Tag Archives: Corona

[From the web] Are SC decisions linked to CJ transactions? -RAPPLER.com

Are SC decisions linked to CJ transactions?.

BY CARMELA FONBUENA, RAPPLER.com
May 26, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – It’s the next logical question. His money or not, what is the source of Chief Justice Renato Corona’s multi-million peso and dollar deposits?

In his testimony in the Senate, Corona admitted he has US$2.4-M in dollar accounts and P80-M in peso deposits. These were undeclared in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth supposedly because 1) the peso deposits are commingled funds and 2) the dollar deposits are protected by the confidentiality of foreign deposits.

Corona maintained that his multi-million dollar deposits came from legitimate sources. He supposedly starting investing in dollars in the late 1960s, when he was still a college student. The investment earned interest over a span of 35 years. Banking experts however pointed out it was illegal to engage in dollar trading in the 60s.

Corona denied the computation presented by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales showing that he has at least US$12-M in fresh deposits. She cited records of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), which she said, were certified.

Read full article @ www.rappler.com

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[Press Release] Disclose All or Resign All! Genuine Cleansing of the Bureaucracy not a Telenovela of Elite Infighting

Disclose All or Resign All! Genuine Cleansing of the Bureaucracy not a Telenovela of Elite Infighting

We have said it before and we will say it again. Give the Filipino people a chance for real reforms and meaningful cleansing of the rotting bureaucracy.

The impeachment of Corona is not enough. The process is a spectator sport for the Filipino masses who are neither senator judges nor members of the prosecution and defense panels. More so, it is atelenovela of elite infighting being used by the Aquino regime to consolidate its control of the state and to advance its economic interests.

In impeachment proceedings, the masses are being induced to take sides between two oppressors. They are made to choose the lesser evil among rival camps of the ruling elite, which is nothing more than a choice between hell and purgatory. By so doing, it fosters the illusion of democracy, of people’s participation in the affairs of the State.

But while the impeachment process is patently limited in its scope and objective and is being utilized by factions of the elite to pursue their self-serving economic and political agendas, it would inevitably open more meaningful questions. Its narrowness and limitation would provide exact arguments for the necessity of genuine and widespread reforms, and for other means of political activity that ensure public participation in the cleansing of the bureaucracy.

Hence, upon the opening of impeachment proceedings against Corona, we issued the “Disclose All” slogan, the demand for the full disclosure of all financial records and transactions by all government officials.

The beleaguered chief justice – who is more an astute politician than an honorable judge – knows this Achilles heel of the impeachment process. Hence, Corona is now piercing the veil of Noynoy’s anti-corruption pretense in order to save his skin as he challenges Senator Drilon and the 188 signatories of the impeachment case to “disclose all”. Truly, crooks know when to speak the truth to hide a lie.

We are neither “pro-Corona” nor “pro-Noynoy”. Both politicians are personifications of the social evil of a corrupt bureaucracy under an elite democracy. If government officials want to dispel public mistrust, they should let the sun shine into dark places. The broad masses of the people, not just the workers and the poor demand the public scrutiny of their private wealth.

If they could not “disclose all”, then they should all resign. And if the demand for “full disclosure” is continuously not met, the cry for “Resign All” would transform from an appeal for delicadeza into a call of action for their ouster. #

PRESS STATEMENT
Mayo 23, 2012
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)
Sanlakas

Disclose All or Resign All!
Genuine Cleansing of the Bureaucracy not a Telenovela of Elite Infighting

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[In the news] Don’t strip Corona of his rights: defense | ABS-CBN News

Don’t strip Corona of his rights: defense | ABS-CBN News.

By Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com
May 22,2012

MANILA, Philippines – One of the lawyers of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona on Tuesday said his client must not be stopped from invoking his rights as he takes the witness stand in his own impeachment trial today.

Defense spokesperson Atty. Tranquil Salvador III said he is not yet sure how the chief justice will respond to the questions that will be thrown at him, but insisted no one has the right to strip him of his rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.

The prosecution panel has been daring Corona not to resort to technicalities, such as invoking his right against self-incrimination, in responding to allegations that he owns at least $10 million in “transactional balances” in 82 accounts.

The report of the alleged dollar accounts came from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and was revealed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales before the impeachment court last week.

“Sa tingin ko po baka pwedeng hindi, pwedeng oo [na i-invoke niya ang kanyang karapatan]. Pero ito ang masasabi ko lang: si chief justice naman po, nagpakababa na pupunta sa impeachment court. He was humble enough to accept the challenge. Ang pakiusap na lang sana, kung ano pang merong ibinigay na karapatan sa kanya ang Saligang Batas, huwag na pong kunin pa,” Salvador told radio dzMM.

Read full article @ www.abs-cbnnews.com

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[In the news] UP student council head asks Miriam to leave students alone; polls on Corona to go on -InterAksyon.com

UP student council head asks Miriam to leave students alone; polls on Corona to go on
InterAksyon.com
March 29, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – With her colorful language and witty pick-up lines, Sen. Miriam Santiago is usually a favorite of the UP crowd, but her idea of stopping surveys on the trust ratings of impeached Chief Justice Renato C. Corona has caused the state university’s student council head to draw the line, with a plea: “Please leave the students alone.”

The Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP) declared on Thursday it will push through with conducting more surveys on Corona’s trust rating in different colleges and universities in the country.

Santiago had more than once denounced the conduct of such surveys, at the floor of the Senate, which has been convened as an impeachment court since January 16. The court went on a six-week break until May 7. Meantime, the results of surveys by professional pollsters have been published in recent days.

The UP’s SCAP released last March 26, 2012 a survey on Corona’s trust rating among students from five different colleges and universities. The survey, patterned after a similar survey conducted in the University of the Philippines (UP)Diliman by the UP Paralegal Society, revealed a strong distrust of Corona among students.

SCAP Secretary General Gibby Gorres said the success of the surveys was met with positive reaction from student councils and governments from different colleges and universities in the country.

“Instead of being deterred by fears that the surveys might be used for partisan purposes, many students in fact requested for such surveys to be conducted in their own schools. Many of them wanted their voices and opinions on the impeachment to be heard. The survey is one way to give the point of view of people whose interests are at stake in this process but who otherwise would not be heard,” Gorres explained.

According to Gorres, the survey was one way for the students to express their opinion and assessment of the current impeachment trial of Corona.

“We believe that the survey has helped in bringing the impeachment trial closer to the students. It has become an invaluable tool in ensuring that the impeachment trial is indeed a political exercise in the sense that the public is also an interested party to the trial. Instead of being passive actors, the students become involved in this important proceeding by learning from it and forming their own opinion about it,” according to Gorres.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

[From the web] ‘Noynoying’ is about the kind of government we have -RAPPLER.com

‘Noynoying’ is about the kind of government we have.

by Renato M. Reyes, Jr., RAPPLER.com
March 25, 2012

The problem is not so much that activists are “having a hard time attacking government policies,” but that people like Joel Rocamora and his Akbayan friends are having a difficult time seeing anything wrong with the Aquino administration despite the overwhelming evidence staring them in the face.

“Noynoying” is not simply a personal attack on Aquino but rather an assessment of the kind of government that we have today, one that is grossly insensitive to the plight of the Filipino people.

Aquino represents that kind of government. He is the main articulator of its policies. He’s the one not acting when he is expected to act. More than being funny, there’s a truth to the term noynoying and that’s probably the reason why it has caught on in social media.

For one who heads the National Anti-Poverty Commission, an agency that supposedly is attuned to the needs of the poor, Rocamora apparently sees nothing wrong with Aquino’s refusal to scrap or lower the VAT on oil. Rocamora sees nothing wrong with Aquino’s rejection of a P125 wage increase–a measure that would greatly help Rocomora’s supposed constituents.

The NAPC chair sees nothing disturbing with the Aquino government’s oft-repeated response of “wala tayong magagawa,” whether it’s about oil prices or tuition increases. (Neither do we see Rocamora’s Akbayan friends protesting in the streets against economic ills, not like they used to anyway).

Rocamora attempts to explain Aquino’s different priorities at this stage of his presidency. “The bulk of PNoy’s time is spent on economic issues… but getting at GMA and Corona, earlier Merceditas Gutierrez, is necessary to dismantle the apparatus of impunity put together by GMA for her cabal”.

Unfortunately, Aquino’s performance has been found wanting on both economic issues and the issue of making GMA accountable.

Read full article @ http://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/2972-noynoying-is-about-the-kind-of-government-we-have

[Statement] Collective Statement for Integrity, Truth and Public Trust

Collective Statement for Integrity, Truth and Public Trust

A Joint Statement Delivered by Various Concerned Groups
at the Misa Para sa Katotohanan
Co-Organized by Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
March 11, 2012  11:00AM
San Jose Seminary, Ateneo de Manila University

* * *

INTEGRITY, TRUTH AND PUBLIC TRUST

A day before the resumption of the impeachment trial against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, we gather as Filipinos to individually and collectively reflect on the fundamental issues brought before the Honorable Senator Justices of the impeachment court and the public.  As religious leaders, professionals, students, business, civil society organizations, social movements and concerned citizens, we have given our collective backing to the impeachment process, recognizing impeachment as a legitimate means to exact accountability from, ensure transparency of our leaders in a democracy, and to provide Chief Justice Corona the opportunity to explain himself in the proper forum.

We thank the Senator Justices of the impeachment court for recognizing that they must conduct the trial akin to a legal process, while remaining sensitive to the real political dynamics that the trial entails. We laud decisions made in favor of surfacing the truth and seeking accountability.  We have listened over the past weeks, endeavoring to go beyond the legal technicalities, in our effort to understand the fundamental issues brought before the impeachment court and the public, and we will continue to accompany this important juncture in the trial, to its conclusion, holding the sacred and universal truth that sovereignty resides in the people and that all government authority emanates from the people.

We come here today, united in our call to religious leaders, the Honorable Senator Judges, the Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court, and to our colleagues, families and friends to vigilantly maintain our collective focus on the following fundamental issues:

CHARACTER AND MORAL INTEGRITY

The articles of impeachment are very serious. They go straight to the heart of the matter—the moral fitness of Chief Justice Corona to serve as the highest judicial official of the country. We must ask if Chief Justice Corona has shown his conduct to be beyond reproach, as is expected of every Judge especially the Chief Justice of the land. We must reflect on whether the character and integrity of Chief Justice Corona represents our highest standards of integrity and moral uprightness as a nation.  We must ask ourselves how we can return  and reaffirm our collective faith in the dignity and integrity of the Judiciary, by the decision we will make as a people, represented by our Senators, in this crucial juncture of our history.

TRUTH AND ACCOUNTABILITY
 
We believe it is only by truth-telling that the Chief Justice can prove that he is acting with public responsibility.  Reforming the judiciary can only begin when the cloak of secrecy and deep suspicion that surrounds the institution is removed.    More than ever, Chief Justice Corona must reveal the truth. Legal technicalities that of late have become the hallmark of the Corona defense panel must give way to the search for truth and justice. We ask no less.

We need to find the truth and seek accountability for the non-disclosure of properties in Chief Justice Corona’s SALN and ask the Supreme Court to allow the opening of his foreign currency deposits.  As Chief Justice Corona lays his defense, we must carefully and vigilantly search for the truth and determine if he has acted with public responsibility – and seek accountability for any untruth unworthy of the position and responsibility we have given him as Chief Justice.

PUBLIC TRUST AND EMPOWERMENT

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is a public office and a public trust.  Chief Justice Corona was impeached by duly elected representatives of the people.  We must discern in the coming weeks, as individuals and as a nation if, as Chief Justice, Corona has valued and empowered this public trust or if he has used it to disempower the very  institution and public he serves. We must seriously reflect and decide if Chief Justice Renato Corona still enjoys the trust and confidence of the public to decide with finality on cases that affect laws, property and lives of Filipinos and our nation.

WE CALL on everyone to listen to various voices and opinions, reflect on these three fundamental issues and share their stands regarding the impeachment in the coming days and weeks.

WE CALL on all religious leaders (Pastors, Imams, Religious Sisters and Brothers, Clergy and the Bishops) and people of moral authority (elders of communities, teachers and parents) to engage the members of your communities and families into respectful discourse on the issues at hand. Allow and encourage them to speak their mind, to ask questions, to share their sentiments, while also being respectful and listening to the views of others. In doing so, remind them of what is important for you and what is important for us as a people. Remind them of the meaning of justice, truth, respect, freedom, human dignity and integrity.

WE CALL on our Honorable Senator Justices to continue to conduct the impeachment trial in a fair and just manner, to seek the truth and address these fundamental issues, to do so in a manner that empowers Filipinos to understand and participate in this process and to bring the trial to its conclusion with the welfare of the Filipino people in mind.

WE CALL on our Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court to take on a more cooperative stance in engaging the impeachment trial court. We recognize and respect that the Supreme Court is a co-equal branch of the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines. We believe that being equal does not preclude, but should inspire a spirit of cooperation. This spirit of cooperation was promised by no less than the Chief Justice at the beginning of the impeachment process. We respectfully plead that the Supreme Court re-assess its stance on the matter of the confidentiality of the dollar accounts of the Chief Justice and on the restriction for any and all court personnel to participate in the trial as witnesses.

FINALLY, WE CALL on Chief Justice Renato Corona to take voluntary leave of office from his functions as the Chief Justice, until such time that the trial is completed and a decision is rendered by the impeachment court. We believe that his continued presence in, and influence upon the court which makes various decisions in relation to his own trial, will result in a process that cannot be deemed as fair nor credible.

WE PRAY that through our collective efforts, animated by our faith and trust in God, we can continue to build a nation empowered by truth, guided by integrity and served by a transparent and accountable government.

Signatories (as of March 11, 2012):

1.    SIMBAHANG LINGKOD NG BAYAN (SLB)
2.    Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute
3.    Sr. Josephine Bacaltos, RGS, Executive Director, Women Network Group (WOMYNET)
4.    Norman V. Cabrera, Secretary-General, Ang Kapatiran Party
5.    Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J., President, Ateneo de Davao University
6.    Fr. Antonio F. Moreno, S.J., President, Ateneo de Zamboanga University
7.    Atty. Adoracion Cruz Avisado, Chairperson, Transformative Justice Institute
8.    Muslim Alliance for National Advancement (MANA)
9.    Lawyers League for Liberty (LIBERTAS)
10. Atty. Arnold C. Abejaron, President, Men Opposed to Violence Everywhere (MOVE) – Davao City
11. Former Senior Government Officials (FSGO)
12. Akbayan Party
13. Akbayan Youth
14. Aksyon Kabataan
15. Alliance of Progressive Labor
16. BAMPER
17. Bicol University Student Council
18. Filipino Liberal Youth
19. KAAKBAY
20. Kabataang Liberal
21. Mamamayang Liberal
22. Palawan Youth Volunteers for Reform
23. People Power Volunteers for Reform Chapters:
Cebu PPVR
Marikina People Power Volunteers
Pagbabago People Power Volunteers Cavite
PNoyPinay Manila
PPVR Angeles City
PPVR Bataan
PPVR Bicol
PPVR Laguna
PPVR Pasig
PPVR Rizal
PPVR San Juan
PPVR Bataan
PPVR Davao
PPVR Navotas
PPVR Negros Occidental
PPVR Negros Oriental
PPVR Zambales
PPVR Palawan
PPVR Caraga
PPVR Region XI
PPVR Region XII
People Power Volunteer Center Zamboanga
Pinoy Power Bicol Coalition, Inc.
SKAN-CPM-PPVR
Zamboanga del Norte Volunteers for Change

24. Philippine Normal University Student Government (PNU-SG)
25. Pinoy Power sa Pagbabago
26. PNoyPinay
27. Polytechnic University of the Philippines – College of Communications Student Council (PUP COC-SC)
28. REPORMAR
29. Senior Citizens Movement for Social Transformation – Quezon City
30. Simulan Natin Gumawa (SINAG)
31. SOLIDAR
32. Sparks for Change
33. Tarlac State University Central Student Council
34. University of the Philippines College of Social Science and Philosophy Student Council (UP CSSPSC)
35.Young Public Servants (YPS)

[People] The case for confiscating Corona’s undeclared wealth By Walden Bello

Afterthoughts
The case for confiscating Corona’s undeclared wealth
By Walden Bello
Philippine Daily Inquirer
February 20th, 2012

A comment I made to the Inquirer (Feb 17, 2012) urging the administration to initiate moves to confiscate Chief Justice Renato Corona’s undeclared wealth prompted a number of comments, one of which was from a reader who asked if that would not be prejudging the result of the impeachment process and thus subverting it.

The Facts

But before I answer, a few facts are in order. And when it comes to the case of the Filipino people versus Corona, contra factum non esse disputandum, as the Romans put it: one cannot argue against the facts. It is clear by now that Corona deliberately concealed the magnitude of his wealth from the citizenry. He did not declare two of seven properties and grossly undervalued the rest. The difference between Corona’s claim of P18,436,980 for his declared properties and their actual acquisition cost of P47,047,731 —as revealed by documents presented at the trial—is a whopping P28,054,951.

Moreover, in his 2010 SALN (Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth), Corona declared a cash balance in five bank accounts of P3,500,000, but evidence presented at the trial showed a total of P31,752,623. This meant a yawning discrepancy of P28,252,623.

Adding up the missing P28 million+ in undeclared property and P28 million+ in undeclared income yields P56 million+. And this sum does not include the unknown sum in Corona’s dollar accounts, the subpoena for which the Supreme Court has issued a TRO, which the majority in the Senate have voted to respect.

Corona is not only a peso millionaire but a dollar millionaire, with his net worth coming to at least $1.4 million at the current rate of exchange. He may not be a Henry Sy or Lucio Tan, but this amount places him among the less than one twentieth of one per cent of Filipinos who are dollar millionaires, indeed of the minuscule number of dollar millionaires worldwide. This is not the financial profile of a senior civil servant that derives his income principally from his government salary but that of a Filipino CEO or a man of inherited wealth.

A visit to the Bellagio Tower Building that I made over the weekend revealed a world that is made for people living in the lap of luxury. “Very few people can afford to live here,” said an agent who gave me a tour of the building. When I asked him about who could afford to live in the penthouse suites, he answered, “Probably, only CEO’s, who can pay from P300,000 to P500,000 a month.” The Coronas have a three-bedroom suite at the penthouse of this superexclusive highrise condominium , which the Chief Justice valued at P6.8 million in his SALN but whose acquisition cost, as revealed by records presented at the trial, came to P14.5 million.

The Forfeiture Law

The aforementioned P55 million in undeclared income constitutes ill-gotten wealth, and according to Republic Act 1379, “an amount of property which is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public officer or employee and to his other lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired property” is subject to forfeiture.

But back to the question of whether the initiation of proceedings to confiscate this ill-gotten wealth does not contradict or subvert the impeachment process. The answer is no, since impeachment is merely concerned with the removal from office of a civil servant specified in the Constitution. In fact, the charge of “ill gotten wealth”—the celebrated paragraph 2.4 of the impeachment complaint—was eliminated by the Senator-Judges owing to legal technicalities posed by the Defense. Thus forfeiture proceedings can proceed on an independent track without compromising the impeachment proceedings.

But would the forfeiture process not violate Corona’s right to due process? While the revelations at the impeachment trial already sufficiently establish a substantial discrepancy in Corona’s actual assets as opposed to his declared wealth that can be the basis for forfeiture proceedings, confiscation will not be automatic. Just as in any judicial process, RA 1379 allows him to legally answer to a petition to forfeit his properties. Hearings will be conducted before the state can seize his assets. In the event that Corona can demonstrate that his real property purchases and bank deposits are in manifest proportion to his salary as Chief Justice, then the forfeiture process will stop—though in the opinion of this writer, this would be a Herculean task for the Chief Justice, given the devastating evidence.

Finally, one last question, isn’t this a “socialistic” initiative that would threaten private property. Hardly. RA 1376 is not a law passed under this administration but one that came to existence during the term of President Ramon Magsaysay in 1955, to assist that popular president’s battle against corruption. It was, in fact, RA 1376 that Sandiganbayan prosecutors resorted to to reclaim P135 million for the state in the notorious plea bargain with former AFP Comptroller Gen. Carlos Garcia. Now whether or not the plea bargain in that case was in the interest of the people is a separate issue; the point we are making here is that RA 1376 gives the state the right and power to confiscate ill-gotten wealth.

With the evidence mounting against him on just one charge, Article 2, which focuses on the non-declaration or undervaluation of assets, Renato Corona comes closer and closer to conviction and removal from office. But the state will not be through with him should he be removed. He will still have to return his ill-gotten wealth to the Filipino people–if not voluntarily, then by the force of law.

*Walden Bello represents Akbayan (Citizens’ Action Party) in the House of Representatives.

[In the news] PAL union leader testifies vs Corona -INQUIRER.net

PAL union leader testifies vs Corona
By Michael Lim Ubac, TJ Burgonio, Philippine Daily Inquirer
February 8, 2012

Chief Justice Renato Corona took part in a 2011 Supreme Court ruling favoring Philippine Airlines (PAL) on the retrenchment of 1,400 flight attendants in 1998 despite claiming he had inhibited from the case, a union leader said Tuesday.

“We hope he will be [convicted] so we will have trust again [in the Supreme Court],” Roberto Anduiza, president of the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (Fasap), told the Senate as the prosecution started on Article 3 of the impeachment complaint against Corona on Day 13 of his trial.

Article 3 accuses Corona of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust for his “failure to meet and observe the stringent standards of the Constitution that a member of the judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence in allowing the Supreme Court to act on mere letters filed by a counsel, which caused the issuance of flip-flopping decisions in final and executory cases.”

Under questioning by Akbayan Representative Arlene Bag-ao, Anduiza said Fasap won three cases in the Supreme Court in connection with the retrenchment of the flight attendants and stewards who went on strike in 1998, but these cases were overruled by another ruling in 2011.

Anduiza, the lone prosecution witness in yesterday’s trial, said Corona took part in this ruling despite claims by Supreme Court spokesperson Midas Marquez of the Chief Justice’s inhibition.
“I came here because of the Chief Justice’s meddling in our case that led to the reversal of the final decision that was already won,” he said.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

[Press Release] On the 11th death anniversary of Ka Popoy: Labor party revives campaign for reforms beyond impeachment of high officials

The Partido ng Manggagawa (Labor Party-Philippines) made the commemoration of the 11th death anniversary of its founding hero, Filemon “Ka Popoy” Lagman, an occasion to revive labor’s campaign for reforms beyond the impeachment of the country’s high officials.

“If we want no repeat of the failed Edsa II, campaign for reforms must extend beyond the removal of high officals. With the whole system corrupted in this country, a total cleansing is therefore necessary not only in the judiciary but in all branches of government. In addition is the pressing necessity to reverse the country’s anti-labor and anti-poor economic policies such as cheap labor and contractualization schemes,” said Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) chair Renato Magtubo.

It can be recalled that it was Ka Popoy Lagman who led the campaign for the total cleansing of government by putting forward the call “resign all” during the height of the impeachment trial of then President Joseph Estrada in 2000. He was assinated inside the University of the Philippines campus on February 6, 2001, a week after Gloria Arroyo assumed office.

The late Lagman argued then that simply replacing Erap with Gloria without first emabarking on major political and economic reforms would render the whole process an empty political exercise. Expectedly Erap was removed but the country suffered another nine years of plunder under Arroyo.

Today, PM and the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) kick off their “Reporma lagpas kay Gloria at Corona” (reforms beyond Arroyo and Corona) campaign in a picket held at the Senate where Corona’s flip-flopping on the PAL issue is expected to be raised.

“Now we are in front of another impeachment trial, the Coronavela that has the single objective of removing the Chief Justice. While it is a must to remove Corona for being unfit and corrupt, the truth remains that corruption occupies not only the streets of Padre Faura but all the branches of government, thus the need to extend the reform agenda beyond this process,” explained Magtubo.

“Habang api ang manggagawa sa PAL, alam din ng marami na hindi lang si CJ Corona ang opisyal ng gubyerno na binubusog ng mga negosyanteng gaya ni Lucio Tan,” added Magtubo.

The labor leader said that on the issue of corruption, labor will also extend its campaign on labor justice by calling for reforms and cleansing in the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as well as the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) where ‘decisions for sale’ is also common knowledge.

Apart from that, labor groups will also intensify its call for an end to contractualization policy which they claim is more fundamental than waiting for another piece of evidence of Corona’s ill-gotten wealth presented and hotly debated in the Senate.

PRESS RELEASE
06 February 2012

[In the news] Bishops begin plenary assembly, may tackle Corona impeachment | Sun.Star

Bishops begin plenary assembly, may tackle Corona impeachment | Sun.Star.

January 28, 2012

 MANILA–At least a hundred bishops from various dioceses across the country will meet to tackle church and pressing national concerns for their three-day plenary assembly at Pope Pius XII Center.

However, it is not immediately known if the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will issue a statement regarding the ongoing impeachment trial against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, who has since rejected calls to leave his post.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[Statement] Pursue truth in the impeachment; hunt Palparan for justice – PAHRA

Pursue truth in the impeachment; hunt Palparan for justice

 “Kung wala kang tinatago, hindi ka dapat matakot.” / “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.” – A Filipino truism, ironically often quoted by Ex-Major General Jovito Palparan, Jr. This was repeatedly announced during his tour of duty when people whom he suspected as subversives or “enemies of the State” were “invited” into military camps “to clear their names” / “upang linisin ang kanilang pangalan” were hesitant or did not show up at all.

Paradoxically, Palparan, when accused of kidnapping and illegally detaining U.P. students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno, declared his readiness to stand trial and prove his innocence. Palparan has chosen to be a fugitive from the law.

Words similar to Palparan were recently also enunciated by Chief Justice Renato Corona. He had nothing to hide. He had nothing to fear. And Renato Corona’s presence in the opening day of the trial for his impeachment underscored this self-confidence to clear his name.

Technical excuses though on the third day of trial delayed the presentation of the statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) of CJ Corona. It was not a product of pro-active transparency on his part, but an attempt to forestall if not to hide through a legal technicality – a permission from an en banc session of SC justices.

It is the people’s right to demand accountability from every branch of and every official in government, including the officers of the security forces. To obtain truth and justice, the people have the right to demand for full disclosure from those who have chosen to serve. The people must always keep their eyes open to ensure that the collective or collegiate character to serve is not distorted to a conspiracy for corruption and impunity against human rights.

DEMAND FULL DISCLOSURE IN THE IMPEACHMENT.
BREAK IMPUNITY. TURN IN PALPARAN

Max M. de Mesa
Chairperson
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
January 20, 2012

[Press Release] Mga magsasaka nangamba sa SC na makontrol ng mga hasyendero – KASAMA-TK

Mga magsasaka nangamba sa SC na makontrol ng mga hasyendero

  Sa isang piket-rali ng mga militanteng magsasaka sa harapan ng Korte Suprema, mariin nilang ipinahayag ang posibilidad ng isang “Haciendero-controlled Supreme Court” kung mai-impeach ang kasalukuyang Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Ayon sa grupo, pangunahing interes nila na maparusahan si Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo kaya sang-ayon sila sa impeachment proceeding laban kay Corona na itinuturing nilang isa sa mga balakid para mangyari ito.

“Pero kailangang maging malinaw na maniobrang politikal ni Aquino ang pagpapatalsik kay Corona at ang interes ng hasyenderong pangulo ay makontrol ang Korte Suprema upang di-maipamahagi ang kanyang hasyenda. Kung gayon, pangunahing hadlang pa rin si Aquino para mapanagot si GMA,” pagdidiin ni Nestor Villanueva, tagapagsalita ng grupo.

Bitbit ang mga plakard na nagsasaad ng “No to Haciendero-Controlled Court! Distribute Hacienda Luisita, Now!”, ang may 100-magsasaka mula sa Southern Tagalog na pinangunahan ng Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan ay nagsabing sinumang hukom ng Korte Suprema ang papabor sa pamamahagi ng Hacienda Luisita o lalabag sa interes ng kasalukuyang administrasyon ay tiyak na magiging target ng pagpapatalsik.

Sa ginaganap na impeachment proceeding sa Senado, matatandaang mismong ang defense panel ni Corona ay nagsabing politically motivated ang pagpapatalsik sa Punong Mahistrado at pangunahing dahilan ay ang desisyon ng SC na ipamahagi ang Hacienda Luisita sa mga benepisyaryo nito.

“Interes rin ng mga magsasaka sa Southern Tagalog ang pagtitiyak na maipamahagi ang Hacienda Luisita sa Tarlac na pag-aari ng hasyenderong si Aquino. Anumang kahihinatnan ng labanang legal na ito ay tiyak na magiging panuntunan sa iba pang kasong agraryo sa rehiyon at buong bansa,” pahayag ni Villanueva.

Ayon sa grupo, mahalagang kagyat na gawing final and executory ang desisyon sa Hacienda Luisita para hindi na makapagmaniobra pa ang pangulong Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III, kasabay nito ay agarang desisyunan din ang iba pang kasong agraryo na nakabinbin sa SC, pabor sa mga magsasaka.

Laman ng pahayag ng Kasama-Tk ang mga sumusunod na kaso:

–> Hacienda Zobel – 12,000 hectare land in Calatagan, Batangas owned by Jaime Zobel de Ayala
–> Hacienda Roxas – 7,183 hectare land in Nasugbu, Batangas owned by Don Pedro Roxas
–> Hacienda Looc – 8,650 hectare land in Nasugbu, Batangas being developed by SM Devt Corp
–> Hacienda Yulo – 7,100 hectare land in Calamba City owned by Jose Yulo and being developed by Ayala Land Inc.

“Mapapansing ang mga landlord at real estate developer sa mga kasong  nabanggit ay puro political backer at financier ni Aquino noong nakaraang eleksyon kaya ganoon na lamang ang pangamba naming mga magsasaka na makuha ng hasyenderong rehimen ang kontrol sa SC dahil tiyak na sa impyerno ng kahirapan kami pupulutin,” mariing pahayag ni Villanueva.

Pagkatapos ng rali ng mga magsasaka sa harapan ng SC ay tumuloy silang Department of National Defense sa Quezon City para naman iprotesta ang diumano’y patuloy na militarisasyon sa kanayunan.

Lalahok din ang kanilang grupo sa ika-25 taong paggunita ng Mendiola Masaker kinabukasan.

“Lupa pa rin ang pangunahing usapin sa bansa. Ipinakikita ito ng kasalukuyang krisis-pampolitika sa pagitan ng mga naghaharing paksyon sa gobyerno. Dalawampu’t limang taon ang nakaraan, ito rin ang sigaw ng mga magsasakang pinaslang sa Mendiola kaya mahalagang maintindihan ng buong bayan na hangga’t hindi nalulutas ang suliranin sa lupa ay walang makabuluhang pagbabago na magaganap sa ating lipunan,” pagtatapos ng pahayag ng grupo.

KASAMA-TK
Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan
Press Release: January 19, 2012
Reference Person: Nestor Villanueva

[In the news] Lagman: Don’t use Corona impeachment to delay RH bill approval -SunStar.com.ph

Lagman: Don’t use Corona impeachment to delay RH bill approval
SunStar.com.ph
January 18, 2012

  MANILA — A principal author of the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill called on the House leadership to avoid using the impeachment proceedings to supposedly derail the passage of the long-delayed measure.

“The impeachment proceedings should not be used to derail the passage of a long delayed legislation which will benefit the multitude of women and children,” House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman said in a press statement.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Day One: Senate sweeps aside obstacles, signals intent for efficient and fair impeachment trial – InterAksyon.com

Day One: Senate sweeps aside obstacles, signals intent for efficient and fair impeachment trial
by Abigail Kwok, Karl John C. Reyes and Joseph H. Ubalde, InterAksyon.com
January 16, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines – Day One of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona ended less than two hours after it started, as the Senate, convened as the impeachment court, set aside pending motions and signaled its intent to proceed with the historic trial.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile swiftly dismissed the most contentious issue – Corona’s plea for a preliminary hearing to prove the impeachment complaint defective. With the Chief Justice and his wife, Cristina, in the gallery, Corona’s lawyers argued that the articles of impeachment were railroaded at the House of Representatives and were not properly verified. After giving each party five minutes to defend or debunk the proposition, Enrile sided with the prosecution panel in its argument that the Senate’s duty is to try impeachment complaints, and not to determine the soundness of the same. That part of the process, Enrile agreed, lay with the House of Representatives, which had already transmitted the impeachment complaint to the upper House of Congress.

That in itself signaled that the first impeachment trial of a Chief Justice of the Philippines would proceed on what is expected to be a gripping weeks-long chapter in Philippine politics. Enrile later denied twin motions to cite in contempt prosecutors of Chief Justice Corona for prematurely disclosing material evidence outside the impeachment court even before trial started Monday.

Read full article @ interaksyon.com

[Press Release] Balakid si Corona sa pagpaparusa kay GMA, ayon sa magsasaka – Kasama-TK

Balakid si Corona sa pagpaparusa kay GMA, ayon sa magsasaka
Impeachment ni Corona, suportado ng mga militanteng grupo

 Lumahok ang mga lider-magsasaka ng grupong Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) sa rali ng iba’t-ibang progresibong grupo sa harapan ng Senado para suportahan ang impeachment proceeding na magaganap laban kay Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Ayon sa grupo, “bukod-tanging balakid” si Corona sa pagpaparusa at pagpapakulong sa nagdaang gobyernong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA), “kinakailangang managot ni GMA sa krimen nito sa mamamayan at ang Korte Suprema mismo ang nagiging tagapagtanggol niya para makaiwas sa mga pananagutan,” banggit ng grupo sa kanilang pahayag.

Si Corona ay pinaniniwalaang kabilang sa mga tinaguriang midnight appointee ng dating pangulong GMA at diumano’y iniluklok sa pwesto upang tiyakin na may maiiwang kontrol si GMA sa hudikatura kahit wala na siya sa Malakanyang.

Noong nakaraang taon naglabas ng mga pabor na desisyon para kay GMA ang Supreme Court kaugnay sa kasong electoral fraud kung kaya nanatiling nakakaiwas ang una sa tiyak na pagkakabilanggo.

“Ang mamamayang Pilipino ang pangunahing may interes na papanagutin at makulong si GMA dahil sa sangkaterbang krimen sa bayan ang kinasangkutan ng gobyernong GMA na nagpahirap lalo na sa aming mga maralita sa kanayunan,” ayon kay Pedro “Tata Pido” Gonzales, lider mula sa Timog Katagalugan.

Sa pahayag ng grupo, umabot sa halos 400-libong ektaryang lupain ang nasangkot sa pangangamkam at ilegal na conversion sa panahon ni GMA at may 156-libong mamamayan ang pinangangambahang mapalayas sa mga lupang-sakahan hanggang sa kasalukuyan.

Magkagayunman, nilinaw pa rin ng grupo na hindi nila suportado ang kasalukuyang pangulong Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III.

“Alam naming maniobra lamang ng hasyenderong si Aquino ang pagpapatalsik kay Corona at pabalat-bunga ang dahilang sagabal ang Korte Suprema sa paglilitis kay GMA,” dagdag ni Gonzales.

“Ang ultimong layunin ni Aquino ay makuha ang kontrol sa Korte Suprema upang ikambyo ang mga desisyon ng hudikatura na taliwas sa kanyang interes, lalo na ang desisyong ipamahagi ang pag-aari niyang Hacienda Luisita sa mga benepisyaryo nito,” pagpapalawig pa ng pahayag ng Kasama TK.

Diumano, ayon sa grupo, ay hindi naman seryoso si Aquino na ipakulong si GMA bagkus ay naglalaro lamang ang Malakanyang sa maraming posibilidad pa ng political accomodation sa nagdaang gobyerno.

Inianunsyo rin ng Kasama-TK na sunud-sunod ang kanilang kilos-protesta para ipanawagang i-impeach si Corona, papanagutin at ipakulong si GMA, at ilantad ang katangian ni Aquino na walang pinagkaiba sa pinalitan nitong gobyerno.

Bago matapos ang linggo, nagpaplano ang grupo na mag-rali sa harapan ng Korte Suprema at Mendiola.

 

Press Release: January 16, 2012

[From the web] Anti-democratic constitutionalism – AHRC

 An article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission

PHILIPPINES: Anti-democratic constitutionalism
We need to respond to the fear of “lynch-mob populism,” the fear that impeaching Chief Justice Renato Corona today will weaken the constitutional protection for our rights in the future. We need to confront the underlying theory for this anxiety, especially since, in the words of an American jurist, “the validity of a doctrine not depend on whose ox it gores.”

That fear is anchored on the principle of “judicial supremacy,” the theory that the courts are “the surest expositors” of the Constitution, in contrast to common people who are caricatured as “creatures without reason, ever in thrall to irrational emotions.”

Its critics call it an “anti-populist constitutionalism” that conveniently forgets that revolutions are fought by the common folk (as ordinary Filipinos did at Edsa), who then adopt constitutions by which they are governed. The anti-populists tend “to dwarf the political capacity of the people, and to deaden sense of moral responsibility.” We have “inflate constitutional law, its grandiose puffing as law imagined to be ‘higher’—because ‘better’—than ordinary law made by ordinary people. … e constitutional lawyers have fed on disdain for the political energy of ordinary people.” The result is a “chronic fetishism of the Constitution”—the “extravagant if not obsessive reverence for the icons, liturgies and orthodoxies of our Constitutionalism to which quasi-supernatural powers, beyond human agency, are commonly attributed.”

In the impeachment of Chief Justice Corona, for instance, it has been asked: How can we accuse him of being a “midnight Chief Justice” when the Supreme Court itself has spoken? Wouldn’t Congress thus arrogate unto itself the power to override the Supreme Court?

This was ably answered by my former student, Joel Butuyan, in an essay widely circulated in the Web. Calling it the “Let It Be” argument, he says that this account will “completely strip the Impeachment Court of any role in deciding constitutional issues.” How can that be, Joel asks, when the Constitution itself considers it impeachable to commit a “culpable violation of the Constitution”? “This is nothing less than the power to determine the constitutionality of an SC Justice’s action(s),” Joel concludes.

The anti-impeachment rejoinder goes: So we have judicial review over the Supreme Court exercised by a political agency half of whose members are non-lawyers? My answer is: No, this is not judicial review. What the Senate is doing is express its disagreement with judicial doctrine—not to overturn a decided case but to remove a person, by telling the courts that their reading of the Constitution is out of sync with that of the sovereign people. Impeachment is the only democratic safeguard when the Court’s verdicts collide with the people’s sense of justice. Judicial review is power to review a decision. Impeachment is power over the person who makes that decision. It is an extraordinary remedy, for sure, but that is why it is hedged in with heavy-duty institutional safeguards.

This big constitutional theory doesn’t quite settle the real fear of a politicized impeachment, namely, the unfairness of being tried in the court of public opinion. Just because it is political doesn’t necessarily make it unfair. To start with, we start from slightly different premises. Of our “senator-judges,” we cannot exact the “cold neutrality of an impartial judge.” They are political creatures who are called upon to feel the pulse of the public. The impeachable offenses are themselves intrinsically political or open-ended and subjective: “culpable violation of the Constitution other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust.”

To that extent, the senators will have to be attuned to their voters’ sense, for instance, of whether their trust had been betrayed. What does fairness mean in a highly politicized trial before an elected Senate? How do we reconcile politics with due process? Politics lies in the “who,” as in, who decides whether to impeach, i.e., who gives the answer to the questions. Due process lies in who asks the questions and what questions are asked.

The people’s answer must be heard. Impeachment is a democratic check on our highest officials. But what questions they answer—that is governed by the Constitution. The people are not asked: Is it good for us to get rid of the Chief Justice? Rather they are asked: Did the Chief Justice commit impeachable offenses?

This constraint applies to the senators as well. I have often heard the reply: I will decide on the basis of the evidence. Sure, but evidence of what? It must be evidence solely of the facts constituting the offense charged—and even that is subject to each senator’s intuitive appreciation of the evidence.

An author explains: “upremacy is an ideological tenet whose whole purpose is to persuade ordinary citizens that, whatever they may think about the Justices’ constitutional rulings, it is not their place to gainsay the court. It is a device to deflect and dampen the energy of popular constitutionalism. istory has repeatedly demonstrated how irresistible political pressures will be brought to bear against a Supreme Court that goes ‘too far.’ The object of judicial supremacy is to make this breaking point as distant as possible.” The impeachment trial signals the Supreme Court that, with their TRO on the Department of Justice’s watch-list order, they had gone “too far” and reached precisely that breaking point.

Comments to passionforreason@gmail.com

URL Link: http://opinion.inquirer.net/21017/anti-democratic-constitutionalism

# # #
About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

Visit our new website with more features at http://www.humanrights.asia.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHRC-FAT-002-2012
January 13, 2012

[From the web] Maraming mas mahahalagang isyu, pero ito ang say ko sa Corona impeachment by Merck Maguddayao

Maraming mas mahahalagang isyu, pero ito ang say ko sa Corona impeachment
by Merck Maguddayao, January 5, 2012
@ Facebook

 Kung babalikan ang kasaysayan, ang kauna-unahang impeachment trial sa Pilipinas–laban kay ex-president Erap– ay isang exciting na legal telenovela. Akalain mong ang mga courtroom trials na napapanood natin sa sine eh mangyayari pala sa totoong buhay. At nagtapos ang impeachment trial sa pamamagitan ng isang EDSA, na nag-install sa isa ring trapo na si GMA.

Dahil may ganung precedent sa kasaysayan, malaki ang antisipasyon na magiging dramatic at mala-pelikula ang impeachment ni Corona. Ilabas ang popcorn at panoorin ang best legal minds na magsabong sa Senado!

Kaso parang may malaking question mark eh.

Tama ang nosyon na dapat ay walang palusutin sa batas, kesyo dati kang presidente, dati kang heneral na kinatatakutan ng marami, o isa kang Chief Justice–yung taong namumuno sa “Final Arbiter” ng lahat ng usaping ligal. Kung iligal ang pagkakatalaga sa ‘yo, yung mga desisyon ng korte mo eh inconsistent at pabor dun sa selfish interest ng presidenteng nag-appoint sayo, at may bahid ka ng korapsyon, aba, kailangan mo talagang malitis at harapin ang mga akusasyon laban sayo. At ganito rin dapat ang gawin laban sa mga kagaya ni Arroyo at ni Palparan, isama mo na si Ligot at Garcia at lahat ng mga nanamantala noong nakaraang administrasyon.

Kaya sa isang banda, tamang ma-impeach si Corona. Hindi naman ito pagmamalabis sa kapangyarihan ng ehekutibo at kongreso: bagkus, ito’y konstitusyonal na proseso sa interes ng check and balance at syempre, ng hustisya.

Kaso, ano nga ba ang tunay na konteksto ng impeachment na ito? Bakit tila agitated na agitated si Neil Tupas na ilantad na ang baho ni Corona eh hindi pa nag-uumpisa ang impeachent. Bakit tila agitated na agitated din si PNoy sa puntong pinasaringan niya nang harap-harapan si Corona sa isang conference?

Parang napakahalaga ng impeachment kay Corona. Parang ito ang be-all-and-end-all ng pagkakamit ng hustisya sa Pilipinas.

Read full article @ www.facebook.com/notes/merck-maguddayao

[In the news] Senate slams House panel Prosecutors told disclosure of CJ Corona’s penthouse against impeach rules – INQUIRER.net

Senate slams House panel
Prosecutors told disclosure of CJ Corona’s penthouse against impeach rules
By Cathy C. Yamsuan, Cynthia D. Balana, Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 5th, 2012

 Hold your horses.

The House of Representatives’ 11-member panel that will prosecute the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Renato Corona drew flak on Wednesday not only from his lead lawyer but also from senators and Catholic bishops for its purported overzealousness.

The senators who are to serve as judges in Corona’s impeachment trial expressed dismay at Iloilo Representative Niel Tupas Jr.’s disclosure of the Chief Justice’s purchase of a high-end penthouse and encouraged him and the other prosecutors to take a close look at Rule XVIII of the “Rules of Procedure on Impeachment Trials.”

Rule XVIII states that the presiding officer (in this case, the Senate President) and the members of the Senate “shall refrain from making any comments and disclosures in public pertaining to the merits of a pending impeachment trial.” It adds that “[t]he same shall likewise apply to the prosecutors, to the person impeached, and to their respective counsel and witnesses.”

Senator Panfilo Lacson suggested that he and his colleagues “throw our impeachment rules out the window or straight at [the House prosecutors’] faces.”
Senator Gregorio Honasan cautioned the prosecutors against the “swaying effect” that their revelation might have on public opinion.

“Masyado silang atat (They are too eager),” Senate President Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada said of the prosecutors.

“Why, would it be the media who would decide Corona’s fate? So they have documents proving that Corona owned all these condo units? Present those to the Senate! The problem is that some parties seem to have a mind-conditioning agenda,” Estrada added.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

[People] Myth of judicial infallibility by Mon Casiple

Myth of judicial infallibility
by Mon Casiple

In the aftermath of Chief Justice Corona’s impeachment, much has been said in his defense. Of course, one must observe and respect the right of his defenders to stand up and be counted, inasmuch as this is also the right of those who criticized him. Our constitution (as well as international human rights instruments) says:

“No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.” (Article III, Section 4)

However, an aspect of Corona’s defense that need a deeper scrutiny concerns the infallibility of Supreme Court decisions, which the proponents stridently argue needs to be outside of the impeachment process. Some would even take the position that the impeachment of the Chief Justice itself should not be done. Otherwise, they say, the “Rule of Law” and the “independence of the judiciary” will be at stake. They shudder, “Without ‘Rule of Law,’ there will be “rule of the mob.” It is not surprising that all of those who argue this comes from the legal community.

From the point of view of the ordinary citizen, this does not resonate. The public mood–and the public opinion–is overwhelmingly in favor of the Corona impeachment. While some take off from a conclusion that CJ Corona (or, for that matter, all the pro-Arroyo justices) should be made to pay for their alleged partisanship and corruption, others are willing to let the impeachment process prove or reject the articles of impeachment. Nowhere, I think, in all the pro-impeachment pronouncements, is there a direct attack on the institutions of the judiciary, including the Supreme Court.

Read full article @ moncasiple.wordpress.com

[Statement] The Filipino people’s Christmas wishlist: Genuine Reform for the Masses, Not a Telenovela of the Elite

As of late, there has been a blitzkrieg of decisions from various branches of government spurred by the infighting among rival factions of the elite.

The impeachment of Corona; The hospital arrest of Arroyo; The detention of Abalos; The court order for the redistribution of Hacienda Luisita; All seemingly sudden events in a “war of attrition and quick decision” by the contending camps of elitist politics.

A swift and passionate display of “political will” by the Aquino regime! But does this audacity truly reflect the people’s will? No. Because this is but an offensive against P-Noy’s political rivals in order to consolidate his control of the state.

These recent events did not ease the daily yoke of poverty and misery borne by the majority of Filipinos – particularly the workers and the poor. Though they are glaring enough to earn their space in the headlines, these incidents are irrelevant to a people facing a bleaker Christmas due to lower pay, higher prices, irregular jobs and massive unemployment.

While P-Noy and his cohorts may reason that these attempts for a “cleansing of government” would eventually lead to the betterment in the lives of the people. We contend that this anti-Arroyo offensive by the Aquino administration has changed nothing in the modus operandi of corruption to the nation’s coffers and perpetuation of “guns, goons and gold” in our electoral system. Whoever believes in P-Noy’s alibi is either an innocent fool or a downright compulsive liar!

The BMP challenges the Aquino regime:  Use your “political will” to expedite the passage of pro-poor, pro-worker reforms inasmuch as the Executive has turned the levers to accelerate the impeachment of chief justice Corona. Where is the Congress majority to enact a hike in wages, to defend regular jobs from the scourge of contractualization?

The administration has been blamed for being so “hasty” and “arbitrary” in its maneuvers against Arroyo. But on gut issues that affect the poor and assail corporate interests – such as the oil deregulation law – the Palace has always been too cautious, with Lacierda sounding like a broken record on the “need to review in order to balance all interests”.

To the workers, these latest political incidents are episodes of a tasteless telenovela of elite infighting. Not only do they not address the gut issues of the people. More so, they are not entertaining enough for us to forget our grumbling stomachs. We demand genuine reform! #

****************************************************

PAHAYAG
December 15, 2011
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)
Dante Lagman
Spokesperson 09209062908

Totoong Reporma para sa Masa,
Hindi Telenobela ng mga Elitista

Sa nagdaang mga araw, napakabilis ng mga pagdedesisyon ng iba’t ibang sangay ng gobyerno sa alitan ng magkakabanggang paksyon ng mga elitista sa bansa.

Ang impeachment ni Corona (sa isang kumpas ni P-Noy, nagkandandarapa ang Kongreso at tuluyang naihain sa Senado ang Articles of Impeachment laban sa punong mahistrado).
Ang hospital arrest ni Gloria Arroyo (sa pagkontra-agos ng DOJ sa TRO ng Korte Suprema at paghain ng DOJ-Comelec ng kasong electoral sabotage sa Pasay-RTC).
Ang kasunod nitong pagsuko ni dating Comelec Commissioner Abalos para harapin ang katulad na kaso.
At ang kautusan ng Korte Suprema na ipamahagi sa mga magbubukid ang natitirang lupain ng Hacienda Luisita.

Isang kagila-gilalas na pagsapraktika ng “political will” ng rehimeng P-Noy! Pero para saan? Para gumanti sa kanilang karibal na paksyon sa pulitika! Para konsolidahin ang kontrol ng pangkating Aquino sa estado poder!

Ang tanong: Ang mga naganap bang mga “mapangahas” na desisyon ay may nagawang pagbabago sa pang araw-araw na buhay ng masang Pilipino laluna sa uring manggagawa? Wala!

Kahit kaunti ay walang maidadagdag ang mga “kagila-gilas na pangyayaring ito” sa noche buena ng mga ordinaryong Pilipino sa darating na kapaskuhan!

Wag silang magpalusot (laluna na si P-Noy at Partido Liberal) na ang mga nangyayaring ito ay “paglilinis” ng pulitika bago malasap ng taumbayan ang mga pagbabago sa kanilang kabuhayan. Hindi kami ipinanganak kahapon!

Dahil ba sa mga kaganapang ito ay napigilan (kahit bahagya) ang korapsyon sa kaban ng bayan? Nalinis na ba nito ang sistemang elektoral na pinaghaharian ng “guns, goons and gold”? Hindi! Sinumang sumagot ng “oo” sa mga katanungang ito ay isang tanga o isang sagad-sagaring sinungaling.

Hinahamon ng manggagawa ang rehimeng Aquino: Kaya naman palang bumilis ang mga proseso sa pagdedesisyon sa gobyerno. Bakit hindi niyo ginagamit ang “political will” sa mga repormang para sa taumbayan?

Nasaan ang mayorya ng Kongreso upang isabatas ang dagdag na sahod at depensahan ang regular na trabaho sa salot ng kontraktwalisasyon? Bakit sa mga hinaing ng taumbayan – halimbawa, sa regulasyon sa presyo ng langis – ang parating sagot ng Palasyo ay kailangan muna itong mag-“review”?

Ang kasalukuyang mga pangyayari sa pulitika ay isang nakakasawa nang telenobela para sa masang manggagawa. Hindi ito kalutasan sa aming problema. Kaya lalong huwag nilang asahang maaliw kami sa gasgas na palabas na ito at makalimutan ang aming mga sikmurang kumakalam.

PRESS STATEMENT
December 15, 2011
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)
Dante Lagman
Spokesperson 09209062908