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Jul 21

Commission is the news

Today’s entry is a bit late, because the first Blogs of the Round Table discussion took place from 11am to 1pm. Sassy makes a preliminary report. La Vida Lawyer had a meeting, so posted a manifestation, instead. Uploading the transcript is a pain because all the entries are in reverse chronology… Anyway, once it’s up, we can go on to the next round table discussion, which might be pre- or post-SONA.

Last night, GMA network’s 24 Oras focused on problems a Fact-finding Commissions might face, particularly before the Supreme Court. What’s interesting is that some of the problems (constitutionality, duplication of functions) were brought up by the Secretary of Justice and the Executive Secretary. The headlines today reflected this, in a way: the Manila Times says the President’s allies aren’t sold on the idea; Manila Standard Today says Congress is divided on the issue; Malaya says pretty much the same thing; Inq7.net chooses to focus on the increasing confidence of the Communist Party (Newsstand opines the CPP may be leaving behind a messy paper trail). Interesting news is that Susan Roces may be expanding her activities, or at least opposition efforts, as shown by a trip to Davao.

The TV news also carried the outright refusal of some people dangled as potential members of a commission (Atty. Romeo Capulong), and the non-commital response of others (former Senate President Jovito Salonga), a story focused on by The Daily Tribune.

In the pundit’s corner, let me begin with my calling a fact-finding commission a Casablanca commission in my column for today in the Inquirer (in the Arab News, my column this week is on Britain’s response to terrorism); Anding Roces is all for such a commission; Gemma Cruz-Araneta suggests Mexico as a model for what’s going on; Ellen Tordesillas revisits the goings-on in the Department of Foreign Affairs; Max Soliven mentions a wiretapping controversy in India (but there were others, which I’ve mentioned, too); Dong Puno discusses senators as an endangered species; Tony Abaya in his column (the most intriguing read, today) discusses possible members of a junta in the minds of the Estrada camp:

As far as I can make out, the preferred members of this putative “revolutionary council” are Binay, Fortunato Abat, Salvador Enriquez Jr. (budget secretary under FVR), Renato de Villa (AFP COS and defense secretary under FVR), Horacio ‘Boy’ Morales (agrarian reform secretary under Erap, and co-founder of the National Democratic Front, the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines) and two as yet unidentified (to me) communists, one of them a “reaffirmist,” the other a “rejectionist.”

…I understand that Susan Roces and Evangelist Eddie Villanueva have both been invited to join the Binay-Ejercito “revolutionary council” but, for different reasons, both remain ambivalent or uncommitted toward it.

He also says Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay was summoned to Washington, D.C. to have conversations with American officials:

If you are confused by the irreconcilable disunities within this ideologically cock-eyed group and are underwhelmed by the unadulterated mediocrity of most of its members, know that there are some people who actually take them seriously. Binay was summoned to Washington the other week, as were Boy Morales and Eddie Villanueva months before this crisis blew up. But I honestly do not know if they were encouraged or discouraged by State and Defense in their “revolutionary” undertaking.

Rigoberto Tiglao mounts a strong defense of the President, which is feebly answered by Dinky Soliman (incidentally, my take on the “Hyatt 10”: if you are going to make a political move, don’t rely on well-meaning but rather inept politicians like Butch Abad; they should have just resigned, and not said anything, for talking the way they did goes against our cultural grain).

In the blogosphere, Paeng worries about the coming South East Asian games; And, in the Lunatic Fringe department: Newsstand has a series of interesting entries: on not giving Angara’s side to accusations he tried to make a deal with the Vice-President; two entries, here and here, on the Truth Commission; a curious blog called Anonymous Sources makes its debut; JJ Disini muses on Cesar Purisima’s apology to the Supreme Court.

Nat 4-1
Photo from Inq7.net

Elly Pamatong, whose earlier incarnation was leader of the Statehood movement, files an impeachment complaint against the Vice-President. He (Pamatong) was last seen, of course, haunting the Susan Roces press conference. We can file this story under the Lunatic Fringe department.

11 comments

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  1. marvin

    I heard (Kang) Cong. Pichay on radio this afternoon, vehemently objecting to the Truth Commission idea. It just hit me that the administration boys are doing a “good-cop bad- cop” act on this GMA proposal. Kumita na yan.

  2. manuelbuencamino

    Re Bobi Tiglao’s strong defense of Arroyo.

    “I think natural selection must have greatly rewarded the ability to reassure oneself in a crisis with complete bullshit.”
    — Bob Harris

  3. MitaMS

    I read the chat and found it very educational expecially for a non-lawyer like myself. Hope there will be more of these chats posted in the future. Just want to comment…medyo bitin for a 2 hour chat. Perhaps you should consider other chat venues like Yahoo Messenger which is very fast and reliable. You can always paste and copy the text on your blog…and get a lot more information exchanged.

    Bloggers have a lot more power than they realize. I truly appreciate your unpaid efforts to keep us informed. Keep up the good work.

  4. mlq3

    Hi Mita-

    The problem was a lot of comments got lost, so we are looking at other means, such as Yahoo, to try to have a more systematic way of chatting. Thanks for your encouragement!

  5. Janette Toral

    Frank Chavez, in the news last night, also shared his concern on the objectivity of the Truth Commission. As this body will be investigating the PGMA, how can it be reliable enough knowing that Malacanang will have a direct hand on it.

  6. howie

    Manolo, you’ve studied political speeches. Historically speaking, how siginificant is GMA’s SONA speech this Monday? Have there been speeches more important to the survival of a government?

  7. Jojo

    Folks, you might be interested in this link, where people talk about what worked and not worked in terms of American counter-insurgency policies in Asia.

    http://www.cna.org/documents/FinalReportCNA.pdf

  8. manuelbuencamino

    The truth commission will work only if it is formed after Gloria’s resignation. The truth commission is for finding out the truth not for resolving the vrisis.

  9. Sam

    I have read the log of your first online-discussion. It was interesting and very informative. I suggest you use other programs (msn or YM)for your next conference chat . It’s more convenient and reliable. You can just save your chat log and then post it on the roundtable blog.

  10. Sam

    Jo, thanks for the link. Very interesting piece.

  11. Jojo

    Way sapayan Sam. Am looking for the one that evaluated the Balikatan sa Mindanao. Pero wa pa gyud nako makit-i

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