• Finally oust or impeach PNoy and welcome a caretaker

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    LAST Wednesday, as the National Transformation Council renewed its call on President B. S. Aquino 3rd to step down and pave the way for a nonpartisan transitory council, a group of concerned citizens, including the politician-wife of his mother’s younger brother, asked the Supreme Court to compel the Ombudsman and the Department of Justice to investigate PNoy for his misuse of the unconstitutional P150-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), and lay the ground for his possible impeachment.

    These are two historic moves, which the front pages of the major newspapers and prime TV managed to ignore.

    In a petition for mandamus with preliminary mandatory injunction, Dr. Greco Belgica, former Tarlac governor, Cory Aquino’s sister-in-law, Margarita Cojuangco, Protestant bishop Reuben Abante, Quintin San Diego, Rev. Jose Gonzales, and former Biliran Congressman Glenn Chong, through counsel Manuelito Luna, asked the High Court to order the Ombudsman and the DOJ to “investigate and prosecute, or file a verified complaint for impeachment against the President, if warranted, or suspend or remove, the DAP authors, proponents and implementors, and continue and pursue the investigation and prosecution of other public officials and personalities anent the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).”

    Named respondents in the suit are Aquino, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Senate President Franklin Drilon and the 19 senators who had each received P50 million or more from the DAP to convict former SC Chief Justice Renato Corona during his impeachment trial, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and other members of the House who had received and misused DAP and PDAF funds on various occasions, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa on behalf of various implementing agencies.

    In its ruling voiding the DAP and the PDAF for being unconstitutional, the Supreme Court had earlier ordered all prosecutorial arms to investigate and prosecute all those involved in the manipulation and misuse of the two programs. However, neither the Ombudsman nor the DOJ has sought to comply with the order. Thus, the mandamus.

    Under our jurisprudence, the writ of mandamus is resorted to when any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act that the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station.

    It is the first time that the Ombudsman has been asked to investigate a sitting president to lay the basis for his possible impeachment less than one full year before he ends his term. At the height of the controversy on the Mamasapano massacre, an impeachment complaint against PNoy was mechanically thrown out of the House committee on justice by his Congress allies who had earlier destroyed the impeachment process by launching Corona’s impeachment without reading the complaint they had signed at Malacanang’s behest.

    It remains to be seen how Morales would react to the reissuance of an order she had long previously ignored. But the more critical question is, what will the House do with a verified impeachment complaint from the Ombudsman or the DOJ, assuming the impossible happens? And how would the Ombudsman and the DOJ react to a Court order requiring them to investigate, prosecute and suspend, if warranted, top political allies who have remained “untouched,” despite their obviously deep involvement in the pork barrel scandal?

    Since the DAP and PDAF scandal exploded on prime TV and in running news headlines, this is the first time any charge has been brought against Abad, Drilon, Belmonte, and the 19 senator-judges who had each accepted P50 million and even more to convict Corona during his impeachment trial, and had unduly benefited from the PDAF. Whether or not PNoy is finally impeached, the petitioners seem optimistic that their clamor for changing the entire government without need of going through another round of farcical elections might finally come to pass. (“Palitlahat,” change all) is their call.

    This has been the primary clamor of the National Transformation Council from the very beginning. Thus, on its first anniversary celebration at the Manila Hotel last Wednesday, the NTC reaffirmed its original position that without a thorough overhaul of the electoral system, through system change, it would be futile to expect any change from the 2016 elections; the only correct course of action would be for Aquino to step down, and for a caretaker council to take over, not necessarily to succeed Aquino, but simply to fix the broken constitutional and political order before conducting elections.

    Lending support to the NTC affair was a panoply of Catholic and Protestant church leaders and advocates of a clean, honest and transparent elections. Archbishop of Lipa Ramon Arguelles, Archbishop Emeritus of Davao and former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference Fernando Capalla, Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz of Zamboanga, Bishop of Tandag and former CBCP president Nereo Odchimar, Bishop of Butuan Juan de Dios Pueblos, Bishop Filomeno Bactol of Naval, Biliran, Auxiliary Bishop Colin Bagaforo of Cotabato, Auxiliary Bishop George Rimando of Davao were joined by Protestant Bishops PioTica, Butch Belgica and Manuel Valeroso, Pastors Arthur Corpuz, Reuel Tica, Herman Roca, Primitivo Arce, Antonio Ecube and leaders of the nationwide movement for a more transparent elections, including Toti Casino, Leo Querubin, Mel Magdamo and Maricor Akol.

    As in previous NTC assemblies, from Lipa through Cebu, Butuan, Angeles, Davao, General Santos and back to Lipa, I was asked to facilitate the proceedings. In its statement, read to the assembly by Glenn Chong, the NTC recalled the various premises that had long led it to conclude that Mr. Aquino had lost the moral right to lead the nation, that he had become a danger to the Philippine democratic and republican state and to the peace, freedom, security and moral and spiritual wellbeing of the Filipino people, and that his best option would be to step down so that we could restore the broken constitutional order before we begin to consider electing a new government under normal political conditions.

    This demand was reiterated with increasing urgency and vigor in all the NTC assemblies, and by other groups all over the country who have adopted the same call as their own. It reached a high point after the January 20, 2015 massacre in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, in which 44 Special Action Force police commandos perished in the hands of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters after they were denied reinforcement by PNoy, who ordered the military units to stand down.

    For a while it appeared to have been overtaken by the intense election fever identified with the legally mandated 2016 election. This was implicitly admitted by former defense secretary and national security adviser Norberto Gonzales who told the assembly that some NTC members had begun toying with the idea of participating in the elections, just to be with the people who obviously could not resist the carnival-attraction of elections.

    If later the elections turn out to be as fraudulent as feared, then that would be the time to call for direct popular action. But the idea was put on the table in Cebu, and the original sentiment in favor of nonviolent revolutionary change, rather than election, prevailed.

    “One year after the Lipa Declaration, we have to ask,” said the NTC anniversary statement, “Is there anything we said in Lipa and in all the other assemblies that now appears to have been in error or in excess or our constitutional, moral and patriotic concerns? Have we unfairly and unjustly condemned the Aquino administration, and misread our people’s capability to stand for our Constitution and the dignity and honor of the nation?

    “No, we have not. The Aquino administration has not shown the slightest desire to do penance and mend its ways for its grievous wrongs. As it approaches the end of its borrowed time, it has shown no effort and no desire to conduct a clean, honest and credible election, nor to prosecute those who have debased the rule of law and the constitutional order, and ripped off the coffers of the nation.

    “The apparent game plan is still to manipulate the 2016 presidential election through the Commission on Elections and its Venezuelan partner Smartmatic, in order to ensure the continued plunder of the treasury, the continued destruction of all our institutions, and the continued exploitation of our political system.

    “In our effort to make the regime accountable to the Constitution and to the rule of law, some members and friends of the Council have asked the Supreme Court to declare void and unconstitutional the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) through which some false friends of the Republic seek to balkanize Mindanao in the name of a bogus peace. They have also asked the High Court to stop the illegal and massive realignment of public funds, which would allow Smartmatic and the Comelec to control without any accountability the next elections.

    “To end the administration’s unilateral exercise of impunity, they have just filed a mandamus suit against the President, the Ombudsman, the Budget Secretary, the Justice Secretary, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House, the senators and congressmen, the heads of various agencies, and all those involved in the misuse and abuse of the P150-billion DAP which the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional.

    “Our faith in our highest Court remains strong and unimpeachable. But we fear that even if the Court should act favorably upon all our petitions, such action may not suffice to end the evil that has now become the system. We have to do more.

    “We have been told that Mr. Aquino has less than one year to stay in power, and that we should be patient and wait for the next administration to take over. This is a false argument. Just as it took Mr. Aquino but one tiny moment to issue the order that led to the bribery and total corruption of Congress and the removal of the Supreme Court Chief Justice, a similar moment to issue the order that led to the Mamasapano massacre, it would not take much longer for Mr. Aquino to commit our poorly equipped troops into an unwanted, needless and ruinous war at the West Philippine/South China Sea, or to completely hijack the next election if, in his judgment, that would ‘save’ him and his friends from any and all imagined peril.

    “We pray to the Almighty God, in whose hands we put the nation’s safety and wellbeing, that nothing like this would ever happen. But given what we have been through these last five years, we cannot afford any undue risks at this time. Mr. Aquino must step down. More than ever, we need a caretaker government now.”

    fstatad@gmail.com

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    22 Comments

    1. Martsa na sa kalsada kasi ipinipilit ng LP ni BS Aquino ang mandaya sa papagitan ng PCOS magic. Huwag ng hintaying muling madaya. Peoples march by NTC Bishops + SC = tigok si Aquino at Abad pati si Roxas ng LP oligarchy. Kung walang martsa ay walang mangyayari dahil ang tropang LP ni Aquino/Roxas ay walang moral. Power for peoples power….. invade Malacanang !!!

    2. To those who are making mockery of the rally that the INC was in, please think first.

      Maybe this is our chance to get rid of PNoy in a peaceful way

      If we continue to belittle the INC, that only means that we are OK with all of PNoy’s atrocities.

      Remember, we are victims of De-Lima’s injustices as well, especially the SAF44.

    3. Amnata Pundit on

      Ganito na lang since you guys deleted my first comment. This NTC is actually a committee that doesn’t have a credible leader. History is littered with examples of committees like this, and we all know the usual result.

    4. As the Legal battle is pursued, the Council should also study how public pressure (regular and social media) could help further the cause. This is critical.

    5. if Aquino remains in power until election time, you all know what will happen right? they can still win even with the millions of ofw not voting for their party. That is the thing, they can cheat as they did before. Remember, poe’s votes went up so fast the second day and then went down, what was that about? that means everything in the polls was doctored. we cannot allow that now. if there is fair and honest elections, they will lose for sure, but when was the last time we had a fair and honest election? oh come on, when?But here is the thing, if a person who has the intense desire to make a change for the majority of the people who are poor, eliminate druglords, minimize corruption until it is put to almost a halt, improve the living conditions of the poor, clean up the streets, and provide us with jobs and free schools up to high school, I wont mind at all if that person who is the ideal person to be president, cheats so he can have the chance to serve with sincerity, serve the common people not the rich.

    6. The problem with this Transformation Council is CREDIBILITY. Tingting Cojuangco placed among the last candidates in the 2013 elections. She is irrelevant politically.Most of the CBCP members mentioned by Kit Tatad are recepients of PAJEROs and SUVs from GMA. The rest are political zombies that should now be cremated or frozen for keeps.

    7. NTC to date is useless, another saliva group against a retard, theyre hoping for divine intervention without the actual intervention and all they do are paperworks against a certified manhid. At least the INC loonies are sending bodies in DOJ, How about solving the traffic problems?

    8. May the peace of god disturb you always-Anthony De Mello

      There’s a saying that little knowledge is dangerous.
      How if the pragmatist who are suffering from asperger syndrome can do?
      Your guest is as good as mine.
      Well, our beloved country is truly in great peril and despite the fraudster in the Philippine Media continuing tricks and propaganda, they will not succeed for reason that Filipinos in noospshere field are there and I’m referring to the group of National Transformation Council.
      Mabuhay!

      • When the media turns partisan because of their own politics, they lose trust of half the people. But when they choose sides for future monetary windfall after their “Manok” wins, they lose the trust of all the people.

        All the oligarchs are now lining up behind candidates with real or imagined contribution but surely they shall be rewarded. China got rid of all these through forced labor and purges. Too many big fishes in the PHL small pond. Few are there for love of country.

        Keep choosing those who won’t plunder the country and we will avert the way China got rid of their cancer. Lord help us!

      • pardon me but I don’t see the relationship between a pragmatist and Asperger’s syndrome. it is like one is going to the left and the other to the right? Much more, I don’t see its relationship to our current government. it is like comparing apples to oranges. sorry.

    9. Actually, Philippine democracy has long been destroyed the first time smartmatic was used in our election. Hindi lang ito pansin ng nakakaraming bobotantes dahil sa big time at wow na wow entertainment ng mga dambuhalang radio at tv stations. By hook or by crook, this yellows will insists smartmatic again and if the non-bobos will not act now, bye-bye democracy!

    10. “Gross negligence is tantamount to fraud.” Incompetence – I think not! What Pnoy, the Chief Enforcer, Strategist, and Executioner have shown is gross negligence. He knows that there is a price to pay. Crime does not pay. Whatever his end game is, is not worth the trouble to lay down one’s life. History will judge him by these evil acts and inhumane treatment of Filipinos. All his henchmen will be judge in those light. The next generation will remember these atrocious acts. There is light at the end of the tunnel as long as we keep hope alive. And I believe that God is watching his every move. Eventually, he will die a man without a country or a people. That has been the lives of dictators and corrupt officials. So far what he has effectively executed made Marcos’s declaration of martial law a child’s play when he effectively impeached Arroyo’s titular head of the Supreme Court via the rapacious and greedy congressmen from both parties, and again emasculated Congress when his Budget Office ramrodded the budget for approval, the capitulation of the Senate when he jailed Enrile, Revilla, and Estrada, and defanged the military to allow the the lives of 44 soldiers to be sacrificed for an unconstitutional Bangsamoro initiative. As these evil acts manifests in the minds of the world at large he goes on to slowly ratchet the suffering of Filipinos in all areas of public service to let everyone know that he is in control. How can there be an effective opposition at this stage when he directed the Commission on Elections to select Smartmatic for the upcoming election. All that brouhaha at the Bureau of Customs is noise and just that noise. All is aware of how corrupt BOC since time immemorial. He also controls SWS as it misleads the readers with the intention of making us zombies. The survey questionnaires were canned to elicit expected result to make us believe that the Sandiganbayan, Ombudsman, and the COA are effective in fighting corruption when it knows that these organizations are spineless to his dictates. Why? Take the COA for example. IT knows that the first line of defense when it comes to fraud is the preparation of an auditable line item budget. How can it be that it passed their audit? COA, the Sandiganbayan and the Ombudsman are subservient to their boss the Chief Enforcer, Strategist and Executioner. All roads lead to Rome as the saying goes. There is no viable corrective action as there is no more time to put an independent body funded by a private organization to audit these organizations. Nada! Senor! Nada! Awanen, manong! Now with AMLAC, he can open any bank account with his bank/condo oligarch buddies to put a target in jail. VP Binay, watch out! He has monopoly of all the key resources in government, military, the evangelicals, the pollster SWS and the oligarch. At this stage of the game the Transformation Council’s plan to impeach the President is not a viable option. Am sure there are option. That is my two centavos for crying out loud! Am sorry Mr. Tatad for my unsolicited opinion.

      • Bravo! Bravo! Mr. Ramos! Transformation council and a Caretaker after impeachment? Should they work for the impeachment first before looking for a Caretaker? Only few months left for a new elected leader. How desperate the ambitious people could be. Does a caretaker more efficient than an elected leader? There’s so much brouhaha about FOWs and their balikbayan boxes but no aspiring leader candidate has ever mentioned or focus his attention to the economy in general and the safety of the people as his ambitious agenda.

    11. You few oligarchs, just wait for Pnoy’s term then put him to jail. Not now. Ang daming problema pa & it’s not fair for the ordinary millions who voted for Pnoy. Follow the rule of law… just few months left…then you can do what you like to Pnoy…!!!

      • lino di na kailangang mag intay pa, Pnoy is very fatal to our country …! hindi sya KARAPAT DAPAT NA MAGING PANGULO ! kasuklam suklam sya ! what a nightmare !

      • It will too late if the next election is allowed to proceed with the same parties controlling it (Smartmatic and Comelec). These are the same players that ran the 2013 elections and stripped the machines of the security and accuracy features. 100% foreign owned company and Aquino appointee.

        Lawsuits were filed and then ignored by the agencies controlled by Aquino appointee’s. Ombudsman Morales and DOJ De Lima were ordered by the supreme court two years ago to investigate misuse of the Dap Fund and still have not started.

        Wait another year allowing the President and his plundering Liberal Party to fix the next election saving themselves ?

        20 out of 23 Senators on the Napoles list, 3 opposition senators charged.
        The senate only cares about enriching themselves and getting away with it. They already enriched themselves now they just have to wait for the next election to get away with it.

        Look around, the government is stripping the country of its infrastructure while pocketing billions.
        2 years after typhoon Yolanda 135,000 people living in tents despite foreign governments donating P18 billion.

        More than 66% of the country live on less than P5300 a month while the Politicians are among the richest in the country.
        P300 million homes, fleet of cars, traveling to the United States to watch boxing matches while most of the country live in poverty.

      • You have no idea what more harm he can do in his remaining years in office so it’s better to do everything to remove him. It may be too late if we wait for his term to terminate.

    12. Guillermo Hernandez on

      The NTC and all involved in the filling of the writ of mandamus should be declared as national heroes. They are the few among the 100+ million Filipinos who care about what is happening to their country. The rest could not be bothered….they are all busy waiting for the next Pacquiao bout…or the next PBA/NBA game….or betting their favorite jueteng numbers …….or for handouts from their OFW kins …. or daydreaming about migration to the U.S., Canada, or Europe.

    13. adrianmichael on

      All those have resources to oust Peenoy must contribute for the greater people and of our business and our beloved Philippines. Those people under the mainstream media controlled by the oligarchs had already buried their dissatisfaction because of media manipulation. we should keep the fire burning in our hearts to oust the setting inutil President in order for him not to make any further damage to the Philippines and all its People… so help us God… <3

    14. Agree that Aquino is dangerous and could at any moment plunge the Philippines into a confrontation they can not survive in order to satisfy his ego or to prevent having to answer for the many crimes he and his allies committed over the past 5 years.

      There is nothing and no one to stop him, most of the government is subservient to his every whim either by appointment or threat of arrest for stealing their pork barrel gifts.
      The Senate is compose almost entirely of plunderers while the House has at least 100 members who were on the Napoles list that should of been charged.
      What can you do when almost the entire government is shielding each other from investigation, charges or impeachment ?

      It’s time for the few Senators and House members who are not there just to get rich on the tax payers backs to start speaking up, Rally the people, Stop the corruption machine that has taken over the Philippines instead of talking in general.

      Put your big boy pants on, If there are any real public servants left.