No credible opposition leader

We have a national tragedy. This is supposed to be a functioning democracy and yet we do not have a credible leader of the opposition who can lead us in protesting the climate of impunity. There is no central figure we can believe in.

Certainly this cannot be done by Vice President Leni Robredo, not by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV or Senator Leila de Lima. They just make noises but they lack credibility.

With regard to the opposition, it is unfortunate that it cannot even have a complete senatorial slate for 2019. The only two solid names are Senator Bam Aquino and former Rep. Erin Tañada. My gulay, they are even talking about convincing Kris Aquino to run for the Senate but are worried that two Aquinos may split the votes.

The most pathetic of all is former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who presents herself as the champion of the rule of law.

But how can she be a credible voice of the opposition when she was ousted precisely for lack of integrity?

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On the part of President Duterte, he should not take the silent majority for granted. People may laugh at his jokes, cheer and applaud him, but when they see the killings and injustice and the culture of impunity, they will hit back. Mr. Duterte should not trample on the rights of people.

He should also stop talking about how he will not give justice to the families of those slain in the name of the war against drugs.

I have always maintained that framing the drug problem as a law-and-order issue is a big mistake. It is, instead, a health issue. For so long as there is a demand for illegal drugs, the menace will not go away.

Addressing the problem means curbing the demand, not terminating all those involved in it. I’m guessing there will still be demand even after Duterte steps down.

This is why I have been advocating more community-based rehabilitation centers.

* * *

Some oppositionists are contemplating filing impeachment charges against the eight Supreme Court justices who ousted Sereno. On what grounds, I ask.

The only thing I can think of is their allegation that the eight violated the Constitution because impeachment is the only way to remove a sitting chief justice.

I’d like to ask, though—who interprets the Constitution if not the Supreme Court majority? And that’s precisely what the eight justices did in agreeing with the Solicitor General.

There is a lot of misunderstanding about the quo warranto (by what right) case against Sereno since she failed to submit her SALN when she was professor of law at the University of the Philippines.

So yes, justices can be ousted by impeachment assuming that they were qualified from the start. It is clear that justices MAY be removed, not SHALL, from their posts via impeachment. May will refer to an alternative like quo warranto.

And who can best interpret the Constitution if not the Supreme Court?

So, on what basis can the eight justices be impeached? Nothing.

* * * 

Something must be made very clear in the police campaign against “tambays” on the street.

There is no law calling for their arrest unless they break the law. Vagrancy and loitering have ben decriminalized. However, if there is a city or municipal ordinance against being half-naked, or making a lot of noise, then they can be arrested.

It seems though that the police are overreacting.

I would agree with this if the aim were to stop minors from loitering, in the event of a curfew.

It is obvious that many cops are ignorant of the law and just do as they please.

* * *

The President did his special assistant Christopher Go no good when he said the latter was a billionaire.

How can Go be a billionaire when he was just an “alalay” to Duterte starting from when he was mayor of Davao City?

Since Go is said to be running for president, people will ask where his money is coming from. And he will have to explain.

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Please visit my website,

Topics: Maria Lourdes Sereno , Bam Aquino , Erin Tañada , Christopher Go , Supreme Court
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