Friday, May 11, 2007

Have you no decency, Monsieur Brawner?

The COMELEC decision disqualifying Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo is nothing more but a desperate and cheap tactic on the part of the Villafuertes, through buddies Brawner and Ferrer at the COMELEC, to snatch city hall from Robredo, who defeated two Villafuertes before and is set to massacre another Vilafuerte, this time a nephew, on May 11.

The strategy up Villafuerte's sleeve is to confuse the Naga voters with an obfuscating disqualification decision and discourage them from voting for a mayor that could ultimately be declared unfit to govern by reason of Chinese ancestry. Once the heat of the election is over, there is almost no doubt that Robredo would once again be declared a Filipino.

For the jaded, this might seem just another case of a local government executive suspended or dismissed, but Robredo is not just your average city mayor. A Ramon Magsaysay Awardee, he is one of the most highly esteemed mayors, and enjoys a reputation like no other local government executive in the country.

Mayor Robredo lamented in one interview that he is often declared to be Chinese whenevever there's an election, but he reverts back to being a Filipino after. He also wondered why Villafuerte did not bother asking for his citizenship when they were running together in the same ticket in the past.

Teresita Ang See is, of course, incensed by such racial McCarthyism. She asks (see the PCIJ blog entry here):

It defies anyone’s imagination. How can a Jesse Robredo, a Ramon Magsaysay Awardee from the Philippines, who was born, bred and educated as a Filipino, elected for five terms and performed spectacularly as a Mayor, finally be disqualified from his Mayorship this last minute because of his Chinese ancestry? Next, are we Filipinos going to be asked to disclaim our national heroes for being of Chinese descent too?

I suspect there's another reason why Villafuerte is questioning Robredo's citizenship--and that is to tap the latent anti-Chinese sentiment in the hearts of some people. Let us admit it: there are still some people who think Filipinos of Chinese descent should just stay in Chinatown. The good thing about Mayor Robredo is that he does not carry a monosyllabic surname (good decision on the part of his father for choosing Robredo as a name) and his facial features aren't really that Chinese.


Rico said...

I studied in Naga for 8 years (graduating last year), witnessing the last time the Villafuertes got creamed by Robredo.

To be honest, it surprises me na ngayon lang lumabas yung tactic nito. Then again, the "honorable" congressman and his clan probably realized that the usual attacks, such as trying to paint Robredo as corrupt, didn't work. And that he had to try something totally different. Nothing can really ruin the reputation of someone who's obviously done a lot for Naga City, so you simply set things up so that he's not in the game.

Please tell me Robredo's wife can still run in his place. Please. Naga City was improving when I returned to Manila (my hometown). The people of Naga definitely deserve someone better than a politician who wastes money building useless pedestrian crossings just so his name is plastered everywhere. :-|

Ronnel said...

You may be interested to read Edwin Lacierda's comments on the infirmities of the Brawner decision at

I guess if Mayor Robredo choose to slug it out, he will emerge the winner both at the elections and in his citizenship case. Anyway, I think I read somewhere that the COMELEC has already decided en banc before re Robredo's citizenship and this Brawner case is revisiting it needlessly.

This is just a case of harassment, trying to do to Robredo what was usccessfully done to FPJ.

By the way, youre from Manila but studied in Naga? Youre not Datu Arroyo are you?

baycas2 said...

it’s a given that the comelec's credibility is bust and the villafuertes’ motives are more un-Filipino than mayor jesse robredo’s.

however, looking at it objectively, i come up with this:

i wouldn’t entisay Rodolfo Fortuno vs Jesse Robredo (GR No. 159493), the petition for review on certiorari filed at the supreme court, is a WIN on the part of the mayor.

in this SC minute resolution re: the aforementioned case (dated 18 January 2005), Robredo’s prayer in his motion for reconsideration for the Supreme Court to affirm and/or declare that he is a Filipino citizen was DENIED with FINALITY. therefore, only the comelec (the 2nd Division on 21 June 2001 and en banc on 05 August 2003) declared him a Filipino, not YET the SC.

it’s just unfortunate that we don’t get to read on the Comelec’s 2nd Division’s resolution on Rodolfo Fortuno vs Jesse Robredo (SPA Case No. 2001-020) and Comelec en banc’s decision on Rodolfo Fortuno vs Jesse Robredo (EPC Case No. 2001-2). we won’t be able to compare/contrast them from the LAUGHABLE Brawner Doctrine. (i hope someone will upload it online.)

what’s worthy of note, though, is that the 2nd Division’s declaration that mayor robredo is indeed a Filipino citizen employs the doctrine of implied election of citizenship (as exemplified in these cases: Mallare, Ong, and Ching). this may mean that the mayor’s father is acknowledged to be an alien (a Chinese, for that matter) and his mother a natural-born Filipina.

how come from the statement of facts in the brawner doctrine, mayor robredo traces his Filipino roots from his grandfather? hence, election of citizenship is NOT required because he is already a Filipino by birth!


on tapping the latent anti-Chinese sentiment: i think not. robredo is certainly not a monosyllabic surname and neither the . the motive is political…to wrest power (and money???) from the incumbent. may it be just to invoke the most brotherly hating kapatid nature of Filipinos? haha…i wouldn’t want to speculate…

baycas2 said...

entisay should read...

i wouldn't entirely say...


last paragraph should read...

robredo is certainly not a monosyllabic surname and neither the villafuerte.

...tags gone haywire.

baycas2 said...

thanks to Alecks, he already uploaded the past two comelec resolutions here. haven’t read them yet, though.

Ronnel said...

The point is that the SC hasnt had the opportunity yet to rule on Robredo's citizenship. When it does, it would probably be in favor of Robredo.

Im planning to write a longer entry on chinese citizenship issues and election later when i have more time.

Many people I think are clamoring to have a law passed clarifying the law on citizenship so people like Robredo dont get unnecessarily harassed everytime there's an election.

Rico said...

Ha ha Ronnel, many more ManileƱos aside from Datu studied in Naga. I think I entered ADNU just after he graduated.

A sensible law that applies the concept of double jeopardy to citizenship would really work. Once someone is found to be Filipino, he is Filipino.