Daily Archives: July 28, 2016


July 28, 2016


By Arturo P. Garcia



After four years in “hospital arrest”, the Philippine Supreme Court has freed former President Gloria M. Arroyo and had overruled the Sandiganbayan decisions for “lack of evidence.

It came for many political analyst like me as no surprise. During the campaign, now President Duterte had promised to free her. GMA even shunned Duterte’s offer to pardon her and said, ” she relies on the favorable decision of the Supreme Court.” After that, she thanked President Duterte for his efforts for her.

The Supreme Court decision was not unanimous. At best, it was 11-4 with both sides of GMA appointed justices and Aquino appointees voted for and against it.

But the questioned remain: was it a political decision and not a just one?

Former Solicitor General and lawyer for fee, Estelito Mendoza gloated on his another legal victory not answering if that SC decision was political. He just gave his opinion that “ the case was made complicated with politics.”

News reports said she vowed revenge to those who cause her for four years of detention while on trial. She did not even greeted former President Aquino III, snubbing him during the National Security Council (NSC) Meeting in Malacanang.


Everyrbody knows that seven of the justices were appointed by GMA and they have the numbers to decide for her. But even the two of the five Aquino appointed justice voted for GMA. These same justices freed Juan Ponce Enrile for “humanitarian reasons”.

Some people still looked up to the Supreme Court as the last bastion of democracy and their redress of grievances. But the sad truth and fore me, the Supreme Court has been a political tool of the ruling class and the foreign interests to impose itself and their interests for a long time

The sad experience of the 14 years of martial law eroded our faith in the Supreme Court. The Marcos Supreme Court validated all the dictator laws and was a rubber-stamp of the dictator for all of its 14 years of martial rule.

True, at times there are gems in its decisions that favors justice and truth but the fact remains it is still majority of its decision is political and only favored a selected few. “Lutong Makaw” sabi nga ng masang Pilipino at its best. Lutong Korte Suprema at its worst.

Also at times, there were “ voices in the wilderness” in the court like Justice Claudio Teehankee and Roberto Concepcion, both became Chief Justice of the PH Supreme Court They were the exceptions and were the brave and far so few in between.

Let us face the fact that the law is blind that it cannot see. It only relies on technicalities or the so-called evidences. Thus the “ lack of evidence” is a common phrase or a trash word that sums up the travesty of the law. All courts are like that in varying degrees.

Even the SCOTUS or the Supreme Court of the United States functions like that. Remember for more than 70 years they implemented the “separate but equal” penned by Justice Brown in 1896 that perpetrated segregation of Blacks and the Caucasian White. And the same SCOTUS struck it down 70 years later after the decision on Brown vs The Board of Education in the 1950’s.

As they say “ dura lex, sed lex” and yet it is in contradiction with “salus populi est suprema lex.”

There you go, laws at their best are contradictions. Lawyers and justices knows when to use them.



July 28, 2016


By Arturo P. Garcia


A Indian Freedom fighter, Chief Cochise of the New Mexico-Arizona Apaches said, “To speak of peace is hard, to work for peace is harder.”

Thus when President Rodrigo Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire with the National Democratic Front (NDF) before a comprehensive agreement could be signed ahead of the peace negotiations in August, 2016 in Oslo, Norway., he talk about peace. And that was not easy. It was hard.

Now, President Duterte is threatening to end the unilateral ceasefire he announced during his SONA last July 25. He was visibly angered about a reported NPA ambush in Davao Del Norte and is asking the NDF for a 24 hour explanation about this. If not, he threatened that “fighting will continue.”

For many political analyst who have been following the peace talks between the NDF and the government of the Philippines for the last 30 years, there has been many ways why ceasefires and agreement failed in the past.

One reason is how the both sides interpret what happened after more than 10 agreements between the two sides and why the peace talks always fall apart for the last 30 years of peace talks.

For so many the government negotiators they point out to the intransigence of the NDF and their vehemence in accepting the constitution as a framework to fall in line on the peace talks. They say that the NDF is not sincere about peace talks and they just use it for their advantage.

On the other hand, the NDF says, the government will not honor the past 10 agreements they have signed with their agreement and always work on “bad faith”. In fact the NDF point out to the fact that they have released a lot of captured PNP and AFP troops.

On the other hand, the government have continually detained more than 30 NDF consultants and more than 530 political detainees. Political killings, arbitrary arrest continues.

The truth is that the Philippine government is the primary and major factor in the peace talks. Careful in giving the NDF the status of belligerency, the GPH has always treated the NDF as “lawless elements” and “criminal groups” in its propaganda with or without the peace talks.

That is why confidence building like the a declaration of unilateral ceasefire on the part of the Duterte administration as well as the release of political detainees are very important. The lack of these goodwill measures will render the peace talks inutile.

For some warmongers and militarists, peace talks are just preparation for war. Its their time to gather intelligence, build up and train their forces and prepare for general offensive once these peace talks failed or stopped.

We can tell how the AFP or the PNP are doing. Their press releases, formal announcements from their spokesmen and actions in the field says more than the peace declarations of President Duterte.

They made it sure that there will no change in their actions. Military operations are not suspended .There were be no troops pull-out.

They will still conduct “defensive operations against lawless elements.”

That’s what peace talks under the Duterte regime looks like.

As they say, “Talk, talk, fight, fight,