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President very popular with the poor

/ 04:48 AM December 15, 2011

People who root for President Noy in his quarrel with Chief Justice Renato Corona don’t know the consequences of giving too much power to the executive branch and emasculating the judiciary.

A super-powerful presidency leads to a dictatorship.

People apparently have short memories, forgetting the dark years of martial law.

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During those unlamented years, the nation had a president who vested himself with the power of the legislative by issuing laws through decrees, a rubber-stamp legislature and a timid judiciary.

We now have a president who holds the House of Representatives by the nose and wants to make the Supreme Court bow to his every wish.

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We should take heed of Sen. Joker Arroyo’s description of P-Noy.

Arroyo (no relation to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) said the President was on his way “to becoming an autocrat like (Marcos).”

Arroyo knows whereof he speaks because he fought the Marcos dictatorship.

If the octogenarian senator, who was executive secretary in the Cory Aquino administration, sees a similarity between Noynoy Aquino and Marcos, we better believe him.

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Why is the President so popular?

The poor, who are mostly respondents in popularity surveys, approve of P-Noy’s performance, even if he’s a mediocre president, because he gives them cash doles through his administration’s poverty-alleviation program.

You can’t also blame the poor for siding with the President in his fight with the Chief Justice, the head of the courts of the land, because justice in this country mostly favors the rich over poor litigants.

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Okay, the judiciary is corrupt, the reason most people are siding with the President in his quarrel with Corona, but more so are the executive and legislative branches of government.

Everybody’s tainted because corruption is a social cancer.

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Members of the three-man panel investigating the alleged kidnapping-for-ransom of a Japanese national, Noriyo Ohara, by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) couldn’t believe what they were hearing from witnesses.

The witnesses recounted how NBI agents haggled for the amount of ransom to be paid for the release of Ohara, an undocumented alien.

The panel, led by Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III, was formed by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima after I brought Ohara’s kidnapping-for-ransom case to her attention.

There is no way that those implicated in the kidnapping—Mario Garcia, chief of the NBI’s security management division (SMD); Jose Odellon Cabillan, SMD executive officer and agents Virgilio Gutierrez; and Chona Espina—would go scot-free after what the witnesses told the panel.

Cousins Glenda Marzan and Tina Marzan Vinluan told the panel they negotiated with the NBI kidnappers on the amount of ransom.

Glenda and Vinluan’s family took Ohara under their wing after she left Japan to escape the wrath of the Yakuza that had killed her father and was now after her.

The NBI agents learned of Ohara’s illegal entry into the country three years ago. They arrested and detained her for more than a month while waiting for the ransom to be paid.

The Marzan family came to me after they were told by the NBI agents that they couldn’t get Ohara back even if they are able to come up with  the P15-million ransom in full because they were deporting her to Japan.

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TAGS: Abduction, Benigno Aquino III, Immigration, NBI, Noriyo Ohara
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