Yesterday, for the first time in my life, I received a Christmas present from beyond the grave. Now I normally don’t receive many presents to begin with, but there’s one that I’ve always looked forward to as it would arrive without fail and would always be delicious -Vigan longanizas from Vicky Quirino. Her annual gift indeed arrived -weeks after she’d been laid to rest. They made for a particularly poignant breakfast this morning.
A couple of days ago, word started filtering out that the Legion was preparing to march again. Today’s papers confirm the proposal. Except this time around, the effort would be geared towards a unicameral presidential system. An impeachment-proof presidency that never has to worry about an upper house, in other words. When I asked lawyers and such about the prospects of this latest mutation of the people’s initiative, the consensus seemed to be that there was a lack of material time, and furthermore, the Supreme Court might be inclined to throw it out because unicameralism, to the minds of some justices, represents a revision and not amendment of the Constitution. As always, my attitude is: let’s assume nothing is impossible.
Mike Defensor’s trying to play interference has also made it to the news today. He says any effort at amendments before the elections would be a disaster, and broadly hints at a cabal egging on the President.
I also tend to think that the Daily Tribune’s flogging a dead horse with its reports on plans for martial law; to be sure, the prospects of some kind of emergency rule did come up before last Sunday; but if anything good came out of the rally turnout being disappointing, it’s that a pretext for a state of emergency would be hard to manufacture at the present time.
Incidentally, Connie Veneracion presents a proposal for what she believes would be authentic grassroots democratic participation. I do agree with her that as it stands, the people’s initiative provision of the Constitution (and the accompanying law providing for its mechanics) is virtually impossible; but I am more confident about its practicability in a local, even provincial, context.
Straight from the horse’s mouth: Lito Lapid’s running for Makati mayor.
My column for today is A Calabasa Christmas.
Alex Magno points to gambling and drug lords as the kingmakers in local politics. Conrado de Quiros points out the President, next year, is due to mark the longest tenure of any post-Edsa president. Tony Abaya says time has run out to educate a new generation of leaders. Greg Macabenta on what Filipinos learn in America and Alfredo Rosario on how the electorate will never give up its right to vote for a chief executive.
Charter change, Thai-style. Pending questions the Thais are pondering, according to Suthichai Yoon.
And relaxing holiday reading: Vanity Fair on how Archie comics have endured; an amusing American take on having a Filipina for a wife; how Inca Kola beat Coca-Cola colonization (sort of) and how Fanta is a legacy of Nazi Germany.
In the blogosphere, An OFW Living in Hong Kong says the effort to revive the Charter Change effort is a smokescreen to disguise the President truly becoming a lame duck. The view of Alternation 101 is that the President’s recent about-face suggests the real game plan: to turn Charter Change into a campaign issue in May: but the counter-issue is electoral reform, first. I have a feeling many groups will be pushing electoral reform after the New Year.
Toots Ople says the Legion’s return from the dead is like a bad film sequel.
Mountaineers conquer the Sierra Madre.
A new blog is born, by a Czech journalist who loves the Philippines: In Blumentritt’s Shoes.