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Palace: don't destabilize emotions (!)
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on May 31, 2007 67 Comments 12 min read
Saludo, Secretary of Cerelac, says "Let's Go, Grow, and Glow!" Previous The Long View: Islamic democracy Next

WTF statement of the day: Palace to GO: Stop destabilizing emotions . OK I just love it. I am now thinking of 101 uses for the new phrase, “destabilized emotions.” Will Human Resources managers accept it as a medical condition? An occupational hazard? A justification for Viagra prescriptions?

Michael Defensor concedes defeat (charming account of the press conference, courtesy of The Nosy Intern). His concession statement has sparked some controversy:

I concede to ease the tension on the ground and to dismiss [a] notion that there may be illegal acts committed to attain my victory. I concede so as to enjoin my allies and friends who may want, in their desire to have me win, commit acts inimical to the essence of democracy and fair play in an electoral battle…My defeat is not the President’s loss. Her role is to ensure that democracy is respected and that she has accomplished. The market is up and the peso is strongest. That is the applause of appreciation…

Class act, or taking one for the team? Vincula says, it’s a class act. Alleba Politics thinks so, too. Bunker Chronicles says its a timely signal. Some commenters in Ellen Tordesillas’ blog say he took one for the team -or derailed the chances of other TU members. Team Unity won’t budge: it will continue to object, your honor. NCR Command wants troops back in Metro slums: this is known as insurance.

Namfrel says there are only a million votes left to count, and it will be a tight race indeed for the 11th to 14th slots:

Most of the votes would come from Mindanao region particularly in the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) comprise of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Shariff Kabunsuan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Other provinces are Tarlac, Bohol, Camiguin, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Norte, Pasig City, Mandaluyong and Caloocan.

If you take a look at Inquirer.net’s listing of vote tallies, you’ll notice a new, fourth column, “Comelec (Reporter’s Tally)”. Apparently, the Comelec’s official, audited canvass reports leads to a total that is two days behind what the press reports.

Meanwhile, Maguindanao’s votes yet again fail to make the cut, even as more revelations are made about the conduct of the voting. The Comelec’s embattled Commissioner Rene Sarmiento says he won’t quit (while fellow commissioner Borra basically called him a wimp). He’s embattled over his staking his reputation in backing Comelec officers in Lanao. He has made a good proposal: why not hold MRMM elections ahead of the rest of the country in the future?

Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing does his bit to fan the smoldering embers of the Speakership fight; but the interesting wrinkle here is the decision of the Liberal Party to set aside its internal differences and vote as a united bloc -in support of Rep. Garcia of Cebu. Whether the Inquirer report supersedes the Manila Times report that opposition members saying the Kampi challenge to Lakas in the House is a ploy, I don’t know: the Times says the whole thing’s a means to obtain dominant minority party status for Kampi, shutting out the opposition. The Malaya editorial maintains it’s still a shadow play to exact concessions:

There is no love lost between Kampi and Lakas of De Venecia. Last month’s election saw the open break between the two administration parties. In the local contests, where the incumbent was Lakas, the challenger allied himself with Kampi. And vice versa.

Arroyo, by allowing Kampi to challenge Lakas, was seen as consolidating her political base and, in effect, putting De Venecia in his place as the junior partner in the administration coalition.

There were also speculations that Arroyo was displeased when De Venecia pressed for Charter change despite a clear overwhelming public opposition to it. It was Arroyo’s dwindling political capital which was being frittered on the unpopular initiative when the intended beneficiary was De Venecia, with his ambition to become prime minister under a parliamentary form of government.

So is it Garcia then as the next Speaker? We would not bet on it. Joe the Venetian has an ace up his sleeve. He could threaten to throw the support of Lakas congressmen loyal to him behind a new impeachment campaign expected to be mounted by the opposition. And Kampi would fold.

But Kampi could exact concessions in the form of chairmanships of powerful House committees. Everybody would be happy, which is what we suspect all this talk about ousting De Venecia is all about.

The Magnificent Atty. Perez has his own take on the ruling coalition’s intramurals, and places his bets on Speaker de Venecia. But from those who scrutinize the House landscape, the hard-core support of de Venecia’s usually estimated at only 20 congressmen. Not a big block. But the effort continues, with administration insiders attempting media leaks to pressure the President to step in publicly.

There’s a timely reflection on the May elections and past elections, too, penned by Steve Rood in In Asia.

Economy posts best performance, on a quarterly basis, in 17 years. Election spending had nothing to do with it? Banko Sentral says the growth in remittances from overseas will slow. One reason may be: Filipino domestic workers face difficulties in finding jobs due to new wage policy. Businessmen say they want the economic provisions of the Constitution amended, or at least, some of their pet laws passed. If Congress convenes as a constituent assembly, that’s one opening for Charter Change, isn’t it? How helpful.

Marina’s offices destroyed in Manila’s Port Area. The end for investigations into disasters like the M/V Solar sinking.

Overseas, Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai guilty of election fraud and Thailand’s Thai Rak Thai party dissolved, executives banned. A very interesting article on the expected demise of Malaysia’s auto industry: Bailout Alert in Malaysia. An excerpt:

Certainly the country is far different today than when Mahathir first became prime minister, to a large extent because of his vision. The highway system has transformed travel. Kuala Lumpur is a gleaming, modern Asian capital, crisscrossed by excellent expressways, its people far more prosperous than anyone would have dreamed 25 years ago. But huge amounts of money also have simply been wasted or lost to corruption, raising profound questions over whether Mahathir took the right development path.

Perwaja Steel, designed to spearhead Malaysia’s industrialization, lost US$800 million and its chairman was arrested. The Petronas Towers have been superseded as the world’s tallest buildings after contributing to a real estate glut in KL. Petronas, the national oil company and perennial cash cow for bailouts, occupies one entire 88-storey tower. The super corridor has fallen far short of its goal of turning Malaysia into an IT powerhouse as the tech boom has bypassed the country and largely gone to India. The Bakun Dam, considered a major white elephant because there is nowhere to sell the power it would generate, has yet to be built.

Sweden opens a virtual embassy. A health saga: Man with dangerous form of TB held in isolation.

My column today is Islamic democracy. It makes reference to these articles: Abp Quevedo: is there another way of choosing leaders in the ARMM? and Islam and Liberal Democracy: Two Visions Of Reformation. These Wikipedia articles are also useful: Islamic Democracy, the Caliphate, and Sunni and Shia Islam. Also, take a look at an interesting map of the geographical distribution of traditions of Islam. In Mindanews, Patricio Diaz has a two part series titled “Unacceptable Justifications”: read Part 1 and Part 2.

In the blogosphere, Anthologies wonders why government just doesn’t take a strong approach to provinces that fail to conduct elections properly:

It is all too clear that the supposedly elected officials in Maguindanao are there because of cheating. The election was a sham. Why not place the entire province for the department of interior and local government to supervise. Do away with the elected offices. The more radical way is for the legislature to dissolve the province and the local government units in it, and apportion it to the adjacent provinces.

I asked a similar question in Inquirer Current not so long ago.

Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez try to defend his efforts to bring Venezuela one step closer to the Castro style of totalitarianism. Or so says NewsBusters, which points to an Associated Press reporter defending Chavez’s decision not to renew the franchise of a critical TV station. culturekitchen does a roundup of manifestations for support for Chavezismo, and points to Venezuela Analysis whose roundup rebuts the NewsBusters type of criticism; the analyst asked human rights advocates whether non-renewal of a franchise was a free speech issue or not:

Jose Miguel Vivanco of Human Rights Watch clarified for me that “broadcasting companies in any country in the world, especially in democratic countries, are not entitled to renewal of their licenses. The lack of renewal of the contract, per se, is not a free speech issue. Just per se.” A free speech issue arises if the non-renewal is to punish a certain editorial line.

Still, Benoît Hervieu of Reporters Without Borders in Paris said that, while he could not be certain, he thought US and European governments would stop short of non-renewal despite RCTV’s “support for the coup.”

“I think that there would be pressure to make a replacement at the head of the channel. But I don’t think that they would not renew the concession. There is a risk in that story. There are 3000 employees at RCTV. So I don’t think that even in a country like [the United States or France], a government would risk putting 3000 people in the streets,” he said.

Could it be that governments like Venezuela have the theoretical right not to renew a broadcast license, but that no responsible government would ever do it? In the United States, this may seem plausible, since broadcast licenses here seem to be forever…

[For] Carlos Laura of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)… non-renewal itself is not the problem. His concern is the process by which the decision was reached. “I assume in the US there would be a process. The FCC would follow protocol. This is what hasn’t happened in Venezuela. We’re not arguing that the concession should be renewed, should be given to RCTV. We’re just saying that there’s no process to evaluate if it should be.”…

On process, they have a legitimate point. The government seems to have made the decision without any administrative or judicial hearings. Unfortunately, this is what the law, first enacted in 1987, long before Chavez entered the political scene, allows. It charges the executive branch with decisions about license renewal, but does not seem to require any administrative hearing. The law should be changed, but at the current moment when broadcast licenses are up for renewal, it is the prevailing law and thus lays out the framework in which decisions are made…

But is support for the violent overthrow of an elected government really protected political speech? Vivanco acknowledges that RCTV “obviously probably sympathized with the coup.” But, he says, “it is a matter of free speech.”…

If RCTV were the only major source of opposition to the government, the loss of its voice would be troubling. It would also be disturbing if the RCTV case forced others to tone down legitimate opposition. But Greg Wilpert, a sociologist living in Venezuela, declares, “It is the height of absurdity to say that there’s a lack of freedom of press in Venezuela.”

Of the top four private TV stations, three air mostly entertainment and one, Globovisión, is a 24-hours news channel. On Globovisión, Wilpert says, “the opposition is very present. They pretty much dominate it. And in the others, they certainly are very present in the news segments.”

Regarding the print media, Wilpert told me, “There are three main newspapers. Of those three, two are definitely very opposition. The other one is pretty neutral. I would say, [the opposition] certainly dominates the print media by far. There’s no doubt about that.”

“I think some of the TV stations have slightly moderated [their opposition to the government] not because of intimidation, but because they were losing audience share. Over half of the population is supportive of Châvez . They’ve reduced the number of anti-Châvez programs that they used to have. But those that continue to exist are just as anti-Châvez as they were before.”

Fellow Latin American’s aren’t pleased with Chavez, and neither is a big chunk of the Venezuelan population.See Gateway Pundit for a roundup.See the Pajamas Media roundup, too.

inkblots on NGO’s having to be self-supporting. Whispers in the Loggia on the Saturday canonization of Marie-Eugenie Milleret, which droves of graduates of the Assumption are attending in Rome.

Many thanks to The Philippine Experience and to Arbet Loggins @ Multiply for the birthday greetings -and to all the kind readers who greeted me, too.

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  1. Venezuela : no freedom to criticize government.

    Context:

    1. The issue, according to Chavez is a state’s right to protect itself from external and internal threats that are in cahoots. He says Venezuela is in the gunsight of the US which is using external means – embargoes, terror attacks, coups, propaganda – and internal allies to bring Chavez down.

    2. The issue according to the “outside” world is democratic space.

    The “outside” world can muster up a list of Chavez’ dictatorial acts. In turn, Chavez can list all the threats that forced him to crackdown.

    So unless one is actually living in Venezuela, it’s hard to say who is telling the truth or at least who is closer to the truth. All we will be doing is use arguments pro or against written by people who are pro or against.

    To comment on Venezuela from this distance puts one in the same position as those expat Pinoys who believe they are more qualified to lecture us on what’s happening in our country than we are.

  2. Sorry for the long-winded post. My point is a debate about Chavez will only be a competition over who can regurgitate better.

  3. I bet your bit on Venezuela won’t satisfy Bencard and you can be sure that he will put a long argument against it (prove me right please). hahahaha
    Curiously though, the support for the coup of the TV station there has a parallel in the country when the government accused ABC5’s owner of complicity in the “withdrawal of support” event last year. I am just wondering, if ABC5’s franchise is up for renewal today under the same owner, would the same thing happen?

  4. WTF statement of the day

    Hahaha! MLQ, I love how you put it. Happy birthday po.

  5. Disinflation

    A slowing of the rate at which prices increase. Typically, this occurs during a recession as sales drop and retailers are not able to pass on higher prices to customers.

    GDP rates in current terms in 05-06 1st quarter grew at 11.9%
    GDP rates in current terms in 06-07 1st quarter grew at 9.6%

    In real terms after taking into account the disinflation that is occurring after the price surges due to oil and the VAT from 05-06-07 by the appreciation of the peso; is the economy growing or contracting or simply spinning its wheels in the same place? Please note the appreciable drop in GNP growth in current terms from 05-06 to 06-07. Less pesos for dollars.

    All figures are from the NSCB

    At Current Prices
    INDUSTRY 1st Qtr 2005 1st Qtr 2006 Growth Rate (%)

    AGRI.,FISHERY,
    FORESTRY 182,617 205,139 12.3
    INDUSTRY SECTOR 382,538 428,713 12.1
    SERVICE SECTOR 656,859 733,619 11.7

    G D P 1,222,014 1,367,471 11.9

    Net factor income
    from the rest
    of the world 103,098 119,986

    G N P 1,325,113 1,487,457 12.3

    GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT AND GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT
    At Current Prices

    INDUSTRY Q1 2006 Q1 2007 Growth Rate(%)
    AGRI.FISHERY
    ,FORESTRY 206,651 214,602 3.8
    INDUSTRY SECTOR 432,801 476,234 10.0
    SERVICE SECTOR 745,454 830,690 11.4

    G D P 1,384,90 1,521,526 9.9

    Net factor income
    from the rest of
    the world 121,776 130,513

    G N P 1,506,683 1,652,039 9.6

  6. tagasulong.

    During the 2005 syand-pff at Ft. Bonifacio Mike Defensor called up ABS-CBN and threatened to withdraw their license if they did not stop their coverage . ABS said i was legitimate news coverage and that GMA-7 was also covering the incident. So they asked Defensor to put it in writing. He didn’t.

    During the 2004 campaign, ABC ran its own unofficial tally of the presidential election. Then acting justive secretary Merceditas Gutierrez (yes the ombudsgirl) threatened the station that she would throw the reviced penal code at them if they did not cease. She cited provivions about undermininf the faith and trust of the people against the legitimate government.

    This year Abalos did the same to media quick counts, this time using the election code.

    So “wondering, if ABC5’s franchise is up for renewal today under the same owner, would the same thing happen?”

    The threats have happened. We just don’t know if this regime has the guts to walk their talk.

    As to a parallel between chavez and gloria – well the circumstances and motives could be entirely different….and most likely are.

  7. Is the shutting down of a media outfit that’s broadcasting pro-opposition editorials and news ever justified? Im reading it’s not justified if GMA does it and ‘we can’t be sure’ if Hugo does it, MB. Either it is or it isnt.

  8. “Economy posts best performance, on a quarterly basis, in 17 years.”
    ——-
    I know what you guys are going to say:

    Credit the performance to the global trend.

    Absolutely the growth has nothing to do with GMA.

    But if the economy is goes haywire, we all know who’s to blame- GMA.

  9. ^error on the previous post. i didn’t bother to proof read it before I clicked the “submit comment” button.

    it should read: But if the economy GOES haywire, we all know who’s to be blamed- GMA.
    ———-

  10. Jeg,

    “Im reading it’s not justified if GMA does it and ‘we can’t be sure’ if Hugo does it, MB. Either it is or it isnt.”

    I don’t know the real score in Venezuela. But suppose, for the sake of argument, Chavez is telling the truth – “the US in connivance with Venezuelan oligarchy is trying to overthrow him using whatever means they have at their disposal” – would you allow Chavez to fight back or not?

    We are talking not only of internal dissent but of foreign intervention as well, would you allow Chavez to defend himself or not? Either you will or you won’t.

    Like I opined to tagasulong – “As to a parallel between chavez and gloria – well the circumstances and motives could be entirely different….and most likely are.”

    In cases where basic liberties are suspended or denied, what you should do is examine the objective reality. Then you will see the role MOTIVE plays and whether or not you can simply say, “Either it is or it isnt.”

    You cannot draw a parallel between Gloria and Chavez.

  11. Im not drawing a parallel between Chavez and Gloria, MB. Suppose Chavez and Gloria didnt exist. Is the shutting down of a media outfit broadcasting pro-opposition editorials and news ever justified? To be clear, my answer is No.

    I don’t know the real score in Venezuela. But suppose, for the sake of argument, Chavez is telling the truth – “the US in connivance with Venezuelan oligarchy is trying to overthrow him using whatever means they have at their disposal” – would you allow Chavez to fight back or not?

    Chavez should be allowed to fight back…with the truth. He should fight back by airing his side to the people of Venezuela who, lest we forget, voted for him in a free election. He should fight back by answering every accusation thrown at him and he should use the free media to do so to get his message to the people. What he shouldnt do is shut down the TV station. All in the spirit of free dialog in a democracy.

  12. I think MLQ3’s question if the election has something to do with the growth of the Philippine economy. How much was spent by all candidates (reported and unreported)? How much was plowed back into the economy? Remember that official start of the campaign period was the 1st quarter (the same quarter for the report).

    Sa press release ng report ay OFW dollars ang isa sa mga dahilan, ano ang role ni Gloria doon?

    At pagkatapos ng election dahil sa sobrang dami ng perang kumakalat, magkano kaya ang itataas ng mga bilihin?

  13. the other week i opened a link in my dashboard: When WordPress had its anniversary they posted worldwide the name of the restaurant in San Francisco, California where they would buy drings for everyone: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MANOLO!!!! Sa’n tayo?!!

  14. The ongoing move to change the leadership in the Lower House by KAMPI Cebu Rep. Pablo Garcia is a Moro-Moro stage. Its main intention is to prevent or discourages real opposition coalition party to emerge. Kampi have 40 elected members and needs other political parties to form a coalition. KAMPI may end up as a company union. Tayo-tayo system is undemocratic. Under House rules, the candidate to get the second highest vote in the Speakership race automatically becomes the Minority Floor Leader. Lakas and Kampi support the Arroyo administration.

  15. Chavez having won in a free election has every right to make this decision (closing the tv station). Whether this is legal or not that is for the court to decide and the tv station has all his rights to sue and fight for his rights. I guess this is better than fighting it back through or against the media. We all know the big contrast of that against this administration.

  16. Jeg,

    “Suppose Chavez and Gloria didnt exist. Is the shutting down of a media outfit broadcasting pro-opposition editorials and news ever justified? To be clear, my answer is No.”

    If you want to get technical about it – non-renewal of a franchise, a privelege, is not the same as shutting down a station. Or taking away its valid and unexpired franchise.

    Technicality aside, I agree with you. Theoretically.

    But since Gloria and Chavit exist, democratic theory is confronted by reality. Reality, which in the case of Gloria, we are familiar with and. in the case of Chavez, we are not.

    I don’t know if you’re a regular viewer of that Venezuelan TV station but I’m not.

    I don’t know if that TV station was merely hurling baseless accusations, or if it was telling the truth, or if it was actually inciting the public to overthrow Chavez. Do you know?

    I don’t know if the right way to fight back is with counter-propaganda or with a law, enacted years before Chavez ascended to power, that gives the Venezuelan president the prerogative to decide whether to renew a broadcast franchise or not.

    (I’m surprised that a “dictatorial” Chavez waited for the franchise to expire before he took action. It’s a mystery why he allowed the station to continue operating after it participated in the failed coup against him, if, in fact, it did.)

    We can argue freedom of the press all you like and I will probably interpret it more liberally than you but freedom of the press has limits, as I’m sure you are aware, and you and I don’t know whether those limits were breached by that station or not.

    So, at first glance and theoretically speaking, Chavez is wrong. But a closer look may produce a different perception.

    I will only remind you of what I said earlier, we are like expat Pinoys commenting on a matter in which our knowledge is severely limited and second-hand at best.

    So I will not argue for or against something I do not have first-hand knowledge of.

  17. MB, regarding Hugo Chavez and RCTV, i also wonder why he didn’t close the TV Station and round up its executives immediately after their own failed EDSA Dos. Anyway, my instincts say it’s still a step in the wrong direction by Chavez, but he is after all, a legitimately elected President. I’ve previously stated my concerns on how, in a polarized society, a popular democracy can slide into a popular dictatorship here. Our own middle class should heed the warning signs.

  18. ManuBuen says : “To comment on Venezuela from this distance puts one in the same position as those expat Pinoys who believe they are more qualified to lecture us on what’s happening in our country than we are.”

    This sure does not stop many middle-class Pinoys who have never experienced extreme hunger and who have never slept on a sidewalk to keep talking about how the extremely rich have oppressed the extremely poor and why the United Nations will save the world.

  19. Re: Man with dangerous form of TB held in isolation:

    His extraordinary story involves a Greek wedding, an Italian honeymoon, seven flights, a no-fly order and an overland trip from Canada.

    According to WHO, TB can be spread by coughing, or sneezing, or simply talking, as this propels TB bacteria into the air (the airborne spread). A person needs only to breathe in a small number of these germs to become infected.

    Tough luck! The incident will pose a global threat naturally. Consider the numerous contact tracings to be done by the CDC…remember the SARS?

    The mishap surely made true the mode of spread of TB…as the guy with the extremely drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) was airborne seven (7) times!

  20. One should always get worried when someone uses the words “….More qualified to lecture” and “..knowledge is limited”. This is like the father dictating the career that his 16-year old should pursue since the older has more first-hand knowledge and is more qualified while the younger’s knowledge is severely limited and second-hand at best.

    What I gather ManuB primarily says is that he does not like the blogpostings by BenCard from Boston, Vic from Canada, cvj from Singapore or AbeMargallo from California. [I wonder if he likes to listen to Ana from France?]

  21. baycas: Imagine an infected Filipino returning from her vacation (or from her OFW-job) in London or San Francisco and coughing merrily away in Makati or Quezon City before heading to Davao or Baguio, and the Philippine Health authorities tracking the first- and second-level transmissions.

  22. Taking a little pause, one may realize that Chavism could pose a greater threat to the hegemonic power than Binladenism, for instance.

    Hugo Chavez is being seen as transforming an elite-run society to a people-run democracy. And minus the rhetoric, is Chavism distinguishable from Jeffersonian democracy?

    Isn’t Chavism mainstream politics too capable of winning over its perceived sense of justice rational adherents?

    Binladenism on the other hand is political extremism, promising “liberty” and other rewards after death, and being both irrational and heretical, have limited supply of foot-soldiers and faithfuls.

  23. UP n student,
    The U.S. is very strict, when it comes to T.B. infections among it residents. Back in Dec. 2005, my youngest sister family moved to California and her youngest daughter was tested positive for T.B. and she had to undergo 9 months of Monitored Treatment and the whole Family were also treated as precautions (five of them). Although, all was allowed free movement and children were all admitted in School right away.

    As for MB statements, I don’t take any offence with regards to them. Anyone can comment about Canada, and I will always reply to the query as objectively as I could.

    But there are times, that an outsider can sometimes see something inside the country that the local might fail to see. I can cite an example where Mr. Ignatieff, been absent from Canada most of His life, pursuing a Scholarly Career and Tenure at Harvard, suddenly return and decided to run for Leadership of the Federal Liberal Party, after winning a seat as MP. When asked how could he be expected to be an effective leader of a country where he was absent for so long, Mr. Ignatieff replied that sometimes it take a person looking from the Outside, to know more about his country. To some this could be true.

    Also the President of one of the Former Soviet Sattelites is a Canadian Expat.

    With the availability of information and events all over the Globe at our fingertips, the only difference could be just smelling and seeing the events, knowing them we all have access…

  24. Isn’t the real comparison not Chavez and Gloria but Chavez and Erap? Both are populists who manipulate the poor and who care nothing for press freedom (remember how Estrada tried to stop film adverts in the Inquirer?). Both were opposed not just by the elite (who make a convenient scapegoat), but by most intellectuals and by the middle class. I have a Venezuelan friend in exile in London—a liberal decent guy–who reckons Chavez is going to turn into a run of the mill South American dictator of the Stroesner and Galtieri mold, if he isn’t that already.

    Incidentally, Chavez is also stepping up the pressure on a second television station (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6699383.stm).

    Like many people I guess, I like the way Chavez goads the Americans. Still, I’m pretty sure that, if MLQ and the rest of us were Venezuelans, most readers of this blog would be anti-Chavez, if the blog were still around of course.

    (Sorry, too many conditionals in all that but I hope you get my drift.)

  25. By lecturing I mean someone who does not live here and who tells me to stop complaining because by all indications, i.e. all the statistics and news reports he reads tell him that I live in paradise.

    Abe Margallo brings up a very good point. Although the hegemon’s answer to that is Kissinger’s famous line about Allende – ‘we cannot allow the people of Chile to elect a communist’. Or as someone else quipped – ‘one of these days the American people might just elect a fascist into the White House’. In other words, popular elections have their downside too.

    Going back to Chavez…..The case of Castro and Chavez is unlike ours because there is no superpower obssessed with overthrowing our government. Superpower involvement and interference in our affairs is entirely different. We were a colony that evolved into a neocolony whereas Cuba was a colony that became truky independent.

    Also, when our leaders take away our civil liberties, they cannot say, like Cuba, Venezuela or the US after 9/11, that it is in response to an external threat because threats to our national security are internal not external.

  26. MB,

    Please remember that expats might be able to help the Pinoys in their fight (Democracy /Financial, etc.).

    I know a group of alumni (expats) who continue to help their former Barrio School maintain if not introduce new improvements in their former school because PGMA’s and previous administrations have neglected it. I am talking here more than 400,000 Thousand Pesos for the past two years and another small project is coming. It might be a small amount,but, it is better than nothing.

  27. That’s SARS once again.

    However, Filipinos need not travel abroad to contract TB as TB is still one of the top ten leading causes of morbidity in the country. DOH’s stats in 2005 pegged TB at number 6 with a rate of 137.1 per 100,000 population.

    In the WHO Report 2007 (Global Tuberculosis Control), the Philippines rank ninth (9th) out of all the high burden countries in the Western Pacific Region in terms of TB prevalence.

    Not to mention, I’m pretty sure, are the TB cases not entered (reported) into the Philippines’ National TB Program list. Reportage may be a bit of a problem here because a lot of Filipinos don’t usually seek medical attention (unless with severe illness).

    TB is still considered endemic in the country owing to several of our fellowmen being infected with the bacteria but without having the symptoms. Lowered immune status may trigger the disease even without recent contact with a TB-afflicted person. Even those who were treated in the past may have some form of reactivation. The exposure to anti-TB drugs (esp. with the left-and-right intake of the medicines without proper supervision) poses a problem of bacterial resistance – leading ultimately to multi-drug resistance TB (MDR-TB) and, ONLY known last year, the emergence of the EXTREMELY DRUG-RESISTANT TB (XDR-TB).

    Who knows, we may have been part of the GLOBAL EXPORT of TB (together with India and China): one-third of the world population has TB and two-thirds of this are coming from Asia.

    It so happened we are still lagging way behind in AIDS cases (thank The Almighty! for there is correlation between TB and HIV-AIDS). With TB becoming more prevalent AIDS patients are commonly susceptible to it and it may prove to be a significant cause of their death. That is why the US of A and Canada are very strict TB-wise (very much protective of their HIV-infected or AIDS citizens). Ask St. Luke’s Extension Clinic information desk in Manila where Filipinos are screened (with a fine-toothed comb!) prior to being given immigration visas.

    …and I thought talking of a clamped down TV outfit somewhere is trivial compared with the ever-present local problem of TB…

  28. camry,

    I didn’t forget them.

    What I said, “By lecturing I mean someone who does not live here and who tells me to stop complaining because by all indications, i.e. all the statistics and news reports he reads tell him that I live in paradise.”

    So i was obviously not referring to the type of expats you menyioned.

  29. All it takes is about 2-4 weeks (depending on whose guideline you are following) of anti-TB drugs (usually the regimen will consist of 4-drug combination in the 2-month intensive phase and 2-drug combo in the succeeding 4-month maintenance phase – preferably directly observed by trained personnels, the so-called DOTS) to become NON-INFECTIVE, i.e., if the bacteria is susceptible to the medicines.

    What if it’s MDR-TB? Or worse, XDR-TB? Dr. Thelma Tupasi of Makati Med surely knows the answer.

    —–
    p.s. to my previous post: TV may be a status symbol nowadays (esp. with the advent of the plasmas, lcds, or hi-defs) but let us remind ourselves…TB may often afflict the poor but, most certainly, even the rich…and they shouldn’t dare deny about it.

  30. maybe i spoke too soon in the preceding thread but the number of comments in this one, including mlq3′ lead statement, show that the plight of the venezuelans were not “red herring” afterall, as the triumvirate, jeg, cvj and tagasulong, claim it is.

    still, the likes of buencamino (a little more articulate in this thread, i should say), is at his judgmental best again, calling all pinoy “expats” less informed than them and whose knowledge is “severely limited and second-hand at best”. how does one deal with this kind of characters? i don’t see or hear this guy personally and actually involved in the events in the philippines (in which he brags having personal knowledge of) that we are discussing in this blog. i’m sure he just get his own information , on which he draws questionable opinion, on what he sees on tv, hears on radio or read in the local papers.

    in this day and age of instant communications, where we can get real-time information on important events and witness them as they unfold, we are not exactly uniformed
    or underinformed. i would even dare say that, from a distance we can see the big picture better and get a more panoramic (not “myopic”) view of a problem and the prescribed solution to it.

  31. on another note, it’s so predictable. as far as the Gloria-haters are concerned the avalanche of good economic news are pouring not because, but in spite, of PGMA’s sound economic policies. the biggest mantra is the ofw remittances (which existed even during corazon aquino’s time and growing steadily each year thereafter) that they send to their loved ones (not to the government, you idiot)for their own needs. now, they are speculating if it’s because of the election spending.

    when will they ever give PGMA credit for her sound economic programs, excellent management and political will? what about the gains in tourism, job creations, small business ownership, real estate boom, mining, manufacturing, agriculture, business and investors’confidence, etc., etc.? they dump every blame for all the problems and misfortunes that befall the nation but cruelly deny her credit for the good things that happen in her watch. it’s true – they celebrate her failures and mourn her success. great bunch of naysayers, aren’t they?

  32. Bencard,

    “when will they ever give PGMA credit for her sound economic programs, excellent management and political will? ”

    You proved my point about busybody expats buddy.

  33. the only thing that has been proven is that you have impaired vision, if not intellect, dude. you cannot see anything if it’s right before your eyes.

  34. Defensor was probably given a choice between spending millions to get more votes for him or just keep those millions for himself and get out of the way.

  35. bencard, you have to understand, it’s like those who say “well, at least hitler built the autobahns and had porsche design the vokswagen beetle.”

    1. the autobahns were planned and begun under the weimar republic;
    2. the beetle is precious little consolation for everything else the third reich accomplished.

    of course you will say, but gma is no hitler just as gma is no marcos. that’s your perspective. others feel otherwise.

  36. supremo,

    “or just keep those millions for himself and get out of the way.”

    for sure he is not as dumb as legarda.

  37. frankly speaking mlq3, with due respect, i don’t see your point. very simply what i was saying, in essence, is that if you are blaming GMA for everything wrong that happens under her administration, why can’t you concede some credits to her for the good things taking place in her watch. but no, you have to wrack your brains trying to come up with excuses to ignore, or at least belittle, GMA’s accomplishment.

    of course, GMA is neither hitler nor marcos. but, that is beside the point. as my former tennis partner used to say, what has that got to do with the price of rice?

  38. “Low inflation, a strong peso, government’s pump-priming activities and preparations for the elections pushed gross domestic product (GDP) growth to its highest level since 1990, the National Statistical Coordination Board reported Thursday.

    “The gross national product — GDP plus remittances from overseas Filipino workers and the earnings of Filipino companies abroad — grew 6.6 percent in the first quarter (it is therefore consumption driven rather than domestic investment driven).

    “Growth in the services sector, which includes transportation, finance, trade and communication, was largely due to the booming business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, mostly made up of call centers (which do not create value-added).

    “A strong peso makes imported goods cheaper, encouraging spending (for importation).

    “The 6.9-percent GDP growth was still lower than Vietnam’s 7.7 percent (now RP’s acknowledged peer in the region).”

    “Economists say the Philippines needs to grow 7-8 percent annually to cut poverty substantially.”

    Overall the RP economy under GMA’s watch is C-.

    gets mo na ba Benny boy?

  39. bencard, because your assumption is very different from mine: you assume legitimacy, i believe the president does not deserve to stay in office, though i do realize that the public has remained stumped on the “who will replace her” question and has preferred the status quo.

    i have spoken often enough of the president’s gifts, and having worked for her i know full well she doesn’t have horns and a pitchfork, but the point is precisely that since 2005, those gifts are neither relevant nor deserving of credit; the damage she has done to the country is too grave to be tempered by saying “ooh, but come to think of it, she goes to mass every day,” etc. etc.

    ultimately, this about things larger than the price of rice. esau and the selling of one’s birthright for a mess of pottage comes to mind. to the president’s great political fortune, enough of the upper and middle classes disagree with my view to keep the president in power: which disturbs me all the more, because it shows things like edsa dos were simply about rice and not the great ideals we thought they were about.

    but i’ll tell you what really gets my goat, bencard. it’s the government taking credit for achievements that aren’t of its doing. and i say this because we only have to look at the news with a little more scrutiny and you can see it’s all credit-grabbing while everything else is up for political negotiation. put it this way: so she proposes additional VAT, to please the credit rating agencies, because there’s not enough money from taxes. she squeezes the people, and their taxes pleases the ratings agencies, business learns to live with it, but what about the “real reforms”, like cracking down on smuggling, the sort of thing that not only deprives government of taxes, but also unfairly affects the competitiveness of local businesses and entrepreneurs?

    no, she can’t bear down on smuggling, ask her husband’s friends, ask the generals surrounding her, ask Gov. Singson why that’s so. then ask why the reports won’t go away, that we’re headed for new taxes because government still can’t collect enough. and then ask me again why i’m not giving the president credit for anything.

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