Supreme Court issues TRO for COMELEC to stop proclamation of Party-List winners

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in the light of a set of rules issued by the Supreme Court has disqualified the Senior Citizens Party and 10 others from the party-list race and their votes to be considered stray votes

The Comelec has already proclaimed 38 party-list groups for the 53 seats allotted for sectoral representation in the House of Representatives last May 24 and 28. Only five seats remain unoccupied.

Brillantes said that if the SC allows the counting of votes of disqualified party-lists, including Senior Citizens which got at least 600,000 votes, it would affect the final results of the party-list race.

“We now leave everything to the SC,” he said.

“Most of the 12 [disqualified party-list groups] no longer have any chance of getting a seat. Maybe only the top two will have a chance to get a seat, depending on the final decision of the SC,” Brillantes said.

In effect, Brillantes said the TRO validates the previous proclamations of the Comelec.

“My interpretation of this [TRO] is that they validated already our previous proclamations, only the five [remaining unproclaimed] have an issue,” Brillantes said.

“I still believe that the remaining five are still the ones which will be proclaimed, Senior Citizens will still not be able to win, we have to maintain our position that they are disqualified,” he said.

The group was disqualified by the poll body due to alleged illegal term-sharing of its representatives in Congress.
Petitioners said their disqualification was a violation of the constitutional right to due process, saying they were not given a chance to contest the Comelec ruling.

They also argued the violation of term-sharing policy was not among the grounds for disqualification laid down by the high court in its decision last month on 52 disqualified party-list groups.
They added their disqualification would disenfranchise the over 600,000 votes they garnered in the elections.

The Senior Citizens placed 10th in the party-list race after garnering over 600,000 votes.
But Brillantes said the high tribunal would still issue a resolution on the merit of the cases of disqualified party-list organizations.
The TRO was issued after several disqualified party-lists asked the high court to order a recount of votes.

Brillantes said he will request the SC for the case to be resolved before June 30 so that when Congress resumes session, all 58 partylists will have been proclaimed.

Comelec is required to file their comment on the TRO within 10 days.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, 52.  She's eligible to serve for 18 years.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, 52. She’s eligible to serve for 18 years.

COMELEC Chairman Sixto Brillantes

COMELEC Chairman Sixto Brillantes



In Memory of the Iron Lady

British Prime Minister from May 4, 1979- Nov. 28, 1990

British Prime Minister from May 4, 1979- Nov. 28, 1990

Not only the British but the whole world is mourning for the passing of Margaret Thatcher, dubbed the Iron Lady.

Stroke claimed her on April 8, 2013 at age 87.

She was born as Margaret Hilda Roberts on October 13, 1925, in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England to Alfred and Beatrice Roberts

Her family lived in an apartment and down below it her father who was a businessman operates a grocery store. He was also a respected town leader, serving as lay leader with their church, city-alderman and then as mayor. He taught Margaret never to do things because other people are doing them; to do what she thinks is right and to persuade others to follow her.

She was educated at Grantham Girls’ High School, and attended from 1943 to 1947 Somerville College, Oxford University and earned a degree in Chemistry. While at Oxford University, Thatcher became president of the university’s Conservative Association.

She married Denis Thatcher in December 1951 and they had twin children, Mark Thatcher and Carol Thatcher.

In the 1950 and 1951 general elections, she was the Conservative candidate for the safe Labour seat of Dartford. She lost in both elections to Norman Dodds

In 1959, she won an elective post Member of Parliament for Finchley. She was one of the youngest and the only female member of the House of Commons.

After holding a number of junior posts, she was appointed Secretary of Education by Prime Minister Edward Heath in 1970. As Education Secretary, Thatcher was dubbed Thatcher the Milk Snatcher by those who opposed her move of stopping free milk to schools

In February 11, 1975, she accomplished a remarkable feat in an election for the leadership of the Conservative Party by winning the seat, defeating Edward Health.

On 19 January 1976 Thatcher, while delivering a speech in Kensington Town Hall, made a scathing attack on the Soviet Union. The Soviet Defence Ministry responded through its newspapaer Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) by calling her the “Iron Lady”, a tag she gladly adopted.

In May 1979, Thatcher captured the Prime Minister elective post with the strong backing of her party. Her election victories were repeated in 1983 and 1987. Her time as Prime Minister dovetailed with a time when the Labour Party, her main political enemy, was spilt over policies.

As Prime Minister, she ordered the Task Force to reclaim the Falklands. Her sterling and decisive leadership shown during the Falklands War in 1982 was instrumental in uniting the country behind her. The British people saw in her the epitome of the so-called Falkland Spirit.

As Great Britain’s Prime Minister, Thatcher ushered in revolutionary change to the country’s economic and foreign policy. After World War II, Britain shifted towards the left in implementing a vast welfare program and national healthcare. Industries became owned by the state and work hours were increasingly cut.

However the British economy became sluggish, followed by a long state of economic recession. In the 1980s, the Conservative government under Thatcher implemented conservative policies, the reverse of previous policies, to address the problem of economic decay and recession. Companies were privatized, taxes were lowered, monetary supply to prevent inflation were restricted, spending on welfare programs were cut, and limits on labor union rights were imposed.

Thatcher was a great warrior. She manifested it in her decision-making which is a far cry from the predictions of her opposition and the members of her own party as well
Thatcher advocated a stronger role for Britain in international politics. She was decisive in her victory in the Falklands War against Argentina. She helped the American campaigns in Grenada and other operations. She strongly pushed President George H.W. Bush to intervene in the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

In November 1990, Thatcher’s Foreign Secretary, Sir Geoffrey Howe, resigned from the cabinet. He disliked Thatcher’s attitude towards Europe. His resignation speech in the House of Commons set in motion a series of events that saw the party turn against her.

Michael Heseltine stood against her for party leader. Heseltine lost the contest but he polled 152 seats – a number that clearly showed that Margaret Thatcher was no longer held in total esteem by all the party; she polled 204 votes. She was made to quit in the second ballot for party leader and her position was taken by John Major.

Margaret Thatcher left the House of Commons in 1992. She remained a formidable figure within the Conservative Party and the highlight at party conferences for a number of years. .
Now in the House of Lords, Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven left her mark on the 1980’s like few other politicians have ever done. The ‘Iron Lady’ was Prime Minister for 11 years and 209 days – a figure not likely to be broken in future years. In 1995, she became the first non-royal Lady Companion of the Order of the Garter.

Women leaders worldwide saw in her as a good role model. Thatcher has faced and survived many struggles in the male-dominated world of politics. Undaunted, she pursued plans, measures and policies for the common good even if faced with difficulties. She became a powerful leader of Britain during harsh economic times. Her strong demeanor allowed her to prove her critics wrong about being a female leader. You can either loved or hate her, but her legacy lives strong as a brilliant political mastermind and a fearless prime minister.

• Height: 5’ – 5 ½”

• Spouse: Married Dennis Thatcher on December 13, 1951; he died on June 26, 2003

• She served as the United Kingdom’s first and to date only female Prime Minister from May 4, 1979 to November 28, 1990.
• Raised to the peerage in 1992, thereafter known as Baroness Thatcher

• Targeted for assassination by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in 1984, she escaped unharmed while working on her speech when a bomb exploded at the Grand Hotel in Brighton where she was staying for the annual Tory Conference. But the bomb which was meant for her, kill instead one Conservative MP, one Conservative politician and 4 female attendees, including members of her government who sustained injuries like Norman Tebbit and John Wakeham .

• Was a tax lawyer

• Is Britain’s only 20th-century PM to serve three consecutive terms.

• Was a research chemist.

• Before entering politics, she was a scientist, at one time working on the chemistry of ice cream.

• Voted the 3rd worst Briton in Channel Four’s poll of the 100 Worst Britons.

• In August 2008 daughter Carol Thatcher revealed that her mother had been displaying symptoms of dementia for the past seven years.

• During her time as British Prime Minister, she cut income tax on the country’s top earners by more than half. When she was elected in 1979, the top rate of income tax had stood at 83% since 1974. She immediately reduced it to 60% and in 1988 her government reduced it again, this time to 40%.
Quotes that serve her beacon light:

• Capitalism only works by spreading to more of the population what used to be the privileges of the few.

• Free choice is ultimately what life is about.

• I would never be prepared to give up our own currency.

• Our party is the party of equality of opportunity.

• I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near.

• [On proposed British integration into the European Union] No, no, no and never

• I firmly believe in law and order and in standing up for authority, otherwise we should have no free society.

• The Russians said that I was an iron lady. They were right. Britain needs an iron lady.

• Free choice is ultimately what life is about.

• I am profoundly concerned about unemployment. Human dignity and self-respect are undermined when men and women are condemned to idleness.

• To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase, the U- turn, I have only one thing to say: You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.

(L to R) Sir Denis, Mark, Carol and Baroness Margaret Thatcher

(L to R) Sir Denis, Mark, Carol and Baroness Margaret Thatcher

Mark with mom on her 87th birthday

Mark with mom on her 87th birthday

Baroness Margaret Thatcher with daughter Carol

Baroness Margaret Thatcher with daughter Carol


Margaret Thatcher: Trivia

Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher, Iron Lady …

How much taxpayers’ money goes to ex-presidents

Last year the American taxpayers forked over $3.7 million to pay for the 4 remaining presidents: George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. And that amount doesn’t include their lifetime allotment of Secret Service, according to the Congressional Research Service.

When Harry S. Truman’s term as president ended and left the White House, he could barely pay his bills, so the incoming administration during the incumbency of Dwight Eisenhower approved the former Presidents Act into law. Since then, all outgoing ex-presidents have been guaranteed an enviable allowance that covers their pension, office, staff, travel, even postage. Those numbers when added means something.

Report says George W. Bush spent $1.3 million last year, and part of that money was used to build 8,000 square feet of office space in Dallas. Bill Clinton also spent close to million bucks on office space. The elder Bush enjoyed taxpayer-funded benefits of $850,000 dollars. Close to $500,000 went to Jimmy Carter.

Former presidents earned additional income besides. Bill Clinton and “Bush 43” pocketed speaking fees from $10 to $15 million mark last year alone.

Wasteful spending is Congress favorite topic these days, you would think lawmakers would try to outdo each other by reigning in presidential perks. But, when Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, introduced a bill to limit costs to a $200,000 pension, plus another $200,000 in pocket change, the bill didn’t even make it out of committee. It was unheard of since then.

Are lawmakers contented of letting ex-presidents run up the bill?
However not everyone is thinking of money. Presidential widow Nancy Reagan turned down her $20,000 pension last year.

Source: Ex-presidents costs taxpayers millions

Comments: Congress and lawmakers themselves knew what amount of money is decent enough for a man to survive for a month in a place like the USA. So knowing this certain amount of money as basis, lawmakers must enact a law to grant benefits to retired presidents based on this amount. Or, they may repeal the existing law to prone down what are in excess of the benefits the ex-presidents are currently enjoying.

Doing so will undoubtedly help the poor Americans, especially those who are on welfare and those without jobs. From stories told by townmates coming home from the US for a vacation, they say America is a land of honey with plenty of cheap food to buy. I asked a sister of a classmate of mine, who just after finishing college migrated to New York City in the 50s. How are her children? Her children didn’t finish college because there’s no use breaking your head when job is plentiful, that was her answer to me. The picture that I’ve painted of America was that of the 50s. That was long time ago.

From what I’ve read American economy is now sick. Banks and some institutions have closed and employees are left without job. My heart goes to the 4 hapless victims who were lured to Ohio to apply for a bogus farmhand job ads listing in Craigslist website. In Ohio Richard Beasley and his accomplice Brogan Rafferty shot to kill them. Their motive was to rob and steal their identities, fortunately the 4th victim survives his injuries and became the state witness. All of the 3 victims were single and unemployed.. They responded to the ads because of the promise of a job. Would this unnecessary killings happened if American economy is okay?

4 American ex-presidents still living

4 American ex-presidents still living


RA 10368 compensation law for martial law victims signed

a FM declares Martial Law

Procl.1081 Sept 21, 1972

27-year after the so-called ‘People Power’ revolution that ended the late Pres. Ferdinand Marcos’ reign, the human rights victims will finally be compensated with money amounting to ten billion pesos (P10 Billon).

This long-awaited compensation is made possible by way of a landmark law RA 10368 signed by his Excellency Pres. Benigno C. Aquino III on Monday, February 25, 2013

Aquino said as he spoke in Manila marking the 27th anniversary of the People Power Revolution  (PPR) that the law was part of his government’s effort to “right the wrongs of the past”.

The president said that we can’t bring back the time stolen from the martial law victims but we can assure them of the state’s recognition of their sufferings that will help bring them closer to the healing of their wounds.

The compensation money will be given to claimants who were tortured, raped or detained, as well as kins of those killed, by the late strongman’s security forces during his 20-year rule.

Head of the Philippines’ Human Right Commission and herself a vocal activist and torture victim Loretta Ann Rosales, said:

“The law is essential in rectifying the abuses of the Marcos dictatorship and obliges the state to give compensation to all those who suffered gross violations of their rights,” Rosales told AFP.

Marie Hilao-Enriquez welcomed the law, but bewailed the fact that the money is too little to have a meaningful impact.

Enriquez is chair of SELDA, a group of some 10,000 documented Marcos human rights victims. She added many more may come forward now for official documentation, such as the Muslims from Mindanao,

Commissioner Rosales bared that by mandate of the law a compensation board will be operationalized to accept and evaluate applications for reparations for the next 6 months

The compensation money comes from the $600 million the government has recovered from Swiss bank accounts that Marcos had stashed while in power.

Marcos and relatives were accused by the government of plundering up to $10 billion. So far about $4 billion was recovered.

EDSA People Power bloodless coup happened on February 22-25, 1986 and involved over two million Filipino civilians as well as several political, military, including religious groups, who took to the streets and force US-government backed Marcos from power.

Marcos while in exile in Hawaii died in 1989.

 a pres. Aquino signed law providing compensation to ML victims
Pres Aquino signed RA 10368 providing compensation to ML victims
a martial victims
a martial law victim
 I wasn’t thinking of dying, I was fighting for life.
ML victim 2
 Look into my eyes, I’ll give you hell
a ML victim 3

Unbearable torture pushed my brother to drown himself