The papers are feasting on the latest revelations by Virgilio Garcillano: Garcillano turns tables on solons: Lawyer says 20-30 lawmakers made calls (Philippine Daily Inquirer); Escudero named as Garci circus begins (Manila Times); Garci names solons who also called him (Manila Standard-Today).
And National Democrats are angry that the feasting is ending for their comrades in self-exile in Europe: Philippine communists hit EU for terrorist tag (Manila Times).
Ronald Meinardus, resident representative of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in the Philippines, has an analysis of the political crisis in the Korea Times. His points are as follows: 1. Estrada could not accept defeat in 2001 (a “fait accompli”). 2. Panfilo Lacson fatally split the opposition vote in 2004, preventing “revenge” by the Estradas. 3. The legitimacy crisis did not begin in July, 2005; it began in May-June, 2004; it accelerated in July, as the public “generally regarded” the Hello, Garci tape as proof of fraud. 4. It surprised people the President stubbornly clung on to power. 5. The military and Church stayed neutral, helping her. 6. The President’s position has “stabilized,” thanks to “strategic coalition building,” particularly her strong grip on local leaders. 6. The opposition remains fatally fragmented and without a leader to pit against the President. His summary:
Future historians will probably come to the conclusion that the most important factor benefiting the president was the political apathy of the masses. While survey after survey has documented that a majority of Filipinos are unhappy with the incumbent and wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind seeing her quit today rather than tomorrow, only a small minority is willing to go on the streets and join protest rallies. Ã¢â‚¬Å“People power has become an impotent weapon for ousting a widely reviled President,Ã¢â‚¬Â said a leading columnist in September shortly after presidential allies in the House of Representatives effectively squashed the impeachment process.
However, he doubts if Garci’s reappearance will result in “closure” for the administration.
Speaking of allies, the Inquirer editorial describes former president Fidel V. Ramos as A Raisin in the Sun.
I must say I do take exception to Connie Veneracion’s column, which asks why the Articles of War exist, and why the military has its own system of military justice. She passes it off as a relict of colonialism without recognizing that every military in every nation has its own code of military conduct, and that peer review and punishment can useful in actually promoting civilian supremacy.
Tony Abaya says Thailand’s PM is angry because the Thai team did pretty badly in the SEA Games; Dong Puno has an interesting column on the history of the law allowing journalists not to reveal their sources; in Slate, an article by Michael Kinsley, Corrupt Intentions: What Cunningham’s misdeeds illustrate about conservative Washington.
Jove Francisco recounts the opposition of the Palace Press Corps to its impending transfer to the New Executive Building in the Palace. I sympathize and don’t sympathize with them. My sympathy extends to the unquestionable reality that they are being exiled, since the NEB has never worked, even if conceived during the time of Pres. Aquino, because it is far from the real scene of the action, which is the Palace. The historical layout of the Palace only works if the President lives in the Palace and works in the old executive building, known now as Kalayaan Hall. This was something I kept on proposing during my time there (I wanted the Presidential Museum either in the Arlegui residence, or in the Bahay Pangarap across the river for accessibility reasons). The President and cabinet, I felt, should use Kalayaan Hall more because it was more historic than the Palace and a reminder of the days of the Third Republic and earlier, which is a healthy thing considering how Marcos-centric the rebuilt Palace is.
However, the President insisted that Kalayaan Hall be the Museum, and if it is going to be a museum, it certainly needs the whole building. Just accomodating all the precious books in the Palace library collection, now moldering in storerooms, would eat up the press working area and more besides.
However, I also felt that the Engineering Office should be kicked out of the small villa by the river that President Magsaysay had constructed for the press. That is the traditional and proper home for the Press Corps, conveniently located, and the fact that it served as such from the 1950s to the 1970s also gives a (much needed) historical prestige to the press corps, which no longer has the most senior and most respected reporters as in the old days (now it’s dominated by youthful reporters, which is a good thing, too, but deprives the press corps of its past intimate knowledge of politics and the presidency). But this sensible solution would get in the way of what is clearly, as I said, an effort to contain the press.
Chin Wong has an interesting column, basically defining the registration of domains as either the beach head for the Capitalist control of the interweb, or the final, digital frontier for Socialism. This is a fight that has been brewing for some time and is most notably being discussed in the United States: my colleagues in Pajamas Media have been discussing United Nations internet control, for example.
BuzzMachine has a particularly fascinating entry (if you work for a newspaper or are otherwise involved in publishing), tackling a recurrent theme of his: the demise of the newspaper and the quest for a new kind of information media.
An interesting entry in angas ng kurimaw (who I believe left this devastating comment in my blog, or perhaps it was merely what an older generation would call a fellow travelerÃ‚Â clarification, he says he did not) on the tempest in a teapot concerning Patricia Evangelista. He poses some interesting questions, but leaves the answers to his readers, pointing to Zizek instead. Who is that? Read the Wikipedia entry on Slavoj Ã…Â½iÃ…Â¾ek (there is also a documentary on him). An interesting part of the Wikipedia entry is the first part of the critique:
John Holbo of the National University of Singapore has criticized Ã…Â½iÃ…Â¾ek for the latter’s alleged refusal to lay out what, precisely, social formation he would replace the existing order with. Holbo argues that Ã…Â½iÃ…Â¾ek’s “irrational” approach to thought disregards the ontic benefits brought about by late capital, specifically in its liberal-democratic form. By refusing to “play the game,” as it were, and demanding leftist fidelity to a revolutionary ethic, Ã…Â½iÃ…Â¾ek is paradoxically demonstrating an unwillingness to face the consequences of political action (a pathology that he himself often criticizes).
The blog entry is remarkable in its steadfast refusal to “play the game,” which of course makes sense, considering the limitations the game imposes; for the same reason, bloggers of a similar political persuasion have gone to great lengths to assert their own branding, to use a Capitalist marketing term, for themselves, rather than submit to terms and phrases that have meanings that serve to uphold the attitudes and methods of the system(s) they oppose. This is, in a nutshell, integrity in action.
rebecca’s pocket points to an article saying the world’s tallest building may be causing earthquakes.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo confers the rank and title of National Scientist to Dr. Ricardo Lantican in ceremonies Monday afternoon (Dec. 5) at Malacanang’s Rizal Hall. Dr. Lantican was cited for his outstanding contributions in the Agricultural Sciences, particularly in his pioneering scientific works in plant breeding which have had worldwide significance, impact and applications. His works on field legumes started in the 1950s which resulted in the development and release of more than 20 improved varieties of mungbean, soybean, and peanut. Also in photo is Lantican’s wife. (Pancratio Francisco-OPS-NIB Photo)