Scuttlebutt is that the Supreme Court reached a decision on the challenge to Proclamation 1017 over the weekend, and will use today up to Wednesday writing its decision. Meanwhile, both the Palace and Senate continue to try to come to grips with the recent Supreme Court ruling on Executive Order 464: Palace likely to invoke 464 while under review (Malaya); and Senate ready to use power vs gov’t execs: ‘No blanket claim of executive privilege’ (Inquirer).
(Update) I find myself subscribing to the arguments propounded by Philippine Commentary, who says the Supreme Court has made the Executive Department’s definition of the things covered by “executive privilege” part of the law of the land. He shows how the scope and nature of the things covered could potentially make a wider, and more iron-clad argument for holding back information from the public than ever previously attempted.
From the Manila Times: Farmers fear expiration of CARP, appeal for extension.
From an Angolan newspaper (!): Philippine military alerted against new moves of mutinous group: Spokesman
Overseas, it’s interesting to read the editorial of the Thai newspaper The Nation, and its take on the challenges posed by the rise in oil prices: Many dangers to economy ahead -Stronger currency may partially offset rising oil prices, but vigilance against inflation is crucial.
The same newspaper also discusses what has long been a complaint in foreign policy circles: the indifference in American official circles to South East Asia and ASEAN. Now, however, US changes tone and approach on Asean policies: The United States has finally recognised Asean as a collective political entity that it has to deal with in a more discreet and gentle way. The acknowledgement comes at a time when Washington, DC wants to keep up with China.A shift in US policy was hoped for, and recommended by, among others, the Challenges to Democracy in Southeast Asia: Rethinking US Policy conference sponsored by the Stanley Foundation, which I attended last year. But instead of focusing purely on trade, a shared emphasis on democracy and democracy-building engagement was recommended.
Culinary question: “Haob na Odong” and the Rediscovery of Davao Cuisine
Leandro Coronel says the President had better get used to heckling until -and unless- she actively moves to resolve the questions surrounding her legitimacy. Indeed. But our politicians pushing for parliamentary government had better get used to heckling as a matter of course. Have you ever watched the British parliament during debates? Heckling is par for the course. I remember in high school, participation in the debate team gave me a case of culture shock when we had to train for two kinds of debate: the normal kind we in the Philippines are used to, policy debate, and another kind, totally alien to us, called parliamentary debate, in which you gained points not only for what you said, but also (at least in my experience) for your ability to trip up your opponent by heckling and jeering the other side as they presented their arguments. The British parliamentary style is more fun -but harder to win.
An uncle, recalling the Baler of his youth in the 1920s, told me a feature of the political culture of the town was the open and frank manner in which politicians on the stump would be heckled, jeered, and questioned by the electorate: and he mused that any politician able to hold his own in the face of such fearless behavior of the electorate gained a notable advantage in campaigning elsewhere (he also recounted how Jose P. Laurel, campaigning in Baler, was completely taken aback by the lack of diffidence of the people in the town plaza).
Amando Doronila tackles the Palace and Senate tussle sure to come in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Executive Order 464: how broadly, or narrowly, will “executive privilege” be defined? The Inquirer editorial says that Senators had better learn how to behave when conducting investigations, otherwise important democratic opportunities will be lost.
In the blogosphere, Sheila Coronel reproduces her speech before the Economics graduating class of the University of the Philippines. Titled “forging a new social contract,” she puts in perspective the call of the times. Incidentally, barako cafe has a very kind -and sharp- thing to say about journalists:
I believe it takes courage to be a journalist. Journalists risk everything from their reputations to their lives. They face bad news everyday. As a reader, I can tune out, and you can see from my blog that I often do. Journalists don’t. The news, good or bad, constitutes their lives, impinges upon their beings. Everyday they face death, calamity, criminality, corruption, manipulation, lies. Everyday they confront and deal with conflict. This takes phenomenal mental and emotional fortitude and a firm belief in the possibility that their work will have a positive and real impact on people’s lives.
Ignatian Perspective puts forward a kind of homily for bloggers, asking for humility in blogging.
Atty-at-Work tackles the Supreme Court decision on Executive Order 464.
Red’s Herring tackles the ideas behind Congressional oversight -and defends it.
Bong Austero writes a nuanced entry on how older people should cut the young and perhaps intemperate some slack; and also appeals for self-control on the part of Senators rumbling they will fight it out with the Palace. He is right, of course: there are some senators who ask questions very well (Serge Osmeña is usually one) and some who make you want to strangle them (Jinggoy Estrada is one).
An OFW Living in Hong Kong describes meeting three Filipino doctors turned nurses, and challenges the conventional wisdom concerning why Filipinos decide to work abroad. He says, the real reasons. he says.
Pay is usually pointed as the main reason for migration. I disagree though. I believe that the main reason is a combination of things. (1) Deteriorating peace and order situation in the provinces, (2) Deteriorating standard of education, (3) Perception that the country is not going to improve anytime soon, (4) Unwieldy pay structure that do not change with the times. There might be other reasons, but look at these four reasons and you will see that these doctors are trying to provide for their children, not for themselves. They are relatively content with what they are doing now, but they think that they will not be able to take care of their children and not assure a better future for the same children if they stay.
Time and again, talking to people from the middle class, it’s the future that justifies their decision to leave now. They themselves are OK, and will be OK: but they don’t think their children will be OK. The problems of the middle class -and criticisms of its fundamental attitudes- leads baratillo books cinema @ cubao to ponder how, exactly, to go about winning hearts and minds (in an earlier entry, Bong Austero has similar points to make).
Blurry Brain explains why we should pay attention to the Asian Development Bank’s report on growing poverty in the Philippines -and the proper solutions.
The Citizen on Mars lists the potential dangers inherent in a national identification card system.
Pinoy Solutions with some suggestions on handling rampaging buses.
Laitera asks: what is the fine line that divides the sexy from the lewd?
From Global Voices: things in Mexico that originated in the Philippines (coconuts, nipa, tuba, cock fighting, ceviche, the Philippine mango, tamarind, rambutan, acacia trees, papayas…) . From Rebecca MacKinnon, doyenne of Global Voices: videos of the heckling of Chinese President Hu; the Washington Note on the rather incongruous use of the word democracy several times in President’s Hu’s speech. Go Figure on China being the fall guy for global economic trends.
Blogging from Agoo: World of Antonate. Provincial blogging’s tribe increases.
Fifty-eight years ago tomorrow, President Manuel Roxas was buried. The Philippines Free Press blog republishes its requiem editorial.
More recent passages: an email from an American on July 18 informed me that Lt. Commander Julius C.C. Edelstein passed away in New York City a few months ago. His obituary makes no mention of his work as a press and public relations man which made his name familar to an older generation of Filipinos, Edelstein gained notoriety as a close aide of President Roxas, to the extent that the late historian of all things America-in-the-Philippines related, Lew Gleek, recounted press criticism over Edelstein’s being given a bedroom in Malacañan Palace. This summary of his life, however, mentions his closeness to Roxas and others.
Also just the other day, American academic Daniel Boone Schirmer passed away. He was passionate advocate of the anti-war movement during the Vietnam era, and was active in pro-democracy circles supporting the opposition to Ferdinand Marcos. Among his notable works was “The Philippines Reader : A History of Colonialism, Neocolonialism, Dictatorship, and Resistance” (South End Press).