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Nov 28

Holiday roundup

The papers scream about last night’s prepared statement read by Virgilio Garcellano. The Philippine Daily Inquirer: I never left RP, says Garcillano
Denies talk with Arroyo to rig 2004 poll results
; the Manila Times: Garcillano clears GMA, Grants ABS-CBN interview; the Philippine Star: Garci: GMA did not cheat; the Daily Tribune: Garci surfaces, clears Gloria; Malaya newspaper: Garci: Yes, I talked with Gloria but…; and Manila Standard-Today: Garci speaks, denies rigging ’04 elections; and the Arab News, with Missing Garci Shows Up in TV Interview, Denies Cheating for President Arroyo.

Dan Mariano in Garci: Sleepless at Sibugay explains why reporters view former Senator Kit Tatad as a reliable source, and then details what Tatad says about Garci’s hegira. The PCIJ carefully dissects Garci’s statement.

But the bete noir of Garcillano seems to be Senator Panfilo Lacson. ABS-CBN reports it thus: Garci: Lacson one of reasons for hiding, All the attention being paid to Senator Lacson reminds us once more that he is, by default, the leader of the mainstream opposition, as I suggested was already the case last June in Last Senator Standing. The Times says Grillers of Garci impatient. The Philippines Free Press blog reproduces an editorial from 1988: Wanted, A Respectable Opposition. Still true.

Read katataspulong for a bracing once-over of the current crisis: on the opposition (less vicious now than when it was in power); on the self-interest everyone posseses (he dissects the ownership of media, for example); and the future prime ministers of the country.

Constitution revision, reform, or replacement? Not even the Speaker of the House seems sure of his terminology, read JDV: 85% we will have new Charter in the Philippine Star. What’s interesting, though, is this, from the Speaker:

The entire process, he said, will probably take 30 days or more. “If the SC rules that the three-fourths vote requirement is okay, then we have a new Constitution and we will submit it to the Filipino people two months thereafter”…If moves to amend the charter by constituent assembly succeed, De Venecia said there may be a plebiscite …by the first week of May. Alternatively… Charter change proponents may launch the people’s initiative and referendum through which local government units, legislators and civil society leaders nationwide will gather to endorse proposed amendments to the Constitution with the signatures of 12 percent of the country’s voters.

These voters’ signatures will be verified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), he said, then a plebiscite will be called after two months.

The referendum method, he said “is a constitutionally authorized track of initiative, especially when there is a crisis between the Senate and the House. When there is paralysis between the Senate and the House, then you have the people’s initiative and referendum …” The power of the people, he added “is the power of approval or disapproval.” …De Venecia said, “We’ll have a parliamentary government starting June.”

So the Speaker’s let all his plans, from A to D, out of the bag (Standard-Today says: Congress thumbs down ConCon). Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ tackles what remains a thorny problem for the Speaker: do both houses of Congress tackle amendments separately, or jointly? He says both Houses can arguably treat amendments as it does laws, each house passing its version then rehashing the proposals in the bicameral conference committee. Mindanews reports Federalism favored in Visayas, Mindanao, even Manila, consultations show .

In the punditocracy, my column for today is  Of heroism and hubris  and Billy Esposo warns, Be ready for more showbiz presidents; Jarius Bondoc writes, Weak middle class, strong rebellion, pointing to a UN study that says insurgency thrives where the middle class is vanishing; and Fel Maragay, in Power schemers after Reyes? goes into the scuttlebutt that there is a whole slew of cabinet firings and resignations due in December to January. He deals specifically with rumors Interior Sec. Angelo Reyes will be posted to Washington, D.C. (other scuttlebutt is that Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita will be relieved, as will political adviser Gabby Claudio; Mike Defensor will be made Presidential Chief of Staff while close presidential confidant Alcantara will be made Executive Secretary; some cabinet members, ranging from the Labor Secretary to the Defense Secretary, depending on who is doing the whispering, may be contemplating resigning in December, having stuck it out with the president through the worst of the crisis). Peter Wallace tackles the President’s assertion that the Economy poised for takeoff and debunks it. Former Palace press corps old hand Marichu Villanueva has no objections to the press area being moved to another location.

In the blogosphere, RG Cruz congratulates his colleagues (but Mindanao Alerts has a bone to pick over some terms used by ABS-CBN reporters). Edwin Lacierda argues the Garci tapes cannot be covered by the present anti-wiretapping law. Philippine Commentary produces an emailed article from an American reviving that hoary old chestnut that their fight in 1899-1901 (and further) was between them and the Tagalogs with some Capangpangans, but not the rest of the country. That’s the kind of thinking that wanted to separate Mindanao from the rest of the country (see my article on Mindanao and old suspicions).

Ellen Tordesillas reproduces Part One and Part Two of an alleged briefing paper and marginal notes from the Palace (Kit Tatad told the press about it a week or so ago).

My Favorite “Progressive” Blogger says the government is not her government: which necessarly leads to the question, if not, then how can someone refusing to pay allegiance to the Republic expect protection and liberties and rights guaranteed by that Republic? Anyway her entry is a clear distillation of what “national democracy” stands for. And speaking of Capitalism-hating, Go Figure explains why the Peso is strong.

Mongster’s Nest tackles education, then and now. Be happy you don’t blog in Saudi Arabia.

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12 comments

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  1. DJB

    MLQ3, Ah, but Samar is in the Visayas, Balangiga is within sight of Homonhon Island, and General Lukban was a Batangueno, which my correspondent, William “Dave” Hanley — who is apparently in Texas — may not be aware of. And even if he is, at least as a Republican and an Americn he proclaims that there WAS a Philippine American War of 1899-1902. Do you know ANY Democrats who would do that? Also, I think you failed utterly to see the supernal sense of humour of Mr. Dave Hanley in calling the Stone of Scone a “trinket of Scottish Ntionalism.” Besides, I have always known “Dave” to be an allegorical writer. Do you think he is talking about the 19th Century. Or the 21st?

  2. karl

    The Longview article: Bonifacio
    reminded me of the question to a very intelligent MLQ reader blogger that are we suppose to forget the heroes who died for us……because he kept on telling that it was the Americans who threew out the Spanish….yes history can’t deny that but what about our hero Bonifacio..yes he was accused of Sedition betrayed from every corner….

    He even approached Rizal if he could lead them,but he was the driving fore of our freedom….

    Yes it was their victory in the carribeans that lead the Americans here but we beat the living daylights out of them no matter who threw them out..whether there was bribery or compensation involved..we must not forget what happened before those sad turn of events
    A man who sold and peddled to have his siblings educated ..for that he educated himself and gathered his love for country through those readings……

  3. Karl

    COnstitutional assembly Bernas:

    Althiugh it would still be doubtful for the senate to render themselves extinct..I would still want to know what will happeb when it is time to discuss this ConAss again..
    Had enough talk about Garcia in the blogosphere so better abangan ang susunod na kabanata…
    Federalism in Mindanao
    have they asked MNLF MILF,ASG if they are willing to coexist in bangsa moro state ..if they coulkd make them aanswer that simple question then thi is the time I’dd be interested in hearing Mindanaoans favor federalism

    Peter Wallace never believed the figures

    With an inaccurate reading of the GDP due to that worl in progress satistics on the trade deficit to report only available data

    I have worked in the ports and I handled liason once with south harbor data with the NSO

    and they have to beg the IT department of our private company to have a code so they could read the cargo data in the electronic manifest…

    I dont know now but I think it is the same old guessing and relying on hardcopies of inward and outward manifest they can get their hands on…

    I was only talking about South harbor which is not even half our ourt International and local trade data

    have them solve that trade deficit data then I will believe the forecasted GDP growth!

  4. renmin

    My Favorite “Progressive” Blogger says the government is not her government: which necessarly leads to the question, if not, then how can someone refusing to pay allegiance to the Republic expect protection and liberties and rights guaranteed by that Republic? Anyway her entry is a clear distillation of what “national democracy” stands for. And speaking of Capitalism-hating, Go Figure explains why the Peso is strong.

    Two points:

    First: Precisely, the Republic GUARANTEES protection, liberties and rights to its citizens–regardless of the political convictions of individuals. Even when it moves to supress violent forms of dissent, its own legitimate use of force must be constrained by a respect for these guaranteed rights. This is true not only for political activists who act within legal limits, but also for rebels who take up arms against the state. I say I don’t owe allegiane to this government–that government is bliged to respect my right to free expression. I refuse to pay taxes–government can charge me with tax evasion. I join rallies–it can charge me with illegal assembly. I take to the hills–government forces can kill me in an armed encounter. But it cannot summarily execute me, or torture me, or detain me without charges in case I’m captured.(At least this is the theory in a so-called democratic society.) But to imply that I no longer enjoy rights, liberties, and protections is a dangerous leap into fascism. (In the Philippine context, this last bit is decidedly not theoretical.)

    Note that some Western European governments have exerted considerable efforts to rescue their citizens from the US-made human rights black hole in Guantanamo. In other words they don’t consider their citizens, who are allegedly dangerous Islamic terrorists, to be beyond the pale of legal rights and protections.

    Second: Ina Alleco’s blog entry is an impassioned, personal and subjective rant against the ruling classes, but it’s NOT a “distillation of what national democracy stands for.”

  5. mlq3

    DJB, to reduce it to a trinket may satisfy the purposes of his argument, but that is like saying the Greeks have no right to push for the return of the Elgin Marbles -and people gladly die for trinkets.

    renmin: well said. I agree. But I think considering her closeness to some of the Cardinals of the Red religion, it is, at the very least, a good approximation of they stand for.

  6. DJB

    MLQ3: How can you possibly miss the humor in Hanley’s “The Stone of Scone”? which juxtaposes our bells to their stone. Honestly, I never heard of it before! Now that I have, I see Balangiga and the propaganda effort around it as being not so unique after all. Imagine, since 1296 the English Kings literally got coronated while SITTING on the Stone of Scone, a sacred relic of Scottish Nationalism, until John Major returned it to them, in 1996. 700 years of seething Balangigastritis. But read Hanley’s description of what happened…The point of Hanley has to do with “collective political gratitude” being a figment of imagination. Which is why its opposite, resentment is a futile hunter, loveless, impotent. By the way, where Hanley describes Balangiga as a war between America and Luzon, to me it was our Battle of Thermopylae!

  7. DJB

    Renmin, I think you misunderstand the peculiar psychosis of the Trephinated One. You see, she really means it that the Govt is not her government because she really does pledge allegiance to the SHADOW GOVT fantasized into being by that particular ideological group. There is enough action from the Organized Extortion activity of the NPA and their ability to threaten the lives of local government officials, for the intellectual leaders of that movement to actually construct a Sand Castle Revolutionary Govt in the Sky, … and then move into it as Trephinated has, with the Utrechtians. Quit reading that crap. It could be catching.

  8. a de brux

    MLQ3,

    How extraordinary that a diary written by a third party was accepted and used as basis by the SC – and the media at large – for declaring a duly-elected president of the Republic “constructively resigned” while a taped conversation between a presidential candidate (who had virtually admitted its authenticity) and a Comelec official of an election rigging operation is deemed spurious or at best irreceivable and heralded as such by the good people of the republic.

    How extraordinary that the good people of the Republic of the Philippines simply sit back and relax while the major players in the immoral operation enjoy the fruit of their illicit labor.

    We are simply gobsmacked here in Europe!

  9. cvj

    Renmin, great post. A timely reminder, especially now that fascist thought, in its varied forms, is threatening a comeback.

    MLQ3, thanks for the clarification. At first, i was puzzled on what you meant by “clear distillation…”.

  10. dodong

    Here is the latest news that the Philippine justice system is now winning recognition as a role model of judicial reform. The International Conference and Showcase on Judicial Reforms which opened Nov 28 in Makati City attended by high court justices or deputies from 45 countries.

    Justice Davide as the keynote speaker, impressed upon the assembly his court’s record of weeding out unscrupulous members of the court by dismissing 47 judges and one justice in a period of five years, disciplined a number of justices and disbarred a sizable number of lawyers.

    Davide is very straightforward to his critics when he said he cannot imagine losers congratulating the justice system.

    You know who are these sour losers.

  11. karl

    MLQ

    Saw My name and the link to the most mababaw na kaligayahan na blog

    On your sunday edition of a blog….

    Many Thanks

    Karl

  12. mlq3

    karl, welcome. 🙂

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