Deteriorating values

I DON’T know what kind of affliction PDP-Laban presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is suffering from. Now he claims that when he was a young boy studying at Ateneo de Davao, a priest sexually abused him.  I think he needs to see a psychiatrist.

His supporters and friends continue to cheer him on. They admire his vulgarity, profanity and obscenity. He is self-destructing!

What saddens me is the gall of some people to foist a candidate like Duterte on the rest of the country. Do we expect him to solve all the seemingly insurmountable problems of our country?

What is our country coming to? People are cheering Duterte for admitting he is a womanizer and a killer. Is this the kind of leadership we want? 

I am particularly sad to see a vice presidential candidate like Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who is clinging to Duterte, and PDP-Laban president Senator Koko Pimentel, defending the Davao City  mayor as an example of a local politician. In a way, Cayetano and Pimentel are like Duterte, exhibiting the wrong sense of values and morality.

What shocks me more is the defense of Monsignor Paul Cuison, vice general of the Archdiocese of Davao, of Duterte who had cursed Pope Francis for causing traffic here.

Duterte’s apologists say that since the Davao mayor is a local politician, he was just showing his brand of politics to the crowd. 

Even as a comedian, Duterte fails miserably. He is only capable of toilet humor.

Duterte may have captivated the imagination of some people. Pulse Asia conducted a survey that revealed he is now number 1 in the National Capital Region.  I believe, however, that the survey is a reflection of the people’s frustration with the Aquino administration. 

At the end of the day, we, Filipinos, should ask ourselves: Is the Philippines so bereft of politicians we can respect and admire?

* * *

The decision of the Second Division of the Comelec to disqualify Mrs. Mary Grace Natividad Poe Llamanzares from the presidential race was not unexpected. The three commissioners of the division are all lawyers who know their law. 

There are three other petitions for the disqualification of Mrs. Llamanzares at the Comelec’s First Division, essentially on the same grounds. These cases have to be decided by Dec. 10, when the ballots for the May 2016 elections will be printed. I think it is easy to predict the outcome of these other cases.  The other commissioners are also lawyers. 

Shorn of its legal verbiage, the Second Division of the Comelect found that “Mrs. Mary Grace Sonora Poe Llamanzares was guilty of misrepresentation, in effect, lying about her residency when she declared in her Certificate of Candidacy that she was a Philippine resident of 10 years and 11 months as a ‘deliberate attempt to mislead or hide a fact her residency,’ when she ran for senator where she declared herself a resident for only nine years and six months up to May 9, 2016.”

On the issue of citizenship, the Comelec commissioners noted, Mrs. Llamanzares still failed to prove that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen.

“Even the wording of international conventions are deemed to have declared a foundling found in the Philippines is a natural-born Filipino citizen, these international conventions cannot supplant or override the Constitution, which requires a bloodline to a Filipino parent to confer the state of being a natural-born Filipino citizen,” the commissioners said. They added that consequently, it stands to reason that respondent’s claim in her subject COC that she is a natural-born citizen is false.

The decision of the Comelec Second Division is precise and clear enough to all who understand English. 

It was also how the three Supreme Court justices sounded in their dissenting opinion on the Senate Electoral Tribunal case on Mrs. Llamanzares’ citizenship issue.

I am disappointed when Senator Pia Cayetano, a lawyer, voted with the majority in the SET ruling when she based her vote on personal and sentimental reasons.

In other words, she failed to fulfill her mandate to protect and defend the Constitution. And she won’t be able to live that down when she retires from the Senate next year.

The Comelec decision may not be the end of the road for Mrs. Llamanzares. Ultimately, all these cases will be resolved by the Supreme Court.

If I were Mrs. Llamanzares, I will withdraw just to save face since I have been caught lying in my Certificate of Candidacy. 

* * *

The decision of the Department of Justice to confine convicted American Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton of homicide for the killing of a Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude at Camp Aguinaldo instead of the New Bilibid Prisons, the national penitentiary, as ruled by the Regional Trial Court, stands to reason.

The DOJ has stated that despite the RTC conviction of Pemberton, the US marine will remain under US custody as provided for under the Visiting Forces Agreement.

Both Philippine and US governments still have to agree on the confinement of Pemberton. The life of the US marine would be at risk at the New Bilibid Prisons considering that he’s an American and that there are some inmates who can abuse and harm him.

While the confinement of Pemberton may look to Filipinos as discriminatory considering his conviction for homicide for the killing of a Filipino transgender, the VFA is clear and precise that both the Philippine and US governments still have to agree on the issue of confinement. 

It may be a hard thing for some Filipinos to swallow, but that’s in the treaty and we have to respect it.

Topics: Emil Jurado , Deteriorating values
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