"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.)
"GARCILLANO v. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES"
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.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:
THE FACTS OF THE CASE 12. 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]...
27. 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."THE PRAYER WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is most respectfully prayed that this Honorable Court issue a Resolution:
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.
(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).
DILEMMA OF THE POISONED FRUITS
THE SUPREME COURT WILL NOW RULE IN GARCI'S FAVOR
JUDAS GOAT ON TOP OF MOUNT PINATUBO
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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