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Feb 16

Two impending questions

Yesterday was, as the fashionable term goes, one of those uber busy days. Mainly spent traveling. I accepted an invitation to address a gathering of priests who were celebrating their reunion at the Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol, the diocesan seminary of Imus (located in Tagaytay). The topic was the present political situation. We had a relaxed, freewheeling discussion, and I basically asked the priests to reflect on two questions: how would they, as citizens and priests, react to Charter Change, particularly if the heirarchy decides to strongly oppose it; and how will they react, in the absence of immediate guidelines or a consensus among the bishops, should a coup attempt (succesful or not) take place?

These are questions of some urgency for everyone, I think.

In today’s news, the DailyTribune reports, Magdalos have support in AFP – Palace.

Manila Standard Today says US wants Clark perks restored.

Business Mirror reports Filipino businessmen being stressed out: the country is the third most stressful nation in the world to do business in, says a poll. This naturally segues into Connie Veneracion providing an OFW’s testimony as to why braving the dangers of the Middle East is worth it -after all, a potential war is as nothing if you’ve been repeatedly subjected to “invitations” by the New People’s Army.

Bravo! The magnificent Ortigas Library of Philippine and Philippine-related books is open to the public. I’ts composed mainly of the libraries of the late historian Gregorio Zaide and the late Morton Netzorg, in his time the leading dealer of Filipiniana in the United States.

In the punditocracy today:

Apology not accepted is my column for today.

Carmen Guerrero Nakpil’s philippic against present-day media developments has been making the rounds and received wide praise.

Fel Maragay has a roundup and analysis of ongoing Charter Change efforts.

Juan Mercado on the dangers of the insular mentality.

Manuel Buencamino cogently argues against mining.

Slate’s roundup of Dick Cheney crony shooting cartoons.

In the blogosphere, rich pickings:

In the scuttlebutt department, Banketa Republique says former Senator Vicente Paterno, widely admired for his integrity, is about to disown the Constitutional Commission he participated in (there’s a remarkable statement from the Makati Business Club: an attempt to prop up the Constitutional order? At the very least, valid talking points concerning Constitutional change); Ricky Carandang says people approached to fill vacancies in the Comelec have been rejecting proffered appointments and delves into the dilemmas faced by two prospective nominees.

My Liberal Times compares and contrasts the political crises going on in the Phiippines and Thailand.

Torn & Frayed and Newsstand are both delighted by jokes about the US Vice President confusing a crony for a quail.

Edwin Lacierda recounts being a Namfrel volunteer in 1986.

Pinoy Blog Press sticks his chin out and defends himself.

Ca T examines RSS Feed hijacking (sinister and scary!).

After All warns of crowds at a Bangus Festival.

manila, you’re not that ugly, on haunted places in the Philippines.

Pinay in Barnsely has a hilarious entry I absolutely sympathize with, on walking.

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13 comments

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  1. Dominique

    Touching column on the Inquirer, Manolo. We’ve all had incidents like this. Some realize this, some don’t. Good to keep in mind the next time we are about to brush someone off.

  2. joey

    Re; MBC,
    It seems a shallow excuse to say that since the parlamentary form of goverment need certain prerequisites such as a strong, dicipined & principled political system w/c does not exsist currently – does not make us prepared for it.
    At the same time they are pushing for a constitutional convention.
    It’s even perplexing that on one hand we don’t have the prerequisites & in the same time a constitutional convention?
    They are also making suggestion on crtain aspects of the presidential system.
    regarding the prerequisites, since they don’t exsist.will maintaining the present “deadlocking” system bring us anywhere?
    Do they mean that what we have now or what we do not have now is just fine for the presidential system?
    What good will a checks & balance system that is obviosly abused & leads to deadlocks?
    I’m surprised that businesmen who are supposed to be results oriented because if not they will surely be out of business can even talk of such matters that are not even giving the country results as a whole.
    We are a poor country.Funds that will go for a constitutional convention are better spent for social projects that are more important.
    The difference in form of the body to change the constitution will not change the substance of the entire thing..
    let’s face it.So many people & groups miscalculated last year.
    I just hope the MBC start acting like businesmen who are supposed to be people who make calculations on facts.
    Society is composed of people w/ different task & experties.Problems arise when people go beyound their experties.
    The MBC just like the Church are too politisized to be taken really seriously.

  3. joey

    Bill Luz was interviewed over ANC on what he had to say to a speech of the CJ regarding the courts not interfiring on busines matters.Bill Luz not being able to think of others things to say said insted, the test-case will be E.0.464.Strange that the E.O. has nothing to do w/ busines but more for stoping senators from their witch hunts.
    Then I remembered his Black & White.That explains it.he used to be credible once.

  4. a de brux

    Yep! That’s true Dominique…

  5. mlq3

    if only people would be as credible as you, joey.

  6. Karl

    INQ Article”apology not accepted’

    Very touching ……
    We were told not to mind them(the alms seekers) because they are under a syndicate or something and that they will never learn to know the dignity of work…

    I feel for people who seem helpless..but for people carrying their child in the rain..for the carwatchboys,parking attendants,dispatchers and the likes I feel they are extortionists.

  7. karl

    I have read MLQ3’s article…for me the initial reaction to brush off was normal because we are told by our parents not to mind them for many reasons….but when you see them come to you…mixed emotions arise…

  8. joey

    Manolo, I guess we are just in the opposite sides of the fence.
    I’m a stright talker & certainly envy you in your capacity to write very well & be very well read.But, in everything that I write I would like to beleave that I’m as objective as can be.
    Certainly, like millions of others we both wish things will be much better
    I just can’t figure out how a grouping of people of different thinkings would get together for not even a noble cause be so credible.
    Credibility is so hard to gain & so easy to lose.Specialy when we play “partisan” politics.
    It’s amazeing how leftist,rightist,idealist,rightous,religious can get together for one comon “hate” object.Then break up again & quarel another day among each other.
    PGMA will burn in hell to one day for all her faults, real or imagined.
    But, certainly all the groups battleing her better work on their credibility if they want to be taken seriously & not be considered just “another source of noise”.
    Are these the kind of alliances that will bring lasting change?
    Are these the kind of alliances that have the interest of a country named The Philippines?
    I remember JFK once saying “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”.

  9. geo

    joey,

    If it matters, I agree with each and every post you have ever written (that I’ve seen). acidboy, carl and elloi are spot-on posters as well.

    I have just spent two full days and nights at the e-Services exhibition/seminar (for the BPO industry) — which was full of middle class, white collar, technocrat entrepreneurs and SME’s — and everyone I met was complaining about the negative effects the extremists have created for the Philippines’ best ever economic opportunity.

    Lots of venom, especially for the B&W gang — the “middle forces who are forcing the middle classes to the brink” was one line I caught. I’m sure if Bill Luz’s name was brought up, more scathing remarks would have ensued. (BTW, has he ever explained why he completely contradicted his published statements about the elections?). I didn’t see any MBC members at the show either. Strange. Just what businesses are these guys supposed to be representing? Sam Mig and the banks or something?

    Meanwhile, I was shocked that I didn’t see ANC or other news teams there. I haven’t seen any TV…was there any coverage?

    A huge high-margin multi-billion dollar industry that is inherently pro-people, decidedly non-A/non-upper B class, beneficial to the second-tier cities…and which all global analysts say is perfectly suited for the Philippines (ranked as 1st or 2nd in the world for a variety of BPO sub-sectors). This industry alone could raise the economic welfare of the country and help expand the middle class quickly and substantially.

    And all the parties concerned kept talking about how they wished all the political BS could just go away and let the administration continue it’s policies.

    To tell you the truth, I was shocked. All along I thought I was in the minority…with elloi, joey, acidboy and carl. But wow, there are a lot of intelligent, incredibly hard-working, stay-in-country, build-the-country types out there who think along the same lines as we few posters have.

    Too bad the noise has overshadowed the great efforts and capabilities that “regular folk” bring to the party.

    Based on my knowledge and experience in the global economy and the global marketplace, I continue to believe that this is the last chance for the Philippines to pull itself out of the fire. It’s now or never. And it would be so sad for everyone if the opportunity is squashed because of a loud few who want to “search for the truth” and destroy the nation with their empty, anti-constitutional and hypocritical blathering (not to mention the opposition politicians and their wild goose chases when the TV’s red light is on).

    mlq3 — I, too, like you and respect you. But I fear you are getting carried away. Are you thinking with your heart? Isn’t the analyst supposed to feel with his heart and think with his brain? I have read that you might now think that Lacson could be the answer? Back off and come down from the ledge, my friend…please. The nation needs you to be clear and thoughful; to be a leader, not a destroyer.

    Pls excuse my rant. I try to avoid them. My heart just hurts so much after seeing the worry lines on the usually optimistic faces of the fearless Pinoy entrepreneurs…and hearing the foreign investors’ negative words about coups and irrational politics while they concurrently effused the attractions of “what the Philippines can be; is…but isn’t”.

    Let’s just all ship our money and our hopes to India; let’s just all throw away our future. Later, we can ask: “Why did we do that?”…and spend endless hours blaming one another. A-yay-yay.

    Time to wake up and smell the coffee, folks. It’s now or never. Now vs Never — You choose.

  10. cvj

    Geo, if it’s any comfort, i believed all along that there are many people out there who think like you, especially in our Industry. Before the elections, i was in a conversation with two of my officemates and one of them said something to the effect ‘Dapat dayain na lang ni GMA…’ and the other responded ‘Oo nga’. I believe a large chunk of the middle class and middle forces is morally complicit with what GMA has done. Fascism has always been popular with the multitudes and seems to be getting more popular of late. Also, since when did the ‘search for truth’ get equated with being an ‘extremist’?

  11. joey

    Geo, thank, i really agree w/ what you wrote.i grew up abroad but i’m sticking it out here in the country.
    i too deal w/ lots of people i wish i could help but everything
    around just makes things more difficult then they are.
    i would like to beleave that being young makes us have a “can do attitude”.but insted, it’s more of “venom in the air”.
    honestly, i never could figure out the significance of the so called middle forces.what is their purpose or are they just another duplicate of the opposition who don’t have anything better to present.
    or are they as they say in the “middle”,not cold not warm.they just don’t want to be identified w/ the left or right or whatever but can secretly make allainces.but surely they will contradict the administration.
    bottom line, will this so called in the “middle” lang forces contribute to a solution or just add to the problems?

    pls. don’t get me wrong.but in the real world there are the people who can compit & are inspired by doing things that can make a difference.they move on indipendently from whatever the enviorment is.
    there are also those who just can compit & just find fault in everything.in a way as if their leting the world wait for them.they form “gangs” too and use as their ammunition all the wrong things going around.in other words they exploit things.not really interested in solving but mainly exploting to make themselves relevant.
    it’s really true Geo.
    it’s really NOW vs. NEVER

    Manolo, pls. don’t get me wrong.in a way i’m asking questions of what should be the characteristics of people we must take seriously if we are indeed looking for people to look up too.

  12. joey

    Geo, yah nga, this “search of truth” of sorts is really going to the extrimist side.
    Sadly the “word” truth is being used for other menas.Just like the powers of Congress is being used for other menas also.
    I guess it’s a penchant in our culture to use & exploit things.
    Like poverty can be used by politicians & the poor use their being poor to get concesions because they have the numbers the politician need.
    In the same way, the so called “serach for the truth”.Although it sounds dramatic & rightous but when one goes to the substance of it one will discover other motives.

  13. goggle

    Grande sito!!

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