Over the holidays, the President announced she would commute death sentences, which left Crime victims shocked. Personally, as someone opposed to the death penalty, I support her announcement, which is the continuation of a policy more or less upheld consistently by her. As the Inquirer editorial puts it, the President’s “decision to commute all existing death sentences to life imprisonment is fraught with compromise and tactical calculation-but it is nevertheless overdue and welcome.” Proponents of the death penalty such as The Bunker Chronicles condemn the decision as “misguided mercy.”
The main news, though, remains Charter change: Cha-cha drive set in bailiwicks of opposition while Saludo optimistic people’s initiative will be a success.
Overseas, rallies by immigrants in the United States (Newsstand points to an eloquent New York Times editorial on the immigrant rallies in the USA: People Power), the defeat of French Prime Minister Villepin’s legislative efforts by massive rallies (and here’s an interesting article on France portrayed as fighting off modernity to preserve the existing quality of life), and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s refusal to accept defeat, variously showed how demonstrations and other forms of peaceful resistance, and the need for political players to play by the rules for the rules to work, are integral parts of the democratic process.
In the punditocracy, my column for today is Unintended unity. Even as people like Atty. Rita Linda V. Jimeno puts forward the administration case for Charter change, opposition to it in its present form, is growing. the most remarkable feature of the growing opposition is that it includes many people and groups that either supported (and, in her capacity as President, continue to support her), or remained neutral, as far as the leadership crisis is concerned.
Efren Danao defends the Congressional pork barrel, saying it isn’t as ludicrous as the American version.
Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ examines the separation of Church and State from the point of view of a priest and lawyer.
In the blogosphere, the PCIJ blog dissects the electoral reform proposals made by former Chief Justice (and now, Philippine Ambassador to the UN) Hilario Davide, Jr.
Is it just me, or is PLDT DSL spectacularly slow today, when everyone’s back at work?