So what did yesterday prove? First, the organizing power of the Left; second, the lack of drawing power of the traditional opposition; third, the continued distrust and even hostility of the Center. Relying on Susan Roces won’t do, particularly when it’s clear that Roces has a healthy distrust of the very people trying to use her in order to put an attractive face to the opposition (people who say they’ve talked to her on a regular basis assure me of this). As blogger Sef puts it (and I’ve said this time and again), the opposition just doesn’t get it: you will never get the middle and professional classes to rally together with the Estradas, Ernie Maceda, Imee Marcos, Kit Tatad. Sassy further dissects the shortcomings of the crowd. Max Soliven points out everyone there hates each other.
In the blogosphere, not just because he says some nice things about this blog, but because he’s one of the journalists who have turned to blogging, please read and link to Howie Severino’s blog. Torn and Frayed suggests Pagcor may be the President’s next big headache (as well as the country’s); PCIJ investigates the origins of a controversial e-mail regarding Department of Foreign Affairs staff; Jove says the President is radiant these days; Punzi delves into contempt;
The pundit roundup for today of course begins with me: my explanation of the true meaning of the CBCP statement in my PDI column, and a digest of what’s going on for foreign readers in my Arab News column this week. Patricio Diaz delved into the bishop’s views two days ago, it turns out.
Connie Veneracion continues her constructive efforts to discuss the parliamentary system: read her introduction first, then her column which has two provocative assertions:
LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s debunk a few myths about our current form of government: 1) we have a democracy and 2) our democracy works.
(I’d suggest though, Connie delve into two problems with her assumptions; first, even the sectors today reject the idea of sectoral representation in the future; second, she assumes the only option is unicameralism, which I’m not sure everyone wants); concerning charter change, Dong Puno thinks the Speaker is getting overexcited; Nestor Mata (who, if you didn’t know, was the lone survivor of the airplane crash that killed President Magsaysay) supports the Ramos plan; Tony Abaya bats for a caretaker government; Federico Pascual says our options are few; JB Baylon is simply irritated with everyone, but does say the President ignores an important point:
PGMA was right when, in her remarks, she said that giving in to calls for her to resign because it would open the floodgates to Edsas 4, 5, 6 and so on. Indeed, forcing a president out of office a third time in twenty years establishes an even stronger precedent for people from Manila taking to the streets and upending the results of any election.
There were at least two flaws, though, in that reasoning… The first flaw is that she herself was a beneficiary of an EDSA… Second, an Edsa cannot force a president out of office simply because of an unpopular decision… Edsas have forced presidents out of office when the presidents have been perceived as committing criminal acts…
Hence it is true that a future president could face an Edsa much more easily if GMA gives in now, BUT only if a future president faces a situation where the overwhelming public perception is that a crime has been committed and the president refuses to acknowledge it Ã¢â‚¬â€œ or hides behind legal technicalities to escape accountability.
Lito Banayo writes on quackery; Anding Roces wants peace and order; Alex Magno proclaims everything that’s happened a misadventure; Juan Mercado tackles the vice-presidency; Conrado de Quiros says Cory’s been diminished by her previous stands; from Cebu, Bong Wenceslao shrugs off the noise; Bel Cunanan pooh-poohs the rally and suggests we look at the power of mayors. Speaking of rallies, here’s an interesting comment made on this blog:
Askdoc in comment No. 27 says,
Did some quick calculation using your formula and a streetmap.
The stretch of Ayala from makati med(salcedo street) to makati ave(manila pen) is around 1000 meters more or less. The width of ayala ave (inc. sidewalks) is around 40 meters. (my house is 40 x 80 m so I know how wide 40 meters is) That means the area is 40,000 sq. m.
The stretch of Paseo from Ayala to Makati Ave is about 500 meters x around 30 m width would give 15,000 sq m. or 55,000 sq meters total. Your formula means the crowd should be between 55,000 to 110,000.
At around 6pm. RG Cruz of ANC reported that the crowd had swelled and had reached one block beyond the Manila Peninsula while on Paseo it had reached Buendia. That added 12,000 sq m in Paseo and about 6000 sq m from Ayala for a grand total of 73,000 sq m. So if my map is correct, the estimates at peak should be between 73,000 people to 146,000 people.
The police has the right formula, its the numbers they plug in that is Ã¢â‚¬Å“defectiveÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Carlos Celdran adds this, in comment No. 31:
Id say the crowd was around 30,000. 15,000 of them I believe were paid to be there. 15,000 of were there by conviction perhaps. I was able to drive out of Makati and even go to Cubao to watch a movie so it didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t paralyze the city the way EDSA II did. And Cubao was pretty full. A lot of us donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t share SusanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s point of view. At least Ninoy gave his life up for the Philippines. FPJ died drunk.