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Dec 09

Let them eat Concon

It was nauseating watching Speaker de Venecia, Zubiri, Teodoro and Villafuerte and company on TV trying to turn the tables on a public baying for their blood.

Last night Ellen Tordesillas gave the lowdown on what would happen today, and it happened. The President did an about-face, blinked, and pulled away from the House.Renato Constantino Jr. was kicked out of the press conference -old congressional habits die har, as Villafuerte’s bellowing at Constantino showed.

What the Speaker did was not quite throw in the towel or adopt a proposal for a Constitutional Convention completely. They’ve only provisionally done so (the House leadership). In truth, nothing has changed from their position from last Thursday: they said they’d give the Senate three days to participate or not, in a Constituent Assembly. Now, they’re trying to deflect attention by calling what the think is the Senate’s bluff, by saying Senate should now move on a Constitutional Convention. But -and this is how we see the House leadership’s true colors- if the Senate does not do what the House leadership wants, within the House’s deadline, then the House will go ahead and do what it wanted to do -go it alone.

This is a classic demonstration of the Five Stages of Grief but it’s up to you to decide which stage the House is in.

The political gamble here seems simple enough: deflect public outrage by trying to pin the problem created by the House, on the Senate; try to deflate gathering public opposition not just in Metro Manila but the provinces (I’ve just returned from Bacolod and was amazed by the ferocity of outrage over what the House has been doing); prevent the House being besieged by protesters on Monday or Tuesday and Luneta and public plazas in Visayas and Mindanao being filled with indignant people next Friday; divide public opinion by dangling a reformist statement while hoping no one notices they haven’t really changed their minds or intentions.

Just as the House has tried to flout every reasonable principle of parliamentary behavior and our legislative system, they’re doing it with their proposal. The House can never, ever, under any circumstances, impose a time limit on a co-equal branch; and an appeal for urgency in this regard, rings hollow when almost at the same breath, the appeal is combined with a threat.

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  1. Alan

    Manolo,

    I watched in total disgust JDV and his gang in their zarzuela on TV. The nerve of this guy, i.e. JDV, calling their congressional act as courageous. These people are utterly shameless. And they have the temerity to turn the tables on the Senate, giving the ultimatum that they will push through with their plan if the Senate will not have a concon resolution by the middle of next week? Shiiiit. JDV and his gang should and ought to resign from their posts for bringing the Philippines to the brink of another disaster.

  2. George

    I’m so tired of these trapos. Why don’t we just line them up against the wall and shoot ’em. Para matapos na ;-). If they get off the hook today, they’ll just create more mischief tomorrow.

  3. Diego K. Guerrero

    These shameless pigs think that they can fool the Filipino people all the time. Con-Con offer is just a face saving scheme. Jose De Venecia and his rapist gang have no position to give an ultimatum. They are on the losing side. Politically defeated aggressor-rapists cannot make demands. De Venecia’s 72 hours deadline is like Commander-in-Thief Gloria Arroyo giving an ultimatum to People’s Republic of China to leave Spratley Islands OR ELSE…hahahahaha! The JDV Congress of Freaks are bunches of brainless dishonorable men and women. Losers do not make demands.

  4. DJB

    By challenging the Senate to pass a ConCon Resolution, which it promises to meet with one of its own, the House wants everyone to ignore the fact that Section 105 has been amended, and remains amended. Which means the House no longer needs Senate concurrence for any exercise of constituent power, including calling for a Concon.

    What’s absurd is that on a matter that only requires 2/3 of all the members of congress, they now want both Houses to concur.

    But on on a matter needing three fourths majority the House sticks to its unilateral guns of all the Members voting jointly.

    I was hoping to see JDV convening a ConAss on Monday, electing officers, and moving into the Parliament in the Sky they’ve built for themselves.

    Maybe they have to go through with the charade since they’ve given the Senate essentially until Thursday to comply with their wishes.

    The lesson is about the nature of the Congress as a voting democracy composed of two different voting democracies. Even a plain reading of the Constitution must not ignore this fact and becoming so plain as to be wrong. I believe the controverted provisions can all be read plainly, but only if we also accept that in any provision involving the Congress, there are actually THREE voting democracies involved: the House, the Senate and the Congress. The House has 236 votes; the Senate has 24 votes. Because the Congress IS the House and the Senate, it is also a voting democracy composed of two Member Bodies, the House and the Senate which always operates on a simple majority rule that results in the need for mutual concurrence for any Act of the Congress to become valid for its purpose, whether legislative or constituent.

    But how secure do you think is JDV’s hold on the Speakership after this.

  5. manuelbuencamino

    MLQ3

    I thoroughly enjoyed watching de Venecia and company eating their own shit.

  6. cvj

    Going by the President’s ‘Devil Wears Prada’ style of leadership, JDV is most likely destined for the trash heap where he can have a reunion with his former mentor FVR. Right now, the Senate is more important to Gloria Arroyo so my guess is that is where she would focus her back room maneuvers.

  7. manuelbuencamino

    and Vic Agustin the business gossip columnist of the Inquirer threw a glass of water at Renato Constantino? Ay nakakahiya naman. He has done irreparable damage to the good name of gossip columnists.

  8. justice league

    The most honorable thing to have been considered was to ask the people if they wanted a Constitutional Convention.

    It would have required only a Majority vote of Congress to ask the people at which the new interpretation of the House using their “rithmetic” could have easily been adopted by the House the past days.

    But it should no longer be surprising that the most honorable thing is farthest from their minds!

  9. DJB

    National issues can’t affect the House races in the 2007 elections? Maybe it is because the SWS and Pulse Asia Surveys don’t survey House races as a matter of sheer impracticality. But the races of JDV, Villafuerte, Jaraula, Lagman, Nograles could be targeted by the Opposition for publicity and support to their opponents, if any.

    What they have raised themselves is a new category of political concern–the exercise of constituent power as both a national and a local matter. They want to deprive all the citizens, including their own constituents of their right to vote for national leaders. That is what Unicameral Parliamentary really amounts to.

    Even if we shan’t be having a Plebiscite on that issue any time soon, it seems the fact that these guyz want that should be made an issue within their own constituencies.

    Because having local AND national voting power is an individual concern and a key political and constitutional issue.

    Unicameralism is really about the dimensions and scope of our right of suffrage. That territory is under attack by the Unicameralists who want to reduce to the size of a Congressional district!

  10. DJB

    I am against a Constitutional Convention because with its Simple Majority Voting Rule, it will be too easy for a wholesale revision of the Constitution to be made. Such a thing ought to be done only once or very, very rarely in a nation’s life. We’ve already done it, or its equivalent, at least four times.

    I think we should do chacha the way America has done it for 200 years: by both Houses of the Congress passing Amendments to, never Revision, of the the Constitution. That’s for the major stuff, but hard because of two separate three fourths majorities required.

    The first few amendments should not involve abolishing each other. Walk before we run.

    One of the first amendments they should pass is run-off elections for President. And remove the silly five year restriction on people’s initiative. As many as can garner 12% should be allowed during every regular election. But as in other democracies, short, specific amendments that can be explained in a hundred words or less. Like foreign ownership of the Media.

  11. DJB

    A Constitutional Convention might just be a more expensive House of Representatives. And it is a Simple Majority Rule in a single chamber thingy. TOO EASY for the trapos to do whatever they want.

    NO to ConCon!

  12. Aames

    Re: “Unicameralism is really about the dimensions and scope of our right of suffrage. That territory is under attack by the Unicameralists who want to reduce to the size of a Congressional district!”

    This is only true where you have members of the upper chamber elected nationally. Otherwise, the choice between a bicameral system versus a unicameral system has no bearing on national voting power and, in this sense, unicameralism does not impact upon the right of suffrage.

    I would prefer that senators be elected by district so that they represent well-defined and narrow constituencies. With well-defined constituencies, the constituents may be better able to voice their concerns through their senator. I don’t see this happening in the current set-up where senators, if they are not serving their own interests, may be trying to serve the interests of too many and end up serving the interest of none. Besides, say, I am in favor of a certain law or policy, am I expected to write all 24 senators who are supposed to be representing the entire nation, including me?

  13. Chabeli

    No matter how Gloria, JdV and these Rotten Legions re-package this, it will NOT FLY! This so-called, “new tack” sounds more like a NEW TRICK to me. It is obvious that they are merely trying to buy time to regroup, so to speak. WE MUST STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS HOT! IF WE GIVE IN TO THIS PLOY OF THEIRS, IT WILL ONLY NEUTRALIZE US. THIS IS THE OPPORTUNITY WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR. WE HAVE THE UPPER HAND. DO NOT BE DECEIVED. DO NOT BE FOOLED!

    Indeed, if it looks like a duck, talks like a duck, walks like a duck, it is DUCK!

    The gall of these Rotten Legins to say in their presscon that “On behalf of the House and the Filipino People who clamor for constitutional reforms…” THEY DO NOT SPEAK ON OR ON BEHALF OF THE PEOPLE, BECAUSE THEY CAN’T GET IT THROUGH THEIR THICK SKULL THAT THAT MAJORITY OF FILIPINOS DO NOT WANT CHA-CHA WITH ANY OF THEM AT THE HELM!

    What these Assh*les are doing is bullsh*tting us! Are they insulting our intelligence ??????

    As for this Vic Agustin who threw water on the face of RC, maybe we should throw water also on his e-mail at [email protected]

    SOBRA NA!

  14. jhay

    Hanggang ngayon ay garapal pa rin sila. Sila pa ang may lakas ng loob na magbigay ng taning sa Senado, samantalang nasa kanila naman ang problema. Sila lang ang nagmamadali, sila lang ang atat, dahil sila lang talaga ang makikinabang.

    Tuloy ang sulong kontra CHA-cha!

  15. Chabeli

    Simply put: From CONfirmed ASSh*les to CONfirmed CONmen!

  16. john marzan

    My golly, if GMA and JDV really wants to Con Ass, then let them.

    And the Senate should just ignore the threats and deadlines imposed by the Arroyo-JDV axis.

  17. baycas

    it’s still the Lower Ass lording it over the Upper. let’s see they make good their threat. anyway, theirs is not the REAL con-ass…

    i still would like to see a principled senate and not a pushover. i say challenge those patriots to admit their wrongful unilateral act and declare HR 197 as illegal…only then can they call a con-con!

    now…will the move require 72 hours or less?

  18. DJB

    Aames,
    Besides the Senators who are elected nationally, under the Unicameral Parliamentary system being proposed, the citizens would also lose their right to vote for the national leader, the President. Instead, we only get to vote for mayor, governor and district or even regional congressmen. But no more national vote.

    That’s the heart of suffrage in my opinion.

  19. john marzan

    I believe the Admin allies found themselves stuck in a hole called the Con Ass and are trying to wriggle their way out of it while trying to save face. So JDV and arroyo’s allies are looking for somebody to bail them out. And that somebody is the Senate, the one co-equal body they’ve been trying to ignore all along and want to abolish.

    http://www.quezon.ph/?p=1111

    What the Speaker did was not quite throw in the towel or adopt a proposal for a Constitutional Convention completely. They’ve only provisionally done so (the House leadership). In truth, nothing has changed from their position from last Thursday: they said they’d give the Senate three days to participate or not, in a Constituent Assembly. Now, they’re trying to deflect attention by calling what the think is the Senate’s bluff, by saying Senate should now move on a Constitutional Convention. But -and this is how we see the House leadership’s true colors- if the Senate does not do what the House leadership wants, within the House’s deadline, then the House will go ahead and do what it wanted to do -go it alone….

    The political gamble here seems simple enough: deflect public outrage by trying to pin the problem created by the House, on the Senate; try to deflate gathering public opposition not just in Metro Manila but the provinces (I’ve just returned from Bacolod and was amazed by the ferocity of outrage over what the House has been doing); prevent the House being besieged by protesters on Monday or Tuesday and Luneta and public plazas in Visayas and Mindanao being filled with indignant people next Friday; divide public opinion by dangling a reformist statement while hoping no one notices they haven’t really changed their minds or intentions.

    JDV tries to act tough and threaten to pursue CON ASS if their demands were not met within the deadline by the Senate, but he knows things can go from bad to worse if he goes unilateral with this.

    So I say, screw JDV and Arroyo and all tongressmen allies. I hope the Senate doesn’t bail them out of their foolish UNILATERAL CON ASS.

  20. Tony

    Let the campaign for May2007 elections begin!!!

  21. camry

    I wish the Filipino people will be united to rally against the majority of JDV and company. The CBCP and other large sects should proceed with their plans for a huge prayer vigil, etc. against the con-ass.

    As George mentioned above, line these TRAPOS against the wall and bring them to Thy Kingdom Come.

  22. Aames

    DJB,
    If I understand you correctly, unicameralism itself is not the issue. What is at issue is the House proposal that the president be elected by the parliament from among its members. I agree with you that this would impact on the right of suffrage. But unicameralism per se does not, for it is possible for the Philippines to move to a unicameral system and retain the rule that the president by elected by direct vote. I would prefer this system.

  23. Melandrew Velasco

    Time to bring out the “arinolas” for Con-Asses

    One of our meaningful, outrageous and funny protest actions against the “ConAsses” or “ConMen” is to send them individually “arinolas” as Christmas gifts.
    Although it is no longer widely used, the arinola will easily identify with the likes of JDV, Villafuerte, Nograles, Jaraulla, Lagman, Pichay – it was their generation that used them in the first place. The arinola will symbolize what they now represent —and it stinks all over the Philippines.
    Just imagine all schools, churches and rally sites having big arinolas with the markings: “NO TO CON-ASS. NO TO CON-CON.” “DITO BAGAY ILAGAY ANG MGA CON-ASSES.”
    Even with the planned ‘noise barrage,’ the arinola will become a noisy gong to wake up the solons and of course GMA.
    What the press conference did yesterday was just one of the “counter moves,” a ‘crisis pr management,” a “damage control,” against the House of Whatever that looks like now the ‘stinking ARINOLA.”
    JDV, being a master politician and crisis PR manager (he started as a newsman), thought of a brilliant formula to: 1) deflect the debate away from the lower house and spare all of them from the wrath of the people; 2) put all Oppositors to the Con-Ass in the defensive mode to include the Philippine Senate and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines; 3) to further confuse the public about the whole process; 4) to implement a ones-tep backward, two-steps forward formula that calls for a conditional backtracking from Con-Ass and for Senate to adopt a Resolution for Con-Con (shot gun approach to a primus interpares) and to push for Con-Ass if the Senate doesn’t act. Wag niyo kaming sisihin, dahil ayaw ng Senado, kaya namin ginagawa ito.
    But JDV misses the focal point of the people’s outrage: IT WAS THE MANNER THAT HE AND HIS ILK BASTARDIZED THE WHOLE PROCESS ALTOGETHER WITH UTTER DIESREGARD TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION.
    Is it really time to do the Cha-Cha? Is it really the pressing concern of our country and people?
    Let me reiterate that the mindset of JDV and GMA is having an “AURA OF INVINCIBILITY” as discussed in my previous blog. They think they can do everything having done their worst in doing the ultimate crime, stealing the May 2004 elections.
    Back to the “arinola,” it’s about time that we all resurrect it for at one point “a golden arinoloa” became a national issue that brought down a president.

  24. jm

    No to ConAss!
    Yes to AboLoC! ( Abolish Lower House of Congress )

    Let’s have City/Provincial Council Representatives as District Representatives in the Lower House who are called to Congress only as needed. Avoid redunduncy of local legislation, empower local (City/Provincial) legislative councils; cut billion peso pork barrel, re-align budget to health and education projects; solve absentee-ism (and mistress-ism), send home the Congressmen! AboLoC! Abolish the Lower House of Congress!

  25. rego

    DJB,

    Is there any restriction on the scope of amending the consitution? Can we amend the constitution from bi cam to unicam without forming a con con? I rather go with just amending the consitution witout conass or con con.

    I actually prefer bicam over unicam and senator should be elected by regions.

  26. dops

    Wala bang comment tungkol sa kina agustin at pedrosa na akala mo kung sino, lalo na dun sa presscon ng mga con asses?

  27. iska

    Renato Constantino effectively articulated what most of us feel about the trapos like JDV. They have no shame.

    Mabuhay po kayo, Mr. Constantino!

  28. DJB

    Aames,
    I think you would like Teddy Boy Locsin’s Unicameral Presidential proposal.

    Rego,
    As far as I can tell there is no restriction to the form and substance of the changes allowed under the Constituent Power provision: “ANY amendment to, OR revision of this Constitution may be proposed by the he Congress…or a ConCon”

    So the Congress can certainly amend what is called “the Constitution of Government”. The entire Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution consists of the first 10 amendments, if memory serves…passed by Con-Ass voting separately plus ratification by the States.

    But a ConCon full of communists could, by a simple majority vote propose an amendment to the charter to read “The Philippines is a communist and anti-imperialist state.”

    Basically Congress and ConCon can propose ANY change.

  29. rego

    oh so why are they not doing that? and why those people who opposes the con-ass ( like One Voice) are not pushing for it?The debate should have focused on these. No need for con ass or con con. gastos lang yan eh ang gulo gulo pa!

  30. ted francisco

    more nauseating is the obvious media bias displayed no less by carmen predrosa and victor agustin. i mean, they are from phil star and inquirer, for god’s sake! they are supposed to cover the news, not to be a part of it.

    i cannot, for the life of me, comprehend or think of a good reason why these two columnists acted that way. what kind of loyalty binds them to JDV et al that they were willing to put their names, careers and the reputations of their papers on the line?

    what they did was foul and unforgiveable! Are they afraid that they cannot write about RC’s ranting in their columns without offending JVD et al.?

    Isagani Yambot has issued an apology with regards to Victor Agustin’s behavior. Phil Star has yet to follow suit but the manner by which it captioned the photo and described RC as anti-government stroked a raw nerve, and it shows an indication that the Phil Star editorial board condones what pedrosa did.

    Although her shouting at RC is not as disgusting as Agustin’s splashing of water, it still is very disturbing. They both are.

  31. UPn student

    The vote of the people (via a plebiscite) determines what changes, if any, get implemented for the Philippine Constitution.

    Section 1. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by:
    1. The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members; or
    2. A constitutional convention.
    #
    Section 2. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered votes therein. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter.
    The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.
    #
    Section 3. The Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members, call a constitutional convention, or by a majority vote of all its Members, submit to the electorate the question of calling such a convention.
    #
    Section 4. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution under Section 1 hereof shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the approval of such amendment or revision.

    Any amendment under Section 2 hereof shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the certification by the Commission on Elections of the sufficiency of the petition.

  32. Sabbath

    I thought we were all in for one big crazy ride with Con-Ass. Scared the shit out of me. Moved my mom out of her zen, texting me one big mob was going to be worth it this time around. But now, Con-Con. The worst is not yet over.
    But still, what a relief. Not at all times do circus politicians win in our country. Thank god.

  33. Bencard

    I hate to be judgmental but I think the problem of the Filipinos is that there are too many “wise” guys among them but not enough wise men. Sure, most can feel in their bones what is wrong with the country but any proposed solution is, more often than not, drowned in a cacophony of virulent criticism, personal calumny and expressions of distrust against the proponent, whoever it may be.

    The need to change the existing governmental set-up from “presidental-bicameral” to “parliamentary-unicameral” has been talked about for over a decade. A constitutional change to accomplish this is recognized by most as the most effective vehicle to end the perennial gridlock that impedes the nation’s progress. Vested interests that benefit from the status quo resist the idea, naturally, with the mantra that the problem is not the system but the people in it.

    Proponents of charter change have three constitutional courses of action, namely through people’s initiative; constituent assembly to formulate proposed changes; and the cumbersome, expensive, and reputedly dilatory constitutional convention.
    This methods are derisively labelled “Plan A, B and C, respectively, by the opposition, as though they are sinister plots of a conspiratorial GMA administration.

    The attempted people’s initiative had been shot down by an obviously politicized Supreme Court. Hence,cha-cha proponents in Congress composed of representatives who are an overwhelming majority formed, by resolution, a constituent assemby which the senators promptly rejected. In its wake, the rat-pacers of the opposition (including the usual hangers-on in this blog) went at it with all the venom and vitriol they could muster, some even hinting at violence. Meanwhile, the usually docile senators, while paying lip service to the need for charter change, bellyache about the “haste”, the pocedure,
    the “timing” and the proponents’ “motives”, forgetting to mention their own fear of losing their job.

    Speaker De Venecia’s challenged to the senators to paricipate in passing a resolution calling for a constitutional convention (which is the mode apparently preferred by most of them) is a wise move if only to achieve the ultimate goal for the country. It is the senators’ last chance at statesmanship, and to prove that they are still relevant after debasing their institution by years of unproductivity and mediocrity.

  34. PeeDee

    My dog looks a bit like JDV, but the dog is more intelligent with more between its ears. The dog can be tricky like JDV but a regular kick up the ass keeps him in line. So similar to JDV

  35. DJB

    Bencard,
    Can you please give all the vitriolic commenters on this blog even a single, solitary example of any country, at any time in history, that went from Bicameral-Presidential to Unicameral Parliamentary. Just One country where they had a national vote and a local vote and then gave up their national vote. Just one.

  36. PeeDee

    I have two things to say about the loud mouth of Carmen Pedrosa in her state of frenzy (1) was she sober? if not what was she on. I need some! (2) suppose it could be worse guys; because you could be married to her!
    I like the vast majority, agree and admire Renalto Constantino Jr. on his stand in front of JDV and his group of nodding dogs. What a good man this RC is, well done.

  37. masc

    The best argument against the unicameral system is the brazen behavior displayed by the Congressmen belonging to the majority party. Just imagine kung ganyan klase ang magiging members ng unicameral parliament, puro vested interest na lang nila ang mamamayani.

  38. molly

    that old commies RC did not deserve water thrown at his face. it is better if urine from your arinola was used. the vast majority of the people support pgma and want to abolished that do nothing senate of trapos and comedians.

  39. justice league

    Rego,

    I think you misunderstood DJB.

    When Congress do try to amend the Charter, they just form themselves into a ConAss.

  40. anna de brux

    Masc,

    Indeed!

    Allow me to say however that the unicameral system in itself is not a bad system. It works in many European countries. But I agree with you, it cannot work in a country where proponents for a unicameral system are not mature enough to know the difference between a working democracy and a virtual tyrany, the former is sovereign will ultimately resides in the people while the latter resides first and foremost in a group that believes their will alone should matter.

  41. anna de brux

    I think that DJB is right, there seems to be no democratic nation in the world today that has traded its right to a national vote for an “indirect” vote. But I know at least of one country where it used to be the other way around, where parliament or the assembly elected the president but the system changed, voters now elect their president by direct universal suffrage: France.

    I believe that if the French REVERTED TO THE FORMER SYSTEM whereby only the members of parliament were allowed to elect a president thereby annuling the citizens’ right to elect their national leader by direct national vote, there would be a revolution in France again.

  42. Bencard

    DJB: Why do we have to search for something foreign to copy all the time? For once in our lives, why can’t we be a little more original? We always discuss the experience of other countries as if what’s good or bad for them is good or bad for us.

  43. justice league

    Bencard,

    Wouldn’t it be that vested interests that would benefit from the changes are fueling the present charter change attempt?

    Speaker De Venecia’s challenge to the senators to participate in passing a resolution calling for a constitutional convention is not as wise a move as asking the people first if they do want charter change and whether they want it through a Constitutional Convention.

  44. pinoy_gising

    Calling the “bluff” of the senators and the CBCP was truly a masterstroke from JDV. They’ve always voiced out their preference for a con-con as the most appropriate means of cha-cha. I’ve always thought they were trying to play safe.

    I would have preferred if they gutsily said, “no cha-cha while GMA is in power.”

    Really, we’re just always reacting to whatever GMA et al are foisting on us. All these shenanigans will never end while she’s there. And some people just refuse to see this, including the CBCP. GMA is the root cause. We’ll all just be hacking at the branches while she’s there.

  45. rego

    Bencard,

    On wise mguys wise men….

    I believe one big problem is the credibility of those who initiating the change. The vested interest. I was was thinking if its not JDV who is leading the change maybe teh change will take off. But think Who is does can we trust….everyone is tainted now….So I believe the vested interest angle should be elimnated and to achieve this we have to follow Vic’s suggestions before. And that is to put into law that those who will participate in changing the consititution should be banned from running for office under the new constitution ( and I may add for a certian period of time say 10 years or 20 years…..including relatives up to 3rd or 4h degree,

  46. anna de brux

    Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet is dead. The man who ruled Chili with an iron hand and who was deemed responsible for the torture, disappearance, and death of more than 3,000 Chilean “subversives” died in Santiago at 91 of a heart attack.

    BBC interviewed Mr Gott, an expert on Chili this instant. What struck me was the expert’s reply to the BBC interviewer’s question how Augusto Pinochet managed to “hang on” a huge support by a significant portion of Chili society: because Pinochet was supported by at least 45 to 46% of Chili’s middle class who refused to shake the status quo.

    Pinochet came to power claiming that he was saving Chili from Marxism, communism. He wanted to be remembered as the saviour of his country but he would also be remembered as a dictator under whose rule thousands of his fellowmen died without any explanation.

    The closest to Pinochet got to potential prosecution and arrest under house arrest during one of his visits to Britain while waiting for the legal wranglings between the opponents and supporters of the former dictator that would have paved the way for his extraditionf to Spain where criminals cases awaited him. Despite protestations from various sectors in Europe, the British government however rule to end his house arrest and to send him back to Chili on account of his old age.

    Pinochet was suspected of having stolen and stashed away Chili state millions and millions of his dollars in foreign banks.

    Uncanny similitude somehow between Pinochet and Gloria isn’t it?

  47. jm

    anna,

    At a re-union, i had a chat with an Air Force officer, about Villamor’s ‘new’ refurbished choppers being acquired. He said that they were told that if the chacha pushes through, their ‘funding problems will be solved’. Red-scarine and b

  48. anna de brux

    Oops, re post on Pinochet … oh, never mind.

  49. anna de brux

    JM,

    Re: “He said that they were told that if the chacha pushes through, their ‘funding problems will be solved’.”

    Really? Hahahahhahahah!

    I presume what he meant was Air Force will no longer have funding problems (if the cha cha pushes through) because members of parliamentary committee on defence will “facilitate procurement?!!” And pray, who told him that bullshit? I sincerely hope a man called suarez hasn’t been making false promises?

    JM, I am a bit dumbfounded here – if that’s how cha cha proponents see parliment working, they are worse than immature – they don’t know what a truly democratic parliament is! A parliament is NOT supposed to be a palengke or a one stop shop for corruption!

    Anyway, do tell your officer friend that given the manner with which cha cha proponents perceive the way a parliament should work, he should be all the more wary – there will be more problems than ever. Members of the future parliament who believe that the system is a one stop shop for corruption, will kill each other to get a share of the goodies; government officials (particularly on the DND and DBM level, including on the Malacanang level) will hit each other below the belt typical of the talangka culture to make sure that no one succeeds if he/she doesn’t get a slice of the action.

    Please tell your friend not to be naive, and that, unfortunately, if he is major rank or above today, I doubt he has any chance of seeing the modernization of the Air Force before he retires from service.

    Heh!

  50. DJB

    Bencard,
    I suppose it would also be considered original and creative for us to build airplanes with only one wing, or helicopters with only one rotor. The reason I bring this up is because, the practical impact of the unicam change is to take away the national votes. THAT has never happened in history that a people, without being conquered or invaded willingly surrendered the right to vote for the national leaders. NEVER.

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