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How much is that bishop in the window?
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on July 10, 2006 99 Comments 2 min read
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The big news that didn’t materialize yesterday was the non-appearance of a new pastoral letter by the Catholic hierarchy. The Inquirer says the schedule has, essentially, been derailed as prelates agonize over intensive lobbying by the Palace; the Manila Standard-Today claims its due to a genuine, and deep, division within the prelates’ ranks; the Daily Tribune claims the bishops are holding firm. To what? RG Cruz says the pastoral letter will detail some troubling developments, but be more of the same.

COMELEC report was toned down.

Armed forces denies it’s spying on its elite forces.

Coins being smuggled abroad.

Thaksin writes a letter telling on his opponents to Dubya. Will people power be back in Bangkok?

In the punditocracy, my column today, Malig debunks Defensor, is based on a recent blog entry by Jojo Malig in Thirtysomething v4.3, in which he basically shreds the legitimacy of the Madyaas Confederacy, as well as his entries on Kalantiaw, Sikatuna, andf other hoaxes, and his criticism of the Order of Lakandula. Malig also points to some online resources on the Maragtas legend, and the foreword to Maragtas, a book published in 1907 which was misinterpreted by some historians as fact and not legend.

Bong Austero is irked and reminds people that he, and others, are not stupid. Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ responds to those who believe churchmen should “move on.”

Carlos Medina, Jr. comments on the One Voice manifesto.

Patricio Diaz looks at the USA and sees how they issue student loans and amend their constitution.

In the blogosphere. An OFW Living in Hong Kong thinks bloody days ahead for the military are inevitable.

Bunker Chronicle suggests time should be allowed to take care of the administration.

Coffee with Amy on the continuing fallout from the President’s curt dismissal of her ambassador to the USA. Comelec AKO on overseas voting and voters.

Ignatian Perspective asks: if a blogger allows nasty comments, is that a tacit endorsement?

The Elegant Variation with a timely reminder: always check a writer’s pulse.

Whispers in the Loggia: wealth takes care of eliminating Church influence.

Our Awesome Planet points to a revival of a blast (and hangover) from the past: Kublai’s is back. Where my generation first learned to break curfew.

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  1. Mucho thanks for the piece, Manolo. It’s not a “lonely battle,” though. I am simply pointing out data culled from countless sources as regards corrections that should be done as regards our history.

    A more detailed argument against Mike’s “Madya-as Confederacy” will be posted within the week.

    Best regards.

  2. Bong Austero is easy to explain. He admires Gloria so much but he couldn’t explain it to himself why! He is not stupid– that’s what makes it worse!

  3. The only blatant anomaly I found with Bong Austero’s column was his assumption that those who loudly proclaim their opposition to Gloria are not doing what theyre supposed to be doing individually to make this country a better place. There is just no way he could know that.

    But on the whole, he gives voice to the exasperation many of our people feel, and one that those opposed to Gloria better consider isntead of dismissing. He is saying to them this: “We dont trust Gloria, but we dont trust you, either.” I cant say I blame him.

  4. The situation calls for us to take sides because not making a choice automatically benefits one side. Of course, the opposition has its share of tainted characters, but that’s because the ‘good guys’ choose to stay on the bench. By participating, they can help redefine the opposition into a form that is more trustworthy. From this standpoint, is ‘a pox on both your houses’ really a superior moral position or simply a cop-out?

  5. Ricelander:“He admires Gloria so much but he couldn’t explain it to himself why! He is not stupid– that’s what makes it worse!”

    Jon:“intolerant of dissent”

    Jeg:“blatant anomaly …opposition to Gloria are not doing what they’re supposed to be doing individually to make this country a better place.”

    BA is a lot of BS. BA mixes BS with sweet honey (for emotional and somewhat reasonable appeal) so ‘eloquently’ that reading BA seems palatable enough; but chewing BA-BS starts to make one a bit queasy ‘til one has swallowed enough to make one puke: “BA’s a lot of BS”. (Though, BA’s making some dough baking a lot of BS.)

  6. From cvj: The situation calls for us to take sides because not making a choice automatically benefits one side.

    If I read him correctly, he has taken a side. He is siding with those who in their private capacities make this country of ours better. Not in the spotlight, not on camera, but behind the scenes: the workers, the entrepreneurs. He has taken a side against politicians and their ilk and taken a side for the private individual doing his or her job without politicians screwing things up for them. His is an apolitical stance, if that’s possible. To be honest, I think that if we as individuals can find a way to make these politicias irrelevant, things will be so much better.

  7. It would have been ideal if it were the possible but the reality is, we cannot make politics or politicians irrelevant. It’s an aspect of life that is simply there and it would be impossible to will it out of existence. If there were no political arrangements, how then do we deal with matters that affect the Commons? As a practical example, in the 90’s, the former Communist states tried to make political institutions irrelevant (upon advice of the IMF) and their economies shrank by almost half.

    This, of course, does not rule out doing our part in our private capacities as workers, entrepreneurs or whatever other role. It’s just that there’s always a public side that we choose to ignore at our own peril.

  8. Kulang ang pamagat ng artikulo mo Mr. mlq3. Nakaligtaan mong isama yung aw, aw sa huli. Ang mga tuta ay nasa lahat ng lansangang. Pati na sa simbahan.

  9. jon mariano – bong austero is “intolerant of dissent” because he writes about his exasperation with the loud and repetitious bellyaching of some quarters? so he doesn’t agree with you and writes about it, so what? that doesn’t make him intolerant. shiz.

  10. Mr. Bong Austero exploits the weaknesses – the confusion, disenchantment, and now the desperation under GMA — of the so called ‘silent majority’ by claiming to be one of them, then shouting out loud that the politicians are all the same, the opposition is worse than Gloria, let’s give Gloria a chance, so we can move on.
    Eloquently, Bong Austero holds up before his audience target-objects of their anger and blame: one by one he makes them disappear into his ‘believe-me-I’m-one-of –you’ hat, and by a ‘slight of mind’— personalistic/emotional presentation and very tricky argumentation –, magically, he pulls out of the hat a very white cuddly little rabbit with an all too familiar toothy smile: “Hi! My name ish Gloria.”!!!

  11. dissent in a democracy does not mean doing everything you can to frustrate the government at every turn. dissent in a democracy means you voice your umbrage, but after doing that, you get back to work – hand in hand with the government you despise.

    the leading lights of the opposition simply cannnot presume that they speak for the masses (nor consider their sycophants as a representative sample of the masses) when, time and again, the masses have shown indifference to the oppositionist cause. what the masses need is governance and leadership. What sort of governance and leadership can there be when you have a congress that hardly ever passes laws? what sort of governance and leadership can there be when mayors cause kilometer-long traffic jams by offering up major thoroughfares for rallies – willingly causing inconvenience and loss of productivity to thousands simply to pander to the desires (however deeply and truthfully felt) of a few hundreds? What do these continued disruptions achieve?

    dissent is indispensable to a true democracy. but being in a democracy also means accepting that sometimes, people just don’t care as much about details as they do about the bigger picture of national progress and stability.

    But “can there be progress and stability with an illegitimate government?” That’s what every oppositionist likes to say – an obvious appeal to the moralist inside all of us. Well, this may sound harsh, but the simple answer is yes. Because the legitimacy of a government is an abstract concept that has little to do with the reality of providing jobs, attracting investors, and creating an environment conducive to widespread entrepreneurship. We all want a legitimate government – no argument there. But assuming that we do have an illegimate one, so the crud what? No. Really. So what? Foreign investors aren’t staying away because of issues of illegitimacy – they’re staying away because of political instability caused by the incessant attempts to undermine the government. They’re staying away because of unrestrained judicial legislation. They’re staying away because of corruption – and, believe it or not, corruption exists whether or not the government is legitimate.

    (and in any case, the issue of illegitimacy has – i think – become nothing more than a convenient excuse for many of the loudest voices. The real intent is to grab power, without the messy hassle of going through popular elections)

    so don’t stop slamming the government. but please, don’t be surprised if there are some of us who would rather work and live in peace and who prefer to work less dramatically for the national welfare.

  12. Walang problema si Bong ke gma. Yan ang problema. Ang suma ng mga boladas ni bong ay magtrabaho na lang tayo at makisama na lang kay gma. Hindi naman dahil sa hindi siya sangayon sa oposisyon ang kaso. Ang kinaiinisan ay ang pagka meron niya. Kibitzer siya. Maraming satsat. Keso di rin niya gusto si glueria, at di rin niya gusto ang kabilang panig. So, ibig sabihin, siya magaling at siya pakingan. E bistado naman na ala tuta rin siya, hindi ba?

    Para sa akin malinaw yan.

  13. Bong Austero is like a ‘deep penetration agent’ who digs deep into the ‘silent majority’ psyche then twists it to go for Gloria.

  14. okay lang Tonyo, para sa amin talagang mahirap ang buhay, para sa meron pa ok lang si Gloria, hanggang hindi kayo ang na-sapol ng mga kagagawan ni Gloria magaling pa kayong pumuna sa mga biktima, manang-mana kayo sa Pangulo ninyo, manhid.

  15. I don’t speak for anybody else by but myself, an ordinary OFW forced to work away from most of my family. I didn’t come to Hong Kong to make the Philippines better. I have the opinion that most of the ordinary workers anywhere in the world (including Filipinos) don’t go to work to make their countries better. It’s just a necessity to earn a living for if we can live without working, who else would go to work?

    Dissent to me is very simple, a differing in opinions. When you ask somebody to shut up because you don’t like what he says, to me, is being intolerant of dissent.

    I can continue airing my dissent to the Austeros and others of the Philippines while I move on with my daily life. That’s actually possible as I have been doing it for a while now.

  16. Dissent all you want as long as you don’t bother the rest. Your elbow ends where my nose begins – so you’ve got to respect the space of others, too. Don’t cause traffic jams that hinder others. Don’t create panic situations that cause fluctuations in the currency or hinder investments. There are many other Filipinos who don’t care about whatever you’re bitching about. And the problem with theese self-righteous, obnoxious and obsessed people is that they don’t get it. They don’t get it that most other people have their own lives to live and couldn’t care about that legitimacy gobbledygook or any of their high-falutin’ so-called “moral” stand. It all smacks of hypocrisy.

  17. antonio, legitimacy is more than an abstract issue. a society as unequal and divided as ours needs to have something beyond force and deception to move forward. otherwise, deals among power brokers take on more importance, and these guys don’t have our interest at heart.

    What remains of our stability is the due to the existence of our institutions which are currently being undermined by GMA’s legitimacy problem. just like in the case of Martial Law during the Marcos years, the effects may not be readily felt at first, but the deterioration is real. Even now, you can hear about the first batch of victims in the news.

  18. Sa tingin ko ang pagunlad ng kabuhayan ng mga mahal natin sa buhay sa pinas ay pagunlad din ng pinas, kahit sabihin pang hindi ang pag-unlad ng bayan ang unang pakay natin.

    Hindi ba natin inisip na pansamantala lamang ang pagtatrabaho natin sa ibang bayan? Na darating ang panahon na maging maayos ang pamamalakad ng ating pamahalaan at sa ganon ay makauwi tayo, magtrabaho sa sarili nating bayan at lasapin ang bunga ng ating sariling pagsisikap? Sino ba ang gustong mapilit na malayo sa kanilang pamilya?

    E yan nga si Bong, tamo, ayaw mag OFW, kaya yan ganyan. Dumikit sa pandikit!

    Nadagdagan ng pait ng kalagayan ng OFWs ng pinulitika ni gma ito. Ngayon she is making it official, magpaalila kayo! Yan ang bagong titulo ni gma. Presidenteng BUGAW!

  19. We have actually laws that govern almost all aspects of our democracy (even our lives). When the law is broken, the lawbreaker must be punished. When laws become outdated, we change them. If there is no law covering something we think needs to be regulated, we make one.

    For those who want GMA ousted, they are using whatever means are available(One Voice, B&W, Impeachment, Shame campaign, etc.). For those who just want to move on, well let them move on; but moving on is not the same for every body. Each voice must be given the same amount of weight. You never know when your voice will be in the minority too. “If” those asking for GMA’s head are in the minority, what will happen if they succeed? We will also move on, right?

    In my view, the proper attitude would be to let our society work eventhough how sick it is. Let it heal itself. Dissent is part of our society, if dissenters go beyond what is legal, throw the culprits to the slammer!

  20. Kawawa naman ang ‘silent majority.’ Kung sino-sino ang umaangkin. Has anybody considered why the ‘silent majority’ is silent? MLQ3 cited JB Baylon’s column a couple of weeks back in which Mr. Baylon has a hypothesis on why the silent majority is silent: It’s not their fight.

    Link here: http://www.malaya.com.ph/jun16/edbaylon.htm

  21. to answer the question above:

    ask the mining companies who have to deal with protesting clergymen in the guise of invironmental concern. sheez!

  22. Carl,
    “There are many other Filipinos who don’t care about whatever you’re bitching about.”

    Mas madami ang gustong mapalitan si Gloria. Mas madami ang ayaw kay Gloria. Hindi ako taong-rally. Malayo ako sa Maynila pero gusto ko ring ipaglaban ang tama. Nandaya si Gloria. Kailangan managot siya. Sa eleksyon malalaman kung ano ang gusto ng mas nakararami kayat walang basehan ang sinasabi mo kung ang dinadaya ang eleksyon. Kung walang dayaan, walang rally.

  23. Are ‘dissident’ bloggers bashing Glo-blogger Bong? Why not, Bong’s been bashing protest rallyists and “self-proclaimed patriots who mouth all kinds of incendiary statements in the name of love of country has once again begun”. Bong-bashing? Not really, just can’t stomach Bong’s spiels, spins, turns, like a literary ballerina dancing in a command performance for his Queen.

  24. The term ‘silent majority’ is a misnomer. The voice of the majority is load and clear. It is either you are no longer capable of listening, or, they’re just not talking you anymore.

  25. badong, wala namang dayaan ang nangyari sa panahon ni Erap nguni’t napakadalas at napakarami pa rin ng mga rally. May mga tao lang siguro na mahilig manggulo at gagamitin lang kahit anong dahilan.

    It’s really politics gone berserk. Too many power-hungry pretenders who will do everything within their means to grab power. And there are lots of people who can be bought . . . whether to attend rallies, to vote, to testify at hearings or to mount coups d’etat. Sure, almost everything has a price. And that holds true for almost any place. But here, a coup can be bought for P100 to P150 million. It may seem a like a large sum to some. But it’s affordable for many politicians. And for drug and gambling lords. So much for our state of national security. Hopefully, we can put a stop to this. Never mind if we don’t have the best President (we never did, anyway), let her just finish out her term so that we break this cycle of unseating the incumbent.

    A good number of Filipinos are tired of this game of musical chairs . . . since it has only produced disappointment and dragged the economy down. It is only sensible to tell off the troublemakers trying to sow chaos and disorder. These trouble-makers are just being used by hidden puppet-masters with their own sinister agenda.

    Magtatanong lang din ako, badong . . . if there are so many of you, why aren’t you guys getting anywhere?

  26. guys, in all matters of opinion, our adversaries are all insane—according to Mark Twain.

    listen to those who dare to differ in opinion. they may have something to say, insane or not.

  27. Tama ang sabi ni Bong, we don’t trust GMa but we don’t trust the opposition either. between two evils, I will not make a choice.
    I am a cat and a cat gets wisdom from experience. I will not sit on a hot stove lid again, never will I sit down on a cold one either.

    There is still a silent majority and they are still silent not because they do not hear what is being told them. THEY ARE NOT JUST CONVINCED.

  28. May isa akong di maintindihan. Hindi ba puwedeng pagsabayin yung “doing your part to move the country forward” at yung pagtake sides sa political issues?

    Kasi full time akong financial analyst sa isang corporate NGO. tapos part time teacher kapag gabi. tapos active rin ako sa political issues dahil may paki ako.

    wala namang conflict dun, di ba? bakit pinapalabas na kapag kasama ka sa active na dissenters sa gobyerno e hidni ka kasama sa nagtatrabaho para mapaunlad ang bansa?

  29. tama ka Paeng, dapat balanse, para sa pamilya at para sa bayan din, hindi puwedeng paghiwalayin

  30. carl,

    ang sagot diyan sa mga agam-agam mo ay malinis na eleksyon.

    ang tanong ko, bakit pinagpipilitan ni Gloria ang cha-cha, kung sila masusunod wala nang eleksyon sa 2007?

  31. Those of you who consider legitimacy ‘gobbledygook’ might as well give up your right to vote. In essence, that’s what it means. I’m not surprised, because many people do find such freedoms an inconvenience which explains why old dictatorships persist and new ones are born up to this day. The urge to ‘escape from freedom’ is human nature. But you cannot force others to do the same.

  32. Paeng, well said. I totally agree with you.

    It’s possible to be involved politically while doing other stuff for self and country.

  33. Sabi nila –
    “We dont trust Gloria, but we dont trust you, either.” I can’t say I blame him.

    Sabi ko –
    “Why not try trusting yourself”

  34. Attitude is the target of the ‘let’s move on’ propaganda. Without offering any reply to specific issues, propagandists tempt the resolve of the wavering, the confused, the poverty weakened, economically challenged to focus on their needs, secure their comfort zones and defend it when the rest of society is breaking down. They’ll even accuse you, really make feel the guilt you should be ashamed of for causing others’ discomfort if you just don’t mind your own selfish business.
    An attitude of suspicion and distrust towards others who differ are planted in any unwitting reader’s mind, enough for the seed of doubt to grow into hate. Ultimately, that’s the effect of what they say — a selfish attitude that can only lead to hate towards others.

  35. I can see that Bong Austero is still angry and depressed.
    He should ask his doctor to increase his dosage of Prozac .
    That’s about the only cure there is for the depression and despair caused by political self-emasculation.

  36. paeng and jon – you guys are right. there is no conflict between being an active political dissenter and being a productive member of society. alot of people are like that, and the government owes them a great deal of gratitude. but if you’re a senator, or a congressman, or a mayor, or a governor, or a general, or the like, you are a productive member of society only when you are helping it progress. So, when a senator or a congressman … becomes pre-occupied with active dissent to such an extent that he no longer performs his duty to the nation, then the conflict arises. He must then make a choice: is he a dissenter first and a public servant second? or the other way around?

    and please, let’s not trot out that tired old line about “dissent being in the public service.” when the public is totally screwed by acts of relentless dissent – like rallies, the failure to pass laws, and whatnot – the only interests being served are those of the relentless dissenters. They’re the ones who are going to reap the political windfall come election day, courtesy of the hard-working real people who think that these relentless dissenters shouted themselves hoarse for any reason other than self-aggrandizement.

    like I said, don’t stop bashing the government – or even bong austero – but let’s all please keep a wary eye out for those who are betting on riding the populist wave all the way to power.

  37. “An attitude of suspicion and distrust towards others who differ are planted in any unwitting reader’s mind, enough for the seed of doubt to grow into hate. Ultimately, that’s the effect of what they say — a selfish attitude that can only lead to hate towards others.”

    leosalvo, that’s pretty insightful. now think of how you feel towards people like bong austero who differ from YOUR opinion.

  38. antonio, thanks for explaining your stand, but as for Bong, i don’t think he limited his scope to just the kinds of people that you mention.

    Question, in the case of the members of the house of representatives who oppose endorsing the impeachment complaints to the Senate, would you classify them as dissenters or public servants?

  39. Bong Austero is a wuss. Somebody should bitchslap some spine into that man. While the opposition (esp.journalists) is being decimated by roving death squads, this pinko pundit would screech that his GOVERNMENT is being dissed to the ground. WTF!
    He looks pretty though in his pink polo.

  40. Antonio,
    You said, “and please, let’s not trot out that tired old line about “dissent being in the public service.” when the public is totally screwed by acts of relentless dissent”

    And why shouldn’t we trot out that line when the public is totally screwed by acts of relentless connivance and consent?

  41. manuel, you’re not a congressman are you? you can dissent all you want and, truth to tell, you won’t improve the situation or aggravate it. with congressmen and the like (soldiers included), the situation is different. when they let their work take a back seat to relentless dissent, the public suffering is increased, isn’t it? please tell me what is so hot about congress’ pitiful legislation record. and please tell me what is so hot about cowboy soldiers threatening withdrawal of support so often that they scare the bejeezus out of investors? you may applaud them for their integrity and courage and whatever else you want; but in the meantime, where does that leave the rest of the country?

    just a thought, manuel. why don’t you run for elected office so that you can be in a position where you can actually do some good for this country we all love? you seem to know all the answers.

  42. Ratifying amendments to the US constitution is not that easy. The process involves 50 states voting separately on the proposed amendment. I don’t know the exact number but I believe 2/3 of all 50 states have to say yes before the amendment is adopted.

  43. here we go again.

    yes, here we go again…as if we expect change from last year’s and in this ongoing stalemate…

    multiple choice: a, b, or none of the above

    So here we are again, back to where we started last year.

    It seems we have not learned any lesson at all. And by the looks of it, the cycle will continue until there is nothing left to fight for anymore. And we wonder why we are in a rut? And we blame the people for the mess?

    it’s again mulitple choice: pro, anti, or none of the above…

    it seems they haven’t learn any lesson at all. by the looks of it, the cycle will just continue and we’ll be forever in a rut…

    but I BLAME the people who chose none of the above…because it’s simply either you are pro-gloria (in favor of sideswiping the legitimacy issue and of moving on) or anti-gloria (with an agenda of “first things first” and still clamoring for the truth)…

    we have to take sides…it’s the only way to break the impasse…it’s the only way to unbalance the equation…it’s the only way that one side will lose…

    I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
    – Elie Weisel

    …only two sides of a coin…CHOOSE SIDES…if it really turns out to be face-up for gloria…(i hate it…but then again)…so be it.

  44. here we go again.

    yes, here we go again…as if we expect change from last year’s and in this ongoing stalemate…

    multiple choice: a, b, or none of the above

    So here we are again, back to where we started last year.

    It seems we have not learned any lesson at all. And by the looks of it, the cycle will continue until there is nothing left to fight for anymore. And we wonder why we are in a rut? And we blame the people for the mess?

    it’s again multiple choice: pro, anti, or none of the above…

    it seems they haven’t learned any lesson at all. by the looks of it, the cycle will just continue and we’ll be forever in a rut…

    but I BLAME the people who chose none of the above…because it’s simply either you are pro-gloria (in favor of sideswiping the legitimacy issue and of moving on) or anti-gloria (with an agenda of “first things first” and still clamoring for the truth)…

    we have to take sides…it’s the only way to break the impasse…it’s the only way to unbalance the equation…it’s the only way that one side will lose…

    I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
    – Elie Weisel

    …only two sides of a coin…CHOOSE SIDES…if it really turns out to be face-up for gloria…(i hate it…but then again)…so be it.

  45. baycas, we have to accept the reality that ‘not choosing sides’ in the face of such injustice is still considered an acceptable response. aparrently, intoning ‘pare-pareho lang kayo’ absolves one of any further responsibility as a citizen in the public sphere. it beats saying the rosary as a form of penance.

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