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Mar 02

A throne of bayonets

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Gathering at AIM: Randy and Karina David; Ang Kapatiran’s Nandy Pacheco

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Doreen Yu and friend; CEAP with seminarians at vanguard begin march to Ayala

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Students and seminarians on CEAP march

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CEAP march

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CEAP march; construction workers watch and cheer

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Our flag waves in solidarity; Assumption students get roar of approval from all present

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Benilde students arrive (La Salle Cavite students were stopped by PNP and only arrived very late)

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Our march; the moment we converged with student groups

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walking onwards; DLSU students forming ranks

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Assumption students in force; this sign was a crowd pleaser

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people converging; the white ponytailed man is Conrado de Quiros

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Mr. Go of NMFREL with Cuisia and del Rosario of MBC; Mayor Robredo of Naga City

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MBC delegation; people converging

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SGV Chairman David Balangue; office workers peering from their windows

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Prayer part of rally begins

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Prayer part of rally ends with green balloons

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Looking towards Roxas Triangle, looking towards the Ritz

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Students from PUP; ADMU contingent

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Peter Parker’s rap

More photos can be found in Tonyocruz.com and in Ceci’s Corner, and in The Black Bass, in The Macster, in Pilipinas Kong Mahal, in andrea’s corner and reylags, in Senor Enrique, in Felmar’s Missionary Journey, in Nel’s Site, and Site de Qiqo! and in the silent assassin and in (Mis)adventures and in Happenstance Tomfoolery and in l\l^l)i^’s siTe as well as in phantom and Out in the Open, and in Non-Operational Station! and in jillpadz and the message boards, Pinoy Photography and Dxyum Website (and don’t miss Market Manila’s photo essay on street food at the rally).

Video, too, over at Cyberbaguioboy, and Tingog.com. See the students gathering and marching; and then see the loyalist rally videos here and here.

More on the rally: The mystery is why loyalists like A Simple Life claim the interweb has been deafeningly silent on last Friday’s Makati rally (as for the carping by loyalists, for example The J Factor, see [email protected] debunks them all). Aside from news accounts such as that of The Daily PCIJ (see Air space above Makati rally declared no-fly zone and also Masses, protests held in towns and cities nationwide Masses, protests held in towns and cities nationwide ) there are first-hand accounts, see Touched by An Angel (who has many links to other posts, too) and Tu devvais essayer, who was happy to make a stand; Secondlady’s Weblog was heartened by the event, too (hat tip: The Manila Blog Times), and Gatsulat and pinoy bochong, who was proud to be there; just as it was inspiring to see Assumptionists like drunk on love.. there, too, as well as kamasupra; while in a twisted little wish accompanied a student journalist friend. Snippet of dialogue overheard by Hoy Pinoy! too. See the account by The Philippine Experience. The dark underside of cramming so many people into the business district is recounted by Maniacal Menace. But for me, the best reflection and eyewitness account of all is over at Writer’s Block:

…I walked, and turned several directions, till I found myself, with other spectators, facing the march itself.

Let me describe what it was like: there were two marches — one was being taken to the streets by the activists, the youth, the Church, and other active members of the rally; the other one was on the sides, where the spectators eagerly and unconsciously followed the motion of the demonstration, taking pictures with their cellphones and climbing the railings or going the long way round. This, actually, is what is happening in our country now. There is the main demonstration, waged by the most militant groups, in resistance since Day One of Arroyo’s reign, and then there is the muted insurgency within the homes, in the schools, and even in government institutions, where those watching TV or reading newspapers mutter in rage over the new series of offenses by the government. They’re too afraid to take part in the actual march, but they share the same rage.

I belonged to the second batch. I tracked the march, through the railings, round the long route, until I found myself in the middle of an AnakBayan section of the rally. I made my way through the crowd, was sheltered by the Ateneans, and moving with the crowd made my way almost to the front. The rally itself was a half-rally, half-concert, and it was really heartening to see that the youth have made a niche in these demonstrations, and put their own touch to it. Between the one-liner or one-minute-lines of the main EDSA figures — Cory, Oscar Cruz, and even Estrada — were the rap/jazz/rock/folk performances of various groups.

I looked around, and the first thing I thought was: it’s not enough. I was animated at first, but immediately afterwards I thought that it wasn’t enough. The news soon trickled in: the police had tried to block several sectors of the rally — from Northern and Southern Luzon, and across the streets and boulevards — to reduce the numbers. The chopper, which appeared and maintained itself for a few minutes in the air around us, disappeared — apparently, ABS-CBN was blocked off from that section of the rally. And Lozada himself admitted that, even as he spoke, the government had resorted to death threats and attacks on his character. “Can you forgive me of these failures?” he asked the crowd, ever so conscious of his role. The crowd responded with a resounding yes. Sure, he may be a weak man, or no Saint. But the weakness of the character of a messenger does not, and cannot, diminish the character of the message. And then, I knew, in the middle of the rally, what we needed.

As a people, we have long harbored a grudge against Czarina Arroyo. In the government sectors, the Church, the masa, the youth, and even in the military and police, people have been wishing and praying for the end of her reign. In the Blogosphere, everyone is in a fit of rage over Czarina Arroyo’s latest failings — the ZTE, the Spratlys betrayal (she is courting China so badly). But not everyone agrees that she can be overthrown, that the People Power still has power. After all, the Czarina has survived a “masa” rebellion, two military coups, a series of violent demonstrations, multiple impeachment attempts, conspiracies within her ranks, and an election. She got away clean. How could this time be any different?

This is my answer to you. Three points. First, we are easily swept away with the blind ideal of clear and obvious results. We want the demonstrations to immediately force her to resign, as we did before in Marcos’ time, and in Erap’s time. I have said this before, and I will say it again: Not every autocrat is a good man. Marcos answered the First Quarter Storm with Martial Law, and the 1983 mass unrest with snap elections, which he hoped would stem the brewing rebellion. And, in the midst of People Power itself, his supporters tried to knock off the uprising, through separate violent encounters, culminating in a march by the military to EDSA itself. The international community stepped in, pressured Marcos to not lay a hand on these people…

Revolutions are not won by one or two large demonstrations; that was the mistake of the January Uprising (EDSA Dos). We forgot that before 1986, there was a 1983 Movement that eventually snowballed. The military rising was an accidental element. We tend to ignore that. Yes, revolutions are won by the acquiescence of the rulers, but even hardline autocrats also eventually cave to pressure. In that sense, I will admit that Nicholas II believed himself an autocrat who would resist the “heresies” of the liberals and the anarchists, and had no love for the liberal ways; but he eventually formed the Duma to appease growing unrest in Czarist Russia, as Marcos held a snap election to appease the growing unrest here… Revolutions are won, generally, by a sustained rebellion, in one form or another. It might have been working silently, as in the Civil Rights Movement in America in the 1960s or the Industrial Advancement in Europe in the 19th century, but it was sustained… We have to suffer, if we are to win.

Second, why do we keep forgetting that our continued resistance is actually working? No, Gloria’s still there, but we have made inroads. If Trillanes and the Magdalo, inspired by the resistance of the people, did not take to the hotel in Oakwood, would we have been warned of the plot to use the bombing in Davao as pretext for Martial Law? If we had not marched in 2005 amidst the Garcillano scandal, would we have inspired the members of the Supreme Court to trash the calls for “Constitutional Reform” by Arroyo elements? Would we have pressured Arroyo to distance herself from De Venecia when he called for the same “Constitutional Reform?” Would we have inspired elements of Arroyo’s government, as Manuel L. Quezon III relates, to thwart the continued attempts of Arroyo to declare Martial Law, in 2005 and in the overt State of Emergency of 2006? We did not overthrow her in that year, or the other year, or even these first few months, but we certainly brought her enemies to the Senate seats almost unopposed in the 2007 elections. We even shook her political base in the local government and in Congress, as was evidenced by Among Ed.

Are those not results? Even at this very moment, EDSA continues to win the institutions of society, and government. Magdalo was an indication. So is the militancy of Oscar Cruz and Panlilio. The students amassing in the streets in a yearly basis and the impeachments are an indication. The sight of taxi drivers, jeepney drivers, and common vendors watching the Congressional hearings on Garci, and the Senate hearings on ZTE, is well an indication. Yes, some elements of government are well unfazed. Our supposed weapon against future Marcoses, COMELEC, has been compromised. They may be, and probably will be lost. Then again, this is the sad truth, when we “prune” the tree that is our nation, of the rot. It is always painful. We are shamed that many of our elders, these so-called vanguards for the new generation, are corrupting our future, justifying that this is for our own sake. Let us turn to them now, shame them, and reject their offers to be the leaders of their order. Let us shame them, and make a better order, replanting in our children’s minds the EDSA that they forgot. Let us replant in all of us the EDSA that men like Ramos, the Fallen Senators, and the “barons” of Congress and the provinces have conveniently neglected and forgotten.

Third. Time and again, we say that one or another element of society will abandon the other’s uprising. We feel betrayed. We watched with bated breath, and disappointment as the Trillanes revolt was snuffed out, in 2003, then in 2007. We watched, in frustrated anger, as the CBCP rejected calls for a new EDSA, and instead asked for calls of overthrow through legitimate instruments. We took to the streets, to hotels, and to churches, and we raised our hands in victory, and went home. And always, it was the same — in EDSA, EDSA Dos, EDSA Tres, ad infinitum.

My friends, there is a scientific principle that goes like this: “An object that is at rest, stays at rest.” If we refuse to resist, we will condition our bodies to willingly surrender, however rough the violence or however much the abuse reaches a crescendo. At the very least, and fortunately, we are not in a state of rest. We are in a painful transition between rest and motion… What we do not have is inertia; we had momentum, but we did not sustain it.

Our demonstrations, our protests — our motion in general was focused on anger. This is a volatile, passionate, but scattered emotion. It forms the most fiery basis for rebellions; but it is also easily killed. Lozada, in his speech, warned that “we must not let this demonstration be impelled by anger; when the anger dies, we go home. We must be impelled by a need to serve, and to watch over the excesses of the government.” In short, we must be impelled by our obligations, and not by our tempers.

Our momentum was made and sustained by anger. And so we easily got distracted by other things: the ZTE controversy, the Garci Scandal, Martial Law fears, Cha-Cha, the bombings in Ayala and Batasan. The government knows this — why else do you think they move the media from one headline to another, as if we were living a teleserye? Doubtless our target was indirectly the same, but our energies were spent on the symptoms, rather than the disease itself: a system of government that makes Estradas, Arroyos, and Marcoses possible. We can at least learn.

I am not naïve enough to say that demonstrations will assure Arroyo’s overthrow. It did not force Suharto or Thaksin out. The 1983 rising did not pressure Marcos to resign. But the sustained rebellion had an effect: the two autocrats of Indonesia and Thailand were forced out by the military under the pressure of continued civil disorders. Marcos was forced to hold snap elections when the mounting pressure of the Aquino assassination added to the weight that the International Community brought down on him. No, no, no, Arroyo will not listen, as Pharaoh did not listen to Moses, but we will howl nevertheless. In the two years she remains in power, we will howl her in the streets, howl her in the courts, and howl her out of office. We will howl like mad, and make all of government tremble with fear. We may not have the power to forcibly take her out, but we have the power to pressure the elements of her government to keep her from remaining one day more. If we sustain our EDSA movement, we can be vigilant enough to take hold of her that one last day and try her for crimes against the nation. If we sustain our EDSA movement, we can kill the Arroyo government by electing new, idealistic blood to the Senate, and the House of Representatives (fingers crossed!) and other elements of government…

…We have ignored the EDSA Movement too long. Beyond the masa dispersals, the high profile exposes and uprisings, and the media coverage, the weight was carried by the priests, the journalists, and student activists. That is why they are killed. To the critics who say that we have to go through legal means, I say this: The EDSA Rebellion is seeking her overthrow both legally and extra-legally. Legally through the Ombudsman, the Courts, and the impeachment complaints. Extra-legally through the streets, and maybe through the military revolts. Don’t those cretins dare say that this is political adventurism in disregard of law, for EDSA works in the streets and in the courts. Men of God are dying to fight for the freedoms these cretins are too delinquent, afraid, or lethargic to take up. Mahiya naman sila…

…Inertia, inertia, inertia. I can’t stress this fully enough. We must discipline ourselves to continue to resist, long after the rallies have dwindled and the passion of the latest headlines have died down. We must head to the rallies — for it helps; at the sight of farmers and workers who have marched and labored their way to the big cities, so that their voices can be heard and be united with the students’, we are given a perspective that is not readily seen on a couch watching the latest news unfold on television. Beyond our short attention spans, and even when the demonstrations dwindle to mere hundreds, still we must keep the rebellion in motion. For only by standing in opposition can we not acquiesce to the continued erosion of our nation. To those who are still uncertain, a final line from Our Lord Himself: “if you blow neither hot nor cold I will vomit you from my mouth.”

If you blow neither hot nor cold, the nation will vomit you out.

The ever-wise Scriptorium ponders this entry, too. Svelte Rogue Reborn explains why the blogger attends rallies. What rallies represent is tackled by muse, memories and musings. And the aftermath is recounted by abashet. A reflection is offered up by Chronicles of the Daily Grind.

Read in Abraham Domingo Photography how LaSallians from Cavite were prevented from attending the rally by the police. This reminds me of something I heard someone say at a forum a year or two ago: please rally in Metro Manila, the person said, because in our province we cannot gather at the plaza because the warlords and police keep an eye on us and unlike in Metro Manila, no one will dare raise a fuss if we are intimidated or even disappear. A very valid point, and you only have to go down the list of warlords firmly allied with the administration to understand. Splice and Dice comments on the President’s seeking shelter in Camp Crame.

The Warrior Lawyer and Torn & Frayed have thoughtful analyses of the rally, while The View from Here continues to have reservations about rallies. Demosthenes’ Game lists his reservations about both sides. Ang Kape Ni LaTtEX is holding fire until 2010 leaves no room for debate (on whether the President intends to stay or not; personally, to me this will, indeed, be the ultimate tipping point). Iloilo City Boy won’t be satisfied with regime change. Simply Gemini is hostile to rallies, as is a_badly_drawn_boy .

As for the analysts, Mon Casiple in his blog writes,

The rallies are enough to shake the foundations of the House of the Arroyos. They cannot — on their own — bring it down, at least not yet. The more immediate impact would be on the Cabinet, the ruling coalition, and on the military and police support legs of the regime. The people in these institutions will come under intense pressures in the days to come to at least fall back in their defense of the Arroyos and, more likely, start negotiations on transition scenarios. The question of loyalties has now come to the fore…

There is already a vote for regime change among the people, particularly among those in the middle classes and the grassroots. The only agenda left on the political table is who will deliver the bacon first. There are acute maneuverings within and outside the ruling coalition and among the political elite to do so. A major tug-of-war will revolve around Vice-President Noli de Castro, the constitutional heir-apparent.

People power here cannot yet assert its own agenda — it is in fact still evolving its own beyond the call for truth and resignation or ouster. If the political elite fails to resolve the political crisis soon, this people power — shown in Makati — may surely come again with a definite program, definite leaders, and a definite strategy. If it does so, and assuming a more organized and stronger presence, it could very well overwhelm the various elite schemes and dictate the terms of regime change.

Today’s Inquirer editorial takes a look at last Friday’s rally, and says the enduring image it portrayed was of young students joining the fray, and that the President’s perched on A throne of bayonets. The editorial brings up a genuine issue concerning broken agreements. See Organizers regret Aquino, Estrada’s presence at rally. Blogger New Philippine Revolution appeals to the movement I belong to, not to push the issue, but the issue’s strongly felt by many. There will be fallout from Jejomar Binay’s decision to invite two former Presidents, Aquino and Estrada, on stage when many participating groups had opposed having politicians speak at all. The fallout was immediate: as j9, a student, recounts, after Estrada appeared on stage, La Salle pulled out of the rall at 6 pm. Other schools left, too, while others stayed. Hopefully, these issues will be threshed out in post-mortem meetings on the conduct of the rally. If political groups can moderate their greed, a stronger unity can be created. Personally, my view is former President Estrada is a free man precisely because of the administration; his drawing power has been enhanced by the Palace. What I object to, strongly, are the Macedas, the Tatads, etc. You cannot fight hakot with more hakot.

Meanwhile, Sylvia Mayuga entered the Twilight Zone: see Truth, Half-truth and Lie. And she has the veteran newshen’s eye for the telling detail:

By now, memories of “Hello, Garci?” whispered two words: “Rembrandt Hotel.” In the first heat of that scandal in 2005, a Palace source told me that Rembrandt Hotel was where Gloria Arroyo’s cabalen, KAMPI party leader and soon-to-be DILG secretary Ronaldo Puno (past master of dirty tricks operations in four presidencies, a fellow Atenean volunteered back then) was directing government “media management” operations. In 2008 Rembrandt Hotel was where the police team that picked up Jun Lozada at the airport suggested they bring him from Outback Restaurant.

This sort of weird experience is happening more and more, and let me just say this. I respect those who continue to have misgivings, who express irritation and even alienation with those who’ve decided to make a stand; one can only hope further discussion and dialogue will clarify matters for everyone. But I really have to wonder at some, not all, of those who criticize the critics of the President, while pretending not to be loyalists. But some undeniably are, but think that if they deny it, people will believe it. Why be ashamed of your convictions?

Two columnists said it best. From former Chief Justice Panganiban:

In the meantime, what should the citizens do? I say, rage on! Rage for truth! Press on with the demos. Make them more massive. Intensify the media blitz. Sharpen the Senate investigations. Hasten the Supreme Court decision that, I believe, would unshackle Romulo Neri. Fill our churches during masses for truth and justice. Pray with our bishops, priests and nuns until “communal action” shall lead us to a new type of people power that would liberate us from corruption and restore integrity.

Surely, when the people started protesting the Marcos dictatorship, few could have anticipated that those heady days would eventually lead to a peaceful change in the presidency, a triumph of truth and a victory for democracy. Umabot tayo noon, aabot din tayo ngayon! (We got there then, we’ll get there now!).

And read Patricia Evangelista’s eloquent The Center cannot hold. Seems so long ago when I wrote The Center must hold. As for the loyalists, the 2010 Movement has a manifesto of sorts, courtesy of Solita Monsod (my reply, in a comment in the previous entry).

***

A recent Inquirer editorial pointed out that the Palace is tripping up on one of its key messages to keep loyalists pumped up: “bring it to court!” But when someone did, well, read on:

Bring it to court, her spokespersons and her allies in Congress and in the local governments as well her apologists chime in. It is only there that the “real” truth can be brought out.

The groups Kilosbayan and Bantay Katarungan, led by former Senate president Jovito Salonga, have accepted the dare. Last Wednesday, they filed plunder and graft charges against Ms Arroyo before the Office of the Ombudsman. They know they can’t secure a conviction between now and 2010, when she leaves offices and sheds her immunity. But Salonga said there is nothing in our statutes that prevents the Ombudsman from investigating their complaint now…

And what does Malacañang say? That’s harassment, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo protested. Being a “staunch constitutionalist,” Salonga “should have waited for the Senate to end its investigation before filing any complaints … [E]veryone is jumping on the bandwagon of reckless judicial action against the President,” Fajardo said.

Is Malacañang getting confused, or is it trying to confuse the public? Arroyo administration officials and their allies have been demanding that the Senate terminate its investigation pronto. Now, Fajardo is saying it should be allowed to finish its investigation first before anybody files charges…

For all their avowals of interest in ferreting out the truth behind the ZTE-NBN deal, administration officials know there is no better way to keep the damaging details sealed than to take the issue out of the Senate and into the prosecution service. In the Department of Justice they can count on Secretary Raul Gonzalez to protect the President and her people at all costs. In the Office of the Ombudsman, Gutierrez can be relied upon to either dismiss any charges quickly, such as those against former Commission on Elections chair Benjamin Abalos and others involved in the P1.3-billion poll automation scandal, or to sit on them until hell freezes over, like what happened to the P728-million fertilizer scam.

In fact, cases have been filed against some of those involved in the ZTE-NBN deal, some as early as five months ago, but it was only last month that Gutierrez put together an investigating panel to look into those charges. And its timing created suspicions that the investigation was intended to keep some people from testifying in the Senate. A more recent case filed by Sen. Jamby Madrigal against airport and police officials who had a hand in Rodolfo Lozada’s abduction upon his arrival from Hong Kong has actually been cited by the accused as their reason for defying a Senate summons for them to continue testifying.

And to those demanding that the President lead the way by revoking her Executive Order 464 and Memorandum Circular 108, think again. The Business Mirror editorial last Friday, A mushroom shed, points out that the administration is focusing its energies on further restricting information:

For all the reputation of its staff for technical competence and integrity, outsiders now seem willing to believe any wild story about it because they do not get the right and timely information from the horse’s mouth. Why? Simply because that horse has been gagged, with the rest of the bureaucracy, by Executive Order 464 that prohibits officials from cooperating with congressional inquiries in ways far beyond the contemplation of executive privilege.

Now comes the report that, even as bishops have strongly urged President Arroyo to lift EO 464, Neda’s middle-level officers and technical staff are in a quandary because of a planned internal order that exacerbates the effect of EO 464.

The agency, according to this paper’s Neda reporter, is set to draft “guidelines for the dissemination of project information to the public.”

The decision to limit information coming out of the agency is said to have been inspired by EO 464 and Memorandum Circular 108, or the “Guidelines on Appearances of Department Heads and Other Officials of the Executive Department Before Congress,” and the pending court case filed by the Senate of the Philippines against the agency over the nonsubmission of project documents, such as the national broadband network that would have been done by Chinese firm ZTE Co. under a Chinese state-funded loan.

According to our report in this issue, reliable sources revealed that while EO 464 and MC 108 do not specifically state that members of the media are included in the coverage, Neda is taking a more conservative stance by not divulging any information on any project to any individual or entity.

Particularly, sources said, information that might be regarded as subjudice, pertaining to the case filed by the Senate which was recently remanded to a lower court by the Supreme Court.

In case of requests for documents not covered under the provisions set by EO 464 and MC 108, Neda, under the new guidelines being prepared by agency lawyers, will first seek the approval of the President. The justification: the Neda Board, the highest governing body of the agency, is chaired by the President.

What does this mean to the press, which is not covered by EO 464 and MC 108? It means they can have access only to official press statements and other similar documents deemed safe for distribution to the media or the public, in general.

The planned new policy is a throwback to the martial-law period. After 1986, documents or project-evaluation reports could be directly obtained from the Neda director general or any ranking official or from the specific staff or department concerned.

While EO 464 requires prior presidential approval for the appearance of officials in Congress, MC 108 covers the nondisclosure of information contained in conversations, closed-door meetings and information between inter-government agencies, among other things.

These two, along with the planned guidelines by Neda’s legal staff curbing media access to all project documents, are certainly bound to keep the public in the mushroom shed for much longer.

Ironically, there was talk on Thursday that Malacañang will try to deflate the political air generated by the much-anticipated February 29 protest rally in Makati City by announcing a relaxation or lifting of EO 464.

If the public were to get its signals from Neda, however, the mood in the Executive is still not toward more transparency and accountability, but more nondisclosure.

And so to those who insist, “where is your evidence?” Here’s additional evidence that the Palace’s only interest is to keep that evidence under wraps.

As Randy David said in his Saturday column,

It is true–politics is not exactly the best site to look for the truth. But then, neither is the justice system a privileged site for finding the truth. Indeed, a refrain we often hear from lawyers is that not all truths are admissible in court. It is clever for Malacañang to argue that the proper resolution of the ZTE-NBN controversy rests exclusively with the courts. Treating it as a purely legal matter is a way of suppressing the many other faces of truth.

What is at stake here is not just the legality or illegality of a contract. More than this, what is at stake is the power of citizens to hold their leaders accountable for decisions that are made in their name. Have these leaders been transparent and faithful to their oath of office? Or have they misused the powers and prerogatives entrusted to them? Such questions are decided not in court or in church but in the public sphere of politics, not by judges or prelates, but by a nation’s citizens.

We should wait for the next elections then, they tell us. Under normal circumstances, we should indeed. But if the electoral mechanism itself has been rigged and brazenly abused by the present leadership, shouldn’t the first step be to repair this vital mechanism of democracy and restore its legitimacy? This brings us to the key question: Do we still believe this is possible under Ms Arroyo? The truth has caught up with us. It is time to face it.

And meanwhile? Undermined institutions will, indeed, continue as such, as [email protected] explains.

***

And the movement for people to operate within their circles of influence continues. See the petition at Ateneans Act.

123 comments

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  1. tonio

    If there was one thing the rally did, it made clear the sentiments of the people who went, and the people who were witnesses. According the the posts above I was a member of the second group. I had to go to my alma mater to do some research for work and was so caught up in my reading that by the time I got out of the library people were already gearing up to walk out onto the street.

    As I’ve said before, I am no fan of getting into “people power” in the traditional sense. Having witnessed the betrayal of EDSA2, I did not want a repeat under yet another power hungry trapo bastard.

    But I do harbour the hope that somewhere in this sea of people will be enough thoughtful souls who will hope not merely for the ouster of a President, but for the institutions of this country to finally work for the good of all Filipinos.

    And so I went, with my fellow AIMers, both past and present, but confined myself to the sidelines. I got into a few random conversations with younger people who had me convinced that what we have for the most part, is a youth that has learned from the lessons of their kuyas and ates who got involved in EDSA2.

    The Cory spoke up.

    And I went to McDonald’s Paseo to get a drink.

    And made my way home.

    Sheesh.

  2. Danielle

    I was pleasantly surprised to read the comments of Panganiban…I don’t think GMA’s back is to the wall but comments coming from a former Supreme Court Chief Justice must give GMA pause.

  3. BrianB

    Writers block:

    Told you, stop being a self-conscious rallyist. Just go when you need to go. Later on when Gloria is unseated, we can nitpick on the numbers that booted her out. I reckon it will be less than Edsa Dos.

  4. BrianB

    I mean about writers block’s post, not TO writers block himself.

  5. istambay_sakalye

    as i already mentioned in my last comments in the previous thread. it was regretable that there were some opportunista individuals during the makati rally but most of those who showed were there because they are outraged and angry at the arroyo administration.

    the youth showed up in great numbers from the most conservative school to the most liberals. this only shows that the outrage people are feeling right now is not just isolated within a certain class of society. very reminiscint of the marcos yrs. at the height of mass rallies eventually leading to edsa I. ang mga kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan! it is great to know that the youth can’t be fooled be the corrupt propaganda! philippines will have bright future!

    this is not the end this is just a start of something bigger. let us keep the pressure on. the fact that gma holed up in camp crame shows that she was feeling the heat and was scared!

    gma and her minions keep on harping on how the economy is doing great and claiming credit for it. let us do a test to prove their claim. maybe the OFWs and other overseas based workers should stop sending money to their families for at least a month and we’ll see what is the effect on our economy! philippine economy is largely dependent on the money sent from overseas, from the blood, sweat and tears of our OWFs, and the gall of arroyo to claim credit.

    if the economy is really doing great why then the mass exodus of the filipinos to keep their families alive? why are our top brains (doctors, engineers among other) take up nursing or becomes care givers so they can find immediate job abroad?

    it is like saying that marcos did great for our economy during his reign because he built roads, PICC and other extravagant infrastructures. our present economy is thriving not because of arroyo, it is thriving inspite of arroyo. imagine what our economy would be without the massive kickbacks and corruption?

    it is embarassing enough that vietnam is poised to overtake us, if not already have!

    i just got back from church and the gospel is very reflective of our present situation. it is about a man blind at birth where Jesus put dirt on his eyes and told the blind man to go home and wash it off. after following Jesus’ command the blind man was able to see. people who refused to believe arroyo is evil represents the blind man and they need to wash the dirt off their eyes to see the evil that arroyo is!

    the fact that everyone in arroyo’s administration is trying to make a liar out of one single person that is mr.lozada shows us how powerful TRUTH is! don’t tell me they are doing these to protect ben abalos…who is leaving the country to save is own skin! if he is allowed to leave the country before he is made accountable for all the evil that he has committed against the entire nation will be a travesty. senate should issue a hold departure order!

  6. The Equalizer

    IS NOLI DE CASTRO AN EFFECTIVE “FIREWALL” FOR GLORIA ARROYO?

    The Results To-date of the EQ POLL on:

    “IN YOUR OPINION,IF GLORIA RESIGNS BEFORE 2010,ARE YOU WILING TO LET NOLI DE CASTRO SUCCEED AS PRESIDENT?”

    YES!: 26%

    NO!:26%

    It’s like choosing between devil and the deep blue sea!:38%

    No comment na lang! :8%

    Votes so far:109 votes

    The EQ Poll suggests that Noli De Castro is indeed an effective FIREWALL for Gloria Arroyo!

  7. BrianB

    Ateneansact:

    “Where fraternal conscientization and correction in true Ignatian-Jesuit tradition should have “washed away – not moderated – the spirit of greed” in the
    hearts of these “vulture-ized” members of the “eagles’
    nest,” we, their brothers and sisters, can no longer
    observe at the sidelines. It is time for us to take
    action.”

    Another Krip Yuson?

  8. vic

    As Randy David noted that not all Truth Can Not be uncovered by the Justice System as some truth are not even acceptable as evidence, but the Accountability of the Sitting President is beyond dispute. She should answer and clear up all allegations hurled toward her or set up a process to which an impartial (not Raul Gonzalez) and independent body to do it for Her.

    She might even be surprised of the Results..

  9. Will

    BrianB:

    sorry, couldn’t help it. first-time experience, you know.

    there’s still a lot of fear out there of the soldiers and the police, and people trying to undermine the efforts. You just don’t know how much vigilance you give; too much and it would be mistaken for politicizing–too little and it’s a fad.

    yeah, i agree. the point is not the numbers, but the going. the point is not the people, but the system.

  10. noid

    Just want to share a video I took during the Interfaith rally. I move that this song be made the official anthem of this new People Power movement 😉 http://youtube.com/watch?v=emBpF9Uxj4Q . Please tell us if you know the exact name of the song and/or the name of the performers. Sung at the tailend of the rally. 🙂

  11. mlq3

    noid, i dunno. but the slogan “alis dyan” has historical resonance. it was the slogan during the campaign when gma’s father, president macapagal, was defeated in 1965.

  12. BrianB

    will,

    I apologize for the confusion. I did not direct the comment to you but to other people here who prefer to count heads, like Manolo (sorry). There was an argument about numbers during the evening. I counted only 2,000 people, and that got me some flak.

    Your piece was an amazingly vivid account of the event and what you felt about it. I echo Manolo’s thanks.

  13. mlq3

    brian, im not obsessed with attendance, i was just frankly puzzled over your estimate.

  14. BrianB

    Will, another thing.

    What you’ve written, I feel, is very important. It’s a treatise for this specific time in our history. Really, I say this not just as another writer but as a fellow Filipino who believes this country can do better.

  15. benign0

    Dudes, there won’t BE a next time.

    The only “next time” there is is the 2010 elections.

    Obviously some people can’t HANDLE that SIMPLE truth.

  16. noid

    wow manolo, didn’t know that. that would even be more appropriate hehe. history repeating itself 🙂

  17. BrianB

    Manolo, what can I say.

    What I’ve been waiting for really is for some wise man or priest or leader (if a real one exists) to tell Filipinos to trust their hearts.

    The column of Evangelista reminds us of the older Joker in contrast with the newer one. If Joker has proven to be an untrustworthy guide, then who can we trust but ourselves. Our upbringing, our principles passed to us by our parents, our religion, even our education. During times when institutions are compromised, who do we turn to but ourselves. I suppose those who call for grass roots change (and I’m not one of them) will get what they want: Filipinos as individuals taking it upon themselves to rebuild the country, not brick by brick but rebuild by saving one soul and then another from corrupting forces.

  18. The Ca t

    As I’ve said before, I am no fan of getting into “people power” in the traditional sense. Having witnessed the betrayal of EDSA2, I did not want a repeat under yet another power hungry trapo bastard.

    Amen to that.

    The Cory spoke up.
    And I went to McDonald’s Paseo to get a drink.
    And made my way home.
    Sheesh.

    And was it before Cory’s speech when the men of cloth walked out because the agreement was to keep the politicians out?

  19. magdiwang

    It is true—politics is not exactly the best site to look for the truth. But then, neither is the justice system a privileged site for finding the truth. Indeed, a refrain we often hear from lawyers is that not all truths are admissible in court. It is clever for Malacañang to argue that the proper resolution of the ZTE-NBN controversy rests exclusively with the courts. Treating it as a purely legal matter is a way of suppressing the many other faces of truth.

    What is at stake here is not just the legality or illegality of a contract. More than this, what is at stake is the power of citizens to hold their leaders accountable for decisions that are made in their name. Have these leaders been transparent and faithful to their oath of office? Or have they misused the powers and prerogatives entrusted to them? Such questions are decided not in court or in church but in the public sphere of politics, not by judges or prelates, but by a nation’s citizens.

    But where is the truth? We are desperately begging for an answer. Mr Randy David did not certainly address where to find it and he actually suggest not to seek it.

    Who decides the truth? Certainly not only the opposition but all the citizens of our country.

  20. jackast

    amen magdiwang! solita monsod’s piece addresses the crisis in the point of view of a political economist. although she’s more an economist than political scientist. she enumerated the perceived costs and benefits of ousting or letting GMA stay. in a realist approach, we could discern this in its utilitarian sense, i.e. “greater good for the greatest number” or “the lesser evil for the least number.” just a thought.

  21. benign0

    “Who decides the truth? Certainly not only the opposition but all the citizens of our country”

    The answer to that is not a “who” but a “what”.

    It is PROCESSES that facilitate the emergence of the Truth in a truly modern society. The reason we are so addicted to pointless personality and partisan speculations and the pontifications of the latest “hero” is because our processes are so primitive as to be prone to wanton manipulation by people.

  22. nash

    How was it during Edsa 2? Did erap also ask the pnp to blockade the roads so that people cannot join the rallies? Did he also declare areas no-fly zones?

  23. rego

    Solita Monsod seem to me the most objective columnist in the country today. Once again i totally agree with what she wrote.

    And who say Gloria did not accomplishe anything in her term.

  24. nash

    Is it possible that the Joker is getting senile?

  25. istambay_sakalye

    dude do you really believe in your mind and heart that there will be a PRESIDENTIAL election comes 2010?
    election maybe yes but presidential election is very doubtful. once the arroyo regime weathers this storm because of the apathy of good and decent filipino people, who’s gonna stop arroyo and her lapdogs in the congress from shoving down our collective throats the change of presidential to a parliamentary form of government through a charter change?

    we should be afraid that neri did not refute lozada’s claim that he called gma evil. the fact that neri did flatly denied lozada’s claim but lamely answered the media that he did not recall doing so.

    gma is worse than marcos! and we thought marcos was scary!
    she is cannot be blamed for the lack of trying, she tried declaring martial law which supreme court struck down. she’s using e.o. 464 to keep the truth from coming out after claiming she is for the truth and again was rebuked by the supreme court. she commended palparan who is well know for his ruthless tactics against the so called leftist or known supporter of the left. and the famous “hello garci tapes”. blocked impeachments from proceeding with the help of her lapdogs in congress. tried to have lozada disappeared.

    this is just a short list of grevious sins against the filipino nation. and pardon us here if we feel violated and outraged! i honestly cannot understand for what reasons people still think gma is right for the philippines and is doing a good job to earn her keep in malacanang.

    let us wait for 2010. let me put it this way, if i robbed your house, raped your mom and killed your family members!
    and there are witnesses to this crime, will you still say to wait for cops to determine the truth knowing the cops are under the my payrol? this is not a too far of a comparison to what is happening to us right now. i bet my last piso that you will be as outraged as most of the filipinos right now. you will demand for my head right too!

    dudes and dudettes let us not be blind and open our eyes because the truth is staring us in our eyes the whole time.

  26. istambay_sakalye

    sorry…neri DID NOT flatly deny lozada’s claim.

  27. vic

    nash asked: Is it possible that the Joker is getting senile?

    Nah, don’t think so, it’s just that he stayed in the Government for so long, he outlast his relevance..just like everything, even us posters here, but the difference is our relevance or irrelavance won’t result in any consequence to the country similar to that of the Joker’s…

  28. jackast

    Mon Casiple: “People power here cannot yet assert its own agenda–it is in fact still evolving its own beyond the call for truth and resignation or ouster. If the political elite fails to resolve the political crisis soon, this people power–shown in Makati–may surely come again with a definite program, definite leaders, and a definite strategy.”

    So long as politicians (Erap, Maceda, ans even Cory) and old recycled civil society (e.g. COPA’s Pastor Saycon of FVR’s Alabang strategy group) people will be turned off.

    Do symbols still matter to get the crowds? Maybe, maybe not. The cause should be able to stand on its own. I agree with Madonna, the organizers should have asked a student to speak on why he/she was there, not Erap or Cory.

    Call for truth, resignation, or ouster. Better decide quickly. Its almost 2010.

  29. Jon Limjap

    dude do you really believe in your mind and heart that there will be a PRESIDENTIAL election comes 2010?
    election maybe yes but presidential election is very doubtful. once the arroyo regime weathers this storm because of the apathy of good and decent filipino people, who’s gonna stop arroyo and her lapdogs in the congress from shoving down our collective throats the change of presidential to a parliamentary form of government through a charter change?

    Us. It will be our duty to stop her from doing precisely that. The day that such charter change starts getting railroaded into law, I’ll be there in the streets with you.

  30. jackast

    and i’m no believer of centralized staging ala 1986, specially under the auspices of a trapo like Binay. Schools have been staging own kind of protests – UP, UST, Ateneo, PUP, etc. the dynamics are different this time.

  31. Will

    BrianB:

    thnx for the compliment. but my contention does remain valid. our government lambasts us for being too political, when we get violent, or just riding on a fad when we pray for peace, we get to start thinking when the hell they will actually listen?

    we can’t just topple the symbol, but the system. even if gloria goes, she can still be immune as suharto was because of the many allies she has in the government. we have to overhaul that too.

    thaksin’s trial is actually the lithmus test for beyond 2010. if he can get convicted, even with the elements of law in his favor, then it can happen here.

    jackcast:

    the students were there. in fact, cory and erap and cruz delivered short statements, before giving the stage to the youth. there were leaders of the “militant schools alliance” or something.

    this isn’t about truth, or resignation, or even just plain ouster. we have the truth out there. she won’t resign, just like suharto or thaksin, before they were unceremoniously taken out. we can’t oust them, and by them i mean gloria and her cabal. it’s a goddamn dynasty she’s setting up… the same that all around SE asia we are having.

    we have to overhaul government, as to make sure that there would be no more danger of monarchies again.

    that’s a little broad, i know, but we can start small.

  32. mang_isko

    mlq3, parang hindi maganda ang blogsite mo ngayon. binago mo ba ito.

    parang centered ang format. nakakalulang tingnan.

    observation lang ito.

    pwede mo bang ibalik sa dati?

  33. jackast

    @will
    i didn’t say the students were not there in Feb 29. my context was: simultaneous, loud protests in each school/university where the critical mass is at home

  34. mang_isko

    concern lang.

  35. jackast

    @will
    that is if the priests and nuns running your schools will allow it. i’m logging as i may be charged with teaching you protest 101.

  36. The Ca t

    But where is the truth? We are desperately begging for an answer.

    Why are they still seeking the truth and when they are convinced the media-made hero Lozada is saying the truth ?

    The handlers of Lozada are making him campus concert king. Panay ang kanta sa mga iskwela.

    What a publicity blitz can do indeed but it failed to rouse patriotism to the majority.

  37. The Ca t

    Call for truth, resignation, or ouster. Better decide quickly. Its almost 2010.

    So what are you going to do?

    Even the interfaith rally failed to unite the different organizations. They had their own agenda to promote in the rally. Many walked away to catch their rides going home. Anyway, they will hear the same tirades over the broadcast media and can read in the newspapers online or hard copies.

    Tingnan mga photoop nila. Kaniya-kaniyang grupo. Kaniya-kaniyang banner.

    It

  38. VP Bus Dev

    Call for truth, resignation, or ouster. Better decide quickly. Its almost 2010.

    this isn’t about truth, or resignation, or even just plain ouster. we have the truth out there. she won’t resign, just like suharto or thaksin, before they were unceremoniously taken out. we can’t oust them, and by them i mean gloria and her cabal. it’s a goddamn dynasty she’s setting up…
    —+jakcast

  39. VP Bus Dev

    The interfaith-rally got hijacked. A few people were had!!!

    Organizers regret Aquino, Estrada’s presence at rally

    By Beverly T. Natividad
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    First Posted 18:47:00 03/01/2008

    MANILA, Philippines — As far as some of the organizers of Friday’s interfaith rally are concerned, former Presidents Corazon Aquino and Joseph Estrada should not have gone up the stage to maintain the rally’s focus on prayer instead of on political personalities.

    Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, who was earlier reported to have “walked out” of the rally when Estrada showed up on stage, clarified that he left with the other religious leaders onstage to give way to the second half of the program and not because of Estrada.

    “It was not because of Estrada per se, but because of the nature of the speaker,” he said in an interview, referring to the fact that the organizers of the interfaith rally had earlier agreed that no politicians will be allowed to speak onstage.

    Monsignor Gerry Santos, national capital region director of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP-NCR), expressed strong disappointment over the incident.

    “I did not like that. They should have followed what was agreed upon. The other organizers should explain to us what happened,” Santos told the Inquirer.

    “Whether short or long [Cory’s and Erap’s speech onstage], they should have stuck to what was agreed on,” Santos said.


    Una vez mas? No mas, por favor.

  40. jackast

    @ Mon Casiple

    most people not only in imperial manila, but mostly in the countryside, are taking the realist view. sentiments like “pare-pareho lang iyan, kahit sinong ilagay mo” are pervasive. since ZTE/NBN project was cancelled and 2010 elections are looming, they would rather wait.

    unless lozada drops the “mother of all bombs”, its not gonna gel.

  41. jason born

    Hi Cat:
    “To rouse patriotism to the majority”

    Ah, I wonder why during that day tita Glo and her cosmetic brigade were only able to muster 1000 warm bodies. Maybe, she just realized it’s a waste of money. It would be better to pour in her resources to the military, who have the guns to silence the unarmed enemies. During the sampling interview, one pro-ate glo rallyist said, “may pagkain daw.” Another person admitted they came from one place.

    If she has the support of the majority, her cosmetic surgeons need not to come up with that “pathetic slam dunk” rally. All they have to do is to organize a rally bigger than that. It could had been a good show of “we are larger than you. We’re here supporting the president.” The spin doctors of Malacañang can only dream of having that bigger number.

    I think you are referring to the support of the majority of politicians: mayors, governors, congressmen. An embattled president is as good as a milking cow. Take care. 🙂

  42. istambay_sakalye

    Even the interfaith rally failed to unite the different organizations. They had their own agenda to promote in the rally. Many walked away to catch their rides going home. Anyway, they will hear the same tirades over the broadcast media and can read in the newspapers online or hard copies.

    Tingnan mga photoop nila. Kaniya-kaniyang grupo. Kaniya-kaniyang – the cat

    your comments seemed like you were there in makati during the rally. were you really there? i bet you were not. so stop shooting from the hip you’ll only hit your foot.
    there is term for your likes- “SALING PUSA”
    no pun intended. my apologies to all very likable felines!

  43. Kabayan

    Huge crowd of 10,000 gathered at Bacolod to demand Gloria Arroyo resignation… uhh what does that mean, it’s called Imperial Bacolod as well?

  44. jackast

    @kabayan

    no, not in that context. “imperial” manila in the context of over-centralization of powers, political activities, and the like, as brought up by one of our regular bloggers, mr. james, i think from the visayas.

  45. Kabayan

    Ok thanks jackast,

    I had the impression that James was referring to the rallyists in Manila having the sole interest in wanting Gloria out. However, as proven in Bacolod and opinions elsewhere outside Manila, they too want Gloria out.

    The strong opinion of people wanting Gloria out of office does not only in exist in Manila but in other areas of our nation as well. If Gloria indeed either decides to get out or gets kicked out of office, it is not solely due to the majority of people living in so called “Imperial Manila.”

  46. diego

    at play in the middle-game: veteran Knight who was also former King, says:

    “Ramos: Makati rally has long way to go” (From abs-cbs site)

    of course…until we finalize our maneuvers. right mlq3?

  47. Kabayan

    Hi mlq3

    In my opinion the anti-corruption groups should pace themselves and go for growth and recruitment more than constant rallies. As diego had said, we are still in the middle-game. I’ve detected some “instant noodle victory mentality” on a few quarters, they should be informed that they should sop up the environment and go for steady, and if necessary, slow growth.

  48. Kabayan

    Moreover a proper structure and targeting objectives should be made since the problem of corruption in the Philippines is systemic in nature worsened by the stay and manipulation of Gloria and her allies. The fight against corruption and abuse of powers goes beyond even the removal of Gloria and continues on until all of these vestiges of evil, from small fry to big fish are removed or minimized at a very low level. The fight does not end with the removal of Gloria, in fact her removal would only be the “middle game” of the cleansing process.

  49. jackast

    on the dot kabayan! let me just venture that a realist position must go hand-in-hand with the idealists’ “deliverable”, that is, an achievable result. “the greater good for the greatest number.”

  50. Eye-in-the-Sky

    My current position is to wait and see.

    The most worrying thing about this isn’t the Lady Prez… if they managed to remove Arroyo, the question is who should take over? So far I haven’t seen a worthy leader; most of them are, IMHO, opportunists wanting revenge for past humiliation. And I pity for Mr. Lozada as I watch the opportunists take advantage of the fight for truth.

    The last thing I want is yet another grandstanding scumbag anxious to be installed to power so that he would pillage our nation. This is what I am angry about.

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