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Commentary: Decisions, opinions ...

By Bong Pedalino

Tacloban City (29 October) -- In so many words, and in whatever view we try to interpret the recent 8-7 decision of the Supreme Court on the people’s initiative issue, the reality is that we have to understand it in the way the High Court wanted it to be understood.

In short, no charter change through a people’s initiative -- at least not the Sigaw-ULAP way, without prejudice as the lawyers would say to the filing of a motion for reconsideration.

The tribunal’s decision will surely be referred to in the years to come, like ripples that wave through endlessly in the pond of time. But this time around, the decision will be remembered as swift and fast, taking only one month to resolve, unlike in 1997 when it took four months, according to Court observers.


The recent decision also saw Chief Justice Panganiban switching sides. From a dissenting opinion in 1997 (that the Roco law was sufficient as an enabling law), to the present majority opinion which saw no need to revisit the landmark ruling nine years ago.

Before the decision, pro-initiatives pinned their last card on the Chief Justice; after the decision, anti-initiatives heaved a sigh of relief the Chief Justice has not yet retired -- otherwise, they fear the 8-7 count may not be in their favor.

Also, before the decision, the SWS survey said 6 out of ten Filipinos do not believe the High Court can deliver impartially on the latest hot topic in town; after the decision, there was no survey just yet, so it remains to be seen whether the opinion poll as surveyed stayed on with the previous opinion.


As to the minority opinion, a closer look would reveal that it is not pro-initiatives either, at least not directly. The minority seven want the issue to be reverted to the Comelec for the dirty job of double-checking once again the verified signatures which, of course, can take forever.

So, when all is said and done, everybody had to respect and bow down to the wisdom of the highest law institution of the land.

After all, it was a clear manifestation that our brand of democracy is alive and kicking.


LOCAL FRONT: Orphaned students of Guinsaugon, Saint Bernard, have reason to smile again. Last Thursday, October 26, the Darma Drum Foundation of Taiwan, through the Rotary Club of San Juanico, distributed the second release of checks for their schooling. Twenty students in High School and eleven students in college got their individual checks at P24,000 and P30,000 each, respectively, at San Juan gym. The students were advised to focus their time on their studies until they finish their respective courses. That way they can repay the kindness of their benevolent donors. Let’s all pray they withstand the temptations of adolescence and concentrate all their energies, indeed, toward their future.

ODDLY YOURS: Swine, in particular the domesticated kind, commonly called pigs, are almost equal in characteristics with the internal organs of human beings, including the teeth, blood and the skin. In fact, pigs like men and women, can suffer sunburn on their skin. Because of this similar nature, pigskin is used in delicate operation procedures, particularly in the making of artificial heart valve and in treating extreme burns. Pigs also enjoy drinking, and so can be branded as an alcoholic. Meanwhile, “guinea pig” is not a pig but a kind of rat. And it did not come from Guinea, either -- it originated from South America. (PIA) [top]

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