Friday, February 29, 2008

Bonus Day

Friends tell me I have been abroad too long, to expect Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez to save the day. The most cynical among them tell me everyone ends up becoming a Marcos. This is what power does.

35 years ago, Gonzalez was a young lawyer from Iloilo who was very active in fighting the dictatorship. At about that time, President Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire the top lawyer investigating the Watergate scandal, Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson refused the order and resigned. Nixon then asked Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to carry out the order but Ruckelshaus also refused and quit. Nixon finally got Solicitor General Robert Bork to obey his order in what is now commonly referred to as the Saturday Night Massacre.

Today, the Department of Justice was snubbed by witnesses it summoned to its inquiry on the national broadband network scandal Deputy executive secretary Manuel Gaite and Erwin Santos, officer-in-charge of the Philippine Forest Corp., did not appear at the hearing. Santos had promised to attend at 8:30 a.m. but at 9:40 a.m. he sent a text message to Justice Undersecretary Ernesto Pineda’s secretary stating "I cannot attend panel hearing today. I have priority meeting with investors today, thanks".

Pineda personally spoke to both Gaite and Santos and got their assurances that they would be attending the hearings. Pineda said he was considering to ask Raul Gonzalez to request for an executive order that will grant them “coercive powers.”

"We want to know if it is possible for us to be equipped with coercive powers like the Senate to summon witnesses and documents…or at least to compel attendance," Pineda said.

This might be a beginning. On this bonus February day, for these public servants to do their job, fulfill their responsibilities to search for the truth and enforce justice.


marian said...

let's see what happens next week

Anonymous said...

Just curious: have you been REALLY following Philippine news for the past few years? It seems you're idea of Justice Sec. Gonzalez is still that of an honorable man, as you say he was during the Marcos years. I implore to read up more about him, esp. his stint a current Justice Secretary.

And, beginning of what? More lies and cover-ups? How mant times do we have to be duped and taken for fools before we get fed up? As the saying goes, "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." But fool me a hundred times and I'd still give you the benefit of the doubt? That's not being hopeful, that's just being stupid.

Final note: you're expecting for the crisis to be resolved just through some divine miracle? And what, in the meantime, we just wait and do nothing? Sabi nga, nasa Dyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.

pian said...

It’s good that you’re angry with this corruption issue. I also want to eradicate this plague, but minimizing the risk. I want to legitimize our system, that only those who are capable but unknown will be elected in public office. The big problem now is that, in the event she’s ousted, the VP who was voted simply because he’s popular with the masses, will take over. I don’t want to take that chance.
So these Ang Kapatiran candidates didn’t stand a chance in the last elections, although they may be capable, they are so unknown.

pian said...

Below is a transcript of a supposedly wiretapped conversation between Joey and Jun I got from a website. Judge for yourself if Jun Lozada is indeed deserving to be treated a hero, but of course after ascertaining if this is genuine.
usapang udifuta
TRACK 3...

Joey (allegedly, Joey de Venecia): Hey Jun.
Jun (allegedly, Jun Lozada): Hey Joey.
Joey: Jun, can you hear me?
Jun: Yeah. Go ahead.
Joey: Yeah, where are you to put Chair (Abalos)?
Jun: Ang formula ko doon is kuha ako ng points dun sa 130.
Joey: Uh-huh…
Jun: Di ba? Kasi saan ko pa kukunin di ba? (laughs) Itong mga …
Joey: Kaya lang pare, we need to get some… at least from… something from them, di ba?
Jun: Yeah.. from both sides. P*t@ng!na…
Joey: Pare.. start from the thing.. Because he’s the gatekeeper of the votes. P*ta. I can understand, but not that amount.
Jun: Oh yeah. that’s too big, right. That’s too big.
Joey: Pare, let’s develop a plan to talk to him.
Jun: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So…
Joey: And you know what he told me, between you and I. When we were in Hong Kong… in Shenzen. Don’t quote me ha. Sabi niya kasi, marami akong…... Tinanong ko bakit ba ang laki-laki? Singkwenta.. Sabi niya marami ako kelangan bigyan. Pati yung NEDA. He said the word NEDA ha. P*t@ngina. For your information pare.
Jun: Information? I would understand that… He’d like to look at…
Joey: Maybe, wait, you can quote me and say, sabi ni Joey meron daw… sabi mo sa kanya may NEDA dun. (laughs) Di ba? He told me pare. (laughs)
Jun: Sige, sige…
Joey: P*t@ng!na, baka magwala na naman yung… (laughs)
Jun: For some reason, I have this chemistry with him. Sabi ko Chair… In fact, sabi niya, Jun, ikaw na mag-referee bukas ha. Sabi niya, I want you to be there. Ikaw na mag-referee, ikaw na magsabi kung papaano. Sige po Sir, ako na ang mag-aano sa ano… (laughs)
Joey: Well anyway, so that’s where I’m looking at right now. .. ought to get you.. And then, uh, think of a strategy for Ben (Abalos?), and if you need me to back you up, I’ll be there.
Jun: Hey Joey, regarding this Chinese embassy thing. I think I struck a motherload no? I’ll put them in Roxas Boulevard. P*t@ng!na, di ba?
Joey: In the Reformation? (Reclamation)
Jun: No, p*t@ng!na, that’s not prime. We’ll put them in the CCP complex.
Joey: Yup, got it.
Jun: P*t@ng!na. Yeah, that’s, wala.. I can ??? that ??? agreement. (I can swing that gddam deal pare)
Joey: You mean, owned by the Central Bank?
Jun: Yeah! Can you imagine? P*t@ng!na, same stature as the American embassy, better pa, di ba? The Japanese Embassy is in Roxas Boulevard. The American embassy is there. So p*ta, I just arrived that we put the Chinese embassy right in the midst of it all, di ba? Joey: Yes, yes, of course. That’s ??? to hear. That’s foresight. (That’s perfect)
Jun: … don’t mention my name. I think he knows me well.
Joey: Gaano kalaki, pare?
Jun: P*t@ng!na, as much as 15 hectares. (laughs)
Joey: P*t@ng!na. Tapos siguro kumuha rin tayo dun. Pero we need 10 finances. (10 financers)
Jun: No, no, no, no. P*t@ng!na. I cannot just tell you all the things that I’ve been asked to do. But that one I think, I can ??? for ourselves.
Joey: I’ll talk to the…
Jun: Talk to him right away.

Anonymous said...

Pian, what's your point? Lozada has admitted he was also a bad guy. That does not mean that now he has no credibility. I agree that he is not a hero, but that is not what is important. It is if he is credible. By smearing him, reminding us that he is no hero, subconsciously suggests that he is not credible, protecting the people that he is attacking. Now why would you want to do that?

pian said...

Because he makes himself appear to be a saint to everyone when he’s not. He keeps on presenting himself guided by holy people, and this gives an illusion he’s a saint. Though he admitted his own transgressions, people wouldn’t know the extent of his being. This transcript only shows the kind of person he is. You don’t expect him to change overnight.
The point I’m making is clearly he’s being used by the opposition senators for the next election. Maybe Lozada’s eyeing for the Senate. He’s using his newfound popularity maybe for that.
The Senators don’t sincerely want to eradicate corruption but simply to gain popularity so they will capture the admiration of the masses. The Senate investigation is supposedly meant to be in aid-of-legislation. They should have brought this to the proper forum, which is the court. They should’ve cleaned up their own backyard first. But no, it’s clear to me they’re simply playing politics here.
I know corruption is prevalent in this government. It’s not that I don’t want to eradicate the plague. I really do. But I want to minimize the risk first and protect the country. If GM A is ousted, the VP will take over, and he was voted simply because he’s popular with the masses, and not because of his ability to run the country. It’s simply too risky for me. I always look at other Asian countries which are also corrupt, if not more corrupt, but with high growth rates which attract foreign investors, like China and Vietnam.

Anonymous said...

To Pian (btw, I'm the first "anonymous" here [2nd comment], but not the second anonymous [5th comment])

You say Lozada "makes himself appear to be a saint" yet you concede that "he admitted his own transgressions." Uhm, isn't that somewhat contradictory? Anyway, Lozada never portrayed himself as a blameless person from the start.

Now about VP de Castro, if he was legitimately elected (unlike GMA), then that's that, he's the constitutional successor. That's democracy for you. The people choose their leaders. And besides, we don't know that he can't run the country. We all know that all presidents have advisers anyway. But what we do know is that GMA is massively corrupt and is full of brazen lies, and won't think much about breaking the law and compromising institutions to cover-up her crimes, evade accountability, and subdue legitimate dissent. She has proven that time and again.

pian said...

Lozada did admit his transgressions from the start. But like I’ve said, we didn’t know the extent of his character. And he keeps on portraying himself as a saintly person by surrounding himself with holy people, it’s like saying he’s a changed man. We all know people don’t change overnight.
About the VP taking over in case GMA’s ousted, he didn’t prove himself why he deserved the position in the first place. We all knew he became VP simply because he’s popular with the masses. What you said about him would only be your opinion, without any basis by proving himself. That’s just too risky for me. I want to minimize the risk first since I care so much for the country. It’s the only one we have. Not that I don’t want to eradicate corruption.
He may have advisers, but he should know what he’s doing, otherwise his advisers may already be playing tricks on him.