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Dec 31

Assessing Adrian

My last column for the year is Let’s get loud.

In Adrian E. Cristobal, public man of letters; 75 by Lito Zulueta, he points out that the late Adrian Cristobal was a public intellectual, and he tries to compare and contrast public intellectuals elsewhere with our home-grown kind. I attempted a similar effort in Assessing Adrian, triggered, in part, by Conrado de Quiros own reading of a the man, who was his friend.

On a related note, see The Role of the Public Intellectual by Alan Lightman and The Future of the Public Intellectual: A Forum in The Nation.

May 2008 be as good for you as we all hope it will be for our country.

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  1. cvj

    Anthony, just so we don’t go off tangent, i would rephrase the above question (at 10:58pm) to a more general form for Bencard’s peace of mind:

    I take it then that you do not see it as your responsibility as a citizen to hold the current occupant of Malacanang (whoever it may be) to account for his or her cheating. Rather, you see it as the problem of the ‘opposition’.

  2. Bencard

    cvj, not to second guess anthony, but i think it’s the responsibility of any one who makes an accusation to prove it under due process before holding any malacanang occupant liable for it. even a president is entitled to due process of the law. he/she has civil rights too, as everybody else.

  3. Bencard

    anthony, “gloria” continues to be the president not because of the action or inaction of the opposition. it is because there has been no credible and admissible evidence the opposition can present in a proper forum sufficient to remove her. the opposition is not short in trying, it just don’t have the werewithal for accomplishing its objective. nothing comes from nothing.

  4. cvj

    Bencard, occupying Malacanang is *not* a civil right. It is a public office which is a public trust. As far as ‘due process’ is concerned, we cannot turn a blind eye to how Gloria has prevented this from happening through the cooperation of her allies in Congress. They have used the process to subvert the purpose of our institutions.

    My question to Anthony is where does he see himself in this issue? Does he believe he has a civic responsibility as a citizen to intervene or does he believe it is solely the problem of those who belong to the Opposition?

  5. Silent Waters

    CVJ

    It was about the below statement:

    “Why blame EDSA Dos when the enabler of Gloria Arroyo’s impunity is apathy and the support of collaborators? There is no foolproof way of choosing our leaders. Even in the best of circumstances, e.g. an honest election by intelligent voters, the people can still make a mistake. The question is what to do collectively when we discover that we have made the wrong hiring decision”

    The implication of your above statement suggests that if people do not do anything collectively, then they’re wrong. My point is, just because people DO NOT AGREE with you to do something collectively to oust the present administration does not not mean they’re wrong. Only people who have the holier than thou attitude will assume everybody to be wrong when collectively, they have already decided NOT to do anything to oust the present dispensation.

    Matagal mo nang pinipilit na dapat may gawing ang madlang people para matanggal ang presidente pero wala naman kasing naniniwala sa iyo. Dun tayo nagkakaroon ng problema. Basta di sa side ninyo, mali na kami.

    Ang problema, most people do not want to do anything right now. Sorry ka, majority rules.

  6. Bencard

    cvj, i cannot judge people for for bare-face ignorance of the law but mischaracterizing a statement to fit an argument is unpardonable. of course “occupying” the presidential palace is not a civil right. the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the right to due process before being condemned, are fundamental civil rights even for an elected president under our system of law.

    being on the losing side of a controversy doesn’t mean your opponent “subverted” the law. that’s for cry babies.

  7. anthony scalia

    “Instead of wishing all 3 to advance and be equal at some point; your wish indicates that something be left behind.

    Probably a mental problem.”

    No, not really. Instead of just one (Metro Manila) pulling the country forward, three pulling would move the country a little faster. Besides, the other two Metros represent 2/3 of the Philippines – Cebu for the Visayas, Davao for Mindanao. So medyo holistic ang pag-pull forward.

    Saka Metro Manila and Luzon have been the center of the action always. Its about time the Visayas and Mindanao take center stage

  8. qwert

    “of course “occupying” the presidential palace is not a civil right. the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the right to due process before being condemned, are fundamental civil rights even for an elected president under our system of law.” – bencard
    ____________________________

    Bencard,
    Since you are a lawyer, I would like to learn from you regarding your take on the ouster of Marcos in 1986 and ERAP in 2001. Were they presumed innocent until proven guilty? Were they accorded the right to due process before being condemned? Thanks in advance for your response.

  9. anthony scalia

    cvj,

    “I take it then that you do not see it as your responsibility as a citizen to hold Gloria Arroyo to account for her cheating. Rather, you see it as the problem of the ‘opposition’.”

    i dont see it as my citizenly obligation now, as helping in job-creation at present is more important.

    besides, what else can the ‘kick-gloria-out-now’ school of thought do? aber, how does that school of thought propose to get gloria to account for her cheating? just harping ‘patalsikin na now na’? keep on stressing the point in the blogosphere and elsewhere? does that school of thought sincerely believe that by doing those ‘pagtatatalak’ bababa ng kusa si gloria?

    i already floated an idea – work on congressmen to vote for impeachment next year. Thats closer to gloria’s removal than ‘pagtatatalak’. for whatever reason, no one in the said school of thought is buying it. because they are still romanticized by another people power/EDSA removing gloria!

    subok ng subok! naka-upo pa rin si gloria!

  10. Bencard

    short answer, quert. both marcos and estrada fled malacanang thus rendering their “guilt” or “innocence” moot and academic. in any event, to my knowledge, there was no justiciable case filed in court against marcos before his flight wherein due process could possibly be observed. in the case of estrada, his impeachment was in process when he abandoned his office.

  11. anthony scalia

    qwert,

    If I may take a shot at your query to bencard.

    Marcos is yet to be convicted of any case, but his death made any case against him moot. Erap was convicted by the Sandiganbayan.

    Both were accorded due process, presumed innocent.

    A simple legal explanation for their removal is that something above the Constitution – the collective will of the people from whom sovereignty emanates – decided that Marcos and Erap had to go.

  12. Silent Waters

    I totally agree with you Mr. Scalia. Lots of these “Patalsikin si Gloria” folks are romantics kasi. They want to be heroes of the revolution without doing the hard work required of them. Bunganga lang ang pinaiiral. Instead of going elsewhere (as in outside the country) and doing the bully pulpit, maybe they SHOULD come home and work on the people to rise up against the present dispensation. Hirap kasi, shades of JOMA SISON ang gusto…masarap pa rin ang kinakain pero gusto udyukin ang masa na maghimagsik at maghirap.

  13. qwert

    “A simple legal explanation for their removal is that something above the Constitution – the collective will of the people from whom sovereignty emanates – decided that Marcos and Erap had to go.” – anthony scalia
    ________________________

    Am I correct in my understanding that the collective will of the people from whom sovereignty emanates is the same as “people power” and that any sitting president had to go if there is a repeat of such manifestation of collective will?

  14. qwert

    “in the case of estrada, his impeachment was in process when he abandoned his office.” – Bencard
    ___________________________

    I think the impeachment process came first, it was in progress but the lawyers from the lower house walked out and then EDSA 2 followed then ERAP left Malacanang. Where lies the due process, in the impeachment process or in EDSA 2?

  15. Bencard

    quert, as i said, there was no chance for “due process” to fully take place because of erap’s abandonment before the impeachment “court” has had a chance to render its verdict, with or without the lawyers for the prosecution. it looked like a comedy of errors but it cannot be said that erap was deprived of due process. i could be wrong but that is my take on the matter. edsa 2 is not a constitutional process of removing a president. abandonment, a/k/a resignation, is.

  16. qwert

    Bencard,
    Thanks for responding.

  17. anthony scalia

    qwert,

    “Am I correct in my understanding that the collective will of the people from whom sovereignty emanates is the same as “people power” and that any sitting president had to go if there is a repeat of such manifestation of collective will?”

    (gulp) yes

    (more gulp) that is, if the sitting president does not overpower this ‘manifestation of collective will’

    Silent Waters,

    agree with all you said

  18. justice league

    Anthony Scalia,

    Well it was not exactly what your earlier post appeared to say but very well.

  19. cvj

    Silent Waters, even granting for the sake of argument that you belong to the ‘majority’, when it comes to principles and values, right or wrong is not a matter of having ‘the numbers’. On Gloria Arroyo, you’ve said before that:

    I do not believe she’s legitimate. – Silent Waters, November 30th, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    Nevertheless, you maintained that:

    I think that reality dictates that we accept FOR NOW, the situation wherein the elites will protect their interest. and the middle class have become expedient. That should be the framework to come up with a strategy to fix the problem. – Silent Waters, December 1st, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Now, you equate your being expedient with being right.

    I’ve explained elsewhere why i believe giving in to expediency is shortsighted and that otherwise decent folks (like you) have no business playing Machiavelli. I don’t think our people (who belong to the real majority) are so clueless as to not be aware of what you’re doing.

  20. Bencard

    cvj, in politics, as in real life, “right or wrong” is decided by numbers. otherwise, marcos and estrada would not have become presidents, and trillianes would not have become a senator. your own version of right and wrong is nothing but a one-man opinion. try to reflect on that and maybe, just maybe, you would come to terms with reality.

  21. cvj

    bencard, i was not referring to the election process (which Gloria Arroyo subverted btw) where the majority indeed has the prerogative to choose the leader. i refer to turning a blind eye in the face of clear wrongdoing as accepted by Silent Waters. in this regard, safety in numbers does not help. we should not be content with politics without principle, especially the principle of reciprocity.

  22. Bencard

    cvj, whether or not silent waters accepted it, “clear wrongdoing” is just a matter of opinion which you have no right to foist on other people who don’t buy it. your use of the word “clear” just doesn’t make a difference.

  23. hawaiianguy

    cvj:”when it comes to principles and values, right or wrong is not a matter of having ‘the numbers’.

    You’re right! Politics without principles or values only matter to those who rely on power and money, however they are obtained. Never mind if somebody stole it, and affirmed by the majority.

    And what do people make of this?

    “Church leaders: Arroyo gov’t morally bankrupt”
    By Beverly T. Natividad, Inquirer, First Posted 02:06am (Mla time) 11/24/2007
    “…The statement was issued in the name of more than 20 people, including Archbishops Angel Lagdameo and Oscar Cruz, other church personalities and political figures…”

    True, this was echoed only by 20+ voices, which rung hollow in the halls of decision making. But is it not a voice nonetheless?

    In this world, numbers do count and matter a lot, but alone they are vacuous. Sometimes, one has to put value over quantity, or a good balance of the two.

  24. hawaiianguy

    Anthony: “Cheating is cheating, no matter what.” I agree with you on that point, the Hello Garci tapes would have earned credibility if they were exposed by a third party. But then, in the end we know that “numbers” just swept everything under the rug, as if majority rule is the only thing that matters. That, in effect legitimized an objectionable behavior. Cheating becomes a norm, provided it is voted as such.

    As to the legalism of it, it’s funny that the courts didn’t do something tangible for some evidence presented (e.g., by Loren) other than saying, it became moot.

    And by the way, there has been evidence (lawyers probably call this “circumstantial”, not solid enough) to show that Gloria and Noli are on the “winning side” as a result of massive cheating, esp. in the ARMM. People know of many towns there, where FPJ got “statistically improbable” zero votes (e.g., in Lanao del Sur, Sulu and Maguindanao provinces, as reported in various papers), contrary to what the residents who actually voted said. This was affirmed by NAMFREL guy named Dalidig, whose voice was just like an echo in the wilderness. Even outgoing comelec commissioner Mehol said that deep in his heart, he believed that FPJ won amomg the Muslims. How can FPJ lose, when he championed the Muslim cause in his movies (remember Magnum 45?).

  25. Bencard

    hawaiianguy, apparently, your so-called evidence was not enough to convince the court. maybe you are wiser than the courts. it’s just that your “findings” don’t count.

  26. hawaiianguy

    Bencard, maybe you’re right there – my “findings,” and those of others who have no access to the legal system (or to the powers that be) don’t count.

    But you seem to forget the “majority rule” principle, that the evidence can also be set aside by voting it out, and worse, the accuser can sometimes turn as the accused. Gen. Gudani is a classic case. He was in Lanao and witnessed the tampering of votes, under the watchful eyes of the military. He spilled the beans, and took the case to the Senate inquiry. But lo! he ended up in the “wrong” side of the law instead. Poor guy!

    And those who were part of the vote-manipulating machinery (Esperon, Quiamco, and others) got promoted or appointed as presidential consultants after their stint in office. Lucky guys!

  27. Bencard

    hawaiianguy, as i recall, gudani had some axes to grind that rendered his testimony less than credible, just like those witnesses, e.g., sandra cam (on the jueting payola), and sulse (on the allged “cheating”), mahinay (on the nida blanca murder), etc. as i said questionable witnesses are a dime a dozen in the philippines. witness for sale is not unheard of. it’s the kind of society we have. the generally-accepted rules of evidence are the only reliable means known to man of ferreting out the facts, and separating lies from the truth.

  28. anthony scalia

    hawaiianguy,

    “As to the legalism of it, it’s funny that the courts didn’t do something tangible for some evidence presented (e.g., by Loren) other than saying, it became moot”

    i think what has become moot is the presidential protest. the VP protest is still on.

    theres a principle being followed in election law here – that if the protest will not result in a change of the outcome, the protest will be dismissed

    just because evidence is presented by Loren doesnt necessarily mean that it is true and correct. but for you, you already made that presumption, without even seeing it

    “And by the way, there has been evidence (lawyers probably call this “circumstantial”, not solid enough) to show that Gloria and Noli are on the “winning side” as a result of massive cheating, esp. in the ARMM”

    and pray tell me whose evidence are those? according to whom? FPJ’s side! as you said, the evidence isn’t solid enough. pure hearsay

    “People know of many towns there, where FPJ got “statistically improbable” zero votes (e.g., in Lanao del Sur, Sulu and Maguindanao provinces, as reported in various papers), contrary to what the residents who actually voted said. This was affirmed by NAMFREL guy named Dalidig, whose voice was just like an echo in the wilderness. Even outgoing comelec commissioner Mehol said that deep in his heart, he believed that FPJ won amomg the Muslims. How can FPJ lose, when he championed the Muslim cause in his movies (remember Magnum 45?)”

    sorry i dont know. but i think it is premature to say that those Mindanao votes could have swung the pendulum in FPJ’s favor. is there any quantification on the ‘dagdag-bawas’? take note, any alleged ‘cheating’ was on the winning margin.

    thats the problem with the opposition. they could not present concrete proof of cheating that otherwise could have gone FPJ’s way. just ‘proof’ of cheating, period. because the opposition is still banking on another people power. kaya just some ‘cheating’ here, ‘cheating’ there.

    and sorry, ‘deep in his heart’ is not evidence. FPJ could have won among the Muslims? FPJ could have a lead of a few hundred over gloria and it can be said that he won.

  29. hawaiianguy

    Anthony, Bencard: Thanks for the info you shared. You have educated me there. But two things still remain unclear to me (“take note, any alleged ‘cheating’ was on the winning margin…. and on “quantifying dagdag-bawas”), given the highly commercialized character of the comelec and perceived complicity of the courts.

    On quantification, all I remember is that Gloria wanted Garci to produce 1 million votes over FPJ. (GMA: “Can I still have 1 millions votes?” Garci: “Pipilitin po natin, ma’am.”)

    “and sorry, ‘deep in his heart’ is not evidence. FPJ could have won among the Muslims?” I know. But don’t insist on evidence when people use faith. That’s what makes Muslims angry, because we impose on them our own (western) definition of things. Sometimes, we have to allow humanism its due share.

    Sorry to say, it hasn’t changed my belief that there was massive cheating, and that those who made it didn’t account for their wrong. Partly, I blame those legal minds and the oppositionists for not doing a good job. But the greatest fault lies on the powers that be who are exceptionally good at maneuvering situations to their own advantage.

    Maybe Loren may not come out happy (I didn’t even vote for her), even if she proves her case. What’s the use, if the results are overturned in 2009 or 2010? Justice delayed is justice denied.

    Of course, I do recognize that these electoral stuff are now water under the bridge, repeatedly trashed in 3 impeachment attempts in the case of Gloria.

  30. anthony scalia

    hawaiianguy,

    “On quantification, all I remember is that Gloria wanted Garci to produce 1 million votes over FPJ. (GMA: “Can I still have 1 millions votes?” Garci: “Pipilitin po natin, ma’am.”)”

    using that premise, 1 million votes seem to be a credible winning margin.

    “But don’t insist on evidence when people use faith. That’s what makes Muslims angry, because we impose on them our own (western) definition of things. Sometimes, we have to allow humanism its due share”

    yes, agree with you there.

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