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Jan 14

The Arroyo Imbroglio in the Philippines

As the handy-dandy Oxford American Dictionaries puts it:

imbroglio |im?br?ly?|
noun ( pl. -glios)
an extremely confused, complicated, or embarrassing situation : the Watergate imbroglio.
‘ archaic a confused heap.
ORIGIN mid 18th cent.: Italian, from imbrogliare ‘confuse’ ; related to embroil .

As I mentioned last week, the Journal of Democracy has just published an article on the Philippines by Paul D. Hutchcroft, titled “The Arroyo imbroglio in the Philippines.”

Here’s his article:

Hutchcroft-19-1
Which you can also download directly from the journal.

He unfortunately begins his piece with a slight factual error:

With the exception of Ferdinand Marcos, who held power from 1965 to 1986, no one in Philippine history has had a longer tenure in the presidential palace than Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. She first assumed the presidency in January 2001, when a “people power” uprising ousted President Joseph Estrada from Malacañang Palace and elevated her from the vice-presidency to the highest office in the land. After serving out Estrada’s remaining term until 2004, Macapagal-Arroyo was elected for another six years. Term-limit restrictions require her to step down in 2010, after what will be nearly a decade in office.

His assertion is premature. She will reach that point (the second-longest incumbency) on October 6, 2009, when her stay in office exceeds 3,182 days. She has had, undoubtedly, the longest post-Edsa presidency.

Anyway, the article tries to look at what’s happened since 2005.

This is, perhaps, the most concise and correct summary of what’s transpired in that period:

in late July 2005, Macapagal-Arroyo declared that “our political system has degenerated to such an extent that it’s very difficult to live within the system with hands totally untainted.” While this statement was no doubt an effort to emphasize systemic rather than personal accountability, it had become clear to many that Philippine democracy was badly in need of reform. While the crises of 1986 and 2001 had been primarily concerned with the legitimacy of individual leaders, the “Hello, Garci” crisis highlighted the legitimacy deficit not only of an individual leader but also of an entire political system. In her speech, the president urged the country to “start the great debate on charter change” and specifically mentioned (but did not explicitly endorse) the possibility of shifting the country’s political structures from presidential to parliamentary and from unitary to federal. Although the Speaker of the House may have desired more wholehearted support for a shift to parliamentarism, de Venecia nonetheless came to Macapagal-Arroyo’s aid in September by ensuring that an impeachment attempt would not muster the necessary support of one-third of the members of the House of Representatives. This is consistent with historical patterns in Philippine politics: The power of the pork barrel enables presidents to make or break the speaker, who in turn must deliver the loyalty of the overwhelming majority of the House.

In particular, this explanation of why the President survived the crisis:

Other factors also assisted Macapagal-Arroyo in her fight for survival. First, the late 2004 death of Fernando Poe, Jr., her opponent in the elections, deprived the opposition of an obvious figure around whom it could rally. Second, strong public sentiment against the president did not translate into a repeat episode of people power. Demonstrations were called, but they failed to draw large crowds. Many at the time spoke of “people power fatigue,” but there was probably a deeper disillusionment at play. This time around, it was difficult for citizens to nurse hopes that a mere change in leadership would fix the problems of the country. Many seemed tired of being pawns in intraelite squabbles that ultimately brought little change. Third, Macapagal-Arroyo was aided by widespread concerns over the possibility that the vice-president, former newscaster Noli de Castro, might come to power. Although strong in terms of mass appeal, de Castro is not highly respected among those in the upper classes and has allegedly profited from unseemly journalistic practices.10 Finally, the president had done a masterful job of cultivating the loyalty of key generals. Despite significant discontent in the lower ranks, the top brass has up until now remained firmly in her camp.

As I’m convinced the division over the President herself runs so deep, that there’s little point in arguing the merits or demerits of Hutchcroft’s or anyone else’s, reading of the situation, in terms of the President herself, his account of what ails our electoral system lays the basis for proposals for reform:

The Philippine ballot is probably one of the most archaic in the world, as voters are required to fill in, by hand, the names of all candidates for whom they are voting. The vote tally is then compiled, also by hand. With thirty million ballots cast last May, each containing the votes for roughly 25 to 30 positions, election officials faced the gargantuan task of counting almost a billion preferences in all. This laborious process is highly susceptible to fraud: As official election tallies begin their long migration from local precincts throughout the Philippine archipelago to Manila over the course of several weeks, politicians can use a variety of tactics to supplement retail vote purchases with wholesale manipulation of the vote count. In each of the last two elections, the Commission on Elections has demonstrated itself to be fabulously incompetent (and often very corrupt) in performing its three basic tasks of preparing for elections, executing the polling process, and counting the votes. NAMFREL reported that in 2004, due to huge errors in COMELEC’s voter lists, “disenfranchisement may have run as high as two million voters.” …Finally, the long vote count provides ample opportunities for election officials to solicit payoffs not only from trailing candidates wanting to pad their votes, but also from leading candidates needing to protect their votes against the cheating of others.

For example, a case study involving Maguindanao:

After the May 2007 elections, it took almost two months before the twelfth-ranked candidate was proclaimed a victor in the Senate contest. Many of the charges and countercharges focused on Mindanao’s remote province of Maguindanao, the details of which illustrate complex interactions between the administration, COMELEC, and local powerholders. In the run-up to the elections, each region of the country was put under the supervision of a particular COMELEC commissioner. Benjamin Abalos, a political ally of the First Gentleman who had been appointed COMELEC chair in 2002, assumed initial responsibility for the polls in Mindanao and then placed key lieutenants in strategic posts. In Maguindanao, his provincial election supervisor was a wellknown protégé of Garcillano who had merited frequent mention in the “Hello, Garci” tapes and was linked to suspiciously strong pro-Arroyo results in the 2004 election. Without the effective oversight of either COMELEC or election monitors (who were barred from many localities), Macapagal-Arroyo’s political allies in Maguindanao were able to deliver a sweep to her Team Unity senatorial candidates. The key figure in securing this outcome was Governor Andal Ampatuan, who commands a substantial paramilitary force and has a reputation for using violence against his political enemies. “Whatever the president wants, he will follow,” said a family friend to Newsbreak. “12-0 is what Ma’am wants.” Ampatuan is no doubt well-rewarded by the Palace, but seemingly cuts deals for his own benefit as well. Among the Team Unity hopefuls, it is reported that “the ranking of individual candidates depended on how much they would pay up.” Rumor has it that the top senatorial slot in Maguindanao went to a northern Luzon strongman for the sum of 30 million pesos (US$636,000). Aside from money, violence is also a useful tool for gaining political power. According to police statistics, there were 148 election-related killings in 2004, more than double that of the last general elections in 1998. In 2007, there were 121 election-related killings, marginally more than the 111 persons killed in the last midterm elections, in 2001. According to political scientist Joel Rocamora, the high stakes of the political game encourage candidates to use whatever means possible to achieve victory: Elections provide the formal expression of local political contests that have historically been mainly about who controls the resources from the central government, and illegal economic activity. . . . The contest over control of these activities gives a premium to leaders with skills in manipulating illegality and the uses of violence. At the least, one can say that the national police and the Philippine armed forces are unable to safeguard the electoral process; far more disturbing is when their coercive power is deployed in favor of one candidate over another. Another armed force, the communist National People’s Army, has used its coercive capacity for a combination of entrepreneurial and political ends: extorting permit-to-campaign fees in the areas that it controls, occasionally hiring itself out for intraelite political assassinations, and intimidating rival opponents on the left.

This is not crying over spilled milk. After all, with the cheating having been chronicled, the question is, in 2010, if we have elections, which candidate will embrace Ampatuan, and who will dare go against him? And what of the citizenry, will it try to neutralize his potentially harmful effects on the national vote, or turn a blind eye?

So rhe thing that interests me most of all, are his proposals for reforms that could be pursued as people open up to a post-Arroyo scenario:

The Philippines has now had a longer stretch of life after Marcos than life under Marcos. As the post-Marcos era enters its third decade, the high hopes for democracy voiced in the mid-1980s have given way to disillusionment with the country’s low quality of governance.

What are his proposals? First, he argues that public confidence is low:

Philippine democratic institutions are not inspiring faith among the citizenry. In the month prior to the 2007 elections, 69 percent of those surveyed expected vote buying and 53 percent anticipated cheating in the vote count (substantially higher percentages than those registered prior to the 2001 and 2004 elections). In a 2006 survey, COMELEC was among the four agencies that the public rated as “very bad” in terms of “sincerity in fighting corruption.” There have long been problems at COMELEC, but the level of politicization under the Arroyo government is perceived to be particularly grave. Similar stories can be told regarding the decline of other important political institutions, including the House of Representatives (currently subordinated to the Palace even more thoroughly than usual); the judiciary (with the Supreme Court an important and encouraging exception); the Office of the Ombudsman (now headed by the president’s former chief legal counsel); and the military (recall the use of military intelligence for electoral purposes, discussed above). Many believe that the best way to address this disillusionment is to reform democratic institutions.

But if this is the case, what form should reforms take -sweeping or incremental ones? There is no consensus, but the lack of consensus might indicate how it can be achieved:

But those who advocate “political reform” have a range of ideas as to what should be changed and to what extent, as well as how to accomplish the changes. Given current levels of disillusionment, some suggest that whatever political set-up the Philippines presently has should be discarded. If the country is currently under a presidential system, it should shift to parliamentarism. If it is currently unitary, then federalism is the solution. The bigger the change, however, the greater the risk of unintended consequences, leading some to call for well-targeted incremental reforms, instituted with particular goals in mind.

So then, the specifics. First,

A central, overarching goal should be the fostering of stronger and more programmatic political parties… A good starting point would be such modest electoral reforms as preprinted ballots, a consolidated ticket for the election of presidents and vice-presidents, and an option for straight-party voting.

(Readers might recall my own proposals to reconsider bloc voting.)

He goes on to add,

Two somewhat more ambitious electoral reforms, one for the Senate and one for the House, could have much greater impact in promoting stronger parties. The first would be to scrap the current system in which senators are elected from one nationwide district; this leads to intraparty competition and forces each candidate to cut his or her own deals with local powerholders throughout the archipelago. The second change would be to abolish the current party-list system, through which 20 percent of the members of the House are selected. While most standard proportional-representation systems require parties to achieve a certain percentage of the vote in order to have seats in the legislature, the Philippine party-list system is distinguished both by a very low floor (2 percent) and by the presence of a ceiling: Incredibly, no single party is permitted to have more than three seats in the legislature. This entirely undermines the goal of aggregating interests under one party label. Following the example of Japan and South Korea, the Philippines could consider adopting a mixed system involving both single-member-district seats and some element of a more standard proportional-representation system.

(Readers will also recall my proposal to reconsider senatorial districts, too. The nationally-elected senate makes sense only when buttressed by bloc voting, which gives an incentive for candidates and the electorate, to think in term of slates; and also, once lost, the old notions that every senatorial ticket had to be geographically balanced, can’t be restored: the old rule of thumb was scrapped in 1986 both by the Marcos-Tolentino and Aquino-Laurel tandems, which swept away the North-South rule observed since 1935.)

Anyway, he goes on to say,

Another well-targeted reform, more relevant to process than to outcomes, relates to electoral administration. COMELEC should be restructured from top to bottom–from its central office in Manila to its extensive nationwide field structure–in order to develop the capacity to maintain accurate lists of voters and execute an accurate and expeditious vote count. Allegations of election fraud involving politicians and COMELEC officials need to be investigated by independent prosecutors willing and able to press charges for wrongdoing. The perfect opportunity for leadership change comes in early 2008, as COMELEC chair Benjamin Abalos steps down in the wake of bribery charges, and three additional slots on the seven-member national commission will also need to be filled.

In general, his point that more manageable, because smaller, reforms, would do more than more exotic efforts to change the system:

As a practical matter, incremental measures of political reform, rather than a wholesale shift to parliamentarism or federalism, seem to hold greater promise for success. In response to the two late-2007 bribery scandals, the Palace dusted off proposals for charter change in yet another attempt to change the topic to political reform. Such patent political opportunism has turned much of the public against the idea of constitutional revision. After his attempts were spurned in late 2006, even Speaker de Venecia now seeks a moratorium on charter change. Senators continue to oppose the abolition of their chamber, and one can presume that the five senators considering bids for the presidency in 2010 are particularly averse to the parliamentary option. Considering these factors, there is unlikely to be renewed momentum for sweeping constitutional changes until after the 2010 presidential elections.

Unless the public insists on these changes, however, they won’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. The reason being that as pragmatism, and not idealism, has become the national fetish, then no one has an incentive to really reform, since pushing for reform has increasingly been proclaimed a nuisance, a waste of priorities. If job creation is the be-all and end-all of political activity, that is, that it is more important to create jobs rather than defend freedoms, and pursue change (a false distinction: there has to be a way to encourage the creation of jobs without turning people into permanently politically-uninvolved types), then no industry creates more jobs in a short time as an electoral campaign.

Since the past three years have shown that a mastery of logistics trumps all other political considerations, then we can expect that those angling to wield the levers of power currently held by the president, will want to do so, on the terms she’s mastered. Why reinvent the wheel?

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86 comments

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  1. UP n student

    Willy… that “b-hcg tetanus sterilization UNICEF Philippine Supreme Court” is URBAN LEGEND. You can go to the Philippine Supreme Court records and double-check.

  2. UP n student

    (Now two years ago, I got myself an anti-tetanus booster shot since I find dirt and growing plants therapeutic. If I’ve been sterilized, the booster sure was cheaper than a vasectomy!!!!)

  3. cvj

    Then again if the truth had prevailed and the right person was appointed president at the time, FPJ would have been president. – Benign0

    We do not know how FPJ would have turned out as President. Maybe those who voted for him were right that he would have turned out to be a good leader.

  4. Willy

    UPn,
    Reports stated it was the Manila RTC which issued the restraining order and that it was the Philippine Medical Association on behalf of the Philippine Department of Health revealed that almost 20 percent of the tetanus vaccine sampled positive for the hormone (hCG). There are similar reports in India, South Africa, Mexico, Thailand, Nigeria…my source is Human Life International. Not surprisingly, the WHO has denied all accusations as “completely false and without basis,” and the major media have never reported on the controversy.

  5. benign0

    “We do not know how FPJ would have turned out as President. Maybe those who voted for him were right that he would have turned out to be a good leader.”

    Well, we’ll never know that now, would we? So what’s the point of wondering?

    And besides, go back to 2004 and regard Gloria with a clean slate. Would you have had any idea at all of what she was capable of at the time?

    Same thing can be said of Marcos. Common sense would lead any 1960’s voter to vote for a clean-cut, immensely articulate and charismatic, UP Law graduate and Upsilonian who actually had a vision. Who would have thought how THAT president would turn out.

    My point is this: your arguments are becoming really pathetic. You should quit while you are ahead before you make a complete fool of yourself.

  6. stuart-santiago

    i agree with bencard. hutchcroft said nothing new. sana he wrote about the economy na lang, as in booty capitalism, then nakatulong pa siyang maintindihan natin kung bakit hindi good ang appreciating peso at kung anong puwede nating gawin para hind lang si gma ang masaya — nakakabayad kasi siya ng utang at nakakautang uli.

  7. cvj

    And besides, go back to 2004 and regard Gloria with a clean slate. Would you have had any idea at all of what she was capable of at the time? – benign0

    That’s no longer possible given Hello Garci and all that. What she has done is now part of history and what she could have been capable can only be a matter of speculation and regret.

    BTW, looks like the next thread is about you.

  8. benign0

    “BTW, looks like the next thread is about you.”

    Is it now. What makes you think so? Another one of your speculations? :p

  9. UP n student

    Willy: So your blog-entry goes like “…none of the media has reported it, but the anti-abortion group HumanLife International reports that it has found reports of the UNICEF using anti-tetanus shots in the Philippines tainted with b-hCG. This was basically a sterilization experiment. This B-hCG laced tetanus vaccine was also given to native Americans and black women in the United States.
    When asked, the anti-abortion says that its source is another anti-abortion group. When asked if the US black community was outraged, the anti-abortion group said ??????

  10. UP n student

    Willy: So here is a statement “The book “The Psychology of Persuasion” by Kevin Hogan is a very comprehensive and lucidly written books on interpersonal communications.” With the Internet and Google available, you should be able to quickly find out for yourself if my statement has merit.
    So do remember, it is not only high school and college students, examiners for the Law Bar, the police and GMA and Islam politicians and atheist bankers, the religious can lie, too, either for their personal gain or “….for the greater good.”

  11. UP n student

    stuart-santiago : The appreciating peso is good for some Filipinos, for example, those earning their wages from the Philippines to pay for their daughters’ tuition/living expenses (while taking graduate courses in New York); to equip a Marikina-factory with made-in-Chicago manufacturing equipment; buy made-in-China handtools (since China has pegged the yuan to the dollar); to buy printed-only-in-the-US textbooks.

  12. vic

    Here is another beauty..Our electoral laws are already sufficient, but to further strengthened them and avoid the repeat of “sponsorship scandal” (corruption in other name)a new Accountability Act was born and here is one pertaining to Electoral Law amendments..**is the notation I inserted for the old law..

    Part 1 also amends the Canada Elections Act to:

    (a) reduce to $1,000 the amount that an individual may contribute annually to a registered party, and create a distinct $1,000 annual limit on contributions to the registered associations, the nomination contestants and the candidates of a registered party;

    **used to be a maximum of $5400 individually combined…up to 75% tax refundable or reduction to $500 and maximum $650. Tax credit annually…have to check what’s the tax credit for this year’s contribution….

    (b) reduce to $1,000 the amount that an individual may contribute to an independent candidate or to a leadership contestant;

    © reduce to $1,000 the amount that a nomination contestant, a candidate or a leadership contestant may contribute to his or her own campaign in addition to the $1,000 limit on individual contributions;

    Comment: Now, even a billionaire, won’t be able to use his or her own money for election campaign above the limit set by the law…still got lot of friends to contribute to his campaign, but then again there is a limit to How much a Candidate can spend per voter…

    (d) totally ban contributions by corporations, trade unions and associations by repealing the exception that allows them to make an annual contribution of $1,000 to the registered associations, the candidates and the nomination contestants of a registered party and a contribution of $1,000 to an independent candidate during an election period;

    (e) ban cash donations of more than $20, and reduce to $20 the amount that may be contributed before a receipt must be issued or, in the case of anonymous contributions following a general solicitation at a meeting, before certain record-keeping requirements must be met; and

    (f) increase to 5 years after the day on which the Commissioner of Canada Elections became aware of the facts giving rise to a prosecution, and to 10 years following the commission of an offence, the period within which a prosecution may be instituted.

    Other amendments to the Canada Elections Act prohibit candidates from accepting gifts that could reasonably be seen to have been given to influence the candidate in the performance of his or her duties and functions as a member, if elected. The wilful contravention of this prohibition is considered to be a corrupt practice.*

    Conclusion: It’s not really Magic, a reasonable electoral law, open to continuous reform and with the will to enforce it and you have a your so-called orderly Process..

  13. anthony scalia

    cvj,

    “In the case of Erap, you can argue that it was the poor and hungry voters who elected him. In the case of Gloria, the same argument cannot be made since we have the issue of Hello Garci. I know it’s inconvenient for your worldview but that’s how things are”

    look who’s talking!

    who keeps on persisting on ‘Hello Garci’ when the tapes themselves are of dubious quality to say the least?

    that ‘Hello Garci’ worldview is a sham

    in case you have not noticed my friend, you have yet to rebut, point by point, the issues i raised against the ‘Hello Garci’ tapes.

    those issues are based on the actual testimonies of Paguia and Sen. Kit Tatad in the House of Representatives.

    but then again of course, why would you bother? you wouldn’t want to know that you’ve been believing a sham all along, would you?

    among other things, you would not accept the fact that Garci worked on both sides of the fence, that both gloria and fpj are guilty of cheating. in short, in terms of cheating, gloria and fpj just cancel each other out.

    nobody has clean hands.

    for sure you cannot accept the fact that fpj and the rest of the opposition are not as squeaky clean as you thought them to be

    so spare yourself of the trouble and discard the ‘fake illegitimate’ ek ek. but then again, i cannot intrude into your constitutional freedom of expression

  14. cvj

    among other things, you would not accept the fact that Garci worked on both sides of the fence, that both gloria and fpj are guilty of cheating. in short, in terms of cheating, gloria and fpj just cancel each other out. – Anthony Scalia

    It’s not a matter of GMA or FPJ “cancel[-ing] each other out“. It’s a matter of politicians vs. our institutions. The Filipino public cannot operate on the basis of tolerating cheating from any side. This is because the mechanisms that are used to implement such cheating contribute to, and are the effect of, the rot to our Institutions (the COMELEC and the military, among others). We in civil society depend on these institutions for our day to day lives which is why we cannot let these be controlled by shadowy operators and thugs.

  15. vic

    cjv and others,

    take a look at this amendments that will protect whistleblowers and look and investigate their allegations instead of the usual: “show us the evidence or file your charges in the court” or better still put up or shut up, we have been hearing in the other side…

    Finally, Part 3 amends the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act to:

    (a) establish the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal and empower it to make remedial orders in favour of victims of reprisal and to order disciplinary action against the person or persons who took the reprisal;

    (b) provide for the protection of all Canadians, not just public servants, who report government wrongdoings to the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner;

    (c) remove the Governor in Council’s ability to delete the name of Crown corporations and other public bodies from the schedule to the Act;

    (d) require the prompt public reporting by chief executives and the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of cases of wrongdoing;

    (e) permit the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner to provide access to legal advice relating to the Act;
    and
    (f) authorize the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner to make awards to persons who have shown courage in defending the public interest by reporting wrongdoings:

    These were already enacted into law and already given Royal Assent…

  16. Silent Waters

    Anthony

    CVJ and his buddies here do have a proposal on what changes has to be made to make the Philippines a better place (“in their opinion”…lest you make me one of them hehe). In a nutshell, they believe in changing the status quo, meaning the institutions should be changed and the elites/upper middle class should be shot and hung (figuratively speaking). That’s why they’ve always been harping on getting GMA to step down and who knows what to take over. (Maybe sila….???) This is to make these changes. They don’t believe in the present version of democracy as it exists in the country and they don’t think providing jobs will do the trick. For them, they want first world environments even if for now, we have third world resources. They don’t believe in building up the country via job creation as it exists right now. In short, gusto nila lotto…jackpot agad….hehe

  17. Silent Waters

    That’s why any discussion will be useless….Black and White talaga sila. Either you’re for them or against them. Anybody is better than GMA ang mode nila….(as if nung time ni Erap, hindi ganun ang sinabi nila.) They will only justify it now by saying at least Erap was voted in by the masses while GMA was not. Pero in the end, that was their mantra then also.

  18. Silent Waters

    So whoever is the next leader will be the same damn mantra for them, anybody but (whoever is the leader of the country at that time)….what they want is a GOD who can weave the magic of a good life for them out of a hat….

  19. stuart-santiago

    UP n student: yes the rising peso is good for some filipinos pero kung titimbangin, parang it’s bad for more filipinos. yung nakakapagapaaral ng anak sa amerika, relatively mayaman na yon to begin with so ang suwerte naman nila sa rising peso. yung ofw na nagpapadala ng pera dito para makapagaral ang anak dito (saan pa?) ang minamalas pa rin, kahit anong pagsisikap.

  20. UP n student

    stuart-santiago: the risen peso means that the Philippine government, for the same millions of pesos, get more tons of (imported) rice from Thailand to provide to the Filipino poor. The poor who needs the government-rice benefit.

  21. anthony scalia

    cvj,

    It’s not a matter of GMA or FPJ “cancel[-ing] each other out“. It’s a matter of politicians vs. our institutions. The Filipino public cannot operate on the basis of tolerating cheating from any side. This is because the mechanisms that are used to implement such cheating contribute to, and are the effect of, the rot to our Institutions (the COMELEC and the military, among others). We in civil society depend on these institutions for our day to day lives which is why we cannot let these be controlled by shadowy operators and thugs

    now that’s a different tune. i agree.

    meanwhile, lets hear you howl against the opposition for cheating in 2004

  22. anthony scalia

    Silent Waters,

    agreed. any plan whose starting point is gloria stepping down before 2010 isn’t going to help the country any good

    and yet, they make it sound as if ‘gloria out before 2010’ is the magic pill the country badly needs now

  23. mlq3

    anthony, just curious. what if she does not step down in 2010, what will you do?

  24. Silent Waters

    mlq3

    We will have to cross the bridge when we get there. At this point, she is the elected president, doubts notwithstanding. Her tenure is from 2004-2010.

  25. cvj

    We will have to cross the bridge when we get there. At this point, she is the elected president, doubts notwithstanding. Her tenure is from 2004-2010. – Silent Waters

    In other words, “bahala na“. It figures.

  26. Silent Waters

    Ha, it’s not bahala na. It OUR choice NOT to make noise. It’s YOUR choice to make noise. ANg hirap sa inyo. Kayo lang ang tama. Lahat ng hindi sumasang-ayon sa inyong pananaw, mali. I dread the day when the likes of you DO get into power. You’d be worse than the Justice Secretary.

  27. anthony scalia

    mlq3,

    “anthony, just curious. what if she does not step down in 2010, what will you do?”

    i’ll be active in seeing to it that she doesn’t stay any longer. but ill focus my efforts on the battle that matters – in the Supreme Court.

    i can see one way for her to continue. Cha-cha leads to parliamentary form. She runs to be a Member of Parliament. If Kampi is the majority party in Parliament, and she wins as MP, she may be voted as Prime Minister!

    under such a situation, it may be argued that it is violation of the spirit of the previously unamended Constitution, which prohibits repeat chief executives.

    surely her side would argue that the sovereign people have spoken when they approved the amendment, so gloria can run as MP and be elected as PM

  28. vic

    Anthony, in most Parliamentary Form of Government PM is not voted but is the Leader of the Party of the Government and is voted into the Party Leadership by the Party Membership by whatever process under the Party’s constitution before becoming PM or during the Opposition or Mid-Term. He or She could even be a PM without seat if he or she has not won a seat in an election and the Process is usually the Deputy PM will take the duties in the House, until such time that the PM can win his or her own seat..Usually one of the Safe District MP will resign and a by-election will be called where the PM could run and win a seat and take his place in the House..Not that it happens so often, can’t recall one, but if a leader change hands in mid-election the above process usually takes place…

  29. vic

    But then again, the Parliamentary Form the Philippines may choose may be uniquely different which the MPs could choose the PM minister among themselves or among the Members of the Party in Government…It really doesn’t matter which form, it is the substance that counts..

  30. stuart-santiago

    UP n student: oo nga, at si gma din masaya dahil it takes fewer pesos to pay our dollar debts. masaya siya dahil biglang her credit is good and she can borrow some more. but is that good for the country? are there no alternatives? lubog na lubog na tayo sa utang. sana hutchcroft wrote about this na lang, maybe we would have learned something new.

  31. UP n student

    stuart-santiago: the first question to ask is whether the peso has risen because the peso rose, or is it more because the dollar fell. If the peso also rose against the euro (or even against the baht), then indeed the Philippine economy had done better.
    Then your other point — what to do now – is worth discussing. Maybe a better solution is for the Philippines to accelerate paying off its debt instead.

  32. Bencard

    stuart -s, hindi maiiwasan ang paghiram ng pera para magamit sa pagsulong ng ekonomia habang binabayaran and mga lumang utang na naipon mula pa sa umpisa ng republica. ang tanging alternatibong paraan ay mag karoon ng mas better productivity ang ating bansa.

  33. anthony scalia

    vic,

    In the model being considered by cha-cha, the prime minister is elected from among the elected Members of Parliament.

  34. anthony scalia

    vic,

    to add – elected by MPs themselves.

    the proposed model by cha-cha is a return to the Marcos-era Batasang Pambansa.

  35. UP n student

    I agree with the opinion to change where Philippine Senators are “…elected at large by the qualified voters of the Philippines”. Senatorial legislative districts should be formed (with every census) — Northern-, Central- and Southern Philippines; 6-year terms. A senator can serve for a maximum of 18 years.

  36. Pedestrian Observer

    How many more analysis do we really need for people to act and do something about it?

    I’ll venture a guess….. this will be another one of those that triggers people’s excitement to discuss reforms but still get nowhere because the minority ruling elite still calls the shot.

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