Military pickle

Armed Forces pickle: to prosecute, or not to prosecute, that is the question. Since ABS-CBN broadcast a videotape of Gen. Danilo Lim, the armed forces have been in a quandary. It’s clear Lim intended to withdraw support and trigger a seismic political event. So now, the military, which was going easy on him, has less reason to do so, now. Civilian officials, perhaps chafing at having to tolerate a divided government (civilian sphere for civilians, but little civiian oversight on the military, which saved its neck), are crowing that the military has to throw the book at Lim. the military doesn’t seem enthused over the prospects of having to do so. They deny they have a report indicting rebel officers: were such a report really written, it would leave no wiggle room, legally. So now military and civilian officials are going to be at odds.

The Inquirer editorial argues that it’s important to ask why media got the tape first, and why the armed forces have been less than eager to fully prosecute Gen. Lim -and by extension, can the armed forces vigorously prosecute Lim at all, even with such apparently iron-clad evidence, such as the tape?

Gen. Lim, after all, might be charged with plotting a coup, but doing so raises the question of what motivated him -and puts him up for comparison with officers he’s criticized, such as the generals accused of helping to manipulate election results. There’s no win-win for the armed forces here.

Even the scuttlebutt is interesting: an additional benefit of Philippine Army troops swarming Bulacan province, is that they not only liquidate rebels, but serve as a buffer should the Scout Rangers make a gambit for the capital.

In the Comelec, one news report suggests one Commissioner’s been put on the spot, to warn others of the dangers of being too professional. Ellen Tordesillas reminds us that it’s all par for the course in covering up the original sin.

The administration decides it can’t risk a two-front war; so it’s hopes of peace with Muslim rebels (under the scrutiny of oil- and dollar-rich Arab countries) and an it’s hopes of peace with Muslim rebels.

Joe Klein, recently in Newsweek, summarizes the current flavor of the month in counterinsurgency theory: called COIN, it works this way:

You flood a neighborhood with troops who walk the streets 24/7, who create a presence that deters mayhem, who eventually begin to build trust relationships with the locals and who, finally, make it possible to provide basic services like water, sanitation, education and electricity. According to Lieut. Colonel John Nagl, author of a recent book on counterinsurgency warfare called Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife : Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam” (John A. Nagl), “The tipping point comes when the residents trust you enough to tell you where the bad guys are rather than telling the bad guys where you are.” coin, then, requires two things that armies are traditionally not very good at: sophisticated person-to-person skills and patience. It also requires a very specific sort of training.

Then again, that theory was practiced in the 1950s and only suggests the commensensical. As a Thai commentary, concerning its own insurgency problem puts it, Force alone won’t win battle with insurgents.

The Palace backpedals its aggression aimed at Catholic bishops.

One Voice convenors meet with the Manila Times editors.

World Bank tells the government: now the bleeding’s stopped, get rid of the tapeworms.

The joys of parliamentary government can be seen in Thailand and Malaysia, where Prime Minister Thaksin has set out on a comeback, and where former PM Mahathir is fighting an insurgency within his own party over basically patronage-related issues. Recent commentary in The Nation of Thailand (which has been consistently critical of Thaksin) sounds eerily like Joseph Estrada trying to make a comeback: PM’s motivations hold key to his conspiracy theory and PM’s latest salvo threatens division. Another view on Thai politics is in The New Straits Times.

In the punditocracy, my Arab News column for this week is Obscurantism Leaves Unrecognized Those Filipinos Who Peacefully Sought Independence.

Dan Mariano discusses the military razing of a radio station.

Johnna Villaviray-Giolagon takes a cue from the book “The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power” (Max Boot) and discusses the nature of tribal conflict in Mindanao.Gail Ilagan takes an altogether different look at Mindanao: she appeals for donations to a children’ s reading corner.

Greg Macabenta begins a series dissecting Charter change.

Bong Austero has little patience for government censors, and offers up constructive criticism for ABS-CBN’s Bandila program.

In the blogosphere, Iloilo City Boy asks, is Jamby Madrigal the new Loren Legarda?

COMELEC ako takes a look at the charges leveled against Commissioner Borra.

Istambay sa Mindanao reflects on warfare’s costs.

mongster’s nest dissects what he says are three difficulties involved with being a National Democrat.

Peryodistang Pinay on development debates in Cebu City.

Wish you were here is alarmed over missile tests by North Korea.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

96 thoughts on “Military pickle

  1. Senga might have been a good soldier, but he should hire a spokesman instead of him speaking with the media. Look at what he said, “The tape is unofficial so it cannot be used”. What the heck?

  2. In my own opinion why nobody seems eager to throw the book on Gen. Lim, is that if the Case go to trial just imagine the Ramifications. Given the chance to depend himself and should be as the law provides, all that have been hidden and all evidence that may be pressented in his defense may implicate just about everyone, both in civilian and military heirarchy. I would expect General Lim to say “you ain’t heard nothin’ yet”.

  3. Without general elections, without unrestricted freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution, becomes a mere semblance of life, in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element.
    –Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) Polish-German socialist, writer

    The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the military tribunals to be used to try the so called non-American “enemy combatants” housed in Guantanmo are still subject to the Geneva Convention. An institution in a country that the same alleged “enemy combatants” made war against in their struggle outside the formal rules of war. They are to be tried and treated according to the rules of war governing prisoners of war. Clearly the war mongers in Washington have been set back by the rule of law.

    It is going to be a test of institutions that is necessary to strengthen the same institutions that one who is alleged to have conspired to render the institutions of state be given his day in court. This type of institutional cleansing is what is required in strengthening the state. The process will then bring out all the alleged instances wherein the military was used to sustain a political agenda for and/or against government. It might just force the change everyone is waiting for. An institutional roadmap might slowly be formed. It is very clear that the majority of people would like to see an institutional process take hold. If the tape is genuine, then Gen. Lim will have an opportunity to explain to the world why he chose to break his oath to the Constitution rather than continue to support an alleged usurper to the Office of the Presidency. If he and his men have first hand knowledge of the use of the military for cheating in the past election then they can become state witnesses to an impeachment complaint and they might just get off.

    We need more than ever the press to be unrestricted. It is crucial that the freedoms of speech, press and opinion be safeguarded because only then the rule of law which is the foundation of civil society will flourish.

    Institutions cannot operate in a vacuum of thought.

  4. If the tapes and the unfinished report were leaked by the AFP top brass and the Palace military specialist operators, then the game plan is already set. The Mayuga report is kept sealed. What are the objectives of the game plan? To neutralize the agitators and divert attention to the anti-red war?

  5. Bandils newscast/news magazine show, public affairs… I too am confused what it really is.
    I found it funny abs hyping it so much as a rally behind the flag nationalist stuff.
    So what has abs been doing all the while?
    Does it mean that their news was purely a money making venture?
    I just hope that abs for once delivers the news as is w/o having to connect it to personalities.
    I think a true & honest news item speaks for itself.
    Putting the news at 11PM would have been a more calculated risk then 10:30. Because starting 9:30 anyway people have a choice of different newscast
    It takes a Maria Ressa to put some substance to abs news finally.
    Funny thing is that the other network does not have all the sophistication but can deliver the news just the same.
    So, is it the sophistication the way the news is delivered that gives credibility or just delivering it stright forward w/o creating “superstars”?
    I think it’s all part to sanitize abs wowwawee reputation.

  6. Let’s get it on! If GMA indeed has political will, then show it. Afraid to open a can of worms? C’mon GMA, let’s see what’s inside the box. They said that the tape only justifies 1017, but what led to Lim’s actions? Senga wants to finish the Feb. 24 “coup”, you got what you want mr. general, or the tape could have wreaked havoc on the “scripted report” your bouys are preparing? Lim’s tape has placed Senga in a spot. Let’s see how this plays out.

  7. MLQ3,

    The real reason why they aren’t throwing the book and the kitchen sink at Lim and friends at this point is simply Angie Reyes’ mutiny that helped Gloria in her bloodless coup d’état.

    Anyway, the tape is not an evidence that there was a coup d’état attempt – there was no movement of rebel troops and capture of strategic posts to launch a coup d’état. At worst, it is an evidence of a conspiracy to commit MUTINY but coup d’état is way off the mark.

    Media throw coup d’état so easily but they don’t seem to really understand the mechanics behind a coup d’état whether attempted, quashed, foiled, launched, etc.

    A coup d’état attempt by Lim would mean that the act of overthrowing the government had been launched with a rebel troops in movement.

    Anyway, at worst, the evidence may point to a consipiracy to MOUNT a coup d’état but I repeat it is not an evidence of an attempted coup d’état, least of all a foiled coup d’état.

    I can challenge any military member in Gloria’s entourage on that score…

    This is all a Malacanang sideshow to take away the heat from her upcoming impeachment as well as to varnish her SONA with garlic smelling drivel!

  8. Anna, TV Patrol tonight includes an interview with two ’89 coup participant soldiers who regretted following orders of officers mounting the coup, and now gives a warning to soldiers not to follow officers on a coup. That and ABS’ Bandila News’ intriguing surprises, smell something fishy. Bandila theme seems out of character for ABS, it’s more like an NBN ‘Taksil sa Bayan’ productions. Is there ‘A deal or no deal’ between Gloria and the Lopezes, Noli could be the deal in a semi-exit scenario.

  9. juan, can you explain further? i must say maria ressa has had to go out of her way to explain why they aired the tape. in your view, is abs-cbn being used, or actually part of the ploy (note of course this is particularly interesting for me as i have an upcoming show on anc).

  10. Juan,

    Amazing isn’t it? Indeed, one tends to wonder if something was cooked up between Malacanang and the Lopez group.

    Traded “support” (knowing they had something in their hands) in the eventuality of the impeachment bid getting through for something sinister.

    ABS-CBN doesn’t want a repeat of the Marcos era. Probably no more stomach to fight.

    But we all know that for as long as big business doesn’t join the fight to oust this moral and physical bansot, it’s hard to gain ground. One of the big businesses that pulled out its support from Estrada was the Ayala group through former DND Chief Rene de Villa and Vicky Garchitorena so it was free-fall for Estrada. The rest was pretty much icing on the cake.

    That’s why I was happy that One Voice was formed – it was a step in the right direction. It had the intellectuals, the activists, the middle forces, the middle class and men in priestly robes – that ain’t too bad for starters. That kind of gathering more or less what is needed to drum up support for the cause – no cha cha, yes impeachment.

    What I’m worried about is her all-out war doctrine. It is an excuse for an undeclared martial law in certain places. And MLQ3 is absolutely right; Bansot is fielding her troops near the capital region – very wise move. She’s putting a quarantine around Metro Manila while at the same time, in an apparent show of power, is warning em poor folks that she means business.

    This business of door to door search with a demand for a “cedula” thing by the military is downright disgusting. You do that when the country is under martial law or on the brink of civil war. But at this point, the country isn’t as far as I know. Or does she really want to push things that far so that when a portion of that population “rebel” she can declare martial law?

    All these talks and the roadshows to drum up investment in the country is baloney – she knows full well that given the appaling circumstances in the country, i.e., presidehnt under attack left right center and will be tried most likely in the Senate, communist insurgency (that she herself drummed up for the whole world to know), extra-judicial killings, the presence of bloody Palparans in the army, increasing poverty, etc. investments will not come. That’s why she’s selling Filipino labor abroad. They are the only ones that can provide flagging financial support for this heavily indebted country.

    Gloria knows that all the big businesses combined cannot match the dollar inflow by the OFWs.

    It is absolutely appalling how we’ve allowed Gloria to take the Philippines to the pits and to the level of a banana republic. She’s become more disgusting than Marcos would ever be…She’s turning this country upside down to remain in power.

    Her acts have betrayed her true ambitions: L’ETAT C’EST MOI! She’s smart, wily, reacts in thoroughly knee jerk fashion but hey, you don’t need much intelligence to do that… you need a bit of this and a bit of that and of course, you need to be rhinoceros skin thick to be able to achieve that.

  11. All i sawo n TV was Danilo Lim and some headless subordinates behind him. How does the tape of ONE soldier asking other soldiers to withdraw support from GMA qualify as proof of a conspiracy? I didn’t see Querubin or the marine commandant or any other “suspect” on the tape? How does one prove a conspiracy among them based on the tape?

  12. Well, General Lim can also hold up two tapes (discs) and say “I have two discs. One is fake, the other is the original”. Then he can further say “That is my voice and my face, but that is not me speaking.”

  13. Esperon is behind the release of the tape. Siya yun mainit. Siya yun sabit sa Garci tapes. He is forcing Senga’s hand.Esperon cannot rest easy until Lim, Querubin and Mirasnda are in jail. Esperon is the one.

  14. Right you are Manuel! Also, his time is almost up (unless he gets the CSAFP post for a few months) so he wants Gloria to remember him.

    It’s really incredible how these guys in uniform have become pansies and surrender monkeys in no time at all!

  15. ana,

    people do not become corrupt overnight. The brass who keep Gloria in power are not stupid. They know what they’re doing. They’ve studied the odds and they ‘re betting they’ll get away with what they’re doing.

    BTW, here’s some news on Malaysia. I don’t know if it was in Business World or Business Mirror. Anyway, Ford Philippines is complaining that their cars are running into non-tariff barriers in Malaysia. In addition to a quota on imported cars, the only authorized dealer-importers have to be comapnies that are at least 70 percent owned by UMNO.

  16. Ressa said that there is the original tape and and edited one. I guess we say that Bunye wouldn’t be the one presenting it this time. Since the tape came out, the NBI is the only agency willing to charge Lim, and its not rebellion or sedition but perjury. To prosecute Lim wouuld open a can of worms and any secrets by the top brass will be divulged. Could be a power play by the generals to force GMA to do something they want? The next episodes of this soap will definitely get better in the next few days.

  17. Marami palang gatong si Gen. Lim, according to Ambassador Senerez (Inq7), who comes out swinging bara-bara style. Siempre, as expected, dininay kagad ng ibang sinasabing taga gatong.

    Talagan nangupete (tail between legs) ang mga hayupak. He, he, he, kahit wala sa pinas at nag gogood time si ate glo, courtesy pa ng tax payers mula, e takot sila.

    Way to go girly boys! Wala talaga kayong B—-! Buti pa si ate glo, ang dami.

  18. MLQ3,

    Speaking Of your show, THE EXPLAINER.

    Would the format be like that of Oprah,or would be a format like that of the big picture of Ricky?You have substituted once for Ricky,would it be in that format?

    I caught a few seconds of Ariel Ureta’s show.and you said it won’t be a he said,she said scenario.

    On the restiveness,Obviously the Davide,Agraca,Feliciano commissions can not be implemented during this administration.

    On withrawal of support

    Not only Angie withdrew,also Ping.
    Is it a protocol that one withraws has to be the AFP and PNP chief for a president to step down.

    Speaking of chiefs,how many weeks or months is left on Calderon’s term(care to answer,Anna?)

  19. This admin,
    especially the Gonzales(z) twins is really going nuts!(undersatement of the century)

    Inciting to sedition ang pag initiate ng peace talks.
    Pag si JDV ang gumawa nito hero sya.

    Ano ngayon ang recommendation ni Norbert na internal security ang importante,bakit sagot ba ni big brother ang external security?
    Kaya siguro madaming Koreano ang lumilipat dito baka may naamaoy sila.

  20. Oops ,the Agrava and Davide was to ninoy’s Assasination ;mali yata,ang dami kasing commission at nangongomission.

    Ano nga bang commission yung para sa 89 coup?

  21. Manuel,

    Re Malaysia – I’m aware of the story. But it’s not as black and white or quite the same as what we see or read. True, UMNO gets a huge take but the money goes back to industry and I mean re-invested IN Malaysia and not stolen or taken abroad in some private banks. That’s how they buy technology. They don’t go around begging for technology.

    To be perfectly honest with you, if there’s an overpricing (and there is) in Malaysia, the ceiling is not more than 5%.

    Between RP & Malaysia, many, many western nation would prefer to deal with Malaysia than with the Philippines particularly with the OECD financial brigade aggressively pursuing foreign companies who are suspected of becoming potential bribers or corruptors… Western companies know that their own executives are liable for criminal charges and imprisonment in their home country if they are prosecuted. The OECD may not touch client/buyers, i.e., Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, etc. but they can certainly send the western nationals working for western seller companies to prison back home. (with hefty fines to boot!)

    In the Philippines, to give you an idea, Northrup Grumann offered a squadron of F-18 with its corresponding package to the Philippines. The US company had previously offered the same package to the Chezch Republic for less than US 750 million dollars give or take a million. The offer to Manila was virtually a carbon copy of the offer to Praque, bolt for bolt, rivet for rivet but the price was not the same. The one offered to the Philippines was 280 million dollars more, give or take a million (or a third of the actual selling price.) Who demanded the overprice? Not the Americans but Pinas! (Same with the Israelis when they were trying to sell their horrible outdated, obsolete set of aircraft to the Philippines which Manila almost bought – it was grossly overpriced.)

    Btw, that kind of “low” overpricing (35%) is reserved for huge, extremely huge ticket items! Those that are a bit lower, could be doubled to something like 120%. (Even during the Cory Aquino days.)

  22. Karl,

    Ping Lacson resigned! He did not withdraw like Angie Reyes. He admitted that he couldn’t shoot it out and therefore preferred to resign – there’s a difference.

  23. bwahahahaha! ngayon si anna at si manuel ang naghahanap ng proof at evidence! bwahahahahaha! nung ang pinaguusapan ay ang mga extra-judicial killings, binabatikos niyo ang mga humihingi ng proof at ebidensya bago i-kundina ang gobyerno, ngayong anti-government ang mukhang naiipit sa ginawa nya, hindi kayo magkandaugaga maghanap ng evidence.

    “Anyway, the tape is not an evidence that there was a coup d’état attempt” HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    “How does the tape of ONE soldier asking other soldiers to withdraw support from GMA qualify as proof of a conspiracy?” BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Oh, you poor benighted armchair analysts. You are too precious.

  24. Minus the mirth, I would have to go with antonio walanglaban on this, anna and manuel. When the Garci tapes came out, it was hailed as evidence of cheating by GMA when it was nothing of the sort. What it was was evidence of speaking to a COMELEC official. The Garci tapes are useless as evidence and the impeachment complaint (the first at least, I dont know about the others) were correct in not citing it. There are other more provable evidence in establishing cheating such as the malversation of public funds (which, too, is a form of cheating).

    But anna is correct that the videotape taken alone is evidence of mutiny and not a coup d’etat. It is up to the prosecutors to tie this attempted mutiny to a coup d’etat. Newsbreak has a report on that in its webpage.

  25. antonio walangbala,

    itinutuwid ko lang ang interpretacion ninyo. Ang conspiracy hindi ginagawa ng isang tao. Ang coup de etat hindi nangyayari sa tape. Ang withdrawal of support ay withdrawal of support.

    Ngayon dapat sinabi ninyo na ang tape ay proof of invitation for a withdrawal of support. Kung yun ang sinabi ng kampo ninyo di hindi ko na sana pinansin yun sinadya ninyong lagyan ng ibang ibig sabihin ang nakita natin lahat.

    Let the tape speak for itself. Huwag na ninyong dagdagan pa ng kahulugan. Tulad ng Garci tape hindi na namin kinailangan sabihin pa sa inyo kung ano ang nadinig natin lahat. Yun nakikita o nadidinig na lahat ay hindi na kailangan ipaliwanag pa. Ang mga may masamang layunin lang ang nagbuburda.

    Naintindihan mo ba?
    Sa english ang sinabi ko ay Let the evidence speak for itself.

  26. “Amazing isn’t it? Indeed, one tends to wonder if something was cooked up between Malacanang and the Lopez group.”

    – When business and politics become so intertwined that they become indistinguishable from each other, anything can happen. Our situation is so absurd that strange bedfellows are the norm. Anything to grab power. Anything for a buck. There are no principles, no lines are ever drawn. The airhead heiress Jamby Madrigal will go to bed with Jose Maria Sison, if only to piggyback on the tiger to achieve power. The clueless Cory Aquino will embrace Satur Ocampo or even the man she once accused of murdering her husband, Danding Cojuangco. The hopelessly incompetent Rene de Villa will cozy up to Ping Lacson. There are no patriots in this game. All are vain, greedy and power-hungry plotters. In the end, it’s only the poor suckers like Lim and Querubin who are left holding the bag.

    So if Tonyboy Cojuangco and ABC 5 are plotting to overthrow the government, where would that leave ABS-CBN were the plot to succeed? Could the Lopezes have been forced to take sides out of self-preservation? It is the way of life for businessmen in this country to do so.

  27. mutiny – the crime of conspiring to disobey an order that a group of similarly-situated individuals… is legally obliged to obey.

    coup d’ etat – the sudden overthrow of a government through unconstitutional means by a part of the state establishment, that mostly replaces just the top power figures.

    Having defined the terms like so (thank you, Wikipedia), the question remains, what does the tape indicate? Attempted coup or attempted mutiny?

    We have other sources telling us of deeper, more ominous movements towards a coup d’etat. Or shall we play the semantic game and say they were just mutinous rumblings?

    I understand why it might be difficult for some to grasp that this was an actual coup in the making, not just a “mutiny” (whatever that means). Denial of the facts makes it easier to believe that the state of emergency was unjustified.

  28. Jeg,

    We heard GMA talking to someone about cheating, kidnapping and placement of military men. The fact that the someone turned out to be Comelec commissioner Garcillano is what made those conversations damning. The Garci tapes werenot just voices blabbing. Those voices were up to no good.

    The Garci tapes may or may not have been illegally recorded. We don’t know for sure. Newsbreak reported that Garci was tapped because GMA did not trust him. So maybe GMA ordered the taping and that’s why she doesn’t want the ISAFP investigated. But granted she was really caught off-guard by the tapes….there is really nothing that prohibits her from saying she is the one on the tape and that she can explain everything. If she has nothing to hide, why hide behind the law? She could have avoided this whole year of crisis if she answered questions that were raised by the tape. Sa madaling salita, her subsequent behavior, covering up, is a very strong indication of guilt.

    As you say there are other evidence of cheating. Well, let’s see what happens if those evidence are presented in combo with the tape, let’s see if GMA really has nothing to hide.

  29. Carl,

    “When business and politics become so intertwined that they become indistinguishable from each other, anything can happen. Our situation is so absurd that strange bedfellows are the norm.”

    I guess back in the seventeenth century, the relationship was called “political economy,” which indeed sounds like the Shakespearean “strange bedfellows.” FVR is more forthright: he calls the odd couple “perverse symbiosis” or “unholy alliance” (between politicians and a handful of very rich, greedy and rent-seeking families).

  30. Ah the truth is spilled by ABS-CBN thinking that the reports were all done.

    Do i remember that march 14 you were all saying it was just harassment of ABC for the footage and that the footage did not exist, Who owns ABC was he not the one who held the coup plot dinner who was exposed by the times magazine.

    And we can trust Jove for his comentary back then?

    All interesting again?

  31. from manuelbuencaminoAs you say there are other evidence of cheating. Well, let’s see what happens if those evidence are presented in combo with the tape, let’s see if GMA really has nothing to hide.

    Exactly. Same goes for the General Lim videotape. We’ll have to see where this alleged mutiny is in combo with the evidence for an attempted coup d’etat last February. Micketymoc in his comment provided the link to the Newsbreak story I alluded to in my previous comment. If the Newsbreak story is true, the withdrawal of support, while nothing in and of itself, was part of a coup attempt. What is striking in what antonio walanglaban pointed out was that the anti-Glue people are using the same defense for the Lim tapes that the pro-Glue people used for the Garci tapes.

  32. Doesn’t General Lim have the right to ask others to withdraw support from someone he believes is a bogus leader in the same way Bishop Yñiguez is entitled to initiate the ouster of the same person via impeachment notwithstanding that the former is supposedly in a state of wedlock owing to the uniform he wears and the latter in separation because of his vestment?

    What makes the citizenship of one or the other lesser than any run of the mill Filipino?

  33. “Doesn’t General Lim have the right to ask others to withdraw support from someone he believes is a bogus leader in the same way Bishop Yñiguez is entitled to initiate the ouster of the same person via impeachment…?”

    Bishop Yniguez is not a government official vested with the powers of deadly force. Your analogy is inaccurate.

    Leaving the tape aside, Lim and his camp solicited support from high and low for the active and unconstitutional removal of a sitting President. Lim does not enjoy the privileges of a private citizen – subject as he is to military law, Lim does not have the right to ask others to withdraw support.

  34. Abe, i think the fact that Gen Lim, like any member of the armed forces holds a gun accounts for the difference. DJB has wrestled with this dilemma earlier. As mentioned before, the best way for the members of the armed forces to resolve this issue is to come clean with what they know about the events in 2004 and their role in it. In any case, i don’t think the attempt at drawing a parallel between this attempted coup/mutiny and Garci is valid as one side wants to get to the truth while the other side doesn’t. In this aspect, there is no symmetry.

  35. MLQ3, Anna, mb, etal, re: GMA-Lopezes: “Deal or No Deal?”
    What scenario would give the Lopezes good reasons to consider an MOU (memorandum of understanding, a mode more apt than a plot and more viable than a quid-pro-quo) with Gloria?
    From acting to full-pledged, transition to assume-term-tenure, a President Manuel Leuterio de Castro, Jr scenario opens opportunities to resolve the impasse and/or, for big stakeholders, to manage the crisis.

    Understanding Gloria’s situation: 1) her options are narrowing 2) she needs to make an effort at ‘winning of support’ via a win-win approach to counter withdrawal of support 3) the siege is tightening: a) the Church’s stand against her agenda has firmed up; b) the Supreme Court’s uncoopeativeness is, likewise, firm; c) the volatility of the military’s restiveness is unquenched; d) media criticism is relentless; e) the international community’s signals are alarming; etc. In the event of a successful coup or a regime change, a take-over of a populist progressive (left-right orientation is secondary) group is probable and almost expected 1) Noli is out of the picture, no buffer/rear guard for Lopezes and GMA: for the Lopezes, it is the certainty of de-privatization, de-monopolization, re-regulation, (pro-coup propaganda materiel); and, for GMA, (no need for explanation). A Lopez-GMA MOU on a Noli succession scenario is obviously mutually beneficial ‘win-win’ while an adversarial stance would, more likely than not, lead to a zero-sum game, ‘loose-loose’, for both. The MOU is, in effect, a mutual security pact: a Noli Succession is the deal, either as ‘the’ contingency plan or as a deliberate calibrated pre-emptive crisis management plan. (GMA to the Lopezes: “Deal or No Deal?” On the other hand, if actually offered the deal, what are the Lopezes’ options? Risks? Obviously not easy, but surely, somehow, big stakeholders will deal.)

    Another point is, stakes aside, a VP Noli to a President Manuel Leuterio de Castro, Jr. scenario is reasonable, viable and even, in the absence of an alternative, the preferred option. It is constitutional, institutional, peaceful (a last recourse or the top option to avert violence); offers better potential for dialogue and democratic processes than a revolutionary council; meets (or not far off) the criteria of the most significant, the frontline and key players in the stand-off: the Church, SC-Constitutionalists, military, middle forces, (militant alternatives have reached the boundary of popular acceptability), administration (the silent majority — technocrats, non-tradpols– within the admin?!!). This point considered, could it be worth a One Voice/ MLQ3 examen? Over-riding any deal-making?

    Ps. MLQ3 at ANC is a gain for ANC but cramps MLQ3’s target range, as the Lopez entity is pervasive and ubiquitous. Can the Explainer probe into ANC’s ‘Lim Tape Showing’ or the Noli Succession scenario, as effectively? On the other hand, ANC audience/viewer-ship are prime target for critical advocacies. Balance makes you hit harder, keep it up – on your guard, while punching!

  36. Micketymoc, i appreciate the context in which you said it, but in the larger scheme, i don’t think we really can separate the issues of ‘the tapes’, ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘sitting President’.

  37. Juan,

    Good analysis by de Castro except he assumes that Noli’s election was not a side-effect of Gloria’s cheating and so no one will question his legitmacy. Unfortunately, his legitimacy is also under question.

    The best scenario now and the alternative that the sideliners and Palace factotums have been asking for is now available. GMA and Noli resign and Manny Villar takes over.

    The Batasan said they can work with him. He is not Drilon who the Batasan said they cannot work with.

    I think the country can live with Villar.He is the constitutional win-win option.He has no percieved political enemies.

  38. “Carl,
    what Jamby did is exactly what JDV did.” — It doesn’t make her less of an airhead and a hypocrite, which is up for all to see anyway.

  39. MB, it is not Noli’s voice on the tapes so unless other evidence comes out, he is still the Constitutional successor.

  40. Very good Juan, a graceful exit as to a “trampling” which Erap got would be a more respectable option for GMA. Would exile be an option too? Maybe if things around the palace gets any hotter. Power brokers must be very busy nowadays as more forces line up against the pretending president. Businessmen will be always businessmen, survival is what the are all fighting for. After the smoke clears, I hope the nation would benefit more and we can have an honest to goodnest reform.

  41. Unfortunately, [Noli de Castro’s] legitimacy is also under question.

    Yes. By Loren Legarda. Who fortunately filed a case and did not die. She’s luckier than FPJ who died so the Supreme Court, in one of its more boneheaded decisions, ruled against Susan Roces’s taking up the electoral fraud case. I only wished that today’s spirited opposition had supported Susan’s case then instead of losing interest in it, leaving poor Susan (not to mention, the Filipino people) all by her lonesome.

    Resigning ang letting Noli take over is still GMA’s best option, I think, for her own sake. She gets to spin her resignation as a magnanimous gesture on her part because she has been a divisive entity (like what she said when she promised not to run), and at the same time, work out some sort of deal with De Castro that would free her from prosecution later for her alleged shenanigans. It is not in her best interests to let the restive elements in the military continue to boil.

  42. Carl, what does it make JDV?

    Jeg, It is more than just Loren. And the point is a cloud no matter how small hangs over his head.
    Villar is the one that no one will question except for GMA and her followers. Choosing him will wipe the slate clean, rid us of the impasse and allow us all to get on with our lives.

  43. Jeg, It is more than just Loren. And the point is a cloud no matter how small hangs over his head.

    I think the big cloud that hangs over his head is the same cloud that hung over FPJ’s head: it is the fact that he is not the choice of the elite (and the elitist middles), even though a majority of the people voted for him. I speculate that if FPJ had been the choice of the elite, we would still be posthumously hearing his electoral fraud case, with money pouring in to support it.

    It is easy to put a cloud on anybody’s head like Loren Legarda did, and it’s easy to presume guilt, but it’s supposed to be the other way around. The presumption supposed to be one of innocence. We have nothing to hold on to in the case vs. Noli. He wasnt on the Garci tapes, his signature isnt on any document authorizing the disbursement of funds. All we have is Loren’s accusation and, not to disparage her in any way, why should we believe her? If the courts dismiss her case, we have nothing. All we have on Noli is that he’s GMA’s VP which is not an impeachable offense. I agree that Villar will be acceptable as caretaker until new elections are held, but that would presume that Noli resigns. But why should he? He didnt do anything impeachable except get elected.

    (Frankly Im dreading a Noli presidency because of his close association with the Lopezes. A Noli presidency would make them even more powerful, and you know what that means: more telenovelas 😀 )

  44. Re: “Leaving the tape aside, Lim and his camp solicited support from high and low for the active and unconstitutional removal of a sitting President. Lim does not enjoy the privileges of a private citizen – subject as he is to military law, Lim does not have the right to ask others to withdraw support.”

    Wrong Mickeytymoc!

    If you are speaking of moral rights (which is part and parcel of military traditions and law), Lim has all the rights in the world even when he wears a military uniform to ask other members of the military to withdraw support.

    If you really want to stick to the letters of the book, I must tell you that there is nothing in the military book that says he has no moral right to do so.

    However, if for the sake of argument Lim took that right and used it to do what his conscience dictated him to do, by military traditions and military law, he would stand guilty of mounting a mutiny with a view to open armed rebellion should he fail to execute his plans; in such a case he would have to face a court martial and if found guilty, he would risk the firing squad.

    But to say that he didn’t have the right to call for withdrawal of support against a government that he did not believe to be a legitimate government is not quite right.

    You might want to look up cases involving senior and junior military officers of the US Confederate Army during the US Civil War and in a later version, British military conscripts during WW2.

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