Surveys

October 15, 2017 Leave a comment

RRoy’siPadSurveys
Ronald Roy — Oct. 15, 2017

Recent survey results by the two major poll outfits in the country, Social Weather Station (SWS) and Pulse Asia, once again were irreconcilable, with SWS showing that Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s popularity rating had slightly dropped — albeit still an indicator of the “good or very good” category — and Pulse Asia recording a virtually untouched high rating of 80 percent.

The disparity does nothing but sow a confusion that is deleterious to stability, as governance would tend to proceed on false, if not manipulated, premises — a state of affairs that the sovereign Filipino people certainly don’t deserve.

Needless to state, a public disclosure of the queries asked in the surveys must be statutorily required, so as to allow the people to participate in governance that is meant to be not only theirs, but also wielded by and for their benefit.

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Bato’s frustrations

October 12, 2017 Leave a comment

RRoy’siPadBato’s frustrations
Ronald Roy — Oct. 12, 2017

I feel sorry for Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, the man on whose shoulders rests the responsibility of leading the attack against a seemingly soaring crime wave in general, and Pres. Digong Duterte’s war on drugs in particular.Yes, there is a “seemingly” soaring crime wave, for in actuality, crimes have appreciably been reduced since Mr. Rodrigo Roa Duterte became president last year.

So it’s just logical to suppose that, without law enforcers, the incidence of crime would rise, chiefly in the hands of drunken and drugged malefactors, not to mention riding-in-tandem vigilantes, terrorists, rebels and just plain outlaws. Who says our cops are underworked?! Why can’t critics give them a chance?

The effects of intoxication on one hand, and being high on drugs on the other, are similar. The afflicted person’s self-control is diminished to the level of his “real self”, although the effect would be graver in the latter case.

For instance, if one is an amiable pacifist, he will tend to be, say, innocuously giggly while being under the influence of alcohol or a drug, but a neighborhood trouble-maker will tend to be uninhibitedly violent.

Armed and hostile
In fact, it isn’t uncommon for some to turn hostile with lethal weapons in their hands. Notably, the problems of peace and order are humungous because dipsomaniacs and drug addicts abound in the countless hundreds of thousands and, pathetically, the PNP can do only so much.

The sale and distribution of alcoholic drinks, and the manufacture and smuggling of prohibited drugs, are matters of crime prevention that are far graver than their regulation or interdiction is imperative. C’mon, do we have the capability to patrol all our peninsular waters???

Bato appears to be an oddity as he sometimes cries in his manly cops-and-robbers job, hurting in deep frustration when critics start nitpicking on the PNP’s performance. But can anyone blame him? One thing is sure: He and his men have reduced the crime rate by over 7 percent since July 1, 2016, i.e., if their statistics are to be believed. Well, this writer happens to believe their digits.

Clangorous jaundiced critics
The usual peskily noisy group of Yellows, clerics, Maoist leftists and jaundiced human rights personalities is back in harness, blowing out of proportion a handful of errors by policemen.

Certainly, the over-sensationalized killing of three minors must be investigated and, if warranted, the cops involved should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. However, exception must be taken to unfounded claims that the President’s policy is to liquidate drug users and pushers.

The jaundiced critics prefer to see only the trees and not the forest in their destabilization moves against the president’s administration. They choose to remain blind to the PNP’s many heroic and humane deeds, and they refuse to admit they’re engaged in demonization tactics. Yes, they are all charged up, eager to return to their euphoric past at our expense on the world stage!

EJK, a misnomer
At this point, a propos would be a brief comment on the term “extrajudicial killing”, or EJK, for short. The term EJK is a misnomer since it implies that our courts are authorized to impose the death penalty which, however, has long been outlawed in our jurisdiction.

Simply put, a killing is either lawful or unlawful. It ‘s lawful if done in defense of oneself or others; otherwise, it’s unlawful…in which case, the felony committed would be either murder, which carries a penalty of life imprisonment, or homicide, which carries a penalty range from 10 to 20 years.

The term “judicial killing” may be defined as the snuffing out of a human life, as pronounced by a court of law finding an accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of a capital felony, like murder, and the said ruling is later affirmed by the Supreme Court on automatic review.

Executioner’s limited authority
If, in implementing a judgement, an accused’s life is taken in any unlawful manner, an “extra judicial killing” may be said to have been committed. It thus behooves all those charged with carrying out death sentences to follow the process prescribed by both the final judgement and the law.

This is just a personal opinion, Wesley (Go). Assuming that, in a capital offense case, lethal injection is the prescribed mode for discharging the death penalty, and the apparatus for the same irreparably malfunctions before the time of execution, it will be unlawful to kill the accused another way, such as by musketry or hanging.

The capital offense of premeditated murder would have then been committed — or homicide, depending on the facts — even if the accused had already been judicially divested of his right to life.

All told, therefore, the PNP’s claim of “EJK zero record” is “legalistically” sound. But then, Wesley, we can’t really be serious about the technical vagaries of the law. Instead, let’s all try to help the PNP by contributing to their cause of peace and order.

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com
musingsbyroy.wordpress.com @ronald8roy

Peace and Order

October 10, 2017 Leave a comment

RRoy’siPadPeace and Order
Ronald Roy — Oct. 12, 2017

I feel sorry for Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, the man on whose shoulders rests the responsibility of leading the attack against a seemingly soaring crime wave in general, and Pres. Digong Duterte’s war on drugs in particular.

Yes, there is a “seemingly” soaring crime wave, for in actuality, crimes have appreciably been reduced since Mr. Rodrigo Roa Duterte became president last year. So it’s just logical to suppose that, without law enforcers in uniform, the incidence of crime would rise, chiefly in the hands of drunken and drugged malefactors, not to mention riding-in-in tandem vigilantes.

The effects of intoxication on one hand, and being high on drugs on the other, are similar in that the affected person’s self-control is diminished to the level of his “real self”, albeit the effect would be more severe in the latter case.

For instance, if one is an amiable pacifist, he will tend to be, say, innocuously giggly while being under the influence of alcohol or a drug, while a hotheaded trouble-maker will tend to be uninhibitedly violent.

Armed and hostile
In fact, it isn’t uncommon for some to turn hostile with lethal weapons in their hands. Therefore, the problems of peace and order are humungous because dipsomaniacs and drug addicts abound in the countless hundreds of thousands and, pathetically, the PNP can do only so much.

The sale and distribution of alcoholic drinks, and the manufacture and smuggling of prohibited drugs, are matters of crime prevention that are far graver than their regulation or interdiction is imperative. C’mon, do we have the capability to patrol all our peninsular waters???

Bato appears to be an oddity as he sometimes cries on his manly cops-and-robbers job, hurting in deep frustration when critics start nitpicking on the PNP’s performance. But can anyone blame him? One thing is sure: He and his men have reduced the crime rate by over 7 percent since July 1, 2016, i.e., if their statistics are to be believed. Well, this writer happens to believe their stats.

Clangorous jaundiced critics
The usual peskily noisy group of Yellows, clerics, Maoist leftists and jaundiced human rights personalities is back in harness, blowing out of proportion a handful of errors by policemen.

Certainly, the over-sensationalized killing of three minors must be investigated and, if warranted, the cops involved should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. However, exception must be taken to unfounded claims that the President’s policy is to liquidate drug users and pushers.

The jaundiced critics prefer to see only the trees and not the forest in their destabilization moves against the president’s administration. They choose to remain blind to the PNP’s many heroic and humane deeds, and they refuse to admit they’re engaged in demonization tactics. Yes, they are all charged up, eager to return to their glorious jaundiced past! How very sad, indeed!

EJK, a misnomer
At this point, a propos would be a brief comment on the term “extrajudicial killing”, or EJK, for short. The term EJK is a misnomer since it implies that our courts are authorized to impose the death penalty which, however, has long been outlawed in our jurisdiction.

Simply put, a killing is either lawful or unlawful. It ‘s lawful if done in defense of oneself or others; otherwise, it’s unlawful…in which case, the felony committed would be either murder, which carries a penalty of life imprisonment, or homicide, which carries a penalty range from 10 to 20 years.

The term “judicial killing” may be defined as the snuffing out of human life, as pronounced by a court of law finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of a capital felony, like premeditated murder, and the said ruling is later affirmed by the Supreme Court on automatic review.

Executioner’s limited authority
If, in implementing a judgement, an accused’s life is taken in any unlawful manner, an “extra judicial killing” may be said to have been committed. It thus behooves all those charged with carrying out death sentences to follow the process prescribed by both the final judgement and the law.

This is just a personal opinion, Wesley (Go). Assuming that, in a capital offense case, lethal injection is the prescribed mode for discharging the death penalty, and the apparatus for the same irreparably malfunctions before the time of execution, it surely will be unlawful to kill the accused by such other way as musketry or hanging.

The capital offense of premeditated murder would then be committed — or homicide, depending on the facts — even if the accused had already been judicially divested of his right to life.

All told, therefore, the PNP’s claim of “EJK zero record” is “legalistically” correct. But then, Wesley, we can’t really be serious about the technical vagaries of the law. Instead, let’s all try to help the PNP by contributing to their cause of peace and order.

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com
musingsbyroy.wordpress.com @ronald8roy

North Korea’s saber-rattler

October 5, 2017 Leave a comment

RRoy’siPadNorth Korea’s saber-rattler
Ronald Roy — Oct. 05, 2017

Is Kim Jong-un, the popularly acclaimed supreme leader of North Korea, a country formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the saber-rattler who might trigger the final battle of Armageddon, that war biblically prophesied as foreshadowing the so-called “end of times” and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?

As we seek comprehension of the Holy Book’s final Chapter on St. John’s Apocalypse in Revelations, we note that vagueness may have resulted down the ages from the many translations of the original Hebrew texts, not to mention the esoteric “parables” that were often used by prophets and Jesus Christ himself.

How accurate is the Bible?
In fine, we are advised that some passages of what we understand in the Holy Book are not necessarily what were meant by Jesus and the different scribes of the scriptures — by St. John the Beloved in particular, in regard to his authorship of Revelations, which was made possible, as tradition would have it, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Be that as it may, the “end of times” is “just around the corner”, depending on how DPRK plays out its “adventurous nuclear games” — according to a Hindu mystic, apparently alluding to Kim Jong-un’s nonstop test launches of ballistic missiles.

No less than American calculations confirm that these destructive missiles have attained the power to reach America and, as of the latest count announced by DPRK, there are 26 of them ready for launching, not to mention a hydrogen bomb just having been developed.

Shy, mediocre and paranoid?
Kim, somewhere in his late thirties, is the second child of strongman Kim Jong-il (1941-2011). A physical carbon copy and favorite of his father, Kim had long been popularly expected to succeed his father. Of average intelligence, he is a very reticent and shy person, but does not hide the fact that he’s nuts about NBA games and idolizes some American professional basketball stars.

Kim earned two college degrees, one in physics and another in military science. His stock answer in interviews denies he is a provocateur, or a warmonger, his only concern being letting the world know that his small country has a nuclear capability enough to defend itself against external aggression. Hmmm…paranoia?

A ruthless killer?
It is pertinent to note that on 12 December 2013, official DPRK news outlets released reports that Kim had ordered the execution of his uncle Jang Song-thaek for treachery. Also, he is widely believed to have ordered the February 2017 assassination of his half brother, Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia.

Finally, this commentary cannot proceed without mentioning that his older brother, Kim Jong-chul, was assassinated in Malaysia allegedly by state agents from North Korea. To repeat, is Kim an insecure and paranoiac person?

Regarded as the supreme commander of DPRK’s armed forces, Kim earned the title of Marshall, a rank and position that made him virtually impervious to question — a military strongman, yes, who harasses two neighbors.

Japan and Sokor
In 1910, then imperialist Japan invaded and annexed the entire Korean peninsula, including what is now called South Korea (Sokor). Then, after the 2nd World War in 1945, the peninsula was divided into two parts, with the United States of America assuming authority over the southern section, and Russia over the northern half.

With DPRK’s brassy show of nuclear power with no regard whatsoever to international protocol and amity, it seems clear that Kim is concerned with either a strategic preemption of a possible repeat of historical events, or with plain vendetta; and, already, he casts an intimidating shadow over Japan, Sokor and other Asian countries and: why not America and the rest of the world?

Would Kim Jong-un dare to stupidly light the fuse of a global holocaust where there won’t be any winners? Nobody is perfect; so, what kind of a self is this man hiding? Not a few acquaintances have described him to be like a bratty child who loves to play with matchsticks and other dangerous games.

Not far away from Sokor and Japan, how prepared are we to guard against the immediate scorching effects of a nuclear fallout created by just one devastating nuclear explosion ordered by Marshall Kim, not to mention the long-term effects of cancer and other lethal diseases?

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com musingsbyroy.wordpress.com @ronald8roy

A P1,000 CHR Budget???

September 19, 2017 Leave a comment

RRoy’siPadA P1,000 CHR BUDGET???
Ronald Roy — Sept. 21, 2017

Whose asinine idea was it to virtually abolish the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) with a budget slash to a mere thousand bucks? Not only is the CHR an independent body created by the 1987 Constitution, it is meant to embody our ideals that adhere to the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).

The CHR is also meant to convey the message that ours is a humane and civilized society. If you destroy the CHR, you destroy the message and turn your back on society’s ideals.

CHR, a constitutional body
As a constitutional creation, the CHR can thus be abolished only through an amendment of the basic charter, and not by the legislative department acting in the exercise of its oversight functions appurtenant to its “power of the purse”.

The CHR’s budget being slashed to P1,000 not only transgresses the fundamental law, but it also embarrasses us on the world stage, as it lends credence to the growing perception that Filipinos are too meek in dealing with strongmen.

It is this writer’s opinion that the senate’s action to oppose the subject bill of the lower house should be its outright rejection for being unconstitutional, and should forthwith petition the Supreme Court for its corresponding declaration. Incidentally, the said bill also violates the constitutionally-protected civil service rights of all the personnel hired by the CHR.

Bad timing
Now, even granting for the sake of argument that the budget slash is in full accord with the law, its timing is bad as it only serves to intensify ongoing global critiques on the administration’s war on drugs. All of a sudden, the administration’s back is against the wall and, with rancorous militant forces pressing forward, one asks how much more the present dispensation can take.

The commission was virtually denied a budget for the year 2018 when its proposed P688 M budget was drastically reduced to a thousand pesos on a vote of 219 to 32 in the Lower House. This is of course but an attempt of the house to emasculate the CHR for the year 2018, and it is only half of the lawmaking process, the Upper House’s vote being needed to pass the bill, which would later be brought to Pres. Duterte for his approval.

To the relief of most everybody, however, a large number of senators have signified their opposition to the house bill, and their numbers are even expected to increase to the displeasure of the Palace.

An incorrigible Yellow
Well, PDu30 has never concealed his dislike for CHR Chair Jose Luis Martin Gascon for being “too much of a Yellow” to be an objective and fair leader of an institution sworn to advocate respect and protection for human rights, particularly where he has become a perceived hindrance to the conduct of the President’s war on drugs.

On this point, Ricky (Solis), even assuming that the President is correct in his assessment of Gascon’s performance, the CHR should not be made to suffer for the questionable acts of its chairman. The solution is to subject him to disciplinary action in accordance with law. We don’t burn down an entire house to kill a rat, do we?

No, Ricky, I don’t know if impeachment is a constitutional mode for removing the members of the CHR from office. The fundamental charter specifies that the impeachable officials shall be the President, Vice President, members of the Supreme Court, the Ombudsman, members of the Commission on Audit, members of the Commission on Civil Service, and members of the Commission on Elections — with no mention being made of members of the CHR. This matter would be for the high court to resolve.

Is PDu30 joking again?
Be that as it may, it would be preferable to bring a case against Mr. Gascon before the Ombudsman’s Office, he being a public official. In this regard, however, quite a number of people are inclined to believe that PDu30 is not really all that serious about bringing down the CHR.

The scuttlebutt doing the rounds now is that, as a lawyer, he knows the house bill is such a tenuous one that an escalation of public protests against it might reach a point beyond his control — a situation where he is known to say “joke only”.

Yes, Ricky, the president could just be scaring the pesky Gascon into resigning his post but, hmmm, the man appears ready to play cops and robbers. Abangan!

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com
musingsbyroy.wordpress.com @ronald8roy

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Impeachment

September 17, 2017 Leave a comment

RRoy’siPadImpeachment
Ronald Roy — Sept. 14, 2017

Impeachment is a quasi-judicial process of removing from office certain government officials for culpable violation of the Constitution, breach of public trust and/or other high crimes. It is a political enterprise engaged in by members of the lower house acting as prosecutors, and by senators acting as judges.

It is “political” only in the symbolic sense that the people are represented when their congressmen and senators do their impeachment chores, the technical appreciation of evidence being the concern of the legislators, not their constituents. It would thus be wrong for the solons to succumb to the pressures of public opinion, lest they be later held critiqued for “trial by publicity”.
The lower house
An investigation of the Complaint in order to determine if it is “sufficient in form and in substance” is done by the justice committee of the lower house and, if so affirmatively determined, the same is forwarded to the house’s plenary assembly for deliberation to determine probable cause of the charge or charges therein contained.

Then, if such probable cause is ascertained by 2/3 vote of all the house members, the respondent is declared impeached, and the Complaint and its annexes are then forwarded to the senate, that may now convene itself as a court in order to try the impeached respondent. The senate president will preside.

We, the “body politic”, now stand in the throes of three impeachment proceedings, one against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, another against Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista, and maybe a third against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. We worry about some of the pending legislative agenda being sacrificed, given what the trials would likely result in a great loss of time and money.

The Corona impeachment
The 2014 impeachment of the late Chief Justice Renato C. Corona dragged for over four months in an atmosphere of perceived vendetta in the hands of then Pres. Noynoy Aquino, and under a cloud of doubt that an exoneration would result despite what many saw as a trial by publicity.

However, this writer does not intend to dispute the point. Corona was removed from office on a vote with only three dissenting, period. Respect is given to any vote resulting from a constitutional process, and this writer’s disposition here is one of hope that the citadel of impeachment will staunchly safeguard our wobbly democracy, with specific reference to our electoral and justice systems.
Based on the protocol adopted in three previous impeachment cases held in this country — i.e., versus Pres. Joseph Ejercito Estrada, CJ Hilario Davide Jr. and CJ Corona — please permit this writer to tick off a few random matters appurtenant to the conduct of and decision-making in impeachment trials, as follows.

The rules
Impeachment trial courts (ITC) generally observe the Rules of Court, the Rules of Evidence and the established jurisprudence thereon, without being restricted from adopting their own rules that they deem fit and proper.

A majority vote of all the ITC magistrates is required to convict a respondent in a decision that is final and executory. The Supreme Court may or may not entertain questions of law brought to it for resolution. An acquittal or conviction shall not bar a criminal or civil case that may thereafter be instituted by a proper party or parties against the impeachment respondent.

Impeachments, whether we like it or not, are devices that can be used for cryptic and foul reasons, like vendetta, or replacing the respondent with another person who would be subservient to those who wish him removed from office — and we would never know. But whatever the unsavory reason is, if any, we must accept the ITC’s decision and move on with the great hope that the impeachment exercise was not in vain for democracy.

Impeachments, our big hope
In relatively recent years, our country has seen three impeachments, with another two or three coming up. That can be very embarrassing, of course, but we can still draw consolation from the thought that…bunglers that we are at governance…we are very determined to do things right to heal a seriously ailing democracy.

At this point, we can only shudder at the seriousness of the coming trials. Beyond the “entertainment” they will provide via radio, TV and print coverages, public concern must focus not only on the integrity of of the Comelec chair, but also that of the electoral system where the constitutional guarantee of suffrage might have been thwarted in last year’s elections..

We must likewise recoil at the thought that the chief magistrate might not have measured up to the lofty standards of probity, impartiality and delicadeza required of her office.

On this note, let the trials begin!

09186449517 musingsbyroy.wordpress.com
ronald8roy@yahoo.com

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The Marcos gold

September 5, 2017 Leave a comment

RRoy’siPadThe Marcos gold
Ronald Roy — Oct. 08, 2017

Is the controversial Marcos gold fantasy? No, it is not, and that’s according to both sides of the controversy. Did the late Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos (FM) lawfully acquire it? Marcos bashers led by the Yellows say he did not, insisting without proof that he stole billions of pesos worth of gold, and that his heirs must apologize and return it all.

Jedd (de Guzman), 49, is one such basher, and he says that he was taught in Grade V that FM was a torturer, a murderer, and a thief who stole the people’s gold bullion. “Tito Ronnie, everybody sees him as bad! His evil character is taught in all schools as part of history; ergo, it must be true that he was a torturer, a murderer, and a thief!”

The corrosive power of hate
Jedd is adamant, although he cannot say from whom, how and when FM had stolen all that gold — but neither does anybody else. He just fervently believes what others generally believe to be gospel truth…a conviction that proceeds from a misguided yellow propaganda scheme engendered by the assassination of the strongman’s arch political enemy, Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr.

Hate beclouds reason; therefore, if the despised FM was worth more than his weight in gold, he must then have stolen all that gold, the proof of theft being the magnitude of that theft! Would that be history’s so-called unbiased statement on the fabled Marcos gold?

Verily, the Yellows will be happier people if they can cleanse themselves of such hate that not only begets irrationality but also corrodes the human soul. They have labeled FM as an insatiable plunderer, but my knowledge of the man disables me from agreeing with them.

Gold certificates galore
As chief of staff of my father, the late Sen. Jose J. Roy, I had once the good fortune of seeing two stacks of gold certificates on the table of the dictator, along with my father and the late business mogul, Enrique Zobel de Ayala. My father was upset that day over stories of gold bars reportedly amassed by the president, so he went to the Palace to confront FM, with me just tagging along.

After we leafed through the gold certificates, FM said he had long been waiting for claimants and skeptics to challenge the integrity of the certificates, but none so far had come. The gold bars were his, he emphasized, and he was willing to face them anytime…stressing he had been a gold trader long before he entered public life.

Cleared by records
Incidentally, the records of the Central Bank of the Philippines, and later those of the Banko Sentral Ng Pilipinas, confirm that Marcos did not steal a single ounce of gold from their vaults. Perhaps, remnants of Cory’s notorious “Kamaganak Incorporated” can shed some enlightenment here.

Till today, the strongman’s memory is incessantly vilified as a billionaire-plunderer, as his bashers led by then VP candidate Alan Cayetano rantingly demand a return by his heirs of over US $ 10 billion worth of alleged loot he had supposedly raked up from the national coffers.

However, although criminal actions in court relative to the alleged theft have all been junked for lack of evidence…FM continues to be “remembered” as a gold thief! That’s what hate does. It corrodes the human soul!

And it shouldn’t be a surprise that the FM-bashers and Yellows are back to name-calling, even as the Marcos family has signified an interest in sharing some of their gold with the people. Up in arms, some quarters scream: “Return —not donate — the gold to us, you thieves!” Yes, that’s what hate does. It corrodes the human soul.

FM’s last wishes
Back at the Palace, it was then that I learned of the late president’s plan to donate his gold to the Church, the people and the government, leaving only 10% of the same for his family. Believe it or not, that was then his intention…one he would much later re-express in a Last Will and Testament during his exile in Hawaii, after his abduction by American government operatives.

There is thus cogent reason to suppose that: his family’s interest in sharing with others their wealth in gold bullion is in accord with the strongman’s last wishes. It will therefore do critics well to stop vilifying his memory, shut up, and just let his heirs honor him by following his solemn instructions.

A little humility will do much for the country’s poor people…as will most certainly a little prayer.

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com
musingsbyroy.wordpress.com @ronald8roy