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Feb 08

The Kennel Club

Today’s papers have stories on how Cayetano’s slap on the wrist, say his peers, may not even take place, more news on Senate deliberations on the anti-terrorism bill:

Among the major amendments to the bill are the reduction (to three from 15 days) in the number of days a suspected terrorist can be detained without court warrant or formal charges, and the increase in the amount of compensation or damages (to P500,000 from P50,000) for each day of detention of persons wrongfully arrested and detained as a terrorist suspect.

Among the features of the measure are:

* When one is charged with terrorism and the case is dismissed, he can no longer be charged with similar cases under the anti-terrorism bill.

* Exclusion of military personnel from implementing or enforcing provisions of the bill.

* Suspension of implementation of the bill two months before and one month after any election.

The penalty for the crime of terrorism is 40 years imprisonment without parole. For an accomplice, the penalty is 17 to 20 years imprisonment, and 10 to 12 years for an accessory

(Bravo to Senators Roxas and Madrigal for voting against it).

Secretary Dureza blames The Manila Times for the hostage-taking incident in Sulu. Also, 27,935 jobs were lost in the first half of last year.

In election-related news, the efforts of Namfrel to be accredited, and the accreditation of the Anti Money Laundering Council, gets coverage. The latest survey gets coverage, underscoring the weakness of the Palace slate, as well as the ongoing shuffling and realignment of slates.

Jove Francisco, thank God, is back in his element reporting on the Palace Press Corps perpetual cat-and-mouse game with officials. He also makes some shrewd observations about the media savvy of some senatorial candidates (Angara is a pro; Zubiri is starting off with inept moves, etc. Sotto and Gomez are bowing out of their TV shows this weekend). He quotes a joke by a neighbor, which loosely translates into branding the administration’s “Team Unity” as nothing more than “The Kennel Club.” Ding, ding! I hjave a future column title!

And here’s a bogus story: Major party-list groups join Lakas. If you notice the list of party list parties and representatives in the story, they’ve all been pro-administration fixtures during the two impeachment efforts, and the Cayetano hearings. So this is not news, this is the announcement of a formailty.

In the punditocracy, my column for today is Tribute to Adel. Last night, together with Leah Navarro and Atty. Edwin Lacierda, I had the opportunity to sit down with Adel Tamano. He recounted the tremendous pressure he was under from both the administration and the opposition. When we were meeting, the deadline for giving the Palace an answer was ticking away. Ironically, I was informed this morning that my column renewed the efforts by the Palace (led by Paul Aquino and Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara) to draft him again. However he seems firm on declining to run for the senate, for either camp. He could easily have decided to run: despite his public positions and many writings on impeachment, criticizing EO 464, etc., he hasn’t received enough exposure to damn him in the eyes of the public if he accepted a Palace offer.

I asked him what his advocacy would be, just in case he ran, and he said human rights (he is for the repeal of the Marcos-era law on regulating protests), opportunities for young workers, peace in Mindanao, and education (H.O.P.E.) and is, of course, an expert on impeachment and a critic of recent efforts to create a unicameral parliament.

But personally, I was impressed by his decision to withstand pressure from the Palace and remain true to what he has publicly expressed. I hope he considers proposals from several quarters for him to be a spokesman for UNO.
Concerning the elections, the Philippine Star editorial criticizes efforts to draw the armed forces into the elections, while Joel Rocamora points out how both government officials and rebels are equal-opportunity political murderers.

Alex Magno says the economy is coming up roses, and to be sure, what we’ve seen is that the economy is basically divorced from what’s going on in politics. What’s debatable is how much credit the administration deserves for this situation. Magno says that,

In order to avert the possibility of an unduly heated political season, it is best to draw the diverse political groups into a truly patriotic project of making elections in this country predictable and boring. That will minimize the margin for political trauma and discontinuity, helping us maintain that “firewall” that keeps the sane economy protected from our insane politics.

Which is fine and dandy; but he knows as well as anyone that leadership requires legitimacy, and that legitimacy won’t be there unless all sides get to see that the 2007 elections are credible.

In the blogosphere, Manila Vanilla gives a foreign observer’s skeptical view of the campaign; Iloilo City Boy tries to digest all the news on the drafting and redrafting of slates.

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  1. cvj

    Mita, thanks for taking the time to explain. I am not stopping you from criticizing our politicians. That is the right of every Filipino whether or not they are able to pay taxes. However, do not expect your own positions to be granted immunity just because you are a private citizen. Criticism has to flow both ways.

    I also don’t know who you are or how you behave in the outside world, so the only basis for my judgment of you would be what i have read in your comments here and in the other blogs (like PCIJ and Sassy Lawyer) during the past year and a half. From what i have read, i believe that your kind of thinking (which is popular among the middle class) represents a big part of what ails our society today.

    In sort of the same way that you think that “Popularity and the people’s gullibility will win it for any dumb A-hole and they are banking on that.“, i am convinced that your belief that “our only option is to pick the maggot with a conscience” is doing us more harm than good.

  2. Mita

    cvj, you see that’s the thing…you passed judgement on me and there was no need to – you singled out rego and bong austero and myself – or people who are like-minded. why? because our opinion differs from yours. admit it, that’s the only thing that catches your attention about me, the only thing we 3 have in common.

    what ails our society is thinking like yours that gets too emotional about national issues such that the path thru the forest is no longer visible. it’s the kind of vindictive, obssessive thinking that refuses any alternatives except their own. do you know how harshly this can affect our country or do you even care? that’s what’s doing more harm than good.

    whatever your convictions about MY thinking, the truth is out. where have you been hiding? lito lapid and bong revilla sitting in the senate – do you really believe they would be there if voters were even halfway sane? why should i sugarcoat things so your feelings won’t get hurt? i expect you’re an adult…take it!

    the first step to solving a problem is acknowledgment you know and that’s why i even bother to participate in these blogs…hoping the majority, middle-class will be heard. i guess you really don’t wanna know what we’re thinking…even if we have to listen to everyone else…

    as for being middle-class…. proudly, gladly middle-class. why on earth should it even matter – we each have only one vote!

    i will not puport to be inteligentsia, elitista or masa. the middle-class is the ruling class in most democracies so watch out for more of “MY KIND OF THINKING”

  3. UPn student

    cvj… so have you figured out already what is wrong with People Power? Imagine what difficulties would have been prevented — the GMA-to-Garci phone call, probably –had those middle-class people of the NCR region not taken it upon themselves to be unappointed spokespersons for the farmers, unwashed poor, the teachers and laborers and government workers of Bohol, the Ilocos and Mindanao to storm Malacanang? May 2007 is the second-time already another president instead of Erap will be selected AND where the vote of a middle-class from Makati is equal in importance to the vote of a lumad from Mindanao.

  4. cvj

    you singled out rego and bong austero and myself – or people who are like-minded. why? because our opinion differs from yours. – Mita

    I stand by my observation. Aside from the fact that the three of you generally agree with one another, you are also react the same way whenever you are criticized in return i.e. by accusing the other party of name calling and/or asserting your right to hold a different opinion (which was never in contention anyway). Just saying.

    lito lapid and bong revilla sitting in the senate – do you really believe they would be there if voters were even halfway sane?

    That (together with your concluding sentence) is precisely the kind of contempt of the voting public that we here from members of the middle class. That goes to the heart of why i concluded that thinks that your position in life puts you over and above the rest of the Filipinos.

    the first step to solving a problem is acknowledgment you know and that’s why i even bother to participate in these blogs…hoping the majority, middle-class will be heard. i guess you really don’t wanna know what we’re thinking…even if we have to listen to everyone else…

    I agree, that’s why i was part of EDSA Dos. I am not saying that we shouldn’t try to solve our own crisis of representation, but this is not done by passing on the problem to the rest. What i don’t agree with is the underhanded way in which the middle class is going about getting their way i.e. tacit acceptance of Gloria’s cheating and railroading of Charter Change initiative.

    As i’ve said before, the middle class flirts with Machiavellianism at its peril. Unlike the upper class, we don’t have the resources and unlike the poor, we don’t have the numbers, which is why we have to play things straight. We, the middle class, are playing a very dangerous game as we are destroying the floor on which we stand.

    the middle-class is the ruling class in most democracies so watch out for more of “MY KIND OF THINKING”

    You are kidding yourself if you think that we, as a class, can rule anything, at least by brute force or deception. We are sandwiched between the resource-rich upper class and the more numerous masses. Once we lose our moral suasion via your kind of hubris, then the clock starts running out.

  5. Mita

    CVJ, I was at EDSA dos too and I regretted my participation. On hindsight, and I’ve stated this in some blog before, we should have let the Erap impeachment play out in its entirety but we didn’t.

    And that’s why I was so disappointed that the so-called Opposition couldn’t get the numbers they needed to see the impeachment of yet another president. Lessons are there to be learned and this Opposition didn’t seem to learn anything.

    Go back to all my comments in this and other blogs you said you read and see that I was always for impeachment because it was the only legitimate, feasible way you could get rid of this president. Resignation is a dream that everyone should stop dreaming.

    I want institutions strengthened because it will act as the base of efficient government and provide the badly needed checks and balance. That’s precisely why I am deeply disappointed with this Senate.

    I have learned my lesson too and am deathly afraid our country goes back to the vicious cycle of staging coups at the cost of the poorest amongst us.

    I stand by what I say, the middle class will rule this country once we have the right number. This day will come as sure as GMA will eventually leave office.

  6. john marzan

    Tulad ng sinabi ko nabitin ako ke senator lacson nung tinigil nya ang Jose pidal nung mamatay ang issue…

    I am for follow thrus and consistency…

    i think lacson’s pidal case suffered a big blow when his main witness and whistleblower was “rescued” by mike defensor and flown into a PSG chopper.

    the mainstream media then, including the PDI, initially framed this as a rescue operation, and that it was lacson who kidnapped udong mahusay.

    (just like when the ISAFP “rescued” vidal doble from Samuel Ong and Bishop Ted Bacani inside the seminary (ong and bacani were accused by the PNP of forcibly confining doble inside the seminary against his wishes… in short ANOTHER KIDNAPPING!, even though doble was carrying a gun and a cellphone with him all the time.)

    or when harriet demetriou and rufus rodriguez was accused of “kidnapped” rashma hali and made hali give false statements of election rigging.

    all three, mahusay, doble and hali made a 180 turn and flipflopped after being in the custody of the administration.

    ang isa pang problema ay hindi pinayagan ni blue ribbon cmte chairman joker arroyo na tanggapin ang ebidensiya ni lacson, dahil xeroxed ito (kahit na raw authenticated siya). original raw ang dapat kailangan. but in order to get the original, mike arroyo and the banks will have to voluntarily such documents, which they didn’t.

    maganda sana kung under oath sabihin ng bank officials kung galing sa original ang mga tseke at documento na yan o hindi. pero “the real pidal” iggy was allowed to invoke his “right to privacy” kaya wala ring nangyari.

    those who approved of iggy’s “right to privacy” were the “pidal 10” (kinda like the “craven 11”) which included joker, noted, recto, noli etc.

    http://www.newsflash.org/2003/05/hl/hl018930.htm

  7. cvj

    Mita, ok i will revisit your past comments when i get the time. If you want impeachment to take place, then does that mean that you’re voting for the Opposition?

    As to the middle class ‘ruling’, numbers alone is not enough. We also need moral authority which is now being squandered in the defense of GMA.

  8. Mita

    cvj, i lack the required 1 year residency to qualify as a voter for the may elections.

    if i could vote, i’d do as i’ve always done and look at the individuals and their record in government service, not their surnames, not their party. my choices have always been broad and representative of the country and the population.

    so much for the senate race though…what’s more important to the country at this point is the race for the house of representatives. it’s not getting a lot of media mileage i guess because it isn’t sexy enough or something…

  9. cvj

    mita, thanks for your response.

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