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Jun 02

Showdown?

House Resolution No. 1109

The galvanizing news came in mid-afternoon: after Con-ass resolution squeaks by the House of Representative tonight aims to approve House Resolution 1109 and thereby cause a “justiciable controversy.” As of this writing, Rep. Victor Ortega of La Union is delivering his sponsorship speech on the floor. An all-nighter is expected at the House.
The strategy of the House seems to be to pass the Resolution, as most resolutions are passed, by simple majority of those present in the Session, sidestepping the ambitious objective of passing it by a majority equal to a majority of all the members of both chambers of Congress put together.
Senator Cayetano on TV says doing so opens up three options:
1. The President can come out strongly for the parliamentary system in her State of the Nation address in July;
2. She can play coy, since the game is afoot and she can run for congresswoman, become Speaker, then Prime Minister after 2010;
3. Someone can run to the Supreme Court and challenge the Resolution.
He seems to suggest that the objective at hand is to keep the issue alive into the third and final Session of the 14th Congress, and he also said he hears that the Palace has told its allies, “No Cha-Cha, no pork barrel,” at a time when an impending economic recession makes Palace largesse even more crucial to reelectionists.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the Interior Puno came out on TV assuring the public -“mark my words and trust me,” he said- that elections in the familiar manner will take place in 2010, “in the same manner as 2004.” The hilarity of this statement was surely unintentional.
As this plays out, you may want to follow caffeine_sparks or me on Twitter; liveblogging is also going on at Filipino Voices.

31 comments

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  1. Dirk Pitt

    What legal force do House of Representatives resolutions have?
    If they passed a resolution declaring they are honest and honorables, can someone actually question it?

  2. The EQualizer

    In the world of “Croaks and Liars”, you will never truly understand a person until you understand her lies…

  3. The EQualizer

    “Cynics and detractors love to paint grim scenarios on the cancellation of the 2010 elections,let this merger of Lakas and Kampi be tangible proof of the administration’s readiness nay determination to help ensure that the election do push through.”Gloria Arroyo

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”Joseph Goebbels

  4. justice league

    Manolo,

    Is it time to dust off the One Voice shirt?

    BTW, congratulations on the books issue.

  5. Geo

    Much ado about nothing. It’s a resolution. The coverage is sparse because of this fact. Not surprised that MLQ3 and ANC have focused on it so much.

    Every party list getting it’s prime time glory…along with the ever loud Guingona and the ever smooth Zamora.

    Whatever. No law will be passed, not one line changed in the Constitution no matter what happens with this RESOLUTION. The 2010 elections are on. Much ado about nothing.

  6. Fred

    Well the congressmen seem to think this resolution merits some overtime… If it were only a resolution then whey do they have to spend extra time on it? The timing is very much suspect.

  7. Geo

    “Pro-GMA”??? No. As you know, I’m anti-anti GMA. Big difference in real life…but I’m sure it looks the same to you. Nonetheless, it’s instructive that you purposefully mislabel me.

    “Pooh-pooh the seriousness”??? If so serious, where is the media coverage that should be there for this supposedly dramatic, explosive, historical event? If so serious, why? It’s a RESOLUTION!!!

    Oh wait. Here comes Zamora to explain why…..

  8. Geo

    Fred, it’s dragging on because the minority needs to be given its space to ventilate their objections. And yes, it is only a resolution. That’s the R in H.R. 1109.

    The timing, meanwhile, is innocuous. Just what is supposed to magically happen? No el? GMA in power forever? Pure hyperbole. It is virtually impossible for any of that.

    The Anti-GMA types are once again making a lot of false noise about non-topics. Strawmen galore…..

  9. The EQualizer

    “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall — think of it, ALWAYS.” Mahatma Gandhi

  10. BrianB

    Lapit lang Edsa sa bahay. Ano ba sabi natin. mula Garci pa ito.

    What else are they going to do with this resolution? You have the motive and then the opportunity that this resolution will certainly open.

  11. Geo

    Cha-Cha is JDV’s baby. It has been on the Lakas agenda for 15 years or so.

    And he clearly knows that this resolution is meaningless in and of itself; it is just to create a justiciable event. (Well,duh)

    And then he somehow tries to say that it should be opposed because so many are against charter change. That it should be changed after GMA’s term. That it should be opposed because it won’t actually bring change. Wow. Three different stances which are at odds with each other. Does he think we are stupid? Or is he just having a stream-of-conciusness diarrhea?

  12. Geo

    Is Villafuerte correct? What does the actual steno’s record say tonight? Did two of the sponsors truly say that this resolution should now go to the Senate??? That doesn’t make sense.

  13. Geo

    No, Manolo…Villafuerte says the resolution has now been fatally flawed/destroyed.

  14. ramrod

    Let the political processes run their course and we’ll see…we can’t say for certain what GMA’s real intentions are, nor can we do anything to stop her, anyway “stop what?”
    Let the congressmen and their supporters do their jobs, unless we allow them to lay down their cards we will just be guessing.

  15. Geo

    Onto the next argument — GMA will stuff the SC with pro-Cha-Cha judges.

    Around the corner — Comlelec has rigged the voting machines/process.

    Hey, what ever happened to “imminent martial law”?

  16. ramrod

    Hmmm…why am I getting news that con ass resolution was approved already? Whats the real score really?

  17. Bert

    easy ka lang, Geo. events will be unfolding right in front of our eyes. we’ll all see and feel them, heheh.

  18. Geo

    ConAss wasn’t legislated or anything. It’s a resolution. Not actionable in any meaningful way in and of itself. The next step anticipated is that the resolution will be challenged and taken to the SC.

    There’s also some indication that the resolution was fatally flawed on purpose…and will just die a quiet death. Villafuerte pointed out that two proponents stated that this resolution should now go to the Senate…which is suicide.

    ANC giving the opposition some extensive prime-time airtime is probably the most meaningful result of the evening.

  19. BrianB

    Geo, the snowball has finally achieved a size that it’s possible for people at the foot of the mountain to look up and spot it. SPOT the Frakking SNOWBALL.

  20. The EQualizer

    No way Gloria! In a democracy ,we change leaders in elections.Only autocrats change constitutions to prevent elections!

  21. sparks

    Opposition congressmen also insinuated that the resolution was a step to determine whether charter change can be initiated by the lower house alone.

    As for the Supreme Court, historically, it has always ruled in favor of the Arroyo administration. Not to mention, they’re all GMA appointees now save CJ Puno.

  22. BongV

    If the Pinoy blogosphere wants to prove its mettle, it can launch a nationwide campaign to RECALL ALL THE CONGRESSMEN WHO RAILROADED THE MEASURE before they do anymore damage.

    RECALL THESE USELESS CONGRESSMEN!

  23. J_AG

    Hold everyone’s horses. GMA is setting herself up as the legacy President who will propose charter change in her SONA AS HER EVERLASTING GIFT TO THE FILIPINO PEOPLE.

    Between now and that speech events will decide which mode of carter change will be used.

    Keep your powder dry.

    Her last SONA will be the most interesting.

  24. siyetehan

    i think i’m rooting at scenario #2- gma running for congress and eventually gunning for prime minister.

    she’s been pouring presidential funds in pampanga lately, i heard.

  25. Geo

    These Congressmen were just re-elected 2 years ago…after much anti-GMA agitation. No one is going to recall them. Odds are that the majority of them will be re-elected by their local constituency.

    Resolutions are put on the floor, debated and then voted on. This is democracy at work. Majority carries the day. Very normal. The oppositors put up their objections for hours. That’s how it works. The “railroad” accusation is false/inaccurate at least, disingenuous for any who know the rules and underhandedly manipulative for those who try to fool the public into thinking some rule or process has been infringed upon.

    The SC has not “historically ruled in favor of the Arroyo administration”. Their have been both wins and losses for the admin.

    A “snowball” that will stop Prez elections in 2010 is virtually impossible…regardless of yesterday’s event (non-event). This is a canard being thrown out into public space so to confuse the public and to create stories which don’t actually exist. Hence the lack of aggressive coverage by neutral media.

  26. supremo

    catch 22? choose between cha-cha or martial law.

  27. ramrod

    Geo has a point there. Its the majority rule, we wanted a democracy didn’t we? So we deal with it. Whether we like it or not we have to live with reality, and survive administration after administration and hope things get better in time.
    They have to pass through the SC though, if it does, its the way democracy works, some people win, some lose.
    We survived the worst possible scenarios before, dictatorship, martial law, whats another 10-20 years of the same, some people even like to relive the good old days.
    The trick is to keep a low profile, keep to yourselves, don’t rock the boat, make money quietly, and don’t get involved in someone else’s problems. Some people will eventually get killed for dissenting este anarchy/rebellion, etc. but its their choice, we can survive kung walang pakialaman…thats democracy, some people will rule over us…hmmm although it seems like it should be the other way around, but reality oftentimes does not conform to ideals…deal with it and try to survive…

  28. Geo

    “catch 22? choose between cha-cha or martial law.”

    Spare us. This is the kind of false dichotomy being presented to the public in order to whip up a frenzy against the admin (and/or whip up sympathy for a politician or for an NGO and it’s proponents).

    It has not worked for how many years now? People are smarter than some expected. (cue the predictable: “No, everyone is just apathetic” retort…which is later belied by voter turnout during each election)

    Would anyone actually be willing to bet a gazillion pesos? On one side, elections (iclusing for Prez) occur in 2010…on the other side Martial law, no el or term extensions.

    The only ones who have constantly agitated for going against the Constitution have been the anti-GMA screamers.

  29. Carl

    Nograles and the House of Representatives have passed this resolution in order to provoke a “justiciable controversy”, which would, in turn, compel the Supreme Court to make a ruling on whether a constituent assembly could be convened without the Senate—or whether amendments could be made by voting jointly and not separately.

    From the looks of it, Nograles and the House have transferred the burden of deciding on the legality of a joint House-Senate constituent assembly to the Supreme Court, instead of deciding on it by themselves. It looks to me more like a case of passing the buck, rather than a railroading incident.

    Now, the ball is on the court supreme. If people can’t trust their ultimate legal arbiter, that wouldn’t be Congress’ problem. Personally, I believe quite a number of Justices aren’t mere stooges and are perfectly capable to think for themselves, thank you. Besides Puno, there’s also Antonio Carpio who has consistently been an independent voice on the bench.

  30. supremo

    ‘anti-anti GMA’

    The Macabebes of Pampanga, GMA’s home province, became anti anti-Philippine independence when they betrayed Aguinaldo in Palanan. This brought down the First Republic and gave way to American rule. American rule brought us American style of government and public education. Then WWII came. Blood everywhere. After that, independence from American rule in 1946 with some carry on baggage like parity and the military bases. In the early 70s parity out, martial law in. In the mid 80s EDSA revolution and 1987 Constitution in but everyone still wants to get out. Early 21st century Erap out, GMA in. That brings us to where we are today. Being anti anti is not always a good thing.

  31. viktor12

    The bottom line here is that GMA wants to continue holding on to power! I just wonder until when the Filipino people would allow these abuses by GMA and her cohorts to continue.

    The middle class allowed all of these to happen. They never accepted Erap, so he was ousted. And in place, we now have the insensitive, ruthless, arrogant Gloria Arroyo!

    Will we still remain apathetic?

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