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Cease fire?
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on May 24, 2007 58 Comments 5 min read
Lanao invasion Previous The Long View: Ceasefire? Next

President asks Japanese PM to list his country’s commitments. Favila points to committed investments being up (during the pre-election period, mind you). The strong showing of the Peso explained -in the context of regional currencies and not politics.

Here it is, folks: Sigaw resurrects signature campaign:

The new petition will call for the abolition of Malacañang and Congress and will pave for a new unicameral parliamentary system that will be composed of district, regional and party-list representation all over the country, said Lambino…

…Lambino said that with the support of the local government executives, they expect to get the same number they had last year of about nine million signatures — almost double the constitutional requirement of 5.16 million, or 12 percent of the total voting population and representing over three percent of all voters in each of the 213 congressional districts in the country…

…If their petition prospers, the election of members of parliament will be on May 2, 2010.

“There will be no more extension of term or the creation of an interim parliament, Malacañang and Congress will be merged together as the executive and lawmaking body of the government,” Lambino explained.

Under the parliamentary unitary system, the prime minister will become the head of government with members of parliament of the majority party holding the Cabinet posts.

And her’es another Old Reliable: Oliver Lozano says he’s going to file an impeachment complaint against the President.

As the Comelec announces its poised to announce 9 senatorial winners (and Namfrel says it will continue its counting until the weekend), fraud allegations in Mindanao get detailed; the Palace’s Team Unity’s reduced to insisting on two things: Maguindanao was a clean election (and the machinery worked) and there is a Communist-GO conspiracy. This is meant, of course, to keep two of candidates still in the fight, since efforts even in Lanao del Sur have bogged down, the breakdown in admin bailiwicks continues to be detailed, and the recriminations start.

The micro dynamics of overseas voters continues to be examined, too.

A sign of the public mood: even the House claims it won’t bootlick. Not obviously, anyway.

In the punditocracy, my column for today is Ceasafire? Poor Miguel Zubiri took exception to my previous column, but what can you do? Obviously our opinions differ.

Bong Austero insists the writing isn’t on the wall -not really, just sort of, maybe, kind of. Meanwhile, the Vice-President’s in denial, too.

Tony Abaya suggests the country’s moving backwards.

Connie Veneracion says there are times when it’s better to say one doesn’t know something; Raissa Jajurie says she knows, because she saw, fraud in Sulu; Candido Wenceslao thinks the electorate has swung to the Right.

In the blogosphere, Ricky Carandang points to the inspiring story that’s been emerging. The real story in this election is how the cheating seems to have been, if not stopped fully, then seriously derailed by volunteers eager to redeem their organization’s reputation and to stand their ground:

But something quite unexpected happened. Over a million people from the normally silent majority decided to intervene in the politician’s contest for the right to engage in rent seeking behavior. The bias-tainted National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) whose leaders were vilified for their silence in 2004, did some serious housecleaning. Out went Bill Luz and Joe Concepcion, and in came Eric Alvia and Eddie Go. The newly revitalized Namfrel joined other watchdogs, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, Lente, Bantay Boto, No Cheats, Kontra Daya, and many more to watch the voting, guard the canvassing, and question the cheating. They went to what’s left of the free media to report stories of cheating; and through tv, radio, print, and internet, journalists told those stories to a global audience. In Pampanga, businessmen, civic groups, and the religious cobbled together an improbabale election machinery to send a political neophyte to the governor’s mansion, rejecting in their wake the corrupt practices of the province’s traditional political factions. More importantly, a few brave souls—some soldiers, some teachers, children, and even election officials—came forward at the risk of their lives, to blow the whistle on the thugs who thought they could get away with stealing another election.

A Nagueno in the Blogosphere and Peryodistang Pinay and Patsada Karajaw look at the senatorial elections through the prism of local concerns and behavior. Interesting take on national politics from the perspective of the Bicol region and Cebu and Mindanao politics.

The Magnificent Atty. Perez has an interesting account of what it’s like to be an election lawyer during canvassing (he’s representing Joker Arroyo in Cebu. RezeRed recounts the hassle teachers like her experienced, courtesy of the Comelec.

Staying Alive and About Nina look at the messages transmitted by the elections.

In Inquirer Current, John Nery says certain conclusions concerning the election might be overstating things a bit; my entry looks at what the results tells us about 2010 crop of presidentiables.

Placeholder points to a Let’s Move On chronology.

The Journal of the Jester-in-Exile has a pointed message for overseas critics who are ex-Filipinos: STFU.

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  1. mlq3:

    is Migs pissed? that statement is uncharacteristically full of bravado.

  2. I wonder as to how many opposition local areas are going to remain in opposition hands.

    Sigaw had difficulty in the 1 and 2 districts of San Juan and Makati respectively. And they now face a bigger effort in the 6 districts of Manila.

    Sigaw would never had a chance without the financial help of local government units in areas where they could rely on local leaders.

    And there is still a question whether public money can legally even be used for a “people’s initiative”.

  3. austero is neither here nor there. did the elections give him the high? intoxicate yourself and get real.

  4. And so the cycle starts again — signature campaigns for this and that, calls to rally around this and that, and coalitions and “alliances” being loosely formed amongst “concerned” groups (which it seems is the gestation process for the next generation of political “parties” and a “united” opposition for the next Fiesta Election). It’s 2005 all over again. It’s 1983 all over again.

    What else is new?

    The analogy is like our issues with water supply in the Philippines. Water is everywhere — raining down on us during the monsoon season and flooding the streets of Malabon after the slightest of drizzles. Water is flowing everywhere — everywhere, that is, except out of the average Pinoy’s faucet.

    Same can be said about politics and governance — it is everywhere: in the grapevine, the gossip columns, the petition campaigns, the rallies, and, yes, on Edsa and Mendiola — everywhere, that is, except within Congress and Malacanang, and everywhere except within the framework of *due process*. Remember those? Those “institutions” and systems into which a big chunk of tax funds are funneled?

    Maybe that is why we now have a signature campaign to get rid of both — because they won’t be missed either way.

    Pinoy democracy is kind of like a child’s birthday present. There’s a nice shiny Tonka inside that cost $100 and the kid ends up having more fun with the box.

  5. Manolo,

    Why don’t you initiate a “people’s initiative” in your district and try to get local government funding. You likely have a lot of issues to consider on already.

    Most likely is that local government funds won’t be made accessible for that cause. Then you can bring it to court.

  6. The High Court also said the proposed people’s initiative is a revision and not an amendment, and as such it violated the Charter limiting the scope of a people’s initiative to “amendment to this Constitution.”

    The Sigaw petition is dead even before it begins.

    (But why is that? Shouldnt the people have a right to amend, too? Maybe Sigaw can start with that. :-D)

  7. If OneVoice is really true, it could mount a REAL PI and propose to remove COMELEC from the President’s appointive power and make it an elective office.

    But who will conduct the elections if the conductee is joining it? lol.

    Well, I propose

    1. revamp the entire present comelec
    2. replace them with SC judges jz this once
    3. hold elections for COMELEC members b4 2010
    4. finally have a more credible elections next time

    This is jz my dream of course.
    Feel free to dream with me. If you still can.

  8. BenignO,

    I usually ask for some iota of proof but if you believe that there is no governance in Malacanang, then so be it.

  9. Well, inodoro, I understand Austero recently underwent surgery. They opened his skull to repair his right eardrum. I hope the doctors had the occasion to examine his brain as well. The title of his blog should have keyed them in.

  10. Manuel, Zubiri’s invitation sounds tempting. I think you should take up the invitation on camera, maybe during the evening news, or in a debate. This is something I would gladly watch in earnest.

  11. Jeg,

    The reason why the 1989 Constitutional Commission limited PI to amendments is because an amendment covers only one specific matter while a revision can be a very complex thing that may require extensive and intensive deliberations that are better left to a body of experts.

  12. Thanks, Jester-In-Exile. My sides are suffering from laughter-induced pain.

    I just hope the “aliens” are listening.

  13. I believed if we consider the ex-Pinoy’s overseas critism in a positive way, the system in RP will change for the better.

    We should not get pissed on them, rather, we should listen to them and pick-up the good side of what they say. They have done this out of their frustations on why RP’s situation is not acceptable to them.

    The Filipinos should continue fighting for a better Philippines. My personal wishes for a better Philippines 30 years ago continue to remain just a wish.

  14. mlq3, perhaps in addition to “Don’t tread on me”, GMA should also be reminded of Scotland’s motto: Nemo me impune lacessit (No one strikes me with impunity)

  15. MLQ,

    Zubiri makes a lot out of all the hard work he put in to convince voters to elect him.

    But he never considered that maybe voters didn’t buy his crap.

    There’s need to meet with him. He already said what he had to say in his letter and you said what you have to say in your column.

  16. Zubiri also made a lot out of the pre-election surveys that put him in the Magic 12. It’s also crap. SWS now says that the surveys didn’t influence the choices of 84% of the voters.

    MB is right, there’s no need for mlq3 to meet with Zubiri. What for?

  17. mlq3, there is a dinosaur of a difference between “opinion” (aka, speculation) and conclusion of fact. i saw the zubiri tv interview and i think he was lamenting the attempt to confuse the two. there’s nothing wrong with expressing opinion but to present the same as fact is irresponsible, especially from someone whose words are preceived to be “honest” by unquestioning minds.

  18. bencard, an opinion is a statement, an interpretation of fact, a conclusion of fact but not an ex cathedra pronouncement. you marshal the evidence for your conclusion, justify the facts that have come in handy to support your point, tell it as you see it. something obviously different from what someone being discussed might see about himself.

  19. Zubiri was lamenting the fact that he and the administration are failing to turn a conclusion of fact into an opinion.

    If you don’t believe the reports from election watchdogs, foreign observers, news reports with video footage, the Namfrel, PPRCV and the rest then you should get on a goddam plane going to Mindanao and see for yourself what;s really happening.

    To an expat like you, what’s happening in our country can only spoil your morning coffee. But we have to live with that shit so stop lawyering for those motherfuckers.

  20. mlq3, an opinion is just that – an opinion. A “fact” is the same as truth – a state of proposition in which no reasonable minds can differ.

    buencamino, at the time in question (manolo’s article)) less than a million votes have been counted, either officially or unofficially. everything at that point was speculation. I think namfrel was not yet in the picture for its count started rather late.

  21. If Zubiri were objective, he would direct his anger at Gloria Macapagal Arroyo whose stench has cancelled out Team Zubiri’s “hard work”. At this point, he couldn’t publicly acknowledge that, so I think what has happened is a case of transference.

  22. “Soldiers to guard Lanao del Sur polls
    Palparan, Lomibao monitor security” – Inquirer.net

    hehehe bantay o salakay?

  23. yes, too bad zubiri’s aligned with the sinister lot. Maguindanao and Lanao votes will come in handy. (but i think his boom tarat2x jingle caused his poor showing in the results. thank pretty-audrey-on-tv – at crunch time – for saving him from that. haha!)

    —–

    STFU! hahaha! (but i think banning them is more apt ‘cause they don’t usually shut up!)

    —–

    cvj, thanks again.

  24. Shaman: The reason why the 1989 Constitutional Commission limited PI to amendments is because an amendment covers only one specific matter while a revision can be a very complex thing that may require extensive and intensive deliberations that are better left to a body of experts.

    Yes but we the people don’t lack our own ‘body of experts’. MLQ3 here is an example. We can debate the merits of a proposed PI ourselves with the help of our experts. I think that prohibition on the people being able to revise the constitution has to go. The Supreme Court could then guard against whether or not the PI was conducted in accordance with proper procedure, which Sigaw clearly did not when they launched theirs.

  25. Tsk tsk, there’s lots of convoluted lawyerese talk here and nothing in the way of a simple view of what is right and wrong.

    MLQ, I think you understated Abaya’s latest message by summarising them merely as suggesting that “the country’s moving backwards”.

    I think that Abaya’s key message (from which the title of his latest article is derived) was this:

    ===========start quote
    “We need a restoration of the Rule of Law. But who will restore it, given that our own highest elected leaders prefer to uphold the Rule of Lawyers?”
    ===========end quote

    I think what really paralyses Pinoys society is the *infestion* of Pinoy society by lawyers and the way that they turn otherwise simple ethical principles into convoluted legalities.

    ==============
    “In Japan there are very few lawyers and the codes are mostly unwritten, but they are binding, nonetheless.”

    – Greg Sheridan in his book, *Asian Values Western Dreams*
    ==============

    While other societies nurture, then cherish and reward amply their scientists and engineers, Pinoy society exports them raw to other countries (never to be seen again). Pinoy society for her part sits her lawyers in comfy leather seats or, worse, laughs herself silly as they exhibit their antics on stage and on TV every Fiesta Election (when they are not sitting in their leather seats and turning our ethics into complex legalese).

  26. I spent last night in a meeting with some lawyers going over some cases. No it was not related to the elections. Some of the lawyers are still involved with FLAG.

    This is the bunch of lawyers that were organized by the late Senator Jose Diokno. One of things we discussed was the propensity of people to forget certain basic facts about the evolution of laws in the Philippines.

    Anglo Saxon law or common law is not pegged to certain facts or truths. It is law based on empirical history. It evolves. Truth changes. However the existence of the Spanish Civil Code which is still in the books which evolved from Roman law is static. The letter of the law is fixed not subject to interpretation. The Inspector Javert and Jean Valjean model of law. You steal a loaf of bread to survive it is against the law and no mitigating circumstances allowed. You go to jail.

    That means that the arbitration or judicial process in a court of law makes the judge akin to God. It is adversarial in nature. That means accuser and accused have certain rights and obligations. Both sides have to submit first to the discovery process then the pre-trial then the trial itself. The interpretation of law will be subjected to the presentation of facts supported by evidence.

    This is the beauty of common law. Judges or juries are given latitude (discretion) to decide when compelling proof is available to interpret the law based on certain basic human rights. Democracy is the rule of the majority. A constitutional republican government is different. Everything must conform with the Basic Law. Hence a hierarchy of courts has been established.

    Applying this standard to the alleged failure of elections in Maguindanao owing to reports that the entire province voted 12-0. If all C0C’s come out with identical 12-0 for all then you have not only a preponderance of facts but probable cause that electoral fraud has happened on a massive conspiratorial scale. Any valid judicial authority should and could act to hold and stop the processing of those probable tainted votes. The beauty of a transparent judicial process is that not only the contending parties will be put on trial but the judges themselves will be on trial. It would be a simple matter to have an objective presumption based on the documents submitted. All one needs is the probability of a crime committed to file a case.

    Data below is from Halal’s website A sample of only five Cities/Municipalities with over 50,000 voters. Accomplishing that feat in even one precinct with one voter is already difficult but multiply that by over 300,000 voters.

    The law states that ballots cannot be checked unless an election protest is filed after proclamation. The case here is one on an abject failure of election. Here we have the effect or result becoming the cause for suspicion.

    City/Municipality in Maguindanao
    Paglat
    Total No. of Barangay: 8
    Total No. of Precincts: 44
    Total No. of Merged/Clustered Precincts: 28
    Total No.of Registered Voters: 4,682
    Total No. of Voting Centers: 8

    Pagalungan

    Total No. of Barangays: 12
    Total No. of Precincts: 88
    Total No. of Merged/Clustered Precincts: 57
    Total No.of Registered Voters: 10,484
    Total No. of Voting Centers: 13

    Pandag

    Total No. of Barangay: 8
    Total No. of Precincts: 39
    Total No. of Merged/Clustered Precincts: 23
    Total No.of Registered Voters: 3,650
    Total No. of Voting Centers: 10

    Rajah Buayan

    Total No. of Barangay: 11
    Total No. of Precincts: 59
    Total No. of Merged/Clustered Precincts: 38
    Total No.of Registered Voters: 6,815
    Total No. of Voting Centers: 11

    Sharif Aguak

    Total No. of Barangay: 24
    Total No. of Precincts: 159
    Total No. of Merged/Clustered Precincts: 136
    Total No.of Registered Voters: 27,392
    Total No. of Voting Centers: 19

  27. A missed perspective for the Big Mike and GMA machinery.

    There are approximately 16-17 million households in the country. At a minimum at least 5 million households+ income is denominated in U.S. dollars. Our experts at the BSP conveniently keep quiet about this. Over the past year the dollar has steadily been devaluing. Today that rate would be close to 20 % Add the general inflation rate for the past year. That devaluation of income plus the general inflation rate added together would give a huge group of households an effective inflation rate of 20-25%. Ouch!! “The booming economy” is painful on the pockets.

    While the asset valuations (equity markets) of the owners of capital are inflating due to the onrush of hot money, the devaluation of dollar income earners could prove to be a growing problem to the government. The effect will be felt hard within the next few months. Apart from that, there is inflation wave building up on food costs that will negate domestic production. Do we start to burn food to fuel our cars or make sure food is available for humans, chickens, hogs and cows.

    The impeachment issue is dead and new more serious sparks could engulf the country. The cost of food.

  28. I think what really paralyses Pinoys society is the *infestion* of Pinoy society by lawyers and the way that they turn otherwise simple ethical principles into convoluted legalities.” – Benign0

    Take that Bencard!

    Seriously Benign0, i think that trend to study (like your oft-repeated reference to the Ocho-ocho) is going away. The tendency to take up law started before the war because my Dad (who is now 88) said that was the only course that a working student can manage. (He wanted to be a Doctor.)

  29. BenignO, I sincerely hope you will never find yourself needing the professional services of a lawyer but as long as you are living in a democracy where the Law is supreme, you cannot afford to “kill all the lawyers”.
    Maybe you will never have to deal with brutal cops, discriminatory employers, abusive landlords, wanton drivers that put you in a hospital and causing you lifetime disability, a scheming spouse who would try to divorce you, get custody of your kids and send you to the poorhouse, or immigration agents who would try to strip you of your green card or citizenship and deport you back from whence you came, or detain you on suspicion of terrorism, or a prosecutor who would indict you for a crime you did not commit, etc., but sooner or later, you will buy a house, enter into a contract, borrow money, or start a business, for which you will need legal advice.

    There are relativly few lawyers in Japan because generally every one knows his/her place in society, and even with the adoption of the U.S. – sponsored constitution, still has a government more of men and tradition than of laws.

    You maybe right. Many lawyers give their profession a bad name. What profession is immune from that? But then again, how would you like a society governed by Law without lawyers?

  30. But then again, how would you like a society governed by Law without lawyers?

    I think benign0’s batting for a society that’s governed by ethical principles and the law should be applied based on those ethical principles because really, that’s what the law is based on (supposedly). The practice of law without ethical principles is legalism. Convoluted legalism.

  31. camry,

    It’s all very well to be positive about things. But what positive thing can you possibly make out of a statement such as, “There is nothing about the Philippines that we can ‘objectively’ be proud of.”?

    Look, these “aliens” (they can never be mainstream in their adopted countries) turned their back on their native land, partake of the benefits that their well-developed adopted countries bestow which gives them a sense of superiority (when I know that they’re just slaving it out), turn around and thumb their noses on those of us they’ve left behind, boast with puffed pride of the wonders of their adopted countries and pontificate on us as if they were the ones responsible for all those wonders, and when we fight back, they derisively label us as “victims”.

    If, as you say, they are frustrated with the present conditions in the country and they find them unacceptable (and are sincere about it), they should come home and join our struggle. Thirty years of just wishing from afar won’t contribute anything.

    If you send money back here, let your beneficiaries thank you for it. But we don’t need your kibitzing. Take your kibitzing to your adopted leaders.

    I’ll let Jester-In-Exile say the rest.

  32. I certainly *would* like to live in a society governed by Law without lawyers. For that matter, some societies function harmoniously without a written consitition as well (puts into perspect our petty bickering about trivial clauses in our own Constitution, doesn’t it?).

    I’m not saying we don’t need lawyers. In fact those situations you pointed out amply justify their existence.

    But as Jeg said, the minute we lose the plot, the minute we forget the fundamental ethical principles on which the Law is supposed to be hinged on, that is when hollow-headed utterly-unproductive “legalism” sets in. This “legalism” is the cancer I attempt to point out in my earlier post.

    It’s a similar lament of some of the old-timers in the IT industry. Gone are days when we actually built systems that worked. Today’s IT consultants merely parrot the Standard Development Lifecycle.

    In our society we have armies of lawyers who are tops at parroting the letter of the Law (and an even bigger army who are merely *conversant* of the Law but parrot jargon just the same).

    But try to find someone who understands the ethical framework (the “spirit”) that supposedly underpins the Law? I doubt you’d succeed.

    Most Law schools now are probably more concerned with training their students to *pass/top the Bar* than to actually *understand the Law*. There’s a big difference.

  33. “Maybe you will never have to deal with brutal cops, discriminatory employers, abusive landlords, wanton drivers that put you in a hospital and causing you lifetime disability, a scheming spouse who would try to divorce you, get custody of your kids and send you to the poorhouse, or immigration agents who would try to strip you of your green card or citizenship and deport you back from whence you came, or detain you on suspicion of terrorism, or a prosecutor who would indict you for a crime you did not commit, etc.” – Bencard

    There you are. You “aliens” have plenty of things to kibitz on in your adopted “paradise”. Do your thing there, not here. As I’ve said, just leave us to our own strugglings.

  34. Shaman said: “If you send money back here, let your beneficiaries thank you for it. But we don’t need your kibitzing”

    Shaman you, Shaman. You’re saying you want our money but not our opinions?

    Tsk tsk.

    Next time you try to borrow money from a bank or woo some capitalists to invest in your business, try to remember the words you type here and how pompous you sounded.

    And us expats slaving away here? Look around you first, then *think* again.

    That’s right.

    Think.

  35. Excellent point, Benign0. Being in IT, I especially like your analogy:

    It’s a similar lament of some of the old-timers in the IT industry. Gone are days when we actually built systems that worked. Today’s IT consultants merely parrot the Standard Development Lifecycle.” – Benign0

  36. These Sigaw people do not understand the cabinet system or what they erroneously call “parliamentary system”. You cannot abolish the Palace without placing the nation in tyranny. The President (or the Queen) is the Head of State and is distinct from the Parliament. But the President (or Queen) may be as the English term it, “in Parliament”. Take note the Queen isn’t Parliament. Not even Henry VIII had the gall to consider himself as the Parliament, although he was a despotic monarch. He could not govern without Parliament’s consent.

    To fuse Palace and Parliament is a recipe for tyranny. The President of the Republic should be a non-politician with extensive reserve powers. In fact I support the idea that the President should have extensive powers to check the potential abuses of Parliament. The President should have enough powers to veto legislation.

    We may also entertain the idea of a Senate chamber in parliament but in a cabinet system the Senate has always less power than the Representatives or Commons

    Do these Sigaw people know that the best example of a fused Parliament-Chancellorship-Presidency is Adolf Hitler?

  37. I said let your beneficiaries thank you for it. Look, there are a lot of things to be fixed in your “paradise”. I don’t want to waste your time.

  38. Blackshama,

    I think the proposal to “abolish Malacanang” is just a ploy to make the abolition of the Senate palatable to the people. They want to make it appear that it will not be only the Senate that will become a casualty, but Malacanang (the Executive Branch) as well. But, we all know that even in a parliamentary system, there is still an executive branch. The whole parliament cannot be the executive branch at the same time.

    So, they are again out to deceive the people.

  39. BenignO,

    Do these societies without written Constitutions that you are referring to have lawyers?

    But as for someone who understands the ethical framework (the “spirit”) that supposedly underpins the Law; I suggest you converse with the Framers of the Charter (some of them are still alive) or the Justices of the SC (some of them likely wrote decisions based on the spirit of the law).

  40. BenignO,

    I take back my second paragraph.

    It appears that you were referring to “your” society. So clearly my 2nd paragraph would not apply.

  41. Oh I hate that generalizations about lawyers! There is always bad and rotten egss in every profession.

    This is an interdependent universe. Everyone or every profession plays a very important role in a society.

    I always believe that whatever profession you ve got, once you deviate with any of life’s principles ( spirit of the law”) everything is messed up. There is just no way that to break break a principle, it is so fundamental that you will just end up breaking your self against it.

    From the very start, I believe that the all our country’s trouble can really be traced from deviating a principle. Gloria broke a very one or two principle. And the people also reacted or wanted to correct the problem by breaking another principle. So everything is messed up!

  42. BenignO, in the dark days of Marcos’ dictatorship, many Filipino lawyers literally starved for lack of clients because the law was, for the most part, what one despot said it was. Heroic lawyers like Diokno, Salonga, and others were in jail and could’nt do much lawyering let alone defend themselves and their families. Some got lucky and somehow were able to “escape” to the U.S., worked as insurance adjusters, agents, paralegals, law office clerks, newspaper distributors, and some other jobs that have nothing to do with law, while others were able to finagle Bar membership in a few States that recognize reciprocity under stringent conditions.

    It appears that this kind of experience was encountered by lawyers, if they ever had any, in Cuba, Chile, the former Soviet Union, Red China, and other totalitarian regimes in South and Central America. I know because I have met a lot of them.

    Lawyers exist wherever there is freedom and respect for basic human rights. Wouldn’t you rather have a bunch of shysters and “unethical” lawyers (who, afterall, are subject to rules of law and discipline) in a free society, or a regimented community where no lawyer is necessary?

  43. cvj, i overlooked your 10:12 am post. If your father eventually became a lawyer somehow, I’m inclined to think he never practiced law (as in litigating actual cases). How can anyone entrust his case to a “lawyer” who is not interested in Law?

    To me, being a lawyer is not a simple matter of graduating from law school, passing and being admitted to the Bar, and hanging a shingle. It is a commitment, a passion, a devotion. It’s a never-ending learning process. One who ignores that won’t be practicing law for so long.

    But you’re right. Many lawyers studied law for wrong reasons, one of them being that it is the “only” affordable course for a “working” student.

    Shaman: as one of the “alien kibitzers” you obviously were refering to, sorry to disappoint you but I cannot leave my countrymen alone “to their own strugglings”.
    I am a Filipino, a Filipino voter and taxpayer as much as you are. You may be a patriot but you don’t have an exclusive right to be concerned about, and discuss, our country’s problems. If you can show me that only GMA-haters actually living in the Philippines have the right to comment in this blog (regardless of mlq3’s position on the matter) then I will cease commenting here PRONTO!

  44. and furthermore, Shaman, what “struggles” are you doing in the country? march in the streets, carry placards and red flags, cheer the traitors in the military as they strut around with government-issue firearms, ammunitions and grenades? or do you rouse the “masses” with inflammatory speeches, writings, tv/radio commentaries, or homilies about their poverty, misery and victimhood?
    if those are the kind of struggles you are talking about, don’t bother telling me not to join you. no, sir, i would not!

  45. BenignO:

    “And us expats slaving away here? Look around you first, then *think* again.

    That’s right.

    Think.”

    One way to get noticed in da pilipins is shoot before thinking.

    Gringo, did it, trillanes followed. Expect more copycats to emerge and sow trouble in our midst instead of being productive.

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