country's president must
be a statesman. Someone who is genuinely concerned about the welfare of his
people—especially those who have the least in life. A president must also be
fair. Fairness after all underpins what justice is all about. Everyone, be
they exceedingly wealthy or totally destitute deserves equal treatment
under the law.
When an individual who
enjoys a privileged position in society is accorded special treatment at the
expense of those less privileged or less well connected, then
fairness--and justice fly out the door. The sign or a true statesman then is when
an individual who realizes he or she is unfairly benefiting from a
situation acknowledges that fact and refuses to benefit from
it. This is difficult for most people to do, especially for Filipinos who
they deserve every advantage that comes their way—right or wrong.
But a principled
individual, a statesman, and someone an informed electorate would consider
"presidential" must nonetheless step up to the plate and announce that he or
she refuses to
benefit from any unfair advantage they receive.
Case in point: the Bacoor
Regional Trial Court (RTC-Branch19) of Judge Matias M. Garcia II last week
dismissed the motion for reconsideration filed by Benhur Luy, Marina Sula,
Mary Arlene Baltazar and other PDAF whistle-blowers in the civil case filed
against them by Senator "Bong" Revilla Jr. The reason Judge Garcia
dismissed the motion was because the documents submitted
to the court by the petitioners used the wrong format and font.
According to Lourdes P.
Benipayo, legal counsel for Sula and Baltazar, the ruling in her view
constitutes a form of ‘harassment,’ adding that the court did not provide
them a copy of their guidelines despite their efforts to secure one.
RTC-Branch19 has its own specific formatting rules that go beyond what the
Philippine Supreme Court mandates.
What Judge Garcia did was
give Revilla, his townmate with presidential aspirations, an unfair
advantage by dismissing his opponent's pleading on a technicality. An act
seen by many as the judge's way or ingratiating himself with someone who
might one day be in Malacañang.
If Revilla was indeed a
true statesman and deserving of the title "mister president," he should have
immediately decried the ruling and refused the undeserved advantage it gave him. After
all, a true statesman would want to win his case on merit and not because of
an obscure technicality. But alas, Revilla and his minions continue to tout
the fact that judge Garcia's ruling was correct.
One good thing that has
come out of this issue is the fact that the voting public now has a clearer
idea of who Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. really is and what he might be
like as president. He appears to be a man who has no qualms about taking
unfair advantage of his opponents. And winning because of a technicality is
still a win as far as he's concerned.
The Philippines once had a
president who subverted the constitution and give himself an unfair
advantage over everyone else. He used technical
machinations to destroy or neutralize his opponents and even coined the term
"constitutional authoritarianism" to justify his "extended" stay in
office long after his legal term expired. And from somewhere down below
Ferdinand Marcos must be smiling up at Revilla, his new understudy and potential
successor, and giving him the thumbs up.
Filipinos should have learned
their lesson by now. And if indeed they have, Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. will never become
president of the Philippines.
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Our Readers (Topic: Napoles Prays 2,000 Rosaries a Day, So Does She Get a Free Pass to Heaven?)
Name: gerrycanero City/State/Country: buyagan, la trinidad
IP Address: 22.214.171.124
More like her who did the same thing: Dennis Roldan a convicted kidnapper became a pastor, Gen. Carlos Garcia also a convicted corrupt official became a
bible lover, and for sure the three plunderers (Estrada, Revilla and Enrile) are now contemplating to be more religious in such a way
that God will love and forgive them for their sins. All of these religious efforts by them signify stupidity and blatant insanity against the will of God.
Name: Jun Canlas
City/State/Country: Manila IP Address: 126.96.36.199
The Bible says "Thou shall not steal" and Janet Napoles violated this law big time. It doesn't matter if the rosary she uses came from a Pope, or if she prays the rosary 2,000 times a day; such a fake display of devotion will not get her to heaven. The Bible says "when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetitions .. for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him". She has to return the billions of pesos she stole, name the politicians who connived with her, then and only then can she ask for God's forgiveness.
Name: Jorge Villanueva
City/State/Country: Canada IP Address: 188.8.131.52
We have gone beyond absolute submission to anything Christian, in concept and belief. Now we look at situations in a crucible of how it affects us and how society
perceives it to be. In the case of Napoles, how her deed affects the nation and its struggle against the destructive effect of corruption.
Name: Carlos City/State/Country: Bothell, WA IP
It was Mao who said religion is poison. In the Philippines, to be true to the principle of the separation of the church and state, we should tax all religious entities including and especially the Catholic church and the Iglesia ni Cristo.
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comments for publication.
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Napoles PDAF/NGO Scandal: What is Ten or Fifteen Billion Pesos Really Worth?
For those who have been following the Janet Lim-Napoles PDAF/NGO* scandal these past months, it is easy to get caught up in all the rhetoric—the words and phrases repeated day after day. Words like "ten billion" or "fifteen billion" have turned into something akin to "gray" background noise. Words devoid of any real meaning or significance. So let us try to put back some meaning into those trite and often-repeated phrases in order to better understand some of the far-reaching ramifications of Napoles' actions.