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Ronald Roy — April 23, 2015

The things most of our present-day leaders do are calculated to promote self-interest. This is not a cynical view, but an objective diagnosis of public morals decaying faster than the ravages of climate change. In all three branches of government and all levels of elective and appointive authority, they now oppress, deceive, and steal from: those they have sworn to serve and protect. A public office is no longer a public trust, and this early “wannabes” are vying to occupy it in 2016.
A high-profile graft-buster and self-proclaimed aspirant for the vice presidency is Sen. Antonio Trillianes lV. He is a very staunch ally of P-Noy and a very special friend of the presidential sisters, Krys Aquino in particular. However, people ask if he’s doing the right things to merit the president’s anointment for VP. At the height of his Oakwood popularity, he barely won a senatorial seat; so one has to wonder why he thinks he can be vice president, considering that he’s been antagonizing a lot of people through questionable methods.
I few years ago, I met Trillianes at a luncheon tendered for him and his fellow Magdalo “co-conspirators” by Concerned Citizens Movement conveners Betina Legarda and Harry Roque. It was an occasion to toast the heroes who had just served sentence for defying their controversial commander-in-chief, then Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The nation cheered their valor and rewarded their leader with an eleventh-place seat in the senate. After he thanked me for my article titled “Vox Dei: Free Trillianes” (website: musingsbyroy.wordpress.com) I told him I hoped he would go far in his newfound political career.
He started big-time by first voting “guilty” an impeached chief justice, Renato C. Corona. Aiming two notches higher, the former Naval officer then helped to imprison a senate president on plunder charges, Juan Ponce Enrile. Now, he’s going for the scalp of the incumbent vice president, Jejomar Binay, allegedly for having received kickbacks from building contracts when he was Makati City Mayor. He is also seen as badgering the same city’s current mayor, Jejomar Binay,Jr., on alleged receipt of kickbacks from the reportedly overpriced construction of Makati City Hall Building 2.
Unless a miracle happens, Trillianes can say goodbye to his bid for the vice presidency after he has been recklessly stating in public that two Court of Appeals Justices took bribes from the Binay camp. In his tirade, his trademark maverick methods have escalated to a point where he’s now seen to be in frivolous conflict with the acceptable norms of official conduct and, in particular, the laws on evidence and libel. As a lawmaker, he does not seem to realize that his primordial concern is the Law — along with his corresponding duty to respect and uphold it, and never to trifle with it for personal reasons.
Last April 13, he ventured on a tightrope act by filing a senate resolution calling for an investigation of an alleged bribery of two Court of Appeals Justices in the amount of 25 million pesos each, in order to stop the Ombudsman’s suspension of Mayor Binay on corruption charges. Immediately, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and numerous legalists lambasted the resolution for being violative of the doctrine of Separation of Powers, stressing that only the Supreme Court had the constitutional power to discipline members of the Bar.
Trillianes should have steered away from provoking a constitutional crisis between the Senate and the Judiciary by not making a scurrilous remark against the CA Justices at a time he still hadn’t persuaded his alleged witnesses to buttress his exposé. Incidentally, it bears notice that while the Justices denied the accusations, they haven’t ordered the senator to show cause why he shouldn’t be held in indirect contempt of their court.
With respect to his sweeping indictment of the Judiciary as a corrupt branch of government, Sen. President Franklin Drilon announced that the senate, in the exercise of its oversight prerogatives, would observe inter-parliamentary courtesy by issuing a mere invitation, not a subpoena, to the two CA Justices to shed light. Well, that’s ok, but a better move would have been for him to cause a petition to be sent to the Supreme Court to clean up the courts — a vow CJ Ma. Lourdes Sereno herself made shortly after she took her oath of office.
Meanwhile, still unresolved by the Supreme Court as of this writing is the case, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales vs. the CA, where she assails as unlawful the TRO the latter had issued temporarily restraining her from executing her suspension order against Makati City Mayor Jun Jun Binay. In my view, this case, whichever way it’s decided, won’t mitigate Trillianes’ negative public image.
Ironically, it’s his Oakwood-bred impetuousness that is the waterloo in his quest for the vice presidency. Besides, does he seriously think he can beat Grace Poe or Chiz Escudero?

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com

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