The Middle faces extinction

A complete revolution is my column for today. It’s my appreciation of what Edsa really meant and accomplished.

Today, I will be participating in a full-day retreat by the so-called “middle forces,” to reflect on where it has gone since 1986, and where it is headed. This is the outline of the remarks I’ve been asked to deliver:

How did we come to this?

Alran Bengzon, 1986: where have the the middle forces gone? Chasing privilege in the corridors of power.

Complicity in martial law never examined; absolution assumed in 1986

No purge was undertaken

No reeducation took place –confused children with propaganda textbooks suddenly outmoded, but never fully purged

The gains never went beyond the rhetorical, there was a lack of self-sacrifice

Middle Forces did not recognize their rejection by the people not once, but thrice:

In 1992, Danding & Imelda
In 1998, with Erap
In 2001, with Edsa Tres, when the middle forces were reduced to fleeing to San Beda, and a hollow re-occupation of the Edsa shrine took place

In all the above, the middle forces forget a central lesson of the efforts from 1983-1985: unity; there was a proliferation of candidates, but only one candidate for the other side.

We are here because a central attribute of democratic self-governance is self-control. The lack of self-control brought Marcos and Estrada down; it led to Cory foregoing historic opportunities, but has salvaged her post-Edsa reputation; it meant Ramos for all his defects, can live in a residual afterglow to his presidency –a presidency in which the middle forces had nothing to do.

What are our options?

A wider gulf exists between the middle and the people; the debate indeed, involves whether the middle even really exists anymore. Cory Aquino and Tito Guingona have apologized to Erap, who is more than a person, he is a constituency. It has not done so to the broader public.

In the public’s eyes, we are a faction, merely one of many competing in the same traditional way for the traditional spoils. Because of this, we lack the ingredients for seizing the imagination of the people: credibility, the ability to communicate, a leader.

We are faced with wanting reforms, without a national consensus existing for those reforms. Or even recognizing that a national consensus, for it to be effective and thus, acceptable, requires the consensus to be broad.

We are flirting with what we rejected during martial law, opposed during the 1987 and 1989 coups, what we shrugged or laughed off in 2003. We are making accommodations, rationalizations, because we are faced with what the traditional political class faces: extinction.

I submit we have not learned from our history since 1986, because the lessons are too painful. I submit that in desperation we are embarking on adventurism. A simple issue has been complicated by us; the painful and probably unsatisfactory solution, because it would mean only the beginning, and not end of our labors, is to give the people what they want: a president they themselves chose. We have so many problems with this, because we have proven an incapacity to influence that process since 1986.

Our option? Pull back from the brink, cease and desist flirting with the idea of change through armed might; but to do so requires our consecration to the idea that we are not in this for power or its perks.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

49 thoughts on “The Middle faces extinction

  1. “Our option? Pull back from the brink, cease and desist flirting with the idea of change through armed might; but to do so requires our consecration to the idea that we are not in this for power or its perks.”

    i totally agree….We must divorce the idea of getting perks or as dodong called it “loot”….or ADB called it “balato”

    we are so enamored with the robin hood stories that may seemed to answer or cure looting, thus we flirt with adventurism…….

    i watched viewpoint last night…The most logical thought i’ve heard is that we need an election….as to its being a snap one…we must not flirt with the idea as well…

    Then what else is left…
    Sad to say impeachment..
    Come June or July..I hope against hope that the impeachment reaches the senate…

  2. Do not forget that the “mass base” of that political middle also left in droves to the U.S. The the number of professionals and college graduates who applied for immigration and tourist (for TNT purposes) visas increased dramatically by 1974. The so-called “middle forces” thus had an unstable base, unlike the CPP-NPA then whichrelied mainly on peasants, the urban poor and factory workers — groups that could not move to America — grew. But the Party’s base would itself erode when the rest of the world began to demand for Filipino labor.

  3. Manolo, not only are the so called “middle forces” facing extinction.Honestly, I could never figure out it’s relevance in the first place.
    I would tend to be more understanding to the leftiest & rightiest although I will never agree w/ them, but at least i will give them credit for having a true identity.
    Unlike the “midddle forces” I could not make heads or tails about it.
    It was just another “gang” of in a way of “have beens” idealist & oppurtunist.
    I think that if we really love & care for this country.The last thing that we should do is being confrontational to the goverment.
    The last thing we should do is exploit issues to make us “appear to be relevant”.
    The last thing that we should do is join the politics of personalities.

    What will make our country go forward is not the politics of destruction & recklesness.

    It seems our problems are really more about our distorted cultural values.
    Our “amor propio” get’s in the way.
    We can only critisize & demonize our leaders.
    But we never have the courage to recognize whatever positive points others may have.
    I remember, until Winnie Monsod would talk against PGMA she was ok.The moment she spoke objectivly why PGMA won the elections.As if she would be allienated from the “gang”

    It’s not a surprise since we are a “kampihan” society.Objectivity is sacrificed for being “identified” w/ what is popular.
    In a way we bring the fight to a “personalan” level.making it practicaly impossible to conclude anything.

    I never thought “middle forces” are relevant to our needs.
    What we need are people who can think out of the box.
    Waht is usefull are people who do not use their “hang-ups to cloud their judgments.

    I’m watching GO-NEGOSYO on ANC.
    I think we need more people who can encourage & inspire people to be their best & discover their abilities to be their best & be able to make a difference in society.

    I know i will surely listen to people who help me to be a better person.

  4. Pardon me, but the three EDSA events (some count just two) that we often refer to as the “will of the Filipino people” cannot be really so if we look at the numbers. During EDSA 1, how many were on the streets demanding for Marcos to go? Say, 2 million? Was that the representative of all Filipinos from all islands (and abroad)? I would hazard to guess that it was not. Maybe it’s one of the reasons why the gains we had from it were not lasting because everybody (all citizens) are actually out of sync. Proof of this is that up to this day there are still a lot of “Marcos loyalists”.

    It was a successfull revolution (correctly described as one which started in an accident). It was not(sanctioned, supported) by all Filipinos however.

  5. Now wait just a minute, Mr. MLQ3.
    With all due respect..

    You’re saying that we should all just simmer down and sit this out because the middle is a spent force with no consensus, no direction, no commitment, and no leader.

    Ergo, the solution is: no solution.
    Stand still, quit fidgeting, and stay put.
    “Baldado na ang middle force. Wala na tayong magagawa kaya huwag na tayo kumilos..” -This what you’re saying..

    Well, I say you are grossly mistaken in believing this.

    The middle force is made up of every thinking Filipino, here and abroad, who sees the the moral and material depravity and knows in his heart that there has got to be a better way.

    The only difference is this:
    We are still willing to work this out for the better.
    -To tussle with the country’s many foibles.

    But you, at this moment, have chosen the classic posture of the armchair strategist.
    -Do pardon me for being blunt.

    Yes, I agree. We collectively forgot to change mindsets, to do re-training, a process re-orientation.

    So we’re still here -where we were 20 years ago- thinking the same feeble and pedestrian thoughts. Exerting the same half-hearted efforts. Reaping the same mediocre results.

    But hey, we are a societal work in progress.
    Let’s cut ourselves some slack!
    -I believe the intellectual elite has its role to play in this process of societal renewal.

    Don’t give in so easily, Mr. MLQ3.

    C’mon. We’ve got work to do.

  6. Just goes to show that Joey Ayala was right in his song entitled, “Magkabilaan”

    A line goes;
    “May kaliwa’t kanan sa ating lipunan
    Patuloy ang pagtutunggali, patuloy ang paglalaban.
    Pumanig ka, pumanig ka. Huwag nang ipagpaliban pa
    Ang di makapagpasiya ay maiipit sa gitna.”

    Listen to it once more, the song though very old has never lost its relevance.

  7. What about taking the Constituional route to take down the current president? Don’t we believe in our Constitution and democracy enough that we cannot make it work for us?
    This time, let’s do it right. Let’s not be hasty and lazy again and take the easy way out. It’s time we mature as a people and as a nation. If the opposition can find a way to get their act together and come up with a credible impeachment complaint in a few months, they will have the support of the middle forces. Are we so bereft of brains in Congress that they cannot do that? Even a layman could tell they were not getting anywhere with all the press cons that led to nothing.

    Danding and Imelda, Erap…yes, where did our efforts get us? Have we achieved justice? We keep pointing fingers and accusing. Every president that came after Marcos was accused of one thing or another. For once, I want someone prosecuted and brought to justice because that will be a true test of whether or not our system is working.

    Truthfuly, we Filipinos don’t have the patience and the fortitude to see things through. We are so easily distracted by the latest issue and even look forward to the next…before you know it, there’s another one, sporting a different face. Smokescreen lahat. Let’s try and see beyond the smoke and mirrors and focus on what we can do that will benefit the country for the long-term. First of all, we have to make this democracy work for us.

    I said it before, all this brouhaha is about Charter Change…it will come whether we’re ready or not, it’s just powerplay that’s delaying it. It will come, sure as the sun rises tomorrow, because we are focused on something else!

  8. I keep on hearing..we need to be mature…haven’t we learned from history..etc..

    Going to the previous comment:
    If this brouhaha is about Charter change at all…

    To the rest who keep on saying that the senate does no good..

    i hope and I pray that they are wrong!

  9. MLQ3,

    How are the “Middle Forces” to be defined? I pretty sure they cannot be defined simply by their opposition to this or that administration. Defining the “Middle Forces” is key to understanding the current rut.

  10. First of all, a request for clarification: Are the “middle forces” referred to here synonimous with “civil society”?

    Secondly, I believe these so-called “middle forces” (in particular those mentioned by Jon Mariano in comment # 4) come primarily from the urban areas, thus they have an urban mindset. They were, and continue to be, disconnected from the countryside, unattuned to the problems and aspirations of those in the rural areas. Consequently, this huge, but silent, constituency has been seized upon by:

    1.) The local political leaders, most of whom are what are derisively known as “trapos” or “warlords” (witness how local governments and constituencies are not very responsive to “middle force” initiatives) and

    2.) The insurgents (NPA, Muslim rebels).

    The hard reality is that the much-maligned politicians and rebel groups are more attuned to the countryside, know the people and their needs. And the people in the countryside, by default, give these groups their mandate. These groups are the ones they are in regular contact with and with whom they have developed some form of symbiotic relationship or understanding. In the eyes of those in the countryside, the “middle forces” are detached, distant and different from themselves.

    To some degree, this dovetails with Jon Mariano’s comments: ”it’s one of the reasons why the gains we had from (EDSA) were not lasting because everybody (all citizens) are actually out of sync. Proof of this is that up to this day there are still a lot of “Marcos loyalists”.”

    Re the “Marcos loyalists” (which actually form a good part of Erap’s following, Erap being one of the heirs of Marcos), these are mostly those who do not feel any kinship with the “middle forces” or the ideas that these “middle forces” espouse. Many of these are the urban poor, who are more assertive than their rural brethren. But the rural folk, in their own quiet way, also feel no kinship with these “middle forces”. Somehow, there is something amiss with either the message not being properly articulated or a disconnect in their perceptions, hopes, aspirations and search for solutions.

  11. Good point, Carl.

    I think the middle forces that Mr. MLQ3 may be referring to (-perhaps typified by Mr. Alran Bengzon) are the Metro Manila (or perhaps predominantly Luzon) based urbane elites.

    Too far removed from the realities of rural life.
    Too educated, too mongrel-ized, too sophisticated, too polished, too unfamiliar for rural folk to feel any empathy for to ever identify with and therefore follow.

    And vice versa!

    To us urbanites, the rural folk are too dark, too poor, too squat, too “sarat-ilong”, too simple, too un-educated, too irrelevant to consult with, listen to and serve.

    So there it is, folks.
    The great Philippine societal divide.

    Which is why I’m suggesting that we advance a more inclusive definition of the middle force, which by this new definition, would include rural folk with a more expansive consciousness of how things ought to be.

  12. Karl, it’s so true.We really need to mature & grow so much.Doing that alone we solve our problems halfway already.
    When I was in the shoe manufacturing busines I remember how difficult it was to train workers in new techniques that will be for their benifit in the long term.It was like facing a wall of pure stubborness.
    I’m just trying to say that lots of our problems have roots in our attitudes.
    We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
    What we have to do is to refocus our energies to constructive & productive things.
    I have said it before, all this politiking will lead us only to a much deeper hole then we are in already.
    If we really want to make a difference we have to make an effort to be able to think out-of-the-box.
    We should also be free from so amny things that hold us down & cloud our judgement.
    What we need are people w/ a different mind-set.
    Just as is mentioned in the gospel.You can mix new wine w/ old wine.Because in doing so.You ruin the good wine to taste just like the old wine.
    The world is moving on.
    We all know it very well people are super disgusted w/ politics.

    While watching the launching of GO Negosyo on ANC this morning.I saw people who are looking at things in the long term.Our hopes & dreams will never be realized if we don’t start to do something today.

    If today we are celebrating a toned down celebartion of EDSA 1 & we find ourselves w/ dissapointments & being more divided then ever.
    It can only be because of our penchant of the “maling akala”.We never really sat down and planed what we want & how we want to get there.
    We where satisfied in just restoring the “symbols” of democracy.
    In a way we just wanted things to be the way it was befor Marcos proclamed martail Law and then we called it freedom & democracy.
    It was pathetic to see santa cory being followed by her diciples,the MBC people.
    Not to mention that the MBC people are just a bunch of hypocrits who hate the person who is working hard for our economy although they are making profits from it.But follow santa cory who is the last person capable to do something for our economy.

    We have to put a stop to our lazy ways.Just because we can’t learn to leave w/ things the we conclude that the other is bad & we are good & form a “gang”.
    When will we ever learn that we can’t go on & on passing the fault to others just because we are not man enough to make choices in life.

  13. Lito V don’t think that this dire situation we all face will lighten-up just because we begin to include the “sarat-ilongs”. Unfortunately, to achieve even modest gains such as security, cleanliness, relevant education, rudimentary preventive healthcare, we cannot start taking numerous poll-survey across the socio-cultural strata on how best to achieve these goals. We need to let the more polished, more educated middle-roaders handle these.

    Native Americans and Aborigines and other “sarat-ilongs” have always been excluded from nation-building until they acquire a certain level of sophistication.

  14. Lito V don’t think that this dire situation we all face will lighten-up just because we begin to include the “sarat-ilongs”. Unfortunately, to achieve even modest gains such as security, cleanliness, relevant education, rudimentary preventive healthcare, we cannot start taking numerous poll-survey across the socio-cultural strata on how best to achieve these goals. We need to let the more polished, more educated middle-roaders handle these.

    Native Americans and Aborigines and other “sarat-ilongs” have always been excluded from nation-building until they acquire a certain level of sophistication.

  15. mlq3,

    i’m sure you mean well when you say that you and the middle forces… “…Pull back from the brink, cease and desist flirting with the idea of change through armed might; but to do so requires our consecration to the idea that we are not in this for power or its perks.”

    but someone has too. someone has assume power… and its perks and finally use that power for the benefit of the people. look at singapore. their leaders knew how to wield power and placed their country first. look where it got them and one can say the same with the leaders of america. of china. of russia. of japan.

    yes the middle forces are a faction. don’t deny or be ashamed of it. embrace it— but be different. why?

    the good people reject the responsibility of power. thats a problem. good people don’t run for elections. people run because they want power and its perks for themselves alone. hence, more people with less interest in governance and more for their own personal ambitions succeed. it shouldn’t be so. the people must benefit from it and i’m not saying be a saint— lets keep it real. but people must benefit more because of the person they elected into office.

    if the middle forces wishes to distinguish itself, then be a leader! show our people where you want to bring this country to and do it. and if this change must begin in the halls of congress, then do it. form good political parties that challenge the status quo, parties that have a clear vision that says Mrs. Arroyo and all that she represents is wrong in her vision for our future. parties that have stable members who people can believe will not turncoat.

    six out of ten filipinos want mrs. arroyo out (based on the pcij and bbc’s podcast). yet she is still here. why? our people are waiting for someone or some group to take them where they want to go. they just need a good reason to follow. all they want is a better life. leaders don’t poll and say oh thats what the people want, we all know what our people want. they’ve been wanting it since before Rizal was born: a country that is economically successful.

    what leaders do, they lead.

    all over this country we hear great success stories. cities who are progressing with what little resources they have. cities that are disciplined, clean, orderly. people follow when leaders lead. thats what we vote leaders for.

    the filipino need leaders who execute more and promise less. they need leaders who are doers. leaders who offer answers and less pointing of blame. we need leaders who can make filipinos accept our past, learn from it and move on.

    i hope the middle forces can find a vision and lead. thats what filipinos need.

  16. I think mr lito v is correct in saying that the middle force is every thinking filipino. we will achieve nothing if we shall keep on pointing as to who or where the middle force goes and wait at what the middle force can do. Middle force, just like any other societal agrupation, is a cult borne purely out of perception. there are no specific warm bodies that may define the borders of the middle forces.

  17. MLQ3,

    I believe it’s never too late.

    It is high time to pick up from where we first started: EDSA I.

    All three forces, (upper, middle, lower?) should converge again and give this excruciating painful task of nation building a chance to work.

    I believe the failures of Edsa this and that have been dissected, analysed and digested. After 20 years, it is time to treat the wounds that have so infected our nation. It is time to act.

    Tough times require tough measures so tough decisions must be made.

    We must therefore ask those who are still wallowing in self-importance to make a decision:

    What honor is there in serving Gloria (and her husband) or in her government (cabinet appointees in her administration)?

    They perhaps must be strongly reminded that 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!

  18. By the way, MLQ3, for once I agree with what MitaMS said in the above – all very sensible and good stuff.

    In line with her suggestions, I recommend that we dissect the Constitution illico and search for the provisions that define how a corrupt president (ugh… that word ‘president’ was kinda hard to type) could be removed, forced to resign either from office by the citizens or the military of the Republic or by both.

  19. Ok, Ok, will rephrase that last bit:

    …search for the provisions that define how a corrupt president could be removed, forced to resign from office either by the citizens or the military of the Republic or by both.

  20. what middle forces? in this country, it seems you’re either a member of the elite classes or you think like them (even if you don’t have the pelf) and the rest are peons, slaves and poor people. the rulers pay lip service to American-style democracy, while practicing a kind of modern feudalism. the thinkers are too steeped in Western democratic thought or old-fangled communist hooha to be really relevant. the media is too corrupt. the military is like a neighborhood toughie with a pea-sized brain. it’s a humpty-dumpty society, just about to fall off the brick wall.

  21. Karl, hoping and praying we’re wrong is not enough to make us wrong. What if we’re right? What then?

    Before anyone goes any further, can we just get a few things straight first? The “masa” have a mind of their own explaining the Erap and Magsaysay mystic.

    They never did just “follow” – they make up their own minds. We all are capable of making up our own minds instead of just following the crowds. We are, all of us, THE people.

    Another thing we have to remember, the “rural folk” can be just as (more even) urbane and sophisticated as we think we are. This is the “maturity” we keep hearing about – or lack of it. So much of our attitudes toward our own kind is so immature and unrealistic, not to mention, unkind.

    Why on earth do we think we’re better because we come from the city or because we have a name or lineage considered pedigreed or de buena cuna? We all have ancestors who lived in caves for goodness’ sakes! It’s an illusion to think you don’t.

    If we don’t stop this attitude of exclusion and discrimination, the “masa” will make up their minds once and for all, do a French Revolution…and all the blue-blooded, (I’ve actually heard someone use this term to refer to his family – ugh!) stuck-up, intellectual elite will have a lot of time to figure out what went wrong – after.

    If we think Filipinos are incapable of that, let’s continue to push the envelope…as an experiment.

    Can we now start demanding a government we deserve instead of merely focusing on changing players? Our government ought to have 3 working branches: the executive, the legislative and the judiciary – which one is working and which one is broken? Do we deserve that?

    Read Joey’s comments again, he speaks the truth.

  22. You go MitaMS!

    My belated reaction to comment #15..

    mr. holly f** said:
    ~~Native Americans and Aborigines have always been excluded from nation-building until they acquire a certain level of sophistication.~~

    Well, American Indians have been living in reservations or Trust Areas since 1876. It’s been130 years since..
    Are they now better able to integrate into mainstream America society?

    Australian Aboriginals? Check out Google yourself. Let me know if you see any signs of their integration into the whiteman’s world.

    These indigenous people are outcasts in their own land and will never be sophisticated enough to join mainstream society let alone participate in nation building.

    So, dito naman sa Pilipinas, you’re saying: Ipasangtabi na muna natin silang mga wala gaanong pinag-aralan habang iniisip nating mga edukado at dalubhasa ang kalutasan ng mga problema ng bayan.

    Locally, are you referring to our Aetas as those we should disregard? What about our OFWs? Aren’t the OFWs sophisticated enough for you? Not bright enough to join the middle forces, eh?

    Isn’t the US$12Billion they’ve contributed to our economy for 2005 alone enough to buy them the right to say something about where you want to take this country?

    Well I say we’re not helping these people nearly enough for all the sacrifices they’ve had to make all this time. But we don’t see that, do we?
    Well, kaya naman po sila nagaglit sa atin.

    -And we keep wondering why they keep voting the likes of Erap and FPJ into office?

  23. Here is a point of confusion , I mean clarification.

    What if middle is not the middle of upper and lower

    ….what if it is the middle of left and right..

    Then what are we then?Extremists?

  24. I think the “middle forces” being referred to by mlq are more centrist in political orientation. Although some may lean more either towards the left or the right, they are not in the extreme. Since the majority of the middle class are in this category, “middle forces” has been equated with the middle class, although I do not think this should be so.

    I also agree with MitaMS’ comments on the “top-down” approach to governance. Although the “middle forces” always invoke people empowerment, they seem to think that they know what is best for the rest of the country. The folk in the countryside are never heard, especially those who do not join political action organizations. Urban folk think that extreme groups like KMP, or other acronym-laden advocacy groups, represent the interests of the countryside. This is far from the reality. The majority of the people in the countryside are averse to politicking and seldom make overt manifestations of their intentions. They are used to quietly toiling away day to day. They also do not have the time nor the money to go to Manila to stage rallies or demonstrations. It is only the local politicians and the insurgents who visit them and listen to their problems. That is why, when the Aquino administration, soon after EDSA, tried to remove all local officials and replace them with hand-picked ones, there was tremendous resistance and outcry from the grassroots. And sure enough, when local elections were held in 1988, most of the “trapos” and “warlords” were back in the saddle again.

    This is not to justify trapos and warlords. This is to point out the fact that there is a huge void in the rest of the country that the “middle forces” failed to address. While this void remains, the trapos, warlords and insurgents will always have their spheres of influence. Whether people like it or not, trapos will always be elected into office because they fill in a void which the rest of the country overlooks. If people think that trapos, warlords and insurgents are a nuisance, people should first realize that this nuisance is a symptom of a deeper malaise or neglect.

  25. the middle forces is just another name for “fencesitters”.
    people who can’t decide what to do.people who want to play it safe.
    people who want everything & don’t want to give anything.
    they are a group of people who are in a forever dilema.they are just to scared to make tough choices.they will use all possible excuses to run away form tough choices.
    they find it so hard to connect w/ reality so they just stay in the middle.
    when push comes to shove they are no where to be found.
    don’t get me wrong people.
    but has the so called middle forceses contributed anything to solve our problems?

    does anyone really value what the people behind “go negosyo” are doing for this country.
    thgere are so many real patriots around.people who work quitly.people who really care about the others.

    there will never be any shortcuts to hard work & focus.

    it’s another very sad & frustarting day.
    it’s not peoples power we’s mod & manipulation power!!

  26. Carl,

    Your analysis is spot on!

    The problem is we have at the helm someone who has elected to shortcircuit the constitutional machinery and having succeeded, has chosen to keep trapos, warlords and constitutional insurgents on board in order to ensure her firm grip of Malacanang.

    What kind of governance is that?

  27. While I agree with you, Mrs. de Brux, I think everyone should be looking beyond GMA. GMA is also the symptom of a larger malaise, like the trapos and the insurgents. I would liken it to malaria. Before we can eradicate the disease, we have to find and eradicate the breeding grounds of the mosquitoes that carry that disease.

  28. Ok, I agree with that.

    But first things first. GMA is not even a trained nurse!

    She has no vision, just personal ambitions. How can you expect to even eradicate a political disease when she herself is a pure proponent of trapo politics?

    To me, she is spreading the disease of political malaria instead of dealing with it. I’m sorry Carl but you can’t cure a real disease with arbulario methods and that’s what she’s doing.

    You got to send the arbulario away before you can deal with the disease.

    The process might take time, the treatment will be painful but you gotta start doing it – do something against political witchcraft NOW before the patients die!

  29. MLQ3,

    BBC WORLD has put the Philippines as headline news.

    Edna Aquino, a human rights activist has just been interviewed live. She answered questions on why Gloria declared a state of emergency expanding to Gloria’s thwarting of impeachment charges against her for election fraud.

    Alex Magno played the Palace spin that Gloria’s proclamation 1017 something saying that this was nothing but a pre-emptive strike against coup plotters.

  30. Manolo, a commenter in my blog is campaigning for your presidency. I’m wondering if I missed your announcement to run for president and your publication of a program of action. 🙂 Did I?

  31. De l’audace, de l’audace et toujours de l’audace!

    All “three forces” – upper, middle, lower forces must converge and uphold the Constitution that Gloria, the constitutional insurgent, consorting with trapos, warlords and other constitutional insurgents have breached and continue to breach. This is the only way to keep democracy from dying.

    Filipinos must go that extra mile – they cannot allow this fascist state of things to go on.

    They must put Gloria on trial for crimes against the Constitution. If found guilty, she should be hanged.

  32. MLQ3,

    Arroyo’s proclamation of a state of emergency is a covert declaration of Martial Law to allow her to quell calls for her ouster. She’s ordered the arrest of Randy David, respected newspaper columnist because David delivered a lecture on the true state of the nation.

    Arroyo is the single biggest threat to Philippine democracy. Edsa I revolution toppled Marcos to bring democracy but Arroyo shortcircuited return to democracy. Not content with stealing the presidency once, she stole it a 2nd time in 2004; she’s even stolen the returned Marcos loot to pay for votes; now, she’s stealing freedom to call for her ouster.

    Has she got support of the nation? NO! Just the support of politicians who must ask themselves: What honor is there in serving in her government? The disregard with which Gloria has cast aside, is thwarting the rule of law and all other standards of decency has wiped the slate of obligation.

  33. National Telecommunications Commissioner Ronald Solis is reported to have warned that his agency would “not hesitate to recommend closure of any broadcast outfit found violating rules set out for media coverage when national security is under grave threat.”

    Inq.7 reported Solis saying that “broadcast entities should refrain from airing statements from parties that “incite to sedition” or those that are “rebellious” in nature.”

    Meaning what? Those columnists or reporters who interview and report that political personalities have asked for Gloria to resign will be inciting to sedition?

    ‘Rebellious’ meaning what? Media reporting on people calling for Gloria to stand trial on accusations that she’s corrupt?

    What other emergency inanities has Gloria and her lackeys in store for Philippine media?

  34. adb,
    will you please stop and read all your comments in these blogs for just one second? after all the time you’ve been reading and actively participating in blogs, you still don’t seem to get it and concentrate on accusing and laying blame – without FACTS in your hands. focus should not be on personalities because that will NOT help our country. prove everything in a legitimate and recognized body and not in the media, give democracy a chance and stop harping on ONE person who happens to occupy the office of the president.

    this talk of hanging is absurd when we haven’t even gotten one mile from where we were in 1986 with Marcos and Imelda…think naman. let your thinking go further than today’s headline.

    btw, re your comment #20 about agreeing with me “for once” – that’s not the only time you agreed with me “for once” in this blog. honestly, you agreeing or disagreeing with me does not matter to me or the whole scheme of things.

  35. MitaMS,

    At the outset, allow me this liberty of space to remind you that my earlier comments were directed at MLQ3 and to say that if you feel the least bit slighted by what I say matters not an iota to me.

    What you seem not to be able to comprehend is that people who ask questions or point an accusing finger to ‘personalities’ who have breached the Constitution and thwarted the Rule of Law do not reflect your unfounded belief that they are out to destroy the nation.

    I re-state my conviction: Gloria does not deserve the support of the people nor of the politicians serving in her government today and that she has no right to impose her putrid governance on the nation.

    While you allow yourself the liberty of admonishing that I should refrain from making my thoughts known through this medium and other media, I will refuse a personal urge to advice you to do the same. On the contrary, because I am one who believes in freedom of speech, I will never take it against if you ever refute my challenges or if you could prove to me that Gloria is not the one biggest political personality threat to Philippine democracy.

    However, I must warn you that because your “logic” escapes me, you leave me no other alternative but to consider any future dialogue with you as futile as Gloria’s leadership which you seem to support so wholeheartedly.

    In closing, let me say that this is the first and the last time I will directly address my comment to you on MLQ3’s blog and I suggest that in the spirit of fair play, you also refrain from addressing your comments to me directly since you and I are mere guests of MLQ3.

  36. Lito, read what I wrote again, and read everything I’ve been writing. What you think I said is not what I’ve said and been saying.

  37. i’d be interested to know if it’s true, or not true, that the majority of filipinos are now residents of urban areas, whether in metro manila or the provinces. jojo abinales can explain bobi tiglao’s theory beginning in the 1980s, that this change has not been taken into consideration adequately when discussing filipino society and politics.

  38. sassy, you know my attitude. people need me running for office like they need a hole in the head. the enthusiasm is gratifying, but we all do what we can in the fields wer’e best equipped to do good in.

  39. mlq, I would also be interested in such a study. However, it would also be helpful to remember that some urban areas, while having a relatively high density of population, remain rural in their outlook and way of life. Cebu and Negros Occidental, for example, may have several large towns that could be classified as urban. But their way of life is most definitely rural. And agriculture, fisheries and natural resources are the main base of their economies.

  40. Please accept my apologies for misunderstanding you, Mr. MLQ3.

    By way of trying to explain comment #7, in comparison to most other social commentaries of local origin, to my mind, you tend to convey a host of possible meanings in an economy of space.

    I thought I was gleaning a drift toward passivity and gloom.

    Your writing is indeed pithy. I shall make it a point to read your articles with greater care.

  41. For quite a long time, the very foundation of the Philippine government has continuously been riddled by permanent and chronic corrupt practices for which there could unlikely be any effective or immediate remedy, no matter how very seemingly sincere or honest the candidates should present themselves before any election. Therefore, it isn’t the queston of deposing or replacing any president but instead the overhauling of the whole political system through any form of counter-revolution, short of being so radical as to what the French and the Chinese had done for the welfare of their people and the progress of their country.

    In a democracy, however, it is rather unfortunate that the general electorate is practically to be blamed for the injustice or dysfunction in the government. What an irony of life that they should still have to bear the brunt at their own expense in the end.

    It would likely seem too far-fetch and Utopic to see the Philippines to be free entirely from corruption, but there’s a long to go and a lot of sacrifices to be done yet in order to make it possible someday.

  42. Pastor Martin Niemoller:
    First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

  43. I always have terrible trouble with comment-related plugins that require me to put some line in the comment loop; I can never seem to find the right spot. Can anyone tell me where I should put the php line in my comments loop? I haven not modified anything much, and I would be very grateful. Thanks!

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