“It’s the Economy Stupid!”


For Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Good Morning Philippines
ON SECOND THOUGHT

This is a country that recognizes free speech as a basic right and one that is enshrined in our Constitution. From the beggar in the street to the President of the Republic, we are allowed to speak our minds freely. But in the case of the President, there are certain protocols that must be followed to maintain the dignity of the office. What P-Noy did by way of his harshly critical speech in the 1st National Criminal Justice Summit last Monday was uncalled for. His tirade against Chief Justice Renato Corona was discourteous to say the least. P-Noy, a non-lawyer, speaking in front of Justices and Judges, harangued them about law, the correct interpretation of the law, and basically told them that the Supreme Court has not been objective and has been partisan in their decisions and beholden to the one that appointed them. Now, to use a sixties expression, that’s “heavy!” Two questions quickly come to mind: 1) Are the P-Noy Supreme Court Justice appointees also biased in favor of P-Noy and if not, what makes them more special and capable of impartiality than the GMA appointees? 2) Would it be proper for the Supreme Court Justices to go around town criticizing the economic policies of P-Noy in light of economic indicators showing a poor performance in the last 4 quarters and asking for his resignation? And as an added final question: amidst this battle royale, who’s minding the store? Last time I looked, it was still the same phrase that had the most import: “it’s the economy stupid!”

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The PNP looks like its trying to finally get its act together in the wake of the scandalous helicopter bidding during GMA’s time where the specs, the price, and the entire bidding process was “pre-baked” and totally opaque to favor a single supplier. Now comes a bidding for twelve thousand five hundred pieces of 9mm caliber pistols as part of its modernization and Capability Enhancement Program (CEP), something that seems long over-due. It’s also supposed to partially fill the estimated 40% deficit in firearms of its uniformed personnel and equally important, to standardize their guns. Its amazing how what’s supposed to be elementary and common sense – that they carry the same kind of pistol — is only now being addressed. Quoting from the publicized statement of Usec. Rico E. Puno of the DILG, “Not only was the bidding process followed strictly, but we also made sure that the specifications and acceptance parameters were constantly monitored and transparent throughout the bidding process, thereby ensuring that the best price, quality and performance to be the only basis in the acquisition of the Philippine National Police’s official-issued pistols.” We’re pretty sure Mr. Puno knows what he’s talking about as competition shooters here in the Philippines are a relatively small club and as far as his reputation goes among them, they will attest that he should know what he’s doing. This is one time we can be glad that the person overseeing this important aspect of the PNP’s Capability Enhancement Program is a “member” of P-Noy’s KKK. We wish them success and hope they do not forget other more basic aspects in their training starting with physical fitness.

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