The Original Sin and the Continuing Crime

080308_03co_640.jpgMy column for today is Cory, Erap, Binay, Noli, Satur and J-Lo, which discusses the question of whether united front politics have any value at this time (a very observant peek at the administration’s coalition building was in Patricia Evangelista’s Sunday column, Gangs of Manila). In my column, I point to Hello, Garci as the Original Sin and the abduction of Jun Lozada as the Continuing Crime (see Reflections on the Bangsa Moro here and here).

Concerning the Original Sin, it’s frustrating to me that much of the refusal to take the issue seriously comes from the childish argument “they all cheat anyway,” which, even if true, is beside the point: a generalization is as nothing when confronted by a specific case of someone caught.

Anyway, it also frustrates me that people insist there is no evidence, or that what evidence is hearsay, only. For their part, supporters of the late Fernando Poe, Jr. have been doing a thorough study of the fraud in the 2004 elections, and doing so, mind you, without attracting publicity or calling attention to themselves. Generally, their efforts have identified the fraud as having had three phases:

1. The disenfranchisement of voters in areas that were opposition-inclined, and the increase of voters in administration bailiwicks.

2. The systematic padding and shaving of votes, particularly in Luzon and the Visayas, to preserve the expected percentages of the candidates but which would result, over-all, in decreasing opposition votes and shifting those votes to the administration.

3. An emergency, in many ways, ad-hoc effort to secure a winning margin of votes after the results of voting in Luzon and the Visayas showed that the first two phases still hadn’t managed to obtain a winning margin for the President; in the emergency operation in Mindanao, the President micromanaged the effort, which was clumsily undertaken, and the first to be exposed.

The research of the FPJ supporters took two years to undetake, particularly because phases 1 and 2 were quite sophisticated. But they cracked the system and I’ve been nagging them to circulate their findings so the public can study their arguments. Finally, they’ve begun doing so and here’s the first of several PowerPoint presentations you can download, study, and dissect (and rebut, if you wish).

Here it is, examining phases 1 and 2 of the 2004 cheating: 2004 Electoral Fraud PPT Presentation 1 (click the PCIBChartsData12.ppt link)

Yesterday’s Inquirer editorial called the administration Spratley’s policy a Slithering policy.

As I mentioned in my entry Today the Spratlys, tomorrow Palawan (updated) , it’s well worth reviewing our Constitution. I’d referred to the relevant article before, but not the crucial last sentence which I’ve highlighted, see this extract from Article 12: National Economy and Patrimony:

SEC 1. The goals of the national economy are a more equitable distribution of opportunities, income, and wealth; a sustained increase in the amount of goods and services produced by the nation for the benefit of the people; and an expanding productivity as the key raising the quality of life for all, especially the underprivileged.

The State shall promote industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform, through industries that make full and efficient use of human and natural resources, and which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets. However, the State shall protect Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices.

In the pursuit of these goals, all sectors of the economy and all regions of the country shall be given optimum opportunity to develop. Private enterprises, including corporations, cooperatives, and similar collective organizations, shall be encouraged to broaden the base of their ownership.

SEC. 2. All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated. The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. The State may directly undertake such activities, or it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens. Such agreements may be for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and under such terms and conditions as may be provided by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water supply, fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, beneficial use may be the measure and limit of the grant.

The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.

The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence fishermen and fishworkers in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons.

The President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving either technical of financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils according to the general terms and conditions provided by law, based on real contributions to the economic growth and general welfare of the country. In such agreements, the State shall promote the development and use of local scientific and technical resources.

The President shall notify the Congress of every contract entered into in accordance with this provision, within thirty days from its execution.

The Secretary of Justice says he read the agreement and that nothing in it violates the Constitution. As far as his statement goes, he is correct. But as Carandang suggests below, it’s what the President did, after the agreement was signed, that could open up Constitutional questions. If the Constitution requires the President to inform Congress of any contract, then the question is, did she inform Congress? The contract itself pledges the parties to secrecy, except for authorized government agencies, clearly adhering to our own Constitution requirements; but did the President then comply?

In his entry yesterday, Ricky Carandang continues his ongoing investigations into what, really, the Spratleys deal is all about, and its potential infirmities, constitutionally and otherwise. It was an effort to wiggle out of constitutional requirements by calling a spade a preliminary earth-moving device:

Note that the President is allowed to enter into agreements with foreign corporations to explore for oil, provided this is done in accordance with the law and provided Congress is notified of the agreements within 30 days of its execution.

Congress was never notified of the agreement and the Palace had no intention of doing so. In fact, the agreement has never been released to the public. So how did the Palace lawyers get around this?

By simply referring to the agreement as a pre-exploration activity.

The palace geniuses and their allies pushing for the deal argued that by labelling the seismic study as a pre-exploration activity, it did not constitute exploration per se, and therefore they had no obligation to notify Congress. But others raised the issue that seismic mapping was in fact already part of the process of exploration. In their eagerness to sign the deal, they said by simply referring to it as a pre-exploration agreement that would be enough to circumvent the constitution. The problem is simply declaring it as pre-exploration doesn’t necessarily make it so. But that’s why the text of the agreement refers to it as a pre-exploration activity. And that’s why the [Palace] press release above made it a point to say that the agreement was not an exploration agreement, but merely a study.

The problem is that any oil industry expert will tell you that seismic mapping is in fact, part and parcel of exploration activity. In the oil exploration business, pre-exploration activity consists of mostly of studying the regulations, lining up the financing, and obtaining the licenses and the other government approvals necessary to begin exploration. Again, don’t take my word for it. Do the research. Talk to oil industry experts. Google “oil exploration” or “seismic exploration” and you’ll see ample literature out there on seismic studies and how they constitute part of exploration.

Case in point: In 2002 the Department of Energy granted an oil exploration company called Forum Energy a license to explore for oil and gas in the Reed bank of Western Palawan. The license was called Geophysical Survey and Exploration Contract (GSEC) 101. A GSEC, as its name implies, is a license to explore for oil or gas in our territorial waters. As you can see, seismic surveys are part and parcel of exploration activities. Their exploration gave them enough reason to believe that GSEC 101 contained oil and gas in commerical quantities, so Forum applied to convert their GSEC into a Service Contract (SC). Normally, having given a company a GSEC, the DOE would grant the SC as a matter of course. After all, if you let them explore, you would also let them drill. But unexpetedly, te DOE balked at convefting Forum’s GSEC into a SC, something that almost never happens.

The problem with Forum was that after the Philippines and China (and later Vietnam), signed the Spratly deal the Chinese government began to apply pressure on the Philippine government not to convert Forum’s GSEC into a SC, because GSEC 101 was part of the area included in the joint exploration deal. In asserting its rights under the Spratly deal, China is now questioning the granting of exploration licenses in an area where we were already granting drilling licenses to private companies. As far as I know, China did not contest the granting of the GSEC to Forum in 2002, but the Spratly deal has emboldened China to do that now. Forum saw the writing on the wall and sold its stake in GSEC 101 to Monte Oro Resources and Energy, a local firm partly owned by Walter Brown of Philex and and reportedly, Enrique Razon of ICTSI (yes, there’s a story here which I will save for a later date).

As we can see from this example, the Spratly deal has already weakened our claim on certain territories we claim as our own, like Palawan.

In view of the preceding sentence, see RP knew Spratlys exploration ‘too close’ to Palawan. See also 6 Philippine-occupied islands covered in Spratly agreements. As with all the ongoing scandals, the net keeps catching more than the usual flotsam and jetsam: De Venecias, Razon behind oil, gas extraction by UK firm. The only question is, as Senate to start new probe on Spratlys exploration, is, will it serve as a distraction from the NBN-ZTE deal? Perhaps not, as it’s all related, anyway.

And as usual, it’s the behavior of the Palace that validates the old saying that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Instead of asserting that its embarked on a visionary initiative, the Palace’s reaction is to duck responsibility: Spratlys project put on hold as Chinese ODA mess rages. And not only ducking, but it’s trying to pass the buck: Palace: Let De Venecia explain Spratlys deal. But the problem with this is that if the ex-Speaker acted as the broker, his brokering the deal required presidential approval. The Palace is probably calculating that de Venecia will not want to incriminate himself and so, won’t incriminate the Palace. And others who may be considered collateral damage in the deal, won’t spill the beans either: Mañalac knows more than Spratlys deal: The hotshot geologist was fired for allegedly blocking Palace interest. But by all accounts, even if summoned to the Senate, he won’t talk beyond confirming that the contract he signed was, to the best of his knowledge, constitutionally-sound (and as I’ve pointed out, probably so, up to the point of signing but not thereafter).

The Palace itself has acknowledged what’s at stake: Gonzalez: 3 trillion cubic feet of gas at stake in Spratly deal.

For reference, since Text of Spratlys agreement disappears from DFA site (sourced from Newsbreak):

Agreement-Bilateral Marine Seismic Undertaking.pdf.

and

Tripartite Agreement-Marine Scientific Research.pdf.

As for what seismic exploration is, it’s explained in NaturalGas.org. See also the Encyclopedia of Earth entry. Greenpeace states, unambiguously, that seismic exploration is “the first stage of oil and gas exploitation in an ocean area.” How everything comes together can be gathered by looking at the processes (and incentives) granted by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation:

The investment opportunities in the downstream are many. Some of them are:

Refining, Petrochemicals and Gas Utilization

In order to reduce the investors’ risk, speculative seismic data acquisition is carried out in the deep offshore using the services of reputable data acquisition companies. In the inland area, there is direct involvement in exploration activities.

For his part, Mon Casiple says one problem is that there are oppositionists more interested in dribbling the ball than in going for the game-winning three-point shot:

In the meantime, the Senate plans to continue the hearings–possibly with new witnesses–amidst a spreading and more organized public campaign against the Arroyo administration. This maintains pressure on the president while avoiding an immediate decisive confrontation that forces a GMA resignation.

A prolonged crisis scenario without a decisive ending favors those who do not want GMA to resign immediately and therefore usher in a Noli de Castro presidency. If the crisis does not force their hand, they would want to prolong things and bask in the priceless public fascination with the scandal.

What I think we have here is a dribbling of the ball. Meantime, there are unforeseen consequences–not the least of which is a possible polarization of the situation.

The ultimate futility, politically speaking, of arguing that the economy is doing well to justify turning a blind eye to official corruption,is exposed by Amando Doronila in ADB report links RP corruption to investment dip (here is the ADB paper he commented on:critical-dev-constraints.pdf.) The futility of that argument is further demonstrated by the results of parliamentary elections in Malaysia. No one can doubt that the ruling party had put in place an economic policy resulting in growth. But along with inflation, it was the issue of crime, including allegations of widening official corruption, that forced the Prime Minister to call for early elections and the elections resulted in the defeat of the ruling party -the first since 1967. See Malaysia’s Leaders Suffer Setback in Time.com, and Malaysia’s ruling coalition suffers stunning blow Malaysia’s ruling coalition suffers stunning blow and Shock election result for Malaysia’s ruling party in the Financial Times. Incidentally, t seems a blogger, Jeff Ooi, has also been elected as an opposition MP!

People interested in questions of autonomy might want to take a look at The coming pain in Spain in The Economist, which discusses the reasons why Spain’s ruling party faces a tough time at the polls.The problems of bureaucratic reforms is also tackled in another Economist article, What’s holding India back?

In All Roads Lead to Rove, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick looks at a book by one of the attorneys fired for partisan political reasons by the Republicans, an issue the writer says was raised “some zealous congressional oversight and award-winning journalistic coverage” by a blogger. The question of executive privilege has also been raised in the United States, particularly as the present American administration keeps mutating its definition:

As Mukasey has argued and Jonathan Turley has decoded, the Bush administration formulation of executive privilege constitutes a perfect legal möbius strip: “[L]awyers cannot commit crimes when they act under the orders of a president – and a president cannot commit a crime when he acts under advice of lawyers.”

In Questionable privilege? Alex Pabico of the PCIJ introduces readers to Executive Privilege Versus Public Interest by Atty. Nepomuceno Malaluan, which provides an exhaustive overview of executive privilege issues that have arisen in the Senate. In his column today, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J. dissects the proposed compromise peddled by the Supreme Court in Anatomy of a rejected compromise.

Starting at midnight tonight, there will be a major transport strike: Provincial bus operators to join strike; government fielding free transport. The cost of oil is just one of the bread-and-butter issues of which every government has a horror: today’s Inquirer editorial calls it a Food emergency. See Prices of rice seen high in all of 2008 and RP, others hurting as rice price skyrocket and DTI heeds flour millers’ appeal, but . . . and

And in another triumph of the rule of law, Imelda not guilty of dollar salting.

304 comments

Skip to comment form

    • KG on March 10, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Mlq3,

    About original sin,I have read yor fellow columnist Conrado deQuiros, questioning whatever happened to it.
    My opinion is to many can of worms opened.
    For what it is worth,sa tingin ko sa October pwede na gamitin ang mga worms na yun in other ways than for fishing.
    October nga ba yung Pulido impeachment.
    Imo, sa tingin ko nasa move na ito ni JDV at ilan mahhuhugot nya to have 70 votes for impeachmnet.

    • Jon Mariano on March 10, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Regarding JDV, I am of the same thought that he’s too dirty (like Chavit?) to be able to smear Gloria without hurting himself.

  1. President Gloria Pidal announced today several major cabinet appointments. According to Palace sources,who have requested anonymity,this strategic move is intended to placate critics who have complained about the dire lack of men and women of probity in her Cabinet.

    The new appointees,all with cabinet rank,are:

    1)Former General Jovito Palparan: Secretary of Human Rights

    2) Senator Lito Lapid:Secretary of Education

    3)Imelda Marcos: Ambassador To Switzerland

    4)Senator Bong Revilla:Department of Public Highways

    5)Senator Joker Arroyo:Secretary of Youth Affairs.

    6)Senator Juan Ponce Enrile:Secretary of Religious Affairs

    7)Chairman Romy Ner:Truth Commission

    8) Ex-Comelec Chairman Abalos:Secretary for Government Procurement Affairs

    9)Ex-Comelec Commissioner Garcillano: Presidential Adviser on Electoral Reforms

    10)Senator Miguel Zubiri:Presidential Adviser for Maguindanao.

    • Jeg on March 10, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I wonder if anybody else is having trouble opening the PCIB Charts – Data 12.ppt? I clicked on the link and I get an empty powerpoint file.

    • cvj on March 10, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Same here Jeg. It says the file does not exist.

    • Jeg on March 10, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks, cvj. Akala ko ako lang e.

    The noose tightens. There is probable cause to pursue a charge of culpable violation of the constitution in both ZTE and Spratley deals (they seem to be connected), but we’ll need the Reps in the House to step up. “My loyalty to the party ends where my loyalty to the country begins.” I wonder who has the balls to think like that in the House.

    (I just had a thought: does Noli realize he’s been screwed of the presidency? If FPJ won, then he should be president right now.)

    • jude on March 10, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Mr. Quezon, the argument that “they are all cheating anyway” is as ridiculous as Lozada’s argument that there are “permissible” or “tolerable” limits of corruption. We are an absurd people . . .

    • Rosita on March 10, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Same here, I downloaded empty file.

    • KG on March 10, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Mlq3,
    Jeg and CVJ are correct,maybe you can re upload it,later.

    Thanks.

    • DJB on March 10, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    No doubt the disenchantment of those, who to this day, uphold some kind of legitimacy for Edsa Dos are forced to locate the “Original Sin” in the Hello Garci Scandal, since they deem everything that happened before 2004 as more or less acceptable to them. Yet, do you not see Manolo, that it is in failing to repudiate the faithlessness of Edsa Dos to the deepest democratic understandings of the ordinary Filipinos AND even of the Elites, that cynicism actually arose for both? The liberal fascists of 2001 still do not care that they violated the social contract, not realizing that that is why they can no more re-enlist the masses in their liberal moralisms. Our elites are failures for not being able to accept the people’s choice in Erap. And now that they are no longer happy with the result of the regime change, they cannot bring themselves to say sorry for 2001.

    BTW, it was supposed to be Paradise before the Original Sin. Was it, before Garci? For whom?

    • mlq3 on March 10, 2008 at 4:27 pm
      Author

    i don’t know why link went screwy. uploaded it instead to archive.org. hopefully y’all can access it now.

    • mlq3 on March 10, 2008 at 4:31 pm
      Author

    djb, that would be revisionism.

    http://politicaljunkie.blogspot.com/2008/02/new-contest-name-that-author.html

    • KG on March 10, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Mlq3,
    Thanks for re-uploading it.
    I saved it and will view it in deatail later.

    • anthony scalia on March 10, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    **** “Original Sin” of INXS plays ****

    if Hello Garci is the original sin, then all politicians mentioned in the tapes should be equally guilty, not just gloria.

    Jun Lozada is also the continuing crime, for those who consider him a paid witness. a continuing crime that started also with hello garci (for the other politicians)

    hey there’s a one to one correspondence! gloria and the opposition are in pari delicto

    • mlq3 on March 10, 2008 at 5:01 pm
      Author

    scalia, culpability as accomplices, yes, but there was only one position that the cheating was engineered to secure, and only one beneficiary of that cheating.

    • Jeg on March 10, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    I suppose the seeming revisionism is because of DJB’s transition from traditional conservatism to neo-conservatism; from ‘dont trust the institutions of government’ to ‘trust the institutions of government’.

    It is a fundamental democratic principle that sovereignty resides in the people. One-man-one-vote, never was a fundamental democratic principle, but instead is a democratic expedient, a concession. The so-called liberal fascists that ‘violated the social contract’ couldnt have done so because the contract itself was rendered void when the government, as the text quoted by Philippine Politics 04 linked in MLQ3’s comment above, became a ‘vast criminal enterprise’. The people sought to establish a new one, but unfortunately it was hijacked by the government itself: GMA, the SC, and the military. IMO and Im speculating here, if after the upheavals of 2001, the impeachment trial was continued, Erap wouldve been acquitted — maybe — but he wouldnt have continued to be a crook after that.

    • Geo on March 10, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Yes, the GMA lynch mob can be counted on returning to the Garci tapes when all else fails.

    Those tapes, which supposedly took over a year to “surface” are the real deal…but the Lozada/JDV3 tapes are fake. Why didn’t the compilers ever release the originals…which would have jailed GMA in two seconds flat? Believing in multiply-edited tapes is just plain foolish.

    Evidence? Open the ballot boxes! What were the PET results? Nada. Zero. Zip. Oh, says Legarda, there was cheating…we just couldn’t raise the money to really, really pursue the case. Huh? The opposition would not chip in any cash? Really? And the cost for running for senator is many times more? hmmmm….. Stop! Don’t complicate things. GMA cheated cuz we all say so.

    Now you say that the opposition has new, strong evidence??? But you need to “nag” them to release it to the public? Huh. You’d think they’d have some interest in showing us all the proof we have been promised for almost 3 years.

    If the Garci Tapes was the Original Sin, it’s because that was the starting point for a fraudulent Search For The Truth campaign. There are universal methods to discovering “truth”, and they aren’t being followed. Never were.

    The Original Sin? Maybe djb is right — The disregard for due process in EDSA 2.

    The Continuing Crime? Using untruthful people and unjust means in order to establish the “truth”…a truth as defined by a forceful minority.

    • KG on March 10, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    DJB,
    I read John Marzan’s blog,if it is revisionism, it is normal sa takbo ng buhay ng tao. when the folks questioned your views when you were 18 or 19,(u know what I’m talking abt),naintindihan kita na iba noon iba ngayon. But I could not imagine you citing liberal fascism and disenchantment as if you never had that documented random thought just a few years back; not more than thirty or so years when you were 18 or 19.
    Is it still iba noon,iba ngayon?

    • Jeg on March 10, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Geo, if I remember correctly, the electoral fraud case was prematurely terminated on a technicality. The SC incredibly ruled that Susan Roces had no legal personality to pursue the case after FPJ died. As if electoral fraud had FPJ alone as a victim and not the Filipino people.

    • nash on March 10, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    re: Justice Secretary’s Opinion

    Why do we even bother listening to the first Justice Secretary in the world who has not a single functional brain cell?

  2. Yes, but wasn’t the case Loren filed vs. Noli decided with finality? And didn’t that case use the same election returns?

    If even the SC found nothing wrong with the results for Noli… how could discrepancies with Gloria’s votes not go unnoticed?

    Not defending Gloria here, ok? Just asking a question.

    Btw, I hope everybody remembers how the Canvassing happened back in 2004. Remember who defended Gloria’s vote then?

    • mlq3 on March 10, 2008 at 5:43 pm
      Author

    geo, you insist on viewing the opposition as monolithic, which it isn’t. the colossus is being built by the president.

    fpj died. a small group of his supporters were pursuing the evidence. it takes time. and they’re understandably loath to get into the limelight at a time when they’re discouraged over official hostility and public indifference.

    the originals of the tapes are with isafp. you can ask ed ermita why his taping project won’t be released in full, to implicate everyone as you wish, or perhaps it’s because his principal would be caught in the net too?

    • Kabayan on March 10, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Equalizer,

    Those proposed new appointees, with cabinet rank, are just awful; but just as it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, there would be those who would consider such set-up if this government weren’t only getting cautious with their growing unpopularity.

    • cvj on March 10, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Got it, thanks Manolo! Looking at the PCIB Powerpoint slides, the pattern of improbable votes for GMA is similar as what Zubiri got in Maguindanao courtesy of Bedol (except for Pagulangan owing to Musa Dimasidsing’s sacrifice).

    • Kabayan on March 10, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Pro-corruption groups thought that because Gloria got away with her shenanigans in the past that her deeds and that of her allies will just these will be forgotten, “go away” and just “move on”. Just as some people think that because Imelda was acquitted of 30+ charges of dollar salting that her corrupt deeds are forgotten.

    • Madonna on March 10, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    “It is a fundamental democratic principle that sovereignty resides in the people. One-man-one-vote, never was a fundamental democratic principle, but instead is a democratic expedient, a concession. The so-called liberal fascists that ‘violated the social contract’ couldnt have done so because the contract itself was rendered void when the government, as the text quoted by Philippine Politics 04 linked in MLQ3’s comment above, became a ‘vast criminal enterprise’.” — Jeg

    I am a little shocked with this comment Jeg. Democratic expedient? Pray tell me, how so? Where is that stated in our constitution? One-man, one-vote is the very operational meaning of democracy in action. When in a situation when two candidates have almost equal votes, the position goes to one who has the more votes, EVEN IF IT IS ONLY BY ONE VOTE. So gosh, one-man, one vote is the very principle that upholds democracy and makes it legitimate to the contending parties in a diverse society. Or have we forgotten that we do not have an electoral college like the US? So what liberal fascists fancy themselves as the de-facto electoral college, even when the popular vote is screwed in the first place.

    The original sin, if ever there was such a thing was planted in 2001 when the elite conspired to oust Estrada. The original sin in the bible was not when Cain slew his brother Abel, but when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit — the forbidden fruit in 2001 was power that the few who partook of it and in so doing trampled on the rights of the millions who voted Estrada into office.

    Garci in 2004 is the continuing sin. Lozada? maybe part of the New Testament who’s drama is that of “I am a sinner, but I repent”. The Road to Damascus has not yet been traversed by most of our elite, that’s for sure. When that happens, then perhaps we will have a genuine People Power III, less dramatic than Edsa Uno, but none of the betrayal of Edsa Dos.

    • Madonna on March 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Garci in 2004 is the continuing sin. — sorry, should read

    “Garci in 2004 is the continuing crime.”

    • Geo on March 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    mlq3,

    I see that the opposition is anything but a monolithic bloc. That’s what makes things worse — various groups are willing to force a change in government with no clue — and no agreement — as to what to do afterwards. No, not a monolith; a mob.

    It’s not a colossus either. It’s a minority.

    Why didn’t the opposition go full out on Legarda’s re-count? Why would fpj people need to do all of this work when they could just count the VP votes? Meanwhile, is the public “indifferent” or part of a GMA-created “colossus”???

    No, the opposition’s total disregard to pursuing this avenue has always seemed very suspicious to me. And the SC’s review in favor of Noli makes the cheating claims ring hollow. If anything the proof has favored the accused’s side.

    ISAPF has the tapes? Really? Was it Ermita who made that compilation then? Then what — he gave the set to the opposition? Or is it that an agent sat there for hundreds of hours editing and compiling…while no one noticed? And then he snuck the tapes out. Ohhhhhh………

    Don’t get me wrong, mlq3. I can’t say with certainty that GMA cheated. But I can say for certain that there is very weak and questionable indications that she did. Here we are three years later and things haven’t changed much.

    Now, if your goal is to improve things, I’m with you. I agree that there are many ills. But the bastardization of truth is not a good remedy or approach. Of that, I’m sure.

    • Jeg on March 10, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    One-man, one-vote is the very operational meaning of democracy in action.

    Representative democracy is an expedient, a necessary evil if you will. The founders of the American experiment which we are trying hard to copy noted that electing representatives was a double edged sword in that these representatives might turn out to be lords and masters over the people. I guess that’s why the US constitution has the second amendment.

    The pure, unadulterated democracy is direct democracy. But even here, the people are represented by their leaders. But in direct democracy, the leaders are their true representatives. Our constitution tries to capture this through the party list, which still has kinks, but is a step in the right direction, IMO.

    • Kabayan on March 10, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    People forgot the “truths” of Gloria, Bunye, Garci, et al. Well some wants to forget it that’s for sure.

    • Kabayan on March 10, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Sarap talaga ng Rule of Law ng gubyernong to, pinalusot si Imeldific Marcos.

    • cvj on March 10, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Don’t get me wrong, mlq3. I can’t say with certainty that GMA cheated. But I can say for certain that there is very weak and questionable indications that she did. Here we are three years later and things haven’t changed much. – Geo

    I remember what you wrote in the comments section of one of Ricky Carandang’s earlier entries (since deleted). You said that Gloria only talked to Garci (and the COMELEC) because she wanted to protect her votes from the real cheaters who is one of those politicians (you were too scared to name). Do you still believe that?

    • Kabayan on March 10, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Now without many noticing it Imelda is slowly getting out of her corruption bind. With this example, can anyone still believe that real justice on corruption in the Philippines be truly implemented? The oligarchic syndicracy clique wend their evil ways. The Rule of Law has been bastardized and became the Rule of the Few.

    • Kabayan on March 10, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Sarap ng may Bilyon bilyong pera na galing sa amin at kapwa kong Pilipino ano … sarap sarap talagang magnakaw at kumapit na parang linta sa posisyon. Nawa kung anong ginawa niyo, ang tamang kabayaran ang nararapat sa inyo. Karmahin kayo at inyong mga galamay.

    • Kabayan on March 10, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Demonyo pinalusot kapwa demonyo

    • DJB on March 10, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    The Garci Tapes are not primarily about electoral fraud!

    They are about the continuing crime against national security that the existence of illegal wiretapping represents.

    After the Supreme Court ruled with finality that GMA has won the elections, there really wasn’t a better strategy for punishing her than to pursue the national security violations angle. Which, according to the Anti Wiretapping law are continuing crimes (possession of mother of all tapes, for example). The original crime of which the Garci tapes are direct physical evidence is violation of Section 1 of RA4200: illegal wiretapping of the President and a Comelec commissioner, both Constitutional, impeachable officers.

    My concern when I was 18 was Liberty. It still is, I don’t know why. In this I have always been consistent.

    My views on Edsa Dos were shaped by my discovery of Artemio Panganiban’s book and the TRUE STORY of what happened and how, at Edsa Dos.

    The real revisionism was done by the liberal fascists. I’ve always been faithful to the truth as I’ve construed it, always bearing in mind how wrong we sometimes can be!

    • cvj on March 10, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    I agree with Madonna that one-man, one vote is “the very operational meaning of democracy in action“. If i didn’t value ‘one-man, one-vote’, then i would have accepted Gloria’s apology back in 2005. After all, she was my choice. I’d even help Geo with his mental gymnastics.

    However, i also agree with Jeg that direct democracy is more genuine (aka ‘pure and unadulterated’). Even in an ideal scenario where you have a President who is legitimate, the fact remains that elections only happen at a point in time. For the Presidency, it only happens once every six years. In between elections, there may be times when we do not agree with our elected representatives even in an ideal case where they are honest and well-intentioned. When this happens, a failure of representation occurs. If this happens frequently enough, then you have a failure of democracy.

    That’s why representative democracy needs to be supplemented with direct democracy, of which People Power is an extreme manifestation. Each form of democracy has its advantages and disadvantages. Representative democracy (when elections are honest) has the advantage of greater franchise (because of one-man, one-vote), but operationally lacks the authenticity of Direct Democracy. Direct Democracy may, at times, be unclear as to franchise but has greater authenticity because it comes from the source i.e. the People (as opposed to the proxies).

    Someday, technology will allow the people to vote for policies just as easily as we vote for our choices in American Idol which will solve the ‘franchise’ issue. In the meantime, we have to accommodate the limitations of each.

    • Kamote on March 10, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Kabayan,

    Dba ang sabi mga foreign loans yung mga ninakaw nina marcos? Tapos pwede naman i default ni Cory noon pero hindi ginawa ni cory? sino ngayon ang me kasalanan sa pagkakautang natin kung pwede naman palang i return to 0?

    next,

    Mas gugustuhin ko pang magpapalit palit tayo ng presidente kesa naka tanga lang tayo sa bahay habang minumura ang nakaupo pero wala naman tayong ginagawa. Baka sakali next time makakuha na tayo nang matino.

    Diba yan ang essence ng demokrasya, the will of the people? na ang kung ano ang gusto ng nakakarami e sya ang dapat nasusunod? Sige daanin natin sa Rule of the Law diba NAKITA NYO NAMAN NA NUNG MAG FILE NG IMPEACHMENT NATALO DAHIL SA KAALYADO NG PANGULO? o tanga na lang yung naniniwala dun at magsasabing well ganun talaga ang proseso eh kahit me ebidensya na?

    Isa pang tanong, paano naatim kaya ng mga pro gloria na galing sa magnanakaw ang pinangpapakain nila sa mga anak nila?

    • Kamote on March 10, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    Question

    Naniniwala ba talaga kayo na me kakayahan tayong pumili kung sino man ang tongressman na maihahalal?

    Tulad sa probinsya, Same shit different first name diba?

    Naalala ko nun tumakbo ang isa sa mga kamag anak ko bilang tongressman natalo kahit ang record nya e super duper clean at halos lahat ng mga tao sa probinsya namin e sa kanya tumatakbo pag me kaso sila at libre ang singil nya. Tapos me pa welga welga pa ang mga tao para lang tumakbo at ang ending natalo sya ng hinga ng malalim 500 votes.

    Naalala ko din inabot ng 3 years yung kaso sa comelec. tapos naging moot and academic na daw nung nagsimula na ang eleksyon.

    Amazing diba? paano pa natin masasabi na representative of the people ang mga congressmen?

    • DJB on March 10, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    The claim that Erap had turned the govt into “a vast criminal enterprise” and that this justifies the junking of the Constitution by Davide and the Fascists, is a vast rationalisation, considering how much vaster the criminal enterprise of his replacement turned out to be.

    Because the principal check and balance against a rogue President, which is none other than the Senate, had been demolished by the Supreme Court in 2001, the Chief Executive indeed became capable of that far vaster criminal enterprise we now see.

    How much did Erap steal? 2-4 billion in the Jose Velarde Account you say? Heck the 6.5 billion peso ZTE kickback alone is more than that.

    Erap’s was a kanto boy criminal enterprise. It was the de classe quality of that which got him kicked out. That’s all!

    • Kabayan on March 10, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Kamote,

    Kailangan talaga, ngayon pa lang nag-oorganisa at pinapamulat na sa mamamayan itong sindikatong mayayaman sa namumuno sa ating pulitika. Lakas-KAMPI merger na raw, at least nag-ipon na ang mga demonyo, di katulad dati, nakakalat at mahirap tirisin ang mga ipis.(Pasensya na lang sa mga ipis, ikompara sa mga Tongressman na ito, matino pa kayo)

    Nagtitipon na ang mga demonyo, dapat magtipon na rin ang susugpo sa mga karera at impluwensiya nitong mga magnanakaw at gahaman sa kapangyarihan.

    • Geo on March 10, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    cvj,

    I think she at least tried to protect her votes. I think a bunch of politicians do that everytime. Some pay to fix the votes. I don’t know who has or hasn’t.

    I think there are many indications that the tapes are “fake”. If so, I have an idea who did it. I am scared enough to not name names.

    In those days, cvj, I was also stressing that the PET/Legarda recount should be the end-all. Look what happened with that.

    So yeah, I think building the “oust GMA” campaign on Garci is the equivalent of building on quicksand. The fact that mlq3 refers to it as “The Original Sin” is troubling. I feel it reflects the overall problem in media today — the lack of distinction between opinion and reportable facts…or maybe we can say: the disregard of journalism’s own rules of conduct.

    • Kabayan on March 10, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Kamote,

    Maganda sana na i-default ni Cory ang Marcos loans kaya lang titirahin tayo ng trade sanctions. Magiging parang Cuba tayo. No choice, dapat talagang habulin ang unang demonyo na ginawang institusyon ang kurapsyon.

    Ngayon balak sana ibalik ni Gloria ang lumang technique, kaya lang nahirapan na siya dahil alam na ang istilo ni Macoy, nagka-utak ang maraming Pilipino. Kaya banggaan talaga ito ngayon sa pagitan ng mga demonyong kurakot sa pamahalaan katunggali ang Pilipinong sawa na sa mga tarantadong mga kurakot na elitistang na ito.

    • Kabayan on March 10, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Yes and some consider government media “reputable”, what a laugh.

    • maginoo on March 10, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    That’s why representative democracy needs to be supplemented with direct democracy, of which People Power is an extreme manifestation – cvj

    Even the Greek inventors of democracy decided that direct democracy was unwieldy and cumbersome. The city-state of Athens selected the council of 500 citizens to govern.

    • cvj on March 10, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    I’m not sure why you should be so scared of Eddie Villanueva. Seriously…i listened to the tapes and the term ‘protect‘ does not do justice to what GMA did. Election Cheating is not a harmless crime as the case of Musa Dimasidsing shows. We’re seeing the fruits of that original sin, among other things, in NBN-ZTE which is payback to Abalos.

    • Kabayan on March 10, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Even direct democracy in Athens becomes relevant if these 500 governing citizens becomes severely corrupt and abusive.

    • Kabayan on March 10, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    I guess the first small yet telling sin of Gloria was that when she publicly declared that she would not run for Presidency again and later did an about face on her word. The foundation of lying has been established and in a big public way at that. Later, lying to the Filipinos became easier.

    • cvj on March 10, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Even the Greek inventors of democracy decided that direct democracy was unwieldy and cumbersome. The city-state of Athens selected the council of 500 citizens to govern. – maginoo

    A number of things have happened over the intervening 2,000 thousand years that makes the concept of Direct Democracy both more feasible, and more necessary.

    • DJB on March 10, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    cvj,
    can you give us an example of a real DIRECT DEMOCRACY in history? Any time after Adam and Eve’s family got to be more than 20 people or so will do.

Load more

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.