ANC scooped everyone by reporting the Supreme Court’s reached a decision, 8-7 against the so-called “people’s initiative.”

Round 2 starts today. As news was swirling, the President arrived at the Manila Hotel to talk to the League of Municipalities of the Philippines’ convention. I wonder if they’re feeling droopy or not -perhaps girding for round 2.

It’s far from over, folks. Talk is, the Chief Justice cast the tie-breaking vote. But he wraps up his term in December. Around the time a last-ditch House-led effort would reach the Supreme Court, a new chief justice, and a new justice appointed to replace Justice Panganiban.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

128 thoughts on “8-7

  1. What technicalities JDV is talking about? It was junk because of anomalous signature gathering method and the use of public funds in the campaign. It’s a fake people’s initiative from start to finish. He must accept defeat and Rest in Peace for Pandak’s Initiative (PI). House Speaker Jose De Venecia and Majority leader Prospero Nograles should stop their pointless-irrational option to revive the discredited CON-ASS. It’s just a waste of time and taxpayers’ money. Majority of the Filipino people is in favor of charter change after the end of illegitimate Gloria Arroyo regime. Why is the rush? Electorate in your congressional districts must kick your asses in the next election for good.

  2. Yeh, it’s not about legal technicalities but the WHOLESALE DECEPTION that struck the petition down.

    definitely an up yours to the PI proponents much the same way as in the pcgg case. hope they cease already, as turn of events really shows how their PI is truly a PI…in the vernacular.

  3. “After this defeat GMA is now a bonafide lameduck acting president.” – Amedeo dela Cruz

    This is a ridiculous statement.

    The SC decision if anything reaffirms the legitimacy of GMA’s goverment, because it shows the pillars of our holy trinity to be steadfastly independent of one another despite all the delusional, conspiracy theorist comments I have read in this forum pre-empting the SC decision.

  4. Cabagis… no need to get rattled. GMA (by definition from Answer.com) truly is lameduck:
    (i) An officeholder who has chosen not to run for reelection or is ineligible for reelection.
    (ii) An elected officeholder or group continuing in office during the period between failure to win an election and the inauguration of a successor.

  5. Nice try UP student but I don’t easily buy into debating the pedantics of terminologies – it is self serving and an unnecessary distraction to the issue at hand.

    Personally, I agree that a parliamentary form of government is appropriate but I think the whole notion of another constitutional convention to implement charter change is UNNECESSARY.

    We have been this road before. The 72? constitution has served us well until a few middle class agitators decided to take the rule of law into their own hands in 86.

    If you ask me, spare our people the misery of another 87 style concon circus and let’s simply revert back the laws of our land to the 72 constitution.

  6. cabagis,

    Each and everytime GMA subverts the Constitution, she is validating her real status as illegitimate. The SC decisions against her are a resistance by the SC as an institution not to be contaminated by the malignancy of GMA’s illegitimacy. The Lower House and the Top echelon of AFP are seriously infected by it. Had the SC not resisted and but instead succumbed to temptations and pressures, the entire government will have broken down due to general fatal sepsis of illegitimacy and trigger a social convulsion. GMA is a malignant tumor that must be excise out of the system. She is sapping the vital energy of government to further her agenda. Each day she stays in power, more Filipinos go hungry, loose jobs if not executed.

  7. JM,

    The demon that must be exorcised from inang bayan is not GMA with her passion, energy, dogged focus and CAN-DO attitude to do the right thing for our people but the futility and utter miserability of the chatter classes who refuse to believe that the adventurism they took us all for a ride these last 20 years has been one disastrous experiment.

  8. Cabagis,
    The gloating that permeates this blog for the indecisive SC decision on PI only proves that when a court’s ruling goes its way, the anti-PGMA group is transformed from being a bunch of legal skeptics to gushing believers of the legal system. How sickening.I think the malignancy that will eventually destroy this nation emanates from these viruses of Philippine society, crazed by unfulfilled ambition to grab power but thwarted every step of the way.

  9. cabagis, at least you clearly state where you’re coming from -and which helps clarify for the rest where our views diverge.

    personally, for example, i’ve never considered the 1973 constitution either legitimate or desirable. others view it as originally legitimate, but passed on by time.

    i differ in you in that if constitutions could be replaced by restoring an old one, i’d choose the 1935 constitution.

    but your view and your choice makes very clear -and comprehensible- your attitudes as well to developments since 1986 and at present.

  10. The Court’s ruling has moved the country forward, if only by providing a clearer definition of the correct process. Stupid the next “gatherer of signatures” who do not follow the rule that “…. that the people must first see the full text of the proposed amendments before they sign, and that the people must sign on a petition containing such full text.”
    Also now formally ruled illegal for the Philippine setting : logrolling “…when the initiative petition incorporates an unrelated subject matter in the same petition.”
    The Philippines has now officially embraced the process followed under American jurisprudence — the effect of logrolling is to nullify the entire proposition and not only the unrelated subject matter.
    Cabagis… there are instances when the “pedantics of terminology” carries some weight.

  11. cabagis said,
    “GMA with her passion, energy, dogged focus and CAN-DO attitude to do the right thing for our people.”

    the SC said ,” Atty. Lambino and his group deceived the 6.3 million signatories, and even the entire nation.” “ULAP maintains its unqualified support to the agenda of Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for constitutional reforms.” The Lambino Group thus admits that their “people’s” initiative is an “unqualified support to the agenda” of the incumbent President to change the Constitution. This forewarns the Court to be wary of incantations of “people’s voice” or “sovereign will” in the present initiative.

    Is Cabagis one of those deceived or is he with the Lambino group of deceivers?

    The spreading culture of deception is a symptom of the aggravating malignancy of GMA’s illegitimacy. Victims become carriers, and eight in the SC refuse contamination.

  12. jm, your cockamamee proposed letter to congressmen is a display of stupidity and lack of understanding. In a democracy which, last time I check is the form of government we follow, any citizen, including the President of the Republic, has the right to interpret the Constitution according to how she comprehends it. It is not a violation to construe it in a manner that reasonable minds can differ.

    The President’s interpretation has the force of law until a duly empowered body called the Supreme Court (the “final arbiter”) declares it unconstitional in a real dispute between real litigants. So, you see, a President does not necessarily violate his/her oath when the Supreme Court indirectly invalidates a presidential action (in the course of deciding a controversy brought before it). The Executive, i.e., the President, is a co-equal authority with the Supreme Court and neither is superior nor inferior than the other. Please don’t meddle on something that is over your head.

  13. JM, i think Cabagis sounds too sincere in his convictions to be on the deceivers’ side. He just wants the people to behave like sheep just as they were during the Marcos years. GMA’s appeal in this case is that of a dominatrix. That accounts for his protest against the assertion that GMA is a ‘lame-duck’. That takes away some of the appeal. Sadly, it’s a common sentiment. (Cabagis, you can correct me if i’m wrong.)

  14. Cabagis and Titanium …. Pag untugin ko ulo nyo ng magising
    kayo …. Nakikinabang ba kayo kay PANDAK ?

    Wag na kasing IPILIT, ma SWERTE pa nga si PANDAK …
    Its too sad that majority of Filipinos are WALANG PAKIALAM …

    GMA should NOT PUSH her LUCK and her AGENDA …
    PANLOLOKO sa Taong Bayan !!!

    I hope you’re GONE before 2010

    Support the OPPOSITION Slate in CONGRESS and SENATE come
    2007 – WATCH OUT for any GARCI baka may MAJICIAN na naman

    — Malapit na ang KATAPUSAN nyo … Mike Defensor, Ermitanyo, Bunyeta, JDV etc.. Kayo nagpapa GULO sa PILIPINAS
    mga SWAPANG !!!

  15. Cabagis,

    When you say revert to the ’73 Constitution, are you referring to it on its face or do you mean the way it was practiced?

    The 73 Charter says the President and Vice President are elected from within the National Assembly which makes me wonder how ex- President Marcos was able to call for a popular via snap election. ( I can’t pull up the amendments so I don’t know if an amendment was done that resulted that way)

    Anyway, If we should revert back to the ’73 Constitution, would you have wished so with either President Aquino, Ramos, Estrada; or is it because Arroyo is the President?

  16. titanium said,

    “a President does not necessarily violate his/her oath when the Supreme Court indirectly invalidates A presidential action”,

    the letter said, take note:

    “Has not a disturbing PATTERN emerged? From what we reliably know,… a PATTERN of disregard for the law and of presidential power-grabbing?”

    Not her interpretation, not just a single act but a PATTERN that is clear for anyone with plain and simple common-sense but not to those whose brains are bursting with highfalutin junk.

  17. cvj,

    I wondered,”Is Cabagis one of those deceived”, taking off from the SC decision’s “Atty. Lambino and his group deceived the 6.3 million signatories, and even the entire nation”. Atty Lambino seems the epitome of sincerity, notwithstanding, the SC statement was a conclusion.

  18. UP student, thnak you for the lecture. I guess the moral of the story is that the SC succeeded imposing a lot of red tape around petitions. I wonder if those inCITING the hoorah around the decision truly have inSIGHT about the implications for their own lobbying because of the ruling 🙂

    mlq3, i’m not a keen student of history like you but wasn’t the 1935 consti largely plagiarized from the American model? In any case isn’t that the the same federal model we now have resulting in deadlock after deadlock because of all the petty squabbling between the houses?

    cvj, sheep? I’m iloko so KAMBING is DA king apong!

    The kambing too can bite at the shepherd’s heels – that is a given. However, the ridicule, rumour and inuendos spread by you mongering classes from forums like this, if left unchecked, can become self fulfilling prophecies.

    None of this stuff is new. It is the same bullshit spouted by your parents that brought Macoy down.

    You feel your democratic freedoms are threatened but do not appear to comprehend there are certain social responsibilities this carry.

    Comments like:

    …are in bad taste



    Feel free to sift through comments in this blog to paste in the space before the ellipses … 🙂

    justice league, no I don’t how it was ammended that Macoy was able to call a snap election. I don’t think any member of the chattering classes then questioned the validity either. They were spoiling for a fight and had cornered a frail, sick man they wanted so desperatley to lynch for the injustices – perceived or otherwise – of their “democratic freedoms”.

    I’m no fan of any post 86 presidents except the incumbent – yes, justice league, I’m an unabashed fan. But JM, I’m not a paid hack.

  19. Cabagis, both ‘kambing’ and sheep are mindless creatures. I’m not sure if you would really want to hold these species up as your role models. (Now i feel like having sate for dinner.)

    You’re an Ilokano, and Marcos’ rule was good for your tribe. But Marcos was supposed to be President of all Filipinos. I’m all for being proud of your ethno-linguistic heritage and all that, but at some level, that also needs to be transcended. After all, (just like the rest of us) you’re what you are mainly because of accidents of birth and history.

  20. Cabagis,

    Thank you for the admission, Manolo spelled you right as we get to know where you are coming from.

    A further question though. You have already admitted that ex- Pres. Marcos was a frail sick man at the time. So who did you expect to succeed him then?

    THough Tolentino outlived him; Tolentino looked more frail than the President at the time.

  21. This one was quoted by Karma of JDV: “eight members, a majority of one, seem to have focused on the technicalities, instead of on the real and urgent political problems… ”
    Well, the problem he really was talking about is about his problem.His chance to be a prime minister is gone. An obsession, that is why he used Lambino as his tool. He is concerned only about himself and no other.

  22. Justice League,

    Tolentino was his VP and would have succeeded him.

    I don’t post here regularly but I think that if you read my previous comments my allegiances was never in doubt.


    I do not hold the kambing as role model but if you have run out of reasons to promote your arguments and so resort to cheap shots, all can see anyway who between us is the mindless creature.

  23. cabagis, the 1935 constitution was drafted within certain parameters that the americans imposed: it had to be republican, democratic, and have a bill of rights and ensure american sovereignty would be recognized (and thus property rights assured) until independence and for an orderly transition. to ensure those parameters, the constitution would have to undergo a three-stage approval process: by an elected convention; by the president of the united states; and finally, by the filipino people in a plebiscite.

    jose aruego and jose p. laurel both annotated the journals of the 1935 constitutional convention and you can see just how vigorous the planning was.

    a volume i was given by my father was a book published for the convention delegates: it was a compendium of constitutions considered useful as a reference and basis for discussion by a group of scholars led by teodoro m. kalaw. the constitutions included, and therefore presumably a basis for the drafting of the 1935 constitution, was very interesting:

    I. Under the Spanish Regime
    i. proposal for parliamentery representation, made by calvo munoz, march 3, 1890
    ii. parliamentary proposal (prepared by marcelo h. del pilar, madrid, 1891-1892)
    iii. parliamentary proposal (another proposal by marcelo h. del pilar, 1891-92)
    iv. parliamentary proposal (by deputy emilio junoy, march 8, 1895)

    II.Under the Filipino Regime
    i. provisional constitution of the philippines (isabelo artacho and felix ferrer, approved at biak na bato, november 1, 1897)
    ii. constitution of makabulos (for the central government of luzon, april 17, 1898)
    iii. provisional constitution for the philippines (prepared by mariano ponce in hong kong on the orders of emilio aguinaldo, april 1898
    iv. constitutional program for the philippine republic, prepared by apolinario mabini, june 6, 1898
    v. malolos constitution

    III. Under the American Regime
    i. a proposed constitution for the island of negros (submitted by a group of citizens from negros to the Schurman commission, 1899)
    ii. national constitution for the philippines, project of various filipinos led by cayetano arellano, presented to the schurman commission, 1899
    iii. political program of pedro paterno, submitted 1900
    iv. the formula for independence of apolinario mabini, found in the papers of mabini, 1900
    v. program of graciano apacible, june 1900
    vi. constitution of the filipino free state, pepared by an anti-imperialist group of americans in california, found in the papers of the revolutionary committee in hong kong, 1900

    IV. Various Modern Constitutions
    i. constitution of the united states of mexico, 1917
    ii. constitution of the german reich, august 11, 1919
    iii. constitutional charter of the czechoslovak republic, february 29, 1920
    iv. constitution of the polish republic, 1921
    v. constitution of the irish free state, 1922
    vi. constitution of the republic of turkey, 1924
    vii. constitution of the republic of spain, 1931

    V. Appendices
    i. Constitution of the USA
    ii. Tydings-McDuffie Law
    iii. Philippine Organic Law (Jones Law) 1916

    what’s interesting is:
    1. the delegates were given a thorough overview of filipino constitutional proposals first, both from the revolutionary, malolos, and even under american occupation periods;
    2. the choice of foreign constitutions to study obviously took into consideration countries of similar size or problems or traditions to consider, from mexico and spain, to poland, czechoslovakia, etc; also various models of political organization from germany to turkey were considered.
    3. reference was made to the american requirements, from a bill of rights to the tydings-mcduffie act which listed the conditions governing the future commonwealth and filipino-american relations.

    this is one of many reasons (the other being, seeing the journals and annotations by aruego and laurel) i believe the 1935 constitution was authentically filipino and seriously took into consideration what the framers viewed as filipino needs. the other is recall the constitution as originally drafted was for a unicameral national assembly with a presidency far more powerful than the american -and with a unitary, and not federal setup- which means the americans only insisted on general and not particular conformity for its provisions.

  24. mlq3, thanks for the history lesson. Will you please explain, for jm’s benefit at least, how Franklin D. Rossevelt was reversed again and again by the U.S. Supreme Court, but was never deemed to have “violated” the Constitution. You see this charge is being used by PGMA’s enemies in their failed attempts to impeach her.

  25. titanium, if you go over the biographies of fdr, quite a few new deal policies were challenged before the us supreme court and famously reversed. in frustration, fdr proposed his “court packing” plan, which aimed to break the confrontation between the famously geriatric and conservative supreme court (us justices serve for life, and the chief justice, i beleive, was in his 80s and the rest of the court in their 70s) either through a law or constitutional amendment expanding the number of justices or imposing a retirement age. there was talk of a constitutional crisis and the public outcry was such that fdr had to backtrack -but the court, also sensing how toxic the situation had become, i beleive moderated some of its hostility as reflected in its decisions.

    fdr did not face impeachment because their rules then are different from our rules now (just as our rules now are different from the first impeachment effort ever, against president quirino) and because of the immense majority he had in both houses.

    a good comparison is how the republicans are using the danger of an impeachment effort against george w. bush as one argument to rally support for their party in the coming us mid term elections. impeachment has been suggested for bush as early as 2002 and discussed in some media (such as the column of lewis lapham in harper’s).

  26. Cabagis, I will take your word for it. However, even if you claimed otherwise, it would be unfair for me to single you out as what you have demonstrated is normal human behavior. The tendency for people to want to be led by a dictator is a common one. Even the Bible sees it fit to promise someone who will rule with an ‘iron rod’. This psychological tendency has been written about by those who have observed its manifestation throughout our recent (modern) history. An example is Erich Fromm who wrote ‘Escape From Freedom’, an account of how the people of Italy and Germany willingly gave up (though elections) their freedoms to their fascists rulers in the 30’s.

  27. cvj, I define “weak” people as one who cannot take responsibility for its own fate, one who has to blame its government for every little misfortune that befalls its life and rely on that same government for its “happiness” and self-satisfaction. Let’s all face it. We are a weak people and as I postulated before, weak people needs a strong leader – not necessarily a dictator but one with real political will who can take on the “chattering nabobs of negativity” and survive gloriously. GMA is such that leader.

  28. bencard, you accuse the opposition of ‘negativity’, but you are the one who sees our people as ‘weak’. Our people are just waiting for a chance to realize their potential just as we ofw’s have done so when transplanted into more favorable environments. Once freed from the warlords and oligarchs who continuously foster a sense of dependency, people power will come into its own.

    As for ‘strong’, as i mentioned a few weeks back, this 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. All have exhibited political will, but as you can see from the examples, whether this is good or bad depends on the particulars.

  29. cvj, I do pray with you that your hope for our people would someday be realized. Meanwhile, we still need a brave and competent leader to help us get rid of the “warlords and oligarch” that continue to bogg us down in the muck of dependency.

  30. cvj, Filipinos are lousy when it comes to working the system. Filipinos are intimidated by power. Case in point — “Write your congressman… complain to your mayor!!” is a totally alien concept to a Pinoy.
    I just had dinner with Tanya-somebody whose job is “constitutency services” for a Fairfax, Virginia congresswoman. Congressmen, senators, mayors, sheriffs of US-of-A receive so many requests-for-assistance from the voters than they need a full-time employee for constituency services. Tanya’s job is to receive the calls from the citizens of Fairfax and to find the county-agency for proper resolution, or to refer the caller to the state- or federal-agency.
    My brother lives in Bangkok — he’s now a Thai — and I noticed that the Bangkok streets were quite clean. “So what does the Thai do when garbage piles up on the streets?”, I asked. Answer — “complain to the government, of course!!!”. He also added “The Thai will complain if there is a dead pig on the street, or a parked car, or whatever. And if the problem is not solved in 2 days, we complain again!”

  31. Many a times, I watch instances where the peoples who have been indoctrinated to believe that the path to heaven has to go through old men holding staves and “the secret knowledge” are the same peoples who fall on their knees when they request fair service from the government that they had elected to serve them.

  32. mlq3, in your response to titanium, you stated that fdr wasn’t impeached despite repeated reversals by the US SC, because their rules then were different from our rules now. I think that was beside the point. I agree with titanium that even a president’s arguably erroneous application or possibly wrong interpretation of the constitution cannot rise to the level of “culpable” violation that is ground for impeachment. FDR wasn’t impeached because his enemies knew better and their thinking were not clouded by extremist ideology and hatred, if not a total eclipse of reason.

  33. up student, true leaders don’t “request service” on bended knees. They demand and impose them. Weaklings, masquerading as leaders, are the ones that are subservient to what cvj refers to as “warlords and oligarchs” in our society.

  34. UP student,

    I tend to agree with what you said about writing to a congressman or to a mayor being an alien concept to Filipinos. Could it be that Filipinos prefer to use media to air their complaints?

  35. vi, there are so many households, many reasons to complain, and so few media outlets… then add the many times the message arrives (as repeated by Bystander and Blk/White movement…. “now in God’s hands”, plus “maybe not now, but surely later… God will look kindly on us” or “kapalaran ng Pilipino ay magtiis”… “maliit na bagay lang iyan… maliit na tao lang tayo….”)… This suggests how many citizenry complaints go pfft into thin air. I will even suspect the Filipinos who are now British or Australian or US citizens still carry the disbelief that “you can complain to City Hall.” I’m not talking about “protesting invasion of Iraq” or “protesting human-rights violations in the Philippines” but calling City Hall to cart out an abandoned car on some highway or to provide better street lights at some intersection.
    I know I have never heard of a Filipino mayor or congressman or senator with an “office of constituency services”.

  36. up student, virtually every politician i’ve met has a full time person devoted to constitutency complaints and requests. people can be particularly demanding on the local level. on the national level, they’re energetic about approaching officials to blow the whistle on other officials. what differs from say americans is how everything is done informally, which is why politicians here at home spend huge amounts of money on basically running canteens for constituents who pop up on their doorsteps to look for jobs, ask for help, and of course, must be fed.

  37. Reminds me of my brother in law who was ‘brutalized’ by the police for illegal parking and yaznked out of his car which caused him a bit of injury on the head.

    My brother in law wrote to complain to Mr Nicolas Sarkozy, Minister of Interior about police brutality. He received a reply by post a week after he posted his letter. A police inspector from the “internal affairs division” interviewed him – there’s an ongoing investigation.

    I personally know former Congresswoman Sandy Ocampo and I believe she used to have an “office of constituency services”. You are right, an office of the kind could be very helpful. Perhaps, part of a congressman’s pork barrel should be allocated for the running of said office.

  38. Is that so, mlq3? “virtually every politician i’ve met has a full time person devoted to constitutency complaints and requests.”

    I see – in other words, people air their complaints in person.

  39. mlq3, funds for highways, bridges universities and recreation centers (and keeping open the military bases) are among those that congressmen in US-of-A bring home to their districts while local-politics “constituency services” include meals-on-wheels for homebound and summer-jobs for youth.

    The opposing party, if not the FBI, stay vigilant against:
    PATRONAGE : (i) the distribution of jobs and favors on a political basis, as to those who have supported one’s party or political campaign. (ii) the control of or power to make appointments to government jobs or the power to grant other political favors.

  40. Cabagis,

    I think your point of your allegiance has been summarized.

    If I am not mistaken it comes now that your allegiance is personality based. Allegiance towards the likes of Ex-Pres. Marcos, the incumbent PGMA, and probably even Sen. Arturo Tolentino.

    But like the sick frail man that Ex- Pres. Marcos was; even PGMA will not live forever. The Institution and the Constitution that you want must be applicable to all for one day a President not in the mold of your favor will be in office.

    THe Constitution reversal that you want must therefore be applicable also to the post 86 presidents or people like them in the future.

  41. justice league,

    I wanted to resist replying but I see this often when I read these sort of comments where by re-stating the facts and the “obvious”, many compatriot posters feel they have somehow contributed to the debate.

    Offer me an INSIGHT about the subject or even about myself I don’t know and I will happily engage you in a discussion.

    Till then….

  42. [email protected]:34am, your image of GMA as someone who is helping us get rid of ‘warlords and oligarchs’ blatantly contradicts reality. As one example, the GMA-backed People’s Initiative to change the Constitution aims to delegate the vote for the national leadership to the legislature (which is currently the infested by these warlords and oligarchs).

  43. vi… mlq3… My sympathy for that Filipino congressman who, on their P35,000 per month salary, operates a canteen for “constituency services” quickly dissipated when I saw this article on how much each congressman can expect to get. Christmas-gift amounts alone (one from Malacanang, one from the Speaker of the House) are for nice amounts. The article is here:

  44. Cabagis,

    I hope you know that the incumbent doesn’t want concon and wants to press a 2006 Conass circus instead.

  45. cvj… justice league… here is among the things that the Filipino electorate want from their congressmen (whether they be oligarchs or not):
    “… bank on wheels, ATM machines. Fiesta time alone can be very expensive. If you have 300 barangays, you give P5,000 per fiesta, that’s P1.5 million a year. And even then they’d curse you and call you a skinflint.”
    Constituents expecting P1.5Million on a congressman’s salary of half-a-mil.

  46. UP student,

    I didn’t know that a congressman is paid fees to attend a congressional hearing or to be part of a quorum.

    There’s also another way of making a little more money on the side: delivering a privilege speech to denounce a person or an entity about to do business with government. The fee to drop a potentially damaging congressional investigation following a privilege speech is between 7 and 10 million pesos.

    Some foreign investors have had to make pay offs to some members of Congress to avoid unpleasant incidents like the one I mentioned.

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