My column for today is Obnoxious reality, which refers to the dangers inherent in the President’s Executive Order 464. My column also mentions assertions by President Elpidio Quirino in the late 1940’s that he retained emergency powers enacted on the eve of World War II. The issue was discussed by the late Teodoro M. Locsin in Emergency Powers, an article in the Philippines Free Press from 1949. What’s curious is why the Supreme Court seems to be dragging things out. There’s a report that Senate President Drilon presses hold-order for EO 464 (see also Senate to Palace: Scrap EO 464 and Palace conditions on EO 464 rejected). Not everyone is sympathetic about the Senate’s problems, of course: Efren Danao, for one, suggests it’s tit for tat. Edwin Lacierda, on the other hand, is upset the Senate seems to have gone to the dogs.
Last night rumors of a coup attempt again disturbed journalists, but obviously, nothing happened. News like Fitch’s improving the ratings for the Philippines (that leaves Moody’s as the sole spoilsport), possibly serves to keep derailing putschist plots. Interesting too is Credit Suisse saying Charter change seen crucial to ratings upgrade. Apropos of charter change, Dan Mariano in his column warns that charter change is probable, because all politics is local:
Thus, when mayors and governors — along with their councilors, board members and village leaders — say that the time has come to rewrite the 1987 Constitution, the lawmakers and executives in Manila must sit up and listen. It is not even important that the local officials are speaking truthfully when they claim that the sentiment for Charter change (Cha-cha) in their areas is growing. It is enough that they say so…
Those who oppose constitutional amendments would be foolish to ignore the local governments that have made common cause with and in revising the Constitution. National politicians who dismiss the bid of, say, the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) to get Cha-cha deliberations going via people’s initiative are setting themselves up for a rude awakening.
Mariano is of a similar opinion to one congressman (who is against Cha-Cha) who said it was wrong to think the argument that the House could outvote the Senate on amendments was an interpretation that wouldn’t fly. Still, Fr. Joaquin Bernas reiterates his opinion that the argument can’t fly. Whether it’s clearing the decks for action, or arrainging deck chairs on the Titanic, the House is rousing itself to move: House posts shuffled: 5 leaders ousted in major revamp. Oh, and Random Jottings has a maliciously funny column on the “French Model” for parliament.
Yet another Palace trial balloon: Palace wants Erap freed, says the Manila Standard-Today; from the opposite side of the political divide is the Daily Tribune’s GMA mulls temporary freedom for Estrada.
An Inq7.net Infotech report focuses on GILAS, an ambitious project to have all 5,500 Philippine public high schools connected to the internet by 2010. World Famous in the Philippines has more on this laudable -and essential- undertaking.
Arroyo certifies ecozone bills “urgent“: the privileges granted Subic, it seems, by Supreme Court fiat, can’t be extended to other places like Clark; this imperils foreign investments, so Congress has to pass a remedial law.
Jojo Robles on the retreat of Philippine Airlines from the Middle East, and a critique of the aggressive expansion of Middle Eastern airlines.
In the blogosphere, let’s start by asking, what’s the hubbub, bub? In case you were wondering what’s gotten Yuga and CaT’s goat, it seems it’s whoever is behind Pinoy Blog Press, and a galaxy of other sites, including Pinoy Spy, Pinoy Big Brother Exposed!, Filipino Sex, and Da Pilipin Daily Oinkquirer. Read Yuga and CaT’s entries, then follow through on the links to see what they mean. Sassy Lawyer’s conclusion is tart and damning: the guy’s too frustrated. Manuel Viloria (one of the first bloggers I came to respect online) has a sober but devastating analysis, too. I’ve linked to the fellow, because wile I agree with the points raised by Yuga et al., I do think you have to link to the sites you decide to write about and object to.
The Unlawyer on a curious freebie: WiFi access in a barbershop. ExpectoRants muses on the evolution of love. Pulsar recounts a close call with fate. Eche… blah… blah…. recounts ten pet peeve persons justifying a Knuckle Sandwich with Cheese Pimiento and also has a part 2 to wrap up the list.
Concerns of a bystander reprints a thought-provoking essay by the late Renato Constantino on the meaning of dissent.
Mediashift on how advertising for podcasts is being auctioned off on eBay: a threat to ad agencies, one day?
Remarkable new website: Flags and symbols of the Royal Sultanate of Sulu.