Competing agendas

Even as the President’s allies both from Lakas and from Kampi decide it’s better to pour oil on troubled waters, what’s emerged is something that’s always been there, but now being publicly debated even with the ruling coalition’s circles: the competing agendas of the President and her allies.

Regarding Plan B as revised, I recall some lawyers saying that the case for a unilateral House proposal for amendments has a greater chance of success than the so-called “people’s initative.”

Real estate boom ahead? Why a chicken shortage?

Thailand: debate on keeping microfinance but stopping low cost housing programs. USA: Carl Rove remains the stuff of nightmares. UK: recalling the Suez Crisis.

My Arab News column for this week is Will Arroyo Step Down in 2010 in Return for Immunity? The Inquirer editorial takes a look at how a need for immunity might be affecting the intramurals within the governing coalition.

Columnists look at the Supreme Court’s decision: Jose Sison says the court didn’t end up a trier of facts; Marichu Villanueva recounts how Justice Carpio may have had a falling out with Fidel Ramos over the people’s initiative question in the 1990s. Jojo Robles says the Defense Secretary has broken ranks and should quit. Manuel Buencamino thinks the Supreme Court slapped Singaw black and blue.

Amando Doronila thinks pressure on the Supreme Court’s going to be even more intense.

Greg Macabenta says, don’t worry, as long as there’s food and drink, we’ll never have a revolution.

Bong Austero says a case pending before the courts on Mirant Philippines bears close scrutiny.

In the blogosphere, Sysiphus’ Smile has a very interesting entry taking the Singaw efforts from a statistician’s perspective. Read the questions posed and the findings from analyzing survey data. Philippine Commentary takes the skeptic’s view.

the warrior lawyer (an interesting fellow, he says he was in the Sulo Hotel during the Ramos campaign) discusses what the press may be getting right or wrong in pitting the President versus “The Firm” (and he has a part 2, too: his conclusion? “The Firm” has dumped the President).

the bystander lists down official reactions to the Supreme Court’s decision.

Purple Phoenix is unimpressed with the administration’s senatorial lineup. hopes idealism can be rekindled. Ang Pinoy Nga Naman points to an initiative that really comes from the people -and ignores the politicians.

ComelecAKO points to an interesting prospect: internet voting for some Filipinos abroad. Ellen Tordesillas points to an online demonstration!

Bulletproof Vest says someone wants Kris Aquino buried. What happens when you take The Devil Wears Prada too literally? Imbecilic online petitions as pointed out by Ambot ah!

History Unfolding says the American media is self-censoring and refusing to call what’s happening in Iraq what it is: ethnic cleansing.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

24 thoughts on “Competing agendas

  1. Well, we know what this Greg Makabenta fellow will choose if he is asked to pick between comfort and conscience

  2. “With an eye to posterity, Justice Carpio may have realized that there are larger concerns than that of looking out for the Firm.” – – – quoted from the warrior lawyer’s blog.

    In a nutshell, that could well be all there is to all the hoopla regarding the rift between the Firm and the Palace.

    Those who know Justice Antonio T. Carpio well can attest to the fact that the good Justice is a very unemotional and deliberate person. Before acting on anything, it must be very well thought out. Those are the qualities that made him a successful student, a skillful lawyer and a sought-after adviser.

    Behind that pragmatic façade, though, lies an idealist who has always dreamt of doing something for his country. This is no ordinary hard-nosed lawyer. Disappointed by the Aquino Administration’s unholy alliances with Marcos-era politicians and cronies, Justice Carpio relentlessly pursued Danding Cojuangco, Tony Boy Cojuangco and Lucio Tan while he was FVR’s legal adviser. For a while, he was even sympathetic to the loony romanticism of Gen. Joe Almonte. When he saw, however, that FVR was being compromised by other advisers through deals like Amari, among others, Carpio resigned rather than give his imprimatur to transactions that he believed weren’t aboveboard. When Carpio left, less than halfway into FVR’s term, FVR became a pushover for trapos and cronies.

    While it is true that the Firm was very close to then-V.P. Arroyo, Carpio was content to take a passive role. It was Villaraza and Cruz who were more active. By that time, a position in the Supreme Court was already on Carpio’s mind. Of course, it helped that his former law partners were in a position to have him appointed there.

    While he can be fraternal and accomodating, Justice Carpio is very steadfast about certain principles. He refused, for example, to go along with the Mining Act because, having grown up in Mindanao, he saw how unrestrained exploitation of natural resources could destroy the ecosystem for future generations. He saw this in the exploitation of the timber industry in Mindanao which only plundered the forests, with no investments or livelihood provided for future generations.

    Now that he has the stature and financial independence to do as he pleases, expect the good Justice to concentrate on his personal crusades.

  3. Philips Electronics recently sold their semiconductor division for about $10 B. Philips Semiconductor in Cabuyao is part of that division. The new owner is now NXP. What happened to the employees? How come they didn’t make any noise like the Mirant employees?

  4. mlq3, immunity from what? While prosecution of a former president is possible under our system (as in the case of Estrada), I dont’ believe GMA can be accused of willfully doing anything that can stand honest to goodness prosecution.
    Juridically speaking, I think GMA is safe. Political vengeance? I’m not too sure.

  5. MB said in his Business Mirror piece: “Why was Mrs. Arroyo personally offended by remarks addressed to Raul Lambino and company? The High Court didn’t even mention her by name. Oh well.”

    Actually MB, the main opinion Justice Carpio did:

    The Lambino Group claims that their initiative is the “people’s voice.” However, the Lambino Group unabashedly states in ULAP Resolution No. 2006-02, in the verification of their petition with the COMELEC, that “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.

    Carl, your prognosis for a future CJ is quite refreshing.

    “Behind that pragmatic façade, though, lies an idealist who has always dreamt of doing something for his country.”

    I sincerely hope you are right. Carpio will sit in the Court for the long haul and the Filipinos need more of those dreamers NOW.

  6. re:BB blogger

    IMHO, I would also sign a petition if the picture of your grandfather is irrevently used by some narcisstic people just to draw traffic.

    Besides, Yuga said he himself would not post that offending photo.

    Tolerance does not include making fun of some people’s symbol of faith and love.

  7. Ca t,

    I vividly remember what Justice Cruz said about “vulgar members of the gay community”. I await with bated breath how the LGBT community would react as regards this “boy’s” latest antics. Will they now borrow the old man’s line of defense? Free speech?

  8. Ca t,

    Though the distinction was kinda absurd, at least Justice Cruz admires and respects gays who have “conducted themselves decorously, with proper regard not only for their own persons but also for the gay population in general”. But this “boy” is different. He does not have an iota of respect at all for a religion practiced by millions of people all over the world. Had it been the image (assuming there is such an image) of Allah or Mohammad that he desecrated, our brother Muslims would probably make sure that he would no longer see the light of day. Good for him that even the most conservative of Catholics are quite tolerant even to religious atrocities of this nature.

  9. The labor complaint that they filed with DOLE will certainly bring problems for them when the new owners come in. The new owners might become stingy when dealing with their Philippine employees. Why didn’t they look at their benefits during the good times? Were they busy telling everyone “I work for Mirant so I’m better than you”?

  10. Re That post by whoever the guy is, was teribly odious. I’m all for freedom of speech but there’s a limit to that freedom if it’s gratuitously offensive and licentious.

    Bystander, I agree! That fella in the pic is extremely lucky that he’s not done it against the Muslims but he ought to keep away from Catolico cerrados I know who are capable of stripping him naked in arctic cold temperature and crucifying him. He would’ve been thoroughly f*cked up by the time they’re through with him.

  11. The artistry of humor and parody includes crashing through barriers of decorum. What is lamentable is that there does not seem to be Filipinos out there with creativity to make r-e-a-l-l-y obnoxiously and atrociously funny cartoons and home-videos of First-Gee and/or madame-Gymmmm.

  12. … wrong words.. it should be “ Filipinos with motivation to make … atrociously funny cartoons and videos of FirstGeee and/or madam-Gymmmm….

  13. fact: there will always be non-believers in our midst. just as there will always be disrepectful, intolerant, confused bigots, and what have we. but respect for other peoples’ views, beliefs, etc. can always be imbibed and learned. it’s called civilization.

    where was this bryanboy educated? can this party animal truly be what he is–nothing more than an animal?

  14. CaT,

    I presume the picture is tasteless, but I haven’t looked at it and don’t intend to. It is best ignored for those who tolerate other forms of mocking religion (and that includes the Noli and the Fili, the films of Almadovar, the Daily Show, etc.). The petition is juveline and the ridiculous kind of reaction that makes a mockery of religion. Whatever he may be (a publicity hound, vacuous, tasteless, decadent, etc. to his critics) BB is not the AntiChrist.

    A petititon to manifest displeasure with BB’s insensitivity to Christians would have been a moral obligation for practicing Christians but this particular petition trivializes any objections they may reasonably have.

  15. Justice Carpio is one of martial law’s lost generation. If there was no martial law and no generations was lost he could have run and won as a senator of the republic in the early ’80s and by this time he now belongs to the senior leaders full of wisdom. I fervently hope and pray that Justice Carpio is one of the idealist”sleepers” , untainted and with moral ascendancy to elevate this nation from trapo politics.I admire Justice Carpio for standing up to pressure. I hate to think that there is a hidden agenda in his magnificent. ponencia.

  16. I believe its not only the administration line up that is unimpressive. The opposition line up is even more disgusting. Hindi na nagkasya dalawang estrada, gusto pa talagang gawing dalawa ang cayetano sa senate. isama na rin kay si JV para tatlo na ang estrada. (para lubusan ng masatisfy and Erap referendum) Mr and Mrs Villar kaya , para husband and wife sa senate di ba?…. Gee wala na ba talaga silang makuha iba par sa line up nila?????

  17. rego,

    korek ka dyan. kaya let’s formulate an alternative intelligent line up. time to shake the rotten fruits off the tree.

  18. Abe,

    You’re right. “ULAP maintains its unqualified support to the agenda of Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for constitutional reforms.”

    So that’s why she was hurt about “gigantic fraud” because it implied that Arroyo’s personal agenda included foisting another fraud on the people.

  19. Abe Margallo said: “Carl, your prognosis for a future CJ is quite refreshing.”

    While melvinsky said: “Justice Carpio is one of martial law’s lost generation. If there was no martial law and no generations was lost he could have run and won as a senator of the republic in the early ’80s and by this time he now belongs to the senior leaders full of wisdom.”

    melvinsky further adds: “I fervently hope and pray that Justice Carpio is one of the idealist”sleepers” , untainted and with moral ascendancy to elevate this nation from trapo politics. I admire Justice Carpio for standing up to pressure. I hate to think that there is a hidden agenda in his magnificent ponencia.”

    Abe is a lawyer and he must be aware of buzz within the profession about who are the potential Chief Justices. As melvinsky points out, Justice Carpio belongs to martial law’s “lost generation” and he was detained for several months, right after martial law. However, the reason for his detention had more to do with Sigma Rho being involved in frat violence. As the head of Sigma Rho at the time, he took command responsibility for what happened and was consequently kept in detention. He missed a year of law school due to that incident, but still managed to graduate with honors and land among the bar topnotchers the following year.

    It is doubtful, however, whether Justice Carpio would have ever run for the Senate, or any other elective position in government, since he shuns the public glare and is very protective about his family’s privacy. He could have had almost any position he wanted in the Ramos administration but instead chose the low-profile position of legal adviser. He probably also thought it was the best way to keep a close tab on FVR and to keep him out of mischief. And, to Carpio’s credit, when he realized that FVR’s ears were turning to other more enticing voices, he resigned without fanfare.

    As to now belonging to a generation of “senior leaders full of wisdom”, that could be appropriate. And, at 57, Justice Carpio still has 13 more years on the bench. Plenty of time to become CJ someday. Whether the desire for the most exalted position a person in the legal profession can aspire for can become a “hidden agenda”, only time will tell.

  20. Mlq3, while I agree that this “boy” is not the anti-christ (goodness gracious me!) and petitions of such nature are juvenile to say the least, you simply cannot equate the noli and the fili to this nymphomaniac’s (as he said so about himself) “controversial” blog post. C’mon Manolo, Rizal was mocking the Spanish friars for using religion as a tool for oppression. This “boy” was mocking the statue symbolizing Jesus Christ for his personal satisfaction, perverted or otherwise.

  21. my gad, karl rove still give the dems nightmares? if the donks would only shut up for 5 minutes (yeah, like you kerry), the repugs would lose the House in 2006.


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