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Dec 29

Comelec: Unite in Hate!

I am rushing a brief history of the Liberal Party and so entries will be brief.

Tomorrow is Rizal Day, and so, the annual orgy of Rizal-related punditry. My column is Rizal’s pending question.

Conrado de Quiros focuses on A century thence.

My column and de Quiros’s both refer to Rizal’s essay, The Philippines a Century Hence. Alas, all I can find online is Charles Derbyshire’s transation, but click on this link to read it anyway. Rizal’s essay was also the model suggested to me by the PCIJ folks when they asked me to write Circle to Circle, my essay on the Philippines in the year 2015.

Carmen Guerrero Nakpil ponders Rizal’s constitution.

The Philippines Free Press blog republishes a 1952 article on the late Vicente Albano Pacis’s discovery of Rizal in the US Congress, circa 1922.

The silliest Rizal-related suggestion of all? Sykes Garcia on moving Rizal Day.

Other news and views:

Mike D keeps post — Ermita

Palace asks public to dismiss coup rumors

The Inquirer editorial says the proposal to scrap the 2007 elections is a selfish scheme.

JB Baylon wonders if former president Ramos isn’t all bark and not bite -and thus, one big loser.

Alejandro Lichaoco says the Communist Party of the Philippines has declared war on the People’s Republic of China:

…It appears that a China-owned construction firm (China Road & Bridge Corp.) building roads in the country had pleaded with the CPP/NPA to be exempted from paying “revolutionary taxes” on grounds that China and the CPP/NPA are after all ideological soulmates. To which CPP/NPA spokesman Ka Roger Rosal is reported to have replied that isn’t so because China has ceased to be a communist state, has in fact turned “dirty capitalist,” and is now in an unholy alliance with the capitalist world led by the US government.

For refusing to pay revolutionary tax, the NPA torched the heavy equipment of China Road twice… the CPP Central Committee “accused the Chinese government of withdrawing support for armed struggles in Southeast Asia in exchange for China’s accommodation by Washington into the world capitalist system.”…Chinese President Hu Jintao, in a visit to the Philippines, “signed deals for $1.6-billion worth of loans and investments in Philippine mining and infrastructure projects.” This is in addition to the $1.2 million in military assistance to the GMA government which Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz announced would be used in the government campaign against communist rebels.

No wonder the CPP/NPA is roaring mad. The communists can only view the supposed turnaround by China as outright betrayal.

Well, that’s nothing new in the communist world. Recall that sometime in the 1960s, China and the then Soviet Union broke ties precisely on grounds that, according to the Chinese government, the Soviet Union had turned capitalist and was in league with the US to destroy China. So bitter and violent was the break between the two communist states that Western media began speculating on the possibility of an outright war between the two.

That was the time when Washington, which then felt threatened by Soviet nuclear power, starting playing what it called the “China card” meaning playing China off against the Soviet Union in an effort to sharpen the break between the two communist states.

From these developments one can be forgiven for concluding, even if only tentatively, that GMA, who started her political career as an American doll, is fast transforming herself into a China doll and that she might just possibly have decided, once and for all, to cast her lot with the strategic alliance of China, Russia and India, an alliance which was conceived and formed precisely for the purpose of containing what the alliance perceives as US expansionism.

In this respect, CPP/NPA assessment of the evolving relations between China and the US that China has now joined the US-led capitalist club might well be only half of the picture. For the larger reality seems to be that China, along with Russia and India, is really on a collision course with Washington, particularly in the region, and that collision has nothing to do with ideology.

The parties are engaged in a mortal international power play and it is precisely to strengthen China’s position against the US that China appears to have decided to extend the GMA government all-out support, militarily and economically, on the presumed understanding that the Philippines, through the GMA administration, will finally make that much hoped-for break with the US. And this — all-out support for GMA — China has decided to do even at the cost of alienating an old-time ideological soulmate that is the CPP/NPA.

How Washington will take this, of course, is the $64 question. If Washington does perceive that GMA is finally and definitively casting her lot with the China-Russia-India alliance, we can presume that it will do everything in its power to unseat GMA even if that means having to support the CPP/NPA.

The US supporting the CPP/NPA against the China-GMA alliance?

Well, the US is a major supporter of the communist regime in Vietnam, isn’t it? That’s because Vietnam has proved it won’t follow China blindfolded. What then can prevent the US from supporting the CPP/NPA provided the latter makes war with GMA and China?

And what can prevent China from giving, as it has apparently decided to do, all-out support to GMA provided the latter makes a clean break with the US?

What then happens to us? Well, there’s the Spanish Civil War to think of — that was when the major powers then took sides in Spain’s civil war.

Filipino Librarian focuses on an online petition calling for the Comelec’s resignation (and how the papers don’t report online material properly). He points to the call by A Hundred Years Hence to Reform the Comelec Now!. However,  Fel Maragay thinks no one in the Comelec will quit. PCIJ also reports on the online petition.

The Manila Times names the Overseas Filipino Worker its Person of the Year.

Poynter Online on an excellent example of Citizen Journalism in action.

Is Enya animal, vegetable, or mineral?

And hilarious: Jessica Zafra asks, why not review the Metro Manila Filmfest entries in verse?

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29 comments

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  1. anzhanhui

    enya. animal, vegetable or mineral?

    maybe it’s more like a baby’s babble =>

  2. anzhanhui

    always wanted lo leave a comment about everything i’ve read here but i just don’t understand much of it. parang puros about politics. buti na lang familiar ako kay enya. =>

    happy new year, mlq3.

  3. joey legarda

    MLQ3, Inq never says anything diffrent anyway, as far as ni remember it never runs out of issues that goes against anything & everything.Their getting borring already.
    my second point; seems like our attention span or life span is based on one lection to another. It’s like a drug that if we don’t get it everything goes black & we can think only of the worst things.
    We seem to be obsessed w/ the form of an election for all the excitment & entertainment of it.If we have been using our election properly we could be in less shit then we are today.Maybe it’s a sign that we must go slow on it & work for the system to be more up-to-date.
    personaly one less election will not do the nation any bad.It’s only those w/ agendas that will lose & they will certainly use as cover any reason.election in the philippines is big money.

  4. ricelander

    Joey, you can say “one less election will not do the nation bad”, that’s an opinion we need to respect. But say the president in power is one you do not like, say Estrada, or maybe Marcos; would you feel the same way still?

  5. joey legarda

    Ricelander,but the fact is if the president was as bad as those you mentioned.That president would have been long gone from now.There has never been a political bombardment as vicious & super evil as we have seen in the past 6 months.where are all those who made the most noise? They must be planning how to make themselves relevant or we might see them trying to make a come back as “trying hards”
    No matter what people may think of PGMA.She must be doing something right.
    considering our “low life” political culture & groups trying to grab power.They have underestimated PGMA badly.Not to mention they thought they could fool the people too & where seriously mistaken.
    I really think we really need time to work on things that will bring us good in the long term, THE ECONOMY!!!!

  6. Jon

    I don’t like Joey’s logic. Because PGMA was not deposed, then she must be doing something right? Where in the hell did you study logic 101?

    The premises are:
    1. Our economy is bad and life in the Philippines is hard.
    2. PGMA is accused of stealing the presidency.

    What is the conclusion? Let PGMA hold on to power and work on the economy? Not quite!

    It must be, let PGMA prove she didn’t cheat (the role of impeachment process not being railroaded thru technicalities). If she’s clean then let her continue and work on the economy. If she’s proven a cheater, throw her out! Then get the next in line to be president (Senate president).

    Joey we respect your views, but please don’t insult our intelligence.

  7. ricelander

    Okay Joey, so “if she must be doing something right” what do you think of the 80% Filipinos surveys say want her out one way or the other(presuming of course you believe those surveys)?

  8. joey legarda

    OK lang Jon, it’s a forum to express opinios.a fair discussion is always healthy.
    I think we must not be a one track mind.I think that in anything that we do,be it business or politics we have to be flexsible & learn from situations.
    The bottom line of life is to prove things w/o a shawdow of a doubt.
    I think it’s useless to entertain perceptions.
    I don’t think that perception be the bases to make conclussion.I don’t think that is even thought in schools.
    Yes Jon ,the economy is bad.w/ the turmoil of the past 6 months the economy still grew.That is a good sign.Do you not value that?I think we are forgeting to value the small positive things that we can build on.We seem to high light the negative for other purpoces.life is hard in the philippines.Yes, and our obsesive politics is not making it any better.
    Being accused & being guilty are 2 different things.If you have evidence that can stand in court.Then your on the right track.But if you don’t,then what must you do?

  9. joey legarda

    Ricelander,honestly surveys can be manipulated.they can be taken in certain periods where emotions run high & results are almost a given.it also depends who takes them & who is paying for them.where was that 80% in the last 6 months?
    Normaly elections must be the form of electing politicians.don’t know about surveys being part of a democratic proceses or as a part of the rule of law.

  10. joey legarda

    nga pala jon just because we don’t agree w/ each other does not mean there is an insulting of intelegence.lets just make it a discussion of ideas & opinions & no need to get emotional.
    PGMA will already be in power until 2010 anyway.Unless it can be proven w/o resounable doubt that she really cheated.
    Bottom line is to prove things first.
    You seem to forget that the impeachment proceses is a political thing.It is not a court of law.although some things that resemble a court procedure.

  11. Jon

    I think that Joey is a little bit detached to the issues. He’s not personally affected. Can you humor me Joey by answering this hypothetical question?

    Premises:
    1. You have an account at GMA Bank with a balance of 1,000,000.00 pesos.
    2. One week later you found out that the balance is 1.00. Somebody withdraw almost all your money!
    3. You think that your trusted brother may have a hand on the crime because he’s the only one who has access to your bankbook and you know he can copy/forge your signature.
    4. Your brother has a girlfriend working at GMA bank.
    5. Your helper said that she saw your brother doing something with your documents.
    6. You confront your brother but he said, no way that I can do that to you. He added that you should just continue working so that in time your money will be back to 1,000,000.00 again.
    7. (Assume) It’s against the law to accuse your brother a second time.

    What will you do?

  12. Jon

    Anyways, I also believe that GMA has a very big chance of staying in power until 2010 or even beyond. She has proven that she’s a very shrewd woman that is why she can last. I have written my views on that.

    What I have against GMA is her undermining of our processes just to protect herself. I have mentioned the railroaded impeachment process (she missed her chance to prove her innocense there), the current issue of no-el is another one. Both of these issues are just too convenient for her and shows no respect for our laws.

  13. Carl

    On the assumption that the surveys reflect people’s sentiments, the fact is that people are also wary of the alternatives. The issue of cheating may be overrated probably because it is too familiar a refrain in every election and because people assume that cheating happens in all elections. This is not to condone cheating, but it is clear that it is more of a partisan issue that inflames the more ardent supporters of the losing party but does not really arouse too much indignation on the neutral parties, which frequently are in the majority. In the end, it could be the economy that will determine the outcome. However, people are also aware that the economy has been bad since the Asian crisis of 1997 when the peso’s value was cut in half. The economy has been bad ever since. As a matter of fact, it has shown a slight improvement lately. Thanks perhaps to unprecedented remittances from our OFW’s.

    In the case of Marcos, it was the economy that finally did him in. Ninoy Aquino’s murder may have inflamed some sentiments, but it was the massive devaluation that occurred after the country defaulted with the IMF that really sank Marcos. There was a massive loss of purchasing power when the peso slid from P7 to $1 to P20 to $1. That fanned discontent with Marcos more than Ninoy’s death, especially since it was the middle class that was particularly hard hit. Ninoy’s murder was simply a symbolic cause wherein to funnel that discontent. And yet, despite the very adverse circumstances hounding Marcos then (he was also very ill with Lupus), it took almost 3 years after Ninoy’s death before EDSA came about.

  14. Karl

    some blamed real estate,some blame,power,some blamed America,and one still blames FVR even until now who may become SC Chief in less than 5 years….
    To continue…
    Many blamed the napocor underpricing of electricity for our woes but that is just looking at one problem in our forests of problems…

    You noticed the short term solutions offered for long term problems resulted in Zilch or Nada!

    concerning Comelec the present problem is Comelec resign and automate or antiquate…

    again just a microcosm of the institutional problems

    if only we can find a solution that solves many problems in one shot..even changing presidents for me is not the answer…

  15. Karl

    rizal’s pending question

    again on the premise that the American kicked out the spanish….

    what if Rizal was not accidentally made a hero by the firing squad

    would bonifacio and company continued with their cause

    would the various instant generals form across the nation

    would not have risen….

    Rizal was just the celebrity…

    considering our regionalistic present I am sure It was just like that 100,200,300 years hence…
    to each his own
    just look at the faces of the demonitized Five Peso bill and the 5 peso coin

    and this day is about the guy from the the soon to be demonotized two peso bill …if not yet demonitized

  16. joey legarda

    Jon, sorry to dissapoint you.I wish though that i had that mil in the bank.
    pls. don’t get me wrong but your premis sounds more like a movie plot.
    I guess your trying to make a point but i guess your falling short of expressing yourself.
    you mentioned about not being personaly affected.maybe i also m cuz i have to work harder.only dif is i don’t see things as the end of the world.
    The problems starts when you let things affect you then you lose your freedom to be objective.insted of being an asset, you become just another liability.

  17. joey legarda

    Jon, she is the president, like it or not she has the upper hand.she out smarted her “best friends”.
    Jon, honestly, from the start I would have been more scared of a FPJ presidency,God bless his soul.Don’t know if you noticed,but who is regreting FPJ did not make it (funs excluded)?
    Just like Carl said it’s about alternatives.I’m 100% sure if there was ever an alternative to PGMA she was a gonner a long time ago.
    I think concluding that she is undermining the proces is not what it is all about.
    I still think the bottom line is that she breaks the “mob mentality” in changing administration.
    Anyway Jon, Wish you & all a Happy New year!!!!!

  18. cvj

    Considering that Rizal’s (100 Years Hence) essay was written at least a decade or two before the actual events transpired, it’s amazing how he was able to grasp the future shape of geopolitics of his time. He was right on the mark to suspect America’s ambitions but, sadly for us, mistaken to put his faith on its values being a restraining factor.

  19. cvj

    “Don’t know if you noticed, but who is regretting FPJ did not make it…” – Conrado de Quiros for one. I remember him publishing the ‘blank column’ prior to the elections. Recently, he published a eulogy of sorts to FPJ. To me that counts, since it turns out that he is (annoyingly) right about most things.

    If we acquiesce to our leaders’ Machiavellian schemes just because it happens to be convenient, then we truly deserve to be called “Marcos’ heirs”.

  20. Karl

    For Mr. Joey legarda

    When it comes to MLQs blog I read back issues and archives

    I failed to include you in the bloggers I acknowledged a few weeks back.

    Sir, you make sense……

    Happy New year To You!

  21. Karl

    “If we acquiesce to our leaders’ Machiavellian schemes just because it happens to be convenient, then we truly deserve to be called “Marcos’ heirs”.

    Machiavellian for me an “eye for an eye”
    means justify the end or what eversequence…

    political compromise which is happening and been happening is far from the eye for an eye that I understand as far as Machiavellianism is concerned…

    If your talking about political assasinations and other assasinations

    that is micro mangement if the president gets involved in any..but what do i know…..

    being almost a martial law baby?

    I even refuse too believe 100 % the jpe fake assasination and the movie actor’s case tied up to his kin…

    but Lito Atienza’s take on Liberal parties bombing I would be inclined to believe…

    Where can I find the article about liberal party?

    What about the Nacionalista which sen Villar is reviving?

  22. Jon

    Joey, yes I was trying to make a point. It seems you missed it though. My point was that if it was you who lost something (your million peso) then you’ll fight extra hard to regain it even if the facts and “proofs” are not clearcut.

    Some of us feel that Gloria stole our votes to become president. So some of us don’t want her to stay in power without proving she won fair and square. (In my analogy for you, you will just accept your brother’s explanation without a fight because you can earn it again naman. That is like allowing GMA to stay whether she proves she won or not).

    If she proves in the end that she won the elections, then fine. But when it is proven that she cheated (the Garci tapes seems to point to that conclusion, but it’s another matter) what then? Ok lang ba? Dapat hindi, the issue must be resolved as soon as possible. I got no problem with GMA being president as long as she is the rightful president.

  23. joey legarda

    Thanks karl & a happy New year!!!!
    Good luck w/ your new job.
    So your starting the new year on a positive note.
    way to go man

  24. joey legarda

    First of all Jon, I wish You a happy new year!!!!
    Jon,w/ the political confussion that was I too lost a lost a lot & I don’t even wanna quantify it so as not to fill bad.I too have to hold back a lot.But I’m not complaining.Maybe for ones in my life I could show some Nationalissim & set aside for a bit me for things that will have further gains.
    maybe our difference is about tempers.If I do something it’s because I’m sure by a large percentage that I will win.I don’t wanna be just another loser.It’s not being mayabang.I’m just trying to make use of my education & what I learned from wise people.
    yes I understand what some people can fill.But round & round we go it still boils down to hard proof.
    Personaly,I won’t entertain a thought that I can’t prove anyway.I certainly feared more an FPJ winning.

  25. Jon


    That’s alright Joey, I think I understand now how you look at things. And we certainly are not on the same wavelength. But I’m certain that you don’t use the same logic on all things.

    You said “I do something it’s because I’m sure by a large percentage that I will win.I don’t wanna be just another loser”. Does it apply to courting girls? To playing the lottery?

    I presume that you’re doing well with whatever it is that you’re doing because your “logic” is working for you. I wish you’ll continue to be succesfull this year.

    Thanks to MLQ3’s blogsite, we have the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas.

  26. joey legarda

    yah nga Jon, thanks to mlq3 that we can exchange ideas.yah nga my sort of phylosophy apply to lots of things & w/ different levels of succes.
    I wish you well also for the year ahead.
    I’m not doing bad.I always make it a point to thank God at the end of the day.For the good & the bad.I always try to appreciate every lil thing I come across.cuz i beleave first you have to be strong as a person before you can plunge into this crazy world we leave in.
    Being in the same wavelenght is certainly a nice thing.But there is much more to learn from those who thing differently.
    I’m a consultant.I also worked for goverment once.the money was good but my name is more important.I have delt w/ scum and talagang nakakasuka!But I also know that there are also those out side of goverment who take advantage.man, it’s really a sic society out there.

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