Pangasinan Express

Now that the court’s decided, the Inquirer and Newsbreak focus on the inside story on the goings-on among the Supremes leading up to their vote. The Inquirer claims the chief justice kept his cards close to his chest; Newsbreak asserts the Palace knew how he’d vote weeks in advance. Justice Ynares-Santiago was the other justice of interest.

The Palace tells her faithful villagers to keep their torches burning and pitchforks waving.

Plan A remains on the table.

Plan B: opposition, of course, claims victory before battle begins. The Manila Times and the Business Mirror detail the “Pangasinan Express” and it’s preparations to go full steam ahead.

Plan C is a go, Manila Standard-Today dutifuly reports.

In other news: Metro Manila faces a water shortage. The United States cancels plans to set up a testing center for nurses in the Philippines -but might change its mind on two conditions. The first: better peace and order. The second: settle the nursing test leak controversy once and for all. The sweetener: the US could set up a testing system.

Overseas, the Guardian reports that as America prepares for historic mid-term elections and the implementation of reforms to prevent the 2000 electoral controversy in Florida, efforts at poll automation and modernization in as many as 10 US states may be headed for disaster. The Nation of Thailand says it now has the inside story on the Thai coup.

In the punditocracy, the Inquirer editorial dissects the Supreme Court’s decision and says it drew a line in the sand; while the Business Mirror editorial says it’s time to move on.

Fr. Joaquin Bernas SJ suggests the legions of Singaw were sloppy and deceitful in their lawyering and Raul Pangalanan maintains there was outright fraud. Rene Saguisag says that when a case is carried, then it’s carried and so there was no close call at all. He coins a phrase I love: the Speaker “wants to be Prime Rib or something.” Tee hee!

Ting Tiongco remembers what martial law was like.

Overseas, Dahlia Lithwick explains why a recent New Jersey court decision on gay marriage isn’t a case of judicial activism. Michael Wright on what the Thai coup was all about.

In the blogosphere, Jove Francisco says he had to look up the meaning of sangfroid because of a comment I made on his blog entry for yesterday. He reports that there’s an ongoing debate over whether the President brushed off the bad news of a Supreme Court defeat, or whether she took it like a blow to the solar plexus. Some Palace officials are said to be in a state of shock -but the carnival continues and the fight goes on. Local officials are part of the President’s entourage to China (preplanned, surely, when victory was considered inevitable) and the President gets a couple of days off to eat dimsum and consult her bankers in Hong Kong.

Bloggers such as In a Jaded World continue looking at the Supreme Court decision, or reacting to it, such as From the Barrel of My Pen (a Fil-Am), Daily Musings and Philippine Politics 04 (who are both delighted), Bunker Chronicles (irritated over Lambino’s continued defiance).

A Nagueño in the Blogosphere points out Wikipedia’s made it to a Supreme Court decision.

And please don’t forget to keep tabs on The Explainer on ANC blog.

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    • Jher on October 27, 2006 at 10:33 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed and I learned a lot from watching the explainer. Because of your episodes on the parliamentary system, I was actually convinced that this system is not for us.

    • DJB on October 27, 2006 at 10:40 am

    Regarding a Web-savvy Supreme Court, please note that into the Main Decision Lambino v. Comelec ponente Justice Carpio cut and paste Resolution 2006-2 from the Official ULAP Website after “the Lambino Group” failed to attach it to their pleadings. He even lists as a Footnote reference their URL:

    That’s another reason Carpio may be the next Chief Justice. He knows all the Bloggers tricks!

    • DJB on October 27, 2006 at 10:44 am

    That’s FootNote [22] of Lambino v. comelec
    It’s not just Art Panganiban that knows about the world wide web. And Carpio is the Guardian of Many Secrets.

    • Arbet on October 27, 2006 at 2:11 pm

    Heck, the Supremes even had to look for the so-called ULAP resolution in the Web. Tech-savvy justices, they are.

  1. Poor me needs more convincing that a parliamentary form of government is a more responsive system. JDV used to point to Thailand as a model until the opposition conspired with the Thai King and PMA graduate Thai generals to shame him haha. If it were up to me alone, I would like to see lifted the restrictions on foreign ownership to breakup the stranglehold of the 5 percent of wealthy elites of 90 percent of our total national resources. But even that seems like an afterthought now for JDV, a mere selling point just so he could sell his chacha number

    • manuelbuencamino on October 27, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    The opinion of AJ Gutierrez shows that she held the petitioners and their puppet-master beneath contempt.
    Footnote [7] in of her opinion shows she thought the respondents were just as disgusting.

    • Karl on October 27, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    Para maiba naman…..
    The blogger from Naga (Willy)linked to Dominiques blog about Wikipedia…I have recalled that many bloggers here once complained that no one should trust Wikipedia because anyone can edit it….Dom said that ,that feature is now considerwed as the main strength of wikipedia.

    It is not that open,you notice there is an assigned janitor that cleans articles when no one visits it,contains useless info and when it is poorly written,or when it is sort of voted out.
    Going back to main topic…
    Now about the supreme court decision ,of course I would not be surprised if many will be waiting on what will happen in December which is only weeks away…when CJ Panganiban retires…
    I reiterate that the Singaws funding should be dissected,not only to delay the filing of motion for reconsideration…but also to delay plan b or plan c of congress…

    • Jon M on October 27, 2006 at 2:32 pm

    I agree with Karl that funding of Sigaw should be investigated. There was a 10M amount which came from a gov’t agency that was noted during one of the senate’s inquiry sessions. Was that legal? The reason they used was that it was to “enlighten” the people about charter change but then again, why was it was given to Sigaw?

    Kahit sa ganitong specific na issue ay hindi tayo makakuha ng diretsahang sagot?

    • melvinsky on October 27, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    just asking for some enlightenment from lawyers and others:
    I have read Justice Carpio’s ponencia and Justice’s Puno’s dissenting opinion twice and from a non lawyer like me I found them clear and a worthwhile reading. I am just wandering why Justice Puno’s dissenting opinion does not directly address in many points Justice Carpio’s majority opinion. It seems as if Justice Puno writes a separate opinion not addressing the arguments of Justice Carpio. For example Justice Carpio says that the revision becomes an issue in the 1987 constitution because of the introduction of the initiative. Justice Puno is silent on this and he just touches the sources prior to the 1987 constitution. Another issue is the finding of Justice Carpio that the signatures are fake. Again, Justice Puno is silent but he just say that the signature gathering should be given presumption of regularity and returned to the Comelec for verification. I just cannot make a one to one correspondence in many instances between the ponencia and the dissenting opinion. Will somebody make an analysis comparing the arguments between the postions of Justice Carpio and Justice Puno. It would have been an easier reading if the dissenting opinion follows the same sequence or organization in addressing the ponencia’s presentation.

    • manuelbuencamino on October 27, 2006 at 3:48 pm

    I know it’s not polite to gloat but, on rare and special occasions such as this, there’s nothing more maliciously enjoyable than to paraphrase Gloria Arroyo’s famous gloat on the killing of the first impeachment complaint,

    “The Filipino people mark a glorious day in history, when instead of forcing a Parliamentary system through people power, they chose to keep the Presidential system through voting in the halls of Constitutional Democracy.”

    • cvj on October 27, 2006 at 3:54 pm

    melvinsky, maybe the Supreme Court justices are really just like bloggers (or blog commenters) at heart. in any case, i also would like some enlightenment from the lawyers out there.

    • Jon M on October 27, 2006 at 4:00 pm

    Maybe it’s like the allegory(?) story of the 4 blind men who were “looking” at an elephant by touching different parts of the animal and insisting it’s the whole picture…

    • hvrds on October 27, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    Justice R. Puno actually did not decide to uphold on the petition of Raul ‘Fraudster’ Lambino and Co. What he actually decided on was the fact that it should be the Comelec that should decide on the validity of the petition. It is not for the SC to adjudicate on the merits of the validity of the petition.

    However once again an activist SC did the unimaginable. Knowing that the Comelec would not have the moral ascendancy to decide on the factual issues of the validity of the petition. They should have tossed the same back to the Comelec for Abalaos and Company to decide on the validity. Abalos then would have been lynched when he would have decided in favor of the fraudsters. The Chief Justice decided on taking the most obvious pretext to rule that the petition was patently filled with irregularities to be considered valid. Reading his comments in the previous cases on the issue of the petition having to be truly a peoples petition he wrote a glorious send off for himself through Carpio. The team of fraudster’s got their comeupance.

    Most especially Pedrosa. She deliberately tried to mislead the public that the Chief Justice was all for the fact that there was an enabling. law. She knew but never publized the premises on whcih Panganiban would approve a peoples initiative. Being the mouthpiece of President ‘Nichood’ Ramos and the slickest snake oil salesman in the country JDV, using government funding they tried to fashion a “peoples intitiatve” using the public dime. They have all grown so used to fooling the people they have become inured to the false reality they have created for themselves.

    What arrogance! Thank heaven for the free press that refused to be cowed in the face of death. Without it we would have been doomed.

    Thanks to Justice Puno, I just learned that the 1987 Constitution has made a clear distinction of representative government from democratic representative government. A clear legal mandate for direct democratic action by the people.

    This Supreme Court has implictly upheld that there is an enabling law for a peoples initiative.

    Pedrosa won the battle but lost the war because she cheated.

    • rego on October 27, 2006 at 9:35 pm

    All and all, this PI issue is still very healthy for the country. I am not in favor of the charter change and even I despised the way the “initiative” was conducted. But I will still give credit to Gloria on how she gracefully accepted the SC decision. And how she reailized his sona goal ” lets start the charter change debate. Now more and more peopel have become so aware about charter change. With heighten people’s awareness, any subsequent attempt to changing charter will surely pass a very strict scrutinity by the people.

    The One voice and the rest of the groups who fought bitterly against PI really deserved commendations.

    Of thank you so much for this blog and the blogsters. I would be very difficult for me to understand the whole issues, but through , you guys I learned sooooooooo much.

    On plan B, C,….X,Y,Z. I feel its OK. The administartion can do all the trick they want, the oppsition can oppose all of them. Debate, discourse, fight over the plans. But for as long as the issues get settled. I have no problem with that.

    San matuloy na rin yung impeachment 3!!!!

    • supremo on October 27, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    JDV is really rotten to the core. JDV wasted about $200 M during the days of Landoil. He killed his daughter when his house caught on fire. Now he is imposing Plan B on us. Someone should inject Clorox to JDV’s veins to clean him up.

    • jm on October 27, 2006 at 10:31 pm


    I share your many of your sentiments but the problem with Chacha now is that it virtually takes away food from the table. Scarce resources are diverted and wasted on Chacha. GMA’s priority is her political survival, which is what her Chacha is all about, not the survival of millions of Filipinos. When money that should be spent for food is diverted and spent on anomalous political excercises, people die of hunger. While a few are debating, the many are suffering. The casualties are the poorest of the poor whose minds are so blanked out due to extreme hunger that asking them to sign a piece of paper for a bag of rice is the most that they can participate in GMA’s ‘Great Debate’. GMA’s Chacha costs lives.

    Hunger level among Filipinos at all-time high, says SWS.

    rural women are trading sex for rice due to hunger.

    • manuelbuencamino on October 27, 2006 at 10:41 pm


    We can attack JDV for his politics but let’s not blame him for his daughter’s death. That was not his fault.That was a tragedy I wouldn’t wish on anyone

  2. I agree entirely with Manuel Buencamino.

    • supremo on October 27, 2006 at 11:17 pm

    If JDV use his influence and position to improve the nation’s economy then there will be no need to put steel bars in the windows of his home. The steel bars were there to deter thieves. Remember that JDV live in a gated community. That gated community has its own fire truck. Why? They don’t trust the firemen and the dilapidated fire trucks of the PNP. JDV only threw money at the fire department after he killed his daughter.

    • UP student on October 27, 2006 at 11:35 pm

    You are an angry man, supremo. Clorox into a vein kills.

    Regarding steel bars on windows, people should consider to pay the extra bucks and have at least one or 2 windows that function like a door — can be opened from the inside. And pony up for a smoke detector, please!!!

    • supremo on October 28, 2006 at 12:48 am

    If children of public officials can only study in public schools we will not have dilapidated schools.
    If public officials and their family can only go to public hospitals for treatment we will have the best healthcare system ever.
    If public officials and their family can only use public transportation to go around, no one will waste their time in traffic jams again.
    If public officials and their family can only eat noodles until everyone can afford food no one will go hungry in this country.
    If public officials and their family can only take only passenger ships to travel around the country none of those ships would have sunk and take thousands of Filipinos with them.
    IF JDV use his pork barrel to improve fire departments in this country his daughter would be alive today.

    I’m venting but not angry.


    • rego on October 28, 2006 at 12:51 am

    oh yes JM, thats is precisely the very negative aspect on this cha cha. The diversion of funds. I think the suggestion earlier ( in this thread ) to investigate the funding of Sigaw ng Bayan should be pursued….So dapat pala ang sinulat ko at toluy and debate, diskusyon atbp basta wala lang gamitan ng pera ng gobyerno….

    • Diego K. Guerrero on October 28, 2006 at 3:49 am

    The charter change issue is a wholesale diversionary tactics employed by bogus President Gloria Arroyo and her cohorts. Malacanang propagandists are celebrating because squid tactics works in favor of their master. The main issues of this bankrupt regime are being diverted to Jose De Venecia’s derailed Dagupan CON-ASS Express train and Raul Lambino’s fake people’s initiative. The issue on GMA legitimacy, cheating and cover-ups of electoral fraud, fertilizer scam, OWWA trust funds scam, Jose Pidal money laundering case and many other anomalies have no final resolution so far. Are they still investigating? Where’s justice? The criminals and bloodsuckers are bleeding our country dry under the corrupt Arroyo regime and seems nobody can stop them. Roast these inbreed bastards alive!

    • Bencard on October 28, 2006 at 5:13 am

    Diego, it seems you have resolved all the issues in your mind, so what are you bellyaching about? You see hell in everything around you but, of course, nobody is stopping you from looking and living in it. Rave, rant and curse to your heart’s content but you can incite anyone to “roast” somebody else alive only at your own peril. I hope you are up to it. I don’t think you can handle “justice”.

    • james on October 28, 2006 at 6:59 am

    the chief justice has miserably failed the majority of filipinos siding with the elite. he could have given us the much needed ignition or shake to free us from status quo which is what one voice wants. wonder what alternatives one voice can offer except for protection of their turfs, interests and political gridlock. what i am very sure about them is that they are but a bunch of antiGMA and no more. everything that GMA does should be stopped. sad.

    • baycas on October 28, 2006 at 7:47 am

    jdv’s fortress of a house prevented unauthorized people from coming in but it likewise prevented rightful occupant from going out in an emergency. who’s to blame?

    …the Christmas lights, probably…the maker of the Christmas lights…

    • elinca on October 28, 2006 at 8:02 am

    About Wikipedia, just about anyone can edit it, but anybody else can edit or delete whatever you just did. It is a colloboration of editing and authorship. There are administrators with ‘brooms” that do cleanup, revision or reversion to former edits. I’ve been with Wikipedia for almost a year now & every time I veer into a biased point of view (POV) someone else would come up with a revision or at least a citation. Lately, I’ve been doing edits on the article on Jose Rizal which every Filipino pretty much has accepted as their national hero – and an admin cited this statement as a non-neutral Point of view ! – so most of the article has to be re-stated, rephrased to avoid deletion. Wikipoedia, though not scholarly in the strictest sense, is pretty much a reliable source, and I would say even more so than the Britannica. My Wikipedia login is KaElin.

    • jm on October 28, 2006 at 9:40 am

    elinca, I agree,
    Wikipedia “is pretty much a reliable source, and I would say even more so than the Britannica”
    Ang mga Kampon ni Gloria ang nakapuwesto, hawak ang armas at salapi ng bayan. Dama mo ang hinagpis ng maraming Pilipino.

    • justice league on October 28, 2006 at 10:38 am

    Some grissly crimes happen inside gated villages too so JDV still had cause to fortify his house.

    The fire that killed JDV’s daughter was a tragedy. The house was supposed to prevent outsiders out but should have still been able to allow insiders the ability to get out.

    Some of those grills can still have a swing door that can be easily opened from the inside.

    It was unfortunate that JDV had to learn on a fatal mistake how his home was a prison.

    BTW, JDV’s pork barrel was to be allocated to his home province and was no way to be used for the village his house was in.

    Public officials already do go to public hospitals. Some actually have reserved rooms for them.

    • inidoro ni emilie on October 28, 2006 at 11:05 am

    singaw ng bayan is calling for carpio’s resignation. am like, huh? theyre seeking his head for protecting the constitution?

    seems like the legionnaires are barking up the wrong tree. go jump off the cliff, you swines.

    • hvrds on October 28, 2006 at 11:22 am

    No one absolutely no one should have to go through what the family of JDV went through with the death of his child in the manner that it happened.

    On a more serious note; Is Panganiban and Carpio sending a message to the truimvirate of ‘Nichood’ Ramos, JDV and Mike/GMA that it is time to stop making “baboy” the Constitution that both these Justices did when they ousted Erap? Everyone is surprised at the strong language used by these two Justices in defending what Lincoln called the ‘sovereign’ of a truly free people – the Constitution.

    The recent times have seen the utter failures of the Constituional bodies in the Comelec and Office of the Ombudsman and since judicial bodies are the backbone of civilized society
    perhaps a small crack of light has entered the Philippine scene.

    There is a long road ahead as most Filipinos still vote their stomachs and a truly democratic representative government is still a long way off in this country. The late Ka Pepe Diokno said it so simply and succintly. Food and Freedom, Jobs and Justice.

    It will always remain to be a struggle for justice.

    Modern communication technologies are spreading all over this planet and the majority with so little will soon demand their share of a better life. That rising tidal wave will eventually engulf the likes of those in government and those who separate themselves from the realities of life.

    Even the mad dictator in North Korea knows this and has had to go to building a nuclear device to gain respect and more importantly leverage because he knows if he does not change his policies he and his country will disappear.

    As for us we still have the Viva Hot Babes, The Sex Bombs and the best looking babes in the world as Joe Almonte himself said is our best competitive advantage in the world marketplace. It’s a good thing they are a renewable resource. Our neighbors in Asia cannot come close to our women.

    • DJB on October 28, 2006 at 11:24 am


    On Carpio v. Puno opinions…

    In a sense, the discussion in Lambino v. Comelec (Carpio) on the question of revision or amendment was MOOT and ACADEMIC, if one takes seriously the ponente’s own declaration that the plaintiff’s case was devoid of merit solely on the insufficiencies in form of the “initiative petition.” (That is exactly what happened in earlier ruling Santiago v. Comelec after they found Pirma’s petition did not comply with the 12% requirement.)

    What I mean by “moot and academic” in this case is that the Conclusion of the Ruling–to deny the Lambino petition for certiorari and mandamus–would not at all have been changed even if the Majority had ruled on the question of “revision or amendment” differently. One could Cut-and-Paste the section on the question of revision or amendment in the Dissenting Opinion of Justice Reynato S. Puno into Justice Carpio’s ponencia yet, you wouldn’t have to change anything else in the Decision, certainly not the Conclusion that it was grand deception–even if you considered it an “amendment”.

    Therefore, I think the question of revision or amendment and what is allowed in p.i. is still juridically speaking an OPEN QUESTION.

    • jm on October 28, 2006 at 12:42 pm


    Son of a general, involved in illegal logging, died in a landslide. “Poetic justice” people say.

    Daughter of the fiery Speaker of the House died when the Speaker’s house caught fire. ” Karma”, some people say.

    Son of a gun-packing cerebral Senator shot himself in the head, blowing his brains out. “Madness”, sigh, sad.

    Did a daughter of a President, from a town famous for illegal numbers game, cheated the vote numbers to become President?

    Isn’t the President, who pressured the justices to give PI the numbers, is now pressured by the justices’ numbers, 8/7 against PI?

    Didn’t the Sigaw’s 6M suspect signatures lost by just one authentic vote in the SC?

    Justice is poetic, isn’t it? Relentess too, isn’t it?
    Justice will catch up with the cheating President, will it not? Soon?

    • jm on October 28, 2006 at 1:01 pm

    Justice league,

    Will Justice allow the Lower House to subjugate the Upper House when the Upper House’s national mandate is superior to the Lower House’s local mandate, especially and particularly on national issues such as changing the charter?

    Does Justice weigh one vote in the Upper House as equal to one in the Lower when members of the Upper were voted national while the lower house local?

    Isn’t the separation of Upper and Lower houses affirmed and ‘re-ratified’ by the sovereign will of the people every time they elect senators nationally and the Representatives locally? Will Justice allow that this mandate, together with the other ‘bicameralist’ provisions, be over-ridden by mere numbers from the lower house?

    Will justice allow the Lower House to act unilaterally, as if it is The Whole House, in a bicameral system to abolish the Upper House, to make it one House or Their House? Can the Lower House act as if it is already what it proposes to be, Unicameral? Isn’t the act of propositioning to be unicameral a tacit admission of its inherent legal incapacity to act unilaterally?

    If justice ruled against the PI with 6M suspect signatures, will justice see through the Conass’s 196 self-serving votes and conclude that Sigaw and ConAss are movements on different fronts by the same deadly poisonous snake whose head is in Malacanang?

    • justice league on October 28, 2006 at 1:47 pm


    I really hope that the SC strike down such an attempt too.

    There have been good discussions here already on the matter by others with some thinking that it will be a “political question”, etc…

    One Voice is keeping its cards to its chest. One voice already has some ideas to argue against such but it obviously isn’t talking much to preserve their arguments.

    • melvinsky on October 28, 2006 at 4:33 pm

    There is nothing wrong with con-ass per se since it is provided as one mode of revising our constitution. many people does not like the con ass being foisted by the present congress because it is percieved to benefit vested interest and not the people. I find con-ass preferable because it cost less than a con-con. Besides i do not think that we need anorher new constitution. I prefer to retain the present presidential system but with certain modification.

    • cvj on October 28, 2006 at 5:39 pm

    melvinsky, i just read Solita Monsod’s column and she asks exactly the same question you did (at 2:36pm above). Puno’s non-response is becoming the ‘elephant in the room’.

    • jm on October 28, 2006 at 8:36 pm


    RE “There is nothing wrong with con-ass per se”

    The ConAss controversy centers on the Lower House Majority’s attempt at convening a Con-ass unilaterally, without the consent of the upper house; and the lower house’s insistence that the lower and upper houses vote jointly and not separately as the upper house maintains. Whose position will the Court sustain?

    I’m not a lawyer but I think the constitutionality of the Lower House’s position is stretched twice over, breaching the principle of bicameralism on the first and its practice on the second.
    The principle of Bicameralism is indisputably a fundamental tenet in the Constitution. A unilateral action by the House to convene a Con-ass already puts the proceeding in contravention of a fundamental principle in the Constitution; to persist further that the two houses vote jointly, not separately, on proposing amendments that are in effect revisions makes the entire Charter change undertaking by the Lower House majority patently unconstitutional, bordering on subversion.

    • melvinsky on October 28, 2006 at 9:44 pm

    cvj,reur 5:39 pm ,oct 28 post,i think this wondering will linger for awhile. Re this matter i heve read and reread the issue on revision and amendments and i found the ponencia(it is a revision) and the dissenting opinion(it is an amendment) a nerve racking and mindboggling read. I am a retired engineer and not a lawyer but i painstakingly and unavoidably tried to reduce both opinions to mathematical terms. From what i deduced, the ponencia actually says that a petition is a revision because it is substantial quantitatively and qualitatively( more than 1, say 40 out of 100) while the dissenting opinion says a revision is “total overhaul” or 100%, otherwise if less than 100% even if substantial(say presidential to parliamentary) is only an amendment. From a technical person’s point of view i find the dissenting opinion proposing a direct democracy(peoples initiative) for major amendments(not a revision) absurd and impractical. It seems that Justice Carpio is more mathematically inclined and competent than Justice Puno. It would have been better if they have phrased their premises and conclusions in mathematical terms since their positions will be more coherent, clear, brief and easy to grasp for lay persons like me who find difficulty in wading thru a lot of legal/technical terms. Again will any lawyer reduce the decisions and opinions to lay person’s terms for an easier grasp of people like me? I find atty ed lacierda’s comments an easy read.

    • Chabeli on October 28, 2006 at 11:43 pm

    Off topic, I’d like to share this “DESPERATE GLORIA” story:

    I got a call earlier from a friend who is based in Hong Kong (as we all know, Gloria is vacationing there). The person was extremely FRUSTRATED because a simple private dinner in a company’s yacht became an investors pledging forum upon the urging of Peter Favila and Tom Alcantara. These “2 Clowns,” as my friend called them, insisted that the clients of a particular bank COMMIT to Gloria that they will invest in the Philippines millions and millions of dollars! This was, of course, IMPOSSIBLE, especially since these Clowns wanted the pledging on November 1–Pista ng Patay!!! How could this happen overnight? To begin with, this particular bank would have to study the returns they will get from their investments in the Philippines first. In the end, the dinner on the yacht was cancelled!!! Now, what does this say about Gloria and the 2 Clowns?! Gloria has been so IRRITATED for not getting her way lately, that these Clowns are trying to do everything to get brownie points! And, if I may quote my friend, “have things been that bad in the Philippines that Clowns are accepted to be in government?” My answer: Yes, it’s that bad! Only the desperate join Gloria!

    • manuelbuencamino on October 29, 2006 at 12:11 am


    “elephant in the room” Is that the same as ” silent fart in the elevator”?

    • manuelbuencamino on October 29, 2006 at 12:16 am


    You fell for the gigantic fraud. You didn’t catch the deception, the bait and switch.
    You swallowed Sigaw hook, line and sinker.

    The Supreme Court was right, very few people read Sigaw’s proposed charter. Only 100,000 copies were printed according to Lambino and no one knows how many were actually distributed.

    You are obviously not among those who received and read a copy of Sigaw’s charter. Why else would an intelligent guy like you parrot a bunch of ventriloquist’s dummies?

    Anyway, some of those who received a copy of Lambino’s charter told me that the paper it was printed on didn’t even make for toilet paper.

    • vic on October 29, 2006 at 2:14 am

    Someone long ago should have defined what constitutes revision and to have differentiated if from amendment for the purpose solely of constitutional issues. But since nobody had the foresight to do that, now for the meantime, until a definitive and accepted definition for both have been finalized let us make it as simple as we could.. Revision could be defined as disregarding the old constitution, and drafting a completely new one, without reference to the old one, either by provision or continuing enforcement of any of its articles. Anything short is an Amendment..

    • DJB on October 29, 2006 at 5:13 am


    I’ve found a fly in the Supreme Court’s Ointment!

    Remember that Lambino v. Comelec finds no merit in the plaintiff’s prayer primarily because they did not “show to the people” the full text of the proposed changes for the people “to sign upon the initiative petition.” To support this conclusion, the Court made the following finding of fact based on documents and testimony before it: “If ever, not more than one million signatories saw the petition before they signed the signature sheets.”

    But guess what, the SWS 2nd Quarter Survey (results released on July 13, 2006) which SWS and PDI both headlined yesterday as being “consistent” with above basic finding of the Court, in fact DISPROVES the Supreme Court’s finding of fact!

    Mahar Mangahas gives the basic arithmetic results from July: “Six of every ten of those approached on a petition said that they were not shown the amendments which they were asked to sign” in its July 13, 2006 Media Release “‘No’Vote In Cha-cha Plebiscite Rises To 67%; Only 6.8% Have Signed A Petition.” (SWS)

    The NSCB says there about 43.5 million registered voters in 2004 and that the population growth rate is about 2% per annum.


    According to this SWS Data, how many people who had been approached about pi had SEEN the initiative petition by June 2006, 5 months into a 7 month signature collection campaign?

    (Hint: MORE THAN ONE MILLION had seen the initiative petition as of June 30, 2006!)

    • DJB on October 29, 2006 at 5:35 am

    SWS’s incontrovertible data could become a part of the Sigaw Motion for Reconsideration because while it does not prove that they “showed to the people” the full text, it DOES prove that the Supreme Court made a finding of fact but was WRONG! Mathematically. Can this change the Decision? Hardly, because of the revision thing. But it is a very interesting twist in the denouement of this whole affaire.

    SWS proves the Supreme Court erred in a finding of fact!

    • cvj on October 29, 2006 at 5:42 am

    melvinsky, thanks for your explanation, i find your take interesting, although i was actually referring to your earlier comment where you asked why Puno, in his dissenting opinion, did not address the points raised by the Majority decision (i.e. insufficiency of form, logrolling etc.).

    On the revision vs. amendment issue, it so happens that DJB, who supports Puno, is also an Engineer and one of the more mathematically inclined in these parts. It can be argued that Puno’s interpretation also appeals to mathematicians in the sense that it provides a simpler formula that is less cumbersome than the heuristic supported by Carpio. For similar reasons, Abe Margallo is also worried that the Carpio interpretation leaves too much room for ambiguity and opens the door to further judicial activism, at the expense of genuine people power.

    While Justice Puno has a point when he highlights the difficulties of distinguishing ‘simple’ from ‘substantial’, even using Garner’s criteria which he employs to support his thesis, it can be shown that the proposed initiative falls under the category of ‘Revision’. In his dissenting opinion, he explains:

    “The well-regarded political scientist, Garner, says that a good constitution should contain at least three (3) sets of provisions: the constitution of liberty which sets forth the fundamental rights of the people and imposes certain limitations on the powers of the government as a means of securing the enjoyment of these rights; the constitution of government which deals with the framework of government and its powers, laying down certain rules for its administration and defining the electorate; and, the constitution of sovereignty which prescribes the mode or procedure for amending or revising the constitution.

    He then goes on to conclude that…

    “It is plain that the proposed changes will basically affect only the constitution of government. The constitutions of liberty and sovereignty remain unaffected. Indeed, the proposed changes will not change the fundamental nature of our state as “x x x a democratic and republican state.” [50] It is self-evident that a unicameral-parliamentary form of government will not make our State any less democratic or any less republican in character.”

    Actually, it’s not that ‘plain’ nor ‘self-evident’. His conclusion that the proposed changes will not change the ‘Constitution of Liberty’ (i.e. the fundamental nature of our state) shows that he is at the very least, oblivious to the reason why a change was hatched by its proponents which is to prevent the masa from electing actors and celebrities to the highest office. In the Philippine context, the legislators, besides being representatives of the people, also have their own interests as individuals and as members of their class. Making them the conduit of the vote for the national leadership does change the character of our democracy from popular to elitist, and therefore, makes it less democratic.

    Lastly, when it comes to the ‘Constitution of Sovereignty’, the Carpio exposition on ‘logrolling’ (which Puno is silent on) implies that an attempt to introduce amendments beyond that allowed by Constitutional provision has been made by the proponents of PI. So, on all the three sets of provisions, there are changes. Three out of three sounds like a revision to me.

    • DJB on October 29, 2006 at 7:08 am

    Love that argument CVJ. You apply a quantitative test and show that all three sub-Constitutions are affected, at least indirectly, and so counts as a revision under the Carpio Heuristic.

    But that means the Carpio Heuristic is subsumed under these Definitions:

    An AMENDMENT is any change TO THE Constitution.

    A REVISION is a change OF Constitution.

    with the added lemma that

    A change OF Constitution occurs when ALL its parts are changed.

    But I DISAGREE with your conclusion that all three parts (Constitutions of Liberty, Govt and Sovereignty) have been changed BY the initiative petition.

    You have only shown, imo, that ALL of the parts are affected by the change in the Constitution of Government.

    Thus if we take Madison’s model of a democracy as a Machine, like a car, one could call the body chassis Sovereignty, the wheels Liberty, and Government the engine.

    If I replace the engine the wheels may go faster or slower and the chassis may not fit or be too big and heavy for the engine, but I have not gotten a new car!

    This riposte is however, in admiration of your line of reasoning!

    • james on October 29, 2006 at 7:14 am

    manuelb…. please do educate it not clear that crucial bills are gathering dusts in the expensively maintained senate, do you find movie stars and popular personalities in the senate up to their legislative functions, are the restrictive economic provisions in the constitution fine with you, are the filipinos well informed when they voted estrada to power, are we allowing ourselves to be used by the leftists and communists masqarading as nationllists, you should see the how the enthusiasm of people in the countrysides have been cut unfairly by the few noisy voice from imperial manila. why not let the nation decide thru a plebcite instead of carpio and puno. is it not too much for them to decide the fate of 80M filipino, where did their power to do so come from if not from the sovereign people

    • inidoro ni emilie on October 29, 2006 at 8:59 am

    From PDI 10/29/06:

    Michael Defensor, the President’s chief of staff, said Ms Arroyo was “really perplexed” that those whom she had appointed to the Supreme Court “would turn out to have the harshest opinions.”

    Macalintal : “Instead of saying that President Macapagal-Arroyo is disappointed [by the high court’s decision], we should congratulate her for appointing people to the judiciary who are independent and cannot be pressured, like Carpio and [Chief Justice Artemio] Panganiban. The President is really one for an independent judiciary, and not a dictator,” Macalintal said in a text message to the Inquirer.

    doublespeak. even the legionnaires have the gift of tongue.

    • melvinsky on October 29, 2006 at 9:05 am

    cvj, now there aro no significant digression from our understanding of revision(100%) and amendment(less than 100%) per justice puno and revision( maybe 20% to 100%) and amendment(less than 100 %) per justice carpio. I agree with DJB that justice puno’s opinion is simple,neat and easier to understand than that of justice carpio.However we have to correlate justice carpio’s position with the ruling that RA6735 is inadequate as far as the application of amendment is concerned, Now the puzzle fall into place.Whewww! Now we can formulate better the proposition.Let me try. Justice Carpio’s ponencia would be formulated thus: RA 6735 is inadequate because it fails to define an amendment vis a vis revision. Ergo, SnB’s PI was rejected because the court(based on precedence in the absence of a definition from RA6735) ruled it as a revision.On the other hand Justice Puno’s dissenting opinion can thus be formulated thus: RA6735 as far as amendment is concerned is valid based on presedence, hence SnB’s PI is legally tenable. Both positions are not final because of unavailability of a law to distinguish amendment and revisions(should have been part of RA6735) So we can stomp our feet forever but the court will still rule on a case to case basis unless a law is passed for this.PI is still an empty right for constitutional change. Sayang!Shucks! All those resources wasted among all parties because we did not heed the 1997 SC ruling to cure RA6735. The thing to do if we are all objective and less parochial is for all of us(including SnB) to settle and define the rules(adequate law) first before the protagonists enter the ring again.

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