Another crucial week

My PDI column for today is 1983 and 2005. The search for a new leader has only begun.

Being in Baguio over the weekend brought a welcome respite from life in Metro Manila, and allowed me to tune out, basically, for two days, which was refreshing. I had the chance to interact with young student leaders at a DepEd conference which was an encouraging experience, as well as get some useful scuttlebutt.

My main politically-related activity was to go to the Baguio Cathedral and light a candle while my three pro-GMA companions waited and scowled at me. JB Baylon, our ringleader in the light a candle for Truth activity, had a better time, I think, complete with he and seven others being threatened with water cannon.

(I came home Sunday and immediately went off to buy copies of the Sunday Times Magazine because my mother wanted as many as could be found: some friends said they liked my picture).

A colleague phoned me and proclaimed the coming week (that is, this week) as “crucial,” which provoked a rather weary reaction from me, but it seems this week is rather important, politically. The three big stories are:

1. The reconciliation flop

The only news-watching I did over the weekend was to watch the truly enormous gathering of El Shaddai at the Quirino Grandstand, during which the President and Joseph Estrada were expected to reconcile. Sec. Mike Defensor had prepped the press, going so far as to descend on the Philippine Daily Inquirer editors (which is only done by politicians when they really want to break or face something big) last Thursday. Dan Mariano suggests that talk of reconciliation was the result of a lot of bumbling going on in the Palace. I myself, when I heard the rumor, thought it was crazy: the President might gain support from Estrada’s delegates in the House and Senate, but it would galvanize the anti-Estrada forces.

Anyway, the El Shaddai 21st Anniversary event was truly huge, you could see the crowd packed from the foot of the Quirino Grandstand to beyond the Rizal monument, and stretch from the side of the Grandstand to the grounds of the Manila Hotel and the Elks Club. Breathtaking indeed was Bro. Mike’s command to the faithful to light their candles -a sea of twinkling lights in the lens of the overhead cameras- and then, at the count of 1, 2, and 3, to extinguish their candles. That was as clear a demonstration of political (and religious) power as can be seen, dwarfing anything attempted politically in past years.

The President said some things, but seemed rather droopy; a colleague watching at the time said the President was clearly crestfallen over the obvious lack of enthusiasm of the crowd (faint clapping indeed). It wasn’t so obvious to me, but what I can say I observed is that there was no warmth between her and the audience. The rumored reconciliation, in the end, did not take place.

A Sun-Star report says Bro. Mike won’t give up, and apparently neither will Secretaries Defensor or Tiglao.

2. The perils of impeachment

Ricky Carandang considers this week as crunch time for the Speaker: read his entry. The opposition has been claiming that perhaps by this week, they will obtain the magic number of 79 signatures. Carandang says this will put the Speaker in a bind: to kill the impeachment now, or transmit it to the Senate, robs the Speaker of his only leverage over the President, as far as Charter Change is concerned (Recall what a source close to the House hierarchy told me on August 14). A source I ran into in Baguio with party connections says that congressmen are actually consulting their constituents, and they are experiencing pressure from their constituents to support the process of impeachment (these are from constituents not necessarily anti-President). Every political observer (and politician) I run into seems convinced that the President’s goose is cooked should the impeachment reach trial at the Senate.

Where my Baguio source differed from Carandang’s reading, is that the Speaker has another way out. The Speaker, it seems, and former President Ramos, are getting extremely upset over the President’s foot-dragging on Charter Change. Ramos in particular, according to my Baguio source, had a meeting in his Urban Bank office and said some pretty uncomplimentary things about the President. Pointing to the squatter shanties below, Ramos was said to have thundered, “and what will happen to them if she stays?” Therefore both Ramos and de Venecia seem worried that should the President remain in office, she will torpedo their Charter Change efforts, anyway; and if events get out of hand, a successful transmittal of the articles of impeachment to the Senate, will erode the Speaker’s authority.

So what if the Speaker and Ramos decide that only the next President can be relied upon to pursue Charter Change? The Speaker could quietly release an appropriate number of Lakas-CMD votes to transmit the articles of impeachment, while washing his hands of the whole thing; neither he nor Ramos would have to publicly break ranks with the President. Reporters are supposedly angling for just such a story today, with rumored Lakas-CMD defections to the pro-impeachment camp.

As for the charges themselves, the Standard-Today pushes the line that only the original Lozano complaint will be tackled. However, Fr. Joaquin Bernas has weighed in with his view, and it’s conclusion is not complimentary to the President’s people:

[W]e next look at what the Constitution prohibits. It prohibits the initiation of more than one “impeachment proceeding.” It does not necessarily prohibit more than one complaint. More than one complaint would be prohibited only if the multiple complaints would require more than “one proceeding.” …

In the current controversy, the so-called “amended complaint” and the Lopez complaint, both transmitted on the same day to the Justice Committee together with the Lozano complaint, are nothing more than “bills of particulars” to accompany the Lozano complaint. They both elaborate on the one constitutional offense of “betrayal of public trust.” For constitutional purposes, therefore, what is being initiated is only “one proceeding involving one complaint but with an extended bill of particulars.”

I can understand, however, why the President’s defenders argue the way they do. They must realize that if the “bill of particulars” is elevated to the Senate, the President will be tarred and feathered and be made to squirm. I guess we must bemoan the conclusion that the presidential defenders and their client do not wish to face the music.

Sec. Rigoberto Tiglao, on the other hand, writes that the name of the game is the economy, and that the President’s winning that game hands-down:

The economy is important in understanding our past two Edsas. Because of massive Marcos cronyism, the economy was in crisis by 1984, making almost inevitable the first Edsa in 1986. On the other hand, Erap’s (Joseph Estrada’s) drinking and mahjong sprees kept him away from decisively leading the economy out of the Asian-wide financial crisis that started in 1997. The political crises that broke out under Marcos and Estrada, because of entirely non-economic reasons-the Ninoy assassination in 1983 and Chavit Singson’s exposé in 2000-only further weakened the troubled economies of each period. These, in turn, deepened the political crisis that confronted them, resulting in their ouster.

In contrast, despite the plots against the President since 2001, the economy in the past four years under her has become stronger…

The economic growth under Ms Arroyo has helped the poorest. Poverty incidence has gone down, from 27.5 percent in 2000 to 24.7 percent in 2003. This means 1 million Filipinos getting out of the poverty quagmire in just three years. Wealth distribution has also improved, as shown in the percentage changes in the shares of the different economic groups in the national income. Under Arroyo’s watch, the percentage share of the richest 10th decile has declined by 1.5 percent, with the nearly corresponding increases in the share of the poorest deciles.

But it’s not that the rich are being terribly impoverished under Gloria’s term. Take the case of our stock market’s performance, compared to those of others in the region. We’re the third best performer this year. In contrast, massive stock manipulations involving the SSS and other state funds occurred in 2000, triggering a near-meltdown of the bourse.

I have heard businessmen, both Filipino and foreign, essentially echo Tiglao’s points, which is why they’re not too concerned with political developments. Their real concern is the effect of the price of oil. Interesting oil crisis-related trivia: every time gas prices go up, the volume of the SLEX goes down by 2,000 vehicles a day (according to a colleague)

3. The question of Charter Change

The big problem with Charter Change, my Baguio source said, is that the people pushing for it aren’t pushing for it with the same priorities in mind. For example, the President seems keen on Federalism, ok with parliamentary government, but as she herself has said, “I never said I was against a bicameral system,” which of course goes against the insistence of the Speaker and former President Ramos on unicameralism and a parliament (the source says Ramos is ambivalent, at the very least, toward Federalism, and may actually be hostile; the Speaker isn’t interested in Federalism, either). Indeed, to complicate things further, the President and the Speaker may both actually really favor the French system, but Ramos may not be as convinced.

The main political dilemma, however, is that Ramos and de Venecia have gotten themselves in a bind. They played the “support the President” card, and that’s the only card they have; having played that card, they’re less likely to want to play the “oh well, we now don’t support the President” card, if only as a matter of saving face. Thus they can’t openly oppose her (which is, according to the source, seriously raising Ramos’s blood pressure, so to speak). The President has shown every sign of wanting to shift the discussion from Ramos’s, to her, agenda. The ambivalence of Ramos and the political dexterity of the President worries supporters of Federalism, who fret over Federalism being tainted by being over-identified with the three players (President, JDV, FVR), and yet they do think this is as good a time as any to finally change things.

The President’s plan is to use a commission to help lobby public support (Sassy Lawyer isn’t keen on the Commission); the Standard-Today lays out the Palace plan, and it seems headed for a resolution at a time favorable to the President, but unfavorable to any other political player.

Other things

In the punditocracy, there’s (and Newsstand dissects it); Rudy Romero writes on the provincial attitude towards the President;

The blogosphere has contending views on the Black & White Movement: you have Ricky Carandang reporting it’s a heartening start; Edwin Lacierda, on the other hand, takes a hostile look at the principals and ideas proposed; PCIJ simply reported on the event:

In the meantime, the movement has also launched a campaign to gather one million signatures of people seeking Arroyo’s resignation. They’re also talking to Vice President Noli de Castro to convince him to be a transition president who will help usher in political reform, in the event that Arroyo is impeached or resigns.

Then you have Gari with a post from last week on the Horizon Edsa Hotel and its history as an HQ for black ops; Ina Alleco writes lyrically of senior Communist poo-bah Rafael Baylosis: the changing nature of Communism is reflected in passages like this, which unselfconciously refers to the Movement and Star Wars:

Though right now (and often in the last seven years) I give him headaches because of my stubborn nature, it is one of my life’s highest ambitions to make Ka Raffy proud of me, because I am so proud and honored to say that what I am today and what I am capable of doing and achieving for the Kilusan is largely because of his influence. He is my Jedi master, and I hope never to be like Anakin Skywalker but to be as Obiwan Kenobi. He trains and teaches by example, and this, I think, is the best way to teach. He, along with Crispin ‘Ka Bel’ Beltran are the biggest political and personal influences in my life. From them I learn not only how to be activist, but to be, hopefully, a good person.

Torn & Frayed takes a highly jaundiced look at a recent Sandiganbayan sentence.

In the cultural field, Expectorants is upset over the extinction of the smallest fish in the world; Rocketboy recently posted a review of “Mga Pusang Gala”; Hugh Hewitt has a good roundup of observations and criticism of “The Great Raid”;

Some other stuff: is fed up with Technorati and plugs another service; Hugh Hewitt points to new media innovations; BuzzMachine writes on the attractiveness of selling toll roads.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

30 thoughts on “Another crucial week

  1. Is that amorphous cluster called “civil society” able to play hardball? As events are shaping up, GMA’s role in history may be to provide us with a baptism of blood and fire. EDSA I and EDSA II were very peaceful exercises and did not provide us with catharsis. We need a storming of the Bastille, or something to that effect, in order to cleanse us and shake us out of our complacency. Not walks in the park (or EDSA) that always bring us back to square one.From all accounts, GMA is very tough and stubborn. She is more obstinate and feisty than Marcos or Erap ever were. As Homobono Adaza grudgingly admits, “she is a warrior”. Unlike the wimps before her, it may take a boodbath to remove her from power. And perhaps that is what this country needs. We need to lose our innocence in order to grow out of this false piety and cringing religiosity. Perhaps GMA’s destiny is to be the sacrificial lamb to be slaughtered at the altar of history in order for us to attain maturity and summon the courage to take our fate into our hands. We need to realize that, before God disposes, man first proposes. Converting “revolution” into religious and festive events prevented us from confronting our demons. And from making profound changes. We consoled ourselves with cosmetic reforms, hoping God and the international community would be kind to us. Ironically, Cardinal Sin may have done us no favors by advocating peaceful changes in government. It only postponed our initiation into the real world.

    Are the “Black & White” people ready to be more than boy scouts? The object of their ire is proving to be more cunning and persevering than they bargained for. She refuses to go away without a fight, earning her the grudging admiration of an unadmiring public. People love a fighter. Are the “Black & White” people ready to rumble?

  2. Edwin Lacierda misses the point when he attacks those who are against Gloria. It is her behaviour at issue not theirs so it doesn’t matter whether the oust gloria movement is composed of angels or demons. Everybody has a right to wipe shit from their shoes.

  3. Carl Cid:

    Scary to read to read your comments. its all crimson strewen on streets and walls. But who will be the sacrificial lamb in your bloodbath. We Filipino’s love peace that’s why we are trying every peaceful means to effect change. people power is never an outmoded alternative if that would be necessary to let this stubborn cheat in malacanang get kicked.


    you said it right, it is the creatures little less than angels that must say you have mole on your face, no matter if they too have wharts.

  4. Manuel,

    Thank God for free speech. Actually, I have no problem with your premise. Gloria deserves to be prosecuted but my problem is the name of the movement itself and what they proclaim.

    It sets itself out as having no middle ground, solely an either or arrangement. That is moral absolutism which I am not prepared to accept. While it has a place in religious dogma, it certainly has no place in politics.

    And even if there is a place in politics, where is the presumption of innocence? Do we substitute the judgment of the Senate for that of ours even before hearing all sides of the argument because we have heard the tapes over and over again? Truth to tell, I will gladly join in convicting GMA if that is the collective wisdom of the impeachment court but not before that.

    And sir, no, I will not join a cabal of murderers, traitors, drug addicts, rapists, kidnappers but this much I will tell you, I will give them their day in court as I have defended some of them in the past or hear their case before I issue my judgment for or against them.

    If you read the impeachment complaint, you will realize that the offenses alleged against GMA are not as black and white as you think it is. And even the Garci tapes, which I personally believe is not in violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law as I have written in my blogs, must be adjudged on its admissibility.

    We must give due process to GMA. Even the devil is given that decency. To quote Thomas More in a Man For All Seasons, “Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down–and you’re just the man to do it, Roper!–do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil the benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”

    The Black and White Movement seemed to have forgotten the little mite called due process and the only judgment they will accept is conviction. If that is the sense of justice of the Black and White Movement, then please count me out

  5. Carl, I still doubt if they have what it takes, but the process is starting, I guess.

    Edwin, that is actuallu a debate I had with some Civil Society types, in that they are unwilling to face the possibility (even for the sake of argument) that the president will be acquited. I said, they have to accept this possibility, if only in principle, because it is the point of unity with those who have kept an open mind. Personally, I believe that it will be impossible not to convict her, if it reaches the senate. But riddle me this: if she prevents the articles from reaching the senate, will you accept that? The public overwhelmingly, seems to want it to the reach the senate stage.

  6. Manolo,

    From the very start, if you remember, you were not so keen about impeachment and I was for it, but having seen how the opposition conducted themselves and being waylaid by the administration solons into technicalities, and being dominated more by people like Cayetano, Custodio, Villanueva et al who seem to want to hear themselves talk and less by luminaries like Zamora, Tañada et al., I am afraid that the complaint will be dismissed.

    I want the president prosecuted before the Senate to bring closure to this political turmoil and I am willing to accept a political verdict of either conviction or acquittal but if it is dismissed now in the House, I can only condemn the opposition for not learning its lessons from the Erap impeachment proceedings in the House and for the fact that its powers of moral persuasion were not strong enough to marshall against whatever material or political inducements that GMA and her allies naturally had to offer.

    Yes, I will be gravely disappointed if the complaint is dismissed but I will venture the reason for the dismissal is that the quality of the opposition in the House of Repesentatives has been somewhat lessened of late.

  7. Devil advocate: What if gloria really wins the election by a sheer margin, let say 10,000 votes only, and the only reason why she call Garci is the fact that she needs to get a million vote para di naman kahiya-hiya ang kanyang pagka-presidente.

    Knowing the president’s pride, its possible.

    Well, if recount says that President won by only that number which is below a hundred thousand or less than a million…then, abswelto siya sa electoral fraud. And she has to face the other case filed against her.

    Wala lang…is that how open minded we want to achieve?

    Anyway, speaking of engagement, sources said that the impeachment will be killed within tomorrow or the other day at the justice committee.

    Those who are monitoring the impeachment, kakapusin ang 79 signatures not necessarily because they don’t believe in impeachment but rather they are afraid of backlash at the local government level.

    Mukhang iyong Cavite ay ginawang sample to pressure congressional districts not to sign in the impeachment. Same calls din ang sinasabi ni Gov. Grace Padaca last time when Dy refuses to testify everything he knows about Jueteng.

    It is a crucial week nga talaga but I don’t know if it is a historical week din.

  8. gari, i still think she won. problema nga, dinagdagan. some will say, steal 1 vote and get caught = you lose, others will say, eh nanalo naman pala…

    to my mind the one thing that no one can question is that there was a big coverup, and i think the coverup led to laws being broken and a betrayal of public trust.

    what i’ve heard is the backlash is the reverse -congressmen are being pressured by their constituents to keep the process going. or it could all be so confusing no one really knows anymore. magrarali ka ba sa batasan bukas?

  9. Manolo – enjoyed the article in the Sunday Times Magazine. Nice.

    Re Edwin’s comments:
    There can be over-focus on due process. The anti-wiretapping law, let us not forget, is to protect the citizens from the government, not the other way around. Due process is for the protection for the citizen against government abuses, not the other way around.

    The government always has the upper hand – due process and anti-wiretapping help to chip away at that. In the instant case, Gloria is sitting as “the government”, not as a citizen. There is a difference.

  10. Dear Mr. Quezon,
    Hi, I hope your wishes come true. Your family is a part of the Philippine history. I would really love to see that Education system should give emphasis to our rich history and culture. It would be nice to go back and look and realized that we Filipinos despite of the turmoil going on, as foreign people look at us
    we honest and good people in general. Good luck Sir, and I salute.

  11. Napocor privatization delayed – nothing new here in the PSALM announcements. The interesting conumdrum is that the healthier Napocor gets, the more likely privatization will move forward and the less need for it to move forward.

    Still need to write my opinion paper. The further we move into privatization and new structural territory, the greater the risks to the sector’s ability to function (see California) – another conundrum.

  12. Hey, if they insist on Charter Change I think the citizenry should wheel and deal! Let’s take advantage of this opportunity to effect our own changes. Let’s dictate the terms of the Charter Change.

    The fundamental problem with our government is corruption. Any proposed change in the system of government that does not address corruption squarely will fail. Simple as that. The people can sign off to whatever form of government our political leaders want, yet progress would be out of reach as long as corruption remains rampant.

    The citizenry must realize that Charter Change presents an opportunity to mitigate corruption and, therefore, better our chances for improved government. Provisions for governance of our political leaders and elected officials must be at the heart of the new Constitution. For example, the new Constitution must require all elected officials, high-ranking appointed officials, and high-ranking military officers, as well as their immediate family, to undergo an annual audit. The auditors should be one of the Big 6 accounting firms in the U.S. Funds must be automatically set aside for this audit as part of the government’s annual budget

    The independent auditors’ reports and opinions must be fully disclosed to the public within a set time frame, with the Supreme Court making sure this happens. Any official dismissed from office under the Constitution’s governance provisions could no longer hold any public office, elected or appointed. And this includes his/her immediate family as well.

    I believe that corrupt officials are the primary reason why our country remains poor and underdeveloped, while our neighboring countries have long surpassed us. Corruption must be rooted out of our political system if we are serious about having a government that would lead our nation towards progress.

  13. Hey Alex your intentions are good but to outsource the auditing to one of the big six accouting firms is costly. It’s also embarrassing to other countries especially to our Asian neighbors Malaysia and China, think of what they’ll think-that we couldn’t handle our own affairs?

    Here’s my solution-just make it a law that all top officials-senators, pres and vp, congressmen, cabinet heads and undersecretaries, commissioners, ombudsman mayors, and governors be only able to hold one bank account inside the country and that this bank account can be scrutinized anytime the Republic wishes. No they’re not gonna have privacy we’ll also make that a law. Tangina tignan natin kung meron pang kurakut na opisyales na gustong tumakbo.

  14. Also their immediate family members-husbands, wivs, and children be also subjected under this law and like them they’ll be only able to hold one bank account subject to auditing whenever the Republic pleases.

    And we’ll make corruption punishable by death by a million ant bites-old school Filipino style.

  15. manolo, just as i thought. pwede rin namang swero ang ating mga kongresista. feeling the heat from above and from below. hopefully, the ir constituent would prevail in the end. i’ll be in batasan today. waiting for whatever worth the result.

    alex, sori but am too naive. i don’t think chacha, under the present condition, will really teach the old dogs with a new trick of being incorruptible and rightheous. As much as I want to believe that the citizen can wheel and deal, i wonder which citizen are we referring to, knowing that our concept of citizenship varies from one class to anoher.

    edisini, agree…old school punishment. care to another million ant bites or bee chase? but i think, let’s not be too harsh with the bank accounts. i suggest, let us also punish those accountants who “doctored” their statement of assets and liabilities and those accoplices who maintains two book of accounts.

  16. Re the Sunday Times article and your dream project of producing documentaries. The History Channel, Discovery Channel and National Geographic are all doing well in the Philippines, right? My siblings and I were always watching “film features” on TV when we were kids and enjoyed it too. Since moving to the US, I’ve also become addicted to the Ken Burn’s documentaries on American history and historical personalities or events…and of course, wished we could do the same kind of thing in the Philippines. It takes a lot of money to do it…and is probably not goign to be profitable. But oh how I wish an institution like the Ayala Foundation would take on such a project!

    The photo is good…you showed off the dimples very nicely.

  17. Manolo, congratulations on the STM story (why did you leave the UP History Department, btw? Too fractious?) and belated on the Lolo M. Just got back from a workshop on nationalism and ethnicity and me and a couple of South Asian academics are thinking of looking at the so-called “strong leaders” of pre-independence Asia and how they have been depicted in biographies and stories from the West. While there was no doubt that many of them, MLQ included, had personal ambitions in mind, these fellows likewise saw themselves as leaders of their respective nations-in-the-making. So the question then is how to honestly evaluate them, not from the Western perspective, but from our own. Kudos again

  18. Gemma, thank you very much for your kind words!!

    Alex, Edisini, it starts with a decent salary, look up my column on how salaries used to be. Then you can tighten the screws after all, we can now demand value for our money.

    Mita: Thanks,those aren’t dimples, I just need to lose weight. And no one wants to fund documentaries except for PCIJ.

    Jojo: my father always compared his father to Mohammed Ali Jinnah of Pakistan (mainly because he observed that dying from Tuberculosis makes people ruthless and dictatorial). I left UP because I was a terribly delinquent, lousy student and then I started working.

  19. edisni. whatever governance might cost, I’m sure this would pale in comparison to the amounts being plundered and bribes being accepted by our government officials. Also, I find it hard to imagine that the Philippines could be in a more embarassing situation than this political circus happening right now. I do prefer your “death by a million ant bites” than the usual death by a million cuts 🙂

    gari. I do understand your point about class differences which is so true in our country. I guess we could start with some simple goals that could be obviously beneficial to everyone? Rooting out corrupt politicians could be one of those.

    mlq3. I have to read your column on salaries. However, if what you mean is to pay attractive salaries to public officials, I’m afriad that our government’s coffers might be drained. Many of these officials are already used to taking in hundreds of millions, if not billions of pesos in bribes and kickbacks.

  20. The Pandaka pygmaea is so off-topic, but thanks for taking note of it. I’m still appalled by it (its possible extinction). I feel that a Senate investigation is called for, with the ff. entities summoned: DENR, local government/s where the species used to thrive, Haribon, WWF, National Museum, etc. I’m serious.

  21. Manolo, so MLQ was not aware of the strong presidents all over the place? Nick Cullather — in his intriguing book (salamat pala for sending me a copy; am enjoying it a lot) — mentioned that Americans in the Department of Interior suspected MLQ of having Falangists sympathies, especially since he appeared close to Joaquin ELizalde. True? But if M. Jinnah was MLQ’s idol, how did he get to know of him? And why not Gandhi or Nehru?

  22. Jojo: No, I meant, my father made the comparison between Jinnah and MLQ (his dad). From what I’ve read the ones that impressed MLQ were Kemal Ataturk and Cardenas of Mexico, also he was very interested in the welfare state in Sweden. I read some accounts, I forgot where, that he didn’t like Batista when they met. The only accounts I’ve read regarding South East Asia were his supporting the case of Tan Malaka and my grandmother being contacted by Indonesian nationalists in secret when she visited Jakarta. Harrison has an account of MLQ trying to contact Nehru during the war but the British blocked it (and an encyclopedia on WW2 mentioned MLQ alarmed the Dutch because of his proposal to unite Indonesia and the Phils.).

    One of the local mestizos said MLQ arranged to allow refugees from Franco to stay in the Phils; the Sorianos, Elizaldes, etc. were Falangists but MLQ scolded the priests at Letran for playing the Franco anthem, and MLQ had been decorated by the Spanish Republic. I don’t think any direct research has been done.

  23. Manolo, thanks. So MLQ was quite aware of the other folks who were crafting their own nationalist programs in the late colonial period. Too bad he died early. It would have been interesting to see what he could have done in 1946 onwards. Would his alliance with Osmena continue, or would it unravel as MacArthur show preference for Roxas? How about the Huks? Would MLQ stand by as the US rammed the Bell trade act through Congress (although Cullather gives a more complex portrait, showing the US Department of Interior people hoping that US investments could challenge and eventually weaken the sugar bloc).

    Indeed, we have nothing on these local fascists. Sayang that folks at the Ateneo and UP Departments of History have failed to go beyond the late Spanish and early American periods. There is a lot of things that need to be studied.


  24. For the first time in the history of Rizal Park and the whole of Metro Manila for that matter, about five million people joined the Tenth Anniversary of the Foundation at Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila from August 20-21, 1994 as part of the Visit Islands Philippines 1994 of the Department of Tourism and live nationwide via satellite over ABS-CBN Channel 2, PTV 4, ABC Channel 5, GMA Channel 7, RPN Channel 9 and IBC Channel 13. The participants crowded the 50-hectare park and adjacent areas—Roxas Boulevard, Taft Avenue, UN Avenue, Ma. Orosa, M.H. del Pilar, T.M. Kalaw St., Port Area, Quezon Bridge, MacArthur Bridge, Jones Bridge, Plaza del Carmen, Bilibid Viejo, Raon, Mendoza, R. Hidalgo, Carcer, Concepcion Aguila, Legarda, Arlegui, Barbosa, Carlos Palanca, P. Gomez, Ronquillo, Sales, Soler, Evangelista, Gil Puyat, Quezon Boulevard, Estrada, Mabuhay, Tejeron, A. Francisco, San Andres, Amatista, Onyx, Zobel Roxas, Nakar, Perlita, Zapiro, Dagonoy, Pasig Line, Tejeron, Revillen, Liwayway, Sampaguita and Plaza Miranda. Some of them came to the venue as early as three days before the event. They came not only from Metro Manila, but also from Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, the Ilocos Region, Quezon, the Bicol Region, Sorsogon, Leyte, and other distant provinces. Also present were members from different overseas chapters of the Foundation.

    Before noon of August 20, in observance of Bro. Mike’s birthday, the attendees feasted on roasted chickens, pigs and calves as a gift of the family and friends for his natal day. By the mid morning, the crowd jubilantly caught with their umbrellas inverted thousands of miracle-souvenir handkerchiefs thrown into the air from several helicopters, choking all streets streamed into the Quirino Grandstand when the start of the celebration. The affair was attended by more than 5,000,000 million people who came to greet the birthday celebrant. His Excellency, President Fidel V. Ramos, the guest of honor in the occasion, gave his greetings and message to the crowd. The President was with First Lady Amelita Martinez-Ramos. In attendance also were some members of the cabinet, several senators led by Senate President Edgardo Angara; several congressmen led by House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr., several mayors led by MMDA Chairman Prospero Oreta; friends of Bro. Mike from the business, entertainment, media, legal, and religious sector, Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen, 1st runner-up Carolina Gómez, 2nd runner-up Minorka Mercado, Top 6 winners Charlene Gonzales, Lu Parker and Silvia Lakatosova. A Thanksgiving Mass was led by His Eminence Jose Thomas Cardinal Sanchez of the Vatican City, together with Bishop Bacani; Very Rev. Monsignor Mariano T. Balbago Jr. of Antipolo Diocese and Mario A. Castillo; and Rev. Fr. Anton Pascual and Rev. Fr. Sanny de Claro, spiritual directors of the Foundation. Joining them also were several spiritual directors from the international chapters of the Foundation namely Reverend Fathers Bernard J. Nolan of Brisbane, Australia; Leo E. Steinbock of L.A., Ca., USA; and Thomas Kawamura of Tokyo, Japan, as well as from the Philippines namely, Dwight de Jesus; Remigio Mendoza of Mabini, Batangas; Manheim Abellana, SDB; Eligio Santos of San Ildefonso Parish, Makati; and Stephen Punnakal and Victor Maung Thit of the Our Lady of Assumption Parish, Malate, Manila.

    A thanksgiving prayer was offered by Bro. Mike for his birthday and for the anniversary of the Foundation. He also led the congregation in prayer for their prayer-requests, which were tied to balloons and released to the air at the signal of Bro. Mike. The Goldilocks service attendants brought in birthday cake at the end of the mass. Bro. Mike Velarde blow the candles on his cake as everyone sang the birthday song and lifted their glasses to wish him many more happy and fruitful years ahead with his loved ones.

  25. PFVR’s Speech during the 10th Anniversary Overnight Celebration of El Shaddai – DWXI Prayer Partnerships Foundation International, Inc.
    Saturday, August 20, 1994
    Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila
    Maraming salamat, Brother Mike. At happy, happy, birthday! Mula sa milyung-milyong pilipinong humahanga sa inyo.

    Reverend Vics, reverend fathers, mga opisyal ng ating bansa, narito si Vice President Estrada, Speaker De Venecia, Congressman Bacani, Mayor Lim, Mayor Mathay, iba’t-iba pang mga mayor, mga mananalaong medalista ng 18th Southeast Asian Games, mga mananalaong Miss Universe na si Sushmita Sen ng India, Carolina Gomez ng Columbia at Minorka Mercado, at mga kapatid na anak ni Yahweh El Shaddai, happy anniversary sa ating lahat!
    Isa sa malaking karangalan ng aking buhay ay sa 10 years na buhay ng prayer partners ng Yahweh El Shaddai, ako ay kasama ninyo sa nakaraang 2 years. Salamat sa ating pagkakasama sa isa’t-isa.
    Naalala ko noong ako ay hindi pa bise presidente, kailangan ng protocol at saka ng security, taun-taon apat na beses nagkakasama tayo overnight. At noong lumipat nga yung senado dito sa PICC, kahit na sa regular na gawain, nakakasama pa ako. Kaya nasanay na rin ako na pakinggan ang mga payo ng ating servant leader, si Brother Mike Velarde.
    Yung prayer partnership ng Yahweh El Shaddai 10 years old. Nagsimula noong 1984, noong napakalubha ang sitwasyon ng ating pulitika na nagpalubha sa sitwasyon ng ating ekonomiya. At si Brother Mike ay isa doon sa mga… Dahil sa malalim na pananampalataya, ay siya ay nakapag-ahon sa kanyang sariling hirap sa ekonomiya. At yung pagbasbas ng Panginoon sa kanya ay sinimulan niya ipahayag sa DWXI at sa ganun marami rin ang nagkaroon ng malaking pananampalataya at pag-asa sa panginoon dahil ang mensaheng ipinaabot ni Brother Mike sa atin ay kung tayo ay may pananampalataya, babasbasan na tayo ng Panginoon, hindi lamang doon sa langit kung hindi dito na rin sa ating mundo, sa ating buhay ngayon.
    Kaya naalala ko meron pang-cover story tungkol kay Brother Mike. Ang tawag sa kanya, “The Prophet of Profit” kasi ngayon tinuro na kung tayo ay nananampalataya, magbabasbas ang Diyos sa ating pangangailangan ngayon pa dito sa ating buhay, at lalo na siyempre doon sa kabilang buhay sa langit pagkatapos.
    Mula sa mga panahong yon, gaya nang sabi ni Brother Mike, ang dami na ring karanasan na naghubog sa partnership ng Yahweh El Shaddai at saka sa liderato rin ni Brother Mike sa sambayanan at sa ating lipunan.
    Kung noong araw sa mga malubhang panahon ng ekonomiya, si Brother Mike ay naging “Prophet of Profit” para hindi tayo mawalaan ng pag-asa. Ngayon siya naman ay nahubog ng Panginoon bilang “Prophet of Reconciliation.”
    Sa kaniyang statement kanina bilang birthday statement niya, hindi niya pinag-usapan ang kaniyang sarili, ang pinag-usapan niya ay panalangin para sa kapayapaan at katatagan ng ating pulitika at ng ating ekonomiya. Praise Brother Mike! Praise the Lord for giving us Brother Mike!
    Ganun na nga… Malubha…Hindi malubha ang buhay ng pulitika. Noong 10 years na karanasan ng prayer partnership ay nakita natin ang pulitika ng ating bansa, sa halip ng makatulong sa ating ekonomiya na umahon sana…At nagpapalubog dito. Nagkaroon tayo ng isang Edsa, nagkaroon tayo ng siyam na kudeta, panahon na talaga na makinig tayo sa panawagan ng Panginoon na pinapahayag sa atin ni Brother Mike ang panawagan ng kapayapaan at rekonsilyasyon.
    Para sa akin, matagal nang pinapayo ni Brother Mike iyon sa inyong lingkod. Kaya noong June 30, 1992, noong ako ay nanumpa bilang pangulo, nakatindig ako dito mismo sa lugar na ito, at nagbigay ako ng aking 10-point agenda na gusto kong maging pamana ko sa ating bansa. At yung pangsampung punto doon, sabi ko, gusto ko na mahilom na ang hidwaan ng Edsa 1.
    Ngayon, inuulit ni Brother Mike yung panawagang rekonsilyasyon, yung panawagang pagkakaisa. At ako naman bilang pangulo — at salamat kay Brother Mike sa malaking suporta sa akin sa halalan noong 1992, ako nga ay naging pangulo. Salamat sa payo at sa panawagan — at bilang pangulo ng Pilipinas, handa akong gumawa ng hakbang na manawagan sa aking mga katunggali, magkaisa na tayo para ang pulitika ay hindi masira ang sana maging take off ng ating ekonomiya.
    Sabi nga ni Brother Mike, maghanap tayo ng formula na uubra, na katanggap-tanggap sa pinakamadaling panahon na magkaisa. Ito rin ang aking hinahanap. Ito rin ang aking panalangin. At itong gabing ito sa birthday ni Brother Mike, ang aking birthday wishes ay siyempre number one, kanyang parating tagumpay sa kaniyang mga hangarin. Pero number two, higit sa lahat, yung hangarin niyang magkaisa ang ating bansa.
    Ano itong formulang ito na magagawa at kagustuhan ng panginoon, ito ang ating hahanapin. Gawa na ang ating pag-iisip, pag-iisip ni Brother Mike ng mga formula, pero higit sa lahat ang pag-iisip at ang dakilang kagustuhan ng ating Panginoon — iyon ang ating hahanapin na paraan.
    Kung papaano tayo magkakaisa, ang aking panalangin ay mahanap ko ito bilang pangulo sa divine will. Ang dinadasal ko sa divine will ay ganito: “I am nothing, God is all. Father, I love you. Come divine will to think in my mind, to speak in my mouth, to see with my eyes, to listen in my ears, to breathe in my breathing, to move in my motion, to suffer in my suffering.” Sa ganun ang kagustuhan ng panginoon ay magiging kagustuhan ko at kagustuhan nating lahat. Alam ko kagustuhan niyang magkaisa ang ating bansa. Alam ko yung paraan kagustuhan niyang hanapin natin sa panalangin sa kanya. Magpakumbaba tayong lahat at hindi isipin na alam natin lahat ng sagot. Ang sagot ay nandoon kay Yahweh El Shaddai.
    Kaya kung noong araw nung kalubhaan ng ekonomiya, nanalig tayo sa Panginoon na kung tayo ay aasa sa kanya, bibigyan niya tayo ng ginhawa sa ating buhay ngayon pa man sa mundo. Ngayon din, manalangin tayo, umasa tayo na kung tayo ay haharap sa kanya at hanapin ang kanyang kagustuhan, bibigyan niya tayo ng paraan kung papaano magkaisa ang ating bansa. At alam na alam ko, isa sa mga gagamitin niya para sa pagkakaisa ay walang iba kung hindi ang servant leader, si Brother Mike Velarde.
    Happy birthday, Brother Mike! At happy anniversary muli sa ating lahat!

  26. Thousands join El Shaddai anniversary celebration.
    By Natalie Jane M. Malayo & Rizal S. Obanil
    Tens of thousands of members of the El Shaddai movement yesterday joined the 10th anniversary of the El Shaddai DWXI Prayer Partners Foundation International and .
    Instead of starting the procession from Quiapo church as was done in previous years, the event started at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta yesterday to allow for a bigger space for devotees to gather in an effort to prevent casualties.
    As a result, for the first time in a long while the El Shaddai Anniversary was celebrated without a single fatality yesterday.
    As the religious movement inched its way from the Quirino Grandstand, where it was the president was arrived on Saturday night, towards Quiapo Church, fewer devotees were reported to have suffered injuries compared to the number of those hurt in previous processions.
    MPD Officer in Charge, Senior Supt. Danilo Abarzosa said they estimated yesterday’s crowd in Qurino Grandstand at 5,000,000, a far cry from the 2,000,000 people who joined the procession last year.
    As expected, President Fidel V. Ramos, a long-time guest of honor, was on hand to participate in the event. The Mass ended after the cake was brought in, and guests sang “Happy Birthday” to the celebrant.
    Members also held an overnight vigil at the Quirino Grandstand last Saturday allowing them an opportunity to wipe their handerchiefs on the image housed inside a glass box.
    PO3 Rodolfo Arellano, one of the escorts at the procession, said the procession was cut short as it diverted from the Quinta Market because of the huge number of devotees.
    Many people from all walks of life formed long lines Saturday night until before dawn yesterday at the Luneta.
    Among those who joined the vigil were doctors, nurses, teachers, students, policemen, grandparents and many other devotees of the Black Nazarene. The sick and the needy were there, too. They all prayed for peace, more blessings, and longer life.

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