Arroyo, Santiago, Marcos, and Get Real Post

When I lived in the U.S., I would tune into C-Span, the television network that airs broadcasts of the Senate and House in action. It is a patriotic place of contention and argument, bias and posturing, facts and reason. Some days civil, most days down and dirty.
The Supreme Court impeachment trial showed me something similar. Patriotic people, contentious and argumentative, biased and posturing, wrestling with facts and reason. Most days were down and dirty.
But you know, the Philippines has moved FORWARD and HIGHER, both with the outcome of the trial, and the democratic maturity demonstrated in the proceeding. It has moved FOR transparency and accuracy of public reporting by government employees. It has moved FOR integrity in the Supreme Court, a fundamental requirement for independence and respect.
No revision to the bank secrecy law is required, I think, as the Senate has declared clearly that SALN’s must include dollar-denominated deposits. Case law is as good as written law and anyone who purposely withholds dollar deposits does so at considerable peril.
I’m guessing that one outcome of the trial will be much more attention and documentation put behind the SALN’s. That’s good.
The one law I would suggest OUGHT to be added is an act that creates a regulatory agency that oversees broadcast and print media. Today these media are self-regulated and pretty much out of control. If there is an ethical foundation for news reporting, it is not very strict. Rumor and borderline slander make up much of the sensationalist reporting. Media form a loose and irresponsible mob, in the main, more interested in titillating and attracting audience than integrity of reporting. This is not in the public interest.
I’m not that familiar with the political parties or persuasions of the senators. I found most of the arguments thoughtful and, frankly, uplifting. The exceptions were the dark political accusations of Senator Arroyo, the lunatic ranting of Senator Santiago, and the odd argument of Senator Marcos that puts the Bill of (personal) Rights above the Constitution. All three gave great arguments for continuing the ways of the non-transparent and corrupt.
I trust that Get Real Post will emote and rationalize away the proceeding as the opposite of what it was. They will claim it confirms the vacuity of the Filipino, and their vindictiveness.
No, no. You won’t find much respect for democratic process at Get Real Post. The real vacuity rests with the values of GRP editors and its loyal thugs.
I hope President Aquino has a happy visit with President Obama in the U.S. next week. President Obama will be thoroughly briefed on the outcome of the trial, you may be assured.
Then President Aquino ought to return to the Philippines and go to work on constructive acts. Get out of  political name-calling, and do some work. He’s got less than four years left.
He was grossly out-of-line during the trial as he or his spokesmen meddled in Senate affairs.
It is good that he is enthusiastic about fighting corruption. It is bad that he lacks a certain discipline. He displays the same kind of loose discipline that got Chief Justice Corona in trouble.
He also tends to shade his appointments toward friends rather than competence. He needs to go with competence. His selection of the Supreme Court Chief Justice will be under a huge microscope.
19 Responses to “Arroyo, Santiago, Marcos, and Get Real Post”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank God Corona was convicted. As a Filipino citizen, this convinced me that change is still possible in the Philippines.I just wonder what benign0 and ilda are doing right now…probably throwing around stuff in their house.

  2. GabbyD says:

    how's this for irony: b0's twitter:"Hey @cocoy before u join this discussion, why dont u man up and unblock me first. "haha… man up he says!

  3. He is becoming more of a joke with each passing day. I guess he is admitting he is a wuss, eh? Because he himself does "unmanly" deeds.

  4. They are working up ways to twist this. I look at the people the Senators they agree with – Arroyo, Santiago and Marcos. Three heroes in their books, eh? Not three people with an agenda other than the well being of the Philippines.

  5. AJ says:

    ahhh GRP. They're probably still obsessed with proving themselves right as well as superior to the rest of those with Filipino blood.Unfortunately, they seem to be out of touch with Filipino reality themselves. Interacting daily with Filipinos will make it obvious that they stop listening once they realize you're criticizing them. As a people, we are immature compared to western societies and even some eastern societies.In this country, you can't slap someone and tell them to snap out of whatever trans they are having. Chances are, that person will attack you out of retaliation instead of listening.As from what I've read somewhere, real change is slow, it never happens all at once. IMO, GRP wants the people to change overnight by using shock and awe tactics with well placed insults. Good intentions but just like the CJ Corona prosecution team, they're impatient and are ineffective.

  6. AJ says:

    As for the media, I think they have regulators but they're focused on censorship; I think there's also an ethics part but no one subscribes to it and violators are rarely sanctioned.For political parties, I think we have too much of them. They become more like highschool cliques than a group of men and women who are supposed to have the calling of serving the people while having a bit more focus on noble agenda's such as welfare, environment, or education. Now they're focused on agenda, and their agendas are definitely petty and self serving.I think Sen. Arroyo is also paranoid and out of touch with reality, similar conspiracy theorist.Sen. Marcos may have seen the consequences of voting to convict; He'd be labelled a hypocrite should he be challenged to lay his cards on the table, something, according to popular belief, that will potentially expose the actual assets of the Marcos family.Sen. Santiago was ranting, her passion and way of life were threatened. After all, if everyone simply understood, had quick access to laws, and can argue them well, we'd have no need for lawyers. Unfortunately, Filipino lawyers need to step up since, because of the internet (special mention to chan robles), anyone can quote any law, including the constitution, and interpret it literally or by reading between the lines, pretty much what lawyers are doing nowadays.IMO, Lawyers need to prove they are better at analysis than the common Juan, they also need to prove they're eloquent while speaking clearly and concisely, as commented by Sen. Lapid. They're audiences and most of their clients are common people, after all; why speak lingo that will confuse them with terms that are most of the time in an extinct language.BTW, you can check the youtube video with the keywords "Lapid: CONVICT", I know you'd probably not understand Sen. Lapid, but you may want to see the reactions of the prosecution team in some parts of the clip. I think they acted shamefully and immaturely for lawmen, similar to how the President did at times during the impeachment. They all need to grow up and do their jobs, with dignity and decorum befitting their positions.With the CJ's conviction, I think this exposes that no one indeed is above the law, and everybody needs to do their jobs honestly, competently, and without bias. The people will be paying close attention from this day forward.

  7. Wow, AJ. Really great insights. I suppose you are right, Marcos could make no other choice. Arroyo, too. That makes Senator Santiago stand out as simply out of touch with Philippine best interests, getting them all convoluted in legalistic rationalizations.I agree the prosecution seemed like teenagers much of the time. They made an easy case a mess. And you point about attorneys stepping up their game is excellent.If there are censorship and ethical boards for broadcast and print media, they do a lousy job. I hear the "F-word" on radio regularly, and it still shocks me, after 7 years of it.Thanks for giving us your perspectives.

  8. The Philippines changed when President Aquino was elected, but the GRP people are too full of themselves to know it, and too far away to see it.

  9. Greg says:

    My dear wife was overjoyed with the result of the impeachment. We sat up all night watching the video replays of the senators giving their verdicts, and two stood out: Alan Cayetano and Pilar Cayetano, senators I had not heard of before. They were brief and articulate, particularly Alan on the moral dimensions of the issue. And they’re young, with every chance of making enormous contributions to the future of the Philippines. This result is something Filipinos can be proud about. It warmed my old heart seeing my dear wife optimistic again.

  10. Yes, I agree. Indeed, the youth and modern thinking on display give a great deal of optimism. I found the two prior presidential candidates, Legarda and Villar, to be somewhat un-inspiring; maybe like they were treading political lines rather than being straight-up about what is good for the Philippines.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately Joe, the only thing this impeachment trial has proven is that if you're an enemy of the President, an example will be made of you.Maybe Corona's testimony is what did him in. The FCDA stated that no third party has the right to disclose the dollar accounts, but it didn't prevent the owner himself from doing so. How he interpreted that law is possibly what the senator judges did not identify with. Or maybe then again, I'm just overestimating their capacity for rational thought. Maybe they are after all just into self-preservationWhat does all this mean for the average Filipino? They're still hungry, still jobless, and they're still waiting for their lives to get better. They were once again swayed by a man in power into believing that his personal crusade was theirs as well.Now that PNoy has finally gotten Corona out of the way, there is absolutely no excuse for him not to continue on with the "daang matuwid". And how he chooses to apply responsibility and accountability must be closely scrutinized.

  12. Anonymous says:

    If an ordinary court interpreter was sacked from her job just because she failed to disclose her market stall in her SALN, don't you think we should expect more from the Chief Justice?

  13. Anon(1), I suppose so, if you break the world down into those who want to end corruption, and those who are enemies of those who want to end corruption. I personally don't like the political rush job or infringement on House and Senate responsibilities taken by President Aquino, but I do think taking a sledge hammer to "name" cases is a good way to get the message across. Certainly senators of all political persuasions understand the message that transparency and integrity are good for the Philippines.If you are upset about hunger, talk to the priests about their stand on contraception. Don't expect a president in one term to right a ship that has been sinking for decades.I agree President Aquino needs to focus on work, and live up to responsible ideals himself.

  14. cory says:

    you should come here & become a filipino citizen! we'd love to have you!

  15. I'm here permanently and consider myself a citizen in heart and mind, if not in paper.Thank you for your kind welcome.

  16. J says:

    Sorry Joe but I disagree that there's a need to regulate the media. The media might be acting irresponsibly, but I'd rather have an irresponsible media than a regulated one, especially if the one regulating are corrupt bastards.

  17. Well, with that presumption, of corrupt regulators, I would agree. In my mind, they would be professional and have integrity. But perhaps that is a naive perspective, here . . . And, I suppose the greatest regulator of them all is the channel dial, or off button.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hey Joe, I love that sledge hammer justice.That phrase on sinking ships is a beaut. Many of us doesnt get it. Since a president in one term is hard pressed to right that ship, I have to question that wisdom of the framers of the constitution if they have done their job to limit the Presidency. What do you think?

  19. Anon, I agree, six years is not enough time to right the ship. The drawback of two terms is what we see in the U.S., the President busy running for re-election rather than working full time. But I prefer the U.S. 8 years, as there is something missing with one 6-year term. Maybe it is time, or maybe it is the drive to get things done. I think the end of term is sneaking up already, with not enough accomplished.

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