THE US talked with Iran and Cuba and finally reached agreement on nuke matters, reaping bouquets and brickbats. They dialogued. No one sued Prez Obama or his negotiators for treason and sedition for going to bed with the enemy. Only in d Pilipins may one run such risk. The US, Iran and Cuba had competed in propaganda and may continue to do so.
Jason Day competed for No. 1 in the British Open a few days ago. He looks Pinoy although he’s taller than the ordinary local. His mother is Waray. Last I read about him talking about his roots, it was when Yolanda victimized kin in the Eastern Visayas. He might have helped, unadvertised, with his millions, but did not plug for aid vocally as Fil-Am Erik Spoelstra and pure Kastilaloy Pau Gasol did.
But, again, he did not win that major, but he competed and helped thrill the golfing world, given the wild and woolly finish. Competition stimulates.
Judge Learned Hand counsels that “[m]any people believe that possession of unchallenged economic power deadens initiative, discourages thrift and depresses energy; that immunity from competition is a narcotic, and rivalry is a stimulant to economic progress; that the spur of constant stress is necessary to counteract an inevitable disposition to let well enough alone.” United States v. Aluminum Co. of America, 148 F.2d 416, 427 (2d Cir. 1945).
Art. 186 of the Revised Penal Code states:
“Monopolies and combinations in restraint of trade. – The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum period or a fine ranging from 200 to 6,000 pesos, or both, shall be imposed upon:
“1. Any person who shall enter into any contract or agreement or shall take part in any conspiracy or combination in the form of a trust or otherwise, in restraint of trade or commerce to prevent by artificial means free competition in the market.
“2. Any person who shall monopolize any merchandise or object of trade or commerce, or shall combine with any other person or persons to monopolize said merchandise or object in order to alter the price thereof by spreading false rumors or making use any other article to restrain free competition in the market;”
I believe Art. 186 covers much of what we complain about today but only three cases may have been filed invoking it, from where I sit. I somehow became involved in all three cases, known to me. One is pending.
In the US, there is a huge powerful Anti-Trust Division. I think we can merely strengthen the small competition office in the DOJ, now headed by tough Geronimo “Indian” Sy. Not another layer in the bureaucracy. But, the new law has the beneficent effect of focusing on anti-competitive practices and to that extent the Aquinos, PNoy and Sen. Bam, deserve kudos for targeting a major concern.
All over we see the biggies conspiring, enjoying the quiet life. They have associations or guilds, which really are cartels and oligopolies. In the oil industry we see the conscious parallelism and price leadership among the leaders. Even resale price maintenance, at war with the market principle, with the seller dictating the resale price.
Let’s hope that R.A. No. 10667 will make a difference in assuring us that if we build a better mousetrap, the world will be a path to our door. But, we remain a nation of scofflaws, beginning with traffic rules.
A continuing assignment, to develop or enhance research skills of my studes, as they meander through the bowels of the bureaucracy, has to do with Sec. 7 of R.A. No. 3019 of April 1960, the Tolentino Law, on Anti-Graft and -Corrupt Practices Act, requiring of one in government a “true, detailed and sworn statement, . . . including a statement of the amounts and sources of his income, the amounts of his personal and family expenses and the amount of income taxes paid for the next preceding calendar year. . . .” We have 1,600,000 in government, which may include my studes, or one close to them, from whom to get the statement. The class early birds are guaranteed a passing grade of 75%, on which to build.
The requirement could not have been repealed by the Feb. ‘89 R.A. No. 6713, Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards – given its Sec. 13 – which I co-authored, sponsored on the floor, and shepherded all the way to the bicameral conference. The law was one reason CJ Rene Corona became jobless and is now facing suits.
Also facing a suit, a criminal one, is Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen, who Rep. Tolits Atienza and Jonat de la Cruz would seem to want to be arrested, prosecuted and jailed for his role in crafting the proposed Basic Bangsamoro Law. A case could be made that even a Prez enjoys no immunity, as the cases of Nixon and Clinton have shown. It would be funny if PNoy would say, “I cannot be charged with rape. I am a busy President.” US Prezs are busier. Immunity has to do with acts; as long as there is color of “officiality,” immune. And no Pinoy Veep is busy in our system, unlike the US Veep, who is the Senate Prez and votes in case of ties.
Can J. Marvic be jailed for doing his best to help solve a problem of centuries? No scienter, or criminal intent, decidedly, only bona fides. Too many people had died. Permit me to doubt then as the act of one is the act of all. PNoy is the key figure behind the BBL. Kapural. He, Marvic, Miriam, Ging, Senen, Michael, et al. in jail?
Stop the world. I wanna get off!
BTW, my long-time and valued friend, Alex Magno, said in his Star column last Tuesday that I should have attended a BBL forum last Saturday. But, there was that little thing about the organizers not having invited me. Only Tolits and Jonat. So I remain in one piece, not butchered. It would have been a friendly fraternal exchange. All of us can take care of ourselves.