That's leadership you won't get with Penoy. 30
Saturday, July 30, 2011
That's leadership you won't get with Penoy. 30
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Margie perjured herself and there must be consequences to this. In fact, many people are beginning to suspect that the Pajero issue cropped up in an attempt to "put the bishops in their proper place" and to shame Gloria Arroyo (killing two birds with one stone, so to speak).
Statement at the public hearing on alleged PCSO anomalies
held by the blue ribbon committee on 13 July 2011
It appears from the 2009 report by the Commission on Audit that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office charged to its Charity Fund the total amount ofP6.94 million for five utility vehicles granted to certain dioceses of the Catholic church.
On the face of each check, in so many words, the following explanation was typed: “Purchase of one unit 4 x 4 service vehicle to be used by the diocese in its various community and health programs.”
Each of the bishops involved used the PCSO grants to purchase the following utility vehicles: a secondhand ten-year-old Nissan Pathfinder pickup; a Mitsubishi Strada pickup; a Toyota Grandia Hi-Ace; a Mitsubishi Montero; and an Isuzu Crosswind.
The COA report said that this action was a violation of the constitutional provision that no public money should be appropriated, directly or indirectly, for the use of any church.
The Constitution contains at least three specific provisions concerning the relationship of church and state.
The first provision is found in Article 2, Declaration of Principles, which states in Section 6: “The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.”
The second provision is found in Article 3, Bill of Rights, which states in Section 5: “No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
And the third provision is found in Article 6, the Legislative Department, which states in Section 29 paragraph 2: “No public money or property shall be appropriated, applied, paid, or employed, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian institution, or system of religion. . . .”
The issue is whether the 2009 COA report is correct, in finding that the grant ofP6.49 million to certain dioceses of the Catholic church violates the Constitution.
I humbly submit that the COA report is wrong, and that there was no constitutional violation. Under the Constitution, the power of the COA is to audit government funds, not to settle questions of constitutional law. That power is granted only to the Supreme Court. COA should have recommended that the constitutional issue should be raised with the Department of Justice, which is the official legal adviser of the executive branch of the government.
Constitutional law consists, not only of the Constitution, but also of the cases decided by the Supreme Court on constitutional grounds. So far, the only case decided by the Supreme Court that has some bearing on the present issue is the 1937 case ofAglipay v. Ruiz.
The post office issued postage stamps commemorating an international eucharistic congress of the Catholic church. The issue was whether the stamps used public money for religious purposes, thus violating the Constitution. The Supreme Court ruled that there was no violation:
It is obvious that while the issuance and sale of the stamps in question may be said to be inseparably linked with an event of a religious character, the resulting propaganda, if any, received by the Roman Catholic Church, was not the aim and purpose of the Government. We are of the opinion that the Government should not be embarrassed in its activities simply because of incidental results, more or less religious in character, if the purpose had in view is one which could legitimately be undertaken by appropriate legislation. The main purpose should not be frustrated by its subordination to mere incidental results not contemplated. (Emphasis added.)
Thus, the test is the basic purpose, and not the mere incidental result, of the use of public funds. The basic purpose of the grant of public funds is clearly stated on the face of the checks themselves: “purchase of service vehicles to be used by the diocese in its various community and health programs.” If there is any benefit to the bishop and the diocese, it is merely incidental.
The Threefold Test:
Purpose, Effect, Entanglement
The provision in our Bill of Rights consists of two clauses:
The Establishment Clause, prohibiting Congress from establishing a state religion; and
The Free Exercise Clause, denying to Congress the power to prohibit the free exercise of religion.
Under the Establishment Clause, the general guide is the concept of “neutrality.” This means that government should act to achieve only goals which are secular, meaning goals which are worldly; as distinguished from goals which are spiritual. Government should achieve secular goals in a religiously neutral manner.
To determine what is a religiously neutral act, the U.S. Supreme Court has adopted a threefold test called purpose, effect, entanglement. To determine whether a law that is religiously neutral on its face violates the Establishment Clause, the Court will consider three factors, which I shall now apply to the pending PCSO case:
1. Does the law have a secular purpose?
Answer: Yes, because the PCSO law (R.A. No. 1169, as amended) authorizes the PCSO “to engage in health and welfare-related investments, programs, projects, and activities,” by itself or in collaboration with others.
2. Does the law have the primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion?
Answer: No, the PCSO law does not even mention religion.
3. Does the law create an excessive entanglement between government and religion?
Answer: No, as I shall now explain.
The threefold test was laid down in the 1971 case of Lemon v. Kurtzmandecided by the US Supreme Court. It is not binding, but it is authoritative in our jurisdiction. In Lemon, the Court said that in determining whether a law involves excessive entanglement between government and religion, we must conduct the following analysis:
1. Consider the nature of the institution that received the benefit from the government.
2. Consider the nature of the aid that the government gave to the bishops.
3. Consider the resulting relationship between the government and the bishops.
The donations pass the threefold legal test under jurisprudence. However, during the hearing, PCSO management apparently admitted that it has not given similar donations to any other religion. If so, then PCSO management appears to be giving preference to the Catholic religion, and that would be a violation of the Establishment Clause.
Repeal the PCSO Charter
As chair of the Senate committee on revision of laws, I shall call a public hearing this August on a new PCSO charter, as well as a new Pagcor charter. Both the PCSO and Pagcor funds constitute the President’s Social Fund, which has served as a black budget, meaning a budget insulated from public scrutiny, confined to the dark and insulated from sunshine, sneaked through the back door instead of undergoing the open process of congressional budgetary authorization.
Under existing law, PCSO generates revenues from the sale of sweepstakes and lotto tickets. The resulting revenues are allocated, as follows:
55% to the Prize Fund
30% to the Charity Fund
15% to the Operating Fund
The Charity Fund and the Operating Fund – or in other words, 45% of the revenues – are allocated by the PCSO Board, apparently with the approval of the President. According to the 2008 COA report, the total deposits to the bank’s current account for the three Funds were in the aggregate amount of P7.603 BILLION.
To give to the PCSO Board the power to allocate the galactic sum of P7.603 BILLION A YEAR is to excavate a yawning democratic deficit. The present situation is feudal and contrary to best international practice. The best practice is the one-fund concept, under which all government revenues are remitted to the Treasury, and disbursed only as authorized by Congress. There should be no President’s Social Fund, because the entire government budget is already his budget. This is why we call it the President’s Budget.
The new law will repeal not only the PCSO charter, but also all the various republic acts that seek to allocate certain PCSO funds to alphabet-soup national programs. The new law will limit the PCSO Board only to the function of regulating and supervising sweepstakes and lotto operations.
The entire revenues for the year will be remitted to the national treasury. Only the President and Congress will prioritize and allocate the fund, except that 5% of the lotto earnings shall be given to local government units, and only 10% shall be allocated for administrative expenses. The PCSO bureaucracy shall be slashed, their allowances and privileges abolished, and the public relations budget removed.
And while this process of building on the ashes takes place, I respectfully move that this blue ribbon committee should immediately recommend to the Ombudsman the criminal prosecution of all PCSO officials responsible for depositing in 2009 with a private commercial bank the sum of P1.548 BILLION without the prior approval of the Department of Finance, as required under DOF Order No. 27-05.
By the process of lateral thinking, I respectfully move to investigate the source of the false report about the so-called “Pajero bishops,” when it turns out that no Pajeros were involved. Who is this maleficent twisted genius? Was this media spin designed to cover up the crime of depositing without authorization in a private bank the sum of P1.548 BILLION? Was this media spin further designed to call public attention away from the annual sum of some P 7.6 BILLION made available to the sticky fingers of the PCSO Board?
Like the wanton world-class theft of public funds and conspicuous consumption generated by the road user’s tax, the PCSO anomaly is bodaciously corrupt. Keep the bishops out of it. #
 64 Phil. 206 (1937).
 403 US 602 (1971).
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
In his show on DZBB last week, Arnold Clavio shared this blind item.
Sino itong mataas na opisyal na opisyal ng gobyerno na niregaluhan ng isang negosyante ng BMW X6M na tinest drive nga niya sa kanyang bahay/opisina?
Kami po, ang SOLIDARITY 4 SOVEREIGNTY (S4S) ang nagpalabas ng video tape na ito. Kami po ang unang naglabas ng pangungurakot ni Gloria. Kahit ang kanyang pagka-imoral sa mga relasyon ay inilabas namin. Nagkampanya po kami sa buong bansa upang ilantad ang kanyang katiwalian at imoralidad. Kami rin po ang unang una nag-file sa Kongreso ng kasong impeachment kay Gloria ngunit kahit isang Kongresista ay walang nagendorso. Kasama po kami sa lahat ng mga pagkilos laban kay Gloria. Ano ang dahilan bakit ngayon ito inilabas? May mga nagsasabi na bigyan ng pagkakataon si Noynoy sapagkat isang taon pa lang. Bakit masyado tayong mapagbigay sa pinuno ngunit hindi naaawa sa kapwa Pilipinong nagdurusa araw-araw, sa mga nagugutom, sa mga hindi nakakaeskwela, sa mga walang trabaho, sa mga namamatay dahil sa sakit at walang gamot, sa mga biktima ng karahasan at krimen, atbp. Ilang libo pa ang mamamatay habang binibigyan natin ng dagdag na panahon si Noynoy na ipakita ang kanyang kakayanan. Milyun-milyon na ang naghihirap. Dapat sa unang araw pa lang ng pagupo ni Noynoy kung siya at talagang handa, dapat nagutos na siya sa kanyang mga tauhan na sagutin ang mga problemang ito. Kung hindi pala siya handa at hindi niya kaya, hindi dapat siya tumakbo. Sa pagbibigay sa kanya ng dagdag na palugit, lumalabas "trial and error" o "hit and miss" lang ang kanyang liderato. Husto ba ito o makatarungan sa mamamayang Pilipino? Hindi! Nagtatamasa na siya ng katakut-takot na kapangyarihan, ngunit hindi niya ito magamit kaagad-agad para sa nakararami na naghihirap? Maawa naman po tayo sa ating sambayanan. Mukhang pinaglalaruan lang tayong lahat.Col. Mariano is currently being investigated by the Armed Forces because of his controversial video.
Ayon kay Ariel Querubin hindi totoo ang video tape. Sumakay na naman sa isyu. Maliwanag na sinabi ni Col. Mariano sa Ch 5 na 33 taon na siyang nakipagtagisan sa kamatayan at hanggang ngayon buhay pa siya. Hindi niya tatalikuran itong deklarasyon niya, paninindigan niya ito. Ngunit tulad ng fake na awards ni Ariel na nilakad niya kay Erap ayon sa kanyang mga kasamahan - ang gold cross, medal of valor (hindi siya ang lumaban, batalyon ng Bikolanong si Col. Asidao ang nakipagencuentro) at pagpatay sa isang kumander daw (ang napatay ay ang "muse" na kinidnap hindi kumander) gusto na naman niyang magpasikat. Dapat respetuhin na lang niya si Col. Mariano, huwag na niyang pilitin na tabunan ito. Alam niyang bayani sa mata ng mga makabayang tao si Col. Generoso Mariano.
Ang mga sumusunod na "land mines" ay dapat nalutas na ni Noynoy. Ito ay ang unconstitutionality ng May 10 elections, ang "aspergers disorder" na kapansanan n Noynoy, ang pagkawala ng direksyon ng pamahalaan, ang hindi mapigtas na pagtaas ng mga presyo ng bilihin, isang taon na hindi pa nakukulong si Gloria, ang nagbabantang takeover ng coalition government pinangungunahan ng kaliwa, ang isyu sa Spratlys at RH Bill. Dito nakabase ang mga aksyon o hakbang ng S4S.