• Credentials and qualifications; MV Jin Teng


    TY and goodbye, Steve Psinakis. He called me on February 25, 1986 in Wack Wack at eventide to say that the Marcoses would be flown out. The Greek-American was our Lafayette, who cared for A Country Not Even His Own [this is the title of his second book about the Philippines during the Marcos regime], with a passion that whips the blood.

    (The townhouse Lafayette once lived in, in Washington, D.C. was part of the law office, Arnold & Porter, I once trained in.) Steve was behind courageous Serge Osmena’s daring Great Escape in 1977 (with Geny Lopez, both detained for five years).

    TY and goodbye, Gabby Singson, with whom I had some pleasant meets. An Atenean, he was No. 2 in the 1952 bar and attended Michigan for his master’s. A good public servant, with top credentials, like his successor, fellow Atenean Say Tetangco (the incumbent).

    Once again, we hear of proposals from our own to require academic credentials for senators and higher positions. I am not sure. Macoy was one hell of a criminal genius along with certain of his Justices, Cabinet Members and technocrats. Let alone Imelda and the scary “The First Lady wants this.” I did serve in a Senate that, in my row alone, I had Manong Bert Romulo (Universidad Central de Madrid), Manang Letty Ramos-Shahani (Wellesley and Sorbonne) and fellow Harvard Man Bobby Tanada, for company.

    Yet, Prez Ramon Magsaysay was a mechanic with a Commerce degree from JRC, a much-admired and well-loved Prez, ears close to the ground.

    Grace now clearly leads the polls kuno. A political science major from Boston College (which my wife attended for her master’s in social work) should not hurt this quick study?

    If she wins widely, tapos ang boksing. The sovereign people will have spoken. Vox populi vox Dei. . . . “The Supreme Coort follows the iliction returns,” said Finley Peter Dunne’s Mr. Dooley, whose work was read weekly in Cabinet meets.

    Millions pine for US residency and/or citizenship anyway and expect leadership and defense from the Great White Father. Any hazardous poll on Statehood? That’s the reality on the ground. It may be different if Grace is seen as Martian, or Manchurian. But, she looks like us.

    If she wins narrowly, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal will have its work cut out for it. I am strongly committed to defend Grace on the foundling issue but not as strongly as my hope to see lawyer Leni Robredo emerge as Veep.

    Grace-Leni. Leni was my unassuming grad law school mate in San Beda who takes the bus to and from Bicol. Who cares what purchased or gifted bag she uses? My late hardworking wife had a Rolex and insisted that I use a Tag Heuer to replace my Seiko, about to fall with the next wind blow, I purchased in Hong Kong in 1970 on our way home.

    Did Grace not win in the Senate? Bizarre question, but lingers. There was a quorum and the majoritarian rule prevails unless a qualified majority is required as to foundlings in that he who has less in life should have nothing in law.

    Fifteen Justices hold a session. Eight Justices have valid reasons to inhibit, relationship, compadrazgo, having taken part below, etc.. (“Took no part” does not mean “di ako pumarte”) The remaining seven vote 7-0. The zero vote wins????? Weird reading of en banc cases “shall be decided with the concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the cases and voted therein.” Const., Art. VIII, Sec. 4(2) No “save in the case of foundlings who must get eight votes.” Even if Grace gets all seven votes she still loses? Insensate. Majority of the voting members makes sense. I have been a student of constitutional law for longer than I care to remember. I had a course on it in Harvard Law.

    On credentials, my problem with Manny Pacquiao has nothing to do with education. Indeed, he may be too clever by half.

    Good Friday last, surfing, the Solar Channel was showing Manny, who can credibly claim he had nothing to do with campaigning on Biyernes Santo, another first (a culture shocker for me was finding myself in class on Good Friday in the US).

    How lucky can he get? The Comelec professed helplessness and could not intone like a Scandinavian Ombudsman “Thou Shalt Not.” More potent than a ruling. Gravitas.

    During this campaign season, Manny let it be known that he’s against LGBTs, “worse than animals,” he said. His time-consuming focus on travelling and training has protected him from making other vote-losing pronouncements, like his stand on divisive issues such as the death penalty, BBL, Sabah, Jin Teng, Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, atbp. Now he talks of the Rio Olympics and his desire to be there! More absences then.

    We may know when he errs on issues, his lips move, as on LGBTs? Has he been heard on MV Jin Teng? To be fair, who among the bets know about the NoKor vessel? The Senate focuses on foreign relations, its forte. Who has spoken about something that could have made the NoKors aim a nuke weapon at us? Particularly after our Azkals nipped favored North Korea, 3-2, in soccer last Tuesday in Rizal (the adjoining rotting baseball stadium is only one of two left in the whole wide world where Babe Ruth played; the other is Fenway Park in Boston).

    Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and/or DFA Secretary Rene Almendras owe the people an explanation on MV Jin Teng, seized early last month and released only last week, to North Korea. Lent of 1968, three sailors with Pinoy roots (PP Garcia, Abelon and Anluague) were among the crew of the USS Pueblo, seized by the NoKors for alleged spying. Badly treated. But, the crew was given cordial treatment on Holy Week, and indeed, were released just before Christmas, ‘68. January of that year it was seized by the NoKors, who killed one crewman in the capture.

    We seized MV Jin Teng shortly after the UN issued a new restriction on ships carrying weapons, arguably no ample time to know the new ban or prohibition. Maybe we were the only one to do so. As Talleyrand cautioned, “above all, no zeal.”

    Who among the presidential, vice presidential and senatorial aspirants know or care about Jin Teng?

    When the USS Pueblo was seized, in late January, 1968, we had just started our second semester seminar on Enforcing International Law, with negotiation Guru Roger Fisher as teacher. “Solve the crisis,” he gently asked us and coruscating ideas flew every which way, the sight and sound we would like to see in the next debate next month.

    Problem-solving is what leadership is all about. Prez Reagan might not have been topnotch but he could communicate — and how — and picked the best and the brightest to form his Cabinet.

    Oh, yeah, on my appearance last Tuesday in the Senate’s Lupon ng Lasong Bughaw, I basically pinch-hit for Maia Deguito’s two counsel of record, who had to fly out to Japan on business, to discharge an earlier conflicting commitment. Absolutely no complaints about how I and my plea for another date were received. Impressed and educated I, Salimpusa, was, on a complex polycentric subject.

    The tip of the tip I saw.|

    And it seems even the kitchen sink is thrown at some personalities.
    Premature? No Judge holds daily presscons on a case he is trying. Better?


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    1. Idol Rene, who is my fellow Bedan might have inadvertently missed The Internal Rules of the Supreme Court promulgated in May, 2010. Art 12, Sec 1 on voting requirements stipulated that all actions and decisions in Court en banc cases shall be made in th concurrence of the Majority of the Members of the Court who actually took part in the deliberations on the issue or issues involved and VOTED on them. The 2 accepted voting methods being used in parliaments, SC, corporation and organisation worldwide are, to wit; a) “members present” where the majority required is members present (this is clearly not used in Poe’s case), and b) “members present and voting” where the majority required in Poe’s case is 1/2 plus 1 or 7 of 12 justices who actually VOTED since abstention absolutely has no effect since what is required is majority of the VOTES CAST.

    2. Kurokuro lang on

      My! Bragging like you are the master when it comes to constitutional law, saying that grace as a foundling is eligble. What about mirriam who said otherwise? Who is more brilliant then? Well, in terms of accomplishment as law maker and as a public servant, it pretty much obvious who is the one.

    3. What if they took part in deliberations but abstained in voting? Does abstention have same effect as a no vote (as argued by your colleague in Times)?

    4. Glad to read the Manila Times when Rene is back on its column, first things first early in the morning not sex. I saw you in the august halls of Senate, are you alright Rene? you look like the senior citizens of a Binay pol ad. Anyway your presence is highly palpable with credible respect as TG and Sotto looks in awe at you or are they silently gloat as they hear your rasping voice explaining why Maia Dequito could not attend.Again, I agree with you to a Grace-Leni tandem , ibinulong mo na ba yan kay Kit ? baka himatayin!