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Oct 13

Autogolpe

Ph3-101105

(Right: Official Palace photo. Add your own caption.)

As I’m writing this, the President is addressing the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries, and giving a verbal spanking to those opposed to her -opposing is ok, she says, as long as the opposition is restricted to “fiscalizing.”

Our word for the day is autogolpe, or self-coup, a term popularized by the autogolpe of Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori. A self-coup is, in a sense, a type of purge, such as the Night of the Long Knives, in which Adolf Hitler terminated party rivals and by so doing, ensured the support of the armed forces for his rule. In our own history we have self-coups, such as Marcos’s proclamation of martial law; and we have had purges aplenty, the Bonifacio-Aguinaldo leadership showdown being one, and more recent ones in revolutionary movements such as the Huks and the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Newsbreak’s article titled War Games, detailing how the President dealt with rumors of a coup attempt last October 2, has set the stage, or rather, put ongoing events in a military perspective.

Based on our interviews with civilian and military sources, it appears that those who have been actively recruiting for a coup are the following: members of Magdalo, or Philippine Military Academy graduates in the 1990s; former members of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement-Young Officers Union (RAM-YOU), who have apparently regrouped and reunited; junior officers who are linked to the RAM-YOU; and the remaining Marcos loyalists within the military.

The government is bent on jumping the gun on the plotters, thus the successive moves of issuing a tough order preventing bureaucrats and police and military from testifying against the President and peddling reports of assassination threats against Ms. Arroyo.

The President’s loyalists won’t give in easily, and many anti-Arroyo officers are aware of this. Thus, they are spending a lot of time convincing as many officers as they can, preferring that if there’s a withdrawal of support by the military from their commander in chief, it would be complete, similar to what happened in Edsa 1 and Edsa 2.

So there you have it, an amazing race, so to speak. There has been scuttlebutt aplenty about the Secretary of Justice ostentatiously leaving drafts of orders (a Proclamation declaring a state of lawless violence, rebellion, and a state of national emergency, and one establishing a revolutionary government which is said to be an unnumbered draft for an Executive Order) on his desk, of functionaries in his department being instructed to prepare warrants of arrest, and even of other officials being told to prepare arresting teams (the list, as supposedly leaked around since Monday: Rep. Escudero, Sen. Lacson, Atty. Vinzons-Chato, Atty. Homobono Adaza, Pastor Saycon, Guillermo Luz, Concepcion, Benigno Aquino III, plus active and retired military officers such as Danny Lim, Gen. Gudani, Dominguez,Nazareno, de los Santos, Abat, de Villa -as one colleague put it, “no one will weep for many of them”).

The process going on then, is pretty uncreative: testing the limits of what the public will accept, while conditioning the public as to what scenarios to expect. What the Inquirer editorialized yesterday as the trial balloon system of the President has been stepped up a pace by the Palace itself suggesting there are three conditions for emergency rule:

Ermita cited three factors that could force the President’s hand to push the emergency rule button — terrorism, oil prices and peace and order — all of which the government had declared in the past few weeks as emerging threats to economic and political stability.

Today’s Inquirer editorial characterizes the Executive Secretary’s statements, combined with other Palace pronouncements, as an Unspeakable Peril. As for terrorism opportunities, so to speak, they could range from attacks on protest rallies, or, God forbid, one on the 2005 Southeast Asian Games to be held in Metro Manila, Cebu, Bacolod and Subic; peace and order problems are already emerging: there’s a sudden epidemic of robberies ranging from to cake shops; threats to economic and political stability might include a simulated failed coup attempt or an even more aggressive confrontation between the President and the Senate (or an uncooperative Supreme Court failing to mediate to the satisfaction of either party).

Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ believes the President has vast powers still under a martial law scenario; and that any discussion on the issue of special powers or martial law boils down to whether one trusts or distrusts, the President.

But nervousness is particularly extreme as Congress embarks on a recess that will find the Senate President overseas, the population distracted with a long weekend at the end of the month, and vast numbers of citizens traveling to pay their respects at the tombs of their family members. From the beginning of this recess to the New Year, there are simply too many opportunities ripe for exploitation both by the government and its enemies.

Just as the Palace says there are three conditions that would (or might, or is it will?) trigger some sort of emergency rule, there seem to be three avenues being explored to enable the President to achieve the same thing without having to call it emergency rule or even martial law:

The first is through the anti-terrorism bill. There is a brilliant entry by the Sassy Lawyer dissecting the anti-terrorism bill, and she argues that it is no less than a Bill of Attainder, something the Constitution forbids but which most people are hazy when it comes to actually defining. She defines it, and indicates how the proposed law is unconstitutional. Not only that, she examines, in detail, how the President could use the proposed law to suppress all opposition. Benito Lim has his own take as to why the proposed law seems sinister.

The second is through Constitutional amendments, or forcing a confrontation that would provide the pretext for an autogulpe. The President’s pet party, Kampi, has begun to challenge the timeline the dominant administration party, Lakas-CMD, wants. Read Julius Fortuna’s column today: the President’s putative speaker, Ronnie Puno, is sowing confusion and dissension within the ruling coalition.

The third way is to simply demolish the credibility of all those opposed to the President, while systematically provoking them so that the rash will react heatedly and strengthen the government’s argument that it must instill order (and fend off rumors stemming from things like anti corruption adviser Tony Kwok’s declaration that the anti-corruption drive is in crisis). Parties in a position to oppose have been split, and continue to be split, with the Palace’s encouragement. You know the mentality of the Palace is headed in a sinister direction when quite openly, a partisan of the President such as Alex Magno, can compare Manila Mayor Lito Atienza favorably to the late Ramon Bagatsing, a Marcos stooge if there ever was one.

Two pundits have parallel opinions as to what all these moves and counter-moves, whether in public or in the shadows, portend. Both seem to think it involves a signal from a foreign power -the United States. Tony Abaya believes the Palace suspects or even knows, that the United States is not pleased with the President, and to forestall any damaging revelations, might as well launch a crackdown now:

How damaging? Possibly details about the dollar deposits, real estate holdings and other assets of husband and wife in the US, and possibly details about his and her (separate) sex lives. I cannot imagine anything more damaging than this. All of which may tumble out into the open when the indictments against Aquino are made public next week.

In anticipation of the public uproar that will greet these revelations, the Arroyo government is deliberately sending signals that suggest an impending declaration of emergency rule, short of martial law.

... I would not be surprised if the credible and straight-talking Gary Teves is fired or is forced to resign soon.

It is also possible that Lacson already has those damaging dossiers stolen by Aragoncillo from Dick Cheney’s office, but was/is biding his time to make them public until he is ready with his own grab for power, which would be distinct and separate from Binay’s and Morales’ silly Solidarity “caretaker (revolutionary) council” that seeks to restore Erap to the presidency. The Americans may have unwittingly upset Lacson plans, but it does not necessarily mean that they are solicitous about GMA’s future.

On the other hand, Ricky Carandang believes the United States has decided to send a signal as to the parameters that should govern regime change, although actively engaging in the effort simply isn’t worth America’s time or energy:

So while they are not willing to step in decisively to influence events here, Washington is not so indifferent that it will not convey its preferences in a discreet way.

And this I believe is the message: The US is not inclined to step in to defend the Arroyo Adminstration if it comes under attack. Neither will it participate in any attempt to illegally undermine GMA. But it may step in to defend Arroyo if those who seek to bring her down are connected in any way to Joseph Estrada or the communists, who Washington believes would be worse than GMA.

Who could they be sending this message to? Go figure.

It seems characteristic of the Palace, to me, to overreact to any potential actions by Senator Lacson, who enjoys a reputation for cleverness and ruthlessness (he has more of the latter than the former, I think), just as it seems quite characteristic of the Americans not to particularly bother about the Philippines when it has bigger fish to fry.

Anyway, my column for today is Country First Always. The punditocracy weighs in with views on the Aragoncillo spy case, such as Dong Puno’s view that it’s all much ado about nothing, and views on the opposition and the Palace’s attitudes towards its opponents: Emil Jurado says the Palace’s enemies are engaging in their own “calibrated preemptive response”; Fel Maragay thinks the Palace’s worst enemies are in the bureaucracy; Bong Wenceslao thinks the opposition isn’t much of a threat, period. Juan Mercado, back from abroad, thinks the country is adrift.

In the blogosphere, Leon Kilat reports on how Catholic bishops are being encouraged to set up blogs; TPM cafe has a link to a new essay on American politics (the essay defines it as the politics of polarization); Bulletproof Vest has some spy-related links and an analysis of the lapses in grammar of a top Philippine official; Parallel Universes comments on the difficulties Filipino doctors-turned-nurses are having in some parts of the USA; Yuga analyzes Inq7.net and decides it has too many ads; Carlos Celdran blasts ANC.

Curious historical footnote of the day: a quotation from a book by Napoleon Hill in Sky Ferret has Hill claiming he counseled Manuel L. Quezon on how to be successful:

There is a well-recognized power in setting up a definite goal. Few, however, realize the power of setting a realistic time limit in which one intends to attain that goal. After having counseled Senor Quezon for some years, I induced him to set a definite time limit for freeing the Philippines and becoming the new nation’s leader. I also prepared an affirmation which he repeated to himself daily. It closed with a statement of this nature. “I will allow no person’s opinion, no influence to enter my mind which does not harmonize with my purpose.” Both the time limit and the affirmation were of great help to Quezon in knowing his own mind and keeping his own direction in the face of the enormous difficulties which besets him.

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  1. Carl

    Con permiso, Manolo. I believe the correct spelling is “Autogolpe”, from the Spanish words “auto” meaning self and “golpe” meaning to deal a blow or to strike.

  2. sleeping with who

    The first is through the anti-terrorism bill. There is a brilliant entry by the Sassy Lawyer dissecting the anti-terrorism bill, and she argues that it is no less than a Bill of Attainder, something the Constitution forbids

    Yes and it was written how many years ago..

    If the Senate and congress actually did some work we today would not be arguing this point..

    How many people do they want to kill by not approving the laws. Can we take them to court and get payouts for the lack ot trying shown by both houses..

    Get off the Constitution it was written by an Idiot, Or Group of idiots as all the way through they add the word MAY… Reason they could not decide..

    Make a decision Right or Worng.. Not making one will always be Wrong….

    Decide today if you want a strong Republic or a puppet for the drug lords.

    Look at what they keep saying IN AID OF LEGISLATION..

    WHAT Legislation i have not seen any…

    One inquiry one Law how many we had now..

    TV SPOT hogs.. Lets see if Drible (Drilion) has a new photo on the Senate website today.. YEP ONE A DAY..

    It would be better if that was where each new law was posted..

  3. mlq3

    Carl, thank you! Fixed!

  4. acidboy

    photo caption:

    gma: this guy needs cpr! quick get a doctor! oh, you mean na-cpr na siya ng pnp?

  5. sleeping with who

    To acid boy..

    Yes that is what we need vs Terror..

    CPR… or they will kill hundreds and maim more…

    Anti Terror bill required NOW..

    After you have killed someone you cannot bring them back..

  6. joselu

    what if the palace moves to manila hotel?
    will the demonstrators go to mendiola yet since they say chino roces bridge is symbolic?
    liwasan,luneta & plaza miranda are ok for demonstrations.it’s really true, what ever is bawal is what is insisted on!

  7. fencesitter

    joselu,

    i think you missed the point there. the reason why rallies are held is to let the thick skin governemnt feel the consequence of her wrongdoing. kung gagawin ang rallies where people holding rallies are cozied up in a corner do you think it will have an effect?

  8. joselu

    fencesitter, i think if what they are selling is worth the attension then people will go to them.
    But if the want to do it i crowded areas to attract attention & make a scene.Maybe they are more of KSP!
    Watched in TV the dramatics of the demonstrfators testifying in some sort of an investigation.I think they are really ridiculos!
    If you are warned not to do something & insist on it and are hurt because you where dispersed w/o kid gloves.Than who is at fault?
    My point is if you wanna challage anything, then don’t complain about the consequences!
    Honestly, what do they want to prove?
    Or do we want to follow them too?
    Or safer na lang to watch from a distance?
    or after all the words have been said, we are nothing but “mga consintidor”!!!
    Are we saying that one wrong must be answered w/ more wrong acts!

  9. a de brux

    ON A TOTALLY DIFFERENT NOTE:

    I WANT TO KNOW WHAT’S WRONG WITH PINOYS? JUST LOOK AT NSA “STUPID” (NOT SPEEDY) GONZALES IN A PIC TAKEN OF HIM BEFORE HE APPEARED AT THE SUPREME COURT – DID HE NEED SOMEONE TO TIE THAT LACE ON HIS ROBE?

    THIS IS GROTESQUE? YOU ONLY SEE THIS IN PINAS… WHAT’S WRONG WITH HIM? IS HE MENTALLY & PHYSICALLY DEBILITATED THAT SOMEONE HAD TO DO THAT FOR HIM? GOSH, DOESN’T THIS COWARD REALIZE THAT THERE’S SUCH A THING AS SELF RESPECT?
    I’VE SEEN SOCIETY MATRONS OR MIDDLE CLASS PRATS IN THEIR HOMES IN MANILA WHO WOULDN’T LIFT THEIR BIG BUTTS TO FETCH A GLASS OF WATER EVEN IF THEY FOUND THEMSELVES IN THE KITCHEN. HOW EXTRAORDINARY! HORRIBLE TAMAD MENTALITY!!!!

    AND THEN THERE’S GLORIA’S CHIEF MAFIOSO A.K.A.DOJ CHIEF GONZALES. IN A PIC PUBLISHED IN THE INQUIRER DOJ SECRETARY GONZALES LOOKS MORE LIKE A MAFIOSO THAN A MEMBER OF THE JUDICIARY.

    LOOK AT HOW MUCH GOLD HE PUTS ON HIS PERSON! SAME ORNAMENTAL GLITTER A MAFIOSO LIKES TO WEAR AND SHOW OFF TO HIS HOOLIGAN COLLEAGUES.

    WELL, NOTHING SURPRISING REALLY, GONZALES THINKS LIKE A HOOLIGAN, ACTS LIKE A MOBSTER AND SPEAKS LIKE AL CAPONE… HE’S ITCHING FOR GLORIA MACAPAL TO DECLARE COVERT MARTIAL RULE.

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH GLORIA? WHY DOES SHE INSIST ON ASSOCIATING WITH MEN WHO LOOK MORE LIKE CON ARTISTS THAN REAL PEOPLE. (IS SHE FEELING THE PINCH OF BEING 4’7″ IN HEIGHT?)

    THERE’S YOUR AUTOGOLPE – GLORIA’S SELF FLAGELLATION.

  10. Carl

    In the meantime, the opposition is getting pussy-whipped by a self-flagellating midget bee-atch.

    She won’t come out of the Palace unless it’s in a bodybag. She’s taunting: “You’ll have to come and get me!”. The cowards, who expected her to wilt, turn to the military and incite them to rebel. They want the military to do the dirty work for them and hope that the soldiers meekly return to barracks afterwards.

  11. joselu

    pgma wins a SC case her beloved senators questioned before the SC on wheater she can appoint dept. sec. or someting that that effect.
    Biazon is kinda starnge.As if he did not come from the military.I have never herd him encouraging military men to respect the chain of command.Just wounder what he would have done if any of his soldiers would disobey his command.Now that he is a politician, military dicipline comes secondary to making expose’

  12. joselu

    Just read the news that on Friday three bishops, Inigues,Tobias & labayen will lead a rally starting from Plaza Miranda to St. Jude, San Beda & San Sebastian.
    Maybe feeling nila is “trojan” horse.But if they get soaked.Who will they complain this time too – The Pope?!
    It’s so exciting to see what effect the fireman hose will have on them.Will they transform the water into wine, oh man I’d like to be there or will it become holy water!
    But honestly,I just hope they do get enlightened.
    I read about a Bishop in Brazil who protested a hydro electric goverment project by doing a hunger strike.The goverment stoped the project to listen to him.
    I don’t think the title of bishop puts one above the rest because no one is exsemted from being really stupid & ridiculos.
    Seems like it’s not only the military or political parties who have problems in dicipline.The church is not any better.
    Baka their doing a Bush who got a call from God!

  13. Alex

    Great piece today in the PDI, Manolo. This creeping primacy of religion in secular affairs probably had its beginnings in Edsa 1 and gained strength during Cory’s time. From then on we’ve seen religion and its leaders gain rock star status. Mike and his El Shaddai, Bro. Eddie and the JIL, and of course the great Cardinal Sin himself, the only prelate given a state funeral and televised live, too.

    It may be that the primacy of religion (Catholic and Christian groups to be exact) in our country has come at the expense of nationhood. Belief or faith in our state’s institutions has weakened and they have lost credibility among a good portion of the citizenry to lead us to a better life.

    I think what you point out in your column is a symptom of our problem in nation-making. It seems we’ve never learned much from Edsa 1 or, going back further, from ousting the US from our soil. Many of us seem to assume that democracy will naturally thrive, as if it’s a default condition, once we’ve deposed a hated leader or a colonial power. As we should realize now, the harder part actually comes later. It takes years, decades, a lifetime to build the complex institutions of a democratic nation.

    It seems we prefer to take the easier road which leads to nowhere. Squabbling, deposing one hated leader after another, abandoning our laws and Constitution, like the separation of church and state, and the lack of self-sacrifice.

    Our belief in a nation is at a low point right now. But if we all want a better life for ourselves and for our children, we must constantly ask ourselves, do we believe in a nation? Are we worthy? If the answer is yes, then we have to come together and put our belief into action. A strong nation built on our collective efforts is the only way we can guarantee the good life that we all yearn for.

  14. Carl

    Excellent points, Alex. Some years ago, an old English professor of mine told me he used to be very active in the anti-Marcos movement. However, he was turned off by the Cory Aquino government. He told me he was nauseated by the obvert religiosity of it all. Revolutions are done by men. Do not rely on God to provide change or a better life. I guess the old man was right. Look at where we’re at. And even God must have disapproved of the way EDSA 1 used religion. He unleashed the Baguio earthquake and Pinatubo on the Cory government. We created false Idols. We never had the guts to seize the initiative by and for ourselves.

    As for Bro. Eddie and Bro. Mike, they feed on the people’s weakness. They offer hope and salvation and extract a fee. They have enriched themselves and, by shows of mass mobilization, have impressed politicians about their ability to deliver votes as well. This translate into power and they are assidously courted by shameless politicians. Although they won’t admit it, their model is Iglesia ni Cristo which used religion to acquire wealth and power. In the case of Bro. Eddie, it has gone to his head. So much so that he now puts himself directly into the equation. He is not only content to be the prince of his own sect, he wants to become President of the country as well. Talk about messianic complex gone berserk.

  15. sleeping with who

    I think it is all summed up by a person who i have not like ever but he did think outside of the box..

    “Religion is the sign of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”

    Karl Marx.

    This is the actual quote. The way i read it is people go to religion when they are oppressed to give them a feeling of hope and worth…

    Religion is a good thing but like everything even water and oxygen too much will kill.

  16. Zach Harden

    Question, have any new accusations against GMA? Oh yeah, here is a photo caption:

    GMA “So, you are saying that if I do not act, this would be me? Uhh…if so…where is W’s (George Bush) pal (Karl) Rove when you need him?”

  17. joselu

    I think religion is a good thing.It’s all about how people use religion.
    It’s just like
    democracy is good but it’s as good as the people use it.It can be abused just like religion.
    I think religion is a spirit that is supposed to strenghten & inspire us through lifes traials.
    I think that since religion is also Charity, it must help us in the judgments that we make.
    Religion is also about humility so that we may not grow thinking to much about ourselves and makes us aware that we too are humans who can make mistakes.
    I think that there are many nice things about religion that sadly our church leaders don’t tell us because they have lost the flame of their vocation.
    It’s the people in the Church who are ruining the Church.
    Just like it is the people, all of us included, who is ruining Democarcy.
    I’m not sure if it was lenin who said “use democracy to ruin Democracy”.
    If so, we are not doing a bad job!

  18. acidboy

    the way the pnp is handling the rallyists have gained my respect to them. those who are crying out that the current situation is worse than martial rule is but cow manure. obviously they haven’t been in a rally or seen one back in the day. and to those who did and are still insisting that marcos’ time was better, i think the batuta made out of kamagong that made contact to their head has somehow damaged their memory chip.

    and let us not forget how the one-who-fought-against-martial-rule administration of cory aquino dealt with rallyists. puh-leez! all these rhetorics and exaggerations by those who have nothing else better to do only produce more laway that makes our country a big ‘amoy laway’ republic. baho!

  19. emilie

    oops we are close to becoming a Lebanon. What right do these priests and religious people have to speak for the people? Did we vote for them? They speak of democracy and yet they dont respect the ways of democracy. I have no doubt in my mind that they mouth a platform of morality and yet they are but a bunch of hypocrites. All you need to do is look at them..listen to what they say and lo and behold better the devil that you know than all of these hypocrites( including the priests and pseudo men of GOD i bet Satan is proud of them) combined. I have seen the marcos years and there is no point in comparing him with GMA. I am particularly aghast with Pimentel each time he speaks ..what a shame to see how senile he has become.

  20. Carl

    Pimentel is not senile. He is just being himself. He was always a charlatan. All talk, no accomplishments.

    As a law practitioner, Pimentel was never known for any brilliance. At least his fellow loudmouth from Mindanao, Homobono Adaza is acknowledged to be a brilliant lawyer.

    When Pimentel was mayor of Cagayan de Oro in the early ’80’s, he rode on the anti-Marcos sentiment and was elected to one term. He was later voted out of office because he was such a lousy administrator. He was known as Cagayan de Oro’s worst mayor.To this day, Pimentel cannot win in his home town. Even when he fielded his son for mayor last election, his son was soundly trounced.

    When Pimentel was appointed DILG Secretary by Cory Aquino, DILG became the most controversial and corrupt department. There were many documented cases of local postitions being sold to the highest bidder. Pimentel had to resign under a cloud.

    But Pimentel is a political survivor. He latched on to Erap’s coattails when Erap was at the height of his popularity. He later turned his back on Erap during the impeachment, hoping to be named Vice-President by Gloria Arroyo. When GMA didn’t choose him, he bitterly turned opposition and became one of GMA’s fiercest critics. Pimentel’s values shift with the changing sands of time — and opportunity. People in Mindanao know Nene Pimentel only too well. That is why they are only too happy he is far away in Manila.

  21. joselu

    I agree w/ Carl about Pimentel.I also think that his the guy responsible for the Local Goverment Code.
    It seems Pimentel went down hill after he played mike stand to Gloria in EDSA 2 but did not get the VP position nor the speaker of the house.
    I agree to w/ Acidboy that the PNP is acting profesionaly in handling the demonstrators.It’s really a very dangerous & dificult job compared w/ the pay they get.
    Emilie, those priest,nuns & bishops are clearly misguided!
    Maybe, god has been wispering in their ears to go to the streets, hehehe,convent life is to boreing.
    If the CBCP is really fair & honest, they should repremand & instill some dicipline to their people.
    If I understood right, the bishops will be mixing w/ comi groups to in their procesion of sorts. talk about using God’s name in vain!!!
    I guess we are all witnesses to what a “deteriorating society” looks like!!!!!

  22. Alex

    Hey Carl, interesting take on God’s wrath during Cory’s term. A similar thing has happened to Dubya, I guess, for using God as an excuse to promote his right-wing agenda and most importantly to please his Christian right cronies. Fire and brimstone has plagued his term: 9/11, Iraq, Katrina, Rita.

  23. joselu

    religion & politics don’t mix!!!
    you can’t use religion to justify political moves.
    Bush rating is sinking more & more.

  24. DJB

    Somehow, I don’t think MLQ3’s column piece actually meant to say that we have too much religion. I think he meant to say we have too little love of country.

    Putting on the secular hat, I like to think of religion as just another kind of profession, and yes, livelihood. So to me, a priest or bishop is like a doctor or lawyer or journalist.

    Now there seems to be, especially with “Alex” a slight confusion about what the separation of church and state requires for the participation of such citizens such as priests and religious “professionals” in our political life. The Constitution requires absolutely nothing different than for any other “professional” or citizen.

    The separation of church and state does not forbid any individual, religious or not, from full and fervent, and even moneymaking participation in political life, as long as they don’t actually break any laws.

    The ONLY thing forbidden, is that the State may neither promote nor prohibit “religion”. It must be absolutely neutral. It says nothing at all about what priests and bishops can or cannot do as such, not any more than it says anything about doctors or lawyers.

    So what he is really reacting to, imho, is the mockery of this law by government officials blithely ignorant of their transgression of it.

    Except he says it so graciously in the form of a civics lesson…

  25. joselu

    I think that in a way it was Cardinal Sin who had a carissim to lead or be a great influence to EDSA 1 & 2
    It seems to me that what Sin did has not been understood properly by the Church people themselves.
    It seems that w/ Sin gone there are now so many “TH” bishops trying to imagine that they can do the same to.
    I think is trying to be relevant & they think that they can do it through the political arena.
    However through the decades I have serious doubts that the church has been doing it’s evangilazing properly.
    Actually, the Church has lost out on evagilical, carismatic & the likes of Bro. Eddie & Mike Velarde.
    Sadly, these groups have over simplified church teachings so as to custom-fit to their “markets’
    I beleave that in doing so.They have reduced riligion to a grouping of people that have created their own form of god.
    In a way, a passive religion is being preached.Like surrendering ones self to whatever God wills.
    I think, there is no way anybody can be a good Catholic w/o proper knowledge of the History & roots of his religion.
    But as it appears in the case of Catholisisim in the Philippines. Insted of we getting to know more, as time has passed we know less or nothing at all.
    I clearly do not know much about religious matters except from conversations in the past w/ trusted priest friends.
    I think, the church in the Philippines has taken many things for granted.
    Instead of concentrating on evagilical works they too allowed themselves to be politisized.
    It seems to me that if today we are in a rut when it comes to moral values.The Church has also deprived us of being better informed of church teachings because of their lack of imagination of how to communicate to the people.
    I find it crazy that it is this same Church who is trying hard to be some moral authority today!
    I think that a divided Church that does not have the Will to dicipline it’s own can’t have a strong authority!
    I will not be surpriced if the vatican call the attention of the Bishops.
    I remember that a priest was told me “God help those who help themselves”
    Throughout this crisis I have nver herd any church person remind the people of forgivness, of charity, of patience, perseverance or even the beaititudes or even fundamental things we have learned in cathechisim.
    I have only seen a church that did no different from those w/ selfinterest. They only make it appear holier but it’s the same bull anyway.

  26. sleeping with who

    Just wait for the terminator “New Pope” he has already told them to pull their coat tails in, and the has made friends with the followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre,

    This was against what Pope JP2 wanted as he excommunicated him..

    Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, experiencing failing health, aware of his episcopal duty to pass on the Catholic Faith and seeing no other way of assuring the continued ordination of truly Catholic priests, decided to consecrate bishops and announced that, if necessary, he will do so even without the Pope’s permission.

    Notice the word trully, they have no political views whatsoever all they wanted to do was say mass in the original Latin which is allowed but frowned apon by Pope JP2..

    Cardin Sin and his followers let the church decline..And move away from what is was meant to stand for, to be an extension of the supreme court..

    My father inlaw af follower or JIL(Jesus is lord) said to me (I studied Biotech). No other animal can think we were put on this earth by god as the only thinking animal. And he is teaching this in the church sessions..

    I have seen bird, monkeys, pigs (Very inteligent), make informed decisions.

    But lately I have to think we are getting lower than the animals, in our thought processes.

    First thing the church has to do is Stamp out the rampant abuses by the people in the cloth, whether in or out side the roman catholic church.

    Say it like it is the brothers are not leaders of the church, Money has no relevance. Mariage, and parenting children as a priest is a no no.. And it has been once again stated by this Pope.

    The new pope is strict and has seen the destruction caused by letting small things go unnoticed. Fire and brimstone will come down from ROME and watch this space.. as it is not like politics.

  27. bogchimash

    CAPTION:

    gma: “is this exercise going to be evaluated by the mtrcb? it is not realistic. this part should be blown-off!”

    man in stretcher: (whispering) “dios ko po ma’am”

    hint: look at what the poor fellow is protecting with his right hand hehehe

  28. Alex

    JB. While I don’t disagree with you let me clarify. In his column Manolo laments how prayer or invocation has displaced the national anthem in state and public ceremonies. I agree that this should not be so not only because this practice breaches the separation of church and state under the Constitution but also as citizens we must realize that what unites us all is our nation not our individual religious beliefs.

    Manolo’s column goes further than a civics lesson for me. I view his observation more as a symptom than a problem. Our belief in a nation is weak. Meanwhile, religious organizations have become strong and influential. Their leaders have become more deeply involved in state affairs and even run for office. Now there’s nothing un-Constitutional about this per se (in the US, ministers like Pat Robertson, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton have run for office). However, in actuality these religious politicos have openly flaunted their religion in pursuit of their secular ambitions. They invoke their God and use religious symbols in political rallies. They use churches and chapels for so-called prayer services to call for ousting political leaders. Clearly, these religious leaders are not acting as private citizens when they pursue their political agenda.

    Now, going back to Manolo’s column. All these pseudo-religious, political trends have not been lost to our ever opportunistic politicians eager to be in power. They see that among our citizenry nationhood is weak, while religious influence is strong, so they pander to these religious organizations and seek the approval of their leaders. Thus, our unworthy Senate has seen it more fit to place the invocation ahead of our national anthem.

  29. cvj

    Agree with you Alex. The need to believe in a higher power is present in most. While often a force for good, organized religion is to a large extent responsible for holding us back. Our circumstances makes it easy for certain types of individuals and organizations to exploit this predisposition to their advantage. Rizal was able to outgrow this, which is why he was able to make the existence of the Filipino a reality. “God over country” as expressed in making an invocation before the National Anthem is,in this sense, is a form of backsliding.

    A good way to inoculate against irrational belief is to realize that ‘the world is not magic’. This link http://cosmicvariance.com/2005/10/10/the-world-is-not-magic/ has a neat post on this topic. I think it’s good reading especially for us present day Filipinos.

  30. Carl

    I agree, cvj. There is a concerted move among religious fundamentalists (Christian and Muslim) to negate the humanist and scientific gains from the renaissance period and move back to the middle or “dark” ages. It has come to the point wherein science has come under attack and “supernatural” phenomenons (with no scientific basis) are being promoted as gospel truth. For example, in the U.S. itself, religious groups want a vague mumbo-jumbo theory called “Intelligent Design” to be taught in Science and Biology classes in lieu of Darwin’s theory of Evolution. Actually, “Intelligent Design” is religion being peddled as science since it basically affirms the literal interpretation of Genesis in the bible. Just like Muslim fundamentalists or Jewish fundamentalists, if Christian fundamentalists would have their way, they would reject modernism and go back to the dark old days of magic and witchcraft.

    Jose Rizal was a modern man. He was both a humanist and a renaissance man. Being a doctor of medicine, he was of man of science. Rizal advocated humanism and science above religion. He championed rationalism over religious doctrine. That is why he was persecuted by the Church, which found his views threatening to its dominance in wordly affairs.

    There is a struggle between the forces of darkness and the more progressive minds. The forces of darkness want to revert to religion (and magic) as the supreme guidelines in our lives. The progressive minds want to continue the gains of the enlightenment and pursue more scientific and technological advancement. This struggle is causing a lot of turbulence throughout the world.

  31. DJB


    Dear Alex,
    Thanks for indulging me. I too, used to begrudge the political power that grows out of the barrel of religious mouths.

    But since you’ve brought up Separation of Church and State, lets talk about the Bill of Rights article involved:

    ***********
    Section 5. No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.
    ************

    The WHOLE thing called “freedom of religion” and “separation of church and state” is contained in these three simple sentences!

    I finally understood this thing when a wise person told me this: the word “religion” in the first sentence refers to one and exactly the same thing as the word “thereof” in the same sentence.

    Let me explain with series of concrete examples:

    Suppose the Congress one day passes a law that proclaims Roman Catholicism to be the official religion of the Republic of the Philippines. (You cannot run for President, for example, without being a baptized Catholic.) This clearly violates Sec.5 because it actually ESTABLISHES a full blown State Religion.

    But the prohibition on an “establishment of religion” means far more than this extreme case. It means anything that “promotes” religion is a banned state practice. For example if you could take a tax deduction for being a Greek Orthodox Catholic.

    But so is anything that “prohibits” religion!

    For example suppose that the Supreme Court were to ban the utterance of Islamic prayers in government offices. That would clearly be as unconstitutional as if they REQUIRED the utterance of Islamic prayers in government offices.

    (Which brings me to the establishment (sic!) by Hilario Davide of a Centennial Prayer of the Courts, which is recited before all judicial procedings now since 1998. I claim this is a culpable violation of Sec.5. It doesnt matter that the Prayer (written by Panganiban) has an ecumenical flavor. Ecumenism is not a legal substitute for strict neutrality. But then again impartiality was never the strong suit of the Davide Court)

    Perhaps the most egregious examples though are the daily CATHOLIC Masses held at an unconsecrated(?) chapel in Malacanang; the existence of idolatrous statues and graven images in practically all government offices. The Sto.Nino in JDV’s office at Congress is said to be taller than him. And the first thing you clap your eyes on when you enter the main Comelec offices in Manila, just beside the pre-War era stairs, is an altar to Mama Mary and the Holy Ghost, replete with idols, paintings and other Marian faith symbols. In the Comelec! No wonder Muslims don’t want to be Filipinos!

    These idolatrous displays in national government offices are culpable mockeries of the freedom of religion. And it wouldn’t ameliorate things by allowing pictures of Buddha, Mohammed and the rest.

    On the other hand, such displays cannot be banned from private homes, churches and public places as a result of private initiative to do so.

    But the State must be absolutely neutral. It can neither “promote” nor “prohibit” religion.

  32. fencesitter

    Joselu,

    The end vision of the rally is not to make scene although a rally must make scene and if necessary must make disturbance to bring forth the message – to awaken the sleepy head that in democracy the power belongs to the people and not to her. that’s why she nmust fully explain her participation in the cheating in the last election. the junking of the impeachment complaint in congress ahs muddled the truth sorrounding this issue all the more. It cannot be denied that the money had been passed on to the congressmen just to get it junked as proven by postdated checks supposed to have been laundered through deped. Well how much more tax payer’s money need to be wasted just to keep herself in power. As it is GMA is no longer serving the people but she is using all that is in her power and peoples resources to keep herself in malacanang. Kaya dapat umalis na sya. She could not even defend the venable contract.

  33. joselu

    fencesitter,
    If it’s the junking of the impeachment.Is there not always next year?
    Yes it’s nice to hear that in Domocracy power belong to the people.Just let me know w/c power is it really.To “build” or “destroy”?
    Pls. dont get me wrong.Just that people seem to talk so highly about a democracy that seems to come from many directions & w/ so many interest.
    Personaly, I don’t find myself expressed w/ those demonstrations.
    Normaly, election issues are handeled by a particulat SC agency that I forget the name now.
    The only one who can contest PGMA’s win is gone now.
    Since FPJ has passed away, it also ends the issue, like it or not.
    If it’s not FPJ is not around to take profit of something we will never be sure about.Is it not more prudent to ask therefore who is this “shadow” who wants to take profit therefore?
    If I where an evil person & wanted to grab power from someone.The first thing that I will do is ruin & create serious doubt about that person. I will do it in such a way the the person will be cornered w/ no choice.After the person has lost credibility it will be easier to agitate the people.Remember, human instinct will always tend to beleave the worst.But to make sure that my ultimate “credibility” bomb makes a max effect.I must prepare the ground months before w/ scandals & issues that will make the person unpopular.After I droped my bomb, I can relax.I will just let the leftist, rightist,opposition,the church, the idealist, the rightous do their thing.They will be like my battering ram.Their constant presuring the Institution will further weaken the persons position.I will let the “people” do their thing.They will think that they are fighting for what is Right, what is moral, what is Just.
    But as an evil planner & schimmer I’m a master of manipulation.Since the people are divided among themselves, I will use that too to my advantage.
    fencesitter,I don’t know if you noticed who the groups are out in the streets?The communist thrive on the goverments faults & weakneses so that they can become relevant.
    The Erap people obiously want to bring their idol back.
    That Calibrated demonstration thing is now in the SC.Is it not possible to wait?But what if the SC approves it?Will the SC be the next Institution to hit?
    Yesterday other fanatics got hoased down.Personaly, I think they deserve it.They even went on a diception game of using religion as a reason.
    I know that the road for the wise is very narrow.
    But the road for fools is a wide super highway leading to no where!!!!
    Times are hard & each one has tough choices to make.
    let’s stop being so superficial & idealist w/o deep roots.
    let’s stop being “judge & jury” and face it that we to are part of the problem.
    maybe it’s because we are not doing what we are supposed to do?
    Or maybe we just don’t have the balls to face realty?

  34. acidboy

    HOW DARE THESE BISHOPS, AND THEIR FAIR-WEATHER FRIENDS LIKE JAMBY, SATUR, AND THE LIKES STATE A POLITICALLY EXTREME STANCE, DARE THE GOVERNMENT TO ABUSE THEM, TAUNT THE POLICE WHO HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO OBEY THE CHAIN OF COMMAND OR LOSE THE JOBS THEIR FAMILIES RELY ON, USE THE IMAGE OF THE VIRGIN MARY AS A SHIELD- THEN GO OUT AND MAKE PRESS STATEMENTS THAT THEY ARE JUST ATTENDING A RELIGIOUS PROCESSION?! PROCESSION SCHMOCESSION- JAMBY WAS CALLING FOR GMA’S HEAD IN A RADIO INTERVIEW, AND TITO GUINGONA WAS ALL RED IN THE EARS (NO PUN INTENDED) WITH HIS POLITICAL TIRADES, AND YOU CALL IT A RELIGIOUS CEREMONY?!

    AMININ NIYO NA, YOU WANTED IT TO HAPPEN, THE DISPERSAL. THING IS, THE CATHOLIC MAJORITY IS NOT AS STUPID AS YOU THOUGHT IT WAS, PADRE DAMASO. YOU ADD POLITICAL COLOR TO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST. HOW DARE YOU. “THOUGH SHALL NOT TAKE THY LORD’S NAME IN VAIN”- HAVEN’T HEARD OF THAT ONE?

    AND DON’T YOU READ THE ORDERS FROM THE VATICAN ABOUT THESE THINGS? KUNG LAY PEOPLE NGA ALAM IYANG UTOS NI POPE JOHN PAUL II DATI TUNGKOL SA MGA GANYAN KAYO PA KAYA? BUTI NA LANG DI NAGPRAKTIS NG EXCORSISM RIGHT NANAMAN SI … KAYO ANG MGA DAHILAN KAYA MARAMING KATOLIKO ANG DISMAYADO NA SA HOLY CHURCH AT NAGHAHANAP NA NG IBANG SIMBAHAN- WHERE THE PRIORITY IS SAVING SOULS AND INTRODUCING CHRIST TO OUR LIVES, NOT MARCHING (AND JOGGING) AND GOING AROUND IN YOUR SULTANAS . PARA KAYONG MGA IBA DIYAN NA MAY PLAKA LANG NA #8, OR MAY CALLING CARD LANG NG ISANG SIKAT NA POLITICIAN OR POLICE AKALA PUWEDE NA MAG-SIGA SA KALSADA.

  35. Alex

    DJB. The principle of the separation of church and state is expressed not in the bill of rights but in Sec. 6 of Article II which is succinct and explicit: The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.

    Meanwhile, the bill of rights protects a citizen’s right to practice religion without prejudice. While related, these two provisions apply differently. Article II defines how the state should conduct its affairs, while the bill of rights states the rights of every citizen. An invocation in a state ceremony is a breach of Article II, while not necessarily trampling on a citizen’s rights.

    Anyway, I don’t disagree with what you say. The invocation and the display of religious symbols and the practice of religion in public places are not consistent with our Constitution. In particular, JDV’s outsize Sto Nino is outrageous. What could’ve possessed him? Maybe Drilon has something even taller in his office? But then again, as I said, the church has the power these days and our opportunistic politicians kowtow to their leaders.

  36. DJB

    Dear Alex,Right on! Funny thing about the provision you cited in Declaration of Principles– that is all it says, just as you quoted it, nothing more, nothing less. It’s so terse it really says nothing, di ba? It’s only in the Bill of Rights provision that anything meaty is really said.

    You know what, I never thought this would happen, but durn, I miss Cardinal Sin!

  37. F.

    All the previous comments are mini commentaries on how political power is amassed and exercised in this country, as well as who has it, how much do they have or dont have, etc. It seems all the parties involved (the motley opposition figures, gma’s defenders, gma herself) have only little shares of that power, more so on the part of the opposition. so that jamby, nene, jojo binay, the priests and nuns–even if they combine forces–still sound like mad coughing old geezers on their deathbed. gma has a little edge that keeps her hanging on, pero konti lang. Walang charismatic figure like Cardinal Sin or Cory in their heyday. Alam nyo naman, kapag kasikatan ng mga politiko sa atin, they could do no wrong. Alex and carl are correct about nationhood and leadership. Kulang sa mga heroes ang bayan natin kaya pag meron nag-aastang hero, eto na, and in the end di nya rin makakayanan ang responsibilidad at sarili lang nya ang iisipin nya. Kaya di tayo mabuobuo bilang bansa kasi nga mga lider natin divide and rule pa rin ang fallback tactic pag kailangan ng itago ang mga katarantaduhan nila. The Philippine power game is such a vicious cycle. The scary part is it keeps getting clearer that no one in the seats of political power has intentions above self-aggrandizement. O cge, the few who do have noble intentions for God and country are sidelined or end up with their tails between their legs.

  38. Alex

    Thank you, Manolo, for letting us chew on your post (for, what, about 3-4 days now?) before moving on.

    The great thing about democracy, as oppose to an autocracy or monarchy, is that it’s participative. Yet, great as it is, this form of government is ineffective when citizens are not civic-minded, when we forget that our nation will not just build itself but only through our collective efforts.

    JFK’s greatest speech, the “ask not” speech, is a call to all who aspires to build a democratic nation:

    “All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin… ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.”

    Our leaders are corrupt and incompetent, our institutions are weak and crumbling. That’s the reality we face and need to overcome. But we can’t just go out in the streets, as we can see that accomplishes nothing. We need to work things out through our institutions so that their mechanisms are well-oiled and functioning.

    For one, I think we should be setting up non-profit civic organizations (for example, like the ACLU in the US) to act as watchdogs and to sue the government if the Constitution is being violated and our rights are being infringed upon. We should ask citizens and companies to donate money and services to these organizations if we want a better government that would work for us. We have so many lawyers in this country, would it kill some of them to do some pro-bono work?

    I would like to see government officials taken to court for misuse of taxpayers’ money, our money, like buying life-size Sto Ninos and other religious objects and paying for daily masses in Malacanang. For sure, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how our officials misuse government funds.

    I’m sure that if we opt to be more civic-minded, instead of engaging in too much politicking, it will be more rewarding for us.

  39. fencesitter

    Joselu,

    Definitely democracy is about building a nation for the people and by the people. The spirit of the people to build a nation is expressed in its constitution and part of the decision of the people to build structural institution is shown in the practical exercise of electing their leaders thru the ballot. That is why the ballot is sacred. That’s why it is important that any electoral process must be beyond reproach.

    If i may repeat what Randy David and other respectable analysts would say about the Garci tape – you defy your common sense if you refuse to believe that the content of it were true.

    I may have forgiven GMA of her many lies but not her cheating her way to the presidency. And her using what is in her power to cover this up.

    This is not about FPJ. This is about desecration of the the decision of the people.

  40. joselu

    fencesitter,
    I use to listen to Randy David once but than for some time now I find his ideas too leftist or maybe it’s just my impression.
    Anyway, fencsitter, pls. help me to understand how a garci tape can be so true.
    What is true about something that comes out a year late?
    What is true of something that could have helped FPJ, but now his gone.So who will prifit from it?
    What can be so true of something that was out in the market for a fee?

    I’m sure that the “truth” does not divide, does not confuse, does not create doubt.

    When something is true, it’s true from whatever point you look at it.

    If we are to be judge & jury.We must have high standards to qualify what is true.

    Do you know who did it?Do you know why it was done?
    do you know who will profit from it?
    Honestly fencesitter, we do not know a lot of things!
    It’s so fantastic that from poluted sources we come out from the truth!
    It’s like doing something w/ the wrong premiss.

  41. joselu

    fencesitter,
    lately there is so much information going around.
    Maybe it’s better that we “manage” the information insted of leting the information “manage” us.
    nga pala, maybe it’s best to ask Randy david what are the standards he uses to concluded the truth or falseness of anything.
    Because if we are not all at a high standard of what truth can be, then that is the time where so many versions of the trutj come out.Then you will also know where the person is coming from.

  42. mlq3

    re: separation of church and state. the palace chapel is there because the palace is an official and private residence, and the residents of any home are entitled to the consolations of religion. but that’s why it’s a chapel, for private devotions, and not a full-blown church. it would be as wrong to deny a president and the first family the chance for private devotions and a quiet place for spiritual solace, as it would be to require palace workers compulsory attendance at mass or any service.

    the chapel, even for non-religious presidents such as jose p. laurel, was a place for quiet meditaton. mrs. magsaysay waited there for news of what had happened to her husband. etc. also, the palace has both a catholic chapel and a mosque, so it covers most main bases; but the fundamental assumption is that the separation of church and state permits a president to exercise religion in the home, even if the home is temporary.

  43. Del Piero

    Freddo! Luogo che grande avete! =)

  44. Fiori

    L\\\’OH, questo deve essere il luogo che più interessante ho visto!

  45. Call me Flory

    i am amaze how our Pressident covers her selp up with all her mess… How sad the Filipinos are suffering because of her greed, and may God help us over come all this Problem as a Nation.

  46. Call me Flory

    i am amaze how our Pressident covers her self up with all her mess… How sad the Filipinos are suffering because of her greed, and may God help us over come all this Problem as a Nation.

  1. Manuel L. Quezon III » The buzz

    […] Come, Ms President, you know fully well that the signature campaign shows the mark of government forces and traditional politicians behind it. The victims of that “train” are the people who have so far been against Charter change, in general, and a parliamentary system, in particular. Or to put it another way: That signature campaign has nothing to do with the people. It has to do with Jose de Venecia who-knowing he has not a snowball’s chance in hell of being elected president-has been moving heaven and earth to change the rules of the game so his chances of leading the country are markedly improved. It has to do with the traditional politicians in Congress, who enjoy their power and want to increase it and perpetuate themselves in it. And finally, it has to do with GMA herself who, if the Charter change is approved, can finish her term with her powers intact and without fear of impeachment. Why? Because the first section of the proposed new Article XVIII, titled “Transitory Provisions,” effectively ensures it: “The incumbent President and Vice President shall serve until the expiration of their term at noon on the thirtieth day of June 2010 and shall continue to exercise their full powers under the 1987 Constitution unless impeached by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of the interim parliament.” Nota bene: Under the present system, only one-third of the House of Representatives is sufficient—but it still failed—to impeach her. Another nota bene: no elections in 2007 (implied, because the interim parliament is composed of present legislators from both Houses, plus Cabinet members); no more term limits (explicit). The Inquirer editorial today supports Mrs. Monsod’s point that the amendments effort is unleashing a new kind of “destructive politics.” The game plan obvious began to be cobbled together last year; and by all accounts this is the current incarnation of the Autogolpe idea. […]

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