Revoked proclamation and the LP putsch

The President, in a show of strength, lifted her proclamation of a state of national emergency, even as bomblets went off in Pasig (Sen. Biazon is still alarmed). Read Sassy Lawyer’s tart reaction.

At this point, I’d like to point out three sober -and sobering- blog entries that deserve wide reading and serious discussion. They all take off, at one point or another, with dissenting opinions toward what I’ve been writing recently.

livingplanet, who argues a third way, neither Leftist nor Rightist, but Community-oriented, is emerging.

big mango believes a much more drawn-out effort is required, and one that doesn’t focus on the President.

baratillo books cinema@cubao is dismayed over how tempers are rising and suggests media’s been fighting the shadow of martial law while the government set about doing what it wanted; he furthers suggests the public doesn’t respond to appeals, because it is thoroughly disillusioned with both Edsas.

Now much as I take the three entries seriously, and concede they have useful and relevant points to make, here’s where I have a problem with the “let’s move on” mentality of others not as serious, or discerning, as the bloggers linked to above (they belong, in a sense, to a different mindset, the “let’s find another way to make things work” mentality).

My problem is that I have heard all these “let’s move on” arguments before; all these “shut up and work” challenges; all the “the ones against her are discredited, power-hungry, selfish” accusations; every single permutation of the “stop messing up our lives, stop shaming our country, stop preaching,” and so forth arguments have been made, fiercely expressed and defended, before. I heard them time and again growing up under Marcos. And the end result, for those ranting “you’re playing into the hands of a Communist-Right conspiracy!” as an argument against opposition, was precisely what they kept insisting was their reason for supporting the “duly-constituted authority”: it strengthened the Communists. Or, as they prefer to be known, the National Democrats. Which means, even as those in opposition experience being a persecuted and scorned minority, another persecuted and scorned minority, the National Democrats, are furious and scornful as well. Except, they’re better organized, and as the Center refuses to budge, they gain strength. Hence their angry triumphalism then, and now. Besides which, they are more committed and organized. I recall that it used to be said that Marcos, for all his reputation for being brilliant, couldn’t have been so smart if, after having enjoyed the support of the people for his dictatorship (“for the economy!” “enough with irresponsibilty!” “end the noise!” “go to work!” “they’re bitter has-beens and we want to secure a good future!”), he became the number one poster boy for Communist recruitment. It seems to me, we are facing a similar situation now. So all it means is, ironically, having to have an attitude very similar to the National Democrats: history will vindicate you; history will bury her.

Addendum: reading the Bunker Chronicles, I’m reminded of another point: if things were settled properly, just imagine how things could be reversed, optimism revived. And I really have to be skeptical that things are getting better. In the past year I’ve seen the same basic expenses increase about 30% (that much more to buy the same amount of groceries, etc., eating out increased by about that much more, too…)

Anway. I’d like to point out two columns, one by Mike Tan comparing Mrs. Arroyo to Indira Gandhi, and another by Neal Cruz, giving an update on the electoral protest of Loren Legarda.

Yesterday, the President presided over a putsch in the Liberal Party. Punzi thinks the Liberals who lost control of the party had it coming. I tend to agree. Last Wednesday morning, I received the following text message:

Bcoz Mar Roxas has no balls, it is time to consider new LP leaders tomorrow: Mike Defensor, LP pres; Miles Roces, exec VP; kim Atienza, VP NCR; Jon Malaya, VP Sectors; Dan Suarez, tres; Eli Quinto, secretary general. Sulong pagbabago, sulong Liberal. Pls. pass —- Kathy S., Kalipi.

I thought it was yet another text joke! Apparently it wasn’t. The next day, the above were the ones precisely inducted into office by the Mayor of Manila with the blessings of a beaming President.

(Full disclosure: as you will see in my CV, I am on friendly terms with some of the LP leadership, and was commissioned to write a brief history of the party for their 60th anniversary; however I am not a member of the LP).

On a lighter note, Frappucino for Freedom tonight: Banketa Republique has a witty version of the ground rules.

And the Pope has dropped one of his most ancient titles, Patriarch of the West.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

48 thoughts on “Revoked proclamation and the LP putsch

  1. The situation must be reverting to some semblance of normality if we are having ‘bomblets’ again. Not a laughing matter, but I do smirk everytime I see that word!!

  2. the “bomblets” purpose was to discourage pgma from lifting 1017, you can’t imagine, but for others 1017 is a provides them w/ ammunition to hit the administration.

  3. Drilons problems started last year when he made a move that was a dud.
    He had it coming that he would be removed as LP president.
    By June the Senate presidency passes down to Villar.
    He will really be nothing but just another loser in the game.
    It can’t be said that he made the right political moves.

  4. MLQ3,

    With your permission, posting Sen Pimentel’s letter…

    De : “Aquilino Pimentel Jr.”
    Date : Fri, 3 Mar 2006 19:07:30 +0800

    Gloria withdrew 1017 today. She should follow up that withdrawal by withdrawing herself from the helm of government. She has no credibility. Her integrity is shattered. She can no longer govern as a democratic leader. She hangs on to the coattails of some officers of the armed forces and of the police to hold on to power. The people deserve more from their president. She must have their respect, trust and confidence.

    The next thing that people should do is demand that she resigns to pave the way for the holding of new elections. Noli would have to resign also. Then, Senate President Drilon becomes acting president whose only duty is to supervise the holding of snap presidential and vice presidential elections in 45 days.

    There is nothing illegal about this proposal. It is legal. It is peaceful. It is constitutional. It is found in the Constitution itself. It will preclude coup attempts, forcible takeover of the presidency, juntas or extralegal arrangements that can only cause problems for the nation. We should, therefore, make our voices heard: Gloria resign now. Noli too. So snap elections can follow as a matter of course.

    If Gloria and Noli resign within this month, the elections can be held in June. By July, we can have a new president.
    Who? Whoever the people will choose. He or she need not be the candidate of the opposition. Even if he or she is the candidate of the administration, that will be ok if chosen in free and honest elections. Are free and honest elections possible in the light of the present Comelec’s composition?

    Free and honest elections are possible if the people are vigilant. It is not the Comelec that makes elections honest. It is the people. I believe it can be done. Now. Not later.

    God bless.

    Nene Pimentel

    Office of Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr.
    Senate of the Philippines
    Pasay City
    email: [email protected]

  5. Sorry to say it but Pimentel is one of those politicians that will keep us in the dark ages!
    If PGMA is more unpopular then can be, then why is the market acting positivly?
    I think that it’s only PGMA who is working hard against all odds & all the obstacles all sorts of characters that are trying their worst best to do a demolition job on her & the entire Nation.
    It seems to me that there is another breed of Filippinos who are judging her for her capacity to work & deliver.
    Another breed of pinoys not looking for “idols” or “popular personalities” but a leader who is willing to lead & not be lead for the wrong reasons.
    I have read of people who have not even voted for her neither consider themselves as “fans” but considering all the alternatives are ready to give her a chance to judge her by the results of her hard work that others try so hard to demolish!

  6. MLQ3,

    I went over to Sassy’s blog. She makes absolute sense.

    Yep! Gloria and her tricky triumvirate (DOJ, DND & PNP’s Lomibao) are now forced into a corner – they must produce some paper document as “evidences” of coup plots and assasination attempts on Gloria!

    Having failed the most basic act by a commander in chief (illegitimus), i.e., to produce physical evidences of her allegations, on the spot when she appeared on gov’t TV to announce her proclamation of Emergency Rule, Gloria and her triumvirate have to resort to gathering, hatching and fabricating evidences..

    So far, the only, real, concrete, physical evidence that they have as basis for declaring the Emergency Rule (Colonel Ariel Querubin’s act of insubordination happened AFTER the SOE) – and which they failed miserably to present at a time when it should have been made it – which comes closest to a potential coup conspiracy charge is BGen Danilo Lim’s act of insubordination (when he spoke to General Senga)!

    And now to support their spin, they gotta fabricate “evidences” – to do that, Gloria Macapagal must sacrifice a a few men in the military – young, gallant, brave officers and label them Communist lovers and assasins and while she is at it, slaps some members of Congress with a 21-yr old Marcos charges.

    And she calls that evidences of a coup d’état conspiracy and assination attempt? Whoa!!!!

    A State of Emergency on the basis of a senior military officer’s INSUBORDINATION? Who in the world would believe them, so Gloria plots, plots, and plots again with the tricky triumvirate.

  7. If indeed that the Philippines is doing well economically, that is very good.

    But as MLQ3 has discussed in this thread, it is not going to work to forget everything that has come to pass and move on. All things that GMA has done, covered up, or whatever, should be answered by her.

    That is why it is very commendable for Thaksin of Thailand to have called a snap election when people questioned his hold on power, policies, and cleanliness as prime minister. Gloria should follow his example.

  8. MLQ3,

    Inq7 reports that DND Chief Avelino Cruz just made a pronouncement (Inq7 report): “When the government gives a soldier the right to carry a gun, he surrenders his right to free speech.”

    This guy has gone bonkers!

    I know he’s an excellent corporate lawyer but seems he’s never gone beyond the 4 walls of his corporate mind; he’s never heard of the International Bill of Human Rights, to wit:

    Article 19
    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    Article 30
    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

  9. MLQ3,

    Sto. Tomas: OFWs need to give 6-month notice to RP employers

    That’s a very, very stiff requirement…I hope they don’t make it into a law.

    You cannot force an OFW to provide a 6-month notice while he runs the risk of losing another potentially better job.

    It is the corporation’s (the employer’s) responsibility to find a suitable replacement at any day, any time, anywhere for a job which may be vacated by a employee. A corporation must always prepare for contingency requrements. That’s what a human resources department is for.

    A prior notice of two months would be more than adequate.

  10. joselu is one sick puppy, tuta ni Gloria
    this administration sucks, style nyo BULOK
    i believe the bomb scare in Malacanang is scripted
    and a part of the declaration of state of personal
    emergency of the fake president. Ronnie Puno is a
    great scriptwriter, i bet they made a count down and
    knew the self-inflicted bomb to scare themselves
    right mike-depensor f.y. the filipino people has the
    RIGHT to know about the AFP-MAYUGA REPORT
    baka pati naman yan e PALITAN nyo pa, akala ko
    bilang ng BOTO lang ang kaya nyong baguhin
    should not be task to CARRY BALOT BOX.
    The Liberal Party is better off with the Atienza-breakaway
    group. They should be called LAKAS PALA Party.

  11. joselu is one sick puppy, tuta ni Gloria
    this administration sucks, style nyo BULOK
    i believe the bomb scare in Malacanang is scripted
    and a part of the declaration of state of personal
    emergency of the fake president. Ronnie Puno is a
    great scriptwriter, i bet they made a count down and
    knew the self-inflicted bomb to scare themselves
    right mike-depensor f.y. the filipino people has the
    RIGHT to know about the AFP-MAYUGA REPORT
    baka pati naman yan e PALITAN nyo pa, akala ko
    bilang ng BOTO lang ang kaya nyong baguhin
    should not be task to CARRY BALOT BOX.
    The Liberal Party is better off with the Atienza-breakaway
    group. They should be called LAKAS PALA Party.

  12. For GLORIA the meaning of DEMOCRACY is
    governance without OPPOSITION. To follow her rule of law,
    Nothing is above the LAW, except HER.
    Every interpretation of the CONSTITUTION is subjected

  13. Joselou,

    Anong sabi mo ammunition ang PP 1017 ng mga opposition…
    kaya ayaw nila ma lift….kaya nagkaincident sa EPD swat?????

    kahit malift yang proclamation na yan reresbakan yang mga warrantless arrest na yan…

    Continuing rebellion my ass….bakit di sila hinuli kahit one day before the proclamation…?

    pano nag ka bomba sa pma grounds ng gabi na…nilinisang maigi yon nung matapos ang ceromonies…

    bakit verbatim yung proclamation 1017 at declaration of martial law?

    Come on Joselu ngayon lang kita pinuna ng ganito

    kasi I thought b4 u made sense….hindi pala

  14. mlq3, the three posts that you point to further exemplifies what is wrong in the mindset of many of our fellow countrymen today. livingplanet’s view is limited by the fear of bogeymen and a misunderstanding of the overriding issue as evidenced by the statement ‘Our issue with GMA is her governance’ which i believe John Marzan has disposed of some time back. ‘big mango’ exhibits a failure of imagination in the range of historical possibilities, and therefore misses out on what is being lost and what can be gained by resolving the legitimacy issue. baratillo’s piece is an apologia for the middle’s pathetic behavior to patent injustices and is best answered by allecoallende’s post.

    joselu, first of all, i’m happy you’re finally availing of spellcheck. What you point to as GMA’s “capacity to work & deliver” is largely smoke and mirrors. Comparing herself with the somewhat relaxed style of Erap is a cheap shot which may win GMA some brownie points but the healthy macro indicators are largely due to factors not of her own doing. In fact, for someone who is a PhD in Economics , GMA has so far failed to take advantage of the recent economic gains. On the contrary, her actions have become a source of instability that threaten to offset the benefits of the current fair economic weather that we are enjoying. The people have to see through this sickening spectacle of blatant credit grabbing. Let’s put this canard of a talking-point to rest…

  15. I hope the PP will be decided upon by the SC together with those EOs.

    And I hope the SC won’t be the next institution to fall under Gloria,after the PNP and the AFP.

  16. Karl,no problem w/ your puna, kool la yun.karl, i’m not & will never will be capable to answer all your “bakets”.In a way going through the news & issues & the whys & wheres is life shifting through garbage.
    sometimes our society is like one big garbage dump.

    Deep inside pgma’s enemies like 1017 because it gives them reason to protest.Sadly we seem to have lots of people who have adapted “protesting” as a skill.
    just like pldt mvp said lately on anc.if only our people would perform at least at the average level in their skills our country will be very progressive.
    can’t you see they keep on protesting yet even if it’s lifted na.
    they are still waiting for what the SC will say even if in reality it won’t make a difference.if the SC rules in glorias favor then people will only say that the SC people have been appointed by gloria & so on.
    can’t you notice her style of being in a way surgical w/ her approach.
    remember the freak may 1 edsa 3.she declared a state of rebbelion & as the situation was placed under control so she lifted it.
    last friday a state of emergency that would be lifted anyway.
    because these things are very temporary anyway.
    it’s in a way a statement that she is in control.
    these ah’s won’t stop.
    but they will never succeed too.
    anything that is done in desperation will never succeed.
    why do you think since last year the elussive tipping point has not been arrived too?
    who in his right mind would ever accept what the left or the right is presenting?
    we may have problems but surely those ah’s are not the solution.
    it’s unbelivable when people should still question wheater the documents of a coup are authentic or not.
    talk about “doubting thomases”.
    it’s even strange that someone who is not even in the philippines would bring up the point.
    sounds like a joma sison comfortable abroad while the people here leave in hardship.

    cvj, i’m trying to be more carefull.i’m not really a writer, cuz maybe in my line of work i really have to talk most of the time & deal w/ people.ever since i think faster then i write.
    cvj, anyway, i still see her working & i still see what others do as undoing things.
    i’m no economist, but i know that even among economist they can seem to agree w/ each other.each one has different approach.
    i’m also aware that not nobody will ever succeed in an enviorment & culture that does not want people to succeed because succeeding is a threat to others.
    in a way, “imperial manila” is a lost cause.
    i understand your in cebu but insted you are hard working people that is why you are making a mark.
    throughout this crisis, did anyone ever value work as the long term solution to our problems?
    my position has always been that we have “over politisized” everything & anything w/c is causing our self inflicted confussion.
    my position has always been that we can’t go on & on w/ so much hate & venom in us.
    because it seems we are forgetting to be humane already.
    my position has always been those who are “supposed to know better” must act responsibly.

  17. Joselu, sure we can see GMA ‘working’ every time the camera is around. She projects a more serious demeanor and does not slouch like erap . I can concede that imagery is powerful, it’s not only the masses that fall into the trap of equating perception with reality. That’s why the we in the middle also have to take care to go beyond the superficial.

    Like many others, the dichotomy between ‘playing politics’ and ‘work’ is false. ‘Work’ is a given – as responsible members of society everyone has to work, but the times also call for devoting attention to public matters as well. For politicians, ‘work'(i.e. productive output) is measured not just in terms of simplistic metrics like number of laws passed, but also in how they handle issues that involve ‘truth’, ‘justice’, ‘honesty’ and ‘protection of civil liberties’. Let’s put to rest the false notion of prioritizing ‘work’ over ‘politics’. Each has it’s place and both have to be performed with quality.

  18. CVJ,in my mindset i really don’t think of it as seeing her work because of perception or does the “image” do any difference to me.
    I try to look at facts.
    I look at the stock market.I look at the peso exchange.Like it or not these are signs of confidence.I know the 1 million arguments to disprove anything.
    I was listening to Astro del Castillio the other day on radio & he said it’s real money that is coming in.Because obviosly certain people would like to beleave otherwise.
    I look at bottom lines.
    because if she is really doing a disastrous job she would have gone a long time ago.
    Insted what I see are groups grouping & regrouping & regrouping to bring her down.
    I beleave that anyone who does the right thing succeeds in the first go.Anything after the first go is just “trying hard”.
    I look at anybody for their worth.I normaly don’t care what they wear or how they look.
    Yes, I’m aware of the “politics”.I also she how smarter then the others she is.
    She cultivated the LGU’s, the provinces where she is getting her support.
    She probably even forsaw that “Imperial Manila” is a lost cause!
    I would prefer to give her the shadow of a doubt rather then all the “noise maker left & right”.
    CVJ, lets face it, it’s a crazy world.
    There is no one answer for many things so why the haste for making conclussions.
    Our minds & judgments are so corrupted that even if we had the right things in our hands, we won’t even recognize it.
    We seem to know what we don’t want but in the same breath we DON’T KNOW WHAT WE REALLY WANT!
    We are ready to judge & march in the streets and make noise but when it get’s down to hard work we quarrel w/ each other & pass the fault to others.
    We really have to put under control so many ugly things things about our culture!
    CVJ, I’m no intelectual.
    But I know that the solution for our problems lies in each one of us doing our bit & being responsible.
    I think that at the end of the day it’s not about one thinks that counts.It’s about what you can do & what you can contribute in building.
    It’s not about how good you can write or talk but it’s about what you wrote or said that inspired people to be their best.

  19. My cent’s worth: A nation cannot be built in a good foundation if the leader’s legitimacy is under question. These questions must be be answered head on before we can move on.

    Each one doing his bit is fine, but up to where will it bring us? Until the next corrupt official is elected? If we allow corrupt officials to get on with what they do, and not answer questions regarding their person, then we’re building a foundation made of sand that will be easily eroded.

    As with the other bloggers here, I support the calling of a snap election, or the resignation of Gloria. This way, we will have a leader whose credibility is not under question.

  20. What do we do if the people remain apathetic or, worse, choose not to support the call for a snap election or for Arroyo’s resignation?

  21. What do we do? Wait for the baddies to die off, eventually they do. In the meantime, we suffer politically and make do with what we have.

  22. joselu, if the Doctor of Economics Gloria Arroyo were back in UP as Professor and a student turned in a thesis paper to her stating that the good economic indicators you mentioned were all because of the sitting president, that paper will go straight to the waste basket. The stock market, ‘hot money’ from abroad, and the currency exchange rate are influenced by a number of factors not all within the government’s control, and i’m sure the ‘PhD’ inside GMA is squirming because her ‘politician’-side has to grab all the credit. As a proud Manileno, all that talk about ‘imperial manila’, in the context of this issue, is just brought in to divide Filipinos and further confuse matters. The LGU’s support GMA because of political realities, and this is by no means to their credit. Watch them when the tide finally turns. When you say ‘we don’t know what we really want’, you’re just speaking for yourself – *i wan’t democracy to prevail* which, for starters, means GMA must go.

    ‘Uphold’, regarding your question #27, if people remain apathetic then it will be a fight among the Machiavellians. A lot in the middle supporting GMA (tacitly or explicitly) fancy themselves as such. Eventually the chickens will come home to roost.

  23. I sometimes ponder if democracy is really the best for the Philippines. You, Filipinos, don’t deserve freedom, as you don’t responsibly exercise it.

  24. Jon, when you talk about foundation that also includes us.
    In a way whoever the president is won’t make a difference if we remain divided in so many ways.
    We had a “santa” president already.Do you think that her theory about the Top giving a good exsample made a difference?
    If there should be any kind of revolution. It should be a revolution that will take place w/in each one of us.
    A revolution that will change our mind-sets & attitudes towards things.

    Yes cvj, you do know what you want.The question is “then what”?
    It’s like an incomplete sentence. It’s open ended. Open for everybody else to get into the act.
    It’s like when we where in school & give an answer to the teacher & the teacher ask us to explain futher & all we can do is scratch our heads.
    It seems to me the weak point of this entire drama is, not having a viable alternative.
    maybe it’s also about us rejecting dirty politics but on the other hand everything that it gives us.
    Actually Hot money goes everwhere.It’s also not bad that it stays.Maybe hot money or not we should not do anything that will make it go away.because it has a positive effect to our economy.Beggars can’t be picky.
    Re: the economy, like I said even economist among themselves can’t agree w/ each other.I also think the first thing PGMA is working on is balancing the budget.
    yes it’s true LGU’s support PGMA because of political realities.Personaly I think the LGU’s have more to gain by supporting PGMA. I guess sadly national issues have turned into a “wishing this & that”.
    If I where a strategist I would concentrate on the base & not on the top to make something crumble.

  25. Joselu, you are right. We therefore have to work on ourselves, and at the same time not allow abusive and corrupt leaders to stay. Do you agree? We’re not naming names here. This is just a principle.

  26. Alien, a lot of people, fellow Filipinos included, think like you. It’s good you brought that up because the problematic relationship between ‘freedom’ (as guaranteed by the State) and ‘responsibility’ is one that needs to be addressed. What is true for the part is not necessarily true for the whole. In *some* situations, *some* Filipinos don’t deserve [some aspect of] freedom because they don’t act responsibly so you have the authorities step in [by enforcing laws, mediating conflicts etc]. That’s the bargain we the people have with the State to avoid anarchy.

    However, when you have the authorities work on the assumption that practically everyone seems to be irresponsible so the total ration of freedom for the people as a *whole* has to be cut back, you in effect, concentrate arbitrary power on a select few. History has shown that humans in general (and Filipinos in particular) don’t handle arbitrary power in a professional and just manner. Power, especially for those at the top, tends to get to ones head. Our local culture is also such that family and friends tend to get in the act as well. Plato wanted to concentrate power on an enlightened elite, in his case, philosophers headed by a ‘philosopher king’. You can see that no such ideal type exists over here.

    Anyway, our problem today is not an overdose of democracy, it’s inequality, as in not enough people have their share of freedom. Our problem (before, during, and after Marcos) is concentration of power on an ‘elite’ (economic and political) and the lack of justice resulting from it.

    joselu, on you ‘then what?’, you can re-read the previous posts of mlq3 and the other blog commenters.

  27. For everybody’s education especially those waylaid/transmogrified by Arroyo’s influence and money:

    Separate Opinion : ‘To argue freely, according to conscience’

    First posted 06:25am (Mla time) Mar 05, 2006
    By Isagani Cruz

    Editor’s Note: Published on page A12 of the March 5, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

    WHAT is reverently cherished by lovers of freedom as “at once the instrument and the guaranty and the bright consummate flower of all liberty” has been threatened by President Macapagal-Arroyo through her Proclamation No. 1017. It declares a state of national emergency-in her own mind only-for which she claims extraordinary powers, like the power to make warrantless arrests that is already allowed under present law.

    Her accompanying General Order No. 5 authorizes the military and the police to take “necessary and appropriate actions and measures to prevent and suppress acts of terrorism,” including, as her minions assert, the examination of the editorial policies and motivations of the mass media and their suppression if found by them (i.e., the minions) to be inimical to their commander in chief.

    This is censorship pure and simple, an indefensible assault on the paramount freedom of expression recognized and safeguarded by the Bill of Rights. It is this right “to know, to
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    utter, and to argue freely, according to conscience, above all liberties” that the Arroyo administration would violate on the shabby pretext of protecting the national security.

    Marcos also clamped severe restrictions on the media to prevent unfavorable comment on his regime. Only a few stalwarts dared defy the dictator and exemplified the best and fearless in Philippine journalism. This courageous group was led by Eggie Duran Apostol and her women warriors and the late Jose Burgos, whose We Forum office was raided by Ver’s soldiers in a futile effort to intimidate him. The rest of the media agreed to be silenced

    The journalists today are not frightened by Ms Arroyo unlike their submissive colleagues during the dictatorship. I recall that the day after Ninoy was murdered; the Bulletin Today headlined a mere accident at the Luneta as if nothing had happened at the airport. Now even Vice President Noli de Castro has spoken against the threat to freedom of expression poised by Ms Arroyo and her obedient enforcers.

    Freedom of expression is usually the first casualty of a repressive regime, as when the Japanese forces immediately took over the newspapers and radio stations upon their occupation of Manila in 1942. This freedom was also the first to be shackled when Marcos announced his New Society in 1972 through the television and radio stations he had earlier placed under his control. The other stations had already been muzzled “through the barrel of the gun.”

    Freedom of expression is essential to the full and free information of the people. In sustaining the publication of the Pentagon Papers over the objection of the US government on the ground of national security, Justice Black said, “The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people.” Justice Sutherland had earlier declared in another case, “A free press stands as one of the great interpreters between the government and the people. To allow it to be fettered is to fetter ourselves.”

    It is wrong to even suggest that freedom of expression exists only for those who agree with the government. That would make this freedom more shadow than substance. The enlightened view is that the ideas protected by this most precious of liberties include those that induce “a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger.”

    A function of free speech, according to the US Supreme Court, is “to invite dispute.” Justice Douglas said, “The right to speak freely and to promote diversity of ideas and programs is therefore one of the chief distinctions that set us apart from totalitarian regimes.”

    To be truly meaningful, freedom of expression should permit the ventilation of all ideas, the popular as well as the unorthodox and even the bizarre, as long only as they do not exceed the reasonable limitations of the law. Libelers and seditionists deserve to be punished, but not those who, using the word as their sword, peacefully protest the evils of government and call for its reform. As Rizal did, even at the cost of his life.

    Unity is too high a price for the loss of freedom of expression. Justice Holmes put it aptly when he said that this liberty exists not so much for the thought that agrees with us as for the thought that we detest.

    Justice Brandeis said, “Fear of serious injury cannot justify the suppression of free speech and assembly. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears… Those who won our freedom by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty.” Voltaire, another disciple of freedom, was grandiloquent: “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    The persons quoted here were passionate lovers and defenders of liberty. At this time and place, they could be arrested without warrant under Ms Arroyo’s Proclamation No. 1017 as destabilizers of her government. They would be good and welcome company to the editorial staff of the Inquirer.

  28. Jon, your right, i think you call it multi-tasking.

    cvj, di pumasok my responce to you yesterday so i guess will do it all over again.
    Re: inequity & freedom, while it’s true that it is a problem.although i don’t know how it relates to freedom.
    One thing i know though is that inequity can be addressed.
    what we need is at least 10 good years of political peace & stability.
    i think that economist can only do so much besides disagreeing among themselves. what we need are a commited people who are capable & focused & don’t let their egos get in the way.
    we also have to have a totaly new mind-set of what freedom really means.
    1.first of all, there is no such thing as freedom w/o responsibility.
    2.freedom is not a free-for-all
    3.freedom starts when we can free ourselves from perception & subjective fillings & have the interest of the Nation as a whole.
    4.freedom is not about who can make the most noise & “dramatize” things.
    5.freedom is not being partisan.
    6.freedom is not an absolute.

    Our problem is that everything always gets so’s the politics of confussion that complicates things.we all know that where there is confussion oppurtunist take place & issues are drowned.

    i’m well aware that there are many writting on point is however before we can even think of them or use them wisely we first must be responsible people.
    i’m sure that there will always be a difference on how a mature person handels things from how an immature person will handel things. just like saying a person who can’t drive will most likely crush a car to the wall.

    we seem to conviently deny the relationship between the people & goverment.we seem to say that only goverment can make a mistake & the people are always completly innocent. deadma lang the people.

    yes cvj, as you rightly said we are sufferening from to much democracy.
    we seem to have the bad habit of “exploiting” problems for selfish ends rather then being “problem solvers”.

    i have been to a socialist country to see for myself what it really means to leave w/ limited freedom.
    i was still a kid during martial law but i have seen how freedom where taken away.
    what we have is nothing close to what some people are inventing.
    rather then being so paranoid about loosing our freedom. i think it’s wiser to be conserned how to make our freedom help us prosper & develop to our true potentials.

    about the “what then”.sorry to say it’s still what then.i belave a good idea if it’s really good catches fire.

  29. On FREEDOM: I agree with Joselu that freedom entails responsibilty. So let’s check around and see who’s been the most irresponsibile freedom person we have today…

    Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who’s freely broken every trick in the book to win the 2004 presidential elections in the Philippines, has unlimited freedom today to do as she pleased more than the millions of the very impoverished Pinoys and Pinays, 75 of whom lost their freedom to live at ULTRA just because they wanted to ‘grab’ the opportunity to win a few pesos and to be free of hunger and misery for a while as well as a sector of the population in Leyte whose freedom was burried with them.

    Gloria has had freedom and still has the freedom to steal from government coffers to distribute overpriced fertilizers as bribes; she’s had the freedom to corrupt members of the AFP in order to ensure her staying power in Malacanang; she’s been free to steal the money that the Philippines recovered from the Marcos loot and intended for our poor in order to achieve her ambition to stay in Malacanang; she’s been given the freedom to declare that she would stand down from the 2004 election because she freely said that she was the single most divisive reason in the country yet she was accorded the freedom to break her word of honor – many said she freely lied when she said that; she’s got the freedom to lock horns with Congress in defiance of all that is politically correct and politically moral; she’s been free, free all this time to do as she please, even to dismantle the institutions of our Republic so that she could stay on, hang on to power that is not hers by moral nor legal right…She’s been free to abuse and abuse the presidential powers which is not hers by moral or legal right.

    So, let’s start at the top, OK? I’m sure when someone at the top does not abuse FREEDOM, there will be less abuse of freedom from below.

    Actually, if I had my way, I’d throw Gloria Macapal, her husband, her son, her brother in law and the corrupt members of her government of thieves in jail and throw away the key into the deep blue sea. Then Gloria will learn NEVER AGAIN to abuse FREEDOM.

  30. joselu, just a correction – i stated above that our problem today is *not* an overdose of democracy, which is the opposite of what you think i said. when you say that “what we need is at least 10 good years of political peace & stability”, no one can argue with that, but how we arrive at that condition is important. the last time we had a decade+ of ‘peace and stability’ enforced by an illegitimate government, the resulting environment turned out to be a breeding ground for crony capitalism.

  31. cvj, actually, this thing about an illeggitimate goverment is something felt by a particular sector only of society & is being exploited by the left & right.
    I look at bottom lines always. if there is truth to something.I’m sure there will be no problem convincing the majority of the people.
    It’s sad to be in this gridlock. I guess that we just make ourselves losers all together.
    I also beleave that comparing these times w/ martial law is over acting.
    Sometimes I get the impression that we create more self inflicted fears in ourselves the have the courage to do the right things.
    I can’t figure out why we keep on shooting ourselves in the foot.Soon we won’t even have our foots to shoot at anymore & godforbid that we start shooting each other insted.
    Anyway, about that overdose thing. I still think that we do have democracy. Maybe our problem is how we are using it.So many countries have democracy too & their certainly doing much better.Question is. How are we using our democracy? How are we using our freedoms?
    I think results will never negate if we are using our freedoms & democracy in the right way.

  32. a de brux
    after you said what you want, i guess you must be filling better now.
    i guess you must have expressed your so called FREEDOM.
    the most that you did was express a mouthful of hate.

  33. joselu when you say “if there is truth to something.I’m sure there will be no problem convincing the majority of the people.” – i wish things work out that way but unfortunately, it doesn’t. when it comes to beliefs, many people tend to content themselves with what is within their comfort zone. today, the current powers are using people’s fear and cynicism to prevent the truth from coming out.

  34. cvj,

    So are you saying that the majority be damned? If someone thinks the majority is indifferent or mistaken, then it’s ok to just ignore them and go against them?

  35. Geo, since a few posts back, you’ve travelled quite some way from believing that you were part of a beleaguered minority to being a vanguard of an aggrieved majority. I’m curious as to what makes you think that, have the masses come over to your side? Anyway, the answer to your second question is ‘yes of course’, within the bounds of peaceful (but nonetheless ‘noisy’) action. I can’t answer your first question because people are ‘damned’ by their own actions, not by someone elses.

  36. cvj,it seems to me we seem to be mixing-up terms.
    it seems to me & correct me if i’m wrong that cynicism is about having problems in beleaving a way being so negative about things, being distrustful or expressing some kind of attitude.
    personaly, i think such an attitude works against the individual more.being a cynic too is like having a bad my past post i have always been saying it that what is bringing us down are our attitudes.i’m sure you would not like be be judged wrongly due to someone bad attitude or incapacity to think a way being a cynic is just another form of lazyness to can’t say that this attitude hepls anyone to be better understood.
    we seem to be a strange kind of cynic too.we won’t beleave one side but we will ride on what the others say.
    the sad thing about this attitude is that it works for those who have other helps the right & the left.
    continuing w/ this attitude just makes us unwitting help to those we equally don’t like.the bottom line is we become part of the problem.
    fear: it’s most likely experinced by those w/ insecurities & don’t beleave in themselves & have little selfworth.fear in a way is a state of mind that prevents you from judging clearly.when we where students.when was it most likely that we would experience fear befor an exasm? was not it when we would be umprepared.but when we are prepared peanuts lang lahat.
    sadly the combination of being a cynic & fear is a deadly formula that makes an individual a “puppet” for others to exploit.
    it also brings the issue back to the individual about what does he want to do about the individual really in control of his life or by events that happen around him?
    how can we consider ourselves truely free when we can’t control our fillings & our fears?
    nobody in history has ever won a war from the position of fear & being a cynic.
    a war can only be won through being prepared & self confidence & a positive “can do” attitude w/ everything based on realities & facts.
    there are so many allegations, conjectures etc.. flying around.they are far from facts.the most obvious is that they are partisan.they are things done in an elligal & shady manner.
    cvy, we demand so much truth. in reality how much truth do you really think a cynic can absorb?
    how much truth does a person w/ fear can really accpet?
    we seem to be looking for truth always in the wrong places.
    the reality of life is we can receive only as much as we can give.

    about the majority don’t think it like you do: if we truely beleave in our democracy & democracy is supposed to be the rule of the majority.then what democracy are we talking about?are we not acting like the politician who loses an election & refuses to accept the truth.the pinoy na “pikon” forever.
    our sort of democracy is based on “everybody happy”do you realize that such an attitude means making compramices w/c is also the root of corruption.

    we really have to put an end to our culture of self pitty & the “inaapi” mentality.
    if we really want to make a difference we should be brave enough to think “out of the box”
    lets put an end to the “kampihan” w/o really thinking.
    if we really are free we can dare to say things that we know will turn off those we are trying to identify w/.

  37. geo, yah nga, i too think it’s not a responsible conclussio to think of the majority as indifferent.
    just like saying since i can’t reach for the apple i conclude that it’s rutten.
    it seems to me the problem w/ those opposing is that in a way they are impossing what they think.
    in a way they are not taking into account the bigger picture.
    they seem to be demanding so much freedoms & thinking of their’s alone while they step on the freedom of the others.
    i would like to think that the majority would just want to free themselves from the claws of ugly politics that is only brining our country down.
    it seems that while the opposition is forever “dreaming” of a tipping point.maybe it will still come, but it will not be in their favor.

  38. The act of declaring all positions in the Party vacant – especially the stripping of the Presidency of the Party from Sen. Franklin Drilon – was done within the context of three very important circumstances:

    a. That Mr. Drilon led a cabal of Party members hostile to Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to declare last July 8, 2005 that the LP is calling for her resignation, and that if she will not resign the Party would support moves for her impeachment. Mr. Drilon claimed that this was the LP stand, but he has Party President did not convene the National Executive Council (NECO) on that day for the specific purpose of resolving the “Garci Tapes” issue. Rather, the July 8 meeting was simply the second of a series of consultations with Party leaders on the issue. The fact that 22 of 33 LP congressmen did not support the impeachment of Pres. Macapagal-Arrroyo, and that on July 8 itself the grand majority (if not all) LP local chief executives were expressing their support to PGMA, already proves him wrong on the issue of majority support

    b. That, despite several calls from members of the NECO itself as well as the Allied Sectoral Organizations – the “civil society” component of the LP – for Mr. Drilon to convene the NECO in order to resolve the issue with finality, he continues to refuse the convening of the NECO. The NECO has not been convened by Mr. Drilon since the last session in Nov. 2004. There is even proof that Mr. Drilon has begun to nominate people to the NECO who are his close confederates – like his Chief of Staff, Antonio Gallardo, and Commission on Appointments secretary Art Tiu – in order to tip the balance of his supporters in the NECO to his favor.

    c. That despite full knowledge if the majority’s questioning of the “stand” issue by Mr. Drilon and his cabal, he continued to issue statements and conduct actions in pursuit of this stand, utilizing all the while Party resources for their quest to unseat Pres. Macapagal-Arroyo. These can be readily found by checking the Party website,, where all of the statements regarding the Garci Tapes are anti-Arroyo. LP resources were also used to advance their call for Pres. Arroyo to resign and in the petition filed at the Supreme Court by anti-Arroyo supporters questioning the results of the impeachment.
    Because of Mr. Drilon’s inaction on the grievances of the majority of members and leaders of the LP – especially in his refusal to convene the NECO – the majority of the LP was forced to the drastic measure of calling on its local leaders to a National Assembly last March 2.

    Atty. Chito Gascon argued with the Party’s local leaders of the legality of the event. But aside from his conveniently forgetting that Mr. Drilon himself has been trampling on the LP Constitution since July 8 (Yan ang hirap kay Chito Gascon, nagdadramang Legalista kung pabor lang sa kanya), the mere fact that so many of the Party’s leaders on the local level, those most intimately connected to the people we serve, expressed their bitterness at the treatment of their (former) Party President of their opinions and acted on it by unseating Mr. Drilon, should at least make the Drilon cabal sit up and listen.

    Instead, they have replied with haughtiness and arrogance to the calls and voices of the Party’s rank and file. Atty. Gascon and Mr. Drilon himself in their interviews that day continuously sneered at the ability of local officials, barangay captains and Party rank and file to unseat the head of a major political party. We think this way of talking clearly shows the way of thinking in the Drilon cabal: that they consider themselves not only above any law – as shown by their deliberate and careless disregard for the LP’s processes and Constitution since July 8 – but that they care nothing for the voice of “ordinary” Party members. In fact, Mr. Drilon said that his legitimacy is based on the support of the LP Senators, Congressmen, Governors and City Mayors. To him, these are the only voices that matter, although if he truly subscribed to this he would be wrong, too, as the majority of LP Congressmen, and all Governors and City Mayors have questioned Mr. Drilon’s continued trumpeting of an LP “stand” not ratified by the Party’s NECO.

    Last November 2005, the sectoral organizations gathered at Ateneo de Manila to try and find a way to unify the Party. Yet the Drilon cabal moved to try and stop it, even sneering at the Party’s sectoral leaders for daring to act without their “authorization.” The Drilon cabal seemed to have believed there was no disunity in the LP, and would not tolerate any challenge to this belief. When the LP’s sectoral leaders – its youth and women, the staff of the Liberal senators and congressmen, the local legislators, and the Party’s professionals – insisted anyway, seeing nothing wrong in their desire to help solve the problems of the Party they loved, the Drilon cabal sent Atty. Gascon to keep the sectoral organizations in line, telling them in so many words to not interfere with processes among the higher-ups of the Party that were supposedly being done to bridge the divide between Atienza and Drilon. All the sectoral organizations wanted to do was to ask the Party President for the umpteenth time to convene the NECO, the one body that can decide with finality the issue of July 8, so everything in the LP will be ok again.

    There is a PR principle that if you tell a lie long enough, people will think it is the truth. Since July 8, the Drilon cabal has continuously stated that the LP is for PGMA’s resignation. The majority of Liberals who do not subscribe to this opinion have rarely challenged this impropriety in public because we hoped that Mr. Drilon would do the right thing – after all, he wishes to project himself as somebody who does the right thing, a statesman, if you will – and call on the NECO to resolve this. Yet 14 months have passed since the last convening of the NECO, which Section 30 of the LP constitution says should be convened at least once a year. He and his cabal have instead insisted on the lie they foisted on the people and the Republic since July 8, covering this lie with a veneer of civil society action and progressive rhetoric. And because the majority of the LP cannot stomach their lies any longer, the majority decided to act last March 2.

    Atty. Gascon was fond of reminding his fellow Liberals last March 2 about the traditions of the Party. We would like to ask Mr. Drilon’s attack dog to do the same reflection. Mr. Drilon, and the rest of their cabal have been setting aside the LP’s traditions, time-honored processes, and laws since July 8; even worse, they have been using these when convenient to enforce their own beliefs to the rest of the Party, even to persecuting those who would not subscribe to it, for the last six months.

    The Liberal Party has always tolerated differences in opinion; the right to not only hold an opinion of your own and to voice it is one of the cornerstones of the liberal democratic ideology. Yet the minute someone tries to enforce their views over those of others – the way Mr. Drilon and his cabal have been doing since July 8 – then there is nothing liberal about it. In fact, it is downright authoritarian and illiberal.

    It is amusing when you think about it that Mr. Drilon and his cabal go out in public demanding from Pres. Macapagal-Arroyo that she respect basic freedoms and the constitutional processes of a democratic republic, or step down if she won’t. Yet when the same is asked of Mr. Drilon, he not only refuses to do so, but he and his cabal moves in a ruthless, uncompromising and even insulting – as shown in the words Atty. Gascon gave last March 3 outside Centennial Hall – manner to suppress dissent. Even worse, knowing full well that they have done wrong and continues to justify that wrong for so long, Mr. Drilon so easily clings to power and position after the majority of his people – and, if he truly is Party President then he should value even the least of the LP’s members as he would the highest, as these are his people too, yes? – moved to strip him of the position they gave him and that he abused.

    Let the truth come out. Enough of the lies. It has gone long enough.

    The march 2 National Assembly is not just and assembly of City Hall employees and Barangay Captains. There are about a hunndred Barangay Captains present but all are card bearing members of the Party. More than a thousand attended the event and the registration would show that at least 51 members of the NECO are present, 150 Municipal Mayors, A number of Vice Mayors and Muncipal/City Councilors and members of the allied organization.

    True. The event was also a conference on Decentralization and Local Autonomy. But there was no deception on the part of Party President Mayor Lito Atienza. If you’d read the invitation letter sent by Mayor Atienza and the program itself, you will find that Mayor Atienza categorically say that there will be an assembly of Party Leaders in the afternoon, that is why NECO members were only invited at 3pm. So where now is the deception. It was a legitimate conference, that is why the DILG allowed the conference participant to charge their expenses to the local fund. Dr. Alex Brilliantes, Mayor Sarmiento, Sec. Nachura and Mayor Atienza and Cong. Danny Suarez spoke about the conference topic that clearly will help them in their governance work in their locality. What now is the problem, Mr. Drilon? Hirap kay Sen. Drilon, kahit pinangkape sa meeting e charge to the Party.

    They accussed Mayor Atienza of Being a dictator and Hijacking the Party. Pero sino ba ang kahit minsan e di nagpatawag ng pagpupulong ng Liderato ng Partido (NECO), di ba ikaw yon, Sen. Drilon? Bakit, dahil takot kang matanggal sa pwesto, na mabago ang “posisyon” ng Partido nung July 8 meeting, na nangyari na nga. Sino ngayon ang diktador at Hijacker. At least sa National Assembly sa Manila Hotel ay walang pinigilang magasalita, even your spokesperson.

    The General membership of the Party have spoken, the end of your dictatorship has ended Mr. Drilon.

    For the sake of the Party you purportedly respect and love, as well as the Republic you say you serve, Mr. Drilon, please end this madness by acknowledging your mistakes. More than anyone or anything, even Ferdinand Marcos himself or Martial Law, you have done such grievous harm to the Party that we fear for its recovery.

    Practice what you preach, Mr. Drilon and recognize the will of the majority and accept its decision. Unless being a statesman is simply propaganda on your part.

  39. joselu, #44 just barely passes the Turing Test. On the level of motherhoods, much of what you say is agreeable, where we differ is on how these would apply to the specific context.

  40. yes cvj, that is why talking & listening to each other is very important.we may not change the world but if we can find more peace in things. we would have achived a lot already.

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