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Apr 26

Pushing the envelope

News today:

Cha-Cha proponents claim victory in GenSan, SouthCot (MindaNews)

Chief Justice believes death penalty unconstitutional (Inquirer): can he say that?

Ex-Philippine president named in spy plot (San Jose Mercury News, through AP): see Coffee with Amee’s commentary.

People Power in Nepal hailed: A democratic triumph in Nepal says Thailand’s Nation in its editorial, This Is No Rah-Rah Revolt writes Tariq Ali in The Guardian (via the Arab News).

The Inquirer editorial examines the President’s hostility towards the Philippine Senate; the Daily Business Mirror editorializes on the reexamination of gasoline VAT policy sending the wrong message. Go Figure has some challenging thoughts questioning the wisdom of arguments made in favor of official intervention in gas prices.

The Supreme Court’s decision (SC rules Palace ban on rallies is illegal: Decision is unanimous: 13-0) on the policy of “Calibrated, Pre-emptive, Response  (with yet another decision, this time on the proclamation of a state of national emergency expected very soon) results in official defiance: Police will still disperse illegal street protests–PNP.

The PCIJ blog has a roundup of the decision, reactions, and what led to the policy. Edwin Lacierda says the decision raises some troubling questions, including, what happens to those arrested and charged due to invoking a policy that’s now declared unconstitutional?

My view is that while the Supreme Court’s decisions are pretty comforting, they do lay out the possibility for conflicting interpretations that will require more cases. Yet the most troubling question which will never be answered is, why did resolving the cases take so long? Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to look up how long it took other landmark cases to be resolved, though my suspicion is, it didn’t take six to seven months as in these cases involving EO 464 and CPR. The aggressiveness with which the decisions have been met by officials in the Executive Branch, also suggests that the administration will continue pushing the envelope -just as its opponents will, too.

After All is exasperated over Red Tide alerts -and non-alerts. Now What, Cat? is infuriated (and rightly so) over ordinary people being bilked by their higher-ups, and how such behavior can be contagious and even held by people you’d normally consider unlikely to give employees the shaft.

caffeine-sparks on bilingualism, the dominance of one language in intellectual discourse, and language prejudice. Taking off from recent cases over agonizing over language, baratillo books cinema @ cubao eloquently explains why he reads (and alas, why is it too few do).

A series of highly interesting entries on blogging: big mango with an overview, an analysis, and a summation, on the purposes served by blogs in public and political discourse in the Philippines: specifically, their role in constructing solutions for a troubled country (ours). Via Barako Cafe: from BuzzMachine, Guilt by association (continuing newspaper hostility to blogs) and Press in peace (do we need newspapers? Specifically, newspapers on paper?); and kottke.org on there being two kinds of bloggers: “referential and experiential” -

The referential blogger uses the link as his fundamental unit of currency, building posts around ideas and experiences spawned elsewhere: Look at this. Referential bloggers are reporters, delivering pointers to and snippets of information, insight or entertainment happening out there, on the Intraweb. They can, and do, add their own information, insight and entertainment to the links they unearth — extrapolations, juxtapositions, even lengthy and personal anecdotes — but the outward direction of their focus remains their distinguishing feature.

The experiential blogger is inwardly directed, drawing entries from personal experience and opinion: How about this. They are storytellers (and/or bores), drawing whatever they have to offer from their own perspective. They can, and do, add links to supporting or explanatory information, even unique and undercited external sources. But their motivation, their impetus, comes from a desire to supply narrative, not reference it.

Or we can both! One thing’s sure: everyone is, by nature, a Linnaeus. We like to categorize, organize, define, the world to make sense of it.

And from Slate: This Is My Last Entry: Why I shut down my blog.

My Arab News column for this week is Will the Philippines Be Able to Use Ethanol? History Suggests Not.

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19 comments

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  1. jmakabayan

    MLQ3,

    “Yet the most troubling question which will never be answered is, why did resolving the cases take so long?”

    Timing is a factor in a ‘calibrated judicial response’.

    Rallies that were ‘CPRed’ then would not be as destabilizing as now.

    Senate investigations that were ‘EO464ed’ then would not be as hyped now. Zuce’s senate ‘stint’ has earned him a slot in the STL’s money booth.

    The ‘konaybers’ are aiming their operations at the charter; admin operators are maneuvering and mobilizing for a ‘constitutional coup’.

    Is the SC ‘in connivance?’

    The “answer is, why did resolving the cases take so long?”

  2. jmakabayan

    Ooops, Sorry, corrections:

    Rallies that were ‘CPRed’ then would not be as destabilizing THEN as now.

    Senate investigations that were ‘EO464ed’ then would not be as hyped THEN AS now. Zuce’s senate ’stint’ has earned him a slot in the STL’s money booth.

  3. domingo arong

    How about the “right” to be “punctual” of the unrepresented “Anak Pasajero”? (“punctual” as in “observant of the appointed time; neither early nor late” in going to work or to school or to a funeral).

  4. ricelander

    Randy David and Hontiveros are going to SC to make those responsible for CPR, specifying GMA and Ermita, answer. Assuming they are correct, and SC upholds David and Hontiveros, what then? GMA could not be sued; she enjoys immunity being president; Ermita would declare in defense he was only following orders, and so will the rest.

    If my above assertions are correct, what could stop GMA from further violating the Constitution, including those recently declared as uncons, when she could always invoke her immunity from suit and her subordinates obedience to duly constituted authority?

    Enlightenment, please, anyone?

    Also, for parts of the EO and CPR that are declared unconstitutional, who could be made accountable? Did the unconstitutionality of them start only when SC said so?

  5. joselu

    ricelander, it can be argued that at that time due to the real threats that exsisted CPR was the better thing.
    but i really hope there where less david & honteveros. they are supposed to be adults. why can’t they accept the consequences that come w/ their beliefs.
    i hope they don’t confuse the law w/ just defending their pride.
    in a way we should have less of people w/ so much pride & more of people who work silently & accomplish things.
    ricelander, try to read what the SC said about the CPR thing.
    although they said it’s unconstitutional. they also upheld PB 880 done during the marcos time of no permit no rally.
    they also passed the responsibility in a way to the local goverments to come up w/ freedom parks in 30 days.they also said max tolerance will be used, really not much different from cpr anyway.
    obviosly, ralliest will be encourage to do their thing in freedom parks, plaza miranda & lawton.
    question is. would ralliest like to be in a place where they cause less agony & misery to the majority of the people who would like to go ahead w/ their lives?
    If i got it right, what the SC is trying to ay is that there is no absolute power just like there is no absolute rights.
    even e.o. 464 was not unconstitutional but it seems the SC took the cue to place some civility between the executive & congress & now it seems they are having a dialogue.
    our problem is not what the law says or does not say. it’s really all about our attitude & having the penchant of testing the limits of the law.
    personaly, i think the SC has been very fair. it has not made winners or losers but is trying to remind both sides that the law applies to both.
    some lawyers are already accusing the SC of coming up w/ a win win solution.
    maybe it’s a reflection of the viciousness of our society where we leave by the winner take all mentality.
    just another exsample what a greedy society we are.

  6. Totoy

    “Will the Philippines Be Able to Use Ethanol? History Suggests Not.”

    Ethanol will make the Conjuangcos billionaires which will be unacceptable to “hater” indios who will pull them down like the proverbial talangka so NO ethanol will never be in the Philippines.

  7. emilie

    Let the market decide whether we can produce and use ethanol in industrial quantity. No need for government intervention meaning …let the gas price seek its level where nobody buys it anymore then ethanol will be worth producing. No amount of official policy guideline or law from clowns who cannot even show any accomplishment will change the equation. Leave the market alone.

  8. Carl

    mlq said: “My Arab News column for this week is Will the Philippines Be Able to Use Ethanol? History Suggests Not.”

    History has, more often than not, beeen correct, especially when it concerns the Philippines. History also suggests that we cannot stay on course when it comes to policies.

  9. a de brux

    Hi Mlq3,

    Off topic… I would like to post Maria Theresa Pangilinan’s press statement on DOJ Raul Gonzalez’ orders to file criminal charges against her when she upset Gloria Macapaagal Arroyo who was delivering her speech to the graduating students of Cavite State U.

    “Tere”, as a batchmate of hers calls her deserves the nation’s accolade for her physical and moral courage to stand up and tell Gloria to “Sod off!”

    CAVITE CHAPTER
    c/o BM Office: BlkF-15 Lt17 Sta. Cristina 1, DBB-C, Dasmariñas, Cavite
    email: nuspcavite@yahoo.com
    PRESS STATEMENT
    APRIL 26, 2006

    Mr. Raul Gonzales must review pol.sci.101

    The statement of Sec. Raul Gonzalez of the Department of (in)Justice today a clear political harassment – a political repression to anyone who voices their political beliefs.

    Though he said that they may file charges against us in violating the Article 153 of the Revised Penal Code and issued an order to NBI to investigate on the matter, it revealed his ignorance to the law and insulting the whole justice system and NBI as an institution.

    Lawyers said that the Article 153 that Mr. Gonzalez is talking about is tried in the barangay level. Degrading the prestige of the NBI where they will investigate matters that can be resolved in the barangay.

    Even the administration officials of the Cavite State University are desperate to file charges against us. We have learned that they have consulted several lawyers regarding the April 21 incident and all of them said that no charges can be filed against us. So, the university officials are only left declaring us as persona non grata and asking us to apologize.

    We believe that Mr. Gonzalez must review his pol.sci.101 to understand what he is doing. He is not just putting himself to mockery by people but the whole system of government including their president Mrs. Arroyo.

    The youth and the Filipino people are wishing them luck in filing the charges. We are not afraid! What we are more scared of is what the next generation if the injustice today continues.

    We will not falter in calling for Mrs. Arroyo’s ouster! We are even more ready than before!#

    Ma. Teresa Pangilinan
    Vice chairperson
    NUSP – Southern Tagalog
    Coordinator
    NUSP – Cavite

  10. Doubting_Thomas

    Re #1: “The “answer is, why did resolving the cases take so long?””

    Before I can begin to speculate, I’d like to know:

    1. How long does it normally take the Supreme Court to decide cases?

    2. Did the Supreme Court take an unusually long time to decide these cases?

  11. d0d0ng

    Finally, the Supreme Court has done its job, maybe slow but still critical to have a functioning democracy.

    This is not America where you can sue the state.

    The government still has the upper hand knowing that if it has done illegal, the government has no liability except for the implementing person to be accused in excess of legal authority. That is still workable for the government to give verbal instruction (not written) to policemen in defiance of court rulings and individual police to face the court.

    This is what I have said a long time ago that how many cases have to be filed against erring policemen to be taken out of service for excess of authority.

    I guess the answer is until the time when government workers such as the police understand when to refuse an illegal instruction.

  12. d0d0ng

    Ethanol seems attractive nowadays not because of its clean output but primarily due to high oil prices.

    Ethanol is purely a business product and will only be successful if you can sustain long term use of ethanol by the driving public. As we have seen in the past, oil prices can go down and that is enough to kill ethanol as business product.

  13. in a pig's eye

    Comment #5 from Joselu:

    “-in a way we should have less of people (-referring to: Randy David & Riza Hontiveros-Baraquiel) w/ so much pride & more of people who work silently & accomplish things.”

    Well now, could you by any chance ASLO happen to be referring to the dis-honorable Gluemax, Joselu ?

    -She of the self-serving statements (“-the Jueteng Lord put me here..”), the endless ribbon cutting photo-ops, the twisted facts and the conveniently mangled “pogi-point” figures (-8M signatures, 9M website visits)?

    -Work silently to accomplish things?
    Gawad Kalinga works silently to accomplish things, yes.

    But Gluemax ? Hochst! (–in german Pilipino..)

    Of course you wouldn’t have happened to notice any of these things about her, would you?

    ~~
    Just the other day I was on EDSA..
    And along comes a stream of some 15 maybe 20 cars barreling through so as to occupy all of 4 lanes of EDSA’s 6.

    In the Marcos days of yore, a retinue of back-up vehicles was provided to ensconce some self-important pompous ass in a secure “condom-sanitexed” (cordon sanitaire) travel environment.

    Ang tanong, sino nanaman kaya ang hinayupak na napaka importanteng anak ng baka na ina-alalayan ng mga tutang PNP na ito?

    Care to hazard a guess, Joselu?

    Whoever that was, whether it be Gluemax herself or some cabinet stooge of hers, the point is that, now –as before, they gotta condom-sanitex their self important asses when they travel around the metropolis.

    And why is this?
    Only because, as in the last days of Marcos, Gluemax and her coterie of soft bellied ninnies are now too afraid to travel without some exaggerated form of security escort.

    -And why is that?
    Well.. the guilty fear for their lives while posturing bravely to feign strength.

    So Joselu..
    What’s this you were lecturing us about, pride?

  14. Phil Cruz

    Injustice and Empty Stomachs – The Dangerous Duo

    There it is again. Injustice rearing its ugly head in the case of the courageous young graduate, a wisp of a little lady, Theresa Pangilinan. Such bullying tactics by no less than the Justice Secretary just goads people into fits of rage. This is no longer an act of intimidation. It is plain bullying. And of young graduates at that. Never in my life have I seen such behavior from a Justice Secretary. It defies all codes of decency and human behavior expected of a man in such a position of power and authority.

    And the Cavite State University, according to Theresa, has decided to withold the release of her Transcript of Records. So now this young graduate can’t use those records to get a job. Is this a University? A State University? If this is not injustice, I don’t know what is.

    There’s something about humans that cry out for justice. Animals don’t demand for justice. Humans do. Justice tugs at you. It cries out to be soothed. It bores deep into the very marrow of one’s bones. And the feeling of injustice is contaminating. It spreads like a virus, affecting people around who have not been subjected to such injustice but see injustice done to someone. Justice has to have a vent. Contain it for too long and it explodes.

    Injustice has been the spark of many revolutions and rebellions since the dawn of human history. That is why those who rule should take heed the lessons of the fallen leaders. Almost always it has been INJUSTICE and/or EMPTY STOMACHS that have brought down rulers.

    It is unfortunate that the present justice system is seen by many to be inefficient, selective and unjust. That is already a red flag.

    It is also unfortunate that the average Filipino family’s real earnings are shrinking and there’s less and less food on the family table by the day. That, too, is a red flag.

    This administration unfortunately can’t seem to see the color red. They can only see blue. And so they go on their merry arrogant lying and bullying ways. Oblivious of a gathering storm. Failing to see the Dangerous Duo already on the horizon.

  15. jinx

    27 April 2006

    Hey guys,

    Off topic.

    Have you heard or read the statement of col tristan kison regarding the congressional hearing to be conducted by the senate???

    “For the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) top brass, section g-200-013 of the AFP Rules and Regulations issued on Dec. 29, 1967 is a law superior to the Constitution, even with a Supreme Court (SC) ruling that the AFP officers and men can be compelled by Congress to attend and testify before the body on inquiries in aid of legislation”

    I call on the people to be extra vigilant, for tomorrow, the next day ot the next week, one day we wake up and gloria, her clowns ang her generals (prostituted) has already decalred martial law.

    My question right now is, If kison wqas able to give a statement regarding above-mentioned” Is this prelude to martial law???

    Manmanan dapat sila!!!!!

    jinx

  16. joselu

    In pigs, what’s wrong in saying that they are adults anyway & must face the consequences of their actions.
    Why should they be above the rest?
    Are there not more needy people to attend too then them?
    Good, then there should be more Gawad Kalinga people cause they are better exsamples to follow.
    It’s just not in my nature to pay attention to things that others do as an obligation.
    Maybe your more sensetive to a convoy of cars.For me it’s just a convoy. I have better things to do then getting annoyed by petty matters.
    In reality, I guess we all have a piece of pride one way or the other
    Maybe yours is not wanting to be pissed by convoys & so on.
    Anyway, going back to my point earlier. It’s really about giving more attention to those who work silently to deliver things. And not to those adults who get into trouble & don’t accept the consequences & try to be symbol of sorts.
    Nga pala, it’s not intended as a lecture,it’s just writing down an opinion.
    BTW, I was commenting on the CPR thing & writing the reaction of a lawyer commenting on the SC ruling being a win win situation.I would like to beleave i was being objective enough.

  17. a de brux

    Jinx,

    Kison is being stupid by announcing that. He shouldn’t have pronounced things in such a confusing manner.

    Unfortunately, a military organization’s internal rules hold sway over its members to a higher degree than the dictates of a nation’s constitution overall.

    The military adheres to the concept of democratic processes within its organization only to a certain extent. It’s almost a paradox really that the military – the armed component of the Republic – is tasked with safeguarding the nation’s civilian component’s democratic rights to life and liberty but the military itself, in theory, is not a proponent of these democratic rights for its members.

    For instance, the military does not recognize freedom of speech by its members or liberty to do as they wish within the organization. However, to translate that publicly is out of bounds – when a military speaks to the public, everything he utters becomes a civilian concern and are subject to civilian rules.

    If he really said that in public, he commited an enormous tactical error – he just submitted himself to “civilian discipline” and should be militarily reprimanded (perhaps suspended from his post) and should be officialy rebuked by no less than the Minister of Defence.

  18. Doubting_Thomas

    Re #15: If Col. Kison indeed made that statement, it would be appalling. Do you have a link?

  19. Abiti da sposa

    Leggo ed imparo sul vostro luogo. grazie!

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