Justice Jardeleza against condonation doctrine when he was SolGen

Makati Mayor Junjun Binay

Makati Mayor Junjun Binay

Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. has invoked the “condonation doctrine” for the dismissal of his cases in connection with the allegedly overpriced (P2.3 billion) Makati City Hall Parking building before the Ombudsman.

The condonation doctrine has no legal bases. It is a legal principle established by the Supreme Court in the 1959 case of Pascual vs Provincial Board.

Arturo B. Pascual was elected mayor of San Jose, Nueva Ecija, in November 1951 and reelected in 1955. In October 6, 1956, the Acting Provincial Governor of that province filed with the Provincial Board three administrative charges -Maladministrative, Abuse of Authority, and Usurpation of Judicial Functions – against Pascual committed during his first term.

In dismissing the case against Pascual, Supreme Court Justice David J. Gutierrez said, “When the people have elected a man to office, it must be assumed that they did this with knowledge of his life and character, and that they disregarded or forgave his faults or misconduct, if he had been guilty of any. It is not for the court, by reason of such faults or misconduct to practically overrule the will of the people. against the said appellant.”

The condonation doctrine had been used in several Supreme Court cases including the one the public is more familiar with: Aguinaldo vs Santos.
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April 19, 2015 10:56 pm   Posted in: Governance, Graft and corruption  2 Comments

Del Rosario’s wishful thinking

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario sounded very pleased that t the United States is preparing for an armed confrontation with China in the South China Sea without any concern of its constitutional complications for the Philippines.

In an interview with ANC, del Rosario once again held on to a pronouncement by an American official, this time Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who said the United States and many other countries “are deeply concerned about some of the activities China is undertaking.”

He must be referring to the intensified reclamations of China on reefs and islets that they occupy in the disputed South China Sea. They have not overtaken any island or reefs occupied by other claimants that include the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. But the reclamations and constructions are massive that the United States has described it as “Great Wall of Sand.”
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April 19, 2015 4:08 pm  Tags:   Posted in: Foreign Affairs  3 Comments

Mei Magsino

From Mei's Facebook, Feb, 2015

From Mei’s Facebook, Feb, 2015

Mei Magsino once told a foreign reporter interviewing her on the challenges journalists who take on the powerful face in the Philippines, “The list of murdered journalists here is too long. I have to survive.I don’t want to become another statistic.”

Last Monday, Mei was added to the growing list of journalists killed in the country, which boasts of having the freest press in Asia. The Philippines also bears the ignominious distinction of one among the countries considered to be the most dangerous working place for journalists.

It was a shock to learn about Mei’s murder.

Mei was shot dead by motorcycle riding gunmen (riding in tandem again!) high noon, Monday while she was walking near her house in barangay Balagtas in Batangas.

The killing was so brazen, all we could say do was echo the lament that then Vice President Emmanuel Pelaez asked when he survived an ambush, ” “What is happening to our country, General?”
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April 15, 2015 9:27 pm  Tags:   Posted in: Media, Peace and Order  6 Comments

Centerlaw: Documents belie De Lima’s claim of misinformation

Statement of the Prof. Harry L. Roque Jr., chair of the Center for International Law (Centerlaw), an NGO dedicated to the promotion of binding international legal norms in the Philippines and Asia:

Atty. Harry Roque

Atty. Harry Roque

“We take exception to the veiled threat in the statement made yesterday by Secretary Leila De Lima that the Vera Files special report on a recent Note Verbale given by the Philippines to Malaysia over the Spratlys islands concerned a confidential matter that should have been kept as it is.

“In the first place, our Justice Secretary should be first to know that such a threat is in the nature of prior restraint with a chilling effect on speech, as held by the Supreme Court in the case filed by the late former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez against a predecessor of hers at the DOJ, the late Raul Gonzales.

“A mere press statement of a threat of prosecution coming from a government functionary, according to this 2008 Supreme Court decision, is unconstitutional precisely for that reason.
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April 8, 2015 6:35 pm  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, Vera Files  3 Comments

De Lima will not see what she doesn’t want to see

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Now that the Department of Foreign Affairs’ willingness to downgrade the country’s claim to Sabah to strengthen its case against China before the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal has been exposed, it is resorting to the classic diversionary tactic- questioning the journalists’ motives in writing the report.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima now comes to the aid of the DFA.

De Lima has been quoted in several reports as having said that VERA Files’ March 30 story “PH offers Sabah to win Malaysia’s support for UN case vs China” is a “misinterpretation.”
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April 7, 2015 11:28 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, Malaya, Vera Files  9 Comments

The Taiwan Fellowship and EU’s Peace Journalism Awards


Those who are interested to do advanced studies in Taiwan, here’s your chance:

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines, the de-facto embassy of Republic of China (Taiwan) in Manila announced that the yearly Taiwan fellowship is now open.
The Taiwan Fellowship, being administered by the ROC’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is open to scholars and experts from developing APEC economies, the Philippines included. Twelve slots are available.

The Fellowship would be in any of in any of the following areas: cross-strait relations, mainland China, Asia-Pacific region and Sinology. The terms of fellowship are 3 to 12 months.

The online application will be available on May 1 to June 30, 2015. Recipients will begin their research in any university or academic institution in Taiwan in January 2016.
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April 5, 2015 11:20 pm   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

DFA is misleading public in Sabah for Spratlys issue

Disclosure: I am one of the trustees and writers of VERA Files, a group of veteran journalist who put out articles that take a deeper look at current issues.

Last Monday, VERA Files released a story, “PH offers Sabah to win Malaysia’s support for UN case vs China.
The article said, “ The quid pro quo was contained in a note verbale the Department of Foreign Affairs handed to a representative of the Malaysian Embassy last week, a week after the visit of Malaysian Defense Minister Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

“The note verbale, a copy of which was obtained by VERA Files, referred to the May 6, 2009 joint submission by Malaysia and Vietnam to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) in which Malaysia claimed an extended continental shelf (350 nautical miles from baseline) that was clearly projected from Sabah.
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March 31, 2015 7:34 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, Malaya  31 Comments

PH offers Sabah to win Malaysia’s support for UN case vs China

Sabah and Spratlys

Sabah and Spratlys

By Tessa Jamandre,VERA Files

The Philippines has offered to downgrade its claim on Sabah in exchange for Malaysia’s support for its case against China before the United Nations.

The quid pro quo was contained in a note verbale the Department of Foreign Affairs handed to a representative of the Malaysian Embassy last week, a week after the visit of Malaysian Defense Minister Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
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March 30, 2015 5:21 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: South China Sea, Vera Files  11 Comments

We understand

President Aquino at the PNPA 2015 commencement exercises.

President Aquino at the PNPA 2015 commencement exercises.

He couldn’t even mention the incident that he was asking the public for understanding.

In his speech at the commencement exercise of the Philippine National Police Academy’s Lakandula Class of 2015, the day after the nation marked the second month of the Mamasapano tragedy, President Aquino said, “Ikinalulungkot kong may mga pamilyang nawalan ng asawa, ama, kapatid, anak, dahil sa nangyari sa Mamasapano. Ikinalulungkot kong sa pagnanais kong bigyan ng espasyong magluksa ang mga makakakita, sa unang pagkakataon, ng nasawi nilang kaanak, ay may mga nag-isip na ako’y manhid at walang pakikiramay. Ang intensiyon ko noon ay makatulong sa paghilom. Ang gusto ko po sana, kapag may nagtanong ng “Ano ang nangyari? Bakit sila namatay? Ano na po ang mangyayari sa amin?” ay may dala na akong malinaw na sagot. Kung ang naging tugon ko sa mga katanungan ay “Hindi ko po alam,” paano ako makakatulong sa kanilang paghilom? Ikinalulungkot ko ring nadadamay ang ating usaping pangkapayapaan dahil sa sentimyentong naikakabit sa naging resulta ng Oplan Exodus. Sa bawat Pilipinong nabigo at nasaktan dahil sa mga pangyayaring kaugnay ng operasyong ito: Buong pagpapakumbaba kong hinihiling ang inyong pang-unawa. (It deeply saddens me that there are families who are now without a husband, a father, a brother, a son, because of what happened in Mamasapano. I am saddened by the fact that, despite my effort to give the families space to grieve, as they were to meet their fallen loved ones for the first time, some people found fault in this by calling me cruel or without regard for such loss. My intention was to help them heal. I wanted to have clear answers should I be asked, “What happened? Why did they die? What will happen to us now?” If my response was “I do not know,” how could I help hasten the healing? I am also saddened that our peace process has been affected by the sentiments connected to the result of Oplan Exodus. To every Filipino who has felt failure or has been hurt because of the events related to this operation: It is with the abiding humility that I ask for your deepest understanding.)”
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March 27, 2015 9:28 pm  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Malaya, Philippine National Police  24 Comments

What PNoy and Kris Aquino text each other

OMG. I almost fell off my chair upon reading the text exchanges between President Aquino and his sister, Kris Aquino posted by journalist Cecil Morella in Facebook.
PNoy-Kris text exchanges

Yesterday afternoon, Kris Aquino posted in her Instagram account (withlovekrisaquino) her text exchanges with the President last Friday just to disprove rumors that PNoy collapsed.

Kris Aquino’s post: “I still keep hearing the utterly baseless & senseless story about my brother having collapsed Friday night… I am posting our text exchange from March 20, Friday w/ a time stamp of 9:34 PM. If you follow my IG account Thursday after A&A we traveled to Pradera in Lubao, on Friday I posted several pics from our Pampanga taping, on Sunday night on www.withlovekrisaquino.com I posted a TRAVEL LOVE entry complete w/ a timeline of our PRADERA EXPERIENCE. Yesterday, today & tomorrow you’ve watched & will still get to watch it on #krisandbimbysummertv on @kristvofficial_ig. Napakalinaw na SUPER OKAY si PNoy nung Friday because diba nakuha pa nyang pag trip-an & spoof how I talk.”
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March 24, 2015 11:40 pm  Tags:   Posted in: Benigno Aquino III, Malaya  18 Comments