Issue of November 16, 2014

Baguio Day Anniversary Issue
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Jojo seems to be feeling the heat

Judging from his latest pictures in the newspapers, with all his problems in recent months, my good friend and classmate, VP Jojo seem to be greatly affected. Who would not? He looks somewhat thinner and stressed out. Kasta la ti biag ti politico.

His decision to back out from the debate with Trillanes runs counter to his “Rambotito” image. He started getting compared to Floyd Mayweather who gives a lot of excuses not to fight Pacquiao. But perhaps it was the correct decision. Debating with Trillanes is a no-win proposition for him.

If he beats Trillanes, that is no victory. He is a seasoned lawyer and is expected to win.

If he, however, loses to Trillanes then that would be the end of it all.

It was really a mistake to challenge Trillanes to a debate in the first place. Maybe that was hurled in a spur of an emotional moment.

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Koko Pimentel bravely told PNoy to stay out of the Senate investigation of VP Jojo. It was politically risky to make that statement. He may fall out of presidential grace and will cost him his PDAF and DAP or any disguise thereof. But actually it is a correct decision.

One of the basic pillars of our constitutional system is the principle of separation of powers among the executive, legislative, and the judiciary. The judiciary can constitutionally, at times, be allowed to rule upon acts of the executive and the legislative. But strict rules of judicial review must be followed and is not done routinely.

Even the judiciary would have been most reluctant to step into and interfere in any congressional investigation. There should be grave and compelling constitutional reasons to do so. So far it has stayed out of the fray. Maybe no one has also asked the court to step into the issue.

And Koko is correct. It is best, in the meantime, that the Executive also stays away.

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So far, it looks like the accuser of Senate President Frank Drilon cannot come up with proof to support his accusations. That is unfortunate because no matter how the affair will end, that Iloilo Convention Center will for a long time be remembered, rightly or wrongly, as “Drilon’s folly.”

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Free Legal Assistance Group or FLAG member and former senator Kiko Pangilinan is preparing to run again as senator in 2016. To show his clout, his protégé and staff member Renan B. Dalisay has recently been appointed as National Food Authority administrator.

With the impending retirement of Commission on Elections Chief Sixto Brilliantes, it is rumored Justice Sec. Leila de Lima will be named as the new Comelec chair. They also say this will clear the way for the appointment of Kiko as the new DOJ chief, which is a more high profile position than the one he currently holds as Presidential Assistant on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization.

As a lawyer, being DOJ chief should serve and fit him better to help his re-entry to the Senate.

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The Sandiganbayan has granted the request of Sen. Bong Revilla for a medical and diagnostic test at the St. Luke’s Medical Center. Of course, naman, where else would he go?

He will undergo tests for “migraine, lumbosacral radiculopathy secondary to spondylosis, hypertension and dyslipidemia and abnormal high lipid blood counts.” Naawatan yo?

Nagado metten. We did not know that the invincible “Ang Panday” can get that sick with all those high sounding and intimidating illnesses.

We hope he gets well soon to face his Sandigan trial.

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