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A Drink to Dinky

A Drink to Dinky
Ronald Roy
I find nothing wrong with cash dole outs to qualified poor families under Dinky Soliman’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program. Aligning the largesse with large-scale projects will only invite the ubiquitous obscenity of malversation, such as in the case of the usual bidding anomalies attendant to the acquisition of fishing nets and other fishing gear. Give them the fish or its cash equivalent, and if they choose mendicancy over self-respect, they don’t deserve salvation.
I have been asked me to comment on the President’s “encroachment” on the work of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC). It’s obvious some readers believe that the IIRC is higher than its creator.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, in my opinion a reliable constitutionalist, was absolutely correct in pointing out that President Aquino (PNoy) was privileged to publicly bare at any time of his choice his disposition of the committee’s recommendations. As the IIRC’s creator, P-Noy’s authority over it is unassailable, in pretty much the same way he enjoys primordial dominion over the Truth Commission.
The President’s authorship of both bodies is derived from his constitutional mandate in the criminal justice system, an executive role that encompasses a process sometimes initiating with surveillance and arrest, and culminating in the prosecution of a crime punishable under our penal laws. The IIRC and the commission are fact-finding bodies which the President created to aid him discharge his duties in the justice system, in addition to such other institutionalized agencies as the military, the police, the National Bureau of Investigation, and of course the Department of Justice.
For clarity’s sake, let’s illustrate with any crime defined and declared punishable by both houses of Congress. When A sues B for a crime, B is placed under surveillance, arrested, investigated, then prosecuted before a trial court. The trial court either acquits or convicts B on the basis of the evidence and the law. Except in cases of automatic review, the accused may bring the verdict to the appellate courts for final disposition.
In other words, the three branches of government participate in the criminal justice system, viz: The Congress enacts the law, the Executive Department executes the law, and the Judiciary interprets the law in the resolution of the case. Verily, whether he likes it or not, P-Noy as the country’s President whose oath of office made him swear to do everyone justice, must lead all efforts in the executive department to do A justice and give B his comeuppance.
All areas of operation, from surveillance to prosecution (including creation of units appurtenant thereto) are executive in nature. It must however be noted that the Chief Executive’s mandate extends beyond the prosecutorial phase. Matters pertaining to pardon, parole, sentence commutation, and living conditions of detainees are within his jurisdiction.
In any event, it was rank discourtesy and perhaps ignorance on the part of some senators to have once uttered public statements criticizing PNoy for supposedly meddling in judicial affairs by placing the prosecution of a case under his supervision and control, in alleged violation of the constitution’s separation of powers clause.
It was likewise rank rudeness bordering on insubordination on the part of the IIRC Chair (who also happens to be PNoy’s Secretary of Justice) to have made a remark –Bakit ayaw pa niya irelease..ano, papalitan niya ang findings namin?—chiding him for delaying his action on the IIRC’s work, and for seemingly tending to revise the same to her discomfort. It can only be hoped that PNoy’s placid demeanor in reaction thereto did not picture him as a pushover of a President. Calmness is proving to be one of his virtues. * * *
GMA gets P2.2B DPWH pork, and solons are given extra P50M each—an underhanded quid pro quo deal or bribery that stinks like a skunk’s fart! And what hurts to the bone marrow is: people will never believe that the money was used legitimately even if it was–all because Gloria Arroyo (good Lord of all people!) was the largest recipient! People also say she was the “ultimate recipient” of her time. What do you think? ​* * *
​ A few weeks after PNoy’s inauguration, 86% of us toasted him with an all-time high rating ever given a new president—causing me to cite Galileo’s theory of gravity in describing the euphoria as a bubble. Well, two weeks ago the rating fell to 71%, a not-too-bad plunge considering a couple of bad breaks, such as the force majeure at the Luneta, jueteng and RH bill fronts!

​ However, instead of whooping it up over the recent 80% vote of confidence from businessmen, PNoy’s team should have instead reminded themselves that business is the air some capitalists breathe to the exclusion of the suffocating poor. It’s a reminder for all that opportunists slink down the corridors of power, including some of his non-capitalist rooters—whether or not of the Samar, Balay or other variety.

(Email: arnydolor@yahoo.com, cell # 09186449517, landline # 7106701)

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