy means not just an empty liberty but a full life for all….”

And she did. Noynoy Aquino, it’s your time.

Peace.

Our Right to Travel.

 

“The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.” – Section 6, Article III, 1987 Constitution

The Supreme Court has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against DOJ Department Circular 41, impairing Pampanga Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (CGMA) to go overseas for medical treatment. I thank the SC for clarity of m

Secretary De Lima once said that she is putting CGMA on the watch-list oder in the spirit of national interest, a phrase clearly not in the provision stated above. The constitution is clear about the potential restrictions to this right: NATIONAL SECURITY, PUBLIC SAFETY, or PUBLIC HEALTH.ind and objectivity in disposing of this matter.

I was browsing through arguments of legal luminaries on the right to travel and I found it extremely worth the nation’s time. UP College of Law Dean Pangalangan said that the right to travel is not absolute because if it was so, no travel ban to war-torn nations may be issued. I am not a lawyer but perhaps my reply to this contention would suffice: travelling to war-torn nations by our migrant workers may cause danger to them (PUBLIC SAFETY), may bring them to the brink of war-related illnesses (PUBLIC HEALTH), and may drag us unnecessarily to that war by being stubborn (NATIONAL SECURITY). While these do not directly affect all Filipinos, it has a national implication.

This administration’s major fear is about to be realized. Once PGMA has left the country for medical treatment, the people will focus its energies on examining if this administration has even at least attempted to find solutions to the true problems of the nation rather than placing blame on people. While I go for the current administration’s fight for accountability, they must now begin to channel their energies in doing more meaningful things for this country.

If this administration can hinder the travel plans of a former president based on text messages that, based on their standards, they consider credible, then I begin to fear what they can do to ordinary citizens.

Let us fight for our right to travel.

Let those who are Free Live a Free Life.

The Filipino nation must condemn the injustice currently being undertaken by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband, Atty. Jose Miguel Arroyo.

Today, the ministers of President Benigno Aquino III have rejected the request of Pampanga Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband to proceed overseas for medical treatment citing numerous things which only sum up as excuses. It comes to me as a surprise that this decision to curtail the congresswoman’s constitutional right to travel and her inherent right to life was decided upon by a lawyer; someone who must be of the sternest knowledge in the constitution and a protector of the laws of the land.

Every Filipino has the right to free travel, which may only be suppressed if it compromises national security, public safety, or public health. I believe that all these three are not present in the situation. Secretary de Lima argues that her departure may cause delays or derailment of proceedings in which she is involved. However, Congresswoman Arroyo does not even have a case in court. And even if she has, we return to the basic premise of justice; “everyone is deemed innocent until proven otherwise.” Her right to life includes the right to choose a physician and place of treatment of her choice, and must not be subject to anybody’s assessment except that of herself.

If this can be done to a former President and member of Congress, then, the Filipino people living quiet lives have something to fear. In democracies, these courses of action constitute tyranny. Congresswoman Arroyo, when she was President, even allowed then-indicted Joseph Estrada to have surgery in Hong Kong. Former President Marcos allowed Noynoy’s father, then Senator Ninoy Aquino, to have heart surgery in the United States. What strong justification does this administration have to suppress someone’s right to be healthy? Even someone’s right to travel?

President Aquino should focus more on spearheading concrete measures to make this country a better place. We all know his anti-corruption message; and we applaud him for that crusade. But Mr. President, corruption is only one piece of the pie. And curtailing rights is a form of corruption.

To all Filipinos: Let those who are free live a free life.

Peace!

[Pacquiao-Margarito] Who will prevail?

Less than 24 hours and the Philippines will once again be a ghost town with a zero crime rate. Thanks, of course, to Manny Pacquiao’s boxing matches that grind the country to a screeching halt everytime.

I would like to believe that when I go back to work tomorrow it will be a traffic-free C-5 and Ortigas Ave. Extension, which reduces my travel time to almost half of the time I spend during regular days. Office earlier, Overtime, more money for me, Thanks, Manny.

Though I’m not a fan of calibrated violence such as boxing, I am one with the nation in wishing Cong. Manny Pacquiao all the best. I am praying not for his sake, but for the sake of the people of Saranggani who elected him to Congress as their representative. If he is badly damaged, then Saranggani will not be represented. And that worries me more than him just losing per se.

Based on what I see, the battle will delve on speed (Pacquiao) versus size (Margarito). I don’t want to say that one is stronger because I’m sure that their strength is equal given their body proportions. But Margarito’s height and grasp (way longer than Manny’s) can spell the difference.

Let’s see tomorrow. Everybody will be glued to their seats (except me).

Good luck, Manny.

ILANG DEKADA NA, BAKIT WALA PA RING MAGNA CARTA”: The Iloilo Political Education Series 2010

I congratulate the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, AKBAYAN Youth, the Political Science Socity of the University of Iloilo, the Coalition for Students’ Rights and Welfare, and other partner organizations for launching this as part of their political education series. It is very important that the students are fully aware about this bill and how this measure affects us as the youth and as students.

As member of DEKADA party in the Faculty of Arts and Letters of UST (2004-2006) and as former Chairperson of the Alyansa ng Kristiyanong Lakas Party (AKLAS) of UST from 2007 – 2008, and as one of the unwilling victims of abuse of school administrators in UST, Students’ Rights and Welfare is an advocacy that is truly worth my time, OUR TIME. Coming from a deeply conservative Dominican institution, any sound of criticism, complaint or dissatisfaction was considered a rebellion and those who continued on are persecuted until silence is met. The same is true with our brother campus journalists, mostly those who are in active engagement and from far-flung towns and cities. The Students’ Rights and Welfare Bill must be lobbied for by the youth ourselves and must not be killed by our own apathy.

I believe strongly in the premise that democracy is best taught by example, and that rights may only be protected by their fervent and constant exercise. And I think the best nesting ground for true democracy is the school. The school is the microcosm of society, and in it, conditions must be set for individuals to taste the fullness of democracy, which is the key to effective citizenship in a democratic society. Schools must not be obstructive with respect to students’ rights, but must not be lax as well. There must not only be a sense of freedom, but a sense of responsibility as well.

However, I believe that the STRAW must strongly include campus journalists, and consolidate into it R.A. 7079 (Campus Journalism Act) in order for it to be a true and complete charter.

To my friend and freedom colleague Gibby Gorres, and former congresswoman Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, Kudos!