Biyernes, Agosto 12, 2016

The SEAL and the Helmet

BY JACKIE JEAN ESTANISLAO ASPIRAS
I never met the man —I got introduced to his helmet instead.
And the sight of his helmet on the ground was one of the most heartbreaking images I have ever seen.
The hyphen was already there, he was just one line short —he was gone one day too early.
I never met the warrior — but I have learned of his many courageous deeds, how he had fought fiercely, how he had saved a number of his comrades numerous times by putting his own life on the line.
CPL EDUARDO C SAQUING was the fierce gunner of the Naval Special Operations Group’s NAVSOU8 (Philippines' version of the U.S Navy's SEAL). He has been known to mark his helmet with the number of days he spends in a battle. Saquing made his last stand in Barangay Santa Catalina, Zamboanga City last September 2013. He fought along side his other special operations brothers against rogue Moro National Liberation Front elements for fifteen days. The number on his helmet was just a day short of the liberation of Zamboanga. A day short of being hailed as one of the heroes of what is considered one of the most successful military rescues in the world.
He was a hero — but one gone too soon.
FACELESS HERO
I stared at the image of his helmet on my laptop screen, and for more than five minutes I was just sobbing alone in the library, staring at the hyphen, wishing for just one more line — then this story wouldn’t have to be written, there wouldn’t have to be any orphan left behind, there wouldn’t have to be any flag-draped casket being sent home.
But what was more heartbreaking was I asked for a picture of the man, to supplement the story we were writing — his unit was not able to send one. They couldn’t find one.

What if Duterte declares Martial Law, adopts new Constitution

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

After my recent radio program where I discussed President Rod Duterte threatened Supreme Court Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno that he will declare martial law unless the chief magistrate stop foisting a constitutional crisis, some members of social media Face Book’s community page react to my opinion where I said that Duterte can declare military rule with the high court helpless for it.
CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS. President Rodrigo Duterte and Supreme Court 
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. PHOTO CREDIT: RAPPLER.COM
One of them said that the president could not just declare martial law because it is limited by the Constitution where the Supreme Court can declare if the imposition of martial law is unconstitutional.
“You read Section 18 of Article VII (Executive Department) paulit-ulit para hinde ka mag mukhang tanga , “ the angry reader pointed.
My retort: The problem with many Filipinos like you is you think “inside the box”, er, you focused only on Section 18, e kung hindi susundin ni Duterte ang Section 18 at gayahin niya si Cory Aquino where the 1973 Constitution became passe’ in favour of the 1987 Constitution?
I explained to those who were affronted there: “You did not see that Duterte  can declare martial law without following the limitations mandated by the  Constitution.
The limitations say that a president after declaring military rule should “ Within forty-eight hours from the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, the President shall submit a report in person or in writing to the Congress. The Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its Members in regular or special session, may revoke such proclamation or suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the President. Upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it. The Congress, if not in session, shall, within twenty-four hours following such proclamation or suspension, convene in accordance with its rules without any need of a call” WHILE the Supreme Court “may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ or the extension thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from its filing”.

The safety clauses there to prevent a strong man to be successful in his desire to impose his will are:

 1) Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its Members in regular or special session, may revoke such proclamation of martial law or suspension of writ of habeas corpus;
 2) Supreme Court promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from the filing of a petition by a citizen if martial law is legal or illegal.

I added that since Duterte has been riding on the crest of 84 percent popularity among the Filipinos as based on the June 24 to 27 Social Weather Station’s survey, he can skirt those protective clauses put by the handpicked constitutional commissioners of then President Cory Aquino during her Revolutionary Government after flushing –out Marcos in a military takeover and emulate Cory Aquino by appointing commissioner, too, to hammer a new fundamental law and submit it for plebiscite to the Filipino voters who would surely vote for it because they highly trusted the intention of the president for this sorry country.