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Oct 04th
Home Sections Humor & Satire OFWs Support President Aquino’s “Truth Commission” But Want Its Name Changed. And Rep. Gloria Arroyo’s Idea of a Parliamentary System
OFWs Support President Aquino’s “Truth Commission” But Want Its Name Changed. And Rep. Gloria Arroyo’s Idea of a Parliamentary System PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Humor & Satire
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 08:16


By an overwhelming majority, Overseas-Filipino workers (OFWs) and Overseas Filipinos (OFs) like the move of President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco-Aquino, III (PBSCA3) to form a “Truth Commission.” The special presidential fact-finding commission is geared to investigate corruption and abuses like human-rights violations allegedly committed by top officials of the previous administrations. But . . .


Many OFW and OF community leaders think that President Aquino should change the Truth Commission’s name. They want for instance H. E. PBSCA3 not to use “Commission” as part of its name. Why? They say that the President even ought to abolish any and all Commissions, as the name has been linked in previous administrations to 10-percent or even 50-percent “commissions” that the crooked Filipino top officials and their minions solicited from government contractors and vendors.


Then some OFWs and OFs think that PBSCA3 should call the special investigative body the “Tooth Authority” (TA). They reckon that “Authority” carries more weight than a mere “Commission.” Secondly, it should be “armed to the teeth,” so that the corrupt public servants will not laugh at it. Of course, the President is urged not to appoint members of the TA who wear false teeth, as they do not have the capacity to bite back at the officials they are investigating – if the latter would threaten them.


Several Filipino-American dentists say also that the TA idea makes sense. They claim that the actual idiom is “Truth – like tooth pulling – really hurts.” And they say that they can intimidate those arrested into confessing their sins and crimes without being grilled by the so-called “Third-Degree” or the water-boarding “experts.” The dentists – if made members of the TA – can threaten (without really trying) those arrested for corruption. They can, for instance, offer to do on them dental work like root canal without any anesthesia. Since humans fear—as a natural reaction—dentists and dental work, then it would be easy to obtain confessions from the suspects and making them do restitution.


Therefore, this writer thinks that the adoption of the proposed name, “Tooth Authority,” is a good idea.


In fact it is suggested most-respectfully that even the “Blue Ribbon” Committees of the Philippine Senate and the House of Representatives ought to change their name to “Blue Tooth” Committee, for the same toothy reasons as advanced above. Besides, the Philippine Congress may be able to persuade the makers of the “Bluetooth” short-range wireless connectivity device to pay it some advertising fee for promoting the said product. Thus, Philippine Congress may finally be able to tell the Filipino people that it is not an all-expense-making body but also an income-generating entity. It will be the first in the history of the Philippine legislative body.


La Gloria’s First Bill in the House of Representatives


A nd speaking of the Devil, oops, of Philippine Congress, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) is now the newly-elected congresswoman of the Second District of Pampanga. She and her son, Camarines Sur’s Congressman Diosdado “Dato” Macapagal-Arroyo, have filed their first bill. The bill calls for the Congress of the Philippines to convene itself as a “Constitutional Assembly,” so as to propose amendments to the 1987 Freedom Constitution.


Critics of Representative GMA say that she wants to change the form of government from presidential to a parliamentary system. They say that if the change is made, she will become the nation’s first Prime Minister—under the new form of government—as the Office of the President will be abolished. Thus, the parliamentary system is La Gloria’s way of redemption, if not her Second Coming as the country’s paramount leader – if the French model is not chosen by the Constitutional Assembly.


Thus, this writer was able to contact Representative GMA and asked her more details about her idea of a parliamentary form of government. I asked her for an interview, even done via e-mail. She agreed to receive my queries and answer them online. But she said that due to pressure of work, she would answer my questions on an installment basis.


So here are the initial questions that I sent by online chat, as edited to conform to the length of this column:


Question (Q): What model of a parliamentary system do you propose?


Answer (A): It is the English model.


Q: You mean that it will have two chambers: The House of Lords and the House of Commons?


A: Yes.


Q: But the Philippines does not have royal families or positions such as dukes, lords, etc. Who will fill up the House of Lords?


A: Oh, the House of Lords will have many members – from the ranks of the landlords, the warlords, the legal-gambling lords, the legal-drug lords and even Bro. Eddie Villanueva can be named to it.


Q: Why Brother Eddie?


A: He represents the “Jesus Is Lord” denomination.


But before I could type in the next question, Representative GMA said that she had to accompany her husband, Mike Arroyo, to the doctor. And thus ended prematurely our online chat.


Hopefully by next week, this writer will be able to reproduce his online conversation with Representative GMA, if I can get her again online.


(To be continued . . .)


E ditor’s Notes: Excerpts of this presentation were published in the Philippine Times community newspaper of Los Angeles County, California, July 15-21, 2010, issue.



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Last Updated on Sunday, 05 December 2010 15:13
Comments (4)
1 Tuesday, 27 July 2010 08:37
Ceny , I read your hubby Bobby's article (Philippine Times) about the online interview that he did with former President Gloria Macapagal. The last part was hilarious - the one about royalty and the Lords!
2 Tuesday, 27 July 2010 08:39
Tell Bobby I like his style of writing. He writes with humor - biting humor. And it is very effective.

Ruth Santos
Senator Joker Arroyo: Truth commission is doomed to fail

Los Angeles —The EPCC NEWS learned that the planned Truth Commission to be set by by President Aquino III is doomed to fail because it is without a legal leg to stand on. Opposition Sen. Joker Arroyo said Wednesday.

EPCC News said that Joker Arroyo, a lawyer, warned President Benigno Aquino, III that creating a truth commission through an executive order would be futile because it would suffer from a legal infirmity

“It seems that the government is bent on putting every problem, every irregularity, everything, on the truth commission. There’s nothing wrong with that,” said Arroyo, who served as executive secretary during the term of the late President Cory Aquino, Mr. Aquino’s mother.

“But anything that the President does via an executive order does not have the force of law,” he said.

Davide “Truth Commission”

Arroyo wondered why retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., who has been appointed by Mr. Aquino to chair the truth commission, had not said a word about this legal flaw.

“With this one, I don’t think Davide will get anywhere,” Arroyo said. “The success or failure of the truth commission will not depend upon who the chairman is. It will depend upon the powers that it has. If it has no powers, you can put the smartest lawyers [in it, but] it will not succeed.”

The truth commission is envisioned to investigate the gravest cases of corruption during the period 2001-2010. But in Arroyo’s reckoning, a commission to be created through an executive order can only invite resource persons.

“In other words, it cannot compel attendance, it cannot compel anything, it can only invite. It will have no subpoena powers,” he said, contradicting what Justice Secretary Lilia de Lima said on Tuesday.

Toothless body

Asked if the commission would then be a “toothless tiger,” Arroyo said: “I think so… That will be a toothless commission. It would suffer from a very legal flaw.

“I can see that those summoned there will immediately raise [or] contest the constitutionality of the body. I myself would want the truth commission to succeed, but not in that manner.” The senator said Mr. Aquino should leave it to Congress to craft the law creating the commission.

“I think the best way to do it is to form a commission that is enacted by Congress with teeth and safeguards,” he said. Arroyo said that without powers granted by Congress, the commission would merely refer its findings to the Department of Justice, or the Office of the Ombudsman.

“The better thing would be … the truth commission will investigate. And if it files a prima facie case, [it should] file it directly to the courts,” he said.

4 Tuesday, 03 August 2010 21:16
‘No need for commission, truth now out in open’

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:25:00 08/04/2010

MANILA, Philippines—The truth commission should not focus anymore on corruption cases because the documents hidden from the public during former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s time were now accessible to the new administration, said Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro Casiño.

“You have your documents, you have your paper trail. The last time, it was President Aquino who was preventing the [release of documents]. Now, the new administration has the access to all the records. You don’t need a truth commission for that,” he said.
Casiño said Mr. Aquino should just assign a good prosecutor, investigator and accountant to appreciate the evidence and swiftly file the cases, and the truth commission should focus on “the more difficult cases of human rights violations.”

He said the leftist bloc in the House of Representatives had its “doubts on how the commission would be effective” in investigating graft given the possible duplication of the functions of the Department of Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman.

“For the most part, the truth commission is unnecessary if [only] graft and corruption will be looked into,” the lawmaker said. “Everything is there—there is no more cover-up, no more EO 464."

Told that Mr. Aquino’s spokesperson Edwin Lacierda had said the commission was needed to maintain impartiality in the investigation of corruption cases, Casiño said: “That’s fiction. We all know where this truth commission is headed. Neutrality there is in the appreciation of evidence, but it’s not a neutral body. It’s a body to prosecute Arroyo and those who [conspired with her].

“[Administration officials] should stop feigning neutrality.”

For the commission to succeed, it must instead focus on the human rights violations of the Arroyo administration, the lawmaker said.

Reported by Michael Lim Ubac

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If a man will begin with certainties,he shall end with doubts;but if he will be content to begin with doubts,he shall end in certainties.-- Sir Francis Bacon, 1561-1626