While Burma burned, Neri turned tail

I’m off to Bacolod, so no blogging for the next few days, I must confess, good riddance to Metro Manila for now. Manila Bay Watch knows why I’m happy to get out of town. As the best headline of yesterday put it, Neri shields Arroyo from ZTE mess, gags self through ‘464’. Exactly.

Yesterday, the crackdown in Burma began. The Guardian published an eyewitness account by a young protester, ‘The middle class are now poor, the poor are destitute’. It also reports Burma bloggers keep one step ahead of junta. A Guardian reporter has been blogging updates, see Burma Protests.

And see the online paper by Burmese exiles, The Irrawaddy News, for updates on the goings-on in Burma.

Meanwhile, Cracks Showing in Burma’s Junta:

Sources say that foreign diplomats are heading for Rangoon, perhaps on a chartered flight, to seek a way out of the worst crisis the country’s ruling military junta has faced since seizing power in 1988 in a bloody crackdown on democracy protesters.There are signs that a diplomatic initiative to find a solution to the crisis in Burma is underway as splits may be developing in the ruling junta.

At least some of the ruling junta’s generals are reported to be “in shock” at the uprising of the nation’s revered clerics. With monks in play, the crisis is worse than the junta could have imagined and some military leaders are reportedly deeply worried that the situation may already be out of hand.

A source informed Asia Sentinel that some regional commanders have sent word to their superiors that they will not attack monks. They will reportedly guarantee the safety of the monks.

The wild card in the crisis is the role of Aung Sang Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate and leader of the opposition National League for Democracy. The generals despise “the lady,” as she is known, sources say, and some alternative to her may need to be found.

Blogger Bangkok Pundit compares whats going on in Burma to the Philippines in 1986:

Not to go over the top with analogies with the People’s Power movement, but there were two key events at that time (1) the very public defections of 2 key Marcos supporters/advisers Enrile and Ramos which weakened the powers of the state over the citizenry, and (2) the US providing Marcos with an opportunity for a clean break.

On (1), we will have to wait and see whether there are any key defections and this would be a real tipping point. It might not be so public as it was in the Philippines and it might be done in private, but unless there are some defections I can’t see how the people can overcome the state’s monopoly of force. On (2) I support such moves as providing an incentive for a dictator to leave office can help ensure a clean break without much or any bloodshed – something which is being tried in Zimbabwe. Obviously, you need to make sure there is a new government which is democratically elected…

Personally, I hope to God columnist Carmen Pedrosa is rethinking her recent endorsement of those with a collaborationist (and relativist) attitude towards the Junta:

Like other more aware Burmese, he rejects western media’s attempts to simplify its problems. That simplification has misled many to think of Burma as an — isolated country ruled by a military dictatorship; and that the solution is to remove the ruling junta, recognize the election last May 1990 and install National League for Democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi in its place. The ASEAN foreign ministers are equally captive of this kind of thinking and makes for the impatience about the democratization of Burma to give the group a ‘better image.’

How many of those who sat around the ASEAN table, or the larger audience who read newspapers, know for example that Myanmar (Burma) is much more complex than they make of it. Ambassador Thaung Tun speaks for his government and many of his countrymen when he agrees to enshrine human rights in the charter albeit not through a shame and blame rights body. Like a true Asian, Thaung Tun, talks about ‘consultations’ rather than the more Western ‘confrontations’.

Yes, much more complex, indeed, in need of a more pragmatic way forward. Like truncheons and tear gas? Asian values indeed!

Here, at home, no bravery’s to be found. A lot of Dutch courage in official circles, perhaps. The Palace has managed to hold the line and can take a breather. The Philippine Star editorial yesterday was prescient:

Those hoping that Neri would have something more substantive to say Wednesday may be in for a disappointment. If the initial reports are accurate, Neri could provide a direct link between the questionable deal and President Arroyo herself. But Neri has given no indication that he is about to provide the noose for the President’s hanging. He was reportedly set to join the President last night in her trip to New York for the annual gathering of the United Nations General Assembly. But amid the furor generated by news reports identifying members of the presidential delegation, Neri was ordered to stay behind and face the Senate. The man is loyal to his boss, and it is bound to show in his testimony Wednesday.

See Marichu Lambino for a lawyer’s take on what the President has basically had to stipulate. Philippines Without Borders pens an op-ed piece thinks Neri’s part of the whole mess. As Parallel Universe thinks, the plot thickens. Slap Happy seems to think so, too. Postcard Headlines found some humor in the whole thing.

Patsada Karajaw says Neri copped out. I agree. Stella Arnaldo calls him a wimp, who has done institutional damage:

By running away from the truth, Neri has singlehandedly destroyed the credibility of NEDA, a government agency tasked to assess all major government projects and monitor the implementation and use of overseas development assistance. He even allowed his Presidentita to take over its oversight functions. (A text message from a former DG: “Deliberate ‘yan: Destroy NEDA’s oversight function so the plunder agenda would meet no resistance.”) I can imagine the frustration of all the hardworking good people over there.

But Uniffors, who pens an eyewitness account of being at the Senate yesterday, says Neri was a rat:

The little shit hid behind executive privilege all day, refusing to reveal any more than that he reported the bribe offer to Gloria.

I must admit I was too distracted, enjoying too immensely, the skewering of Abalos I did not catch on to Neri immediately.

It was Ping Lacson who finally exposed Neri.

Lacson realized that Neri was not going to budge from his executive privelege position so he offered Neri a way out. If he couldn’t talk because of executive privilege then maybe Bondoc could do it for him, considering that he was a source of many of Bondoc’s information.

So Lacson asked Jarius Bondoc how many times he talked to Neri and if he was willing to reveal what they talked about.

Jarius replied, ‘yes but I have to ask Neri’s permission first.’

Lacson then asked Neri if he would permit Jarius to reveal the contents of their conversations.

Neri replied, ‘I will not grant permission.’

That’s it, I told myself. Neri was sent to rat on Abalos. He didn’t go to the Senate to tell the truth. He went there to throw Abalos to the wolves…

The worst character in any criminal enterprise is the gang member who rats, the one who acts as the pawn to protect the capo de tuti capo by sacrificing another loyal consigliori.

I thought Neri was an eagle. He is a bat. A rat with wings.

If that was too much, console yourself with this puff piece.

This comment in Ricky Carandang’s blog was also shrewd and on the button, I think:

I believe Romy Neri has two things in his mind. He wants to fight corruption and the best way to show it is to expose Abalos. On the other hand he does not want chaos by exposing GMA, he knows that it will trigger street protest, bring down the economy, create a crisis, usher in the uncertainties of a De Castro presidency. Maybe looking at some of the opposition senators he might tell himself “dito ko ba sa mga ito ipagkakatiwala ang katotohanan, they can’t handle the truth”.And maybe if the senators eliciting the truth were Ninoy Aquino, Lorenzo Tanada, Jose “pepe” Diokno, and Jovy Salonga kaninang umaga pa natin alam ang katotohanan.

But nonetheless Romy Neri is not the judge of who deserves the truth. Poor guy, he’s playing God.

So there. Theoretically, there was much to admire in Neri on Regulatory Capture. But he’s been captured and he can’t even say he’s a prisoner of conscience.

You know, a few days ago, Atenean friends forwarded me this picture:

Animo La Salle
The Spelling-challenged.

And fair being fair, I think the LaSallians ought to email all their Ateneo friends this picture:
Gma+Neri
The Integrity-challenged.

Cuz yu ken alwayz larn haw tuh spayl but if yu dunt knoe rayt frum wrowng bah noe, iz two layt.

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    • ramrod on September 29, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    “If the rest of the world stood up to China and threatened to boycott the Beijing Olympics next year unless she uses her influence on Burma, China would be backed into a corner and forced to alter her position.”

    This will never happen, at least from “International Business” point of view. The most that the UN can do is make a united positioning statement of “condemnation.” An embargo or any other sanction would only make it worst for the Burmese people. History will also show that intervening “militarily” in another country’s problems do not have any positive results ie Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, (the list goes on), and is not considered “good” foreign policy (the Americans do not seem to get this).
    Burma’s hope is that the popular uprising will affect the military (junior officers)and enlighten them of the plight they are in and support the people. Only they as a people can dictate their destiny and manage the transition from dictatorship to democracy after they have managed to oust this current leadership. Of course this is going to be bloody (or not)remember “the tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and despots.” I stand corrected if I wasn’t able to quote that verbatimly correct.
    Even during Hitler’s time, there was a group of officers (his officers) that tried to assasinate him.

    • Francis on September 29, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Ramrod,

    “The Filipinos might try to go beyond the “Oust GMA” noise and see if there is logic to her direction or vision.
    I have this impression that the opposition has adopted a “scorched earth” strategy to discredit if not demolish the present administration no matter what the cost – even to the point of sabotaging the economy just to prove a point.”

    Isn’t it exactly what Gloria the almighty and her co-conspirators the Civil Society (better known in the free world outside of the Philippine press as the “Evil Society”)…sabotage the Economy for the downfall of an Actor and a womaniser….oh la la

    • ramrod on September 29, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Francis,

    Precisely. I admit during that time, I gave instructions to the whole company to take the afternoon off and join the movement to oust Erap and went there myself to witness “history in the making.” The Civil Society is nothing but a bunch of opportunists and after seeing the events that unfolded “after the fact” I vowed never again to be duped into leading people to their doom.
    My point is that we should be wary of who we listen to or follow. If we go back to basics “review our contract” in this case our “constitution,” as this is supposedly our guide on how to manage our country. Check our leaders, are they abiding with the contract or bull shitting us? In the end, it will be another mistake to replace a standing administration “unconstitutionally,” we have to let nature run its course and allow “democratic processes” to eventually free us from this delima.

    • ramrod on September 29, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    Given that our situation now (as before) is characterised by a crises in leadership, I’m curious who are the leaders that we should consider in 2010? Since I’m not that in touch with Philippine politics I ask anyone who can read this to give his two cents worth on the following names.

    1. Villar
    2. Defensor
    3. Escudero
    4. Gordon
    5. Lacson

    • Francis on September 29, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    To the once whose hands are full of stone and ready to condemn me to my death;

    Before the condemnation continuous on my stand for the truth/fact in relation to biblical events and interpretation not to mention it is not even a research based book but an interpretation of an event that happened in just before the end of the Roman Empire. Take note, that the Roman Empire and it’s religious belief are now confined to museums of the world as part of the worlds heritage and history: truth in the end prevails and that nothing last forever not even a religion, unless your not aware, the religions of the past have survived for thousand of years only and that is bound to happen to yours and mine, a very good example of which is the demise of the Philippines religion and beliefs with the arrival of Christianity. Religion in the end if used as a weapon to control or govern other whose own happiness not depends on it will ultimately be vanished or confined to history and perhaps a new faith will arrive. And do not continue to condemn when you have a national hero (Jose Rizal) who has stop believing in that religious institution towards the end of his life.

    Let me ask you a question. Would you really vote for a Muslim whose Islamic belief is different from that of your Catholic Upbringing? For President of the Philippines comes Election 2010? Let’s pretend for arguments sake that this Muslim presidential candidate and his party is the only one amongst the candidates who can offer the best platform of government that will solve the divisiveness, the economic confusion, the politicised military, etc, etc. I will vote for him, provided amongst other that he will not bring his religious belief or that belief in his faith would not influence his decision making in government. Do I have that choice amongst our Catholic candidates? I don’t think so as all of them from Marcos, Cory, Ramos, Erap and the almighty Gloria seems to have taken cue from the Lord above. I doubt if there is a single one of our presidents who have not been influenced by their Christian faith in governance after all a government is for the people, of the people and by the people irregardless of faith, sexual orientation or preference, color, social status, and because the majority are Catholics or Christians.

    Now, search your Christian soul and tell me. Would you vote for this Muslim as the President of the Philippines?
    Would you vote for a homosexual whose first-lady-man-first-husband whatever your Bible so despise?

    What kind of religion is that? A vindictive religion isn’t it?

  1. Francis, what’s up your ass? Not all people here are as fixated with religion as you are. Either fixatedly defending or bashing it. Certainly not regular posters in this blog. So whatever unvented frustrations you have at the Catholic church, kindly take it directly to them. it is annoying enough when preachers get on the bus and blare to everyone to repent or perish, but when people like you get on your amoral high ground and issue sweeping statements like “all you christian loving pigs” or “search your christian soul,” it really takes the cake – it does. especially when you claim to have an open mind yet can’t seem to grasp the idea that people aren’t either/or not christians, muslims or what not, some of them are just plain baptized that way but are not practitioners of their faith. i am especially annoyed at the fact that you keep harping on like you have a monopoly on truth. is that some kind of commodity you buy somewhere?

    Heed ramrod’s words before you completely turn into just a rabble rouser without a cause.

    be objective?

    how about be relative?

  2. “My point is: mainstream media are quick to come to the succor of the real powers that be that control them and then deflect the blame to others such as the usual scapegoats, the beat-up trapos and the government at the slightest chance the spotlight could be focused on the sins and omissions of the ‘oligarchic elites.’”

    Abe, since mainstream won’t do it, why not us bloggers? do we know who these oligarchs are?

    I believe the lynching will start real soon. Francis here is raring to have a get-go at the folks. we could hand him Gaudencio Rosales’ picture as an appetizer. he seems to have an apparent zeal of hate for men in robes.

  3. Francis,

    What is exactly your point?

    • ramrod on September 29, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    Francis,

    I apologize for my earlier reaction to your comments on Jesus Christ, its just that it struck a familiar chord. I will not be a hypocrite and say that I did not question the “faith” when I was young and at that time rebellious. I even went to the extent of calling the “crucifixion” as the greatest suicide in history right in our parish priest’s face. It was not until I was challenged by my Philosophy professor in college to “prove the existence of God” just for argument’s sake (graded of course). It was then that I started to study the bible, I mean really study, not just read, together with some awesome christians, that I realized my foolishness and humbled myself to a force/being that my finite intellect can never fathom. I will sound fanatical if I tell you that its true. If you really apply yourself and obey His word, he will give you the desires of your heart, spiritual, material things and all.
    Of course due to some aspects of my sinful nature I’m not as faithful as I was before. I will tell you its a lot better than having only to rely only on yourself especially during the worst moments of your life, which there always are. Everytime you give 100% of yourself to any endeavor it becomes a life changing experience. I’m sharing you this because there might not be any other time… You seem to be a passionate individual – channel that passion to something worthwhile and everlasting.

  4. having an impressionable mind, and a passionate heart is a combustible combination.

    let’s hope Francis is guided by someone with more wisdom than empty texts, books, and researches that have no souls…

    • nash on September 30, 2007 at 12:31 am

    ramrod,

    I agree with you but unless these companies are actually serious about ‘technology transfer’ and allowing ‘value added’ services to prosper, you don’t need to invest 5 years for a degree when you can be hired as an apprentice at the age of 16.

    and still!! you don’t need to be an engineer to grasps these concepts of ‘efficiency’ “TQE” etc etc., Granted you need a minimum IQ, these are things you can learn on the job.

    I’m simply lamenting the fact that engineers don’t get the proper jobs they thought they’d get for 5 years of education paid for by their parents.

    cheers
    😀

    • ramrod on September 30, 2007 at 12:52 am

    Nash,

    I’m sorry to hear that. I believe this issue is something our senators or congressmen should look into asap and come up with something that can change this situation. I had this impression that an engineering degree would give you more chances of getting promoted later on even if you had to start with being a “cadet engineer” which during my father’s time was the same as “janitor.” Does this mean that after all these years we still haven’t graduated from our status of “manual labor” source even in these tech centers? We really are in deep trouble if this is the case.

    • ramrod on September 30, 2007 at 1:00 am

    Francis,

    Try to get a copy of the book “Only the Real Matters” by your namesake Francis Kong. Its really very enlightening and coming from one of our successful businessmen, he “walks the talk.”

    • Francis on September 30, 2007 at 2:34 am

    DevilsAdvc8,
    Karl Garcia,
    Ramrod

    All you’ve written are NOTED

    • Francis on September 30, 2007 at 2:35 am

    To Blogster,

    Apology for sounding condescending in my blogstence based on some interpretation of some readers. It was never an intention to insult or impose different views or thinking on others though I cannot say the same for the Catholic institution. I am never going to be one of the many saints of a religion whose beautification come about because of death of other culture and religion, the blood staining of villages soil in the name of Christianity and the like and the delusional Canon that select few gospels to be it’s chapters in a book that came to be called the Bible. It’s like economics, spin and dominance and in our modern society called the Public Relation or again Spin. I certainly believe that people will make up their own minds anyway irregardless of what other say. The important thing is NOT to monopolise beliefs and censor the truth and stop the fact from coming out. More importantly; is to govern not because of your religious conviction but because of the fundamentals of human rights and fairness. Democracy.

    • Francis on September 30, 2007 at 2:35 am

    The blogs were reply to the most I can to an open forum on the ills and events that befalls our nation by the players such as the Catholic institution, the military, the un-even facts of Philippine history. History redeems itself in the end and things and events happened also to prove the wrong method of such institutions. It’s like saying that at the end, something’s gotta give. And that is when it redeems itself in history due to the delusion of those before us who believe that we should have faith only in one God or even believe in God. Let us embrace this delusion and see where it going to deliver us. I see war and destruction and catastrophe due to religion. I only wish that we listen to John Lennon when he wrote the song “Imagine” and he goes on to sing it “and no religion too”. What did the Christian fundamentalist of America did? They change the lyrics so that it will be “and One Religion too”? Wow, what the nerve, isn’t it calling for war with the Islam believers? No wonder, the poor Muslims are fighting for their faith the way their Koran told them just like in the Bible. Kill the infidels. If Jesus in our present society would walk in the streets and call himself the Son of God, would he not end up in a mental institution?

    • Francis on September 30, 2007 at 2:36 am

    That however, will not change the fact about the evil that Christianity has delivered to it’s believers from time immemorial. Perhaps equalling the good it did as well. Richard Dawkins remarks is asking “What have been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity: in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution”. It is my stand to help the laity to open their minds after they have deciphered both evidence in relation to their faith and politics otherwise the Philippines will continuously have Edsa’s of different episode, of different oligarchs, of selective portrayals. There was once a man who hath said that religion to the wise is false, those in power/ruler useful and to the laity/common people is true. Where you are on this deduction is yours to play.

    • Francis on September 30, 2007 at 2:36 am

    Anyone who claims to be the Son of God, he must have been either right or else insane or a liar in other word lunatic, liar or lord and that goes to AVE MAREA too (M for Marcos, A for Aquino, R for Ramos, E for Ejercito/Estrada and A for Arroyo…now don’t get superstitious on me now by putting a meaning of MAREA in Philippines religiosity means the Philippines is God’s chosen one because if there is really a God he will never have favouritism) AVE MAREA indeed. I can laugh now.

    Someone mentioned the “The Da Vince Code”, rightly or wrongly. I dare say it is an excellent fiction of our modern times. What a very smart author indeed. That story is obviously based the previous stories in the Gospels of the Bible. Does anyone ever know that this gospels or comics were written 100 years latter after the death of Jesus Christ? And then, 300 years latter few Gospels were chosen amongst about a dozen to be part of the official book we call now the Bible. Imprimatur, if the Bible is written in our present times it would have won the Best Fictional Book of the year award. Then, voila, comes the Gospel according to Judas, written by Judas followers about 100 to 300 years latter BC. Wherein; it is alleged that it was actually Jesus himself who ask Judas for that kiss so that the prophecy would become a reality. Genius indeed, engineering an event for posterity so that it will be believable. Seems to me that Jesus; is the one of the greatest politician amongst the history of mankind. Great engineering. Now, let me ask you a question. What is the difference between the “Da Vince Code” and the Gospels in the Bible? The answer is; whereas the “Da Vinci Code” is an excellent fiction of our modern world. The Gospels in the Bible is an excellent fiction in the ancient world. Dare I say that, I will be condemned by the common people and by the clergy who makes a living out of it. It’s time to pay your taxis bishops and return the loot from the contribution coming from the jueting money as you have ask Erap to return that money to the government then you should return that too.

    • Francis on September 30, 2007 at 2:37 am

    “Truth, in matters of opinion is simply the opinion that has survived” by Oscar Wilde

    • Francis on September 30, 2007 at 2:37 am

    Which religion is the most intellectually designed of them all? Think of Tom Cruise and you got the answer.

    • Francis on September 30, 2007 at 2:55 am

    Correction

    “Truth, in matters of religion, (not opinion) is simply the opinion that has survived” by Oscar Wilde

    • cvj on September 30, 2007 at 4:14 am

    Ramrod, my two cents:

    1. Villar – Gloria Arroyo part 2.
    2. Defensor – shows promise, but must first spend time in the wilderness for her support of Arroyo.
    3. Escudero – Annakin Skywalker
    4. Gordon – Atenean
    5. Lacson – Stalin

    • cvj on September 30, 2007 at 4:29 am

    Ramrod, i agree with your sober take in dealing with China. Some interested parties want the ZTE scandal to turn into a generalized China-bashing session which is foolish foreign and economic policy.

    • tonio on September 30, 2007 at 4:51 am

    cvj:

    yeah, i agree with your reading there. especially with Defensor. he used to be halfway decent, until he became Arroyo’s whipping boy. Atenean? you say it as if it’s such a bad word. :p

    lots of interesting stuff in the comments so far. this blog has indeed taken on a life of its own. 🙂

    • tonio on September 30, 2007 at 4:55 am

    a lot of effort is being expended in the Western world to portray China as a self-centred economic power ruled by barbaric, godless communist cabal who aren’t afraid to trample on individual rights in order to achieve their goals, an unscrupulous player on the economic scene who can’t be trusted.

    how much of this is truth, and how much of it an attempt by the West to defend their economic position?

    • Francis on September 30, 2007 at 8:54 am

    Correction

    The Gospel of Judas was alleged to have been written about the same time as the rest of the Gospels which is about 100 to 300 years after Jesus death.

    Thanks

    • Bencard on September 30, 2007 at 8:59 am

    francis, re your query as to what happens if a muslim was elected president and try to separate government from religion. most probably: assassination, either by a muslim fundamentalist jihadist for not following muslim dogma, or by a christian fanatic for being a heretic. as the saying goes, there’s a snake in every jungle.

    as to a homosexual president, i don’t see any problem as long as he/she stays away from aberrant sexual behavior in a public bathroom, or does it in any other place and gets caught in the act. well, that goes for a straight president too, in any event.

    btw, you present a persuasive but very disturbing argument. i suggest you read st. thomas aquinas’ summa theologica when you get the chance. it might change your perspective.

    • Bencard on September 30, 2007 at 9:19 am

    p.s., every organized religion claims to have been established by God, but all are run and governed by men. human institutions are imperfect by virtue of its humanity.i guess we don’t have most of the answers to every divine mystery. we only have faith – each to his own. i don’t think any one has any “right” to denigrate any particular faith or religion because of its imperfections. nevertheless, i don’t believe any civilized religion has any right to exhort its faithful to annihilate everyone outside of its faith. i think mutual respect and tolerance (if love is not possible) among all faiths, is the key to world peace.

    • Francis on September 30, 2007 at 9:50 am

    I am really inclined to think that the Filipinos have not learned from the “pusila, pusila episode” of the assassination of Ninoy Aquino on 21st August 1983 which galvanised the Edsa 1 power grab or pseudo revolution, the “walang himala” episode from the genius screenplay of Ricky Lee, the “ take it, take it” episode of the 1994 Metro Manila Film Festival scandal, the “I am sorry” episode on the infamous “Hello Garci” electoral cheating by Gloria Arroyo in 27th June 2005, the “ I shall return” episode of 1942 by the American general Douglas McArthur, the 21st September 1972 declaration of the martial law and most especially the 1542 arrival and introduction of Christianity to the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan and sadly the usurping of power from the real revolutionary Bonifacio by Aguinaldo declaring 12th of June 1898 as the Philippines Independence. More than anything; the Filipinos watch in the sideline for its entertainment value not knowing that they will be the losers in the end. What have we learned from all of this is very much unclear. Sadly, we have now a society which is more of an Aguinado than a Bonifacio. And so the revolution was half baked and was never completed. And so we have illegitimate constitution, illegitimate President, and etc, etc. What is the common denominator of this entire episode? You tell me. My lips are sealed at this point.

    • Francis on September 30, 2007 at 10:08 am

    Bencard,

    RE:

    Thomas Aquinas proof of the existence of God.

    He has presented five proofs of the existence of God in the 13th century. Result? Let’s discuss the omniscient (unlimited knowledge) and omnipotence (unlimited power) argument. Supposing God as presented by Aquinas has both the two qualities of a God. Then, tell me how could he not prevent the Philippines being a Catholic country and believer of Christianity saved from the MAREA (Marcos, Aquino, Ramos, Erap and Arroyo)? Knowing very well; that such events would be divisive to his followers in this biblically forbidden country such as ours. Simple as that. I can expound it even more if you so requested.

    • Francis on September 30, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Bencard,

    I praise your “mutual respect and tolerance (if love is not possible) among all faiths, is the key to world peace.”
    Excellent.
    After all, such tolerance coming from bloggers makes one feel better about our co-existence. Which the Philippines are hopefully is not way behind.
    Respect; as you have said, and rightly so I agree. Moreover, tolerance on issues and so the Filipinos will mature as a nation.
    Sadly, someone’s asking “what’s up my arse?” rather than saying that I respect your opinion though I do not agree with you and hopefully presented some sort of proof rather than defining once blog as “having an impressionable mind, and a passionate heart is a combustible combination” and hoping that such a lost blogger is “guided by someone with more wisdom than empty texts, books, and researches that have no souls”
    This reminded me of George Carlin when he said and I quote” Religion has actually convinced people that there is an invisible man-living in the sky-who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ‘till the end of time…..BUT HE LOVES YOU” Strange.
    Very strange indeed, and this finally leads me to one of the greatest and well known scientist of Jewish parentage Albert Einstein. “Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming so divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men-above all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends.”

  5. cvj, ramrod – none in the list are palatable to me. Bayani Fernando would be more ok for me than any of them. I used to believe Villar would be a-ok. Not superb, not horrible, just average. (and as for presidentiables, that’s the best you can hope for) But these events after the elections have been really a let down. Suffice to say I am very much disappointed in him.

    tonio, noticed as well eh? the drive to portray China as a bad manufacturer has really succeeded. the US is hitting China where it matters – economy. that’s what they did to the USSR during the cold war. the big bad lone superpower afraid of China rivaling it, eh? but China’s rise as a superpower is inevitable.

    The US should’ve taken a lesson from Rome. collapse of superpowers happen internally. the degeneration of Rome’s societal values, endemic corruption, dumbening down of citizens, armies stretched thin, armies sent outside the state and there spent or destroyed – these are hallmark symptoms of the US today. in my blog I predicted the US to be a superpower no more in 10 years. that was 2 years ago. they’re still following the course of destruction faithfully, thanks to the neocons.

    Francis, for guidance, I refer you to the humanist manifesto. (i wanted to post a link, but since Manolo is away, it won’t be approved til he comes back) so just search for it in google. or look for it in my blog with the title: I’ve jz been converted to Humanism. i think Humanism would suit you well. just tone down on the rabidity, and you’ll be fine.

    • Pian on September 30, 2007 at 10:56 am

    TO ALL
    I know this to be out of place. Please bear with me. I just want to create awareness by choosing the busy forum or the latest.
    Do consider Dr. Martin Bautista for the next elections obviously (a senatorial candidate of ‘Ang Kapatiran’ together with Adrian Sison and Zosimo Paredes). He’s a 45-year-old gastroenterologist in the US who came home after 17 years. You can see from his background that he truly means service. For those who find him to be a hypocrite for working abroad, do understand he’s a family man who needs to sustain his family, that he will be able to keep his independence by not relying on public funds to support his family. He helps his countrymen in his capacity but it’s just not enough for there are millions of Filipinos. It’s a good start in Philippine Politics to have him and his party around.
    I urge you to forward/text/inform all your contacts about them. I believe they only lack exposure that’s why I’m doing this. But I can’t do it alone so I’m appealing to everyone’s help. If all will inform their contacts about them and urge them as well to forward, we might hit a million.
    We cannot afford to be indifferent now if we want meaningful change. Otherwise we only have ourselves to blame. BUT TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

    • Francis on September 30, 2007 at 11:10 am

    DevilsAdvc8,

    Thanks. I just wonder weather the humanism you reffer to me is the same book that I have read and love very much.

    It is entitled.

    Affirmations (Joyful and Creative Exuberance) by Paul Kurtz.

    Do let me know of the website and am going to have a look at that.

    • supremo on September 30, 2007 at 11:28 am

    1. Villar – this guy could bankrupt the country.
    2. Defensor – plain nuts!
    3. Escudero – has potential but I’m beginning to see the dark force in him.
    4. Gordon – should just go back to Olongapo.
    5. Lacson – wasted his opportunity when he didn’t ran as VP of FPJ. FPJ could have won and he could have succeeded as President. Another Enrile (useless) in the making. Should shoot himself in the head.
    More!
    6. Roxas – needs tomtom for navigation. should drop pa-cute image.
    7. Loren – should get tomtom too. talk to roxas to get volume discount.
    8. De Castro – got invitation to attend VP’s cocktail party Oct. 3. in NYC. I’ll just watch Deal or No Deal.
    We desperately need more choices!
    The Philippine government should declare the 2010 Presidential elections as a free for all. Anybody who wants to run for President should be allowed to run as long as they meet the constitutional requirements. No one should be declared as a nuisance candidate.

    • justice in waiting on September 30, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    I don’t think any personality as President will be able to bring any meaningful changes to the Governance, unless the Institutions as they are now, under the old system of Oligarchy, where others are above the law and some have no meaning in Law are look after first and start the Uprooting and total reform, starting from the re-examination if the present system of Government is the one fit for the country and if it is what can be done to make the bodies and politicians more accountable to the subjects. If the system needs replacement (for example, the lack of independence of other branches of government from one another) then, don’t be shy to do the changes.

    But I still suggest to look at a Strong Party System of Government, where the most progressive young countries of the world most are having, Australia, New Zealand, even Singapore, with its imperfections has work wonders to its welfare. It is on the top ten of the Least Corrupt countries and the subjects are happy with its imperfections, thereby making it almost as perfect.

    Advantage of the Party System in A democracy is the voters are not looking more at the qualifications or personalities of who is going to lead, but the ideologies and programs of the parties and if not happy with their choice can throw out the Party out of Government the next election and not resorting to choosing an individual. It is for the party membership to choose their leaders, who may become the country’s leader if he or she can convince the voters of Bringing food and shelter and security to them during its mandate. And let the institutions that are already in place keep the government and the country stable whoever or whichever party led the Government… and that would be fair Justice to all…

    • inodoro ni emilie on September 30, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    is it true that abalos called up norman black early this morning and telegraphed this message, “psst, may 200 ka dito?”

    to all those proposing national senatoriables: let’s go federal first. high time for the southern regions to show and lead the paths to devolution and development.

  6. supremo, my god! that’d be a nightmare! we’d have how many candidates? altho, i submit it’s enticing if we only modify it a little. why not conduct pre-elections ala primaries like in the US? the 2 presidentiables with the highest votes remain as the only valid candidates and we proceed on to vote any of the two. eliminates presidents with only a minority mandate, strategic but ethically unsound votes, plus it increases the chances of good candidates that are deemed “unwinnable” in a national race.

    Francis, I don’t know abt the book you’ve read, but if its abt humanism, then i guess it largely follows the basics of the humanist manifesto. i’ll break the link here. just add http:// and remove the spaces

    bhapu. blogs. friendster.com/ rendezvous_in_dreams/ 2007/08/ ive_just_been_c.html

    and mini-me! i am jz feverish and unable to contain this! pls follow the link. this story largely emphasizes the point I make in my blog (click my name, it’s my latest entry) abt depending on private companies for online infrastructure. this is the US we’re talking abt here. almost same problems, same dilemmas. they’ve tried the private route, and went kaput.

    http://www.slate.com /id /2174858/

    • ramrod on September 30, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    So he/she will be a dark horse then. Someone untainted by partisan politics but patriotic and visionary. I don’t think he/she should have an IQ of a genius also. Can we find someone who’s attitudinal system is governed by principles so that he/she makes decisions based on principles and not on selfish pursuits or plain popularity. Someone who is not a religious bigot (for Francis’ sake). If we take a lesson from history a lot of great leaders who achieved great things were not perfect human beings in fact their eccentricities sometimes outweigh their virtues but their achievements became monuments of human potential. At times “greatness” was thrust into them as unwilling participants in the beginning.
    And how do we deal with the sad fact that a majority of our voting public can be swayed by people who give them money? Our penchant for the “Robin Hood” types who “gives to the poor” never mind where they got the money from?
    At this point, because we don’t have any names worth discussing yet, I nominate Francis. Allow us the the honor of your “platform.” I’m just kidding, but if you have any ideas (constructive this time) lets have them.

  7. (sorry Manolo. im reposting this. kindly ignore the moderated post. the h t t p got caught)

    supremo, my god! that’d be a nightmare! we’d have how many candidates? altho, i submit it’s enticing if we only modify it a little. why not conduct pre-elections ala primaries like in the US? the 2 presidentiables with the highest votes remain as the only valid candidates and we proceed on to vote any of the two. eliminates presidents with only a minority mandate, strategic but ethically unsound votes, plus it increases the chances of good candidates that are deemed “unwinnable” in a national race.

    Francis, I don’t know abt the book you’ve read, but if its abt humanism, then i guess it largely follows the basics of the humanist manifesto. i’ll break the link here. just add h t t p colon slash slash and remove the spaces

    bhapu. blogs. friendster.com/ rendezvous_in_dreams/ 2007/08/ ive_just_been_c.html

    and mini-me! i am jz feverish and unable to contain this! pls follow the link. this story largely emphasizes the point I make in my blog (click my name, it’s my latest entry) abt depending on private companies for online infrastructure. this is the US we’re talking abt here. almost same problems, same dilemmas. they’ve tried the private route, and went kaput.

    http://www.slate.com /id /2174858/

    • ramrod on September 30, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    “But I still suggest to look at a Strong Party System of Government, where the most progressive young countries of the world most are having, Australia, New Zealand, even Singapore, with its imperfections has work wonders to its welfare. It is on the top ten of the Least Corrupt countries and the subjects are happy with its imperfections, thereby making it almost as perfect.”

    I am inclined to agree with Justice in Waiting on this. Although a lot of people will disagree with me, I find the Singapore model attractive at this point. It has its imperfections if we look at it from the “American” model of democracy, especially because we are used to a free media but why not look at it differently? There is cultural and religious tolerance, the economy is very strong, the public officials are paid enough to make it justifiable to “inhumanly” punish those who steal, and the people have this common pride in themselves as “Singaporeans” to the point that they appear snobbish or even “elitists.” There are no rich landed class to influence governmen policies, just this pervasive attitude that there is not much time, more money must be made but through honest to goodness work, work, work.

    • BrianB on September 30, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    Guys, there’s a report on Inquirer that Neri was about to spill it all but was stopped by Joker and Andaya. During the Executive session.

    Sorry tried to post the link several times but failed.

    • cvj on September 30, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    ramrod, one of the imperfections of Singapore’s system has to do with the lack of freedom of its media. i don’t see how replicating that lack of transparency would help us at home especially after seeing how Executive Privilege is used to cover up corruption at the highest levels.

    • ramrod on September 30, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    BrianB,

    If this is true, all the more that they should bring this matter for the court to decide. Deligent gathering and evaluation of evidence, fact-finding, etc. as this speculations though they sell a lot of newspapers will not be much if there is no “result” in the end. “Heads must roll!”

  8. BrianB, already read that one. Neri is begging to be “caught.” he feels this absolves him from the president’s wrath.

    he’ll throw up his hands at GMA and say: sorry, did all my best. and clap inside.

    • ramrod on September 30, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    cvj,

    I see your point there. Unless we can come up with a team, a “management team” if you will, that can be accountable to run this nation, that kind of power is very dangerous indeed. Is it possible then to manage this country as a business, based on balance sheets, profit and loss analysis,wherein the team must present periodically accurate figures on how the country is faring? I noticed that our SONAs were not satisfactory as I don’t see any concrete objectives, timelines, and measurable successes. Maybe its time to move out of the “showbiz” type of politics wherein our extremely psywar and media savy politicians and political strategists prey on our emotions and misdirect our attention from “real” and “serious” issues?

    • ramrod on September 30, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    I read the article also just now, I wanted to copy and paste it here but I saw the copyright notice in the bottom. Neri is not prepared for all this, I see that it is not in his personality to deal with all this pressure. I wish someone or some “group” would secure his and his family’s safety and allow him to speak in the proper forum, where everything is on the record. All of those involved should search their conscience and resign from their positions for “honor’s sake.” Secretary Mendoza for pete’s sake remember your “honor code” and the 2 basic questions “do I intend to deceive? do I intend to take undue advantage?” Make our lives simpler by looking at this as black or white, right or wrong and let the chips fall where they may. If its true or not that you are involved in an any anomally come out in the open once and for all otherwise the institution that you came from and claim to love, the code that has guided you and countless others will die. Quoting from the Loyalty poem by Hubbard which I know you know by heart “If you work for a man, in HEAVEN’S NAME work for him. Speak well of him, and stand by the institution he represents.” This does not entail blind loyalty at all but by a standard greater than man’s.

    • cvj on September 30, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    ramrod, a “management team” implementing a sound industrial policy (e.g. Japan Inc., Korea Inc., Taiwan Inc.) is indeed what enabled our neighbors to take off economically. Unfortunately, giving dictatorial powers to the current management team means further enabling the Arroyos (or whoever from the elite replaces them) as well as technocrats like Romulo Neri. This is counterproductive since the best use of a dictatorship is to break the oligarchy, not to make them stronger. We need to go through this stage first before we can aspire to be like our neighbors.

    As i previously blogged and commented, i think the missing step is the necessary springcleaning that would purge the current political and economic elite from their position in Philippine Society. In Japan, the Meiji had to eliminate the Samurai. In China, Mao had to drive away the warlords. In Taiwan, the ex-warlords from the mainland had to redristribute lands taken from the Taiwanese landlords and Japanese colonizers. In Singapore, they had the good fortune of having to skip this step.

    After Stage 1 socialist reforms (land reform and industrial policy) is in place, then stage 2 market reforms would then have their desired effect. Over here, we went to directly to stage 2.

    • cvj on September 30, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    [second try…my first attempt went into moderation]

    ramrod, a “management team” implementing a sound industrial policy (e.g. Japan Inc) is indeed what enabled our neighbors to take off economically. Unfortunately, giving dictatorial powers to the current management team means further enabling the Arroyos (or whoever from the elite replaces them) as well as technocrats like Romulo Neri. This is counterproductive since the best use of a dictatorship is to break the oligarchy, not to make them stronger. We need to go through this stage first before we can aspire to be like our neighbors.

    As i previously blogged and commented, i think the missing step is the necessary springcleaning that would purge the current political and economic elite from their position in Philippine Society. In Japan, the Meiji had to eliminate the Samurai. In China, Mao had to drive away the warlords. In Taiwan, the ex-warlords from the mainland had to redristribute lands taken from the Taiwanese landlords and Japanese colonizers. In Singapore, they had the good fortune of having to skip this step.

    After Stage 1 socialist reforms (land reform and industrial policy) is in place, then stage 2 market reforms would then have their desired effect. Over here, we went to directly to stage 2.

    • cvj on September 30, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Ramrod, my response to you is being eaten up by the comment moderation software, so i’ve also posted it in my blog. You can click on my name above to go there.

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