Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Davide Supreme Court Legitimized Military Mutiny As A Basis for 2001 Regime Change

THE SEEDS OF THE MORAL DILEMMA which has engulfed and paralyzed the Philippine Military were sown on 20 January 2001 by Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., in the acts and decisions of the Supreme Court itself -- before, during and after that decisive moment in Philippine history five years ago called Edsa 2. By declaring the Presidency VACANT on that bright Saturday morning and at high noon swearing in Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at the Edsa Shrine, the Davide Supreme Court effectively LEGITIMIZED MILITARY MUTINY as an acceptable means for forcing a PRESIDENTIAL REGIME CHANGE.

OBJECTIVE EFFECT OF LEGITIMIZING WITHDRAWAL OF SUPPORT There is one undeniable and objective consequence of the Edsa 2 Supreme Court decisions which has nothing to do with Erap's guilt or innocence as such, but with a new standard of behavior on the part of the Philippine Miitary that has been established by the Davide Supreme Court when it found the events of Edsa 2 -- "CONSTITUTIONAL THROUGHOUT"-- with no HIATUS whatsoever in the operation of the Constitution, on the part of anybody (including themselves of course.) A retrospective and Chronology of Events on the Angelo Reyes Mutiny is in When Last the Military Withdrew Support.

THE END DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS By legitimizing the END RESULT of Edsa 2, the Davide Supreme Court also blessed the ILLEGAL MEANS employed -- including Angelo Reyes' Military Mutiny, still perniciously referred to in respectable society as "a withdrawal of support" when he himself had called it a Mutiny. Indeed, it was only because the Armed Forces Chief of Staff Angelo T. Reyes had declared and executed a mutiny against President Joseph Estrada on 19 January 2001, that Davide could even have considered doing what he did. A most important vestige of that highly immoral legitimization of plain and simple Mutiny may be found in the term "WITHDRAWAL OF SUPPORT" which, in this context, reveals a Supreme Court assiduously creating a category of acceptable mutiny. It is Davide's Chicken, which wrongly declared the Presidency vacant at noon on that bright Saturday morning, which has come home to roost in the Philippine Military as a logical brain twister that subverts the Articles of War, idiotizes the Chain of Command by confounding office-holders with positions of public trust, and indeed declares EVIL to be GOOD, as a recent PDI editorial Orwellianized.

FROM THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH AND RESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM There is a particularly reprehensible but inherently cynical line of reasoning that serves to rationalize and justify the Supreme Court's benediction of Angelo Reyes' Mutiny: Whether or not a military action abetting or causing a Regime Change is to be considered unconstitutional or not depends on whether the action SUCCEEDS at toppling the current regime or not.(I think this is the height, and breadth and depth of intellectual dishonesty. It is the purest, deepest casuisty in current usage, and I wish I were more clever and expressive that I could find the words to destroy this mental abomination. It is something so deeply and obviously wrong whose fallaciousness is viciously demonstrated every time just such a Regime Change is threatened. Only victors can say it with relish, but even those defeated are given hope of undertaking their own LEGITIMATE MUTINY. The Supreme sank to a fresh nadir in enshrining this self-evident piece of casuistry in its annals.

TIME BOMB OF LEGAL AND MORAL AMBIGUITY FOR THE MILITARY The Supreme Court thus left the Philippine Military with a ticking time bomb of legal and moral ambiguity. For in legitimizing Mutiny by Angelo Reyes to achieve a SUCCESSFUL Regime Change in 2001, the Supreme Court has really made it morally inconsistent and conceptually bizarre to prosecute people like General Danilo Lim and Colonel Ariel Querubin for failing to abet a Regime Change by imitating said Angelo Reyes. To be MORALLY CONSISTENT, any prosecution of a FAILED MUTINY-CUM-COUP D'ETAT ought to be preceded by a thorough investigation and prosecution of Angelo Reyes' Mutiny and Coup D'etat. Anything less, such as what the High Court, the Military and the government are all blundering about doing, is inexorably headed for the all-reducing dramatic pathos of successive absurdities that is already unfolding before our eyes.

DANGEROUS LEGITIMIZATION OF RADICAL JUDICIAL ACTIVISM There is a second, even more lethal consequence of the Davide Court's decisions with respect to Edsa 2. But that deserves its own future commentary.


Jon Mariano said...

DJB, It has been said many times that ours is a failed democracy, a damaged culture, etcetera.

What to do then? When the roof is leaking, you don't tear down the house. But if the house is the problem, then tear it down and build a new one. The reasoning is quite simple, maintaining a damaged structure would be more expensive than building a new one (in the long term).

What exactly needs to be done and how to do it? I've started writing a blog entry about it but just can't find the words to make it right. I have ideas, but I guess I don't have the answers even myself would accept...

Rizalist said...

It's gruesome and they won't have much taste for it, but the Good Guyz actually have to repudiate what happened at Edsa 2!

We must approach the Constitution searching for the ETERNAL PRINCIPLES, the things we shall be proud to uphold, to fight and die for if needed, under ANY and ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. When a person knows what those principles are for HIM or HER, then they have conviction. MORAL CONSISTENCY is one true test of an eternal principle. It is the true meaning of NO MAN IS ABOVE THE LAW. Davide made himself above the Law, that is why we are left with moral chaos!

Jego said...

"...but the Good Guyz actually have to repudiate what happened at Edsa 2"

Ive been trying to make that point in comments in other people's blogs, most notably in MLQ3's and the BnW. In my most recent blog entry (which is a personal blog, not a 'public service' blog by any stretch), I wrote on EDSA 2:

"That, ladies and germs, was a coup d'etat, an extra-constitutional means of transferring power. It took some legal gymnastics from the Supreme Court to legitimize the new administration, declaring Erap Estrada has resigned based on Senator Angara's diary entry. Erap maintains he hasnt resigned; that he was forced out of the Palace; that he still is the legitimate president. Boo-hoo for him. But even more boo-hoo for our democratic institutions. Dont get me wrong. Im not lamenting Erap's ouster. At that time, I believed we did the right thing. But in hindsight, I realize now that what we did then was a mistake. We turned off our constitution, in effect denying equal protection under the law to someone we didnt like. That isnt democracy. That's the rule of the mob. What we shouldve done then was kept up the pressure and pushed for impeachment or resignation. There was a distinct possibility that we wouldve lost the impeachment trial in the Senate, but those are the breaks. That's the law. We can't love the law only if we win. We have to love the law even if we lose. If it needs changing, there are ways of doing that, too."

Ive made a request on one of the BnW sites for them to state clearly whether or not they are for any form of military intervention (yes, this includes 'withdrawal of support'). In fact, Id like all anti-Gloria forces to make a clear and unequivocal statement on their position on this. People Power courts military adventurism whether we like it or not. Once the number of bodies on the street reaches critical mass, we could get another mutiny, and one of these days, one of these legitimized coupes would lead to a junta. For this reason, I for one am not adding my body to the critical mass count.

Rizalist said...

thanks for this comment JEGO. I think that what most of us at one time or another did not see was that it was possible for Erap to be a plunderer, as charged, AND for Davide to have done the wrong thing at Edsa 2.

My own belief is that Justice will only be served when all who've broken the Constitution are somehow called to account and that includees those who fought Erap Estrada (as I did).

In fact, it was not until I read Art Panganiban's book that I realized what an abomination Edsa 2 was.

Like you, I feel frustration that more people don't see this as crystal clearly we think we do.

But I've come to accept this fact: what happened here is of transcendental and historic importance, and far more than the present is at stake in how it is handled.

The Very Law is in conflict with Itself when the it is the Supreme Court that has gone horribly wrong.



Re: The Conspiracy to Unseat Erap with the blessing of the US.

I'm glad that you continue to drive the legal inconsitencies surrounding Gloria's ascent to power in 2001.

As you rightly said and as I have always believed, the events of Jan 2001 set a precedent for the legalization of coup d'états and mutinies to oust a constitutionally elected president.

No matter my aversion for an actor turned president, I would never accept the thesis that ousting him through military-judicial-civilian mob rule at Edsa was the right thing to do. This has been my belief from Day 1 of his impeachment trial.

As I've always said, why did the conspirators have to wield mob rule when the provisions in the Constitution were being followed, democracy was at work, etc. in January 2001.

Joker Arroyo is as much to be blamed as Davide for the failed conclusion of the impeachment proceedings. He was thoroughly in bad faith and knew what was happening outside Congress when he led the walk-out that led to the failed impeachment. The final days of the impeachment trial was just a show and Joker knew it...He had known (and I have it from good sources that he was part of the great conspiracy) that forces were already converging for the overthrow of Erap whether the impeachment worked or not.

This is the height of intellectual arrogance and meanness.

DJB, THERE WAS A CONSPIRACY TO UNSEAT Erap. Never mind if in so doing, the nation's institutions would be broken the Constitution breached, etc.

I didn't believe then that unseating Erap was worth pulling down the Constitution with him and I still don't believe today.

This is why I believe Gloria and her husband and all those major actors of the 2001 tragedy should be punished. Until you do that, the Philippines will not know peace.

You realize that Sen Biazon was one of the very few who stood by the tenet of defence of the Republic at all cost during those very terse moments? But he was all alone... Miriam Defensor wasn't stable enough to be counted on. Even Pimentel went along with Gloria.

Dean, do write about the CONSPIRACY TO UNSEAT ESTRADA with the blessing of America because this is true. I can provide you with some serious A1 intel leads.

We must right a wrong - punish the culprits of 2001 before we can attack the restiveness in the military.



Unlike JEGO, I didn't believe and never will believe that ousting Erap in 2001 in the manner of a Congress-military-civilian-judicial coup d'état was the right thing to do.

The breaching of the Constitution, the legalization of the mutiny, the interpretion that a mob rule led by Cardinal Sin and Cory Aquino was the moral thing to do is absolutely, morally and legally wrong.

Has everybody forgotten that the democratic processes provided for in the Philippine Constitution was at work? That the Rule of Law was being implemented?

I am like Alan Paguia - never to compromise the Philippine Rule of Law! Particularly at a time when it was WORKING!!!!

The setting of those horrible precedents of January 2001 by our learned men and women has set our country back. The proof is that the country is gearing towards a creeping anarchy.

Rizalist said...

It's a real blindspot in the current debate with some people. Because Jego is right about one thing, most of the people called "Middle Forces" who supported GMA in Edsa Dos, but who oppose her now, have not come to appreciate the excruciatingly fine distinctions one has to make in this case about what is right and wrong. They have not repudiated the means used to depose Erap, because they believe the end was just one. I believe Erap and GMA should both be in jail, but I also want both Means to be right.

john marzan said...

hi dean, you might be interested in what's happening in belarus...

Lord Dracula said...

That is why I see Gloria Arroyo's actions in a single light: she is now saying that EDSA 2 was wrong. And she is trying to control the elements that had contributed to EDSA 2 - the military, the Leftists, the middle forces, the crowds, the media, the Supreme Court. So far, she succeeded except in controlling the media.

Gloria Arroyo thinks the means used to depose Erap is wrong, and many in the silent majority thinks the same way too. Which I find as hypocritical.

Pingkian said...

The Davide Supreme Court’s decision legitimizing the ascension of GLORIA to the Presidency in 2001 through a coup has indeed in effect legitimized military mutiny and has set a flawed judicial precedent as basis for regime change. However, the actions of B/Gen. Danilo Lim, Col. Querubin and et. al. should be viewed differrently since the circumtances and legal context from which their actions were based are worlds apart from that of CSAFP Gen. Angelo Reyes. The actions of Gen Lim and et. al. were made not on whims nor based on the precendent set by Gen. Reyes, though it might have emboldened them.

I believe that whether or not Gen. Angelos Reyes did what he did, reform minded military men given the current context will be outraged, just as we are, by the shameless and blatant use of the military institution in election cheating. I firmly believed that Gen. Lim and et. al. were agonizing prior to their alleged botched planned withdrawal of support from their fake CIC and are fully justified in doing so. For one, GLORIA is an illegimate President while ERAP was unquestionably a legitmate President at that time and was elected by huge plurality; (2) the constitutional mandated impeachment trial of an accused duly constituted President was illegally disrupted by ERAP’s accusers themselves while GLORIA hijacked the impeachment proceedings against her; and (3) GLORIA has prostituted all democratic and judicial institutions and processes to resolve the current political crisis while ERAP did not. GLORIA issued EO 464 to block the Senate to perform their oversight function over the Executive Department to investigate allegations of corruption lodge against her, appointed allies with questionable integrity to highly sensitive positions (COMELEC, AFP, PNP, DOJ, Ombusdman, Supreme Court), promulgated CPR, and recently Proclamation 1017.

I am not pro-ERAP. I did not support EDSA 2 for being unconstituional. EDSA 2 is not a spontaneous people’s uprising, it was a well planned coup long before before the “I Accuse” speech of former Senator Guingona, remember the Exclamation Point (!) movement and the series of expose against ERAP, the Statfor report? But he probably deserve to be ousted simply for being stupid, for failing to reign on his subordinates and for keeping bad company.

For those who do not want to be counted to be part of the critical mass of anti-gloria campaign despite how much they hated GLORIA deserve GLORIA. Those who want unjust peace, won’t get one for we won’t allow them peace of mind. Those who allows corruption and cheating to prosper deserve a corrupted future. Count me in in the oust GMA campaign.



Well said.

I concur: "For those who do not want to be counted to be part of the critical mass of anti-gloria campaign despite how much they hated GLORIA deserve GLORIA. Those who want unjust peace, won’t get one for we won’t allow them peace of mind. Those who allows corruption and cheating to prosper deserve a corrupted future."

I add: Morally and physically couragegous people must accept the truth that Gloria & Mike Arroyoled the CONSPIRACY to UNSEAT Estrada. For this alone, they must be tried, convicted and punished!

I join you and the worldwide campaign to OUST GLORIA!


Hey Dean,

What's this you being sort of hmm... exiled to oblivion by Sassy the lawyer?

You're kind of a topic of conversation by a few commenters in MLQ3's blog.

bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

DJB, I am sorry but I can only say the following in Filipino. To the other bloggers, I beg all your indulgence.

Ang pagsisisi ay laging nasa huli. Malalalaman mo lang ang kagaguhan mo matapos ang lahat ng pangyayari. Ang maganda ay marami na ang umaamin na nagkamali sila, pero walang umaamin na naging GAGO sila. Naisahan sila ni Gloria at hanggang ngayon ginagago pa niya kasapakat sina Defensor, Bunye, Gonzales at Ermita ang buong bansa. Umaangal, umaatungal, nagtutungayaw, nambubunsol ang marami pero walang magawa.

Ang sabi ng mga dayuhan ang Pilipinas ay binubuo daw ng isang Matapang na babae at 80 Milyong mga duwag. Pero ako di bale nang matawag na duwag huwag lang GAGO!

Rizalist said...

HB, I don't really know what is going on with that. I don't know Sassy and have very lil idea about what has been said and by whom on this. I know I've commented on her blog less than 3 or 4 times since reboot and had even less to do with her in Ye Olde. John Nery wrote almost everything I know about my "exile" over which I am totally bemused since her audience is largely looking for culinary tips and legal formulae. Maybe she doesn't like it that I treat the law much like I do any other bit of English Composition. Maybe she likes her comments short and sweet and none too argumentative from the CIA lackeys, so beware! Honestly, I DO NOT KNOW what's going on with this. Is is serious, do you think?


Oh well, nothing really serious DJB.

Actually, first time I came across Sassy blog was when I was looking for Pinoy recipes on line for a dinner I had set up with friends some two or three years ago - always thought of Sassy as my source of my Pinoy recipes then out of the blue, I learned from MLQ3's blog that she's become a Standard opinion writer.

Well, anyway, from what I've gathered, it seems she's stirring a bit of controversy because of her legal opinion on this and that but is unable to take in critical or opposing views... heheh! A couple of bloggers sort of raised the DJB/Sassy "row" as an example of how Sassy couldn"t handle questions, etc.; read the links by John Marzan or Bystander or Jonmariano, can't remember which one.

Funny is that when I visited her blogsite, her riposts to other commenters were reminded me of the riposts my daughter used to make with her friends when she was not yet a real teen-ager.

Oh well, never mind!


Gosh, you're already up and about while I'm just about to hit the sack...Here's for a nightcap, DJB:

I just read Max Soliven's column on Lacson's interview by Ricky R.

Would be good to read Ricky's own, personal take. Eagerly awaiting his blog on the interview.

Geez, the guy (Lacson) is a real straight shooter, ain't he?

Rizalist said...

hb, yeah, I caught the interview live and will have to check what max has to say.

BFR--Maging matatag tayo sa ating mga paniniwala at maghandang ipaglaban ang mga ito. At makukuha rin sa DIWA, hindi DAHAS.

Pingkian said...

Yes Hillblogger, we should not allow GLORIA and Jose Pidal to get away with their despicable crimes against our people. An evil left unchecked will be bolder to do more evil. A people who can not enforce its laws, assert its sovereign will do not deserve to be called a nation. We need more of you in Europe, in Americas and in the rest of the world to expose GLORIA for what she really is in the international front.

On your most recent post, indeed Sen. Lacson is a strait shooter. I know he’s telling the truth. What he told in the recent interview on him is common knowledge. I just have serious doubts on his timing.

By the way, I’ve religiously following up your blogs and that of Rizalist, including those in the other blog sites (i.e. pcij and mlg3) and I’ve learned a lot from them.

DJB, you have adopted an apt penname for yourself. You share a lot of values, ambivalence, and passion for truth and justice with our great hero.


Hi Dean,

Just accessed Senga's wolf, wolf, wolf cry MLQ3 link and really, Senga's pissed me off.

Senga is reported to have said in a speech before members of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), “We may have not seen the last of the attempts at a power grab,”.

Well, well, well… Dean, this bloke is starting to really irritate me! I was thinking that he is one of the more professiol officers in the AFP but he's proving only that he is a mere soldier, trained to fight but not to lead.

Here's my take on his boo-hoo speech:

It is his 4-star command responsibility to make sure that coup d’état attempts don’t occur. How he does this is not for the civilians to know.

It his command responsibility to keep the AFP solidly behind the Constitution and how he does this is not by crying out loud “More coup d’état attempts coming! More coup d’état attempts in the making! More coup d’état in the offing!”. Well, booo hooo! Does he think he is building a solid AFP by whining that way in public?

It is his command responsibility to check any coup d’état attempt whatsoever right on his doorstep so that NOT ONE coup salvo against the Republic can be launched. If ever a coup d’état attempt happens reaching the media first, Senga SHOULD BE BLAMED entirely. No ifs, no buts! He either knows how the armed forces should be run or not. If he does, he should stop blabbering about more coup d’état attempts to the public.

He, as Chief of Staff AFP must take the brunt if ever a loose AFP cannon ball reaches the gates of media.

And if for the sake of argument, the same cannon balls got loose and ended up being media headliners, i.e., Lim’s mutiny, coup d’état pretext for an SOE declaration, SENGA must be held personally accountable and must be stripped of his command and responsibilities, dispatched to civilian life so that he could enjoy the golf course in Boracay which was built for the military. Let others who can do the job professionally take over!

How extraordinary but Senga is proving more amateurish than ever as his CSAFP stint is reaching its end.

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