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May 09

Cyberspace will determine 15 percent of 2010 poll results, says Gatmaitan

Conflicting news on rice: DA reports big summer rice harvests: Grain traders, farmers urge gov’t to buy local produce: Summer rice harvest now 5.9-M metric tons on one hand, and Farmers fail to benefit from record rice prices on the other. Meanwhile, overseas, the blog Darwiniana points to Americans being asked to consider the possibility of food riots over there.

Even as Polls in Maguindanao automated, the brittle peace ontinues to be a cause for concern.

In What’s behind the delay of the signing and the IMT pullout? , Mahdie Amella distills the MILF position concerning Philippine political priorities in Mindanao:

Deceitful attitude has become a government tradition in dealing with the revolutionary groups who are legitimately fighting for their rights to self-determination, thus war continuously happens that brings the government down.

The Philippine constitution has always been used by the government to delay the signing of a peace agreement. Recently, it organized a legal group that has been tasked to carefully study the constitutionality of every thing that will be entered into as an agreement with the MILF. Has the government made a critical study when it illegally annexed Mindanao to Philippine territory? The said legal group has apparently been made to derail the peace process so as to eschew the possibility of signing an agreement.

Using the constitution to hinder the attainment of peace is like saying that the people who are fighting for secession are right. There is no such “unconstitutional” thing. It depends on how people behind the constitution make something constitutional or unconstitutional as it is merely a man-made law.

Other countries that have already been able to address problems like what has been besetting us in the Philippines also have “constitutions”. Any government that sincerely enters into negotiation with the aim of bringing peace to the nation will not find this thing difficult. The constitution can be amended to accommodate any peace agreement but an agreement can not be shaped by the constitution, otherwise the other party is being deceived. It fights the government as it does not recognize its existing laws. How could it be a basis for any talking point or agreement?

Looking at these points, it is not the constitution that hampers us toward attaining peace but the people who can not sacrifice their personal interests in favor of national interests. These people (in Malacanang) who are very influential in terms of decision-making all have possessions in Mindanao. They fear to lose these should there be an honorable agreement signed with the MILF.

Now, what is the government’s purpose in entering into peace negotiation with the MILF? It is manifest that the negotiation is only a diplomatic tool in putting the MILF down. It has never been initiated to once and for all address the never ending Mindanao conflict.

Apparently, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has never thought of resolving the Mindanao strife. If she is for its resolution, she could have done it already as the solution for it is very straightforward — just return everything that was usurped so easily. It is not demanding. In fact, the MILF has already practically reduced its territorial claim into only the areas where the Bangsamoro are dominant.

On the other hand, in What is the guarantee? Who will guarantee? Roberto C. Layson, OMI says peace negotiators are prepared to kneel on the ground to keep the Malaysians involved in the peace process:

The problem is when you later ask both the government and the MILF who started the violations, no one would take responsibility. As usual, it ends up with no one taking accountability with the government and the MILF pointing finger to each other. It’s sometimes disheartening. That is why in our experience in rehabilitation, the most challenging and difficult part is not to rehabilitate the physical damage inflicted by war such as the construction of houses, roads, water facilities, day care centers or even school buildings. This is the easiest part of rehabilitation, we found out. The most difficult part really is how to restore the belief of people in the peace process and in peace in general.

But what can you expect between the two parties. It’s like a basketball game without a referee. That is why, the civil society organization in Mindanao lobbied so hard for the third party ceasefire monitors because the ceasefire mechanism then was not effective in controlling the situation on the ground. And as always the case, it’s the innocent civilians who suffer the brunt of war — the ordinary Lumads, Muslims and Christians.

The Inquirer editorial today looks at the Speaker of the House playing footsie with the Senate, and points out there remains Unfinished business. On a related note, Ricky Poca in The time is now points to the main priority of congressmen at present:

Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña’s proposal to merge the Municipality of Cordova with Cebu City appears to have been rejected by all of the six congressional representatives of the Province of Cebu. Even if pursued in the House, it would be difficult to have the proposal approved, given the present sentiment of the six representatives and even Rep. Antonio Cuenco (Cebu City South District).

Moreover, the six representatives are busy with the plan to increase the legislative districts of Cebu, given the latest census that shows a considerable increase in the province’s population. Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, together with the provincial board, is serious about discussing with all the district representatives the plan to add more congressional districts in the province.

But the resolution filed in the Senate, calling for Charter change to institutionalize a federal system of government, may put on hold any plan of having more seats at the Batasan. Some representatives believe that Congress will prioritize the resolution authored by Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr., as the proposal has also reportedly gotten Malacañang’s nod. Some congressmen think it’s better to wait for the result of the move to shift to federal system because if it pushes through, it will practically affect the arrangement of the districts and provinces.

The plot thickens! Tony Abaya thinks Federalism will only provide an opening for a Putin-style move to stay in power, on the part of the President. And objects to the proposal being made on the basis -specious, he says- of its spurring economic growth. As he put it in a May 5 column,

My critique of his resolution rests on five principal grounds: a) it is a Trojan Horse to re-introduce a twice-defeated (in 2006-07) maneuver to shift to a parliamentary system, to enable President Arroyo to remain in power beyond 2010, as prime minister, similar to the maneuver of Vladimir Putin in Russia;

b) the resolution’s stated objective, “to spur economic growth,” is a no-brainer since, as I pointed out in my article, the Philippines’ failure to develop as fast as its neighbors in the past 50 years can be traced to poor, even stupid economic policies and strategies, not to its being a unitary state;

c) most of the successful countries in our part of the world — Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand — all achieved economic success as unitary states; only one – Malaysia — as a federal union; so there is nothing wrong with being a unitary state as long as the correct economic strategies and policies are pursued; on the other hand, a federal union with wrong economic strategies and policies would stagnate, e.g. autarkic and xenophobic Myanmar, under military rule since 1962.

d) archipelagic countries — Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines — are unitary states also for pragmatic reasons: being made up of islands, they are vulnerable to centrifugal forces that would encourage secession and disunity.

e) I challenged Sen. Pimentel to name even only one example of a country that shifted from unitary to federal — or from federal to unitary — and thus achieved prosperity as a result of that shift. He has not obliged.

See also Leonor Briones’ Financing Federalism. The only thing Measly Meanderings sees coming out of the whole thing is an infestation of officials.

In politics and business, Oscar Lopez, the current Lopez patriarch, is quoted as saying, ‘Buy us out if you want’: Suggests removal of VAT, royalties. According to The Mount Balatucan Monitor, the GSIS gambit sends the wrong message to business; though I’m not convinced, because other big businesses aren’t vulnerable the way Meralco is (either on the basis of existing share structures or of being subject to government regulation). the blogger and Patricio Mangubat in FilipinoVoices.com, though, share a skeptical attitude concerning the supposed benefits of a change in corporate management:

Garcia says its not the board they’re after — its management, dummy. Winston, we’re not kids and that stupid, okey? A management filled with government appointees is worst than the Lopezes. Replacing management is a de facto takeover.

Whatever the palace says, one thing is perfectly clear — these palace men are not creating noise out of nothing. They all say the same thing though — they’ll be doing this to force a lowering of electricity rates. All of them though, including Gloria, knows that a takeover will not immediately result to a lowering of electricity costs. Why? Because Meralco will lose considerable profitability.

Besides, government is the worst administrator of all time.

For Philippine Commentary, the problem of high electric rates boils down to what he calls two insane policies:

(1) Napocor has steadfastly refused to sign long term supply contracts for its dirty coal fired power plants, insisting instead on buying coal primarily on the spot market current at over $130 / ton; and

(2) P1.46 government royalty on domestic natural gas amounting to more than a third of the P4.10 per cubic meter paid by First Gas (a Lopez-owned independent power producer).

The Economist points to Goldman Sachs predicting oil at $200 a barrel by the end of the year. Sensing an opportunity (for its airline, among other things), Gokongweis offer P24.6B for gov’t stake in Petron Corp. In his column, John Mangun explains, in his view, Why P100 gasoline might be good:

When, two years ago, oil was $50 and Goldman forecast $100, the Philippines’ political leaders did nothing to prepare for $100. Now they have the opportunity to prepare for $200 a barrel.

Who wants to be the next president? Raise your hand. I have the guaranteed political strategy for making you the overwhelming landslide choice in 2010. Tell the people what you are doing today to handle a doubling of oil prices in two years. Because all the other contenders are going to tell the people what they will do after they take office and after gasoline doubles in price. It will be too late, then, to take action, just as it is now.

Here’s another thing to consider for your political campaign. If conditions continue unchanged, you may not be able to afford to give away that T-shirt and can of sardines to win a few extra votes. And your provincial political sortie might have to be on the back of a carabao instead of a Ford Expedition.

People worry about how much it costs for a tank of gas while Dubai, using our Filipino workers, is spending billions of dollars, some of it ours, to build artificial islands as playgrounds for the rich and famous.

However, no one is confident that solutions will be sought until the problem grows bigger. And that is why P100 gasoline might be good for the country. At P50, the pain is still bearable. When the situation deteriorates and the pain hurts badly enough, then the leaders might finally take some constructive action…

…There must be something in the air inside government offices and legislative halls around the world that causes political leaders to lose their common sense. Ideas and policies they would never apply in their own occupation – be it in commerce, education, medicine and media – are often the standard when they enter politics.

Virtually every government leader has, directly or indirectly, engaged in wealth creation in the private sector. They built something, taught others to build or found the capital and noncapital resources to create wealth. But when they join the government, they suddenly forget how to create national wealth…

…You want more and cheaper rice? Grow it. You need domestic oil so as not to be hostage to the Middle East oil sheiks? Dig it up.

No nation taxed, untaxed, subsidized, politicized or legislated itself to prosperity. They created wealth. Why is Vietnam now a net rice exporter? When I last visited it in 1990, this was the only national rice policy: “Everybody grow rice!”  Every square meter of usable land in rice-friendly areas was planted. The monthly salary of the hotel night manager was $5.

We have huge mineral wealth. Do we dig it up? No. We may have enough oil for self-sufficiency. Do we exploit it? No.

Find a leader who applies the same wealth-creation techniques and policies in government that they do in the real world.

Mangun’s musings brings to mind an aricle in the Asia Sentinel, Asia Faces an Inflation Quandary:

Nowhere is the dilemma more acute than in Vietnam, which currently tops the consumer inflation league table at around 20 percent annually. In a seemingly belated response, the government dramatically tightened money supply growth, driving up interest rates and causing the country’s stock and real estate prices to crash. But the connection between consumer prices and money supply was tenuous. For sure, money had been far too loose for too long as Vietnam basked in international esteem and capital inflows. But the main inflation culprit was food, with prices up 35 percent thanks in large part to Vietnam’s open economy and role as a major food exporter — particularly of rice and fish.

Belated efforts to dampen domestic prices by limiting exports merely served to add to panic in importing countries like the Philippines which had failed to keep adequate stocks.

Now the pressure is on Vietnam to try another tack in its inflation fight — allow the dong, which has fallen against almost every currency except the US dollar, to appreciate significantly as it likely would given continued capital flows and strong commodity exports. But it isn’t that simple. The government and private sectors alike recognize that workers must be compensated for rising prices, so double-digit wage rises are in prospect. Combined with dong appreciation, that could undercut competitiveness just at the time when markets in the west are already weak and those in Asia are going off the boil.

…Elsewhere, in India, Indonesia and now the Philippines, subsidies, at least for the poorest, are a partial answer to the food price problem. But in India and the Philippines in particular they add to existing serious budget problems. India however does have a strong case for tighter monetary policy after a period of being carried away by India-rising euphoria and the impact of massive inflows of (mostly short term) capital which could yet cause balance-of-payments angst again.

On a related note, the interest of the China financial markets blog was piqued by a report on big banks engaging in hoarding -of money:

Large international banks, in other words, are responding to the current financial crisis by hoarding liquidity, as they have always done, at least since the invention of joint-stock banking, I think in the very early 18th century, and even before. We have been reminded very dramatically that banks are clearly vulnerable to liquidity runs. The collapse of my old employer Bear Stearns occurred largely, as far as I can see, because of a very old-fashioned bank run on an institution that was far from bankrupt, or would have been had it not experienced the bank run (i.e. until the forced fire-sale, its assets were worth significantly more than its liabilities). That, plus the experience of Northern Rock and a number of other close calls has made it imperative for banks that they have sufficient liquidity to meet any potential liquidity run, and for this reason they may simply be unwilling to lend to each other.

Returning to Mangun’s looking forward to the 2010 race, his views also brings to mind 2010 polls a 5-way race – forecast (hat tip: dantonremoto2010).

To my mind, Tony Gatmaitan is the first political professional to quantify the value of the Internet if we have presidential elections in 2010. He says the presidential derby at present has five main contenders who “well positioned to convert their vote-generating capabilities into the next elections” : Manuel de Castro, Jr.; Manuel Villar, Jr.; Manuel Roxas II; Loren Legarda; Joseph Ejercito Estrada.Then Gatmaitan identifies the three main arenas where the 2010 campaign would be fought out:

1) battle of the airwaves (50% of the contest);

2) ground level war (35% of the battle); and,

3) cyberspace, (15%).

Gatmaitan pointed out that prior to TV and radio political advertising being legalized, TV and radio influenced only 10% of the vote. But since the ad ban on radio and TV was lifted in 2004, the percentage has swelled (with an accompanying, and fast, collapse of the traditional political culture of mitings de avance, etc.) so that TV and radio will account for 50% of the vote come 2010:

“Prime time television is going to be inundated by political advertisements coming from all sides. There will be a shift from politicians to image makers. The latter will take the place of political operatives. The traditional areas controlled by politicians will now shrink,” he said.

Gatmaitan identifies the ground level war as centered on guarding votes on the precinct level. This used to account for 50% of the fight but Gatmaitan thinks it’s now been reduced to 35%. But it’s where the Palace has an ace up its sleeve:

The ground level war includes the national canvassing of all city, provincial and other electoral returns by Congress. And in this battle, the administration candidate has the inside track. “In a tight contest, they can ram through [Congress] anything,” he said.

It’s in the last zone of battle -cyberspace- that Gatmaitan (and the report) are vaguest:

While Internet penetration is still low in the Philippines, Gatmaitan said the influence of cellphones has increased to “63% of the population and still growing.” By 2010, it may reach 72%. “By 2010, voters will be read to accept imaginative SMS messages from candidates and political parties,” he said.

Which isn’t particularly enlightening at all. Gatmaitan is correct in pointing out the Internet includes cell phones in its ecology (think Chikka, and how you can get Yahoo messenger updates on your phone, Twitter from your phone and receive Twitts, post to Flickr from your phone, etc.) He seems dismissive of blogs, social networking sites, etc. And there is, too, the possibility that the Internet will have a spill-over effect, both when it comes to media and people evangelizing for their candidates.

To my mind, Francis Escudero was the most innovative and shrewd user of the Internet for his senatorial campaign, and also the first to take out online advertising. He used a combination of ads, appeals, and gimmicks such as one site of his that asked people to describe him, to solicit support.

A thought-provoking inquiry into where ICT is bringing (or could bring, rather) our democracy, is undertaken by Martin Perez in Critical Convergence, Part 2: Knowledge Politics. Of interest, considering his views, are these entries, part of the continuing coverage of the conference I attended in Sweden. The first, A game of snap, is someone’s reaction to the talk I gave. The second is self-explanatory: How ‘Facebook Girl’ turned up the heat in Egypt.

Overseas, Richard N. Haass says we have ushered in The Age of Nonpolarity:

At first glance, the world today may appear to be multipolar. The major powers — China, the European Union (EU), India, Japan, Russia, and the United States — contain just over half the world’s people and account for 75 percent of global GDP and 80 percent of global defense spending. Appearances, however, can be deceiving. Today’s world differs in a fundamental way from one of classic multipolarity: there are many more power centers, and quite a few of these poles are not nation-states. Indeed, one of the cardinal features of the contemporary international system is that nation-states have lost their monopoly on power and in some domains their preeminence as well. States are being challenged from above, by regional and global organizations; from below, by militias; and from the side, by a variety of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and corporations. Power is now found in many hands and in many places.

In addition to the six major world powers, there are numerous regional powers: Brazil and, arguably, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Venezuela in Latin America; Nigeria and South Africa in Africa; Egypt, Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East; Pakistan in South Asia; Australia, Indonesia, and South Korea in East Asia and Oceania. A good many organizations would be on the list of power centers, including those that are global (the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the World Bank), those that are regional (the African Union, the Arab League, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the EU, the Organization of American States, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation), and those that are functional (the International Energy Agency, OPEC, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the World Health Organization). So, too, would states within nation-states, such as California and India’s Uttar Pradesh, and cities, such as New York, Sao Paulo, and Shanghai. Then there are the large global companies, including those that dominate the worlds of energy, finance, and manufacturing. Other entities deserving inclusion would be global media outlets (al Jazeera, the BBC, CNN), militias (Hamas, Hezbollah, the Mahdi Army, the Taliban), political parties, religious institutions and movements, terrorist organizations (al Qaeda), drug cartels, and NGOs of a more benign sort (the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, Greenpeace). Today’s world is increasingly one of distributed, rather than concentrated, power.

As far as the United States is concerned, after briefly enjoying the status of being the only Superpower on earth after the fall of the USSR, Fareed Zakaria ponders The Future of American Power and asks if comparisons between the USA and the decline of the British Empire beginning with the Boer War, are as apt as many would like to think:

The United States’ recent military interventions in Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq all have parallels in British military interventions decades ago. The basic strategic dilemma of being the only truly global player on the world stage is strikingly similar. But there are also fundamental differences between Britain then and the United States now. For Britain, as it tried to maintain its superpower status, the largest challenge was economic rather than political. For the United States, it is the other way around.

Through shrewd strategic choices and some sophisticated diplomacy, Britain was able to maintain and even extend its influence for decades. In the end, however, it could not alter the fact that its power position — its economic and technological dynamism — was fast eroding. Britain declined gracefully — but inexorably. The United States today faces a problem that is quite different. The U.S. economy (despite its current crisis) remains fundamentally vigorous when compared with others. American society is vibrant. It is the United States’ political system that is dysfunctional, unable to make the relatively simple reforms that would place the country on extremely solid footing for the future. Washington seems largely unaware of the new world rising around it — and shows few signs of being able to reorient U.S. policy for this new age.

And even as the Democratic nomination seems In Obama’s grasp, Vanity Fair takes a look at The Last Good Campaign (RFK, 1968!).

The Marocharim Experiment confesses to contributing to society’s decay.

95 comments

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  1. The Ca t

    Leyetenean, I hink you are just being a newbie, kaya sentibo ka pa. Eventually, I think you ll get used to it. Each of us are our own person. I dont believe we can change each other here.

    If she wanted a friendly club, this is not the place. This is an arena where intellectuals battle for their opinions.
    This is not a mutual admiration club either.If she’s not ready for the baptism of fire, she can quit before more punishments come as she sins for posting inane remarks.

    I would not have stayed this long in the forum, if I have sensitive skin.

    For a newbie, the secret is reading the comments thoroughly and knowing who the commenters are before shooting the first ammunition. It’s knowing your enemies.
    She was the first to fire that “you are not in my league” crap which ruffled my feathers. Even if it is true that I am not in her league. Wala pa siya sa “leg” (binti) ko. Nasa kuko pa lang siya ng aking paa. NYAHAHAHA

  2. Pusanggala

    Meet Duh Mwehehe, Ang Pusang Kalye. Bow.

  3. frombelow

    the things that i remember about gatmaitan were his “readings” re 1998 and 2004 presidential elections. It is very easy, just make a small research guys. But the mainstream media apparently took his so-called analysis seriously.

  4. jude

    “One of the “right kind of greedy people” is a farmer who is willing to go for a third planting (and “lose” 3 months of vacation-time) even if he gets the same 15% return on costs (fertilizer, fuel for tractor, etc) while he sees the price of rice at Divisoria to have gone up 40%.” – UP n student

    I don’t buy that argument when it’s used to try to justify the greed of the bureaucrat-capitalists like the Lopezes of Meralco. These people used the euphoria of EDSA to stealthily get Meralco and ABS-CBN from a clueless nation. The awarding of Meralco and ABS-CBN back to the Lopezes was totally devoid of any transparency. It didn’t go through the scrutiny that giving away such valuable assets had to go through. And these jewels were practically given away for a song to the Lopezes, under the dubious assumption that these were taken from them under the Marcos regime. Yet no judicial process, no thorough inquiry into why the Lopezes deserved such largess from the Cory government, was undertaken.

    Even if it could be proven that the Lopezes sold Meralco and ABS-CBN under duress (documents show that the Lopezes were compensated), the fact was that the Marcos government poured in tremendous additional capital to improve and expand Meralco, while the Benedictos brought ABS-CBN (renamed KBN at that time) to state-of-the-art. The Cory government could not just give away these assets to the Lopezes without a thorough investigation. And yet, it did. It was either totally naive or totally corrupt. Someone from the Kamaganaks must have been compensated.

  5. UP n student

    jude: you should be clearer when you write. If what you want to say is that “… the greed of the Lopezes is something that the Philippines can do without”, then say so.

  6. leytenian

    “some people give too much credit to themselves that they cannot even see beyond themselves. they only wanna hear what they want to hear for their own benefits. they even forget to listen.”

    this is very common among our politicians too. is this a filipino thingy? No wonder we could never progress. I do agree with benigno…” vacuous minds” i like that.

    Rego, i may sound serious but not in real life. just tired of the same old problems we have in the Philippines. Nothing has changed since I left 18 years ago. poor management with increasing national debts.

  7. UP n student

    jude: I even dare say that some of your actions or expressed opinions made some folks consider you greedy when you think that you are simply being ambitious. If not you, then surely it will be true for benign0.

  8. leytenian

    Jude,
    the lopez is not really that bad… here’s a good history about the family.http://www.synergos.org/globalgivingmatters/features/0405lopez.htm

    lopez wants out: http://beta.ph.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20080508/tbs-philippines-meralco-8bedc88.html. not sure what date is this link.

    I can understand where his coming from. When profit falls, it’s easy to get burned out. You just get tired.

  9. Pusanggala

    If she wanted a friendly club, this is not the place. This is an arena where intellectuals battle for their opinions.

    Bakit? Intelektual ka ba? Sheesh!!

  10. Pusanggala

    I can understand why you can not criticize her. You must be in the same league. Parehong hindi nakakaintindi kung ano ang tama. bwahaha

    Oh, Rego ARAY!

  11. Pusanggala

    Ang pusang asal pusang kalye, binabato.
    Ang taong bastos, binabastos.

  12. mlq3

    jude, you have doubts marcos obtained meralco and abs-cbn under extortion???

  13. Bencard

    mlq3, in all fairness, i think jude’s doubts stem from the total absence of proof of any such extortion even to this day. i’m no marcos-admirer but i think none of the alleged “confiscations” was ever judicially substantiated before the hasty “restoration” of control of the lopez’ business empire was carried out under cory’s ’emotional’ presidency.

  14. mang_kiko

    ay naku na naman, kung ang manga Lopezes gumagawa nang katarantaduhan magpatakbo nang kanilang negosya di lapatan nang Kaso, at ikulong kong mapatanuyan, di ba ganyan ang patakaran? si Bill Gates nga yumaman nang Katakottakot sa maigsi na panahon dahil din sa “Kasakiman”, ano ang Masama dyan kong walang batas na nilalabag? Ang alam lang nang karamihan wala ata nabilanggo na manga CEO’s O’ manga opisyales nang corporation na inakusa na lumabag nang batas at nagnakaw sa kanilang sariling negosyo at nag-evade nang manga Buwis, mayroon ba?

  15. The Ca t

    Bakit? Intelektual ka ba? Sheesh!!

    ang mga mikrobyo talaga, pag nakakita ng dumi nabubuhay.
    ako sigurado sa sarili ko. saiyo,hindi kasi nabubuhay ka lang sa ibang pangalan para malabanan mo ako. hindi ka makalaban sa original mong handle.

    TROLL.

  16. leytenian

    Hi Jude,
    “The Cory government could not just give away these assets to the Lopezes without a thorough investigation. And yet, it did. It was either totally naive or totally corrupt. Someone from the Kamaganaks must have been compensated.”

    you might be right. Corruption was also perceived to be a problem in the judiciary. In a Social Weather Stations survey released in February 2000, 62 percent of respondents believed that there were
    significant levels of corruption within the judiciary. 65 percent of respondents believed that
    “many” or “most” lawyers could be bribed, while 57 percent thought the same about judges.
    link to corruption analysis in 2000:
    http://wbln0018.worldbank.org/eap/eap.nsf/Attachments/Combating+Corruption+Summary/$File/combating+corruption+summary.pdf

    Currently . someone made a comment from previous blog that we also don’t have enough lawyers. So, will see who will be bribed or who will pay for the bribe.

  17. jude

    “jude, you have doubts marcos obtained meralco and abs-cbn under extortion???” – mlq

    I believe that there are always at least two sides to a story. Only the Lopez version was given credence. As a matter of fact it was taken hook, line and sinker, during the Aquino Administration. If, indeed, there was extortion, it should have been proven in full-blown legal proceedings. Instead, these assets were hastily given back to the Lopezes. There should at least have been a transparent bidding process, open to everyone.

    Mr. Quezon often cites the need for transparency. Well, there wasn’t transparency in the case of the Lopezes. Did they deserve Meralco and ABS-CBN as booty or spoils for their contributions to the anti-Marcos movement? What about the millions of others who opposed Marcos?

    It must also be pointed out that Meralco was not left idle after the Lopezes sold out (until it can be proven in court that it was, indeed, extortion, it still remains a sale). There were improvements made and investments were poured in. So there was enhancement of the asset in question and that has to be considered. The same can be said of ABS-CBN.

    Unfortunately, the Lopez case only points out how the lines between politics and business are so muddled. That is why it is so difficult to distinguish between greed and public service.

  18. pusanggala

    ang mga mikrobyo talaga, pag nakakita ng dumi nabubuhay.

    Oo na mikrobyo ako. E ikaw ano ka? Dumi.

    Myowrr, myowrr bwohohoho

  19. UP n student

    Philippine statistics : rice yield per hectare growth rate
    3.4% : 1967- 1984
    1.4% : 1984- 1996
    2.5% : 2003- 2007

    Bring back Marcos rice policies!!!

  20. KG

    “I believe that there are always at least two sides to a story. Only the Lopez version was given credence.” Jude

    “Marcos grabbed Meralco for P10,000 during martial law in exchange for the release of Lopez scion, Eugenio “Geny” Lopez Jr., who was arrested for allegedly plotting to kill the president. Geny managed to “escape” from detention from the army camp Fort Bonifacio in circumstances that will put to shame Superman and Iron Man.”

    http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2008/may/13/yehey/opinion/20080513opi5.html

    This still does not address Jude’s concern of proof of extortion,but it reminded me of movies I watched “Escapo” and “Superman”. I was not able to watch Iron Man.

  21. mlq3

    jude we differ on what we believe would have been appropriate in 1986. i feel the problem was that the regime change wasn’t as far-reaching as it could have been. there kind of trials that should have taken place should have been trials on the model of the denazification trials in germany after world war 2, where every official in the previous government would have had the burden of proof of proving why their assets ought not to be confiscated and a ban for life on any sort of political participation imposed.

    anything seized during the dictatorship should have been restored to its previous owners, no ifs and buts about it. everyone knew who had been disposessed. those such as the locsins who pursued the restoration of their property through the courts in edsa have had things tied up for decades and finally faced adverse judgments. marcos wasn’t a brilliant lawyer for nothing and the lawyers that served him and engineered squirreling away his fortune continue to be on retainer for the former cronies of the dictator.

    since we proclaimed a revolutionary government, anyway, justice should have been swift. even churchill, when the allies were debating on what to do with the nazi leadership, advocated summary execution for them upon capture. stalin objected -he preferred show trials, then execution (the verdict being a foregone conclusion). the americans wanted a formal court and trial, which the soviet supported because they didn’t care about procedure, and so churchill was outvoted.

    if there was one point in time victor’s justice was called for, it was after edsa. part of the unraveling of our civic life ever since can be dated to the point the marcoses returned and danding cojuangco came back -and how, if they’d only combined forces in 1992, they would have accomplished a complete marcos restoration a mere 6 years after having had to flee.

  22. jude

    “This still does not address Jude’s concern of proof of extortion,but it reminded me of movies I watched “Escapo” and “Superman”. I was not able to watch Iron Man.” – KG

    Exactly. We cannot expect the nation to swallow hook, line and sinker the Lopez version of their “heroics”, “sacrifices” and their “oppresion” during the Marcos years. They were still living a life of luxury during that time. Gabby Lopez could even afford to do drugs and get involved in a messy car accident that almost ruined the life of a passenger. Unlike millions of Marcos opponents who actively took to the streets or the hills and were killed, maimed or ruined, the Lopezes could afford the luxury of living the good life in San Francisco.

    The Lopezes may have had first option to buy back Meralco and ABS-CBN. But the process should have been more transparent. Not a sweetheart deal done in the backrooms and hastily carried out in the dark of night while the nation was still stunned and euphoric over EDSA.

    The accommodating way the Lopezes were handled by the Aquino administration only illustrates how the oligarchs scratch each others’ backs and how they manage to pull the wool over the rest of the nation.

    Because of the questionable and untransparent nature of rewarding the Lopezes for their anti-Marcos contributions, this dubious transaction will continue to haunt them . . . and the country as well.

  23. KG

    “…since can be dated to the point the marcoses returned and danding cojuangco came back -and how, if they’d only combined forces in 1992, they would have accomplished a complete marcos restoration a mere 6 years after having had to flee.”

    looking back, would they have solved the brownouts another way?

    Would the anti marcos and anti nukes have stopped them if they attempted to restore BNPP?

    And as Up N mentioned about Rice Policies………..
    And some may want to add population policies………

    Could have,Would have,Should have……and a big What if.

  24. jude

    “Victor’s justice” should not be for one segment of society alone, much less for one family. And it should involve due process, not a hasty unilateral conveyance of strategic enterprises that affect millions of citizens.

    And if the Lopezes had to pursue the case through the courts, even at the risk of being tied up, that still would have been the proper procedure. Why the indecent haste?

    Had there been transparency, doubts would have been dispelled. Instead, the sins and ommissions of the past will haunt us in the years to come.

  25. leytenian

    an entrepeneur needs honesty and trust to run a successful business. Lots of stuff goes on, but as a whole, business has to be honest to work. Meralco and ABS-CBN continue to work.

    Why our current admin is refocusing and transferring responsibilities instead of addressing the real issue of non transparency ( ZTE forgotten), corruption, rice, oil , forestry , education, healthcare, and national debts? They should focus on productive policy making and start cleaning their acts.

    Let’s assume the government will buy-out Meralco or whatever happens… still , it will not solve the long term problems. Profits from meralco is nothing compared to all the monies combine as a result of corruption.

  26. ricelander

    If we know enough how the oligarchs, the Lopezes, used Meralco and ABS-CBN to get what they wanted, looking back, if their properties were indeed confiscated as they say Marcos did in the most underhanded manner, they probably deserved it.

  27. jude

    “Meralco and ABS-CBN continue to work.”

    They also functioned well when Marcos took them over and will “work” even if government takes over. The Lopezes have created a myth that only they have managerial capacity to run these business when, in reality, they’re no managerial virtuosos. They only succeed in business through political sweethear deals. That’s why they’re the quintessential bureaucrat-capitalists. Witness how they failed miserably in Maynilad, which by the way, they tried to salvage through political connections by marrying off one of their scions to Erap’s daughter. Malas lang sila, Erap was deposed.

  28. leytenian

    can i ask, what’s next? hahaha. who has the ultimate responsibilities to the people? Lopez or our current admin?

    when there’s no policy for financial transactions and poor governance on rule of law, no case will be solve except firing and rehiring. That alone will not solve our BIGGER economic problems. A better job must be done.

  29. Bencard

    marcos was a dictator whose misdeeds earned him the wrath of many people, probably a majority of the population. looking back after over two decades,it becomes apparent that while he was atrocious against his political enemies, he was idolized by his supporters and never abandoned by his province, if not by his region. i think the worst of marcos’ sins would not compare with that of hitler’s and his circle of evil, e.g. the holocaust, to name one.

    after marcos’ overthrow, i don’t think revolutionary “justice” and summary executions would have been possible without a lingering national bloodbath as a consequence. the u.s., which was a de facto “sponsor” of the ouster, would not have allowed complete repudiation of the rule of law, and the dominance by the vengeful left wing of cory’s “government”. i thought the latter’s decision to adhere to a regime of law was the right thing to do.

  30. leytenian

    For any business , networking and marketing are crucial for success.In our country or any other countries, networking includes political connection or family and friends connections. Marketing includes just about anything to increase profits. This is purely business. Sometimes the business will get lucky and sometimes don’t. Business success depends on the managerial skills and entrepenuerial spirit of the owner. If the business is over 50 years…that’s hardwork and perseverance. Lots of high level negotiations were involved. This is not a small or midsize business. This is what the Lopez do as their livelihood for many years. They will protect it as much as they can. Although the business life cycle of Meralco is of long term. It is considered monopolistic because it will require big capital for others to compete. Now, the government has to consider if many people are unhappy customers or unhappy viewers. The government must also take into consideration if these two big companies have caused real poverty and inflict pain to the people. These companies are employers of many filipino people. This is a tough case. Loyalty has been established already among employees. It is affecting peace and progress.
    Wow… We have more Bigger problems than this case. Why oh why?

  31. KG

    Spesking of Lopez run companies, I like how the North Luzon express way is being handled.

    Just compare it to its Southern counterpart.

  32. DevilsAdvc8

    if there was one point in time victor’s justice was called for, it was after edsa. part of the unraveling of our civic life ever since can be dated to the point the marcoses returned and danding cojuangco came back -and how, if they’d only combined forces in 1992, they would have accomplished a complete marcos restoration a mere 6 years after having had to flee.

    it unravelled even quicker after the erap overthrow. immediately after, his son and wife won seats in the senate. and now, we’re not even bothering to punish wrongdoers and instead rewarding them. and we’re prosecuting whistleblowers now too! that takes the cake for me. so don’t blame me if i’ve given up on our countrymen. i’ll go help when they’re ready to help themselves and fight themselves. otherwise, i’m just throwing my life away for a people not worthy. kinda like Ninoy really. threw away his life for a people not yet ready to honor such sacrifice.

  33. UP n student

    A cut-and-past from UsaToday – dot COM :


    There are a range of other methods China has used to suppress information. Among them:

    •Creating bottlenecks. In The Atlantic magazine last month, journalist James Fallows noted that Internet traffic to China is channeled through three computer centers — near Beijing, Shanghai and the southern city of Guangzhou.

    In the USA, by contrast, the Internet is designed to avoid traffic jams by allowing information to flow from as many sources as possible. By building in chokepoints, Fallows wrote, “Chinese authorities can easily do something that would be harder in most developed countries: physically monitor all traffic into or out of the country.”

    •Checking Internet traffic for subversive material. This is done in much the same way police dogs sniff airport luggage for illegal drugs. The Chinese install “packet sniffers” and special routers to inspect data as they cruise past the chokepoints. If the detectors spot a Chinese Internet user trying to visit a suspect website — say, one run by Falun Gong — they can block the connection.

    A frustrated user might get a message saying: “Site not found.” Similarly, Web users can be stopped from leaving subversive comments in online forums. Sometimes they get notes back warning them to behave or apologizing for technical problems.

    •Demanding self-censorship. Chinese authorities hold commercial websites responsible for what appears on them. In Beijing — where Internet controls are strictest — authorities issue orders to website managers through cellphone text messages and demand that they comply within 30 minutes, according to a report last fall by Reporters Without Borders.

    When the Internet portal Sina altered the headline of a state media report on the economy, the government accused it of “inciting violence” and excluded it from interviews with important officials for a month. The website NetEase fired two editors after they published a 2006 poll showing that 64% of 10,000 participants would not want to be reborn as Chinese.

    •Issuing propaganda. Authorities in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen created two cute cartoon cybercops — the male Jingjing and the female Chacha — that pop up on websites to remind Internet users they’re being watched. The Beijing Youth Daily newspaper quoted a security official admitting that the big-eyed cartoon duo were designed “to intimidate.”

    Chinese officials also order websites to reprint official propaganda such as a report encouraging Internet users to abide by online etiquette.

    •Getting outside help. China has policed the Internet with assistance from U.S. firms. Cisco Systems, for instance, supplied the original routers China used to monitor Internet traffic. (Cisco has said it didn’t tailor its equipment for the Chinese market.)

    Google created a censored search engine for China. Outside China, users who search Google Images for “Tiananmen Square” get pictures from the 1989 pro-democracy protests that ended in a crackdown that left hundreds dead — and included the iconic photograph of a lone man staring down a line of Chinese tanks. Inside China, users get only tourist images of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City across the street.

  34. benign0

    kinda like Ninoy really. threw away his life for a people not yet ready to honor such sacrifice. – Devils

    Interestingly enough, it’s gonna be the 25th anniversary of Ninoy’s assassination in August of this year.

    What’s changed?

    It’s a subject we commemorate in this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znRJXJDqDm0

    – 😀

  35. leytenian

    agree benigno, very little has changed except more corruptions and more debts. what is wrong with my own people. LOL…

    clinton almost got impeached for getting a great blow job while in office. New York Governor Spitzer got caught of sex scandal.

    In our country, our leaders should be role models to the people. some are still doing “sabung” , “casino” , going “to red light district bars” and some have many significant others. They should be disqualified from service. if 70% of our leaders have won without buying votes, the philippines will be 70% productive and progessive in terms of good governance.

    I really believe that we need more lawyers to represent the people. Few lawyers is not to our advantage. There’s no competition for an honest service.

  36. grd

    I really believe that we need more lawyers to represent the people. Few lawyers is not to our advantage. There’s no competition for an honest service.

    an honest public servant doesn’t have to be a lawyer. we already have plenty of lawyer-politicians and most are corrupt enriching themselves while in public office. we need more people in the govt like among ed panlilio or say dr martin bautista. we need genuine public servants with genuine concerns for the people’s welfare. it has nothing to do with professions much more being a lawyer.

  37. Bencard

    “an honest public servant doesn’t have to be a lawyer.”

    amen, i say to you, grd. i do agree with leytenean, though, that there’s a need for more lawyers to assist in the prosecution of corruption cases of which, i understand, there is a huge backlog. whether we like it or not, lawyers are the only ones who can do that job. no matter how sincere is the government in bringing corrupt parties to justice, it cannot accomplish much without adequate manpower in its prosecution department such as the office of the ombudsman.

  38. mang_kiko

    Ang Japan ay masmababa ang ratio nang abogado kay sa Pilipinas, bakit di masyado ang Koruption do-on? Ang Kailangan ay Hindi Maraming Abogado, kundi Magaling at Matuwid na Abogado, sa Pilipinas, ang manga Abogados sobra, sobra na, iba dyan nang Notario Publico na lang at marami Graduate nag Law School di lang makapasa nang Accredition Exams. Itanong ninyo kung ano ang Reputasyon nang manga Abogados sa Pilipinas, mas Masahol pa sa Politikos…

  39. leytenian

    in the US, most of the senators and even presidents are lawyers. as a politician ,one must know contracts during financial transactions, terms of interest rates and terms of any international transactions. lawyers create the law. in corporate or government, lawyers are crucial for risk management issue.

    yes, i agree ” an honest public servant doesn’t have to be a lawyer”. but basic understanding of the power of the law must be understood. i think for me it is a requirement to have at least 24 hours of seminar and CEU’s a year for all non lawyer politicians for legal purpose.

  40. Bencard

    mang kiko, tulad ng iba’t-ibang propesyon, maraming klaseng abogado. may matalino, masipag, bobo at tamad. may tagapagsakdal (prosecutor) at tigapagtangol (defense counsel). ang pribadong abogado ay binabayaran sa kanilang serbisyo at yun ay hindi lagay or kurupsyon. mga abugado lang sa government service ang pueding maakusa ng bribery o corruption katulad din ng ibang empleado na ibat’ iba ang pinagaralan. tunkol sa reputasyon na sinasabi mo, palagay ko naman lahat ng propesyon ay may kani-kaniyang kontribusion sa nakawan sa gobierno, di ba?

  41. anthony scalia

    mang_kiko,

    Ang Japan ay masmababa ang ratio nang abogado kay sa Pilipinas, bakit di masyado ang Koruption do-on?

    1. di tutoo yan. baka nga mas malala pa ang korupsyon doon kaysa dito. bakit namamayagpag pa rin ang Yakuza, at hindi ito masupil?

    2. kokonti lang ang nakakapasa ng bar exams sa Japan, pero napakaraming law graduates. yung mga sumasabit sa bar exams, nagtatarabaho na lang sa mga corporasyon.

    Ang Kailangan ay Hindi Maraming Abogado, kundi Magaling at Matuwid na Abogado, sa Pilipinas, ang manga Abogados sobra, sobra na, iba dyan nang Notario Publico na lang at marami Graduate nag Law School di lang makapasa nang Accredition Exams. Itanong ninyo kung ano ang Reputasyon nang manga Abogados sa Pilipinas, mas Masahol pa sa Politikos…

    dati nag-speech si Cardinal Sin, at sabi nya walang korap na huwes kung walang korap na abogado

    tama sya dun! pero wala ring korap na abogado…….
    kung walang korap na mga kliyente!

    kung di maganda ang reputasyon ng mga abogado dito ay dahil na rin sa mga kliyente nila

  42. rego

    “clinton almost got impeached for getting a great blow job while in office. New York Governor Spitzer got caught of sex scandal. ”

    Leyetenean,

    my observation is that this stopped the politican here from misbehaving in office.

    recently there was this congressman in Staten Island who was arrested for DWI and eventually was discovered to be keeping a mistress and has a love child with her. Ther are speculations that he will resign but as of this writing, Congresman Fosella is holding on to his position.

    David Paterson, the new governor of New York was discovered has some extra marital affairs and there questions wetherhe used givernment money for his personal affairs. And there are a lot more in New Yrok alone.

    personally, believe that politicans should just be prosecuted everytime they misbehave in office. Thats it.

  43. leytenian

    “personally, believe that politicans should just be prosecuted everytime they misbehave in office. Thats it.”

    agree as long as they don’t use people’s money.
    in the philippines, there’s no transparency so might be difficult to prosecute unless a good lawyer can build a case. the process of prosecution might be enough for politicians to stop from misbehaving. a paparazzi might work. LOL

  44. UP n student

    If all it takes to force the resignation of the mayor of Makati is an accusation of having a mistress or misappropriation of public funds, then consider it done!

    Hatchet jobs are not super-impossible to execute, be it in Canada, United States, Mexico or the Philippines.

  45. anthony scalia

    UP n student,

    If all it takes to force the resignation of the mayor of Makati is an accusation of having a mistress or misappropriation of public funds, then consider it done!

    if gloria is ate glue, the present mayor of makati is kuya glue.

    kung pagkapit sa puwesto ang pag-uusapan, mas kapit na kapit pa ang present mayor sa kanyang puwesto kaysa kay gloria. ni hindi nga niya sinusunod ang mga preventive suspension orders na pinapataw sa kanya!

    announce in a presscon any accusation against the present mayor of makati for having a mistress or having misappropriated public funds, immediately afterwards expect a ‘people power’ shouting expressions of support for the incumbent makati mayor

    alam naman natin ang voter base ng incumbent makati mayor – bigyan lang ng crumbs, parang nanalo na sa lotto ang pakiramdam ng recipient!

    tanggalin mo ang incumbent mayor sa puwesto eh parang tinanggalan na rin sya ng oxygen!

    kaya gayun na lang ang paghawak nya sa puwesto!

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