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Jul 16

Dark victory

My column for today is Dark victory. In their blogs, Philippine Politics 04 and [email protected] strongly disagree with me, and are more inclined to echo the views of Conrado de Quiros.

Placeholder points out why Zubiri attributes everything to Mama Mary (only Divine intervention can explain things). While Ricky Carandang points to what he says was a “loyalty vote” in the Supreme Court.

My entry, The wisdom of crowds, will explain the basis for my column clearly enough. This is the lesson of the past few years, and those who would go far simply have to recognize that in some ways, they have gone too far, and in other respects, not gone far enough, and in others, having gone as far as a certain point, it’s the leadership that’s retreating from the line drawn by the public.

People Power as a means of regime change, as well as variations thereof (transitional governments, etc.) I do believe, were roundly rejected by the people, though they did -and continue to- roundly reject the President’s legitimacy. What the public did accept were two options. First, the option of the President resigning. but since the public also left resignation as a decision for the President to make, and the public, ironically, wouldn’t forcibly demand it, and institutions or groups were fatally divided and thus unable to fully exercise influence, nothing happened.

The second was the option of her being impeached -but again, without arming impeachment with People Power, the only effective veto on party loyalty. So party loyalty won out. The public, in both cases, never ceased disliking the President, but reserved its dislike for a more predictable arena: elections. That is as far as the public would go; but when it did go that far, rejecting the President’s senatorial slate: well, it’s the senatorial slate voted into office that has retreated from the field of battle by forming a new majority.

Now, unless the public takes it upon itself to boo and hiss Miguel Zubiri every chance he appears in public, then we will have, as I said, what we will have: and that’s Zubiri in the senate until and unless Pimentel’s protest bears fruit. But he (Pimentel) had a chance to prevent that from happening; the first chance was the real chance; the second chance was like praying for a miracle -a Hail Mary pass, in sports- but the momentum had been lost.

And since the battle lines in the Senate have become hopelessly muddled, well, each member of that chamber will have to be lobbied with, by the public, all over again. An appeal to the ambition of an unelected senator is as valid, at this point, as appeals to the principles of indubitably-elected senators -which have failed.

Over the past two years, the Supreme Court has allowed people to be “saved by the bell,” so to speak. But as its vote on the 2nd attempt by Pimentel to ask for judicial relief proved, one shouldn’t expect to be “saved by the bell” all the time. And it only takes one failure to permanently screw things up.

The warning in plain sight, I think, is that if it’s the Supreme Court that’s served as a brake on where things have been grimly going since 2005, our luck can run out at any time. We can create new luck by trying to make the best of the people that are there, or we can simply keep drawing the line, which would then reach the point where it accelerates, instead of delaying, the inevitable.

Cause-and-effect. Pimentel blows up his appeal; the opposition morphs into a new majority; Charter Change not only becomes inevitable, but now, probably successful. Without Pimentel there, one public figure traumatized by supporting Cha-Cha the last time around -Zubiri- might still be inclined to vote against it, or support an institutional position for the Senate. Of course, it would have made more sense to write him off -if the Opposition bloc could be counted on. But can it? And if not…

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62 comments

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  1. Bokyo

    Ang komento ko lang sa COMELEC, bakit pinagkatagal-tagal pa nila o dinelay pa nila ng husto, ganon din lang pala ang gagawin nila, to go to regular process, walang imbestigasyon walang response to any questions. Bakit hindi pa nila noon pa ginawa yung dapat nilang gawin?

  2. benign0

    “But Benign0, going by your previous pronouncements, you are also one of those who have actively condoned our politicians’ behavior. Ergo, that would mean that also possess the same political character, i.e. the “sad sad deep well of tolerance for stupidity, inappropriate behaviour, lack of substance, and, above all, dishonest behaviour“.”

    Touche, then. I am Pinoy after all, ain’t I? 😉

    Then again, a generalisation does not necessarily imply that said generalisation applies to *individual* Filipinos.

    For example:

    (1) Collectively, Pinoys are a fiesta-happy but clueless electorate (as the sad *collective* effect of our elections demonstrate). But that doesn’t necessarily mean ALL Pinoys are so.

    (2) That Erap was elected demonstrates that Pinoys, in general, are stupid voters. But that doesn’t necessarily mean ALL Pinoys are stupid voters.

    Catch my drift? 😉

  3. ay_naku

    MLQ, I am extremely disappointed in your “Dark Victory” column. So sad, really.

  4. Bencard

    cvj, a lot of the justices who voted for granting the t.r.o. were also appointed by GMA, not the least of which was the chief justice. what about those who ruled against the president’s EO 464, the people’s initiative, etc., aren’t some, if not most of them, pma’s appointees. you praise the sc to high heavens when it rules against pgma but curse it (or blame “politics”) when it favors the other side. just classic partisanship on your part, isn’t it?

  5. jaxius

    Ben,

    I have to agree with you. Views like those of Ricky Carandang that suggest it was a “loyalty vote” would have been considered contemptous under a less patient SC. People can call the justices that ruled against the petition stupid and call the decision erroneous. But to suggest that they didn’t decide in their best lights because of some suspicious machinations is another matter. It ain’t fair.

  6. cvj

    Bencard, which is why i said above that being appointed by GMA does not automatically mean that the SC Justices would be unfair. After all, they still have their free will. However, the pressure is always there so it is important to evaluate the basis for their decisions and not just (in Rom’s words) swallow them whole.

  7. ricelander

    Zubiri was quoted as saying after being proclaimed senator:
    “I am dying to go to work. I want to redeem myself…”

    Redemption from what?

    It is ever so true that that none is so blind than he who refuses to see.

  8. Mita

    teka teka…that was already decided by the supreme court diba? why hiss and boo at zubiri for sticking to his guns and seeing the whole thing through? hiss and boo at koko for (mis)representing himself in the supreme court…even adel tamano noted this was his big mistake – among others.

    zubiri will do well in the senate just watch him. better than the genuine opposition (to themselves too!) who seem (again) to be losing it with just the senate president issue. and the race is on….and there they go!!!!

    supreme court justice giving into pressure? i doubt it…this family of Punos are highly-principled people…palusot na lang yan. the truth is Koko’s case was mishandled when he took over and that’s that.

  9. ay_naku

    Yeah Koko bungled his case big-time. But the fact remains that there was massive and obvious cheating in Maguindanao, and Zubiri was the beneficiary. Whether or not he eventually performs well in the Senate isn’t really the point. The point is his “victory” is the product of bare-faced fraud.

  10. justice league

    Benigno,

    Regarding your claim about ex-citizens propping up the economy; OFWs don’t necessarily lose their Filipino citizenship when working abroad so you need to clarify how you use “ex-citizens”.

    And how are you using ex-Pres. Estrada’s election to the presidency as a reason for generalization (even though you don’t mean that for ALL pinoys) when he wasn’t a majority President anyway?

  11. justice league

    Devilsadvoc8,

    Someone might quote you on your story on the PDI regarding the water throwing incident.

    If you are referring to Renato Constantino, Vic Agustin and Carmen Pedrosa; I thoroughly remember the incident in a different way.

    Nevertheless though I don’t necessarily agree with all your actions I do understand your point as well as MLQ3’s and Ongpin’s.

    Something somewhat similar happened during Ex-pres. Estrada’s term.

    The government bought expensive gas guzzling Ford Expedition vehicles for the cabinet members. It received so much flack from media that the cabinet members’ children didn’t want to ride in them with their parents.

  12. patsadakarajaw

    No amount of good legislation can erase the stigma of Zubiri as the Senator from Maguindanao. Sorry, MLQ, I cant swallow Zubiri ever as the rightful occupant of that Senate seat in the same way I cannot accept GMA as the rightful occupant in Malacanang.

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