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Aug 25

Moving on

Convened and reconvened is my column for today.

The FBI has refused to examine the “Garci” tapes (did the opposition know the FBI doesn’t look at previously-examined material?). The majority in the House rejoiced over Rep. Eulogio Magsaysay finally learning how to read (a skill learned not a moment too soon for someone who represents teachers). The minority of course, is officially unhappy but perhaps relieved to be rid of an ally of such obvious low-wattage. The PCIJ, not usually known for the humor of its articles, couldn”t help but cover the goings-on in the House, and conclude with this observation:

In his press conference, Magsaysay read from a statement that was prepared for him by his chief-of-staff, who told the congressman to just read its pertinent portions. Appearing clueless, or probably lacking sleep, Magsaysay even had to ask his staff which were the pertinent parts in the statement that he should read.

The goings-on continue to provoke comment from among the punditocracy and the blogosphere. Newsstand makes some observations, including the senile behavior of Rep. Datumanong; the observation made by Earl Parreno on TV that the addition of five signatures to the impeachment complaint seems curiously timed; and that Alan Peter Cayetano, the most obviously God-fearing (or at least, God name-dropping) representative of all, seems to have made a self-fulfilling prophecy. Edwin Lacierda observes that the opposition should rely less on making speeches on TV, and more on networking (something earlier observed by Newsstand, quoting Sen. Joker Arroyo). Paeng is simply beginning to tune out. Punzi is alarmed by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita saying on radio that they are prepared to impose martial law, if people get upset over the killing of the impeachment complaints. (Speaking of martial law, the Marcoses say they’re prepared to roll out the red carpet for the President on September 11 -but it seems she has other plans, see next paragraph).

The President is poised to make a hegira to Saudi Arabia (on September 11, bad, bad mojo!) on her way to New York; in the meantime, she’s finally sent the budget to Congress: supposedly no money for charter change, but a third of the budget is devoted to debt payments. Jove focuses on the budget, notes that Budget Secretary Romulo Neri seems preternaturally chirpy, and ends with two words: Emilia Boncodin.

In other news, how will Juan Ponce Enrile’s shifting to the senate majority help or hinder the President? Who knows. But Enrile does seem set, along with Miriam Defensor Santiago, on attacking Armando Doronila, who has accepted an appointment as ambassador to Belgium and the E.U. Some senators object to Doronila’s age (he’s 77). I wonder if they know how old Enrile is.

Today’s pundit round-up has Julius Fortuna quoting Ernesto Maceda, who says impeachment is as good as dead. Dong Puno doesn’t agree, he thinks the haggling is just getting bolder:

The point is that at this critical stage of the impeachment proceedings, where it seems evident that the majority’s marching orders are to kill the complaints as early as possible, even before the investigation phase in the House Committee on Justice is reached, the majority congressmen think they have enormous new leverage which they can assert and, more importantly the President cannot refuse.

A clear indication of this was what I consider a particularly low point in yesterday’s Justice Committee session when one administration congressman brought up the controversy on the release of infrastructure funds, allegedly only to some but not to all House members.

…But the real point of his outburst emerged when he said that if he did not get his rightful share, he would vote for impeachment.

Alex Magno, on the other hand, has a scathingly low opinion of Mike Velarde and his reconciliation efforts:

He overstepped his role. He overplayed his card. In so doing, he undermined his own role in a discreet game of political flirtation.

A go-between brokering a potential affair between two lovers is not expected to give both parties lessons on the Kama Sutra.

Fel Maragay also looks into reconcilation moves, viewing it as a curious obsession of the President’s; Connie Veneracion is puzzled by the President’s insistence on reconciliation, since to her mind, the impeachment complaint is fatally flawed: perhaps the President is inclined to political suicide? Tony Abaya suggestes the President think out of “the trapo box” and go for gold:

She should call for 90-day continuous trials for high-profile corruption cases languishing in the Sandiganbayan. This means continuous trial for Joseph Estrada who has been detained since 2001, continuous trials for members of the Marcos family whose more than 100 cases have been pending in the courts since 1987, and continuous trials for Gen. Carlos F. Garcia, Gen. Jacinto Ligot and Col. George Rabusa, who have been charged with plunder by lawyer Frank Chavez in 2005….

But if she is indeed prepared to step down in 2006, as revealed by Defensor and suggested earlier by Fidel Ramos, that fear should not now cripple her. She should be fighting to leave an honorable legacy, and continuous trials for high-profile corruption cases would be one of the most dramatic ways to do it.

In this way, she could even hope to win back the leaderless middle class (who are running around like headless chickens with white ribbons attached to their claws), the business and professional communities, the militant Churches and the idealist factions of the military (who are now plotting her overthrow).

This is an endgame that she can win. This is the survival of the fittest, the fittest being those who adopt to new situations and use their skills and brains to overcome their predators, not those who offer the effete hand of reconciliation while they are being eaten alive.

Abaya presumes, of course, that an endgame is either desirable or being considered.

Juan Mercado pulls no punches and says Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña is linked to death squads roaming the city. Patricio Diaz has a bone to pick with Rigoberto Tiglao.

And in the blogosphere, Gari continues his observations of rally life at the House; La Vida Lawyer is upset his son knows more about George Washington than Filipino heroes; Expectorants focuses on debates on Rizal and people’s comments on Filipino novels in general; The Wily Filipino refuses to get on the cocomat bandwagon and voted for a non-Filipino invention instead; PhilFox Network promotes Hyperwage Theory (20,000 pesos a month for maids! 50,000 a month for call center representatives! Hey, at this rate, I like the idea: imagine the salaries for writers! Whee!); Lonely Vampire reposts an eloquent condemnation of homophobia.

In the expand your mind department, Another Hundred Years Hence begins looking into Cebu’s plans to be more liveable, and how liveability could apply to Metro Manila; and Big Mango continues his series on nation-building.

34 comments

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  1. gari

    Amang Magsaysay of AVE PartyList has the lousiest excuse I everheard.

    If it is not stupidity to affix your signature without reading and understanding what you’ve been signing, I don’t know what will you call it.

    What is certain is that he must be lost with his advocacy for education reform and the welfare of the teachers.

    I wonder whether it’s no longer the 3R — reading, writing and arithmetic–seems to be the priority of basic education.

    thanks manolo for tagging…

  2. mlq3

    He gave me high blood pressure yesterday. Also, on a basic level, what the hell is he doing as a party list rep? If he’s on,e then we might as well set up our own pet party list and put ourselves in congress!!

  3. KULAS PIRO

    just gives us the word mlq3 – and i’ll volunteer to campaign to put you in congress, (for whatever i’m worth anyway)

  4. KULAS PIRO

    yes! yes! we’ll put you in congress mlq3! (or is that a bad joke)

  5. mlq3

    kulas: hahahaha.

  6. fencesitter

    crazy party list really. One party list is called BUHAY – what does this represent??? Each congressman is alocated 60m? porkbarrel every year. imagine. By the way Buhay representative is one of the sons of Mike Velarde.

  7. har

    Manolo:

    Ya, how about it? I’ll campaign for you here in Mindanao. I guess people should and must be represented by someone who, at least, knows what he is signing and why he is signing it. That Magsaysay is beyond comprehension.

  8. mlq3

    har: let’s just set up an Internet party and run a Party List composed of Sassy Lawyer, etc. There can be a platform of wifi for everyone~!

  9. Ed



    Tony abaya forgot many things manolo. If Gloria did that will that also means she’s going to let these hounds file a case against her family? Will these people who are mentioned will just stand there and take it? It may turn dangerous for her. If she do that she will die and her family will be hurt too. Yes she can do that and have some sympathy but that sympathy will die as soon as her baho will suffice.

    Say yes manolo and I too will help for your kampanya! let’s create a parylist! you can represent bloggers!!!! I thought partylist means you represent a certain sector? if what I think is true then are qualified! just remember to put your porkbarrel for good use ( Good servers, putting up partylist own data center and give us free free hosting!!!!!!) (free blogpartylist.com 3 gigabytes email anyone?)

    peace

    shameless plug – http://www.talkphilippines.com – a forum to vent your anger about our beloved country.

  10. mlq3

    Ed, itakbo na lang si Sassy Lawyer atbp.

  11. Ed

    Pwede din! pero I am more inclined na mapasama ang pangalan mo dun! I mean diba mas maganda ang magiging image ng congress pag merong Manuel Quezon na miembro? Think about it! instead na we whine about things going on sa ating bansa You might get a chance to change it for us!!!! Hindi ka naman mangungurakot dahil ang pork barrel mo mapupunta naman sa tao at isa pa alam kong hindi mo dudungisan ang pangalan ng ninuno mo.

    Think about this manolo. If we cant change the system, instead of just writing about it why not join it and change it from within? You might just immortalise that name because of what you did and not because your lolo has the same name like you.

    I kept on wondering parang disease ang tingin mo pag sumali ka sa politika? I knwo because the kind of what we have at the moment pero, with your name and stature you can use it to your advantage. You can affect lots of people if you just make a go for it.

    siguro mahina parin ang persuasion skills ko 🙁

    peace manolo

  12. mlq3

    Ed, the problem is, sa pananaw ko, ang isang problema nga, iniisip ng tao na kelangan nila ang may pangalan, pero dapat isipin nila bagong panahon na, kailangan natin ng mga tao na mas in touch sa nakakarami kesa sa mga katulad ko.

  13. gari

    i don’t want manolo to run in this present congress…let’s change the political system first. unless all of you would like to let manolo be eaten alive by the system…

    manolo, why not be in the transitional government?

    its more of a platform based, processes and radical reforms rather than personalities.

    anyway, not all partylist representative are crazy. some of them have their shares of flashes of insanity but in general term, party-list are supposed to be elected based on program and not on the party. partylist are the one voted in most of european parliaments.

    party-list system in congress supposed to constitute 20% of the membership of congress based on a 2% proportionality of electoral votes. party-list system replaces appointed sectoral representatives in congress…

    anyway, PDAF [or the pork barrel as you named it] is not Ph P 60M, it’s only Ph P 40M. it doesn’t mean a lot for a genuine partylist group because of the national constituency and national representation unlike that of district representative.

    imagine, one partylist representative with national constituency receiving a PDAF of Ph P 40M as compare to one single legislative district, it doesn’t last for long.

  14. kulas piro

    hmmm . . mlq3, i don’t think the guys are laughing. i would lean towards gari’s suggestion though.

    it will be worth our prayers

    p.s. i know a lot of politicians who are “mas in touch sa nakararami” but just to use them for their own political gains and to satisfy their greed. nasa puso, mlq3, nasa puso – carry mo iyan

  15. smilingfilipino

    it’s admirable to see writers like yourself who take time out to be vigilant. the government has become so frustrating i find myself spending my time now appreciating the progress in the arts – the birth and growth of indie digital films (amazing cinemalaya entries) – and retail (vendors selling creative concoctions at salcedo market, young entrepreneurs helping boost the shoe industry, etc.) – instead. at least there’s progress in those areas.

  16. mlq3

    smiling: cool blog! there’s much to be hopeful about.

  17. MitaMS

    Why not a party for the tax-paying middle class?

    The best politicial candidates are honest, willing to make sacrifices, principled, may delicadeza, preferably single and childless and a bit reluctant. College degrees not required…

    So who is willing to make the sacrifice and run for office?

  18. Ed

    I think no one will make that sacrifice. 🙁 Most candidates these days ( those new ones ) are idealistic and mean spirited when they participate in an election. But then when the cost of the election sinks in they have to reimburse themselves after the election.

    Thats what I observe. The reason why many politicians who were good before they became something else after is money. The cost of running in an election can make or break someone’s bank account. When that candicate win the mentality will be like “kailangan mabawi ang pera”

    pera nga naman 🙁

    ———————————–

    Manolo, Kahit siguro asa modern age na tayo iba pa rin talaga ang dating ng may pangalan eh. We filipinos ay laging ganun simula pa nung pananhon ni mahoma. We tend to look up for those who have names and the stature that comes with it. kaya lang nasosobrahan natin ang paghanga. and in regard with that statement na kelangan ng mas in touch sa nakakarami, youre a historian. I believe na because you studied history you will never take those mistakes people from the past made.

    talagang kulang pa rin ang persuasion skill ko

  19. MitaMS

    Who else is associated with AVE aside from Amang Magsaysay?

  20. KULAS PIRO

    i certainly agree with mlq3 – smilingfilipino has a cool blog. nakaka relieve sa lahat ng gulo na nangyayari sa atin

  21. taipan88

    count my vote in, mlq3
    …if ever you decide to go for it. we need men like you to show the world that we still have good men left in this part of the Pacific.

  22. fencesitter

    your being a quezon is a boon to your becoming a good politician. Gari is right instead of us whining about the present crops of politicians.why don’t you? so that the people will have fresh hope at working on a genuine change.

    Mr. gari thank you for correcting me about the PDAF of congressmen i thought it reaches to the tune of 60M. Well i wasn’t so sure of the figure in my previous entry. Pero look at the party-list now may be by sheer number of ,lets say, El shadai followers and the JIL of Bro. Eddie Villanueva, CIBAC and BUHAY were able to hack a seat each in congress. and what do these two represent?? 40m is still a lot from tax payers money

  23. F

    Each Member of the House gets PDAF of P40-M on top of projects he can insert in the budget. Bloggers who want to cover the impeachment proceedings or House sessions can take advantage of the free wi-fi signalin the plenary hall. So what party will it be, mlq3? 🙂

  24. Ed

    Yeah you can even use that pork barrel to fund a c-span like channel!!!!!!! come to think of it, the reasoning behind this push to make you run is your winnability. Your name is big.

    and if you have some spare pork barrel how about free wifi connection to all the state universities 😀

    shameless plug – http://www.talkphilippines.com

  25. Arbet

    Wow. My blog was quoted. Must be a slow news day. Kidding.

    If I were a member of AVE, I would immediately ask the leadership to replace the party representative. THAT person only gave shame to a party that supposes to represent teachers that impart knowledge and teaches our kids how to read – read that – READ. Tsk tsk.

  26. Sassy

    Manolo, you’re hilarious. hahaha for the record, i will never ever seek political office.

  27. gari

    margaux, you got a refreshing blog.

    fence, how about Ph P 36B for the president’s intelligence fund which, i think, undergo auditing? isn’t that too much for taxpayer’s money?

    under the partylist law, i think the party has a right to recall their representatives, don’t know if AVE –being NOT SO REAL PARTYLIST–has that mechanism. see, sen. magsaysay speaking in behalf of AVE.

    sassy, how about CONnie for CONgress [ConCon] na campaign line? Kaya lang it sounds like CONCON…imagine sa pagpasok ng chacha, those who wants constitutional convention [ConCon] will be campaigning unknowingly for you. hehehe.

  28. ricelander

    Plato said the punishment for those who refuse to join politics is to be ruled by inferior men.

  29. dops

    Manolo, it is time that the blood of real heroes be in the congress…

    lke they said, kaya mo yan, we will be all-out to support you…

    oh, yes, with you in there we can at least see hope for the country…

    i hope you would consider and reconsider the calling of the people… we need you to lead us.

  30. mlq3

    Thank you, everyone, but please, if you haven’t read it before, please read it now: you need me running like you need a brain tumor.

  31. Abe N. Margallo

    “I prefer a country run like hell by journalist/historians with brain tumors to a country run like heaven by scatterbrains.”

  32. fencesitter

    36b!!?? intelligence fund????tsk tsk tsk. no wonder she has a lot of political amunitions.

  33. Rowena

    AVE? AMANG MAGSAYSAY? This so called honorable teacher from ob montessori is a very funny, dumb, and unbelievable representative of the education sector.He’s there in congress to have money in his pocket.I heard they live b4 in a condo unit but after winning the election and using the education sector theyre now in north greenhills. Attention: government agency incharged for this to check his life style check. i also heard he has now a couple of luxurious cars but was registered to another names. Amang is a big joke in congress. He cant even speak/read straight even if he has a “kodigo”.
    What kind of representative are u representing the education sector? They say education system is deteriorating in our country but i cant imagined now how rotten our system be when it is represented by a clown!

  34. erina

    hey rowena??? and the other people there?? u dny even know congressman magsaysay?? and u know what??? how dare u call him dumb??? look at ur self?? huh?? god, kayo u just look at people basta basta!! dnt feel like malinis kayo, coz u people are bot!! lahat tayo may kabahuan na tinatago!!

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