What to do? (concluded)

mpw00467.jpg

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

Skip to comment form

    • vic on February 18, 2008 at 2:17 am

    In my preceding post, I stated my preference for an independent public inquiry, preferably the “blameless type” which I also explained before to dig deep and find out the causes of wrongdoings by government officials in their functions.

    This Inquiry by no means takes the Power of Oversight and Aid of Legislation of the Parliament but instead it is the Instrument of such power. It is called by the Parliament which the Government belongs. It will report to the Parliament with its findings and recommendations and the House can debate on those and may even bring down the Government on the inquiry’s findings.

    It is always been the Process, since it offers the Independence, Impartiality and objectivity that are absent if done by the House itself and also it can take its own sweet time to wrap up the case, but usually it is right on schedule as all parties of interest already been notified before the party begins and no fooling around..

  1. Shouldn’t you be advocating that the “corrupt” Lozada be “used” to get rid of the other “corrupt” personnel and then later get rid of the “corrupt” Lozada as well?

    how, by means of people power?

    I am for the use of Lozada’s testimony in a proper venue, the ombudsman not in the Senate where no conviction will result.

    Don’t i know the motive of the people in using lozada?
    they’re hoping to incite people to come out and oust GMA.

    What happens next? EDSA 2 aftermath will be repeated and legitimacy of whoever will sit in power will be questioned after the dust has settled.

    • kimosabe27 on February 18, 2008 at 2:40 am

    @ Vic

    “In my preceding post, I stated my preference for an independent public inquiry, preferably the “blameless type” which I also explained before to dig deep and find out the causes of wrongdoings by government officials in their functions.”

    That is what the media and the NGOs are for. Unless, such body is grounded in law, it will be another ineffective entity that has more bark than bite.

    I would rather prefer a Congress that has a beefed up Sergeant at Arms office, like instead of a measly battalion of Marines, they have a whole regiment of specfor troops armed with tanks, planes and artilleries.

    In aid of legislation? Nah, more like inquisitorial, like Savoranola’s wet dream where the Cabinet members will be appearing in manacles and will have whip marks on their backs.

    • kimosabe27 on February 18, 2008 at 2:51 am

    @Vic,

    Ok, I would have said the Sandiganbayan and the Ombudsman, but after that sloth Frank Garchitorena and that sly Ani Desierto, those agencies act more like the legal wings of the Praetorian Guards.

    • vic on February 18, 2008 at 2:58 am

    kimosabe,

    Is there any chance that the troops reminiscense of Nazi be replaced by just a piece of paper which state ‘you are hereby do so ordered to appear before…’ and then maybe if that won’t do the trick, then go ahead, your suggestions might be the most effective..Sometimes different situation, calls for different solutions. And in the Philippines, just about everything been tried, seems everyone is coming up with good ideas, yet not very successful in real world…

    • kimosabe27 on February 18, 2008 at 3:09 am

    @ Vic

    Of course I use hyperbole, however, since the sitting president has been a former member of Congress, she knows how to tweak the body’s investigative duties to her advantage. Of course every president does, except for Erap, he was too dumb to dodge the bullets (but not in the silverscreen he he).

    However, EO 464 has been a thorn on the side Congress. I believe that our lawmakers should be upgrading their arsenal.

    • grd on February 18, 2008 at 3:18 am

    If you ask my personal opinion… yes, JDV may join those who oppose the government even as you can join the opposition, but personally for me, I would NOT give JDV ANY appointed position if the current powers that be are removed from their respective positions… kabayan

    kabayan, in short, it’s okay for you and cvj to make a pact with the devil to attain your goals? is this strategy part of your proposed scheme re The watchdog (in another thread) on how to free this country from the bondage of corruption? whatabout your statement below (taken from the same thread)?

    …This must be done (referring to the lifestyle check on our corrupt officials) so that we do not make the mistake of EDSA 2, forgetting the political and bureaucratic crooks when change of power comes. They must be identified and when necessary charged so that they would be disqualified from entering public office, either elected or appointed (Yes, this includes JDV among many). We must learn to wisely harness the Power of the People both in time of darkness and in times of light… kabayan February 10th, 2008 at 8:30 am

    you saw JDV last sat? he was given VIP treatment and seated side by side with CORY at the front row. what a joke. how our memories fail us always. is this what you’re saying we must not forget? si jdv na responsable sa pambababoy ng kongreso, sa pambabraso sa kamuntik ng matuloy na charter change. si jdv na responsible sa pagkakabasura ng 2 impeachment complaints laban kay gloria pero ngayon ay kasa-kasama, kasangga at ipinagbubunyi ng mga taong galit sa katiwalian sa gobyerno? sorry, but I dom’t buy your rhetoric. you say have patience for the time of reckoning will come. but with the way things are happening and people not learning their lessons, I don’t think that time will ever come.

    • kimosabe27 on February 18, 2008 at 3:18 am

    @ Vic

    Again, of course it is not all black and white. After reading Lozada’s expose, there are powerplays, strategizing and rationalizations involved.

    However, when push comes to shove, the people’s representatives, particularly those in the Upper House, should be totally unencumbered when it comes to fulfilling its investigative duties.

    • Bencard on February 18, 2008 at 3:18 am

    kimosabe27, first i don’t think either villafuerte or robredo are that crude and personal as to “bitchslap” me for saying that no other president, in my recollection, has not taken the same interest in the development of bicol as much as gma. unlike you, they would probably, at least, point out one such president to rebut what i have said.

    i’m not denigrating the bicoloano’s standard for “quality of life” and “rural development”. maybe they are happy with what they have. and i’m not closing my eyes to the natural disasters that the region suffers, perhaps too frequently. suffice it to say that, as far as i know, bicol has never had any world class international airport comparable to naia in metro manila, dmia in pampanga, lahug in cebu, davao in mindanano, or even laoag. nor has it any world class hotels like shangri-la and marco polo in cebu, and countless 5-star hotels in metro manila and davao. these are necessaries in economic development, especially in the tourist industry in which bicol has a lot to offer in terms of tourist destinations.

    your comment regarding the militarization of the countrysides, and your question about the correlation of producing a president with local development, are related to my observation concerning the contentiousness and “oragon” mentality, i.e., rebelliousness, of the bicolanos, in general. i don’t think unity is a very important principle among bicolanos. one recent case in point is the disappointing performance of the late senator roco in the 2004 election in which, while he won in bicol, it was by no means overwhelming margin.

    your calling my views “arrogant” because i say things that you don’t want to hear is, i think, one negative aspect of being “oragon”.

    • kimosabe27 on February 18, 2008 at 3:48 am

    OMG…to explain stuff on a Sunday

    Marcos…Maharlika Hiway
    Ramos…the “Andaya” Hiway. The elder Andaya was Ramos’s budget guy, so even the farmost village road has a concrete, covered waiting shed even if the bus plies the route once a week.

    Of course there was the BRBDP which I hope you have knowledge of.

    And Arroyo being the one capable of improving the lives of Bicolanos at the present time? Are you smoking kush or something? Do your math, arrovo will be in office for less than two years and she is in a bunker mentality all the time. The ODPs are now in quandary because of the Lozada expose. Try the PCIJ blog on the articles on how the development projects for the countrysides have been screwed by the arrovo government.

    And for being oragon, you know growing up in the “bulod” where an occassional “taga-banwaan” or taga-Naga or “taga Maynila namin” visits and makes a hoity-toity remark on how we appear, well…”lusi”…we survived and we thrived, and if that is crude to you, boo hoo…

    BTW, you are contradicting yourself by saying that Roco’s electoral performance in Bicol is dissapointing yet he still won.

    Straighten yourself up, son.

    • grd on February 18, 2008 at 3:52 am

    I have always been wary of politicians, but that doesn’t mean that we just stop and dither while the Executive goes on unchecked with corruption, cover-ups, and abuse power to name a few. Now Opposition does not only apply to politicians, it also applies to people sick and tired of the shenanigans of the corrupt in government… kabayan

    who’s stopping you and the others from opposing an abusive govt and helping curb corruption? you mean the forces of good will not prevail unless you join hands with the forces of evil? in return what will you offer to the devil? I have no doubt that if the current powers that be are removed, jdv and other turncoats will have their ample rewards just like chavit. and so the cycle and manipulations of the people continue. so why take part in a sham like that? if you and other patriots here are really serious about change and fighting corruption, remove the bad eggs from your ranks. otherwise, I would think that given the chance to be in gloria’s shoes, you and your ilk would be doing the same.

    • UP n student on February 18, 2008 at 3:54 am

    UPn, why does it have to be either/or?

    Is this Abe?

    Do you believe it should be ‘OR’? Your post above seems to faintly advise that Filipinos should have LESS street-marches DIRECT DEMOCRACY, and that communities should work harder with their specific representatives to Congress not just to make laws but also to see to it that the laws they make are not useless, wasteful or harmful and are being applied according to the purposes intended.

    Of course, what I thought I saw may not be what Abe intended to say…… so I ask questions.

    • kimosabe27 on February 18, 2008 at 3:55 am

    5 star hotels for economic development, how Imeldific…ha ha ha classic

    • UP n student on February 18, 2008 at 3:57 am

    … and I have never heard that Naga city Mayor Jesse Robredo is a bitchslapping kind ….

    • kimosabe27 on February 18, 2008 at 3:57 am

    Let them eat cakes!!! ha ha ha

    • cvj on February 18, 2008 at 4:01 am

    UPn, not sure what Abe’s response will be but, as for me, i believe it should be ‘or’.

    • cvj on February 18, 2008 at 4:07 am

    …which means having both genuine representatives within the Institutions of State and direct democracy as exercised by the citizens in the Public Sphere.

    • kimosabe27 on February 18, 2008 at 4:08 am

    @ Vic

    So how should the Phil. Senate go about with its investigation? a full court press that is. here in the united states, the democrats are utilizing a two-pronged approach, a genteel facade with Harry Reid, yet down to the subcommittees the work has been fast and furious, particularly with the Iraq “Blackwater merc group” investigations, the FISA law and illegal wiretapping as well as other incendiary issues.

    • UP n student on February 18, 2008 at 4:19 am

    cvj: I hear you. I ask the question of Abe because in New Jersey where he is at (or maybe he is in Iowa or Florida), street-marching direct democracy to PROTEST is quite rare, and I think ( I don’t know what Abe thinks)… I think it is because the communities of US-of-A believe that with all the polling and surveying and bubbling-to-the-top methodology that the 2 parties have in place and a US-citizen being able to make a telephone call to his/her congressman’s office, the US leadership hears. (May not act on what they hear, but the leadership hears).
    I suspect that Filipinos are more of “… our leadership does not hear us!!!” group of people. The plaint really is “… how can I get my local congressman to hear me”, and this is a symptom of a worse problem than the complaint about “…but GMA does not hear me”!
    On the other hand, Nash did make a blog entry about Baguio community recalling one of their mayors, so hopefully I am wrong.

    • cvj on February 18, 2008 at 4:27 am

    Sorry UPn, i meant to say i think it should be ‘and‘ (as per my explanation at 4:07am above).

    • Bencard on February 18, 2008 at 4:30 am

    not your survival but your boorishness and haughtiness are what’s crude, noy!

    i said roco won but not overwhelmingly. can you comprehend that?

    we are talking about initiative. do you think, should the the project commence “now na” in gma’s watch, some idiot successor of her in 2010 would scrap it, and gut what gma has already started because he/she couldn’t bear the fact that it was initiated and actually implemented by gma? i can’t believe there’s a pinoy with that kind of inggit. i may be smoking “kush” but it appears you are doing shabu, son.

    you are making a big deal about lozada’s “expose”. i don’t think the country cares vis a vis gma. the 9,000 demonstrators sure don’t indicate otherwise. in any event, as you probably know, regarding the southrail project, gma will not actually do the job herself. and i don’t give a shit what your pcij says.

    • cvj on February 18, 2008 at 4:34 am

    grd, i’m glad you’re no longer pretending to be anti-Arroyo.

    • kimosabe27 on February 18, 2008 at 4:45 am

    waaah, waaaah

    Now listen, son, zeal and passion should not be confounded with boorishness and haughtiness. the difference? good and evil. standing up against the sleazy corruption of arrovo is good. defending her actions is bad.

    take a deep breath and let that sink in…I know it’s hard…even saul has to walk to Damascus to have an epiphany…

    again, on your self-contradiction with roco, i don’t have to explain as, it is, to borrow from abe, either or.

    on the initiative…son, every change of administration has a different agenda in the offing, however, robredo’s and lray’s painstaking work to uplift the conditions of fellow bicolanos should not be piggybacked on the Orwellian machinations of a fake presidency.

    finally, son, watch that shitty mouth of yours and stop lambasting lozada, he is a bigger bicolano than you and i could ever be

    p.s. if you may need intervention for your drug addiction, i know of agencies who can help you. it’s still not too late, son

    • Bencard on February 18, 2008 at 4:48 am

    5-star hotels for tourism, son. you can’t expect world travelers (not you, cause you probably live with relatives) to live in mediocre accommodations, and come back for more of the same. don’t be a smart aleck, your attempt at sarcasm falls flat.

    • vic on February 18, 2008 at 4:52 am

    Kimosabe 27, the Senate here has two options, is it going on fact-finding probe or witch hunt? And it has to make it clear which one it wants. for the moment it is not sure which direction it is going. And if facts finding it wants then all members should put their acts together and do a proper investigations instead of grandstanding and trying to defend their backers. It is very obvious that Enrile, Defensor and Administrations Senators are not interested in finding the facts and also very obvious that the oppositions are more of looking after the 20l0 presidential elections rather than doing the business on hand. that’s the way i see the process anyways.

    Usually in our case, the opposition Parties will just do the research, gather the evidence thru the access of information act where they can access government files, except those concern National Security and declared off limits by courts order upon invocation by authorities and just task the government about them in a daily question periods, where the Government has to answer all allegations and if it can not give satisfactory answer then call the proper agency or agencies to investigate. But most of the Time it is the Media who do the Job of the Opposition with their Investigative Skills And the Government has to answer credible allegations, and most were..

    • kimosabe27 on February 18, 2008 at 4:59 am

    @ Bencard

    I know that former public officials like you who have thrived on the largesse of taxpayers like us have to spend their looted millions somewhere, but sheesh, that’s the reason why you are in america in the first place, aside from running from the law.

    yes, when i’m in the philippines, i live with my relatives, even friends because, unlike you, i am loved and they want my company…

    you must be suffering from a terrible disease or you might have done something to piss someone off that is why you seek the refuge of 5 star hotels.

    and thanks for complimenting me, Voltaire, Rizal and the other great ones have been known to be smart alecks

    peace

    • Bencard on February 18, 2008 at 5:05 am

    maybe lozada is bigger than you, for all i care. i can assure you, my man, he is not bigger than me in any way, shape or form. he is one bicolano (he looks pure chinese to me, with my apologies to the chinese community) i’m not too proud of (perhaps, make it two). shitty-mouth? if your’s was anything like your hero lozada’s, both of you would need industrial-strength mouthwash, better still, arsenic, to curb the pollution you both are spewing into the ether.

    p.s. it takes a user to know about drug addiction.

    • kimosabe27 on February 18, 2008 at 5:11 am

    @ vic

    “Kimosabe 27, the Senate here has two options, is it going on fact-finding probe or witch hunt”

    Again difference in perspective. since its part of their duty to investigate, they should be allowed to do so. unless of course, it smacks of Mcarthyism which ruined individual lives.

    in the case of Lozada, it’s not the private citizens who are on the limelight but the fat pigs in government…let us see where this probe will finally end…hopefully it culminates with Jose Pidal and Abalos wearing orange jumpshirts.

    • kimosabe27 on February 18, 2008 at 5:14 am

    Bencard I have to end this, you are now sounding like a whipped cunt.

    • vic on February 18, 2008 at 5:16 am

    And all the other guilty individuals too. and this time, no pardon, please…

    • Bencard on February 18, 2008 at 5:21 am

    kimosabe27, quit speculating wildly. i have never been a public official in the philippines. i was a young practicing lawyer when i left. and i was not “running from the law”. i have never been accused, much less convicted of anything.

    • Bencard on February 18, 2008 at 5:24 am

    whipped cunt? take it from a vanquished debater cum judge!

    • magdiwang on February 18, 2008 at 5:43 am

    Im perplex with the rabid GMA haters here. Do you really believe that people will just believe Lozada at face value?? Do you expect us to just roll over and express our indignation on what he is alluding to? Individuals are not that dumb to be swayed easily. What people wants to see are unequivocal evidence of corruption being perpetuated and not some guy hurling wild accusations with the hope something will stick. Filipinos are now more discerning what they read and hear. They are tired of politicians playing their little games. They dont want to undermine what we have gained the last few years economically.

    • benign0 on February 18, 2008 at 7:23 am

    “Benigno,

    We don’t have the power of recall over Congress members, the VP, and the President.

    Could you please clarify what you meant by

    “(3) Persistenly holding ourselves to account for the characters we VOTE for.”?” — justice league

    I meant understanding clearly the implications of who we vote for; said implications include:

    (1) How long it will take to rectify things if we vote for the wrong person (i.e. the next election);

    (2) How well the person we are voting for keeps an open channel of communication with their constituents;

    (3) Our responsibilities as citizens to work WITH our representative through the PROPER CHANNELS.

    It’s kind of like a child who throws a tantrum after finding out that a toy that he begged his mom to buy only a few minutes ago wasn’t as much fun as he thought it would be.

    Pinoys routinely throw tantrums (in the form of these moronic street “revolutions”) whenever we find that the congressmen we elected through our cherished “rights to vote” turned out to be cretins. This simply begs the question — Who acted like the cretin in the first place?

    • james on February 18, 2008 at 7:48 am

    Lozada confessed to the nation he robbed the tax payers for years..then he apologized ‘mea culpa’ then said ‘I tell you you were with me but let me keep my loot!

    and he’s a hero? my foot!

    • JMCastro on February 18, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Magdiwang:

    Have you seen the latest advertisement in Andok’s chicken manok? It requires their applicants to have college experience to be a part of their food crew.

    Ordinary Filipinos are increasingly pessimistic of attaining their aspirations — a stable family life, a house, a decent-paying job, and good education for their kids.

    Most politicians and virtually all media are promising all of these, that’s why the sense I get from my conversations with them is that the government should be responsible for their welfare. No one is telling them that they should work and sacrifice for it, that true people power comes from blood, sweat and tears — and that of all three bodily fluids, it mostly comes from sweat.

    Just about the only people delivering the message of people working for their power are activists working in the countryside — the government response is to brand them “pink” and “red”, and launching police and military operations against them.

    If there is no people power, if people are convinced that they should just perpetually sit in the sidelines, then this battle is lost, and GMA and her cohorts will continue their own brand of traditional politics/democracy minus the will of the people.

    • tonio on February 18, 2008 at 8:03 am

    thank you, various people, for all your observations about this Lozada guy.

    it is too hasty to make him the hero of the next revolution.

    please.

    i just hope this guy gives up some real good, reliable, verifiable, rules of evidence compliant information.

    and then turn himself in for all the crap he’s done.

  2. Abe: I’m betting that you will (again) choose not to respond to questions, but does your post above also mean that you have bought into REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT as opposed to direct democracy EDSA marches/people power? – UPn

    UPn,

    Do you remember the interfaith rally at the Rizal Park on Dec. 17, 2006 organized to foil the efforts of majority pro-administration lawmakers in the Lower House to rewrite the constitution via a constituent assembly minus the participation of the Upper House of the bicameral Philippine Congress? The reckless move of the House had generated nationwide public indignation threatening to explode into another people power until the administration congressmen and Malacañang backed off.

    I have reacted to the event with a commentary about “People Power, part of the rules of the game” (quite akin to cvj’s insight of Feb. 18, 2008 @ 4:07 am). I will share here some excerpts that I hope will answer your question.

    ———-

    One should not lose sight of the fact that the mere warning snarls of People Power had already resulted in deterring the duplicitous scheming of the majority in the Lower House and some Palace operators before the celebratory rally. As a form of external checks and balances, the resurgent movement not only cut through the illogic of blatantly numeral ratiocination of the people’s representatives that had attended the two abortive impeachments against President Arroyo but also preempted the slow if measured pace of the power judicial review when invoked in the normal operation of procedural democracy. In this recent exhibition, the successful check was external but not extra-constitutional, which means that the institution of People Power has proven that it can operate within the rules of the game of the system in place.

    It is well understood that the rules of the game allow political competitions of many sorts such as among political parties, and even inter-chamber contests. But often, these competitions do not guarantee the political choices of the majority although they have the effect of stimulating the vibrancy of the minorities (civil societies).

    The preferences of the intense minorities, when communicated in an organized way, must be taken into account by the minority (the political and economic elites) in making political decisions. For, when People Power is institutionalized (and I do believe that since the Spirit of ’86 that had ended the Marcos dictatorship, People Power has ensconced itself as an institution in Philippine politics) the elites may only ignore at their peril the choices of the intense minorities.

    ———

    I then explained my ideation of People Power democracy which, aside from Madison’s view that “in republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates,” is the other point I wanted to drive home above. I’m pretty sure I’ve shared these thoughts before here but I’m reposting them anew because, UPn, I want you to lose your bet this time, hah.

    Here we go:

    When institutions (civil society), which mediate between families and the State, assert their primacy, the result could be their collectivization into Civil Society. Whereas elitism is the rule of the privileged minority, civil society governance is the rule by minorities. Civil Society, on the other hand, is a monopoly of the legitimate use of power by the great majority. In this context, Civil Society equates with the sovereign will – supreme and absolute. Therefore, Civil Society, theoretically, no less than People Power, empirically, is the conception of the State itself.

    To illustrate this, the political system instituted in the American constitution by its founding fathers was a compromise, based on distrust, between, on the one hand, the numerical majority (the masses) together with the minorities (some idealistic elites and middle-class Americans who supported the “leveling” sentiments) and, on the other, the privileged minority (the merchants, financiers, manufacturers, and certain wealthy landholders) as to who, what and when to exercise the monopoly of the powers of Civil Society. The paramount question then was whether to vest the monopoly of those powers in the many at the expense of the few or vice versa.

    People Power democracy, on the other hand, is the exercise by the people – the Civil Society – of the republican principle of the last say which may result to replace (as in People Power I) or keep (as in People Power II) the existing system. It does not decide particular issues for that would notionally be direct democracy. The triumph of People Power democracy should be measured not upon its physical manifestation that successfully brought about the immediate change desired, which is an end in itself, but when the consensus formed by civil society or civil societies – those politically informed, active and diverse minorities groups such as the business sectors, political alliances, labor unions, religious organizations, and the like – is brought to be reckoned with by those formally vested with policymaking. It is thus a continuing transformative citizenship. Whenever civil societies are marginalized in the governance process, the result could either be the rule by the privileged minority (or the oligarchy) or by the multitude, irrespective of the agreed upon formalities of governance.

    In my view, in a true democracy, the people (the multitude) and the minority (the oligarchy) do not rule; the minorities (civil societies) do.

    • benign0 on February 18, 2008 at 8:08 am

    “If there is no people power, if people are convinced that they should just perpetually sit in the sidelines, then this battle is lost, and GMA and her cohorts will continue their own brand of traditional politics/democracy minus the will of the people”

    Let’s not forget, however, that even people who sit on their arses all day still have the right to vote during election times.

    So your statement “minus the will of the people” isn’t entirely true.

    • justice league on February 18, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Ca T,

    I corrected my post to you by inserting another word.

    That might tell you what I’m driving at.

    • justice league on February 18, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Benigno,

    I hope you considered the strong nature of the multi party system here.

    And without the power of recall, basically your recommendation #3 amounts to what?

    Not necessarily agreeing to your child tantrum analogy but since you used it anyway; what should happen when it was the child who noticed that the “toy” turned out to have jagged edges?

    • Jeg on February 18, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Abe: The first congressional function is called legislation and the other is known as oversight.

    The third is called disbursement of pork. It is this third function that candidates like Manny Pacquiao and his ilk concentrate on. And it is this function of Congress that the providers of pork use as a means to buy representatives.

    • Kabayan on February 18, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Hi Manolo,

    I am glad and thankful that finally the List of the actions of Congress and votes in Key issues are now available for download(This is a quick download from the site of Black List/White List Campaign; in Excel format.)The Congressmen can now be held accountable for their actions and their deeds are for all to see.

    See source at:
    http://www.blacknwhite-movement.com/alpha/index.php

    Also individual Filipinos can now submit a black and white list for Congressmen and now reveal whether of not if their Representatives are a force or evil or a force of good in their respective district.

    I am not certain if this Black and White List site came about as a result of my suggestion or if this site was up a long time ago, nevertheless an excellent move for having accountability and a good source for decision making future elections or investigations. Perhaps a check and balance Background Investigation for the veracity of submitted reports to B&W would be the next suggested step.

    The Force of Good finally spreads out the light so now darkness shall now be revealed in the open. Kaya sa mga Tongressmen na gahaman, mag isip-isip na kayo.

    • lee on February 18, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Whatever Lozada haters!, whatever!. Whether he’s the Osama Never Been Laden or the anti-Christ as long as he’s telling the TRUTH, that’s fine with me. That’s what matters most. So to those who say hero my foot, then morality my huge ass.

    • cvj on February 18, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Jeg, on your observation, i think many people see that the independence of the Legislature has effectively been compromised by the Executive’s control of the disbursement of pork barrel. Someone should go to the Supreme Court and argue the unconstitutionality of this scheme. Either they abolish all pork barrel allocations or at least remove the control of its release from the Executive.

    • Jon Mariano on February 18, 2008 at 11:26 am

    My preference would be for the pork barrel allocations to be done away with. This way, only those who just want to make laws (and the power hungry) will want to run for congress.

    • cvj on February 18, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Jon, that’s my preference as well but i believe a good portion of that pork barrel should go towards increasing the salaries of the Congress (and other public officials) so that they will have a legitimate source of livelihood and not resort to off the books type of arrangements.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on February 18, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Breaking news – According to Lozada, Romy Neri described GMA as “evil”.

    Matagal ko nang alam yun.

    • vic on February 18, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Breaking News – According to GMA news Airport’s Executives, and Cops implicated in Lozada “abduction” snubbed Senate Hearing claiming the right not to Incriminate Themselves…and rightfully so..

    Yes, because the Nature of the Senate Hearing where witnesses under oath in Investigation in Aid of Legislation can be later prosecuted in other proceedings by their Testimonies other than perjury or contradictory evidence.

    That is why before any Aid of Legislation Hearing should take Place, Criminal Investigations should take precedence in order to solicit truthful Testimonies without Fear of Prosecution from Witnesses during the Senate Hearing or if a Criminal Investigation is in Progress, let it go forward without Hindrance and then Politicians would just say if asked..the case is now in Court.

    • vic on February 18, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Let me rephrase the last statement: Politicians would just say if asked..the case is now Under Police Investigations or now in Court…we don’t want to undermine our Police or our Courts..

Load more

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.