WERE I to be baselessly defamed by a sitting lawmaker in the halls of Congress, I cannot sue him as he may not be questioned in any other place under the Constitution.(Art. VI, Sec. 11). The matter is exclusively vested in the chamber itself, perhaps for its ethics committee to probe. That is one type of Political Question (PQ) no court or other agency may touch.
The other type of PQ is one left to the people, in their sovereign capacity, to decide. I submit that the issue of who will lead us in 2016-22 is too important to leave to the Senate Electoral Tribunal, the Commission on Elections, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, or the Supreme Court, to decide. Involve the People and honor their will.
In Tañada v. Cuenco, 100 Phil 1101 (1957), the Supreme Court said that PQ “refers to those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government.
Prudential considerations and policy justifications favor Grace Poe, in my view.
Grace – who got 20,337,327 votes in 2013, from electors who did not suspect she was Martian or Manchurian – I like for making me feel she would not steal a singkong duling. I like her too because of my lifelong sympathy, as a human rights advocate, for the handicapped, the underdog. She was a pulot, in Jaro, Iloilo, for whom the law is biased under Art. 24 of the Civil Code, in our society that would be “humane,” in our Constitution’s Preamble. An abandoned love child comes to this world with two strikes against him and I won’t join anyone dumping or piling on him. “Ikaw, pulot, anak sa labas, putok sa buho, patunayan mo kungsino ang magulang mo. Pinoy ba?” Cruel, insensitive and unreasonable, I submit.
I won’t commit at this time to vote for her, though.
It’s just that I don’t enjoy a pulot – not his fault – being kicked around.
But, I posit that Grace is a natural-born Pinoy in the sense defined by Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, in our class, “one born a citizen.” I do not see her as having been born a Martian or Manchurian smuggled in surreptitiously as an infant. She looks and talks like many of us, she laughs, she cries, she fears, she dreams. Probability is the one witness who never lies or errs.
She should not have the burden of proof.
One perceived to have been elected has legitimacy, vital in trying to lead an arguably ungovernable nation of more than 100M conejos.
So let the voter, as a particle of popular sovereignty, decide who we will next punish to try to lead unleadable us, a nation of scofflaws.
So also I am against knocking off nuisance candidates, save those with the clear intent to mock the process, as in an obscure Sanchez running for senator, causing Bobbit Sanchez to lose in 1987. My Pasig townsman (not “townmate,” please) even lost as stray votes ballots with only Sanchez on same sank his chances. Else, with automation, let anyone dream and fantasize.
Sanity is supposed to be a qualification for marriage. A teacher of mine said in fact insanity was. Part of election lore is that only Pascual Racuyal, released from National Mental Hospital (NMH), could claim on the hustings that he was the only established sane candidate, and had NMH documentation to back it up.
Sen. Miriam invokes the right of privacy in resisting an appeal for her to disclose her medical record. So there is tension between her undoubted right to privacy and the equally undoubted right of the public to know the health or medical background of any presidential candidate.
Arguably short by a few months, if that? This jurassic standard was meant to make sure one is familiar with the problems of her turf. But, one can keep track today of local conditions even when abroad, by radio-TV, computer, fax, mobile phones, email, ipods, etc. No more American President Lines or old propeller craft. One can fly from Manila to San Francisco nonstop in a matter of a little over 12 hours. So, el sitio nada importa. The place does not matter. That is why it is easy to accept that a promdi Cong staying mostly in Metro Manila, where he may have a second home (and family?), qualifies as a Cong representing some faraway place with a strange-sounding name.
It is important that the next Prez, whoever he/she may be, enjoy the widest, biggest mandate.
Let not the SET, Comelec, SC, but the People, as particles of popular sovereignty, decide.