Finally it stares the nation in the face: under the administration of President Benigno C. Aquino 3rd we have not been all the time governed by the rule of law but rather by the law of breaking the rule. And at this, Susan Roces is called to task once again to deliver her brilliant histrionics as she did at the necrological services for Fernando Poe, Jr. at the Sto. Domingo Church in 2004 when, as in a movie aria, she intoned her condemnation of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo: “You cheated the Filipino people not once but twice!”
How enthralling would it be to see her punching the air with clenched fist once more, but this time, in perfectly measured cadence, gloating not in rage from sorrow but as bombast in victory:
“The Comelec has ruled not once, nor twice, but thrice! that my Grace is disqualified from running as President, and yet all glory be to the Supreme Court for pronouncing now the ultimate fiat that the foundling who is my niece is to be the next Philippine president!”
Bravo to that!
Movies really are a bottomless wellspring of fantasies: of appearing what you are not, virtue for vice, truth for lie, illusion woven into the mass psyche of multitudes forever afflicted with a poverty for unrealized gods and heroes. But because illusory, the saga in cinema must shatter at the last flicker of the silver screen.
Are we to forgo the hard facts of life for one flitting moment of complete diversion – as when we sit in the cinema house well hooked on filmic world – from our unending everyday worries: food to eat the next day, baon of the kids to school, medicine for the sick baby, rent to pay the landlady, the rising cost of water and electricity, oh, so many.
In the case at bar, are we to gobble up the Supreme Court fairy tale on the majesty of the law when its weaving of that yarn amounts to the very transgression of such majesty.
Take the case of Erap in 2001. He was not impeached, as the opposition walked out on his impeachment trial, thus aborting the same and preventing a likely “Not guilty” verdict. He did not resign. He was not disabled to perform the duties of the president. And he had not died. These are the conditions prescribed in the Philippine Constitution for declaring the presidency vacant.
In the absence of any of these conditions, there was no way the Supreme Court could act by way of swearing in a successor President. But in a move unprecedented in Philippine jurisprudence, the Supreme Court invoked an entry in the diary of then Executive Secretary Edgardo Angara which as published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer went: “Pagod na pagod na ako. Ayokona, masyado nang masakit. Pagod na ako sa red tape, bureaucracy, intriga.” On the mere strength of such diary entry, not authenticated by a verification of the original diary but simply as published by a newspaper, the Supreme Court just ignored its very own ruling — which at the time was rather too recent to be forgotten — that newspaper articles are hearsay and inadmissible as evidence, declared the presidency vacant and passed the resolution authorizing then Chief Justice Hilario Davide to swear in then Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as President.
Without the people realizing it, the Supreme Court has been embarking on a course perilous to the nation. It sanctioned as “not unconstitutional” the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) under the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) under the current administration of President Benigno C. Aquino III. These agreements, with the force of law, effectively supplant the RP-US military bases agreement abrogated by the Senate in 1991 and should have been submitted for ratification by the Senate, as per provision of the Constitution, and perhaps brought to to the people for approval in a plebiscite. By arrogating unto itself the power of the people over the matter, hasn’t the Supreme Court placed itself as the power over the people?
In the bail petition by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, the Supreme Court has taken refuge in “humanitarian reason” for granting bail to the venerable legislator, but it can really amount to a high crime. The charge of plunder is non-bailable. For this reason, Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, similarly charged as Enrile, continue to languish in detention at Camp Crame. Does “humanitarian reason” give the Supreme Court the privilege to transgress the law?
It is in the light of the above that we gasp at the recent ruling by the Supreme Court reversing the three-time finding by the Commission on Election (Comelec) that Grace Liamanzares is disqualified from running as president due to willful misrepresentation of her citizenship and residency statuses in her certificate of candidacy. The Supreme Court saved the day for Llamanzares when it issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) to the Comelec against striking out her name from the official list of presidential candidates, and now has cleared all obstacles to her winning the Presidency – and winning all that’s needed to be won for the United States of America.
Truly, indeed, Grace Liamanzares, as parodied all over the social media, is out to become the First American to be President of the Republic of the Philippines.
What’s condemnable about the SC ruling on the Llamanzares case is the evident conscious machination to beat around the central issues on her disqualification as presidential candidate, citizenship and residency, and focus on the certiorari petition against the Comelec “for grave abuse of discretion amounting to a lack of jurisdiction.” By so focusing, the High Court found Comelec in error.
That done, Llamanzares can run.
Apples and oranges, we might say. Senator Tatad and company raised the issue of apples, the Supreme Court tackled it as oranges. All to Llamanzares’ delight.
Grace’s victory at the Supreme Court sends chills down my spine because much earlier, I gathered from a very reliable source that the US is bankrolling, through a renowned septuagenarian businessman, her splurge in media advertisements. What is Grace due to give Washington in return?
Final passage of the BBL which is at the top of US agenda in the Philippines.
This is the real tyranny that the nation actually must combat, the tyranny of the Supreme Court. For a foreign power to take over control of the Philippine politics and economy, it no longer needs to send in an occupation army; it only needs to seize control of the Supreme Court and get the whole nation done in. And seizing such control is a simple course of getting across to a simple majority of 8; in the case of Llamanzares, a cheated majority of 7, according to Senator Tatad, made to appear 9.
Has Aquino been such a nitwit as not to realize that the decision on Llamanzares, for which he worked the Supreme Court, was bound to create a backlash that could lead to a popular disheartenment the likes of say, Cory’s civil disobedience campaign in 1986 culminating in EDSA 1, or the Erap Resign Movement as a consequence of the non-opening of the second envelope in his impeachment trial resulting in EDSA II?
Mind you, the ATOM crowd at the corner of Edsa and Aurora Boulevard that night of February 24, 1986 was a measly group of 50, but look what it triggered, EDSA I. And what sparked the explosions of EDSA II was the walkout of a handful of opposition lawyers in the Erap impeachment trial.
As always, big bangs spring from small blasts.