Friday, September 19, 2014

THE SUPREME COURT OF THE PHILIPPINES



Again and again, in so may words, in various occasions and in different ways, the head of the Executive Department expressly and clearly signified his disdain if not downright disgust for the Supreme Court after this declared his DAP novelty as downright unconstitutional. Among other things, his supposedly expert right hands did not even know what “savings” meant. And among other things as well, Impeachment Cases were launched against him for Culpable Violation of the Constitution plus the Loss of Public Trust.

Result: He displayed his big displeasure. He expressed his earnest disgust. He castigated the Supreme Court for having dared not only to question but also for having pronounced unlawful even his very own novel Pork Barrel. He wants revenge. He threatened the Supreme Court one way or another. But the Supreme Court said its piece and stood its ground – proclaiming in one way or another that the judicial institution was not under the caprice, much less under the command of the Executive Department.

It is wherefore not altogether vain nor futile to cite but three signal provisions in the Philippine Constitution on the power and autonomy of the Supreme Court plus the required personal qualifications of every Member thereof:

Art. 1, Section 1: The judicial power shall be vested in the Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law.”

The highest authority in the land to render judgment on issues such as precisely on the matter of constitutional questions is none other than the Supreme Court – and definitely not the Executive Department, no matter how supposedly wise and brilliant is the latter's Chief-in-Command.

Art. 1, Section 3: The judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Appropriations for the judiciary may not be reduced by the legislative below the amount appropriated for the previous year and, after approval, shall be automatically and regularly released.”

The Supreme Court has and enjoys fiscal autonomy once it is given its appropriation by the Legislative Department such that the Executive Department - not even any of its favorite and feared financial agency – may meddle therein to subjugate the independence and agenda of the Court.

Art. 1, Section 7: (1)...A member of the Supreme Court must be at least forty years of age, and must have been for fifteen years or more, a judge of a lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the Philippines.”

But then, the following is one of the key requirements to enable a Filipino to become the President of the Republic of the Philippines: “Able to read and write.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

“STOP TRUTH DECAY”

This is about a some two-inch round shaped pin with the above-cited words very clearly written thereon in white with an all blue background. The pin appears to be well received not only as something funny but also as sending a rather serious message – specially so during these detestable, lamentable and desperate times: Detestable because of the flagrant deceit and treachery practiced as a matter of fact from top to bottom of the government. Lamentable because of the poverty and misery plaguing the big majority of Filipinos. Desperate because more and more citizens from all walks of life are becoming more and more disgusted and hopeless with the present national leadership with its ever faithful and wherefore most beloved allies.

The clear and open call to “Stop Truth Decay” that at first sight may bring amusement and smile among those who see the pin, cannot slowly but surely proclaim what is basically wrong in the Country – courtesy of an incompetent supreme leadership that is admirable in declamations but pitiful in accomplishments, that is an expert in speaking in Cloud 9 but disabled in working on ground reality. Some of the more concrete manifestations that truth is decayed and continues to decay in the Philippines are the following more concrete and evident indicators:

The nonchalant incarnation of numerous and big graft and corrupt practices in the exercise of supposedly public offices supposedly for public welfare.

The sick and sickening quasi-infinite importance and relevance given to political considerations over and above what is just, proper and right.

The fanatic demand, relentless collection of all kinds of taxes from birth to death, from the rich and poor alike, for buying luxury and necessary goods.

The standard economic reality of the rich getting richer and the poor becoming poorer for the gross management of national resources.

The quasi-eternity in the process of even hideous crimes, some of which in fact ultimately land in limbo such as in terms of forgetting them altogether.

The proliferation of crimes without punishment, the big and numerous deals on prohibited drugs, the open practice of adult and children prostitution.

The fear and apprehension generated by the appearance of police authorities instead of the feeling of security felt by people with their presence.

People of the Philippines: Stop truth decay – please!

Monday, September 15, 2014

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10641 - AN ACT ALLOWING THE FULL ENTRY OF FOREIGN BANKS IN THE PHILIPPINES, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT 7721

Section 1. Section 2 of Republic Act No. 7721 is hereby amended to read as follows:

Sec. 2. Modes of Entry. - The Monetary Board may authorize foreign banks to operate in the Philippine Banking System through any one of the following modes of entry: (i) by acquiring, purchasing or owning up to one hundred percent (100%) of the voting stock of an existing bank; (ii) by investing up to one hundred percent of the voting stock of a new banking subsidiary incorporated under the laws of the Philippines, or (iii) by establishing branches with full banking authority.

Thus reads and provides a newly-drawn and approved economic provision in conjunction with the banking system in this Country – a provision which in effect openly admits and officially affirms the following pitiful economic realities in the Philippines, notwithstanding all interesting elocutions and rhetorical counterclaims of the present administration.

a. The bluntly and formally admitted sad but standing reality of bankruptcy in the Country such that foreigners are now allowed and even enticed to own no less than 100% of any or even all local banks in the Philippines.

b. The consequent right of the said foreigners owning 100% of such local banks to fully manage – buy, sell, trade – the latter's investment in the mineral resources of the Country, the power industry in particular.

c. The invitation to foreign capital to establish and own as many foreign banks in the Country as they want, with likewise 100% foreign ownership and wherefore equally 100% foreign management.

Question: What will still be amended in the economic provisions of the Philippine Constitution?

Question: Who will ultimately manage business in the Philippines, minerals and power well-included?

Question: What else will the present administration alienate to foreigners within less that two years – if not more six years?

Friday, September 12, 2014

SUICIDE

Interesting! More and more modern dictionaries do not even have the word “suicide” mentioned therein in order to somehow define or describe what it really means. More. Strange but true, even updated books on Psychiatry neither carry the term “suicide” in order to analyze the phenomenon, to proffer its cause and the like. But truth to say, suicides here and there are still taking place in the Country – more often than before. And the media outlets, big and small, carry the news. In fact, radio and TV interviews are taking place usually about the reasons for suicide.

But the truth of the matter is that even common people know what is suicide, how it is done, and even why someone does it. And those who commit suicides are counted among the old and the young, men and women, for reasons that are usually known to others – such as their relatives and friends. Yet, even but to speak of suicide is somehow already uncanny and scary as well because it is altogether against the day-to-day life of ordinary individuals. That is why rightly said, those who commit suicide are neither victims – nor culprits really.

By the way, the well-known Commandment You shall not kill.” is absolute – with no exception at all, killing oneself included. Just as no one may kill others, neither is anyone allowed to kill himself or herself. In fact, one of the most common, understandable and even automatic act of people is to protect their lives and limbs – as a matter of course. So it is that people instinctively cover their heads when something is falling, run away when danger is perceived, hide themselves in the event of gun fires – and the like.

The detestable and even horrible act of taking one's own life is an expression of a total loss of the will to continue living on account of an extreme depression that brings about despair which is the utter loss of hope from everybody – God included! So it is that the one and only perceived solution that presents itself then and there, is suicide to end all suffering, hurts and pains, to do away with this and that big, personal hurt, misfortune and/or shame. This is why in the mind of some people, suicide is downright cowardice, which is not only false but also mean to the victim.

The truth is, rather than an act of pride or malice, suicide is usually understood as some kind of psychological malfunction – on account of unusual and severe affective pain and/or distinct psychological disorientation – whereby someone “runs away from life” that is then deemed unbearable to live and useless to suffer for. Translation: Despondency. Depression. Hopelessness.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

“CONDITIONAL CASH TRANSFER” [translation: LIMOS]

     A novel way of making the poor as downright mendicants or beggars, a creative way of the administration playing Santa Claus by generously giving away public funds to its chosen private recipients, an ultimately ingenious means of buying political patronage specially at the supposed advent of elections – all these and other indefensible factors are behind the so-called CCT funded by a truly generous capital of 108.881 billion for 2015! This dubious invention – though at first perceived as love incarnate and care unlimited by the present administration through the now likewise dubious DSWD – actually raises more and more reasonable questions in all sincerity and candor.

     Following then are some of the more relevant and serious questions asked and heard behind the allegedly brilliant yet actually dubious idea of freely giving away public funds to supposedly poor families: In the first place, why is a family poor – because of indolence, due to vice, on account of irresponsibility? How poor should a family be in order to receive CCT? How regularly really do the poor families get their CCT? Who says or determines that a family is really poor and why? How long may a family remain poor in order to continue receiving the CCT? How sure is it that every poor family really gets the whole CCT amount although all the required receipts are signed? Who is really watching if the recipient is actually and faithfully living up to the conditions required by the Cash Transfer? How long may a family remain poor, all month after month Cash Transfers notwithstanding? When the present government is gone, will CCT vanish therewith?

     There are more and more poor people in the Country – notwithstanding all claims and allegations of Malacañang to the contrary. The poor have the need and the right to get financial help from Malacañang that in effect has the “Power of the Purse” and that in truth also aims at holding the “Power of the Pen”. But there must be a much better way of helping the poor instead of giving dole-outs or mere limos to them. Not all poor people are beggars – all contrary ideas and demeaning perceptions of Malacañang to the contrary notwithstanding.

     There are basic Livelihood Programs which are rather easy to teach, to learn and to put up. There are little Cooperative Ventures that are not difficult to study and operate. There are modest Manufacturing Enterprises that need but practical knowledge and skills. This is but converting the limos into trabaho, thus making the poor regain their legitimate dignity and pride.

     Is this too hard to understand?