As a result of the “tempest in a teapot” at the House of Representatives over the “demotion” of former President Gloria Arroyo as Senior Deputy Speaker to mere Deputy Speaker, and the reported move of GMA to stage a coup against Martin Romualdez as Speaker, Santa Banana, there are now speculations that it will be a fight for the presidency in 2028 between Vice President Sara and Speaker Romualdez, especially so with Sara resigning as chairman of Lakas-CMD (Lakas- Christian Muslim Democrats), the dominant political party now.
Speculations like these are usually the result of some wranglings in Congress, my gulay, especially so with Sara calling the wrangling in Congress as a result of some “tambaloslos” (a mythical demon in the Visayan language) that many say was directed against Romualdez.
True or not, these speculations now abound among members of the House that the fight for the presidency in 2028 is between Romualdez and Sara.
The unfortunate aspect of these speculations is that legislators, following a prospective Romualdez-Sara fight in 2028, will divert the attention of not only the legislators but the people on so many threats and challenges that the country is now facing, like inflation, above all, and high prices, with more crises in food security, energy, water and the looming “El Nino.”
The House itself, with so many priorities in its legislative agenda, can well be distracted by these speculations in 2028.
President Marcos Jr. himself is facing challenges on how to deal with inflation and high prices now, with so many demands for higher wages.
While BBM seems to be succeeding with the help and assistance of his economic managers to deliver what he promised to the nation, that his dream of a better country coincides with the dream of most Filipinos, Santa Banana, I believe we should not be distracted with politics on who will run or not in 2028.
In fact, I believe within the incumbency of BBM, there will be committed attempts for charter change, not only with renewed efforts to amend the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution to reform the structure of government into a parliamentary/federal system with a President to be elected and a Prime Minister to be elected not by the people but by Congress.
Now, I am also speculating. If this happens, Martin Romualdez will be Prime Minister to his cousin BBM. What will happen to VP Sara? That’s the big question.
More and more speculations are further fanned by the Lopez-owned ABS-CBN now in joint partnership with Speaker Romualdez’ joint venture with Martin’s subsidiary after ABS-CBN announced its well known TeleRadyo is ceasing operations by June 30, with Romualdez owning 51 percent while ABS-CBN owning 49 percent.
I am not surprised since in this country, true or not, almost everything becomes subject to speculation.
This joint venture between Romualdez and ABS-CBN can challenge the dominant broadcast network at the moment, GMA-7.
The rivalry between ABS-CBN and GMA-7 will start anew, all for the good of the public, since rivalries for dominance between broadcast networks is always good for the country and the people.
If there’s something I must commend Speaker Martin for is his leadership.
Records show out of the 412 bills filed in the House, some of them including the priority measures of President Marcos Jr., 313 bills have been enacted into law.
That’s leadership, a tribute to Speaker Martin. I would like to add as Speaker, Romualdez treats both the minority and majority fairly and equally without discrimination.
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The clarification of Ecology Village
In my previous columns, I wrote about the “Ecology Village Anomaly,” wherein I said the vengeful Cory Aquino administration, after Martial Law, withdrew all the leases given by then Metro Manila Governor First Lady Imelda R. Marcos as Minister of Human Settlements and Urban Development not to legitimize the building of 142 units along the National Power Co. kilometers-long power line bordering the gated villages of San Lorenzo and Dasmarinas Village.
That was in 1980 when Martial Law was still in effect.
That kilometers-long Napocor power line is prime property, a few steps away from shopping malls and eating places.
I had stated the withdrawal of property leases given to residents of the 142 units that makeup the Ecology Village with the withdrawal of property in effect virtually turned the 142 owners of the 142 units technically squatters.
I was wrong and for this mistake I sincerely apologize. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, Santa Banana!
My mistake was that I failed to take into consideration that the Makati City Government had since paid the owners of those 142 units built on government land to charge us (I have an Ecology Village unit near the Don Bosco Church) property taxes.
Squatters do not pay taxes on the land they occupy, whether private or government lands.
What I am saying here is the real estate property taxes paid by unit owners of Ecology Village, bought from Imelda’s HSUD Ministry during Martial Law, can legitimize property owners according to law, aside from having in law what is known as “vested right.” having bought the units they are now occupying complete with certificate of Titles from MHSUD at that time, now the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, under Jose Acuzar Jr.
I am now appealing not only to Secretary Acuzar to restore the lease conferred to the 142 unit owners to totally and completely legitimize the units, and to make them saleable.
I say this because numerous people have wanted to buy my unit, which at our age, my wife and I want to sell, but buyers complain we do not have a lease to justify our units built on government land.
Likewise, this is also an appeal to President Marcos Jr., since it was his mother back in the 1980s who sold us those units.
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Can ICC ever come to the PH
The submission of documents relating to the many abuses and extrajudicial killings in connection with the bloody and brutal drug war of the Duterte administration were accepted by the International Criminal Court.
So, my gulay, what happens next?
There had been so many documents also submitted by families and lawyers in connection with abuses and extrajudicial killings during Duterte’s bloody and brutal war on illegal drugs, but the question always boils down to this:
Will the Philippine government ever accede to the move of the ICC to come to the Philippines to validate these reported abuses and EJKs even with the government saying the country is no longer a member of the Rome Statute that created the ICC?
The government also claims with the entry of the ICC to investigate, it would mean the government would be giving up its sovereignty over to the ICC, since the government is also investigating abuses and EJKs during Duerte’s brutal and bloody war on illegal drugs.
From my point of view, so long as the Philippines is no longer a member of the Rome Statute, so long as there is a question of sovereignty, all these complaints of abuses and of EJKs will not prosper.
But, the bigger question is: Will the ICC ever give up on trying to investigate?