Deposing a Speaker

DSC00034Update 2:17 pm: House showdown deferred. Talk is rife, however, that it might push through anyway, but without media coverage. Rep. Matias Defensor says the ruling coalition prefers a secret caucus in committee rooms, where congressmen will indicate where they stand should there be a division of the House; and that when the winner is known, they will then return to the Session Hall to formalize their choice, without having to engage in debate.

Quite a high-wire act. Until this morning, the deposing of the Speaker had an aura of inevitability not to mention, invincibility. A delay of 24 hours can give the de Venecia camp a second wind. Conversely, it can give the Palace more time to consolidate its forces. Defensor says, though, that their objective is to settle the leadership question by tomorrow at the latest. The primary consideration (see below) might actually be: can JDV muster the eighty-odd votes required, not to save his position, but to transmit the impeachment complaint to the Senate?

Sergio Apostol says the Palace is dangling appointment as ambassador to Washington or Secretary of Foreign Affairs to de Venecia (confirming previous scuttlebutt).

Rufus Rodriguez says if Nograles has the votes, they’ll join the bandwagon.

***

Over the weekend, there was posturing a-plenty: De Venecia, Nograles camps both say they have the votes. The best the Speaker could do was along the lines of JDV says he’s receiving many offers to join opposition.

He reportedly consulted former President Estrada who summoned an opposition meeting Sunday lunchtime. But that was worth a handful of votes at best. On the other hand, the leading Palace candidate for the speakership, Rep. Nograles, didn’t bother to show up at the Lakas leaders’ Palace golf-game.

Prior to that, he’d telegraphed that the Liberal Party and a big chunk of congressional neophytes had signed on to topple de Venecia.

The President, for her part, played alternately coy and helpless: Arroyo won’t stop sons on JDV ouster.

In its Sunday editorial, The son also rises, the Inquirer said that the apparent rebelliousness of the President’s sons was all an act.

Besides what the editorial pointed out, Mon Casiple in his blog entry Between two families traces the sore spots between the Speaker and the President:

The two protagonists–President Macapagal-Arroyo and JDV–have been dueling through proxies for some months now since the president broke her promise to step down in one year’s time from July 2005. The current stage started when the ZTE scandal broke out last year, involving JDV’s own son, Joey de Venecia. In December 2006, JDV was nearly unseated when his co-savior, Fidel Ramos, insisted on the supposed agreement in July 2005. He did a judo trick, going along with the Malacañang charter change agenda. In the process, FVR got elbowed out and was humiliated at the Lakas coalition showdown. However, the president’s men did not forget JDV’s “unreliability” and ambition for the top post. Their discontent fed into KAMPI’s own simmering grievance over its being sidelined for a long, long time from the speakership post, despite it being acknowledged as the president’s own party. Over time, the presidential (and JDV’s) argument for maintaining the rainbow coalition got fewer and fewer audience among them. Things got into a head in the last 2007 elections. The JDV camp found itself fighting for survival–not for speakership–but even for membership in the House. JDV got into a real fight with Dagupan mayor Benjie Lim for the Pangasinan’s 4th congressional seat. It was bruited later that the principal backers behind Lim included the First Gentleman and KAMPI. JDV won the fight (with FVR support) and later defended his speakership by invoking the continuity of the limping coalition. However, by that time, the trust between the coalition partners had all but disappeared. Malacañang concentrated in its hand all the pork barrel (and IRA) disbursements.

Back to Casiple: he ended his piece by saying further developments would be suggested by the results of the Palace golf game yesterday morning.

But as it turned out, Arroyo snubs Lakas golf game (this morning’s Inquirer editorial objects to the choice of gold, and the choices the various groups such as the Liberals have made, to go along with the Palace-led ouster of de Venecia). However, one source, quoting a conversation with Dato Arroyo on Saturday, said of the so-called snub,

ala raw golf chuchu much les wid tabalko talaga sa sked ng nanay nya. Napapirma raw nya rachel arenas ysday. 140 na but targeting 20 to 40 more.

And so, instead of a Sunday meeting, the Speaker was told he should go to the Palace on Monday, either at 10 or 11 am. That gave the Palace time to round up the “20 or 40 more,” which refers to pledges to vote against the Speaker (see Pals, foes switch to battle mode as JDV fate hangs). The Monday meeting, held at the Palace Park, was expected to take all morning.

Casiple also said that the escalating fight between de Venecia and Arroyo carries with it the risk of tearing apart the ruling coalition. This is something I tackle in my column, Aliens versus Predators.

News like this –Eastern Samar Gov. Evardone quits Lakas party– is a sign of things to come:

“I can better serve my constituents if I join other political parties … I want to join a political party that I think is close to President Arroyo’s heart,” explained Evardone, who is spokesperson for the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, a group of local government executives. “Where the President is, I will be there,” he said.

Lakas has to consider if it will keep an increasingly decorative speakership.

As for de Venecia himself, Conrado de Quiros zeroes in on the problem: those still loyal to the President view him as disloyal and dangerous; those opposed to the administration can’t forgive him for killing two impeachments and giving the President a new lease on political life in 2005. An interesting tactical point comes from Joel Rocamora, as quoted in UNTV: impeachment might suddenly get a new lease on life.

The Speaker made a choice in July 2005, gambling on achieving parliamentary government by giving the President a chance to survive. FVR gambled on the same thing. The President eliminated FVR as a power in Lakas and then proceeded to cultivate the Speaker to kill impeachment efforts. The President rewarded them by using the resources of her office to try to kill Lakas. When the Speaker’s son decided to spill the beans later rather than sooner, the Speaker agonized over it and tried to save himself even if it meant he had to distance himself from the son who was trying to do the right thing, for whatever reason.

Leadership requires numbers but it also requires showing true grit; this is how politicians become statesmen. The Speaker has had repeated opportunities to finally choose the path of statesmanship but chose the low road each and every time. The simple lesson here is that if anyone is going to be held accountable for anything, it’s not the President or her family; it will be allies who, once they show some independence of mind, will be crushed.

In the blogosphere, The Lonely Vampire Chronicles compiles relevant headlines; smoke has a bone to pick with the opposition concerning the speakership fight; and Uniffors advises congressmen to take the money -and squeal. The Equalizer points to Rep. Mikey Arroyo saying it’s all about ZTE. Brain Cell Exercises puts it well:

This recent skirmish in the House of Representatives only goes to show several things: first, that when blood relatives squeal on Malacañang, one should be ready for the death of his/her political dynasty. Second, that there are no permanent allies in politics — only permanent interests. I believe that Nograles and his allies do have the numbers to finally topple JDV. But considering this man’s trapo nature, it’s just going to be another case of one set of rascals being replaced by another set of rascals. Let’s just see how much of a Malacañang lapdog he’s going to be. If the issue on charter change gets revived for the nth time in the House of Representatives under Nograles’ term as Speaker, then my theory is proven: that Nograles has been bestowed with the all-mighty Malacañang shield of power.

Pinoy x-sa KSA points out,

If you are a father, you know very well that you cannot control your sons and daughters. If you are a son or daughter, you know you cannot be controlled, 100%, at all, by your parents. For me, it was important that JDV III exposed the NBN deal.

Agree!

And Ricelander’s Blog reflects on unbridgeable opinions.

200 comments

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    • Mike on February 5, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Have you read the accounts of JdV’s speech? The part where he points out how he defended Gloria so many times before…can only be responded to with a “buti nga sa yo.” So pathetic.

    • Mike on February 5, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Scalia,

    JdV triggering a People Power? Not bloody likely. Not by himself anyway.

    • cvj on February 5, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Liam Tinio, i do imagine that GMA together with her allies in the business community (e.g. Razon), her backers in the military (i.e. Esperon) and technocrats (like Neri) see themselves as some sort of vanguard elite similar to LKY (and his PAP) in Singapore. That’s the conceit that comes from an elitist mindset, and shows precisely why Washington Sycip’s vision is flawed when applied in the Philippine setting.

    • Kabayan on February 5, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    UP n student,

    excerpt: “… Many of the points you raise are based on the premise that 2010 brings a dictatorship. The MAGIC OF 2010 is that it is premised on transition of power based on the rules specified in the Constitution. The current Constitution specifies term-limits which one would think will disallow rulers-in-perpetuity…”

    That is correct, that is why I enumerated the 9 (known and analyzed) strategies that would likely bring about a dictatorship (Charter Change being one of them.) That is also why we have to carefully study the 9 points I raised above and do the appropriate countermeasures, otherwise the MAGIC OF 2010 you mentioned will be a stillbirth, or to be more accurate, an aborted child.

    • joeycon on February 5, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    We reap what we sow. We deserve the government we get by our actions and inactions.

    • Kabayan on February 5, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    joeycon said

    “…We reap what we sow. We deserve the government we get by our actions and inactions.”

    ———-

    Well said.

    • tonio on February 5, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    a JDV led EDSA? oh man, now that’s positively hilarious.

    which leads me to this question though, what can a populace in a representative REALLY do in a situation like this?

    the government has increasingly demonstrated that it doesn’t give a flying f*** about the will of the people, so what can the people do?

  1. tonio, blog some more?

    • kimosabe27 on February 5, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    The good thing is, people will no longer be wondering why JDV resembles that moping little dwarf named Dopey.

    • kimosabe27 on February 5, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    So Yoda, how does it feels like to be kicked in the nuts?

    “High pitched, now my voice is.”

    • Kabayan on February 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Right now, it is a “fight or flight” choice for the middle class and below. However, those who cannot choose “flight” must learn to fight. Never in any instance freeze and stare round-eyed at the headlights of an approaching speeding car.

    • inodoro ni emilie on February 5, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    a ‘balimbing na JDV’ is a crisis much bigger than ‘Hello Garci’.

    balimbing is a trait expected of politicians who have no moral values; hello garci is not expected from a leader who projects to uphold constitutional value. so which is the bigger crisis?

    • Mike on February 5, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Thinking about the House post-JDV reminded me of this animated gem, Europe vs. Italy, by Bruno Bozzetto, which seems to describe a people other than the Italians:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2VDSHkS5tU

    Please pay special attention to the Elections and Politics sections! Enjoy!

    • Madonna on February 5, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    JDV’s ovewhelming loss, with only 30 congressmen voting for him to stay as Speaker, exposed the fact that he was only GMA’s proxy head in Congress and could be booted out anytime Madam thinks he’s outlived his usefulness.

    Why, Joe DV you were such a disappointment last night in that speech! Everyone was expecting bombs or shit to explode in the faces of GMA and her famille. But hay, no bombs, just echoes of explosions in the past. Where were the skeletons? Guess your closet has more of them than GMA’s, so all you could do was was to do a poor imitation of an aggrieved loser.

    “Never in any instance freeze and stare round-eyed at the headlights of an approaching speeding car.”

    The speeding car indeed is that of GMA’s increasingly appetite for more power, as shown by the disgraceful spectacle of his sons leading the ouster of the former Speaker. In any case, the speeding car is not yet heading the way of the middle class who have stayed clear of the highway since 2005.

    The middle class is still in a relaxed mode and still unmindful of the danger of a looming family dictatorship of the Arroyos, letting the forces at the top fight it out among themselves. It’s not time to worry yet, sabi nga ni Atticus Finch. Besides, we live in different times compared to the 70s when the Marcoses ruled.

    I do agree with De Quiros. Let these fuckers destroy one another. The Filipino nation does not deserve any of them as leaders.

    • qwert on February 5, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    “Discussions about a maturing electorate make sense. Discussions about a maturing electorate do not make sense only for those goons whose intent is to discard and disrespect and prevent the wishes of a maturing electorate to be expressed.” – UP n student
    _____________________

    The maturity of the electorate should not only be measured by their opportunity to vote and the wisdom behind their votes but also in the courage to protect their votes through vigilance. It must also be measured in the way they make their elected officials accountable by way of peaceful protest.

    In the Constitution, Article 111, Section (4) states:
    “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”

    This provision presupposes the maturity of the electorate to exercise their right to protect and assert the sanctity and intent of their votes. Such maturity must not only be manifested during elections, it must be proven through vigilance by knowing what is happening around, to find out if greed,the lust for power and incompetence are corrupting the sanctity of their vote.

    Granting that there will be no “elections” in 2010, I wonder if the “maturing electorate” will use their right to peacefully protest. Sad to say,that the people we often see in the streets nowadays are the wrong people protesting for the wrong reasons.
    If the electorate is indeed maturing then they are losing the battle by default which means now and not in 2010.

    • kimosabe27 on February 5, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    So the age of moral relativism in Philippine politics persists. Who the f cares anyway? We missed the boat 20 years ago with Salonga, 10 with Roco, so boohoo. Nihilism may be a short cut (kudos de Quiros), but not everyone’s utak pulbura.

    Not everyone is deserving to die anyway, that is, not yet, eh JDV? We need them alive to see them squirming. We saw Marcos’s fall from grace, why not wait a lil bit more for Gloria? Gen Xers like us are in our 30s, so let us weather it out. See how Uday and Qusay Arroyo will be beaten to a pulp.

  2. @cvj

    “Liam Tinio, i do imagine that GMA together with her allies in the business community (e.g. Razon), her backers in the military (i.e. Esperon) and technocrats (like Neri) see themselves as some sort of vanguard elite similar to LKY (and his PAP) in Singapore. That’s the conceit that comes from an elitist mindset, and shows precisely why Washington Sycip’s vision is flawed when applied in the Philippine setting.”

    (will not discuss economic concepts, lets focus on the political aspect, for it is the issue at hand)

    it is not conceit, for the singaporean success can be replicated by repeating the same concepts they used. She needs a tame and working legislature, not something that conducts hearings and investigations now and then.

    cant you see, that all the bribery she was rumored to have done are all due to the passage of the budget and laws?

    name a law she prioritized that was purely for personal or political gain.

    she needs laws passed and provisions repealed and amended. that is why she needs a tame legislature, a working legislature, in both houses so that her programs will be implemented right away.

    hence it was necessary for JDV to be ousted, for she cannot afford to maintain JDV who for every legislative priority the president pushes, a counterpart favor had to be done. she needs someone who acts without returning the favor and yes she needs a lapdog.

    @Kabayan

    “Liam Tinio,
    No person aiming for dictatorship, destroys democratic institutions and has a history of cover-ups can ever be called “better for the country”

    again i have said that we have toyed with democracy for 21 years and it is such an inefficient form of government with all its checks and balances, inquiries and investigations hampering the way the legislature should be doing in the first place, making laws.

    my main premise on why an Arroyo dictatorship will be better is that she is an economist, not a populist leader. she raised our taxes, enforced fiscal discipline and streamlined government offices (read RATIONALIZATION) which are unpopular but the best thing to do. this is proof that she desires a singaporean model of government.

    and she does not need all those leftist and populists like estrada and mar roxas who desire to bring down taxes, increase wages and scrap the deregulation law in our executive and legislative branches of government.

    and we do not need a JDV whose sole concern is political greatness.

    • Mike on February 5, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Liam Tinio:

    Why don’t we just dispense with the pretense of democracy altogether and crown her Queen Gloria I? Then she can dissolve Congress and save us a sh*tload of money!!

    • anthony scalia on February 5, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Mike, Tonio

    JPE and Chavit didn’t actually immediately trigger the previous EDSAs, but they had a very key role nonetheless; they can be deemed proximate causes.

    Looking back, who would have thought that they can bring down the sitting presidents? Hilarious? Before the fact, yes.

    • Mike on February 5, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Scalia: like I said, not just him. But it can’t be him alone–it’ll take much more.

    • Kabayan on February 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Liam Tinio said:

    “…again i have said that we have toyed with democracy for 21 years and it is such an inefficient form of government with all its checks and balances, inquiries and investigations hampering the way the legislature should be doing in the first place, making laws…”

    Your statement betrays your youth Liam, the Philippines toyed with dictatorship for 24 YEARS and it is obvious that you did not experience the hardship of living under a dictatorship. Only those who SUCK UP to the dictator were having a good life. The dictator and his minions SUCKED UP the economic lifeblood of the rest of the Filipinos. That is why we have the dubious honor of having had a President who stole the most in any country and consequently topping this category in the Guinness Book of Records at that time.

    As it is Gloria has proved an expert in covering up corruption of her allies and her direct family members while quick to put the thumbscrews those who endeavor to expose her. The anomalies that have been put to fore would have given Ferdie Marcos a run for his money in the Guinness Book of Records.

    However, it is not hard for me to imagine for you to succeed in an environment where Gloria is a dictator or Queen of the Philippines.

    • anthony scalia on February 5, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    inidoro ni emilie,

    “balimbing is a trait expected of politicians who have no moral values; hello garci is not expected from a leader who projects to uphold constitutional value. so which is the bigger crisis?”

    Could JPE and Chavit be the paragons of morals?

    bigger crisis for gloria

    so why a new JDV can be a bigger crisis? because he shares something with JPE and Chavit, an insider, an inner circle member that turned against its erstwhile master. he holds many ‘smoking guns’ against gloria et al. he himself may be incriminated for them.

    we all believed when jueteng lord Chavit squealed jueteng details against Erap.

    If public opinion sides with JDV, theres nothing a KAMPI majority in the House can do.

    he may well be what the opposition needs.

    but it just occurred to me, JPE and Chavit didn’t ally themselves with the ‘opposition’ during their day. so if the objective is to bring down gloria, maybe JDV doesnt need the opposition at all.

    considering the present opposition’s penchant for stealing defeat from the jaws of victory, if he hooks up with them JDV’s ‘pagkanta’ could just go pffft as well.

    he might as well go it alone

    • Madonna on February 5, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Liam Tinio,

    You seem to be mistaking GMA’s lapdog Congress for Ramos’ productive efforts of a rainbow coalition a JDV-led Congress in 92-98 — in which the executive and legislature indeed in tandem produced laws that were successful in improving the foudations of the Philippine economy.

    GMA’s lapdog Congress has not produced any laws that are comparable to FVR’s time. What GMA’s Congress has produced is the massive corruption in the highest level, with nothing to show for except for the collateral damage to the political system.

    FVR, even if he let some corruption greased the political system to work was a statesman and had national interest in mind.

    GMA doesn’t come close to being a stateswoman — she is merely corrupt and power-hungry. And don’t let the economic score cards fool you — most of the highlights or acheivements cannot be attributed to her work.

  3. @Kabayan

    your fear of an autocratic form of government and your refusal of letting go of the past has clouded your mind into accepting that given the chance, it can be possible for the Arroyo to depart from the ways of Marcos and try a different route. do you think that given the infamy of Marcos, GMA would then do a repeat of his actions. It does not follow.

    again, you are generalizing my good friend(please allow me to call you friend), if you think that arroyo will be another marcos and his minions will just be sucking up the economic lifeblood of filipinos, then i think its better, i will let them corrupt if it means that i will be enjoying a 7% economic growth year after year.

    like how singaporeans treat it.. the heck with democracy if it means that i get to live in a first world country.. with the money i make, i can just go out of the country and practice democracy elsewhere..

    @Madonna

    your increasing pessimism is purely understandable given the monstrous demolition job done against her. and i do not deny that she has been one corrupt president. but, tell me who isn’t? even fvr has his centennial project and the IPP contracts as well as the PEA AMARI reclamation and the fort bonifacio selling deals.

    yes ramos achieved economic growth and development in tandem with congress. but look! gloria also achieved economic growth and development and HELL she did it with a subversive senate, a formidable predecessor, coup attempts, a very riotous house of representatives, and top it with an every now and then impeachment compLaint.. YET IT WAS IN HER TERM THAT WE ACHIEVED RECORD ECONOMIC GROWTH! doesnt that mean that she’s better than ramos? surely you cannot deny her that.

    • cvj on February 5, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Liam Tinio, regarding the ‘record economic growth’, if you look back at the previous thread, as well as cross check with the NSCB website, you will see that the t GDP growth figures after year 2000 cannot be compared with the previous years’ (1946 to 1949) because of changes in the way GDP is measured.

    http://www.nscb.gov.ph/sna/2007/1stQ2007/2007tnq_1.asp

    Furthermore, average family income as of 2006 is lower than it was in 1997. In fact, real average income levels per family have deteriorated to levels last seen in the late 1980’s. Surely you cannot deny that.

    • Kabayan on February 5, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Liam Tinio,

    excerpt:”…if you think that arroyo will be another marcos and his minions will just be sucking up the economic lifeblood of filipinos, then i think its better, i will let them corrupt if it means that i will be enjoying a 7% economic growth year after year…”

    Ah accepting corruption for the 7% growth which only a small section of the Filipinos feel? At least we know where you stand Liam, perhaps you are aware of what is called “moral bankruptcy”? That is exactly what that kind of thinking actually is.

    You may learn from this saying, “Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them.” But then again not. Your lack of experience has clouded your mind or perhaps the dark concept of accepting monetary gain as a justification for corruption did that.

    Umm, I carefully choose my friends especially “good friends”, so just call me Kabayan.

    • cvj on February 5, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    the above should read “(1946 to 1999)”.

    • anthony scalia on February 5, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Liam Tinio,

    some tips on commenting:

    1. if you will use GDP be clear that you’re not referring to welfare/standard of living

    2. acknowledge that whether or not the 7.3 is sustainable remains to be seen

    3. never credit gloria for any positive economic figure

    4. the posters here who belong to the anti-gloria school looks at the country with ‘Hello Graci’ lens, such that anything that gloria can use for ‘pa-pogi points’ will surely be torpedoed here

    for example – in reaching GDP. there’s a view that says the 7.3 cant be said to be the biggest in 30 years because the bases used 30 years ago are different. (as if other countries aren’t changing the bases in computing their GDP from time to time and are careful not to compare present figures with past figures where the bases for computing were different). the underlying motive there is that gloria cannot and should not get credit for it (though i subscribe to the view that she cant take credit for the 7.3, as the credit should go to the ordinary Pinoy worker)

    it borders on nitpicking actually, but they go out of their way to prove it if only to deny gloria any attempt to claim credit for it.

    but on the other hand, its okay to go against the tide.

    just remember that they won’t let go of the ‘Hello Garci’ lens

    • Madonna on February 5, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Mr. Tinio, I do not go by demolition jobs in assessing her performance and I am no rabid opposition supporter either, fyi. Not by a long shot is she better than Ramos. She is the worst Malacanang occupant since Edsa Uno, by far, in my humble opinion and will suspend judgement whether she is worse than Marcos. Again with the comparative corruption — corruption cannot be completely wiped out in any political system. Ramos as I said allowed corruption, but it is with the motivation of the President for allowing it that counts. Mathathir allowed it and now, Putin’s Russia is allowing it — but there’s no doubt that these leaders are patriots who are after the national interest. Malaysians are proud of their country and of themselves and so are Russian now under Putin. The results are what matter. She tops corruption because she wants power, for power’s sake, with nothing or little to show for results, both in the economy and well-being of the nation in general.

    The GDP growth rate levels are not her feats — healthy consumption: these are mostly brought about by remittances of the OFWs; the strong peso, again by the OFW remittances and the continuing weakness of the dollar in the financial markets; services, well the healthy BPO sector in our country is due to the globalization and the rationalization of the cost of labor made by MNCs — doesn’t take much investment promotion by the government to woo companies here. We are in fact losing out to India and Eastern European countries in this regard.

    THIS IS THE FACT: GMA IS A BENEFIARY OF A HARDWORKING NATION AND A GLOBALIZED ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT. With Ramos at the helm in this kind of environment, our GDP would be even double than 7% I bet you that!

    In any case, massive migration of the middle classes have reached unprecedented levels under her, and what’s shameful is that she has not done any intervention to stem the flow of brain drain. And what, should I feel sorry for her or be sympathetic because she has a lot of enemies — well, Gloria she has consistently showed that she doesn’t need friends, she likes having enemies. What she needs as events have showed are co-conspirators for her grip on power. So sorry! No way, am I close to praising GMA.

    And no, I am an eternal optimist about the future of the Philippines and its people and far from being cynical. Unlike you, it is not just the prospect of a first world status that makes me and my family stay here, heck I love this country just because it is simply the land of my birth and of my ancestors.

    • BombaStar on February 5, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    Liam Tinio, you are wanted at Ellenville. Try your stuff there. A pretty good training ground for you.

    I wonder if you found yourself a good job yet? Hey, that 7% GDP growth should count for something, eh.

    Good Luck, buddy.

    • nash on February 5, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    @ Liam Neeson

    “again i have said that we have toyed with democracy for 21 years and it is such an inefficient form of government with all its checks and balances”

    Eh?

    I hope you don’t have political ambitions.

    • hawaiianguy on February 6, 2008 at 3:36 am

    Anthony Scalia: “it borders on nitpicking actually, but they go out of their way to prove it if only to deny gloria any attempt to claim credit for it.” Good advice to Liam Tinio!

    btw, did you bother to check and read carefully the 2 links on the “break” and “reliability” of GDP? (1. http://www.nscb.gov.ph/sna/2007/1stQ2007/2007tnq_1.asp
    ; 2. http://www.nscb.gov.ph/announce/ForTheRecord/20july07_reliability.asp)

    The explanations provided by NCSB on the issue of non-comparability (by former NEDA chief Felipe Medalla) appear to be apologetic, evasive, nebulous.

    Consider these: (my apologies for the long post)

    1) “For government officials to now claim that growth is better than the Aquino administration 17 years ago would be inaccurate as present GDP data has been rendered incomparable to data from 10 or 5 years ago, Mr. Medalla added.”

    NSCB Clarification
    • As the compiler of the national accounts, NSCB has always recognized the need for the link series. In the past, we were able to produce the link series on a more timely basis; admittedly, we have not done so in recent years due to the severe manpower constraints faced by the NSCB. With the ongoing rationalization program of the government, we have not been allowed to replace a number of staff who retired/transferred to institutions like the Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas and the Asian Development Bank. We have reiterated our request for exemption from the prohibition and we hope the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will recognize the need for us to replenish our depleted manpower resources.
    • The following are the breaks in the series: (a) 2000-2002 not linked to the 1946-1999 (as of May 2003); (b) 2003-2005 not linked to the 2002 backwards (as of May 2006); and (c) 2004-2006 not linked to the 2003 backwards (as of May 2007). Details of the breaks can be accessed in the Technical Notes Series, Series 2007-Q1 http://www.nscb.gov.ph/sna/2007/1stQ2007/2007tnq_1.asp

    Severe manpower shortage, in three years? So that’s why they cannot compare. But read this other explanation.

    2) NCSB: “I. 2000-2003 not linked to the 1949-1999 (as of May 2003)
    The revised annual series and quarterly three-year series (2000-2002) released in May 2003, incorporated the updated estimates in Construction using data from Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) from the Department of Finance and revisions in the data sources of the PSNA, which have not been linked to the 1946-1999 series. There were data sources that revised their figures as far back as CY 2000 and the accounts were revised accordingly. Hence, the 2000-2003 series needs to be linked with the earlier series. The levels in the published and the unlinked 2000-2003 three-year series CANNOT THEREFORE BE COMPARED (supplied) with the PSNA link series of 1946 -1999.“
    [this is one of the “breaks” in data]

    While NCSB is hampered by severe shortage of personnel, other agencies are busily generating new data, updating and revising theirs – for 3 years?

    But read the LAST paragraph. Yun pala, hindi naman talaga pwede IKUMPARA. Parang inamin na rin, tama si Medalla. (item #1, above)

    [might be well to read all the NCSB explanations to get the context]

    Don’t get me wrong. I think the statisticians and other personnel are working very hard. If there is anyone to be blamed, it’s the leaders who should know better.

    • hawaiianguy on February 6, 2008 at 4:21 am

    Madonna: “In any case, massive migration of the middle classes have reached unprecedented levels under her, and what’s shameful is that she has not done any intervention to stem the flow of brain drain.”

    I’d say, doubly shameful that she has, in fact, encouraged them to migrate abroad (nurses, therapists, caregivers, teachers). Just look at those policies in support of outmigration and increasing dollar inflows to RP.

    The deteriorating economic conditions for most pinoys under Gloria (yes, FIES tells it all) even serve as “push” that drives out the more functional sectors of society.

    Wish she’d export the lawyers and trapos who contribute to dysfunction in Philippine society (sigh!).

    • tess on February 6, 2008 at 4:59 am

    THIS IS THE FACT: GMA IS A BENEFIARY OF A HARDWORKING NATION AND A GLOBALIZED ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT.

    very true, still she is shameless to claim that all is because of her being the president. nakakasuka!

    • Bencard on February 6, 2008 at 5:02 am

    hawaiianguy, there you go again with your ignorant tirades of gma. nurses, therapists, caregivers and teachers move heaven and earth to migrate and work abroad on their own volition, not because of encouragement by anyone. they want “to see the world” and make some dollars in the process.

    when it was easier for doctors to come to america and work (in the 60’s & 70’s), everybody wanted to be a doctor. medical schools proliferated with enrollment in the hundreds per class. when nurses became in demand, even doctors who couldn’t get admission turned to nursing. again, nursing schools multiplied like mushrooms. same with all the other professions that were “in demand”. the common goal is to go and work abroad.

    can you imagine if all those who left the country did not do so? we would have over a hundred million souls occupying a relatively tiny territory, fighting for space, jobs and meager resources. then again, you are in hawaii (i don’t know if as an immigrant or a native).

    don’t be ridiculous, “gloria” could not “export” a single professional, including lawyers, if she wanted to. it is the professional’s own decision.

    • tess on February 6, 2008 at 5:27 am

    bencard, i am one of the hundreds of doctors who became a nurse. what motivated me to leave was not to see the world. it was not even the dollars that i’m earning now.

    • hawaiianguy on February 6, 2008 at 6:26 am

    Bencard, take it from the one who has experienced it. Tess is right.

    Maybe, you were motivated by “seeing the world” (or great USA?), or by $$$$$$? But you left before Gloria became president, right?

  4. it is the professional’s own decision.

    but of course bencard. to leave has always been a personal decision. but is it a forced decision or a free one?

    by her policies, she not only encourages professionals to leave in droves, she actually forces them to do so.

    how?

    shutting out reforms here, disillusioning the youth, making the environment here so unlikeable that any sane professional would want to leave the country…

    they want “to see the world” and make some dollars in the process.

    ampotah. parang naging aside na lang yung kumita ng dolyares. nauna pa ang sight-seeing.

    anywhoo, you mean to say that those mothers who tearfully leave their kids do so bec they want to see the world? wow! that’s seeing the glass half-fool.

    • hawaiianguy on February 6, 2008 at 7:22 am

    Bencard: “nurses, therapists, caregivers and teachers move heaven and earth to migrate and work abroad on their own volition, not because of encouragement by anyone. they want “to see the world” and make some dollars in the process.”

    Sorry to say, you’re GROSSLY WRONG there. For a lawyer who believes in “hard facts” rather than internal states (perceptions), your motivation cum-adventurism theory is weak compared to what exists in the field. Sadly, the evidence is not on your side.

    If indeed nurses, therapists, etc. really move heaven and earth to migrate and work abroad because of their motivation and desire to see the world, very few or nobody among their kind will be left behind in poor RP.

    Not that I discount motivation. But it is something given, a constant rather than a variable in the whole equation, if you’re dealing with a mass phenomenon (e.g., Pinoy diaspora).

    What makes mass movement possible is a combination of at least two major factors: push and pull. PUSH: grinding poverty that drives them out + this govt has made it easier for them to leave, etc. PULL: global demand + “better” opportunities elsewhere, etc.

    But the pull factors can be experienced thru forces related to social networks (e.g., having friends or relatives already abroad). Govt is integral to this networking thru its constant propaganda, labor attaches, and practices (facilitator, bridge and site of refuge/help), among others. Listen carefully to how Arroyo’s regime glorified and pontificated the OFWs.

    Look at POEA, OWWA, Dept of Labor, Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), those policies intended for OFWs (target is at least 1 million annually) as well as those for the already settled (dual citizenship act, absentee voting). They have, in effect, COMMODIFIED labor as “warm bodies” for exports, ENHANCED more dollar inflows, TURNED the world an extension of Pinoy village.

    • Kabayan on February 6, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Allow me to post a link to remind us what this administration has done, still does and would likely still do in the future.

    http://pedestrianobserver.blogspot.com/2007/12/perception-war-vs-reality.html

    Add the disappearance of Lozada at NAIA to the list. Either he would return and refuse to testify because of his harrowing experience or would disappear forever (hope the latter does not happen though).

    This is the purpose of Objective number 5 as stated above.

    At the general’s office responsible for this disappearance he should have a sign posted at the door of his office, “Out for Business Trip, Praetorian Guard at Work”.

  5. Funny, but I thought this Inquirer newsbit was referring to JDV and Gloria: “Don’t Use Glue-traps on Rats”.

    • anthony scalia on February 6, 2008 at 8:50 am

    DevilsAdvc8,

    Its already ingrained in each Pinoy to go abroad. Migrating is more of an emotional decision. Gloria simply provides the rational justification for leaving, immediately. The mind is already made up for immigrating, the Pinoy just wants confirmation that he/she is making the right decision. Looking at gloria gives them that confirmation.

    Among other things – immigrants only see the ‘x40’ value of their dollar incomes. but once they arrive there, they realized that the cost of living is also ‘x40’ as well!

    I can understand if the purpose is to stay there a little longer, save, live a frugal life, then go back here, so the saved dollars can go a long way.

    But to live there permanently for the rest of their lives? Again, among other things, the name of the game is still the same – kayod day in day out. baka nga doble kayod pa kumpara dito.

    this is just speculation – many immigrants there want to go back, pero are embarrassed kasi they might be considered as failure. baka nga mas worse pa – walang pamasahe pabalik

    i won’t deny that many immigrants are success stories there. but the question is – can’t they reach a similar success level here? can’t anyone who is still here?

    ang nakikita ko lang no. 1 benefit of immigrating is being a pensiyonado at libreng health care, from retirement age onwards.

    i also won’t deny that there are some jobs/tasks which are not available or scarce here but are in abundance there, which motivate our pros to immigrate. especially kung sa Silicon Valley or Wall Street

    ito ang problema ng mga Pinoy – di sinusunod ang sinabi ni JFK – ‘Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country’

    yung mga mayayamang kapitbahay natin – inuna ang bayan nila at hindi inatupag ang pag-migrate.

    • tess on February 6, 2008 at 9:13 am

    anthony scalia,

    this is just speculation – many immigrants there want to go back, pero are embarrassed kasi they might be considered as failure. (When you see your kamag-anak graduating from college because of your hard earned dollar, you don’t call that failure.)

    baka nga mas worse pa – walang pamasahe pabalik.( true- instead na ibili ng plane ticket, ipapadala na lang sa Pilipinas.)

    ang nakikita ko lang no. 1 benefit of immigrating is being a pensiyonado at libreng health care, from retirement age onwards.( sa isang Pilipino na nagtatrabaho abroad ilan sa tingin mo ang pinag-aaral nya? )

    like you said, purely speculation and you speculated wrong.

    • hawaiianguy on February 6, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Anthony Scalia: “Its already ingrained in each Pinoy to go abroad. Migrating is more of an emotional decision…The mind is already made up for immigrating..”

    Another way of naturalizing migratory behavior, which is not backed up social facts. I heard this many times before. Did it occur to you that, within the Philippines, the Ilokanos are one among those who have migrated en masse? (Others include the Cebuanos, Siquijornons, etc.) If you examine their historical and cultural circumstances, migrating elsewhere is not ingrained (natural) in their psyche, nor an emotional impulse that comes out of the blue. Declining resources, esp. land (due to rapid population growth), is what have driven thousands of Ilokanos to leave their villages. Plus the fact they have established social networks (friends and relatives) in their places of destination, which leads others to follow suit.

    Just to give you one example, Filipinos in Hawaii are dominated by Ilokanos (about 85% according to some informed estimates) since they started coming in 1906. USA’s liberalized immigration policy in 1965 also hastened it.

    “… the Pinoy just wants confirmation that he/she is making the right decision. Looking at gloria gives them that confirmation.”

    Agree! Gloria’s policy for the OFW confirms the desire to migrate, but it makes it easier for them (Ilokanos and non-Ilokanos alike) now to leave. That policy lends itself to the making of a mega-social network that draws Pinoys out of RP and unnecessarily contributes to the diaspora.

    Right decision? For the individual, yes. For the nation? that’s debatable. But it’s more like the nation is killing itself, slowly…. for the glitter of dollars and short-run hedonism.

  6. scalia, kahit dumoble kayod ka man don, at least nakikita mong may binubunga ang kinakayod mo. nakakapagpundar ka, secure ka, at higit sa lahat, may laban ka sa mata ng batas! na umabot man sa punto na maghanap ka ng hustisya, may fighting chance ka! dito, meron ba?

    equality hindi dolyar ang hanap nila. namin. ako!

    mag aplay ka dito ng trabaho anong hahanapin sayo? papel muna bago kwalipikasyon. kuneksyon bago kakayahan. dito, kahit magaling ka, kung wala kang kapit, wala!

    doon pinag-aagawan ang mga magagaling! di pa ba kayo nagtataka kung bakit may mga OFW na sa ibang bansa lang umuunlad?

    di lang pensyon at healthcare ang habol ng immigrants. peace of mind. na alam nila mag retiro man sila makalawa at bukas, may maasahan sila. na maliit na tao man sila, kapag nagdemanda o nag file ng suit, may laban.

    dito kumusta nman ang SSS at GSIS pensioners? si Garcia lang yata at kung sinong hudas ang nasa SSS ngayon ang yumayaman. yan! yan ang ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do to your country! and what they can do to their country is rob it blind!

    peace of mind na bukas makalawa, walang magre raid sa bahay nila at manghu-hulidap. na mag drive sila sa lansangan, walang titigil at kokotong sa kanila. peace of mind, na ang mga pulis na naatasang magbantay sa kanilang seguridad ay talagang magbabantay dito, at hindi ang syang unang mangugulo dito!

    security hindi pera! katuparan ng pangarap hindi pagtuturista!

    sa ibang bansa, posible lahat ng gustuhin mo! dito, sobra pa ang kayod at determinasyon, hanggang kahig tuka lang ang hahalikan mo!

    doon, oo, sobra kayod at triple pa ang determinasyon ang kelangan mo, pero at least, may bunga! may bunga!

    masdan mo ang ama ko, buong buhay nya andito. capped premium sa SSS at isa pang private life insurance. pero asan ngayon? di makapagretiro at tinakasan na ng private insurance at walang maasahan sa SSS! ayan, nasa mindanao at kumakayod pa rin!

    oo, gayahin natin ang kapitbahay mong yumaman sa pangungurakot at pag-una sa bayan. oo, inunahan nila ang bayan. sa gulang!

    • hawaiianguy on February 6, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Galit na si Devils, hehehehehe! Pero galit din yata si Anthony sa OFW, eh.

    • tess on February 6, 2008 at 10:30 am

    oo nga, what his beef about working abroad? and pleaseeeee don’t quote JFK to us… tell me what have you done for your country lately?

    • hawaiianguy on February 6, 2008 at 10:54 am

    I’m still waiting for Bencard to prove his point in response to my “ignorant tirades,” and to his answer to Devils’ retort (“by her policies, [gloria] not only encourages professionals to leave in droves, she actually forces them to do so.”)

    • alas ka dora on February 6, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    how can a diminutive woman like gma hold us all by the neck. she was able to topple jdv, whom we have known it seemed as an unsinkable political figure and an orchestrator par exellance.

    The pandak (we can heckle)has apparently able to ward off all opposition. There seemed to be no credible opposition at this time. We can whine.We can curse.We can gnash our teeth that the she devil is having it all, but what can we do? we are so helpless. We could not think and act right collectively. W deserve to gnash our teeth forever.

    • alas ka dora on February 6, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    agwanta ka, pinoy.

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