The Supreme Court Ruling on Enrile shames the Philippines

enrile inquirer

[Photo credit: Inquirer]

What are we to think when a man who, by all accounts, is too ill to be in jail can get released from custody and return to the senate as a hero. Never mind that evidence suggests he stole taxpayer money. He is held up as a hero. [See Inquirer: “Enrile returns to senate”]

Well, I understand the Supreme Court ruling to be a political ruling. That is pretty clear when we observe that the eight justices who approved his release are Arroyo appointees, who by all accounts appear to deal in the arena of favor and entitlement rather than law, and that the four who opposed his release are by all accounts straight and honest interpreters of the law who hold a vision of the Philippines founded on the highest principles.

  • For shame, Supreme Court, to hold to such cheap values, for you are only as good as the lowest amongst you.

What this ruling says is that the Philippines remains a backwater swamp of entitlement and favor, of low values and low principles and low expectations. It celebrates those who can “get away with it”!

“Due process!” the Enrile camp will shout. “We are entitled to legal due process!” 

Yes, Senator, you are entitled to use every trick in the book. every tactic, every bribe or cajole, every scheming lie to avoid accountability. The accused seldom admit to their error, and are not expected to abandon legal due process. No one does, anywhere.

But you took it one step too far.

You are like the Filipino at the airport who uses a wheel chair to gain prompt, personal attention on boarding, and upon arrival at his destination, leaps from to his feet to hurry first off the airplane. You are exactly like that, as to values and sense of entitlement. It is a sense, like the Binay’s, that others are beneath you, there to be gamed.

A senator who pushes into the front of the line.

  • For shame, Senator Enrile, to play such crass games and make fools of the court and the people.

Jesse Robredo would never push to the front of the line.

What is dearly missing in the Philippines is the principle that one individual’s professional reputation defines all members of the profession. It is a principle of dignity, of ethics. It is higher, more demanding, than the law in most modern democracies. It promotes groups of people as substantial, as people of integrity.

The Senate of the Philippines carries with it the integrity of a thief. The entire body’s reputation attaches to the worst of its members. The Senate has yet to chair its Ethics Committee to deal with the three senators accused of plunder. It does not have the character and courage to deal with its own miscreants.  The Senate of the Philippines is stained with corruption. With tacit support of corruption. It has all the ethical fiber of an accused plunderer.

Indeed, most senators seem to be cheering Senator Enrile’s release. They welcome him warmly back into the fold of . . .

of what?

Of clowns and crooks, of professionals devoid of any sense that the people deserve a higher level of dignity from their elected officials.

  • For shame, Senate, that you allow the integrity of your esteemed body to fall to the lowest level.

Here is the way democracies that are not corrupt structure their accountabilities:

  • Ethics, as the highest value. National or professional integrity that represents who we are, as a nation.
  • Laws, the next highest value. The rules that promote well being in the community.
  • Individual behavior, the third highest value. A personal sense of accountability and integrity; equality.

Here’s the way the Philippines structures things:

  • Individual behavior, preferential to the privileged; weak sense of accountability and integrity.
  • Laws, the games attorneys play to escape accountability, aided by political courts susceptible to administrative or legalistic loopholes, favors and bribery.
  • Ethics, a sense of pride in national integrity that does not exist.

It is this missing sense of ethical pride that is absolutely astounding. There seems to be no comprehension of the principle that a team is only as strong as its weakest member. Indeed, “we the people” seem to accept plunder as a rightful privilege for the entitled. We put up with it! Some cheer it, the exhilaration of escaping the law!

  • For shame, Philippines, for failing to demand higher of your public officials.

The Supreme Court has just played the people for fools. Senator Enrile has played the people for fools. The Senate persists in playing the people for fools.

The question is, how long will people allow their own integrity to be rubbed face-first into the mud?

If you cannot connect the dots here, between these escapades and the presidential election, then . . . indeed, as is true in all democracies:

The people get what they deserve.


343 Responses to “The Supreme Court Ruling on Enrile shames the Philippines”
  1. gary olivar says:

    C’mon Joeam. All that mewling about Arroyo justices and how benighted the country is, and NOT A SINGLE WORD about the substance of the SC decision. It simply says that only flight risk can trump people’s right to bail under the constitutional presumption of innocence until proven otherwise in a court of law. This principle comes from your own homeland. Aren’t filipinos worthy of it too?

    • Joe America says:

      Have the arguments been published? I’ve only read the presumed highlights. I find in reading most legalistic readings that they are rather like dough, kneaded by the individual justices to justify a preconceived idea of desired outcome. It is the same in the US, actually. What I wanted to emphasize was the sense of ethics that is missing in the Philippines, that is a set of values ABOVE the laws that ought to cause judgments to be applied that are quicker than the courts at instilling good behavior. I’ve written to the point in the past, members of Philippine political parties, because they are personality based and favor centric, don’t bring out any sense of self-accountability for good behavior. UNA may actually be enduring ethical punishments now as people shy away from the Vice Presidential post because of the stigma attached to VP Binay. That’s the sense of shame I’m trying to get across.

      I gather you can’t relate to it.

      • nielsky says:

        @joe america:

        It challenges reflection how you can take the liberty to shame/blame the country’s Supreme Court and justices as well as the Senate and its membership. In effect, you also shame/blame the Filipino people (i.e. that punch, “The people got what they deserve”).

        With all due respect, who are you? What is your stake, if any, in us all? Why you bad-mouth the institutions and public officials who run the country’s government and by what right or ascendancy? Who are you?

        Your incredible grand theory and those ‘tiny little wires of mischief’ are meant to condemn us all, doom us all, and no pride is left, no collective dignity – as if a god has spoken, blest his curse upon this great country. Who are you?

        This is too revolting!

        Maybe, a blog written in haste (not having even read yet the whole account) is one that might be considered written in waste. Am sorry but you touch on our collective sense of nationhood in a way that can injure or harm our inner sensibilities as a people.

        We can take a more balanced view: read through the decision if anything makes sense and then let us discuss the finer points.

        • Angel says:

          Nice reply for a nobody.

          • andrewlim8 says:

            The “nobody” you replied to was like Gary Olivar, but lower in the totem pole of the Arroyo administration. He served under the most reviled congressmen of the time.

        • @ nielsky

          Who are you? You asked of the blogger who allowed you the freedom to have your chance to speak your mind in a guest article, be published.

          At the risk of you saying I should not answer for Joe as you direct this question to him, I dare do so if only to exercise my own freedom to participate in this FORUM.

          We should all be able to handle the truth however painful it is. Can you?

          The SC has been known to formulate rulings that are flip flopping, and not based on the spirit intended by the framers of constitution or the law as it was enacted. Look how Estrada was able to come back to government despite having been convicted of plunder. Look at the plight of the flight attendants and other rank and file employees in their organization, (FASAP?), how the SC reversed their final ruling on the basis of a mere letter from E. Mendoza.

          The Senate – Joe is correct, when have they been able to activate the Ethics Committee? They all are protecting each other’s interests like in the military tradition of protecting their mistahs.

          Joe’s blog mirror our frustrations on how justice, ethics and honesty is so elusive here in our country, why we want continuity of Daang Matuwid so a qualified and experienced President can appoint the most number of SC associate justices so that more progressive thinkers will dominate the SC so that the curse of the GMA appointments to the SC will no longer be upon us.

          His conclusion is the most painful truth of all. Why was Estrada elected President and Mayor despite his drinking, womanizing and alleged corrupt ways, why were Sotto, Lapid and all others in the HR there despite their lack of sterling qualifications?

          Why are we allowing these things to be done to us, why can’t we act as one so that masa and the unthinking educated ones could understand.


          • nielsky says:


            Could this be the culprit?


            Strange that such a one-page law, just 894 words in only 9 sections [RA 7080, 12 July 1991] should apparently require more sophisticated interpretation than a supposed-to-be plain understanding from an average mind.

            For instance, Sec. 2 defines the crime; Sec. 3 designates the competent court; Sec. 4 rule of evidence; Sec. 5 suspension from office; Sec. 6 prescription (i.e. 20 years); and Sec. 7 the separability clause.

            Is the law ‘clear in scope and application’? Does it set exception [i.e. humanitarian reason]?

            In fact if it does, we might as well let free all prisoners or inmates the age of Enrile for why just him if that will not look like he becomes SC’s ‘most favored patron’?

            In fairness, without Enrile, Corona would not have been impeached. In fairness, without Enrile, Cory would not have been president. In fairness, the old man – despite all these ‘dislikes’ of him bursting at the seams only want:

            1) due process to take its course
            2) that the case be adjudged on its merits (i.e. not based on opinions)

            I believe we can wait for the wisdom and judgement of the proper court and not overreact. It’s just my fair take on the issue.

            • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

              Corona was impeached by the HR….Enrile presided the trial…i grant you he ably did it considering his age, but the former SC Chief has contributed more to his conviction with his arrogance, Enrile felt insulted and you can’t do that to Enrile, you can’t do that to coEqual branch of government ..the conviction is a given after that show of arrogance. Joker, BB Marcos and Santiago should have been ostracized (is that the term?) Just goes to show how forgiving are our countrymen.

              Without Cory and her supporters in those days, Enrile should have been six feet under the ground so he should not be too arrogant as if he was the one who gave the presidency to her.

              Due process is being accorded him but he insulted the lower court when he ran to the SC for succor knowing that it is controlled by GMA appointees…and alas! the SC court obliged. Now what are we to conclude after this, that Enrile and Estrada and all the other corrupt officials will all join hands to support Poe so Mar will not have a chance to continue the Daang Matuwid which has been too unkind for plunderers like them?

              If our legislators are doing their job, they should look at laws that hamper the speedy court processes by amending them. Why don’t they take inventory of the various Presidential Decrees of Marcos as well as all the other obsolete laws that need to be replaced?

              A wrong is wrong and no amount of justification can make it right. That is in fairness to the majority of the people wronged, who are the victims not to the offender.

              • Elma Rugar says:


              • leo says:

                love the last para… keep on Grace.

              • sonny says:

                “Oh what a tangled web we weave
                When first we practice to deceive.” – Sir Walter Scott

              • sonny says:

                “… abyssus abyssum invocat!” Psalm 42:8 (NAB)

              • nielsky says:


                “Conviction was a given”, you say? And two elements explain it: arrogance of SC chief, and Enrile’s response to insult? As easy as you concoct these astonishing ideas, then be that the truth, you mean?

                On EDSA, this time you explain that Enrile is too arrogant as if were the one who gave the presidency to Cory? Was there anyone else than Enrile who gave it to her in a silver platter much to her great surprise?

                With your logic, now I know why ‘perceptual bias can affect nut jobs and scientists alike’ (Beck).

                As always, you sound (and your cohorts) sound like you must be whom this country needs and why indeed don’t you want to sit there as elective or appointive official and be the ‘change agents’ you claim to be. We will watch you work?

                In the end, talk is cheap, Just throw insults and that seems it.

              • @ nielsky

                It seems I was not clear enough. So here goes…

                As proven by the senate in so many times before i.e. the bases extension, opening of the envelope, and even in the SC in the case now in discussion, not to mention the pardon of Estrada brought to them and, let’s not forget, their deciding that the midnight appointment of Corona was constitutional, completely reversing an existing jurisprudence (I think by the Narvasa led SC) – even with the progressives who think more for the benefit of the majority of the people instead of a chosen few, mastering the required numbers is not easy as most (not all) have self centered political interest to take care of.

                It was very clear in the hearings that the prosecutors had a difficult time in there much like in the Estrada Impeachment Court where they were subjected to insults and browbeaten by cunning defense lawyers and senator judges of the IC who loved to grandstand in front of the camera to show off their legalistic prowess, insisting on the letter and not the spirit of the laws as if it was a normal court hearing and not a political one, God is truly guiding us, in the case of the Estrada IC, not opening the envelope which ironically did not contribute that much to the prosecutors case, that unfortunate decision led the people to take matters in their own hands when it became very obvious that majority of the senators that they voted had clearly failed them, even in the face of so many evidences of plunder. The eventual conviction of Estrada in a credible judicial court proved that the people were correct.

                The evidences of hidden wealth not reflected in Corona’s SALN proved the guilt of the accused, but still we are anxious that the tantrums and grandstanding of Santiago which was allowed by the Presiding Senator Judge will carry enough weight that the likes of the macho judges will vote for acquittal. Our anxiety was lessened when the accused himself helped the prosecutors’ case by insulting the Senate IC and by extension, those macho senator judges with the swing votes. We saw another God’s hand in action.

                You see, it’s always a numbers game, integrity and the people’s general welfare do not count for the self centered. We the people, are always on tenterhooks while watching the fight between good and evil and can only pray that the good triumphs.

                The rest is history, an arrogant SC Chief Justice who. in the first place, had no right to be in that supreme court being a midnight appointee was kicked out in a very humiliating way.

                It is for this very reason that we are for the continuity of the Daang Matuwid so the 11 SC justices that will be appointed until 2022 will be form majority of the progressives unlike the present majority who cater for the benefit of Arroyo, Enrile, Estrada and their ilks. The current SC Chief who has 18 years tenure will need all the help she can get to effect the judicial reforms so urgently needed so justice for all can be provided in a speedy manner.

                Integrity, and selfless service to the nation of Daang Matuwid versus the self centered and thieves who can offer only acquisitive service favoring themselves and their friends only. Is that too much to ask for?

                I hope I am clear enough this time.

              • nielsky says:


                Truly, we can always call to mind those events in legislative history when a former president is tried for plunder, a supreme court justice impeached, a former president is tried and jailed, et cetera. But neither that vigilance proved FVR a saint. Why?

                Much needs to be deconstructed in history in general. New notes have been written in the case of Cory’s ascent to power. Same with PGMA’s sudden rise. These notes are not found in any Constitution, not found in any Rules of the Senate. EDSAs take care of what we cannot achieve within formally written rules.

                All these have morality issues underneath. Some easy to understand, some difficult, some impossible. The ‘Daang Matuwid’, pardon my saying, is a mix of three – easy to understand, difficult to understand, impossible to understand. Thus, it’s a kind of Likert and the 4 choices.

                My personal belief of the ‘Straight Path’ knowing commonly known accounts published in traditional media or indirectly from other possible sources, is one of indifference. I have serious doubts on whether indeed the tag, “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” will prove a Philippine administrative system 100% free of graft and corruption. it doesn’t clearly seem so. The government I respect failed to perform with reasonable tact on such issues as – PPP, CCT, West Philippine SEa, BBL, monstrous traffic, MRT problem, acceptability of PCOS machine, PDAF/DAP as system of patronage, Mamasapano debacle, resolving effects after Yolanda, the imported-Canadian trash, EDCA.

                It miserably failed to prove equal to these challenges.

              • @nielsky

                Let’s try to deconstruct 1 by 1.

                are you familiar with this graphic?

                Are you saying that no administration has been equal to the challenge of PPP?

              • Joe America says:

                @Primer, in the past, I have asked you to provide specifics when you make dramatic statements for effect, as you did in claiming the Aquino Administration is as corrupt as any other. You ignored the request and now are backing off that to say you doubt it will prove 100% free of graft. Furthermore, you put out another puzzler “failed to perform with reasonable tact” and listed every other popularly cited criticism of the Aquino administration, all presented without context or substantiation. These kinds of arguments without arguments, without specifics, are obviously intended to provoke earnest people into anger, and that is essentially what “trolling” is. I’ve had problems in the past with people sweeping in to the conversation thread and then taking it over to push their agenda at the expense of genuine discussion.

                Consider this a warning, gently delivered, that the purpose of the discussion thread is genuine discussion, to teach or to learn, and not as a forum for the advertising or promotion of agenda. I’d ask that you move to discussing issues, bringing in the wealth of information I am sure you have at hand based on your considerable experience, and set out to enlighten us with knowledge rather than play these games of linguistic cat and mouse.

                Thank you.

                I don’t want this blog to become just another trash site where egos push to assume a position of power. It is a place to teach, or to learn.

              • nielsky says:


                You can be sure that the trajectory of my mention is far less than just what are bidded, awarded, signed.

                Rather,those PPPs that have already fully implemented and opened for public use and to that, it is clear that only the MXC could be mentioned.

                My deeper reference is on the many hidden assumptions in forging a single PPP that will not be inimical to government and not subject to judicial entanglements. That is why the operative word is “tact” not irrelevant numbers or figures on costs.

                There is more than meets the eye. If you can cite a single case, you can engage me in an informed discussion on the subject and you just might end up not knowing a thing about it.

              • nielsky says:

                The comparative data courtesy of @gian are empirical. However, my reference to historical ‘deconstruction’ are on Cory’s rise to power and GMA ascent to the presidency, both being outside of traditional constitutional routes. It’s not on PPP where gian wants to bring the discussion on.

                Nonetheless, if it were PPP we wish to delve on, again, not a single infrastructure project is yet built so there is nothing to discuss. Although that part of the concession agreement that stipulates a 30-year period could be the proper subject of policy analysis. That part that presumably stipulates of sovereign guaranty could be another. Again, it is something we cannot discuss given that in the case of toll expressways, TRB is not known to grant requests for a copy of the contract or TOA (toll operation agreement) or STOA (supplemental). itself. That said, we cannot discuss what could be wrong with certain ‘terms of reference’. This makes even academic research impossible.

                Certainly, the last thing I want to be is being labelled a ‘troll’, a concept am hardly familiar with. Outside of this ‘common room’, a string of reported ‘scams’ seems common knowledge (i.e.sub-standard LTO plates/stickers, overpriced PNP patrol jeeps, etc.). Naturally, perceptions as to a ‘corrupt-free government’ change.

            • chit navarro says:

              “In fairness, without Enrile, Cory would not have been President”..

              Let me walk you back to history with the following uplift on a post of Philip M. Lustre, a student activist and journalist in the true sense of the word. his is part of his presentation to the Summit on Volunteerism on Aug. 19 –

              “But the August 21, 1983 assassination of former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., father of the incumbent president, shook the entire nation from stupor and complacency. The sound of the single bullet that pierced through the head of the martyred opposition leader reverberated nationwide, triggering a series of protest actions. It was the single spark that started the proverbial prairie fire.

              I was among the hordes of journalists, who trooped to the Manila International Airport, now the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, to cover his homecoming, but the military minions of Marcos locked us in a holding room there. We did not witness the actual assassination, but details that trickled in hours after his assassination convinced us that it was a military conspiracy of the lowest kind.

              The Ninoy Aquino murder pricked the nation’s conscience, as the Filipinos realized that the Marcos dictatorship was bringing the country into a deep morass. Because of the inability of the investigating commission to pinpoint the actual mastermind of this dastardly crime, the Aquino murder did not have a closure until today. What it could offer is the lesson that any abuse of power could lead to political perdition.

              As a journalist, I also witnessed and chronicled the emergence of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement, a group of young military officers, who sought reforms in a military establishment that became unpopular and distasteful because of rampant abuses it committed against the people. Of course, RAM is better known for the series of coups it had led first against Marcos and later against the Cory Aquino government.

              Soon, the escalating mass protest actions and the international pressures prompted Marcos to call the February 7, 1986 “snap” presidential elections. Marcos reacted to the global perception that he was governing without any political mandate from the Filipino people. For established democracies like the European countries and the United States, governing without a mandate is a political taboo.

              Marcos faced Cory Aquino, Ninoy Aquino’s widow, in a dramatic one-on-one battle that saw the polarization of the country into the pro and anti-dictatorship factions. The presidential elections did not come out with a conclusive winner. Marcos won in the official count of the watchdog Commission on Elections, which was controlled by his lackeys. But his political victory was never accepted by the people and the international community, which perceived Cory Aquino as winner because of the massive cheating and violence which Marcos did.

              I remember the fluid nature of the aftermath of the presidential elections. Uncertainty rang in the air. Nobody could figure out the end game. Marcos was gloating in his celebration of his fake victory, but Cory Aquino was mobilizing thousands of people to her cause. Soon, the brewing confrontation somehow took a twist, when the people rose as one to topple the Marcos dictatorship in the fateful EDSA People Power Revolution.

              I was there when it happened. I was at the press conference when Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Ramos announced their breakaway from Marcos. I covered the entire political upheaval, sleeping an average of two or three hours daily. I saw throngs of humanity that congregated in the historic thoroughfare, the name of which has become synonymous to the restoration of democracy.

              I saw and chronicled the death throes of a despicable dictatorship and the people’s collective jubilation and euphoria that followed the dictator’s ouster from power. I saw and chronicled how the Marcoses and their minions fled from Malacanang like dogs with their tails behind their backs. Had their refused to move out of Palace, the advancing people could have caught them and killed the outright.

              The EDSA People Power Revolution was a defining moment for the Filipino people. It sums up everything positive in every Filipino. It has been a shining example of how best toppled a dictatorship – bloodless yet effective.”
              So you see that the Presidency of Cory Aquino was not handed to her on a silver platter by Juan Ponce Enrile. Her Presidency started with that single spark fired at the tarmac 32 years ago tomorrow. JPE and Fidel Ramos broke away from Marcos because they were pushed to the wall when the RAM’s plot to take over Malacanag and neutralize Ver & Marcos was found out. That was not part of the plot to take over Malacanang then – so JPE and FVR had to make a stand that they were uniting their forces against Marcos. And thanks to the call of Cardinal Sin and Butz Aquino that people massed at EDSA and this stopped the bombing / taking out of the 2 personalities. Before that happened, Cory Aquino won already in an election which Marcos did not want to concede.

              Please do not distort history.

              And with your link on the statute you said that maybe the culprit – I did not read it because I am not a lawyer. But the only thing I can say is : Senior Jusctice Antonio Carpio was also appointed by GMA but he dissented. And his voice in the judiciary is always a steady one – FOR THE LAW! Hence, if he dissented, it means that there is NO BASIS at all for the granting of bail for JPE. He believes there is no legal leg to stand on the “human consideration” thingy. GO Figure that out. And I am awaiting the dissenting opinions of these 4 esteemed justices.

              By the ways, it’s now 3 days since the promulgation was made but NO BAIL has been posted yet. I am sure it’s not the lack of one million pesos. And there are NO RULES AND CONDITIONS out yet. What gives?

              • nielsky says:

                Ha ha ha.

                Offhand, let me laugh without even having to read that you beat drum on. Sorry, I can’t help it. Ha ha ha.

              • edgar lores says:

                Not listening, hey?

              • nielsky says:


                This is where things are. SC grants bail to Enrile in a vote of 8-4. Those who think otherwise simply lost. Period.

                As to history relative to EDSA 1, there will be x number of “I was there”, both written and being written yet. It has always been a ‘common grazing grounds’ – cheap in its purpose.

                If I should tell, there are many unsung heroes. In truth, there was an ‘Accidental Hero’ for the real one in that crucial moment of history gave in to his own fear, It’s human nature, ask Michael Jackson.

                A simple reading of what you lifted was just what it is – it didn’t tell, did it? Or read again.

                Thank you chit for this courtesy of reply.

            • john c. jacinto says:


              in fairness to you, without the people in edsa, enrile and his handful of failed putschists would have been blown to smithereens by marcos forces. and in further fairness to you, the people would not have gone to edsa if it were not for cory, butz aquino, cardinal sin, and of course, ninoy aquino. enrile is nothing but a self-preserving scum of the marcos regime.

              • nielsky says:

                It will be arrogant to ask, where were you those shining moments?

                How dare you say Enrile is nothing during that shaping event in history? You know very little about what happened than some piece of literature by some lousy authors.

                State your case.

              • chit navarro says:

                Let me ask the the same question to you Gary Olivar:

                I will always believe one who is an honest, straight-forward and courageous writer and activist who grow old with his principles intact than one who is like you described as:

                “an outsider who trying very hard to get some acceptance… socially and politically… i don’t think he can ever have it… he is a runaway kid… a coward, who has no bragging rights.. walang kuwentang tao si gary olivar … ig nore that coward… when the goings got rough here, he took the first plane to america… the gall of that runaway… minumura ko iyan mula ulo hanggang paa… at hindi makakibo iyan.”..

                But then, we should learn to pick our enemies – as it is, you are not worthy to be one…

            • triggermanjoey says:

              Marygrace vs Nielsky: Marygrace won hands down! May your flock flourish more! Thank you!

              • My thanks to you, triggermanjoey… there are many of us, here who share the same aspirations, You, Mike, Chit, Edgar. Wil, too many to mention. I had to go to the province to celebrate the 95th birthday of my grandmother, hence this late reply.

                Joe, heard that you were ill, get well soon, please take care.

          • edgar lores says:

            Ahaha! Good question: Who are you? Well, it is nielsky this time.

            I had this theory going that nielsky/nielksy/primer (NNP) were three identities of a dissociative personality disorder (DID) formerly known as the multiple personality disorder.

            This theory sprung from his accusation of “undisguised dissociation” against LCpl_X. Hmm, I thought, it takes one to know one.


            I have been trying in vain to identify which persona is Dr Jekyll and which Mr Hyde. My assumption was that Primer was the primary dominant personality… after all primer is at least one degree above prime.

            And I thought nielsky — s before k — was the good guy as he was initially profuse in his expressions of gratitude and in his openness to genuine discussion. But, no, all identities seem to be possessed of the same wide dark streak.

            Then my thoughts took another turn. Gadzooks! Could it be… was it possible… that NNP was an undercover anti-bad Binay, anti-bad China plant. Because… because have you noticed that the shady and shoddy reasonings in his posts invite the most remarkable rejoinders which expose the truth of matters?

            And here’s another thing: the only viable anagram of nielsky is skyline. And skyline is “the outline of objects seen against the sky.” You see, the name is hidden code for representing the outlines of truth.

            Hah! Even I was taken in by his superbly penned fumbling disguises. Get this right: our boy is an agent, a double agent, for truth.

            Attaboy, nielsky!

            I withdraw any suggestion that nielsky/nielksy/primer suffer(s) from the exotic psychological malady known as DID.

            • nielsky says:

              Pity for a man [whatever your stature] onto your own say ‘quality circles’ runs rings and webs of a grand foolish idea and buy from such an idea to sell himself as the ‘good’ when in truth, consumers only find letter what an bad product it was.

              Be simply guided of Joe America’s norm to focus on issue not on the person. Up to this point, you failed to understand that? What kind of a mental disorder manifests itself in a long comment that never have to touch on issues. I raise points and you throw darts.

              Ha ha ha. Let any disinterested person read through this ‘honorable’ proceedings of the ‘great men and women’ only a site such as this allows. You’re being funny. Get over your pestering malady man! This should be the last time I have to respond your pack of nonsense.

              • edgar lores says:


                You misunderstand the nature of the ad hominem model. It is not necessarily not playing the person.

                When the character of a person becomes an issue, then it is NOT an ad hominem to criticize the character of that person.

                You have publicly admitted, in so many words, that ethics is of no consequence.

                If I may be allowed to quote the despised Wikipedia: “Ad hominem reasoning is not always fallacious, for example, when it relates to the credibility of statements of fact or when used in certain kinds of moral and practical reasoning.”

                See that: “…credibility of statements of fact”?

                And let me bold the second part: “…when used in certain kinds of moral and practical reasoning.”

                In other words, the ad hominem argument is NOT irrelevant in ethical disputes.

                And… did you not get it? I was praising you. Well, kinda.

              • Ever since you came on board, Primer, I’ve always been titillated by you. At first, I was like, man this is too good to be true!

                You remind me of a really hot stripper, brand new, 1st night at work. Not the bar girls you guys have back over there, who come from poverty, I’m talking about strippers over here, who come from the suburbs, from good homes, solid middle-class, who just wanna work in a strip-joint, to satiate their curiosity (that or they got knocked-up young).

                These are no introverts, they are straight up Lolitas, they just wanna dance and tease. So to me that’s you, Primer. And for awhile now the musics been playing, I have my popcorn in hand, and telling myself ‘take it off, Primer!’. Just when you are about to (disclose something), others in the bar yell, “Put it back on, you should be ashamed of yourself!”.

                You shy away.

                And I’m looking back at them, thinking are you guy f’ing serious? So I’m here to tell you, don’t listen to them, Primer. Focus on me, dance for me–disclose away.

              • edgar lores says:

                LOL! You’ve just added another persona. And — woohoo! — what a persona!

                I’m sitting at the next table, Ovaltine drink in hand.

              • @edgar,

                You can sit at the next table with your Ovaltine, but stop unnecessarily provoking my baby. Let her bloom, like Aphrodite in Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’.

                Will you promise to cease and desist? And let the show unfold?

                Have at it, Primer, we stand (sit) in awe of you! Take it off!

                Teach us how the system works. Your audience awaits.

                Cue the music!

            • LOL!

              But I just wanna be on record saying that I appreciate Primer and Gary’s (hopefully continued) presence here. I know you guys like to frame everything as Good vs. Evil, hence all the nods to the Hobbit, Star Wars, etc. But in the end these guys represent the inside guys in gov’t, whose input (whether moral, amoral, immoral) are worth their weight in gold, if only to know how the system works. Interrogation 101, flattery gets you a lot of information.

              These bureaucrats work at the pleasure of their principals–many of course will remain loyal, such is human relations. But their value is in their knowledge of the process. The de-Baathification of Iraq under this guy, (who was under Wolfowitz/Feith), proved the value of these bureaucrats.

              Joseph Conrad’s description of them stands,

              “He was commonplace in complexion, in features, in manners, and in voice. He was of middle size and of ordinary build. His eyes, of the usual blue, were perhaps remarkably cold. Otherwise there was only an indefinable, faint expression of his lips, something stealthy—a smile—not a smile—I remember it, but I can’t explain. He was a common trader, from his youth up employed in these parts—nothing more. He was obeyed, yet he inspired neither love nor fear, nor even respect. He inspired uneasiness. That was it! Uneasiness. Not a definite mistrust—just uneasiness—nothing more. You have no idea how effective such a faculty can be. He had no genius for organizing, for initiative, or for order even. He had no learning, and no intelligence. His position had come to him—why? He originated nothing, he could keep the routine going—that’s all. But he was great. He was great by this little thing that it was impossible to tell what could control such a man. He never gave that secret away. Perhaps there was nothing within him. Such a suspicion made one pause.”

              “this papier-mâché Mephistopheles, it seemed to me that if I tried I could poke my forefinger through him, and would find nothing inside but a little loose dirt…”

              but it’s how they keep the system going that’s intriguing, and all our questions should aim to uncover how the system runs. How do they keep the routine going?

            • nielsky says:


              Sounds like ‘a poetry of life’, whom I presume, @edgarlores here is familiar with. I expect him to touch on that in his reply.

              Truth be told [and here we are again, but for the sake of accuracy], it has long been a settle point that – primer, nielsky, nielksy – [not to add other contraption like PP, NNP] are the same by IP address and simple identity. So when a thing is clear, it can’t be undone.

              Am sorry, I just don’t get that referenced ‘accusation of undisguised association against LCpl_X’. But I do know, it is already clear to him.

              Certainly, if you mean of ‘anti-bad China’ that I advocate the contrary [say pro-China], then admittedly so for now as a student of global politics. Agent/double agent, falsehood. Pro-Binay? Am just like some in the Great Cultural Divide who thinks otherwise. Am bias for institutions being able to complete the task. “It’s that simple”.

              Your piece is strangely entertaining. Why the plot thickens?

              • edgar lores says:

                “This should be the last time I have to respond your pack of nonsense.”

                Hmm, another comeback.

          • Demosthenes P. Maglasang says:

            What are we in power for? Yes, only the poor is exacted with absolute justice but the rich, the powerful, the famous and the influential can, in almost all cases, elude justice with impunity. WOW PHILIPPINE JUSTICE SYSTEM, WOW THE SUPREME COURT!

        • Mike Acuña says:

          Nielsky, on the one hand, you’re entitled to your opinion of Joe’s point of view. That’s fine. But as surely as you are entitled to yours, so is he to his. And some of what he stated are observations of fact, or near fact.

          Fact 1. Never mind that evidence suggests he stole taxpayer money. ” – That Enrile was detained without bail in the first place was because there was enough evidence to prove the charges by pointing to some basic facts, but such proof can be refuted for which a trial was necessitated. The non-bailable element was due to the nature of the charges.

          Fact 2. The eight justices who approved his release are, in truth, Arroyo appointees.

          Fact 3. Enrile is indeed employing, and will continue to employ every tactic, every strategy available, including his age and frail health to get free, albeit temporarily. He has been detained in relative comfort in a hospital, at taxpayers’ expense. In short, it is not inaccurate to say that he fully intends to legalize his way out of these charges. It is not inaccurate to say that he intends to make a fool of us all, as he has all these years.

          Fact 3. Juan Ponce Enrile is a liar. In his memoirs published in the last election in which his son ran for senator and lost, he denied ever saying that he helped Marcos stage a fake ambush on his DND convoy which Marcos used as the final justification to declare Martial Law. But I heard him declare live on national radio at the EDSA uprising that not only did he indeed stage that fake ambush, he helped Marcos cheat in the elections, specially the Snap Elections. Why do I believe was he telling the truth then and lied in his book?

          Because in those few minutes an airforce helicopter with missiles had been dispatched by Gen. Ver to take them out surgically. We all knew about it because the RAM officers broadcasted everything on radio veritas. Thinking those were his last moments, Enrile confessed his sins. He spoke fluidly. The truth rang out in every word. It was his farewell. Minutes later, we witnessed the helicopter take a bombing run to line up its target but on its second and final pass before unleashing hell, it instead landed inside the gates and joined the rebels. Years later, Enrile denied he ever said it. But the millions listening to radio veritas heard it. I heard it.

          Circumstance 1. Did he enrich himself during martial law? The question as to whether he continues to do so illegally is the subject of the charges against him. But during martial law, the monthly salary of a DND secretary was more or less P10,000 per month. Yet his assets are staggering. His home alone in Dasmarinas village makati is composed of at least three adjoining lots of minimum 1,000 per lot, each lot valued at a minimum of P225 Million per lot, at today’s fair market values. He owns buildings, other exclusive homes, etc. he was known and is still named as the architect of martial law. He has been alluded to by some as the architect behind the legal maze that is the PDAF scam. Unless a high school level person could have brained it out, such as Janet Napoles.

          Urban Myth 1. The fortunes of Jaka corp., Enrile’s company, has gone down financially over the last 15-20 years. Aside from economic factors, the rumor had it that this was in part due to Enrile having financed the coup attempts led by Gringo Honasan since 1987. Enrile was even arrested by Pres. Cory Aquino in 1990 for that bloody coup attempt in 1989.

          “The people get what they deserve”.

          It hurts to hear that, doesn’t it? My inner voice railed, “Whoa, hold on ONE minute! That’s not MY fault! Why should I be held responsible for something I didn’t DO??”

          You asked, who’s Joe?

          Lampwick: [picks up Jiminy] Hey, who’s the beetle?
          Jiminy Cricket: Let go! Put me down!
          Pinocchio: He’s my conscience. He tells me what’s right and wrong.
          Lampwick: What? You mean to tell me you take orders from a grasshopper?
          Jiminy Cricket: Grasshopper? Look here, you – you impudent young pup! It wouldn’t hurt you to take orders from your conscience, if you have one!
          Jiminy Cricket: You buttered your bread. Now sleep in it!

          What really shames, hurts and angers is that Joe isn’t saying something that we don’t already know, it’s that he’s telling us something we have always known but have been denying it and with it our power to change our lives because we fear the change and the unknown.

          We have become so used to being enslaved and victimized all these years, we probably would be unhappy if we weren’t miserable and not have the chance to bitch about our misfortune.

          What he’s saying is that because of our choices and non-choices, we are experiencing the results of those choices.

          We are responsible for Marcos. Martial law. The Mamasapano massacre. The PDAF scam. The election to position of people with a sense of entitlement and privilege of the few who wield power over the many. We are responsible for all of it.

          Decades of indifference & self-ish and self-centered attitudes and activities. Because of the choices we have made. Not making a choice was also a choice. We made it all happen by allowing it to happen.

          It angers us when someone slaps us in the face with the truth. When we’re caught with our fingers in the cookie jar.

          But what he’s really saying is that we have it within us to change all of this, just as surely as we allowed it to come about.

          All we have to do is to begin making the right choices. But we would need to realize and be aware of what led to those wrong choices.

          Thus, we could do with some bitter conscience to trigger some purposeful reflection.

          If we fail to ACT on the lessons of history, then we are doomed to repeat it. (my paraphrase on George Santayana’s words)

          Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. Proverbs 9:9

          A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool. Proverbs 17:10

          • My eyes were moist with tears as I reach the end of your response. You were able to express what I failed to in my pathetic response to nieslky.

            Thanks, Mike.

          • Joe America says:

            Dang right. I ain’t no grasshopper, I’m a cricket, and with enough thought, the Philippines will stop being a puppet to the entitled. (I can’t remember when I have ever been quite as touched by a reader’s defense of our right to speak up for integrity. Thanks.)

          • chempo says:

            You’re one ostritch whose head is definitely not in the ground.

            The power of personalities in Philippines! When I first arrived Makati years back I noticed the horrible un-finished building along Ayala Ave. Friends said oh that belongs to Enrille. Project ran into complication and stopped. Been like this for 10/20/30 years. Nobody dared touch it cos of Enrille. They are just waiting for the guy to the Lord then some things will get done. Almost true enough, when Enrille got arrested, the building changed hands, last year I think. …Oh oh, maybe not too fast, now that he’s out hahaha. Fascinating.

          • NHerrera says:

            A symphony of facts, quotations and sound reasoning. Bravo.

          • Jimmy Cricket says:

            Mike Acuña, You took the words right out of my heart …
            — From street marcher back in the days following August 21, 1983 down through to the pronouncement of the Agrava Commission ‘findings’ the last straw that led to the snap elections the dictator was forced to declare and held in early February 1896 which Cory won but which Marcos minions then rigged… Down to those days some 3 weeks later when, as street marchers were mapping out civil disobedience rallies, the kindly Cardinal Sin and Butz Aquino redirected mass action to Camp Aguinaldo where a failed coup d’état had put the lives of Enrile and his cohorts in grave clear and present danger… on a day when we believed, in hindsight so fatally wrongly, that we had achieved a convergence of heroism to shine a new day for our beloved country…

        • pelang says:

          what he is saying is true. and that sentiment comes not only from a foreigner like him but from most of us as well. ikaw, sino ka rin. ang natutuwa sa desisyong ito ay dapat lang sumama na kay Enrile et al. Hindi natin namalayan ang desisyong ito ng mga justices kasi busy na busy tayo sa topic na Binay, Poe at Roxas at sinamantala ng mga hayupaks ang pagkakataon para magawa nila ang nakakahiyang pangyayari nang napakabilis habang tayo’y nakatalikod sa kanila.

        • Attila says:

          shame/blame? That is fascinating and what a nerve! The “Magnficent 12” were shaming and blaming America collectively and Filipinos have no problem practicing blaming the USA collectively even today. Jose Antonio Vargas just made a movie about “White People” to shame white Caucasians. Hello Filipinos! You don’t need to lecture others about shaming and blaming and race baiting! You are the best at it! …and that was my finer points.

        • Joey L says:

          I like your reply Nielsky. Who are you Joe America?

        • juanlee says:

          recognition of the problem is the first step to finding a solution. when one is in denial, attempts to help becomes useless…but persistence sometimes changes perception…says me the ungreat one.

      • bobbyulili says:

        It’s also possible the Sandiganbayan was too slow for this. Obviously, it wasn’t ready for prime time. And by the way, arguing “Arroyo-appointed justices” weaken your case.
        I hope you won’t use that again. Best regards.

        • andrewlim8 says:

          No it doesn’t weaken the case. Under the leadership of Corona, they were ready to spring Arroyo and allow her to escape the country in 2011 by issuing a TRO on the watch list of the DOJ.

        • Joe America says:

          I wish an attorney would write a blog in layman-speak that explains exactly why justice is so slow. To me, it seems like the court does not set the agenda, but is reactive to the pleadings of the two sides. I think the judge should be hard-nosed and set the agenda, and be tied by law to complete cases within 6 months or a year. The legalistic rules and escape clauses and conflicting laws work against the idea of speed being fair, as does the almost automatic appealing up to the Supreme Court. Why not just triple the size of the Supreme Court and remove all the wasted energy in between. Just try everything there.

          The eight SC justices were appointed by Arroyo. Why does that fact, and deductions as to what it means, when they all vote alike, weaken the case?

          • bnimble07 says:

            @joeam, As I’m sure you already know, over the last 70+ years since 1946, most Philippine justices were appointed to serve mainly the ruling class, their henchmen and the politicians running the country (a banana republic) called the Philippines, on behalf of the ruling elite. As we now see from this latest travesty perpetrated by these clowns in the Supreme Court, nothing much has changed in my old country. What a shame! There are millions of hard working, honest, ethical Filipinos, there and abroad, and yet their voices, hopes and aspirations are never heard. They are mercilessly crushed by the likes of Enrile, Marcos, Arroyo, Binay, et al. What will it take for the Filipinos to finally wake up and rise up and take back their country? It breaks my heart to still see this happening in 2015. Heaven help the Filipinos. But then again maybe God wants us to take control of our destiny, once and for all. It’s now or never. Be Bold Filipinos!

            • Joe America says:

              I personally am against radical steps like overthrow, as it is disruptive in the extreme, and what needs to occur is an intense drive for a better way, within the system. The next president will appoint a lot of SC justices, let’s make sure he or she has integrity, and a grasp of the ethical vacuum.

      • jan lim says:

        sir, isn’t it their decision against a popular public opinion are proof enough of their sense of ethics? although the case were politically motivated, we simply cannot add colors, because of their political associations, until the official arguments are published.

        • Joe America says:

          Your deduction is the opposite of mine, when I see the alignment of justices. The ethical argument pertains to allowing a senator accused of plunder to remain in a post of considerable influence. I rather think the dissents on the case will express a stronger sense of ethical bearing than those agreeing with the majority.

    • Gian says:

      I hope this is really you Mr. Gary Oliver because ive waited so long to say this to you: you are a piece of s***!

      • Joe America says:

        Breathe deeply, Gian. In with the good air, out with the bad. In with the good, out with . . .

        • Gian says:

          Sorry, Joe. I couldn’t help it. And to think this guy was an activist in the 70’s??? Anyway, i will try my best not to do it again. Unless, it’s roberto tiglao and/or kit tatad commenting. Breathing in and out…cheers!

          • Joe America says:

            Cheers! (You get a freebie for having an unrestrained conscience.)

          • gary olivar says:

            Where were YOU in the 70s?

            • andrewlim8 says:

              @gary olivar

              I find that a fascinating arc among many of you guys – Barican, Magno, Tiglao, Cristobal, you.

              After starting out as shrill leftists, by the time you reach middle age, when bills have to be paid, you have swung to the far right, ditching all the ideals of your youth. 🙂

              • Vicara says:

                Don’t forget human rights lawyer and Martial Law street parliamentarian Binay, who is now wooing Ferdinand Marcos Jr to be his vice presidential candidate. And so turns history–and one’s stomach.

                Unhappy is the troll who has no other way of earning his keep except by yapping at the heels of feisty, articulate citizens with ideals, common sense–and long memories.

      • Johnny Lin says:

        Olivar is the official excuse of Grace as dual citizen holding sensitive post in government.

        He was spokesperson of GMA and when confronted about his dual citizenship he claimed that he was not a cabinet member and therefore not subject to dual citizenship rule on holding govt posts.

        GracePoe was queried about her american citizenship while serving as MTRB chief. Her was not a cabinet post too.

        Will Gary Olivar defend Poe from her bashers and cite his case as precedent or he will let go and be silent?

        Above, this is the phrase of Gary ” NOT A SINGLE WORD” , yeah not a word from him about citizenship issue of Grace.

        • gary olivar says:

          Nah, you just missed my posts elsewhere abt grace. Go look for them!

          • Johnny Lin says:

            Try reading my post down, August 19, 12:47 pm ahead of your post 6:50 pm.

            Must be feeling good defending Enrile by Returning the favor to him. He facilitated exile to U.S. during martial law.

            • gary olivar says:

              Actually i’m not happy that he participated in the corona lynching. But he triggered edsa 1986, which all the blathering in this exchange conveniently overlooks. That went a long long way towards wiping the board as clean as it cud get.

              • Johnny Lin says:

                Gary, How beholden are you to Enrile? You sound like Nilo Tayag defending Marcos.
                ” triggered EDSA 1986″

                Enrile HITCHED on the bandwagon, using Ramos. Same is true when he claimed he was at home during Erap, EDSA 2. He was with Erap inside Malacanang.

              • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

                You’re still smarting that your Patron’s midnight appointee got kicked out, ha..?.anyway you and your patron still has the numbers in the SC continuing to be a GMA’s curse that plague the nation with rulings favorable to the few and never mind the majority of the people.

                Of course the slate was not wiped clean after he was saved from Marcos’ and Ver’s wrath br Cory’ supporters, for as quickly as the dust had settled, here comes the coups that he allegedly funded, see other comments above and below. I can’t provide the appropriate link but chempo has shared in a previous blog article of Joe that the nation had lost a 770 billion worth of aid from a group of nations right after Cory took the helm of the government as president due to the destabilizations emanating from those series of coups. Their arrogance and macho image would not let a mere woman to succeed where they failed. He was able to get back to power after the Edsa revolution, was able to get his hands once more to untold riches and immense power, those not enough for you? Still whining in Enrile’s behalf?

      • gary olivar says:

        Fy2 gian.

    • nagimasen says:

      i take the side of the minority. if you are accused of a capital offense, the only exception for bail is when the evidence is weak.

      humanitarian considerations like old age is only given once a suspect is convicted

    • manuelbuencamino says:

      How is flight risk defined?

      • No wings, no flight risk. Applicable to most, outside of the avian species.

        In case of Manong Johnny, he’s no angel. Therefore, no wings = no flight risk.

        Just trying to inject humor to an intense and serious discussion. 🙂

  2. ramon orbida says:

    ang naging dahilan niya at mga abogado at nagpirmahan ang mga senador dahil siya ay MATANDA NA at MAHINA ANG KATAWAN,bakit nga ba babalik ka pa sa senado para lang magdidipa at gumawa ng ingay at kaawaan ng publiko…

  3. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Oh, there you are, Gary Olivar! The last time I heard of you was when the late Billy Esposo called you a sphincter. And you did not even bother to protest. Ran out of humor and riposte, eh Gary? And now you’re back defending the indefensible again? Way back in UP Diliman, as a freshman in ’69, I used to stand in awe of your flowing oratory, but no, not now. You have completely demolished my admiration of you. But back to your subject: “Aren’t we Filipinos worthy of it, too?” Again, well said, but it comes from a hollow tree trunk, full of termites and dead things, signifying nothing. When will you finally get the message that you cannot speak for Filipinos. Such arrogance. Shut up already and slink back to your hollow trunk.

    • Joe America says:

      Gadzooks, Wilfredo, your English is highly accomplished!

    • Johnny Lin says:

      First time I read a post of Gary Olivar in JoeAm’s blog.

      Not surprising, many conscientious Filipinos aware of his youthful militancy against Marcos consider him a traitor. He did flee to the U.S. during martial law, the land he was denouncing so fiercely in the streets.

      He must be in his 7 decades now, aging like everybody waiting to close the eyes except most are peaceful with children, grandchildren, unknown neighbors and fellow Filipinos.

      Gary does not have that peaceful feeling of being embrace by unknown people in his neighborhood, in blogs and social media; a pariah in the modern medium of social contact, except to his kind like Tatad and Enrile.

      What a pitiful quality of life in the waning years? if the grandchildren learn about it, their inquisitive question is most hurting, “What did you do before?”

      Worst is during wake when people unknown to you, reading the obituary page, passing by your funeral home and upon reading the name suddenly spit while cursing invectives aimed at your soul. Similar to Marcos and Enrile’s time.

    • caliphman says:

      The late Gerry Barican, Cris Aranda, Gary Olivar, etc…they all cut their literary and oratory skills as spokesmen for the National Democratic Front, Kabataang Makabayan and other leftist youth movements decrying the oppression of the masses by the Marcos dictatorship and the exploitation of the Philippine peasantry and laborers by feudalhacenderos and capitalist oligarchs. Some of them like Edgar Jopson, Sixto Carlos, and a few others died or were imprisoned for their beliefs. The first named including Mr. Olivar slipped out of the country to find safety overseas and later found the likes of GMA, the Enriles, and the Binays who were willing to pay them their thirty pieces of silver to be their mouthpieces. These were not duped witless student cannonfodder mesmerized by the idea of starting a revolution that were the shock volunteers that rushed the waiting truncheons and guns of the dreaded PC Metrocom. Rather they were among the leaders and fiery spokesmen who inspired the youth of the late sixties and early seventies to perform acts these gutless wonders were unwilling to do except in words.

    • gary olivar says:

      Sorry pards i couldn’t find it in myself to descend to esposo’s proctological level.

  4. Gian says:

    There we go again shooting ourselves in the foot. Do Filipinos still care? We should all be infuriated by this!

    • Joe America says:

      Yeah. Crime and no punishment. The story of Philippine justice.

      • nielsky says:

        @Joe America:

        What are you talking about?

        • Joe America says:

          The cultural failure of the Philippines to assign proper ethical punishment to those who discredit their organizations or nation, and a justice system that fails to deliver fair, speedy, law-based judgments.

          Perhaps you have to be skilled at reading between lines to find that, or have an ethical value system.

          • Johnny Lin says:

            Right on! Have an Ethical Value System.

            “Those who suffered mentally and financially under Aquino longing their luxurious life during GMA are of the same feathers lacking ethical morals, gloating everytime Aquino’s agenda for good government suffer setbacks”

            • nielsky says:

              In philosophy, “ethics is in the limbo of meaningless utterances”.

              Its relative character, what is good for one may not be good for another, remains an unsettled ‘constant’ in many cultures.

              Besides, in the current given, it is always said that “what is legal is not necessarily moral and what is moral is not necessarily legal”.

              Rest assured I still think that our institutions still work and they deserve due regard. it is the people around them that could really be a problem. But still, the process should turn full circle.

              • Johnny Lin says:

                Did you copy my posting in the previous thread with this comment?
                Did you look in the mirror after posting this comment?

              • bnimble07 says:

                @nielsky, I totally reject your characterization of ethics as an “unsettled constant” in many cultures. Which culture are you talking about. This is total bunk. And therein lies the rot in Philippine culture, the acceptance by too many, even the educated ones, that ethics or values systems is all relative. This is total nonsense, especially coming from a society that is supposed to be the cradle of Roman Catholicism in Asia. It boggles my mind to contemplate what you just said. That is why the Philippines has been beset by social and economic problems from its establishment as a republic in 1946. This is the reason why so many of the so-called leaders have been crooks, liars, thieves, malcontents to the nth degree, with no sense of shame or sense of fair play. They are there to satisfy their greediest instinct and to plunder the nation regardless how it affects Philippine society or the common good. The likes of Enrile, Marcos, Arroyo, Estrada, Binay, et al. do not understand the concept of common good. They have no sense of shame. They never did and they never will, and it’s people like you who encourage them and try to justify all the misdeeds committed by these outright criminals. For a change, do something that will make life better for the common “tao” or at least for the next generation of Filipinos who cannot yet voice their outrage. Grow up. Be the change. Be Bold!

              • edgar lores says:

                Aha! In this comment we see the true face of the slavering beast.

                There is no ethics. There are no constants, no truth. There is only — what? — survival and power at all costs.

              • Primer: “what is legal is not necessarily moral and what is moral is not necessarily legal”.

                Rest assured I still think that our institutions still work and they deserve due regard. it is the people around them that could really be a problem. But still, the process should turn full circle.

                You are truly a man for all seasons, Primer–either that, or the devil’s advocate (w/ Al Pacino). I’m reminded of this scene,

              • sonny says:

                What a movie! What a man/saint!

          • bnimble07 says:

            The cultural failure of the Philippines is this outdated belief system that says:

            1. Might is Right.


            2. The Golden Rule – he who has the gold, rules.

            This, in a nutshell explains many of the ills in Philippine society today and in decades past.

              • sonny says:

                Ayyy, for things past:

                1. Might is right vs “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.” (Baltimore Catechism)

                2. The Golden Rule – he who has the gold, rules vs “… love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” (John 13:34) (NAB)

    • edgar lores says:

      The Retrogressive Supreme Court justices are doing the damage.

      Enrile is charged with plunder which is a non-bailable offence.

      The only reason for granting bail is if the evidence of guilt is not strong. It should not be because of:

      (a) Enrile’s advanced age
      (b) His not being a flight risk
      (c) Humanitarian considerations

      And yet according to the PDI news: “But inside court sources said the high tribunal granted the elderly senator temporary liberty for humanitarian reasons, setting bail at P1 million.”

      It will be interesting to read the SC opinions and the terms and conditions of release… and see how justice has been perverted.

      Has justice been perverted? For me, the mere fact that the Progressives voted against Enrile’s release proves — ab initio — that it has been.

  5. osoconglo says:

    After all those Mar puff pieces, you have redeemed yourself with this article! Thanks JoeAm!

  6. Rejtatel says:

    I think to make those pronouncements without yet having read the decision is a bit reckless. Let us call a spade a spade. Waiting for the published decision for everyone to dissect and judge the SC’s rationale in granting JPE bail would not hurt.

    • Joe America says:

      The point is not so much about laws as about ethics, and a sense of propriety, a sense of judgment that says if reasonable evidence exists that someone stole millions of taxpayer funds, we ought to keep that person off the job until his case is resolved. It is an “abundance of caution”, similar to the reason judges withdraw from cases where there may be conflict. It says “we prize our reputation for integrity” and we won’t allow a stain.

      If you read about global criticisms of the Philippines, one of the main focal points is a justice system that promotes favoritism and corruption. Until people DEMAND unstained people, the nation will itself remain stained.

      If that’s your choice (lose ethics), that’s fine. I personally prefer high ethical values. I suspect the dissents to this ruling will elaborate in much more eloquent terms.

      • Rejtatel says:

        I do not prefer ‘lose ethics’ as you are trying to ascribe. My point is, how can you brand something as unethical when you have not yet seen the rationale? That’s jumping on the gun, as the old say.

        In discussing something legalistic, or any issue for that matter, is it not primordial that you know the details first before you cast judgment or take side or present an opinion?

        In your article you have immediately splattered the Supreme Court with grievous accusations without even having read what it said. Is that not unethical in itself?

  7. virayjun says:

    All accused are deemed innocent until proven otherwise. The preponderance of evidence must stand in court and be the basis for conviction or acquittal. Sen. Enrile and FPGMA could be guilty as charged, but could only be so until there is final conviction by a competent court. Until then, on the case of Sen. Enrile, we can only file for a reconsideration and gather more solid and acceptable evidence and hope the Supreme Court finds it meritable for deliberation.

    • BFD says:

      But is the OMB or the gov’t prosecutor filing an MR at this very moment so that the Enrile won’t be freed on bail? I’m not hearing or seeing any response at this time.

  8. jfdayo says:

    I believe you have to consider also the evidence presented for this bail hearing. Remember that even US courts grant bail based on the circumstances of the accused.

  9. Johnny Lin says:

    If Enrile filed the petition asking clemency to grant bail based on advanced age, frailty, poor health, illness and inability to function well for few hours, SC has to set condition that he would not be back to his job in senate and should stay at home or hospital only.

    If the justices consented to bail without pre-condition then the constitution was screwed again by Enrile the way he screwed the nation on martial law declaration. Without putting conditions on his movement, those justices approving the bail are scumbags and accomplices to injustice.

    Transparency by publishing the Enrile petition should be released by SC.
    Let’s wait on the honesty of the high court.

  10. Allan West says:

    While I don’t dispute your assertions about the bad impression this ruling brings to our legal system. I don’t like the guy either but I think you’re accusations are a too severe. I’d like to point out a few things;

    There is no such thing as a non-bailable offense. Bail is a matter of right EXCEPT for crimes punishable by Reclusion Perpetua or Death (i.e. Plunder) when the evidence of guilt is strong. You have to satisfy both conditions (Crime punished by RP to Death AND evidence of guilt is strong.

    His petition to the SC was based on two arguments.

    1. Even if convicted he cannot be punished by RP because of two mitigating circumstances; being over 70 years of age and voluntary surrender. Hence the maximum penalty for him is Reclusion Temporal. Ergo, bail is a matter of right.

    2. Evidence of guilt is not strong (personally this argument makes me sick). This is where our personal biases come into play. Neither you nor I have access to court records or DOJ documents so we cannot assess whether or not the “evidence is strong”. Although we both agree that his is guilty, that has to be proven in court.

    The proper court to assess the strength of the evidence is the Sandiganbayan. In the ordinary course of things the court can ‘asses’ the strength of the evidence as early as the pre-trial stage. At that stage the two sides hold a conference to determine what evidence will be presented and to narrow the issues. The idea is to streamline the trial and to let both sides know ahead of time what evidence will be presented.

    Pre-trial is scheduled for Sept 10 2014 (

    Fun fact he was arrested in July 2014. Pre-trial is the SECOND time an accused appears in court. It is the second stage of trial, after arraignment. They scheduled that after the SC forced them to grant bail. In other words they were in no hurry. Apparently they could have scheduled pretrial for Sept 2015 or even earlier but they had no reason to expedite the case until now when their lack of urgency was called out. (Btw our rules of court call for, as much as possible, continuous hearings when the accused is a detention prisoner. Funny how the court took over 1 year to get to stage 2 of the trial).

    To put that into perspective the recently deceased Datu Ampatuan was arrested in 2009. He died while in jail (admittedly because his own lawyers were delaying the trial). The latest developments in his case were denials or allowance of bail for the other 195 accused. Such is what happens when public attention is away from a case. It took 6 years for the Taguig RTC to deny him bail. But then I also think he is guilty and a painful death due to renal failure was a ‘light’ punishment.

    Again I want Enrile to pay for his crimes (including his many rebellions and role in Martial law).

    In conclusion I appeal to your sense of fairness. You can insinuate all you like but the law was correctly applied in this case (Albeit on the wrong person).

    In fact this decision, indirectly, has done the criminal justice system a favor. When the lower court drags its heels and takes forever to reach even the most preliminary stages of trial a higher court can force its hand into granting bail.

    Remember not everyone we despise is guilty, and the corrupt aren’t just the ones the Administration cares to prosecute.

    So yeah F*ck Enrile but this decision will benefit other accused. Including the falsely accused.

    • Joe America says:

      Interesting argument. So you think the Court letting Enrile walk will incent investigative and prosecuting agencies to act with more speed. Yes, if they get as upset as I am and a lot of other people that justice seems so hard to come by. I mean, the facts on Binay on the garage were laid out, what, a year ago, and its as if that testimony meant nothing. Fact after fact, lie after lie . . . all we have is Ombudsman acts against the son (contested to the SC) and AMLC freezing of 400 accounts. Man, jail him. How hard is that. I detest when the LAW gets in the way of the law, and thus my acerbic comment in the right column: “The more I hang around the Philippines, the less I like lawyers. They seem to be the most ardent of political players, pimps and dealers who redefine right and wrong so that Lady Justice herself shrieks in shame.”

      Thanks for your most interesting take on the matter, and your closing expression of desire for speedy justice, that most of us seek.

      • octoberstorm44 says:

        Joe, a prominent lawyer-friend of mine once said that for the Philippine justice system to function “flawlessly” (whatever that meant), we need to “take out” at least 7 of the top 10 law firms in the country. Loaded!

          • On the argument that he cannot be punished because, even if convicted, reclusion perpetua cannot be imposed on him due to mitigating circumstances, the constitutional provision when bail may be denied is “those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when the evidence of guilt is strong”. The reference is the offense being charged and not the penalty which may be imposed on an accused. So that even if jpe has mitigating circumstances in his favor which could lower the penalty in case of conviction, still the fact is that he is being charged with an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua, which is an indivisible penalty, while reclusion temporal is divisible into three periods. Moreover, under Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code, in all cases in which the law prescribes a single indivisible penalty, it shall be applied by the courts regardless of any mitigating or aggravating circumstances that may have attended the commission of the deed, hence, jpe may have all the mitigating circumstances but these would be immaterial.

            The reference to the arroyo justices should be the more interesting. The jpe case could then be used as a precedent to grant bail in the gma plunder case.

          • Joe America says:

            I’m sorry, I don’t speak Tagalog, Latin or Legalese. 🙂 I think you are saying that the SC ruling is against the grain and sets a rather disturbing precedent. I think a lot of plunderers are going to start getting very sick.

            • OzyBoy says:

              GMA still wears a neckbrace, Corona feigned diabetes when he was on trial, Napoles also wears a neckbrace and has gazillion ailments, Erap was also under “hospital arrest” once. Yes, those kind of people got VERY SICK when impending jail time became clear. I’m sure old man Enrile will get another stem cell treatment and use its healing powers in the confines of his bedroom and emerge back in the Senate looking soooooo OLD again. WTF

            • Geng says:

              “I think a lot of plunderers are going to start getting very sick…” and very old, too!


            • Fred says:

              Start getting very sick?? These SOBs who commit plunder are already sick!

              • Vicara says:

                Funny, though, how they don’t seem able to die.

              • Juana Pilipinas says:

                “Ang masamang damo, mahirap mamatay.”

                Thought I’ll never ever recommend a Monsanto product to anyone but I am thinking of ROUNDUP QUICKPRO, a supposedly fast acting weedkiller. 🙂

    • Mike Acuña says:

      Hi Allan. Good observation. Let’s all not forget that the bail granted to Enrile is temporary, its longevity dependent on the development of the trial. His other granted petition sought details, specifics, dates, on and in the manner in which he allegedly received kickbacks. The SC gave the prosecutors 10 days in which to reply. The forthcoming weeks should be interesting.

      • I would like very much to know why the SC is inserting itself in an ongoing anti graft court hearing, why did they entertain the pleadings and not threw them back to the court hearing it. They have enough cases to resolve, one of which is the Makati Mayor’s suspension and the condonation controversies.. Joe is right, the SC is overreaching.

  11. Percival says:

    Well, what can we expect from these 8 SC Justices (Arroyo appointees). Following this decision granting bail to THE EVIL OLD MAN for non-bailable offense, and the previous one junking the disqualification case, as Manila Mayor, against a convicted former plunderer former President Erap, I woundn’t be surprised if they would soon render decisions favoring Revilla, Jinggoy and Junjun. The possibilities make me feel sick and hopeless.

  12. chempo says:

    Let’s have a cool mind and examine the status:

    1. A plunder rap is non-bailable.
    2. Ombudsman investigates and decides whether a case exists. If yes, Ombusman charges the accused for plunder at the Sandbangayan.
    3. Sandibangayan orders the arrest without bail.
    4. Next comes bail hearing. Prosecution and defence produce evidence to the court.
    5. Bail is allowed if the court finds the evidence flimsy AND the court is confident “flight” is not an issue. The accused is then released.
    6. Trial continues to determine guilt or innocence.

    That is the Philippines due process. Well and good. Nothing wrong with that.

    Now consider this :

    a. Defence jumps queue and goes direct to Supreme Court to release accused pending trial.
    b. The defence’s argument — they questioned the long-standing procedure of bail hearing which violates the constitutional presumption of innocence.
    c. SC decides to release accused based on :
    c.1 – acedes to defence’s argument of the violation of constitutional presumption of innocence
    c.2 – mitigating circummstances — his voluntary surrender + old age.

    A. Did Enrille receive due process? — By all counts, he received special treatment.
    B. Does mitigating circumstances matter ? — this un-educated non-legal mind says mitigating circumstances ONLY matters when it comes to the sentencing, NOT in the due process.
    C. Did the SC set some sort of precedence in this matter? — like hell they do. Now half of the prison population in Philippines who are waiting for their trials can be released …. if they seek the services of atty Estelito Mendoza.

    What do we take from this atrocious ruling :
    (1) Estelito Mendoza is a VP potential.
    (2) It’s very easy to distinguish those Filipinos who will walk the straight path. Simply ask them if they agree with this SC ruling or not.

    • Allan West says:

      Mitigating circumstances matter. There is no denying the circumstances he alleged (Over 70 and Voluntary surrender). So based on the allegations there is no way he could get Reclusion Perpetua when he is declared guilty.

      Yes I agree he got special treatment.

      But no, the ruling will only apply to people denied bail where the determination of “evidence of guilt is strong” is unduly delayed or those who are denied bail despite the fact that their mitigating circumstances cause their penalty to fall below the threshold of Reclusion Perpetua.

      • chempo says:

        Allan, 2 questions for you:

        1. Would mitigating circumstances matter in any other charges, not in bail situation. In other words, would the court take mitigating circumstances into consideration and perhaps reduce to lower less serious charge.
        2. Is the SC also setting a precedence in terms of court process, that is, bail hearings can now by-pass lower courts?

      • BFD says:

        At Allan West, what if Enrile does something illegal again like what he’s alleged with, do we condone his acts because of his mitigating circumstances because anyway he will just be released because of those “mitigating circumstances”?

    • Joe America says:

      Very good, I like the litmus test. For the life of me, I don’t see why the Supreme Court accepts cases that could be denied for many reasons, out of jurisdiction, premature, preferential treatment, out of order – – – which puts it in the place of operating as the Executive and Legislative branches by overreaching and meddling. The SC holds the Philippines back, I fear. I’m reminded of the Ong ruling in which several justices argued that lying as Ong did was not such a bad thing. Leonen, on the other hand, went through the roof. I look forward to reading the dissents. I think in this case, they will better reflect the future of the Philippine judiciary, in terms of values, if the right person is elected President in 2016.

      • NHerrera says:

        While in general one may agree with the statements expressed above to the effect of waiting for the SC decision — that will be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, frankly who knows when — before making damning statements as you have done, I agree with the contents of the blog. I myself is highly insulted by and indignant of the decision of the Supreme Court. Of course, in the usual way, the contributors here can express their comments, in reaction to the blog, as they are doing.

      • bnimble07 says:

        Don’t hold your breath JoeAm, that the right person is elected President in 2016. This is the Philippines we are talking about, where dreams of justice and ethics go to die!

    • Thanks chempo, Allan West & Joe for the legal summary of this case, straight to special treatment–it’s the same over here too, if you’re represented by the best, you won’t die like the rest. And just like over here, the criminal justice system is as arbitrary (don’t get me started with the bail system–US and the Philippines).

      When I read the title and saw the photo above, I had to figure out why this guy was so familiar. After Google, I realized he was my favorite character in the movie “A Dangerous Life” (we had to watch it, but since I’m a fan of Gary Busey from “Point Break”, it really wasn’t too bad).

      He reminds me of Alfrid Lickspittle (Peter Jackson’s folly) from the film adaptation of the Hobbit:

  13. andrewlim8 says:

    I am just wondering if Gigi Reyes was capable of stuffing herself silly with all that cash all by herself, if we are to believe the Arroyo 8 SC Justices’ appraisal of the evidence as weak, so that bail may be granted despite plunder being a non-bailable offense.

    I recall Gigi Reyes clarified to the world that:

    “As a mere subordinate, I always bow to the wisdom of my principal, and no matter how some people tend to overrate me, my role and my supposed ‘influence’, I cannot substitute, nor can I impose, my analysis and opinion over his own. They give me too much credit and they seem to think the Senate President is a fool. They are grossly mistaken.”

    She said this in defense of Senator Alan Cayetano’s assertion that Gigi was the 25th senator, allowed to join private caucuses and sign checks. This was during the heat of the debate on Senate Christmas bonuses which Enrile had granted.

    My understanding of that is that she never moves without any approval or knowledge of her principal.

    • chempo says:

      Andrew I don’t know about Philippines, but in UK judiciary, under this kind of situation, the courts often place lots of weight on what they think a “reasonable mind” thinks. Here, Gigi Reyes’ words tells all. But Philippines courts prefer witnesses (often times paid-off), affidavits (often times with back-dated notarisation), and notarised officially (in some back alleys).

  14. Leo Cardona jr. says:

    What do you think of the American system which we copied. Example, the Clinton and Pereaus cases of emails. The DC corruption and influencing peddling, copyia lang natin yan from your beloved American shit. When you compared please do it totally not piece meal kasi we need to be fair. Pareho lang yan sa ibang bansa kahit man sa religion. Remember these are criminal cases so beyond reasonable doubt Hindi trial by publicity thru the biased media worldwide with their own vested interests.

    • Joe America says:

      I’m not writing about American justice. If I were, I’d start with the Supreme Court there, too, and particularly a guy named Scalia. I’m writing about ethics in the Philippines, or the lack of it. I recognize that some here don’t get it because you can’t grasp what you can’t see.

      • @ Joe, I don’t think SCOTUS would have anything to do with a case like this–but you guys probably have no Federal District Courts over there. So was the Supreme Court over there suppose to entertain this case, or was this another court’s jurisdiction, but given it’s high profile nature transferred up?

        Enrile was indicted, then “he was arrested in July 2014. Pre-trial is the SECOND time an accused appears in court. It is the second stage of trial, after arraignment. They scheduled that after the SC forced them to grant bail. In other words they were in no hurry. Apparently they could have scheduled pretrial for Sept 2015 or even earlier but they had no reason to expedite the case until now when their lack of urgency was called out. (Btw our rules of court call for, as much as possible, continuous hearings when the accused is a detention prisoner. Funny how the court took over 1 year to get to stage 2 of the trial).” (Allan West)

        @ Allan West, So he’s been detained since last year. I agree with Allan West‘s point above, essentially use it or lose it–so they lost Enrile. Now I’m curious about the process of slowing down such cases, was it just bureaucratic norms, slow prosecutors, bright defense lawyers with all their hoops–which was it in this case? And how can this specific precedence speed up similar future cases? Thanks.

        • Joe America says:

          I’m not sure on the rules for appeals, or why this one was entertained, or if other similar appeals will now be made (e.g., ex President Arroyo). The SC routinely receives cases from the major to nuisance, and I’m not sure why they do that. It’s like they seldom grant lower courts the right to make rulings. They argue the merits all over again. It is a hard-working court, with some smart, good people (Carpio, Leonen). The dissents on this case will make most interesting reading. I expect the eight assenting justices will argue legal trees and the dissents will focus on the principles that make the forest healthy.

      • bnimble07 says:

        You are right. Most Filipinos cannot grasp the concept of Western style ethics, it’s totally foreign to them. They are very good in understanding “legalese” or what is the “law” and The 10 Commandments, it is after all a predominantly Roman Catholic country, that’s it. But anything that is outside this purview, can and will be deemed to be in the “subjective” realm, not black and white enough, as Western philosophers or thinkers, such as C.S. Lewis, are trained to think about Ethics and Moral Law.

  15. tsoy gorio says:

    Sus grabe’siling ni jose rizal!ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika!higit na ang amoy nya sa mabahong Isda! Abaw nagsakit ang ulo ko!kung paano bala intsendihon ang ginaistoryahan nyo bala haw!

    • Joe America says:

      Okay, I’m not grasping this comment. I need a translation. And if I’m likely to disagree with it, please make an appropriate opposing argument. If I am likely to agree, thank tsoy gorio for his perspicacity.

      • NHerrera says:

        Joe, rough translation of tsoy gorio above — My goodness, according to Jose Rizal, one who does not love his own language smells worse than a rotten fish. I had a headache trying to understand all your stories or comments.

      • Little Prince says:

        His head is spinning trying to comprehend the articles and comments sir joe. It’s Ilonggo dialect. The Jose rizal quip “one who doesn’t love his own dialect is worse than the smell of a rotting fish”. Ironically, the great hero made most of his great works in spanish, so which was his native language ? But we all know the answer to that. He was trying to reach the illustrados and the movers of his time for the reforms needed. Much like what your esteemed comany here is asspiring to achieve . The winning argument are scatteredthroughout the different articles. Next step is, which is most important or else these may fall under exercises In futility, that they reach the masses for the majority vote needed. Then we can open our favorite bottle of red wine right about this time next year.

        We need more people like you sir joe. Thank you so very much for the love .

    • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

      Kay Rizal ba yun?… Akala ko kay MLQuezon…

  16. Gigi Reyes left her lawyer husband for richness and influence he did not have compared to the other. This tells you what she is capable of and you can ask senate staff on how she did things there. I personally saw her in a tuguegarao resto years ago smoking in a non smoking area while waiting for papa to come, ako had to told to go outside for a cigarette while she was brandishing her influence. History is replete with women like that as well as men too. No question the Philippine and American societies are rotting and the Chinese are on the way up which is a cycle for them due to foreign dominance and defeats in the previous century. It’s just a pity we in the Philippines are still waiting ” to be great again” as one have said in the 60’s.

  17. chena says:

    seeing the 1st few lines of this article, there is no doubt that this is also politically motivated. 8 justices are biased since they are appointees of Arroyo ( well, because GMA is the most evil person AGAIN in the Philippines and hated by PNoy so anyone associated to her should be an enemy of PNoy’s fandom) and the 4 justices are judged saints because they opposed Enrile’s petition. ( oh yes, C.Justice is an appointee of PNoy, she must also be GOOD side, a ‘Daang matuwid’ supporter So everything is now politically motivated if it does not makes PNoy happy. -,-“

    • andrewlim8 says:

      Well, if you learned in kindergarten what is right and distinguish it from wrong you will have no trouble understanding all the discussion here.

    • chempo says:

      Philippine Star headline : Binay camp hits ‘reward’ for cop in Makati standoff

      And so now any office handling any Binay camp personnel should not be promoted>

      • josephivo says:

        Bad luck, if your boss is very corrupt than you become suspicious too, life is not fair. And if you fail in putting the > or < sign correctly when you do the math of monthly income x 28 years and wealth of proven real estate, than you have an other argument not to promote.

      • Johnny Lin says:

        ANA SALGADO sigurado umangal na naman.

    • chit navarro says:

      well, one of the dissenting Justices was also appointed by GMA. So it does not really follow that if you are an appointee of GMA, you are evil. It’s basically in how you practice your profession and your relationship with others. If you care to analyze the 9 justices who granted bail, the ponente is from Abra, retiring in 3 years time. Most of the other justices are Ilocanos and are professionally related to each other. So it may not be because they are GMA’s appointees but because there are other reasons we are not privy of.

  18. surfer sison says:

    these 8 Supreme Court appointees of Arroyo shows us why it is imperative that we elect a good and ethical president next year …..

    our next president will have such a big impact on the kind of supreme court we will have !

    “MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Soon after President Aquino steps down in June 2016, his successor will appoint 3 justices to the Supreme Court – and 8 more till the end of his or her term in 2022 – or a total of 11* out of 15 justices. That will be almost triple the number of justices (4) that President Aquino appointed to the Supreme Court…..”

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, the next President will remake the Supreme Court, probably in his or her image.

      • chempo says:

        Joe I know you mentioned this some time back re the appointment of 11 new judges by the next president. It’s incredulous that most ordinary men on street has’nt got the slightest inkling on this judging from the various innocent discourse I have with them. Most can’t be bothered with 2016 because they have simply given up, it’s something beyond their control. When I explained the possibility of 11 Binay-appointed judges, then they understood the horror.

        • Joe America says:

          I think that and China can turn the vote. No fisherman ought to vote for Binay, and possibly Poe. No miner. No farmer.

        • edgar lores says:

          The next president, whose term will be between 2016 – 2022, will have the privilege of appointing 11 – 13 Supreme Court justices.

          The retiring justices by year (and number) are:

          2016 (3) – Brion, Perez and Villarama Jr.
          2017 (2) – Mendoza and Reyes
          2018 (2) – Leonardo-de Castro and Velasco Jr.
          2019 (4) – CARPIO, Bersamin, Del Castillo and Jardeleza
          2022 (2)* – PERLAS-BERNABE and Peralta

          * The retirement of the last two may fall beyond the June 2022 term of the next president.

          The names in all caps belong to what I call the Progressive bloc — which includes SERENO and LEONEN. These 4 voted against the granting of bail to Enrile. The rest are Retrogressives, although Del Castillo sometimes aligns himself with the Progressives, but not this time.

          The Retros are all appointees of GMA, with the surprising exception of Reyes, who is a PNoy appointee. (Reyes and Villarama Jr. were on leave for this case.)

          Jardeleza is an unknown quantity. He is a PNoy appointee and may be a Progressive, but he has yet to reveal his nature. He has inhibited in all the recent major cases so far. Add to that the fact that his appointment was opposed by Sereno and Carpio, and it may well be that his animus will drive him into the arms of the Retros.

          It appears that Enrile was released primarily on humanitarian grounds (according to a Rappler news item).

  19. andrewlim8 says:

    @Joe, @JohnnyLin, @ Mary Grace, @Mike

    The more interaction I have with Gary Olivar, nielsky (Primer Pagunuran) and Rigoberto Tiglao, the more I am convinced that what they had back then was an amoral club where the only yardstick was performance. No need for integrity or morals, just output.Gloria’s slogan back then was ” Strong Republic”. It was strength without character.

    They continually re-frame discussions by steering away from issues of integrity and character, and choose to poke all the holes they can find because at the end of the day, they cannot recognize their own faces in the mirror, unsure of what they had become.

    • Joe America says:

      I’m working on a blog to that point, and I thank you for helping me clarify what I want to say. The title is something like “The Philippines, the land of the walking dead”, in reference to those without ethical soul. I promise it will be a very visual blog.

    • edgar lores says:

      I wonder, is there a moral gene? And is this gene missing in these people?

      And has the gene become recessive in the Filipino people to such a degree… that it has enabled the corruption gene to become so dominant?

      It has got to be genetic. The lack of ethics is so widespread and is evident in all branches of government, in all social classes and in all professions and vocations… even in the so-called spiritual ones.

      • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

        I believe there is one in all of us, but then it goes numbed to some when power, influence and desire for wealth come knocking…some even take comfort in the act of confessing their immoral deeds over and over again after regularly committing them. Just look at Napoles and GMA in their pious poses.

      • sonny says:

        Greek tragedy: hubris (tragic flaw), deus ex machina, chorus, et al. (just thinking aloud, edgar)

    • gary olivar says:

      Great piece of pop psychology andrew!

    • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

      @ andrewlim8

      Yep, sadly that’s their yardstick…I somehow feel ill knowing that with their high level of intellect, they all fail to realize that they are being used to deodorize the stink emanating from the evil deeds of the one who appointed them and that they continue to do so to this day. Self denial or justification? Take your pick.

      Truly sad.

    • Johnny Lin says:

      Yardstick- PERFORMANCE?

      Andrew say you’re kidding please.

      They are INSTIGATORS with the intent to blackmail juicy posts.

      They became members of a faction known as PPP( Poison Pen Pusher). Valencia and Tatad were the founders during Marcos initial presidency.

      He he he

    • rephrase andrewlim8 targets not performance. Who hits their targets.

    • bobbyulili says:

      seems the pr0blem is we settle with character – and that’s never en0ugh. we need a high level 0f c0mpetence, energy, and genuine purp0se. Mar and Pn0y are b0th idi0ts wh0 d0n’t give a shit. Isn’t that 0bvi0us t0 y0u?

      • Joe America says:

        You are entitled to a position. I’m confident it can be expressed better. It is obviously not obvious to a lot of people, and if it is to you, kindly enlighten others with some specifics.

        Thanks you.

  20. Damn the supreme court gma lackeys. What infuriates the most is our uneducated populace is blaming Pnoy and the Ombudsman. WTF.

  21. al says:

    it means that in da pilipins, old age exculpates your sins of the past. the doddering nazi war criminals being sent to jail in europe will definitely appreciate that rule of law!

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, thanks al! That is true enough, and sometime I should do a blog about Filipino respect for elders, which is definitely in play here. How to decide when it ought NOT apply.

  22. josephivo says:

    All arguments of the 8 judges might be very true. But as all people are equal, some are a lot more equal than others. If the Pope would make an indecent proposal to my wife that would sound quite different from the same proposal by a taxi driver or a bank clerk. Very few are more august than the president of the Senate, for him the slightest suspicion of corruption should sound like roaring thunder. If he with all his education, his experience, his networks, his wealth… when he is not able to hide unethical things and blow impenetrable smoke afterwards, then he must have very advance Alzheimer.

    The age argument is similar and well explained with the wheelchair analogy of Joe.

    Judges this might not be as black and white in any law, but it is universal common sense, it is what the citizens you serve expect and what they pay you for.

    • Joe America says:

      That is exactly the pain of this ruling, the most senior official of the most esteemed body in government, and we get celebrations that the crooked old man pulled off another coup.

  23. Ariel says:

    How do i share this on facebook…? Rhanks so much. God bless.



  24. caliphman says:

    Allan, thanks for the yeoman legal overview on the main issues of the SC Enrile decision. Lest any other gentlemen and ladies get their panties wadded into a bundle in frustration, confusion, or outrage at the rulings by our highest court respecting the criminal cases faced by our 3 illusttious senators, a couple other overviews just might prove helpful. I should also add that the SC ruled in favor of Enrile in granting him bail but also on a motion that the plunder charge brought against him by the Office of the Ombudsman was insufficiently specific for his counsel to prepare a defense. Whether this is a technicality that might adversely affect prospects for a viable plunder prosecution against him remains to be seen but the SC ruled that a detailed bill of particulars be furnished to his counsel to remedy the issue.

    The link above is a recent quick summary by Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban that lucidly explains where the cases against Enrile, Revilla, and Estrada stand as of a week ago. I encourage anyone interested in this blog article read it to get a heads up of the current situation and whats pending on these cases.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks, caliphman. And I must say, your literary expression is zinging today. Wonderful. You dieting on Red Bull or what?

      • caliphman says:

        If Red Bull is has a diet drink, coffee substitute, an aphrodisiac and Costco carries it, it goes on my wife’s shopping list…hehehe!

          • the guy in black looks like Ramos

            • On the “table” looks to be a Lao Khao bottle (rice whiskey), the plates with ice and I’m sure that’s some sort of fried intestines (pork no doubt).

              But my favourite is Ramos’ towel, while his driver pours more drink. That’s definitely a ‘get out of jail, let’s hit the beach’ kinda moment right there, Mary.

              Great ad.

              • For Enrile, get out of hospital arrest where he is resting 24/7 and back to the waiting arms of Sotto and co. in the Senate…grrr!

              • edgar lores says:


                If and when Enrile attends to his duties in the Senate, he will have splattered eggs over the faces of the eight Supreme Court justices who decided to release him on bail on the grounds of “frail health.”

              • Yep, egg-splattered faces they will have, and Enrile will more than likely chuckle to himself saying “galing kong umarte talaga” (I’m a top rate actor, even the 8 SC associate justices believed that I am too sick, that I deserve a humanitarian consideration)….. but the damage is done, the decision was made and that will form part of the law of the land, another jurisprudence courtesy of an overreaching majority in the current SC…a precedent is set up…Arroyo (assisted by Mrs. Amal Alamuddin Clooney), Revilla, Estrada not far behind? They’re great actors/actress, too.

  25. ramon naguita says:

    JoeAm; their is need for Radical Change! Now or Never!

    • Joe America says:

      I like your sentiment, ramon, but I think it will occur one step at a time. One of those steps ought to be senators starting to understand that opinion-makers are watching. And they don’t like what they see. When we see Senators like Escudero welcoming Senator Enrile with glee, well, that should get a check mark, a “note to self”, that he is not suitable material for a promotion. Maybe one of these elections, they’ll finally get it.

      If we are doing OUR part.

      That’s a big if . . . but that’s the direction we should be going and talking about, I think.

  26. Kudos, Joe! You capture — clearly, concisely, and compellingly — the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We remain a deranged culture. We didn’t lose our moral compass. We smashed it to smithereens. We’re fast approaching total ethical darkness. But it that long, dreaded night will be of our own vile making.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I got a little irked. It’s like Enrile will march into the Senate chamber and give the whole of the Philippines the finger.

      • sonny says:

        Cicero vs Catiline. All these years I thought the orations were there just for learning Latin, Joe. “O tempora! O mores!” (O what times! O what morals!)

    • Joe America says:

      It’s like those eight justices were determined to take us back to their “good old days” when they were the favored rather than regularly scorned. Time warp.

  27. Granting of bail does not mean charges are dropped or a person is acquitted. The man is 91 years old. Bail was granted for humanitarian reasons.

    • Joe America says:

      Then for humanitarian reasons, he ought not engage in senatorial matters. And he should have been old enough to know better when he (allegedly) stole the money.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      Not so fast with that statement. Read the link I provided just before your post. It was a novel approach, one that sets precedent and will likely release so many others in the plunder cases, not just the old or weak.

      • I agree it sets a precedent. The next time a 91 year old senator is accused of plunder and voluntarily surrenders himself, those tricksy lawyers might just well use the same argument. The point of my comment is that many simple folk here equate “out of jail” the same as he is proclaimed innocent and set free. Not so.

        • chit navarro says:

          If there is a mandatory retirement age for the justices of the Supreme Court, can there not be a mandatory retirement age for congressmen, senators, etc.? How can a 91-year old function properly?

          • Johnny Lin says:

            How can a 91 year function properly?

            So easy in the Philippines

            Signature only to release pork barrel or ghost employees then ask chief of staff to receive cash to divide.
            Binay is 74 next year plus up to Sawa he wishes.

  28. Mackie says:

    Indeed a very sad day for Filipinos. Makes me think that the coming 2016 elections is going to be a hopeless exercise. We will see either Poe or Binay as our next President and that lover boy senator, Chiz Escudero, as our next VP.

  29. Johnny Lin says:

    In the Philippines there are 2 laws exonerating anyone below 15 years old and above 70 years old from crime. Only people age 15-70 years could be punished by any kind of heinous crime.

    That is why foreigners are exploiting these laws. They use young children as drug pushers and old men as child molesters. Big time drug lords and international syndicate leaders on child pornography abound in the Philippines.

    Laws in the Philippines are legislated by officials with the mind that they are the first offenders so they have to protect themselves. We have so many elderliy officials in Congress. They criminalize libel to deter those criticizing them. They don’t want to pass FOI and anti dynasty bills, amend bank secrecy law and fortify AMLA law. The courts allow govt officials to sue the Ombudsman and AMLA officials for libel for investigating them.

    And you are wondering why Enrile was given bail by SC justices!

    No more morals and delicadeza in the Philippines. People need to launch “Back to the Future” movement on these 2 fronts.

    It’s always fun in the Philippines.

    • Joe America says:

      I understand the juvenile threshold, but not the seniors. Certainly the criminalized libel, with its presumption of guilt at charge, is blatantly in favor of the powerful. Talk about chilling. I’ll have to hurry up and get old for self defense.

  30. Johnny Lin says:

    Headline News! Robredo children disapprove mom’s VP run.

    Grace does not want to run under LP.


    He he he

  31. Agnes Schanowski says:

    Oh yes, Philippines at its lowest & weakest hurray…poor Pinoys!

  32. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Alvin Toffler (Future Shock, Third Wave) asked, “Are we dying, or are we being born?” The Philippines is either terminally ill, or is fresh out of the delivery room. Either way, it’s going to be a painful process of transition. But these guys who game the system with their corrupt ways did not take into consideration social media, and Joe America. Joe might as well be Captain America, with his erudite contribution to the national conversation. It is as it should be, because we are almost a clone of the U.S. in terms of democratic principles and its concomitant failures. Sometimes I enjoy the drift, sometimes I get lost especially in legalese, so I need more cotton balls. But it’s still Democracy 101 for me. Thank you, all, for the rolling conversations. If we look hard enough we will see nothing but hope for the Philippines, nothing but hope, with intellectuals like you all flocking to Joe America’s site. What an adventure — after all, democracy is a learned skill, not quite instinctive. Pol Pot is instinct, but President Aquino, now there’s a man for democracy, punching-bag man, keeps getting hit, keeps coming back up with a smile. You get what you pray for. Nothing but hope. Hey, Joe, can we roll into Ninoy Aquino? It’s August 21st on Friday. — Will

  33. JoeyB says:

    “The glory of saving ones country can not be attributed to the one who has caused its ruin” JPRizal.

  34. Joe, the gist of your assertion is that, in this country as in others, the legal is bifurcated from the ethical. Unfortunately, there are way too many lawyers who dominate governance (thus the general lack of ethics) and most of them are no more than legal technicians out to abuse rules for their own private and selfish ends. I say off with their heads as Robespierre did during his reign. Oh, I forget, the madman was a lawyer too, and so his bloody head dropped into a basket as well.

    • chempo says:

      Richard you are 100% correct. I used to run a retail shop in another country. Customers are always right …yeah but you don’t know the shit salespersons receive. So I did a simple data collection to analyse who are my problematic customers. Of course I had my hunches and it turned out I was right all along. Lawyers are our most shitty customers. Next surprisingly, are the doctors. On the other end of the spectrum, the most reasonable customers are the lower educated ordinary fellas. Why is that so?

      I have always felt Philippines’ number one problem is having too much lawyers occupying positions better fitted for professional managers and engineers. Lawyers’ enhance Parkinson’s Law (work expands to fill the time available) by obfuscating everything in the process. In Philippines their sense of entitlement is put on full display in the “ABUGADO” plate in place of the vehicle number plate. Elsewhere in the world doctors put a label on their windshield. I can understand the purpose of the doctors’ label. But Abugados? –We are supposed to remove our cars for them?

      Of course there are good lawyers too, and my apologies to them.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, that’s the background to my note in the right column. Never have so many really intelligent men and women created a reality for the Philippines that is skewed from forthright and honorable. Poster boy is loopy Harry Roque.

    • josephivo says:

      Part of the problem are the lawyers, part of the problem are the laws. The professional politicians with their single focus on reelection (or multiple focus as Binay with wife and kids in politics), reinforced with actors, sports idols and newscasters, they are making poor and conflicting laws. Not “wasting” energy on an effort to clean up old ones, just printing new laws to favor themselves or their clientele, not the nation.

  35. bauwow says:

    I googled the definition of ethics and Oxford said it is the moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior. I then set out to know the meaning of morality, Google answered that it is the principle concerning the distinction between right and wrong….

    I have no idea why some people refuse to see what is right from wrong. Most probably they have lost track and chose to close their eyes because they cannot sleep anymore.

    Next time, I will tell my 103 year old patient to steal from a bank in front of our clinic. Of course, he would ask why, and I would tell him it is right because your are above 90 years old, and you have to pay my fees.

  36. Elk Grove Lolo says:

    A very, very sad day in the Philippines.

  37. Joey says:

    Paging the hunter that just shot Pamana…

  38. bnimble07 says:

    As I’m sure you already know, over the last 70 years, since 1946, most Philippine justices were appointed to serve mainly the ruling class, their henchmen and the mostly corrupt politicians running the country (still a banana republic) called the Philippines, on behalf of the ruling elite, of course. As we now see from this latest travesty perpetrated by these clowns in the Supreme Court, nothing much has changed in my old country. What a shame, such tragedy! There are millions of hard working, honest, ethical Filipinos, there and abroad, yet their voices, hopes and aspirations are never heard. They are mercilessly crushed by the likes of Enrile, Marcos, Arroyo, Estrada, Binay, et al. What will it take for the Filipinos to finally wake up and rise up and take back their country? It breaks my heart to still see this happening in 2015. It also makes my blood boil every time I read JoeAm’s Blog. Heaven help the Filipinos. But then again maybe God wants us to take control of our destiny, once and for all. It’s now or never. Be Bold Filipinos!

  39. “The next president, whose term will be between 2016 – 2022, will have the privilege of appointing 11 – 13 Supreme Court justices.”

    That’s way too much! For SCOTUS over here, the record for appointing the most was George Washington who appointed 11 and second, was FDR with 9 (but he served 4 terms 1933-1945, died at the start of his 4th term less than 1 month before VE-day).

    Lower courts there have to take up the slack. It seems like the main take away here is to revamp your courts system. Your SC should only hear the big issue cases that affect the nation, get these procedural -type cases relegated to lower courts.

    But how to empower the lower courts to be immune to legal maneuverings and physical threats? What are the best ways to revamp the courts over there?

    (p.s.~ I’m loving this thread it’s so full of vitality! You got FU’s thrown about and Disney cartoons invoked up top, and legal commentaries below. A celebrity by the name of Gary Olivar surfaces, and base on the comments he’s another one from the Sith Order.

    I’m just some spectator, with popcorn in hand, and this battle between Good and Evil is truly inspiring, but if time permits please also touch on the court system over there and how it can be improved. Thanks again!)

    • edgar lores says:

      Ahaha! It is a vigorous thread, isn’t it? We have a full 10 months of gestation before the birth of a new president. It is still early days and, to mix metaphors, the battle is not fully engaged and yet the skirmishes have taken on the enhancements of computer-generated imagery (CGI) and computer-generated insults. The excitements of Hollywood and Bollywood pale in comparison. And this is real life not reel life.

    • andrewlim8 says:


      I wanted to invite Gary Olivar for coffee, but he would have a problem drinking with that Darth Vader mask on…. 🙂

  40. chit navarro says:

    Reading all the comments is a great learning process. My final word on this –

    God loves the Philippines so much so can we just all pray that our countrymen will elect the right President this time (MAR ROXAS) and in a few years time, we will have a more independent Supreme Court, one that can not be bought or with no extra baggages to pay back. And for the recipient of the SC ruling, let us pray that God will take care of him.

    God is bigger than any of our problems. And I would like to believe that Pres. Cory’s religious beliefs and practice helped her during her Presidency.

  41. letlet says:

    I’m just wondering why the 8 SC Justices let loose the wild mad political dog Enrile just ten months into the election. Is there an ulterior motive? What kind of venom is he going to implant to political conumdrum of the presidential election, how is he going to exact his revenge to PNoy’s path of righteousness, who will be his visible / invisible pillars of support?

    Is PNoy’s security impenetrable? Do the AFP and PNP have total loyalty to him? Is his radar of intelligence security in perfect working condition – is he ahead of it or lagging behind? Can he
    concretized his plan A / B ( if he has) on the spot in case of uttermost political turmoil backed / unleashed by Enrile and cohorts into four corners of the Philippines?

  42. manuelbuencamino says:

    What is the meaning of non-bailable offense?

    Apart from apparent weakness or lack of evidence, are there reasons for exemption from the law that enumerates non-bailable offenses?

    Are old, age, sickness. compassion, and low flight-risk valid reasons for granting bail to those charged with non-bailable offenses?

    Who should make a determination on prima facie, the trial court or the SC?

    Old age, sickness, and compassion : Shouldn’t Andal Ampatuan Sr have been granted bail as he was old and terminally ill? Shouldn’t he, out of compassion, been allowed to spend his last days on earth with his loved ones?

    What about the presumption of innocence? Anybody convicted by a trial court has a chance of seeing his conviction overturned by either the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court.

    Is there still a sliver of innocence until the Supreme Court upholds a conviction with finality?

    If that is the case then why is Delfin Lee of the housing scam and the other Ampatuans not allowed bail? Are they not innocent until they exhaust all appeals?

    What about flight risk? Who is more capable of bail jumping, a rich sick old man or a poor sick old man?

    Let’s go back to bail…bail is available only to those who can afford it. Appeals are available only to those who can afford them. Do the scales of justice symbolize the advantage of wealth?

  43. jameboy says:

    “With all due respect, who are you? What is your stake, if any, in us all? Why you bad-mouth the institutions and public officials who run the country’s government and by what right or ascendancy? Who are you?” – nielsky
    It’s a political issue and anyone, yes, anyone has the right to freely express their disgust, contentment or even outrage and Joe simply decided to express his extreme displeasure about it. The issue impresses upon legalistic aerobics by powerful people to circumvent and evade the legal process. Right or wrong, suspicion cannot be avoided

    Just like any observer, he has all the right to register his skepticism, his abhorrence to the decision of the SC and the logic for his vehement objection. An important issue such as the Enrile corruption charges surely invites inputs from all sides, no matter who and what affiliation, political, personal, etc. one has.

    Given that fact, posing the “Who are you?” question is really out of place and only tends to drag the conversation toward the gutter line. What should be done instead is to point out why the opposition to the SC ruling on bail is weak and why the shaming of a people (“The people got what they deserve”) was out of line.

    I never for once thought of my ‘sense of nationhood violated or my sensibility harm’ after reading Joe’s blog. Why over romanticize a shameful corruption case against a senator who many believed could be guilty of it? Okay he’s innocent until proven guilty but that does not stop observers like us from assuming that he’s not a good example of showcasing the kind of system we have. That he’s not worthy of emulation by our younger generation even though he’s been in gov’t. like forever. In spite of having advances towards social and ethical reforms the culture of entitlement remains entrenched in our system and psyche. And that is the gist of the blog and the basis of Joe’s histrionics.

    Believe me, there is so much reason to bad mouth the institutions and the people who run the government of this country. From the corruption of the Marcoses, the Eraps and the Glorias to the hidden wealth of the Binays, the Coronas to Napoles’ list ad infinitum. We do not have a perfect system that makes the “Who are you?” Question valid every time somebody cast doubts or even imply direct machination of mischief from the powers that be. Anybody whose concern is the best interest of this country should be able to express indignation, right or wrong, without fear of being questioned as to who they are or what jtheir right is for saying so their unfavorable view.

    In fact, what should be asked instead is – in the midst of people who allegedly corrupted and enriched themselves while in office and continue to deny, evade or elude their accusers – what are we doing to compel or pressure public officials to be more honest and trustworthy in the performance of their jobs? Ask ourselves who we are with the kind of officials we put in those institutions we like to protect and respect. It’s really not about those who questions the decisions made, it’s about the repercussion of those decisions on us as a nation.

    Delicadeza, anyone? 👮

    • Why didn’t your comment go below Fred’s below? August 19, and back up August 20?

    • nielsky says:

      You missed the point. The SC decision was not out yet for anyone to have read through the finer points as the same basis for an informed opinion. Until then, any such opinion is of a type done in haste that is why it will neither be able to point to an issue worthy of debate except the usual grand theory called ‘ideological morass’. By the same token, one needs only respect each other opinion without need to use shame/blame right away. Show first the ‘hundred points of light’ – and not the damnation alley.

      I hope you get my point @jameboy

      • jameboy says:

        I get your point but as much as you felt the sting on what Joe wrote I don’t think a ‘who are you’ retort even come close to an issue worthy of starting a debate. That’s also the reason why I find it a little early, if not entirely irrelevant, to drag into the conversation our ‘sense of nationhood’ and our ‘inner sensibilities’ being harm just because somebody mouthed what most people are already thinking. Like I said, it’s a political issue hence as such all bets are off. That, and nothing, practically nothing in what Joe said was actually new.

        I may not agree entirely with what Joe said but I’m not going to engage him with the purpose of anchoring my focus on his identity or personal purpose why he made such ‘harsh’ statement just to insinuate he’s out of line on something, according to you, the entire details of has yet to come out.

        In short, I did not agree with your line of attack simply because you responded by focusing on the messenger instead of the message itself which I think you could have properly address if only you contradicted him on the details of what he said and not what you think his purpose in saying it. Joe can take care of himself for all I care but I was just commenting in the strong “Who are you? Etc.” rebuttal on an expression which I consider legit or harmless comment worthy of discussion. 😎

        • nielsky says:

          I could see through your point but mine is root from the same tree. I grant that you raised a valid point as I probably also raised a different concern, worthy of note. We will all be at this – well-meaning individuals that we are. It is not really that it was important to ask “who are you?” but it carries a whole sea of meanings, one of which, we cannot deal for now until maybe a future time. Thank you but I am not in disagreement with your opinion only that all of us behaves or thinks in a particular way and we have reasons for them.

          Joe America deserves all the respect in running this ‘common room’ in the best way he can and with highest possible regard for everyone who wants to raise the level of discourse 1/2 inch higher.

  44. JM says:

    Thanks joe for the article. I too am part of the minority but not the minority who is pro-enrile. I want him hanged not jailed. As for the comment section, I am not sure which I would like more. Everybody agrees (boring) or there are for and against (entertaining but I also get annoyed by how the pro-corrupt/china thinks).

  45. manuelbuencamino says:

    The decision is out…

    It is 16 pdf pages of rationalization and justifications and citations for two sentences found in the decision:

    (1) “Enrile’s poor health justifies his admission to bail…..

    (2) “With his solid reputation in both his public and his private lives, his long years of public service, and history’s judgment of him being at stake, he should be granted bail.”

    • edgar lores says:

      Leonen’s dissenting opinion is a thing of rigorous logic and beauty.

      1. He shreds the palusot of poor health:

      1.1. “Despite brushing aside all of petitioner’s arguments, the majority, instead of denying the Petition for Certiorari, grants it on some other ground that was not even argued nor prayed for by petitioner.”

      1.2. “In essence, the majority now insists on granting bail merely on the basis of the certification in a Manifestation and Compliance dated August 14, 2014 by Dr. Jose C. Gonzales (Dr. Gonzales) stating that petitioner is suffering from numerous debilitating conditions. This certification was submitted as an annex to a Manifestation before this court regarding the remoteness of the possibility of flight of the accused not for the purposes of asking for bail due to such ailments.

      “Nowhere in the rules of procedure do we allow the grant of bail based on judicial notice of a doctor’s certification. In doing so, we effectively suspend our rules on evidence by doing away with cross-examination and authentication of Dr. Gonzales’ findings on petitioner’s health in a hearing whose main purpose is to determine whether no kind of alternative detention is possible.”

      2. He indicated he raised this question in writing during deliberations before verdict was handed down: “Without conceding, if the accused is released on bail so that his medical condition can be attended to, should he be returned to detention when he becomes well? If he reports for work, does this not nullify the very basis of the ponencia?”

      2.1. And he observes: “Before the ink used to write and print the majority opinion and this dissent has dried, friends, family, and colleagues of petitioner already strongly predict that he would report immediately for work. This strongly indicates that the majority’s inference as to the existence of very serious debilitating illnesses may have been too speculative or premature. “

      3. He assails the selective justice bestowed on Enrile, and he rages…:

      3.1. “Our collective liberty, the kind that ensures our individual and collective meaningful existence, is put at risk if justice is wanting. Special privileges may be granted only under clear, transparent, and reasoned circumstances. Otherwise, we accept that there are just some among us who are elite. Otherwise, we concede that there are those among us who are powerful and networked enough to enjoy privileges not shared by all.

      “This dissent rages against such a premise. It is filled with discomfort with the consequences of the majority’s position. It cannot accept any form of impunity. “

      4. And he ends with a powerful vision of the role of the Supreme Court, and for the court to understand that while there is room for mercy and compassion in justice… these two should not be allowed to nullify justice.

      4.1. “As the apex of the judiciary, the very sentinels of the Rule of Law, the court from whom all other courts – like the Sandiganbayan – should find inspiration and courage, we should apply the law squarely and without fear or favor. We should have collectively carried the burden of doing justice properly and denied this Petition.

      “Indeed, mercy and compassion temper justice. However, mercy and compassion should never replace justice. There is injustice when we, as the court of last resort, conveniently rid ourselves of the burden of enforcing the Rule of Law by neglecting to do the kind of rigorous, deliberate, and conscious analysis of the issues raised by the parties. There is injustice when we justify the result we want with ambiguous and unclear standards.

      “Compassion as an excuse for injustice not only fails us as justices of this court. It also fails us in our own humanity.”

      5. Wow.

      • andrewlim8 says:

        Where’s Olivar and Nielsky? This precedent now benefits who?

        • edgar lores says:

          Any plunderer with ill health. SC has made “humanitiarian grounds” a valid excuse for granting bail on non-bailable offences.

      • NHerrera says:

        3 x WOW! Especially coming from one of my favorite SC Justices — Marvic Leonen.

      • Thanks for the summary, edgar.

        2. He indicated he raised this question in writing during deliberations before verdict was handed down: “Without conceding, if the accused is released on bail so that his medical condition can be attended to, should he be returned to detention when he becomes well? If he reports for work, does this not nullify the very basis of the ponencia?”

        I have no idea what ponencia means, but it nullifies something. Kinda like calling in sick to work (with acting on the phone deserving of an Oscar), only to be seen bicycling around the beach.

        • edgar lores says:

          Ponencia refers to the written opinion, the ruling, of the court. It usually refers to the majority opinion.

          Ponente is the writer, the author, of the opinion.

    • nielsky says:


      In sum, has the SC become too ‘personality-centered” as to set dangerous precedent to subsequent cases?

      • Primer,

        You have a mission. When Enrile enters the Senate, give him a hug (maybe a pat on the behind) and stick a piece of paper on his back that will read “Not Really Sick, Just Well Connected”.

  46. Jean says:

    Our constitution is broken. Our concept of freedom is flawed. Our moral and ethics are skewed. This is generally accepted by the majority as true. We are damaged goods. Despite popular opinion, our dark ages did not end when the country earned its independence. We are still shackled by past. We are still slaves/victims, though no longer from foreign oppressors, we are now doing it to ourselves.

    Most of our laws were not born of honorable ideals but as a knee jerk reaction to whatever has been troubling at that time. Its a flawed system that is easily manipulated.

    Our constitution needs to be revisited and reviewed. Our understanding of politics and how it should work needs to washed and rinsed and hung out to dry.

    Every country who survived its dark age is doing relatively well, our turn will come should we survive this.

    • NHerrera says:

      Every country who survived its dark age is doing relatively well, our turn will come should we survive this.

      I share that hopeful thought: having this event, with its deep emotional pain that cries great outrage, is good to have as a future reference of our dark age. Hopefully with easing of poverty, education and building on the critical gains of the last five years, we get to have our turn at being reasonably satisfied with our Justice System — the Branch of government supposed to be a font of wisdom and morality instead of depravity typified by the 8 members of the SC in its recent ruling.

    • ruth inso says:

      I lost hope for the Philippines. When all the branches of the government are flawed where is our hope? When the supreme court which I believe the most trustworthy branch of government ruled pro-Enrile bail, all my hopes for the country are gone. It seems that we will be in the “dark age” for a long, long time. How can we flush out all the worms in our government when most of them are thriving in wealth and power? Most people like me who love our country vent out our frustrations in the social media, but what good does this do to make a change? Unless our frustrations will flood the social media like the binay’s case, then maybe there is hope for a change.

  47. NHerrera says:

    Off topic, but as long as we are talking about ‘onli in da Pilipins’ items, Senator Trillanes, through his Blue Ribbon Subcommittee witness, came up with another Makati anomally: allegedly P367 million per year in only 2 small Barangays — out of several tens of Makati Barangays — are lost to “ghost senior citizens.” In context, the alleged P50m bribe to two CA Justices to get Junjun Binay out of the First Suspension Order is a drop in the proverbial bucket.

  48. andrewlim8 says:

    Tsk, tsk, tsk

    Methinks the Arroyo 8 have laid a precedent for….. guess who? Clue: It does not start with the letters B to Z.

    Basic question, Nielsky. If Enrile was so old and so weak, why is he raring to go back to work in the Senate?

    • These hateful eight must be impeached start with bersamin.

      Nag ngingitngit na ako sa galit di ko pa nabasa yung dissent ni Leonen P*tang In@.

      Leonen’s writing screams have you now MORALS? Have you no sense of Decency? Can’t we even interpret some laws but create some doctrine out of thin air.


      • NHerrera says:


        I am glad of two things:

        – We still have lawyers worthy of their calling such as SC Justices Sereno, Carpio, Perlas-Bernabe, and Leonen;

        – I am glad to be able to say here; andl say in public: the majority 8 who voted to grant bail to Enrile are immoral, depraved — members of the exclusive Society of Dishonorable Justices.

  49. manuelbuencamino says:


    The decision on the bill of particulars, promulgated last Aug 11, is the back-breaker. This decision is the one Enrile needs to get off on the plunder charge. As such it bears equal or more attention than the bail decision.

    Juan Ponce Erile Vs. People of the Philippines, et al.
    G.R. No. 213455. August 11, 2015
    Dissenting Opinion
    J. Carpio, J. Leonen

    Separate Concurring Opinion
    J. Perlas-Bernabe

  50. I know that this is going to be an unpopular opinion here, but I agree with the SC this time with granting Enrile bail. I mean, I know he’s guilty, but you have to understand that he’s old (in his 90s) and is sick (given his age, I think his illnesses, if any, are genuine). At the very least, he should be given house arrest rather than be kept in a jail. Actually, about the only thing I don’t get is why he didn’t want to stay in the PNP Hospital: at least he’s in a hospital where people could take care of him. If Enrile was younger then he should not have been granted bail, but given his age I think an exception should have been made in this case. With that said, I’ll be pissed if the same will be done for Bong and Jinggoy, who are still young enough to suffer their consequences. Even Binay is still around 20 years younger than Enrile so he can still go to jail.

  51. andrewlim8 says:

    A little poem on this sad episode.


    Masarap maging korap
    Sa bayang mahirap
    Lahat pinapatawad
    Hustisya’y nababaligtad

    Sabi nila’y matanda
    Kaya pinalaya
    Sabi nila’y may sakit
    Kaya wag i-piit

    E bakit siya ganado
    Na bumalik sa Senado?

    Anong klaseng bansa ito
    Napakaraming relihiyoso
    Pero mga appointee ni Arroyo
    Yung walo, yung walo!

    (Apologies to non-Tagalog speakers. Translation is provided below, But it does not capture the original.)


    It’s fun to be corrupt
    In a poor nation
    Everything is forgiven
    Justice is upended

    They said he was old
    So he should be free
    They said he was sick
    So he should not be detained

    Then why is he raring
    To go back and work at the Senate?

    What kind of country is this
    So many religious
    But Arroyo’s appointees
    Those eight those eight!

  52. i7sharp says:

    “The Supreme Court Ruling On Enrile Shames The Philippines”

    Isn’t it a shame this “”ruling” is happening
    despite the Philippines’ being (as often said) “the only Christian nation in Asia”?

    Hasn’t Enrile himself claimed to be a born-again Christian?
    Aren’t any of the SC justices Christian?
    – Isn’t former president Arroyo, who appointed a majority of them, Christian?
    – Isn’t PNoy (the current president) Christian?

    What gives?
    What are we missing?
    The clues?
    The truth?
    The BIG picture?

    Let us start small – with “of” – to hopefully see the BIG picture.
    Let us look at the preposition “of” as it is used in relation to Christ.
    Lest you forget or not know,
    it is from the name of Christ
    that the terms Christianity and Christian are derived.

    Having said that, let me pick up from here,
    (Think of “ja” as the Joe America blog, “of” the preposition.)

    During Rizal’s time, in the 1800s, this was what one would have read in
    Galatians 2:16:
    “the faith of Jesus Christ … the faith of Christ”
    King James Version (1611)
    Douay Rheims Bible (1582)

    In the thread I saw at least two “modern” bibles quoted:
    the NKJV (New King James Version) and
    the NAB (New American Bible).
    The two both read
    “faith in Jesus Christ … faith in Christ”

    a. the “of” was changed to “in.”
    b. the definite article, “the,” is there, no more.

    Much ado about nothing?
    Or, in context, a WORLD of difference?
    A wise handling of it can make the Philippines “the center of the world”?

    Ano ang palagay ninyo?
    Ano’ng “sey” ninyo?


    • i7sharp says:

      I meant to say, “Ano’ng sey n’yo?”

      Get well soon, Joe America.

    • “faith in Jesus Christ … faith in Christ”

      a. the “of” was changed to “in.”
      b. the definite article, “the,” is there, no more.

      Much ado about nothing?
      Or, in context, a WORLD of difference?

      Thanks, man. It does make a world of difference! ‘of’ vs. ‘in’–

      for me, ‘in’ Jesus is more aligned with the current assumption that John 3:16 is what Jesus said ‘of’ himself, rather than John’s (or pseudo-epigraphed John) attribution of who John thinks Jesus to be.

      ‘of’ Jesus, connotes possession of these ideas (of Jesus, or Jesus’ ideas), if ‘of’ is focused on, then

      all of Paul’s letters will have to be marginalized (because it’s not ‘of’ Paul though he makes up half of the NT,

      ie. if it was ‘in’ Jesus then Paul would be in play).

      ‘of’ Jesuswould mean to focus on Jesus’ teachings, especially about living an austere life (as he, John the Baptists, disciples and other followers lived).

      Salvation by austerity (sramanic tradition) vs. salvation by faith (Paul’s).

      Though I’m not too sure how this ‘of’ Jesus and ‘in’ Jesus difference relates to the Enrile win.


      I’m not a big fan of magical thinking, but I am a big fan of the Bible. Did you know that the entire New Testament was written in Greek? I guess since Alexander the Great pushed east, that region from modern day Greece/Turkey north, to Syria/Lebanon/Israel east, and Egypt/Libya south, had been Greek–all points west thereof would later be Romanized, hence Latin.

      Hebrew was a liturgical language, so Jesus spoke to his followers in Assyrian (or Syriac/Arahmaic) from when the Assyrians ruled that area, affecting the first diaspora of the Jews. So for Jesus, it would’ve been akin to 19th century Philippines, where Spanish=Greek (high language), Latin=Hebrew (church magic speak), Assyrian=Tagalog (low language).

      So when early Christians (who were Jewish) wrote, they wrote in the high language (same reason why Rizal wrote in Spanish). The Gospels were oral traditions written down. Paul’s letters though were actual letters (not so different from our interactions on here, or emails) to strangers and to people he already knew–they are named after the towns they were sent to.

      Most of the current Christian dogmas, ie. Trinity, Mary being Mother of God, etc. all happened in the Greek east. Eventually the Roman Christians who spoke Latin got sick and tired of all the Greek Christian crap, they were always trying to figure out if the Son was more than the Father, and where exactly the Holy Spirit fits in. They took too much from Greek philosophers. Whereas, Romans appreciated order over nuance.

      So the Romans were all like, what the hell are you guys arguing about, we don’t even speak Greek. F’ this, we’re gonna translate the Greek and Hebrew Bibles into Latin, F’ y’all! Around the same time, the people who spoke Assyrian (Syriac/Ahramaic) said the same thing and translated their own Bibles. The Romans had the Vulgate and those who spoke Assyrian wrote the Peshitta (they’re the Church of the East, and supposedly ‘doubting’ Thomas was their main guy, who set up shop in south-west India).

      Everyone’s happy with the 3 languages (the Copts also had their own, but their language is related to Greek–and Egyptian, but not Arabic), but further down the line, others wanted their own translations. Only problem was original Greek NT Bibles were now hard to come by in the Latin west. Keep in mind, there were no Xerox copy machines back then, so not only were Greek manuscripts hard to come by, but certain ones survived while most disappeared.

      So now the name of the game was finding the original Greek manuscripts, and deciding which versions to go by (ie. if one Greek sentence differed from another Greek sentence about the same line, which one do you entertain and translate?) Two works in particular popped up,

      The Complutensian Polyglot, from the town Complutum, Spanish Alcala, and Polyglot because it not only attempted to cover the original Greek, but also Hebrew. Stunica was one of the scholars who participated in this project and they completed the NT in around 1514–Megallan around this time had just returned back to Spain with his servant Enrique of Malacca. The rest of the Polyglot was finished around 1521, published the year after–that same year, Magellan didn’t even get to go diving or check out the GRO scene on Mactan, the locals killed him while in the water.

      Upon hearing of the Polyglot, Erasmus in the Netherlands (this dude’s Dutch), gets started with his own version based on original Greek manuscripts. Now keep in mind, these guys, Stunica in Spain and Erasmus in the Netherlands, didn’t go Indiana Jones, they just used the Greek manuscripts available locally, in libraries and private collections. And many times, when there were no Greek manuscripts available, they just translated the Latin, into Greek, and went with that.

      But the point with Erasmus was that he was in a rush, it’s a race now, the guys in Spain already finished the NT translations, when he got started with his project. But rush or not, the main point is that both Stunica and Erasmus had limited samples. Keep that in mind. And so we end up with the English translations.

      Before Wycliffe’s English Bible, there had been English translations, but it wasn’t until the Anglican Church separated from the Catholic Church when they really got going. So Henry authorized his own version, then it became a fad, each King/Queen of England got their own authorized versions published. So King James didn’t wanna feel left out, came up with his version. And that was the version carried to the New World by English colonists. But at heart, these English versions were taken from the Latin and from Erasmus’ Greek.

      Fast forward to the 19th Century, around the time Rizal was still a weee lad, real Indiana Jones-type folk were finding original Greek manuscripts in Egypt, hidden in old Greek monasteries, in jars of clay, shedding light on the OT and NT.

      Then fast forward to today, and the difference between ‘in’ Jesus and ‘of’ Jesus is slight. But early on, the early Christians, especially the Greek speaking ones, used to riot and kill over these slight differences. In the end, the difference is simple, did God become man, or did man become God–the last is do-able and is the basis of sramanic tradition. ‘in’ Jesus, is salvation by faith.

      • i7sharp says:

        “Then fast forward to today, and the difference between ‘in’ Jesus and ‘of’ Jesus is slight. But early on, the early Christians, especially the Greek speaking ones, used to riot and kill over these slight differences. In the end, the difference is simple, did God become man, or did man become God–the last is do-able and is the basis of sramanic tradition. ‘in’ Jesus, is salvation by faith.”


        Please fast forward to today,
        ja = Joe America
        si = Schiller Institute
        The term “Schiller,” much less “Schiller Institute,” had not been mentioned anywhere before Joe America, it seems.
        My comment there mentions of Ninoy, PNoy, Rizal, Paine, … and the KJV.

        a. “the faith of Christ” is salvation by faith,
        the faith of Christ who had made the choosing. Read Ephesians chapter 1.
        Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.
        b. “faith in Christ” implies salvation by work,
        by someone’s work or faith in Christ.
        Salvation is … “not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:9


        a. The KJV has been with us for more than 400 years (since 1611) and has been continually tried to be improved and up to now some people still hope for the best bible.
        Who determines what the best manuscripts are, if or as they are found, and how they are best translated in, say, English.
        What is the track record of these scholars, authorities, textual critics, etc.?

        b. Would you care to look at a simple example?
        The simple word, “received” as found in 2 Chronicles 4:5 of the KJV:
        “… it received and held …”
        Do you see “received” in the NIV, the NAB, the NKJV, the ISV, the ESV, … the ABC, the XYZ?
        Was there a question or doubt at all on the Hebrew word it was based on?
        nil, nada, zilch, zero, wala, … walang-wala!

        So, bakit nawala?
        Of course, there are consequences on this.
        God has warned us about this – just before the end of the Bible.
        See Revelation 22:18, 19
        about adding to, or taking away from, the word of God.


        • sonny says:


          I don’t understand your fixation with KJV Bible. This was translated from Erasmus’ Greek and Latin with 1611 AD English scholars (almost 1200 years younger that the Vulgate, and much, much younger than the Codex Sinaiticus.

          I’m no biblical scholar. I have enough Latin to follow The Vulgate in Latin. St Jerome translated The Vulgate in the 4th century and he was an expert in Greek, Hebrew, & Latin. In case of doubt, I refer to the NAB (& footnotes), Ronald Knox’s English Bible and the Navarre Bible in English & Latin. Because of these resources, I do not use the KJV, by preference.

          • i7sharp says:

            I don’t understand your fixation with KJV Bible. This was translated from Erasmus’ Greek and Latin with 1611 AD English scholars (almost 1200 years younger that the Vulgate, and much, much younger than the Codex Sinaiticus.

            a. I have looked, and looked, and looked … for some years now and I could not find a bible better than the KJV. Can you name one?
            b. About the Sinaiticus, etc., please browse through the articles from various sources here:

            “In case of doubt, I refer to the NAB (& footnotes), Ronald Knox’s English Bible and the Navarre Bible in English & Latin. Because of these resources, I do not use the KJV, by preference.”

            Sonny, I just found out it has been almost a year since we covered parts of this very subject matter.
            It was in the blog article,
            “Why Filipinos Should Convert To Lutheranism”


            • sonny says:

              ok. thanks for your time.

              • sonny says:

                a. Yes. I have found at least three translations to my liking.

                b. Yes, I browsed. There are many statements, like: “The Septuagint is an ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament. It is not inspired.” and “No. The Apocrypha is not inspired.” (Apocrypha = Deuterocanonical Books). Sorry, I can’t abide by those statements. I have to stay away from them.

          • “I have looked, and looked, and looked … for some years now and I could not find a bible better than the KJV. Can you name one?”

            Aside from ‘of’ and ‘in’, what’s better about the KJV when compared to others?

            I prefer reading the 4 gospels to Paul’s letters (although Paul’s letters are great examples of diplomatic writings, both to those he was familiar with and those not, Romans). Aside from that I don’t give a lot of weight to his writings–guilt by association, that’s also the reason I’m not as fond of Luke.

            But the biggest concern to me has always been the ‘what happened after Jesus was crucified’ narratives– starting from Mark 16:8, Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

            from there on out all 4 gospels have different characterizations of the cave discovery and on seeing Jesus again.

            I’ve always seen this as problematic because if this was the whole point of the whole narrative (resurrection), all 4 accounts should mirror each other, right?

            The original Mark doesn’t even cover it. If you entertain the Gospel of Thomas, he doesn’t even mention it. So resurrection wasn’t seen as very important early on, I suppose only later on when the early Christians finally agreed on the resurrection, as the pivotal component to the Jesus narrative–

            though their stories (even with harmonizing) still don’t coalesce into something compelling that convinces you that these were eye witness accounts of the events.

            Does the KJV better handle this issue? How?

        • sonny, i7, here’s my take on this article,

          “If someone were to claim that we can’t have confidence in the original content of the gospels because the existing manuscripts are too far removed from the autographs, then that person would also have to cast doubt upon our knowledge of almost all ancient history and literature. Such skepticism, which is not found among classical scholars and historians, would be extreme and unwarranted.”

          The author’s comparing apples and oranges here. The level of confidence is different precisely because of purported purpose of these ancient manuscripts, ie. history vs. the Truth (with a capital T).

          Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny (both) who wrote around the time of Jesus, were themselves not accurate or thorough (ie. there’s no mention of Jesus’ movement at all, but there is of other movements at that time to include John the Baptist’s and then James the Just’s)–so I don’t think anyone’s affording full confidence with their works.

          As far as evidence goes, you match it with others’ (historical, archaeological, etc.) evidence of that time, add probability in the mix, and you get an agreed upon version of events, which in the end is open to adjustment–such is the scientific process. So I would argue skepticism is absolutely used when dealing with history.

          But skepticism is down graded (why the double standard?) when dealing with the scriptures as it concerns the Truth, ie. the point of the above article is, let’s not get too skeptical.

          “After comparing the manuscripts of the New Testament with those for other ancient literature, Metzger and Ehrman conclude that “the textual critic of the New Testament is embarrassed by the wealth of material.”

          Multiplicity aside, a better compare and contrast would be how many changes are seen in those historical manuscripts when compared to canonical stuff. Do you guys know if there’s a study on this?

          Common sense tells us that unless those Roman historians of old, wrote down some controversial stuff, the impetus for changing stuff would be greater in the canonical stuff–hence the need for more skepticism.

          Again, one set of works purports to record history, while the other set of works talks about the Truth (with a capital T). So the context of this multiplicity has to be addressed, it’s not evidence by itself, kinda like i7’s “Rizal (831 results), and then on Paine (25 results). 831 to 25?” statement.

          “Though there is certainly a measure of subjectivity in text criticism, it is by far the most objective disciple in New Testament studies. If you were to take two different teams of text critics and ask them to work independently on a critical edition of the Greek New Testament, they would agree more than 99% of the time.”

          Although I enjoy textual criticism both of OT and NT, at the end of the day, you’re limited to what you have. I’ve always wondered what St. Origen wrote, but most of his ideas exist in other people’s work, who don’t exactly shed good light on him. Early Christians were fond of burning each other’s works. So the skeptic in me, yearns for more.

          But back on that statement, I’m more curious about that 1% disagreement.

          ” It’s likely that this story is true, but that it was added to John well after the evangelist finished his task. Similarly, the ending of Mark includes a bracketed passage because the old manuscripts do not include anything after Mark 16:8. These two disputed passages, though significant in some ways, do not substantially alter our understanding of Jesus.”

          Yeah, but these changes cause doubt, maybe not so much if you already believe, or in the some cases if you were brought up to think that the Bible is inerrant, but definitely for non-believers who want to attempt to figure out what all the fuss is about–that’s me–these changes are cause for concern.

          ” If you actually took out of the gospels every word that was text-critically uncertain, the impact on your understanding of Jesus would be negligible.”

          A lot of this also is because they’ve been harmonized early on,

          “In other words, Ehrman’s book, though intending to weaken our certainty about the New Testament text, actually demonstrates how the abundance of manuscripts and the antiquity of manuscripts, when run through the mill of text critical methodology, allows us to know with a very high level of probability what the evangelists and other New Testament authors wrote. This might explain why there are many textual critics who are committed Christians with an evangelical view of Scripture.”

          What’s ‘an evangelical view’ of Scripture, and how is that different from other views?

          At the end of the day, there’s no smoking gun that proves or disproves the Jesus story. There are many textual critics who are committed Christians because this field is important to them (it doesn’t really suggest anything else other than that), but I’m more interested in what the statistics is of the people (Christian) who actually change their views upon undertaking this study. Do many of them become more skeptical or the opposite?

          “Can we know what the original gospel manuscripts really said? Yes, we can. We can have confidence that the critical Greek texts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John represent, with a very high degree of probability, what the autographs of the gospels actually contained.”

          Where there’s smoke there’s fire, if there’s evidence of tampering later on in the 2nd century (whether we entertain the minimum view or the maximum view), the likelihood of tampering that happened early on is actually more not less. So probability would favor the skeptical view of these Gospels and epistles–at least for me.

          The fact that stuff has been changed is the point and should be of concern, I know optics will vary, but nonetheless whether big or small in anyone’s view, there should be concern.

        • 2.
          a. “the faith of Christ” is salvation by faith,
          the faith of Christ who had made the choosing. Read Ephesians chapter 1.
          Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.
          b. “faith in Christ” implies salvation by work,
          by someone’s work or faith in Christ.
          Salvation is … “not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:9


          What of the third one, salvation by austerity–isn’t this the only one we can really prove as coming from Jesus himself? ie. camel thru the eye of a needle and the commissioning orders, when Jesus told his disciples to bring nothing with them when they spread the good word?

          In both salvation by faith and salvation by work, there’s still a loop hole, by faith as exampled by Andrew Lim’s current article on forgiveness; and by work, boasting.

          Without austerity, you can rationalize living luxurious lives, not even luxury just the propensity to live material lives, and still feel salvation is upon you since you either believe or work or both. Hence the importance of austerity. The examples are clear, laid out by Jesus, John before him and James after him, austerity is crucial.

  53. Bing Garcia says:

    “This will usher an era of truly selective justice not based on clear legal provisions, but one that is unpredictable, partial and solely grounded on the presence or absence of human compassion on the day that justices of this court deliberate and vote,” Leonen said.


  54. Bing Garcia says:

    But in their session last Tuesday, Aug. 18, Bersamin changed his draft and instead focused on the humanitarian consideration as ground in granting Enrile’s bail petition, Leonen claimed.

    Leonen said he sought more time to address the new ground, but Bersamin insisted for the voting to proceed.

  55. nielsky says:

    Enrile is just lucky. He still gets a favor by way of ‘patronage refund’ from the SC justices. So who will not demand for his ‘just desserts’ likewise?

    Plunder is thought to be a non-bailable offense. SC’s grant of bail deconstructs it arguing as it does as either a right or a discretion.

    Out of sheer intellectual superiority of the 8 as against the 4, majority won. The ‘tyranny of numbers’ remains a strong currency across the tripartite (i.e. Congress, Executive, Judiciary). Sadly, it looks like ‘ business as usual’.

    • edgar lores says:


      Generalities again.

      What does the intellectual superiority of the 8 consist of?


      1. What line of reasoning in the majority opinion is “superior”?

      2. Against which line of reasoning in the minority opinion is it “superior” to?

      3. What are the reasons it is “superior”?

      4. Is the “superior” line of reasoning in the majority opinion canonical?

      • nielsky says:


        Listen. Offhand, there are no generalities. Don’t chant utopia. Besides, just roll out the generalities you found, if there is any single one.

        Talk gestalt to me, better still. Or to be damn clear about your strange confusion.the phrase ‘sheer intellectual superiority of the 8’ is a satire. As Lord Byron said in part, “… let satire be my song”. Get me?

        Notice that the next line that follows says it all and you still missed it, funny you, and let me quote (again repeat) –

        “The ‘tyranny of numbers’ remains a strong currency across the tripartite (i.e. Congress, Executive, Judiciary). Sadly, it looks like ‘ business as usual’.”

        You mentioned the word ‘superior’ four times – in your strangely numbered series. You’re not careful. The word superior and the other word superiority can have different shades of meaning but that is beside the point, don’t worry.

        So if you cannot read the satire, read between the lines (who’s the famous actor who said that?). Thanks for you observation.

        • edgar lores says:

          Well, I’ll be…

          So Nielsky/Nielksy/Primer is on the side of the angels this time?

          I can hardly believe it. And using satire, too. Will wonders never cease?

          My apologies. I hope you will continue to be on the side of angels.

          • nielsky says:

            You bet. Issues are akin to patients. Aren’t we surgeons all?

            • edgar lores says:


              You will have to convince some more.

              Because certain patients said these:

              o August 19, 11:27 am: “It challenges reflection how you can take the liberty to shame/blame the country’s Supreme Court and justices as well as the Senate and its membership”

              o August 20 at 10:53 am: “This is where things are. SC grants bail to Enrile in a vote of 8-4. Those who think otherwise simply lost. Period.”

              Do you retract these statements? YES or NO.

              If you retract, my apology stands.

    • jameboy says:

      Enrile is just lucky. He still gets a favor by way of ‘patronage refund’ from the SC justices. – nielsky
      If Enrile benefitted from a rotten (patronage politics) system he himself a poster boy of, he’s not lucky he’s just reaping the dividends of his efforts. 😎

      • nielsky says:


        You think ‘patronage politics’ is here to stay?

        It is sad to see GMA also geta her dividends for if she does, she might even entertain the thought that she was vindicated.

        Back to that bail, will that be a prelude to Enrile’s getting out of the noose upon final conviction?

        And then GMA next?.

        In the end, are the SC justices being ‘immoral’ if they grant these people freedom? Or is there a way to look at it as something that can be explained in terms of the weakness of the evidence of the charges against them?

        Whose fault would that be if SC failed to convict them? Maybe, serious legal scholars can invent more respectable principles in law that could effectively run after such wrongdoings by people in high places.

        • jameboy says:

          I doubt patronage politics will disappear. It’s part of our culture, our system. But it’s not really all that bad especially when we do it to promote or in support of those who have less in life or privilege or those who are not well represented in society.

          On Enrile’s right to bail, right or wrong it is what it is. The High Court deemed it proper to allow him to avail of it and it’s now up to him, instead of going back to work in the Senate, to take the opportunity to expedite the case against him to prove his innocence.

          I don’t agree to the idea being bandied about that Enrile, out of confinement, is a dangerous man. That he can do damage to the government, specifically to the Aquino administration or its successor to be. I see him as a wounded lion who can no longer mix it up. He may still do his bidding through political dummies and cronies but it will never be the same. Enrile is a washed up trapo and he knows it.

          In fact, it’s going to be tough for him outside than when he’s in confinement where he enjoys some degree of protection against random attacks coming from the likes of Miriam Defensor-Santiago or Antonio Trillanes, both his nemesis. 💩

          • nielsky says:

            In my limited estimate, to cut this umbilical cord of patronage politics, little-known constitutional bodies like the Civil Service Commission, the Ombudsman, the Commission on Audit – reposed legitimate authority pretty less than they actually need – should be strengthened, supported, and granted all the wherewithal to exercise their mandate. How to do this is a challenge to legislative policy-making.

            Notice that all these 3 government bodies focus on government employee/official [appointive or elective] and the care/custody of public fund. In other words, there ought to be certain thought-out policy reform that could somehow fuse all their individual powers into one.

            The goal is to empower them so they can militate against any government employee or official who may be found screwing up with public funds. The net effect should be toward truly making such employee or official accountable under pain of serving prison sentence, paying fines, or forfeiting all allied benefits, as the case may be. This seems to be an overhaul work so am not sure how this idea can be constructed.

            Simplistically, patronage politics (i.e. a senator appointing a brother) should now be listed as an aggravating circumstance, if and when, that employee is found to be screwing public funds. After a time that we would have constructed a different civil service regime, am quite optimistic that this patronage culture will wash away on its own.

            Lastly,in the case of Enrile, I thought the almost a year he was jailed or confined under watch by PNP or DOJ personnel for charge of plunder is bad enough time for the man. By simple algorithm, he would have served time under the notion that plunder is un-bailable offense from that point to when he was granted bail. He is a lucky man or perhaps we have a culture that puts high premium to whatever attribute of Enrile the justices think they should still recognize (i.e. a niche in the profession of law, whatever, I don’t know).

            The legal smokescreen as to flight risk is obviously an incredible nonsense, one of those principles in law that no longer holds water in specific instances. There are few other legal taboos that we can name.

            Strange that a simple average reading of RA 7080, Sec. 6 seems to tell me that in the pendancy of his plunder case, there should be no way he returns back to work or the grant of bail would have changed all that? It is beyond me. We just have to lay our trust in the wisdom of the SC, there is no other way besides.

            Let us not burn Bersamin. In fact we should care to explore why 3 other justices abstained. Some research is in order. The Likert scale should not have been invented or the word ‘indifference’ in economics should have been not introduced. There is good reason to question why justices can afford to abstain from articulating their positions or exercising their right to vote upon a judicial issue.

    • No not sheer intellectual superiority. It was just stupid minority. To say otherwise even after reading leonen’s dissent is intellectually dishonest.

      Plunder is declared non-bailable with the ruling by the SC non bailable no longer has meaning.

    • chempo says:

      I see a silver lining.

  56. Johnny Lin says:

    This blog vindicated by Justice Leonen

    Shame on the SC justices who gave special privilege to Enrile

    Justices FOR SALE


  57. Johnny Lin says:





  58. Johnny Lin says:

    Do you have a Blu card, if you do and you are not Japanese you can avail of 750 a month from Makati Senior citizen dole out. Just present your Blu card- saying Binay loves U. Japanese, don’t bother. You can’t pronounce well, instead of Binay loves U, you say BINAY ROBS U

    Look at karma
    Nagpamisa si Binay sa Makati para sa one year senate investigation. Ang Gospel reading for the day tungkol sa mga thieves na sinners.

    When Junjun Binay will resume his post at Makati he will order all cinemas to stop showing movies with GHOSTS in the movie. Movie Ghostbusters 2 will never be shown in the Philippines per bill filed by Rep Abigail Binay

    Newsprint on media “Binay: I made Makati rich”- it was a misprint- iactually: Binay: I made rich in Makati

    Nancy, Abigail and Junjun’s are banned from giving interviews to media by Vice President. Reason: when they show their face, they promote BLACK propaganda against his campaign

    They say Binay is an Ingrate for impugning character of Noynoy by calling him STUBborn because Erap advised him its bad than backSTABber.

  59. Juana Pilipinas says:

    Get well soon, Joe!

    My, my! Look at what your popularity brought! Deep thinkers, movers and shakers! Oh well, some floatsams and jetsams too.

    My take on the blog issue is: Like many, I am dissapointed with the SC ruling on Enrile but I am not surprised. Traditional Filipino Justice (TraJu) with all its trimmings and glory, that’s all it is. TraJu is not fair. It is not just. TraJu is tragic.

    Gone are the baby steps to “justice for all” because of THIS giant leap backwards to judicial clientilism.

    Why not make political and judicial clentilism legal in PH? Italy did it.

  60. surfer sison says:

    Justice Marvic Leonen practically hinted that “special connections” in the Supreme Court made it possible for Enrile to post bail.

    My reading is that the” Arroyo 8 “abandoned all legalities to avoid a dangerous legal precedent and just gave Enrile special consideration.

    But then, does this mean Judges all over the Philippines can now grant bail based on similar grounds of this case ?

    Shame !

    “……Leonen said the decision was tailor-made for Enrile whom he described as “unbelievably fortunate.”
    He said there are many other accused in a non-bailable offense suffering from serious health conditions but remain in jail “because they may not have the resources to launch a full-scale legal offensive marked with the creativity of well-networked defense counsel.” Enrile’s lead counsel is veteran lawyer Estelito Mendoza.
    “For them, there are no special privileges. The application of the law to them is often brute, banal and canonical. Theirs is textbook equal treatment by courts,” he lamented…..”

    Read more:
    Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook”.

  61. Juan dela Cruz says:

    Habang buhay ang mga magnanakaw at mga nasusuhulang mga cabinet, senador, congressmen, governors, mayors, judges, police, etc, etc this country will remain fucked up.

  62. ruth inso says:


    Justice Leonen scores majority for granting Enrile bail
    August 20, 2015 5:16pm
    Tags: supremecourt, marvicleonen
    A Supreme Court associate justice has scored his colleagues who voted in favor of allowing Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile to post bail in the graft and plunder charges he is facing in connection with the alleged pork barrel scam.

    In his dissenting opinion, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen called the decision a “special accommodation” that “casts serious doubts on the Court’s neutrality and objectivity.”

    He also questioned the legal basis of the eight justices who voted to allow Enrile to post a P1
    million bail at the Sandiganbayan Third Division for his temporary freedom.

    The eight justices were Lucas Bersamin who wrote the decision, Presbitero Velasco, Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Arturo Brion, Diosdadp Peralta, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez and Jose Mendoza.

    In its decision, the SC relied on the testimony of Dr. Jose Gonzalez of the Philippine General
    Hospital, who testified before the Sandiganbayan Third Division that Enrile’s at least 22 ailments are life-threatening.

    The decision also added that it is within the discretion of the court to grant bail on humanitarian reasons.

    “The currently fragile state of Enrile’s health presents another compelling justification for his admission to bail, but which the Sandiganbagan did not recognize,” it said.

    But Leonen pointed out that Enrile’s alleged frail health is a question of fact that at least required trial at the Sandiganbayan.

    “Nowhere in the rules of procedure do we allow the grant of bail based on judicial notice of a
    doctor’s certification,” he said, adding that such decision opens the high court to criticisms of partiality.

    “That we make factual determinations ourselves to grant provisional liberty to one who is obviously politically privileged without the benefit of the presentation of evidence…casts serious doubts on our neutrality and objectivity,” Leonen said.

    Leonen said the SC decision may also have an effect on other litigants who are similarly situated as Enrile.

    “[The decision] puts presssure on all trial courts and the Sandiganbayan that will predictably be deluged with motions to fix bail on the basis of humanitarian considerations,” he said.

    But a more scathing remark came towards the end of Leonen’s dissenting opinion where said the decision smacked of inequality.

    “Special privileges may be granted only under clear, transparent and reasoned circumstances,” he said. “Otherwise, we accept that there are just some among us who are elite. Otherwise, we concede that there are those among us who are powerful and networked to enjoy privileges not shared by all.”

    Leonen further alleged that the ponencia of the decision, Bersamin, did not contain the original points raised, debated and voted upon by the justices on the morning of August 18.

    Leonen is joined in his dissenting opinion by three magistrates, namely Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe.

    When asked if Justice Bersamin has a reaction to Leonen’s dissent, Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te said he had none.

    “Justices don’t do that,” Te said in a text message.

    Enrile’s counsel, Atty. Eleazar Reyes, meanwhile dismissed Leonen’s opinion as “irrelevant” because the majority had already ruled on their petition. —KBK/ELR, GMA News
    – See more at:

  63. ruth inso says:

    “Special privileges may be granted only under clear, transparent and reasoned circumstances,” he said. “Otherwise, we accept that there are just some among us who are elite. Otherwise, we concede that there are those among us who are powerful and networked to enjoy privileges not shared by all.” – Justice Leonin

  64. caliphman says:

    When its legislature is so corrupt there is documented evidence that 100 congressmen and 20 senators or more than 2/3s of their number pocketed public money to help the poorest of the poor get back on their feet. When its justice system is so broken that its highest court shamelessly and clumsily sets aside the constitution and their very own rules of court to bestow special treatment on favored and powerful individuals…when lady justice is not blind, but simply corrupt to the core. When its executive branch is facing an election, and of the two leading candidates one faces a literal mountain of unrebutted and documented plunder scale corruption accusations and the other one who is the best chance for denying an election victory to the first is being subjected to political intimidation to either postpone her bid or drop out of the race so their own favored candidate may have a remote chance at winning the election. If anything, its not shame but perhaps pathos for a pathetic Philippines that allows its leaders and public officials to inflict such heinuous crimes and gross injustices against its citizenry without inciting crowds with torches and pitchforks marching towards the buildings housing these modernday frankensteins

    • “If anything, its not shame but perhaps pathos for a pathetic Philippines that allows its leaders and public officials to inflict such heinuous crimes and gross injustices against its citizenry without inciting crowds with torches and pitchforks marching towards the buildings housing these modernday frankensteins”

      Excellent point, caliphman, now we’re talking!!!

      Here’s my take from a few months back (with jameboy and Mary):

      But the thing about riots and America is that this is normal here, from the Tea Party in the 1770s to the gangs of NYC in the 1850s, to now. A society that doesn’t riot is actually more problematic and it is symptomatic of greater societal fear.

      When was the last time the Philippines, either Cebu or Manila, or other bigger cities over there, rioted?

      • caliphman says:

        Surely, you jest, corporal. This is the country that that brought people power revolutions to the world and inspired the Polish people to try it in Gdansk successfully and the Chinese youth in Tien an Mien, which failed in the face of massive brute force. Filipinos tend not to riot inner city style, and of course are well known for their nun powered anti-armor tactics and the use of serenades to pacify mutineers

  65. Fred Escobar says:

    Joe Am
    You made a very good analysis of the consequences of this decision by the Puppet Court este Shit Court oh Shame Court. I find this unbelievable that the Supreme Court of the Philippines will blatantly bail out a Plunderer with impunity. This act proves with doubt that the Supreme Court in is full of shit and corruption. All those who voted to grant bail to this liar are obviously his cohorts and are paid a huge sum money by this plunderer. What a Shame……………

    • Joe America says:

      The upside is that there are justices like Leonen, who wrote the blistering dissent, and if the Philippine nation wants an honorable court it will work with passion, or frenzy, to install an honorable president for the next term. The court will be totally recast during the next six years.

  66. pablo says:


  67. jorge says:

    bla bla,.,bla the only solution is to change the system presidential system is not working well maybe it’s time to change parliamentary system like england or australia. the best one is new zealand. weak up pinas people you are one of the poorest country.

  68. jorge says:

    ang daming ta-on nakalipas , kailan ba kayo matutu o magti-is ba kayo palagi. wake up .it time to change your system. presidential system is not working well in any country. it’ time to change. kayo din ang maghirap. wake up pinas.

  69. jorge says:

    to joe amireca… help the people of pinas, by telling to them (people) on your site the presidential systems is not working well. the only solution is to change . .there are many problems in pinas.not onlly that bla..bla..

    • Joe America says:

      I can’t tell them what I don’t believe. The system is working fine, but the hill is very steep, culturally speaking. Changing the form of government won’t do much but disrupt economic progress if leaders persist in allowing the entitled class to get away with murder . . . or plunder, even . . .

  70. Simon says:

    I have always heard that the Supreme Court is NOT a trier of facts and they have thrown out many cases because of this. So I do not understand why all of a sudden the SC entertained this case and decided among other things, that Enrile’s health is such and such (a determination of fact based on a doctor’s findings which were not really scrutinized?) and therefore deserves to be released on bail. If this were any other case, the SC would have thrown it out on the grounds that the court is not a trier of facts, but since Estelito Mendoza is in the picture, they took it in and decided in Mendoza’s client’s favor.

  71. HighFive says:

    Philippines needs to have a Judicial System that allows participation of Citizens as Jurors.

  72. johnmarzan says:

    “Well, I understand the Supreme Court ruling to be a political ruling. That is pretty clear when we observe that the eight justices who approved his release are Arroyo appointees…”–JoeAm

    this matters, especially to the person who appointed all of them, who is currently under house arrest and also in “poor health”

  73. methersgate says:

    A friend has already pointed out to me that The eight members of the Supreme Court who issued a ruling which is perverse and without precedent in the law of the Philippines ( rather an important point!) are of course GMA appointees, and that in ruling as they have they have given themselves a precedent to release GMA herself.

    The only way to deal with these despicable creatures with whom the ex-President packed the Court is to impeach them, on the grounds that a Justice of the Supreme Court is there to find and apply the law of the land, which they have signally failed to do.

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