“One of the leading causes of obesity is the misbelief that, when it comes to juice, ‘100%’ means ‘sugar-free.” – Mokokoma Mokhonoana
In the Philippines, there been a long tradition of Pork Barrel or specific payout for government projects for Representatives in the Lower House, the House of Representatives and the senators in the Senate. Because this week has been hectic in touch with tradition. There are back and fourth. There is no end in sight for this rodeo. I will show pieces of it, because, I cannot make sense of it.
If there is, then there is, if its not, its not. However, after the recent week action in the headlines and following the wires. I got nothing. Because, even I am unsure. It is hard to know if there is Pork Barrel within the ratified Budget for 2019, which was ratified on Friday on the 8th February 2019.
Let me show some statements that isn’t coherent, reporting that is not backing each other. From various of sources. Since I feel this is important, because there is lack of consistent messaging, therefore, the truth might surface later. However this is what I have by today.
GMA Reported: “Senators took exception to allegations by House appropriations chairman Rolando Andaya Jr. that they will get P3 billion each in pork allocation in the 2019 budget. Senate President Vicente Sotto III, in a text message, said the accusation of P3 billion per senator as pork “is a slur against the Senate.”” (Amita Legaspi – ‘ No P3-B pork in 2019 budget, senators insist’ (08.02.2019) link: https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/684334/no-p3-b-pork-in-2019-budget-senators-insist/story/).
CNN Philippines Reported: “He was referring to the funds that current House committee on appropriations chair Rolando Andaya said were illegal insertions made by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno — a charge Diokno has repeatedly denied. Lacson said that around P51 billion of the controversial P75 billion funds have been distributed to all members of the House of Representatives in P20 million chunks. “Of this amount, 20 billion pesos was distributed equally among the almost 300 congressmen, which translates into P60 million per congressman plus additional allocations to those close to the leadership of the House of Representatives. These are all embodied in the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) or the House version transmitted to the Senate,” Lacson said” (CNN Philippines Staff – ‘Lacson: New House leadership continued pork barrel mess’ 08.02.2019, link: http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2019/02/08/lacson-andaya-arroyo-pork-barrel-2019-budget.html).
Manilla Standard Reporting: “In total, the Senate proposed some P25.4 billion in adjustments while the House introduced P20.65 billion in realignments or a total of P46.35 billion under the DPWH where legislators can identify specific projects. Andaya confirmed that each congressman will get P160 million in itemized projects” (Maricel Cruz and Macon Ramos-Araneta – ‘Congress approves budget’ 09.02.2019, link: http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/mobile/article/287358).
Sen. Franklin M. Drilon Press Release: “The minority leader also denied reports that senators will get P3 billion in pork allocation, including a province in the Visayas getting more than P3 billion. He called the allegation “grossly unfair”” (Franklin M. Drilon – ‘Drilon says no to 2019 national budget’ 08.02.2019, link:http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2019/0208_drilon1.asp).
Sen. Leila M. de Lima Press Release: “Kudos to my colleagues in the Minority bloc – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros and Kiko Pangilinan – and, of course, to Sen. Ping Lacson, for their rejection of the pork-laden 2019 budget” (Sen. Leila M. de Lima – ‘Sen. Leila M. de Lima on her colleagues’ rejection of the pork-laden 2019 budget’ 09.02.2019, link: http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2019/0209_delima3.asp).
We are clearly seeing mixed messages, but both sides of this. Where the allocated funds are seen as differently. Therefore, we will see if these allocated funds are for the Pork Barrel or not. Since, the various explanation for these funds are really special. They are showing something and how to interpret the budget itself.
If one side is lying, than they are receiving funds and telling porkies. I am not sure, because if it is, they have tried to be sophisticated, but somewhere the funds leaked out. Someone spoke out and then the ones loyal to the President and the Government calling it “offensive”. Which makes it all weird. Since, why should people lie about special pay-outs, wouldn’t that be a happy-day to see your bank-account to be pregnant?
The Pork Barrels are there maybe or maybe not. By this report and these statements, it could be anything. Certainly porky porkies and even slices of pork chop from those Pork Barrels. Peace.
“Have patience awhile; slanders are not long-lived. Truth is the child of time; erelong she shall appear to vindicate thee.” – Immanuel Kant
Well, today there was justified victory in the Makati Court Branch 148, where Judge Andres Soriano judged in favor of Sen. Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes. With his running legal jeopardy after the President Rodrigo Duterte revoked his Amnesty. This has been on-going and with a lot of side-steps. Where the government have really pursuit Trillanes. While he has stood strong and hasn’t given way.
Today at the Court, the judge even in his ruling said it wasn’t Trillanes fault for lacking evidence of the amnesty and forms of guilty plea, as the reason has been for the revocation. As by the paperwork in the case of Trillanes, there are other authorities who has certified it and accepted. As well, as there was no opposition to the Amnesty within the limited time of questioning it. Therefore, the Court Ordered it unjust.
To top it off, the judge also order the Hold Departure Order, saying he was not a flight risk and someone who would go into exile to escape prison-time. Plus also stopping the Department of Justice Warrant of Arrest on him. Therefore, totally vindicating Trillanes.
We know this is not over as Prince Golez reports:
“The Palace respects the constitutional independence of the Judiciary and it will continue to do so. As we have said, the Executive Branch has and will always bow down to the majesty of the law, and it will not think twice in doing the same for this particular case. Compared to those personalities in the opposition, we will not unfairly appeal to the pity of the public but will address this matter head on in the proper forum,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said” (Prince Golez – ‘No hurt feelings? Palace respects dismissal of plea for Trillanes’ arrest’ 22.10.2018 link: http://politics.com.ph/no-hurt-feelings-palace-respects-dismissal-of-plea-for-trillanes-arrest/).
Therefore, Malacañang and the President is yet not done with him. Even if the Courts are vindicating him and his certification of the amnesty documents. This is vital, as the critics of the revocation and making the amnesty “null and void” in the first place. As this wouldn’t be an issue, unless this was a political hit-job. If the Malacañang continues to pursuit legal means and tries to figure other ways to fight Trillanes, than they are just showing how they are belittling their opponents and not how they are listening to their grievances. Because they go straight to the trenches and throw grenades, instead of reasoning the differences out. That is crystal-clear from afar.
This has clearly been motives behind it and the President has tried to distance himself. However, he is the one that threw the Senator into legal jeopardy and he has to answer for the deed in the end. Why he did the Presidential Order and what reasoning behind the “null and void” amnesty, as the President has put into question everyone else who was given the same amnesty as Trillanes. That is certain subject that will linger on.
We know, that this isn’t the end. For now, some parts of the case is closed, but who knows if it is taken to the Supreme Court. If there are other factors and unknown documents hidden by the DND or anywhere else. That might shadow another story. Because with these acts and secrecy, the mind are able to flow in different directions and finding new avenues for suspect behavior. Since who would earn on the fall of the Senator?
That is seemingly the President, who could try to get another of his loyalists to control the houses of Parliament even more. That wouldn’t be surprising in these days and times. We all can see that a mile away. Peace.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela
Now, that there is evident that the Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has lost his security detail, even as his case is moving by. The same court that questioned the arrest order and the Hold Departure Order on the 28th September 2018, did on 5th October 2018 a total turnaround, as the Judge Andres Soriano ordered the evidence of the application and the amnesty to be delivered to the Court within 24 hours.
This case been unfolding since the President Rodrigo Duterte decided to use his Executive Power and revoke the amnesty given by Aquino, that the 5th January 2011 amnesty wasn’t effective and justified by the powers of the Presidency. That is why Trillanes is now in hot-water.
This was after Duterte revoked it and made it “null and void” on the 31st August 2018. That was a deliberate act to really take away the freedoms granted to former officer. Which was also discharged and able to run for elections after the amnesty. This amnesty was in the public and was also broadcasted on live TV. Therefore, the ones knowing about, would already know. Unless, the branches of government has been actively destroying documents within the army, the branches of the judiciary or the previous administrations back-log. Because that is how it seems as the days goes by.
If the Aquino administration gave him amnesty, clearly, the candidate Trillanes delivered an application and a plea of guilt. Which the state now needs produced. If the Philippines bureaucracy and government is serious, they should have filed the copies and the documents from all of the mutineers, which was granted amnesty on the 5th January 2011. That is if, the Philippines government are serious and not just filled political hacks working to undermine their own protocols, as it seems by the day. It looks unprofessional and undermining the acts of the past. Because it fit the paradigm of today.
The implication is very simple, the Makati Branch and Judge Soriano regretted his judgment in favor of Trillanes and needed to show faith in Duterte. That is why a week later, as the Security Detail and the other pressure is coming on the Senator. He could add more pressure, to get copies and documentation of his own release, which was just mere 8 years ago fixed by Aquino.
That the news also are telling that the Ad-Hoc Committee accepting the application back-in-the-day. Didn’t make copies and giving it to the applicants. Proves, that the state has configured it all to fix their narrative. As they know this procedure, they know that Trillanes doesn’t have a copy, as the Committee of Aquino never gave any. That is why this is simple math and also very destructive. Because, who should trust any amnesty or any possible freedom from the law, if the government changes heads or ministers. They might ask the Executive to revoke it and take that away. Even if the person has followed the codes and acted within bounds of the law.
That is why anyone taking and filing for amnesty should fear for their future, because anyone within reach of power. Can just on their own merry take away the amnesty. That your losing your freedom, because of the Executive uses the powers he has.
If someone ever seeks amnesty, ask for documentation, pronto to save your own head. This government can make your case “null and void” and your personal life in danger again. Because the powers decides so. Peace.
Judge Elmo Alameda ordered that Senator Antonio Trillanes IV didn’t have enough documentation and proof concerning his amnesty order of 7th September 2011. Where the judge has stated accused Trillanes haven’t a copy of the application of his guilt of the crimes committed for the amnesty and that he only relied on the certificate of the amnesty and his clearance of service from the AFP on the 28th August 2007.
When concerning Trillanes, the President has his executive rights to revoke any amnesty, but this court order from Alameda doesn’t focus on that, but the lack of guilt by the Senator. Which seems strange, as this has been a public case and the filings should be in some of the government institutions. Unless, they are suddenly hiding it or disappear.
Can we expect the same sort of treatment for the rest of the ones part of the rebellion of the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny or the Peninsula Manila Hotel Siege, which are registered at the same time? Or are they saved because they haven’t stirred the powerful President?
Because, it seems weird, that the admission of guilt, the application for amnesty, which the previous President accepted and ordered, which was certified suddenly is gone missing. Should everyone that was granted amnesty by Presidential Proclamation Nr. 75 dated 24 november 2010, as they were granted amnesty by January 5, 2011 by President Aquino. Who gave this order for a total of 19 Officers and 13 enlisted personnel. Trillanes was one of them and now in legal jeopardy, because of the President order and now Court Order of 25th September 2018.
To top this off, as they make his amnesty order of 2011, null and void because of “lack of documentation”. They are keeping him on bail and also ‘Hold Departure Order’, which doesn’t allow him to leave the Republic of exile. As he has the means to be a flight risk. This isn’t new, especially if someone is under fire like Trillanes.
However, this all is a mess and mess created by the President. Maybe to prove a point and show his capabilities as the President. Which he also did with De Lima. As his biggest critics are ending behind bars, as the administration are finding ways to arrest them and putting them there. Even if the President has the powers to revoke the amnesty, what happens to the rest who also was also granted amnesty? Will they loose it too?
This case will be prolonged as the finalization of it will continue. The Courts and the Orders will come, as well as the Department of Justice, which has also possibly release a motion on the resolution. Since Trillanes get nothing easy and only the hard way.
Trillanes shouldn’t give up, as the documentation should be revealed and show his application. The courts knows this and this document, as the certification and the authorities should know where they keep it. Therefore, the idea and the argument of non-existing documentation for the amnesty is a wasted one. As it should be there and the admission of guilt in the application should be there as well.
Therefore, if the President and the authorities has other reasons for revoking it, they should say it, as this is not a legit sense and only political warfare. With revenging the former army commander Trillanes. As they want the officer to be silenced and stop his campaigns against Duterte. That is how it looks like from the outside. Peace.
“Well, there are things that one must do as a public servant and this is not the first time that I went up against a sitting president, a sitting vice president and a very powerful senate president. So, I believe I’m just being consistent regardless of the dangers that I could probably face” – Antonio F. Trillanes IV (Transcript BBC Interview of Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV, 27.06.2017).
Senator Antonio Trillanes has worked tirelessly against President Rodrigo Duterte, the President revoked the Amnesty, which was agreed on 31st January 2011 and that was made “null and void” on the 31st August 2018. This is happening as Trillianes has worked steadily since May 2016 to look into the economy of the Duterte family.
He has gone after Paolo Duterte and also Sara Duterte. Not only the offshore accounts of the President Duterte. He has pushed for impeachment of the President. On the President’s undeclared wealth, charged him with corruption, wanted the Ombudsman to probe the Presidents wealth, asking the Senate to probe Duterte’s Wealth and also filled a Plunder Complaint against the President. All of this he has pushed from May 2016 until February 2018.
Clearly, the openness is needed for any public official, that Trillanes has fought for that is natural. Duterte have really triggered him, what is special about the senator is that he is from the marine and persistence. He knows the value of information and dropping confidential documents, as he did with the Greenbase Expose. That shown the plans of misusing the terrorist threats in Mindanao for oil exploration there in 2003.
Therefore, the revelation of making the amnesty null and void is showing that Duterte is retaliating. He is pushing someone back to be cornered. Trillanes has already been behind bars for seven years before becoming Senator. That is why this is not something foreign to him.
As a former marine and prisoner might explain even more, why he is so persistence and orientated on keeping Duterte on guard. At the same time, the tireless campaign against him, has possibly backfired as Duterte now used his powers to null and void his amensty. This means Trillanes is in legal limbo awaiting possible trial for the mutiny and other charges of the past.
This story is clearly not over, as the amnesty move by the President will start a legal case. Also, put the Senator more under fire than he has been of late. Trillanes cannot attack Duterte as much, since this is trying to detain him like Leila De Lima. So, he will be yet another critical senator that Duterte dismissed with power.
We can just wonder how this one will go, but Trillanes will really feel it now, as Duterte has the position to do so and he is not. The revoked amnesty is a pickle, who knows, but we all know this a political hit-job. Peace.