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Saturday, 23 July 2016 13:51

Sound Snipes

BY Jimmy Cabato

City Councilor Charlie Mariano has cited alleged “legal incompetence” of Councilor Cesar Jimenez to call for his removal from the City Council. The competent authority, he claims is the court of justice.

Jimenez based his move to oust Mariano on a provision in the City Council House Rules that states any councilor who is convicted on final sentence of a case involving moral turpitude is to be removed from office.

Moral Turpitude is a phrase used in criminal law to describe conduct that is contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals.

It will be recalled that Yellow Team members have filed a petition before the Commission on Elections to disqualify Mariano from running in the last polls. But subject petition remains unacted upon to date. So, Mariano branded the Jimenez move as politically motivated adding that Jimenez and some cohorts are into forum shopping.

Though a non-lawyer, WS feels that it is that petition that had handcuffed the new set of councilors into expelling Mariano. As the case decays in Comelec, advancing moves to act on Mariano’s expulsion may even tantamount to being subjudice.

As in card-playing, the Mariano detractors are forced to good.

Come to think of it, subject house rules Jimenez invoked is the very same one adopted by the new set of councilors. Ergo, had the senior Jimenez earlier whispered to son Jawo, then a member of the old city council, to earlier on invoke that provision in the City Council House Rules, as soon as Mariano was convicted in final sentence, there could have been no stumbling block.

Remember, among others, the house rules state that any councilor who is convicted on final sentence of a case involving moral turpitude is to be removed from office.

Mariano, like the junior Jimenez was also a member of the old council. Following elder Jim enez argument, Mariano could have been removed.

Repeat, “As in card-playing, the Mariano detractors are forced to good.”

Poor disparagers. Now, there is hindrance of their own making. Alas.

* * * *

Upon learning that Pres. Rodrigo Duterte was going to Basilan, one thought crossed my mind. Will that signal the day of reckoning for the militant Abu Sayyaf?

Reading later developments of the trip, dismayingly there was no such report. He did have a closed-door meeting with commanders in the field there where he could have secretly given the marching orders. But that is unDuterte-like. He grandstands on issues of such dimension. On the contrary, he even made domestic public comments.

Prominent reports were, advancing peace and security in Mindanao was the main agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte when he visited two military camps in Basilan and Zamboanga on Thursday. Read on…

“Ako ay nakikiusap sa lahat (I am pleading with all parties). I am pleading for peace, pati sa inyo Abu Sayyaf kasi (including the Abu Sayyaf because) you have committed so many crimes, killing people unnecessarily,” Duterte said in his remarks before the soldiers assigned in Basilan, the province, a known stronghold of the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

Apart from promoting peace and security, Duterte said he wanted to tap the military to assist law enforcement authorities in the intensified campaign against illegal drugs and other crimes.

During yesterday’s visit to the two military camps, the President also seized the opportunity to address the soldiers and boost their morale. (With MB reports)

* * * *

Another paper reports, Duterte said, the presence of the military is just to prevent the situation getting out of hand.

“There is no intention for them to oppress you if you think they are here only to fight,” he said.

“They have their own families and they want to go home too to their places. I am hurting to see Filipinos fighting Filipinos because every Filipino life is precious, he added. Also, Duterte said he was satisfied with the ongoing military operations against the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan.

No intensification? Is it safe to assume, the day of reckoning hasn’t come?

Gut feel, there could definitely have been no secret marching orders. That’s truly unDuterte-like.

* * * *

TMT reports, former President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) left her detention cell at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City around 6 p.m. on Thursday, free at last after four years in a hospital cell.

The word “cell” was twice cited. Is that to be taken in verbatim form or was it in reference to a confinement room at the hospital?

WS is in the dark.

In acquitting GMA, the majority of an overwhelming majority of Supreme Court (SC) justices insisted that she is innocent and there is no evidence that she pocketed money from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). They even took to task the Sandiganbayan for ignoring the lack of evidence to establish that Arroyo had engaged in a conspiracy with PCSO officials to amass ill-gotten wealth of at least P50 million, the minimum amount required to establish plunder.

* * * *

Recently, an NGO watchdog rights group has filed malversation cases versus Ex-Pres. BS Aquino III. And a noted manila-based columnist has quoted reliable sources that close to 2,000 separate cases are set to be leveled Aquino.

And today, it is reported, the Commission on Audit (COA) has demanded the liquidation of P2.5 billion that the Aquino administration distributed to nine government agencies tasked to implement activities when the country hosted in 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conferences.

P2.5 billion unliquidated! With him out office, having lost access to files, how can he expect to liquidate such stupendous an amount of money?

GMA out, do we see Aquino in?

* * * *

The Marcos camp declared an early victory in its cybercrime case against Smartmatic after the Manila Prosecutor’s Office did not allow the election software and hardware provider to conduct a clarificatory presentation in the continuation of its preliminary investigation.

Deputy City Prosecutor Rector Macapagal on Thursday turned down the request of Smartmatic led by Valenzuelan Marlon Garcia, head of technical team, and instead ordered him to answer one by one the 37 questions raised by the camp of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Marcos lawyers said, the main argument here is if indeed Garcia touched the server without the consent of the Commission on Elections en banc which he admitted when the 37 questions were read to him by the prosecutor

Garcia admitted the existence of “meet me rooms” where servers were placed.

The Marcos camp earlier revealed the existence of a “fourth server” or the “queue server,” which had been kept secret from the public by the Comelec and Smartmatic.

With these admissions, this could really lead to a Marcos victory, even in his election protest against VP Leni Robredo.

* * * *

Up, up and away. ‘Til tomorrow, folks. Space constraints, you know.