Managing expectations

An OFW Living in Hong Kong points to picture proof of election fraud: Caught in the act? Photos show poll “cheating” (Malaya) PCIJ has more: Evidence of 2004 poll fraud captured in photos? Ellen Tordesillas puts the photos online here, and here, and here.

Random Thoughts points to recent articles in the Philippine Daily Inquirer:

Now it can be told: Why ‘withdrawal’ plot failed

Now it can be told: Who’s who in civilian council

Now it can be told: Esperon was the key

A fellow columnist responded to the articles with these comments via e-mail:

This [referring to why “withdrawal” failed] is almost 100% accurate, comparing it to what I’ve heard from my own sources. What is clear is that there was no coup plot, no tie-up with the Reds.

[Referring to the civilian council story] I think there were two groups that were forming two different transition councils… The CPP-NPA has no role in both councils.

Update: Amando Doronila praises the Inquirer reports and can’t resist taking a potshot at Newsbreak and the PCIJ, saying “the series was a product of no-frills and unpretentious enterprise reporting, not one churned out by corporate-funded investigative journalism.” And yet, the armed forces are angry over the stories.

Oddly enough, just when the President seemed more relaxed, the Vice-President chimes in: De Castro: Arroyo must explain -VP advises boss it’s time to clear air on ‘Garci’. The Palace response has been frosty. Today, Bunye: Gloria done with Garci (Manila Times). While Threats remain — GMA (Manila Standard-Today).

In Thailand, the Nation editorializes in favor of a fact-finding commission. Sounds familiar?

There’s a great epigraph in Lewis Lapham’s essay, The Case for Impeachment: Why we can no longer afford George W. Bush. The epigraph is this:

A country is not only what it does – it is also what it puts up with, what it tolerates. –Kurt Tucholsky

In the punditocracy:

My column for today is Managing expectations. I propose that what defenders of the President or defenders of keeping her where she is, are defending Civilization As We Know It. Appearances are everything; and unless the President suddenly develops leprosy, she will appeal to the keep up appearances mentality.

Billy Esposo on why the Palace fears unnamed news sources:

Inside scoops are the most damaging kind of information. EO 464 is all about the prevention of classified or top secret information being transmitted to those in the senate who can use it against the regime. It is easier to debunk the claim of an outsider than a charge that is supported by insider testimony and actual documents.

The Telecom scandal emanated from a Malacanang source – the late Bing Rodrigo, one of Madame Gloria M. Arroyo’s closest friends. The President Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard graft case that is now in the Ombudsman was the result of the information that was provided by one of the directors of the Public Estates Authority. The extent of corruption in the military was first exposed by the Oakwood mutineers, young officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Department of Agriculture employees were the ones who provided the senate with the documents that served as basis for investigating the Fertilizer Scam.

The current national crisis from whence all these troubles pertaining to PP 1017 are rooted resulted from what are believed are the voices of Madame Arroyo and Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano discussing the manipulation of 2004 election results – the Garci tapes. Who were the sources of the Garci tapes? They were none other than the military personnel who were tasked to do it.

Carlos Conde in Davao Today speaks of blind bishops.

Dan Mariano says Senator Angara believes the country only has two choices: Charter change, or a junta.

The situation? Sylvia Mayuga expresses it best: we’re in dangerous hour.

In the blogosphere:

thirtysomething questions the economic claims of the administration.

Stepping on poop has an entry responding to a comment I made, and presenting his own view: discernment, not fence-sitting, is what he’s undertaking; strengthening institutions is his ultimate objective.

My responses are simple:

1. when the child yelled, “the Emperor has not clothes,” the fairy tale did not end with the child being hauled off to jail for sedition. The child opened the eyes of the adults. Suffer the little children -and oppositionists.

2. I find it impossible to strengthen any public institution when the head of state and head of government represents everything institutions ought not to stand for.

3. I find it a bit puzzling that the loudest denunciations against self-righteousness have such a shrill self-righteous element to them (and I am not referring to anyone in particular, just a general, noticeable, trend in argumentation). It is to be assumed all people are sinners, and yet it should not be a matter of consequence who is doing the denouncing -just as, to use an analogy from religion, it would seem illogical to prevent any kind of redemption for the reason that all human beings are marked with Adam and Eve’s original sin. Yet that seems to me much of the basis for present arguments. Though I’m not religious, the imagery of scripture remains powerful: Christ kept company with tax collectors and prostitutes and publicans; it was the “rule of law” and “don’t bother the established order” types who crucified him; it was Jesus who lost his temper in the Temple; and it was the Christ’s mission to redeem humanity despite the obvious flaws of his disciples: they denied him, abandoned him, misunderstood him, betrayed him, etc., Adam & Eve started the whole mess, theologically speaking. Yet redemption had to take place. So does denouncing a crime, presuming one’s a sinner, make one self-righteous? Only if one does not believe in sin, or if one denies the possibility either of redemption or that the flawed are not only capable of improvement, but must constantly seek perfection. This is not self-righteousness; it is the pilgrim’s progress.

this is as much a response to this comment by Roy Choco, which asks if opposition by its very nature doesn’t demand total subservience to a cause. My reply to the question is that in this blog and in my writings, I try to spend as much time explaining why I think certain things to be so, as I espousing and actively defending what I think needs to be done. All I have are my words to either convince you, antagonize you, or best of all, simply make you think so your own advocacies are thought through. I reserve a particular kind of scorn for the official defenders of the side I oppose; but then again I tend to be skeptical of whoever is in officialdom, whether I support them at the time or not. I am surer about what needs to be fixed, than as to the specifics of how to fix it: it only takes one person to know a machine is broken, but often a team of mechanics is required to get the motor running again. And I have always advocated here, and elsewhere, that efforts geared towards achieving consensus should be supported. Though we don’t always have the luxury of debating the finer points when the full armaments of the state are brought out to menace the other-minded. I ask you consider the position I adhere to, one of many; if you agree, fine; if you don’t, I’d very much like to understand why not -who knows, it could help me improve my position and possibly lead me to accepting yours. That is, if you want to debate and discuss.

There continue to be epistolary responses to the open letter by (a further response to the reactions to his letter, titled How That Letter Came to Be, was commented on by Rina Jimenez-David in her column):

Manuel Buencamino pens a peppery riposte.

Coffee with Amee has been pondering on the letter (eventually disputing it, point by point), and ponders the author’s response to criticism and debate.

[email protected] reflects on what M. Scott Peck calls “the people of the lie.”

Baratillo books cinema @ cubao replies to Ausero’s critics with a fable.

Demosthenes’ Game questions assumptions that democracy good, fascism bad; he espouses a utilitarian attitude towards democracy.

Three day student sit-in in France, dispersed with tear gas. What a Filipino turn of events.

Blurry Brain reads Horacio de la Costa, SJ. A great entry-

Heraclitus once said that “character is destiny”. We are most likely in this rut because our character dictated it so. I’ve had enough of pundits who write endlessly about what needs to be done for this country. Everybody knows in his heart what has to be done. The question is if we have the stomach for it. We are too self-indulgent, too forgiving of offenses done to us, too quick to allow others to put one up over us, too content or laidback to have the obssession needed to do whatever it takes to nail down an objective, and too quick to sacrifice the good of the nation for shallow compassion for individuals.

National Democrat meets Capitalist Boss.

Errata: JV Rufino emailed me to correct something I wrote about editorial procedures at As a rule we don’t use anonymous sources. There have been exceptions, but in in those cases, the desk know who the source is, the information is corroborated through other means (and I don’t mean another anonymous source), and there is an overriding public interest in the information.

A reader of this blog (number cruncher, in a comment) notes I got the translation of “tolle, lege” used in my column last Thursday, wrong; I remembered it to mean, “listen, read”; it actually means “pick up, and read.”

Recent linkers: iN tHe GrAoEViNe, My Two Centavus, keep the spirit!, Exciting Existence.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

115 thoughts on “Managing expectations

  1. Oops, that did not turn out right. 🙂 Let me just cut-and-paste:

    – use public pressure to ask GMA, Noli de Castro, Franklin Drilon and JdV to resign;
    – let CJ Panganiban take over the presidency temporarily, with the sole mandate of conducting an election that, with us having learned from the 2004 fiasco, will ensure a more credible electoral process; and
    – elect in that same electoral process a Constitutional Convention that will amend the laws of the land.

    I still believe an election, at this point, is the most feasible democratic option available to get us out of the doldrums. It is not intended to “overthrow an entrenched” government; rather, it seeks to confer legitimacy on whoever will the people, and by consequence our institutions–the police and military included–choose as their rightful leader until 2010.

    If supreme sacrifice is what Cory et al are asking of GMA, then let those who will benefit from it share with her in making that sacrifice: Noli, Drilon and JdV. But by all means we should encourage them to run, as ALL OTHERS interested in the presidency. Let them argue why they deserve the mandate to lead and begin the process of repairing and strengthening our institutions. But at the end of the day, let the people decide from AS MANY CHOICES AS CAN BE POSSIBLE.

    Any thoughts?

  2. As VP, Noli’s default position is with the administration. But his position right now can easily change. Look at the “Garci” comment that he did…

    Joselu, as ricelander asked “If someone sold you a cd of your wife having sex with someone else, does the selling change or mitigate the fact? Should the “greed” of the seller count?”.

  3. What would make de Castro’s position change? For that matter, what would make the position of the likes of Austero change? In de Castro’s case, if he does change positions, how different is he from an opportunist?

  4. jackryan68, considering the parties involved, none of them would resign voluntarily. snap elections would be a good option for a fresh mandate but the most straightforward resolution would be for the VP to takeover after GMA’s impeachment, unless of course, something or other comes up against him.

    Confused, according to the Constitution, “No person who has succeeded as President and has served as such for more than four years shall be qualified for election to the same office at any time” …so my [wild] guess is that de Castro’s position will change on 1st July, 2006. If this happens, i suppose this would also answer your follow-up question.

  5. Im sorry, I still dont get why the VP should resign. What did he do? Did he cheat in the last election? Was he caught on tape bribing a Comelec official? Was he caught plundering government funds? Is choosing to stick with the administration an impeachable offense? Is fencesitting an impeachable offense? Or is the reason he should resign simply because the ‘elite’ dont want him to be president? But millions of people voted for him. They knew when they voted for him that he would be president if in case the current president could no longer function. Would it be ok to subvert their will just because we think their choice of VP sucks?

    We have to be prepared for a Noli presidency, just in case. We have to protect the institution from the machinations of opportunists who’re just waiting to oust him by means fair and foul if ever he does become prez, just because they dont like him. Personally, if he does become Prez, I want him to bar the Lopezes from participating in any government projects. In fact I want him to make that pronouncement now.

  6. Can MLQ3 please explain why B&W wants Noli to resign together with Gloria?

    To me, until proven guilty, Noli hasn’t done anything. Literally “nothing”, except the morsels GMA has thrown his way. Which, is what a VP should do anyway.

  7. Can MLQ3 please explain why B&W wants Noli to resign together with Gloria?

    And while youre at it, sir, how does the B&W define ‘ouster’ as in “We, groups and individuals who are part of the Black & White Movement, advocate the RESIGNATION, IMPEACHMENT, or OUSTER of GMA and Noli de Castro.”

    Resignation and impeachment, ok. Understandable and within the law. But what is Ouster? (Im hoping that the inclusion of ‘ouster’ is just rhetorical.)

  8. re the questions on BnW, I’d point you to the following:

    with regards to the Vice-President:

    Ouster is understood as People Power. The VP was rejected by the group because the times call for leadership and he cast his lot with the President.

  9. manolo. your quout on noli the other day was not accurate.since the headline came from inq. it’s no surprise.
    is that the kind of media you expect people to support?a media that tries to make people fight.
    that is just one exsample.inaccuracies of the sort happen always.but since people are generaly mababaw so things get absorbed.
    as it was a wrong premiss to your “expectations” article then it weakens your article as a whole.

  10. I think Noli(including his stand) may pose some questions to the BnW.
    1. What happens when Gloria is gone and Noli stays? Will BnW then support his administration?
    2. What happens when Noli reverses his stand? Will BnW then support him?
    3. Is rejecting the BnW offer, tantamount to casting his lot on Gloria?

    Personally; as I have expressed in the past, I will have no problem if Gloria can prove her innocense. That would be nice actually because we then can move on. The same goes for Noli. Of course as so many things have come to pass, it looks like Gloria can’t really prove her innocense. She even doesn’t want to do it. She would rather suffer all these instability and endless political wranglings. She just have too many enemies, and she continues to create more of them daily. But Noli? His only dispute is with Loren (so far).

  11. joselu, do you mean the vice president did not chime in? but he did. what he disputed was the headline, not the content of the article:

    and the palace did respond, though perhaps the palace’s responding then inspired the vice-president to clarify that he did not tell the president what she should do, but what she could do… the timing of the veep’s statement certainly was inconvenient, don’t you think?

  12. jon, the BnW position was achieved after a vote and much discussion. my personal view is a bit different, though i do think if not now, then sooner rather than later, he has to choose between propping her up or adding his voice to those telling her to go. then again, why should he, as people sometimes ask. i did criticize within BnW because the handling of the whole thing, I felt, was bungled, but my view there was a backlash has been disputed by others.

    it will sort itself out. if the president ends up having to go, the manner in which the veep handled things will have an effect on whether the public will expect him to go, too, or stay temporarily, or simply stay.

  13. Thanks, MLQ3.

    Ouster is understood as People Power.

    I take that to mean B&W is advocating mass actions with the goal of making GMA resign or be impeached–those being the only 2 constitutional ways you could go about it. Unless of course the B&W welcomes military intervention, too, a la EDSA 2’s coup d’etat. If B&W does not welcome military intervention, then it has to say so now and say it clearly and in no uncertain terms. It is not enough to say it wants non-violence. The military can intervene just by showing up; without firing a single shot. A middle-class-led People Power is a powerful thing. It alone has the moral force to embolden the military to take action; to take over the struggle themselves, as seen by the attempted ‘constitutional rescue’. Speaking for myself, I dont want that. Courting military support should be considered very, very carefully lest it blows up in the people’s faces. One more military-led coup would just about break our back as a working democracy, IMHO. Even now there are suspicions that GMA is being held ‘hostage’ by the military according to Senator Arroyo (altho she wouldnt admit it). If an EDSA 2 style coup d’etat succeeds, we’ll probably have a major political force in our midst aside from the political parties. A political force with guns. Maybe then it’s time to time to weigh the pros and cons of Philippine style fascism since a politicized military would render this inevitable.

  14. But how is B&W doing now, Manolo? Visited their site, they have very good idea. The only problem is that very few are biting. Think they need to overhaul their strategies…Or did I miss anything?

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