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Oct 09

Chasing Teddyboy

Tonight I’m appearing on Y-Speak more or less defending reality shows. Was a fun experience (the episode was pre-taped). Watch it on Studio 23.

Scuttlebutt is, everyone commenting on the supposed anti-terrorism law, are making comments not on any definitive bill, as approved by both the committees on Foreign Affairs and Justice, of the House, but possibly on whatever version (including pet versions) individual members of the House may have, and release to the media. The definitive, official text hasn’t been released because Rep. Teddy Locsin hasn’t signed it (insider joke among those who have worked for him: pinning him down so that he’ll sign it is going to be a bit of an ordeal for the House secretariat). Anyway, yesterday’s Inquirer editorial asks the real question: what is the purpose of the law? Prevention, or punishment? The answer is significant.

The Tribune leads with what has also been scuttlebutt for a few days, a rumored Executive Order 467, which would call out the armed forces on the pretext of terrorist acts (or the impending threat thereof), which would coincide with the coming Congressional recess, which I understand starts a week early, and will go on to include the end of October-beginning of November 5 day holiday. The question is, whether the supposed order actually will attempt what the Tribune says it will attempt, or will try to simply institute more direct command over the AFP by the President in her capacity as commander-in-chief, will the armed forces accept it? My bet is, the armed forces will bow to institutional inertia and remain under the control of the Generals.

Art San Pedro in Sun-Star Cebu says, stop being scared of martial law! To which I can only reply what my father told me, apropos of Marcos’s declaration of martial law in 1972. “You know”, he told me, “if you read the 1935 Constitution, it was quite clear that its intent was to have martial law in specific localities before contemplating a sweeping, nation-wide declaration”. Basically, his point was, the fatal miscalculation people made about Marcos was that he would play by the rules, demonstrate restraint and self-control. He never did. But then, I guess it all depends on your attitude toward the incumbent. If you think she is interested in stepping down graciously, somehow, in 2007 or 2010, sure, give her the benefit of the doubt. As one colleague put it, though, “you have to think about someone who thinks she directly communicates with God.” Personally, I believe she has no option but to be president-for-life.

Reads for the day:

You know, for once, I agree with Winnie Monsod.

Isagani Cruz on what separation of powers really means.

Slate has a fascinating two-part review on a new movie on Edward R. Murrow. Heard about it from BuzzMachine who has thoughts of his own on Murrow, the movie, and the review (What? You don’t know who Edward R. Murrow was? Shame on you).

Horse’s Mouth has an amusing entry on what it’s like to return to the United States after living in the People’s Republic of China.

Live From USA.Philippines does this blog (and others) the honor of a mention in their podcast (a funny review, too: they basically don’t give a rat’s ass about politics, but if you do, then they say, read this blog.). Download it, it’s fun.

7 comments

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  1. joselu

    Manolo, I agree w/ Wennie M. to.Earlier she wrote about the gridlock that can happen also just as is the problem in the German parlament.All due to multi parties.
    It is certainly not the case for the British parlament or the American presidential system.
    I think this is important information the constitutional commision.
    I also think that there are also other reason why our Constitution needs some adjustments.I think it’s important that Goverment be more responsive to the needs of the entire Nation & not just of Imperila Manila.
    I think a unicameral system can be more responsive.
    I think we must insolate that the system elect clowns.
    In a worst scenario damage control is managed more peacefuly,through a non vote of confidence and we do not have to bring down the entire Nation to kill a fly!
    Yes Manolo,it is essential that the bureaucracy be professionalized.The PM can only have a hand on Minester of a department but not more than that.
    Our present system that gives the President a bit to much a free hand can only weaken the system as it has already done.
    I think any system can only be as good as man makes me.
    Manolo,I also agree me Isagani Cruz.But I think our real problem is when Laws & Doctrine are manipulated.
    Dong Puno wrote about the “grandstanders & the stonewallers”. I think the Senate had it coming to be stonewalled.Manolo, if the Congress checkes the Excutive.Who checkes Congress?
    I think our kind of Senate leaves from grandstanding more than anything.
    I have worked in broadcast media & covered the Senate & I have seen how things work there.
    I think there is so much life ahead w/o a Senate.It’s just another layer of bureaucracy & source of dirty politics.
    I don’t know if you have noticed the tone of the latest hearings.They have mellowed down.

    terorisim is here to stay.I just hope we have wider minds and not drown in our local issues.
    I think we must focus on the intent of the law.We must not even fool ourselves to thinking that the law is a cure all.We must send the right signals to all thise w/ terroristic intent that life will be hard for them.

  2. emilie

    winnie is right specially about mr luz. the president should bear in mind if the guy does not like to sign because of the rules he is not just protecting himself but also the president..but then maybe he delivered his message as if he is the boss ala hyatt 10

  3. joselu

    Emilie, that is why the CSC is around to make sure that rights are protected.
    I think,in the case of Luz, it makes a difference the credentials that he has.Wish there where more compitent people like him.
    Since the Constitution is already been tinkerd w/, I think we must take the work of the Constitutional commission seriously now and be able to follow their work closely.Lets not be the pinoy last minute type that when all is set & done then we start complaining.
    Manolo, is there a way that a sort of regular up-date can happen?
    Cause I think we must really be very careful on details so that we avoid the down side of Governance matters.
    I think we must strictly follow a 2 party system & if there should me more, only the 1st 2 dominant parties will be able to vote so as to avoid gridlocks.

  4. sleeping with who

    What is wrong with a three or more party system.. Look in Australia.
    Labour – Liberal – Nationals and hundreds of smaller parties.

    The Labour is for the Workers
    The Liberal is for the Businessmen middlie class
    The Nationals is for the Farmers.

    Works really well… The Nationals join the liberals and do not run against each other in most areas only in Farm/City areas..

    Everyone has the right to vote not just the two parties.. Allows for crossing of the floors on certian votes which allows for reall governance. Parties most time vote together.

    But the big difference is not parties to here is is policies..

    Always comes back to your policies.. (We dont have that here..)

  5. joselu

    Sleeping, for me the bottom line is to avoid a gridlock.
    Democracy is nice
    But it must be balanced out w/ sence of order
    Remember, we are 7100 islands.

  6. Alex

    Speaking about Edward Murrow, David Halberstam’s “The Powers That Be”, a brilliant chronicle of the US media, has a great account of Edward Murrow’s career. I highly recommend this book.

    Last week a couple of bloggers in Singapore were jailed for supposed racial coomments, a no-no under the government’s sedition act. Here in our country opposition groups, including elected officials, openly plot to overthrow the government and street protesters abuse the rights of free assembly yet the government has never thrown anyone in jail.

    Yet despite such tolerance, oppositionists and media groups like the PDI bizzrely take an alarmist attitude and excessively nitpick practically anything the administration does. Creeping martial law? President for life? Give me a break! Arroyo’s barely hanging on. Those stolen documents even attest to that. And her administration even shys away from enforcing its much-ballyhooed Preemptive Calibrated Response. Street protesters and Bro. Eddie taunt the government to arrest them. Erap operates at will to get back to power from his “detainment”.

    Now comes this important anti-terrorism bill which our country needs, unless we want to be another Bali. Instead of just being demagogues, the PDI and opposition groups should help flesh it out. If they have a problem on how it’s drafted now don’t simply object to it and come up with conspiracy theories. Help the government craft a better policy. We all have to unite and pitch in to safeguard our country. If the PDI and opposition groups are unwilling to help the government to help prevent terrorism then they’re not patriots but just a bunch of GMA-haters.

  7. joselu

    Yes, I agree w/ Alex.
    We really have to pitch in & fight terrorisim together.
    lets go to a higher level & think of the world reality of terrorisim that will not go away.
    It is absolutly STUPID that the Senators will give the Bill rough sailing in the Senate.I think the least they can do is make it a Law w/ teeth.
    It’s crazy that they are threathing it as if it will affect them more!Are they saying that the methods of opposition in this country border on terrorist tactics?
    It can only be our down fall if we never draw a clear line between our parochial issues and world matters just as our being losers in the economic arena becasue of obseced levels of politics!!!!!
    I don’y understand how a Golez can grandstand against anti-terrorisim Bill!
    I think it’s a great act of diservice to the Nation by making insinuations & creating ghost because of local issues that have nothing to do w/ the world reality of terrorisim!
    That is the problem in this country,Everytime Laws are crafted.The primary consern is protecting interest and worst of all making it appear to be legitimate!

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