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Nov 24

Do or do not, there is no try

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Before…

…And after.

Ding Gagelonia’s recent entry in his blog, At Midfield, got me thinking. As well as some comments by readers for me to consider their view that there’s not enough time to pursue Charter Change (I think there is).

But both got me to reflect, once again, on this: Timing is everything in politics, the saying goes. Yesterday’s Inquirer editorial points to the political timing of oil price rollbacks, for example.

You can calculate your moves to be timed in such a manner as to throw your opponents off-kilter. You determine the timing of events.

Or you can time your moves to coincide or take advantage of events no one could preordained, but which you foresaw as being predetermined, that is, they would occur sooner or later, and once they take place, better-prepared, you can seize the moment.

Time is seasonal; for example, in terms of political time, impeachment has its season and other things, like Charter Change, have their own season.

What happens when two seasons coincide or their timing seems to operate at cross-purposes to each other.

After all, the only thing that can seriously derail the marshaling of forces for Charter Change is impeachment. Or is it?

What if you put it another way, the other way around? The only thing that can derail the marshaling of forces for impeachment is Charter Change.

The only checkmate on the President is impeachment, not the official end of her term; for her term expiring is at best, a moveable goal-post (create a new job, and the expiration of your term isn’t consequential; retiring isn’t a problem if besides an obliging Ombudsman and a friendly Supreme Court, you have a new President you swung the election to). Only impeachment means sudden death, politically. And things can happen very fast, when people see a check mate unfolding, for capitalizing on it requires only a committed and nimble minority with its eye on the prize.

The long, hard slog of trying to exact accountability through constitutional means since it was first attempted in 2005 has only served to sap the will of those attempting it and makes cynical those who favor it as a means of replacing a president above all others. As Cocoy wrote in The Political Machinery and Infrastructure Of President Arroyo:

But I submit, to you my dear readers, that the cases against President Gloria Arroyo, are strong, very strong, based on command responsibility, based on misappropriated funds, and so much more, but the smoking gun has never been found, except for one, which I mention in the next paragraph. Call it genius, I say it’s something else. You decide. And even when it led straight to the top, it has had to be based on testimony, for example, that of Romulo Neri. He told her about the alleged bribe attempt, she confirmed her knowledge about the NBN deal, in no less than on a radio show, but still, nothing came about.

Even, when the strongest case, election fraud, was brought to The Senate, in the whirlwind that we now know as The Garci Tapes, we still could not deliver a death sentence to this Administration, it was not only a failure of our government, and all those involved, but it was the death of the trust that our people had in this government.

President Gloria Arroyo, blame her all you want, because I certainly do, has built up so many safeguards, has made the political moves, and has the deep political team, and bench, that even in such a time in which Joc Joc Bolante is now testifying before The Senate, she may be a bit nervous, but in the end, she has to know, her machinery, and her political infrastructure will shield her from any form of accountability. Each and every time, she has been cleared, either by witnesses, by government institutions, or by providing another fall guy to take the fall.

It’s a sad realization. That even, while, I am sick to my stomach, watching the Joc Joc hearings, that, nothing seems be coming out of it, that it is important that The Filipino People realize, just as when Neri testified, the messed up system of procurement, appropriation, project planning, etc, that our nation is in.

But, when people close their eyes to such anomalies, declare a saint out of this woman, I take notice, and I take offense, because such denial, such defense, it can no longer can be based on logical reason, but on a mere partisan reaction.

So, we are in a quandry, the obviousness of the whole affair, this affair that we call The Arroyo Administration, as to how to hold her responsible. But we have not the political climate to exact the punishment that is due to her. The strongest hard evidence, The Hello Garci tapes, led to nothing, but a now popular term - “Noted”.

Hard evidence is there, I say, but even putting this aside, the most damning is when you take the bulk of these anomalies, add on to it human rights violations, kidnappings during this regime, and now a resurgent Fertilizer Fund Scam investigation, these all scream Arroyo, and political will is strong to bring her to account, but the numbers, however, and the machinery sides with Arroyo.

In light of the above, let me propose, further, that the only people really in a position to put teeth in the proceedings, are not her long-standing foes, but her more recent foes: those who were once very close allies and partook of presidential plenty during the happy days of old. And who was closer than Jose de Venecia, Jr.? Arguably three individuals spelled the difference between a breathing spell and a second wind, politically, and resignation and exile in 2005. They were: Fidel V. Ramos, Jose de Venecia, Jr., and Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila.

FVR and JDV thought they’d saved the President in exchange for her bowing out gracefully by means of a transitional parliamentary being put in place by 2006. By the time that deadline rolled around, FVR had been publicly sidelined in his own party; the Speaker had been stalled by a last gasp of People Power summoned by the Catholic hierarchy in December, 2006. So in 2007 mopping-up operations took place courtesy of the NBN-ZTE controversy which led to de Venecia’s being deposed.

Every time de Venecia previously showed signs of spilling the beans, the Palace ferociously asserted there were no beans to spill at all; failing that, that they would be self-incriminating beans, too; and failing that, that the beans ought to be spilled “in the proper forum,” which the Palace of course controlled. In other words, a thick smokescreen is laid down, as the Palace checks and re-checks the chain of command, counts votes in the House, summons and obtains manifestos of support from governors and mayors, sends emissaries with sweeteners to the bishops, puts together cabinet and other clusters to game out scenarios, and so forth.

A smokescreen buys time, and time allows you to look for opportunities. Laying down that smokescreen -with its great, rolling clouds of appeals to “objectivity,” to “sobriety,” for “stability,” and the other noxious rhetorical vapors of the official media machine, has been perfected over time, as Write Rhythm recently pointed out, showing how the institution most people rely on to get their news and comprehend the topsy-turvy world of politics, can be gamed:

Aside from the number of issues to report about this administration, The Age of Gloria is a challenging time for Filipino journalists because of another characteristic of this era. The Age of Gloria… okay let’s be more specific, Gloria is known for her strategy of divert and obfuscate. Aside from diverting funds, Gloria is a master of diverting the public’s attention to another issue (i.e. usually the economy, national unity, etc.), thereby obfuscating the original issue by bombarding people with one issue after another. Unfortunately, this has worked to her advantage as the media and civil society try to keep up with the many issues tied to her.

The difficulty in setting the agenda is that the Philippine media has to consider both what is new and timely, and what is a matter of public interest. Sometimes, the two do not go together. especially with the administration’s expertise of burying issues in the past. Sometimes, they do but not to an extent that the choice is clear. And oftentimes, one has to yield to yet another consideration of choosing the other, sexier stories.

Let me suggest that there apparently may have been political rhyme and reason to de Venecia’s loudly proclaiming he’d spill the beans, but stepping back or never letting more than a stray little bean escape -a mere hint of the pork and beans he wanted to spill. He is by temperament and instinct, I think everyone agrees, a consensus-builder, an operator, not the kind who leads cavalry charges. It certainly exasperated those egging him on to come out swinging. Of course even as people thought they were taking the measure of the man, whether from the ranks of the Palace or the various factions of the opposition, he was taking their measure, too. Having been in politics longer than most of them, it’s entirely possible he held his peace and did his Dopey act to buy time and fend off the more aggressive among those importuning him to weigh in.

If you are up against a numerically and logistically superior enemy, you do not make a frontal attack at the time and place chosen by that enemy. If the spider and the fly had been politicians, the spider would have said “bring it to the proper forum!” instead of “welcome to my parlor.”

So what do you do, if you are, in Sergio Osmena Jr.’s words, “outgunned, outgooned, and outgold”? You probe for weaknesses. You foster, in the superior enemy, a sense of its overwhelming superiority, so that the enemy begins to believe its own propaganda.

You also marshal your own forces, whatever they might be, and do what you do best: build or re-build alliances.

Both take time, and craft, not boldness; or more craftiness, at least in private, and less boldness, at least in public. Both require biding your time so you don’t play entirely according to the game plan of the enemy.

Still, while things can happen pretty fast, plots require time to be hatched. One major strength of any administration is its access to information, aided by our national propensity to boast and gossip.

For months now, it’s been talked about that de Venecia consulted other disgruntled elders, such as Fidel V. Ramos, and others, all of whom are chafing at the interminable durability of the President, as well as other power players who are inclined as much to think one step ahead as the President, whether it’s potential presidential candidates like Manuel Villar, Jr. or people fully intent on continuing to play the role of king maker, like Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr. One such meeting took place around September, where FVR is said to have received JDV in order to determine if provincemate really had the goods, and could really put up a fight.

The two supposedly reached a tacit agreement involving JDV throwing the bomb, and if it had the intended effect, it would provide the two -FVR and JDV- with a pretext to call for the scrapping of the Lakas-Kampi merger, and take an FVR-JDV loyalist rump into union with the NPC of Cojuangco and the NP of Villar. An application had been been filed with Christian Democrats International to accredit the NP as a Christian Democratic party, providing an ideological pretext for the new coalition, while the NPC could simply state that as a child of the NP, it was simply patching up the quarrel among partymates that dated back to Danding Cojuangco and Doy Laurel’s disagreement over who should have the party franchise.

All very neat, tidy, potentially formidable, a real game-changer, and one denying the President’s uncouth Kampi blowhards and the perpetual Opposition losers the satisfaction of victory. A true victory for the veterans. At least, this is the delicious scenario as they might see it.

In recent weeks, it’s been talked about that the NPC began to stall on Charter Change talks, and that the Palace decided to accelerate the killing of the impeachment complaint not only to forestall opportunities for new revelations, but also to maintain their political momentum and stampede representatives into joining the Charter Change bandwagon. The way things ebbed and flowed in the House going into the last Charter Change effort in 2006, indicates how congressmen can be mulish just when the mule drivers want them to trot. As it is, the Palace has had to give the impression it’s backpedaling a bit: Palace: No to lifting of term limits really says nothing, though. the Palace, procedurally and politically, can “exclude, dismiss, and reject” whatever it wants in public, but so long as the behind-the-scenes green light stays lit, the ultimate aim of something for everyone can be achieved. Part of the smokescreen.

And there are other leaders perpetually circling around, sniffing for opportunity. Which is why I’m inclined to think Uniffors is on to something. What do you think is a bigger motivation, and calculation, for someone like Juan Ponce Enrile? To wrap up his political career “para siempre un muchacho,” as his generation might put it, or as possibly, the transitional President of the Philippines, his portrait permanently on display in the presidential palace? Amando Doronila, who has had decades to observe his former jailer, Enrile, says a sudden toppling of a President who views him as an elderly toady is just the sort of thing to make the old schemer grin in anticipation.

Everyone knows timing is everything in politics. If everyone has begun to think of a post-Arroyo future, how do you, as Arroyo, keep yourself front and center, to continue enjoying a maximum number of political options? The President has always shown a marked preference for thinking tactically and not strategically. Her elders pride themselves on thinking strategically. The tactician has proven herself the mistress of the strategists so far.

The way to keep everyone off-kilter is not to wait for them to throw you off, but to throw them off, obviously.

How?

Start having the machinery you control belch out another smokescreen.

It seems Secretary Jesus Dureza confided to persons close to him that they were going to do “something” the next morning, to gauge the public pulse. The next morning, Dureza said his famous little prayer and what had been previously sewn up at Rep. Romualdez’s house, could begin to be delivered -Charter Change.

Charter Change primarily as smokescreen, but also, since there’s nothing to lose, as yet another item in the menu of presidential options.

Charter Change immediately swept the central story -impeachment, with all the accompanying side plots, from Bolante to the Eurogenerals, to NBN-ZTE-deal, off the table, as far as public attention was concerned.

Something beyond the Palace’s control had refocused the story not on the President’s insistence that all was well, but on everything that had made her administration unpopular in the first place. That thing was Bolante’s return, and impeachment season coming at its heels.

That thing includes reminders of all the many issues that have antagonized the public, including, I might add, the question of the BJE-MOA deal, which even the president’s critics didn’t want to touch with a ten foot pole.

Charter Change could have been resumed, with a lot of fanfare, two months ago or even two months from now. But why go great guns now?

Because it’s the only way to stop being on the defensive, and instead, go on the offensive.

But it seems the timing was not, exactly, right. Because the timing had been determined not by the Palace, from the start, but by other things.

Charter Change essentially remains a reaction to the embarrassment Bolante represents, and someone else proved capable of mastering the timeline, too.

Yesterday’s Inquirer reported on the revelations de Venecia’s already made -by means of his authorized biography- and which the House has to prevent being further elaborated upon and amplified in the House deliberations on impeachment. See JDV details secret Arroyo-ZTE meeting:

Again, timing is everything in politics. Those deliberations, at least in the Justice Committee, were supposed to be wrapped up last Friday. But the hearings on Thursday and Friday were canceled.

Japan Philippines Arroyo

Timing is everything in politics. And it’s just as well that the gastrointestinal troubles of the President’s husband has him home in time to mind the store as the House of Representatives wrestles with what to do with its former Speaker, Jose de Venecia, Jr.

With the President absent (a benefit of her absences, if you’ve noticed, is that out sight means being out of mind: reducing the effect she has on public opinion, which is galvanize it, against herself), the man everyone, even her own loyalists, dislikes but needs, can take up the slack because he has nothing to lose. Ergo, First Gentleman: JDV a ‘liar’. Hey, it’s a crappy job but someone has to do it, and the President’s husband does it pretty well, in public and more crucially, behind the scenes.

JDV had wrestled with the problem of his lacking the numbers to prevent his being gagged by the House. Recall how he’d tried to do so, but coverage was cut off by the new House leadership. If one assumes he’s capable of a certain amount of introspection, he knows full well that among his many liabilities as a politician, is how he cannot make pithy remarks in front of media, he tends to meander and his rambling undercuts his effectivity. He is more suited to cajoling people in back rooms and, from time to time, making more carefully-structured speeches.

Which makes his decision to publish an authorized biography a pretty clever political move, one which undercuts his administration foes, and centers the discussion on his allegations. Critics would have to repeatedly make reference to the allegations, put forward in print; those references will make people curious; curious people will want to read what’s been written, and throughout the process, the debate will keep returning to the source document -de Venecia’s book. For this reason, I disagree with smoke who wrote, yesterday:

As far as bombshells go, this was a certifiable dud. Certainly didn’t reveal anything new, nor even added any sort of nuance to the story that’s been told over and over and over by everyone and his dog. JDV’s recollection of these events merely invites the reader to make the connections for himself – something which we’re all pretty good at; a strategy guaranteed to generate the most salacious conclusions possible.

There is a calibrated effort going on. Smoke’s entry was in response to his restating some of his original revelations. That’s just one story, in a book no one has had time to fully read, but whose contents are slowly -and surely, with timing in mind- being dribbled out by the one who authorized the book, JDV.

So, going into today’s hearing in the House, other revelations were made: JDV confirms P500,000 Palace bribe: Says cash for ‘weak’ impeach complaint. You can bet your bottom dollar that will dominate the morning news.

Again, not much by way of a revelation except it provides in-house confirmation, so to speak, of something everyone saw because the congressmen waddling out of the Palace in 2007 didn’t bother to hide their gift bags. And it confirms the testimony of Gov. Panlilio of Pampanga, another official on the Palace hit list.

But Joey de Venecia’s already said he expects his father to spill at least some beans on the issue everyone thought JDV would always remain mum on: North Rail.

We shall see how it unfolds today if it’s explosive or if it’s a dud. The Palace has to ride it out today and going into the rest of the week, trying to kill impeachment by midweek and ensure this by publicly ramping up Charter Change. JDV says he’s leaving Tuesday for Washington -where he has friends, unlike the President- which gives him a chance to peddle his book to foreign media, and leaves the Palace with no target to vent its ire on: it will have to face the accusations by its lonesome, when it’s usual tactic is to turn the tables on accusers by unleashing the attack dogs. But Washington is the last place to send those attack dogs, because the brunt of the asking will be done here at home.

Brilliant, if you ask me, true guerrilla hit-and-run tactics.

So if the de Venecias pull this off, and today turns out politically explosive, it should then be described as the day that revenge was truly proven to best be served cold. That’s another hoary old chestnut, but for some, it’s true.

If some of us would take inspiration from a Shakespearean call to sally forth, “Once more, unto the breach!” There’s the the little old prune who could just as much say, “Do or do not, there is no try.”

Update:

I find it interesting that the President’s husband had to sally forth and face the cameras. Flanked by his two sons. The President’s congressional allies have been rather subdued.

As Mon Casiple puts it in his entry for today:

Actual impeachment may be a lesser possibility based on the numbers in the House of Representatives but the political implications are certainly big enough. The revelation guarantees the focus on GMA’s foibles and constitutes further political pressure to make her resign.

The GMA majority in the House of Representatives actually rests on the fragile loyalty that money can provide. It is only feasible as long as the continued stay in power of the powers dispensing the largesse is assured. This is the reason why the current charter change move by Malacañang is being watched by all sides. When it fails, no money can dissuade the congressmen from seeking new patrons among the presidentiables. Their own survival imperative to stay in power will trump the money.

Before then, the pressure on GMA to resign is expected to increase. What is unspoken in this message is the “or else” clause. This is brought about by the interesting anti-GMA positioning of the de Venecias who are still very much a part of the ruling Lakas-CMD coalition party. Malacañang cannot anymore be certain of the loyalty of the majority in the ruling coalition, particularly the non-GMA Lakas-CMD, the NPC, House LPs, and other smaller groups. This was not present before in previous opposition initiatives.

This is an elaboration on the possible scenario I indicated above. And brings up all sorts of interesting permutations, including a cabinet declaration of presidential incapacity, which if contested by the President, leads to the question being thrown to Congress.

Blogger seven million goldfish in exasperation and alarm asks why not just shoot her? Those in a position or with an inclination to do so, are in jail. The truly big political players are not inclined to invest in or promote permanent solutions. And the question is not to eliminate her at all costs, but to save the Republic even if it means the President preterminating her term.

***

My column for today is, Congressmen respond, with the responses of Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel and Rep. Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. to my my last column.

230 comments

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  1. anthony scalia

    Jon,

    “Anthony, why are you so paranoid about having the Cha-cha before 2010?”

    well well look who’s talking! who is noisy on a gloria extension? and for those who are noisy on a gloria extension how can that extension be made possible? for those who are noisy on a gloria extension, only by an amendment before 2010!

    “How about supporting the con-con move at the same time as the 2010 election? We can definitely wait, can’t we?”

    oh that’s a different tune now!

    con-con elections to coincide with the 2010 elections is not a bad idea

    “Having the constitution changed today won’t do us immediate good anyway.”

    ah no. as geo stated, if the limits on foreign ownerships are relaxed, FDIs will pour in right away!

    “Systemic change will not bring in magical gains instantly.”

    you are assuming that cha cha is all about term extensions. wrong

    “I believe we can wait a few more years for Cha-cha. If you can wait out Gloria’s 1.5 years, you definitely can wait Cha-cha in 1.5 years also. Don’t be silly in trying to deny that.”

    my goodness! you’re singing a different tune now!

    “Don’t be silly” is actually for you

    take note you just mentioned deferring cha cha for the first time

    my friend, let me restate to you the ideas you have been bombarded with repeatedly – an amendment cannot be in place before 2010. even if a cha cha is validly convened before 2010, its too late for an amendment for extension to be in place for the 2010 elections!

    stated differently – it is possible that the Con Ass is still deliberating on the amendments during the May 2010 elections!

  2. anthony scalia

    Jon,

    “Do you remember PP1017? That was a proclamation by Gloria Arroyo which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. How about E0 464? Some parts of that were also deemed unconstitutional.”

    you don’t get it!

    you just witnessed the superiority of the Constitution!

    its because the Constitution is superior that the PP107 and EO 464 are declared unconstitutional!

    so gloria did not subvert the constitution!

  3. Geo

    May our brothers be enlightened

  4. Bert

    Amen

  5. istambay_sakalye

    a question for everyone…why would a reasonable person of sound mind, body and health would trust gma and minions with their own and children’s future? and whose track record is at best spotty? is gma the only one who can run this country? is there no one else?

  6. anthony scalia

    istambay_sakalye :

    “a question for everyone…why would a reasonable person of sound mind, body and health would trust gma and minions with their own and children’s future?”

    welcome to democracy. remember erap won and many were wiling to vote FPJ!

    why would reasonable people of sound mind body and health would trust those bumbling stupid idiots called ‘united opposition’ in removing gloria before 2010?

    “and whose track record is at best spotty?”

    at best spotty? are you sure about that?

    check the numbers.

    as if the previous presidents had “unspotty” records!

    yes yes the benefits have not trickled down yet, that we know

    “is gma the only one who can run this country? is there no one else?”

    oh there are many! we will know in May 2010!

  7. anthony scalia

    Jon :

    “Geo and Anthony keeps on using the word paranoia but it’s actually distrust in Gloria which is the reason. And Con-con election in 2010 is very good.”

    i wonder who keeps on barking “gloria beyond 2010”?

  8. Jon

    Anthony, you actually think that when the economic provisions in the constitution are amended that instant gains will be achieved? That’s funny. It is as if business who want to be in the Philippines haven’t found loopholes. Just look at Boracay and who do you think protested when ownership of land was “taken away”? Many from Hong Kong did! Why is that? Because foreigners are not allowed to own land in the Philippines?

    Your blinders are on that you don’t understand what people like me are asking. It’s quite simple actually.

    1. We have lost trust in Gloria. So if she’s thrown out of Malacanang, we’re not going to mind. Whoever replaces her is another question. There’s somebody out there: and I’ve mentioned Noli, Enrile (Villar before he was taken down from the senate presidency), Nograles (JDV before he was taken down of House speakership), or the Chief Justice.
    2. If Gloria is not thrown out of Malacanang before 2010, I would like to put in place provisions that she can’t pervert our laws and stay. This is the reason why I don’t support Con-con or Con-Ass before 2010. What looks good is Con-con delegate election together with the 2010 elections.
    3. Even if any of these preferences/goals are not achieved, life goes on. At least I/we have done our part. The difference between us is that you’re quite happy with status quo which i/we believe plays in the hand of Gloria. Of course you believe differently. That’s life, everybody can’t agree on everything. Do you actually understand that?

  9. istambay_sakalye

    “why would reasonable people of sound mind body and health would trust those bumbling stupid idiots called ‘united opposition’ in removing gloria before 2010″

    –because it is the right thing, morally and any decent person with right reason will not want to be ruled by a cheat, murderer and plunderer just to name a few. again let us not go to,” where’s your proof?” it is front of your face! i don’t need a law degree to tell right from wrong, and you definitely don’t need to go law school to get a sense of morality and decency!

  10. anthony scalia

    istambay_sakalye :

    “because it is the right thing, morally and any decent person with right reason will not want to be ruled by a cheat, murderer and plunderer just to name a few. again let us not go to,” where’s your proof?” it is front of your face! i don’t need a law degree to tell right from wrong, and you definitely don’t need to go law school to get a sense of morality and decency!”

    my friend, your love of gloria has clouded your judgments!

    its just my way of saying – look to and rely on other people to lead the oust-gloria-before-2010 movement!

    you know, people who have the credibility and can deliver!

  11. anthony scalia

    Jon :

    “Anthony, you actually think that when the economic provisions in the constitution are amended that instant gains will be achieved?”

    oh yes! people in business have been saying, for over 2 decades already, that once the limits are relaxed, FDIs will ‘downpour’ in

    “That’s funny. It is as if business who want to be in the Philippines haven’t found loopholes.”

    if the limits are lifted, there would be no need for loopholes

    “Just look at Boracay and who do you think protested when ownership of land was “taken away”? Many from Hong Kong did! Why is that? Because foreigners are not allowed to own land in the Philippines?”

    my friend, precisely that’s the purpose of the amendment – to allow foreigners to own land.

    “Your blinders are on that you don’t understand what people like me are asking. It’s quite simple actually.”

    oh no my friend. you just don’t get it. its that quite simple

    “1. We have lost trust in Gloria. So if she’s thrown out of Malacanang, we’re not going to mind. Whoever replaces her is another question. There’s somebody out there: and I’ve mentioned Noli, Enrile (Villar before he was taken down from the senate presidency), Nograles (JDV before he was taken down of House speakership), or the Chief Justice.”

    my goodness! gloria will go in June 2010! that’s what we have been ceaselessly telling you! no amendment will be in place for 2010!

    but you keep on getting spooked by ghosts you yourself created!

    so what blinders are you talking about?

    “2. If Gloria is not thrown out of Malacanang before 2010, I would like to put in place provisions that she can’t pervert our laws and stay. This is the reason why I don’t support Con-con or Con-Ass before 2010. What looks good is Con-con delegate election together with the 2010 elections.”

    my friend, you have been repeatedly bombarded with posts that say gloria will leave in June 2010 because no amendment can be in place by 2010!

    Jon, the constitution is different from a mere law. gloria can pervert the law, as you say, but she cannot pervert the constitution

    its the constitution, not the law, that tells her to leave in June 2010

    take note – you are the one who keeps on barking gloria beyond 2010

    Feel free to support the Con Ass. It will still be deliberating on amendments during election day in May 2010!

    “3. Even if any of these preferences/goals are not achieved, life goes on.”

    well, for us, yes. but for those paranoid on gloria beyond 2010, its like the end of the world

    “At least I/we have done our part.”

    done? you keep on barking ‘gloria beyond 2010’!

    “The difference between us is that you’re quite happy with status quo which i/we believe plays in the hand of Gloria.”

    my friend, you really don’t get it. gloria is entitled to finish her term till June 2010. thats the status quo!

    and to tell you frankly my friend, the anti anti school is so busy in helping the economy move forward that gloria is a non-factor in its efforts.

    you want to remove gloria before 2010? fine. what can you do?

    people power – though past people power attempts have gone pffft, feel free to attempt it again. be sure to have the majority with you, as what is believed in vain by bert

    impeachment – do it right. follow Art. 11 sec. 4.

    one unsolicited advice – do not trust the ‘united opposition’ as they are really the reason why gloria is still president

    “Of course you believe differently. That’s life, everybody can’t agree on everything”

    oh yes, especially if one side is powered by paranoia!

    “Do you actually understand that?”

    oh yes! sadly, you don’t

  12. Jon

    Hahaha! You’ve just beaten David Letterman Mr Scalia! You’re very funny.

  13. istambay_sakalye

    “my friend, your love of gloria has clouded your judgments!”

    –my friend it is more than love! it is an adoration!

  14. anthony scalia

    stambay_sakalye :

    “my friend it is more than love! it is an adoration!”

    okay let me rephrase that:

    my friend, your adoration of gloria has clouded your judgments!

  15. anthony scalia

    Jon,

    “Hahaha! You’ve just beaten David Letterman Mr Scalia! You’re very funny.”

    ***takes a bow, acknowledges the cheers***

    thank you, thank you. im flattered by that. you just noted that im intelligent. it takes intelligence to be very funny, you know. and Mr. David Letterman is a very intelligent man 🙂

    sorry i don’t find you funny 🙂

    ***utters the nickname of Jocelyn Bolante twice***

  16. Jon

    more laughter! 🙂

  17. istambay_sakalye

    ” Mr. David Letterman is a very intelligent man”

    —and i believe he also known be an as***le too. reason why jay leno go the tonight show and not him! thought you might find that funny too. 😉

  18. anthony scalia

    istambay_sakalye :

    “—and i believe he also known be an as***le too. reason why jay leno go the tonight show and not him! thought you might find that funny too. ;)”

    my friend, being an as***le is not inconsistent with being intelligent

    being an as***le is subjective, being intelligent can be quantified

    Letterman is an institution himself, though he considers Carson his idol.

  19. istambay_sakalye

    “Letterman is an institution himself, though he considers Carson his idol.”

    –too bad again my friend, because johnny carson did not feel the same way toward letterman. who got the job? jay leno! who got bitter? letterman! why ? i guess you the answer to that and it has nothing to do with being intelligent or being an institution! too bad a person can’t be judged alone by his intelligence, there other things to consider too.

  20. anthony scalia

    istambay_sakalye,

    “too bad again my friend, because johnny carson did not feel the same way toward letterman.”

    my friend, Carson is much ahead of Letterman, so the letter considers the former his idol.

    of course Letterman does not and did not expect Carson to idolize him!

    “who got the job? jay leno! who got bitter? letterman!”

    my friend, set your facts straight.

    Letterman never wanted to replace Carson in The Tonight Show.

    Letterman wanted his own show, Late Show with DL, to take over the time slot of Carson’s The Tonight Show.

    In other words, Letterman never wanted to leave his own show, but wanted an earlier time slot for it.

    I hope you got the difference.

    Letterman is already an institution by himself, so why should DL just be a replacement to Carson in The Tonight Show when he (Letterman) already had his own show!

    of course he got bitter that his Late Show did not take over the time slot of The Tonight Show!

    Leno is simply riding on the goodwill established by Carson

    Letterman got to where he is now by himself!

    “i guess you the answer to that and it has nothing to do with being intelligent or being an institution! too bad a person can’t be judged alone by his intelligence, there other things to consider too.”

    im actually surprised why you brought that (DL, JL etc) up in the first place

    i hope you don’t miss out the fact that Letterman still makes America laugh

  21. mlq3

    scalia, please consult:

    http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/philippine/epa0609/letter2.pdf

    and

    http://www.miriam.com.ph/2008/10/jpepa-flawed-but-ok-with-charter-sen.html

    and ponder why the senate would ask for such things and why our dfa would then ask the japanese mfa for the clarifications provided.

  22. anthony scalia

    quezon,

    my issues with you:

    1. you said the jpepa was renegotiated, that is, the ‘constitutionally infirm’ provisions amended, making it sound that the jpepa as submitted to the senate was amended.

    and making it appear that your senators saved the day for the Philippines!

    it was not renegotiated. the jpepa was ratified as it is

    2. the length of time for your senators to ratify a mere bilateral treaty – more than a year!

    im not disputing the right of your senators to investigate before voting on concurrence. but taking them more than a year? on a mere bilateral treaty?

    that’s the problem with your senators. not content with the media mileage from the making of committee reports, they had to find a way first how to ride the jpepa wave to earn pogi points.

  23. Jon

    Even with Scalia’s disregard for the senators, I still believe that we should do away with the House of Representatives. Let’s have a unicameral legislative body, but let’s retain the senate.

  24. anthony scalia

    Jon,

    wrong. you do away with the senate.

    all legislators should be elected by area or district. even senators in the US are elected by state.

  25. rego

    Manolo,

    I still dont agree with what you ve said in your replyies but Im definitely very impressed with your calmness in it. Keep it up!

  26. Geo

    ditto

  27. anthony scalia

    d3

  28. Jon

    Just think of the savings the Philippines will have when the House is abolished! In addition, street names will be left alone.

  29. Rob' Ramos

    Excellent post, MLQ. I love the way you explained the whole situation.

    Also saw your Inquirer column for today (Thursday, 11 Dec. 08). It was… eye opening, and makes one deeply concerned.

  30. Sophristicated

    Having trawled through the arguments above; I have not seen a single, direct straightforward answer from any side regarding the issues. Much as many here have indulged in the same muckraking that they allegedly hate coming from BOTH the government and the opposition. The challenge I now provide to each and everyone here is:

    Create a simple question on a SINGLE topic:

    Ex. Do you believe in the need of Charter Change?

    Answers should be in a YES or NO only, and a short one sentence summary. I suspect that none of your are engineers or in the field of information technology that the need for a clear, specific DECISION TREE to explain your views is an alien concept. This would serve to clear up your argumentation instead of descending towards evasive and “pliable” answers that sometimes may be perceived to “beg the question”.

  31. Geo

    Sophris,

    Maybe you should trawl around a bit more before jumping to conclusions…..

    Your suspicions are actually poorly formed theses based on a lack of data. Can you say “small sample size”? Try reading some other threads.

    After all…the first rule in proper analysis is to gather enough relevant evidence, no?

    In order to satisfy you, though:

    Yes, to bring more economic and political power to the local level via a unitary Parliamentary Federal system.

  32. anthony scalia

    Sophristicated :

    “Ex. Do you believe in the need of Charter Change?”

    the problem with that question is this –

    a majority of people here equate cha cha with term extensions.

    what they don’t know is that the 1987 Constitution needed amendments as early as Feb. 3, 1987.

    Nograles has said it – only economic provisions need to be amended

    many people here are still paranoid on term extensions. what they don’t know – or still refuse to admit – is that any amendment on term extensions will not benefit gloria. even a transitory provision of extension will not benefit gloria

    so even if the cha cha proponents only have economic provisions in mind, the paranoid regulars here still spook themselves into believing any term extension will benefit gloria.

    even if con ass proposes term extensions, if approved, such extensions will start with the term of the successor of the incumbent

  33. kingdon

    we are really tretened with the black propaganda if what are administration will opposed the best thing we should do is to focus are eye in this admin. to control and to stop the negative things that she’s doing now! oust glooooooooooria this is the right time for you to end your term .. being the worst president of the philippines..

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