Today’s belated roundup

My column today an open letter, To Our Worthy Bishops. It makes heavy use of the Catholic Encyclopedia, which is an extremely useful online reference. The particular entries I referred to were the ones on Discernment of Spirits, on Reason, on Conscience, on Prudence, and on Justice. The reason referencing Catholic definitions of terms is so important, when speaking to the clergy, is that religious definitions can be quite different from the secular meaning of the same words -which is why arguments between Catholics and non-Catholics (or anti-Catholics) can be so futile (the same applies to the law and lawyers). Also useful to writing my column is the English translation of an interview of the Pope’s brother (hat tip to this site for the article in question).

The big headline was of course, Manny Pacquiao’s victory, but also the case of a Filipina maid who chopped-up someone in Singapore has created some media buzz in the region. The punditocracy has the Inquirer editorial blasting Cory Aquino and Bro. Armin Luistro of the Bukluran Para Sa Katotohanan for bringing up the specter of military intervention in the crisis; Max Soliven speculates that the President delayed her departure for New York over anxiety over Catholic bishops turning against her; Gail Ilagan takes a pot-shot at Cory Aquino and Susan Roces, too; Random Jottings examines the Speaker’s debt-for-equity plan, Max Soliven’s birthday bash and guest list, and curious legal arguments made by government officials defending a recent raid; Jojo Robles takes a sly dig at the Senate President’s being abroad (and examines the Speaker’s debt-for-equity scheme); Rudy Romero admonishes Fidel V. Ramos to just fade away; JB Baylon asks the President some questions, since she’s no longer a defendant; Fr. Joaquin Bernas says the impeachment attempt did not die, it was killed, and examines the prospects of an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Armando Doronila says the the House vote means,

The crossover of party lines illustrates the triumph of divide and rule as a formula for political survival. Although the President has survived the challenge, the vote leaves the country as deeply and bitterly divided as ever, and her legitimacy remains under a cloud.

Jose Sison tries to dissect sectoral reactions to the House vote, too; Efren Danao writes on the silly laws sponsored by congressmen; and then, there is Rigoberto Tiglao’s counter blast against using survey results against the President. He uses the example of Fidel Ramos:

In early March (1995), despite the dramatic resolution of the country’s power crisis, then President Fidel Ramos’ popularity steeply fell, with his satisfaction ratings dropping to zero by mid-1995. (Should FVR have resigned then?) The reason for this was the Flor Contemplacion controversy. The decline in Ramos’ popularity wasn’t even caused by an action of his. Public outrage broke out because of a statement made by his foreign affairs secretary, a statement which, the people felt, was callous.

All I can say is that what I recall, is that my own personal anger at the time, was aimed at Fidel Ramos not because of anything his people said, but what he was doing: preparing to attend a state dinner in London, when what I (and surely many others) felt, was that the duty of a President at such a time was to cut his trip short and attend to pleading for one of his countrywomen.

The blogosphere begins with the question of Imee Marcos, as reflected upon by JJ Disini, who thinks it would have been to much for Imee to remain in a cause suddenly endorsed by Cory Aquino (and reported by an article saying despite gathering a million signatures, some Ilocanos would prefer the late dictator’s remains to well, remain in the Ilocos) overlooks a central political fact: for Imee to go against her mother’s appeal goes beyond Marcos family intramurals, it would result in sending a negative signal to all Ilocanos, and for her to do so, would be to kiss her political career goodbye.

Ricky Carandang mulls over the predicament being faced by Finance Secretary Gary Teves; Anonymous Sources speculates that upon his retirement, Chief Justice Hilario Davide will begin speaking out; Newsboy takes a dim view on transitional governments (read the last paragraph, it packs a wallop); finally we can say that Newsstand’s magnum blog opus on the impeachment vote is coming to an end, with entries No. 8, No. 9, and No. 10.

Have you seen Another Hundred Year Hence’s chart on how Congress works? Or Go Figure’s entry on “aid and growth”? There’s my favorite Communist blogger, Ina Alleco dwells on how literature opened her mind to class distinctions, too; and an extremely interesting (and lengthy) entry on superstition in provincial terms, as it applies to planting trees, in Let’s rebuild our beloved nation. points to a website selling a million pixels for US$1 per pixel! Finally, to Love & Light and Red Herring (and all who left a comment and e-mailed), a profound thank you. Depression achieves the most unexpected things.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

26 thoughts on “Today’s belated roundup

  1. The campaign to oust GMA has exposed church leaders’ earthly desires for political influence. And we can thank Cory’s inept administration for encouraging much of the church’s secular ambitions. I’m glad many are now voicing disapproval of this sinister crossover.

    But somewhat lost in all the hoopla last week was one of the immediate consequences of the Congressional vote. Last Thursday, the government successfully sold $1 billion of 10-year bonds to a very enthusiastic international investment community who obviously viewed the end of the impeachment proceedings good for the future of the country. The issue attracted 340 investors and was seven times oversubscribed, not to mention that the issue was priced lower than the two previous bond issues earlier in the year!

    Some serious money these foreign investors are betting on our country, especially considering the mess that we’ve just been in. I would hope a positive indicator of things to come for our country.

  2. Thank you for pointing out that “prudence” as counseled by the bishops has gotten us nowhere! That was the first thing I thought of when I learned of the impeachment vote. Being prudent and being passive are not the same thing.

    It’s too bad that Manny Pacquiao’s victory comes at this time, when Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is all too likely to seize upon it as a good omen for her continuing in power. All those who sat on the fence during the calls for Gloria’s resignation are desperate for reasons to believe they were right. It’s the moral equivalent of throwing good money after bad. I’ve never been so ashamed of being a Filipino. I can’t see why those who moved so quickly to oust Joseph Estrada are so slow to condemn Macapagal-Arroyo now, when Estrada was at least elected to the office he abused, while Macapagal-Arroyo doesn’t even belong in the position to which she is now clinging like a leech. Maybe, as Manuel L. Quezon III suggested in a recent column, the difference in responses has something to do with teacups and teeth.

  3. Sayang itong si Tiglao. He started out as an idealist, joined the anti-Marcos forces was jailed then became a Hare Krishna devotee then became a journalist then he joined the Arroyo government as one of her better appointees. Today, sadly, he is just another political operative and, if his columns are any indication of his skill as on , not very good at it. Better he go back to selling books and roses at airports.

  4. Might as well invite Mulla Omar to join Phil politics because he will enjoy it here. Where on earth can you find a group of religious leaders and civilians joined together out of hatred for GMA and call themselves Interfaith?? And then here comes the catholic bishops only to be twarted by other bishops from other religious groups. Kawawa naman tayo! Cardinal Sin is already dead Manolo! Why do you have to encourage other Bishops to take his place? Have they done enough damage to our country that we need to push them to do more? People power will not do us any good…we have proven that not only ONCE BUT TWICE pa!!!Give the domocratic process a chance EVEN IF YOU HATE THE OUTCOME. I will say why those who hate GMA find it so hard to convince people to join them because there are so many questions(APATHY DAW but the truth is why should we be fooled again?):
    a) Why did they have to wait for the Electoral Tribunal to declare GMA as winner with finality before releasing the tapes?
    b) Why did they wait for FPJ to die?
    c) Why did they wait for EVAT to pass
    I think they want power kasi for themselves. At least si GMA pinagbotohan din naman siya ng tao rather than choose someone who is a usurper like DE VILLA …LACSON….JUNTA…HYATT…SOLIMAN magartista na lang bagay sa kanya

  5. Emilie:

    a) Did it occur to you, that the tapes might have been released by someone from the administration?
    b) That whoever released the tape did so on timing based on things other than what would benefit or hinder the opposition, but do maximum damage to the administration?
    c) That it requires quite a great deal for supporters of the President to lose all faith and hope in her, and the simplest explanation is often the best: rather than a plot, simply, disillusionment with her?

  6. propaganda is again a most useful weapon of choice…inch by inch the borderline between politics, sports and business is dissolving…alam nyo na yung ibig kong sabihin…its like marcos using gabriel elorde’s laurels for his own personal “victories” or when tabako hailed his so-called great APEC MEET at subic (with the uber-deluxe villas as the centerpiece of the event)…by the way i appreciate the opppositions’ current move on the chess-game of current politics (SILENCE contemplating STALEMATE)…the best move so far

  7. I have to add that anyone who says that Edsa I or Edsa II did not do any good, should reflect on what it must have been like to be in one of Ferdinand Marcos’s jail cells for saying something along the lines of, “what did martial law ever accomplish?”

  8. Your column “To Our Worthy Bishops” and previous columns indicate that regardless of what people who balance interests say, you are Anti-Arroyo. I wish a law is passed that journalist should not bring their political color and agenda to the news desk.

  9. Paul, I’m an opinion writer. I don’t write the news. That is why the section in which I appear is labeled “opinion,” and the parts where the news appears, are not.

  10. Paul,
    Anti-Arroyo or Pro-Arroyo doesn’t really matter..or shouldn’t matter. The important thing is it’s his OWN, well thought out opinions he writes about. MLQ3 is a columnist not a reporter so your wish will not even apply in his case…

  11. As an anti-Arroyo columnist, mlq3 is not shrill. He makes his points clearly and usually has facts to back up his assertions. He also has the mental honesty, as in the traffic-stopping rallies, to admit that not all the opposition’s methods are correct. He is entitled to his opinion, but he doesn’t harangue people with it. Instead he tries to illuminate. You may, or may not, take him at his word.

    Now, Manolo, I am of the view that EDSA I may have ushered in a more democratic climate. However, it failed miserably in emancipating the people economically. Just as EDSA II also failed. People can’t eat democracy. That is why I agree with those who say that EDSA I and EDSA II were failed “revolutions”, if you could call those picnics that.

  12. “if both the EDSA Revolutions were failures, then by GOD i am still living in the Greater Metropolitan Manila under Governess Marcos…President Makoy moving up the curfew again to another time and Prime Minister Virata mumbling on how he himself will “run” the country tomorrow…” i never experienced MARTIAL LAW (although i was born 1980 so pretty much inabot ko yun) but if i were an adult by then surely id be incarcerated or “kidnapped”…an old folk just told me yesterday “buhay pa si enrile”…i never got the joke and believe me i dont wanna know why

  13. Kaya nga may duling at may bulag;
    Meron ding nagbubulag-bulagan
    sa gitna ng hinagpis ng sambayanan.
    Mayroon namang gising ngunit ayaw kumilos dahil na rin sa kanilang taglay na katamaran
    o kaya’y may tumatahimik dahil sa naaambunan.

    Sa karamihan sa atin na ayaw ng maling patakaran, sinasabing tayo’y supersibo
    sa tingin ng mga gahaman.
    Paano ba nama’y tila iilan lamang
    Ang umi-squeal at nagsasabi ng katotohanan.

    Pumili ka ngayon, Pinoy, kung saan ka pupunta:
    sa kamay ba ng sinungaling o
    sa panig ng mahal nating Bayan?

  14. Manolo,
    Honestly, the fact that the tapes came from within GMA’s government has worried me since reports of the alleged source of those tapes were reported. The source is the one thing that hardly anyone seems to be asking. If we find the answer to that, a lot of our problems will probably be solved.


    terms of references is one salient point but history must step in at this juncture with a question to start, are the actions of the catholic church really for the good of our country or for the continuing hold of its influence or for whatever vested interest of the church?

    estrada was kicked out of malacañang due to jueteng, recent expose’ point to the presidents family involved in jueteng and several bishops admitting to have recieved money from jueteng lords, their lame excuse,”because it was/is for the poor”….

    what is the reaction from/of the CBCP to their erring bishops? compared to the CBCP reaction/efforts during the ouster of estrada?

    m.i.c.e., money, ideology, compromise, ego.

    the KGB was really good at this in recruiting spies and getting information but reality is one doesnt need to be KGB to manipulate, use, coerce, threaten, bribe, blackmail a person/s or institution for someone’s vested interest

    common ground, it doesnt matter if your some kind of a percieved saint or holy “father” or a person who earns his/her keep at the payatas dump site; we are all human with our own vested weaknesses.

    sadly this applies to most of our leaders and people whom we look up to…

  16. alex, i agree w/ you.we really have to think of our country first and not get carried away w/ partisan politics. it’s a game where the lose of one is someone eleses gain. you can be sure it’s not gonna be us!!!!
    don’t we have anything better to do than speculate?

  17. faye, hope myou donn’t get turned-off.
    buti’m just asking?
    what where you hearing, reading & seeing in last years election?
    i guess the illegal garci tapes must have influenced you.
    but are they proven?have the people who did it come out?are we aware of the technology that was used.why a delay of 1 year?who are those w/ most to gain? there are many things needed to come to a judgment.i’m just asking.
    cuz if we dont ask the right questions, we won’t get the right answers but it’s so starnge that we still manage to make absolute judgements.
    i guess it will be rud to compare you to anybody because you are a unique person. comparing eraps time to now is also about the uniquness of two differnt situations.
    but if a military junta is better for you than gma, i can only respect your view, but just say it stright forward what you really like and possible that it may be doable/realistic.
    pls. don’t get me wrong

  18. manulebuencamino, i read tiglaos column yesterday too. i think he was being objective.surveys can be manipulated. the thousands of times cayetano repeated the words harsh judgmental words against pgma can have an effect on peoples judgments.i think that using media and propaganda is not fair to prove someones guilt.
    i think that no matter how you might feel about anything, we must never lose our sence of fairness.
    not being fair can only means there is something not completely honest

  19. edsa I should not judged on its aftermath – edsa I should just be judged as an event – after over 20 years of living in fear the people, with God’s Grace, were able to boot out the worse dictator known to post war world history. it was no picnic at all – we were gassed in santolan, we slept on the cold sidewalks of edsa, we faced the tanks at the corner of edsa and ortigas (where galleria sits right now). there was a lot fear, but there was also a lot of courage and we were ready to die. and it was glorious, it was really glorious and a God filled experience. i feel really sorry for those who do not share the same sentiments.

    its aftermath? i just like to compare us to the israelites -look what happened to them after the exodus – they also got so messed up – they practically had to cover the biblical, ancient and modern histories after they were emancipated for them to establish a nation . the pyramids they were building were already ancient tourist spots before they could sing “this land is mine”

    as for edsa II – no picnic either, but there was less fear and there was so much more HOPE because we thought GMA will be the best president that we will have in 40 years! i don’t know, i really don’t know

  20. thanks carl for the insight…i know now why…i dont want to sound racist or anything but for the past 20 years of my life parang may ideya na ako kung bakit hindi pa rin umuunlad ang PINAS…too much democracy and pride…america may be the showcase of democracy (and perhaps the poster boy of it) but the law there is a hammer…and pride keeps us from accepting that we are all at fault (not just the few)…angal ng angal ang tao na mahal ang bilihin…mahal ang ganito mahal ang ganyan…but still they prefer something made from somewhere else (na kahit po ako ay guilty)…we do not circulate our own finances (plus the fact that greeedy taipans are the worst owners of their companies)…kung pwede ga lang gawin yung ginawang isolation ng japan during their closure to the world malamang umayos yung bansa natin…sana nga lang…

  21. jay, just an idea,i think we can do something, first of all by notbbeing part bof the politics of hate and grid. by looking for things that unite us.
    just read the cdcp statement. yes, we have to move on. we have to think about the poor, we have to face the challeges of the world. we have to stop thinking about ourselves and think as a nation. we are the lest patriotic nation of all our asian neighbors and we are also the lest developed!! does not that say something. i have been around and i always ask myself, why can’t we as developed as them?
    maybe it’s because we have to mmuch amor propio that things are always personal.just like in this crisis we are focused on just wanting to get rid of pgma w/o weighing things first and looking at the bigger picture.I don’y know if you realize it but the truth is that there is no viable leader!!!!
    hate her, curse her and whatever but at the end of the day she is still the president.i think there is no plesure to be a president when half of the nation hates you.

  22. Paul. I feel your pain. Many of these online and print journalists have very little to say except: let’s all hate Arroyo.

    Meanwhile, we have to depend on the foreign media to cover issues that we all ought to know like the inhuman conditions and child abuses in our prison system (covered in detail by CNN recently) and the increased interest of foregin investors in our country. Our newspapers are long on editorials and commentaries, but weak on substance and facts.

  23. Just because Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is the putative president doesn’t mean she should be exempt from criticism. On the contrary, it’s even more reason to shine the harsh light of reality on her actions. In the first place, we don’t even know if she really won the presidential election. It’s pretty simple: if she were innocent, she would welcome the chance to clear her name in an impeachment trial. But she did everything in her power to avoid impeachment, which means either of two things: she doesn’t want to clear her name (which, if it were true, would make no sense), or she’s guilty. The same goes for Garci’s disappearance. If Gloria were innocent, she would hound Garci to the ends of the earth and trot him out before the Filipino people to tell us that it wasn’t she Garci was talking to on those tapes. But she allowed him to slip out of the country and to this day has held no one accountable. Are those the actions of an innocent person? Is that any reason to lay off her and give her a pass for the rest of her term? If so many journalists–most of them excellent thinkers who make compelling arguments–are telling everyone to hate Arroyo, that is because they have good reason.

  24. MLQ3

    even if the tapes were released by someone from the administration I still dont get it..if they truly have the country’s interest why only now? The intent is plain and simple …they want to bring down GMA and they all have their own vested interests. All these resigning cabinet members …what they did was in poor taste! You may not agree with me but their mandate came from the President..they bahaved as if they were voted by the people…so arrogant..You just dont obliterate an electoral contest just like that…resign… far as I know the last election was between two people who garnered around 80% of the is still alive and the other one is DEAD. I voted for the one who is still alive …why would anyone just take away my vote just like that by putting up junta and etc…to hell with them!

  25. emilie, it’s always a democratic right, whatever the result of a particular election, to petition the government. in the uk, they marched to protest the iraq war, in the us, martin luther king marched to oppose racism, in tiananmen square they did it and got shot, etc. etc. while a president is elected for a fixed term, the president is also accountable, and the people have the right to protest and demand resignation if they want to.

    if the tapes were released by someone from the admin, obviously it was done to harm the president. now it’s like this: to harm the president, you can either invent something, in which case it won’t really work, or, you can release something true, which can really harm the president. the president herself said she called comelec officials, which isnt saying she confirms or denies the tapes, but this does mean the tapes point to real, possible, events. hence the call for an investigation and explanation. the president then neither mounted a credible investigation, or gave a full explanation. so those always against her, or those disillusioned with her, can justifiably assume that if she did nothing wrong, why was there a cover up, if she is innocent why doesnt she prove it, and so on…

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