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Jun 10

Damned either way

Happy Independence Day.

As Ricky Carandang pointed out the other day, we have the case of Maguindanao as The Incredible Vanishing Province. Add to that, the incredible vanishing election documents, as revealed by the incredible vanishing Comelec official (with a Garcified past). Not to mention the sobering answer to all the administration demands to prove allegations of cheating: shut up or die. The whole thing has become a debate with a life of its own. My co-blogger John Nery over at Inquirer Current asks, is the Comelec’s dilemma worth it? Ah, but possession -including the holding of political office- is 9/10ths of the law!

The Speakership fight continues to get messier. At a meeting during which they were courting support, Winston Garcia supposedly told the politicos gathered there, “The Garcias fight to win.” Posturing? The problem is, there are a couple of fights going on: when Rep. Villafuerte snipes at Sec. Puno, does it have less to do with Garcia and more to do with maneuvering to prove who really has clout when it comes to the President? Or her husband, brother-in-law and sons, the party-within-Kampi? Amando Doronila tries to put it all in context.

Scuttlebutt is that this week, the election of Kampi’s officers will lead to Villafuerte’s toppling from the presidency of the party. But what if the gambit fails? Then Puno will not only be stripped of his party positions, he may have to leave the cabinet.

Other scuttlebutt: Sec. Ebdane of the Department of National Defense is on his way out. Long-time scuttlebutt was Sec. Eduardo Ermita was on his way out even before the elections, as part of the planned purge of Lakas leaders by Kampi; now that the gambit failed, is Ermita in or out? What’s being reported is that the BIR Commissioner’s on his way out.

Mandatory registration of cellphones proposed. P150 a pop.

The Inquirer editorial takes the House of Representatives to task for failing to pass three crucial bills. Two interesting efforts to dissect the elections and their results, from Manuel Alcuaz and Connie Veneracion. most interestingly of all, John Mangun on the relationship between politics and economics. And also,

What may have occurred during this election is that the people have realized that the Philippines is a republic and not a democracy. There is a critical and important difference.

In a republic, the people depend on the collective wisdom of the representatives. In a democracy, the people, in theory, make the decisions directly; the elected official is merely a tool to carry out the decisions of the people. In a republic, the elected official makes the choices and is the most critical part of the ongoing governing process.

Adel Tamano becomes a columnist.

Uniffors on the military brass taking an opinion survey of the rank-and-file on: Trillanes. One interesting bit of scuttlebutt I’ve heard is that there have been basketball games featuring the sons of officers versus sons of the rank-and-file, and the games end with the sons of the top brass being beaten up by the sons of the men their fathers command. A reflection of the growing antipathy between the generals and the soldiers, they say.

Philippine Commentary examines the emerging “Cavalier Club” in the Senate; Uniffors reproduces an article that explains why Ed Panlilio has the odds stacked up against him in Pampanga.

Oh, and apparently I’m one of the millions who thought something had gone wrong because of the way The Sopranos final episode ended (an anti-ending ending, one blogger put it) -and has sparked a furious debate among fans (what really happened?). Missed the easter egg, too. So even as critics analyze the final episode, debate on how effective or artistically sound it was, or viewers denounce how it concluded, others point out an epic has ended and what did it all mean?

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  1. hvrds

    For anyone who has eaten in any Italian pastry shop or Italian sandwich shop or has relatives and close friends from Sicily, the Sopranos was like watching real life stories with the wise-guys.

    After sharing a floor in an office building with some of this people during my past, Sopranos really showed the characters as real live people.

    Being a neighbor to a strippers booking agency in an office building and sharing sandwiches with bookies and collectors for loan sharks for a number of years, watching The Sopranos made me homesick for my old friends. We were smart enough never to interact with the strippers. That was a big no-no. You never knew who they belonged to. Sinatra and Dean Martin were really big with these guys.

    Who cares for how it ended? I loved all the scenes where food was on the table. I could almost taste it. Food and family. ‘Mi Familia’ Tony Soprano the perfect model for a business CEO.

  2. Beancurd

    It is really quite a dilemma the Comelec put itself in, thanks of course to the brilliant politico heading that “independent” body. It seems though that they are trying to make some room to wiggle out of that bind and the first that they have to hurdle before coming to the question of whether to declare a failure of elections (didn’t they declare one subject to proof to the contrary?) in Maguindanao is whether there is a petition filed for that purpose (which is perhaps why they did not decide on the matter yesterday). I should not be surprised if someone files a petition between today and friday.

    Well, after all that this Comelec has done, I should not be surprised if it declares a failure of elections for the senatorial elections and leaves the local proclamations as it is, the fact that there is only one ballot for the national and local positions notwithstanding. Well, maybe, depending who needs a special election …

    Or maybe we can look at it in a more optimistic way, as Bencard suggests with Gloria, like:
    Perhaps, even after several days after the elections and after testimonies/footages from the media, etc., we should credit the Comelec for its better-late-than-never act; that the body tasked to implement and ensure an honest, orderly and peaceful elections is not clueless as to what really happened in the elections it supposedly administered, that it is merely abiding by the dictates of due process. There goes the magic word.

    And we should credit Comelec once more for its extra effort in order to arrive at a difficult and what may not be altogether popular decision (sound like Gloria extrapolating on doing right rather than pandering to the popular). We should give them commissioners credit for the courage they summoned from the depths of their beings just to give us the correct mandate of the people. Now, isn’t that how you get to be president (or senator for that matter) of the country? Ain’t that right Brother Ben?

    Ah, if only the airwaves are not being monitored, it would have been easy done the Hello, Garci? way. But then if one cannot do it the illegal way, then it can be done through the legal way, especially when there are only the zombies to prove it.

    Ah, but if they only did their jobs right! maybe it is too much to expect from them.

  3. Nash

    How are these trivial tidbits more newsworthy than the Yilmaz-Ruffa Gutierrez separation?????

    Or the fact that PLDT-beneficiary Gretchen Baretto was caught kissing a man other than her lover?????

    PS: As the Inquirer Editorial points out – It’s wrong to be forming all these ‘clubs’ in the senate. The were voted to represent EVERYONE, otherwise this “Cavalier Club” should have registered as a party-list for former military officers instead of senate seats.

  4. Manila Bay Watch

    I just viewed the You Tube video in The Bystander’s blog http://www.sikwati.wordpress.com.

    Must tell you all that I was sickened by what I saw and by the report I heard. We may all turn to the beauty of legalese to apply justice but the people that apply the law and use the instruments of the law must be discerning to free the innocent and to punish the guilty.

    In that video (and the testimonies we hear, plus the reports we read all over the place, capped by the stupefying results of the election in Maguindanao, etc), we see that there are more than enough circumstacial evidences to show that election manipulations and cheatings in the higest degree occurred in the Maguindanao elections.

    Bedol is not only NOTE credible – I believe he is a thief of the worst variety! A pig would have more decency than this so-called election official of the crappest variety! After admitting that election manipulations do and did occur in Maguindanao last May 14, how could he not even have questioned the 12-0 results before bringing those CoCs to Manila? Why did he not report the loss of election documents which he says he lost in the confines of his own office first thing? Why did he have to go into hiding for a few days? What gives him the right to say and report on TV so nonchalantly that they were lost, yet he did not report the loss right away? Anyone who believes him that he has nothing to do with the irregularities in Maguindanao, the loss of the election paraphernalia, the shenanigans of the 12-0 operations had better have his head examined.

    Simple: To my mind, Bedol was part of the sting operations and Comelec is the commandatore with Gloria’s government the financier! And don’t tell me to prove it because this time around I’m prepared to accept that the accused should prove that they are not guilty.

    First thing that should be done is for those people in the gym (in the report) allowing that to happen should be rounded up and questioned, charged accordingly if evidence warrants that they participated in the election sting operations, indicted if proven they participated in the election heist and convicted for criminal acts if judged guilty!

    At the same time, how on earth can you evin begin to apply the rule of law when the officials designated by Law are the first to break that law? How can you indict the election heisters when the person at the helm in Malacanang is the first one accused (even if it’s only the court of world opinion – which is a big and powerful court) commandatore of the Mafia gangland style of election smuggling in 2004?

    As Jean-Jacques Rousseau said, the law must be applied with REASON, the spirit of the law must not be twisted for the law to be best served!

  5. Nick

    To Manuel and fellow Filipinos,

    I’m doing a writing project regarding the recent murder of Musa Dimasidsing, the murdered election official.

    I hope you can join the the writing project and write a blog post on your reaction, I will link to your post, and I will collect the links everyday and post them up on a single blog post. This starts Wednesday up until Sunday.

    You can read about the writing project on my recent post and also find out how you can join. I hope everyone can join, and let’s make our voices heard, let’s stand up for the heroism of Musa and hope that his death does not go in vain.

    The truth is nonpartisan, I hope everyone who has a blog can join, it doesn’t have to be a long post, just your thoughts and your reactions will be fine..

  6. Nick

    hvrds, I watched the conclusion of The Sopranos with my girlfriend and a few close friends, the whole room shouted with disappointment when all we saw was a black screen…

    Talk about not having closure, that was the most vague ending you could possibly have..

  7. Jowana Balana Bueser

    Sir,

    I have a feeling that the Lakas-Kampi feud is just beginning. It will get uglier come 2010. They vowed to observe the so-called ‘equality of the incumbent’ but that never happened in the recent elections. I have a strong feeling that some heads of Lakas and Kampi officials will roll in the coming days.

    Adel Tamano as a columnist. He is definitely preparing for 2010. Senatoriable Tamano. I have some friends that are already forming a volunteer group for him. Team Adel.

  8. john marzan

    manuel, are you a big fan of the sopranos? have you seen the said finale?

  9. john marzan

    the 5 stages of mourning the end of the sopranos

    http://www.althouse.blogspot.com/2007/06/5-stages-of-mourning-sopranos.html

  10. mlq3

    jowana, i think adel will make a very good senator.

  11. mlq3

    john, yeah i love the sopranos. i saw the final episode, hence my response. sad to see the show end.

  12. vic

    Read DJB “Cavalier Club” but can’t really make up if this club is for real. But the other Cavalier club, the Cleveland Cavaliers are trying hard to achieve the impossible by beating San Antonio Spurs in the Final and they are behind two games now. Well, if the Senate Cavalier Club put up at least the same effort as that Young Lebron James, maybe then maybe, they’ll be able to do something to reform the AFP and PNP from the other venue, and they, four of them is on the right place and at the right time, and only if they will do the right thing is still up for Question… Yes or No?

  13. baycas

    “don’t stop…” (journey singing in the background) and yet it stopped (blackout!). irony for an ending. happiness in being with the family (for dinner) but sadness in what lies ahead for the lead character.

    going forth, going back…as in meadow’s parallel parking.

    however, a conflict has to end (closure?)…just like being able to finally parallel-park her car…so, too, tony’s life would end. it’s just that the viewers get to pick for themselves what forebodes tony’s ominous fate.

    incongruity again…as one might expect the author to give the ending…yet he chooses not to…

    —–
    …i like the ending.

  14. baycas

    What Was Up With The Parallel Parking? a creative destruction’s take on the sopranos’ final episode.

  15. Nick

    baycas, the creator of the show said that he doesn’t believe in tying up loose ends..

    It wasn’t symbolism at all, it was meant to be vague.. No ifs, ands, or buts, and certainly no apologies from him, even with the “mob” that has gone so far that they’re ready to “whack” him…

    With that kind of response, I think Tony Soprano would’ve been proud, and maybe this was the right ending after all 🙂

  16. baycas

    nick, i like the ending for i find allegorical meaning from it – life’s incongruity “made in America.”

    authors as artists need not explain their—

    (oops, cut off mid-sentence…akin to the the sopranos‘ mid-scene ending.)

  17. Red's Herring: Made in America

    […]Sometimes, or many a time, The End just comes like a thief in the night, you don’t plan for it or even imagine it as an inevitable part of the narrative. You’re having a dinner, dancing the tango, crossing the street, sipping a cold bottle of beer or simply in receipt of a great news and then . . . a blackout. That’s it.[…]

  18. lee

    I don’t like the onion rings sopranos ending too.

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