Trying to get SALNs is like humila ng bayawak sa lungga, as narrated by my studes. I have simplified my assignment, seeing the many bills being filed by lawmakers. Whatever for, indeed, in this scofflaw society?
My simplified assignment: out of the millions in the civil service today, and in the past, I ask, for a guaranteed passing grade (75%), proof of compliance by any “elective and appointive officials and employees, permanent or temporary, whether in the classified or unclassified or exemption service receiving compensation, even nominal, from the government,” (\t “_blank” R.A.No. 3019, Sec. 2(b, and “Government” means “the national government, the local governments, the government-owned and government-controlled corporations, and all other instrumentalities or agencies” (id. Sec. 2(a), with Sec. 7 thereof), with Sec. 7 requiring a civil servant to file every year “a statement of the amounts and sources of his income, the amounts of his personal and family expenses and the amount of taxes paid for the next preceding calendar year.”
Has anyone complied? The studes’ purposes are: 1) to pass the subject; and 2) to help have an amnesty cum remedial legislation since Munti may not have enough room for PNoy, Jojobama, Justices and Judges, the Senate Prez, the Speaker, Cabinet Members, Senators, Congressmen, Constitutional officials, the army, navy, air force and police chiefs, Governors, Mayors, Councilors, down to the last Barangay dogcatcher. Lawmakers, law enforcers, lawbreakers.
Sen. Grace Poe & Co. start with a clean slate and should heed R.A. No. 3019, slumbering, but not dead. Or repeal it. Why have new laws if we won’t follow existing ones anyway? If the civil servant invokes his right to remain silent, let that be on record, using the human and constitutional right not to speak. Grace & Co. may help start our return to the Rule of Law. Sen. Nancy B may ask her father, sister and brother for proof of compliance with Sec. 7. The Ombudsman may start prosecuting. More defense lawyers will live in nice homes. If no amnesty, prosecute scofflaws anarchizing society.
R.A. No. 6713 may have helped made us a nation of liars. R.A. No. 3019 affirms that we are a nation of scofflaws. And of Juan Tamads. Last month, I had a case we’re seeking to settle, in Muntinlupa (where many officials should spend their last terms, the first one being in office). Case reset so the parties can settle – to March, 2014! Too many cases for the new Judge. I pled for an earlier date. Granted! December 9, 2013.
No fear of the law cuz conviction with finality comes only when one is gone to a better world. Not the fault of that brand-new judge, to be sure, but the Supreme Court (SC) should lead the way. Retired Chief Justice Felix Makasiar said he never travelled abroad. The SC has just resumed sessions after another long break. It used to be that between Christmas and New Year, Justices toiled. Read, but not seen nor heard. Work, work, work. Now Justices even accept speaking invitations, unheard of before, at times to talk of matters where, if brought to it, would sandbag them. They seem not to care about the vital case-or-controversy-and-proper party requirements in high-profile radio-TVed cases.
And now Ulyanin Steve Psinakis, and Ballsy Aquino will be probed? What about the Woodward-Bernstein Watergate standard? anything controversial, double corroboration not usually observed in our Fire!-Aim!-Ready! Journalism (FARJ). There is the basic human and constitutional right to be presumed innocent, here, observed by our Dr. Dante and the Star’s Boo Chanco, doing gumshoe work.
OK to tell Pnoy what one thinks of him and his sisters and ancestors. FARJ tolerable when high officials are involved.(?) Foreign Affairs may be something else. There the nation must speak with a single voice. The President shares responsibility with the Senate, up to a point. The House? No role. Much less the Supreme Court whose members should not speak in public, particularly on foreign affairs where a case may be brought to it. Only the Prez has ambassadors all over and is therefore in the commanding heights, not tiny bivouacs. Justices should not accept speaking invites, save from the IBP, if that.
On RH, one issue really is why the SC accepted the case in the first place; it was asked to be a super-legislature, the unelected reviewing the work of the elected, wholesale. Our SC is the most powerful, and therefore, most dangerous branch, which may now tell the elected in the executive and the legislative branches, you have abused you discretion, and gravely at that. “Grave Abuse of Discretion (GAD)” was really meant to apply to a martial-law situation where the military would not release a detainee despite an SC order to do so. The military would say it would check with Da Apo (Macoy) first. But, the expansionary appetite of the SC has made GAD a basis to decide on the transfer of a petrochemical plant, the sale of Manila Hotel, etc.
A pleasant surprise then that several SC Justices agreed that the SC would not seem to be the right forum to contest RH. ConstiLaw 101, there must be a case or controversy bought by the proper parry. Judicial restraint J. Presby Velasco asked why the petitioners asked the entire law to be struck down when certain parts of it, can be “valid even if other parts are declared unconstitutional.” The SC really has to ask whether the Right thing is being done in the Right way at the Right time by the Right party in the Right way and for the Right reason. I want to support my Church that way.
I believe in family planning. As Moro Lorenzo was supposed to have said, he believed in such planning, and planned a big family. With population drops, calamities and civil and other wars elsewhere, with possible use of devastating bombs and missiles, God will give us the help we need. That is my Faith.
The State may not stop us from multiplying like rabbits, and we will find a way to endure and prevail. The Church may continue to preach, “self-control, not birth control.” With mixed results. Cuz, Muslims, four wives; Christians, no limit. And the Mahihiligs keep getting elected. No law can prevent couples from romancing and having babies, lest we have a cleansing civil war, at long last.