Wrangling over public opinion

Economic news: ADB ups RP GDP growth forecast to 7% while Peso rises to 7 1/2-yr high. A cautionary note: Vietnam close to overtaking RP in shipping–UN.

Postmortem on the transport strike: Transport strike fizzles out.

For several years now, transport organizations have generally been pandered to by, and thus, cooperative with, government. the Left thus had to prove it still had clout with transport operators, never mind if public opinion sided with them or not.

Arroyo seeks return of subversion law while Esperon wouldn’t mind extension as AFP chief (for purposes of comparison, see Esperon: I’m ready to go with clear conscience, which also has Esperon not minding an extension; perhaps a trial balloon, but by whom? Definitely, the President’s decision come the expiration of Esperon’s present term, will be seen as significant).

Good or bad for the Republic? Libyan govt pitches into bring peace to South:

Saif Al-Islam Al-Qaddafi, eldest son of Qaddafi, is on a state visit to the Philippines, where he met with President Gloria Arroyo on Thursday.

He aims to ask the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to reconcile with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) from which it split in 1978, Libyan diplomats said. He was expected to have met with representatives of both the MNLF and the MILF later Thursday.

Wrangling over the survey continues: Malacañang on warpath, tags Serge Osmeña:

Osmeña explained how the survey results became public.

“Last Tuesday when I was in Bacolod to visit my 94-year-old mother in the hospital, I got a text from Pulse Asia’s Ana Tabunda. She was briefing ABS-CBN on the regular periodic survey findings of Pulse. That survey had included questions on corruption. I did not know that and I commissioned a handful of rider questions on trust ratings of some leaders and the most corrupt and most honest President,” Osmeña said in a text message.

“Ana asked if I could lift my embargo so that she could disclose my data to ABS… When I agreed, ABS later called me up to ask if they could announce my poll findings on their newscast and ABS inquired why I had commissioned the poll. I replied that the opposition office takes regular surveys to feel the pulse of the citizenry. We have alternated between using Pulse and SWS. Our cost for this rider was in the low six figures,” he said.

Two editorials try to dissect the administration reaction to the survey.

In the Inquirer editorial, they slice and dice through the administration’s objections:

Cabinet Secretary Ricardo Saludo said in a statement written in Filipino, “is the President’s unceasing service to the millions of Filipinos, not her rating in surveys of 1,500 people.”

The implication is that the universe of survey respondents is too small as to be representative. This comes as news to us, because Malacañang has in fact depended on similar surveys, conducted by the same polling organizations, when they meet its objectives. The President’s election victory over main rival Fernando Poe Jr. was predicted by the surveys, and Arroyo officials used that very trend in the last several weeks of the 2004 campaign to defend Malacañang, in 2005, against accusations of election fraud raised by the “Hello, Garci” tapes. Those surveys had more or less the same sample size, but did we hear any Malacañang official whining about its unrepresentativeness then?

In his blog, Newsstand, John Nery, who has taken pains to dissect many a survey and the process, for those who continue to be skeptical of statistics.

In the Business Mirror editorial, the bottom line, it says, is the issue of trust. It first catalogs the virtues of the President:

It truly is tragic that a President under whose watch macroeconomic stability was achieved under the most challenging conditions, and who has displayed a keen devotion to her work, following a punishing schedule despite her own health risks, is now seen as “most corrupt” even though no court has found her to have stolen a centavo from the republic. Viewed from this angle, it’s easy to understand Malacañang’s deep-seated frustration at the survey.

Then asks, despite these virtues, why is she still being hammered in terms of negative public opinion?

Critics of the Trillanes-Lim group wonder aloud why the “destabilizers” never seem to tire of raising the same old issues against her presidency. Simple: the “same old issues” remain “same old issues” because there was never any satisfactory resolution, in the public mind, to them. In short, no closure.

Worse, in every case, the president was often perceived as being too protective of the parties named in each controversy, whether a relative, political supporter or patron, or a subordinate official. Thus, it has come to pass that at the end of the day, the blame was put at her doorstep.

To every congressional inquiry, her legal advisers have thrown all conceivable means to block efforts to ferret out the truth: Executive Order 464 is a classic, mocking the very principle of checks and balances in a democracy…

There are many more controversies without closure: the Venable contract, the Joc-joc Bolante fertilizer scam, “Hello Garci,” and the alleged corruption in the military even as soldiers die in the field partly from substandard materiel and gear.

And finally, it asks, why does the President get a raw deal compared to say, Fidel V. Ramos?

At the end of the day, some people have raised the question of how come Mrs. Arroyo received a lower score than Fidel V. Ramos, whom critics say seems to have a “Teflon” ability to brush off such megacontroversies as the Centennial Expo, PEA-Amari, the onerous independent power producer contracts, and the multibillion-peso tax-credit scam that happened during his administration.

We hazard a guess: Mr. Ramos has not been perceived to be eager to use every available stratagem–when he was president and after–to block official inquiries or efforts to ferret out the truth. He had the patience to explain himself well, would personally prepare position papers and documents, and would tell his accusers, in and out of Congress, that he did a judgment call each time, and if he were to be made liable for his acts, so be it. He was seen on national TV attending several congressional hearings, facing his accusers. So whether or not people have evidence of any direct participation by Mr. Ramos in any of these controversies, perhaps–just perhaps–people see him as someone not going out of his way to cover up or block the efforts of truth-seekers. After all, the Pulse survey was admittedly tracking perception from the very start: and unfortunately for her, the perception she and her minions have tried so hard to block all inquiries has reinforced the suspicion she had committed something wrong.

Anyone intent on prosecuting a case is convinced they are right and will win; anyone defending themselves in a case is convinced they are innocent and will prevail. Foregone conclusions in any sort of trial is dangerous thing because it means it’s not a trial but a kangaroo court. Part of the brinkmanship of the administration is to completely ignore the majority of her critics who pointed out that subjecting her to accountability procedures also meant she had the opportunity to vindicate herself fully.

In his column, Amando Doronila tackles the survey results, too:

There are valid issues that can be raised about the survey. The first is the time context of the comparison of records of the five presidents. The second, which is less important than the first, is the timing of the survey. Osmeña has said that he had wanted to test political awareness of the public in relation to the 2010 election, which is still far off, making me conclude that the survey is a wasted effort at this stage in terms of immediate political impact.

For the first time, someone has tried to quantify corruption in the case of the President. Newsbreak breaks it down to $164.7 million, a bit over $1 million for every centimeter of the President’s height (150 cm. is the President’s height):

Newsbreak estimates the amounts involved in the alleged major corruption cases under the Arroyo administration. (In US dollars; based on a US$1=42 pesos exchange rate)

IMPSA deal $ 2 million
Diosdado Macapagal Blvd. 14 million
Piatco 20 million
Jose Pidal account 7.6 million
US properties 7.1 million
Fertilizer scam 17.3 million
North Rail project 50 million
NBN-ZTE deal 32.9 million
Jueteng collections 10 million
Palace cash handouts 3.8 million
TOTAL $ 164.7 million

Why aren’t the law-and-order types demanding two things, I wonder: the prosecution of policemen accused of looting the Manila Peninsula, and the Makati Shangri-La for refusing permission to post snipers on its roof? See the Newsbreak story:

The Marines and the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force (SAF), who led the assault, were working with limited information.

They did not have prior intelligence information on the plan of Antonio Trillanes IV and Danilo Lim to take over the hotel. They were in the dark on exactly how many armed followers were with Trillanes and Lim–and their positions inside the Manila Pen. All they had was a map of the lobby of the hotel which they got from the Makati police.

The situation was so frenzied at the Pen that the soldiers were unable to coordinate with the hotel staff regarding the map and positions of rebels.

The Marines planned on posting some of their men at the Makati Shangrila–for possible sniper shots but the hotel disagreed and refused to cooperate.

Also, Charges vs Guingona, other civilians at Manila Pen dismissed. On a related note, quarter of people surveyed said they were willing to go out in the streets. To me, this is huge, but of course what remains to be asked is what would the other three quarters do in a situation that would bring the one quarter into the streets?

Incidentally, an interesting Newsbreak story on group dynamics:

In fact, the same October survey shows that 25 percent of the respondents will “do whatever is necessary to have a president resign or be removed from office.”

Here’s the statistical analysis, provided by Pulse Asia executive director Ana Tabunda. While 25 percent of Filipinos may be willing to do whatever is necessary to remove a corrupt president from office, there is one presumption in the survey question. That they are “convinced that the President should resign.” The question is: were they convinced on November 29?

Newsbreak recalls what analysts and historians have shared to us about failed revolutions in the past. That is, no revolution launched during the holidays nor in the rainy season ever succeeded in the Philippines. Filipinos, the analysts said, never like anything to go in the way of a happy Christmas celebration. They, too, don’t want the hassle of getting wet in the rain.

On November 29, the holiday spirit was in the air, primarily due to early Christmas carols and decorations in malls and giving of the 13th month pay. It was also raining.

Overseas, Whither Malaysia?

Will dissent increase? Is Abdullah Badawi in electoral trouble? Will unrest spread outside of the opposition parties to the populace at large? What do the demonstrations mean for investors?

The answers are mixed. Despite a general feeling of malaise over the economy, it actually grew at the fastest pace since 2005 - 6.7 percent in the third quarter - on rising domestic demand and investment as well as commodity exports, although manufactured exports declined somewhat. So far, unrest appears to have been contained largely within the opposition despite widespread grumbling, particularly on the Internet, and does not appear to be concerning investors. The Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) said in its 2008 Economic Outlook for East Asia, released this week, that reduced corporate taxes are expected to continue to lure foreign investment. Nobody is particularly nervous about the protests.

Unless there is a dramatic change, it is inconceivable that the Barisan Nasional, the collection of ethnically-based political parties that make up the national ruling coalition, would lose an election when it is called, expected to be sometime next year. But by Malaysian standards the electorate may deliver a blow to the Barisan, which has ruled the country since independence in 1957. Ethnic Chinese, who make up 23.7 percent of the population according to the CIA World Factbook, have been disenchanted by rising Malay bellicosity and widespread reports of corruption.

Rural Malays can largely be expected to continue to support the Barisan and the United Malays National Organisation, the leading ethnic party in the coalition because of the benefits delivered to them by the National Development Plan, the successor to the New Economic Policy or NEP in the form of schooling, redistribution of wealth and other assistance. Commodity prices, because of China’s voracious appetite, are up, particularly for palm oil and rubber.

Although urban professional Malays in Kuala Lumpur and other cities appear to be increasingly unhappy with what they regard as the hijacking of the NEP by rent-seeking cronies and a series of events involving local corruption, nothing has galvanized them into real action against the Barisan. For one thing, their options are relatively limited. The jeans-wearing BMW drivers and their companions in the urban areas who have forsaken strict Islamic dress have little in common with the ascetic Islamic foundations of Parti Sa-Islam Malaysia, the biggest Malay opposition party outside the coalition.

In the blogosphere, an interesting account of meeting, and working, with Trillanes in Iloilo City Boy. And a list of winner and losers in The Warrior Lawyer. In Katataspulong, a catalog of lost opportunities for a province. Mongster’s Nest provides a political lexicon for the concluding year. Ped Xing on land reform.

Uniffors takes a look at the ongoing Transco bidding.

And Going Through a (Phase)Book just made me laugh very hard indeed!

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    • hvrds on December 15, 2007 at 11:30 am

    Anyone who watched snippets of Miriam’s outburst in the Senate vs. the guys of the government relative to the TRANSCO and PNOC bidding missed the point by an eternity.

    Her task to preclude any other inquiry since she will initiate one knowing that she sill end it later. Her counterpart in the whole scenario from the House is the presidential son.

    This is where the cheating probably occurred in the Transco bidding. This is analogous to a stock buy in. The one who has the most complete information will win. Who gives out the information or the facts to the bidders on the internal operations and processes to the bidders. It is Transco. Who is in charge of Transco? Razon’s boy. Insider information is very difficult to prove.

    Putting in a bid depends on the quantity and quality of information given or available to the bidders or buyers. One of the reasons why the Razon family won the bidding for the MICP is the well known fact that the old man Razon was an expert in port operations. He knew everything that was there to know about port operations. He had even then won the bid to operate the ports in Saudi Arabia way back then. His major adversary in the bid was the Sumulong family related to Cory. No match. Plus the fact that the man then who ran the bid was straight. Take a look at who is in charge today of the Department of Energy – Angie Reyes.

    The foreign partner of the winner is a state owned enterprise. That means that future expansion will be financed with state subsidized rates meaning almost no interest. Plus this sale of the concession is payable in installments. The Filipino partners simply put in their influence as their capital and the Chinese state will carry the cost of the equity investments up front.

    Imagine this the Philippine state says that to generate efficiencies the private sector is more likely to to do better than the state since the idea of self interest will generate economic efficiencies and lower prices for a natural monopoly. However the party with the knowhow is a state owned Chinese company. They can afford to sell future equipment lower that any other supplier.

    The major principals that control thee winning bid are all business associates of Razon. Not one of them know a thing about running a transmission company. Mostly tisoys. They are the rentiers who run this country. Now they are turning their influence into more currency for themselves.

    This type of crony capitalism cannot be appreciated by most if not all of the legislators.

    GMA more corrupt than Marcos and people doubt it because we may well be only looking at the surface.

    Remember the CODE-NGO bonds organized by GMA and Camacho for her erstwhile allies. Money out of thin air but derived on future debt of the people.

    • cvj on December 15, 2007 at 11:34 am

    Ramrod, thanks for sharing that as I previously wasn’t aware of Henry David Thoreau and his role as an intellectual grandfather of People Power.

    • Willy on December 15, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    10 scandals amounting to $164.7M, no acceptable resolution. No one must be surprised with the survey results. Facts are stubborn.

    • Willy on December 15, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    Jocjoc Bolante is a weird case for example. Why isn’t the
    government exerting pressure so he can face the music?
    Very puzzling. It should be a much easier task than the effort made to the Emir of Kuwait.

  1. “in america, an implication of the slightest immorality, let alone indictment for or conviction of a crime, is a serious political consideration even for an ordinary farmer or welfare recipient. the average american doesn’t readily swallow every allegation without a reality check that is reasonably convincing to him/her to form an opinion.”

    yeah, right…..abu graiib prison !

  2. You don’t have to look at a crystal ball to predict what Gloria will do in 2008. We have a president whose psychological makeup inclines her do as she pleases. Because the House of Representatives has been bribed, and the military top brass stacked with loyalists, she has gotten away with it — so far.The way things are moving, there is infinite opportunity to diddle and dodge — in effect conducting business pretty much as usual until 2010 (or longer if the Cha-Cha train moves on)

    1)Gloria will pursue cha-cha with “urgency and vigor.” With the prospect of her staying in power beyond 2010 courtesy of cha-cha, she can still command the support of congressmen, especially when impeachment time comes again next year.

    2)Gloria will circumnavigate the world many times over. “She is unwavering in her commitment to travel on behalf of Philippine interests, and nothing will deter her. “Secretary Bunye

    3) Gloria will extend the tenure of Mr. Esperon who is supposed to retire in February 2008. Gloria’s relationship with him is no different from Marcos’ relationship with Ver.

    4) Gloria will appoint Ronnie Puno as Executive secretary. Ronnie is arguably the most powerful and most trusted cabinet member.

    5) Gloria will have more mega China deals. The ZTE deal was not the last.

    6) Gloria will find ways to replace Joe De Venecia as Speaker. Prospero Nograles will do “a Brutus”. “The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars but in ourselves. ”

    7) Gloria ,in collaboration with Puno, will impose more draconian measures to intimidate the people in preparation for emergency rule (and martial law). This scenario will be considered if the cha cha move fails.

    8)As usual ,Gloria will ignore the Senate.

    9) Gloria will use the China card against the US if the Democrats win next year.

    10)Gloria will have problems with the “activities” of Mike Arroyo (again).

    • Shaman of Malilipot on December 15, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    “Jocjoc Bolante is a weird case for example. Why isn’t the government exerting pressure so he can face the music? Very puzzling.”

    Willy, this is one of the things that make people believe that perception equals reality. Some of the others are: Why invoke executive privilege in the ZTE investigations? Why EO 464? Why Memorandum 108?

  3. “Why invoke executive privilege in the ZTE investigations? Why EO 464? Why Memorandum 108?Shaman”

    SHAMAN of Malilipot:We have a president whose psychological makeup inclines her do as she pleases.A complex character with a BIG EGO DRIVE and strong personal ambitions and no clear understanding “of what‘s right and wrong”.

    Is she beyond political redemption?

    • ramrod on December 15, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    cvj,

    “Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) was an introspective man who wandered the woods surrounding the small village of Concord, Massachusetts, recording the daily growth of plants and the migration of birds in his ever-present journal. How, then, did he profoundly influence such political giants as Mohandas Gandhi, Leo Tolstoy, and Martin Luther King Jr.?”

    The lawyer’s truth is not Truth, but consistency or a consistent expediency…. He well deserves to be called … the Defender of the Constitution…. Still thinking of the sanction which the Constitution gives to slavery, he says, “Because it was part of the original compact,— let it stand.” [He] is unable to take a fact out of its merely political relations….

    Conscience vs. the collective

    This is the key to Thoreau’s political philosophy. The individual is the final judge of right and wrong. More than this, since only individuals act, only individuals can act unjustly.

    VISIT THIS SITE http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0503e.asp

    I grew up having to pass by a red light district to and from school everyday and I’ve had this reverse-discrimination about everything American, culminating perhaps when my very first girlfriend (of 5 years) went to Chicago as a nurse and got married to an American 1 year later.
    Lately, I realized my lifelong mistake. The US has a rich democratic legacy whos influence became a catalyst to so many global political changes.
    I had a discussion with an American colleague the other day and realized also that they are now facing political challenges. Their government, with the help of the media has succeeded in deceiving the people to go to war and the current administration is an economic disaster. So basically, the Philippines is not the only country with problems…Anyway, its good reading material…

    • Willy on December 15, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    Shaman, lots more but the point is there should be no big deal in “perception equals reality” when it comes to survey s and the party burdened to explain. The way to handle negative perceptions is to assess and execute corrective actions promptly, regardless of whether these perceptions square with reality or not. The prevalent negative perception itself is the message something is gravely wrong with governance in a democratic society. This is the reason why the survey’s integrity is being undermined.

    • ramrod on December 15, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    THE LAWYERS’ INABILITY TO ACCEPT THE TRUTH

    The lawyer’s truth is not Truth, but consistency or a consistent expediency…. He well deserves to be called … the Defender of the Constitution…. Still thinking of the sanction which the Constitution gives to slavery, he says, “Because it was part of the original compact,— let it stand.” [He] is unable to take a fact out of its merely political relations…. – HENRY DAVID THOREAU

    The truth according to legality is based on the law, the constitution, this is a myopic view of reality and not the way to truth. Our forefathers, being of humble beginnings were not pompous and arrogant lawyers who believed that what they established was PERFECT already thats why they made a way for changes, for amendments. It will take generations upon generations of amendments to even begin to touch perfection. Sadly enough, though well versed in argument and legalese, lawyers are limited in this way…

    • mlq3 on December 15, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    hvrds, engrossing, as always.

    ramrod, good to have you back.

    willy: that’s the problem, any opportunity for a vindication has been subverted.

    • ramrod on December 15, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    The way to handle negative perceptions is to assess and execute corrective actions promptly, regardless of whether these perceptions square with reality or not. –willy

    Funny, I thought this was standard operating procedure? You smell smoke, look for the source, the cause, what else is there to do? Its basically a “no brainer” and it has to take someone named WILLY to remind us…THANK GOD FOR WILLY!!! For a while there the dead horse was beaten and beaten, it probably went through 100 (or more) past lives…

  4. Ramrod:We missed you! Rascine must have been really cold.

    Let’s keep the fire burning!

  5. Manolo:Hope you mom is ok.

    btw,honestly ,is gloria beyond (political) redemption?

    • mlq3 on December 15, 2007 at 2:48 pm
      Author

    equalizer, my mom?

  6. i thought she was sick in bacolod?

    • cvj on December 15, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Ramrod, re: ‘the lawyer’s inability to accept the truth‘, i did not realize that Bencard was that old. I find it ironic that Americans (in particular the Fil-Ams) are themselves largely unaware of Thoreau. That’s why their idea of democracy is impoverished and lacks authenticity.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on December 15, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    Right, Willy. The prevalent negative perception of corrupt governance squares with reality. Since they don’t want to change their ways and take corrective actions, expect them to undermine every negative survey, and as mlq3 said, subvert every opportunity for vindication, as part of the cover-up.

    • tonio on December 15, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    ramrod: nice to have you back sir! 🙂

  7. Gloria’s crashing public support should be a signal that Filipinos are looking for an alternative leadership. Yet, you’d be hard-pressed to find among the political opposition a sense of anything other than a feeling of siege and resignation.

    Why?

  8. in a lot of ways, Philippine politics mirror that of US (esp w/re to its presidents)

    Bush: stole the presidency from Gore through Florida and Jeb
    Arroyo: stole the presidency from FPJ through Maguindanao and Garci

    Bush: is into his second term
    Arroyo: technically, its her first term. but if we count the 3 years she stole from Erap…

    Bush: lost the entire Congress to the Democrats last election
    Arroyo: lost Senate to the opposition last election

    Bush: enjoys the ineptness and/or co-option of the Democrats
    Arroyo: enjoys the ineptness of the opposition and co-option of Villar’s senate group

    Bush: has subverted US constitution to broaden executive powers. only the US SC stands in his way
    Arroyo: has subverted Phil constitution to broaden exec powers. only our SC stands in her way

    Bush: will end his term next year, and is looking into the future of facing a lot of criminal and civil charges
    Arroyo: will end her term in 2010, and is also looking into a very unhappy future

    Bush: has laid the groundwork to cancel next year’s elections
    Arroyo: has started the Cha-cha train again

    Bush: has the help of American media in dumbing down Americans
    Arroyo: has the help of Phil media in dumbing down Filipinos

    Both will stay beyond their terms and destroy their countries utterly.

  9. now, i can truly believe that they were “classmates”

  10. DEVIL ADV*: in fairness ,The Mole of Asia is a lot smarter than than asshole from the WH.

    • Madonna on December 15, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    Cat,

    If you question the research design of surveys, you go directly to the outfits which conducted them. They’d be more than happy to explain this to you. I think both SWS and Pulse Asia have websites and you could check them out. For instance, you could ask them directly if they do in fact ensure that their field researchers do what exactly as they are told — that they don’t sit at some fastfood and fill up the forms themselves as you suspected.

    Re: mathematical exactness of Mangahas and Miranda, I was speaking from personal point of view as I have some personal knowledge of how they work and their work ethic. Precisely, mathematical results could be manipulated — that’s why integrity and trustworthiness of those who conduct surveys are as important as much much as competence.

    As a gauge of the reputation of SWS and Pulse Asia, consider the fact that both camps, government and the opposition use their services often. You have not heard a considerable accusation which question any of them in manufacturing results in deference to a particular client. If there’s any, it’s towards the ones who commission surveys because they at a particular time would like to prove something and wants the survey as proof.

  11. No matter what the research subject,the research unit,the research methodology,the most basic question before a research is conducted is:”What’s the expected use of research results?”

    If this is very clear with the proponent and the research unit,then the research sponsor is free to use it in any way he wants it (PROVIDED he sticks to the basic research findings).

    This is a clear rule of engagement among marketing and marketing research PROFESSIONALS.Also should be true for Malacanang and the opposition.

  12. “The only reason Gloria still in Malacanang is that the opposition are really brain-dead and have nothing positive to put on the table,” a veteran political operative and known Gloria supporter once said. “This is more than a rough patch; it’s a dark moment right now for Gloria.”

    So if even Gloria’s supporters can see that a real opposition could cripple the administration, why can’t the so-called “opposition” see it?

    For one thing, describing the “Genuine Opposition” as an “opposition” is more of an oxymoron. It is not “Genuine” nor a true “Opposition” .

    • Bencard on December 15, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    thoreau was an anarchist existentialist. he did not believe in any form of authority. he advocated defiance, if not active resistance. to me, he was a philosopher of discord and disorder. he is not my kind of visionary – a danger to impressionable and simple minds.

    • Bencard on December 15, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    cvj, etc., how do you define “truth”,and how do you PROVE it? can you find a satisfactory answer to this from thoreau?

    • vic on December 15, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    I did a little survey myself of few new arrivals all males, ages all adults latest immigrants and here are the results of my survey:

    Question: Compare the governance, thru your own personal observations and experience between your native country (the Philippines) and your new country of residence (Canada) as to Electoral Process, Gravity and Frequency of Corruptions and your comments:

    Robert: sales rep: married with two elementary age children, both attending Catholic School…Two years in the country:

    “First, when I was in the Philippines I didn’t notice much about the ongoing on the government because as a salesman I was too busy promoting our products and also involved in aggressive sales techniques including offering secret commissions to improve the bottom line, but we all assumed it was normal, but now, looking back it was part and parcel why some of us leap frog so much ahead, including me, while the rest were left behind and I was part of that corruption in some ways. Now I can see it clearly.. Don’t bother much to read the news about the Philippines as I am very busy starting a new life…Robert used his show money for a down payment for a three bedroom townhouse and a small economy car and told me he had not regretted the move, especially the children who just loving it..

    Pluck: Manager, Human Resource, Maried, two children, also attending catholic schools, one year…

    Although the money we are making here is less than what we were making in the Philippines, even if converted, I am convincing my relatives to come over. It is more of the security of my children as I’m approaching middle age and of the political situation back home, I have only very short word for it Nauseating.. Okk pluck I heard you…this may provoke some comments, but Pluck mentioned to me that he is a personal friend of bong austero and bong confirmed this to me…

    The only thing Mrs. P misses is the family driver, since Mr.P has to work and have to wait if he’s n the mood for a drive. The family bought a Honda Odyssey mini van with their show money and a little more they brought since they sold most of their properties.

    Joe: engineer.. Married with two children..attending Public schools 2 years..frustrated, he said he was happier as OFW in China and the family in the Philippines. He take his Religion very seriously and will preach it to anyone who is willing to listen, but we can not figure which one is it..He is also frustrated because he still can not pass his Driver’s Road Test and can not use Bribe Money to get one…He can also justify all the “petty shenanigans” going on the Philippines, which he figures out better for him, he would be able to pass his driver’s license and buy a car by now…poor Joe.

    And from my very best friend Tom, ex marine, purple heart, 7 years in action in Mindanao… 17 years, three children, eldest my goddaughter, now a teenager: “Take me, a PFC, what have become of me, A hero? Perhaps a Dead Hero? For what, killing my brothers? I did them all, for seven years I served, got seriously wounded in action, but look what had become of the country me and my buddies put our lives on the line?”

    Well Tom on his way to Montreal in a Cockfight Derby and rather take his chances his roosters euthanized by the SPCA if get caught, than killing his own bros…

    This survey is unscientific and is not intended as a basis or reflection of overall reaction of the Filipino Community, but my own random survey which reflect the percentage of the reaction of my acquaintances regarding their perception as to the political situation in the Philippines. PLS note than other than Tom, all are newcomers and still holders of Philippines passports.

    • Bencard on December 15, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    cvj, unlike you, i rely much on my own thinking (whether anybody believes me or not). i don’t subsist on other people’s personal observations or opinions. that’s why i’m not particularly fond of quoting, verbatim, other people’s work or ideas that i cannot express myself.

    • ramrod on December 15, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    A SENSE OF URGENCY

    We have to act now! If there is any movement, petition, lets go for it. Not because we hate GMA so much but because people’s lives are at stake. Congress has succeeded in blocking the cheaper medicines bill, have you seen the the people in the public hospitals? Many will die! There is no time for debate, we all know we are articulate, and all of us are intelligent – nothing more to prove. There is no sense waiting for decent elections, as decent elections are only possible with a decent government. Playing by the rules of this administration by engaging in legal battles with it will only validate its power over us. The law was meant to serve the people, to put things in order, not to enslave or rob the people.
    Please try to go around the public hospitals and see for yourselves.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on December 15, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    Equalizer, I think it was Serge Osmena’s mom who was sick in Bacolod.

    • vic on December 15, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    ramrod,
    I think and believe that the Cheap Medicine Bill should have been the priority of any administration. Health issue is number one and above any other issues, and that bill has been lingering while many are dying for lack or medicine. Why not pass it and see if all the reasons given for blocking it like the “no tooth” will materialize and ammend them later, but instead, now people will again perceive that the reasons for blocking it are others than given. and we again will debate if it true or false while patients and the poor are dying…

    A government without conscience can claim heaven and earth, and all that come with both, but the reality is on the ground..my own…

    • ramrod on December 15, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    vic,

    You’re conversation with that ex-marine strikes a similar cord. I spent a few days in Mindanao to visit a former classmate who got shot in an encounter that almost ruined his spine. He’s doing fine and chances for recovery are good, all he asked for was a wheelchair so I browsed through the internet looking for a motorized one (some friends will pitch in the expense anyway) but he said he preferred the manual because he the automatic will “weaken his upper body.” I felt like a ton of bricks hit me. I told him once he gets well to get out of the service, the private sector pays a whole lot better and its so much safer. He was a consistent dean’s lister for Christ’s sake and I barely passed algebra and DE, I’m sure he will do a lot better than I did. But he wouldn’t. It comes with the territory he says, he’ll be okay. These soldiers have a very high threshold for pain, and even injustice, as they are trained to obey before they complain, when they do complain its probably because its inhumanly intolerable already. Why anyone will stick to this job escapes me, but I respect them. We are as close to each other as brothers, some of us can only offer support, moral or otherwise…

    • vic on December 15, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    ramrod, tom was hit by a rocket launced grenade and as a squad leader during a night patrol in Basilan, took all the shrapnels, lost one ball, most of his large intestine, and a few fragments still left in his lower body, but other than that he is still in marine shape shape. he has his own cockfight breeding farm now and enjoy underground cockfights which they play catch me if you can with the SPCA and they got caught quite a few times. farming is legal, only actual cockfighting is illegal and they keep mobile. today they are in montreal, next week nobody knows…he was a good marine and they have an association here with regular social meetings.
    and one thing I know, a marine for a friend is friend forever, come what may.

    • The Ca t on December 15, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    I have some personal knowledge of how they work and their work ethic.

    so answer my question.

    Why was the President who looted the country with billions of dollars ranked lower than the President whose alleged corruption still has to be backed up with hard documents?

    Why was the result of the reading habits of Filipinos point to the conclusion that Filipinos start reading non-book materials only when they reach the age of
    sixteen?

    As a gauge of the reputation of SWS and Pulse Asia, consider the fact that both camps.

    As to the PULSE, the that is being read may be from individual who is already prejudiced by what he has read. For example, this survey was taken at the height of the news about cash giving and the NBN deal. Most people believe in what they have read.

    If you are involved in corporate research or marketing research, you are aware that there is so-called controlled and uncontolled marketing environment to lessen bias and sampling error.

    A sample is expected to mirror the population from which it comes, however, there is no guarantee that any sample will be precisely representative of the population from which it comes.

    As to the weather, most of weather forecasting (literally) is not accurate so are surveys.
    mwehehe.

    Do you issue crtification of good character?

    • J. Cruz on December 15, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    More corrupt? Less corrupt? Or just as corrupt as Marcos?

    Me? I rather go with realities on the ground.

    When I read that Uncle Sam and Aunt Feng Shui “together” are dancing to the music of Transco, I knew, perception aside, the best has yet to come……..

    Who needs survey? Who needs corruption?

    • ramrod on December 16, 2007 at 12:06 am

    Callous, so callous…why focus on witty wrestling matches or discrediting surveys when people are dying? Will you also question that too or just say its the poor people’s fault “hindi sila nagsumikap,” they deserve to suffer…

    • Bencard on December 16, 2007 at 1:03 am

    i fully agree with you, ca’t. as the hackneyed cliche (popular among computer buffs) goes “garbage in, garbage out”.

    • Bencard on December 16, 2007 at 2:32 am

    cvj, i also cannot confirm or deny that americans are “largely” not aware of thoreu because, perhaps unlike you, i have no empirical data on the matter. btw, where’d you get your info? wikipedia?

    • DinaPinoy on December 16, 2007 at 3:11 am

    vic,

    your survey…..

    robert:

    it was part and parcel why some of us leap frog so much ahead, including me, while the rest were left behind and I was part of that corruption in some ways.

    joe:

    He is also frustrated because he still can not pass his Driver’s Road Test and can not use Bribe Money to get one…

    tom:

    Well Tom on his way to Montreal in a Cockfight Derby and rather take his chances his roosters euthanized by the SPCA if get caught,

    by the way, is cockfighting legal in canada?

    • DinaPinoy on December 16, 2007 at 3:21 am

    The US has a rich democratic legacy whos influence became a catalyst to so many global political changes.

    exactly. my POV on the other thread. and i was accused of having a colonial mentality.

    • vic on December 16, 2007 at 5:15 am

    dina, cockfighting is illegal, under the criminal code, but usually the police are strict with promoters. one colonel vicente estampador who bought a farm and built a cockpit and promoted cockfighting in his property was charged and convicted of the crime and all the money of around $23,000 thousands in his possesion was forfeited and all his roosters was euthanized, around 200.

    but like i said, filipino like in the u.s. which I believe is illegal except in only two states, playing cat and mouse or hide and seek with the SPCA and the cops.
    I remember Tom told me, when they were caught last time, the got fined and no criminal records, but the promoter got quite much heavier sentence…no prison term though…

    • DinaPinoy on December 16, 2007 at 6:13 am

    vic,

    that’s what i wanted to point out. your survey showed majority’s been part of corruption in one way or another. and tom is currently doing illegal cockfighting.

    • ay_naku on December 16, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Callous, so callous…why focus on witty wrestling matches or discrediting surveys when people are dying? – ramrod

    Welcome back Sir Ramrod. Re: your statement above, agree and agree.

    I mean why nitpick so much about that survey. It doesn’t matter much whether GMA is the most corrupt or not. The GMA administration is very, very, VERY corrupt. Period. Moreover she has evaded/blocked/corrupted/co-opted/neutralized legitimate redress-of-grievance mechanisms that are trying to hold her accountable for her acts. She speaks of the “rule of law” as if she follows it. As Gen Lim said, not only is GMA the most corrupt official in the country today, she is also its top corruptor. She needs to go, the sooner the better. The damages to the nation are ever increasing with her continued misrule and pillage.

    • ay_naku on December 16, 2007 at 8:33 am

    Again again again.

    Callous, so callous…why focus on witty wrestling matches or discrediting surveys when people are dying? – ramrod

    Welcome back Sir Ramrod. Re: your statement above, agree and agree.

    I mean why nitpick so much about that survey. It doesn’t matter much whether GMA is the most corrupt or not. The GMA administration is very, very, VERY corrupt. Period. Moreover she has evaded/blocked/corrupted/co-opted/neutralized legitimate redress-of-grievance mechanisms that are trying to hold her accountable for her acts. She speaks of the “rule of law” as if she follows it. As Gen Lim said, not only is GMA the most corrupt official in the country today, she is also its top corruptor. She needs to go, the sooner the better. The damages to the nation are ever increasing with her continued misrule and pillage.

  13. “Convicted child rapist Jalosjos to be freed Sunday–prisons chief”

    In payment of political debts in 2004….tsk.tsk.

    • Silent Waters on December 16, 2007 at 10:18 am

    This is just my observation only so hear me out….from the time of Marcos as I was growing up in my teen years all the way to GMA, I haven’t heard anything good said about the government. Every single presidency, with media’s help, has been the latest Satan incarnate to hit Philippine shores, albeit in different forms. All of them, whether themselves or their relatives, are assumed or proven to be corrupt.

    So the question for me really is: is this perception due to the years of experience we have had? Possibly since the time when of the Spaniards even? I have heard theories that the reason why there’s a lot of Indian who basically break the rules in the India is because of the attitude against the rulers. When the British were there, the Indians break the rules in their own small way to rebel against the authorities.

    So tayo ba ganun din? We also like to complain because we also have the ingrained attitude of wanting to rebel against authority (something we instilled in ourselves from Spanish colonial days?)

    Just a thought….

    • mlq3 on December 16, 2007 at 10:43 am
      Author

    silent waters, this is a question that i’ve explored here:

    http://www.inquirerbloggers.net/current/2007/03/26/we-filipinos/

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