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Mar 20

Self-sabotage

It was a comedy of errors, but there wasn’t anything funny in the foiled attempt to transfer Rep. Ocampo to Leyte yesterday. What it shows is the lengths certain factions in the administration will go to achieve their ends. My personal view has been that Rep. Ocampo should face the charges, and he is facing the charges; but the manner he has been handled since he was placed in custody is objectionable.

1. There was no reason to try to transfer Ocampo, at least while he had a pending petition before the Supreme Court.
2. Even the judge the authorities wanted Ocampo to face right away, ordered him sent back pending the resolution of his petition.
3. What’s with the fetish for doing things in the dead of night? Obviously only to deny Ocampo access to his lawyers and to keep the public literally in the dark.

This is the sort of thing that sabotages the administration’s own efforts. The AFP chief of staff, too, I believe, is commenting too much on policy matters.

Another case in point is the latest arrest warrant versus the editors of the Inquirer. The problem here isn’t the court, which is following procedure; it’s the list of individuals the President’s husband has decided to file charges against. Since the law is the law, the President’s husband (who says he’s only working hard to go through the proverbial eye of the needle and enter the Kingdom of God) has recourse to filing suit against writers that offend him. But I’d argue that including a whole slew of editors turns the whole thing into a case of legal harassment. That, and the timing: if, on its face, there is nothing wrong with a warrant, when and how that warrant is served can become an instance of harassment, for example, when it’s served at a time that denies the accused a chance to post bail.

Anyway, I refer you to the blog of Gibbs Cadiz and the waiting of the paper’s staff for the warrant to be served.

In his column today, Alex Magno asserts that sample ballots can account for as much as 10% of the votes of a candidate, and that this is the advantage offered by the political machinery that manages to distributes such ballots. He makes a curious statement, too, that opposition members pointing to public opinion polls conveniently ignore that surveys showed the President leading Fernando Poe, Jr. in 2004.

But if so, he conveniently ignores how the surveys became a bone of contention and that it seems the surveys themselves ended up manipulated by infiltrating their sample base. You can look at how Social Weather Stations did its post mortem on the survey results (particularly the exit polls) or dig around Philippine Commentary who studied the issue exhaustively.

In other words, Magno may be magnifying the power of the machine and downplaying in turn, the ability of surveys to generate a meaningful snapshot of what voters will actually do. Anyway, here’s the latest on the survey on party list preferences.

For those interested in Danton Remoto’s senatorial candidacy, the Comelec it seems, is poised to make its final decision known.

GO said, TU said, scuttlebutt courtesy of the Manila Times.

The blogosphere has its usual round of meaty stuff: baratillo@cubao analyzes news reports on human rights violations. Notes on the Philippine foreign debt from caffeine sparks. A reflection corruption by An OFW Living in Hong (and observations on partisanship and corruption in the United States from History Unfolding). The declining softdrinks market is the topic for Bunker Chronicles.

Ph5-031907
The President’s Spacecruiser Yamato fashion sense.

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  1. john marzan

    some of dean’s old posts re the exit poll fiasco at his old blog (now deleted) can be found here.

    http://www.politicaljunkie.blogspot.com/2004/11/look-back-at-sws-exit-poll-fiasco.html

  2. Shaman of Malilipot

    The police wasted people’s money in terms of aviation fuel and plane rental expenses due to stupidity. Their excuse that they didn’t have a hard copy of the court order was idiotic. The Hilongos Police could have gotten an official copy and validated it with PNP Camp Crame. This incident again confirms that police intelligence, like military intelligence, is an oxymoron.

  3. manuelbuencamino

    “3. What’s with the fetish for doing things in the dead of night? Obviously only to deny Ocampo access to his lawyers and to keep the public literally in the dark.?”

    DILG Usec. Marius Corpus told ANC that the plane had to leave very ear;y on the morning kasi kung masama ang weather sa Leyte eh pwede pang makabalik sa Maynila bago dumilim.

  4. manuelbuencamino

    Nur Misuari filed his candidacy for governor of Sulu.

    He told the press Kampi assured him he would be their official candidate.

    Misuari is facing charges of rebellion for leading an attack on a Sulu town that resulted in some 200 dead.

    Maybe Kampi will also adopt Satur Ocampo and Bayan Muna?

  5. manuelbuencamino

    Shaman,

    Usec Marius Corpus told ANC that people’s money was not wasted because the expenses would be covered by private funds.

  6. Shaman of Malilipot

    MB, whose private funds? Those stolen from the people?

  7. manuelbuencamino

    shaman,

    I think I heard him say that DILG Sec Puno was going to pay for it.

    I guess we can consider it part of Gloria’s privatization program. The “total war” policy will be contracted out to individuals.

    It’s not original actually. The US war on terror has been privatized. Blackwater has about a hundred thousand mercenaries on the ground in Iraq.

    Mercenaries allows governments to escape from command responsiblity when mercenaries go on a killing, torture and kidnapping rampage.

    Gloria’s Spacecruiser Yamato outfit tells us that she also heads the local mercenary force. hehe

  8. moks

    My co-workers who are from INC told me they are surely going to vote for two candidates: Escudero and Defensor. How many votes does INC delivers?

  9. Schumey

    It would have been logical and less expensive if the PNP sent an officer to the judge to confirm his order than wait for a copy of the resolution. Why the rush to transfer Ocampo behooves me.

    For sure, Puno will be reimbursed for his expenses. They have special funds for special programs.

  10. james

    Why should journalists cry foul when they are taken to task to account for their malicious articles. Its but fair that they should be able to substanciate what they are writing.

    you people should read Abaya’s – ” From GO to GAGO”

  11. james

    Why should journalists cry foul when they are taken to task to account for their malicious articles. Its but fair that they should be able to substanciate what they are writing.

    you people should read Abaya’s – ” From GO to GAGO”

  12. Bencard

    “Why should journalists cry foul when they are taken to task to account for their malicious articles.” James.

    Because: they are holier than thou; they are smarter than everybody else; they have “freedom of the press”; they can build and destroy reputations; they can make or unmake presidents; etc., etc.

    Never been elected by the people, these purveyors of “news” act like they have been given mandate to attack or make fun of anyone they don’t like.

  13. Jeg

    Why should journalists cry foul when they are taken to task to account for their malicious articles.

    ‘Maliciousness’ is yet to be determined by the court. That’s what the libel case is partly about: an accusation of malice. So the correct question to ask is, “Why should journalists cry foul when they are taken to task to account for their articles?”. They will cry foul if they believe the articles are not malicious, but were written in the interest of the general public.

  14. cvj

    Bencard, you think journalists should be elected by the people?

  15. UPn student

    Shaman… regarding the people in Iraq working for Blackwater, if you meant “A professional soldier hired for service in a foreign army”, then the US-of-A does not have any mercenaries in its employ.

    If you meant “one who serves or works merely for monetary gain; a hireling”, then you are a mercenary in the same way that Blackwater has mercenaries who works merely for monetary gain.

    But you knew this all along.

  16. hvrds

    Why the Philippines remains poor? You cannot trust the economist (typically exemplified by GMA) method for accounting. It is all theoretical.

    Our total external debt in 1985 was $26.6 billion. As of 2004, it has more than doubled at $60.55 billion greenbacks. (caffeine sparks blog)

    On top of this figure, the figure (unknown) for foreign direct investments which are also an obligation due from domestic households for capital repatriation and profits.

    As part of the financial system worldwide the government through the BSP guarantees the availability of foreign currency for this. Hence the domestic public sector debt is slightly larger than the total foreign debt. (All foreign debt whether private or public is part of the sovereign debt.

    After the debt crisis in the eighties and again during the 90’s ideas on a Soverign Debt Restructuring Mechanism was proposed by Jeffrey Sachs and former Treasury Secretary O’Neill. Corporations are allowed to seek bankruptcy protection. Countries should be given the same privilege. Unfortunately they chose debasing currency as a solution.

    They simply inflate the debt. Government ratios for total debt to GDP is based on using inflated GDP numbers. I hope people don’t get hernia’s trying to think about this.

    The acceptable inflation (debasing) standard for this year by the BSP is 4-5%. Depending where households are on the standard for the CPI that standard could be undervalued or overvalued for most. Most of all debasing currency is compounded thereby multiplying the pain.

    Notes from the NSCB:

    “Well, put simply, the CPI does not measure the average increase in your expenditures, whether as an individual or a family or a household! It was never meant to!”

    “Now, if you really want to compute the average monthly increase in your own individual consumption, you must use the basket of commodities that you normally consume, which will naturally differ from the NSO basket. You must take out hair shampoo from the basket, for instance, if there is nothing to use it on! You also must use weights that reflect your own consumption pattern – meaning that if you love food, your weights must show it! Depending on your chronological perspective, your CPI basket might include expenses for internet cafes; but if you had been a fan of Carmen Rosales and Rogelio de la Rosa, your CPI might include ballroom dancing fees for your favorite Attorney and ten different vitamins, valued of course at 20% discount, a privilege which, even those from Forbes Park and Ayala Alabang conscientiously (consciencelessly, some of my friends would sermon) avail of.” Dr. Romulo A. Virola
    Secretary General, NSCB

    “When national debts have once been accumulated to a certain degree, there is scarce, I believe, a single instance of their having been fairly and completely paid. The liberation of public revenue, if it has ever been brought about at all, has always been brought about by bankruptcy; sometimes by an avowed one, but always by a real one, though frequently by a pretended payment (in a depreciated currency)….. When it becomes necessary for a state to declare itself bankrupt, in the same manner as when it becomes necessary for an individual to do so, a fair, open, and avowed bankruptcy is always the measure which is both least dishonourable to the debtor, and at least hurtful to the creditor”
    Adam Smith (Canaan 2000, Book V, Chapter III,pp.466 and 468)

    Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth. Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become ‘profiteers,’ who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.
    Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.
    · Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919) John Maynard Keynes

  17. Shaman of Malilipot

    UPn student, I think you mistook me for manuelbuencamino.

  18. UPn student

    Shaman… you are right, I am wrong, my mistake.

  19. Shaman of Malilipot

    “Why the Philippines remains poor?” – hvrds

    We can analyze all the economic data until we gtow feathers, but the root cause of our poverty is that we have bastards for political leaders.

  20. Shaman of Malilipot

    “Why the Philippines remains poor?” – hvrds

    We can analyze all the economic data until we grow feathers, but the root cause of our poverty is that we have bastards for political leaders.

  21. manuelbuencamino

    UPn,

    The Blackwater soldiers are called “contract” workers by the US.

  22. tagabukid

    Shaman,

    I think not just bastards, but male whores and prostitutes held hostage by a junta.

    Isn’t it clear by now that the military is running the whole show?

    Read Doronila’s column today and you will clearly see that the purported president of this miserable country is living in another dimension. Gloria Arroyo, under the military’s gun, is giving Esperon the smoothest fellatio.

    Awww!

  23. Bencard

    cvj, elected by the people as journalist? Hell, no – that’s preposterous – but many of them sure act like they were.

  24. bogchimash

    Tagabukid,

    If I may just add. Our AFP is dependent on the U.S. Hence, the conduit perceived to have the strongest ties to the Americans, Carslyle Group’s Tabako, remains to be the most powerful. He holds the plug to this GMA administration.

    This is his mess. He started all these screwing up of institutions. The Saguisag Committee Report which Erap allowed to be re-opened, scared the crap out of the devil. Just the other day, Korina Sanchez opined over DZMM that GMA will not allow the opening of the Report because “‘yung isa (Erap) natanggal sa puwesto nung pinayagan itong buksan ulit” How true! How true!

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