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Dec 11

House Evacuation

It’s refreshing to see the Senate attempting to hold a sober hearing for a change, although Dick Gordon doesn’t ask questions very well or preside over committees adeptly (snapping at Sen. Angara is the usual crap we don’t need to see). I have to add, only, that I found myself, surprisingly, in agreement with John Osmeña’s brief roundup of his proposals, which involves a regional approach, with autonomy for about 15 regional governments and a corresponding limitation of the chief executive’s responsibilities to national defense, foreign affairs, communications, finance and transportation (which I have proposed many times here and elsewhere). He said such an approach would solve, for itself, the question of whether to retain the presidency or place executive power in the hands of a prime minister. the consensus among those who testified seems to be that the House cannot go it alone, and that several issues need to be resolved with regards to a Constitutional Convention: when and how to hold it, etc.

In his testimony, Fr. Bernas said the country needs to calm down, and that Congress would be wise to ask the public if they even want a convention. Christian Monsod presented the One Voice position on the matter: before anyone asks anyone anything, trust in the electoral process has to be restored. Pablo Garcia is against a referendum, saying leaders should lead and propose amendments “if indeed they are necessary.”

Justice Mendoza suggested the May 2007 elections can serve as a referendum on charter change, or after the elections, Congress can hold public hearings. He doubts whether such a question (to change the Constitution or not) could be asked in a referendum -what is explicitly stated in the Constitution is asking if the public wants a convention or not. Bernas, in response to Angara and Enrile, says it works this way: Congress, if it can decide on whether or not to hold a convention or directly propose changes, can do so; but if it cannot make up its own mind, it can throw the question to the public by way of a plebiscite question involving a convention. He reiterated 2010 is the best time to ask such a question.

Recto tried to get a summary of our various legislative systems but Justice Mendoza proved woefully confused.

I can only offer up my own personal experience in this regard, having talked to students, teachers, civil society and professionals in Baguio, Lucena, Bacolod, Cebu, various parts of Metro Manila: there is no “clamor” although there is a widespread feeling among those who have studied the issues, that proposals have to be made but even then, no consensus exists on specific proposals.

The only consensus I can see is in terms of public opinion: and public opinion is more defined in terms of what the public does not want, than what it actually wants. What does the public not want? Cancellation of elections is a no-no. I sense resistance to proposals to deprive the public of the right to directly vote for the chief executive. I did sense an impatience with bicameralism until recently: the House’s moves have alarmed the public over the prospects of unicameralism. What does the public definitely want? Nothing to do with the Constitution: jobs, less crookedness, and some sort of stability.

As to the question of Dean Andy Cautista on ANC’s coverage, which echoed Jimeno’s arguments: when is the right time? The right time will be when a national consensus is reached. That process can’t be rushed. Recto began proposals to amend the 1935 Constitution further in the 1950s and it was in 1971 when it finally bore fruit, because a national consensus finally existed. Jumping the gun is what has harmed the cause of those pushing for amendments. The reaction of some Thai academics to proposals for their own new constitution is informative: a constitution is about more than setting rules for politicians.

As to the Palace position, the official stand is that they remain behind ongoing efforts to propose amendments -and in fact, never wavered. The House will force them through remains its party line, too. Obviously, the Palace is still in the game, as shown by its using PAGCOR, which is strictly under executive control, to snatch the Quirino Grandstand away.

Colleague Ricky Carandang sent me his fearless forecast and kindly gave permission for it to be reproduced in this blog:

Manolo,

This is where I think this is headed.

The Senate ignores the JDV deadline, in effect calling his bluff.

This obliges him to go through the motions of convening the House-initiated Senateless constituent assembly. At this point two thing can happen.

First, because of the public’s opposition to the whole idea, JDV fails to muster the 195 member majority that he beleives is needed to pass amendments. In which case Chacha is dead.

The second possibility is that GMA throws the weight of her office behind the effort and they get the 195 votes needed to pass revisions ijn the House. They go to the Comelec and ask that a plebiscite be scheduled. At this point the senate steps in and tosses the ball to the Supreme Court. I believe that the Court will not only issue a Temporary Restraining Order, it will uphold the Senate’s view that both Houses must participate in a constituent assembly. A slam dunk against the House. In which case Chacha is dead.

I speculate that the failure of Chacha would lead to a reconfiguration of the power dynamics in the House. JDV is likely to blame GMA for Chacha’s defeat and turn on her. GMA would muster her KAMPI loyalists in the House and there will be a fight for the Speakership between JDV and the KAMPI nominee. JDV will lose.

The midterm election in May will push through. JDV will lose his seat in the House to Benjie Lim.

The End.

Agence France-Press on recriminations over the postponed Cebu Summit.

Overseas, Gen. Pinochet passes away. Read the Guardian obituary.

My column for today is The Speaker’s evacuation. Also, John Nery, who has a new column in Inq7.net, says the Speaker has fatally overreached himself.

In his column today, Fr. Joaquin Bernas SJ dissected the issues clearly and soberly. BenCyrus G. Ellorin lists some of the larger issues involved in the proposals themselves, while Rita Linda V. Jimeno is alarmed over the prospect of the House’s moves turning off the public to the idea of constitutional change. Though in terms of her advocacy for changes, the problem lies in her insisting only her group is genuinely for change; the difficulty is precisely that her group claims a monopoly on reform; it means others advocating reform are stuck between a rock and a hard place: accepting their version hook line, and sinker, leaving no room for consensus but instead forcing an all-or-nothing choice, which is no choice at all. Jarius Bondoc echoes Jimeno and says the House proponents of amendments have killed prospects for constitutional change. He ignores the culpability of people like himself in squandering an opportunity that might have been unstoppable if it hadn’t become so patently self-serving for the ruling coalition.

Randy David on Sunday said the congressional goings-on are a sideshow.

Jojo Robles says NEDA Secretary-General Romulo Neri, who owes his job to the Speaker, is a disaster.

The Inquirer editorial delves into the postponement of the Cebu Summit, a decision Amando Doronila says is a major black eye for the country (he also points out People Power is back in play, so reports of its demise turn out to have been exaggerated).

The blogosphere also has many reactions to the postponement of the Cebu Summit. Foreign Service Insider says, as a member of our diplomatic service, says the abrupt postponement “is simply unheard of.” Cebuano bloggers in particular, have a lot to say. See the reactions of Cold Soba, of crisel eslao, of Pain Killer, of light up, light up, you have a choice and of Cebu Bound. Writing from Davao, Promdi says terrorism was the reason, but government couldn’t admit it.

PedrosaCocktailsplash
(above: photos from Ellen Tordesillas and Inq7.net)

Ellen Tordesillas recounts the RC Constantino brouhaha; missingpoints reacted to what happened, as does stone’s site. Other bloggers react to what the House has been doing, including the Speaker’s latest gambit. See Philippine Politics 04 and Philippine Commentary, as well as Daily Musings and the Philippine Experience. On the other hand, RG Cruz seems to think the Speaker was clever.

Diobolically Clever Musings, and Crazy Dagupan, A brief but interesting entry by joeydaninja helps illustrate why the issue’s made the administration nervous. It’s offended even those who up to now were willing to give the national leadership the benefit of the doubt. The World According to Julie, a night editor at ABS-CBN news online, illuminates how people reacted -and why.

Overseas, History Unfolding weighs in on the Study Group report on Iraq.

For reference, here are some documents:

Committee Report No.2142  06 Dec 2006
The House Committee report on resolution 1450.

Resolution No.1450
House Resolution 1450.

Senate Resolution Re Proposed Amendments Of The Constitution
The Senate response, via resolution.

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  1. jackryan68

    Manolo, I agree with Ricky Carandang’s forecast re JDV. His district includes Dagupan City, where Benjie Lim is incumbent mayor, and that city has around 40% of the total voters. My friends from the area tells me that Mayor Lim has what it takes to finally send JDV to retirement.

    No wonder the embattled House Speaker is now into grameen banking, as this post by Iloilo City Boy shows http://iloilocityboy.blogspot.com/2006/10/what-f.html

  2. Chris

    I don’t see any constitution better than the one we have. if you go unicameral/presidencial then Lacson will win in 2010 and we end up like Venezuela or Zimbabwe. same if there is regional senate. whoever is prez will just buy them.
    and if parlimentary we end up with a Thaksin or Lee Kwan Yew type.
    a senate is the only protection we have from a bad president.
    Lets face it-people in the province vote like black Americans, they have no idea whats going on. Just heard that the blacks in Louisiana re-elected William Jefferson after they found bribe money in his freezer. JDV and Gullas and all the other old crooks will just win and win in their districts

  3. Jeg

    From Fr. Bernas: I appeal to the House for rationality. If you are thinking that the Supreme Court will support whatever Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and De Venecia want, please do not insult the members of the Supreme Court. Do not think that the new Chief Justice will sacrifice his reputation on the altar of GMA. Justices who have nothing or little to lose might, but not the Chief.

    Do you think this will still hold true if Sen Miriam Santiago were Chief Justice?

  4. Carl

    Chris said: “Lets face it-people in the province vote like black Americans, they have no idea whats going on.”

    That’s exactly the smug Manila-centric mentality that we don’t need. Not to mention that it is brazenly bigoted.

    mlq3’s points are well-taken. There is a need to change the constitution but perhaps it will only happen in its own time. I agree, the public is presently more concerned with “jobs, less crookedness, and some sort of stability”, as mlq3 says. I also agree with mlq3 on a “regional approach, with autonomy for about 15 regional governments and a corresponding limitation of the chief executive’s responsibilities to national defense, foreign affairs, communications, finance and transportation”. If power is diffused, perhaps the crab mentality will also be more dispersed and less intense at the center.

  5. anna de brux

    Mlq3,

    Off topic: Stop the Killings in the Philippines (Belgium chapter) rally tonight at 18h30 in front of the Philippine Embassy will be attended by more than 750 people, according to rally organizers.

    The 750 people will be holding a torch vigil representing the 750 victims of the extra-judicial killings in the Philippines.

    Dr Claver, a doctor of medicine and human rights victims sympathiser who was a victim of a murder attempt in the Philippines has arrived in the Belgian capital to participate in the torch vigil. Dr Claver’s wife was killed in the attempt on his life.

    Organizers have said that various European journalists will be covering the rally which is expected to be the biggest rally ever to be held against Gloria Macapagal’s regime in Europe.

    I will be attending the rally.

  6. jhay

    No wonder JDV is pushing for CHA-cha, he’s just trying to save his skin. Tsk tsk tsk.

    GMA will not allow CHA-cha to push through, not until 2010. Why shake the boat when you’re snuggly, or should I say ‘glued’ to the helm?

  7. james

    “Lets face it-people in the province vote like black Americans, they have no idea whats going on.”
    is this the reason why imperial manila should always impose its will on the rest of the country..no matter how many people you will gather in luneta it can not and will not be true reflection of the voice of the people

    senate is putting up a show where resource persons invited are all noted for their anticharter change stance..yet everyone indeed agreed on the need to amend the constitution but nobody can volunter when…so when…when monsod is elected president, maybe constatntino..ricky carandang..

  8. justice league

    James,

    If you are referring to the proposed revisions already presented like the Concom’s and HCR 04; then the “when” is when it is acceptable to eat CRAP.

    Because that is what those proposals are.

    CRAP!!!

  9. UPn student

    Carl… one of the reasons for “crab mentality” is the cultural-view of economics. Many countries/cultures view wealth as a limited pie so a person getting rich is at the expense of the rest of the community and profit-making is one person taking advantage of another. Other countries actually believe in the concept of wealth-building… creating money where money was not there before, and profit is just rewards for the value being added. A quick test is one’s attitude towards money-changers. Money is money is money, right, so why does the money-changer take a cut when changing dollars into pesos? Or take de-quiros explanation that Microsoft charging that much for Windows-XP software is robbery because the packaging and the price of making the CD-copies is cheap.

  10. Carl

    UPn student said: “one of the reasons for “crab mentality” is the cultural-view of economics. Many countries/cultures view wealth as a limited pie so a person getting rich is at the expense of the rest of the community and profit-making is one person taking advantage of another. Other countries actually believe in the concept of wealth-building… creating money where money was not there before, and profit is just rewards for the value being added.”

    I agree. It’s just that some people would rather whine. But seeing how many Filipinos are trying to build themselves up through schooling and hard work despite the lack of organized support, I am positive it still isn’t endemic to our culture. Although there certainly more than a few bellyachers and malcontents who make loud noises out there.

  11. max fabella

    Manuel Q III:
    I LOVE THE PHILIPPINES, I hate most of its leaders. I have called our SENATONGS and TONGRESSMEN, wWhen queried, I narrated
    about THE HONORABLE JUAN ABUSADO. I was not kidding, there was
    such a small book called JUAN ABUSADO

  12. supremo

    “THE HOUSE of Representatives has decided to scrap a resolution calling for a constituent assembly and instead pushed for a constitutional convention as a means to amend the Constitution.”

  13. renmin

    Chris- i’m utterly disgusted with your racism. you’re probably one of those clueless fil-ams who think they’re thoroughly integrated into white America. guess again buddy.

  14. Brother ELY

    Buti nga kina JDV, Pichay, Nograles, Villafuerte, Zubiri and company … Dapat kayo sinabugan ng GAS at sinindihan ng MASUNOG .. Mga ASS-HOLE – KAPAL MUKHS — GARAPAL !!!
    Personal INTEREST, for the OBVIOUS REASON of TIME FACTOR
    What’s the RUSH ? To PREVENT 2007 ELECTION ?
    Don’t FOOL US, We WANT CHANGE in the LEADERSHIP, The FILIPINOS
    would NOT VOTE for the same CONGRESSMEN who ACTS NOT as REPRESENTATIVE of the People BUT THE SAVIOUR OF GLORIA’s ASS
    MGA ASS-HOLE KAYO !!!

  15. camry

    The proponents of Con Ass in the House at least has “tested the water”. When they learned the reactions of the people, they became “scared”. I wish that the voices against the cha-cha will become louder as we celebrate the Christmas Holidays.

    Cha-cha is ok when the time to do it is right. I wish JDV will exit politics with out losing face. Sabagay trapo naman siya.

  16. Brother ELY

    Don’t FLATTER yourself, you’re NOT the KIND of LEADER that we
    NEED … There are MORE BETTER ALTERNATIVE than those from the
    PARTY of THIEVES and CHEATERS !!!

  17. justice league

    I was able to finally watch what happened in the Representatives’ presscon with Renato Constantino.

    Carmen Pedrosa was yelling to RC to shut up and show respect to the Representatives.

    Too bad she hardly showed the same to CJ Panganiban in her columns AFTER the CJ voted against the so called “People’s Initiative”!

  18. Chabeli

    To my mind, one of the factors to Gloria’s staying power was the so-called, “Undecideds.” However, with the recent behavior of JdV and the CON-ASSes, a majority of the “Undecideds” have swung to the Anri-Gloria side, and as an effect, the “re-birth” of the looming People Power. That may also explain why the cabinet of Gloria is apparently, as a daily puts it, “in disarray”, and why JdV and the CON-ASSes are finding every possible combination to make Cha-Cha appealing to the people.

    Gloria, her Glorialets, as well as JdV and the CON-ASSes woke up the seemingly asleep People Power. They may muster every trick in the book to put People Power to sleep, yet, from my point of view, it is too late.

    People Power has awaken and intends to stay that way, for the now, that is. It makes sense then what Mr. (Amado) Doronilla says that “…People Power is back in play, so reports of its demise turn out to have been exaggerated” makes a lot of sense.

    “Rough and Tough” could be an understatement in describing how this week will be.

  19. anna de brux

    Carmen Pedrosa shrieking at RC to SHOW respect to the reps?

    What on earth for?

    No need! All on her own, she’s shown she’s capable of doing that – she’s been grabbing more than the lion’s share of the showing of respect for Joe de Venecia and his clique… Just look at her pic in the Star, how she roarrrrrred and growled to defend her dear little rats, er cubs!

  20. supremo

    At least Devilnecia will not be alone during his impending retirement. He has Pedrosa to cheer him up.

  21. realist

    james, please be reminded that until you are reborn to be one of those southern red necks, to them you are still “a little brown brother.”

  22. UPn student

    chris, I think your words are ridiculously simplistic regarding the black voters of Louisiana. ‘Dem folks are also sophisticated and the Louisiana people were fully-informed ($90,000 allegedly in the freezer and all) when they voted William Jefferson back into the US Congress. You know of “Innocent until proven guilty”, right? Now did you also know (because the voters of New Orleans knew it) that there has been no charges filed against Congressman Jefferson? And did you know that there remains a racial divide in US-of-A? This racial-divide should motivate you to run for the US-of-A congress because for sure, in the great country of America, the FilAms are completely united and make great efforts to help each other.
    –Ahhh, Filams… the “little brown brothers” are true believers in Santa Claus.

  23. manuelbuencamino

    JDV was always a politician who didn’t like to make enemies. Unfortunately, last week he crossed the line. He forgot all about the old maxim, “Love your enemies just in case your friends turn out to be a bunch of bastards.” Now he’s going to pay the price.

  24. cvj

    steve gilliard, a black blogger, has this to say about Jefferson:

    Jefferson is a shitty pol, and a crook, but people in New Orleans thinks the government tries to jail successful black men. It was very easy for the scheming Jefferson to portray himself as a victim of a government vendetta.

    He sounds like an American counterpart of Mayor Binay.

    mlq3, i agree with autonomy for 15 regional governments, but in addition to the exceptions that you noted above, i think policies on agrarian reform and environment should remain with the central government. For the former, it would dilute the expected influence of the landlords and plantation owners while in the latter, it would help prevent unsustainable policies such a regional government logging or mining its way to ‘prosperity’.

  25. Tony

    It looks like the top 3 reasons why (tradi..) politicians like William Jefferson of Louisiana get re-elected are: (#1) he brings home the pork; (#2) he brings home the pork and (#3) the voters do not trust the elitists from Manila… err.. Washington DC.

  26. elinca

    UPnstudent says “The Filams are completely united and make great efforts to help each other.”

    I totally disagree. I think Filams, are the most divergent ethnic group in the U.S., politically at least. The Filam votes are almost equally divided between Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative, with the conservative with a very slight edge. FilAms mirror the disparity, disunity and discord of their kabayans back home. Filams don’t help each other like the unified Chinese do. Gossiping, backstabbing, rumormongering usually thrive in social getherings held by Filipinos. Pinoys in the U.S. are no different that the ones in RP. Someone should analyze this Filipino mentality.

    Speaking of RC Constantino, the guy has balls. Mabuhay si Constantino!

  27. Amadeo

    One commenter once remarked, and paraphrasing:

    When romance and numbers meet, something has got to give.

    In the re-election of William Jefferson in Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district, these are some of the numbers:

    The second district includes the city of New Orleans (nearly all), which is predominantly African-American in ethnic composition, about 66%.

    African-Americans are typically registered Democrats and typically vote about 80% and above for Democratic candidates.

    The run-off election that Jefferson won was between him and another candidate, another fellow Democrat lady, young at 37.

    No Republican has won in this seat for over 100 years.

    Democrats are the progressives, the liberals, or the left.

    Can we say that Democrats re-elected Jefferson?

  28. jm

    elinca,

    “Let us complete a portrait of Juan dela Cruz by contributing, each, his/her unique piece or pixel without which the picture cannot be completed. We may not like, or even recoil at an ugly or even obnoxious image of a sick stranger – how we have become to each other, as Filipinos. But we cannot be healed unless we overcome the intolerance or revulsion at an ugliness or ineptitude that we easily see in others but not in ourselves. Let us embark on a journey of rediscovering: On Journeying as a People, as Global Filipinos.” http://juan-dela-cruz.blogspot.com/

  29. UPn student

    Amadeo… an American tradition is to blame the losers, so the sentence becomes the Republicans failed in stopping Jefferson from returning to Congress.

    elinca….. what?!!! Gossipping, backstabbing… “Pinoys in the U.S. are no different than the ones in RP.” So we can’t blame the gringo-imperialists then, can we?

  30. Diego K. Guerrero

    It’s true that House Speaker Jose De Venecia may lose in his Pangasinan congressional district and no longer a walk in the park election victory. Former congressman and current Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin Saplan Lim is the man to beat. De Venecia can use his pork barrel development funds to “indirectly bribe” Mayor Benjamin Lim not to run for congressman. Anything can happen before the last filing of candidacy in May 2007 midterm elections. De Venecia’s political clout in Pangasinan province is waning.

    Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz is planning a big multi-sectoral prayer rally against the constituent assembly (CON-ass) on December 15, 2006 and Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin Lim will join the prayer rally. I think the Church and the Chinoy business community are backing Lim’s candidacy. They way the current Pangasinan politics is going, Rep. Jose De Venecia is a dead meat walking. M/V Gloria Arroyo is fast sinking. The rats are abandoning the ship. Fourteen Metro Manila lawmakers and other shameless pigs are singing a different tune to save their asses. Who believes them?

  31. hvrds

    It looks like the charter change ghost will slowly become a bad memory by next week except for the FVR/JDV forces that will have to admit defeat to themselves very soon. The little one plods along with her INC pals, her Generals, her DTI mafia and her Mike and PAGCOR. I think she has just sealed her term till 2010 at a minimum. Everyone is looking forward to Christmas in December and the coming Christmas in the next elections in May 2007. Another reenacted budget?

    On the Iraq Study Group report. There are lessons for the Philippines as one blogger puts it ‘The First Iraq.’

    “But it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the report treats Iraq as an existing country needing a quick fix in the name of resurgent American realism, rather than a still-to-be-born country that needs to be ushered into being in the name of American idealism.”

    “Iraq, in short, needs Iraqis — citizens of a nation rather than of a tribe — and that, after decades of disorienting dictatorship, is a generational undertaking scarcely amenable to American electoral timetables.”

    “Right now, Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds see “freedom” more as the opportunity to be free of one another than to forge a liberal democracy. That’s how subjugated peoples, from the Soviet Union to Yugoslavia, tend to react to the lifting of tyranny. Iraqi behavior is not especially strange.” Roger Cohen IHT, “Iraq’s Biggest Failing: There is No Iraq”

    “The core weakness of Middle Eastern nations was that over centuries Arab society had developed intricate social organizations based on family, tribe and faith. Loyalty to these superseded national bonds. Notions of federalism, subsidiarity and impersonal administration — the underpinnings of the nation-state — had trouble flourishing in these sands.”

    “The Middle East’s weak national ties were ripped apart by the rising forces of the 21st century: religious fundamentalism, global terrorism, economic globalization and transnational communications networks. Efforts to do nation-building without security faced long odds. Efforts to exhort Iraqi and other leaders to behave “responsibly” — as defined by Western nationalist categories — were doomed to failure.” David Brooks NY Times “After the Fall”

    “Look back two years. In June 2004, at the time the Coalition Provisional Authority was to transfer sovereignty to what it thought would be an Iraqi government, Americans were toiling to finish their work of occupation: “A lawyer who had once clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist was poring over a draft edict requiring Iraqi political parties to engage in American-style financial disclosure.” Such surreal vignettes abound in “Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone,” by The Post’s Rajiv Chandrasekaran. The book, which should be read along with the ISG report, would be hilarious were it not horrifying that so much valor and suffering have been expended in this context:”

    “Halliburton, writes Chandrasekaran, hired Pakistanis and Indians, but no Iraqis, for kitchen work. “Nobody ever explained why, but everyone knew. They could poison the food.” Of the CPA staff, “More than half, according to one estimate, had gotten their first passport in order to travel to Iraq.” Two CPA staffers said that before they were hired, they were asked if they supported Roe v. Wade. The traffic code the CPA wrote for Iraq stipulated that “the driver shall hold the steering wheel with both hands” and “rest should be taken for five minutes for every one hour of driving.” But Chandrasekaran’s driver, who like other Iraqis had obeyed the laws under Saddam’s police state, began disregarding all traffic laws. “When I asked him what he was doing, he turned to me, smiled, and said, ‘Mr. Rajiv, democracy is wonderful. Now we can do whatever we want.’ ”

    “Not exactly.” Geroge F. Will, W. Post

  32. jm

    Philippine Constitution (1987)
    Preamble

    We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.

  33. Bafil

    I still can’t get my head around the latest alleged resurgence of the People Power. I mean, it is heartwarming to see politicians in the Philippines finally taking into account what people actually want and do not want, but is it really that simple as GMA fearing the angry crowds in Luneta and changing her mind? And if so, where was the angry crowd when the story of electoral fraud (as documented by Hello Garci tapes) surfaced a year and a half ago? Are we really to believe that people in the Phiulippines take tinkering with Constituion more seriously than tinkering with the electoral process? And I am the only one who is puzzled by this?

  34. Carl

    quoted from hvrds: “Iraq’s Biggest Failing: There is No Iraq”

    Iraq, like many countries formed by the British after their Empire was crumbling apart, is a hodgepodge of different nations hurriedly put together and allowed self-rule. The rush to be rid of responsibilities and a waning world power’s lack of logistics to administer a vast and scattered Empire were considered primarily over historical and ethnic considerations. Thus the mess left by Britain when it found it could no longer afford to control the territory it took away from the Ottoman Empire in the Middle Eaat.

    Similar haste and disastrous amalgamation of diverse cultures and religion marked the establishment of India and Pakistan, with Pakistan once split between its present territory and Bengal.

    Much of the present strife and enmity between nations can be traced to the time when the Empires played God and made the globe their plaything, only to drop it like a hot potato when things started to get dicey.

  35. UPn student

    It can be said that dictators like Saddam have a value on this earth. Thru the power of state-brutality, Saddam kept Iraq intact. He also kept Al-Qaida out of Iraq, and he provided a counterweight to Iran (and Iran’s war ambitions). And he, Saddam, was not a fundamentalist in the Taliban-mode.
    … It must not be forgotten that Saddam wielded state-brutality on his population with efficiency. In the end, Saddam was an internal problem for the Iraqis to solve. Dubya should not have invaded Iraq. At minimum, the younger Bush should have followed the elder Bush — dismantle Saddam’s military but NOT entering Baghdad. Saddam was an internal problem for the Iraqis to solve.

  36. james

    bencard- totally agree with you. antichacha groups are but anti GMA. they are against anything initaited by the president right or wrong. As Austero’s angry letter mentioned, they want to burn the whole country down. by the way, that letter spread like wildfire only becuase that is the sentiment of the great majority of the people. did any of the entry in this blog gain national attention like bong’s letter? NONE!

    anna- i don’t have a problem with those crowd that you love. but you only love them because you people could use them. like vlearde and villanueva use them. how could you gather people in the name of the God and suddenly switch to antiGMA rally?

  37. UPn student

    Another unexpected offshoot from the Iraqi debacle — immigration by Filipinos into the US-of-A will be negatively impacted. Reason — while today, only about 500 Iraqis a year are accepted for refugee-resettlement into the US, the numbers will ratchet up dramatically very soon. the numbers would be large because most Iraqi refugees now see little chance of returning to Iraq. Many want to settle in the West, including in the United States, because their life in Iraq “is pretty much gone.” In particular, more than 120,000 Christians who have fled Iraq are unlikely to go home and about 100,000 of them want to come to the United States, where many have relatives, according to a group representing the Christians.

  38. Jeg

    And if so, where was the angry crowd when the story of electoral fraud (as documented by Hello Garci tapes) surfaced a year and a half ago?
    Could be summed up by a lunchtime conversation I had with a couple of colleagues. They said: Id rather have GMA as president than Noli de Castro. Not so much because they perceive him as incompetent. Much of the distrust is because of his perceived utang na loob with the fellas who own Meralco and Maynilad. (And if I might add, the owners of ultramegapowerful media giant ABSCBN.)

    It’s nice to know that People Power is still there to remind the tradpols, but in this House Chacha, I thought it was an overreaction, bordering on hysteria even. A jumping the gun on our institutions. I would have preferred that we wait for the inevitable Supreme Court case first before threatening people power. Give our institutions a chance first. That shows maturity as a democracy.

    Anyway, Im sure the backtracking on the house-only chacha was not so much a result of the threatened people power, but a result of backdoor polling of the justices of the Supreme Court. GMA’s minions have more than an inkling that their coup doesnt stand a chance.

  39. anna de brux

    Seems James wants to propagate his doctrines in each of mlq3’s thread… his ripost here concerns a comment of mine about his earlier comment on the “toothless pro-Erap crowd”, “leftists”, anti-Gloria de Venecia cha cha people, etc.

    Anyway, James I’ve replied to your little rants in the previous thread.

  40. watchful eye

    Bafil don’t be Buffle. hehe. Sa palagay ko fair and free election and th inviolableness of the constitution are both great democratic values. Mahirap irank sila. Pero di ba kamuntek ng malintekan si GMA dahil sa garapalang nabisto at naipreserve sa Hello Garci tapes ang kanyang kalokohan? Bwesit itong si tandang tabaco at nakialam. Talsik na sana si ate glo. At balak pang mag-martial law ang loka para manatiling naka glue sa poder, remember. Madulas ng kaunti si ate dahil makapal ang mukha and she doesn’t hesitate to . . .na magsuhol, pati mga obispo dinemonyo. Demoyita talaga.

    Ang kalagayan ngayon sa kuro-kuro ko lang ay kasama pa rin sa kademonyuhang nangyari sa pandaraya kay FPJ. Talagang umaapaw na talaga. At ang mga Pilipino kahit paganun-ganun lang at pasyensioso pero matalino. You will be surprised how sophisticated our kababayans are. Belive ako sa Pinoy. Pagka hinudas nang hinudas mo sila, kahit papano kung hindi man tiradorin ang bintana mo, bubutasin ang gulong mo. haha

  41. watchful eye

    Bafil don’t be Buffle. hehe. Sa palagay ko fair and free election and th inviolableness of the constitution are both great democratic values. Mahirap irank sila. Pero di ba kamuntek ng malintekan si GMA dahil sa garapalang nabisto at naipreserve sa Hello Garci tapes ang kanyang kalokohan? Bwesit itong si tandang tabaco at nakialam. Talsik na sana si ate glo. At balak pang mag-martial law ang loka para manatiling naka glue sa poder, remember. Madulas ng kaunti si ate dahil makapal ang mukha and she doesn’t hesitate to . . .na magsuhol, pati mga obispo dinemonyo. Demoyita talaga.

    Ang kalagayan ngayon sa kuro-kuro ko lang ay kasama pa rin sa kademonyuhang nangyari sa pandaraya kay FPJ. Talagang umaapaw na talaga. At ang mga Pilipino kahit paganun-ganun lang at pasyensioso pero matalino. You will be surprised how sophisticated our kababayans are. Believe ako sa Pinoy. Pagka hinudas nang hinudas mo sila, kahit papano kung hindi man tiradorin ang bintana mo, bubutasin ang gulong mo. haha

  42. watchful eye

    sori for the double post manoling.

    “Much of the present strife and enmity between nations can be traced to the time when the Empires played God and made the globe their plaything, only to drop it like a hot potato when things started to get dicey.” sabi ni Carl

    Sa palagay ko ganun pa rin ngayon. Ang kaibhan, isa na lang ang Empire. btw, narinig mo ba yun sinabi ni sen. McCain that Iran is dangerous to the world and Israel and deranged. Namputa, Israel destroyed Lebanon and could be on the brink of civil strife bec. the state has been weakened as a result of the destrution. At si Bush at America, nakarinig ka na ba ng genocide by reckless imprudence or by stupidity?

  43. watchful eye

    “All government employees of all government department and agencies are prohibited from joining mass actions, rallies, protests, strikes and other activities against the government and duly constituted authority,” Injustice Sec. Gonzalez said.

    Do you really lose fundamental constituional rights simply by being government employees? This sounds like Bencard.

  44. Chris

    just as the Black americans re-elected Rangel (who proposed a draft several times) and the crook Jefferson the people in the provinces will re-elect Gullas, Carargas, Villafuete, and Lagman. they re-elected that rapist Jalosos.
    but Susano will go down to defeat.

  45. UPn student

    Isn’t there a law yet in the Philippines similar to Hawaii law, as follows:
    Hawaii Revised Statutes § 831‑2.
    PERSONS SENTENCED FOR A FELONY:
    1. MAY NOT VOTE in an Election while committed to imprisonment for a felony.

    CANDIDATES FOR PUBLIC OFFICE:
    1. A person sentenced for a felony may not become a candidate for or hold public office from the time of the person’s sentence until the person’s final discharge.
    2. A person sentenced for a felony and still on probation or parole may not become a candidate for public office.
    3. A person sentenced for a felony must receive his/her final discharge before he/she is eligible to file nomination papers (Att. Gen. Ltr. Ops. August 20, 1974 and July 14, 1978).
    PERSONS HOLDING PUBLIC OFFICE:
    1. A public office held at the time of sentence is forfeited:

  46. justice league

    Oh heck. Some people just don’t realize how much a FAKE Bong Austero really is!

    Austero’s letter created quite a stir because certain people choose to concentrate on his message of sacrificing rights to move the country forward.

    THose same people don’t care to see how much of a FRAUD the sentiment Austero really wanted to state. (Though Austero made no bones of what he meant in the letter itself)

    When he considered himself a part of the “WE”, he was all for sacrificing the rights of the “WE” yet he quickly turned around and implied how selfish he would be when the issue was now HIS rights!

    So when he assumed that his own rights that he didn’t want to sacrifice were being transgressed when he was being stopped in checkpoints; he nearly went AMOK in his blog against it!!!

    And that is Bong Austero for you!

  1. Promdi — Philippine politics, current affairs, society and culture » Covering their (con)asses

    […] The PCIJ, meanwhile, points out the “missing link” in the Cha-cha debate. Manolo Quezon ruminates on public opinion vis-a-vis Cha-cha: “The only consensus I can see is in terms of public opinion: and public opinion is more defined in terms of what the public does not want, than what it actually wants. What does the public not want?” […]

  2. Arab Real Estate

    Arab Real Estate…

    I Googled for something completely different, but found your page…and have to say thanks. nice read….

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