‘It’s just another word for ouster’

24

It seems no good deed goes unpunished, even in these premises.

Advertisements

For proposing in my last piece that the Filipino people, rather than the discredited Congress, directly impeach and remove President B. S. Aquino 3rd, I was quickly swamped with calls from two sets of callers, both supportive of removal, but proceeding from two different angles.

How could they sign an “impeachment complaint”, said the first set, when they believed Aquino was never legally nor honestly elected, and should therefore simply relinquish his position, (not even resign), as the National Transformation Council says in its Lipa Declaration of August 27, 2014?

I do not wish to engage in these de factoand de jure distinctions right now. But if you believe Aquino has committed serious crimes against the Constitution and the Filipino people, and that he is merely de facto, then you should be free to consider “impeachment” by the people as a mere euphemism, just another word, for a non-violent call to oust the offender.

The second set was a bit more demanding. They wanted me to craft the impeachment document myself, or if I could not, at least to spell out the constitutional grounds for such an “impeachment.” They should be different from those that were rejected earlier by the House committee on justice, they said. And I should show them exactly how to make the whole thing work.

The grounds are all in the Constitution. And they have been quoted to excess. They include culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. And each of these is legally defined.

Take treason. Black’s Law Dictionary defines treason as “a breach of allegiance to one’s government, usually committed through levying war against such government or by giving aid or comfort to the enemy.” Among all the grounds, it stands as a class all its own.

And yet, although this may be the only impeachable crime Aquino has not yet committed, there are those who, with great passion, will say that what Aquino has done and is doing to the country is pure and simple treason.

A good lawyer should be asked to craft the public document. And t should be as simple and plain as possible. It could begin by recalling that on June 30, 2010, B. S. Aquino 3rd took his oath as President of the Philippines, stating: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God.”

Then it should state clearly and coherently what Aquino has done to subvert the Constitution. The Disbursement Acceleration Program, which the Supreme Court has struck down as unconstitutional, (although the 13-0 ruling is still under appeal,) is certainly pivotal. But all must see that Aquino’s worst offense is not the DAP per se, whatever sums are involved. Rather it is the actual destruction of our democracy.

Indeed, what Aquino did through the DAP was an unspeakable crime. But he did that in order to commit an even more unspeakable crime, namely, the destabilization of the Supreme Court, the total corruption and conscription of Congress, and the destruction of our democratic system. This need not be such an abstraction.

Indeed, the average citizen grasps it more quickly when he reads of billions being siphoned off into the pockets of politicians, but never when he hears that the Constitution and the law have been fed to the dogs. This should never be the case. We should be angry that Aquino and his Budget Secretary Florencio Abad have treated the unconstitutional DAP as though it were their personal kitty.

But we should be outraged infinitely more that Aquino has used the DAP —

(1) to corrupt even more an already corrupt Congress by bribing members to impeach and remove a sitting Chief Justice (Renato Corona) who has now been shown to be less sinning than all his House accusers and senator-judges;

(2) to destabilize the entire judicial system, and

(3) to install himself on top of all the three coequal branches of government.

This was—this is—the much bigger crime. None of our heroes died for the billions that were illegally expended through the DAP, but all of them fought, and so many died, for our democratic rights and liberties. We must begin to take our democracy seriously.

Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution says the Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.Aquino swore an oath to “preserve and defend” that Constitution. Consistent with that oath, his paramount duty is to preserve and maintain this tripartite system of government, adhering strictly to the principle of separation of powers and the doctrine of checks and balances.

Separation of powers simply means that none of the three co-equal and coordinate branches of government—Legislative, Executive and Judiciary—with their own distinct constitutional powers, rights and responsibilities shall encroach upon, or usurp any of the powers, rights or prerogatives of any of the others.

But in violation of this principle, Aquino willfully and systematically destabilized the Supreme Court, first by aggressively attacking Corona in his public statements and then by using the DAP to bribe members of Congress to impeach and remove him, making them his partners in crime. This wasn’t just culpable violation of the Constitution. This was high crime—and of the highest order. No president ever did this before. We pray no president will ever do it again.

In a functioning democracy, such conduct would have warranted impeachment and trial, removal from public office, and permanent disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit. But because our democracy has been strangled, we now have to develop a creative and non-violent alternative to impeachment by Congress. One such is “impeachment” by the people, not before Congress, but before the people themselves.

A public complaint focused on Aquino’s most grievous crimes should now be circulated for signature around the country until a critical number is reached. In a country of 100 million inhabitants, more than 40 million of them qualified voters, a million signatures or two would be a modest target. Once that number is reached, the people could then demand that Aquino step down, if he had not done so yet. Or they could organize some kind of people’s court to publicly try the respondent. That’s what the Allies did with the Nazis, at Nuremberg.

fstatad@gmail.com

Share.
loading...
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

24 Comments

    • Ilusyon din ni Columbus nuon na bilog ang mundo. Ganun din ang ilusyon ni Magellan na bilog ang mundo na taliwas sa paniwala ng nakararami. Nguni’t ang mga ilusyon na ito ng dalawang nilalang ay sya ang tama. Maaring ilusyon lamang ngayon ito tulad ng ilusyon nuon na mahirap matanggal si Joseph dahil sa kanyang popularidad. Nguni’t sabi nga ng matatanda na bilog ang mundo at laging umiikot ang gulong ng kapalaran. Di ako magtataka na tatlong taon mula ngayon, si Senyor Simyon ang nakakakulong at pinagtatawanan ng buong bayan.

  1. victor m. hernandez on

    We need to take this thing of ‘impeachment or ouster” of P-Noy, by the people one step at a time and see where will it bring us, and what outcome will it generate.
    1. People’s signature, enough of it, as the constitution requires to make it stand constitutionally, and legitimately.
    2. Who will oversee the process? The COMELEC or another entity, which is constitionally mandated, if there is another?
    3. Who will oversee the trial? The Senate sitting as an impeachment Court?
    4. One or two or more complaints will be filed, which the Supreme Court need to decide whether the people’s initiative is constitutional? And the process in accordance with the Constitution, too.
    5. It will be a contentious issue, and a prolonged one. As partisans pros and cons will debate on it.
    It will be a big distraction to the normal course of business and daily life.
    6. There will be provocateurs who will encourage more incendiary thoughts and events that may lead to violence and conflagration, figuratively and literally.
    7. If and when P-Noy is ousted, then a constitutional successor, Binay, will step in to rule and govern. He cannot be denied his constitutional right. Or more chaos and distraction.
    So far, these are the outcomes. Do we see something of this that is pleasant? Do we wish to get into this chaos, if not a waste of time? Or do we just wait for 2016, and make us of the time to prepare for it so that we can shoose the next leader. We work for 2016 so that election is honet, and truthful.

    • I dont buy your idea Mr. Fernandez…..If we have done it to two Philippine Presidents by means of People`s Power being 1st initiated by his mother, we can do it again! There is NO REASON for the THIEF EXECUTIVE to stay any longer in Malakanyang Palace. This the most effective we can do because he cant bribe us, the angry Filipinos just like the way he is doing to the CROOKS IN COATS!

  2. You and Ambassador Tiglao,s columns are the first I look forward to reading before browsing the paper. Where do my family and friends go to sign up. Please lead us to it. Who was that pipsqueak friend of Aquino who use to come out wit Gloria being a ‘peki’ president? Now he has a cosy job at Tesda, he doesn’t say Aquino is a Peki president. His father a suppose to be a pious person doesn’t seem to care either. Villanueva I believe.

  3. Raymond Stenhouse on

    Its horrific crime against humanity when politicians take massive amounts of money away their from poor citizens and fraudulently use it to corrupt the Government. The squalor I have seen and work in the Philippines is disheartening. I have been into Barangays houses where there is no sewage water or electricity basics that many of the rich take for granted. The health of the people is poor and they don’t get the basic nutrition because of high prices. The trillions of Pasos squandered by success leaders who made stating: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God.” could have saved many Filipinos.

    As a Foreigner I give more effort time and money towards the poor then any Government of Barangay official but still are treated as an Alien who not wanted here. May God Bless the Philippines I will die to defend it if required.

  4. Senator, Im sure you have heard of what happened to Puerto Princesa’s hugely successful signature campaign. They were only targeting a mayor, while it is the President Boy Sayad (BS) that you are after, never mind if he is de jure or de facto. For a council with such high ambitions, the path it has taken is a suspiciously feeble one. Is this deliberate ? To my conspiracy addled mind, this looks like an attempt to capture the anti-BS sentiment of the people and divert it away from the crimes of oligarchy. If this council is not following an elitist agenda, this must be a quixotic pipe dream or a fund raising venture. If the yellow regime and not just BS is your target, isnt it better to let BS stay and just wait for the yellow ribbon regime to crumble thanks to their great leader’s self destructive tendencies? Who will replace BS , Binay? Drilon ? Or another yellow ribbon dummy who is completely subservient to the oligarchy ? A problem correctly stated is a problem half solved. To repeat, it is the deadly grip the tentacles this giant octopus called the oligarchy have on the poor neck of Juan dela Cruz that is the problem we must all attack if the emancipation of Juan is what really drives us. This signature drive is a rerun of a bad telenovela. Remember Cory Aquino and Gloria Arroyo? The Church has slept with the Nazis, military dictatorships, left wing liberation movements and even our own NPA and of course the oligarchy, and this list is not even complete. How can anyone believe that the Church can be an agent of change in this country ? Can these prelates devote the same passion to opposing the power and water rates of the Aboitiz and the Ayalas ?If your council starts a boycott of the 2016 election as long as the comelec cheating machine remains intact, I might change my mind. in the meantime, let me end this letter with a message to your council from your former boss, Ferdinand Marcos. Its the oligarchy, stupid.

  5. jose hernani m. parco on

    Mr. Tatad, how true that Congress passed a Bill re: full foreign bank ownership to do business in the Philippines and signed into Law by Pnoy? in direct violation of the Constitution. it was done without any press announcement at all!

    • What precedent are you referring to, Sir? There’s non whatsoever have yet been established for which to base such plan of action per se. The same will never even take off the ground for the very simple reason that Mr. Tatad’s Political career had now been rendered severely damaged and it continue to dwindle day by day. It will not stop while he continue to do what he do. That plan in its entirety is just plain and simple craziness, foolishness, overfoolishness, at its worst.

    • Francisco Tatad, the former docile and submissive lamb of Marcos is now courageous and rebellious to advocate the ouster of Pnoy by people initiative of a people power. What drove Tatad to subscribe to the prelates council to oust Aquino. As Tatad gets older he gets bolder? After all there is nothing in his world he should die for. At least Tatad goes away from this chaotic world with a blast and a bang!

  6. The damages done to the Philippines by only one person in the name of mischievous PNoy cannot be quantified. Why because there are so many goofs and mistakes by PNoy himself and his allies which may be irreparable for the next 50 years. This is the result of “electing” a mentally defective man in Benigno Simeon.

  7. Count me in. So, who’s going to draft the impeachment document to be circulated all over the country? Where do I go to sign?

  8. Kit – I think it is a waste of time to discuss how to remove President BS Aquino from Malacananag legally. The President as we all know is “Mentally Challenged” and being so, He can not govern, hence; REMOVE HIM BODILY FROM MALACANANG, now before causing more damage to our country and people.

    Ninoy Aquino said before in one of his speeches before he died; “THERE ARE 49 MILLION FILIPINO COWARDS AND ONE SON – – – – – OF – – – B”. ALL I AM ASKING YOU, MR. PRESIDENT IS TO: “GIVE BACK THEIR FREEDOM”.

    Now there are now 100 million Filipinos and if we lose 49 million Filipino cowards to remove the “mentally incapacitated” President – so be it. “May God Forgive me for this”. If this is the only way – I am more than willing to sacrifice my life to be one of the 49 million Filipino cowards to be lost, only to save our country and people.

    • Alright, alejo go do it yourself now before he travels to the UN and other countries in Europe. Remove him, take him bodily from from his office before he’s gone.

  9. OK, Mr. Tatad: We’re on, on your proposal. We’re dead set anyway on having this Abnoy removed from Malacanang. It’s good you have shown us the way by which this could be done.

    You said: “A million signatures or two would be a modest target. Once that number is reached, the people could then demand that Aquino step down, if he had not done so yet. Or they could organize some kind of people’s court to publicly try the respondent. That’s what the Allies did with the Nazis, at Nuremberg.” I hope the mechanics by which such signatures could be collected could already be set in motion.

    • Advise your bros. to not to forget to take their arms with them, man. The Nazis, even realizing the fact that they were already defeated would not have easily succumbed to their condemnation as you would want us to believe had the allies did not have the fire power with them. hehehe.

    • Ask your idol Francisco Tatad if he was clean, honest and truthful during his years of association with Dictator Marcos? My perception of Tatad is that he was not out of being loyal to Marcos he had to lie, lie and lied through his tongue, to justify Marcos Martial law rule. Did he benefit financially or otherwise for being a mouthpiece of Marcos and kept silent on the actual Marcos governance, his corruption, cronyism, brutal rule and torture and murders of student activists. How can Tatad remain in Marcos government for years unless some form of reward financial or otherwise he got. He may defend himself that he served out of “fear” of Marcos! If so at a young age when youth feel invulnerable, he felt scared! That’s plain cowardice if he felt he was a patriotic citizen! Now Tatad is advocating or supporting a parliament of the street to impeach Aquino. If he is courageous now, why was he not during Marcos to topple him! Tatad is just like Goebels, lies, lies and more lies, which later becomes the truth ! So Mr. Tatad have a consistent principle so you will have scruples and not labelled as a demagogue! What can you say Mr. Tatad?

  10. I am a consistent reader of your columns even in the Manila Standard Today. I am almost in total agreement with your principles, concepts, and understanding of the constitution. I am indeed fed up and disgusted with PNoy government and the congress of the Philippines (house and senate). I cannot trust congress to uphold the interest of the filipino people especially when there is taxpayers money involved. There is a need for change, change for genuine common good and I am looking for one intelligently and morally capable to be President to lead the government, hard working and sacrificing for the country. I would suggest that you run for President. I know that you could enlist and rally the support of many good people, aside from religious leaders. I am a filipino canadian and I would volunteer to work in your campaign office should you decide to seek Philippine Presidency. I would like to meet you personally when I go home to the Philippine this christmas. More power to you and God bless you.

    • Ask your idol Francisco Tatad if he was clean, honest and truthful during his years of association with Dictator Marcos? My perception of Tatad is that he was not out of being loyal to Marcos he had to lie, lie and lied through his tongue, to justify Marcos Martial law rule. Did he benefit financially or otherwise for being a mouthpiece of Marcos and kept silent on the actual Marcos governance, his corruption, cronyism, brutal rule and torture and murders of student activists. How can Tatad remain in Marcos government for years unless some form of reward financial or otherwise he got. He may defend himself that he served out of “fear” of Marcos! If so at a young age when youth feel invulnerable, he felt scared! That’s plain cowardice if he felt he was a patriotic citizen! Now Tatad is advocating or supporting a parliament of the street to impeach Aquino. If he is courageous now, why was he not during Marcos to topple him! Tatad is just like Goebels, lies, lies and more lies, which later becomes the truth ! So Mr. Tatad have a consistent principle so you will have scruples and not labelled as a demagogue! What can you say Mr. Tatad?

  11. such thoughts (lipa declaration, a million signature, impeachment, ouster, etc) are but clear indication of people’s frustrations towards aquino. unfortunately, or fortunately, it is not gaining steam. maybe the very reason for the timid and tepid response is the lack of alternative. binay is in the same league with aquino. you put binay and you secure aquino. you put binay and you have arroyo reborn. the ntc concept is akin to theocracy. these are the very reasons why despite the rot we are in, aquino remains clued to his seat. is there anybody else?