Appointing an MILF man: Can Aquino do this?

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President Aquino recently appointed as member of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) one Sheriff Abas, an obscure lawyer. The only explanation that has emerged for this is that Abas is a nephew of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Jihad Executive Committee member and chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal.

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Nobody, not even a Malacanang spokesman, could put in a good word for the new appointee. That’s because no one knew him, although the roster of Philippine attorneys confirms he passed the BAR in 2005.

There were reports that he was with the Comelec as regional director for the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). False, the director there has been for several years Ray Sumalipao and assistant director Renault Macarambon.

He has never worked with the Comelec, so you can reasonably conclude he doesn’t know a thing about election laws, one of the most specialized fields of Philippine legal practice.

There were also reports that he was regional director of the Civil Service Commission for ARMM. False again, as the CSC regional director for ARMM has been Leopoldo Valderosa.

The new chairman, Andres Bautista, however, told the media that Abas has reported to him, and that he was just “winding up his work at the CSC’s Cotabato office.” But Abas must be a low ranking officer there. Of the six officers listed on the CSC’s website as manning its ARMM regional office, none is named Abas.

Iqbal nephew Abas: First MILF man in Comelec?

Iqbal nephew Abas: First MILF man in Comelec?

If he has been a lawyer since 2005, Abas must have been a mediocre one. After passing the bar in 2005, he joined the CSC in 2007 and after eight years, he isn’t even among those presently listed by the CSC as running its ARMM office. Even Firdausi Abbas, president of the Muslim Bar Association of the Philippines, told the media that Abas is “unknown” and the “little information” the association has about him is that he is closely related to Iqbal.

It was new Comelec chair Bautista who verified that Abas has confirmed to him that he was a nephew of MILF chief negotiator Iqbal, whose real name is Datukan Abas. Iqbal, though, has refused to confirm the relationship. Had he not been exposed since as someone whose real name was Datukan Abas, I don’t think anybody would notice that the new commissioner was his nephew.

The only explanation, therefore, why Abas was appointed into this most important constitutional body that is a pillar of our democracy is that he is a nephew of Iqbal, who most likely asked—maybe even demanded Aquino—to put him there.

And it isn’t Iqbal obviously who asked Aquino so: Iqbal merely relayed the wishes of his principal, the MILF.

Abas is, therefore, MILF’s man in the Comelec.

The BBL law hasn’t even been passed, and the MILF already enjoys the clout to appoint its people into key government positions. One can imagine the power it would wield when given its own nation-state called Bangsamoro.

So what would an Iqbal kin’s mission be at the Comelec?

Melchor Magdamo, a co-convenor of the Citizens for Clean and Credible Elections, claims that Abas will make sure the plebiscite required for the establishment of the Bangsamoro state, as well as the elections for parliament, will favor the MILF.

Of course, the President has broad authority to appoint whomever he wishes to government posts.

But this authority is limited by those things we call decency and sense of accountability to the nation. He can’t just appoint an obscure lawyer because the MILF wishes so.

Of course, Congress’ Commission on Appointments would have to confirm Abas’ appointment.

But Aquino has been ignoring the CA, and simply reappointed four Cabinet members—Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje and Energy Secretary Carlos Padilla—four times when the committee refused to confirm them. The former three were finally confirmed four years after their appointment, while Petilla will be resigning the post he has held for nearly five years without being confirmed!

Aquino will most likely ignore the CA’s refusal to confirm an obscure lawyer he appointed as Comelec commissioner, at the behest—or command—of the MILF.

Aquino and the MILF certainly have all the grounds covered for setting up the Bangsamoro substate during this presidency.

Why do we allow this President to ride roughshod over all notions of accountability to the public?

Mad dog Bondal
Oops, Renato Bondal just made a fool of himself, and demonstrated to the public that he is a mad-dog like Senator Antonio Trillanes, hurling wild allegations against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son Makati mayor “Junjun.”

Bondal claimed a mere “ophthalmologist” named Dr. Jack Arroyo, purportedly a relative of former senator Joker Arroyo, is a “dummy” for the vice president as he invested in 20 percent of a health-care company that had involved the University of Makati.

Bondal’s handlers may have gone tired of their work fabricating allegations against the Binays that they’ve become lazy and weren’t doing their research well enough.

Going through public corporate records, they found a “Dr. Jack Arroyo” as an incorporator in the healthcare firm. “Must be related to Binay’s ally Senator Arroyo.” They checked the yellow pages. “Why, he’s just an ophthalmologist,” Bondal’s handlers figured, ignoramuses who thought an “ophthalmologist” is one of those people in an eyeglass store in a mall who test your sight to determine your eye grade. (Those are either optometrists or opticians, who don’t have an M.D., dummy!) “Obviously, just a dummy of Binay Arroyo supplied,” Bondal and his handlers concluded, feeding their “discovery” to Trillanes.

I nearly fell off my seat after reading Bondal’s accusations.

Dr. Arroyo is a well-known eye surgeon who made laser eye surgery (Lasik, or laser-assisted in situ Keratomileusis), very much accepted in the country, and even brought down its prices to affordable levels. An associate of his had estimated that he must have done some 50,000 such eye surgeries that “liberated” his patients from their dependence on eyeglasses.

He’s known for having done such surgery for such celebrities as Efren Bata (whose eyes are, so to speak, one of his major tools for his trade), former President Fidel Ramos and tycoon Eduardo Espiritu. The latter was so impressed with Arroyo and his work that he invested in American Eye Center where Dr. Arroyo is an investor and of which he is a director.

Dr. Arroyo’s laser surgery, in fact, has been well known even in the US—that, I’ve seen myself, with Americans and Fil-Ams crowding his clinic waiting for their turn to have their vision corrected in a few minutes by Arroyo or his associates. He has contributed a lot to medical tourism in the country.

With such a successful practice, why would he bother to act as dummy for anyone?

What a stupid Bondal, I’m amazed why the Senate even allows him to enter its building.

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27 Comments

  1. Google “Dr Jack Arroyo, Philippine eye surgeon” and one gets about 8 or nine pages of google.com entries pertaining to this famous surgeon who pioneered the “Lasik eye surgery” method,- his medical practice published beginning in 1995 yet. There’s not even one single mention of this UP Padre Faura medical school graduate being in politics or associated w/ politicians, so I can agree w/ Mr Tiglao that ‘mad-dog” Bondal just wasted his time on what appears to be a stupid expedition of ‘guilt-by-association’ typical of his class (and Sen Trillanes’?).
    Here in our country, it’s just your luck if your surname happens to match those of administration’s sworn enemies! Shudder….

  2. Alejo Rosete on

    If the Filipinos wants the Philippines to have a Professional, Statesman, isang Presidente na MAIPAGMALIKI NG PILIPINAS SA BUONG MUNDDO,
    GIBO IS THE ANSWER.
    GIBO – – – – – GIBO – – – – – GIBO – – – – – –

  3. michael obispo on

    Every individual starts with nothing… when he/she is born he has no clothing to cover himself,he doesn’t even know how to eat or make things for his better until his parents care for him and the society accepts him and be part of it…
    To this editor,even you came from nothing…do not judge individuals just because he is unknown,if that will be the case then PNoy should appoint a celebrity or a topnotcher as well,but that is not the case.
    That slot taken by Abas is normally reserve for Muslims,and Abas though linked to Iqbal is obviously has the support of the Bangsamoro People at large. An individual though unknown but the populations supports him is far far better than a known individual with no support from the bangsamoro!

    REPLY: hE DOES NOT HAVE THE SUPPORT OF THE TAUSUGS. rEAD ABUT THE HEARINGS IN sULU YESTERDAY AND TODAY OF sENATOR MARCOS’ COMMITTEE IN TOMORROW’S PAPERS.

  4. Odnalor Obirt on

    Pnoy has no more chance to be the President of the Philippines so he is now preparing to be the MILF Supreme Commander. It’s obvious with everything he is doing about the passage of BBL and creation of Bangsamoro.

  5. emmanuel mallari on

    going back to wishful thinking, perhaps this obscure and unknown lawyer whose only credential is that of being a nephew of peace negotiator Iqbal…will take it upon himself to totally reject his appointment. Una, sa dami ng kumokontra sa appointment niya baka talaban siya ng hiya. 2nd….he is really an unknown personality with no background in election laws, 3rd…compared to other commissioners…he is a nobody as in….anyway this is just my wishful thinking but then again, miracle do happen…di ba?

  6. A mere ophthalmologist acting as dummy in behalf of a former Makati mayor Jojo Binay? That’s really an amazing story ever concocted by the yellow Liberal party operators.

  7. masyado NG betrayal na president abno na yan sa pinas, one day our country will be a Muslim country.. Ini isa is a na ni abno appoint sa higher opis ang mga Muslim … Calling all military time to unite na at mag aklas Laban sa puwit na Daan ni abnoy…huwag matakut paalisin nayan…

  8. Just informing the columnist that opticians don’t need a doctorate degree but an optometrist, while not an MD, needs to be a doctor of optometry.

  9. we need a smart politician like gibo teodoro, he should supposed to be our president now, not this obvious stupid one, who has a lot of blunders ever since he took office.

  10. Amnata Pundit on

    Somebody ought to look for something, anything, that could disqualify this fellow and file a case with the Supreme Court. It will be interesting what the SC will do.

  11. Gibo, our country needs you. We need you. Pls. be our president and save this country from corrupt and stupid politicians.

  12. Thank you for the info mr. tiglao. I really suspect that Pnoy might be the new milf chairman or advisor. traitor!

  13. Richard Saing on

    I am still confident that the right man to become the next president is Mr. Gibo Teodoro. I am also willing to contribute and help him in my own personal capacity. There are still many Cebuanos who believed in his sincerity, highest integrity, and intelligence. Our Country needs a leader like him. Let’s all support GIBO4President2016. May God bless the Philippines!

  14. I’m for Gibo for president and I’m willing to contribute money to his campaign fund kahit po konti lang… I guess kung lahat ng Pro Gibo ay mag co contribute para sa campaign fund ay maiinspire sya na tumakbo ulit… sana po ay independent sya…don’t associate with any political party Gibo

  15. christinetan on

    Ibig sabihin ba sa Abas appointment ay mas malakas na ngayon ang impluwensya ng MILF kay sa INC?

    • siguro nga mas malakas na ngayon ang milf kesa sa inc. ang inc, pagkakaalam ko, ay mahigit 3Million lang ang botanteng myembro. ang milf, pwedeng pabotohin ang mga nasa sementeryo at siguradong 100% panalo ka sa lugar nila pag sinuportahan ka nila.

  16. E. G. Festin on

    Can’t we have a People Power Revolt now?
    We Filipinos are being devoured by LIARS, HYPOCRITES and TRAITORS.

  17. Pinakawalan nga ni Frank yun ten little Indians who were caught red-handed with their eleven drums of prohibited drugs before so naturalemente, ano aasahan mo sa baboy? Since he can not even instill discipline on SAMS Antonio for that brat’s continuing fishing expedition nor imbibe self discipline among those bovines in the sty so they can mitigate their greed, he should have resigned long ago – if he has still some sense of pride. But he so loves the pork barrel so much like senyor kho rheena that he is willing to become a national rubber stamp of simyon just so that he can feed the best friend of his former wife.

  18. I am a former patient of Dr Jack Arroyo and can attest that he is not a mere ophthalmologist ! He is well known in LASIK surgery! Bondal is a mere puppy of Trillanes ! Bondal is a former lapdog of BINAY!

    REPLY
    This is is fom the column of Mr. Tiglao:
    “Dr. Arroyo is a well-known eye surgeon who made laser eye surgery (Lasik, or laser-assisted in situ Keratomileusis), very much accepted in the country, and even brought down its prices to affordable levels. An associate of his had estimated that he must have done some 50,000 such eye surgeries that “liberated” his patients from their dependence on eyeglasses.

    “He’s known for having done such surgery for such celebrities as Efren Bata (whose eyes are, so to speak, one of his major tools for his trade), former President Fidel Ramos and tycoon Eduardo Espiritu. The latter was so impressed with Arroyo and his work that he invested in American Eye Center where Dr. Arroyo is an investor and of which he is a director.

    “Dr. Arroyo’s laser surgery, in fact, has been well known even in the US—that, I’ve seen myself, with Americans and Fil-Ams crowding his clinic waiting for their turn to have their vision corrected in a few minutes by Arroyo or his associates.”

  19. Alejo Rosete on

    All these people are Mad-dogs.
    1.Lead by BS Aquino which means to me BullllllShhhhhhttttttt
    2. Here comes FMD = Foot And Mouth disease
    3. Here comes Senator Trillioness = $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    4. etc., etc. etc. etc. – – – – – – – – – –
    This is administration of Mad-dogs = Kaibigan, Kacampe, Kaclasi, Kamaganak Inc.

  20. emmanuel mallari on

    is there a legal avenue to question or stop his appointment? if none, then the commission on appointment (vested in congress) should not confirm his appointment at all. but this is just wishful thinking as congress is in the palm of the president. look at what happened to de lima, paje, and soliman….they found a way and proceeded to confirm the appointment of these clowns. they did the confirmation when most committee members were already on break or not available. they should amend the law (if there is such a law) prohibiting the president from appointing someone outside of the short-listed candidates. or, create a law in this regard.

    • Kale Alaskador on

      Well…we can only hope that he meets an “accident”! If there is no legal solution to stop his appointment, then maybe there will be an “extra judicial settlement”, if you know what I mean.

  21. Roldan Guerrero on

    I also dont know why that after 20 hearings consuming and wasting government funds, with negative findings after all, this fishing expedition continues. A sort of quick rewind, are there still left around lawmakers like Recto, Tanada, Diokno, Tolentino, Salonga etc? I find some but what we mostly have now are MUTINEER, CROCODILES, and even high school undergraduates who do not even understand the meaning of the word LAWMAKER.
    The reason why PIGNOY forces through enactment of the BBL is he will use it as his sanctuary, together with his team LP and KKK after he goes down from office. Surely the MILF who is assumed now to be very well and able to fight AFP will protect him as a reward for creating a new state in favor of the MILF.

    • Odnalor Obirt on

      Pnoy ang his followers intentionally did not upgrade the capability of AFP and PNP instead gave supports and budget to MILF to have more powerful armaments while his two cronies in the so called Peace Panel was manipulating the system. Analysing the current situation, the Philippines is now in big, big trouble. The MILF has the upper arm and it is clearly surfacing now.