Tuesday, February 17, 2009


The anniversary of EDSA 1 is just around the corner. I wonder if our revolutionary hero Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile will be attending this time since he is now more identified with the present administration. Oh well, such is politics. Again, I expect the anniversary rites to be attended by people who were never really part of that popular uprising 23 years ago. People like ... well, you know who they are. You'll see them again grandstanding in a few days. With memories of EDSA 1, one cannot really brush aside its 'political progeny,' EDSA 2. It was in essence a conspiracy between then Vice-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her cohorts, Gen. Angelo Reyes and party, and of course the tainted Hilario Davide Jr., then Supreme Court Chief Justice. And of course too, how can one ever forget the politically motivated and biased Makati Business Club then with the likes of Jose 'JoeCon' Concepcion and his equally-biased Namfrel, and Filipino-Canadian Guillermo 'Bill' Luz. And some things never change. Take this classic case for example: Some months ago, the Makati Business Club showed extreme concern with the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Romulo Neri versus the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations, et al. (G.R. No. 180643). Its decision has given a greater value to executive privilege than to the more important matter which is simply that of the public's right to know, which therefore such progressive standards of transparency must at all times be practiced. In addition, it gives the effect of restricting the ability of the legislature to act as a countervailing force against executive abuse.

While all due respect to the Supreme Court must be shown, as we must at all times respect the rule of law, we certainly hope that this is not the final word on the matter at hand. The Senate now under the leadership of Juan Ponce Enrile must challenge that decision as it is in their best interest, and that of the Filipino people. And since the vote was NOT a resounding mandate in favor of executive privilege, the citizenry trusts that the justices would thereby consider society's (not "civil society," please) need for a greater transparency, and thus give more "punch" in future deliberations in favor of the right to public information.

Henceforth, the Makati Business Club has its only self to blame for the violation of the rule of law in the level of the Supreme Court. The MBC never complained or threw tantrums when the Supreme Court installed Gloria Arroyo in substitution of Joseph Estrada. That was an unconstitutional act on the part of the Supreme Court because clearly, Erap was NEVER convicted in the impeachment case filed against him. Under our constitution, a duly-elected (and sitting) president may be removed only after conviction in an impeachment proceeding before the Senate. The MBC did not complain (and throw tantrums) then. It never liked Erap's "uncouth" style of running the government. And so, it went along with the Supreme Court in the UNCONSTITUTIONAL removal of Estrada. Obviously, Gloria has learned much from this trick, that's why she has filled the SC with her personal appointees who now invariably decide in her favor regardless or in spite of constitutional provisions to the contrary.

Executive privilege does not exist under our constitution. It is CONTRARY to public accountability. It constitutes official secrecy which is against public policy of transparency in government transactions. The MBC, after tolerating the SC violation of the rule of law in the unconstitutional removal of Estrada has only its self, along with the other "rah-rah boys" and spin-doctors of EDSA 2, to blame for the PRECEDENTED and CONTINUING violation of the rule of law in our exploited nation, thanks to its "squatters in government." The MBC, along with several others, for the sins they have committed against the 1987 Constitution, shall from thereon remain accountable to the Filipino people. Let our historians write about these characters on our next-generation history books for all to read and to know the conspiracy that was EDSA 2.

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