Rule of law and constitutional government are in peril


When I wrote two successive columns on the subject of character and the presidency, I thought that it was a good way to send Grace Poe into exile from this column for a spell. It would be more prudent and kind to readers to leave her citizenship conundrum to the ministration of other pundits and the Supreme court, who know the law better than I.

I confess to being exhausted mentally by Ms. Poe’s haunting of our national politics, because I could not see any compelling reason why the nation and serious journalism should spend so much time on her. I could not see any qualities or attributes of character in the lady, no single sterling achievement, that would make her suitable as a possible successor to President Benigno BS. Aquino 3rd. I saw no difference in vacuity of persona between the false choice offered by her adoptive father Fernando Poe, Jr. in 2004, and the false choice she is offering us now. I see only missing parts and blanks in their backgrounds.

Sometimes I wish we could just apply the words of Winston Churchill to this lady. Winston Churchill in a radio broadcast in October 1939, said of Russia, the following:
“I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”

Ms. Poe would probably delight in being called a riddle, a mystery, and an enigma. Who is the woman who can resist being described in this way?

But for this I now have a reply, thanks to an epiphany that came to me from nowhere yesterday.

Jane Doe instead of Grace Poe

This revelation suggested to me that because of Ms. Poe’s total failure to substantiate her claim of Filipino citizenship, it would be more fitting and proper to now refer to her as Jane Doe in public records and in journalism, as is the practice in the United States, Canada, and most English-speaking countries, with respect to persons, living or dead, whose identity is unknown.

Jane Doe has the advantage of even rhyming with Grace Poe. It is preferable to calling her “Juana de la Cruz,” which might offend people surnamed de la Cruz, who have no problem with their citizenship.

The names “John Doe” for men, and “Jane Doe” for women, are used as placeholder names for a party whose true identity is unknown or must be withheld in a legal action, case, or discussion. The names are also used to refer to a corpse or hospital patient whose identity is unknown.

Similarly, a child or baby whose identity is unknown may be referred to as Baby Doe.
So here I am called to the breach once again, dear friends, to write about the haunting of our national politics by Jane Doe, a.k.a. Grace Poe. Aka stands for ‘also known as.”
The placeholder name brings a sense of relief, but only a momentary one.

One more SC justice succumbs

What really impelled my change of tack are two excellent pieces of journalism that were published and posted within a day of each other during the last two days.

1. The first is the column of my colleague Kit Tatad, which appeared in yesterday’s edition of the Manila Times. Entitled “Crossing the line in the Llamanzares case,” it discussed and analyzed the declaration of one more justice of the Supreme Court, Francis Jardeleza, that he is a partisan of Grace Poe, and ready to rule that she is a natural- born Filipino.

I awaited this column eagerly because I knew that Tatad attended last Tuesday’s round of oral arguments on Ms. Poe’s disqualification cases at the Supreme Court.

I expected him to recount blow-by-blow what transpired in the day’s proceedings. He would analyze what they portend for Ms. Poe’s case.

Tycoon and Aquino pressuring SC

2. The second piece of journalism is a report by  veteran journalist Charlie Manalo, published in the Daily Tribune on February 11. Headlined “SC justices pressured to qualify Poe – sources,” the report said that “the pressure on the Supreme Court justices is on, big time, to have Sen. Grace Poe declared a natural-born Filipino qualified to run for the presidency.”

Manalo said that two reliable Tribune sources had told him (1) that a big businessman, said to be bankrolling Poe’s presidential run, has been exerting pressure on the Supreme Court through a third

party, an influential politician, known to the SC justices as a “fixer”; and (2) that President Aquino has been applying pressure on his five appointees to the Supreme Court (now six with his latest appointee), to get them to qualify Poe for her presidential run.

Manalo said that the two-pronged full-court press may be succeeding, because the latest estimates indicate that the count of justices may be swinging in Ms. Poe’s favor. The combination of the business lobby and presidential pressure may be too hard for the SC justices to resist.

A menace to the Republic

These two reports are extremely alarming. Consequently, I am constrained to get out of my temporary foxhole and return to the arena.

I believe that the nation is confronted here by nothing less than a challenge to its constitutional foundations. No institution is safe from the predatory machinations of business and political forces. With President Aquino obsessed to free himself from answering formal charges for high crimes and misdemeanors during his presidency, the May elections could be forcibly manipulated.

Nothingless than the rule of law and our constitutional government are now on the line.
Jane Doe , a.k.a Grace Poe, is now a menace to the republic.


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  1. If it is indeed true that Charlie Manalo, being a respectable journalist that he is, has the goods on the tycoon who is allegedly behind the pressure on the SC to qualify Grace Poe, then he should name the businessman rather than treat this as a blind item befitting a gossip tabloid. I find it appalling that the author is willing to call Grace Poe “Jane DOE” for having unknown origin and yet, with strange irony accept the gossip from unknown sources and not willing to call this journalist “Charlie DOE” instead!

  2. may I suggest that you will call all your readers and we will gather near SC building and bring our protest placards! The concerned Justice and righteous warrior citizens will show our indignation to the flawed system of justice for sale and OPEN SECRET BRIBERY PRACTICE IN OUR COURTS FROM THE HIGHEST TO THE LOWEST BARANGAY COURTS!!! We pray that the word of God in the Bible will convict them to repent before it is too late! Proverbs 29:1-4New King James Version (NKJV)
    1 He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck,
    Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
    2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
    But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.
    3 Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice,
    But a companion of harlots wastes his wealth.
    4 The king establishes the land by justice,
    But he who receives bribes overthrows it. 2 Chronicles 7:14New King James Version (NKJV)

    14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

  3. The prevailing sinful practices in our institutions make me cry out every night and day to God why the officials and Justices claimed to be Christians but in practiced are full of hypocrisy & injustices? Just like the backers of Ms. Grace Poe are conniving. The later is position conscious for President blinded by the unreal or movie make believed image of Ang Panday! The Oligarchs & Elites behind her have hidden agenda of raiding the tax money to be use as their corporate fund sourced. This shows the calloused heart of these people. They care not for the Nation building but for their personal interest at the expense of the taxpayers money. This is demonstrating the sinful character and impudicity or shamlessness of the aspirants in cahoots with the oligarchs bankrolling the very costly campaign.This sinful practiced is unpardonable by God! If the SC will allow the wishes of these few then they will be selling their own birth right. The bribed money will pervert the course of Justice! And the nation will be placed in grave danger! The SC members are the hope of our Nation! They must not sell our nation from few morsel. Our enemies, who wants to destroy of steal our country will take advantage of the weaknesses of our Judiciary members and exploit it to the core because they fear no God! If the SC Justices don’t lead by example by upholding the rule of law and the provisions of the Constitution based on justice and righteousness by all means then the SC is helping in weakening the very foundation of our Nation! May the SC members fear God and His word wherein all laws were derived! May the Word of God strike fear for them to repent so that righteousness and justice will prevail in SC. Merciful God please save our nation from evil people. Protect our Nation from ungodly men and women. Matthew 16:26New King James Version (NKJV)
    26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?or what will man give in exchange for his soul? Proverbs 29:2-4New King James Version (NKJV)
    2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
    But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.
    3 Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice,
    But a companion of harlots wastes his wealth.
    4 The king establishes the land by justice,
    But he who receives bribes overthrows it.

  4. I hope Mr. Tatad and others should not stop fighting for the rule of law. If the Supreme Court will rule in favor of that lady, file an impeachment case of those who voted in favor of her.

  5. In this country, what is popular, is not always RIGHT
    and What is RIGHT is not always POPULAR..Because of the Minions Government and their followers, Minions..

  6. Why are people so damn afraid to name Ramon Ang of San Miguel as the puppetmaster of Grace Llamanzares? Are all reporters and editors already under Ang’s payroll???

  7. Kung makinig ka sa oral argument ng supreme court sa hearing ni grace poe parang nakinig kalang sa senado alam mo na kung sinong partial at neutral sa mga jurado!

  8. Presuming the Supreme Court ruled Grace Poe-Llamanzares a natural born Filipino Citizen, how then can they rule on the 10 year residency status when Grace have already committed an honest mistake in her COC.
    It will be a precedent already for anyone to commit an honest mistake because the Supreme Court had already ruled that a mistake can be honest.
    The future generation will be ruled by so many honest mistakes

  9. Si grace poe ay may kakayaham mamuno ng bansa kc meron pinagmanahan nanalaytay ata sa ugat nya ang dugo ng isang MARCOS!

  10. We will be in trouble if this arrogant opportunist get
    elected, she’s all blah blah and form. Another Student
    Council in the offing?
    Oh, Lord. Save our country.

  11. I have never seen a nation rendered so helpless by the machinations of a President who belongs to the oligarchy. This President has corrupted his co-equals in the other branches of government to the detriment of the masses, especially the poor. Look what happened to Congress – they are turned into shameless thieves and crooks. Look at the Judiciary – they have turned against their duty as guardians and protectors of the Constitution!

  12. Correct that our country, rule of law and the constitution is in great danger! Don’t look around, don’t go astray. SC must see, know and feel our equivocal pressure before they decide on this particular case. They are prolonging the oral arguments, as if waiting for proper timing to proclaim their decision!
    We must converge in the streets not to celebrate disgusting edsa 86 but to make them known our resolve! We will not let go!!!

  13. What Filipinos have is a failed state, there is no more other definition to what we are facing today.

  14. sereno,leonen,jardeleza kumita na sa takilya ang palabas nyong yan. huwag na kayong humurit bistado na ang kartada nyo ika nga. alam na ng bangka na uno ang baraha nyo at alam din ng bangka na ang barahang mahihirit ay nuwebe. huwag ka humirit uno ka , humirit ka naman ay bokya ka
    kaya kayong apat na masahol pa sa galising askal ay huminto na sa palabas nyong nakakabwisit na!!!!
    may katotohanan nga pala ang sabi ng matatanda “ANG TAMA KAYA NILANG MALIIN, AT ANG MALI NAMAN AY KAYA NILANG ITAMA”

  15. Let us hope that a civic-minded whistle-blower will show up, expose the “fixer” and the business tycoon so these two can be charged with bribery. Can any reader of your column come up with a plan so these two will be forced to come out of the shadows? Perhaps a staff member of any of the justices who have been approached can serve as a witness to these underhanded meetings. A whistle-blower award should be put in place by concerned citizens or organizations to encourage those in-the-know to come forward and expose any wrong-doing. I will more than gladly contribute to such an award, and I am sure, so will others who care about the country and its Constitution.
    “Tama na, sobra na”.

  16. Is a puzzlement! If the SC can grant bail to an olde stem-celled senator surely they can also accommodate this rookie senator.

  17. If Supreme Court Justices, if true, can be bribed or bought or whatever to favor someone, then Philippines can be considered a lawless country.

    • Very possible na mabili ang mga Justices kasi nabili nga ni Abnoy ang mga Sena-tong para ma impeach ni former CJ Corona.

  18. Leodegardo Pruna on

    TRUST is a very important factor in an individual’s life. The people of the Philippines is slowly losing its grip on its Constitutional Foundation because of misplaced ambition and continued lying. The people must and should awake from its slumber. Otherwise, the people will see itself deep deep in a hellish situation bigger than what is happening in war torn and civil strife nations. God save the Philippines. God bless the Philippines.

  19. “I could not see any qualities or attributes of character in the lady, no single sterling achievement, that would make her suitable as a possible successor to President Benigno BS. Aquino 3rd. I saw no difference in vacuity of persona between the false choice offered by her adoptive father Fernando Poe, Jr. in 2004, and the false choice she is offering us now. I see only missing parts and blanks in their backgrounds.”

    Neither do I, sir Yen. But then again, that might be the reason why Grace Poe-Llamanzares and her handlers saw her as a suitable successor to Pnoy. You probably have forgotten Pnoy have stayed in Congress for 12 long years (9 years in the House of Representatives and 3 years in the Senate) with nothing to show, never mind sterling achievement. Already, Ms. Grace Poe-Llamanzares is trying to destroy one institution. When in power, she can do more damage no different from Pnoy. Mind you, the only character I saw in her is greed for power and money. And she is being taken advantage by some much more greedy businessmen. You hit it right when you said, “Jane Doe , a.k.a Grace Poe, is now a menace to the republic.”

  20. Yes, the Constitution and the laws of the Philippines is now in peril. If the SC will rule in favor of Grace Llamanzares it will be a start of another peoples power, a revolution not comparable to the failed Peoples Power which gave power to a useless, incompetent individual called Corazon Aquino. First, those who were disqualified by the SC before which have the same circumstances as Llamanzares will demand the same treatment as her. From then on all laws in the country will be subjected to question depending on who is rich and powerful enough to twist the laws as they want. There will be no more rule of the law because every can question it when needed Those who will become the victims of these exercise will be constrained to use illegal means to defend their rights. The legal system of this country will be chaotic and there will be a revolution forthcoming which will be a very bloody one. And the persons who will be entirely blamed are those corrupted justices who disregard the laws of the land for money and other illegal ways.

  21. “The estimated GDP per capita for the Philippines in 1900 was of $1,033.00. That made it the second richest place in all of Asia, just a little behind Japan ($1,135.00), and far ahead of China ($652.00)
    or India ($625.00).”

    Where did it all go wrong.

    Edward Gibbon in his seminal book “The Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire” identified a number of reasons for its decaying culture and ultimate demise:
    Concern with displaying affluence and narcissism;
    Obsession with sex and the need for short term gratification
    A lack of creativivity and originality;
    Widening disparity between the very rich and the very poor;
    Increased demand to live off the state;
    Disregarding basic disciplines
    Excessive corruption, and self-interest.

    Isonomia, means “equality of laws to all manner of persons.” It epitomises where and why things went/go wrong.

    Strong empires were built upon the rule of law and a separation of powers. When those do not operate effectively, then a country will not function, and instead entitlement, privilege, and impunity will rule, until the point that rising resentment explodes into open conflict.

    Power and privilege for the few become more important than progress and prosperity for all. A recipe for failure in the long term.

  22. “The essence of oligarchical rule is the persistence of a certain world-view and a certain way of
    Who wields power is not important, provided that the hierarchical structure always remains the same”
    George Orwell

    The nation, like the emperor, is naked. The cloak and shield of a constitution might as well not exist when it is not applied, open to 180 degree interpretation, and it’s principles trampled upon.

    The whole point now is to ensure an establishment friendly winner and two heads are better than one behind.
    It is not only the law which is an ass.

    • That’s what John P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie — the robber barons– have done when they tacitly installed William Mckinley as president of USA in 1897. Everyone–in the Philippines Supreme Court– has their price too.

  23. A buffonish prank!
    Are you insinuating that if the SC allowed GP to run they were bribed? I hope no SC Justice read this garbage write-up of yours today because if they did, you will be in trouble.

    • Please read, Justice For Sale: The Shocking Scandal of the Oklahoma Supreme Court or Google search: Supreme Court Scandal Examined. Unless the DNA of our Supreme Court Justices are superior than that of the characters involved in the above-mentioned scandal their trustworthiness and being incorruptible — image they would like to project–will not be as clear cut as you see it.

  24. Rodan Guerrero on

    A columnist in this online newspaper, now on his prime, a frustrated politician and a lawyer, who is no longer allowed to practice his profession for failing not to pay his obligation in the performance of law practice, is on the side of Jane Doe a.k.a Grace Poe. In the other online newspaper, a dean of law always sided with Jane Doe even sensationalizing the opinion of former SCCJ Panganiban, but now have ceased to talk about Jane Doe as may have finally changed his position considering that all his collegue are all in the side of implementing the provisions of the constitution. In the Supreme Court,there are 6 scalawags who succumbed in favor of Jane Doe resulting from pressure of the STUPID whom they owe their positions. What a mess is happening in our country now! How can we move on from the damages this regime has caused when we filipinos refuse to do what is right?

  25. Under CJ Sereno, the case of Jane Doe will drag on intentionally to buy them some time to convince other justices to turn into their favor. If this was really an urgent case, the SC should take daily oral arguments, not once a week. It is also strange, that already 4 oral arguments had been held and still they cannot vote on the issue. It now appears that this case is being tried publicly, which is unusual for the SC. CJ Sereno and her cohorts are trying to buy time until they get the numbers. They tried to expand the subject to discuss irrelevant issues so it will take more time and the case will drag on.

    • Sir, you are a hundred percent right. This is the agenda of CJ Sereno and her five cohort thugs. It’s been showing all along. To me it’s all vested interest and corruption by the 6 thugs. I hope the nine Justices don’t succumb to them. God Bless our Country.