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Dec 13

Hobson’s choice

The Speaker, every chance he gets, keeps emphasizing the point that he’s “turned the tables” on the Senate. He hopes that no one will notice his tactical move to move for a Constitutional Convention won’t be revealed for what it is: a Hobson’s choice.

The choice isn’t between a failed, because dangerous and alarming, House attempt at unilaterally proposing amendments by means of a constituent assembly that tried to sideline the senate, and a constitutional convention meant to deflect attention from the House and pin down a slippery Senate. No. There is no real choice at all.

Either way, the objective of the House remains: a unicameral parliament with a vaguely-defined power-sharing arrangement between a future parliament and the present president, all of whom resent the electorate. The proposal may enjoy support among representatives, even governors and mayors, and even a large portion of the public; but opposition to that particular proposal undeniably also exists on a large scale among the public and in the upper house. That the objective remains paramount is shown by the attempt of the president’s lawyer to get into the act by proposing appointed constitutional convention delegates (which is not an illegal proposal, but merely politically expedient).

Dave Llorito has a blog entry I find myself agreeing with in large part. His point is, the past year has underscored a message different sectors of society have slowly, sometimes clumsily, tried to send: no short cuts. This is a message that I agree has been sent to every side of the political divide. Indeed, there seems a consistency in public behavior, on the whole, over the past decade.

For those of us who wanted the president to immediately resign, the public’s message was: let us first find a way to hold her accountable, and let the charges be presented and the evidence weighed. Precisely the same message the public sent in 2000-2001 with regards to President Estrada.

When impeachment was attempted, the public showed a willingness to see the process through, and even desired it push through: and didn’t like it when the process didn’t prosper. But the corresponding message was, if at first you don’t succeed, try again.

In between, when the military regime change option reared its head, there was a backlash against it in terms of public opinion -but government’s reactions, too, provoked a backlash, with various executive stratagems receiving heavy criticism. Whether a 1989 style coup, or a 2001 style withdrawal of support, the public said no.

the public gave the 2nd impeachment the benefit of the doubt; and when it again didn’t prosper, opinion again indicated a third attempt after May, 2007 remained on the table.

The consensus, as it existed, was: until you prove her guilt according to constitutionally-ordained means, she will stay until 2010 but not a day longer than her present term.

With the various avenues for constitutional change, the public has seemed willing to tolerate all of them, but only to a certain point. The so-called “people’s initiative” stumbled and fell under the weight of overwhelming official support but underwhelming public interest; it expired at the doorstep of the Supreme Court. Though there is talk that that the dead may walk and sign again.

Constituent Assembly rumbled on for over a year but provoked widespread opposition only when its first consequence clearly became the postponement and possible cancellation, of the May elections, and when the public finally came to grips with the fundamental attribute of parliamentary government, which is to deprive the electorate of having a direct say in the election of the chief executive. Congressmen wanted to avoid bothering with elections. The absence of even mitigating circumstances to provide the benefit of the doubt, is what Inquirer editorial for today focuses on to clarify precisely what caused public offense, and why. Ellen Tordesillas recounting a possible lapsus senilis last Monday only compounds matters.

And so here’s the difference: which is that the ones proving more obstinate in the face of public opinion are the administration and its allies. The very minimal standards of democratic adherence public opinion demands -don’t move around elections, let everyone say their piece even if you have the numbers to shut them up, accept it when you’ve lost and try better next time within the bounds of what public opinion permits- are being flouted by the administration, whether in the House, the Palace, or the provinces. If you resent the fact it makes someone like [insert the name of the opposition member you like to hate here] look like a democratic hero, you have no one to blame but the ruling coalition.

Therefore, if any national consensus exists, it isn’t along the lines of whether the constitution should be amended or what means should be followed, but instead, that there are certain non-negotiables that both administration and opposition are required to submit to: elections always, with a national vote for the chief executive; no abuse of the powers of numbers; no restrictions on debate and no short-cuts in procedures; no rushing; no going beyond the bounds of the democratic process. Period. For everyone.

If the unicameral option was being weighed in the past, I do believe opinion has hardened against it. This was understandable enough for those with memories of the Batasan Pambansa, but is significant considering many people today can’t remember that far back.

While I don’t think a majority consensus in favor of Federalism yet exists, I do think even those supportive of it have been disheartened by the manner in which Federalism was waved around by the President last year, but dropped in its constituent assembly gambit by those you’d think would have supported it, the members of the House. It just shows how far apart the priorities of the professional politicos and even their constituents, remains.

It’s also significant the President’s allies in the House are proclaiming the convention option dead (while pinning the blame on the Senate, of course) because the House and Palace both know that their Achilles heel remains the credibility of the Commission on Elections. If, for example, the May 2007 elections turn out to be marred by fraud, that will tar and feather those elected -including convention delegates. And if the manner in which the administration has attempted people’s initiative, and then constituent assembly (both valid methods except invalidated by the means used to accomplish them), a convention composed of delegates whose election is in doubt, would be dead before it could even begin its work.

Which would close off every possible option for regime survival, and extension.

Last night, on Pia Hontiveros’ show, Palace functionaries apparently proposed joining the Sunday rally, which not only boggled the minds of those planning to go, but raised the temperature again. And so, the Palace is pleading for the rally not to push through. I think it will achieve the opposite -convince people to attend, anyway. Ahead of Manila will come the Negrenses who will dispel Rep. Nograles’ assertion that if anyone is upset, it’s only people in Metro Manila. Read the Visayas and Mindanao papers.

Let me restate some principles of People Power I believe have been proven over the past year, as I’ve mentioned in the blog in the past:

1. Those who were the targets of People Power in the past, cannot call for it in the future;
2. Those who benefited from People Power in the past, cannot deny it’s use by anyone else;
3. People Power is peaceful, and anyone who advocates violence can never call for it, or expect anyone to follow them;
4. People Power is led from the front, and not from the rear; leaders and followers march together otherwise it’s not People Power.

These explain, partially, to be sure, why after it was widely assumed that fatigue had set in, there are those prepared to march once more. But not all. Bong Austero, for example, remains less bothered by congressmen than he was by Renato Constantino, Jr.

In Cebu City, Raymund Fernandez puts forward a sober proposal (in essence, what Sylvia Mayuga calls “People Power updated”):

The drive for constitutional change now rests solely on the proposal to append the election for constitutional convention representatives to the coming general elections in 2007. That these elections are happening (bar the ever-present possibility of a coup) has become academic. The only question we must now ask is whether or not we can have credible elections at that time.

Now would be a good time for those occupying the highest positions of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to consider resigning for the good of our country. It is, after all, clear beyond the shadow of a doubt they cannot facilitate elections without raising doubts about their partiality. Too many questions have been raised of their integrity by members of the Armed Forces, no less, who risked court martial for their claims. And while the content of the “Hello, Garci” tapes may arguably not be admissible in court, they have found too many believers who cannot be discounted entirely.

The chances of this development are admittedly slim. They should have resigned the first time the “Hello, Garci” tapes came out. The fact that they did not is clear proof they will hold on to their positions no matter what. It seems equally clear GMA will not rid us of them. Such a move would certainly place administration candidates at a disadvantage. And any disadvantage now for administration candidates could prove fatal in the coming elections given their current standings at the surveys. Thus, it is too early for us to be entirely happy with the current developments despite the fact a victory has been scored with the death of Cha-cha and Con-ass.

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66 comments

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  1. jumper

    “have you seen the new car? it has a great color, sleek design, lavish interiors, and a powerful engine. but there’s a spec of dust on the hood though, therefore i don’t think the car’s very good.”

    – bong austero, belinda cunanan, alex magno, emil jurado

  2. jumper

    “dude, i just bought a Nokia 1610! it can send and receive text messages, and make calls. best of all, it can tell time! i got the bestest deal in the universe, i tell yah!”

    – bong austero, belinda cunanan, alex magno, emil jurado

  3. jumper

    “kool-aid!”

    – bong austero, belinda cunanan, alex magno, and emil jurado, when asked about their favorite drink

    http://www.answers.com/topic/kool-aid

  4. manuelbuencamino

    Congress wants cha-cha done in the Halls of Constitutional Democracy.

    The opposition will oppose it in the Halls of Popular Democracy.

    But Cardinal Vidal of Cebu appealed for calm and proposed the Halls of Simony as a venue for debates.

  5. rego

    now this time I can very well agree with you, Manolo. Definitley no shortcut period!!!!!

    And you understanding of people power is so precise for me.

    Now will the Sunday planned event be another people power????

    I doubt it so much!!!!!

    For one it lacks one very important element of that charaterized the past peopel power – unplanned and spontaniety…..

    BTW headline ng Inq7 yesterday ” Cory to attend teh Sunday Rally” — sa loob loob ko naman Di nakapgatataka? News pa eto???????

  6. MIKEY DEPENSOUR

    JOIN the SUNDAY RALLY and SHOW OUR DISGUST oON GMA AND JDV !!!
    UNITED WE WILL SUCCEED IN TOPPLING THE FAKE AND ABUSIVE/ARROGANT ADMINISTRATION …

    IT’S ABOUT TIME !!!

    NOW NA !!!

  7. rego

    On Bongs Austeros reaction to the current circus…. I believe that is the same reaction of the majority of the public. Not really outrage! The outrage were coming only from the opposition and from the sectors who believe the proposed amendment will render them less powerful. And that is very understandable. (Talking about vested interest……)

  8. MIKEY DEPENSOUR

    YOUR TIME is UP … REGO — You and GMA should be ANNIHILATED

  9. MIKEY DEPENSOUR

    REGO don’t let OUR OUTRAGE BE THROWN AT YOU …

    GMA MOUTHPIECE

  10. mlq3

    rego, we can agree, no shortcuts if this is all to have a healthy outcome, but we disagree on whether there was outrage.

    as for sunday, it will be a demonstration. it will be people making their positions known in as public a way as possible. but i don’t think the objective or effect of sunday will be regime change. it’s a warning.

    but i also think it’s focused attention on two things: the importance of debate when it comes to constitutional change, and also, focusing attention on the issues leading up to the elections.

    the opportunity for people power, if it presents itself, would come if the elections turn out to be lacking in credibility. the current comelec chairman isn’t helping in this regard.

    a point on edsa dos: i agree with rego, also, that many went who did so spontaneously, which isn’t to say there weren’t those trying to maneuver behind the scenes. i’ve debated this with philippine commentary many times. i think the point where things got rushed, and weren’t allowed to reach their logical conclusion, was when those at edsa split into two camps: those who stayed at edsa, and those who marched on the palace.

    i personally feel people power might have turned bloody if the crowd that marched at the palace, besieged it. that was the judgment call of the afp, the church, the supreme court, with prodding from the then-vice president. we can’t second-guess their judgment at the time: people power had to be kept peaceful. expectations were high, and genuine, that it might bring better government to the people.

    that it didn’t is why there was edsa tres and every problem on down the line, and why estrada, for example, remains a political force.

  11. realist

    “kay haba-haba man ng prosisyon, sa simbahan din ang tuloy.”

  12. DJB

    MLQ3,

    People Power is the dream that we can accomplish revolutions peacefully — a kind of instant plebiscite on the current leader and a ratification of his or her overthrow and replacement. It is of course the ultimate constitutional shortcut.

    But this dream is also a dangerous illusion because I believe that revolutions can not always be accomplished peacefully. In 1986, the brave Filipinos actually faced a moribund leader already fat and sated after 21 years of feasting on power. Edsa I was peaceful only because Paul Wolfowitz suggested a famous line for Ronald Reagan to convey through Paul Laxalt: Cut and cut cleanly. Otherwise it would’ve been a bloody massacre that we wouldn’t be paying homage to as a peaceful revolution.

    Likewise, in the case of Erap, he never was a tyrant even if he was most certainly a boozer, womanizer and plunderer. In Edsa Dos it WAS peaceful as you point out because the Chief Justice and the Chief of Staff conspired with the Vice President and the Church to overthrow the President. “People Power” did not do that. The Mob was just a prop and an excuse for a coup d’etat by the highest officials of the land.

    There can be no Edsa Dos style People Power now because Hermogenes Esperon and Reynato Puno are not about to do an Angie Reyes or Hilario Davide. There will be no Regime Change on Sunday.

    But I think one day, we shall face a real tyrant, fresh in the prime of her autocracy. It is then when People Power will have its true test.

    On that day, we shall have to defend our freedoms with deadly force if we are men and not mice, or wear our chains in abashed silence again. Now that is the scenario the Left dearly would love to happen.

    Actually, the need for such dramatics was long ago obsoleted. How? By the Charter Change Provisions in every democratic constitution!

    Erap is a political force only because he is a living symbol of how constitutional democracy was destroyed by that so-called People Power.

    It was Edsa Dos and the intellectual dishonesty of the Davide Court, that are the real roots of the House Majority’s utter disrespect for the Constitution, for their propagation of the myth that the Constitution is what the Supreme Court says it means. (That is true only for people who did not pass English Composition in school.)

    But if we are looking for the source of the recklessness and the hubris of the House Majority’s chacha campaign to devastate the Constitution look no further than EDSA DOS! After the Constitution was raped to put GMA in power, here comes JDV and his gang bangers wanting their turn too.

    I don’t interpret Sunday as the further development of People Power. I see it as the beginning of Filipino political conservatism.

  13. jonas

    The only “true” people power we’ve had was the EDSA ’86. The “people power” that followed after that were all sham. It’s harder to muster and have people power right now because, for one, there’s no Cardinal Sin anymore. The number of religious personalities including the colorums (El Shaddai, etc.) tend to scatter the consolidation process and somewhat contribute to the confusion as to whose voice is to be followed. Number two the effect of the last “people power,” the so-called EDSA 2, is still fresh from the people’s mind. There are people who think that we’ve made a mistake in resorting to power grab which cause the instability we’re suffering right now as a nation. Number three, the main feature of EDSA ’86 and the power grab in 2001, that is, the clear division and separation of the personalities between the pro-Marcos and its remnants groups versus political opposition led by Cory-Ramos, etc. and the Church-led Sin, is no longer clear today. Fourth, contrary to what you suggested, people power must have a threat of violence in order to intimidate and threatened those who are to be ousted for it to succeed. Look, it could be possible that De Venecia and company thinking that since the AFP and PNP is so “weak” right now(Magdalo capture & trial and Gringo’s capture, etc.) they were emboldened to flex their muscles and resort again to the tyranny of numbers in Congress thinking that they will succeed when they attempted their failed con-ass adventure. Good thing the issue (chacha) is no longer confined within the halls and control of the trapos.

    I guess, what we’ll have in the near future would be a “passive” kind of people power wherein the administration will eventually succumbed to people’s don’t care/don’t respect/don’t dignify/don’t consider/don’t acknowledge/don’t agree/don’t-don’t attitude and will decide to give in to what they were demanding, like snap election or resignation, etc. In other words, it will be pressured on to do things it doesn’t want to which will eventually lead to it’s downfall. Although, sa kapal ng mukha ni Greedy and company, I would say that it’s still a long shot.

  14. anna de brux

    Re: “It was Edsa Dos and the intellectual dishonesty of the Davide Court, that are the real roots of the House Majority’s utter disrespect for the Constitution, for their propagation of the myth that the Constitution is what the Supreme Court says it means.”

    Absolutely spot on!

  15. DJB

    Why did Joe de Venecia do Con-Ass? I think it was because he failed miserably with the Sigaw ng Bayan People’s Initiative. So, the House tried to impersonate the Congress in exercising Constituent power. What made him think he could get away with this?

    Well consider what happened at EDSA Dos. Hilario Davide also failed miserably in keeping the Impeachment Trial going. But instead of reconvening the sessions immediately, calling back the walked out prosecutors, and finishing the trial, he participated in “People Power” to “restore Zion” — his own personal Zion! To cover up the only blotch in an otherwise perfect record as a Judge. Why did he not uphold the Constitution? He KNEW Erap was not permanently disabled yet he swore GMA in.

    Davide too was guilty of impersonation! He impersonated the Supreme Court itself. For there was no Justiciable Case before him other than the Impeachment Trial. When he swore GMA in, can we really say today that that was the Supreme Court acting in its moral and official capacity to uphold the Law?

    No more than that was the Congress proposing to turn us into a Unicameral Parliament a week ago!

    It was the direct personal act of the Chief Justice acting not as the Chief Justice, but a mere coup plotter and conspirator.

    This business of averting violence was invented AFTER the whole thing was over. Perhaps it was something Cardinal Sin said in agreeing about the need to prevent violence.

    But Davide, Bible reading Davide, was no priest! He was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He KNEW better. But if we say he acted out of personal conviction and good intentions, then we must absolve JDV too.

    For they are both guilty or innocent of the same crime: violating the plain meaning of the Constitution without need of absurd construction.

    Like “constructed resignation” or “unilateral Constituent Assembly.

  16. baycas

    mlq3, rego:

    i guess mike arroyo’s account of edsa dos is really not that credible…must be because he is mike arroyo?

    —–

    uhhmm…speaking of him…a thought raced through my barber’s mind…asean summit was postponed because there was no one to host the First spouses activities. fg’s still undergoing cardiac rehabilitation.

    …and i thought it’s to give more time to gather money for this anticipated expenditures…

  17. mlq3

    jonas, thanks for bringing that up -people power is a peaceful response to the threat of an armed solution.

    i tend to agree with your points, particularly the way it might play out, a slow slog until the administration’s options end up limited by the expiration date it began with: june 30, 2010. i’ve said elsewhere that it’s on july 1, 2010 if the president’s still there, that things would really come to a head, and quickly.

  18. cvj

    The outrage were coming only from the opposition and from the sectors who believe the proposed amendment will render them less powerful.” – rego

    With regard to the proposal to eliminate direct elections for the national leadership, ‘them’ would include you, me and the rest of the voting public. You may not mind giving up that right, but others like me, certainly do.

  19. camry

    While it is true that we can claim two (2) successful people powers in changing the leadrship, the very high expectations of progress were overshadowed by the greed of the majority of political leaders over the real welfare of the people.

    Reforms on how to minimize corruption is way out of reach, alleged corrupt government personnel continue to fled the country and live elsewhere to enjoy their loot. Until we see a real reform on how to deal with corrupt government personnel (start with politicians) no amount of people power to change leadership will be a real success. Filipinos need to put into realities the dreams of our fallen heroes, otherwise, we see continuous outflow of talents from our dear country.

    Had GMA been successful in convicting ERAP on the charges filed against him, the country might be in different position. Since both of them are politicians, the conviction or acquital is moving slower than a turtle. Ohhhhh what an injustice system we have.

  20. GMA's ally

    The rally/demonstration this Sunday is a show of force. Bro. Eddie is even joining for reasons we all know and if the opposition is jumping in the bandwagon by this time we all know why, they have their own vested interests and the thing is if you’re really outraged then the May 2007 election is your avenue, if your so angry at GMA and his allies then do what the American’s did they voted Democrats instead of Republicans but another change of leadership will not do us any good we all know it, we’re just to blind to accept that it’s the reality and we can’t deal with it.

  21. triolosbogus

    Edsa Dos was a conspiracy of highest order, abeted by the plundering and intoxited President, but President nontheless, that could have been thrown out by constitutional means or by a real uprising, and there was none, but by the ambition of a vice a president who was sneaky as a squeky and knew exactly when to strike and when not to strike, and until today, has demonstrated it well. just in time when she feels the con-ass would would raise the ire of the public and relligious leaders that could result to spontaneous emotional uprising among the middle military officers, which is the only effective way to mount a real overthrow. Never mind the opposition congressmen or senators, they all are playing it safe, waiting their turns at the power controls, so are the Bishops, who are just dependents on the soldiers, but the soldiers had had enough; they too have been used and gloria has these all figured out. always a step ahead that little lady. but someday she’ll trip, and that’s the only way to catch her up.. and stump her down and never let go…

  22. anna de brux

    Gloriaally,

    Re: “American’s did they voted Democrats instead of Republicans but another change of leadership will not do us any good we all know it, we’re just to blind to accept that it’s the reality and we can’t deal with it.”

    But this is precisely the crux of the matter, the tipping point, Gloria and her political dogs are moving heaven and earth NOT to hold that May 2007 election!

    So, even with the best will in the world, how on earth can Flipinos do what Democrats did in the US?

  23. elinca

    Having left the country during Martial Law and never been back, I have never witnessed People Power first-hand. How huge will this rally be, and will media footage be accessible thru your site? Thanks. Our prayers are with you.

  24. jonas

    Why, what’s so bad in Gloria being ousted by people power? At least, now we are very sure we are ousting the right person. At least this time we are very sure that what we are kicking out from Malacanang was not voted and in fact rejected by the people.

    Except for EDSA ’86, I was one of those who are not in favor of resorting to street justice or mob rule and in fact reject EDSA 2 and consider it a plot of losers and opportunists against the duly constituted authority.

    Why will we do what the American’s are doing? They don’t do people power there. They don’t resort to mob rule or street justice there. Our government is a product of those acts so why adopt a civilize way when we are so used to a barbaric one? Double standard? Aren’t we fond of and prefer mob rule and power grab than constitunal processes? Why change course now? Let Gloria experience how it is to be stab in the back. That’s the only way we can learn the lessons of history.

  25. ronnie.pedfan

    off-topic:

    has anyone heard of late night with conan o’ brien’s hornymanatee.com which has generated a web phenomenon? i caught the dec. 4 episode where this absurdist college sports mascot was introduced in a skit and have been following it eversince. and the new york times has just featured it in an article: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/12/arts/television/12mana.html?8dpc. with the interplay of tv and the net, i believe this one’s going to be a classic example of tipping points to pop culture.

    on-topic:

    i agree, sunday’s rally will at best serve as a warning. elections 2007 will be the litmus test. even a minuscule hard-evidence of fraud will tip the point. in such a scenario, i believe critical mass will follow.

  26. The Ca t

    When a rally is initiated by the religious, the leaders may be politically motivated but the people are not. They heed their leaders not because they understand the issue but because they are emotionally blackmailed that they will suffer or their luck will change when they do not receive the blessing of the Praise-the-Lord mouthing pink clad minister who may ask another favor from the administrative officials.

    It is also an excuse to pass on the hat and the envelops for the faithfuls’ “thank you for the blessing gift”. Duh.

  27. DJB

    The Ca t,

    I hear you making that funny monosyllabic sound, “DUH” which I’ve come to recognize as the sneering motto of elitists like Teddy Boy Locsin and Chit Pedrosa and the rest of the sassy middle class who would indeed take the further step of depriving such Sheep of their vote for the national leaders.

    Because unlike the Sheep who believe in something, and are not embarrassed by their faith, the DUH-sayers believe in nothing that they are willing to defend with any risk of suddenly appearing emotional. It is the strategy of felines also.

    And so: BAA!

    (In sheepish language, “In Gaaad We Trust!” and for Roman Citizens–“Vox Populi Vox Dei!”)

  28. james

    true the Ca t
    and when vilarde, villanueva, tobias dommands them to jump?

    what are they so ecstatic about? that we are stuck in political horse trading ? that cbcp is one good horse trader?

  29. Carl

    mlq3 said: “the way it might play out, a slow slog until the administration’s options end up limited by the expiration date it began with: june 30, 2010.”

    That’s more realistic and that’s generally the way I sense the public’s frame of mind is set. For now, it’s Christmastime and people want to be in a more cheerful mode. While people perhaps thought that congressmen pushed things too far beyond the zone of comfort, given that the Supreme Court has already spoken, that hasn’t metamorphosed into outrage. Certainly not to the point of provoking “people power”.

    I think people just want a break from fractious debates. They would rather concentrate on more pleasant matters or on looking for means to provide their families with something to cheer them up for Christmas.

  30. anna de brux

    Mlq3,

    Just read your column for today, “All that glittered was the gold”. Brilliant exposé!

    Numbers don’t lie and what better way than to prove to ratty Joe de Venecia that he and his friends are lying by showing that they can fool some people some of the time but they can’t fool all of the people all the time.

    How extraordinary that Joe and his ratty friends just can’t stop digging holes for themselves! One lie after the other, one con and another; they just don’t know when to stop digging, digging, digging those holes.

    What a dumb bunch of political con artists!

  31. james

    where is bong now? where are you?

  32. anna de brux

    Re: “And so: BAA!

    (In sheepish language, “In Gaaad We Trust!” and for Roman Citizens–”Vox Populi Vox Dei!”)”

    My oh my, DJB, you DO have cute sense of humour!

  33. pinoy_gising

    To GMA’s ally, who said, above: “if you’re so angry at GMA and his allies then do what the American’s did they voted Democrats instead of Republicans”

    Judging from the recent surveys, that’s exactly what an overwhelming majority of Filipinos intend to do in May 2007. But of course there’s that big caveat: How “clean” will the May elections be?

    We all know that GMA cheated massively in 2004, and got away with it. The same scalawags are still there in the comelec. What are the chances that they will again attempt massive fraud in May? I believe, mighty plenty. GMA has shown that she’s willing to do anything and everything to keep her stranglehold on power.

  34. DJB

    Anna, Here is another way of looking at this.

    Suppose a bunch of El Shaddai peasants are riding a helicopter. Then the Co-Pilot, Joe de Fall Guy declares he is going to remove that stupid lil propeller on the tail of the helicopter, mumbling some formula about 3/4 of the power output comes from the main rotor anyway and the small one’s just a drag.

    Well if the peasants say NO, and throw him off the aircraft, it’s not because they’re rocket scientists are they?

    The People don’t have to understand the detailed provisions of the Constitution to know when someone is violating it. Or them.

  35. inidoro ni emilie

    “For one it lacks one very important element of that charaterized the past peopel power – unplanned and spontaniety…..”

    rego, where’d you get this silly theory? the people power in poland was not spontaneous. it was the culmination in response to several years of oppression.

    edsa dos was spontaneous only to the extent that the texters were drawn into the streets to launch the globe and smart party, and then the ogres took over to set up a concert, while the planning and turncoatism happened backstage. the better of your emotion got you, what was inside the second envelope anyway? if you were so furious then about the senate invoking technicality, what kept you silent when the same was invoked several times by those animals in the congress now?

    edsa 1 was not spontaneous. there was a trigger, and until cardinal sin called upon to provide human shield to enrile, only then then the clamor for marcos’s ouster well up to dramatic level. but notice even edsa 1 was a culmination of the series of protests wages beginning in 1983.

    mob rule tends to be spontaneous though. maybe you are right. edsa 2 was manuevered by mobsters.

  36. inidoro ni emilie

    dbj, you had me chuckling to your reaction up there.

  37. The Ca t

    The reaction of the peasants is not entirely correct. The followers of the gods of prosperity won’t mind if the plane goes down. They have been conditioned to accept whatever befalls them as blessing in disguise. Thus they celebrate death and thank for miseries given them for that is the way they are saved, cleansed of their sins and prepared for a better future. Praise the ….AMEN. Not unless, their self-anointed man-of-high-couture-cloth tells them to do so.

    I do not see any need for the rally. The Con-ass was declared dead. So what is it for? To overthrow the government? Nahhh. Aside from the envelop, they are going to sell the lucky handkerchiefs, the umbrella that catches the manna from heaven and to make them guilty if they don’t open their wallets.

    It’s not the faith in God. It’s the faith in cult personality.
    DUH, DUH.

  38. anna de brux

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Dean. To most simple living folks, a wrong is wrong.

  39. talksmart

    I want to go home to the Philippines and make a change! now!

  40. Shaman of Malilipot

    Cat, why are you so condescending in your attitude towards other people? What makes you think that you’re superior to them? What makes you think that you’re the only one who acts out of self-reflection and conviction while others act simply out of conditioned reflex?

    I’m going to the rally on Sunday not because I fear eternal damnation if I didn’t, but because I personally believe I have to express my extreme disgust to what this illegitimate Administration and its allies in the House and, yes, in the media are trying to foist on the people. And there are millions of people like me. So what if GMA, JDV and the con asses have archived their Con Ass? The more that the people must express, in no uncertain terms, to these cheaters, liars, deceivers, dissemblers, constitutional rapists that they cannot get away with their evil deeds.

    BAA! BAA!

  41. rizal

    The Ca t

    Your absolutely correct except that the Sunday rally if succesful will ushered in the CBCP as the most powerful political force capable of influencing the elections. The INC should beware that its source of power is very much threatened.

  42. vic

    I agree that the people need not know the details of every provisions of the charter, and for some don’t even know that one exist and that would not make any one an excuse to violate it against them. simple as simple can get.

  43. The Ca t

    Shaman,
    Ow, I am used to the people’s attitiude here. When I predicted that the mass actions initiated by the combined force of the left leaning, disgruntled/kicked-out members of the government, tradpols and Erap camp and led by Cory would not never succeed, I was almost lynched by the “mob” writers.

    I do not feel superior to them. I tell the truth. The meeting and or prayer rally here of the religious organization led by the “colorful” minister is money-making venture for the organizer. They get a percentage of the take.

    Can you explain to me how did these “men-of-colorful cloth” become millionaires when they don’t work. Can you explain to me
    how they finance their operations and stuff their pockets with wads of bills?

    Do you belong to this congregation ? Then you have to answer the question.

  44. The Ca t

    I am no longer surprised by the participation of the CBCP and the Roman Catholic Church.

    Several centuries ago, it is the popes who waged war against other countries. Go to Rome and you will see the castle where the weaponry of the popes were kept for exhibit.

    Several centuries ago, the Bishops/Archbishops were powerful advisers of the powerful royal families.

    That have not changed since that is the way they propagate/protect the church interests. Read: not the faith or belief but the CHURCH INTERESTS. It is only their visibilities which were diminished.

    If businessmen are wary of their investments in the country, so
    is the Catholic Church. Ask who is the owner of a very big bank in the Philippines. Ask who are the biggest investors in the multinational companies.

    Do your researh and be wary too.

  45. The Ca t

    I do not care about the prayer rallies, I care about the hidden agenda in the same way that I frowned upon celebrities using the calamity as an excuse to hold concerts.

    The proceeds do not go to the intended recipients/victims. If ever there is, it must be only 10 per cent of the total take.

  46. Shaman of Malilipot

    Cat, no I’m not a member of the congregation. Religion is my personal relationship with my God, as my Jesuit mentors have taught me.

    The call for a mass action on Sunday is a reaction to a patently immoral act committed by public cheats and liars. We who are going to the rally may be sinners (who is not?), but we still have the moral obligation to express outrage and indignation in the face of evil. If these “men-of-colorful-cloth” personally profit from their “ministry”, it’s their personal look-out. They will answer for it when the day of reckoning comes, not me. But when they rise up against evil-doers, I’ll gladly join them, anytime.

  47. cvj

    I agree with Shaman. Just like the preachers, we all have our flaws. Yet, there’s something wonderful about flawed men and women coming together in peace to stand up for what is right. That is one of the fascinating characteristics of genuine democratic expression.

    James (at 9:23am), why are you still looking for Bong? His value to your camp is in remaining politically passive and in rallying others to be like him. He cannot be any more politically passive than he is now so what more do you want?

  48. Shaman of Malilipot

    James, Bong has been engaged as a columnist by the Arroyo-mouthpiece Manila Standard and hired by the Philippine National Bank where the government still holds equity. Apparently, he has gotten what he wanted, so he sees no need to make waves.

  49. sparc

    Bong Austero…the voice of the group of people who’s satisfied and content to have corrupt, power hungry and incompetent government officials and representatives as long as its not Erap.

  50. Shaman of Malilipot

    Cat, people have, at one time or another, acted with hidden agenda (haven’t you?). It happens all the time. Some agenda are good, others are bad. For the latter, a proper time for reckoning will come. But human beings, frail and flawed as they are, are still capable of acting with genuine sincerity and moral conviction – without any hidden agenda. If you expect that only those who are morally pure have the right to protest against evil, then we would be waiting for the angels in vain while evildoers went on a rampage unchecked.

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