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Jul 05

Prospects for Truth Commission

Ph5-070205
Office of the Press Secretary photo

The real big news today is that Sassy Lawyer is now a full-fledged paper pundit, having made a historic migration from full-time blogger to part-time columnist, with her miaden column in Manila Standard Today. Congratulations. For the purposes of Standard Today’s editorial line, the launching of Sassy’s column is impeccable.
La Vida Lawyer compares the positions announced by the U.P. and Ateneo de Manila law schools:

How come UP and Ateneo do not have the same position on Gloriagate? UP Law is run by academics, and Ateneo, by lawyers.

SunStar reports two interesting things:

First, Michael Defensor, environment secretary and presidential spokesman for political affairs, said the Palace will not initiate the creation of an independent non-political group to head the proposed truth commission.

This is interesting, because Civil Society’s clamor for a Truth Commission got derailed by the realization that for such a commission to do its job, it needs subpoena powers; only an executive issuance establishing such a commission would make this possible (so will this send a negative signal to Civil Society?) and that, second, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines, according to Media Liaison Officer Mark Tallara, would issue a pastoral letter addressing the President’s case on Sunday, if at all. In the Tribune, Ernie Maceda has an interesting tidbit on what may go on among the bishops:

Archbishop Rosales’ stance is critical because he will be listened to by many bishops in the CBCP. Expected to join him in seeking accountability of the wrongdoers are Archbishop Oscar Cruz, Naga Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi and Tuguegarao Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan.

Archbishop Talamayan is known to be extremely influential in his area, and so his being reported to be on the side of those wanting accountability is potentially significant.

Also Jes Sison in Malaya says:

President Arroyo said that there will be no Cabinet revamp. One for all and all for one.

How will this go over with the reformists in the Cabinet and again, Civil Society? This was one of there basic expectations and demands. Chairman Abalos refuses to step down.

The Star reports the President attended yesterday’s July 4 Reception (which I missed as I had to deliver a speech to the Masons of Teodoro Kalaw Lodge), which was unusual. It was the first time she went to the US Independence Day party since she became President, and indeed, usually, President’s don’t attend such things; Susan Roces was expected to appear, but sent her daughter. As usual, the remarks of the Governor General, or in this case, Acting Governor General, will be pored over like tea leaves, including the following:

Sometimes we as a people decide, through the democratic process, to fix what is wrong with the country. Other times we discern that what is best for our country is to accept imperfection and mistakes as inevitable and tolerable.

Anding Roces comes out strongly for the President; Dong Puno comes out strongly for impeachment as the only resolution; concerning the economic effects of the Supreme Court’s TRO, some business-savvy people tell me that perhaps the weekend did help. As they put it, if it was a trading day after the TRO, there may have been more panic selling, which would have caused more panic and so on “in a downward spiral “; that the weekend may have not only prevented panic selling but given people time to figure out the President may have been behind the decision, meaning the VAT will probably be restored when she thinks she’s on better political footing. These sources say even the rating companies seem to think so and, perhaps, even the business community. However, after spending $300 million to prop up the Peso, the Central Bank seems willing to let it slide; while the stock market didn’t bounce back as might have been hoped.

Scuttlebutt: Lupita Kashiwahara is searching for credible people to endorse the President, perhaps for a television advertisement. The Department of Foreign Affairs has dispatched undersecretaries to do the rounds of our foreign posts to drum up support among the Filipino communities abroad; there’s suggestions (from only one source, so far) that there are no less than ten wiretap tapes; Archbishop Cruz has some “mysterious photos”.

Finally, a theory I’ve told friends quite often. People Power only seems to happen in December to February, when the weather is cool. The coming typhoon, for one, will prevent most sides from moving in any particular direction, except those in meetings indoors.

5 comments

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  1. jove

    manolo,

    re:
    “SunStar reports two interesting things:

    First, Michael Defensor, environment secretary and presidential spokesman for political affairs, said the Palace will not initiate the creation of an independent non-political group to head the proposed truth commission. ”

    yup. won’t initiate creation BUT mike is pushing for TC option to the max. (buying time?)

  2. mlq3

    buying time -but is he authorized?

  3. hawkeye

    “People Power only seems to happen in December to February, when the weather is cool. The coming typhoon, for one, will prevent most sides from moving in any particular direction, except those in meetings indoors.”

    I agree.

    Sun-Tzu’s treatise on warfare, known popularly in English as The Art of War, written in the last half of the 5th Century BC stated that “the proper season to attack is when the weather is very dry.”

  4. james

    The Star link to the U.S. Embassy
    reception is not working.

    As an alternative till it can be fixed.
    Ellen tordesillas has an interesting take on it from malaya.

  5. mlq3

    hawkeye, which means, we’re in for a long road ahead, perhaps.

    james, thanks, linked to ellen in a later post.

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