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Mar 29

Palace spin challenge: charter change to kick her out

As my Arab News column for this week, Amending the Constitution:Where Do Filipinos Stand?, points out, Survey shows thinning anti-charter change lead (story from Malaya). Malaya’s story puts forward interesting numbers:

48% of those surveyed are against charter change.

43% are in favor of charter change (up from 36% in October and 29% in March of last year).

9% are undecided, less than last year’s 16%

Of those in favor of changes:

27% say it will solve the political crisis
26% say it will push economic development and progress
24% say it will reduce politicking between the executive and legislative
11% say it will be easier to change an administration no longer trusted by the people
11% say many provisions need to be changed

Furthermore, with regards to those in favor of changes:

52% say President Arroyo is not the most acceptable person to lead the country, regardless of whether the Constitution is changed or not

Of those against changes:

17% are opposed because changing the government would not be enough unless politicians change
16% are opposed because they think charter change is just a ploy to divert attention from the political crisis faced by President Arroyo
13% are opposed because they think there is no need to change the Constitution at all
11% are opposed because they think that politicians want it because they want to be in power
  9% are opposed because they think that the country is not ready for a parliamentary government
  8% are opposed because they think it is a way to give Mrs. Arroyo a graceful exit

Furthermore, with regards to those against changes:

41% say President Arroyo is not the appropriate person to lead the country.

However, 66% of those surveyed have little (53%) to no knowledge at all (13%) of the Constitution. 34% say they have sufficient to a great deal of knowledge about the Charter.

The Daily Tribune is more blunt: Majority of Pinoys clueless on Charter-Pulse Asia

But the show must go on! Gov sees 12M signatures for Cha-cha (well, where they’re at is “within striking distance” of the 5 million signatures they need. After that, it’s on to our incredibly credible Comelec. Money is no object, as the Inquirer reports: Arroyo ally says there’s fund for Cha-cha.

The Manila Standard-Today reports, Initiative requires law, Comelec says. Also, Comelec split on Charter change: Legality of signature drive in question says the Inquirer, in a story contradicted by the Manila Times, which says Comelec nominee Romeo Brawner’s done a somersault: Brawner flops on people’s initiative. Before the Commission on Appointments, he said if a people’s initiative were to be filed before the Comelec, it should be dismissed. Then he changed his mind, and has now taken on a position in conformity with the Comelec Chairman’s. This suggests Malaya’s story, Cha-cha seen as dead, is also outdated, like the Inquirer’s. Incidentally, Newsstand, in his blog, thought that Brawner’s statement might give administration congressmen a pretext for rejecting him; or did Brawner independently realize what Newsstand did?

In other news: Rape trial moved to Makati. The March of Democracy continues: Mayor Bans Rallies During Arroyo’s Visit to Panabo City

The question of immigration reform has legal and illegal immigrants to the USA worried. The American media has been covering the issue, while the blog Ignatian Perspective has a pretty thorough discussion of the issue.

In the punditocracy, the Inquirer editorial says a Constitutional Convention is the rational choice.

Dan Mariano tackles the interesting history of one charter-change booster. Patricio Diaz takes a dim view of the whole people’s initiative effort. Amando Doronila suggests that the amendment debate, if framed in terms of a 2007 exit for the President, just might end the impasse.

Billy Esposo (who applies for bail today in the libel case filed by Atty. Mike Arroyo), explains how government advertising can be such a useful political carrot.

JB Baylon runs down the list of the President’s promises.

Mary Dejevsky dissects the Oraqng Revolution.

Ambeth Ocampo on Portuguese sardines that used to be canned especially for the Philippines (we’re an important market in all sorts of ways; someone told me recently the Philippines is the third-largest consumer of brandy in the world).

The blogosphere has Concerns of a Bystander using the Socratic method to examine questions used against people with particular political views like himself.

Sassy Lawyer puts forward the view that bloggers are a threat to journalists and so they’re lashing out at her.

Philippine Commentary and blog@AWBholdings both seem to have been bothered by the discussions between Atty. Edwin Lacierda and Solicitor-General Eduardo Nachura on ANC. The Solicitor-General seems too confident for comfort about the prospects of the Supreme Court upholding the ongoing “people’s initiative.”

An OFW in Hong Kong is aghast over officials defending patronage as a means to entice support for Constitutional change. Kumintang is ticked off with the proposed changes.

My Liberal Times discusses what he considers conservative people power: pitting forces that view themselves as representing modernity against more traditional, populist, forces. caffeine sparks blogs on French barricade power.

Neoblogger covers city council proceedings in Vigan: the topic? An ordinance covering beerhouses and videoke bars.

Disini on why the National Telecommunications Commission is not the right forum for intellectual property rights complaints.

Unlawyer on politicians as product endorsers.

Pine for pine collates the literature on the ongoing debate on the next person to be proclaimed a National Artist for Literature.

Thanks to a comment he left on this blog, I found out that noted cartoonist Roby Villabona has a blog. I remember well one of his cartoons from the snap election era. He continues to comment on political events such as Dinky’s arrest, and the rumored assassination plot against the President.

Tristan Cafe tackles future presidents.

chizjarkace writes on what it’s like to be a graduating student. desert view prays for the beatification of John Paul II.

Kwentong Tambay takes a hilarious look at dieting. McVie Show Season 4 recounts a funny story on bathroom lighting.

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  1. d0d0ng

    #50 rego on ousting Mrs Arroyo.

    What is the big rush?
    Mrs Arroyo is using our tax money as cash dispensing machine for her political hold to office.

    Let us look at history how she does it big time.
    1. The P35 billion agrarian reform money was largely disbursed prior to 2004 presidential election to secure her presidency. That big sum of money could have changed the country to be self-sufficient on rice production. Instead, we are still on the world’s top importer of rice even with the premier rice hybrid technology right in our own backyard. Subtle vote-buying.

    2. Mrs Arroyo issued signed voucher of pork barrel (again your tax money) in millions to congressmen the night before the impeachment was killed. Plain bribery.

    3. Mrs Arroyo reduced the pork barrel fund by P80 million each 24 senators and P30 million each 236 congressmen to force the legislators to pass the unpopular EVAT law. Mrs Arroyo is giving back the P9 billion to the legislators after we are made to pay the EVAT so the legislators can live in luxury and push the next move of the president to hold power -chacha. We are literally fried in our very own lard. That money could have been better spent on the unreliable supply of water and power. Virtual ATM machine.

    Mrs Arroyo is playing with our hard earned tax money. If you think there is no urgency of removing her, then just smile when you pay the evat for every purchase and when you get your salary net of tax.

  2. cvj

    Rego, we cannot predict the future but we can certainly tell right from wrong today. Fiscalizing has to be done but the politicians have to see that they have the people’s active support, that’s the function of the different forms of people power. There are no guarantees on the outcome but more people joining the vigilant sector means a higher likelihood of justice being done. In the event that GMA is ousted through a coup, it’s the same people power that needs to be applied to ensure the quick return to democracy via elections. On this approach, we have much to learn from the French.

    Aside from her corrupting influence as described by d0d0ng above, the urgency from removing Arroyo is because we have still so much to do afterwards. The current pace of economic growth just not good enough. We have to get over this current hump to get on with fixing the country’s real problems.

  3. rego

    Alright,Dodong, indeed there was a wanton disposal of the tax money by Mrs Arroyo. But is what is the guarantee if werush her removal that the same abuse will no longer be committed by her replacement?

    I feel that the best way to do it is to prosecute her for any the wrong doing. And I believe that was what Jun Magsaysay did with item no 1. The fertilizer scam.

    If there was indeed a plain bribery during the impeachment, then the issue is extended to the congress. Not only Mrs Arroyo. Those pro impeachment congressmen and senators should have moved to abolish the pork barrel allocation if they are really serious about putting a stop on Mrs Arroyos dirty tricks. They know all along that Mrs Arroyo has all that capability to bribe the congressmen through pork barrel how come nobody from the opposition is doing something to prevent that. Dapat isa eto sa mag pinagraraly ng B&W movement and other pro opposition civil society groups That to me speaks so much of the credibility of their undertaking.

    Its all the same way with the charges of election cheating. everybody knows that our election system is very much prone to cheating so why not make sure that the computerized election is in place before holding any election?

    I really believe that all these moral causes of the opposition is a sham. It is very personality oriented and centred on Mrs Arroyo alone. When the problem is in the system itself. That is why, it looks so much of a power hungry group to me and not really for the progess and bettrement of the country eh.

    Come to think of it, Mrs Arroy is ousted tom and then there is this survey being conducted showing Lacson as the front runner for the snap polls. Given the same system, do you think Lacson will not use the same dirty tricks as Mrs Arroyo when he is faced with issues and crisis? Even Noli de Castro can easilly do the dirty tricks of Mrs Arroyo, Because it is endemic to the system eh! becuase the congress and the senate institutionalized the pork barrel.

    I strongly believe the problem is in the system and the solution should also be a system not a change in person.

  4. rego

    CVJ,

    we have gonne through sevral people power already. And it did not work for us. ( while the other nation who copied it had some sucesses.

    I was there myself during poeple power 1 and 2. Believe me I was among the very first ones who troopped to EDSA2 after the opening of the second envelop was out voted by the pro Estrada senators.

    Being that I am a strong believer of people power. But now I believe is not going to work unless we dont change the system.

    Now I realized that people power is actually an emotional aproach i solving our problem. You feed people with so many issues to arouse their anger towards government and once it reached a peak, people troop to the street and the president is removed.

    Now did it really solve our problem? The answer of course is a very disappointing “No, it did not”. Becuase obviously the problem is not on the person who sit in malacanang. Its the wrong system that we have institutionalized and made available to the whoevr sits in malacanang.

    And yet the opposition is still making me so stupid. They would still want me to join them in the streets. They keep feeding on me so many reason through the media to hate Mrs Arroyo when those issue can actually be resolved in proper venues other than the streets! It seems to me that what they are doing is digging up to my emotions feeding them with anger and hatred so that I will join them. ( and i believe this one of the main reason why they have invented those senseless name calling).

    But thank God, most of people have learned their lesson already and does not heed easilly the call for people at the snap of oppositions fingers!

  5. Francis

    There’s no need to defend Sen. Lacson, his achievements and credibility can speak for itself.

    As far as I know Mancao and Aquino does not have an outstanding warrant of arrest or was convicted in any criminal court. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  6. Francis

    #55 sorry po wrong thread…. 🙂

  7. cvj

    Rego, we have to separate the results of the EDSA revolutions which is the primary issue, with the disappointment of those who participated, which should be of secondary concern.

    With regard to the subsequent disillusion felt by participants like you, the key to not giving in to despair is to realize that revolutions tend to follow a familiar pattern. After the victory usually comes a betrayal of some sort as the opportunists and realists take over from the idealists. The behavior you and your group have been exhibiting, i.e., the retreat from public to private concerns after experiencing too much disappointment, has already been described in Albert Hirschman’s ‘Shifting Involvements’.

    This cycle of hope and disillusionment is one reason why it’s usually counterproductive to call for and expect radical change. Even in the unlikely event that the wholesale purge of all elective officials you recommend takes place, many of the politicians who replace them will tend to grow horns soon enough. Given the seeming futility of it all, some thoughtful people, usually those who are of advanced age, have adopted a ‘Don’t worry be happy’ attitude, but personally i don’t think we’re old enough to be entitled to that outlook.

    What can be done instead is to influence the behavior of the existing system. In every system, including dysfunctional ones, there is an exemplar the represents its core attributes. It so happens that the system we put in place after EDSA is now embodied in GMA, who is both its fulfillment and betrayal. That’s why the focus should be on her. Punish her and others will take notice. South Korea, for example, made an example of two of their past presidents. Of course, there are those who may still try to imitate what she did, in which case the focus should shift to them. No two ways about it, we have to be relentless and total in our approach until we get it right.

  8. rego

    Look CVJ, did n’t we punish Erap and put him jail for the same of giving a warning to suceeding president?

    I strongly believe that for as long we embrace pork barrel, political dynasty and we dont have a computerized election we will never acheived much as a nation. No matter how many times we change the President.

    I was wondering why the opposition is not doing this? I can believe that even Etta Rosales is not protesting the pork barrel when most citizens knew that it is morally wrong. Is that becuase they also benifit or wanted to benifit from the same faulty system?

    Thats is why I dont really believe that we have a real opposition. It seem to me that what we have are a groups of people who wanted to remove a current president to be able to install their own? In reality they are both the same. And if staying in the middle ground means supporting teh status qou. That status qou is not only Mrs Arroyo but also include the opposition kuno…

  9. cvj

    Rego, as i said, we have to keep punishing our presidents as and when the need arises. This time around, it’s GMA’s turn. I voted for GMA and i had no intention of wanting her replaced with another politician, but we have to face the reality that no one should be allowed to violate our democratic principles. It’s our only protection against outright power grabs.

  10. Hans

    Where can I get a copy of the proposed ammendments on line? I have heard so many comments about it but have not read it myself. Thanks. 🙂

  11. Pompini

    Buon luogo, congratulazioni, il mio amico!

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