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Feb 12

Konfrontasi

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Nalito Atienza; Watchful nuns

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“Hello, M’am?”; Romeo Macalintal settles in

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Razon’s bravado; Razon’s pensiveness

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The aggrieved Senate sergeant-at-arms; Razon seeks comfort from the lawyers

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Madrigal schmoozes; Razon betrays lack of confidence

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Lights, camera, action; Mascarinas the admin’s muscle

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Mike Defensor does his job; Bautista the Hutt arrives

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Actor Pen Medina; the admin lineup

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Gloria’s Dragon arrives; Bautista the Hutt in admin huddle

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Hutt ogles Loren; Loren pose part 2

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“We swear to tell lies and only lies, so help us M’am”; La Salle brother

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“Are we still on script?”; Bautista the Hutt naps

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Bautista the Hutt; Gloria’s Dragon huddles with the Hutt

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Mike D’s wife after bringing back the cash; Hutt and Gaite huddle: Mike D. reports to M’am?

The Palace was certainly between a rock and a hard place going into yesterday’s Senate hearing. If it stonewalled, it could deny its critics evidence and at least prevent its factotums from further incriminating the administration. But it would leave the public with no other story but Lozada’s. Or, the Palace could come out swinging in the hope that it would thereby fortify the determination of its allies to stand by the President, and possibly confuse things enough to prevent a total collapse in public confidence.

The Palace decided to come out swinging but got a beating. That’s because it has mastered situations it can totally control, but has never quite figured out how to handle situations where the advantages enjoyed by officials end up stripped away by public interest and some common sense questioning.

A former member of the cabinet, and as shrewd an observer of our politico-human condition as any I’ve ever met, once told me there is a very simple line that separates the haves from the have-nots in Philippine society. That line, he said, is transparent spontaneity.

The middle and upper classes instinctively wall themselves off from the rest of society, and have an innate sense of privacy that is impossible and even unimaginable for the majority of our population. The ordinary Filipino has little to no privacy, knows instantly what the rest of the family is doing, and what the neighbors are up to, from defecating to love making to quarreling and gossiping.

And so, they are keenly aware of anything that smacks of posturing when, for the walled-off minority, what is ingrained in them is a strong and unshakeable belief in certain things being for public consumption while other things are not. And so, when someone displays emotion, runs the whole gamut of emotions from terror to anger, it resonates; when someone confesses to a reality that most everyone is aware of (though posturing politicians pretend ignorance and then shock), it resonates and adds to credibility.

Maintaining a stiff upper lip in the face of pressure is an alien concept except to those who uphold the values of the upper class.

There is another line that separates the haves from the have nots, not in the sense of those who lack and have money but rather, political power (besides the other kinds of power that exist, such as economic power): and it is, having experienced intimidation.

I’m willing to bet that those who remain skeptical of Jun Lozada’s motives and statements have never experienced the full panoply of official and social intimidation that comprises life for most of our countrymen. This is because the skeptics have always been in the position of being immune to intimidation or who blithely take it for granted as a kind of necessity to keep uppity underlings in line. Or who have lived such insulated lives that it frankly amazes them when someone claims they didn’t have options to explore in their self-defense.

In other words, their inability to fully grasp what Lozada’s gone through is a failure of the imagination. Of empathy.

But it is a situation most Filipinos can appreciate, because they have encountered it on some level at some part of their lives. Whether a slum dweller at the mercy of urban gangs, predatory police, bodyguard-protected officials, or Chinese Filipinos subjected to the BIR, PNP indifference to kidnapping and extortion, the middle class person subjected to mulcting cops, bureaucrats on the take, judges for sale, the appreciation of official intimidation is something that crosses ethnic and economic lines.

But it can also be something that varies in degree and method, and so for some, being subjected to the combined squeeze of the executive and legislative branches as described by Lozada -and floundering in it- seems inconceivable and thus, unbelievable. But for the rest, they know first hand how official intimidation takes on many forms, not all of it overt, most of it calculated on the premise that a reminder of the resources officialdom can mobilize in its own interests and defense is enough -and much more than any one person or family can, or should, resist.

We are a story-telling culture, an aural and oral culture, sensitive to the nuances betrayed by one’s conversational style, constantly trying to situate people in our society’s landscape: we look for what a person’s accent betrays in terms of background, what one’s storytelling style tells about them, constantly forming and reforming a mental image of the story being told and whether it makes sense. Gut feel becomes a sort of scientific method. And in a society that profoundly distrusts all institutions, the arena in which contending forces clash, and public opinion is formed, and where the advantages of the powerful are blunted, is an instinctive form of checks-and-balances the public craves.

Even the best-honed script, by its very nature manufactured, can be torn to shred and wily lawyers, for example, foiled in the face of hammering away at testimony yet failing to get a witness to recant or contradict previous testimony. Which is why these hearings tend to take a tremendous amount of time and why appeals to leave things to the courts leaves the public cold.

Oh. And in case you missed it, Unseating of Panlilio as governor starts.

279 comments

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  1. tess

    Bautista the HUTT, very funny… I still feel sorry for him, 70 years old and he maybe disbarred. what was he thinking really?

  2. ay_naku

    In other words, their inability to fully grasp what Lozada’s gone through is a failure of the imagination. Of empathy.

    True. And a failure of empathy too for those criticizing Lozada’s family for reacting the way they did. If I believe that a loved one is in grave danger, I would also explore all possible remedies.

  3. Kabayan

    Hi mlq3,

    Waiting for the next sequel of your story … “Bautista the Hutt meets Emperor Palpakparin” (I’ve changed it from Emperor Pandakparin to Emperor Palpakparin to make the character’s name more politically correct) 🙂

  4. The Equalizer

    The following poem is composed entirely of actual quotes from the Defenders of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

    Deny, Deny, Deny To The Bitter End!

    (Sergio Apostol)
    Lozada is a crying wEtness.
    Like a crying lady.
    Intsik pala siya eh.
    Kung ako ipapa-deport ko na ‘yan!

    (Abalos)

    Madali akong makatulog.
    Wala pang five minutes…
    tulog na ako eh.
    “Nagugulat nga ako.

    Wherever I go,
    people would still go around me.
    You would feel the love whenever they greet you.
    That’s what I feel!

    (Puno)
    Lozada was peacefully asleep
    While the police were attacked by mosquitoes!
    La Salle Brothers tell the Truth
    De la Salle Brothers have pity on us!

    (Big Boy)
    I do not meddle in government affairs
    I deliberately avoid the limelight
    I have suffered all unfair accusations
    I don’t interfere with governance!

    (Atty Bautista)
    In my 50 years of lawyering
    I will not draft anything that is null and avoid
    I prepared the draft on his instructions
    Not for the comfort of Malacanang

    (PNP Chief Razon)
    We are not telling a lie
    We have told the truth
    He requested for security detail
    He prepared on his own volition!

    (Lito Atienza)
    The public is getting the wrong impression
    There’s no kidnapping at all
    I feel violated by all of this
    The people who believe in me are getting bothered

    (Joker)
    You favor one station
    You favor some senators
    Don’t mess around with my wife!
    Pag BAD ka lagot ka!

    The PEOPLE

    Big Boy sat on a wall.
    Big Boy had a great fall.
    All the Queens’ horses and all the Queen’s men
    Couldn’t put Big Boy together again.

  5. Kabayan

    Equalizer,

    That poem could be perfect for a rap song, maybe even a hit ring tone for some enterprising music mixer.

  6. Diego Torres

    All the Queen’s eunuchs and all the queen’s gofers couldn’t detach their forked tongues from their wallets!

  7. Kabayan

    Joker Fett thought he was in a roll till his wife got caught in the discussion and controversy. That is why he should have not married and just cloned himself just like all good Clone trooper Fetts do.

  8. tonio

    oh my, such fun. and i’m stuck at work…

  9. Jon Mariano

    Now what? The palace’s fear of Lozada was for nothing after all! They just shot their own foot.

  10. tonio

    Jon:

    pray tell, please, tell us what happened?

  11. Jon Mariano

    Look, Lozada’s bomb has detonated. Pero wala ring nangyari.

  12. Jon Mariano

    Kung hindi nila tinangay si Lozada, his story will be less sensational. So the palace’s handling of Lozada is like the craven 11 handling of the estrada envelope; wala naman palang laman.

  13. tess

    De Venecia: Give Arroyo a chance
    ” I want her to lead a moral revolution. I want her to co-lead our moral revolution”
    “… And all of us will be rooting for her”

    – oh, pleezzzzzzzz. equalizer, do include him in your poem.

  14. renmin

    An entertaining sideshow was the way Chiz Escudero had his pants pulled down to his ankles by Mike Defensor–when the latter revealed a phone conversation they had in 2005 in which Escudero asked Defensor to ‘take care of him’ in case Malacanang declared martial law. Chiz walked into that one! His aggressive questioning of Atutubo trailed off and he crawled back to his corner limping. Pretty slick move by Mike there, turning the tables on Chiz.

  15. Kabayan

    tonio,

    It was quite incredible, according to Praetor Razon the Senate Sgt-at-Arms have no authority to arrest outside the Senate however when grilled further he admitted that a Citizen’s arrest and a Sheriff dispensing its duty is authorized to carry out arrest. Later Razon was rambling about no clear rules about this … I was waiting for him to kick himself. If that be the case, when Lozada landed we, ordinary citizens, by ourselves can arrest him and bring him to Senate while the Senate Sgt-at-Arms can only gawk at us as we perform the arrest. Utterly ridiculous.

    The Joker Fett and Lozada exchange was even more ridiculous. The once illustrious Senator lost a lot of luster in that one. In any case, its better to watch the exchange in television, it’s all over the news, you should see the expression in Joker Fett’s face when his wife got involved. The Joker said that it was “bad faith” for Lozada to converse with Sen. Lacson since it was not “fair”, however Lozada shot back and said that he was fair since he also talked with Joker’s wife. Joker Fett was livid after that. I was half expecting spittle to come out from the Joker’s mouth.

  16. tess

    Senator Arroyo: Lozada credible witness but documents needed

    …” seems to be a credible witness” (inquirer)

  17. DevilsAdvc8

    ang ganda pala ng asawa ni Mike Defensor

    sayang, ‘ne. iba na lang sana pinakasalan mo.
    nadadamay ka pa sa kabulastugan ng asawa mo.

    pero siguro naman mas malaki pa sa 50k nakukuha mong shopping allowance kay hubby, no?

    e si lozada ngang di nya naman hamak na asawa binigyan nya ng 50k pang shopping, ikaw pa kaya?

  18. Jon Mariano

    What am I expecting to happen?
    1. Bills/Laws that will close loopholes in government systems that thieves take advantage of.
    2. Bills/Laws that will punish thievery in the government.
    3. Punishment for those implicated by Jun Lozada (after being proven true).
    4. World Peace 🙂

  19. tonio

    Razon’s still spouting the company line, eh? despite all the jurispridence to the contrary?

  20. ay_naku

    From Newsbreak: “The Supreme Court today voted 9-6 in favor of airing the controversial “Hello, Garci” tape from the 2004 presidential election period which the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Secretary of Justice had warned radio stations and television networks against playing.”

    Talo na naman ang Team Balasubas (Arroyo administration.) Tatlong taon ang inabot ng kaso (susme!) pero better late than never. Ano pa ba yung mga important pending cases sa SC? (Kelan kaya mare-resolve ng SC yung senate arrest warrant kay Neri, after 3 years ulit?) Maybe we should have an online “SC Watch” that will monitor the status of important still-unresolved cases sa SC (kung wala pang ganun.)

  21. benign0

    “The whole Lozada thing” is just the latest incarnation of a number of whistle-blowing incidents that dot Pinoy history.

    Unfortunately Pinoy society is no more than a kibitzing society. When the spectacle is over, all the fishball vendors will pack up and the crowds will disperse to go home to watch the Wowowee.

    Edsa “revolutions” for that matter are no more than glorified exercises in mass kibitzing.

    Hanggang diyan lang ang Pinoy. There will be not an ounce of reflection after this latest spectacle. Mark my word. 😀

  22. ay_naku

    What am I expecting to happen? … Bills/Laws that will punish thievery in the government – Jon Mariano

    We already have sufficient laws for these. Implementation lang ang problema. Kakulangan (at kabalastugan) na mostly ng Executive Branch.

    Copy-paste ko lang yung ibang portions ng Feb 11, 2008 statement ng Action for Economic Reforms (AER):

    The Philippines is not lacking in laws and institutions against corruption and plunder. The 1987 Constitution devotes an entire article of 18 sections (Article XI) to provisions on accountability of public officers. The Revised Penal Code punishes malfeasance and misfeasance in office of public officers, including bribery, frauds against the public treasury, and malversation of public funds. The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, expands the punishable corrupt practices even further. Republic Act 7080 defines and penalizes the crime of plunder. We have a powerful Office of the Ombudsman, with the duty to investigate and prosecute illegal acts or omissions by public officers and employees. We also have a special court, the Sandiganbayan, with jurisdiction to try high-ranking public officials for graft and corruption. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) has created the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission to investigate and hear administrative cases and complaints against erring Presidential Appointees, and to assist the President in the campaign against graft and corruption.

    Much effort has been undertaken to address chronic corruption. Multilateral and bilateral donors, economists and policy analysts, and non-government organizations have studied the problem and proposed anti-corruption strategies and programs. The measures adopted have been comprehensive and deep. These include regulatory reforms, agency-level reforms and capacity building, judicial reforms, changes in the procurement law, strengthening of the anti-corruption lead agencies, and introduction of various anti-corruption activities such as lifestyle checks and values formation.

    Despite all this, what is missing is the simplest answer to the problem: Fighting corruption is a question of leadership.

    Since the leadership itself is brazenly engaged in plunder, corruption remains unabated. Under the leadership of a non-corrupt president, anti-corruption programs and institutions will be effective. Under a corrupt presidency, the same programs and institutions only become a protective veil for corruption itself.

  23. Kabayan

    ay_naku,

    Watch out for the Ombudsman, biglang nabuhay at tumayo sa libingan nila.

    They seem to come to the rescue of … well it’s obvious.

  24. The Equalizer

    What’s Your PRICE?

    Whether you are a Senator,
    Congressman or an overstaying General.
    In her mind
    Everybody has a price!

    Deal or No Deal?
    The Price is Always Right!
    In her mind
    Everybody has a price!

    Make Johnny Enrile happy?
    Appoint his wife as ambassador!
    Make Miriam happy?
    Appoint her relatives as government officials!

    Make Congressmen happy?
    Bring them to junkets!
    Or Give them money brown bags
    Everybody has a price!

    Make Erap Happy?
    Give him a Pardon
    Make Ramos Happy?
    Pretend to Kowtow to him regularly!

    Make Abalos happy?
    Give him a ZTE commission
    Make Razon happy?
    Give him the ports and other deals!
    Make Big Boy happy?
    Give him the deals!
    Make Esperon happy?
    Give him an extension!

    Make Jun Lozada happy?
    Intimidate,
    Abduct,
    OR Silence him

  25. alas ka dora

    arroyo will not resign. ano kayo, hilo? wala tayo sa japan. Prime minister Abe of Japan resigned when his popularity plumetted. For him it was a signal that his constituents have lost confidence in his leadership. realizing he could not do the country any good by staying as prime minister in that situation, he resigned.In so doing, he restored self respect. he was not even accused of corruption.

    wala na ang delicadeza sa atin. nakaka walng galang ang ginagawa ng mga tao sa gobyerno. what this government has done is a big blow on our faith/hope for honest governance. nag people power tayo nung 2001 in the hope na manumbalik ang maayos at matapat na pamamalakad ng gobyerno pero anong nangyari? mas malala pa.

    hindi ko na alam kung ano pa ang gagawin natin. parang nawawalan na ako ng pag asa na meron pang credible leader sa panahon na ito.

  26. nash

    benign-zero,

    again, what is your proposal to rid us filipinos of this malaise?

    and please don’t tell us again to read your blog or paper. I had the misfortune of reading it and all it is is 70 plus pages of badly composed drivel with no conclusion. (well, actually I thought you were the living embodiment of your 70 page diatribe…so well done mate)

    so, it’s time YOU get real

  27. alas ka dora

    nash,

    ignore him. kulang yan sa pansin.

  28. Kabayan

    Jose De Venecia recent quotables:

    Let’s give her [Arroyo] a chance,
    I want her to lead the moral revolution.
    I want her to co-lead our call for moral revolution
    And all of us will be rooting for her

    When the times come for me to testify against the President?
    Let the others do that. I’m not vindictive

    =====================

    Once a super trapo, always a super trapo

  29. tagabukid

    “In other words, their inability to fully grasp what Lozada’s gone through is a failure of the imagination. Of empathy.”

    Right on MLQ3… tinamaan ata yung iba jan, lalo na yung mga out-of-touch sa reality who continue to sneer at Lozada’s testimony.

  30. tagabukid

    “Hanggang diyan lang ang Pinoy. There will be not an ounce of reflection after this latest spectacle. Mark my word.”

    Yeah right, Mr. Crab.

    You want to see the Filipinos fail, yan ang greatest dream mo.

  31. cvj

    Interesting quality – transparent spontaneity. I think that best aaptures what Jeg described in his comment over at Rom’s blog:

    There was this sort of man-on-the-street interview on the news this morning on the Senate hearings. There was this shirtless man who said something like, “Abalos, magtago-tago ka na!” And this duster-clad woman who lamented the corruption (in Pilipino) occurring at the highest levels, and then there was this one of an English-speaking, twenty-or-thirty-something woman in a coffee shop who said, “Why should we care?” – Jeg

    …and also accounts for my own observations which i stated in the previous thread:

    http://www.quezon.ph/?p=1672#comment-724003

  32. The Ca t

    And after this Senate Circus, Lozada will be forgotten. The senators look for another ” star”.

    Politics and showbiz mix.

    And the anti-GMA will wait for another hope for GMA to fall only to wake up it is already 2010.

    Like in the past discussions about probes and investigations, the anti-anti- GMA’s predictions will come true again.

    Nothing’s gonna happen.

    It’s all because many senators would like to become stars too and not legislators.

    Waiting for the mass action? go get your hankies and weep, even the people are tired of this Senate spectacle.

    The only people who are demonstrating are the people with red flag who ride on every issue, relevant or not relevant just to stay in the streets.

    I find their props funny. Their demos have created a cottage-industry for posters and outlandish costumes for
    street demonstrators.

  33. The Equalizer

    The Mike Arroyo Poem
    (This poem is made entirely of actual quotes of Mike Arroyo,the First Gentleman)

    Let’s Settle This Outside!

    I am not Jose Pidal
    I have no account in the name of Jose Pidal
    The fact that I have an ancestor by that name
    Not a basis to link me to the Pidal accounts

    I do not meddle in government affairs
    I deliberately avoid the limelight
    I have suffered all unfair accusations
    I don’t interfere with governance!

    Back off !
    Let’s settle this outside
    Back off!
    Let’s settle this outside!

    This is a continuing fairy-tale
    I deny involvement in the ZTE deal,
    Worse, it is a sham
    My wife, the President, was not involved!

    Back off !
    Let’s settle this outside
    Back off!
    Let’s settle this outside!

    I will make peace with my detractors,
    I will stay in touch with God
    I have a new lease on life
    I am a walking miracle!

    Back off !
    Let’s settle this outside
    Back off!
    Let’s settle this outside!

  34. JMCastro

    Tagabukid: We might empathize or imagine, but nothing short of the realest truth possible will get the likes of the middle or the upper class on the move.

    Despite everything negative pointed out in this blog about our current senators, I still feel that they have the greatest amount of integrity among the top political leadership in the Philippines today.

    Konti na lang, palagay ko gagawin din ni Senator Arroyo at ni Senator Enrile kung ano ang tama. All they are asking for is documentary evidence of corruption, and they have it in the form of an “Annex A” submitted by Joey de Venecia in an earlier testimony detailing what he calls the “bill of materials” of the NBN project.

    I am assuming that this “Annex A” (which I heard about in the Senate hearing yesterday) details the equipment and services of the NBN project. Experts in the field of projects such as these can look it over, and actually come up with projected price ranges.

    If the overprice is consistent with the testimonies of Lozada and de Venecia, we have real evidence of corruption which can beat empathy or imagination any time of the day.

  35. Anonymous

    Who can predict the future? Maybe something will happen, but it may not be what we expect.

  36. DevilsAdvc8

    Mike Defensor’s idea of shopping money – 50k

    which could buy:

    a franchise for a small food stall (like waffle or hot dogs) or
    3 decent personal computers (my idea of decent being it can run multiple programs w/o crashing)
    or
    sari-sari store start-up package
    or
    50 sacks of rice
    or
    pay for hospitalization bills of 4 women giving birth in a private hospital (normal delivery, doctor’s fee included)

    kayo, ano naiisip nyong pwede nitong maibili?
    and my god! Mike only thinks of this as shopping money!

  37. DevilsAdvc8

    Abalos’ offer to Neri to approve the ZTE deal: P200 M
    Abalos’ demanded commission: $130 M
    Lozada’s shopping money: P50k

    Joker’s face when Lozada said Joker’s wife talked to him: priceless

    There are people money can’t buy. But for everyone else, there’s Malacanang.

  38. JMCastro

    DevilsAdvc8:

    50k is Lozada’s salary in a month. If Jun accepted it, it would’ve covered his family’s expenses for at least a month.

  39. baycas

    The administration senator also questioned Lozada’s alleged bias for certain senators, and TV networks.

    But Arroyo was taken aback when Lozada countered that he never discriminated against anyone, and in fact had talked to the senator’s wife at their home in Makati City.

    “You said I was talking to only Senator (Panfilo) Lacson. Well, I also talked to your wife at your home. Attorney (Tony) Abaya brought me there. They asked me to go there,” Lozada said, referring to private lawyer Fely Arroyo.

    At this time, a surprised Arroyo told him not to drag in his wife’s name, and Lozada apologized.

    “You have been besmirching the names of everyone. Don’t mess around with my wife,” Arroyo, now sounding angry, told the witness.

    – Joker Arroyo goes wild over fan, fellow Bicolano by TJ Burgonio, PDI, 02-12-2008

    ‘Pag baLd ka, Lagot ka!

    Pee-pol’s Dragon!

  40. Kamote

    Devils Advocate nice one!!!!!!!!

    For everything else, There’s joker’s joke on him.

  41. The Equalizer

    Every single scandal of the PIDAL COUPLE follow a clear pattern.Here are the three (3) basic STEPS:

    Step 1: Anomalies, Scandals EXPOSED

    Step 2: Brazen Lies,Briberies,Cover-ups,Deceptions

    Step 3: C’mon,Let’s Move On! We can’t be distracted!

    Then another mega scandal,repeat steps 1 to 3!

    Why are the PIDALS getting away with it,over and over again?

    Very simple! They know we are a people with SHORT MEMORY!We easily forget and forgive!

    TAMA NA ! SOBRA NA!

    You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
    Abraham Lincoln

  42. piankiller

    what has happened with raul gonzales? medyo namimiss ko siya ah. can’t he find a “legal remedy” for this one fast? man, malacanang sure made an investment by sending that many surrogates.

    and can we have more pictures of mike d’s wife? wehehe.

  43. hvrds

    Under the present Bush government, during his watch the U.S. public debt grew from $5 trillion to over $9 trillion. His government has borrowed more than all the U.S. presidents combined. A large part of that debt is borrowed from the Social Security trust fund. The trust fund is still in the surplus. It won’t be for long.

    Corruption thorugh earmarks (pork barrel) and government procurement in goods and services in the U.S. have their share of as part of the budget. In fact the share of government expenditure as a % of domestic economic activity is over 30%.

    However in the Philippines the government is the source of a large part of the formal employment. Apart from employment with multinationals a permanent government position is prized for its regularity and job security. It’s tought getting formal employment in the country. The bureaucracy in all branches of government have been genrally more politicized than it is not. The autocratic form of political structure thus freezes the entire bureaucracy in a top down line of authority. Loyalty of the entire existing government is premised on loyalty to a sitting monarch since Marcos. Throw in the cash cow institutions on top of the budget in the SSS, GSIS, Pagcor, OWWA, DBP, Land Bank and the BSP. All integral parts of the modern treasury.

    Unfortunately Cory Aquino’s idealism did not translate into strengthening the institutions of law and the utter failure to jail the persons who were responsible for the excesses of the Marcos years. Even on the issue alone of resitution of the plunder. She in fact (not her directly) but her family brought back the crony capitalism almost immediately. One of her earliest executive orders put her family in charge of the main port of Manila. Joe Con her “benign” crony was able to corner the entire budget of Quedancor (a government lending agency for small farmers for his company.)

    The lesson of Edsa 1 was established early on. “It is our turn at the Treasury.” Even the agrarian reform progream was receipient of the greatest landscam almost being perpetuated, the Garchitorena land scam.

    Silently in the background the debt buy back scam that sealed the debts under Marcos for the benefit of the elite.

    Let us look at the law firms to stress a point.

    Under Marcos it was ACCRA and PECABAR. Fast forward to today. ACCRA is representing ZTE while under Marcos they represented Westinghouse. Drillon, Angara and Roco should have been charged under the Cory government. Today Angara recused himself from the hearings concerning ZTE.

    Let us look at the lawyers who were part of PECABAR. Enrile, Cayetano, Bautista and Reyes. The sons and daugther of Rene Cayetano are now in the Senate and Peter is head of the Blue Ribbon. Atty. Reyes has represented Imelda in some of her cases with the government. Atty. Bautista is the lawyer of Neri according to some quarters. All these lawyers have access in the exclusive corridors of power. Their networks are the top of the political and business heirarchy. That is where the legal spin is concocted.

    Atty. Jess Andres one of the lawyers of V.P.de Castro worked at PECABAR and got to know the V.P. when the late Cayetano became popular through his stint with ABS-CBN. he later alsobecame apart of the TV program.

    Government has become the biggest enterprise in the country apart from the multinationals. The Chinese Filipino are set apart from all this but are the silent power behind the government. They are more discreet in their dealings with the government.

    We have created a sort of politcal based elite that is totally integrated with the government institutions. Their economic well being is al,most toally tied up with the state. Look at Michael Defensor. He was appointed to the board of Petron. Even Emilia Boncodin who worked under Ramos and GMA in the Budget department. (DBM) The disbursing arm of the state. Bondcodin was GMA’s head of the DBM and is one of the Hyatt 10. She has had some serious health probelms and was recently appointed also to the board of Petron.

    Doing business in the Philippines at the highest level of interaction with big business and big government, I have seen the workings of a system which is totally oblivious to public oversight and accountability. You multiply the event of the ZTE by the hundreds and you get a rough idea of how business is done in the country.

    For a developing economy it not hard to see why the total debt picture of the country is larger than the total output of the country. Government service in the Philippines has created a lot of the landed and politcal elite.

    It is not that surprising. The initial distribution of factor endowments (assets) was skewed and the beneficiaries will be hard pressed to give up their advantage. All you have a a merry go round at the top. Unfortunately the inevitability of history will change it.

    “…… A technologically stagnant agricultural society is bound to be an extremely unequal one: by force and fraud, the upper class push the peasants’ standards of living down to subsistence and take the surplus as the rent on the land they control. The high rents paid to noble landlords increase their wealth and power by giving them the resources to keep the peasants down and widen the surplus – for, after all, they cannot make more land.” J. Bradford De Long from his piece ‘In Marx’s Shadow Again

    That is why the middle class of the country is mostly abroad.

  44. Yuko

    Lying under oath is perjury. Where I am a citizen of, it is considered a crime. If Razon and his men were Japanese, they would be stripped of their position in the police by now.

    Kawawang Pilipinas!

  45. BrianB

    Mike D’s wife is hot. What’s her name?

  46. ricelander

    Attention here ladies and gentlemen: Either Ninez Cacho-Olivarez is drunk or has a scoop. Here’s the link:http://www.tribune.net.ph/headlines/20080213hed1.html

  47. BrianB

    Manolo,

    “The middle and upper classes instinctively wall themselves off from the rest of society, and have an innate sense of privacy that is impossible and even unimaginable for the majority of our population.”

    Just come out with it; you mean hypchrisy, yes?

  48. BrianB

    And in a society that profoundly distrusts all institutions, the arena in which contending forces clash, and public opinion is formed, and where the advantages of the powerful are blunted, is an instinctive form of checks-and-balances the public craves.

    This is what I call WRITING.

  49. hvrds

    Crony capitalism and corruption at the highest level of state capitalism.

    Government is the executive committee of the rich.

    For all the pinoys working abroad the government and the elite of the Philippines are eternally thankfull for supplying the hard currency necessary for the country to survive and keep the political and business elite in the standards that they are used to.

    George Will from the Washington Post

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/08/AR2008020802557.html

    J.Bradford De Long
    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/delong74

    Thomas Palley
    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/palley3

    Joseph Stiglitz
    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/stiglitz96

    Keneth Rogoff
    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/rogoff39

  50. BrianB

    “That is why the middle class of the country is mostly abroad.”

    hvrds, all and well but this does not explain why the VAST majority are not fighting back. Naloloko lang ba, natatakot?

    Land ownership in the Philippines today descended from land ownership during Spanish times. Hindi naibalik ang ninakaw nang mga Kastila. My opinion is that the attitude Philippine masses came with this land ownership. The fact that agrarian reform is failing, though it is provided with its own section in the Constitution, is proof of this.

    The elite, though wise and react fast in the changing times should still be the lighter class on the scale compared to its opposite. They cannot enjoy the freedom that they enjoy now if it weren’t for the passivity of the masses. The state of our culture is not up to them as much as it is up to the lower classes.

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