The issues are now joined. To the public demand that President B. S. Aquino 3rd now step down because of his crimes against the Filipino people, Malacañang spokesman Sonny Coloma has replied that those calling for it are too small in number to move the President. He obviously wants to see an enormous lynch mob.
“Majority of our people” would like Aquino to continue, said Coloma, and Aquino himself is determined to “continue his service and implement the reforms he promised our people.” Coloma was careful enough not to add that Aquino even wants the Constitution amended so he could be “machine-elected” again for a yet non-existent second term.
What “majority”? What service? What reforms? These are precisely the bones of contention. In the old fable, they are the naked Emperor’s “garments of gold,” visible only to monarch and his court. But as far as the smallest child is concerned, the Emperor is totally naked.
Contrary to the official hype, there is a growing belief that Aquino did not really win the 2010 elections but was merely processed into office (“hocus-PCOSed,” as some would say) by the Smartmatic precinct count optical scan machines, after the Commission on Elections illegally divested them of their safety features and accuracy mechanisms.
He has shown no visible qualifications for nor any creditable performance in the office, apart from sending former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and three opposition senators to jail on cases that could yet unravel during trial, while refusing to prosecute a hundred or so lawmaker-allies and Cabinet members who may have committed worse cases of plunder.
He is believed to have devoted the greater part of his physical and mental energy to the play station and the shooting range rather than to anything remotely associated with his presidential duties.
And, as the Lipa Declaration puts it, he has corrupted the Congress, intimidated the Judiciary, taken over the Treasury, manipulated the automated voting system, perverted the constitutional impeachment process, and interfered in the private lives of individuals and married couples, notably in the exercise of their religious freedom and their inviolable procreative rights and duties.
No great crowds have come out in support of the call for his early exit not because such support is lacking but only because there has been no effort to raise such crowds for that purpose. In the Lipa and Cebu assemblies convened by the National Transformation Council, the crowd was controlled to represent a cross-section of the population, but not to fill the streets with a mob to demand Aquino’s head. But it will come if he asks for it.
What matters at this point are the grounds for demanding his exit. Are they based on truth, and on justice? Let us take a slice of a rather long list.
Aquino has become impeachable on all the grounds enumerated in the Constitution, possibly including treason, but he could no longer be impeached and removed because of his criminal hold on Congress.
Using the congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund and his so-called Disbursement Acceleration Program, both of which the Supreme Court has now declared unconstitutional, Aquino bribed members of the 15th Congress to railroad the widely opposed Reproductive Health Law, and to impeach and remove Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, who represented an obstacle to his plan to control the three co-equal branches of government. No president before Aquino has corrupted Congress in the same measure.
The misuse of the pork barrel system is a serious offense, but the corruption of Congress to destabilize the Constitution is unprecedented.
On the RH Law, which puts the State in control of the private sexual and procreative lives of married couples and individuals, Aquino had assured US President Barack Obama of the passage of the law after receiving a grant of $454 million from the Millennium Challenge Fund. Several petitioners challenged the law before the Supreme Court, but at his behest, the Court declared the law “not unconstitutional,” despite its patent violation of the Constitution.
As one of the petitioners and lead presenter during the Oral Arguments before the Supreme Court en banc, I raised the objection that since the constitutional duty of the State is “to equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception,” it is ipso facto the protector of conception and cannot therefore be the source of even a single case of contraception. The protector of conception cannot at the same time be the preventer thereof, I pointed out. It was logic at its simplest.
The Court pretended as though it never heard the argument. It refused to refute or even acknowledge the objection, and ruled on the law as though my objection did not exist. I raised the same objection again in my Motion for Reconsideration, but got the same result, no acknowledgement, no refutation, as though the objection was never made.
The Court agreed with me that the law is a population control measure, but it saw nothing wrong in it, even though the commission that wrote the Constitution had rejected the proposal to put it in, and consequently the Constitution does not authorize population control.
It has since come to my attention that the Court receives substantial funding from the US AID, which has a huge vested interest in promoting RH around the world. RH, according to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, includes the right to abortion, and is a high foreign policy priority of the Obama administration.
On Corona’s removal, the Chief Justice was impeached on the basis of eight Articles of Impeachment signed by 188 congressmen who never read the document. He was tried by the Senate impeachment court, which did not have the courage to decide that the charges had not been properly verified. During the trial a bumbling panel of prosecutors withdrew five of the eight charges for lack of evidence, leaving but three charges that did not include graft and corruption.
In the end, they focused on one charge only, Corona’s failure to declare his dollar deposits in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth. This was not an impeachable offense: under the law, anyone who fails to make an accurate declaration in his SALN is allowed to correct his omission or error, without incurring any penal sanctions. But 19 of the 23 senator-judges were paid P50 million each or more from the unconstitutional DAP after convicting the respondent. Only one senator-judge, a close Aquino ally, who voted for conviction, did not receive any DAP incentive. Thus the senator-judges ended with more grime on their faces than the one they had convicted at their shameful trial.
Now, the Supreme Court did not only declare the PDAF and the DAP unconstitutional. It also ordered the immediate prosecution of all the lawmakers, the Secretary of the Budget and other members of the Cabinet and the Commission on Audit who were involved in the misuse of the pork barrel system. To this day, not a single official under Aquino’s wing has been charged with corruption, theft or plunder.
Aquino has not just corrupted the system. Rather, as one NTC founding member puts it, Aquino’s corruption has become the system. Thus the Lipa Declaration says, “unbridled and unpunished corruption and widespread misuse of political and economic power in all layers of society have not only destroyed our common conception of right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust, legal and illegal, but also put our people, especially the poor, at the mercy of those who have the power to dictate the course and conduct of our development for their selfish ends.”
Aquino has tried to make the nation spiritually numb and morally blind.
It is foolish to say there are not enough numbers demanding Aquino’s exit. This is not the question for now. The question for now is: Can Malacanang and its propagandists say the findings contained in the Lipa and Cebu declarations are mere figments of the imagination? How can they? The crimes are grave, some unimaginable and unprecedented, and the victims are no other than the Filipino people.
Can we not, or should we not, put the matter to a vote? Ideally, we should, but how can we? The voting process has been thoroughly corrupted, and there has been no effort to reform it. This is why Aquino has the courage to believe he could extend his incompetent and corrupt rule for another six years, without any effort. Being in control of Congress, the Comelec and the conscript press, he could get Congress to railroad a constitutional amendment that would lift his term limit, and he could get the Comelec and the PCOS machines to declare that the people have ratified the amendment, even if they did not, and give him a “landslide” win in the bogus elections, even if he did not get any votes. And the conscript media will be there, waiting eagerly to celebrate his great achievement.
Precisely for this reason, the NTC assemblies want him out. The majority is not yet there, but it will rise if and when the political corpse refuses to be buried.