Monday, January 19, 2015

A true million people march

IN August, 2013, we had a Million People March, so-called, against pork. In fact, far fewer than a million marched, maybe in the low thousands but the understandably narcissistic marchers kept repeating the terminological inexactitude, as Church would label a lie.
Last Sunday, a true Million People March occurred in Paris; the marchers were in fact more than a million. The international TV networks were there, unlike in our bogus Million People March.
But, Obama wasn’t there. Neither was PNoy. Both apparently were natulog sa pansitan, considering the array of world leaders there. The US invoked the difficulty of organizing to fly on very short notice because of the security requirements, for one thing. Assuming that seeming palusot is true with Obama and PNoy, we could have sent Jojobama, or Sec. Albert del Rosario, or FVR and his sister, Manang Letty Ramos-Shahani, who attended Sorbonne and “je suis Charles” would fall trippingly from the tongue. It was a march for freedom of religion and speech. We needed to show solidarity. Manang I heard in the Senate say “august,” accented on the second syllable. Others here would pronounce “august” as in the month.
“I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” was from Evelyn Beatrice Hall, not Voltaire. Some fanatical Muslims would say, “I do not agree with what you say and I’ll therefore kill you.”
Manang Letty, the Senate now readies to receive Manny Pacquiao to the chamber, as head of Jojobama’s senatorial slate in 2016. Manny makes public statements today, but not about House doings and public issues like Bangsamoro in his part of the country. He makes a louder statement by his topping the House absentee list. Does he agree with framers Aquino-Arroyo, Azcuna, Bacani, Bernas, Rosario-Braid, Davide, Garcia, Gascon, Monsod, Romulo, Sarmiento, Tadeo, Villacorta and Villegas? Please see our banner headline last Tuesday. I agree with them. Does Manny? We may have a Holmesian experiment as all life is an experiment, concerning the 1987 Constitution on the pending BangsaMoro measures, dealing with a problem of centuries.
Manny opens his mouth only on Mayweather. No fight in May so JuneWeather or whatever Weather, ha, ha. He continues to be a Great Pretender as Congressman in a Syndicated Estafa outfit, abetted by the House, which pays him and his staff, for nothing. Hindi po siya nag-iisa. Our 2013 Million Marchers were actually only a few thousands but apparently helped scare the bejesus out of the Supreme Court (SC) which ruled as illegal what it said was legal in the 90’s. Yet, pork continues in the US, not being toxic per se.
I am relieved that our 1987-92 batch was not ordered probed and prosecuted on pork, which really benefited our people (my pork went to build a market in Cebu and a library in Isabela, to give an ambulance to Pasig, and to put concrete over open canals in Palanan, Makati, in the area where we live – sorry Palanan kiddos, my sons, then young, included, no more guppy-hunting).
Anyway, the TV networks carried the Paris event live, as would likely happen anywhere a million people would gather, as Edsa’86. I wonder if CNN covered our bogus 2013 Million People March.(?) But, the event is to be credited for projecting the issue: who decides what to do with public funds – the accountable elected or the non-accountable unelected?
The SC is not my forum of choice. It has a relaxed working habit and accepts too many cases. What it might consider is remanding many of these cases to some Regional Trial Court (RTC, or the Court of Appeals). Such would declog. It can also benefit from a lower court’s insights. This is what it did with Mayor Lim’s spray-paint campaign in mid-1997. It referred the case to the Pasig RTC, which dismissed our case; on appeal the Court of Appeals (CA) ruled in our favor, on January 26, 2000, outlawing the shameful shame campaign. Hizzoner tried to go to the SC which cruelly refused to accept it on harmless flimsy technicalities (failure to serve a copy of a motion for extension on the Court of Appeals and failing to explain why mailing, instead of personal service.) It could have had insights from what the CA and RTC did, and its authoritative ruling could have guided MMDA bossing BF Fernando and BIR chief Kim Henares in their own shame campaigns. We mail for convenience obviously, not to defraud, and for the lapse of a lawyer, punish him with a fine, but not to punish the innocent client by dismissing his petition.
A promdi lawyer I was with last Tuesday told me a detainee was ordered released last December 22 but could not be freed until last Monday, January 5. No work. But, courts are supposed to be “always open”. Rules of Court, Rule 135, Sec. 1. Libertarian. I am glad to see that skeletal personnel would man the courts during the papal visit. A minute of avoidable unjustified incarceration, particularly during Christmas, is torment beyond compare. When I was young, courts were open between Christmas and New Year. Even January 2 last, a Friday, was not spared. No work. Ipit Doctrine? Only in d Pilipins.
Now on the SC plate are petitions on train fare hike (and rate-making is tough), the budget, Meralco rates, habeas corpus petitions, etc. It seems to me the SC should throw some of these cases to lower courts.
Had this method been done in pork, we may still have it, enabling conscientious lawmakers like Grace Poe to point to projects they would want implemented, without a red cent passing through their offices, as in our time. So, be careful in choosing who to vote for in 2016, those who can be trusted with public money.
I was interviewed by phone patch the other morning by my Senate contemporary, Orly Mercado. He is much younger than paos and laos me – makamandag pa – and should be returned to the Senate. Pro-people and won’t compete with Sen. Pacquiao in absences. Later that morning, I met POEA chief Hans Cacdac in CNN Philippines here. Dean Amado Valdez and I were to discuss separation of church and state with Karen Jimeno and Rod Nepomuceno. Hans, another idealistic youth, should also be in Congress.
As is said in the US, good people should go to the priesthood or ministry, but the best ones should go to politics.
Finally, may we join the nation in welcoming the Pope. May I add to the countless requests swamping the poor exhausted Pontiff, why not find the time to relax and dance the Argentine Tango?

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