Stopping the march

Please visit The Black and White Movement Blog for continuous updates on the Caravan for Truth, Justice and Reforms which is supposed to reach Metro Manila today. The Caravan, composed of individuals from the provinces, has been on the march for some weeks now from Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. The government, however, is intent on thwarting its arrival. This effort is meant to commemorate the Edsa People Power Revolution, and to call for continuing reforms in the system.

My Arab News column for this week is People Power Needs Certain Givens to Be Recognized. Incidentally, Seth Mydans quotes me in an article in the International Herald Tribune. Other pundits focus on the People Power phenomenon as well, from Patricio Diaz and H. Marcos Mordeno in Mindanews, Manuel Buencamino (tangentially) in the Business Mirror, to Amando Doronila in the Inquirer.

In other views, Gail Ilagan has another remarkable commentary on how an impoverished mentality is as dangerous as poverty itself (this is another must-read; and suggests to me a publisher should look into putting together the trenchant social commentary coming out these days). Renato Constantino Jr. advises Joseph Estrada not to seek restoration, but more drastic changes. The Inquirer editorial castigates recent public pronouncements as “pure terrorism”.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

12 thoughts on “Stopping the march

  1. MLQ3,

    Re your question in your Arab News column: The question Filipinos are wresting with now is: Are they being ruled by a despot?

    Answer: Definetely!

    Also, on Inq. news link on the B&W blog reporting “SEVERAL thousand leftist protesters called Wednesday for the ousting of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as they took to the streets to mark the 20th anniversary of the downfall of dictator Ferdinand Marcos.”

    Why does PDI have this preposterous habit of blanketly reporting that demonstrators against Arroyo as leftist demonstrators? Incredible! In a Yahoo instant message, my sister informed me that a brother of ours, his daughter and their friends were among the several thousand demonstrators and they ain’t remotely LEFTISTS as in commies!

  2. To me, the 1st EDSA that I had participated is dead. After 20 years, we have not been able to capitalize and restructure the country with real tangible reforms. Reforms are done in name only, sort of window dressing. Looting from the time we knew of “islas de ladrones” to the pinnacle of Marcos stashing billions in Swiss banks, is still the name of the game including this current administration.

    The P22 billion (worth P35 billion today) of Marcos deposits turned over by Swiss banks to the government is largely unacccounted for with only P13 billion left. The law set the amount for Agrarian Reform (wishful thinking) by allocating 70% for land distribution and 30% for support services. There is no land distribution today that can account for P24.5 billion. It is also determined from the office of DBM that most massive release of funds were done right before the 2004 presidential election.

    If each single cent of the huge amount had been properly used, Philippines would have been the rice exporter (not Thailand), there would not be shortage or high price of food supply, and economic lives of farmers would have been better, etc…. again wishful thinking….

    Korea and Japan started from zero but with reparation money were able to become the tiger economies today. Somehow, Philippines has this cancerous attitude of looking at money as dole-outs to be used for personal benefit. No different from previous lootings, it is obvious that Gloria looted the money to feed her patronage to keep herself in power. Another sad story of never ending looting, from Marcos to Gloria.

  3. I think this corruption culture stems from the “balato” mentality…Gloria simply wants the biggest balato.

  4. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo graduated high school as valedictorian in 1964 from Assumption College, then classmate of Pres. Bill Clinton in Georgetown University, with masters degree in economics from Ateneo, and doctorate from UP. Somehow, these excellent credentials are lost when faced with huge amount of “peoples” money at her disposal.

    May God have mercy on future Filipino generations!

  5. …and if ever Gloria is remove, the biggest challenge is for looting cycle to stop. Government position is largely seen as empowerment to loot especially for the friends and allies who help in getting the most lucrative government post, the presidency.

  6. Dodong,

    As you rightly said, Gloria has top educational credentials and in addition to that, a good political pedigree which should make her the ideal candidate to lead the nation.

    But, as I said earlier, the woman has no vision. She is consumed by personal, selfish ambitions which were nurtured by her political upbringing and training that dictated that ‘leadership’ was considered a trophy and not a moral ideal.

    What puzzles me is why ‘decent’ people purporting to feel strongly for the nation are still in her service. What honor is there in serving Gloria (and her husband) or in her government?

    The disregard with which Gloria (and her husband) cast aside, thwart the rule of law and all other standards of political decency surely has more than wiped the slate of obligation!

  7. adb wrote:

    “What puzzles me is why ‘decent’ people purporting to feel strongly for the nation are still in her service.”

    ***I’ll be interested to hear your answer to this question once you have figured it out.

  8. Geo,

    I reckon I won’t be able to figure that one out easily without resorting to a guessing game – gotta get the answer to that puzzling question straight from the horse’s mouth.

    Are you, per chance, in Gloria’s service, in her government?

  9. Joey,

    I admit, we are not that good compared to her excellency as doctorate in economics. Even the almighty senators are inutile with EO464 in face of the very slow wheel at Supreme Court.

    Pudence, we presume the president is innocent and acting in good faith as she killed the impeachment and issued EO464 as matter of self-preservation.

    In the meantime, we just wonder how on earth have we been robbed twice of the P35 billion worth of deposits turned over by Swiss banks with only P13 billion left. That illustrates were not that good in economics but am sure Gloria is an expert and she can explain that.

  10. Joey,

    I admit that we are not that good as her excellency as doctorate in economics. Even the almighty senators are no match with her wits in EO464 and in the grinding pace at Supreme Court.

    Prudence, we assume that the president is innocent and acting in good faith in killing the impeachment and issuance of EO464 as matter of self-preservation.

    In the meantime, we just wonder how on earth have we been robbed twice when the P35 billion worth of Marcos loot has the current balance of P13 billion left. As I said, we are not that good in economics, but I am sure that Madame Expert in Economics can explain herself.

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