Diminished leaders

My column for today is Diminished leaders. In Inquirer Current, my entry for today is on our national characteristics.

Some good reads: Amando Doronila on how the opposition needs to adopt human rights as a campaign issue: a related opinion is that of Rasheed Abou-Alsamh (Bong Austero’s latest suggests to me that increasing petty and other criminality is another campaign issue). John Nery on understanding surveys (related news: Rep. Nograles wants surveys regulated; see the Philippine Star for more). Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ gives a lawyer’s views on amnesties and libel.

On a positive note: the Inquirer editorial praises Tessie Aquino-Oreta. Solita Monsod praises the Department of Agrarian Reform.

The latest self-rating survey has Philippine Commentary up in arms over the indolence of the Filipino. Placeholder presents a bar graph of public borrowings covering post-1986 administrations.

Big Mango responds to a recent column I wrote; Achieving Happiness remarks on appearing on my show.

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    • hvrds on March 26, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    “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

    Even the mighty one the U.S. government has defaulted and will again default on its debts. It is slowly devaluing its foreign debt today but it will not be enough.

    “The US Federal government defaulted on its financial obligations in 1862, 1933, and 1971 — three times in the last 150 years. In 1862 the Legal Tender Act enabled the issue of greenbacks (paper money) that was legal tender for federal government principal obligations that was otherwise payable in coin, despite the notes not being payable in coin and trading at a substantial discount to coin. In this way the federal government defaulted on its financial obligations and caused a financial loss on its creditors. In 1933, due to the Executive Order, Federal treasury bonds payable in gold coin were not honoured in gold coin but in federal reserve notes worth 41% less. In 1971 the US Federal government defaulted on its obligations to pay gold bullion to the central banks of the world under the Bretton Woods Agreement. Within two years the defaulted obligations had lost over 70% in value.”
    “The US Federal government’s financial position today is not good — it owns a relatively small amount of assets (less than USD2 trillion), while it has liabilities of over USD9 trillion. So if the US Federal government were liquidated today, creditors would get less than 20c in the dollar. In addition, things get worse every year, with large deficits being run. Looking into the future shows rising entitlement program commitments that will have to be scaled back radically or bring the federal government to its next financial default (or both). A default in the short term is unlikely, but in the long term likely.”
    David Hilary

    We should learn from the U.S. and instead of debasing our currency any further simply declare bankruptcy.

    Debasing currency without productivity in our national economy simply debases labor and society.

    Institutions of the state require ethical and moral standards that do not have to compete with economic standards of living. Economics will always trump ethics and morality in this case.

    Once again:“In this popular sense, therefore, labor, like commodities, may be said to have a real and a nominal price. Its real price may be said to consist in the quantity of the necessaries and conveniences of life which are given for it; it, nominal price, in the quantity of money. The labourer is rich or poor, is well or ill rewarded in proportion to the real, not to the nominal price of his labor.” Adam Smith

    “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

    Over 20 years after Edsa I the economy is almost wholly dependent on labor exports. This after almost 40 years of continually debasing the currency to collect taxes.

    Congratulations.

    • DJB on March 26, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    According to Euromonitor International San Miguel Corporation’s GINEBRA SAN MIGUEL is the world’s leading brand of gin, and a Wikipedia entry adds:

    Ginebra San Miguel’s flagship brand, Ginebra San Miguel, is currently the largest-selling gin brand in the world, with 22 bottles consumed every second in the Philippines.

    Last month I was trekking Mount Pulag and noticed a poster in a small sari-sari store which shouted that “P20 na lang ang isang bote!”. Now this gin, called “gin bulag” is definitely a poor man’s drink, but 20 pesos times 22 bottles per second times 60 seconds per minute times 60 minutes per hour time 24 hours per day times 365 days per year divided by 4 quarters per year is 346,768,000 pesos spent on gin bulag every three months. That’s about 3.5 million MacDonald Quarter Pounder Hamburger meals per SWS survey quarter just in gin consumption. No wonder the hunger stats are up! And I haven’t looked up San Mig beer sales yet.

    • cvj on March 26, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    mlq3, thanks again for the link, much appreciated:-)

    Yeah DJB, go ahead and blame the poor for their misery. After all, that’s the favorite pastime of middle class Pinoys. It’s also an integral part of the ideology of globalization.

    • DJB on March 26, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    Not ALL the poor CVJ. Not even the majority. By the way I am not “middle class”. I belong to the Aristocracy.

    • cvj on March 26, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    it figures.

    • DJB on March 26, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    Indeed. It was Globalization that created the Filipino Middle Class of our day and age, though most of them can only be found somewhere between New Jersey and the Golden Gate, hard at work making a decent living and keeping the Archipelago well-stocked and anaesthetized in … gin bulag when they aren’t snortin’ up shabu. Which by the way, costs about 100 pesos for a mung-bean sized gram. Every SWS quarterly survey about 2 million tricycle-jeepney-and-bus drivers, GRO’s, hair dressers, movie actors and the poor, poor Pinoy shabu-heads, are said to consume ten metric tons of the stuff (10,000 kgs). Wanna do the arithmetic for me in hamburgers?

    • UPn student on March 26, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    “I belong to the Aristocracy.” Extremely nice feeling. If only an extra 7% of the Filipino poor (the under-25… the souls and spirits of the 35-and-older just may already be irreparably damaged) .. if only enough can imagine that the Aristocracy (or upper-middle class, or middle-class) is not “… ayy… sa panaginip lang” but is actually within reach.

    It is only natural that the young do better than their parents.

    • UPn student on March 26, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    Worthwhile phrase to remember… “If I can’t afford it… I don’t need it.”

    Along with “..if I want it, I have to earn it.”

    Priests promise miracles… they don’t deliver.

    • justice league on March 26, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    In Republic Act 7941
    Sec. 9. Qualification of Party-List Nominees. – ….. a registered voter, …..

    Was Satur Ocampo ever convicted of a crime since he was incarcerated or was he just undergoing trial at that time?

    If he was indeed convicted; I think his right to suffrage will still be denied even though he was set free afterwards by former President Aquino.

    If Satur Ocampo was indeed convicted; why then was he deemed qualified as a partylist nominee with regards to being a registered voter if he was not considered as having been granted amnesty?

    • UPn student on March 27, 2007 at 1:24 am

    Food for thought to John Marzan or Bystander (or anyone here) or to anyone in this blogsite, in case he/she becomes President — to give amnesty or pardon only for specifically-named crimes. One may even provide amnesty for “…all crimes known”.

    It is nonsense to give amnesty or pardon for “all crimes known and unknown”. It is also apparent that “Inopacan” was a crime unknown to the State and the country (and for which Satur did not ask pardon for) at the time that Satur was set free by Cory.

    • manuelbuencamino on March 27, 2007 at 1:38 am

    What should bother you is our either/or economy,

    What we need is an economy where anybody who wants to work can find work get paid decent wages so he can get drunk before during and after his meals.

    What we don’t need are a bunch of puritans preaching abstinence.

    • baycas on March 27, 2007 at 2:09 am

    this i remember (from mlq3’s entry #813)…

    cjv, you should have a blog, you are such a sensible and wise person, it makes every post a pleasure to read.
    – mlq3 on January 23rd, 2006 at 12:11 am

    mlq3, thanks. quite a thoughtful and engaging community you’ve got going over here. We all don’t necessarily agree with one another (which is a good thing), but there is always something new to learn. we are grateful for your (and spam karma’s) continuing hospitality.
    – cvj on January 23rd, 2006 at 12:54 am

    placeholder started with an empty blog entry on october 24, 2005. the hillblogger even attempted to rouse him then. this march 2007, shall i say the sleeping giant has awakened?

    cvj, for a sensible and wise person, you really deserve to have a blog of your own. kudos! i just hope this won’t diminish your time commenting on other blogs…i find your ubiquitousness worthwhile reads…

    • baycas on March 27, 2007 at 2:12 am

    this i remember (from mlq3’s entry #813)…

    cjv, you should have a blog, you are such a sensible and wise person, it makes every post a pleasure to read.
    – mlq3 on January 23rd, 2006 at 12:11 am

    mlq3, thanks. quite a thoughtful and engaging community you’ve got going over here. We all don’t necessarily agree with one another (which is a good thing), but there is always something new to learn. we are grateful for your (and spam karma’s) continuing hospitality.
    – cvj on January 23rd, 2006 at 12:54 am

    placeholder started with an empty blog entry on october 24, 2005. the hillblogger even attempted to rouse him then. this march 2007, shall i say the sleeping giant has awakened?

    cvj, for a sensible and wise person, you really deserve to have a blog of your own. kudos! i just hope this won’t diminish your time commenting on other blogs…i find your ubiquitousness worthwhile reads…

    • cvj on March 27, 2007 at 2:31 am

    Baycas, coming from you, that means a lot, thanks:-)

    • bogchimash on March 27, 2007 at 2:49 am

    The all encompassing amnesty was worded in such a way because it was intended for rebels. Traditionally, all crimes were absorbed by rebellion. It even absorbs rape.

    Crimes against non-combatants such as rape terrorize the public. Terrorism was deemed as a means to commit rebellion prior to the enactment of the Anti-terror law.

    • baycas on March 27, 2007 at 6:33 am

    a public figure is labeled as such for his fame (the state or quality of being widely honored and acclaimed) or notoriety (the state of being known for some unfavorable act or quality).

    with a pervading notion that mike is a public figure known for his notoriety (womanizing, money laundering, gaining “pogi points” in heaven in the name of charity, etc.), is it right for him to say he is defamed?

  1. I agree with Doronila. Human rights should be an issue in the campaign. By the way, did you read Patricia Evangelista’s column this week that tells of how Joker Arroyo walked out on her because of her questions on his vacillating position on the extrajudicial killings?

    • justice league on March 27, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    Patricia Evangelista’s column contained the following:

    “I interviewed Sen. Joker Arroyo, whose defense of human rights is his platform for reelection. I ask why he has been silent, and why he chooses to still run with Team Unity whose figurehead is GMA. He is offended. He was the first to speak against Palparan, he says, and the one who continually rails against human rights violations.

    There are other issues, there are other issues, he repeats, labor and finance and education, and a whole host of other matters. Why must his performance on the political killings be a standard by which I should judge him? He tells me, at the end of his rant, that he expects me to be objective. I tell him I cannot be, as I am not a reporter, I’m a columnist with my own biases. And he is angry, and he walks out and tells me to do what I want.

    And here I will tell you why I ask that question, why I believe that condemning political killings is the highest priority. I agree that there are other issues. I agree that labor and the economy and a thousand other matters must be considered. I believe, however, that this issue is at the forefront; and that condemning is far different from acting; and that men like Joker Arroyo, by virtue of both their records and their claims, cannot afford to be neutral in their actions, if not their words.

    Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel says that during the massacre of the Jews, “the world did know [what was happening] and remained silent.”
    “We must take sides,” he says. “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must—at that moment—become the center of the universe.”

    Joker Arroyo urged the administration to ignore the US Senate inquiry that began last week in Washington, because “they have no business looking into it.” Today, there are two girls who have been missing for over a year allegedly because of a military kidnapping. Today, there are children without fathers, families who hide in refugee centers; and journalists who write knowing every word is a warrant against them.

    The world is not silent. We have no right to be.”
    —————————–

    Given Ms./Mrs. Evangelista’s own sequence of events; there is enough of a reason to think that Sen. Arroyo walked out on her when she stated that she can’t be objective and nothing else.

    I wonder if other columnists feel the same way as her in that being a columnist prevents one from being objective and just simply give way to one’s own bias.
    Based on her own words; Senator Arroyo stated to her that he himself spoke against Palparan (and claims to be the first one to speak, though I wouldn’t be to sure about that myself). Something Evangelista didn’t care to disprove when that countered her claim that Senator Arroyo has been silent on the matter (who knows, probably her bias kicked in at about that time).

    And though she agrees with Senator Arroyo that there are indeed other issues; she continues to claim why she believed condemning political killings (a question she has already been answered on) should be the highest priority when the interviewee (who left her probably because she claimed that she cannott be objective) never claimed that it shouldn’t be the highest priority.
    And then she goes on with the difference between condemning and acting.

    Maybe she should have been forthright in what kind of action she wanted.

    And regarding Elie Wiesel; I do not wish to add more to his pain but the world was far from silent when the Jewish massacre was going on, whether the massacre was known or not!

    But in fairness to Patricia Evangelista; she followed Senator Arroyo’s advice and apparently did what she wanted, bias and all!

    • mlq3 on March 27, 2007 at 11:55 pm
      Author

    justice league, i don’t understand. how can you ask anyone to be clinical about political killings as if one were discussing the deaths of bugs? i’ve never understood how people can call for objectivity in times of danger or crisis.

    • justice league on March 28, 2007 at 1:17 am

    Manolo,

    I don’t think you understood me but I definitely don’t understand your question or the context it is in.

    Anyway, I based my ideas on the post above on what Evangelista herself stated or “did not state” in her column.

    She asked Senator Arroyo why he has been silent on the matter. Senator Arroyo told her that he has not been silent and issued a specific instance. A statement that Evangelista didn’t care to disprove.

    Sen. Arroyo also stated that he continually rails against human rights violations. And I am assuming that Senator Arroyo means that he will continue to do so even if he is running and even if he should win under team Unity based on the fact that he won with PGMA’s ticket in 2001 and that didn’t prevent him from speaking out against the President or her actions or the Human Rights violations during her term.

    After all of that, Evangelista never stated in her column that he told the Senator that she doubted or had misgivings in his answers.

    What followed was the point wherein Senator Arroyo told her that there were other issues. Issues that Evangelista later admitted in her column that she agreed too.

    Senator Arroyo apparently asked her why must she judge him on the standard of his performance on the political killings.

    Of course she would state later to us that she believed that condemning is far different from acting.

    Yet Evangelista never wrote in her column that she told (or got to tell) Senator Arroyo of her belief of that or that she believed that Senator Arroyo didn’t do enough.

    The Senator later tells her that he expects her to be objective.

    And what is Evangelista’s answer?

    She admits to us that she told Senator Arroyo that she can’t be objective. That she is not a reporter and instead is a columnist with her own bias.

    Based on what is implied to have been stated and not stated at the time, I’m not surprised that Senator Joker left her.

    • cvj on March 28, 2007 at 3:18 am

    Joker Arroyo may have been a champion of human rights before. That was his forte. Unfortunately, he has shown that he lacks the stamina (or the heart) to continue the fight in this area. That’s why he’s trying to busy himself with other issues such as ‘labor and finance and education, and a whole host of other matters‘.

    • justice league on March 28, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    After re-reading Evangelista’s column; I think now that the question “Why must his performance on the political killings be a standard by which I should judge him?” was just a rhetorical question by Evangelista to us and wasn’t actually asked by Senator Arroyo to her. Which however in no way diminishes the other ideas I have already stated.

    Cvj,

    Maybe you’re wrong that Joker Arroyo lacks the stamina or heart to continue the fight in the area of human rights.

    Maybe you’re right that Joker Arroyo lacks the stamina or heart to continue the fight in the area of human rights.

    And just in case you are right; how many (and who) of the present candidates for the Senate can exceed or even match an “already weakened” Joker Arroyo in continuing the fight for human rights?

    Can you give at least 6 names (half the Senate slots for grabs)?

    • cvj on March 28, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    Justice League, i’m hoping that i turn out to be wrong about Joker Arroyo, but from what i see,i think he has lost the fire in his belly. Whether the other candidates match up to his record or not is irrelevant as it is not them, but his past performance that provides the benchmark. What’s the point of banking on his record of defending human rights if, as i believe (rightly or wrongly), he has turned his back on them?

    As for the Opposition, part of their 10-point program includes:

    Strengthen[ing] the protection of human rights by granting prosecutorial powers to the Commission on Human Rights and upgrading its investigative capabilities and review the government’s counter-insurgency program to de-emphasize the heavily militarist approach and once again address the deeper causes of social conflict – poverty and injustice – through development programs.

    In my intention to vote for them, i’m holding the candidates of GO to the above program.

    • justice league on March 29, 2007 at 1:33 am

    Cvj,

    Your claim previously that Senator Arroyo has shown that he lacks the stamina (or the heart) to continue the fight is so different from your present idea now that you believe that he has turned his back on defending human rights altogether.

    Based on the issues that Senator Arroyo has spoken out against Palparan and presently even speaks for and “can actually argue” for the likes of Satur Ocampo; you might just interpret that in some negative way as lacking stamina or heart (though I certainly don’t necessarily share that view)to still defend human rights but I’m surprised that you would even consider that as turning one’s back against defending the same.

    I’m surprised but delighted that Lacson and Trillanes goes along that 10 point program as people from the PMA aren’t exactly perceived as such.

    Sen. Arroyo’s past performance is Sen. Arroyo’s benchmark. You are obviously in the belief that he is no longer at par with his old self. Since you are obviously not going to vote for Sen. Arroyo as shown in your last statement, I am at least advocating you to name 6 candidates who will surpass or even match the present “weakened Joker Arroyo” who is supposed to be no longer at par with his old self.

    If you can’t, then the present “weakened Joker Arroyo” is still better than the candidates that you will vote for in the area of defending human rights.

    If we are going to believe Armando Doronila’s column link above, it would even appear that that part of your quoted 10 point program is just a motherhood statement.

    • cvj on March 29, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    If you can’t, then the present “weakened Joker Arroyo” is still better than the candidates that you will vote for in the area of defending human rights. – Justice League

    Benedict Arnold was responsible for the first significant victory of the American Revolutionaries against the British Empire. Still, when he turned his back on his American colleagues and switched allegiance to the British, he was still considered a traitor notwithstanding his past achievements. Same principle applies when it comes to Joker Arroyo and others like him.

    • justice league on March 29, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    cvj,

    And how is Benedict Arnold’s turning his back on his American colleagues related to Joker Arroyo when Joker Arroyo spoke against Palparan, speaks for Satur Ocampo while he was and still is in the Administration coalition/party?

    Your kind of argument seems more credible if it came from those on the admin side. And still I will counter such argument if such indeed came from the admin side.

    • cvj on March 29, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Justice League, Palparan exists at the prerogative of Gloria Arroyo. Satur Ocampo’s arrest comes with the blessings of Gloria Arroyo. At this point, any decent, thinking public servant would have reconsidered if he would remain true to his principles or to his boss. Instead, perhaps as a compromise, Joker has conveniently chosen to focus on the puppets and ignore the puppetmaster. A Filipino politician once said that his loyalty to the party ends where his loyalty to the country begins. By this standard, Joker Arroyo has fallen short.

    • justice league on March 29, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    cvj,

    My contention is the person you are alluding to be his boss is not his boss.

    But based on your contention about the prerogative and blessings of the President; it would then appear that Senator Arroyo is indeed fighting the prerogatives and actions blessed by the President.

    Joker would fall short on that standard if you can prove that he is disloyal to the country.

    And shouldn’t one’s loyalty to one’s country begin even before one even becomes a member of a party or even a politician?

    • cvj on March 30, 2007 at 12:44 am

    it would then appear that Senator Arroyo is indeed fighting the prerogatives and actions blessed by the President. – Justice League

    I agree with Patricia Evangelista that his actions are not good enough. His running with Team Unity makes a mockery of his protests. The younger incarnation of Joker Arroyo went head to head with a Dictator. The current version has turned into a pale imitation of Arturo Tolentino’s model of being a loyal oppositionist or a critical collaborator. The situation does not call for such a lukewarm role.

    Joker would fall short on that standard if you can prove that he is disloyal to the country.

    He has, by putting the interests of Palparan’s enabler over and above that of Palparan’s victims. As Senator, isn’t he supposed to look after the welfare of his countrymen first, especially when innocent lives are at stake?

    • justice league on March 30, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    cvj,

    Evangelista wasn’t exactly forthright in what actions she wanted Joker to perform. But since you agree so much with her, care to elucidate what actions you want him to perform?

    Robert Kennedy didn’t see eye to eye with President Lyndon Baines Johnson personally and politically though serving in his administation for several months, and still that didn’t prevent him from running for the Senate under the Democratic party of LBJ.

    In a poll run up in 1964 in New York state, LBJ was carrying New York by a 3-1 margin in the Presidential race over Barry Goldwater while RFK was only a 4-3 favorite over opponent incumbent republican Kenneth Keating in the Senatorial race and was still in danger of slipping.

    LBJ eventually went to New York and campaigned with/for RFK (something his brother JFK didn’t do for similar Democrats when he was president like in Hughes’ case in the New Jersey governorship). LBJ practically carried RFK to a comfortable win.

    And still that didn’t prevent RFK as a Democrat Senator from later attacking Democrat President LBJ’s policies.

    Joker Arroyo as a private citizen has priviledges that are not easily accorded to Senate members. He went head to head with a dictator as a private citizen. Senate membership precludes members from certain actions enjoyed by private citizens. That same preclusion will hover over opposition candidates who will win Senate seats.

    Yes he is supposed to along the law to look for the welfare his countrymen. So in your view how is he not doing this?

    • cvj on March 30, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    Justice League, from your above analogy, it seems that you view the situation under Gloria Arroyo as somehow normal with admin and opposition politicians having a gentleman’s disagreement on policy matters. If Joker Arroyo shares that view, then i’m afraid he’s more out of touch than i imagined. These are not normal times and hiding behind the supposed protocols of Senate membership is a lame alibi before the bar of history. I hope he realizes that.

    • justice league on March 30, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    cvj,

    No, I don’t necessarily do and I don’t think does Senator Arroyo.

    But just to show you something that RFK said while he remained as a Democrat Senator on what LBJ was supposed to be doing in Vietnam
    “We’re going in there and we’re killing South Vietnamese, we’re killing children, we’re killing women, we’re killing innocent people because we don’t want a war fought on American soil, or because (the Viet Cong are) 12,000 miles away and they might get 11,000 miles away. Do we have the right, here in the United States, to say we’re going to kill tens of thousands, make millions of people, as we have, millions of people refugees, killing women and children, as we have.”

    And still you are not forthright in the kind of action you want.

    Maybe you should spill out what you want the candidates you will vote for in the Senate (who will not hide behind the supposed protocols of Senate membership in this not normal times) to do should they get elected.

    • cvj on March 31, 2007 at 1:54 am

    Justice League, RFK was embedded within the traditions of a 200-year old 2-party system. By contrast, Joker Arroyo (and the other candidates) exists in an environment where parties are merely vehicles for coalescing support towards specific personalities, so i don’t think your comparison is a match.

    As to ‘the kind of action i want’, I don’t know how much more forthright i can be. I already mentioned in my response to a related query by Aames sometime back (January 7th, 2007 at 4:25 am in mlq3’s ‘Plans A and B, 2007 versions’ thread) that – where possible, i would recommend voting for a candidate who both has the qualifications to be a good lawmaker (however that is defined) and the commitment to impeach and/or convict Gloria Arroyo. I further explained that if only one of the above qualities were present, i would prioritize the commitment to convict.

    The reasoning behind this (as i explained in the same thread at January 6th, 2007, 3:57 pm) is that i believe that a candidate’s willingness or unwillingness to impeach or convict Gloria serves as a measure of his or her character as well as his or her ability to discern reality. Even if that candidate has a formidable background in terms of education and experience, if it is shown that he or she is willing to surrender to expediency just to get the support of the administration machinery, then those qualifications become moot. A candidate in such a situation has revealed himself or herself to be a willing tool of someone who has disrespected the electoral process.

    Joker Arroyo is one such candidate who has surrendered to expediency just to get the support of the administration machinery.

    • justice league on March 31, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    cvj,

    That 200-year old 2-party system tradition didn’t prevent Harry Byrd jr. But that RFK had decided to stick it out meant that he could pursue his cause even within a party whose highest public official has an official policy that he terribly didn’t approve.

    Well then its good that you reiterated your wants so that people can remember how horrendous your test of character is.

    In lieu of disrespect of the electoral process you want to vote for Senate members who will disrespect the impeachment process by coming to the Senate with “commitment to impeach and/or convict Gloria Arroyo”.

    It has been said that impeachment is a political process but for jurors to come before it with unclean hands is
    terribly unfair.

    Maybe you should add already that on the VERY FIRST DAY of an impeachment for PGMA in the Senate; THE SENATE MUST ALREADY TAKE A VOTE ON THE VERDICT!

    BTW, there’s a rumor that a political ad of the opposition with ex-Pres. Estrada advocating for GO candidates with the him uttering “isa pang boto laban sa nakaupo” got shelved.

    And if one member here is to be believed; Joker Arroyo wanted to retire already. What kind of surrender of expediency just to get the support of administration machinery is that then when it appears that its the administration that should even be grateful for him running again?

    • mlq3 on March 31, 2007 at 12:44 pm
      Author

    justice league: recalls rfk’s decision to run for president put him at loggerheads with lbj, and that lbj had to decide not to run for a 2nd term because of rfk’s decision to run. rfk in other words was set to contest his party’s leadership on the basis of a policy disagreement. his younger brother did the same thing in 1980 against jimmy carter.

    • justice league on March 31, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Manolo,

    RFK was reluctant and wasn’t about to contest incumbent LBJ for the nomination for the Presidency if Eugene McCarthy had not shown that LBJ was vulnerable sometime in March of 1968 already.

    RFK publicly broke with the Johnson Administration for the first time in February 1966 yet he stayed on as a Democrat Senator.

    That RFK speech above was delivered in 1967.

    • cvj on March 31, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    Justice League, even One Voice has called upon this election to be an indirect referendum on the GMA administration. Unless you believe that Gloria Arroyo is innocent, how can the committment to impeach/convict be a ‘horrendous’ test of character? I am not about to endorse willful ignorance. I believe Joker Arroyo knows the real score but has chosen to hide behind legalisms which makes him no better than that Arroyo-apologist lawyer who lurks around these parts (not you btw).

    • justice league on April 1, 2007 at 2:10 am

    cvj,

    The concerned One Voice proposal is:

    “A credible 2007 elections can become an indirect referendum on the issue of whether the President should serve her full term, depending on how people choose their congressmen and senators, and how those elected exercise their mandate.”

    The concerned individual never agreed that it be used as an indirect referendum and One Voice cannot enforce it.

    The removal then of PGMA will still depend on impeachment as based on the said election of Congressional members. I will agree that a Representative of the House can run on a platform that he/she will work for the impeachment.

    But I do not agree that Senate candidates should run on a platform of a similar commitment.

    One Voice never explained that proposal in that way (at least not that I remember while I was there).

    I don’t have to believe whether PGMA is innocent or not to realize that a potential member of a jury coming to said jury with already a commitment to convict is horrendous.

    You say that you are not endorsing willful ignorance but how are you not endorsing a one track mindedness instead?

    I saw your remark in the other thread about Dr. Bautista and the need for hezbollah. I have long believed that I can never get a Senatorial candidate that will have all the same goals and thinking as I do, and will perform everything as I want. The only way I can have that is to ask for your votes for my own candidacy.

    I don’t approve of everything that Sen. Arroyo has done or said. But I still believe that when evidence has been presented in an impeachment court, Sen. Arroyo will exercise his mandate by deciding judiciously.

    • cvj on April 1, 2007 at 11:04 am

    The concerned individual never agreed that it be used as an indirect referendum and One Voice cannot enforce it. – Justice League

    I see. Thanks for clarifying your opposition to that One Voice proposal.

    I don’t have to believe whether PGMA is innocent or not to realize that a potential member of a jury coming to said jury with already a commitment to convict is horrendous.

    With the public nature of the Hello Garci issue, it is naive to think that these senatorial candidates don’t have an opinion one way or the other. For them to plead neutrality or objectivity at this point is just to mask deception or betray cluelessness.

    Aiming for a type of jury similar to what they have in the American system is not feasible or realistic at this point.

    I don’t approve of everything that Sen. Arroyo has done or said. But I still believe that when evidence has been presented in an impeachment court, Sen. Arroyo will exercise his mandate by deciding judiciously. – Justice League

    Since he may still win, i’m also hoping that you’re correct. However, there are a few hundred million reasons why that may not be the case.

    • justice league on April 1, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Something is wrong with wordpress again. It keeps saying I posted a similar post but the post doesn’t appear.

    cvj,

    I’d agree that it would not be easy for the senatorial candidates not to have opinions of their own but it will still depend on what the impeachment charge/s is/are and the evidence that will be presented.

    To press with their opinions for conviction when they don’t even know what the charges will be let alone what evidence will be presented (or is it the other way around wherein they don’t even know what evidence will be presented let alone what the charges will be?) in an impeachment court is a different matter.

    None of those who will be elected to the Senate will have direct control over what charges will be filed.

    And I however doubt that Sen. Arroyo with his stature and at his age would still be interested in a hundred million reasons.

    • cvj on April 1, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    Justice League, you argue in terms of contingencies, but probability is not on your side. Over the past two years, Gloria has been guilty of many things. Yes, it is theoretically possible for the Opposition in the House, by design or incompetence, to somehow charge Gloria Arroyo with something that she is completely innocent of. It is also theoretically possible that, in the course of the investigation, some information comes out that explains matters in favor of Gloria. All these things are possible, but not probable.

    So, if i believe that Gloria will be charged by the House for something she is guilty of, it would not make sense for me to vote for a Senator-judge who is most probably going to acquit because of recent political favors.

    As for Senator Arroyo, while it is true that his age can only increase with time, his association with Gloria has diminished his stature.

    • justice league on April 1, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    cvj,

    Your judgement of guilt will just usher in another round of debate.

    It is also possible that the opposition will file a charge that they will not be able to prove convincingly or prove at all in an impeachment court.

    Your second paragraph will just bring me back to implying that since Sen. Arroyo can go against the “prerogatives and actions blessed” by PGMA, he can very well decide judiciously on the matters presented even if it should mean a verdict against PGMA based on the charge and evidence. If it is indeed true that Sen. Arroyo was just prevailed upon to run again, any alleged support of admin machinery will just make things even. The Senator need not be beholden for any alleged political favors.

    BTW, how many and who of the GO candidates (not just the spokesman or campaign manager or such) have actually already publicly stated that they will convict in an impeachment anyway?

    Your argument on association can also be hurled back at GO candidates regarding ex-Pres. Estrada and we can just end up in how much stature each candidate had before such association.

    • cvj on April 2, 2007 at 12:23 am

    It is also possible that the opposition will file a charge that they will not be able to prove convincingly or prove at all in an impeachment court. – Justice League

    I think we’re agreement on this possibility. However, to base my decision on this would be to prematurely adopt a defeatist attitude. What i, and presumably the rest of the Opposition should focus on is to have all the elements in place for a conviction, which we believe is the rightful outcome. Having a Team Unity judge in place would just increase the odds against this happening.

    If it is indeed true that Sen. Arroyo was just prevailed upon to run again, any alleged support of admin machinery will just make things even. The Senator need not be beholden for any alleged political favors. – Justice League

    Of course that is what he would like us to think. Gloria may be evil, but she is not stupid.

    BTW, how many and who of the GO candidates (not just the spokesman or campaign manager or such) have actually already publicly stated that they will convict in an impeachment anyway?

    While the risk of betrayal from a member of the Opposition is always there, the risk is bigger with a Team Unity candidate.

    Your argument on association can also be hurled back at GO candidates regarding ex-Pres. Estrada and we can just end up in how much stature each candidate had before such association.

    That may be true as well, but for this round, Gloria is the issue.

    • justice league on April 2, 2007 at 2:36 am

    cvj,

    Your first paragraph will just send us back to wanting a vote on the verdict on the very first day of impeachment in the Senate.

    If the 1st paragraph of your 2nd statement is true, what is PGMA’s assurance that Sen. Arroyo will actually be beholden when she has paved the way for him to be perceived as not to be beholden?

    I think your risk of betrayal from an opposition candidate would be higher coz they are the ones you want to commit themselves to a conviction in the first place.

    As for the issue of stature then, I’ll contend that Sen. Arroyo’s decision to go against prerogatives and actions blessed by PGMA keeps that stature high enough even with such association.

    • justice league on April 2, 2007 at 2:39 am

    Arrrgggghhhhhhhh!!! Its really getting late!

    It should be the 1st statement of the 2nd paragraph!

    • justice league on April 2, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    cvj,

    I am not opposing the One Voice proposal.

    It is just that the outcome of the proposal is turning out that way.

    “can become an indirect referendum”. The concerned individual obviously doesn’t want it to “officially” be. Maybe it was out of prudence, cowardice, etc… but the fact is that the bet was not accepted (not even recognized seems more apropriate) so fulfillment of the wager cannot be imposed (and that’s already mild).

    (We’re not even sure if the whole opposition agrees to the proposal as this is a One Voice proposal and if other oppositionists are to be believed; the Monsods of One Voice are actually pro-PGMA.)

    But certainly your idea of a commitment to convict is not the kind of idea that One Voice explained.

    • justice league on April 2, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    Wait, that doesn’t seem to sound right. Opposition members seems better than oppositionists.

    • cvj on April 3, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Your first paragraph will just send us back to wanting a vote on the verdict on the very first day of impeachment in the Senate. – Justice League

    Even if it i wanted that, the impeachment process guarantees that both sides will be heard. As i said above, to imagine that there are any neutral or objective parties among the judges is to be unrealistic. In all likelihood, either the elected Senator is from Team Unity/Wednesday Group (like Joker), or from the Genuine Opposition. Those are the available choices.

    I think your risk of betrayal from an opposition candidate would be higher coz they are the ones you want to commit themselves to a conviction in the first place.

    By that logic, i should be voting for Team Unity so i have zero risk of being betrayed.

    As for the issue of stature then, I’ll contend that Sen. Arroyo’s decision to go against prerogatives and actions blessed by PGMA keeps that stature high enough even with such association.

    Bumenta na iyan with Arturo Tolentino before. I realized belatedly then, and i realize now that this is not enough.

    Maybe it was out of prudence, cowardice, etc… but the fact is that the bet was not accepted (not even recognized seems more appropriate) so fulfillment of the wager cannot be imposed (and that’s already mild). – Justice League

    According to One Voice Chairman Christian Monsod “ That the President really won, I believe, the elections, albeit by a much smaller margin, is not enough to mute the clamor and the campaign to finally settle the issue of legitimacy by treating the coming mid-term elections as an indirect referendum.” [emphasis mine]

    But certainly your idea of a commitment to convict is not the kind of idea that One Voice explained.

    How can you be so certain?

    • justice league on April 4, 2007 at 12:46 am

    cvj,

    What is the point of hearing both sides when Senate members are supposed to have a commitment to impeach and/or convict already? Moro-moro lang ang kalalabasan kaya hindi ba dapat ay tapusin na kagad sa unang araw yan?

    Your risk of being betrayed is dependent on what was promised to you. I don’t know if TU candidates are promising this and that with regards to impeachment but if opposition candidates are promising you a commitment to impeach and/or convict, then that is where a betrayal to you can come from regarding impeachment.

    Your sense of fairness can be taxing sometimes. If I use association with ex Pres. Estrada; you’ll point out that PGMA is the issue while it’s seems ok not only if you use association with PGMA in your argument but also whoever Arturo Tolentino was associated with. (Of course I do have an idea who you are referring to but I’ll give you the honor of expounding on the identity if you wish to do so)

    Your quotation of Chairman Monsod’s statement is well and good but it does not controvert the fact that the proposal was not accepted.

    Consider the following:
    Pacquiao will fight Solis in a boxing match.
    Person A says Pacquiao will win. Person B says Solis will win. Person A says that he will wager money that Pacquiao will win in their fight. Though Person B is still adamant that Solis will win, he however refuses to accept the wager for one reason or another. Just in case Pacquiao wins, can Person A collect the bet from Person B?

    PGMA has not consented that the midterm elections be treated that way. PGMA obviously doesn’t want the so called indirect referendum to be given any teeth but then who/what can? Can anyone petition the SC based on an Opposition win in the Senate or even in the whole Congress that PGMA must now step down?

    Even if all 12 Senate seats are won by Opposition candidates; will it directly lead to PGMA stepping down? If the ouster of PGMA will still go down to an impeachment process, how can such be the outcome of an indirect referendum?

    I was present in the general meeting of One Voice in Metro Manila. I am certain as to my memory that your kind of idea of a “commitment to impeach and/or convict”
    is not the kind of idea that One Voice explained in the meeting.

    One Voice portrayed several scenarios during the fight against the attempted ChaCha.

    Events of Scenario 2 and 3 actually came to pass wherein the so called “People’s Initiative” was thumbed down by the SC and Congress retracted ConAss with joint voting.

    Part of scenario 2 if with a credible election can be
    “ – opposition wins enough to impeach and convict (stability unless military/police interfere, which is unlikely)”

    One Voice obviously recognizes the political condition of impeachment but no where is there that says the opposition is committed to impeach and convict no matter what the charge and no matter what the evidence which is what your “commitment to impeach and/or convict”
    implies.

    Scenario 3 can involve
    “• Both sides agree to:
    – Trust people’s judgment in 2007 as final verdict on
    political impasse (difficult but possible)”

    Well both sides have not had such an agreement up to now.

    And One Voice further adds:

    “How can we be part of the solution?”
    “2. Citizen’s action for a credible and meaningful 2007 elections
    – Vote on issues, on track record of candidates”

    (Why do I have a feeling that you’ll see “issues”, and say that Gloria is again the issue?)

    BTW, I was watching “Correspondents” just a few minutes ago and part of the episode involved Garcillano and the “Garci tape”.

    Garcillano stated that a part of the tape was played back in his province and he focused on the word “pipilitin” which was supposed to have been heard in the “bogus” tape.

    He further stated that “THAT IS NOT WHAT TRANSPIRED BETWEEN ME AND THE PRESIDENT”.

    Hmmmmm. Very Interesting.

    • cvj on April 4, 2007 at 4:09 am

    What is the point of hearing both sides when Senate members are supposed to have a commitment to impeach and/or convict already? Moro-moro lang ang kalalabasan kaya hindi ba dapat ay tapusin na kagad sa unang araw yan? – Justice League

    It is important for the people to witness the proceedings and hear both sides in order to judge the credibility of the process. Regardless of any commitment (to impeach or acquit), the vigilance of the public will help ensure that the any compelling information revealed either way will be considered.

    Think of it as each side having their opposing hypotheses tested. This is a more realistic and transparent assumption than pretending that the Senate-jury is a blank slate. That would be the real moro-moro.

    Your quotation of Chairman Monsod’s statement is well and good but it does not controvert the fact that the proposal was not accepted.

    Not accepted by whom? His wife? Does that mean then that Christian Monsod was only rambling to himself and we should not take his message seriously? I admit that there is a lack of clarifications beyond this statement. I wish One Voice were less wishy washy, but i guess that’s what it takes to hold together such a fractious bunch.

    He further stated that “THAT IS NOT WHAT TRANSPIRED BETWEEN ME AND THE PRESIDENT”.

    It’s a pity that in your zeal to defend Joker Arroyo, you have come to rely upon the words of Garcillano.

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