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3.26.2007

Power Relationships III: Sub Judice

The past two (1 & 2) posts were all about a ranking European Commission officer who also taught at an exclusive school in Manila. He was accussed of sexual harassment for allegedly offering to give a a grade of "A" to a "Straight-A student" provided that she has sex with him. The offer allegedly came when the student met with the professor to complain about the failing grade that she got from his class.

The student filed a complaint in the school board and later on, at the local court but the subject of the petition refused to answer the cases by claiming "Diplomatic Immunity". He has even left the country.

Though I was very much tempted to post strong comments, I will keep my peace for the reason of "Sub Judice". The case is now in court.

Just a question, can a diplomat commit a crime not further to the functions of his office, and still be protected by diplomatic immunity?

3.22.2007

Power Relationships II: The European Commission

Further to the previous article, the European Union's functions, as defined, is being printed here.

European Commission: it is the executive body of the European Union. It acts as the guardian of the EU treaties to ensure that EU legislation is applied correctly, prepares policy initiatives and presents legislation suggestions, and serves as an authority in certain fields. As regards economic policy, the Commission provides recommendations for economic guidelines and reports matters relating to economic development and economic policy to the Council of the European Union. It monitors the public economy status of the member states and makes reports on this to the Council. The Commission has 25 members, one from each country (joined EU before 1.1.2007).



Defined further, the European Commission is effectively the EU's civil service. It has powers of initiative, implementation, management and control. It is the guardian of the Treaties and the embodiment of the interests of the Community. It is composed of 20 Commissioners (two each from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom and one each from all the other countries), including a President and two Vice Presidents. It is appointed for a five year term by the Council, subject to a vote of approval by the European Parliament, to which it is answerable. The Commissioners are assisted by an administration made up of Directorates General and specialised departments.

Negotiations are taking place during the current intergovernmental conference over the future composition of the Commission. The convention responsible for drawing up a draft Treaty has suggested having a Commission made up of 15 full Commissioners and 15 Deputies who would not have voting rights, though a system where each Member State has at least one Commissioner seems more likely to be approved.



Power Relationships

Economics is also known as "Political Economy". Therefore, a lot of "Power Relationships" litter the busy field. Now if one will take a casual look at the current events influencing the "Wealth of Nations", it can easily be pointed out that "Those who have the gold, makes the rules!"- That's economics.


This post is about a "Sexual Harassment" case against Luis Moratinos y Munoz, a Spanish national and Third Secretary & Political Affairs Officer of the European Commission to the Philippines. He also used to work as a professor at the very exclusive Ateneo de Manila University.

In at least three articles at the Philippine Star, Lawyer Dong Puno wrote about a female straight A student "Jessica".
"The facts, as alleged by Jessica, are all too familiar. She is a college student who received a failing grade in the subject handled by Mr. Moratinos. She not only disputed that grade but filed a formal complaint with the department chair. She also asked to talk to her professor to find out what happened. He responded by email and telephone that he wanted to set an appointment in order to discuss how the grade could be "adjusted."

In their conversation, as charged by Jessica, the professor acknowledged that she "did well" in the papers she submitted and that he could "actually change" her grade. However, he added, Jessica had "to do something." When asked what that "something" was, he supposedly replied he could even give her an A if she "had sex" with him and then offered that he would arrange a scholarship for her. Jessica said she refused and hurriedly walked away.

What is the response of Moratinos to these charges? Well, that’s the problem. The University committee evidently gave him 48 hours within which to submit a response, and a hearing was set to afford him an opportunity to explain himself "as part of due process." But instead of replying to the charges, Mr. Moratinos resigned, and ceased to conduct the classes assigned to him. "
In Puno's follow up to the office of the European Commission, he was told that Mr. Moratinos has left the country to attend a training in Brussels and was supposed to have come back last March 12, 2007. Later calls told Atty Puno that Moratinos never came back. Puno was informed that Moratinos has resigned from the EC.

Just this morning, Puno wrote that he has a copy of Mr. Moratinos reply to the case against him. Guess what? the guy is claiming "Diplomatic Immunity". He claims that he is "exempt from the operation of our criminal laws by virtue of the principles of public international law."


TO BE CONTINUED...