PNoy and the Waiver: The Straight Path to Hypocrisy

Once upon a time, then senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III made a bold declaration in a press release during his presidential campaign.

“I am willing if necessary (to waive my rights under the Bank Secrecy Law)…but I will not presume for others who will join government,” he said in the Second Integrity and Human Rights Conference at Hotel Intercontinental Manila.

Under Republic Act 1405, disclosure or inquiry into deposits with any banking institutions is prohibited. Section 2 of the law considers as “absolutely confidential” all deposits with banks or banking institutions in the Philippines.

Some exceptions are a written permission of the depositor or in cases of impeachment, or upon order of a competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials, or in cases where the money deposited or invested is the subject matter of the litigation.

Violations carry a penalty of up to five years imprisonment or a fine of up to P20, 000 or both.

(Source:Link)

In his time as president, Noynoy, now using the sobriquet “PNoy,” began his “clean-up” campaign to rid the government of supposedly elusive crooks from the past administration. The one that took the blow of the president’s conquest was none other than Chief Justice Renato Corona.

In the duration of his trial at the Senate, coupled with the persecution of the congressmen and vindictive Filipinos, Corona in the end came up with a controversial dare; the bank secrecy waiver. Alongside authorizing government agencies to directly look into his bank accounts, Corona also posed a challenge to the other politicians of the land to do the same, for the sake of transparency which everyone seems to want anyway. Why, this is the perfect time for the president to show his stuff; now is the perfect for him to fulfill his pledge to the Filipino people hungry for change. But—

Malacañang dismissed suggestions that President Benigno Aquino III fullfil a campaign promise to waive his bank secrecy rights “at this time” the way impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona did last week.

(Source: Link)

And so the straight path that had no definite end was no more; the said path was leading to hypocrisy.

…

Yes, PNoy rejected the golden opportunity to uphold his principles way back from his promise-filled and platform-less campaign to the Filipino people, specifically his declaration to waive his rights under the Bank Secrecy Law. Examining Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda’s statement:

“It is incumbent on all to recognize that it is Mr. Corona who is on trial,” Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said over the weekend when asked to comment on reminders posted on online forums that Mr. Aquino had pledged to waive his rights under the bank secrecy laws and open his bank accounts to the public during the presidential campaign of 2010.

This reasoning is quite ridiculous. Does the Constitution provide that an ongoing impeachment trial prohibits a public official from upholding his campaign promises? But then, of course, it’s because Corona is the one making the dare. How can PNoy accept that the one whom his administration perceives to be Arroyo’s corrupt lapdog will turn out to uphold the very principles PNoy promised the people in the past? This flies in the face of his persecution project against the respondent. Hence, the dissent, albeit coupled with faulty reasoning.

Lacierda said that asking Mr. Aquino to sign a waiver of his bank secrecy rights while the impeachment trial against Corona is going on was like lumping law-abiding public servants together with those who are being called to account for wrongdoing.

Who or what can verify that PNoy is a law-abiding citizen? The only thing that can be assessed is that PNoy is not the one on trial; that is all. And this does not answer the previous question: Does the Constitution provide that an ongoing impeachment trial prohibits a public official from upholding his campaign promises?

Undersecretary Abigail Valte, the deputy presidential spokesperson, said over state-run radio dzRB Sunday that waiving bank secrecy rights was a voluntary and personal decision.

Yes, Valte was right in saying that waiving rights is a voluntary and personal decision. However, there is this notion of expectation for public officials, especially when they have made a promise to the people during their campaign. People have invested their trust on what those officials have said. As a proponent of a supposedly straight path, shouldn’t PNoy know that much?

Asked about the campaign promise, Lacierda said Mr. Aquino’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) already includes the mandatory waiver for the Ombudsman to obtain documents from the appropriate government agencies to verify the extent of his wealth.

“To those who are asking if the President will sign a waiver, for the record the President’s SALN has always been made public and it includes the mandatory waiver for the Ombudsman,” he said.

Yes, the president does subject himself to the power of the Ombudsman (together with the other public officials), but the mandatory waiver is not the same as PNoy’s promise to waive his bank secrecy rights. Waiving your bank secrecy rights means you relinquish that right; that would mean anyone at any time can view the contents of your bank accounts whenever they feel like it. This is the consequence of PNoy’s promise.

Meanwhile, the Ombudsman can only investigate bank accounts based on an existing credible complaint. Furthermore, the Ombudsman also subjects himself/herself to existing constraints in the policies of some government agencies she cooperates with (e.g., direct inquiry to AMLC reports require a court order from a competent court).

There is a big difference between the mandatory waiver and PNoy’s right-waiving. In any case, PNoy has really outdone himself in giving us a thorough look at his increasingly hypocritical demeanor. Lovely.

The way I see it, there are at least two ways for him to somehow escape this dilemma, both of which will certainly damage his credibility. Either he can just accept Corona’s dare, which can show his fickleness, or he can publicly reject his previous claim about waiving his rights, which will fly in the face of what his supporters believed in.

Time to show some spine, PNoy.

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About Arche

I'm just throwing ideas around. I also love coffee.

65 Comments on “PNoy and the Waiver: The Straight Path to Hypocrisy”

  1. “Meanwhile, the Ombudsman can only investigate bank accounts based on an existing credible complaint.”

    Haven’t you heard? All you have to be is an enemy of Pnoy, and the Ombudsman can investigate you at will! Credible complaints be damned.

    Where have you been? 😛

    1. Hahaha! Well, what I only did was to argue within the context of the law. But if PNoy’s undue influence is to be considered… 😛

      1. It looks like that the rule of yellow has seemingly won but…
        Karma will soon follow and Pnoy will soon have his come-uppance

        1. hahahah!!!!si corona ang na karma ahahahahahaah@!!!!nakarma diba sabi ko makakarma si corona !!!!! kaoyo rin na tuta ni corona kung hindi ninyo babaguhin ang inyong katwiran makakarma din sana kayo…..hahahahahahah!!!!!

        2. @nelson: Where’s the karma are you talking about? Oh yeah, the worst is yet to come.

          ENJOY HELL. 😛

        3. @itchyBB

          Alam mo naman ang mga utak-squatter. Pag nanalo, magmamayabang, o gloating. Pag natalo, victim card at niluto/dinaya ang laban.

      2. Anyway, a confirmation on that part of my article: “Meanwhile, the Ombudsman can only investigate bank accounts based on an existing credible complaint.”

        While the Ombudsman Act stipulates that the Ombudsman can conduct an investigation motu proprio (on his/her own impulse), know that the AMLC reports require a court order to be directly examined and/or disclosed. While there are exceptions, impeachment is not one of them.

        By senator-judge Santiago’s logic, since the Ombudsman made use of AMLC’s resources, and the disclosure of the reports require a court order, it may be argued that the Ombudsman herself can request for a court order. Considering the Ombudsman’s petition alone, a motu proprio investigation might not merit a court order, coupled with the fact that the Chief Justice is involved. Thus, the Ombudsman can substantiate her petition by citing credible complaints.

        Corollary: As far as the Ombudsman is concerned, she can only investigate the bank accounts in the AMLC report by way of existing credible complaints.

        Corollary (rephrased): The Ombudsman can only investigate bank accounts based on an existing credible complaint.

        This is to answer, in advance, future questions (if there will be any) about this part of my article. Thanks! 🙂

        1. Again, however, if PNoy’s undue influence is taken into account, then it will be an entirely different story. 😛

        1. Be silent if you have nothing intelligent to speak child. Only intelligent and mature are discussing here.

  2. I predict that the Hacienda Luisita ruling will be reversed. Maybe not soon, but it will be reversed.

    Either way the impeachment was going to go, we were going to find out the, as yet hidden and rumored, bigger story underlying all this. Now, the bigger plans will be executed and revealed a little at a time. This is just the first, there will be more. And, now, as the successful attack on a Chief Justice puts fear in all lesser people in public service, which is just about everyone else, it all goes downhill from here. We now have a government that can and will do anything without anyone standing in the way to object.

    That said, it was very well played. The writers of this plan took advantage of people’s gullibility. They were able to reverse justice and made the burden of proof the responsibility of the accused. Now the accused are “guilty until proven innocent”. And the flimsiest of evidence can be used to convict anyone. Somehow, they were able to make the people believe this to be right. Very scary, what’s going on in our country now.

    1. ” Now the accused are “guilty until proven innocent”.”

      This is only applicable if you are a perceived enemy of Pnoy and his admin. If you are part of the KKKK, you are “innocent no matter what”.

      1. Nah, dude, let me rephrase that: Now, the accused are guilty even if proven innocent.
        If you’re KKKK, innocent no matter what.

    2. Looking forward to the reversal of the Hacienda Luisita ruling at the soonest. HL should really be paid Php10B. The rule of law must be followed

        1. @nelson: Well, the CJ still wins, believe it or not.

          It’s all POLITICS, POLITICS, POLITICS. HAHAHA!

          Sabi ko sayo BOBO ka, samahan mo pa ng pangit na grammar. 😀

        2. japayuki sukiyaki ikaw ang utak squatter dahil buko na kayo sabi nga ni farinas at nagpapalusot pa napa ka simple lang ang kaso dapat lang ilagay sa saln ang ma nga peso at dollar niya tapos nagpapalusot pa ang masama nito ay inamin paniya eh bobo pala sya de guilty …naintindihan mo bayon utak galunggong ..

        3. @nelson: Utak-galunggong? Tell that to yourself because that is the primary Filipino dish during Cory’s time. Sigurado akong maraming PALUSOT ang mangyayari sa term ni PNoy. Tanging utak-galunggong lang ang magsasabi na uunland ang Pinas pag nawala si Corona. Ang tunay na problema ay ang kultura natin.

          Wala ka ngang alam. 😛

          THE FIRE RISES!

      1. Counter-intuitive that you cite the rule of law when it is 2012 and the CARP was enacted in 1988 under Pres. Aquino. It is precisely because of the inhibition of the rule of law that the Hacienda Luisita issue is where it is now.

        1. Heh, I’m also waiting for his next act regarding HLI.

          Whatever he does or does not do will be a huge factor for the rest of his regime.

  3. “Some men can be destroyed, but not defeated.” – Ernest Hemingway
    Justice can be perverted, but not subverted.

    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the
    right way, the correct way, and the only way, it
    does not exist.”
    Friedrich Nietzsche
    “What exists is interpretation based upon self interest”

  4. Composed and posted this as my FB status:

    Change, especially in our government, does not and cannot start from the top. It starts from the bottom – the citizens. Why? Because we are the ones who vote those in power. If we don’t change, we will always put those who are least qualified in position. And when they abuse the power we’ve given them, we only have ourselves to blame.

    This is the effect of a dysfunctional Pinoy society that thrives on mediocrity and “bahala na” attitudes. The average Pinoy is intellectually bankrupt and emotionally unbalanced.

  5. With the results of the impeachment, noynoy can proceed with his plan and I fear our country will go for the worst.

    For me the decision should have been an aquittal followed by a reprimand regarding Corona’s SALN to make the necessary corrections. Investigations then can be launched to verify if there was really no corruption in Corona’s part.

    If failure to correctly file SALN is an impeachable offense, then anyone can find fault to all of our government officials just by looking at their SALN and find minor errors.

    What the legistative should have done is to ammend the law about SALN and foreign currency deposits to close the loop hole.

    I sometime wonder if the Philippines really deserves to progress given the character of its majority.

    For a country to progress, one must first show itself that it is deserving. Sad to say the Philippines is not worth saving given its current situation.

    There is nothing great about destroying a man using deceit and hard power for the sake of a so called “Change”.

    1. I agree completely. On the other hand, it might turn out to be good for us in the end by letting Noynoy have his way this early. We’ll learn about his plan earlier. We’re better off with maneuverings in plain sight over covert activity.

  6. Noynoy haven’t revealed his plans yet on what to do after Corona is removed from office.

    1.What would happen with the case of HL?

    2.Who would be the next CJ in the court, will it be one loyal to the yellows?

    3. Who is next in the list after the ombudsman and the CJ?

    4. What’s next in the country?

    1. 1.What would happen with the case of HL?

      Expect a reversal unfavorable to the farmers.

      2.Who would be the next CJ in the court, will it be one loyal to the yellows?

      Carpio. And yes, he’s a Yellow Legionnaire.

      3. Who is next in the list after the ombudsman and the CJ?

      Pick a political opponent. Any political opponent.

      4. What’s next in the country?

      One too many lynch mobs.

    2. Answer to 1: I predict a reversal. This is also why Noynoy has stated that he will review the Supreme Court’s ruling over Hacienda Luisita–delay until he replaces Corona.

      Answer to 2: Carpio, loyally yellow.

      Answer to 3: Senators Arroyo, Defensor-Santiago, and Marcos definitely have big targets over their heads now. Might be good to watch over these 3 senators. It would be very interesting if Marcos gets persecuted under Aquino’s presidency. Very interesting indeed.

      Answer to 4: Welcome to martial law in all but name and official declaration.

  7. Celebrations!!
    Have we won american idol, the world cup, or suddenly become the most honest country in the world?
    Corruption eradicated!
    Dream on.
    “One swallow does not a summer make”
    The Senators involved in illegal logging & mining, illegal gambling and illegal imports and the protection of BoC fixers have no right to even cast a vote. Their exposure is now the top priority, and it is open season, irrespective of how or where the information is obtained. The impeachment trial has shown that.
    Senators, you know who you are, and so do we in the media. Your time is limited. You laid down the challenge. Let decent patriotic and honest people take up the challenge.
    Filileaks begin
    Nothing to fear? Time will prove otherwise.

  8. Filileaks? like wikileaks?

    and those leakage can be use to file an impeachment complaint to any officials in our government regardless of due process. The reason will be betrayal of public trust and lack of moral fitness?

    1. I would propose a fund which pays circa 100,000 – 500,000 pesos for each provision of tangible/documentary evidence relating to criminal activity/illegal misdemeanours of senators/congressmen or govt officials which results in conviction.
      This would be privately funded ( some of us with money place integrity above greed and dishonesty) and would be privately prosecuted.

      1. sabi ni corona kamatayan lang kung guilty sya .kaya magpakamatay na sya dahil guilty na …yan ang napala niya pinagtatagol niya si arroyo kaya nauna pasiya na guilty dapat ay ikulong din ang amo ni nyo .at maghanap na kayo ng ibang amo dahil tapos na ang empeachment …hahahahahah!!!!!

        1. Gloria is not CJ Corona! They are two entirely different people. Sige nga, db you claim to be one of the poor, since you are so proud of the president, tell me, tell us, what has he done to IMPROVE your life?!
          After this circus, what now? Is your life, your family’s life going be heavenly better five months ago?!

  9. Congratulations PROSECUTION TEAM. A job well done. Your heroic deeds will forever be an inspiration for us and the generations to come. Mabuhay po, kayong lahat

    1. And let them prove that they’re heroes by showing all of their properties, etc. It’s total hypocrisy if they do that.

      Congratulations, ang BOBO mo. 😛

        1. Still missing the point.

          All of this are POLITICS. Sino ang bobo sa atin? Oh yeah, yours is masa-level.

        2. Sabi na nga ba malakas ang appeal ng bobo sa mga kapwa bobo. Parehas kayo ni Fariñas. Wala siyang alam sa batas, pero magaling gumawa ng paliwanag na ang mga bobo lang ang maniniwala.

          Kamusta si Ma’am Valte? Baka batukan ka nun pag bumaba ang pag comment mo sa daily quota. 😛

    2. Anong heroic deeds? Ang tanda ko hanggang sa kahuli-hulihang sandali eh panay pangsasabon lang napala ng prosekusyon.

      1. After stating the continued incompetence and expressing his disgust of the prosecution team, I cannot believe JPE convicted CJ. And to convict him due to non-disclosure of SALN, where in the constitution that it is a high crime?
        IF they think it should be a high crime, the rules should be amended first. One should not convict if it is not lawful. Disappointing.

        1. i think they got the cj not with “high crimes” but with “betrayal of public trust” which is a politically ideal catch-all phrase. and with 2013 just around the corner, what politician wouldn’t use that to his advantage?

          this “daang matuwid” is a crock. if the senators really wanted to toe the line — that is the straight path — they should have thrown the case out with the first false testimony (little lady). if the prosecutors really believed in the cj’s guilt then they could have improved their case since they would still have several years of trying for impeachment. i mean if they really believed that the SALN issue is a case for betrayal of public trust they could have gotten there eventually without breaking too many rules and the senate would have preserved its reputation. imho, the senate has just been prostituted. i believe the guilty verdict of the senator-judges was based on the cj’s testimony but if not for those little ladies and other fairies, the case wouldn’t have gotten that far.

          but this is the philippines after all and i think i’m wishing i were somewhere else.

    3. Are you high? The prosecution did a measly job, They get scolded all the time for doing the wrong thing they committed throughout the trial. Just becuase they presented the case means that they are eptiome of virtue and tehy are always right.
      Even the senators who ruled for conviction admonishes them during the trial I wonder what telecast you were watching. or maybe you interpreted their words (especially JPE).

  10. Hypocrisy is a strange animal. Hypocrites do not seem to know they are hypocrites most of the time and if they know, they seem genuinely puzzled why anyone should be scandalized by it at all. As someone cried in protest one time in seemingly sincere exasperation: “IS HYPOCRISY A CRIME!!!”

    Hahaha

  11. In the Kangaroo Court of Enrile…the Mockery of Trial, taught us many things…that real actors and comedians, can really play good roles. You are just wasting your time. The signing of the waiver, is for his political enemies only. Noynoy Aquino and his cahoots, will never sign any waiver…Maraming perang, tinatago sila, sa foreign and domestic banks…I’m very sure of that…

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