Junk all promoters and defenders of PP 1959 in 2010
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-12-13

Both the Information and Education Gaps conspire to perpetuate the conditions trapping many Filipinos in a generational cycle of poverty.

Ill informed and poorly educated, many Filipinos do not understand the systemic exploitation that eventually manifests as the Wealth Gap. The poor only see the abundance that the few enjoy contrasting with the deprivation of the many.

True, there are genuine Christians among the Catholic priests, nuns, Bishops and Cardinals. Like the Christ they try to emulate, they see themselves as agents of enlightenment for both the spiritual as well as temporal needs of the flock. True, the latest Papal Encyclical — Caritas in Veritate — clearly expresses Vatican concern for the lack of social justice which in turn deprives many of their deserved dignity and humane standard of living.

But between the guidelines set forth by the Pope in Rome, there is a glaring lack of coordinated action of the Pope’s “troops” on the ground here. Instead of seeing Bishops and Cardinals actively promoting the brilliant points of Caritas in Veritate, especially the principles and good practices of the Economy of Communion which the encyclical set forth as the ideal example of an enlightened Christian economic paradigm — we are scandalized by priests who liken largely perceived evil rulers with Jesus Christ and Bishops who defend the baseless imposition of martial law.

Other than redeem mankind, Jesus Christ sought to enlighten. To be a Christian missionary is to take on the task of enlightenment. Evangelization is nothing but the Christian mission to promote the enlightenment that Jesus Christ gave mankind. Yes, it requires love to willingly accept the mission to enlighten those who live in the dark for the task carries with it a lot of risks and suffering. The martyrs were those who loved, took on the holy mission to spread enlightenment and paid for it with their lives.

Today, Filipinos are in the middle of a highly questionable and controversial imposition of martial law in Maguindanao through the December 5 announcement of Presidential Proclamation (PP) 1959. Not only is PP 1959 another suspicious act of a bad president, it also carries the potential for spawning other similar future applications that will result in further oppression, suppression (of both people’s rights and the truth) and exploitation.

From Senators Noynoy Aquino, Mar Roxas, Alan Peter Cayetano, Richard Gordon, Kiko Pangilinan, and Miriam Santiago — we all witnessed an enlightening demonstration during the December 9 and 10 Joint Sessions of Congress of the lack of validity and legal basis of Presidential Proclamation 1959.

Their combined efforts have effectively established that:

1. There was no actual rebellion to justify PP 1959 and that the alleged masterminds — the Ampatuan clan members — were allies of the administration and were armed by the government.

2. The ends of justice could be served with the earlier imposition of a state of emergency — ergo, no need for PP 1959.

3. The Maguindanao massacre is strictly a case of pre-meditated mass murder that was rooted to a political fight between two warring clans.

4. The false charge of rebellion will result in the eventual acquittal of the accused persons instead of the avowed justification for PP 1959 as a means to enforce the law and serve justice to the victims and their kin.

5. If PP 1959 is not revoked by Congress, it will establish a very bad precedent that could result in far worse national nightmares like the dreaded NO-EL (No Election) scenario, even a nationwide imposition of martial law.

These established premises support what Senator Biazon exposed last Sunday on ANC that PP 1959 is very likely a smokescreen plot to acquit the Ampatuans who could sing very incriminating and damning songs against Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) about the alleged 2004 and 2007 election cheating in Maguindanao. Biazon sees the projected regime resolve to bring the alleged murderers to justice as nothing more than a well crafted plan to set the stage for their eventual acquittal.

In a personal communication, Senator Kiko Pangilinan commented: “Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera says there’s no need for search warrants to seize evidence because of martial law PP 1959. This is legal lunacy. Nowhere in the martial law provisions of the Constitution does it say that the Bill of Rights become inoperative when martial law is declared. All the evidence seized is inadmissible. Is this sheer incompetence or is this deliberate programmed incompetence?”

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita no less — admitted that there was no actual rebellion. Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera no less — acknowledged that her assertion of a “looming rebellion” was merely her personal opinion. With that, the Executive Branch shattered the basis for justifying PP 1959.

Yet, despite all these solid points that established the violation of the Constitutional provisions which PP 1959 incurred, no less than the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Davao Representative Prospero Nograles, acknowledged that the majority of Representatives who outnumber the Senators in a Joint Session of Congress will approve and support PP 1959. These Representatives are once again flaunting that they truly represent the personal interest of GMA and not the interests of their voters.

The House of Representatives is empowered to correct the abuses of the Executive but this Congress consistently fails to do this. They will not impeach a bad ruler. They will not exercise their power of the purse if it will inconvenience GMA. Now, they’re poised to approve an unjustified imposition of martial law despite its serious and far reaching detrimental consequences.

The 2010 voters are engaged in scrutinizing the 2010 presidential candidates. The irony of it is that we have an abundance of good presidential candidates, with one of the best choices — Senator Noynoy Aquino — consistently dominating the surveys.

The 2010 voters should realize that it is the election of bad legislators — those who will protect evil, perpetuate dynasties, and approve illegal executive actions — that is more the cause of our failed democracy. A good president can be derailed by bad Congressmen while a bad president can be protected by them.

Do you really want to save our country? Do you really want social justice, reform and change for the better? Are you longing for the rule of law? If you do, then do not vote in 2010 for all those who will not revoke PP 1959.

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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