If you can’t beat ’em, scare ’em

In Bacolod City and neighboring areas, protests are being held, accompanied by the usual statements from the military and police.; today, forces that usually ignored each other join forces to protest in Makati City. Apparently even the Speaker’s province mates will be rallying.

Tomorrow, journalists, the public, and officials will be adding up the numbers in the provincial rallies and engaging in trying to predict whether the Sunday rally at Rizal Park will be a shocker -or a dud. If attendance does not meet media expectations (or the public’s) expect this Palace trial balloon to become the official party line and even campaign platform.

Banning the usual suspects from the stage can only help attendance, though [email protected] thinks it’s all about power, period.

The President is certainly doing her best to deflate expectations for this coming Sunday. What she expected to do prior to the Speaker’s ultimatum to the Senate she’s finally done, which has led to her to drop even the idea of a convention, something being characterized as folding and which has apparently upset her allies in the House. The Palace has always believed in surveys, regardless of what it says in public (which is aimed at setting aside surveys it doesn’t like).

Is there anything significant in the Voice of America publishing a story on the President’s retreat, while world media has mostly ignored the story? Well, Time Magazine had a brief story.

Official hostility to the rally seems another exercise in brinkmanship. For example, going beyond saber-rattling about soldiers or government workers attending the rally, and suggesting there might be a terror threat (not just in Metro Manila, but elsewhere). The police have had to contradict the military (literally a good-cop, bad-cop routine) since the country’s gotten a black eye from terrorism jitters as of late.

In the punditocracy, yesterday’s protests royally pissed off columnist Dan Mariano.
Wishlist! Ho, ho, ho!

In the blogosphere, Uniffors lists the latest government saber-rattling versus the Sunday rally. As Ellen Tordesillas recounted, the Palace wanting to join in made people’s toes curl, and not with pleasure.

Rally details from Black & White Movement, from One Voice, and Toots Ople. For an alternate views, see Organized Chaos and Ecce Ego.

A Nagueño in the Blogosphere recounts some interesting comments on constitutional change by people who live under the parliamentary system.

Jove Francisco recounts a surly cabinet secretary reacting to the Christmas Love story.

Newbreak’s statement on the latest suit filed by the President’s husband.

And because ’tis the season: Wishlist! Ho, ho, ho!

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

121 thoughts on “If you can’t beat ’em, scare ’em

  1. jude,

    You said: “I don’t think anyone on this board is qualified to speak about the “common good”.There is no strict definition of the common good for each situation”

    While Oxford may be right about there being no “strict” definition of the common good, may I offer for your consideration two definitions from two Johns which may be useful for our discussion here. I think that talking about the common good is important because the CBCP often speaks of the common good and a consensus on the common good is basic to nation-building — which is why the phrase appears in the Preamble of the Philippine Constitution as in “We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, …”

    The definitions:

    1. From Harvard philosopher John Rawls, author of A Theory of Justice: “certain general conditions that are . . . equally to everyone’s advantage”

    2. Originally from Pope John XXIII in the papal encyclical Mater et Magistra (Mother and Teacher)and reemphasized in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily”

    The similarity between the two Johns’ definitions is striking considering that Rawls is secular while Pope John is Catholic. This indicates that there tends to be consensus on the common good.

    Common examples of conditions which are part of the common good range from the physical (such as clean air and good roads) to social services (such as free basic education and social security) to institutions (such as free markets and the rule of law ), etc. A quick check of the examples against the definitions of the two Johns will clarify why they are part of the common good.

    The government has the DUTY to promote the common good because it promotes the dignity and development of every citizen.

    The danger in the current situation is that private good or special interest (some say “vested”) is being mixed up with or is harming the common good. This needs to be guarded against and is why the Church is against the recent acts of the House majority — these were seen as brazen acts which harm the common good, i.e., the rule of law, in this case. It is important for ALL citizens, faithful or otherwise, to understand, promote and defend the common good. It is a foundational principle of our republican democracy.

    By the way, republic comes from “Res Publica” which is Latin for “the public thing” and refers to what individuals in a community hold in common or place above their self interest.

  2. I think everyone agrees that GMA is indeed guilty of lying, cheating, and stealing. Or at least almost everyone, even the pro-GMA camp, even if they won’t admit it in public.

    I guess those who are sticking up for GMA (whether directly or not) have decided that they prefer her over the other groups like the Erap camp and the leftists. Some are justifying their stand with “everyone else is tainted anyway” and variations of that theme. Maybe a few still believe that her actions are borne out of good faith and genuine concern for the common good.

    I am certainly NOT one of those people. To me, it’s very clear that most of her political actions are borne out of her desire to evade accountability for her crimes and stay in power at all costs (and the costs are indeed very high.) CPR, EO 464, CHA-CHA, etc: all designed to keep her in power, and all declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (cha-cha through the bogus people’s initiative.)

    The financial costs must be staggering by now: funding the People’s Initiative, unending bribes to the congressmen and local officials to buy their continued support, etc. Plus of course the other negative consequences: some legislative gridlock because the Senate refuses to simply let her off the hook, military unrest, and what may be the most putrid of all: the trampling of human rights and the horrendous political killings.

    GMA must be made accountable.

  3. Manuel,

    You said: “I appreciate your attempt at conflict resolution but … the conflict is real. It is about right and wrong, good and evil. This type of conflict is only resolved when one side triumphs over the other..”

    You raise good points.

    I used the phrase “seeming conflict” because the climate is so emotionally charged and the sequence of events so fast and fluid that I’m not always sure where the lines are being drawn between the opposing sides. For example, on Cha-cha, is the process at issue? the content? the timing? All of the above? Or is the trust level just so low that any Cha-cha from the administration will be unacceptable? I’m in the process of learning more about these aspects of the situation. I think some posters here are more in the know which is why I’m here — to learn. But I’m willing to concede that the conflict is real, as you say.

    Having said that, I worry about the US civil war analogy because while I agree that slavery is morally wrong, countrymen killing each other in the hundreds of thousands is not a resolution method I’m willing to contemplate. Two wrongs do not make a right, so to speak.

    So if politicians have done wrong, it is only right that we the people make them accountable. And by God we will. This can still happen in a constructive spirit. As Asians, we all know about the importance of saving face. Let us remember that even when criminals are convicted, they still retain rights as persons. Hate the sin, love the sinner. 🙂

    Merry Christmas to all!

  4. The Catholic bishops as a group seem to have finally found their balls (pardon the language) and appear to be finally heeding their own “call for the purification of reason.

    If they are going to follow the pure teachings of Christ, they would simply keep away from it.

    Barabbas, the person who was impressed to the faithful as a criminal, freed in exchange of the Jesus Christ by virtue of the people power’s request (mob) was not really the person as he was portrayed in the bible.

    He was a rebel, yes. A rebel against Roman empire who was planning to overthrow the government. When he approached Jesus to persuade him to join his cause, Jesus declined,
    in much the same way when he responded to a bait question about taxes.

    The bishops shpuld protect their intrests too. Sayang ang mga bishop’s palace nila.

  5. Common Good translates as “pangkalahatang kabutihan”.
    “a group calling itself Kapatiran ng Pangkalahatang Kabutihan or Kapatiran for short, was launched in the Club Filipino. In its question-and-answer booklet Kapatiran identifies itself as a political movement composed of “God-fearing citizens of the Philippines…committed to work for the common good for the benefit of the Filipino people regardless of race, color, status or religion, and to translate into reality a government of the people, by the people and for the people…”http://www.geocities.com/dapat_tapatt/kapatiran.html

  6. It’s not too late for CBCP repentance. The CBCP past leadership collaborated and tolerated the cheating and lying of Gloria Arroyo. The CBCP acknowledged it could no ignore the escalating problems facing the country and the questionable legitimacy of President Gloria Arroyo.

  7. manuel, cheating, lying. or stealing are bad if true. In this life, there is a legal process to find “truth” other than actual admission by the supposed actor. Failing that. no one, but no one can claim “truth” and expected to be believed by other than another prejudiced or biased mind.

  8. Ben,

    Sorry for not being clear about he civil war analogy. I did not mention it as a prescription. I used it merely to state an example of irreconcilable differences. I am non-violent.

    As to the cha=cha thing. It’s t really about the trust level. In 1970, even with Marcos president, we were still able to agree on cha-cha through con-con. What happned after that is not the issue. The issue is we trusted our leaders enough to give them the benefit of the doubt. Today, that trust simply does not exist. The process, the timing, and the content will always be questionable. And that’s why it’s better just to drop the whole issue. Earn the people’s trust first.

  9. Bencard,

    I’m glad we can agree on what is bad.

    However, your other statement. has some truth in it, but it is incomplete.
    “In this life, there is a legal process to find “truth” other than actual admission by the supposed actor. Failing that. no one, but no one can claim “truth” and expected to be believed by other than another prejudiced or biased mind.”

    There are other ways besides legal processs and a confession to get at the “truth”. For example, personal knowledge. I you saw or heard something somethingthen you don’t need a lawyer or a judge or a confession to tell you what you saw. Another example, if there are facts.

    Follow the trail of he Garci tapes starting from the time Bunye called a press conference to present what he claimed were ome authentic tape and one tampered or faked tape. He lied. Both tapes were fake. Listen to the Garci tapes. In and of themselves a good lawyer can argue that although they seem to indicate cheating there is no smoking gun. But then do a timeline on the tapes and correlate them with testimony and with independently verifiable events that occurred as a consequence of those taped conversations and then you will see the truth. Add to that EO 464 which was issued the night before two high ranking marine officers were about to give damning testimony on the cheating. And then The senate inquiry was not about the garci tapes, it was about the role of the AFP in the 2004 elections. No one in the military testified at the hearings because of EO 464. Then there was the fertilizer scam hearings. The senate wanted to know if there was any connection between it and election spending. It was not over the Garci tapes. EO 464 again and the government could never seem to locate the main witness who was not in the government anymore. And there’s the Garci disappearance.

    Free you mind from prejudice and bias. Do a timeline and you won’t need a lawyer, a judge or a confession to get at the truth.

    It’s the Garci tapes that convinced even the most rabid of Gloria’s followers to turn on her. But like I said, If the tapes weren’t enough for you then take the trouble to correlate them with independently verifiable events. That is, if you really want to get at the truth and you’re not just muddling up the facts.

  10. Aames,

    in your case, the appropriate quote is “Luke, I am your father” – Darth Vader

  11. Bencard, thanks to mlq3’s recent column, i now realize that you have been resorting to the Bart Simpson defense (“Ididn’tdoit; nobodysawmedoit;you can’tproveanything!”). That gambit would have been effective if Gloria Arroyo can get enough people to believe the ‘nobodysawmedoit’ part. Unfortunately for her, there are those who are able to piece together events and arrive at a rational conclusion in a manner similar to what manuelbuencamino has done for you above. That is why the trick only works on certain lawyers.

  12. Realist,

    That’s why I said, better for people who distrust her, who don’t approve of her and clearly are dissatisfied with her to just rally in Luneta against her rather than going to the extreme, i.e., assasination.

    You will agree that it’s (just rallying and being vocally so) the more civilized tack too.

  13. the plain truth about legal truth is that it is not always the real or moral truth. truth to tell, anyone can get away with murder…

    manuel, not to mention the turn of events on how witnesses were made to turn around their testimonies in order to conceal the truth…either by “soft-touching” them or by placing wads of money in their mouth.

    …a reminder is also given that the RASHMA HALI AFFAIR happened…part of the real truth being covered up…

  14. rego:

    “So how can we expect a peaceful prayer rally when it was motivated by anger and led by angry bishops??????”

    you who was a proud participant of edsa 2: you were angry because the second envelope was not opened then. you had your peaceful concert at the shrine. who says anger always builds up to greater anger?

  15. manuel b.: if you saw or hear something, your testimony about it wouldn’t automatically be proof of truth. It will all depend on your credibility or lack of it, e.g., your bias, flawed perception,proven dishonesty, physical or mental inability to comprehend, motive or intent to mislead. As to “facts” they are called such because they are proven according to the rules. Otherwise, they are just surmises or speculations. Established facts need no further evidence.

    cvj: bart sampson’s defense succinctly states the essence of legal “truth”. Why don’t you present those you claim can piece together “truth” in a proper forum? You should put up or shut up. We have gone this road before and I don’t want to go there with you again. Just review our previous posts on the matter if you want.

  16. Manual,

    You said: “Today, that trust simply does not exist. The process, the timing, and the content will always be questionable. And that’s why it’s better just to drop the whole issue. Earn the people’s trust first.”

    I think you’re right. Trust it is. This has been called “social capital” by some social scientists (e.g., http://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/Politics/papers/2005/Keele%20MacroTrust.pdf) and it seems that we are socially bankrupt at the moment. Even though the financial capital seems to be building up.

    Now, how do we build up the trust level? We need trust brokers, maybe. Traditionally, in democratic societies, civic organizations fulfilled this purpose because members interacted based on a common social mission and purpose (ostensibly non-political) even if they had different partisan stripes. So people had natural channels for reaching out to each other. It seems to me that in our country, civic participation tends to be low and, worse, civic groups tend to take on partisan stripes as well. So instead of building up social capital, they tend to deepen the cleavages.

    I think that GMA wasted the great opportunity that was her Rizal Day speech. Following through would have been the act of a true statesman — and would have been a boost to the country’s social capital. It was just downhill after that with the lack of accountability and now the ConAss railroading in the House. Sayang!

    Where are the statesmen? Does anyone now strike you as having this kind of mass credibility? Who can help us, through personal integrity and sacrifice, believe in ourselves and remind as of our aspirations as ONE people? Names, anyone? It’s like hide and seek. Come out, come out, wherever you are! 🙂

  17. Note to moderator: Typo in addressee corrected

    Manuel,

    You said: “Today, that trust simply does not exist. The process, the timing, and the content will always be questionable. And that’s why it’s better just to drop the whole issue. Earn the people’s trust first.”

    I think you’re right. Trust it is. This has been called “social capital” by some social scientists (e.g., http://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/Politics/papers/2005/Keele%20MacroTrust.pdf) and it seems that we are socially bankrupt at the moment. Even though the financial capital seems to be building up.

    Now, how do we build up the trust level? We need trust brokers, maybe. Traditionally, in democratic societies, civic organizations fulfilled this purpose because members interacted based on a common social mission and purpose (ostensibly non-political) even if they had different partisan stripes. So people had natural channels for reaching out to each other. It seems to me that in our country, civic participation tends to be low and, worse, civic groups tend to take on partisan stripes as well. So instead of building up social capital, they tend to deepen the cleavages.

    I think that GMA wasted the great opportunity that was her Rizal Day speech. Following through would have been the act of a true statesman — and would have been a boost to the country’s social capital. It was just downhill after that with the lack of accountability and now the ConAss railroading in the House. Sayang!

    Where are the statesmen? Does anyone now strike you as having this kind of mass credibility? Who can help us, through personal integrity and sacrifice, believe in ourselves and remind as of our aspirations as ONE people? Names, anyone? It’s like hide and seek. Come out, come out, wherever you are! 🙂

  18. Bencard,

    “if you saw or hear something, your testimony about it wouldn’t automatically be proof of truth. ”

    Naknampucha naman. Nakita at nadinig ko na nga. If we don’t believe our senses, who do we believe? Lawyers? Malacanan?

    ” It will all depend on your credibility or lack of it, e.g., your bias, flawed perception,proven dishonesty, physical or mental inability to comprehend, motive or intent to mislead.” Noow you’re arguing ike a defense lawyer trying to debunk an eyewitness. These are the types of questions defense lawyers ask “Was the sun in your eyes when you witnessed the crime?” “Were you listening to your ipod at the same time you heard the tape? ” “Have u ever used drugs or alcohol?” Do you have sex with minors?”

    “As to “facts” they are called such because they are proven according to the rules. Otherwise, they are just surmises or speculations. ” They are proven based on evidence not rules. The pro impeachment group wanted to present evidence, The anti-impeachment group wanted to follow the rules.

    “Established facts need no further evidence.” You said it.

    Your line of argument reminds me of an old saing by one of baseballs’ most famous wit. He said, “It’s amazing how much you don’t see when you’re told not to look.”

    Do the timeline.

  19. Ben,

    Here we go again –

    “Where are the statesmen? Does anyone now strike you as having this kind of mass credibility? Who can help us, through personal integrity and sacrifice, believe in ourselves and remind as of our aspirations as ONE people? Names, anyone? It’s like hide and seek. Come out, come out, wherever you are!”

    This was also the refrain during the ime of Marcos. Every single name that cropped up was naturally called a communist, an oligarch or what have you.

    Gloria once claimed :”I am the best president for these times.” Do you believe that?

    So that we don’t fall into playing name-games, let’s do this.

    Gloria and her cabinet take a six month leave. All comelec commissioners and their designated regional directors take a leave for the same period. Then let’s have a snap election with new faces supervising.

    We will know who really deserves to lead us. In addition, we will know even in such a short period of time that Gloria is not indispensable and that the country will do fine without her.

    How about it?

  20. manuel: whether or not you believe or understand it, and whether or not you like it, the only thing that counts in this real world is legal truth. That determines whether you languish in jail or not when you are accused of a heinous crime, or any crime for that matter. Buencamino’s or Bishop Tobias’ “truth” is no good at all, unless credible enough to be properly accepted by the judicial authority.

    “Evidence” becomes evidence only when it is presented in accordance, and is in conformity, with the rules. If you want to play with words, at least try to make sense.

    Your tape cannot and has never been officially considered evidence for many reasons, not the least of which is lack of authenticity. Even so, it doesn’t contain anything except voices of a man and a lady talking about a wish to win by at least a million votes. Where is the crime of lying, cheating and stealing?

    Since you talk about a baseball wit, let me talk about a movie. It’s called “American Beauty” which is about reckless jumping to conclusion, and how perceptions could lead to tragic consequences. Things are not always what they seem to be.

  21. Does anybody know how many went to the RALLY? I heard it met the organizer’s expectations of half a million people? Is this true?

  22. Bencard,

    “the only thing that counts in this real world is legal truth.”

    You and Gloria wish that were so.

    But cut the crap. DO THE TIMELINE FIRST! and then argue your way out of it.

    Maybe you’re smarter than Gloria and all her lawyers. Maybe you can refute the evidence with counterevidence instead of theories about the nature of truth.

    Gloria couldn’t argue refute the tape and all the independent events that corroborated the taped conversations so she just refused to even discuss it.

    And by the way, if the tape was not authentic, then what was that cinematic apology for?

    EO 464 WAS THE ONLY DEFENSE GLORIA EVER HAD. It allowed her and her loyalists to discuss and debate matters ABOUT the evidence rather than the evidence ITSELF.

    EO 464 allowed her and her loyalists to impugn the integrity of witnesses, to create doubts about our own senses and common sense, and to argue everything under the sun except what really mattered – THE EVIDENCE THAT SHE ORCHESTRATED CHEATING.

    “it doesn’t contain anything except voices of a man and a lady talking about a wish to win by at least a million votes. Where is the crime of lying, cheating and stealing?”

    I repeat. “It’s amazing how much you don’t see when you’re told not to look.”

  23. Bencard,
    I actually agree with you that the content of the recorded conversations proves NOTHING about lying, cheating or stealing, relative to the 2004 elections.

    I have always viewed the Garci Recordings however as physical proof positive that SOMEONE breached the highest levels of National Security and violated several sections of the Anti Wiretapping Law when they made those recordings. The original recordings, I mean.

    Although the tapes themselves are merely copies of those recordings, there can be no doubt that certain illegal recordings exist.

    Those recordings may be studio fakes (where they are just spliced from recordings of the persons purported to be the owners of the voices we hear) or they could be real intercepts of real conversations among them.

    Either way, an illegal act not sanctioned by Court Orders has clearly been committed by person or persons unknown.

    The real undeniable violation that the Garci recordings prove, even without interpreting their contents, are violations of the Anti Wiretapping Law.

    Another thing. The voices of the SOLDIERS (Doble et al) which are integral to the recordings are the most important evidence of all! Not Garci or Gloria. For this is evidence that those soldiers, whoever they were working for when they made selections from an obviously larger collection, were being used for partisan political purposes–a treasonous and punishable act.

    The real crimes in the Garci scandal, I believe, are not mainly crimes against the Election Code, but against the National Security and Defense Acts, the Military Code of Conduct, the Articles of War and the Anti Wire Tapping law.

    The fact that the Government isn’t even interested in this angle and has not tried to discover who made the recordings is the most telling thing of all.

    Aside from “legal truth” there “logical truth” like one plus one equals one. Comprendo?

  24. jepo said: “Does anybody know how many went to the RALLY? I heard it met the organizer’s expectations of half a million people? Is this true?”

    Media reports say that both the Makati rally last Friday and the rally today at the Quirino grandstand were sparsely attended. The Makati rally was attended only by a few hundred while the Luneta rally was also poorly attended. The most optimistic estimate for Luneta was 150,000 while some other reports say only about 15,000 attended. TV shots of the rally confirm the poor attendance.

    It’s Christmas time and people want a break from disputes and confrontations. And, after accepting the Supreme Court’s decision on changing the constitution, people want a break from that, too. Most people just want to enjoy Christmas in peace.

  25. The Inquirer reports that “Bishops pleased despite low rally turnout–CBCP spokesman”.

    It goes on to say that: “DESPITE having fewer attendees than they had expected,
    Catholic bishops are still happy with the turnout at a prayer rally called to protest moves to change the Constitution, with a spokesman saying it was the “quality of the crowd” that mattered.”

    “Earlier, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) had said at least half a million attendees were expected to arrive at the Quirino grandstand in Luneta for the prayer rally.”

    “It’s actually the quality of the crowd not the quantity,” CBCP spokesman Msgr. Pepe Quitorio told INQ7.net in a phone interview.”

    “Police estimated the crowd was around 16,000 while militant groups claimed 100,000 attended the protest.”

    “The number was the projection of the (organizing) committee but we were not really expecting the huge crowd,” he added.” However, the CBCP was confident it got its message across, said Quitorio.”

    Obviously, even the Catholic Church has to resort to damage control in order to save face.

    Adds the Inquirer: “Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, archbishop of Manila, who delivered the homily at a mass during the rally, said a constitutional convention was more acceptable than other method of amending the Constitution.”

    – So apparently, the Catholic Church admits that the issue of Charter change is still very much alive, only the method of undertaking it is in contention.

    The Inquirer further quotes Msgr. Rosales: “Let there be peace among a united Filipino people,” said Rosales.”

    Amen!

    Merry Christmas!

  26. DJB and Bencard,
    “…the content of the recorded conversations proves NOTHING about lying, cheating or stealing, relative to the 2004 elections.”

    I may agree with this, but take note that the situation changes the whole thing regarding the actions of one being innocent and/or guilty when Bunye presented the two tapes and GMA saying sorry.

  27. Re: ““It’s actually the quality of the crowd not the quantity,” CBCP spokesman Msgr. Pepe Quitorio told INQ7.net in a phone interview.””

    Hahahah! I wonder what Msgr. Pepe Quitorio meant by “quality of the crowd”.

  28. so the rally did not come up with the number except for the Catholic school students who came because their attendance is going to be noted, the El Shaddai members who were reported to have it as part of their Saturday meetings, the turnout was low.

    Multiple choice:

    1. Bad timing
    2. People are busy with shopping.
    3. People are angry with people who make traffic more miserable thru rerouting.
    4. people do not believe the leaders of the rally. they must have been burned.
    5. same old faces are there, cory,guingona, estrada etc.
    6. they think the issue is dead.

  29. Bencard,
    Great…now that we agree the Garci Recording prove there exists a violation of the Anti-Wiretapping, does that make them “poisonned fruits” or untouchable and unmentionable?

    NO! That was where our lawyers never helped us out to clarify it. Just because they were illegally recorded conversations does not mean that the Courts cannot NOW use THEM directly as evidence of those crimes.

    In other words, the fallacy was fed to the Public, and the lawyers never saw through it enough to pursue the real crime: violations of the antiwiretapping law.

    If the Opposition uses them again this year to pursue charges of cheating they will again miserably fail.

  30. The C at,

    (7) Everybody was too busy laughing at the Lemmings to go to a “prayer” rally.

    (8) Only the Leftists are dreaming of a regime change like the one GMA did with them as props.

    (9) People are preparing for elections in which the Opposition may sweep the House too since the administration is so thoroughly discredited.

    (10) That was a miting de avance reserved for the leaders of our real political parties: the churches, who will carry out the CONSERVATIVE program of govt they have established today by being completely immersed in the politics of 2007.

  31. DJB, aside from logical truth, we also have probabilities to serve as a pointer to reality. The existence as well as the content of the Garci recordings and Gloria’s subsequent actions (as summarized by MB above at 1:21am) have increased the epistemic probability that she conspired to cheat in 2004. If justice is allowed to take its course, this will be taken into account during the appropriate legal proceedings (i.e. impeachment or Gloria’s trial). However, even without these legal proceedings taking place (because of Gloria and her allies’ successful attempts at obstruction), that epistemic probability still exists nonetheless. That is something a lot of people intuitively grasp.

  32. Bencard,

    There is a report in the latest issue of Newsbreak that supports the timeline. It corroborates the Garci conversations with actual events that transpired. Read it and weep.

  33. manuel, sorry i have had enough of those opinionated articles, especially from that paper. So, why is GMA still the sitting president and going strong, despite all your effort to oust her? Get a life, will you?

  34. What going stronger? Let’s wait and see the result of May 2007 midterm elections. I hope the Filipino electorate will dump those shameless lawmakers who junked the two impeachment complaints and imposing fraudulent Arroyo-De Venecia constituent assembly. We don’t expect copycats of 1986 EDSA Uprising and Kudeta 2001. It’s no longer the game of generals. The people will decide the fate of illegitimate Arroyo regime. The power to the people at the polls is the best move in the political end game. The checkmate of Gloria Arroyo in two moves is imminent.

  35. Re: “So, why is GMA still the sitting president and going strong, despite all your effort to oust her?”

    History has had examples of evil leaders who continued “to sit” and went on strong but in the end, they went down, down, down and down and pffft, gone!

    Evil has a way of being defeated perhaps not exactly by “our efforts” but by the rest of the good people in the country when one least expects it.

    So, don’t be too sure that she will remain sitting and going strong.

  36. DJB said 12/17/06 11:03 (about the Sunday Luneta rally):

    “That was a miting de avance reserved for the leaders of our real political parties: the churches, who will carry out the CONSERVATIVE program of govt they have established today by being completely immersed in the politics of 2007.”

    Commenting upon the centrality of CBCP pastoral letter of July 10, 2005 in relation to Prof. Bello’s critique of the Bishops’ letter, I pointed out that the professor has mistaken the forest for the trees, the deeper message of the Bishops, being number 3 of the disquisition, which reads:

    “3. At the center of the crisis is the issue of moral value, particularly the issue of trust. The people mistrust our economic institutions which place them under the tyranny of market forces whose lack of moral compass produces for our people a life of grinding dehumanizing poverty. They also mistrust yet another key institution – our political system. This mistrust is not recent. For a long time now, while reveling in political exercises, our people have shown a lack of trust in political personalities, practices, and processes. Elections are often presumed tainted rather than honest. Congressional and senate hearings are sometimes narrowly confined to procedural matters and often run along party lines. Politics has not effectively responded to the needs of the poor and marginalized.”

    My explanation is the following:

    Mistrust of the political system is trite (we hear the same grievance everyday from everyone), but bishops collectively calling the market a TYRANT that “produces for our people a life of grinding dehumanizing poverty,” is not a “voice of moderation or temperance” [and certainly not of conservatism] but, while unsaid, a clear allusion to “Christian socialism” or at the very least to plain Thomism that calls for the achievement of Christian goals by social and political means. Going beyond the text, the true message of the pastoral letter, despite professing fealty to constitutional process, is the tacit reassertion of Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum against market democracy (as well as Marxism) as a preponderant influence in the lives of the Filipino poor. The same message was articulated in the July 1, 2005 letter issued by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio B. Rosales specifically demanding that “Political systems that are prone to corruption must be swiftly and decisively reformed, and institutions built that can effectively respond to the aspirations of our people for a better life.” . . .

    More than just a break from traditional conservatism, Rerum Novarum’s emphasis on social justice has been antithetical to the ideology of free market that follows, first and foremost, the dictates of rational greed.

    DJB, if based on the July 10, 2005 pastoral letter alone, our Bishops are far being conservatives. To call them liberals will still be an understatement.

  37. Diego & a. de b. – PGMA’s term is only up to 2010 with no re-election. At that time, you can elect whoever you want for president, including Satur Ocampo or Teodoro Casino to suit your taste.

  38. Bencard, the opposition can’t get it together. this is the only reason why gma is still president. it will be the people via 2007 elections that will decide gma’s fate. unfortunately, there is a big chance that the opposition may bungle this chance also.

    gma outmanuevers her enemies everytime. she is not shy to retreat when it is to her advantage
    and best of all she has the killer instinct – no prisoners.

    gma – asia’s napoleonita.

  39. “(10) That was a miting de avance reserved for the leaders of our real political parties: the churches, who will carry out the CONSERVATIVE program of govt they have established today by being completely immersed in the politics of 2007.”
    =============================================
    I hope it is but looking at the crowd, I can see myself then when I was in a Cat-holic school when we are “threatened” to have less brownie points in our Religion class or the teachers are going to mark our card as uncooperative and the priests make us go to the confession for being disobedient.

    And while in the rally, we do not even know what the people in the podium are pontificating about since we’re busy comparing our latest purchases, compare notes about our new crushes.

    That was when the cell phones were in vogue yet. Baka habang nagsasalita si Bishop,ngayon busy ang mga studes na nagtetext at hindi nakikinig. hehehe

    So if that is the kind of crowd that attended today, the message is like in the parable of the seed. The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road; and it was trampled under foot.

    The Praise the Lord flock is so psyched up that their only reason for going is to hear the assurance of their leader that their wishes would come true. AMEN? hehehe

    Miting de avance. Aabante ba?

  40. “(9) People are preparing for elections in which the Opposition may sweep the House too since the administration is so thoroughly discredited.”

    The way I see it, the people do not care because if they do, they would find a way to join the rally.

    Congrats for being there. You may be one of the few who care if only you did not push for FPJ, I could have believe you.
    There is no duh. Just ha?

  41. Realist, I agree with your statement above. Judging from recent surveys (SWS which shows GMA’s satisfaction rating still very much in the negative, and Pulse Asia where senatorial polls are very much opposition-dominated), if the May 2007 elections are going to be fairly clean, then it’s almost a guarantee that the pro-GMA candidates will get a drubbing. How badly the drubbing will be is going to be inversely proportional to how badly the opposition will bungle. But even “mid-level” bungling won’t stop the opposition (mainstream or not) from gaining the upper-hand in the polls. They’ll have to make an extra-special effort to screw up big-time if they are to lose.

    And with the pro-GMA forces voted out, GMA’s impeachment has a good chance of finally taking off in Congress.

    But of course, it’s a good bet that the administration will again attempt to cheat big-time. After all, they got away with it the last time, even when caught red-handed. If and when the administration commits massive electoral fraud in May 2007, I wonder how the people will accept it this time?

  42. realist said: “the opposition can’t get it together”

    One of the reasons for that is that we don’t really have a principled, credible opposition. 99% of politicians, of any stripe, are scoundrels and opportunists. They change their colors and their rhetoric in order to suit what they think the electorate wants to hear.

    Regarding the 2007 elections, it would be unrealistic to expect many new faces in the lower house. The fact is that 90% of congressmen (or their proxies) will be reelected. In the districts and in the provinces, it’s a quid pro quo relationship between officials and the electorate. Those who haven’t had a track record of delivering projects and services are definitely at a disadvantage. The likes of Nograles, Pichay, Villafuerte, Zubiri, and many more like them, truly have a following in their constituencies. Whether we like it or not, politics in the Philippines is based on give and take. And incumbents are in the best position to give (and to take as well).

    The Senate is a totally different situation. But even if the opposition sweeps that one, there will still be a standoff with the House.

    I do not wish to be a contrarian, but there is a need for some reality check.

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