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Jun 13

Last senator standing

Last senator standing is my PDI column for today. Do let me know if you think my analysis is on or off the mark.

An alternative to People Power by Ricky Carandang spins another scenario altogether:

The formula could go like this:Mrs. Arroyo, faced with the very real prospect that she will no longer be able to govern effectively because of questions about her legitimacy, simply does the honorable thing and resigns. De Castro becomes acting president, and working with Congress, finds a way to remove all the sitting Commission on Elecitions (Comelec) commissioners from office and replaces them with people of unquestionable credibility like Haydee Yorac, Christian Monsod, or even Cory Aquino. If De Castro is unacceptable or does not want to assume the role, he could also resign and Senate President Franklin Drilon could be made acting president, as suggested by Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr.After purging the Comelec, the acting president calls for new presidential elections and simultaneously holds a referendum on whether or not Charter change should be accomplished though a constituent assembly or a constitutional convention.Meantime, Mrs. Arroyo and her family will be subjected to an honest-to-goodness investigation by the Ombudsman, charged, and if found guilty, made to share a cell beside Joseph Estrada.

The rumor mill, is in overdrive again. Sources I can’t attribute point to several things:

1. The James Bond-ish mutation of the story, what with an “Agent Doble” and his alleged detention in the seminary according to his alleged wife.
2. Radio reports, which other journalists have been unable to confirm, of two Armored Personnel Carriers (APC’s) at Rockwell, near San Carlos Seminary.
3. The continued threat of reformist elements in the Cabinet to resign if something isn’t done. This is in contrast to what administration officials reportedly told each other at yesterday’s independence day ceremony: that they’re over the hump and looking forward to the State of the Nation address.
4. The absence of former president Fidel V. Ramos, who is abroad, and whom at least one foreign source told another journalist is surveying foreign governments (about what?).
5. The decision of the hitherto lapdog-like broadcaster’s association (KBP) to challenge the NTC’s ban on playing the controversial tapes.
6. The Palace saying it’s ready to face impeachment when everyone assumes it’s an unlikely scenario.

Incidentally, the Palace says this. A man of the cloth I recently talked to, asked about Article VI, Sec. 32 of the Constitution, which states:

The Congress shall, as early as possible, provide for a system of initiative and referendum, and the exceptions therefrom, whereby the people can directly propose and enact laws or approve or reject any act or law or part thereof passed by the Congress or local legislative body after the registration of a petition therefor signed by at least ten per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters thereof.

But can, and does it, apply as something that can be used under present circumstances? (The entire Constitution is here. Read Article VII and Article XI). All I can find is that the Local Government code provides for the recall of local, and not national, officials.
So, at least for the next few hours, this blog will return to Crisis Mode.

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  1. Ed

    4. The absence of former president Fidel V. Ramos, who is abroad, and whom at least one foreign source told another journalist is surveying foreign governments (about what?).

    I told you man, something is up. Ramos isnt here with Gloria. The father of all the old bat is not where he is supposed to be. If he really support Gloria he should be beside her “daughter”. We all know Gloria doesnt control the military because Ramos owned the Military. If Boss Tabako is doing something else we dont have to fear, cos if he comes back to the scene my grandmother said everything will be alright and we will have a tiger cub economy again. I hope so

  2. eric villegas

    i cannot believe you think this ex-policeman is the white knight.
    no way i and my friends will follow lacson.

    where have you been? you had a good pulse before. what happened to it??
    this guy will not even win as dog catcher of tahahan village.

    eric

  3. mlq3

    I don’t think he is the white knight. But I do think he thinks he may be the white knight, and that he is the man to watch for now while everyone else figures out what to do.

  4. Bruce Carolino

    Yes. Check the http://www.888.ph and comparte it with the http://www.geocities.com/who_is_rosebud and http://www.josepidal.isonfire. The problem with people like eric villegas is easily swayed by propaganda. Ping Lacson isd the man to watch. He is consistent in his principled leadership. Who among the politicians really surrendered their pork barrel? Who among the Chiefs of PNP or PC/INP has refused to accept jueteng payola? Ping Lacson was approached by Chavit Singson and Mark Jimenez and in jest offered P20M if he becomes Chief PNP in 1999, a friend of Erap and an FPJ supporter, now retired Chief Superintendent Roberto Calinisan (once served as Provincila Commander of Ilocos Sur) was used to offer P25M to Ping Lacson just to turn his other cheek on jueteng, Retired Senior Superintendent Wally Sombrero (who was made by Arturo Lomibao as a reference and expert in jueteng citing his study which was published at the Manila Times lastr week ) was also asked by Manong Chavit Singson to stop jueyeng operations and Ping L;acson will have a P30M monthly clean take. All of which were declined. If Ping Lacson did not conduct massive raids and operations against jueteng in line with his no kotong and no take policy, Erap might have survive and finished his term as President. The reason why Chavit testified and lied against Erap because his gambling dens in Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, La Union, Abra and Pangasinan were raided and his illegal operations were disrupted by Ping Lacson starting on June 11, 2000.

  5. Bruce Carolino

    This was lifted from the editorial of Manila Standard on June 17, 2000.

    BIG GAMBLE

    “All eyes are once more on National Police chief Gen.
    Panfilo Lacson and his newest target: alleged jueteng
    kingpin Bong Pineda. Lacson says he has a list of
    people in high places who are on the take from
    Pineda’s operations. Congress and Central Luzon
    politicians are incensed at Lacson’s waving the list
    but refusing to name names yet.

    For a government filled with half-baked leaders and
    incompetent political strategists, its ironic that the
    most politically astute and effective political
    strategist in the Estrada Administration happens to be
    a soldier who wears the uniform of a policeman. And
    this points to the sensitivity of the situation.

    Having been given a virtual carte blanche over the
    workings of the National Police, Lacson has proved
    more ruthless and more effective than any policeman in
    living memory.

    There is no way Lacson can lose when it comes to the
    campaign he has launched. Which makes us wonder if the
    civilians who nominally exercise powers of supervision
    and command over him realize what they’ve created. A
    drive against gambling lords, politicians and cops on
    the take, and a sense of timing that puts all
    opponents of the drive at a fatal disadvantage, are
    something that the President and even the Secretary of
    the Interior should be taking credit for. But no
    credit is going to Lacson’s putative patron, the
    President, or to Alfredo Lim. This is Lacson’s show
    from start to finish.

    As we’ve said, at this point it really doesn’t matter
    how this thing finishes. Lacson has made the
    impression he wants to make, and Congress is having a
    collective fit but has already been neutralized by
    Lacson’s sense of timing and withholding of names.

    Which means that Congress has put itself in a bind.
    It resents Lacson’s accusation by insinuation, and
    wants to limit the damage to specific members; but
    Lacson wont play ball. Congress is now set to make
    the mistake of summoning an articulate and photogenic
    PNP chief to be grilled by fat and inarticulate
    politicians in the House- which will accomplish
    nothing except give added momentum to Lacson and his
    crackdown on gambling.

    The implications of a sincere and thorough crackdown
    on gambling are significant, particularly with
    Lacson’s decision to embark on his efforts a year
    before the local elections.

    This sets the stage for what many fear, but cannot
    say, because to say it would bring them to Lacson’s
    attention: that the public, reasonably or not, is
    increasingly seeing this man as someone who gets
    things done, and is cold, calculating and ruthless,
    not to mention intelligent, enough to do what he
    wants. In other words, a potential man on a white
    horse, with all its fearsome associations, considering
    Lacson’s clearly controversial past.

    Presuming, as we do, and as people must, for lack of
    evidence to the contrary, that Lacson is merely doing
    his job faithfully and well, then it is important both
    for him and for his superiors to make it clear that he
    has the backing, full and unequivocal, of the civilian
    leadership; and the he does what he does not out of
    some bullheaded and ruthless sense of derring-do, but
    because he has been told to do it , and well. This
    solidifies the natural order of things instead of
    fueling speculation that in a government of imbeciles
    riddled with corruption, here is a man clever and
    clean-looking enough to subvert things from within.”

  6. Bruce Carolino

    Wild ramblings.

    If the tapes are proven authentic, GMA would have been shown to have cheated her way to the Presidency. Her proclamation would then be void from the start. It follows her reign would not be that of the President-elect as contemplated in the Constitution.

    Since her proclamation was void ab initio, the candidate who got the next highest number of votes, FPJ, should be proclaimed President-elect. But since FPJ is dead, then it should be him who got the third highest number of votes. Panfilo M. Lacson.

    Not having been legally occupied by GMA in the first place, she cannot legally vacate the Presidency. It is as if it were vacant ever since. And since it was never occupied, no vacancy would ensue upon the nullification of GMA proclamation. Vice President Noli de Castro cannot assume the Presidency since it was not left vacant owing to the limited means provided under the Constitution, i.e., by death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the duly elected President.

    Calling on the experts on election laws. Ain’t the above plausible?

    Must Panfilo M. Lacson now substitute for the demised FPJ in his electoral petition before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal? Late developments may just have catapulted Lacson to being a real party in interest in the case.

    This may be the only Constitutionally sound avenue out of our perplexing national predicament.

  1. How Now, Brownpau?

    The Ong Incident

    So if I’m understanding the current situation in the Philippines correctly, here was the strategy, from my own paranoid musings: The Marcos/Erap-funded underground opposition attempted…

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