OPINION: Aguirre and Yasay, a redux, so soon

Buddy Gomez

Posted at Mar 03 2017 09:56 PM

Just about two weeks ago, we featured some scathing commentary about the country’s Secretary of Justice and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, both already reputed to be of highly questionable moral character and professional competence. A tad too late for Aguirre’s ad interim appointment having been voted by an unperturbedly compliant and unquestioning panel of Congress. But perhaps, still timely for Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay

Actually, by their own personal behavior and documented evidence, these two characters have never left center stage of public attention and justified scrutiny. 

In a pro-Duterte ‘hakot’ (bussed-in crowds with pecuniary rewards) rally at the Luneta last Saturday (Feb. 25), Aguirre was ranting like a county fair barker, pandering upon partisan passion suggesting additional ‘lynching,’ after successfully manipulating the detention of Sen. De Lima on allegedly manufactured evidence. 

Aguirre capped his performance with a wild stab: without a shred of evidence, a P100-million bribe accusation for the recantation of the testimonies he elicited from convicted criminals. These, Aguirre used against Sen. Lima. And he named a former Senator, “Jamby” Madrigal as the source of the bribery. She demanded an apology from Aguirre, failing which she threatened to sue in court. The shameless Justice secretary has not yet responded. Ms. Madrigal is still travelling abroad. We shall see what we shall see. We hope she comes across with a law suit. That is going to be fun!

Ms. Madrigal’s immediate reaction to Aguirre was very apt and colorful. Aguirre is “supposed to be ensuring not just the rule of law, but sobriety in its application.” She accused Aguirre of “peddling conspiracy theories” and of “character assassination.”

And so, we have a Secretary of Justice who is not only a ‘circus barker,’ but ‘a peddler,’ ‘an assassin’ and sobriety-challenged, too. By the way, to heighten the public ridicule of Aguirre, he was also accused of “the massacre of the English language.” But that is another story!

GOING TO THE DOGS

Malacanang is still defending the indefensible! Will the Commission on Appointments (CA) reconfirm and cement its lapdog reputation? 

The public issue involving the person of Secretary Yasay is now irreversibly one with moral and legal dimensions.

Despite insurmountable evidence of this Duterte nominee possessing questionable citizenship and nationality, and perhaps even be guilty of perjury and of potentially criminal usurpation of official authority, the Office of the President is still very intent on having its doggone way. Filling in the stewardship of the Republic’s prime Cabinet post--the Foreign Affairs portfolio--with a heavily tainted character, whatever it takes!

The Foreign Affairs secretary-designate is presently travelling abroad in representation of the Philippine Republic, while his nationality is in very serious doubt and under siege. 

There is evidence that Yasay renounced his American citizenship only on June 28, 2016. His American citizenship was granted in November 24, 1986 by naturalization while he was a resident of the United States. Acceptance and recordation of his renunciation is authenticated by official US Government documents. 

But Yasay denies he was ever a U.S. citizen! Well, how can one renounce that which he does not possess? Additionally, on the other hand, he has also travelled in the past availing of the facility and benefit granted to an American passport holder. Only American citizens are issued American passports, you know. 

In at least two official Philippine instances, he perjured himself by declaring under oath that he was a Filipino citizen. When he served in the Securities and Exchange Commission and when he filed his certificate of candidacy for the Vice Presidency in the elections of 2010. In fact, he had yet to renounce his US citizenship and had yet to stop travelling on an American passport during those instances.

Having intentionally renounced his Philippine citizenship in 1986 and then renouncing his American nationality last year but without reacquiring his Philippine citizenship, Yasay has the ridiculous situation of being stateless, while exercising the duties and privileges of the Philippines’ Foreign Affairs Secretary! 

There is absolutely no document attesting to his having reacquired Philippine nationality!

Citing intricacies in his personal, self-serving interpretation of US Immigration laws, Yasay declares that he has never been a U.S. citizen!

Despite the veracity of the foregoing, Malacanang’s chief apologist and Presidential mouthpiece Ernesto Abella declares ‘L’Affaire Yasay’ “a non-issue.” And even extols Yasay as “very credible and logical, a reasonable response” with “strong evidence in his defense.” 

It is very noteworthy that both Malacanang and the Commission on Appointments have remained silent on the criminal charges (syndicated estafa/swindle /embezzlement) filed by the Bangko Sentral against Yasay, et al. These criminal charges involve hundreds of millions! These cases are reportedly intentionally being sat on and delayed by a consenting/conniving ‘circus barker’ masquerading as Secretary of Justice.

What a country!

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Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.