Impeach PNoy? I join those who say bring it on! Absent any strong public outcry, the national inquest would only land in the kangkungan. Partisan or pragmatic considerations can’t be helped. It is in the nature of the beast, which is not judicial. (On what lawmakers do, we are reminded of the saying — attributed to Bismarck — that the lesser the people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better we sleep at night.)
The alleged offense: Asking some senators to vote to convict Rene Corona. The sovereign people acting through their elected representatives decided a political question the unelected Supreme Court may not review. And why only now, after two years? In debate, at times, mas vale nunca que tarde – better never than late.
Impeachment is eminently political, not judicial. Where does it say that a Prez cannot be involved (“meddle” or “makialam”) and ask any senator to do the right thing: oust a post-midnight Chief Justice (CJ) inflicted by caretaker GMA whose task it was but to prepare a smooth transition as a lame duck about to become a dead duck, so to speak? PNoy never accepted Rene as CJ (I never did, either).
Speaking of GMA, 66 this April 5 — Happy Birthday — what I recall reading was that she is badly ailing. If so, then let the Sandiganbayan, not PNoy, accord her Metro Manila arrest (see Sandigan J. Ricardo Iladre’s edifying Separate Opinion dated June 9, 2001, on where Erap may be detained, citing Fr. Bernas) as the compassionate and right thing to do (similar to Suharto’s city arrest). I can be Pusong Mamon.
In Davao City Pusong Bato Mayor Rudy Duterte challenges critics: “Point out to me a law which [says]I cannot threaten the criminals.” The context is Davao rice smuggling (and looting in Tacloban.) He is now engaged in a word war with fellow Bedan DOJ Sec. Leila de Lima, who I side with; the dare entertainably seems to be grave threats under Art. 282 of the Revised Penal Code. (A threat to prosecute X for rape unless he marries the woman is not illegal.)
Let us fly with wings of fantasy and assume Manila has a 9/11 experience at the hands of Ruritania radicals. May our Prez, higher than a Mayor, order the killing of their perceived head? Were we attacked thusly, would our Prez have the constitutional authority to issue any shoot-to-kill order as to any suspected Talibanic Fundamentalist Muslim suspected to be behind the attack? Extra-constitutional? What standard?
There has been criticism that bunkhouses built for Yolanda victims are substandard. What is “standard” anyway? Many Tripa de Gallina informal settlers near us in Palanan have had their tiny, tiny places in the sun there, between Makati and Pasay, as they have dealt with Yolanda on the installment plan over the decades.
That we should be addicted to facts and develop a passion for precision in expression are givens. But one can dream, can’t he? The assumption today is as 2016 nears, there looms the inevitability of Jojobama Binay, with whom I shared the same martial law foxhole. If it will be Jojo versus Bongbong, that should simplify 2016. If the delayed indemnification to the human rights victims extends up to 2015, the kleptocratic kakistocratic background of the Marcoses will loom large like a huge negative brooding omnipresence in the skies. Bongbong should liquidate the human rights issue for a 2022 run against Manny Pacquiao, Kris and Bong. Whoever. We are not to underrate anyone’s capacity for subjective growth.
Over the weekend, Jojobama, the 2016 pacesetter, reportedly recalled our experience in the We Forum trial where he was fined P200 in 1982. I had made of record that the witness, a Colonel, was reading his testimony. “I am not reading,” he blurted, and crumpled the piece of paper which he then threw at me. Innocent of aerodynamic principles, his paper did not hit me but fell in front of the Judge, who did nothing. Nada. The crowd booed. “If you will not keep quiet, I will clear the courtroom!”
Soc Rodrigo stood and said, “But, Your Honor, that was a reaction to your leniency toward this witness.” Side-glancing at the witness, he muttered, “But, I already told him, do not do that again.”
Laughter rocked the court. “I hereby fine you, Atty. Binay, P200!”
“But, why me, Your Honor?” – Jojobama, incredulous, both hands on chest.
“For laughing the loudest!”
Knowing Jojo, no fair; he probably was napping. I had earlier been fined P50 for saying that the court was getting militarized (pulling out a hundred-peso bill I said, “I’ll gladly pay it Your Honor. May I say something more for another P50?”) and then made to spend a weekend in jail when I characterized Mr. Marcos as a “Super-Subversive.” The charge was subversion by libel.
Libel. Last week our firm upset Chavit in his Vigan hometown in his libel case against Ninez Cacho-Olivares. There’s always the risk of winning. Brave Vigan RTC woman judge Cecilia Corazon S. Dulay-Arcog (as my Dulce would say, the best man for the job is a woman). Gutsy Chavit and Lito Banayo were two guys singled out for praise by Ninoy on the only occasion we met and talked in 1982 in Chestnut Hill.
Ninoy was fond of other more well-known personalities, like Gerry Roxas, who in our regular opposition meetings at night, would be driving his own car, by his lonesome. Mar picking up people by himself? Fruit never falls far from the tree. Designer Genes.
Mar, anak ka talaga ng Tatay mo!
O, yes, Happy Birthday, Prez Cory.