Belinda in Space

Monday’s Mass at Baclaran (where the Comelec encoders had sought refuge after walking out of the canvassing of votes in the PICC) pictures, where people from all walks of life came together to recall Edsa I:

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Approach to the Church; banner at the front of the Church

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Church begins to fill up; reminder behind pulpit, placed by Redemptorists

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Amb. Howard Dee and friends; media takes up its stations

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Church fills up; preliminary security sweep

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overflow crowd; FPJ’s daughter

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FPJ’s daughter; Boy Blue arrives

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Cory and Lozada arrive

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Mass begins; processional

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Processional; clergy before the Altar

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Gospel; Cory lights Truth Candle

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Cory; Offertory led by lead convenors of BnW and leaders of Ang Kapatiran

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Two gentlemen in white T-Shirts are the Ang Kapatiran leaders; after mass, “Bayan Ko”

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“Bayan Ko”

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“Bayan Ko”

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“Bayan Ko”

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“Bayan Ko”

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Cory’s remarks

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After Cory, Jun Lozada’s remarks

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Jun Lozada

I recently read an article (in a book) by a foreign correspondent who observed that one of the President’s problems is that she engages in fights she cannot win (e.g. after Estrada’s macho posturing, she tried to be “Ina ng Bayan”). I was reminded of this by a couple of things in Jove Francisco’s latest blog entry. First, there’s the scene of the Loyalty Rally organized by the President’s sons in the Liwasang Bonifacio yesterday :

And let us not forget that her allies conducted their own noisy (festive) rally at the Liwasang Bonifacio. She wasn’t there, but her allies from the lower chamber were seen having lunch (or were assembling themselves) at the Macapagal Blvd restaurant of her son, Rep. Mikee Arroyo (reportedly his)… before going to the Liwasan. And as if that’s not enough, the 100 or so congressmen even trooped to Malacanang shortly before seven in the evening for some chit chat with PGMA. While there, some congressmen, led by House speaker Propsero Nograles continued to lambaste the president’s enemies, like JDV (he called on PGAM to resign), Senate president Manuel Villar (the impeachment quote) and yes, even Erap (for being Erap).

Yup, the president just wanted herself shielded from politics on this people power holiday. But as we’ve seen, she actually surrounded herself with politics today.

(Inicidentally, Pressure Points wasn’t amused by Dato Arroyo’s quoted remarks) And then, here’s Jove’s account of how the President tried to summon up one of the last remaining viable counter-arguments of her administration: that, somehow, Filipinos outside of Metro Manila have different values and that she continues to represent them. So the President, yesterday, went to Cavite. Was it a spontaneous or pre-prepared visit? Jove recounts,

Based on the number of passenger jeepneys (I saw more than 20) and buses (about a handful) that occupied a vast lot beside the provincial capitol of Cavite…one can say that the Cavitenos really “came in droves to pour out their support to PGMA”

The sight of those vehicles parked in that lot was in a word: overwhelming. It was like seeing a vast field where a flock of tamaraws rest. Rolling steel moving around, causing the dust to envelope the area. Pero sige lang ang lakad ng mga tao na naka color coded attire at may dalang lobo sa isang kamay nila. From afar they seem quite happy and excited about being there.

My team waited for the folks who rode the said vehicles near the entrance of the event area. PGMA has yet to arrive so may time kami mag-“man on the street” interview. Pasalubong ang direction namin, eager to talk to some of them.

Turns out… some of the people who trooped to the event were clueless about why they were asked to be there, in the first place.
You have to watch the clip to listen to some of them.

After about talking to a handful of people, and getting the same answer (Hindi kami andito para kay Gloria, Hindi ko alam na para sa kaniya ito, Di ko alam bakit kami pinapunta dito etc etc) I told my crew (Armand and Luther) “Pano ba ito? Bakit wala tayong makuha na supportive sa admin, baka masabihan tayo na hindi fair.” So we tried interviewing some more, but we got the same soundbytes. (Hence, during the final edit, I asked my VTR editor to include the pro PGMA banners, placards plus the shouting of real fans of PGMA (they were seated in front) in my report. Para fair.
Cavite leaders admit… they were the ones who mobilized their kababayans so they’ll attend the rally and so that they can show Mrs Arroyo that the feelings in Metro Manila doesn’t necessarily reflect the sentiments of those in the provinces.

PGMA arrived via chopper. Then she motored to the provincial capitol.

Some residents may not be aware that the event is for PGMA…but as soon as the guest of honor arrived, they still gave her welcome fit for a VIP.
Strangely… the palace disclosed that the president will just GATE CRASH the event. In fairness, she didn’t have a teleprompter with her on stage and we saw her organize her thoughts/speech kodigos in between listening to the ‘small talk” of her seatmates on stage and listening to the seemingly endless profession of support by “almost everyone who mattered in Cavite”. (They were under a tent, the people were not, the reporters were not. It was one warm day, napakataas pa ng araw. Nagdusa kami lahat.)

But at the start of her supposedly “impromptu” speech, the president had a slip of the tongue. Nasabi niya na INIMBITAHAN siya ni Governor Maliksi, pero ooops, di pala siya invited, wala silang kinalaman sa rally na iyon, nag gate crash lang daw sya. Okay then.

When life gives you flags that can’t be raised and potentially lethal clumps of confetti, as well as today’s Inquirer editorial, At least you have that noble prelate, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales who will surely come in handy in that episcopal gabfest today. And there’s the return of the President’s husband to be thankful for, well, hey, hey, the gang’s.. and there’s always Bel Cunanan.

So Bel Cunanan presents the party line, as is well her right and indeed, her duty at a time like this. But something was in the Cool-Aid when she wrote,

Some schools are also reported to be planning to join Friday’s rally and will bus their students rain or shine. This has drawn protests from many parents who don’t want their children to be used and involved in the politics of hatred. So concerned have some parents become that they have set up two blog spots where other parents can air their sentiments: www.pulitikangpinoy.blogspot.com and www.8sallpolitics.blogspot.com. Anonymous bloggers are welcome.

Anonymous bloggers, huh? Commenters, I guess she means…

To be sure there are parents who feel worried, but really, can someone say someone was so concerned they set up a blogspot to air sentiments, when one of the blogs was set up in 2005, has entries for only two months, entirely about Constitutional issues. See Pilipinas: Pinoy, Buhay at Pulitika. Here’s a screenshot, as of 1:12 AM February 26, 2008:

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I mean, is it just me, or isn’t “So concerned have some parents become that they have set up two blog spots” supposed to mean they’re fresh, spankin’ new blogs, for a cause? Seems like a relict of the “Our Name is Legion for We Are Many” Days.

he other blog, It’s All Politics…. (u know…) however, fits the bill, having been set up this month. It’s a great read. With such kid-friendly gems as this entry for February 23:

The continued manipulation of public opinion is so outrageous to the point of hideousness. One of these days, history will catch up with all of you, heroes and traitors alike.

Then we’ll bury you all deep in goat shit.

Continuing on that (goat) theme, there’s the entry for February 24:

Overpriced goats, reckless dispersal of public lands to relatives and friends, kickbacks from previous government projects he had been involved with, and more… all these have slowly eroded Lozada’s credibility. But the most damning thing he ever did was to dance to the tune of his new marching band(his patrons)…and go around schools convincing kids (as young as pre-schoolers) to support an uprising against the government. Such blatant manipulation reeks of goat-shit. Unable to convince the masses to join them in renewed bid to grab political power, the political opposition (a friend calls them the disgruntled opposition) are trying to mobilize the youth by USING the religious sector and the media and just about everybody else who dares falls into the trap of their Jun Lozada script.

I agree that it is the duty of every citizen to be concerned with the affairs of government but we must NEVER fall into the trap set by politicians who have shown no qualms of using public opinion in the furtherance their selfish ends. The danger of Jun Lozada is not in the exposure of seemingly unbridled corruption in government: It is in manipulating the political power of the people and abusing popular will in order to serve self-serving interests.

Enlisting kids to join in subverting authority is one example.

This we cannot allow.

Leave it to the alumni, I guess? Those less interested in goat-poop can, instrad, go on explaining ,as Filomeno Sta. Ana III does, what The Fight for our Children’s Future is about.
Meanwhile, I’m hoping Bel familiarizes herself more with space. Cyberspace.
Now this extract from Space Bel’s column will, I’m sure, get someone’s goat:

There’s inaccuracy regarding the ZTE document signed in Boao, China, last April, and peddling it shows the opposition’s intellectual dishonesty. President Arroyo went to Boao mainly to deliver a speech before the biannual gathering of international leaders there. Afterwards she planned to spend a week in China, but First Gentleman Mike Arroyo’s condition forced her to cut her visit to only 12 hours. Before flying back, Ms Arroyo witnessed the signing of several agreements by various government officials, among them the ZTE deal.

What was signed, however, was not a contract, but only a memorandum of understanding on a supply contract, which is only Step No. 3 in a 17-step process that includes multi-department reviews. The Department of Finance late last year circulated an enlightening graph showing this long process. The many steps could be the reason the cancellation of the deal took five months. But this graph was ignored by the media, which chose instead to strengthen the perception that the ZTE “contract” was consummated at Boao.

I leave it to Uniffors, though, to chew on in. If anyone can get her goat, that blogger will. Perhaps Bel has no diplomatic experience and so needs to be informed what it means when a head of state witnesses the signing of any sort of official document.
And so, the debate on what to do, what not to do (or simply, to be left alone, as A Simple Life prefers), or perhaps whether what should be done is worth it it all, continue. Pinoy Potter’s Chronicles is filled with misgivings at the scale of the problem. And yes, ambivalence about People Power, see The Warrior Lawyer.
He’s not a blogger but Juan Mercado’s Fond illusion looks at the same problem, too:

The crisis, meanwhile, dismantles unnoticed one of our fondest illusions: that before midnight, someone on a white charger, will dash in to banish enemies. They’d rebuild plundered institutions while we slump back to business-as-usual.

This ZTE scam instead tells us: Look beyond discredited pretenders to ordinary people. Leadership is not an office. It is life lived and, in the on-going process, brings change. Academics, parents, students and barangay officials seeking truth will usher in tomorrow. They continue to do that with Governor “Among Ed” Panlilio in Pampanga province. People Power is a weapon of last resort. A stray “hinge factor” may yet see that unsheathed.

“Much of what is new and innovative is not initiated by governments,” Indonesian thinker Soedjatmoko wrote. “Their source is ‘movements from below’: expressions by ordinary people of their aspirations for a decent, secure and equitable way of life.”

Or, as big mango asks, should we aspire for a continuing revolution?
As John Nery points out, what people overlook is that a People Power moment just materializes, though it’s the tug-of-war over public opinion that creates a situation in which People Power can manifest itself. Two years ago I quoted Teodoro L. Locsin Jr.’s dismissive remark on the first impeachment effort, that the opposition was “trying to manufacture a People Power moment,” and agreed with him; there is a more conscious appreciation of the need not to force things forward but trust the Fates to let them unfold in their own good time (which is why those who argue the recent gatherings are an effort to force that moment, are completely wrong).
Returning to Neri:

I think it is fair to say that, for many who are now outraged by the abuse of power and immoderate greed revealed by the ZTE-NBN scandal, the analogy for today’s crisis is that turbulent 100-day period between October 2000 and January 2001. If true, then taking to the streets should quickly lead to a decisive People Power moment.

But it is also possible that the real analogy goes farther back in time. The highly esteemed Torn and Frayed blog, for instance, posits the idea that Lozada is today’s Perfecto Yasay — the Securities and Exchange Commission chairman who dueled with Estrada a year before Singson saw the light (the headlight, that is, of an unfriendly police vehicle). We should remember that the road to EDSA People Power II wound through Ayala Avenue too; in August 1999, over 100,000 people thronged the famous intersection to denounce Estrada’s attacks on press freedom.

I think the real analogy may be to that even more turbulent 1,000-day period between the Ninoy Aquino assassination and EDSA People Power I. We took to the streets almost every week then, driven by the need to confront the evil in the system, but acutely aware that the dictator’s fake-hero persona would not allow him to cede control peacefully. People Power as we know it now was not even a dream then.

So, yes, we should take to the streets; we should repair to our churches; we should fill the public square. But we should let People Power take care of itself.

Meanwhile, it’s up to the citizenry to figure out their personal level of engagement, and define what their participation ought to look like, as caffeine_sparks suggests. Blogger-citizens like Don’t F**k with a Ninja!! are under the impression that political questions require “proof” beyond reasonable doubt. This has never been the case whether for impeachment or elections, a moral certainty is what’s required, precisely because proof beyond reasonable doubt is what’s required for a criminal conviction; in political matters what suffices is simply a preponderance of evidence (as in civil cases). Does it exist? c0nfoUnd aMbigUity seems to think so.
What interests me though are those who support the President because they are uneasy about the Vice-President. But the President hand-picked de Castro to be her vice-presidential candidate; he was her choice, and she knows as well as anyone else that a veep is literally a heartbeat away from the presidency, it’s happened three times to us. Therefore, in her mind, the person best qualified to succeed her should the unthinkable ever happen, is the Vice-President. So you trust her wisdom, then you must accept her choice. If you didn’t accept her choice, you should’ve voted for someone else for veep (for this reason, I voted to Hermie Aquino in 2004).

signs of life has no qualms about standing up and being counted at the present time. Pedestrian Observer links to ongoing on-line efforts.

170 comments

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    • Carl on February 26, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    magdiwang, long weeked kasi kahapon tapos oscars pa. it’s a sad commentary on Pinoy commitment, but I think it really affected crowd-drawing on both sides… – Mita

    The first two Edsas happened spontaneously. A revolution will happen when it’s time for it to happen.

    • Carl on February 26, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    So much crap talk about morality in this political exercise.

    So now if you don’t favor Gloria resigning, you’re morally impaired?

    Stick to the issue: has GMA lost the mandate? You won’t convince me to your side by judging my current political views immoral.

  1. dear manolo,

    my constituents in district 3 of qc and my friends in barangka, marikina, said they were given food and P150 to stay for two hours and watch mrs. arroyo at the riverbanks, marikina event over the weekend.

    this debunks boy nograles’s boast that the people came of their own accord. the pitch went like this: ” o ayan, may pagkain at P150 na, ilang oras lang na tatayo at papalakpak.”

    talagang bugs bunny and her dark company are grasping at straws thinner than joey de venecia’s hair 😉

    • Ederic on February 26, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Cunanan once wrote that the website of pro-Chacha Sigaw ng Bayan was so popular that it got “a phenomenal nine million visits” in just three weeks. “Nine million represents almost 20 percent of the total number of registered voters,” she wrote.

    Cunanan mistook “hits” (file requests) for unique visitors. :p

    • Geo on February 26, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    The numbers (or lack thereof) in the street have spoken.

    The mayors, governors and congressmen — elected by their constituents in 2007 and 2004 — have spoken.

    The CBCP has spoken.

    The military has spoken.

    What everyone agrees about is — Things can…and must…improve. Laws must be enforced; corruption must be minimized. Root out the criminals and prosecute them!

    If this is the core of the message of the vocal minority, then God bless them. Nothing wrong with having this pressure within the democratic space.

    But the majority has also made clear — Let the institutions, laws, processes and procedures be respected.

    Another step in the right direction. Political maturation side-by-side with fundamental economic growth. The future remains bright.

    • cvj on February 26, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Carl, did GMA ever have a mandate?

    • nash on February 26, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    @geo

    “Let the institutions, laws, processes and procedures be respected.”

    I disagree. HUMANS should be respected first.

  2. I love the Cunanantic. When agreeable, she’s informative, when bootlicking, very entertaining. Like Alex Magno. I find great entertainment in intellectual acrobatics.

    • Anonymous on February 26, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    I can’t understand why a mere denial from Malacanang is enough to negate Madriaga’s expose…

  3. this is where we must admire Cory. She was undeniably the most powerful person after Marcos but Cory, I must say, would know better how to handle power than any president before or after her.

    But lest we forget, it ws during Corazon Aquino’s term that thousands of peasants marching to Malacanang for land reform were shot at by security forces. The Mendiola Massacre claimed the lives of 17 farmers.

    This happened less than a year after the first EDSA. Likewise, militarization, the forced disappearance and extrajudicial killings of hundreds of mass leaders and members of cause-oriented groups continued.

    There was the proliferation of human rights violating cultist vigilante groups like the Alsa Masa and the Tadtads. The former president publicly supported these groups in the name of a dirty war against communism.

    This period saw the cold-blooded murder of one of the country’s most promising leaders:

  4. Oh, my previous comment was cut short. I meant Lean Alejandro – former UP Student Council chairman and BAYAN secretary general at the time of his assassination.

    • Geo on February 26, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    nash — The humans in this case are the ones who make up the military, church, congress, governors, mayors…and, of course, those that elected them and/or follow them.

    These humans are saying that they want their rights respected.

    And the only way that is possible is if they also respect the rights of others.

    How? Rights. Human rights. The rights of the accused.

    The hardest part of wanting the rule of law to dominate is to let the rules of law dominate you. That is to say — even though you’re sure of someone’s guilt, you still must accept the results of the legal processes. No vigilantes allowed.

    • vic on February 26, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Ok, assuming that GMA is guilty of all as alleged of her, the next issue here is who (there are MANY) made her do it? These are the people that must be dealt as important as dealing with Her whenever that happens, otherwise same will just jump over the fence and its the same story all over again…

    • hvrds on February 26, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    Below is a prime example of government double speak also known as lawyer speak. The NDC is owned by the state. My favorite banker in residence in the cabinet claims that no cash will come from the NDC but it will come from the national government. The fraud of the BOT.

    Another raid on the treasury in full view.

    All GOCC’s and the BSP are owned by the state and are off budget transactions.

    “Trade and Industry Secretary and NDC Chairman Peter Favila said NDC which was tapped by the government to raise funds for the proposed acquisition of the MRT 3 contract on behalf of the government had approved in principle the planned purchase.”
    “NDC would become the owner of the rail contract on behalf of the government but it will not shell out any money for the takeover. We are waiting for the final proposal from the Department of Finance which is putting together the financing,” he added.

    “Favila said although NDC becomes the corporate vehicle for the planned buyout of the MRT 3 contract, it will be the national government that will shoulder the financing aspect of the proposed deal.”

    “The national government and the MRT3 consortium would settle the payment among themselves. NDC would simply take ownership of the contract on behalf of the government,” he added.

    With NDC assuming the MRT 3 contract, the acquisition would then be reflected in the books of NDC.

    “We are agreeable to the proposal for as long as there would be no cash-out on the part of NDC,” Favila said.

    “The MRT 3 which runs from Taft Avenue in Pasay City to North Edsa started operations in 2000. It is now under the control of the Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC), a private consortium led by the Ayala group’s Ayala Land Inc.; Anglo-Philippine Holdings Corp.; the Sobrepeña group’s Fil-Estate Management; Ramcar Inc. of the Agustines group; and Greenfield Development Corp., of United Laboratories’ investment holdings.”

    “The project contract under a build-lease-transfer scheme for 25 years include various perks from the government including after-debt service, after expense return of 15 percent annually and a sovereign guarantee on loans from foreign creditors.”

    John K. Galbraith said it correctly, socialism is acceptable but only for the rich.

  5. I’ve posted audio of GMA’s radio interview on the Internet Archive. Nice opportunity for some semantic analysis of a smoking gun in Tagalog!

    • nash on February 26, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    @geo

    I have no disagreement with your reply. I’m just iconoclastic kasi kaya I don’t put ‘institutions’ up on a pedestal…

    • Mike on February 26, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    it’s the guys who hold the guns and the gold who will call the shots. 😀 – Benign0

    You sound pleased.

    • Kabayan on February 26, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    I’m back, a brief story of ominous signs in the People Power monument and recapture of EDSA shrine from the elitists by the ordinary Filipino people; with Youtube links at my blogspot bayanikabayan.blogspot.com/

    And just when some thought it would be over 🙂

    Gloria Resign!

    • nash on February 26, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    Can someone enlighten us on this Madriaga character? The papers don’t have his CV (along with seminars attended) and biography up yet..

    • mlq3 on February 26, 2008 at 11:36 pm
      Author

    mita, apparently, yes, co-founder of home cable, if i recall the testimony correctly, and also why i believe jun magsaysay is being asked to help bring him in.

    • Mita on February 26, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    wow…where was the likes of madriaga hiding all this time! he’s the insider in the NBN deal even before ZTE entered the picture. his story can also produce real evidence like the cayman bank account of that ruben reyes he mentioned…

    i’m still for the rule of law, to whatever it will lead to, it has to play itself out – within the rule of law. the country needs closure and we need the institutions to work.

    watch oliver lozano now…he could be up to no good again…

    • Kabayan on February 26, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    Of course for some, photos, recounting of events, cameras, the fact that the police were unable to enforce the no-permit no-rally policy and not to mention the funny incident where pro-corruption crowd melted away at the first sign of rain, will never be enough for them. 🙂

    • Mita on February 26, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    yes i heard jun magsaysay’s name brought up too. i’m still surprised he got involved in this…

    • Kabayan on February 26, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Interesting show Manolo. I’m currently watching “Surviving the Occupation” WW2 Manila in the Explainer 🙂

    • mlq3 on February 27, 2008 at 12:02 am
      Author

    talking about conspiracy theories, where is everyone getting the idea that yesterday or the days before were supposed to be *the* people power? they were days of protests with many more to come. no one has ever predicted when and if the people power moment will come, it just happens. but it’s exercising the atrophied politicial consciences of people that *may* provide fruitful ground for people power to blossom.

    • nash on February 27, 2008 at 12:03 am

    “Lawyer Oliver Lozano has again filed an impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo over the national broadband network scandal.”

    My god, who is this idiot???????? He’s immunizing GMA from stronger impeachment raps and moreover, he should know that GMA has her forcefield for another 4 months or so….

    • ramrod on February 27, 2008 at 12:05 am

    “The hardest part of wanting the rule of law to dominate is to let the rules of law dominate you. That is to say — even though you’re sure of someone’s guilt, you still must accept the results of the legal processes. No vigilantes allowed.” – geo

    No easy to say or do when family is involved. But inorder to save them from further complications with this unjust regime – I have subscribed to this, even if it was so difficult.

    • Kabayan on February 27, 2008 at 12:07 am

    Yes Manolo, many in these times failed to realize that it took years, starting from the assassination of Benigno Aquino to People Power 1, before the protests gathered enough momentum to topple the Marcos dictatorship. As I have been apt to remind today’s young protectors of democracy, it isn’t easy to achieve a democracy with good governance, they have to work for it… patiently, steadily but surely.

    • cvj on February 27, 2008 at 12:08 am

    Mlq3, that premise is necessary to back up their conclusions.

    • ramrod on February 27, 2008 at 12:10 am

    “talking about conspiracy theories, where is everyone getting the idea that yesterday or the days before were supposed to be *the* people power? they were days of protests with many more to come. no one has ever predicted when and if the people power moment will come, it just happens. but it’s exercising the atrophied politicial consciences of people that *may* provide fruitful ground for people power to blossom.” – mlq3

    True! Can’t we just exercise our right for “redress of grievances” without being suspected of sedition? Or worst, get detained for years for a stupid charge of CONDUCT UNBECOMING? Even the US military does not detain anyone with this charge alone, Burma maybe?

    Manolo, can you send me your email address, the one I got keeps bouncing (pldt)? Thanks.

    • hvrds on February 27, 2008 at 12:12 am

    To prove his electability Marcos in a period of instability was cajoled into calling a snap election.

    Erap was very confident of his beating his impeachment rap but that second envelope created the perception of a huge cover up.

    The CBCP is pushing Big Mike and GMA to submit themselves to a transparent process. The greater chance that they will hang themselves.

    The economy might come into the picture down the line. the price of pan de sal and rice might be a factor.

    The U.S. government is moving to bail out the housing industry and inflation will take care of oil prices (they will retreat for a short period), The IMF is running out of money and is going to sell some of its gold holdings.

    Because of lag time – food prices for 2008 will be a major problem. – The dollar will strenghten.

    Countires that are net food importers like the Philippines will move to subsidize prices. When the choice comes to keeping food prices low and allowing a small rise in budget deficits is a no brainer. Trade deficts are balloning already.

    Shorting the peso and even a fifty centavo drop in value leveraged 20 times is like a ten peso devaluation.

    IMF is preparing its war chest for countries that will be in need of funding for their food imports which are wiping out their BOP gains in Africa.

    • ramrod on February 27, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Whats this I hear that Abalos won a free ticket to the US? They say he’s leaving with his wife.

    • Mike on February 27, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Guys, reflecting on our previous two ESDAs, the nebulous thought just put itself into words for me:

    The only thing that will make People Power 3 erupt is this: someone extremely identified with GMA has to defect. Not someone like Jun Lozada, although his defection helps to keep some pressure up. No, it has to be someone who is to GMA what was Enrile to Marcos and Chavit was to Erap. A true insider whose word will be unquestioned.

    Unfortunately, the only thing that will make such an ultimate insider defect is the feeling (familiar to Enrile/Ramos, Chavit, and Jun Lozada) that their patron is about to liquidate them. When this happens, their defection assumes the urgency of self-preservation, and they become totally fearless–when faced with death, what else have they got to lose? So all GMA has to do to survive–and I hope GMA or her minions aren’t reading this–is to make sure none of her inner circle gets the idea that they are about to get the axe.

    And this is the sad thing: JdV should have been that insider. But he was too incredibly stupid to realize that the axe REALLY was about to fall on him. Now, he’s not an insider anymore (and besides, even now that he’s outside the kulambo, he’s still mum–what a pathetic idiot).

    So for those of you who are action-minded (although I have no idea what kind of action this will require), what it takes is ONE MAJOR DEFECTOR. (Forget the Hyatt 10, or even Neri. You need someone like Ermita or either Gonzalez.)

    • ramrod on February 27, 2008 at 12:16 am

    hrvds,

    Can you recommend a good book on economics that simple enough to understand by people from a sales and marketing background? Of course it must have something in it regarding international economics also of some sort? Thanks…

    • ramrod on February 27, 2008 at 12:22 am

    I hope we will see an end to all this soon. I have one question in mind though, if Gloria steps down together with Noli, who’s going to step up the plate?

    • Mike on February 27, 2008 at 12:24 am

    Ramrod, Noli will not step down, I think. So it’ll be him.

    • ramrod on February 27, 2008 at 12:30 am

    Mike,
    Yikes, in my meeting this afternoon, a prominent businessman said the business community is not keen on Noli. That question was actually raised by a foreign guest. You know even up to now most Europeans (and Singaporeans) I talked to still can’t understand why we want Gloria out, they say she’s doing a great job. Unfortunately I can’t reveal my position with these matters as they might have this impression that I’m a loose cannon or something, but I make it a point to update them with newspapers and its working.

    • ramrod on February 27, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Manolo,
    Keep it up! I’ll wager, if Gloria steps down this year I will grant you a guided tour (and you can interview the execs) of any big plantation in Davao of your choice – if not, will you settle for lunch at EDSA Shang? I’m serious, its the least I can do.

    • Mita on February 27, 2008 at 12:33 am

    why call for resignation now when there’s a very good chance a FULL impeachment can be achieved? don’t you want closure? if the president resigns, then what? they all move somewhere they can’t be prosecuted? is that enough for you?

    this is THE chance for the institutions to prove themselves worthy of their existence.

    on food supply, i’m sure there are a lot of people here with farmlands or idle lands in their province. get them bulldozed and irrigated (pumps are not that expensive and can even be rented) and then planted to high-yield rice varieties.

    there was a discussion on productivity and economics here in past threads. let’s take it to the real world and take it as a challenge. every little bit helps.

    • ramrod on February 27, 2008 at 12:36 am

    Mita,
    Re institutions, what if they still show partiality to to Gloria? Corruption does not involve one person alone, it branches out.
    Re food supply, I’m with you on that!

    • ramrod on February 27, 2008 at 12:41 am

    I don’t know if you guys have also felt this, but each time I say something negative about Gloria Arroyo to non Filipinos I feel hurt also, actually ashamed of myself. In the eyes of these people we are hurting ourselves, insulting ourselves…really…but it doesn’t feel that way when I talk to fellow Pinoys.

    • Kabayan on February 27, 2008 at 12:46 am

    ramrod,

    I don’t know if you guys have also felt this, but each time I say something negative about Gloria Arroyo to non Filipinos I feel hurt also, actually ashamed of myself. In the eyes of these people we are hurting ourselves, insulting ourselves…really…but it doesn’t feel that way when I talk to fellow Pinoys.

    It’s because we’re all in the same hole. Foreigners can only listen or even judge, but we Filipinos as whole experience the injustice of it all together.

    • mlq3 on February 27, 2008 at 12:47 am
      Author

    ramrod,. k.k.b. na lang. for that amount you can donate some good books to your local library 🙂

    i’m superstitious, too. the day to toast the people’s victory is when cruella’s gone, not a moment before.

    • ramrod on February 27, 2008 at 12:49 am

    mlq3,
    Somehow I knew you’d say that. Funny how we can feel kinship with people even if we don’t see each other here.

    • Kabayan on February 27, 2008 at 12:50 am

    hear, hear, Manolo 🙂

    • nash on February 27, 2008 at 12:51 am

    @ramrod

    you shouldn’t feel ashamed because hindi naman ikaw yung nagnakaw at nagsingungaling. Mabuti ng you call a spade a spade. I’m often asked to describe the philippines and i start with all the positive ones before saying “it’s also the most catholic and most corrupt in the region” and you can qualify that last sentence with either “and I don’t mind because I benefit from this corruption” which is the stand of some of the spoiled kids I meet here abroad…or “i would like to make a stand and say that I have ZERO tolerance for this and would like those corrupt officials to be jailed…” Or pwede mo ring sabihing “Wa ako pake dahil hindi na ako citizen pero mang-aasar pa rin ako” like the stand of most expat pinoys who live in the first world yet have a banana republic mentality…

    cheers

    • cvj on February 27, 2008 at 1:00 am

    Ramrod, here in Singapore, i don’t bring up local politics at work but when i’m asked, i say that i oppose Gloria Arroyo because she cheated.

    • Mita on February 27, 2008 at 1:01 am

    ramrod, there was also a discussion here in the past that we have to get back our representatives in congress working FOR US, make themselves useful to US and not to themselves.

    a new people power? you bet. if we get the names and contact numbers of our representatives and bug them at least once a month with phone calls, everyday with email if they have any, which they should. when you call their office, ask for the chief of staff, keep calling until they talk to you. the more people calling the more they’ll realize their game is over. you can always couple that with snail mail and have it sent to congress..ilan members of the house of representatives? how many letters can be generated for each one of them? madami-dami yon..

    every province should have its own website….I’ve seen a few but they are not updated. siguro naman there’s at least one IT or computer-literate person who is now doing well abroad and has a lot of time on their hands, from each province of the Philippines, who can start a simple unofficial website for their province with a working email address that constituents with email access can write to. one person in the province can then print out a summary of this emails every month and send it to their congressman.

    for those without internet access, those who ran in the last elections and lost can probably be tapped to work for the people in this effort. they can always run in the next elections and will have more chance to win once they have proven themselves worthy of representing the people.

    • ramrod on February 27, 2008 at 1:05 am

    cvj,
    Its always brought up, its part of how we assess the business scenario, the political situation is always part of the program but I’ll follow your lead though.

    nash,
    You can still get away with that because you’re young, unlike us gurangs, hehehe.

    • ramrod on February 27, 2008 at 1:07 am

    cvj,
    I guess you’re Singaporean colleagues also find it difficult to understand right? They’re quite rigid.

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