«

»

Nov 12

Farcical procedures

A business paper reports, Net effect of peso rise negative: Majority say well-being unchanged, but more report being ‘better off before.’ The column of Cielito Habito, On fearless forecasts, is instructive. First, he points out that,

When economic analysts made their 2007 projections about Philippine economic performance late last year or early this year, three things were not quite anticipated enough in formulating their projections or forecasts.

One, most had assumed that the foreign exchange rate would average near P50 to the dollar. The government had assumed it to be in the range P51-53 in drawing up the 2007 budget that was approved by Congress. Two, crude oil prices had been expected to be softer, following earlier episodes of above $70-a-barrel prices that had provoked near-double digit inflation in 2005. The government’s assumption was around $63-67 a barrel. And three, world economic growth–especially in the US, the world’s biggest economy and a dominant trading partner to most countries–was expected to moderate somewhat, but not differ substantially from the 2006 performance.

And then he tries to explain what’s happened since:

What happened? In the case of the exchange rate, the dollar turned out to slide more steeply than had earlier been anticipated. For the most part, it has lately been influenced by the US subprime housing loans crisis that hardly anybody anticipated (although there were some isolated voices warning of the problem even early on, and who are now able to say “I told you so”). Major central banks are also turning away from the dollar as a reserve asset, and unloading large amounts of it (China has reportedly done so recently). For us, it is also because the surge in OFW remittances continues to surprise, especially in the face of the apparent slowdown in the numbers of workers actually deployed overseas.

Surging crude oil prices are attributed to declining US petroleum product inventories, anticipated supply disruptions due to recent bombings in oil-rich Afghanistan and an oil pipeline in Yemen, continuously surging demands from rapidly growing Asian economies, and the continued weakening of the dollar. Meanwhile, the impacts of the subprime crisis on the real US economy are just unfolding, and most authoritative analyses as exemplified by that of Bernanke point to a short-term outlook that does not look good.

Now of course there is always something good and something bad in whatever’s going on, and the weak dollar means the peso helps absorb what could otherwise be a nasty oil shock; but it does mean adjustments are required all around and the citizenry isn’t seeing any adjusting among those in official circles. The result is a cranky population and a government (both administration and opposition) unable to appeal to the public to pull together for -what? The administration seems more stumped, since after all, it has the resources and the opposition does not, and it has the numbers in the cabinet and the congress which the opposition does not, so obviously, the burden of proof is on the administration.

And since it’s preached from day one that everything is a numbers game, then it ought to be given plenty of rope to hang itself with.

Hence my column for today, which was Don’t engage or dignify it. You can read the documents I mentioned over at my entry for today in Inquirer Current.

It was good to hear that the attitude towards the ruling coalition was the one adopted by the opposition. Read (UPDATE 6) Pulido complaint sufficient in form–House panel:

The committee’s approval of the motion came a little past 3:00 p.m. or before opposition members walked out after Arroyo’s allies rejected the supplemental complaint filed by lawyer and United Opposition spokesman Adel Tamano to strengthen the Pulido case.

Deputy Minority Floor Leader Roilo Golez said the opposition would not participate until the committee accepted the supplemental complaint as an “integral part” of the one filed by Pulido.

“It would be very awkward on the part of the member of the Minority to be part of the proceeding because precisely we don’t feel that this is an honest-to-goodness impeachment complaint,” Golez said.

“We don’t wish to do disrespect the committee but we’ve already made our position very clear Mr. Chairman — we don’t think it will be meaningful, it would be useful for this committee to deliberate upon what we feel is a sham complaint whose objective is to frustrate an honest-to-goodness impeachment complaint within one year,” he said.

“And therefore, Mr. Chairman we’d like to state that members of
the Minority don’t wish to participate in this proceeding for as long as the addendum and the supplemental submitted by Attorney Tamano is not part of it,” Golez said.

But Golez asked the committee to allow a member of the opposition to observe the proceedings.

Bravo! Additional details here: House justice panel rejects supplemental complaint.

I only wish TV would then cover the further deliberations of the administration coalition as it takes its own Punch and Judy Show to its absurd and inevitable conclusion -leaving the House ruling coalition being the sole source of the political noise the President herself provoked. And really, the main source of the noise is the President’s camp, not that of her critics.

Something tells me the President herself is getting confused. When she says (see Arroyo to Chinese-Filipino traders: Help me with detractors), I wonder how effective she think it’ll be. She wasn’t making a speech to a business organization known for opposing any president, ever, at any time, over anything serious. And at the same time, I don’t think Filipino-Chinese businessmen are different from any other kind, in that they’ve learned how to say “no” to politicians, including making themselves scarce during campaign season -the ability of governments to put the squeeze on businessmen has diminished, though not entirely disappeared, and in many ways it only makes sense for businessmen to assist local, and not national, politicians, except for those in industries (say power generation, or the operating of ports) that are highly susceptible to presidential and congressional intervention in, say, franchise renewals.

The President’s problem is that her own allies are getting greedy (see: Danding lays down terms for JDV ouster: Tells GMA he wants Fuentebella as Speaker), cranky, and demanding (see: Enrile turns up word war with De Venecia: Senator threatens more exposés against Speaker), and disobedient.

And so, the result is self-created scandals that no opposition worth its salt can ignore, much as I do believe that the political class would much rather let sleeping dogs lie and plan ahead for 2010. A kind of truce had resulted in May this year, when the body politic was relieved by the pressure valve known as elections, and where the public derived satisfaction by voting an opposition senate but kept the pork flowing through an administration-dominated House; the President would be kept on her toes until 2010 but otherwise, everyone could start planning for life after GMA. This explains, quite adequately, I think, Amando Doronila’s observation (which I think is true) that Resign-snap poll bid has no critical mass.

But no. Look at every controversy since, and it’s been a case of the administration shooting itself in the foot. Over and over.

Read this recent entry in the blog of Jove Francisco, for an insight into the continuing tensions within the administration coalition:

Ermita denied that Mrs Arroyo has any knowledge of what Villarosa revelead.

Which is quite interesting because the lady solon is a known and consistent companion of the President in her trips abroad. (I always see her joining the entourage whenever hinahatid namin si PGMA sa airport and kapag sumasama kami sa biyahe ng Pangulo).

Puno… supposedly one of the “RING LEADERS” of KAMPI distanced himself from the cash gifts revelation saying pa nga that he’s very hurt with what his party mates did, especially because HE WAS THE LAST TO KNOW.

And because Villarosa’s revelation made it clear that the cash gifts came from KAMPI and not from LAKAS as PUNO claimed weeks ago, he apologized to House Speaker Jose De Venecia’s for all the things he said.

Shades of PGMA’s “I AM SORRY!”

And then read this reflection, by Randy David, from last Saturday:

It may well be that the only thing that distinguishes the Arroyo presidency from any other is the manner in which cash-giving has become so much a part of the standard operating procedure of her office. No other administration has been known to resort to buying political favors so literally, as brazenly, and as routinely as Ms Arroyo’s. If this is what it takes to awaken us to the glaring discrepancy between the laws we profess and the dirty practices by which we conduct our national life, then surely we have her to thank.

In our quest for reform, we tend to ignore the realities that constrain our politicians and our electorate to behave in particular ways. We are engrossed in the easy moralism that permits us to express our disgust for the failings of our leaders in government. We cling to the belief that if only we can rid the nation of the present bunch of politicians, the country will surely be better. I think we forget that our leaders, like many of our voters, are no more than actors in a political stage governed by the hidden scripts of social inequality and dominance. We expect great things when we replace old actors with new ones, unaware that without a fundamental revision of the script, the performance will not be very different.

That script, the one that animates what we call traditional politics, provides not for the roles of government and opposition, as in the modern stage, but only for a set of patron and client roles. Under its terms, political power in our society is to be contested not by alternating majorities and minorities, but by a very small ruling class. Unchallenged in its dominance, this class creates the illusion of plurality and choice through the constantly changing composition of its factions.

What does all this tell us? It tells us that the modern institutions by which we are supposed to conduct the governance of our nation will never function properly so long as the masses are trapped in poverty. It tells us that the choices offered by our present political parties, including those that purport to represent the poor, are false. It tells us that political parties that are not themselves financed by their members are a sham. It tells us that public officials who buy their way into public office are no more than merchants or agents; they are not the leaders. It tells us that voters who are hungry and needy cannot be political subjects in a democracy.

This political culture is bound to change, albeit slowly, as more and more of our people get out of poverty, largely by finding work abroad. The change is becoming visible in our growing intolerance for money politics and in the impatience with which we scan the horizon for new leaders.

But even as that talks place, and even with Doronila’s observations in mind, what to make of New Philippine Revolution who argues,

The people don’t want snap elections. It is costly a solution for the people to even consider. What most of the people want, based on a survey which I conducted during the past 3 weeks is for the military to break out from the totalitarian grip of Arroyo and stage a coup. I say again–the people are ready for a coup. They are sick and tired of Arroyo and De Castro and they have realized that it is futile to give these two officials more time in Malacanan.

Will a coup solve these problems?

It will because it assures the people of the downfall of Arroyo and De Castro. Look, what we need today is for government to regain the trust and confidence of the people. Obviously, the people don’t trust the civilian politicians. It’s clear that the people HATE or even LOATHE their present set of leaders and what this country needs right now is a fresh infusion of new blood, of new idealists that would fight the grafters and buckle down to work afterwards. If the idealistic soldiers don’t realize this, that they have now the chance, the opportunity to succeed in their mission of ousting Arroyo, then, they must stop whatever they are doing right now and just, remain masochists.

As for myself, I think February 2006 showed how the public mistrusts any military adventurism, while it sympathizes with the emotions that drives soldiers to mutiny; I recall observing at the time that there seemed a general consensus, crossing the political divide among politicized officers, that they viewed themselves as inappropriate for actually governing the country.

This is part of a process dating back to the fatal day when a group of Gringo Honasan’s troops attempting a coup mowed down ordinary citizens who heckled and jeered them, back in the 1980s. Since then, even military rebels have adopted more of a peaceful, People Power orientation to their adventurism, than say, the Thais. In 2001, it was the military top brass joining the protesters; in Oakwood, it was an armed sit-down strike; and the ringleaders submitted to trial and incarceration. In 2006, frustrated Marines were going to march to join rallyists, but with their weapons pointed downwards and by informing their superiors they wanted to protest, first.

Such as it is, a certain amount of chivalry has been demonstrated, but those who’ve submitted to the legal process are getting short shrift. Read Ellen Tordesillas to see why -and how the soldiers have reacted:

The exchanges in the morning session, just like in the past three hearings, centered on the unsigned pre-trial advice which is supposedly one of the basis of the charges against the 28 officers. The prosecution headed by Trial Judge Advocate Col. Feliciano Loy pushed for the resumption of the peremptory challenges and called on Capt. Isagani Criste, one of the six officers who have not exercised their right for peremptory challenge.

(When a member of a panel is challenged peremptorily by the accused, he is automatically ejected from the court.)

Criste’s lawyer, Alex Avisado, objected and moved that the proceedings be suspended until the PTA is signed by AFP Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon. The PTA, submitted by Col. Pedro Davila, staff judge advocate, to Esperon recommended the disapproval of the of the Pre-trial Investigation report (PTIR) prepared by the team headed by Col. Al Perreras, which recommended the dismissal of mutiny charges against all the 37 accused officers and the filing of the lesser charge of conduct unbecoming of an officer and gentleman against some of the officers.

Just like in the past hearings, the defense lawyers argued that the PTA constitutes the information sheet and unless it is signed, it’s merely a scrap of paper. As Frank Chavez, Miranda’s lawyer said, “I shudder at the thought that in a civilian court, a man is charged with murder based on an unsigned information sheet.”

The court instructed the trial Judge Advocate to write the Chief of Staff and get a written comment on the matter. At past 12 noon, the court went into a lunch break.

When the court resumed at 1:30 p.m., it ruled that it was denying the motion for suspension of proceedings until Esperon signs the PTA.

The court said Esperon’s Nov. 17, 2006 memo referring to both the PTIR and the PTA in creating the special general court martial to try the officers, suffices as basis for the trial.The panel’s president, Maj. Gen. Jorgy Fojas ordered the resumption of the challenges.

Chavez stood up and declared: “I cannot take part in these sham proceedings. Sham because the accused are not legally charged. I have advised my client that he has the right not to participate in these sham proceedings.” Then he walked out.

One after another the other lawyers followed with their own stand not to participate in the proceedings until they are given a copy of a signed PTA. I remember Attorneys Rolando Cipriano, Vicente Verdadero, Rodrigo Artuz, Alex Avisado, Nole Panganiban, Jose Miguel Palarca, Ronald Ubaña, Ma. Cristina Garcia, Johnmuel Mendoza, Dante Xenon Atienza, Ian Pangalangan. They all walked out.

Outside the courtroom, I saw troops with red armbands and shields arriving and scurrying to secure the place.

Attorneys Gilbert Gallos, counsel for Col. Orlando de Leon, and Trixie Angeles, counsel for Capt. Ruben Guinolbay initially stayed and moved for a reconsideration of the panel on their motion to suspend the proceedings until a signed PTA is produced. “The career and life of my client are at stake,” Angeles pleaded.

The court denied their motion. Col. Loy moved to appoint the two as counsels for the accused. At this point, Angeles stood up and said, “As a member of the legal profession, I fear of lending my presence to the validation of this illegal proceedings. I asked to be excused.” Then she walked out. Gallos made the same manifestation and also walked out.

The only one left was Maj. Pooten, the military lawyer. The court appointed him counsel for the accused. He told the court that the accused officers have a right to counsel of their choice. He said, “I am an officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and at the same time a lawyer. I will not allow myself to trample upon the rights of the accused gentlemen officers and be a party to the denial of their Constitutional rights. And by these, your Honors, I ask to be excused from these proceedings.”

Pooten was ordered to stay in the court room. The court ordered the resumption of the peremptory challenge. Loy called one by one the officers that have not exercised their right of peremptory challenge. First was Capt. Criste, who underscored three points: “I am not availing of the services of the military counsel. I am not waiving my right to peremptory challenge. I will only exercise it in the presence of counsel of my choice and when I’m given a copy of the signed PTA.”

Next to be called was Capt. Allan Aurino who made the same manifestation as Criste. Same thing with Capt. Frederick Sales, 1Lt. Ervin Divinagracia, and 1Lt. Jacon Cordero.

I saw 1Lt. Homer Estolas raising his hand as the court was giving its decision saying that the six have been deemed to have waived their right to peremptory challenge. They didn’t know that there is still one who have nor done so. The TJA and the panel ignored Estolas, who has not exercised his right to peremptory challenge.

At this point, Col. Ariel Querubin stood up. Then all the officers stood up and followed Gen. Miranda to the door. Col.Arnulfo Marcos, the commanding officer of the custodial management unit, tried to stop the officers: “Huwag kayong lumabas. Balik kayo sa upuan. Cool lang.” (Don’t leave. Back to your seats. Stay cool.).

Maj. Jason Aquino told him, “Nakita mo nang binababoy kami. Manindigan ka naman” (You see that our rights are being trampled. Make a stand.)

Miranda ordered: “Padaanin nyo kami, kaso namin ito (Get out of our way. This is our case).” Marcos had to give way.

Unaware that they have not called Lt. Estolas to exercise his right to peremptory challenge, members of the court went on with their oathtaking. Afterwards, Lt. Col. Marian Aliedo told reporters, “The court is now duly-constituted.”

The manual for court martial, however, states that the court becomes fully constituted once the peremptory challenges shall have all been exercised by the accused.

Outside the court, Col. Segumalian saluted Maj. Pooten: “Basil, I’m higher in rank than you but I salute you for standing up for your principles.You know of course that what you did won’t please the military leadership.”

Pooten replied, “I just did what I believe is right. What ever happens, I would still be lawyer.”

The one thing an officer expects, I think, is to be treated honorably by fellow officers. But when that stops happening… When a court martial begins to behave like the House of Representatives, and when military judges start resembling the majority members of the Committee on Justice, the ability of the system, to define what is permissible political behavior and what is not, breaks down.

Now I don’t think a coup is imminent, and I won’t support one; neither do I think civil war is about to break out; it seems more logical, to me, that we will all simply stagger along until 2010 at which point the country will really see if the President decides to stay or go. But this belief of mine rests on nothing unusual taking place -because, if something unusual took place, say a War in the Middle East, I really don’t know if our society will be capable of surviving the repercussions without serious, and class-based, civil unrest.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

198 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. cvj

    cvj, dOdOng doesn’t need humility. – Jao

    Probably not and it’s just as well. He is, after all, a Fil-Am so it might be too much to expect that from him.

  2. d0d0ng

    “you have so much faith in hardwork i bet you don’t even recognize any God except your very own self.”

    The Filipinos have so much faith in God for 400 yrs and Spanish friars have the last laugh. A country so small that it can fit inside one of the 50 US states say Texas, but with rapid population growth which is approaching 100 million Filipinos, a third of US 300 million population. The lawmakers have surrendered political will on controlling unrealistic population with limited resources to the powerful bishops. It is time to ask, should Filipinos continue to surrender everything to God, or God wanted us to be responsible so we can determine our destiny.

  3. Geo

    “[President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo] must be warned against doing a Musharaf, else more problems ahead,” Pimentel said in a text message.

    Senator Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal called for “an independent commission to be formed to investigate this incident to avoid any cover-up or whitewash.”

    “What is obvious is that this attack is part of a grand scheme. Is this part of the plot to divert attention on tomorrow’s [Wednesday’s] impeachment hearing, the Senate investigation on the payola scandal tomorrow as well, and the ZTE hearings? We are not anymore safe. My sentiments go to the innocent victims and their families. Desperate moves indeed,” she said
    —————————————–

    The above comments — especially from Jamby Madrigal (“obvious”???) — are irresponsible, unethical and against the interests of the country. Nice. Real smart.

    Trillanes, Pimentel and Madrigal…thanks for your help.

  4. cvj

    Geo, what’s so irresponsible and unethical about warning Arroyo not to do a ‘Musharraf’?

  5. Proud to be Tsinoy

    I fully agree with Randy David’s comments. We really can’t change the politicians if we don’t change the system they work under. At present, it’s a system that so rotten to the core that even I won’t feed it to the pigs in my backyard (figuratively, of course).

    I have been asking this question though for a long long time, in this and other forums. How do we start changing the system? Too many interested parties will certainly try to thwart any attempt to reform the whole political landscape.

    Why do you think the Dynasty Law is inutile? Why do you think the Comelec will remain a Commission without claws except for the highest bidder? Why do you think the politicians will never give up their pork? It’s all because power is a heady aphrodisiac and maintaining power requires lots of money that even politicians can’t have too much of it to give away to maintain that power.

    For me, reform is a two way street. We can;t keep on blaming the politicians for our country’s woes. We also have to look at ourselves in the mirror. Not because we don’t whine about the politicos’ actions, but more because we don’t do anything to prevent it in the first place.

    Do we ever do enough to educate the masses on what is right and wrong? Because for me, it’s is not enough to help the masses out of poverty. It also requires US so called intellectual elites to educate them on what is right and wrong. And I am not talking of what is right and wrong in the political sense, but what is right and wrong in the moral, ethical and practical sense.

    I have always used my candy wrapper argument to reflect the realities of this country. It is so sad that people litter on the streets all the time. and it certainly reflects the attitude of the population when I hear some of them say that it’s the government’s fault that there aren’t enough waste baskets around. It really shows how people leave everything to the government instead of having the attitude as reflected in JFK’s inaugural address:

    “Ask not what your country can do for you; Ask what you can do for your country.”

    The point is, the people will have to change their attitudes internally before the political system can change. For as long as the people will not care (at least enough for them to take action as a collective), then the politicians will always have their way.

  6. Geo

    Pimentel’s implication is that GMA is inclined to declare martial law. You and I both know that he is also implying that she might have caused such an emergency. He did the same thing after the Glorietta explosion.

    By the way, there’s zero implication that martial law is even being condsidered.

    But fine — he couched his words sneakily enough this time that he might not be condemned for foolhardiness. I won’t press the point.

    But Jamby’s words are reprehensible. An “obvious” “grand scheme” and “desperate moves” surrounding the question: “is this a plot to divert…” etc, etc.

    Why on earth would a senator want to convince the country and the world that the ruling government is bombing its own people? Without any evidence. Why? Who is this helping? It’s thoughtless and counter-productive. It is anti-job, anti-poor, anti-national.

  7. mlq3

    abe, that was randy david.

  8. manuelbuencamino

    Bencard is wondering why no one suspects Gloria of bombing her own kind.

    He may be on to something here. Maybe Gloria is really that treacherous. I wonder if he can help us uncover her motives.

  9. micketymoc

    Manolo, when you get around to it – this San Francisco Chronicle article about Wahab Akbar provides very interesting reading.

  10. Bencard

    tsinoy, for as long the likes of erap estrada is looked upon as the kingmaker, if not the king, after pgma steps down in 2010; for as long as the likes of trillianes, jamby madrigal, jinggoy, loi, cayetano (both) are voted in by apparently “educated” people who should know better; for as long as entertainers, athletic personalities, “moral” gurus, and progenies of political families (wanting to perpetuate political dynasties) are getting elected regardless of questionable competence, the political system cannot change. these are the people who have a vested interest in the present system and who will strongly resist any attempt to change it, notwithstanding any sugar-coated promises they make to do something about it, just to get the vote.

    any certified nincompoop can be elected to any office, especially one with money and political pedigree. the average pinoy looks for a leader he can “love” not one who can lead; one he can hail as a personal messiah, not one who can work for the national interest.

    the pinoy voter asks what a candidate can do for him, not what the candidate can do for the country; what the politician can give him, not what the politician can give to his country.

  11. Shaman of Malilipot

    “this ridiculous practice of “walking out” of proceedings, be it judicial or legislative, by sore participants is unsportsmanlike, at best and contemptuous, at worst.” – Bencard

    When something becomes contemptible, contempt becomes its due.

    An unsigned PTA as a basis for a trial? Your kind of rule of law, all form, but no substance.

  12. Geo

    Coincidentally, I just saw Lou Dobbs on CNN, promoting his book “Independence Day”. The gist is that he thinks ALL the Presidential candidates (both Dem and Repub) are terrible and that there is a nationwide groundswell for a brand new, independent, fresh leader…a non-trapo, if you will, who truly cares about the everyday citizen.

    Sound familiar?

    In what country is everyone happy about their politics?

  13. Bencard

    dodong, this “entity” who calls himself jao (i’m not sure if he is a male/female person or whatever) is doing a watchful eye- to whom i expressed disgust for making a “hypothetical” involving a close family member of mine in a gruesome criminal attack , then saying “sorry” for it – by giving me (as “ben kardo”) a drug addict mom and a tb-afflicted dad.

    what’s with these people? are they trying to cut me down to their size or something? i must really be bringing out the worst in them that they have to conjure up the ugliest misfortune they could imagine about my life and mask it as “hypothetical”. thanks for not being fooled.

    btw, the message behind the fabricated hypo is idiotic, a product of a useless mind in a vain pretext at profundity.

  14. hvrds

    “I fully agree with Randy David’s comments. We really can’t change the politicians if we don’t change the system they work under. At present, it’s a system that so rotten to the core that even I won’t feed it to the pigs in my backyard (figuratively, of course).”

    “I have been asking this question though for a long long time, in this and other forums. How do we start changing the system? Too many interested parties will certainly try to thwart any attempt to reform the whole political landscape.”

    What the hell is this system everyone is talking about? Can anyone explain what they mean when they say the system? Is it the devil that is the system? What is everyone talking about?

    The devil is making us do these things….

  15. Abe N. Margallo

    Tsinoy,

    In many instances, whatever is a man’s condition in life such is his outlook and attitude towards others and society. Please don’t blame the victim and the exploited but those who live off on the flesh and blood of the vulnerable for the unsightly carrions on the road.

    It’s not just those politicos, but more importantly those who pick up their tabs and I’m sure you know whom I’m talking about.

    But I agree that what’s needed for change is “organizing, mobilizing and transforming.”

  16. rego

    cvj, dOdOng doesn’t need humility. – Jao

    Probably not and it’s just as well. He is, after all, a Fil-Am so it might be too much to expect that from him.
    ————————————————

    i ve been following dodongs comments because of the so many negative replies on them. But I didnt really find it as mayabang or nagyayabnag as Fil Am. It actually made a lot of sense to me. Well, he has a very different point of view from the majority in this forum. But thats not pagyayabang. I can even see a lots and lots of humility when he related his humble beginnings.

  17. Watchful eye

    And Bencard, only fools don’t change. It’s not too late to join the caravan.

  18. mlq3

    thanks mickety, included the link you posted in today’s entry.

  19. inodoro ni emilie

    I can even see a lots and lots of humility when he related his humble beginnings.

    touch ka?!?

    the psychology of the internet: don’t buy everything what’s fed to you, epecially when almost everyone here uses fictitious handle.

    what’s with the outrage over a hypothetical scenario, bencard? damang dama mo ba talaga ang cyberspace persona mo and you feel stalked by a hannibal lecter in jao?

    go by the issue, stay by the issue. other than that, it’s all resume building, ego bloating, and fairy tale story telling taking place in many a blog space, best taken with a loadful grain of salt.

  20. Mike

    Harion:

    First, the Catholic church, is not Christ. well, not the church we know today anyway. as i’ve said, they’ve lost their way, much as the pharisees had.

    We’ve been hearing this old saw since the Reformation. Now look at the Protestants: they are fracturing faster than you can say “Wittemburg.” But it’s the logical result of rejecting the teaching authority of the Catholic Church–when every man feels he can interpret Scripture his own way, without a definitive arbiter, then there will be countless interpretations, with one being just as good as another. When each person has his own “truth”, it is not Truth at all.

    If you would look closely, it is the catholic leadership today who are doing the cherry picking.

    Has the Church ever in its teaching contradicted Christ’s teaching? Is there anything in the Catechism that is against Scripture and tradition? Or do you reject tradition as well? Because there is plenty that was left out of the Bible, but which remained in the traditions of the Church.

    If sex is such an awesome expression of love, then why does the church not want married couples to experience it as often as possible? Why exalt abstinence vs love?

    This made me laugh. I thought the Church was being criticized for encouraging people to have more kids (which, of course, means more sex). But to clarify: the Church doesn’t care how much sex you have. If you’re married, you’re entitled to it. BUT! Don’t approach sex as a sport, a game, or some kind of pastime. If you have sex, be conscious that loving this way may create life–life that will need your love and which will reward you with love in return. Sex without the possibility of this life is barren, purely gratuitous, and the Church (as surely Christ would) condemns it.

    If you cannot possibly afford to have more kids, then that’s when abstinence comes in. Or natural family planning, which, properly practiced, has a high rate of success. This is love: when you treat your spouse as a real person, someone with whom you are willing to face the awesome possibility of creating and raising life, not just as an orgasm machine. THAT is the attitude that will produce happy families. Because if and when sex results in life, the Christian must view that life with unconditional, self-sacrificing love and not as simply another mouth to feed.

    and jz to make my stand clear, i am only for contraception bet married couples.

    I take it you are against pre-marital sex, then? So if contraception works to keep married couples from having kids, then what’s the problem with having unmarried couples use it so they can have sex without the consequences? Or so that married people can have affairs? That’s taking your argument to its logical conclusion–and in fact, you can clearly see it in the societies that have embraced the contraceptive mentality.

    indulgences, statues of saints, selling of religious items within church premises, prohibition for priests to marry, discrimination agst women as having no right to administer sacraments… none of these things have been envisioned or even taught by Christ. and yet, they’re all within church dogma.

    What are you, straight out of the Reformation? 😀 For your info, these issues were raised almost 600 years ago, and have received answers time and time again. (Wow, indulgences–if that isn’t a blast from the past!) If you’re sincerely looking for answers, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which you can find online, is a good place to start. But then, are you?

  21. Shaman of Malilipot

    Mike, you’re just exemplary! Kudos!

  22. J a o

    Bencard, i don’t remember involving a close relative of yours in a criminal attack – and my usage of “Ben Kardo” is purely innocent humor. my intent is to contrast an image of someone like you – incorrigible, fanatic abt the rule of law being characterized as a destitute boy having the fantastic free choice dOdOng acclaims so much. isn’t that rich?

    it was in no way a real, personal attack agst you. and if you feel that way, then i apologize. i should have use dOdOng’s name instead and called my character Kokey.

    “I can even see a lots and lots of humility when he related his humble beginnings.”

    rego, i feel the opposite. i feel he’s told us his financial past to brag some more how great he was that he was able to climb out of that rut. that he didn’t need the help of anybody at all.

  23. Mike

    Harion:

    Please accept my apologies for my last paragraph. If indeed you are sincerely looking for the Truth, then my tone was out of line and un-Christian.

  24. Harion

    I take it you are against pre-marital sex, then? So if contraception works to keep married couples from having kids, then what’s the problem with having unmarried couples use it so they can have sex without the consequences? Or so that married people can have affairs? That’s taking your argument to its logical conclusion–and in fact, you can clearly see it in the societies that have embraced the contraceptive mentality.

    yes. i am agst pre marital sex. your argument again is non-sequitor. the question of contraception being used in pre-marital sex is irrelevant. you see, whether unmarried people use contraceptives or not, premarital sex alone is already a sin. the relaxation or the prohibition of contraceptive laws will not in any way deter or encourage pre marital sex. or extra marital affairs. again, contraception does not cause these sins. people will choose to have pre-marital or extra-marital affairs whether or not contraceptives are made available to them. the difference Mike, is willful choice – not contraceptives. and for that it is between the individual, their conscience, and God.

    my problem is that it is being kept away from married couple wanting to practice family planning. REALISTIC family planning.

    oh yeah, i contend natural family planning works – if the couples were saints and exemplify great self-restraint. but it doesn’t work all the time. it only works on women who have a regular menstrual cycle. for women who have irregular cycles, it will be a hit and miss system – no sense in having it at all. contraceptives eliminate such hit and miss system. in fact, birth control used in conjunction with condoms has 100% rate of success in contraception. if the woman still conceive, i’d call that divine insemination!

    and yes, im straight out of the reformation. 😀

  25. Harion

    Mike, no need to apologize. am not offended. this blog is an avenue for debate after all. and yesm you’re right. i am looking for the truth. i’ve found it the way i view it.

  26. cvj

    Do we ever do enough to educate the masses on what is right and wrong? Because for me, it’s is not enough to help the masses out of poverty. It also requires US so called intellectual elites to educate them on what is right and wrong. – PTBT

    Why do you assume that educating the masses is the problem. Hasn’t it occured to you that it’s the elite that needs to be reeducated?

    And I am not talking of what is right and wrong in the political sense, but what is right and wrong in the moral, ethical and practical sense. – PTBT

    What is the distinction between ‘political sense’ and ‘practical sense’?

  27. Willy

    “it (NFP) only works on women who have a regular menstrual cycle. for women who have irregular cycles, it will be a hit and miss system” – Harion

    Maybe you are referring to the outdated “calendar method”, if so, you are correct. But todays NFP uses the Billings Ovulation Method, which applies effectively to both regular and irregular ovulation cycles. BTW, there are studies which show that NFP has higher effectiveness compared to artificial methods, if used correctly. There are also misleading claims about the absolute absence of health risks in the use of artificial methods, like cancer and other side-effects. Couples have to be informed objectively if there are risks involved. Also, the claim for condoms 100% effectiveness is absolutely false,as the material does not withstand breakage 100%. I even came across a study which says that the HIV virus has a smaller micron size that can easily pass through condoms porous material.

  28. rego

    “rego, i feel the opposite. i feel he’s told us his financial past to brag some more how great he was that he was able to climb out of that rut. that he didn’t need the help of anybody at all.”

    ———————————————

    Well Jao, kanya kanyang feelings that impression lang siguro yan. becuase I dont shareyour feelings after I read it. As matter fact I find it somewhat inspirational. Baka naman your’re over analyzing his comments.

    Sa mga umpukan ng mga Pinoy sa Baryo lalo na sa mga bagong salta, I always mention that I worked as a busboy then waiter before. The intention is not to brag but to somehow Inspire tme to get what ever job they get just to start their life here.

    Your’re reaction to Dodongs comments reminds me so much of my freind tale when he recently visited Manila after 8 years of livng in Washington DC. Sa umpukan ng mga college barkadas nya nag comment lang daw sya ng “Grabe na ang pollution dito”. Sinabihan daw sya ng ” ang yabang mo naman”. So we concluded that people over there are so sensitive to ur comments.

    Sa totoo lang, we never referred to us as Fil-Ams, and we dont refer to CVJ as Phil-Singaporeans. While its true that Bencard, Dodong, Ca T and I share some common stand, on different issues especially on not being so rabid anti Gloria. But I dont think it has something to with our being here. Because there are other poeple there that share our stand too.

    Come to think of it. A lot of peopel here often mentioned that they are graduates Ateneo, UP La Salle and PMA grads. But people like me who did not came from these schools never take it as pagyayabang. We reacted on their comments not on where they graduated in college.

    On the belief of God. I believe its is really personal to each individual so we cannot really judge anyone on how he believe in God. From bible preacher in college, I stopped over depending on God long before I came here. But that doesn’t mean I dont belive in him anymore. Becuase I still pray incessantly. But my prayer now are mostly silent thank you s for any thing good that happened in the a day. I havent gone to church for more 10 years now.

  29. Willy

    “Why do you assume that educating the masses is the problem. Hasn’t it occured to you that it’s the elite that needs to be reeducated?” – cjv

    So true. Its the elite, who holds the reigns, that needs to be reeducated.

  30. Willy

    I am so with you regO, take the substance of significant arguments and ignore perceived ego trips. Egos do not reinforce arguments anyway, as there is no way to validate whether they substantiate or not in this type of forum. That is the problem with senate/congressional hearings, where egos take precedence. I still remember that horrific display of Senator Gordon in that NBN hearing, I just hope his intelligence prevails in further episodes.

  31. vic

    By the way another adherence to the rule of law: PM Harper finally give in to the opposition demand to call a Public Inquiry into an allegation by a German Businessman being deported to his country to face TAX Fraud and evasions that he had business dealings with the former PM Mulroney and talked about them two days before the PM left office. Actually the PM already received settlement of $2 millions from the the Liberal Government (Mulroney is a Conservative)for libel after he was alleged to have some inappropriate dealings with the same businessman (about the Airbus Airplanes). The RCMP is also commencing investigation if there is “some evidence to warrant Criminal proceedings” against one or both parties. Both the German Businessman and the former PM Mulroney have been calling for the Public Inquiry. Memoirs of Liberal PM Paul Martin calling for an Inquiry into the conduct of former Liberal PM Chretien, his party mate, the results of which crippled their party. But that is the Rule of Law…. . Would President Arroyo do the same???

  32. Manila Bay Watch

    Thanks Abe for the mention…

  33. d0d0ng

    Bencard on, “what’s with these people? are they trying to cut me down to their size or something? i must really be bringing out the worst in them that they have to conjure up the ugliest misfortune they could imagine about my life and mask it as “hypothetical”. thanks for not being fooled.”

    From my corporate experience, substantive progress can be made on facts only, not fictions especially in the boardroom. The Americans and British donot have patience if I committed factual error (ignoring facts) since critical decisions are drawn from that point. From your law experience, facts of the case are important to arrive at fair and just decision. It is very common for people to resort to sensational stories, hypotheticals and fictions when running out of facts, instead of stopping. It is also true that people losing arguments resort to calling names. Those names best described themselves. It is like a mirror, it gives clarity to the true character of the person and what he/she believes.

  34. d0d0ng

    rego on, “But thats not pagyayabang. I can even see a lots and lots of humility when he related his humble beginnings.”

    Rego, thanks for being objective. We hope for more people like you who can tell the difference.

  35. Watchful eye

    “doronilla is nothing but a prophet of doom” – Bencard

    “It is also true that people losing arguments resort to calling names. Those names best described themselves. It is like a mirror, it gives clarity to the true character of the person and what he/she believes.” – Dodong

    GUILTY AS CHARGED!

  36. d0d0ng

    cvj on, “Why do you assume that educating the masses is the problem. Hasn’t it occured to you that it’s the elite that needs to be reeducated?”

    Only if they lose power. It is said history is written by the victors. To gain power especially those who demonize the Phil president should secure the base of power, be a lawmaker. From that point, possibilities of changes are many.

  37. d0d0ng

    Jao on, “rego, i feel the opposite. i feel he’s told us his financial past to brag some more how great he was that he was able to climb out of that rut.”

    I did not volunteer personal information. If you read again, it was a response to your “I’d love for you to be born dirt poor”. I know you are catholic. If you calm down sometime, please ponder on your statement.

  38. Manila Bay Watch

    “To gain power especially those who demonize the Phil president should secure the base of power, be a lawmaker. ” – Dodong

    Funny, those words were similar to the words that Erap like to quote everytime he was challenged: “Mag-presidente muna kayo!”

  39. d0d0ng

    Tsinoy on, “For me, reform is a two way street. We can;t keep on blaming the politicians for our country’s woes. We also have to look at ourselves in the mirror. Not because we don’t whine about the politicos’ actions, but more because we don’t do anything to prevent it in the first place.”

    Knowing that education is a long process and depends largely who is at the driver seat, getting elected as lawmaker is the most viable option. We would love MLQ3 and others here to replace the politicos and change Philippine history for the better.

  40. d0d0ng

    ManilaBayWatch on, “Funny, those words were similar to the words that Erap like to quote everytime he was challenged: “Mag-presidente muna kayo!”.

    The task is challenging but if you want to change the political landscape, you change the rules. To change the rules, you have to be in position to change the rules – and that is to be lawmaker.

  41. Bencard

    watchful eyes, what’s “name-calling” about prophet of doom?
    the prophet daniel was one, prophesying about the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse. yeah, perhaps “prophet” is too much to describe doronilla. he doesn’t deserve the honor. i think “doomsayer” is more apt.

  42. Manila Bay Watch

    Dodong,

    Your view is very simplistic — in as much as we are into oversimplifications, think about this: no need to be a legislator to be able to change the rules in order to change the political landscape.

    Kingmakers (but never king) have often more powers than legislators; they are capable of changing the political landscape without being legislators. Also, in many countries under authoritarian rule don’t have to be legislators to change their respective nations’ political landscape.

    As ever, dangerous to oversimplify things.

  43. Watchful eye

    Read your lips Benjie You said: “Doronilla is nothing but a prophet of doom . . .”

    I don’t agree with many of Doronila’s commentaries although he is often very incisive in his political analysis. But in case you don’t know, Doronila is one of the Philippines’ most highly respected journalists and political pundit. He is a colleague of Manolo at Philippine Daily Inquirer where aside from being a columnist he’s also an editorial consultant. He was editor-in-chief of the Manila Chronicle and former editor of Public Policy, the quarterly journal of the University of the Philippines. Doronila has a Master’s degree in politics.

    If calling a pillar in Philippine journalism like Doronila “nothing but a prophet of doom” . . . .which also means he is not a serious writer and journalist at all but NOTHING BUT a scaremonger . . . is not name-calling, check again what name-calling means.

    To save you the surf, name-calling means “the use of abusive names to belittle or humiliate another person in a political campaign, an argument, etc.”

    Verdict remains. Still guilty.

  44. d0d0ng

    Maybe it is simplistic but it is never easy.
    I’ll try to follow re: no need of legislator to change the rules. Reason: In impeachment, it takes 70 like-minded legislators (1/3 vote) to move it to senate for trial which is difficult at present. There is majority vote as well as 2/3 or 3/4 vote requirements. That is the hallmark of popular democracy like ours.

    I’ll take that Kingmaker is worth a solution (though a frustrated one) to break the current House control. To mention Erap as Kingmaker was effectively neutralized by Gloria’s pardon. The CBCP as Kingmaker (like what Cardinal Sin did) was pre-emptive by Gloria’s direct approach and travel to Rome, with icing on the cake – her relative is on the way to sainthood. The military as Kingmaker was given the large piece of the budget plus equipment upgrades, pay increases and pension funding that was the cause of instability before.

    If I understood it correctly, the kingmaker has a gambit – you have to give up something in exchange. I am afraid, there is little left to the next kingmaker. In essence, the kingmaker solution is a gamble that serves no one except special interest.

  45. Bencard

    watchful, am i supposed to be impressed by doronilla’s resume and so i have to change my opinion about him because of it? i am a filipino but i have news for you. i don’t have that kind of cultural baggage. he could be the genius einstein himself but if i think he is a doom sayer, he is that to me just the same. anyway, what i said was that he is nothing but a prophet of doom WITH RESPECT TO PGMA. again, you have omitted the last part and i think i know why.

    btw, i was more convinced where doronilla was coming from when i learned (thanks to mbw) that he had an axe to grind with her concerning an unfulfilled expectation of patronage. but then again, what else is new in the philippines?

    also, who cares about your verdict?

  46. Watchful eye

    WITH RESPECT GMA? It makes your case worse. Read the back issues of PDI. You will learn why. You’re getting lazy Bencard.

    DENIED. Motion DENIED.

  47. Bencard

    obviously you don’t understand the phrase “with respect to”, judge sore eyes. you are too funny if you were not out of this world. why don’t you just keep watching? every time you write your thoughts, you reveal something. and it’s not flattering to you at all, poor thing.

  48. Watchful eye

    There you go again. I t was a typo. I only type with two fingers. But such a losing comment reveals something that reflects about your rule of law. Shaman said it’s all form, no substance.

Fetch more comments

Leave a Reply