Espinoza: Constitution should prevail

PDP-Laban presidential bet and Davao City Mayor Digong Duterte was again in his element when he asked Mindanaonons, during his campaign sortie on Sunday, to kill him if he fails to resolve crime and corruption within six months if he is elected president.

Duterte seems fixated with the number 6. Previous to this, he promised to resolve the Muslim conflict and the NPA rebellion within six months. What’s in number 6? Does he believe in superstition? Or, is it about his health?

Mr. Mayor Digong, you are presenting an impossible condition, something that Tagalogs call as “suntok sa buwan.” In the event you’re elected (tabokon pa ang pito ka lawod as Torni Frank puts it) no one is stupid enough, with all the PSG around you, to shoot you if you fail in your promises.

The easiest way, and more doable promise, I suppose, is for you to jump to the Pasig River from the window of Malacañang. Nothing personal Mayor Digong, but I think voters who think like I do would vote for you if you fail in your promise to jump into this polluted river.

Digong used Davao City’s peaceful and orderly state as template in his bid to live in Malacañang after the May 9, 2016 elections. But you know Mr. Mayor, your promises have put all Filipinos in bad light internationally. You have portrayed us as a bunch of criminals.

But in fairness, the feisty mayor made our fishermen happy when he promised to protect our maritime resources and crack down on illegal fishers and unregulated and unreported fishing, especially from foreign vessels.

So, illegal fishers, small or big, watch out. Digong said those caught will be penalized severely and “they will wriggle like fish caught on dry land.” Wow! It’s a tough job for a president running after illegal fishers in our unguarded vast oceans on board a kumpit.

If Digong and Allan Cayetano are elected president and vice president, respectively, Cayetano could be the happiest VP as he might be performing the other duties and obligations of his president, who would be busy doing police work.

***

Associate Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen chose the popular route than what is legal and what the Constitution says in discussing the citizenship issue of Sen. Gracie Poe-Llamanzares in a hearing before the High Court.

The Honorable Justice Leonen even talked about his personal life, that he grew up without a father. In discussing the rights of foundlings, Leonen said the SC magistrates should be “justices” not just “legalists.”

Perhaps, like me, many were surprised at the question thrown by Justice Leonen during the oral argument. He appeared to support the lady senator even if she is not a natural-born Filipino and she has not yet reached the 10 years residency requirement.

“This court should first evolve a doctrine that we should allow first the people to decide and then we become the final arbiter should there be a contest. Is that not contemplated in the Constitution today?” said Leonen.

Leonen is a former dean of the UP College of Law and now the youngest member of the SC. Being in the High Court, he is more than presumed to support and defend the Constitution, which is our Fundamental Law.

For Justice Leonen to say that we should let the people decide first on Poe-Llamanzares’s fate, meaning she can run as presidential candidate even if she is facing disqualification issues on her citizenship and residency, and the Comelec or SC would only decide later on those issues is like telling us to do away with the Constitution.

This is the first time the SC will decide on the fate of children born with unknown parents and who run for the highest office of the land in relation to the Constitution’s minimum requirements that only natural-born Filipinos and residents for 10 years are qualified to seek the post.

Yesterday, the SC continued the oral argument on the petition of Poe-Llamanzares against Comelec, which cancelled her certificate of candidacy for president because of her material misrepresentation that she is a natural-born Filipino and is a resident here for 10 years and 11 months.

(freezone.ellie588@gmail.com)
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