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Jan 07

Looking forward

On Sunday the Inquirer editorial pointed out that Americans are not only keenly interested in their upcoming presidential election, but have been for some time -far earlier than usual. The editorial says this is due to Americans eagerly looking forward to regime change.

The 2010 presidential race has also begun, for us, rather early, which also points to the public heartily looking forward to installing the next administration in office -and giving thought to the various candidates presenting themselves even at this early stage. This is born out by the (admittedly unscientific) observation made by some bloggers and media people I’ve talked to, who’ve noticed that anything to do with the potential candidates for 2010 gets a large, and highly critical, readership.

Amando Doronila does not make the above point, but makes a different one that’s difficult to contradict:

Truly, 2010 heralds the closure of the turbulent EDSA-driven eras, defined by extra-electoral political change, and the beginning and the normalization of electoral politics now under the specter of military coups or withdrawal of support for sitting civilian governments.

This epochal shift gives us the opportunity to make a leadership change that offers this time a wide range of choices.

It is the advent of a younger generation in 2010 that makes the next election a qualitative change from the previous leadership handovers.

We will be electing in 2010 a new set of leaders who will take power with electoral mandates unblemished by the irregularity of an extra-electoral method of change represented by EDSA I and EDSA II, both marked by military interventions.

Year 2010, therefore, will mark a return to normal election processes as a mechanism of political change. This is what makes it a hopeful transition, although the relatively large field of choices does not ensure the emergence of an honest, efficient and results-oriented administration.

I suspect, though, that what we will find is really a two or at most, three person race, as both the politicians and the public narrow their choices and, who knows, actively seek a truly majority president for once, after a string of post-Edsa minority presidents.

Mon Casiple, in his blog, dissects the options that confront both the President and the opposition this year. In terms of the administration, he boils down the options available to three:

For the people in the GMA administration, the logical first choice will have have to be an extension of her stay in power–by a constitutional change allowing the president a second term or a change to either a parliamentary system or a federal state (which would require a transition provision). This is not possible at this time without a prior effort to dislocate the opponents of a GMA constitutional change–a scenario requiring massive political and electoral manipulation as well as ensuring an undisputed control of the armed forces.

A second choice is the building of a viable presidential candidate without the negative association with GMA in time for the 2010 elections. As in the first choice, this will maintain the ruling coalition but necessitates an early distancing from GMA or–more difficult–the positive upturn of GMA’s popularity.

A variation of this that benefits Vice-President Noli de Castro is an early retirement for GMA that would put him in the presidential chair to push forward the ruling coalition’s eventual candidate. However, it is a given that whoever this candidate will be, he or she will be campaigning with a huge millstone around his or her neck because of the present administration’s unpopularity, especially if GMA is still around in 2010.

Failure to make the above choices will effectively dissolve the ruling coalition and create a free-for-all where the strong presidentiables raid the ranks of the coalition to augment their own electoral coalitions. This will be evident in the incoming year as serious contenders make their moves to create the critical mass for their candidacies.

In terms of the opposition, Casiple lays out the main challenges, chief of which is the one that Doronila (see his piece above) credits Estrada with setting out to do: consolidate its forces (see Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ, however, for his views on past presidents being permanently disqualified from running for the presidency again):

The momentary issue for the opposition (or for presidential hopefuls within the ruling coalition) is the possibility of a GMA endrun for a continued stay in power through a constitutional change. This possibility, though more remote than before, has to be laid to rest before the real battle for 2010 commences. 2008 therefore will lay the ground (or set the terms) for 2010.

In a situation where the president steps down or is passive in the 2010 presidential elections, the opposition–and the ruling coalition–will fragment and their component forces will go their own way to form new coalitions behind the presidentiables. The opposition as such will become irrelevant and the GMA factor will be a non-issue, except as another campaign issue against former administration candidates.

On the other hand, if the president continues on to 2010 or actively intervenes in the 2010 elections, then the main issue of the elections will be her administration’s legitimacy and record. The opposition, in this situation, needs to unite to ensure victory against the vast resources and machinery of the administration. Failure to do so will divide the protest vote and effectively jeopardize the chances of all opposition candidates.

The opposition (or the presidentiables from their ranks) will have its work cut out in 2008. A critical mass has to be formed behind one presidentiable capable of getting out the winning votes. The operative word here–crass though it may be to political reformers–is ADDITION.

A shrewd political observer I talked to over the weekend distilled both points into three broad questions which will determine things, politically, this year:

1. Will the President be more liberal, or restrictive?

2. Will the armed forces be adventurers, or remain firmly wedded to the constitutional order?

3. Will the public be active or passive?

My editor at the Philippines Free Press last week gave me my first assignment for the year. “I want you to explore whether the President can turn things around, and recover her popularity,” he said. The result of this challenge was the following:

MARILYN Monroe once said, “I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle… But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” The President of the Philippines is no blonde bombshell, but maintains much the same defiant, even petulant, attitude toward her critics. Divided as her critics may be on what they want to accomplish, the President has only two things to say to them: “I will survive,” and “I will continue to be relevant.”

Her perpetually having to be in survival mode is a problem unique to her administration; that of making every effort to remain relevant is an occupational hazard faced by all presidents approaching the end of their constitutional term.

Political analyst Mon Casiple says this year “will lay the ground (or set the terms) for 2010.” According to him, the President can do one of three things: try to extend her stay in office; intervene, actively, in the election of her successor; or step down gracefully and not bother with trying to influence the outcome of the 2010 presidential race. At stake is not just her personal and political safety, but also, the prospects for the continuing control of the levers of power by the coalition she’s built up and maintained, and the opportunities for her critics to gain control of those levers for themselves.

The President has been able to face down constitutional and extra-constitutional challenges to her rule; she has done so, not by mobilizing public support, but by capitalizing on public mistrust of the entire political class –and by mobilizing the resources available to her as the incumbent. Patronage, whether in cash or kind, by means of promotions or demotions, has kept her coalition much more united and purposeful than her opponents. She has also managed to step back from the brink whenever any administration initiative, such as the proposal to amend the constitution, threatens to galvanize opposition to her government.

Recently, the President said she was a better economist than she was a politician –a statement that inevitably sparked a debate on whether she was good at being either. What’s significant is not whether her self-analysis was objectively true, but rather, what it revealed about her. Her belief in herself as an economist first, and a politician second, may have been there all along, but has been unevenly expressed throughout her term. That she is more comfortable with herself helps explain, to my mind, why she has both endured and continues to maintain the allegiance of a significant portion of the population. Her self-satisfaction taps into a yearning from those sectors who consider it a virtue to sacrifice some of their freedoms in order to move the nation forward.

In contrast to the equally significant portion of the population convinced she has indeed presided over the erosion of freedom while not really moving the nation forward. To be sure, this analysis requires the stipulation that we accept that the surveys are correct: a quarter of the population solidly supports the president, another quarter tolerates her as the lesser evil and the least-inconvenient option, and the other half of the population can’t stand her but are utterly divided among themselves on what they want as an alternative.

In such a situation, essentially a battle of attrition, survival is highly probable so long as both sides continue to have access to resources. The President, by virtue of her controlling the national treasury, possessing the appointing power, and playing off the provinces versus the metropolis. Her critics, by means of their ability to marshal public opinion, have denied her total control of Congress and continue to flourish in pockets of opposition-controlled provinces and cities. Neither side, however, is capable of mounting an offensive to crush the enemy.

But the President’s attempt to make a virtue of her unpopularity, can’t obscure the fact that she holds a job whose powers are built on the cultivation of popularity. It is popularity that provides a president with room to maneuver, which allows a chief executive to pull the rug out from under the opposition, and which cushions the impact of programs or policies that may be unpleasant, but necessary for the common good.

The President and her team have tapped into simple, but effective, messages that resonate with enough of the public to keep the opposition divided and the rest wedded to the status quo. These messages are: the peso is strong, and the stock market high; we are attending to the serious business of governing while ignoring political noise; and we are pursuing infrastructure and economic reform while avoiding exotic and frightening economic options beloved by certain sectors in the opposition.

In the meantime, the administration has been fairly careful to avoid closing off the avenues that allow the public to do their own thing, never mind if the government takes credit for private sector achievements. Emigration abroad is encouraged; overseas contract work continues to be proclaimed a form of heroism. The real mass media, radio and television, has been kept manageable through a combination of co-opting individual media practitioners and the use of government media to sound a constant note, if not of reality, then of achievement and optimism. Print media has born the brunt of government pressure, applied more consistently and daringly than in the case of other media, which anyway has proven liable to being divided and easily intimidated.

Intervention in the business sphere has been less clumsy than in the case of past administrations: there is no Midnight Cabinet, deal-making is done overseas or in private homes and golf clubs, no particular business group or company has been targeted for destruction, and presidential corruption can at worst, be whispered about, but there are no obvious cases of high living or high-profile acquisitions to make businessmen and the middle class particularly nervous. Even in terms of the political class, the administration can be said to take things less personally than the opposition: once back in the administration fold, there’s far less lecturing and hectoring than takes place in opposition ranks.

Every bill, however, has a due date. Presidents use popularity to both charm and intimidate not only their critics, but their followers. Kissinger famously said power is an aphrodisiac and the art of seduction is an integral part of the political game. Bereft of charm, the President’s policy has been to buy the love of her supporters, but being transactional, there isn’t any real warmth: diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but cannot sustain political friendship. What real loyalty does the President command, or more precisely, can she continue to command, as the country prepares to select her successor?

This is her dilemma. It is a dilemma that presumes she is no different from her predecessors in wanting to accomplish three things in her last years in office: go down in history positively; remain influential (and safe); and possibly, convince the country it needs the incumbent more than it needs a replacement as chief executive. Ideally, every president (except for Corazon Aquino, the only exception in terms of never showing an interest in perpetuating herself in power) wants to accomplish all three. Though of the three, the last is, perhaps, the most expendable.

If we take the President at her word, meaning she looks forward to stepping down on June 30, 2010, her main problem becomes figuring out when to make her resolve unambiguous, without turning herself into a very lame duck. If her last State of the Nation address is any guide, she prefers ambiguity to the certainty of being a lame duck. In adopting this attitude, she makes recovering a semblance of popularity, virtually an impossibility. No President likes being unpopular, but any president would prefer actual power, to impotently enjoying the affections of a fickle people.

The President’s main task, then, becomes threefold: continuing to pay off political debts but not so recklessly and lavishly as to arouse the people; keeping everyone guessing as to what she truly intends to do in 2010, while pursuing every means to keep every option (including an extension of her term or a change to parliamentary government) on the table without, again, solidifying the opposition; and keeping the pressure valves –the OFW remittance cash cow, a healthy stock and property market, a content upper and middle class- operational.

She does not have to do these things particularly well; she never has. She only has to keep the impression going, that everything she does is not on an ad hoc basis, but instead, is based on a plan. That plan is simple: keep remittances coming in, which obscures the weaknesses of the domestic economy; keep the deficit under a semblance of control, by means of selling off government assets; juggling tax collections and spending so as to never put a crimp on her doling out patronage; and creating as many jobs as necessary for her supporters, whether civilian or military to maintain their tactical support.

Along the way, she can hope that she continues to enjoy better luck than her enemies. This includes hoping that nothing takes place in the outside world, that threatens to close off any of the safety valves in our society and economy. In the absence of anything extreme taking place, she can expect to coast along, and with her, the country. Lurching from event to event, but without risking any fundamental change, may not seem much in terms of governance, but what matters is that the President believes –and with her, her supporters- that along the way, small, incremental changes have been made.

At the start of her term, the President said she hoped not to be a great, but simply, a good president. Her legacy has been to take these diminished expectations, and convince enough of the country that it is better to do small things, and not bother with the big things –and who, in the end, can argue that this is not a genuine achievement? For a President who may not be loved, but who is tolerated, still gets to wield the same thing –power.

My column for today, Shod and unshod, takes its cue from the Sunday column of Joseph Gonzales. My column also makes reference to Randy David’s Civic duty and national renewal. In his column, David does his own distilling, this time in terms of what modernity demands of the citizenry:

The modern society that is upon us demands that we abide by its most basic rules. They are not difficult to understand. What are these? Three things, basically: (1) Fall in line and wait for your turn; (2) Know the rules and follow them; (3) Come on time. These simple rules will permit us to navigate the complex terrain of the modern world with ease. There is not a single modern society in the world today that does not strictly enforce these rules.

He then goes on to make a point about the evils of patronage, and with this particular point in mind, I’d like to refer you back to my entry, Charismatic expectations in noncharismatic times, where David’s point is echoed in the writing of Gary Wills, who makes reference to Max Weber and others whose thinking has influenced David’s, as a Sociologist.

At its simplest, the point is, a modern society relies on a bureaucracy to fulfill the social purposes that politicians dispensing patronage used to provide.

Via Touched by An Angel, found out about this article in the January 6 Manila Bulletin. Am grateful to WikiPilipinas.

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242 comments

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  1. cvj

    cvj, your question (to anthony) and my sample trick question can only be answered by yes or no. any other answer would be unresponsive. the questions are categorical, and both call for no qualification. i did not ask you to qualify your answer about your “drinking and beating up your wife”, did i? – Bencard

    As Hawaiianguy pointed out, you’re probably imagining we’re in a courtroom. That’s not the appropriate model for a blog discussion. Over here, we engage in normal conversation whose flow is less rigidly structured.

  2. anthony scalia

    manuelbuencamino,

    “Do you dispute that fact?”

    its not a fact, its your assertion. im just agreeing with your assertion

    “Don’t confuse true entrepreneur with lucky entrepreneur. A lot of unlucky entrepreneurs lost their shirts during that period. Henry Sy was not the only who made investments during that time”

    you call Henry Sy lucky!!?? A lot of entrepreneurs lost their shirts during that period? Well let me ask you – how many entrepreneurs EXPANDED during that period?

    “A true entrepreneur goes into a business with eyes wide open. A lucky enterpreneur is a true enterpreneur who succeeds.”

    whoever was it who said – the harder i work, the luckier i get. oh yes, the successful people are very lucky. Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan. The Google boys. even cvj and bencard are lucky. So is The Ca t.

    “And is this not the result of failure to create forward looking education policies that produces the right graduates for the right jobs? Is education policy not the responsibility of government?”

    effective policies do play a role and they are needed. but the mismatch isnt the product of policies. its the result of choices made.

    people are free to pursue the courses they choose. we can’t blame people if they choose to take up nursing, PT, marine engineering or whatever can increase their chances of going abroad. they have overlooked opportunities here.

    “When a politician runs for an elective position, he runs on the promise and premise that under his leadership his country will be better off. That means providing services and security so that people can go about their business in a positive environment.”

    agreed

    “Now the only time this can be done is when a government, assuming it’s honest, farsighted, and efficient, can afford to do it. That presumes a healthy business environment and a sound economy – jobs and high employment”

    a corrupt dictatorial government ruled South Korea during its hyper-growth years. the government made effective economic policies then. the catalyst were the patriotic and entrepreneurial South Koreans who chose not to migrate to a first world country and created the much needed jobs

    “So when a politician makes a promise or sets a target of producing jobs you should see it as more then pogi points”

    no sir. we should be able to discern the pa-pogi from whats expected of her. fault gloria for failing to protect citizens, for having inconsistent policies, for being slow on agrarian reform and infrastructure development. for not being business-friendly enough. but jobs?

    i think the nearest thing to ‘jobs created by gloria directly’ are the ‘patrabaho ni gloria’ (equivalent of Metro Aide) and the ‘PGMA scholarships’ (for call center training

    “So the problem lies not with the Pinoys who know and understand what is expected of their leaders. The problem is with Pinoys who read a bumper sticker slogan like “government does not provide jobs” and think it’s the smartest thing they ever saw”

    your assertion, not mine.

  3. Bencard

    cvj, who are you to prescribe the “appropriate model” for discussions in this blog, or any blog for that matter, other than your own. we are both visitors here. if you cannot engage in verbal exchanges without using trickery, just don’t, unless you want it exposed for what it is.

  4. anthony scalia

    cvj,

    “It’s not ‘another matter’.”

    let me clarify. i said ‘another matter’ meaning its another point for discussion.

    yes, its frustrating that the Tsinoys and Tisoys did not go into manufacturing and exporting (but the Ayalas i think for sometime ventured in electronics and software development)

    but can we blame them? maybe its also government’s fault, for not giving incentives to them at that time to engage in manufacturing and export

    That betrays a basic ignorance of one’s duty as a citizen apart from economics. I’m sure you wouldn’t tolerate being cheated in your business activities so why is it no big deal when cheating happens in the political arena where we all have a stake in?

    Aside from this, i am hoping that, as a community, you would police your ranks of cronies and rent-seekers who kowtow and conspire with corrupt politicians. As a community, you shouldn’t just look the other way.

    stress on the word NOW.

    its my RIGHT if i choose not to run after gloria prior to 2010. and its my RIGHT if i choose to run after her on 2010. and im very sure i wont be charged for dereliction of citizenly duties (if there is such a crime)

    gloria is not the biggest problem of the country at present. its my RIGHT to choose to attend to much bigger problems

    and please dont use the argument of basic ignorance of one’s duty as a citizen. because it applies to you as well. why don’t you go back home NOW and ‘exercise your duty as a citizen’ whatever the manifestation of that exercise may be?

    ive already said it – what can you do as a citizen? other than shouting ad nauseam ‘patalsikin na now na’?

    and theres still the validity of the ‘Hello Garci’ tapes.

    sorry my friend, if all your hope is founded on Paguia’s adulterated version, you’re like looking for an ant in a sandstorm. so you wont be guilty of a double standard as well, you must be as enthusiastic in going after the opposition also.

    i wont stop in saying this until in penetrates the hearts and minds of the members of the ‘kick-gloria-out-due-to-Hello-Garci’ group:

    Paguia is no Chavit Singson. He did not risk himself in coming out with his adulterated version. Plus he was Erap’s counsel. Add that to Sen. Tatad’s revelations, and Paguia’s hesitation to play even the entire adulterated version, whatever Paguia says is suspect to say the least.

  5. anthony scalia

    cvj,

    im not Tsinoy! though many say i look like one, because im ‘chinito’. im a pure indio

  6. anthony scalia

    hawaiianguy,

    “But let it be known, too, that I have the citizenly right to point out what I and others see is WRONG and would like it corrected, if possible. Isn’t this what democracy is about? Nobody should ask me again, where’s your evidence?”

    actually without evidence, how can you point out whats wrong? what made you conclude that its wrong in the first place?

  7. ramrod

    Seriously, instead of these useless bickerings why don’t we do something real and with impact for a change? We in the business sector will do our job in improving the Philippine’s global competitiveness (not to mention revenues). Why don’t these intellectuals come up with an in depth genuine study of the roots of Philippine insurgency, a study that can be used as a platform for resolving this issue once and for all? Then move on to roots of corruption, etc.?

    Is it at all possible to do something specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound, instead of picking at each other needlessly? Remember people’s lives are at stake, and the clock is ticking…

  8. hawaiianguy

    Bencard: “has any case ever been filed IN COURT on your “hello garci”? so what legal action are you talking about.” Yes, there was in 2006. see Philippine Daily Inquirer, newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view_article.php?article_id=40093)

    March 24, 2006 —Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Representatives Alan Peter Cayetano, Teofisto Guingona III and Joel Villanueva lodge charges of perjury, falsification of public document and violation of the Passport Act against Garcillano before the Quezon City prosecutor’s office.
    April 4, 2006 —Rep. Gilbert Remulla and 15 other congressmen file 21 counts of perjury and falsification of public documents and two counts of violation of the Passport Act before the Quezon City prosecutor’s office.
    The charges are separate from the previous complaint but are based on the same facts.
    Nov. 14, 2006 —Department of Justice dismisses the perjury and falsification of passport charges

    “you claim can be supported by two friends who “actually” were participant to the act.” I never said “friends,” please don’t put words into my mouth.

    btw, a short visit to Lanao del Sur/Norte or Iligan/Cagayan de Oro City will tell you who Garcillano is. Even small kids will tell you about him, how the “birds and the bees, and the dead” vote during elections, thanks to Garci and others like him. That’s how notorious this guy is, he “produces the votes rather than count them” as Randy David said.

    Wikipedia itself has 3 items on Garci and how he helloed Gloria; also several at YouTube, e.g., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPLpUW0UOUo.

    You’re right, these are not evidence for the court, no matter how public the knowledge may be. But to ordinary folks who are there as mute witnesses, such is “reality” nonetheless that no “solid proof” from the legalese can ever dispute. Over there, people die laughing whenever stories are told to the contrary, that Gloria did not cheat and was immaculate as she looked and said “I’m sorry” on TV, accompanied by the drumbeat of her “comolect”(comelec) proclaiming “clean elections” to high heavens.

    Anthony, hope my above post will also serve your query. It’s just that we probably speak two languages, or use two different lenses, in defining what’s wrong.

  9. ramrod

    But then again, if you’re content in just commenting, go ahead, maybe its the best you can do. Some of us on the other hand, are doing our best to make the private sector move forward inspite of the government.

  10. cvj

    but can we blame them? maybe its also government’s fault, for not giving incentives to them at that time to engage in manufacturing and export – anthony scalia

    Maybe. That’s how Silent Waters explained it above (at January 9th, 2008 at 12:56 am). I have maintained before that our failure to industrialize is because our government did not implement a proper industrial policy, i.e. the kind that allowed Japan to have a Toyota, Korea to have a Hyundai and India to have Tata Motors.

    What holds true for the Tsinoys also holds true for the rest of Pinoys. That’s where Benign0’s inconsistency reveals itself when he wrongly attributes our failure to industrialize to ‘indio culture’. Does it not occur to you that government failure is also the reason why, as you have said, “ the Pinoys who had the resources and capacity to begin world-class manufactured products here packed up their bags and went to the first world“?

    its my RIGHT if i choose not to run after gloria prior to 2010. and its my RIGHT if i choose to run after her on 2010. and im very sure i wont be charged for dereliction of citizenly duties (if there is such a crime) – Anthony Scalia

    I don’t think anyone has disputed your right to choose. No one will be charged for apathy but it doesn’t mean that it won’t have consequences. It means that politicians don’t have to be on their toes because the people will ‘move-on’ anyway.

    gloria is not the biggest problem of the country at present. its my RIGHT to choose to attend to much bigger problems…ive already said it – what can you do as a citizen? other than shouting ad nauseam ‘patalsikin na now na’? – Anthony Scalia

    It is clear to me that you see those who shout ‘patalsikin na now na‘ as a greater threat than Gloria Arroyo because you seem to be spending a lot of time opposing the opposition which i suppose takes time away from your job creation activities.

    im not Tsinoy! though many say i look like one, because im ‘chinito’. im a pure indio – anthony scalia

    I see. My apologies to you for using you as an example of the mindset commonly found in Tsinoy community.

  11. ramrod

    POLITICAL POWER AND THE RULE OF LAW

    For so many self-declared intellectuals, touting the Rule of Law phrase as a panacea without actually knowing the realities on the ground (due to an overdose of talking to oneself and actually agreeing with himself).

    The problem is that politicians are not supposed to have power over us – we’re supposed to be free. We seem to have forgotten that freedom means the absence of government coercion. So when politicians and the media celebrate political power, they really are celebrating the power of certain individuals to use coercive state force.

    Read the whole article http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul366.html

  12. ramrod

    Claro M. Recto, had warned against in his September 25, 1958 speech, “The Paradoxes of Our Democracy.” He said that “The government seems to have discovered the secret of what we may call a ‘democratic dictatorship’.” Recto explained that under a democratic dictatorship “We are allowed to enjoy the appearances of democracy while its substance is stealthily being sucked away” xxx and “we (become) the happiest serfs because we don’t realize that we are serfs and we believe ourselves to be free.”

    http://www.bulatlat.com/news/5-2/5-2-idolatry.html

  13. Bencard

    one more time, hawaiianguy, and that’s it. let me educate you a little bit. a prosecutor’s office is NOT a court.

  14. hawaiianguy

    Bencard, thanks again the for the info.

  15. ramrod

    On one of the long corridors of Harvard University are carved in granite the words of Archibald Macleish:

    “How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms; by truth when it is attacked by lies; by democratic faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, and in the final act, by determination and faith.”

  16. Bencard

    hawaiianguy, you are very welcome.

  17. The Ca t

    a Senator of the Republic. Reason, he does not get a take of the project’s revenue. Now do you wonder why we don’t get anywhere ?

    Isn’t it the reason why even the multi-millionaire-businessmen run for the position to protect their business interests if not their clan’s business?

  18. Beancurd

    Bencard,
    and who controls the prosecutors in this country? Please do not tell hawaiian guy it is not the President.

  19. Silent Waters

    everybody in power is plainly a rent seeker….if you really think about it…it’s a perverse eco-political system in place in our country….

  20. anthony scalia

    hawaiianguy,

    as per bencard, the prosecutor’s office is not the court. and what made you think that the complainants’ evidence amounts to a smoking gun? just because complaints were filed, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the complaints have merit already.

  21. anthony scalia

    cvj,

    “Does it not occur to you that government failure is also the reason why, as you have said, “ the Pinoys who had the resources and capacity to begin world-class manufactured products here packed up their bags and went to the first world“?”

    yes and no.

    yes, the absence of incentives could have scared those who had the capabilities to engage in manufacturing and export.

    no, because the Pinoys who left never had the same patriotism of the South Koreans and Taiwanese who stayed behind, of the Indians from Silicon Valley who returned to India.

    “I don’t think anyone has disputed your right to choose. No one will be charged for apathy but it doesn’t mean that it won’t have consequences. It means that politicians don’t have to be on their toes because the people will ‘move-on’ anyway.”

    yeah right, and no one disputes another person’s right to call this right to choose ‘a basic ignorance of citizenly duties’

    “It is clear to me that you see those who shout ‘patalsikin na now na‘ as a greater threat than Gloria Arroyo because you seem to be spending a lot of time opposing the opposition which i suppose takes time away from your job creation activities”

    you know why? let me count the ways –

    – for whatever reason, “patalsikin na now na” gets all the media mileage, which magnifies it to unbelievable proportions, scaring away much needed foreign direct investment

    – the talents, time, skills and other resources of those shouting “patalsikin na now na” are wasted, which could have been channeled to more productive endeavors, like job creation

    – without “patalsikin na now na” played like a broken record we could be bringing in much much more!

    – kicking out gloria does not create jobs. businesses, investments create jobs

    check it for yourself – who among the singers of “patalsikin na now na” are helping in job creation?

  22. mlq3

    anthony, you’re suggesting every single person who has publicly (and) privately expressed support for the president’s resignation, etc. does not own a business, does not work, does not participate in the economic life of this country?

    and that on the other hand, those who think otherwise hold an absolute monopoly on productive economic activity?

    amazing.

  23. Bencard

    mlq3, if i may butt in, i think those people you mentioned continue pursuing their business for personal profit, certainly not for the nation. i think they would do anything, not harmful to their own interests, to undermine gma, the administration, regardless of its deleterious effect on the real people.

  24. Bencard

    btw, why do you think the “opposition” is united in only one, but only ONE, thing – the ouster of “gloria”. as to everything else, it’s every man/woman for him/herself. take gma away and it’s chaos, worst than a barroom brawl.

  25. mlq3

    brian, the eternal question is why don’t more fight, and why do more leave. why is it always a slow burn and never a big bang?

    bencard, it’s in the nature of oppositions to be as opposed to each other as they are united against the target of their ire. it has something to do with the nature of power.

  26. cvj

    take gma away and it’s chaos, worst than a barroom brawl – bencard

    That’s what Gloria Arroyo would like us to believe, and many do. What those who fall for this line don’t realize is that if we continue to leave politics to the corrupt elite and their thugs in the military, we are on our to becoming another Pakistan. Over there, even the lawyers are protesting.

  27. hawaiianguy

    Anthony, “because complaints were filed, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the complaints have merit already.” I know, everybody is aware of that. But what many people don’t know, or fail to understand, is the answer to the basic question, “why, did it not happen?” (am still referring to the stealing of votes). Or, “was the admission of those who truly did it another lie?”

    Funny, sometimes even the court finds a “crime” (e.g., the SC, on the anomalous Comelec computerization project) but another legal body reports “no criminal” (e.g., the Ombudsman, exonerating all those involved). Even ex-senator Salonga was dumbfounded by this glaring “somersault”. How can you explain this to the people who, unlike lawyers, don’t speak their legalese?

    cvj, you strike a familiar chord on the protesting Pakistan lawyers. And oh, you forgot to mention, Musharaff feared the Supreme Court so he dissolved it. Maybe, the legal system in that more authoritarian regime is working much better than ours in RP.

  28. Bencard

    hawaiianguy, i see you didn’t learn your lesson. that’s what you get for listening to cvj. btw, s.c. is not a trial court. so it cannot “find” a crime”.

  29. hawaiianguy

    Bencard, I know SC is not a trier of fact, just as the Senate isn’t. Call it my layman’s term for what you say “try” re-complaint about the anomalous bidding/contract by Comelec.

    Well, maybe a bad teacher is what causes a bad student. Yes sir, I’ll give cvj a + rating!

  30. anthony scalia

    hawaiianguy,

    “I know, everybody is aware of that. But what many people don’t know, or fail to understand, is the answer to the basic question, “why, did it not happen?” (am still referring to the stealing of votes). Or, “was the admission of those who truly did it another lie?” ”

    sorry to say this, but it seems you are assuming the answer is ‘yes’. and the bases to support that are the charges filed by, of all people, the opposition!

    “Funny, sometimes even the court finds a “crime” (e.g., the SC, on the anomalous Comelec computerization project) but another legal body reports “no criminal” (e.g., the Ombudsman, exonerating all those involved). Even ex-senator Salonga was dumbfounded by this glaring “somersault”.”

    the investigators report a crime, but the best that they can do is file the charges. the courts can impose the punishments

    “How can you explain this to the people who, unlike lawyers, don’t speak their legalese?”

    thats one of the hazards of the profession

  31. anthony scalia

    mlq3,

    anthony, you’re suggesting every single person who has publicly (and) privately expressed support for the president’s resignation, etc. does not own a business, does not work, does not participate in the economic life of this country?

    and that on the other hand, those who think otherwise hold an absolute monopoly on productive economic activity?

    amazing

    yes, its amazing.

    because thats not what i said.

    ‘participating in productive economic activity’ is not necessarily equated to job-creation.

    just being consumers is already ‘participating in productive economic activity’. so is paying taxes.

    lets look at it this way – how many ‘patalsikin na now na’ people are helping to decrease the number of the unemployed?

    it’s in the nature of oppositions to be as opposed to each other as they are united against the target of their ire. it has something to do with the nature of power

    thats why the present-day opposition is no good!!! those people just gave the word ‘opposition’ a bad name!!! the ‘opposition’ during Marcos’ time is the only true ‘opposition’, as no one from that honorable group of Alvarez, Joker, Saguisag et al. has the “kami naman!” mentality of the present opposition!!

  32. hawaiianguy

    Anthony:”sorry to say this, but it seems you are assuming the answer is ‘yes’. and the bases to support that are the charges filed by, of all people, the opposition!”

    Still you didn’t get me there. What opposition are you talking about? My observation is direct from the field, though am not a participant nor an eyewitness in the vote rigging. I thought I made this clear when I mentioned names of people from the area, and places in Mindanao where Garci and his operators are known.

  33. anthony scalia

    hawaiianguy,

    “Still you didn’t get me there”

    no, i did

    “What opposition are you talking about?”

    refer to the examples you gave. who filed the charges?

    “My observation is direct from the field, though am not a participant nor an eyewitness in the vote rigging.”

    sorry my friend, but your ‘observation’ is not the same as ‘a participant nor an eyewitness in the vote rigging’

    “I thought I made this clear when I mentioned names of people from the area, and places in Mindanao where Garci and his operators are known”

    look, just because charges were filed doesn’t mean that they have merit. mentioning names isnt on the same category as ‘a participant nor an eyewitness in the vote rigging’

    theres such a thing as credibility of witnesses, of evidence. so be wary if someone claims to be the next Chavit Singson, Clarissa Ocampo. take note that these people just came out of nowhere. contrast that to the ‘star witnesses’ which were all produced by the opposition

  34. anthony scalia

    cvj,

    “That’s what Gloria Arroyo would like us to believe, and many do”

    no, thats the fact. gloria is still seated, thanks in no small part to the opposition’s unity.

  35. hawaiianguy

    Anthony: “sorry my friend, but your ‘observation’ is not the same as ‘a participant nor an eyewitness in the vote rigging’”

    Yes, linguistically they aren’t.

    But one can observe other trace evidence, hear mute witnesses, and other stuff. From there, he/she can make his own conclusion of ground reality. When the CBCP cried “morally bankrupt govt!” they made the same observation without actually seeing the wrongdoings of GMA’s government, esp. those that get so brazen. It’s as simple as that.

    I can see, although still don’t understand, your picture of “reality.” Can’t you see mine, at least?

  36. anthony scalia

    hawaiianguy,

    “Yes, linguistically they aren’t”

    legally as well

    “But one can observe other trace evidence, hear mute witnesses, and other stuff. From there, he/she can make his own conclusion of ground reality.”

    agreed. but there is also such a thing as credibility of evidence that becomes the bases of a conclusion

    “When the CBCP cried “morally bankrupt govt!” they made the same observation without actually seeing the wrongdoings of GMA’s government, esp. those that get so brazen.”

    so what can we call that act of making a conclusion without seeing the wrongdoing?

    “It’s as simple as that”

    yes, its as simple as that – making a conclusion on not-so-sound evidence

    “I can see, although still don’t understand, your picture of “reality.” Can’t you see mine, at least?”

    i can see your version of ‘reality’ but sorry to say, it seems your ‘reality’ is just a wholesale acceptance of the usual opposition rhetoric

  37. hawaiianguy

    Anthony:

    “I can see your version of ‘reality’ but sorry to say, it seems your ‘reality’ is just a wholesale acceptance of the usual opposition rhetoric.”

    Sorry to say, you assume that the opposition speaks with a single voice, with your reference of the “usual” (typical?). Now I can see, your anger of Binay, Trillanes & co. and so-called “United Opposition” also seems to cloud your perception of those whose voice, wittingly or unwittingly, comes in chorus with theirs as “wholesale acceptance” of their rhetorics. (Hope you will not someday label me as commie, leftist, etc.) No, I see myself as more of a lone ranger. Anyway, thanks for accepting that I do have my own version of reality, though you may not agree with how I formulate it.

    btw, on the “variety” of opposition, I agree with mlq3. That also holds up for those (including bloggers) who find themselves at the other side of the fence.

  38. anthony scalia

    hawaiianguy,

    “Sorry to say, you assume that the opposition speaks with a single voice, with your reference of the “usual” (typical?)”

    oh yes they do! anything to bolster ‘patalsikin na now na’

    “Now I can see, your anger of Binay, Trillanes & co. and so-called “United Opposition” also seems to cloud your perception of those whose voice, wittingly or unwittingly, comes in chorus with theirs as “wholesale acceptance” of their rhetorics”

    ah no. i can differentiate those who are prompted purely by righteous anger. however, if that righteous anger is just anchored on ‘Hello Garci’….

    “(Hope you will not someday label me as commie, leftist, etc.)”

    of course i won’t. im not into that.

    “btw, on the “variety” of opposition, I agree with mlq3. That also holds up for those (including bloggers) who find themselves at the other side of the fence”

    the opposition gives ‘opposition’ a very bad name. all they are good for is removing gloria. what the country needs now is much more than that.

  39. hawaiianguy

    Anthony: “oh yes they do! anything to bolster ‘patalsikin na now na’” I thought that was the battlecry of the Black & White Movement, and some militants (e.g., Bayan) – opposition groups not in league, directly at least, with Binay and associates in real time. And what do you make of other opposition voices like, Bishop Cruz and the other vociferous clerics? the nuns who denounced Gloria’s “morally bankrupt govt?” of some in the Senate, who were (or still are) rabidly anti-Erap? etc. etc. Ah, they all speak the same language? (blanket categorization) I beg to disagree with you, they appear in various shades. (Kaya nga watak-watak eh)

  40. Eero

    I am posting a communication briefing paper on how a senator can generate public support for the water crisis issue. Hope our presidentiables generate ideas from this.

    Eero (http://www.mindbullet.org/)

    Mind Bullet Briefing Paper: Communicating the Philippine Water Crisis as a Defining National Issue for Candidates Running for the 2010 Presidential elections.

    I. Rationale

    Defining moments are very important in capturing the imagination, hearts , minds of the people to genuinely entrust leadership. Through conscious efforts and expected historical milestones, defining moments can be laid out as a story line leading to a positive perception or conclusion. Defining moments establish how the market (electorate) will perceive and decide what to do with the product (politician). Simply put, defining moments in history will determine the market positioning of candidates running for President in 2010.

    read more: http://mindbullet.org/

  41. anthony scalia

    hawaiianguy,

    “I thought that was the battlecry of the Black & White Movement, and some militants (e.g., Bayan) – opposition groups not in league, directly at least, with Binay and associates in real time.”

    hatred of gloria make strange bedfellows. all of them are in league directly or indirectly

    “And what do you make of other opposition voices like, Bishop Cruz and the other vociferous clerics? the nuns who denounced Gloria’s “morally bankrupt govt?” of some in the Senate, who were (or still are) rabidly anti-Erap? etc. etc. Ah, they all speak the same language? (blanket categorization)”

    to use that phrase again – oh yes, they do speak the same language. how often Bishop Cruz is pictured alongside Guingona?

    Bishop Cruz and those clerics do not speak for the Church. Mind you, the CBCP is not the Church. And these individual members of the clergy are working the the opposition.

  42. hawaiianguy

    Anthony,

    Now I can sense and grasp your burning hatred of the opposition and those you say work with them. Pare-pareho sila.

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