Impeachment complaint against Duterte an exercise in futility

 

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano showing his file of impeachment charges against Pres. Duterte.

The writing on the wall clearly points to Sen. Antonio Trillanes as the master mind in Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano’s impeachment complaint filed against Presdent Rodrigo Duterte.

Not only have the duo been together in the infamous Oakwood mutiny in 2003 that was intended to topple down the Arroyo presidency, but the three main charges in the complaint just sounds too familiar that it is simply irrational not to mention Trillanes as the one behind it.

The fact alone that the House has the exclusive power to initiate the impeachment process only shows that Trillanes has used a loyal yes-person in Alejano to file the following charges against Duterte accusing him of:

  • betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution, and other high crimes for his war on drugs which, according to the complaint, the President has used to “induce” policemen into killing alleged drug dealers and users without regard for the law, and making this as basis for their promotion in the police.
  • betrayal of public trust, bribery, graft and corruption, and culpable violation of the Constitution for allegedly creating the Davao Death Squad (DDS) when he was mayor of Davao, citing the testimonies of self-confessed DDS members retired policeman Arturo Lascañas and Edgar Matobato.
  • of graft and corruption and other high crimes for his alleged unexplained wealth and his hiring of contractual employees as mayor. Among the annexes in the complaint are the alleged bank accounts of Duterte and his family.

If these Madalo pair of lawmakers is not grandstanding and ego tripping for their own selfish agenda, I do not know how else to describe it since they know very well that the 1987 Philippine Constitution sets specific grounds for impeachment of the president which are treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes or betrayal of public trust.

What I am saying and asking is: Do this pair of former renegade soldiers have enough solid evidences that would substantiate their allegations/charges so that they could nail Duterte to the cross?

Or are these former comrades in arms solely dependent on what is more commonly used phrase now – the alternative facts – which in reality are false facts or what is bluntly called as lies, especially coming from questionable, if not unreliable, witnesses against Duterte?

I am not even asking if both Trillanes and Alejano have enough followers in the House to muster enough votes to make the case against Duterte prosper.

No wonder Sen. Panfilo Lacson wished them good luck!

But what we should be asking really are:

  • Was there treason, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, and high crime committed by Duterte while still the mayor of Davao City?
  • How does Davao City now compare with other major cities in the country?
  • What does the Commission on Human Rights have to legally uphold Duterte’s human right violation?
  • Wasn’t the reason Duterte won overwhelmingly the presidential race is because the people want the country to be transformed the way he changed Davao city into a safe and livable place?

Thus, I would say that the impeachment complaint against Duterte is nothing but noise and an exercise in futility.

 

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The Enrile-Trillanes clash: From national issue to international shame

Senate President Enrile in heated altercation with Senator Trillanes

The harsh exchanges between Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV showcased to the public the good, the bad and the ugly, not only of the person, but what politics is all about.

What started to be a privilege speech by Trillanes on personal and political issues careened into an embarrassing subject that should have been better kept under wraps than being exposed for the international audience to see the recklessness and folly of our politicians when it comes to matters deserving of utmost confidentiality.

The clash between the two senators of the realm was not a classic battle of the titans, but rather, it was more a war of words between the impulsiveness of youth and the cautiousness of the overly matured; between a neophyte legislator and a veteran parliamentarian; between an amateur politician and a professional one, many times over; between the ambitious and the fulfilled.

At the end Trillanes, the inexperienced, stormed out of the session hall rattled up, after calling the Senate President a bully, while Enrile, the grizzled one, stayed behind, calling at the fading sight of Trillanes a coward.

But, that is going ahead of the story.

The national issue raised by Trillanes that made him call Enrile “a lackey of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA)” is not something new that we haven’t heard before. Trillanes, however, perceives that Enrile is pushing for approval of the controversial bill seeking to divide Camarines Sur province in time for the 2013 elections upon instigation of GMA.

Least we forget, anything that has got to do with GMA and family is anathema to Trillanes. After all, she was the reason for the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and the 2007 standoff at the Manila Peninsula hotel in Makati City, where he called for GMA’s ouster. Whether you call all these patriotism or intrepidity, the fact is that he had to spend seven and a half years for it in jail.

No doubt the Oakwood incident has clearly defined who Trillanes is as a soldier and as a person. His lack of respect for authority and the learned, bordering on defiance and superiority, has been very glaring and despising.

Sad to say that this soldier turned politician haven’t learned to shed off these unfavorable traits and to this day continue to exhibit and flaunt it anywhere he goes. It even looks like that his narcissistic demeanor has gotten worst now that he is a senator of the realm.

For what better proof is there than when Trillanes himself confirmed that it was him who was behind the ouster move against Enrile, when speculations were rife that somebody wanted the latter to be unseated?

And so, while Trillanes was curtly disparaging at Enrile in his privilege speech, the latter had also prepared a bombshell that he wanted to drop on Trillanes face. And without much ado, he started questioning Trillanes about his role in the territorial dispute the country has with China.

Apparently, the animosity between Enrile and Trillanes over the issue with China started as early as May yet when the former asked the latter during a cabinet meeting, who authorized him to have secret talks with the Chinese officials. Trillanes resented this question.

“Wasn’t it your duty to notify the Office of the Senate President when you leave this country?” I don’t know how many times you have been to China but I recall six times?  I am now hearing reports you were there 15 times,” Enrile asked.

“Are you becoming the fifth columnist of China in this country? Who paid for those trips to Beijing?” he further asked Trillanes.

Fifth columnist refers to a member of a clandestine subversive organization who tries to help a potential invader.

Surely, Enrile knows where he stands with regards to the senate rules and procedures involving the members of the senate, and clearly it shows Trillanes defying it.

The question now that is in most people’s mind is: Can Trillanes work as a subordinate or does he want to be the boss all the time?

Listen to what more Enrile has found from former Ambassador to China Sonia Brady’s notes about Trillanes in his pronouncements and show of disrespect for  people of authority:

  • That the Chinese wanted the Philippines to “tone down the rhetoric” on its incursion in Panatag Shoal.
  • That Trillanes suspected that the United States was involved in creating tension in Panatag Shoal and that Del Rosario was “committing treason.”
  • That Trillanes “was protecting the Chinese,” “was alarmist” and accused Del Rosario of “creating a war event.”
  • That Trillanes asked businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, a close friend of Del Rosario, to advise the secretary “to keep quiet, to quiet down” apparently because the secretary held a press conference decrying Chinese presence in Panatag Shoal
  • That Trillanes stated “no one cares about Panatag Shoal in the Philippines.”
  • That Trillanes said the Philippines “cannot enforce coastal protection” since fishermen subsist only on fishing and cannot venture far out.
  • That Trillanes boasted that he was able to make 40 Chinese ships leave Panatag Shoal.
  • That Trillanes volunteered to become the “direct channel” between China and Malacañang.

At the end Enrile has this to say: “I do not want to discuss anymore this sordid matter. It is enough that I read the notes of Ambassador Brady to unmask this ‘Phantom of the Opera’ in Philippine politics. My God, this guy is a fraud.”

Fraud and, perhaps, a great pretender. Pretending to be an accomplished diplomat, a clever negotiator, a brilliant lawyer, and a bona fide mediator of disputes – all of which he is not. But, a high regarded coup plotter, yes.

So who is he to belittle the credentials of Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and call him a traitor?

Indeed, this is one national issue that has gone international and awry.

What a shame.

Trillanes and Dolphy

 

The personalities of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Dolphy, the King of Comedy, may be poles apart, but in their latest episodes that made them news items, they appeared to be having one thing in common: their offensive actions deserve an apology.

While one happened in actual life, seven years ago, that resulted to coup charges, the other are scenes so base and vulgar in the latest Dolphy movie, “Father Jejemon.”

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who has just been released after seven years detention for the Oakwood mutiny and later implicated in the seizure of the Peninsula Manila hotel in 2007, has vowed not to apologize to Pampanga Rep. and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whose administration he and his Magdalo group wanted to overthrow.

Trillanes may not owe Arroyo an apology, but, he sure has the moral obligation to apologize to the nation and the Filipino people for violently taking matters into his hands, provoking an uprising against a duly constituted government, destroying properties and endangering the limbs and lives of many people.

The Filipino’s love for adventurism, not to mention his charisma, is the reason why he got voted for senator. A precedent has already been made when the people elected former rebel soldier Gringo Honasan, senator of the realm.

Let it not be interpreted, however, that what he did was justifiable. It is for this reason that the brash Trillanes has to apologize.

On the other hand, what Dolphy did as Father Jejemon in the slapstick movie, accidentally dropping the host into the cleavage of a woman lining up for communion or the host getting snagged in the false dentures of a communicant is nothing but a show of a sick joke bereft of sensitivity.

You can make fun of the faux pas of other people to generate laughter, but not the religious practices or rituals and absolutely never that which is considered sacred to the Catholics – the consecrated host, which symbolizes the body of Christ and received during the Holy Communion.

It was good that the offensive scenes were already deleted in the movie, but, not after it created an outraged among the Catholics and the Church that should not have happened had the 82-year old King of Comedy exercised a thorough discretion of a more appropriate slapstick. For this grave booboo, Dolphy has also to apologize.

 

President Arroyo should stop deceiving people

 

arroyoMalacañang Palace is said to have issued a statement saying that if and when President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo runs for congress, after her term expires, that it will be ‘good for country.’

Well, tell that to the marines!

What has she, concretely, done to warrant a categorical statement that she is ‘good for country?’

Indeed, the country expected highly of her, being a PhD in economics, a former social welfare administrator, a senator and a vice-president.

But, what have we experienced instead all these years under GMA’s administration?

As early as 2003, only two years after taking over President Estrada’s disastrous presidency, we had the Oakwood incident where soldiers mutinied allegedly against the corrupt practices of the young GMA administration.

In 2004, while GMA won the presidential elections, she was, however, accused of rigging it. This became the infamous ‘Hello Garci tape.’

Then in 2006, after uncovering an alleged coup plot led by Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim against the government, a state of emergency was declared where President Arroyo issued a warrantless arrests and to seize private institutions if needed.

The Manila Peninsula rebellion and standoff ensued in 2007 when detained Senator Antonio Trillanes, Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim and other Magdalo officials of the renowned Oakwood mutiny, walked out of the trial and marched through the streets of Makati City calling for the ouster of President Arroyo.

How can we forget the impeachment complaints filed against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for corruption that included the fertilizer fund scam, the NBN-ZTE broadband deal, the alleged bribery of members of the House, etc?

So what makes GMA ‘good for country?’ What makes her great?

If Arroyo will be vying for a position that will confine her to her hometown of Lubao, Pampanga alone, there is no problem with that. But to have her run for congress and be back in the legislative body as a national figure is something that raises one’s eyebrows.

Surely her motivation is highly questionable. That smacks of dishonesty and greed.

President Arroyo should be advised to stop deceiving the people. We had had enough of her already. It would be nice to see her instead writing her memoir.