That’s the title of an entry in [email protected] Holdings who says,
The degradation of trust on the impeachment process began, ironically, in 2001, when the Estrada impeachment trial was held hostage by the prosecutors (who walked out of the proceedings and then Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr doing nothing to call them back). After the euphoria of EDSA 2/power grab (whatever you call it), the Filipino people have realized that taking shortcuts won’t work. And scheming politicians also learned a lesson, ironically from the so-called Craven 11: impeachment is just a numbers game. And these scheming politicians learned this lesson by heart, and now impeachment is just that – a game.
A similar point is made in today’s Inquirer editorial. Of course a solution was identified some time back: Solon proposes House inquiry instead of impeachment.
Are reports of the ruling coalition’s breakup grossly exaggerated? Yes, if accounts of yesterday’s emergency luncheon at the Palace are to be believed: Arroyo, De Venecia: Our coalition won’t break. A media friend who’s a reporter called me recently to exchange scuttlebutt and mentioned, in passing, surprise that despite the Palace-House tensions, the Speaker was on hand at the airport to greet the President as she arrived back home from India.
“Listen,” I told my reporter-friend in jest, “even at the last moment, as they haul away the stretcher bearing the President’s body, the Speaker would be by her side expressing his bereavement, while sticking the cyanide capsule in her mouth.”
One thing is obvious, the President is incapable of appreciating irony. Essentially she reenacted Dinky Soliman’s swan song in her administration, reprising that let’s hold on together song. The parting words of the protagonists are superficially reassuring:
After a Cabinet meeting, Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno insisted that Ms Arroyo and De Venecia continued to have good relations and that he, too, shared the same ties with the Speaker.
“We’re on the best of terms. You will remove the Speaker over my dead body,” Puno said.
At the luncheon meeting, someone mentioned “in passing” the impeachment complaint and the President “effectively belied any knowledge” of Malacañang having a hand in it, Gonzales said.
But is it all hugs and kisses on the Lakas-Kampi front? How does the public, as spectators, separate lies from bullshit and spin? Manuel Buencamino refers to Harry Frankfurter’s essay, “On bullshit,” and gives real-life examples that differentiate between the three:
Reacting to Joey de Venecia’s “back off!” story, former Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos said, “It’s a big lie. There was no such meeting. Why don’t you ask Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza if there was such a meeting?”
Here’s why the denial of Abalos is bullshit:
Mike Arroyo admitted there was such a meeting in Wack Wack.
Now here’s Mike Arroyo’s lawyer lying about that Wack Wack meeting, using 77 words to conceal two words: “Back off!”
“Mr. Arroyo had gone to Wack Wack that day simply to play golf when the young de Venecia arrived and sat beside Secretary Larry Mendoza. Mr. Arroyo overheard the young de Venecia following up his project proposal with Secretary Mendoza. . . . De Venecia continued to follow up his project proposal to Mendoza, prompting Mr. Arroyo to remind the young de Venecia that he cannot be involved in any government transaction because he is the son of the Speaker,” said lawyer Jess Santos.
Here’s Mike Arroyo mixing two parts bullshit and one part Jess Santos:
“I never said to him, ‘Back off.’ That is not even in my vocabulary. . . I never pointed a finger at Joey de Venecia. I only met him there, how can I do that? . . . What I did is that I reminded him that he might be guilty, he might be liable under the antigraft law because he’s the son of the Speaker, he cannot, he cannot deal with government contracts.”
That was Mike Arroyo’s statement upon arrival from his long-planned sudden trip to Europe.
Why do people with unlimited resources bullshit and lie when they can afford to buy spin?
For those unfamiliar with the term “spin”, Wikipedia says it is “a heavily biased portrayal in one’s own favor of an event or situation.”
Let’s go back to the story of Attorney Santos and add a paragraph to modify it:
“The young de Venecia responded by thrusting his face at Mr. Arroyo, explaining the AHI bid in a rude and loud manner. The young de Venecia’s behavior, especially since it was the first time he met my client, startled Mr. Arroyo, prompting him to point his finger and exclaim, “Back off, please!”
Voila! We transformed a lie into spin. We even placed “back off” in a favorable light.
If Attorney Santos used our spin, Mike Arroyo’s arrival statement could have been less defensive and more masculine:
“Of course, I told him to back off. It’s the first time I met the guy and he shoved his face right up mine… Coño! Que mal educado! He’s lucky I didn’t hit him!”
Still, the fighting continues on multiple fronts. Burgos family to test writ of amparo. Even as Senate subpoenas Cabinet papers on NBN-ZTE deal, the Palace won’t give Senate NEDA records on NBN. How and why this will end up in the Supreme Court, is explained by Senator Manuel Roxas II in the Business Mirror story:
“I have consulted the lawyers on this,” he said in an interview. “What they says is that it has not yet ripened to a so-called justiciable issue” that should be brought to the Supreme Court, meaning the issues have not been joined. “But eventually, it will get there.”
Roxas explained that there must first be a rejection by the Senate investigating committee “on a vote that we see the invocation [of executive
privilege] as improper, or the invocation here deals with matters not subject to what executive privilege can legally or properly be applied to. Once the issues are joined we can now go to the Supreme Court.”
Having been a former executive department official, Roxas conceded that “Cabinet members must be free to discuss policy decisions and not be afraid that whatever they say there may be broadcast outside; that is the essence of executive privilege.” But he also argued that “it is one thing to discuss policy . . . it is another thing to be discussing a bribery attempt; I think that is where the issue will be decided upon, what is covered by, and the proper use of executive privilege.”
Not to mention GMA bent on pushing cyber ed although
Incidentally, Neal Cruz indulges in satirical writing today.
And in the Ugh Department: 87 percent of e-mails from RP spam.
And on a sober note, Juan Mercado on Burma. Also, Jeremy Wagstaff on The Real, Sad Lesson of Burma 2007. And The new totalitarians: Burma and the rebirth of a terrible idea as pointed out by Newsstand.