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Second wind
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on December 19, 2006 117 Comments 4 min read
Arroyo Should Not Misread Opposition to Charter Change Previous The Long View: Parameters Next

Last Sunday I asked Mon Casiple his fearless forecast before the rally started. A very circumspect man, he answered me by saying he saw three possibilities:

1. If attendance was disappointing, the administration would suddenly rediscover its courage and renew the push for constitutional amendments.
2. If attendance met expectations, then everyone could look forward to the May elections and take it from there.
3. If attendance exceeded expectations, the President would begin negotiations leading to her retirement.

The President proved Mr. Casiple right, with this statement:

There are three realities we face as a nation: one, that the people accept the need for Charter change to overhaul the system; two, that there is a need for a unified national consensus on the means and timetable; and three, that this is a platform commitment of the administration that will be pursued with urgency and fervor.

These realities will continue to shape our actions for the better future of the Philippines – working closely and inclusively with all stakeholders and institutions; observing transparency; and backing up the entire process with a strong economy, social payback and values programs.

This is a matter of paramount national interest and our leaders must all rise to the challenge.

This is a volte-face from her previous statement on December 14:

I commend the decision of the House leadership as an act of statesmanship to unify not only the two chambers of the legislature but the whole nation around the issue of Charter change.

I thank Speaker Joe de Venecia and his valiant allies in the House for heeding the voice of national consolidation and unity, without sacrificing their high vision of political renewal.

It is time to gather together all the energies of our people for the continuing work ahead – maintaining our economic strength, ensuring the social payback of economic reforms, and helping distressed communities back to their feet.

Philippine democracy will always find the proper time and opportunity for Charter reform at a time when the people deem it ripe and needful, and in the manner they deem proper. The nation must consolidate now and I call upon all our institutions and sectors to stand as one for the country’s future.

The “urgency and fervor” of December 19 was not there on December 14; or put another way, the need to “gather together all the energies of our people,” etc., was magnificently accomplished in all of one week (which proves nothing is ever permanent in politics).

If members of the House were stunned a week ago, it’s happy days again, as the latest show of bravura indicates, regardless of whether or not they’re taking their cue from the unsinkable Speaker, the irrepressible Senator Santiago, and a highly-pleased Alex Magno.

And so, the Inquirer says, Fresh Cha-cha push seen after Christmas; the President’s given the green light, or as GMA News puts it, she’s now “undeterred”; see also, the combined report of Malaya.

So there you have it. It reminds me of something else Mon Casiple told me: “don’t believe for a moment their Con-Ass proposal has been really archived and is dead.”

In her column, Connie Veneracion suggests broader, and harder, questions have to be tackled if a proper Charter Change debate is to take place.

In the blogosphere, Philippine Commentary continues to elaborate his thesis that a new kind of political conservatism is a-borning. Red’s Herring examines the role of People Power in a democracy and how just invoking its name can scare the wits out of leaders.

Ang Tagapaggalugad as well as Audrin’s Site, and Sarita’s Site, and Four Eyed Journal went to the rally and took photos. On the other hand, Pinoy X-sa KSA is fed up with rallies. A sentiment expressed by those who had to deal with yesterday’s Makati rally: see Past Midnight and onetwentyhours.

Ellen Tordesillas wrote about that rally as it was taking place, saying one message it presented was “don’t rely on the Church.” Her entry reminded me of the heated debate during Edsa Dos, between those who wanted to stay at the Edsa Shrine, and the others who wanted to march on the Palace.

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  1. Hope springs eternal for the GMA’s Cha-cha people. Can they propose their chacha without tampering with the election scheduled in May? Because that’s what they have to do to make chacha at least palatable.

  2. let gma’s push become a shove. boy i can’t wait to see this eventuality.

    sige, sige na.

  3. I think the major factor for the “low” attendance at the prayer rally is because Malacañan announced previously that it is not supporting the con ass anymore. If GMA was stubborn enough to push through with the Con Ass then I’m very sure people would sacrifice their holiday shopping and be present at the Luneta. With the con con, I believe this is more palatable to most Filipinos as it would mean elections in May.

  4. Wala pang isang araw nag-aaway at nagsisisihan na mga nag-rally. tagal ko ng sinabi: si Ate Glo & barkada e buo ang samahan. Isang layunin at isang puno, si Ate Glo.

    Ang opposition:

    cbcp – hangan envelope lang. mas makapal mas magaling.
    INC – pedeng dalhin sa usapan.
    El Shadap – mas lalong madaling dalhin sa usapan.
    Bro Ed – walang sinabi. Bokilya marami, pero walang sinabi.

    Senado – puno ng trapo. Sit and wait. Let Ate Glo do the pers move, then whine.

    kumunista – kalaban ng marami. anti and pro Ate Glo. kinamumuhian ni DJB. Ako rin ayaw ko ng kumunista.

    I tell you, if there is anything you can count on it is Ate Glo and cha-ching. Ops, yun na yun – cha-cha!

  5. We need leaders ..again.. who’s willing to step up?

    “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.”
    Norman Schwarzkopf

  6. Given our history of collective amnesia, it’s best to dangle the hope of Cha-cha for this batch of congressmen. That way, their antics will be very fresh in memory come election time.

  7. Gosh, in the ADB gathering today, Gloria said that “we need Charter Change.” I guess the #1 “fearless forecast” of Mr. Mon Casiple was correct:

    “1. If attendance was disappointing, the administration would suddenly rediscover its courage and renew the push for constitutional amendments.”

    Hhhhhhhhhhhh

  8. That 1987 constitution was burdened with a lot of hang-ups that were a reflexive reaction to the years of oppression under Marcos. Because it was laden by a predisposed mentality that wanted to reject outright anything that was associated with Marcos, its objectivity and thoughtfulness is suspect.

    Furthermore, because of the new administration’s insecurities about its hold on power, more consideration was given to making a quick impression with the people. Hence it is full of motherhood statements and programs that were only hollow declarations.. One example is the lip service it pays to rural development and agrarian reform.

    I believe most Filipinos are amenable to amending this constitution. I have noticed DJB and mlq3, for example, recommending their own amendments at one time or another.

    Those lawmakers have given their best shot at amending the constitution. Unfortunately, their method of accomplishing that fell short of the Supreme Court’s approval. Unfortunately, again, the Supreme Court is perhaps the only institution that still retains a semblance of credibility with the people. While I believe that people were initially open to discussions on constitutional amendments, once the Supreme Court made its decision, most people made up their minds to abide by that decision. So bringing up debates on the constitution once again would only be a source of irritation. People don’t want to listen to a broken record. They want a break from political rhetoric, especially during the Christmas season. It is foolhardy and inappropriate to try to resuscitate that issue this soon. It is more than pushing the envelope, it is forcing an issue which the people don’t want to discuss. At least for now.

  9. A watered-down, “slap on the wrist” “thanksgiving” message from the CBCP to Arroyo and her cohorts will never be taken seriously by either this administration or the anti-Arroyo groups.

    and you can take that to the bank!

  10. Geez, Gloria, the great flip flopper, backtracjer, backpedaler… hats off to he greatness on that score, at least she’s consistent on being those three.

  11. Chacha will never end because we have all discovered the Instruction Manual for how to do it. The Constitutional Revisionists will never stop because they have an ideology that says, given enough authority and resources, Government can do anything, achieve anything and be the savior of the nation. That is why they promise all sorts of things that the new system will do. This is the quintessential CREDO of Liberalism in the classic American sense. Ranged against it is the Conservative philosophy of Thomas Jefferson which says, Least Government is the best Government. Corollarily, the Constitution may be imperfect, but we must stay with the Rules until it is clearly intolerable to keep them, not merely theoretical or inconvenient. Finally, there is no conceivable way of REVISING the entire thing to make it even marginally better as a whole, only some other mix of imperfection that will still require a continuous process of small fine approximations in the right direction. The Conservative believes the problems and the solutions all lie with the People. The Government is but a Necessary Evil to maintain law and order. It is not some sufficient Good, nor can it EVER be. There are fundamental and natural limits to what a government CAN do, under any Constitution, which cannot be changed by any change to that Constitution. Recognizing those limits is what allows us to critically evaluate any proposed change by the Liberals.

  12. I’m not a constitutional lawyer, nor have any expertise in law or anything at all, but I have been around quite a while, and have what we can call a real experience thru observations and life learning.

    I can only talk of something that affect our society, but society, especially the one patterned to the so-called Democratic system have a lot of similarities.

    Canada which is now my country for more than 30 years, is a constitutional democracy, based on British Model with a little bit of French mix, (civil law in Quebec is the Napoleonic code). It was created by the British North America Act of l867 and that was the basis of Her existence since that time, from the Nation of Three Provinces to now composed of Federation of Ten Provinces and Three Territories . The act which is the basis of all laws and structure of the Nation was amended as we go along developing a Nation. But the amendments were done in the British Parliament, until the Act was repatriated in l982 and the Constitutions Act of l982 (Charter of Rights and Freedoms) was passed as amendments.

    The process of the Amendments was not as painless and not without controversies, but in the end except for the Province of Quebec who withhold her consent on conditions, the house under the Leadership of PM Pierre Elliot Trudeau passed the made in Canada Constitutions, which so many Critiques during the time stated that was not worth the paper it was written on. (All of 17 pages).

    The critiques specifically mentioned Section 1 (numero uno) that states: “The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

    And another contentious issue that convinced the provinces approval that was met with skeptical criticism is section 33 to wit:

    33. (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.

    Fourteen Years has come and gone and so far the critiques has proven not right after all.

    Section 1 which give the Parliament and the Provinces Legislature the right to pass laws to limit the rights set out in the Charter, except otherwise stated, not only enhanced our Rights and Freedoms, but make us so much responsible in exercising such rights, that limitations deemed unreasonable were challenged and most were declared unconstitutional and if not, the courts usually clarify the issue and why they should stand.

    Section 33 better known as “The Notwithstanding Clause” is the Exemption given to the Parliament or the Provincial Legislature to declare an Act of each exempted from Judicial Review for a specified period of time. So far only the Province of Quebec used the “clause’ when her legislature passed the language law that give French the preference in signs (business signage). And a few other instances in provincial legislatures, that were never an issue at all. The Parliament has not used the “clause”. take note: the “clause” specifies which sections are subject to exemption.

    So my take, no Charter or Constitution is perfect, but whatever deficiencies there are, we can mitigate them by not taking advantage and abuse them. Had any government take advantage and abuse Section 1 and Section 33 of Charter, then the voters, instead of the government may demand a Cha-Cha, but the only cha-cha we do here is on the ballroom and it’s a beautiful dance, though I prefer the rumba and the waltz..

  13. My mistake. Our charter of Rights and Freedoms is 24 years old now. I’m not even good at arithmetic and I’m sorry.

  14. People who think the Churches want to seize State power or who WANT the Churches to seize State power, both don’t realize that the Churches are perfectly happy tending to the things that are God’s and not have to worry at all about the things that are Caesar’s. There is, in other words, no ambition to theocracy among our Churches that I can detect. Quite the opposite. They are happy under democracy and don’t much insist on being the one true Church any more.

    One thing Democracy has taught the Churches is that collecting the garbage and taxes is no longer really their problem. (Thank God, they sigh!) That is why, as good citizens, they officially step into the doo-doo of politics only when there is a “moral question” involved, and then only to exercise a VETO against something that they feel compelled to prevent.

    But to now expect the Church to do the work of the CPP-NPA-NDF or of the Reyes-Davide coup d’etat and bring about another Regime Change may be asking too much. Besides, in 2001, the Church didn’t really do most of the heavy lifting. True, Cardinal Sin had Saturday breakfast with everybody and okayed the coup-at-noon, but he’s dead now and those at the helm today just don’t have his imagination or stature. But all he did was to not exercise the Church’s veto. Besides an ambush-swearing-in of the VP seemed peaceful and legal enough. Like most successful putsch’s are.

    Last Sunday was really a kind of superfluity, and in retrospect, it would’ve been better for the Churches to have CANCELED the event, the better to preserve the Threat of People Power in the form of public opinion. It’s sort of like when you’re playing poker and refuse to show your cards when the other guy doesn’t call your raise and folds but demands to see them. If you do show them and it turns out you don’t have the uhmmm numbers, that would be a disaster. Had they cancelled the event she wouldn’t have had the balls to do today’s flip flop flip.

  15. quoted from DJB: “Least Government is the best Government”

    DJB, how do you downsize government if centralized government is implicitly sanctioned by concentrating so much power on the chief executive? Politicians never give up power willingly and will even attempt to enhance their clout as far as they can push the envelope. If self-effacement is too much to expect from our leadership, isn’t it only right to push for constitutional amendments in order to reduce the presence and the power of government?

  16. GMA & Company has been employing strategies that are too obvious for everybody to see. Days after declaring the Con-Ass dead and saying that people will decide on Cha-cha in their own sweet time, the Company is back to singing its tune again. “See, I told you…” is heard practically everywhere now. After all, isn’t chacha a one-step-backwards-two-steps-forwards routine?

    People were so outraged by the manner Cha-cha was being pushed. The Company tried dousing cold water by stepping back. Now, the Company is trying to resurrect the dead right after the requiem last Sunday. I said “Amen” to the bishops’ prayers last Sunday. Two days after, I believe, I have to say a different prayer this time. I pray that the people recover the outrage they had a week ago. It’s time to convene the parliament of the streets again…

    GMA said she will still push for Cha-cha…. Ano ‘to? Lokohan?

  17. CARL,
    Centralization is very different from domination. Also, it’s not hard to imagine how the government could get a lot bigger and a lot more domineering than it already is. It could become a full fledged socialism if we aren’t careful. Or some other system they haven’t even thought of yet to have a proper name.

    People seem to think the government isn’t doing enough, when really it isn’t doing the right things and is doing too much of the wrong things. It is doing plenty of things it has no business in because it just isn’t the right institution for the job. Like an education system that is doomed by the Tragedy of the Commons ideology that drives people with a lot of education to demand it be given for free, just to show how enlightened they are, how dedicated they are to knowledge and its spread. But they won’t buy books or computers or school buildings, whilst they will spend on teachers, even the ones that never heard of reading writing and rithmetic. It’s an early 20th century ideology learned from early 20th century americans, which was pretty advanced for its day, but is useless now. Why? Because intellectual property is the wellspring of all the world’s wealth. How can the ability to create it–education–be had for free?

  18. There are three realities: Lying cheating and stealing. And there are four primary suspects, Gloria, Mike, Mikey and Iggy.

    Gloria does not want the cha-cha issue to die because that’s what she wants the May elections to be about. She does not want it to be a referendum on her. She does not want campaign stumps turning into anti Gloria rallies were she will be the focus of attacks.

    Let’s not,lose sight of the real issue. Gloria. We can discuss charter change after we throw her and her fellow scoundrels out.

  19. bumigay ba ang simbahan dahil sa request ng PNP, o request ng CBCP organizers ito?

    http://www.ellentordesillas.com/?p=722

    If Senate president Manuel Villar or Sen. Ping Lacson or actor Rez Cortez go on stage during a rally for peace on Sunday, they will be arrested. That’s according to the strange order of Reynaldo Varilla, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office of the Philippine National Police.

    For what crime, only Varilla knows.

    The Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted Varilla as having said,”There will be no political speeches and no movie personalities onstage. The organizers will run the show. If they (movie stars and politicos) will insist and thigs get messy, we will do our thing and arrest them a per request of the organizers.

    Why Varilla is setting the guidelines for a rally being organized by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and other religious groups is something that could only happen when one is a state of panic.

    Rep. Roilo Golez is also puzzled.”What’s the crime?,” he asked. “Illegal grandstanding?”

  20. GMA and her gang must not make the mistake of thinking that only those who went to the rally last Sunday were the ones enraged by the Con-Ass attempted rape. I know of many who were enraged, and are still enraged, but could not go to Luneta for various reasons, mainly conflict with prior commitments. Others may have been deterred from going by the government’s scare tactics and decided to stay home. But it doesn’t mean that they are not opposed to GMA’s schemes. So, to measure the forces ranged against GMA and her Cha-Cha gang by the number of rallyists last Sunday would be a serious miscalculation. Let her flip-flop and compound her sins against the people some more. It will only hasten her downfall. Some people may marvel at her ability to cling to power for now. But in the end, justice will be served.

  21. Rego, you’re right it isn’t technically a crime but making it part and parcel of her governance, particularly when that governance is so goddamn bad, corrupt and machiavellic, particularly when her constant flip-flopping, backpedaling and backtracking affect the nation, it sure becomes a crime against decency!

    Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s flip-flopping, backpedaling and backtracking merely reinforces her greediness, her incompetence, her unreliability and her untrustworthiness.

  22. DJB, if all we’re after is making threats and counter-threats, i think you are right that it would have been better for the prayer rally not to have taken place. However, i don’t think this is the time for smoke and mirrors, but rather, a time for discovery (especially self-discovery for us in the opposition).

    Last Sunday was about standing up to be counted, and learning more about the nature, intensity and components of opposition to Gloria. To me, the numbers last Sunday indicate the level of outrage if Charter Change were *no longer* the issue. We need that information of our strengths and/or weaknesses for the fight ahead.

    Also, if we are to resurrect people power to finally get to Mon Casiple’s third scenario, we need to do some ‘stretching exercises’ to get into the groove of things. The original EDSA was a culmination of many little people power exercises (mainly having to do with protecting ballot boxes). So on balance, i think it is useful that the event pushed through.

  23. Anna,

    its not o nly GMA who do that, almost all politicians in our country do that. Di ba kay nauso and salitang balimbing? Everybody knows that Gloria is a known flip-flopper. Di ba sabi nya hindi sya tatakbo pero tumakbo at binoto naman ng tao eh.

    geez do we really have to go into this personalan thing? Id rather go with Sassy lawyers stand. Lets focus to really undesrtand the changes that we want and on how to go about it? Almost everybody naman found a defect or two in 1986 consitution eh.

    kung ayaw nyo sa paraan ni JDV at ng majority congressmen. pwes isulong nyo ang gusto nyong paraan. o kaya hantayin ang proposal ng senate.

    Manolo, was saying something about referendum and then lets go for refendum ask people if they really wanted to change the consitution. how ( con-ass ba o concon or through PI ) and when. Eh isulong na idea na eto ni Manolo and focus all the energy. Tigilan na yang walang kapararakang bangayan?

    Kung may problema ay yung electoral system e di sige unahin na yun.

    As of now, we have only manage to destroy each other na kahit na yung simpleng prayer rally na CBCP kokonti na ang dumalo.

  24. Rego,

    My interest is in Gloria Arroyo because she’s vested herself with full COMMAND RESPONSIBILITY and as one who takes on that mantel, stolen or not stolen, you must admit that she has been making it a personalan affair when she flip-flops, backtracks, backpedals.

    So, what do you mean no personalan na lang?

    When someone appropriates the presidency as her own, that becomes personalan… her flîp-flopping on cha cha, AGAIN!!!! and in less than 48 hours at that is a personal affront to the people and that becomes personalan!

    When she does that she is making a mockery of the people, if you like, lokohan so to me that is personalan!

    Do you really expect us to accept that flip-flopping as a way of life as a form of governance, a presidential policy sort of?

  25. rego, if what you mean by personalan is raising issues against [public] personalities, then i don’t see why that should not be allowed. after all, both persons and ideas can become issues either by themselves or in combination with each other. for example, character change is about persons while charter change is on the surface about ideas, but under the covers, really about personalities who are attempting to grab power for themselves. both are valid topics for deliberation and action.

    As for bangayan, what seems noise to you is valid communication to others. free speech leaves room for both rational deliberation and raw expressions of emotion. I notice that even you sometimes make generous use of punctuation marks.

    As for the balimbings, i think they will mostly come from the ranks of the ‘undecided’ after the tipping point is reached (either direction).

  26. The gall of this Gloria bansot to make a mockery of everything that comes her way is really incredible!

    She deserves her tag, her moral dwarfism has debilitated the remaining moral fiber in her being!

  27. anna and cvj,

    come to think of it, we have doing these thing for about 3 years now. And where did these get us as of now? You already have all the time to call her names, insult her what ever you want and however you want it , criticize her, everything you wanted to do with Gloria, throw all the mud that you wanted to throw her. investigate her, overthrow her. Hanggang dyan na ba kayo? Ano ba talaga ang gusto nyong mangayari at ma achieved by doing all these things?????

  28. After three years, you still haven’t realized what Cvj, I and many people want; you still ask “Ano ba talaga ang gusto nyong mangayari?”

    Really now, Rego, either you refuse to see the wrong or you believe Gloria is not what people say she is, greedy, incompetent, unreliable, and trustworthy.

    No amount of bad faith will show her in a better light. Because, she is all that – you can’t stop people from saying all those things.

    After all, you and people like you who believe she isn’t all that are saying what you want to say and adequately defending her, so why the heck should you stop people from saying what they want to say for what she truly is?

  29. I feel everyone here is consumed by hate, by too much politics and anti gma sentiments. This had been going on for 3 year now. The same sentiments of hate will also happen years from now on whoever sits in Malacanang, be it Drilon, or Erap Again, Brother Mike, or maybe Rex Cortes?

    The left hated whoever is in Malacang since time immemorial. We also like and loved doing EDSA, now we have 1-2-3, and people last Sunday tried pushing 4. Once it happened, the move for EDSA-5 would start, hehehe. Carnival!

    We have to amend the constitution sooner or later – this we cannot avoid. But not during GMAs presidency, I hope everyone would be amenable to amend the constitution when Drilon, or Erap Again, Brother Mike, or maybe Rex Cortes becomes the President in 2010. Its 2007 a few days from now.

    I hope everyones objection not to amend the constitution now would help Juan get a job months from now,i.e move our economy forward, get more investments, reduce poverty etc.

    I hope everyone here had been objective in their reasons to oppose concon. And their reasons are the best , greatest interst of Juan. And not because of blinded hate, or because GMA flip flops, or because she is dwarf, whatver.

  30. so ano na nga ang gusto nyong mangyari? ano ang gusto nyong machieve sa mga pinagagawa at pinangagawa nyo?

  31. mlq3: I don’t mean to sound patronizing but that was the most positive post I have read so far from you since I invited myself in this blog. I know you are admittedly anti-GMA but even that could not stand in the way of your patriotism.

    Mon Casiple concedes, with your apparent concurrence, that the country has an urgent and serious need for cha-cha. Although some anti-GMA commenters here seem to agree, albeit grudgingly, others intransigently insist on mixing up GMA and Cha-Cha as though constitutional changes are solely for her personal benefit.

    If only we can have a moratorium of sort on partisan disputes and personal attacks until the earlier of GMA’s term completion and the passing of constitutional revisions. Maybe we can accoplish something beneficial to our nation and people.

  32. moks, years from now it will still be ate Glo in the palace. Paglipas ni ate Glo Arroyo pa rin ang nakaupo.

    Mabuhay si ate Glo at ang kanyang ankan!

  33. Rep. Roilo Golez is also puzzled.”What’s the crime?,” he asked. “Illegal grandstanding?”

    Bakit hinde siya umakyat dun sa intablado para nalaman niya kung anong crime? Hehehe.

  34. a Flip-Flop? Naah!

    …just a Change from a Dec. 14 Character to a Dec. 19 Character…remember, Change in Character is first in the Church’s agenda, ‘di, baah?

    gloria…what a character…

    —–

    wow, 3 years of gloria-bashing?…well, not bad (just like mb’s 3 realities, grandstanding, and flip-flopping which are all not bad for some of us here)…maybe we can stretch it till 2010, i.e., if we fail to put a stop to her Charter Change designed to perpetuate and preserve her throne for life…and that will mean gloria-bashing for life?…ngiii, katakot…

    —–

    yeah, gloria and cha-cha are a bad mix…legitimacy issue of gloria is still left unresolved. why leave the tinkering to a gal whom you can’t trust? First things First, i believe…

  35. Posters above mentioned that for the past three (3) years, hatred against GMA etc. etc. has been going on at the expense of Juan dela Cruz. Well we can not do anything because majority of lawmakers and people whom the masses expect to improve their lots are living comfortably under GMA. They are either swimming with GMA or just do not mind what will happen to the masses.

    I believed this site caters to all those who wish to express thier beliefs hopefully with the goal of openning the eyes and ears of those who dream of a better Philippines “of course some are just walang mabuting magawa”.

    I hope that by joining the discussions, participants would be able to open the hearts of would be leaders of the real situation in our beloved Philippines. As Ninoy Aquino once said “The Filipino is Worth Dying For”. If most of our present and future leaders will be guided by what Ninoy once said, RP would be far, farrrrr better as it is today.

  36. Lesson 1:

    It’s obvious, we’re not dealing with a “second-rate trying hard copycat”, GMA is a first-rate deceptive, manipulative (whatever whatchamacall her, Anna?).

    Lesson 2:

    Avoid miscalculation. Do not over-estimate popular support and under-estimate GMA’s capacity to lie, cheat, steal and kill.

    Lesson 3:

    Recognize, admit and accept the reality that GMA-in-Malacanang is one fruit, among many, of a posioned tree called EDSA 2.

    What lessons have you learned so far?

  37. Even if GMA and JDV et. al. will have a crack at it again, no one in their right mind would allow them to get away with it.

  38. DJB said: “People seem to think the government isn’t doing enough, when really it isn’t doing the right things and is doing too much of the wrong things. It is doing plenty of things it has no business in because it just isn’t the right institution for the job.”

    I agree, DJB. My point is that big government seems to be given impetus by the constitution itself. The declaration of principles and state policies, for example, while seemingly just an assortment of harmless motherhood statements, can be used by devious politicians to justify government intrusion into a whole lot of things. Including, as you pointed out, the field of education.

    It is a trait of most politicians to concentrate as much power and resources unto themselves. And they will seize upon the remotest justification to substantiate that. Most politicians would love nothing more than to promote the illusion that, as you say, “given enough authority and resources, Government can do anything, achieve anything and be the savior of the nation”. “Government”, in this case, being the politicians themselves. After all, that would make them indispensible and perpetuate their hold on power.

    While perhaps a wholesale revision of the constitution may be too difficult and complicated to carry out, isn’t it possible to have amendments from time to time? Is that what you mean when you say that imperfections in the constitution “will still require a continuous process of small fine approximations in the right direction”?

  39. Rego … eto ang tunay na sagot sa tanong mo napakasimple lang pero pinapahaba pa ng iba. PATALSIKIN NA. NOW NA. BAHALA NA.

  40. DJB, have you heard about the latest economic news? The stock market is up; the peso is soaring vs. the U.S dollar; unemployment is down quite a bit (more new jobs); investments – both foreign and domestic – are up; projected budget and trade deficits are down.

    I know the usual GMA haters will not give her any credit for anything but will not fail blaming her for even natural disasters that befall the nation. But do you think the likes of Susan Roces could even approximate those achievements even with “brains” and technocrats around her, a la Estrada?

    Why don’t we just stay the course until 2010? After all, every opposition prognosticators were prophecying GMA’s ouster since 2002, and making tired predictions of massive “people power” only to be embarrassed again and again. Let’s cut it out, Enough is enough!

  41. CARL–If you look really hard at it, you will realize that almost every provision of the Constitution is actually a limitation on the powers of the government and the public officials representing “the people.”

    The Bill of Rights is mostly what they may not touch, curtail or suppress in the private sector. The Constitution of Government tells them what they MAY or MAY NOT do in the public sector.

    Every Law is a suppression of some kind of “freedom” that is no longer considered as such, for example the freedom to kill at will, to rob banks, or to revise the constitution any time we want to!

    Thus I see every attempt to change it as an attempt to gain greater authority for them to do what they want to do. Sometimes that is good, sometimes that is bad. But the burden of proof that a change in the Constitution is required to do some further good or prevent some evil, is squarely on them.

    I think the imperfections are just their excuses for not obeying or carrying out the rest of it. Until they do the latter, we should make it supernally difficult for them to change the Social Contract.

    Walang tawaran hanggang napatunayang mapagkakatiwalaang suki.

    And despite the feelings of rage and helplessness at the Palace’s urgent fervor, the year 2006 has been a magnificent victory for the Constitution and its conservative defenders (“Change Nothing is Best!”). Look, it is NOT People Power that saved it, but the very structure of that object “The Congress” over which these battles were fought over the Form of the Govt.

    The FACT of its very architecture being bicameral was self-enforcing, and its survival did not even need the intellectual understanding of the People of that design.

    It was not People Power or Public Opinion that really saved the Constitution, but the actual FORM of the government that we plagiarized from somewhere else and made our own by ratification at plebiscite.

    What we do not realize, is that FORM can shape substance, can force debates along passages whose outcome is determined by the engineering design of the Constitutions created objects themselves–separation of powers, bicameral Congress, and SUFFRAGE.

    Most of all suffrage! THAT is the right that is NOT self-enforcing, though the regularity of elections is a big help.

    But it is that right that is the first line of defense. As long as the People have suffrage, THEY can veto anything the Revisionists want.

    The lessons of 2006 however are these. We can be as the ancient Ibalois and Kankanaey peoples were in resisting the Spaniards. Changing the Constitution will be very hard for them, because we can drop trees on their heads and plant barbs on the mountain trails. We can roll boulders down on every new offensive.

    Constitutional Conservatism is a matter of widespread skepticism, of tapping into the people’s native attitude to all new ideas that claim to trump the Constitution’s OLD ideas:: STEER!

    They must prove and justify every noun and comma, every verb and semicolon of any text they expect the people to ratify.

    Convervatism does not require organization or People Power. Only intelligence, sensience and word of mouth.

    When you have the right ideas, the right memes, they find their own soil in the people’s hearts and minds, and there take root, leaving no room at all for foul weeds and false doctrines.

  42. Rego said, “if grandstanding is not a crime, so does flip-flopping.”

    True, but Gloria isn’t being threatened with arrest for flip-flopping. Those with anti-GMA sentiments are free to criticize her, just as those who dislike the opposition would’ve been free to criticize opposition figures had they gone up the stage during the Luneta rally.

    But to be arrested for a non-crime, that is totally arbitrary and whimsical, a clear abuse of power.

  43. Bencard,

    If only she did not cheat in 2004 and cover it up, okay sana ang sinasabi mo.
    Kasi, Bencard, money isn’t evertything. If it were, I would be the first to join Gloria.

  44. the stock market is up. who benefits from it? the masa? the middle class who are not among its limited base of investors? the level of investments poured in by local and foreign investors continue to pale in comparison with the pre-1997 stock market level. prices have been ticking up because (a) it’s window dressing time; or (b) ask the old boys club at pse. are you investing in the stock market yourself? how confident are you about it? until you can state it so yourself, i would not take that as a barometer of growth, but as a playground for speculative market manipulators.

    peso is down. thanks to the increasing rate of emigration. people are jumping off board because there are no jobs around. people are sending in their hard earned cash because the family they left behind just need to survive. thanks to these remittances, they’ve strengthened the peso.

    yes, thanks indeed to gloria for driving away the filipinos when she should be the one exiting.

    you see bencard, the growth of an economy is not the issue here. any elected president has to tend to that, willy-nilly. the issue is political: your doctor is a quack.

  45. Let’s forget about charter change. It’s just a squid tactics to divert public attention on the failures of the Arroyo regime. The goal of the so-called united opposition is to garner more opposition lawmakers (80) and a shut-out in the (12-0) senatorial race. If this goal is achieve, then, possible impeachment and conviction at the senate. Power to the people at the polls. The defeat of Gloria Arroyo candidates in May 2007 midterm elections is NOT a done deal since the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos has done no significant changes in electoral system reform. Hello Garci clones are still manning local and provincial their outposts. Political dynasties and clans will dominate campaigns. They form alliances of convenience with the sole purpose of winning votes. Many are identified with Gloria Arroyo. It’s a tall order how to neutralize dynasties. How to defeat the Villafuerte of Camarines Sur and others?

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