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.)