A STRONG JUDICIARY -- THE SENTINEL OF DEMOCRACYWell folks you heard it from the Man Hisself. Each citizen doesn't have to act as A sentinel of Democracy because there is THE sentinel of democracy in the Supreme Court. A Strong Judiciary? That was before we heard of A Strong Republic and lately A Strong State. Well the Strong flock together for protection I suppose, not just coups d'etat. That bit of hubris is followed by this manifesto declaring for judicial activism:
By Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr.
Keynote Address at the Annual Convention and Seminar of the Philippine Judges Association 23-25 October 2003 at Lucio Tan Century Park Hotel, Manila
"I shall now go back to the theme of your present convention. It speaks of the role of the Judiciary in a democratic country and asserts that a strong Judiciary is the only hope for the preservation and promotion of democracy – and, yes, the survival of democracy itself. Indeed, unless the Judiciary is strong there can be no viable and strong democracy. It follows then that a strong judiciary is THE sentinel of democracy – not just A sentinel of democracy. I commend the PJA for its choice of the theme for this year’s convention."
Notably, in the history of our nation, judges have been staunch sentinels of democracy and apostles of justice. Thus in times of turmoil, uncertainty and political instability where the most cherished of our rights are in peril, and where the fruits of democracy and liberty are at stake, the courts are called upon to exercise their constitutional duty to restore law and order and to ensure the welfare of our democratic institutions and the promotion of the public weal.
JUDICIAL PUTSCHISM: I really don't think the Constitution grants the Judiciary the right and duty to "restore law and order" when there is apparent "turmoil uncertainty and political instability." -- which of course is what Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide did in Edsa II and he has never weaned himself of that addiction -- of that taste of the Fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil. It is that false religion which abjures the impartiality of judges that was installed by Davide on 20 January 2001, at the sudden, putschist end to Edsa Dos. Supposedly to avert violence, it has resulted in nothing but endless chaos, for that was an abrogation of the political and social contract. They are supposed to adjudicate Questions of Law in cases properly brought to them by parties in interest. Not invent whole fictions like "constructive, but involuntary resignations," or indeed, "permanent disability" when the truth was, Erap was at worst drunk as usual from the "civilian-military uprising" that followed the Second Envelope fiasco. Which I really blame on Davide too. This whole thing is tackled in The Paradox of People Power. (which could be entitled "Why Davide Will Get an F-Minus in History," now that it is almost Pass Your Paper Time for him). Above 2003 speech came after Davide's narrow escape from impeachment himself, for allegedly mishandling the billion peso Judiciary Development Fund. I think a careful reading of it has revealed to me part of his motivation for ignoring the Constitution on that fateful Saturday, 20 January 2001. Davide had decided to himself that he had actually bungled Erap's Impeachment Trial by not ruling on the admissibility of Clarissa Ocampo's Testimony before the Craven Eleven made their move on 16 January 2001. He procrastinated too long before ruling on the continuing objection of the Defense to that devastating testimony. ("I was a foot away when President Estrada signed "Jose Velarde." she recounted to the nation just before Christmas 2000.) Why hadn't Davide ruled on her stunngingly credible testimony after more than three long weeks since the trial had adjourned for the holidays? He found a soul-mate in Jaime Cardinal Sin, who on that Saturday morning was worried HIS precious invention, the peaceful people power that overthrows dictatorships, was in danger of a violent end. Both displayed a surprising faithlessness in the Law and in the People. We are still paying for that lack of faith in two men at the pivot point of recent Philippine history. The third party at that Saturday breakfast that hatched a putsch, was a too-willing Vice President, who also could've prevented it, but didnt. The conclusion I come to though, from a careful reading of Davide's triumphant speech to his fellow Judiciarites--
Edsa Dos may have been Davide's way of making up for the biggest failure of his career which was to lose control of the historic trial against a sitting, democratically elected President, Joseph Estrada. His putsch's real motivation was the restoration of a personal Zion.
Ironically, that failure came right after, what his worthy intellectual nemesis, lawyer Alan Paguia once told me, was the most briliant, competent, widely admired handling of a trial in Philippine judicial history -- "bar none." -- the impeachment trial of Erap until it adjourned for Christmas. Which perhaps made the unpredictable happenstance of an Edsa People Power event being nucleated around such a failure of omission, all the more bitter, and needful of a quick, decisive and strong redress. In less than an hour on 20 January 2001, the Davide Court literally overthrew one President and installed the one still there.
Now it seems the Hidden Hand would require a final task of him for insurance...
LAMBS TO THE SLAUGHTER: Garci will do a Rope-a-Dope in Congress. With the Chacha Meister Jose de Venecia ready to close that book, and Judicial Putschism the High Court's true religion, both on Garci's side, the Opposition in the Lower House ought to maybe just throw in the towel, being the pusillanimous lot that they are anyway. Because they have been seriously outclassed and are as the Lambs entering the Slaughterhouse. The Judas Goat is Garcillano, if they're not careful, December 7, 2005 is a date that will live in infamy as the day the music died in the Halls of Congress, left in fiery ruins, as far as the People's Right to Know is concerned. For once the Majority become complicit in a Big Lie, they will have to repeat the transgression, forever. It may already be too late for this Kongress, for this is already the Second Lie, the continuation of the thing Jose de Venecia and the Trapos did with Datumanong's quashing of the First Impeachment. And it is indeed abut killing the Second Impeachment, first by squashing the report of the Five Committees and FRYING everybody that will be foolishly running after the Judas Goat.
From "Bunye & Goebbels -- Masters of the Big Lie Technique: The Big Lie Technique is one where one must have the nerve to LIE BIG and STICK TO IT; to deliver colossal falsehoods without batting an eyelash. The best description of propaganda under the dictatorship of Hitler, comes from a report of the US Office of Strategic Services on the psychological techniques of the Nazi leader:
"... never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.Bunye may be a rank amateur at this compared to Virgilio Garcillano, who speaks in broken accents with the formulaic eloquence of deep legal and political minds, as if each tongue were an expert strategist, and with the omniscience of complete staff work. The sharks can eat the hunters too, you know. He will be no push-over, especially for people who actually bought into the Organized Left's idea of a People's Court. But that was just a "kangaroo court" with no teeth or power like the real KANGAROO COURT far above them. Garci has an Ace in the Hole even if Jose de Venecia and Prospero Pichay fail to close the book on the Second Impeachment.
But this is more entertaining than the Southeast Asian Games. (Or even Watergate long ago.)
And where the heck is SAMMY ONG, whom I think has the real answers that need to be heard? Garci is just poison in the well. But drink if you must...
A useful related post to this whole topic is WAS THE ADAM AND EVE OF ALL TAPES DIGITAL?
UPDATE: (1700) Interesting point over by Ellen Tordesillas on the cynical use by Virgilio Garcillano of the traditional Muslim head dress -- ghutrah o kuffiyah -- to make it appear he has been safeguarded byMuslims all this time and to make it harder to call him a cheater. Ellen reports the rage of traditional Muslims at such cynical opportunism, especially since he apparently wore the head gear with his ears showing, a sign that Garci IS an infidel. Abdullah Lacs Dalidig, the NAMFREL Lanao official who exposed Garci's operations there. wants more drastic action done directly to Garci's head, but I shall leave what that was to the imagination...
SUPERFLUOUS (1720): ABSCBN reports that the Supreme Court has turned down Garci's request to have the House of Representatives arrest warrant voided. It comes five days after the House agreed to WITHDRAW its warrant in exchange for Garci appearance in Congress, which surely the High Court got word of long ago.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed for lack of merit a petition by former poll commissioner Virgilio Garcillano to nullify a warrant of arrest issued against him by the House of Representatives.
The decision means the former poll commissioner may be arrested if the House decides not to lift the arrest warrant against the former poll commissioner.
Supreme Court spokesman Ismael Khan said the tribunal also asked the House of Representatives to reply within 10 days to Garcillano's petition to disallow the use of the alleged wiretapped tapes in the House hearings.
In his petition, Garcillano said the tapes violated the Anti-Wiretapping Law and were used without his consent.
The House of Representatives issued the arrest warrant against Garcillano after he failed to appear before the inquiry on the wiretapped conversations between the poll official and President Arroyo.
Leaders of the five House committees investigating the tapes earlier said it will lift the arrest warrant once Garcillano appears before the wiretapping hearings.
Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzalez earlier said Garcillano cannot be forced to testify because a pending case in the Supreme Court will render the revelations he makes sub judice (under judicial deliberation). He added that any pending case in court cannot be discussed in legislative investigations.
But read the red letter paragraphs for the true significance of this story. Perhaps the headline should've read, "Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Garci's Case Against the Tapes".I think the Supreme Court has just given GARCI all the legal cover he needs tomorrow every time he REFUSES to answer certain questions. Hilario G. Davide Jr. and the Supreme Court are the fleet of Japanese Kamikazes that will be accompanying the Amazing Flying Garci when he divebombs the Lower House tomorrow. Just in time too. Diabolical
SEA GAMES FINALS:
23rd SEA Games Medal Tally (Official as of 6:34 PM Dec. 5)
Top Three Medal Winners: Gold, Silver, Bronze and Total Haul:
PHILIPPINES 113 84 94 291
THAILAND 87 78 118 283
VIETNAM 71 68 89 228
Ces Drilon was talking to Roberto Aventajado and Peping Cojuanco, Chairman and President of the Philippine Olympic Committee, as a wrap up of the Games, which these two gentlemen apparently had the prime responsibility for. It was political infighting in the sports establishment that got basketball delisted from this year's games -- because they couldn't mount the required effort to comply with SEA Games standards. Oh and Peping wants to turn some old property of Imelda's in the Clark Ecozone into a Sports Complex. At government expense of course. Wash your hands, Ces.
(2000) FUTILE: The argument that the Anti-Wiretapping Law does not cover the Garci tapes, because cellphones were not yet invented is inherently a weak one. For although it is literally true, the clear intent of the law was to protect the privacy of communications and Congressman Kintanar pointed to generalities in its Letter that will most likely be construed by the High Court, rightly, as covering such instances. Ces Drilon's guest, FEU Law Professor and fellow Blogger Ed Lacierda of the San Juan Gossip Mills has made the most cogent expression of this position but I think it will not stand in the coming ruling. Personally, I WANT the Garci tapes to be the EVIDENCE in a serious criminal suit to prosecute person or persons unknown who violated national security and prostituted the Military to political purposes. That crime was as grave as anything now before us regarding cheating in the elections, the predicate for which prosecution has not yet been laid by an Opposition in logical and moral disarray. But whoever did the wiretapping, or studio production of the Garci conversations, should as Garci himself says, be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I agree with Garci on that. The wiretapping operation involved far more than just "cell phones" and a bug or two. It was mounted with a great deal of professionalism and skill, judging by what little of the "intel" gathered has come to light (a mere three hours of conversations over several weeks). It required personnel, organization, equipment and command and control, as well as possible collusion with the cell phone companies, (known to be extremely close to the Palace and sensitive to its needs.). In the eagerness to reverse the 2004 elections, which many people are convinced were rigged, there has been a tendency for each side to argue with itself about how wrong the other side is, without being able to present their arguments convincingly enough to anyone who is not already so convinced anyway. To have successfully sown such mass confusion is the genius of the Palace's demiurge.
Maybe I won't watch the dumb thing tomorrow. It'll just feel like the Datumanong Episode in a House that is less than one third pusillanimous, while over two-thirds are part of one or the other political Mafias just laughing at the young whippersnappers with their principles and their outrage; or they are practical men being blackmailed who would rather choose reward than punishment in a world where the capi rule and caribinieri and consiglieri keep quiet and do as they are told.
ON PIA HONTIVEROS SHOW: Mike Defensor is craftily using the Myth of People Power, especially Edsa II on fellow Civil Society personality, Chito Gascon. He torpedoes Gascon's citation of recent survey results that say 64% of the people want the President out, by asking, "but are they willing to act on it?" The reason Chito couldn't respond is that he too believes it was the overwhelming force of peaceful people power that drove Erap out. What Chito doesn't know is that the sole difference between 2001 and 2005 is that a bigger part of the political Mafia they both belong to has stayed with the President in 2005, while in 2001 even the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Armed Forces Chief of Staff joined in a coup d'etat with the Vice President at a critical moment in the four days of demonstrations known a Edsa II. That is what set up this whole sorry mess. A "constitutional" coup d'etat by the Civil Society mafia against Erap and his Evil Society mafia. Of course, Erap deserved every bit he got. Erap's the only one happily playing Nintendo and walking with Johnny tonight.
But between CHITO GASCON and mike defensor, I see who the bigger man is! Mr. Gascon mentions a quiet process I've been monitoring myself -- it is the slow erosion of the President's personal support from that Civil Society to which they all belong. This is the effect I am sure of groups like the Black & White Movement and Cory Aquino and the Hyatt Ten personalities who are networking and quietly talking to social, political, educational and community leaders about the CRISIS of ILLEGITIMACY of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, how it cannot go on till 2010. It just cannot go on. A tipping point in this process of erosion of support will be reached sooner or later, and quite precipitately if all past experience may be relied upon.
The other guest on Pia's show, Commodore Rex Robles, who always speaks for the Heart of the Military had comments that could not possibly cheer Mike Defensor. Rex describes how the younger PMA type officers know exactly how much so-and-so General is now making, and they see how the old corruptions exposed by the Oakwood Mutineers, corruptions that endanger lives in the war on terror and the communists, how these old corruptions still run rampant in a season and system of lies.
(2300) The US, Australian and Singaporean embassies have announced that they will be closed tomorrow, December 7, because of a credible BOMB THREAT phoned in against them in Manila. Funny, the guy who called in the threat even left a name according to ABSCBN's late news: "This is Abdullah," he says. Hmmm....