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Feb 25

An immoderate threat when representatives fail the people

Yesterday, the Inquirer editorial asked if People Power represents An immoderate threat in the face of unmoderated greed. Besides Fidel V. Ramos’s stinging rebuke to the President last Friday, on Saturday, GMA News broke the following story: Arroyo: I know ZTE contract tainted but can’t cancel deal (see also Arroyo admits NBN deal was flawed ), which has raised more questions than it’s answered: not least, because in one fell swoop, the President’s own statement proves her officials have been lying all along.

The question remains whether it will temper the “reply or resign” call made by people like Martin Bautista. In her blog, smoke makes a decision flow chart and, well, the best that could be said was a negligent President (but maybe enough to keep the loyalists stouthearted).

Atty. Edwin Lacierda, in an email to me, put it this way:

The difference I think between the Garci tapes and the ZTE confession is that in the Garci tapes, there was this legal grey area of the admissibility of the wiretapped tapes. And so, GMA could legally wiggle out of it even if we know that the accent and inflections were distinctly GMA. In the ZTE deal however, her admission opens up more cans of worms.

In the first place, she lied as to when she knew of the irregularities. I think the first documentary proof of her knowledge of the irregularity would have been when NEDA changed the investments that could avail of the loans from the People’s Republic [of China] when the [military] housing units and the Angat water project were removed from the list and the NBN deal was inserted. I may be wrong but [isn’t it that the] President [alone] can change the Neda policy.

Orally, the testimony of Romy Neri informing the president that Abalos offered him a Php200 million bribe would also constitute knowledge of wrongdoing. Inspite of that information, the president told Neri to approve the project. So, I think we know she lied when she admitted she knew of wrongdoing only on the eve.

But be that as it may, her admission runs counter to the many pronouncements of those who defended the ZTE deal, as pointed out in the Inquirer editorial. Laglagan na is the order of the day just to save the president. I dont know how long will the factotums continue to defend her at the risk to their own life and liberty. But this strategy will have unintended consequences and I am not sure the president’s men thought this out well. It started out with releasing the Jun-Joey conversations in YouTube. We dont know what Abalos is thinking but I am sure he was not pleased with the revelation. His credibility has been further eroded, if there is any ounce of credibility left in that man.

Her admission also puts into question the statements of Formoso who the government has constantly paraded as the point man in the ZTE deal. I would love to see him wiggle his way out of this mess.

The lies and the cover-up continue and it is getting harder and harder to put out a credible yarn.

And so, as Mon Casiple points out, it’s a case of the fortress showing cracks in its walls even as the administration recycling its old scripts:

Within the Malacañang fortress, there are rumors of the heightening suspicions among the key players — with the First Couple directly handling all tactical decisions, trusting no one. Whispers of last-ditch plans for a “palace coup” keep on leaking out as well as the opening of succession negotiations with the vice-president. The FG unscheduled trip to Hongkong is being interpreted as either a cover-up for a major palace counter-offensive this week or the preparation for the GMA exile to Spain.

GMA’s admission of knowing the ZTE-NBN contract problems is reminiscent of her famous “I’m sorry” speech. It may have been directed to the bishops but it only added more fuel to the fire of disenchantment with her regime. It may be the last argument to convince the fence-sitters.

The President’s people accelerated something most people didn’t want to think about, just yet: the post-Arroyo maneuvering that most people continued hoping would take place, as scheduled in 2010. Now the maneuvering has taken on greater urgency as the President’s own people have bungled things so badly. The scandal just keeps getting wider and wider and people have started to think the previously unthinkable.

And so, my column for today is When our representatives fail. It makes reference to some of my past pieces, including my Manifesto on the Tapes, and my columns,Redemption and ‘Half a People Power’. Also, it’s a response to Solita Monsod’s People Power IV? No, thank you! and, in a way, Randy David’s Bonfire of institutions (which reminded me of my column, Scorched-earth governance from 2005):

The damage to government institutions has been the most extensive. Far from being a neutral arbiter of disputes and a source of normative stability, the justice system has become a weapon to intimidate those who stand up to power. Far from being a pillar of public security, the military and the police have become the private army of a gangster regime. Instead of serving as an objective referee in electoral contests, the Commission on Elections has become a haven for fixers who deliver fictitious votes to the moneyed and the powerful. Instead of serving as the steady backbone of public service through successive changes in administration, the government bureaucracy has been turned into a halfway house for political lackeys, misfits and the corrupt. Instead of serving as a check on presidential power, the House of Representatives has become its hired cheering squad.

The erosion of these institutions, no doubt, has been going on for a long time. But their destruction in the last seven years under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s presidency has been the most comprehensive since 1986. This is due not only to the particular gifts of Ms Arroyo as a politician – her survival instincts, her callousness, her readiness to set aside higher goals and principles for short-term personal gains. It is also due to the peculiar confluence of events that attended her rise to the presidency…

…But the damage is not confined to government; it has fanned out like a shock wave from the epicenter to the periphery. We have thus far only seen the debris of government institutions that have lost their standing in the public esteem. Now we are seeing how the tension is passed on and threatens other institutions. This happens when issues that are left unresolved by the institutions of law, politics and government spill over to other spheres of society.

The tremor spreads out and tests the strength of the remaining credible pillars of our society: the churches, the media, the universities, the business community, the family. Each one of these institutional spheres has their own unique operational system, code and medium. They are not organized, nor are they suited, for the processing of legal and political questions. Yet, they are compelled by the developing situation to address these questions from their own specific standpoints. Their members are called upon to lend their minds, their voices, and their bodies to a movement whose trajectory is still uncertain.

It is this uncertainty that needs to be addressed. And so, returning to today’s column, I’d like to start by reproducing, in full, the reflection by Bishop Francisco Claver, S.J. that I quoted in my column (sent to me by Billy Esposo):

An Infinite Series of EDSAs
(Ramblings of a retired bishop)
Is it possible to avoid firming up an extremely dangerous, if still inchoate, tradition?

EDSA I was about restoring a system which had been destroyed by the introduction of a dictatorial system of governance. That is why most of us bishops had no qualms about taking part in putting an end to President Marcos’ stolen power.

EDSA II was the momentary failure of the restored system–it carried a sense of desperation that the system wasn’t working as it should. (The dancing lady senator was a perfect metaphor of its dysfunctional operation.) The Supreme Court’s act in confirming GMA, for all its disputed constitutionality, was basically aimed at stabilizing a dangerous situation?

EDSA III, if it happens, promises to be the institutionalization of an infinite series of EDSAs. This is what is scary about the present situation and I’m wondering if a vague fear of it is behind the apparent unconcern of most of our people today about all the agitation to come up with yet another EDSA rebellion.

_______________________________________________

Is the question a “purely” political one? Or precisely because the danger is there that, with another EDSA ousting of an incumbent President, we help firm up a tradition of unstable governments, the question becomes a deeply moral one?

For bishops in regard to this development: Is it a moral duty incumbent on them to see to it that we do not go the way of institutionalized instability? Or at least to speak on the problem and show how we must be aware of the possibly deleterious implications of whatever option we make in the solution people give it? As one of Philippine society’s basic institutions, is the Church being called today to be the–or at least a–stabilizing force in our society?

In a very true sense then, our problem comes down to this: how to correct the aberration that is the present administration without destroying the stabilizing structure that is our democratic system of government? We keep the structure but correct the aberration? But if the correcting destroys the structure–or weakens it immensely–what then?
People power was born to bring back stability. I think it should be used now to protect it, not to destroy or weaken it. The way things are now, it is being invoked again in the effort to correct what I called above an aberration, but I’m afraid its repetition in the present crisis will only lead to that unwanted world-without-end-series of EDSAs.

If we do not go the way then of that infinite series, we still are left with what I call the aberration. We haven’t put our heads together yet to see how we go about correcting it without bringing the whole house crushing down on us. This is what we should be doing now?

____________________________________________

I wonder if the system of four-year terms for presidents and the possibility of another four is not after all the best for us. Suffering through six years of a bad presidency (more, if he/she comes in to fill the term of an ousted one–as we have now) is intolerable, and that is why it is easy for people to succumb to the temptation of using extra-constitutional means to end the present one. This is an argument for charter change?

In more established and mature democracies: In the United States, for instance, the Bush presidency is bad enough and highly unpopular, but somehow nobody there is thinking of doing something like an EDSA uprising.

__________________________________________

For some reason some folk proverbs keep intruding on my thoughts as I write this thing–like the one about lying on nests that one has feathered? (We tolerate corruption–and rigged elections–but we do not blame ourselves for their consequences too?) Or changing horses in mid-stream? (It’s akin to the principle in spiritual life: “In desolation, don’t change” — but that’s what we do with every EDSA?) I guess we haven’t really learnt yet what these homely proverbs mean!

Francisco Claver, S.J.

February 19, 2008

ph4-022408Esposo says the piece is an attempt to clarify what the Catholic hierarchy meant by “communal action”. It is a reflection that to my mind reflects the unease with which people view the escalation of political tensions. However at this point, it leaves a lot, perhaps everything, in the hands of the President who has gambled on the fear of the unpredictable consequences of People Power vetoing any widespread support for it as the instrument of last resort.

But the best-laid plans of mice and men… they also tend to go unexpectedly awry. The most unexpected development is how young people have decided, in increasing numbers, to get engaged.

Inday Espina-Varona tackled this development in her blog, scaRRedcat:

Dirty tricks unleashed in airports are embedded in our collective psyche. With apologies to that once great human rights champion, Joker Arroyo, there are some things you do not mess around with.

It’s a bit sad really but then all great lessons of history often come with a certain sadness. Barely a month ago, I wrote of how young Filipinos would rather roll up their sleeves to solve a problem than break out into song and prayers as is their elders’ wont. They’d still rather do that. But, as did good men and women when the Nazis were on the ascendance, Filipinos now see what they missed when they looked away as hundreds of activists were murdered or “disappeared” or when they accepted that cheating at the polls is preferable to getting another actor elected to the Presidency: Wait too long and there may be no one around to hear your cries for help. Now, Everyman is faced with the barrel of a gun…

…Ousting a corrupt and despotic leader is a right of every people as the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights underscores. Revolutions are not, in the strict sense, short cuts. They take time to wage and often come with messy results; that is why they are seen as a people’s last recourse.

But if we are to revolt in the name of democracy then there is no other way but to hew as closely as possible to constitutional change, as we did at EDSA 2. The fact that Mrs. Arroyo has grievously betrayed our trust is no excuse to shortchange ourselves more by anointing leaders outside of constitutional succession terms.

I do not know Vice President Noli de Castro. But he was elected by vast numbers of our people to that post, which comes with the responsibility to take over the Presidency if and when the incumbent Chief Executive can no longer fulfill the duties of that office. Whatever we may think of De Castro’s capabilities or lack thereof, we cannot simply sweep away a mandate conferred by the people.

If we can’t stomach him then we take our lumps and just give Mrs. Arroyo hell until her term runs out or until she institutes a belated regime of reforms, whichever comes first. We cannot decry corruption and officialdom’s penchant for playing fast and loose with the laws of this land and yet do the same in the name of democracy.

Agree! By the way, see another entry, He Said, They Said, a piece of Inday’s originally published in the Philippine Graphic, for a brilliant summary of why the government’s gotten itself into so much hot water. Well done, as well, is Patricia Evangelista’s She said. Over at Placeholder, you can see the La Salle Brothers’ chronology of the Lozadas seeking sanctuary in their school.

And indeed, that was the gist of my column for today: a last-ditch effort to kick-start our institutions into functioning properly might require the threat of People Power.

But people are wracking their brains (and searching their hearts) for ways not to have to resort to it, yet. Though there are those, as reproduced by onomatopoeia, who don’t think the threat should be invoked at all. Disagree!

While the threat of revolution that makes possible a return to the way things ought to be, such a threat, once made, risks having officials call the public’s bluff.

Which means the coming days and weeks requires even more soul-searching to take place.

How far will you go? Should we go? Even Business divided on another ‘People Power’ revolt.

tatsquiblat has some useful advice on what to do: or rather, a prudent approach to take. And review the emerging consensus on concrete steps to take, and the debate on the things that remain unresolved, in Sylvia Mayuga’s Firm Steps to the Light.

One proposal that’s gained wide currency, is for the President to immediately revoke her own Executive Order 464, but as one of many conditions; however,what Joaquin Bernas, S.J. proposes is that revoking the order is enough and all he really wants:

What do I support therefore? I favor attempting a rehabilitation of the presidency. To start with, I favor the complete dismantling of EO 464, the notorious gag which the President has clamped on the mouths of executive officers who are in a position to reveal incriminating truth.

True it is that the objectionable portions of EO 464 (Sections 2b and 3) have been declared unconstitutional. But the executive department continues to behave as if Senate v. Ermita never happened. You will notice that, whenever executive officers are called to testify in an investigation, rarely do such officers claim the lame excuse of executive privilege. They simply say that they are prevented by EO 464. EO 464, although constitutionally dead, remains the biggest obstacle to the discovery of truth. Its dark spirit remains.

How dismantle EO 464? The most efficient way would be for the President and the executive secretary to forget it. Easy, no; difficult, yes. Nevertheless this is a more viable goal than trying to persuade the President to resign and effectively jump into the fire. Moreover, the total abandonment of EO 464 can be the beginning of the rehabilitation of her ailing presidency. E.g., she should now allow the exposure of those who were involved in the corruption that caused her to cancel the ZTE contract. It would be a very concrete way of substantiating her loud cries against corruption. With political will, between now and 2010, much can be achieved toward rehabilitation of the presidency.

The kinds of minds he’s molded are best exemplified by this Ateneo blog. The Arroyo Presidential Library planned for the Ateneo will definitely be a suitable monument.

But what’s at stake and why, despite attempts by the good Jesuit to focus attention on asking for rehabilitation, or even the Senate President’s trying to propose an eventual impeachment, things seem to be coming gingerly to a point of no return, is best explained by Writer’s Block:

In light of all this, we are still obliged to be vigilant. Many people would ask: why continue? The elections are two years away; like her counterpart George W. Bush, she has only this one term left. But remember that we are talking about an “Arroyo government”. How are we to know that Czarina Arroyo would not control the Philippine government from the sidelines, the same way Lee Kuan Yew did in Singapore? There are also the earnest efforts among elements of her government to push through “Charter Reform”, to ensure their continued tenure in power. The point is, two years is two years away, and a lot can still happen in that span.

That’s why the Opposition continues to resist her, and find ways to overthrow her. Not only for the sake of vindication; it is also to ensure that they could sooner dismantle the “Arroyo government” and make sure that the next elections would indeed represent the people’s voice. No one can get her to quit. She, like Hitler before her, can always claim “divine appointment”.

The D Spot worries about her kids, what happens if they decide to join rallies. But Noralyn Mustafa puts the choice in stark terms:

We fail to do this now, the wages of our apathy will be Charter change forced down our throats; we will never see an election ever again in our lives; and we will have the Arroyos and Pidals and Abaloses holding our souls in their hands to the end of our days. And even beyond.

This is the ultimate danger of trying to ease the pressure. It won’t strengthen institutions. It will give the President a second wind. Liling Briones says the economy shouldn’t be an excuse for inaction. Cielito Habito reviews economic prospects for 2008.

As for today’s commemoration, I’ll be at Baclaran, where the Comelec computer operators found refuge after their historic walkout from the PICC. Review The Road to Edsa I, and the events in The Edsa Revolution Website. And do some Reading up on Edsa. And looking back, a mere year ago, to Edsa at 21. And doing his own looking back is Lito Banayo.

And Life’s a Beach has that video that will make all the small-minded mean and sour people angry. Interesting tidbit, too, from One Hundred Eighty Degrees, on an attempt to censor the video.

Postcard Headlines says the real challenge of Edsa is sustaining public vigiliance. Philippine Commentary insists on impeachment or nothing. It will take at the very least a national strike to get that past the House. JB Baylon waxes eloquent:

As I type this while once in a while peering out of my Hong Kong hotel window to watch a gathered mass of Filipinas outside, I feel a rollercoaster of emotions as memories of Edsa 1 flash before me interspersed with images of a weeping Lozada, a grinning Estrada and a still-missing Joc Joc Bolante. I think of Francisco Tatad and how he went public with the declaration of martial law; then I think of Ignacio Bunye and how he went public with his “I have two discs” spin. I focus on how Enrile was “forgiven” his sins in recognition of his key role in Edsa 1, and wonder whether Chavit has been forgiven, too. I think of Clarissa Ocampo and remember Jun Lozada and then I think of Mike Defensor and Mawanay, Garcillano and Bedol. I think of Macapagal Avenue, and then I remember the Centennial Expo scam. I muse about Imelda’s glamor and greed, and think of FG and wonder where the glamor went. I remember Manny Villar’s maneuverings on the impeachment, then recall JDV’s maneuverings and also the maneuverings that led to his own ouster. I think of Fabian Ver and I wonder about Hermogenes Esperon; I think of Fidel Ramos and his relationship with Ver, and wonder who is the Ramos to Esperon. I recall a young and idealistic Gringo, and I imagine a new crop of young officers replacing the ideals of Trillanes and Company. And all of these come to a dead stop like a roller coaster car does when I think of the Filipinas outside my window, huddling under open umbrellas in the cold drizzle that is gripping Hong Kong, and I wonder how their lives will ever change if, at home, years go by and yet everything but the faces of power and greed stay the same?

And good news for all people who like to read: Pete Lacaba has a blog! He has an article on names derived from Martial Law, Edsa, etc. (hat tip to my lil’ red book for noticing that particular article). Another blog to check out is Republic of Pundits.

239 comments

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  1. cvj

    Jackast, if i may add, GMA entered into a this ‘social contract’ by way of Abalos, Garci, Esperon and company.

  2. jakcast

    I’m not saying GMA got the mandate fair and square. I’m just pointing out that comparison between the state and corporation tends to oversimplify things. Like you, I want to get to the bottom of this. But let the constitutional processes do it. I don’t know how, but there should be a way for the Supreme Court to intervene when the House of Representatives (knowing majority is pro-GMA) doesn’t move. A louder, bigger push from civil society might do it. A constitutional crisis, maybe?

  3. Jeg

    I don’t know how, but there should be a way for the Supreme Court to intervene when the House of Representatives (knowing majority is pro-GMA) doesn’t move.

    Sue the House? Mandamus? Is that possible?

  4. Jeg

    By the way, DJB’s blogsite is carrying live streaming of the hearing at the senate.

  5. jakcast

    This political crisis is happening again because the state is weak and the family strong. If we let this issue to be decided again in the streets, then we further weaken the state and its institutions: the bureucracy, civil service, courts, armed forces/police. Don’t think that because that the security agencies are beholden to one family, that the state is strong. Precisely, kaya na-arbor ng isang pamilya ang estado, dahil mahina ito. Strong family (micro) and weak state (macro) equals unmoderated greed and corruption. Civil society, the middle process, should address this anomaly.

  6. Madonna

    Devils,

    So what, you mean to say manolo partly censors any reference to the French Revolution? Let me play dumb, but is manolo afraid of having our own version of Storming of the Bastille? Interesting.

    Hey, manolo, excuse me but i’m just speculating here.

  7. UP n student

    From MLQ3 article:

    We are a representative democracy: we elect officials, for a fixed term, to govern in our name. We are also a plebiscitary democracy: we have a long-standing political tradition of having leaders who periodically refresh their mandates, by finding means to sound out public opinion when unexpected, but great, issues arise. We have, therefore, democracy that unites these two concepts—of entrusting representatives with the governing power, but reserving for ourselves the right to take away that delegated power—by means of People Power.

    Back in 2005 (June 16), I felt that the overwhelming majority of our people wanted the system to work, and were not rash to judge until the system had been given a chance to resolve things. Let the system be given a chance; but should it fail us, then we cannot deny ourselves the option of People Power. I do believe this: the targets of People Power in the past cannot be the beneficiaries of People Power in the future; and also that those who have participated in People Power in the past cannot claim that it should be denied anybody in the future. Most of all: People Power is peaceful, it is disciplined, it is idealistic, and it places the leaders and followers side by side and in the line of fire together.

    Last year, I offered up a definition of People Power: it’s a phenomenon that requires certain givens for it to be recognized as such and not considered mob rule. The givens are: People Power must be anchored on moral outrage and moral principles; it must be peaceful; it must have wide support cutting across all classes and barriers of gender; it must at the same time be organized and yet spontaneous.

    We know full well that People Power, too, is the instrument of last resort. The only question is not how and when, but rather, if enough of us have come to the conclusion that it must happen.

    The only arms we have are the kind we link together when we stand side by side. The arsenal of tyranny should only be defeated by means of the peaceful arsenal of democracy: noise barrages, gatherings, marches, a national strike: in other words, People Power or the looming threat of it.

    If we do not want People Power to be unleashed, our leaders must redeem themselves; but they are not only refusing to do it, they are pushing the public to consider other options. The only way to call the bluff of our officials is by willing to risk People Power.

  8. UP n student

    From Q3 article:

    If you are after accountability and responsibility, it begins with you making the choice to demand them, and insisting someone, somewhere, be held to account. Even as we all recognize the problems are getting deeper and more widespread by the day, which requires institutional solutions, too.

    A system may lead people to be criminals but when a criminal is caught, you begin by punishing the criminal and then addressing the factors that lead people to commit such crimes. But to focus on the factors, to the exclusion of the criminals, is to embolden the criminals in our midst.
    ..
    The only way to call the bluff of our officials is by willing to risk People Power.

  9. jakcast

    Then we risk tyranny by the minority imploding our nation in the process. I believe the best time to go out to the streets was in 2005 when there were strong evidence that the elections, the real expression of the sovereign will of the people, were stolen. Let’s see first how this thing plays out. The Senate is still hearing testimonies. Who knows, the House of Representatives might just send out the impeachment particulars? The Supreme Court might intervene.

  10. hvrds

    Corporate for profit self interest are for their stockholders. Their main goal if they are businessess for profit is material gain.

    Governments are totally different as they have to mediatate and arbitrate the conflicting and sometimes contradictory interests within a society. This is where the process becomes the most important issue. If the process is perceived to be unfair and unjust (institutions are created for this end) then you will have a breakdown and the loudest voices and the crazies come to the fore. We are highly evolved simians and emotions must be kept in check.

    We had seen the case of Mandela. His people were brutalized and with the help of Bishop Tutu he set the example of turning the other cheek and probably prevented the transition to black rule from degenerating into violent chaos.

    In a limited similar manner Cory’s religosity brought back a liberal democratic space after Edsa I. The only violent act seen was the ransacking of the Palace. However her family and others close to her simply with the 20/20 view of hindsight were not about to give up their rise from enriching themselves. Marcos had thoroughly destroyed the institutions of state (the process)so a new group simply took over. Mayor Lim proved that when they gunned down the farmers in Mendiola.

    They were so myopic they forget about what their responsibilities were and by the time she left they forgot to keep the lights running.

    Her family insisted on keeping the reins of power instead of allowing the professional politicos (Enrile & Co.)to take over the rest as they say is history.

    Retributions and restitution was completely forgotten. The Luisita incident set the tone. The families on the other side then realized that it was not really a revolution but a changing of the guard at the top. Weather weather lang pala.

    The feudal culture and the fuedal system held. Big Mike and GMA brought us almost full circle. The present day hacendera is on display. She became a micro manager at the top and her cabinet men and appointees simply “muchahchos.”

    The culture very evident in the Garci tapes. The muchacho guaranteeing delivery to his senora and informing her that her other muchachos were on the job too.

    Now with more details coming out on the ZTE she declares that she was told about the smell and totally separates herself from the actions of her muchachos. Her office is way above the fray. She has no need to get her hands dirty.

    I have heard it said in some gatherings of some of the old rich. ” Ay yan si Mike walang pera yan magnanakaw yan.”

    How many more Lozadas are there in her government. They all now each others “baho.” the speed in which the anomalies of Lozada was brought forward is proof positive.

    The criminal impunity in which they operate in is simply astounding.

    The glue that holds society together is the process of a just and equitable rule of law. Not a process for process sake.

    This anarchy of families must be destroyed.

    We have somehow made stealing a virtue to be emulated.

  11. hvrds

    One of Barack Obamas suggestions for more transparent government is the google solution. States and the federal government will provide information on their expenditures and make it available on google.

    As it is fiscal and monetary auhtorities in the U.S. and Europe make transparency of private and personal financial information mandatory of their civil servants and elected officials with almost everyone else. Law enforcers (including the tax man)have access to private and personal financial information when the need arises.

    No Jose Pidal or Jose Velarde accounts are allowed. Information and transparency is the key to public oversight.

    The only reason why FVR has a hard on for Lucio Tan is the fact that FVR did not receive any help for his campaign for President. Tan has his own private army composed of retired generals and their men. He also has a retinue of judges and other government functionaries on his payroll.

    The men who run the PRC live and breathe class analysis. The local Chinese merchants are their guides. Anyone who has done business with the PRC knows the process of gaining influence. The corruption within the party is rampant. The achilles heel of the system , the bullet to head not withstanding.

    Crime pays in the Philippines. Almost everyone knows it. Someone should simply write a book for foreign investors “Corruption for Dummies” in the Philippines. In the interest of price efficiencies, if more people know the process of buying judges etc, then you have more buyers and sellers and competition will ensue. Just like the fixers you meet in some government agencies.

    Even the process of buying Supreme Court Justices is set in practice.

    Certain law offices have institutionalized the process.

  12. justice league

    Benigno,

    Well somehow I expected you to confront the

    “Case in point is the triumph of Erap and FPJ in the polls.”
    along the line with either an admission that it was just a mistake or even a spin in that you actually meant “survey polls”.

    Instead it appears you want it to be just forgotten.

    That was quite a silent shoe drop. But everyone is still awake!

    And then you go on with
    “Dude, you’re flying off the handle yet again in the typical way that you do.”
    as if that meant much with your credibility.

    And you had to quote an ENTIRE post of yours and YOU STILL COULDN’T show where you supposedly got from me your idea of “four out of five candidates espousing the wrong solution”. There’s a particular term in your video (a derogatory description of former Pres. Cory Aquino) that best describes you right now.

    And setting aside any verbatim reference to my posts; if you want a view of your INTERNAL CONSISTENCY (or more precisely the LACK of it), then read the following 2 paragraphs from YOUR OWN POST:

    “Presumably you refer to this whole thing about the multi-party nature of Pinoy elections and if I recall right, you cited the example of, say, five candidates and how one in such a contest need only to garner a 20% mandate to win the race, which is a possible tragedy if THE OTHER FOUR HAPPENED TO HAVE THE RIGHT SOLUTION OR APPROACH . Let’s call that example of yours Scenario 1”

    “In that scenario you postulated, WHAT WOULD BE THE PROBABILITY OF FOUR OUT OF FIVE CANDIDATES ESPOUSING THE WRONG SOLUTION? If you ask me I’d say that Scenario 1 is an improbable scenario in the first place.”

    That was about a 540 degree turn in reasoning on your part!

    As to your post on 7:50 AM, practically much of it has no relation to the issue I put forth.

    However as to your insistence that “the rest of the world sees Erap as a collective outcome of Pinoys’ discerning taste for politicians.”; I’m sure if you take a poll here with regards Pres. GW Bush, a large enough number are going to remark that the rest of the world sees Pres. GW Bush as a collective outcome of American’s discerning taste for politicians.

  13. UP n student

    Jeg said:

    I don’t know how, but there should be a way for the Supreme Court to intervene when the House of Representatives (knowing majority is pro-GMA) doesn’t move.

    Hire hvrds!!!

    if more people know the process of buying judges etc, then you have more buyers and sellers and competition will ensue. Just like the fixers you meet in some government agencies.

    Even the process of buying Supreme Court Justices is set in practice.

  14. jakcast

    Rightly analized Mr. hvrds! We cannot cure the cancer just by removing the biggest symptom. We should look at this political crisis in its historical context and try to find long term, lasting solutions. Let the state and its institutions strengthen. Let’s weaken the strangle hold of the rent-seeking elite and their patronage politics. Maybe its really time to amend the constitution to give bigger voice to the others. Because if we go to the streets again, after the smoke has cleared, we might just find ourselves ruled by a more evil one.

  15. The Ca t

    Dapat sa iyo, gawing siopao ng angkan ni lozada, you fucking pussy…

    O sige hindi ka na pikon BASTOS ka lang. bakit nakalusot ang word na F.

  16. mlq3

    madonna, the spam filter used on this blog is a cross-platform one used by many wordpress blogs. so it must mean that the word became a spamable one somehow.

  17. Mita

    kelangan nang magpalakas ang maliit na middle class. the size will go up eventually…

  18. justice league

    Benigno,

    Seems you left out 2 sentences in your self quote.

    Nevertheless, your term still best describes you.

  19. cvj

    I agree Mita. I do hope the Razon, Aboitiz, Alcantara families and other oligarchs join the middle class.

  20. jakcast

    I’m no Malacanang lackey, but I’d like to moderate the outrage. Nor am I a fool, although I chose a blogname that sounds like one.

    Indeed, Jun Lozada, for his courage, intelligence, and wit is a hero in this unfolding saga. Romy Neri had shown the coward’s traits of self-preservation. But do you think Neri could be called a patriot for trying to protect the larger interest of the country? He tried to moderate the greed, reported “Sec, may 200 ka dito, testified in Senate.

  21. cvj

    Jackast, i believe Neri might be considered a patriot by Atenean standards.

  22. jakcast

    Please mga tsong, let’s try to avoid labels, namecalling and taglines. We don’t want to turn a possible good debate into a UAAP/NCAA intramurals.

  23. cvj

    Jackast, i made that observation in the context of the Ateneo blogger’s (the one whose mind was ‘molded’ by Fr. Bernas) entry that mlq3 linked to above which favors an elitist approach to these matters. Neri’s actions would be compatible with such a philosophy.

  24. jakcast

    Ok Doc! Thanks for the clarification.

  25. jakcast

    I have serious doubts in allowing the Catholic Church to lead civil society in the current quest to find out the truth. While the Church could lead us into what JDV calls the moral revolution, there are very serious issues that the Church, while trying to be part of the solution, is a biger part of the problem. The failure of Bush was that he allowed his administrations’s agenda to be hijacked by the Christian right. He brought the U.S. to its lowest ebb in terms of hard and soft power. Now every state in every corner of the world seems to hate them.

  26. jakcast

    I blogged this two days ago before CBCP issued its statement today. Issue no. 1 – the Church’s stand on population control: much poverty in RP could be alleviated with more aggressive population control. No. 2-the Church own vast lands that could be used more productively for the masses. No. 3 – the Chruch receives money from government that it knows came from gambling. I believe this is part of the reason why the Catholic Church has lost its credibility. It is a big part of the nation’s problem. (N.B. I was born and baptized a Roman Catholic. I still go to Holy Mass)

  27. DevilsAdvc8

    jakcast, refusing to recognize church authority is not the same as disbelieving in God.

    i believe in God, worship Him, and love him.
    but i can’t say the same abt the catholic church which is so full of BS.

  28. hawaiianguy

    jakcast: “This political crisis is happening again because the state is weak and the family strong. If we let this issue to be decided again in the streets, then we further weaken the state and its institutions: the bureucracy, civil service, courts, armed forces/police.”

    Going to the streets is not the popular option, but rather an option of the last resort (thanks to the lessons of Edsa 1 and 2). But it may serve some purpose now in light of this political crisis that grips the nation, if Gloria will heed it and resign rather than be ousted with dishonor.

    Despite govt intimidations and other constraints, it looks like the pressure is mounting everyday since Lozada exposed the greed behind the NBN deal. Disaffected masses are swelling and swarming. The streets are getting clogged. The silent peripheries are now speaking out loudly, as more people notice the political problem that gets bigger. Lastly, the disenchanted public won’t be noisy, if the touted economic improvements have made a significant difference in the people’s lives.

  29. hawaiianguy

    jakcast: “This political crisis is happening again because the state is weak and the family strong. If we let this issue to be decided again in the streets, then we further weaken the state and its institutions: the bureucracy, civil service, courts, armed forces/police.”

    Going to the streets is not the popular option, but rather an option of the last resort (thanks to the lessons of Edsa 1 and 2). But it may serve some purpose now in light of this political crisis that grips the nation, if Gloria will heed it and resign rather than be ousted with dishonor.

    Despite govt intimidations and other constraints, it looks like the pressure is mounting everyday since Lozada exposed the immoderate greed. Disaffected masses are swelling and swarming. The streets are getting clogged. The silent peripheries are now speaking out loudly, as more people notice the political problem that gets bigger.

  30. benign0

    “As to your post on 7:50 AM, practically much of it has no relation to the issue I put forth.” — justice league

    Too bad you see it that way.

    Kawawa ka naman.

    – 😀

  31. justice league

    Benigno,

    Dapat sa sarili mo ikaw maawa. It seems you couldn’t even defend your so called “INTERNAL CONSISTENCY”.

    It appears that that term of yours that best describes you is going to be appropriate for you for a very long while.

  32. justice league

    Benigno,

    Ay nga pala.

    Hindi dahil sa ang pananaw mo ay kawawa ako ay nangangahulugan na naaawa ka sa akin.

    Subali’t, pantay pantay ang ibang bagay ay ganun parin na ikaw talaga ang kaawaawa.

  33. benign0

    “Subali’t, pantay pantay ang ibang bagay ay ganun parin na ikaw talaga ang kaawaawa.” — justice league

    Now you have me confused.

    Is what you say a fact? Or is it merely opinion you state?

    – 😀

  34. anthony scalia

    People Power IV or June 30, 2010. how to reconcile the two

    heto ang sagot – The People will show their Power in May 2010 by not voting gloria’s chosen

    gloria will extend? asus thats paranoia

    for those paranoid about a gloria extension (including a PM gloria), kindly go over any article on amending the constitution

  35. alas ka dora

    mlq3, i noticed all my postings in this thread have been removed. may i ask your idea on this?

  36. mlq3

    alas ka dora, how? when???

  37. justice league

    Benigno,

    I would say that the status of what I stated greatly depends on whether you can indeed validly defend or not YOUR so called “INTERNAL CONSISTENCY”.

  38. john marzan

    francis claver was also the author of the 2008 CBCP pastoral letter. you know, the one that john nery called “less than intellectually honest.”

    http://bonlag.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13&Itemid=9

  39. Anne

    People power again? Since Edsa 1 we haven’t matured as a nation.
    The world must be laughing at us.

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