What to do? (concluded)

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The President has announced she will not attend the Philippine Military Academy homecoming this weekend (because of a startling coincidence involving assassinations plots) . She is in a mess of her own making, and which requires loyalty at a time when her officials have to wonder if it’s worth it to lose all, for her. Read Tony Abaya’s column to understand why Jun Lozada has engaged the sympathy of many people and why government’s resources have failed to impeach his credibility.

As Mon Casiple muses,

The instruction of the president for government to work with private business sector, academe and Church in the anti-corruption work and the sudden interest of the Ombudsman and DOJ in the ZTE-NBN case aim to seize initiative in the issue. The NBI raid on Lozada’s office, on the other hand, is more in the same league as the failed discrediting of Lozada for corruption.

Many top officials in the GMA administration have been put on the spot, had their reputation besmirched, or are in danger of prosecution themselves because of their actions in defense of the Arroyo family. They are under intense pressure from their own families, friends, and peers to stand for truth and decency on the issues confronting the First Family.

The signal role of the Lozada case is in bringing forth these pressures. In turn, the pressure on the president to resign will intensify. Ironically, the effective pressure may come from her own official family and camp rather than from the outside.

The Palace has also had to backtrack on its attempt to divert public attention by means of prematurely launching it’s amendments scheme. The Vice-President, for obvious reasons, has begun to grow a spine.

Yesterday, the Inquirer editorial pointed out that what is undeniable, is that the administration’s engaged in a Conspiracy. One that entailed a whole roster of officials collectively insulting the intelligence of the public, as Manuel Buencamino sardonically demonstrated in his column.

The group Action for Economic Reforms, in calling for the resignation of the President, puts it this way:

Criminal justice will come, but now is the time to take political action……

The first family is the capo di tutti capi, the boss of all bosses. The Macapagal-Arroyo family has turned the Philippine government into a mafia family, with Cabinet men, congressmen, and other functionaries as their mob lieutenants. We have state capture not by the elite but by a Filipino mafia headed by the first family.The Philippines is not lacking in laws and institutions against corruption and plunder…

Much effort has been undertaken to address chronic corruption…

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…

With GMA’s repeated betrayal of the public trust, she has no right to sit as President a minute longer. All other officials involved in the ZTE-NBN deal, including Secretary Romy Neri, DOTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza, and members of the NEDA-ICC must step down from their government posts. The officials involved in the abduction of Jun Lozada and its cover-up in the media, such as PNP Chief Avelino Razon, Secretary Lito Atienza and DILG Secretary Ronaldo Puno, must likewise step down.

We must expunge the Philippine Mafia.

And yet even as more and more people add their voices, from Harvey Keh to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (perhaps, taking its cue from the national lawyer’s association, and perhaps statements such as Jovito Salonga’s, the law school governments of the Ateneo, UP and other law schools are reportedly meeting and are expected to call on the President to resign) to the Makati Business Club (and if there were any divisions in its ranks, they’ve closed ranks over Secretary Favila’s threat to unleash the BIR on businessmen; as Boy Blue replied, “bring it on!”) except for that old Palace reliable, Vivianne Yuchengco, the debate goes on and on about the President. The debate is distilled to its essence by this quote from the play, A Man for All Seasons:

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

Yet we know that in real life as in the play and film, More ended up imprisoned and put on trial, charged with treason: bearing the full brunt of “Man’s laws,” because the King wanted him forced to publicly recant his private opposition to the King’s divorce and remarriage, which More found contrary to God’s laws. The world remembers him as a man who submitted to the law, to prove his fidelity to a higher one. Recognition the laws of man can be flawed, and man’s justice profoundly unjust.

There is another gripping scene where More is undergoing trial (“betoken,” as used in the dialogue, means “be a sign of; indicate”) and his refusal to publicly take an oath as demanded by the king is taken as proof positive of treason:

Cromwell: Now, Sir Thomas, you stand on your silence.

Sir Thomas More: I do.

Cromwell: But, gentlemen of the jury, there are many kinds of silence. Consider first the silence of a man who is dead. Let us suppose we go into the room where he is laid out, and we listen: what do we hear? Silence. What does it betoken, this silence? Nothing; this is silence pure and simple. But let us take another case. Suppose I were to take a dagger from my sleeve and make to kill the prisoner with it; and my lordships there, instead of crying out for me to stop, maintained their silence. That would betoken! It would betoken a willingness that I should do it, and under the law, they will be guilty with me. So silence can, according to the circumstances, speak! Let us consider now the circumstances of the prisoner’s silence. The oath was put to loyal subjects up and down the country, and they all declared His Grace’s title to be just and good. But when it came to the prisoner, he refused! He calls this silence. Yet is there a man in this court – is there a man in this country! – who does not know Sir Thomas More’s opinion of this title?

Crowd in court gallery: No!

Cromwell: Yet how can this be? Because this silence betokened, nay, this silence was, not silence at all, but most eloquent denial!

Sir Thomas More: Not so. Not so, Master Secretary. The maxim is “Qui tacet consentiret”: the maxim of the law is “Silence gives consent”. If therefore you wish to construe what my silence betokened, you must construe that I consented, not that I denied.

Cromwell: Is that in fact what the world construes from it? Do you pretend that is what you wish the world to construe from it?

Sir Thomas More: The world must construe according to its wits; this court must construe according to the law.

In More’s case he submitted, as a believing Christian, to the secular power precisely because he was obedient to a higher authority: one that compelled him to bow down before the laws of man because they are as nothing compared to the laws of God, which required fidelity to the death.

The law, he recognized, could serve as defense for certain things but there come points when the law compels obedience even when the law itself is unjust; yet compels that submission because the law’s limitations are clear, it cannot intrude into the distinctions a person’s conscience creates between what is legal and what is just.

A similar question was tackled by the scientist Stephen Jay Gould, when he discussed how the debate between those who believe in science and those who look to a supernatural authority are engaged in a futile debate. See his essay Nonoverlapping Magisteria:

I believe, with all my heart, in a respectful, even loving concordat between our magisteria — the NOMA solution. NOMA represents a principled position on moral and intellectua] grounds, not a mere diplomatic stance. NOMA also cuts both ways. If religion can no longer dictate the nature of factual conclusions properly under the magisterium of science, then scientists cannot claim higher insight into moral truth from any superior knowledge of the world’s empirical constitution. This mutual humility has important practical consequences in a world of such diverse passions.

By all means the law is often our shield against injustice, but there are certain forms of injustice our laws are impotent to address.

What is at stake is the position held by the President of the Philippines. A position not hers by right, but by grace; a position only temporarily hers and not her inalienable possession like her life, for example. What she can claim a right to is a fixed term; but the term is hers by virtue of certain assumptions, among them her receiving a popular mandate that is genuine and not so marred by controversy as to make it suspect; or that she continues to enjoy the confidence of the people who consider her fit to continue in office.

The supreme law, the Constitution, gives her the opportunity to declare herself unfit to hold office at any time (resignation); it grants the power to declare her unfit for office not only to Congress, by means of a prosecution begun by the House and a political, not judicial, trial in the Senate; and even to her subordinates, the Cabinet, who can declare her unfit for office and who can even force a vote in Congress; and it grants the public at the very least the right to petition government for the redress of grievances and enshrines the citizenry as the ultimate arbiter of what is legal: for, if need be, the public can overturn the fundamental law of the land by means of revolution (if it succeeds).

Her critics do not call for the murder or assassination of the President, or that she should be denied the chance to adequately defend herself in court; but what they assert is that the President may continue to enjoy the presumption of innocence as far as the courts are concerned but no longer enjoys that assumption as far as the public is concerned; that in a sense, in the face of the President’s acts of commission and omission as well as those of her henchmen, a significant portion of the population has what lawyers call a moral certainty of her guilt; this moral certainty does not meet, as of yet, the requirements of the courts when it comes to depriving her of life, liberty, or property; but it is more than enough in the political sphere, to justify citizens calling her to relinquish her office.

Because, as Joker Arroyo in a previous incarnation declared, we cannot afford to have a country run by a thief. Whether it was run by thieves in the past or will be run by thieves in the future is absolutely irrelevant and immaterial, if your honors please. We are talking about the incumbent President and no one else. We can deprive only the incumbent President of office and no one else; the punishment is specific because it can only apply to one person at a time.

What is the law’s is the law’s; what is the people’s as a political entity is entirely something else.

The question is how the people, as a political entity, should dispense with political questions, such as the fitness of their head of state and government for office. Public opinion and the threat of impeachment drove Nixon from office; de Gaulle, facing student protests and a lost referendum vote, resigned. Politics recognizes force majeure when it comes to the terms of its highest officials: when a party loses the US House of Representatives, traditionally the Speaker from the party that lost Congress resigns his seat; it is not just in parliamentary systems that there can be votes of confidence -whether in elections or in mobilized public opinion.

Oliver Cromwell embarked on his dictatorship by dismissing the Long Parliament with these famous words on April 20, 1653:

It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, andenemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye haveno more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a denof thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone!So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!

And this is the warning that echoes down in history: in face of wrongdoing or plain incompetence, the longer people confuse procedures for actual government, the greater the temptation to banish those fussing over procedures to restore what’s right. But one needn’t embark on the path of dictatorship to realize that an essential attribute of the democratic system, is the opportunity it affords to discard a discredited leader, rather have the whole system go down in flames to preserve one person’s political life.

As the British parliament agonized over the question of whether to continue its fight against Hitler or surrender, one MP, Leo Amery, quoted Cromwell in urging Neville Chamberlain to resign:

Some 300 years ago, when this House found that its troops were being beaten again and again by the dash and daring of the Cavaliers, by Prince Rupert’s Cavalry, Oliver Cromwell spoke to John Hampden. In one of his speeches he recounted what he said. It was this:

‘I said to him, “Your troops are most of them old, decayed serving men and tapsters and such kind of fellows.” You must get men of a spirit that are likely to go as far as they will go, or you will be beaten still.’

It may not be easy to find these men. They can be found only by trial and by ruthlessly discarding all who fail and have their failings discovered. We are fighting today for our life, for our liberty, for our all; we cannot go on being led as we are.

I have quoted certain words of Oliver Cromwell. I will quote certain other words. I do it with great reluctance, because I am speaking of those who are old friends and associates of mine, but they are words which, I think, are applicable to the present situation. This is what Cromwell said to the Long Parliament when he thought it was no longer fit to conduct the affairs of the nation:

“You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go”

Chamberlain resigned; Churchill became Prime Minister, despite the great misgivings, even obvious mistrust, of his peers. When Chamberlain died, Churchill, in turn, paid tribute to his predecessor:

It is not given to human beings, happily for them, for otherwise life would be intolerable, to foresee or to predict to any large extent the unfolding course of events. In one phase men seem to have been right, in another they seem to have been wrong. Then again, a few years later, when the perspective of time has lengthened, all stands in a different setting. There is a new proportion. There is another scale of values. History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. What is the worth of all this? The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour.

At stake, let me repeat, is the President’s political life; as to the sum total of her life we can’t pass judgment, yet, though it is, of course, possible that in retrospect, when that time comes, she may come off better than she seems, today; or worse. But it is not too soon, to pass judgment on her fitness for office. This is a judgment call in which the law is only relevant in terms of our layman’s appreciation of what it’s spirit ought to be, and whether under her leadership, the government has proven itself faithless to that spirit.

The question however, settled in many minds, remains unsettled in the minds of others; it hinges, in those minds, on whether the dangers of an aroused public are so grave, as to justify denying the public their sovereignty; it is a question involving fears as old as Edmund Burke’s condemnation of the French Revolution:

Were all those dreadful things necessary? Were they the inevitable results of the desperate struggle of determined patriots, compelled to wade through blood and tumult, to the quiet shore of a tranquil and prosperous liberty? No! nothing like it. The fresh ruins of France, which shock our feelings wherever we can turn our eyes, are not the devastation of civil war; they are the sad but instructive monuments of rash and ignorant counsel in time of profound peace. They are the display of inconsiderate and presumptuous, because unresisted and irresistible, authority. The persons who have thus squandered away the precious treasure of their crimes, the persons who have made this prodigal and wild waste of public evils, (the last stage reserved for the ultimate ransom of the state), have met in their progress with little, or rather with no opposition at all. Their whole march was more like a triumphal procession, than the progress of a war. Their pioneers have gone before them, and demolished and laid everything level at their feet. Not one drop of their blood have they shed in the cause of the country they have ruined. They have made no sacrifices to their projects of greater consequence than their shoe buckles, whilst they were imprisoning their king, murdering their fellow citizens, and bathing in tears, and plunging in poverty and distress, thousands of worthy men and worthy families. Their cruelty has not even been the base result of fear. It has been the effect of their sense of perfect safety, in authorizing treasons, robberies, rapes, assassinations, slaughters, and burnings, throughout their harassed land. But the cause of all was plain from the beginning.

But we are heirs, not to Burke, but to the Frenchmen he condemned; even Rizal was convinced, if not of the desirability, then at least of the inevitability, of revolution; else our national narrative would still be that of a province of Spain or State of the Union. We can detect at least a familiarity with his arguments, by way of Rizal: who ultimate advice was, you cannot force events, they will unfold in their own good time (see my disquisition on Rizal’s Pilosopiya ng Pagtitiis).

Well, things are unfolding, but it would be wrong to assert they will unfold in a precise, pre-determined manner. But they are unfolding in a manner that is demolishing the arguments used, so far, by those who wanted to keep rationalizing their implied or overt support for the administration.

This is just political noise? The increasing decibels of public protest are preferable to the silence of the tomb or the cold vaults where even colder cash is piling up for the President’s favored few.

They are all the same? Perhaps when they could moderate their greed; but the greed is unmoderated, it is accelerating, and along with the avarice is an out-of-control contempt for every Filipino, rich or poor, educated or not, urbanite or rural dweller, who dares defy the administration.

What will it achieve? An end to the insanity, closing a chapter to the hubris, restoring the enfeebled democratic muscles of the electorate, reviving the dulled sense of right and wrong of a public.

What about the economy? For those who believe in trickle-down, removing the dam that has held captive the people’s money; for those who wanted prudence and professionalism in the management of our natural and financial resources, the chance this will finally happen and not be feigned.

It boils down to the administration’s scale of greed at the very least matching, if not exceeding, that of the government that preceded it. And a public realizing that it must stand up to it, end it, punish it, for now it sees its your style, or lack of it, but your performance while in office, that must be the sole, standard, measure of a leader’s fitness for office. The mafiosi in slippers and the mafiosi in an expensive suit are both plain thugs.

The President overturned her policy of preferring BOT deals, to add to the debts of the country, to obtain foreign funding for a project whose cost was bloated by the demands of her family and allies. To consummate this deal, she left the bedside of her potentially dying husband to please her allies. She would have pursued it, if the public hadn’t opposed it. Yet she has kept trying to find more and similar deals. This is just part of the pattern, one that consists of her recklessly spending government finances, then figuring out a way to blunt the effects of her spending, only to find new ways to spend that involve accumulating unnecessary and indefensible obligations.

Minguita Padilla asserts that the inflated commission demanded by Abalos equals the annual budget of the Philippine General Hospital: multiplied five times. I’ve heard another assertion that the amount equals the annual budget of the Department of Agriculture.

A few weeks back, a dispirited critic of the President asked another critic (an agnostic if not an atheist), “Do you think God put her here to teach us something?” And the agnostic/atheist critic instantly replied, “Yes, to teach us freedom isn’t gained so easily.”

The long road began, for some, in 2001, for others, in 2004, for others, in 2006 and so on. They have come together, taken time to understand each other, hammered out consensus, taken stock of past mistakes and appropriate things to do; all the while hounded by those united in support for the President because she dressed better, spoke better, was better-educated and showed better executive control, than her predecessor.

But when, as now, she’s revealed as nothing better than him, and in many ways worse because if he was slothful, she has been industrious in undermining institutions, intimidating any organization critical of her, and corrupting the various petty crooks and mulcting officials who have always been there, but who have grown fat, proud, and left stupefied by her drowning them in money and in stripping them of whatever self-control and professional values they had left.

The result is that the enemies of the people should really be named Legion -for they are many; the ones in the cabinet who serve her with enthusiasm and no scruples; the soldiers she has infiltrated into sensitive civilian posts; the business communities she has turned into her propaganda organs; the rank-and-file who have lost even the nominal prestige their positions should accord them.

The line of men and women who have abandoned all pretenses to serving the public, who are reduced to serving the President and her family, according to their humiliating whims, has grown so long that the President’s leaving office will only be the first step in a process that will many of the formerly well-connected turned potential social and political pariahs.

But it’s that first step that can and should unite us. It unites those who wanted it years ago, with those who have come to see as a necessary thing, only now. We are together now, having seen not only the best, but the worst, in each of ourselves; but collectively, better for coming together now.

What to do? Make a list. Those who can no longer deserve a position paid for from the public coffers, and who must resign immediately. Those who supported the government to the extent they advocated means no genuinely democratic government would have conceived of adopting in the past. Those whose perks and power are made possible by their closeness to the President, who cast aside their own reputations in her service.

And make a list of the things that failed to work: impeachment, presidential commissions, appointments to departments and the judiciary, the military, only to cause those institutions grave scandal and the gutting of professional pride and esprit de corps.

And make a list of the things you want, and not the things you hate; for it is easy to hate but difficult to be for certain things. Clean elections? Greater or less party discipline? Efficient and honest tax collection, social services as a right of the people and not personally-bestowed patronage? The list is yours, but armed with similar lists, there we will have the chance to come together with a truly meaningful reform agenda.

But until then: march.

Until then: make noise.

Until then: write, call, text, to share what you feel.

From now on, forget your past mistakes, or disappointments, and focus on the task at hand.

They say: they represent public opinion.

We must say: we do!

You must say, I have had enough with feeling helpless, or fearful, or embarrassed over past loyalties; instead, I will stand, not someone, but for me; and if there are many like me, I will link arms with them; and whatever happens, let it not be said that at the country’s present opportunity for redemption, you were will trying to find excuses to postpone the inevitable.

The Black and White Movement gives you three opportunities to register your protest:

1. Log on to our website — www.blacknwhite-movement.com and register your name to declare your support for Jun Lozada.

2. Send text “Sa Totoo Tayo” to 0915-3296830 to be counted. Also, text this message to all of your friends and relatives: “Kung naniniwala kayo sa sinasabi ni Jun Lozada, text “Sa Totoo Tayo” to 0915-3296830. Visit www.blacknwhite-movement.com for latest count and activities.”

3. And if you’re in Metro Manila, join us on Sunday, February 17, 2008, 10 AM at La Salle Greenhills for a Mass organized by President Cory Aquino and the La Salle brothers in support of Jun Lozada and his family.

The time to act is now. Sa Totoo Tayo. Now na!

509 comments

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  1. I cant believe what Joker Arroyo has become. As if another spirit took over his whole being.I hope I was dreaming but I was not.

    • ay_naku on February 14, 2008 at 10:43 am

    What to do? Simple. Kick out the the lying, cheating, stealing, murderous Arroyo regime. Regain our moral moorings and dignity, find our balls again, and fight back.

    • ay_naku on February 14, 2008 at 10:54 am

    There’s a series of mass protests lined up, right? Perfect opportunity to make our sentiments be felt big-time. Time to walk the walk. No more excuses. No more waiting for the “credible and unblemished leader” first, no more waiting for the bishops first, no more waiting for the military to act first, no more waiting for others to form a “critical mass” first before we join. We ARE that critical mass. No more “you go first” mentality. Time to get off our asses and fight back.

    • Mita on February 14, 2008 at 11:00 am

    What do the people do? At this point, all we can realistically do is push for prosecution for those already implicated. Take it to the next level, then push some more…but we have to take the steps one at a time. This is the major blunder of all past efforts. You cannot just call for resignation – you have to CAUSE it to happen and not by propaganda, but by PROVEN facts that point the accusing finger directly at the target.

    No more pardons..please. A pardon is an insult to the many people who spent countless hours to get a plunderer convicted.

    What do the people want? So far, it seems like majority of the people do not want a revolution, a takeover of the current government. The people want clean, honest government but not instability brought about by another people’s revolt.

    We don’t want a repetition of past mistakes caused by our own haste and over-emotionality.

    The people know we will eventually get the government we deserve when we learn to work with each other to strengthen the electorate. This has to be ALL CITIZEN’S RESPONSIBILITY or the country loses in the end.

    Until we can do this, we are all slaves to the whims of the under-informed majority and manipulative few.

    • Bencard on February 14, 2008 at 11:27 am

    but mlq3, how do you know it’s the “people’s” will for her to resign. i don’t think you can fairly say that a group composed of the opposition, the b& w. movement and other activist “civil societies”, the extremists from both sides, a portion of the clergy, a percentage of metro manila’s population, and a majority in the media industry (including journalists, columnists, propagandists, advertising professionals, pundits and prognosticators) are the people that constitute the “ultimate arbiter” of what the law is. sorry, but i think, that is a dangerous political heresy, at best, and a slide back to the dark ages, at worst.

    • JMCastro on February 14, 2008 at 11:30 am

    MLQ’s post is an appeal to the conscience of everyone involved. A resignation from GMA would be an act of conscience which will defuse this crisis, something so courageous that it would make me really admire GMA.

    I would even go so far as to acquiesce her pardon, on the condition that they continue with either a “blameless inquiry” in the Senate, or build a case with the Ombudsman — whatever it takes for the truth to come out.

    • tess on February 14, 2008 at 11:41 am

    a resignation from GMA? when hell freezes over.

    • Bencard on February 14, 2008 at 11:50 am

    btw, mlq3, nice piece of punditry and an informative compilation of alarmist rhetorics from the opinion sellers.
    no, i don’t think gma would resign. there’s no reason to, as far as i can see. you guys should just obey the constitution and wait until 2010.

    • Metrocom ini on February 14, 2008 at 11:51 am

    but bencard, how do you know it’s not the “people’s” will for her to resign.

    • Metrocom ini on February 14, 2008 at 11:53 am

    btw, bencard, I listened to Hello Garci again and remains convinced that gloria cheated in the presidential elections. She should resign!

    • Bencard on February 14, 2008 at 11:58 am

    it doesn’t matter. the constitution is explicit as to her term of office – no need to find out what the “people’s” will is.

    • Metrocom ini on February 14, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    The constitution is explicit as to term of office. The law is explicit as well on how the office is won. Last time I look, cheaters are not allowed.

    • Kabayan on February 14, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    “…While the mages in their ivory towers argue the color of the fiery dragon’s breath,

    the dragon destroys the townspeople burning them to death…”

    ’nuff said, to those who know better, they should do what they can to show the pointed truth to Gloria … We don’t want you anymore Mrs Arroyo so save the nation a lot of grief and just resign; don’t forget to take that Joker with you. We know of your Charter Change/Prime Minister for Life strategy, your colors and the colors of your hacks are showing so early in the game. Do you still intend to deny this while your minions pushed the Chacha button? Why so early Madame, did you panic?

    Jen had a good suggestion for a Blogswarm. Tomorrow Friday, if you have a blog or a forum, put in your favorite photo of Gloria, put a “Gloria Resign” title or something of similar effect, and post your disgust regarding this thick faced administration.

    For the more enterprising or wish to defend their freedom more vigorously (for whatever is left), there is a protest rally tomorrow. Doesn’t matter if we are few or many, do what your conscience dictate. You can do a blogswarm or other creative endeavors to show the corrupt and their lackeys that enough is enough.

    • Metrocom ini on February 14, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Here, here, Kabayan. I’ll see you at the rally tomorrow.

    • Mita on February 14, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    metrocom, but they get in time and time again, don’t they? the law may be explicit but the reality is if there’s no enforcement of the law, anything goes….so long as you can get away with it. if we want the law to be upheld, we better be ready to deal with the consequences and not just utter another lame “bahala na”

    this happens in the ordinary citizen’s daily life here, why not in every aspect of government and society?

    • Jon Mariano on February 14, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    I’ll post an Arroyo resign entry tomorrow. If I were in Manila tomorrow, I’ll join too. I agree that it doesn’t matter if there’s going to be few or many, what matters more is expression of our sentiments.

    • Bencard on February 14, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    blogswarm? sounds like a swarm of che che flies in cyberspace. oh i wish i have time to waste like these people. but if i do, i would use it for some worthwhile endeavor than chase my own shadow.

    • tess on February 14, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    “it doesn’t matter. the constitution is explicit as to her term of office – no need to find out what the “people’s” will is.”

    so, ganun na lang? bulag at bingi sa mga nangyayari? wait for 2010 and in the meantime, watch the squatters in malacanang do their thing.

    • tess on February 14, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    tsetse flies po 🙂

    • Jon Mariano on February 14, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    At least in this blog and in Ellen’s, the majority are saying they’re going to support the protest action/s tomorrow. For those who can’t (like me), being a part of a blogswarm will do!

    Bencard is making known his sentiments too, he does not want Pinoys to waste their time in protesting. But maybe bloggers frequenting this blog find it worth their while to protest?

    • Bencard on February 14, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    tess, ganun talaga, hija. kailangang maghintay ng takdang panahon. at hindi sila “squatters” – saan mo naman nakuha yan. napatunayan ba ang sinasabing pandaraya? tapos na yong mga protesta, di ba? igalang natin ang konstitusyon. kungdi, sa kangkungan tayo lahat pupulutin. gusto mo ba yon?

    salamat sa ‘tsetse’ pala, hindi che che.

    • kimosabe27 on February 14, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    PDI Frontpage caption “Full Supporting Cast…Camarines ‘del’ Sur…”

    In their haste to splash the frontpage with Goebbelsian propaganda, PDI is skimming their proofreading practices.

    Tsk. Tsk.

    • Karl Garcia on February 14, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    2010:
    When the Manila pen caper happened I too told myself na sandali na lang naman ang 2010…
    i will take that back,ang tagal pa pala.
    personal opinion:
    di porket wala masyado mangyari sa mga rally at investigations,it does not mean na konti lang ang naaasar sa mga nagyayari.

    call it fatigue or whatnot,but even in nature kahit na pagod na pagod na ang tao just a single drop of water can be a thirst quencher to energize and charge them.

    ….OR NOT!

    • Kabayan on February 14, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Metrocom ini said:
    “Here, here, Kabayan. I’ll see you at the rally tomorrow.”

    ——

    I don’t know if I wish to face a “Metrocom” 😀 Just kidding … will be there tomorrow. Don’t forget to join the Blogswarm if possible.

    • ron on February 14, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    I think it would be good to remind Yuchengco of how they treated the poor Pacific Plan education planholders.

    • Kabayan on February 14, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    For those “curious” to know what a blogswarm looks like, click my link 😀

    • tess on February 14, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    but it does matter bencard, and it’s not ok. don’t you see the pattern? hello garci? fertilizer scam? the pidal account? etc…

    of course we have to abide by the constitution. pero hindi po ba, they are so into cha cha? what’s motivating them?

    i don’t want to be in “kangkungan” because of inaction.

    • Jeg on February 14, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Bencard: igalang natin ang konstitusyon.

    Tumpak! At kung inyong babasahin, nandoon din sa Konstitusyon na ang pagbibitiw sa tungkulin ay isa sa mga legal na paraan upang mapalitan ang pangulo. At nandoon din na tayo ay may karapatang magsalita nang malaya at magtipon ng mapayapa. Sa ganang akin, ang panawagang magbitiw sa tungkulin si Gloria Arroyo ay isang paraan upang maipakita natin na ginagalang natin ang Konstitusyon.

  2. “ron :

    I think it would be good to remind Yuchengco of how they treated the poor Pacific Plan education planholders.”

    Yuchengco said MBC is not involve in politics. However in 2001, Yuchengco spearheaded the call of the resignation of Erap, with the headbands and all.

    LOOK WHO’S TALKING?

    • Kabayan on February 14, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Now an alleged assassination plot of Gloria just before tomorrow’s rally? How convenient … conveniently lame … or more accurately, conveniently stupid.

    Hey Praetors and your goons, does that give you the excuse to crack heads tomorrow then?

    • Karl Garcia on February 14, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    That assasination plot is also the excuse why she won’t go to the PMA this weekend.
    Afraid to be assassinated or to be boooed to death.

    • Karl Garcia on February 14, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    for more of the rp china deals I recommend rpchina.blogspot.com

    That maybe old news pero pag di pinansin sasabihin na walang pakialam;pag pinansin naman grandstanding na.

    I remember one commenter here,na wala pa naging resulta o wala pang napaparusahan sa mga blue ribbon investigations na ito.

    That may be or may not be a half truth but sa dinami dami ng auditing system natin…
    commission on audit,ombudsman pagc,sandigan,watchdogs,ngos
    nangyayari pa din ito, siguro me mali sa mga auditing system natin o baka me mali sa value system natin.

    displina lang ba ang katapat nyan o moderation of greed,ewan ko let us think about it.

    one example colurum vans in makati,it is very convenient for most of us,we don’t mind riding in one everyday watching them radio each other kung hawak nila yung pulis o me atraso ba sila sa pulis na nakabantay.We complain about impunity but if we find it convenient for us,we allow it.Just an opinion.

    • Kabayan on February 14, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Karl Garcia said:

    “That assasination plot is also the excuse why she won’t go to the PMA this weekend.
    Afraid to be assassinated or to be boooed to death.”

    —–

    I’m not surprised, after the news that funds for housing for police and soldiers were attempted to be diverted to finance the ZTE deal, the more idealistic future soldiers would not take to that kind of corruption lightly.

    Pero sa may matataas ang ranko na sumipsip ng husto sa Emperor para makuha ang posisyon nila, ibang usapan naman yon.

    • mlwnag on February 14, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Edsa 1 – there is a dead body
    Edsa 2 – bank account and eyewitness
    Edsa 3 – a can of worms(Lozada)

  3. She will never resign… I doubt she ever will… Her soul is too dark for that and we as a nation is not ready for another one of hers in the making… We are not educated with the laws of the land, and just like the miranda rights being denied by the police in every arrest we aren’t even aware of our rights as laborers… No we are not ready… I suggest we just sit back and see things unfold while people die (like Rizal) along the way… or better yet get out of this country… (I’m being sarcastic by the way) nice post Manolo!

    • tonio on February 14, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    well…. money is a very potent drug. and it is money that the current administration has at its disposal.

  4. will there be simultaneous actions in other major cities in the phils tomorrow? that would be better no? to show gloria that not only imperialist manila want her out.

    well, guess i’ll just join the blogswarm. sorry i can’t “physically” join in tomorrow’s protest actions. being in the province does have its limitations.

    that’s why i bemoan the lack of organization in the local levels to have protest actions in concert with the capital when things like this happen. at least we’ll get a sense of the “national sentiment” when protest actions are held nationwide.

    no need to travel to manila then and be intercepted by checkpoints.

    just my thoughts at the utter stupidity of choosing battlegrounds favorable to your enemy.

  5. If, say, GMA is either forced to resign or get removed from office, what will be the plan then for the reconstruction of the Philippines?

    What options are being given to the ORDINARY people, the ones who have no other options but to stay in this country, come hell or high water?

    Will we, like in 1986, create a new “Revolution Constitution” or will the ’87 be retained, given that, in case Gloria gets removed / resigns, it would have been, institutionally, battered again?

    Who will be tasked to lead? Is the President only the one to be removed, or the entirety of our officialdom? What is the extent of this so-called revolution with regards to the change in our country’s leadership?

    Since anything short of the President’s resignation is, technically, “extra-constitutional” prior to the elections of 2010, how would the new powers-that-be deal with international entities in assuring them that, hey, you can still rely on our institutions?

    • BrianB on February 14, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Manolo, All,

    People will always have laws. Even if we proclaim the Constitution and all other inferior laws void, people will abide by precept, principles and codes other of the past or by their own invention.

    I’m not worried about the law being broken in a big way starting tomorrow. It’s not as if we are killing God here, though the administration and the lawyers want to make us think that way.

    • ronin on February 14, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Wow, all sorts of bad guys are coming out of the woodwork! First, the NPA will reportedly disrupt the rally tomorrow. Now, the JI is joining the party. Accdg to the PSG, the Islamic terrorist group plans to assassinate GMA. Duh!

    What next?

    Let me guess.

    Two words.

    Emergency powers.

    • Jeg on February 14, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Rob, explain why resignation is extra-constitutional again please? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • alas ka dora on February 14, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    street protest will always be the most effective antedote for erring government in this country. like i said in a previous thread, this is not Japan where a mere slump in popularity rating is enough signal for a prime minister to resign. arroyo will do everything to be in power. harap harapan na ang ka gaguhan- the bribery scandal,garci tape, jocjoc volante fert scam,nbn and many more she could still prop her head up. anong klaseng leader yan.

  6. Please pass the message:

    Dear Friends,

    Yesterday, the government’s harassment of ZTE Broadband Scam star witness Jun Lozada continued as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) went into his former office at the Philippine Forest Corporation (PFC) and seized official documents that may be used to file and fabricate charges against him. As we can see, this adminstration is really trying its darnest best to destroy the credibility of Jun Lozada as part of its bid to put an end to the ZTE investigation that is being conducted by the Senate.

    We really need more people to be outraged and angry with what the Arroyo administration is doing to all of us. Masyado na tayong binabastos, ginagawang tanga at niloloko. Nakakalungkot talaga na ang daming taong naghihirap and yet our leaders think only about their own vested and selfish interests.

    But despite all this, I think the greater challenge for all of us Filipinos is not to feel helpless and lose Hope but rather to remain vigilant and work together in showing this corruption-laden administration that we will not just sit and watch while they continue to destroy our democratic institutions and bankrupt our government. Kawawa naman ang Pilipino, mahirap na nga, ginagago pa ng mga taong dapat magbigay ng tamang serbisyo para sa kanila.

    As the saying goes, the only way for Evil to Prevail is for Good People to do Nothing. We need to stop ranting and start acting. If we want change, change needs to start with each one of us.

    Please join in our discussion of what we can do to make this administration more accountable, transparent and eventually reform, I am calling for a meeting on February 16, Saturday, 130pm to 3:30pm at Rm. 105, Ground Floor, CSP Building, Social Development Complex, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Please pass this on to your friends and I hope you can join us for this meeting.

    Thanks for your time in reading this email.

    Sincerely,

    Harvey Keh
    Director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship
    Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government

    • UP n student on February 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Harvey Keh calls for a meeting to make the GMA administration more accountable, transparent and eventually reform.

    Aba… puwedeng government department head si Harvey!!

    Pero bakit room 105? Ilan tao ang inaasahan niyang darating?

    • UP n student on February 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    News item:

    By OLIVER TEVES
    The Associated Press
    Thursday, February 14, 2008; 2:59 AM

    MANILA, Philippines — Authorities have uncovered alleged plots by al-Qaida-linked militants to assassinate the Philippine president and bomb foreign embassies, officials said Thursday.

    Military chief of staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon said the assassination plot allegedly was hatched by the extremist Abu Sayyaf group and its Indonesia-based ally, Jemaah Islamiyah.

    Brig. Gen. Romeo Prestoza, head of the Presidential Security Group said police uncovered the plot last week.

    “It’s not only the president who is the target, but also other people … and embassies,” he said without offering specifics.

    The reports followed an announcement by security forces that they were going on high alert over an alleged communist rebel plan to infiltrate protests to demand Arroyo’s resignation over corruption charges.

    The officials did not specify when the attack was expected to occur. But Prestoza said Arroyo’s attendance at an alumni homecoming of the Philippine Military Academy on Saturday in northern Baguio city has been canceled and the rest of her schedule was “under assessment.”

    • Kabayan on February 14, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    Prior to the declaration of Martial Law in 1972, they staged a drama where Juan Ponce Enrile was supposedly ambushed bolstering Marcos’ excuse to declare Martial Law.

    The current administration’s technique of spinning the story that Gloria will be assassinated and the embassies will be bombed by “terrorists” is as old as pre-Martial Law days itself. If there will be any bombing or any “methane blasts” happening tomorrow, we would know where it will come from; and it won’t be from any friggin’ Islamic terrorists or Communist bogey.

    • tagabukid on February 14, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    From Yahoo News:


    Philippine president said target of plot

    Assassinate my foot! Mag-declare na kayo ng martial law para magka-alaman na!

    • tagabukid on February 14, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    “It’s still normal. What matters is the focus and capability of our men to secure the President,” – Romeo Prestoza, head of the Presidential Security Group

    Ipasyal-pasyal nyo sa South Expressway, Laguna-Cavite area at pag bumaba na ang threat level saka nyo dalhin sa La Salle para makapangumpisal sa mga pari at madre.

    Then she might see the light na at mag-resign.

  7. BOYCOTT CHINA ACTION!!!

    We should avoid buying “MADE IN CHINA” products.

    We should push for THE BOYCOTT of THE CHINA OLYMPICS!

    China’s ZTE Corporation is meddling in Phillippine affairs calling the the Senate Hearings on the Jun Lozada expose a “Political Circus!”.

    More importantly,China’s ZTE is involved in a BRIBERY SCANDAL of mega proportions in our country!

    To ALL PINOYS:

    Every time you shop, whether in a store or by mail order, check first; IF GOODS ARE MADE IN CHINA, DON’T BUY THEM! – if there’s no label, and the manager doesn’t know where they’re from, you can realistically assume they were made in China (China tends to hide the origin of its goods, because of the fear of a consumer boycott).

    ALSO AVOID PACKAGE HOLIDAYS IN CHINA!!!

  8. Dante wrote that the “hottest place in Hell is reserved for those, who in time of crisis, remain neutral.”

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