SOME people claim that the disqualification cases in connection with the citizenship and residency status of Mrs. Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares, one pending at the Senate Electoral Tribunal and two others at the Comelec, are part of the smear campaign against the frontrunner in poll surveys.
I don’t think so. Nobody so far has made a direct link between any of the opposing presidential candidates and Rizalino David, who filed Poe’s disqualification as a senator claiming she is not natural-born. Neither has anybody questioned the link of lawyer Estrella Elamparo or former Senator Kit Tatad to any presidential aspirant.
The problem with our kind of politics is that anything thrown against a candidate is deemed politically motivated.
Insofar as Mrs. Llamanzares is concerned, questions about her residency and citizenship as required for a senator, much more a candidate for President are valid. The law is precise.
If we cannot follow the mandate of the Philippines just because Mrs. Llamanzares got more than 20 million votes when she ran for the Senate in 2013, Santa Banana, we may as well throw the 1987 Constitution into the trash can.
Besides, my gulay, if elected President, Mrs. Llamanzares would swear on the Bible that she is duty-bound to preserve and defend the Constitution. Wouldn’t it be the height of hypocrisy if she is shown not to believe in the fundamental law of the land?
That’s why I say that Mrs. Llamanzares is duty-bound to answer the questions about her residency and status before the public. She owes that to the over 20 million who voted for her in 2013, and to millions of others who believe in her. The burden of proof is on her.
This is no longer a case where the people become the ultimate judge. The Constitution is very clear. As far as I am concerned, Mrs. Llamanzares is not a natural-born citizen, and she does not have the required 10-year residency.
* * *
There is also a suspicion that after the smear campaign against Mrs. Grace Poe Llamanzares and more recently against Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who apparently has withdrawn from the presidential race because he has throat cancer, Senator Miriam Santiago, another presidential candidate, would be next in line.
Santa Banana, what can be said to smear Miriam?
Yesterday I asked questions about her alleged Stage 4 lung cancer and her chronic fatigue syndrome that prevents her from attending Senate sessions. Recall that after Miriam alleged publicly that she had Stage 4 lung cancer, she rejected her appointment at the UN Criminal Court of Justice.
But I was not smearing her. I was asking a legitimate question.
My gulay, oncologists will tell you that once you are diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer of any kind, that’s already a death sentence. You may undergo chemotherapy, but that can only prolong life.
Being a Filipino, I would like my President healthy and strong, who can hit the ground running once elected. We cannot afford to have a President with a history of cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome.
I believe Miriam should tell the people once and for all whether she is healthy enough to withstand the rigors of a stressful presidential campaign.
If a miracle had happened that Miriam is now cancer-free and no longer suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, she must be blessed. I can only wish her the best of luck.
* * *
The Philippines is now suffering from the drug menace. Every day over television, we see authorities raiding drug dens in Metro Manila and hauling off operators and traffickers to jail. Santa Banana, the police has admitted that drugs have affected 93 percent of Metro Manila’s barangays.
And yet, President Aquino has not lifted a finger to address this menace. No less than the dreaded Mexican drug cartel—the Sinaloa—is now operating in the Philippines. A West African drug cartel has also made the country a transshipment point of drugs.
President Aquino may now be busy campaigning for his anointed, Liberal Party candidate Mar Roxas, but it’s no reason for not finding time to address the illegal drugs menace.
In so many instances, when the police and illegal enforcement agencies raid a den, there’s almost always Chinese and West Africans concerned. How were they able to enter the country?
This is something that should be looked into by the justice department. These people make a mockery of our justice system, knowing the drug den operators and illegal drug traffickers have all the cash needed for them to bribe their way out.
Together with the eradication of drug trafficking and drug dens, especially in Metro Manila, comes the problem of drug rehabilitation, which I consider just as important as addressing the drug menace.
The illegal drug menace in the country is so serious that its tentacles now extend all over the country, especially in urban centers.
Doesn’t President Aquino realize that the drug menace, if not addressed soon enough, can destroy Philippine society? BS Aquino III’s lackadaisical attitude towards the problem reflects on his lack of empathy and leadership towards people he loves to call his “bosses.”
* * *
I am happy that the Subic Bay Freeport has been recognized as the best in Asia by the publication The Financial Times. I often spend weekends at the Freeport.
Credit should go to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chairman administrator Roberto Garcia for this recognition. The Freeport also received commendations for infrastructure developments and investments. It also highlights the Subic Freeport’s attractiveness and potential as an investment site.
I have always cited Garcia among the few outstanding appointees of the Aquino administration. The Financial Times of London proved me right.