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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SENATOR GRACE POE


By REY O. ARCILLA  
MALAYA
(She appears to have the edge over others mentioned as possible presidential candidates next year.)
Grace-Poe.1A little bird told me the other day that there are allegedly one billion reasons for the seemingly manic obsession of President Noynoy Aquino to have the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) passed, warts and all, during his term.
If this is true and Noynoy gets his way, then this country is doomed to perdition.
But it ain’t gonna happen. The Mamasapano Massacre saw to that.
Noynoy may have some character flaws, but stupid he is not. On the contrary, I think he is smart although he does seem to have a below average emotional quotient. Look at how he has now dropped like a hot potato his bosom buddy, resigned PNP chief Alan Purisima and tossed all the blame to him and relieved SAF chief Getulio Napenas after it has become evident that he (Noynoy) was principally responsible for the gruesome demise of the “Fallen 44”.
Yet, despite the treachery of the MILF, Noynoy and his witless peace panel duo, Deles and Ferrer, insist on having Congress approve the constitutionally infirm BBL as is, as though they do not care whether the Republic is dismembered or not. They also seem unmindful of the fact that there is the Supreme Court and, more importantly, the Filipino people that have to be reckoned with.
Fortunately, the mood in both chambers of Congress, at least for now, seems to be in favor of rectifying the unconstitutional provisions of the BBL. Perhaps, its members, unlike Noynoy, have a better appreciation of the prevailing sentiments of the people after Mamasapano.
However, there is no guarantee that their mood will not change with the passage of time, when the outrage of the people would have gradually dissipated.
Let’s watch what happens.
******
I have no idea where she is coming from, but the recent statement of Noynoy’s foolish chief negotiator, Miriam Ferrer, is well, stupid. She said:
“No BBL is better than a mangled BBL, because that is repeating history, and it is stupid to repeat history,” she said.
Precisely! If the fatal defects of the BBL are not rectified now, it will surely lead to a repetition of history, that part when the unlamented Arroyo regime tried to ram through the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) with the MILF that would have created the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity.
Fortunately, the Supreme Court shot down and aborted in the nick of time its signing in Kuala Lumpur because of its unconstitutional infirmities. The then US Ambassador Kristie Kenney and Arroyo’s minions were already airborne on their way to Kuala Lumpur for the signing of the agreement when the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. I could only imagine their disappointment when they landed in the Malaysian capital. The MILF went on the rampage after that.
So, who’s stupid now, Ms. Ferrer?
Incidentally, the US was pretty much involved in the crafting of that MOA-AD. Kenney was even photographed talking with the late Hashim Salamat, the then MILF chieftain, in his lair in Mindanao. She should have been declared persona non grata at that time.
After it was aborted, the US even had seven former US ambassadors to the Philippines issue a manifesto arguing that the agreement was good for the Philippines! Geeezzz! I called them dummies!
******
The question uppermost in the mind of most people these days is who could be our next president. Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate committee that conducted hearings on the Mamasapano Massacre, is one of those most prominently mentioned.
She would appear to have an edge over the others who are also mentioned as possible presidential candidates. Certainly, being a neophyte senator, she has the advantage of not being tainted with any scandal or wrongdoing.
In my book, based on her conduct of the hearings on the Mamasapano Massacre, she could be the most qualified. The only point against her, it would seem, is that she has no experience. Experience as what? President? But none of the other “possibles” has either. Neither had any of our past presidents, including the incumbent.
However, I am not prepared at this time to say that she is my candidate. My decision will hinge considerably on her committee’s report on the Mamasapano hearings.
Grace said she will not hesitate to include in her committee’s report the role that Noynoy and all those involved in Operaton Exodus played. (I wonder why her committee never summoned Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa. Noynoy himself said he had given instructions to Ochoa to provide all the assistance that the SAF needed for Operation Exodus. I believe the committee should also look into the role he played in the botched operation.)
“All those involved in this operation would need to be mentioned. If they are not mentioned, nobody would believe the report,” she said.
She added that the report will not be watered down “because I would have to answer to the public for this.”
Personally, I am most interested in how she will deal with questions about the reported involvement of the US in Operation Exodus.
In this regard, I hope she did not swallow hook, line and sinker DFA Super Amboy (aka Giant Smiley) Secretary Albert del Rosario’s statement that the US had absolutely nothing to do with the operation. He is not known as a Super Amboy for nothing.
Besides, how could he possibly know that the US was not involved when even DILG Secretary Mar Roxas and PNP OIC Leonardo Espina were kept in the dark by Noynoy. In any case, he did say it was the Americans who told him that they were not involved. Natcherly…
******
Two weeks ago, I said the government should consider renegotiating without, repeat, without the intervention of any foreign power, the Bangsamoro Basic Law that is now hanging fire due to its many constitutional infirmities.
As I, and many others, have been saying all along, this is a purely domestic affair that we Filipinos, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, should resolve on our own, regardless of the head of government’s personal agenda that does not jibe with the national interest.
I am glad that the feisty Senator Miriam Santiago has taken the same view, i.e., that the BBL should be re-negotiated from scratch.
******
Showbiz personality Kris Aquino, Noynoy’s youngest sister, has taken to publicly defending her besieged brother.
“I told my brother, napakahirap ang manahimik lalo na ‘pag ang mahal mo sa buhay ang wina-walanghiya. Simple ang sagot ng Kuya ko, ‘Kristina pag lumabas ang katotohanan, titigil na rin sila,’” she said.
.
She’s got it all wrong. Hindi naman wina-walanghiya ang Kuya n’ya. Nagsasabi lamang ng totoo ang mga bumabatikos sa kanya, dahil na rin sa hindi pa lumalabas ang katotohanan. Ano na nga ba ang katotohanan? Iyan ang dapat isiwalat ng Kuya n’ya.
Kris also said it is more difficult to be a sibling of the President than being the daughter of one, the revered Cory.
“You may ask me why? Because our mother was our strength, our shield, and our protector,” she said.
And Kuya Noynoy is not? Hmmm…
******
Kyodo News reports that China and Japan will resume next month in Tokyo talks that will most likely focus on territorial disputes and maritime issues.
China is claiming the Senkaku (Diaoyu) islands in the East China Sea that are now owned by Japan.
As I have been saying, we should be talking with China too regarding our conflicting claims in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea and discuss maritime and security issues as well, at the same time that we are pursuing the arbitration case we filed before the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea.
Paging Super Amboy del Rosario and, of course, his Amboy of a boss, Noynoy.
******
Reminders (for Noynoy):
1) Filing of charges against officials of the National Food Authority (NFA) during Arroyo’s illegitimate regime. Noynoy himself said on several occasions that there is documentary evidence to prove the venalities in the past in that agency. That was more than four and a half years ago.
2) Investigation of reported anomalies in the GSIS during the watch of Winston Garcia and order his successor, Robert “Pretty Boy” Vergara, to file the proper charges, if warranted, against the former.
Noynoy should also order Vergara to report to him on COA’s findings that:
(a) He received the obscenely excessive compensation of P16.36 million in 2012 making him the highest paid government servant then. He was also the highest paid in 2013 with P12.09 million. I wouldn’t be surprised if he again tops the list in 2014; and
(b) That over a year ago, at least P4.13 billion in contributions and loan payments made by 12 government offices, maybe more by now, to the GSIS had not been credited to the offices as of Dec. 31, 2011.
COA also said that the amount of unrecorded remittances could go much higher because only 36 agencies have at that time responded out of the 186 that were sent confirmation requests by government auditors. Of the 36, 27 confirmed “discrepancies” in their premium and loan payments ledgers when compared with those of the GSIS.
There are three questions being raised when remittances, or parts thereof, of government agencies are not recorded by the GSIS on time: a) Where are these huge sums “parked” in the meantime?; b) Do they earn interest?; and c) To where (whom?) does the interest, if any, go?
Pray tell, Mr. Vergara, what is the present status of these funds, including those that may have been remitted since and not yet recorded by the GSIS? How long do you think you can “dedma” these questions?
I believe it is time for COA to follow up on what Vergara has done on the above findings so that affected GSIS members would know the status of their contributions!
In this connection, I would like to address this question to Ms. Heidi Mendoza of COA: “Is Vergara one of the sacred cows in Noynoy’s coterie whom you are afraid to investigate?”
******
Today is the 312th day of the eighth year of Jonas Burgos’ disappearance.
I dread to think of how many more years it will take before Jonas’ disappearance is finally resolved. Or, for that matter, the items in the Reminders above. It is beginning to look like it will not be during Noynoy’s daang matuwid watch.
******
From an internet friend:
Mark spent a year in an asylum, thinking he was a mouse. After intensive therapy, he was released. 10 minutes later he appears back inside as if all hell broke loose.
“What happened to you??” Asked his surprised doctor.
“There’s a cat outside!” screams Mark.
“But Mark, I thought you got better! You know you’re not a mouse!” cried the doctor.
“I do!” exclaims Mark, “but he doesn’t know that!”
******
10 March 2015
Email: roacrosshairs@outlook.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/reynaldo.arcilla.9847

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