Impunity, Solicitor General Calida, and Senator Trillanes

[Photo source: Bombo Radyo]

By JoeAm

We normally think of impunity as a bad thing, something powerful government officials have. They operate with an overbearing sense of entitlement as they wang wang their way through town or set themselves up for commissions on another construction project or, in President Duterte’s case, do illegal acts such as inspire killings outside of due process. The President is untouchable because he cannot be prosecuted while in office.

Well, that last example of impunity is a form of legal impunity that apparently is being used to do illegal deeds. But there are forms of legal impunity other than the President being immune to prosecution while in office. For example, a person cannot be tried twice for the same crime. That’s “double jeopardy”.

And Senator Trillanes can stay in the Senate building and not be arrested. He can continue his senatorial work.

The Trillanes case is another version of the Sereno case in which the scheming Solicitor General Calida takes total legal control over another official of government by finding some reason to declare that they were put in office incorrectly. Chief Justice Sereno did not do her SALNs correctly so she never qualified for office. Kick her out. Senator Trillanes did not do his amnesty application correctly so he was never given amnesty. He should be put back in jail.

But it sure looks like Calida may have overreached this time because the news media were all over the event when Senator Trillanes filed his amnesty application. There are photos and videos that show he made the submission and recited his statement of guilt before an officer of the Department of Defense.

It also appears that, given how quickly the police were at the Senate building to arrest Senator Trillanes, the arrest was timed to try to stop the Senator’s investigative hearing. If so, the arrest and the hearing are connected. The hearing was looking into Solicitor General Calida’s alleged conflict of interest for using his government position to favor his private interest in a Security firm that gained government contracts.

Well, it would seem to me that the Senator has a way to operate from his base of legal impunity to expand his Calida hearing into other possible illegal acts . . . such as the destruction of official documents (his amnesty application) in collusion with certain officials at the Department of Defense (DOD). He might start his inquiry with the AFP spokesman who alluded to Solicitor General Calida in his press conference remarks yesterday, and the DOD keeper of records.

The Senator might be able to use his base of legal impunity to unpeel this onion one name at a time to reveal the deceits behind the concocted case. Myself, if I were the senator, I would step back and let Senator Hontiveros take the lead on the investigation so that it would not seem to be just a personal grudge match.

  • How did the Department of Justice conclude that Senator Trillanes had not filed an application?
  • Who within the Department of Defense was coordinating with the Department of Justice?
  • Why was the Senator targeted among the nearly 100 people given amnesty?
  • Were his the only missing documents?
  • Who was caretaker of the records?
  • How did police officials arrive at the Senate so quickly? Who gave the orders?
  • Was the Secretary of Defense involved? The Solicitor General? The President? Others?

The case might apply enough pressure on Department of Defense officials that they would step back from this unseemly political adventurism. And the President might be forced to call off his dog if investigation reveals further illegal acts by Solicitor General Calida. I’m not a lawyer, but I presume conspiring to destroy official documents and collusion in the commission of a malicious prosecution are illegal.

This would be a case of impunity being used in defense of justice.

We would have to note for the dictionary that there is a good definition for the term ‘impunity’.

And we would get to haul out the popcorn to watch this little piece of dramatic history unfold.


117 Responses to “Impunity, Solicitor General Calida, and Senator Trillanes”
  1. George Yao says:

    The DOD spokeman was hemming and hawing that they cannot find Trillanes’ application and they are still looking for it. The SOJ said he did not know all the details but he was apprised that since Trillanes’ application could not be found, the senator therefore did not fulfill the requirements for amnesty and therefore his amnesty was void ab initio. Roque said the amnesty was granted even without fulfilling the requirements because of political favor. They all said they were just following the law and were not singling out Trillanes, except Panelo who said that the President had to protect the State from politically offensive attacks. Talk about transparency.

  2. edgar lores says:

    1. Involved? I don’t know about the Secretary of Defense. We know about the Secretary of Justice. We know about the Solicitor General. And we know about the President.

    2. This is a snafu of the highest order — Amnestygate. Brought to you by the Bukbuk Regime.

    3. Incompetence? Marcos used the law to great effect. He was careful to use silk that was finely stitched to clothe his actions. Duterte and his henchmen improvise sackcloth that has been hastily stitched.

    4. In the US, President Trump is under scrutiny for possible “obstruction of justice.” Here, President Duterte flagrantly orders the “perpetuation of injustice.” He was careful not to use written orders with the Drug War, De Lima, and Sereno. This time, he issues an Executive Order.

    5. A sign of desperation by a desperado.

  3. arlene says:

    All valid questions Joeam. This government SUCKS big time.

    Then harrietta said wala daw halong pulitika yung pagbawi ng amnestiya. DO YOU REALLY EXPECT US TO BELIEVE THAT? Ang babaw naman tinging mo sa amin.

    At sabi rin niya kanya kanyang gastos ang pagbyahe sa Israel, REALLY, IS THAT A JOKE? I am not laughing.

    Good morning to all!

    • Yes, but the outrage over Trillanes’ case is higher than even Sereno’s ouster. The wickedness of the plotting has been laid bare. I suspect to see the AFP withdraw from prosecuting the case soon because it appears their record-keeping is negligent, and that negligence is really the crime here. Nothing that Senator Trillanes did.

      Well, and Calida’s malicious prosecution to escape being called out on his security contracts . . . there is that, too.

  4. Gemino H. Abad says:

    More and more obvious: a murderous and lawless government! It is doomed by its own doing.

    • The push-back is getting louder as the offenses become more offensive. This against the real impact of rising prices, drugs, corruption, transportation problems.

      • NHerrera says:

        Because related, I am posting again here what I posted in the immediately previous article:

        Meantime, while the government-expense led [via the BBB Program] GDP growth chugs along, August inflation according to PSA surged to 6.4%: higher than BSP’s estimate range of 5.5%-6.2%; and Bankers/ Analysts estimate range of 5.8%-6.1%. What is more, the the gut number, surged: the food alone index for August was 8.2%, higher than last month’s 6.8% and last year’s 3.1%.

    • madlanglupa says:

      Nothing else will cause the greatest impact than their clear inability to enact proper measures to deal with inflation. Right now we just hit 6.4%, meaning to say our buying power will be greatly affected.

      • Wow, government’s expectation was 5.9% I believe, with analysts around 6%, so it blew right past them all. Of course it was because of the strong US dollar and the southwest monsoon. President Duterte had nothing to do with it. Or Bug Boy Pinol.

      • chemrock says:

        This level of inflation if it persists, will make 6-7% GDP rate meaningless on inflation-adjusted basis.

        This further increase of inflation came on the heels of a 50 basis point increase in interest rates by the central bank to tamper a 4.2% inflation. Meaning, the central bank’s attempt to cool the market failed. A 6.4% inflation, if prolonged, will require further interest rate increases of at least 75 basis points, my guess. This will push cost of borrowing much higher for businesses. The central bank has no choice but to increase interest rates further to tame inflation and protect the peso. International market watches the inflation index everywhere. If it gets too high and the country takes no action, confidence in the currency weakens and are open to currency attacks.

        The economic mice have often said the peso’s fall is due to $ rising. Meaning it’s all exogenous causality. In the near short term, this is going to be the scenario. The Chinese is taking steps to appreciate the renmenbi vs $, euro and Jpy. This in itself will see $ rising. Meanwhile, the $ has risen way too high it is hurting US corporations’ overseas units. The Fed is now less hawkish and the admin will adopt a policy to depreciate the $. All major currency pairs are showing in the charts of $ retreating. Even the oil index is seen moving into its long term upward trend line, given the $$ weakening. Given this scenario, stable currencies will tend to rise against the $ in the coming weeks. It will be a test of the strength of the peso if we can see it gaining grounds comparative to other Asean currencies. Hmmm am watching out for this.

      • NHerrera says:

        Sorry, I did not read far enough: you already posted the news on August inflation.

  5. LG says:

    Thanks for this post as a quick response to the (unanticipated) news of the day! Unscheduled at that!!!

    The Senator must have an ‘officially dated, received copy’ of the amnesty application papers. Who is next to be arrested for a fabricated reason among the oppositionists in Congress and Senate?

    And we thought we already had the worst of anything during the Marcos regime. When history repeats itself, brace for a worsen version.

  6. karlgarcia says:

    When caliphnan said 2019 is not that important, I wondered why.
    Sure, the senate is full of action stars and comedians, but that can change even as soon as 2019.

    • caliphman says:

      Karl, anything is possible but not everything is probable. As an institution, the Philippine senate through the history of the republic has not been a change agent, neither in bringing the country to disaster nor in averting it. To hope that in a year’s time it will transform itself and save the country from the evil clutches of dictatorship under Duterte or his anointed successors id unrealistic if not foolish.

      The same goes for the thought that from the crop of new senators someone will emerge with enough charisma and character to wrest the nation’s helm from Duterte and lead us to salvation. The senate is not a good breeding or training ground for future political leaders of presidential caliber. The Quezons, Magsaysays, Marcoses, Aquinos and Dutertes did not require it as a steppiing stone to the presidency. Instead their celebrity, dynastic pedigree, charisma, personality or whatever else it takes to win presidential elections seldom came from a senate stint.

      That the senate leadership and most of its members will risk a confrontation with the regime over where Trillanes can be arrested but, as a body, not challenge Duterte in stripping him of his amnesty is not at all surprising. In the end, the fact that one of their own is in jail on trumped up charges for defying Duterte and the head of a coequal branch, Sereno, is removed from her post with nary a protest for infuriating the president is more predictive of what can be expected from the senate.

      • NHerrera says:


        You bring up the “on the one hand this; on the other hand that” mode of thinking in me. Much as I hope for may be this time it will be different, as a technical man I am drawn to your observation — and BTW, many of your sharp comments in TSH.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I still beg to differ even if you find it to be foolish. Everybody can be a change agent.

      • chemrock says:

        My both hands kind of tend to agree with Caliphman.

        I’m reminded of the scene in Troy where Archiles (Brad Pitt) after slaying the enemy’s champion in one stroke, asked of his foes — “Is there no one else?”

        Is there no one else after Trillanes, bearer of Filipino democracy flag?

        • chemrock says:

          sorry … I put an url there instead of the gif.

          • NHerrera says:

            It works as a gif. After first linking, without doing anything else the video clip repeats as much as one wants as a gif.

        • NHerrera says:

          Love that cinematic scene: Achilles running towards the Giant Champion of the enemy and then jumping up at the last seconds and thrusting his sword into the shoulder and down into the Giant’s heart. And when the enemy king by way of surrender offered his scepter to give to Achilles’ king Agamemnon, Achilles said — he is not my king.

          • NHerrera says:

            I AM NOT DONE

            (Subject to the Editor’s deletion of this comment.)

            I can imagine that in the current situation, the King’s Champion cannot even do the running, jumping and thrusting of an Executive Order, so the Champion employs lackeys .. er assistants. What have we come to? The modern era has come to that, lacking in the “chivalry, romance and action” of the bygone years.

            • There are some who live on the edge of moderation, and some who fall off, and a lot who are earning their mettle and medals by commenting thoughtfully. And there are a few who could curse me or go so far off topic as to reach mars and I would simply smile and give them the space they need, because they have earned it. You have no need to worry about the editor’s eccentricities.

      • Francis says:

        Caliphman, I deeply disagree.

        I am completely aware of the sheer weakness of our institutions which has therefore meant a feeble opposition left with very few institutional options. Contrast our opposition to the Democrats in the US—gearing up to take back Congress, because (despite long term efforts by Republicans to institutionally gut the Center-Left and Left in the US) there still remains enough institutional channels (i.e. a vibrant political party system, grassroots advocacy scene with close links to the former) to resist.

        I am aware that this is the Philippines. The dominance of dynasties and the laughable state of our political parties (and political organization in general) means that Congress and pretty much the entirety of the executive branch is sure to be in the pockets of the administration who have all the pork of offer.

        So yes—2019 is pretty hopeless but…

        There is one lucky institutional strength of our political system—and arguably one of its most important features: the presence of an nationally elected at-large Senate.

        In democracies—the legitimacy of public officials rests on the fact that they are elected. When a public official is elected via an election—he or she is said to have a mandate from the constituency that elected him or her. Authority can be exercised when people see that authority is legitimate.

        (I hope I am not butchering what I picked up in class hahaha)

        The authority of a barangay captain is overrided by the authority of the mayor because the mayor is more “legitimate” than the barangay captain. The mayor is more “legitimate” because his mandate encompasses/is larger than the barangay captain; the barangay captain has a “mandate” just from the barangay that elected him—the mayor has a “mandate” from the whole city including that barangay.

        The President is supreme because he is elected by the whole nation—and his legitimacy is grounded on a mandate from the nation entire.

        There are only two bodies which have an equivalent “national” mandate: the Vice-Presidency and the Senate.

        This partially explains why most of the institutional opposition to the President is from the Senate. And why even the pro-administration Senators are a little wary of the President’s attempt to encroach on the Senate’s authority; they are “equal” to the President in terms of mandate—who is the President to tell them what to do?

        This is why the Constitution Commission’s proposal to make Senate a mere regionally elected body is a bit worrisome. To make the Senate a mere body of regional representatives is to take away its national character—to reduce its national madate into a “regional” one.

        Why would the Senate at least try to stand up to the President?

        Not so much for any noble principle but for mere survival. Duterte forces them to bow—they lose authority. Heck, if “Federalism” pushes through: they lose their jobs—and see the future authority of their body greatly diminished.

        This is why the 2019 Senatorial Elections are critical. All else—impossible to contest, given the sheer absence of institutions like political parties—but the Senate? There is a chance (however small) to blunt the emerging authoritarianism of this administration.

        The Senate must not fall.

        If it does…Sara there and Bato here…the situation will be hopeless. The administration will have no institutional restraints on it: all three branches will now bow to the Palace. And even I might consider emigrating out of this country, with such a bad set of cards.

        • NHerrera says:

          My one hand likes this proposition — it is theoretically appealing. Wait, I have used up my two hands already. Allow me this bit of levity. Honestly, I like the way the comment is framed.

        • Francis says:


          I will admit that I am not exactly the type to talk about morals or ethics; I tend to assume that factors larger than us and outside our control (i.e. society) and our natural bias towards self-interest should be considered first, before any account of any sort of morals or ethics.

          Which is why (hahaha) I tend to disagree with many insights raised on this blog.

          But on the Senate, on the 2019 Elections:

          It is a moral imperative to ensure that the Senate keeps as much of its independence, of its authority as much as possible. Things are such these days that it is no longer not a matter of “can” — but a matter of a “should” now.

          • Interesting take on a conscious setting aside of moral consideration for the dog eat dog animalistic bias that is natural. It is morals and ethics that give us the civility, or group mores or values, that make a group stronger than the sum of the parts, and therefore in our self interest. Morals to me are the root values of kindness, right and wrong, and either fun or hard work, depending on the group’s liking, laughter or food. Ethics are the codes that promote group well-being in a productive setting. The Philippines is what you get when self-interest trumps the disciplines of group well-being.

          • edgar lores says:

            Haven’t heard of and pondered the notion of “enlightened self-interest?”

        • chemrock says:

          Re the mandates of barangay, mayor, president etc — they bow to each other not by the size of their mandates, but by the hierarchical structure of the institutions.

          They bow to the office above them, not to the person. This is one thing that this Dilbert government does not understand. And they bow in abeyance of instructions and orders within the law. This is the second thing Dilbert officials do not understand. Notwithstanding mandates or higher rungs in the hierachy, no illegal order should be obeyed. Period.

          As regards nationally elected senators, I agree the senate is part of the legislative pillar being co-equal party of the Executive, acts as a restraining force on the presidency. But I would find it naive, as Caliphman suggested, to rest our hopes on a body that has historically shown no courage to play its mandated restraining role in the face of raw and brutal presidential powers. In the end, it is the personalities in the senate, and not the institution, that matters. Hence I ask, is there no one else?

          • NHerrera says:

            chempo, they don’t grow Champions like that anymore. “On the other hand … ”

            (Guys, I promise — that will be the last of this one-handed comments from me. 🙂 )

            • chemrock says:

              Perhaps Gary Alejano.??? If the Calida clique does’nt put their tail between their legs and back off (in view of evidences and supporting videos that Trillanes have), but continues to rewrite laws and arrest Trillanes, let’s see if Alejano energises Madalo group to some leadership role in the fight for democracy.

  7. chemrock says:

    Joe, you have a knack for picking and angling your topics. This one is so right on spot.

    The timing of the attempt to arrest Trillanes as he steps into Senate Hall for the inquiry into impropriety of the Solgen security business is just so nauseating.

    The thing about this character Calida is whenever he is cornered in an interview and his honesty is questioned, his body language is all over the place. Watch his eyes darting everywhere except at the questioner, face turning away. that sheepish embarassing deceitful smile. We saw this display when questioned about his security firm, about the mistress, and now about Trillanes amnesty revocation. He is a poor poker player, no pun intended his face. Absent the familiar snarl, the latin legal quotes and reference to statutes, and the in-your-fact big eyes.

    You might like to add a question whether GMA has anything to do with this.

    Remember I was first to talk of dictators tendency to incubate lots of Little dictators back when. Calida is one such Little Duterte. There is a jolly good feeling knowing that his boss, PNP, and AFP, work up the next morning to see the media replay of videos showing Trillanes submitting his amnesty request form. “Ta da….Suckers” say Little Dictator.

    • Micha says:

      His lawyering star started to rise when he became a member of the prosecution team in the Estrada impeachment. This guy is an expert in ousting people from positions of authority.

      As Gloria Arroyo’s then DOJ undersecretary, it is hard to believe that this dog acted on his own without the sutsot of his masters in the attempt to arrest Trillanes.

      As Leila de Lima so rightly warned, beware of the MAD team.

    • NHerrera says:

      Chemrock: Joe, you have a knack for picking and angling your topics. This one is so right on spot. You can say that again. And again.

      Joe, do you sleep? In comparison, I woke up at noon — can you believe that? [I was up till early in the morning, reading a Michael Connelly.]

  8. karlgarcia says:

    We must stop the cycle, we took out Erap, then he got pardoned, Arroyo got pardoned.If Ferdie was alive, someone will pardon him too.
    Now When it is the turn of Duterte we must not elect someone who will pardon him or even give him amnesty.
    For all we know, the illnesses he is hiding will suddenly have the necessary medical certificates.
    There is a picture now of Senator Trillanes in a neckbrace and in a wheel chair, that will backfire big time, who did that last, it was Arroyo, right?

  9. Tancio de Leon says:

    Events are developing really fast. I can no longer just comment: wow nor just ha ha ha. Net net the loser as always is the gawking hungry people of the Philippines.

  10. Andres 2018. says:

    All ouster and arrest of oppositions officials are politically motivated. However, even though the motive is that, they should follow the law. A little deficiency of this and that like submission of incorrect SALN is enough to convict an opposition, so thats it. The ouster of CJ Corona, CJ Sereno, arrest of GMA and DeLima, and many more are all politically motivated. And when Harry Roque said that there is no politics involve behind the pending arrest of Trillanes thats bullcrap.

    I am in favor of running against oppositions, as long as you run after them within the law. Afterall, i believe that a country, even lead by a dictator, as long as there is a minimum opposition, will progress.

    • madlanglupa says:

      > I am in favor of running against oppositions, as long as you run after them within the law. Afterall, i believe that a country, even lead by a dictator, as long as there is a minimum opposition, will progress.

      There is HARDLY such a thing as a “benevolent” dictatorship, because ultimately dictators, once installed, care for nothing but money, power, influence.

    • chemrock says:

      There is no way of extracting from you any admission of wrong doing by the govt. Period.

      But don’t worry about this incompetent episode. it may turn out to be yet another of Duterte’s little Jokes. All is well bro.

      And if a senate inquiry is called for as to how the matter arose and the wherefore art those missing request forms and documentation of Trillanes amnesty, there is a ready scapegoat. The previous DOJ shredded a roomful of documents before his humbled departure, remember that? He accidentally destroyed those amnesty documents. Lame excuse I know, but there are 16 million Filipinos who will swear by that.

      Incidentally, Philippines is a well-know Inquiries Country. They look into every little issue in order to further improve legislation. I wonder if you consider this episode worth looking into. It’s an issue of officials shredding evidence and deceiving their superiors. I wonder if this is something serious to you. In other countries, they go to jail.

      • Andres 2018. says:

        On what basis you can say that the government committed this certain wrong doing? Morals? Constitution? Or?

        The prosecution of PDuterte’s administration against the opposition (DeLima, Sereno) are all “neat”, except this one with Trillanes. The motives of the prosecution are out of question, all are political in nature. Neat here means that the prosecution was made justifiable in the eyes of the people in general. DeLimas was jailed, she is a drug protector, people believed that. Sereno was oust, she did not submit her SALN, people believed that. Before they were arrested/oust, they were already judged by the people, trial-by-publicity in short. However, these elements are absent in the case of Trillanes.

        So whats the impact of this Trillanes’ case? This is a loss-loss situation for PDuterte’s team. If Trillanes is to be jailed, it would look liked Duterte hates critics and he could no longer tolerate them, it seems he will abuse his power and oust the other on the playing field. This is basically the result of the absence of trial-by-publicity, people would think that you jail him because simply you hate him and not for any other valid reason.

        If Trillanes is not jailed, its a slap to Duterte. He issued an executive order that is scrap.


        • chemrock says:

          1. “On what basis you can say that the government committed this certain wrong doing? Morals? Constitution? Or?”

          I believe you are referring to the arrest order on Trillanes. Karl will say it’s a head-slapping question. Uno numero — NO ARREST WARRANT. What was PNP thinking when they descended on the Senate like thugs with no papers to show?. I bet the PNP and AFP force at the senate was bigger than the first force that tried to intercept the Maute brothers in Marawi. Reason #2 – In retrospect we now know there was bad faith when they say the basis of the arrest was the amnesty was void due to no submission of request of amnesty and admission of guilt by Trillanes. In the face of evidences surfacing, the claim is now their evidences are missing, they could’nt find them. You must be so naive as to believe the simultaneous disappearance of records at the courts, AFP, DOJ and even Malacanang.

          The attempt to arrest is nothing to do with morals. It’s black and white ultra vires the laws of the land. What is so difficult to understand about this.

          2. I said before and I say it again, you are great at twisting reasonings to suit your agenda. You validated 2 separate incidences as justified by judgement by the people, as you said, publicity by trial. So in your twisted reasoning, the public’s judgement is above the law. And here, the justices hammer should come bearing down on your head for 2 reasons.

          First, your definition of “NEAT” sure is a great legal enlightening moment. It is the law that matters, not what the public thinks. In better countries, we could have left it at that. In Philippines, we know there is a just-in-time interpretation of laws, a rewrite as you please, or rather, who the justices try to please. We all know your stand about the quo warranto – so long as it’s applied against Soreno (despite the time limitation expiry) it’s OK by you, but it’s a no-no if we try it on de Castro. Constitutional requirements for impeachment can be brushed aside. As for deLima, it sure will make world legal history that condemned prisoners’ accusations are the finest evidence. Motivation and environment where undue pressure is an understatement does not come into your mind when questioning the credibility of prisoners’ statements.

          Second, and this is the great mind twisting technique that goes undetected by the unwary. You sure do have ready “publics” to justify your reasoning where it suits you. As to Sereno and deLima your public is no doubt the 16m DDS. Come to Trillanes, your public is the yellows. But there was a publicity-by-trial by the yellows. They scream foul play. Why could’nt you hear this scream by the public? I guess 16m scream louder than what…30m?

          By the way DDS did’nt condone this? Are you sure about that. We had 16m cheering fans on day 1. When they saw the videos, they knew the game was up.

          3. “He issued an executive order that is scrap”
          How lightly you take the incident. It’s an order that puts a man’s life in danger and possible lifetime damnation. It’s breaking laws to persecute someone. It’s destroying govt records, another serious illegal activity. It’s incentivising corruption because if the senate investigates you, the president has your back covered — something will be devised to distract everyone.
          See how you wriggle and twist to diminish a horrendously evil act into a misdemeanour.

          • Thank you for taking the time to respond to Andres, Chemrock. Although I know it is frustrating to deal with his nonsense, your taking apart his argumentative framework is instructive to other readers.

            • edgar lores says:


              I guess we need a token troll… to keep things in balance.

              I would hope the readership would see through the puerile arguments but chemrock — and andrew — take the pains for stating what should be self-evident.

          • Andres 2018. says:

            1. Actually, what i am referring to are the cases before Trillanes.

            2. Its not about public people’s judgment that is above the law, or the otherwise. In hunting political oppositions both requirements should be present. If you do it in accordance with the law but the people in general refuse to acknowledge it, you are still ugly. People wants it so you do it, but extrajudicial and then you are caught redhanded you are toast.

            In quo warranto, and if the plaintiff is the government, the limitation of prescription is not applicable. Quo warranto is not applicable against De Castro because she was not appointed as the chief justice that time in the first place. Try it now on her if you have reasons to, Sereno can actually initiate a quo warranto against De Castro.

            3. Horrendously evil act, call it as you want. I am not into calling things as evil or good, whats evil? whats good? Evil for you is good for others, and vice versa. Its relative. As for me, the Trillanes episode is scrap, a stupid move. To issue an executive order is the president’s right, but to issue an EO like that is stupidity, looking it in a point of view of a politician.

  11. My FB summary of the Trillanes press conference at noon today:

    Day 2. Senator Trillanes’ press conference this noon. He was relaxed, tired, in good humor, good camaraderie with the press (very different than the stiffness at a Roque conference) and candid. He called President Duterte a coward and told Robin Padilla to grow up (and come talk if he wanted to). He showed two court orders absolving him of charges, including coup d etat. He said they will apply for TRO and take other legal steps. He was absolutely calm about events. Not in bad temper. One cool dude.

    So Trillanes has hogged press coverage for two days now with everyone around him throwing eggs, rotten tomatoes, and soggy cabbages at the absentee President and his inept legal team. I fear this is not going well for the President.

    Well, I use the term ‘fear’ loosely.

    • LG says:

      Indeed, Sen. Trillanes is uncharacteristically calm, uncombative, considering the personal issue confronting him. Could he have an ace or two up his sleeve?

      Duterte is all lies in Israel. “I never ordered any killing”. You don’t fool Israelites.

      • I don’t think so. He is a fatalist, accepting that what is is what is, as God or fate would deliver it. I think it comes from his having lost a child and needing to come to grips with ‘why’. He is incredibly stoic, calm, and unshakable. If they drag him bodily from the Senate, I fully expect him to go out smiling.

  12. andrewlim8 says:

    This is really one for Ripley’s Believe it or not:

    If you apply for a passport then get it and use it, but the government says it lost your application, you are deemed without a passport, so you cannot travel! You can now be charged for illegally entering the countries you visited because you had no passport at the time you used it!

    Amazing! Only in the Phililppines! Galing!

    Arrrest inflation, not the opposition!

    • George Yao says:

      In a way, that’s what happened to CJ Sereno. UP couldn’t find the SALN she filed, so poof! sorry, you cannot be CJ.

      • NHerrera says:

        While that may be so, the media video of the occasion makes the matter different. But never say tapos ang usapan. Borrowing the words used lately in Washington because of the media hype on Woodward’s new book on Trump to be released on September 11, “It is a crazy town.” And Calida may take a lesson from: if at first you don’t succeed, try … try again.

        • chemrock says:

          Ya if first they don’t find him guilty, try to charge him again. Heck care double jeopardy, or anything about statute of limitations.

          In Philippines the law is who you are and who sits in judgement. Chavit Singson got a graft case against him thrown out in 2014 — judge’s reason ?? The prosecution took too long to process the case. “It is not fair to subject… accused to prolonged uncertainty with regard to his case.”

          Bet you someone in SC is already penning a ponencia to please the lord.

  13. Ramon B. Pasicolan Jr. says:

    To the 6.4% inflation add 17.2 % underemployment rate , the two drivers of poverty
    rate….the Trillanes caper, one big distraction…it will not add a few grams of weevil- free
    rice on the table…this exercise of naked power only an Emperor with no clothes can
    mastermind with Calida, the Darth Vader of the Legal Underworld.

    • chemrock says:

      The latest unemployment rate this year is 8.4% (which does’nt seem to be believable based on what we see around us – maybe temps and those with odd jobs here and there are considered employed?)>

      The latest underemployment rate I though was around 15+%. Not too sure about the 17.2%. In any case, this figure is again questionable, considering that millions of OFWs in domestic helpers job are educated. There are probably not in the statistics.

      The Trillanes caper is a distraction from the Senate inquiry into Calida’s security firm. Who are they trying to kid? Media must not be distracted and continue to give due coverage to that inquiry.

    • NHerrera says:


      After July and before today’s release of the August inflation of 6.4%, BSP suggested that from an average for 7 months of 4.5%, they expect the full year inflation to be 4.9%.

      Now for that full-year number to come about, the 5 months remaining inflation should average 5.5% [that is, 4.5%*(7/12) + 5.5%*(5/12) = 4.9% ]. Here is one scenario that makes that possible:

      August 6.4%
      September 6.1%
      October 5.7%
      November 5.0%
      December 4.2%

      A drastic come down from the recent numbers. Possible? Yes. But as Caliphman, in a recent note above, wrote on another matter, probable? May be not.

      • NHerrera says:

        These gut items which are known to bring about drastic changes in government quicker than other political actions

        — especially when combined with the continued corruption sought to be abolished as a campaign promise and the not too pretty picture of the WPS issue along with the expensive Chinese loan underpinning the BBB Program, again subject to corruption because of its required rapid pace of implementation when normal pace of implementation already brings that about —

        is probably why there is an urgent need for distraction and with it, why Calida is not being restrained in his crazy move on Trillanes.

      • andrewlim8 says:


        The inflation range for the ber months will be higher because more people will spend – all that money chasing fewer goods will raise prices again.

    • Yes, it certainly seems a misplaced priority. So many needs.

  14. andrewlim8 says:

    Remember ” Change is Coming” ?

    Let’s see:

    1. peso at 12 yr low vs dollar
    2. inflation at 9 yr high
    3. GDP growth slowed down
    4. thousands dead extra-judicially
    5. drugs still enter in bulk, some from China
    6. we will now import galunggong which likely came from West Phil Sea
    7. rice shortage, bukbok infested
    8. Marcos buried in the wrong place
    9. corruption in high places came back, with no resolution

    Nothing is going right, even the sartorial taste of the President is terrible. Did you see that suit in Israel? susmaryosep

    • edgar lores says:

      And so it came to pass that the words of the prophets of TSH turned out to be true and were made manifest:

      1. Andrew: That Duterte will not be able to govern.

      2. Chemrock: That the economy of the Duterte regime will slump in the last half of 2018.

      3. Edgar: That the name of the wind is Duterte.

  15. Grace Lim Reyes says:

    Just wondering out loud. How could a bunch of men with alphabets lined after their surnames to declare their status as learned men be reduced to imbeciles and morons?

    • NHerrera says:

      A quick reply, but probably not responsive to what you have in mind: the same way officials in the US behave, although not quite “imbeciles and morons.” In their case, one may say, they are trying mightily to save the country from the moron they have for a President?

    • andrewlim8 says:

      Drunkenness due to power, hubris, ego, pride, greed, the mistaken belief that they will live forever and that they can take all that they are accumulating to the next life, and that there will be no reckoning.

      ” Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”

    • edgar lores says:

      There are many kinds of intelligence.

      o One needs Darwinian intelligence to survive.
      o One needs hand-and-mind intelligence to make a living.
      o One needs economic intelligence to become rich.
      o One needs scientific intelligence to observe.
      o One needs philosophical intelligence to understand.
      o One needs moral intelligence to live happily with others.

      The kinds that are missing in many Filipinos are the last three. The last two especially. The last one in particular.

      • edgar lores says:

        More pertinent to the question:

        o One needs academic intelligence to excel in school.
        o One needs brute intelligence to lord it over those who excel in school.

  16. madlanglupa says:

    Regarding the attempt to arrest the Senator, is it not a stark coincidence that House-Speaker Arroyo (some with said her position is the power equivalent of a booster chair) offered a bonus Php35k for every House employee?

    • LG says:

      Read about that 35k bomus as early Xmas gift for shopping daw. More like a bribe in advance. Banana Circus Republic. Gloria knows the circus games too well.

  17. NHerrera says:


    The currency market is signaling BSP’s rate action. The last few days it is hovering at around PHP53.60 per USD. BSP, like in chess, is rather forced to up the rate, not necessarily immediately.

  18. I am curious about the current legalese, “void ab initio” , that is being used by administration’s allies in decimating known oppositionists (Sereno, Trillanes). The paragraph below is from Wikipedia’s entry titled “Philippine presidential election, 2016” about the legality of PRD’s last minute decision of running for presidency in 2016.

    “… the legality of Duterte’s substitution for Diño was questioned by some electoral lawyers because of an error made in Diño’s certificate of candidacy that made him a Pasay mayoral bet despite being a resident of Quezon City.”

    PRD used Dino’s certificate of candidacy despite Dino’s admission that a clerical error was involved because he filed for a mayoral instead of a presidential candidacy. So, PRD’s certificate of candidacy for 2016 presidential election should had been voided. His presidency, in effect, is “void ab initio” ?

    • That is what some people also argue on social media, but I think the opposition knows the futility of trying to make that case with the current Supreme Court, or getting it through the House if it has to go through legislative hurdles. Plus, I think they see that President Duterte is self-destructing (economy, prices, embarrassments abroad, incivility, deaths, failed drug war). Some think nationwide martial law is next (when he returns from his travels) as he searches for a way to control the uncontrollable.

      • This inquirer reporting on his complaint about ‘problematic Filipinos’, I think, is a set-up to a martial law declaration. The problematic Filipinos are, of course, the ‘yellows’. The democratic solution is martial law.

        • LG says:

          So I fear. Nation-wide martial law for “problematic Filipinos”. Maybe People Power 2 won’t take as long to happen as it did with Marcos.

      • I hope that the Filipinos will not stand idle if he declares nationwide martial law. He is out of control. He is the one that needs controlling. He has thumbed his nose on every Filipino by his culpable violation of the Constitution in many instances. His followers are dwindling because they no longer have the ability to justify his speeches and actions. His end is palpable and he is grasping for straws to stay in power.

        • Seems so. The next few weeks may be defining. Related but different topic. De Castro has about 34 days left so her loyalty will soon be gone. Also, we will see if Duterte sticks with seniority for his next appointment, which would be Carpio, I believe, if he does not withdraw. My bookie Sal just started laughing when I asked him about it. I think that means “no way will a critic of the China deals end up heading the court.”

          • LG says:

            Chance for Teresing to prove she deserves her CJ title by:
            1. condemning the illegality of the arrest and;
            2. If Trillanes does bring his case to the SC as he had said, prioritize SC action on his case.

            Further, the opportunity is a chance to clear her damaged reputation and more importantly, SC’s independence, as someone had already noted above.

            But…. I bet she won’t for fear her appointment will be withdrawn!

            • You are right, she has the opportunity to recover from her acts that destroyed the Court’s credibility, but I think maybe that would be out of character. I am doing a countdown until the time she is out because I think she can do major, major damage to the nation. 33 days, I see, counting both today and October 8.

            • andrewlim8 says:

              Joe/all readers

              Just putting these notes down so it won’t be forgotten:

              Some very very relevant and hot blog topics:

              1. Will Teresita do the right thing? Or will the SC destroy democracy?

              2. Will the military honor its oath or will it go the way of Marcos’ military?

              3. Why do former mayors make lousy presidents? (Another mayor, another failure?)

              note: Aguinaldo, Estrada and Dutete were all former mayors

              If anyone wants to do a blog on any of these, go ahead. The first two especially, which are time senstitive.

              • Thanks. I might do the military oath topic. Teresita has the capacity to send the nation to ruin. The military is not so simple to figure, but I do have some ideas about it. Thanks for the notes, andrew.

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