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Force multipliers
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on October 18, 2006 65 Comments 8 min read
Arroyo Moves Underscore That Resistance Is Indeed Futile Previous Romp assembly Next

The most important news today is, of course, the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision on the PCGG vs. the Senate, as summarized by the Inquirer

The suspension of Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay hogs the headlines: the Inquirer editorial calls it a Putsch in Makati. Even the Philippine Star, in its editorial, says charges of political persecution can’t be ducked. Ferdinand Marcos operated by an iron-clad rule, someone once told me: avoid making martyrs of your enemies at all costs. The Makati Mayor has become one, at least for the opposition, which may be a little less fragmented today than it was yesterday.

Newsbreak has an update and photos on what’s going on, as well as a link to an earlier story that says the Palace really has it in for the opposition mayor.

I’d like to reprise a piece I wrote back in 2001 when I accompanied my then-boss Teddy Locsin, Jr. on the stump (back then I wasn’t too thrilled with Binay, who’d stayed loyal to Estrada):

This writer once accompanied a sortie made by candidate Locsin, and ran into Jejomar Binay, who knows that this writer has been no fan of Binay. But Binay, instead of pandering to this writer, merely acknowledged that they once stood on opposite camps: “So, you are the one who has hit me, and hit me hard in what you have written,” he said to me, and then finished off by saying, “good.”

Sitting beside Binay as he sat down and shoveled rice into his mouth is to see why all the earnestness of people like this writer will amount to nothing compared to what people like Binay do. In between handfuls of rice Binay’s eyes rove, and his mind probes: “Two corners away, there is garbage on the sidwalk,” he informs an anxious Barangay Kagawad; and then, pointing to mass housing he has put up and been attacked for having set up, he points to a street lamp and tells another nervous local leader, “that lamp has burned out and needs a new bulb.” He gulps down some water, and then looks up at the ceiling: “when was this barangay hall last painted? You have adequate funds, why haven’t you attended to this?” People are not only kept on their toes; they are doomed to accountability.

The writer must confess to renewed respect for Binay, whom this writer observed in action even when Binay no longer knew that this writer was observing him. It is not just palabas on Binay’s part; it is the nitty-gritty, the hard work, the attention to detail that wins loyalty house by house, street by street, barangay by barangay and returns an overwhelming mandate election by election.

Yesterday I was asking around at ANC about the Borgy-for-mayor trial balloon, and was told that all there is to it, is Imee Marcos not getting along with her mom, and thus floating the candidacy of her son to irritate dear mama. Presuming Imee is, indeed, an oppositionist, my theory that Imelda would serve the interests of the President were she to run, still holds.

The President has mobilized her already-helpful barangay officials: they are now “force multipliers” in the wake of international warnings of a new round of terrorist activity.
Social Weather Stations has some cool charts worth peeking at:

How people felt about the manner in which the first and second impeachments were handled:
Impeachmentcomp
Survey results on how people felt about the speed with which the 2nd impeachment was dealt with:
Impeachmentspeed-1
The President’s standing before the people, compared to her predecessors:
Net Satisfaction Prexy
The President’s standing before the people, measured over her public career:
Netsatisfaction Gma
How different social classes feel about the President:
Netsatisfactionbyclass

In the punditocracy, my Arab News column for this week is Arroyo Moves Underscore That Resistance Is Indeed Futile. See similar thoughts from An OFW Living in Hong Kong.

Bong Austero raises a good point about cities run by non-resident mayors.

Gail Ilagan recounts going up a mountain on a motorcycle to deliver school supplies to rural kids:

Looking at our mountain of books, paper products, crayons, pencils, and other school materials, it dawned on us that the problem of literacy education is not a problem of lack. It is, like any other form of social deprivation in these islands, a problem of distribution.

Greg Macabenta on succesful Filipino-American retailers.

The Korea Times points to recent foreign investments as a vote of confidence in the country and suggests further relaxing rules on investments; Manuel Buencamino advises Kim Jong-Il to join America’s side in the War on Terror.

How’s this for spin? Khien Theeravit says Thailand didn’t have a coup d’etat, it had a “coupe de grace”:

The tyranny of the majority sometimes develops when the will of the majority is put above the law or the social contract. When this happens, the civic body ends, and a state of nature re-emerges. In this state of nature, there is only the “law of the jungle”. Hence, there is no “right” or “wrong”, but rather “might is right”. All fighters in the state of war risk their own lives. The one who wins the battle gains the right to form a new “leviathan”.

The Thaksin regime can be appropriately termed a “tyranny of the majority”, because Thaksin and his cohorts systematically violated the Constitution and the law of the land. The regime theoretically turned Thailand into a state of nature. General Sonthi and his close associates exercised their natural right to seize political power by risking their own lives, in accordance with the “law of the jungle”.

Viewed in this light, all coups are neither “legal” nor “illegal”, because the people involved are in a state of nature. A coup that overthrows an illegal government, a tyrannical regime, elected or non-elected, is necessarily good, but a coup that seizes political power for the coup-makers’ personal interest is undeniably evil.

A very Enlightenment-era argument. Incidentally, Ralf Dahrendorf argues that there is a need to resolve to defend the principles of the Enlightment:

There are questions here that are not easily answered by civilized defenders of the enlightenment. Toleration and respect for people who have their own beliefs are right and perhaps necessary to preserve an enlightened world. But there is the other side to consider. Violent responses to unwelcome views are never justified and cannot be accepted. Those who argue that suicide bombers express understandable grudges have themselves sold out their freedom. Self-censorship is worse than censorship itself because it sacrifices freedom voluntarily.

In the blogosphere, with regards to ComelecAKO’s reporting an allegation that Christian Monsod is a shareholder in , I asked him about it and Monsod pointed out that while he was an incorporator, he divested himself of his shares when he entered the Comelec in 1991. And that he has neither attended any meetings or repurchased any stock in the company since. Public records will bear him out, he said, and he only wished people had double-checked before leaping to the conclusion he’d allow any conflicts of interest.

The UnLawyer looks at the legal case against Binay. Blogosphere buzz, too from The Bystander, from Underneath Hazim’s Pajama, from Philippine Politics.

Some favorable words from what’s brewing who says:

I work in Makati and the only basis I have for my opinion is the fact that I view Makati as one of the most organized communities that I know. It is the only place where I never attempt to break traffic laws, where I find government offices tolerable, where I fear law enforcement officials, where I would prefer to live if not for the steep housing rates…What does that mean for Makati taxpayers?… Welcome Lito Lapid!

While tick tacks says they’re close to the mayor. Microhierax Chronicles states his support for Binay.

Iloilo City Boy compares it to Enrile holing up in Camp Crame in 1986. A Nagueño in the Blogosphere points out Binay’s a finalist for the world mayor award, and suggests the Court of Appeals won’t be much of a comfort, judging from Naga City’s experience, but most of all, it’s about plunder for the Palace:

Last year’s annual audit report for Makati, available here, actually provides the details. The upper limit of P8 billion, I think, factors in the city government’s enormous (by Philippine local government standard) cash hoard of P3 billion by end of 2005. The lower limit (P6 billion) is the more accurate measure of its resource base; it includes P1.1 billion in Special Education Fund (SEF) tax collection, which the eight-man Local School Board appropriates annually. (Sec. 235, Local Government Code of 1991)

That makes Makati, together with Quezon City, the only members of the LSB Billionaire’s Club in the Philippines.

How does the government keep the poverty level low? Have a ridiculous definition for the poverty line. It’s at earning 36 pesos a day. Can anyone live on that? The PCIJ blog investigates.

Ang Pinoy na Naman says it’s counterproductive to lump non-oppositionists with Palace supporters. There’s a difference.

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  1. GMA is the one who should be PERMANENTLY SUSPENDED !!!
    In the first place, she STOLE the PRESIDENCY …

    RONNIE PUNO – You should GO TO HELL, the PHILIPPINES is BETTER off without PEOPLE like you

    Magsama sama na kayo mga kampon ni Satanas

  2. United Nations works with a dollar a day as threshold, so GMA must be working with an exchange-rate long past gone.

  3. DILG PUNO should know that GHOST employees EXISTS in MANILA
    MUNTINLUPA and in other CITIES that MAYOR are CLOSELY-RELATED to the FAKE PRESIDENT GMA !!!

    This is a CLEAR case of POLITICAL HARASSMENT !!!

    We can all GET EVEN by NOT SUPPORTING candidates endorse by

    GMA – LET US ALL SUPPORT the OPPOSITION and ELECT OPPOSITION

    CONGRESSMEN to END THE REIGN OF EVIL GLORIA !!!

  4. MLQ3,

    Let me call everyone’s attention to the SWS graphs on the presidents NET SATISFACTION RATINGS over time. Please notice that the plots cover several years worth of data, so that each data point represents the results for a unique Quarterly National Survey. Notice how jagged and unsmooth the data is. It jumps up and down in an erratic pattern when viewed on timescales of less than about a year and suffers episodic and predictable declines for all presidents.

    But the NSR is a lousy statistic because as I have pointed out its MARGIN OF ERROR is plus or minus SIX PERCENT (twice the size of the normal MOE for SWS raw statistics). Because it is the difference between two such statistics. By taking the difference between %satisfied and %dissatisfied, the pollsters have successfully obscured the usually double digit UNDECIDED in both these questions, a percentage that is usually greater than either stat.

    What irks anyone who passed Statistics 101 are the entirely erroneous interpretations of these statistical ups and downs that cannot be said to have anything to do with real shifts in public satisfaction or dissatisfaction, but are the mere ARTIFACTS of the random sampling method.

    A Code of Professional Ethics that strictly observes “truth in reporting” needs to be adopted by public opinion pollsters if they expect to avoid the amused disdain of people who are not at all unfamiliar with statistics and the proper interpretation of data.

    Like any other genre of journalism, the pollsters have to be careful not to think everyone is an innumerate dolt around here.

  5. I agre with DJB. NSR means nothing.

    I think the more interesting statistic to track id the UNDECIDED. The growth or decline in the percentage of those who don’t give a shit is a key factor in the survival of GMA.
    They are ones who simp;y choose to live with thte situation.

  6. I can understand the logic behind suspending an official involve in a case or whatever. What I can’t understand is the wisdom behind suspending the whole mayoralty and/or the city council. Besides the principle of presumption of innocence, it should be taken as case by case basis. The DILG cannot just take them all in one lot if they have to conduct an investigation. They did it in Pasay City and now Makati…

  7. Why would someone sane suspend Binay in such a brazen manner? It looked to me like a raid on a shabu shop. Indeed, somebody is going mad!!! And if we go by the saying ‘whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad” this could be a sign– very good or very bad, depending on which side of the fence you’re sitting.

  8. What about the COMELEC officials, who according to the SC ruling violated the law (their own bidding laws in fact, when they awarded the contract to an 11-day old contractor who don`t have any proven track record), why were they not suspended in order to (quoting DILG Puno):”One, to avoid the disruption or otherwise tampering of evidence. Two, to preserve the resources and assets … against the continuing commission of whatever offenses are alleged,”?

    Granting that only elected officials can be served a suspension, then why don`t these “smart” officials impeach those stubborn COMELEC officials?

    One more case in point is the “disappearance” during the Arroyo administration of the P27 billion of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth. Is this issue not enough to merit a suspension order? Read former Senate President Jovito Salonga`s open letter to GMA here

  9. If you would wish what characteristics of a politician would you want, I am one of those who would wish there were more of Mayor J. Binay. He is really somebody whom you will not see only during election time. He mingles with his constituents as casually as an ordinary person. What I admire him most is the way he treats our elders in Makati.

  10. There is political color in the suspension of Mayor JBinay but this is Philippine style. War is continuance of politics and politics is war without violence. Politics is only for the stout hearted. My memory is quite long but a similar siege happened also under the revolutionary government of President CCAquino when another “beloved” Makati Mayor Yabut was removed from office.The same thing happened to the then San Juan Mayor Erap. Besiegers yesterday are also besieged today. I remember Mayor Binay then wearing a “rambo” get up. My great wish is that those who feel wronged and persecuted will be fair to the vaquished in the future. Right now it is all or nothing. It is like the war againts terror.

  11. MLQ3’s arab news article perfectly hit the nail on the head. Many are really wandering now. Who is ahead? The oppositions( including non political) to PGMA are winning in the SC but the administration camp keep on hitting from all corners. Is it panic or a grand design? Who is piling the points? After PGMA’s recovery from a near knock out she mounted a miraculous recovery and she is now on the attack.She got her second wind and is now trying to score a knockout. Can she?

  12. John,

    sassylawyer’s comment is right out of Malacanan’s talking points- “the suspension is a legal issue. It is not political.”

    The issue of suspension may be legal but the timing is political.The speed with which it was acted upon is political.

    On another matter – Not to defend the practice of hiring ghost employees but the practice is an old tradition in Philippine politics. It is one of the pillars of the patronage system. It is the most common of patronage practices in Philippine politics. A Filipino politician who has no ghost employees will not stay in power very long because he will be percieved as someone who has no love for his relatives or his supporters. I once asked a congressman if he was not tired of all the “people who come to him for “jobs” he replied, “the day I wake up and there are no job seekers waiting for me in my living room is the day I know that its time for me to retire. Jobseekers are the sign that I am loved by my people.”

  13. John, MB, Sassy said nothing substantial. OF COURSE it’s a legal issue, yet to carp at the media for covering it and claim they are “trying it” in public is hardly consistent with doing EXACTLY the same thing, even as a mere blogger. hehe. To say there is no political color to this is moreover, MOOT, though not academic, as Sassy’s call on all to ignore events in the interest of Blind Justice. She herself has added to the alleged “trial by publicity” by accusing opposition sympathizers of drumming it up in the Media.

    Decapitating the ENTIRE elected officialdom of the country’s premiere city can hardly be put down to something “merely legal”.

    In fact, I bet in the POSSIBLE supreme court case Binay vs. DILG, this act will be struck down as grave abuse of discretion on account of that seeming COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT that has been visited on enemy territory. It would seem UNLIKELY that every single person has been treated fairly from the Mayor down to the 16 councilors. Have all their cases proceeded exactly according to the LEGAL requirements and procedure?

    These are elected officials as well, therefore there is always a POLITICAL question involved when you take away a city’s entire set of elected officials.

    But Sassy could picket ABSCBN or something.

  14. DJB,

    But her unsavory comments notwithstanding, Sassy lawyer, MLQ attests, has some of the most delicious recipes around. She should stick with what she knows best – food.

  15. MB,
    Sassy does a disservice by painting this development in the usual AUSTEROID colors of gray and grayer. The debate over whether this is “legal” or “political” is vacuous anyway. It is clearly both, but it does represent the Palace’s decision to take the offensive and eliminate as much of the opposition that it can before the 2007 elections, which I think could now end up being a total disaster for the President. Been looking at the latest SWS senatorial surveys and my reckoning is that the Senate will be solidly in Opposition hands. If that happens, it will be much easier to get 80 votes to impeach because of the almost certain CONVICTION in the Senate. The third time could be a charm.

    All for the sake of the Rule of Law of course.

  16. melvinsky said: “War is continuance of politics and politics is war without violence. Politics is only for the stout hearted.”

    Is this our version of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object?

  17. of course it is political. if it were legal, then we’ve have no more public officials running their respective fiefdom.

    ah, the problem of putting everything into legal perspective–so myopic.

  18. The IT industry is a mass of interconnections, mlq3. And divesting from one corporation does not necessarily mean not having anythng more to do with it. Nor does it preclude the possibility of consultancies which – more often than not – are often the result of some past association.

    So, it’s easy enough to prove that they divested, as they say. But that doesn’t really prove anything, does it? After all, how can we know for certain that they haven’t morphed into consultants? Lagman most especially.

    Oh and, if you don’t mind mlq3, could you ask Chairman Monsod about those rumors about some august personality saying things like ‘we own COMELEC automation. walang makinang makakapasok kundi amin.’ And the machines being talked about as ‘theirs’ were ES&S machines.

    And, not meaning to be impertinent, could you also please ask him who those 17 COMELEC employees he used to love are? Please?

  19. Want to know more about ghosts employees? Ask the Malacanang Press Corps if they have been approached by palace insiders asking for fictitious names for 15/30 employees. It seems that even the highest office of the land has its share of Halloween. Well, have they suspended anyone yet? Even congress has them, ghost congressmen who always seems to be absent. And we pay for their salaries and pork.

  20. Imee has the nerve to criticize Ferraren’s management qualifications to govern Makati for 60 days while she is floating the idea of launching her own son as mayoralty candidate. Ito ang sinasabing tarantaduhan na. What’s her son’s qualification aside from “time management” going to a modelling shoot or attending parties?

  21. Binay should enjoy the limelight while it lasts. As usual, the Filipino culture of pakikisama and utang na loob surfaces with the political allies coming to his side for the support.

    Big mouths open to gain media mileage. One such big mouth is that of Golez, stating that Binay could be a potential presidential aspirant.

    Sheesh.

    Philippines is not Makati. The only reason why Binay reigns supreme in Makati is because his son is a councilor, his wife was once a mayor. It is the usual political dynasty which clout may be limited only in that prime city.

    Lim was a good mayor of Manila but he did not win when he run for president.

  22. As a political maneuver the string of suspensions was cleverly designed because it anticipated the charge of political partisanship and made sure counterexamples could immediately be given. But perhaps the real intention is what I call the Bobby Brillantes option: DIVIDE and CONQUER. Perfect strategy for a midterm election that you cannot dominate with stolen govt funds (since they already did that the last time.)

    The Sandiganbayan and the Ombudsman are powerful weapons in the run up to an election. In the Makati Massacre we see the raw executive and administrative power of the central govt at its most omnipotent to harass and intimidate mere mayors and congressmen.

    Why embark on such a risky maneuver now? Speculation: With all the loot from the Treasury used up in the Era of Garci, and even JocJoc hoping to make it to a nice white Wisconsin Christmas, then why not use the so called Rule of Law to harass and discombobulate the enemy?

  23. “Big mouths open to gain media mileage.”

    It’s all a political game, isn’t it? All politicians are the same. Now they’re trying to rivet the nation’s attention on a “battle of midgets”. Anything to get attention.

  24. Very revealing admission in Mike Defensor’s summation debating with Chiz Escudero: He claims if it had been up to him, he would not have suspended Binay even if the move is legally justified BECAUSE no one would believe it was NOT politically motivated.

    Haha. He’s such a loyal tin soldier. I guess he lost the debate in the Inner Circle on this one. Maybe Ronnie Puno wants an office back in the Palace. The President needs the really cold blooded now. And Mike, I believe, has not given in completely to the Dark Side.

  25. The only reason why Binay reigns supreme in Makati is because his son is a councilor, his wife was once a mayor.

    oh, so binay is reigning supreme in makati only because his son is a councilor and his wife’s a former mayor of makati?

    i think you have it backwards cathcath. matagal nang mayor ng makati si binay (even before his wife became one) at yung anak at asawa niya ang nakinabang sa pangalan ni binay to launch their candidacies.

    It is the usual political dynasty which clout may be limited only in that prime city.

    Hey, your president has a dynasty in the making too, with Mikey and Iggy arroyo already becoming congressmen. Si Dado macapagal tatakbo rin raw.

  26. I’m sorry all this talk of “accountability” and “corruption” coming from former edsa dos moralists and now arroyo defenders (you can find them all in sassy’s comment’s section) is just too much.

  27. Side Note : The Philippines Anti-Terror Bill has not yet been made into law. Better get on the ball, study the details of the proposed law, and complain to your Congressman or to your favorite Senator if you fear more power getting taken on by the Executive Branch.

    Americans were unbelievably quiet, and now, Bush got himself a law which :

    “… allows the US government to seize individuals (including US citizens) and detain them indefinitely with no opportunity to challenge their detention in court. And the new law would permit an individual to be convicted on the basis of coerced testimony.”

  28. the patriot act would never have been renewed if the bush administration used his patriot act powers against his political opponents ie democrats.

  29. There’s really not much difference between creating ghost employees and creating new positions for retiring generals, is there?

    ++++++++++

    It’s both legal and political, alright. And it’s also outright bastusan. Simply no more respect for the public’s intelligence.

  30. Gads! The charts of SWS says a lot. Gloria is the only President who has the distinct honor of garnering negative net satisfaction ratings?! Karambola! That explains all these desperate looney bahala na kapalmuks behavior.

  31. i can’t believe someone is still defending gma pro bono. among all the leaders of this country, she’s the only one who was caught with a smoking gun.

    the estate of the late strongman marcos lost in court only because of command-responsibility. he was never proven to have directly ordered those human rights violations. the estate lost in a civil case. cory, likewise, has no one pointing at her for any anomaly. her succesor, fvr, before rene saguisag’s committee could unravel his shady deals, was also able to do damage control. as for erap, the case against him stands firmist on the clarissa ocampo testimony as she is the only one credible presented by the prosecution. be that as it may, she testified on a matter that did not involve government fumds. it was for the illegal use of alias.

    gma is unique in having something as blatant as the garci tapes. by some legal technicality, it may not be admissible in evidence but unlike the stuff that they’ve thrown at erap, it is no inuendo. it is not a play of imagination. we all listened to it and we all know what we heard.

    “kaya ba 1m?”

  32. Manolo, was passing through Manila yesterday and saw your Explainer edition on the Dear Leader. Good stuff and the only part which I thought was a waste of time was the segment with Joe Mangun. Save for some stuff he probably picked up from the International Herald Tribune or the Economist, the fellow knows nothing more abour East Asian affairs. Better to go with an academic working on Japan, China and/or the Koreas, or East Asian policy specialist instead of a badly-informed pundit.

  33. hi, this is vic cannuck butting in again in regard to anti-terror bill. Be very weary, any law can be used by Glo for her own end, but other than that, after 9/11 the liberal government of then PM Chretien rushed the Anti-Terrorisms Bill, limiting debate and used its majority in Parliament to pass it into law, and so far so good. Now we have a government opposing the bill when it was introduce by the government of the day, but it has no plan of ammending the bill, except for maybe the Definition of Terrorism that may lead to profiling of people of a particular religion, Islam especially, and it could be difficult for prosecutors to provide evidence of a suspect’s personal beliefs. As long as the Authority do not use the Anti-Terror Law to terrorize non-terorists or the opposition in particular the law will prove its worth, but with the kind mentality of the people in power, what can be expected? Be very weary..

  34. How does DJB say it again… that the anti-terror laws are needed because we are in a state of war? Terrorism on its own population gets administered by the government, in the guise of “because we are at war”. People should review the literature on the internment of Japanese-descent American citizens. And if you think that US-A actions against its Japanese-citizens were bad, you’ll be amazed that the Canadians were a lot harsher. [Unlike Japanese American internment, where families were generally kept together, Canada initially sent its male evacuees to road camps in the British Columbian interior, to sugar beet projects on the Prairies, or to internment in a POW camp in Ontario, while women and children were moved to six inland British Columbia towns. There, the living conditions were so poor that the citizens of wartime Japan even sent supplemental food shipments through the Red Cross.]

  35. The Midget is crying wolf again, and planting bombs to make her claim believable!

    Question is how long will Filipinos tolerate this mediocre economist who only knows how to lie and fabricate figures/data, and pat her own shoulders for at least making the Philippines the capital of human trafficking with Filipinos (human beings) being labelled as the Philippines’ No. 1 Export Commodity, but worst, likely to be replaced soon by the export of human organs, especially kidneys, from donors who expect their kidneys to pay for their daily meals and a little luxury like a TV! How pathetic!

    Time to take out those pots and pans and bang them loud like what my Mother and siblings do to welcome the New Year in CA, USA in lieu of those firecrackers! Binay supporters may try breaking the eardrums of those soldiers sent by the Midget to Makati with the noise of pota and pans! That will surely make the news overseas if they are able to remove the Midget with those pots and pans! Just a suggestion.

  36. You are right there again, UP student about the treatment of Canadian of Japanese descents during the war, and the gocernemnet already acknowledged this grievious past mistake and apoligized for the action that was admittedly very harsh on her citizen even in time of war. And also lately, the Government also acknoledeged and aplologized to the remaining survivor of the Chinese Canadians and their descendants for the individual Head Tax imposed on relatives they brought to Canada after their used as Railway workers were nolonger needed. We dig into history and check our mistakes in the past, which at that may be necessary or the judgement of the governments of those days for the interests of the whole nation. But mistakes they were and we owned up to them and apoligized for them, instead of justifying them as justified at the context of time. No excuses. Mistakes were made, we learned from everyone of them and make us become stronger as we go along. The True north forever strong and free. thank you..

  37. When Jojo Binay said he would have to be killed first before being forced from his office, he meant it. I just know. It’s vintage Jojo.

    The Jojo Binay that I knew more than two decades ago was someone whose guts I couldn’t simply catch up with. A nondescript lawyer at the height of Marcos dictatorship, he defended alone or with a handful of activist-lawyers some of Marcos’ harshest critics. He was relentless in his quest and on certain instances he would spend his own money if only to make the right to counsel of his poor but deserving clients a living reality. Jojo and Rene Saguisag (who were pals) in their own perilous pursuits were like the crusading streetwise cops Starsky and Hutch. We were their junior helpers.

    His size notwithstanding, I watched Jojo refusing to back out of physical encounters with mean toughies, whether they were the feared goons of Marcos lieutenants or some drunkards or bullies raising havoc in his backyard.

    I have not seen, or talked to, the man for more than 20 years although I passed by his office many times whenever I’ve been in Makati; I had nothing important to tell him and didn’t want to waste his time. That’s how I respect the man and his position.

    I have heard some claiming that Jojo have somehow succumbed to human frailties as a public servant. Maybe, maybe not. I really have no idea. There’s something I’m quite certain though. He has served his city better than most Filipino presidents have served the country.

    Many a time I have fancied that Jojo could be the alternative to GMA the Filipinos are looking for. Well, accidents do happen, you know. He’s a wild horse, but given the status quo I’ll bet on him.

  38. UP Student,

    We, the People, need an Anti-Terror Law to serve as a Declaration of War in a situation where it is impossible to do so in the manner specified by the Constitution.

    We need an Anti-Terror Law to say what we are willing to do in order to fight that war, including what rights and freedoms we have thus far enjoyed we are now willing to curtail, limit, or even surrender, in order to fight that war.

    We need an Anti-Terror Law so the needs of pure human survival, the need to protect the highest freedom, the freedom to live, the right to life, does not fall into conflict with other rights in the eyes of the Law, such as the right to teach hatred in “religious schools” and plant the seeds whose lethal fruits won’t be seen until a graduate of it blows himself to smithereens in a market in Tacurong or Patikul or Pandacan.

    We need an Anti-Terror Law, so I can look you in the eyes and say: I love the Philippines as much if not more than you EVEN if I am willing to shed OR draw blood for her.

    We need a law to say exactly how far we are willing to go to defend our national and human security.

    As for Liberty…that is a gift from God to every Man, not America’s. (and you might be surprised who said this last phrase at the UN General Assembly on September 12, 2002)

    As such, be prepared to defend your Liberty yourself, or wear your chains in abashed silence!

  39. reading those so many good things about Jojo Binay in this thread alone hasn’t change a bit on my negative impression about him. nothing really as in NOTHING convince me that he shoudl be treated a hero or martyr. not even what Manolo wrote about him.

    So my take on this, Gloria can do whatever he wants to do with his enmemies and its enemies just have to do what ever it takes to fight back. They can just outsmart each other. Gloria find a reason to suspend Binay and Binay shoudl find a reason to counter that…

    THE WHOLE NATION SHOULD NEVER EVR BE DRAGGED INTO THIS!!!!!!!but if some people wants to join the fray. its their choice. Personally ako wala akong kakampihan sa dalawang yan…..

  40. john,
    read my comment. it is a criticism of what Golez said that making Binay a hero may make him a good presidential aspirant.

    My point is that Binay may be strong in his bulwark, Makati but he may not be able to translate that into nationwide popularity.

    Who’s not guilty of political dynasty’ syndrome? I haven’t found one politician who is not inflicted with the disease. I have an unfinished research about politicaly dynasty and nepotism in the Philippine Congress and no one can say, he has had no relative, descendant or ascendant who is not into politics or government business.

  41. MB’s concept of ghost employee is that of hiring the supporters and the relatives as payback for their support. There is no ghost. There is only a bloated human resources with people whose only qualification is that of being in the same genes or are nuts and bolts in the political machinery.

    But the concept of ghost employee that I know is merely padding the payroll and pocketing the paychecks.And this is tantamount to robbing the public’s coffer.

  42. Lets set the minimum/maximum standards for political debate shall we?
    Our world ain’t perfect but as Mao said, a man without politics is a man without a soul.

    The word politics orginated from the Greek word that means community. The word police also has its roots from the word polity.

    I am still a student of political economy which is defined as simply an analysis of the anatomy of society (class system) and the influence of power and wealth on the marketplace. Remember that all branches of the discipline of economics is not a physical science but concerns rational conciousness ruling over animal spirits. The predicate of the “invisible hand” is perfect competition which has never existed. Politics is a reality also ruled by fear and greed supposedly ruled by rational discourse. That is where the checks and limitations come in. A process to be followed.

    M did a superb piece in his column today. The role of government within the state is to arbitrate and mediate the natural contradictions within the members of society. (clashing self-interests)

    Based on that reality, love him or hate him Binay is doing a relatively good job of that. (Governance) He is our son of a bitch. Our level of interaction with one another is at a practical, legal and moral level.

    At a practical level when civil society is weak, (law and financial regulation) the basic issue of equity and fairness is the rule we all live by. Do unto others what you would like others to do unto you. If disputes arise you need an impartial arbitrator.

    That is what due process is all about. Those who intellectually believe that they are above all these “petty political” squabbling as it is beneath them are making a conscious decision that they are intellectually superior to everyone else. They are announcing to the world that they and they alone know the ultimate truth and that the process is corrupt anyway. They know they can always buy their way out of trouble. Then they complain of why things are the way the are. Their intellectual arrogance is a sure sign of their intellectual ignorance. They are perfect examples of the “Gollums” of this world.

    They do not even know the meaning of the word social contract (sound money or fiscal and monetary policy), property rights and an impartial judicial system. They simply mouth words and slogans. Like highly trained simians that we are some stop evolving.

    They believe that the mechanism of economics and politics should be simply left alone to the owners of capital and the government.
    For Caesar to be the Wolf the Romans must be sheep.

    It is not about the person of GMA vs Binay. It is about the processes of democratic governance. You mangle, distort that to favor one side, people’s silence will affirm their acceptance of anarchy to come. You are tearing civil soceity to shreds.

    Democracy Needs Truth, Says Vatican Aide
    Addresses Europe’s Security Organization

    VATICAN CITY, OCT. 18, 2006 (Zenit.org ).- A democracy that denies the existence of truth is a society founded on shaky ground, says a Vatican official.

    Monsignor Anthony Frontiero, official of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said this when addressing the annual meeting of the 56 participating states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

    The meeting concerned commitments undertaken in the field of human rights, and was held in Warsaw, Poland, from Oct. 2-13.

    Monsignor Frontiero said to the meeting that “the Holy See wishes to reiterate its conviction that authentic democracy is possible only in a state ruled by law, and on the basis of a correct conception of the human person and the inherent dignity with which each person is endowed.”

    “In the noble pursuit of democracy,” he said, “it is critical to resist the tendency to claim that agnosticism and skeptical relativism are the philosophy and basic attitude which correspond to the democratic forms of political life.”

    Agnosticism holds that it is not possible to know the existence of God, making faith in God irrelevant, and relativism holds that all opinions are relative, and that it is impossible to know the truth.

    “Oftentimes those who are convinced that they know the truth and firmly adhere to it are considered unreliable from a democratic point of view, since they do not accept that truth is necessarily determined by the majority, or that it is subject to variation according to different political trends,” stated the Vatican representative.

    Monsignor Frontiero added: “If there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power.

    “As history demonstrates, a democracy without values can easily turn into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.”

  43. I read sassy’s blog. I was not familiar with her writings before.

    I thought she wrote an objective assessment of this Binay issue and has not let passion rule over her head.

    The charges against Binay are serious.

    We must let the law of our land take its course, so Binay can have his day in court.

  44. On the recent SC decision concerning the clash between the PCGG and the Senate. The SC has just affirmed the Constitutional power of the Senate of oversight over all executive functions in the aid of proposinf legislation for the common good. Lawyers on all sides will debate the defintion of each word.

    This particular dispute arose from a heated dispute between people who say they have a right to contol and possess assets of a corporation. The PCGG since its inception has been a failure.
    In this particular issue is the committee of Gordon being used as a de facto SEC inquiry on the corporate dispute? Is the PCGG being used by a faction in the corporate dispute. I strongly suggest that everyone if they are interested study the personalities involved in this dispute.

    You will see all members of the elite fighting over the spoils. Using the institutions of the state to further elite interests. Twenty years after its creation it still exists. It was created under a revolutionary government. The reason for it’s failure is simple. The revolution was really an “ampaw.” Going back to the democratic space happened too soon. There was no retributive and restorative justice done by that “ampaw” revolution. The naivete of a Cory Aquino is to blame. The rest as they say is history.

  45. Sassy lawyer has always been a stickler for the letter of the law, and her opinions are a useful addition to the mix of opinions out there, but in her blog entry and her piece in the Standard-Today, I get the impression that her beef is really with mainstream media. A justifiable beef if I might add. Just this morning on ABS-CBN, I caught a glimpse of an interview with Rey Malonzo just spouting off accusation after accusation against Echeverri (sp.), the mayor of Caloocan (where I grew up, btw) based on… sumbong. And the host just let him do that without challenging him. I did get the impression that theyre setting up an on-air ‘sabong’, as sassy lawyer called it, between Malonzo and Echeveri, but I didnt stick around long enough to see if they managed to get Echeverri on the air.

  46. Abe,

    “He has served his city better than most Filipino presidents have served the country.” Makes me want to fight to the finish on the side of the good mayor. But, that isn’t saying much about Binay’s performance.

    “He hasn’t ransacked his city worse than most Filipino presidents have ransacked the country,” is one way of putting it, then conclude with:

    “And as survey shows, GMA does it better than any President ever did — the ransacking, that is.”

  47. DJB… You, Dean Bocobo, are in favor of “…an Anti-Terror Law to serve as a Declaration of War in a situation where it is impossible to do so (by your reckoning) in the manner specified by the Constitution.”

    You want the Philippines to pass “an Anti-Terror Law to say what … rights and freedoms we have thus far enjoyed we are now willing to curtail, limit, or even surrender, in order to fight that war.”

    You are asking, not for a law, but a Constitutional amendment.

    We need an Anti-Terror Law so the needs of pure human survival, the need to protect the highest freedom, the freedom to live, the right to life, does not fall into conflict with other rights in the eyes of the Law, such as the right to teach hatred in “religious schools” and plant the seeds whose lethal fruits won’t be seen until a graduate of it blows himself to smithereens in a market in Tacurong or Patikul or Pandacan.

  48. DJB… the sad part is that the anti-Terror Law you seek will probably be given to GMA (as McCain, et al and the majority votes in the US congress gave Bush his anti-Terror law). As you have inadvertently pointed out, though, the proper forum is a Constitutional Amendment to define what rights and freedoms of the Filipino citizen will be curtailed, limited or even surrendered “..in order to fight that war” against terrorism.

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