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Feb 27

Thank you, bishops

Yesterday Senators Enrile and Arroyo tag-teamed to try to shut down the Senate hearings and one can assume they did so, to prevent the emergence of new witnesses. They failed. And so, New witness tags Arroyo couple in NBN mess. See also ZTE advanced $41M to ‘greedy group’–witness: ‘Chinese, Filipino groups to half $200M overprice’ ‘The worms just keep wriggling out of the can. See Ellen Tordesillas for additional background. I do think this is an extremely valid point: New witness in NBN probe ‘too relaxed,’ says Pangilinan: He might be a ‘Trojan Horse’.

One can assume that it is the public pressure of the hearings that leads to the leaking of documents, such as ‘Copy for FG’ is marginal note on NBN document. It’s well to remember that those grousing over the “lack” of evidence deliberately overlook how the Palace clamped down on producing documents, for obvious reasons.

As Manuel Buencamino does, so will people continue doing: asking questions to which the official answers don’t make sense.

Last night, after an emergency meeting, the Catholic hierarchy released a pastoral exhortation, ‘Seeking the Truth, Restoring Integrity’ with six main recommendations:

1. Condemn the continuing culture of corruption from the top to the bottom of our social and political ladder;

2. Urge the President and all the branches of government to take the lead in combating corruption wherever it is found;

3. Recommend the abolition of EO 464 so that those who might have knowledge of any corruption in branches of government, may be free to testify before the appropriate investigating bodies;

4. Ask the President to allow her subordinates to reveal any corrupt acts, particularly about the ZTE-NBN deal, without being obstructed in their testimony no matter who is involved;

5. Appeal to our senators and the ombudsman to use their distinct and different powers of inquiry into alleged corruption cases not for their own interests but for the common good;

6. Call on media to be a positive resource of seeking the truth and combating corruption by objective reporting without bias and partiality, selective and tendentious reporting of facts.

It’s enough to make AlterNation101 happy because it rebukes the media (does that include government media?). While bloggers like Spank Me! and at wit’s end are furious, and Palace hails CBCP for ‘not succumbing to propaganda’ others, like Bobbie Reyes say the demand to revoke Executive Order 464 is “an extremely powerful statement.” barefoot calls it a wise tactical move. I have to heartily agree with Lunasandwich who points out,

While for sure the defenders of greed and corruption will be quick to use the bishop’s statement as leverage, people should still resist the urge to label the bishops as in cohorts with the enemy. People who believe that GMA must go should not be disheartened. Maybe this time there would be much more meaning when it is the people who convince the Church’s leadership when it is time for evil leaders to go than vice-versa.

People seem to be coming to a decision on their own, anyway.

In his blog, Mon Casiple seems to agree, too:

However, there is a tilt in the balance as it categorically called for the abolition of EO 464 so that “those who might have knowledge of any corruption in branches of government may be free to testify before the appropriate investigating bodies.” The CBCP asked President Arroyo to allow her subordinates to reveal any corrupt acts, particularly on the $329.48-million ZTE NBN deal without being obstructed in their testimony, “no matter who is involved.”

The thematic unity of the CBCP revolved around the search for truth — a formula that basically puts the onus for finding it on the broad opposition. In including President Macapagal-Arroyo as participant in the search for truth, the CBCP basically satisfied the bishops friendly to her. At the same time, it also opened the door for more testimony thereby satisfying those bishops who already made up their mind on the guilt of the President.

The CBCP put itself as the cart after the horse and sidestepped its possible moral leadership on the matter of addressing the key action of calling for GMA resignation. This sends the message that it will only act decisively when the people themselves — on their own — acted decisively towards this end.

There are other nuances to Casiple’s analysis, but on the open-ended demand being significant, I also agree (note: demand, not an ultimatum because, well, essentially the bishops give the President until Kingdom Come to comply: hence the Palace’s breezy “this deserves very serious consideration,” and Scrapping EO 464 requires ‘careful study’–DoJ chief, which is officialese for “wham bang thank you, bishops”) . See Jove Francisco for the Palace’s activities: none of them involving anything the bishops suggested.

It satisfies the Jesuit conditions that things should not escalate until all the i’s have been dotted and all the t’s are crossed. By all means, do so. I am confident this proposal will go the way of that other Jesuit brainchild, the Truth Commission that bamboozled the Solita Monsods of this world into giving the President a free pass in 2005. So they’ve done it again, may their tribe increase. I’ve mentioned before that we have to consider that the real fight may only begin in 2010 when the President’s collaborators run out of rationalizations.

As Tony Abaya puts it,

Edsa 1 can be said to have taken two years and six months — Aug. 21, 1983 to Feb. 25, 1986 — to reach flashpoint of sufficient heat and energy to force Marcos and his family out of Malacanang.

If the putative Edsa 3 (or 4) were to be superimposed on this timeline, and the trigger were the revelations of Jun Lozada on Feb. 5, 2008, flashpoint would not be reached until about August 2010…

By August 2010, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would be on her first months as prime minister or as president on a third term, the Constitution having been amended in 2009 to enable her to remain in power legally and constitutionally beyond June 30, 2010, by the Kampi-Lakas dominated Congress, as is the ill-disguised aim of the ChaCha Road Show inaugurated last Feb. 12 by Albay Gov. Joey “Bitch” Salceda.

Using EO 464 as one more bridge to cross, is fine with me for that reason.

Can the President dispense with Executive Order 464? Only if:

1. She replaces it with another executive issuance that has the same effect as EO 464, or;

2. She puts the squeeze on executive officials to lie, and destroys documents that everyone knows exists.

Method 1 is what Marcos adopted with his infamous Amendment 6 to the Constitution which rendered meaningless his lifting of martial law in 1981. I’m sure some legal sleuthing in the Administrative Code and other places might dig up useful pretexts to block Senate subpoenas.

But method 2 is the easier thing to do, However, in the long run, the least effective because too much has already been said and too many trails lead straight back to her.

Easiest of all, of course, is not to budge on E.O. 464 and keep applying it, saying there are pending cases in the Supreme Court, that it requires proper study, that a special committee has been appointed to look into it and that in the fullness of time it will issue non-binding recommendations for further discussion…

Or, the President could revoke it and throw caution to the winds in which case the bishops could honestly claim paternity for a full-blown miracle.

But what has been happening is that the Catholic bishops and the moderate critics of the President as well as the collaborators, have all come to focus on E.O. 464 as the first line of the President’s defense.

And a means for piercing that defense is actively proposed by today’s Inquirer editorial, Strike for the truth: a nationwide stay-home strike (the editorial responded to this particular about-face by the Palace: Arroyo on ‘flawed’ NBN deal ‘lost in translation’–Palace). No one can say a strike is incompatible with democracy, the Constitution or the so-called government “rule of law.”

Proposing a day to stay home instead of going into the streets should be vigorously discussed (see Amando Doronila’s Arroyo’s work ethic and the Mafia for some particulars on how businessmen are tackling the question of economic costs); to ignore the proposal merely limits the already narrowing options available to the public.

Returning to the CBCP Statement, bear in mind it’s the product of a collegial body and that the immediate objective of the leading bishops was to forge a united stand. The pastoral exhortation was at least, approved unanimously. No one can complain. It may also represent the last service Archbishops Capalla and Talamayan, the President’s point men within the hierarchy, can provide the President.

So, sorry to disappoint Philippine Commentary, but I’m happy with the statement. It can only help tighten the noose and it can only further clarify the battle lines.

In the blogosphere, smoke takes a nihilist look at ongoing events, an antidote, I suppose, to the passion of Etcetera, Etcetera (heartily applauded by Manila Bay Watch). love hurts… but sometimes it’s a good hurt… and it feels like i’m alive… has some photos: see B[email protected] for Cory Aquino’s speech. Philippine Politics 04 responds to a mother’s concerns over rallies.

As always, Mabini’s prayer continues to resound down the ages:

To sum it up, the Revolution failed because it was badly led; because its leader won his post by reprehensible rather than meritorious acts; because instead of supporting the men most useful to the people, he made them useless out of jealousy. Identifying the aggrandizement of the people with his own, he judged the worth of men not by their ability, character and patriotism but rather by their degree of friendship and kinship with him; and anxious to secure the readiness of his favorites to sacrifice themselves for him, he was tolerant even of their transgressions. Because he thus neglected the people forsook him; and forsaken by the people, he was bound to fall like a waxen idol melting in the heat of adversity. God grant we do not forget such a terrible lesson, learnt at the cost of untold suffering.

This is a cool bit o’ video: How cops come up with crowd estimates.

267 comments

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  1. mlq3

    the philippinree national red cross teaches parliamerntary procedure for orderly meetnigsd.

  2. jakcast

    I’ve seen the f___ing word used untimidly in three blogs tonight/this morning. Seems this political crisis has awakened the Pinoy’s hard power. Good morning, my friends, I’m logging off to be with my wife.

  3. supremo

    bencard,

    When you get a chance please Google NOLI “KABAYAD” DE “CASH”TRO.

  4. Bencard

    jakcast, i think some anal(yst) is getting fu..ed a lot from the behind, that’s why (lol).

  5. baycas

    memorandum circular 108

    http://www.ops.gov.ph/records/mc_108.htm

  6. baycas

    e.o. 464
    is no more

    m.c. 108
    adequate

    so, THANK YOU, bishop
    you won’t stop

    exec. privilege –
    gloria’s edge!

  7. mindanaoan

    hawaiianguy: i can’t invoke the national, but you can? what can you see in hawaii that i can’t see in mindanao? … seriously, zero correlation? your other post seem scholarly (mentioning a research), but your zero correlation is baseless. the CBCP is composed of bishops from all over the philippines; the filipinos are all over the philippines. most of the anti-gma bishops are from manila; the noise is mostly in manila. the CBCP refused to join a gma-resign call; you don’t hear much of gma-resign in the provinces. there’s no correlation?

  8. Bencard

    supremo, mark my word. whoever occupy malacanang will get the shaft, sooner or later, as the night follows day. it’s a national disease. quirino, garcia, marcos, aquino, ramos, erap & gma were all accused of the “worst corruption”. except for diosdado macapagal, who was considered incorruptible, only those who died in office were spared. advice to future presidents: at the first sign of trouble, die.

  9. supremo

    bencard,

    No contest bencard. You are the expert on past presidents. Si Marcos na kasi ang presidente noong magkamalay ako.

  10. UP n student

    to mindanaoan and hawaiianguy : ABS-CBN Interactive reports:
    ——–

    abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak interviewed four bishops plus other sources who provided details on what transpired in the meeting.

    Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros said some bishops felt there was no need to come up with another statement since the present situation was no different last month when they held their first annual plenary.

    In the January plenary, the CBCP stressed that while corruption in government continues to be a nagging concern, the bishops said it was “by no means universal as far as the entirety of our people is concerned.”

    They said that the general concern of most people is livelihood and that they want “enough of the paralyzing divisions in body politic.”

    Oliveros said it was only after two hours of discussion that the bishops decided to issue a new statement to reflect the new developments in the NBN-ZTE broadband scandal, particularly with the expose of Rodolfo Noel “Jun” Lozada.

    Kalookan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez confirmed that his colleagues did not want to issue a new statement initially, but they eventually felt it was proper to put things in perspective.

    ….

    Iniguez said “one of the obstacles” that the bishops also argued was how to deal with allegations that government is trying its best to cover up anomalies in government by keeping government officials from testifying in proper forum, particularly in the Senate.

    ….

    In inviting Bernas, Oliveros said the CBCP wanted to make sure that the recommendation they would come up with would not contravene any constitutional principle.

    Bernas explained to them that the Supreme Court had already invalidated some objectionable portions in EO 464 and that executive privilege exists independently from it. EO 464 bars government officials from testifying in congressional inquiries without approval from the President.

    …..

    In seeking the abolition of EO 464, Cagayan de Oro Bishop Antonio Ledesma said the bishops also wanted the Palace to waive executive privilege “in the spirit of truth and accountability.”

    ….. the CBCP reached a consensus on asking President Arroyo to revoke EO 464 in order not to stifle congressional investigations on anomalies in government.

    … the CBCP stopped short of categorically asking the President to give up executive privilege since this is a right vested to the Office of the President.

    “We are not trying to protect the President but the Office she represents,” Bishop Oliveros said.

    ….

    Some bishops wanted the CBCP to declare that Arroyo had lost her moral ascendancy to govern while majority deemed that she has not.

    Oliveros said the “consensus” among the bishops is that graft and corruption allegations against the President were not backed by evidence and based only on hearsay. …that other bishops shared the sentiment that Lozada had not presented any evidence to support his claim, and that the President had a hand in the anomalous broadband deal.

    …many of the bishops from Mindanao, who are more or less sympathetic to the President’s plight, outnumbered those from Luzon who are either critical or neutral on the political situation.

    The bishop noted that of those who were openly calling for Arroyo’s resignation, only one rose to intervene in the plenary.

    Thus, when the statement was finalized, it lacked the venom that sectors who wanted Arroyo ousted had hoped for.

    Oliveros said the bishops considered the credentials of those who wanted the President to resign for supposedly losing the moral ground to govern.

    He cited, for example, former House Speaker Jose de Venecia, who has openly sought the President’s resignation on the basis of moral bankruptcy. “Who are making the assessments? JDV, of all people?”

    A source privy to the initial draft said some portions in the pastoral statement were watered down due to interventions of bishops sympathetic to the administration.

    ….

    The bishops also refused to categorically say whether the pastoral statement last Tuesday was an indication that they wanted the President to finish her term.

    “That is a political question and we are not competent to dwell on that,” they said.

  11. anthony scalia

    hawaiianguy,

    “Besides, that makes current GDP even more unique and grossly incomparable to previous estimates. Right now, NCSB already admitted that current GDP (which goes back ot 2000) can’t be linked with the 1945-1999 series because of differences in methodology and content”

    just to clarify – i hope you’re not saying that the present GDP figure is suspect, because your use of ‘grossly incomparable’ implies that.

    please don’t dispute the figure. its a way for those of us who chose to stay here to check if economic activity is picking up or not. (im not saying anything nor even hinting about quality of life, purchasing power)

    if you just say gloria cannot claim credit for the 7.3 then I have no argument with that, because thats the fact

  12. nash

    @bencard

    “except for diosdado macapagal, who was considered incorruptible”

    er, what history book is that from? zaide? 😀

  13. anthony scalia

    cvj,

    “However, we also know that per Capita GDP increase is the variable that is most questionable because the FIES presents contradictory data. So i would take that increase in HDI with a grain of salt.”

    tsk tsk tsk still insisting on the use of FIES in disputing GDP. basta may maipukol lang kay gloria. haay naku

    don’t worry you won’t hear from from me on HDI

  14. Bencard

    nash, history as written on my brain. i lived through his presidency, and i never heard of him being accused of personal corruption.

  15. benign0

    “I wonder if everyone knows the basic difference between fucking and lovemaking? Even the Church promotes lovemaking.” — hvrds

    Obviously Pinoys are more into fncking democracy than making love to it.

    We want to enjoy the FREEDOM but are not into hunkering down to the hard slog to achieve it SUSTAINABLY.

    Kaya nga Pinoys deserve each other. We fnck democracy, and we merely get fncked back. 😀

  16. hawaiianguy

    anthony scalia: “just to clarify – i hope you’re not saying that the present GDP figure is suspect, because your use of ‘grossly incomparable’ implies that.”

    I still suspend my judgment on the GDP in terms of reliability and validity. Since the methodology, definition, and measurements of GDP have changed, that makes it NOT comparable with past GDP measures. NCSB admits that as a matter of fact.(“The levels in the published and the unlinked 2000-2003 three-year series [re: national accounts – GDP & GNP] cannot therefore be compared with the PSNA link series of 1946 -1999.“ http://www.nscb.gov.ph/sna/2007/1stQ2007/2007tnq_1.asp.) Thus, Gloria has no empirical basis to say that “7.3% GDP increase is the highest compared to the past 30 yrs.”

    “please don’t dispute the figure. its a way for those of us who chose to stay here to check if economic activity is picking up or not.”

    Yeah, I won’t.

    “if you just say gloria cannot claim credit for the 7.3 then I have no argument with that, because thats the fact.”

    Yeah, she can’t do that. Just as she can’t say that GDP under her administration is the best so far (because the fact is, it can’t be compared with past GDP).

  17. benign0

    “fabricate some scandal; have it investigated by the senate; parade false witnesses; put la salle nuns and “brothers” in the gallery; have abs-cbn t.v. patrol crow about it day in and day out – until he resigns?” — Bencard

    Hmmm, it seems you’ve stumbled across a PROCESS for changing government officials that cretins can actually follow!

    Maybe we should formalise this, document it, and add it to an ideas register for a furture charter change initiative.

    If we enshrine our ocho-ocho approaches to change in a new constitution, then at least this pre-disposition to street “revolutions” will no longer be considered to be “extra-legal” and everyone will be happy at last.

    – 😀

  18. isatambay_sakalya

    a few people here says that we should just wait for 2010 when gma’s term ends and for the next presidential election go after the arroyo couple. how sure are we that gma will give her hold on power and subject her, her husband and their cronies to the mercy of her enemies who are still in governemnt?
    conrado de quiros was and is always dead right on target on his analyses of gma and her actions. and i bet that he is also right that gma will not think twice in bastardizing the constitution to hang to power as what f.marcos did in declaring martial law. back then the opposition did not think marcos will not dare to declare martial law, but will the help of his cohorts, enrile-staging fake ambush attempt, ramos- imposed the martial and arrested everybody critical of the government.
    right with the how deep the arroyo government involved in so many corrptions charges and her entire government guilty of coniving with her and having top brass military backing her, i doubt one moment she will declare martial to extend her grip on power. she already tried once and was rebuked by the supreme court!
    the only chance to get rid of the arroyos and her minions from the government is to force her out. and their is strenght in number. and whoever still try to straddle both side of the fence and had a wait and see attitude is to make their mind and be very afraid. we might wake one day and realized we waited too long and is under martial law and back to 70’s.
    forget about the cbcp who made themselves irrelevant. forget e.o.464. even cj panganiban spoke yesterday that e.o 464 has been repealed by the supreme court and he also stated that executive previlige applies only to national security and not only to secrecy. i am very sure that zte-nbn deal is not a matter of national security. so i can’t see how the the present sc justices declare neri’s invoking of executive previlige valid.
    and what happen to hello garci tape? why everyone seems to forget? sc already ruled that gonzalez et al can not prevent the media or individual from airing the the garci tapes. it is the very proof that the gma cheated during the 2004 election thus making her illegitimate and has no mandate and legal right to be the current president.
    we should be outrage!

  19. hvrds

    The word FUCK and the word Shit have a history it is said.

    For Unapproved Carnal Knowledge. People who were accused of adultery were displayed with signs and the first four letters of the word stuck. That is the myth or so they say behind the word fuck.

    For shit its was Store High in Transit. In shipping manure to the New World as fertilizer if they stored it low and water would seep in and wet it it would stink up the whole ship. Dry, it does not smell as much

  20. isatambay_sakalya

    apologize for the typos and missing words in my posts…but i think i still get my message across.
    thanks.

  21. benign0

    “the only chance to get rid of the arroyos and her minions from the government is to force her out. and their is strenght in number.” – istambay_sakalya

    Think again.

    The Philippines is a country of 90 million.

    Sweden is a country of about 6 million.

    Which of the two do you think is the more powerful society?

    – 😉

  22. Kabayan

    benign0 said:

    The Philippines is a country of 90 million.

    Sweden is a country of about 6 million.

    Which of the two do you think is the more powerful society?

    The one that has lesser corruption

  23. Tambay

    @nash

    Re; Barbers, sr. comment….do you agree that if the opposition also spoke with ANY commissioner during the 2005 elections, then he/she should also face the same consequence as that of the president?? If you do, then I am with you. If not, and you say you still need the evidence….then I just confirmed you’re just anti GMA…

  24. UP n student

    To nash… also to cvj:

    According to the font of all knowledge called the Internet, Diosdado Macapagal is

    … the Champion of the Common Man because of his many achievements in improving the plight of the masses and of the poor.[citation needed] His sterling character and unquestionable integrity (known as the Incorruptible) is a rare model for present and future generations of Filipinos.[citation needed].
    — wikipedia on the Internet

    We should reward the children for the father’s beatitudes 😉 and ensure that the Macapagals rule the Philippines forever 👿 !!!!

    —————
    PS: What does “[citation needed]” mean again?

  25. Jeg

    PS: What does “[citation needed]” mean again?

    It means it needs verification from an independent source, for example a document from which that statement was culled. It’s to safeguard the integrity of the article from spin doctors.

  26. Jeg

    Ooops. Sorry UPn. I thought you werent being sarcastic. 🙂

  27. istambay_sakalye

    what has sweedon got do with us filipinos?
    “strength in numbers”, is number of filipino sick and tired of arroyo government and it’s corruption! numbers of angry filipino people that will kick her fat as* out of malacanang!

  28. istambay_sakalye

    here i go again…”sweeden”

  29. istambay_sakalye

    i mean “sweden”…damn i’m so bad at spelling! sorry.

  30. Bencard

    jeg, i think contemporaneous issues of the “philippine free press” would confirm those wikipedia entries re diosdado macapagal. perhaps, mlq3 could help us.

  31. mlq3

    macapagal was called many things in his lifetime but a crook wasn’t one of the things that stuck.the main criticism of his bitterest enemies was his inconsistency, inconstancy, and petulance.

  32. DevilsAdvc8

    UpN, [citation needed] means that article has yet to be indexed, footnoted. meaning, that entry has to be referenced to a published material of reputable value. and no, newspaper clippings and dubious websites aren’t counted.

    we all know wikipedia is prone to self-serving edits of people being referenced. but wikipedia does a good job of cleaning up facts from propaganda anyway.

  33. hawaiianguy

    UPnS, (re ur post of 2/28 5:44am)

    Thanks for that news item.

    The CBCP seems to be a microcosm of national politics. Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, known pro-GMA (like Bishop Capalla and Fr. Quiboloy), threatens Arch. Lagdameo to be careful in his statements, or else…. something may befall him like Bishop Tony Ledesma, who was replaced as Vice-Pres of the powerful CBCP.

    So even among the bishops, there is also politics. And ouster is the name of the game, from a Mindanao “block.”

    The “pera-pera politics” that originated from Malacanang seems to be working. 🙂

  34. TheColdKing

    Hoy Bencard, tumahimik ka na sa bullshit mo, wala nang matinong naniniwala pa sa iyo at amo mo!

  35. hawaiianguy

    BrianB: “we all know wikipedia is prone to self-serving edits of people being referenced. but wikipedia does a good job of cleaning up facts from propaganda anyway.”

    In a way, wikipedia is a panderer of sort. People can surreptitiously advertise themselves, for free. Of course, they may always do self-serving edits.

    But others can also edit, not necesarily their own works but erroneous or ambiguous entries done by self-adulating writers. Many of these items have remained propaganda, because they are too many to catch the attention of righteous editors not officially connected with wikipedia.

    Be extra careful in reading wikipedia entries.

  36. UP n student

    DevilsAdvc8: Got it, thanks!! 🙂

    Bencard: I put ten minutes of extra effort when I did my Web Search on Diosdado Macapagal to see what dirty linen or condemnations may be mentioned in some website or whatever.

    A google search on “Macapagal corruption” 👿 brings back a lot of website URL’s — newsclippings, blogsites, wiki pages, etcetera. But against Diosdado 😉 , no.

  37. Bencard

    upnstudent, i thought so. thanks for the heads up.

  38. Bencard

    mlq3, i bet those descriptions “inconsistency”, “inconstancy”, “petulance” were made by marcos & co. during the 1964-65 presidential campaign. if so, consider the source!

  39. Abe N. Margallo

    (People Power) must at the same time be organized and yet spontaneous. – mlq3

    If the events that have led to People Power I are any guide, revolutionary uprisings go through certain levels (of consciousness): First, the underlying belief by a sizeable segment of society that the rulers and certain institutional arrangements have lost legitimacy; second, certain intense participants or change agents have gotten around their sense of powerlessness and come to realize they have the power or capacity to effect the needed changes; third, the disaffected members of society have more or less formed a consensus as to the nature and or scope of the changes they desire to occur in lieu of the illegitimated rulers or arrangements, whether be it about a total systemic overhaul, a “regime change,” an extra-constitutional overthrowing of a corrupt or immoral government, etc.

    My sense is that People Power III has already reached the first and second levels of consciousness described above. However, before the Great Beast “could take care of itself” today it has yet to hurdle the third level of consciousness.

    For one, I have noted even the reformists in the military and the progressives in the civil society are still tentative about the scope and the nature of the changes to be sought (note should also be taken for instance that the mere suggestion during the Manila Peninsula “uprising” that a military junta was being contemplated has not sit well with potential supporters), while other veteran people power practitioners are apprehensive the next exercise “could again end up repeating a vicious cycle of simply ‘moving on’ in circle, and not leaping onward or to a higher ground” or a “new qualitative state.”

    Arguably, proposals for reforms or transformations, at odds with each other for the most part, still abound. To cite a few: some who believe the two EDSAs were both a failure aim this time to act against a failed system and plan to overhaul it either according to some rigid ideologies or based merely on the “best practices” of ongoing successful experiments; other groups are just angry and frustrated because of “relative deprivation” (middle class weighed upon with a looming downgrade to the next class complain how come only their counterparts in other regions are having all the fun); still others are focused only on struggling for control of the state apparatuses and effecting “regime change” while keeping both the political and economic structure intact; and specifically, accused coup leader and now detained senator Sonny Trillanes is eager to transform the nation “without reinventing the wheel” or whereas Bishop Francisco Claver can only entertain the belief that “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.”

    Interestingly, conservative segment of Philippine society such as the Catholic Church that was a key collaborator during the two successful EDSAs have of late shown their true conservative colors maybe fearful People Power III could spin out of control and end up challenging longstanding values and myths. As a result, reactionary moves from old and once reliable alliances, the CBCP in particular, are silently taking place in the form of tokenism (a plea to President Arroyo to take lead in the fight against corruption) and diversion (a call for a new brand of People Power through “communal action”).

  40. Jeg

    My, my, my. The apple can indeed fall far from the tree.

  41. mindanaoan

    hawaiianguy : The CBCP seems to be a microcosm of national politics. there’s your correlation.
    The “pera-pera politics” that originated from Malacanang seems to be working. accusations, innuendos, that’s not enough.

  42. Pian

    I believe the ongoing NBN controversy is merely a ploy by the Senators to gain advantage in the next elections.
    It’s not that I don’t want to stop corruption, it’s just that you’re not at all solving the problem by booting her out, until our voters learn to vote wisely. The person in line to replace her was voted for the simple reason that he’s popular with the masses.

  43. Jeg

    It’s not that I don’t want to stop corruption, it’s just that you’re not at all solving the problem by booting her out

    If I had a peso for everytime I read this… Pian, no one is naive enough to think that booting her out will eliminate corruption. If that’s what youve been fed, then it’s mistaken. People want to boot her out because she’s supposed to be leading the fight against corruption but isnt. Instead she’s an enabler. I hope that’s clear. Let’s kill the ‘booting her out will end corruption’ strawman.

  44. Geo

    Perhaps the situation is extremely straight-forward —

    The majority of the government, of the church, of the military and of the general population don’t want to follow the Far Left, Far Right, opposition Senators and a minority of the population.

    If the goal is to root out corruption, then it seems that most of society is saying that the latter group is approaching it in the wrong way.

    That doesn’t make everyone a pro-GMA, pro-corruption evil person. Nor does it mean those who won’t follow the People Power promoters are dumb, lazy, incapable of decision or evil.

    “People Power Now!” without the People part equals “Power Now!” for a vocal minority. I guess that’s unacceptable to most…it sure seems that way.

    Want to continue with your advocacy? Fine. Want to have demonstrations? Fine. But don’t say you represent me or the majority in this country. And don’t break the laws. And — most importantly — don’t introduce violence into the equation.

    Meanwhile, I’m sure the vast majority of the citizenry wants to see corruption rooted out. And it wants clean elections. And it wants democracy’s institutions strengthened. These sentiments won’t go away.

    How to solve all of these long-running problems? I’m not 100% sure. But I think it’s clear which solution is NOT acceptable to most of society.

  45. kwentongwalangkwenta

    to anthony ascalla

    the GMA administration is known for padding statistics. i think every administration does that. I remember when Marcos made a report about the improving economy and even the WB-IMF, his regime financiers, were taken aback that they have to tell Marcos to make adjustments with his economic statistics–make it a little bit more realistic.
    with this administration, many analysts have already quetioned the methods used in computing employment rate, daily standards of living, etc. if this administration can pad votes during elections, what more could it do with statistics?
    but i guess we don’t even have to question the validity of statistics to dispute the claims of economic growth. we all know that if not for the policy of exporting human workers abroad, there won’t be any growth to speak of. then consider also the loaning spree that this government is in. GMA has taken too much liberty in acquiring foreign loans, we should be feeling its effects in a couple of years–with perhaps another threat of financial meltdown, similar to what happened in 2004, then followed by a new set tax proposals from the president. right now, the government cannot spend much on development investments because its budgetary priorities is severely constrained by debt payment allocation. then you must also consider the type of growth (if there really is growth)in our GDP. is it driven by volatile foreign investments–the type which could suddenly disappear in the wink of an eye similar to what happened in the 1997 financial crisis?
    if ever there is real growth, it must be felt by the people. statistics could show us one thing, but real gauge is what the ordinary people experience.

  46. AMR

    The CBCP’s call for the abolition of EO 464 is an empty call. That executive order has long been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court but just the same the executive officials refuse to appear before the Senate in utter disregard of the decision of the SC. We are at a dead-end because this administration has nothing but contempt for the rule of law. Yan ang problema, si gloria kasi mismo ang problema. This all boils down to a crisis of leadership and sadly, the CBCP has failed us, not once but twice!

  47. AMR

    The CBCP’s call for the abolition of EO 464 is an empty call. That executive order has long been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court but just the same the executive officials refuse to appear before the Senate in utter disregard of the decision of the SC. We are at a dead-end because this administration has nothing but contempt for the rule of law. Yan ang problema, si gloria kasi mismo ang problema. This all boils down to a crisis of leadership and sadly, the CBCP has failed us not once but twice!

  48. AMR

    The sad thing is this CBCP statement will be used by Malacanang lackeys to suit their own purposes. All we ask of the CBCP is to take a strong moral stand on the question of whether GMA ought to resign. (They need not actually ask us to take to the streets since it is already our call). It does not take years of prayers and discernment to realize that GMA is evil and must be exorcised out of the Palace. At any rate, with or without the CBCP, all decent Filipinos must exert their efforts whatever way possible to put an end to GMA’s rule. It is now or never. She must go!

    By the way, the one day strike may be a nice idea. Payag ako.

  49. magdiwang

    AMR, I think you have to change what you stated on what the supreme court ruling on EO 464.

  50. John Christian Canda

    Manolo, whilst I agree with you and the Opposition that graft and corruption is rampant under the present Administration, I am against moves to remove President Macapagal-Arroyo via extra-constitutional means. If you want to remove the President, why not file an impeachment complaint against her? But always remember that impeachment is a numbers game and that Congress is dominated by Administration allies. I believe that the best way is to take advantage of President Macapagal-Arroyo’s two remaining years in vigilance and in warning the people to be on guard against moves to amend the 1987 Constitution for personal political gain.

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