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Oct 04

Free Burma!

Free Burma!

Free Burma 01

Read the Inquirer editorial, Battle for Burma, and Alex Magno’s column, Emergency. Asia Sentinel has Horror in Burma, and asks, Where are Burma’s Monks?

The Irrawaddy News Magazine Burma Protests page has continuous updates. So does More on Burma in the Guardian Unlimited.

420 comments

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  1. ramrod

    karah,

    You still here? Etu, karah, etu. Whats the update on Burma lately?

  2. Harry

    TDC:

    it makes me barf that older people who should be more graceful in handling things are showing very good example like kvetching and bitching. oh come on. makes me sick.

  3. karah

    Ram Don’t know any updates yet. I’m just here in the Blog, refreshing and refreshing. I don’t wanna join the exchange of words because I might say unpleasant things. I’m just munching my NAGARAYA in here. 😛

  4. mlq3

    the ship’s fine:

    http://www.navy.mil.ph/Press_Release/2007/Apr/19Apr07.html

  5. Harry

    tdc: another case of hit and run, ei?

  6. ramrod

    harry,

    Now you’re making the rest of us exhibit symptoms of harry-specific androphobia. Do not forget the cardinal rule of having a pleasant personality “do not be offensive.” In speech, decorum, and odour (most especially the last one).

  7. Harry

    tdc:

    if you wanna talk about sensible things, open a topic and we’ll talk. let’s see if you’re better at discussing things or attacking people behind their backs. i thought the older bloggers in here are good example. i was mistaken.

  8. Manila Bay Watch

    Oh wow, that’s very good to hear, Manolo!

    “Three Philippine Navy vessels also participated in the training exercise namely BRP Artemio Ricarte (PS 37), BRP Bienvenido Salting (PG 112), and BRP Quezon (PS 70).”

    Am glad!

  9. Manila Bay Watch

    I would have preferred one of the Jacinto class that’s being upgraded with the latest weapons systems be renamed BRP Manuel Quezon instead but good to hear it’s still a fighting ship!

  10. ramrod

    karah,

    So you went to Daan Bantayan, where the danggit and pusit are caught, salted, and dried. I used to go there once a quarter (when you were probably 10 years old) to cover the doctors there, actually only 5, but mostly to eat seafood and relax in one of the beach resorts.

  11. Harry

    ramrod:

    i think i’ve made my point. i’ll leave it at that. i just noticed a chronic and habitual deliberate set of attacks. opinions are fine, but personal attacks and mockery are i think defies any form of decorum. whether the person is here or not, whether we like the person or not, let’s act, speak, and write like human beings. that’s all. if we behave like the very people we attack, then where’s the difference in there?

    harry clay

  12. karah

    Ram Yes, been to Daan-Bantayan but I think dried fish in Bantayan Island is still cheaper. I love danggit, pusit, and those deboned white bolinao (did I spell that right?). Been to Malapascua Island and Camotes Island as well. There are a lot of nice places in Cebu even in the countryside. I miss the Dried Mangoes.

  13. Harry

    note:

    even freedom of speech is not absolute.

  14. karah

    Didn’t know that Hit and Run Tactics is also employed here in the Blogs. 😀

  15. ramrod

    karah,

    Now Bantayan Island is an island paradise, what was the name of that popular resort there? I’m curious, what took you to all these places in the Visayas? For me it was my first job after college selling for ZPC so I had to visit every drugstore, hospital, and dispensing physicians within the vicinity of Cebu, Bohol, and Dumaguete.

  16. karah

    Ram Re: Bantayan Island Resorts, I only know of Budyong? I’m quite an adventurer but what led me to Cebu is upon the invitation of some friends. I do allocate some budget for my yearly travelling expenses – domestic & international. ZPC (Zuellig Philippines)?

    Been to Bohol as well. Panglao Island, Hinagdanan Cave, the Blood Compact site, the really cute Tarsiers in Loboc (ate at the floating restaurants at Loboc River). Of course, the Churches in Dauis, Loboc, Baclayon (interesting Museum). Been to Dumaguete as well. What I like about Dumaguete is that their street system is very easy to memorize and all roads lead to the breakwater. Nice places. And yes, Apo Island’s white sand is comparable to Boracay.

  17. Manila Bay Watch

    Ramrod,

    Read this: “Never in the history of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has one man and his criminal gang brought so much shame to our beloved organization,” said the officers in a statement distributed to media covering the court martial proceedings in Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal.

    The officers were referring to Esperon. Shit! I’m proud of those officers! That’s what I meant by moral courage!

    The reports in Ellen’s blog http://www.ellentordesillas.com says, “Military officers linked to last year’s supposed power grab attempt dared AFP chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. to “tell the truth” about allegations that the military helped rig the May 2004 polls to ensure President Arroyo’s victory.”

  18. ramrod

    Karah,

    Wow! You’ve been to places I myself wasn’t able to go to and I’ve been going to these cities for years. Yes its Zuellig Pharma, I was a drug pusher.
    Next month, November I’m sure you can’t top this trip, I’m going to visit the banana plantations in Davao of Uni Frutti and La Panday, maybe also Dole if theres time.

  19. Bencard

    ramrod, i’m sorry, i didn’t see your 9:17 am (10/5) post until now. been out of town without my laptop and missed reading the interesting discussions going on,

    too bad, you pinpointed a portion of my comment regarding refusal of a soldier to fire against violent aggressors as being a cop-out, if not dereliction of duty. you should have taken it in context with my entire comment.

    i don’t think its a prerogative of a soldier to JUDGE the constitutionality or legality of an order from the chain of command. if each of the members of the armed forces is allowed to do so, imagine the chaos that would result, ultimately resulting in each turning their weapons against one another, each claiming that he is merely following the soldier’s code of conduct.

    the constitution prescribes who determines the legality or constitutionality of an act. everyone is free to make his own interpretation at his own risk, and the one who has the final say is the supreme court of the land. the civilian government is superior over the military and the former’s orders and decisions must be obeyed by the latter without question.

    neither do i think that a soldier has the prerogative to decide for himself that a government is “illegitmate”, or that he could “withdraw” support from a government without a clear judicial mandate. this is not saying that he is barred from doing all these as a person and a citizen. but he should cease being a “soldier” of a nation and must surrender his weapons first.

    mlq3, that was a masterly analysis of the responsibility of citizenship. one can oppose and despise the incumbent but that do not excuse anyone from abiding in the rule of law. even a “de facto” government is entitled to obedience and respect, if not love, for the sake of order and peace. its lawful action has the same legal effect as that of a de jure government.

  20. Manila Bay Watch

    Bencard,

    Re: “i don’t think its a prerogative of a soldier to JUDGE the constitutionality or legality of an order from the chain of command.”

    It is THE ULTIMATE PREROGATIVE of a soldier to judge the LEGALITY OF AN ORDER!

    It behooves a soldier to INTERPRET an order when he believes it is illegal, eg. when a commander orders his troops to SET A HOUSE ON FIRE WHEN THERE ARE CHILDREN IN IT.

  21. Manila Bay Watch

    Soldier can refuse to fire at unarmed civilians even if ordered by a superior because he deems it’s ILLEGAL.

    Orders to shoot unarmed civilians, to shoot children with to kill is ILLEGAL!

  22. GPS

    Hey Bloggers, what do you make of this statement by the President whle in India, interviewed by the Malacanang Press Corp and a last minute report in the inquirer website:

    “Arroyo also admitted for the first time that former socioeconomics secretary Romulo Neri had informed her of the alleged bribery attempt of erstwhile elections chief Benjamin Abalos Sr.

    “Yeah, I can confirm that,” said Arroyo.

    But she told the former socioeconomic secretary to reject the alleged offer. The President did not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the bribery.”

    Inquirer report as of 11:44 p.m.
    MANILA, Philippines — A new impeachment complaint was filed against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Friday at the House of Representatives, an opposition lawmaker said.

  23. karah

    Ram I take one-month off each year to travel. Sure Zuellig is one of those Pharma Companies that’s very much against the passing of the CHEAPER MEDICINES BILL. Pharma business in the Philippines is a very lucrative endeavor indeed. It means lots and lots of $$$$$$$.

    Lapanday of the Lorenzo’s which dominates the Fresh Fruit Export Industry. Of course, there’s the MNC’s – Del Monte, Dole, Sumitomo and Uni Frutti. The Plantation of DOLE is in Bukidnon, right?

  24. Manila Bay Watch

    IT STOPS THERE! Military Law says, soldier has the right to refuse an order that he deems illegal… examples given above!

    Check Geneva war conventions for similar too military rule if you want.

  25. Harry

    ramrod & karah:

    night. i’m off to bed.

    harry clay

  26. Pilipinoparin

    Devils,

    May I cut and paste your entry in the your blog about Desparates? This maybe a new topic for discussion in our alumni forum in conjunctions with the FMGs present and future situation because of this ABC thing.

    Although you raised some valid points especially about the “good” senator’s behavior, our point of discussion is completely a different banana. Some may not grasp the gravity and ramifications of this thing especially with regards to physician-patient relationship, the complete trust, the integrity and expertise which if altered in some way may result to irreparable damage on patients, loss of lives and maybe lawsuits. This is specially true in cases in the ER, SICU,CCU,ICU and in numerous instances where minutes and even seconds count during medical decision making This may not affect us, old timer FMGs since our practice is already well established. However, we are thinking of the newbies, those who have just finished their training and those future FMG colleagues fresh from 747.

    Devil, if I remember right, in one of your posts, you are a PT, a member of the medical management team? You fully understand where I am coming from. You worked with the team, you attended cases in M& M, morning, midnight and maybe grand rounds.

  27. ramrod

    Bencard,

    The soldiers code of conduct (in order of priority} says :

    1. I am a Filipino Soldier .I will support and
    defend the constitution of the Republic of the Philippines.

    2. I am a Filipino Soldier. I will fight all forces
    that would destroy the freedom of the Filipino People.

    3. I am a Filipino Soldier. I will obey the law,
    legal orders and decrees of my lawful superiors at all times.

    4. I am a Filipino Soldier. I will fight and die in the
    true Filipino tradition of valor, honor, duty and loyalty.

    To all these I pledge my life, my treasure and my sacred honor.

    No. 1 Support and defend the constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. The chain of command is in no. 3.

    You don’t need to wait for the supreme court to tell you that shooting innocent civilians is against the constitution and this is above the chain of command. (This is a lot different from defending yourselves against a violent mob out to bust your skulls). This was crafted as such as to prevent the chain of command to be subverted to be blind obedience.
    The decisions of these officers to withdraw their support did not just come out of the blue like they just woke up one day and said “hmmmm, I think I’ll withdraw my support today.” All these issues were discussed, debated, and if you know about military intel these guys had had them – they know the truth. You don’t wait for the supreme court to tell you this is wrong or this is immoral – you know, they did, all the intel was right in front of them. Put yourself in their shoes and choose, to defend the constitution (I know something there says something about election rigging) or follow the chain of command blindly. The chaos that you’re referring to refers to combat situations wherein the unit crumbles if orders are not followed like “take cover!” and these guys go “what for?” and get shot in the heads. These are professional soldiers, men with integrity, their men look up to them, respect them, and would follow them to their deaths if need be. That alone should speak volumes about the credibility of these officers. Then again if we hide behind legality, this is a foregone conclusion, your line of argument will justify the perpetuation of corruption and despotism cleverly rationalized by people who can use the law to their selfish ends. This was a judgment call, one that meant career suicide on one end and debasing your integrity on the other, they chose the former. I don’t know about you but this was not the glorious end I had in mind for these soldiers who risked their lives for us, they deserve better. You and I may hide in the gray areas of legality but can you turn a blind eye to the truth just because nobody told you that its wrong?

  28. ramrod

    hey, my response to bencard just got “awaiting moderation” stuff

  29. pete

    bencard: “but he should cease being a “soldier” of a nation and must surrender his weapons first.”

    Resignation? Soldiers resigning en-masse? How about soldiers going on a mass leave?

    Civilians can sympathize by going on leave. If the critical mass is reached, it’s a general strike! Soldiers and civilians unite by going on synchronized mass leave. If GMA won’t resign nor go on a leave of absence then why don’t the soldiers and the people do it?

    Tell the soldiers to resign before they question? The thing is the soldiers were accepted into the service because they sacrificed and worked hard, they earned it. No question about that. But there are big, serious questions about how GMA got to be the commander-in-chief who then appointed a bunch of GMA generals embedded in the chain of command.

    “GMA is legit until her SC tells otherwise. If you can’t accept that fact, get the f_ck out of here!” Sir, bencard, sir, tell that to the marines!

  30. ramrod

    Bencard,

    My first attempt to respond was moderated, I’ll try this one.

    The first pledge in the soldier’s code of conduct is tho defend the constitution, following the chain of command is only 3rd.

    You don’t need to wait for the supreme court to tell you that shooting innocent civilians is against the constitution and this is above the chain of command. (This is a lot different from defending yourselves against a violent mob out to bust your skulls). This was crafted as such as to prevent the chain of command to be subverted to be blind obedience.
    The decisions of these officers to withdraw their support did not just come out of the blue like they just woke up one day and said “hmmmm, I think I’ll withdraw my support today.” All these issues were discussed, debated, and if you know about military intel these guys had had them – they know the truth. You don’t wait for the supreme court to tell you this is wrong or this is immoral – you know, they did, all the intel was right in front of them. Put yourself in their shoes and choose, to defend the constitution (I know something there says something about election rigging) or follow the chain of command blindly. The chaos that you’re referring to refers to combat situations wherein the unit crumbles if orders are not followed like “take cover!” and these guys go “what for?” and get shot in the heads. These are professional soldiers, men with integrity, their men look up to them, respect them, and would follow them to their deaths if need be. That alone should speak volumes about the credibility of these officers. Then again if we hide behind legality, this is a foregone conclusion, your line of argument will justify the perpetuation of corruption and despotism cleverly rationalized by people who can use the law to their selfish ends. This was a judgment call, one that meant career suicide on one end and debasing your integrity on the other, they chose the former. I don’t know about you but this was not the glorious end I had in mind for these soldiers who risked their lives for us, they deserve better. You and I may hide in the gray areas of legality but can you turn a blind eye to the truth just because nobody told you that its wrong?

  31. ramrod

    mbw

    my response to bencard just got “awaiting moderation” whats this?

  32. ramrod

    Bencard,

    Even with following orders, these are operationally defined as “legal orders and decrees” by my lawful superiors…

  33. Manila Bay Watch

    Excellent Ramrod!

    People must be aware that a military officer worth his salt is expected to issue only LEGAL ORDERS and every soldier worth his salt has the right to DISOBEY ILLEGAL ORDERS.

  34. ramrod

    “Some may not grasp the gravity and ramifications of this thing especially with regards to physician-patient relationship, the complete trust, the integrity and expertise which if altered in some way may result to irreparable damage on patients, loss of lives and maybe lawsuits. This is specially true in cases in the ER, SICU,CCU,ICU and in numerous instances where minutes and even seconds count during medical decision making This may not affect us, old timer FMGs since our practice is already well established. However, we are thinking of the newbies, those who have just finished their training and those future FMG colleagues fresh from 747.” -pilipinoparin

    You know, this issue would not have been noticed by anyone outside the demographics of the target viewers of this show until some reactionaries over reacted and made it into a global concern. Now everybody from Timbukto to Gnome, Alaska will ask “What, they don’t have good medical schools in the Philippines?” and then start to speculate. Someone punctured a “can of worms” but these guys did the whole Philippine medical profession a disfavor by “prying” open very wide the same can and spilling the worms all over the place!

  35. Manila Bay Watch

    Ramrod,

    “The chaos that you’re referring to refers to combat situations wherein the unit crumbles if orders are not followed like “take cover!” and these guys go “what for?” and get shot in the heads.”

    Funny! That’s similar to my husband’s comment when I read a portion of Bencard’s post… husband continues: “But if I order my lieutenant to give orders to shoot to kill a group of rallyists, he can refuse the order because it’s illegal.” Full stop!

  36. pete

    ramrod,

    Soldiers were used in electoral fraud. Before the 2004 elections, a soldier told me personally that they were given specific instructions on what to do with the ballot boxes. He knew and admitted that it was cheating but followed the instructions any way.

    In this instance alone, clearly, the code of conduct is dysfunctional. An illegal order was given and obeyed. This instances are wide-spread and from top to bottom.

    The code of survival instead of honor is at work among the soldiers. Starting with the top officers.

    Too few good soldiers still adhere to the code and they are now in jail.

  37. mlq3

    brian, lots of writers have taught in unis without degrees.

  38. ramrod

    “Ram I take one-month off each year to travel. Sure Zuellig is one of those Pharma Companies that’s very much against the passing of the CHEAPER MEDICINES BILL. Pharma business in the Philippines is a very lucrative endeavor indeed. It means lots and lots of $$$$$$$.”-karah

    You get your full value for money with “branded” medicines, the price has to cover the costs of research, production, distribution (basically fixed and variable). The results/products of all this costly research made by the likes of Glaxo, Smithkline, Bayer, etc. patent protection has a specific number of years only, after that this formulation is fair game to every laboratory that can copy these drugs or basically the active ingredient. If and when these generic copies have actually undergone the same tests, envivo or en vitro on laboratory animals, etc. to determine efficacy and important things like contraindications and side effects and must not be used in conjunctions with this and this drug is anybody’s guess – hence the significant difference in price. In India, where its always mentioned that the medicines of the same brand or generic are extremely cheaper than the ones sold here – of course, India is one of the worst patent violators. If you look at this country, healthcare is also a major issue? So if you hear people saying that our healthcare problems can be solved by cheap drugs beware – you might be taking placebos…

  39. Manila Bay Watch

    Ramrod,

    Re: my response to bencard just got “awaiting moderation” whats this?”

    Told y’all earlier, Mlq3’s minesweeper is at work – and considering it’s the Vigilance class circa 40s, takes time!

  40. ramrod

    Oh, I sure wish they worked on Harry’s recent comments.

  41. Manila Bay Watch

    Agree: “So if you hear people saying that our healthcare problems can be solved by cheap drugs beware – you might be taking placebos…”

    There’s been a crackdown going on against fake medicines everywhere being sold on the internet, etc.

  42. Bencard

    mbw, suit yourself, but i thought we are talking about a nation governed by a CIVILIZED constitution (specifically, the Philippines), not a chaotic society such as pol pots cambodia, saddam’s iraq, or present-day darfur. unarmed civilians of any age have been known to perish as “collateral damage” in large-scale armed confrontation, or in so-called “ethnic cleansing” massacres. some protagonists claim justification for the killings by showing that “innocent” civilians are not really innocent at all, or are being used as “shields” by the enemy in order for them to have some measure of impunity while engaged in their own atrocities. in the latter case, the soldier is faced with the ultimate dilemma of self-preservation and killing the enemy along with their human shield. such is the evil of war.

    but the bone of contention that i have raised here is whether a soldier, on his own, can decide what is and what is not legal, and then act according to his belief in disregard of lawful orders of his superiors. i contend that he cannot. i further contend that, strictly within the confines of the barracks, there is no such thing as democracy (as in government of, for, and by, the soldiers), as we know it outside.

  43. mlq3

    karah, i used to spend time in davao in my late teens and early 20s, and dole had an interesting system going with the growing of bananas. they had contracts with growers, it pointed to a way economies of scale could be achieved even with small holdings. the environmental part, though, was very controversial because of all those plastic bags with chemicals and chemical sprays required to produce unblemished bananas for the japanese market.

    in san carlos, negros occ. about 2 years ago also had some interesting conversations with people with small holdings making very good money growing rhubarb of all things.

    also the cut flowers industry was, at least in the 90s, something that had good prospects.

  44. Bencard

    pete, ramrod, i didn’t see your posts until i finished my last one to mwb. consider it my response to yours.

  45. cvj

    Ramrod, i share MBW’s assessment of your response (at 12:56am) to Bencard so i took the liberty of posting it in my blog.

  46. Manila Bay Watch

    Re:” mbw, suit yourself, but i thought we are talking about a nation governed by a CIVILIZED constitutions”

    So did I Bencard. I too was thinking of civilized constitutions where illegal orders may be disobeyed.

    I think Ramrod has explained in detail and at legnth and very well the whens and the wherefores of military orders being obeyed blindly as well as the whens and wherefores military orders under operation are deemed illegal.

    I’ll take it a plane higher if you don’t mind: The Trial of Nuremberg. German officers were tried for NOT REFUSING TO DISOBEY higher command to slay and kill millions of Jews.

  47. Manila Bay Watch

    Bencard,

    Didn’t read the second paragraph of your post:

    “but the bone of contention that i have raised here is whether a soldier, on his own, can decide what is and what is not legal, and then act according to his belief in disregard of lawful orders of his superiors. i contend that he cannot.”

    In principle, all orders issued by an officer is deemed legal because all military orders issued by any officer are deemed to be LEGAL & LAWFUL. So, in line with that absolute military principle, what you raised here that “on a soldier’s own cannot decide on what is legal and is not legal.”

    However, I must repeat that this principle is only valid because it is ON THE BASIS OF A LEGAL OR LAWFUL ORDER.

    But if a superior’s order is clearly ILLEGAL OR UNLAWFUL, a soldier has the absolute right to disobey the said order.

    Example of illegal or unlawful military order even in time of war: To enter a house and shoot the sleeping children in it.

  48. Manila Bay Watch

    Bencard,

    I do believe that the Trial of Nuremberg answers best the questions and debate over when a military order is legal and when it is not.

  49. ramrod

    “but the bone of contention that i have raised here is whether a soldier, on his own, can decide what is and what is not legal, and then act according to his belief in disregard of lawful orders of his superiors. i contend that he cannot.” – bencard

    This issue was discussed as early as ’87, Fort del Pilar, Baguio City attended by the whole cadet corps, Gen. Biazon was the superintendent then, the guest speakers were Gringo Honasan and Red Capunan. The year after EDSA 1. The decision to follow or not to follow legal orders do not normally fall on the non-enlisted and enlisted men, the burden of responsibility lie in the officer corps. Supposedly, unknown to most, there is an even more powerful law that every officer especially PMAers adhere to because they will have to “trust” each other with their lives and that is the Honor Code. Its just a bunch of nice words like “We the cadets do not lie, cheat, steal, nor TOLERATE OTHERS WHO DO SO.” And then comes another bunch of even nicer words like “Do I intend to deceive?” “Do I intend to take undue advantage?” If the answer to both questions is no, then you are doing the honorable thing. The barracks, especially officers corps one is not democratic as we know it, it might even look like its dictatorial, but its something else, its a place of honor where men do what they say and say what they do. This is supposed to be what makes them the “cream of the Filipino youth as cadets” and the final bastion of honor. There is something that should be more powerful than sheer
    “legalism” and that is honor…Those that violate this code of honor are normally “ostracized” to the point that they leave dishonorably…

  50. Bencard

    mbw, i have no quarrel with your “on the basis of a legal or lawful order”. i still contend that its not for a soldier to say what is and what is not “legal” and “lawful” under our constitutional scheme.

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