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Jan 11

The perpetual avoidance of opportunity

My column yesterday was Charisma versus routines, which is a further attempt to explore themes I began exploring in this blog on December 9, in Charismatic expectations in noncharismatic times.

It will take some time before The Explainer on ANC blog will upload the full script, but many thanks to Torn & Frayed for his kind words and for sharing his thoughts my last episode, with Federico Macaranas as the guest.

In%20Pursuit
Below is reproduced the chapter I wrote for the book In Pursuit of the Philippine Competitive Edge: An Oral History of a Continuing Journey by 50 wisdom-keepers, which touches on some of the points Torn raised in his entry.

The perpetual avoidance of opportunity
Manuel L. Quezon III

(From In Pursuit of the Philippine Competitive Edge: An Oral History of a Continuing Journey by 50 wisdom-keepers, AIM Policy Center, 2007).

IN 1953, the Philippines Free Press published an editorial in which it observed that “The need to establish a regime above personalities, a government of law instead of men, cannot be exaggerated. In a rule of law alone lies social stability. Those who are for chaos may welcome a personal regime; those who are for order know the need for an impersonal government.” It said that while notable Filipino leaders in the past had a “private conscience drew the line beyond which it would be dishonorable for a public official to go,” the country couldn’t continue pinning its hopes on officials privately drawing “a line which only an impersonal law should draw.” The editorial writer couldn’t know how prophetic he was being.

That year, Ramon Magsaysay was elected in a landslide not seen in Philippine politics since before World War II; such was the charisma and integrity of the man that he almost single-handedly rejuvenated public confidence in government. But by 1957 Magsaysay was dead; and the country was left with the painful realization the editorial writer had expressed three years before: in the absence of a genuine rule of law, the restoration of public confidence was an impossible task.

By 1962, the Philippines had begun the decline that it continues to experience to this day. The decline has, at times, accelerated; at other times, it has slowed to the extent that it offered up hopes, though always dashed, of reversing that decline. And yet the decline has been inexorable: due to an inability, often bordering on an obstinate refusal, to embrace modernity. Because of that, the foundations of a cohesive, progressive, society -a sense of national solidarity arising from confidence in the law, and in government’s ability to mediate contending sectoral interests- has been absent.

Politics and government are all about competition -and competitiveness. The manner in which leaders and followers choose to compete, and the methods they adapt and permit to either foster, or stifle, competition, are reflections of the larger competitive abilities of society. The Philippine experience in the fifty years that the country has been said to be have been declining, has been that of a society’s refusal to compete.

NATIONAL solidarity, already brittle prior to World War II, fractured over the question of resistance to the Japanese and alliance with the United States. The national leadership prior to the war had been extremely attentive, and thus derived a strong legitimacy, to a limited electorate. The late 1930s had witnessed developments that had already begun to weaken the relationship between leaders and followers: the introduction of women’s suffrage in 1937; the gradual extension of suffrage from the propertied that had a monopoly on the vote prior to that point, thus increasingly injecting populism as a means of attracting the masses; an increasingly cosmopolitan, and radical, intelligentsia; and the impatience of young leaders to wrest political control from the leaders that had dominated government for forty years.

What emerged as the official response to these trends was a series of constitutional amendments approved in 1940: the restoration of a bicameral congress to replace the unicameral National Assembly, in order to forestall the radical infiltration of the legislature being foremost among them (just how inevitable this was going to be would only be demonstrated after the war, with the election of peasant leaders to represent certain districts in Central Luzon: the Roxas administration had to embark on evicting these leaders from their congressional seats). Bloc voting was introduced, both to enforce party discipline and as a means for ensuring dominant coalition control, which would also be fostered by institutionalizing a Commission on Elections, whose rules strongly favored the interests of the dominant coalition.

The carnage and virtual civil war that was the Philippine experience during the war not only laid waste to the country’s physical infrastructure, but took an enormous toll on the country’s leadership, young and old. The veneer of unity and statesmanship carefully-nurtured for forty years was stripped away by questions of collaboration with the Japanese and the struggles within the guerrilla movement.

In this book, Gerardo Sicat argues that “when we began as a new republic, we were on a competitive footing with the rest of Asia and the world. We had good resources and human resources. We had then the prospect of building a good future because we had financial resources, despite the destruction caused by the war.” But maximizing those resources required a sense of national purpose fostered by cooperation. Neither would be particularly evident in the postwar years: or to be precise, a divided national leadership made the effort; that effort, however, was hampered by developments already foreseen prior to the war, but accelerated by the trauma of the war: too many had had their faith in the leadership shaken, too many had operated in an atmosphere of lawlessness and unpredictability, to be satisfied with the restoration of the antebellum order.

And the onset of independence in 1946 also marked an unrecognized but important development.

The prewar elite, from that date, actually retreated; its ranks decimated, and displaced politically, it ensured its primacy in commerce through a kind of elaborate protectionist racket: since politico and businessman now increasingly came from different worlds, the camaraderie and common affectations of gentility of prewar days was untenable. Politicians gladly alternated between outright extortion and (increasingly) indiscreetly being on retainer to financial interests to fuel their campaigns; the old elite, still firmly entrenched in business, demanded protectionist policies in turn to protect their monopolies.

STILL, from the 40s to the late 50s enough of the pre-war political leadership survived to give the impression that pre-war solidarity had not only survived, but been rebuilt; but this was a case of old assumptions artificially supported by nostalgia and the old generation’s believing its own propaganda.

But with Magsaysay this all came clearly to an end: the old parties built on generations-old networks of leaders had been supplanted by his strategy of barnstorming and media manipulation. His election had been as much a referendum on the old ruling class as it was a validation of the vitality of a new generation. The means for political control and continuity put in place during the Commonwealth were systematically dismantled: bloc voting abolished; the power of the president to appoint mayors taken away; celebrity politics introduced (signaled, for example, by the election of matinee idol Rogelio de la Rosa to the Senate) and with it, the unstoppable transformation of both the standards expected of candidates by the electorate, and the manner in which candidates courted voters.

The Last Hurrah of the old cozy relationship between the politicians and businessmen was the Garcia administration: its election as the first plurality, and not majority, presidency in Philippine history again served as a harbinger of the fatally-divided and unresponsive political culture familiar to Filipinos today.

The Garcia government, however, nationalist as it was, presented an increasingly clear picture of an elite stripped of actual political power, but canny enough to continue fostering and pandering to a new grasping class, the guerrilla generation with its warlord inclinations. Macapagal’s election was the final repudiation of the prewar leadership, but his attempts at modernizing the political system foundered due to a combination of his own authoritarian instincts and his inability to counter the cunning of his opponents. They marshaled a coalition of landowners antagonized by talk of land reform, financial interests hostile to liberalizing the economy, and the guerrilla generation contemptuous of the New Era’s prewar pretenses to class.

WHEN Ferdinand Marcos, exemplar of that grasping class, came to power, he knew that the ruling class’s control of politics was fiction, and that armed with the populism and anti-elitism of the Magsaysay era, he could preside over the liquidation, socially, financially, and politically, of that class; he could, in turn, appropriate the Marxism of the youth more successfully than Macapagal ever could; he could turn it, at least, into a weapon to frighten his generation into supporting him in waging war not only against the Old Society, but the New Generation rallying in the streets. There was simply no line, written or unwritten, that he would not cross.

By the Marcos years, a middle class born in the American period had matured; educated and trained in the style of the ruling class, it shared many of that class’s biases and even pretensions. Among them was the illusion that it was the successor to the old landed and industrial families. They were not; they remained employees: the managers and directors comfortable in the new suburbs designed in imitation of the suburban communities of their bosses. They had homes, their children went to college, but in those colleges their children increasingly asked impertinent questions. Their reaction to impertinent questions and demonstrations was to express solidarity with the alarmed political and business leadership: after all, even as students established the Diliman commune, solidly middle-class residents of the vicinity established vigilante groups to assist the constabulary in flushing the rebels out.

FERDINAND Marcos mounted a coup after efforts to buy the 1971 Constitutional Convention failed; he was pleasantly relieved to discover that the country, on the whole, welcomed his “constitutional authoritarianism.” Democracy had proven to unpredictable; dictatorship was a more palatable approach, mirroring the preferred way for handling problems of the propertied and influential. It was, in more ways than anyone could imagine at the time, a deal with the devil.

Dictatorship demands conformity and conformity kills innovation. The systematic plunder of the country by Marcos and his cronies stripped the Old Society of its finances and thus, its political means; next came the looting of everything else. The middle class discovered itself defenseless, and without a champion in government: with the disgruntled old oligarchy it rebelled but lost to the old oligarchy as it, in turn, proceeded to loot the post-Edsa democracy to compensate itself for the losses of the martial law years.

The middle class, disheartened and disillusioned, clinging as it had to the romantic notion it represented something noble together with the old oligarchy, fled the country (and is now virtually absent from the scene). What’s left of it attempted its own Last Hurrah with Edsa Two, only to discover it was fatally divided over a residual romanticism towards politics, and the adoption of the Marcosian grasping class’s attitudes towards government. A society growing exponentially, and increasingly unexposed to the old institutional controls of education, religion, and civic organization, in turn has reduced the political, business, and middle classes to even more of a minority status, and thus even more fiercely dependent on the military as its protector and enforcer than even the Marcos government was.

TWO gentlemen in this book, one identified as having tried to mitigate the excesses of the Marcos years, and the other an eminent voice since the Edsa Revolution, have succinctly summarized the political call of the times. Former Prime Minister Virata said, “We need the concentration, we have to develop more other areas, we have to complete the communities.” For the Philippines has lost its sense of national unity, or feelings of solidarity, which serve to moderate the winner-take-all nature of politics and governance.

And Jesus Estanislao points to the perpetual failure of the country’s leadership to institute the real rule of law, and thus genuine modernity -and by extension, authentic competitiveness- when he asked, “The prospect depends on many Filipinos are willing to take up the cudgels for deep genuine reforms. This is where we begin thinking: ‘Where will these reforms come from?’ Reforms always come from a set of individuals who see the future or wanting to change or committed to doing something, and I think it can be done.”

But for it to be done requires an appreciation of the past; and how each time the country has been confronted with an opportunity to institute change, it has shrunk from the task.

The Philippines since 1962, faced several choices, each of which presented the opportunity to expand democracy, integrate the formerly marginalized into the body politic, and rejuvenate public confidence in its political institutions. Instead, protectionism, not just economic, but political, was the preferred choice. The 1971 Constitutional Convention ended up pandering to a dictatorship that sent an entire generation of Filipino professionals, stifled by the dictatorship, into exile; an entire political generation was deprived of power until it came to geriatric and greedy power in 1987, in a sense triggering a second exodus as devastating as that of the 70s: the middle class exodus from the 90s to the present.

A new Philippines, it must be said, is being born. Together with the academic and professional elite that migrated in the 70s went Filipinos of modest means who have only begun to establish themselves as a new, entirely different, middle class. Their influence in politics is only beginning to be felt, not in Metro Manila, but in the provinces. The increasingly cosmopolitan and entrepreneurial nature of such Filipinos is, at present, inspiring yet another effort to hold change at bay. It is a confusing, chaotic, even dangerous situation. But proof positive that the lost opportunities of the past needn’t represent an eternal regret, but only a means for reflection in order to more firmly, and daringly, embrace the future.

Bibliographic note

My thoughts on the trends in Philippine society were initially developed in two essays: “Elections are like Water,” and “Circle to Circle”, in i-Magazine (2004). The Free Press editorial, “Politics: Means and End” from August 29, 1953, has also influenced me greatly.

The relationship between Filipino politicians and businessmen is best explored in Amando Doronila’s The State, Economic Transformation, and Political Change in the Philippines, 1946-1972 and in Nick Cullather’s Illusions of Influence: The Political Economy of United States-Philippine Relations, 1942-1960. Controversial and debatable though many of his assertions are, Lew Gleeck’s President Marcos and the Philippine Political Culture also makes for informative reading.

An over-reliance on the (at the time) trailblazing ideas and scholarship of Teodoro Agoncillo and Renato Constantino is, to my mind, unhealthy. State and Society in the Philippines by Patricio Abinales and Donna J. Amoroso incorporates the tremendous advances in thinking and scholarship in the four decades since, and makes for indispensable reading, particularly in exploring the evolution of the Philippine state.

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199 comments

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  1. Silent Waters

    Anthony

    Sorry, why do you keep forgetting what?

  2. DevilsAdvc8

    perhaps anthony was referring to the the ZTE direct investments for the Pidal family, lol.

    oo nga!

  3. anthony scalia

    mlq3,

    promise first me that you are willing to ‘make a paradigm shift’ upon showing of the proof you are looking for.

  4. anthony scalia

    mlq3,

    to add – assure me that you’re not of the “my-mind-is-made-up-don’t-confuse-me-with-the-facts” kind.

  5. anthony scalia

    Silent Waters,

    i keep forgetting the point of your post (January 13th, 2008 at 8:17 pm) :

    “No point in arguing with CVJ, his mind is set in stone. Anything that will put the present administration down will be clapped and anything that will benefit this administration will always be suspect. Fairness will never be in their vocabulary”

  6. anthony scalia

    DevilsAdvc8,

    “perhaps anthony was referring to the the ZTE direct investments for the Pidal family, lol.”

    *****krrrrnnnng****** wrong also

  7. Silent Waters

    Anthony

    There was an discussion way back in the first few comments on this particular blog entry of mlq3 and the entry you made and I was responding to was on January 13th at 5:31 pm…

  8. Silent Waters

    Interesting pickup from mickeytoc’s blog:

    George Orwell once remarked that political thought, especially on the left, is a sort of masturbation fantasy in which the world of fact hardly matters. That’s true, unfortunately, and it’s part of the reason that our society lacks a genuine, responsible, serious left-wing movement.

  9. Silent Waters

    the difference between cynicism and skepticism (two terms sadly conflated together) : Skeptics looks at the evidence to draw conclusions, cynics just assumes the it had to be caused by evil, despicable human mammals.

  10. Silent Waters

    somebody said the above statement from mickeytoc’s blog…which I agree….

  11. mlq3

    anthony, you’re overlooking something here.

    i am asking, what is the basis for your assertions. whether you can convince me to change my mind or not, is beside the point. the question is, what is buttressing your own strongly-held views? it makes no sense to ask someone to commit to something sight unseen, ahead of time.

    but with all your cards on the table, at the very least everyone can see how things are. we may still continue to agree to disagree, but we all know we’re playing with a full deck.

  12. anthony scalia

    mlq3,

    no sir, if you ask me to prove it, you should be willing to be convinced if i am able to.

    whats the point of proving if i can’t sway the person asking for it?

    even if i can prove my points (i can), if people around still have that “my-mind-is-made-up-don’t-confuse-me-with-the-facts” attitude then i dont see any reason for proving it

    and sorry to say this – more people are already closed to any alternative outside ‘patalsikin na now na’. no amount of convincing can open up that state of mind.

    i differ from ‘patalsikin na now na’ and what do i get called? ignorant of basic citizenly obligation. (im still waiting for ‘ass-licker’)

    pero sige, let me make an attempt:

    lets start with the quality of the ‘Hello Garci’ tapes, as these tapes are the foundation of illegitimacy and ‘patalsikin na now na’ i have yet to hear a rebuttal to my argument that (1) Paguia’s tapes are adulterated, (2) if both the adulterated and the unadulterated versions were played in their entirety, the opposition will be revealed as having no clean hands, which explains his hesitation to do so!

    next is the cheating – did the cheating decide the outcome, or did the cheating merely pad the winning margin of gloria? the opposition doesn’t have solid evidence that cheating swayed the result in gloria’s favor, just many isolated allegations of cheating. they are banking on the scattered episodes of cheating, not to prove cheating that changed the outcome, but to incite people power.

    (to be continued tomorrow…including the business angle)

  13. mlq3

    anthony, something is missing in your demonstration of how public opinion and public debate ought to work.

    you go, armed with facts that buttress your argument. the facts, together with arguments based on those facts, can either be demolished, or not, if demolished or proven to be things less significance than asserted, then they weaken. if they withstand rigorous assult, they strengthen you.

    but you are viewit in terms of hand to hand combat when you forget there’s a wider audience which will be judging both side. i am on one side. you, on another. you shoyuldn’t fear doing some factual saber-rattling not only to raise the morale of your fellow travelers, but also, for those looking in on all the hullabaloo.

    take a deep breath, re-read toyr statements, and you might find that they are every bit selective, wide-sweeping, careless with facts and close-minded as the other camp you constantly deny even a basic modicum of good will to in anything they say or do.

  14. Bencard

    benigno: i don’t know if you are filipino, dude, but the way you subject the filipino people to non-stop bashing makes me think you are nothing but a foreigner-wannabee from hell. you call yourself “Mr. Articulation”? it seems the only articulation you are capable of is on how bad the filipinos are. yeah, dude, i know you have a lot of prescriptions for what ails the pinoys, but i’m interested in what you do, or have done, personally as contribution for the betterment of pinoy society (in addition to never-ending put-downs and ridicules). “collective” action is made up of the individual effort of everyone, including yours, you know. and, it’s not enough just to identify, make a list, and continuously harp on them every chance you get.

    if you are still one of us (filipinos, in heart and mind, if not residence or citizenship), your endless “loathing” of our country and people shows a classic example of the things you criticize them about, dude. being a filipino, or former filipino, doesn’t give you a right to do that.

  15. Bencard

    cvj, thanks for your expert description of the wife-beater and child-bride syndrome.

    you probably know something i don’t, but i never heard of the americans beating up the philippines, except in connection with aguinaldo’s brave initial resistance. he was even treated with respect, civility and decorum after his capture instead of being shot, as less-civilized conquerors would likely have done. as to comparing philippines to a child-bride, no female child would have engaged an adult suitor in lethal combat after the latter marries her. in any event, i don’t think the americans engaged in abuse and oppression of filipinos after they occupied the islands (as spain and japan did).

  16. benign0

    “if you are still one of us (filipinos, in heart and mind, if not residence or citizenship), your endless “loathing” of our country and people shows a classic example of the things you criticize them about, dude. being a filipino, or former filipino, doesn’t give you a right to do that.”

    Tough luck, dude, but I’ve got EVERY right to do what I do and say what I say. If you perceive my insights as “loathing” that’s YOUR problem.

    And regarding what you say here:

    “it seems the only articulation you are capable of is on how bad the filipinos are.”

    Are you 100% sure that the above statement is a fact? 😉

  17. Bencard

    a million benignos can never be a problem of mine, dude. yeah, right. like you have a right to eat your own crap, if you wanted to.

    no, dude, i am not 100% sure, but that’s why it’s perception and not fact.

  18. benign0

    “no, dude, i am not 100% sure, but that’s why it’s perception and not fact”

    Well, that simply validates my observation about Pinoys — all perception and no substance. The last two decades since 1986 was all perception. All we have TODAY is no more than a deflated bubble.

    By the way, I wrote about this Lack of Substance back in 2004. You might wanna check it out:

    http://www.geocities.com/benign0/agr-disagr/16-5-substance.html

    I’m happy for you there aren’t a million of me. At least you have 80 million other Pinoys to keep you happy. 😀

  19. Bencard

    dude, when its fact (substantiated by indubitable proof), i call it fact. when its perception (as my own mind comprehends based on what i know) i call it perception. I don’t presume like someone arrogantly saying “all we have today is no more than deflated bubble” – whatever the heck that means.

  20. anthony scalia

    mlq3,

    why don’t you just rebut my claims on ‘Hello Garci’ head on?

    cvj, manuelbuencamino, and whoever is mesmerized by ‘Hello Garci’ – feel free to join

    bring it on, my friends. bring it on.

  21. anthony scalia

    mlq3,

    “…you constantly deny even a basic modicum of good will to in anything they say or do”

    hello? who got called ‘ignorant of basic citizenly duties’ first?

  22. anthony scalia

    mlq3 and to the rest of the ‘kick-gloria-out-now’ school,

    to continue my ‘proving’:

    following is an open letter made by various industry associations who are stakeholders in the business process outsourcing industry. it was written in early 2006. its message still rings true today

    its an implied admission that too much political noise generated by ‘patalsikin na now na’ ad nauseam can threaten the growth of the BPO industry:

    The Philippine IT Services industry consists of
    companies in the business of animation, call center
    and contact center operations, business process
    outsourcing, medical transcription and software
    development. Collectively, these companies generated
    over $2 billion in export revenue in 2005. In total,
    the industry currently provides employment to 160,000
    professionals. Our target is to reach $12 billion in
    annual revenue by 2010, providing employment to over 1
    million Filipinos.

    We are proud to say the Philippines is now mentioned
    as one of the preferred sources of IT services
    world-wide. While our entry-point into the global
    market has been our low costs, we are increasingly
    gaining attention for our quality, reliability and
    expertise.

    It is easy to understand why. The Philippines has a
    pool of qualified professionals, cited frequently as
    among the best in the world. Local companies are
    investing in aligning their processes with
    international standards. Our telecommunications
    infrastructure is among the most competitive in the
    region. Our business incentives, grown over several
    administrations, are designed to attract foreign
    investment. Our list of high-profile international
    clients continues to expand.

    The industry’s impact on the economy can be further
    multiplied if we consider the trickle-down effect on
    other local industries. The IT Services companies and
    their employees have emerged as prime consumers for
    other goods and services

    We are confident in our industry’s abilities to reach
    its targets and to further increase its contribution
    to the economy.

    However, we cannot do it alone. A concerted effort
    among all stakeholders is required. We have to make
    sure that our schools produce enough graduates for us
    to hire. We have to make sure that government policies
    are in place to attract and retain investors. We have
    to make sure that we maintain an environment where
    Filipino professionals are given progressive
    opportunities to enhance their skills, careers &
    standards of living without the need to leaving
    our country.

    We also have to make sure that our foreign customers
    and partners have the assurance that our ability to
    fulfill their requirements is not compromised or
    disrupted because of an unstable external environment.
    We know that our business fundamentals as an industry
    remain strong . We have withstood all kinds of crises
    in the past. But, in our business, the perception of
    continuity and reliability is a key consideration. The
    global market is sensitive to isolated local incidents
    and can interpret these out of proportion.

    We respect every party’s right to voice an opinion.
    Our industry has been, and will continue to be, an
    active participant in promoting transparency and good
    governance in our society.

    However, while there are national issues that cannot
    be ignored and need to be resolved, our call is for
    everyone to proceed with rationality, sobriety,
    responsibility and consideration. We have processes in
    place, let us use them and improve on them where
    necessary.

    The Philippine IT Services industry provides an
    opportunity for the country to achieve long-term
    economic growth and stability. Let us not waste the
    opportunity. No less than 1,000,000 jobs depend on it.

    Signed:

    Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc. (ACPI)

    Business Process Outsourcing Association of the
    Philippines (BPA/P)

    Medical Transcription Industry Association of the
    Philippines (MTIAPI)

    Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA)

  23. mlq3

    anthony, I have been pretty clear that even if you don’t believe the tapes, what matters is the president’s reaction to them. At the time I decided the President should resign, I suspended judgment on the tapes. I continued to do so for a long time. While I personally believe they’re the smoking gun, it doesn’t matter, still, if their contents are true, only partially true, or fabricated. The President’s reaction at the time, and her conduct since, was the basis of my saying she should go and my continuing belief she ought to go.

    http://www.quezon.ph/?p=477

    Nevertheless, feel free to review the following and other entries here:

    http://www.quezon.ph/?p=475

    http://www.quezon.ph/?p=567

    http://www.quezon.ph/?p=653

    http://www.quezon.ph/?p=659

    http://www.quezon.ph/?p=735

    http://www.quezon.ph/?p=755

    http://www.quezon.ph/?p=756

    http://www.quezon.ph/?p=923

    I’ve also attached the Committee Report (1653) of the House of Representatives, to today’s entry, for your perusal. Signed both by the majority and the minority, I think it’s fair to say that it represents the consensus on what we can agree on and disagree on. The last section, on recommendations and findings, should particularly interest you. With regards to actual cheating, the report says the issue wasn’t tackled in the House. It has been, elsewhere. And so, these are also relevant:

    http://www.pcij.org/blog/?p=499

    http://www.newsbreak.com.ph/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=485&Itemid=88889004

    http://www.newsbreak.com.ph/index.php?option=com_alphacontent&task=view&id=488&Itemid=88889004

    http://www.newsbreak.com.ph/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=489&Itemid=88889004

    http://www.pcij.org/blog/?p=1912

    The camp of FPJ spent two years doing a kind of forensic analysis of the 2004 elections, to identify how the fraud took place. The data’s so massive, it’s on a DVD. I’m hoping they will put it up online because it’s quite convincing. But until they do, it’s out of the discussion because I don’t have the time or means to reproduce it myself.

  24. Bencard

    mlq3, it may be convincing to an “anti-gma” but would it stand the test of legality and impartial judicial scrutiny? remember it’s self-serving evidence and must be viewed as such. a zillion nothing is still nothing

  25. anthony scalia

    mlq3,

    my sincere thanks for the info and the links.

    if the fpj camp has that DVD, then it should be that DVD, not ‘Hello Garci’ that should be played and, if credible, the basis of ‘patalsikin na now na’ (not that i agree to it)

    elsewhere in your blog i floated the idea that instead of barking ‘patalsikin na now na’ ad nauseam why don’t the ‘anti-gma school work on congressmen to vote for impeachment next year. that DVD can come in handy for each congressman

    and one unsolicited advice for the anti-gma school – given the track record of the opposition in attempting to dislodge gloria, don’t rely on them anymore. do it yourselves

    but there’s also another thing – the opposition likewise cheated in 2004! Garci worked on both sides! These would have been revealed had the unadulterated ‘Hello Garci’ tapes in the possession of Sen. Kit Tatad were played.

    what now? both gloria and fpj cheated in 2004. they just cancel each other out

    and all those allegations of gloria’s fraud still supports the view that the cheating was meant to pad her winning margin

    we must take note that the allegations of fraud are just that, instances of fraud. by themselves, the allegations do not support the view that the frauds changed the outcome. still supportive of the view that the cheating is on the winning margin

    its understandable that instances of fraud were documented. the purpose is not to prove that the frauds decided the outcome, but to incite people power!

    so its not enough to cry fraud. the frauds must be shown to have determined the result.

    and this could be the explanation why the public was not too keen on a new people power arising from election frauds – the majority of voters didn’t vote for FPJ (combining the votes of gloria, roco, bro. eddie, and ping). Any uprising would just make fpj president. Because it was not just merely removing gloria, its installing fpj as well!

  26. cvj

    Any uprising would just make fpj president. Because it was not just merely removing gloria, its installing fpj as well! – Anthony Scalia

    When Hello Garci came out, FPJ was already dead.

  27. anthony scalia

    cvj,

    Even before ‘Hello Garci’ came out, there were already allegations of cheating/fraud. A protest was filed with the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, the Supreme Court, when FPJ was still alive and kicking.

    Thats why when ‘Hello Garci’ came out, it just fizzled. Kung baga sa paputok, darna lang ang epekto.

    Even just for the sake of principle, the public will never ever admit an FPJ victory! If gloria will be forced to step down today it will be an implied admission that FPJ won in 2004.

  28. cvj

    Even just for the sake of principle, the public will never ever admit an FPJ victory! If gloria will be forced to step down today it will be an implied admission that FPJ won in 2004. – Anthony Scalia

    Ah so! Thanks for giving me an insight into your philosophy.

  29. anthony scalia

    cvj,

    trying to catch me, heh? the paragraph you quoted, a statement of acquiescence to cheating?

    haaay naku, still insisting on ‘Hello Garci’!

    by the way, my friend, i’m still awaiting your rebuttal on my arguments against the reliability of ‘Hello Garci’

    the absence of any rebuttal is implied acknowledgment of the correctness of my arguments. hence my surprise on your continued grip on ‘Hello Garci’

  30. cvj

    Anthony, what i’m interested in is Gloria Arroyo’s explanation of the conversation that took place between her and Garcillano. What you’re saying is that i should also consider the conversations between certain Opposition candidates and the COMELEC which have, so far, not been revealed. That is a fair request, but that doesn’t cancel out Arroyo’s participation in the cheating that took place. It is for her part in the cheating that she should be held accountable.

  31. anthony scalia

    cvj,

    what i’m interested in is Gloria Arroyo’s explanation of the conversation that took place between her and Garcillano. What you’re saying is that i should also consider the conversations between certain Opposition candidates and the COMELEC which have, so far, not been revealed. That is a fair request, but that doesn’t cancel out Arroyo’s participation in the cheating that took place. It is for her part in the cheating that she should be held accountable.

    – if you are insisting on ‘Hello Garci’ you should hear all of the tapes, and not just parts of the tapes that are allegedly incriminating to gloria

    – the tenor of ‘patalsikin na now na’ is that FPJ is squeaky clean, gloria is not. that any instance of cheating, even if it doesn’t decide the outcome, makes the winner ‘fake, illegitimate’. if FPJ was sworn in instead, he is also a ‘fake illegitimate’ president as he was not beyond cheating as well

    – by ‘canceling each other out’ i meant ‘as if nobody cheated’. the effect of ‘in pari delicto’

    – our election laws will not entertain protests if it will not result in a different outcome (assuming FPJ is still alive today). FPJ’s protest, at best, seeks to tout frauds only, and not to show that the frauds led to his defeat

    – i know cheating is cheating no matter what. but holding her accountable for the cheating is a lot different from calling her ‘fake illegitimate’ ek-ek. im not denying your precious right to file charges against her once she becomes a private citizen in 2010.

    the claim that the cheating is on the winning margin is unrebutted. without the cheating, she’d still win. thus she is legally entitled to sit until 2010

    by the way, how do you intend to hold her accountable? you still have yet to rebut my argument that making her accountable via people power removal will cause collateral damage to the economy, which is the last thing we need now.

    – as to her explanation – she did not categorically say (1) that she spoke with Garci and (2) that she and Garci were the ones talking in the tapes

    yes, talking to a COMELEC official, even if not meant to exert influence, is by itself an impeachable offense. so focus on impeachment.

    the House full of gloria allies? thats where working on each House member comes in.

    difficult? yes. but barking ‘patalsikin na now na’ ad nauseam will not remove gloria. impeachment will.

  32. Bencard

    anthony, i’m not too sure that a mere talking to a comelec official by a president is an impeachable offense, unless the act constitutes a betrayal of public trust. in the allege garci tape, it is impossible to determine the real nature of the conversation. and so is the betrayal, if there’s any.

  33. cvj

    the claim that the cheating is on the winning margin is unrebutted. without the cheating, she’d still win. thus she is legally entitled to sit until 2010 – Anthony Scalia

    In a democracy, anyone who cheats is not fit to hold office because that represents betrayal of public trust. Whether such cheating delivered the winning margin or not is not relevant.

  34. hawaiianguy

    Anthony, “so focus on impeachment.” Three impeachments in a row, the last one being, well, a joke of all jokes (“impeach me”?). Nah, 2010 is coming soon. I’d rather wait for it, and watch how Gloria would account for her “sins” after that.

    Whatever people say, the ghost of “hello Garci” will hound Gloria and will stay as a blemish in recent RP politics. If that, and its consequences, can be kept in our closet, the stink is inescapable for others.

  35. Silent Waters

    CVJ

    SO I guess all political candidates from both sides can’t hold office …because most, if not all, will do anything, including cheating to win….yeah yeah yeah, you need proof…blah blah blah….SHHHHSSSHHH

  36. cvj

    Silent Waters, wouldn’t it be great if we finally got rid of the politicians who cheat so that the honest ones can finally step up to the plate?

  37. anthony scalia

    cvj,

    “In a democracy, anyone who cheats is not fit to hold office because that represents betrayal of public trust. Whether such cheating delivered the winning margin or not is not relevant.”

    oh no sir, in one sense they do – if the cheating is to pad the winning margin, and not to decide the outcome, then the eventual winner is legit. The ‘fake illegitimate’ ek-ek has no bases.

    and since the oppositon also cheated, you should also be holding them accountable. wait, i have yet to hear your howl agasinst the opposition’s cheating

    you still have that notion that cheating took place for the first time in 2004, and that the proclaimed winner in 2004 was the first one to cheat

  38. anthony scalia

    hawaiianguy,

    “…so focus on impeachment.” Three impeachments in a row, the last one being, well, a joke of all jokes (”impeach me”?)”

    if the opposition had half a brain they would have anticipated the ‘hindi pulidong’ Pulido complaint

    “Nah, 2010 is coming soon. I’d rather wait for it, and watch how Gloria would account for her “sins” after that”

    wow thats a different tune! abangan!

    what sayest thou cvj? hawaiianguy’s stance makes sense.

    Whatever people say, the ghost of “hello Garci” will hound Gloria and will stay as a blemish in recent RP politics. If that, and its consequences, can be kept in our closet, the stink is inescapable for others.

  39. anthony scalia

    oops, my mistake. the last paragraph in the previous post is supposed to be in quotes, as it was a post of hawaiianguy

    but id like to comment on it:

    “Whatever people say, the ghost of “hello Garci” will hound Gloria and will stay as a blemish in recent RP politics. If that, and its consequences, can be kept in our closet, the stink is inescapable for others”

    it only will hound Gloria because of the persistance of the ‘its-our-turn’ opposition. like anything, it will be forgotten.

    face it, if the contents of “Hello Garci” were true, its just a continuation of what has been plaguing the country for decades (actually even wthout ‘Hello Garci’ the problems are already there)

    stink inescapable for others? no sir, we are all immune to any cheating-related stink

  40. cvj

    Anthony, i wouldn’t want to get into a “yes it is, no it isn’t” type of exchange with you so i would just like to point out that your standard for judging fairness in electoral contests is different from types of competitions. For example, in sporting events, use of steroids will result in the forfeit of medals. In school, even the class valedictorian can be severely disciplined for cheating in examinations. Holding our politicians to a lower standard reinforces their current unethical behavior.

  41. cvj

    The first sentence above should read ‘is different from other types of competitions.’

  42. Bencard

    cvj, forfeiting a medal in a sports competition obviously cannot compare with undoing the result of an election. if that was the case, any loser with unlimited financial resources, and a brain the size of a flea on a head as hard as rocks, would persist if for no other reason than to “erase” the winner’s presidency (if that was at all possible) long after the latter finished his/her term, or the loser died.

    btw, again and again, guilt must be proven before anyone can be held “accountable”. don’t keep on begging the question.

  43. anthony scalia

    cvj,

    “Anthony, i wouldn’t want to get into a “yes it is, no it isn’t” type of exchange with you so i would just like to point out that your standard for judging fairness in electoral contests is different from types of competitions. For example, in sporting events, use of steroids will result in the forfeit of medals. In school, even the class valedictorian can be severely disciplined for cheating in examinations. Holding our politicians to a lower standard reinforces their current unethical behavior”

    if you want to hold our politicians to higher standards of ethical behavior, you should also finger the opposition, as they are ‘as guilty as gloria’. why just single out gloria?

    your statement ‘judging fairness’ is interesting. the opposition cheated as well in 2004. i have yet to hear from you a complaint against them. both sides are guilty of cheating, yet you only focus on one side. that isnt fairness any more.

    when two parties are ‘in pari delicto,’ it will be assumed that no one did wrong.

    by the way, how do you intend to hold the politicians to a higher standard? by people power?

  44. mlq3

    anthony, for goodness’ sake. because there’s only one president! first things first.

  45. anthony scalia

    mlq3,

    noted, but its another thing to hold both sides ‘accountable’.

    don’t you want to throw up if someone like Binay pontificates on corruption?

    it will also boil down to the issue – did the cheating decide the outcome?

    if we look at Loren’s dismissed protest, the Supreme Court said that for the sake of argument, even if the COCs in question were all rightly in favor of Loren, still the numbers reported by those COCs aren’t enough to overcome the official winning margin of Noli over Loren.

  46. hawaiianguy

    Anthony:

    “…we are all immune to any cheating-related stink.” Naturalizing bad deeds NEVER liberates those involved, ever. Ultimately, it is one sure way to national self-perdition. Immunity? Yeah, I heard that said during the 3rd impeachment. Gloria was “immunized” by her cabals in congress so that she will appear “healthy” when she isn’t.

    “… like anything, it will be forgotten.” Maybe some will do, but others will keep on digging Garci’s grave. Wikipedia and others have clearly marked his tomb, immortalizing the erosion of democratic principles and institutions (among them, desecrating the sanctity of the vote). Nobody can erase that in the collective memory – not even Gloria’s “am sorry” speech.

  47. Bencard

    those who want to keep it in their memory “forever” can do it, of course. no one can prevent them. but even true tragedies are usually forgotten, or at least relegated to the dustbins of history. marcos’ family and some cronies are still around, largely undisturbed by the “victims”. erap seems to be alive politically posturing either as a “kingmaker” or a possible “dark horse candidate in 2010. what more when everything is just based on unsubstantiated allegations of political enemies?

  48. hawaiianguy

    When a legal body declares a complaint as “sufficient” in form but not in “substance,” it demonstrates the sheer power of number, politically at least, under the guise of rational decision making. This is where a spade IS a spade, yet it can also be demonstrated as ANYTHING BUT a spade, if people AGREE. Agreements (by the majority) are not necessarily factual, they can also be farcical, or even cruel. Didn’t Tocqueville say that everlasting phrase “tyranny of the majority?”

    Events are either forgotten or remembered. It all depends on how big or meaningful they are, to occupy a place in people’s memory or history. Nobody expected that such “helloing” would become almost like a “national” ringtone in the history of Philippine texting? What a shame!

  49. 2112

    fuck ya aLL

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