I didn’t think I’d get negative reactions to Neither Victory nor Defeat, my column for today so quickly, but I have. I’m not alone in trying to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of both sides. Just today, Billy Esposo in the Inquirer and Leandro Coronel in the Business Mirror make the administration and opposition’s respective merits and demerits their column subjects.
Best line of the week: “I develop amnesia during Christmas,” says Mark Jimenez.
The other story: government leaks the massive debt of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco). Second salvo in the second eruption of the Lopez-Macapagal Wars (the first one was waged by Diosdado Macapagal and guess who lost). Curiously (and unrelatedly) Fel Maragay tackles the emerging closeness between two long-time Lopez foes: the Macapagals and the Marcoses.
PCIJ goes from strength to strength in its coverage and analysis of the Consultative Commission for Charter Change. First they have a superb roundup of the issues and events, then a thorough look into the specifics of the debate; and a very helpful chart on different proposals for amendments. Ellen Tordesillas also weighs in by reproducing, in full, the dissenting or minority report.
The punditocracy is quite upset over one, particular proposal: to scrap the 2007 elections. Rita Jimeno recounts the shenanigans surrounding the ConCom’s decision to propose just that. Amando Doronila growls it’s a subterfuge to keep Arroyo in power; the Inquirer editorial calls for this trial balloon to be thoroughly machine-gunned. The Business Mirror editorial calls it the road to perdition. JB Baylon is simply outraged.
Incidentally, the Philippines Free Press blog reproduces an article from 1972: Constitutional Convention, Nakakahiya! Eerily appropriate reading for today.
Manila Standard-Today has been leaked possible details of the coming cabinet reshuffle. Presidential Chief of Staff: Tommy Alcantara out (rumored to be the next Executive Secretary, so it’s no demotion), and Mike Defensor in (a promotion of sorts, or maybe only a short leash: definitely the malicious whispering is Mike doesn’t want the job because the gravy is plentiful at Environment & Natural Resources).Ã‚Â Presidential Management Staff:Ã‚Â Tiglao out by February, and ally and close friend Rene Velasco to replace him (for those reading Palace intramurals, this is a victory for Tiglao and his camp). Philippine Information Agency: Rene Velasco out (and up, to PMS), Dodie Limcaoco to replace him (Dodie’s sun continues to set; he is drifting further and further away from the Palace). Budget and Management: Rep. Rolando Andaya (once the budget’s been passed) is in, Romulo Neri will go back to NEDA (perhaps he’s uneasy signing all the checks, or the President doesn’t want the Speaker to know what checks are being signed).
When I first began The Philippine Presidency Project, someone suggested I set it up along the lines of Wikipedia. I vehemently disagreed, saying the problem with Wikipedia is that it has no central authority, which is required in a website putting forward facts and not opinion. I have modified my views on Wikipedia somewhat, and edit and add entries to it when I have free time. But the problem of it being over democratic remains. BuzzMachine has been putting forward the idea that academe should step in and issue “Wiki seals of approval,” to help readers: now others have taken up his call, too. And, as Leon Kilat points out, it seems Wikipedia has about the same number of errors, on average, as say, Encyclopedia Britannica.
Interesting readings: PCIJ dissects the culture of competitiveness and corruption surrounding college basketball.Ã‚Â My Liberal Times has an entry (and a link to his article) on South Koreans and why they are visiting and living in, the Philippines.Ã‚Â Morofilm (whom I’ve been reading for some time, but his old blog was unlinkeable) has an entry on pets and curious lore about lizards. Edwin Lacierda peculates on an alternative kind of coup. Philippine Commentary, is, after all, a scientist and he waxes scientific about the Nativity. Manila Vanilla on traffic with a smile. And New Economist points to articles tackling the question of whether, when it comes to nation-states, size matters. And a magnificent example of National Democratic prose.
The ultimate post mortem: was that Juan served for lunch?