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Can the President afford to "move on"?
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on May 23, 2007 101 Comments 5 min read
The Long View: Ceasefire? Previous The Long View: Machinery gave up the ghost Next

Peso at 45.87! Yesterday, protests greeted President’s visit to Japan.

Speaker de Venecia back in triumph, backed by enlarged administration coalition. Question: if he had leverage over the President prior to 2007, post-2007, is she his hostage or is he now her hostage?

AFP Chief of Staff will launch anti-tentacle campaign.

Comelec doesn’t want media doing its own counting. Top eight senators might be proclaimed soon. Businessmen want cheating investigated. As Philippine Experience puts it, the phrase of the day is “clerical error.”

Fascinating account of cyber war aimed against the government attempted in Estonia.

In the punditocracy: My Arab News column for today is Can Arroyo Afford to Move On? I doubt it.

The Inquirer editorial looks at a suggestion from El Shaddai’s Mike Velarde, which the Palace has already rejected. But even before that news came out the editorial was already skeptical of a lull in the fighting:

Early signs aren’t promising. The President sat down with members of the Federation of Chinese-Filipino Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and her Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila asked them to pass on a patronizing message to incoming senators.

“It’s like fathers telling their children: ‘I’ve given you your allowance because I wanted you to do these things. Now if you don’t do them, you won’t have an allowance,'” Favila said. He hinted further: “They could say, ‘We don’t need (politicking) now. The elections are over. The people have spoken and we should accept the results. Let’s get our act together for our country’s future.'”

But it begins, as Velarde says, with the President herself accepting the public’s verdict at the polls: Only when she accepts political reality can others contemplate cooperation. If Favila is any sign of the President’s thinking, then she’s off to squander her reprieve: she has put the political cart before the horse. And if she does that, then can the public — never mind the new senators, who take their cue from public opinion — be anything but skeptical? As it is, the voice of the Palace remains that of Tonypet Albano screaming of “machinery” and “command votes” — even after the election is over.

Amando Doronila says the “scale of the national rejection of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration has unfolded with shocking intensity,” something he was skeptical would happen, but that the most troubling thing is the refusal of the Palace to see reality:

First, the Senate results are a more accurate measure of the scale of the electoral disaster suffered by the administration as well as of the national mood of rejection than the local polls. The Senate election funneled the overarching grievances nationwide, which were distorted by the more parochial issues in the House and local elections. Therefore, the local elections are not a reliable indicator of a fresh mandate for or a vote of confidence in the administration.

Second, attempts to distort or alter the Senate election results by tampering with the returns in certain regions, especially in Maguindanao, tend to scuttle President Arroyo’s efforts to use the midterm polls as her last chance to repair her presidency’s legitimacy, which has been battered by the Garci tapes scandal.

Already, the mounting reports from independent poll watch groups of blatant election cheating in Mindanao appear to have undermined the President’s battle to regain legitimacy, which is the underlying issue of this election. She appears to have already lost this battle.

Third, although the President has tried to downgrade the message of the 8-2-2 result with the business-as-usual stance, the denial syndrome has revealed, even more strikingly than she cared to admit, that she is deeply troubled by the magnitude of the administration’s defeat in the Senate election. In an incredible display of escapism, she has built a wall of unreality around her.

Manuel Buencamino thinks “the battle of the frames” is continuing:

To survive until 2010, Mrs. Arroyo must convince her followers to stay united behind her. She has to make them forget their recent animosities and power struggles.

In order to do that, she must give them a common enemy-oversight and checks and balances-and a common cause-a shift to a unicameral parliament. Unfortunately, doing that won’t be as easy as it was before the election.

The election revealed a kink in what, over the last two years, seemed like an impenetrable shield of power and good luck protecting Mrs. Arroyo. The election proved once and for all what surveys have been saying all along: Mrs. Arroyo enjoys very little public support.

And so, Mrs. Arroyo’s “overwhelming-victory” statement was meant not so much for the opposition who, anyway, will not stop until all their unanswered questions are answered; it was meant for her followers.

Mrs. Arroyo knows danger lies not in enemies smelling weakness but in followers beginning to doubt their leader’s strength. Doubts cause desertions.

In the blogosphere, The Lonely Vampire Chronicles runs down the list of the President’s political options.

Torn & Frayed asks if a priest’s election violates the separation of church & state (if we follow American practice, the answer is no; I believe Rep. Amante in Manila is a Protestant minister).

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  1. Bencard, look beyond your “pain” and think of it this way: Who said our worth as an individual needs to be tied to our ethnic origin? If being a Pinoy causes you pain, then simply cut off the cancer. If it causes you pride, then piggyback on this pride.

    The reality is this: There is nothing about the Philippines that we can *objectively* be proud of.

    The concept of “being Filipino” is a stupid concept. In fact, most of us understand more about what it means to be “Ilocano” or “Cebuano” than what it means to be “Filipino”.

    In the free world, we are entitled to our individual identities. If we choose to determine our worth in this world on the basis of our ethnic origins (or our belonging to an artificially-created “nation”), then we will always be “pained” by the collective failure of our “nation” to prosper. Life’s too short for that.

    Lots of people in the free world fought and died to uphold the whole idea that one’s ethnic origins need not be a hindrance to achieving one’s personal objectives and, more importantly, to determining one’s own self-worth.

  2. benigno said: Westerns are relatively intolerant of even the smallest instance of dishonesty…

    Obviously, you must live in the part of the western world that is isolated from reality, where politician, including the current Bush Administration spew out heavenly and truthful words… And you probably believe that Bush also won the Florida vote count… hmmm.. maybe you’re just thinking to yourself that you live in the western world??

    Each country at the moment is facing some sort of dishonesty from their own government, it’s not that it’s a cultural thing, maybe we could look deeper and ask ourselves if it’s an all too human fact inherent in society itself, and that it is also inherent in a society to referee bad elements that is causing it to fail…

    And I ask you, since when are we not to voice out against an institution grounded on cheating? It may be popular, but who said it was wrong?

    The weak say, “oh well, everything is going down the drain..” … dude..

  3. “All the accusations you have against GMA have never been substantiated in any proper forum. Time and again we have been telling that if you have the goods, why – go get her by using the rule of law and the requirements of due process.” – Bencard

    Precisely, we want GMA to face impeachment because that’s the proper forum where the charges against her can be substantiated. Precisely, we want to use the rule of law and comply with the requirements of due process. But what has she been doing? She has been doing everything in her power to evade the process, with a little help from the likes of you, Bencard.

    So, why not impeachment? Why is it such a dirty word to you? If she really is clean and innocent, what is she afraid of? What do you make of an accused who wants to escape trial? Probably guilty, di ba? Lawyer Bencard?

  4. “Poor guys from the Kapatiran did not realize that they were moving against the natural forces of nature (by the way, this phrase is redundant) – the market. Morality has no place in the market place. We have almost completed the commoditization of the electoral process down to the official canvassing. Manufactured canvass reports. They do it in the light of day with full impunity.” hvrds

    “Natural” only in the sense that the market is anchored on the baser instincts of man, principally “greed” or “avarice”. But man has a higher nature. I would hate to think that my whole life, every aspect of it, should be governed by the rules of the marketplace. No, I refuse to wallow in the filthy pits of greed and selfishness.

    The struggle for the promotion of the common good is a struggle to rise above man’s baser nature, a struggle to lift him up to his moral stature that differentiates him from the common animal. It is the struggle of those “poor guys from the Kapatiran”.

  5. not in all instances and not even in most instances. on a sustained basis, perhaps, that’s the problem, you only have to recall how willie parayno shook up, and made them shape up, at customs and not so long ago, either.

    efficiency in many government offices has actually improved, too. anbd people in many areas, like along edsa, have learned to queue.

  6. BTW, Benigno, have you heard the song Pinoy Ako? I frequented this place called Baryo in Roosevelt Queens almost every weekend and the Pinoy band always sings this songs. Everybody seems to like and enjoys the song the song except me. I just dont like the song and i dont feel like singing it just to give an impression that I am nationalistic…. And last week end I was counting teh word “Pinoy” in most of the pinoy rock song, Geez do we really have to mentions the word “pinoy” over and over again in most of our songs? I dont see that in Japanese, Chinese, American songs. But look they are more nationalistics and even progressive that us.

  7. Shaman: Foolish that person who, being taunted with “… if you’re innocent, what are you to be scared of?”, volunteers to take a lie detector test or a DNA test. Foolish that person who, being taunted with “… if you’re innocent, what are you to be scared of?”, volunteers to be arraigned before a court, whether or not TV cameras are whirring.

    Do you not know how many innocent people have been convicted and tossed into jail?

  8. benign0:

    the points you made, despite their reception on this blog are nonetheless valid. i think that those who continue to tie themselves to ideas of nation, race, and ethnicity are bound to subsume any sort of individual sense of self-worth to some “greater whole”. it’s these kind of thoughts that underlie so much of the violence people to do each other all around the world, not just here in the Philippines. indeed, it is this “group-based myopia” that produces all of those “pilipinos” which you abhor so much.

    however, it’s that kind of thinking that will essentially doom this country.

    then again, you did vote with your feet. so whatever happens here is really none of your concern, right?

    but i suppose taking potshots from the comfort of your First World home is just so much fun, isn’t it?

  9. BenIGnO, for someone who has turned his back on the Philippines, who cannot find a single thing “objectively” good about the country, why still bother with us, at all? Maybe I know why. Because every time you look in the mirror, you don’t see an American or a European. You still see a Filipino. Deep in your heart, you know that you can never be mainstream American or mainstream European. No matter what you do, no matter how you try to prove your worth as a person, you’ll always be an alien in your Western milieu.

    Don’t be too harsh on your native land, on your people. Don’t be too harsh on yourself.

  10. UP n Student,

    So, should we now dispense with the idea of justice? Should we now abolish the courts? For what good are they if anybody can simply refuse to stand trial and get away with it?

    GMA says, “No, I don’t want to be tried for the charges against me.” And, in effect, you are saying, “Okay, I understand. It would be foolish of you if you do so.”

    Is that your ideal?

  11. Bencard said: “The national past time of blaming whoever is at the helm must stop. We all have to look inward for solution to our problems – to re-orient ourselves to overcome our unique frailties. Our individual thoughts, actions, aspirations, intentions and efforts make up the character of our nation.”

    So how should we solve these problems? Would it be better for us, as you suggested, that we just shut up now coz we don’t have the “evidence” or should we keep on searching and analyze more deeply these problems. Is that it, if nobody comes forward or nothing yet has been found out, we quit and stop digging? Are we concerned only to what is/are laid open upon us? Are we not concerned to whatever “mysteries” we might find if we dig deeper?

    As a parent, would you stop nagging your children to shape up just because you never caught them misbehaving? Will you only be concerned with what you will see or have seen with your own eyes? It is never wrong to persist on teaching to your children that “cheating” or doing bad things is wrong coz your intentions are pure and genuine and if ever one day you found out the real truth and comes out against you, you know to yourself you owe also a genuine and honest apology. But as long as your instinct tells you that something needs to be cleared you must pursue it. I wonder what our world would be like if all our policemen would behave like what you are saying.

  12. Shaman said: “No matter what you do, no matter how you try to prove your worth as a person, you’ll always be an alien in your Western milieu”

    Hmmm, if it smells like a crab, then it must be a crab…

    The fact is I *am* in fact an alien here. I make no pretensions about that. But you know what? That simply makes my situation all the more *real* to me. Once you accept that you are an alien trying to make it big in an adopted society, it makes you more readily embrace the reality that you *will* have to give *double* the effort of the natives to achieve and get ahead.

    Unfair that an alien has to work doubly hard? It certainly is. But then who said life was fair in the first place?

    Compare that to losers who *will not* accept the reality of their alien-ness and sit around whining about racism and unfair treatment. That’s where ghettoism has its roots. People hanging around their own kind, refusing to assimilate, and patting themselves on their backs for the achievements of the Lea Salongas of this world.

    Compare that also to Filipinos who work *triply* hard in the Philippines and get only one tenth of the compensation we in laid-back Aussieland get for their trouble. Now that’s even sadder.

  13. “Lots of people in the free world fought and died to uphold the whole idea that one’s ethnic origins need not be a hindrance to achieving one’s personal objectives and, more importantly, to determining one’s own self-worth.”

    I agree. But look at this the other way…

    http://bhapu.blogs.friendster.com/rendezvous_in_dreams/

    Let’s all sing!

    All we need is love… love, love, love.
    All we need is love!

  14. “Compare that also to Filipinos who work *triply* hard in the Philippines and get only one tenth of the compensation we in laid-back Aussieland get for their trouble. Now that’s even sadder.” -benignO

    That’s the reason why we will never tire in demanding of our leaders to do right by the people, to provide the servant-leadership that will create the necessary conditions that will enable our people to uplift their economic lives.

    Sure, the conditions in the country are harsh. That’s why you high-tailed it to Down Under (presumably unwilling to join the struggle to better the situation) to partake of the crumbs at the foot of the Aussies’ table. Big servings of crumbs, for sure, but crumbs just the same. Then you turn around and thumb your nose at those you’ve left behind. You shake your head because you find the situation sad.

    But that’s okay, it’s your choice and that’s the person you are. Just leave us to our strugglings.

  15. “But that’s okay, it’s your choice and that’s the person you are. Just leave us to our strugglings.”

    If that is the case then we should also leave other people who wanted to stick it out with Gloria , even just wanted to personally move on, those who wanted to change the the form of government, those who wanted to put up a commmist gov’t. Those who wanted leave the country.

    Then we should just stop this blog and the discussion!

  16. “Hmmm, if it smells like a crab, then it must be a crab…” – benignO

    No, I don’t envy your status. Personally, I’m doing just fine.

    In fact, I pity your situation, in some ways. I’ve recently come back from a 3-week vacation in Europe (which explains my long silence in this blog) and I know how “aliens” are “looked down on” in different subtle ways. Some natives would sit beside me on the train perhaps only because I was better-dressed than they were.

    So, I know how it is with “aliens”. Not to be envied, at all. Not to be “crabby” about. At least, not by me.

  17. Shaman said: “I know how “aliens” are “looked down on” in different subtle ways. Some natives would sit beside me on the train perhaps only because I was better-dressed than they were”

    Tsk tsk.

    You sentiment about the matter proves my point.

    When you get too caught up on your own perception of being “looked down on”, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    It’s a shame that the only thing you had to prop up your self-esteem there was your being “better dressed”. I would have thought you’d give yourself more credit than that. 😉

  18. shaman, i have no problem with your continued effort to impeach the president so long as you adhere to the process prescribed by the rules. My problem is the conclusive verdict by self-anointed judges in this blog that PGMA is “guilty” as though they have been handed the “truth” by some higher diety. The alleged issues against her would never be resolved unless her enemies get to see her convicted. Any other result would be unacceptable to them.

  19. benignO, my point is that the natives generally avoided “aliens”. I alluded to my being “better-dressed” and qualified it with “perhaps” only because they couldn’t see the real “me” inside.

    By the way, I was with my brother who has been an “alien” in Chicago for 30 years now. I noticed that he would always defer to the white natives even if he had the right of way in getting in or out of trains while I would assert my right (call me strong-willed). I was always getting ahead of him. I can’t say I envy him in that regard.

    I got to thinking about “alien” conditioned behavior. But I can’t generalize with just one observation, can I?

  20. Shaman said: “I noticed that he would always defer to the white natives even if he had the right of way in getting in or out of trains while I would assert my right (call me strong-willed).”

    Well good for you and tough luck for your brother then. 😉

  21. I said : “… Foolish that person who, being taunted with “… if you’re innocent, what are you to be scared of?”, volunteers to be arraigned before a court… Do you not know how many innocent people have been convicted and tossed into jail?”

    Shaman asks : “So, should we now dispense with the idea of justice? Should we now abolish the courts? For what good are they if anybody can simply refuse to stand trial and get away with it?”

    Shaman : the Philippines is a lot more sophisticated than you think. The Philippines has already defined the conditions that need to be fulfilled before a person will need to submit to a court trial.

  22. Thanks, Bencard, but I just have two problems:

    1. As we have witnessed in the last 2 years, the main rule applied was the tyranny of numbers, making it impossible for the process to progress.

    2. Because of GMA’s efforts to avoid impeachment at all costs, one got the feeling that she was trying to flee from justice. As you, lawyers, are wont to say, “Flight is a sign of guilt.” So, can you blame some people if they conclude that GMA is guilty? Can you blame them if they can no longer give her the benefit of the doubt?

    Let’s get the impeachment case to the Senate and I can assure you the people will accept the verdict, whatever it may be. I, for one, will do. Only then can the nation, not only GMA, move on.

  23. shaman, it is a fundamental rule of justice that a person accused is entitled to every legal means at her command to avoid conviction. It is true whether that person is an ordinary joe blow living in a shanty in tondo or the sitting president at malacanang. defending oneself is by no means “fleeing from justice”, it is submitting to the process and exercising his/her right to be presumed innocent, and invoking any established rule that would stop the prosecution, or presenting evidence that rebuts the accusation should the process reach that stage.

    our system of justice is adversarial in nature. you cannot expect, or consider just, one party to facilitate the success of the other party’s case – and that’s exactly what the oust-Gloria cabal wants because they have nothing, or could not or would not produce sufficient proof, to convict her.

  24. BenignO, it is not my being Pinoy tht causes me pain. I have been in the U.S. for the last 37 years, started as an “exile” from the Marcos’ totalitarianism (constitutional authoritarianism, kuno). Even as I see (mostly from a distance)what I thought was wrong with us as a distinct group, I never wavered in my pride of my Filipino heritage. I was born a Filipino, of Filipino parents, and no amount of fancy English, nose jobs and/or de-pigmentation of skin could change that. I live in an exclusive white neigborhood (and I did for the whole period that I was here) where my family and I are the only “colored” residents in our street. Our neigbors take us for what we are, Filipinos, and respect us as such. My children are american born and bred and attended “white” schools, but they are well grounded on Philippine culture and way of life, and are in no way ashamed of them. I am a member of the Bar of two States and practices in both but I never saw any need for me to pretend I am not Filipino.

    While I agree with you that there are countless undesirable traits hampering us from occupying a respectable place in the family of nations, I don’t reject my Filipino identity and I never would. It’s the only one I’ve got and I will contribute, however small, to any effort to make it better.

  25. Bencard said, “it is a fundamental rule of justice that a person accused is entitled to every legal means at her command to avoid conviction.”

    Yep, entitled to LEGAL means to defend herself. The problem is, GMA has time and again resorted to ILLEGAL means. Both EO 464 and Proc 1017 have been declared largely unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Her attempt to railroad charter change was also junked by the SC and called a “gigantic fraud.”

    She is using the vast powers of the presidency –and even powers that she doesn’t legally own– to prevent the judicial ball from rolling. She has used the tyranny of numbers to kill impeachment efforts, using the power of patronage and even bribing congressmen, as Rep. Eulogio Magsaysay has attested to.

    There are tons of credible, well-documented evidence against her. We all know about it. The problem is she is moving heaven and earth to prevent the evidence from reaching the proper legal forum — never mind the havoc that her self-preservation efforts are wreaking on the nation.

  26. ay-naku, i hate to be blunt about it but you obviously don’t know what you are talking about. EO 465 and Proc. # 17 were both LEGAL before the SC, the final arbiter, handed its decision. ask any lawyer you know, if you cannot buy it coming from me. In fact, any action of the President in matters heretofore not passed upon by the SC is valid and legal, unless shown to be palpably in violation of a clear mandate of the law – where there is no room for a reasonable interpretation to the contrary.

    Sorry, but your “tons of credible , well-documented evidence” amounts to nothing, yeah zip, if not properly presented and admitted in a proper forum before a competent arbiter of fact and law.

    Havoc? What havoc? Just read the business news, watch the stock market, foreign exchange, real estate boom and mushrooming inrastructure projects around you. Need I say more?

  27. before you pounce on me and think you are smarter, i mean EO 464 (wrong key).

  28. Havoc? What havoc? Just read the business news, watch the stock market, foreign exchange, real estate boom and mushrooming inrastructure projects around you. Need I say more?”” – Bencard

    You also have to measure the human costs, specifically those who have been killed or disappeared. However, since you seem to think in purely economic terms, you might be interested to know that manufacturing output for March fell by 7.6 percent as measured by the National Statistics Office (and reported in the Inquirer).

  29. xxx it is a fundamental rule of justice that a person accused is entitled to every legal means at her command to avoid conviction. It is true whether that person is an ordinary joe blow living in a shanty in tondo or the sitting president at malacanang. defending oneself is by no means “fleeing from justice”, it is submitting to the process and exercising his/her right to be presumed innocent, and invoking any established rule that would stop the prosecution, or presenting evidence that rebuts the accusation should the process reach that stage.

    our system of justice is adversarial in nature. you cannot expect, or consider just, one party to facilitate the success of the other party’s case – and that’s exactly what the oust-Gloria cabal wants because they have nothing, or could not or would not produce sufficient proof, to convict her.

    Following the broadcast admission of “lapse in judgment,” a huge dose of serious explaining, in the larger context of the rule of law and public accountability, has remained with GMA. But she has chosen to remain hushed after that. So if the wheel of justice got stuck somewhere because that’s where the president and her House allies would want it grounded well short of any clear-cut declaration of innocence, how could she complain of being adjudged guilty in the court of public opinion of a (continuing) crime of betrayal of public trust?

    Remember that impeachment is basically a political process and therefore a verdict flowing from it could go well beyond the confines of Congress. It is therefore not hard to imagine how millions of Filipinos (whether pro- or anti-GMA) would also see the recent mid-term elections as an appeal to the people, the final arbiter, on the same issue that the president’s congressional followers conveniently ignored.

    The jury may still be out, but from all indications the people’s verdict stands: GUILTY.

  30. Bencard, I can respect that and are happy for your balanced assimilation into the community. It disproves some peoples’ assertions that “aliens” are looked down upon in their adopted societies. 😉

  31. abe margallo, you know, as a lawyer, that a people’s “court” is not a competent forum in our legal system either to convict or to impeach. How do you know an opinion is “public”? How do you define the word, as you use it? Is it a public consisting of GMA’s detractors and enemies? For sure, it could not be the entire populace without excluding her families, friends and supporters. Could it?

    A confession of “lapse of judgment” is hardly an evidence of cheating. If I were in GMA’s position and you advised me to incriminate myself, I would fire you and prosecute you for inexcusable malpractice as well as blatant violation of my constitutional right against self-incrimination.

    Your so-called “people’s verdict” based on partial election victory for anti-GMA senatorial candidates is more like GMA enemies’ verdict. This is so, even without counting PGMA’s coalition’s overwhelming victory in the congressional and local races in which the same anti-impeachment candidates have apparently been retained by the electorate.

  32. Ben, with the advent of scientific polling, “public opinion” is no longer a vague political term. It is definitely not the opinion of a couple of bloggers, two tricycle drivers or 12 passersby.

    However, when millions of Filipinos voted for Sonny Trillanes, a candidate currently under detention for staging a “mutiny,” who even as a senatorial candidate still openly advocates the use of force “if the government goes against the interest of the people” and who believe that “we have a president who has no mandate … who cheated in an election . . . who has no qualms of killing her own people just to stay in power, among other crimes that she has committed like plundering the wealth of this country, selling our country’s independence . . .(which) are tantamount to treason,” then that to me makes for a strong public opinion against the GMA regime.

    I do not claim that GMA has been proven beyond reasonable doubt to be guilty of poll cheating. (Unfortunately for GMA, her allies in Congress denied her the chance to make her case and put a closure to this issue).

    All I’m saying is that calling a Comelec commissioner while the votes were still being counted in a manner clearly indicative of vote manipulation requires of the President of the republic more than a “lapse in judgment” excuse to take such serious misconduct off the purview of “betrayal of public trust.”

    On the whole, perhaps like millions of other Filipinos, I voted for most of the GO candidates with this presidential breach of trust in mind.

    The “court of public opinion” often proceeds extra-constitutionally but when it is expressed through the electoral process, it is easy to perceive it as normalized into the legal order.

    On the other hand, I believe in Tip O’neill’s dictum that “all politics is local.” The senatorial race, which is national in scope, is thus a better gauge of the resolution of such broader issues as the legitimacy of
    Arroyo’s presidency.

  33. If there is a mass of people who elect a womanizer with many extended families as their president;

    If there is a mass of people who elect mutineer/murderers in the senate;

    If there is a mass of people who are overawed by glib-talkers escudero & cayetano and vote them in senate,

    What is so strange and unusual if they vote for trillanes in the senate, another mutineer?

    It only happens in da pilipins

    If this mass of people drool into trillanes’ script and morose-faced acting, I don’t.

    I just parked my shovel and was about to eat my banana-wrapped lunch, I lost my appetite.

  34. It’s not the question of who gets voted.

    If 90% of voters voted for 90% of wrongdoers, it reflects the kind of electorate a country has.

    it’s nothing to be proud of.

  35. i hate to be blunt about it but you obviously don’t know what you are talking about. EO 465 and Proc. # 17 were both LEGAL before the SC, the final arbiter, handed its decision. ask any lawyer you know, if you cannot buy it coming from me. In fact, any action of the President in matters heretofore not passed upon by the SC is valid and legal, unless shown to be palpably in violation of a clear mandate of the law – where there is no room for a reasonable interpretation to the contrary.

    Legal, really? EO 464, Proc 1017, and CPR were largely voided by the SC. Yes, some parts were declared constitutional, but huge chunks were declared ILLEGAL. From the Supreme Court official website itself:

    SENDING OUT A strong message of judicial independence, the Supreme Court has struck down as UNCONSTITUTIONAL the Arroyo government’s Calibrated Preemptive Response (CPR) policy and certain provisions of EO 464 and PP 1017.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/publications/courtnews/2006/05/050605.php

    Want more specifics?

    To quote from the PCIJ article:

    “PP 1017’s extraneous provisions giving the President express or implied power to direct the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) to enforce obedience to all laws even those not related to lawless violence and to impose standards on media or any form of prior restraint on the press, are ultra vires and UNCONSTITUTIONAL,” it said.

    The Court also held that under Section 17, Article XII of the Constitution, “the President, in the absence of a legislation, cannot take over privately-owned public utility and private business affected with public interest.”

    The “warrantless search of the Tribune offices and whimsical seizure of its articles for publication and other materials (is) declared unconstitutional,” the Court added.

    http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/topofthehour.aspx?StoryId=36160
    http://www.pcij.org/blog/?p=893

    Bencard, please stop being intellectually dishonest. It’s either that or you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  36. bencard… I have the impression that Abe Margallo does not practice law in the US, so slim chance his lawyering has gotten rusty.

  37. Sorry, but your “tons of credible , well-documented evidence” amounts to nothing, yeah zip, if not properly presented and admitted in a proper forum before a competent arbiter of fact and law.

    You’re going in circles again Bencard. GMA is doing everything through means fair and foul –mostly foul– to prevent the evidence from being presented in the proper forum.

  38. Havoc? What havoc? Just read the business news, watch the stock market, foreign exchange, real estate boom and mushrooming inrastructure projects around you. Need I say more?

    Yey, the “economy is doing good” defense. Well, apart from those good news, there’s the little fact that of record levels (19%) of consistent household hunger during GMA’s term. “The record-high incidence of household hunger of 19.0% was first set in November 2006. Hunger has been at double-digits since June 2004” — says the SWS.

    Or would you only credit to GMA the positive economic news but blame the bad news on the opposition, or even–gasp–the people?

    Other “havoc”: well, we all know about the systematic cheating, the evasion of accountability by govt officials, the culture of impunity, the rebuffs from the SC, the failed and illegal attempts at cha-cha (using enormous amounts of govt resources), the massive corruption (under GMA’s stewardship, the Philippines is now the most corrupt in Asia), the weakening/co-opting of institutions (the COMELEC and the office of the Ombudsman are now sad jokes on the people)… should I go on?

    And oh yeah, there are also the horrendous political killings and other human rights violations, with GMA being greeted by protests whenever she goes abroad. Even the UN had to send a special team to investigate, and they concluded that the military is largely behind the atrocities.

    She has become the most hated president of the Philippines.
    http://www.sws.org.ph/pr070313.htm

    What havoc you say?

  39. trillanes and gringo still getting into the senate despite all their previous outside-the-law escapades should be considered an aberration in any democracy.

    why do we keep voting men like these, men who turn against the law (over and over in Gringo’s case) into the senate? it’s sick and if you don’t see how sick it is….I’m afraid society has gone so far into the pits that we can’t recognize the absurdity of it all. our sense of discernment and capacity for independent thought are so weak, we’ll just jump on any bandwagon.

    don’t use this trillanes character to go after the current president because doing so has implications that will harm our country in the future more than we care to see. we’re damaged as it is, and need to do a lot of re-thinking and re-tooling before we can get back on the road to morality and justice. but if we keep going back to the drama and allow ourselves to be swept by all the hype…we’re not going anywhere. and we present ourselves as intelligent men…shame on all of us when butch cassidy and the sundance kid become members of the senate.

    trillanes and gringo are just the new “artista-politicos” …nothing more.

  40. you can lead a horse to the water but you can’t force it to drink. you can teach a moron everything in a book of wisdom but you can’t make him wise. you can make a specific point to a close-minded person but he can just ignore it and insist in talking about something else irrelevant and out of context.

  41. “you can make a specific point to a close-minded person but he/SHE can just ignore it and insist in talking about something else irrelevant and out of context.”

    You’re absolutely right, Bencard. It’s good that you ignore and don’t fall into the trap.

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