Truth Commission: another “initiative” killed by Malacanang incompetence

Filipinos are a people who found nothing wrong with subverting due process to extraconstitutionally remove former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada from office back in 2000 and even deferring to a Supreme Court Justice to “swear” in a new “president” who happened to be none other than now former President and House Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Ironic, isn’t it? Another one of those ironies that simply fly over the vacuous mind of the Filipino — a people who populate a society renowned for its “droll and unintelligent, focused on the trivial or the irrelevant” National “Debate”.

Arroyo had for six years following an alleged cheating scandal survived various lame attempts to impeach her and an equal number of ocho-ocho “revolutions” that followed in the ensuing frustration over “failures of due process” drummed up by the Media. Let’s also not forget to mention a couple of quaint “rebellions” staged by a bunch of petty bandits who are now lionised as heroes by a people renowned for their penchant for shopping for cheap imitations in America’s factory outlets.

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Here, today, we have a sitting President and an army of Yellow staffers who fail epically at simple administrative chores that would otherwise have paved the way to getting things done (at least things that they in their infinite small-mindedness consider to be “imporant” and “relevant”): getting an amnesty proclamation drafted properly, and getting a “Truth Commission” convened. While the earlier amnesty that forgives and forgets the banditry of “Senator” Antonio Trillanes and Danilo Lim seems to be gaining traction and is being cheered on by a people on a drip-feed diet of emo politics, the latter had fallen through; blocked by the mighty Philippine Supreme Court.

The post Arroyo Supreme Court has long been recognised by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and his Cheering Squad as a key risk to the success of his “reform programs” (though evidence of any semblance of vision or planning surrounding these is yet to be seen). Indeed, even way back during the “campaign”, the issue of the Supreme Court being infested by “midnight appointments” has already been a source of monumental temper tantrums and tililing rampages mounted by the Yellow Horde. So, in hindsight, one could wonder now why, despite a long drawn out recognition that the Supreme Court will be a show-stopper for Aquino’s administration, did Malacanang not prepare a top-notch (or at least competent enough) legal and policy-making team to step up to this Goliath.

Indeed, I recall this fearless forecast Yours Truly made back during the campaign:

Noynoy Aquino will, as President, be facing a bureaucracy and a complex of institutions that he will most likely be unable to get on top of over the course of his six-year term. He will be likely to be constantly playing The Victim Card to mask his failure to show everyone who’s boss. Funny enough that senators do it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we will one day find President Noynoy Aquino on Manila’s streets protesting his own government! Considering that even now he attempts to muzzle the press and avoid public debate, that’s not a very farfetched scenario.

See, the thing with being right all the time is that it gets boring. In fact, I kid you not, I write this piece today in between yawns.

The mother of all victim mentalities (and certainly the mother of this victim-stroking going on today in the wake of the failure to get the “Truth Commission” ball rolling) is embodied in something that the venerable blogger-turned-bureaucrat Manuel L Quezon III wrote back in the heady days of ocho-ocho “revolution” fixation:

The Philippines – Filipinos – tried to do everything by the book, they tried to do everything exactly as specified by the Constitution, they even rallied within parameters defined by that Constitution as far as the right to free speech and assembly are concerned.

Not surprisingly, this is the sort of sentiment that pervades the oxygen-starved landscape of Filipino thinking today as Malacanang yet again licks its wounds after running away whimpering with its tail between its legs. It’s the same sort of sentiment that frames what otherwise would have been simple and straightforward issues such as, for example, that other fodder for moronic Pinoy populist mentality: kuligligs.

Central to the conceptual framework that the Filipino Mind so routinely fails to grasp is this principle I applied to the issue of kuligligs:

After being allowed to proliferate, true to the usual moronic form of Philippine administrative mediocrity, there is now a proposal to “ban” them from Manila’s streets. Of course the whole nonsense of “banning” something that is illegal to begin with simply escapes the typical vacuous mind of the Filipino.

Indeed, the Second Aquino Government simply reflects the character of the people it presumes to lord over (to the tune of 79%, as a matter of “fact”). Hopelessly inept at navigating an institutional framework, it exhibits monumental incompetence as it fumbles in its use of the right institutional tools to get the job done. In the process, it quite amusingly exhibits — and validates — the fundamental nature of Da Pinoy: a nature propped up by three key cultural pillars: (1) pwede-na-yan, (2) bahala na, and (3) Impunity. Filipinos do indeed deserve each other.

26 Replies to “Truth Commission: another “initiative” killed by Malacanang incompetence”

  1. A jolog solution to Arroyo’s astute “investment” in the Philippine Supreme Court

    I don’t really give a rat’s arse who is “unconstitutional” nor who is the Righteous One or the Evil One in this whole small-minded drama being spun around this whole “Truth Commission” failure-to-launch fiasco. What I do see is an amusing contest of wits, political acumen, and foresight. So far, the party leading the race as far as this set of contest criteria is concerned is quite clear. Former President, now House Representative, Gloria Arroyo has remained consistent to the winning form she’s exhibited over the last ten years — that of a tenacious and savvy politician; a stark contrast to the bumbling comedy-of-errors that is the Second Aquino Admiistration.

    Justice Secretary Leila de Lima herself tipped her hat to Arroyo’s savvy noting how this “wise institutional investment of the past regime” worked so well against what presumably was her boss’s “executive actions to correct injustices and abuses of the past regime and to punish the perpetrators”. All debatable bullshit of course. But this is the Philippines, where mere hearsay trumps facts and mere perceptions guide judgements on a routine basis.

    Despite the “popularity” and a self-attributed moral high ground enjoyed by the “prayerful” and “humble” Malacanang of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, it is quite clear who the better institutional navigator is. Hardly surprising because Aquino is Ocho Ocho “Revolution” (read: anti-institutional initiative) embodied while Arroyo is, well, simply being the Gloria Arroyo who got 2 million-odd idiots to ocho-ocho her into power back in the year 2000, win a “legitimate” election in 2004, and survive an albeit disorganised and fragmented effort to dislodge her from power since. You can see in this quick stocktake that Aquino’s skill set is but a mere subset of the expertise Arroyo applied over her tenure as the country’s President. A little boy trying to fill grown-up shoes is how Noynoy comes across to us today.

    This fixation on an adolescent approach to politics is epitomised in Ellen Tordesilla’s quaint recommendation articulated in Jolog Central on what the hapless Filipino’s next steps are:

    The High Court’s decision on the Truth Commission should impel the people to make known their displeasure over their betrayal of the people’s trust in the law. People should mark their name: Renato Corona, Lucas Bersamin, Arturo Brion, Teresita de Castro, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Mendoza, Diosdado Peralta, Jose Perez, Presbitero Velasco, and Martin Villarama.

    Maybe it’s high time to stage People Power against the degradation of the Supreme Court. When you meet any one of the 10 justices outside the court, make known your anger. Tell it to their faces. Boo them. Make them uncomfortable. Throw rotten tomatoes or eggs at them.

    People should also support justices who keep us from losing our faith in the rule of law in this country: Antonio Carpio, Conchita Carpio-Morales, Roberto Abad, Antonio Nachura, Maria Lourdes Sereno.

    True to form indeed: a jolog solution for a jolog situation.

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      1. Don’t be a Robot utilized by the Aquinos like the Yellow Hordes. People’s Power is nothing but kicking the “outs”, putting the “ins”. After they are placed in power: You are holding an empty bag, And the Users are feasting on the spoils. You feel used…but you allowed yourself to be used. So, you are just a lowly sucker ???…

        1. The thing about People Power is, it was great the first time around. It removed a ruthless dictator from office. The second time around, it removed a movie star/womanizer/jueteng lord. The third time around, well, I don’t even remember what the third time was about. Was there a fourth time as well? Is anybody still keeping count?

    1. On De Lima, she’s supporting a boss who shoots down all her recommendations, such as in the IIRC report and amnesty issues. Doesn’t she ever get tired of a boss who does not appreciate her work? On second thought, shutting up ensures her job security… even if it means job security with the wolves in your company.  

  2. I’ll just say this to the “Tooth” Commission (I’m feeling naughty today):

    Beh, buti nga. 

    A “truth” commission created by a bunch of liars is bound to go nowhere. 

      1. Dapat nga “toothless” since they’re sure to have no good results, hehe. 

        “Tooth” commission isn’t mine though. I got it from Phons A. 

  3. I don’t know how much insult it adds to insult and injury to know that for all GMA’s faults, the only alternatives were worse. Erap finishing his term and getting re-elected as he nearly did last May, or PFPJ in 2004 (and if events took their course as they did, PNoli).

  4. Noynoy’s report on the Supreme Court decision to junk the Truth Commission

    Reading the address of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to the Filipino people on the Supreme Court Decision junking Executive Order Number One was really painful. It was a painful read because it was in Tagalog. But I managed to capture a few salient points that stood out (indicated in italics after translation into English)…

    Is it wrong to seek the truth?

    Who said it is?

    Isn’t it my duty to punish people who broke the law?

    Who says it isn’t? Then again there’s the matter of this “amnesty” you granted to “Senator” Antonio Trillanes and Danilo Lim…

    We established the “Truth Commission” to close one of the darkest eras of the history of our society.

    One of the darkest eras? So are you putting the Arroyo era in the same league as the 20-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos? The Japanese occupation? If I am not mistaken, your government has been trumpeting how the Philippines has overtaken India as the outsourcing capital of the world. I don’t think the groundwork for that “achievement” had been laid during the last six months of your era.

    You, your children, and all your loved ones will benefit from fixing the system where all who have broken the law will be held accountable.

    You had it in your power, Mr President, to hold people within your immediate circle of influence accountable for certain incidents of gross negligence that contributed to the preventable loss of eight people’s lives last August. I believe the Hong Kong government has indicated how little confidence it has in your ability to “hold people accountable”. Perhaps you should start working on your own backyard first.

    And besides, last I heard, Filipinos already have the power to influence the sorts of laws and systems that are built in this country. It’s called voting for the right people to represent them in Congress and actively engaging them on a routine basis.

    While I am here, I will not allow the continued oppression of the Filipino.

    Whatever you say Chief. Show us a your vision for the Philippines of 2016 and your plan on how to get us there. Then again, I get the feeling this failure to launch of your Executive Order Number One will be your pet scapegoat for a six-year career of non-performance. If that will be the case, then what you assert here is actually true. Filipinos are indeed, an “oppressed” people.

    * * *

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  5. To repeat what you wrote above : “…one could wonder now why, despite a long drawn out recognition that the Supreme Court will be a show-stopper for Aquino’s administration, did Malacanang not prepare a top-notch (or at least competent enough) legal and policy-making team to step up to this Goliath.”

    President Noynoy holds friendship over competency (then does “Puwede na iyan!!”, so what happens is what happens with “Puwede na iyan!!”)

    1. daaaang!… flips, in general, put kamag-anaks, kumpadres, kumadres, ka-iyutan, etchastera, etc over competencies… and the competent flips use and abuse gung gong flips to gain power and accumulate wealth… flips are disgustingly ignorant!… hay naku, flips, puro kayo tunggaks!

  6. This thing about competencies (or lack of it) is one of the reasons that Noynoy appointments are facing tough times. Even members of Makati Business Club (who are members of Congress) are speaking :

    The CommissionAppointments deferred hearing DOT-Lim’s nomination to December 14 after Travel Cooperative of the Philippines chairman Robert Lim Joseph expressed his formal opposition to the DOT chief’s nomination during Wednesday’s CA hearing. Joseph said DOT-Lim was an “incompetent” official for coming out with the controversial “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” (Philippines So Beautiful) campaign despite the objections from the people around him. “Dito po ako tumututol na napakatigas nitong ulo ng secretary. Sinabi na sa kanya hindi lilipad yan. (I am objecting to the fact that the secretary is so hard-headed. He was already told that the campaign won’t take off),” he said during the CA hearing.

  7. daaaaaang! … ain’t surprise a bit…. flips have not done anything, i repeat, anything constructive… doctor santa ate glo, phd & sons built her empire of thugs during her term >>> from barangay tanods to muklo serfdoms to supremo abugagos de flipland… you think prez gung gong has the smarts to penetrate it?… hay, naku flips, puro kayo tunggaks!… flips ar perst klas kasi nanalo sa putbol/soker…. bwi hi hi hi hi hi hi pwi!

  8. The Truth Commission is a ploy by the Noynoy Aquino administration to deflect (diversionary ploy), his incompetence and misrule. Same as his late mother. Cory Aquino used her time in Chasing the Marcos Wealth Mirage, hidden thruout the world. In order to divert the people’s attentions to the real issues affecting their lives. Did the Marcos Wealth Mirage Chase produced any results? How about the issues concerning the Aquino family? These are valid issues…yet the are covered by Noynoy Aquino and his late mother. Instead, their false heroism were put on the forefront, to maintain their hold on power and protect Hacienda Luisita…

  9. When all is said and done, it really is Noynoy’s fault, he picks the wrong lawyers for the wrong cases. What he should do is simple — the career lawyers at Justice who know the law where they CARPed Hacienda Luisita, these are winners and Noynoy should get them to do EONumber1-version 2. The losers :mrgreen: who did EO-Number1-version1, Noynoy should get them so Government-Pilipinas loses the HaciendaLuisita CARPing next steps.

  10. The Supreme Court ruling is now available.

    Pilipinas Supreme Court declares : Executive Order No. 1 is hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it is violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. . . . . the respondents are hereby ordered to cease and desist from carrying out the provisions of Executive Order No. 1.:

    Hilario Davide, Jr, 20th Chief Justice of the Philippines and current head of Truth Commission. The Truth Commission in its current intentions is to cease. There is no job for you to claim. Translation — you are fired.

    One of the reasons cited by 2010Pilipinas Supreme Court — that EO#1 had features which gave the direction and tenor of TruthComm2010 to be driven and guided by … the whim 💡 and caprice of the President. Nice try, Noynoy, to try to slide in An old Marcos ploy. But gotcha!!! The sly move 😐 — denied by the 2010 Pilipinas Supreme Court. Pilipinas has progressed, after all.

    1. daaaang! … flipland’s constitution is UN-CONSTITUTION… it’s a fake… a plagiarized version of ‘merka’s “we da pipol”… so how how da karabao flipland supremo abugagos declare prez gung gong’s eo1 as unconstitutional, based on what?… hay naku flips, kunyari pa kayong CONSTI-CONSTITUTIONAL na lintek!… puro kayo gung gongs!

    2. See, the great hope of Pilipinas, Walden Bello, knows what to do next. Walden Bello says the 10 justices who voted against Noynoy’s EO#1 should be forced to resign. Then, let the remaining members vote. Surely, then, TC/EO#1 will be ruled constitutional…. so why didn’t Noynoy’s legal team think of that one????

  11. Noynoy’s Truth Commission will have slowed down an already sluggish justice system

    The Supreme Court was probably right in shooting down President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s pet project, the “Truth Commission”. If you are going to define an entire term of office by a “reform” agenda directed against past improprieties, then you should go the whole nine yards. This means covering all cases of such that transpired over the entire period the current Constitution (the legal framework within which the “Truth Commission” will supposedly work) was in effect. That means all cases that came up from 1986 to 2010 as well as all people involved.

    More importantly, Noynoy’s “Truth Commission” will simply complicate and slow down an already slow process.

    Neal Cruz in a recent piece elaborates:

    […] P-Noy does not need any Truth Commission to prosecute Arroyo and her subordinates. There is the Department of Justice whose duty it is to prosecute wrongdoers. Or doesn’t P-Noy have the confidence that Secretary Leila de Lima can do the job quickly?

    Note in Figure 1 below how, under the normal process, there are already existing institutional systems and procedures that do not prejudice on the basis of political affiliations with which the State delivers justice.

    Cruz continues…

    In fact, I think a Truth Commission will do the job even more slowly. Its findings will only be recommendatory. The DoJ will have to hold new hearings to follow due process completely. Only after which it can file charges and begin prosecuting the accused. All of that takes time.

    Noynoy’s “Truth Commission” not only makes these systems and procedures more onerous, it discriminates one subset and undermines the fundamental law-applies-to-ALL principle that modern societies live by. This is illustrated in Figure 2 below.

    Indeed, Cruz puts it quite succinctly (my boldface for emphasis)…

    […] the Truth Commission could indeed be a violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. To the layman, what the Court is saying is: Why treat Arroyo and her officials differently from other Filipinos?

    Ramon Tulfo agrees

    The other former presidents and those who served under them should also have been included in the ambit of the Truth Commission.

    Senator Miriam Santiago was right. Noynoy’s people are a bunch of lightweights. And this most recent of gaffes sheds light specifically on the astounding incompetence of his lawyers. And that’s not a good thing for a President leading a society infested by lawyers.

    There’s a Filipino term for it: atat. Noynoy exhibited this childish trait in pushing for the centrepiece of his ha-ha campaign.

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