Get out of jail free card

In discussions over recent days, some ideas have ended up widely discussed: here’s the substance of some discussions I’ve had.

1. The President: what is her end goal? In the past, there were more who felt it was to step down in 2010. My view is, she can never afford to. Also, some argued she wasn’t emotionally, politically, and financially invested in charter change. Contrary view: she has to engineer it sooner rather than later, because she cannot step down, and needs to firm up her control and ability to succeed herself as 2010 approaches. If she doesn’t have constitutional change by 2007, once the mid-term elections take place she’s a lame duck, and it’s open season on her, forcing her no choice but to step down or impose martial law (which wouldn’t be good for her public relations).

President doesn’t want elections. Neither does the Speaker who may lose his seat. Both would receive a bad political blow from failing to achieve constitutional changes before the May elections. The Speaker knows full well, though, that if push comes to shove, the President has more options than he. So while he pushed for a constituent assembly in the past, to gain credit for a shift to the parliamentary system, now, he has to push forward the so-called people’s initiative. The President’s pet party, Kampi, is reportedly fed up with a House dominated by Lakas veterans since the Ramos years. It’s their turn, their time in the sun -under their leader, the President, and not the Speaker. Seems Prospero Pichay’s revised proposal, which he and his partymates want adopted “by substitution,” to replace the Jaraulla amendments, would maintain the Speaker, and fuse the offices of President and Prime Minister.

One option to keep the peace, so Speaker de Venecia can fight another day and the President doesn’t have to tip her hand too early: postpone the elections to November from May, which gives wiggle room (if no one gets upset by postponement, then the postponement can be postponed). It all depends on the Supreme Court: for or against so-called people’s initiative? If it decides for it, we go to a plebiscite in January or February 2007, which government will win. If it decides against it, the House might make an attempt to force the issue, also resulting in a plebiscite in January, or February or even March.

But election fever sets in for the political class by November or December, as candidacies must be filed by February (for local positions) or March (for national positions).

My view: if a plebiscite is held, it will expend people’s energies so no one will be in the mood to really care about an election. If a plebiscite doesn’t take place, there must be elections.

Either way: a plebiscite and an election requires a cooperative Comelec, and what better way than for Ombudsman to give everyone in the Comelec a get out of jail card.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

177 thoughts on “Get out of jail free card

  1. i don’t understand all this moralizing about moralizing. it’s what brought estrada down and raised arroyo up. but now what’s sauce for the goose isn’t sauce for the gander?

    what i know is: whoever replaces arroyo, if she is prevented from being president-for-life, will be a little less eager to ride roughshod over everything, and that’s a good thing.

  2. Right, so everytime any of us feel slighted or wronged by those in power, we take them out from EDSA or a coup or both.

    Are some of us really that naive?

    Some Americans do not support the Iraq war, but I don’t hear talks of a revolution. The same goes for when Bush won controversially in 2000.

    What I want to see is continuity. Because we need a lot more years of stability to build on the gains of the last few years.

  3. no talk of revolution -but talk of impeachment vs. bush. and you did have some pretty impressive protests.

    i’m all for continuity too, and there have been some genuine gains. where opinions differ is whether those gains can be preserved, much less expanded, under the present objectives of the government, or whether pursuing a winner-take-all gamble isn’t accelerating and even making inevitable, a larger confrontation if not sooner, then later.

  4. And anarchy has been getting bad press for ages from people who dont know what it is. Anarchy is not synonymous with chaos or lawlessness or helter skelter. Anarchy is an anti-authoritarian political philosophy based on the right of free individuals to aid and govern themselves. It is not doing what you please. 😉

    We dont deny the need for a shepherd, Cabagis. But since we’re not sheep, I think we have the right to question the direction our shepherd is taking us, as well as the means by which she got to be shepherd in the first place.

  5. I believe Cabagis is going over the top (of his head) and don’t know what he or she meant about coup mongering – matter of fact when the military bosses say that they foiled a coup d’etat in February, I was one of those who said that THERE WAS NO COUP d’état, attempted, foiled or launched.

    Cabagis, you are being simply idiotic – I don’t know how else to qualify your absurd statements but rest assured, I will speak against your mistress Gloria till SHE becomes blue in the face.

    Engage brain Cabagis – God gave you one. Don’t go around preaching the good in Gloria’s putrid governance because there is NONE!

  6. mlq3, I guess we can always dream of Utopia, but we cannot afford to discard what we have just because it is broken. We must do everything to clean and fix it, but we cannot just throw away the baby with the bathwater. The alternative is too horrible even to contemplate. There is time for all seasons and we must learn to wait, peacefully and patiently.

  7. mlq3, I guess we can always dream of Utopia, but we cannot afford to discard what we have just because it is broken. We must do everything to clean and fix it, but we cannot just throw away the baby with the bathwater. The alternative is too horrible even to contemplate. There is time for all seasons and we must learn to wait, peacefully and patiently.

  8. bencard, ‘Utopia’ is not even on the radar. Arroyo just has to come clean and face the consequences of her actions. After she steps down, only then can we move forward in the long road towards Utopia.

  9. cvj, there’s no “utopia”, but like I just said you can dream on. By the way, Marxist (or even Maoist’s) ideology is passe, it has been discarded a while ago by its major subscribers because it failed to deliver the goods with its false pretenses. Your views represent the dogma of the losers who, in desperation for power, lure the masses with promises of utopia.

  10. “I use dto think like that too. Na OK na in si Gloria dahil may mga achievements naman. But then I realized na hindi naman justifications ang acheivements for doing wrong eh!”

    rego, you prodigal son. ;D

  11. bencard, “let us be patient”? tingnan mo nangyari sa atin ng kapanahonan ng martial law, naging “VERY patient tayo. nalubog ang bansa natin sa utang hanggang sa apo ng apo natin sa tuhod ang magpapasan ng pambayad. kulang pa ba ang isang karanasan na tulad ng martial ni makoy para tayo matoto? oo nga nothing is perfect pero hindi rin na harapharapan ng niloloko tayo ay maging patient and civil ka pa rin. proper forum? saan? sa kongress(mga kenkoygresmen)? sa ombudsman? sa comelec? sa palagay mo? maging mahinahon ka pa rin ba na binabastos at binababoy na ang mga proseso tulad ng eleksyon? kahit isang daang impeachment pa ang ihain ng mga oposisyon sa konggreso wala pa rin kahihinatnan dahil hawak nila ang majority. masyado ng garapal ang mga politiko sa konggreso. tayo mga pilipino masyadong makalimutin at mapagpasensya, tingnan mo, mga marcoses at mga crony ay balik politika at pwesto na naman na parang dati at walang nangyaring EDSA people power I. hay…siguro naman kung di para sa atin ay gawin natin ang lahat para sa mga anak natin na maisuguro ang magandang kinabukasan nila. being tolerant doesn’t mean inaction.

  12. an-do-bo wrote:

    “I believe Cabagis is going over the top (of his head) and don’t know what he or she meant about coup mongering – matter of fact when the military bosses say that they foiled a coup d’etat in February, I was one of those who said that THERE WAS NO COUP d’état, attempted, foiled or launched.”

    But on 20 September, she wrote the following comments in this forum:

    “Gloria might be shaking in her boots tonight… Yes, indeed what if some AFP adventurer decides to immitate his Thai collegue? Hmmm…”

  13. Jeg wrote:

    “Anarchy is an anti-authoritarian political philosophy based on the right of free individuals to aid and govern themselves. It is not doing what you please.”

    Your second sentence just contradicted your first. IT IS about doing what you please.

    In any case has this “political philosphy” ever succeeded in forming a goveernment anywhere – past or present? I’m curious since I haven’t researched this.

  14. Bencard, if you consider a public official simply telling the truth ‘Utopia’, then i think we may have different standards.

    I haven’t read Mao so i cannot judge the merits of his thinking. However, you can see that China today is the fastest growing nation in the world. The economic take-off started with Deng (his successor), but i believe Mao himself had a part in laying down the groundwork. We have to examine what he did right while recognizing that he made a lot of mistakes.

    I admire Marx mainly for his deep insights into the workings of capitalism, not really so much for his prescriptions. As economist Geoffrey Hodgson says in his book ‘Economics & Utopia’ – “It is necessary that Marx be discussed and understood before, it is hoped, he is transcended.

    In the same book, Hodgson quotes the economist Hayek, who was a staunch advocate of the free market, saying this about ‘Utopia’:

    Utopia, like ideology, is a bad word today; and it is true that most utopias aim at radically redesigning society and suffer from internal contradictions which make their realization impossible. But an ideal picture of a society which may not be wholly achievable, or a guiding conception of the overall order to be aimed at, is nevertheless not only the indispensable precondition of any rational policy but also the chief contribution that science can make to the solution of the problems of practical policy.

    Cabagis, just like you, I regularly read Anna’s comments. Taken together with her other comments, I believe the above was made in the nature of speculation, not advocacy.

  15. Cabagis, (jeg, correct me if i’m wrong) i’m guessing that for anarchists to form a government would be contradiction. Its success can be measured in terms of challenging the tyranny of government. Thomas Jefferson wrote:

    I am convinced that those societies (as the Indians) which live without government enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness than those who live under European governments. Among the former, public opinion is in the place of law, and restrains morals as powerfully as laws ever did any where. Among the latter, under pretence of governing they have divided their nations into two classes, wolves and sheep. I do not exaggerate.” [Source: ‘The Founders’ Constitution Volume 5, Amendment I (Speech and Press), Document 8, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. Edited by Julian P. Boyd et al. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950]

    Which is why i suppose the following words got written in the United States of America’s founding document: “…That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”

    I doubt that pure anarchy is sustainable, and Jeg would attest to my objections to the workability of “making government irrelevant”, but as the above reference shows, it does seem to have a legitimate use.

  16. cvj, china nga is fast or already is an economic power if not superower already, pero alam mo kung paano? cheap and forced labor! gusto mo ba magtrabaho ng 16+hrs everyday, tapos ang sweldo mo ay kakaunti lamang? pero walang kang masabi o magawa dahil baka i pare-educate ka ng gobyerno sa kulungan! economic prosperity at what price? ganun din dito parate na lang econmic gains towards the first world. at what cost? freedom is too much of a price to pay for economic gains.

  17. batabatuta, i also hear a lot of horror stories from China because of their runaway capitalism. Remember the shipment of used feminine napkins and babies’ diapers that was intercepted in South Harbor during Erap’s time ? I was told by a colleague from Hong Kong that, in Mainland China, they actually use those as raw material for making blankets. He also told me about an entire town that earns its livelihood by recovering toxic material from used computer motherboards. He warned me not to buy fried food from roadside vendors because some of them use cooking oil that has been retrieved from canals beside restaurants. Not to mention that, within their justice system, people are being summarily executed by the truckloads. The toll on people and the environment is something that doesn’t get much press, mostly because the press is controlled. However, we cannot deny that China’s policies has resulted in prosperity for millions of their citizens which is why we have to study what their doing more closely so we can learn and hopefully adopt the good parts.

  18. cvj, anarchists in government is a contradiction in terms.

    And although it is somewhat impressive you can quote the writing of famous people to support your arguments, you still haven’t answered my question on who should replace GMA?

    I hope that before you spruiked change, you must have thought about the alternative because if it is the same old “BASTA BAHALA NA” mentality, that’s a genuine recipe for disaster.

  19. Cabagis, on who will replace GMA, that could either be the VP Noli de Castro or someone chosen by the people in a snap election. That’s how a democracy is supposed to work.

  20. Cabagis, you can check wikipedia. They have an excellent compendium of all shades of anarchy.

    who should replace GMA?

    Why do people keep asking this? The law has provided for this already and the people have chosen a replacement. The office of vice president is not an abstract concept. A snap election will also answer this question.

  21. Jeg, if you don’t agree what I wrote, please articulate why and not refer me to some useless content updated by every man and his dog.

    If Ka Noli replaces GMA, what makes him a credible alternative?

    Snap election? Dream on…

  22. cabagis, let’s remember that the president herself selected de castro as her hand-picked vice president and thus, successor. unless she’s sold her soul to the devil, there is no guarantee she couldn’t keel over and die one day, or god forbid, die in an accident or at the hands of a crazed assassin. whether the risk is remote or not, the risk is there, which is why we have a vice presidency in the first place.

    therefore, the president herself has answered the question of who will replace her. unless you don’t trust her judgment?

  23. eg, if you don’t agree what I wrote, please articulate why

    No need for that Cabagis. If you read his post, CVJ did a pretty good job of it already. (Although I would love to meet the dogs updating wikipedia.)

  24. And I pray to Ilokano God he bestows 9 lives upon GMA.

    Personally I think we were extremely lucky that Erap had picked an excellent VP because we could have been digging ourselves a bigger hole post EDSA 2.

    But getting back to Ka Noli, what makes him a credible alternative?

  25. cabalgis, if you recall, estrada wanted angara as his vp. the public chose gma as vp and it did make things easier to make the transition when estrada fell -with not a little help from his then-vp.

    the vp actually represents the dilemma the constitutional option presents for those who oppose the president. she picked him precisely so that he wouldn’t represent an alternative (the corollary being, if she dropped dead she wouldn’t care if the country blew up).

    which brings us to the other constitutional option problem: the wisest course would be to let the public decide by having a free election, since the other part of the problem is that we haven’t had a president with an indesputable mandate since 2004. but the lawyers say the constitution doesn’t allow for a snap election in which the president could run against whoever. she would have to quit -and the vp, too- with the senate president ruling temporarily. though some argue that if the president was really interested in a fresh mandate that would shut up all her critics, she could do it. but she doesn’t want to risk it (as some supporters say -why should she?).

    personally i prefer a simple referendum, but that would be to tie her down to a term ending in 2010.

  26. the only mitigating circumstance i can cite in my person case, is while i voted for the president, i voted for aquino for vice-president.

  27. mlq3, never mind what the lawyers say about snap election. Just pay attention to the Constitution and the applicable statute, if there is one, and then the Supreme Court as the final arbiter. Extra legal methods, no matter how well-meaning, is still a lawless endeavor. Just accept the fact that President Arroyo is the legal president up to 2010. You can continue criticizing her for what you think about her performance, even blame her for the “faults” of her subordinates. But unless you are able to muster the requisite political strength in Congress, your advocacy to oust her will not come into fruition. That is democracy, and like it or not,that is what we have to live with and die for as a nation. Paying mere lip service to the rule of law is not enough.

  28. Bencard, while Arroyo can be criticized (or commended) for her quality of governance, the primary issue is her legitimacy. Let’s not confuse the two.

    You argue in the name of democracy, but i don’t think such a claim can be made. As per Dryzek*, the extent of democratization can be measured along the following three dimensions:

    1. Franchise – “the number of people capable of participating effectively in a decision”
    2. Scope – “the number and variety of issues and areas of life potentially under democratic control”
    3. Authenticity – “the degree to which democratic control is engaged through communication that encourages reflection upon preferences without coercion”
    [*Source: Deliberative Democracy and Beyond – John Dryzek]

    With ‘Hello Garci’, the validity of Arroyo’s ‘Franchise’ has come into question. When the majority in the House of Representatives blocked the impeachment though sheer numbers, it is the ‘Authenticity’ of democratic process that is now in doubt. What happened in Congress cannot be viewed as an exercise in democracy but rather, its misuse.

    You equate being ‘legal’ with being ‘moral’ and therefore automatically condemn extra legal actions. In the real world, this is not necessarily the case. As a well known example, slavery has been immoral long before it was considered illegal in the United States. In issues involving truth, morality and justice, there is no a priori reason to favor the legal forum over alternative forums like the media, church or public opinion. Each of these have to continually justify themselves in their ability to discern, digest, and present what is true, moral and just.

  29. cvj, the whole problem with your so-called “issue of legitimacy” is just that: it is just an issue raised by people like you who just cannot put it to rest because of your desperate desire to undo GMA’s election. If the House of Representatives allowed the impeachment to reach the Senate, do you honestly think GMA would get a fair shake with the strange bedfellows there whose only aim is to get rid of her by any means, fair or foul? I do not equate legality with morality but what is “moral” is a province of no one (including the clergy, many of whose members have been found to commit immorality), while “legal” is a concern of every one who yearns for an ordered society. I think it is presumptious and hypocritical for any one to preach morality, let alone make it as the basis for condemning or judging a human act. To leave humanity to act according to their self-serving notions of “morality” is to invite chaos. Your favorite “Hello Garci” mantra is not determinative of whether GMA was validly elected or not. The Law does. And this is why GMA is the president and will be until 2010.

  30. bencard, you cannot sidestep the issue of legitimacy by questioning my motivations or that of anyone else. Whether or not i or any other party has evil intentions is beside the point. What is important are the facts, which includes the established fact that Arroyo talked to Garci when she was not supposed to. You justify the political maneuverings in the House as a means to protect Arroyo from similar actions in the Senate. If the main priority was for Arroyo to hold on to power no matter what, then that is just fair. However, Arroyo (or anyone else) holding on to power is less important than maintaining the integrity of our institutions and its processes. The overriding interest should then be to uncover the truth and expose any lies. The House’s actions suppresses the truth, while letting the matter proceed to the Senate brings it out in the open for the public to see, reflect and decide upon.

    Like it or not, there is no sure-fire mechanism for maintaining stability in a society. To fall back on ‘legality’ or to invoke some abstract deity called the ‘Law’ as a means to keep order without consideration to the underlying truth, justice or morality is to rely on a foundation which almost everybody recognizes to be hollow. As Filipinos, our generation should recognize that the it is our responsibility to maintain the health of our institutions for the long haul. We should not just base our actions on what would be expedient for the next three years.

  31. I used to think that GMA is a Ms. Goody-two-shoes and that she means well for the country but once she sold herself to the devil by “winning” the elections in 2004 at all costs, she has no other way but to maintain her grip on power for as long as she is alive. Once she gives up power, she will be devoured by lawsuits and her name will go down in infamy. The Filipinos will be kinder to her if she delivers a mea culpa and admit everything that she has done. Filipinos are really a forgiving and forgetful people. Just look at the Marcoses. They have not even admitted their guilt and yet people are so forgiving and forgetful. Erap, until now, has not been convicted and I’m quite certain he will be acquitted otherwise he would have been convicted a long time ago. So Gloria, let the past be your guide. It will be good for your conscience. Don’t worry about Mike. He has not been very helpful to you either.

  32. cvj, so what is your prescription? Delete all present laws and abolish all legal institutions? And how would you ascertain your “truth”, “justice” and “morality”? By feelings?

  33. bencard, my prescription is straightforward. when it comes to matters concerning society, our judgments should be informed by empathy (which requires feelings) and a sense of right and wrong, and not act as if the system will do that for us. Let us bring back justice and fair play so we can transform the Philippines into a ‘high trust’ society since this is what characterizes most (if not all) of the prosperous countries/regions in the world.

    I would like to ask (since you mentioned 2010), if you somehow confirmed that Arroyo, contrary to what she said in her State of the Nation Address, really intends to stay on as President or Prime Minister indefinitely beyond 2010, would that be ok with you?

  34. cvj, with due respect, I realy can’t make sense of your “prescription”. Laws are made, and judgments are rendered, by men and women (not angels or saints) according to objective determination of what is right and wrong. Laws are not self-executing, and can only be effected through the intervention of persons. Bad laws and bad judgments do not negate the importance of law and legality in our lives, and the occurence of such imperfections need not drive us to think that we have no more need for them. The “high trust” societies you mentioned have their share of bad experiences in their justice or legal systems but they never petrified them.
    Who am I to confirm or deny President Arroyo’s intentions? As far as I’m concerned, she is my president until 2010 by virtue of her election in 2004. If her leadership is extended, whether as president or prime minister, it’s o.k. with me so long as it is legal and constitutional, and so long as, in my estimation, no one is good enough to replace her with as chief executive.

  35. In a constitutional democracy, laws are made on the assumption that leaders and citizens have and exercise common sense and conscience — two ‘legs’ upon which we stand upright as humans (or we just crawl on all fours). Government is functional or dysfunctional to the degree that common sense and conscience are functioning or not in our society.

    GMA’s legitimacy is a central issue. It was GMA’s own admission that she did something for which she said, “I am sorry”, after her official spokesman, Bunye, in an official capacity, in Malacanang presented two CD’s, one supposedly original, the other fake. Based on these and other facts, to question GMA’s legitimacy is a moral imperative — for those who exercise common sense and conscience, that is.

    GMA’s illegitimacy is a malignancy. It corrupts and debilitates our institutions that were meant to make ours a better human — humane – society. Without common sense and conscience, especially in supposed leaders vested with power and authority, where to is our society headed? Tyranny, anarchy or worse.

    The killings of Bishops open the door down the dungeons where lions roar and reign supreme. Unlike some tyrants with at least a thought for an ordered society, GMA’s state of mind has disintegrated and sunk down into the dark cavern. She is clutching at anything just to keep breathing. She rules by force in band with men and women heedless to common sense and conscience. GMA and her pack of wolves is breaking our society apart.

    Somehow, and in that sense, to save the country, must we try rescuing GMA, try to convince her to SNAP out of that spell.

  36. to everyone who would care: weak people needs a strong leader and a strong nation does not need one. I would have had no problem with Marcos being president for life had he continued using his initial mandate towards the general well-being of our nation, and did not self-destruct znd succumbed to insatiable greed for power and fortune.

    Initially, I did not expect Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to be a strong president. I knew she had the brilliance and political savvy but I did not give her more than a possible mediocre rating as a leader of my country.

    From all the turbulence of her presidency since its inception (attributable to obvious envy and jealousy by those who could not bear to see a “little” housewife rose to the ultimate position of power) emerge a very strong leader undaunted by relentless strategem for her destruction. The unending abuse of GMA by her enemies and former “allies” (albeit bitterly divided politically but for their common obsession to destroy her) only served to strenghten her resolve all the more, turning around the economy, improving revenue collection, and going after the grafters in the government, among other laudable pursuits.

    If anybody among all my countrymen could legally and constitutionally become a perennial president, and unless I see evidence of plunder, bribery or other high crimes committed by her, directly or indirectly, I would bet on GMA. Anytime.

  37. For purposes of characterization, ‘strong’ is a nebulous adjective to attach to a leader. Mandela, Gandhi, Pope John Paul II, Marcos, Mao, Stalin and Kim Jong Il can all be described as ‘strong’ leaders depending on what you mean by the word.

    Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that the projection of ‘strength’, in itself, does have its appeal on certain types of people. I’ve mentioned before that i believe this accounts for the significant number of balimbings whose support automatically accrues to the incumbent. Unfortunately, those who fall under the spell of a leader’s strength tend to be the ones who also fail to notice that leader’s crimes.

  38. Regarding the “legitimacy” blame game, it was Congress that “legitimized” Arroyo’s presidency.

    For it was Congress “in joint public session” that “proclaimed elected” Arroyo, “the person having the highest number of votes.”

    Specifically, it was the “President of the Senate” (Drilon?) who was tasked to “open all the certificates [of canvass] … and the Congress, upon determination of the authenticity and due execution thereof … [to] canvass the votes.”

    And so, it was Congress that failed miserably to perform the duty to determine “the authenticity and due execution” of the certificates of canvass now claimed to have been falsified or manufactured.

    All copies (seven?) of the certificates of canvass bear the right hand thumbprints (and signatures) of the members of the Board of Canvassers of the constituency concerned.

    “Fingerprints do not lie.” The thumbprints of board members could have been the incontrovertible basis for determining the “authenticity and due execution” of the challenged certificates.

    Together with Garci, Congress should have summoned the Board members and compelled each of them personally to authenticate their thumbprints and the veracity or “due execution” of the votes appearing or written in each challeged certificate (all 6 or 7 copies of them)–the constitutional basis for proclaiming (“legitimizing”) a presidential candidate as “elected.”

    In any case, what is clear is that GMA did not proclaim herself “elected”; it is only Congress, to repeat, that is authorized under the Constitution to “proclaim elected” the president, and hence it was Congress that “legitimized” GMA’s assumption as president (and her cheating?) in 2004.

  39. domingo, while GMA did not proclaim herself, she laid the groundwork for her proclamation through in ways that cannot be considered legitimate. Even in sports, a person who is found to have been taking performance-enhancing drugs can be stripped of the medal which he or she has been awarded.

  40. Then let Congress, the “constitutional legitimizer,” strip GMA of her presidency (a presidency Congress was authorized under the Constitution to “legitimize” by proclaiming her “elected”), after a hearing attended by members of the Board of Canvassers whose right hand thumb prints appear in the certificates of canvass (particularly the certificates contested) that were made the basis for Congress to proclaim Arroyo “elected.”

    These are the “certificates of canvass” constitutionally required to be tallied to determine the “winner” for “proclamation” purposes, not the individual ballots “We, the People” nationwide cast which fall under PET’s jurisdiction.

    But I don’t think Congress, Arroyo’s “constitutional legitimizer,” will “re-canvass” or “re-authenticate” the certificates that they relied on to proclaim GMA “elected.”

  41. Domingo, the approach you recommend sounds good, i hope they eventually go ahead and do that. In addition, aside from examining the certificates of canvass, Congress should shed light on the mechanics of Arroyo and Garci’s cheating operation because even if a recount establishes that she actually won, proven cheating on her part negates her suitability for office. Congress may be a ‘constitutional legitimizer’ but, unlike the Catholic Church, it does not have the power to absolve sins.

    Unfortunately, unlike in the sports analogy where the athlete remains just that, GMA by virtue of her de facto power, has now gotten an inside track on the board of judges. In contrast to what happened in the United States during Watergate where the republican congressmen went beyond party lines to impeach Nixon, over here, the issue is being reduced to a cynical numbers game. As i told Bencard above, in our legislature, there is hardly any authenticity in the form of genuine democratic deliberation.

  42. Domingo, excellent point, but then GMA’s detractors would blame her for Milenyo, Guimaras, or Mayon, or even Beirut, if they could (relax, guys, just a little hyoerbole but not too far from reality). cvj, presidential election is not a sporting event where you can stip a “victor” with his medal. It will not happen in politics when all the instrumentalities of the State tasked to decide election matters have rendered their verdict. The losers can wail nd gnash their teeth, but they will just have to wait for their next opportunity to win.

  43. yes titanium, a presidential election is much more than a sporting event. However, the principles of fair play are still applicable. It’s not just about ‘winning’ or ‘losing’. Victory achieved via cheating is still a fake victory. Therefore, the consequences of cheating should likewise be similar as in any sporting event.

    Relying on the fact that Arroyo is ‘legitimate’ because she has been proclaimed by Congress is a form of begging the question (i.e. the fallacy of ‘circular reasoning’). You cannot argue that Arroyo is ‘legitimate’ because she has been proclaimed by the ‘constitutional legitimizers’ when what is at issue in the first place is the validity of that proclamation in light of information that has subsequently been revealed. The instrumentalities of State are there to uphold the choice of the people, not to override it. After all, we are not yet under a unicameral parliamentary system.

  44. cvj, but who are you to second guess Congress and other official authorities. Your authority is just as good as anyone, practically nothing, except to speak our minds no matter how disingenuous and absurd. I don’t think you are equipped to “judge” with official finality the issue at hand. To set the record straight, GMA appears to have said “Im sorry” for a phone conversation that she should not have participated in. What is wrong with that. Did she admit “cheating” or is that a figment of your imagination.?

  45. bencard, i am a private citizen but that has no bearing on the discussion since reality takes precedence over any appeals to authority. The opinion of legal and political authorities are not necessarily superior to that of an ordinary member of the public. What distinguishes a superior from an inferior opinion is its basis in logic and fact.

    Since we all inhabit the same plane of existence, Congress and the other official authorities have to confront the same realities as you and i do – in this case, the reality of ‘Hello Garci’ which hardly anyone considers a ‘figment of [the] imagination’. What i (and others) have taken issue with is the manner by which Arroyo and her allies have reacted to this revelation. Saying ‘Im sorry’ is not enough to ‘set the record straight’.

  46. cvj, you dissapoint me. All I’m asking is where did you get the basis for you conclusion that GMA “cheated”. If all you have is GMA’s “I’m sorry, I participated in a phone conversation with a comelec official” then what is your proof of her “cheating” or your so-called “realities”.

    Your logic is fallacious because you start with a flawed premise, i.e. that talking to a comelec official is equivalent to cheating in the election; that GMA admitted that she did that , ergo, she cheated. How preposterous!

    A bad argument cannot be cured by embellishinhg it with empty platitudes, clever word-play, or quotations from books. Such may sound good to your fellow travelers, but not to people who value reason, right reason, that is.

    The kind of mind-set you have against GMA confuses “fact” with hypothesis or speculation, foregetting that, as I say here time and again, an assertion needs proof to become a fact. Using a supposition as fact is a kind of misrepresentation that could mislead someone and therefore, dangerous.

    In any event, one can dissent from any legal outcome, whether in the context of election or court action. However, you cannot defy the result without going against the authority of the law that enabled it. You can only do so at your own risk unless you successfully overthrow the said authority.

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