“Word of Honour”
The Supreme Court has decided on RA No. 10153 declaring it constitutional after several petitions were filed questioning its’ constitutionality. This is the law to synchronize the ARMM elections together with the 2013 elections in the rest of the country. It was a priority bill of the Palace so we assume they are pleased with the results. This law also allows for the President to appoint OIC’s to serve from now until the elections in May of 2013. The reason for Malacanang’s sponsorship of this law is ostensibly to pursue an intensive development program in one of the poorest regions of the country and it is the President’s stated belief that they can only do this if they are given a free hand to choose who to implement it by handpicking the “right” people for the job. Let’s hope they are right for the sake of the people of ARMM who have just been deprived of electing their own officials. There is plenty of bitterness among them because, ironically, their region operates under a special charter giving them autonomy enshrined in the Constitution yet it is the only local government that will be run by officials appointed by the President.
Another Wikileaks cable has been published, this time about Ambassador Kristie Kenney’s assessment of then Presidential candidate Gilbert Teodoro. She described him as having “many positive attributes, including an impressive intellect, an excellent grasp of policy and strong public speaking skills.” Her assessment then of the now President Aquino was of “a diffident, unassertive man continuing a political tradition handed on by his parents but not carving his own legacy.” This caused a furor among the minions of the President including his Foreign Secretary who publicly decried Ambassador Kenney as “a dismal failure in helping the Filipinos defend our democracy.” The assumption that it was the US Ambassador’s job to defend our democracy was as strange as how she supposedly failed in defending it. Her description of “Gibo” many, if not all, will agree with and see as “spot on.” On the other hand, her opinion of PNoy has been seen by not a few as already “being kind” on her part.
There’s been speculation on whether there was a “secret” agreement between President Aquino and the Marcoses on what PNoy would finally decide on regarding the remains of the late President Marcos’ burial at the LNMB. What we know from reliable sources is the “secret agreement” was pretty much what VP Binay had recommended in his report to the President. The recommendation had a built-in opposition “group,” no longer anywhere as large as even just a decade ago, composed of the ardent Marcos haters, the usual leftists, oligarchs and their dependents, and a smattering of individuals with their own personal grudges. Added to that were those that did not want to see the Vice-President gain more popularity than he already had and that could include the “Balay” faction and their following. Still, Binay’s own survey showed 2/3 of the population in favor of full military honors at the LNMB. “Secret agreement” or none, the “one word” (word of honor) Senator “Bongbong” Marcos mentioned as absent in PNoy’s character traits could very well be in calling the people his “boss” because 2/3 of the population plus 2/3 of their representatives in the Lower House were not allowed to have their way and those numbers certainly constitute “the people” or the “boss” given that there is no one thing anyone can get a hundred percent of the population to agree on. Even PNoy’s ascendancy to the Presidency was thanks to less than 2/3 of the votes. Who really is the “boss?”