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Mar 01

Strength through joy

From General Order No. 5, by the President of the Philippines has been born the following criteria for an acceptable press in this country:

Lomibao said news reports “should not hurt the Philippine state by obstructing governance including hindering the growth of the economy and sabotaging the people’s confidence in government and their faith in the future of this country.”

I think I shall call the policy the New Strength Through Joy Movement.

Late last night I watched the Manila Overseas Press Club Philippine National Police night. It was quite an unpleasant experience. Every time the media had Lomibao flat on his back, Tony Lopez would step in and apply the press conference equivalent of mouth-to-mouth. His most chilling line that night: “I’m used to holding a gun, not talking.” Or something to that effect.

I’ve been thinking, if Director-General Lomibao was a surgeon and not chief of police, he’d probably handle things this way:

“Hello. Well, last December I thought you might have a tumor, but I well, studied it, and well, put it under surveillance, and you know, thought about it, it seemed big and dangerous and then by January, it looked dangerous again but I was qorried that if I did anything about it the tumor might start spreading, so I well, talked to your tumor in a soothing voice and gambled on the tumor behaving and well… in February your tumor, not as seriously as in December and January but still, seriously, started causing trouble so, that being the case, we have to chop off your head now. Sorry.

“But it’s not that serious. If you don’t want us to chop off your head, I recommend self-medication. Though if you self-medicate, I’ll still watch your tumor because if it grows, it will be your fault and I’ll chop off your head anyway. In the meanwhile, let me write you this prescription…

“Ok, here’s the prescription. Here’s how to keep healthy and happy. 1. Don’t move while we do our tests or we’ll cut off your toes, then your fingers and finally, your head. 2. Don’t miss an appointment because it costs me money and if you do, I’ll cut off your genitals. 3. Don’t ask for a second opinion or bother to try understanding what we’re doing, and even if you’re terminal, you have to say, in a very loud voice, you feel as healthy as an ox or we will chop off your head.

“And while you’re under treatment, presuming you survive, we reserve the right to camp out in your house and if you don’t behave, we will take over your house. So now, whether you like it or not, your treatment for your tumor will begin. This is a medical emergency, you know.

“What? Surgery for your tumor? I’m a butcher, not a surgeon!”

My Arab News column for this week is basically based on this blog. The Inquirer editorial basically calls for a referendum on the President’s rule. Why not? Let the people be heard. It’s one of the things people can do next, as Rina Jimenez-David points out, people are thinking up all sorts of things. Greg Macabenta says the martial law generation has its own thinking to do.

The best opinion piece of the day: Alex Magno, you maggot! by Manuel Buencamino.

Punzi has a point about those challenging Proclamation 1017: it may be a trap to get discussion banned on the basis of its being sub judice.

Newsstand makes a fearless forecast: if it looks like the Supreme Court will overturn the proclamation, the President will declare the emergency over.

Finally, AsiaPundit compares and contrasts Thaksin and Arroyo.

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  1. Jon Mariano

    Sleeping, how did proclamation 1017 avert a disaster?

  2. joselu

    Buencamino,I still think magno makes more sence then you.In the world of free speech & press freedom let the people make the choice.
    Your attacking him is not a good sign you are a secure person.
    You can write.
    But substance wise is another question.
    To me it’s like going below the belt to call people names or branding them.
    Your expresing anything else but freedom.
    In a way it’s people like you that give press freedom a bad name.
    Sana you can be more professional.

  3. Geo

    If one believes that there is/was no premeditated plot to overthrow the government and that we are under (or soon will be under) martial law, I can see how they’d be worried about some list of names who are to be arrested. But it’s not really the list that would be worrisome…it’s what a dictatorial power would do with it.

    However, if there indeed was a plot (call it coup, rebellion, mutiny, whatever) and the law enforcement agency has evidence in hand clearly identifying several participants, then it is reasonable that the police also know the associates of those who are already identified. There may be various levels of evidence or suspicion concerning these associates and the police must (legally; with due process as provided by the laws) investigate further. So having a list is pretty routine.

    The point is: the existence of a list is not an indicator of anything…it’s HOW one interprets an alleged list in light of other events.

    For mlq3 (and some others) — who is clearly convinced of GMA’s desire to be a dictator — does a list’s existence really affect anything? A dictatorial power in a martial law regime doesn’t need a list to go about doing whatever it wants.

    So forget all this yakking about a list, as it proves nothing. What mlq3 needs to do is to convince others that there is an imminent move to martial law. To do so, he would need to demonstrate that present and past actions by the admin are clear indicators of an obvious trend towards fascism.

    If I may, I’ll try to guess what info/events he’ll draw on (and since mlq3 is only being used here, by me, as a microcosm/example of a larger group of thinkers — it’s not hard to accumulate the complaints previously aired by mlq3 and this group):

    1.Electoral Fraud (Garci Tapes…and how the admin and Congress handled its repercussions)
    2. EO464
    3. CPR
    4. Jueteng, Northrail, Piatco, Macapagal Blvd, Fertilizer Fund, and other acts of corruption
    5. Proclamation 1017 (and ensuing warrantless arrests and media suppression)

    On the other side, the admin denies being widely corrupt and says that it has proof of a rebellion/coup/whatever which was to be launched last weekend. It cliams that all of its actions have been within the limits of the law.

    So what/who should I believe?

    I know that many fervent proponents of the anti- or pro-GMA camps will simply insist they know for sure what is/has been going on…but that’s not good enough for me. Apologies to those who think differently.

    What I want to see is proof. Proof from both or at least one camp. Proof presented within the proper venue. Proof recognized by the judicial bodies and decided upon.

    There ain’t much.

    The oppositionists (many who I don’t trust) have made a lot of allegations, but have been either unable to produce meaningful evidence or have not done the leg work to even try to unearth the facts. These accusers are certainly the ones who must carry the burden of providing proof to substantiate their claims.

    The admin (which must always be distrusted…just like ALL admins should be), on its side, must produce the factual evidence which supports its own allegations of mutiny/sedition/whatever in general and — very importantly — in each case versus an individual.

    Meanwhile, several issues are sub judice…meaning UN-concluded rulings are pending.

    I really don’t understand why so many people refuse to go through the proper, admittedly slow-moving, processes as required by law (and by rationality, reason, logic). A refusal to do so, in my mind, indicates a disregard for the laws which protect society…and me/my family. So I instinctively oppose them.

    For me, I refuse to support ANYone’s position until I see some facts to support allegations.

    …so all this talk about “a list” is superfluous and just adds to the state of confusion and animosity. Why isn’t the focus on the discovery and production of evidence? Why can’t one wait for a ruling on whatever issue? Since when does personal conviction of individuals trump society’s laws and processes/procedures???

  4. won't_be_used

    mlqIII,

    a condescending remark does not befit you.
    what you say roco said on his deathbed does not have any direct relevance to the writer’s sentiments.

    the funny thing about you media people is that you easily cry foul. it was a sorry sight to see you on tv last weekend dignifying 1017. clearly in this case, the state of emergency was aimed at ‘known’ targets. 1017 was not for you, nor for eczema-infested maria rezza. hey your blog and more controversial and interesting ones are still on air.

    so get on with something more insightful, will you?

  5. mlq3

    won’t, i’m sorry if you find it condescending, but it puzzles me. if someone voted for roco, then one is inclined to think along the lines of roco; but then when one of roco’s last public acts is to call for the president’s resignation, he suddenly becomes irrelevant -when support for him is relevant to the stand you take today?

    geo, i appreciate your points, but really, everytime i or anyone else tries to take a cool-headed approach, we end up faced with a blank wall. obviously, a matter of perspective: the proof for all sorts of things is staring us in the face, yet others don’t see it as evidence of anything.

  6. jackryan68

    “An pinakamasakit pukawon idtong dati nang mata.” The hardest people to wake up are those already awake.

    That’s how I characterize MLQ3’s commmenters here. We are preaching to the converted. We have made up our minds, and obviously there is very little thing we can do about it.

    The battle should be fought elsewhere. Ironically, it will require media to do what by nature it is not inclined to do: highlight success stories that “would show EDSA,” as the widow of the late Pepe Diokno implored.

    There are many of these in the countryside, and these are the stories of little people and communities who are making things happen in spite of Gloria. Naga, where the late Raul Roco came from, is a good place to start, as would Bulacan, Oriental Negros and other places where the ideals of EDSA live on. I know because I come from the place.

  7. Jon Mariano

    Jackryan, on the other hand, it might be you who is still sleeping and can’t accept realities as they appear. It might be you who have made up your mind.

  8. jackryan68

    Korek ka Jon 🙂

    I have made up my mind that there is clear and present danger to our country, but it lies with a regime that has systematically prevented truth-seeking and truth-telling — if only to remain in power.

    But then again, I have also made up my mind that there is hope for this country so long as there are people and communities where the ideals of EDSA lives. It is at this level where I am effective and can make a difference.

  9. Geo

    mlq3 wrote:

    “geo, i appreciate your points, but really, everytime i or anyone else tries to take a cool-headed approach, we end up faced with a blank wall.”

    ***If you mean that those listening to your cool-headed positions/opinions (of “oust GMA!”, for example) don’t react with vigor or in the manner you think they should, well, that should tell you something. Your opinion doesn’t resonate with them.

    If you mean that you have proposed cool-headed approaches espousing the rule of law (as produced by society’s designated institutions who have followed the legal processes and procedures) and get a blank, non-result/inaction…then so what?

    But if they respond by spewing venom (either for or against GMA/whomever/whatever) and essentially say “the law be damned!” then I will opine that such a person is potentially dangerous…especially if he spends much time publicly repeating this position. In this instance, he may be creating an opportunity for malevolent people to justify their illegal activities. Or he might be one of those malevolent types himself.

    That’s why I have a problem with both the totoy (pro-GMA) and adb (anti-GMA) type of posters. Fortunately, though, I don’t think many people/groups in the Philippines give them the credit and respect in the first place…so their opinions don’t carry much weight.

    But you, sir, DO have respect — for your intellectuality (i.e. rational thinking combined with vast knowledge) — and your words can have a much bigger effect. I contend that you therefore have a corresponding responsibility to this society.

    What you do with that responsibility is your call…just like you are responsible for whatever consequences your words/actions create. If civil war ever erupts (my greatest fear), if bloodshed occurs, if the end result is worse rather than what is presently the situation — you are going to have to accept the fact that you had a meaningful role in all of that.

    At least, that’s my opinion…and you can understand why I have pleaded with you on several occasions to cool things down rather than to further aggravate them.
    ————————————————
    mlq3 also wrote:

    “obviously, a matter of perspective: the proof for all sorts of things is staring us in the face, yet others don’t see it as evidence of anything.”

    ***I would be very interested in listening to your clarifications concerning what proof and for which things. I am dedicated to hearing them with an open mind (believe me or not). I definitely think it would be an exercise which would lift the quality of debates around here.

    If you will choose to present these facts, I’m all ears (well, OK — eyes).

  10. joselu

    wont_be_used,
    I agree w/ what you wrote.
    It’s really strange about certain people yacking so much about 1017 & being so paranoid.
    Seems like we have so many Don Quijotes fighting windmills in their immaginations!
    Can anyone tell me if the stage is closed for debate & discussions on 1017 that we can conclude our freedoms are being curtailed?
    Maybe, we are expectators of how freedoms are being used either intelegently or foolisly by entertaining & spreading misinformation.
    Jurado mentioned in his colume how Drilon is doing his bit at spreading misinformation.
    It’s strange, how we can be a people scremming for freedom & democracy w/o realizing that we are practicing it already anyway.
    I think it is the role of the State that things do not go out of control.Can we fault them for that?

  11. FELIX

    Alam nyo guys, ordinaryong kabataan lang ako na dati nagbabasa ako ng blogs na to, ngayon na lang uli ako napadaan dito. During the impeachment (kuno) ni Gloria, lagi akong nagbabasa ng news at blogs, i should be aware, i want her out, i want us to have a new leader, i want a new government para na din makamove on tayo. Sana magbago na ang pilipinas, pero walang nangyari e. nakakawalang gana na.sa totoo lang wala na akong nararamdamang galit, wala na din akong mga tanong kung bakit nagkakagnito ang bansa ko, MANHID NA AKO E. Wala na akong nararamdaman sa gobyernong eto. I JUST DONT WANNA CARE KASI HOPELESS CASE NA TO. Last sunday evening me napanood akong program about EDSA UNO, me konting kirot, me konting pag alab ng pagiging makabansa, pero hanggang don na lang yon. WALA kasi na akong magagawa. Bakit? Pagod na kasi tayong makialam. Pagod na, kasi mas uunahin ko pang magbanat ng buto para me makain ang mga kapatid ko at kung hindi wala kaming kakainin pag naglaon. Sa totoo lang, ang hirap ng buhay. Ang hirap. May namamalimos sa akin nung isang araw, 2 batang ampapayat, magkapatid sila. Tinanong ko kung kumain na sila, hindi pa daw. Binigyan ko ng 25 peso para makakain sila sa karienderya. 25 piso lang yon, pero nasaktan ako kasi 25 piso lang ang kaya kong ibigay sa mga panahong yon. Kilala ba sila ni Gloria? Habang nakatira sya sa airconditoned malacanan palace at namumudmod ng milyong milyong pera sa mga walang kwentang Congressman para suportahan siya, naisip ba niya nag mga taong eto? ang mga batang eto. Habang natutulog si FG sa mamahaling hotel nung boxing ni pacquiao sa states, naisip ba nila ang mga batang eto. Habang ang ABS-CBN ay ginagamit ang kahirapan ng tao sa wowowee para sa ratings, totoo bang nagiging makatao sila? Si Ramos, Si Cory, SI ERAP, pare preho lang sila nina GLoria. At ang ibang kabataan, ayon, habang nag mamalling sa PODIUM, ROCKWELL, GREENBELT at umiinom ng tig iisandaang pisong tasa ng kape sa Starbucks, gumigimick sa malate, eastwood at makati, marami ang nagugutom, ang nagnanakaw, nagbibili ng sarili nila, nagpapa alila sa ibang tao para magkaroon ng pagkain sa mesa nila.ANG HIRAP MAGING PILIPINO PERO WALA AKONG MAGAGAWA. DITO AKO IPINANGANAK E.

  12. FELIX

    Alam nyo guys, ordinaryong kabataan lang ako na dati nagbabasa ako ng blogs na to, ngayon na lang uli ako napadaan dito. During the impeachment (kuno) ni Gloria, lagi akong nagbabasa ng news at blogs, i should be aware, i want her out, i want us to have a new leader, i want a new government para na din makamove on tayo. Sana magbago na ang pilipinas, pero walang nangyari e. nakakawalang gana na.sa totoo lang wala na akong nararamdamang galit, wala na din akong mga tanong kung bakit nagkakagnito ang bansa ko, MANHID NA AKO E. Wala na akong nararamdaman sa gobyernong eto. I JUST DONT WANNA CARE KASI HOPELESS CASE NA TO. Last sunday evening me napanood akong program about EDSA UNO, me konting kirot, me konting pag alab ng pagiging makabansa, pero hanggang don na lang yon. WALA kasi na akong magagawa. Bakit? Pagod na kasi tayong makialam. Pagod na, kasi mas uunahin ko pang magbanat ng buto para me makain ang mga kapatid ko at kung hindi wala kaming kakainin pag naglaon. Sa totoo lang, ang hirap ng buhay. Ang hirap. May namamalimos sa akin nung isang araw, 2 batang ampapayat, magkapatid sila. Tinanong ko kung kumain na sila, hindi pa daw. Binigyan ko ng 25 peso para makakain sila sa karienderya. 25 piso lang yon, pero nasaktan ako kasi 25 piso lang ang kaya kong ibigay sa mga panahong yon. Kilala ba sila ni Gloria? Habang nakatira sya sa airconditoned malacanan palace at namumudmod ng milyong milyong pera sa mga walang kwentang Congressman para suportahan siya, naisip ba niya nag mga taong eto? ang mga batang eto. Habang natutulog si FG sa mamahaling hotel nung boxing ni pacquiao sa states, naisip ba nila ang mga batang eto. Habang ang ABS-CBN ay ginagamit ang kahirapan ng tao sa wowowee para sa ratings, totoo bang nagiging makatao sila? Si Ramos, Si Cory, SI ERAP, pare preho lang sila nina GLoria. At ang ibang kabataan, ayon, habang nag mamalling sa PODIUM, ROCKWELL, GREENBELT at umiinom ng tig iisandaang pisong tasa ng kape sa Starbucks, gumigimick sa malate, eastwood at makati, marami ang nagugutom, ang nagnanakaw, nagbibili ng sarili nila, nagpapa alila sa ibang tao para magkaroon ng pagkain sa mesa nila.ANG HIRAP MAGING PILIPINO PERO WALA AKONG MAGAGAWA. DITO AKO IPINANGANAK E.

  13. francis

    test

  14. Karl

    hey francis,

    You are the web developer

    How do you resolve the error message appearing upon entering
    quezon.ph/blog????????

  15. Karl

    Who hacked MLQ3’s site????

    To all techies out there….let us help restore the site

    Hey Francis the problem started when you were replying (or not)to AdB’s question on Civ4

    hope this is repairable..and I hope this is not a hacker’s doing or part of the so called internet brigade.

    I was only able to access this page because it was on my browser’s history…

  16. Karl

    “cvj
    March 3rd, 2006 07:49 107
    Karl, a de brux,

    mlq3’s entries are still accessible if you go directly to the specific url. for example, his latest post (’She is as they are’) is in ‘http://www.quezon.ph/blog/?p=850′. don’t know what the problem is but hopefully just a wordpress glitch. ”
    …………………………………………………..
    ….This post from cvj on ricky’s blog calmed me a bit

    i hope it is just a simple glitch

  17. sleeping with who

    looks like a glitch maybe the last poster since this thread is still active but the front page and yesterdays cannot be added too…

    Anyhow hi to all,

  18. Simon

    I am re-printing this piece for a better and intelligent appreciation on why GMA must go:

    WHY GMA MUST GO

    Like the rest of the ABC+ ECO classes, I figured we should just ignore GMA and go about our lives. After all, there’s no acceptable alternative on the horizon. Better the devil we know than the one we don’t, right?

    I even said she was most likely the real winner in the 2004 elections. After all she had the incumbent’s advantage. She spent billions of pesos for her campaign. The P800M fertilizer fund and P500M health insurance budgets were diverted to buy votes. Then to ensure a convincing victory she topped it off with Garci. You see, the little woman vowed she would get a lead of at least 1M votes over FPJ. That way, even if the Opposition cheats, she would have a buffer. Her other ambition was to get more votes than Erap, partly to thumb her nose up at him and his loyalists. Mostly so she would feel the love of the people because in truth everything she did was really for love.

    She wasn’t always a cheat and a liar. In fact there was one moment of epiphany when she actually had the decency to say she wasn’t going to run because she was such a polarizing and divisive personality. Alas the Holy Spirit left too soon. And her broken promise became yet another one of many more to come.

    Since the Hyatt 10 resigned, the dark side has completely taken over. Like the votes she bought, she systematically bribed cronies and critics alike. When position and money didn’t work, fear and intimidation was the alternative mode of persuasion. Instead of capable men and women, she filled up critical government positions with loyalists whose self-interest hinged on preserving her own.

    And so she has slowly corrupted everyone and everything she has touched. The military. The judiciary. The businessmen. The church. The police. If the soldiers are restless— give them a house and an increase. If media cannot be co-opted, threaten them with PP1017. It’s actually PP1081 all over again. Arrest all who speak out against her. Commies or Professors, it doesn’t matter. You’re invited for questioning if you’re not for her.

    Now she wants the charter changed in order to perpetuate herself. Using tried and tested methods she tried to use No-EL to suborn Congress.

    Can you imagine the damage she can wreak till 2010 and beyond? All this while the First Gentleman amasses a fortune from all government deals and the son smuggles racehorses and God knows what else.

    But who will replace her? Even Noli has been persuaded to remain loyally supportive. All trapos are the same. We replaced an incompetent plunderer with a diabolical one. What’s to assure us it won’t be from “the pot to the fire” again?

    And with this unanswered question we go about our own business. Irritated at the inconvenience caused by street protests. Disdainful of Cory, Hyatt 10, Civil Society and the whole sanctimonious lot for trying to get us back to the streets and pricking our conscience. We couldn’t possibly link arms with Ping Lacson and Jinggoy and God help us, the Reds! Why even Winnie Monsod said so! And she’s credible isn’t she? She even wonders what the fuss is about a state of emergency!

    Hold on a second. We are now questioning even the basis of democracy. Has the little despot insidiously corrupted us without our knowing it? We are actually making excuses to help her stay in power, even if we don’t really like her and we all know she and her husband are corrupt beyond belief.

    We close our eyes to the horde that surrounds her. One adviser operates big time illegal logging. Another “owns” the entire pier and the multi-million smuggling operations that go with it.

    Now with PP1017, we have another reason to pay no heed to politics. After all we don’t want to be invited for questioning, do we? In fact, we don’t want to be questioned by anyone. We’ve put our conscience on sleep mode.

    What is the life span of a tyrant? History will tell us that they will reign while good men do nothing. But one thing is sure: A leader who does not possess the “friendship” of the people CANNOT lead. Even Machiavelli knew that. Well Madam, you will go down in history as the most UNLOVED president this country ever had. Poor Little Rich President!

    I am going back to the streets and anywhere else where I can shout my disgust in the most powerful way I know how. GMA has to know that there are some Filipinos who cannot be bought or frightened.

  19. cvj

    simon, kudos to whoever the writer is.

  20. Simon

    Question For you Geo from a young blood,

    Listen to 17-year old Jose Miguel Bermudez, a
    freshman studying in Las Pinas, who wrote in the Inquirer’s ‘Young
    Blood’ column. “Everyday of my life,” he says, “my teachers and my
    parents admonish me to shape up. I think it is now my generation’s
    turn to tell my parents and those who run this country that it is time
    for them to shape up. They are being selfish and myopic when they
    complain about the inconvenience and disruption caused by people
    protesting against lying, cheating and stealing. They would rather go
    about their regular business even if that means leaving many
    fundamental and moral issues unresolved.” Talking about how these
    issues will haunt the next generation, Jose Miguel asks: “Guess who
    will be left to deal with this ghost when it returns? Guess who will
    be left to deal with the ugly litter of an irresponsible and apathetic
    generation that would trade their children’s future for short-term
    convenience?” (7 February 2006)

  21. Geo

    Simon,

    Thanks for the inputs from the next generation. Of course they will have to deal for our failures and for the negative side-effects of our successes. Of course they are idealistic and full of the confidence of youth. Good for them; good luck to them.

    Nonetheless (in my opinion), none of their sentiments change the equation: institutions and the law are the bedrock of modern civilization.

    Lying, cheating and stealing are horrible crimes…especially if they are committed by those who are supposed to be protecting all of us from lying, cheating and stealing. But…unless one wants to become a vigilante or an autocrat…the law and due process must be the tools we use in order to protect the general public.

    All I’ve ever said is that we need to look at evidence and the decisions rendered by the appropriate judiciary bodies. That applies to everyone.

    If some complain that they dislike inflamatory noise and prefer the use of substance to determine the course of the nation’s future, I don’t see why they should be condemned. If some wish that society’s institutions should remain intact during periods of instability, I don’t see how they are selling out the future.

    Look, if the kids are convinced they have cornered the market in the understanding of what is “fundamental and moral”, let them prove their case. Because their fervent, strident, morally outraged position means nothing unless and until they go through the same painfully slow and difficult process of the sifting of facts that us old folks have had to do in life, in business or whenever.

    Of course, some adults act like children and reveal their lack of patience…especially when faced with those who refuse to simply accept claims of truth; of knowing what’s right and wrong just because someone says they know better. I don’t see why I or anyone should hold these adults’ views with any kind of esteem.

    Conversely, and of course, some parents and teachers will teach/preach that an individual’s contribution starts with his deeds…regardless of what others are doing. Sounds good to me. You?

    Sorry, Simon, but the contents (and commentators) of your post don’t change a thing. Got an accusation? Whether it’s one of rebellion or corruption, you still are supposed to prove it. That’s really not a difficult concept to digest now is it?

  22. Simon

    Geo,

    Just a few honest questions which I hope will elicit honest answers fom you:

    1. What proof/s will convince you that Arroyo should resign or step down? If it can be proven that she cheated in the last presidential elections, will that convince you that she should resign? If it can be proven that she committed graft and corruption in office, will that convince you that she should resign?

    2. And if she will not resign, will you agree with the first option that Arroyo should be removed from office by peaceful means?

    3. Or as the second option, by force?

  23. geo

    Simon,

    I am on record (repeatedly) as saying that if GMA is proven to have commited any crime — be it electoral fraud or corruption — she should resign, be impeached…or be forcibly removed by the people. I don’t have any problem with that whatsoever.

    I only insist that accusers prove their case in the courts of law…regardless of which side of the fence they are on.

    Doesn’t that sound reasonable to you?

    Until now, neither the pro or anti side have convinced me that their claims are valid. Noise, claims…but nada. I am just as adamant that the admin prove their case as the opposition. I still don’t get why we all shouldn’t maintain this line of thinking. Especially since both sides have, so far, asked us to take their word as fact.

    The law ain’t perfect…but it’s the best we have during contentious times and for contentious issues. Drift away from that and we’re all in danger of being screwed by bullies.

  24. cvj

    Geo, i sense you’re a good family man as they come but what i essentially heard you tell the next generation is “scr*w you, your on your own, so what are going to do about it?”

  25. geo

    cvj,

    I don’t know why you interpreted my words as being a “screw oyu, you’re on your own” message to the youth. Maybe I don’t express myself well.

    I was trying to say that those young people quoted have to take their complaints through the same frustratingly slow legal processes that we old folk do (not that I’m saying YOU are old, my friend). 🙂

  26. cvj

    Geo, that’s just my personal reading so you can take or leave it for what it’s worth, anyway, despite our differences i know you mean well.

  27. pingkian

    Hi Geo,

    It’s nice to read post who argues their point passionately but logically and without resorting to name calling or bad mouthing, one who is patient enough not to be tempted to stoop to the level of those crass people, whose intentions are to obfuscate and discourage an intelligent discourse on the issue at hand, provoke otherwise level headed people into anger, clog the blogs, and eventually dissuade people who can not tolerate crassness from blogging.

    Nonetheless, I’m more wary of you than those obtuse people, ‘coz obtuse people tend to turn off people while you may succeed in making otherwise good people into inaction, passivity and helplessness. On a passage, you seem not to tolerate cheating, lying and cheating. You even look to agree with us that if GLORIA is proven to be that we accuse her of, she should resign, be impeached…or be forcibly removed by the people. My apologies, but I have serious doubts on your motivations.

    You want us to be stickler to the strictures of due process, research and rules of evidence and to respect democratic institutions, but hey, we did all that. It is GLORIA who prostituted all democratic and judicial institutions and processes. I know you know that, I know you know where we are coming from. Her apologist in congress railroaded her proclamation; block the impeachment process, issued CPR and EO 464, appointed supporters to sensitive position without to the system of meritocracy. These are facts. I just don’t understand you who seem to be upright. But if you’re heeded, the net effect of your posts is GLORIA stays, sad, very sad.

    I could have agreed with you if we are in normal times, but we are not. GLORIA has closed all avenues for an acceptable resolution of this crisis. There won’t be peace for as long as GLORIA is still in power.

  28. Geo

    pingkian,

    Backhanded compliments, I guess…but I’ll take them. Thanks.

    Where we disagree, it seems, is when you state — as a matter of fact — that “it is GLORIA who prostituted all democratic and judicial institutions and processes.”

    That’s not fact. Not in my eyes, at least.

    But I’ll grant you that you are not necessarily throwing around baseless accusations either. However, I contend, let’s let due processes take their course and maybe we can see what the law produces.

    1. Garci Tapes — Dead end. A probably (but not assuredly) illegal, ususable piece of “evidence”. Without the tappers or the original recordings, what court wouldn’t throw these out?

    2. Impeachment — If one or both legislative branches kills it, then that’s that. That’s the system; that’s how it is supposed to work (impeaching Presidents isn’t supposed to be easy.). But then again, there’s another chance coming up. The opposition congressmen need to do a better job this time around. Perhaps they need to concentrate on something other than the (unprovable so far) electoral fraud issue. They have plenty to work with…just figure out which issue/accusation they can make stick (with something other than loud words and tossed papers in the air).

    3. Electoral Fraud — If PET finds anomalies in Legarda’s re-count, keep pursuing the leads and see where they take you.

    4. EO464 — This was surely aimed at the Senate. I personally think this Senatorial batch is the worst in history; the least productive…and the facts support that allegation (look up their record on the Senate web page). Rather than grandstand, lecture, harass and throw bombs from behind the cloak of immunity, the Senators only need to prepare a report (via committee or blue ribbon) and submit it to the Ombudsman. After all the yakking, have you seen how easy it was for them to do just that with the Fertilizer issue? The Senators are not investigators, judge and jury are rolled up into one. Except in an impeachment process…where we all know they’ll geat GMA alive if they can get her that far.

    At the same time, EO464 will have to be ruled on itself. If the SC goes against the admin, the heat can than be turned up under the heading of “illegal obstruction” or whatever the term is. I don’t know, but can an SC rejection of the policy provide ammunition for an impeachable offense?

    5. CPR — Get a ruling. If it’s useful, use the ruling as ammo…perhaps for an impeachable offense.

    6. 1017 — Ditto. I think all indications are that 1017 is legal/valid. However, it is equally sure that whatever actions the government took are fair game. As a poster wrote somewhere here (or in Ricky Carandang’s blog), some lawyers made a very convincing case on Dong Puno that THESE infractions under/during 1017 ARE impeachable offenses.

    Oppositionists should put their efforts into the possibilities that the media was illegally suppressed, that rallies were illegally dispersed and/or that some of the arrests were illegal. The accusations are there…now make them stick in the SC.

    7. Northrail, jueteng, Pidal, Piatco, whatever — better drop these or do a significantly better job in substantiating them. So far, the handling has been pitiful by the accusers.

    8. Congress — These guys need to start worrying about upcoming elections…even if a switch to Parliamentarism occurs. Get people on the ground in the provinces and convince the people to vote for someone else next time around. Or convince the specific constituency to demand that its’ representative votes for the next impeachment to move on to the Senate.

    Maybe I could go on, but you get the idea. While undergoing rabid attacks (and possibly…or not…a coup threat), the admin seemingly tested the edges of the law in some of their actions/policies/declarations. There’s a lot there to work with. But someone has to do it the hard way…by working hard and coming up with something tangible.

    The avenues are NOT closed, and the contention that there is hard evidence on-hand and that everything has been tried is more than questionable…it’s a falsehood. In my opinion, at least.

    No one has to roll over and give up; they have to be smarter and work harder. Unless and until that happens, calling for her ouster is possibly suicidal for the country…and the population seems…SEEMS…to be saying this. Screaming and yelling — no matter how passionate or how sincere — isn’t going to get Gloria to resign or be impeached…even if the latest approach is to evoke the ghost of Marcos. Some meat is needed. Go get it.

    In the meantime, it doesn’t look like many people will support any radical solution. And that may well be a fact.

  29. pingkian

    Hi Geo, thanks for your comments. I mean everything I said about you, especially the first paragraph. You’re very good at presenting your ideas. What I stated as facts are actions of GLORIA that prevent truth from coming out or tend to cover up accusations of corruptions against her and on her legitimacy as “President.” I think we disagree mainly on the appreciation and understanding events that took place from year 2000 to the present and perceived implications of a proposed set of actions. Let me just share some of my thoughts about some of your contentions.

    1. Hello Garci Tapes. It has not reached a dead end. The tapes can be authenticated. The conversations in the tape are not privileged information since it was Bunye himself who made the tapes public pre-empting the opposition. The characters heard in the tape are public figures and that the subject of their conversations is of public concern and not a national security issue. There have been testimonials that indicate that the circumstances mentioned in the tapes indeed took place. Sgt. Doble of ISAFP initially admitted to Atty. Ong the circumstances behind wiretapping incident. Atty. Samuel Ong still has the original tapes.
    2. Regarding the impeachment complaint, I can only agree with you, if the House of Representatives handled the impeachment fairly. I heard Cong. Escudero pleading to the majority party not to file or endorse a bogus impeachment complaint, but to wait for them. The House dismissed the complaint on technically and by sheer number.
    3. On Electoral Fraud. If trend is to be the guide, the PET or Supreme Court tends to procrastinate on cases that would negatively affect GLORIA. As the saying in Tagalong goes, “Aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo.” I think you’re familiar with Miriam’s electoral protest against Ramos and perhaps that one congressman that was proclaimed just few days before his term was about to expire.
    4. Concerning EO 464. Regardless of the reputation of the current Senate, Malacañang has no right to impede the constitutional duty of the Senate to perform its oversight and legislative functions over the executive branch whether in aid of destabilization or legislation. That’s how democracy works. And who’s to define what’s in aid of legislation or destabilization? Certainly not Malacañang.
    5. CPR/Proc. 1017. GLORIA ascended to power due to EDSA Dos. No one was arrested and prosecuted due to it. Why stop another peaceful rallies calling for her to step down? These were issued bcoz GLORIA is deadly scared that these rallies will turn out so big that they wont be able control leading to her downfall. If she thinks that the opposition does not have enough support of the people, she would worry and would not issue those EO’s and proclamation.
    6. Congress busy for 2007 election. No, they are not; they are busy dancing the cha cha. And if they won’t be able to ram through the cha cha, they need GLORIA even more for reelection purposes.

    The actions the Congress and the Supreme Court do not inspire confidence and trust in them. If GLORIA is still in power before her “State of the Nation Address” in July and that Supreme Court and the Congress have shown that they have the best interest of the people and that would dispense their mandate fairly or just, then perhaps, I may joined you in strengthening our institutions of justice and democracy. In the meantime, I’ll continue to be one with those calling on GLORIA to step down through constitutional or extra constitutional means.

  30. Geo

    From what I can see, you can look into the mirror when you feel like complementing anyone for presenting their opinions while being logical, calm and respectful. More power to you.

    I’m sure our interpretations of events will not always match-up exactly. Nothing wrong with that. I often see some things differently than my wife, family, best friends and business colleagues…but we don’t destroy one another or our “institutions” because of that. Sometimes we even learn from one another and develop a higher level of understanding by incorporating each other’s best points into a new, integrated outlook. Hegelian dialect and all that…..

    I can go into a point-by-point debate with you on the issues listed, but perhaps our most encompassing difference of opinion is found in your last sentence:

    “I’ll continue to be one with those calling on GLORIA to step down through constitutional or extra constitutional means.”

    I have no problem with your calls for a President to step down. I have no problem with removing one via constitutional means. What I DO have a problem with is the idea of removing Presidents via extra-constitutional means…especially when the avenues for constitutional changes are still viable (debatable, I guess)…and most especially if it is done by a small group of people without the mandate of the majority of the population and without the backing of society’s major institutions.

    (To clarify: Marcos was a dictator running a non-democratic form of government; I agreed with his removal. Erap was democratically elected, was not a dictator and his ouster was done unconstitutionally. Although I was glad to see him go, I felt very uncomfortable with the methodologies used and I think they opened the door for the mess we have today.)

    It looks like a main reason you are open to extra-constitutional actions is that you do not blindly trust the Judicial and Legislative branches (never mind the Executive). I don’t blame you…their overall, historical record is shaky.

    The question, then, might be: So what can be done about this? Switch to a non-democratic form of government? Use non-democratic methods to pull down a democracy in order to supposedly create a “true” democracy? Talk about historically shaky propositions! We might even say that these approaches have repeatedly failed throughout the world…so why take these paths?

    My proposal is reform…reform using the tools which democracies give us. Granted, it’s not a smooth, quick, easy process, but then again…almost nothing worthwhile in life is. Democracy is inherently messy, as it requires reaching consensus or majority decisions while balancing the rights of minorities. Due process is inherently slow, as it necessarily requires a full hearing from all sides and a prudent interpretation of accumulated legal precedents.

    Now you may claim that reforms have not been forthcoming under this administration and/or within the three major branches. I disagree (well, except in the case of the Senate). I would happy to debate you about this, but let’s finish off this specific debate we are having first, OK? (Before such a debate about reforms, may I suggest that you research – if you haven’t already — the detailed records of current and past courts, the office of the Ombudsman, both the House and Senate, the BIR and BOC, etc? We could review records, not perceptions, I hope.)

    You may also claim that Gloria was not democratically elected. In my opinion, most of the issues on the list we have been debating are rooted in this fundamental question. Fair enough; the issue of legitimacy is alive and kicking.

    I have consistently stated that I don’t know if there was or wasn’t massive electoral fraud. If Gloria did, sayonara to her. But I refuse to base my judgment on the Garci Tapes. Produce the wiretapper and the original tapes and I’m all ears. But until and unless that happens, there’s just way too much possibility that those tapes were doctored and used for nefarious purposes. “Beyond a shadow of doubt” is a keystone of democratic law. (Note: I have been dismayed by the general lack of intellectual efforts in reviewing ALL of the plausible theories concerning these tapes.)

    Without the Tapes themselves, what other data can be of value in determining whether or not they accurately portray reality? OK, hearsay through testimonials might be looked at, but I fear both sides could produce these ad infinitum. OK, the admin’s defensive maneuvers (which must face their day in court) might give us a clue…but the offensive tactics by the accusers are suspect as well. OK, if one puts together a bulk of circumstantial evidence (as you have), it looks like GMA cheated…but another batch of circumstantial evidence (pre-election and exit polls, the presence of political parties and third party observers who saw no anomalies at election time) indicate the opposite. It’s a tougher call than some sectors (pro or anti) have painted it.

    I continue to opine that we need some hard facts. But Poe’s untimely death (!?!?) ruined the easiest way to use an existing process to double-check the vote count. Legarda’s protest might help…but we’ll have to see (by the way, I think PET’s findings are due later this month). What bothers me is that neither the antis nor the pros have called for and agreed to a recount in the few areas where fraud was alleged. Though I can understand that this would cause a very problematic precedent (never-ending recounts for every contested seat throughout the country), my suggestion is that one reform to the existing appeal process would be to drop the requirement that the plaintiff be alive after registering an official appeal.

    So…without hard facts, it looks like we have a very uncomfortable stalemate. Impeachment is a way to go, but — being a political process and if lacking hard evidence – it’s subject to the will of the majority party rather than the laws of a legal proceeding. The rules say we all must abide by the impeachment’s results, but obviously that’s easier said than done (see Erap and GMA).

    Which brings us all the way back to: What to do? And I continue to think that the answer is: Stick to the rules of democracy and law, reform, reform, reform…and use one’s vote wisely. It’s a messy and frustratingly grinding, draw-out process, but it’s the best system anyone has ever created and successfully applied in the real world.

  31. cvj

    Geo,

    When you say above that:

    “if one puts together a bulk of circumstantial evidence (as you have), it looks like GMA cheated…but another batch of circumstantial evidence (pre-election and exit polls, the presence of political parties and third party observers who saw no anomalies at election time) indicate the opposite.”

    The fact is, the two are not opposites. ‘Massive Cheating’ and ‘winning an election’ is not mutually exclusive. Who knows, GMA was just being what the Singaporeans call ‘kiasu’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiasu.

    Like you, i’m also for Constitutional means for resolving matters, but this does not depend on you or me.

  32. pingkian

    Hey Geo, just realize that we’re coming from a different philosophical standpoint; I’m an existentialist and anarchist, ek, ek. But, like you, I oftentimes view things and events differently from those closest to me and that we end up more closer and respectful, agreeing only to disagree, though I also tend to explain my piece though dialectical method. The important thing is trust.

    I don’t think that our main point of departure is my earlier statement and I quote, “I’ll continue to be one with those calling on GLORIA to step down through constitutional or extra constitutional means.” As you have stated, sayonara to GLORIA, if indeed, GLORIA is proven to have cheated in the elections, though you tend to have a strong bias for constitutional means and are averse to extra-constitutional means, as I do to. But I have lost trust in our “formal” institutions of justice. Respect, trust and confidence have to be earned.

    What happened to all cases you too have mentioned? Better drop these or do a significantly better job in substantiating them? No, I’ll wait ‘till the Supreme Court is reconstituted before I waste all my energies that will just go down the drain. I’ll better focus all my efforts and put on the pressure to force GLORIA to step down, until I’m proven wrong. Yes, I want to be proven wrong. But only the future can tell.

    GLORIA is not a democrat. She’s a facist, but not feared. Yes, she was forced to a corner, but only bcoz of her own doing, nandaya kasi ng “garapalan,” and yet she doesn’t have the decency to resign.

    As you said “if one puts together a bulk of circumstantial evidence (as you have), it looks like GMA cheated…but another batch of circumstantial evidence (pre-election and exit polls, the presence of political parties and third party observers who saw no anomalies at election time) indicate the opposite.” SWS though has admitted that the results of their exit polls did not tally with the results of the congressional canvassing esp in metro manila and cebu. Third party observers? Of course, they won’t witness the “dagdag-bawas.” They are not there to witness them. But they witness how the congress railroaded the proclamation of GLORIA as President. There are massive documentary and corroborative evidences of election fraud, which the congress effectively blocked, i.e. tampered ERs with the killing of the impeachment complaint.

    The question, then, might be as you said: So what can be done about this? Switch to a non-democratic form of government? No, we should uncompromisingly demand accountability, continue put on the pressure through peaceful and responsible exercise of our constitutional rights to free speech and assembly, if necessary in solidarity with military rank and file, through withdrawal of support to this illegitimate president.

    Recent history has shown us that purely military adventurism is unacceptable and is bound to fail, but with the people it may and has not failed yet. Afraid of bloodshed? I am, but it will on GLORIA’s hand. But we don’t have a history of bloody orgy. Blood were shed only as a matter of self defense on the part of the people. This country can not rise as a nation, if the people are not prepared to defend and protect its sovereign will, if the people can not demand accountability from its supposed leaders. We can not destroy what GLORIA has already destroyed, but we still can still salvage the little democratic opening in the system to rebuild it. The strength of our formal democratic structures and processes do not rest on the laws that institutionalized them, but on the people who constitutes and practice them brought about by their collective experience and sacrifices as a nation.

  33. cvj

    “GLORIA is not a democrat. She’s a facist, but not feared.” – Pingkian

    For her sake, i hope she knows this.

  34. pingkian

    Yes, cvj. It’s our duty to show her that we’re not afraid her, her PP1017 or CPR. I sincerly believe that the middle class and most of the masa are with us. We just have to show them courage and fortitude. They just don’t want another failure. We should not be afraid to be truncheoned, water hosed, arressted like we used to more than two decades ago. Medyo a bit tame kasi tayo ngayon.

  35. cvj

    pingkian, unlike you, i’m not in country, so i can’t talk about courage the same way you do. as overseas filipinos, we can do our share to speak out, but we won’t forget who is doing the heavy lifting.

  36. pingkian

    You’re already doing it great overseas. The struggle should be brought to international arena just like many of our friends have done in our struggle against the earlier dictator.

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