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Jul 09

Impeachment impasse?

This entry was revised at 11:36. Scuttbutt from sources close to Cory Aquino originally suggest things are headed down the long road of impeachment. This is without prejudice to those who have already called for the President’s resignation. Recall during President Estrada’s time, there were strong calls for his resignation, but this didn’t stop most people from preferring the impeachment option. Others, though, suggest that Cory is firmly for resignation, but that the President’s resistance indicates impeachment is the only battleground both sides can agree to.

Once again, reading the public mood might suggest that this is how the majority of people feel. At the very least, it keeps things within the system, affords a chance to prove, definitively, whether the Presidents acts of omission or comission are truly politically punishable (impeachment is a political process, after all), affords the President’s critics a chance to sway public opinion while giving the President a chance to plead her case. The tacit alliance which I suggested both here and on ANC last night, between Cory Aquino and Susan Roces, I can say with a (slightly) higher degree of certainty (according to some of the same sources) does exist, at the very least, Roces is remaining her own person, and refusing to be baitedl whether this indicates a shared resolve between the two widows to keep things peaceful, I don’t know, no one seems in a position to (publicly) categorically state there’s such an agreement.

This doesn’t bode well for the Ramos solution of charter change; but meanwhile, if the President has to concentrate on her defense, it means former President Ramos might have a virtually free rein to run the government.

This situation affords the country a breathing room, while rendering even more politically inconsequential, the Communists and the Estrada loyalists. It may be that signals from the various camps will reflect a growing consensus that impeachment is the only rational way out of the impasse at present.

Today the President’s allies have continued hitting back against the Liberl Party, and the opposition, in turn, had some sort of Muslim group proclaiming loyalty to Gen. Abat. So far the Cory camp has been silent.

13 comments

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  1. Nenet

    Mr. MLQ3,

    The process of impeachment might entail quite a long time and what the people want to see at present are immediate reforms. I subscribe though to your conviction that it seems that most of the members of the civil society, middle class and other political parties are in favor of the impeachment process. But I tell you, with the rate things are going right now, given the Estrada’s leading the people to the streets, it would be impossible for the government and business to work in peace no matter how hard they try.

    I believe that the call of Cory is a call for peace. I believe that Susan’s decision to decline joining the rally in Ayala yesterday is a good sign that her mind and heart are in the right places. I suggest though that she designate an Official Spokesperson for her because her name is being constantly included in the speeches of JV, Imee and Binay. They are already playing Susan’s card and that is quite scary since they make their proposition of a junta government attractive to the public by telling them that Susan supports this call.

  2. mlq3

    Nenet, my own position is clear, I don’t think the President should remain in office, I don’t think her call for charter change now is good for charter change; I think going through impeachment will be long, difficult, and potentially explosive.

    I think my view, though, that Susan Roces will be prudent has been validated, and she does have a spokesman, that’s chiz escudero; when I asked Susan Tagle, who was FPJ’s assistant, to clarify if JV Ejercito was accurately reflecting Susan’s views, they immediately sent the full text of Roces’s statements to the papers. This shows that she stands by what she says, and what she said in the statement is clear enough.

    Personally, the only person, though, who would get me on the streets is Cory Aquino. I think Cory’s call for resignation was the right one, but maybe they know things we don’t, such as the true state of public opinion.

    The Estrada-Binay crowd can only bring out so many on the streets, and each time they try, they only prove how mercenary their followers are. I don’t like Bro. Eddie’s option for a junta, though.

  3. dops

    hi,

    “I don’t like Bro. Eddie’s option for a junta, though.”

    I, too, could not understand a man claiming to be preacher and a religious order can afford to encourage a violent way of reforming government…what happend to the “peace, hope, etc…” that he used to preach to his followers?

    trullu, i think men like these show their real colors when they see power and an opportunity to grab power…

  4. dops

    just a correction, hehehe….
    *************
    hi,

    “I don’t like Bro. Eddie’s option for a junta, though.”

    I, too, could not understand a man claiming to be preacher and religious can afford to encourage a violent way of reforming government…what happend to the “peace, hope, etc…” that he used to preach to his followers?

    trullu, i think men like these show their real colors when they see power and an opportunity to grab power…
    *************
    tyyy

  5. Sam

    The impeachment proceedings for ERAP only provided the icing on the cake. The impeachment hearing against ERAP wasn’t even concluded.The decisive factor that lead to his downfall and forced him out of Malacanang was the strong pressure calling for him to step down.

    I agree that an impeachment trial is one legal and constitutional process but it’s not the only solution. It only eases tensions temporarily. A comic relief. Given GMA’s intransigence in clinging to power and with the backing of her allies who comprise the majority in Congress, an impeachment proceeding will just be an exercise in futility. Her rabid allies in Congress will make sure that any attempt to impeach the President will be crushed.

    An impeachment proceeding against GMA without a strong pressure calling for her resignation will only vindicate her. It will just give her fresh mandate and legitimacy to govern again. Then everything goes back to square one. Back to business as usual for GMA.

    These are just my two cents worth.

  6. mlq3

    Sam: the way I see it, those of us who made up our minds, will keep asking her to step down. Will an impeachment convince others? Hopefully, even if she moves heaven and earth to quickly conclude it. After all, having had more time to govern, she has made many deals to stay in office: and people will see what that means.

  7. sunder

    how about fidel ramos, what card will he be playing in this opera

  8. sunder

    mlq3:

    i need to ask you, when people start talking about debt relief like the ones given to some african continental countries, does this have anything to do with for example the sovereign bond issuance of a country,

    what happens to individual investors when such a debt relief is given, do the private individual investors lose their shirt then,

    forgive the ignorance

  9. james

    sam,
    icing on the Cake? did you forget Clarissa Ocampo. that was dynamite!

  10. mlq3

    sunder, sunder: there are many kinds of debt, so it depends. i think debt relief helps everyone, as government has to tax less, etc.

  11. citizen frank

    While the lawful ends we aspire for restrict us to the Constitution, let’s not box ourselves in and take this to mean the kinds of action we can take are similarly limited. Take the the clamor for resignation. Pursuit of this end need not all be signed petitions, somber street marches and staid sit-ins. The middle forces just need to be creative. The situation calls for heaps of lateral thinking. Think Saul Alinsky, for instance. Alinsky was a legendary American community organizer who rightly saw political engagement as a species of warfare and always went for the unorthodox to confound his opponents. He almost invariably won, too. His actions were guided by these rules of power tactics, which when properly realized can be an antidote to apathy among would-be activists:

    1. Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
    2. Never go outside the experience of your people. When an action is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear and retreat.
    3. Wherever possible, go outside the experience of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear and retreat..
    4. Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
    5. Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who reacts to your advantage.
    6. A good tactic is one your people enjoy. If your people are not having a ball doing it, there’s something very wrong with the tactic.
    7. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time, after which it becomes a ritualistic commitment.
    8. Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.
    9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
    10. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure on the opposition.
    11. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
    12. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it.

    Alinsky also operated on these principles:

    “If you have a vast organization, parade it before the enemy, openly show your power.”

    “If your organization is small, do what Gideon did: conceal the members in the dark but raise a clamor that will make the listener believe that your organization numbers many more that it does.”

    “If your organization is too tiny even for noise, stink up the place.”

    Alinsky reads like a Sun Tzu of mass movements.

    Master these precepts and you’re ready to talk “smart mobs”.

  12. MitaMS

    Erap had his impeachment, why can’t we give the same to GMA? The tipping point for Erap was the Senate decision not to open that last envelope and not the calls for him to resign. It was only then that people (myself inclued) took to the streets. Kissa Ocampo was dynamite alright and confirmed all our worst fears about Erap. If we are to uphold the constituion as Cory Aquino has repeatedly said, then we should go the impeachment route. NO ifs or buts. The bullying tactics and ganging up on the President is so immature and impractical. We have to respect our instituions. No one is more obligated to uphold these institutions than the people leading them – like Franklin Drilon. He is part of this administration and his call for her resignation is an admission of his own defeat. Shame on him.

    FVR’s solution is the best one I’ve heard. It’s redeeming values makes it the less damaging to our country and people. This brand of democracy we have is not working for us. Let the politicians slug it out in parliament and leave the rest of the nation in peace.

    I’m not worried about FVR running the country, I’d rather have him than Susan, Noli or anyone from the opposition. FVR has already proven himself a leader and not a mere puppet. Since 1986, we haven’t had as much stability as we did during FVR’s term. In fact, if we do push through with charter change, I’d like him to be Prime Minister – like the elder statesmen Mahathir and Lee Kuan Yew. This country lacks good leaders, we should learn to recognize the good ones before we find ourselves so deep in the hole we can’t get out. We cannot expect leaders to be saints, they are only humans. Honesty, incorruptibility and a willingness to work hard for the good of this country is enough for me.

    When GWBush won the US elections in November, so many Americans in blue states were disappointed and made plans to leave the country. Most of them stayed. No one asked for him to resign despite all his monumental blunders. We have instituions, if we cannot trust and respect our institutions, we should do something about it and not keep bellyaching whenever we’re unhappy. We keep focusing on personalities and this will keep us stuck in this vicious cycle of instability. We’re a young democracy, we have a lot to learn…we should recognize this, educate our people, drop the drama and hystrionics, learn to be more responsible as individuals for our actions, think long-term for our country and stop the blame game that is eroding our people’s confidence in our country’s ability to move on.

  13. mlq3

    mitams- your comments are very sobering, and i’ll be reflecting on them.

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