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Costs of political cannibalism
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on May 18, 2007 94 Comments 4 min read
The Explainer: Dagdag-bawas Previous Club 56 Next

How’s this for a reality check: President has had to withdraw her latest supreme court appointment.

How’s this for another reality check: hold on, before you brag of local races you won or a 12-0 command vote sweep, did voting even take place in Maguindanao? Even the Comelec’s making noises of doing some sort of investigation. To be sure, the Palace is doing its best to try to give the impression the floodgates have finally opened (and snafus like Namfrel’s can only help); but accounts of how the machine broke down and didn’t deliver the votes just keep cropping up: see how the Executive Secretary didn’t deliver in Batangas, for example. The other is that local allies in some cases are fighting for survival, so how can they attend to delivering national votes?

But as Patsada Karajaw points out, even this is a far cry from the pre-election bravura of the Palace: before elections it was bragging of sweeping entire regions; post-elections, it is crowing about sweeping entire… villages.

Not to mention that electoral sweeps simply leaves the public dissatisfied and discontent (see sneaky.dog and the Zamboanga del Sur vote; see Lente reports) and media raising an eyebrow. Nonetheless, as Mga Diskurso ni Doy (who, before the election, pointed out two things: the Lakas vs. Kampi campaigns in the provinces was sapping the administration’s strength; and there would have to be a very large public turnout for the operators to have wiggle room) points out, that won’t stop the operators from trying to minimize their principal’s losses.

The stage has been set for the emergence, Ricky Carandang says, of the new Garcillanos of our times.

Amando Doronila sets the scene for the next few days:

From the early returns, the expected sweep by the administration’s machine has not been taking place in the Visayan provinces, in regions where President Arroyo polled heavily in 2004 to wipe off her deficits in Metro Manila and Luzon. Early returns reported by Catholic Church-based quick-count centers in the provinces of Cebu, Iloilo, Capiz, Antique, Leyte and Eastern Samar put the opposition senatorial candidates in more than half of the Senate seats.

The returns from Mindanao tell a different story in a region where the machine was showing its muscle, with an early 12-0 result for TU in Maguindanao province. Mindanao is being watched closely as it was the region, where, according to the Virgilio Garcillano tapes, tampering of the results allegedly took place to enable the President to win the election in Mindanao.

Garcillano, who ran for Congress in the first district of Bukidnon province as an independent, has conceded defeat. Roilo Golez has won a landslide in Parañaque City for the opposition. These are among the tell-tale signs of rejection of the regime, casting doubt on the claim of an even bigger majority in the House and a sweep of local offices. More surprises cannot be ruled out.

Doronila also mentions the problems foreign observers are causing: and their comments, already quite uncomplimentary, keep coming in.

Also, Doronila is on to something the Inquirer editorial points out: that the Palace tried two very specific things: to win in the senate and to eliminate high-profile congressmen who featured in the impeachment. I’ve started putting together a list of elected congressmen which attempts to answer the following questions:

1. What will be the party composition of the House in the 14th Congress?
2. How many congressional races were Lakas vs. Kampi fights? What’s the batting average of either party?
3. How did the high-profile pro-impeachment congressmen do?
05162007Tally1
The data above is based on information posted on the Eleksyon 2007 site, and culled from blogs focusing on the local races. Here’s the information as it stands: if anyone wants to help fill it out, or can suggest a more useful set of information to include, let me know:
Congress2007
So see the database I’ve put together, above. This early on, the main point involves question number three: and it’s a resounding defeat for an administration unable to crush the pro-impeachment congressmen.

The news also suggests that there are high-profile local races the administration lost, most notably, Manila (and of course, Makati City). See Torn & Frayed for his reading of why Lim won.

In the punditocracy, Raul Pangalanan tries to analyze what the Trillanes-Honasan vote means.
Overseas, The Economist writes Tony Blair’s political obituary; Anne Applebaum tries to understand what kind of a man he is; Geoffrey Wheatcroft tries to answer why the Brits dislike Blair so.

History Unfolding says the Surge in Iraq is failing. Timothy Noah says: good riddance, Jerry Falwell.

On another note, na(g)wawala recounts what it was like to cover the close of Abang Mabulo’s campaign vs. Dato Arroyo.

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  1. Gloria is trying to frame the election as an overwhelming victory for her coalition and an unequivocal endorsement of her regime.

    The real frame is how did her chosen ones do against opposition stalwarts in local races. How did pro-impeachment incumbents do? That’s the question Gloria is avoiding because the answer will might embolden incoming congressmen to take a more independent stance.

    It’s also worth noting that Alfredo Lim finished off his campaign with an endorsement from Erap, a direct slap on Gloria’s face,

  2. MB,

    Even without the endorsement of Erap, Lim would win the Manila mayoralty race.

    He was my former boss and I know how he is well loved by the Manilans.

    Sheesh, mo alam mga ginawa ni Lim sa Manila and you do not know how he works as a public servant.

  3. Cat,

    Parang di pumasok yun sagot ko sa iyo. nedyo mahaba yun so eto mas maikli.

    Kung di kailangan ni Lim ang endorsement ni Erap bakit sa last weeks ng kampanya niya ay nagpalabas sta ng TV commercials na tinataas ni Erap ang kamat niys. Anu yun magtapon lang si Lim ng pera?

    Ang point ng comment ko ay isang malaking sampal kay Gloria na yun bata niya ay tinapon sa kangkungan nang kandidatong ipinagmalaki ang closeness niya kay Erap. Yan ang harapin mong katotohanan!

  4. There’s no question that votes for the opposition (especially for Trillanes and Honasan) were protest votes against Gloria Arroyo. It validates the surveys that show she is unloved by many Filipinos.

  5. an observation and a question:

    i’ve seen the media and a lot of people out there say that the character of this election’s voting (meaning the apparent breakdown of the ‘machinery’) is proof that the general populace is more discerning, more careful, with their vote.

    is this the case, or did the opposition play the underdog card to the hilt and had just merely won the sentiment of the masses? we’re the promises of the GO bets simply sweeter? or is this vote a signal of the awakening of a deeper level of political consciousness?

  6. Tonio, usually such questions are answered by history. There are still a lot of unknowns as to why things happened as they did in the most recent past.

    To MLQ3, whatever it was that you did, thank you. I could post comments again and am enjoying it!

  7. “In other words, to be on my list, one had to show a commitment to democracy, warts and all. As far as I am concerned, living under any form of authoritarianism is far worse than living under a flawed democracy.” Solita C. Monsod

    This woman professor seems to be confused by her own words.
    Command votes, killings and disappearances.

    The official canvass for the Senators will be handled by a man named Abalos & Co.. A 9-1-2 NCR can very easily become 5-6-1 Nationally. A swing of 4-5 names at the bottom.

    Will it be credible?

    Recto, Zubiri, Pichay and Defensor are all lined up in 13th-15th place in the Namfrel count. All within striking distance. Honasan, Cayetano, Trillanes and Pimentel are settling in at 9-12th place.

    Will someone fix this horse race? Will Defensor give way to Honasan? Enrile, Honasan’s godfather is an old hand at counting votes in Mindanao.

    Less than 20% of the vote have been tallied by Namfrel. 72 hours past the close of voting. This is going to be an interesting race to 100%.

    Esperon will have to salute the civilian Senator Trillanes. I have my doubts.

    But that young man has raised goosebumps. People can make miracles happen. The power of communication technology projected and multiplied awareness of his act of self sacrifice. He has won already.

    This is the formula for myth making. Someone should advise him about his wardrobe.

  8. In fairness, i do not remember sweet promises from the GO candidates. At the most, sabi lang ni Chiz siya ang magiging boses ng mamamayan sa senado. Hindi niya sinabing tutuparin niya ang pangarap ng mga tao. Cong Pichay said taht. Does he know kung ano ang pangarap ng mga tao? If he wins kaya niya kayang sabihin din na di siya sang ayon sa mga garapalang sistema ng kasalukuyang administrasyon? Hindi ba malaking sampal talaga sa pangulo na si Pacquiao na talagang intuo para laban si Darlene ay na KO? Si Cesar na nanahimik ay kinaldkad sa politika samantalang puwede naman itong tumulong na sa sambayanan na di na kailangan maging senador. Akala ko ba ‘di mainam na ang mga artista ay mag ambisyon na maging senador? Bakit kinailangan nila ang isang Cesar Montano? Para ipakita sa tao na dinudumog ang TU sa mga rallies? Napagod din si Vic at Joey sa kakakampanya kay Tito sa EB. Bumaba tuloy ang ratings. Natalo ni Willie Revillame.

    The gesture of the Atienzas must be taken note of by other administration member losers. nahihirapan lang talaga ang mga matitinong tao na sumalungat outright dahil sa abot ng kanilang reasoning ay baka mahirapan sila for the sake of their constituents kung kontra admin. Pero kailangang ipakita din sa admin ang kanilang pagkakamali, whatever it takes. Kaunting sakripisyo lang para sa bayan.

  9. I can’t provide proofs, but I believe the table is set for a massive cheating exercise in favor of admin candidates because Gloria has to cover all her bases. I will be very happy if proven wrong though.

  10. MLQ3,

    Salamat po tabi sa impormasyon na nabigay niyo. Pwede po magrequest? Napansin ko lang kasi na masyado ang diin sa eleksyon at sa mga kandidato. Pero nitong eleksyon, sa aking pagboto at maski sa bilangan, kapansinpansin yung maraming mga teachers na ampapayat, parang mga malnourished. Baka naman pwede kang makapagsulat tungkol sa kanila para maparating ang kanilang sitwasyon sa kinauukulan at sa mas maraming tao. Salamat tabi.

    Tonio,

    Doon po sa amin, marami ang bumoto ng GO at ayon sa tinutumbok ng pangungusap mo ay baka may “awakening” nga. Pero mahigit kalahati ng botante ay ibinoto sa lokal yung mga namili ng boto. Kung iisipin mo e dapat mas hindi sila nagpapadala sa lokal dahil mas malapit yun sa kanila pero ganun pa rin ang gawi nila.

    Sa aking palagay, walang awakening, kundi dual na personalidad na makikita sa marami nating kababayan. Kaya ganun ang boto nila sa nasyunal e dahil masyadong malayo yung at wala silang masyadong pakialam duon. Pero iba sa lokal. Parang ganito lang yun, e, pag ibang tao ang kawatan sa gobyerno nakikita agad ang kamalian at galit tayo; pero kapag kamaganakan, e ibang usapan yan.

  11. In fairness, i do not remember sweet promises from the GO candidates.

    At least 2 (Chiz and Alan Peter) promised something sweet: no more new taxes. GMA and her cohorts are probably poised to impose new ones on us real soon instead of collecting the old taxes more efficiently–and by more efficiently, read: nothing goes to kurakot.

  12. tagasulung:

    thanks. i guess it’s true. the national race is so far away from the daily experience of many of our countrymen. and in every election, it’s our public school teachers that bear the lion’s share of the crap.

    soledad:

    then was GO’s “hook” the opportunity to stick it to the Arroyo administration? their tagline after all is “isang boto laban sa nakaupo.”

    jon:

    true, these are questions best left for history to answer.

  13. Natumbok mo Jeg. Naalala niyo yung national treasurer na nagresign bago mag-eleksyon? Sumakit siguro yung ulo nun sa kung saan kukunin ang pera matapos lustayin sa eleksyon ng nasa pwesto kaya ayun, nagbitaw na lang yung mama. Para talagang back to da pyuture of 2004. Binangkrapt ang ‘pinas kaya nagka-VAT, pero ayun, namamayagpag pa rin si Mr. VATman. Ano na naman kayang tax ang isasabatas nila ngayon?

  14. it’s just lame, really. no one will ever admit defeat because they’ve set their minds into thinking that their opponents have cheated. and indeed, some politicians do resort to cheating. if we had an honest elections, no one would even dare question the system, much more have a 12-0 win by team unity in Maguindanao with chavit singson at the top.

  15. MB,

    Eto ang mas masakit na sampal: “Esperon will have to salute the civilian Senator Trillanes.” ni hvrds.

  16. so what’s next? will the philippines be any better now that we have a new set of senators?

  17. so what’s next? will the philippines be any better now that we have a new set of senators?

    Is the counting finished?

  18. Eto ang mas masakit na sampal: “Esperon will have to salute the civilian Senator Trillanes.” ni hvrds.

    Is he already a senator? If ever he wins, he will realize that to survive in Congress, one has to be a politician.

  19. Cat is so right, kaya hindi pa tapos ang laban (kahit manalo man ang opposition sa election).

  20. But seriously, what has Escudero done other than cite blinding flashes of the obvious?

    >Dapat ibaba ang presyo!

    >Bawasan ang buwis!

    Yada Yada. Escudero’s campaign was based on sheer rhetoric.

  21. benj,
    that’s simply promises without substance. been in few elections campaign, and if a party campaign on promises, they will be supported by action plans of how it should be done, complete with timetable, and the source of financing, either raising the base tax, cutting expenditures somewhere or incurring deficits. otherwise the voters will tell the candidates where to go…

  22. @ Tagasulung,

    Hapit na hapit ang analisis mo tungkol sa mga gawi ng mga botante sa lokal. Hindi pa rin o hindi na siguro maaaring magbabago. Alala ko pa yung islogan nuong panahon ni Cory, “Ang pera sa bulsa, ang boto sa balota”, pero ala pa rin, hindi kumagat. Iba na talaga ang usapan kapag pera pera. Akala mo nga sa tinagal tagal ng kanilang paghihirap at sa dami ng mga progresibong elementong nakakasalamuha eh magkakaroon ng pagkamulat. Mukhang malabong magkaroon ng pagbabago kapag isinalalay mo lang sa ordinaryong taumbayan at eleksyon.

  23. On na(g)wawala’s coverage of the polls in Bicol,

    The first district of Camarines Sur is purportedly Red country, one should expect the citizens there to be more critical and will think twice about Dato Arroyo. Of course, one might argue about the heavily militarized environment weighing on the people’s ability to think independently but then the same situation can be said about the fourth district of Quezon which is a next door neighbor to the north and which has Erin Tanada for congressman. The irony is that the scion of a tradpol family will be peeping windows with someone who hails from an illustrious progressive and nationalist political lineage

  24. Ito naman si cat akala mo e may talagang alam sa buhay sa congress. Umarya kana naman, yung buhay mo muna asikasuhin mo.

  25. Just some quick thoughts on the comments above:

    1. neither congress nor its members constitute a magic wand, though there are some things a shift in power in congress can accomplish (the examples here and abroad are endless). there are some articles on the economy i linked to, for example, that show the past 20 years have done a lot to wean big business from over-dependence and over-involvement in presidential politics, which is why businessmen can make themselves scarce during elections. the political culture doesn’t necessarily adopt as quickly, which is why the problem now is that politicians look to gambling and drug money to finance campaigns.

    2. i am uncomfortable with saying people are voting “more wisely,” people vote, and i think people essentially vote on their likes and dislikes, and their pocketbook and when dealing with large voting populations (nationally, for example) they also vote communal values, that is, in some ways more idealistically and less pragmatically than they vote locally, perhaps. politics like any human activity is subject to fashions and showbiz candidates losing has many explanations: the era of the big stars with massive drawing power has long passed, the novelty of showbiz candidates better able to communicate than politicians stuck in the balagtasan mode of public address has waned, politicians themselves have become better (more modern, effective) communicators, and there’s trial and error involved. if the showbiz phenomenon began in the 50s and peaked in 1998, inevitably it had to give way to something else. part of it of course is the change in demographics: a very young population won’t remember marcos, the premartial law politicians, and those politicians themselves are dying off. again, we’re in a kind of state of flux, i believe, in terms of what kind of leadership can have mass appeal or even the forms mass appeal is expressed -we could even debate whether the era of mass appeal has passed and its replacement is selectively targeting different constituencies (john nery has some ideas on this, and points to chiz escudero as an example to examine).

    3. garcification has been well documented by pcij and newsbreak. the fpj people have put together some extremely interesting documentaries that alas, were never aired but make for fascinating viewing: as i mentioned not so long ago, it took them three years to figure out the pre-garci cheating; the garci part was the clumsiest and easiest to uncover; the more sophisticated operations involving disenfranchisement and vote-padding and shaving in luzon and the visayas required something similar to forensic accounting.

    4. i’ve also commented elsewhere that you only have to remember what society was like during martial law to realize how much freer we, as a people, are, and taking those freedoms for granted is part of that change, and while a lot of it includes disappointment in what’s happened since, it’s extremely shallow (and innacurate) indeed to simply say nothing’s changed or that it’s changed for the worst. we’ve changed, period, for the better and for the worst, though i think there remains a tremendous amount to be excited about: again, as i said, the old obediences are going and i don’t know if there’s much to miss in those old obediences, nostalgia aside. it’s messier, more difficult, but i think we’re on the verge of a bigger change in our national mores than at any other time since the propaganda movement. what’s frustrating is that short-term peace is being demanded for some, instead of the painful shock treatments we need, including demanding accountability from the president, regardless of whatever virtues she may have (and like any person and leader, she has virtues of course, but she’s embarked on a course markedly divergent even from her own best instincts, such as she had them).

    5. standard & poor’s did not give the credit rating upgrade and for the reasons i and many other commentators were pointing out even before the elections. the shell game doesn’t work anymore. the president has too many political bills to pay, and no political capital to get the bureaucracy to perform -why should they, when the president has made herself immune from accountability, so why should anyone else be held accountable? smuggling is rampant, so why shouldn’t customs people simply go on the take and not remit to the state?

  26. Garci lost to Acosta, Pacquiao lost to Custodio, Lapid lost to Binay, Genuino lost to Binay, Atienza lost to Lim, Dy lost to Trinidad, Puno lost to Biazon, and now Pineda and Lapid lose to Panlilio.

    TURN THE VOLUME ALL THE WAY UP!!!

    “Another one bites the dust
    Another one bites the dust
    And another one gone, and another one gone
    Another one bites the dust
    Hey, I’m gonna get you too
    Another one bites the dust”

  27. And in the Senate race,

    “We will, we will rock you
    “We will, we will rock you”

  28. And in Malacanang they are singing….what else?

    “And now, the end is near;
    And so I face the final curtain….”

  29. The big difference in the last election was the Roman Catholic Church.

    PPCRV showed that action speaks louder than voice.

  30. I am eager to see good governance in Pampanga now that Fr. Panlilio is proclaimed the winner.

  31. mlq3, i am from the era of what you call “old obediences” and contrary to your description, we had a more ordered society – heroes were real heroes whom we honored, and scoundrels and wrongdoers were mostly where they belonged, in a world of shame, if not in jail. We respected our elders and our leaders, and when we pledged our allegiance to our flag and venerated our God, we usually meant it.

    With fewer exceptions, we made our living the old fashioned way – through hard and honest work. In short, we, for the most part, valued and observed time-honored principles and virtues.

    Somewhere along the way, the “old” values lost thir ground, and had to give way to modernism and other isms, including ultra-liberal permissiveness, that all but destroyed the values we hold dear. Our world, as we knew it, had been turned upside down.

    I believe, though, that everything in the universe is in constant motion, never static, and life is like a pendulum that sways in both directions. In time, our lost way of life will come back in all its glory.

  32. Demographics aside(Gen-X ers are now populating both local and national seats), we can also attribute the preponderance of the new media (cellphones, the Net) and the “immediacy” of government (Senate proceedings live on TV, political gossip transmitted through txt) to the changing political landscape. There may be tradpol holdouts as evidenced by reports of massive votebuying, nevertheless, people’s perceptions on governance are now changing.

    Noted Jesuit thinker Wilmer Ong postulated that changes in information technology affects changes in human behavior. We are now witnessing the sunset of passive participation where we see the the people as captive audience in whatever antics the popular media/mash/political machinery throw at them (think vaudeville). Nowadays, people are more inquisitive, particularly those who have access to the internet. People want to know more. Juxtapose the a picture of a man on a lazy boy surfing the TV to a picture of a man digging and sifting through layers and layers of information on a networked computer. We are in the transition between the two, from an acquiescent recipient of policy to an involved and active polity.

    Because of this, it is important to remember Michel Foucault who says that power is not necessarily aggregated to one sector in society but, like information, is dispersed throughout. Perhaps the next best step for the coming generation is to harness the linking capability of the new technology, share power and information, and forge new alternatives to immediate and future adversities.

    By then, Garci will be as obsolete as a furry mammoth.

  33. bencard your generation invented “Makapili”.

    We don’t need our lost way of life, we need to evolve to survive.

  34. I just read your article “Malacañang’s alternate reality”…

    Well written, and great overall point on the Administration’s attempt to thwart off negative news after another…

    She’s in the denial stage. (Or still expecting the machinery to pull off some upsets?)

  35. Hello!

    I think it’s not denial. Expect her “machinery” to work wonders with the election results in the remaining days of the canvassing.

    I will not be surprised if Pichay and Defensor will make it to the bottom of the Magic 12. That is after all the administration machinery (cheating machine) at work.

  36. The struggle for freedom and democracy are a constant struggle.

    Power will always attmept to create and define reality. Adam Smith said that apart from money being one of the most important technolgical breakthroughs of man, writing ranks up there as well.

    The printing press, microwave transmissions and finally the digital revolution gives everyone a leg up on the power structure.

    But still the powers that be insist on being the absolute lords of the manor.

    Nixon Rides Again
    It’s only Illegal when the President Agrees it’s Illegal.
    http://www.slate.com/id/2166589/
    http://www.slate.com/id/2166468/

    The rationalization process for declaring questionable votes has begun. Nothing is illegal unless Abalos says it is illegal.

    If they are doing it in the U.S. the Phils is a snap.

  37. I hope may kaunti pang kahihiyan at konsiensiya ang mga mandarambong. Mabuti at masama ayon sa taya ng administrasyon, ang mamamayan pa rin ang namimili ng gusto nilang liderato at di dapat pakialaman ang desisyon na ito.

  38. Ito naman si cat akala mo e may talagang alam sa buhay sa congress. Umarya kana naman, yung buhay mo muna asikasuhin mo.

    So what’s wrong with my personal life?

  39. The biggest thing this election has proven is this:
    you can’t save a nation who doesn’t want or isn’t yet ready to be saved, and that people like Dr. Martin Bautista are more of a hero and a person to be idolized than intellectuals and “talkers” like MLQ3.

    Don’t get me wrong Manolo. I idolize you. From the way you present your views, to how erudite you seem to be. But “genius” talk with no action is shown up to be just lame when people like Martin and Fr. Ed (who are nowhere near Manolo’s intellectual capacity) show up and step to the plate with nothing more than the genuine desire to “take action” and bet on the people.

    We have multitudes spewing rethorics, only a genuine few taking the hard path. The hardest thing of all is to “walk the talk.”

    We have no shortage of honest people with good intentions. Only a shortage of them wanting to sacrifice their private life to serve the public.

    The real problem is that the Filipino people are not given many “good” options. If they are, we see them proving that they are more than up to the task of being “wise” voters.

  40. you can’t save a nation who doesn’t want or isn’t yet ready to be saved, and that people like Dr. Martin Bautista are more of a hero and a person to be idolized than intellectuals and “talkers” like MLQ3.

    How can a christian fundamentalist who spent 20 years abroad be a hero? Bautista has disillusioned a lot of people.

  41. I’m not sure if guilt-tripping Manolo into running for public office will be more effective than Edwin Lacierda’s proposed guerilla campaign the other day. Mlq3’s entry into the Senate (or any political office) would be a great boon for representative democracy but will also be a loss for direct democracy (i.e. his blogging and other advocacies) so i’m not sure if it would be a net gain or loss.

    I think Martin Bautista is both a christian fundamentalist and a hero. Even Hezbollah can contribute to nation building. He can do without the messianic rhetoric though as it rubs people the wrong way. No one is that good.

  42. “How can a christian fundamentalist who spent 20 years abroad be a hero?”

    – the same way Rizal did. It isn’t the spending abroad that defines a person’s “unhero-ability” (as Rizal proved when the larger part of his life was spent abroad) but the coming back and offering oneself to his nation that proves his heroism (as Rizal proved when he decided to come back, even though he knew he’d be prosecuted and probably killed for his “advocacies”)

    “Bautista has disillusioned a lot of people.”

    – I don’t know where you got that “lot of people,” but if I and the others I read about are any indication, then Bautista inspired more than he disillusioned. In fact, Bautista’s action got me into thinking: reklamo tayo ng reklamo sa masamang pagpapalakad sa atin, pero wala naman tayong ginagawa. Why don’t we start by involving ourselves actively? Perhaps come next elections, we’ll see less of those “unopposed candidacies” and see more “ordinary individuals” challenging the trapos running for office.

    “I’m not sure if guilt-tripping Manolo into running for public office will be more effective than Edwin Lacierda’s proposed guerilla campaign the other day. Mlq3’s entry into the Senate (or any political office) would be a great boon for representative democracy but will also be a loss for direct democracy (i.e. his blogging and other advocacies) so i’m not sure if it would be a net gain or loss.”

    – I’m not jz guilt-tripping Manolo. I’m guilt-tripping everyone. And I don’t think his entry into public office would signal the demise of his advocacies. It doesn’t follow that if you become a public official, you have to give up your advocacy. You are even more in a position to strengthen it, and spread the word when you are elected into office.
    And btw, I don’t think Manolo would be largely effective in the Senate (or the House). The framework of our government is such that collective idiocies (like the senate and the house) do little to make an impact in the everyday life of Filipinos. After all, what is there to lawmaking if the laws aren’t being enforced? The power, as always, resides in the local gov’t. A good and honest politician who is determined to improve his city will be able to (as proven by Robredo), regardless of who sits in Malacanang. In fact, the focus of the “other” opposition (those outside Erap’s circle) should’ve been to field local candidates to all cities nationwide, and I’m sure we would’ve seen the people vote them all into office. That would’ve rendered GMA a sure lame duck. As she and her cohorts would then have lost that vaunted “grass-roots” they keep talking about.

    If even just enough cities start having politicians like Robredo, then the people would slowly realize that their dream of being lifted out of poverty lies in public officials who doesn’t only patronize through money, but in public officials who will be an exemplary one, in thought, action, and example. There would be a domino effect, as people in neighboring cities would see the good things happening near their fence, and envy that city for having that kind of mayor. They would then aspire to have the same kind of thing, and sooner than you know, would demand the same thing from their leaders.

  43. Cat, you tell us. binulgar mo na yan noon, diba? paawa o patawag pansin? 😉

  44. On Martin Bautista:

    I admire martin bautista kasi matagal na niyang ambition na sumali sa politics at pinangatawanan niya, pero hero?

    agree ako kay benj. nawala si martin ng maraming taon tapos bumalik at gustong makisermon. Pero mas mabuti na yan kay bencard at cat na dada ng dada pero nasa amerika at di naman naaapekto ng naghihirap sa pinas.

  45. devilsadvc8, i take your point on the need to focus on local races and i think that was the idea behind the black and white movement’s campaign for selected candidates for the house during the recent elections. However, ignoring our ‘collective idiocies’ does not mean that they will go away. After all, it is the long arm of the Arroyos that have recently caused trouble for Robredo in places like Naga. Without effective opposition at the national level, impunity has a way of catching on and catching up at the local level.

    On having more people like Martin Bautista run for public office, i agree which is why i voted for him. I also fully subscribe to your last paragraph, but i think we are missing an intermediate step. We need to remember the recent experience with EDSA Dos. That was Civil Society’s first attempt at taking power and governing and see where that has led us. The entry of civil society members into the State has had a double negative effect in that it has led to loss in momentum in the advocacies of those on the outside and has corrupted a lot of those remained on the inside. The people in government whom we are fighting now are the same ones who had high ideals back then. Civil Society has a finite amount of energy and i believe that we were more effective in the public sphere rather than within the institutions of the State. Let’s concentrate on improving our ability to discipline those who are on the inside before we dream of taking over wholesale. A good start would be to rid ourselves of the ‘let’s move on’ mentality.

  46. Cat, you tell us. binulgar mo na yan noon, diba? paawa o patawag pansin?

    Wala ka na naman bang masabi kaya pati buhay ko pinakikialaman mo. Kalalaki mong tao. Sa forum na ito alam mo ang makitid ang utak.

    O mag-exercise ka para madagdagan ang utak mo.

    Pag pikon, nagiging mababa pa sa ahas na gumagapang sa lupa.

  47. Mga bobo lang ang hindi makakaunawa sa relasyon ng mga pulitiko sa Kongreso. Hindi ka makakapagpapasa ng bill kung walang approval ang iba. Kaya kahit sabihin mo pang independiente ka, kailangang isusuko mo pa rin ang iyong idealismo para maipapasa mo ang isang batas.
    Ayan isalaksak mo sa utak mo yan realist. Para magkaroon ng laman kahit kaunti.

  48. Cat, you tell us. binulgar mo na yan noon, diba? paawa o patawag pansin?

    Nang ibinulgar ba ni MLQ3 ang kaniyang tunay na kasarian, may karapatan ka bang sabihan siya tungkol sa kaniyang buhay. I was making a point when I revealed a little about myself. At ano naman amg ikahihiya ko doon Realist? Ano ang dapat kong ayusin sa buhay ko?

    Ikaw, duwag, nakatago sa alias mong realist. Lowlife.

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