The Mandate of Heaven (concluded the next day)

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“Unity Walk”
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“Solidarity Walk”

Same walk, different caption. A sign of the state of confusion at the Palace. Is it just me, or or are these pictured (from yesterday, the so-called “solidarity walk,” swiftly retitled “unity walk” at the Palace; by the way, see abashet joey on the President and PhotoShop) too creepily reminiscent of the End Days for Estrada, when he, too, tried to show his administration wasn’t beleaguered, by trotting out his cabinet?

Who among them is in or in the official family? The Inquirer editorial yesterday asked, Is it Neri next? and today it says it’s Panic time.

Trot, trot, clip-clop, tick-tock. What do you get?
A horse gone wild: Adviser calls Arroyo ‘luckiest b*tch’.
That’s just karma for what must surely have been a Palace factotum-released tusongbaboy YouTube video, featuring what seem to be wiretapped conversations between Jun Lozada and Joey de Venecia.

The Financial Times reports the President may be losing her fondness for playing the China card. I’ve begun rather interesting scuttlebutt of an intriguing kind, involving a government commitment to relinquishing our claims to the Spratley Islands in exchange for investments. But nothing firmer than that.

The ancient Chinese believed that the “mandate of Heaven” was revealed by tangible signs, such as flood or famine. Such misfortunes were indications that the legitimacy of a ruler was waning. Confucius elaborated the idea further, and taught that the “mandate of Heaven” was dependent on knowing the moral order of the universe, and demonstrating it in the six relationships that govern superiors and subordinates (i.e. minister to prince, friend to friend, teacher to student).

These relationships are evident in the various groups bestirred by recent events.

The Action for Economic Reforms is holding a presscon-forum on “The Godmother and the Philippine mafia” on Friday, Feb. 22 9:30 am to 12 noon at the Sta. Ana Room, 3rd Floor, U.P. College of Law. On the same day, February 22, The Law Student Government Coordinating Council, composed of the Student Councils of the Ateneo Law, UP, UST, FEU-La Salle and UE Schools of Law will be holding various activities (see i’m NOT a stop along the way. i’m a a DESTINATION for details). And Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan has a forum on Feb. 23 (with regards to the Ateneo, read the concrete steps proposed by Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan in their statement, as well as those proposed by the Ateneo’s Department of Political Science in its statement (the question then becomes, of course, what if government refuses to do anything?). On Feb. 25, there will be a “Concert for Truth, Accountablity and Reform” at the Ateneo from 4-8 pm (for information contact Ms. Reese Fernandez Programs Head, Team RP Tel: (02) 426-5657 <[email protected] yahoo.com>)

Starting February 24, it seems Masses “for Truth vs. Corruption” are going to be held, sequentially, in Adamson University, the University of Santo Tomas, de la Salle University, and then Miriam College.

In recent weeks, the political landscape of the Philippines has been shaken because of one man, Rodolfo Noel Lozada, Jr., and his past proximity to Romulo Neri, Jr.

Both are of Chinese extraction; I have even heard that Romulo Neri, Jr. practices a form of divination, the I Ching. At this point it seems to me, whether consciously or not, both consider themselves Mandarins.

The Analects of Confucius, L. Giles translation.

The first two extracts concern definitions of good government. The first involves the “five excellent things” and the “four evil things”:

Tzú Chang asked Confucius, saying: What are the essentials of good government? — The Master said: Esteem the five excellent, and banish the four evil things; then you will become fit to govern. — Tzu Chang asked: What are the five excellent things? — The Master replied: The wise and good ruler is benevolent without expending treasure; he lays burdens on the people without causing them to grumble; he has desires without being covetous; he is serene without being proud; he is awe-inspiring without being ferocious. — He is benevolent without expending treasure: what does that mean? — The Master replied: He simply follows the course which naturally brings benefit to the people. Is he not thus benevolent without expending treasure? In imposing burdens, he chooses the right time and the right means, and nobody can grumble. His desire is for goodness, and he achieves it; how should he be covetous? The wise and good ruler never allows himself to be negligent, whether he is dealing with many men or with few, with small matters or with great. Is this not serenity without pride? He has his cap and robe properly adjusted, and throws a noble dignity into his looks, so that his gravity inspires onlookers with respect. Is he not thus awe-inspiring without being ferocious? — Tzú Chang then asked: What are the four evil things? — The Master said: Cruelty: — leaving the people in their native ignorance, yet punishing their wrong-doing with death. Oppression: requiring the immediate completion of tasks imposed without previous warning. Ruthlessness: — giving vague orders, and then insisting on punctual fulfilment. Peddling husbandry: — stinginess in conferring the proper rewards on deserving men.

The second related extract involves the tangible signs of good government, and the things that can be dispensed with, and the thing that absolutely cannot be dispensed with:

Tzú Kung asked for a definition of good government. The Master replied: It consists in providing enough food to eat, in keeping enough soldiers to guard the State, and in winning the confidence of the people. — And if one of these three things had to be sacrificed, which should go first? — The Master replied: Sacrifice the soldiers. — And if of the two remaining things one had to be sacrificed, which should it be? — The master said: Let it be the food. From the beginning, men have always had to die. But without the confidence of the people no government can stand at all.

Then two extracts in a similar vein, on the means to maintain public confidence, and the means to instill harmony in the people.

A simple rule of thumb concerning the hiring and firing of officials:

Duke Ai asked, saying: What must I do that my people may be contented? – Confucius replied: Promote the upright and dismiss all evildoers, and the people will be contented. Promote the evil-doers and dismiss the upright, and the people will be discontented.

A similar reiteration concerning promotions:

Chi K’-ang Tzú asked by what means he might cause his people to be respectful and loyal, and encourage them in the path of virtue. The Master replied: Conduct yourself towards them with dignity, and you will earn their respect; be a good son and a kind prince, and you will find them loyal; promote the deserving and instruct those who fall short, and they will be encouraged to follow the path of virtue.

And then, an extract pointing to the importance of precision on the part of policy makers:

Tzú Lu said: The Prince of Wei is waiting, Sir, for you to take up the reins of government. Pray what is the first reform you would introduce? — The Master replied: I would begin by defining terms and making them exact. — Oh, indeed! exclaimed Tzú Lu. But how can you possibly put things straight by such a circuitous route? — The Master said: How unmannerly you are, Yu! In matters which he does not understand, the wise man will always reserve his judgement. If terms are not correctly defined, words will not harmonise with things. If words do not harmonise with things, public business will remain undone. If public business remains undone, order and harmony will not flourish. If order and harmony do not flourish, law and justice will not attain their ends. If law and justice do not attain their ends, the people will be unable to move hand or foot. The wise man, therefore, frames his definitions to regulate his speech, and his speech to regulate his actions. He is never reckless in his choice of words.

And what about wrongdoers?

Chi K’ang Tzú questioned Confucius on a point of government, saying: Ought not I to cut out off the lawless in order to establish law and order? What do you think? -Confucius replied: Sir, what need is there of the death penalty in your system of government? If you showed a sincere desire to be good, your people would likewise be good. The virtue of the prince is like unto wind; that of the people, like unto grass. For it is the nature of grass to bend when the wind blows upon it.

In sum, then, in the face of wrongdoing on the part of officials, considering the things that make for effective government, and which weaken it:

Confucius rejoined: Ch’iu, an honest man hates your hypocrite who will not openly avow his greed, but tries instead to excuse it. I have heard that the ruler of a state or of a clan is troubled not by the smallness of its numbers but by the absence of even-handed justice; not by poverty but by the preresence of discontent; for where there is justice there will be no poverty; where there is harmony there will be no lack in numbers; where there is content there will be no revolution. This being the case then, if outlying communities resist your authority, cultivate the arts of refinement and goodness in order to attract them; and when you have attracted them, make them happy and contented. Now you two, Yu and Ch’iu, are aiding and abetting your master; here is an outlying community which resists your authority, and you are unable to attract it. Partition and collapse are imminent in your own State, and you are unable to preserve it intact. And yet you are planning military aggression within in the borders of your country! Verily I fear that Chi-sun’s troubles will come, not from Chuan-yú, but from the interior of his own palace.

Do you need someone else to tie this all together for you? Including the abstract at the end of this entry? Thank you, Left Flank.

The question then… as my column for today is titled, is for people to see what the Minimum and maximum goals they want achieve from hereon up to 2010 will be. (someone who takes the court of public opnion seriously is Chances in the Starlight).
Blogger un suplemento metafisico a la realidad de mi existencia slices and dices things very well:

The administration shall be presumed innocent until they are proven guilty. However, its actions do not allow me to do so. The anti-truth mafia has scribbled so much manipulation of evidence, information, and facts that the presumption of innocence has been vaporized. Instead of testifying for the “truth” the co-conspirators of the anti-truth mafia has been hiding behind what they call “executive privilege.” The administration has pushed the envelope too far. It is now at the edge of a cliff and is desperately holding on by trying to cover-up all pieces of evidence that may eventually lead to its demise.

Thanks to the anti-truth mafia’s propaganda, Jun Lozada has been accused of harboring nothing but hearsay which they claim is inadmissible in courts. However, he does say these statements under oath, thus he has with him what is called testimonial evidence. “A woman who has been raped can send a man in jail just with her testimonies.”(Escudero, 2008) In addition, he seems to be very consistent with his statements unlike some of the anti-truth mafia. Jun Lozada was also accused of being corrupt – which he admitted with a smile, and I think this makes him all the more credible – He was part of the project, he was an insider, he knew the goings-on of the ZTE-NBN deal.

Jun Lozada is neither a saint nor a hero but he has with him the truth. Whether he came out to tell the truth for the sake of truth or for some other ulterior motives – which is hard to think of considering that his testifying in the Senate has put him in a very precarious situation. If he were to lie, what motive was so great that he was willing to put himself out of the pan and into the fire almost voluntarily? Testifying has put Jun Lozada between the legendary monsters Scylla and Charybdis. He is currently between hell and the deep blue sea. In whatever perspective I try to view the course of events for Jun Lozada, I can’t seem to find any advantage that he might gain in testifying. In fact, he was “forced” to do so – as with the summons, this implies that testifying is not advantageous for him. On the other hand, he might be thinking of a career in showbiz. If that is so, then he is making a good start. We are probably watching one of the best soap operas ever made.

It doesn’t matter whether or not the bringer of truth has been tainted with wrongdoings in the past. What is more important is that he has the truth with him and so his voice shall be heard. The substance lie in the statements, not in the personality. An honest man will voluntarily take off his clothes to show that he has nothing to hide; while a thief would wear layers upon layers of clothes just to hide whatever it is that he has stolen.

In the rest of the blogosphere, the Ateneo Mass last Monday was covered by Don’t fight darkness. Bring the light, and darkness will disappear and by Mahal ko Pilipinas!!!!! and …strawberry-filled donuts… (Lozada’s nephew) and with photos by Blahg, Standing in Motion, neo saicon, sj while thatniceboy gives an insight into the minds of those who remain detached. There were other activities, too: it’s a yummy world recounts attending a Mass at the Redemptorist Church. highwayse7en8 doesn’t like Masses with political aims. Neither does priest-blogger Bangor to Bobbio. On the other hand, Postcard Headlines in Cebu describes the first glimmerings of people bucking the view that the city is “GMA Country”.

As for Lozada, lifelong learning compares what he’s doing to debriding dead tissue; pine for pine compares folksy Lozada and Abalos stories; as for views, there are the pro: there’s lecheplan, and four-eyed joie’s thoughts as well as Verities of a Writer’s heart; con: you can’t be more straightforward in expressing skepticism than under deconstruction; and neutral: preMEDitated wants to believe, but doesn’t yet. dino! dedicates poetry to the man. rl_829 thinks he’s a dead man. My Mirror to Reality undertakes an interesting experiment: what if Lozada is 100% good, or what if he’s 100% evil?Law and ICT and mga kababalaghan sa buhay ko take opposing views on whether Lozada’s phone being hacked is believable or not. Vincula points out we should give thanks for the demolition team assembled by the Palace.

There are, of course, continuing views on what’s going on. Katataspulong some time ago, wondered if people really want decent officials, or whether the tangled web of corruption makes for a comfortable pigsty for everyone. jmtaylor has a bone to pick with politicians in general. Romwald’s Realm tackles the dynamics of corruption: subtle rebel runs down a list of the ironies of life (politics-wise).

Lawyer notes of marichu c. lambino points out that the government keeps corroborating the testimony of Lozada (tart comments on Gaite’s admitting he gave Lozada half a million in Alleba Politics and Bong Montesa’s weblog ). The Mount Balatucan Monitor is certain of the outcome of government efforts at damage control. The Warrior Lawyer takes a similarly skeptical look at the Ombudsman, etc.

And yet… there are those who prefer to stick it out with the administration because they continue to loath those who oppose her more. In a sense, the “same-same” message track of the Palace continues to work, as Walk This Way echoes:

I mean, yes, the First Gentleman is a little piglet. No doubt about that. But please don’t tell me that all the politicians pursuing this issue aren’t little piglets either (below). Getting little greasy slices of pork from projects like the NBN is modus operandi in ANY administration – it’s no secret to us and it’s no secret to the senators doing the grilling. It’s been the modus operandi for decades! Where else would ANY administration get money to do things like, oh, give to senators and congressmen for their election campaigns? Senators and Congressmen don’t come for free, ya know. Tip: instead of looking at the noisy ones, let’s try and count who are the quiet ones in Senate and Congress. Perhaps they are quiet because they already were given their pieces of the pork. And it’s only the squealing ones that are upset because they didn’t get theirs. Hence, if it’s all just piggies fighting piggies over pieces of pork that they just pass on to other piggies, then it’s just politics in the end. Period. Philippine politics and governance is sick, that is as obvious as obvious can be. But will this Jun Lozada scandal be the catalyst for the great changes that need to be made? Ha! Great changes will be done in this society through small ways and on a person to person basis. Paradigm shifts don’t happen through Senate hearings. Trust me, this “moral revolution” WILL NOT be televised.
Do I think corruption should be addressed? Yes. Do I think getting rid of Gloria will solve this issue? No. Do I agree with JDV that a moral revolution in government should be pursued? Yes. But will that revolution come from Senate and from Congress or from JDV himself. Hell no. Parehong baboy silang lahat. So that’s why I’m ignoring the politics and protests. And judging by their sad rally last week (Please. Makati Business Club, Black and White Movement, Cory Aquino et al. More people attended the Beyonce concert than your rally), I think others are too.

A senior citizen, My Life in the Philippines, is ambivalent about removing the President from office but for different reasons:

I consider GMA having lost the “Moral Authority” to continue on as President until Yr2010. Granting PGMA credit for a resurging Philippine Economy does not justify Moral Bankrupcy. While our kind of Democracy has made ours a “Country-of-Laws” (where Public Issues ought to be decided in the heirarchy of our Courts), a collective judgement of a fully-informed Citizenry (by a Free Press) in the Court-of-Public Opinion does carry a strong moral value.
…On the other hand, I believe: (1st) That People Power I & II have not brought about a “Better Philippines”. I consider “Graft & Corruption,et.al” as an Ethical Problem which have not and could not be remedied by street-mandated Political Solutions – i.e. People Power Change-of-Presidents; (2nd) That the Church (visibly represented by the Religious Priest & Nuns in the Streets, in Congress, in the Courts) have failed in its Pastoral Work of enlightening and encouraging Political Leaders to move away from the evil of Greed-for-Money – thus necessitating “Graft & Corruption”.
…Given all of the above, I contend that it would be good for our country for PGMA to continue in office until Yr2010. But, she must take the lead for all in Public Office in a “Moral Crusade for Good Government”. She (together with all who would follow her example) could redeem herself/themselves in the Public Eye and erase all doubts about “Hidden Wealth” by a public demonstration of giving-up 90% of their respective Family’s Private Wealth accumulated during their entire Political Career. I liken this “Moral Crusade” to a “National Cleansing” following the Korean Example – not too long ago.

The senior citizen blogger isn’t alone: UST student james_cartmire says something similar:

i got into some debate though when i opened that my position, no matter where investigations lead, was for gma to definitely finish her term in 2010. i said that even if everything leads to impeachment, the impeachment process, being a political process, will just muddle and broker ties with old faces, further preventing genuine reform efforts, and that the whole gma vendetta might even ruin the promise of a new start in 2010. i also echoed what neri purportedly said (based on the supposed lozada document i received trhough mail) that an impeachment buzz would just increase government spending (i.e. malacañang diverting public funds to buy out representatives, opinion leaders and power brokers) and that all these crises could lead to another economic slump. after almost breaking to a 39-level before the nbn hearing resumed, just yesterday, the peso-dollar exchange rate was again P41 to $1.

And so, some are ambivalent about resignation or People Power (see paperchimes.net). Or the Catholic Church: Brown SEO asks some tough questions, as does Philippine Commentary opposes People Power. On the other hand, Ceci Da Supastar reproduces the soul-searching appeal of a member of the Left, who says they can’t afford to miss the bus again:

Why should we work with them? Because we all want the same short term goals, which are the end of the GMA administration, the reform of a corrupt system, and free and fair elections. We may disagree on our broad ideologies, but we agree that these are the immediate obstacles to our various long term goals.
But, perhaps more importantly, if there is anything we should have learned from our EDSA experiences, it is that we want bargaining chips when this is all over so that we can influence the future. And those bargaining chips only come in the form of weight of our participation and the numbers we draw.

And yet… Lunasandwich says people are increasingly interested, but still stumped on what to do:

I take this as a good sign, of the keen interest of the people to know how others feel or think about the issue. What has really struck me though is the disenchantment and shared distrust for almost all people in government…
It seems the enormity of the problem — graft and corruption (which does not end with Arroyo’s removal from office) and the deeply rooted social malaise — is not lost on the people. Sadly, while the problem has long been identified, at the moment, people still seem to be at loss on what to do.

Marvelous photos of the Senate hearings taken by Bro. Ceci of La Salle: Ceci’s Corner.

And here’s something eloquent by Yogon Multiplies: let’s remember to do the small stuff, too. lovelife?! – eto self supporting! ^_^ writes about school pride.

Thank you to the reader who sent me a copy of this paper: The Integrity of Corrupt States: Graft as an Informal State Institution by Keith Darden. Interesting abstract:

This article argues that corrupt practices such as bribery and embezzlement, which scholars have previously assumed to be evidence of the breakdown of the state, may reinforce the state’s administrative hierarchies under certain conditions. Drawing on a cross-national analysis of 132 countries and a detailed examination of the informal institutions of official graft in Ukraine, the article finds that where graft is systematically tracked, monitored, and granted by state leaders as an informal payment in exchange for compliance, it provides both an added incentive to obey leaders’ directives and the potent sanction of criminal prosecution in the event of disobedience. Where graft is informally institutionalized in this way, it provides the basis for state organizations that are effective at collecting taxes, maintaining public order, and repressing political opposition but that may undermine the development of liberal politics.

 

422 comments

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    • Kabayan on February 20, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Hi mlq3,

    From your above write up regarding Lunasandwich’s concern

    …I take this as a good sign, of the keen interest of the people to know how others feel or think about the issue. What has really struck me though is the disenchantment and shared distrust for almost all people in government…

    It seems the enormity of the problem — graft and corruption (which does not end with Arroyo’s removal from office) and the deeply rooted social malaise — is not lost on the people. Sadly, while the problem has long been identified, at the moment, people still seem to be at loss on what to do…

    This needs to be seriously discussed and analyzed. While the events of our nation seem to be speeding up, civil society yet have to discuss the safety net of ANY possible post-administration collapse.

    The social political leeches looking for an opening to exploit our country further, whatever their persuasion, should not be allowed to sit in governance ever again. At the very least an excellent third party check and balance system must be established outside the confines of government power and politics.

  1. whatever happens, whether GMA be removed or not, we must not accept ANY old face as our leaders again. i can even go and vote for fr.ed for president going by his track record as governor of pampanga.

    i could only count by the handful politicians who are worthy of their office. and not one of them is a senator or a congressman. two are governors, four are mayors, and a few are city councilors.

  2. If we don’t want to see the ancien regime once more, we should opt for revolution.

  3. ¡Basta Ya! ( Enough is Enough!)

    It’s Time To Say ENOUGH!

    As if the spins, half-truths and outright falsehoods of the spin doctors were not enough.

    As if the lies about the Hello Garci scandal were not enough.

    As if the switching of the ballot boxes in the Batasan was not enough.

    As if the squandering of billions of pesos in a litany of scandals since 2001 was not enough.

    As if the shroud of secrecy that binds this administration was not enough.

    As if the violations of human rights and the disappearance of Jonas Burgos and many others were not enough.

    As if the gross neglect of the very poor (except on election time) by this administration was not enough.

    As if the Palace bribery of congressmen and governors was not enough.

    As if the kleptocracy of Jose Pidal was not enough.

    Now ,after all that, we have the abduction of Jun Lozada and the subsequent cover-up .

    Now we have had enough!

    WE,FINALLY,HAD ENOUGH!

    ¡Basta Ya!

  4. If ZTE is like Watergate, then a word to the wise: don’t castrate the government too well, or it will invite a reaction. And, beware of the younger ones, especially the defense ministers and chiefs of staff!

    • magdiwang on February 20, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Wow!!! You guys are talking already of a post GMA scenario here. It seems like the only acceptable thing is for GMA to be ousted. Do you really think GMA is the source of all what is wrong in our society?? Mark this post, if GMA is overthrown there will be more problems and all of you guys/gals are back posting lamenting the fact the the new powers that be have hijack the new government without implementing real reforms.

  5. blackshama, would you go as far as a revolution as bloody as france’s?

    i’ve always held that only by destroying every vestiges of the current phils can we create a new one.

  6. magdiwang, there won’t be any hijacking if snap elections are called. erase all the leaders we have till now and vote NEW ones in. erase the comelec we have now and put credible people in. then have snap elections. worried abt where to get the budget? there’s some sitting prettily at the president’s discretionary fund right now, plus some hefty pork barrel earmarked for the thieves this fiscal year. worried abt a junta? as long as all of us are united, people power will make those generals think twice. that or we face civil war. which is more the merrier for us. much more so if the war gets drawn out for years.

    let filipinos then fight for the phils they truly want. then let’s see if after that filipinos still don’t have a sense of country.

    • Jon Mariano on February 20, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Gloria’s resignation is also acceptable. She might just see it as for the good of the country. (eyes rolling).

    • magdiwang on February 20, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    I really admire your optimism in our society. Im also for the ideal scenario but Im a little bit more realistic. Whoever will be president will not get the necessary reforms implemented. There are just too much powerful interest groups to contend with. Short of a cultural revolution, nothing will change. We should work within the system to achieve the necessary reforms. This might be slow and protracted but it is the only alternative IMHO that is less disruptive to our fragile economy.

  7. Everyone please be advised: Rumor has it that GMA is planning on bribing local officials to stage a fake rally in her favor on the EDSA anniversary, Feb. 25. She wants people to believe that she still has the support of the silent majority. Let’s spread the word and not be fooled by yet another tactic of bribery and lies!

    I agree that what we have learned especially from EDSA II is that changing the president is not enough; there must also be some basic institutional changes. It is the system itself that is broken, it allows corruption and limits the space with which good people can work to bring benefits to everyone.

    Thus, the answer is a movement to not only remove GMA, but to institute an agenda of reforms that fix elections and corruption in the bureaucracy.

    • Jeg on February 20, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Speaking of post-GMA scenarios: Please, when we succeed and GMA steps down, for the love of all that’s holy, DONT celebrate. This isnt a victory. It means we failed yet again to make this work. It means for the past 7 years, good citizens did nothing and just shrugged their shoulders when GMA’s administration started abusing its powers.

    • jhay on February 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    The Palace has started the ‘Revenge of the Sith’ as the PNP filed a perjury charge against Jun Lozada’s wife while the Bastusan Pambansa comtemplates stripping the Church and religious groups who become involved in politics of their tax privileges.

    • tess on February 20, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Jeg, totally agree with you. Very sad really. She has to go, and she will go.

    • cvj on February 20, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Carlos Celdran’s (Walk this Way) blog entry demonstrates how too much skepticism leads to a breakdown in one’s moral compass.

    • Kabayan on February 20, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Moreover, we must be careful even of the currently “good” leaders we might have. A third-party check and balance system must be established to prevent the failure of post EDSA II government from repeating again and discourage new officials from “backsliding” into the old ways of corruption and abuse of power.

    Not only Gloria and a lot of her cabinet failed; even Senator Joker Arroyo who for the longest time I used to consider as a true patriot and defender of human rights failed. The lack of adequate third-party check and balances may be the reason for this; or maybe its simply his choice.

    Check out my link with new article and photo: Trying to understand Joker Arroyo, “to be a Vader or not to be a Vader, that is the question…”

    • Mike on February 20, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    The problem with a revolution, Blackshama & Devils, is that once you start it, no one controls it. We could end up like France…or we could end up like Cambodia.

  8. carlos celdran:

    Idea to float by the Senate: Start the moral revolution by commiting mass hara kiri. Zest-o juice drink with a dash of cyanide would be my cocktail of choice for you all.

    i think celdran is channeling austero. why call on them to commit suicide when it’s the arroyo administration who has betrayed our public trust and abused it’s power?

    • John Christian Canda on February 20, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    It’s too bad that we don’t have politicians in the mould of America’s paleoconservatives Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, and Duncan Hunter.

    • John Christian Canda on February 20, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    To borrow from a Pat Buchanan 2000 campaign ad, “Team Unity and Genuine Opposition are for sale.”

    • Nick on February 20, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    The question then becomes if The People want to exact their power. And because there lacks the moral authority on both sides, the indecision of the people is the result.

    • Nick on February 20, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Revolution cannot take place if there lacks moral authority because for it to happen, there must be a stark contrast from the before and to the after. If Noli is the after, is this really a revolution?

    • John Christian Canda on February 20, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    It seems that the Arroyo Administration and the Opposition are both sides of the same coin. But let’s hope that there are still a few good men and women from both sides of the political fence.

    • benign0 on February 20, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    “Short of a cultural revolution, nothing will change. We should work within the system to achieve the necessary reforms. This might be slow and protracted but it is the only alternative”

    Actually this is a solution that hasn’t been tried yet. Only because the more POPULAR options has always been Fiesta Revolution (the EASY path is always the preferred choice of people who are short on IMAGINATION). 😉

  9. On the cynical side I bet we still need more bloodshed and more bombings before everybody realize the kind of government they replaced Estrada with. Of course there will be more flat denials or in the words of Freud defining Defense Mechanism per-se:

    * Denial: Refusal to accept external reality because it is too threatening; arguing against an anxiety provoking stimuli by stating it doesn’t exist; resolution of emotional conflict and reduce anxiety by refusing to perceive or consciously acknowledge the more unpleasant aspects of external reality.
    * Distortion: A gross reshaping of external reality to meet internal needs.
    * Delusional Projection: Grossly frank delusions about external reality, usually of a persecutory nature.

    Seems like Joker Arroyo is reeling with one or all of them. ^_^

    • cvj on February 20, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Benign0, they tried a ‘cultural revolution’ in China. See where that led them.

  10. The problem with a revolution, Blackshama & Devils, is that once you start it, no one controls it. We could end up like France…or we could end up like Cambodia.

    that’s the fun part you see. at least we’re giving our country a 50-50 odds of going away like france 😀

    and is our country’s state today any less diff than cambodia? take away all the facade, our country is exactly like cambodia.

    besides, i have more faith in the filipino people than you. that’s why im willing to gamble on a bloody revolution. it’s total change or bust 😀

    • Danielle on February 20, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    I hope you’re not serious about wanting a revolution because that’s the last thing the country needs. Any change must be through peaceful means.
    On a lighter note, I was watching Wheel of Fortune (Kris Aquino’s) and Jun Lozada’s name was used as a clue.

    • benign0 on February 20, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Fearless forecast:

    I see this whole addiction to Edsa “revolutions” as something that will keep on spiralling — the periods in between these circuses getting shorter and shorter.

    At some point a president will come along — a veteran of several of these — who will know enough to use a HEAVY hand to crush any form of “revolution” violently if necessary.

    Maybe Gloria is this president.

    Walang sisihan. Pinoys, and our silly addiction to this fantasy called “people power” asked for this.

    • benign0 on February 20, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    “Benign0, they tried a ‘cultural revolution’ in China. See where that led them”

    The Philippines is NOT China, in case you haven’t noticed.

    • Darwin on February 20, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    I was talking to a friend earlier today about what to do given the increasing public anger over the ZTE scandal.

    My idea basically is this: all of us turn up the heat, not just on GMA, Neri and the Cabinet, but also on our congressmen so that they’re compelled to impeach GMA later this year when the ban expires. Yes, I know they’re crooks too. But if we do it well enough and they realize that their re-elections are at stake, the optimist in me thinks it can work.

    When GMA is impeached, we can ask the Senate to make sure the trial lasts for a few years to prevent Noli for assuming the Presidency (and have the benefit of running for the Presidency as an incumbent in 2010). They can convict her maybe shortly before the campaign period starts in February 2010.

    This way we not only expel the Malacañang mafia, we also prevent a Noli presidency. The best part is, if we stick to the Constitutional processes, I do not think our economic growth would be adversely affected. And our people will not have to suffer as much from having been again betrayed by its leaders.

    What do you guys think?

    • Mike on February 20, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    At some point a president will come along — a veteran of several of these — who will know enough to use a HEAVY hand to crush any form of “revolution” violently if necessary. – Benigno

    Is this a good thing, Benigs? It’s fine if that person’s a Lee Kwan Yew…but if it’s a Somoza? a Noriega? an Idi Amin? Does clamoring for good governance merit this kind of “leader”?

  11. What do you guys think?

    It’s no brainer. That simple.

    • Mita on February 20, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Saw the news report with this “walk” and laughed at the possible conversation between the president and sec. neri…

    Neri: hawak na kita sa leeg ngayon…YOU will do as I say…

    Gloria: tumahimik ka na jan…ginagawa ko na nga lahat ng hiningi mo!

    • Kabayan on February 20, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Somebody is still addicted to heavy handed mailed fist dictatorships

    • benign0 on February 20, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    “Is this a good thing, Benigs? It’s fine if that person’s a Lee Kwan Yew…but if it’s a Somoza? a Noriega? an Idi Amin? Does clamoring for good governance merit this kind of “leader”?”

    I didn’t say it is a “good thing”. I’m just saying that we may have it coming.

    Where do you see this string of street “revolutions” leading to? If another one comes along that is successful, that will simply make Pinoys more addicted to it.

    And we all wonder why corruption is so rampant in Pinoy society. It’s because by its ver inherent nature, Pinoys are ADDICTED to shortcuts and instant gratification.

    • benign0 on February 20, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    If Gloria were as shrewd as I think she is and knowning now in hindsight what complacency in the face of growing unrest can mean for an incumbent (ask Marcos and Erap), I’d say the thing to do would be to quell this forcefully asap.

    • ramrod on February 20, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    A look at the bigger picture – the Chinese Connection.

    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybz8M1TRc6o
    2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KYrTXK2pKE
    3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcQaa6IUiR0
    4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdImiG0lFgk

    • Mike on February 20, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    You’re right, Benigs. She’s been Marcosian so far, so we may be in for another 20 years of GMA rule, courtesy of a little bit of Martial Law.

    Or not. She’s gotta do what she’s gotta do, and we’ve gotta do what we’ve gotta do.

    • ramrod on February 20, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    benigno/mike,

    My God, you guys are scary. Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious – are we prepared to be vicious?

    • cvj on February 20, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    I don’t think we should rule out the scenario that Benign0 is proposing. After all, someone did say that Gloria is ‘evil’ (which Benign0 considers as being ‘shrewd’).

    • ramrod on February 20, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    mike,

    Haven’t you noticed? We are already under Martial Law! Look at all the familiar check points (choke points), arbitrary detention cases, disappearances, illegal raids, wire tapping, surveillance. Democracy is an illusion expertly weaved by the powers that be.

    • ramrod on February 20, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    An eerily familiar scene. They must have the same choreographer, but where is the suntok sa ere ala Erap?

  12. People Power is the legislative and political process in a direct democracy. We have a representative democracy, a very different sort of thing. People power is like av-gas in a cigarette lighter. It gets the cigarette lit along with the frontal lobe areas. It is elitist not because of the elites that take part, but because of vanishingly small fractions of people actually needed to accomplish regime change. At Edsa Dos it only required One Guy who happened to be wearing the Black Robe Costume of the Chief Justice. But what exactly was his authority to be there and not presiding at the Impeachment Trial? Haha! Edsa Dos wasn’t even “People Power”! It was a putsch by Davide.

    There has only been one real People Power. I salute that. But like being born, we really should do revolution only rarely in a nation’s life. Lifetime revolution is for the other kind of religious fanatics–Jomaoists!

    I oppose people power now because we have a marvelous chance to set everything right by doing what we failed to do in 2001: impeach and convict a President.

    Remember folks there is a HANGING Senate. A House impeachment move is sure to end in conviction and victory for those who sign on to it. Nov 15, 2008 is the 7th anniversary of Erap’s impeachment. Let JDV get Lakas to decide whether they want to go down in flames with kampi in 2010!

    December 7, 2008 would be a good day to start an impeachment trial and ship the whole Supreme Court to the Senate during the trial where the Sgt at Arms can keep an eye on them!

    • Mita on February 20, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    I don’t think that scenario is going to happen naman…wala nang communist threat eh. People and the international community won’t take it naman…hanggang 2010 lang.

    Here’s a really grim scenario: invasion by a foreign power.

    • ramrod on February 20, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    DJB Rizalist,

    Strangely enough, I cannot help but agree with you on this one. Lets try IMPEACHMENT again, this time lets do a better one. If that fails, lets try again. I cannot bear the thought of another extra-judicial ejection, a mob can easily run awry and uncontrollable, I cannot imagine putting friends and brothers alike in harms way.

    • Kabayan on February 20, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Some have forgotten some other historical events in history … What would have happened if East German state police and soldiers clashed with their civilians during the fall of the Berlin Wall; or if the civilians have fomented a violent revolution while they tear down the Berlin wall?

    I understand however that there is a possibility that great violence may break out and but it would not come from the civilians (of course this evil administration, following the Marcosian doctrine, can put in “moles” and “agent provocateur” among the protesters to instigate violence from their ranks but that is another story); that is the reason why prayer, reflection and ultimately correct reflected action is necessary.

    It is not only meant for humbly requesting from our Supreme Creator for deliverance and protection from this evil in society, it is also meant to ask for guidance to realize the right moves in specific situations. This is the way towards practicing true communion, unlike the present day physical communions (using bread and wine) which have become routine habits to some and have lost its true meaning to others.

    • ramrod on February 20, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Mita,

    Check out the you tube videos (7:55). We are already under invasion, with consent pa. While we are busy fighting each other, we are weakening by the day.

    • cvj on February 20, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    DJB, your comment above meanders across different positions:

    1. first you criticize people power,
    2. then you say what happened in EDSA Dos was not people power,
    3. then you salute EDSA (1986) as the only People Power,
    4. then you discourage any repeat of people power and conflate advocates of People Power with the communists
    5. then you oppose people power because of what happened in EDSA Dos which (you first said was not people power.)

    Please clarify, thanks.

    • ramrod on February 20, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    kabayan,

    By EDSA, I mean the peaceful redress of grievances, by all means lets continue. What I fear is the possibility of a violent end as our sitting president is no Marcos nor Erap – she may not have the restraint for shooting down people which is typical of those who have no experience in the martial lore.
    At times, the most dangerous people are those who have never been in a fight, they have others fight for them, as they will not have any qualms of hurting others.

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