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The wisdom of crowds
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on June 6, 2007 61 Comments 3 min read
An abnormal return to normality Previous An Abnormal return to Normality Next

It’s hard to imagine it’s been a mere two years since rumors began to circulate that there was a tape –a dangerous tape. Then Jove Francisco wrote When does “Hello” mean goodbye? And the PCIJ wrote The Palace and the Tape, and I wrote The “Hello” heard ’round the world, beginning a personal odyssey (see Media can’t be held liable for releasing tapes and A happy shrewdness, Machiavelli suggests; and recall the two truncated versions of the tapes and the eventual full, three-hour version) that culminated in my online manifesto, Where I stand, on June 16, 2005. From there, it was, perhaps, inevitable that I’d decide on the course of action I proposed in Redemption, June 30, 2005,when I added my voice to those calling for the President’s resignation.

Last year, my reflection on the sad Sixth of June was What we’ve learned: the tapes. This year, I only want to offer up a brief reflection. It’s really one involving the clash of two book ideas. On the one hand, there’s the quest for, and expectation of, The Tipping Point; on the other, the idea of The Wisdom of Crowds. For those of us who took sides, particularly in 2005-2006, it was always a tipping point that was the Holy Grail; but as things turned out from 2005, culminating in the May 2007 elections, what’s been demonstrated is the wisdom of crowds -the whole, comprising the partisan and the non-partisan.

As always, we have to keep looking back to what’s happened in the past: back in 2000-2001there were those who called for Joseph Estrada’s resignation; but the majority of Filipinos preferred constitutional options and to wait-and-see, specifically, public opinion weighed heavily on the side of acting as juror-spectators as the senate took on its role as senator-judges in the impeachment. May 2001 and May 2004 also saw the passions of Edsa Dos and Tres channeled to the preferred arena for settling political combat, as far as the public’s concerned: elections.

From 2005-2006, even as many groups sought a tipping point, the public, in survey after survey, expressed itself, on the whole, firmly on the side of constitutional paths. Impeachment was the majority-preferred option, just as, at one point in 2005, resignation (a thoroughly constitutional option, we forget) was the preferred solution of a majority of the public. What the public expressed itself against was a purely military solution, or even the revival of People Power on the streets; but also, later, it would express itself as firmly against extremes even within the constitutional system: against a Senate that investigated but didn’t legislate, against a presidency that claimed too much power and ignored other branches of government.

This is what I mean by the wisdom of crowds. Those of us who took partisan positions have a role to play, but in the end -and it’s at times breathtakingly beautiful to me, to pause, take stock, and realize this- the devotion of our country as a whole, is doggedly, unbudgingly, sensibly, for the democratic path. Partisan lines came closest to blurring in December, 2006, when it seemed elections themselves might be postponed if not canceled; and we’ve seen the May elections finally settle what the public opinion polls could only hint at: where does the country, as a whole, stand? On the whole, not even for or against the President, but firmly on the side of checks-and-balance. And we can even expect a certain kind of renewed stability, if only the powers-that-be could read this message. Sad to say, I think what we have ahead of us will be government-provoked destabilization, as today’s Inquirer editorial spells out.

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  1. Two years ago today presented a dilemma for those who supported Gloria (like me). I think your stand has been more intellectually honest than Solita Monsod’s who in June 11,2005 wrote:

    “I hope I am wrong. But if I am right, Garcillano is dead meat, Gloria is going to sink in that muck, and worst of all, the country might sink with her.”

    …but a little later would turn around and rationalize away GMA’s cheating.

    Thanks for showing the way, and at the very least for demonstrating that we do not have to engage in intellectual and moral gymnastics in these matters. I imagine that the effort really must be taxing for the other side.

  2. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has directed “all proclaimed officials, if any,” in Maguindanao to present proof elections actually took in the southern Philippine province.

    Is Comelec playing a big joke on us?

  3. i posted the following at pcij (their blogpost #411) in september 2005:

    I like the article (22 September 2005, 2-part series) of Ms. Ma. Ceres P. Doyo on Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller “Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.”

    “TIPPING POINT” means a significant change in the balance from one tip to another. It proposes that social change shares three traits of epidemics: it is contagious, that little things can lead to large and unforeseen outcomes and that once the change takes hold it occurs suddenly. Gladwell summed up the “tipping point” into three rules:

    1. The Law of the Few states that a few people – the right few people in each instance – have the power to influence a great number of others. The few’s currency is word-of-mouth.

    Gladwell breaks these few into three categories, “Connectors,” those who know and are able to spread the word to a large number of others; “Mavens” who are looked to by others for advice; and “Salesmen,” who are capable of persuading others to take some action.

    2. The Stickiness Factor. This rule suggests that something people hear or learn must be extra memorable; it must be “sticky.”

    3. The Power of Context. It says the current social environment has to be ripe to embrace a specific principle or concept.

    AS REGARDS our political quagmire: despite the ever-growing anti-Arroyo sentiments and surveys of Arroyo’s unpopularity, why isn’t it tipping to the anti-Arroyo’s side?

    The Law of the Few.
    The few (branded “destabilizers” by the government) are divided into four. First are the “few” who sowed disgust to the present Malacañang occupant but were once objects of disgust themselves during their heyday. They remained few in number as their cause would not spread due to their dubious character and their ardent desire to regain power. Second are the left-leaning forces. Obviously, no one in his right mind would get involved with them.

    Next are the rightists who couldn’t muster their strength because most of them are now either “inactive” or are abroad sacrificing to earn their keep. These are the same people, together with some of the leftists, who installed GMA to power and are now re-thinking their position first before they move to oust her. Most of the “inactive” ones are the “segurista” types – they will only come out if the rallyists will swell to a People Power proportion (“segurista” much like the men in uniform who will only move to oust GMA when people will back them up, remembering their bitter lesson from the Oakwood miscalculation). Some of the “inactives” are also now apathetic to the situation, minding their own struggle through the hard times besetting the nation.

    In addition, the majority of these rightists are sick and tired of corruption in government. They are now working or living overseas (contrary to what some people are saying that we have already a “People Power fatigue.” It’s just that there are no more People for the Power.). Last, and probably the least of the lot, are (pardon my saying) the “has-beens.” Few in number and certainly with unbelievable agenda.

    The “few” couldn’t pull their acts together mainly because of their diverse personalities. Simply spreading the word is not going to work because the message is not clear. In fact, oneness of purpose (to get rid of GMA) is overcome by the multiple methods with which it is to be carried out (resign, impeach or oust). In short, words (not just a word) are being spread by the anti-Arroyos causing confusion to the general public. They also lack unity in coming up with a much better alternative. The question of a “viable option,” which the spin doctors of the government have inculcated in ordinary minds, works triumphantly for GMA. The unenthusiastic “seguristas” also contribute to the disunity – “Yes, we are not for GMA but give us first the assurance that there will be a deliverer in her place. Only then we will participate in the cause.”

    Therefore, the Law of the Few would not apply to our setting for the “few” will remain “the divided few” even in months to come. “Mavens” we have…but our situation begs for the existence of the “connectors” and “salesmen.”

    The Stickiness Factor.
    Actually, the factor that will stick to one’s mind is the fact that GMA cheated her way to the presidency, destroying our valued institutions (Comelec, AFP and PNP, Namfrel, etc.) in the process. This can be gathered from the “Hello, Garci” Tapes. Hence, one will think that GMA is not the rightful occupant of the Office of the President and thus, she has no right to wield the power bestowed on it.

    This rallying point, I believe, is the most detestable of all the “-gates” that came about the Arroyo government (juetenggate, gloriagate, lobbygate) because the sanctity of one’s vote is violated. GMA admitted it’s her voice in the tapes and her lawyer tongue-slipped that it’s Garcillano she was talking with in the tapes. A lot of the politicians cheated, even the bishops said so, but who got caught red-handed? It was the highest official in the land and certainly this should not be tolerated.

    Unfortunately, it never entered the minds of the general public that each one of us is obliged to really take time to listen to the tapes. This is partly due to the Malacañang cover-up (Bunye’s blunder, Doble’s sudden turnaround, and conspiracy among NBI and ISAFP personnels), threat to prosecute those who are in possession of the tapes, “experts” questioning the authenticity of the tapes (one funny guy even retorted that it’s really her voice but she’s not the one actually talking), and twisting of the truth. Another reason is that the Gloriagate “lies” are being peddled by the equally dubious “destabilizers” themselves. Majority, I think, only rely on TV, radio and newspaper reports or commentaries (considering that they lack the equipment to listen to the tapes or are just too busy to bother with it). Then, you will only believe whom you choose to believe. Political leanings of an individual will come into play. (I wonder why the surveys don’t ask how many of us listened to the tapes. I wonder why the surveys don’t ask how many listened and believed its contents.)

    This factor will never stick to our minds if we won’t listen to the tapes. We will never understand the gravity of GMA’s wrong deed if we won’t hear how she abetted a crime. We will never learn how repulsive her behavior was during the time she lusted for power. We will never know how ruthless she has become just to obtain her presidency. We will also never comprehend why she is strongly hanging on to power now, no matter what the cost is.

    Sad to say, what sank into the minds of the general public – those who weren’t able to listen to the tapes and those who listened but nonetheless not convinced – is that the “Hello, Garci” recording is worthless evidence because it was illegally-sourced and it needs further authentication. And as events unfolded, the “mavens” and the “salesmen” in the guise of our bishops (note that they are not “connectors,” they are charismatic but they are spreading a message inimical to the cause) halted the furtherance of the cause. The truth was buried six feet under when they chose to participate in Gloria’s game of “Rule of Law.” The truth will continue to rot deeper underground as days, weeks, possibly years will pass, to the consternation of many but to the delight of the few officials in government.

    The Power of Context.
    The “great social change” is now pitted against “the great debate” on the Charter Change.

    The tip to a social change without GMA at the nation’s helm almost happened in July 8. The concept is that GMA lied, cheated, and stole from the people; then adding insult to injury, covered them all up. This brings to the message, which is plain and simple, that she must let go of her power. That was the prevailing atmosphere then. But I don’t think it was ripe for the taking during that very, very long day because a lot of people were waiting for the CBCP statement (as if it was manna from heaven). The almost mature situation was inopportunely picked at that time. This gave the government time to regroup and assert its dominion over the populace despite growing anti-Arroyo feeling. The circumstance of extinguishing the power of the president by forcing her to resign died down (most especially when the CBCP took a lukewarm stance) and was replaced by the need for her to be impeached this time.

    The situation wasn’t ripe for the taking and since the impeachment process was dismissed even before it prospered it continues to decay up to the present. Much to the dismay of everyone disagreeable to the Arroyo government, GMA still holds her power and she holds it very strongly now.

    The “great social change” is now persistently waning whereas the “great debate” on Cha-Cha is in the offing. The current high in the public’s mind today is on charter change with the appointments of the expensive Arroyo Constitutional “Commission” (with emphasis on the quotation marks). This has supplanted the social environment then; the message was not embraced by the general public. As a consequence, the Context lost its Power instead of the Malacañang occupant.

    HAVING SAID all that, I still would like to quote Mr. Ernie Adaya (culled from Ms. Doyo’s article):

    “Why isn’t it tipping? The answer is very simple: ‘Because (President Arroyo) is tipping’ and tipping generously for survival. In the Philippines, politicians, the influence peddlers, etc. are always on the lookout for the tipping point, because, like the waiters and waitresses in restaurants, they know that at the tipping point, the ‘tips’ will start flowing generously.

    “Gladwell fails to realize that in the Philippines, there is a fourth rule of the Tipping Point, that is the Power of the ‘tip’ or the ‘TIPPING’ FACTOR.”

  4. “In the Philippines, politicians, the influence peddlers, etc. are always on the lookout for the tipping point…”

    Exactly what KSP trillanes did. Shooting 3 birds w/ 1 stone: napansin na, nahalal na, and can get away from his crime pa.

  5. Trilleleng doesn’t have an imagination tho, he simply copied what his idol, gringo, did.

    Let’s expect more copy cats to get out of the cave.

  6. The wisdom of crowds is a statistical illusion based on the fact that the average of many independent guesses is usually a better estimate of reality than any single guess. Same effect as Random Sampling.

    It might be contrasted with Mob Rule, in which there is only an illusion of statistics because it is not really the Crowd acting, but a few, or just One. The most remarkable recent example of Mob Rule was Edsa Dos, in which a single person DECIDED events. That was Hilario Davide, because if he never showed up at the Edsa Shrine and just continued with the Impeachment Trial as was his sworn duty, the event called Edsa Dos would never have happened.

    Thus, whether Erap resigned or was overthrown is irrelevant, it was the fact that Davide acted in a particular way that decided History.

    The amazing thing is that some people still don’t see it that way. They think it was their presence at Edsa Dos and participation in calling for Erap to resign that actually got the job done. Yet without Davide’s supreme act of Judicial Activism, it would not have happened at all. GMA would’ve had to wait till 2004 and win election honestly. Then she might have redeemed the promise her generation once invested in her.

    Curse him! The evil of judicial activism lives on in the Supreme Court now and we shall continue to pay dearly. God save the Constitution!

    If there is any wisdom to democracy’s crowd, it is the big win of Erap Estrada. We shall never get rid of him now. He is unconvictable, even of plunder. That 8-2-2 win is his victory. Anyone the House manages to impeach from Gloria to Abalos to the Ombudsman is in mortal danger of conviction.

    Not even the Supreme Court could convict him of plunder. They know the legal case is fatally flawed. That is the real reason the case has never been decided. And probably wont.

    Until people like MLQ3 accept that People Power was Mob Rule, aka the Rule of the Few, at least compared to the Democratic Many, Erap will actually be victorious.

    For it was never the END of Erap Estrada that was truly important, but the establishment of the Rule of Law as a MEANS of removing unworthy Presidents like him.

    Davide destroyed and aborted our first attempt at a real impeachment trial. He was derelict in his duty and thwarted the natural evolution of our legal system. He upended the delicate check and balance among the Judiciary, Congress and the Executive with his singular putschist act on 20 January 2001. Curse him! But now the electorate will correct that by putting in a Hanging Senate.

    Unfortunately for her, GMA will have to be the subject of that exercise. Too bad for Erap the stupid bum, he could’ve been a Senator Judge in her upcoming impeachment trial.

  7. A large part of the blame can indeed be pinned on Davide whose court would later on decide on his impeachment case in record 1 month’s time but would sit pretty on Gloria’s case.
    It is however, undeniable that what gave Gloria et al. and Davide the guts to go out and proclaim themselves victors was the hostaging of Gloria by the military which dictated the direction that the country would go at the very first minute when they borkered and ensured what would be done to Estrada. Without the military on the side of Gloria, Davide would not have gone to Edsa. It was not people power like the one in ’86.
    If one views it that way, that would explain many things that are happening today. The military has hostaged Gloria and it runs amok at present. Gloria hostaged Davide and the latter’s court to this day defends the survival of the former. The generals have juicy strategic positions in the government while Davide enjoys his time in New York.
    Meanwhile, enshrined in Philippine jurisprudence is that the resignation of the President can be done through the diary of one of his secretaries. If I become the president of the country in 2010, I will ask Davide to write his resignation letter on a toilet paper.

  8. For once in the interest of the natural evolution of institutions of civilized society I agree with my favorite American Jihadist Bocobo apart from ‘Mad Dog’ Cheney.

    But both Edsa I and Edsa II prove that the model of American Jihadism – “Manifest Destiny,” the export of democracy will be a protracted process. It is a retrograde and inverted process.

    American liberalism really evolved along the lines of a Darwinian anthropological process. Somehow the Philippine experience has never been allowed to evolve the same way.

    Erap should not have cut and run from the Palace. He should have defended his Presidency as an institution with men who had not broken the chain of command. It is only in time of crisis when institutions can be created or defended if necessary with the force of arms. His excuse – he wanted to avoid the spilling of blood.

    But he was less a leader and more a popular icon. He can never ask to lead anything or anyone. Everyone now knows that what is good for Erap is good for the Philippines will never fly.

    Lincoln drew the line and when the South crossed it with the firing on Fort Sumter. Civil War broke out and in the end with the North victorious, Lincoln called it the birth of a New Nation.

    A country of tribes and feudal families are still a long way off from the conscious effort to establish a nation state.

    How to translate that seemingly just clamor for real change reflected in the last elections will simply dissipate until someone or something creates a crisis once again..

    In the Philippines case that is the inevitability of history.

  9. Davide, if I remember right, did say that he felt that the heavens called upon him to act (I guess for the heavens as well as for the nation).

  10. “Davide destroyed and aborted our first attempt at a real impeachment trial. He was derelict in his duty and thwarted the natural evolution of our legal system. He upended the delicate check and balance among the Judiciary, Congress and the Executive with his singular putschist act on 20 January 2001. Curse him! But now the electorate will correct that by putting in a Hanging Senate.”

    and he thought the u.n. ambassadorship was an added feather in his cap. barf.

  11. Pardon me, but was Erap eligible to run for senator last May?

    I’m one of those who understand and disapprove of what Davide did in January of 2001. He is at the moment enjoying the spoils of that act, but life doesn’t end here though. He should still be made responsible for it.

  12. yes let’s see more trillanes and honasan and watch this wisdom of the crowds..

    they are but product of biased populist media( as Magno called them)

  13. The difference between Davide’s … and for that matter GMA’s rebellion … and Trillanes’ is that the former succeeded. That explains why Davide and GMA are not in jail today.

  14. Why GMA changed her mind and did not resign during that period two years ago.
    Simple because the people she committed to initially that she was going to resign did not come with clean hands.

    It appears that Cory Aquino, Cardinal Rosales, Bishop Soc Villegas were prevailed upon by the old Cory guard, the Drillon group and the Hyatt 10 to step down. They believed that they had a deal. Drillon would not have called for her resignation if the deal was not already cooked. That man has no cojones to act on his own. It was a blatant power grab. Noli as President with Drilon as Vice.

    The FVR bloc who had benefitted most from Edsa II, the generals who were now GMA’s cabinet men balked. FVR and JDV came marching to the resuce and the plan fell apart.

    The Black and White group had no mass base to speak off. They could not muster public support for this effort at GMA’s resignation. It fizzled. Dinky would have problems mustering a crowd in Divisoria.

    None of the progressive sectors and the more progressive sectors of the Church were involved. No matter what everyone else believes, Edsa I would not have happened without the participation of the progressive forces in the Church who were united. The same with Edsa II. Erap was simply too crass a person to be allowed to remain President. He actually did it to himself.

    Nothing can and will happen in this country without the Church’s participation. Now we have the the rise of the enlisted men in the army becoming a little more politicized.

    Apart from the national government and the church it is the military/police that is a national institution. Big business is the glue that binds all three. The left succeeded in China, Russia and North Korea only after the state collapsed or was weakened because of external forces (First World War and the Second World War).

    In every other country in the world revolutions including the U.S. will always be initiated by the right.

    Then you will have determinists from the right like the Jihadist Bocobo come forth and the left will rise up to challenge them for political power and you will have the start of the birth of ideologies determining political parties. It might happen after out time but it will happen. The contradiction will be clear and distinct. It is part of nature.

    We see traces of it in the killings and disappearances. It will escalate.

  15. Jon Mariano–As far as I know, an elected President can only be barred from running for and holding public office if and when he is impeached, tried and convicted. That could only be accomplished by a properly concluded trial. The Supreme Court decisions Estrada vs. Arroyo merely uphold her Presidency. Even if a President merely resigns, that only disqualifies him from running for President a second time. But he is eligible to run for any other position. In Erap’s case he has not been convicted of a single crime and he still denies resigning! Much less has he been properly tried and convicted. My position is that he is now ineligible to run for President because his one and only six year term has expired. But for Senate, VP, Congressman or Mayor, he is most certainly eligible.

    Since Davide ditched Erap’s trial, I claim he is in a kind of Legal Limbo, from which he cannot be removed and which preserves his claim that he has never been properly impeached and convicted and cannot be tried for any crime without bringing up that seminal complication.

    Erap’s murdered and salvaged Presidency and aborted trial lies in the grave of Edsa Dos. Ever will it rise up to haunt Davide and his hideous legacy.

  16. The wisdom of crowds work best though when said crowd has a strong collective character to it.

    Unfortunately, Pinoy society as a whole has none of that. As Mr. hvrds said: “A country of tribes and feudal families are still a long way off from the conscious effort to establish a nation state”.

    There is no collective Pinoy consciousness for the simple reason that there is no real “Philippines” — only a disparate bunch of tribes going by the name of a long gone Spanish king.

    In societies that are underpinned by robust philosophies — Aristotelean Western Europe and North America, and Confucian Asia (Greater China and her derivative societies — Japan and Korea), national consciouness manifests itself clearly in the democratic processes they apply.

    In the Philippines, only the schools of Wowowee and Eat Bulaga are pretty much evident.

  17. Let’s not get surprised if – aside from jinggoy – revillame (what’s his name), vic & joey might run for the presidency / VP.

    Millions of Pinoys voted for erap & FPj.

    Since GMA won’t be around, I wonder who will be their easy target.

    We have so many Pinoy Pied Piper clones because da pilipins is infested with RATs.

  18. The wisdom of crowds work best though when said crowd has a strong collective character to it.

    This crowd need only the be conscious of right and wrong, or good and bad: Is this action good for my tribe? And in determining the answer to this, the tribes acted as one big tribe in a way that–I agree with MLQ3–was beautiful to watch. Voices were heard, and they werent tribal voices, but a collective voice that was probably maturing in a way you probably won’t experience, you being over there and all.

    The consciousness is their shared sense of right and wrong and in their adherence to the democratic process. The sense of right and wrong is not tied to a nationality, but is tied to humanity.

    But I did notice you used the word ‘best’ as in ‘the wisdom of crowds works best…’. In that case there is nothing in your comment I could disagree with aside from your admittedly condescending and non-PC delivery–which doesnt bother me personally I might add. (Although Im a bit bothered by the repetitiveness of it, and the lack of suggestions for a solution.) It’s just that ‘best’ wasnt needed in this case since it is a universal question of right and wrong, good and bad. In determining what to do with the GMA legitimacy problem, the crowd had no use, no need, for the philosophical question of what a Filipino is. They just determined among themselves their answer to an equally philosophical question of what right is.

  19. hrvds,

    Please check your facts. Edsa II was aborted after the military declared their “constitutional mandate to protect the people” and the church, mainly Cardinal Sin, asked the people not to flock to Edsa anymore. A few hundreds of thousands of people being entertained in Edsa could not have toppled Erap. It was when the people was already raring to march to Malacanang that would have demonstrated their power (and would have confirmed whether the people had enough power to force a change n the government) but the military nipped it in the bud and Cardinal Sin and Cory threw cold water to the fire.

    And Gloria did not resign not because the people whom she gave her commitment to resign did not come with clean hands but simply because it was not in her interest to do so. If she really intended to resign, there would be no ifs and buts about it. She was only being consistent with her “I will not run for president” act in December 2002.

  20. The wisdom of crowds is a statistical illusion based on the fact that the average of many independent guesses is usually a better estimate of reality than any single guess. Same effect as Random Sampling. – DJB

    Attributing the ‘Wisdom of Crowds’ to the effects of ‘random sampling’ is an oversimplification. According to James Surowiecki (author of the book of that title), there are four conditions that characterize ‘wise’ crowds:

    “diversity of opinion (each person should have some private information, even if it’s just an eccentric interpretation of known facts), independence (people’s opinions are not determined by the opinions of those around them), decentralization (people are able to specialize and draw on local knowledge), and aggregation (some mechanism exists for turning private judgements into a collective decision)”

    Without the above conditions, the average decision (i.e. that obtained via random sampling) would still be of poor quality. With the above conditions, the crowd usually trumps the judgment of expert(s).

    BTW, Surowiecki’s concept is also the exact opposite of Benign0’s assertion that “The wisdom of crowds work best though when said crowd has a strong collective character to it.”. The latter is still thinking in terms of the collective wisdom of experts (a paradigm commonly subscribed to by elitists).

  21. when the deejays broke out their turntables and groups of kids set-up tents in front of LSGH…

    oh never mind.

    benign0… as snarky as you are, you’re right.

  22. “Davide destroyed and aborted our first attempt at a real impeachment trial.”

    Was it Davide? Or the Craven Eleven who voted not to open the second envelope during the Erap impeachment trial and thereby triggered Edsa II?

    I remember how it was to see, day after day, the crowd swelling at the EDSA Shrine. People were really up in arms about what they saw as politically-motivated obstruction of justice. So I was pleased and not at all surprised when I heard that Erap left Malacanang. It reminded me of the moment during EDSA I when we heard that Marcos had left Malacanang.

    I don’t think Marcos ever officially resigned, but no one contests that he stopped being President from that point onward. Perhaps that was what the Davide SC was thinking of when they judged Erap’s departure as “constructive resignation.”

  23. The difference, Mike, is that EDSA I declared a revolutionary government which got rid of the 1973 Constitution and replaced it with the 1986 Freedom Constitution.

    EDSA 2 was declared constitutional under the 1987 Constitution. Hence the need to invent ‘constructive resignation’. I remember Abe Margallo writing at the time that Gloria should go ahead and declare a revolutionary government to skirt the issue of constitutionality, but for some reason, they wanted the 1987 Constitution intact.

  24. Wisdom of the crowd indeed. I wonder what Bush would think of this book, considering that the decisions of America are being made in a closed door session in the oval office.

    We would have to presume that the information that reaches the crowd is credible.

    What can we say of the decision of the U.S congress to proceed with the war in Iraq? This was the decision of the crowd was it not? But with false information, that wisdom has a false conclusion.

    With any revolution, the wisdom of the crowd is based on the information that reaches it. Whether that information is manufactured, political spin, and planted, I think we should consider that as well.

  25. Mike:
    The Craven Eleven didn’t do anything illegal. In fact, after the Senate opened the Second Envelope, it was discovered that the evidence in it was favorable to Erap for it tended to prove the bank account wasn’t his. Davide on the other hand was the presiding judge in a perfectly valid trial of the President. His duty was to see the trial through to completion. He had no official business at the Edsa Shrine on that fine Saturday morning. None whatsoever, since the only case at bar was the Senate Impeachment trial. He showed up at the Edsa Shrine, aborted the impeachment trial by making it moot in swearing in GMA. Simple as that. Judicial putschism–the superlative of judicial activism.

    The fact of it was that Erap was gonna be acquitted by the 2001 Senate. All the people who had impeached Erap could not afford to lose.

    The other derelict of duty was Joker Arroyo, who swore an oath to prosecute the trial to its conclusion. Instead he walked out. Strange thing is, lots of people think he was a hero.

    Davide and Joker slew the Constitution, strangled it with their bare hands.

    Curse them and all their progeny!

  26. Tabako was, as usual, waiting who would be on the winning side, just like last 2005.

  27. “Voices were heard, and they werent tribal voices, but a collective voice that was probably maturing in a way you probably won’t experience, you being over there and all.”

    Maturing? I really hope so.

    I remember EDSA, the euphoria over EDSA 1 and a lesser Euphoria in EDSA 2…only to be turn into a voice of discontent later….

    What Im really positive about was the the people seem to be learning on the most effective way to voice out their feelings. and that is through election. Not through rallies, people power and coup…

    Wasn’t it only 6 years ago that we celebrated the the election of those peopel who was pro Erap. And we saw the defeat of Mirriam Defensor and Enrile. Only to be reelected 3 years later.

    Anyhow congratulations to the sucess of your cause. But sorry I can join you in your celebration. I just cant. I dont believe people like Ping Lacson, Cayetano, Honasan is worth celebrating. I even have doubts on Loren and Villar.

    On the other hand, Im very curiously interested on Trillanes.

  28. BenignO: Korea will prefer to unleash The Bomb than be termed a “derivative society” of China. Japan, likewise.
    You may be more correct to associate the successes of China / Japan / Korea to their religions and culture, though.

  29. Agenda for the opposition in Congress
    1) turn down with finality the appointments of Gonzales, Ebdane and Puno.
    2) ask for the resignation of all commissioners of the COMELEC
    3) ask for the resignation of the Ombudsman.
    4) stay away from impeaching the President. It’s a waste of time. Impeach the peons first if they don’t resign.
    5) 3 year moratorium for Cha-Cha in exchange for Senate approval of JPEPA.

  30. @Supremo, JPEPA with the proper revision is fine by me. The fine print is what has to be looked at.

    I think Japan inserted, finally, in writing, the promise to not dump any toxic waste. But, I haven’t seen the revised agreement yet. I’m definitely not going to take the word of the President on this situation.

    @Rego, Trillanes is very interesting indeed. As far as I can ascertain, everyone is already backing away from their hyped up campaign promises. However, it is only Trillanes, that I am noticing, that is not backing down from removing Gloria. Right move or not, at least he’s not flip-flopping.

    Right now, there’s already some jockeying for the chairmanship position for the Blue Ribbon Committee. Ping, Joker, … ??? Joker is the current chairman, but even he backed down on the Pidal case.

  31. JDV said this a while ago
    “We in the House will continue to seek constitutional remedies for our endemic political infirmities – the worst of them being the periodic gridlocks caused by the rivalries among the branches of government. We believe the lasting remedy lies in a shift from the presidential to the parliamentary system,”

    This guy will never change.

  32. “Little did we realize that liberty does not always result in prosperity – nor does it always banish poverty. We realize now that if democracy is to bring about prosperity for ordinary people, we must modernize our economy and our politics – and the whole of national society,”

    Quoted from JDVs speech. Gusto nyang maging diktador?! WTF!

  33. You may be more correct to associate the successes of China / Japan / Korea to their religions and culture, though. – UPn Student

    Funny comment about Korea unleashing the bomb – i think you’re right. Benign0 is also right though in the sense that Japan’s culture, in particular, derive from both China and India.

    However, as far as economics is concerned, Taiwan and Korea (and later on Mainland China) owe a large part of their success to their being former colonies of Japan. Former American colonies were not so lucky.

  34. “The Tariff Commission will recommend to Malacañang the elimination of duties on the importation of cement”

    Darn I hate reading the news… Someone in government is using his/her position as leverage to gain market share to an established industry. Kala ko d na uso to nung natalo si Pichay at Singson… baka pa kunswelo de bobo to sa natalo sa senate election.

  35. Arroyo said
    “The overwhelming victory of our coalition in Congress and in the local governments is a continuing mandate of reform, unity, more work and less politics, looking forward and leaving behind the contentious past.”

    You know that everything is not good when the even the acting President of the Philippines calls the House of Representatives “Congress”.

  36. “Twice did we reject the attempt to bring down an administration on insubstantial evidence based on the inflamed emotions of political partisans and the public’s confusion.

    I thought no evidence was presented. They only voted on form and subtances. Is he nuts?

  37. Francis, that was definitely jetlag. But in Gloria’s case, she must experience jetlag all the time, why else would she make the same statements time and time again?

    Calling on local elections as a mandate almost brings tears of laughter to my eyes…

  38. GMA’s and JDV speeches only show that they have a different way “forward” compared to mlq3.

  39. Supremo,

    concerning your point – You know that everything is not good when the even the acting President of the Philippines calls the House of Representatives “Congress” – I see it as a typical Freudian slip showing that enforcing that unicameralistic dream of hers is still high on her agenda

  40. And as for “the wisdom of the crowds”, I understand why MLQ wants to see the silver lining on the cloud of the last two years. However, if you think of it as a novel, I got so grossed out by its first chapter (or even by the prologue) that I can´t quite enjoy the beauty of its end.

  41. But cjv, other than the Philippines (the American would not even call us colony, but a ‘commonwealth’) America (the U.S.A.) had not colonized any other country. She liberated “kuno” Cuba from Spain, but immediately gave her “independence”, and all other semi-colonies are now either part of the Union, or a Protectorate State.

  42. “However, it is only Trillanes, that is not backing down from removing Gloria.”

    Oh, so that is what the RATs consider the greatest achievement of plagiarist pied piper trillanes.

    Our maid have always been strong on their resolve to have GMA impeached while periodically chanting: gloria RESIGN!

    So this qualifies our helpers to be an honorable SENATOR of RP.

  43. Ah, Dean, you and I may disagree on a lot of things but never disagreed on Davide – entirely in accord with your statment here and to the letter:

    “Davide destroyed and aborted our first attempt at a real impeachment trial. He was derelict in his duty and thwarted the natural evolution of our legal system. He upended the delicate check and balance among the Judiciary, Congress and the Executive with his singular putschist act on 20 January 2001. Curse him! But now the electorate will correct that by putting in a Hanging Senate.”

    And Davide, far from being remotely shamed by what he did, rose to become more daringly crooked when he decided to personally benefit from his immoral, illegal act on January 21, 2001, i.e., becoming the unconfirmed ambassador to the UN, a position that he undoubtedly “lobbied” for with Gloria; he knew full well that the post was a reward for his treason but morality could go hang; the post will assure him of a very comfortable income that brings with it a more than acceptable social stature and most of all, he is looking at virtual immunity from prosecution! What a miserable, immoral, unconvicted criminal!

  44. Johnphil,

    The thing is, I already saw and heard Loren, Lacson, Escudero, Cayetano, Villar, Honasan and the rest in senate/congress. I am convinced that ther is really nothing much to expect from them. Triallnes is a new breed in teh senate and I am very interested he is going to say and do as a senator and how he will relate his current position to the idealism that he proclaimed in oakwood. Lets see how he can reform the military….

    Lacson, as chair of Blue Ribbon can be very interesting for me too. I can set aside my doubts on him and really see what he can do in three years. Maybe we can see some light on the Pidal and all corruption issues that he raised in the against the Aroyos. Cayetano the brother would be a very good vice chairman.

    Pimentel the father as Senate president? Villar as senate president? Boring!!!! I think it would be interesting to have Loren as Senate president. I definitely would love to see Chiz as chairman of education comitte.

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