Thursday, March 6, 2008
The Thing About King Solomon and the Public's Right to Know
In the First Book Kings of Christianity's Old Testament the story is told of King Solomon's Judgment. Two women bring before him a single baby boy. Both claim it is their baby. When King Solomon asks for a sword in order to split the baby in half, that they may share him equally, one woman is terrified and says no, the other agrees and perhaps thinks the first arrogant, for disrespecting the King. Guess who gets the Baby?
Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court offered to the Senate and the Palace "a compromise agreement" in which Romulo Neri would once more attend Senate sessions investigating the ZTE National Broadband Network deal with China, but would not have to answer three specific questions. Last night, the Senate has unanimously rejected the offer, with President Manny Villar declaring the principle of the Senate's powers of inquiry in aid of legislation and oversight, to be the transcendental issue. Meanwhile the other headline is that the Palace slams the Senate's arrogance for rejected SC offer. Press Sec. Ignacio Bunye said, "Frankly, we did not expect the arrogance by which the Senate slammed the compromise proposal of no less than the Chief Justice."
The analogy is sure to confuse some people so let me explain a bit of it, because it is not exact in the sense that we do not yet know IF the Supreme Court will indeed rule with Solomonic wisdom or continue with the cuckolding of the Senate that the Court began in 2001. Clearly the two women are Senate and PGMA, who, like the false mother in the Bible, wanted to accept the compromise agreement and thinks the Senate arrogant, who happens to be the real mother.
But who or what is the Baby? Several Philippine Commentaries tackled that question and related others:
King Solomon Just Cut the Baby in Half -- my analysis of the decision Senate v. Ermita
in July 2006.
How the Supreme Court Upheld the Half of EO464 the Palace really needs discusses how the Supreme Court decision upheld both Section 1 of EO464 , which is PGMA's definition of the nature and scope of executive privilege, and Section 2a, which referred to the nonexistent Question Hour in the Constitution, but which was used to introduce a false dichotomy between "in aid of legislation" and "oversight" (to be discussed in a future Commentary).
More under the categories of executive privilege, EO464 and Separation of Powers.
It is clear from these discussions by the way, that Abolishing EO 464 would not abolish Executive Privilege since it is now Senate v. Ermita itself that defines Executive Privilege. The Palace no longer need EO 464, which the Catholic bishops and the Senate have demanded be revoked. Uselessly, it turns out as the Palace has already done so.
Now I claim that the "Baby" in this case is really something we have been arguing about for the last few years: the Public's Right to Know.
Now it is revealed that this particular right is officially exercised by and belongs to most preciously, NOT to the Mass Media or Press, but the Congress!
Proof of this is exactly how King Solomon also extracted the knowledge of who really owns the ba by. By courageously rejecting the Supreme Court's offer to cut in half Congress' Right to Know which is the true essence of the Public's Right to Know, the Senate proves the assertion.
Now all that remains of the analogy is whether the Supreme Court is King Solomon or King Rat.
Uh-oh, another China deal is on the radar screen --- (Southrail) contract is missing!
Posted By: Deany Bocobo
On Thursday, March 06, 2008
On Thursday, March 06, 2008