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© 2019 By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
CHICAGO (JGL) — The 1987 Philippine Constitution merely requires a senatorial candidate among others to be “able to read and write” and because Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee R. Marcos had
obtained college education, it makes her overqualified for that particular requirement.
But why should Filipino voters not vote for her despite her advanced education? Because she violated the preamble of the same Constitution that says the Government among others should enjoy “the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule law and a regime of truth.”
Four times the former first daughter had been dishonest or untruthful with her educational credentials. In her Facebook post, she says, she is “one of the first female graduates from an Ivy League School — Princeton University, graduating with honors.” This was debunked by Princeton in the article, "Dear Brooke: Here's The Lowdown On Coping With Your New Role As A Princeton Freshman."
GOV. IMEE R. MARCOS
She also said she graduated “class valedictorian” at Santa Catalina, now Santa Catalina School, in Monterey, California. A spokesman of Santa Catalina denied this.
Ms. Marcos, 63, also claimed she graduated with a bachelors degree from the UP College of Law with honors as cum laude but a UP official says there is no record of graduation nor such honors for Ms. Marcos.
And last but not the least, Ms. Marcos also claimed she earned a Masters degree in Management and Business Administration (MA MBA) from the Asian Institute of Management but AIM has denied this claim.
If she could lie thru her teeth and will still be voted into office, what is the guarantee that she would not be honest or not truthful in her words and deeds when she becomes a senator? None to both.
When pressed further by Tina Marasigan on DZMM TeleRadyo, about her education credentials, Ms. Marcos sidestepped the question by saying, “The people are not very concerned. They're much more interested in prices of goods. If I can bring rice down to the price that they can afford, if I can actually provide jobs, if I can actually provide opportunities and I have new ideas for anti-terrorism and war, I think they're much more interested in that than in all these stories that keep circulating," Marcos said.”
Ms. Marcos, however, did not offer details on how she will reduce prices, provide jobs and offer ideas to fight anti-terrorism and avert war.
FORMER SEN. RAMON "BONG" REVILLA
This evasive response of Ms. Marcos is Machiavellian, who is a person who does everything, including lying and cheating in elections, just to get elected. The last I heard, if one cheats during the final exams in school, he either fails the course or is expelled or is told to go back to class as a repeater.
If she really wants to redeem herself from lying and lying, she should recognize her mistakes, not sidestep questions, promise not to repeat the same mistake, apologize, withdraw her candidacy and try again in the next elections.
If the Filipino people will vote for her despite her dishonesty, then, the voters are like teachers or proctors, who turn the other away to allow cheating.
There is only very narrow exception when dishonesty is allowed, according to Emmanuel Kant’s deontological (duty-based) theory — “telling a lie to prevent murder.” But if she does so to save her own skin, it is “immoral, criminal, and defenseless” in the words of New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano, a friend of President Trump.
FORMER SEN. JOSE "JINGGOY" ESTRADA
When hostage taker Roland Mendoza demanded that he be reinstated in the police service to end the hostage crises in 2010 at the Luneta (Rizal Park), Manila police Chief Rodolfo Magtibay committed a blunder for not agreeing to the “illegal demand.” According to the deontological theory, Magtibay could have just acceded verbally to the demand but he was not under obligation to fulfill the demand that was based on coercion and without free will if it meant to save the lives of eight Hong Kong tourists and Mendoza, who all died in the ensuing bloody siege.
This situation was aggravated when then-Mayor Alfredo Lim, who is running for mayor again, ordered Mendoza disarmed and “take (Mendoza's brother) to Tondo,” a euphemism for “salvaging or extra-judicial killing” and TV journalists Erwin Tulfo and Michael Rogas for doing a live broadcast of the police operation, instead of going off the air, causing Mandoza to panic and shooting his hostages. Tondo, Manila's district, has been a notorious killing field.
For this Imee Marcos fiasco, it’s about time Congress amend the Omnibus Election Code to enjoin the Commission on Elections to include in the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) of candidates their duplicate copies of their high school, college and other higher education diplomas and sign away waivers, allowing the public to verify their school records on demand.
A SENATORIAL CANDIDATE EXPELLED IN A U.S. HIGH SCHOOL FOR DRUG USE
A friend of mine who is friends with the caregiver of a former Filipino senator, who is also running for senator in the May 13, 2019 (May 12 Central Time) elections, told this columnist that this senatorial candidate, who was then attending the Alameda Unified (High) School District in Alameda, California in the late 70’s, was expelled from the school for drug use.
ATTY. MARCELINO "MAR" P. ARIAS
Since the COC does not require candidates to provide copies of their school records and waivers that allow the public to verify such information from the school without violating privacy acts, the public is barred from verifying the claims of candidates in their COC's. This in turn prohibits the public to make informed decision whether to vote or not vote these candidates. When this columnist verified the information from the said school, the school declined to confirm such derogatory information without waiver from the former senator and now a senatorial candidate.
BIRTH CERTIFICATES, WAIVERS SHOULD ALSO BE ATTACHED TO COC's
Congress should also require candidates to provide duplicate copies of their birth certificates in the COC's. It is a common knowledge that several former senators were born outside the Philippines. And to make sure that voters are given truthful information, candidates should also issue waivers in case somebody wants to verify the authenticity of the birth certificates on file at the Comelec and the Comelec should provide this to the public without the need for notifying the candidate about the request before providing the requested documents to the requesting party.
PRESIDENTIAL, VEEP CANDIDATES SHOULD PROVIDE DNA SAMPLES & WAIVERS IN COC's, TOO
And following then controversy during the 2016 presidential elections when Sen. Grace Poe (nothing personal here, I voted for Ms. Poe during the 2016 presidential election and I am going to vote for her again for senator next week; but this is for the next generation) was rumored to be the daughter of President Marcos, in order to steer away from similar controversy, Congress should also require presidential and vice presidential candidates to submit their DNA samples and the candidate should issue waiver to any voter to be allowed to obtain from the Comelec a specimen from the DNA samples for authentication of the veracity of the DNA.
REP. GARY ALEJANO
JURAT IN COC's SHOULD PROVIDE DQ, PERJURY WARNINGS
Aside from waivers, the COC's should provide on the jurat that any untruthful information in the COC is a ground for disqualification from holding public office and the candidate faces criminal charges of perjury in the event of supplying fraudulent information.
FOI, ANTI-POLITICAL DYNASTY, WHISTLE-BLOWER LAWS PRIORITY BILLS
This columnist will be voting for those candidates who will be sponsoring and co-sponsoring the Freedom of Information Act, the Anti-Political Dynasty Law and the Whistle-Blower Act that was already passed by the House of Representatives as Whistleblower Protection, Security and Benefit Act of 2011 and was pending as Senate Bill 1883 or the Whistle-blower’s Protection Act in the 13th Congress. This bill should reward private individuals by as much as 30% if their information can lead to the recovery or forfeiture in the amount of at least PHP5-million (US$96,000).
ONE IS ENOUGH
Re-electionist Manila Mayor Joseph Erap Estrada is my friend but I cannot vote for two of his sons — Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada and Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito — in the senate. I am a proponent of Anti-Political Dynasty Act and so is JV. But I find JV’s support of Anti-Political Dynasty Act as hypocrisy and self-serving by opposing, instead of withdrawing his own candidacy in favor of his brother, Jinggoy, who is seeking vindication in his Plunder case.
On one hand, I believe in the sincerity of Jinggoy when he told me in an interview that in case he wins in the race for senator but loses his Plunder case in court, he has no option but to step down. On the other hand, by discouraging Jinggoy to run, instead of supporting Jinggoy, JV is prejudging the Plunder case of Jinggoy, who is innocent unless proven otherwise. Since JV is behind in the polls, if he wants to cut the losses, he should withdraw in favor of Jinggoy and endorse Jinggoy to give substance to his Anti-Political Dynasty stand.
ANG NAGHAHANGAD NG KAGITNA, SAN SALOP ANG NAWAWALA!
If he does not withdraw, in keeping with the Filipino expression, “Ang naghahangad ng kagitna, san salop and mawawala” (one who craves for half, loses the whole rice container), both JV and Jinggoy might lose, which could also see the end of the presence of a Estrada-Ejercito in the senate. It’s sad.
SOCE & BANK WAIVERS BE INCLUDED IN COC's
Aside from the Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE), candidates should also attach their bank account numbers and waivers in their COC's that the public can demand if there are red flags of winning candidates enriching themselves and changing their life styles while in office. They should also return any excess money and resources they collected during their fundraising campaigns prior and during the elections to the treasurers of the party or party-list parties. The treasurers should be so bonded that if they run away with the assets of the party, the party can recover them from the bonding institutions.
Here’s PM's line-up for the senate:
No. 5 Ajejano, Gary LP (proponent of Freedom of Information Act and other progressive laws);
No. 8 Angara, Edgardo Sonny LDP (proponent of Whistle-Blower’s Protection Act);
No. 22 Colmenares, Neri MKBYN (proponent of Whistle-Blower’s Protection Act);
No. 29 Estrada, Jinggoy PMP (singled out and charged with Plunder Case after exposing the DAP/PDAF Scandal);
No. 21 Chong, Glenn KDP (a lawyer who vowed to unravel the Smartmatic-Comelec conspiracy and introduce reforms in the Comelec);
No. 37 Hilbay, Florin "Pilo" T. Aksyon (who championed the Western Philippine Sea issue in The Hague);
No. 12 Arias, Marcelino WPP (an articulate and charismatic lawyer and long-time friend of mine who is an advocate for Freedom of Information Act):
No. 9 Aquino, Benigno Bam (LP) (Proponent of Anti-Political Dynasty Law);
No. 25 Diokno, Chel LP (Human rights lawyer);
No. 55. Poe, Grace IND (proponent of Freedom of Information Act);
No. 62 Villar, Cynthia NP (signatory to the Senate Resolution No. 518 condemning Extra Judicial Killings);
No. 59 Tanada, Lorenzo Erin Tapat LP (Human Rights Lawyer).
For Party-List party, I am voting for No. 87 Buhay, whose No. 1 nominee is my friend and re-electionist, former Manila Mayor and former Environment and Natural Resources Sec. Lito Atienza, Jr.
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