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An exercise of sovereign right

After reading about the outrage of bishops, priests and leftist groups over the impending deportation of an Australian nun called Sister Fox, who came to the Philippines as a tourist but later on participated in rallies, I could not help laughing.

The arrest of this nun-tourist is now being interpreted as an act of government cowardice. But we all know that a tourist’s participation in rallies could be considered a crime.

A funny comment came from a female lawyer, once chairperson of the Human Rights Commission. She said we could expect retaliation from other countries where there are overseas Filipino workers.

It’s far-fetched that OFWs would get involved in partisan activities where they are working.

Every lawyer should know that deportation is an act of sovereignty, as is the act of banning undesirable aliens from entering the country.

When Immigration in Cebu banned the entry of a European Union official who was critical of President Duterte’s crackdown on illegal drugs, it was also an act of sovereignty. That Italian, Giacomo Fillibeck, was seen in a photo among other critics of the President.

My gulay, I can only recall the times when I was denied entry to the People’s Republic of China years ago, when I used to visit Taiwan and write stories favorable to the late Kuomintang chief Chiang Kai Shek.

It was only during the incumbency of former President Fidel Ramos that I was able to visit Beijing and Shanghai as I was a member of the his business delegation when he visited China.

When my wife and I visited China as private citizens, I was the guarantee of my good friend Vic Tan, who accompanied us to China. Somehow he enjoyed some influence on Beijing. Still, somebody from the Chinese travel agency that gave us visas had to be with us, getting a room next to ours and even eating with us! Santa Banana, the PROC must have thought I was a spy for the Kuomintang.

Still, that was an exercise of China’s sovereignty.

* * *

On the night of the counting of votes for the May 2016 elections, Bongbong Marcos was gaining a steady lead over his closest rival, Leni Robredo. I was sure Marcos would win. Before I went to sleep, I called up one of Robredo’s PR aides to tell him that his candidate was losing.

He told me that President BS Aquino had called an emergency meeting with the people of Robredo and presidential candidate Mar Roxas, because “something must be done.”

When I woke up at three in the morning, lo and behold, Marcos’ lead had disappeared and Robredo was winning. That was when I said to myself that Aquino and his Yellowtards were monkeying with the results to make either Roxas or Robredo win.

In the case of Roxas, he was trailing Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte by 6.6 million votes—a too-big margin to overcome.

Thus, the Yellow Army settled for Robredo as vice president with a lead of 263,473 votes over Bongbong.

With that narrow lead, Marcos protested, alleging cheating. An example was the province of Basilan where not one of the Iglesia ni Cristo votes that supposedly went all-out for him was counted.

Now with the recount of votes from Marcos’ pilot province, Camarines Sur (Robredo’s home province), Iloilo and Negros Oriental with more than 5,800 clustered precincts, the revisors of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal are saying that Robredo’s lead could be narrowed down substantially.

Robredo’s camp will of course insist that this does not automatically translate to a Marcos victory. Still, the fact remains: Cheating took place.

At the start of the pre-count early this month, Marcos’ camp claimed to have discovered irregularities on a number of ballot boxes. For example, there were wet and distorted bottles. Some of the boxes did not have audit logs. My gulay, with Marcos protesting results from some 39,000 clustered precincts from some 30 provinces, we can only imagine what the end-game would be: a Marcos win!

* * *

Long before President Duterte made his election promise to end contractualization, I had been writing against this practice. Retail giants, for instance, hire workers for only five or six months and then replace them with other workers, also for the same period.

This practice came about to circumvent the Labor Code that makes it obligatory for employers to make their workers permanent after six months so they could enjoy benefits due regular employees.

But that would mean new legislation amending the Labor Code which gives employers the right to hire and dismiss employees through due process.

Another anomaly created here is that the big companies have their own organizations that furnish them employees as they please.

Contractualization is a malpractice that must end.

Still, the process is easier said than done. It requires a tripartite effort by labor, employers and the government. And now there are so many versions of the order to end “endo.”

So which shall it be?

Topics: Human Rights Commission , Labor Code , Rodrigo Duterte , Bongbong Marcos , Leni Robredo , Mar Roxas , Presidential Electoral Tribunal
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