Ombudsman decision on ‘pork’ unconstitutional
By Atty. Batas Mauricio
LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord, they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him… ” (Isaiah 1:4, the Holy Bible).
OMBUDSMAN DECISION ON “PORK” UNCONSTITUTIONAL: It would seem that not all Filipinos—particularly Vice President Jejomar Binay and Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles—are happy with the Ombudsman decision to file plunder charges before the Sandiganbayan against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Bong Revilla, in connection with the P10 billion pork barrel scam, and this maybe rightly so.
For, if only political enemies are prosecuted and persecuted with non-bailable cases to prevent them from becoming threats to political favorites of those in power come election time, the filing of the plunder cases could even be considered illegal and unconstitutional and should be struck down.
Why am I saying this? Well, under its Section 1, Art. III, the 1987 Constitution—the Constitution of then former President Cory Aquino—directs and mandates: no person shall be deprived of the equal protection of the laws. In other words, the Cory Constitution—which should be obeyed to the hilt by everyone especially by her son—prohibits selectivity in enforcing the laws or in the administration of justice.
UNEQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAWS: Yet, what did the Ombudsman do in the P10 billion pork barrel scam? It became selective in filing cases, despite the fact that the Commission on Audit had come up with equally indubitable proof that allies of President Aquino themselves committed plunder or graft in relation to their pork barrel allocations.
Binay was absolutely correct when he said: “…cases should also be filed against other officials mentioned in the 2013 Commission on Audit (COA) report on (pork) misuse, which includes allies of President Aquino, like Iloilo Representative Niel Tupas Jr. and former Cibac party-list representative and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) chief Joel Villanueva.
“‘If it stops with the filing of the plunder cases against three senators who are not political allies and confines itself to the (Janet) Napoles case, it will create the impression of being selective, and that political partisanship – not justice – is the sole motivation behind these charges,’” Binay explained.
OVER-SPEEDING AIRPLANES? Can somebody please clarify: is it alright if an airplane manages to cut its travel time by as much as 37 minutes, arriving 37 minutes ahead of schedule? Does that not signify over-speeding? Or maybe even recklessness? I am asking these questions because, in my 7 p.m. Air Asia Zest trip from Puerto Princesa City to Manila on April 02, 2014, the crew announced we arrived 37 minutes ahead of time.
Be that as it may, I am commending Air Asia Zest and other local airlines, including Cebu Pacific Air, with their Internet check-in facilities. It is indeed a big help in checking in without hassles, enabling passengers to avoid long queues, and in ensuring confirmation of flights and availability of seats. Congratulations!!!
UNTOUCHABLES AT DOTC: So why is the Aquino government selective, and is turning a deaf ear and a blind eye, as it were, with the complaint of Czech Ambassador Joseph Rychtar that officials of the Dpeartment of Communications and Transportation asked for US $30 million from a Czeck railway firm for the supply for supply of MRT cars? The DOTC officials are untouchables, because they are friends of the powerful and the mighty?