The Philippine Onion

Lies and half-truths shall set you free

Posts Tagged ‘supreme court’

Fates of Cebu judge, Filipino nation, hang on conundrum: how long is a ‘quickie’?

Posted by commiedyan on November 24, 2007

Most of us know what a split second is: the time lapse from the moment the traffic light turns green and when the asshole behind you honks the horn. But how long is a ‘quickie?’ The answer is crucial not only to a suspended Toledo city judge but to the country’s economic development as well.

Judge Gaudioso Villarin has been suspended by the supreme court for ‘gross ignorance of the law.’ According to a report in the Cebu Daily News, Supreme Court probe team confirms quickie annulments:

“The SC audit team confirmed that Villarin, who is due for retirement in May next year, was approving the marriage annulments with astonishing speed and taking shortcuts that violated court procedures. An annulment case that would normally take one year was approved in 34 days.”

So 34 days is a quickie? Judge Villarin recently read A Brief History of Time to find the answer, but to his disappointment, Stephen Hawking had evaded the issue. He didn’t know that when the physicist wrote the bestseller, his carnal pleasures were completely in the mind.

The question is relevant to hotblooded high school teens who ask: Is the 15-minute afternoon recess long enough? And does the real thing or true love require skipping algebra and history classes as well? Girls can fake an Ω but can boys fake an ε? Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in analysis, congress, religion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The patient English: words and meanings in Philippine politics

Posted by commiedyan on November 22, 2007

by Old Spice

The perfect use of language is that in which every word carries the meaning that it is intended to, no more, no less.C. Connolly, Enemies of Promise

We can probably excuse budget secretary Rolando Andaya with his attempt to dupe us that, in regard to the World Bank’s road improvement loan ‘deferment’ is better for the country than ‘suspension.’ He’s been in denial all along.

We’ll also excuse the credibility-challenged Senator Juan Ponzi N. Really during the resumption of the senate hearings on the NBN-ZTE deal last Tuesday for this quotable:”You pretend that you do not know government processes which I do not believe because if you are dealing for 20 years in this line of business you’d know every gamut of this business…” According to our old Webster’s, gamut means “a whole range or series.” He was trying to intimidate Ernesto Garcia, Joey de Venecia’s consultant on the NBN deal. Garcia refused to budge from his comic account, as we could see from where we sat. (For all we know, the senator might have used the word in its Cebuano meaning, root).

But Raul Lambino? Almost every sentence he uttered violated a rule of grammar, from subject-verb agreement to chronology and tense. His narration was the rightful headline and sounded credible, were it not for the confusion in the sequence of events which made us tense. Add to his crimes dangling modifiers, misplaced prepositions, and a profusion of split infinitives (he was probably absent from class when the English teacher suggested never to split infinitives).

Still we are inclined to believe Lambino’s account on the threats on the lives of the de Venecias, that the army general who reputedly did well in East Timor turned into a turtle in regard to his integrity.

But we should be more wary next time he shows his face selling charter change. Remember that he lied straight-faced (while we cried) that his efforts then were independent of the administration. The preamble of the Charter might look like this:

We, the sovereign Filipino peoples, implored the aid of Almighty God, in the order to build adjust and humane society, and establishing a Government that embodied our ideals and aspirations, promoted the common good, conserved and developed our patrimony, and secured to ourselves and our posterity, the blessing of independences and democracy under the rules of law and regimes of truth, justices, freedoms, loves, equality, and peace, did ordain and promulgated this Constitution.

We are aware of course that legal English is a tool for obfuscation, as lawyers live on clarifying the tangle they themselves create. But how do people with such atrocious grammar pass the bar? Pray tell us Fr. Joaquin Bernas.

English has a way to go to capture the precision of mathematics, as I myself was aware of in a pleading to the high court on the oil deregulation law in 1997. We can hardly wait though for the time we don’t have to ask the court for the meanings of executive, privilege, and initiate.


Posted in language, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »