Round 2

The President is in Rome to visit the Pope, and she is bearing gifts (the Palace press release amusingly demoted the King of Spain by referring to him as “royal highness,” the title of a prince). Mike Defensor says there should be no lese majeste while the President is overseas. Jove Francisco, part of the press corps covering the trip, blogs from Bangkok airport.

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Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives, the citizen-complainants in this year’s impeachment effort filed their complaint, which was endorsed by two opposition congressmen. My column for today, Macalintal’s surprise, puts forward support for the impeachment complaint, and tackles the surprising argument of the President’s lawyer (Fel Maragay loyally defends Macalintal). Maragay’s column, I think, indicates an emerging effort to start chipping away at the recently-restored reputation of the Supreme Court, to wear it down, if not for impeachment purposes, than to facilitate a favorable response to the “people’s initiative” folks.
One Voice is challenged by defenders of the President to seek relief from the Supreme Court: Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J. explains why critics of the “people’s initiative” have to wait until proponents of the Palace’s version of charter change go to the Comelec. Incidentally, he obliquely suggests the proponents haven’t taken the step of filing a petition for a referendum with the Comelec because they may be further from securing the signatures they need than they claim. Dan Mariano thinks One Voice’s attempt to present a reasonable solution may be viewed as a sign of weakness by the President’s “boosters”; he also goes over some arguments similar to Bernas’. Rita Jimeno tries to link the timing of One Voice to Fidel V. Ramos (who I don’t think even registers on the conciousness of people anymore since he is politically, the living dead), and wonders where One Voice gets its funding (one thing I can say for sure: it’s not coming from the presidential or congressional pork barrel). I must say though, that their Big Lie type of propaganda “it’s the elite! the elite!”- for its shrillness and constancy, has an effect: disguising the nature of their own proponents and supporters. A more level-headed approach is put forward by Bong Austero in his column (though if he dissected the triune proposals of Abueva-Sigaw-the House, I don’t see how he could give it the benefit of anything but abhorrence). Eggy Apostol and some others endorse One Voice. Big Mango does, too.

NPA’s attack dump trucks.

What is a gerenkesplunk? Find out! An interesting article on why Boeing shouldn’t scrap it’s internet service on aircraft. American newspapers are shrinking.

Rasheed Abou-Alsamh takes a look at the Uniffors blog; a retired ambassador weighs in. Billy Esposo on Filipino motorists. Gigi Goes Gaga on Filipino motorists abroad.  Ricky Carandang, apropos of automobiles, explains why oil prices are high.

Red’s Herring on the Chinese contributions to our culture. Barako Cafe points to the perils of academic blogging.

AsiaPundit on rude Asian cities.

village idiot savant deals with three insistent kids -and a debate over whether he should buy them tempura or balut.

Isolde Amante on the media, tourism, and good and bad news.

Stepping on Poop’s conspiracy theory aside, the President was laid low by creepy crawlies in her tummy (best text joke of the weekend: There’s a new “movement” that’s trying to kill GMA, d Loose Bowel Movement). And while I didn’t eat at Osteria (RG Cruz blogged about the President’s intestinal woes, from start to finish: “and so it was just diahrrea”), but the weekend left me feeling unpleasant because of what the Philippine Star called (in the case of the President) a “bum stomach.” Recalling what I overheard a doctor telling a patient once, I spent Sunday dosing myself with Yakult. It was once a drink I consumed during recess, and so there’s a kind of childish satisfaction that comes from Yakult-guzzling. Then I read this explanation of the origins of Yakult:

L. casei Shirota
LcS was originally isolated and selected from the faeces of an infant.

Oh boy. But then, what the hell. I then read this rather chirpy and amusing testimonial in praise of Yakult and decided to ignore the origins of the beneficial bacteria. ‘m not sure though, if I’d describe it as an “intelligence elixir”! And I really am skeptical about the benefits of inhaling Yakult vapors.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

44 thoughts on “Round 2

  1. Amusing take on Defensor’s appeal from the uniffors blog –

    “Presidential chief of staff Michael Defensor is asking the opposition to show some respect for Gloria Arroyo while she is visiting the Vatican and Spain.

    Defensor said, “We should all recognize the principle that when the President is out of the country, we should show our national unity. We should rally behind the flag,”

    He said that during the time of President Estrada the opposition refrained from criticizing the president whenever he was abroad.

    Defensor did not point out the crucial difference between Estrada and Arroyo. Estrada was elected by the people. Arroyo was elected by Garcillano.

    Arroyo should show some respect for the Filipino. She should stop misrepresenting herself as their president.

  2. Re Atty Jimeno quoting FVR =

    “The perpetual threat of a “no confidence” vote that can boot out a prime minister and the ruling party in a parliamentary system will encourage effectiveness in governance and cohesion within the governing majority in parliament, Ramos said.”

    Show me one parliament anywhere in the universe where a united majority ever voted themselves out of power through a “no confidence” vote in themselves.

    But we can also accept their no confidence vote claim and turn it against them- “If a no confidence vote is a perpetual threat then that means it is easy to get and easy to get means a parliament has less stability and continuity ” You can’t have it both ways.

  3. Hi MB,

    I’ve been saying the same thing too: Arroyo has no respect for the Filipino people. She IS her mother’s daughter.

    It really is time for the Filipinos to demand that this woman who styles herself president of the republic should, as you say, show SOME respect for the Filipino. She and her friends in Malacanag should stop treating the people of the Philippines their lackeys.

    Gloria, Defensor, Garcillano, Gonzales&Gonzalez, Mike Pidal Arroyo and a couple of others should be shoved in a dungeon and made to meditate on and atone for their actions.

    Defensor is wrong! What better time to show contempt for his president than today when she is misrepresenting herself to the Pope!

    Arroyo and her Pidal husband are pariahs of the Philippine society. It’s but fair game to hound them out of Malacanang anytime of the day!

  4. Good! Let Arroyo address His Majesty, King Juan Carlos “his royal highness” so that Spanish media could paint her and her Malacanang entourage of pygmies as the social and political climbers they really are!

    Heheh! As I said in an earlier post – Gloria is actually a social parvenu and as parvenu as one could get! She is also a shameless gourgandine – the Spanish monarch will see her as such.

  5. Re:Filing of impeachment.
    I hope to hear from JDV soon, that the impeachment is good to go.

    Next month or next week baka sabihin nagemail si Atty Lozano
    mas nauna ng one-second ang e-mail nya.

    Baka di na sya ma tansya nyan.

  6. Karl,
    JDV has spoken, he said that the new impeachment complaint filed is just a waste of time as the opposition “arithmetically” doesn’t have the numbers…

    Even Nograles when he spoke didn’t talk about the complaints, but focused on “their end”, whatever that means (most probably their current political careers, I say current because in the Philippines it’s very easy to ressurrect it!).

  7. Organize and make sure that your representatives in Congress hear your sentiments. Write them, send them email, for or against their vote on the impeachment. Make it clear that their stand has a bearing on the elections.

    Maybe somebody could post a link on the mailing addresses of the representatives?

  8. Ana,

    That’s why I’ve always maintained that Mike Arroyo was Gloria’s lifeline to the elites. If not for Mike’s extended family, the elites would have abandoned her ages ago. Only those who don’t understand how power flows or where real power comes from in our society see Mike Arroyo as a liability to Gloria, la recien llegada .

  9. “The perpetual threat of a “no confidence” vote that can boot out a prime minister and the ruling party in a parliamentary system will encourage effectiveness in governance and cohesion within the governing majority in parliament, Ramos said.”

    I believe FVR doesn’t understand the working of the Parliamentary jsystem very well. The Threat of “no Confidence Vote” exists only if the Government is a Minority. Meaning (for the benefit of FVR) that the ruling party Govern in partnership or agreed cooperation of other party or parties to form a majority. The incentive of the Ruling party to govern well is the earn to Trust of the Voters and to return the same party after its mandate or if election is called by the Ruling party which in most Parliamnetary System can be called anytime within the set mandate. As far as I’m concern there is nothing wrong with any system. Guess where the faults lie.

  10. Vic,

    Absolutely! Btw, when Vic says Government, he is speaking of the “political team” voted into power to RUN the affairs of the nation, led by the Prime Minister, i.e., Tony Blair’s or the UK Labour or socialist government, Dominique de Villepin or the French right-wing or UMP government, Maggie Thatcher’s Tory or conservative government, etc. and must not be confused with THE GOVERNMENT, the overall state apparatus that holds the republic together.

    Joe de Venecia and FVR really need to finetune their knowledge of parliamentary system/s.

    Obviously, if they want to cut a parliamentary system according to Philippine moeurs and traditions or according to their personal agenda, that’s something else.

    However, I still think they should dig deeper into this parliamentary system thinggy before they shove it in the throats of the people.

  11. Yes Vic, no majority in parliament would ever vote itself out of office. The gall of Mike Defector to call for unity when the adminstration itself alienates the people from the government.


    I hope our migrant community in Europe bands together and show their disgust for the pretender, just like the one presently circulating in the US. This way, she will lose face in the international community.

  12. ‘Figures of Impeach’

    Pre-fight odds: 9:1, against (190+majority/24minority)
    Result: 158-51- 6, against

    Pre-fight odds: 3:1, against
    Result: (pro impeachment – anti = + or -?)


  13. Manolo,

    According to PCIJ,

    “Only recently, the following known lieutenants of Garcillano in Mindanao were appointed to top Comelec regional posts:

    Renato Magbutay, election director of Region X
    Carlito Ravelo, acting assistant election director of Region X
    Remlane Tambuang, election director of Region XI
    Ray Sumalipao, assistant election director of Region XI and concurrent acting election director of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
    Teopisto Elnas Jr., election director of Region XII
    Cirilo Nala Jr., acting election director of CARAGA Region (covering the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur)
    Francisco Pobe, acting assistant election director of CARAGA Region
    Vilfredo Balisado, acting assistant election director of Region IX

    How are we going to win the 2007 election ?

  14. Manuel,

    Re: “How are we going to win the 2007 election ?”

    Are you finally, really, seriously contemplating on being a candidate for public office? Does “we” mean MLQ3 is throwing his hat in the 2007 race too?

    Hmmm, jolly good!

  15. Hindi na kailagan tumakbo si mlq3 sa eleksyon. Tiyak na bibigyan siya ng pwesto ni ate glo pagkatapos ng eleksyon. Kung sabagay mas maganda ang ‘elekted’ by the pipol. Mare na manoy, takbo ka na. Nothing to loose now. Inaayos na ng mga bata ni kuya Garci ang lahat! Sampu ang boto ko para sa iyo.

    Mabuhay ang one voice, soon to be another voice of ate glo, mlq3 at ate glo.

    Hoy, mlq3 fans, talk is cheap. Pirma na, pirma na, pirma na!

  16. I just read that one of the reasons why Gloria is hell-bent on this meeting with Pope Benedict in spite of her non-august daya-rhea status is that she wants to personally submit the candidacy of a Mike and Iggy Jose Pidal Arroyo brothers’s grand aunt for beatification…

    Watch out MB & MLQ3! Gloria moral bansot is not through with her enkantada magic to defeat the impeachment bid. She will come back from this good time trip in Europe with a most solemn pronouncement “Mike Arroyo grand aunt up for beatification”.

    Holy Shit!

  17. I am one of your admirers, Mr. buencamino(walang biro yan). Corny talaga ako. Walang sopistikasyon. Sinasabi ko lang ang nakikita ko. Kayo na rin ang nagsabi, “How are we going to win the 2007 elections?”

    Pumirma na po ba kayo o saling pusa lang? Pirma na ng ma shaddap na kayo pagkatapos ng eleksyon. Yan ang ibig sabihin ng cooperation, diba?

    Come join us. Mabuhay ang One Voice, mlq3 or should I say Congressman mlq3, and of course, ate glo.

  18. “Gloria is actually a social parvenu and as parvenu as one could get!” anna de brux

    “That’s why I’ve always maintained that Mike Arroyo was Gloria’s lifeline to the elites. If not for Mike’s extended family, the elites would have abandoned her ages ago. Only those who don’t understand how power flows or where real power comes from in our society see Mike Arroyo as a liability to Gloria, la recien llegada.” manuel buencamino

    anna and manuel are indispensable in Pinoy political punditry. mb, I guess that’s Philippine history (and perhaps Philippine political economy) in a nutshell.

  19. “how are we going to win the 2007 elections”: who are “we”? everyone opposed to the admin. this means voting and campaigning. it does not mean running.

    if you read the one voice statement, the requirements are as follows: 1. credible appointments to comelec; 2. clean elections; 3. agreement by all sides that the 2007 elections are an indirect referendum on the administration: that is, if you approve of gma, vote for her candidates; if you disapprove, vote for anyone else but her candidates -definitely, no one can argue with the results if the public votes in enough opposition to guarantee 97 pro-impeachment votes in the House come the 14th Congress. 4. equally clear is that the election, if viewed that way, would resolve, through the people’s vote, issues raised from 2004-2006, but not, in any way, be a blanket approval for gma (if her candidates won) for 2007-2010.

    personally, i support the impeachment now. if it is blocked, it becomes even more of an important issue in 2007. if it succeeds, then 2007 is the first post-GMA election.

    what are the chances gma will appoint a fully credible comelec? what are the chances she will allow the elections in 2007 (if they even happen) to be fair, free, and credible? what are the chances she will show faith in the public to turn 2007 into a referendum on her rule? we won’t know until the challenge is made, and made clear: as the challenge has been spelled out. remember: until and unless every effort is made to ensure a credible election, there can be no way gma can get even a ghost of a chance at “closure”. one voice clearly states the requirements for the public to have a fair chance to express its verdict on her in a way no one can doubt: if she throws away that chance, then no one can deny what some still want to deny.

  20. mlq3, hurrah, you have finally managed to say so many things without actually saying anything.

  21. Mlq3,

    First time the 3rd point was presented, I thought of posting my misgivings about this 2007-elections-as-indirect-referendum strategy to press for congressmen to favor the impeach-GMA 2006 edition, otherwise, press more to vote-out the ‘nays’ and vote-in more ‘ayes’ in the 2007 elections, to set-up a favorable count for the impeach-GMA 2007 edition.
    As a legal strategy, it is a setback. It undermines the movement’s principled statement of commitment to constitutional due processes. It obfuscates the 2007 election issues and potentially pre-empts the 2007 impeach-GMA default constitutional option. Although GMA is an issue in 2007 elections she is the not the only valid issue. As an indirect referendum it cannot resolve the legal issues of legitimacy and culpability, neither should performance be accepted as trade-off for accountability.
    As a tactical move, it has not gained ground but gave up by committing in a scenario where GMA is already winning and is all-odds favored to win, the 2006 impeach-GLO re-match and the 2007 elections. GMA’s formation is intact; she has the budget that she needs (re-enacted or otherwise courtesy of her Congressmen). No COMELEC reforms are on going, on track, in-place on time.

    The driving force of any movement to break the impasse, which, more than political, is a moral impasse, should be the moral and legal principles of accountability – for both erring officials and irresponsible voters.

  22. “Hello, Holy Father,” pgma greeted the pope. [PDI headline]

    The pope replied, “Like we’re friends. Hello?! You’re so duh.”

  23. This is a petition which is urging U.N. Organization’s official and administrative leadership to democratize the whole framework, processes and procedures of the United Nations’ Organization. We, the members and leaders of the League of Political Abrogationers (L.P.A.), have created this petition in order to ensure that the whole U.N. Organization will be a “real vanguard institution” for the protection and promotion of real and global democracy. We, the members and leaders of the League of Political Abrogationers (L.P.A.), are gathering 1.5 million on-line signatures for this on-line petition. Once we have gathered the ‘1.5-million signatures’ for this on-line petition, we will submit this on-line petition to the administrative and official leadership of the United Nations. This on-line petition is a 3-point petition. This petition goes as follows:


    We, the members and leaders of the League of Political Abrogationers (L.P.A.), are urging the U.N. Organization’s administrative and official leadership to democratize the structural and organizational framework, procedures and processes of the whole U.N. Organization. Our group believes that the whole U.N. Organization should be democratized through peaceful and legal means. Therefore, we, the members and leaders of the League of Political Abrogationers, are urging the administrative and official leadership of the U.N. Organization to do the following:

    a.) The U.N. Organization’s administrative and official leadership should create new organizational by-laws that will effectively democratize all the decision-making procedures and processes of all the administartive departments, agencies, institutions, assemblies and structural groupings of the U.N. Organization. Such new by-laws should also include the principle of having a U.N. administration made up of “elected legislators” from the countries which they came from. Elections and referendums should also be introduced within the structural framework of the U.N. Organization. The new by-laws should give the citizens of U.N. member-states the chance to elect the leaders who will sit as officials, including the Secretary-General of the U.N., of the United Nations.

    b.) The U.N. Organization should create a democratic “global constitution” for all member-states and non-member states of the U.N. Organization. Such “global constitution” should ensure that all countries of this world will adhere to all of the principles of democracy. Such “global constitution” should guarantee the respect and protection of the natural environment, animal rights and human rights in all of the countries of this world. Such “global constitution” will also safeguard free and fair trading among all the nations of this world. Such “global constitution” will also safeguard our world from human-made disasters. Such “global constitution” should also guarantee effective international cooperation when it comes to dealing with environmental disasters and ‘space accidents’ (like huge commets hitting our world) that may occur. Such “global constitution” should also guarantee the promotion and protection of environmental and human safetiness’ rights. The U.N. Organization should create such democratic “global constitution” now.

    c.) The administrative and official leadership should also make a new charter that will guarantee the participation of the whole U.N. Organization in the promotion and protection of democracy in every country, in every social organization and in every culture of this world. Such new charter should have an effective mechanism within the organizational framework of the U.N. which will guarantee the participation of the U.N. Organization in the promotion and protection of democracy all over this world.

    The readers of this message can sign this on-line petition by clicking this web page now: .
    Please sign such petition now.



  24. Perhaps Guingona thinks that an impeachment case is similar to a raffle so he filled another “raffle ticket”.
    “The more entries the more chances of winning”

  25. The oppositionists are looking silly trying to submit the same impeachment complaints many times (in many days) just so that technicality may be taken out as the reason for dumping the complaint/s.

    As I have said, looking silly is better than losing the battle without a fight…

  26. And as we all know, Joselu’s president bansot believed (and still believes) in the doctrine of increasing her chances at winning the greatest lottery achievement of her life by increasing her votes with a million there and a million here from thin air!

  27. Jon, just that it looks silly.It’s like playing lotto, trying to get all possible combinations to win.
    There are other ways of winning w/o losing ones dignity or trying to appear like a “trying hard”.
    Sayang, throughout this drama there has not been a venue where issues can be confronted through a real debate that is a more dignified form of fighting then the “raffle ticket”
    Everything has always been made through indirect ways or forming of endless groups w/ different names but the same people w/ recycled ideas.
    Buti pa the INC people, they grow numericaly through birth.

  28. de brux,your quick w/ words but substance does not go w/ that. after one year of reading you I really wounder what is your secret to maintain all your hate.You must be one angry person really.Pls. don’t get me wrong.

  29. The impeachment process will be the proper forum to do the debate. It will be a pity if it doesn’t push thru because of technicalities. So, I say, continue putting in those complaints so that all bases are covered!

  30. Oh Joselu, but I do get you wrong. Would be sublime insult to your intellect if I didn’t…

  31. juanmakabayan, you bring up very valid points as to the dangers in signing up to the principle of using the 2007 elections as an ‘indirect referendum’ on Gloria’s legitimacy. If by 2007, Gloria Arroyo and her candidates happen to be as popular as Thaksin was in Thailand, then that would mean that a win at that time would ‘wipe the slate clean’? More realistically, she herself may not be that popular, but the candidates she fields may manage to run on local and/or other issues and win on this basis. It may also turn out that any outcome would be hopelessly confused to be subject to a clear interpretation either way. Given the risks, however, i think it may still be worth a try on the principle that we have to fight for democracy using the ways of democracy. Short of a snap election materializing within the next twelve months, 2007 is the first chance our people get to exercise their democratic right to vote. It’s up to all of us to use it wisely. Being equals, the only penalty for irresponsible voters would be the bad government we all continue to get.

    I agree with you that the outcome either way does not settle the legal or moral aspects, just as Nixon’s landslide victory did not absolve him of Watergate. However, a win for the opposition can open the door to impeachment which would hopefully lead to the settlement of the legal aspect. A win for Arroyo would mean that the door remains closed, the people do not care enough about the moral aspect (or at least do not consider it ‘their fight’) and that our opposition on the basis of legitimacy is moot and academic since the question of legitimacy has been politically settled for the moment. I would consider it a pity, but that’s would be the hard reality that needs to be faced nonetheless.

  32. Cvj, thanks, I agree that its worth a try, democratic means to democratic end. a good counter-point or antidote to the otherside’s autocratic-trapocratic means and ends. The line of battle is clearly drawn: forces of democracy vs forces of trapocracy ( 2004 SONA was GMA’s declaration of war, with the Trapos in a show of force at Batasan on her side, against people who advances democratic due processes)

    Just a matter of presentation,
    Accountability is the central issue. The 2007 elections as indirect referendum goes without saying. Presenting it as a stated objective commits the movement to the outcome that could boomerang on the movement’s post 2007 elections options. Given GMA’s preparation on her side, the movement must by this time be mobilizing pressure groups in different dist. to bear upon their respective congressmen for the current impeachment; and head-hunting for alternative candidates for the 2007 elections. That’s why I wanted to ask if pre-requisite conditions are not in place on time, what are the options. The budget and the COMELEC status can pre-determine the viability of the movement’s position. Learning a lesson from 2004 elections and 2005 impeachment, crucial constitutional processes that were subverted by the status quo, advocacy leaders must not over-estimate popular support and under-estimate GMA’s capacity to cheat the system. FPJ should have made a pre-condition that GMA must go on a leave of absence upon filing for candidacy; otherwise, FPJ should have stayed above the fray, safeguarded his credibility, “to play a crucial role in the history of Philippine politics”. These were on my mind when a radio commentator asked me about FPJ Dec 2003. Same considerations seem to apply on the 2007 scenario; pre-conditions for a fair, credible and honest elections must first be met. Otherwise, other options must be considered, keeping in mind that accountability is the primary advocacy of any group that moves to break the impasse.

  33. juanmakabayan, i agree. i’m also interested in what the options would be if the “pre-requisite conditions are not in place on time”.

  34. makaglo, magbasa ka nalang dito wag ka ng sumali pangmatalino lang tong blog na to. ang corny mo kc.

  35. joselu, why not create a pro GMA blog, nagmukhang kawawa ka lang dito pati na si makaglo

  36. joselu, bulag kba? magising ka naman sa katotohanan. o baka naman malaki knikita mo kay gma? anong tingin mo may naniniwala ba sau dito bukod kay makaglo?

  37. joselu, the ball is in the hands of gma not with the opposition? bakit hate na hate mo mga opposition at love na love mo si gma? bakit hate na hate mo katotohanan at ok lang sau kasinungalingan

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