Monday, December 21, 2015

Indefatigable loyalty (Part 2)

Indefatigable loyalty

Part II

On December 2, 1985, Judge Bernardo Pardo of the Manila Regional Trial Court ordered Tarlac Development Corporation, a Cojuangco–owned company that ran the operations in Hacienda Luisita, to surrender said vast agricultural land to the Ministry of Agrarian Reform. The Cojuangcos appealed to the then Intermediate Appellate Court. On July 22, 1987 President Cory Aquino issued Presidential Proclamation 131 and Executive Order No. 229 outlining her agrarian reform program, which covers sugar and coconut lands.  Her version was also a drawing much that it tried to surpass P.D. Nos. 2 and 27 of her predecessor, but exempting their own sugarland by allowing them to issue instead Stock Distribution Option (SDO).
After manipulating to derail the case, the saintly Mrs. Aquino instructed her appointed Solicitor General Frank Chavez to file a motion to withdraw the case on March 17, 1988. Department of Agrarian Reforms (DAR) Secretary Philip Juico, and GSIS President and General Manager, Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte then jointly agreed not to object to the motion to dismiss the case even if a judgment in the lower court has already been rendered.  The action taken by Secretary Juico meant that Hacienda Luisita could no longer be subjected to land reform, with Belmonte writing off the unpaid loans of the Cojuangcos with the GSIS.  It was a classic case of hitting two birds with one stone.
While Mayor of Quezon City, Belmonte opened the door for the Ayalas to colonize Quezon City by allowing them to acquire prime properties, including their acquisition of the Manila Children’s Hospital, the Manila Seedling Bank, and a big chunk of UP.   The choice lots was for the picking of the Ayalas, including government properties reserved for future use.
Driven by  megalomaniac ambition, he fostered “personality cult” making sure his name and self-serving “serbisyong bayan” is painted, embossed or carved in the open spaces of private subdivisions he illegally helped beautify by using public funds, in all public schools, government buildings, police precincts, and allowed his minions in the city council to put up their living tombstones in every street corner.  Belmonte sponsored bills in Congress that greatly favored the elite from the grant of franchise to the fast-track sale of escheated lands to developers for delay or failure to pay real estate taxes.
According to Johnny Chang, it was Belmonte  who conceived the magic of DAP by appropriating a huge budget of more than P3 billion to himself as City Mayor by  duplicating the budget of all the offices in the City Government with him having the exclusive power to dole out funds to those politicians willing to fall in line.   Today, the annual budget appropriated to the Mayor of Quezon City is much bigger than the Office of the Vice President.
This reliable operator of the corrupt elite was again involved in another scandal, this time in selling down the river the Filipino consumers by privatizing and deregulating the power and energy industry.  The then proposed EPIRA Law was the biggest deception committed against the Filipino people, and that criminally-inspired law was masterminded by Belmonte.  It was fraud because none of the whereas clauses promised by him and by his band of mercenaries in Congress to reduce the cost, to make efficient and secure an uninterrupted supply of electricity, never materialized.
In a privilege speech delivered by Sanlakas party-list representative Renato Magtubo on May 8, 2000, he pointed to Congressman Belmonte for attempting to bribe him and another party-list representative Etta Rosales of Akbayan of P500,000 each just for them to vote for the passage of the law that made the country the highest in the cost of electricity in the world today. The ironic thing is that the pseudo-progressive organization is now fiercely defending the Aquino administration’s bribery window that earned him the distinctive record as the most  corrupt of all Presidents  combined.
It was the decision of the Supreme Court that demolished the myth about PNoy’s alleged “towering” popularity. His rating has  sagged almost to level of his ankle, and he has become the butt of a joke with one asking, my God, what sin have the people in this country committed for gifting them a mediocre but stubborn President? Imagine, he is even toying the idea of  “abrogating” the court’s decision on DAP all because it has adversely affected his image. Only laws and the constitution can be abrogated. Final decisions will remain no matter what happens. Like history, it cannot be rewritten just because it is not favorable to a leader.
For the unexpected fiasco, Belmonte feels his services is now most needed to plug the seepage of denunciation against PNoy.  He instigated his Chihuahuas in Congress to summon Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno to appear before the House Committee on Justice to shed light on the alleged misuse by the High Court of its P1.77 billion Judiciary Development Fund.  Chief Justice was correct in lecturing him.
But wily as ever, Belmont kept himself at the background, saying he will not endorse the moves of Congressmen Niel Tupas and that bumbling Ben Evardone to summon and eventually impeach the Chief Justice.  Belmonte forgot that he is not co-equal in fact and in law with the Chief Justice. Another DAP beneficiary is sharing the title with him in the Senate.  Nonetheless, if only these pathetic congressmen, like Reynaldo Umali and Isidro Ungab  know what they are talking about, they would have been extra careful in opening their mouths.
Their pedestrian view that nobody is above the law exhibits more of their ignorance of the law; one that is devoid of logic and lack of common sense in what they are saying.  Yes, these ranting attack dogs belong to the second branch of our government, but they can never elevate themselves to represent that branch. As members of that branch, and of the Committee on Justice, they can only represent the Committee and the conspiracy organized by Belmonte.  The Committee does not even constitute five percent of the total members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate because as a branch of government, that refers to both Houses.  Only the President can rightly claim to represent a branch of our government because he alone stands as the chief executive.  Paradoxically, no justice in his right mind can claim to represent the Supreme Court.
On that basis, they cannot summon the Chief Justice by misrepresenting themselves as co-equal to intimidate her to submit to their idiotic whims.   If Section 3 (3) of Article XI of the Constitution requires only one-third of all the members of the House to impeach a justice of the Supreme Court, that is valid because the Constitution says so. But normally, it is in the act or resolution approved and passed by the majority of all the members of both Houses for one to attribute it as an act of Congress, and not by the self-serving claim of those yellow demagogues.

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