The good fight

The headlines are, of course, House panel kills impeachment bid (Inquirer), Impeach bid junked (Malaya). Arroyo survives 2nd impeachment fight (Times). For the officially-authorized version of events, see the Manila Standard-Today report.

Actually, the strongest argument made by administration defenders was that the rules, as adopted by the House, put the determination of “substance” ahead of the enumeration or even examination of any potential evidence (see my column for today on how it used to be different). They definitely had the opposition by the short and curlies on that point.

But on the whole, the debates were divided according to two, irreconcilable points of view: proponents of impeachment relied on appealing to the spirit of the law; defenders of the President concentrated on the letter of the law and when that failed, on the inexorable realities of party loyalties which couldn’t budged by appeals to anyone’s conscience, whether the President’s or her allies.(Sassy Lawyer opines there was sufficiency of substance for at least some of the charges, though I disagree with her views on the President’s culpability with regards to political killings: as chizjarkace suggests, if there’s smoke, there’s fire; and as citing the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, the impeachment team did point out widespread human rights violations can be a basis for impeachment.)

What no one expected, I think, is that the President’s chief cheerleaders would set themselves up for two political blunders.

There’s a saying in our culture, and it applies quite often in politics, that the first one to show signs of being onion-skinned loses. That is why anything satirical, or humorous, leaves many in the administration angry and frankly, puzzled as to what to do.

Rep. Rodolfo Antonino, one of the principal marmosets of Kampi (the President’s vest pocket political party) suddenly expressed outrage over a slogan taped by the opposition to their podium. The slogan was something along the lines of what my aunt had said to one of the Palace’s cheerleaders: “What are you afraid of?”

Antonino raised a point of order, saying that the opposition was behaving indecorously, by posting “propaganda” on the podium. Session was suspended. By this point, after having been chided twice for clapping in support of opposition speeches, many in the audience had taken to fanning themselves, or waving around, white envelopes and sheets of paper. Even watching it on TV, it was unclear how Antonino’s objection to the slogan morphed into an objection to the white envelopes, but it seems to have begun with the pro-Palace audience in the gallery standing up to jeer at the people waving white envelopes.

Then the Chairman of the Committee decided to pursue his threat to move the proceedings to a conference room instead of the Session Hall. Big mistake. The administration congressmen proceeded to stand up and walk out, to the jeering, this time, of the opposition audience. It was a sign of weakness. The audience, composed, after all, of endorsers of the complaint, who had a right to be there, and other citizens who had every right to be there, too, obviously showed no intention of being willing to be herded out. The Chairman obviously felt he had neither the authority nor capacity to clear the galleries. So they retreated to a conference room.

That sent a signal that was understood, anyway, but made explicit by the majority: they would kill the impeachment, by hook or by crook, and with no consideration for the public’s right to witness what was going on. Adequate precedents, after all, had been established in 2000 and 2005 for public participation in the proceedings.

So radio breathlessly reported, and TV clearly showed, the majority fleeing their own session hall for the safety and closed-off security of a conference room. The minority remained in the sessional hall. The Speaker, looking very irritated, materialized in the session hall, and was seen brushing aside his party mates. I think he fully understood what bad political theater Chairman Datumanong’s move made.

Eventually, the majority had to trickle back to the session hall to resume the hearing. They simply couldn’t afford the political black eye of being seen to be afraid of the public, and the fallout from engineering a vote without the presence of the minority, and under circumstances closed off from public scrutiny.

(Which makes me wonder just how prepared people like Rep. Antonino are for the parliamentary system. Ever watched the British House of Commons in action? Or participated in a Westminster-style debate? It’s tough, because you score points for jeering and interrupting your opponent with noise. But that’s how the British parliamentary system works but our home-grown pols wouldn’t be able to stand it.)

After oozing back to the session hall, the inevitable rejection of the surviving impeachment complaint took place. After Re. Cagas made a fire-breathing but rather incoherent defense of why he’d voted against impeachment, Rep. Escudero pulled off an outstanding parliamentary move. Escudero said that the minority would not bother to explain their vote for impeachment, since they had already explained their case. So he would leave it to the majority to continue what Cagas had begun, which was, to justify to the people why they had decided to kill the impeachment. Escudero asked for the minority to be excused from the proceedings.

At that point, stunned yet again, the Chairman rather excitedly -and abruptly- terminated the proceedings, which was greeted with cheering and jeering from the audience. Again, the administration congressmen beat a hasty retreat. It was a moment similar to the taking over of the Georgian parliament some years back. It’s a healthy thing, I think, for the administration congressmen to realize they’re not going to get any credit, or salvage any honor, from their defense of the President. Read the post-hearing roundup in the Black & White Movement blog.

This information recently received: Ms. Pauline Lawsin-Nayra, the Executive Director of the Runggiyan Social Development Foundation, Inc. (Runggiyan) in Tacloban, Leyte and a member of the National Board of the Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO), was informed two weeks ago by someone from the Regional Development Council of Region 8 (RDC-8) that she was being asked by the Palace to resign as RDC-8 Co-Chairperson, representing the private sector representatives. Reason? She signed the impeachment complaint filed on July 27.

First Gentleman resents being called “the Godfather of smuggling,” files a libel case and demands the arrest of Senator Jinggoy Estrada, who made the mistake, it seems, of making that comment not in a privilege speech, but during a hearing. Cops were sent to apprehend Estrada, and were told they can’t do that by the Senate President, who underwent his baptism of fire as head of the chamber. An OFWLiving in Hong Kong finds this and other developments, scary.

Second wind, or death rattle? The Chairman of the Comelec says the so-called “people’s initiative” won’t be entertained by the poll body; and the Speaker is quoted as saying he’s a mere 5 congressmen away from attempting a constituent assembly in Congress; so when a survey’s excreted and presented for whatever it’;s worth, is it a counter-push by the Legion, a tactical maneuver by Fidel Ramos who has embarked on a political vendetta against the Speaker, or both?

Protestant Church in Australia adds its voice to condemnations of the Philippine government’s human rights record. 14 of its members have been killed in the Philippines.

Newsbreak has an interesting article: are there legal precedents being established that would basically permit people to divorce, provided the religion they belong to sanctions the practice? Catholic bishops are disturbed by this kind of religious liberty. Should upholders of secular society be concerned, as well?

Supreme Court orders Meralco refund for consumers.

In the punditocracy, my column for today is Motive. The fascinating account by President Quirino of the impeachment charges against him can be read in “The memoirs of Elpidio Quirino” (Elpidio Quirino) published by the National Historical Institute and available from them. When I suggested the pro-impeachment congressmen read the account so they could bring up how much fairer it seemed in 1949, one of them snapped, “different rules now.” And this was a strong point raised by the administration: the minority had endorsed for acceptance, the present, obviously unfair, rules. So the first order of business would be, for the 14th Congress (if we have one) is to drop the present rules and revert to rules similar to the first ones adopted in 1949.

Billy Esposo says the ruling and business classes are blithely walking to their doom. I agree.

Tony Abaya has long advocated a kind of Star Search for future leaders who don’t come from the usual cliques or places. He puts forward Antonio Meloto, founder of Gawad Kalinga, as a potential candidate for president.

Conrado de Quiros movingly writes of the ABC 5 reporters who died in the line of duty.

John Mangun: be competition-conscious.

Juan Mercado on all things rice-related.

Connie Veneracion on a decade of motherhood.

In the alternative universe (similar problems to us, but more encouraging solutions) known as Thailand, another piece that strikes a familiar chord: Reconciliation about more than silencing critics.

In the blogosphere, Random Thoughts debunks Jarius Bondoc.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

44 thoughts on “The good fight

  1. What we witnessed last night was worth all of the energy and emotion of the past year, M. And we are glad that our white envolopes hit the pro-Gloria bloc harder than a Mack truck. They blinked. We may have lost the vote, but we scored big time.

  2. Helga, well done. I wish I was part of it. It must have been a joy to see powerful men unsure of what to do next.

    How about capturing the video(make a 2-5 minute video?) and share it at youtube? Can somebody do it? We need to be able to use it come election time. Blank VCDs are cheaper now, it could easily be distributed in each constituency of those who killed the impeachment complaint.

  3. heh…anything to get under Antonino’s “balat sibuyas”..

    GMA’s minions have won the battle yet again but the war between truth, accountability, justice on one hand and the ugly face of rotten pinoypolitics on the other rages on..

  4. To paraphrase the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland – “Verdict first, Evidence later !”

  5. Thanks, Jon! If you want to join us next week, that’s be great. that is, if they allow us back in, of course. :->

    Great idea about the video, will ask our media friends for help in that regard. Who knows? Maybe there’s a good soul out there already granting your wish.

  6. are there any plans to hold a rally this coming August 21? I want to join… I want GMA to know that majority of the Filipino people are already fed up with her. Please let me know.

  7. Can we publish the LIST of UNPATRIOTIC CONGRESSMEN who KILLED the “TRUTH” .. We certainly DON’T DESERVE Leaders LIKE THEM.

    — ADMIN CONGRESSMAN – My loyalty to my COUBNTRY ENDS where my loyalty to my BANK ACCOUNT begins …

    They say CRIME does NOT PAY … But GLORIA DO !!! ask
    JDV, Nograles, Villafuerte and the rest of MAJORITY PARTY of THIEVES !!!

  8. ruel, sorry to ruin your fun & that of the others but there is no such thing as “the majority of the filipinos”
    how can there ever be a majority in a countrry that is divided in so many ways?
    what there surely is, is a small group of people w/ the capacity to make max noise.
    what there surely is, is a small group of people that have completely no idea of when to stop.
    true to the pinoy culture that defeat is never accepted.
    all possible excuses are made except to accept defeat.
    certainly not characteristics of real people who can achive real things.
    i pitted those people w/ their envelops.
    resorting to tricks & gimmicks
    as if tricks & gimmicks will solve problems.
    it appeared that they where just consouling themselves for something that they new was already comming, kinda just saving face.
    seems like it’s just a game of making asar & inis the others.
    then the same people want to be taken seruiosly.
    what a joke!!!!!!!
    it’s a terrible sight seeing adults act like kids.
    sorry to ruin your fun
    but maybe somebody should make your ballon explode
    so that you wake up to reality.
    insted of others making use of your invented frustrations to push other agendas.

  9. MLQ,
    I don’t know if it’s just me…but after watching what happened last night on TV in the Batasan, I had this feeling that the “time” is coming sooner that we think…

  10. My condolence to the people of the Republic of the Philippines for having the misfortune of having two abusive presidents, both not being properly voted by the majority of Filipinos; one in fact a defacto president that did not go through the usual election process but apparently dreaded by many.

    I only have to think in fact of a gambling lord in Cebu to know how “powerful” this Dambuhala has become that he can be as arrogant as to order the police to pick up anyone who sores him. I have been told that this Dambuhala is the man behind all the graft and corruption that have in fact made the graft and corruption during the Marcos dictatorship as nothing but peanuts!

    Yup, I am referring to the other president without a portfolio who, I suspect, is trying to make millions likewise in filing libel suits to as many as he thinks have money that he can afford to defeat in court controlled by the overstaying tenants of the palace by the murky river and with judges made up of friends, relatives and cronies and/or threatened of being sent to Kingdom Come if they allow the defendant/accused to defend themselves against the plaintiff, Dambuhala, whose case against Banayo, et al, should not even be treated as criminal but civil and therefore, arresting and detaining individuals like Jinggoy is not in accordance with due process of law. Ang bobo naman!

    God, wala na bang katapusan? May the Lord see it fit to end the sufferings of Filipinos now once and for all!!! 😡

  11. With apologies to MLQ3- Ruel, we will post a notice on BnW Blog re plans for Monday, 21 August. All I know now is that our celebration of Ninoy’s life will be simple.

  12. Filipinos are not actually divided. They just simply do not know what to do or expect with majority of the Filipinos especially now with education equivalent to 5th grade in other countries! I doubt if they are aware that they have rights to call themselves Filipinos and live in any of the more than 7,100 islands that make up the Philippines with this government wanting them all to leave the Philippines for greener pastures overseas, and staying there even when the places they are destined to go to are much worse (at least for the moment) than the country they are leaving behind.

    It is amazing to hear of Filipino prisoners in Japanese prisons asking for an extension of their sentences so they can continue to stay and work there! My friends at the National Prison here in fact ask why Filipinos seem to hate their country!

  13. MLQ3, I studied in England for two years and have friends who have served as MPs in the British Parliament, and I am a citizen of a country with similar set up as UK. What the Filipino gaya-gaya does not even seem to understand is that both Japan and UK for instance have bicameral parliaments, and that there has been no attempt to consolidate all political parties into one as the idiots in the Philippine Tongress seem determined to achieve under the leadership of a criminal suspect!

    If they are adopting a Parliamentary system there with all those abogago de calembang, they should try to copy the one they have for example in Taiwan, where the parliamentarians box each other’s faces or pull each other’s hairs during debates on issues that they seem to resolve better with black-eyes, etc.! 😛

    On the other hand, this may not be good for Filipinos because the crooks may try to get rid of those they do not like with guns that they are free to carry even inside the halls of the Philippine Tongress with or without permits! 🙁

  14. I think it’s high time to take the Libel and Slander out of the The Criminal Code and move it where it should be, the civil (tort) law. The only remaining “speech and Expression” that is under the criminal code here in canada is those that incite hatred. all others are “civil” and the case is between the plaintiff and the dependant. No police involved, only monetary and punitive damages for injury relief from libel or slander.

  15. I think it is a mistake to title this junking of the impeachment as something of a survival for the Midget, for she actually did not survive it as there has been no struggle. There was only some junking of it without due process even to make these tongressmen worth the money paid them to do so.

    Now, the point is would these crooks be voted again by their constituents? Hopefully not! 😡

  16. Vic,

    Same in Japan. Libel suits are not criminal unless there are proofs that a violation of the Penal Code that rules against defamation causing physical and mental anguish that can lead to the destruction of some life or lives has been committed. That is why I find the actuations of the Fat Guy as more an attempt to extort money from the people he intimidates and even harrass with lawsuits just because he has managed to have his friends occupy meaty positions in the Philippine courts. For me, that is what ABUSE of power that he is not even privileged to have is all about.

    How this guy can get away easily with the law in the Philippines is something I find really unbelievably disgusting!




  18. Kung ang bubuo ng PARLIAMENTO ay KATULAD nina Chipmunk JDV, NOGRALES, DATUMANONG AT LAGMAN … Wala ng mangyayari …

    Mga GANID sa KAPANGYARIHAN !!! Kawawang amg bansa natin



    GLORIA !!!!

  19. Cheating is legal in our country …
    we don’t do anything to our cheating president …
    who’s brave enough to say that he’s PROUD to ba a PINOY ?

    Lets Go back to BASICS, What would prevent someone from COMMITING CRIME as CHEATING – like what HAPPEN in the EXAMINATION ? – The very MORAL ASPECT is DESTROYED.


  20. The political dinosaurs in congress should learn new politics. Their brand is on its way out. I can’t imagine how a parliament composed of these dinosaurs would perform. Sigaw and JDV wants change, change to what? Change to a system that would favor their kind. Yeah sure, change, “EAT MY SHORTS!”

  21. “Filipinos are not actually divided. They just simply do not know what to do or expect with majority of the Filipinos especially now with education equivalent to 5th grade in other countries!”

    what an insult to the Filipinos , Diyumuyuko or wwhatever your name is just because you have two year education in England. My brother-n law taught in Oxford and in UC Berkeley and he has nothing but praises for Filipinos and I never heard him insult Asians. Filipino nga naman makatapak lang sa ibang bansa at makapag-aral ng mga short term course, kung laitin ang kapwa Filipino, ganoon na lang. Coward pa rin sa akin hiding in a username.

  22. To correct the misinformation of the username Diyumuyuko, nursin degree in the Philippines is recognized and accredited in the US that those who desire to take up masteral can proceed without taking additional subjects.

    That kind of remark is uncalled for misleading many people that our education is below par compared to other countries.

    Diyumuyuko, onecountry does not represent the world. May problema ka ba sa pagkaFilipino mo?

  23. once and for all pussy cat, tell us your name. and please, don’t lead us to your blog for your non-existent profile (enough of your “coward pa rin sa akin ang hiding sa username”, like as if ca t is not one), lest we clog on your sitemeter (like as if that is the mark of an intelligent blog).

    i believe there is greater honesty in anonymity, so let some commenters be.

    your name please. make that complete.

  24. my profile is all over my blog. don’t you know how to read one. my pic is in my blog and other blogs of mine. what about you toilet bowl? if your toilet bowl is clogged, call a plumber but i won’t take it sitting donw reading people insult fellow Filipinos just because they do not subscribe to their political beliefs. THAT IS BIGOTRY.
    I just hate people who have spent only a few years abroad and they think they are already authority in education making a blanket statement about the status of education of the country. SIno ba siya na sabihing equivalent lang sa 5th grade ang education. Just because majority of the peole do not think the same way you do.
    Duh. MAgalit kayo sa mga tongressmen at hindi sa mga Filipino na wala ng bilib sa mga congressmen.

  25. fyi,
    i don’t get traffic from this forum. My referrals come form Washington Post where my blog is featured regularly, from and from other Search engines. If you do not understand this, take hold of any techie savvy nearby and ask. Kaawa ka.

  26. Some people who condemn the present leadership of dictatorial tendencies are themselves as high-handed. Just because the majority of Filipinos don’t see things their way, they hurl insults at the Filipino people. Filipinos are more perceptive than what many give them credit for. Experiences in the past have made them both wary and weary. They will no longer play into the siren song of oppositionists who are really just snake-oil salesmen. Filipinos are only aware that too many false prophets exist in their midst.

    As for those “brave” souls who harangue others to get into the fray, go ahead and confront your demons. But please leave others in peace.

  27. I would like to thank tongressmen edcel lagman, villafuerte, datumanung and all the pro-gma tongressmen for making my decision final… they helped me to decide to say a big ‘NO!’ to a parliamentary form of government.

  28. carl, this is something that frankly puzzles me when people seem to suggest the people, in their wisdom, are nobly above the fray.

    obviously i can’t talk to every filipino, and the only way you and i can have even an inkling of what “everyone” is thinking is the surveys, but in my case, everywhere i go, across all classes, in various provinces, with people from different occupations, with different ideas and affiliations, the overwhelming majority -and i do mean, overwhelming- do not like the president, do not think she has a right to be where she is, do not think she is sincere, doing her work, or bears the interests of the people in mind.

    the main distinction is that the poorer the person one talks to, the more they lump together with the president as being the culprits, and the wealthier the person, the more they focus on the president and the more afraid they are of the majority.

    the three things i also hear, in large part are: 1. the no alternative argument; 2. the she is willing to bring the country down with her so let’s not risk fighting her argument; 3. the i’m planning to get out because as long as she’s here, the country will not achieve anything so goodbye, argument.

    i’m hard put to think of people who express sincere admiration and unqualified support for the president.

  29. No argument there, mlq3. However, I think the majority of Filipinos either don’t hate the present administration enough to want to change it or really have serious misgivings about the alternatives. It is a legitimate apprehension. You can’t take that away from a people who have experienced disappointment in the past.

    I would also like to expound on what you commented above regarding the ruling and business classes. I agree with you and would like to explain further because I think this is important to all who have a stake in this country:

    “. . . the ruling and business classes are blithely walking to their doom. I agree.” – mlq3

    To my mind, what is central to the problem is that we have not created enough wealth in relation to our population growth. When per capita GDP is as low as ours, there will never be enough, no matter how the pie is sliced. The key is to grow the pie, so that everybody can partake. But, of course, after decades of policy drift and political wrangling, that is easier said than done.

    For too long, we have neglected agriculture which, given our resources, should have been our economy’s engine of growth. Despite the fact that the 1987 Constitution pays lip service to “rural development”, agricultural policies are simply motherhood statements with no substance. The main agricultural crops, which are rice, corn, coconuts and sugarcane, have remained the same since a century ago. Over the years, these traditional crops have been politicized and subjected to onerous taxes and price controls. In order to keep rice, corn and sugar prices low, government found it more convenient to import than to grow these crops. Hence, there has been little incentive to produce more.

    Add the lack of farm to market roads, post-harvest facilities, marketing mechanisms and financing facilities and you really have a huge vacuum, which could be likened to a black hole, in our countryside. It must be said that, although government cannot take total responsibility for spurring agriculture, it must at least provide clear programs and support. In our case, government has more often been an obstacle than a facilitator.

    In contrast, Malaysia and Thailand embarked on bold agricultural policies during the 1970’s and have sustained them to this day. Because they supported the countryside, these countries are now enjoying the fruits of what they sowed 3 decades ago. Per capita income, which was once lower than ours, has increased tremendously. Rural poverty has diminished greatly and farmers, who are now consumers, make an important contribution to industrial growth.
    We have also not been as creative in the industrial front. We prefer to go for the tried and tested, generally avoiding innovation. We have preferred protecting a few, instead of encouraging competition. We have been to averse to opening up the playing field, hence limiting our horizons for growth. To quote John Gokongwei:

    “We did not develop any industry beyond Coca-Cola. We had some textiles and shoes and they were completely obliterated. How many business people put in their money in an industry? Can you name five? None, you can’t even name one. In real estate you can name 10. That’s my point.”

    Gokongwei further notes that “the few Filipinos who had the resources to go big in any industry settled for the less risky real estate business with its promise of stable income from rent.”

    If the only industry that we truly developed on a large scale is real estate, it is only logical that our banking industry follows suit. That is why our banks are really no more than oversized pawn shops.

    That overused phrase “thinking out of a box” comes to mind. It is a cliché, but it aptly describes the way we should be doing business. We should be more creative, more daring and less protective of narrow interests. There is too much of a tendency to rely on the tested formula. Even in our entertainment and broadcast industry, everything seems to be so formulaic. Movies rely on stock story lines and on actors with track records in the box office. We see familiar faces over and over again. The usual TV entertainment relies on either imported soap operas or programs which imitate the format of foreign shows.

  30. It’s not being nobly above the fray, Manolo. It’s not even the lack of choice that will make a meaningful difference in one’s life, although that may also seem to be the case.

    I think it’s more of the ever growing distance between Manila and the goings on in the corridors of power of the central government on the one hand, and the individual citizen on the other. There is just no connection anymore, so why care? The great difficulties notwithstanding, the poor are mostly able to scrape it whether a pretender is in Malacanang or not.

    Atomization, I believe, is how experts call it. And what it ironic about it is that decentralization seems to have accelerated it. Nowadays, citizens deal with either the municipio or city hall, and then the capitolio or the office of the congressman, when they need to get things done for them or on behalf of their community. That is the automatic reaction; nowhere does Malacanang come into the picture, notwithstanding the Philhealth cards, the land title distribution and all other gimmicks being cooked up by Mike Defensor, Toting Bunye and the other palace lackeys.

    Malacanang is the magic word – but only for the congressman, the loyal governors and mayors and their coterie of contractors, the generals and their hangers on. But never for the ordinary citizen.

    I think it will only begin to matter again if we get to have a president that is able to inspire, able to bridge our social divides, and able to make the lowly Filipino feel important again and hopeful of the future beyond his daily survival needs.

  31. cat, sus mio, hiningi lang ang pangalan mo, eh kung anu-ano na ang self-promotion at ego-boosting ang ginawa mo.

    and please, don’t take pity on me just because i do not waste my time knowing the burloloy of blog templates. i go for substance, not form. besides, these are not matters of great consequences. duh.

    your name please. make that complete.

  32. I think jackryan68 raises a valid point. Maybe Malacañang just isn’t relevant to the majority of people anymore. Perhaps Atomization has caused the nucleus to be dispersed to a more individual level. Perhaps, too, there isn’t enough out there to inspire beyond daily survival.

    The surveys may be correct. But they are simply raw numbers which cannot fathom how deep or how shallow feelings run. The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating. Most are probably not happy with the status quo. But if people aren’t doing anything about it, it’s probably because it doesn’t bother them enough. Or they don’t trust the alternatives. I think it is fair enough to say that the majority feel either way or the other.

  33. carl, in view of what we’re discussing, you may want to take a look at a speech recently made by teddyboy locsin:

    I think our discussion now is proof that while we may have political differences, we are finding fruitful areas for discussion. some things i’ve heard people tell me over the past few months are brought to mind by the points you raised.

    first, a businessmen pointed out that even the not particularly impressive level of manufacture of the philippines achieved from the 50s to the 70s has simply vanished. he recalled how (we’re from the same generation) growing up in the 70s, our soap, toothpaste, even chocolate was filipino made; now even the multinational factories have shut down and we only package imported things.

    second, while at a meeting for a book to come out on the competitiveness of the philippines (or a lack of it), one AIM person told me the country had its chance to achieve industrialized status, and that was from 1972-1982. we missed the bus, in large part due to the mismanagement of the marcos years, and there’s no hopping on that bus (something i suppose non-AIM types will debate). then he said something that struck me: among the many lost generations that the country lost during martial law was an entire generation of intellectuals, who devoted their brainpower to working abroad because genuine intellectual activity was impossible during the dictatorship.

    re: agriculture, it’s something I noticed during an attempt to be budget-conscious with my rice consumption. NFA rice is a tesitmony to how senseless gov’t agricultural programs can be; a farmer told me, “even i don’t feed NFA rice to anything except my pigs.”

    and yes, i agree we aren’t entrepreneurial beyond the sari-sari lechon manok style of doing things: we closed off the retail trade to the Chinese, so they simply moved on, sold their sari sari stores and now own the real businesses that drive growth.

    but here’s something that bothers me, not least because other people are seeing it, too, but defeatism paralyzes them from doing anything except planning to evacuate. i know quite a few entrepreneurs who pursue business without benefit of bribery or cheating on taxes, but who are getting profoundly discouraged because they are increasingly small islands of suicidal people being submerged in a sea of class division. the father of a friend, who has been basically instructed by her father to find work abroad, has had to let go of employees because, he says, business is really in a slump -and he sees no reversing the slump until the country gets a big boost of optimism- and this from a man profoundly contemptuous of the opposition. his growing belief is that the masses have tasted blood at edsa 3, are convinced there is a kind of political apartheid where their votes are ignored if it doesn’t suit the ruling class; and that therefore, they no longer have an incentive to participate in the process, which is rigged against them, and will simply bide their time until a leader comes who will lead the masses in plundering the gated communities of the middle and upper classes.

    now the “there’s no alternative” thing becomes a good and bad thing; it’s good, in that if there was an alternative, that person could lead a Cuban-style revolution; it’s bad, in that it is paralyzing those who have much to contribute, but also much to protect, and by paralyzing them makes the situation all the more ripe for a Castro-in-waiting.

  34. We should relax the entry of foreign investment to make up for inefficiencies in our economy. Problema for so long ayaw papasukin kasi competition sila sa local elites. Mga nationalists naman sa atin e hindi makikita yung bigger picture na yung kanilang position is only helping preserve the monopoly of the local elites who lack the boldness of true entrepreneurs and industrialists. They see the beauty in the rhetorics of “Philippines for Filipinos” but could not see that 85% of the resources of the Philippines e pag-aari ng iilan lang na Pilipino. Incidentally yun ang ibinabandilang selling point ng chacha pero one member of the draft commission wrote one newspaper lately saying wala naman yun sa draft.

  35. mlq3, the father of your friend is correct. Notwithstanding the intramurals between Arroyo and the Opposition, the time is coming when the masses will lose their fear of the elite (and the middle class), and this process has its own dynamic. All that is missing is for the ordinary soldier to realize which side of the class divide they belong to and that they have the guns. The coming revolution does not even have to be under the banner of an ideology like communism. It is therefore incumbent on the elite (and the middle forces) to engineer a ‘soft landing’.

    Arroyo’s hijacking of the elections is an act of impunity by the elite and middle forces that the masses have already taken note of. The current drive towards greater social exclusion by taking away the right of the people to vote for the national leader is another such act.

  36. “Arroyo’s hijacking of the elections is an act of impunity by the elite and middle forces that the masses have already taken note of.”

    edsa 2 needed a closure. or is it another opening? the masa will re-open the political floodgate, stampeding and trampling on the elite and the middle forces for disrespecting their rightful choice for a leader. gma is keeping her darnest best to contain this scenario by holing up erap. but this won’t be for long. abangan ang pagbabalik ng panday. pandak, tumakbo ka na.

  37. edsa 2 would have been tolerated had it achieved solid gains, only then could it have justified itself in the long run. i still believe that a combination of gma foreshadowing her refusal to leave except in a body bag, and defects in the kind of leadership offered by the opposition, blunted what edsa tres could have become. the mixed message was amplified by the 2001 elections, which in some ways vindicated edsa dos by sweeping out some of estrada’s defenders, but also handed some signfiicant victories to the opposition. by 2004 the lines had become badly blurred, through a combination of “stop fpj at all costs” on the part of some (and we are seeing more and more clearly every day, including many prominent people who had once enjoyed high respect after edsa 1 and 2), intramurals within the opposition (fpj vs. ping), and the unprecedented (after edsa, anyway) politicization of the military.

    in a clean election, the people have their own logic and its all our duty to accept that verdict: for example, the victories of loi ejercito and jinggoy estrada were at the very least a vote of sympathy for pres. estrada, if not an outright vindication. jose p. laurel, i pointed out, ran for the senate to vindicate his record during the japanese occupation. he got that vindication as did others like claro m. recto while not every guerrilla leader got the same. why shouldn’t it have applied to the estradas? and add, whatever anyone says, i do think jinggoy works harder at his job than say, administration darling lito lapid…

    teddy locsin was right when he pleaded with his administration colleagues to at least examine the evidence, even in executive session. but they wouldn’t even go that far, and they simply sneered the minority, after all, had proposed and endorsed the rules they were invoking. sure, and fine: but if the overall goal is to find a way for closure that will be acceptable to both parties, it begins with pursuing that larger goal and not nit-picking. we had a president accused of all sorts of horrible things, and he survived impeachment, but in a manner that pushed the democratic process along a healthier track: in 1949 the evidence was produced, weighed, and obviously a party vote took place. but it was viewed as fairly credible, and the opposition concentrated, after losing the 1949 elections amidst allegations of fraud, to ensure clean elections, and quirino was swept out of office in 1953.

    but the current proposals would remove even the chance for people to judge the president, which is why i think the call for a snap election will increase once more.

  38. what i like to see is a better username for people who spews insulting words.

    and if you continue to do such thing, i will not stop from calling your attention.

    you deserve your username. it stinks.

    at least there should be someone here who differs in opinion.Otherwise, this would be a blog of mutual admiration club or a repository of the rants and raves of people who cannot tolerate other people’s opinion.

    yes, you do not understand about blogging, kaya di mo makita ang pangalan ko. hahahaha

  39. Ok, i been an oppposite sex username in PCIJ “NAYKIKA”, but if anyone curious enough to find who really I am, i have no problem introducint myself in a separate communcication. but still it is someone choice to maintain what uwername name to use and as long as they stay with the blog’s rule, so what seems to be the problem? And I believe the administration can handle the matter. so let it be please…

  40. It will be great for business, yes, but I don’t think it will be the answer to solve poverty. It takes more than that to solve the problem. We really have to study the problem about poverty if we are serious in uplifting the living standard of our countrymen. I am also thinking on that line, wherein good business will lift those who are at the bottom (living in poverty), but in serious doubt if it will really happen. Just look at it this way, if you analyze why there are those who were not able to land a job in job fairs. It is not because there are no jobs available, but most of them are really not qualified.

    As to what happened regarding the impeachment, I am really very very sad this is happening in our country. Kung bakit namamayani ang mga ganyang uri ng tao. Nakakatakot isipin pero pagdating ng araw makikita ng mga yan ang bunga ng ginagawa nila. I just wish na tayong mga nakakatanda ay magturo ng tamang landas sa ating mga kabataan, na ang mga decision na gagawin natin ay huhubog ng magandang panuntunan sa hinaharap.

    Kulang tayo sa mga tamang decision. Kalimitan iniiwasan nating magdecision o hanapin ang katotohanan at doon saka pa lamang natin hanapin ang tamang course of action kung anuman ang nararapat. Ang nangyayari ginagawan nila ng decision ang isang bagay na wala pang kalinawan at ang kanilang nais lamang ang gusto nating mamayani.

  41. I believe it’s time for the people to go on a civil disobedience or boycott campaign. This Administration and the rabid pro-Gloria Congressmen have spat at us too much and and too long.

    The 2nd impeachment “killing” committed with such glee and viciousness in full view of the public is just too much. Edcel Lagman was dripping with venom and so was Luis Villafuerte as they plunged their daggers deep again and again and fully enjoying every minute of the killing. Then there was the treacherous Douglas Cagas who a week before on TV announced that he was neutral (who was he kidding?) On the day of the murder, he still feigned neutrality alas he said he had just learned many things that day. He proceeded to enumerate these leading him to the conclusion that killing was the way to go. All these Congress assasins, the Cabinet and any businessman rabidly supporting this Administration should now be the target of a boycott campaign of their businesses. This is the only language they understand. Money. So hit them where their money is. But to be more effective, such boycott should not be shotgun style. Choose a few of the most rabid supporters first and target them. This way there will be more focus. The results can be seen more clearly, more measureable. After they have been made as examples, then the next batch should be targeted, and so on, etc.

    This is one way the ordinary citizen can fight and get back at these people for their spitting on the nation. It doesn’t take that much resources but it will hit them where it will hurt them the most.

  42. I just hope this sick administration is fully satiated and enjoys its moment in the sun.

    Nothing lasts forever.

    Just ask the Marcoses.

    Sooner or later..

    hopefully sooner.

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