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Escalation
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on November 14, 2007 319 Comments 13 min read
The Glory Days Previous Farcical procedures Next

Before we get to the blast at the Batasan Pambansa, let’s set the scene, as it was, yesterday, prior to the explosion.

The way Amando Doronila sees it, Political scandals undermining the economy, and foreign observers, too, see it the same way, as shown by this snippet:

Frederic Neumann wrote in a commentary: “We view the recent political scandals as severely undermining the President’s ability to persuade the Congress to pass new policy initiatives to advance structural reforms … The scandals will make it harder for the President to advance a new wave of policy reforms, especially relating to improving the underlying public finance sector finances.”

Neumann noted that the government had made a commitment to wipe out its budget deficits and was closing in on its full-year deficit target of P63 billlion, with the help of privatization proceeds, but its fiscal performance was “less impressive,” suggesting that more reforms were needed.

Doronila seems to have a view that’s very different from the triumphalist tones of the President herself, who seems to be crowing that her economic work is done. In Arroyo shifts focus from economic to political reforms, she is quoted as having said,

Now that we have straightened out the economy, it is time to push for political reforms. Let us reduce conflict, fight corruption, and put the welfare of the ordinary Filipino first,” Arroyo said.

But there’s something ironic in a political animal bellowing about being a beast (though a very well-educated ones with academic credentials) if it was funny-ha-ha to have the Speaker thundering on about a “moral revolution,” isn’t it funny-hee-hee, now that Arroyo blames politics for causing suicide, murder:

Arroyo called on her critics anew to focus on promoting development, this time blaming politics for the deaths of Marianette Amper, the 12-year-old girl who committed suicide in Davao due to poverty, and Alioden Dalaig, the poll official gunned down last Saturday.

“Many Filipinos are experiencing poverty since some of the country’s leaders are preoccupied with their self-interests rather than the welfare of the nation.

“On the other hand, there are politicians and groups who have no heart and conscience and are ready to use violence to attain their ambitions,” she said in a speech at the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) meeting yesterday in Malacañang.

“The preoccupation with politics, past and present, does not promote the stability, policy continuity, security and peace and order that we will need to continue to move our country forward.”

But then of course she knows whereof she speaks, so there’s nothing funny about it, at all. Point is, the President was going on the political offensive, on the premise that (unlike the view of the foreign observers mentioned by Doronila) everything economics-wise, was shipshape. While Marvin A. Tort delves into the merits and demerits of the appreciating peso, the President, long a fetishist of the “strong peso equals a Strong Republic” sort, has no choice but to ponder relief to stave off the worst effects of the appreciating peso (the majority of the two articles above, describe the relief efforts the President’s decreed as a kind of series of emergency measures, which will help the poor but leaves exporters vulnerable still).

The best defense being a good offense, the President knew full well that the opposition had left her self-innoculation devoid of oomph. As the Inquirer editorial today puts it, the President’s reliance on a tactical, and not ethical, approach to questions as to her legitimacy or fitness for office, has reached the end of the road:

This has led to the adoption by the administration of a tactical, instead of ethical, approach to the impeachment process. Yet the kind of people involved — politicians — then and now aren’t very different. Quirino faced vicious infighting within his Liberal Party reminiscent of the intramurals between Kampi and Lakas today, with a relatively small opposition hounding both Presidents.

Indeed the only difference we see is that Quirino genuinely believed in his innocence and trusted the process. Quirino knew, as one of the framers of the 1935 Constitution, what impeachment is: a means by which a nation being governed badly can gain relief. As chief executive he asserted that relief was unnecessary; as a lawyer, he knew his salvation lay in confronting his accusers and opening access to information, and presenting evidence.

In contrast, President Macapagal-Arroyo mistrusts the process and the people in it. Her allies and critics in the House have conspired to approve rules that deny impeachable officials proper vindication not only before the House, but in the court of public opinion. And the Supreme Court, too, has handed down decisions that have mutated impeachment into a race to file weak complaints to stave off genuine ones.

In other words, all three branches of government are stuck in a trap, with each blaming the other for tying its hand, resulting in what we have today. Yet among these institutions, it is the House that still has in its hands the means to pass new rules in keeping with those of 1949. But it won’t, because it prefers the Palace cash buffet. Its members worship at the altar of Mammon instead of the altar of public duty.

Everything else, House-wise, on the part of the majority is bravado on the part of those left holding the bag: House majority rebuffs minority boycott of impeach hearings.

And also, because the best defense is a good offense, this took place: Panlilio, 8 more charged with bribery over Palace handouts. This was something people saw coming: Ateneo official rallies support for embattled Panlilio.

And also, because the best defense is a good offense, just as whistle blowers get the book thrown at them, anyone showing any kind of independence within the ruling coalition gets the Palace pit bills unleashed on them. Manuel Buencamino pens an open letter not for the faint of heart to Juan Ponce Enrile, senior Palace pit bull.

And so, having set the scene, let’s move on to the Batasan blast. I’d just emerged from a dinner conversation with a foreign businessman who was quite worried over the effect the appreciating peso was having on ordinary people and, of course, on the bigger Filipino exporters and other businessmen with whom he did business, and who now had to put plans for expanding or upgrading their equipment on hold (for my part, I traded notes on the true extent of smuggling which is also devastating legitimate businesses). The businessman was particularly puzzled by how the appreciating peso was resulting in an increase in the cost of basic commodities, which then led to a discussion on rice and sugar smuggling, etc.

Ironically, the businessman began our conversation by telling me how he’d first arrived in the Philippines on August 21, 1983, and the pandemonium that had ensued at the Manila International Airport as he arrived shortly before Ninoy Aquino’s flight. Anyway, as I left the meeting, I received a text asking for confirmation of the blast, and so contacted colleagues in the Inquirer who confirmed it; and so it went until midnight, when the President made a brief statement. What struck me most was the quavery voice of Rep. Darlene Custodio.

The initial responses on the blogosphere run the gamut of points of view, and helps provide an insight into the public’s reaction to the news. Whether its Shasha says or Andre’s Journal! a common reaction, on one part, is to be stupefied-and-angry (or relieved to be headed abroad, like Badfish) or simply astounded, like spiderye, or being held hostage by a creeping feeling that there’s an unfolding plot, and of God-knows-what to come, as blue law by anna writes:

Holy shit. They are NOT stopping. People kasi were criticizing them before, eh why the common tao your targeting, during the Glorietta bombing, so now I guess they’re trying to prove a point, that even law-makers, wala, nothing fazes or scares us, we WILL get our point across. What point ba???!!! What do they want? My god, when the Glorietta bombing went off, I felt really bad and angry, but I didn’t feel scared pa rin. I mean, I wasn’t afraid to go malling still or go around public places. But with this Batasan bombing, I’m like, oh my god, I got a really really bad feeling in my stomach, like, of things to come, this is probably not the end of it. Punyeta silang lahat. Nakaraos na yung bayan from our history of violence and unrest tapos ngayon binabalik balik nila.

Or simply being ticked off, as OLSEN 3 was, of people immediately cracking jokes. Outside Manila, in Antique, Antikenyo says people shrugged it off.

Inner Sanctum runs through all the conspiracy theories, and correctly points out,

While there’s nothing new about politicians getting murdered, it’s the audacity of the attack that sends jitters to most people, including myself. I don’t recall lawmakers’ domains (in this case, the Batasang Pambansa) ever getting bombed. If I’m not mistaken, this is the first time that an attack happened right inside the compound that houses congress.

Piercing Pens tackles other possibilities. Though New Philippine Revolution, a few days back, insisted a pattern of resistance is emerging, I’m still skeptical -coordination has not been a characteristic of the groups opposed to the administration, who more often than not, can barely manage to talk civilly to each other.

As it stands, the initial details are fully covered by the papers, see Bomb rocks Congress; solon among 3 killed and Police recover mobile phone at Congress blast site. And Arroyo creates task force vs political violence.

Even as Akbar dies, Teves in critical condition, and media attention therefore focuses on ‘Akbar, wives controlled Basilan’ (going back even further, see Ellen Tordesillas’ Akbar and the ghost of the Lamitan siege and this profile in the San Francisco Chronicle) that old reliable had to shoot his mouth off yet again: Gonzales: ‘We got the warning two weeks ago’.

You know, Gonzales didn’t help matters during the Glorietta blast, and he isn’t helping matters now. Just as one question -who was the target?- is only beginning to be resolved, Gonzales helps raise even more questions -if the target was Akbar, and government knew, why then, did the assassination (if that’s what it was) take place? The government will announce its suspects soon enough, but that, too, will raise more questions, I’m sure.

Anyway, if Akbar was the target, then it’s no different from the assassinations of other congressmen in Metro Manila right before the May elections. It shows that congressmen aren’t beyond vendetta killings formerly restricted to their home provinces -and a general deterioration in the ability of the authorities to maintain law and order.

The collateral damage, if that’s all it was, right at the House of Representatives, also sends a message that I suspect was the cause of Darlene Custodio’s quavery voice, as she described the scene at the time. They are all in it together, and in the end, enemies of the representatives aren’t interested in separating the sheep from the goats.

for me, what is significant is that it’s unclear who, precisely, dismissed the House security detail in the wake of the bombing. If it was the Speaker, then that’s fine; if it was the Secretary of the Interior, that’s an infringement on the independence of the House. This is no trivial matter, even if justified by the authorities as a question of security. If the Palace, in charge of the police power, cocoons representatives and senators in security, the legislators shouldn’t forget that it was an imposition. So far, that hasn’t happened; the Secretary of the Interior has merely offered additional security to legislators if and when they request it, which is the absolutely right way to approach security concerns.

More on Rep. Akbar in reason is the reason:

The lowdown the wife and I got from Dr. J, who was working at the FEU Hospital near the Batasang Pambansa Complex, was that the bomb had been intended for Congressman Wahab Akbar, the Distinguished Gentleman from Basilan.

An interview I heard on the radio later confirmed that the blast had likely come from a remote-controlled IED, detonated by someone within visual range of Akbar.

Akbar had unfortunately developed a routine that his enemies were quick to use to their advantage — he would have his driver pick him up at the same exit, so conveniently close to the motorcycle parking area where a bomb could easily be transported and hidden.

A quick Google search seems to indicate that Akbar had had it coming. He was alleged to have been in cahoots with the Abu Sayyaf commanders holed up in the Lamitan siege: “a group of army officers, ASG members and local governor Wahab Akbar split ransom money that they received for the ‘escape’ of three hostages in the early stages of the episode.”

In a controversial privilege speech, Akbar also claimed that 80% of Filipino Muslims were sympathetic to the Abu Sayyaf. In the same speech, Akbar made the bold claim “I am Basilan” — which wouldn’t be far from the truth, considering that two of his wives have won the top elective positions in the island province.

There’s a moral to be found here, where a man can claim to personify a violent, backward province one day — and end up riddled with shrapnel the next.

That, indeed, may be all there is to it. Live by the sword, die by the sword. If this is what happened, then the question is, just how firmly the government can clamp down if the suspects prove to be from the military, whether in the service, or AWOL.

As Ricky Carandang points out, it’s business as usual:

What happens next is anyone’s guess, but the House leadership has said that the incident will not prevent them from fulfilling their duty of killing the latest impeachment complaint against President Arroyo.

And indeed, mission accomplished: House committee rejects new impeach rap vs Arroyo.

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  1. Just a note — should read (pati tuloy ako nahilo na hehe!): “You have put your own words in your mouth and now YOU ACCUSE ME of putting words in your mouth?”

    And by way of moving last word on the issue: I sincerely hope you love the Philippines as much as the Philippines has loved you. That will be the democratic thing to do.

  2. Shaman

    I did not say you shouldn’t be horrified. I am just saying look at the context of what happened. It doesn’t mean what happened was right. I am just saying that one should try and understand it’s context. It was explained way long ago in the beginnings of this commentaries.

  3. MBW

    I wouldn’t be in this forum if I don’t love the land of my birth, which is the Philippines.(not China, mind you)

    As I sad before, all of us here ARE in here because we are interested in our country’s betterment. It’s just that we really have different ideas and opinions of what betterment is. I guess in the end, this goal we seek will probably be somewhere between what everybody’s idea of a better country will be.

    By the way, MBW, I didn’t open the door. SOmebody told me off by saying I should just go back to my motherland. That was the person who opened the door. I didn’t like that statement BECAUSE it was very racist.

    Ideas are what I came to discuss. It doesn’t mean I am always right. But explain them to me without using terms like hogwash and go back to your homeland and we should be all right.

    Shaman,

    my first mother tongue is actually tagalog. My parents then trained me to speak Minnanhua, the language of my grandparents so that they can understand me. English is actually my third language. 😉

    Actually, I think I was really sleepy at that time and was just typing away without realizing the implication of what I was typing. Again, my apologies.

  4. shaman, sorry, but there’s nothing much to say about your “dissertation”. all i am saying is call speculation and opinion for what they are. just say the word, as the case may be. that would not be too difficult, would it?

  5. Proud to be Tsinoy,

    “But explain them to me without using terms like hogwash and go back to your homeland and we should be all right.”

    Explained to you already why I believe Pinas is a democracy by giving you concrete, palpable comparissons, up to you to digest, that’s why I said “hogwash” to your erstwhime personal crusade of trying to indoctrinate us here that “Pinas isn’t or that Pinoys aren’t ready for democracy.”

    As to your “go back to your homeland ” thinggy — read again. Not once did I even allude to such a thing let alone told you to “go back to your homeland.”

    Baka nahihilo ka pa rin.

  6. cvj on, “And then when it turns out that your 9-11 connection and WMD pretexts were bogus, you can shrug it off with a Britneyesque ‘Oops..i did it again.’ How about 1 million Iraqi killed and millions more displaced? Because of your country, it’s like the Iraqi people are having their own 9-11 every other day.”

    Like any country, Americans decide for their own national interest based on various information. Absence of one information will not negate other information in the list of reasons that approved the war.

    Following your statement, Iraqi are having their own daily 9-11 because Al Queda decided it is the place to fight the Americans. In the same way, Philippines is having few 9-11 in the south because Afghanistan/Al Queda trained Abu Sayaf is waging its war in the South. US and Australia are providing assistance to fight against any Al Queda sponsored war might be.

  7. You know something is very wrong when the entrance of the Batasan Pambansa is bombed. Apparently, it is the first time in the history of the Philippines. Not focusing on who the target was, or even who the perpetuators were, instead, it is disturbing that there were no civil society groups who denounced the bombing really. Most of the reactions from the people were blaming Gloria’s administration for supposedly staging yet another bomb explosion–after Glorietta–so that she can declare martial law.

    It is precisely the reaction of people to the Batasan Bomb that caught my attention. Indeed, it just goes to show how much people distrust their lawmakers, with Gloria, of course, at the helm of this suspicion. This reaction should get Gloria & her minions worried. They’re sitting on a time bomb—which is the apathy of the citizenry towards government—to explode.

  8. “They’re sitting on a time bomb—which is the apathy of the citizenry towards government—to explode.”

    That is the welcome news to those who are fed-up with the current legislators.

  9. Like any country, Americans decide for their own national interest based on various information. Absence of one information will not negate other information in the list of reasons that approved the war. – d0d0ng

    Of course, the fact that innocent Iraqi civilians would become collateral damage of the invasion and occupation was not a factor. You Americans now have the blood of a million dead Iraqis in your hands.

    Following your statement, Iraqi are having their own daily 9-11 because Al Queda decided it is the place to fight the Americans. – d0d0ng

    Yes, Al Qaeda went to Iraq because the Americans were there, part of the American’s logic of ‘fighting them over there, so that we won’t have to fight them over here‘. It does not matter if ‘over there‘ was actually someone else’s homeland.

  10. “It does not matter if ‘over there‘ was actually someone else’s homeland.” — cvj

    And to think that a couple of centuries ago Americans fought their British colonialists for the same reason the Iraqis are fighting the Americans today.

    This American bullying techniques shock even typical %British ‘imperialist’ Peregrine Worsthorne who says in his First Post UK column, “The idea of an English monarch bossing Americans became unthinkable. So has the idea of an American president bullying the leaders of Islam.”

    Worsthorne concludes with “It has become part of a vanished world. Not yet in the mind of George Bush, for sure. But then George III, too, was a slow learner.”

    Heh!

    Question that Americans should think very profoundly of: Americans didn’t want to be bossed around by their British colonialists so what makes them think that they should boss others around today?

  11. cvj on, “Of course, the fact that innocent Iraqi civilians would become collateral damage of the invasion and occupation was not a factor. You Americans now have the blood of a million dead Iraqis in your hands.”

    Check again history if wars had changed. War is the last resort to settle conflicts. Either, you are in it or out of it.

  12. cvj on, “It does not matter if ‘over there‘ was actually someone else’s homeland.”

    That is correct, war is only defined where the combatants are. To illustrate a point, Pakistan wisely choose to abandon Taliban (harboring Al Queda) to spare the country from war.

  13. i wonder what jamby’s and pimentel’s reaction would be if they survive an al quaeda-orchestrated bomb attack on the senate floor. what do you think, dean bocobo (wherever you are)?

  14. manilabaywatch on, “Question that Americans should think very profoundly of: Americans didn’t want to be bossed around by their British colonialists so what makes them think that they should boss others around today?”

    That is odd because the last time the French president visits the White House, the French are talking tough against Iran. The French President Sarkozy did not think Americans are bossing around.

  15. Dodong,

    Don’t be presumptuous! You don’t know what President Sarkozy was thinking. In the first place, it is not good protocol to lambast your hosts on sensitive issues right in his face (French are not Americans and do not go around spitting on his host’s face… remember when VP Al Gore lambasted Mahathir right in Malaysia, the cheek…)

    Secondly, President Sarkozy was very categorical, he said: “We are good friends and allies of America but even friends don’t always agree and America must understand this.”

    Thirdly, even before the meeting between Sarkozy and Bush, France had been advocating for a strong rhetoric against Iran’s nuclear program. If you want, Sarkozy is merely continuing his predecessor’s tough Iran policy. So why should the meeting between Sarkozy and Bush change what has been there even before the meeting. I suggest you get acquainted with French foreign policy before you raise an innuendo here.

  16. And Dodong, if I am not mistaken, cvj had raised the spectre of dead Iraqi civilians to satisfy Bush’s egomaniac America’s invasion of Iraq. If you don’t know it, Bush twisted and fabricated intelligence reports to fit his ambition of punishing the man who in his own words tried to kill his poor lil daddy.

  17. You don’t believe that Bush fabricated and twisted intel re Saddam and 9/11 connivance or Al Qaeda operating under Sadam, then read Bush’s poodle Tony Blair’s Downing Street Memos.

    Official reports leaked to the press on how Bush planned his invasion of Iraq WMDs or no WMDs…

  18. In the same categorical statement of President Sarkozy, I echoed the same thing that French and Americans are friends even if there are disagreements.

  19. cvj,

    The war on Iraq has claimed not only Iraqi lives but also US soldiers who served in Iraq but have gone home…

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article2873622.ece

    More American military veterans have been committing suicide than US soldiers have been dying in Iraq, it was claimed yesterday.

    At least 6,256 US veterans took their lives in 2005, at an average of 17 a day, according to figures broadcast last night. Former servicemen are more than twice as likely than the rest of the population to commit suicide.

    Such statistics compare to the total of 3,863 American military deaths in Iraq since the invasion in 2003 – an average of 2.4 a day, according to the website ICasualties.org.

    The rate of suicides among veterans prompted claims that the US was suffering from a “mental health epidemic” – often linked to post-traumatic stress.

    Related Links
    Government ‘gave public false hopes’ on Iraq

  20. As I replied to cvj above, congress listed all the reasons in approving the Iraq war. Intelligence information can be right or wrong. But one or two wrong information did not negate the overall authority to go to war.

    If you are correct, Democrats would have impeached Bush a long time ago.

  21. You are an optimist: “But one or two wrong information ” Hahah!

    Not my problem why Bush ain’t impeached … he needs all the friends he can get now more so when his term is over — people won’t forget the horrors committed by Bush, Iraqis definitely won’t.

    A wrong is wrong no matter who says or does it! The invasion of Iraq on the pretext of Saddam’s connection with 9/11 or that Iraq was stocking WMDs is just utterly, completely wrong! Again, A wrong is wrong no matter who says or does it!

  22. In the same paper that you quoted it said, “This year General Kevin Kiley, the US Army’s Surgeon General, was among senior military officials dismissed for his role in the mistreatment of wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    Returning veterans are not getting the proper mental health care that they need.

  23. “Returning veterans are not getting the proper mental health care that they need.”

    Not my fault nor cvj’s and definitely not the Iraqis — if evern you should blame all these things on Bush.

  24. “A wrong is wrong no matter who says or does it! The invasion of Iraq on the pretext of Saddam’s connection with 9/11 or that Iraq was stocking WMDs is just utterly, completely wrong! Again, A wrong is wrong no matter who says or does it!”

    Excuse me, you misread the American public. It is hesitant to go to another war. But if Iran becomes nuclear, US will strike first. You should pay attention to your French president. Because his influence in European Union against Iran will bring America closer to another war.

  25. “Not my fault nor cvj’s and definitely not the Iraqis — if evern you should blame all these things on Bush.”

    Our war is our problem, not yours.

  26. And before you get on your high horse Dodong, let me tell you that I hold an American passport and and by virtue of my possessing that document, I am considered an American, hence where America engages in crimes against humanity – I consider that an affront to me too as an American.

  27. “That’s where you’re wrong Dodong! Crimes against humanity is a problem for mankind.”

    We need your French President to echo your statement, please. He has the power.

  28. “I am considered an American, hence where America engages in crimes against humanity – I consider that an affront to me too as an American.”

    Then please tell me how can you indict your president for crime against humanity.

  29. “But if Iran becomes nuclear, US will strike first. ”

    Americans should tell Bush not to do it. Why should Bush not listen to Americans? Has Bush lost all common sense? Doesn’t he know that the will of America is paramount?

    If he refuses to listen to the voice of the American people, I suggest you guys do something drastic about it — perhaps impeach him before he does another hideos thing.

  30. Am not interested in indicting Bush Dodong, up to those people he hoodwinked to do something about it. Those who approved of Bush’s invasion and war on Iraq should do some soul searching and take on Bush for having lied to them.

    On balance, why don’t you do that instead?

  31. “Americans should tell Bush not to do it. Why should Bush not listen to Americans? Has Bush lost all common sense? Doesn’t he know that the will of America is paramount? If he refuses to listen to the voice of the American people, I suggest you guys do something drastic about it — perhaps impeach him before he does another hideos thing.”

    You said you are American (dual citizenship). You should know the answer.

    In addition, majority believes in military solution in Iran according to the latest poll.

  32. “up to those people he hoodwinked to do something about it. Those who approved of Bush’s invasion and war on Iraq should do some soul searching and take on Bush for having lied to them.”

    When the Americans saw their soldiers dragged in Somali street, they felt they tied the hands of military with limited response in Clinton timefor too long. When they saw violence and destruction of twin towers in their city, they understood, with or without friends, that full military solution is necessary to bring war to the doorstep of sworn enemy whatever their names, wherever they maybe. So George Bush was elected twice. Today, American public believes that military solution is needed in Iran before it will become nuclear. Congress including top presidential contender Hillary Clinton is asking Bush to give them 24 hrs warning before he decide to strike.

  33. “Are you an American citizen?”

    You can make a fair assumption as I assume you are dual French-American…

  34. “I did not say you shouldn’t be horrified. I am just saying look at the context of what happened. It doesn’t mean what happened was right. I am just saying that one should try and understand it’s context. It was explained way long ago in the beginnings of this commentaries.” – Tsinoy

    The way you said it, I got the impression that you were trying to justify the massacre of peaceful demonstrators vis-a-vis the “Western” democracies’ view of it, urging us to understand it through “China’s eyes”. The massacre of unarmed, peaceful demonstrators anytime anywhere can never be understood in any context whatsoever. If a regime has a history of brutality, that history cannot be a self-justification for the regime’s behavior. History cannot be a defense for a crime against humanity.

    So, if the Tiananmen Square incident was not right, as you’ve admitted, then it was wrong, period. Never mind the “Chinese mind”.

  35. “btw, shaman, half-truth is still false, partial fact is not truth. hope you can comprehend that.” – Bencard

    Well, Bencard, in the very real world outside your courtroom, people do make conclusions based on whatever information is available and act on them. If they waited until all the information were in, they would wait forever.

  36. no excuse, shaman. courtroom is a real world, especially if you are accused of murder or rape that you have not committed. nothing academic or make believe about that. hope you don’t face that kind of reality. making conclusions based on what “information” is available is a recipe for anarchy.

  37. As I sad before, all of us here ARE in here because we are interested in our country’s betterment. It’s just that we really have different ideas and opinions of what betterment is. I guess in the end, this goal we seek will probably be somewhere between what everybody’s idea of a better country will be… TBT

    apparently, some people here who are judging or questioning your loyalty or love for your country (for that statement “hindi lubos ang pagmamahal”), it turns out, are not even filipinos. and they have the nerve to say how a filipino should behave and how this country should be ran. these people really amaze me no end. hypocrites.

    proud to be tsinoy, i believe you’re a true filipino for opting to stay rather than choosing to take the easy way out. i fully understand what you mean with your ideas on “Betterment” while some people here are simply fixated on politics. i myself have been tempted to leave for good on several occasions when the going gets tough, but it’s good that there’s always my wife who never failed to remind me how beautiful this country we only have. for keeping the faith that there’s always hope and a bright future for the motherland and the filipino people for as long as everybody help collectively (instead of the gloom and doom scenario others want to portray).

    gloria is not the phils. the storm will pass after 2010.

  38. gloria is not the phils. the storm will pass after 2010. – grd

    Yes, unless she attempts to hang on to power, of course. But even if she doesn’t, we’d still have to survey the damage wrecked by the monstrous storm, which will be quite massive and extensive. Damaged institutions everywhere, more entrenched corruption, lying as official govt policy, a culture of impunity, the resulting deep-seated apathy and cynicism, etc.

  39. I’m not saying, Bencard, that the courtroom is not a reality, it has its specific purpose. But I just refuse to be governed by courtroom standards in all aspects of my life.

    It’s okay, Manoy, I’m not begrudging you your privilege to wear your legalistic straight-jacket.

  40. Excuse me, you misread the American public. It is hesitant to go to another war. But if Iran becomes nuclear, US will strike first. – D0d0ng

    The proven ability of Bush to manipulate the American public into going to war is one more good reason why we shouldn’t identify ourselves to closely with the Americans. We wouldn’t want a repeat of World War 2 where our country suffered because the Americans happened to be over here. Let the American’s war be their problem and let’s try to avoid becoming collateral damage to the USA’s hubris.

  41. pre-emptive strike policy is stupid. it makes countries like Iran want to acquire nuclear weapons to deter pre-emptive wars. stupid.

    when did Iran start aggressively pushing its nuclear program? when Bush and his damn neo-cons invaded Iraq on a flimsy claim abt WMD.

    what does this tell us? that first, if you are an oil producing country, be very afraid if all you have to deter invasion is diplomacy. with Bush and his gangsta, that won’t work.

    second, nuclear capable countries aren’t easily bullied by US as they do other countries who have no nuclear weapons. this shows that the US only respect force, and deals with other countries in a similar manner.

    it is a circular argument. the US will invade bec an obviously anti-US country cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons.

    An anti-US country will pursue those nuclear weapons bec it is afraid of being invaded by US to pre-empt its acquiring nuclear weapons.

    kinda stupid don’t you think?

    the only way to deter Iran from pursuing its nuclear weapons program is to bind the US to an international agreement that it will never invade Iran w/o UN approval, unilaterally, and violations should carry extreme punitive actions.

    as it is, the US’s pre-emptive war on Iraq has already set a very bad precedent, copied by Israel on Lebanon and will be used by other countries as pretext for territorial expansion.

    the argument is simple: are you justified to kill another man bec you think he’s looking at you in a threatening manner?

  42. …kinda stupid don’t you think? – Devilsadvc8

    Devils, when the Americans speak on their ‘pre-emptive strike policy’, i’m always am reminded of this quote:

    Ah, arrogance and stupidity all in the same package. How efficent of you. -Londo Mollari (Babylon 5)

  43. Yes, unless she attempts to hang on to power, of course. But even if she doesn’t, we’d still have to survey the damage wrecked by the monstrous storm, which will be quite massive and extensive. Damaged institutions everywhere, more entrenched corruption, lying as official govt policy, a culture of impunity, the resulting deep-seated apathy and cynicism, etc… ay_naku

    agree about the damages. stark reality isn’t it? shall we blame erap for this or should we blame ourselves for creating a monster that is gloria? i remember everyone’s patting each others back when erap was ousted through people power. but looks like it’s not going to work now. all attempts may it be legal or extra-legal has been thwarted by gloria. so our choice, either we look beyond the gloria era or we can choose to be pessimistic about it and continue with our fascination with “people power or the edsa revolution” syndrome until gloria is out of the picture.

    well, at least we have to content ourselves with the fact that we still have democracy as what MBW ardently stated.

  44. cvj on, “The proven ability of Bush to manipulate the American public into going to war is one more good reason why we shouldn’t identify ourselves to closely with the Americans. We wouldn’t want a repeat of World War 2 where our country suffered because the Americans happened to be over here. Let the American’s war be their problem and let’s try to avoid becoming collateral damage to the USA’s hubris.”

    That is incorrect. After Somalia, blown-up embassies in Africa and 9/11, the Americans wanted war and elected Bush. America did not enter WW2 even Europe was overran by Germany until the Japanese bombed Hawaii. You can be an isolationist if you wanted if you ran the country. But Philippines right now is dependent on military aid.

  45. devilsadvocate on, “pre-emptive strike policy is stupid. it makes countries like Iran want to acquire nuclear weapons to deter pre-emptive wars. stupid.”

    When Americans watched the horrors of Pearl Harbor and 9/11, they wanted to know what the country can do to stop the carnage in our own soil. We have answer, you guess it right. Pre-emptive strike. For the Americans, there is nothing stupid in Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

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