The Comelec, the Sandiganbayan and, most of all, the Supreme Court have either failed to fulfil their duties or shirked their responsibilities long enough with respect to the unequivocal and perpetual disqualification of individuals convicted of a crime to run for and/or hold public office, be it an elected or appointed post, whether or not such individual has been pardoned and/or has served his sentence. This has led to nearly disastrous results in the last presidential elections; that is, ERAP would have probably won if Villar had not secured the vote of a portion of his idiotic constituency. Of course, disaster has already been wrought on the City of Manila with ERAP raising real property taxes and business permit fees to unprecedented levels to plunder the city coffers once again—read “TheParasites of the City of Manila”.
In the case of the Supreme Court, we obviously could not rely on the former and impeached Chief Justice Corona-cum-GMA lackey to subvert his patroness’s politically-motivated, self-serving and perverted presidential pardon of ERAP, which should never have happened in the first place. However, the untold damage of ERAP to Philippine democratic institutions throughout his entire political career should be mitigated once and for all with the pending disqualification case against ERAP in the Supreme Court.
In his recent press release, ERAP appeals to the Supreme Court to respect the democratic vote, which is his usual oversimplification of issues targeted to endear himself with the ignorant and stupid masses.
In the first place, ERAP was convicted of plunder. If justice had really prevailed, he would have been executed and a valuable lesson would have been etched in the consciousness of all Filipinos. Crime does not pay. Crime will be punished and severe crime will be punished severely. Indeed, this would have been no less than a cornerstone in our relatively young, fragile and already crumbling democratic institutions.
Unfortunately, an illegitimate president (GMA, who was all too aware of her illegitimacy) in collaboration with the Legislature (which never fails to pander to the Roman Catholic Church as evidenced by the passage of the RH bill one generation too late) delivered a devastating one-two punch to each and every decent and law-abiding Filipino, perverting and bastardizing our justice system for their political aggrandizement. In anticipation of ERAP’s conviction, they first eliminated the death penalty in record time, which should have been subject to a democratic vote, particularly in light of the unprecedented nature of a president convicted of plunder. Second, GMA (again in the absence of any democratic vote) unilaterally pardons ERAP shortly after he is convicted of plunder—just because she couldn’t stand the heat of her own unpopularity. In both instances of railroading, the entire nation had no participation whatsoever. That is “massive disenfranchisement of votes which is contrary to majoritarian principles of democracy.” In short, the only reason ERAP is alive today and sitting pretty as the Mayor of Manila is due to the utter disregard for the democratic vote. Now, he says to the Supreme Court to respect the democratic vote. How convenient.
Second, paramount in GMA’s presidential pardon is ERAP’s commitment not to run for an elected position. It is NOT an unconditional pardon by any stretch of the imagination, as posited by ERAP and his lawyers. That said, GMA did not exercise an iota of political will to enforce this critical provision and ERAP had no qualms of violating his commitment. When ERAP ran for president in 2010, he effectively violated a key provision in the agreement contained in the presidential pardon, rendering the same null and void. The remedy then and even today would be to slap ERAP back to jail to serve his life sentence—much the same way a criminal on parole is sent back to jail when he violates the terms of his parole.
If justice is truly blind, there can be no other viable interpretation. Because ERAP lost the presidential elections and due to the forgiving nature of our society, the issue was quietly rendered moot and academic. The fact is, ERAP’s actuations when he ran for president in 2010 and when he ran for the Mayor of Manila in 2013 have nullified not once but twice the presidential pardon and, therefore, he should be locked-up in jail for the rest of his life. Each day that ERAP is outside the confines of a jail cell is a travesty of justice, a grave anomaly in our justice system and an insult to every Filipino who deserves accountability.
Third, given that ERAP has blatantly and repeatedly violated the terms of the presidential pardon, thereby nullifying the same, he should be serving his life sentence in jail. So far, he has managed to escape his “rightful” punishment — actually he should already be dead, buried and decomposed. Thankfully, there is a provision in the local government code — Section 40 (a) — that disqualifies persons sentenced by final judgement for an offense involving moral turpitude or for an offense punishable by one (1) year or more of imprisonment, within two (2) years after serving sentence, from running for any elective local position. To wit:
(1) ERAP was convicted of plunder and sentenced by final judgement to life imprisonment;
(2) Although granted a presidential pardon (albeit spurious), ERAP violated and nullified the same;
(3) Therefore, ERAP should be back in jail serving his sentence of life imprisonment;
(4) Because ERAP has not yet completed serving his sentence, which will only be completely served when he is dead, he is effectively disqualified from running for any elective local position such as the Mayor of Manila for the rest of his life;
(5) Therefore, ERAP should be disqualified as Mayor of Manila and jailed for life.
The foregoing reminds me of certain infamous men like Al Capone and OJ Simpson, who pushed their luck too far. They were eventually jailed for lesser offenses than what they should have been jailed for in the first place. In the case of Al Capone, tax evasion instead of a host of much graver criminal offenses. In the case of OJ Simpson, robbery instead of murder. I won’t even delve into the realm of ERAP’s moral turpitude other than it made me sick to hear him proudly announce the recent birth of his child with another gutter whore. You’re macho and your libido at your old decrepit age is great. We got the message loud and clear, but you really don’t have to infest this world with additional human garbage of your kind. It’s about time ERAP is held accountable and maybe, just maybe, we can continue to hold other scumbags like him accountable too.
Translation: If Dad (ERAP) who was a president was pardoned, all the more we as mere senators (would be pardoned). We are also close buddies of Binay who is sure to be the next president. Read “TheThree Kings of UNA” and “The Anatomy of Guilt”.
The pending disqualification case against ERAP is now in the hands of the Supreme Court, which has slowly been reclaiming some of its much eroded credibility. Its recent decisions rendering the PDAF and the DAP unconstitutional are both significant and encouraging. I enjoin the justices of the Supreme Court to do the right thing, legally and morally, and put an end to the criminal enterprise of ERAP. In the words of Thaddeus Stevens, a member of the United States House of Representatives during the era of Abraham Lincoln and a fierce opponent of slavery and discrimination against African-Americans, “I would rather hear the approving voice of one judicious, intelligent and enlightened mind, than be greeted by the loud huzzas of the whole host of ignorance.” Indeed, I am relying on the Supreme Court to be that one discerning voice amidst “the loud huzzas of the whole host of ignorance” shamelessly engendered by ERAP throughout his entire opportunistic political existence. Enough is enough. Disqualify him as Mayor of Manila and send him back to jail to serve the rest of his life imprisonment.
The word on the street is that if the Supreme Court were to disqualify ERAP, he will resign as Mayor of Manila before the decision is rendered so that the current Vice Mayor, Isko Moreno, can assume the position of Mayor. This is partly to save face and partly to throw a monkey-wrench, a dilatory scheme, to the assumption of position of the lawful Mayor of Manila. In other words, if ERAP crashes, he’s going to inflict as much damage along the way. Personally, I have nothing against Isko. I’ll be the first to concede that he was a hunk then and he is still a hunk today. But he was also a man-whore (putang lalaki), a toy-boy of any number of homosexual patrons. If he was capable of selling his body and soul for cash, how much more can he “sell” and/or extort in a position of power such as the Mayor of Manila—at the expense of the taxpayers of the city. He may have won fair and square as the elected Vice Mayor of Manila but there is such a thing as damage control. Let’s keep him as the Vice Mayor (but no more than Vice Mayor), so he can continue to focus on his good looks.
In all of the above discussions, the role of the Legislature has become glaringly important. Section 40 (a) of the local government code, disqualifying persons from running for local public office, sets an incredibly low standard. For example, a person sentenced by final judgement for an offense punishable by less than one (1) year of imprisonment can run for local public office. Furthermore, a person sentenced by final judgement for an offense punishable by one (1) or more years of imprisonment can also run for local public office, provided that he runs two (2) years after he has served his sentence. Why, pray tell, do we allow criminals to run for local public office in the first place? This standard is downright crappy and we deserve better. I am relatively old and I have not spent a single day of my life in prison. From my own experience, it doesn’t take much to stay out of prison and any decent, law-abiding individual would agree with that. Hence, Section 40 (a) should be amended as follows:
“Those sentenced by final judgment for an offense involving moral turpitude or for an offense punishable by any term of imprisonment;”
This means that if a person has been sentenced by final judgement for an offense punishable by a single day in prison, he is disqualified from running for any elective local position in perpetuity.
The next logical question is, why should this disqualification standard apply only to elective local positions? It shouldn’t. It should apply to both elective and appointed positions at the local, provincial, national, and any and all other levels of government.
In addition, to protect ourselves from plunderers and the like, convicted or otherwise, from their political hold, wielding power in perpetuity to protect their ill-gotten wealth, a law should be passed disqualifying siblings and heirs up to the fifth generation, legitimate and/or illegitimate, of government officials adjudged with ill-gotten wealth and/or convicted of a crime, including but not limited to plunder and/or graft and/or corruption to run for and/or hold public office—The “Seat Belt Law” of the Philippine Electorate, if you will. In the same way that the enforcement of the actual seat belt law all over the world has saved countless lives in automobile accidents (in spite of many stubborn individuals who objected to the use of seat belts during the early years of implementation), the “Seat Belt Law” of the Philippine Electorate will mitigate or lessen the political patronage system and stranglehold perpetrated and perpetuated by corrupt political families in the country. This would automatically take the descendants of Marcos and ERAP up to the fifth generation directly out of the political landscape and their stubborn and stupid sycophants will no longer be able to vote for them or their descendants. The same would apply to the descendants of GMA, Enrile, Bong and Jinggoy, when they are convicted of plunder–did I fail to mention the entire Ampatuan clan when they are finally convicted of mass murder?
Given how difficult it is to recover ill-gotten wealth as evidenced by the pittance recovered by the PCGG relative to the billions still stashed away by the Marcos family, even the grandchildren of Borgi Manotoc, who would still be wallowing in the interest income of the ill-gotten wealth of their great great grandparents, could easily buy themselves any number of top elective and/or appointed government positions in the country. The “Seat Belt Law” of the Philippine Electorate will provide at least some protection against corrupt political families that prostitute voters and our political system at large. I have to wonder if it’s ever going to see the light of day with the Legislature.
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