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Feb 13

Politics is a continuum

Both sides begin their demonstrations of bravado today. Manny Pacquiao’s ultimate prize fight: versus Darlene Custodio. Jove Francisco on how the President’s pet party is growing -and glowing:

Rep. Luis Villafuerte was into numbers in his opening speech. The party, according to him now has 2,000 plus members nationwide. That they are now the party with the 2nd biggest number of congressmen in the lower house (55 with 17 more to join them soon) and that they already have as members 1/3 of the incumbent local officials (7 governors, 15 vice governors, 74 board members, 575 mayors, 249 vice mayors and 396 councilors).

the President inherited from her father -the first politician to claim he visited every single barrio in the country- an obsessive (and effective) attention to politics on the local level. All effective presidents have had this characteristic. Her difference is that the local trumps the national every time (and not just by force of circumstance, but instinct, I’d think). The selection of Gov. Petilla, for example, for her senate slate according to an editor I talked to, is simply to accommodate the candidacy of Martin Romualdez in Leyte.

Overseas, media power politics, White House-style. History Unfolding looks at America at the crossroads (recall he predicts a political and constitutional crisis ahead):

Benevolent hegemony, it seems, will cure the world’s ills and establish a lasting reign of freedom and peace. The idea that different states might make different decisions about questions of war and peace must be rejected, because in the past it has led to (among other things) great wars. We need fear nothing because the hegemon is a democracy. Unfortunately, it is more than scoring debating points today to note how Rice’s argument that democracy checks excesses has been decisively undermined by the Administration of which she is a part. Our democracy, as Pfaff notes, has re-introduced torture and indefinite detention without trial into the civilized world, now with the concurrence of the Congress. The American people democratically voted against the Administration’s foreign policy last November and the Vice President immediately made clear the Administration’s intention to ignore their views. The President’s subsequent conduct has confirmed this. Moreover, in perhaps the most troubling development, he has ordered surge not only in opposition to both American and Iraqi public opinion and the opinions of the Baker-Hamilton Commission, but against the advice of the entire permanent government, including both the State Department and the Pentagon.

There are three things I briefly want to point out in terms of the coming elections:

1. Politics is a continuum. As is life. We all evolve -or should. So do politicians. In politics, which marries ambition to public service, and depends on the people’s money, reward and punishment is a two way street. The politician may pander, even bribe, be glib, ruthless, or dissemble, but in the end, so long as fraud is minimized, the politician is subject to promotion or ouster depending on the public’s perception of his performance (capricious or not, but often not as whimsical as some tend to think). It is precisely the times spent out of power, recovering from a stinging defeat, that can turn some politicians, when they return to power, into statesmen; in other cases, it at least restores their responsiveness to public opinion; just as slavishly obeying public opinion doesn’t necessarily guarantee success at the polls. Lito Banayo let loose a folksy saying on Dong Puno’s show last night, to explain why the public is more tolerant of people leaving any administration to join the opposition of the day, or is admiring of those who doggedly stick to their guns: “it’s like moving from the big, soft bed to the hard, cold, discomfort of sleeping on the floor.” This also explains why the cardinal sin for any opposition member is to abandon the minority for the comforts of joining the ruling majority.

2. Politics is about both issues and personalities. Politics is a profession and like any other sphere of human activity, it requires interpersonal skills whose presence or absence are a relevant guide to determining if a politician is worthy of support or not. Politics is built on communication, and the means of communication the public relies on determines what kind of communicating works. the doctor with a good bed side manner will have more patients than a cranky, unpleasant doctor, and often people prefer a marginally less competent doctor to the one who may represent the pinnacle of his profession but who fails to inspire confidence or comfort; it helps to have a pleasant person selling you a house, though of course if the house is rotten, in a bad area, and overpriced, you won’t take it. And niceness won’t clinch every deal, nor should it.

But it would be a great mistake to confuse the manner in which people absorb and digest issues, with an absence of those issues: the observer who does this assumes that because the issues aren’t being communicated in the manner the observer prefers, then there aren’t issues at all! Perhaps the issues are better discussed in some venues than others? I’m not sure this is the right approach: on a national scale, the issues will, by necessity, be broader: do you want the sitting administration to stay, or go?

The perennial issues, observers say, in the Philippines, are graft and corruption (and the corollary: abuse of power). And not much is achieved, they say. But show me a country where the two aren’t the core issues always? They are at the heart of politics: that power, which is what’s contested in elections, can be so corrosive that periodically, those who possess it have to be challenged to justify their past and future stewardship.

3. When an government is subjected to a referendum the totality of its actions are what’s being judged. A government, any government, will try to present its successes as the only issues that matter; the opposition will necessarily do the opposite. It is about punishment as it its about alternatives. And it is about applying the brakes as it can be about changing the driver. Every election is about regime change to one extent or another.

There are certain things about modern life -and running a modern state- that actual limit the options of those in power. There has been little practical difference between the policies of every post-Edsa government, because there are certain things no responsible government could abandon (devotion to the free market, to private property, etc.) but each government will emphasize various programs differently, because each administration has come to power on the shoulders of a constituency, which it has to please to keep power. But even as it tries to do this, a government is regularly subjected to the judgment of all, and all things being equal, this means portions of that whole will have a larger role to play come election time than other parts of the whole.

Which is why, for example, the middle class have clout in between elections but less so on election day itself: but perhaps it all evens out. Worse, from comments here and there that I hear, the middle class instinct seems to be, to throw in the towel and informally boycott the elections: which will not affect the outcome, but places them firmly where the Palace wants them. That’s 25% of the vote you can potentially monkey around with, because the votes weren’t cast but the ballots can still be counted -and no one will in a position to contest those “votes”. And yet the the middle class will have the snob’s ultimate satisfaction: its predictions made possible by its own withdrawal from the contest. This is why the “O tempore! O mores!” wailing irritates me: at least right or wrong, the masses vote; right or wrong, the committed make a stand; but neither having participated, nor showing any commitment except to their own biases, such people then turn around and castigate the rest for their choices? That is what makes no sense at all.

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  1. tagabukid

    “Writing your angst show how desperate you are and I would even say, very CHILDISH. Grow up young “men”.”

    Yes Kittie, WE are DESPERATE.

    We are desperate to end the evil reign of the Palace Pretender — the USURPER.

    We are desperate to cast and protect our ballot, our vote, because we are desperate to take the Palace back. We are desperate to take democracy back.

    We are desperate, our blood is close to reaching the boiling point, our pent-up frustrations will soon explode. The gnashing of our teeth, the silent weep…

    You can’t feel it because you’re high atop your tower, basking in all the comfort of your borguise state. You’re a fence-sitter, pretty much like the purported President you and your ilk are all defending.

    You talk about respect, but it seems you don’t even grasp the meaning of the word because all you do here is throw ad hominems and witty one-liners which i think make you feel you are so intelligent and bursting with wisdom. Take that for an ad hominem.

    Wake Up Aling Pussy…your kleenex is all yours.

  2. cvj

    I’m starting to think you’re developing a fixation against the middle-class from where I presume you come from…

    Yes, and it is in good part because i am one of them. From where i stand, i believe that the middle class mindset (supercilliousness, apathy, moral ambiguity, narcissism, exceptionalism) is a big part of what ails our society today.

    …are you somehow guilty about your being at EDSA Dos with that middle-class mindset you say I have?

    No regrets on EDSA Dos, but i do feel bad that Arroyo, and a large part of the middle class has betrayed its ideals.

    i also read that particular randy david article and it screams vulnerable and gullible to me even if he used the phrase “another form of rationality”..

    If the article screams gullible to you, then i believe that is a misunderstanding of Randy David’s position. He explicitly stated that:

    Many of our people are no doubt mesmerized by the heroic exploits of their favorite movie characters. But to suggest that they cannot tell the difference between fictional figures and real-life politicians is to misjudge them.

    I appreciate your exposition on the culture of dependence, but i think that your mindset that the middle class is the ruling class, at this stage of our development, fosters such a culture. We can help to start dismantling this culture by respecting the vote of the masa.

  3. The Ca t

    You can’t feel it because you’re high atop your tower, basking in all the comfort of your borguise state. You’re a fence-sitter, pretty much like the purported President you and your ilk are all defending.

    Ad hominem fallacy. I am accused of guilt by association.
    Duh.

    Where I am I can see both sides, ones with blinders and one with presription glasses for myopia.

    We are desperate to cast and protect our ballot, our vote, because we are desperate to take the Palace back. We are desperate to take democracy back.

    Hey, this is the election for senators. That statement strengthens the fact that your opposition slate has no aim but to remove president. Pathetic. You are driving away voters.

    We are desperate, our blood is close to reaching the boiling point, our pent-up frustrations will soon explode. The gnashing of our teeth, the silent weep…

    Who’s we?

  4. Shaman of Malilipot

    I don’t think the middle class rules the country. It’s still the upper class that does.

    The middle class consists mostly of the managerial employees and small businessmen. A large majority is noveau riche who achieved their status through native talents and hard work. While they don’t rule, they have a great stake in the status quo. The managerial class isn’t really wealthy, in the strict sense of the word. Sure, they have fat salaries, have their own cars and houses, send their children to good schools, but take away their jobs and they’re as miserable as the taho vendor. Same with the small businessman. Business failure spells disaster. Their position is precarious. They are deathly afraid of sudden changes and upheavals. They want to preserve the status quo as much as they can.

    No wonder, then, that very few from the middle class joined the rallies against GMA, because it might mean change and the risk of losing their privileged position. No wonder, then, that the Bong Austeros were even willing to lose their rights and freedoms just to move on with the status quo.

    The upper class, oh, they can have change whenever they want. They can even change the Constitution to suit their purpose. Because they rule.

  5. JS

    I am one of the “WE”. Am feeling betrayed. This coming election is the judgment day… start of overhauling. Voting for UNO senatorial line-up!

  6. cvj

    Ad hominem fallacy. I am accused of guilt by association. – C at

    Not at all. It is only an Ad hominem fallacy if that description serves to distract from the topic at hand by calling attention to something that is *not* integral to the argument. As it is, the philosophy you espouse (i.e. mobyism and politics as spectator sport) as well as your self-designated role as critic of the Opposition make your actions a relevant topic of the discussion. You (along with others like you) provide one of the pillars of Arroyo’s support. Marx was not making ad-hominem remarks when he attacked the bourgeoisie. Neither was Jesus when he was condemning the Pharisees.

  7. tagabukid

    “Who’s we?”

    Good question. It obviously does not include you. Ask JS : )

  8. Shaman of Malilipot

    The trouble with the Cat and others similarly situated is that they are detached from the actual situation. They have the luxury of pontificating from a safe distance, not having real stakes in the outcome. That’s why they can sound so dispassionate and clinical. Have you noticed how they always enjoin people here on ground zero not to be “emotional”, to “chill out”? To them, we are just playthings that they can toy with; all discussions here are just a game.

    I wonder if they are willing to come back here for good and really fight it out?

  9. Francis

    “They” actually can help by spending vacations here and inviting some of their foreigner friends to come over and spend vacations here.

    India’s economy was spurred by return of their nationals (who studied and had successful career in foreign countries) to their country and invested in small and medium size business, even though the government was corrupt there’s just too much money flowing in. Same story with Vietnam.

    Philippines? Filipino billionaires invest their money outside the Philippines, and successful individuals just stay out of their country for good. I think the Chinese loves the Philippine more, they are investing buying so much land here. 😉

    How I am I helping? I tour the country side as local tourist and spend a few peso here and there.
    I also vote every election in the hope that someday, before the seas eat the Philippine islands, I will have a country with no squatters in their own land.

  10. tagabukid

    “We are desperate to cast and protect our ballot, our vote, because we are desperate to take the Palace back. We are desperate to take democracy back.”

    Tagalog na lang para maintindihan:

    “Kami ay nagngangalit na makapaghalal at bantayan ang aming boto, sapagkat nais naming maibalik sa amin ang Palasyo. Marubdob ang aming pagnanais na maibalik ang demokrasya”

    See? Im not wishing for a coup no more. I want the democratic process to work. If the figure of speech was lost on you, I cant help you. If i may just continue, ehem:

    “…demokrasya na inagaw at niyurakan ng mga traydor… sapagkat nasa balota ang aming Kapangyarihan at sa pamamagitan nito ay nais naming itarak sa dibdib ng mga traydor ang talim ng aming paninindigan: kamatayan para sa mga traydor ng konstitusyon ng aming bayan, mga traydor ng demokrasya.”

    Don’t ask who’s ‘Kami’ because obviously that does not include You.

  11. Francis

    Hindi nila kasi naranasan na hanapan nang sedula sa sarili mong baryo habang ikaw ay pauwi galing sa trabaho nang alas diyes nang gabi. At mabalitaan ang kapitbahay mo na binugbog nang sundalo dahil naka short lang at walang maipakitang sedula.

    Akala ko d na ko makakakita nang ganun sa panahon ngayon.
    Nakakaawa talaga ang pinoy.

  12. Shaman of Malilipot

    Tagabukid, you just enriched my Tagalog vocabulary. Marubdob ang aking pasasalamat saiyo. Tama ba?

  13. Francis

    Na assign kasi si Demonic Palaparan sa area namin dito sa Bulacan buti na lang nag protest si Gov para maalis sya kagad kasi sadista un eh.

  14. tagabukid

    “Hey, this is the election for senators. That statement strengthens the fact that your opposition slate has no aim but to remove president. Pathetic. You are driving away voters.”

    I dont exactly agree that it is pathetic. I think it’s noble. This election — being a referendum on Gloria Arroyo’s rotten administration — is the next best thing to a snap elections. Do you know GMA’s chances in a snap election if it were held in May instead? Ask Bunye, Ermita and Raul Gonzales. Only those clowns will give you the answer you want to hear.

    This is also an election for congressmen and other local officials. As mlq3 noted, it is important that an impeaching minority in the house is elected while an impeaching majority in the senate should win. You see, it’s still about impeachment. It’s about impeaching an illegitimate ruler-usurper who has so far committed corruption of epic proportions, betrayed the constitution and public trust and is definitely responsible for the unprecedented number of extrajudicial killings of leftists and journalists.

    Since we can’t snap Gloria Arroyo, IMPEACHING her will still be the best course of action to take. It is constitutional, it is moral.

    As Conrado de Quiros notes, the highest crime that Gloria Arroyo has done is the corruption of the nation’s soul.

    That’s the reason why there are people like Bong Austero who’s willing to turn a blind eye on the stench so he can move on. (As i previously posted, he can move on to Canada. And he should tell his ready-to-lose-my-freedom-for-status-quo mantra to the human rights victims and detainees of the Martial Law period).

    Gloria Arroyo’s lasting legacy is the elevation of cheating and lying-through-the-teeth as national policies.

    It’s time WE stood up to that. It’s time the opposition took a focused, singular objective of IMPEACHING, OUSTING, DETAINING and CONVICTING the Philippines’ national scourge: Gloria Arroyo et al.

    I think the only voters I can drive away are people who are perched atop their tower, basking in all the comfort of their borguise state. I am driving away fence-sitters, and (to borrow from Shaman) people detached from the actual situation, people who have the luxury of pontificating from a safe distance because they do not have real stakes in the outcome.

    People who say, “Eeww, another anti-GMA forum. Gross. Kleenex please.”

  15. tagabukid

    Shaman,

    Tumpak, nakuha mo men. Lubos ang aking pasasalamat sa iyong pagsang-ayon sa aking pananaw.

    Sa puntong iyan, mas makatutulong Ang Tagapagpaliwanag (The Explainer) sapagkat kung hindi ako nagkakamali, siya ay nagmula sa dakilang angkan na nagmula sa lalawigan ng Quezon kung saan ang pinakamalalim na salitang Tagalog ay ating mapakikinggan.

    Akin ding napagmuni-muni na maaaring makatulong sa kanyang imahe ang paggamit ng wikang Tagalog sa kanyang mga sulatin at palatuntunan upang tuluyan na siyang tantanan ng mga taong nagkakabit sa kanya ng ‘Elitist Tag’.

    Isang maalab na pagbati sa inyong lahat. Mabuhay ang Filipino. Mabuhay ang quezon.ph

  16. The Ca t

    Not at all. It is only an Ad hominem fallacy if that description serves to distract from the topic at hand by calling attention to something that is *not* integral to the argument.

    An old school of thought. It is time for you to upgrade your database on logic and rationality.

    I am not in a mood to lecture.

  17. Mita

    CVJ,,

    for clarification, and again I clarify what i said: the middle class is the ruling class in MOST democracies…not ours. looks like our exchange is headed nowhere until you can stop misreading what i wrote and stop putting words in my mouth. all i’ve been doing in my previous replies to you is clarify a previous reply….

    why not focus on the other classes? every class has its ills, its advantages even. society is made up of different classes and sectors. instead of focusing on DIFFERENCE, why don’t we start thinking of how we can get together and come to agreement? wouldn’t that be more useful?

    btw, and please remember this, you don’t know me at all cvj, nor my background, which will definitely surprise you. i’m also willing to bet you are WAY more middle-class than I am….

    but I’ve never gone into these things online because as i’ve said before i don’t see you as an apologist for the opposition or middle-class or anything…i just read your words (which you direct to me) and respond.

    TAGABUKID, you said impeachment is constitutional and it is moral. that’s what I’ve been saying ever since…let’s see it through and live with the consequences. it went through, unsuccessfully. now let’s live with it.

    this is beyond us already…it’s up to the opposition. and that’s why i’ve said so many times here, the race for congressional seats is MORE important than the senate race which we keep focusing on.

    let’s also be clear about one thing, the opposition botched the impeachment which was out of the people’s hands since it was a congressional process, not once but twice.

    was there a call for street protests against gloria? definitely. and THAT (street protests) was basically what bong austero was pissing and moaning about in his now-famous email. why? because for our country, street protests and damaging coups had become OUR status quo.

    we, the people, are just pawns to be manipulated by politicians who could NOT do their jobs. but we refuse to see that…and that is what puzzles me no end!

  18. Mita

    cvj, i hesitated but you know, you put it out there.

    i take offense that you say I’m morally ambiguous (in effect you did, it’s there in your posts for all to see)…like i said, you don’t know me. but i can even tell what exclusive school you went for high school…

    and btw, superciliousness is spelled with one L – thought you’d like to know…

  19. Shaman of Malilipot

    Tagabukid,

    Wow! That was quite a performance. Eloquent! You excellently framed the issues for the May elections.

    Tama na, the Kleenex Club might accuse us of mutual admiration. Sasabihin na naman ni Mita we are seeking the comfort of the pack. Hindi niya alam, she has her own pack.

  20. cvj

    Mita, your original statement, to which i reacted was:

    the middle-class is the ruling class in most democracies so watch out for more of “MY KIND OF THINKING” – Mita at February 13th, 2007 at 8:11 am

    Of course, your subsequent revisions/clarifications have become less triumphalist – which is good.

    why not focus on the other classes? every class has its ills, its advantages even.

    As a general principle, before we criticize others, it is best to examine ourselves first. Besides, this time around, we in the middle class are the ones who are in the wrong.

    why don’t we start thinking of how we can get together and come to agreement? wouldn’t that be more useful?

    A healthy dialogue between the classes would certainly be more useful, but we have to demonstrate good faith by showing respect for the will of the majority. Having an occupant of Malacanang who got there through cheating and stays there because of the middle class’ tacit consent is not a good position to start from. That’s also a manifestation of moral ambiguity. I hear you when you say that you take offense, but what else can you call such behavior?

    Thanks for the spelling correction.

  21. The Ca t

    Akala ko d na ko makakakita nang ganun sa panahon ngayon.
    Nakakaawa talaga ang pinoy.

    One incident of blood thristy soldier and you conclude there is no democracy.

    One mauling of gay in a state of US does not necessarily mean that the whole contry is homophobe.

    DIto talaga kailangan tingnan ang mga utak ng pinoy. Kailangan talagang turuan na ang logic ay hindi kinakain.

  22. The Ca t

    The trouble with the Cat and others similarly situated is that they are detached from the actual situation.

    Mas updated kami dito sa abroad. KAsi may mga balitang censored diyan na dito nakakarating.

    Sino sa atin ang detached?

  23. Mita

    cvj, triumphalist? oh gee, sounds like you just don’t like my guts…which is personal…even if you don’t say it is.

    take your advice cvj and examine yourself first. because i am not the one who still has hang-ups about being in EDSA, or about my “position in life”. see, i’m not so young and I can say, unlike in my youth, that i am now comfortable in my own skin and have nothing to apololgize for – especially to you, a total stranger. every lesson i learned came from some experience in my past and though the process never ends, I can truly say, I have nothing to apologize to a stranger for. ARE YOU READING THAT LOUD AND CLEAR? do you get it now, my moral judge?

    it’s your arrogance and the same middle-class mentality you say i have showing MORE by giving lectures about your perceptions of their mentality to strangers here, telling people off, and passing judgment on a STRANGER for his morality or your perceived lack of it – like you were some grand wizard with all the right answers – this has nothing to do with issues btw.

    i want a genuine debate and want others to speak their minds because this is the outstanding lesson i learned from EDSA Dos. what i don’t need is a lecture from a stranger.

    you don’t seem to want to acknowledge a lot of things which is no one else’s problem but YOURS. you lecture and spread your blame game (passing the buck which you accuse me of too – sheesh!) and further your misconstrued notions about what you think ails our society and then accuse someone else of disrespect. what about your response to rego, with that DUMB clarification about Recto? Derisisve, diba? don’t think yourself above it.

    if my attempt at humor isn’t to your liking, drop it already – that was several comments ago. don’t dump your guilt on me. PLEASE.

  24. Mita

    cvj, triumphalist? oh gee, sounds like you just don’t like my guts…which is personal…even if you don’t say it is.

    take your advice cvj and examine yourself first. because i am not the one who still has hang-ups about being at EDSA in 2001, or about my “position in life”. see, i’m not so young and I can say, unlike in my youth, that i am now comfortable in my own skin and have nothing to apololgize for – especially to you, a total stranger. every lesson i learned came from some experience in my past and though the process never ends, I can truly say, I have nothing to apologize to a stranger for, especially you. ARE YOU READING THAT LOUD AND CLEAR? do you get it now, my self-proclaimed moral judge?

    it’s your arrogance and the same middle-class mentality you say i have showing MORE by giving lectures about your perceptions of their mentality to strangers here, telling people off, and passing judgment on a STRANGER for his morality or your perceived lack of it – like you were some grand wizard with all the answers – this has nothing to do with issues btw. you are in effect, just distracting people from the issues.

    i want a genuine debate and want others to speak their minds because this is the outstanding lesson i learned from EDSA Dos.

    you don’t seem to want to acknowledge a lot of things which is no one else’s problem but YOURS. you lecture and spread your blame game (passing the buck which you accuse me of too – sheesh!) and further your misconstrued notions about what you think ails our society (there’s a lot of it, not just one) and then accuse someone else of disrespect. what about your response to rego, with that DUMB clarification about Recto? Derisisve, diba? don’t think yourself above it.

    if my attempt at humor isn’t to your liking, drop it already – that was several comments ago. don’t dump your guilt on me. PLEASE.

  25. cvj

    Mita, no one is stopping you from speaking your mind and engaging in a genuine debate. However, value judgments are part of any genuine debate. What i think you want to do is to go about the discussion as if you are not party to the issues. As members of society, your positions, as well as mine have a larger effect on society and its values which is why it cannot be true that the problems i raise are no one else’s but mine. As our host has written above politics is about both issues and personalities. What is true of politicians also applies to us as private citizens in our capacity as members of society.

  26. Shaman of Malilipot

    Cat, talaga? May mga balita kayo dyan na hindi namin alam? Anu-ano yun? And who do you think is doing the censoring?

  27. jepo

    Shaman, for one, ikaw raw sa totoong buhay e si Santa Santita at si CVJ naman daw eh….Santo Santito…heh heh…..Sa totoo lang…dumarating rin dito sa States ang news na gumaganda na ang ating economy kahit na gaanong ka-biased ang mga reports ng ABS-CBN at PDI.

  28. BKK

    shaman….sana naman di lang puro headlines ng tribune at pdi and binabasa mo…or column ni de quiros…mag basa ka naman minsan ng business section…para mabalanse yang pananaw mo sa issue….sorry folks i can’t help it, i was tempted to comment…well it pays to be an OFW at least u see both sides of the issue….

  29. Ruel

    wow… what an exchange of ideas! grabe ang galing… bravo! as for my vote, I only have one so I will not waste it…I will vote straight Genuine Opposition! No to illegal occupant of malacanang!

  30. Shaman of Malilipot

    Jepo, I’m as macho as it comes.

    If that’s the best that you can dish out, it’s pathetic. Why don’t you meet argument with argument?

    Gumaganda na ang economy? I have relatives and friends over there and they don’t swallow those news like you do. The news that the GMA propaganda machine is feeding you cite figures that have nothing to do with the improvement of the lot of millions of hungry Filipinos, the countrymen whom you abandoned. The strength of the peso vis-a-vis the dollar that GMA has been crowing about has robbed the families of OFWs and exporters of millions of pesos, and made imports so cheap that local producers are losing market share to cheap imported goods. The rise of the stock market that GMA has been trumpeting benefits only the filthy rich who have money to invest and the foreign fund managers. These things don’t put food on the table of the poor. GMA has even killed the bill raising the minimum wage by P125/day. If the economy is really that strong, how come they don’t want the lowly workers to share in the benefits by raising wages?

    The news about an economic boom is a big lie. It’s like Bush saying, “We are winning in Iraq!”

    No wonder the government is censoring from the Filipino people, as Cat has revealed, all those good things that the propagandists are feeding you because the people know they are lies.

  31. Shaman of Malilipot

    BKK, hindi ba nagrereklamo ang pamilya mo na nabawasan na ang pesong nakukuha nila galing sa dollars mo?

  32. Shaman of Malilipot

    Ruel, right on!

  33. Shaman of Malilipot

    By the way, BKK, I have an economics degree and MBA from Ateneo de Manila University and I’m a vice president of a Makati company. Maybe that will help you understand where I’m coming from.

  34. Mita

    cvj, to clarify: i didn’t say anyone was stopping me. there are efforts to discredit anyone with an opposing view though which cannot be denied.

    as for taking a backseat viewing things with impartiality – that’s the first rule of problem solving. if you can’t do this, you get emotional and irrational – and useless. even doctors would do better not to treat their own loved ones. we all know that. it’s like seeing the forest and the path out of it – from a distance – not just the maze of trees with you in the middle of it…

    that accusation has long been thrown at Filipinos living overseas who are participating in the debate and it’s not fair to them because they still ARE Filipinos like you and me. besides, they HAVE something of value to offer the debate.

    if you’re such a debate enthusiast, then you’d be aware that the most unproductive thing you can do in a debate is getting emotional and personal with your opponent because that only showcases your intellectual bankruptcy and does not further the debate…

    i’m curious, when you bring up value judgment – whose values do you mean? and how did you come to the conclusion that it’s part of debate? not unless the debate is ON value judgment should it even be brought up in debate…in which case…that’s going to be a very long debate.

    Can you really believe your own statement about politicians and ordinary citizens without blinking? For a minute now, take the blinders off and ask yourself – do you have the privileges they do? The access to media like they have? The money to throw away like they have – P100-M just to make a run for the senate?

    If you said yes to all these questions, then I’ll believe your statement about politicians and ordinary citizens.

  35. Mita

    shaman, kumagat ka naman sa bait ni BKK. honestly, i’m surprised at your qualifications. hindi halata sa pagsusulat mo. i expected better. hope you don’t mind me saying ikaw kasi nag volunteer eh!

    oo nga pala, alam ba ng company mo na nag-dedebate ka dito sa oras ng trabaho? este..VP ka nga pala…untouchable kumbaga sa kurpurit world…

    LOL! i JUST couldn’t help it…excuse me, my bad!

  36. The Ca t

    Cat, talaga? May mga balita kayo dyan na hindi namin alam? Anu-ano yun? And who do you think is doing the censoring?

    Well of course, the media.

  37. Shaman of Malilipot

    Mita, my writing may not be elegant, but I have put forward a lot of arguments that have not been answered.

    I don’t let blogging affect my work.

  38. The Ca t

    Cat has revealed, all those good things that the propagandists are feeding you because the people know they are lies.

    Don’t quote me. When I say media, it does not necessarily refer to the administration. Excuse me.

  39. tagabukid

    Shaman,

    That was a revelation..but GASP! (hitit ng hangin)… tama kaya ang kutob ko na naging guro mo si Gloria?! That would surely be interesting. Enwey, im a project manager here in makati — and quezon.ph is one of my favorite distractions. My kind of fun, hehehe.

    Back to the issues:

    “One incident of blood thristy soldier and you conclude there is no democracy.”

    That statement can only come from someone who’s really out of touch. Jovito Palparan’s notoriety has now reached legendary status, the blood trail he has left in all his tours of duty has now turned into a specter that’s hounding him and the Gloria Arroyo administration. What Francis described above is not an isolated incident at all, it has happened in Mindoro and all the provinces where Palparan was assigned. He’s the ‘Berdugo ng Samar’ too.

    It’s not just ‘one incident’. With Palparan, it’s a way of life: it has become his mandate! Look, he even got that infamous commendation during Gloria Arroyo’s SONA.

    Ngayon, they won’t hand over the Melo Report to the EU and UN, even if the administration itself invited the institutions ‘for purposes of transparency’. Needless to say, they dont want this to blow up into an international concern. I can just imagine what Mahathir of Malaysia would say.

    Kasi nga takot ang administrasyon ni Gloria Arroyo sa sariling multo na sila mismo ang gumawa. Multo ng Extrajudicial Killings, Multo ni Jose Pidal at Multo ni Garci.

    It all boils down to the high crimes i’ve pointed out previously: Graft and Corruption, betrayal of public trust and the constitution, etc.

    GMA will never find it in her heart, to even grasp the meaning of the word: ACCOUNTABILITY.

  40. Shaman of Malilipot

    The Ca t :

    “Mas updated kami dito sa abroad. KAsi may mga balitang censored diyan na dito nakakarating.”

    Now, Cat, if I understand you correctly, you are saying that there are news that are censored here but are able to reach you there. Therefore, you know more than we do. Apparently, those news put GMA in good light, otherwise, why would you admire her?

    Then I asked you:

    1. What those news items are, and
    2. Who you think is doing the censoring

    Your answer is the media.

    Do you mean to say that the media is doing the censoring? Why would the media not want the Filipino people to know those news that you’re talking about? Doesn’t make sense. If there is anybody who would want to hide the news from the people, it’s the government. But if the news are favorable to the GMA, why would the government hide them from the people? It can only mean that the “good news” that are being fed to you through your media are lies that the government of GMA doesn’t want the Filipino people to hear. Now, don’t be naive, even the American media can be bought.

    Won’t you share those “news” you know that we don’t? Tell me, I might be converted.

    If you think you know more than we do, it only means that you know more lies than we do.

  41. UPn student

    Ruel… it is understandable that you vote your “NO! to illegal occupant of malacanang”… pero are you sure about Trillanes? Have you checked Trillanes military record and if there were human rights abuses charged against members of his command? Also find out what Trillanes’ position is regarding VFA.

  42. Shaman of Malilipot

    Not to worry, Tagabukid, I’m untainted by GMA. I’m clean.

    GMA’s refusal to release the Melo Report is another cover-up for, the nth time. This government is a government of cover-ups. That’s to be expected of liars. Liars are forever covering up.

    I don’t know what makes GMA think that she can fool the EU or UN. Sa bagay, binabastos niya nga ang Filipino people, EU or UN pa kaya?

    At any rate, the Evil Empire is resigned to the probability of being censured. Injustice Secretary Gonzalez was quoted as saying that the UN cannot penalize the Philippines. But I’m not sure about that. The UN can impose sanctions on erring member countries.

  43. cvj

    i’m curious, when you bring up value judgment – whose values do you mean? and how did you come to the conclusion that it’s part of debate? not unless the debate is ON value judgment should it even be brought up in debate…in which case…that’s going to be a very long debate. – Mita

    I think that you’ve hit upon one of the key sources of our disconnect (apart from the political differences). When i characterize the middle class as supercilious, apathetic, morally ambiguous, narcissistic, and given to exceptionalism – i am making a value judgment. I am not, as you believe, letting my emotions get ahead of me. The above conclusion is precisely the result of my taking a step back and reflecting on the events that have taken place and the reactions of people to those events.

    Of course, value judgments should always be on the table or else we miss out on important items that need to be considered. For example, now that i have brought this out in the open, Shaman (at February 15th, 4:58pm) is able to counter that perhaps the main motivation of the middle class for their actions is fear, which i think is a fair observation. If you exclude value judgments, such clarifications cannot take place and as a result, the entire discussion will be impoverished. We should not set artificial boundaries between facts and values.

    Can you really believe your own statement about politicians and ordinary citizens without blinking?

    In this forum, i don’t make statements i don’t believe in. The discussion is confusing enough as it is.

  44. UPn student

    Before anyone misses a key point that Q3 posted, here it is:
    “the President inherited from her father -the first politician to claim he visited every single barrio in the country- an obsessive (and effective) attention to politics on the local level. All effective presidents have had this characteristic. Her difference is that the local trumps the national every time (and not just by force of circumstance, but instinct, I’d think).”
    Randy David and deQuiros and others may pontificate that they knows what the people of the Philippines believes, but it is possible that deQuiros only reflects the NCR mentality. Notwithstanding, it is worth noting that GMA goes to the barrios as well she should, (to preach her platform and) to listen.

  45. cvj

    UPn Student, the surveys indicate that dissatisfaction with GMA is nationwide.

  46. UPn student

    The anti-GMA’s should remember the Thailand experience where Thaksin built his strength, not on the backs of the middle-class and university-crowds of Bangkok, but with his (populist) programs that the poor of rural-Thailand saw as beneficial to them. Many a newspaper account had repeated the observation by the rural poor that Thaksin was the only politician who not only came to ask for their vote but who brought programs of government that helped them inch up the economic ladder.
    A point I’m trying to raise is — are the anti-GMA’s walking to the barrios and talking to the poor as to why “Garci tapes” and “Palparan” and “Pidal bank accounts” are worth more than the economic progress that Mita says she has observed (at least in Bulacan) and which are being reported in the foreign presses in US-of-A and Europe? Or do the anti-GMA’s just love to listen to the sound of their voice?

  47. Mita

    UPn, my brother-in-law who travels through the Visayas and Mindanao has also told us infrastructure has considerably improved, especially roads. He understands this will all translate to support for this administration. He’s anti-GMA btw.

    People can reason out, it just all came together now – perhaps we can even say all these were in the works during past administrations, which can certainly be true. But the fact is, the PEOPLE are seeing it happen NOW.

    Also been to Zambales, Pampanga, Pangasinan lately and seen a LOT of improvement. Hope to check out Masbate real soon.

    BTW, this particular portion of the post was not in the printed version which came out in the Inquirer…sayang naman…it was very telling of GMA…

Fetch more comments

  1. Manuel L. Quezon III: The Daily Dose » Blog Archive » It doesn’t compute (revised)

    […] Responses to my column include The Marocharim Experiment writing of “hinanakit,” but it’s cocoy who really got people thinking: see The Jester-in-Exile’s Because We Must, and Rom’s (aka smoke) Must we? Which, in turn, led to a riposte by cocoy in Because We Can Change the Dynamics of the Game. cocoy expands his views on a New Political Party in Empower Tomorrow (essential, accompanying reading in this vein is A Comprehensive Proposal for an EDSA Reform (edited) by Writer’s Block). As a side note, perhaps we also differ, deeply, in our attitudes towards parties. By instinct, I oppose the idea of political parties, period, because I believe by their nature parties exist to secure jobs for their members, and you have centuries of human behavior and party histories to prove this. In the Philippines’ case, see my Arab News column, The Same Mistakes Eventually. I am more inclined to Making political parties obsolete and exploring Partyless Democracy as a concept (as some people from India are doing), and tying it all together as much as possible, see Politics is a continuum: […]

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