PSN Opinyon

Withdrawal of support is not illegal

AMBA’S BRIEFS - Roy Señeres -
ANG kudeta ay isang krimen laban sa public order, ang withdrawal of support ay hindi. Ayon sa Article 134-A ng Revised Penal Code, ang coup de etat ay isang swift attack na may kasabay na violence, laban sa mga awtoridad ng Republika. Sa kabilang dako naman, walang sinasabi ang Penal Code tungkol sa withdrawal of support. Ang ibig sabihin niyan, hindi krimen ang withdrawal of support, ni wala itong katangian ng swift attack, di tulad ng kudeta.

Sa dalawang mahalagang kaso, nagsalita ang Supreme Court tungkol sa withdrawal of support ng paulit-ulit, ngunit ni walang isang sinabi ang korte kung ito ay mali, may deperensiya o di kaya ay labag sa Constitution. Mababasa ninyo ito sa decision ng korte sa kaso na may pamagat Joseph Estrada vs. Gloria Arroyo, at Joseph Estrada vs. Aniano Desierto, et. al.

Sa pahina 8 ng nasabing decision, sinulat ng korte ang nakasaad sa pahina 4 ng Jan. 30, 2001 issue Philippine Star: (In the presence of former Presidents Aquino and Ramos and hundreds of cheering demonstrators, General Reyes declared that "on behalf of your Armed Forces, the 130,000 strong members of the Armed Forces, we wish to announce that we are withdrawing our support to this government").

On the same page, sinulat din ng korte na ayon sa pahina A-16 ng Feb. 4, 2001 issue Philippine Inquirer: "A little later, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Panfilo Lacson and major service commanders gave a similar stunning‚ announcement.

Sa kanyang separate concurring opinion, sinabi ni Justice Jose Vitug: "The basic structures, the principles, the interest and the spirit of the 1987 Constitution have been preserved. Ngunit ayon sa Section II, Article VII ng 1987 Constitution, "The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all Armed Forces of the Philippines xxx".

Malinaw na ang structure ng AFP at PNP at ang direction na ang Pangulo ang kanilang Commander-in-Chief ay nilabag nina General Reyes at Lacson, ngunit walang nakita si Justice Vitug at ang kanyang mga kasamang Justices na kamalian o katiwalian sa kanilang ginawa, at wala rin silang nakitang labag sa Constitution. Sa madaling sabi, napakalinaw na ang withdrawal of support ay sadyang tama at wala itong kaso.

Sa kanyang opinion, walang sinabing payo si Justice Vitug sa AFP at PNP, ngunit mayroon siyang sinabi para sa mga kabataan. Sa kanyang "Reminder of an elder to the youth sa pahina 16 ng kanyang opinion, sinabi niya: Conventional wisdom dictates the indispensable need for great sobriety and extreme circumspection on our part. In this kind of arena, let us be assured that we are not overcome by senseless adventurism and opportunism.

In view of all the foregoing, my dear mistahs and cavaliers of the AFP and PNP, do not do what the law clearly says is a crime. Withdraw support if you have to! It is perfectly legal. The Protector of the People clause in the 1987 Constitution is your constitutional basis. The above named decision of the Supreme Court is your jurisprudential basis. With all due respects, let me remind you, however, that you can only be the protector of the people, not the governor.

The Filipino people and the world’s community of nations will not support a military autocracy. You may protect the people, but you must not govern them. Do not lose sight of the time-honored principle of civilian supremacy over the military at all times. Vice Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos heeded this in 1986. Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes and PNP Director General Panfilo Lacson did the same in 2002. To vacillate is to collaborate, to defer is to surrender.
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Tune in to HELLO SA IYO PILIPINO on DZAR AM radio 1026 KHZ Mon to Fri 7 to 8 PM. Join the OFW Family Club. Visit www.ofwfamilyclub.com Text AMBA at 09224143582, call 5267522 or 5267515 or email him at [email protected]

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