The House marathon

The vote in plenary at the House of the Representatives (read the Inquirer story and the report by Carlos Conde) was extensively covered by Filipino bloggers: the PCIJ led the pack with its series of entries here, here, here, and here, culminating with (after mentioning the gathering crowd) a rather sad entry: this. There’s my own coverage (which ended abruptly when I passed out from exhaustion), Sassy Lawyer’s series of posts also include pictures! She begins here, continues here, moves on here, and here, has more here, and then concludes here, all in all, a remarkable demonstration of legal analysis on the fly. There’s a contending view by La Vida Lawyer. Another lawyer, JJ Disini muses that the House vote reveals the weakness of the ballot, as congressmen ignored the sentiments of the country (and their constitutents). Piercing Pens reproduces the official House of Representatives account. After protests began, the Vice-President of the Philippines released a statement and journalists such as PCIJ (which says he’s watching and waiting) have begun trying to discern his possible moves. Apropos of the veep, Torn & Frayed points to e-zine Hotmanila and its articles, both serious (such as one on the Vice-President’s do-nothing record) and satirical; incidentally, a masterful piece of satirical writing was penned by PCIJ’s Shiela Coronel, who lampooned Congressional rhetoric. (driving in the third world was amused by some of the speeches).

The papers have weighed in with editorials: The Inquirer editorial denounces the decision of the House; Malaya goes further and issues a call to arms; the Manila Times says the country should focus on the President’s visit to the United Nations; the Star thinks it’s time for Congress to go back to work; the Standard-Today says Mrs. Aquino should go home.

The pundits have opined in the papers: my weekly column in the Arab News is President Arroyo May Have Won in Congress, but She’s Losing the Street. Then again, Amando Doronila counters this view by saying that the President’s accusers have never clearly stated what, exactly, she should be held accountable for, and that the truth is a dangerous thing to assert. Emil Jurado proclaims that there’s been a clear victory of the rule of law and the Constitution. Conrado de Quiros, to put it mildly, disagrees. JB Baylon says whatever Congress has done, it leaves questions unanswered.

The blogosphere has Walk This Way telling everyone to fuck off (in his cheery way, of course, so it isn’t personal) and accept these facts:

A)The impeachment complaints were without basis (it was such a flawed document to begin with; trying to pin too many things on GMA was a poor move. It totally smacked of hidden agendas).
B)Accusations DO NOT equate guilt. (See Solita Monsod article on this here).
C)Cory Aquino is completely irrelevant and is not, has not, and will never be the moral barometer of the Philippines.
D)There is NO alternative to GMA. FPJ and Roco are both dead in case you didn’t notice. And she also had nothing to do with that either, ok?
and finally:
D) WE JUST DON’T CARE if she cheated in the elections. Who didn’t?

By the way, he also suggests reporters on TV tried to send subliminal messages by wearing black or white during their coverage, something I heard suggested by other people.

Abe Margallo pays generous tribute to the Filipino blogosphere in an eloquent essay saying we all continue to be haunted by Marcos.

There’s also Newsstand’s observations on the Speaker’s actions during the marathon session in the House. Edwin Lacierda says there is a strong case for a judicial review of the House Committee on Justice’s decisions to be questioned. Gari provides some thoughts after participating in the march on the House of Representatives yesterday. Mongster’s nest reiterates his view it is the masses, and not the middle forces or the political leadership, that will carry the day. Big mango says there is a profound, and massive, crisis in leadership that transcends party lines. Economist Go Figure also observes a breakdown in respect for the system.

As always, the President’s position is vigorously defended in Rational Sphere. The President’s official statement on the House vote is here.

On another blogosphere note, I’m sad to notice Newsboy’s blog is gone. Journalists Rick Carandang and Jove Francisco have moved their blogs to their own domains, so please update your bookmarks.

Englishman in Osaka has some observations on how Japanese politicians campaign for office (the Prime Minister says a game of scissors, paper, rock can settle the election without people having to vote).

Manuel L. Quezon III.

32 thoughts on “The House marathon

  1. Another point of view – Didagen Dilangalen and a political science professor from Ateneo de Manila have this unique take on the attempt to impeach GMA: Those who voted to impeach GMA only legitimized GMA as the lawfully elected President because you can only impeach a lawfully elected President.

  2. Carl, that’s actually a legitimate and principled point of view, if someone believes it. But it is also politically self-destructive. It’s splitting hairs, when a clear opportunity is presented to fire a rifle at someone.

  3. guys while you are there spliting hairs on PGMA’s legitimazy, the rest of the world is leaving us behind

    guys while you are there spliting hairs on pgma’s legetimacy, the rest of the world is leaving us behind.
    i really hope we can learn to praioritize what are the things that will really make a difference to improve our quality of life.
    i hope someone can explian to me why must we contine the dirty politics of that started through the garci tapes.
    or are we just so obssed w/ politics that we are forgetting about hard work.
    i hope rallies will be banned from busy streets for a pratical reason, the reson being that w/ the cost of fuel we must not create more traffic than our roads can handel.
    i hope that designated areas can be used for rallies where they will not cause traffic.
    i hope that those people in the rallies don’t pretend that they are a majority because i’m sure that there will always be so many more who would like to get on w/ life.
    just like our politics has degenerated to the pitts.
    i guess so has our obssesion for bring down goverments.
    i think that pgma was judged and sentenced by perception from day one of the garci tapes w/c makes it impossible for anything more to happen.
    i think our kind of catholisisim makes it hard for us to be objective to face problem because we have everything mixed-up a lot of hypocacy and rightouness are the last things we need to solve problems.
    I really find it so self serving when there are holy masses lead by cory and company.
    it’s nice to pray to god cause he never contradicts you anyway, hehehehehe
    it’s not only our partice of democracy that is so inmature but also how we use religion.

  4. joselu, where will your hard work go? to earn money that results in taxes misspent to pay for the support of congressmen? for a government hardly anyone respects, and which therefore can’t inspire people to make sacrifices because the sacrifices won’t be shared by the government? and to rally in designated places when mayors refuse to designate places where people can rally, which is a democratic right? and to work, to set aside allegations whose supposedly illegal origins can’t seem to cover up the fact that rather than face up to them, the government would prefer to cover them up? and as for catholicism, perhaps you have a point, in that our taxes have gone to keep the bishops fat and happy.

  5. mlq3, the goverment really gets a lot from what i earn, i’m really a serious tax payer, it pains me but i realize it’s my bit to do. i’m fully aware that the money can be also misspent. i’m also aware that the larger the organization the bigger the chances of wastage.i understand that in this country there is always a reason and a fault to find but i dont beleave it will get us anywhere, i think it’s wrong to use those faults not to do my this country it’s only rights that matters, how about obligations.
    i’m very aware of faults of pgma, i guess your dramatazing it so much, hope i dont offend you. i too want a clean & honest goverment and it won’t fall down from heaven anytime soon, at list not until we really really really get our acts together.
    i’m w/ you on demanding a place, i think that is w/in our rights. but even in so doing we have to make an effort to present it in the right way. i read in the newspaper that manila has liwasang bonifacio.
    i just hope that makati has a similar place cause i think that rallies must have a mutual respect of those who have to work hard too
    mlq3, at the end of the day we all really have to work and tone down our protesting and complaining.
    yes mlq3 there must be some cover-up going on,
    there is much to do. i will admit to you that i was againt the impeachment, i don’t think pgma is the problem alone, i don’t think getting her out will really make life better for us, things are not as simple as they appear,there are shadows in the background.the garci tape was really a monkey wrench for max damage. you present to me who did it, who ordered it, but not until, its just a lot of garbage ment to manipulate the gallible.
    about the church, i really beleave they should attend to the peoples spiritual needs, just being good is not good enough, cause the greatest blunders are commited by well-meaning people.
    by the way since i pay serious taxes i really have more rights than those noisy people to demand more, hehehehe

  6. joey, i can’t be offended because you have a right to your views as much as i do to have mine, and to express them. we all have to follow the path we think will help the country most. your decision to work quietly and avoid politics is your calling, and it’s one no one can question.

  7. mlq3, it’s really a nice thing about having different views but yet being able to communicate.
    it’s also true that we bought want to help this god forsaken country.
    the only thing is in the proceses of helping we have to be careful of not adding to the problems that there are.
    i admire the work that you do. i can only hope that through you people can be better informed and always see the bigger picture.
    i feel it is important to inspire and challage people to always think things very hard before actions are taken.
    personaly i really hope that we let go of trying to to use the present system that has allowed so many stupid things to happen.
    it’s like we are hoping against hope over something that is a lossing cost.
    lets not get lost in just trying to get pgma out when we very well know all the faults that we see is a collective fault.
    i love this country too u know, i spent so many years abroad but came back here.
    it’s not only others who have to make tough dicisions, we too have to make tough dicisions if we really want to move on
    moving on does not mean forgetting the past.moving on means planning better and having clear ideas of what we want and how to get there.
    sadly, even in our phil. history our revolutionary leader where not united.even geographycaly we are 7100 island.
    it’s easier to kick the president out than put our acts together.
    we have so many talented people, even patrotic people, people who really have something to give, but why are we in a deeper hole always?
    what gives w/ our society? what gives to our culture?
    before hiting on others, we have so much to ask about ourselves if we really want a lasting change and help the country.
    we can’t be forever giving the fault to others.
    if we want others to listen to us, the bottom line is about doing our homework super well. any accusation must be air tight.
    personaly there is only to be ashamed of all the noice in the street. it just adds to our problems.
    wars are not won the the noice and drama & theatricts.
    if there are 5000 people in the streets there are also the same number in positions and intensions.
    the peopl’s court is really so ridiculos, the commis must be very happy that we have adapted their ways.
    anyway, this are just my ideas, will certainly be happy to listen to yours.

  8. About the technicalities… well it’s sad it has to work that way. But then, that is why we have the legislative branch of the government – to create laws and rules, and amend old ones, to keep up with the changing times. But what are our congressmen doing? They would rather spend time in media so they would get recalled next elections… That is why there are inquiries “in aid of legislation”, so to create laws to avoid the present problem – perhaps of technicality. So where are the legislations?

    I remember a reporter asked Escudero why the house has not passed the bill on terrorism yet but he was a bit annoyed and said that such crime is punishable under present laws. A few days later, the “terrorists” bailed out of jail.

  9. yebah:

    well there goes your quotation. perhaps they’re really not “t-e-r-r-o-r-i-s-t-s”. so why label, much less, accuse them as such?

  10. Where I was once mildly irritated-slash-indifferent to the anti GMA forces, after spending almost 3 hours in the traffic brought about by that pathetic rally at the EDSA monument, I have now vowed to actively oppose anything that has to do with those two blubbering biyudas and their pinko posse poseurs (oh and ping too).

    I agree with Joey.

    And Im sure the hundreds of thousands of people stuck in EDSA traffic today now agree with him too.

  11. leaving politics to politicians alone can be disastrous and stupid. joey pointed out the bane of rallies. which is true but do he really give it a thought why those people lets use the word of joey “beleave” on what they are fighting for? did he really know where his taxes go? which pocket? did joey voted in the last election? does he expect that his vote really counts at all after the allegation of massive electoral fraud? if joey really “beleave” on what he said forgive me manolo but I have to say Joey is Blind and insensitive and maybe just a worker drone.

    about the catholics. catholics are catholics. they are used to use the name of God the merciful in vain. even in the ancient times they used the church to burn the so called heretics on stakes. but they are catholic. live with it. (sorry for the catholics reading this but it is true.)

    I am anti communist and anti civil disturbance but I will not be told upon to just sit down and just live with it when something this big happens. I will not be told on what I should do or just shut the f out if I believe that they did something wrong to my future,my sisters’s future and the future of my future children. I will have to knock on people’s head to wake up and dont be blinded by the facts of life of the hardship of it. Because the main reason we have to work very hard and earn so little can be blame on politics that people tend to avoid. politics have a very serious effects on our welfare. If we just shut up and let those politicians do their work I tell you they will wreck,plunder and be our master and will forget that they are just a servant of the people.

    peace manolo. I just cant stand people who looks the other way and have double standards.

  12. if you give joey a hard time for “beleave” i suggest you look at your final phrase “i just can’t stand people who looks…” Ed, you and your asinine TalkPhilippines will only drag us all down faster

  13. The silent majority is now talking. Yes, we want the rule of law. We’ve lived our whole lives following the law – why can’t other people respect that? We get by thru life without the trappings of privilege, we are not “entitled” as some people think they are. We’re willing to work for anything we have and want…like we did in 1986 and 2000.

    We want to work, we want to retreat to a peaceful home at the end of the day where we can raise our kids happily. We want democracy and economic stability so our children’s future is brighter. We will pay our taxes as we’ve always done. We will follow the laws of the land because we want to set a good example for our children. And we will teach our children the ways of the world and tell them there are always alternatives in life if we are dissatisfied with anything. We will teach him to stand tall and be brave if he wants to change the world. We will teach them to always think long-term before making life-changing decisions. We will teach them to think for the good of not just himself, but for others. Should others disagree with him, we will teach him to stand firm on his principles.

    I may sound sickeningly middle-class, excuse my middle-classness. But yes, I am from the dreaded middle forces.

  14. @ewan

    Oh, so the guys who caught them were wrong? So they were plain Abu Sayaff bombers? Then, sorry for now knowing.

  15. kawawa ang pilipinas dahil kinakawawa tayo ng mga leader natin. Kung matino ba naman sila e di walang diskusyon politikal. pwede din tayong manahimik na lang at maging alipin sa walang kwentang mga bagay na binibigay ng mga mas nakakataas sa atin sa buhay.

    Ningning, whats the connection of my beliefs with the site I created? the site wasnt mindless,foolish or what ever. I just dont see the connection of foolishness and mindlessness of it. If it affects your daily life and the way you think that it will drag us all along maybe suggest it wasnt asininely after all.

  16. That Bukluran group is such an ad-hoc aggrupation of divergent forces that, should they manage to unseat the government, it will mean even more chaos. Then, they will be fighting among themselves. And who are more deliberate and better organized? The NDF – Satur, Crispin, Casiño, et al. and the politicos – Chiz, Zamora, Binay & Co. Those two silly widows are just being used to deodorize the sinister intentions of dark forces taking advantage of the turmoil. They want a revolutionary junta to take over. Yet they speak of democratic processes.

    As for those traffic-stopping rallies, it’s hard enough getting around Metro Manila due to the traffic, they even make it worse. As if fuel bills aren’t bad enough, they have to add more to gas consumption. As if life weren’t hard enough, they have to stop people from getting on and making a living. Giving enough democratic space is fine, but there is a saying: “Your elbow ends where my nose begins”. Esercise your own democratic space, but please don’t inconvenience the people around you.

  17. Kawawa naman ang Pilipinas kasi sa tao rin mismo nanggagaling ang mga liders.

    May paniniwala ako, na ang pulitika ay para lamang sa mga santong tao kasi public service ito. Ayan na po ang mga santo natin sa TV, nagaaway away. Bukluran para mapatalsik si GMA, pero pag napatalsik eh magaagawan ng pwesto, and the cycle goes on and on.

  18. ed, thanks for what you wrote. i’m a self employed dudu.all that is happening hurts my pocket while i also pay taxes, aray talaga.
    hey, i also think our politicians are bad and at the same time i must be fare and not generalize. the issue about our taxes going to others pockets is almost an accepted fact of life, sadly.
    there are so many things wrong in aopur society even a blind man can see.
    my position is what are we really doing about it?we critizize,expose and so on.but it has been happening for decades.will our childrens children do the same just because we think that making noice alone will drive away the bad spirits??????
    my position is to get organized and work silently and w/ so much dicipline.there are so many problems, but it’s something already if we can fix one.noice drama & theater will not get us anywhere.
    ed, ok lang about that catholic a way not even our religion can save us, anyway…..
    i admire your position about not being a push-over.i’m sure so many people share the same thing.
    i beleave insted that energies must be directed to really get results.
    tempers & emotions or even principles are not enough.
    personaly for me all that is happening is really a frustration because there is no certainty of the future. there is never any end to anything.just when our economy is strarting to pick-up there will always be a monkey wrench that will screw it it.and it all boils down to dirty politics.
    the role of opposition is to make it impossible for the administration to succed.the role of opposition is to look for or to create issues.and in the processes drug us all down.
    yah nga alex, hope the veep does not let power get into his head. but what i see so far his not doing bad, he has everything to gain by behaving.
    yah nga carlos,i respect them for what they beleave.
    is it possible that they respect too those who just wanna work in this extraordinary times.
    they will make more enimies than win people to their side.
    parang balintawak palenke wer all the tenderas want to be on the road side to sell their goods.
    just as a suggestion, why dont to talk to bf so that they can be given a permanent venue.
    maybe the reclamation area is better, that is wer el shadai goes also so as not to cause traffic.
    protest must not be anarchy. the more they border on anarchy, the more we see their real color.
    i remember what escudero said about adapting the 11th. congress rules, “what’s good for erap is good for pgma” the only thing he forgot is that those rules did not permit them to present evidence!!!!!
    now his being adored by the anti-gma forces

  19. Carl, i agree w/ you about the bukluran thing and all the endless groups that will be formed that will all have the same faces.watched the news last nite & i saw binay talking, kinda a crazy, cuz his really dirty, he & his wife and soon his children are alternating for the mayorship of makati, guess being mayor of makati is indeed profitable hehehehehe
    honestly, all that is happening is absolute dirty politics, it’s all about power,
    the lunkot part is people emotions and feelings and ignorance are being manipulated for surely sombody elses gain.
    sana naman we get wise just this once and have the courage to reject this ass holes
    dont get me wrong, there will always be legitimate grivances that really have to be addressed, we just have to be careful on who the leaders are to make it clear that we will really be properly represented.
    guess we just have to be more anlitical & critical about issues and not get carried away w/ the obvious

  20. How can we have true progress if we turn a blind eye to the suspicion that the president might have cheated in the national elections? The very least we should do is to ask for a legitimite forum in which we can hear all the evidence for or against PGMA. By ignoring the quest for truth, we are accepting that it is ok to cheat in the elections. This will rip apart the very fiber which holds a democratic society together. The next time elections are held, politicians will say its ok to cheat as long as we are in the majority. The fundamental right of the people to choose their leaders will be very much undermined.

    The search for truth may be bothersome for the silent majority who are pre-occupied with their activities of daily living. In this difficult time when we just want to earn an honest living for our family, when the easier path to take is to “NOT to rock the boat” so that our economy can move on unhampered, that is understandable. But if we truly want a better Philippines, economic progress isn’t enough. Moral recovery is also essential.

    Let us try to find out what really happened in last year’s elections. If PGMA is found innocent of the charges against her, the truth will give closure to the issue. If she is found guilty, her crimes shouldn’t be tolerated and she should be removed as president.

  21. Kawawa naman kami, hindi na-memention sa mga Websites na sina-site ni MLQ3.

    Anyways, maybe I better just promote myself. 😉

    I think it is time to step back and take stock and get the proper perspective we need to do a more level-headed evaluation of how our society gradually descended to the depths of ridiculousness.

    For a complete evaluation and helicopter view of the concepts that frame the laughable state of our country today, check out this site:

  22. Huh? That truth is already there, that GMA rigged the elections. Only that we need the legal forum to try her. But then, this ain’t Utopia but the Philippines. As much as we want an ideal country… hay mahirap.

  23. yebah & masc, i certainly respect what you guys beleave in.
    masc, it’s really true that we are busy trying to earn a leaveing.unlike those matching in the street that i guess are unemployed and are almost ralliest for hire and forever have issues against goverment.
    i have an impression that what makes the truth harder to find is that we have condemend and judged pgma and that’s final.
    we where thinking of using impeachment as a means to a witchhunt.
    it’s not impossible in this country to use ligit means for selfish ends, marcos did it in his times.
    I just wanna ask how come in last years elections everything was fine.nobody disagred w/ survey results and exit-poll results made by reputable organizations,namfrel was ok,the bishops where ok, international observers wer ok
    in fairness to you, we all know that since time in memorial there has always been cheating in our elections but also not enough to influence the final results.we have always know that our electoral system has been forever flowed.
    that was the way the winds blew than.
    one year later the winds blew another directions and so we swayed with the wind.
    if we where all convinced than, than why must we be so full of doubts now?
    are we really that easy to sway?
    Has it ever occured to you that the opposition was also prove that pgma manipulated all the surveys too, which showed her climb and overtaking fpj.
    the opposition talks about a kidnaped comelec official and you mean to tell me our expert sniffing dogs in media would not have smelled a story like that than.
    I think if we must demand so much truth, we must also be fair, we must also be objective, we must be critical of what is said and who says it.
    As if we do not know that philippine politics is really dirty.
    as if we do not know that sad to say pinoys are super pikon and always make it a point to get back at the opponent
    fpj’s untimely death screwed up the opposition so they had to think of other means.
    does it not sound fishy to you that something comes in only a year later and when the economy is starting to pick-up
    does not it sound strange that the success of an administraion is always shot down and screws us in the final analysis?
    we are really our worst kalaban.
    has it not occured to you that the game is all about confussing and ruin pgma’s credibility so that other forces can sneak in.
    i’m sure that you have the best of intensions.but do you really know what the evil people in the shadows have in their mind?
    i just hope we can really be carefull and not allow ourselves to be used.
    i have always learned that the devil uses the cleverest ways always.
    i think the survival of our nations not withstanding all it’s faults & failures is that we remain strong from all the blows we are getting.
    the name of the game here is weaken the institutions until people are so mega feed-up and others will take over.

  24. Yebah, how about a “yes” meaning lets look at the bigger picture.
    it’s useless to place anothe person in pgma’s place if the system is always the same.
    and it depends on how many enimies you have that your faults will be exposed.
    i don’t know what satisfaction there is in kicking a president out. or is it that we have to vent our frustration as someone?

  25. The poster should read:

    WARNING! You now 30 days from today to switch to FOSS

    Or better yet, if you know people, or organizers from the Software Freedom Day, then why not tell them to create a poster containing a line similar to what I wrote and post these beside every BSA posters, inviting people to the Software Freedom Day. Hehehe, I am such an evil guy.

    Uhmmm, did I say something about replacing GMA?

    I just said, “Yes – I affirm, that in politics with the help of media and the perception game, any official accused is guilty unless proven innocent, which, is contrary to the rights of the accused. Right now, GMA is guilty based on the premise.”

    And if you asked the question, did GMA cheat? Of course yes. Generally, everyone running during Philippine elections are cheating. It is a given fact. Only that, the spotlight is on GMA because of many reasons I do not want to expound.

    What you said is true, let us look at the bigger picture. Let us not just replace GMA but,
    – Fix the system
    – Disqualify all the incumbents to run again next elections
    – Disallow anyone to run if they have a kin, up to a certain degree of affinity, already in position
    – Make cheating during elections a heinous crime (I bet no one would run for as official if this happens)
    – Improve the Pinoy culture, in fact, redefine it
    – TOTALLY separate religion and politics
    – Publicly audit pork barrel allocations
    – Reduce the number of congressmen to the number of regions, one per region, or if not just reduce their number (the heck, California is bigger than the Philippines yet they have only one governor)
    – Scrap VAT and see our economy roll down
    – On the contrary, approve the E-VAT law on the condition that oil won’t be taxed, and it should be made sure that the taxes collected won’t go to the personal use of our officials
    – Congressmen who haven’t authored any bill or help ammend a law at all in every period of a given time should rot in jail

    Wanna add something?

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