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57 people. Mothers. Brothers. Sisters. Friends. Citizens. Helplessly Massacred. Morbidly Mutilated. Shamelessly buried and left to rot in some abandoned jungle crossroad in Maguindanao. The height of impunity. The abyss of human depravity.

We, the people, do not and will not treat them as mere statistics in the persistent problem of electoral violence in our country whose law and order are at breaking point. We, the people, angrier by the day and burning with righteous hatred like a thousand indignant suns, will not take this most recent act of brutality sitting down, as the agents of our plutocratic system glaze the eyes of justice with half-truths, disinformation and political spin-doctoring. 57 people were ruthlessly killed with government-supplied weapons by a state-sponsored warlord clan. 57 lives were cut short because the government failed and continues to fail in its most basic responsibility to assert the rule of law in our land. 57 passersby became mangled murder victims in the hands of vicious thugs.

A State that cannot protect its own citizens has no reason to exist. A Government that cannot secure the welfare of its people has no right to persist. A Democracy that sustains itself with the rotting gunk from the corpses of its victims is not worth defending. It is, thus, the right and obligation of all citizens to take all necessary means to retake their dignity and freedom from those forces that deny them.

The Maguindanao massacre is the failure of the system – the plutocratic system of privilege, impunity, abuse and blatant power-grab. The military under whose command the militia supposedly operates has miserably failed to protect the citizens. The police – some of whom took part in the killing spree – has no moral and institutional ascendancy to lead in the investigation. The government is completely morally bankrupt and accountable for nurturing this kind of monster in our midst.

The Injustice stops right here, right now. The moment of half-steps and foolish caution has long passed. Time now to act. Boldly. Daringly. And dangerously, if necessary.

We, the people, demand death for those responsible for the Maguindanao Massacre. No less than death penalty! No more and never again.

Short Link: http://wp.me/pp039-2M

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Yesterday (21 October), Joseph “Erap” Estrada finally declared/proclaimed his intention to run for the presidency. Well, of course, he has always hinted this possibility — he even has his Arthro commercial before the most recent one. Anyone who is surprised to hear this proclamation is probably living inside a cave for years already.

But the question is:

Is he eligible to run for President? Or any other public office for that matter?

There are only three concerns that keep on lingering in my head with regard to this proclamation.
First: The constitutional prohibition against reelection. Now, I am not a lawyer and definitely not a constitutionalist. But I had the chance to read that part of the Constitution which says the president is banned for any reelection. (Don’t know if that is the exact construction of words but I think it is basically like that.) Erap has been elected once already (AND IT’S A MISTAKE, FOR GOD’S SAKE!), and any reelection is already unconstitutional. Now, some Erap supporters are saying the intent of that provision is not applicable to Erap. Wow! Now, I am not about to argue about whether it is applicable to Erpa or not because I am not an expert. I’d leave that to the experts.
Second: The executive clemency provided by GMA after Erap was convicted of Plunder. Somewhere there is stated: Erap won’r run or pursue any public post or office ever again. Or something like that. I thought this is actually the ultimate safeguard for the deposed president to run again, but to my surprise, two lawyers with oppposing views in the constitutionality of Erap’s bid for presidency actually both agree that such condition in the clemency is not THAT binding at all. Darn! They were saying that the dispositive clause where Erap was given back his political and civil rights is the one that will take more weight over the condition that he should not run for any public office! (We’re screwed, people.) What else is left to bar the ex-President from running again? (Arthritis?)
And finally: The actual fear that Erap will run again. This concern haunts me whenever the Erap for President (again) discussion surfaces. Why are we even having this discussion? Why are we afraid that he is actually legally allowed to run? It is because we are afraid he might win. That possibility is the most fearful of all. No, not the actual winning, the possibility he wins. Why? Because we have already thrown him out of office. He was already convicted of a crime. We have already decided once that he cannot lead this country. The possibility that Erap might win this 2010 is like eating your own vomit… your own sh#t.
Erap being allowed to run again will make us Filipinos the ultimate laughing-stock in the whole world. And Erap winning this election will be the end of the Filipino nation.
Erap, Joseph Estrada, reelection, constitutionality, legality.

There are only three concerns that keep on lingering in my head with regard to this proclamation.

erap-mugshot

First: The constitutional prohibition against reelection. Now, I am not a lawyer and definitely not a constitutionalist. But I had the chance to read that part of the Constitution which says the president is banned for any reelection. (Don’t know if that is the exact construction of words but I think it is basically like that.) Erap has been elected once already (AND IT’S A MISTAKE, FOR GOD’S SAKE!), and any reelection is already unconstitutional. Now, some Erap supporters are saying the intent of that provision is not applicable to Erap. Wow! Now, I am not about to argue about whether it is applicable to Erap or not because I am not an expert. I’d leave that to the experts.

Second: The executive clemency provided by GMA after Erap was convicted of Plunder. Somewhere there is stated: Erap won’r run or pursue any public post or office ever again. Or something like that. I thought this is actually the ultimate safeguard for the deposed president to run again, but to my surprise, two lawyers with oppposing views in the constitutionality of Erap’s bid for presidency actually both agree that such condition in the clemency is not THAT binding at all. Darn! They were saying that the dispositive clause where Erap was given back his political and civil rights is the one that will take more weight over the condition that he should not run for any public office! (We’re screwed, people.) What else is left to bar the ex-President from running again? (Arthritis?)

And finally: The actual fear that Erap will run again. This concern haunts me whenever the Erap for President (again) discussion surfaces. Why are we even having this discussion? Why are we afraid that he is actually legally allowed to run? It is because we are afraid he might win. That possibility is the most fearful of all. No, not the actual winning, the possibility he wins. Why? Because we have already thrown him out of office. He was already convicted of a crime. We have already decided once that he cannot lead this country. The possibility that Erap might win this 2010 is like eating your own vomit… your own sh#t.

Erap being allowed to run again will make us Filipinos the ultimate laughing-stock in the whole world. And Erap winning this election will be the end of the Filipino nation.

A related reading: Absolute versus conditional pardon

This is what Erap should be doing instead:

erap-relax

##

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Or at least this is what I think the people who manage Legaspi Active Park in Legaspi Village, Makati is trying to say. Below is a picture taken from the entrance of the park (entrance is located along Legazpi St., near the Union Church of Manila):

legaspi park

This is where you can find the park.

legazpi park

And this is the sign.

How can you be more discriminating than that? There is a building being constructed near the area and I can only guess that the workers there are probably staying in the park to rest during their breaktime. But hey, why would you single out this group of workers? Legaspi Active PARK is a PARK! It is possible (let me reiterate this: POSSIBLE) that the workers might be leaving their trash or whatever after they ate in the park. But if that is the case, then, emphasize to the park goers that cleanliness should be observed!

No, sirs/mesdames, you don’t just say “BAWAL DITO ANG MGA CONSTRUCTION WORKERS” because that’s just too rude and too discriminatory.

Whoever posted this sign should apologize to the construction workers. Probably give them free lunch or something.

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