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Apr 02

The buzz

I’ve become an admirer of the impassioned editorials and opinion pieces in The Nation of Thailand, which has been bravely taking up an anti-Thaksin and pro-democracy stance.

Apparently the past few days have seen pro-Thaksin rallies, which included some sort of attack on the premises of the Nation.

A tongue-in-cheek personal account is They came, they shouted, we compromised. A more sober and damning appraisal of the whole thing is Voters have the chance to write off dictatorship today.

In its editorial, the newspaper reminds Thais that their individual decision on whether to participate in, or boycott, the parliamentary elections to be held today, should be grounded in a democratic mentality:

This is a special election day for obvious reasons. The country has gone through months of turmoil that sometimes pushed us to the brink of violent confrontation. Divisiveness has been widespread. Families have quarrelled. Taxi drivers have shooed customers away. Some leading political figures have been booed and jeered in public places. Newspaper offices have been surrounded by hostile protesters. There have been uproars among academic communities. Poor farmers have joined the political fray. Even our most revered institution, the monarchy, has been troubled by the present crisis.

But in a way we can be thankful we still can have great divisions. There are countries where the leadership tells people who to choose and what to think. That families in Thailand can argue and make different choices at the ballot booth is a blessing. Things are unlikely to return to normal after today, and there’s even a strong possibility that they will get worse. But you can consider this either as bad fortune for our beloved Kingdom, or a valuable learning process that could be a blessing in disguise.

The most important thing today is not that we know whom to vote for or how to exercise our political right correctly, because all of us humans are entitled to make mistakes or bad choices. The most important thing today is that we recognise the real values and essence of democracy. It’s important that we understand the reasons behind the pro-Thai Rak Thai votes, or the “abstain” votes, or even the “illegal” act of staying home in protest. It’s important that we realise that casting our ballot is just one part of democracy, that the system requires other things like good checks and balances, respect for human rights and the rights of minorities, and freedom of speech.

Democracy is everyone’s responsibility. It can only be taken, and not given. Don’t let anyone fool us that they are “giving” us a chance at democracy. The system does not mean that an election is called once in a while and everything is fine. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a leader who calls or allows an election is a champion of democracy. That leader has to also adhere to its other principles – every one of them – from the bottom of his or her heart. He or she has to accept your rights to scrutinise or question the government, or to voice your disagreement when you think something seriously wrong has happened to transparency and accountability or even the morality of our leadership.
There is a brilliant essay in Slate Magazine on The Twilight of Objectivity, which points out that the most profound effect the Internet has had on traditional media is to question the very idea of objectivity. Objectivity in journalism, the writer says, is a pretense:

Abandoning the pretense of objectivity does not mean abandoning the journalist’s most important obligation, which is factual accuracy. In fact, the practice of opinion journalism brings additional ethical obligations. These can be summarized in two words: intellectual honesty. Are you writing or saying what you really think? Have you tested it against the available counterarguments? Will you stand by an expressed principle in different situations, when it leads to an unpleasing conclusion? Are you open to new evidence or argument that might change your mind? Do you retain at least a tiny, healthy sliver of a doubt about the argument you choose to make?

In other words, journalists should be more like bloggers: tolerant of other views, always eager to engage in a conversation, however heated, prepared to keep an open mind, and ready to put the tiniest blogger or commenter on the same level as established writers or pundits.

The buzz in politically-interested circles is, of course, Winnie Monsod’s Saturday column, in which she comes out swinging against Constitutional amendments as proposed by the President:

Come, Ms President, you know fully well that the signature campaign shows the mark of government forces and traditional politicians behind it. The victims of that “train” are the people who have so far been against Charter change, in general, and a parliamentary system, in particular.

Or to put it another way: That signature campaign has nothing to do with the people. It has to do with Jose de Venecia who-knowing he has not a snowball’s chance in hell of being elected president-has been moving heaven and earth to change the rules of the game so his chances of leading the country are markedly improved. It has to do with the traditional politicians in Congress, who enjoy their power and want to increase it and perpetuate themselves in it.

And finally, it has to do with GMA herself who, if the Charter change is approved, can finish her term with her powers intact and without fear of impeachment. Why? Because the first section of the proposed new Article XVIII, titled “Transitory Provisions,” effectively ensures it: “The incumbent President and Vice President shall serve until the expiration of their term at noon on the thirtieth day of June 2010 and shall continue to exercise their full powers under the 1987 Constitution unless impeached by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of the interim parliament.” Nota bene: Under the present system, only one-third of the House of Representatives is sufficient—but it still failed—to impeach her. Another nota bene: no elections in 2007 (implied, because the interim parliament is composed of present legislators from both Houses, plus Cabinet members); no more term limits (explicit).

The Inquirer editorial today supports Mrs. Monsod’s point that the amendments effort is unleashing a new kind of “destructive politics.” The game plan obvious began to be cobbled together last year; and by all accounts this is the current incarnation of the Autogolpe idea.

Newsstand believes that the column is significant because Mrs. Monsod represents the voice of the political center. Atty. Edwin Lacierda isn’t as convinced. Though Edwin and I see eye to eye politically, in this case I think Jon Neri is correct; I say pretty much the same thing in meetings of the “usual suspects.”

Winnie and Christian Monsod, whose views I have put forward in this blog from time to time, are of the same view as people like Bong Austero: in the heat of the moment it’s very tempting for those against the President to tag them as supporters of the President, or her apologists. They are not. I repeat, they are not, have never been, and should not be considered lackeys or unthinking hacks or apologists of the President or her coalition.

Where I do think they can be legitimately criticized is for ignoring that they have been unintentionally serving as props to her continued stay in office (there is a difference between partisan support and a kind of critical, and conditional collaboration that may be useful to the administration, whether those seeing themselves as critical and independent like it or not). Bong Austero, for example, was irritated that the administration took to reading his letter on the government TV station. Winnie Monsod has argued the President won fair and square, all issues to the contrary notwithstanding. Connie Veneracion is outraged whenever anyone points out her hiring as a columnist might have had public relations benefits for a newspaper strongly pushing a pro-administration editorial line. And so on. While no one in their right mind should question the integrity of these individuals, I think it’s quite fair and relevant to point out how the administration has used their public views for its own purposes.

One assumption that’s easy to make is that very few people really like the President. Many have a kind of grudging admiration for her. Many more hate her enemies more than they dislike her. Others simply aren’t prepared to believe that she would ever go as far, or further, than say Marcos; and that furthermore she is merely the victim of bad p.r. because of her husband and friends -of whose activities she doesn’t know, and so can’t be held responsible for. As for everyone else, those otherwise prepared to express opposition have to think twice, because the administration obviously has no problems with arresting and hurting people or getting even with them if they’re in the bureaucracy. The lack of clarity as to what comes next also has the middle class and others in mortal terror of a state of general disorder and lawlessness.

The other day, after giving a lecture on the Philippines to a group of teachers from international schools, one Filipina teacher proceeded to quiz me on my opposition to the President. I gave her my capsule answer: I think she intends to be President for life. I think that’s wrong. I think most people don’t think she would do it, and so I’m prepared to wait until 2010 when she not only stays in office, but after that, the people around her start gobbling up banks and corporations. At that point, the upper class will begin to oppose her, and since the upper class owns the companies in which the middle class are managers, the middle class will get the hint from their furious bosses and start opposing the President, too; and when the middle class opposes, it can manage the masses, who will receive support (if unemployed) to protest or incentives (if employed) to accompany their managers in protest. And then, the President will fall.

Randy David in his column today suggests that the present Charter change express is an entirely wrong way to settle matters; it will result, not in a Constitution for a living country, but a charter for political mummification.

Patricio Diaz has a very interesting column: he says even if the administration gets the nationwide number of signatures it claims to have, the law being referred to requires two things: 12% of all the registered voters in the country have to sign on; and 3% in every legislative district. Every single one: all must signify 3% or the whole thing collapses. Diaz asks, what if the 3% is not obtained in either one of Makati City’s two legislative districts? What if the 3% is not achieved in General Santos City, which is oppositionist? Or in South Cotobato, the governor if which is an oppositionist and not in favor of amendments? Diaz says then the entire effort would be scuttled. Fel Maragay pretty much argues that this is how Charter change might fail: he points to San Juan, Makati City, Cavite and Batanes as other places where the President’s express train could be derailed.

Paging Mamutong: what on earth does an article like Meralco monopoly over: Competition opens to other power producers actually mean??

The good news: Alex Lacson’s 12 Little Things You Can Do For Your Country (a marvelous book; I gave it away for Christmas).

Also in Slate: What’s Web 2.0?

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76 comments

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  1. The Bystander

    Jeg,

    I said: May I take you back to what MLQ3 also had to say about Mareng Winnie? In this current post, he said: “XXXWinnie Monsod has argued the President won fair and square, all issues to the contrary notwithstanding.XXX” This is not to say that the validity of my statement is dependent on Manolo’s. I am quoting him here to show to you that it is not only me who shares this observation.

    –Since MLQ3 now disowns or was mistaken in adding the words “fair and square” in his post, then I have no longer any right to quote him.

    But as I said, my statement is not dependent on his. And one does not have to really look for the words “fair and square” to make that conclusion from a more cerebral reading of her article and seeing her on TV defending her theory that Mrs. Arroyo won fair and square. Interestingly, you will note that in that article, she made no mention of the Hello Garci tapes — which is precisely why this illegitimacy issue came into being.

  2. sleeping with who

    Pay your employees well.. this does not mean only the people in business but say your plumber, carpenter.

    What ever you get done pay them well for a good job..

    Pay your taxes this is probably aimed to the UPPER Class and the Media personalities, and Professionals.

    Adopt a child can be done by everyone, maybe not in the way MLQ3 was but in deciding that you can and will help where you can for one child..

    I know of a family that is not well off but they help another family by looking after one of their children, so as he does not go without. Just an old book, once in a while may help them to read more..

  3. mlq3

    torn, well, i don’t think he explicitly suggests only the middle and upper classes are the only Filipinos and everyone else untermensch, but what he is concerned wirth is that big, brooding social volcano; and how the middle and upper classes can do something to, uh, poke holes and create some vents for social pressure.

    then again you don’t have to be particularly well off in this country to have servants, for example.

    jeg -was mistaken in reference to the particular column. doesn’t affect my points though, or yours, as you point out.

  4. fencesitter

    on tv (perhaps on debate), days before the election, winnie monsod was recounting the pluses of the Arroyo admin since she took over as president through pp2 in 2001. one of the pluses i remembered mrs. monsod was seemingly trying to convince the audience, was the storied one-million job generation accomplishment of this governement. “kung mag co-continue ito”, sabi nya, ” napakalaking ginhawa sa mga pilipino”. i also remember winnie monsod standing up with arroyo when the government assumed the maynilad debt from the lopezes. Hindi daw yun bail out. i don’t remember anymore what did they call the arrangement.

    what i am trying to point out is that i find it illogical/ inconsistent for winnie monsod not to have voted for arroyo with all those posturing.

  5. Jeg

    Got it, Bystander and MLQ3. Like I said, I havent seen her on TV expounding on her views on GMA, and the article was only making a case for the likelihood that more people actually voted for her. I believe that as well. It’s only the means by which she got those votes and her actions after that are highly, to put it mildly, questionable.

    Is anybody aware of anything Ms Monsod wrote or said regarding Garci and the (mis)use of public funds to finance (overfinance?) her campaign? I’d like to take a look at them. But then again, her silence (if she is indeed silent) on these issues would lead one to suspect–not conclude–where she stands, so I know where you guys who think she’s pro-GMA are coming from.

  6. john marzan

    MLQ3 wrote:

    One assumption that’s easy to make is that very few people really like the President. Many have a kind of grudging admiration for her. Many more hate her enemies more than they dislike her.

    Within the Edsa dos community, that may be true, Manuel. Pero sa buong populasyon ng Pilipinas? I don’t think so.

    Like him or hate him, erap was more trusted and more liked by the public and his masa followers over Arroyo back in 2000.

    Jump to 2006, ganyan pa rin ang sitwasyon. Erap (48%) and Cory (46%) had high trust ratings compared to ramos (31%) and GMA (22%).

    Bystander:

    –I agree Manolo. The first question that should be asked is: why are they ignoring that they are being used by Palace propagandists? Sure, no one could question their integrity, much less their intelligence, but why the silent acquiescence to be used as props for a government with doubtful legitimacy?

    Because they want Arroyo to stay?

    Bystander:

    As to Mareng Winnie, my only question is her consistency… Finally, while it was so easy for Mareng Winnie in 2000 to condemn a duly (and overwhelmingly) elected President for his incompetence and to subsequently ask for his resignation, she now finds it hard to make the same call to a President who obviously committed the greater sins!

    She also had no problems supporting the extra-constitutional move called Edsa Dos to oust erap, but now she talks about “following the constitution” and no to “coups” raw.

    Inconsistent is the right word. I’d throw in hypocritical too.

    Phil Cruz:

    At last Mareng Winnie has gotten real. She has shaken off those blinders.

    But I believe she was never for ARroyo’s cha cha. and she hasn’t taken off her blinders on GLORIAGATE.

    What really puzzled me all these months was why a person of her intellectual and moral caliber, the idol of many, behaved in a way that I had never expected. It was a big letdown. I was so incensed at her wagging her finger at anti-Gloria forces that I stopped reading her. Now I think I’ll take a peek at her columns again.

    And I used to read her columns too, along with Conrad, Neal, Dean and Randy. (and Rina too before 2001).

    I’m sure Conrad de Quiros and Randy david have also “disappointed” many ARroyo loyalists with their recent columns vs. Arroyo. If you don’t believe me, check out pinoyexchange and the feedback section ng PDI to read the angry responses to the columns from former readers of theirs.

    =====

    http://news.inq7.net/opinion/index.php?index=2&story_id=39904&col=62

    …winnie with her “tapahoho” off on 11 june 2005.

    btw baycas, nice research on Winnie’s old columns on Garci.

    So she believed the tapes are for real, but thinks it doesn’t prove anything.

    Here’s another column of hers on July 23, 2005. take note that she did not question the authenticity of the tapes, but whether the conversations could have resulted in stealing an election.

    Couldn’t there have been at least an attempt to determine whether those conversations could have indeed resulted in stealing an election? Because if the attempt had been made, some timing inconsistencies would be revealed. The conversations took place from May 27, after all the Certificates of Canvass (COCs) were already in Congress. With all the security attendant to those COCs, not even a Houdini (much less a Virgilio Garcillano) would have been able to alter them to suit his evil purposes. The “dagdagan, dagdagan” [vote-padding] theory falls apart.

    Of course, Winnie is wrong. Hindi pa tapos ang bilangan at canvassing sa ibang parte ng bansa.

    Read this too.

    Monsod’s “Truth is, Arroyo won” article (Oct. 25, 2005) people are talking about btw is a rehash of the July 23 2005 article.

    I’ve commented on Winnie’s article here and here on her over reliance on Mercy Abad’s surveys to claim that arroyo won.

    Yet in another article dated 29 October 2005 entitled “Truth is Arroyo won”, she minced no words castigating anti-GMA forces as a bunch of gullible fools who peddle lies as truth and proceeded to sound like Sec. Ricardo Saludo in explaining why Gloria Arroyo won the elections. Surprisingly, in that article, she made no mention of the Garci tapes. Here is the link to that article: http://news.inq7.net/common/print.php?index=2&story_id=54828&site_id=25&col=62

    why mention it when that would RUIN EVERYTHING. 😉 she already said na she believed the tapes are for real, but those are not evidence of electoral fraud raw…

    bystander:

    “Some of the personal attacks on Winnie Monsod above seem to me unfair and misplaced, especially after she has so brilliant demolished the government’s ludicrous “people’s initiative”.

    Where are the personal attacks? Be more specific because it is unfair to criticize a comment when you do not cite the details.

    I am not opposing her opposition on the conduct of the bogus people’s initiative, in fact I welcome it. What I am questioning is her selective condemnation of the patently illegal acts of Arroyo which,to me, smacks of inconsistency.

    yes, her selective condemnation smacks of hypocrisy.

    Pol SJS:

    Prof Winnie Monsod ‘calls it the way she sees it’. She’s not pretentious nor arrogant. She’s straight forward and quite sharp. She’s basically an honest person and quite transparent. She expresses her opinions clearly without trying to convince others. She respects other’s opinions as much as she respects her own, she knows others disagree but it does not bother her. She can be very passionate without being pugnacious.

    Here’s Winnie’s opening paragraphs sa “Truth is, Arroyo won”:

    IT HAS been said that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will start thinking it is true. And this has obviously been taken to heart by various groups and individuals, who peddle their lies as “truth.” Unfortunately for them, there is another saying: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

    Let us try to “unfool” the gullible and/or expose the weak underbelly of one of the “truths” being peddled.

    Reminds me of this comment here from another well known blogger.

    dirk pitt:

    To answer Phil Cruz’s answer on # 5:

    Perhaps Winnie Monsod realized that she will never be named to the Arroyo cabinet!

    Now this, i disagree with. why leave a cushy job as moderator of Debate to work for Arroyo? That would be suicide.

    doubting thomas:

    Re #27: “moral ambiguity is what i perceive in winnie’s writings and this, i think, is lamentable.”

    I prefer her analytical approach to issues than an approach that is preachy or that attempts to be moralistic. IMHO, the current situation is not a morality play.

    the austero’s of the world likes to use the term “moralists” to describe those who are opposed to arroyo. I don’t like the term, kasi “moralists” are usually associated with the likes of Manoling Morato and other religious conservatives and zealots. And I’m neither religious nor conservative.

    As far as I can remember, Ms Monsod never contradicted herself. Those who says so should present the two or tree columns that contradicts each other.

    She supported erap’s ouster for corruption and criminality issues but not Arroyo, who in hindsight is even worse?

    She supported extra-consti means to oust erap, but now lectures us about not joining “coups” vs. arroyo? r U effin kidding me?

    Ive read the link to “Truth is Arroyo Won” and nowhere in that article did Ms Monsod make the claim that Arroyo won “fair and square.” She just said she ‘won’, that is, more people voted for her. That is definitely in the realm of the possible. In fact it is even likely.

    just like marcos could also have won vs. Aquino even if he had not resorted to cheating.

    Arroyo could have actually won–more people voted for her. What is apparent is she did NOT win ‘fair and square’. She used government funds (our money) and may have used Garci to pad her lead to a more ‘respectable’ number.

    I noticed that Mareng winnie never claimed in her column na Arroyo did not cheat. Never even mentioned the tapes or Garcillano either.

    i think what Winnie is trying to say is that even if ARroyo did not cheat, she could have still won over FPJ, based on the polls and exit polls.

    But the problem is, Arroyo did cheat and steal the elections, and winnie believed the tapes are real (although she doesn’t consider it evidence). Maybe she should listen to the discussion between Maam and Garci on how to silence Rashma Hali in order for her to get a sense of the criminal nature of this admin.

    The least mareng winnie could do was to call for new elections to settle the legitimacy issue once and for all. But she did not, and I think we know why.

  7. john marzan

    dagdag ko lang…

    baycas:

    http://news.inq7.net/opinion/index.php?index=2&story_id=39904&col=62

    …winnie with her “tapahoho” off on 11 june 2005.

    and rego’s:

    As far as I can remember, Ms Monsod never contradicted herself. Those who says so should present the two or tree columns that contradicts each other

    you know boys, it’s interesting na the last time Winnie Monsod commented on Garcillano “with her blinders off” was on June 11, 2005.

    She believed then that the voices were real and the tape authentic.

    Then on July 23, 2005, she wrote:

    Couldn’t there have been at least an attempt to determine whether those conversations could have indeed resulted in stealing an election? Because if the attempt had been made, some timing inconsistencies would be revealed. The conversations took place from May 27, after all the Certificates of Canvass (COCs) were already in Congress. With all the security attendant to those COCs, not even a Houdini (much less a Virgilio Garcillano) would have been able to alter them to suit his evil purposes. The “dagdagan, dagdagan” [vote-padding] theory falls apart.

    Notice the wording?

    And correct me if i’m wrong boys, but i think the July 23, 2005 article was the last time Monsod wrote about Garcillano until this recent article on Feb. 10, 2006 article where garcillano was briefly mentioned.

    (And notice in her Oct 29, 2005 “Truth is, Arroyo won” article (pretty much a rehash of her July 23, 2005 article), wala na yung query niya about using the tapes to determine if there was any stealing of elections, and no mention of Garci either.)

    So to rego’s claim na may have some validity:

    “As far as I can remember, Ms Monsod never contradicted herself. Those who says so should present the two or tree columns that contradicts each other.”

    you may be right rego, because she does make an effort not to contradict herself by not bringing up Garcillano and the tapes (which she believed to be authentic) anymore in her future columns. And if she does bring up garci, it’s for an article not related to the Hello Garci tapes.

    =====

    Re: the use of the term “moralists”

    the austero’s of the world likes to use the term “moralists” to describe those who are opposed to arroyo. I don’t like the term, kasi “moralists” are usually associated with the likes of Manoling Morato and other religious conservatives and zealots. And I’m neither religious nor conservative.

    If you want to know what a “moralist” looks like, go look at what the republicans right did to bill clinton, impeaching him for lying about sex.

    Or how the religious groups and other anti-erap moralists dug up and talked about erap’s sex life, kabits and children outside the marriage, at ginawang front page news ito sa mga major newspapers.

    =====

    jeg:

    Ive read the link to “Truth is Arroyo Won” and nowhere in that article did Ms Monsod make the claim that Arroyo won “fair and square.” She just said she ‘won’, that is, more people voted for her. That is definitely in the realm of the possible. In fact it is even likely.

    just like marcos could also have won vs. Aquino even if he had not resorted to cheating.

    Arroyo could have actually won–more people voted for her. What is apparent is she did NOT win ‘fair and square’. She used government funds (our money) and may have used Garci to pad her lead to a more ‘respectable’ number.

    I noticed that Mareng winnie never claimed in her column na Arroyo did not cheat. Never even mentioned the tapes or Garcillano either.

    i think what Winnie is trying to say is that even if ARroyo did not cheat, she could have still won over FPJ, based on the polls and exit polls.

    But the problem is, Arroyo did cheat and steal the elections, and winnie believed the tapes are real (although she doesn’t consider it evidence). Maybe she should listen to the discussion between Maam and Garci on how to silence Rashma Hali in order for her to get a sense of the criminal nature of this admin.

    The least mareng winnie could do was to call for new elections to settle the legitimacy issue once and for all. But she did not, and I think we know why.

  8. The Bystander

    John Marzan (aka Political Junkie):

    Haha..:) I think you have mastered the art of quoting (and misquoting :)) and commenting on the quotes. It makes reading the comment threads easy! Kudos!

  9. cvj

    Rego #48 & fencesitter #54, from her column on May 08, 2004 below:

    http://asianjournal.com/cgi-bin/view_info.cgi?code=00004736&category=OP.com

    Monsod explains that she did not vote for Arroyo because of the latter’s “…appointments to the Commission on Elections were so obviously self-serving, so totally me-first-before-country that I could no longer ignore her shortcomings…”. Interestingly (for me), Monsod then adds “She may be the least in a corrupt field, ‘the lesser of two evils,’ but it is still a corrupt field, and it is still ‘evil.'”

    Short of asking Monsod, my guess is that she thinks that anyone who had objections to Garci should have made this known during the elections by casting their votes against GMA. Since what’s done is done especially since the exit polls show that, for whatever reason, GMA got more votes than FPJ, then she considers the matter of legitimacy settled to her satisfaction given the absence of an actual impeachment. In short, she thinks she has been one step ahead of all of us who are protesting Garci after the fact.

  10. john marzan

    Haha..:) I think you have mastered the art of quoting (and misquoting )

    heh. nahilo kasi ako sa mahabang post #56 eh.

    but I’ve corrected the portion re my reaction to jeg in post #57

  11. john marzan

    Monsod explains that she did not vote for Arroyo because of the latter’s “…appointments to the Commission on Elections were so obviously self-serving, so totally me-first-before-country that I could no longer ignore her shortcomings…”. Interestingly (for me), Monsod then adds “She may be the least in a corrupt field, ‘the lesser of two evils,’ but it is still a corrupt field, and it is still ‘evil.’”

    Yeah. natawa nga ako nung nabasa ko yung article na yan dati eh… when she claimed that she was voting for Bro. Eddie Villanueva raw.

    Short of asking Monsod, my guess is that she thinks that anyone who had objections to Garci should have made this known during the elections by casting their votes against GMA…

    In short, she thinks she has been one step ahead of all of us who are protesting Garci after the fact.

    uh cvj, didn’t the opposition made their objections vs. GArci and Barcelona known even before the elections.

    But it didn’t matter anyway because she’s the all powerful, non-accountable Superwoman Arroyo, and she can do whatever she wants, with most of the pro-arroyo media abetting her or looking the other way (you know who you are).

    Since what’s done is done especially since the exit polls show that, for whatever reason, GMA got more votes than FPJ, then she considers the matter of legitimacy settled to her satisfaction given the absence of an actual impeachment.

    yikes, hindi ba palpak ang exit poll ng SWS, at palpak rin ang exit poll sa US presidential elections?

  12. baycas

    winnie’s “get real” didn’t get the 2004 CMMA best opinion column for nothing. so, no arguing that she is the intellectual that i once admired.

    what i find hard to dissociate from our current political situation is the morality in it…especially when one has labeled erap’s governance as morally bankrupt but couldn’t muster the strength to say it on gloria’s…

    http://www.up.edu.ph/forum/2000/11/interview_with_monsod.html

    the preceding link is an interview with winnie by the UP Forum which also contains:

    FORUM: Two of your fellow economists from UP have stood by their President. Would you have done the same under similar circumstances?

    PSM: Absolutely not! I think my past experience will confirm that. I resigned from the cabinet in a previous administration, because I felt that I could not defend its policies, and even if the President I served was an honorable woman. What more if I were morally certain that the person I served was in clear violation of his oath of office and was a dishonorable person?

    FORUM: What do you think make them and the other cabinet members from UP stay?

    PSM: If I may hazard a guess, I think it’s essentially power. Power corrupts. Once you taste power, you don’t really want to let go of it. And the more intelligent you are, the more you can justify your position. I understand that one of the rationalizations given is that Erap is corrupt but Gloria is more corrupt. What the basis is for making that statement only they can say because obviously, there is no insider, somebody close to Gloria, that has come out and said this is the person I gave money to. You compare their records as senator, and you will find out that the performance of one is much much better than the performance of the other. You compare their records as vice president, and you will find out that the performace of one is much better than the other. How can you then jump to the conclusion that the one whose performance is better as senator and as vice president is going to perform worse as president? It is “Nakakahiya! Nakakahiyang klaseng logic.” (Mabuti na lang hindi sila pure UP graduates. Ha! Ha! ha! ) Or they would say “They are not serving the President; they are serving the presidency.” What kind of specious argument is that? Good grief! Who hired them? Who can fire them? The presidency which is an institution? Nonsense!

    —–

    for the record, winnie also has these to say in http://news.inq7.net/opinion/index.php?index=2&story_id=49713&col=62 :

    “On the basis of the results of the two major surveys in the run-up to the elections, of the exit polls conducted not only by the Social Weather Stations but by media organizations, and of the statements of the Catholic bishops who were closely monitoring the situation in their respective dioceses, it has to be clear that Ms Arroyo won last year’s presidential elections; she did not steal the position. That she cheated and lied is still to be resolved, but then, cheating and lying seem endemic in the political game.”

    “And a tangent to the tangent, because it is still possible to do this now: After the 1992 elections, disturbed by charges that Fidel V. Ramos had stolen the election from Miriam Santiago, then-chair Christian Monsod of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) allowed a panel of experts to review the results, including Comelec data. Their main finding was that there was evidence of cheating affecting both sides, but these tended to cancel one another and did not materially affect the outcome of the elections.”

    it is therefore the endemicity of lying and cheating that makes it all right…no matter if the highest office in the land is at stake.

    —–

    i would like to think that gloria’s bad governance is nothing compared to erap’s…and it wasn’t worse enough to be able to give a positive value or even cancel out erap’s bad governance in order to merit also a gloria ouster.

    i would also like to think that i can come up with my own calibrated analysis that gloria won. anyway, her cheating and stealing is still to be resolved and, more importantly, allegations only came from dubious and shady characters. this is without regard that it’s possible that in the process i prop up gloria more and destroy even more the credibility of the opposition.

    and, i would like to think that because i dislike the cha-cha train ( http://www.filipinogazette.com/localNews7.htm ) i can now criticize gloria for her brazen lies and threaten her with karma…as if i didn’t see this coming since day one of their cover-up of gloriagate scandal…as if i didn’t see the whole deception in gloria’s face on june 27, 2005.

    …well, my simple thoughts only.

    —–

    john, thanks…galing mo!

    the bystander, you’re welcome.

  13. baycas

    sorry, html tags gone haywire…my copy-pasting error.

  14. Jon Mariano

    How about bangungot for Gloria?

  15. Dirk Pitt

    dirk pitt:

    ————————————————————
    (From Dirk Pitt)
    To answer Phil Cruz’s question on # 5:

    Perhaps Winnie Monsod realized that she will never be named to the Arroyo cabinet!
    ————————————————————
    (From John Marzan)
    “Now this, i disagree with. why leave a cushy job as moderator of Debate to work for Arroyo? That would be suicide.”

    Now, John, this is the answer direct from mareng winnie.
    “PSM: If I may hazard a guess, I think it’s essentially power. Power corrupts. Once you taste power, you don’t really want to let go of it.”

  16. Jeg

    A Winnie Monsod blog would be very interesting right about now with all the speculation around where she may be coming from or headed. MLQ3, any chance you could talk her into putting one up?

    Anyway, the issue of who really got more votes could only be settled by a full-on opening of the ballot boxes. What are the odds of that happening? Without facts, all we have are speculation, so we should all concentrate on the ‘facts’ that we do have: the blatant, blatant misuse of government funds and the Garci tapes (which I have to admit dont really PROVE anything. No instructions as explicit as ‘pad my votes, Garci’. A lawyer could rip it to shreds. Besides, GMA lawyers could easily have them declared illegally obtained and therefore inadmissible.)

    We all know that there is no way she’ll call for a ‘snap election’ with her poll numbers the way they are, too. We can only get her with facts and it would be a good idea to support those who can them and get these cases against her to court. What Im saying is Im still hoping for impeachment. It could work. GMA’s numbers are down and the congressmen who blocked impeachment before on a technicality know this. Theyre should be setting up meetings with Noli De Castro right about now. All we need are 70+ congressmen and it goes to the Senate. Barring a miracle, resignation won’t happen. And if it does, it will be fraught with deals with the constitutional successor that would keep the government from pursuing cases against her.

  17. john marzan

    nice links, baycas. lalo na yung 2000 interview ni mareng winnie.

    A Winnie Monsod blog would be very interesting right about now with all the speculation around where she may be coming from or headed. MLQ3, any chance you could talk her into putting one up?

    hey, that’s my idea jeg. i just forgot to post it kahapon. 😉

    Anyway, the issue of who really got more votes could only be settled by a full-on opening of the ballot boxes. What are the odds of that happening? Without facts, all we have are speculation, so we should all concentrate on the ‘facts’ that we do have: the blatant, blatant misuse of government funds and the Garci tapes (which I have to admit dont really PROVE anything. No instructions as explicit as ‘pad my votes, Garci’. A lawyer could rip it to shreds. Besides, GMA lawyers could easily have them declared illegally obtained and therefore inadmissible.)

    it’s too bad na ngayon nyo lang naisipan na buksan ang ballot boxes, because the opposition has made more than 200 requests for the House majority to do a recount, pero they were just ignored and “noted away”, jeg, because natatakot ang mga kaalyado ni Arroyo na mabuking ang dagdag bawas operations ni Arroyo dahil sa inconsistencies sa COCs at ERs.

    if you’ll recall sa Hello garci tapes, hindi maganda ang trabaho ng militar sa pagpapataas kay maam eh.

    and it may be too late to do this now anyway, since most of the ERs and ballot boxes may have been tampered with already.

  18. Jon Mariano

    Think about the cost too. Look at Loren Legarda, she’s paying millions of pesos for her partial re-tabulation!

  19. Jeg

    Susan Roces tried to pursue the matter. If I remember correctly, the SC shot that down with the not-the-party-of-interest decision. So matagal nang naisip yun, john marzan. It’ll really cost millions, even just the opening of contested ballot boxes.

    The not-the-party-of-interest decision could be challenged because I think every Filipino is a party of interest in this case. But I guess no one is really interested in pusuing this anymore knowing the logistics involved. That’s why theyre going for the people-power-slash-coup route.

  20. john marzan

    Susan Roces tried to pursue the matter. If I remember correctly, the SC shot that down with the not-the-party-of-interest decision. So matagal nang naisip yun, john marzan. It’ll really cost millions, even just the opening of contested ballot boxes.

    The not-the-party-of-interest decision could be challenged because I think every Filipino is a party of interest in this case. But I guess no one is really interested in pusuing this anymore knowing the logistics involved. That’s why theyre going for the people-power-slash-coup route.

    IIRC, during the canvassing in june 2004, the opposition was asking for a recount in the disputed areas by comparing the ERs to the COCs (and if necessary opening up the ballot boxes). ERs at COCs pa lang ang gustong matignan at ma-scrutinize ng opposition, pero ayaw talaga ng kaalyado yan ni arroyo dahil mahuhuling hindi nagma- match ang ERs sa COC at buking ang dagdag bawas operation ng COMELEC.

    and i think it’s wrong to proclaim somebody president, when there were so many evidence of fraud presented during the canvassing (but were noted away) and all the recount requests of the opposition were denied.

    As for the susan roces-FPJ situation, kalokohan ang decision ng SC ni Arroyo. The decision is so bad, only a partisan SC could have made it.

    And I know the familiar refrain of the pro-arroyo’s, if you have a problem, go to the supreme court. but that’s like allies of marcos telling the opposition to go to his SC.

    And i don’t mind the gov’t using my taxpayer money to reopen the ballot boxes, as long as we get the count right.

  21. john marzan

    And i don’t mind the gov’t using my taxpayer money to reopen the ballot boxes, as long as we get the count right.

    although i think we should have done it during the canvassing, and not now, where the ERs and ballot boxes have already been tampered with already.

  22. Jeg

    although i think we should have done it during the canvassing, and not now, where the ERs and ballot boxes have already been tampered with already.

    There’s that. One more thing, it’s the party filing the case that’s supposed to shoulder the expenses of the opening of the ballot boxes. Not the taxpayer. So really, at the time of the filing of FPJ’s protest, not many felt like you do, john marzan. No one wanted to put up the cash to help out. I felt they abandoned FPJ and Susan.

    During the canvassing in Congress, GMA’s allies had the ‘lakas ng loob’ to block every opposition objection. Back then, GMA’s popularity numbers were pretty solid. That’s not the case now. Now the congressmen are ‘vulnerable’ if theyre seen as gung-ho supporters of an unpopular president. That’s why I feel that an impeachment complaint has a chance. Im relying not on the congressmen’s sudden attack of conscience, but on their more than healthy sense of self-interest. 😉

    (Is it just me or does Joe De V’s Cha-Cha by July deadline have something to do with the impeachment case being filed around the same time?)

  23. cvj

    John, you’re right to point out the seeming unreliability of exit polls given recent electoral experiences around the world as you have also pointed out a few weeks back, although i think Monsod was going by the standard assumption that these type of polls have been reliable indicators in the past.

    http://www.quezon.ph/blog/?p=864#comment-12519

    You’re also right to make us aware of the traditional Opposition’s prior objections to Garci, although Monsod’s argument would probably still apply to me and others who joined the opposition after ‘Hello Garci’ came out.

    I don’t see any reason though why we wouldn’t take Monsod claim to have voted for Eddie Villanueva at face value. Anyway, i agree with you and Jeg that it would have been nice if Monsod had a weblog (with comments allowed).

  24. john marzan

    The not-the-party-of-interest decision could be challenged because I think every Filipino is a party of interest in this case. But I guess no one is really interested in pusuing this anymore knowing the logistics involved. That’s why theyre going for the people-power-slash-coup route.

    Heh. just like nung natalo sa botohan sa senado ang anti-erap opposition, kaya they went for the people-power-slash-coup route rin? 😉

    There’s that. One more thing, it’s the party filing the case that’s supposed to shoulder the expenses of the opening of the ballot boxes. Not the taxpayer. So really, at the time of the filing of FPJ’s protest, not many felt like you do, john marzan.

    correct me if i’m wrong, but i think na the opposition would only pay kapag na-proclaim na ang presidente, at gusto nilang i-reopen ang ballot boxes. (no wonder gustong i-proclaim kaagad si arroyo). pero kapag hindi pa na proclaim ang presidente, hindi sagot ng opposition ang expenses.

    anyways that didn’t matter then because the opposition just wanted to compare ERs and COCs (with the reopening of the ballot boxes as a later option, if necessary). The ERs would be counted and added up again to check if the SOVs reflect the accurate totals, then the SOV figures will be totaled and checked against the figures in the COCs. Pero pati yan, ayaw pa rin ng mga kaalyado ni arroyo. For obvious reason. 😉

    During the canvassing in Congress, GMA’s allies had the ‘lakas ng loob’ to block every opposition objection. Back then, GMA’s popularity numbers were pretty solid.

    but why would they block every opposition request for a recount if they have nothing to hide? 😉

    That’s not the case now. Now the congressmen are ‘vulnerable’ if theyre seen as gung-ho supporters of an unpopular president. That’s why I feel that an impeachment complaint has a chance. Im relying not on the congressmen’s sudden attack of conscience, but on their more than healthy sense of self-interest.

    they’re not vulnerable because arroyo and her comelec will make sure her allies will not lose the Majority. besides, the No El is still in play, hindi ba? 😉

  25. john marzan

    the opposition wanted to compare ERs and COCs (with the reopening of the ballot boxes as a later option, if necessary). The ERs would be counted and added up again to check if the SOVs reflect the accurate totals, then the SOV figures will be totaled and checked against the figures in the COCs.

    Pero pati yan, ayaw pa rin ng mga kaalyado ni arroyo. For obvious reason. 😉

    if the COCs and the ERs did not match, then obviously may malaking posibilidad na may malaking dayaan/dagdag bawas– with ERs, COCs and ballots being tampered or possibly destroyed. at kung may malaking nakawan ng eleksyon, unreliable ang mga election results at dapat may bagong special elections para ma settle ang legitimacy issue.

  26. Jon Mariano

    I’m still hoping for the truth to come out soon!

  27. john marzan

    winnie’s “get real” didn’t get the 2004 CMMA best opinion column for nothing. so, no arguing that she is the intellectual that i once admired.

    I used to read winnie’s column back then either, and I had no problems with her whenever she (or de quiros) attacks or criticizes the opposition or Lacson, (the guy i supported in the 2004 elections.) That wasn’t the reason why I quit reading Winnie.

    It was the GLORIAGATE issue where she lost some credibility in my eyes, because she did not “get real” with her readers, so to speak. and I’m not the only one who feels that way.

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