NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL: POLITICAL MISCHIEF IN THE PHILIPPINES 

President Benigno Aquino III of the Philippines is now hinting at running for a second term in
2016, which would require a constitutional amendment. He has also suggested limiting the power of the Supreme Court, which, on July 1, declared parts of Mr. Aquino’s economic program illegal. That, too, would require adjusting the Constitution. These threats jeopardize Philippine democracy. Mr. Aquino wants more time to complete his reform programs, but there will always be unfinished business. The 1987 Constitution limits the president to a single six-year term. The Constitution was promulgated under his mother, Corazon Aquino, after the overthrow of the 20-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. Despite her efforts, the presidency remained a fount of patronage and a source of corruption. Mr. Aquino’s two immediate predecessors, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Joseph Estrada, were charged after they left office with illegally feeding from the public trough. Ms. Arroyo was charged with misusing state lottery funds. Mr. Estrada was removed from office and convicted of various corruption charges, but he was pardoned in 2007.

Mr. Aquino believes that the Supreme Court has grown too powerful and that someone needs to reassert executive authority. By a 13-to-0 vote, the court struck down a spending program he created to stimulate the economy. It ruled that he had exceeded his authority in disbursing funds and that parts of the program consisted of irregular pork-barrel spending. Mr. Aquino came to power in 2010 vowing to rid the Philippines of corruption. At that time, the country ranked 134th in Transparency International’s corruption index. In 2013, it ranked 94th. Mr. Aquino should uphold the Constitution of a fragile democracy if only out of respect for his father, who was assassinated in the struggle against Marcos, and for his mother, who died in 2009 after leading the “people power” that triumphed over the excesses and abuses of the presidency. In practical terms, that means he should stop butting heads with the court and gracefully step down when his term is up.THIS IS THE FULL EDITORIAL.

ALSO: Cha-cha stand not ‘political mischief’– Palace 

President Benigno Aquino 3rd delivers his speech during the briefing on the infrastructure projects in Oriental Mindoro in Barangay Talipanan, Puerto Galera on Friday. MALACAÑANG PHOTO --Malacañang has refuted the New York Times editorial accusing President Benigno Aquino 3rd of “political mischief.” On Thursday, the international version of the New York Times carried an editorial where the newspaper urged Aquino to “stop butting heads with the court and gracefully step down when his term is up.” The editorial also described Aquino’s openness to seeking a second term and clipping the judiciary’s powers through Charter change (Cha-cha) as “threats” that “jeopardize Philippine democracy.”

But Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Jr. insisted that Aquino is “simply explaining” to the Filipino people why the government is appealing the Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). “Citing the court’s ruling in the DAP case, as well as its decision upholding former President Arroyo’s decision to appoint then Chief Justice Corona, the President believes that there is sufficient reason to review the 1987 Constitution on the issue of ‘judicial reach,’” Coloma said. “Given this context, it is inappropriate to characterize this specific action of the President as ‘political mischief,’ or with infidelity to the principles espoused by his parents,” he said. “President Aquino remains solidly committed to the transformation of Philippine society that is anchored upon good governance upon the righteous path and on the vitality of its democratic institutions,” Coloma added.
Recently, Aquino said in a television that he was open to amending the country’s Constitution to address what he calls as judicial “overreach.” He also said he was willing to listen to public clamor for him to stay in power.
On Thursday, Aquino shifted gears, saying he is not interested in a second term but is actually looking forward to the end of his present one. * READ MORE AND READERS' RESPONSES...

ALSO: Palace vouches for MAD faction  

THE Palace on Sunday parried accusations that a faction within the administration was bringing down the economy with its talk about Charter change and term extension. Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said the 6.4 percent growth posted in the second quarter is the best evidence that the economy remains robust. “The prognosis of respected international agencies such as Moody’s Analytics and the Development Bank of Singapore is that our economy will continue to grow and our economic performance will continue to surpass most of our neighbors,” Coloma said. Earlier, Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco coined the acronym MAD (Mar, Abad and Drilon) to refer to Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, and Senate President Franklin Drilon, whom he said were urging the President to tinker with the Constitution. “To advance their personal agenda, MAD started all the talk about term extensions, impeachment of the judiciary, removal from office and many other amazing stories.

They have somehow succeeded, and evidently, their plot has [had an impact] on the economy,” Tiangco said. He said the “political noise” generated by the MAD faction of the President’s Liberal Party has eroded business confidence in the country, as indicated by the three-year low business confidence index posted recently by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. “With too much politicking, it is no longer a surprise that the administration has generated a noticeable political instability that continues to [put a] dent on the long-term growth prospects of the economy,” Tiangco said. “It is quite sad that the administration has tolerated the main agenda of the MAD faction within the Liberal Party, which is to stay in power beyond 2016 in order to continue their happy days, cover up for their criminal liability because of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Disbursement Acceleration Program and also to get back at the Supreme Court, by clipping their powers.” Last week, President Benigno Aquino III sought to put an end to speculation that he is interested in a second term. *READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino hits Noli for negative comments on his presidency  

President Aquino took potshots at former Vice President Noli de Castro for allegedly
fomenting “negativism” against his administration’s reform agenda. In a visit to the broadcasters’ home province of Oriental Mindoro, the President warned the public against their “Kabayan” on his negative comments. Aquino did not name De Castro in his speech slamming naysayers who cast doubt on his presidency but referred to a former government official who, he said, calls the people “Kabayan.” De Castro, who hails from Pola, Oriental Mindoro, returned to his television and radio work after his six-year stint as Vice President during the Arroyo administration. He is popularly called Kabayan. “Patuloy ang paglaban natin sa katiwalian at paglikha ng pagkakataon sa ating mga kababayan. Pero hindi nga po siguro mawawala ang iilang pursigido pa ring magbahid ng duda sa ating mga reporma (We continue to fight corruption and create opportunities for our people. But there will probably be no shortage of those who try to cast doubt on our reforms),” the President said during a briefing on government infrastructure projects in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro.

“Meron po diyan, ganado pang magkomento ng negatibo, gayong kasama naman sila sa mga naging pinuno ng bansa. Imbes na maibsan ang pagdurusa ng nasasakupan, pinalala pa ito. At ngayon, bagaman tinutugunan na natin ang mga problemang ipinamana sa atin, hindi pa rin nagsawa sa paghirit ang itinuturing kayong ‘kabayan’ (There are those who make negative comments, even though there were among the former leaders of the country. Instead of easing the suffering of their constituents, they made things worse. And today, although we are addressing the problems we inherited, the person who considers you ‘kabayan’ continues to criticize us),” the President said. * READ MORE...

ALSO Manila Times opinion: Aquino’s isolation is now complete  

It’s time for him to say, so long, farewell, goodbye and good night. Not that its word is more precious than that of other papers, but when the New York Times joins the call for President Aquino to “gracefully step down” when his time is up, it’s prudent for him to listen. Otherwise, if he persists in his childish ways and defies all reason and counsel, he will be completely isolated not only in this country but in the world. He could bring ruin to our economy, our democracy and our standing in the world. ‘New York Times’ editorial ---In language that echoed the Lipa declaration of religious leaders on August 27, the New York Times expressed its view in an editorial published in both its US and international editions. The piece is entitled, “Political mischief in the Philippines.” There’s no mistaking who is the mischief-maker. The action urged is bluntly stated. The key passages leave no room for hair-splitting. Some Excerpts:

“President Benigno Aquino 3rd of the Philippines is now hinting at running for a second term in 2016, which would require a constitutional amendment. He has also suggested limiting the power of the Supreme Court, which, on July 1, declared parts of Mr. Aquino’s economic program illegal. That, too, would require adjusting the Constitution. These threats jeopardize Philippine democracy…“Mr. Aquino believes that the Supreme Court has grown too powerful and that someone needs to reassert executive authority. By a 13-to-0 vote, the court struck down a spending program he created to stimulate the economy. It ruled that he had exceeded his authority in disbursing funds and that parts of the program consisted of irregular pork-barrel spending…“Mr. Aquino should uphold the Constitution of a fragile democracy if only out of respect for his father, who was assassinated in the struggle against Marcos, and for his mother, who died in 2009 after leading the ‘people power’ that triumphed over the excesses and abuses of the presidency. In practical terms, that means he should stop butting heads with the court and gracefully step down when his term is up.’

Many Filipinos, with Rabelaisian humor, seriously doubt whether Aquino is capable of graceful. But he will step down; we will have to split the difference between soon and June 30, 2016. So what happens now, after the publication of this editorial, the issuance of the Lipa Declaration, the launching of the People’s Initiative, and countless other projects? *CONTINUE READING.....


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

NY Times Editorial: Political Mischief in the Philippines

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 (NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL) POSTED AUG. 28, 2014 - President Benigno Aquino III of the Philippines is now hinting at running for a second term in 2016, which would require a constitutional amendment.

He has also suggested limiting the power of the Supreme Court, which, on July 1, declared parts of Mr. Aquino’s economic program illegal. That, too, would require adjusting the Constitution. These threats jeopardize Philippine democracy.

Mr. Aquino wants more time to complete his reform programs, but there will always be unfinished business. The 1987 Constitution limits the president to a single six-year term.

The Constitution was promulgated under his mother, Corazon Aquino, after the overthrow of the 20-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. Despite her efforts, the presidency remained a fount of patronage and a source of corruption.

Mr. Aquino’s two immediate predecessors, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Joseph Estrada, were charged after they left office with illegally feeding from the public trough. Ms. Arroyo was charged with misusing state lottery funds. Mr. Estrada was removed from office and convicted of various corruption charges, but he was pardoned in 2007.

Mr. Aquino believes that the Supreme Court has grown too powerful and that someone needs to reassert executive authority. By a 13-to-0 vote, the court struck down a spending program he created to stimulate the economy. It ruled that he had exceeded his authority in disbursing funds and that parts of the program consisted of irregular pork-barrel spending.

Mr. Aquino came to power in 2010 vowing to rid the Philippines of corruption. At that time, the country ranked 134th in Transparency International’s corruption index. In 2013, it ranked 94th.

Mr. Aquino should uphold the Constitution of a fragile democracy if only out of respect for his father, who was assassinated in the struggle against Marcos, and for his mother, who died in 2009 after leading the “people power” that triumphed over the excesses and abuses of the presidency.

In practical terms, that means he should stop butting heads with the court and gracefully step down when his term is up.

FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Cha-cha stand not ‘political mischief’– Palace August 29, 2014 10:15 pm
by CATHERINE VALENTE REPORTER


President Benigno Aquino 3rd delivers his speech during the briefing on the infrastructure projects in Oriental Mindoro in Barangay Talipanan, Puerto Galera on Friday. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

Malacañang has refuted the New York Times editorial accusing President Benigno Aquino 3rd of “political mischief.”

On Thursday, the international version of the New York Times carried an editorial where the newspaper urged Aquino to “stop butting heads with the court and gracefully step down when his term is up.”

The editorial also described Aquino’s openness to seeking a second term and clipping the judiciary’s powers through Charter change (Cha-cha) as “threats” that “jeopardize Philippine democracy.”

But Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Jr. insisted that Aquino is “simply explaining” to the Filipino people why the government is appealing the Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

“Citing the court’s ruling in the DAP case, as well as its decision upholding former President Arroyo’s decision to appoint then Chief Justice Corona, the President believes that there is sufficient reason to review the 1987 Constitution on the issue of ‘judicial reach,’” Coloma said.

“Given this context, it is inappropriate to characterize this specific action of the President as ‘political mischief,’ or with infidelity to the principles espoused by his parents,” he said.

“President Aquino remains solidly committed to the transformation of Philippine society that is anchored upon good governance upon the righteous path and on the vitality of its democratic institutions,” Coloma added.

Recently, Aquino said in a television that he was open to amending the country’s Constitution to address what he calls as judicial “overreach.”

He also said he was willing to listen to public clamor for him to stay in power.

On Thursday, Aquino shifted gears, saying he is not interested in a second term but is actually looking forward to the end of his present one.

Under the Constitution, the President is limited to a single term of six years.

6 Responses to Cha-cha stand not ‘political mischief’– Palace
thinking says:
August 30, 2014 at 12:34 pm
paranoid na nga sa mga local critics…dinagdagan pa ng foreign media, baka sa mental na pulutin si Ngoyngoy
Reply

revitor says:
August 30, 2014 at 12:12 pm
Yes PNoy, stop being mischievous! The Filipinos have had enough and being ashamed of your indiscretions. The world is looking at your official acts. Your sanity reflects to the dumb voters electing you.
Reply

dusty says:
August 30, 2014 at 8:20 am
Once again it seems the filipino government can never accept any criticism from anyone. They are always right. How you can fix that i have no idea.
Reply

vg says:
August 30, 2014 at 7:27 am
The NYT is correct. This is political mischief, I want to leave, no I want to continue as President is just more Pnoy speaking half truths. He wants to confuse and divide everyone. If he had his way he would stay in power as dictator. The SC would be gone but he would keep the Congress because they are already bought.
Reply

eliseo m. blancaflor says:
August 30, 2014 at 6:45 am
Is not that the voice of the people the”Voice of god”. Let us wait for an honest, true, and fair approximation of this. Let us be open minded on this and not be easily swayed by the opposition’s well funded organization to put up a bandwagon mentality among our gullible kababayan. Remember that the presidency is a very covetous position aimed by the well-positioned politicians who can paint a distorted picture to suit their agenda, Money is the greatest inducer someone said.
Reply

Allen Skeen says:
August 30, 2014 at 6:11 am
New York Times editorial another example of big mouth yanks fix your own problems before telling others how to live start with Ferguson Mis
Reply

FROM MANILA STANDARD

Palace vouches for MAD factionBy Joyce Pangco Panares | Sep. 01, 2014 at 12:01am

MAD - MAR-ABAD-DRILON

THE Palace on Sunday parried accusations that a faction within the administration was bringing down the economy with its talk about Charter change and term extension.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said the 6.4 percent growth posted in the second quarter is the best evidence that the economy remains robust.

“The prognosis of respected international agencies such as Moody’s Analytics and the Development Bank of Singapore is that our economy will continue to grow and our economic performance will continue to surpass most of our neighbors,” Coloma said.

Earlier, Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco coined the acronym MAD (Mar, Abad and Drilon) to refer to Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, and Senate President Franklin Drilon, whom he said were urging the President to tinker with the Constitution.

“To advance their personal agenda, MAD started all the talk about term extensions, impeachment of the judiciary, removal from office and many other amazing stories. They have somehow succeeded, and evidently, their plot has [had an impact] on the economy,” Tiangco said.

He said the “political noise” generated by the MAD faction of the President’s Liberal Party has eroded business confidence in the country, as indicated by the three-year low business confidence index posted recently by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

“With too much politicking, it is no longer a surprise that the administration has generated a noticeable political instability that continues to [put a] dent on the long-term growth prospects of the economy,” Tiangco said.

“It is quite sad that the administration has tolerated the main agenda of the MAD faction within the Liberal Party, which is to stay in power beyond 2016 in order to continue their happy days, cover up for their criminal liability because of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Disbursement Acceleration Program and also to get back at the Supreme Court, by clipping their powers.”

Last week, President Benigno Aquino III sought to put an end to speculation that he is interested in a second term.

* Aquino said what he wants is to ensure that the reforms initiated by his administration are continued even after he steps down in 2016.

“What we do not want to happen is that our work will be put to waste, as if my six-year term was just a vacation and then it is back to the old ways. This is why we are consulting with different sectors on this point: how can we continue what we have begun so that the reforms become permanent,” he said.

Aquino’s earlier statement that he will listen to his bosses triggered various interpretations and earned him admonishments from different people, including constitutionalist Joaquin Bernas who said a move to extend his term would be his “undoing.”

The vague responses from the Palace communication team did not help stem speculation, and even members of Aquino’s own Liberal Party initially appeared divided on the issue.

Veteran political analyst Ramon Casiple, however, said the term extension issue was only a trial balloon being floated by the administration, reflective of the shallow bench of the Liberal Party for the 2016 presidential race.

The President said he is open to Charter change, but only to address “judicial reach” as he lamented that the Supreme Court has been meddling “too much.”

“I feel they (the Supreme Court justices) have gone overboard, and have used their judicial reach too much that they made it harder to run this government,” Aquino added.

His statements came after the Supreme Court ruled that certain acts under his Disbursement Acceleration Program were unconstitutional. That finding became the basis of two impeachment complaints against the President.

Also on Sunday, Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian said the 6.4 percent growth had yet to be felt by majority of Filipinos, especially the poor.

“The numbers do not exactly reflect what is on the grassroots level,” he said. “When you compare the stellar figures and what you see in reality, you realize there is a discrepancy. There are many things that GDP cannot show.”

“The gap between the rich and the poor remains wide. There is a need to make the fruits of economic development trickle down faster to the people who need it most,” he added.

Gatchalian also suggested that household consumption was strong only because of remittances from Filipinos working abroad.

FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Aquino hits Noli for negative comments on his presidency by Genalyn Kabiling August 30, 2014 (updated)


former Vice President Noli de Castro

President Aquino took potshots at former Vice President Noli de Castro for allegedly fomenting “negativism” against his administration’s reform agenda.

In a visit to the broadcasters’ home province of Oriental Mindoro, the President warned the public against their “Kabayan” on his negative comments. Aquino did not name De Castro in his speech slamming naysayers who cast doubt on his presidency but referred to a former government official who, he said, calls the people “Kabayan.”

De Castro, who hails from Pola, Oriental Mindoro, returned to his television and radio work after his six-year stint as Vice President during the Arroyo administration. He is popularly called Kabayan.

“Patuloy ang paglaban natin sa katiwalian at paglikha ng pagkakataon sa ating mga kababayan. Pero hindi nga po siguro mawawala ang iilang pursigido pa ring magbahid ng duda sa ating mga reporma (We continue to fight corruption and create opportunities for our people. But there will probably be no shortage of those who try to cast doubt on our reforms),” the President said during a briefing on government infrastructure projects in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro.

“Meron po diyan, ganado pang magkomento ng negatibo, gayong kasama naman sila sa mga naging pinuno ng bansa. Imbes na maibsan ang pagdurusa ng nasasakupan, pinalala pa ito. At ngayon, bagaman tinutugunan na natin ang mga problemang ipinamana sa atin, hindi pa rin nagsawa sa paghirit ang itinuturing kayong ‘kabayan’ (There are those who make negative comments, even though there were among the former leaders of the country. Instead of easing the suffering of their constituents, they made things worse. And today, although we are addressing the problems we inherited, the person who considers you ‘kabayan’ continues to criticize us),” the President said.

* He called on the public to remain vigilant against certain groups that spread negativism and place their selfish interests ahead of the nation’s welfare.

“Ang hamon po sa inyo sa Mindoro, at sa bawat Pilipinong kasangga natin sa agenda ng reporma ay maging mapagmatyag sa kung ano ang totoo, at maging mulat sa motibo ng naghahasik ng negatibismo (My challenge to the people of Mindanao and every Filipino is to support our reform agenda: Be vigilant on what is true and be aware of the motives of those who spread negativism),” he said.

The President said he will continue to stick to the straight path and address the country’s woes. He said all his decisions are based on the mandate of his bosses, the Filipino people.

“Bilang ama ng bayan, itinataguyod ko ang tama at makatwiran; tinutugunan natin ang mga lumalapag na problema upang hindi na ito ipamana sa susunod sa atin (As father of the nation, I will uphold what is right and just. We are addressing the problems so we won’t pass them to our successor),” he said.

Back in 2012, the President used the 25th anniversary celebration of TV Patrol to criticize De Castro for his alleged baseless speculations and commentaries against his administration.

Aquino also did not identify De Castro by name in the TV Patrol event in 2012. He just alluded to a broadcast journalist who, he said, had the gall to criticize the government despite serving as the country’s vice president.

MANILA TIMES COLUMN

Aquino’s isolation is now complete August 29, 2014 9:49 pm by YEN MAKABENTA


YEN MAKABENTA


It’s time for him to say, so long, farewell, goodbye and good night.

Not that its word is more precious than that of other papers, but when the New York Times joins the call for President Aquino to “gracefully step down” when his time is up, it’s prudent for him to listen.

Otherwise, if he persists in his childish ways and defies all reason and counsel, he will be completely isolated not only in this country but in the world. He could bring ruin to our economy, our democracy and our standing in the world.

‘New York Times’ editorial

In language that echoed the Lipa declaration of religious leaders on August 27, the New York Times expressed its view in an editorial published in both its US and international editions.

The piece is entitled, “Political mischief in the Philippines.” There’s no mistaking who is the mischief-maker. The action urged is bluntly stated.

The key passages leave no room for hair-splitting. Some Excerpts:

“President Benigno Aquino 3rd of the Philippines is now hinting at running for a second term in 2016,
which would require a constitutional amendment. He has also suggested limiting the power of the
Supreme Court, which, on July 1, declared parts of Mr. Aquino’s economic program illegal. That, too,
would require adjusting the Constitution. These threats jeopardize Philippine democracy…

“Mr. Aquino believes that the Supreme Court has grown too powerful and that someone needs to
reassert executive authority. By a 13-to-0 vote, the court struck down a spending program he
created to stimulate the economy. It ruled that he had exceeded his authority in disbursing funds
and that parts of the program consisted of irregular pork-barrel spending…

“Mr. Aquino should uphold the Constitution of a fragile democracy if only out of respect
for his father, who was assassinated in the struggle against Marcos, and for his mother,
who died in 2009 after leading the ‘people power’ that triumphed over the excesses and
abuses of the presidency. In practical terms, that means he should stop butting heads with
the court and gracefully step down when his term is up.’

Many Filipinos, with Rabelaisian humor, seriously doubt whether Aquino is capable of graceful. But he will step down; we will have to split the difference between soon and June 30, 2016.

So what happens now, after the publication of this editorial, the issuance of the Lipa Declaration, the launching of the People’s Initiative, and countless other projects?

* The unfolding scenario

I see the following scenario unfolding.

First, there will be a dramatic change in the language and tone of Palace statements and Palace-directed activities.

As he has done during stressful times, Aquino will withdraw to his shell and desist from issuing incendiary statements for a while.

Lacierda, Coloma and Valte will clam up and just concentrate on enjoying their paychecks, allowances and perks.

Kompre will fold up, and all this business about defending Aquino’s reforms will dry up from failure to identify the reforms. Makati Business Club will find itself without a horse to ride.

Inversely, the people’s initiative and the National Transformation Council will gain ground and adherents.

The administration will drop all talk about the president’s trinity of wishes: to amend the Constitution, seek a second term and reduce the powers of the Supreme Court.

Congress will change its priorities

Second, the Senate and the House in Congress will implement a radical change in their priorities and activities.

The House will abort its scheme to use the three impeachment complaints against Aquino as a lever to extract incentives from the President. Aquino will have no largesse to offer the porcine legislators. The impeachment will not go forward.

Speaker Belmonte may also abandon his plan to amend the Constitution, with respect to its economic provisions, for lack of Palace support.

The Senate will tone down the insane self-serving scheme of senators Trillanes and Cayetano to bring down vice president Jejomar Binay, from his front-running status in the presidential derby.

The chamber will withdraw its plan to redefine savings in deference to Aquino, and in aid of reviving the DAP.

Because of his groveling before the administration, there could be a serious move to take down Drilon from the Senate presidency. The Nacionalista Party could leave the majority coalition.

Congress will quietly set aside the Abad-authored bill and resolution that would legalize the DAP and exonerate Aquino and administration officials of wrongdoing in the illegal program.

2016 elections will proceed

Third, the President will dismiss all suggestions about resigning his office instead of waiting for the final bell to sound on June 30, 2016.

This means there will be no interregnum and no Binay succession to the Presidency.

Which further means that the May 2016 election of a new president and a new Congress will definitely push through.

Positioning in that balloting will intensify. The campaign will begin for all intents and purposes at the crack of dawn in 2015.

Would-be candidates for the presidency, the Senate and Congress will accelerate their plans and preparations for the 2016 elections.

From kingmaker to spectator

Finally, Aquino will become a spectator, not a kingmaker, in the 2016 elections.

Instead of anointing a successor as he envisioned, he will be reduced to scrambling for whatever deal he can find and extract from his successor.

Like his predecessor, Gloria Arroyo, Aquino will lose interest in stage-managing the campaign and the voting.

His endorsement will be regarded as the kiss of death. Any candidate who promises him a pardon will have to kiss his campaign goodbye.

DILG secretary Mar Roxas will carry the colors of the Liberal Party, just as envisioned from the beginning. With the billions of pork he commands in the 2015 budget, he should jack up his electability enough to warrant the continued support of his backers in the business community.

Sixto Brillantes will retire before the balloting takes place. The PCOS machines will also be retired, despite Abad’s insistence on funding them with another throw of P18 billion of people’s money.

Judicial supremacy aftermath

As I anticipated, my previous column on judicial supremacy (“The disputed doctrine of judicial supremacy,” Times, August 28) generated a lot of comment and heat.

Many readers were angry and disappointed. Some were supportive. And one reader accused me of being funded with DAP. I will not dignify the last with a denial, and will only tell readers to read the column carefully. My key assertion is that judicial supremacy is disputed doctrine, not a settled issue. And I documented the dispute.

I will take up the subject again in my next column. I have come upon new materials that enrich the debate.

I hope other columnists who write on legal issues will also take a stab at judicial supremacy.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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