Friday, October 12, 2012

Senate Cybercrime Acts: On A War Footing against Freedom

"Unnecessary write-ups and comments have been made in the social networking systems with the public having in mind an imprecise concept of freedom of speech." Senator Sotto, Senate Journal, January 24, 2012
Senate Attitude: "THE INTERNET IS EVIL!!!"
Reader Baycas referred me to a document that pertains to the Cybercrime Bill and how it evolved in the Senate. This is a record from the Senate Journal, I believe posted by Pia Cayetano in response to inquiry from Top Blogger Raissa Robles. Having never read a congressional transcript before, I was fascinated by the proceedings. I will review some basic facts regarding the meeting, offer some observations regarding general Senate processes, then focus on specific deliberations regarding the Cybercrime Bill. I'll wrap it up with conclusions and a well-deserved Golden Bluto Award.

Factoids

  1. This was the January 24, 2012, session of the Senate, the second session of the year. It began at 9:17 a.m. and ended at 10:47 a.m., lasting one hour and 30 minutes.

  1. During the course of this meeting the Senate dispensed with a variety of bills and committee reports, moving them along. Exactly one half of the meeting time (45 minutes) was devoted to amendments on the Second Reading of the Cybercrime Bill.

  1. Thirteen senators were physically present in the chambers, enough for a quorum. Another six senators were recorded as present, but asterisked for reasons not included in the journal; possibly in the building but not in the room. Two were absent. Two were double asterisked with no entry. It was a small crowd.

  1. The session began with a short prayer from Senator Angara, then acceptance, unread, of the minutes from the prior meeting on January 17.

  1. It was registered during the discussion that the Senate only meets in session twice a week.

General Proceedings

  1. Most work is obviously done outside the formal meetings. The process is mainly a rubber stamping of various procedural check-points on bills and other actions, first readings, second readings, committee reports, etc. It is done by voice vote with "no objection" moving an item forward. During the entire meeting, there was only one objection, by Senator Guingona, regarding one Cybercrime amendment.

  1. The time prior to and just after the Cybercrime discussion was dedicated to action on 16  different motions if my count is accurate.  The most substantive of these were:

  1. An appeal by Senator Pia Cayetano that the HR Bill be moved forward for attention. Majority Leader Sotto explained that it was being held up by absences and other reasons, and said he, too wanted it to move forward because "I am itching to deliver my turno en contra speech on the subject." [Note: this is the speech, broken into four parts, that contained substantive information copied from other original sources without attribution.]

  1. A reading by Senator Guingona of the findings and recommendations by a Blue Ribbon Panel looking into alleged graft and corruption activities by prior board of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). The reading took about 20 minutes. The report included 10 substantive recommendations. The matter was referred to senators for consideration outside the meeting. This concluding remark gives the tone of the findings:

  • "Let this serve as a reminder to all that public funds are sacred as it is imbued with public interest. Public funds could only be spent for authorized public purposes and can never be used as a private piggy bank."

  1. One gets the impression that a lot of paper is moving, generally without any in-session comment. It is difficult to say whether or not senators had read the documents pertaining to any of the measures addressed. If I were to guess, given the technical reading required, Senators only brief up on matters that they deem important and let the rest flow like water downstream.

Cybercrime Proceedings

  1. Senator Angora held the floor during the reading of amendments. It was his bill and he clearly held full power to decide what went into the document and what did not. This resulted in an efficient movement forward on the bill but a curt dismissal of the objection by Senator Guingona and comment from Senator Pia Cayetano. The Senate approved 37 amendments with one objection. It then approved three amendments by Senator Santiago offered during the meeting. Amendment subjects:

  1. Definition:  Computer
  2. Definition: Critical Infrastructure
  3. Definition: Cybersecurity
  4. Word insert
  5. Word deletion
  6. Word substitution
  7. Delete "intentional or reckless" from definition of system interference
  8. Insertion of new paragraph on "Cybersquatting" (banning the acquiring of a site name for profit)
  9. Delete "intentional" from the definition of computer related forgery
  10. Delete "intentional and" from the definition of computer related fraud [JoeAm: Does this mean accidental violations are fraudulent???]
  11. Punctuation change
  12. Insert a new definition of "Cybersex" [Objection by Senator Guingona; see below]
  13. Revised definition of "Child Pornography" [Senator Pia Cayetano indicated she wanted to confirm that this definition is correct outside the meeting; Angara said conclusively it was "her words"]
  14. Punishment for 4A-5  stated
  15. Punishment for acts against critical infrastructure stated
  16. Replacement language for "Real Time Collection of Traffic Data" (requiring no warrant)
  17. Typo correction
  18. Simplifying language on "interception" to exclude reference to eavesdropping and tapping
  19. Insert words
  20. New section on restricting or blocking access to data if the computer is in violation of the act
  21. New provision creating the Office of Cybercrime within the Department of Justice
  22. New wording on creation of a National Cyber Security Center within the Department of Science and Technology
  23. Word change to provide different name: National Cybersecurity Coordinating Council (NCCC)
  24. Change in wording on provision placing the NCCC under President Aquino
  25. Change in wording on NCCC composition: includes reps of NBI, PNP, DOJ, private sector and academe [JoeAm hothead reaction: "Jesus Christ, it is just the internet, why are we going to a war footing? Which unit is the Gestapo?"]
  26. Change initials to NCCC
  27. Change initials to NCCC
  28. Word change
  29. Word change
  30. Word change
  31. Change initials to NCCC
  32. Word change
  33. Word change
  34. Change 10,000,000 to 50,000,000
  35. Word change
  36. Word change
  37. Limit "Repealing clause" only to section 33-A of E-Commerce Law.

  1. Mr Guingona's Objection and Discussion:

Senator Guingona. Mr. President, I would like to say that we still have a problem with the definition. It still acts...smacks of prior restraint and I am very sure this would, in my humble opinion, run against constitutional infirmities.

Senator Angara. We do not intend to impose any prior restraint, Mr. President. But if I can just ask our distinguished colleague to hold on until I read all the individual amendments into the Record  and then we will go back to him on his point.

Senator Guingona. Thank you, Mr. President.

[Later after completion of reading of minutes]

Senator Angara. That summarizes it all, Mr. President, the individual amendments proposed by our Members in the course of the debate. And with the Chair's permission, I would like to go back to the query of--to the question of our distinguished colleague, Senator Guingona, on page 5 of this Memorandum on the definition of "Cybersex". Mr. President, this new definition of Cybersex, precisely, was made in response to the reservations expressed by Senators Guingona and Santiago specifically to remove the word "arousal" from this definition. Arousal, being said and I agree, is a very subjective term. However, the clause for favor or consideration was kept because this is the moving consideration. It is the crux of cybersex crime that it is done for money, for consideration, for a favor, just similar to the definition of "prostitution". So, I would like to hear now why this definition will suggest or imply a prior restraint, Mr. President. 

Senator Guingona. Again, with the Chair's permission. Again, it leaves discretion on the judge. For example, "lascivious exhibition" can refer to anything very broad. And so, I still feel very, very uncomfortable with this, Mr. President. And my suggestion then is: Why do we not just delete the whole section?

Senator Angara. But there must be a definition of the crime, Mr. President. Otherwise....

Senator Guingona. That is precisely my point. It smacks of legislating morality, Mr. President.

Senator Angara. No, we are not legislating morality. But if we delete the definition, Mr. President, then the other implication is that we do not agree that cybersex is a crime and yet, that is probably one of the most rampant crimes being committed and particularly committed on our kids.

Senator Guingona. Well, Mr. President, I still cannot in conscience agree to it. I still believe that it will run smack against the Constitution.

Senator Angara. I respect the gentleman's personal opinion, Mr. President, and I....

Senator Guingona. I hope the gentleman will understand, Mr. President. These are my principles.

Senator Angara. Yes, yes. I respect the gentleman's libertarian inclinations, Mr. President, and I respect it.

Senator Guingona. Thank you.

Senator Angara. But may I still suggest that we must keep this, Mr. President, otherwise, we would be leading a large, large field of unregulated and noncriminalized activity which is quite often seen in practically every kid's computer and Internet kiosk in this country

  1. Senator Santiago's amendments

  1. Expand hacking enforcement to online programs, emails and social networks
  2. Word change substituting "fraudulent intent" for clarification
  3. New paragraph requiring certain testaments before a warrant is issued to prevent abuse by law enforcement agencies

  1. Strange discussion between Senator Lacson and Senator Angara about phone sex not being cybersex, as there is nothing to see on a phone, with an apparent private joke made at Senator Casino's Osmena's expense. Good old boy lascivious humor?

  1. Senator Sotto inserts section on libel. This lays to rest any notion that Senator Sotto did not insert the libel section. He did on the Second Reading of the Bill.

Senator Sotto. We are aware of the numerous abuses in our technology today. Videos and photos are uploaded. Unnecessary write-ups and comments have been made in the social networking systems with the public having in mind an imprecise concept of freedom of speech. Lampas na sa freedom of speech, if we will go through these social networking systems.

Mr. President, in Mendez v. Court of Appeals , G.R. No. 124491, June 1, 1999,"Libel is defined as a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance tending to discredit or cause the dishonor or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead. Thus, the elements of libel are:(a) imputation of a discreditable act or condition to another; (b) publication of the imputation; (c) identity of the person defamed; and, (d) existence of malice.

Furthermore, Mr. President, in Lacsa v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 161 SCRA427, 1988, it was stated, "Words calculated to induce suspicion are sometimes more effective to destroy reputation than false charges directly made. Ironical and metaphorical language is a favored vehicle for slander. A charge is sufficient if the words are calculated to induce the hearers to suppose and understand that the person or persons against whom they were uttered were guilty of certain offenses, or are sufficient to impeach their honesty, virtue, or reputation, or to hold the person or persons up to public ridicule".

Now, with this in mind, I hope the Sponsor could include the following in addition to contempt-related crimes with the end in view of applying libel in cyberspace. We would want to place it on record that the publication requirement in the crime of libel is achieved by the mere fact that it is seen in cyberspace and this can further promote the advocacy of "Think before you click". So, cybercrime offenses, Mr. President, are not covered under Republic Act No. 3815 where libel is there in Article 355.

So, Mr. President, may I propose that we insert on page 6, line 37, probably the last one for Section 4,
LIBEL. - THE UNLAWFUL OR PROHIBITED ACTS OF LIBEL AS DEFINED IN ARTICLE 355 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE COMMITTED THROUGH A COMPUTER SYSTEM OR ANY OTHER SIMILAR MEANS WHICH MAY BE DEVISED IN THE FUTURE.

The insertion was accepted by the Senate without objection.

  1. The Second Reading of the Bill was approved with "a few ayes".

Conclusion

Senator Angara was the driver of the Bill. He was dogmatic and insistent on the language that is now causing so much trouble. His brusque shuffling aside of Senator Guingona's objection with personal insult illustrates his determined approach. He also did not appreciate Senator Cayetano's interruption, being curt with her.

In my imagination, I see President Aquino, Senator Angara, Senator Enrile and Senator Sotto having lunch together in 2010 and deciding to come down hard on cyber crimes as a part of the President's initiative to "clean up the Philippines". Somewhere, somehow, the President was being counseled by Justice Secretary De Lima and her assistant Sy to accept the stern language in a draft of the Bill. Or he was giving THEM the marching orders.This language was then given to several legislators and formed the core of the Bill that was eventually put into law. Sotto added the libel provision.

This was an Executive Branch bill, not a legislative bill. That's why it was moved ahead of RH and FOI legislation.

This would also explain President Aquino's obstinate, tin-eared defense of the new law even if it flies in the face of the most basic freedom of them all. Freedom of expression.

This blog's opening quote from Senator Sotto probably reflects the attitude of the Executive Branch and the "Good Old Boy" senators. The public misunderstands freedom of speech and we are going to set them straight. The alignment of all the police power in the Philippines to attack cybercrime  . . . and libel . . . illustrates the power behind this push.

Senator Guingona's objection displayed considerable courage. One voice among 23. One mind among 23 that grasped the very essence of freedom and the flaw in the bill: "It smacks of legislating morality, Mr. President."

This is no small deal. These key leaders have a different morality, a narrower comprehension of what "free expression" means. That's why the President remains tin-eared about freedom of expression. He does not hold it as a cherished value . . . for the good of the Philippines. Good governance evidently means re-defining core values of the nation.

And so the Supreme Court has the soul of the nation in its hands.

The soul, as exhibited by the Executive and Legislative branches, is lost in darkness. I suggest they let Senator Guingona draft a Constitutionally perfected bill to lead them out of the woods.

He's the only guy with any credibility left. The only guy with a flashlight that works.

Awards

Another Golden Bluto Award is earned, post-dated to January 24, 2012.

  • Five Golden Blutos are granted to Senator Angara for his awe inspiring performance in "How to Cram Constitutional Violations Past Your Colleagues" and thereby successfully abandon any notion that free expression is a cherished value or that the Senate works in the public interest.


58 comments:

  1. Angara as chauffeur with PNoy at the back.

    -----

    I like the Golden Bluto award.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Sotto in the trunk.

      If you have any other reading assignments for me, let me know. I enjoyed this one. It was clear to me that Senator Cayetano had nothing to do with the libel insertion. She was only interested in the definition of child pornography.

      Delete
  2. Reason why tuwid na daan rings hollow in the face of executive overreach and realpolitic pork barrel. SC ex Corona saves the day. Save for Guingona, senate's a confederacy of dunces. Don't care about sins of ommisions like, No I was absent...

    DocB

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    Replies
    1. Yes, they certainly ACT like dunces sometimes. That's the thing I can't quite figure out. I think they are actually very intelligent people, but they bow to their various masters. Subservient to super-dunces, whether they be the President or Senate President or Church. Only Senator Guingona acted on his principles. The rest prostituted themselves. An occupation they condemn in others.

      Delete
  3. Gotcha, Sotto! Classifying write ups and comments as unnecessary is downright stupid and violates freedom of speech.

    For the sake of discussion, let's assume a write up or comment is inane (like Get Real Post). Do we classify it as unnecessary and ban it? Of course not. The Constitution guarantees even that freedom - the freedom to be stupid and inane! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The freedom to be stupid is highly entertaining, actually.

      But what a revealing comment that Sotto made, eh? He is going to redefine freedom of speech for the lesser beings from Thomas Jefferson to Jose Rizal and all the soldiers who have died defending our right to speak directly.

      Senator Sotto is a huge jerk.

      Delete
    2. @JoeAm,

      Must he deserve the trunk or better if he is "dragged behind the chariot".

      Delete
  4. The Constitution guarantees nothing if there's that Damoclean Anti-Cybercrime Act! Of course, we have seen greater stupidity and lesser stupidity.

    DocB

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    Replies
    1. It will be fascinating to see how the Supreme Court reads this. We will get a clear signal, is it a political court or a law-based court? My guess is that it will prove to be a law-based court, certain provisions of the law will be struck as unconstitutional, and the enactment of this law will be turned on its head and end up a GREAT STEP TOWARD MATURITY for Philippine democracy. Plus we will see the old guard of Enrile and Sotto shoved into the corner by other senators who are embarrassed for the shame the old recalcitrants have thrust on the Body Senate.

      Delete
  5. Senator Guingona's batteries must have run out of juice by the time sen Sotto inserted the libel provision or was Somesmerized with Sotto's Soration.

    According to the Senate journal, six Senators were fashionably late
    (normal Filipino Time). With eighteen Senators present during sen Sotto's insertion, one can only assume that they believed
    sen Sotto was wearing a prophylactic and they were safe from being
    infected with his virtual maladies or they were all complicit in
    sen Sotto's attempt to curtail cyberfreedom!

    amor

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it was an awesome display of subservience. I think the whole tenor of the meeting was "don't mess with this" and Senator Guingona simply accepted discretion over valor and saved his fighting for a more receptive audience, the public. To me that shows his brilliance. He is winning, and will win.

      I believe a part of the subservience was because "this is the President's bill" and Senator Angora is his general on this. You mess with the general at great risk. Certainly, Angora was feeling his power, really feeling it . . .

      Delete
    2. I note the use of the word "subservience" 3 times. I think this word captures the essence of this mess. Everybody is subservient to the wrong objects and ideas - ego; pride; a higher authority; the idea that one can be disrespectful of colleagues because of self-deluded superiority; and the idea that freedom can be sacrificed for the sake of order.

      The right subservience for people in government is service to the people and their interests. This is what Robredo made people so aware of in his death; this is what Sotto will never learn.

      Even PNoy forgets it in spite of his mantra, "Kayo ang boss ko".

      To paraphrase Dylan, "How many deaths will it take till we know?"

      Delete
    3. Yes indeed. Which reminds me, when are you going to recommend Guingona as one of the top three presidential contenders, based on his outbreak of courage and wisdom? Or do I have to do all the damn work around here? On the list now are Jun Abaya, Sonny Angara the Younger, and Kiko Pangilinan. Certainly you can knock one of those out. Or are you waiting for Pacquiao's wife to announce her interest in the job?

      Delete
    4. Even as we speak, events are marking out the contenders. Of the three, there's only one standing in the ring at the moment - your favorite needless to say.

      The other two, I don't think, are presidential timber, not yet, maybe not ever. Angara, as I said is too young, 40 to Abaya's 46. Pangilinan has been overshadowed by Guingona. Recto, who I had slight hopes for because of his grandpa, has also knocked himself out for voting Yes to the Cybercrime Bill(along with Escudero and Pangilinan) and with the poor margin on the Sin Tax Bill. And Magsaysay is too old.

      We need more Popeye's. Guingona (aged 53) I would now consider a possibility.

      Delete
    5. I'll take a look at Guingona's background. I'm wobbling on Young Angara, too and suspected when I put Pangilinan on the list, it was a long shot. Given the condition of the condition in the Senate, unless someone develops some ba . . . character . . . soon, it's back to the cabinet (Roxas). The Cybercrime Bill is so fundamental to the essence of democracy, it is a virtual deal killer for everyone but Guingona. If people at this level can't grasp the essence of democracy and the root freedoms in the Constitution, and/or can't stand up to the power-pushers, how can they lead a nation?

      Delete
  6. My guess is SC will vote with the petitioners. Arroyo-appointed Justices will be more than happy and willing to put its foot down on this one-no love lost for Pnoy. The signing of that law speaks more of the leaders' stupidity and inadequacy-Pnoy, Enrile, Belmonte.

    DocB

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    Replies
    1. Yep. The good old boys were "outted". I think the senators must be aware that people are looking at their institution as a ship of fools, with them doing the paddling. That's why Enrile is likely out as President no later than 2013, and Sotto will retreat to his corner where he left his thumb. Aquino's popularity will get a slap.

      He needs to look at "good governance" as something more than putting people in jail. Like, get that FOI bill passed, duh!

      Delete
  7. Know what, Joe, Guingona promised he will amend the Cybercrime bill. He and Osmena annotated the document...

    www.senate.gov.ph/lies data/111349486!.pdf

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry about that...

      Auto-correct on...

      www.senate.gov.ph/lisdata/111349486!.pdf

      Delete
    2. Okay, I got that. Guingona penned "will amend" above his signature. Is your point that he failed to follow through? Or did he submit amendments that were not accepted? (How does one determine the latter??)

      Delete
    3. He "failed" to amend but he did what others did not by not voting for its passage.

      Delete
    4. Maybe he read the tea leaves from Angara's response to his objection, and the way everyone else was falling into (the President's?) line on the Bill, and figured the amendment fight was not worth the energy, but damn if he was going to attach his name to such a stinkin', sinkin' ship. I'd like to think that is the way it played out.

      Delete
  8. why is it legislating morality? like angara said: "However, the clause for favor or consideration was kept because this is the moving consideration. It is the crux of cybersex crime that it is done for money, for consideration, for a favor, just similar to the definition of "prostitution"."

    guingona's objection makes no sense. he says that the judge determines whether its cybersex. huh?

    didnt he read the part that has "favor or consideration"? that has specific meaning.

    any sexual act that is done for favor or consideration is criminal. that is prostitution.

    how difficult is that to understand?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe that Guingona did not mean courtroom judge, but the person looking at the computer and deciding whether or not the sexual material there is good or bad, right or wrong. I think his point is that the State ought not make this decision for adults, and to do so is legislating morality. Obviously, you would have to ask the good Senator what he meant, but that was my reading.

      If viewing pictures of naked people engaged in sex is itself a sexual act, and you paid for the viewing, then you might be correct to argue that as some kind of "prostitution". But most people would probably view that it is not a sexual act. It is perhaps fantasizing and getting aroused (a word taken out of the document), but men can do that by buying tickets to a movie with Angelina Jolie running around in her skimpies. Guingona's point, I believe, is that adults are allowed to make their own choice as to what is good or bad.

      Delete
    2. Can't argue with Taliban.

      Delete
    3. Well, you can, but your life span becomes finitely shorter.

      Delete
    4. Hahahahaha

      DocB

      Delete
    5. first, he meant judicial judge: " Again, it leaves discretion on the judge."

      second, "If viewing pictures of naked people engaged in sex is itself a sexual act, and you paid for the viewing, then you might be correct to argue that as some kind of "prostitution". But most people would probably view that it is not a sexual act. "

      yeah -- its called pornography. which is also illegal.

      Delete
  9. Punish Angara
    Do NOT VOTE for Angara in Senate.

    Johnny Lin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, for me, I'd vote for Sonny Angara the younger, but not the Senior. He is of the old school, and cannot lead the Philippines into the modern world.

      Delete
    2. Pardon the cliche, but does the fruit fall far from the tree?

      Delete
    3. Edgar, thanks for writing my response
      He he he

      Sonny will become the next lord of Angara dynasty in Aurora, unless the people cut the cord.

      Johnny Lin

      Delete
    4. Well, I disagree. I think it depends on the person and his values or principles and courage. Some parts of the tree we want in the apple, like brains. I had vastly different values than my parents on racism and sex and religion, and would not want to be held to account for their values. I think the problem is that the political system does not have a way of getting outside blood inside, and the negligence of voters. We ought not sacrifice the innocent for the failings of the guilty. Unless you are inclined to pitch virgins into the volcano, then by all means, Pinatubo is right over there.

      Delete
    5. Voting for Totoy Angara is good for business. Angara, Inc.

      Delete
    6. Joe
      Your argument could be applied to a philippine movie stars and TV personalities. Time to mke a stand against dynasties and popular personalities and promote educated, intelligent, capable individuals first.

      Basically though, your theory is wrong. If he has values he would have objected vigorously against cybercrime bill before and especially after passage. His silence was deafening. If he were courageous he would have defiled the wish of his father when he continued to defend the law. He was not innocent at all. Your tenacity admiring him is commendable but unless a line is drawn like the demilitarized zone, dynasty build up remains unresolved.

      Johnny Lin

      Delete
    7. There are three worlds, ideal, real and pragmatic. Ideal is Angara would have vehemently the objectionable (constitutionally erroneous) language. Real is he knows where his political bread is buttered and he'd be foolish to go against the flow. Pragmatic is what Guingona did, object, hold his silence, then vote no. Pragmatic tempers ideal and real.

      You want young Angora to be idealistic. That is a sure way not to have a job next term. So he went with the real world, as did all the rest of the congressmen marching to the beat of the President's pork . . . er, drum. Be idealistic, commit suicide. Be pragmatic . . . high risk.

      This is a guy trying to step up to the Senate. He played his cards tight, the way he felt he must.

      I don't expect candidates to do everything 100% perfect. On balance, I think they should work aggressively for their constituents, and have honorable intent. I think Young Sonny has done that well and maybe he'll prove that on a re-write.

      The challenge is how do you get from where the Philippines is today to a dynasty free political realm. I think it is a pragmatic mistake to toss the best of the best on an admirable idealistic spirit.

      Delete
    8. erratum "would have vehemently protested . . .

      Delete
    9. Joe
      One thing sure, there are others similar to Angara,s mold, idealistic and aggressive but dont carry all the baggages Angara is dragging with his capability. Heaviest of those loads are dynasty and perception of corruption Angara Inc.

      In Raissa blog I listed15 senatoriables including his name, but he is on the bottom of that list considering everything equal. His baggages landed him on the pit. Of course that is my personal assessment but my top two criteria are corruption and dynasty. What principles for election would supercede these two in philippine politics? Would you disagree?

      Just pointing out my rules of engagement.

      Johnny Lin

      Delete
    10. No, I can't disagree that you have useful principles. Corruption and dynasty together are indeed troublesome. I feel the same way about the Arroyo and Marcos families. I'm not familiar with the corruption stigma attached to the Angara name so maybe that is why I don't have the same resistance about young Angara.

      Delete
    11. My two cents:

      1. It's not just father and son. There's the senator's sister in the mix, a governor who is running for the son's lower house seat.

      2. The father has filed candidacy for the position of governor. It is a dynastic rigodon: the son running for the father's position, the father running for the sister's position, and the sister running for the son's position.

      3. The rigodon is not illegal but, on its face, violates the spirit of the Constitution.

      4. Take the point that the son may not be like the father, but I would find it hard to trust anyone closely associated with a senator who can use the word "libertarian" as a sneer word.

      Delete
    12. Interesting. I didn't know the family was that "engaged", and I don't like it. Just like I don't like Pacquiao's approach to breaking the dynastic hold by starting another "poor man's" dynasty, with his wife and brother running. Give me a break!

      I'm thinking that Guingona had a moment of enlightenment at that sneering "libertarian" comment. Like, "what am I doing here with these dinosaurs?" That's probably when he gave up trying to talk to the stoneheads and said to himself "I'm not voting for this pile of shit."

      Delete
  10. Joe
    Why at Sen Casino's expense?

    Johnny Lin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know. I didn't get what they were laughing at and guessed. Maybe it wasn't.

      Delete
  11. Erratum: Senator Osmena instead of Senator Casino.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sotto insertion effectively sabotages the chances of UNA and LP senatorial hopefuls. Senate was supposed to be rewarded by the people for the success of the impeachment trial. How can we make balato Jackie Enrile? Pnoy should invite Sotto to the Palace next time.
    DocB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I rather think Senator Sotto is not on the President's invite list. Or Enrile's for a year or so. He can come over to my house any time. He's probably a very nice man in an environment where he doesn't have to think much; we're ordinarily very relaxed on that point around here. I'll be sure not to invite Maude, though.

      Delete
  13. Sotto won't drink your tuba.

    DocB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He would drink Kickapoo Joy
      That is it gives a strong kick, make poo-poo, feeling joy and satisfaction as hangover

      Concoction of Kickapoo:
      Boill CACA leaves with OIL, CASTOR, not any other oil.
      Collect the juice and add an ounce of MILK OF MAGNESIA
      Stir not shaken in a martini glass
      Sprinkle on top one jigger of METAMUCIL crystals for presentation

      Cathartic effect is top and bottom, exactly what Sotto needs for cerebral enlightenment

      Johnny Lin

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    2. Lip smacking delicious, I'm sure, with a slight after affect. The Metamucil crystals are an elegant touch.

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  14. They said prayers before the session? Whom were they praying for? Satan? Jesus Christ? Mohammed? Buddha? It seems every god in the world failed the kindergartnish senators. Could the Senators God themselves?

    I do not know, it is clearly evident that prayers have failed the Senators and Filipinos again. And Filipinos just do not get it.

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    Replies
    1. Mariano,

      I share your sentiment here.

      There is an invocation to the Divine for senatorial wisdom. From the impeachment trial, I deduce the prayers are not by rote. So the prayers are not ritualistic but the act of praying appears to be. There is no sincerity, no humility, no true intention to be guided by a higher light.

      Perhaps there should be a substitute invocation: "We do not pray today because our minds are closed and our hearts are made of stone. We will continue to laze around in our misguided fashion in the face of the people's suffering. We seek not to alleviate that suffering but to perpetuate it. For this people and this country exist for our glory and by their sufferance we are made demigods. Praise be unto us."

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  15. If ever these senators get re-elected again and again, it is evidence enough that God is playing with the lives of the Filipinos. Or Filipinos playing Russian roulette with their lives.

    But what I am happy about is Filipinos just do not get it. Their IGNORANCE IS A BLISS.

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  16. I just wonder if these monkeys will ever see the light of day in civilized western world. Totally malnourished mental state.

    Raddatz would give up on these senator punks debating among themsleves.

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    Replies
    1. I come back to some of my prior writings about "power and (protecting) face" being two driving forces in Philippine interpersonal dynamics. The senators are smart people but in this instance they bowed to some higher force, and it wasn't God. Most are lawyers but only one read "unconstitutional" in the language. What's with that? This was a priority bill for the President. I'm convinced that his stamp is all over this baby and how it was pushed through.

      Only one senator stood on personal principles. That willingness to concede on one's sense of right and wrong is troubling. Even in the Corona impeachment, three senators did not go with the flow. Here, everyone but Guingona hopped on the train. They must have found comfort in the fact that so many others were on it. Not in their conscience.

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