Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Those among our close relatives who do know about this (ehem!) skeleton in the family closet have ventured varying opinions as to what is causing what can be best described as inexplicable phenomena that have occurred at various times during the recent history of our fifty-year old home in this town. Some have pinned their blame on dwarves or the little people who are so much part of the myths and legends of many peoples all over the world.
Others say that it can be any of the variety of spirits or invisible supernatural beings that inhabit this earth and this plane of existence and who, because of unknown or unfathomable reasons, have decided to co-inhabit this house with us. The beings, they say, can be benign or harmless although occasionally mischievous while others can be malignant and malevolent.
Monday, October 22, 2012
In the same interview, he even goes further to say that there are no provisions in the 1987 Constitution that prohibits a shift to a parliamentary structure of government since there already exists in the country a multi-party system. That is why, he says, the Bangsamoro can be viewed as a "good experiment on how a parliamentary system of government will operate."
The venerable senator, whose five decades in politics and public service has oftentimes been tumultuous and controversial, may have national renown as someone possessing one of the country's most astute legal minds but this recent less than subtle pitch for the nation to shift from a presidential to a parliamentary form of government in the near future should be, in my view, examined more closely and not merely taken at face value. There is more here than meets the eye.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The framework agreement should be seen for what it is - a starting point for the hard negotiations that will have to hammer out the final peace agreement that will ultimately lead to the establishment of the new Bangsamoro political entity that it envisions. Already it has been challenged and rejected not only by other rival Muslim revolutionary movements like the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who see it as a betrayal of the Moro or Muslim cause but also by non-Muslim and mainstream groups, legal experts and prominent politicians who see the accord as violative of the spirit and intent of the 1987 Constitution and thus problematic to justify both legally and morally.
There are also more than a few, even in Mindanao, who fear that the agreement may become a catalyst for the formation of more extremist and radical, Islamic breakaway groups like Ameril Umbra Kato's Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) who have branded the moderate MILF as the vilest of traitors to the struggle of the Moro peoples and who continue to advocate armed struggle with total secession as the final goal rather than just settling for enhanced local autonomy under the Philippine state.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Senator Francis Escudero, in a recent media interview, made the staggering admission that he and many of his colleagues in the Senate had failed to take notice that the provisions on online libel contained in the then proposed bill may be legally, if not also morally, questionable when they approved it. He has promised to look for ways to amend or "tweak" the new law specifically to decriminalize the libel aspect of it although the civil liability portion may be retained. Senator Alan Peter Cayetano also plans to file a similar bill in the Senate that would address the same issue.
How such presumably astute legal minds could not have seen the defects in this law when it was reported out by the congressional committee that studied it and when the same was discussed in the bicameral conference committee that hammered the final version of the bill that became the law is a fact that simply strikes me as beyond belief. It appears now that only Senator Teofisto Guingona, who filed the only dissenting vote in the final voting for the bill in the Senate and who now is one of the parties formally questioning provisions of the new law in the Supreme Court, may have been the only prescient one who was able to recognize the then proposed law as legally objectionable at that time.