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We beg to differ.


After reading ABS-CBN reporter Raissa Robles’s monumental quibble over the letters of the Law surrounding President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s national beef with Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, I must say, I simply have to give her a salute. I salute her because despite her own admission that the notion of the Rule of Law gives her the shivers, she really did quite a bit of research on the matter. Indeed, commenters on her blog couldn’t stop gushing about the extent of her “research” — though most of them stop short of pointing out what specifically about her research they are singing praises about.

Much of the article was about the Supreme Court’s evvvviiiiillll track record of cleverly stretching its interpretation of the Law during the regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos in order to further the strongman’s agenda. In Robles’s words, “once upon a time, the SC invoked THE RULE OF LAW to perpetuate a repressive regime” which is the foundation upon which she nurses her very personal pathological cringe over the notion of the Rule of Law.

Hey, fine. So Ms Raissa Robles does not like The Rule of Law — which, I suppose, makes her deep-dive foray into the subject of The Law in her article all the more remarkable. If she wants to be an intellectual masochist about it, then we may as well enjoy the read.

But the interesting part of her article is not about the SC’s track record during the Marcos regime. Using the SC under Marcos as a “context” for evaluating today’s head-on between Noynoy and Corona is an Apples-to-Oranges exercise at best. Non sequitur. Does not follow.

So let’s ignore that part of the piece (with sincere consideration for the painful time Robles must have spent “researching” that chunk) and check out the epicentre of Robles’s argument which I itemo-paraphrase into a handful of easy-to-read points (so that at least I make it easy for my commenters to be a bit more specific when they raise a toast to the brilliance of this article).

Robles points out that…

(1) The Constitution is quite specific about the timeframe of and circumstances surrounding any late-term appointments by a President or Acting President; however,

(2) It also specifically stipulates that this guideline covers appointments to executive positions; which means that,

(3) That clause is silent on “appointments to judicial positions.”

Having established that there was a gaping loophole, Robles then expresses a lament over the lack in the national charter of a similar clause that outright stipulates the same thing referring specifically to judicial positions — a gap she reports was highlighted by Justice Lucas Bersamin, who “penned the decision favoring Arroyo’s interpretation.”

Amazingly (understandably miffed by the above stroke of genius interpretation on Bersamin’s part), Robles finds herself (perhaps after an equally monumental effort to trawl the entire text of the Constitution) a snippet that she uses to make what she herself describes as an “absurd” case that Arroyo was an “illegitimate President” to begin with — the fourth point she makes:

(4) Using Bersamin’s approach to interpreting the law, we can argue Arroyo’s illegibility to be President by virtue of “Section 2” which states that “No person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines” [Robles's boldface]; on grounds that the Law is silent on females (because only a “he” is stipulated in the text).

Robles is, in effect, throwing a tantrum. And she is crying out this rhetorical question: How come the SC can rule one way on account of one loophole in the Law, but ignore a similar gap in another section of the Constitution?

The answer to that question is quite simple:

Because the Supreme Court is the Supreme Court.

The job of the SC is to make a ruling on the Law. And it can consider a case brought to its attention by all Filipino citizens, including those who serve the Executive and Legislative branches.

Ms Raissa Robles (perhaps funded by Malacañang) could file a case with the aim to void the entire presidency of Arroyo just to make her point. She should do so. After all, she found a clause in the Constitution that provides the foundation for such a case.

That is the procedure, Ms Robles. The Law Rules. So invoking that clause is a real option, just like the option to exercise the silence of the Law on appointments to the judicial positions was taken by Bersamin. But, see, Bersamin is a Justice in the SC. Perhaps, again as Robles herself admits, if she weren’t “just” an English major and was instead a “far wiser” justice of the SC, then she would have access to that option too.

Tough luck, Ms Robles. As John Mason (played by the venerable Sean Connery) quipped in the excellent movie The Rock

Losers always whine about [doing] their best. Winners go home and f**k the prom queen.

As to Robles’s exposé on the salary the Chief Justice’s wife earned as president of John Hay Management Corporation as well as her being an “Arroyo” appointee to that job which she adds in closing her article, I fail to see how this is related to the context she frames and the points she makes in her article. Then again, her bringing it up follows the same style of appeal-to-indignation-by-litany-of-disjoint-examples that characterises Noynoy’s speeches. It figures, doesn’t it?

But hey, Robles says that last “interesting” factoid was just something she just “stumbled” upon. Fair enough. I’m not about to speculate on whether this was indeed something she merely “stumbled” upon or really the result of sleepless nights spent on the Net (or phoning her informants) digging up dirt on the Chief Justice. Robles is a “reporter” after all.

Any schmoe can dig up “facts.” But what separates the men from the boys is the ability to connect the dots that represent those “facts” to form a truly insightful picture of what is real.

benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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30 Comments

  • Der Fuhrer says:

    Raissa Robles is not a member of the Philippine Bar. In short, she is not a lawyer. Even if she was… The fact that she has taken upon herself to interpret the law for her own convenience shows her echoing the same thing that BadNoy is doing in also interpreting the law for his own politically expedient agenda.

    The RULE OF LAW makes her shiver? Perhaps she prefers The RULE OF BadNOy! This would mean siberian winter for our democracy!

    She forgot to state it in its entirety… For ours is a rule of law and not of men!

    • Combuzz says:

      Yeah she only majored in English, so far from interpreting and researching laws. English major is also considered a soft option in college, my accounting professor told me, “If you can’t pass this class, then you might as well do something easy, like English.” and law is a very difficult subject to tackle, she assumes its as simple as interpreting a novel. Like how people assume accounting is as simple as putting numbers in a computer, but in reality we have to interpret and research laws called GAAP on the Accounting Standards Codification. How the law was interpretted in the past will be how it should be interpretted now, even if it says “HE must be natural born”, but in the past it has always been interpretted as both he/she then it will stay that way.In accounting for example something might say “The term of lease must be the majority of the useful life of the asset” and because in the past accountants have treated the term majority as being equal to or greater than 90% of the useful life, then that is the proper interpretation of the law.

  • Abnoy and company has been bantering about this issue of Corona’s appointment even before he’s assumed office. To express his abnoyan disgust, he’s even done away with protocol and tradition by snubbing Corona. Sabi din nya he’ll assume office before a barangay captain. If their first order of business is to incarcerate Gloria and boot out Corona… they should have done that eons ago. So why only now? They are making these noises louder because:

    1. the noises in the stomach of the indios are clamoring for food on the table;

    2. their cry to eliminate corruption and their “daang matuwid” is now heading in the pit of disaster;

    3. they are merely covering up their incompetence in running and improving the economy.

    BOTTOMLINE : INCOMPETENCE pa rin. Incompetent then… incompetent forever and ever. AMEN.

    Robles may be good in digging up things but those issues she has ranted have already been raised before abnoy has assumed office. Simple lang yan… ilagay sa charge sheet ni Gloria and go for impeachment of Corona. Wag mag shortcut at wag i file sa corrupt tri-media ng Piripins.

  • Hyden Toro says:

    These demolition team of the Chief YellowTard, Noynoy Aquino , are working overtime; to find loopholes in the interpretation of the law. Just to overturn the ruling of Noynoy Aquino’s Hacienda Luisita…they are paid well by your tax money – the multi-billion pesos Pork Barrel Fund of Noynoy Aquino…
    As I wrote earlier; the Hacienda Luisita is the part that is very vulnerable in Noynoy Aquino’s Armor…He has no defense on his Greediness and Exploitation, including the massacre of his tenant/serfs, using goverment soldiers on this evil deed…

  • PedroMakabayan says:

    May be someone should ask yellow tards Raissa Robles why she is licking Noynoy’s balls?Does she likes impotent balls??. If and when we finally get the right leader elected,he/she should start throwing people like Raissa into an island on a far away planet!! She’s a Disgrace to civilized and sane society!!She sucking balls and doesn’t even have reasons to do so except for her insanity!!

    • benign0 says:

      Dude, please afford due respect to Ms Robles as a lady. We’ll have none of that talk here. The best of us are able to express our strong opinions without having to resort to the gutter talk. Otherwise we’ll be no better than those bozos you bristle about.

      • pururut says:

        i agree sir.. we can voice our concerns and frustrations in a civilized manner.. lets not stoop down to a level so low that we are no longer different from the people that we criticize

    • HaraKiri says:

      Raissa’s blog caters to the simplest Filipino minds who most of the time are being taken advantage of the powerful and wealthy cum politicians – the reason why we have a carnival of uneducated lawmakers ( upper & lower) who can hardly speak and understand the law itself being written in a not so simplified English. I agree she is not a lawyer. But to confine the interpretations of the law solely to a lawyer? ,, well that’s too debatable. I don’t need a lawyer to tell me what a robbery is, or what a murder is.. but of course evidences would substantiate everything. I don’t think she is paid by PNoy to do her blog otherwise her site would not be full of rubbish advertisements. Anyways, this site is a good alternative and reminding people of the proper blogging/commenting manner is a very professional move. Keep up.

  • benign0 says:

    Raissa Robles’s article is an example of the simple reality that a “wealth” of facts does not necessarily equate to useful insight. :D

  • roi says:

    Sorry guys, but I think Raissa Robles is correct when she cited the provision in the Constitution as basis for concluding GMA as an illigitimate president.

    On the same ground however, let it be known that Cory Aquino (sumalangit nawa)was also the first, the original and indisputable illigitimate president.

    End of debate!

    • Ilda says:

      Here’s what I said in my recent article:

      “The Supreme Court Justices at the time were even forced to legitimize GMA’s ascent to power on the basis of this being one endorsed by “the will of the people” — the same “will” the Aquino camp now keep citing as the basis of their self-righteous campaign against the SC. What seemed like a good idea then for all those who led the revolt against Erap is now being hailed as “opportunistic” on the part of GMA from Mr David’s point of view. Old age must be taking its toll on his memory.”

      • roi says:

        Indeed. And if I may add, one will never see what he does not want to see.

        To Raissa, the Supreme Court is not called supreme for nothing. It may not be always correct but it is always right. You don’t have to agree, just obey. They have the final say so your opinion does not really matter.

        Like cry babies, losers go personal when they run out of arguments. If you are convinced about your expose on Mrs. Corona, stand up and be of service to your country. Sue her now!

    • benign0 says:

      Indeed, she is absolutely correct. And her digging up that little snippet from the charter to serve as a counterpart example is part of the point I make. The letter of the law can indeed be invoked on the basis of that snippet to void the entire presidencies of both GMA and Cory Aquino, and anyone can actually mount a legal project to do just that. The SC will, in fact, have no choice but to hear and consider such a case.

      Bersamin built his argument on the legitimacy of Corona’s appointment around a similar principle — one where the Constitution was silent on 11th-hour appointments for judicial positions.

      What Robles is doing is arguing that Bersamin cannot do that because of her after-the-fact revelation of an analogous stipulation that female Presidents are, in similar principle, illegal.

      On the basis of her opinion that the exclusive use of “he” in the presidential criteria spelt out in the Constitution, is absurd, Robles would like us to believe that the limiting of the scope of the Constitution on matters of 11th-hour appointments to just executive positions is just as equally absurd.

      Non sequitur. Apples-to-oranges comparison ad absurdum and ergo DOES NOT FOLLOW.

      Nice try from yet another reporter. Reporters should go do what they do best — dig up factoids and report these as “news”.

      They should leave the thinking to those of us who know how to do it properly.

      • Combuzz says:

        Agree, reporters should be reporting facts not opinions as news, because they lack the critical thinking skills to handle these issues. They should only voice their opinions if they have a good grasp of the subject.

    • Der Fuhrer says:

      @roi
      Raissa is just an empty wall that echoes the bad examples of BadNoy. She cited the HE word as basis for a false, out of order conclusion that GMA is an illegitimate president. She cannot rant that this is absolute truth as she is not the rule of law. It is only the Supreme Court that may interpret the law hence if she has a problem with it she should question the matter with the High Court.

      • Der Fuhrer says:

        Allow me to give a legal opinion on the matter. The Constitution is not to be interpreted based on one provision, word or words standing alone. It must be interpreted as a whole. Article VII, Sec. 2 is cited by Raissa. “No person may be elected president unless HE(caps mine)….

        The framers of the fundamental law forgot to insert SHE. But is this correct standing alone? I think not.

        The Philippines adheres to public international law and as such recognizes the rights of women as equals of men.

        In State Policies Sec.14 “The State recognizes the role of women in nation-building and shall ensure the FUNDAMENTAL EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW(caps. mine)of women and men. Hence, a woman can be President.

        • benign0 says:

          Yes, and from that perspective, we can see that it cannot be used as a context to the way the law is silent on appointments to judicial positions.

          As Robles herself points out, the law is specific as far as the scope of its stipulation being limited to appointments to *executive* positions in which case there is no broader context to interpret that within the legal framework, unlike that of the “he” clause in the presidential criteria — it is mitigated by the statement of “fundamental equality” across genders that exists in another section.

  • Der Fuhrer says:

    Heil Der nutzi Fuhrer BadNoy! He is the nutzi law of the land! He has no LLB degree! He can only make opinions and interpretations in his favor! His great nutzi genius interprets the law and attacks the pro-democracy Supreme Court with his new found power of convoluted reasoning with no legal basis!

    What kind of example is he setting for -the improved society-? So far it has become fashionable for the nutzi master yellow race and its nutzi support elements to promote a culture of pre-judgement(guilty without trial), cruelty, hatred, revulsion and ridicule against perceived enemies in personalities and institutions!

    There is no more civility or gentility. No more good manners and right conduct. Such is the state of new reich culture! His latest addition is to set the bad example of interpreting the law! Every bench lawyer, nutzi, nutcase, anarchist and chaos supporter laughs with glee as they interpret the law and condemn personalities and institutions!

    Truly Der Fuhrer BadNoy is exemplary in setting the right examples! He is after all the greatest nutzi of the nutzi state! Heil!

    • Der Fuhrer says:

      I forgot to add… Der Fuhrer and his followers like to use canard(lies)and deception to manipulate minds! Please feel free dear readers to enumerate the other bad examples you see in Der Fuhrer BadNoys daily acts and omissions!

      Raissa is part of the reich propaganda machinery and so the foregoing examples are part of the echoes made by the empty wall!

      Heil the nutzi mind! Pity -the improved society-.

      • bulutongboy says:

        You know, you’re giving the President too much credit. I mean Fuhrer? I looked it up. It means “masculine leader”. There’s nothing “masculine” about nagging against the SC in front of a lot of people when you know they won’t/can’t answer back at you.

        “Lies and deception to manipulate minds”? It’s not that their so amazingly smart in duping people. It’s just that the majority Pinoys are simpletons.

        My friend, even would-be dictators, in all its evil, require a large set of “balls” to
        actually be one. You’re already thinking his Excellency has that?

      • Der Fuhrer says:

        But he is Der Fuhrer, the greatest nutzi mind of the nutzi state! He is not into nagging as he rants and raves, salivating out his rabble rousing against the SC! He is now the law of the land! His nutzi genius perceives that wrong is right and right is wrong!

        Nein! Der reich nutzis of the master yellow race are not simpletons! They are willing puppets for truly he is the boss and not the people. The puppet master is the boss!

        He lost his family jewels! Lost the happy/funny farm. But soon he will return there! Heil BadNoy the greatest nutzi mind of the nutzi master yellow race!

  • Der Fuhrer says:

    @benignO

    Raissa should also be bright enough to know that women’s right to suffrage carries with it the right to be elected to public office. Hence, we have women as president, senator, congresswoman, governor, mayor and barangay head.

    Perhaps Raissa desires to be submissive to BadNoy like a good puppy dog and does not believe in Women’s Rights.

    The BadNoy perceived “midnight” appointment of CJ Corona is already a settled issue.

  • Trosp says:

    A great post benign0.

  • Peste says:

    If a Supreme Court Justice is already pointing out that the law is inadequate for them to render a certain decision, wouldn’t it be time to do the necessary legislative work? I guess that’s too much hard work.

  • Raissa Robles is just one othe many yellow tards, lagi nilang ipinagtangol si copper ngoyngoy. pity for us to have such kind of pres.

  • soldout says:

    normally with a story like impeachment raissa robles would be quicker to her keyboard than a rat down a drainpipe – but now that she is on the abs-cbn payroll as contributor her silence – whether one sees that as good or bad – is illuminating.
    another payrise and maybe she will be toeing the party line without question or even research, which is her forte.
    buying silence can work also

  • Domingo Arong says:

    BeningO

    To Raissa, as regards decisions of the Supreme Court:

    “There is no doubt that if there were a super-Supreme Court, a substantial proportion of our reversals of state courts would also be reversed. We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final.”—Justice Robert H. Jackson, concurring, Brown v. Allen (1953)

    As regards the “rule of law” (again from Justice Jackson):

    “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”–West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943)

    As regards the gender issue:

    http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/rulesofcourt/2006/sept/am_06_8_21_sc.htm
    http://www.census.gov.ph/data/specialevents/cedaw2009/factsheets/csc_memo.pdf

    As regards the “presumption of innocence”:

    http://faculty.cua.edu/pennington/law508/innocentguilty.htm

    Finally, Justice Rutledge, quoting Thomas Paine, in the penultimate line of his dissent in In Re Yamashita (1946), who was sentenced to execution by hanging by a special Military Tribunal convened right here in Manila:

    “More is at stake than General Yamashita’s fate. There could be no possible sympathy for him if he is guilty of the atrocities for which his death is sought … It is not too early — it is never too early — for the nation steadfastly to follow its great constitutional traditions, none older or more universally protective against unbridled power than due process of law in the trial and punishment of men — that is, of all men, whether citizens, aliens, alien enemies, or enemy belligerents.”

    “He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression, for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”

  • Anti-Yellow Guy says:

    How stupid. Even from a grammatical point of view, “executive” is very different from “judicial,” while the use of “he” as a third-person referent is the same as “she” or “he or she” or even “they”, if Robles wants to flaunt her bachelor’s degree in English.

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