Your taxes at work: Barangay assemblies on Saturday and Sunday! (updated)

The scuttlebutt today, concerns NGO sources confirm the gearing-up of the Palace effort to push forward Constitutional amendments. The preparations are being done stealthily, which is why no concrete confirmation can be obtained. But what is being said is disturbing enough but not so stealthily that a plausible explanation can’t be made later on: for example, in Makati, a banner was spotted announcing a “barangay meeting” for Saturday, but no information on the banner as to what the meeting’s about.

A. On Saturday, it is expected that the President will announce that she is calling for synchronized, nationwide, Barangay assemblies to approve Charter change -and that those assemblies will instantly convene and pass whatever resolutions are required. The questions to be propounded or resolutions to be asked for might include support for unicameralism. The Department of the Interior and Local Government will take charge of the effort. I have received from one person in Quezon City that in the case of their barangay, the assembly will be on Sunday, March 26, at 9 am (as noted above, the sign in Makati says Saturday, so it seems its a weekend affair for the various barangays). Another barangay in Las Piñas, when called, said the assembly for March 25 has been reset to April 8 -Charter change though, according to that barangay, is not on the agenda. A barangay in QC has also confirmed their assembly is on April 8.

B. Provincial officials are already busy collecting signatures. A variation says provincial governors are undertaking the task of gathering signatures. The logistics involve 40 to 400 signature-gatherers per town.

An NGO describes the efforts as follows:

[W]e’ve also received info from Southern Tagalog and Panay that the DILG is in an all-out campaign for signatures for their cha-cha… they’ve assigned barangay coordinators and signature solicitors who are given the quota of 40 signatures each. Depending on the number of voters, they have anywhere from 40 to 400 signature solicitors.

the copy of the petition to the comelec that they are circulating calls for a shift to a unicameral-parliamentary government with:

-the incumbent president (gma) and vp continuing to exercise their powers until 2010,
-the formation of an interim parliament to be composed of the incumbent vp, senators, congresspersons and members of the Cabinet who are heads of executive departments,
-no set date for the election of the regular parliament; instead it merely states that “the interim parliament shall provide for the election of the members of Parliament”, and
-the interim Parliament convening within 45 days from the ratification of the amendments “to propose amendments to, or revisions of, this Constitution consistent with the principles of local autonomy, decentralization and a strong bureaucracy”.

The purpose of course, is to be able to argue that there is public support in the provinces for Charter change on the administration’s terms. There will be no debate. Only a parade of steamrollers. And the Constitution envisioned, as the loopholes above show, will ensure that the present third-termers in the House will have term limits lifted, and no one for the administration will have to face the public at the polls in the near or medium term future.

Update: a source says a foreign visitor in a meeting was supposedly told by DILG Sec. Ronaldo Puno that actually, what could be proposed in the assemblies is something as radical as abolishing the Philippine Senate. Then the by now unicameral Philippine legislature could modify the Constitution further at its own pace and pleasure.

Anyway, in the news….

Yesterday’s administration trial balloon -to establish a government monopoly on jueteng- resulted in a blood-curdling story by the Inquirer:
Interior chief to run gov’t ‘jueteng’ . Blood-curdling because, as the Interior Secretary is poised to lead the campaign for Charter Change, arming him with almost inexhaustible supply of funds sourced from gambling would simply have been too conveniently-timed. Other papers say the government’s backpedaled: Puno: DILG will not operate STL and Palace heeds anti-govt-jueteng calls so that Govt stops local lotteries.

Now this is the kind of story that gives media critics ammunition with which to take pot-shots at the press: Dress code used to browbeat press. The question isn’t why the Presidential Guards have to remind the press about the dress code, it’s why the press doesn’t have enough respect for the President and the Palace to obey the dress code. That dress code has been in force for years. And rightly so. Jove Francisco, part of the Palace Press Corps, blogs about it.

In Thailand: the other day, Thai protesters pour into Bangkok’s business district although Number of anti-Thaksin demonstrators “exaggerated.” In the Nation, this commentary: Premier is pushing for a late goal to take it into extra time. And this amusing story: Thaksin era beset by evil omens.

And just a sampling of Filipinos who have been charged with sedition in the past. Among other reasons, this is why I seriously believe sedition is a crime that’s incompatible with our present circumstances:

Fr. Jacinto Zamora
Fr. Jose Burgos
Jose Rizal
Andres Bonifacio
Aurelio Tolentino
Crisanto Evangelista
Diosdado Macapagal
Felixberto Olalia
Raquel Edralin-Tiglao
Rigoberto Tiglao

In the punditocracy, my Arab News column for this week is Black T-Shirts and the Political Controversy. In his column, Lito Banayo suggests everyone just wear blue.

Patricio Diaz argues that the role of media is unappreciated.

Greg Macabenta appeals to overseas Filipinos to follow the debate on Charter change, and warns that Filipinos abroad are about to be deprived of their hard-won ability to participate in elections from overseas.

Amando Doronila wonders why more people aren’t marching against the President.

Tony Abaya concludes his views on revolutionary governments -apparently, so long as they’re not Communist-led, or participated in by unreprentant socialists, they’re good and even necessary. Personally, at this point, I think the real question is not whether the country needs Socialism, but rather, how much.

The Inquirer editorial tackles the killing of dissidents; the Manila Times editorial tackles the raid on the 168 mall.

In the blogosphere and online, Pajamas Media points to an article by Stephen Hayes, Saddam’s Philippines Terror Connection. This is the latest round in justifications for the Iraqi invasion (and essentially, an indictment of the President’s pulling the Philippine contingent out of Iraq). An interesting article in Slate is Christopher Hitchen’s My Ideal War: How the international community should have responded to Bush’s September 2002 U.N. speech.

PCIJ covers former president Estrada’s appearance in court: Estrada takes the stand and Estrada denies receiving kickbacks.

Ellen Tordesillas discusses the new US Ambassador and reduced American assistance to the Philippines. She quotes extensively from a report in Manila Mail DC Online.

A splendid exchange of views on press freedom is taking place at Sassy Lawyer’s. Highly illuminating.

maetrics points to the forum Libertas, which in turn points to the fears of Warner Brothers that the film “V for Vendetta” might cause trouble among American youth.

Quote of the day:

During the debate on the Executive Power it was the almost unanimous opinion that we had invested the Executive with rather extraordinary prerogatives. There is much truth in this assertion. But it is because we cannot be insensible to the events that are transpiring around us, events which, when all is said and done, are nothing but history repeating itself. In fact, we have seen how dictatorships, whether black or red, capitalistic or proletarian, fascistic or communistic, ancient or modern, have served as the last refuge of peoples when their parliaments fail and they are already powerless to save themselves from misgovernment and chaos. Learning our lesson from the truth of history, and determined to spare our people the evils of dictatorship and anarchy, we have thought it prudent to establish an executive power which, subject to the fiscalization of the Assembly, and of public opinion, will not only know how to govern, but will actually govern, with a firm and steady hand, unembarrassed by vexations, interferences by other departments, or by unholy alliances with this and that social group. Thus, possessed with the necessary gifts of honesty and competence, this Executive will be able to give his people an orderly and progressive government, without need of usurping or abdicating powers, and cunning subterfuges will not avail to extenuate his failures before the bar of public opinion.
-Claro M. Recto
Valedictory address before the Constitutional Convention, 1935
[The Philippine Constitution Sources, Making, Meaning, and Application, the Philippine Lawyers’ Association, p. 540].

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

89 thoughts on “Your taxes at work: Barangay assemblies on Saturday and Sunday! (updated)

  1. Anna
    Nakakalito kasi nasabi ko his HillBlogger
    di kasi feminine ang dating ng hill blogger ok

    Correction: her hill blogger blog….

    You know Anna,

    I try not to be biased against sleeping and Joselu
    but I am not trying to make heroes out of them….

    manolo pointed out his admiration for their principles and what not…

    I did a research on that DJB January 24 CVonnie Venearcion Blog

    so I could be in the loop….

    that pack of wolves mentality is also being applied to sleeping and Joselu

    Yung sinabi ko tuloy pa din….

    Just means that Manolo does not ban commenters
    although he too moderates his comments and he gave us a heads up!
    Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

  2. Now that it was proven na peke passport ni Garci (na dati pang sinasabi ni idol Sen. Lacson) ano kaya ang bagong twist dito sa telenovela ni GMA?

    Ay naku, kung pwede lang sana export etong story na to kikita ang Pilipinas… (sisiw ang Korea telenovela sa dami nang twist and plots) kaso ibubulsa din ni GMA…

    Hindi naman kasi ibobonto nang mga taga dito samin si GMA kung d lang sa dami nang PhilHealth card na pinamigay nya dito sa aming Municipality (Sta. Maria, Bulacan)

  3. High profile BLOGS like MLQ3s’ should really post or display count of killings in GMAs’ administration…

    It is really alarming and It is the main reason why most don’t want to testify against her administration.

  4. Re#27

    DFA has washed its hands on the Garci passport. I think that they’ve now disowned Garci and left him to defend himself. He’s in deep s__t now as he has to prove he didn’t tamper with it.

    My logic is this:
    1. BSP said the passport is faked
    2. DFA said it issued a valid one, therefore what was presented to the House of Reps was not what was issued by DFA
    3. Therefore Garci faked his passport. Motive for tampering: To prove Garci didn’t leave the country
    4. Note Verbale from Singapore proves Garci arrived in Singapore
    5. The picture is clear that Garci really set out to deceive, and he committed perjury.

  5. Im posting later PIGCharon (Puno’s Initiative for Gloria Roll on) re barangay assemblies for chacha.

    History is repeating itself. 1973. 1986. Binababoy tayo ng Malacanang.

  6. karl, google search: philippine commentary rina david sassy lawyer vfa throw the baby out with the bath water.

    re comment moderation, most bloggers are utilizing this not to control legit commenters, I believe, but to control spammers.

  7. With your permission, am calling John Marzan’s attention to a comment I posted yesterday in his blog entry dated Monday, January 30, 2006 (on the PCIJ/Happy Vergara affair).

    yeah, nabasa ko na yung comments mo anna at nasagot ko na siya.

  8. i read sassy’s take on things about the current topics here, she’s a very opinionated woman who hates it when people don’t share her views. yung sagot nya ke dean george bocobo is downright rude. mdami din syang insinuations abt opinion writers n hlata nmng si mnolo ang isa sa mga tinitira. i totally don’t like this woman.
    she’s so full of herself. forgive if i sounded like i’m attacking the person, i based my opinion on what she’s written, and that’s enough to turn me off.

  9. i read sassy’s take on things about the current topics here, she’s a very opinionated woman who hates it when people don’t share her views. yung sagot nya ke dean george bocobo is downright rude. mdami din syang insinuations abt opinion writers n hlata nmng si mnolo ang isa sa mga tinitira. i totally don’t like this woman.
    she’s so full of herself. forgive me if i sounded like i’m attacking the person, i based my opinion on what she’s written, and that’s enough to turn me off.

  10. jon,
    i think dfa just gives passports & keeps a record of it.i think since they do not produce it & the bsp who has that responsibility is in a better position to make judgment.there is really no hands to wash or anybody to disown since it’s really bsp who is best qualified to check the autenticity of the material.
    at least for now they have something to charge garci w/.but nothing is conclussive until it’s finaly done.
    if ever all that can be proven is that garci has a “tampered” passport.
    that he left the country or not is another story.
    i’m also curious how this thing will unfold.

  11. so who produced Garci’s passport? that’s a crucial question to be unfolded. I hate to speculate pero siguro mas professional ang pagkagawa nun keysa passports made in Recto. Imagine, issued by and recorded in the DFA pa! Tsk, tsk, tsk. DFA stinks!

  12. I also read DJB’s ripost and I didn’t think it warranted the kind of reply that she threw at him. “BAM! YOU’RE EXILED TO OBLIVION!”

    Well, as I have said in the past, we have all sorts of freedom, even the freedom to sound foolish or pikon…

    Hey bystander, maybe you’re trying to provoke Sassy to get her to write something about you too. 😉 heh heh…

    Here’s another Sassy comment on DJB:

    frayed:“Someone comes in who you don’t agree with, and ban him from your blog (and he wasn’t even rude or abusive).”

    sassy:In the instant case, only Dean Bocobo got banned. Because he was abusive–the final straw in a long list of abusive comments here and in his blog in a desperate attempt to make a comeback into the blogging scene.

    It isn’t for you to decide what is abusive or not; it isn’t your blog.


  13. DFA : We issued the passport, it was okay when we did.
    Congress : But the BSP said that the passport was tampered!
    DFA : We don’t know what happened to that passport after we issued it. (By saying that, they’ve washed their hands clean. Isn’t that the right description?).

  14. JOHN MARZAN #63:

    “Hey bystander, maybe you’re trying to provoke Sassy to get her to write something about you too. heh heh…”

    –I’m not publicity hungry, John. It all started when I first commented on her entry entitled “Technorati Connection”. Please read it if you have the time so that you’ll have an idea why she eventually called me a “TROLL” and virtually rejected me from her exclusive categorization of “bloggers and writers”.

    I’m just an ordinary citizen who wants to participate in an honest-to-goodness public discussion of certain legal and political issues.

  15. The exchange at Sassy Lawyer’s blog was indeed “highly illuminating” that I just had to write about falling into the trap of generalizations and oversimplifications about a complex topic such as the news, into a column-length article.

    There is no such thing as an “objective” news story. A writer brings into his/her writing his/her whole being: ethnicity, personal background, perspective, biases. Even the choice of words, the phrasing, the presentation of facts is “subjective.”

  16. MLQ3,

    A post for Karl, the knight in shining armor:

    I’ve told you several times, am not an expert in blog formatting, calibrating, etc even if I’ve been doing it for almost 3 years (???): I’ve tried to re-format it but once I panicked coz I couldn’t access it for a couple of months that I left it at that; can’t even access the blogsite’s commenter site to date (must actually have courage to re-do the whole thing again based on Dean’s step-by-step instructions).

    Anyway, if you notice Karl, I have never, ever promoted my blog publicly nor asked other bloggers to promote it (Ellen linked it to her blog although I didn’t ask her to); I don’t make a habit of posting my bloglinks when posting my comments in other blogs, except on a couple of occasions or in case of ’emergency’ i.e., when MLQ3 blog went blank (and Dean & I kind of ‘panicked’), or when a “plug” was too long and didn’t want to bother host blog, then I would give my link.

    I actually set up my blog as a kind of a personal notebook-reference-repertory for subjects that I’ve tackled publicly or commented on, etc; I found it practical to have a personal “repertoire” site coz having to go back and search blogs where I had earlier posted a ‘relevant’ comment just takes so much time.

    Karl, if you notice, majority of my posts in my blog are mere transfers of my comments that have been published comments in newspapers as well as postings, comments which I make in the 4 blogs I access regularly,: Ellen’s, MLQ3’s, PhilippineCommentary and Ricky’s.

    In other words, the ORIGINAL (or majority of them) comments, reactions, views, thoughts that you will read in my personal blog were posted FIRST in the above 4 blogs (or in newspapers) since I react instantaneously to the hostblog’s posts or to other commenters as go along reading their comments (while commenters post their reactions to mine in these blogs too).

    So, what’s the big deal whether comment moderation is on or not?

    In other words, your “Hey Anna, check your comment moderations…”: I don’t have to, you can comment directly to the ORIGINAL comment/post right here…

    Unlike Sassy’s blog, hers is real public. From what I gather she’s very much into ‘hits’ coz that’s important to her. When you have that kind of public blog, you are bound to have a wolf pack mentality commenters and you must be prepared to defend your views, etc. Obviously, she’s entitled to refuse them entry or to ban a reader for life. Or as Bystander said, na-CPR siya. But being refused entry or being CPRed doesn’t alter the fact that some commenters could go on commenting and challenging her opinion.

    Same manner, you are challenging mine…

    Also, you are entitled to feel like a knight in shining armor and come to the defence of the maidens, etc., (well, don’t know if Joselu & Sleeping are maidens) but I find that they are perfectly capable of holding their ground.

    So relax about this defence of their virtue thing, will you?

  17. i agree with you Amee. This realization sinks in better if we accept that there is no ‘objective reality’ There was a related thread on Ricky’s weblog about ‘Bias and Objectivity’ where i volunteered my two cents on this matter:

    The writings of Niklas Luhmann is my source on this matters.

  18. I won’t make a big deal out of it, John. She has every right to accept or reject comments because it is her blog and I will still have to respect her for that, even if it means caling me a troll and excluding me from her category of bloggers and writers. Let the readers decide who between us is the real troll.

    By the way John, we’re on the same boat. No need to question my motives, ok? hehe..

  19. Quoting “DFA Spokesman Gilbert Asuque on Thursday said the department had no hand in producing the fake passport. He added that Garcillano’s blank passport came from BSP’s security printing office.”‘Our regional consular office in Cagayan de Oro issued a passport to Virgilio Garcillano Jr. with number JJ243816 on February 11, 2002,” Asuque told DZMM. “That blank passport with the corresponding number came from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ security printing office.'” — DFA is not only washing its hands, it’s also throwing its dirt to the BSP. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

  20. The DFA as the political alter ego of Mrs. Arroyo would naturally wash its bloody hands of the crime. It would be a “declaration against interest” if they do so. It also shows that the virus of lying, cheating and stealing has infiltrated the once professional DFA.

    What I am suspicious about is this: 1. Why did Mrs. Arroyo and her operators allow the BSP to issue a damaging finding on Garci’s passport?

    2. Does this mean that there are still honorable and independent-minded people in GMA’s government? If that’s the case, then we still have hope. My apologies to those who might be connected one way or the other to GMA’s government.

  21. Ok Anna,

    Yes, since you are all over,come to think of it bakit pa nga ba….(comment moderations)

    at ano nga bang mapapala ko kung depensahan ko sila at tulad ng sinabi ko malalki na sila…..

    Since you said you don’t promote your blog..ok no problem,I know your e-mail addy naman.
    and those that matters also have your e-mail addy anyways.

    and lastly, I only said I try not to be biased against them…

    But with their thinking and excuses like deliberate mispellings as mere errors and the lame excuse of I don’t have the facts so i can’t give an opinion so don’t give opinions if you don’t have enough facts…

    Ok no four letter words but actually its all Hog Wash,what the fu_k!

    The very first comment cannot be ignored…
    barangay assembly…
    Having 40-400 signatures can not be considered stealthy due to the power of spreading the word…

    400 * 500 pesos =20000 Php as a fee to be discrete

    is a very conservative estimate to make the move stealthy!

    Just fighting fire with fire….nonesensical to non sensical!

  22. “Hey bystander, maybe you’re trying to provoke Sassy to get her to write something about you too. heh heh…”

    –I’m not publicity hungry, John. It all started when I first commented on her entry entitled “Technorati Connection”. Please read it if you have the time so that you’ll have an idea why she eventually called me a “TROLL” and virtually rejected me from her exclusive categorization of “bloggers and writers”.

    i do notice though that sassy has a tendency to label her critics as “attention seekers”, lalo na yang si dean jorge bocobo, #1 KSP YAN!!! 😉

  23. Thank you Anna , sorry for making a mountain out of a mole hill!

    Now for the mother Fu -king washing of hands!

    Palace not responsible for Garci’s passports(DAW!)

    Sleeping, I am interested to hear yopur defense of the palace

    why is it the fault of the people in Quiapo, they know how to fake of the passport?

  24. JOHN MARZAN #75:

    “…lalo na yang si dean jorge bocobo, #1 KSP YAN!!!”

    –You mean to say that DJB is like that? I’m just being curious. Please explain. I don’t quite get it. I may have failed to read between the lines.

  25. JOHN MARZAN #75:

    Or are you saying that she was after all correct in branding her critics as attention seekers? Because, by your very statement, you seem to confirm that DJB is a KSP?

  26. sarcasm, bystander. did you not see the 😉 emoticon?

    it’s just a joke. i have nothing against you and djb.

    and i myself have been labeled as such by sassy too…

  27. Ay naku Karl, parang nag-sermon pa ako sa iyo ah!

    Sorry na lang – put it down to my advanced age na lang! Puwede ba?

  28. John #79:

    Ah ok. That’s why I said I may have failed to read between the lines. That’s clear enough. Hehe..

    Adb #80:

    KSP:Kulang sa pansin

  29. #70 “This realization sinks in better if we accept that there is no ‘objective reality’.”

    If there is no objective reality, is anything ever black and white?

  30. #67, #70

    This is still in connection with Sassy’s column.

    One issue I had reading it was that it came across sounding as an authority on the subject, which it definitely was not.

    Obviously if you’re a columnist, you have to leave room for dissent because people have different opinions on the issue. What I didn’t like was the way she handled things. She has a column and a blog. She linked her column to her blog. People therefore will discuss her column on her blog. She attacked those who questioned her ideas. She could have just let them be and ignored them if she didn’t want to engage in argument. Or,if her ideas were solid, she could have defended these ideas.

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