Sent back to the Supremes

280807_02ma_640.jpgLet’s start with Neri and executive privilege: A timeline courtesy of the PCIJ.

My column today is A color of constitutionality The Inquirer editorial today is In aid of transparency, My column was less enthusiastic than today’s editorial about the compromise offered by the Chief Justice: Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J. who, by all accounts, was coaching the legal team arguing the Senate case, wasn’t pleased, either, but tried to make the best of it in A case of delicate balancing -but all have been overtaken by events.

The problem is of course, something that came as a surprise yesterday evening: Senate rejects SC compromise on Neri.

(see also, Senate rejects compromise: Conditions set by SC seen as crippling legislature) I’ve been mulling over the reasons why the Senate decided to harden its position and rebuff the Supreme Court. I think the Senators decided they are operating from a position of strength, legally and politically speaking.

By all accounts, going into yesterday’s oral arguments, the Supreme Court was split, 7-7, on Neri’s petition. The effect of such a vote, if it had taken place, would have been to deny Neri his petition. However, revealing, in essence, a party-line vote would have discredited the Supreme Court, because it would have shown that even clearly significant cases are now reduced to which justice is loyal to the President, or not.

For that reason, it would have made sense for the Chief Justice to throw the ball back in the Senate’s court, hoping it would clarify the extent to which Neri intended to be obstructionist. The Palace, for its part, faced with a sure loss if the Supreme Court had voted, could also look forward to a reprieve, while Neri in the meantime could invoke executive privilege, get into trouble with the senators, and have the whole thing end up back in court.

By which time, a new Justice would have been appointed, thus further firming up the administration’s numbers in the high court.

The Senate, though, in rejecting the compromise offered by the Chief Justice, and which has therefore puts pressure back on the court. The Supreme Court can now proceed to drag its feet: SC needs time for final ruling on executive privilege.

Lawyer Teddy Te, for one, is happy over the Senate’s decision (see his blog, Vincula):

After nine hours of orals, the Supreme Court Chief Justice offers a compromise–perceived by Malacanang to be “solomonic”, which should already put you on guard–to the Senate: 1. Neri will testify at the Senate, 2. he will not be arrested anymore, 3. but the three questions he had invoked “executive privilege” against will not be asked anymore and will be considered asked, and 4. each and every time he invokes executive privilege, the issue will be tossed back to the Court.

My first reaction was that it was a “cop out” by the Court, after strong decisions on press freedom and showing strong resolve against EJK and ED with amparo and habeas data. Later on, after speaking with very reliable sources, it made sense–though I still didn’t agree with the compromise; my sources told me that the CJ and Justice Carpio felt outvoted by the Gloria people in the Court and feared a loss had they insisted on a decision–so to avoid a loss, the CJ offered the compromise. One step backward, two steps forward–was it Lenin who said this, or Tommy Manotoc? Yes, it made sense but it still left me with a bad taste in the mouth.

If the Senate approved the deal, Gloria wins, hands down and the Senate loses, big time. The power of the Senate to summon witnesses would be severely impaired and the dictator gets away with silence on the three questions that directly place the ZTE deal at her doorstep.

I am glad that the Senate FINALLY acquired a collective spine (did that include you, Joker?) and some collective sense of identity and history and said, “thanks, but no thanks.” I hope the SC addresses this issue and, despite the lifting of E0 464, rules that its invocation under those circumstances was not proper and that Neri SHOULD answer those 3 questions.

This explains, to my mind, why the Palace slams Senate’s ‘arrogance’ for rejecting SC proposal. The compromise could have hidden the party-line vote it had in the Supreme Court; and it bought that most precious of political commodities, time. But, since anything is possible, it could also happen that an irritated Supreme Court, piqued by the Senate’s rejection, could then simply decide in Neri’s favor.

In the meantime, returning to Fr. Bernas’ piece, some problems now arise:

If no compromise is reached, will the court require Neri to appear at the Senate? Neri has claimed that he has the right not to heed the Senate’s call.

Should the court require Neri to appear, it would mean that for the court, the current Senate inquiry is not one where President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may prevent a department secretary from appearing, as provided for in Article VI, Section 22 of the Constitution.

Rather, the court would be saying that the current Senate inquiry is one in aid of legislation under Article VI, Section 21.

In Senate v Ermita, the court said that only the President and justices of the Supreme Court are exempt from summonses to an investigation in aid of legislation. Neri is neither the President nor a justice of the Supreme Court.

Should Neri still refuse to appear, in effect he would be claiming a right analogous to the right of an accused against self-incrimination. An accused can completely refuse to take the witness stand.

But if Neri is required to appear, the court would be saying that his situation is more analogous to the right against self-incrimination of a witness who is not an accused.

A witness who is not an accused may raise the defense of right against self-incrimination only when an incriminating question is asked. He has no right to refuse to take the witness stand altogether.

By analogy, the court would be saying that Neri may raise the issue of executive privilege only when a question he deems to be against executive privilege is asked.

It should be remembered that executive privilege belongs to the President and to no one else. At most, it can be claimed by the executive secretary by express authority of the President.

Hence, Neri must be able to show that after prior consultation with the President, he was instructed to claim executive privilege.

Whereupon, following the teaching of Senate v Ermita and in accordance with the tenor of the questions posed by the justices on Tuesday, Neri will be asked what exactly he is seeking to hide behind executive privilege.

At this stage, and as already mentioned during the Tuesday hearing, it may become necessary for the court to examine in chambers the secret sought to be guarded by the executive for the purpose of determining whether indeed the matter can or should be legitimately kept from the eyes of the public.

After all, the Senate has to be properly informed if it is to legislate intelligently, and the public generally has a constitutional right to be informed of matters of public concern.

Moreover, as already admitted in the Tuesday hearing, criminal matters are not covered by executive privilege.

Meanwhile, the story behind this news item –Arroyo revokes EO 464 after meeting with religious leaders– I found out last night. No one was supposed to know the President was going to meet her allied bishops, particularly the ones from Mindanao, at the Discovery Suites. However, the media was tipped off and reporters camped out. This meant that attendees were observed coming and going. And that the President ended up making her announcement sooner than planned. Speaking of bishops, Patricio P. Diaz dissects recent statements by the Catholic hierarchy.

In the meantime, Senators also want Memorandum Circular 108 scrapped. Check out smoke’s comparison of E.O. 464 and M.C. 108.

When he does publish a book, it will a doozy. Read Lito Banayo’s growing feeling of Déjà  vu. Meanwhile, the plot thickens: Arroyo not just witness at NBN-ZTE deal signing: and Another China contract missing.

And Gail Ilagan has some interesting observations concerning Lozada’s abduction.

Economic news: Poverty worsens between 2003 and 2006, according to the National Statistics Coordination Board. (see Poverty worsens despite growth and Poor Filipino families now number 4.7 million and More Filipinos below poverty line ) In his blog, [email protected] comments on the figures. In his column, Peter Wallace says that while government claimed 7.3 percent GDP growth last year, the real figure is about 4.8 percent growth. See also Inflation surges to 5.4% in February and NEDA expects to record growth slowdown in Q1.

How do foreign analysts go about determining risk in the Philippines? Read Forecast that Arroyo will survive has ‘large margin of error’ – analyst.

In the blogosphere, Phoenix Eyrie, Reloaded, is at the very least, ambivalent about opposition to the President. Spring Roll is confused by recent events. Mandaluyong High School says, let’s think positive. Splice and Dice thinks that the issues gives people a chance to seize the day. blackshama believes the old People Power is dead, long live whatever replaces it.

Observations from a Lowly Traveller is looking forward to migrating. Bayan ni Kabayan looks at the Neri chart.

470 comments

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    • justice league on March 9, 2008 at 1:20 am

    Ramrod,

    Were you asked by “Kind ap catcha” program to put in a code?

    There’s also the numbering of replies as well as division by pages etc…. on my end, is it the same with yours?

    • justice league on March 9, 2008 at 1:22 am

    Hey it didn’t ask me this time to put in a code for my post to go through.

    Might be a one time thing per thread.

    • cvj on March 9, 2008 at 1:23 am

    Justice League, same here. The ‘kinda captcha’ just said my ‘comment is approved’, then i had to manually enter the url again to go back.

    Ramrod, yes the format has changed.

    • Bencard on March 9, 2008 at 1:23 am

    general observation: education is not the be-all and end-all of “solutions” to our country’s problems. the competence, integrity and altruistic dedication of teachers and mentors, of schools (both public and private)and a revival of good, old-fashioned discipline, true patriotism (beyond self, family, local or regional community), honor and religious values (untainted by partisan politics), are necessary ingredients for a strong and righteous society.

    the ivy-league “education” of many of our leaders, past and present, did not automatically translate to competent and honorable performance. the hundreds of thousand of college graduates and professionals we have produced over time, not to mention the high-school and vocational school graduates, apparently did not make a dent on our age-old political and social problems as a nation.
    we still elect certified ignoramuses (again and again) as well as accused criminals, and let convicted criminals have a say on who will govern us.

    btw, high school and college students, and even grade-school pupils, cheering lozada like a cult leader as bearer of “truth”, does not bode well for the future of our dear philippines.

    • justice league on March 9, 2008 at 1:26 am

    Cvj,

    Oh bugger.

    The ‘kinda captcha’ asked me to put in a code the last time. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.

    Well at least your reply clarifies things. Ty.

    • grd on March 9, 2008 at 1:30 am

    yes, it is justice since early yesterday.

    • ramrod on March 9, 2008 at 1:36 am

    maginoo,

    Re China. I was there late January this year and I read in one of their local papers (still have the copy) that the government is looking into hiring Filipino maids/yayas to increase the level/quality of English in their households and children.

    • justice league on March 9, 2008 at 1:39 am

    Grd,

    Ty. I was out for a couple of days from replying so I thought it was one of those temporary things yesterday.

    • grd on March 9, 2008 at 3:51 am

    Tell me about it. As an OFW, when i remit to my family, i remit the peso equivalent which consumes more dollars than before. I don’t reduce my remittance…. cvj

    you think that’s the case for all ofw’s? either you’re remitting only 50% of your income before or your co. is very generous that it gives salary increases every year to its employees (to make up for that 20% loss on the dollar to peso exchange rate) the reason why you can afford to send extra dollars. but try to consider the majority of the ofws’ who send almost all of their salaries back home and with no salary adjustments/increases say for the past 2 years. where will they get the extra dollars just to maintain their peso remittances? i have a friend in saipan, an accountant who’s son has to stop school in college because her remittance dropped. it’s the same problem encountered by other ofws’ (specially the skilled workers) somewhere in the middle-east.

    but it’s not happening only in the philippines. other country nationals working overseas are even rioting because of this problem with the US dollar due to the recession in the US.

    >>>>>

    Day 9…

  1. and one should not forget the other side of the coin. Maybe, just maybe, the FIES numbers are not to be believed based on a combination of
    (1) FIES numbers are based on a survey of only so many households;
    (2) the survey instrument may be flawed (e.g. dialects);
    (3) that the survey respondents answered incorrectly
    (3-a) respondents did not understand the question;
    (3-b) respondents overstated or understated their response for personal (e.g. ego) or financial (e.g. taxes) reasons;
    (3-c) poorly trained interviewers asked leading questions;
    (4) errors during data processing

    Right you are UPn.

    idagdag mo na yong mga tamad na field interviewers na pwedeng sila na lang ang nag-fill up noong mga
    forms. hehehe

    • grd on March 9, 2008 at 3:57 am

    Tell me about it. As an OFW, when i remit to my family, i remit the peso equivalent which consumes more dollars than before. I don’t reduce my remittance… cvj

    you think that’s the case for all ofw’s? either you’re remitting only 50% of your income before or your co. is very generous that it gives salary increases every year to its employees (to make up for that 20% loss on the dollar to peso exchange rate) the reason why you can afford to send extra dollars. but try to consider the majority of the ofws’ who send almost all of their salaries back home and with no salary adjustments/increases say for the past 2 years. where will they get the extra dollars just to maintain their peso remittances? i have a friend in saipan, an accountant who’s son has to stop school in college because her remittance dropped. it’s the same problem encountered by other ofws’ (specially the skilled workers) somewhere in the middle-east.

    but it’s not happening only in the philippines. other country nationals working overseas are even rioting because of this problem with the US dollar due to the recession in the US.

    >>>>>

    Day 9….

  2. In the second example, the overstatement is 100 (for rice) because it was spent on something that was not produced domestically. Had it been recognized as such, it would have been deducted as part of imports.

    That means there is no expenditure for rice? O nada. HImpossible.

    Tell me what is you idea how these expenditures are gathered by the government for GDP if the
    FIES is from the household survey?

    Because the way I read you, you have no idea how these information are gathered. eh?

  3. what I see as one basis of People Power is the idea that the people collectively establish governments that may rule over people individually; and individuals agree to such an arrangement to be ruled, by obeying laws promulgated by the government as long as the government so established protects the people’s rights. – Abe

    You left one ingredient: people collectively establish governments using INSTITUTIONS as channels for such undertaking.

    So everything is done through institutions and the strengths of said institutions determines how well the whole system works. – BenignO

    What if such an institution is corrupted already, can you honestly say something good will come out of it still? – ramrod

    precisely what i’m afraid of. they will turn people power into an institution. – mindanoaon

    The country really should institutionalize a much more equitable version of NCR-based-PeoplePower. Instead, just have elections every 3 years. – UPn

    i see people power as a system disturbance exploited by people to force a state transition otherwise precluded by the control mechanisms. being outside of system control, it plays outside of any rule, neither its elements, methods nor effect. its result can range from a single component, as in 2001 or the overhaul of the entire system itself, as in 1986. it is powered by numbers and fueled with anger. its rationale can be sublime (edsa 1) or ignoble (edsa 3), depending on where you are looking from. – mindanoaon

    Recall that on the 16th anniversary of the first People Power, the EDSA shrine was ordered shut by the Catholic Church to political activity. Then, former presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Cory Aquino, two key figures of both the 1986 and 2001 People Power revolts, thought people power could be bad for democracy. Removing unjust or abusive leaders, according to Ramos, should be left to the political institutions in accordance with the Constitution in order for democracy to mature. Aquino, on the other hand, has cautioned against making a habit out of People Power. Other opinion makers, PDI columnist Amando Doronila for one, have also expressed their trepidation about the “excesses of people power.” The fear that People Power is an affliction in the body politic rather than a curative force in our “dysfunctional institutions” is therefore understandable from the standpoint of status quo defenders.

    One of my contentions has been that the challenge posed by People Power to dominant beliefs, value systems and institutions is comparable to the threat of a rival ideology such as communism or authoritarianism or as real as the menace of terrorism.

    In a larger sense, I see People Power as representing a bellicose movement that has impacted a broad spectrum of the civil society asserting its misgivings with inefficient and ineffectual institutions in our version of democracy and with the rank subservience of those institutions to the dominant segments of our society.

    In a narrower legal sense, People Power is now an insert into our constitutional order as a result of EDSA I. It finds support in a number of express provisions in the 1987 Constitution (see for example Article XIII, Sections 15 and 16 of the Constitution defining the role and rights of people’s organizations separately from the right peaceably to assemble or to petition the government for redress of grievances as well as in Article VI, Sections1 and 32 in relation to Article XVII, Section 2 reserving to the people the power of initiative and referendum.) The philosophical consultative character of the governance system under a “people powered” constitution thus informs a continuing consensus proceeding from the first enactment of People Power.

    My thesis is that People Power serves the fulfillment of the democratic dreams even if broader participation does not necessarily produce better decisions whether in the electoral process or in ordinary policy matters except maybe in terms of educating the people in civic consciousness as was seen in the impeachment trial (of Estrada) that had been precipitated by the various crosscurrents of People Power.

    People Power conceivably creates the perception that it delegitimizes traditional institutions such as one that protects the accumulation process. So, we are often wont to react with the anti-ideology that citizens should be retarded into passivity and participation reduced, in order for “market” and “democracy” to work. To some status quo defenders, “stability” for the wealth-creating process to thrive (a salutary end in itself) is more important than the rhetoric of participation and therefore restoring and preserving the “governability of democracy” require the depoliticalizing of the citizens. (Although resolving economic scarcity could be the sine qua non for a successful program of universal education towards attaining a “democracy of the educated.”)

    Even serious partisans of deferential politics, who set themselves apart from the “irrational mob,” are thus exposed by their fondness for social “control mechanisms,” subservience to hierarchy and hence, their hostility to democratic ideals and practices. This translates into an unabashed distrust of the people’s capacity to protect and govern themselves, despite professing that the powers of government are derived from the people. As People Power will continue to uncover the pursuit of such a political myth is anti-democratic, plain and simple.

  4. The following musings on the institution of People Power vis-à-vis the institutions of living room politics, chamber/committee rooms politics and courtroom politics may be of further relevance in the light of the current Senate inquiries on the ZTE-NBN deal, the fast developing Spratly controversy and the renewed interests on the scope of such legislative power.

    Contrary to the apparent naivety of some political observers, the Senate’s greatest strength at this stage of our political re-awakening . . . has not been in lawmaking but in serving as a forum where controversies affecting the nation would be debated in full view of the world. Consequently, even occasional lapses into elective despotism (like the one exercised during the senate investigations to grill witnesses or arbitrarily to detain a whistleblower) could be curbed by external checks backed by the ubiquitous media and the press, some Internet enthusiasts, and a horde of spirited texting practitioners.

    Living room politics – which elites, public officials and ordinary citizens alike (or even military mutineers by our recent experience) resort to by leveraging mass media to influence public sentiments as a means of protecting their respective interests – or the larger politics of people power is a critical but often a misapprehended part of governance. But, in advanced democracies already rendered sanitized of populist traditions, extra-constitutional checks and balances, perceived as liable to produce out-of-control public rage, is considered as “excess of democracy.” In such a mistaken perception, passivity creeps in, followed soon by self-disenfranchisement, thereby debilitating “legitimation.” U.S. President George W. Bush, along with his most recent predecessors, elected by only a minority of the popular votes of an apathetic electorate, is weighed down with this problem. Bush needed two wars to secure his legitimacy, the ideologically partisan stamp of his election by the Supreme Court exercising procedural checks and balances notwithstanding.

    With People Power, the Filipinos have taken a different route, which, if served well by living room politics and allowed full sway, could open up a whole lot of possibilities. If fully empowered, Filipinos as active participants in some genuine democratic processes could explore alternative political styles of thought or arrangements outside the range of the elite consensus. Without rocking the boat, the possibilities could be infinite . . . (including a reexamination of) the supposed virtues of “market-democracy” with its promise of opportunity to save mankind or putting to the test People Power itself in some other contexts than as “parliamentary of the streets” . . . if only to find out on an on-going basis what works and what doesn’t.

    On the other hand,

    public policies brought about by courtroom statecraft [and the Court does often legislate and set policies] have as much far-reaching consequences as those engendered by television or living room politics. Just as reciprocal checks and balances within government are required in a procedural democracy, so also are social checks and balances (upon governmental decisions) within the larger society in People Power democracy. Hence, a decision even by a court of last resort is final only when society acquiesces in it as a well-reasoned one. It goes without saying that when it comes to the exercise of People Power, the people has the last and final say.

  5. The following are the average Peso:Dollar Exchange Rates the 2003 and 2006:

    2003 – 54.2033
    2006 – 51.3143

    The remitances reported for those years in

    2003 – 7.6 billion dollars
    2006 – 12.8 billion dollars

    In peso equivalent, the remittances would then be:

    2003 – 412 billion pesos
    2006 – 657 billion pesos

    There are explanations for that.

    Not all remittances represent

    income for the household.

    Many of these are just financial support for family members for study, for medical care, foe any assistance that may be given by the relatives abroad.

    What’s reported in the FIES are only the remittances that represent the income of the bread winner of the family.

    Gets mo? Like if I send monthly support for a nephew for his college, do you think that would be reported as income by his parents? NOOOOO.

    Second, the figures that you gave come from the financial system of the country meaning, banks, and other remittance companies.

    The income reported by the people surveyed are those which they think are what they have to received.

    So if there discrepancy which is expected since these are from different sources, UPn has an explanation for that… the household member surveyed did not disclose all what they received.

    Clear?

    Taking into consideration that there are mga padalas sa mga kababayang balikbayan, these figures are oven understated. gets mo?

  6. i believe what the country needs is strong grounding in english (the lingua franca of international business), engineering, and science. china established a crash course of english training for its citizens. soon they will be a major competitor in the BPO and custumer service outsourcing, sooner than later.

    oh yeah. you should go the rounds of call centers and visit their DA accounts (that’s directory assistance for you) perfect english with a twang, but ask them to do anything more than search for listings and directions, and you will encounter a blank wall.

    it’s not the language stupid, it’s the critical thinking of people that makes the difference.

    DA agents have the lowest salary in the industry. i speak good english but with a guttural and noticeable pinoy accent. yet i was put in one of the most demanding accounts in the call center i worked before. and yes, i earned more than what DA agents did.

    filipinos do not seem to understand that english is only for communication. it doesn’t bestow any special powers aside from letting you communicate with other nationalities. galing-galing nga magsalita sa ingles di naman makapag-isip at makapag construct ng ideyang magaling. amf.

    math, science – critical thinking kelangan sa mga subjects na to, di ampaw na ingles.

    a child reared to think critically will also think independently. this solves all our problems of brainwashy-kids na makarinig lang ng kesyo ganito, kesyo-ganyan paniwala na kaagad. ni di nag-isip or nagtanong kung bakit ganon.

    di naman kelangan ituro lahat sa bata eh. turuan mo lang mag-isip para sa kanilang sarili malayo na mararating nyan. discovery, independent thought, critical thinking – uncovers far more knowledge than what any teacher can give.

    • BrianB on March 9, 2008 at 7:54 am

    What the heck, is MLQ3 running out of money?

    All, Inquirer reports that food prices will go up at a dangerous pace, at the tune of 30% this year.

    • mang_kiko on March 9, 2008 at 8:04 am

    Nabasa ba ninyo and latest column ni Bong Austero? Pati si Bong para napuno na rin kay GMA.

    Sa akin lang mula’t mula siya’y as isang resonabling tao, at pinandigan and kanyang paniwala, pero sa manga “developments” na kahit pepe at bulag at bingi, di na puede maitago, yong manga paniwala at manga theoriya ay sabay rin mawala dahil sa manga personalidad, di dahil sa institution.

    • ramrod on March 9, 2008 at 8:33 am

    “di naman kelangan ituro lahat sa bata eh. turuan mo lang mag-isip para sa kanilang sarili malayo na mararating nyan. discovery, independent thought, critical thinking – uncovers far more knowledge than what any teacher can give.” – devils

    My thoughts exactly. Poverty breeds illiteracy which renders our young vulnerable to all kinds of vultures.

    Devils, my younger brother works for People Support handling the Apple account, I think they went to the US early this year as orientation or price of some sort. Sometims it feels weird talking to him though, he speaks better English than I do and at times with an American accent. My bisaya accent still comes out when I speak English and worst – Tagalog… 🙂

    • UP n student on March 9, 2008 at 8:48 am

    It should be taught to all students —- that (in 30 years or less) they the students are expected to exceed their teachers. And their parents.

    • UP n student on March 9, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Abe Margallo’s romantic statement :
    It goes without saying that when it comes to the exercise of People Power, the people has the last and final say.

    I disagree!!! A people that repeatedly send the message that democratic institutions and constitutional processes are disposable will soon enough find that their votes will be disposable. A people seduced into the quick-fix of a people-power-“kuno” coup will awaken to coup manipulators, or coup agents wielding guns, who have very quickly become better skilled than themmanipulators able to outsmart them and outlast them — in the game of power.

    • BrianB on March 9, 2008 at 9:37 am

    “It should be taught to all students —- that (in 30 years or less) they the students are expected to exceed their teachers. And their parents.”

    Yes taught that Rizal will never be surpassed as a writer, that Nick Joaquin is second banana and your UP professors third bananas and the rest of us fourth bananas.

    “I disagree!!! A people that repeatedly send the message that democratic institutions and constitutional processes are disposable”

    Jesus, it has become disposable under a cheating president. Law of all laws, UP n… trust your own brain. And please don’t imitate those fools in government who are like a broken record repeating and iterating and reiterating how everyone should bow down to the PROCESS. Filipinos have to learn how to spell B… S…

    • BrianB on March 9, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Do a little experiment, will you, UP n. Next time you meet a foreigner, ask him what “process” means to him. Better yet, be more specific. Explain what goes on in this country and ask him what he’ll do if he were Filipino. Some Filipinos have such a low regard for the opinion and, yes, passion of other Filipinos, t takes a foreigner doing the same thing the Filipino does to enlighten him.

    • benign0 on March 9, 2008 at 10:44 am

    I’ve been checking out some videos in YouTube related to the circuses currently going on in the Philippines. A lot of them are the ‘patawa’ types — slapstick style collages of images making low-brow parodies of various personalities involved. Most of these are set with a background song.

    I mention this after reading Devil’s take on critical thinking. This sampling of videos highlights the vacuous nature of Pinoys. We love to make fun of things (and dance to the background tune) without really understanding the issues and concepts involved.

    A stark contrast, incidentally, to this video I uploaded:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h02V6b5rw0Y

    Btw, ABS-CBN’s ‘Bandila’ has now returned to a more normal mix of features. This NBN-ZTE-Lozada circus no longer dominates coverage. Lozada is now just treated like a pathetic curiosity — and the highlight of his last 10-second feature was just to raise the question of WHO is funding his nationawide roadshow.

    Kawawa naman. Feeling rockstar. 😀

    • Bencard on March 9, 2008 at 11:26 am

    brianb, i agree with upn. even a “cheating president”, as you say, is not reason enough to dispose of constitutional processes and democratic institutions. he/she may “beat” the system temporarily but the system would eventually caught up with him/her, or he/she could die naturally. those processes and institutions can only be discarded by the consent, or direct action, of the majority, but what kind of a people would want to throw those away to be replaced with something that suits them at the moment, only to be discarded and replaced again sooner or later. are we all content with living in constant instability? who would invest in a place where the present government is unpredictably here today and gone tomorrow?

    why fix the term of the president in the constitution if he/she could be ousted through “people power” anytime a “sufficient” number of people shows up at edsa? why have elections? for that matter, why have a constitution at all?

    we have existed as an independent nation for only 62 years, yet we had already twice removed presidents by “people power” without election. the u.s. has endured for over 230 years without involuntarily “ousting” any president. is it something about us as a people?

    • UP n student on March 9, 2008 at 11:31 am

    But BrianB… why do you ‘sound” surprised that someone will disagree with Abe Margallo waxing romantic about PeoplePower-coup marches as a way for the Philippines to move? At minimum you should already have sensed a lot of apathy among Filipinos on what Abe sings hossanas to.

    • cvj on March 9, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    “That means there is no expenditure for rice? O nada. HImpossible.” – Ca T

    There is an expenditure for rice but since it is spent on rice that is not produced locally, it must not be included as part of GDP. Unfortunately, since there is no corresponding record of the rice being imported, this expenditure is not deducted (or cancelled out).

    “Many of these are just financial support for family members for study, for medical care, foe any assistance that may be given by the relatives abroad.

    What’s reported in the FIES are only the remittances that represent the income of the bread winner of the family.” – Ca T

    Not true. Here are the information collected by the FIES as per the NSO:

    http://www.census.gov.ph/data/technotes/notefies.html

    “A. Salaries and Wages from Employment

    B. Net Share of Crops, Fruits and Vegetables Producedor Livestock and Poultry Raised by Other Households

    C. Other Sources of Income
    C1. Cash Receipts, Gifts, Support, Relief and Other Forms of Assistance From Abroad
    C2. Cash Receipts, Support, Assistanceand Relief From Domestic Source
    C3. Rentals Received From Non-Agricultural Lands, Buildings, Spaces and Other Properties
    C4. Interest
    C5. Pension and Retirement, Workmen’s Compensation and Social Security Benefits
    C6. Net Winnings from Gambling, Sweepstakes and Raffle
    C7. Dividends From Investment
    C8. Profits From Sale of Stocks, Bonds and Real and Personal Property
    C9. Backpay and Proceeds From Insurance
    C10. Inheritance

    D. Other Receipts

    Note that the above list includes “C1. Cash Receipts, Gifts, Support, Relief and Other Forms of Assistance From Abroad” under which your monthly support to your nephew’s schooling falls under.

    • cvj on March 9, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    “…manipulators able to outsmart them and outlast them – in the game of power.” – UPn Student

    The manipulators will try to outstmart the people even during regular elections. That’s the lesson of Hello Garci. So what’s the difference?

    Whether it’s People Power or Elections, what allows the manipulators to get away with their actions is apathy. It would be a mistake to seek comfort in processes and institutions while those processes and institutions are being subverted. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance”.

    • mindanaoan on March 9, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    people power as a revolution really needs no debate any more than a coup de etat does- it’s all about power struggle. people power as a tantrum thrown by disgruntled losers also needs no debate- it’s a mob.

    but regardless of the nobility of its cause, no one can discard “the fact that only an intense few dare to actualize the manifestation of the power.” to claim collective decision without going through an open tally sheet (as in a plebiscite or a recall process.) is not the path to democratic dreams but the avenue to liberal fascism.

    People Power is now an insert into our constitutional order precisely because the framers of the constitution recognized it as a force that needs supervision and control, if not an outlet. if it’s failing, it’s because a lot people are readily seduced by shortcuts.

    until somebody shows proof that only the noble can call people power,i will contend that people power is more a friend of anarchy than an ally of statecraft.

    and btw, to label critics of people power as lovers of status quo, is to equate reasoned opinion with shallow yackety-yak.

    • justice league on March 9, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Benigno,

    So you are still parading that pathetic video of yours.

    Somehow I

    • justice league on March 9, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Oh Cripes.

    Damn laptop!

    • rego on March 9, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    “why fix the term of the president in the constitution if he/she could be ousted through “people power” anytime a “sufficient” number of people shows up at edsa? why have elections? for that matter, why have a constitution at all?

    we have existed as an independent nation for only 62 years, yet we had already twice removed presidents by “people power” without election. the u.s. has endured for over 230 years without involuntarily “ousting” any president. is it something about us as a people?”
    ——————————————————————————-

    Oh Bencard, you just never failed to amaze me with your wisdom!!!!!

    I have reiterated in this forum many times over: I was never a big fan of Gloria.

    Yet I am very proud to say this in this forum: I AM YOUR BIGGEST FAN!

    • rego on March 9, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    “and btw, to label critics of people power as lovers of status quo, is to equate reasoned opinion with shallow yackety-yak”

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

    Love this Mindanaon.!

    Sometimes, I wonder, which one is really the status qou now? Isn’t constant calling for peopel power everytime we had a problem with a our elected officials a status qou? I mean we did thsi with marcos, we did this with Erap. Now we want to do the same for Gloria. Does n’t that makes peoepl power a status qou? A ready made and quick solution to every problem?

    • cvj on March 9, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    “people power as a revolution really needs no debate any more than a coup de etat does- it’s all about power struggle. people power as a tantrum thrown by disgruntled losers also needs no debate- it’s a mob….

    …and btw, to label critics of people power as lovers of status quo, is to equate reasoned opinion with shallow yackety-yak.” – Mindanaoan

    Yeah, to equate reasoned opinion with shallow yackety-yak is as superficial as equating people power with a mob. It glosses over distinctions.

    • cvj on March 9, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Rego, like you, i am also against peopel power and peoepl power, whatever these are. However, the discussion is about people power.

    • justice league on March 9, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Benigno,

    So you are still parading that pathetic video of yours.

    You have so clearly disregarded the multi party system into any relation with your idea here back in our previous discussion.

    Given your scenario in the archived thread of 1 “bozo” against 99 other “non bozo” candidates vying for 1 position with the “Bozo” squeezing through (Though the voting percentages later were mine; it happens to be your scenario since mine actually was only a 5 candididate scenario wherein 4 were “right” candidates and the remaining 1 was a “not right” candidate); how does your plain advice of “… And NEXT TIME, vote for the right people.” rectify such a problem when 98.9% essentially voted for right people?

    To everyone else,

    I realize its easy to intercede here given how little idea is put forth but its better that you read a previous thread before interceding.

  7. justice league,

    Kawawa ka naman. 😀

    • rego on March 9, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Hi CVJ,

    Oh, ayan ha binati na kita 😉

    • mindanaoan on March 9, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    cvj,

    the passage in fact made a distinction between ‘people power as a revolution’ and people power by losers. by most accounts, edsa 3 was a mob. in an earlier post, i did say it depends from where you are looking from.

    yes, indeed. to gloss over distinctions is superficial yackety-yak.

    • UP n student on March 9, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    cvj: You quote “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” as if it were synonymous for PeoplePower-marches-and-coups. In fact, romanticizing PeoplePower-coups is a subversion of the cry for eternal vigilance. Abe’s romantic portrait of PeoplePower can be interpreted as a call to be lackadaisical (or worse, e.g. (i) ’tis okay to give up on the democratic processes, (2) ’tis okay to fail to put able congressmen into office) since everything can be righted “on-demand” when NCR-saviours aka PeoplePower-coup once more ride towards the Malacanang gates to save the day.

    • cvj on March 9, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    mindanaoan, i see. My mistake in overlooking your distinctions.

    • anthony scalia on March 9, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    kabayan,

    Of course we still remember the first Charter Change attempt and how she and her allies tried to ram it down our throat, anybody still remember that? Or is it out of sight and out of mind?

    that first ‘charter change attempt’ was actually ho-hum! the reaction to that was ‘much ado about nothing’!

    no charter change can take effect without the people’s consent taken from a referendum

    no congressional amendment/s to charter change can be referred to a referendum if one chamber of Congress did not consent to it. the first ‘charter change attempt’ was all done by the House, no action by the Senate. it suffers constitutional infirmities.

    even assuming the all-House charter change attempt was endorsed to the COMELEC, it will be challenged. If not in COMELEC, before the Supreme Court.

    same thing with the SIGAW petition in the Supreme Court – if SIGAW won in the SC, the proposed amendment wont take effect yet; the COMELEC will have to proceed with reviewing the merits of SIGAW’s petition for referendum. SIGAW could still lose in the COMELEC. Even if it wins in the COMELEC, a challenge before the SC is sure to follow!

    kaya, my dear fellow Pinoys, maghunos-dili kayo kapag merong proposed charter change uli, dahil any proposed charter change ay dadaan sa butas ng isang milyong karayom!

    • cvj on March 9, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    UPn, why exclude people power as a form of vigilance?

    If one person, after looking at available information, deliberates and realizes that…

    1. Gloria cheated in elections,
    2. entered into anomalous contracts and
    3. committed treasonous acts

    …calls on her to resign, is it or is it not an act of vigilance? What if two people do so?

    If the above can be considered acts of vigilance, then why is a few hundred thousand doing the same suddenly no longer an act of vigilance?

    • anthony scalia on March 9, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    mindanaoan,

    “and btw, to label critics of people power as lovers of status quo, is to equate reasoned opinion with shallow yackety-yak”

    agreed! yung mga nag-react, guilty!

  8. Not true. Here are the information collected by the FIES as per the NSO:

    http://www.census.gov.ph/data/technotes/notefies.html

    You are so just like a naive student. You’re thinking of the shoulda, woulda and perfect world.

    In accounting we always have that analysis to find out the discrepancy.

    What should have been and what happened.

    What should have been is to report all cash receipts as income, what happened is that they don’t.

    Listen to UPn, not all these respondents would disclose the amount they received. And who would bother to check?

    You do not even know how the info for GDP is gathered.

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. Say you do not know and stop trying to impress me that you know about economics because all you know is what you read. YOu failed to give me the coefficient correlation and you failed to give me how all the facts in the GDP are gathered.

    Good luck to you. Just concentrate in your Gloria-bashing where no specialized knowledge is required.

    • justice league on March 9, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Benigno,

    Clearly between you and I; I’m not the one in this instance having difficulty defending our respective ideas.

    If that reply of yours was the end all be all of your defense; your perception of who is “Kawawa” needs to be directed at someone else, may be even to yourself.

    And it seems that term of yours in your video that best described you then still best describes you now.

    Also, I remember a post wherein you seemed to be somewhat wondering about the definition of what you are alleged to be full of.

    Well, this thread might actually not only DEFINE what you are alleged to be full of but also prove that you are actually FULL OF IT!

    • justice league on March 9, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Bencard,

    Your last paragraph seems to somehow indicate that you believe that ex-President Estrada did not resign as stated by the SC but was instead removed.

    Please clarify.

    Rego,

    There you went yet again.

    • justice league on March 9, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Abe,

    Not that I necesarily subcribe to everything you stated but the statement

    “As People Power will continue to uncover the pursuit of such a political myth is anti-democratic, plain and simple.”

    seems not aligned with the rest of the paragraph that it came from.

    You presented several points of view that its hard to tell whose point of view that idea is coming from. Or is it “as anti-democratic” instead of “is anti-democratic”?

    • grd on March 9, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    “Don’t be too hard on yourself. Say you do not know and stop trying to impress me that you know about economics because all you know is what you read. YOu failed to give me the coefficient correlation and you failed to give me how all the facts in the GDP are gathered.

    Good luck to you. Just concentrate in your Gloria-bashing where no specialized knowledge is required.”

    hehehe. no way jose.

  9. Clearly between you and I; I’m not the one in this instance having difficulty defending our respective ideas. — justice league

    Whatever you say, dude.

    – 😀

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