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Sep 25

Referendum on Estrada

The administration plan is laid out in Newbsreak: no need to enlist senatorial candidates with no Senate by May next year; a referendum and parliamentary elections, instead (though the true feelings of the House are reflected in Rep. Pichay’s proposal to postpone the elections at least to October next year); and then parliament could then immediately do the real work at hand, which is to further amend the constitution. I have no argument with Dan Mariano’s take on things -but Kit Tatad as the source is unfortunate. Anyway the issues are joined tomorrow at the Supreme Court, and it seems the main argument will be, bayonet Bernas:

In their manifestation before the Supreme Court, Sigaw ng Bayan and ULAP stressed that the primary objectives of the petitioners in proposing the shift to a unicameral parliamentary system are: The removal of the institutional gridlocks between Malacañang and Congress and between the Senate and the House; improvement of public governance; and democratization of the process of electing political leaders.

On the oppositors’ argument that the adoption of a parliamentary system entails a “revision” of and not just an amendment to the Constitution, ChaCha proponents contend the Constitution does not actually make a distinction between the two.

Even if there is such a fine distinction, they say, the proposed reform makes up a mere “amendment” and not “a revision” because it only covers a “single subject,” which is a systematic change in government.

Moreover, they point out that the anti-ChaCha groups are only relying on the opinion of 1986 Constitutional Convention delegate, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, that the parliamentary shift requires a “revision” and not a mere “amendment” to the Constitution. If Bernas is right, they ask why the Jesuit constitutional expert has not cited any “supporting authority” or jurisprudence to prove his point that a parliamentary switch represents a “revision” of, and not just an “amendment” to the 1987 Charter.

All options remain on the table. Even the House calendar is being prepped. The deadline seems to be a floating one, ranging from December to March next year for a plebiscite.

In contrast to other articles claiming the Thai generals moved to prevent Thaksin-led hooliganism, the Times of London suggests the motive was far less far-fetched: Thaksin was being heavy handed and bungling anti-insurgency efforts. In Thai coup sparked by failed war on Islamists, the Times argues,

According to sources briefed by the army high command, Thaksin’s bungled response to the insurgency in southern Thailand, which has claimed 1,700 lives in two years, was a critical factor in the generals’ decision to get rid of him.

Military intelligence officers intend to negotiate with separatists and to use psychological warfare to isolate the most violent extremists, in contrast to Thaksin’s heavy-handed methods and harsh rhetoric.

The question of the military and it’s security concerns -and justifications- reminds me of a recently-published, unauthorized, biography of the Thai monarch, “The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej” (Paul M. Handley). I first read about it on the FriscoDude blog. Interesting observations on the book are also in the blog of Matthew Hunt, as well as links to other reactions to the book can be found in Bookish (and in baratillo@cubao, a link to a book on Latin American juntas available free, online).

Long before the present coup and the alarm presently being raised by journalists in Thailand over the military government’s censorship of the internet and of community radio stations (though so far, not the newspapers), the biography of the king received official hostility and the site of the publisher was blocked: an Amazon reader-reviewer says scuttlebutt in Thailand is that the book was commissioned by Thaksin!.

One way or another, the points for comparison keep popping up, as Roby Alampay pointed out in the Asa Times.

Randy David yesterday compares the Thai coup to Edsa Dos in the Philippines and says the lesson is:

In the way we normally understand democracy, the September coup is certainly a setback for Thai democracy. But who are we to judge Thai politics? Are we in the Philippines really better off being stuck with a President we resolutely distrust? Do rigged elections, damaged institutions, corrupt politicians and indifferent citizens constitute the essence of democracy? The lesson from Thailand, as I see it, is this: The only alternative to uniformed men seizing power for whatever reason is a virtuous and informed citizenry that fiercely defends its liberties and militantly refuses to be enslaved by corrupt leaders.

Let’s hope moving against officials who lined their pockets actually works for the Thais. The Nation focuses on one big case and the difficulties involved in unraveling it.

In his blog, Asia Cable, veteran journalist Todd Cromwell discusses why the Thai Constitution, “one of the most progressive documents of its kind in the world,” ended up being scrapped by the Thai Junta:

In retrospect it is clear that all political factions in the country set out to subvert both the letter and the spirit of the liberal document almost from the beginning. That includes, of course, the deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and members of his party, known colorfully as the “Thais Love Thais” Party.

For example, under the constitution the elected senate is not so much a legislative body, as it is in the United States, as it is a kind of guardian council. But from the beginning Thaksin senators abrogated their role as watchdogs to secretly serve the government’s agenda.

The senate’s support made it possible for the government to subvert supposedly independent bodies, such as the Election Commission. Three members of the commission were earlier imprisoned for trying to manipulate the results of the April 2 general election.

But the not-so loyal opposition parties also failed the country when they determined to boycott a general election because they knew they would lose. That led to the election being annuled and directly to the current political impasse. It finally took the army to cut through the Gordian Knot.

As the Bangkok Post editorialized: “Democracy is not just about free elections Rather, the democratic process is difficult daily task of making authorities accountable to voters and reining in the politicians who abuse the agreed legal framework.”

In a commentary today, Kavi Chongkittavorn says Western diplomats remain ambivalent about the coup not because of democracy, but because of their bottom dollar -Thaksin signed to many big deals not to be fondly viewed by the diplomatic corps. The commentary goes on to stipulate which provisions of the now-scrapped constitution should be kept.

The Beijing correspondent of a Taiwan newspaper describes a debate on whether a similar coup could take place in China. The verdict? Corruption is so endemic everyone has a piece of the graft, so no chance of a coup.

Students in Bangkok defied the military (and will do so again this afternoon); students in Quezon City defied the AFP chief of staff.

In the punditocracy, my column for today is Referendum on Estrada. He’s not getting a fair trial. So let him settle the issue by running for office.

Bong Austero on heart disease treatments. Billy Esposo on an outrageous murder. Jojo Robles with a reader’s blunt questions: how much of the conventional wisdom’s based on actual facts?

Yesterday, Ramon Farolan pointed out two generals in the Thai coup are products of the Philippine Military Academy. Patricia Evangelista offered up a reflection on General Palparan.

And in The New Kyoto Review of South East Asia: an audio recording of an interview with Ferdinand Marcos, 6 months before he fell from power (the beginning, complete with clinking cutlery, is Imelda Marcos as the opening act: then Marcos begins with a lot of table-thumping; it’s interesting to hear him talking conversationally and reminiscing about the war). You can see why, even at the end of the road, sick, ailing and with a brain dulled by illness, Marcos remained a formidable person and respected even by many of his critics (and how loony the dictatorship had become, with Imelda’s prattle). The moment Imelda leaves the room, Marcos slides into his tried and tested, smooth lawyerly persona. It’s rather charming how Marcos keeps saying, “don’t you think so?”

In the blogosphere, Thai coup fallout, thinking-wise, in unlikely places. Sun Protective wonders what would happen if there was a coup or martial law in the USA. The possible response: a couch potato rebellion.

Other places where prime ministers are in trouble: Wonkette quotes what the Hungarian Prime Minister said to provoke rioting (tongue firmly in cheek, she asks, he lied, but so what?).

One Man in Bangkok describes how he spent the coup and what it’s like living under martial law. Notice the Thais have something we don’t: tanks (well, they also have an aircraft carrier, albeit mothballed).

Another Malaysian irked by Lee Kwan Yew.

Philosophical Scratchpad takes a Malaysian and philosophical look at what Filipinos know as the bangungut.

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And finally, via Perpetual Thursday, a link to what has to be one of the niftiest blogs around: Indexed. A life lesson, every day, on an index card, but online! Plus, lots and lots of a personal fetish of mine -Venn Diagrams!

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78 comments

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  1. Global Pinoy

    DJB,

    Thanks, The proposed ‘ammendment’ is a dubious and devious initiative.

  2. justice league

    rego,

    I’m going to guess that you probably urinated the stone out. I’m going to guess again that you and your Attending Physician don’t know each other. That’s likely to happen in HMOs. Still your AP should paid more attention to your needs. But you should be thankful to your nurse. An institution like St. Luke’s usually guards a patient’s chart and photocopying anything will need the consent of your AP.

    Stomach ache, chalk that one to hospital food.

    DJB,
    That the People’s Initiative is self defeating because it needs a law; you have a point but I must disagree on the whole.
    THe Swiss have been engaged in their own “Popular Initiative” to amend their own Constitution for over a CENTURY already. yet their own Charter mandats that a Federal law must be provided. The Swiss Parliament was just more conscientious than our Congress. The Federal law provides the guidelines for the initiatives. It mandates that a group of at least 7 INITIATORS serve as the initiative Committee, only 18 months are allotted from the beginning of gathering 100,000 signatures, etc…. If they fail to get those many sigantures in that time frame, then the Initiative fails.

  3. justice league

    DJB,

    I have to disagree on the Triviality issue. Even the Swiss are content on what they. On the one hand, they can call for the Parliament to revise the charter.

    A few years ago, an initiative was conducted to amend their provision on women’s health. the impact would have been large even with a simple amendment. Abortion would have been totally illegal unless the mother’s life was in danger. they lost there and the fallout was huge.

    Abortion laws were actually liberalized more after that.

  4. justice league

    Ex Pres. Estrada is not on trial in the Supreme Court. His hearing is at the Sandigan BAyan.

    I’m going to tell you something that happened in the trial. They tried a verification of whether the amount of money allegedly given is plausible under the circumstances. THe witness (Singson) related perviously that the money was contained in certain type of boxes. So the boxes were prepared and filled with money.

    Totalled up, it amounted to only 2/3 the amount said to be involved. the defense had a field day with that finding saying that it disproves the allegations.

    Now, the boxes were filled up with bundles of 1000 and 500 peso bills (since they had the same dimensions as the 1000). Those bills were loaned from the Central Bank.

    But the Central Bank does not allow “good” money to be loaned even for court purposes. what the CB did was to loan bills that were already to be shipped for destruction. Bills that were frayed, torn or even held together by scotch tape.

    Anyone here play with cards? take a deck of new paper playing cards and play with it for several months. then try to insert it back into the box. Will all the cards fit?

    Obviously, when one is bribed with money; you give usable money. IF INDEED Ex pres. estrada was given money, it would be in usable money and not with bills fit for destruction.

    When you pack old bills together and compare them with new ones, one might notice that the new ones tend to lie flat while the old ones flay or bulge at the end or the middle depending on where they are packed. and then the discrepancy just continues when several of the same bundles are stacked over each other.

    Now, is it possible that those said boxes could actually contain more money than what their experiment showed if only new or usable bills where used instead of old and damaged ones?

    This theory was never put forward before the Sandigan bayan and I wonder why no member of the prosecution got wind of this.

  5. justice league

    Now that that the SC has heard the oral arguments; I think it is no longer a trump card to hold on to this piece of info.

    Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. But the SC has shown that this is not in total.

    Back in 2001, MAMAYAN AYAW SA DROGA ran for the party list in Congress and had the second number of votes for party list next to Bayan Muna. They should have gotten the maximum 3 seats in Congress for party list seats.

    But they were disqualified after the fact. Even though the sovereignty resides in the people and the people have ALREADY spoken with their votes, their voice was lost on the Supreme Court.

    In a decision penned by then Justice Panganiban and concurred upon by Justice PUno (the 2 remaining justices in the SC who happened to have dissented on the PIRMA decision and actually thinks that there is an enabling law for the people’s initiative) MAD was disqualified from holding any seat as IT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN QUALIFIED TO JOIN AS A PARTY LIST GROUP.

    I think the SC balance the voice of the people with the voice of reason.

    Torn, you actually have jurisprudence on your side.

  6. tbl

    suing someone is really not a good idea. most of the time problems occur because of miscommunication. problems can be solved by proper dialogs between two parties involved (in majority of cases).

    i know for a fact that mds have nothing in their minds but to serve the patient, make them better and perhaps prolong the life of the patient, not to mention lessen their sufferings, depending on the particular patient involed.

  7. rego

    Justice league, thats exactly what happened, I myself ended guessing that I may have urinated teh stobne when I read that something like scratch in my urinary tract that got infected…And even uyse that as expalination when I got back to work. Your right ther was really a very poor communication with my AP but it more on him not on me. I did try hard contacting him but I am always told that he out of office. And when I was discharged, I was told that he is out of the country. And yes of course the nures just did me a big favor by photocopying the medical records. Kahit uncle ko na doctor pinagalitan ako when I brought to him all those records.

    yes tbl, there is really no point to sue that AP. Afterall there was no further damage don. Im just pissed everytime im reminded of such event.

  8. rego

    Susmaryosep! PATALSIKIN NA, NOW NA! Ano pa ang hinihintay ninyo, you slowpokes!!!

    Yuko,

    Its just so easy to say this…. But come to think of it. This exactly what we have done to Erap. And look what mess do we have now….Thats is why I feel that if we have to depose Gloria it should only be through an impeachment proceeding. Yung talang complete proceedings, with all the evidence presented and verdict is out from the impeachment court.

    Everybody knows that throwing Gloria out would is just so easy with people power or a military coup or civil disobendience. But people know better now. Personally I believe its just so shortsighted to just depose Gloria by people power or military coup.

  9. torn

    Before this interesting discussion completely dies out, may I say that I am proud to have taken part in a significant first — the first discussion in internet history to seamlessly blend constitutional law, kidney stones, the difference between an amendment and a revision, caeserian section, and Erap all at the same time.

  10. mlq3

    everyone -torn, djb, rego et al- i’ve only had a chance to really weigh in now.

    re: estrada. my opinion stems from an observation made by quite a few others, which is the plebiscatory nature of our democracy. great politcal divisions have been addressed by means of turning particular elections into a kind of plebiscite (particularly in the 20s and 30s) where the fight was viewed as a settlement of a question. since national elections for the senate began, individual senatorial contests have also been viewed as referenda on leadership questions (laurel for example) and campaigned as such; while the mid-term senate elections have become viewed as indirect referenda on the sitting administration (quirino, macapagal, marcos most notably). remember the elections of may, 2001 were fought as a referendum on edsa dos (succesfuly so, for the edsa dos camp, a repudiation began with the 2004 elections).

    we assume estrada would win: and he just might, but remember he would have to win massively, too, and cheating aside, that may not be the case. i do think it’s harmful to drag out his case and we have to trust the electorate to decide the issue, because i’m no longer convinced the courts can do so. what i think is pretty remote, is that in case you could run estrada for the presidency, he’d win.

    the public in its wisdom elected gringo honasan to the senate so he could put up or shut up -and proved incapable of causing much trouble, but kept him within the political system. it could do the same thing to estrada. he represents an authentic constituency and it deserves representation -as well as a kind of insurance that was lost with estrada’s being put in jail. previous presidents, once out of office, were left alone and the peace maintained. when estrada was locked up we guaranteed his successors would have to contemplate a similar fate and the president’s proving no sitting president will take that lightly (fvr regularly gets called by the senate, too, and since he didn’t get his anointed elected president it’s been trouble for him since 1998).

    i’m not advocating a direct plebiscite on estrada. but you can’t stop him for running for the senate (or even the House, or mayor, but that’s small potatoes, politically) unless you abolish the senate -and you wouldn’t be able to stop him from turning his candidacy into a referendum on himself. such a victory wouldn’t stop prosecution before the courts, but you’d make him less of a martyr.

    personally, i think we should go the way of the french and make plebiscites more of an integral part of our politics. not just nationally, but locally.

  11. torn

    previous presidents, once out of office, were left alone and the peace maintained.

    — But that’s not quite true. The two presidents who were kicked out of office for their misdemeanors, Marcos and Estrada, were pursued by the courts and rightly so. Marcos was exiled and Estrada jailed awaiting trial

    The way Erap and Marcos left office has to be taken into account. I don’t think it is possible to equate Marcos and his helicopter and Erap and his barge with the orderly and constitutional ends of the Aquino and Ramos presidencies.

    Although I would have been opposed to it at the time, perhaps Gloria could have followed Gerald Ford’s line with Nixon and pardoned Estrada for any crimes he may have committed (i.e., the pardon comes before the judgment). That’s a weird and morally shaky position to take but in terms of healing wounds it would have been better than the impasse we have had for over 5 years now.

    Either that or the Yanks could have provided a plane and whisked Erap off to Hawaii.

    I do completely agree about more direct democracy though. As Justice League pointed out above, the model is Switzerland, where if you want to blow your nose you have to hold a referendum. Developments in IT will make this possible and bring this much abused term democracy closer to the original Athenian model.

    There are only two problems: (i) implementation of these referenda will depend on the political class (which will of course feel threatened by being cut out of the decision-making loop), and (ii) the old problem — how are they to be policed and run fairly?

  12. cvj

    As a way of going about resolving our national problems, we have a choice of turning towards the Athenian direct-democracy model, or alternatively, falling-back on the Platonic philosopher-king route. Right now, many are still hoping for a Messiah (increasingly in the form of the military), but as Justice League has alluded to in his analogy above, we have so far gotten only Barabbas. Our history shows that it is unrealistic to expect a Jesus-equivalent to come along. In the absence of an assured supply of wise philosopher-kings, a turn towards the plebiscitary model is, probabilistically speaking, the less risky choice. Technology wise, as long as the people can text in their votes, i think this system can be incorporated into the people’s daily lives.

  13. rego

    “the public in its wisdom elected gringo honasan to the senate so he could put up or shut up -and proved incapable of causing much trouble, but kept him within the political system. it could do the same thing to estrada. he represents an authentic constituency and it deserves representation -as well as a kind of insurance that was lost with estrada’s being put in jail.”

    With Loi and Jinggoy in teh Senate and JV on as a mayor I feel that the estrada constituents is over represented already. If Erap runs for seanate Im very sure he will win. Its only a question of topping the election or not. And then what??

  14. Chabeli

    Regarding ERAP:
    Doesn’t Gloria also drink HEAVILY? Oh, the spanish cuss words she says when she’s wasted! The way she berrates people! And ERAP is worse, huh?

  15. justice league

    There are many groups that have allied together to fight the so called “people’s initiative” in the Supreme Court.

    These groups should bear in mind that another fight is looming in the Supreme Court and that is whether the House of Representatives can go at it alone to revise/amend the Contitution in the CONASS mode.

    What ever argument that is going to be used in the current case might just come back to haunt the groups in the next case so they should be wary of what arguments to put forward and what arguments of the other protagonists that must be let go.

    There is an old story/rumor about CM Recto or Dakila Castro ( I just can’t remember who of the 2). The story goes that the lawyer concerned won 2 cases using one argument in one and countering it in the other before the same judge.

    It was said that the judge was surprised to hear him counter the same argument he used in the other case before.

    He supposedly remarked that “Your honor I am now most certain as could ever be that I WAS WRONG IN THE PREVIOUS CASE”

    If this story proves to be true; I don’t think we can be that lucky to get away with it.

  16. cvj

    “And then what??” – Rego

    …and then we move on.

  17. torn

    CJJ — I think this point was well addressed by Bokyo above:

    “We should also establish first and exhaust everything in our hands to find out what really happened before we go into the process of finding solutions or actions. If we will always say that “let us just move on” we are also just allowing somebody or something to escape unchecked which will render our future decisions wrongly affected as well.”

    The key word is accountability. That’s what is missing in the Philippines. I was talking yesterday to an Indian friend who had recently returned to Manila. India is of course another flawed democracy, with many of exactly the same problems as here. Still, as she put it, at least progress is being made and politicians are regarded as answerable for their actions. Not so here, where the rich and powerful can literally get away with murder. You think Palparan is going to receive justice (unless it is an NPA bullet in the head)?

    I’m with Bokyo — this “moving on” thing supposes that we will “move on” to a clean sheet whereas in fact we will simply “move on” with even more baggage than before. Moving on from Edsa 2 will probably just mean the victory of the Estrada forces.

    And on that point, I think Rego put it well:

    With Loi and Jinggoy in teh Senate and JV on as a mayor I feel that the estrada constituents is over represented already.

  18. cvj

    Torn, you and Bokyo are of course right. However, we in the anti-Erap camp can only demand accountability if we ourselves come with clean hands. Those who have opposed Erap are constrained to demand the same standards from Arroyo. If we are seen to take the position (as many have) that ‘yes we know Arroyo cheated, but we forgive her just the same’, then all bets are off. Before Garci, the EDSA 2 crowd can still exercise moral suasion. After Austero, that option is not there anymore. (I know that you yourself and many others here also oppose Arroyo so my apologies in advance for lumping you together with the “let’s move on” crowd, but realistically, i don’t believe the masa are into nuance.)

  19. Bokyo

    For me, besides accountability, what we are lacking are clear decisions. We always take for granted those major things that should be cleared and decided one way or another. Para bang lagi na lang “makakalimutan din yan balang araw”. Which almost always yun nga ang nangyayari. Sa huli tayo rin ang nagsu-suffer at nagko cause tuloy ng divisiveness. Justice is not all about winning cases or letting somebody punished. It is about seeing everything is being done to arrive at the truth. Mas madali sa yung kalooban yung kahit natalo ka man ay nakita mo ng malinaw ang lahat. Then mas masarap mag “move on” di ba?

  20. john marzan

    re: estrada. my opinion stems from an observation made by quite a few others, which is the plebiscatory nature of our democracy. great politcal divisions have been addressed by means of turning particular elections into a kind of plebiscite (particularly in the 20s and 30s) where the fight was viewed as a settlement of a question. since national elections for the senate began, individual senatorial contests have also been viewed as referenda on leadership questions (laurel for example) and campaigned as such; while the mid-term senate elections have become viewed as indirect referenda on the sitting administration (quirino, macapagal, marcos most notably). remember the elections of may, 2001 were fought as a referendum on edsa dos (succesfuly so, for the edsa dos camp, a repudiation began with the 2004 elections).

    so bakit pa nag edsa dos and go extra-constitutional? eh mananalo naman pala eh. sana naghintay na lang until the may 2001 elections para makuha ang majority sa senado at ma impeach ng tuluyan si erap.

  21. john marzan

    since national elections for the senate began, individual senatorial contests have also been viewed as referenda on leadership questions (laurel for example) and campaigned as such; while the mid-term senate elections have become viewed as indirect referenda on the sitting administration (quirino, macapagal, marcos most notably). remember the elections of may, 2001 were fought as a referendum on edsa dos (succesfuly so, for the edsa dos camp, a repudiation began with the 2004 elections).

    we assume estrada would win: and he just might, but remember he would have to win massively, too, and cheating aside, that may not be the case.

    he needs to win “massively” too? as in maging senatorial topnotcher siya? sa loob ng kulungan?

    oh erap will win a senate seat kung tumakbo siya, manuel. and it’s not exactly that hard to do since you only need to place in the top 12. kung nagawa ni jinggoy yan, siya pa.

    i just don’t see the point of him running for the senate, that’s all.

    indirect referendum on this admin? hindi ba “referendum” na rin yung 2004 presidential elections na ninakaw ni arroyo? balak raw ni JV ejercito na tumakbo sa senado, and he’ll probably win too, dahil lang sa surname niya. tapos papatakbuhin mo pa si erap.

    don’t we have enough estradas in the senate already, kuya m?

    what i think is pretty remote, is that in case you could run estrada for the presidency, he’d win.

    i have to disagree. kung may special elections, at pinayagang magkampanya si erap sa labas ng kulungan niya, there’s a good chance that he might win. (hindi ba survey after post edsa dos survey show na mas popular pa si erap kaysa kay gma?)

    but do we really want another erap presidency? I say no. enough! the fact na rego is making more sense to me shows how bizarro the idea is, mlq3.

  22. mlq3

    john, the electoral option points to how bankrupt the administration is, in terms of lacking popular support. estrada clings to the fiction he’s still president, and the signs are he intends to cling to it.

    but in case he abandoned that fantasy, it would present a formidable threat to the admin. it can count its lucky stars estrada prefers to cling to his illusions.

    personally i don’t see an end to the hostility between estrada’s constituency and the constituency clinging to the admin. that hostility’s being fed by estrada facing the prospect of death by lethal injection should he be convicted -or his being played with while the admin decides what, if anything, it should do.

    i think most people are sensible enough not to want either an estrada restoration or a brand new estrada presidency. and if things were allowed to play out in an election -any election- it might finally help dislodge the cork that’s kept pressure building up. at least half the pressure, since the admin also won’t budge.

    of course we can also debate if this couldn’t have all been solved by one of three things:

    1. if estrada had formally resigned
    2. if he’d simply left the country
    3. if the public had apprehended him at the palace and lynched him
    4. if he’d been swiftly tried or swiftly pardoned

    but none of these things happened, so what would you have those who support him do?

  23. john marzan

    that hostility’s being fed by estrada facing the prospect of death by lethal injection should he be convicted -or his being played with while the admin decides what, if anything, it should do.

    hindi ba wala nang death penalty?

    of course we can also debate if this couldn’t have all been solved by one of three things:

    1. if estrada had formally resigned
    2. if he’d simply left the country
    3. if the public had apprehended him at the palace and lynched him
    4. if he’d been swiftly tried or swiftly pardoned

    but none of these things happened, so what would you have those who support him do?

    para sa akin, wala na talagang kinalaman si erap sa takbo ng bansa natin after 2001 (responsibilidad ni arroyo yan) o kung anong ginawa ni arroyo at garci noong 2004.

    erap’s a thing of the past. erap’s sooooo 2001. let’s not give erap any more ideas, okay? besides, i expect the courts to find him guilty, then arroyo will pardon erap. kung hindi tinanggap ni erap yung pardon, hindi na problema ni arroyo yan.

    basta ma-pardon na si erap, matutuwa na ang mga supporters niya, since ibig sabihin niyan ay makakalaya na si erap. pati majority ng mga bishops sa CBCP (yung mga maka-arroyo) matutuwa rin at pupuriin nila si GMA for this “great humanitarian gesture” and act of mercy that goes a long way to heal the deep divisions within our country. i’m sure may konting aangal, pero overall, majority approves.

  24. john marzan

    It seems clear, though, that the government can’t afford a verdict handed down either way (if Estrada is acquitted, administration allies will rebel

    i don’t believe so. yung mga “idealists” na kakampi ni Arroyo –sila yung most likely na magagalit, katulad nung nagalit sila nung nalaman nila ang garapalan na pagnanakaw sa boto– noong edsa dos ay nagsi-alisan o iniwanan na si GMA.

    Ang natitira na lang na supporters ni arroyo ay yung mga so-called “realists”. yan ang mga taong susuporta kay arroyo kahit na alam nilang ninakaw niya ang election at may authoritarian tendencies ang corrupt pangulo nila, dahil natatakot silang mapunta sa opposition ang malacanang.

    “realists”. ganyan rin ang tawag sa mga marcos loyalists dati.

    ganyan rin ang polisiya ng US noong 1970’s to early 80’s sa pilipinas at mga ibang latin american countries at sa middle east.

  25. cvj

    John, my impression is that the Marcos loyalists (those who rallied regularly at the Luneta during Cory’s time) were mostly idealists. I agree with you that the main difference now is that there are no die-hard Arroyo-loyalists. I can’t imagine anyone would be willing to take a bullet for the current occupants of Malacanang. As a result, a disproportionate share of Arroyo’s support comes from elitists and balimbings who would have no trouble shifting allegiance to a military junta.

  26. john marzan

    you’re right, cvj. i should not have included the marcos loyalists. hindi sila mga “realists”. mga fanatics rin sila, katulad ng mga supporters ni estrada.

  27. Bencard

    GMA created die-hard enemies from the moment she assumed the presidency. One senator, Aquilino Pimentel, was at the grandstand holding an umbrella for her while she was taking the oath of office at Edsa. Not long after, the man was boud-mouthing GMA at every turn. Ditto w/ Teofisto Guingona who after being chosen vice president by GMA, spearheaded the failed attempts to oust her. The hatred of GMA’s enemies intensified when she decided to run for reelection in 2004. When she won, desperate detractors and “wannabees” had to question her legitimacy on the basis of wiretapped conversation of unproven authenticity. Too bad, many are gullible enough to join the hatemongering through use of anti-GMA insults and hateful epithets.

  28. diozel o. gonzales

    what is the l on your name is’nt your mother surname or your other name.

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