Crossing the line


THE right thing must be done in the right way. Meaning no resource person may just be dragged into the Senate Hall without getting in advance a list of questions showing the central point and outer limits of how one can aid the lawmakers in legislating. Per the Supreme Court in the Neri case.

In the US, no Bulaga! hearings. A lawmaker’s staff would sit down with the prospective guest for the central point and outer limits of the inquiry. Civilized. Not inquisitorial. Incriminating evidence is sought? Immunity is worked out. No bullying. Threats of being detained in the City Jail of Pasay? It’s a stinkeroo.

February 17, 1983, midnight, I went to visit Doy Laurel there. The next morning 42 lawyers stood for him, led by Paddy Padilla, Soc Rodrigo and Ka Celing Munoz Palma. Courageous Judge Dionisio Capistrano dismissed the case and denied the prosecution’s plea to reinvestigate to heed Macoy. A gun had been seized from Doy at the airport. We said it had been planted (so we could not very well asked that it be returned, ha, ha). When Doy was finally able to leave I remember that he vowed to give some assistance to the detainees who in 1983 had quarters so overcroded the detainees had to take turns sleeping lying down. 32 years ago. Last I went there, there was full-blown riot. I was reminded of the time in early 1983 in the City Jail of Quezon City where I was detained for contempt (I had called Macoy a “super-subversive” in court and refused to take it back.) Another full-blown riot.

Why should Blue Ribbon invitees be kept in a City Jail?

Violence has no place even in jail. Not even in true sports. Injuries are accidental. But, in boxing, violence is the game itself. Good that in amateur boxing, protective helmets are worn.

I think it is good Manny Pacquiao has finally been sighted in the House, ours, not Washington, D.C.’s. But, he did not get to chair a panel that used to be headed by formidable Rep. Walden Bello, who had abandoned the post. It seems to me it should have been the House to accept the Bello resignation to make sure it would not mean detriment of the public service, a violation of Art. 238 of the Revised Penal Code. As pa-consuelo de bobo Manny was given another panel where he could do a minimum of harm.

A maximum of good or evil Davao’s Digong Duterte represents. He wants the corrupt killed. But the human rights community, marginalized as it may be, may perceive Digong himself as a criminal. He deserves due process which he seems to deny the nonentities he is charged with having dispatched to the Promised Land. Extrajudicial executions. A no-no. Huge. I am not even for judicial execution – for crying out loud – preempting the Lord.

Vigilantisn presents its own set of problems. A looter may be looting to feed a starving family. He has a right to be heard on obeying the first law of mankind: survival.

Is one charged with owing the BIR P3.9B a criminal? What about the presumption of innocence? Does Manny Pacquiao deserve due process? But, he’s a prominent billionaire, untouchable, for Digong. So “over-due process – Erap’s,” the system accords him. The law represents the biases of the ruling classes. But, Manny should worry about runaway juries. I heard a Hawaii jury award $1.2B in one form of damage in 1994. Now, the first wave of aggrieved plaintiffs versus the Fraud of the Century are represented by Filipino lawyers in Los Angeles (Edgardo M. Lopez, J. Flores Valdez and Marlon B. Baldomero) who saw Manny as a One-Arm Bandit for his material concealment of an alleged defect or ailment that would have affected interest in on-site tickets, pay-per-view, and betting odds.

Manny crossed the line between gamesmanship and cheating, from where I sit. We cannot have a Great Pretender for a Senator or Prez. The House seems to have a lower standard.

Lawmakers may misallocate pork? Are they criminals for Digong to exterminate? But again, co-ruling class. Safe.

A reported Binay claim is that the family’s wealth partly came from massive unspent political donations, from what I read; the Binays should be heard for particulars. Digong, a perceived 2016 presidential rival, is perceived to have his own private population reduction program. Targeting the poorest of the poor. Uninfluential, oppressed, obscure. Not the Binay type.

In 1997, a Taipan sent an emissary to me to offer P50,000 in cash, monthly, no receipt. My Senate take-home pay was P14,612.50. Criminals in the ruling classes are not alarmed by Digong’s obsession. I could not very well have asked that the Taipan be shot. Due process. Name-dropping victim he could have been? He’s still around.

So, only the yagits, poor, obscure, powerless, would get it under the Digong Principle or Doctrine. No Senator or Cong or Taipan. As if they were angels. The Enriles, Estradas, Revillas and Binays would not lose sleep over his braggadocio. All are members of today’s ruling classes. And they can shoot back. The wretched masa cannot.

A concern is if Digong will really have the gumption to knock off all criminals, how many government officials will be left? Has he been suspected of or charged with having killed anyone prominent, or influential, members of the ruling classes, or only the helpless? He says “concept of human rights for thugs is Western not for PH.” He says the Western concept of human rights does not apply to us. Ka Pepe Diokno says such line is “racist nonsense.” But of course.

Many believe GMA is a crook. Should Prez Digong order that she be shot in July 2016 after he wins and takes his oath? But, trial is going on. House arrest for her, says the House Justice Committee. Palace says hands off. Someone may ask that the House be asked to show cause why it should not be cited for contempt for interfering with the judiciary and for violating the separation of powers principle. The House Reso was authored by Rep. Bebot Bello, a fellow human rights lawyer. The Consti bars Congs from personally appearing as counsel before any court. Does he violate its spirit? Qua a private citizen, I have long vocally supported house arrest for GMA (sana hubby Mike has no objection; when I proposed house arrest for Erap in 2001, he asked, “can I pick which house?” Susmaryosep! Anyway, in the end he got Resthouse Arrest, in his sprawling estate in Tanay.)


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. Mr. Saguisag, with your friend Binay, just apply common sense , please, before I completely lose my respect for you like Joker Arroyo.

  2. You then accuse duerte of pre empting the lord. Well what gives you the right to say if there is a lord. I for one dont believe in a god. There is no proof that there is a god & look at all the rich & famous & powerful in this country who supposedly believe in the lord but steal billions from this country. Keep religious beliefs out of everything. If someone wants to pray he can do it in his own time at where he likes provided it doesnt affect others. Some religions would kill you if you switched religions & they say they believe in the same god you do, so whose religious beliefs are correct yours or theirs. If there is a god i have no problem with facing him to explain my side when i die. If there is a god im sure he would accept my explanation, would he accept the explanation of those who steal billions of pesos, hhhmmmm now thats a question.

  3. You ask why should blue ribbon invitees be kept in city jail. I could ask why dont the people involved live at the addresses they gave. Not a single one was where they could be arrested. Now i think tui should be out on bail as he attended court, but those that said they would attend the next hearing well i would keep them in jail until the hearing as they again might not turn up. They had more than one chance to turn up. Surely these people want justice like we all do. They are implicated in things by lots of evidence. If they are innocent then go to court & show your paperwork to show your money is all legally got, if it isnt then you are guilty. I want those guilty ones in jail. Do you, i think not, it seems you think they are all innocent. Well evidence will show that one way or the other but you have to attend to produce your evidence. If a check was done on my past like where the money came from to buy my house here in the philippines its so easy for me to produce it. Its called a paper trail, the guilty try to hide their paper trail, the innocent dont.

  4. I find it strange to compare the way its done here to way its done in america. In america most politicians arnt on the take like they are here. Yes they might get something they really shouldnt get but compare to here its a huge difference. Now people going there know what type of questions they will be asked, but i wouldnt give them them in advance as they can build lies around it, we want to catch them out. Plus depending on the answers they get will depend also on what other questions will arise. Liars will get caught out truthful people will survive. We know all those summoded there are hiding something, we know that & i for one want them caught out. The poor here have nothing, these have everything & still want more. Make them work to show they have nothing to hide, if innocent they will go on their merry way & continue as normal, but if guilty i want them caught & jailed.

  5. Amnata Pundit on

    Due process? Binay is like the husband who was caught with his pants down in the room with the housemaid, and in response he screams at his wife: ” Why didn’t you knock first, you b#tc# !?” The innocent will throw the facts at his accuser’s face, the guilty will hide behind the law. As for Doy Laurel, he planted that gun himself so that he will be in the headlines to gain political capital for his presidential ambition. Marcos ordered the fiscal to drop the charges, taking the wind off his sail. Many crossed the line between gamesmanship and cheating? Thats what your president and Comelec/Smartmatic did in 2010 and 2013. Read Jarius Bondoc’s column in the Philippine Star the other day.

  6. When u related in TV that during your battle against Marcos Abuses and Plunder, You and Binay where sharing the same fox hole with bullets narrowly grazing both of u-it is understandable that u cannot say negative things against him, despite the Obvious Jejomar Plunder. We are only humans-Your friendship is not ordinary-understandable and forgivable? Anyway your closing is a good one. Which house?

  7. Alfred Ortiz on

    Bulls eye…You nailed it again.I agree with all the issues you talked about. I’m amazed all the years you had served the Government you and your family did not enrich yourselves. You’ve shown us your honesty and your dedication to serve. Unlike those corrupted politicians who’s proud of their doings, proudly flaunting their wealth while the Filipino masses are dying from hunger and hopelessness.Most of our politicians thinks that the easiest way to protect their political interest is to amass fortunes. You are not one of them…..saludo ako sa Tapat mong Paglilingkod sa Bayan,Senator Rene Saguisag.

    Marami rin ang humahanga kay Rene Saguisag. Kaya lang dismayado sila sa double standard niya pagdating sa ipocrito at corrupt na BS Aquino at mga ka-akiba niya na si Abad at ang mga LP tulad ni Drilon, etc.

  8. Nancy Bulok Cake on

    Yes you are correct Senator Saguisag. The “kill them all” phrase of Duterte is all just garbage because Duterte’s mode of discipline is only for the POOR. Duterte cannot apply his idea to the BINAYS, REVILLAS, and ESTRADAS who are very rich (overly rich by stealing the people’s money). The principle of the NPAs is much better than Duterte’s (if applied) if they are really after the money stolen by these B***T corrupt Binay, Revilla, Estrada. But the NPAs are also BINAYaran to shut their mouths. How can Binay explain his wealth when early 70s, he was just your alalay (walang kalidad na abogado) and also an ordinary part-time teacher in a public college. Simple arithmetic: from the 70s to the present will not amount to billions of pesos.