Another morning after

So what did yesterday prove? First, the organizing power of the Left; second, the lack of drawing power of the traditional opposition; third, the continued distrust and even hostility of the Center. Relying on Susan Roces won’t do, particularly when it’s clear that Roces has a healthy distrust of the very people trying to use her in order to put an attractive face to the opposition (people who say they’ve talked to her on a regular basis assure me of this). As blogger Sef puts it (and I’ve said this time and again), the opposition just doesn’t get it: you will never get the middle and professional classes to rally together with the Estradas, Ernie Maceda, Imee Marcos, Kit Tatad. Sassy further dissects the shortcomings of the crowd. Max Soliven points out everyone there hates each other.

In the blogosphere, not just because he says some nice things about this blog, but because he’s one of the journalists who have turned to blogging, please read and link to Howie Severino’s blog. Torn and Frayed suggests Pagcor may be the President’s next big headache (as well as the country’s); PCIJ investigates the origins of a controversial e-mail regarding Department of Foreign Affairs staff; Jove says the President is radiant these days; Punzi delves into contempt;

The pundit roundup for today of course begins with me: my explanation of the true meaning of the CBCP statement in my PDI column, and a digest of what’s going on for foreign readers in my Arab News column this week. Patricio Diaz delved into the bishop’s views two days ago, it turns out.

Connie Veneracion continues her constructive efforts to discuss the parliamentary system: read her introduction first, then her column which has two provocative assertions:

Let’s debunk a few myths about our current form of government: 1) we have a democracy and 2) our democracy works.

(I’d suggest though, Connie delve into two problems with her assumptions; first, even the sectors today reject the idea of sectoral representation in the future; second, she assumes the only option is unicameralism, which I’m not sure everyone wants); concerning charter change, Dong Puno thinks the Speaker is getting overexcited; Nestor Mata (who, if you didn’t know, was the lone survivor of the airplane crash that killed President Magsaysay) supports the Ramos plan; Tony Abaya bats for a caretaker government; Federico Pascual says our options are few; JB Baylon is simply irritated with everyone, but does say the President ignores an important point:

PGMA was right when, in her remarks, she said that giving in to calls for her to resign because it would open the floodgates to Edsas 4, 5, 6 and so on. Indeed, forcing a president out of office a third time in twenty years establishes an even stronger precedent for people from Manila taking to the streets and upending the results of any election.

There were at least two flaws, though, in that reasoning… The first flaw is that she herself was a beneficiary of an EDSA… Second, an Edsa cannot force a president out of office simply because of an unpopular decision… Edsas have forced presidents out of office when the presidents have been perceived as committing criminal acts…

Hence it is true that a future president could face an Edsa much more easily if GMA gives in now, BUT only if a future president faces a situation where the overwhelming public perception is that a crime has been committed and the president refuses to acknowledge it – or hides behind legal technicalities to escape accountability.

Lito Banayo writes on quackery; Anding Roces wants peace and order; Alex Magno proclaims everything that’s happened a misadventure; Juan Mercado tackles the vice-presidency; Conrado de Quiros says Cory’s been diminished by her previous stands; from Cebu, Bong Wenceslao shrugs off the noise; Bel Cunanan pooh-poohs the rally and suggests we look at the power of mayors. Speaking of rallies, here’s an interesting comment made on this blog:

Askdoc in comment No. 27 says,

Did some quick calculation using your formula and a streetmap.

The stretch of Ayala from makati med(salcedo street) to makati ave(manila pen) is around 1000 meters more or less. The width of ayala ave (inc. sidewalks) is around 40 meters. (my house is 40 x 80 m so I know how wide 40 meters is) That means the area is 40,000 sq. m.

The stretch of Paseo from Ayala to Makati Ave is about 500 meters x around 30 m width would give 15,000 sq m. or 55,000 sq meters total. Your formula means the crowd should be between 55,000 to 110,000.

At around 6pm. RG Cruz of ANC reported that the crowd had swelled and had reached one block beyond the Manila Peninsula while on Paseo it had reached Buendia. That added 12,000 sq m in Paseo and about 6000 sq m from Ayala for a grand total of 73,000 sq m. So if my map is correct, the estimates at peak should be between 73,000 people to 146,000 people.

The police has the right formula, its the numbers they plug in that is “defective”.

Carlos Celdran adds this, in comment No. 31:

Id say the crowd was around 30,000. 15,000 of them I believe were paid to be there. 15,000 of were there by conviction perhaps. I was able to drive out of Makati and even go to Cubao to watch a movie so it didn’t paralyze the city the way EDSA II did. And Cubao was pretty full. A lot of us don’t share Susan’s point of view. At least Ninoy gave his life up for the Philippines. FPJ died drunk.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

15 thoughts on “Another morning after

  1. i wanted to share an intriguing post from from a fellow named ronin.

    he seems to have worked out the rest of the garbled conversation.

    i could not do it myself until i read this post. and then listening again in a quiet
    room, i tried to verify myself from
    the mp3 of pcij.

    by golly. i think he’s got most or all of it.

    here is the post.

    PCIJ’s “enhanced” transcription:

    GMA (mumbling): Oo, oo … (garbled) …Namfrel does not tally. Pero yun nga, yung dagdag, yung dagdag.

    This is what I heard:

    GMA: Oo, oo, pero we just have to make sure that Namfrel doesn’t tally. Pero yun nga, yung, yung dagdag, the dagdag.

    GMA is giving a direct order for Garci/Comelec to directly interfere with Namfrel’s supposedly independent quick count so as not to expose the dagdag-bawas operation.

    This conversation should be seen in relation to Obet Verzola’s critique of the Namfrel quick count.

  2. I don’t understand why people continue to put down FPJ even when he’s already dead and when it seems that he was really cheated of the presidency.
    FPJ may have had a drinking problem but that doesn’t take away the fact that he was always helping people. Before FPJ died he was preparing relief goods for families in storm-stricken areas. And the nice thing about it was he didn’t want others to know the relief goods were coming from him.
    I always said I would rather have a president with a kind heart and who knows the difference between right and wrong than a president who has diploma after diploma but has no scruples. At least for me, tt was very troubling to see how GMA used government funds to get elected last year. Remember how she used PCSO, Pagcor, PhilHealth funds for her election bid? And look where that got us.
    We have to pay for her election spending with new additional taxes. And from the looks of things she is spending people’s money so she can continue to stay in office. I can only say God help the Philippines.

  3. i take offense when people say that FPJ died drunk,

    what is important in a persons life, is not how he died, but rather how he led his life when he was still with the living,

    the bar of measurement is always what good did he do while he or she was still with us,

    if we start measuring people as to how they died, then we will say that all suicide terrorists are worthy of praise.

  4. A lot of people don’t get the real essence of people power in edsa. It goes far beyond organizing 30,000 or 40,000 or even a million people to the streets. It is an epifany of saints – it is a divine experience, holy to a point. I participated in both Edsa I and II. And it was an encompassing experience – there was fear, courage, prayer and God. AND WE KNEW THAT THINGS WERE GOING TO GO OUR WAY.

    Huwag na lang silang mag asaya ng panahon. Instead, I advise the opposition to put more effort in planning and implementing programs for the poor that will compete with GMA’s. And if the poor can see that they are doing better than GMA, then she should resign.

  5. “Max Soliven points out everyone there hates each other”

    as i have said before, if it is Max, it must be nonsense.

    nabsa nyo ba ung pinaggagagawa nyan nung binigyan ng engrandeng party si gloria nung magbisita sya ke bush? dun nalaman kung gano kataas tingin ni max sa kanyang sarili. di ko nga lng alam kung ano na development sa sinampang kaso ni Romulo sa kanya dahil sa kanyang mga walang kakwenta-kwentang column…

    sorry jan sa maanghang kong sinabi ha, hehehe…nagsasabi lng ng totoo…

  6. Danielle, Sunder: Carlos is trying to point out that FPJ is no Ninoy; by extension, Susan is no Cory. As I’ve said somewhere else, “the grieving widow calling for regime change has been done before, dahling. And you have to admit, dead of too much stress, beer, and kare-kare does not have the drama of having your head blown off at Manila International Airport.”

    I acknowledge that FPJ may have been a kindhearted man in his lifetime, but let’s face it, he didn’t die a martyr in the eyes of the majority. He’s a tragic figure, true, but no martyr.

  7. do you mean to say that you have to be a martyr before someone shows you some respect,

    we are talking about fpj and not susan roces,

    if you say martyrs should be given respect, then you also say that all these jihadists in the middle east blowing themselves up are also martyrs.

  8. FPJ did help people but then again so does Gina de Venecia right now. What makes him any better? FPJ is no martyr. Period. And as a public figure, FPJ is open season for reanalysis and redefinition just like any other dead public figure. like Ninoy, Marcos, Macarthur and whoever.

  9. Obviously yesterday’s rally at Ayala was a step – into what, it’s anybody’s guess. I definitely agree that it’s a gathering of people who don’t like each other (personally and ideologically). The only thing common amongst the participants is their demand for PGMA to resign so that they can push for their own interests (personal and ideological – should there be a difference between the two).
    PGMA and the admin rah-rah boys might discount that 40k gathered at Ayala is a small number. Take away the hakot crowd and the left of center, say 50% really did come on their own (by foot or self-paid public transport) and brought their own baon (versus those who had catered food). Such a small number some would think. That is thinking dangerously.
    If the administration still choose to ignore the real issues, they run the risk of being overthrown by the marginalized in society. Bakit akala ba nila na only the middle class can effect social change? Ho-hum, that’s again thinking dangerously.
    Susan, after the folly of her previous outburst, has finally come to her senses and is now a picture of calm and sobriety. She has from the very start resisted all efforts by politicians to use her and her deceased husband. Her speech was simple, straight forward, clear and uncontriversial – but hey who can dispute a message that espouses love of God, love of country and love of fellowmen.
    That again is dangerous. The opposition might have discovered the symbol for their crusade against immorality (not that they are morally upright in their personal and public lives).
    But then again, that is Susan. Cant’say the same for personalities on either side of the fence.

  10. I agree with Carlos. In a similar vein, respect is not for anyone to enforce on others, particularly with a flawed public figure like FPJ.

    (FPJ is no Ninoy, and I’m not just talking about how they died; Ninoy was arguably a more potent force of opposition, against a far more powerful president than GMA ever was.)

    I respect your opinion that GMA has to go, even if I don’t agree with it at all; I respect your opinion enough that I choose not to force my own on you. 😉

  11. Thanks Micketymoc. And please dont think Im a GMA hugger or anything like that. I do agree she has to go too. But I would allow her a graceful exit through charter change. She aint the best president but she is doing a damn great job considering what she has to deal with. I may even go to the pro GMA rally at Luneta on Sunday. Without pay or free meal.

  12. Yeah, why not? While I agree her presidency is fatally compromised, I’d go to Luneta too – if only to demonstrate my stand that if she goes, she should go by the book.

  13. sunder says: “if we start measuring people as to how they died, then we will say that all suicide terrorists are worthy of praise.”

    in the eyes of those who believe in their cause, yes, of course.

    sunder’s 2nd and 3rd paragraphs make sense but the 4th doesn’t make any.

  14. you are my favorite columnist in inq.. great work! i just hope you become more pro GMA.

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