The headlines blare: Arroyo rides Charter change train (Inquirer), GMA: Stand aside for ChaCha train (Manila Standard-Today), GMA backs people’s initiative: De Venecia sees interim parliament in place by July (Malaya), JdV sees new form of govt by July (Manila Times), Serge bares documented Palace plot to rig Cha-cha: Senate threatens GMA on snap polls plebiscite (Daily Tribune).
Is it still a people’s initiative if the government, and not the people, do the initiating? Thus asks Sketches of a Village Idiot Savant who propounded the question to barangay officials, too. Dan Mariano says it’s a Palace, and not people’s, initiative.
Jove Francisco reports on how his fellow Palace press corps members have gotten information on just how thoroughly -and extensively- Constitutional change has been planned by the administration. And on how the President has weighed in with her open and full support for the effort, which cements the return to the fold of former President Ramos. The information Jove’s obtained and the sense he has of what’s going on helps confirm what I blogged yesterday (elaborating on a milder point I made in my column yesterday). The game is afoot and the Palace is playing to win big:
I was informed about a supposed “Grand Plan” weeks ago. I saw a “battle plan” Wednesday night. Other sources verified some of the details in the supposed plan last night and this morning. Then the President delivered a speech this morning, so my producers decided that we come up with a report about it in Sentro and Big News tonight.
The supposed Plan outlines SEVEN important turning points in the aim to convene a Regular Parliament. A plan that supposedly commenced when the drive for signatures began last March 25. A plan that supposedly would pass through certifications in different levels, pass through Comelec and land on the tables of the SC justices. A plebiscite is also included in the plan. And there is this aim to convene an Interim Parliament by July 24, 2006. (incidentally, JDV made a statement today about the July target.. connected? nagkataon? part ng plan?)( Whoa, imagine: July is just 4 months away! Napakabilis pala ng mga pangyayari if ever.)
Someone told us over dinner last Wednesday that there are two reasons why the plan is targeting a July 24 convening of the Interim Parliament. One: so that the new impeachment case versus the President will be pre-empted, Two: the possibility of postponing the May 2007 election.
So big are the plans, that efforts to block things in the House, as reported by the PCIJ, only serves to strengthen the President’s hand. If she managed to diminish Fidel V. Ramos’s stature, then the Speaker must be next on her target list: unable to get around the bicameral nature of Congress, perpetually worried about controlling unruly members of the House, the Speaker’s shepherding efforts are proving only a second act to the main one being undertaken by the Executive.
Bloggers continue to weigh in on the legalities involved. In response to my pointing out that she may have inadvertently overlooked an existing law, Sassy Lawyer explains that not only is she fully aware of the law, but bore it firmly in mind; and she further suggests that to her mind, the law was deliberately enacted to be so flawed, that it would be inapplicable (not solely her opinion; she points to a portion of the Supreme Court’s decision which she says, says so, too).
Atty. Edwin Lacierda also examines the law and Supreme Court decision in question, and thinks it will be difficult for the Supreme Court to reverse itself. Perhaps: though as I’ve noted, it seems the Speaker is laying the basis for limiting the proposed amendment to one: unicameralism.
There are those like An OFW Living in Hong Kong, who were cheered up by the recent Supreme Court statement saying an enabling law is required. I’m not, as I’ve also previously explained. The Four-eyed Journal even asks, is the Supreme Court playing possum? A story in Malaya: SC may yet reverse ruling, says retired jurist.
Unlike Ellen Tordesillas, I don’t think the President’s down to her last cards. She has a fresh deck and is dealing them out and the odds are heavily stocked in her favor. I do agree with Ellen though, that the exit, in the end, may not be particularly graceful; but it seems it will be much later, rather than sooner.
Yesterday I picked up a copy of Great Lives: A Century in Obituaries from The Times of London. Ironically, the last obituary in it, on page 666, is that of John Paul II. It’s a marvelous distillation of a life and that life’s ideas, which struck me as particularly apt in the wake of how either the irreligious, unreligious, or otherwise-minded are frustrated with Catholicism in politics at present. A good case in point being the views of The Filipino Mind, expressed in his blog today. His views on Catholicism would do well to be read in tandem with the Times’ explanation of John Paul II’s understanding of Catholicism:
For much of his reign, John Paul II was – not only for the secular world but also for many Roman Catholics – a figure of paradox. He was, it was said, a social progressive but an ecclesiological reactionary; a pastoral bishop who had been deeply influenced by the Second Vatican Council but who then - or so some critics volubly asserted – directed his entire pontificate towards a restoration of the Catholicism of the preconciliar period…
Partly, these conflicting perceptions were based on a tendency to judge him by criteria which were either theologically superficial or wholly secular. The paradoxes were more apparent than real…
Karol Wojtyla’s anti-communism was thus no merely ideological phenomenon but derived from the same source as his entire critique of modern secularist culture. His thinking had evolved both as a result of his professional career as an academic philosopher and from the circumstances of his pastoral experience as priest and bishop. He believed that the secular mind - in both East and West – had installed cultures deeply inimical to the flourishing of the human personality. The enemy, for him, was anything which obscured man’s nature as an essentially moral being – from relativism in moral philosophy to totalitarianism in politics. Man’s vocation was to become what God intended him to be: the drama of every human life was the struggle against evil, both personal and social…
…John Paul II sensed that the newborn democracies of Eastern Europe faced massive new challenges. The first task, he believed, was to build a free society upon solid ethical foundations. In a trio of major encyclicals, beginning in 1991 with Centesimus Annus (The Hundreth Year), he offered a blueprint. The encyclical argued that democratic societies had to be grounded in a respect for the fundamental freedom and dignity of the human person. A democracy without values easily turned into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism, John Paul wrote. Communism’s error was to reduce human beings to economic units. Without fundamental values, capitalism would do the same.
He further elaborated his vision in the landmark 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor (The Splendour of Truth), on the fundamentals of the Church’s moral teaching. The encyclical evaluated the modern crisis of moral relativism, linking the recognition of universal moral norms to democratic equality, the defence of the socially marginal, the just distribution of wealth and integrity in government.
His third effort to establish the moral basis of life in democratic societies was the 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), which argued that democracies risked self-destruction if moral wrongs were legally defended as rights. Democracies that denied the inalienable right to life from conception until natural death were tyrant states, creating a pervasive culture of death in which abortion, euthanasia and the death penalty were actively promoted. He appealed for the creation of a new culture of life, which defended the dignity of every human life…
The Pope’s greatest intellectual confrontation of this kind came in 1979 on his first visit to Latin America. With revolutionary tumult sweeping the continent, Catholic theologians were demanding that the Church ally itself with the poor in a Marxist- influenced struggle for justice. In a crucial and controversial speech to the Latin American bishops, John Paul argued that such liberation theologies reduced the Kingdom of God to a political, secularised kingdom. The Church was committed to the poor, but did not need to have recourse to ideological systems in order to love, defend, and collaborate in the liberation of man.
Sketches of a Village Idiot Savant also points to a letter in three parts ( part 1 here, and part 2 here, part 3 has yet to come out) in Eating the Sun, concerning the decline in Dumaguete’s famed writing culture. The letter and its concerns reminds me of a conversation I had with someone a week or two ago, as we discussed a potential project. The person pointed out that the literary establishment in this country is tiny and quite geriatric; he found it incestuous and sterile. I responded by recounting a conversation I had with the late NVM Gonzales. I asked him, why is it that Philippine novels tend to be unreadable? He chuckled and said, “You know, our novelists write so that they have to be sitting beside you to explain the meaning of what they’ve written.” Why is that, I asked. “Because they all end up writing for each other anyway,” he smiled.
Carlos Celdran recommends a surely fascinating round table discussion to come, and the exploration of what may Manila’s oldest restaurant.
Demosthenes’ Game points to the delightfully-named Luli Arroyo’s Internet Brigade, which launches its own movement: Black Saturdays. First activity, have a drink and breathe for democracy.
Slate Magazine asks, Who’s more powerful, bloggers or governments?
Technorati Tags: Blogging, constitution, flash mobs, law, media, people’s initiative, Philippines, politics
47 thoughts on “All aboard!”
Naku Manolo, another 10 to 20 years? I may not be around anymore by that time. Mulmultuhin ko na lang siya.
Hi, Manolo, thanks for the link. My site meter is going through the roof 😉
I’m curious as to why no one seems to have picked up on the anti-senate angle of the proposed changes. Not that our esteemed senators are all angels, but it increasingly seems like the last line of defense from a lower house and president gone mad. Or maybe I just haven’t caught the right reading materials.
31 March 2006
Whether its the senate or the house, all of them are the same rotten eggs, all they think of is their own vested interest, one of them doesn’t want to be outdone by the other. So in other words, why dont we ask all of these elective and appointive officials to resign and make way for snap election. Until then, there won’t be any changes, the problem is not the system (the consitution might have some loopholes, but it can remedied) but the people who are running the government is a big mistake, they are only best in grandstanding and telling best us who to blame. They are all good in telling what right for us, but in the end, it only is right for them. They know when to struck the people, where to strike, they mastered the art of deception, deceiving the people that they are for us, but if you clearly take look at it is only for their own vested interest. Look at their pork barrel, they don’t even care about our natural resources (reforestation) education (lack of schools), etc..
Its only them and they alone thinks that they know what is best best for us and to our country.
I think, it is about time to call on all elective and appointive officials to resign and make way for snap election, NOW NA!!!!
You won’t get any argument from me on that account 🙂 And as an additional proviso, maybe current elective and appointive officials shouldn’t be allowed to run in the snaps?
As for me, the barangay meeting did show me there was a lot more that I could do locally, politics aside. So that was one good thing that came out of it.
There is a strong argument in Atty Lacierda explanation on why the Supreme Court will not reverse itself. It boils down to critical issue of revision of constitution vs amendment. People’s initiative is allowed in ammendment but not in revision.
It is very hard for Supreme Court to allow abolition of 2 major articles of the 1987 constitution (executive and legislative) as a mere ammendment instead of major revision.
Just in case, if the Supreme Court does allow it, then we will be seeing a patently kangaroo justice system. I hope not.
GMAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s central agenda since the Ã¢â‚¬Å“letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s start the great debateÃ¢â‚¬Â SONA, changing the present charter with her Ã¢â‚¬Å“ultimate solutionÃ¢â‚¬Â constitution will accomplish two objectives: escape from accountability and entrench her and her allies in power. GMA allies will dominate a unicameral Parliament that has the sole power to impeach her. With some of the limitations on her powers today removed, the power to dissolve the Parliament and a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Supreme Court stripped of the power to determine whether she has gravely abused her discretionÃ¢â‚¬Â, GMA will have the vast powers exercised by President Marcos.
Crucially, GMAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s constitutional coup would effectively undercut any legal and constitutional challenge to her legitimacy and let her stay in power, constitutionally more secure, from the transitory period to 2010 and beyond. Without true mandate, GMA bribes, entices, corrupts and cons to remain in power. Each day that she stays in Malacanang, our patrimony is being plundered, our treasury pillaged, our institutions damaged, our future pawned, our land served as collateral until our sovereignty is virtually surrendered.”
(Or would it turn out to be tsu-tsu?)
The Senate and the House are about to see a backlash from the people, We all agree that the sentate in the last 10 Years has really just been a debating ground and has not really made any progress, Thus when it comes to the signature campaign if the Administration really pushes it and gets like 50% of the populations signatures. Then the senate – House and Supreme court will have to follow the will of the people as they know they will be in a losing situation for the next round of elections..
The more signatures that appear on the Peoples initiative the more the senate and house will change their mind..
Remember if the People get the control of what they want changed the House and the Senate lose all control of the direction they want it to go..
If they decide the changes themselves than from the people then they have a chance to place limits on GMA and others which they think are doing this for their own future.
This is where it will lead to i think..
You give people three choices..
One which is Pro-them
One which is Anti-them
One which is a safe face choice (Senate and house combine and make the changes..)
Jinx @ #3
I belive resignation and ban the current officilas is not enough. There shoudl be a signed document or even better a provision in the new constitution that any elected official who had serve in the previous government and present government should be banned. And that ban shoudl extend up the second degre or even third degree of affinity. And political dynasty shoudl be totally outlawed That way we can really have a fresh start.
All this call for ouster of GMA is really nothing and will not have that much positive impact if the person or persons that will replace her will plucked out from the same group of rotten kind…
After EDSA 1, we all said “NEVER AGAIN”. Every political experts, columnists, writers, historians, and everybody else all agreed that the Martial Law experience will never happen again because the people will no longer allow it; the people will no longer subject themselves to oppression and injustice. Could we all be so wrong? Now it seems we’re sliding back to those hateful days. And it seems the last nails of the coffin will be delivered by only 8 men and women, the 8 justices of the Supreme Court?
natameme kaba sa kabila kaya naghintay ka nalang na magpost ng bagong entry si manolo para makabanat ka uli? 😉
If the signature campaign and the Supreme court will nullify it all why are the senators so worried about it?
It must mean that they are scared wala porky next year?
Pimentel, along with 20 senators, had vigorously opposed the conduct of people’s initiative because of legal obstacles.
Why vigorously oppose if it has legal obstacles which you can take to court?
Why vigorously oppose it? To make their stand known!
Bullies and rapists continue to do their crimes when victims do not raise a howl or just continue to be silent!
ellen, that’s what so many of the veterans of the anti-marcos years tell me: departure lounge na nga sila, magsisimula na naman ang laban… the only thing i can tell them is, it may not take that long but even if it does, once more unto the breach!
mlq3, you’re beginning to sound like a de brux. (not a bad thing imho.)
May the Supreme Court derail the Chacha Choochoo Express.
cjv, one has to do one’s bit to keep up morale.
i would find it strange if gma does not have a morale problem of her own. if her biggest supporters are those belonging to the ‘apathetic sector’, that would mean that tanks can roll into Malacanang tomorrow and no one will care. frankly, that’s the part that gets me worried the most.
Your prediction is very much correct, cvj! Look Mrs Arroyo was able to declare the SoE with not much resistance form the apathetic sector. Because the genreal perception is that whatever Mrs Arroyo and the opposition do will hardly have a positive impact on their lives. What our politican are doing very much out of reality.
So 90% of our group members have joined the Revolution of the Silent. And we have decided to just do help our country men in our very own way. We have this Scholarship program that is been going on for 4 years now. And our first scholar will graduate this sem on the top his class. This is not the usual college scholarship where the scholars receive their monthly allowance and we pay for the tuition fee. We assigned a scholar manager in each sem from among our members to guid eteh scholar in his studies and ven help him in his personal and emotional problems.
This we believe is much better than participating on this senseless political exercise which is really nothing but zarzuela of our egoistic politicians and is not really directed to helping the poor out of their miseries.
While you worry so much about the next action of the president and on how to push the opposition’s cause, There some people out their who is doing whatever they can do to help however small.
And those people, my freind cvj, is coming from the apathetic sector that you so despised!!!!
rego, i’m not arguing against your scholarship programs. political opposition and civic duty is not an either/or proposition after all. what i take exception with is your conception of government without the people.
rego, you point to a debate i have regularly with friends who care about the country, but hope progress can be achieved without the mess of politics. i always tell them, what happens when those you have helped encounter the mess?
They migrate to another country. LOL
Joe de Venecia, the eternal political opportunist predicts a parliamentry form of government by July. He’s mad, mad, barking mad!
How many people of the voting age in the country actually know what parliamentary system of government is and how it works?
Why the haste?
Joe de Venecia is dealing with government change the same way he did things in business… Set up the business, bulldozed his way to big bucks in record time and then when the going got thoroughly competitive, he sold out before the business buckled under and left for greener pastures to re-establish his racket elsewhere. Whoa!
Meanwhile, he left people behind holding the bag and nowhere to go!
And he is doing the same old trick in politics today: Bicameral system/Presidential form of government ain’t going the way he wants it, so he’s chucking the it for a different one and imposing it on a population half of whom or perhaps a lot more don’t have an iota of what the parliamentary system is all about.
Don’t tell me that the nation’s FM parliamentary experience is enough “parliamentary education” for people to change. What about the young ones who were were still in short pants during the FM parliamentary heydeys (who are in fact, today’s “mature” voters), do they know what they are getting into?
Perhaps, JdV really is convinced that the only way for him to get hold of real power is by maintaining the people in blissful ignorance.
Come on, Filipinos have hardly got to the stage where they know what the current form of government is and JdV has already changed that into another one without the benefit of debate let alone properly educating the population on what to expect.
A nation cannot change, shift from one form of government to another as if they were changing underwear or worse, JdV can’t change a form of government in the same manner he would change from one woman to another. We are talking of educating at least 40 million people here and not just a few politicians! This is sheer MADNESS!
What happens when he starts suffering from the “itch” (Ok, he might not last that long coz he’s no longer that young but you never can tell…) ? Will he revert to the presidential form?
JdV’s concept of parliamentary system is the “pakikisama”, “bahala na”, “sige na”, “compromise na lang” system which is prevalent in your typical rural baranggay in the mountanous region of Nuvea Vizcaya!.
No amount of system of government changes will work if the people have not been properly prepared for them. Educate the people first on good governance. Get the debate going and start from the grassroot level. Give the people a bit of time – give the teachers time to learn what the system is all about so they can talk to the young – they are the nation’s future.
or they go the boondocks and start things which we really don’t want. this is the main reason why we have this problem. it is a cycle of politics, corruption and poverty
FREE LUNCH, BAG OF GOODIES, CASH for CHA CHA Signatories.
#26 is answer for mlq’s #22
may i add to “barangay”….
Are you in favor of snap election for:
2. vice president
Tandaan natin ang mga makakapal na mukha na
sumusuporta kay PANDAK GMA, Come ELECTION 2007
let them know and feel the public’s wrath
THESE ARE THE YES VOTES THAT KILL THE IMPEACHMENT 2005
REMEMBER THE “TRAITORS” !!!
THESE ARE THE CONGRESSMEN THAT DIDN’T ALLOWED THE TRUTH
TO COME OUT … DO NOT VOTE FOR THESE PEOPLE !!!!
1Benjamin Abalos Jr.
2Bienvenido Abante Jr.
4Roque Ablan Jr.
6Rodolfo Albano III
7Felix Alfelor Jr.
8Jose Mayo Almario
10Genaro Rafael Alvarez III
11Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante
14Rolando Andaya Jr.
19Ignacio Arroyo Jr.
20Alipio Cirilo Badelles
24Luis Bersamin Jr.
25Anna York Bondoc
26Narciso Bravo Jr.
28Elias Bulut Jr.
33Jose Emmanuel Carlos
41Eufrocino Codilla Sr.
50Del De Guzman
51Jose De Venecia Jr.
54Raul Del Mar
59Michael John Duavit
62Joseph Felix Mari Durano
64Faustino Dy III
66Elenita Milagros Ermita-Buhain
67Gerardo Espina Jr.
68Amado Espino Jr.
70Emilio Espinosa Jr.
71Conrado Estrella III
72Peter Paul Jed Falcon
75Antonio Floirendo Jr.
76Orlando Fua Jr.
80Raul Gonzalez Jr.
93Jose Carlos Lacson
98Benasing Macarambon Jr.
99Sunny Rose Madamba
101Maria Milagros Magsaysay
104Alfredo MaraÃƒÂ±on III
107Abraham Kahlil Mitra
116Prospero Pichay Jr.
120Isidoro Real Jr.
122Miles Mari Roces
123Isidro Rodriguez Jr.
124Jesus Jurdin Romualdo
127Jose Ma. Clemente Salceda
128Federico Sandoval II
136Mary Ann Susano
140Gilberto Teodoro Jr.
145Renato Unico Jr.
153Ma. Amelita Villarosa
158Juan Miguel Zubiri
Otoy, if we can have a SNAP ELECTION for ALL the
better. But these positions are URGENT
2. Vice President
3. ALL CONGRESSMEN (composed of GMA’s DOGS)
4. I don’t feel the need to replace the SENATORS
except those who’s always silent and AWOL.
They are doing their job for CHECK and BALANCE,
specially with the present ABUSIVE government.
But we NEED to CLEAN the COMELEC, can we TRUST
the CHURCH to handle the ELECTION just for a day ?
may listahan ka ba ayon sa kung saang distrito ang mga congressmen? madali silang matandaan ng kani-kanilang constituent voters later on during the next election…kung may darating pang next election!
Today APRIL Fools Day – Apr 1 (one) is just an “ordinary
day” for mrs. ARROVO, Why ?
Simply because almost everyday we are being “FOOLED” by
GLUE-RIA and her CO-HORTS.
MAG-INGAT SA MGA MANLOLOKO :
i think the first step should be to replace the entire comelec after all it was garci tape which started all of this mess. garci and the entire comelec body is questionable in all its dealings from then on.
next step is snap election if at all legal and possible.
to stop all this bickering, anybody in malacanang (pres and vice pres) plus everyone in congress should be be subjected to voters scrutiny by a new election ( free, and clean election)
then, we can all sleep peacefully with sleeping who!
What i was trying to point out is that the apathetic sector or the “Silent revolutionaries” are also doing their share in their own way and thus should not be marginalized even despised.
A government without people? How can you say that? Is it because we dont join the oppositions cause of ousting Gloria at all cost. Is it becuase we rejected the idea of people power to resolve the curent political impasse? Is becuase we believe that there are existing venues that can very well take care of most of the issues being thrown on the administration?
As far as our group is concern we have our own party list that will participate for the first time in the coming 2007 election. ( if ever it will push through) So we are very much “in” politically. Hindi nga lang kami in sa oppsoition cause. But you know what, our leader is very much active sa mga protest actions nyo in his personal capacity and not sa representative of our group.
mlq3 @ # 22,
I believe your question was raised by 5 of our pro opposition members before. And we setlled it by just allowing the peopel that we are helping to act whatever their political political conviction (even our own members.) We only imposed two restriction and that is the scholars can not work while studying and they cannot join any fraternity.
It is our belief that by giving them the education that they needed they can very well survived what ever mess they will encounter later in life. That is why we focused all our resources to educational projects. We believ that is the best that we can do to help.
Mike Ã¢â‚¬Å“Never Directly and Briefly Answer A QuestionÃ¢â‚¬Â Defensor has urged the opposition to just join the debates on Cha-Cha. Whenever he or his Malacanang buddies make some such calls, beware. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a trap! Divert the opposition, keep them busy strategy.
This fellow Mike is a younger version of JDV. A real windtalker who has developed the skill of not answering reportersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ questions directly and briefly. Listening to him answer simple questions exhausts you.
Will you buy this line?
now I have an avatar… 🙂
no, francis, no, i dont buy lacson
Rego, actions speak louder than words, so on balance, you and your group may actually be doing more for our country than the average Filipino of similar means. What i meant by “a government without the people” is the popular but dangerous idea that we can adopt a live and let live approach with regards to our political leaders and their activities. Anyway, i think it’s good that your group is planning to be politically engaged.
Party-list in 2007? In the administration’s cha-cha scheme, 1) the party-list system may be abolished and 2)there may not even be elections in 2007. Why? because the GMA and her trapos prefer it that way. …Which is why the smug,supercillious laissez-faire attitude to “dirty” politics of the self-proclaimed “silent majority” (i.e., a small fraction of the middle class) actually works in the interest of these trapos.
am in quandary: umpisa na ba ng debate against or for cha-cha??
not too long ago, we told ourselves not to be drawn into this, as it is a trap and would lend legitimacy to gma as president instead to that of a usurper.
on the same breath, if we continue to pull in the rein we might be unfairly withholding infos from the MASA- the sector/class most gullible and should be properly informed.
if malacanan political operators is eyeing on or before July as the date, then we have less than 3 mos to push our own counter argument. and we still have not agreed yet whether we face this issue squarely or not!!
can somebody tell me what to do,please?
Begging your pardon but what is IMHO?
Anna, IMHO is part of the many shortcuts in web chat.
IMHO – in my humble opinion
FYI – for your information
Oh! Heheh! Thanks, Jon.
great blog, keep it comming.
Leggo ed imparo sul vostro luogo. grazie!
Interessando, luogo abbastanza luminoso, penso +5