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Oct 16

Pissed-off pro-parliament people

The real big news, of course, is the return to the blogging scene of the arch-blogger among political bloggers, Philippine Commentary. I, for one, and there are many others, am overjoyed over Dean Jorge Bocobo’s return to the blogosphere. One of his first entries (in this, the latest reincarnation of his blog), points out that the Fil-Am I love to hate, Michelle Malkin, was just being a patriotic American. Touche, and a good point -but her being a patriotic American comes at the expense of her being a race-traitor, in a sense. But I must say that Bocobo points out something I missed, and which should have been obvious. Bocobo, incidentally, speaks highly of Belmont Club, which recently posted an interesting entry on how blogs are gradually becoming sources of news and not just opinion.

Meanwhile…

Carmen Pedrosa is rather upset that the Advisory Commission on Constitutional Change can’t make up its mind on whether to advocate presidential or parliamentary government, preferring, instead, to take the question to the people. Says she,

Chairman Manny Angeles of the committee on form of government gave his report and the floor was opened for interpellations. After some debate, the view was expressed by some members that the committee report did not convince them that a shift was necessary. On one side there were those who said maybe we should just reform the presidential system we have here and there.

…But in the end, these contrasting views were overruled by those who said they were not convinced a case had been made for a shift to parliamentary government. Ergo, the group must defer any vote before it goes to consultations with the public…

The lesson in all this is a fundamental difficulty of the make-up of the commission. Chairman Abueva expressed this earlier. He said he thought it would be possible to work as a group given that members came from different cultures and disciplines. To me, there was an even more fundamental difference. There were some who had made charter change their advocacy and therefore had done their homework. There were others coming in from the cold and understandably have a different frame of reference in trying to understand the language of charter change advocacy. This substantial difference is worrying with the group poised to consult with the public. I, for one, think that unless we resolve and understand what charter change is all about among ourselves, we will not have a face that could go on consultations with the public.

I hear from my colleagues that we will present both sides of the debate and then allow the people to choose between the two. To me that is a cop-out. I am afraid it will be a case of the blind leading the blind. It may sound good but it will only compound the problem if the idea is to come up with an intelligent response to charter change that President GMA could present to Congress when it proposes the amendments in constituent assembly.

Pedrosa’s frustrations are shared, I’m sure, by other advocates of the parliamentary system, such as former president Ramos and Speaker de Venecia. I recently had a an interesting discussion with an operative of a political party, and according to the operative, when Indonesia looked for a model to emulate when it came to holding democratic elections, they immediately looked to the Philippines. The Indonesians immediately concluded that the Philippine mutli-party system as it exists would not result in anything positive; but preferring, as they did, a presidential system, the Indonesians then discussed how to prevent the Philippine situation which practically assures every president the lack of a clear and undeniable mandate to govern. They decided on run-off elections. However, they realized that run-off elections are expensive; but then, the question boiled down to what would be cheaper, in the long run: a one-off election, with a multiparty system, resulting in minority presidents unequipped with a solid mandate, or run-off elections, which ensured whoever won would be armed with an unquestionable majority? They decided it’s cheaper in the long term, to ensure that the person eventually elected president has a solid majority. I myself prefer the presidential system, and insist that our legislature must always be bicameral. It seems Justice Isagani Cruz is also of the same mind -he pens a hard-hitting blast against the proponents of parliamentary government.

Congratulations are in order to the staff of the new Daily Business Mirror, which Newsstand has been lucky enough to see a copy of. Speaking of newspapers, La Vida Lawyer calls the Philippine Star a crony paper. And BuzzMachine questions the reasoning that insists journalists should be condemned to poverty.

14 comments

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  1. DJB

    Good Evening Primo!

    Thanks for the plug and all the traffic tonight (from your friendly neighborhood archblogger) But I won’t mince words on prelims. Just been over at Ricky Carandang Reporting and he has an interesting essay on “trust” as a suspension of hidden disbeliefs. I guess that’s what has happened here to the ConCom too with one group too intent on a template of charter change for the comfort of the others. Reminds me of a scene in the Noli when the town council of San Diego is planning the annual fiesta…but i digress…I think that it was Chief Justice John Marshall of the US Supreme Court who said that the making of a Constitution is such ponderous thing, every nation ought to make the attempt only once. With the Abueva plan, we are witnessing an ambitious wholesale rewrite. What are the chances Chacha Joe is right and John Marshall is wrong? Besides the problem is not in the design of the Machine, but the morality of the Man.

  2. cvj

    Somehow, it’s heartening to know that at least our neighbor down south has learned from our mistakes and used our experience to their advantage.

    A parliamentary set-up would concentrate even more power on a political class currently made up of self-serving and largely unprincipled characters who are easily manipulated by special interests. For many Charter Change advocates, on the other hand, one of the major drawbacks of directly electing a president, is that the electorate is not intelligent or discerning enough to choose wisely. Towards this end, a parliamentary system is an attempt to indirectly get around the principle of ‘one man one vote’.

    While acknowledging that in these matters every outcome is contingent, and that there are updsides and downsides to both approaches, i’d still place my bet on the collective wisdom of the electorate. After all, things haven’t stood still and lessons are being learned all the time.

  3. joselu

    Manolo.leadership is a doomed if you do & don’t thing.
    Strenght & weakness depends on what side of the fence your in.
    You must be generalizing a bit when you talk of public opinion.
    Maybe it’s fair to say that public opinion is confused or maybe has not really made up it’s mind unlike others.
    The situation is indeed confusing.It started from a political blow through the garci tapes and pinatulan by the rightious, the hypocrits, the lefist & everybody who wants to be somebody!
    If we are using the garci tapes as a premiss for all this discord & division, I think we are going no where & are equaly guilty of “scorging-the earth”!
    Scourging-the earth through incomplete information,biasd information,by tolerating actions & behaviors that saw division & confusion.
    Manolo,are you sure those demonstrators really represent you & your hopes for this country?If I’m not mistaken they are leftist now mixed w/ frustarted bishops.
    Manolo, we are a terribly young democarcy who through the decades have created a monster that is now eating us up.
    It is untinkable that we can point accusing fingers and act as if “we are better then the rest”.
    Youthfulnes is not about over simplyfing issues to good & bad, black & white.
    There are so many things at stake then just satisfying peoples curiosity.
    There are always groips in the sidelines ready to exploit any weakness a leader will show.
    Bottom line THERE ARE NO ACCEPTABLE ANSWERS for anyone who has made up his mind & there is no such thing as satisfying everybody!maybe in the movies or in a book, but not in the real word!

    If PGMA indeed cheated her way in the last elections, than who did she cheat?
    Was it FPJ?
    But if his gone now, who will take his place if he indeed was the rightfull winner?
    Is it his wife?His party? Or was it not already decided by the SC?
    Before this scandal begun,I remember the administration was tolerant of all the attacks it was getting, until the deadliest blow came.
    Are you saying that. Hey Manolo I’m trying to shoot you & do everything to bring you down,don’t move or you’ll give me a hard time!
    Or is your opinion today influenced by last Fridays water canon incident?
    When it’s a group of ordinary demonstrators it’s not scorched-the-earth.
    But when there are personaloties involved then it is?
    The CPR thing is in the SC now, so anyone who challeges it has it coming!
    Are you supporting a “religious war” now lead by 3 bishops of sorts?
    Why was Cardinal Rosales so defensive last Friday in a TV interview in saying that the Church is not divided & it is all a wrong perception?
    We may hate her, curse her & wish her all the bad one can imagine, we may judge her.
    But like it or not, last I herd, she is still the president!

  4. DJB

    Dear Joselu,

    A very interesting but lil noticed thing happened last week that surprised me: The Supreme Court refused to dismiss Loren Legarda’s electoral protest against Noli de Castro.

    You ask, “If PGMA indeed cheated her way in the last elections, than who did she cheat?
    Was it FPJ? But if his gone now, who will take his place if he indeed was the rightfull winner?”

    I guess if we are asking who would replace GMA if she were ousted or resigned, I see what happened in the SC as SOMEONE creating an option. Remember that per Amb. Musomelli the US finds the current veep unacceptable, whereas the former Senator is a creation of FVR! Not that the protest will come to anything now, but boy you know, stranger things have happened around here.

  5. mariatoo

    If gma cheated in the last elections then it is not only fpj she cheated, she cheated all of us.

    if she resigns then noli takes over. if loren wins her pet case, then she takes over. the philippines will be better off when gma is gone.

    salbahe na itong administration na ito. there was no violence during that prayer rally last friday and they use a water cannon?!!! and malcanang justifies it because the rallyists violated the law?!! grabe na itich! sabi ng isang columnista, malakas na uminom ng brandy si gma (pero baka naman daw dahil lang may nililigawan na si mika a sa sanfo).

    haha! si jamby leftist? well she’s certainly no nun. haha!

    yan ang tactic ng malacanang, guluhin ang usapan para tamarin na ang mga taong magreklamo.

    gma may be president now, but it is my guess that she wont be for long. i just hope that she resigns peacefully and that she doesnt wait for blood to be shed. she is certainly not worth it.

    ingat manolo, baka nasa listahan ka ng mga jounalists na a-arestuhin (accdg to nbi informant).

  6. mariatoo

    dapat buwagin na yang consultative assembly na yan. wala na ngang pera ang kaban, gumagastos pa sa mga ganitong usapin na wala namang ipinalalawig kundi ang ambisyon ng isang di mananalong presidente na maging pinuno ng bansang ito, at ng isang pekeng presidente na gusto lang tayong utuin para makalimutan ang mga kasalanan niya at nga kanyang pamilya sa taong bayan.

  7. DJB

    Tama ka riyan mariatoo! nakikita na ng madla ang golpe-de-gulat na binabalak. Talagang balak si JDV taposin ito nang siya’y maging Pinunong Ministro sa Hunyo, 2006. Mabuti na lang, hindi lahat ng naroon ay sa ilalim ng pangungumpas ni Prof. Abueva, at nagkakagulo sa mga “agenda” at usaping masalimuot. Dati may parang “espiya” ako sa loob, kaya lang nasuka siya sa nakita nya, nag-resign! dating vice-chair pa nga ng concom–kinantsawan namin noong una. Ngayon nanghihinayang ako wala nang first hand account ng kabulastugan!

  8. joselu

    DJB,
    The SC is doing the right thing.Then we just wait for the results.at least in the case of the VP fight there are 2 warm bodies.
    Unlike a protest against PGMA, one is cold the other is warm.
    Honestly DJB, I really wish we get out of the frame of mind what Musolmelli thinks or does not think.
    I understand what you mean by “option” since the SC has not dismised Lorens case.
    I also think there is no reason to dismiss it anyway.

  9. Alex

    Joey. You always make sense. I agree. Fact is, no one’s good enough, someone will always bitch. The only good thing now is it seems the madla is unwilling to do anything except to go about eking out a living, which shows how smart many of our folks still are–they’re basically the one’s keeping this country afloat. Meanwhile, the only people fighting are those hungry for power–our no good politicos and the equally no good church leaders. If all these people do is fight 24/7, what kind of real work do they get done? Yup. Zero.

  10. joselu

    Alex,it’s really a shity situation.I avoid watching ANC cuz I think they fall short of substance.
    I used to work in broadcast media.I expereinced a “culture ” shock after years of leaveing abroad & coming back to Manila.I did my bit to fight for reforms.the reforms eventualy passed by i experienced what hell is.Until I decided to be my own boss.
    Alex, I think the Pinoys are great people but we also have so many serious cultural hang-ups that pull us down.
    It’s like we are 2 Philippines.One philippines that does not want change because in a competetive world they will be lost.and the other Philippines of people who would like to face the challange of the modern world.
    I just try to be positive.
    It’s almost 5 months now that this drama has been going on.The “tipping” the “evil shodows” in the background are hopping for will not happen if it did not happen at the start of this madness.
    It’s really so true what you said that the people are still so smart.That they just wanna have a life.
    And it’s not true what the leftist,oppostion, opputunist say!!!
    You know what the problem of the leftist are that is why they are in the streets?
    They have no work skill!
    They can’t be competetive in the real world!
    They leave in a time warp!

  11. trmadol

    I always have terrible trouble with comment-related plugins that require me to put some line in the comment loop; I can never seem to find the right spot. Can anyone tell me where I should put the php line in my comments loop? I haven not modified anything much, and I would be very grateful. Thanks!

  12. ryan

    so when will you feature something on andres bonifacio?

  13. ryan

    always been a fan,specially of your grandfather,i always regard him on a higher esteem,i love history,so when can you talk about bonifacio?it’s allready 2008,well almost,i need to know more about bonifacio and the treacherous aguinaldo,pls.do an episode on this

  14. mlq3

    ryan, many thanks. on the blog, probably on rizal day. i’ll bear the bonifacio topic in mind.

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