Here’s the official incense and the actual independence day address. A statement by Catholic bishops isn’t quite on the same page. The Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Manila Standard-Today report both focus on the same belligerent phrase: “day of reckoning,” which suggests the President is going to go for broke -conventional wisdom had it that she had, at one point, decided to set aside Constitutional change until after the 2007 elections. Apparently not (and a recent entry on Iloilo City politics I pointed out some days ago may explain why). The upbeat official mood is back.
On June 8th I’d blogged that after initially stalling, the “people’s initiative” was being revved up once more. The usual suspects have announced they are poised to file a petition asking for a referendum. If San Juan and Makati City remain uncooperative, the stage is set for some kind of intervention, which could then artificially -or who knows, even really- snowball into a kind of people power revolt, Palace style.
But here’s a moral dilemma we all have to face: if, and I mean if, a referendum was held, and it proved to be an honestly-run one, and if, by virtue of a credible referendum, the public says it wants the Palace proposals, lock stock and barrel -what then? We would have to abide with the will of the people.
But let’s not forget that the President relies on the media planning and political advice of the same people who advise the Republicans in the United States. And that the Republican strategy has been, under George Bush, Jr., to prove that in a democracy, what matters today is that a determined minority can always thwart the majority. Read Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s examination of how the 2004 American elections could have been stolen.
In other news, House of Representatives is delighted with the upcoming new Senate President. And government wants to redefine what work is (but it’s not true, yet, that living and breathing will become the new definitions of work, to make possible a 100% employment rate in the country).
In the punditocracy: Patricio Diaz shows the real score in the budget brouhaha; the Inquirer editorial takes up the cudgels for the embattled Senate. Manuel Buencamino points out the neglect of the Lumad of Mindanao. Read Fred Kaplan, too. My essay, A complex achievement is online at the Arab News.
In the blogosphere, I appreciate, very much, the white flower of truce from Achieving Happiness. Read Red’s Herring, who summarizes the danger in the present political situation: the victory of a reactionary mentality. Go Figure tackles the economics of independence. Blurry Brain feels loathing for the past. Out of my mind is upset over how the flag is treated. Market Manila on independence day cuisine.
Gigi Goes Gaga visited Malacañan Palace to attend the conferment of the insignia of National Artist on her father (whom I met recently at a Rotary Club of Makati luncheon where I was asked to speak on Charter Change -a very nice and jolly man!). McVie Show Season 4 reviews the soundtrack of his life (something I’ve been mulling over, recently, too).