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Jun 25

President Hee Hee and President Ha Ha

20080624_d-0085-7-515h.jpgMuch levity courtesy of the Summit of the (Lame) Ducks in Washington.

Got this by way of Age of Brillig who pointed to Bush To Filipino President: “I Am Reminded Of The Great Talent Of The — Of Our Philippine-Americans When I Eat Dinner At The White House” in the Huffington Post, and which pointed in turn to Bush jokes about the White House chef in the Los Angeles Times’ Countdown to Crawford blog. What caught my interest was not the famously barely comprehensible American President’s folksy attempt at being gracious (Filipinos are, after all, very proud of Cristeta Comerford, and the White House has a long tradition of Filipino stewards serving there), but rather, this exchange near the tail end of the Oval Office photo-op. See President Bush Meets with President Arroyo of the Philippines:

PRESIDENT ARROYO: Thank you.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thanks for coming.

PRESIDENT ARROYO: Thank you, thank you. Mr. President, with your permission, I’d like to address our countrymen in my own native language. (Speaks in Tagalog.)

PRESIDENT BUSH: I couldn’t have said it better myself. (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT ARROYO: Thank you.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, all.

Snippets found the President’s delivering a statement in Filipino from the Oval Office curious, but I don’t see why. The President took the opportunity to film a message to her people from the most famous stage set in the world. That message was the justification of the trip, Exhibit A in proving the trip was worth it. (What I do find curious -because the President and her handlers have been very conscious of the subconscious effects of colors on the public- is why the President’s been appearing in cheery and bright colors when she herself and American officials have tried to soberly pay tribute to the victims of the recent typhoon.)

Interestingly enough, though, as of the time I’m writing this, the Palace’s propagandists haven’t posted anything on the Oval Office meeting. So we don’t know what she said.

What I find very interesting -see Matthew Good as an example, or Inky Horizons or Wonkette– is that many Americans offended by their President’s remarks, thought our President was visiting Dubya to rattle a tin cup and ask for typhoon relief. To the minds of these Americans, it makes perfect sense that at a time of tragedy, our President was panhandling their President. But that was not the purpose of our President’s trip, see her list of things to do.

Anyway, the President, having secured her photo-op with the Great White Father, can proudly say “mission accomplished” and have NBN endlessly replay her cameo appearance in the Oval Office: she’s in Good Odor and can brag about obtaining Dubya’s Seal of Good Housekeeping.

According to RG Cruz, the subsequent improvement in the President’s mood can be seen by all and sundry, as a Public Works and Highway Undersecretary discovered:

Aquino: I am representing secretary ebdane who visited Iloilo. Out of nine bridges that were damaged, we have restored two bridges

GMA: Are u talking here of guimbal and sta. barabara

Aquino: No ma’am, these are in Iloilo ma’am

GMA: Yes they are both in Iloilo (laughs out loud)

If u were not such a good undersecretary on the ground I will spank you (laughs more)

Aquino: These are the towns of sigma dau cuatero road in capiz

GMA: That’s not Iloilo that’s capiz

Aquino: Yes ma’am all in panay island

The President continues her torrent of instructions: Arroyo orders flooding of NFA rice in typhoon-hit areas. This as Farm, schools damage: P7B.

In his column, Manuel Buencamino points out, in an open letter to the President,

And then, as an added treat, according to your press secretary’s web site, “Some 600 Filipino-Americans witnessed the President’s conduct of a video conference with the National Disaster Coordinating Council where President Arroyo showed that despite her being out of the Philippines to foster diplomatic relations with its most important ally, she remains focused and on top of the situation back home.”

Your president at work?

A total of 198,545 Ilonggos are in 58 evacuation centers in Iloilo City; 353,000 were displaced in the rest of the province; 33,000 families suffered the same fate in Eastern Visayas; and over 700 are dead in a ferry accident. And you’re in Fresno, California, posing for pictures.

In Washington the only meeting you cannot pass off to a Cabinet member is your tête-à-tête with lame-duck George. That’s nothing but a photo op. What lasting commitment can you get from him, who will be gone by January?

It would be nice to personally thank Bush and the US Senate for the Veterans Bill, but there’s a calamity back home. They will understand.

You don’t have to go to the Pentagon. Gilbert Teodoro can meet with his counterpart to discuss defense reform even though it’s a waste of time because he will be talking to a lame-duck secretary.

There is no meeting in Washington that you cannot cancel.

As for New York, do you really have to personally wine and dine those UN permanent representatives to get their vote for Miriam Santiago? What do you think the people of Iloilo will appreciate more: Your presence in their province or you campaigning in New York for their province-mate?

You have been compared to Marcos countless times. It’s unfair to the late dictator and his family. Marunong makiramay ang mga Marcos in times of calamity.

Imelda Marcos and her children, even at the height of a typhoon, would always be at the scene of a disaster giving aid and comfort to the victims. You always arrive late.

I remember when Milenyo hit the country, the first photo to appear in the papers was you, in your cute little rainwear, inspecting the fallen trees in Malacañang while hundreds of thousands of victims in the Bicol region and Southern Luzon were waiting for some relief. And you wonder why you are the most disliked president this country ever had?

I have seen Imelda shed tears as she embraced victims of calamities. Her tears were real. I have seen you in similar situations; you look uncomfortable, and your discomfort is real.

(more, in a similar vein, from Fil-Ams Perry Diaz and Greg Macabenta who, for some reason, thinks Fresno was on the President’s itinerary to help her avoid, and not see, Fil-Ams! OTOH, knicnax defends the President)

So what, indeed, did the President have to attend to, that her subordinates couldn’t have undertaken in her absence?

Billy Esposo sent an email containing his conspiracy theory, which I find difficult to subscribe to in full:

A state of the art nuclear powered aircraft carrier task force is not needed for Typhoon Frank victims. The US has never been this compassionate. This is all about China and GMA’s shift to China – the real US agenda for the meeting with GMA. A lot things can happen with this development. We cannot discount these possibilities – a US-backed coup, civil war or an MILF war with the US backing the MILF which is just about the last burden the GMA regime can afford to take on.

Esposo seems to believe that America’s interests lie in separating Mindanao from the Philippines, although personally I think his suspicions are a Cold War hangover, the kind that sees the CIA lurking behind every bush. American interests more likely lies in using Mindanao as a kind of sideshow laboratory to learn jungle-fighting but not much else; certainly the Philippines isn’t worth the time and resources required to redraw the region’s map.

But I do think it’s quite possible the President made obtaining Uncle Sam’s blessings for martial law one of the main objectives of her trip -the Americans had vetoed martial law in 2005-06, after all- and if you’re going to go into conspiracy theories, Tony Abaya’s column makes more sense to me:

But my sense is that the real purpose of the visit is the meetings with Bush, Obama and McCain. And she is meeting with these three to protect her flanks. Everything else is mere fluff.

The coordinator of this visit — San Francisco consul general (not Ambassador, as media describe him) Marciano Paynor, Jr. — says he did not see anything wrong with PGMA meeting McCain and Obama ahead of the presidential elections. He said that this was something done by every head of state or government…

Really? In the past 60 days, President Bush was visited by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. I do not recall either of them meeting with McCain or Obama or Hillary Clinton.

President Arroyo has been trying to meet with Bush for years. In the APEC Summits in Hanoi and Sydney, her press people talked about 20-minute one-on-ones with George W, which were either cancelled by the Americans or reduced to a seven-minute “pull-over” photo-op, meaning, I presume, that he was pulled over on his way to or from the men’s room.

In February 2006, on the 20th anniversary of Edsa I People Power “Revolution”, it was suddenly announced that she was leaving for Washington to address the American Press Club (APC), but then, just as suddenly, her trip was cancelled…

My interpretation of this little mystery was: Malacanang’s PR retainer in Washington DC was able to wangle the speech invitation from the APC, a poorer cousin of the prestigious National Press Club With this speech invitation, the White House was asked for a meeting with Bush, since GMA was going to be in Washington anyway.. When the White House said no, the speech date with APC was cancelled.

President Arroyo is not the favorite “ally” of the Americans that she may think she is, after she withdrew the 51 Filipino policemen from the Coalition of the Willing in Iraq in 2004, and after she signed an agreement with Beijing for the joint exploration for oil in the Spratlys, also in 2004. In 2005, Vice-President Dick Cheney is said to have started moves to remove her from power, starting with the Hello Garci tapes, which, according to my information, were made possible by the US National Security Agency or NSA.

The Americans could not have grown fonder of her after the aborted, corruption-ridden ZTE broadband contract in 2007, which would have given the Chinese total and instant knowledge of all decisions of the Philippine government, including sensitive ones such as on the positioning of US troops and intel assets in Mindanao, Sulu, and Basilan. How could she have been so naïve as to be unaware of the consequences of her actions?

President Arroyo obviously wants to personally explain to Bush (and his successor) why she did what she has done. And perhaps sound them out on a possible declaration of martial law if and when it becomes necessary in 2009 or 2010, given the deteriorating global situation. Or a possible asylum in San Francisco, just in case.

The reason America would be a preferable haven to, say, Spain or Portugal (her previously-rumored potential exile haunts) is that her human rights record will result in her being hounded in the European Union the way Pinochet was, arrested in England upon orders of a Spanish court. And her other possible place of exile, China, may not be so hospitable considering the NBN-ZTE brouhaha.

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blackshama’s blog says the Vice-President’s coming off looking positively presidential as he presides over disaster management meetings:

Political pundits here on the Mango Isle (hey! They are found from the lowliest barangay of the smallest provinces to the elite kapihans of Manila) say that Queen Gloria’s refusal (even when Frank has caused a national disaster rather than a regional one like previous typhoons) to cut short her glorious junket to the US of A will cost her much. According to the pundits the one who wins the pogi points is no other than the Veep Noli.

Some have remarked that Noli de Castro once dismissed as a talking news puppet, looked soooooo presidential in leading the national disaster response committee, even more presidential than the Queen herself…

So methinks the biggest political beneficiary here is the Veep. We ask the logical question. Did Malacanang intend this? or is Malacanang the victim of the law of unintended consequences?

Palace sez: Arroyo sets Tuesday visit to Iloilo to assess storm damage: President to hold Cabinet meeting there. She’s the Boss.

While I don’t think that once something’s online, it’s there for ever (lots of articles I once had online have vanished), in the wake of any major event, personal stories published in the blogosphere bring the scale and scope of the typhoon to life.

blackshama’s blog recounts arriving at the scene in the wake of the typhoon:

The road from the new international airport is littered with the remains of washed out houses and vehicles some of which were completely filled in with mud. Not a few of the cars were brand new. Evacuees line the road and many have begun the clean-up. One resident told me that the water just rose within five minutes leaving them caught unawares. The only good thing is that this happened during the day and if it did happen in the night,the death toll would have been horrible, says the cab driver who took me around.

Iloilo is defined by two rivers and a geography the gives the city its name. Residents say that they have never experienced an “Ormoc style” deluge in their lives till Saturday. This is attested by a centenarian who lived to see this day.

PromdiLiving.com recounts Iloilo stories:

A friend’s house was flooded up to the roof. A boss’ car was swept by floodwater. I heard a story about a Mayor who cried while watching helplessly a family on top of their roof as they were swept by the current. Poor and rich families were not spared. Typhoons do not discriminate on status. It destroys anything and everything on its path. I am fortunate my family was spared.

On to the ill-fated Princess of the Stars (the nomenclature of which blogged about by Pine for Pine), PCIJ points to its past reports, Sulpicio Lines and maritime safety: An often woeful, tragic tale:

But the occurrence of major tragedies such as the recent sinking of the Princess of the Stars has only served to underscore what problems remain to this day, some of which were identified in the PCIJ story - ageing and badly maintained ships, the absence of minimal safety navigational aids like lighthouses, and lack of competent seafarers, many of whom are lured to work in more well-paying shipping companies abroad.

Back in the early 1990s, a Japanese study already pointed out that at least 700 lighthouses were needed to illuminate the country’s major waterways. At the time of the PCIJ report, existing lighthouses were only half that number. At present, the number has reportedly increased but to no fewer than 500, many in very poor conditions.

The spotlight fell as well on the Coast Guard, whose authority to ensure sea safety continues to be hampered by poor funding and badly trained - and some charge, corrupt - personnel. The Coast Guard now gets almost P2 billion from the national budget, five times the allocation it used to receive when it was still under the armed forces. Back then, a commodore estimated that at least P1 billion is needed to make the Coast Guard an effective regulatory agency. Today, that amount is not even enough as more than P1.3 billion go to cover the cost of personal services, mainly salaries and allowances.

What the PCIJ also found out then was the weak and fragmented authority of the Coast Guard when it came to enforcing safety standards as its decision in the controversy surrounding the Filipina Princess was set aside by the Department of National Defense. Ordering a second review, the DND argued that the Coast Guard’s decision to ban the ship from traveling was “unjustly” issued and without due process. Sulpicio had asserted the safety of its ship, whose navigational record in the last eight months that time included suffering at least six breakdowns at mid-sea, one lasting 20 hours.

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If you go through the Maritime Industry Authority website, you’ll find that its mandate is very broad, indeed, while that of the Philippine Coast Guard is more specific, but also very broad and may actually conflict with Marina’s.

They do have a Memorandum of Agreement, PCG_MARINA_MOA_3.pdf but in its editorial, Sulpicio’s ally, the Inquirer also points out the enormity of the problem, in that Marina has a broad mandate and the Coast Guard, responsibilities that have either been delegated by Marina or which have been left hanging.

Austin Dwi Lawyer takes up the cudgels for the Coast Guard but says it’s been compromised by its dealings with Sulpicio Lines:

And add to the equation, the poverty of PCG for which reason, Sulpicio sonofabitches fucking shits gave alms to their weary palms.

Someone said, the PCG is so poor that even their diesel is always up for sale. When the President and the higher ups say: “Hoy, habulin ninyo ang Abo Suyya!” “Mga totoy, hulihin ang mga pirata!” “Oy, ano, intersepin niyo ang mga illegal fishing boats!” “Daliiii!” “Ano ba!?!&%$#” “Kilos na!!!”

The PCG will allegedly only very demurely quip:

“Ay Maaam, Siiir, ay surreee po, wala tayo krudu!!!)

So, Sulpicio knowing, and feeling compassion, gave alms to the Coast Guard. And Coast Guard supposedly feeling the crunch, accepted the beggar’s relief cash. Possibly some relief goods too.

Sulpicio probably knew there was a disaster-in-waiting. They gave out relief cash and goods in advance.

As far as figuring out responsibilty for the tragedy and doing something about it, is concerned, the first step requires untangling the relationship between Marina and the Coast Guard and other agencies, including their mutual mother agency, the DOTC. There’s an alphabet soup of agencies with overlapping functions, and any government effort will be in the nature of a patch-work solution (and thus, only as good as the next, and inevitable, tragedy) unless the current process left to unfold to reveal its deficiencies, then the entire system is reviewed.

The problem is that everything is so interconnected, the official neglect so pervasive, that tackling one problem only leads to others cropping up and everyone ends up despairing over anything actually getting done.

Meanwhile, as both the editorial and At Midfield pointed out, Sulpicio Lines has already calculated its maximum payout from the tragedy -each passenger’s insured to the tune of 200,000 pesos- and surely, the cost of such a payout versus adequate maintenance, etc. for its fleet, was calculated time and again by the shipping line.

Piling on the bureaucracy to address the shortcomings of the existing bureaucracy, is, of course, the solution bureaucrats adore. And so, DOTC drafts executive order creating National Transport Safety Board (NTSB).

But it’s the human cost that keeps being hammered home: two days ago, My beautiful life…… blogged about a missing cousin:

I was hoping that my Mom’s first cousin and Cebu Port Captain for Sulpicio Lines would be able to provide us with information but it seems like Uncle Bondjing had limited info as well. And I’m sure he’s got his hands full right now coordinating and managing things. Jay is his nephew as well.

I really worried about Jay. I spoke to my Aunt this morning and apparently she was able to talk to Jay briefly when the ship was already aground. Auntie Juvy received a text message from Jay asking for prayers due to their very dangerous condition. Auntie Juvy called his cellphone to confirm it was indeed Jay.

Auntie apparently passed the phone to Jay’s son who then told him to be brave and not to be scared because he still wants his tatay to bring his toys back in Cebu. And the phone went dead.

More recently, Tingog.com blogs that he’s lost a cousin:

I just found out a few hours ago that my cousin Bebot was on The MV Princess of The Stars. Bebot used to help drive me around on some occasions when I was still in school. He’s a good guy that everyone is fond of. He has a daughter that just graduated nursing. He’s a good father, having had to sacrifice going overseas, as a seaman, in order to make a living. And now, because of the assholes at Sulpicio, The Coast Guard, and hell even PAGASA, the perfect storm has taken my cousin. A father, a husband, a cousin, a damn good guy.

The Mount Balatucan Monitor and Ricky Carandang (who has an acquaintance whose brother is missing) both take issue Sulpicio Line’s handling of the concerns of relatives of the missing or confirmed lost. Carandang is particularly scathing:

During the press conference held by the company, the vice president Sally Buaron, who answered reporter’s questions kept referring to the loss of the ship and seemed more concerned about that than the hundreds of people who in all probablility are dead.

I remember when one reporter was pressing her for more information about the fate of the vessel and the survivors, she said something like “If you are very concerned, so are we. That was our boat and it was expensive.”

Another reporter asked her if the company had quantified the cost of damage and she said something like “I don’t want to think about it. Sasama lang ang loob ko.”

Pedestrian Observer even points to a comment that brings up the possibility of looting taking place in the capsized ship. Manilenyo in Davao has some interesting observations and suggestions:

Maybe they should increase the number of check-ups/maintenance of their vessels. It was soooo ironic that the ship was reported to have had problems with its engine during that day. There were no reports of inadequate life saving equipment, so i guess its true that the vessel really passed the safety standards.

The Captain knows best, its his ship and for sure he has vast experience sailing even in worst conditions such as that one. Maybe, this is just a hunch, maybe the captain knew that if he asked the people to abandon ship early, they will be crushed by the big waves. Maybe the captain thought that staying in the ship will be better and he was hopping that the tides would push them near the shore. But then again, the captain should know the area. I think the part were they capsized has a rocky sea bed which punctured the vessel.

The passengers should know best. Their lives are at stake here. This are those times where constant communication and information updates should be present. If they knew that there was a typhoon, they should cancel the trip. I hope that Shipping lines could include this in their policies that any customer can re-book their trip in consideration of their welfare whenever there is a typhoon. And when 30% of the passengers re-books, then the shipping line can cancel the trip. That’s just a suggestion. I think its better to cancel the trip than face the consequences of a sunken ship and loosing lives right? Maybe airlines can adopt this also.

I asked around from people who often use and travel by water/sea and they said that big ships like the MV Princess can withstand a signal number 1 and 2 typhoon. I asked 2 of my uncles who works as seamen, they said they often experience typhoons along their way. What made this case different is that the ship had problems. It was not able to “go with the flow” and battle the waves. It was like a sitting duck.

By way of the Washington Monthly, you can You can check out the Map of the (American) Political Blogosphere. For less America-centric mapping, see Frog in a Well (China), which links in turn to TouchGraph and Websites as Graphs.

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134 comments

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  1. cvj

    grd, you’re right that it took 4 long years for me to realize my mistake. At least it’s 3 years shorter (and counting) than the time it takes for you to realize yours. In case you haven’t noticed, ‘rule of law’ under Gloria is a joke.

  2. Bencard

    where’s the part that grd said he “realized his mistake”? trying to pull a fast one again, cvj? you’ve been doing that so many times, it’s now automatic with you, right? the real joke is when a balimbing accuses somebody of being a balimbing.

  3. cvj

    Bencard, please read my comment more carefully. You might have missed the parenthetical ‘and counting’.

    By definition a balimbing is someone who switches allegiance to whoever is in power, so in case you haven’t noticed, my allegiance is not to the party in power. By contrast grd, seems to have the hots for ‘strong men’ (like Duterte).

  4. Bencard

    cvj, even with your “and counting”, i still don’t see anything in grd’s comment in question that says ” i made a mistake”. just admit getting caught in the cookie jar with sticky fingers and wily ways.

    i don’t buy your definition. balimbing is one who switches allegiance to any person, a party, or a cause, usually because of disloyalty, disgruntlement, promise of reward, or just plain ingratitude.

  5. cvj

    Bencard, yeah apparently you don’t see a lot of things.

    There is no shame in withdrawing support because of matters of principle or values. I don’t believe that’s covered by the term balimbing.

  6. Bencard

    cvj, except for hallucinators like you, nobody would see “anything” that is not there. answer my question? where’s the beef?

    matters of principle, my foot! (that’s a tired excuse of balimbings).

  7. cvj

    Bencard, the ‘beef’ is that grd criticizes me for having supported Arroyo in the past while he still supports her up to today (albeit with one foot out the door).

  8. Bencard

    cvj, your “one foot out the door” is the bone of contention. did grd tell you that or you again imagined it?

  9. cvj

    Bencard, ‘one foot out the door’ is based on the link i provided you above (at June 27th, 2008 at 11:20 am).

    grd claims that he was ‘never fooled’ by Arroyo but proceeds to defend her anyway (not directly because Arroyo’s position is frequently indefensible but by attack those who criticize her).

    Same with Ca t who denies being a ‘GMA fan’,

    Both have one of their feet on the other side which is in contrast to your approach of admitting full allegiance to Arroyo, which is comparatively more rare.

  10. anthony scalia

    cvj,

    “In case you haven’t noticed, ‘rule of law’ under Gloria is a joke.”

    a good example of the fallacy “hasty generalization.”

    always heard from non-winners in court disputes.

    its always worth repeating – gloria is still seated because the ‘united’ opposition is a joke

    “(not directly because Arroyo’s position is frequently indefensible but by attack those who criticize her).”

    my goodness?! by simply ‘attacking’ the anti-gloria, pro-gloria na?! asus!

    “anti anti-gloria” is not the same as “pro gloria”

  11. mlq3

    anti-anti-gloria is the same as pro gloria, not least, in the mind of the gloria camp itself. the net effect is the same, in light of the fragmented nature of the anti-glorias. much as we must always respect the right of the anti-anti-gloria to insist and identify themselves as *not* pro-gloria, still, we also have the right to point out that pro-gloria is exactly what they are.

  12. anthony scalia

    mlq3,

    why the anti anti gloria is anti towards ‘anti gloria’ is that the latter school of thought (1) propagates the false notion that gloria’s removal is the magic pill that will make ‘pinas a first world country (2) ignores the collateral damage another people power will make (3) gives the false hope that a political solution is needed to solve an economic solution (4) fails to see that the country faces more pressing issues/needs than gloria’s presence or removal (5) holds out the myth that government is the key to ‘first world status’ (or at the very least, low oil prices)

    anti anti-gloria is not the same and is never the same as pro gloria. the anti gloria school is so personality oriented. while the anti anti gloria school is issue oriented.

    “…in light of the fragmented nature of the anti-glorias…”

    and still they parade themselves as savior/s of the country! yikes!

  13. mlq3

    scalia-

    1. the only one buying the first world opium dream are the pro-glorias. she is peddling it and you are measuring everyone by it.

    2. in contrast to what you prefer, the war of attrition and slow steady erosion of institutions taking place, so that you will have a hollow shell whose only virtue is that it retains its outward appearance of being a constitutional government.

    3. every economic solution requires a political foundation, and no economic solution will endure if deprived of legitimacy: it will contain the seed of its own destruction.

    4. the retention or removal of gma is the key to the lock. you can prefer to keep the door locked and you may just succeed, but it weakens the structural integrity of the door. you could have just opened the door and let things take their course. the pressing issues are magnified by her, in many instances, caused by her, and her faustian bargains to stay in power mean those problems will linger past whatever expiration date ends up being applicable to her.

    5. again, just because you drink her cool aid doesn’t mean i have to. whoever said her stay in office is connected to the price of oil?? but ill tell you this -it’s when oil prices, etc. are high that a government needs a reservoir of good will from the public or at least its respect, so as to be obeyed: relying purely on fear may work but if it doesn’t, you won’t even be tsk-tsking about collateral damage at that point.

    the anti-anti-gloria have never been issue oriented. because their immediate answer to any issue is:

    1. but she’s still here! so what issue? we win!
    2. you? yuck! so yucky we’ll stay with her! we win!

  14. grd

    mlq3, did you vote for gloria in 2004?

  15. anthony scalia

    mlq3,

    “1. the only one buying the first world opium dream are the pro-glorias. she is peddling it and you are measuring everyone by it.”

    actually, if you really think about it, it is the anti-gloria people who put up this false hope – remove gloria and everything will be okay! very much like the expectation when marcos was booted out

    sorry to disappoint you my friend – the anti anti gloria people are very much aware that gloria cannot bring the country to ‘first world’ because being issue oriented, the anti anti gloria people know no president can accomplish that!

    “2. in contrast to what you prefer, the war of attrition and slow steady erosion of institutions taking place, so that you will have a hollow shell whose only virtue is that it retains its outward appearance of being a constitutional government.”

    thats the problem of too much fixation on who is in malacañang.

    “3. every economic solution requires a political foundation, and no economic solution will endure if deprived of legitimacy: it will contain the seed of its own destruction.”

    no, every economic solution lies with the people. but if the default mode of the people is migrating to a first world country and/or banking on the malacañang resident to provide the economic solution, that economic solution will not come.

    it will contain the seeds of its own destruction? lets talk about it in 2010, by then we’ll know who got destroyed.

    “4. the retention or removal of gma is the key to the lock. you can prefer to keep the door locked and you may just succeed, but it weakens the structural integrity of the door. you could have just opened the door and let things take their course. the pressing issues are magnified by her, in many instances, caused by her, and her faustian bargains to stay in power mean those problems will linger past whatever expiration date ends up being applicable to her.”

    thats the problem. gloria’s removal is the starting point for the anti gloria people. wrong.

    nothing good for the country

    if the raison d etre for living is booting out gloria, thats understandable. but its a terrible mistake to equate progress with her removal. maybe progress of the ‘united’ opposition

    “5. again, just because you drink her cool aid doesn’t mean i have to. whoever said her stay in office is connected to the price of oil?? but ill tell you this -it’s when oil prices, etc. are high that a government needs a reservoir of good will from the public or at least its respect, so as to be obeyed: relying purely on fear may work but if it doesn’t, you won’t even be tsk-tsking about collateral damage at that point.”

    my friend, no one can stop the rise of oil prices. no amount of public good will can put a ceiling to that

    “the anti-anti-gloria have never been issue oriented. because their immediate answer to any issue is:

    1. but she’s still here! so what issue? we win!
    2. you? yuck! so yucky we’ll stay with her! we win!”

    okay yan ah. so ano na lang ang gagawin ng pro-gloria? magtatatalak na lang? shout ‘patalsikin na now na’ ad nauseam? would that lower the price of oil? food prices? is that the best the pro-gloria can do for the country? for sure, kasi napakadaling gawin!

    no, thats not how the anti anti gloria people go about it. there are more pressing issues that need attention – removing gloria is not one of them.

    the anti anti gloria people worked for the 7.3 GDP last year. yung mga anti gloria, wala na ngang ginawa to contribute to the 7.3, yet still had the nerve to undermine the results of the hardworking anti anti gloria people! the 7.3 is the success of the people, not of gloria

    what the country needs now are people who can do good for the country. but if the best that these people (anti gloria) can do is to remove the incumbent president, ay no thanks na lang.

  16. grd

    mlq3,

    re anti-gloria and pro-gloria, you’re saying then (as what your B&W movement must be signifying) there are only two colors of men, it’s either black or white. just like the coin has two sides, head or tail. if you’re not anti-gloria, you must be pro-gloria. there can be no other stand. is that right?

  17. grd

    anthony,

    that’s the problem with these people. they help install and keep gloria where she’s now and when they have realized the folly of their course of action, they want to blame other people (the middle class to be exact) just because the latter would not subscribe to their foolishness of another people power.

  18. grd

    grd claims that he was ‘never fooled’ by Arroyo but proceeds to defend her anyway (not directly because Arroyo’s position is frequently indefensible but by attack those who criticize her)… cvj

    i never attack you for criticizing gloria I am merely retaliating for your attack on people (like me) who would not subscribe to your way of thinking and to your blame game as I mentioned above (7:31pm). to me you’re a hypocrite after helping install gloria where she is now.

    the key word is “respect”. you respect my position and I will respect yours (just like I respect bencard’s and other commenters here). we can argue anything and it’s perfectly fine with me. I have no problem with anyone on either side of the fence but if you start with your accusations and generalizations then I will disrespect you as well.

    and don’t think you’re on morally higher ground. i have the right to be mad too.

  19. mlq3

    grd, i did. i supported her until her “i am sorry” speech. you can review why i turned critical here:

    http://www.quezon.ph/500/redemption/

  20. mlq3

    scalia, while i appreciate your visiting this blog, you most certainly are not my friend. so don’t patronize me.

    when you say the following:

    the anti anti gloria people worked for the 7.3 GDP last year. yung mga anti gloria, wala na ngang ginawa to contribute to the 7.3, yet still had the nerve to undermine the results of the hardworking anti anti gloria people! the 7.3 is the success of the people, not of gloria

    in which case the credit should be shared by all, but then immediately contradict yourself.

    you deny any credit for a collective achievement, to those from the collective who are collectively opposed to your president.

    to those against the president who worked at their jobs, paid their taxes, even endured a hostile environment from the government, you think that what they were doing as they exercised their citizenship was undermining the hardworking anti anti gloria pro glorias like you.

    well they did not, and they have every right to point to you and enumerate every instance of officially winked at smuggling, selective red tape, and so on, that you not only made possible, but encouraged and excused, on your premise that objecting to it and the whole madcap alliance propping up the president are unimportant to wealth-creation, which happily promotes wealth-creation indeed for those putting stitching together a golden parachute for 2010 and beyond.

    but for the many who may be divided on what to do, and so have found themselves held at bay by those who would rather do nothing, you not only make it even harder to improve things long-term, but have turned trying to do something into some sort of moral defect.

  21. mlq3

    grd, there are three sides in any political issue: pro, con, and neither pro nor con. the neither pro nor con, based on circumstances and sometimes based on pragmatic considerations of their own, can effectively tip the balance for the pros or cons, or keep the pros and cons effectively at a stalemate.

    those who proclaim themselves neither pro or con, in turn can be distinguished according to whether genuinely neutral, pretending to be neutral but really, pro (or con). or conditionally neutral (whether or not the conditions are so selective as to make their choosing sides actually impossible).

    personally, i view it this way: you can be moral, immoral, or amoral. in a political issue, there is only yes or no, effectively: an abstension, in voting is often a disguised pro or con vote, depending on how it will affect the outcome. in non-political matters you can insist, rightfully, on nuances, but politically there is a bottom line, for or against.

    so if you and i are discussing the framework of things, we can delve into all the grey areas, but in the end it will boil down to taking sides. for the issue at hand. for other issues, specially those in the future, there can be a recombination of things. which is why today’s opponents might be tomorrow’s partners -for example, among those who agree on more fundamental things if you took aside the question of the president.

  22. Bencard

    cvj, your “one foot out the door explanation” doesn’t cut the mustard. i’m not second-guessing grd or the ca’t but my view of their position is that it is more or less the same as mine. in my case, i admit full allegiance and respect to arroyo as the incumbent president and remain loyal to her as long as there is no clear and compelling reason (as found by a proper forum) to withdraw such allegiance, respect and loyalty. far from being a blind follower, i guess you can apply your one-foot-out-the door definition to me as well as to any and all “pro gloria” or “anti-anti gloria” who now don’t join your oust-gloria crusade or follow your politics of hatred and prejudices. i don’t agree with some of pgma’s past actions and policies, and have expressed my feelings against them. for instance, i disagreed with her decision to pardon estrada; her giving-in to the political pressure to withdraw from the “coalition of the willing” in iraq ostensibly to save the life of angelo de la cruz; the abolition of the death penalty for all crimes, regardless of the nature and severity of the felony; the continuing support for the cbcp’s anti-population control advocacy.

    btw, contrary to mlq3’s point of view, i don’t think gma has done anything to weaken our existing institutions but instead she has helped strengthen them. i don’t see anything wrong about her efforts of testing the limits of the constitution, letting the courts to rule on the constitutionality of such exercise, and abiding by its final verdict. that is the essence of democracy and a telling proof that the system works. the rule of law prevails. future presidents will hopefully be guided thereby and would not have to go through the same enervating exercise that saps the nation’s energy.

  23. grd

    grd, i did. i supported her until her “i am sorry” speech. you can review why i turned critical here:… mlq3

    mlq3,

    thanks for the link. unfortunately, the links to your articles in Inquirer is no longer available.

    anyway, you only realized and became critical until her “I am sorry” speech. whereas, I believe you should have withdrawn your support to her much earlier (to be exact Dec 30 2002), she have been found lying already. yet, you and cvj gave her your unconditional support during the 2004 eleetion. so why now blame and get critical with other people who would not subscribe to your cause on removing gloria forcibly through people power?

    have I profess my support here for gloria? did I ever call her “my president” ? If I say I don’t support people power but I’ll go for impeachment, does it actually mean I am pro-gloria? I have always maintained I have never been a gloria supporter and I have my time of protest too. but the result of my stand now (re rule of law, removal through impeachment or wait till 2010) is due to “pragmatic considerations” as you mentioned above. so, let’s just respect our different positions or opinion.

    here’s the article I’m referring above:

    Speaking on local radio, 55-year old Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced she had decided to drop out of the presidential race in 2004. “It is God who puts ideas in my heart,” explained Arroyo.

    http://www.biblenetworknews.com/asiapacific/123002_philippines.html

    yet, I’m sure you’re one of those who prodded her to run.

  24. mlq3

    grd, i did not prod her to run. her decision to run made my decision to leave her employ easy when the opportunity came.

    it’s not difficult for me to appreciate your opinion, as your support for impeachment reflects, to my mind, the majority opinion. as does the view that well, if impeachment doesn’t take place, then she should remain in office. i have also pointed out that i believe this is the consensus that exists overall.

  25. anthony scalia

    mlq3,

    “scalia, while i appreciate your visiting this blog, you most certainly are not my friend. so don’t patronize me.”

    yikes! manolo, i am completely surprised to say the least! you consider the use of ‘my friend’ patronizing????!!!!! oh my! i must have touched a nerve! sorry.

    “in which case the credit should be shared by all, but then immediately contradict yourself.”

    my goodness????? how do i contradict myself?????? i give the credit to the whole Pinoy nation, and not one bit to gloria!!!!!!!

    “you deny any credit for a collective achievement, to those from the collective who are collectively opposed to your president.”

    two things:

    1. those who are opposed to gloria dismiss the 7.3, so they dont even purport to be part of that. if they did, their only beef vs gloria should be that the 7.3 is the entire nation’s credit, not hers.

    the anti gloria school isn’t excited over the 7.3, right?

    2. the best of those who oppose gloria never goes beyond ‘patalsikin na now na’

    by the way, since gloria is not your president, i think you don’t have any right to expect her to do things only a president can do. like be here at the height of ‘Frank’s power

    “to those against the president who worked at their jobs, paid their taxes, even endured a hostile environment from the government, you think that what they were doing as they exercised their citizenship was undermining the hardworking anti anti gloria pro glorias like you.”

    may i remind you, my friend, that the complaint of the anti gloria school on the 7.3 is that its a sham. never did i hear anything which says in effect that gloria should not grab the credit for the 7.3

    oh yes, the ‘exercise of a constitutional right’ undermines the hardworking ‘anti anti gloria pro glorias like you’. very much. the anti gloria school will drop an atomic bomb in Manila if that is what it takes to remove gloria

    “well they did not, and they have every right to point to you and enumerate every instance of officially winked at smuggling, selective red tape, and so on, that you not only made possible, but encouraged and excused, on your premise that objecting to it and the whole madcap alliance propping up the president are unimportant to wealth-creation, which happily promotes wealth-creation indeed for those putting stitching together a golden parachute for 2010 and beyond.”

    go ask your friend cvj, and get pointers on how South Korea reached its lofty status. the corrupt military dictatorship was never an obstacle.

    if policies were the key, then all discussions should be on putting in place effective policies. not ‘patalsikin na now na’ ad nauseam

    nobody’s denying the “smuggling, selective red tape, and so on…”

    “but for the many who may be divided on what to do, and so have found themselves held at bay by those who would rather do nothing, you not only make it even harder to improve things long-term, but have turned trying to do something into some sort of moral defect.”

    harder to improve things long term? because gloria still sits in malacañang? don’t underestimate the efforts of NGOs like Gawad kalinga who chose not to wait for gloria to be kicked out before acting. of industry groups striving to bring in foreign direct investment here. outsourcing is now a US$5B industry here, employing hundreds of thousands of people and producing a spillover effect on other industries like telecom, real estate and food. despite gloria’s continued presence in malacañang

  26. mlq3

    scalia, you aren’t sorry, don’t even pretend to be, and don’t feign ignorance. it does neither of us any good.

    it’s all or nothing. give credit to all or slice and dice down the line. your fixation with the 7.3 ignores two possibilities, among others:

    1. it could be wrong, and with good reason: there happen to be some pretty good reasons why the 7.3 is being disputed, which is a long way from saying no improvement economically took place at all; or that even partially it may have been due to the president’s policies but also, quite possibly, due to a streak of luck on her part.

    2. if true, it could possibly have been even better. conversely, you had your 7.3, now that things look less sparkly, you still don’t have what any government needs at this point, which is some sort of reservoir of good will from the public.

    your hyperbole about the antis being prepared to drop an atom bomb ignores the reality of what the admin has proven itself fully capable of resorting to, to keep itself in the gravy.

    re: south korea, perhaps you’d like to have a word with the tens even hundreds of thousands of south koreans who risked life and limb to bring down the military dictatorship? or the parade of officials and businessmen who keep ending up in jail? the corrupt military obstacle was most definitely an obstacle -and was removed.

    and what has gawad kalinga and outsourcing have to do, with the issue at hand? gk predates gma, and i’ve put forward my view that it is skirting dangerously close to a bad kind of tokenism. outsourcing is a bright spot and will continue to be so, but other bright spots have to be cultivated. as you put it yourself, if they flourished despite her, imagine how much better they could have flourished in an atmosphere of greater cooperation and goodwill among the public and between the public and its leaders.

  27. Bencard

    to indulge in similar theoretical assumption, i say “greater cooperation and goodwill among the public” is not possible as long as the outsiders, who want to get in, are doing everything fair or foul to undermine the insiders. as long as there is jealousy and hate, pride and prejudice, ambition and covetousness, conflicting interests and competing ideologies, there will always be discord regardless of WHO is the president. the only path to peace is for the LOSERS to respect the WINNERS and to wait for their turn, if ever, in peace.

  28. anthony scalia

    mlq3,

    “scalia, you aren’t sorry, don’t even pretend to be, and don’t feign ignorance. it does neither of us any good.”

    no, manolo, i am truly sorry.

    of the thousand times i used “my friend” to many others (like cvj) here its is very surprising you’d react that way! since it rubbed you the wrong way i apologize. you’re the only one who reacted to my use of “my friend” didn’t you know that?!

    why don’t you admit that i touched a raw nerve? it will do you good.

    “it’s all or nothing. give credit to all or slice and dice down the line. your fixation with the 7.3 ignores two possibilities, among others:

    1. it could be wrong, and with good reason: there happen to be some pretty good reasons why the 7.3 is being disputed, which is a long way from saying no improvement economically took place at all; or that even partially it may have been due to the president’s policies but also, quite possibly, due to a streak of luck on her part.

    2. if true, it could possibly have been even better. conversely, you had your 7.3, now that things look less sparkly, you still don’t have what any government needs at this point, which is some sort of reservoir of good will from the public.

    oh you’re singing a much different tune now eh? in your previous comment, you are hinting that the anti gloria people should also share in the 7.3.

    which is which, manolo? ano ba talaga kuya?

    “your hyperbole about the antis being prepared to drop an atom bomb ignores the reality of what the admin has proven itself fully capable of resorting to, to keep itself in the gravy.””

    an implied admission that the anti gloria school will indeed drop the bomb!

    the motto of the anti gloria school – the hell with the economy, kick out gloria first. worry about the economy later

    “re: south korea, perhaps you’d like to have a word with the tens even hundreds of thousands of south koreans who risked life and limb to bring down the military dictatorship? or the parade of officials and businessmen who keep ending up in jail? the corrupt military obstacle was most definitely an obstacle -and was removed.”

    perhaps you should realize that the efforts to remove the dictatorship arose when prosperity was achieved already.

    gaya gaya ang South Korea sa ‘Pinas sa people power. pero by the time they did that in 1987, mayaman na sila! (or at least at a level the Philippines has yet to reach)

    and maybe you have not realized, the “parade of officials and businessmen who keep ending up in jail” still continues to this day! even if a country has reached a level of prosperity, corruption still exists!

    so zero corruption, a sine qua non to progress?

    there must be some wisdom in prioritizing economic progress ahead of political progress, don’t you think?

    “and what has gawad kalinga and outsourcing have to do, with the issue at hand? gk predates gma, and i’ve put forward my view that it is skirting dangerously close to a bad kind of tokenism. outsourcing is a bright spot and will continue to be so, but other bright spots have to be cultivated. as you put it yourself, if they flourished despite her, imagine how much better they could have flourished in an atmosphere of greater cooperation and goodwill among the public and between the public and its leaders.”

    you still don’t see it, or refuse to see it! don’t wait on the government to do something. private initiative can do good, not waiting for gloria to be booted out.

    how many jobs have the anti gloria help create? how many houses for the poor have the anti gloria people help build? if one house for the homeless is built every time “patalsikin na now na” or “people power” is uttered the housing problem will be solved!

    you really can’t see it because for you its all about gloria.

    “imagine how much better they could have flourished in an atmosphere of greater cooperation and goodwill among the public and between the public and its leaders.”

    how much time is wasted just waiting for that. its like waiting for godot.

  29. anthony scalia

    Bencard,

    “…there will always be discord regardless of WHO is the president. the only path to peace is for the LOSERS to respect the WINNERS and to wait for their turn, if ever, in peace.”

    why can’t the anti gloria school realize that?!

  30. mlq3

    scalia, what really gets my goat is that people like you do not grant an iota of patriotism or even good sense to critics of the president, while i try to make an effort to see all sides and the sincerity and good points in the defenders (implicit or explicit) of cruella. it’s enough to make anyone see red.

    thnat being said, since my getting over the flu may be contributing to my ill-humor with your style of argumentation (a moving target in the style of that american commenter, geo i think his name was, who’s stopped visiting), maybe i should return to your comment in a couple of days when my health and humor are both better and i can respond to your arguments with the good faith and open-mindedness you had when you made them.

  31. anthony scalia

    mlq3,

    “scalia, what really gets my goat is that people like you do not grant an iota of patriotism or even good sense to critics of the president, while i try to make an effort to see all sides and the sincerity and good points in the defenders (implicit or explicit) of cruella. it’s enough to make anyone see red.”

    its because the critics of the president are only up to that, being critics. nothing good for the country. just good for being anti gloria.

    patriotism? my goodness, light years away from it are the anti gloria school!

    if there is even one iota of patriotism in them, they would come to their senses that the country has more pressing needs than gloria’s removal!

    “thnat being said, since my getting over the flu may be contributing to my ill-humor with your style of argumentation (a moving target in the style of that american commenter, geo i think his name was, who’s stopped visiting), maybe i should return to your comment in a couple of days when my health and humor are both better and i can respond to your arguments with the good faith and open-mindedness you had when you made them.”

    i agree. may the Almighty restore you to good health.

    thank you my fri…ooops. thank you!!!!!

    you and your blog are really great compared to the mindless bloggers at ellenville!

    don’t you feel tarnished whenever this blog is placed in the same category as ellenville? I would!

  32. mlq3

    scalia, i happen to admire ellen, she’s a good person. and her readers are our countrymen and know the underpinnings of democracy and good citizenship better than most.

  33. anthony scalia

    mlq3,

    “scalia, i happen to admire ellen, she’s a good person. and her readers are our countrymen and know the underpinnings of democracy and good citizenship better than most.”

    no, most of her readers are ex-pinoys who still practice nationalism by convenience.

    oh yes they know the underpinnings of democracy and good citizenship, they are fully enjoying it. a good citizen exercises his/her constitutional freedom and rights to the hilt!

    they are not called mob bloggers for nothing

  34. grd

    mlq3, anthony scalia is right. most are ex-pinoys. they are like dodong. that’s why i disagree with cvj when he said those commenters from ellen’s blog represent majority of the filipino people.

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