By Raïssa Robles
Juan Ponce Enrile, 88, has been a senator since 1987.
Taking into account two terms when he wasn’t elected he has sat in office a total of 17 years. He is now on his fourth term.
He has been Senate President for only four years – since November 17, 2008. Perhaps before that his fellow senators didn’t want to entrust Enrile, long linked to coup plots, with such a powerful position until he became safely old.
Even so, managing to stay as Senate President for four years is still a feat. That ranks him the third longest-serving official in that post since 1987, after Senators Franklin Drilon and Jovito Salonga.
He has made good on his election campaign slogan – Gusto ko happy ka [I want you to be happy].
He has kept everyone at the Senate happy – from the janitors to the senators in the minority bloc.
Lately, though, the Senate has been awash with reports that some senators were no longer happy with his leadership. Enrile has dismissed this as a “silly rumor” but said he was ready to stand aside anytime.
Later, I will discuss why this is likely to happen sooner than later.
But first, let me explain the peculiarities of the Senate Presidency.
The position is notoriously unstable: a Senate President is elected when he obtains 12 votes of his fellow senators, in addition to his own vote. The average shelf life of a Philippine senate president is one to two years only. The holder of the office has no fixed term and can be replaced anytime.
And for this reason, using the word “coup” to describe a turnover is not legally correct. Because a coup denotes an illegal removal. The media uses the term anyway because it’s shorter and more headline-grabbing.
The Senate President is powerful
The Philippine Senate is somewhat patterned after that of the United States but in the US, Senate “coups” never happen because the elected Vice-President automatically becomes Senate President. It appears to me that in the US, whoever is the VP-partner of the winning President is the one who gets elected.
The framers of the 1987 Philippine Constitution never adopted that set-up, perhaps because in our presidential system a Vice-President may come from the elected President’s rival party. If the VP automatically gets the Senate Presidency, that would skew the balance of power in government.
The Senate Presidency has the potential of making its occupant the second most politically powerful official in the land, depending on the force of his personality and the post’s built-in powers.
The Senate President has the following powers under the Constitution, the chamber’s own rules, practices and tradition:
- He has a big say on what laws and treaties the chamber should approve.
- He sets the political tone to take toward the President. His criticisms or praise of the President and his actions are carried on prime-time news.
- He controls the use of Senate funds.
- As ex-officio chairman of the bicameral Commission on Appointments, he has a big say on which presidential appointments are confirmed.
- He co-presides in impeaching a president and solely presides in impeachment all other impeachable officials.
The office could turn the occupant into a household name, making him a viable candidate for the presidency. The first-ever Senate President – Manual Quezon – became the first Philippine President under the American Commonwealth Period.
Seven other Senate Presidents in our history tried to use the office as a stepping stone to the presidency but only one – Ferdinand Marcos (1963-1965) succeeded. The rest failed: Jose Avelino (1946-1949), Jovito Salonga (1987 – 1991), Edgardo Angara (1993-1995), Ernesto Maceda (1996 – 1998), Aquilino Pimentel Jr. (2000-2001), Manuel Villar (2006 – November 2008).
I asked a veteran Senate insider, whom I will call “Omega”, when and why Senate Presidents get unceremoniously removed by their peers. Omega replied:
Whenever we had a Senate President with ambition for higher office or who was magulang (unfair) in the use of Senate funds.
Why Enrile replaced Villar
When Enrile replaced Villar on November 17, 2008, Omega said it was because Enrile was perceived by colleagues to be Villar’s exact opposite. Recall that before the housing magnate-turned-politician was unseated, Senator Jamby Madrigal had accused Villar of, among others,
allegedly using his position of power and authority to influence public officials in relocating the C-5 Road Extension Project to deliberately pass thru his properties…redounding in huge benefits for him to the detriment of the Filipino people thereby resulting in a blatant conflict of interest.
Villar dismissed this as a lie, but Enrile himself testified in a Senate probe that Villar had used his office to “earmark” P200 million in the 2008 national budget for the C-5 road project.
In his newly-issued autobiography, Juan Ponce Enrile: A Memoir, Enrile justified his action against “my friend Villar… (as) just part of the political landscape in the run-up to the presidential elections of 2010.”
Enrile’s long-time political ally and friend, Joseph Estrada, was running for president again. The two went back a long way – back to when they formed the Grand Alliance for Democracy (GAD) Party in 1987 and won Senate seats.
Enrile is a nimble survivor of political disasters. He lost his first Senate run in 1971 but returned to power as the dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ defense chief and Martial Law administrator for 14 years. In 1986, he eluded arrest for allegedly plotting against Marcos by going over to the camp of opposition leader Corazon Aquino. When the Marcoses fled, he became her defense secretary as part of the deal. Later accused of also trying to topple Mrs Aquino, he made himself politically invincible by winning a Senate seat.
Enrile is used to political intrigues. In his memoir, he revealed how he dealt with one that catapulted him to the Senate Presidency. He recalled that:
Around late September 2008, Senate President Manuel “Manny” Villar talked to me and to Senator Honasan. He said that a group of Senators were actively seeking his ouster as Senate President and he identified some of those involved in the effort – Senators Loren Legarda, Mar Roxas, Jamby Madrigal, and Ping Lacson.
In so many small conversations that we had, Manny Villar had said that he did not believe any move to oust him would succeed unless I myself got involved. I knew that he was thinking that if I was interested in the senate presidency, some variables in the equation could change, perhaps because of my relationship with Greg Honasan and the Estradas and to the other Senators as well. I assured him that I had no interest in taking the senate presidency…
Reading that last line made me imagine a purring cat, moments before lunging at a mouse. Because barely two months after Villar and Enrile started talking, Enrile had displaced him.
Villar only lasted two years; Enrile is about to complete his fourth year in the post.
How did he do that?
My guess is that he took his election campaign slogan to heart – Gusto ko, happy ka (I want you to be happy.)
Enrile’s happy moments
During his first Christmas as Senate President, he wowed all senate employees with a generous cash gift of P60,000 each, Omega told me. Every Christmas thereafter has been equally wonderful.
In contrast, the Christmas bonus during the Senate Presidency of Villar and Franklin Drilon was only P40,000 each and P26,000 each, respectively.
Omega also revealed that each employee gets an additional monthly allowance of around P10,000 on top of salaries. And Enrile “donated” P50 million pesos to the Senate Employees Fund.
His Senate peers, who fondly address him as Manong Johnny, are recipients, too. Enrile shares with them his own allocation from the Countrywide Development Fund, or pork barrel.
Unlike some previous Senate Presidents who showered their protegés in the Senate with more CDF, Enrile has not openly played favorites but has released senators’ funds in an equitable manner.
Omega’s revelations were confirmed by a Philippine Daily Inquirer story last Friday entitled Enrile may lose senate presidency anytime says senate insider. Veteran political reporter Cathy Yamsuan wrote that –
Fears of a Senate coup remain a hot topic among the chamber’s employees. A common sentiment is that Senate workers like Enrile because he is generous with year-end bonuses for them.
Yamsuan indicated that the plot against Enrile had moved beyond talk and a headcount was underway.
Ironically, it seems things are coming to a full circle for Enrile. Because it is Villar – who recently made an alliance with President Aquino’s Liberal Party – who may yet deliver the death blow to Enrile’s Senate Presidency.
Enrile, in his memoir, recalled that the magic number for replacing a senate president was 13. He said –
I always maintained that whoever had 13 votes would be Senate President. In that sense, the senate presidency has no fixed term. There is no other way to look at it, except if a majority of the senators were committed to such an ‘arrangement’.
But why replace Enrile who has made the Senate such a happy place to work?
I can think of 5 reasons
First, the 2013 electoral battle is shaping up to be a fight between:
- the bloc of Enrile, Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Vicente Sotto, Vice-President Jejomar Binay and Joseph Estrada
- against that of President Benigno Aquino III and Senators Villar (Nacionalista Party) and Angara (LDP)
Politicians of all stripes maintain that whichever political bloc attains control of the two chambers of Congress would have a head-start in the 2016 presidential race.
Second, whoever controls the Senate can damage political rivals with high-profile Senate investigations on corruption. It was what the Enrile-Estrada group did to Villar in early 2010, ahead of the presidential polls.
Third, the Senate President controls the legislative agenda. Enrile has been blocking the passage of a Reproductive Health Law and has been pushing for a highly watered down tax on liquor and tobacco. His bailiwick is the tobacco producing province of Cagayan.
Fourth, the Senate President controls the chamber’s sizable discretionary funds. You’d be amazed how much of the Senate’s money – OUR money – get disbursed without any itemized post-audit.
And fifth, when Congress goes on recess for the elections next year, the following 12 senators whose terms will expire in 2016 will be left as hold-overs in the chamber:
Enrile, Sotto and Jinggoy Estrada, who currently hold the top Senate leadership.
Three from the Liberal Party – Franklin Drilon, Teofisto “TG” Guingona III and Recto
Two from the Nacionalista Party – Pia Cayetano and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos
Two from Lakas Party – Bong Revilla and Lito Lapid
And two Independents – Miriam Santiago and Sergio Osmeña
If Enrile stays on as Senate President – the way he did during the post-2010 election period – this could enhance his chances of getting re-elected to the same post when the new Congress convenes in July 2013. This would mean the Senate would continue to be controlled by the Enrile-Jinggoy-Sotto- Binay bloc.
This is not a palatable prospect for the presidential palace.
But, you might ask – does it really matter to the nation which bloc controls the Senate?
But right now it doesn’t, because whichever bloc controls it has no genuine political reform in mind. For instance, neither the Binay nor the Aquino bloc is prepared to enact a law barring political dynasties, in order to implement this 1987 Constitutional provision.
Chris A. says
I am is surprised the amount of budget allotted to the Senate President office and there was no check and balance taking place. No wonder it open up to commit an illegal act of corruption.
Senate Employees and Senators receiving 50k each as a christmas anobonus? That is almost a year salary ng mga k gustasambahay.
Wow way too generous on the part of the Senate President. Famous slogan of JPE Gusto ko happy ka. Pag gusto ko happy ka meron ka bonus, pag ayaw ko sau wala ka. Gaya ng nangyari kay Senators Allan and Pia Cayetano, Trillanes, and with all people Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago. hahaha. I heard JPE donated 50 million pesos to the Senate Employees Funds. Is that came out of his own pocket or sa KABAN NG BAYAN.
My gosh Mr. Senate President SHAME ON YOU. Spending Filipino peoples money extravagantly.No wonder there are lots of corrupt officials there is no ACCOUNTABILITY and NO CHECK AND BALANCE.They receive the funding with no receipts and justification on the expenses that open up for illegal act being committed. System must be change to close the lid for corruptions.
I never like JPE during Marcos regime wherein he is the architect of the Martial Law being imposed. I changed my mind during the Thief Justice Corona’s impeachment trial where he presided and ousted Corona. Now this BANGAYAN sa Senado starring Senator Allan Cayetano who let JPE ang his Chief of Staff and rumored mistress have it and spilled the beans on whats going on.
It is very disturbing, funding to the Senate has been doubled. Who approve it to begin with?
Senator Allan Cayetano is right to hire an independent auditing firm to audit and hopefully it will clarifies if there is a corruption going on. If there is nothing to hide, have it audited with a credible auditing firm.
In a DEMOCRAZY government, where technicality prevails over morality, DYNASTY is an issue we can’t win. Our politician has no more moral values, they use the word TECHNICALITY OF LAW, to defend themselves, ANYONE REMAIN INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY UNDER THE COURT OF LAW. that’s it… Prove them they are guilty, by what means,? under our slow moving judicial system? It’s a pity they are even the co-partners of our corrupt public officials. With high profile lawyers under their sleeves, all the technicality to delay, and prolong the presentation of evidence, hurray , it would take a lifetime before a case shall be heard. CHANGE THE SYSTEM, by what means? Can anybody out there share ideas…
Victin Luz says
Socialism I think will do
Victin Luz says
Limitation of ownership on a certain degree and afterwards COOPERATIVE will play dominion on businesses especially those pertaining to basic commodities like water, electricity, transportation and banks.
Political dynasty must be prohibited or redefine the same and illegal gambling must also be eradicated.
ed celis says
Time have changed, before people are afraid to speak up against these FAKE PUBLIC SERVANTS. NOW its the CYBER AGE where people can expose these CRIMINALS IN POWER of their CRIMES…. Mga PILIPINO lang ang MAGBABAGO ng MARUMING LIPUNAN.
HUWAG MATAKOT, IPAGLABAN ANG KINABUKASAN NANG MGA KABATAAN TUNGO SA KAUNLARAN AT MABUTING PAMUMUHAY. SA MABUTI LANG HINDE SA MASAMA…
It hurts to know the truth, but can we really change the system? I guess it would take us another 100 years to make it happen. We have to analyze our political structures first, Is there really a defined technical and moral requirements for a citizen of the Philippines to be an elected officials to a particular position ? Yes? the law says, A natural born Filipino citizens, of a required age and no more, You don’t need to be educated, you don’t need to be experienced , the worst is even convicted criminals are allowed, even grafters, now we are talking about dynasty, these people are shameless, but who are to be blame? EVILS TRIUMPH WHEN GOOD MEN DO NOTHING..
agree then we should formalize our advocacy now. can we start to sign up on facebook and call ourselves ____ so there will be lobbying for social change like anti-dynasty in action, anti-corruption in action which may tour schools, communities powered up by volunteers?
Thanks Marithefrancois, honestly I am an illiterate in this computer world, all I know is how to open and make comments on Raissa blog, I find it very informative, fair and where intellectual people convene to voice out their own personal opinion. If you can lead it ,just teach me how to start with and I am very willing to be with your ideas. Kontrapilo
Interesting comment of Federico Pascual
POSTSCRIPT, The Philippine Star Updated October 18, 2012
REJECT DYNASTIES: Even in the absence of an enabling law that the Big Boys in the Congress refuse to pass despite a constitutional command, THE PEOPLE KNOW the candidates of political dynasties whose only claim to eligibility is the family name they carry.
In a nation of almost 100 million only a dozen old political clans and another dozen emerging dynasties — some of them celebrity creations — continue to run our private lives and run away with public funds.
We cannot just watch helplessly as key government posts are passed on to politicians’ wives, children, siblings and close relatives as if these were family possessions.
We know who the candidates of dynasties are. In protest, LET’S NOT VOTE FOR THEM — especially those running for Senate and House seats. Let’s also campaign against them.
very good point and a great idea! the question is – how you would able to disseminate these information NOT TO VOTE for these dynasty to rural areas whom they only heard of like the MARCOSES…ARROYO’S…REVILLA’s…and now the PACQUIAOs? I mean these are people who have means and ways to do ka-EPALAN CAMPAIGN and ipamud-mud sa mga mahihirap ang mga pera nila at lalo na sa liblib na probinsya? I think there are still good politicians and really good public servants who wants to help but because they’re not well-known or not even endorsed by a good and willing to let-go-of-their-position politician to a new breed ones, they won’t be heard nor even be known… hence.. TRAPO na lang ng TRAPO … ;(
jorge bernas says
Tama ka anton at napakasakit isipin at halos hindi na katanggap tanggap pero kapit TUKO pa rin itong mga TRAPO/Political Dynasties at kapal mukha na patuloy na handang maglingkod daw pero ang totoo ay pansariling kasakiman ang kanilang iniisip at tayong mga mamboboto ay patuloy na nagpauto/nagbenta nang sagradong BOTO dahil din sa ating sariling kasakiman, karamihan sa atin ay naging sakim na rin sa kakarampot na napagbentahan nang ating sagradong BOTO. Nakakahiya at Nakakadiri na tayong mga nagbenta nang sagradong BOTO….Sana lang sa susunod na election ay mamulat na tayong mga botante sa kahalagahan nang ating sagradong BOTO at Huwag nang ibenta sa magkano mang halaga ang ibigay sa ating, sana matoto na tayo sa mga nagdaang halalan na ang Politikong bumibili nang BOTO ay sa ano mang paraan ay babawiin nila ang ginastos sa pagbili nang BOTO at kasama pa ang TUBO/interes…
NO TO VOTE BUYING…IBOTO ANG KANDIDATONG MAKA-DIYOS AT MAKA-TAO na HANDANG MAGLINGKOD nang TOTOO katulad ni sec. JESSIE ROBREDO. Amen…..
ed celis says
@ jorge, VOTE BUYING is part of the Election process. Sa Bicol ang tactic nang mga MADADAYANG CANDIDATO ay, at the eve of election day, they go house to house in the evening until morning BUYING VOTES. They BUY the POOR FAMILIES, TEACHERS WHO ARE ASSIGNED TO COUNT VOTES…PAANO MAHIHINTO ANG DAYAAN NA ITO KUNG ANG COMELEC AY BULAG AT BINGI SA VOTE BUYING, SABAGAY SI SILA MISMO AY NABIBILI!!!
jorge bernas says
@ ed celis,
Sa aking nakikita at palagay ay hindi bulag at bingi ang taga comelec at tayong mga mamamamayan sadya nga lang nagbubulag bulagan at nagbingi bingihan para rin sa pansariling kasakiman. Aminin sana natin na lahat tayo ay may sariling kasakiman diba? Ang mga Obispo na akala natin ay mga banal pero sila pa pala ang may mga kasakiman na hindi natin alam tulad nang pagtanggap nila noon nang SUV na galing sa illegal at immoral na paraan. Ang presidente na pinatalsik noon, ngayon ay pilit bumalik dahil sa hindi maipaliwanag na dahilan? baka may nakalimutan? Ang anak nang dating presidente at naging presidente at nanalong congresswoman na maganda naman ang buhay ay nahaharap sa kasong pandarambong at pandaraya ngayon, ito ay maliwanag na dahil sa kasakiman. Sana matoto na tayong lahat na ang sobrang kasakiman ay walang magandang idudulot bagkus ito pa ang magbabaon sa ating sa libingan nang kahihiyan at kalungkutan…Therefore… NO TO VOTE BUYING…..AMEN….
“NO” to VOTE BUYING…. HUWAG IPAGBILI ANG SAGRADONG BOTO…
‘not unhealthy’ should be not healthy
I was waiting for Enrile to show sincerity by declaring that Political Dynasty is immoral and not unhealthy in the governance of the country. He disappointed me and the Filipinos who thought highly of him handling the Corona Impeachment Trial. I think he knows that fielding Jackie is wrong but their survival and hunger for power outweighs the delicadeza of a person who is nearing the twilight of his life.
Let us look at the Senate. Remember the time when Jinggoy and his mom, Loi served as Senators at the same time? It was the product of revolt and show of Masa’s disgust when Erap was toppled. That was the beginning of other Senators toying with the idea of copying the precedent established by the Estradas.
Cayetano siblings, Alan Peter and Pia successfully pushed the envelope and prove that next Delicadeza is not the name of the game in the Senate.
Imagine in 2013 we have these families in the Senate:
Current Senatorial Candidates
A.Candidates with Family Member in the Current Senate
Johnny and Jackie Enrile (Father and Son)
Jinggoy and JV Ejercito/Estrada (Step Brothers)
Alan Peter and Pia (Brother and Sister)
Juan Edgardo Angara (Edgardo Angara’s Son)
Cynthia Villar (Manny Villar’s Wife)
B.Candidates with Family Member at the executive Branch
Bam Aquino (President Noynoy Aquino’s Nephew)
Nancy Binay (Daughter of VP Binay)
To send the message that we don’t condone this pungent and repulsive setup, please don’t vote for these candidates. We are sending a wrong message if even one of these candidates make it to the Senate. I know that many here in the Raissa’s blog will defend Bam’s inclusion, but we need to call a spade a spade.
Sa tingin ko dumarami na rin ang marurunong na mga botante at alam nila na may mali sa ganitong situasyon kung ang magkapamilya ay nasa Senado. Hindi na talino ang unang katangian na kailngan sa Senado kundi ang KARAKTER at pagkatao ng kandidato. Kung sa simula pa lang ay halang na at pagkagahaman sa kapangyarihan ang ipinapakita, dapat hindi sila iboto.
NAKAKASUKA NA ANG MGA KANDIDATO NATIN NA FEELING ENTITLED NA DAPAT MAMANA ANG POSISYON SA SENADO O MAPILI DAHIL KAMAGANAK NG PRESIDENTE AT BISE PRESIDENTE!
Bam Aquino should be included to be EXCLUDED! All of them should NOT BE VOTED FOR the offices they are running for!
Whether it can be true that there is a good reason or reasons, DISCARD THOSE REASON OR REASONS! It is the “after the elections” that starts to reveal the MISTAKE WAS MADE!
No Vote For Them No Mistake Then!
SELECT OTHER GOOD CANDIDATES! That will be my GUIDE.
If UNA’s senatorial bets are all rejects, there’s not much left then. Then Administration ticket would be a better choice. Besides, the President will need all the support necessary to advance his objectives for the amelioration of the Filipino people.
My selection would be: Risa; Bam; Koko; Jamby; Jun Magsaysay…in that order, and I’ll include all the rest with a heavy heart. If an independent candidate emerged to be worth considering, chiz and Loren would be a tossed up for exclusion.
“President will need all the support necessary to advance his objectives for the amelioration of the Filipino people.”
As a general rule, I say no to political dynasty. But Bam Aquino is an exception to the rule, if ever he belongs to a political dynasty. To me, political dynasty is limited to direct ascendants and descendants, siblings and spouses.
For purposes of the 2013 elections only, I suggest that we set aside the political dynasty issue and vote for any candidate whom we think would support Pnoy’s reform programs at all times. No for those with doubtful agenda and all UNA senatorial candidates.
bam aquino is not in the league of political-dynasty-kamaganak.
that’s calling a spade a spade!
there is an article in the PDI today, 20th of October, 2012 entitled “Cagayan anti-mining leader arrested over Facebook Post” by Melvin Gascon. This leader was ordered arrested by a certain Judge Tabaco with the aid of NBI agents and wasn’t even allowed to change her clothes or clean herself and was just taken to a waiting car to her cell where she stayed overnight and released after posting 10,0000 Pesos bail. and i thought there was a TRO on Cyberlaw. and this remark she made on her Facebook was on May 2011. Di ba Enrile country ang Cagayan?
Victin Luz says
Alamin munaman ang detalye kung papaano inaresto and Kung mayroon pang ibang pangyayari.
Johnny Lin says
The complainant is the mayor, the prosecutor is from DOJ, the arresting officers are NBI.
Precisely, the fear on the excessive use of power by enforcers and abuse by onion skin politicians. Despite TRO, the 3 powers connived to implement against a hapless netizen.
Perfect example of what everybody against the law has predicted to occur.
Sotto, Angara, Enrile, De Lima and Pre Aquino should be proud over this incident for endorsing the cybercrime law. Responsible prosecutor and NBI agents must be punished by DOJ while the mayor must be investigated bybRoxas DILG if he forcef or used his power to violate the TRO.
In justifying the insertion of online libel, Sotto explained:
“Now, with this in mind, I hope the Sponsor could include the following in addition to contempt-related (sic) 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.”
In other words, according to Sotto cybercrime offenses including online libel are not covered by the Revised Penal Code (RPC) although there is a libel provision in the said code. So that he caused the insertion of online libel in R.A. 10175 (cybercrime law).
Clearly, the intent and spirit of R.A. 10175 was to make online libel among punishable acts. Needless to say, it was because online libel was not penalized by the RPC. Since the RPC does not penalize online libel and R.A. 10175, which purportedly punishes online libel, is not yet in effect because of a TRO, there is no basis to prosecute Esperlita Garcia for libel either under the RPC or the cybercrime law.
Just a note. The US vice president’s role in the US Senate is only to vote in case of a deadlock. He has no other duties and powers. It is the senate majority leader who calls the shots in that chamber. However I don’t know if he is also controls the chamber’s purse strings in the same way as our senate president. So in effect there is no Senate president in the US. Only a senate majority leader.
Johnny Lin says
Office of the president controls Congress budget yearly by submiiting an annual allocation. Congress has each own budget committee on how to divide the funds because allocation depends on the size of the state,
Additional annual spending are called discretionary funds appropriated yearly by filing a bill.
Unlike in the Philippines there are no autonomous funds controlled by House speaker, Senate president or chief justice.
Philippine constitution mandated the possibility of corrupt practices in 3 branches of government with discretionary autonomous funds without itemized audit by COA.
Even the governor and directors of Bangko Sentral have wide latitude on how to dispense their funds.
No wonder corruption is a Filipino culture, embedded in the constitution.
In the U.S. there is only one source of funds and salaries of all government employees. The salary of the president down to the driver comes from the U.S. Treasury Department. Auditing is easy and transparent, designed to prevent corruption. Johnny Lin is right about the corruption which was designed in the system…
Thanks for the explanation
Also, the vote for the president is also a vote for his running mate.
By the way Manuel, I could see some merit in embracing a Parliamentary form of government for the Philippines, if the term of the Prime Minister shall be limited to 8 years.
daisy daisy says
i pray that this blog/site be protected.pag nawala pa ito ,paano na tayo?it’s where i get the most reliable news and informations about thick-skinned politicians who have amazing staying power.good job po,ma’am raissa and thank you!
I will attribute the success, or shall I say the endurance, of Senator Enrile’s political career less on his political acumen and popularity but more on his being a direct beneficiary of the dismantling of our political leadership by President Marcos during the martial law era.
By imprisoning prominent national leaders such as Senators Ninoy Aquino, Jose Diokno, Jovito Salonga, Sergio Osmena III, (just to name a few, etc.) and persecuting countless others, Marcos effectively wiped out the political opposition and put a lid on the rise of a new breed of young national leaders. This created a big political leadership vacuum when Marcos was finally thrown out of power – none could step up to the plate that had the leadership qualities and nationalistic fervor of a Ninoy Aquino, or a Jose Diokno, or a Lorenzo Tanada, and their peers.
Cory Aquino who was subsequently catapulted to the presidency by the People’s Power revolution was a newcomer and a reluctant politician. She lacked the political structure to carry on her newly found mandate, and thus found it a necessary evil to work with some of the old guards, like Enrile, to restore our democracy and put some sense of stability on our pledging government post martial law.
But by then political patronage, opportunism, cronyism, plunder, and corruption that flourish during the martial law era have become widespread and deeply-rooted in our political fiber because of the moral decay in our national politics.
Gone were the days when political parties were distinguished from each other by their platform of government – now they are distinguished by personalities. Now, our new breed of politicians are the likes of Sotto, Estrada, Revilla, Lapid, Recto, etc.
I wonder what Enrile’s political career would look like had Marcos not declared martial law, or had Enrile not been its architect.
“……..the 2013 electoral battle is shaping up to be a fight between:
the bloc of Enrile, Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Vicente Sotto, Vice-President Jejomar Binay and Joseph Estrada
against that of President Benigno Aquino III and Senators Villar (Nacionalista Party) and Angara (LDP)”
Kawawa na naman ang Pilipinas kapag namayagpag ang bloc ni Enrile-Binay-Estrada hindi lang sa 2013 kundi maging sa 2016.
There must be a dark horse or dark horses that would advocate ethical leadership and real good governance.
Binay claims he is the dark horse.
A “horse” that can travel “in the dark” needs “no light.” What is it? Don’t “ride” on one!
Only the saddle will survive!
edgardo m. oreta says
Just signed up for your postings. Pleasure to read an intelligent article.
Thanks. My pleasure to have you on board.
Stupid question : Is there a mandatory retirement age for politicians to serve in an official capacity ie senator,congressman, governor ,etc ….. And if there is none, why not ?
It’s not a stupid question.
There is no retirement age for politicians. It’s death do us part.
There is no retirement age because politicians make all the rules of our political game :)
The people should put one! If SC justices have it, why not? If Executive employees have it, why not? Even priests have it! Then put limits on politicians that limit!
When the “salt” starts to dissolve, there is no more salt. Things and human included, once in a while, do not always give more good excellence but the opposite is.
Even God “retired” on the Seventh Day!
vander anievas says
like the senators(and other lower positions), they are limited to 3 terms. the problem is, after completing 3 terms, one will run as ,let’s say, mayor or governor, and so on. you see, even a former president shamelessly ran for congress, and again for 2013. this sad state is already a vicious cycle. a law stopping this opportunism will be a long shot to pass…
Why Philippine politics is ‘BULOK ” kasi pilit nating ginagaya Kano na bulok sistema.Kaso sobrang kapal ng mukha ng Pinoy politicians kahit kawalanghiyaan na ginagawa papogi pa rin feeling malinis pwe !!! . Mas mabuti pa nong Marcos time walang makaporma puro Ilocano nga lang na ganid . Tingin ko dapat balasahin na sistema ng pulitika,comes Pinoy na mas malala pa sa ina nya binenta tayo sa comunista tapos sya binenta tayo sa terrorista. Saan tayo papunta Civil War?
@rafraf… Most probably, into SLAVERY! Yan ang puputahan natin.
maghunos dili ka. rafraf ka ng rafraf eh…baka atakihin ka.