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Dec 21

Like a virgin, clicked for the very first time

Everybody. Get up, dance and sing. Everybody. Get up, do your thing.

You will note, dear and gentle reader, that there are Pajamas Media buttons and ads aplenty, finally, on this site.

Go forth ye, and clickety-click, so that the advertising revenue will multiply. Amen. Look at the sidebar on the right. Click. Click again. Rinse, lather, repeat.

Philippine Commentary points to a Freedom House survey which says the Philippines has regressed from Free to Partly Free. As Freedom House puts it,

Of the four countries that registered an outright decline in status, the most significant was the Philippines. The decision to downgrade this country from Free to Partly Free was based on credible allegations of massive electoral fraud, corruption, and the government’s intimidation of elements in the political opposition. (Click here for tables from the report, and click here for a lengthier explanation of the report).

Naturally, the Daily Tribune gleefully reports the, well, report.

On another note, the President has appointed Artemio Panganiban as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The scuttlebutt, until shortly before the President finally made her announcement last night, was that the chief executive was unable to make a decision at all; in fact, the President should have announced her choice at the testimonial dinner for Hilario Davide. Further scuttlebutt had it that her choices were limited to Justices Panganiban or Puno, but that Puno had threatened to quit if he wasn’t selected (when told this, I replied that there might be initial fallout from a Puno resignation, but it was a silly threat to make, if true: the President could easily say, fine, quit, and I’ll have the pleasure of appointing a Chief Justice and a brand new Justice, too).

Typically, Philippine Commentary is pleased as punch to see Davide go. I’m not; I tend to agree with Dan Mariano’s assessment.

To lift a line from Casablanca, Ricky Carandang is shocked, shocked, that no reforms took place in the Constitutional Commission! I’m not; in my Arab News column for this week, I suggest the report has Deafening Echoes of the 1972 Constitutional Convention (just read it to find out why). Ellen Tordesillas describes the absence of any redeeming features in the proposed Constitution as hubris. My Liberal Times points out something I pointed out months and months ago too, on TV: the President manages to wield the agenda-setting power of the presidency most effectively.

I'm shocked!

Click above to hear “Im shocked, shocked, to find out that gambling is going on in here!” (Courtesy of Vincent’s Casablanca Home Page).

On a related note (the ConCom dropped Federalism), Abe Margallo recounts pro and con exchanges he’s had concerning Federalism. This column by Emil Jurado reminds me of a discussion I had the other night with some friends. I said, the best argument against Federalism is the failure of the MMDA and the complete selfishness of Metro Manila mayors. Federalism at its worst, I thought, would resemble Metro Manila: a kind of Federal body devoid of meaningful authority, with local governments running amok.

The Inquirer editorial wonders if the President can accomplish a meaningful cabinet reshuffle; the Daily Tribune thinks not.

Amando Doronila coins a new term: economic firewall. Ambeth Ocampo looks at Christmas decorations.

Are we closer to finally opening the NAIA III airport terminal, and getting rid of the original? Will peasants get their little piece of Hacienda Luisita?

katataspulong discusses the history of the concept of having an Ombudsman, past Ombudsmen, and what to expect from the new Ombudsman (will Merceditas Guiterrez take a dive, or become a cleaner-upper?).

Newsstand wonders if subtracting negative from positive survey ratings is misleading; it might be better to simply report both figures.

A congressman accuses 1 out of every 4 Filipinos with getting broadband to download porn. And sorry I missed this piece, Mon Tulfo and Me,  by Manuel Buencamino. It’s a hoot.

Overseas, Pajamas Media does a roundup report on the controversies surrounding election results in Iraq (I can’t resist resorting to that classic Casablanca line, for the 2nd time in this post: “We’re shocked, shocked, that cheating is going on here!”). Slate Magazine does a roundup of blogosphere comments as well. The brouhaha is due to the winning faction resembling the Iranian way of thinking, while America’s boys seem to have done pretty badly. Here’s a sober view from someone in the region.

Richard Gott of the Guardian says the new President of Bolivia may be a symbol of a Socialist renaissance in Latin America (the author is an admirer, it seems, of Hugo Chavez).

Here’s something oddly familiar: India worries it won’t be able to fill call center jobs soon. (But I guess Indian children aren’t instructed to color clouds blue!)

Flagrant Harbor dissects a manifesto on the Siege of Wanchai.

BuzzMachine unleashes a rant about the New York City transit strike.

The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles reopens. Read about the multimillion dollar restoration.

Weblog Awards 2005 winners (in Asian Blogs Sassy Lawyer did pretty well, although the infamous Xiaxue edged out mrbrown).

Intriguing new site: [[ok!]]

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12 comments

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  1. Carl

    I wonder if Congressman Santiago wants the Taliban to take over. Better that people download porn than bomb-making instructions.

  2. djuara

    GMA’s abuse of power goes full blast; con-com recomends extension of office of elected officials until the phil. has a new “rotten” system of govt. and well almost every elected govt. official will love to stay in power for another 5 yrs. as GMA finally assures herself to last beyond 2010.

    many have wondered and asked why justice puno was bypassed and justice panganiban is the chosen one, a lawyer has been asking, is the decision(of GMA) to bypass justice puno related somehow to justice puno being a member of the freemasons and being a former grandmaster of the society?
    granting the answer is no. would it be considered coincidental dong puno’s recent tv program on freemasons w/ referrences to being satanic have anything to influence the choice of GMA and surprisingly as the lawyer added in the following days after dong puno’s feature on freemasons the govt station nbn4 did the same.

    justice panganiban is endorsed by the CBCP and the papal nuncio, isnt this the meddling of the church in matters of the state?

  3. cvj

    If Erap stood by his rhetoric and did not give-in to cronyism, he could have had a legitimate claim as one of the first in the new generation of left-leaning, populist leaders like Hugo Chavez & Evo Morales. Sayang.

  4. joey legarda

    MLQ3, yes those peasants will get their piece of Hacinda Luisita.It’s all about the capitalist versus the peasant.It all about fighting for symbols.But will that same land really be productive?Will the peasants be any better in a few years time?Unless the lefttist supported peasants are organized into cooperatives professionaly managed.In other countries you put people together & they work & prosper.In these country you put people together & nothing gets done. They form labor unions. Before there was always Hacienda Luisita to blame just like when the american bases where here.Now, who will the peasant blame next?

  5. joey legarda

    Yes MLQ3, I agree about the MMDA being being the best exsample why federalissim won’t work.Although MMDA has made some in-roads.
    Our having been always a “conquered” country has really given us so many hang-ups.
    The concept of public services is a rarity.Until we don’t grow up & look at things w/ vision insted of always thinking of immediate needs or our “urges”.Nothing can ever work.Any system is as good as the people who make them work.
    Seems like those in position to serve the people are guided by greed & oppurtunissim & defending ones turf as if it’s the most normal thing to do.

  6. DJB

    Here is the statistical science on Net Satisfaction Rating that most of the Media doesn’t get or use:

    The NET SATISFACTION RATING being the difference of two raw statistics has TWICE THE ERROR as the individual components. So if you are CALCULATING NSR from a survey with 1200 respondents, the raw data (the answer to anyone question) has an error margin of about plus or minus 3% (actually its one over the square root of 1200, but never mind). But if you subtract one number from another, as in the NSR, the MARGIN OF ERROR in the NSR is PLUS OR MINUS 6%

    There is no free lunch in statistics. It gets worse. If you subtract one quarter’s NSR from that of the previous quarter, the resulting NSR trend has error bars that are PLUS OR MINUS 12% tall. Look back at all the headlines and have a laugh at words like PLUNGE and PLUMMET and SOAR.

    Understanding how margin of error works is the key to understanding the proper REPORTAGE of a survey. Sadly there is no respect for science in this society, or common sense.

  7. mlq3

    joey, good point about hacienda luisita.

    deanie, you know it occurs to me more and more that relatively few filipinos appreciate much less enjoy science. why is that so?

  8. cvj

    Land reform may or may not make economic sense in the end,
    but that’s now for the new owners to decide. More than
    the needs of economics, the demands of justice must be
    met if we want people to have a stake in the system.
    There has got to be something more than trickle down effects to count on.

  9. dodong

    Glad that the struggle at Hacienda Luisita will be over. That would put to rest who is to blame for the miserable life of the peasants. Now, peasants become landholder and they have good stake on their future. They got no one else to blame except for themselves. Let us just hope that they can translate struggle to productivity.

  10. dodong

    Contrary to Dean Jorge Bacobo’s opinion that Davide’s court decision is closer to reversal, it is rather farther from the truth.

    Now that Hilario Davide has retired as chief Supreme Court Justice, the landmark decision of constructive resignation is unlikely to be overturned. To recall, 12 of 15 justices decided on constructive resignation. Totality test was done by the justices to arrive at decision. Good or bad, a justice will not admit a judicial error which is catastrophic for the office. The supreme court is known for its consistency and upholding as oppose to reversing previous decisions.

    More so, in the case of the new Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban. He articulated his thoughts in his book “Reforming the Judiciary”. He was the justice that proposed oath taking of then Vice President to save “the constitutional system from collapse”.

  11. Jon

    Land reform is fine but actual implementation and results are very different on the ground. Besides, farming is not that rewarding in the Philippines.

    Usually what will happen is that the beneficiaries will sell their rights back to the landowner.

    Without proper govenment support (what can we expect?), we’ll be back to square one. And do you remember that part of the Marcos money that is supposed to be used for the CARP is gone?

    I always thought that we make pretty good laws but usually finds a way to mess things up!

  12. Asledv05

    MLQ3,
    I’m glad, finally DAR has rejected the SDO of Hacienda Luisita , justice is served …

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