Is Aquino pushing us to the brink?

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Meddling in Court
With less than four months left in office, President B. S. Aquino 3rd seems bent on provoking a massive public protest that could throw out the results, if not preempt and preclude altogether the holding, of the May 9 presidential elections. By meddling in the Grace Llamanzares case, he is undermining the integrity of the Supreme Court and subverting the Constitution and the rule of law, while his minions at the Commission on Elections and its foreign partner Smartmatic try to reduce into one big lie the entire electoral process. All this could push the nation to the brink at a time when peaceful and meaningful change is most needed.

Aquino wants the Court to rule that Mrs. Llamanzares is eligible to run for President, despite the Comelec disqualifying her and cancelling her Certificate of Candidacy for President, for misrepresenting herself as a natural-born citizen and a resident of the country for more than the required ten years. This executive interference is grossly immoral, unconstitutional and provocative to Filipinos who believe that decisions of the Court must always be its own, based on the Justices’ faithful reading of the Constitution and the law, and not the product of intervention by any outsider, whether a meddlesome chief executive, a non-accountable plutocrat, or agent of a foreign power.

The Constitution and the nation must be protected from all enemies, whether covert or out in the open, including those who proclaim, in the service of their own political, financial and economic interests, that a non-natural born former American citizen of unknown parentage has an inborn right to become President of the Philippines.

Frightening record
I pray that Aquino would be sorely disappointed in his unabashed attempt to destroy the integrity of our highest Court and overthrow the fundamental law of the land. But the record has not been in our favor.


At the beginning of his term, Aquino paid off members of Congress to impeach and remove Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, months after the Corona Court ruled with finality that the 6,000-hectare Hacienda Luisita, which was owned by the Cojuangco family, and which then President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino had earlier exempted from the coverage of land reform, be redistributed among its farmers.

First scandal
One hundred eighty-eight congressmen signed the eight Articles of Impeachment against Corona without reading the document, and 20 out of 23 senator-judges at the Senate impeachment trial voted to convict the respondent on one ‘non-impeachable’ offense, after the prosecution formally dropped five of the original charges for lack of evidence, and eventually abandoned two of the remaining three for the same reason.

Of the 20 who voted for conviction, 19 received P50 million or more each from the constitutionally outlawed Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), with then Senate Finance Committee Chair and now Senate President Franklin Drilon receiving P100 million and Sen. Francis Escudero, now a vice presidential candidate, receiving P98 million.

Venal senators
Aside from Escudero, three other senators who got DAP “incentives” for convicting Corona at Aquino’s behest——Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Gringo Honasan—- are now running for Vice President.

Of the three senator-judges who had voted to acquit Corona and did not get any DAP ‘incentives,’ Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago is now running for President, and Sen. Ferdinand (Bongbong) Marcos Jr, is leading the vice-presidential race. The third senator-judge, Joker Arroyo, 88, died last year a couple of years after leaving the Senate.

Second scandal
In the second presidential bribery scandal, Aquino paid off the members of Congress to pass the patently unconstitutional and anti-Catholic Reproductive Health Law over the massive Church and public opposition to it. Having promised to ram through the highly divisive measure after receiving a grant of $454 million from President Obama’s Millennium Challenge Fund, Aquino suborned and strong-armed members of Congress for their votes.

Four senior members of his Cabinet, led by then DILG Secretary and now LP presidential candidate Mar Roxas and Budget Secretary and DAP author Florencio “Butch” Abad, never left the premises of the House of Representatives until they got what they wanted.

The Supreme Court later declared the law “not unconstitutional,” despite the fact that it violates the basic provision of the Constitution, which says that the State is the equal protector of the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception, and cannot therefore be the preventer of conception or the source of contraception.

Courage needed
Given this frightening record, the Justices will need all the moral courage to resist. Aquino is now a lameduck, and can no longer threaten any independent Justice with impeachment and removal from the Court, a la CJ Corona. Moreover, the House, which has the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment, is in recess, and after Aquino steps down on June 30, there will be a new Congress. But between now and then, Aquino remains in control of the government’s enormous resources. That makes him “armed and dangerous.”

At the same time a leading business crony, who runs a powerful conglomerate, and claims a line to some of the Justices through one former Chief Justice, is said to be working in tandem with Aquino, determined to make Mrs. Llamanzares not just a bona fide candidate but in the end the next President of the Philippines. He is said to be almost entirely bankrolling her campaign, and neither he nor the “non-candidate” is embarrassed by it.

Additionally, one former Chief Justice and one or two Justices who are openly batting for Mrs. Llamanzares have reportedly tried sounding out others to join them in the name of “fellowship.” The classic reply to such invitation in “A Man for All Seasons” comes from Sir Thomas More to the Duke of Norfolk: “And when we die, and you are sent to Heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to Hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?” It is not known, however, how such reported overtures, if true, have been received.

Will anyone sell out?
The SC is a court of believers—-the only self-confessed non-believer (atheist) on the Llamanzares case is Solicitor General Florin Hilbay who stood as “Tribune of the People” during the Oral Arguments, but spoke more accurately as “Tribune for Mrs. Llamanzares.” In this season of Lent, I am confident no member of the Court will want to follow the example of the Iscariot who sold Jesus to his executioners for 30 pieces of silver. Nevertheless, we all have feet of clay, and we do not know how much 30 silver pieces, at the present rate of inflation, would fetch today.

What happens then if some believers succumb, just because they have feet of clay? And what if that unfortunate act of perfidy swings the vote for the former American Mrs. Llamanzares? Would the people simply repeat the crucified Christ’s prayer, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they’re doing?” Or, would they not take to the streets, or the hills, or storm the High Court or Malacañang or both? And what if they choose the latter course, and violent conflagration erupts within the nation, would Aquino for once take the responsibility for it? Would he at least apologize to the Court, and tell an enraged public to direct its anger at him and not at any of the Justices?

Unavoidable conclusion
Even if none of the Justices should sell out, just because Aquino has tried to pressure them to support Llamanzares, there is every possibility that the people could conclude that even a gratuitous and honest vote in her favor is nothing but the result of political coercion by the Executive or the fruit of a particularly corrupt political commerce.

Possible uprising
As lead petitioner against Mrs. Llamanzares, I cannot predict how I will react to any unexpected turn of events in this case. But I fear how other Filipinos would react. A formal declaration that the former American citizen of no known parentage, who has lied under oath about the circumstances of her birth and domicile, is eligible to run for President, despite her well-known and widely discussed constitutional disabilities, could push the nation to an uprising, whether peaceful or not.

Especially if it becomes clear that such savaging of the Constitution is but part of a grand design on the part of powerful political, financial and external entities to control every aspect of our sovereignty. Such an uprising could preclude the holding of the May 9 elections, and even some of the major players in the present campaign could become part of it.

Even if the people should first fail to react sufficiently, and allow a duck to compete in a national cockfight (pintakasi), if nothing is done to ensure that the contest would be clean, honest, and transparent, popular uprising could still erupt when the pre-determined results are announced and various parties complain that they have been cheated. Of course all of them would have been cheated, for it was never the plan to stage a clean, honest and credible cockfight. This is evident even now, in the stern refusal of the Comelec and Smartmatic to restore to the voting machine all the security provisions that had been illegally removed from it in 2010 and 2013.

All voters are victims
However, there is a new way of looking at it. In the past, candidates cheated one another to gain electoral advantage, or launched their own individual operations to overwhelm the entire process. This still happens at the local level, but no longer at the national. At this level, the operators at the Comelec and Smartmatic have taken over—- they do everything to carry out a Plan whose ultimate objective is to own and control all aspects of government. No particular candidate gets cheated alone anymore; it’s the entire electorate, the entire nation, that gets cheated. This happened in 2010, it happened again in 2013, it is set to happen yet again in May.

The incredible thing is that none of the players seem interested in preventing the fraud and the farce. They all seem more interested in trying to buy into the cheating operations. They all want to control Smartmatic, and end up being controlled by Smartmatic instead. Our election-as-usual attitude can only perpetuate this; a massive explosion of nationalist sentiment and a determined assertion of sovereign will are needed to end it. A people’s revolt against the status quo could become the first step. And Aquino, by his recklessness, is the one pushing us to it.

fstatad@gmail.com

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49 Comments

  1. aira mae falcon on

    bbm dika susupoprtahan ng taong bayan dahil marami ang hindi sayo naniniwala, wag ka nang umasa pa na mananalo ka.

  2. anabelle corpus. on

    di namin kailngan ang tulad nyo bbm sa bansa dahil alam kong wala kayong magagawang tama, puro din lang kayo salita.

  3. jaypee llana on

    bbm marami ang walang tiwala sainyo, kaya siguradong hindi kayo mananalo, di dapat kayo makabilang sa mga kandidato kasi wala sainyo ang katangian na gumawa ng kabutihan.

  4. gibert alejo on

    siguradong hindi ka susuportahan ng mga tao bbm kasi marami ang walang tiwala sayo, kaya wag ka nang umasa pa na mananalo ka sa halalan.

  5. jenny sanches on

    naku bbm siguradong d kayo mananalo dahil sa alam ng mga tao na isa rin kayong corrupt sa banasa. walang susuporta sainyo.

  6. salvador alex on

    ayaw na nmin maranasan ng mga matatanda noon saa kahirapan at diktadorya na gobyerno

  7. we cant deny that sen poe always leads in the survey for president and her political rivals are moving heaven and earth to disqualify her from the running, i dont think pnoy will intervene and influence the SC to vote in favor of poe. This are all speculations covering under the cloak of responsible journalism. Lets be fair to all the foundlings.

  8. Janice Duque on

    Isa sa mga gusto ko sa plataporma ni mayor at sen alan ay ang federalismo dahil mabibigyan talaga ng pagkakataon ang mga probinsya na maging maunlad kaya naman mayor at sen alan kayo ang the best

  9. Rizza Malate on

    Ang ibang kandidato gumagaya lang eh dahil mas nauna kong narinig sa plataporma nina mayor ang mga solusyon nila sa mga problema ng ating bansa tpos ginaya lang ng iba

  10. Hindi kami bulag para hindi makita ang kabutihan ni mayor at sen alan at sapat na yun para makuha nila ang aming tiwala

  11. Jose Vallejo on

    There was such a fiasco to get rid of the US Bases in the Philippines and people rejoice to see US vacate Olongapo & Clark. And now, they prefer a former US citizen with an American Family to be the next President … OMG!!! Wake up Philippines!!!

    Also, support for another Marcos, the son of the Dictator, for Vice President which is a step away from Presidency is on the rise …OMG!!! Wake up Philippines!!!

  12. Richard Thompson on

    Governments, through the Executive branch,have for many years filed Amicus curiae briefs with a Supreme Court to point out their view of matters before the court. Its s completely permissible. What I find offensive is your presumption that Grace Poe is not a citizen and is not eligible to run for president. Comelec is notoriously bias and have denied candidates to run for office on the flimsies of reason.

    The law is what the Court say it is and at present-they still haven’t ruled. You are not the Court nor do you sit on it. I find it offensive that you shout from the roofs that Grace Poe’s constitutional right of Due Process should be denied. In doing so you will set the Philippines back a 100 years and establish a precedent that each and every citizen may potentially regret because at some point they too may ask the Court for due Process. You as Prosecutor and hangman-judge and jury, have no clue about the Constitution and what it protects-alas it does protect your right to free speech and the right of spurting out such dribble and banality.

  13. At last tge dream to run for presidency for CHIS is a go! the user friendly CHEEZE

  14. Observing the Filipino’s penchant for trivial showbiz issues over relevant national issues, I won’t be suprised if the Filipino public will do nothing if the SC upholds Poe’s candidacy. You know why, because in general, the Filipino’s BRAIN has not matured enough to comprehend such an issue, hence a showbiz issue linking Vice Ganda seems worth fighting for than the Constitution. Let’s all accept, FILIPINOS are INDIOS, BOBOs, MABABAWs and most of all FILIPINOS are STUPID! You don’t want to be called STUPID, then defend the constitution.

    • The Filipinos referred by Mr Anonymous must be exemplified by him. He cannot really insult Filipinos that much unless he’s a foundling or a foreigner himself.

    • In previous elections, Filipinos are either BOBO or MUKHANG PERA. But there is now a mutant mestizo – MAPERANG BOBO.

    • Turns out you were correct, the Supreme Court is just as corrupt as every other Aquino appointed agency.

      Unless the people finally decide enough is enough and over throw the dynasty families and their minions in the government then nothing will ever change. The Philippines will remain the same joke of a country that it is.

  15. Indeed, once the SC starts bastardizing our Constitution and allows the lady to run for the Presidency is the signal that all freedom-loving and patriotic Filipinos to start a parallel government that shall pursue projects on a private initiative basis. Hence, it can start hiring mercenaries, NPA and MNLF to neutralize any bureaucrat who shall not issue the construction permit, franchise or approval that the parallel government will initiate – with or without the approval of benigno. With all its money, the parallel government has all the architects, urban planners, engineers, economists and military elements that can run the country as a corporation. Anyhow, what use are all the laws if the SC itself violates our Constitution?

    • Sounds like the book and or movie Atlas Shrugged.

      Approaching collapse, the nation’s economy is quickly eroding. As crime and fear take over the countryside, the government continues to exert its brutal force against the nation’s most productive who are mysteriously vanishing and forming their own society.

  16. I can see blood scattered in the streets. Filipinos against Filipinos. Women and children, old and young, rich and poor, weak and robust, each fighting for its own survival. God forbid, a civil war is about to explode. And the Aquinos and Cojuangcos are nowhere to be found as they made a haste departure to the land of Timbukto and to enjoy the richness of their thievery.

    • No. It won’t be a battle between “Filipinos”

      It will be the battle between the “Yellow armies” vs. the Filipino people.

      Why? Because Noynoy and his armies never wore the Philippine colors. They only pin the yellow ribbon.

      Also, Noynoy already divided our nation: those who belong inside the yellow circle, and those who were outside.

  17. Bert O. Romero on

    Once the 9 May election does not push through, then Aquino continues to hold office in extension of his term. It’s therefore to this administration’s interest that the election is scuttled .

  18. It’s better for Aquino to ask for political asylum from other countries that will take him in. He made a lot of enemies in almost 6 years and they want to get even. He should leave his kkk, they deserve what they are going to get.

  19. Mr. Tatad probably hasn’t read Mr. Canlas’ report about ‘purported bribery’ of the SC justices relative to the pending disqualification case of Sen. Poe.

    • Teddy Sevilla on

      I suspect the senior reporters at MT wish to hedge their bets (cover their asses) either way the SC decision goes.

      Tatad is dangerous. He is, in fact, the one determined to undermine and destabilize an incoming government in which Binay is not the president. If either Poe or Roxas becomes president, he can always go back to his persistent claim of cheating by automated polls.

      Canlas is equally treading seditious ground. Peddling the lie that Aquino is desperate for a Poe disqualification. Hoping that if Poe is indeed disqualified, they can sway her ronin supporters to Binay’s side by claiming Aquino’s corruption of SC judges.

      Two men selling unverified rumors, with each story being totally diametric in claims but bound by the thread of an Aquino conspiracy either way. All in support of Binay.

  20. Don’t know if my first reply went thru. Anyway-
    Mr. Tatad, how do you then explain the headlines today in your (Manila Times’) paper telling of the attempted bribery of the Justices by people closely associated with Aquino and Roxas TO DISQUALIFY POE???
    I believe that this bribery could be true based on the following observations and assumptions:
    1) Aquino, by his nature, is a very vengeful person. He hold a grudge( note PGMA, Enrile,Revilla,Estrada et al). He must have felt insulted and betrayed when Poe denied his desire for her to run as VP of Roxas. He must have thought- how dare this woman who owes her exalted position to him( appointment as chief movie censor and election to the Senate) refuse the President!!!
    2) the disqualification of Poe is but one of the key steps to ensure the election of Roxas to the Presidency. It is a very well planned and well executed intricate strategy that even you Mr. Tatad, a very highly regarded political analyst, fell for it( please see my comments under today’s headline banner).
    Let’s see how the succeeding events will unfold. It will be very interesting.

    • It only means, Boy Epal and Boy Sisi are playing both sides. JOEL CANLAS is a stooge of the Yellows, its obvious, his report is to discredit those who are defending the constitution. IT IS ILLOGICAL FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN THE SIDE OF RIGHT TO THINK ABOUT BRIBING IN ORDER TO WIN.

  21. Will you lead this popular people’s revolt?Surely, the yellow cult brigades will be dancing with joy. Jojo Binay and his partisans, Honasan and his RAM boys, Bongbong and the Marcos loyalists attempting another EDSA should they lose.What a spectacle and fitting climax of an election to this God forsaken country.To those who will be glad that it is all over and just continue living.Watch and enjoy!

  22. You are writing for MAR or BINAY……..your candidates cannot win in a fair and honest election ?
    You cannot beat a woman foundling who was the one with balls to call a spade a spade in the Senate in various investigations like the MRT AND LRT and MASASAPANO ?
    You like to use corrupt COMELEC and SC members to thwart the will of the people plus your logic is not only toxic but also convoluted. You are probably one of those paid HACKS who write to reinforce the the attempt to disqaulify one of the best and youngest and most honest politician who the youth can look up to…..and Work with,

    Your corrupted OLD mind has contributed to the sad state of affairs in this country,,,,,truth to tell , if we had a genuine revolutin in 1986,,,,,you would have been thrown in jail like you should have,
    reinforce the DQ of GRACE POE

    • rehash, recycled commentaries from someone THAT supports life in RH LAW, AND YET his abnormal hatred to this foundling, Poes mom (yes Kit, everybody HAS A PARENT!) chooses her TO LIVE instead of abortion and made the right choice. Your CHRISTIAN VALUES is NOT SO CHRISTIAN AT ALL !

      MAYBE ITS TIME YOU TELL THE TRUTH, YOUR PERSONAL VENDETTA WITH GRACE GOES BEYOND MONEY AND POLITICS

  23. This is evident even now, in the stern refusal of the Comelec and Smartmatic to restore to the voting machine all the security provisions that had been illegally removed from it in 2010 and 2013
    ————————————————-

    The question is why will they cheat ?

    Answer, because they can.
    They know that the people will allow it thru inaction and ignorance.

    The Philippines is a country of have and don’t have

    A couple of quotes from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn that explain life in the Philippines
    ——————————————————————

    “He’d learned to keep his whole mind on the food he was eating”

    “Beat a dog once and you only have to show him the whip.”

    When you’re cold, don’t expect sympathy from someone who’s warm

  24. Senator Tatad, don’t worry about it because, actually it was Tiangco, Tiglao and the corrupt lawyers of Binay who first initiated and attempted to bribe the justices to disqualify overambitious Llamanzares. This team has a history of bribing and harassing judges most especially the CA justices. The end is near for Binay that’s why he will do everything illegally just to win the presidential elections. With all the LIES of Binay and his lawyers, we keep on praying to save the Philippines from the Binays and may the wrath of God be on them (Binay family, lawyers and blind supporters) the soonest.