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Nov 18

Mutiny for a bounty

mutiny against quezon

As this Philippines Free Press editorial cartoon from the 1920’s shows, mutiny has always been an occupational hazard for Senate Presidents since the position was established in 1916. Today, Manuel Villar, Jr. was the latest Senate President to fall; and Juan Ponce Enrile gets to crown his political career with the next best thing to becoming President of the Philippines in our political pecking order.

I do not know why blogger like The Equalizer and were so shocked when Villar, seeing the writing on the wall, saved face by resigning the Senate Presidency.

In my column, Demolition derby on September 25 of this year, I pointed out the plot was afoot and the possible permutations possible as far as the voting was concerned.

As I understand it, the erosion of his majority in the Senate had three stages:

1. Lacson, Madrigal, Roxas, Legarda, Angara and Enrile(who, from the start was inclined to follow the precedent Villar had established by voting for himself: in previous contests, since time immemorial, the leading candidates had always neutralized each other’s votes by voting for their opposite number; Villar in 2006 dispensed with this old tradition) were at the heart of the effort to oust the incumbent.

2. Biazon, Escudero, Zubiri, Honasan and Gordon signified they were in on the plan.

3. Revilla and Lapid then followed suit. There’s an amusing eyewitness account of Lapid (something like Banquo’s ghost, apparently, as Indolent Indio calls him the “harbinger of doom”) plunging in the knife over at the sunsetflip:

I could probably go on and analyze the political ramifications of the whole coup, but I would just be echoing the words of bigger, wiser bloggers. I would rather talk about the genuine pathos that I felt for Senator Lito Lapid.

Watching him look at Enrile and flash a thumbs-up, Icouldn’t decide whether he was giving or asking for approval. His eyes were sort of a cross between Ted Neely and a pauppy dog, like they were asking “am I making a difference now?” He looked so earnest and starved for affection that I half-expected some Russian grandmother to come up and give him a hug because he’s just as special as everyone else.

Dismissed (probably deservedly) as an inconsequential Arroyo stooge brought in only when numbers are needed, Lapid could be so much more. Well, alright, he could be more.

Nothing forbids him from, you know, acting senatorial and actually doing some legislative work. One might even say that that’s what he’s in power for. I mean, really, why not pass some laws since you have the job anyway, right? While not the senator with the most absences from plenary sessions, Lapid does not have the valid excuse of, oh, being locked up in a military prison like Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

Huh, I guess I’m back to hating him now for wasting his mandate, but for a few seconds this afternoon, if he had looked in my direction, I’d have walked over and patted him on the head.

Anyway, then came the last one to cock his gun in the execution:

4. Estrada clinched it.

In my column, I got it right that Aquino would abstain rather than vote for his father’s jailer; also, that Gordon, Revilla, Lapid, Angara, Honasan and Zubiri from the Palace bloc (though more properly, Honasan is the other half of the Enrile bloc), Roxas and Biazon from the Liberal bloc, and Legarda and Escudero from the NPC bloc would probably go for Enrile.

Madrigal ended up backing up Lacson and voting for Enrile; the true surprise was Estrada switching sides, which of course has a juicy tit for tat aspect to it (full circle for the Estradas and the Villars), surely for concessions if it’s true he was the last to cast his lot with the new majority.

As for those who stuck it out with Villar, they all officially abstained: here were the two Cayetanos, Pimentel (reported by ABS-CBN as in on the Villar ouster, but I’d always heard he was safely in the Villar bloc; but then again, maybe martial law memories truly precluded voting for Enrile), Arroyo (motivated also by martial law memories and more importantly, loyalty to Villar) and (as expected Aquino and Pangilinan (giving him a a face-saving way out of having to publicly go against his party at its moment of triumph). Arroyo and Pangilinan, of course, are part of the so-called “Wednesday Club” in the Senate.

The real surprise was Miriam Defensor Santiago. When Villar was first elected to the Senate Presidency in 2006, the quotable Miriam Defensor Santiago declared he was elevated to the position by a “mutant majority,” which she said,

…is an aberration at birth. If it were a car, it would be a hybrid. If it were a horse, it would be a piebald. Wonders never cease in politics. What we are seeing is the art of the political deal.

But she seems hell-bent on being peevish ever since the Palace let her down in her quest for that judgeship abroad, so maybe it’s really not very surprising she decided to be contrarian.

Things did not change after the mid-term election in 2007, when Villar was re-elected in a square off with Pimentel.The majority that elected Villar was a mixture of administration and opposition senators. This disappointed people (like myself) hoping for a Senate with an opposition majority, see my July 5, 2007 column, Wrong kind of addition.

The battle lines in the Senate post-2007 and going into January, 2009, at least, were along opposition-administration lines; the divisions would necessarily have changed starting 2009, going into the 2010 campaign. What was inevitable come January just came two months earlier -though as I mentioned in my column, it was well afoot back in September.

GMA and MV

If my information back then was correct, that the President was content with keeping Villar as Senate President (and if one wants to be truly naughty, waving a letter in its possession embarrassing to Villar and useful to his critics), then one of two things has happened since.

When Villar possibly reneged on a bargain with the Palace to let sleeping dogs lie, and was spooked into permitting the arrest of Joc-Joc Bolante after initially showing signs he’d drop the matter, the Palace decided Villar had outlived his usefulness.

Or, if the Palace understood that Villar’s hands were tied and was willing to work with him still, then the Palace’s hold on its senators has weakened as they all begin contemplating their post-2010 futures. Certainly Miguel Zubiri’s diatribe in the Senate the other day was revealing. Loyalty to the commander-in-chief has little benefits these days, it seems. Even to those who owe her the most. That was then, everyone, high or low, has to think of tomorrow.

As with all things, a little of both probably happened. The Palace would have seen little reason to limits its options by allowing Villar to remain in a position of prestige, not after he proved more anxious to bow to public pressure than to help the Palace with Bolante, and not after the Palace had already tried to whet the appetite of those it declared potential contenders for the presidency. At least two of them would directly benefit from Villar being taken down a notch or two: Vice-President de Castro who has popularity but no money (relatively speaking), and Dick Gordon who runs the risk of facing a revolt in the Philippine National Red Cross if people start getting the impression it will be his primary vehicle for the presidency.

The various motivations of those who voted to topple Villar are relatively obvious, too: Roxas, loyally backed by Biazon, to halt and hopefully reverse, the money-and-machinery appeal of Villar, and by knocking Allan Peter Cayetano, Villar’s fellow NP senator, out of the Blue Ribbon Committee, to take both the NP and the Wednesday Club down a notch, too: the NP is down, the LP is up, and this is why Villar’s ouster sends a warning to Pangilinan whose party loyalty is, at best, unreliable; Escudero and Legarda, for the reasons I enumerated in my column (with support from Angara); Lacson and Madrigal, who tag-teamed to demolish Villar, can prove they truly have clout (although next week’s expected Ethics Committee hearings will show whether their evidence matches their clout). Honasan of course goes wherever Enrile goes; and who the leader of the three administration sheep, Lapid, Revilla, and Zubiri is, I don’t know: either it’s the President, who had no objections to their securing concessions, or they are showing signs of investing in their post-Arroyo future.

What was fundamentally at stake in the effort to topple Villar, and what Villar had to lose, was the perception of being “malakas.” This is a perception of near-transcendental importance in our political culture, as the loyalists of the President who periodically froth at the mouth against her critics, prove. “Where are you? Where is she?” is an argument based primarily on “palakasan”. For more on this, see my May 29 blog entry, Malakas at mahina. This is power politics at its most basic and as most appreciate it, I’d reckon. Villar’s body and other language is par for the course: not to whine, but to take it like a man –dignified, but whipped.

Mon Casiple says the the thing to watch is the farming out of committee chairmanships under the new Enrile regime:

Of course, there is the opportunity for the GMA administration to pursue the Charter change agenda under Enrile’s watch. However, he is too much of a wild card at this time of an increasingly lameduck GMA presidency. It is more correct to say that anything may happen. What is more discernible is that the ruling coalition will try to make a play to stay on top of the increasingly unstable situation.

And the operative word here is “unstable.” Something’s happened since September, and what was once a favorable environment in the Senate for Villar (and for the President) changed; the House minority thinks what changed were investigations unfavorable to the administration. But if anything, the Bolante hearing showed every reason for the Palace to be pleased with the status quo (ditto for the de la Paz hearing).

If I read Casiple correctly, and from what I’ve heard of how the marshaling of forces to oust Villar went, the Palace decided to have “skin in the game” as things “move forward,” to borrow two Americanisms. In other words the Palace belatedly gave its blessings with Lapid and Revilla’s votes, after having previously rebuffed both Angara (who wanted the job first, as a return to former glory, but according to one version I heard wasn’t prepared to go on bended knee to the Palace) and Enrile (who may or may not have asked the President to grant an old man’s last political wish). Estrada did as the Palace did, to keep in the game, too.

So most ask, as New Philippine Revolution asks, if this means the new majority is going the way of the old majority it just replaced: play-acting as far as really standing up to the President is concerned. Casiple thinks Enrile, dinosaur that he is, has avoided political extinction so far, and just might be a sign of a more renegade bunch of senators to come.

If Blue Ribbon goes to an aggressive oppositionist, then the Palace’s losing its grip on the upper house; if the chairmanship goes to someone less inclined to cause trouble, then it can safely be assumed that the new majority cut a deal with the President to promote “stability.”

So, perhaps a marginal improvement in the level of ferocity and aggression of the Senate, at best, under a Senate President who can at least claim to being an accomplished parliamentarian besides evil genius. Or, at worst, more of the same-same inaugurated in 2007 by the old majority which has fallen because of its administration allies who junked the old to be part of the new.

But what was at the heart of Villar’s downfall was an issue, whether believed in or not, it provided the pretext for his downfall. After he hurled his bombshell, Senator Panfilo Lacson stubbornly mounted a scorched-earth campaign to hound Villar to the Senate Ethics Committee.

The best that Villar could do, in the face of Lacson’s ferocity, was to stall, and refrain from commenting. As my column, Penny wise and pound foolish showed, the problem was that the issue was a genuinely troubling one. As the Inquirer editorial Double entry pointed out on September 14, 2008, the issue wasn’t one going to go away:

Those advocating the parliamentary system ought to consider Senate President Manuel Villar’s handling of the plots against him. While it is true, as his friend and ally Jinggoy Estrada says, that the plots never cease, at the heart of the present controversy is the Senate president’s alleged responsibility for an insertion into the national budget allocating P200 million for a road project that already had funding elsewhere in the appropriations law.

It was a masterpiece of legislative sleight-of-hand: the original budgetary provision was to extend President Garcia Avenue “from SLEX to Sucat Road including ROW”; the insertion referred to C-5 Road extension from “SLEX to Sucat Road including ROW”— Garcia Avenue and C-5, of course, being one and the same. But that’s not all. The total congressional insertions are being touted at P4 billion—P3.916 billion of which, according to Sen. Panfilo Lacson, emanated from the Senate.

A legislative leader with parliamentary instincts—never mind the old-fashioned notions of delicadeza—would have taken such allegations as a challenge serious enough to merit an offer of resignation from him as head of the chamber. He might also consider having the ethics committee of the Senate undertake an investigation. If his resignation is accepted, he loses his Senate presidency; if rejected, his leadership would be revalidated and the question put to rest. Neither he nor any Senate president, past, present or future, can afford to have such heavy questions weighing on his shoulders.

Not least because what has been caught red—is the entire Congress—and the Executive Department.

In October, the issue was still being discussed, see this clip and this one from my hosting Korina Today. This could only have meant that the plot already hatched to oust Villar in September, could fester, and his dilly-dallying over Bolante could only have further soured things.

The Inquirer editorial would later suggest naked for all the world to see was the Predatory budgeting of the political pros. Wat to do about, the Institute of Popular Democracy asked in Dealing with the budget process problems: Leak-plugging or Re-piping?

42 comments

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  1. devilsadvc8

    if Villar will only realize it, this may be the best thing to happen that’ll help him with his presidential ambitions

    with the mutiny, everyone jz drew the lines where they stand come 2010

  2. grd

    remember who are those in the majority now.

  3. Pedestrian Observer GB

    Change indeed is infectious and the Philippine senate is not immune to change….. except it is more of going into full circle with a step backwards in time resurrecting the old relics of the ugly past.

  4. The EQualizer

    EQ VIEW:I’m no Villar fan BUT why replace him with ENRILE???
    It shows that all the presidentiables are willing to make FAUSTIAN bargains to advance their own ambitions.

  5. TonGuE-tWisTeD

    Villar deserves it. He was the one-up winner against his co-oppositionists co-presidentiables in 2007 when he decided to align his baby senators with the administration group and from since enjoyed the exclusive advantage. But he and his crew of incompetents have all bungled the investigations of Neri, the Greedy Group, Jocjjoc and De laPaz. The criminals are all home and celebrating. “C-5 at Tiyaga” sealed his fate. The Villar vs. De Castro showdown in which the ultimate winner is Gloria has been foied, at least, temporarily.

    Now, an impending clash with the House looks inevitable with an arrest warrant to be issued to take jocjoc under house custody, a creative strategy designed along the lines of the Udong Mahusay “rescue”.

    I’d like to see how the guru Enrile, with his generals in tow, go to this battle. It’s definitely gonna be far better than that of Villar and his Mickey Mouse Club.

    ********
    Manny Villar Song of the day :
    Karma Chameleon

  6. istambay_sakalye

    this development might not be all that bad after all…well…of course for villar it’s entirely different!!! he paid the price for going after joc joc and de la paz!!! now we have enreally(?) and ping with mistah honasan to run the show! i just hope trillanes stay away from this group as to ruin his principles.

    i hope this will be to the undoing of the palace and the rest of the politicians who sell their souls to the devils in exchange for peoples lives and money! i hope the people will not lose hope and see this as reason to keep on fighting!

  7. anthony scalia

    just for leaving his post upon knowing of the Senate resolution for a new Senate President (and never stayed one minute longer) – I salute Villar

    just showing how bright the ‘united’ opposition is – if gloria is impeached, the 2/3 vote needed to convict her just disappeared

  8. Phil Manila

    This is power politics at its most basic – mlq3

    True. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, For the meantime anyway.

    Escudero, Gordon, Lacson, Legarda, and Roxas have their presidential agendas. But Jinggoy? So Villar was never forgiven by Erap, huh?

    I say party-less politics really sucks! These senators will just wake up one morning confused with their loyalties. Blue, red, orange, etc. The Pink Chairman might just hijack the vote with this confusion.

    Favors the sitting power in the palace anytime if you ask me.

  9. TonGuE-tWisTeD

    “just showing how bright the ‘united’ opposition is – if gloria is impeached, the 2/3 vote needed to convict her just disappeared”

    Wrong premise, wrong conclusion.

  10. anthony scalia

    “just showing how bright the ‘united’ opposition is – if gloria is impeached, the 2/3 vote needed to convict her just disappeared”

    “Wrong premise, wrong conclusion.”

    too bad we won’t get to see if i had the wrong conclusion

  11. grd

    “I’d like to see how the guru Enrile, with his generals in tow, go to this battle. It’s definitely gonna be far better than that of Villar and his Mickey Mouse Club.”

    huh? are you sure there would be a battle?

  12. Liam Tinio

    Villar’s ouster was proof of his inexperience and hubris..

    he thought he was on top of the political “A” game, playing on both sides, thinking that he has what it takes(money), to tilt things to his own advantage..

    but the problem is, he is no Puno or JDV, he’s just Villar, he’s just rich.. without which, he’s nothing..

    Estrada flipped because Villar was showing signs of not keeping his promise to Jinggoy to be his VP, by constantly opening the lines of communication with Noli(whose abscbn support is waning as there are reports that the Lopezes will choose to side with Roxas in 2010)

    of course for the NPC(danding) group, wants to maintain Danding’s kingmaker position.. as well as their hopes for clinching the presidency, since they haev 3 presidentiables (escudero, legarda, teodoro)

    the LP bloc wants to improve Roxas’ chances

    Gordon (of course)

    Honasan is the buy one take on of Enrile

    revilla and lapid of course are automatons

    this leaves me to discern what lacson and madrigal would be gaining.. status quo or not, they both will stay the same.. and i dont think that lacson is ‘really serious’ in seeking the presidency.. running(at whatever position) is lacson’s source of funds(think of obama campaign funds) since he refuses to touch his pork barrel..

    so far, i dont see the palace’s hand on the matter

  13. grd

    who will agree w/ madrigal? she said the senate now under enrile is more on opposition than it was under villar.

  14. The EQualizer

    A prayer to grant President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo the “forebearance” to lead the country “until 2010… and perhaps even beyond” spoiled the Chief Executive’s mood at the opening of the regular Cabinet meeting in Malacañang Tuesday.

    Radio dzBB’s Aileen Intia reported that the “offending” prayer came from Press Sec. Jesus Dureza at the start of the Cabinet meeting. “We pray for the President, that she may have forebearance, good health, and tolerance to lead this nation until 2010, and who knows, perhaps even beyond,” Dureza said at the start of the Cabinet meeting.

  15. istambay_sakalye

    now gma has both the lower house of congress and the senate, time to plunder more! jail and torture all oppositions! appoint yes ma’am to the coming vacancies in SC and change the constitution to reign past 2010!

    i never doubted that gma is capable of all this! all of you who still think that there will be a presidential election come 2010 think again!

    and maybe another coincidence is enrile again features in the midst of this development. call me praning but i have not forgotten my history!

  16. istambay_sakalye

    the joke will be on us all and mostly to those who still thinks gma will honor her word! when was the last time she did or ever?

    no wonder a self respecting elected leader of a democratic country such obama will not tarnish his accomplishment by responding to gma’s attempts to use him for her gain!

  17. Frederico Gustalman

    For all of the senators why in God’s name…Enrile???

    I just can’t understand this system…such chameleons indeed…Those 13 favor the ouster of Sen Villar are the Chameleons….

  18. mlq3

    I guess Enrile’s too old to use the position in aid of a presidential campaign.

  19. Geo

    We can all play this game — refer to unnamed sources, read body language, imagine some things, tailor an anlysis to our prevailing political opinion…..

    Here’s my own interpretation —

    1. Lacson and his aide, Jamby: They’ve been after Villar for some time. General lesson — Don’t try to understand Lacson, just be afraid and avoid him…or you will pay.

    2. Roxas, Legarda, Escudero and Gordon. The Presidentiables love to see Villar knocked down a few pegs. Self-serving motivation.

    3. Biazon: Follow Mar and follow Lacson and don’t go against Enrile. Trying to stay relevant.

    4. Enrile, Honasan, Revilla, Zubiri, Lapid, Angara: All happy to see Enrile and the pro-admin get stronger in the Senate.

    5. Jingoy: Promised to retain his Pro Tempore status.

    6. Joker, Manny: Can’t say anything.

    7. Cayetanos: Peter was a target as he was a Villar partner (and someone needs to be blamed for the Senate’s clown circus). Pia? Nobody cares what she thinks/does.

    8. Miriam: She’s still angry she didn’t become the Prez back in 1992. Partially blames Enrile?

    9. Pimentel: He can still be as anti-GMA as possible. Who are his friends again?

  20. mlq3

    oddly enough our analyses aren’t very different, geo.

  21. baycas

    barack already returned gloria’s call yesterday. He thanked her.

  22. hector olympus

    ============================
    1. Lacson and his aide, Jamby: They’ve been after Villar for some time. General lesson — Don’t try to understand Lacson, just be afraid and avoid him…or you will pay.
    ============================

    Poker face back in the game.

    Mister Clean, mahal ka namin… linis mo’y laaaabadami,

    labadabada

  23. karla lean de guzman

    PANALANGIN PARA KAY JINGGOY
    (IPASA PARA ‘DI MALASIN….)

    ABA GINOONG JINGGOY ESTRADA
    PUNUNG-PUNO KA NG DISGRASYA
    ANG KAMANGMANGAN AY SUMASAIYO
    SUMASAIYO DIN ANG IYUNG AMANG MALISYOSO

    BUKOD KANG PUMAPALPAK
    SA SENADO NAGKAKALAT
    SABAGAY NAGKALAT DIN
    ANG IYUNG AMANG SI ERAP

    SANTA LOI, INA NI JINGGOY
    IKAHIYA MO ANG IYUNG ANAK NA BOPOL
    NGAYON AT HABANG SIYA AY SENADOR

    ELYEN.

    jemas.undag@yahoo.com

  24. Geo

    mlq3,

    I’m not sure our analyses really are that alike. You seem to emphasize the role of the palace and of parties.

    BTW, I have entered a few comments in the 11/12 thread.

  25. Geo

    Oooh…now a chance to see if the House can do a better job than the Senate re Bolante. I just realized this is on tv.

    So far, many of the same stupid questions/statements.

  26. Frederico Gustalman

    I cannot even grasps the reality of this scenario…Enrile having the Senate Presidency…after 5 regimes…

    I agree with geo..especially with the presidentiable’s theme…They really love to see Sen. Villar down…especially in the surveys….

  27. Bert

    here’s my interpretations.

    there are 6 senators today who have something in common:

    Bong Revilla
    Richard Gordon
    Pia Cayetano
    Miriam Santiago
    Johnny Enrile
    Lito Lapid

    their common denominators:

    1. they are reelectionists in 2010
    2. they are GMA’s backers
    3. therefore they will lose in their reelection bid.

    other senators who are GMA backers:

    Miguel Zubiri
    Gorio Honasan
    Joker Arroyo
    Ed Abgara

    Expect these ten senators to push strongly for the approval of ChaCha in the senate because they will lose anyway in any future elections.

    with Enrile the Senate president, our fate is sealed.

    GLORIA FOREVER!

    now I can really see the smile in Geo’s face.

    huhuhuhuhu, hikbi.

  28. grd

    ugok na dureza. or ano yung dasal scripted?

  29. mlq3

    grd, malamang sipsip lang. o kaya may elemento din ng paninira kay mam hehe

    bert, but geo says no way will gma stay past 2010 that and everything else is a figment of hyperactive imaginations. that being said, what you raised didn’t occur to me and is very interesting indeed

  30. grd

    mlq3,

    pasipsip nga ata at di nag-iisip. nataranta tuloy si mam.

  31. grd

    Bert,

    10 is not enough. who will complete the cast? your favorite opposition senators now with pro-admin majority?

  32. nash

    kasalanan ito ni Barack Obama!

    The mutineers thought “yes we can!”

    and they did.

  33. Pilipinoparin

    This is a very bad omen! Who would think of entrusting the senate to the architect and enforcer of Martial law v1.0?

    When is Martial law V2.0 coming?

  34. UP n grad

    Which was more effective in propelling the country forward, FVR/Enrile contributions to EDSA 1.0 or the Lambino-et-al surge against the gates?

  35. UP n grad

    And much more important that looking to the good old days is this :

    UNDP. Official Warns Of Social Strife in AsiaBANGKOK, Nov. 18 — A senior U.N. official warned Tuesday of the prospect of social unrest as the export-driven economies of Asia start to slow in response to the fallout from the global financial crisis.

    Ajay Chhibber, head of the U.N. Development Program’s regional bureau for Asia and the Pacific, said . . . the slowdown in major markets such as the United States and Europe poses fundamental problems for Asian economies that have used exports to fuel their extraordinary growth.

    … “We focus a lot on banks and businesses, but what also happens in crises is that children drop out of school and never go back,” he said. “You can have intergenerational effects: Once a girl drops out of school, that is a mother who is illiterate.”

  36. Geo

    mlq3 — Thank you. Yes, I don’t think Gloria will extend and I don’t think martial law is coming. Both are imagined creations…sometimes by purposeful distortion, sometimes due to ignorant acceptance of the political paradigm of the day.

    Bert — I will continue to ignore your willful distortion of my views. For the record, for the umpteenth time: I do not want, nor expect, GMA to stay in power after 2010.

    Regarding your view that the Senate’s re-configuration is all about Cha-cha, I believe it is far-fetched.

    First of all, some of your assumptions are questionable. For ex, is Pia really a pro-admin? Joker? Gringo? Angara? Would Gordon — with no national party backing — want to run for Prez (general elections) or for Prime Minister (selected by the dominant party)? Will Miriam really not be re-electable? How do you know who will win in the future elections? Did Lacson and Jamby engineer this because they want Cha-Cha????? And Jingoy and Biazon joined the coup because THEY love Cha-Cha???

    Secondly, as pointed out by grd, who else will support cha-cha? The Presidentiables and die-hard oppositionists won’t.

    Was Villar brought down and replaced by Enrile so that Cha-Cha could push through?

    Naahhh. Sorry bert, but this is just another thoughtless screech, pointing fingers at those you don’t like and raising scenarios as imminent realities. It is not analysis. But, you know, thanks for your opinion.

  37. Bert

    Ok, Geo, this will be my last stab at you regards your being ‘anti-anti’ and me an ‘anti’. This is not a matter of me not liking you or not but just for the sake of our country and people that we tangle in such messy debates, nothing personal.

    You have your opinions and I have mine, we both raised scenarios as imminent realities and no one has the monopoly of analytical acumen.

    You believe in your imminent realities, so do I, but we both don’t have a window to see the future therefore our opinions are just opinions, however good we are in analytical prowess, until the future reveals the actual realities.

    Let’s wait for things to happen before we accused each other of being wrong in our opinions.

  38. TonGuE-tWisTeD

    Giving credit to Malacañang for the successful mutiny is quite a stretch. Looks like a change in leadership is all there is.

    Wasn’t it Villar who first alienated this opposition bloc and coalesced with the administration in a maneuver that destroyed the opposition’s expected stranglehold on the Senate? The whole admin 11-man senate bloc was behind him because he salvaged them from irrelevance. It was therefore an administration Senate led by someone who claims to be opposition. Cayetano, Jinggoy, and Chiz merely completed the cast.

    Compare that Villar-headed lineup (as listed by Bert on 11:05pm, but add Pangilinan whom Bert missed) with this one:

    Lacson
    Madrigal
    Roxas
    Legarda
    Estrada
    Escudero
    Biazon
    Pangilinan

    Honasan
    Angara
    Gordon
    Zubiri
    Revilla

    If Villar really wanted an opposition dominated Senate, whether it may be dangerous to his own political agenda or ambition, or not, the last five names could have been his, the 2 Cayetanos’ Trillanes’ and Pimentel’s. But no, it was him who made sure there was no level playing field between him his future presidential opponents and settle for a Pimentel leadership which the Lacson-Roxas bloc was pushing. His Senate presidency was courtesy of Gloria’s boys.

    Now why would it be wrong now if there are more opposition in the majority than in Villar’s stint? Definitely it’s not a lineup that Malacañang should take credit for.

    **********

    By the way the labels opposition – administration don’t really apply here, the dividing line is actually pro- or anti-Gloria. Better defined are the labels majority – minority, and it is based on who you Senate president choice is. These people don’t vote by bloc or party lines. There are basically 24 one-man political parties with each having one constituent: themselves.

  39. Geo

    Bert,

    No problem. Peace. I was getting a bit snarky, I admit.

    Anyway, I agree that neither one of us can see the future. This is an entirely different case than when we discuss what facts have or have not been revealed in the past or present.

    That said, your analysis will be challenged by many, I believe…even by anti-Glorias (like Tongue-Twisted, above).

    My snark was due to my perception that you will contort any situation to make it look like the admin is lying, cheating and stealing…or extending their term. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this scenario is correct. But I note that — out of all the possibilities — you chose a stridently anti-Malacanang one. Again.

  40. Vidkun Quisling

    A short correction: Nene Pimentel started the precedent of voting for oneself as SP. This was during the Estrada impeachment and the majority was one vote shy of ousting Drilon, who was pro-impeachment. Pimentel sheepishly explained on the floor that he had to vote for himself to clinch the vote. Haaayy.

  41. mlq3

    vidkun, thanks very much for that correction.

  42. Flipbrit

    Is this a case of people forgetting the past?
    Im proud to be pinoy anywhere,anytime, but this is really unthinkable

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