Supreme Court the final arbiter PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 14:11

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato


Two more petitions that seek to disqualify Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte from running for President in next year’s elections were filed on Monday with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

So, what else is new?

This corner sees no point in having some more filing of petitions when the first is still pending resolution, with the new ones arguing the same faults.

And in the end, late as now, the names of subject candidates — Mayor Duterte and Sen. Grace Poe — being sought to be disqualified will just the same be printed on the ballots, as the final arbiter remains to be the Supreme Court.

That is the grim scenario, Philippine politics is bound to face if and when two or either one of them will be disqualified before election day. There will be no time left for the re-printing of the ballots,

When their names are carried on the ballots, and the electorates cast their votes for the disqualified bet and wins, pandemonium breaks loose.

With the “dejado” (disadvantaged) mentality of most Filipinos, that gruesome scenario is a likelihood.

Brace up, folks.

* * * *

The work performance ratings of the top four public officials in government had declined. So is shown in the last quarter Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results.

Of the top four next to President Aquino, Senate President Franklin Drilon suffered the biggest slip in net satisfaction rating.   .

So did Vice President Jejomar C. Binay as his performance in the past three months declined to its worst since he assumed office in 2010, according to the fourth quarter SWS survey results.

SWS said 52 percent expressed satisfaction and 28 percent expressed dissatisfaction with the work done by the Vice President in the last three months, the period when he was no longer a member of President Aquino’s Cabinet. This translates to a net rating of “moderate” +24 (percentage of satisfied minus percentage of dissatisfied). (With MB Reports)

* * * *

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, III, chairman of the Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee is formally seeking to stop the prevalent practice of labor contractualization as that is the cause for workers to be deprived of security of tenure as guaranteed by the Constitution.

Pimentel filed Senate Bill No. 3030, in a move to strengthen the prohibition against the employment of labor by contract.

Meanwhile, the family of the late Sen. Ernesto Herrera, a known labor leader, disclosed this malpractice - pointing to a Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) circular - as having allowed labor contracting, vehemently denying that the late lawmaker had a hand in it.

Pimentel explained, the Constitution provides that “the State affirms labor as a primary social economic force,” and that “it shall protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare.”

The current practice of employers, Pimentel noted, is to terminate workers every five months, hire new ones, and later rehire them for the same duration.

This corner agrees that this is fundamentally a recycling system where employers curb the affirmation of employer-employee relationships as they simply engage the services of workers either from workers’ cooperatives or manpower agencies.

Pimentel concluded, if enacted into law, the edict will put an end to the malpractice that has victimized tens of thousands of workers all over the country. (With reports from MB)

* * * *

That Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach is the new Miss Universe and that there was a reversal on the announced results are by now on the lips of all Filipinos.

Then, we now touch on the sweeter and at times somewhat bitter sides of the victory.

First, the sweeter one.

Wurtzbach is prophetic. Last summer, after boxing icon Manny Pacquiao suffered defeat at the hands of inglorious American boxer Floyd Mayweather, then Miss Universe contestant Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach tweeted a message -

“Kalma lang guys. Ako bahala. Babawi tayo sa Miss Universe!! (Relax guys. Leave it to me. We’ll get even at the Miss Universe pageant!!)” she posted on May 3. (PDI)

Isn’t that sweet of her?

Congratulations. She did it. Bravo!

And for the somewhat bitter. Somewhat though, with emphasis.

In one of the QA and A portions, she was asked her view on US military presence in the Philippines.

“I think that the United States and the Philippines have always had a good relationship with each other. We were colonized by the Americans and we have their culture in our traditions even up to this day. I think that we’re very welcoming with the Americans and I don’t see any problem with that at all” was her answer.

And that statement  as reported, unnecessarily made some netizens squirm in their seats.

First to comment to be quoted on her Tweet is Sen. and presidential bet Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Said she, “You are regal. But from what I’ve heard, we need to talk. See you.”

It is held likely that her affirmative reply did not sit well with Santiago.

Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes also joined up, in effect, questioning what he obviously meant as a leading question by the Miss Universe organization to solicit a YES reply, knowing that the contest is being held on American soil.

Reyes added, saying NO to US troops in front of a US crowd would sink her chances.

But, of course. It would readily have, so there should be no fuss on it.

Former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño seemed more diplomatic on Wurtzbach’s retort. “She could have at least acknowledged that there are problems that have to be addressed re US bases in PH. #MissUniverse2015,” he said.

In some little way, this corner does agree on that, but let us understand the degree of pressure, she was facing at that to still have remembered minute, though, significant add-ons.

Netizen Heidina saw nothing wrong with the beauty queen’s stand on US military presence in the country. She wrote in, “Havin d return of US bases in d PH” Ms Philippines: “I don’t c any prob w/that @ all. Some PH politicians see any prob.” (With PDI lifts)

This keyboardist subscribes to that. Of course not entirely setting aside the Casiño concern, which was properly remarked earlier on as understandable.

Whatever, Viva Filipinas!

* * * *

While we rejoice, Columbia mourns.

The beauty pageant-obsessed South American nation did at first celebrate, but for only about two minutes in what was to have been an unparalleled feat, a back-to-back Miss Universe titles.

Led by President Juan Manuel Santos, in the company of Miss Colombia’s relatives in the Caribbean port city of Barranquilla, Colombians shouted in joy when it was announced that Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo had won this year’s crown.

The merry-making, however, turned to shouts of anger seconds later as host Steve Harvey announced on live television from Las Vegas that he had mistakenly read from the cue card. The contestant from the Philippines was the new Miss Universe, not Miss Colombia.

“The entire country, and our family, was overcome with emotion,” Alvaro Arevalo, the Colombian runner-up’s cousin, said.

The sudden reversal even caught the president by surprise, forcing him to reverse his initial congratulatory Tweet.

“For us you’ll always be our Miss Universe,” he wrote in a message to Gutierrez after the error was discovered. “We feel very proud.”

Colombians are said to be obsessed with beauty and pageants and are a major draw across social classes.

Colombians are accustomed to falling short of the crown, with five runner-up appearances since 1992 including Sunday’s.

Apart from last year’s winner, Paulina Vega, only one other Colombian had won the Miss Universe title, in 1958. (With MB Newsfeeds)

* * * *

It was only yesterday that it was written here that Pres. Aquino has allegedly turned the Commission on Audit into his killing machine im denigrating the opposition. Is this new development now smokescreen or is this for real?

The Commission on Audit (COA) recently asked the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to justify the necessity of renting 294 vehicles in 2014, noting that the “regularity and probity” of the expenditure are under question.

The mentioned irregularities per COA report is that, information on the registration of some of the rented vehicles differ from the data provided by the Land Transportation Office.

Identities of car rental firms were also questioned by auditors.

For real or for show to offset the killing machine angle?