The swarm

Speaker proclaims he’s 2 signatures shy of attempting his own, novel interpretation of the Constitution. Meanwhile, senate hearing today, even as various petitions opposing the so-called “people’s initiative” are filed. The initiative, some groups claim, are riddled with fake signatures (see also the PCIJ report). A Comelec employee, jamesjimenez, says the poll body is now in a pickle. comelec AKO, who also works for the Comelec, says the various opposing petitions contain strong arguments. Newsstand delves into the burden on the shoulders of the Supreme Court.

Biggest loser under the parliamentary system? Overseas Filipinos.

Central Luzon proclaimed liberated from Communism (is Palparan a modern-day Napoleon Valeriano?).

Palace official gives up on reconciliation, belatedly recognizes that democracy requires an opposition, and admits that the cause of impeachment strikes a chord in the public. Also broadly hints that Palace is prepared to dispense with elections next year.

President gets cranky at the beach. Orders revamp of nursing exam authority (should it be abolished altogether?). Rejects students having to retake exams en masse.

President’s husband returns after meeting with German bankers.

Cagas debates Oscar Cruz on canon law: a no-brainer.

Secretary of the Interior suspends two mayors.

Brit businessmen ticked off at President. Palace issues soothing statement.

The benefits of belonging to the Chinese Communist Party.

In Thailand, Thaksin reminded he needs credibility to be sympathetic.

In Taiwan, a besieged President waffles over media appearances.

Google Earth fanatics.

Issue 07 By Kule0607

Here’s something exceedingly curious, from an email sent to a list:

To all students and members of the UP community:

We have received reports of unidentified students hoarding copies of the *Philippine Collegian* in various buildings around the Diliman campus. Also circulated last week were text messages urging students to hoard following issues of the *Collegian*, saying “Get as many *Collegian* as you can,” and “Don’t let more students read it.”

Please be vigilant against hoarding. As the *Philippine Collegian*’s publishers, do not compromise your right to know.

In case of hoarding, please call the attention of nearby security guards. Or contact the *Collegian* office at 981.8500 local 4522, or the UP Diliman
Police at 928.3615. Any form of documentation will also be greatly appreciated. Copies of the *Collegian* in .pdf format may be downloaded from

Please circulate this message to all members of the UP community. Thank you.

The Editorial Board

You can find the Philippine Collegian online here, and download a pdf version of it, too. I took a look at their latest issue to find out why students would want to hoard it, and I can’t see any reason, unless UP has suddenly been infiltrated by military intelligence agents.

In the punditocracy, Tony Abaya, who is for the parliamentary system, however rejects the present proposal. Conrado de Quiros wants a petition for a snap election (last year, I explored one method that would make this, or similar ideas, possible).

Luis Teodoro writes a reminder of how the middle class was short-sighted during martial law and is being short-sighted now.

John Mangun on red tape.

Incidentally, I don’t want to waste space in my column on it, but if Justice Isagani Cruz ever went on the internet, he might be interested in this: is it further affiant sayeth not, or sayeth naught?

In the blogosphere, Red’s Herring does a cold-blooded analysis of media, ownership, and media’s political advocacies. Leon Kilat on an innovation: a virtual press conference.

Ellen Tordesillas says government’s response to the Solar oil spill has been painfully slow.

Philippine Politics 04: look kindly on the pro-impeachment congressmen who didn’t vote. RG Cruz thinks parading boxes of evidence around without opening them is an exercise in futility.

Edwin Lacierda waxes sarcastic over the so-called “people’s initative”. ExpectoRants thinks it’s dead; big mango believes it’s a case of misplaced zealotry.

village idiot savant on languages and the Filipino world view.

Exclamation Point is skeptical about the usefulness of honors sections in schools.

My Liberal Times visits Zamboanga.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Manuel L. Quezon III.

48 thoughts on “The swarm

  1. Conrado de Quiros was right in saying we should hold a signature campaign for a snap election or a signature campaign that would include the president and vp in the coming election in 2007. This would end all the political crisis we have.

  2. Re: nursing exam scandal–how could a cheater denounce her own kind, you wonder?! It would be advisable for all the cheaters out there– and all of us, indeed– to invoke the Presidential example: “We hold the President our model for our actions!” Hear ye Bunye! Be proud!

  3. De Quiros is just putting unreal ideas in desperate minds.It’s just like saying that since someone can’t deal w/ things the way they are he then creates his own world.
    If a person does not encourage or inspire to think hard & have the courage to make dificult choices, then his just playing w/ your mind & emotions.
    De Quiros & just like many others are there to sell their “subjective” ideas. Actually, his kinda boring already cause he never says anything new anyway.alway the same prorest, complains & undoable things in the luxury of not having to answer for his actions anyway.
    I guess only in the Philippines nothing ever gets resolved because of avoiding the issues & being obsessed w/ personalities.
    Political crisis can only end when things are delt w/ maturely & squarely. A political crisis based on “hate for personalities & lust for power has no end.

  4. joselu,

    i’ve been thinking hard, and guess what: de quiros’ call for snap election signature campaign makes sense. give me the signature sheet anytime.

    de quiros need not answer for his actions, precisely because such a call is made for your president to account for her action. of course, you know what that is, and what she did. what is unimaginable is when people stop reflecting on the sacrilege committed when the highest position in the land is held by a cheat.

    if de quiros is selling “subjective” ideas (that’s why he is an OPIONION columnist), what are objective ideas in political discussions, if you may share? if he has nothing new to say, it only means he’s been consistent with his idea, which of course you don’t buy, and that’s fine.

    funny how you put it: “have the courage to make difficult choices”; isn’t this precisely what the few pro-impeachment advocates did–quixotic. their loss was foreseeable, but that was not the message of their lost cause. this is, speaking on my behalf: merong nagnakaw sa balota ko! and i want that heard and recorded in the annals of history.

    when your president is accused of cheating that is not an affront to her personality. that is the politics of how she catapulted herself to power. and that’s the issue that needs moral resolution.

  5. excuxe me inidudro, doesn’t everybody know that your vote was stolen, same as mine. so hanggang kelan ka nag sisigaw na nanakawan ka? OK so the whole universe already heard you ? whats next? Ok you claimed that the one stole your vote was in malacanang and denied it, and would not resign and escape impeachment twice. what now? so how would you want to go on with your life??????????

  6. hanggang sa ito’y ma-account. may angal ka? that’s how sacred my vote was, because i voted not for a personality but for my country’s future.

    don’t you have a sense of what electoral sanctity means to you? unless cheating of this highest scale is not stopped, do you think we will ever attain political maturity? hayaan na lang ba nating uulit at uulit ang pambabastos na ito dahil sa defeatist attitude which you just extolled?. excuse me rin, pero hindi. gollygoshgee, the presidential seat, ok ka lang ba?

  7. and don’t worry how my life will go on. i have it planned. all i’m after is moral ascendancy to govern our politics. and that’s how we ought to have moved from edsa 1. [i was never a believer of edsa 2, fyi]

  8. Exclamation Point’s stand against the ‘honors section’ ignores one fact: children arent equal in ability. Somre are fast, some are slow. The reason for sections is to more-or-less have students with equal ability to be in one group to make it easier for the teacher to tailor her lessons according to the children’s abilities. Imagine how unfair it is for a fast student to be in a section with slower students. The teacher, if she’s worth the noble profession, would see to it that the slower students dont get left behind, meaning, the pace would be tailored for the slower students, while the faster students, have to wait.

    This of course can be remedied if the teacher can make individual lessons plans for students according to each student’s ability but in the size of today’s classrooms, that is almost impossible. It is simply more efficient to group them into sections.

    However, I agree with her points on the stigma of being in a slower section and the ‘honor’ of being in the honors section. Schools are to blame, simply because theyre supposed to know better. Schools reinforce this ‘caste system’. Teachers should make it a point to let the students know that different people excel atr different things and that the honor section isnt exactly better than the slower sections.

  9. The life plan for a lot of Filipinos is quite simple. They concentrate on the mundane activities of working for a living, wishing that their kids get a competitive education, and hoping that they do not get sick so that they can build some thing of a retirement fund instead of spending the savings on medicine.

  10. concur with emilie’s stand. that should be the stand of all pilipino voters. everyone should fight for his right and for the truth, maski hanggang saan makarating!

  11. OFW in Dubai, in normal times that’s an ok life plan, but these days, we have to do something more. We can only go about our daily lives if our institutions are in a reasonably healthy state. Arroyo’s cheating has weakened our institutions:

    – The credibility of the Comelec is gone.
    – The professionalization of the Civil Service is being reversed.
    – Thugs are put in charge of the military.
    – Even the integrity of NGO’s like the Church (and the Rotary) has suffered.

    It may take some time, but just like what happened during the Marcos years, the cumulative effects of these realities will sooner or later affect our day to day lives. Luis Teodoro is right when he says that the current middle class is being short-sighted, just like their parents before them. A lot in the middle think they are being smart and sophisticated by going along with the traditional politicians. In this things, smart and sophisticated is ultimately a stupid tactic. Instead, the right strategy to adopt is to be straightforward and consistent, just like Iniduro ni Emilie above. Moral ascendancy serves a practical purpose in that we need it to protect us both from tyrants and the tyranny of numbers.

  12. and for rego, why so many people (like you) keep on asking us to go on with our lives as if this discussion and all this never ending political argument is all we are doing 24/7/365? of course posting here and all those participation in political matters is just a miniscule portion of our lives. we all go on with our our everyday jobs and ambitions! we are all atuned to multitasking jobs. it is just a matter of priorities and someone’s love for country and his people that we put in some effort to at least have some input sa mga kabulastugang pinaggagawa ng mga politicos.

  13. I STRONGLY AGREE … We should not be GOVERN by CHEATERS …
    It is ONLY during ELECTION that the RICH and the POOR are EQUAL … Pati ba naman sa KARAPATAN natin MAMILI ng LEADER NANAKAWIN pa !!! You keep on saying MOVE ON .. We have to LEARNED before MOVING ON … and for THEM not to REPEAT, THEY should be made ACCOUNTABLE …

  14. jon,

    thanks. but i am not emilie. ako po ang taga-salo ng kanyang (emilie’s, who is apparently a pro-gma blabber) crap.

  15. observer, precisely. casting vote is a human right. pag ito’y ninakaw, your human dignity has been trampled, descrated. geewhiz, that’s the problem with discussing all these legalities, without factoring in the morality of the evil of cheating. i hope one day to see a mature democracy where issues can be tackled head-on dahil we have gotten rid of the dirty tradpols. indeed, the issue at hand involves personalities dahil sila ang nagdudumi sa paligid. taga-salu lang po tayo ngayon, at hello, wala bang aangal?

    again, i am not emilie, i am her stinking crap catcher.

  16. Thanks iniduro ni emilie. I think we have found a very good answer to the “move on” mantra of the Arroyo administration. We can always say we’re moving on, but while we’re doing that, we don’t want what they’ve done to be forgotten. As tbl wisely said, we can multitask on this one (move on with our lives, be vigilant, be mindful of our rights, do what we can as individuals to expose the wrongdoers; all these things we can do at the same time).

  17. I have tried to move on but I can’t because the country is divided.

    I thought that maybe it’s the opposition who should be blamed. But then I read GMA’s speech and she said she was the cause of diviseness.

    I really can’t understand why her defenders insist on pretending she never admitted she was the cause of diviseness. Pleeeze read her speech so you don’t misinterpret her. Be fair to your leader.

    Please find a way to defend your leader without contradicting her. I’m embarrassed for you, seeing you go through all these contortions.

  18. But one thing is for sure, enshrined in the constitution is my right to vote. And to me, that right is sacred. I will never relinquish that right. I would like to actively participate in choosing who to best lead this nation. I will never allow anybody else to elect for me the leaders of my country.

    That’s for Sigaw, JDV and the rest of the lot who thinks that direct elections is an exercise in futility. I want accountabilty and not revenge. This is what the administration fails to see. To reconcile and to forgive must be matched with repentance. A simple “I am sorry” does not cut it. Public office is public trust and if one cannot be sincere with the people then she has no business being in office.

  19. Ditto Inudoro ni Emilie’s stand and Schumey’ advocacies.

    Looking back, Gloria is not 100% all lies. She’s been .001% truthful once and Manuel Buencamino rightly pointed it out, “I really can’t understand why her defenders insist on pretending she never admitted she was the cause of diviseness.”

  20. Speaking of presidential and parliamentary gov’t, I believe there is an opinion piece in today’s Inquirer talking about events in Mexico regarding the recent presidential elections and going on to discuss certain “form of gov’t” issues. I forgot the names of the authors.

  21. well, I am not asking anybody to move on. (take note it was a question to inuduro) moving on is a personal prerogative. No one can dictatate what you want in life. And I am not worried at all with anybodys life because, heck i have so much to worry about mine, noh?

    while it is indeed admirable how everyone of you defend the sanctity of your vote, kaya lang OA na yata eh!

    and oh yes there was that moral throne as well….

    opinion ko lang yan ha, wag mapaipikon………..

  22. We can never move the way that GMA and her rotten-to -the-core political allies/admirers/advocates want us to.

    Sweep it under the rug?

    Whatever for?


    Ermita’s got it right: true reconciliation between this present dispensation and the opposition cannot be attained — in the present political scenario.


    Because truth and justice can only be ignored for so long.

  23. hanggang sa ito’y ma-account. may angal ka? that’s how sacred my vote was, because i voted not for a personality but for my country’s future.

    don’t you have a sense of what electoral sanctity means to you? unless cheating of this highest scale is not stopped, do you think we will ever attain political maturity? hayaan na lang ba nating uulit at uulit ang pambabastos na ito dahil sa defeatist attitude which you just extolled?. excuse me rin, pero hindi. gollygoshgee, the presidential seat, ok ka lang ba?

    iniduro ni emilie said this on August 29th, 2006 at 12:21 pm

    ay inududro, wala naman po akong angal. nag tatanong lang po. it definitely your prerogative kaya lang mmmmmmmm hindi kaya mauuna kang maaccount bago maccount yung sinasabi mong stolen vote mo. he he he… just taunting you….

    sense of electoral sanctity????…. mmmmmmmm i believe everyone has their own sense of electroal sanctity and they may even have it more than what you do. they just react or showed it in a very different way than yours. I dont know huh, pero i have so many doubts to people like you who are so noisy about their sense electoral santity than to peopel are are just so cool about theirs….

  24. I have tried to move on but I can’t because the country is divided.

    it’s tough to “move on” when Arroyo is still there to remind us how corrupt and untrustworthy the administration is, and how she is the biggest source of instability and division in our country today.

  25. if after all the offenses , chaos & injustices sa “pinas kong mahal ” malacanan who by the way govern by cheaters what more could we expect them to say to filipino people.. ok lets move on, forget
    about that” tahts suicide for ol of us. …. we coulnt allow these right? let them be accountable to their actions , f sanctions & punishment accdg. to laws so be it.. lets start our leaders & people to live up to highest standards of governance,,… clear things up now now.. .. or regret the future ahead.. let the truth leaks, not the leakage n nsg, board , guiamaras straight , esp. the leakage coming from the big mouth of sec. of justice who seems to create injustices just to please gloria,,, sweep ol this trash now..

  26. Culturally, we are a non-confrontational people, so it would be natural to choose to “move on”, avoid a head on collision. Had we done that in ’86, Bong Bong would probably be president/dictator and Erap would still be making movies. In many ways, going against our grain has gained us some good. This is one of the reasons why I repudiate reconciling with this woman. I refuse to conform, I demand justice.

  27. Did not the Supreme Court enjoin the comelec from entertaining the people’s initiative due to the absence of an enabling law?

    What more arguments does one need? In the first place, Abalos should not have accepted Sigaws petition nor these balot boxes. Comelecs position on this matter, trying to evade the law with its ministerial crap of an excuse is just that. Crap!

    The comelec, obviously, is broken. Abalos is clearly gma’s aw-aw.

    Bogus pro cha-cha signatures certified by comelec officials, according to Binay. Whoa, where were the good career comelec officials when all this was happening?

  28. If our sandigan bayan has the balls,it should do a South Korean Move to prosecute all ex presidents found to be corrupt.
    We don’t have a Sandigan Bayan or ombudsmen which can do that.How many caswes have been sleeping in the sandigan.

    I believe ouer anti corruption bodies should be reformed aside from the Comelec or electoral processes.

    Because even if a politician wins fair and square in an election,that does not mean that he or she has no tendency to do corrupt practices,but with the kind of ombudsmen,sandigan bayan we have,corruption will still go on.

    And by the way,we do not need chacha for that to change.

  29. Sure GMA is one of the reasons for the divisiveness,if she’s gone good riddance.
    After that, we won’t just move on,we continue the fight for good governance and change what is supposed to be changed other than the charter.

  30. Sure GMA is one of the reasons for the divisiveness,if she’s gone, good riddance!
    After that, we won’t just move on,we continue the fight for good governance and change what is supposed to be changed other than the charter.

  31. Karl, re acts of corruption where money laundering may have played a role, i.e., the purported Mike Arroyo German bank account, the brigade financière of an OECD signatory nation could help.

    I posted something on Ellen’s blog about it.

  32. mlq3, karl, and the others — i was at the senate hearing yesterday on the people’s initiative (need for enabling law and all that), and was stunned to hear Chairman Abalos speak up in defense of SnB. I wrote it down in my blog and I do hope the Senate reporters will also write about that classic moment. The senators were all stunned, as were the members of the panel and audience. freudian slip? demonic possession? your guess is as good as mine.

  33. rego,

    on that moral throne, or do you mean moral tone: please do not rub that argument of personal introspection (i.e,, look into yourself first before you cast stone unto others) because that is an invalid argumentation. i did not run for public office, therefore my accountability is to myself only. i’ve got my conscience to prick me on this. a public office is a public trust, figure out what that means (read schumey’s thread).

    kung naging oa man ako, rego, pasensiya ka na: damang-dama ko kasi ang kabastuhan, at hindi ako cool dito.

  34. Thanks Anna,
    I know the OECd body can help,and the uS anti keptocracy laws
    But again it is outside Rp, unfortunately.

    So that answers my earlier question,that what Abalos said that the SC ruling still holds, was only an opinion at the momemt,maybe fro PR purposes only.
    Now with Abalos support for the snb I guess it is up to the senate to stop, PI and ConAss.

  35. The search for the truth on the true outcome of the year 2004 presidential election must go on. It doesn’t mater how long will it take to know the true outcome of such election. Such is part of the democratic process. Such is a move that will strengthen Philippine democracy. The impeachment process against Arroyo’s presidency is over. But the search for the truth and the peaceful and lawful struggle to attain real democracy for our country will move on. Let us move on with such process. Let us move on in doing the peaceful and lawful struggle to pressure Mrs. Arroyo to tell all the truths about the year 2004 presidential election.

    I’m also addressing this letter to all progressive Filipinos in our country:


    Dear Progressive Comrades,

    I would like to propose to your organization/ state agency the idea that Mr.

    Kofi Annan should now voluntarily resign from his current post as U.N. Secretary-

    General. I would like to request your state agency/ organization to peacefully and

    lawfully appeal to Mr. Kofi Annan to voluntarily resign from being the Secretary-General

    of the U.N., and, after resigning from such position, convince his colleagues at the U.N.

    headquarters to implement reforms that will truly democratize the whole structure of the

    U.N. Organization. I believe that Mr. Annan has done great works for the U.N. Org

    as the United Nations’ Secretary-General. But his works at the U.N. Org didn’t pave

    the way for the United Nations’ Organization to completely embrace democratic

    procedures and processes. So, Mr. Kofi Annan should gracefully resign now from his

    position as the U.N. Org’s Secretary-General.

    I hope that your state agency/ organization will also peacefully and lawfully

    call for the democratization of the U.N. Organization. I would also like your state

    agency/ organization to support the nomination of Miss Aung San Suu Kyi as the new

    Secretary-General of the U.N.. Miss Aung San Suu Kyi is the most eligible person in

    this world right now who can replace Mr. Kofi Annan as the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Miss Aung San Suu Kyi’s

    ascension as the new Secretary-General would give the U.N. Organization’s

    democratization a better chance to succeed. Miss Aung San Suu Kyi is well-known

    all over the world as a dedicated human-rights’ campaigner and peaceful pro-democracy leader. I hope that your own state agency/

    organization will support these proposals. Our group is called the LEAGUE OF

    POLITICAL ABROGATIONISTS or the L.P.A.. Our group is advocating real, global and

    moral democracy through peaceful and lawful means. Further details about our group

    can be seen at this web page: . Just click

    such web page now to enter our web page. I hope that your state agency/ organization

    will effectively support the mentioned proposals in this message. Thanks.



    Chairman of the LEAGUE OF



  36. toots, i was there and it seemed to me less like a defense of SnB and more of a reminder that the public should not be too credulous. he mentioned something about a coin having two sides. when we try to get our friends to be fair about a certain situation, don’t we also – almost by default – use this two-sided coin analogy? this leads me to believe that what he said was a reminder that we should first look more deeply into the allegations (rather than simply relying on their scandalous face-value) before coming to a judgment. sounds fair to me.

  37. And at what point exactly did the COMELEC violate the law or the Supreme Court prohibition, tonyo? The Supreme Court prohibition is explicit: The COMELEC is prohibited from taking cognizance of any petition for charter change. The COMELEC has not yet taken cognizance of anything. Before the en bance can even reject the petition for refusal to take jurisdiction (which is what refusing to take cognizance means), the petition must first be brought before it. Which is what happened as a consequence of receiving the petition. If we didn’t receive the petition, how could we properly reject it? Inaction – or as you would prefer, not even receiving the petition – would have only prolonged the uncertainty of the petition’s fate. This way, since it with us already, we can definitively reject it and force the issue to go to the next stage which is the Supreme Court. This is called due process, tonyo. We cannot short circuit due process simply because of the apparent obviousness of the conclusion. That would make us just as bad as the people you claim to rage against.

  38. ComelecAko, I think that Tonyo’s is just a manifestation of deep mistrust in the Comelec as an institution. Like another opinion writer’s opinion, he called this action (receiving the petition, and saying that the SC has bla bla bla, and Comelec will bla bla bla) as double talk. And the distrusting people would think that something in midstream can happen again wherein SnB can further their agenda.

    If you go on technicalities again, you’re right that this is how it is done. But can you blame people if they don’t trust the Comelec people and the institution itself?

  39. tonyo, my friend, i am sorry if i sounded patronizing. that wasn’t my intention.

    jon, i don’t blame people for mistrusting the comelec. nor do i fault them for it. i am just trying to explain the back-stories to these issues. i don’t have all the answers, but where I do have them, i share them for whatever good it might be worth. just like any other opinion writer.

  40. Rummel, democratizing the UN is pure wishful thinking. Nobody but nobody can do it. No, not even the charismatic Aung San Suun Kyi. The only way the UN can be democratized is to abrogate the veto powers of the 5 permanent members of the Security Council and eliminate permanent memberships altogether. Do you think the 5 permanent members would agree? They would rather see the UN go the way of the League of Nations than give up their veto power.

  41. Karl:

    E kundi ba gago bakit pinababayaang mag-appoint si Pandak ng mga tatao sa Ombudsman, SC, pulis at militar who are the ones supposed to issue warrants, arrest and prosecute crooks like the Pidals? Can’t understand that system as a matter of fact.

    Now, they want a parliament that they are not even aware of. other contries in Asia have long adopted that as a matter of fact because most have royalties. Filipinas meron, Chieftains but not real monarchs.

    They may try to make a parliamentary government, OK, basta katulad sa Taiwan na nagsasabunutan, nagsusuntukan, etc kapag nagdebate at hindi magkasundo. On the other hand, I would not recommend such in the Philippines. Mauubos silang lahat! Just imagine the private armies and guns these tongressmen are keeping and storing in their warehouses. Si Beltran nga lang ang alam kong cannot afford niyan.

  42. You bet, Schumey, votes are sacred, but how do you educate people especially in rural areas where the ordinary citizens are in fact properties of the haciendas or the plantations as in Tarlac and Negros. They even think that they have no right to think for themselves as a matter of fact. Tehy vote for who their amos vote for, and if the Amo is a friend of the Pandak, presto, insance votes for the Pandak. And his is one reason I guess for the TY (Thank you) evelopes to the Hacienderos with a plaque and a note with something like this, “Salamat. Aasahan mong hindi kita hihigpitan. O bigay ka muna ng 5M pesos, saka mo na dagdagan!”

  43. Shumey,

    What else can it be but double talk. And not only that it can also be described as doble kara. Gma and her gang are good with technicalities specially when it suits their purpose, not to mention delaying tactics whenever it’s convinient.

    comelecako, whatever your purpose may be in addressing me as your “friend.” Apparently, another one of your double talk bs. I am telling you so you know – I am no friend of your.

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