Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Freedom and Garci's Second Petition

FREEDOM HOUSE PUBLICIZES the News that the Archipelago has known since 20 January 2001 -- the Philippines has fallen from the roster of FREE NATIONS and is now only PARTLY-FREE:
"The global survey, "Freedom in the World," shows that although the Middle East continues to lag behind other regions, a measurable improvement can be seen in freedom in several key Arab countries, as well as the Palestinian Authority. In another key finding, the number of countries rated by Freedom House as Not Free declined from 49 in 2004 to 45 for the year 2005, the lowest number of Not Free societies identified by the survey in over a decade. In noteworthy country developments, Ukraine and Indonesia saw their status improve from Partly Free to Free; Afghanistan moved from Not Free to Partly Free; and the Philippines saw its status decline from Free to Partly Free."
The 2005 study places the blame squarely on GLORIAGATE:
Of the four countries that registered an outright decline in status, the most significant was the Philippines. The decision to downgrade this country from Free to Partly Free was based on credible allegations of massive electoral fraud, corruption, and the government's intimidation of elements in the political opposition.
No one has come to personify that long toilsome controversy involving alleged VOTERIGGING and ILLEGAL WIRETAPPING more than VIRGILIO GARCILLANO:

AFTER FIVE MONTHS in hiding as a Fugitive from Justice, with a warrant for his Arrest for Contempt of the House of Representatives, ex Commissioner of Elections, VIRGILIO O. GARCILLANO resurfaced a few weeks ago and immediately filed two cases with the Supreme Court of the Republic of the Philippines. One was moot, yet made headlines when the Supreme Court made a big show of rejecting it. But Garci's SECOND PETITION is DYNAMITE. It is utterly inconceivable to me that the Palace and the ex-Comelec Commissioner of the Archipelago's miseries, have filed this case with such alacrity and aplomb with any intention of losing it. To me it is the most important legal maneuver in the long toilsome controversy called GLORIAGATE. Thanks to the folks at newspaper MALAYA who faxed this to me. Philippine Commentary has written no less than TEN POSTS on this matter, including The Right to Privacy and the Right of the Public to Know. and Fingerprinting the Human Voice These posts are gratifyingly confirmed by everything about Garci's Second Petition manifest in its plain intention to prevent a Second Impeachment. (There are some interesting pictures of Garci over at TOPAKLONG. Including this superb imitation of Steve Martin's nosey character in Roxanne.)

The following are excerpts from the documents signed by Virgilio Garcillano and his lawyer, Atty. Eddie Tamondong and submitted to the Supreme Court on 22 November 2005.
THE PARTIES 10. PETITIONER is a former COMELEC Commissioner who may be served with notices, orders and other processes of this honorable Court through the undersigned counsel. RESPONDENT House of Representatives Committees on Public Information, Public Order and Safety, National Defense and Security, Information Communications Technology, and Suffrage and Electoral Reforms were convened and formed as Respondent Committees on the basis of the privilege speech given by Representative Escudero and may be served with notices, orders and other processes of this Honorable Court at Batasan Complex, Quezon City.

On 6 June 2005, after having received information that the political opposition would be releasing and circulating tape recordings allegedly containing wiretapped conversations supposedly involving the Petitioner and several politicians and personalities allied to the present administration claimed to be recorded during the 2004 national elections, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye called a press conference where he presented to the media digitized versions of the said tape recordings containing the purported wiretapped conversations that were illegally obtained and in violation of Republic Act No. 4200.

13. Two days later or on 8 June 205, House of Representatives Minority Floor Leader Francis G. Escudero of the Opposition bloc delivered before the House of Representatives a privilege speech tagged as "Tale of Two Tapes" criticizing the present administration and personalities connected therewith for purportedly committing numerous acts of election fraud with Petitioner's supposed assistance and demanding the immediate conduct of an inquiry allegedly in aid of Legislation.

......[missing in our copy]...

The right of privacy of communication and correspondencen is enshrined and guaranteed under the 1987 Philippine Constitution, more specifically under Sectin 3 of Article III on the Bill of Rights, viz:
"Section 3. (1) The privacy of communication and correespondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the Court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law. (2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding."
28. The inviolable nature of the right to privacy is strengthened by other equally significant provisions in the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, particularly Sections 1 and 2 thereof, which state, inter alia:
"Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws."

Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the Judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
THE PRAYER WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is most respectfully prayed that this Honorable Court issue a Resolution:

(a) ordering the immediate issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction restraining and preventing the House of Representatives Committees on Public Information, Public Order and Safety, National Defense and Security, Information Communications Technology, and Suffrage and Electoral Reforms from making use of the sound recording of the illegally obtained wiretapped conversations in their Report for the inquiries conducted relative thereto, or from otherwise making use of said recordings for any purspose; and,

(b) Granting the issuance of a Writ of Prohibition by commanding the Respondent Committees to strike off the record of the proceedings any and all references to the illegally obtained wiretapped recordings, and to desist from further using the sound recordings of the illegally obtained wiretapped conversations in any of its proceedings.

Other reliefs, just and equitable under the premises are likewise prayed for.

SIGNED (22 November 2005) EDDIE U. TAMONDONG (Counsel for Petitioner) and VIRGILIO O. GARCILLANO (Petitioner).
This prayer should be REJECTED else we shall surely fall from PARTLY FREE to UNFREE! The Garcillano Taped Conversations are evidence of crimes of treason and offenses against National Security. Only people who do NOT want the identity of the WIRETAPPERS to be discovered would file such a petition. The use of the sacred rights of privacy to engage in a COVERUP is obstruction of Justice. If Senate President Franklin M. Drilon and Defense Committee Chairman Rodolfo Biazon are right in the now widely held suspicion that it was the Intelligence Services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) that wiretapped the President last year, then Garci's prayer for prohibition against "making use of said recordings for any purspose" is itself execrable and criminal. The mere physical existence of the Garci Tapes is evidence that the Military has been prostituted to selfish partisan political purposes. That crime should be investigated and punished. Yet the Palace acts as if it never happened. Now Garci is trying to bury the evidence of those crimes through a brazen legal maneuver in the Supreme Court, which is aided and abetted by UNREPENTANT JUDICIAL ACTIVISTS in the legal profession so beholden to its favors, so obsequious of its awesome power over personal an professional fortunes. But the House of Representatives must file for the appropriate Court Orders designating them as such. The case against Garcillano is explained in the following post here at Philippine Commentary (and nowhere else in the Archipelago, where I am really tempted to agree with San Antonio Dot Com on what to do about the darn lawyers.)--Please read:




For Philippine Commentary readers who have no idea what this is all about, start here.

UPDATE (1020) WHAT'S THE GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSE? to charges of massive ongoing corruption? Why Shoot the Media Messenger of course. ABSCBN reports.

If you would rather read some Christimas Astronomy than politics today, try: What WAS the Star of Bethlehem?

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Rizalist said...

A Warm Welcome Traveler. Though if truth be told it is it is gloomy, wet and cold in this PARTLY FREE ARCHIPELAGO, where the capi rule with their consiglieri in omerta, even as the People slumber in dreams of people power.

AmericanPainter said...

“This prayer should be REJECTED else we shall surely fall from PARTLY FREE to UNFREE! The Garcillano Taped Conversations are evidence of crimes of treason and offenses against National Security”

Your plea for this tainted evidence is tantamount to an “end justifies the means” argument. To be sure you make a great rationalized argument for the Garci tapes to be admitted as evidence even though you know that it violated his right to privacy when they were illegally obtained.

Your argument is seriously flawed. You argue that the public’s right to know supercedes his right to privacy. The only thing wrong with your argument is that it is after the fact. It is an argument that should have been made to a court seeking a warrant to wiretap his private conversations BEFORE the wiretap took place not AFTER the evidence is obtained.

This is a fact that every first year law student knows........
1) Garci rights under the law are inviolable.
2) No search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the Judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized..

You want what you want without consideration for due process. You worry about becoming “UNFREE?” Ignore the rule of law as you are suggesting and you’re on your way. Remember if you can justify this, other can justify ignoring your rights as well.

I don’t know what will happen in the Philippines but I can guarantee that Garci motion would be profoundly upheld in the U.S. You better dam well hope that the Supreme Court of the Philippines will also.

AmericanPainter said...

Marcos threw you in jail without due can you NOT be a great advocate of due process of others?

Rizalist said...

I AM a great advocate of due process. But if a President like ERAP, flawed and execrable as he was, cannot have due process, who can? His very existence, uncouth as it is, is proof positive that our MOST REVERED PERSONALITIES are also the pavers of the road to hell because they would SHORTCUT the road to heaven via their good intentions. Evil comes in many flavors, AP.

What I wish now is that AMERICA, including its Painters, stop supporting a State that has made its people PARTLY FREE.

Where is Abe Lincoln and his wisdom about fractions and national arithmetic?

AmericanPainter said...

I'm not supporting a Sate, I'm suppporting the rule of law.

What I wish is a Rezalist that does not support anarchy.

Wher is Jose Rizal and his wisdom about "Old Truths?"

Rizalist said...

What do you call the present AP? Peace and Order. Or is it not the ANARCHY imposed by those who claim to uphold the Rule of Law.

Our anarchy is the rule of Political Mafias -- capi di tutti capo allied with clever consiglieri who studied Goebbels but are best described by Orwell.

manuelbuencamino said...

Dear Americanpainter,

The rule of law can only come from those who respect the law.

Rizalist wants to see the rule of law restored. Hence, he cannot support Gloria Arroyo.Neither can I.

I, too, want to see the rule of law restored.

You are sadly mistaken when you equate anarchy with those who want to get rid of outlaws.

You have to be standing on your head to see things the Arroyo way.

We are the ones who are for the rule of law not Arroyo.

As to your Garci privacy argument. Granted his legal rights were violated, the fact is, that toothpaste is out of the tube now and you can't push it back in.

Too many people have heard the tapes and they want an explanation. They are owed an explanation.

You speak lawyer's language in the public square. That language has no relevance there.

Lawyer's language does not apply to facing the public and making a clean breast of things.

Those criminals cannot be prosecuted in court or impeached based on those recordings. They are protected by the law.

So why are they afraid to face the public and explain those conversations?

I want them to explain it in Plaza Miranda, as the old saying goes.

Corsarius said...

That FreedomHouse article is certainly depressing. What has happened to the nation who taught the world what democracy truly is? In the words of Bob Simon, "We Americans like to think we taught the Filipinos democracy well, tonight they are teaching the world."

Thanks for the info, sir.

Corsarius said...

p.s. that Simon quote pertained to the EDSA revolution :)

Rizalist said...

CORSARIUS-- thanks for the quote. It was a moment to be proud of, but where have we gone wrong? It will take the youth, I think, seeing these awful truths, about the dangers of good intentions unfounded in the Law, and love, love of country over self must come to pass, or we shall all perish in our strife over what is just, what is right.

MB--We must win over our friends, who perhaps do not see that we know how this society OUGHT to be, that we dream the same things for it that they perhaps take a lil for granted. Though I am inspired by an America that has gone from a history of slavery and racism to being the best hope for a just world, I also know we cannot rely on her for more than a passing glance at old friend. She has her own troubles now and maybe we must see to ourselves! We KNOW what the Rule of Law IS. And we shall re-establish it, with their help or not!

manuelbuencamino said...


With or without their help and by any means necessary.

AmericanPainter said...

It's like talking to a blank wall here - I'm speaking of law and you are speaking of politics. Two separate issues. No matter how you justify it, if you politicize your law, you have no law.

Manueluencambino, the rules of evidence apply even when the toothpaste is out of tube. The instant case is one being argued before the Supreme Court, therefore I submit that we ARE speaking of the rule of law. The grievance you have with your President has no bearing on the rules of evidence and you are all sounding rather fanatical to me You want her out so bad that you’re willing to subvert your own laws that protect YOU to get her out!. Even Jose Rizal would tell you that’s a horrible mistake.

Do whatever you wish, I don’t care. Where I come from, we don’t overthrow the government when we become disenchanted with them, we go through due process just as we did with Bill Clinton. When that fails, as it did with Clinton, we just vote them out of office. Overthrowing the government in the Philippines is becoming a habit. Rather than heroic, it seems rather tragic.

There are more people in the U.S. currently who hate President Bush than exists here hating PGMA, but you don’t here anyone talking about overthrowing the U.S. Government.

Just giving my opinion, I don’t expect to convince you, fanatics can rarely be convinced of anything.

Rizalist said...

Sorry you feel that way AP. I think that among all the bloggers in the Philippines, here is the only place you will read a DETAILED analysis of the Anti wire tapping law.

I assure you that my idea of overthrowing the govt is not GMA and Davide's WAY of getting into power.

Remember that America herself comes from a history of SLAVERY and RACISM and that there was as CENTURY of pro-slavery decision making in the United States. Yet what did good and decent people do during those centuries? It took a while and Abe Lincoln to OVERTHROW such a TRADITION of inhuman Law-making. Likewise it was in America that a guy like Richard Nixon got what's coming to Gloria.

From Justice Frederick Douglas:"Your forefathers were men of peace; but they preferred revolution to to peaceful submission to bondage. They were quiet men but they did not shrink from agitating against oppression. They showed forebearance but they knew its limits. They believed in order but not the order of tyranny. With them nothing was "settled" that was not right. With them, justice, liberty and humanity were "final" -- but not slavery and oppression. You may well cherish the memory of such men, for they seized upon eternal principles, and set a glorious example in their defense. Mark them.

Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

American painter is talking of rule of law and lawful processes as it is in USA and we are talking about the "way it is in the Philippines." He talks about the Highly-Esteemed US Supreme Court and we talk about the lowly-regarded Davide-now-Panganiban Supereme Court of the Philippines.
While AP can be an expert in the way it is in the USA, he is totally being NAIVE in the way it is in the Philippines. He is definitely comparing ORANGES and APPLES. He says "I don't care." What a laugh! Who solicited for his "care", I ask! Not me! Did you DJB? If my lolo is still alive today he will tell American Painter: "Walang kang paki sa hindi mo pami."

Rizalist said...

BFR -- American Painter has been up front and I think honest about his opinions. I may not agree with some of them, but I think we must welcome the diversity of opinions and win each other to our point of view using logic and emotion both, but in the right proportion. Magaang ang loob ko kay AP [I am light-hearted towards AP] because he believes in certain things and defends them as well as anybody. Also I am very much convinced that nationalism is no longer Humanity's greatest political virtue. It was after all invented a long time ago, in 1776. But we must reach for greater more universal and inclusive virtues to bind us all to the values and principles we all share.