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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Binay’s sinking ambition


By Rod Kapunan 
Part I
The political ambition of Vice President Jejomar Binay is fast sinking.  Like a boxer, Binay appears to duck at every shadow he believes would hurt his presidential ambition.  Binay has become vulnerable to his attackers; he has become too defensive to a point that even if some of the charges against him are baseless, people tend to believe them. It is his overreaction in suppressing them that  betrays him now.   
When Binay rushed to forestall the suspension of his son, Makati mayor Erwin “Jun Jun” Binay, many thought this was understandable because the suspension order issued by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales would have a demoralizing effect on Binay’s political power base where he began his career as mayor and eventually established his dynasty in the post-Marcos era.         
In his  desperation to stop the suspension order, he  went to the Court of Appeals to block the order issued by Ombudsman. He  suspected this was masterminded by  the Liberal Party, cum Aquino administration. Binay managed to stop the proclamation of Vice Mayor Romulo Pena on March 16, 2015, but that did not end there.  It gave rise to a bigger problem for Binay.  In no time, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV hollered in the Senate floor that the justices who issued the order received P20 million each and another P5 million each for the writ of injunction.  The anomalous procedure of the Court of Appeals to issue a TRO to a co-equal body that is specifically prohibited by Section 14 of the Ombudsman Act was capitalized by Trillanes to accuse Binay of bribing Justices Jose Reyes, Jr. and Francisco Acosta of the Sixth Division.
Maybe the camp of Binay will dismiss the charge as political harassment, something that has become a daily menu since he announced to run for the top gun in the coming presidential election.  But even if Trillanes would not be able to come out with a witness to support this claim, many are inclined to believe him. People in this country are tired at seeing how our corrupt politicians, using taxpayers’ money, openly sneer at the law.
People believe Trillanes on the basis that the justices acted with alacrity to wrongly issue the TRO against a co-equal body tasked to ferret out corrupt officials in government.   Whether Mayor Jun Jun Binay will eventually be found guilty or be absolved of the charge, that is beside the point.  The people simply made up their logical deduction there was corruption involved because the TRO was issued to preempt the Ombudsman.  
The expose of Trillanes serves as a reminder that courts cannot  go on punishing people and their lawyers based on that  rather monotonous slogan that “ignorance of  the law excuses no one” or in dismissing cases on the flimsy ground that the hypocritical court in more concerned in upholding the ritualistic procedures than in seeking to render justice  our people could  rarely obtain under the present dispensation.  Mayor Binay and his cohorts were   suspended for six months for the alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall.   The mayor will not be deprived of his day in court; that should the Ombudsman find no prima facie evidence or fail to resolve the complaint within six month, he can get back to his post, and that would be much sweeter for him than in preventing the Ombudsman from doing its duty.
To most observants, it is not the outcome of the charges of corruption hurled by Trillanes against Binay, but of the  bizarre method in  preempting a co-equal and constitutional branch of the government that is specifically mandated to do the job.  In fact, it is now of common knowledge that courts have  recklessly been issuing frivolous TROs for a fat fee, and it has been one of the most profitable legal devices that have long plague our judicial system,  which reason why the Act defining the duties and functions of the  Ombudsman  prohibit in Section 14 courts  from issuing TRO. 
* * * * *
One unsettling fact about the Bangsamoro Basic Law that this lackluster administration is trying to ignore is that it would be able to fulfill its promise of approving the sellout agreement as scheduled.  The PNoy administration is confident, and in fact arrogant, that it would be approved by Congress because of the enormous war chest it has allocated to ensure its approval.  The approval by Congress will be hailed by this pretending to be honest government that the Filipino people favor the BBL, and it was a triumph of peace against the warmongers who continue to propagate war forgetting that 44 of our brave Special Action Force sacrificed their lives to bring about peace in this deeply divided land.
But for all the optimism of PNoy, he is misleading the people that the process will be completed once Congress votes to approve it.  They would not say there is a need to ratify because it in fact is an amended to the Cory-initiated Constitution.  The BBL will directly nullify, if not abrogate, Sections 15 to 19 of Article X of the Constitution.  The Malaysian stooges already manifested their position they will not honor the provisions in the Constitution pertaining to the autonomous regions, but insist that the BBL will supersede  all other provisions pertaining to autonomy. 
The funny thing is that while this pretending-to-be-honest government is shouting on the top of its voice it will oppose any move to revise the opprobrious legacy of his mother, it is silent that the BBL  will undergo the gauntlet of ratification.
Many right-thinking Filipinos see that what lies ahead is a looming war of greater magnitude and dimension.  It poses a dilemma to some who now buy the yellow propaganda of giving peace a chance.  They only way for it to resolve the deadlock to finalize the conflict where peace is brought about by either victory or defeat.  We could only blame our stupid panel  for negotiating from the standpoint  of assuring the secessionist rebels Congress will approve it once the pork barrel is dangled on condition they do a political circus of betraying our people.
rpkapunan@gmail.com

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