Sereno ousted

 

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Surprised?

Well, not really, if you ask me.

Ever since former president Benigno Aquino appointed Maria Lourdes Sereno as replacement for the ousted late Chief Justice (CJ) of the Supreme Court (SC) Renato Corona in 2012 for undeclared wealth, there was no denying that the writing on the wall was likewise ominous for her.

The fact that Sereno leapt over her more senior peers of associate justices was unfair enough, but it was even deemed more unthinkable that Sereno, then 52, was expected to stay in her post until reaching the mandatory retirement age in 2030. It is no secret that it is the dream of every associate justice who have aged and gone this far to head the SC one time or another before retiring.

Perhaps this is the reason why Sereno was joined by only five associate justices at her first flag-raising ceremony.  Local media viewed the absence of her eight other colleagues as a snub, and confirmation that she leads a divided court.

Divided court indeed, for at the crucial time when Sereno needed her associate justice’s support, eight (8) turned their back and left her to fall in disgrace.

This is what the writing on the wall was all about, so to speak. For one reason or for many reasons, for as long as it not only pleases the ears of those who dislike Sereno, but has found justifiable reason for her to be removed, then the mechanism for her ouster could immediately be initiated.

It all started last March when the House of Representatives’ justice committee voted on the impeachment complaint against CJ Sereno filed by lawyer Larry Gadon. During these times, Solicitor General Jose Calida also filed the quo warranto petition citing Sereno’s failure to submit the required statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth when she was applying for the Chief Justice position.

What happened is that the SC en banc granted the quo warranto petition that questioned the validity of Sereno’s appointment and, voting 8-6, ousted her.

The decision is expected to be immediately executory, pending the filing of a motion for reconsideration by Sereno.

Not a lawyer, I wanted to educate myself on what ‘quo warranto’ is all about and if it has all the legal basis in ousting an impeachable official like Sereno.

This is what I learned, and gladly sharing it with you, after I visited this site: https://oag.ca.gov/opinions/quo-warranto.

Quo warranto is a special form of legal action used to resolve a dispute over whether a specific person has the legal right to hold the public office that he or she occupies.

Quo warranto is used to test a person’s legal right to hold an office, not to evaluate the person’s performance in the office. For example, a quo warranto action may be brought to determine whether a public official satisfies a requirement that he or she resides in the district; or whether a public official is serving in two incompatible offices.

Quo warranto is not available to decide whether an official has committed misconduct in office. A person who commits misconduct in a public office may be penalized or even removed from office, but quo warranto is not the proper forum for those cases. Other processes are available for that purpose.

The term “quo warranto” (pronounced both kwoh wuh-rahn-toh, and kwoh wahr-un-toh) is Latin for “by what authority”—as in, “by what authority does this person hold this office?” The term “quo warranto” is still used today, even though the phrase no longer appears in the statutes.

Quo warranto originated in English common law as a process initiated by the crown to find out whether a person was legitimately exercising a privilege or office granted by the crown, or whether the person was instead intruding into a royal prerogative.

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Cambridge Analytica a non-factor in electing Duterte president

Long before Cambridge Analytica, a British political data firm, got embroiled in controversy of scandalous proportion when it was alleged to have secretly and inappropriately made a Facebook data breach and harvested personal contents from some 87 million users, including, it said, over a million in the Philippines, to influence the country’s 2016 presidential election result, the way it is said to have catapulted America’s Donald Trump to the presidency, the majority of the Filipino people by then had already decided that, for a change, they will no longer be voting for a traditional politician.

It was no surprise therefore that when then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte finally declared his candidacy for president, the Filipinos went crazy rooting for him. Their prayers were answered. They now had an out-of-the-box candidate, a no-nonsense one at that, whose track record in governance is something most politicians should be envious about, but whose heart really beats for the Filipino people and whose dream is to make the whole country a livable place, in the same manner Duterte made Davao City a comfortable place for the Davaoeños.

Senator Antonio Trillanes and President Rodrigo Duterte

The reason why I am saying that Cambridge Analytica has nothing to do at all with Duterte being elected president stems from the fact that opposition senator and known Duterte basher, Antonio Trillanes, has been reported to be filing a resolution calling for a Senate probe into the role of Cambridge Analytica in the 2016 presidential elections, the same way the British firm is being accused now of capturing Facebook users’ data to corrupt the minds of the Americans into making the controversy-laden Donald Trump their president during the 2016 US presidential election.

The reality is that it was the intense hunger of Filipinos for a fearless and selfless down-to-earth Filipino leader with political will that made Duterte an overwhelming choice for the presidency.

The majority of poor voters who gave Duterte a margin of 6 million votes over his closest rival are proof enough that Cambridge Analytica was a non-factor, for they were not relishing in having a Facebook account.

Thus, I find Trillanes’ move for a Senate probe a mere grandstanding and purely nothing but a witch-hunt.

For not finding anymore culpability to spew barbs at Duterte, the way the latter continues to get support, trust and high approval ratings in his performance as president, Trillanes somehow thought he has found a bomb to be used against Duterte in the Cambridge Analytica controversy.

Soon Trillanes will come to realize that the bomb is a dud after all!

Dog cyst pictured like Trump

 

I do not know if this is fake news, but I sure found this under a weird news column and like any weird news item this is simply incredible and worth sharing.

A beagle dog in Tyneside, England was said to be persevering a growth, a cyst, if you may, in his ear.

Will, this may be normal for a  beagle since its extraordinary long ears almost always touches the ground when sniffing for something and in the process picks up a lot of dirt.

Jade Robinson said her two-year-old beagle, Chief, developed the cyst after dirt got in his ears.

Robinson said that while she tries to keep Chief’s ears clean on a daily basis, she admitted she can only do so much and noticed the infection growing from bad to worse.

Finally she decided to take a picture of the growing cyst to show to the vet, but not before a friend saw it and commented that what made the infection more seemingly painful to the dog was that the cyst resembled the image of Donald Trump, the 45th president of the USA!

You just have to use your imagination and picture it out yourself and you will see the resemblance.

It was said that Chief needed to be sedated so that vets can figure out the severity of his ear problem. The initial cost is the equivalent of about $590 ― more than Robinson could afford ― so she was hoping to raise the money via a crowd funding campaign that has the words “get Trump out of Chief’s ear” cleverly embedded in the URL.

Maybe not surprisingly, but generally, Chief got a lot of support from people who sympathize with him, and aren’t fans of the man the cyst resembled and donated with the accompanying comments like:

  • “Hope this helps Chief to rid himself of any nonsense creeping into his lughole. Could you even imagine how annoying it would be to have that fool in your ear?!?”
  • “I would donate far more for a vet to deal with the real Donald Trump!”
  • “Poor Chief. No one should have to put up with Trump in their ear! Here’s to a speedy recovery.”
  • “We here in America would all like to see Donald Trump surgically removed-The least we can do is help out Chief!”

Now, talking about how unpopular and despised Trump is!

Trillanes and Tatad on Duterte

 

Sen. Antonio Trillanes (l) and former Sen. Francisco Tatad.

I am talking of course about an incumbent senator in the person of Antonio Trillanes and a former senator represented by Francisco Tatad.

While Tatad is a bona fide ‘has been’ politician, his attitude and glaring antipathy towards President Rodrigo Duterte is no different than those of the pompous and boastful Trillanes.

Indeed both Trillanes and Tatad are peas in a pod and what makes them even more alike is the way they are perceived to be lacking in attention.

Obviously and fortunately the Filipino people are noticing the similarity of the two and I am pretty sure that Trillanes will follow the way Tatad has gone.

To this day Tatad continues to exhibit his attention deficit disorder by slamming Duterte with unsubstantiated facts like claiming for instance that the president was absent in the public eye last week because he suffered a mild stroke.

In fact Tatad even went farther, saying, that an emergency Cabinet meeting was held last week to discuss Duterte’s health.

Do you think Duterte would have surfaced just like that and travel and make speeches had he suffered a stroke, even mild at that?

If you will remember this is the same Tatad who wrote in his Manila Times column some time ago saying that Duterte had to fly to China to have his cancer affliction secretly treated.

No wonder Malacañang has chided Tatad for creating nothing but fantasies.

No matter how much noise Tatad makes, the true fact is that he could never resurrect whatever is left of his political ambitions.

As far as Trillanes is concern his own political ambition is on a nose-dive too and this is for the good of the country.

Trillanes’ latest setback is when the renowned BBC, during an interview, debunked his claims that Duterte’s bloody war on drugs, extrajudicial killings and declaration of martial law in Mindanao is ruining the country.

BBC’s ‘Hard Talk’ host Stephen Sakur took exception at Trillanes’ rantings against Duterte’s handling of power when in fact Duterte continues to enjoy a high approval rating among Filipinos.

I could never imagine where this country could have gone had the other presidential aspirant supported by Trillanes and his ilk won instead of Duterte.

Duterte’s administration may have its shortcomings, as Trillanes claim, but the direction and boon the people are expecting in the future far outweighs the bad fortune we had been having in the past.

Like Tatad, I don’t think Trillanes will ever become a political figure again once his term of office as senator is over.

Along with his attention deficit disorder, Trillanes will self-destruct as he is starting to now.

 

Duterte’s war on drugs

I came across this video and found it as the truth more than the negative imputations hurled at President Rodrigo Duterte who has promised to wage a relentless war against those involved in the proliferation, pushing and using of illegal drugs. I am re-posting it for anybody interested to watch it, learn and appreciate what the government is doing for the Philippines and its people.

 

 

The interesting incoming Duterte presidency

 

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte

There is no doubt that like most of us in the country the outside world are also all eyes at the incoming administration of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte with thought-provoking interest.

And for a compelling reason!

Not only is it interesting to note that over 16 million Filipinos gave Duterte the authorization to go ahead with his bold plan of fighting corruption, criminality and drugs, not to mention the resolute idea of changing the existing form of government to federalism in order for peace and stability to be finally realized and sustained all over the archipelago, but more enthralling is the manner by which Duterte was able to win the support of practically all the political parties, including the once formidable Liberal party.

Duterte has not been sworn in to office yet, but it seems that events are unfolding already the way he planned it with the acceptance and endorsement of his programs and policies by government officials, especially the politicians in both houses of congress.

I would like to believe that more than political expediency, political will and the fearless and no-nonsense leadership of Duterte is what entices the people in government to support the president-elect’s advocacies which all redounds to improving lives of Filipinos under a country that will soon get rid of its ills.

With the speakership and the senate presidency tucked in under the belt of Duterte appointees, it will now be easier for Duterte to make things happen faster without much contentious debate that can be frustrating at times.

It is interesting and encouraging to see how the drug menace is being attended to by the police today. Perhaps we are looking at a preview of what to expect when the Duterte administration takes over, but this is just a milder view of it, I suppose.

I can’t wait to see the all out war against corruption, criminality and drugs. Many were skeptical including me that this could be solved within six months, but the way things are going the chances that it could be done is darn good!

Never has an incoming president of the country silenced the Church, but there is now a deafening silence from its high officials.

Never has an incoming president been brutally frank to the media about their faults and disallowed them to cover him even when the ‘honeymoon’ hasn’t started yet.

Never has an incoming president disparaged at high ranking UN personnel who warned him against “inciting violence” after he made his controversial remarks on media killings.

Expect many more of Duterte’s quirks when he assumes office.

This is what makes him totally different from other presidents we had had.

This is what makes him more interesting and intriguing political animal worthy of praise.

 

 

The inconvenient Santiago-Marcos tandem

 

Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago and Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr

Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

I thought Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago was only seriously sick physically with her declared stage four lung cancer, but her recent confirmation that she has chosen Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as her running mate in the 2016 presidential elections make me think that she is also gravely sick mentally.

Having high regard for Miriam’s intellect, her decision comes not only as a surprise, but also defies logic considering who she is, how she is and what the Marcos name means to this country?

I consider Miriam’s choice of Marcos as bothersome, at best and embarrassing, at worst.

There is no doubt that social media has been instrumental in making Miriam go for the presidency. It appears that she was just biding her time until she felt that she has overcome the Big C.

But has she really conquered this dreaded disease afflicting her?

Despite her health dilemma, people, especially the netizens, rejoiced about her entry in the presidential derby thinking and believing that she could make a big difference for the future of the country and its people if she was to be elected its leader.

“If I become president sometime in the very near future, this country will be much better than it was before. Today this country suffers from the malaise of plunder,” she said.

Coming from a politician and public official who certainly means well and adored by the young and idealistic people, how pleasing to the ears Miriam’s statements are!

But is Miriam being gracious and likable still now that she has  chosen the son of the dictator Marcos to be her vice presidential candidate?

Considering her character and her advocacy for honesty, justice and good governance, would Miriam feel privileged and honored to be associated with the Marcoses after what this family has done to the country, especially when the antipathetic Marcos matriarch, Imelda, is still very much around?

Has Miriam failed to see that plunder in this country is very much equated with the Marcoses?

Would social media take this without expressing disgust?

It would have been much better, much sensible and more Miriam-like had the latter just joined the presidential race without a running mate.

As it is, and whether she admits it or not, because of her stage four lung cancer Miriam is seriously putting the future of this country in peril when, sooner or later during her term, God forbids, she suffers a relapse and the reins of government shall be turned over to the son of the dictator.

What a disaster it would be for the country! A presidency in silver platter handed easily to a Marcos.

I can only hope and pray that this political development in Miriam’s career will not prosper for the sake of the country and the Filipino people.