Sandbagging the opposition

Rain-related news: Despite heavy rains, water supply remains a concern.Put another way, 3 days of rain cooled Metro, but still not enough. Meanwhile, Palace wants P500m released for drought. News like this aimed at justifying such requests: Dry spell impacts on poverty; cost to rice up to P1B.

On the economic front, 38 Cebu firms close, lay off 13,000 (effect of the appreciation of the Peso). Inflation rate inched up to 2.6% in July, the World Bank to double loans to RP, and our Forex reserves hit $27.9b.

The Rich getting richer faster than the poor. A ray of hope is this: Migrant philanthropy slowly transforming provinces, study shows. In his column, Tony Lopez says the auto industry is almost back to 1997 levels.

As Palace keeps hands off on ZTE deal, the buck merrily gets passed along: Ermita: Broadband deal is Mendoza’s baby.

Palace goings-on: Palace bares new gov’t appointments, including Senator Santiago’s husband joins Arroyo Cabinet. Moves include Palace replaces insurance chief. More executive tinkering: GMA transfers Toll Body to DPWH.

New DND head bares plans: speaks in tough terms about the Abu Sayaff, and says he’ll continue Nonong Cruz’s reforms. Meanwhile, Three rebels, 1 soldier dead in fighting. Read Patricio Diaz’s suggestion that there’s confusion in Basilan.

As for the continuing investigation of the massacre of the Marines: Esperon debunks ‘miscom’ report. So what happened? And now, pilots get blame for not firing a shot in Basilan.

In the Senate, Villar faces yet another sticky issue.

The Speaker soothes his erstwhile foes: Garcia, other solons assigned House committees: Cynthia Villar, for one, is officially out of the doghouse, returning as chairman of the committee (education) she’d be deprived of when she signed on to the impeachment complaints against the President.

Speaking of the Speaker, he reminds everyone that his party doesn’t intend to die (to quote Marcos): De Venecia to LP, NP: It’s romantic but get real. John Nery had pointed to an embargoed survey on who the public really considers the presidential frontrunners. The results are still embargoed, but this might be a sign of news concerning that survey, to come: Legarda leads 2010 hopefuls in survey . The Speaker may be on to something.

UNO: Impeach poll execs but Bedol offers help to reform polls. Comelec seems more interested in punishing those that exposed its goings-on: Comelec eyes electoral sabotage raps vs 2 media personalities. Much speculation who the two are. Everyone assumes Ricky Carandang is one. He says he isn’t one of those mentioned.

Newsbreak explains why the Estrada camp has lost its oomph.

Wacky news: ‘Bangungot’ linked to Asian skull shape. Not wacky, but well…. Continue with your ministry, Pope tells Rosales.

Overseas: why hasn’t the US Attorney-General not been impeached yet? Dahlia Lithwick takes a look. Roger Simon ponders the weaknesses of debating as a means of figuring out if a candidate will be a good president or not. In History Unfolding, an update and analysis of the situation in Iraq:

The experience of Anbar province suggests something very important: that an American withdrawal will not, as the Administration argues, mean the ascendancy of Al Queda, whom Iraqi tribesmen have no reason to love. But meanwhile, there has been no rapprochement between Sunnis and Shi’ites. Our strategy appears to be to try to fight the extremists among both groups while supporting the moderates, and it is angering the Shi’ite government while failing to please the Sunnis, who just withdrew their ministers. The need for some kind of partition seems to get more obvious every day, but we are not moving in that direction yet.

An interesting article: Japan’s Democracy Comes of Age:

Last week the opposition Democratic Party of Japan returned the favor, handing the LDP an historic defeat in the election for half of the House of Councilors, Japan’s senate.

To understand what has happened, it is necessary to look back to the situation that prevailed from the founding of the LDP in 1955 to the 1990s. Japan’s Diet was essentially gerrymandered to ensure that the LDP maintained a firm grip on government. Parliamentarians were chosen from large, multi-member districts. That meant that successful candidates often won with only about 10 per cent of the vote, or less. This system put a premium on local connections and pork barrel politics. Issues? Who needs issues?

In Indonesia, the public proves the pollsters wrong, by enthusiastically participating in the country’s first-ever direct gubernatorial elections. In Asia has Jeremy Gross saying the Indonesians are proving to have a strong civic sense. And, is there a Malay malaise? Rot and More Rot in Malaysia’s Judicial System. The Thais are engaged in debating the pros and cons of their new constitution: August 19 referendum: key issue is ‘legitimacy’.

My column for today is Sandbagged opposition (unedifying headlines like this don’t help: Cayetano-Lacson feud erupts over Blue Ribbon). The move by Francis Pangilinan to block Adel Tamano’s designation as counsel for the Blue Ribbon committee’s reported here: Tamano blocked in Senate, tapped for PLM presidency. Incidentally, this makes for interesting reading: Senators of 13th Congress: Far too many hearings, very few reports. I agree that at the very least, the public is owed a report after hearings have been concluded.

An interesting column by Emil Jurado on “Operation Big Bird.” Jurado refers to a recent interview on Ricky Carandang’s show: the original’s disappeared, but the interview’s been cached. Fascinating reading:

Carandang: And how many accounts did you manage to release?

Almonte: I think at that time initial I think eight or ten with a total of 213 million US dollars.

Carandang: Was there more?

Almonte: Yes.

Carandang: How do you know?

Almonte: Because at that time there were already so much cooperation from the people there. I hope I’ll just say it this way because I don’t want to jeopardize them.

Carandang: So you had informants in the Swiss banking system?

Almonte: Of course and they are the ones who know.

Carandang: So they were feeding you this information?

Almonte: Yes.

Carandang: And in effect, the Swiss government was confirming it by releasing the money.

Almonte: yes. They release it if they confirmed that what we are saying is in their document.

Carandang: So why did you stop at $213 million?

Almonte: We did not stop, that was the initial release. After that, because we have to present the other accounts that we like to release, we have to present it when we already have the complete documentation. Now we don’t have the documentation of all the accounts. That is why after this $213 million what came in later was about $3.8 billion and this we have the documentation.

Carandang: So you had the knowledge of an additional $3.8 billion in the Swiss bank accounts.

Almonte: Yes after the $213 million…and after that we had more information and our people there were working on another $4 billion. That is why by that time we had about all in all 3.8 plus 4 plus 3 we had about 8 billion immediately although of course the 4 billion is identification is being… The documentation it means is being worked on.

Carandang: But this whole time Marcos and Mrs. Marcos still thought that the money was being transferred to another account of theirs?

Almonte: Ah no more. By this time I cannot recall anymore. But I think it was July, it’s in the records. But the following day, because I think it was Friday. Saturday…Sunday…Monday is supposed to be the release of the $213 million nothing happen, Ordoñez disappeared. We cannot locate him. Later we’re able to confirm that he left Manila by himself.

Carandang: This was before you actually had the money released?

Almonte: No, after the money was released, the 213 million was released by the Swiss government but they transfer actually to export is what we were waiting for. Before they transfer there, Ordoñez disappeared and he is the only one according to the arrangement and the Swiss law as a constitutional officer who can receive this money in behalf of the Philippine government not me or anybody else.

Carandang: So without Ordoñez’ signature the money could be transferred out of Marcoses account but could not be transferred to the Philippine government.

Almonte: Without the signature of Ordoñez.

Carandang: And Ordoñez signed for the $213 million but he disappeared after that.

Almonte: No he did not sign yet. He just left without receiving the $213 million because what happened was this, when the$213 million must release and this is in the record, Ordoñez and of course Salvione and for Salonga that this going to be released, in fact we didn’t know because they kept it from us already. Anyway what happened is when Ordoñez disappeared we came home. I decided to leave immediately for manila.

Carandang: And what the money was left in an escrow account?

Almonte: Not yet. The money was.. You know the order was there but there is no execution. There was a decision but the actual execution of the decision was held.

Carandang: Pending the signature…

Almonte: Well pending the receipt…because what happened was this, Salvione and Salonga approved it and this in the annex, in the document… That he believed, Salvione, this money will be lost to the Philippine government. The implication is that Mike and myself will run away with the money, that’s the implication.

So he was telling Salonga that they should not be transferred to the export financier’s bank but it should remain in Credit Suisse and the fellow who suppose to take care of this…ironically was the man of Marcos but anyway it’s under their control. Now because of this the Credit Suisse informed Marcos that they have…they are helpless that this money, his money in the bank will be returned to the Philippine government. Because of his authority to de Guzman to withdraw his money…

Carandang: And that is when Marcos knew that he had been scammed.

Almonte: Yes that was the time. Soon after they decide to release this money, so Marcos claimed that “I don’t know of any de Guzman,” “I did not give anybody authority to withdraw the money” and he did not have any account in Switzerland this is Marcos letter to the Swiss. However if there is a money under his name and there is such I think as de Guzman who is withdrawing on his authority, he is revoking all of that.

Carandang: In other words Marcos was trying to tell the banks that he had revoke the authority of Mike de Guzman to withdraw the money but he is also trying to say that you cannot claim that I own the money.

Almonte: That’s what he’s trying to say.

Carandang: In other words Mike can’t withdraw but I don’t own it.

Almonte: Yes, that’s what his trying to say. “I don’t have anything but in the event there is something there in my name I am in control, Mike has no authority.”

Carandang ends by pointing out Almonte & Co. managed to get $213 million which was duly given to the government. By 2001, the money had grown to $680 million:

Under the law, all money recovered from the Marcos family is to be spent on agrarian reform.

In September 2005, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism reported that a portion of that $680 million was diverted to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s 2004 presidential campaign.

In March 2006, a Joint Senate Committee concluded that President Arroyo “be held accountable in the mismanagement of the fertilizer fund.”

Former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante, who authorized the release of the fertilizer funds, is seeking political asylum in the United States.

(Brief backgrounder on Operation Big Bird, courtesy of the Manila Times). See Juan Mercado’s column today, which places the efforts of the Marcoses to recover their assets, in perspective.

In Inquirer Current, John Nery “impeaches” Francis Escudero. Gets a swarm of replies!

Words of wisdom, as he reminds us in a recent blog entry, from David Llorito, circa 2005:

All those who want to reform the Philippine politics and economy should therefore strive to remove the nexus between politics and the economy. This policy reform objective could be achieved through measures including low and neutral tariff rates (to discourage smuggling as well as the incentive to make deals with Customs officials), the removal of the pork barrel system, opening up entry and exit of all businesses including utilities and telecommunications without having to acquire franchise from Congress, and lowering of corporate taxes coupled with the removal of fiscal incentives, among many others. The central idea is to prevent political motivations to encroach in people’s economic decisions, subject to certain limited criteria such as environmental regulations and national security.

We should adopt the concept that doing business or engaging in entrepreneurship is an inalienable right on par with our freedom of assembly and speech as well as of pursuit of happiness. That way mayors, governors, and bureaucrats will not have any power to put barriers against people’s entrepreneurial energies. You remove political intervention in economic decisions and you can see that “public service” will only attract two types of persons, either statesmen or masochists, and that will be for the good of the country.

Agree? Disagree?

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    • cvj on August 15, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    Jeg, you’re right about our crisis of representation. The representatives we elect turn to the darkside quicker than you can say ‘cheese’. That’s because we have little or no public involvement after the elections. I agree that technology will also play a role in direct (aka deliberative) democracy in the form of facilitating regular plebiscites but that is at least a decade away and assumes that the COMELEC cleans house turns into the kind of institution that Musa Dimasidsing fought for.

  1. I do hope agriculture,proper implementation of land reform,farm to market infra,roro,and the rest of the factors to make the balik probinsya worth it.

    But do we also give up manufacturing to china,I would not know,maybe someday,China will bububle burst and the rest of them go here.(how i wish)

    But in reality the biggest employers here are the government national and local,maybe that too has to change.

    that is why we cannot just relocate squatters just like that malalayo sila sa employment nila.

    stakeholder involvement post elections,can happen hopefully if we eliminate election donations from corportations,sana ganun kadali.the stakeholders will have a say instead of going to the streets.Kundi bussiness will have power over politics all the time.

    The problems are not that simple and the solutions offered must first present the problems other than its problem statement of cultural dysfunction.

    I wish the solution framework has an answer to all of these.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on August 15, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    Don’t worry, INE, I won’t. Thanks.

    • rego on August 15, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    shaman, please don’t. we have too many resume builders here already. you don’t have to prove your worth to rego. readers in here can tell who are a boastful lot, and who can stand and deliver.

    ——————————————————–

    Excuse me, hindi ako nag simula nito. At wala akong planong makipagtaasan ng ihi kahit kaninuman.Si shaman mismo ang nag simula ng pataasan ng ihi na eto when she made that statement that she is not getting any help from the regos and bencard and the austeros.. Implying that while she doing something for the country we, are not helping at all.

    If ever I mentioned what we doing to be of help in our own small way. Its because she asked for it. I did not just give away that information for pataasan ngihi purposes.

    Now I am asking. What exactly is she doing to be help to this country and what help she needs from us? A mere mention of your advocacy in this forum is helping is just a vague statement and is not helping at all. She should present a specific action plan so we would know when to come in to be help, how we can be of help, and if we agree to her action plan.

    Im waiting…………..

    • cvj on August 15, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Rego, so that’s why you brought up that scholarship project again. It’s good to know that you felt the need to prove yourself. 😉

    • DuckVader on August 15, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    Benigno —

    Your assertion was that a warm climate is a disincentive to saving. I showed you countries that had extremely high savings rates despite having temperatures that would make someone from Manila sweat buckets. Then you redirect it to “but that’s not what I’m talking about, I’m talking about th longer term and development in general.” Your misdirection won’t work and I’ll take you head on on this.

    Where is the data that shows savings rate over the longer term as being influenced by temperature? There is none, because savings rate is data that has been collected largely only in the past couple of centuries and once macroeconomic techniques became sophisticated enough to capture savings rates on a wide scale. Thus you may proxy savings rates for some industrial economies as early as the 19th century, but beyond that it becomes shit guesswork.

    So where is the empirical and statistical proof that savings is determined by temperature on a long-term basis? I say there is none because there is not data available beyond the early 20th century that will be wide enough to allow for statistical testing — whether cointegration or linear. Because as you admit your assertion doesn’t work for short-term and if you can’t prove that it works for the long-term, then your assertion is nothing more than something you pulled out of thin air.

    And if climate is not the only factor, how much of a factor is it? 5%, 10%, 70%? How much of the variation does it predict? These are simple statistical questions.

  2. Devil, that was actually the intention — to bring the “’framework’ to the next level of detail. Trouble is, concept and framework level pa lang, di na magka-sundo (ironic, considering that many here say that these ideas are all ‘Widely known and acknowledged’).”

    oh, i’ll say the pinoy faults you pointed out were indeed widely known and even “acknowledged” if not accepted wholly. as for your ideas, hmm, let me jz say that in this juncture of humanity’s brief stint in time, no one can still claim an idea as original. that’s why sometime i lay daydreaming that if only humans can inherit memories the way they inherit genes, we’d all be a lot better off. and hey, you can still proceed on to the details even if no one’s agreeing except your gang. and man, you need some serious refining in tact and humility to win ppl over to see your point of view. well, that is if you want to succeed in your goals for a better Phils.

    instead if saying: no. everyone’s gotta be wrong and im the only one who knows best, why don’t you try: do you think this is a good idea? or hey, i’ve thought of something, waddya think?

    sometimes benigs, people aren’t really upset by ideas other people bring. sometimes the messenger just annoys the hell out of them. would be sad to see a good idea go to waste simply bec the messenger was shot bec he was such an unlikable jerk. not that i think you’re a jerk. or that you’re unlikable. hell, i’ve gone anti-social and people still like me.

  3. cvj, ah basta. for me government in economy is this. trash WTO, start aggressively protecting our agriculture and fishing industry, infuse capital and funds into this 2 industries. encourage entrepreneurial growth by: removing red tape in business applications, declaring start-up businesses tax free for its 1st 3 yrs, crackdown on monopolies and legislate laws breaking them down. and for god’s sakes, protect our patrimony at all cost!

    should i go on with how i think governance of our country should go? or should we revisit civil war and just have everything razed to ashes so we can start anew? that way, benigs won’t have to keep complaining abt all the barriers to his, err his group’s Solution Framework.

    what do we do with a severely infected, virus-ridden, hideously spyware-afflicted computer? reformat, my dear cvj, reformat.

    or, we could appeal to Media exec’s better sensibilities and request them to do the reformatting for us instead of a bloody revolution. wait. they’re already doing that except they’re doing the reverse! thanks to them, the next generation will be more stupider than the generation before them. hey, if it’s any consolation, they’ll reap what they sow eventually.

    • cvj on August 16, 2007 at 12:05 am

    cvj, ah basta. for me government in economy is this. trash WTO, start aggressively protecting our agriculture and fishing industry, infuse capital and funds into this 2 industries. encourage entrepreneurial growth by: removing red tape in business applications, declaring start-up businesses tax free for its 1st 3 yrs, crackdown on monopolies and legislate laws breaking them down. and for god’s sakes, protect our patrimony at all cost! – Devilsadvc8

    That’s a concise summary and I largely agree with you except maybe for the part about thrashing the WTO. Since we don’t have the aggregate domestic purchasing power locally, we need other countries’ export markets for the purpose of building up the two (or whatever number of) industries that we select. Depending on what industry we focus on, we may also need to import some of the inputs so raising trade barriers for these would be counterproductive. Also, when selecting an ‘industry’, Rodrik advises that we should be thinking in terms of specific activities or sets of activities to be good at, rather than whole industrial sectors.

    • cvj on August 16, 2007 at 12:11 am

    what do we do with a severely infected, virus-ridden, hideously spyware-afflicted computer? reformat, my dear cvj, reformat. – Devilsadvc8

    Before we reformat, we normally would want to backup the important files first. We wouldn’t want to lose valuable programs and data that would be needed later. As you very well expressed in your previous comment…

    that’s why sometime i lay daydreaming that if only humans can inherit memories the way they inherit genes, we’d all be a lot better off. – Devilsadvc8

  4. “Also, when selecting an ‘industry’, Rodrik advises that we should be thinking in terms of specific activities or sets of activities to be good at, rather than whole industrial sectors.”

    Agriculture: 3 products need special mention, RICE, MANGOES, and COCONUT. esp rice. i find it pathetic that we import rice bec our own farmers cnt produce enough for the whole population. and our staple food is rice! perhaps some genius in govt would’ve thought that it being our staple food, it would’ve been impt to at least see to it we dnt run out of it w/o having to import it.

    FISHING: i cnt emphasize good PORTS and sea regulations enough. we are a goddamn archipelago, surrounded by so much water, and our ports suck, and our fishing waters raided by others nationals. wouldn’t it be good if the Philippines were to be known as the SeaFood capital of the world? (there goes the National Branding that Benigs has been pining for all these years) and our rivers, gaah! if our local govts had even a shred of imagination, they would’ve realized that cleaning them would open up a lot of business opportunities. lots on the riverfront would appreciate and skyrocket like shit. we have so many rivers, we could have little Venices everywhere around the country. instead, a couple of factories bribe them, and allowed to dump their waste for a handful of happy purses. people stupidly equate caring for nature as adverse for businesses. and mining, oh mining. this single policy of GMA jz shows how stupid she and her gang is. sustainable mining? pray tell, what exactly is sustainable abt it and how do we sustain it? perhaps you and your folks have gone and discovered you can shit minerals out of your anuses. minerals dnt exactly grow back you know.

    • cvj on August 16, 2007 at 1:11 am

    Devils, i agree with your suggestions above most especially with your opposition to mining. I also think that in the area of FORESTRY, we can offer up our bald mountains and hills as hosting areas for the trees that would be planted by environmentally-conscious air travellers who want to become carbon-neutral.

  5. “Before we reformat, we normally would want to backup the important files first. We wouldn’t want to lose valuable programs and data that would be needed later.”

    all the important files are in our history, and programs can be created the same way all other programs are created.

    as for civil war case study, North and South Korea is the perfect example. The South struck luck and had a great leader, and the North luck out and was stuck with, as Benigno says, a very big SOB with a “vision.” what propelled S. Korea successfully? the war made everyone deeply nationalistic. after all, they’ve fought and undergone the same things and have formed a bond all nations need. what made the North fail? well, everyone was feeling downright nationalistic as well, but damn, one man can sure ruin a party. hey, we had that kind of man too!

    and what abt us? we thought People Power was all fun camping and flag waving. did anyone sacrifice anything for anything? oh yeah right, Ninoy lies interred at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, and no one even died at the 2nd one! in short, whatever we won on those two occasions was won too cheaply, and that’s why few could even care less what happens to it.

    if you were a sculptor, how would you feel if a work of yours in progress (which you’ve been sculpting for years) was suddenly destroyed by someone?

    the key then to nation building, is to get the citizens to emotionally invest in their nation. that any notion of even fucking it would push them into ballistic rages.

    • KG on August 16, 2007 at 6:32 am

    “if you were a sculptor, how would you feel if a work of yours in progress (which you’ve been sculpting for years) was suddenly destroyed by someone?

    the key then to nation building, is to get the citizens to emotionally invest in their nation. that any notion of even fucking it would push them into ballistic rages.”

    That’s why I was mentioning pride and support,but Benigs told me it could not fill our stomachs or di nakakabusog.
    But I acknowledged that my reaction was childish,thus it was misinterpreted.Oks lang .

    On mining :kawawang South Africa and the whole African continent,kaya hanggang ngayon mahirap pa din,dahil mga multinationals ang nakikinabang sa minerals nila….Come to think of it,baka ganyan din mangyari sa atin..so scratch mining..sorry for suggesting.

    On mangoes: Guimaras oil spill put a grinding halt to it.
    Let us look for other spots,nandun kasi ang big producers like Marsman Drysdale eh.

    On rice:
    Sa gulangan sa presyo ng Rice dealers,middlemen vs poor farmer: resulting to higher prices,kaya yan 2loy because of that vicious cycle alone. Imported rice would always be cheaper.

    Coconut:
    solve the damn coco levy fund and we are good to go.

    Fishing industry:

    Ou modernization for our ships was not supported by our law makers saying,that it better be spent fror”better”purposes”like..nevermind baka nga mas importante.

    Thus we have a weak Navy and poor coastguard,so our neighbors can fish on our shores with impunity.Bandits can kidnap tourist with impunity,as well.

    Our rivers,para san ang piso patra sa pasig kung tuloy tuloy ang envronmental permits for sale.

    A lot of vicious cycles….can we all make them virtuous instead..

    One hindrance to the sculptor analogy is,ok destroy it,there is notthing I can do.

    on revolution:
    Minor minor correction:Ninoy is in Manila Memorial,di ko alam kung bakit even after the Marcoses left that he was not transferred to the libingan.

    Some may say that the revolutions were elite lead kaya walang nangyari..if that is so then it is business over politics all over again.

    Reformat: annihilate then procreate(joke)
    what the F is the opposite of annihilate,maybe build would be apt. Save is too messianic sounding.That is what we are always looking for.

    pS
    Since madami KG tawag sakin,then KG it is.(Karl)

    • Bencard on August 16, 2007 at 6:32 am

    “Ninoy lies interred at the Libingan ng mga Bayani…”, devilsadvoc8.

    i thought ninoy aquino’s insistence to leave the safety of boston to prove a point was ill-advised. at the time, marcos’ days were numbered with his fatally debilitating diseases. aquino knew what was going to happen as evidenced by his wearing a bullet-proof vest. he probably knew also that there was a sliver of a chance that he would survive. but still, he chose to ignore that “discretion is the better part of valor”. had he lived, there would have been probably no need for edsa, but there would have been no more marcos, either.

    • KG on August 16, 2007 at 7:25 am

    Devils,

    Revolution:Wala lang….

    Devils backread to 2004 and a link will lead to Apolinario Mabinii’s Revolution.

    As to the Edsas, as we speak I am doing a research on this,and I need all your inputs(you and others),as to books,suggestions, etc.

    CVJ gave me one through the books of the week section.(ty)

    So far aside from that book puro online,a brief 2004 artcile by our host and wikipedia.

    Time to demystify the Edsas, it might be like Transfromers, which is more than meets the eye.

    I will also see if my blabbering about that it is elite lead is valid or not.

    Wala na rin akong time mag blog:pakipost na lang sa walang kwentang blogpost ko under comments: re inputs
    nakakahiya naman kung dito.

    laging mali ang link kom ito,tama na siguro.

    karlgarciasblogs.blogspot.com

    Ty
    KG

    • KG on August 16, 2007 at 7:39 am

    Bencard and Devils,

    Ninoy lies six feet under sa manila Memorial. At one point in my life I visitted it when visting my dearly departed.

    Conjecture time again:

    Maybe kaya wala sa libingan si Ninoy para di magdemand ang mga Marcosses na ilipat sya libingan. Again,I wouldn’t know.

    I could guess till kingdom come ika nga ni Benigno.

    • KG on August 16, 2007 at 7:47 am

    mali na naman ang subject verb agreement,grammar,punctuation at speeling

    Tao lang sensya na.

    Sa bago kong pinasok di pwede ito,kahit na madaming mag edit.baka di ako makatagal.

    Sa call center naman nakatagal ako.

    well sa writing naman eh me rough draft dito kasi wala pero pwede naman iedit bago submit.

    See you when I see you.

    • benign0 on August 16, 2007 at 7:48 am

    Duck Vader: “Your assertion was that a warm climate is a disincentive to saving.”

    No I didn’t dude.

    I said that societies that evolved in tropical climates show “no culture of saving and accumulating surpluses for the winter”.

    There’s a big difference.

    The context of the term “saving” I used above is different from the context of “savings rate” which is an economic indicator you are using to compare countries in recent timescales.

    Note in the following article how I use the concept of “savings rate” in the proper context:

    http://www.geocities.com/benign0/agr-disagr/17-savings.html

    Completely different bannana, right? Note also that from this particular context, the Philippines still comes up at the bottom of the pile.

    Tsk tsk. 😉

    • tagakotta de cebu on August 16, 2007 at 8:38 am

    Pls watch Ricky Carandang’s interview of Mar Roxas tonight in the Big Picture at 8:00 pm on ANC.see Ricky’s blog for details.

    Let’s give our opinion on Mar.He is one of the most promising 2010 contenders.

    • inodoro ni emilie on August 16, 2007 at 8:53 am

    “had he lived, there would have been probably no need for edsa, but there would have been no more marcos, either.”

    yeah right. and there would have been a ver and a new set of cohorts propagating the very new society you so dreaded. is this what exile can do to your thinking–slant historicity?

    • benign0 on August 16, 2007 at 9:14 am

    “that’s why sometime i lay daydreaming that if only humans can inherit memories the way they inherit genes, we’d all be a lot better off”

    Richard Dawkins (I think) proposed the concept of the “meme” as the equivalent of genes in the evolution of ideas. Ideas, in this regard also undergo a survival of the fittest competition as they get passed on from one human generation to another. So memes like religious beliefs for example, because they appeal to some deep aspect of the human psyche (making them, in this sense, “fit”), has endured as a robust idea for thousands of years.

    And, yes, the articulation of “getrealist” ideas continues regardless of support or opposition to them. This has been happening since 2000 and, as Ms Ca T will surely attest to, the irony is that it is primarily the “input” from detractors drive further development. 😉

    As to my tact, well, I’m not really into this for the popularity. I do find that those who are able to see past my PERCEIVED lack of tact are those that are more likely to possess the right aattitudes to evaluate ideas objectively.

    Those who live on appeals to emotion, unfortunately, tend to get left by the bus too often.

    • benign0 on August 16, 2007 at 9:32 am

    “Agriculture: 3 products need special mention, RICE, MANGOES, and COCONUT. esp rice. i find it pathetic that we import rice bec our own farmers cnt produce enough for the whole population”

    Even more pathetic is our inability to build valuable brands around these products.

    For example, our pineapples and some of our bananas are marketed around the world under the American brand names Del Monte, Dole, and Chiquita.

    Our mangoes — amongst the best in the world — languish in low-margin fresh produce palengkes. I’d take dried mangoes over Arnott fruities anytime yet the bigger more valuable brand dominates supermarket shelves.

    Kawawa nga naman talaga ang Pinoy. We are swimming in natural resources but lack the brains to turn them into high-added value goods. Instead we export them raw — just like we did with our forests, and just like what we are doing now with our human capital.

    Small-minded talaga – til kingdom come. 😉

    • rego on August 16, 2007 at 9:33 am

    “Rego, so that’s why you brought up that scholarship project again. It’s good to know that you felt the need to prove yourself. ”
    ————————————————-

    CVJ,

    I really don’t mind proving myself if I need to…especially that scholarship project. Im very proud of it as well everybody that involve on it.

    Did you know that it just started from forum like this? Wala pang blog noon yahoo group pa. And where in this yahoo group whose membership grow to 8,000 filipinos world wide. Maraming ring bangayan na katulad na katulad ng nangyaayri dito sa blog na eto. But eventually, there were people who “EB” each other and find out there are so many decent members in the group and became good really good freind. And when I arrive here I meet up with also with other members that are based here. And people who came here for a visit and other countries and from Manila also mett up with. And it just evolve to an amazing and in informal botherhood. (One member whom I meet here forteh first time even allowed to stay for free in his house in NJ for 6 years now. All though I cant afford to ther every day now becuase of my toxic sked.)

    There was just one member who raised an idea on how we be of help to country. Ecventually a core member of twenty agreed to put a scholarship project. And we are now on our 7 year.

    What I am saying is that, I’ve been in this forum for more than year now. And I observe there are so many good intention bloggers, (educated, intelligent, moneyed etc etc,) in this forum. If only we could set aside our differences the same way that that yahoo group did. We can actually come up with a something…and somthing really big! Dont you think.

    • Bencard on August 16, 2007 at 9:56 am

    inidoro, ver was a small satellite basking in the reflected dim light of a dying star. he and the “new cohorts” would be like straws in the wind that could not have withstood the wrath of a nation thirsting for justice.

    don’t persist in your “hollow-brained” habit of personally assailing a commenter for his comment. just attack the comment, if you please. and don’t forget the attribution when you quote someone, even for the purpose of criticizing him/her. it’s just elementary courtesy. we can use a little civility here. i refuse to believe that you are one of the “trolls” that ca’t was referring to, or a “simple mind” that we have been discussing about in this thread.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on August 16, 2007 at 9:58 am

    Rego,

    I wonder if you really understand context.

    Read again below what I wrote:

    “That’s why civil society must never tire in confronting cheating, lying, and stealing in government, instead of just turning its head the other way and “moving on”. Otherwise, nothing will change. We will just be moving on to more of the same. But we are not getting any help from the Bencards, the Regos, and the Austeros.”

    If you will note, I’m bemoaning the mindset of the “move on” crowd vis-a-vis Gloria’s electoral cheating controversy spawned by the “Hello, Garci” tapes, the lies and cover-up that followed, the stealing of the fertilizer fund, and all those mega-corruption scams. This mindset of closing the eyes to all these wrongdoings and urging the country to just “move on” is not helping (there’s the contextual operative word) any the effort to demand greater accountability from our political leaders.

    It doesn’t mean that you’re not helping the country, in general, in some other ways.

    Comprende, señor?

    Next time, please try not to shoot from the hips.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on August 16, 2007 at 10:21 am

    Karl,

    At the time of Ninoy’s internment, Marcos was still in power. And Ninoy had not yet been officially declared a hero. He could not have been buried at Libingan.

    Why have they not transferred his remains now that he’s a bayani? I guess the Aquino family wants him to remain where he is.

    • Jeg on August 16, 2007 at 10:26 am

    cvj: That’s a concise summary and I largely agree with you except maybe for the part about thrashing the WTO.

    Take a look at this article on free trade and agriculture by Anuradha Mittal and Gawain Kripke. You might find it interestting.

    Link: gnn.tv/articles/3228/Free_Trade_Doesn_t_Help_Agriculture

    • rego on August 16, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Shaman,

    Alright, so its the move on crowds and you singled us out to be belonging that that crowd. Put us in bad light. While you put yourself in good light. So sino ngayon nag nag tatatas ng ihi?

    You this is whats happening here. You want us to toe your line or else we will be the contra bida and you will be the bida. You see the light and we don’t?

    So what do you intend to do with cheating issue of Gloria? What is your plan of action now? And what help do you want from us?

    • Bencard on August 16, 2007 at 10:42 am

    shaman, as part of the “move-on” crowd that you are referring to, at the risk of being makulit, i would say to you again that the rule of law prevents these charges from seeing the light of day. he who makes a charge has the burden of proving it, not the other way around. we have an adversarial system of justice wherein an accuser cannot, and should not, force the person he is accusing, to supply the evidence to prove his guilt.

    in a country where false witnesses and fabricated evidence are a dime a dozen, prosecutors ought to be extra careful in bringing up cases that have no leg to stand on lest they be serving not justice but injustice. again and again, we have stated in this forum that perception is not fact and accusation is not tantamount to guilt.

    are you advocating that our president should cease functioning until she proves she is innocent of all the gossips, calumny, speculations of wrongdoing, trump-up charges, and unsubstantiated accusations made by cowards hiding behind a cloak of immunity or privilege, and believed by some gullible “simple minds” or people with selfish personal or political agenda?

    whether or not you believe that she was legitimately elected, the fact is she is the sitting president. she has to be respected and obeyed as such until she ceases to be president strictly in accordance with law and the constitution.

    • kampupot on August 16, 2007 at 11:25 am

    Share ko lang po itong forwarded email na ‘to na may subject na “A Modern Parable”. Siguro nabasa nyo na ‘to o kaya naman ang autor nito ay isa sa commenter sa blog na ‘to. Enjoy reading.

    A Japanese company ( Toyota) and an American company (Ford Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

    On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

    The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.

    Feeling a more in-depth study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

    Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team’s management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager. They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the ‘Rowing Team Quality First Program,’ with meetings, dinners and free pens and a certificate of completion for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.

    The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

    Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower (a reduction in workforce) for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and cancelled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year’s racing team was “out-sourced” to India.

    Sadly, the End.

    However, sad, but oh so true! Here’s something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can’t make money paying American wages. Toyota has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US.

    The last quarter’s results:

    Toyota makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses. Ford folks are still scratching their heads.

    IF THIS WASN’T SO SAD, IT MIGHT BE FUNNY!

    • Shaman of Malilipot on August 16, 2007 at 11:50 am

    Rego,

    If your being a part of the “move on” crowd put you “in bad light”, it’s not my fault. I mentioned you because you were one of the most vocal here. If my arguments exposed the undesirability of your “move on” mindset, as far as promoting government accountability is concerned, that put you “in bad light” (not my words), that mindset is perhaps to blame, not me. You should be prepared to take the consequences for what you believe in.

    It’s not my intention to be a bida. I laid down my argument, rebut it. Prove to me that the “move on” mindset advanced the cause of government accountability. Don’t ascribe motives to me.

    I didn’t want you to “toe (my) line”. I can’t force you, can I? I was just hoping that you, and others of like-minds, might see the light. The “good light”, as you say.

    I have long accepted that the “move on” mindset has won in Gloria’s case, but not because it’s on the right. I just want to show that it is another example of our failure to exact accountability from our leaders.

    Maybe, it’s time to take a good second look at Manoy Abe’s “revolutionary government”. Just maybe.

    • inodoro ni emilie on August 16, 2007 at 11:51 am

    “inidoro, ver was a small satellite basking in the reflected dim light of a dying star. he and the “new cohorts” would be like straws in the wind that could not have withstood the wrath of a nation thirsting for justice.”

    too late philosophizing from your armchair.

    i am not shooting the messenger here bencard, because in your case, the message and the messenger are embodiedly intertwined. what i am really curious to psychoanalyse is this: why do exilers think differently now about the political situation in pinas, when all these reactionaries (noise to let’s-move-on movement) are raising are cries to curtail the spectre of a resurrected marcosian regiment? note that i am setting my arguments in context: what does the comfort of distance do?

    • inodoro ni emilie on August 16, 2007 at 11:57 am

    because, willy-nilly, bencard, the generation after you expects more from you who have suffered from the tyranny of the marcos regime (that’s why it such such a frustration to see joker a suddenly becoming a politician in his sunset days). you have not even come face to face with the ghost of the marcosian past, and would instead speculate on how history would have changed its course had ninoy not decided to come back. or is this projection on your part?

    did you hear the bleating of the lamb, bencard?

    • Shaman of Malilipot on August 16, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    Bencard,

    You’re a lawyer and I know you’ll again cite the rule of law. The letter of the law, that is.

    My view is simple (there’s merit in being simple-minded, at times, benignO notwithstanding [there I go again mentioning names]): Gloria can only be made to account for her acts as president through an impeachment trial. She has not been impeached. So, there was no trial. So, there could not have been any presentation of evidence. Don’t blame her accusers for not being able to present their evidence. Wala ngang trial, lawyer Bencard, di ba?

    Gloria was not impeached. Why? Oh, impeachment is just a numbers game. Use it to exact accountability? Are you kidding? It’s all there in the letter of the law – it’s just a numbers game. Win 2/3 to impeach.

    I wonder what a numbers game is doing in our constitution.

    So, now, let’s just resign ourselves to respecting and obeying sitting presidents. Don’t bother with their shenanigans. To hell with accountability. It’s just a numbers game, you know. The rule of law says so.

    Say that again, Manoy Abe. Revolutionary government?

    • inodoro ni emilie on August 16, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    “I wonder what a numbers game is doing in our constitution.”

    a lawyer’s reasoning will likely go like this: there is no wrongdoing committed to the constitution until the supreme court has declared so.

    man, that’s like beating the red light at the nick of time. balasubas pa rin ang driver.

    • benign0 on August 16, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    Shaman,

    Having a simple mind is different from being small-minded. 😉

    • rego on August 16, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    Shaman,

    Can you just tell us how we be of help to you?

    Im an seeing a contradiction here. You want us to help you and at the same time you are alienting us.

    Do you really want help from us or you are just raising your self up to the moral throne- way above us? Nag tatas ka lang yata ng bangko mo eh. And its seem to me your way of doing it that it is by assigning a label to certain group of people in a negative way.

    • rego on August 16, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    “So, now, let’s just resign ourselves to respecting and obeying sitting presidents. Don’t bother with their shenanigans. To hell with accountability. It’s just a numbers game, you know. The rule of law says so.”

    So Shaman what is it that you really want to do?. Impeach the president? And you want help from us to achive that? How?

    • rego on August 16, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Or you want a civil disobedience? A people power? what is it really?

    Present it to so we can discuss the viability and doability of such option?

    • rego on August 16, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    Present it to us so we can discuss the viability and doability of such option.

    • cvj on August 16, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    all the important files are in our history, and programs can be created the same way all other programs are created. – Deviladvc8

    The most important ‘programs and files’ are in our communities of practice. Yes, we can safekeep the history books for the duration of the war, but what about our civilized way of life. Wars, no matter what intention, tend to bring out the animal in us and that persists even during peace time. It’s a breeding ground for new ‘viruses’. Look at what happened to us Filipinos after World War II. I guess we differ on how much is worth preserving and how much needs to be destroyed.

    [email protected] 16th, 2007 at 9:33 am, i agree. We can be on opposite sides of the fence but that shouldn’t stop us from doing what you described. That, however is beside the point (aka a red herring) since, it is the ‘move on’ mindset and its effects that Shaman is taking issue with.

    Jeg, thanks for the pointer, i’ll read it and tell you what i think later. FYI, i’m actually against any ‘balik probinsiya’ program. There are too many people in the agriculture sector as it is.

    • cvj on August 16, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    kampupot, i don’t know if that story is apocryphal but since i work for an American company, i can vouch for its underlying truth. That reference to Toyota is very relevant to the discussion since Rodrik says that his recommended approach to Industrial Policy has a lot of similarities to the Toyota Production System.

    • Bokyo on August 16, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    “whether or not you believe that she was legitimately elected, the fact is she is the sitting president. she has to be respected and obeyed as such until she ceases to be president strictly in accordance with law and the constitution.”

    I agree “she has to be respected”.
    (Fake respect nga lang din)

    • Jeg on August 16, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    cvj: FYI, i’m actually against any ‘balik probinsiya’ program. There are too many people in the agriculture sector as it is.

    Developing the agri sector isnt really about balik probinsya. Developing agri would allow the urban labor sector to stay in the cities because they would have jobs there. (Granted some will go balik-probinsya of course.) Being the biggest sector in the economy, developing agri would not be a trickle. It would be a wave that would help even the urban labor sector. Imagine strengthening the purchasing power of those in the agri sector. That would create markets. If they make enough money to buy a new pair of slippers (for example), once every 3 months, it would create a demand for slippers, making money for the slipper factory, providing jobs for the urban labor sector, etc, and so on down the line.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on August 16, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    Rego,

    Oh, how I wished Gloria were impeached! But it’s too late for it now, Rego. The “move on” crowd has won, remember? So, now we are moving on in our rut (or should I say “rot”?).

    But, tell you what. The next time a president violates the spirit of the law, do a little paradigm-shift. That is, if you want to help. Demand for impeachment. That’s the only way a president can be made to account. How? Let’s cross the bridge when we get there. There are different circumstances to every situation, di ba?

    “Or you want a civil disobedience? A people power?” If I may add, Manoy Abe’s “revolutionaty government”?

    Ecclesiastes said, “There’s a time for everything under the sun”, or something to that effect. Although what really entered my mind was the song, “Turn, turn, turn”. Was it by The Byrds? Perhaps, terrakotta can help me on this (why can’t I keep from mentioning names?). Perhaps, it’s because I once learned from Dale Carnegie that people should call others by their names.

    Well, Rego, I think you took my mentioning your name too personally. I promise I won’t do it again. Honest Injun!

    By the way, Barak Obama is calling for greater accountability in government in your neck of the woods.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on August 16, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    inodoro,

    And all the while I thought that numbers games just belong to Pagcor, or are more comfortable with Bong Pineda. Okay rin pala sa rule of law.

    Tama ka, the rule of law can be the refuge of “balasubas”.

  6. “Since we don’t have the aggregate domestic purchasing power locally, we need other countries’ export markets for the purpose of building up the two (or whatever number of) industries that we select.”

    Im not suggesting we become isolationist like effin N. Korea. Im only suggesting we only play with countries who’ll play on equal footing with us. globalization could’ve been the coup of the century, had the big players simply not practiced double standards. instead, underdeveloped and developing countries are condemned to remain slave to richer countries. all in the name of their comfort.

    “Depending on what industry we focus on, we may also need to import some of the inputs so raising trade barriers for these would be counterproductive.”

    I only meant aggresive protectionism, in instances that the same is being foisted on our industries abroad. Do unto others…

    Duck and Benigno, savings here are not too attractive bec savings interest pale shit in comparison to inflation. Inflation will overtake your sleeping money in the bank, while the bank utilizes the full value of your money in the present. So when you do take out your savings, its purchasing power is greatly diminished. The money you saved 5 years ago on a .75% interest would’ve grown to a stupendous 3.75% while inflation would’ve diminished its value by 12 percent! terrific. that’s really smart saving. so if your money could’ve bought you a refrigeratior today, if you let it sleep in the bank, you’d be lucky if it can still buy you the smallest model when you do withdraw that money. climate has nothing to do with it.

  7. “Toyota makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses. Ford folks are still scratching their heads.”

    Maybe it wouldn’t be such a puzzle if the ford (and GM execs) realized that the american consumers are searching for better fuel-efficient cars. and basically their cars are not only fuel-inefficent, they’re the exact opposite: gas guzzlers. while Toyota trailblazes the industry in producing more and more fuel-efficient cars. of course labor division may also have something to do with it.

    Karl, I stand corrected. perhaps i had that notion that he was interred at Libingan bec. well i automatically assumed that all our heroes would’ve been… tnx for the correction

    Benigno, memes are not exactly what i envision when i pine for memory inheritance. the most successful memes aren’t exactly the best ones in terms of value. the most successful are those that contain self-propagating and self-saving mechanisms. christianity for example is one of the most widespread religion bec baptism is self-propagating. normally, christian parents would have their children baptized during infancy. there is no element of choice. the child would be instructed and raised in the beliefs of the religion, and would thereby be successfully implanted with the christianity meme. that is self-propagating. and jz to insure its survival, christianity threatens that salvation only lies with their religion. it is self-saving.

    memes are diffrent from memories inherited directly like genes in the sense that inherited memories and ideas would not be diluted, would not be modified externally, and would not contain any selfish mechanism for survival. people would then have a huge library of history to learn from, and ideas would evolve the right way. trial and error with only the best surviving.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on August 16, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    The Americans are not saving anymore. On the contrary, they are deep in hock. That’s why Wall Street is plunging on credit concerns. The Chinese and Japanese have all their money in US Treasuries and are financing the Americans’ spending.

    Climate? Siguro, “weather, weather” lang yan.

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