I CONGRATULATE Judge Pimentel on his ruling denying Mr. Trillanes free rein to attend Senate hearings. If Mr. Trillanes thinks he can escape the consequences of his actions by hiding behind the skirts of an election victory, the law still has proven him wrong. He tried to gain power by stepping over our laws and now he uses the same system to try to bail himself out. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas. -- Jerry Lalic, Ontario, Canada (via e-mail)
July 2007 Archives
THIS is in regard to the recently concluded Senate presidency voting that was won by Senator [Manuel] Villar. I am not against Mr. Villar or the opposition senators that voted for him, [but] these opposition senators should have thought about it over and over again before they voted for him. Since Mr. Villar spoke to the administration senators, does this mean that most of the important committees will be given to them and not to the opposition? The opposition senators that voted for him keep saying that they still oppose President [Gloria Macapagal-]Arroyo, but how can you do check and balance in the Senate if you do not have the power or position to do so? I think these opposition senators threw away what the Filipino people has given them. They have to realize that people got hurt and even died to give them this mandate because they want some changes and they want to stop GMA from doing whatever she pleases. I think the end result of this will show in the next election. The people will now think twice before voting for the opposition because it really does not matter anyway who sits in power. They (politicians) do not think about the welfare of the people, or what the people want, but only what the politicians want to do. I take off my hat to the remaining opposition senators who remain with the true opposition. It does not matter what their true reason is for doing so, at least we can be sure that they will oppose any wrongdoing of this present administration. -- Ed Tuason, Santa Maria, California (via e-mail)
I HAVE been following the last midterm elections and was elated that the people finally let their voices be heard by voting for change. Historically, during elections, whoever has the most money and influence gets the seat; thankfully that trend has changed -- at least for the last election. Now, what I cannot believe is how does a bunch of senators voted into office not because people want them to be senators but because they represent the opposition, have turned their back to their ideologies and to what they promised to the people that voted for them that there will be change if they win the election. How can they do the changes they promised if all of the important committees will still be controlled by the administration? Deep in my heart, I would like to commend Senator [Antonio] Trillanes [IV] and hopefully he will stay as a true servant to the people and serve his mandate with dignity! To the following Senators (Escudero, Estrada, Cayetano), there is no way you can save your mandate to the people now that you've joined the administration! -- Ed Tuason, Santa Maria, California (via e-mail)
By Maila Ager INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines--Heeding the call of the opposition, incoming Cebu Representative Pablo Garcia has vowed to surrender his Speakership bid should he lose in secret balloting that he has proposed ahead of the July 23 opening of Congress. Garcia and his supporters, led by Kampi (Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino, Partner of the Free Filipino) president and Camarines Sur Representative Luis Villafuerte, are pushing for an all-party caucus, to include members of the opposition group, to decide who should be the next Speaker. While the opposition has been invited in the caucus, the choice of candidate for the Speakership would only be between Garcia and incumbent Jose de Venecia. Garcia explained that the caucus was aimed only at coming up with one candidate from the administration coalition to run against an opposition candidate during the actual voting on the floor. They had invited the minority bloc in the caucus because both he and De Venecia have supporters from the group, Garcia further explained. "My proposal is to have an all-party caucus. All members of Congress, including the opposition, will be there but the candidates will only be two -- I and the Speaker. Whoever loses will no longer participate in the actual voting on the floor," Garcia said in a phone interview. And the losing candidate in the caucus should agree to abstain during the actual voting on the floor, he added. This way, the opposition can be assured that the Minority Leader will still come from its ranks since Garcia and De Venecia are both allied with the administration coalition. Under House rules, the candidate to get the second highest vote in the Speakership race automatically becomes the Minority Leader. "I'm making this proposal because this will also address the concerns of the opposition that the Minority Leader should come from their ranks. So if I lose in this secret balloting, I will no longer run for the Speaker," Garcia pointed out. "This only proves that I really listen to everybody, to every group. I also want that on the opening day, everything will be smooth already," he said. As of posting time, however, De Venecia has not commented on Garcia's proposal. If the Speaker would reject his offer, Garcia said he would pursue his candidacy and insist that the voting in the plenary be done through secret balloting. After all, Garcia said, the House would have to either adopt its existing rules or approve new ones at the opening of the session where they could propose that voting be done through secret balloting. "We must give each congressman and congresswoman the fullest freedom or opportunity to express their choice and that can be done only through secret balloting," Garcia said.
FILIPINOS are entitled to one vote each. It represents the heart and soul of a person who is longing that his voice will be heard, though faint in the millions of votes. Shave a vote and you kill entirely that faint voice and literally, the essence of that person's right to suffrage. The Philippines, Mindanao in particular, has become a graveyard of honest election watchers, teachers and volunteers. It has also become a stinking place of dishonest government appointees like Lintang Bedol. Justice, strike where you need to strike and I will be there to believe in your name. Justice, hear the last breath of heroes that died looking for you. -- Rynor Jamandre, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig (via e-mail)
WEARING a medical patch over his right eye, Maguindanao provincial elections supervisor Lintang Bedol is mobbed by media as he arrived from Davao City Monday night after being arrested. Video taken by INQUIRER.net reporter Thea Alberto on July 2, 2007 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 in Parañaque City. For more videos, visit iVDO.