Palace torpedoes legitimacy discussion yet again

There was reportedly a meeting over the weekend to get various groups to attempt a consensus. Supposedly, there would be a round two, since the pro- and anti-administration sides got stuck on the question of legitimacy.

But the Palace has decided to squelch all talk of legitimacy in such talks. An opinion piece in The Nation of Thailand points to the perils of making too big a deal about informal talks, anyway (stranger and stranger how the Philippines and Thailand are on parallel political tracks).

The true, the good, and the beautiful speak up: Arroyo friends want impeach raps junked.

Fidel Ramos’s friends put forward a survey on bicameralism.

IMF survey team says economic growth prospects “flattish.”

(picture from Charivari is a right.)

Ornamental plant named after President (the report in Malaya is more informative for plant lovers). Jove Francisco recounts the presentation of the plant, which became unintentionally amusing.

But something from Jove requires addition emphasis:

You see they said that we are evacuating all our nationals out of Lebanon at a time when the airfares have become cheaper, that it is easier and cheaper to look for sea transportation now, that the other evacuation expenses are now relatively lower than before… all because the nationals of other countries have already been fully evacuated (kumbaga wala nang kalaban, since their governments deemed it wise not to wait for further battle escalation and any other change in alert levels).

In the punditocracy, my column is Gov’t power, not people power (this is the conclusion of last Monday’s column, Institutionalized people power).

In Harper’sThe American Raj Requires Instability.

Tony Abaya on whether World War III is beginning, or began even prior to 9-11.

In the blogosphere, Coffee with Amee feels despondent over news on the indignities suffered by Filipinos in Beirut. Politics Central on the plight of Christian Lebanese (on whom Filipinos are dependent for safety).

Parallel Universes contrasts health information available on Bush with that available on the President.

Ang Bagong Maharlika has the late (and now, lately, back) President Marcos making grumpy comments on his kin.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

56 thoughts on “Palace torpedoes legitimacy discussion yet again

  1. Re “The American Raj Requires Instability”, following John McArthur’s trend of thought, there is method to the madness in Iraq after all. Better that Muslims slaughter one another in a bloody civil war, than Muslims standing together against a U.S. – Zionist conspiracy to divide and conquer the world. American casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan are just collateral damage – – – pawns to be sacrificed for a greater objective. All American concerns about the civil strife in Iraq and rebuilding Iraqui society are a subterfuge.

    This trend of thought also overlaps with Tony Abaya’s hypothesis about the beginning of World War III. The idea that Al Quaeda unwittingly gifted the American neocons with 9/11 because it gave the neocons the “Pearl Harbor” they desired as a pretext to invade the unruly elements of the Muslim world, seems too wicked and devious. Yet, it cannot be lightly brushed aside, given the cynicism, if not outright malevolence, that characterizes neocon politics.

    If there is a grain of truth to what these gentlemen say, then the evil empire is upon us.

    For my part, I would still like to think more positively, even if I am alarmed.

  2. Hello mlq3,

    I have always believe and reflected what your grandfather said before: “I prefer a country run like hell by Filipinos to a country run like heaven by Americans. Because, however bad a Filipino government might be, we can always change it.”

    Pity though that how a government which is really bad, a really bad one as of today, we cannot change it. Thus, impeachment, but it is being killed in the process. No more democracy.

  3. Re Yet, it cannot be lightly brushed aside, given the cynicism, if not outright malevolence, that characterizes neocon politics.

    Agree with Carl totally

  4. Gloria’s blue ladies are hiding behind the process in the same way that Gloria herself is hiding behind Esperon and Palparan. These women are making a foolish and dangerous gamble.

  5. mlq3,

    Mong Palatino just left me a note denying the comment. Somebody is definitely impersonating him. Either somebody is out to discredit him or start a misunderstanding among friends. Or someone out there is trying to take out One Voice. Ingat.

  6. Hey Manolo, the present political crisis in the Philippines will not end unless Gloria Arroyo makes way for an impeachment trial. The nation really wants to know the truth. “Did she really cheated last 2004 National Elections?” That is the root of all political and military upheavals in the Philippines. Even though, she may have a great vision for the motherland, it will be useless since her political accension is in question. What is she afraid of? And what happened to the so-called “Truth Commission” called by the CBCP in the midst of the calls for her resignation last July 2005? No one, ever had a political will to stand up independently to question the President formally. She never even had a censureship from the Senate or the House or a joint censureship. Well of course, what do you expect of a useless Congress? Not even the Annual Budget was passed for 2006, and its August 2006 already right?

  7. I just clicked Glenn’s link and was able to learn that he is a main contributor in Wikipedia.Bow ako sa yo man..

    But it is almost apparent that you may hae been busy studying late last year,the blogosphere had been rich on the issues mentioned by you.

  8. I am still laughing when someone dared cathy to reveal her real name,after she dared someone to reveal theirs.

    now she asks someone to define democracy…..
    let me scroll up to find out,why.

  9. Related to Ca T’s question, democracy is about rights of the individual. In the Straits Times from two days back, i came across a feature article by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein about Spinoza. It says something about the importance of having a democracy:

    [Spinoza] understood the powerful tendency in each of us towards developing a view of the truth that favors the circumstances in which we happened to have been born. Self-aggrandizement can be the invisible scaffolding of religion, politics or ideology

    Given that each of us are born under different circumstances whether in terms of faith or social standing, the only commonality that can be achieved is our commitment to reason, in Goldstein’s words (channeling Spinoza):

    to the extent that we are rational, we can partake in exactly the same identity

    Given that the ability to reason is what we all have in common, among all faiths,

    …faith in reason is our only hope and redemption”

    It is at this point where the importance of democracy comes in.

    …each of us has been endowed with reason, and it is our right, as well as our responsibility to exercise it…Only democracy can preserve and augment the rights of individuals…The State, in helping each person to preserve his life and well being, can legitimately demand sacrifices from us, but it can never relieve us of our responsibility to strive to justify our beliefs in light of evidence.

    In short, democracy is what Gloria Arroyo and her allies are trying to suppress.

  10. cvj,

    I get the impression we are under a toned-down martial rule. Is that what you mean by suppression of democracy? When the administration can do anything it wishes with impunity, that is when democracy breaks down and dictatorship is born.

  11. Schumey, i agree that ‘impunity’ has a lot to do with it since the true measure of a democracy is how well or badly dissidents are treated. Last March, in a comment to Ricky’s blog (now deleted), i referred to the Left as ‘canaries in the mine shaft’. We can all see what has been happening to the canaries since then. Unfortunately, because of old fears and prejudices, not enough people seem to care.

    However, my main concern above is the ongoing lack of information that would help resolve this issue of legitimacy and the continuing efforts to suppress such information.
    We all know that something went seriously wrong with the last Presidential elections and yet many citizens of supposedly good standing come up with all sorts of reasons not to unearth further information. A lot of the justifications are based on legal reasoning, completely ignoring the fact that what is legal is not necessarily moral. In the process, many seem to be content to be relieved of what Goldstein refers to above as the “responsibility to strive to justify [their] beliefs in light of evidence”.

    The free flow of information and its use by the citizens in a dialog based on reason are indicators of a healthy democracy. Suppressing information and an appeal to irrational fears and prejudices indicate the opposite. I think that partly accounts for your impression of a ‘toned-down Martial Law’.

  12. cat, you can define democracy a hundred different ways, you can make your own defination, you can never know the difference from a defined Democracy and The Real Democracy unless you have been in one. And to put words on what Democracy is, is even harder than to make make it works. You may feel it, you may believe you are living in one “democratic” society, when in fact you may not. but when you are, then you can define Democracy from within. No words, just smile and enjoy it and cherish it and keep it…

  13. SUPER MAID?????? FUCK-UP…..GMA is still proud that her fellow filipina people will always be called MAID or SUPER-MAID WHATEVER would be termed, it must not be like that. You mean our Filipinas will always be RECOGNIZE AS MAID to the entire WORLD?????? STUPID THINKING.

    Our womens is sacrificing to go out and work leaving their families because of only one reason. There is no such suffecient income here in our own land.

    If the economy here in the philippines is quite good and salaries too are very high like in abroad do you think they will still go out to work and face hardships???? THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT IS VERY CORRUPT. Whatever upgrade you will do Mrs. Illegitimate President Maids still be Maids in the eyes of all the nations. Dyan lang ba natin nasusukat ang tunay na pilipino ang pagkakatulong sa ibang bansa!!!!

  14. i am still hoping and waiting that one day we could all be united and throw arroyo out… the sooner the better…

  15. ruel…. your mistake is assuming that ALL will be in agreement. You musg wake up and simply have to realize that there will always be people that will disagree with your position, whether that position be (a) GMA should/shold not leave the presidency; (b) pre-marital sex is/is not okay; or (c) the MILF (like the Hezbollah in Lebanon) should/should not be disarmed.

  16. I agree with RG on the issue of “SUPER-MAIDS”, oh my God, why don’t they just think that it is kinda degrading for Filipino women to call them “Super-Maids” even though they are really working as DH, this government should concentrate on job creation in the Philippines so that one day, Filipino women will not go abroad just to be domestic helpers.

  17. “If the economy here in the philippines is quite good and salaries too are very high like in abroad do you think they will still go out to work and face hardships????”

    I forgive you for having such mentality and I do not want to repeat myself that the economy was not messed up by a three year-rule of the current administration. If all will such kind of thinking, the only possible solution is to remove the incumbent but since the assumption is wrong, then solution is also wrong. The mere removal of GMA will not open the heaven for us with mutlitudes singing GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO. The only happy clams for her removals are:
    !. Erap loyalists
    2. ambitious politicians (I bet my bottom dollar will be worse because I believe that power corrupts and whoever is there will be corrupted).
    3. those who have not only beef with GMA, but also chicken, turkey, blahbalah

  18. “cat, you can define democracy a hundred different ways, you can make your own defination”

    My concern is about the way democracy is being limited to freedom of expression that is still widely interpreted to mean you can say anytthing even it is derogatory to whom the commentary is addressed to. To me a democracy is more than that.
    Like one commenter criticised the administration but is willing to take Castro anytime. Gawd, doesn’t he know that in Cuba, you cannot even own color TV and or criticize Casto publicly the way bloggers and commenters do in the Phils. You sure are enjoying democracy dudes.

  19. Re: Supermaids
    It’s high time that householdmanagement or domestic help industry should be elevated to a higher level of development for the labor force.

    Don’t be too narrowsighted people or blinded by the opposition and delf-deprecating columnists about this sector of our manpower that bring in dollars.

    And what’s wrong with making them SUPER maids. UK have schools for butlers that is why English butlers are not only demand for their accents but also for their training.

    Au pair in France or nanny for short are not your ordinary maids. They are students who want to earn money while on a school break.

    What is it with you people about maids. Why don’t you try living in a country where you do household chores by yourself? You will surely miss these househelps anytime?

  20. re: abaya
    Does he still believe that the Spanish expeditions, crusades and holy wars were all because of religion.

    Duh. The only motivations I know for these people were power, world domination, wealth and territories/empire expansions. Religion was only secondary or was merely a tool to conquer people .

    Philippines was discovered in search for spices. Other expeditions before that were merely to disprove the GENESIS that the world is flat, supported by four pillars and under the sky, they believed to be HEAVEN.

  21. Ca T, you’re arguing to the wrong point. It’s not her governance that’s at issue (not that there’s no issue there), but the way she got into power. Perhaps that’s the reason why you left out the other group of people who would like to see Arroyo removed:

    4. Those who believe in democracy, which is after all, a system where the leaders derive their mandate to govern from the people (not from Garci).

    If you truly believe in a democratic system, then the integrity of the process of selecting leaders also should be your concern.

  22. Cvj,
    and you want me to believe that there was no cheating in all the past elections. Pardon me, but i never believed that there was clean election, ever.

    so if you are really convinced that she cheated, impeach. bakit di maimpeach. Kasi pinagbili na kayo ng mga congressmen ninyo.
    and it takes two to tango.

    I was not even against impeachment but the way i sized up the groups of those young congressmen, they were more for media mileage than sitting down and putting their acts together.

    Ngayon naman, instead of just one impeachment complaint, lahat gusto pumapel.

    You know the problem of the people in the opposition, it is not because GMA is not guilty, it is because they are sloppy in removing her via legitimate means.

  23. Ca T, it does not even take a ‘supermaid’ to understand that any cheating in previous elections does not excuse Arroyo’s own actions. She is still in power in large part because, just like you, many people who believe that she is guilty nevertheless refuse to take any action except perhaps to criticize those who are trying to hold GMA accountable. By tolerating cheating, they not only undermine the basis of our democratic system, they also diminish the moral authority of civil society, something that is too important to squander on someone like Arroyo.

  24. cvj,
    the issues of supermaid and the legitimacy as we discuss here are two different things.

    one is, critics tend to faultfind for whatever she does. Kahit yong kay Pacquaio where I don’t see any reason to make a big deal out of it. National Portrait Gallery in Washington immortalizes not only sports champions but also the music icons like Madonna, the controversial movie star Marilyn Monroe.UK bewstows knighthood to people who have contributed to the country in various fields, like Sir Sean Connery, Sir Michael
    Caine etc.

    ” Many people take no action”

    But there are many people taking action. Only many people also doubt their agenda for doing such.

    Then they have no one to promote as replacement because everyone wants to have a piece of the pie once they are successful in unseating GMA. So i have two salawikains for you.
    1. ang walis tingting matibay lang pag hindi hiwahiwalay
    2. huwag bilangin ang sisiw pag hindi pa pisa ang itlog.

    And the supermaids don’t trust any people in the government, appointed or elected.

  25. mlq3,
    from which side, opposition or pro?

    if you mean what you say, you are giving me so much credit. Does that mean that I have also to call her names like bansot so people would not take me seriously?

    that’s the reason why i want this blog/forum to serve its purpose of enlightening the reading public about issues. But when some commenters write childish remarks, people are turned off. When some commenters spew threatening remarks, do you think that would incite bloodbath? In the eyes of the Ca t, the person
    is pikon who cannot handle intelligent discussions of issues.

  26. cat, not among commenters. what i mean is, if any and all attempts to express dissent and change things are dismissed as motivated by something bad, and yet in dismissing those attempts the end served is only to perpetuate those in power -as if their ability to hold on to power was a virtue in itself- then the danger is simply to preach the virtue of power at all cost. the worship of power at all costs -to the extent any and all questioning of that power is not even granted a presumption of sincerity that’s declared simply irrelevant for those in power- is to drive people to the barricades, eventually, out of frustration.

  27. don’t worry, manolo. no one would lay their lives to change the government or the leaders.
    Hindi na walang himala kung hindi wala ng martir. They’ve been burned not once but twice in the two EDSAs. You may be right, there may be patriotic loving people among these groups working for the ouster of GMA but i can assure you, the percentage is very discouraging.

    FYI status quo is still an option for people who cannot find alternatives.

  28. Ca T, your language reveals that you understand political participation more in terms of a ‘consumer-producer’ model where you (the ordinary citizen) are the consumer and the politicians (Arroyo and/or her alternatives) are the producers. In a democracy, the citizens are both consumers and producers so we cannot follow the same logic as when we end up buying a used car which ends up being a lemon.

    Nevertheless, even with your own model, there are people who are being ‘burned’ up to now. The list of martyrs to our Left has been growing longer. Arroyo’s cheating was not a costless nor is it a victimless crime, therefore, choosing the status quo does have its consequences. The issue of a possible replacement to Arroyo is a valid concern but it is something that can only be addressed by constitutional succession or snap elections.

  29. cvj,
    have you read ben pimentel’s book about EDJOP?
    the martyrs were not killed by the enemies but their own.
    so if there is no evidence as to who are perpetrating the crimes, i rather take the position which says presumed innocent unless proven otherwise.

    if you do not want a business model then let’s get a very simple one. when the boat is threatened because of the perceived incapacity of the captain, you just do not dive in the ocean full of sharks, imho, we are not yet in the situation where we grab anything to save our lives.

  30. Ca T, whether Arroyo is a real ‘Captain’ is what is in question. To compare the workings of Philippine society with that of a boat ignores matters of scale. Philippine society is far bigger and more complex. What protects us from the sharks is not a make believe captain who is actually a shark. Given the scale and complexity of Philippine society, what protects us are working institutions and processes, and more importantly, a vigilant citizenry who are willing to uphold the integrity of these institutions no matter how many times it gets ‘burned’. We have to keep taking our politicians to account, otherwise they will not learn their lesson. If the next leader behaves likewise, then we have similarly discipline him/her. We have no choice but to keep at it so hopefully those who come after us will be spared the trouble. The citizenry is responsible for shaping the alternatives.

  31. “If the next leader behaves likewise, then we have similarly discipline him/her.”

    Precisely Cvj, you said it.

    The people have become wiser. They too realized that people power had been used in the past.
    They are no longer the emotional citizenry who’ll run to EDSA at the call of men in cloth, military brass and “tacts”and civil society cream of the crop. Don’t you just feel the psyche of people these days. They merely watch and how they watch.
    People with credibility, self-destructting, movements that are well funded (by what interest groups)questioned, whistleblowers,witnesses flip-flopping as their dark pasts and connections are uncovered and now ONE VOICE’s integrity and or objectivity is subject to question ?

    The problem with you Cvj is you want the citizenry to think like you. What I do is to find out what the citizenry think, why they are not that enthusiastic to move as a group.

    Do not convince me.YOur talk is zeroed in one personality. There is no more charismatic leader that can lead the population. Cory’s magic is gone. Susan Rocess is a bulalakaw, sparkled a little and is gone, simply because she recognized the hypocrisy around her and she refused to be used.

    Tell me honestly, who is the person you want to replace GMA?

  32. Ca T, yes i can feel the prevalent atmosphere of cynicism and skepticism towards politics and politicians in general. While the politicians do deserve such an attitude directed towards them, such cynicism when combined with acceptance of the status quo is self-serving and does not help the situation. It becomes no more than a cop-out.

    As citizens, we are much more than passive ‘consumers’ of what politicians offer. We also have our part to play in transforming the political class. My focus on Arroyo is because of her illegitimacy which as you can see, has had a corrupting influence on our institutions (e.g. Comelec, military, civil service, clergy, sports etc.) It is our responsibility to actively work towards a solution that will strengthen our institutions. That is ultimately for our own protection.

    You still operate based on the paradigm of looking for a charismatic leader. The absence of one then becomes a reason not to act. I agree with you that there is no messiah but that does not matter. Our salvation lies in working institutions, credible processes and our vigilance. To be cynical to the point of apathy while at the same time relying on the appearance of a Messiah down the road makes the environment conducive to dictators and demagogues. Historically, that’s how fascism came about in Europe during the 1930’s.

    Honestly, i have not given thought to who i want to replace GMA since the choices have not yet been put before us. I’m more concerned with removing Arroyo and having honest elections, preferably with a run-off.

    After Arroyo, i do not expect the struggle to stop, but if we start with a legitimate leader, then the instability and corrupting influence arising from this issue would at least no longer be a factor.

  33. I am not looking for charismatic leader. I am just expressing an opinion on the past strategies of the opposition when they made use of anyone who they think can appeal to the masses.

    Cats are not good followers like dogs. I am using the wisdom of a cat.
    You can make eight dogs pull a sled but not the cat. hahaha

    “Honestly, i have not given thought to who i want to replace GMA since the choices have not yet been put before us.”

    The moment, GMA is gone there will be a free fight for all and how are you sure that a more corrupt person will not take over?

    Mlq3 remarked bastusan na when he learned that another GMA kin is joining the political dynasty. But who among the possible contenders are not building their empire?
    Estrada-wife and sons
    M.Roxas- wow kamaganak incorporated din ito.
    M.Villar-his wife and the Aguilar clan has ruled LP for several decades now.
    Cayetano- nyahaha
    I’ve got a research about congressmen and their dynasties as to relatives and office staff.

    Even their bios. So you see when that petite lady/congresswoman was trying to grab the limelight at the height of the suspenseful impeachment voting, I am not even impressed because she could not have won without the political machineries of her clan and I doubt if the “machine” they use is clean.What with a cooking degree? duh.

    The difference with us Cvj is that I look for a parachute and assess the landing point before I jump. You jump because others say so.

    O huwag kang pikon.

  34. The political families do what they do because they know what they can get away with. We have to teach them to fear the people and while this cannot be done overnight, making an example of the Macapagal-Arroyo dynasty would be a good start. We may have to go through the process a couple more times, but it boils down to who is more persistent, the people or the traditional politicians. (BTW, I thought cats don’t need parachutes?)

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