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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    • ramrod on February 22, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    benigno,
    Its never on impulse, its a deliberate, decisive act, probably something you’ll never understand it seems.

    • benign0 on February 22, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    “Its never on impulse, its a deliberate, decisive act, probably something you’ll never understand it seems.” — ramrod

    True, it may be deliberate and decisive. But not all deliberate and decisive actions are based on sound thinking.

    • cvj on February 22, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Benign0, i suppose you’re the type who would pour ketchup on that child for the benefit of the vulture.

    • ramrod on February 22, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Manolo,

    Before I go off to the wild blue uonder and forget. Remember last year you mentioned the book “12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country?” I sought out the author (just to see if he’s for real) and I finally was able to track him down last night. Yep, I met Atty. Alexander Lacson, and he’s for real! He said you were giving away copies of his book to friends and acquiantances…I didn’t get one 🙁 Just kidding, I bought one the day you posted that title.

    • Kabayan on February 22, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    ramrod,

    Nice post. It was easy to discuss the philosophical issues of a dying child rather than doing something about it. Some would certainly realize that there is a time for talking, a time for discussing and a time to finally act.

    We just have to give up on some people … they could discuss philosophical discourses with the Creator when they explain their actions (or inactions) to Him after dying. Let’s concentrate on those who realize what’s happening and with those willing to act correctly with the situation at hand. We, who are living in the Philippines, are not insulated from the actual corrupt things happening. We are the ones directly affected, so it is us who have to directly act.

    All one has to do nowadays is to go to a few LRT and MRT stations and look at the hungry children begging out there; while later looking at a concert entrance where people shelve out P 20,000 just to see up close the sweat of a celebrity to see the contrast between.

    P 500,000 bribe money is just pocket money to some, but it goes a long way to help build the lives of others in need. Those who do not see the problem in this right now most likely never will.

    • benign0 on February 22, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    “lets use our POWER, let us feel once again that we are men who can chart our own destiny, to be able to change what does not work for us!” — ramrod

    Errr, dude, you speak as if this ability to “change what does not work” is completely missing in the Philippines.

    Last i checked, there are proper channels for exercising this “power”.

    One of them is ELECTIONS. But then we all know how the average Pinoy schmoe votes. Pinoys have the power to vote for their REPRESENTATIVES, but then you can see in the current crop of legislators how Pinoys choose to exercise this power.

    My point is, it takes a bit of brain to get these proper channels to work PROPERLY for us. And it does not take a rocket scientist to see that brains are in short supply in the Philippines.

    So…

    It seems you are barking up the wrong tree.

    The root cause of why the Philippines chronically fails to make its expensive democratic institutions work for all is not because those channels for instigating change are absent. Rather, it is because they are not made to work PROPERLY.

    • Kabayan on February 22, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    benign0 wrote,

    …The root cause of why the Philippines chronically fails to make its expensive democratic institutions work for all is not because those channels for instigating change are absent. Rather, it is because they are not made to work PROPERLY.

    Oh it will be made to work properly alright, you can be sure of that.

    • benign0 on February 22, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    “We, who are living in the Philippines, are not insulated from the actual corrupt things happening. We are the ones directly affected, so it is us who have to directly act.” — Kabayan

    On the other hand, it can also be argued that you who live in the Philippines are so neck deep in it that you fail to see things from a different perspective.

    People have been so indoctrinated in the half-truths of politicians and religious leaders that they have completely lost the ability to think CLEARLY and CRITICALLY.

    As Einstein said: You can’t solve problems with the kind of thinking that created them in the first place.

    • cvj on February 22, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Benign0, banal generalities repeated over and over are not a sign of clear and critical thinking. You have to go beyond your 30,000 feet view and tell us what you think should be done. ALL CAPS does not count as an explanation.

    • benign0 on February 22, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    “Oh it will be made to work properly alright, you can be sure of that” – Kabayan

    What will be the BASIS of this “sure”-ness that you encourage people to feel for the prospect of making these things work properly?

    • Kabayan on February 22, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Benign0,

    Critical thought you say? Oh there is a lot of that right now. We do not lack the brains here in this nation Benigno, the problem actually is there is just too much brains being used in immoral,evil, corrupt and selfish acts. Many government systems would work if there is honesty and good governance not only in the head but also having the right heart and attitude for truly helping one’s fellowmen.

    We actually have a lot of laws, in fact TOO MUCH laws but are NOT implemented. The Spirit of the Law is replaced by manipulating the LETTER of the Law to suit selfish ends. That is what is happening in the Philippines right now. The administration has turned this nation into a MAFIA-like institution, so even if you try to use or correct the system, they will manipulate it and make the twisted letter of law work against you. Even if you have tons of evidence against them, YOU WILL LOSE in all of your cases if you step on the toes of the “untouchable ones”. The corrupt allies will be protected and YOU will be the one jailed, harrassed or DEAD. THAT is the way it is here, the system has been made to serve them rather than the people.

    • Kabayan on February 22, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    benign0,

    What will be the BASIS of this “sure”-ness that you encourage people to feel for the prospect of making these things work properly?…

    Just keep your eyes peeled.

    • ramrod on February 22, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    benigno,
    If I could see through the haze of cynicism that you weave around your persona without being handicapped by my biases I could actually understand you. Resisting the urge to speculate on your background and past experiences with the country of your birth (like an abused childhood, etc.) – I could actually say with 100% degree of confidence that you are patriotic in your own sick way reminiscent of TOUGH LOVE of the old school.
    You’re right in saying we should o through the representatives (we’ve been saying that also) and what do you think we’ve been doing all this time?
    I can tell you “been there, done that!” What we have here is a very strong coalition betweenn GMA, the league of governors, league of mayors, right down to the league of barangay tanods. I should know, my landlord is the vice-mayor of Mandaluyong and he lives two floors below me and Abalos has been my client for the longest time.
    You are a PATRIOT, you just don’t admit it outright, and for all your unkind remarks about our race – I take it as a challenge to prove you wrong.

    • tonio on February 22, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    kabayan:

    then let the people demand that the system serve them. there are many ways to that. it’s just that these ways are perceived to involve a lot of time and effort.

    we pride ourselves on being a creative, innovative people. ma-abilidad ika nga.

    so instead of shortcuts and band aid solutions, why not apply this vaunted intelligence to looking for a solution that does not involve destruction.

    i do not claim (as others do) to have the solution to this problem. suffice it to say that it will involve a transformation of the national consciousness, on all levels.

    the only alternative, is the violence born of anime and comic books as some other people are espousing on this thread.

    or else

    • tonio on February 22, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    oops. that last ‘or else’ was supposed to have been deleted.

    • benign0 on February 22, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    “You have to go beyond your 30,000 feet view and tell us what you think should be done” — cvj

    Unlike you, dude, some people are able to distill so called “30,000 feet views” into something more palatable for themselves.

    To quote a few:

    “We must channel peoople power properly this time around. And throw away our mob mentality, which has always been guided by our emotions, and going down deeper actually reveal that they have manipulated by vested interests to suit their agendas — and I am sorry to say, that includes the Catholic Church and other religious groups too, even the business groups and other groups that are sprouting everytime there is a crisis.” — Madonna

    “if religion is to be taught at all, it should be as a historical and factual study, covering all religions, and should be taught by teachers who are secularists. schools should be removed from religious orders’ control.” — DevilsAdvc8

    “as much as we have sacrificed our principles, AND CONTINUE TO DO SO, for EXPEDIENCY, we should draw the line somewhere, this is our country at stake…GMA is not going to be there forever, presidents come and go as they have done in the past. THERE IS A BIGGER PICTURE. Obviously, we are not at a place where people can trust the different branches of government or we wouldn’t be in this mess. But we have to TRY or we’ll never get it right. It’s not an easy task but we have to take that single step and walk those miles one at a time or we might find ourselves lost. — Mita

    Not all of the above are direct responses to my comments. But all of them demonstrate a kind of ability to take high-level ideas, knit them together into a framework, and develop the details around said framework.

    Compare the above to you who goes by the lame challenge — “sige nga, tell us the details of what you propose…”

    Then again someone like you probably wouldn’t get what I just said judging by the quality of the comments and arguments you’ve always put forth.

    Stidi ka na lang diyan. 😀

    • Kabayan on February 22, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    tonio,

    That is the reason that if there should be change then it should be done peacefully, which I advocate. However, we must not discount the simmering discontent could get out of hand if this mafia-like government starts getting violent. With that even with Mother Teresa on our side we might not be able to contain the people choosing drastic means. That is the reason we must lightly tread on people who finally had enough and had CONSIDERED that change cannot be attained in a peaceful way. That takes work, a united front, reflection, and then finally action.

    • Jeg on February 22, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    I take it as a challenge to prove you wrong.

    Well done, ramrod. I myself skip most of benny’s comments most of the time since theyve become predictable. Benny by his own accounts have been banned in several other fora but not here, since in his own perverse way, we need to hear what he has to say and answer him point-by-point. And sometimes benny does have a point. Sometimes.

    It’s like meeting someone like him in a bar and after beating him up for being obnoxious, a few minutes later on our way home, we realize he has a point.

    “You know, come to think of it, he really had a fair point.”
    “Yeah. But it was fun beating him up, though.” High five.

    🙂

    • benign0 on February 22, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    ramrod, it’s good you are able to resist the “urge to speculate on [my] background”. Many cretins have gone down that path and made complete arses of themselves.

    The eminent Patricio Abinales himself fell into that trap with me:
    http://www.getrealphilippines.com/rant/rant00006.html

    (You’ll have to excuse me. Being Pinoy myself, I often succumb to the temptation to drop names)

    Anyways, you’re one of the very few who’ve set out to prove me wrong (rather than go around stomping their feet about how unreasonable or rude my assertions are).

    Proceed with caution though… 😉

    • mlq3 on February 22, 2008 at 2:06 pm
      Author

    ramrod, i admire atty. lacson very much.

    • ace on February 22, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    “On the other hand, it can also be argued that you who live in the Philippines are so neck deep in it that you fail to see things from a different perspective.” – benign0

    ****************************

    What about the Overseas Filipino Workers?

    • cvj on February 22, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Benign0, i see. So you’re leaving the detail work to others.

    • tonio on February 22, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    cvj:

    nothing wrong with that, man. there’s only so much you can do from 30,000 feet, eh?

    • cvj on February 22, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I suppose so Tonio. He reminds me of a number of Management types i’ve encountered at work.

    • TheColdKing on February 22, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    A poster already banned in so many online fora should be assassinated in real life already like their namesake for the good of humanity!

    Nagpapaloko lang kayo diyan sa B-astardo na iyan at sa ibang mga pro-administrasyon dito na ayaw umalis si GMA, bayaran lang ang mga iyan ng malacanang, kasali ang mga iyan sa mga blogging brigades nila, hindi pa ba kayo natuto doon sa gagong gumagamit ng iba’t ibang pangalan ?

    Pero, sa malas, muli na naman hindi niyo nakikita ang ayaw niyong makita, kaya kinakausap niyo pa kesa ang dapat na gawin na i-ban niyo na para hindi na sila makaloko ng mga mahihinang isip . Tandaan niyo, hindi niyo mababago ang pananalig nila, kahit anong gawin niyo, kasi pera lang ang katapat at pinapaniwalaan nila at sinuhulan sila para pahinahin at sirain ang kagustuhan niyong matanggal at maparusahan ang mga Pidal at ang mga kampon nila.

    P.S. Saan na nga pala ang nilalang na iyon, parang hindi ko na nakikita kahit ilan sa mga alyas niya…

    • Bert on February 22, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    I think I’m getting the points made by supremo and hvrd (at 1:16am & 1:58am) regards church tax exemptions. My point though, which I think they overlooked, is not the legality of such but the timing.

  1. Overbearing = Having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy.

    When someone makes fun of someone’s gender orientation, do you find it funny?

    Probably because you are so used to calling people names, laughing to other people’s disabilities so you hardly notice remarks which are off tangent.

    Grow up people.

    • Kabayan on February 22, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Bert wrote:

    I think I’m getting the points made by supremo and hvrd (at 1:16am & 1:58am) regards church tax exemptions. My point though, which I think they overlooked, is not the legality of such but the timing.

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

    True, they are expecting them to fold up and lick the a** of Gloria so that she could grant “Executive Privilege”

    • rego on February 22, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    “Nagpapaloko lang kayo diyan sa B-astardo na iyan at sa ibang mga pro-administrasyon dito na ayaw umalis si GMA, bayaran lang ang mga iyan ng malacanang, kasali ang mga iyan sa mga blogging brigades nila, hindi pa ba kayo natuto doon sa gagong gumagamit ng iba’t ibang pangalan ? ”
    =========================================================
    My dear you have deluded yourself so much.!!!! This has been argued, discussed, debated over and over again inthis forum and even in other forum. Unfortunately, it remained unsubstantiated until now. Wonder why all your advocacies about goverment accountabiliy etc etc etc from you side has never ever prospered at all? Gloria is still in malacanang?

    IT WAS BUILT ON A VERY WRONG ASSUMPTION FROM THE VERY START!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • TheColdKing on February 22, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Rego, or whatever your name is, you condemn yourself with your own words. YOU, REGO, are a paid hack of GMA and as such you should GO TO HELL ASAP ! >-(

  2. red alert! ego-tripper on the run.

    competent researchers do not use blogs as reference unless the authors of such blogs have established themselves as authorities in the field, assessed as such by peers in the academe and recognized in their field. you want to educate visitors of your blog, put a caveat: “all these are products of my own research and have not been peer-reviewed.”

    Someone’s reading too many blogs where authors write what they eat, what they smoke and what they have read.

    And expressing inane political opinions.

    Learn more about other kinds of blogs, will you? ang inggit ang palaging lumalabas eh. So far, I have been receiving thanks for showcasing Filipino culture.

    Visit them and learn more about the Filipinos. Read for yourself my disclaimer. Hirap, di pa nabasa, dami ng satsat. Ow and it is not my Now What Cat? that is more of personal blog where you will get to know my expertise and my brand of humor which do not make use of disabilities and gender orientation of people.

    They are in my “other blogs” caption.

    mwehehe.

    • tonio on February 22, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    rego:

    i know your convictions are almost diametrically opposed to many here. but don’t feed the troll, dude.

    • Mita on February 22, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    the OFW’s? diba nga bagong bayani sila…the OFW’s are the true reason why the economy has grown by 7% last year.

    that’s been repeated here so many times…yet the OFW’s who comment with opinions on the other side of the aisle here are continually denigrated and their opinion called flawed somehow…

    “From a distance I just cannot comprehend
    what all this fighting is for
    From a distance there is harmony…”

    • cvj on February 22, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Ca T, i thought they were referring to Benign0, but if you felt alluded to, i suppose you’re entitled to that as well.

    • mlq3 on February 22, 2008 at 4:05 pm
      Author

    rego is not a paid hack of anyone.

    • fiball on February 22, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Grow up people. — Meow

    Pagpasensyhan nyo na ‘to. Inilihis ang usapan. EGO! EGO! EGO!

    Maria aka Inday (regards to Madam Fanny), I like your sense of humor, don’t find a trace of malice there at all and in fact, your suggestion makes a lot of sense. Unlike others, di alam na cruel sila dahil malicious palagi ang atake. Imagine, sabihin na heroes don’t exist nowadays. Ala sguro sya nakita na hero sa buong buhay niya — magulang, kasintahan, kaibigan, guro. Heroes can’t just be found in books, they are all around. Ineng, consider why fairy tales continue to be taught and told in schools and at home. Ponder on that. Kung walang hero sa paligid mo, then just consider Maria Carey’s dictum in her song. You are a hero ateng, — opps wag lang maging ego-tripper dear.

    • fiball on February 22, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    At meow, you’re not funny at all. Kala mo funny ka? In fact, your brand of sarcasm remind us of Nuestra Senora Malu. Gets mo?

    • ramrod on February 22, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Mita,

    I’m an OFW but I don’t feel heroic. Most of the time I feel helpless and frustrated, but there is no choice but to go on. You’re all aware why people choose to be OFWs in the first place right? So on top of the needs of their families, they are constrained to look at the needs of others also because from a distance – the Philippines becomes their family. Many of those who experienced being away from the fatherland will know what I mean.

    • Karl Garcia on February 22, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    CAT di ri n ikaw ang unang pumasok sa utak ko, I had the privilege of visiting Now What cat,let me try your other blogs later.

    For Rego,
    isa syang masipag na OFW traveling from Jersey to NY daily,di ko lang alam kung ganun pa din,pag sya may comment lahat kami napapatigil saglit, at gusto pakinggan ang mga punto sya.

    Benigs, aaminin ko akala ko sya ang tinutukoy na ego-tripper,pero tama si Jeg,sometimes may point sya.

    No one is a paid hack here,at di rin nila ako binayaran para idefend sila.

    Atty Bencard nalimutan ko kayo,pero same thing no one is a paid hack here,sometimes we do have tough love,senseless and pointless exchanges dahil tulad ulit ng sinabni Jeg pagtapos gulpihin ang isang pinagkursunadahan..me punto sya pero ang sarap nyang gulpihin.No offense

    • ramrod on February 22, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Mita,

    And its easy not to get involved really. You can just close your eyes and be busy with work or travel, but then again our Filipino penchant for finishing everything on time (sometimes earlier), casually striking conversations with people you meet, and touching base with old friends – its unavoidable (in other words tsismoso).
    I speak for those who are in this cause who are not religious, for I have no religion myself. What would you call someone who was born catholic, became born again then fell away? Probably the worst kind of sinner with no hope for divine redemption huh? At least from the religious people’s point of view. Fortunately, the afterlife has never been a priority… But those who are really alive – hopefully still are…

    • benign0 on February 22, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    “So on top of the needs of their families, they are constrained to look at the needs of others also because from a distance – the Philippines becomes their family. Many of those who experienced being away from the fatherland will know what I mean.” — ramrod

    Are you speaking for most OFW’s? Or just yourself?

    The idea of OFW’s thinking of the Philippines ‘becoming’ their family because of distance seems a bit far-fetched. In the Philippines, cleanliness for most Pinoys doesn’t go beyond their doorstep. Pinoys may be anal about keeping their houses spotless but wouldn’t think twice about dumping garbage into an estero (or even the sidewalk just in front of their house).

    You should also see the politics (intrigahan, inggitan, lamangan, you name it) in Pinoy expat communities. They’re microcosms of this “fatherland” of ours.

    • benign0 on February 22, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I forgot to make my point nga pala about what I wrote here “In the Philippines, cleanliness for most Pinoys doesn’t go beyond their doorstep. Pinoys may be anal about keeping their houses spotless but wouldn’t think twice about dumping garbage into an estero (or even the sidewalk just in front of their house).”

    My point is, Pinoys are famous for our loyalty to our families, clans, and tribes AND equally famous for our inability to extend this loyalty beyond those onto the greater community. There is no collective trust (which is why corruption prevails). There is no meritocracy (in its place is the cancer of nepotism).

    • Jeg on February 22, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Pssst, Karl, huwag mo naman isama si Manoy sa masarap gulpihin. Senior citizen na siya at dapat igalang.

    At benny, talinhaga lang yung ‘gulpi’ na sinabi ko kanina a. Hindi ko naman iminumungkahi na gulpihin ka sa tunay na buhay.

    • cvj on February 22, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    I could relate to what Ramrod is saying about the Philippines becoming your ‘family’ once you become an OFW. As Raul Pangalangan once wrote, holding a Philippine passport and having to write ‘Filipino’ (under ‘Nationality’ and/or ‘Race’) in the forms that you have to fill-out tends to make you aware of that aspect of your identity.

    • ramrod on February 22, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    benigno,

    I see that you’re one of those who have actually fell over the edge of the limits of your frustration. I don’t blame you, for to be honest about it, I felt the same way before I visited this blog. In this “LOVE THE FILIPINO” movement of sorts, I’m a new convert so to speak. I’ve always asserted, rather erroneously before, that I’m a CEBUANO and Filipino refers to the Tagalog speaking minions of Imperialistic Manila.
    Our brothers and sisters (Filipinos) are not an easy people to please and at times downright difficult. You should try asking for contributions for a cause and you’ll see why its frustrating at times. But then again, you find one, then two, then some more – it takes a bit of time, brute force, and native talent but you’ll get there. Also try stopping at a place where street children and their street parents frequent and start giving away food – you’ll get swamped and impolitely sometimes get jostled and if you’re lucky you’ll get away with only a scratch on your car. Temporary relief i agree, but at least its a relief somehow, right?

    The Filipinos deserved to be loved. And loved UNCONDITIONALLY, much like my mother does with me (as they say a face only a mother can love).

    • ramrod on February 22, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    …And by Filipinos (who deserved to be loved) – that includes you benigno.

    • ramrod on February 22, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    benigno,

    Don’t get any funny ideas, the name is ramrod akin to rambo (just so we’re clear on that).

    • Mita on February 22, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    yes, ramrod…been there done that and gone full circle.

    and the frustration..oh gee. now that i have more time on my hands I endeavored to teach a 15-year old to read and write. we had to start from the alphabet. she’s our maid and she comes from a family of 8 kids…maaawa ka talaga cause her father tried to strangle her in a drunken rage once. I offered to send her to school but she doesn’t have any papers, no birth certificate…nothing at all. we’ve gone quite far in our lessons and now she’s quitting at the end of the month because she finds her life here boring and all her money goes to her family anyway. she’s young but I spoke to her, told her to just be patient so she can learn and earn at the same time while I keep some of her money for her. nada…she’s bored. bahala na.

    • Bert on February 22, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    “The idea of OFW’s thinking of the Philippines ‘becoming’ their family because of distance seems a bit far-fetched. In the Philippines, cleanliness for most Pinoys doesn’t go beyond their doorstep. Pinoys may be anal about keeping their houses spotless but wouldn’t think twice about dumping garbage into an estero (or even the sidewalk just in front of their house).

    You should also see the politics (intrigahan, inggitan, lamangan, you name it) in Pinoy expat communities. They’re microcosms of this “fatherland” of ours.”

    That’s what is called selective vision, the eyes used to looking at the dirt would always divert toward the dirt, the bright part will be be too glaring to be comfortable.

    • ramrod on February 22, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Mita,

    I admire your patience, too bad that girl didn’t have the vision of seeing beyond the present – it could have been a way out of her current situation and a better one. Myself, I don’t have that kind of patience, I’m more of the beat-them-up-to-shape kind of teacher.
    I really hope you don’t tire of helping, if you ask me to pray about it I won’t mind, really.
    Sometimes, re charity efforts etc., I’m tempted to approach the real moneyed ones like Erap. If he asks for something in return, I’ll volunteer to clean his cars, his house, his lawn, etc. but I won’t do the cooking though…

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