For Dec. 21, 2011
Good Morning Philippines
ON SECOND THOUGHT
Not too long ago, it was Malacanang’s position that “the Motion for Reconsideration (MR) is part of the process and the process requires us the opportunity to be heard,” to quote from the official statement of the Palace. This was with regard the case of GMA seeking relief from a “Watch List” order that her lawyers claimed to be illegal resulting in the SC issuing a TRO that would have paved the way for GMA to travel. We know what happened next: the TRO was disobeyed and GMA was barred from leaving. Lacierda opined that because they had filed a Motion for Reconsideration, the Supreme Court should have first heard their side before issuing the TRO. What the Palace is now doing is disregarding the Motion for Reconsideration filed with the SC on its’ decision to lift the TRO allowing the appointments of OIC’s in ARMM. This time, it is the Palace disregarding an MR filed with the court even if a decision on the MR has yet to be made or as Lacierda said then, “procedural law” must be followed. Obviously, the Palace decides when and when not to follow “procedural law,” in contradiction of itself. We now have a situation where the Palace has all but taken over the duties and function of the Supreme Court as provided for in the Constitution leaving the Supreme Court inutile. We are in the “eye of a Constitutional Crisis storm.” And we have the amateurs calling the shots. A little knowledge can, indeed, be dangerous.
In the coming impeachment trial, there will be two competing schools of thought to try and gain support from the public, which in turn is supposed to influence the Senators, particularly, the re-electionists. The first is the administration’s line that the battle between PNoy and Corona is about the decisions of the Supreme Court that have favored GMA to the detriment of PNoy’s crusade against corruption, and accountability.
The opposing opinion is that the “battle” is actually in retaliation against the Supreme Court’s decision ordering the distribution of Hacienda Luisita land to the tenant farmers; also, the anticipated ruling on how much will be paid out (“just compensation”) to the family of PNoy for the 5,000 hectare property which could be anywhere from zero to P300M, to P6B, to P12B or more depending on how “friendly” the court is but definitely friendlier with an ousted Corona. The amount is compelling enough for anyone to try and secure the much bigger amount for one’s family, whether one is President or not.
Of course, the “PR spins” will obfuscate these two plausible and most likely reasons and will replace them with loftier issues like “separation of power,” “constitutional mandates,” “court independence,” “dictatorial tendencies,” and other empty platitudes both sides are able to muster. The real reasons are more mundane if not scandalous than what we will be hearing from Malacanang and from the Senator judges, none of whom are expected to vote according to the merits and evidences brought forward by the prosecutors and the defense. This is a political exercise even if we will be hearing from the politicians that it is not. In truth, things are usually the opposite of what politicians say they are anyway. With that, life goes on…