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Designed to fail and failing by design
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on November 21, 2008 162 Comments 19 min read
A weekend reflection on power Previous Tidying up before the big push Next

My column for yesterday was Congressional feeding frenzy.

Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel of Akbayan sent me a clarification via SMS:

U wrote in ur col abt me “not lifting a finger, constraind as she is by A’s party positn, alignd w/Bayan’s, in favor of d Pres’s BJE-Moa scheme.” Kept lifting not just my finger, but my hand, 2 b recognizd by Defensor 2 speak, but he ignord me 4 d 2nd straight day; sinugod ko sya rt after d hearing 2 say that I was wearing a cloak of invisibility; he apologizd twice 2 me last nt during d plenary. Didn’t vote vs throwing out ur interventn only bec I’m not a mbr of d Justice Com, but I would have if I were. Our positn is not aligned w/ Bayan’s; they suportd d Moa-AD; we crit’zd d proceses atending it n GMA’s Cha2 agenda hitchhiking on it while suporting els of its substance such as d rt 2 self-determinatn.

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(Above: scenes from the Committee on Justice Hearing at the Andaya Hall of the House of Representatives)

Blogger Et Cetera Et Cetera was there, and after the voting took place (see photos above), she mused on what the voting and her previous experiences said of how the odds are stacked against anyone attempting to work for change:

While waiting, I was having slow motion flashbacks of the time when I first started policy research and advocacy work. A few years ago, we were meeting with a group of big businessmen explaining why the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) should give a rate roll back on cargo handling rates after a series of arbitrary rate increases. We were trying to get them to make a position. So we were there explaining to them that it wasn’t about the rate increases per se but it was more of the fact that the PPA has never followed due process when it comes to cargo handling rate increases. In fact, they only rely on cargo handlers’ claims, which were mostly unsubstantiated, as the only basis for granting rate increases. We also explained that there was a conflict of interest in PPA’s persona being both a regulator and an operator. Why? Because PPA benefits from its own regulation. How? Well once a cargo handler asks for a rate increase, the PPA readily grants it to them because by law, the PPA is allowed to share at least 10% of the cargo handlers’ gross revenues. For international ports, it’s 20%. So if you were PPA, any increase would be beneficial to you, right?

While explaining that to the group, their President at that time asked us, “If we support your call for a rate rollback, how much would that amount to, (meaning how much will shippers save) as opposed to antagonizing the government (PPA)?” We told him that based on calculations that shippers would be saving few millions. Then he goes “So a few millions divided by how many businessmen? That’s not a lot. We’d rather not antagonize the government.” Then we said, but sir, it’s the principles. To which he replied “Principles don’t fly. What’s important are the numbers”. I could not for the life of me believe what I heard. I remember telling myself that I will not let people like him ruin whatever is left of my idealism.

Fast forward to yesterday. I felt sick to my stomach because that’s exactly what happened at the hearing. He was right. Principles didn’t fly. In the end, what was important was the numbers. It was indeed a numbers game afterall.

A fellow intervenor, New Philippine Revolution, explains the intervention from the point of view of Muslims, and also, other people supportive of a peaceful resolution to the causes of conflict in Mindanao.

The news yesterday summarized the events: Arroyo allies go for the kill: House panel quickly junks 3 more impeach raps. Blogger The Warrior Lawyer sees it for what it is: prelude to the throwing out of the impeachment complaint. What’s interesting is the process of elimination, supposed to continue Thursday and conclude Friday, has been postponed to next week.

Why?

It may be that other opportunities presented themselves. This morning the headlines screamed, Arroyo son leads Charter change bid: 150 solons sign on for constituent assembly. This immediately galvanized bloggers like Pinoy Law Student and the Warrior Lawyer who does the political math:

And she would only need 196 signatures, which represent the two-third votes of the combined membership of the Senate (23) and the House (238), should the Supreme Court rule that a constituent assembly (composed of both houses of Congress) would vote jointly and not separately. A friendly SC could pave the way.

This explains the confidence of the President’s son, even as he denied being the ringleader in the House:

Arroyo, however, denied that he was leading the signature campaign, saying he just signed it and discussed it with his colleagues in the House just like any other congressman.

“(I was) one of the signatories. I also asked some of my friends, like Congressman Raul Gonzales Jr, to look into the matter. That is how we are in Congress. We are a collegial body. We try to ask our colleagues who are close to us to look at the issues. There is nothing wrong with that, we are a democracy,” said Arroyo.

Arroyo said the proponent of the resolution calling for a constituent assembly, Kampi president and Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte, is the one heading the signature drive. House Speaker Prospero Nograles is also an author of a House resolution seeking to amend the Constitution’s provisions on foreign investments.

At least 163 lawmakers have signed Nograles’ resolution as of Friday morning.

“Hindi ako nagpapaikot niyan. If you look at the paper the main proponents here are Congressman Villafuerte and Speaker Nograles, and this is exactly the same piece of paper that circulated during the time of Speaker (Jose) De Venecia (Jr)… I’m not the one leading it. I don’t even know what level the signatures already,” said Arroyo.

Arroyo said he supports a constituent assembly because he wants Congress to thresh out issues about the Constitution “like scholars,” and dispelled rumors that he wants Charter Change railroaded.

The lawmaker said even if they succeed in calling for a Con-Ass, passing an amendment to the Constitution is still a long way.

“It is just calling for a Con-Ass. At the end of the day it will go back to the people for a referendum,” said Arroyo.
Arroyo said that once the House has mustered support from three-fourths or 175 out of the 238 congressmen and has created a justiciable controversy, they can compel the Supreme Court to decide on whether the Constitution should be amended by joint or separate Congress voting.

So the game plan’s all there, as the game plan’s been widely reported for some time now.

Within a few hours of the news breaking, Ellen Tordesillas was reporting on her blog the House majority was only 15 votes shy of their requirements. As of my writing this, the number of Representatives who’ve signed on to the Constituent Assembly resolution is 167. For the record, RG Cruz saw it coming and warned the public about it.

(This is a good time to review How a bill becomes a law, courtesy of The Manila Times).

The new big push goes against a rather brittle, to begin with, consensus reached in early 2007, that Charter Change was too controversial an effort to undertake for the remainder of the President’s term. That consensus then evolved into an even broader one, to simply let things be, by allowing the President to finish her term in 2010 so long as she didn’t take any overt steps to break that consensus.

That consensus has now been broken (whether or not the administration was serious about it to begin with, after facing a public rebuff in December, 2006, is debatable: some weeks back, The Lonely Vampire Chronicle wrote the Palace game plan’s two-pronged: 1. Charter Change; 2. emergency rule). The biggest obstacle to the ruling coalition’s ambitions -a Supreme Court majority not controlled by the Palace- has been taken care of, and will improve, from the Palace point of view, throughout the coming year. Only once or twice in our modern political history since 1935 has an administration enjoyed such a thorough domination of the Supreme Court. It would be political madness for the administration not to exploit -and continue to exploit- such a tremendous majority.

And there’s something in it for everyone. The President, in many ways, has built up an association with her ruling coalition based on giving her subordinates free rein in their duchies so long as they marshal themselves in her defense whenever her Queendom is threatened. Indeed, there’s something rather Elizabethan about her way of managing things. Two stories will suffice.

Earlier this year, someone told me that a Mindanao mayor recounted to him that the cost of a visitation by the President -and she likes to tour the country and drop in on local executives- was in the neighborhood of 3-5 million Pesos. That’s the cost of the security, housing, feeding, entertainment, etc. that officials have to shoulder, whenever the President and her court descends to show grace-and-favor to a local ally.

Add to this another story, by a former Treasury official, that the President travels with a government checkbook and is in the habit of whipping it out and filling out and handing out checks to officials, when she drops in on them. Among other things, it makes instant reimbursements possible, and the doling out of favors, besides, for project funding, for example. The President’s penchant for check-writing apparently drives Department of Budget and Management officials nuts, since they have to anxiously await the cashing of those checks, to find out how much the President has doled out and find ways to massage the figures into all the other government expenses being incurred.

The President, for her part, has a broad vision of the development of the country and it’s best expressed in this DPWH map:

super regions

But as for what goes on in these broad geographical divisions, she is less concerned so long as it is done by loyal allies. So even as she consolidates, for planning purposes, the national territory, at the same time, the atomization of that territory is taking place with her blessings.

Last last Tuesday, my episode on The Explainer was on the proposed division of Quezon Province. It was a scheme for which the local prelate has taken credit, and in pursuit of which the local Catholic Church has been mobilized. Much confusion has surrounded the plebiscite date, and the question has ended up before the Supreme Court. One of the leading critics of the proposed provincial split is Atty. Sonny Pulgar and three of his blog entries lays out the combination of local and national motivations for the gerrymandering he opposes. See No to Quezon division and Plebiscite Math and QUEZON del SUR: A Leap in Pitch Dark . Most interesting to me is his calculation that in a province with a voting population of 800,000 the fate of the province actually rests on a scant 100,000 voters, the expected turnout in a provincial plebiscite -which of course reduces the whole exercise to a battle of the political machines.

Honing the political machines and subordinating whatever authentic national development plans the administration has, to keeping those machines well-oiled and their leaders content, while starving all opponents, is not new. It’s simply a reality that has to be confronted. A report in Newsbreak: Mayors glad, sad over SC decision voiding 16 cities served to refocus my attention on this point. There’s a merry mix of motives and at times, the political class contradicts itself; but you can be sure that when push comes to shove, they know where their future prosperity lies.

It lies in nurturing -and there is no point nurturing something if you’re not going to trot it out and use it from time to time- the power of numbers where those numbers count. Those numbers count where they can be used in a manner that can be claimed to democratic because republican and representative: and used as a foil to popular opinion or popular sentiment. This allows the appearance of democracy to be maintained while defanging the population whose democratic sentiments contradict the instincts of the ruling coalition.

You could say that this has always been what sets representative, republican democracy from a purely plebiscitary democracy. Except you have the problem that the representative instincts of our political class clashes with the plebiscitary preferences of our broader political culture. The most effective leaders are those who have shrewdly used these plebiscitary instincts to validate and strengthen their representative claims.

An entry in Filipino Voices yesterday, by Dean Jorge Bocobo, Does the One-third Minority Rule Illegitimize Impeachment? makes me consider the flaws of the present Charter. It takes fewer votes by representatives to impeach a president than are required to rename a street. He asks if this is democratic. He says permitting a minority to impeach a President violates a cardinal principle of democracy: majority rule.

In a comment I replied that the problem he identified is only one of many problems brought up by a Constitution that was written by people who were backward-looking instead of being forward-looking; not least because the looking back looked only to their recent past, instead of the way constitution-writers have traditionally looked back, to see where the past can help in building a better political framework for the future.

In Bocobo’s entry, for example, he points to Hilario Davide proposing to reduce the number of legislators required to impeach the chief executive, based on his experience as an MP in the unlamented Batasan Pambansa. Yet Davide, by doing so, and trying to unshackle the legislature from the tyranny of numbers, ignored altogether the larger, richer, history of impeachment as a process.

Fr. Bernas, one of the authors of the Constitution, has himself suggested that one of their innovations, the Judicial and Bar Council as replacement for the Commission on Appointments as the vetting authority for presidential appointments to the Supreme Court, should be dispensed with. For all its limitations, the old way of vetting appointments to the Supreme Court seems to have been better.

So here’s just some, and I’m sure other have their own list, of the the things wrong with the Constitution: that a minority suffices for impeachment, substituting the Judicial and Bar Council for the Commission on Appointments, maintaining the Marcos era authority to automatically reenact budgets, instituting the military as guardian of the state, instituting a multiparty system without runoff elections for national office, electing the Senate in halves instead of thirds, all established a system designed not to function at all -or perhaps, to be more accurate about it, takes principles of checks and balances to extremes.

A critic of our intervention in the impeachment, blogger Seven Million Golden Fish, by pointing to the lack of a consensus on the appropriateness of the Supreme Court’s decision on the BJE-MOA, also tangentially points to an ongoing debate on the current Supreme Court, and the elimination, for all intents and purposes, of the Political Question doctrine, again an innovation introduced into the present Constitution by former Chief Justice, because of the Supreme Court’s shameful surrender to the chief executive in the Javellana v. Executive Secretary case, which provided the legal justification for the New Society.

For example, personally, I am a believer in a strong presidency. But a presidency armed with positive powers institutionally-ordained, and not wrested by means of subverting the constitutional order. And yet I do agree, to a certain extent, with the assertion of defenders of the President, like Alex Magno, that the presidency under the 1987 Constitution is condemned to fighting for its political life from the very start, which hampers the ability of any president to get anything done within their limited, six-year term (I also subscribe to the dictum put forward by Jose Yulo back in the 1930s: “six years is too long for a bad president and too short for a good one”). The presidency has to bear the burden of historical expectations of authority and dynamism, while being deprived of what makes that authority legitimate and arms the office with the ability to get things done: a firm mandate.

You could argue that a president who wants to achieve anything -and who has the combination of ruthlessness, fortitude, vision, and good luck any chief executive requires- has no choice but to bend the rules, circumvent them, or or flout them, to exercise the authority the public and political class both expect of the institution. That if the current President can claim certain achievements -and be condemned for institutional, constitutional, legal, moral, and administrative and political shortcomings- they are two sides of the same coin, which is, that the office has tremendous potential shackled by tremendous limitations, not in the personality of whoever happens to be chief executive, but in the way the whole politico-legal framework has been shakily established since 1987.

The citizenry then, is in a Catch-22 situation. Most everyone who takes the time to ponder the present constitutional framework finds its shortcomings to be so extensive, some sort of change is required -even a total overhaul. Only those who helped write the present Charter seem to hold it in some sort of affection. The problem, and this is at the heart of anything political, is timing. To make the necessary changes requires a great deal of trust in those in authority -and that trust simply doesn’t exist. So the dilemma is, make necessary changes yes, but making those changes will perpetuate the existing problems, or replace them with entire different, but quite possible, worse ones?

More on that in my next entry.

As for co-intervenor, blogger [email protected], the solution is very simple. Amend the Constitution to establish a hereditary monarchy:

I take offense at the prevailing culture of money and power not only in the House, but in all elected offices.

There is no use rebutting their arguments. As I have said earlier, they do not listen to reason. They have chosen to be deaf to the people’s voice. They have chosen to be dumb in exchange for whatever they want.

They have become subservient to the one who dispenses power and money. Which brings me to my next point.

From next week till they adjourn to enjoy the fruist of their kowtowing for the Christmas break, the House can deal with Charter change. With the recent breeding of a new mongrel in the Senate of the Republic, a Charter change in whatever mode is now possible. Since it is inevitable (if we believe Jesus Dureza and Gloria Arroyo’s supporters in the Intarwebs), I will swim with the current and support Charter change for one condition and one condition only: OUR FORM OF GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE AN ABSOLUTE, HEREDITARY MONARCHY WITH A SUBSERVIENT PARLIAMENT, COMPOSED OF A HOUSE OF LORDS AND A HOUSE OF COMMONS.

I have several reasons why I am making this condition.

1. Both Houses of Congress and majority of the elected officials of this country are acting as if Gloria Arroyo is queen anyway, so dispense with bullshit called democracy and establish an absolute monarchy, which is what is existing now.

2. Our elected officials act as if their offices are theirs and their kin’s, so dispense with the bullshit called elections and establish a hereditary monarchy with hereditary peerages, which is what is existing now, anyway.

3. Our officials act as if they derive their power from God, so dispense with the bullshit called separation of Church and State and instead establish a monarchy with a state religion, which is what is existing now, anyway.

4. Our officials love their titles so much, so dispense with the bullshit called leaders-as-servants-of-the-people and instead establish a monarchy with all the peerages and titles that we can bestow.

5. Lastly, our officials love acting before the cameras and pageantry. So dispense with the bullshit called republicanism and instead establish a monarchy with all the pomp and pageantry that it entails.

Oh well. The problem is some Palace bootlicker might just take the above entry seriously.

Until then, let me revisit this question posed last February: what to do, when When our representatives fail?


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  1. scalia, you just don’t know how the system work. there are some obvius winners you can’t cheat. there are others, specially the ones who take up the rear, who get in not just on a wing and a prayer but a little help from their friends. but then of course you would refuse to see how he snuck in.

  2. scalia, one justice is already going to leave the supreme court earlier than scheduled because she does not want to become a party to her generation’s javella v. executive secretary. wtf are you talking about.

  3. “haaaay! si bert talaga… hindi na ata nakakatulog.”

    grd,

    paano ka namang makakatulog, eh, ang gulo-gulo ni anthony.

  4. mlq3,

    It’s funny that you can’t get yourself to just say: “I’ll concede that the president’s main interests might be to retire.” You just have to throw in your extreme partisan projections, don’t you?

    You further demonstrate your lack of objective fairness by claiming that Gloria has justices (SC, i take it) who are “obliged and loyal to her.” The SC has ruled against her plenty. This is a misleading charge.

    Your multiple political scenarios are possible, I guess, but I’m not sure I get your point.

    My comment is: You seem to think that all politicians not aligned with Gloria are incapable of winning. Why can’t they win an open, local election?

    Certainly — in a Parliamentary system, at least — strong parties are a must. So, yeah, even if no Cha-Cha is forthcoming, I’d expect mergers and partnerships to form now.

    In fact, one of the opposition’s biggest weaknesses is that it can’t unify very well. If they could all swear allegiance to UNO, that’d be a different thing. But we haven’t seen that to date. Seems like their ranks are filled with selfish, myopic, arrogant trapos who would rather pursue their own agenda without cooperating closely with others.

    See? Two can play that game, mlq3.

    Look, the reality is that the political landscape will most likely change a lot going forward. The “GMA forever” is but one possibility…and a low probability one at that. It would be nice if some of the anti-GMAs could increase their scope of intellectual activity…..

  5. “It would be nice if some of the anti-GMAs could increase their scope of intellectual activity…..”

    You mean you like that stuff, Geo. Like, maybe, the scope of “intellectual activities” of Da Apo Ferdie and Ate Glo?

    You know they have lots of ’em which endeared them to the people.

  6. geo, i love it how everything i write is partisan and everything you write is objective. and how let’s say you can ignore the voting record of the president’s court appointees -or even the way the supreme court functions, particularly since the 1970s.

    when was an election with guns and goons a factor ever considered open, geo? there will be non-administration affiliated candidates who can win upset victories, but they will be flukes like among ed. the odds are stacked against non-administration affiliated candidates except in areas where a particular family is so well entrenched it can trump more recent affiliations on the national level. then it doesn’t really matter, and doesn’t become an issue, because whoever is president will be supported by that family as a pragmatic policy.

    regarding parties, there has only ever been one party in this country, the ruling party. this is nothing unique, it is also the way things developed in malaysia and indonesia, so thee might be a cultural aspect to it. the parliamentary system the ruling coalition envisions is consciously modeled on unmo, for example.

    i do concur with your description of the mainstream political opposition and i’ve made that observation many times here, too. again this is not unique, it is there in malaysia and indonesia and even thailand, it is par for the course in being out of power in a political culture that puts a premium on “belonging.”

  7. “ummm…the question is — why would the House go through so much trouble so that GMA could stay in power? It makes more sense for them to let her step down in 2010 and hope that one of them gets the Premiership. They don’t need her.”

    –the answer to your question is another question. why would you kill the goose that lays the golden egg? the gift that keeps on giving! the beauty of it all, gma takes all the blame. gma gets to be the bad guy! and everybody gets to eat their cake! except of course the filipino people who labors and pay their taxes and e-vat!

  8. “i don’t see gloria being allowed to (1) run again in 2010 or (2) extend her term beyond June 30, 2010 whether as president or as interim prime minister. time is too short for amendments to allow those by 2010”

    –“marcos would not dare declare martial law”, guess what? it took us, filipino people 20+ yrs later to finally kick him out of malacanang!

    you cannot blame those who have studied their history or have experienced martial law or it’s victims to be paranoid!

  9. mlq3,

    I’m non-partisan because I listen to what the people say, see what tangible things they do and weigh things according to what facts and “known” things are on hand. That leaves a lot open for speculation…there is no monopoly of knowledge held by anyone.

    You are partisan because no matter what some say, no matter what factual, tangible things are done and/or known, you make decisions based on your prejudgements…despite that they are not grounded with supporting evidence. Your “Truth” is omniscient…even in the face of contradictory evidence.

    SC: I don’t want to ignore anything about the SC and its relationship with Presidents…especially between appointees and appointers. Pls edify me.

    But it seems that the SC, today, is comprised of many GMA appointees already. So what can we say about this SC version? Has it demonstrated obvious favor towards Gloria? If yes, how can one explain the rulings against her and her allies?

    Guns/Goons: So you are saying that all elections (save for a wild outlier now and then) are determined only by goons and guns? So, does that mean you don’t think we should have any elections?

    If — in a new Parliamentary system — there are no incumbents and all elections will be open to registered parties, why do you think non-Lakas/Kampi types can’t win? What’s wrong with them?

    Parties: You seem to actually be arguing for having a Parliamentary system with strong party affiliations. The PM would now need the rest of the party more than the party would need a specific PM. Meanwhile, the party’s actual deeds and policies would be clearly differentiated from others. Lastly, the general population would now successfully — and efficiently, peacefully — affect a change in leadership/party.

    Anyway….a debate about how to improve things would be a welcome change to the long-running anti-progress stand of the anti-GMA crowd. Cha-cha must occur, like it or not.

  10. quezon,

    “you just don’t know how the system work.”

    ***falls from seat***

    look who’s talking!

    “there are some obvious winners you can’t cheat.”

    oh yes! oh yes!

    “there are others, specially the ones who take up the rear, who get in not just on a wing and a prayer but a little help from their friends.”

    your senators, right?

    “but then of course you would refuse to see how he snuck in.”

    yeah right.

    you also refuse to see how your senators snuck in

    obviously you are the one who is still clueless on how the system really works!

    “one justice is already going to leave the supreme court earlier than scheduled because she does not want to become a party to her generation’s javella v. executive secretary.”

    noted. who could that be? maybe you are just exhibiting the usual paranoia expected from members of the anti gloria school

    i bet you have not read the text of Javellana case.

    if you did, you won’t be paranoid.

    “wtf are you talking about.”

    i should ask you that. wtf are you paranoid about?

    why don’t we make a bet –

    if an amendment is in place that allows gloria to run in May 2010 or extends her term beyond June 30, 2010 – i’ll quit posting here (not that i’ll be missed, i know)

    otherwise, you’ll create a thread with the title

    “On gloria beyond 2010 – I was just taking to heart the title of Andy Grove’s book ‘Only the Paranoid Survive’ ”

    and an acknowledgment that “the anti anti school are correct – gloria couldn’t run in 2010 nor extend beyond June 30, 2010 and that the anti gloria school just went through years of unncessary paranoia”

    deal?

  11. istambay_sakalye :

    “you cannot blame those who have studied their history or have experienced martial law or it’s victims to be paranoid!”

    why? did you experience martial law? were you a victim of martial law?

    bet john lennon was already dead when you were born

    its obvious you have not read your history right!

    for one thing my dear kababayan – magkaiba ang cha-cha sa declaration of martial law! nung panahon ni Macoy, kaya nyang i-declare mag-isa ang martial law.

    not the same with cha cha, which can’t be effected by one person

    napakaraming balakid sa cha cha.

    kung sabagay, its your life so i can’t interfere with your decision to be paranoid

    oo nga pala. i keep forgetting that the anti gloria school lives by the following principles:

    a. the sky is falling
    b. just because you are not paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you

    wait, to articulate the issues on cha cha better, lets be clear:

    our issue is whether the cha cha can be in place in time to allow gloria to run again in 2010 or to extend her term beyond 2010 (including serving as interim prime minister)

    the paranoid anti gloria school believes its possible

    the sober anti anti school says no its not

  12. “why? did you experience martial law? were you a victim of martial law?”

    yes i experienced martial law and yes a family member was a victim of martial law! he was never the same again and he was ruined for the rest of his life! now that does answer your question?

  13. “bet john lennon was already dead when you were born”

    –you can bet all your monies on this! john lennon was alive and smoking marijuana when i was born!

  14. “or one thing my dear kababayan – magkaiba ang cha-cha sa declaration of martial law! nung panahon ni Macoy, kaya nyang i-declare mag-isa ang martial law.

    not the same with cha cha, which can’t be effected by one person

    napakaraming balakid sa cha cha”

    –are you just blind? can’t you see writing on the wall? my God i can’t a fellow can be this thick! i bet you weren’t even thought of when martial law was declared! i thought you are smarter than this!

    marcos never mag-isa when he declared martial? you forgot johnny, tabaco, and the rest was with him?

  15. “the paranoid anti gloria school believes its possible
    the sober anti anti school says no its not”

    — it’s hard not be paranoid and sober when you have experienced how people and politicians drunk with power act. just like when the philippine constabulary and cis during the martial law years. you can just disappear and never to be seen and heard again. now please don’t tell me that macoy had nothing to do with those crimes.

    pretty much the same today that, gma being well known to be a micro manager not be informed what her subordinates were doing during MOA-BJE negotiations! and same thing with everything else that she was not aware of the anomalies during the ZTE and north rail projects among other things. you don’t have to be rocket scientist or sherlock holmes to deduce that one plus one equals two.

  16. “why don’t we make a bet –

    if an amendment is in place that allows gloria to run in May 2010 or extends her term beyond June 30, 2010 – i’ll quit posting here (not that i’ll be missed, i know)”-anthony

    no deal, anthony. I don’t want you to quit posting here, will make manolo’s blog less interesting.

    but maybe we can revise your betting statement, how about this: “if chacha succeeds and gloria stays in government….”

    fair enough?

    the bet: 100 pitik sa monitor

    if chacha succeeds ikaw pipitik, if not ako.

    parati kang panalo riyan sa betting na iyan, ako always talo, pero ok lang.

    deal?

  17. OK. so wtf are you so paranoid about? That GMA will extend? How will that happen? Let’s see…

    The House votes for Cha-Cha and claims 3/4 of Congress…even though the Senators overwhelmingly vote “no”.

    The Senate takes it to the SC. The SC rules that it’s one Congress and 3/4 is 3/4…Cha-Cha passes.

    The House reps vote to extend their and GMA’s terms, to have no term limits, to abolish the Senate and whatever else.

    The institutions all happily support this. You know, the CBCP, Biz groups, the military and police.

    All that will happen, eh?

  18. “why don’t we make a bet –
    if an amendment is in place that allows gloria to run in May 2010 or extends her term beyond June 30, 2010 – i’ll quit posting here (not that i’ll be missed, i know)”

    –this is a bet we don’t want you to lose. if you do we the filipinos also will all lose! that is why manolo and the rest of the anti gma are not being anti just because we like it. if your stand is your being anti-anti gma is for the good of our country that is you. but we also have our reasons for acting the way we do. that is why we are having such spirited discussions here and manolo is actually doing the walk not just the talk.

    gma tried declaring some form of martial law and she was rebuked by the SC. she also tried to amend the constitution several times but the senate was against her. and if it wasn’t for the vigilance of a lot of anti gmas we probably won’t be having this debate if she would stay beyond 2010. she has showed that she had every intention to do that then, and if she has changed her mind and that is good. but as long as her minions’ and her shows signs of otherwise the anti gma will be there to cry foul.

    and now that the prospect of gma having to appoint more SC justices can tip the balance of power SC to her favor when any argument get sent to the SC, especially the issue of the lower house and senate voting separately or joint.

    now you see we do have reasons to be praning!

  19. trust me, i’d rather be proven wrong than right on this discussion. i couldn’t be more happier proven wrong, in fact i will be the happiest person in this blog site or the entire country, hell even of the universe!

    but 2010 is still light years away in terms of political time continuum! in the mean time we the anti gma will be the crier in the desert.

  20. istambay_sakalye :

    “yes i experienced martial law and yes a family member was a victim of martial law! he was never the same again and he was ruined for the rest of his life! now that does answer your question?”

    oops, real sorry about that istambay. my sincere apologies

    “–you can bet all your monies on this! john lennon was alive and smoking marijuana when i was born!”

    ***gasp***

    you mean you were already in this part of God’s creation when Ringo Starr replaced Pete Best as the drummer of the Beatles?

    kuya!

  21. Spare us this romanticism, istambay.

    The anti-GMA crowd ran to the streets, screamed on tv, called for the President’s ouster, became violent, was armed and dangerous, broke the law repeatedly, created negative perceptions of the Philippines, created headaches for the local working population, formed huge bottlenecks in the Legislature, Executive and Judicial branches due to all the “investigations”, challenges and threats.

    Why? Because the Garci Tapes show that Gloria cheated in the elections.

    Turns out the Garci tapes were fakes and the elections were reasonably accurate.

    Then we went through all the accusations which showed nothing. More wasted time and effort. Three years of hot air and empty boxes of evidence.

    Now you claim you saved us from Martial Law. And all this paranoia about Cha-Cha is so you can continue to protect us from martial law.

    Jeez, do me a favor and stop trying to help, OK? Enough is enough.

  22. Bert :

    “no deal, anthony. I don’t want you to quit posting here, will make manolo’s blog less interesting.”

    oy salamat for that

    no, dapat the issue is – will there be amendments in place that will allow gloria to run again in May 2010 or be allowed to continue beyond June 30, 2010?

    yan dapat ang issue.

    deal?

  23. istambay_sakalye :

    “marcos never mag-isa when he declared martial? you forgot johnny, tabaco, and the rest was with him?”

    whose signature put martial law into effect?

    the acts of johnny, tabaco, ver et al. would be illegal without Macoy’s signature on Proclamation 1081

  24. “Nograles, however, said his original resolution only intends to amend the economic provisions of the Constiution which limit foreign ownership. He said the US-led global financial crisis can be an opportunity for the country if it is equipped to attract foreign investments.”

    “Our strong economic fundamentals should be our best selling point in offering refuge to relocating American investments. However, we cannot maximize our potential as an attractive destination for investments which are now relocating out of the US because of our equity restrictions,” he said.

    The country that has registered the largest amounts of foreign direct investments on the planet in the last five years has the most restricted protectionist rules on their national economy. They also have the most restricted rules on private land ownership.

    The G-7 economies have constantly refused to grant them market economy status so punitive duties can be imposed on their products exported when safeguards are breached.

    So why do we think that by removing some nationalist provisions in the constitution will help us through this oncoming crisis?

    Something stinks!!!!!!

  25. scalia, one does not undertake a wager that’s rigged. your wager is flawed by design.

    there’s an anecdote from the english civil war where either cromwell or one of the parliamentarians warned what was at stake in a civil war. the king, the person warned, could lose a hundred battles but would ever be king; on the other hand, they only had to lose one battle to end up on the chopping block as traitors and rebels.

  26. hvrds,

    Have you ever noticed how a few families control the vast majority of the land and economy here?

    Ever wonder why there are high tariffs for imported goods? Even for products that aren’t made here domestically?

    Ever think that the middle class here needs a meaningful boost in order to both increase its size and improve its financial status? That it might benefit by working for foreign firms rather than those controlled by the local elite? (See the export and BPO industries to find an answer).

    Have you ever contemplated the notion that the influx of foreign competition in the domestic industry might make goods and services cheaper and better?

    Or……are you saying that it’s better to be living in a martial law, one-party country like China???

  27. “marcos never mag-isa when he declared martial? you forgot johnny, tabaco, and the rest was with him?” istambay

    istambay,

    of course what anthony scalia was referring to (differentiating cha-cha against martial law) when he said marcos did it all by himself, was that martial law was declared by the chief executive w/o help from the legislative and judiciary and w/o the approval of the people.

    unless you are talking now of martial then no need to argue about cha-cha.

    but then, oh you of little faith. why are you doubting your fellow filipinos for even thinking about martial law. you have forgotten the fighting motto after Erap’s ouster, “ Never again!”

    “We hope that the message of People Power II is clear for whoever would betray again the hopes of the Filipino people for freedom, social justice, peace and democracy.

    NEVER AGAIN!”

    surely those people in Edsa 2 will rise once more when called. unless they think they are being MISLED again by people with selfish motives. (imagine Bert is now blaming Erap for not standing his ground).

    “trust me, i’d rather be proven wrong than right on this discussion. i couldn’t be more happier proven wrong, in fact i will be the happiest person in this blog site or the entire country, hell even of the universe!” istambay

    I guess you’re proven wrong with EDSA 2. you were not just proven wrong, you people even dragged the whole country down with your messianic delusional syndrome.

    in the blogsites, some people are so paranoid. but check what ordinary people are thinking right now. they have a lot to worry about their livelihood in this trying time than pre-occupy themselves and get paranoid about the continuous squabbling of different forces of evil in the political arena… all declaring they have the country’s welfare in mind.

    thanks but no thanks. as what Geo says,

    “Now you claim you saved us from Martial Law. And all this paranoia about Cha-Cha is so you can continue to protect us from martial law.

    Jeez, do me a favor and stop trying to help, OK? Enough is enough.” Geo

  28. geo, the danger here precisely is that charter change as proposed, will not move the country forweard except in the sense of making things cosier for the political class. and that if the current push fails, it will make any rational effort to amend or revise the constitution all that much more improbable.

  29. mlq3,

    I have heard a variety of opinions coming from the Lakas-Kampi group, never mind the Reps from the Liberal Party, the Senators, et al.

    I’m not too sure there is a concensus as to what exactly will be proposed and debated…in fact, there’s disagreements about Concom vs Conass.

    So how do you know what will ultimately be voted on? And how did you come up with the knowledge that this is NOT a “rational effort to amend or revise the constitution”?

  30. if an amendment is in place that allows gloria to run in May 2010 or extends her term beyond June 30, 2010 – i’ll quit posting here (not that i’ll be missed, i know) Scalia

    Let’s revise the bet Scalia. If a cha cha convenes, and no proposal is made to extend her term, you win, I will contribute to a charity of your choice.

    If a proposal is made to extend her term, I win, and you contribute to the Red Cross. Fifty dollars lang; I do not have your deep pockets.

  31. For I was hungry and ,you arrogantly said, “Even I have missed one meal in the last three months!”

    I was thirsty and and you quickly put up streamers for “Patubig ni Pangulong Arroyo” project for election purposes.

    I was stranger and you proudly posed with me for a “photo op” for the newspapers and then left me when the photographers went away.

    I was naked and you proudly proclaimed, “Ramdam na ramdam ang kaunlaran!”

    I was sick and you proudly placed in tarpaulins all over Metro Manila that you put up “11,024 Botika ng Barangay [Village Drugstore]”

    I was in prison and tortured by General Palparan and his cruel cohorts and you said in the UN ,”We have no tolerance for human rights violations!”

  32. “Let’s revise the bet Scalia. If a cha cha convenes, and no proposal is made to extend her term, you win, I will contribute to a charity of your choice.

    If a proposal is made to extend her term, I win, and you contribute to the Red Cross. Fifty dollars lang; I do not have your deep pockets.” saxnviolins

    can i join the bet? mine is for no cha-cha. not enough time till 2010.

  33. my bet : GMA still head-of-state on 14-February-2010 AND GMA is NOT head-of-state on 1-October-2010.

  34. quezon,

    “scalia, one does not undertake a wager that’s rigged. your wager is flawed by design.”

    ??????????????

    im flattered! i feel i could rig the outcome of my proposed wager

    but if i could rig the outcome (i win), gloria does not run in 2010 nor does she stay beyond June 30, 2010 – the equivalent to a lotto win for the anti gloria school! gloria’s out! that’s what the antis want, right?

    put differently – i win, you win also (because gloria is out)

    ah wait, i get it. no deal

    “there’s an anecdote from the english civil war where either cromwell or one of the parliamentarians warned what was at stake in a civil war. the king, the person warned, could lose a hundred battles but would ever be king; on the other hand, they only had to lose one battle to end up on the chopping block as traitors and rebels.”

    and my proposed wager is something along those lines? whoa, im flattered again

    there is some truth to the warning. the ‘warner’ thought the parliamentarians cannot match the might of the royal armed force. thus at best they can only engage in battles that will not come close to overthrowing the monarchy. yet the king, for him, can quell them in just one battle.

    there’s nothing rigged nor flawed there. just the chutzpah of the ‘warner’

  35. can i join the bet? mine is for no cha-cha. not enough time till 2010

    Cannot bet against myself; I maintain that the Senate will block it. Even if the question goes to the Supreme Court and the pros win, there is still a legislative block that can be sprung.

    I am wagering on the intent of the proponents. They say it is only about the economic provisions; I join mlq3 and say otherwise. That is the reason for my counter-wager against Scalia.

  36. saxnviolins,

    “Let’s revise the bet Scalia. If a cha cha convenes, and no proposal is made to extend her term, you win, I will contribute to a charity of your choice.

    If a proposal is made to extend her term, I win, and you contribute to the Red Cross. Fifty dollars lang; I do not have your deep pockets.”

    as steps closer to closing a deal, some clarifications:

    1. if a cha cha is convened, it meant the House and the Senate each voted separately to form the Con-Ass. if the House just proceeded on its own, that’s no cha cha

    2. the proposal to extend gloria’s term beyond June 30, 2010 is not a mere proposal by a Con-Ass member but one of the approved proposed amendments by the whole Con-Ass which will be sent to the COMELEC for referendum.

    3. such proposed amendment survives Supreme Court scrutiny, so nothing prevents its transmittal to the COMELEC for referendum

    4. 50 new taiwan dollars 🙂

  37. “Spare us this romanticism, istambay.

    The anti-GMA crowd ran to the streets, screamed on tv, called for the President’s ouster, became violent, was armed and dangerous, broke the law repeatedly, created negative perceptions of the Philippines, created headaches for the local working population, formed huge bottlenecks in the Legislature, Executive and Judicial branches due to all the “investigations”, challenges and threats.

    Why? Because the Garci Tapes show that Gloria cheated in the elections.

    Turns out the Garci tapes were fakes and the elections were reasonably accurate.

    Then we went through all the accusations which showed nothing. More wasted time and effort. Three years of hot air and empty boxes of evidence.

    Now you claim you saved us from Martial Law. And all this paranoia about Cha-Cha is so you can continue to protect us from martial law.

    Jeez, do me a favor and stop trying to help, OK? Enough is enough.”

    –now talking about being delusional! HOHOHO. let me paraphrase you last line, “sobra na, tama na, palitan na!”

  38. saxnviolins,

    “I am wagering on the intent of the proponents. They say it is only about the economic provisions; I join mlq3 and say otherwise. That is the reason for my counter-wager against Scalia.”

    that makes the bet different. me and the rest of the anti anti school do not discount the intent; we want to dispel the paranoia of some of our dear kababayans that such intent will become reality and effective

    for such intent to be reality, a referendum should have been completed, with the extension of gloria winning, before the start of the period for filing of applications for presidential candidacy in late 2009

  39. “whose signature put martial law into effect?
    the acts of johnny, tabaco, ver et al. would be illegal without Macoy’s signature on Proclamation 1081”

    –that is exactly what i meant , series of illegal acts. the wheel is already put into motion, a long time ago. there were several stumbling blocks in past attempts. at present the condition is more ideal for the final push.

  40. “I have heard a variety of opinions coming from the Lakas-Kampi group, never mind the Reps from the Liberal Party, the Senators, et al.

    I’m not too sure there is a concensus as to what exactly will be proposed and debated…in fact, there’s disagreements about Concom vs Conass.

    So how do you know what will ultimately be voted on? And how did you come up with the knowledge that this is NOT a “rational effort to amend or revise the constitution”?”

    –are you being naive or just pretending? cha-cha proponents have learned from their mistakes. this time they are trying to get their true intentions ( change form of government to extend gma’s term), through the back door or somekind of trojan horse (not the condom kind). what the politicians called gamesmanship, is actually deceit.

  41. istambay_sakalye :

    sorry my dear kababayan. not to deny your brush with martial law, but the conditions when martial law was declared are absent now!

    gloria cannot just declare martial law on her own.

  42. anyone noticing the ironies here?

    the pro-glorias are wagering against the chacha.

    the antis are for the chacha.

    I think reverse psychology is being played here by both sides. or just coincidence?

    or maybe I’m wrong again.

  43. “OK. so wtf are you so paranoid about? That GMA will extend? How will that happen? Let’s see…” geo

    And if I may add…. if ever gloria extended her term, the anti gloria crowd will still be there anyway to speak as loudest as they can in teh streets , tv , blogs and anywhere and every where…..

  44. istambay,

    saka during Macoy’s time, martial law came first, then a new charter in place (though the Con Con was at work when martial law was declared)

    let me quote part of my reply to saxnviolins:

    for such intent (gloria’s extension) to be reality, a referendum should have been completed, with the extension of gloria winning, before the start of the period for filing of applications for presidential candidacy in late 2009

    now just reflect on what should take place first for the event described by the previous paragraph to happen

    let me outline the steps towards that:

    1. the House and the Senate each voting separately to form the Con-Ass

    2. Con-Ass formation survives Supreme Court scrutiny

    3. Con-Ass comes up with several proposed amendments, one of which is gloria’s extension or gloria -can-run-again-in May-2010

    4. one, some or all of the proposed amendments survive Supreme Court scrutiny

    5. COMELEC deliberates and finalizes plans for and schedules the referendum

    6. COMELEC decision to conduct a referendum on the proposed amendments survives Supreme Court scrutiny

    7. Actual conduct of the referendum

    8. Counting of votes cast

    9. Proclamation of winning amendments

    10. Winning amendments survive Supreme Court scrutiny

    Take note – nos. 1 to 10 should all be accomplished in 13 months!

    you still want to dwell in the paranoia of gloria beyond June 30, 2010?

  45. “mlq3, I’m non-partisan because I listen to what the people say, see what tangible things they do and weigh things according to what facts and “known” things are on hand. That leaves a lot open for speculation…there is no monopoly of knowledge held by anyone.

    You are partisan because no matter what some say, no matter what factual, tangible things are done and/or known, you make decisions based on your prejudgements…despite that they are not grounded with supporting evidence. Your “Truth” is omniscient…even in the face of contradictory evidence. ” Geo

    Very very well said Geo. Ive read all the postings and you and Anthony Scalia are really doing a great job. I cant help but really thank you guys for doing so.

    I have nothing more to add other share my sadness that after all these years we are still in the pathetic situtation. I wonder when will Manolo and his ilk ever get it. Will they ever get it at all?

  46. TO ALL WHO ARE PARANOID ON GLORIA BEYOND 2010 –

    For that to happen, the following must take place in 13 months:

    1. the House and the Senate each voting separately to form the Con-Ass

    2. Con-Ass formation survives Supreme Court scrutiny

    3. Con-Ass comes up with several proposed amendments, one of which is gloria’s extension or gloria -can-run-again-in May-2010

    4. one, some or all of the proposed amendments survive Supreme Court scrutiny

    5. COMELEC deliberates and finalizes plans for and schedules the referendum

    6. COMELEC decision to conduct a referendum on the proposed amendments survives Supreme Court scrutiny

    7. Actual conduct of the referendum

    8. Counting of votes cast

    9. Proclamation of winning amendments

    10. Winning amendments survive Supreme Court scrutiny

  47. rego,

    “Very very well said Geo. Ive read all the postings and you and Anthony Scalia are really doing a great job. I cant help but really thank you guys for doing so.”

    thanks.

    no, you can help also, especially now that the paranoia is intensifying

    one sad truth about this paranoia is that it gets to be manifested in the wrong places – blogs, other websites, media – thus having an appearance of what it is not and cannot be: a reality

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