Opinion: The Art of Double-Talk
Politicians often resort to double-talk to squeeze themselves out of a situation. That simply means they use an argument that sort of excuses theirfaults and justifies their taking a decision contrary to law.
That seems to be the case of City Mayor Evelio Leonardia resorting to an alleged one page congratulatory letter to Bacolod City’s June 18 74th Charter Anniversary.
In short, the argument is that it validated the local ordinance transferring the Charter Day celebration to the date.
Wrong. Granted that President Benigno Aquino III did it, himself, that simply just acknowledges that the city was celebrating the 74th Anniversary of the Charter’s signing but did not give his legal imprimatur on the decision.
Besides, in the same way that the legal opinion of deputy legal officer Manuel Aguinaldo had earlier issued the official Malacañang opinion on the issue does not get derailed by the whole page ad.
Besides, has Leonardia verified who had paid for the ad? In the same way that suspicion doubt on Aguinaldo’s legal opinion, the same doubt is also attributed to the one who paid for the whole page ad.
Besides, how come that Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson had learned in advance of the copy of the Malacañang decision upholding the legality of the Bacolod resolution ordinance?
The excuse reportedly because a copy of the opinion could not be given to them early because it has to be mailed. First, is it not possible that the Palace learned about the transitory provision of the Commonwealth Act which had stipulated early that the activation of the Charter was only with the swearing in and qualification of the city mayor and the councilors of the city. Thus, it should have immediately withdrawn what had previously been written.
In short, a reading of the legal opinion of Aguinaldo shows that it was legally correct and not flawed.
Leonardia has the habit of using flawed logic to mask the fault of his administration. No doubt about it, he had managed to get away with it in the past, but this is one occasion when the double talk is not going to do him any good. But perhaps, force Malacañang to come out four-square against the June 18 Charter Day ordinance.
I doubt whether President Aquino would tolerate the excuse that the Palace had okayed earlier its legal opinion on the issue, then allowed a deputy legal officer to issue a legal opinion founded on the law.
If it is a question of the faxed letter by Aguinaldo to Rep. Anthony Golez, it is easy to trace where it originated and who did it. But it’s the content of the legal opinion that must withstand scrutiny, not whether there was leak of an advanced copy or not. Neither does the one page ad in a regional paper carrying the legal imprimatur of the President.
In short, the issue is not even a presidential decree can repeal what had been passed by Congress and signed into law by former President Fidel V. Ramos.
It’s just as simple as that.
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Now the other problem. How come the National Bureau of Investigation simply mentioned the family of Vice Governor Lim-ao Alvarez as being eyed in the assassination of the late RTC Judge Henry Arles without mentioning his or her involvement?
NBI Bacolod Chief Ferdinand Lavin said that a member of the family of Vice Governor Alvarez may be linked to the killing of Arles.
He added that the Alvarez name is one of the four influential families that has surfaced in their investigation into the Arles killing.
But Lavin seemed to have been caught in a situation. He had claimed that he had not mentioned the involvement of a member of the Alvarez family to mediamen. That the mention of Alvarez was just speculation on the part of mediamen. But he found himself in a corner when the tapes of the interview with Lavin confirmed that he had mentioned that a member of the Alvarez family had been linked to the killing and that they were seriously looking into it.
In short, what is happening now is that the NBI should hasten its probe and come out proofs that link the member of Alvarez’ family to the Arles killing. Otherwise, the whole exercise can just be dubbed as rumor-mongering.
The onus now is on Lavin of the NBI.*