New Asian alliance

Here’s something we didn’t get to hear about: in Playing the new Great Game in Asia and beyond, Brahma Chellaney, a professor of strategic studies in New Delhi, says,

A nifty new enterprise to discuss security dangers in the Asia-Pacific and evolve a coordinated approach – the Quadrilateral Initiative - has kicked off with an unpublicized first meeting. U.S., Japanese, Indian and Australian officials, at the rank of assistant secretary of state, quietly met recently on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) gathering in Manila…

…Today, major powers don’t wish to make a similar mistake over China’s rapid rise. Given the new fluidity, all important players, including China, are maneuvering for strategic advantage through new equations and initiatives. Just as China, for the first time since the Ming Dynasty, is pursuing security interests and seeking allies far from its shores, other powers are working to build new equations and partnerships….

The “quad” is just one of several initiatives currently being developed in the Asia-Pacific. Yet its preliminary first meeting was not made known for fear of raising China’s hackles…

…just because Washington, New Delhi, Canberra and Tokyo are coming together to build a four-way arrangement based on shared values and interests doesn’t mean that they intend to jointly countervail China. Such a mechanism, at best, can give the four countries extra leverage with Beijing as part of a common desire to ensure that the fast-rising Chinese power does not slide into arrogance. The fact is that for each quad member, a stable, mutually beneficial relationship with Beijing is critical to national interest.

Relevant articles on China: China’s House Cleaning is Just Skin Deep and Karl Marx is back, and punting on Chinese stocks, which presents a cautionary note on the booming Chinese stock market:

What’s so amazing about the surge in the benchmark CSI 300 Index is that everyone knows it’s a bubble and regardless, fresh money flows into shares. China’s companies may lack transparency, but its investors sure don’t. Quite transparently, they’re rolling the dice in the world’s hottest casino.

Just as a 9.2-percent plunge on February 27 was seen as a buying opportunity, Monday’s 7.7-percent drop merely brought new demand into the market. It’s a bubble, and legions of Chinese workers opening investment accounts don’t care…

…There can be little doubt China’s government, armed with $1.2 trillion of currency reserves, will step in to stabilize the market if it really crashes. Hong Kong did it in the late 1990s with few lasting side effects. And Japan rarely shies away from financial socialism when the Nikkei 225 Stock Average plunges.

Expect similar steps in China. For now, new investors hoping to strike it rich are propping up stocks like some huge, multimillion-person pyramid scheme. Such manias work out for those who get in early. It’s those who join late that often experience big losses. And make no mistake – this will end badly for many.

Now how do you think the Philippines is prepared (or not) to take this emerging bloc into consideration? Specially with our government’s cozying up to China?

Two articles in Foreign Affairs: A New Deal for Globalization and How Biofuels Could Starve the Poor.

Here at home: Filipinos are more optimistic about their quality of life. Even as hope springs eternal, Exports rise 8.1% in first 4 mos. to $16.3B but Export growth slowed to 5% in April-NSO. However, Philippine jobless rate as of April 7.4% vs 8.2% a yr-ago (and I suppose no one cares how employment’s defined). And by the way: Moody’s sez, RP debt ratios still too high.

Trillanes proclaimed; he says he will inquire into political murders. Blogger Willie Galang is unimpressed. Trillanes should perhaps take a look at how Indonesian Shootings Could Force Military Reform.

A meeting of the President’s Kampi was supposed to take place in the Palace today. Agenda? Supposedly oath-taking by new members. Probably more, behind the scenes. Meanwhile, cabinet intramurals go public: Claudio, Puno et al. on way out a cabinet deep throat says. Meanwhile, confusion reigns among cabinet members as to whether they’re supposed to resign or not -some fear even courtesy resignations might make the market jittery.

From the point of view of Amando Doronila, a cabinet revamp could be an encouraging sign:

…the President has, without having to say it, heeded the unmistakable mandate resoundingly expressed by the election results for the Senate, more than the results for the House of Representatives and local posts. The mandate is that: It’s time for change, not only of the entire Cabinet, but more so of policies, involving national security, human rights abuses and financial and economic matters — the key areas on which the administration was pilloried during the last election.

The total revamp signals a rare dawning of humility, of bowing to the sovereign will by an administration whose stock in trade during the past six years has been arrogance and pushing to the limits the arbitrary use of power. It also tacitly recognized that the midterm elections were a referendum on the Arroyo administration.

He says the whole thing could turn the tables on the opposition:

Such sensitivity to pubic opinion and electoral mandate is surely bound to be appreciated by the public. It can be interpreted as an honest effort at political reconciliation and opens the shutters for a fresh blast of the winds of policy revision.

The revamp is a political masterstroke in timing. It didn’t wait for the proclamation by the Commission on Elections on the final election results. It thus stole the thunder from the proclamation. It handed the President the opportunity to regain the initiative and the key to convert an electoral disaster into an advantage. It came at a time when the economy, acting independently of political uncertainty and turmoil, was showing signs of an economic turnaround.

The Inquirer editorial says it all depends on who ends up in or out. This news item has more significance than meets the eye: Palace lawyer revives call for PCGG abolition.

In the blogosphere, Uniffors reminds us why it’s a good thing there’s now a canonical age for retirement for prelates (the Cardinal Archbishop of Manila reaches his this year).

Philippine Commentary looks at the Estrada trial and the former president’s fall from power, and asks: what matters more, to be right, or to be fair?

Village Idiot Savant tries to come to grips with Rizal.

Ang Kape ni Lattex looks into an emerging dynamic in call centers: Filipinas getting all flirty with their foreign bosses.

And because it’s the weekend: watch Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at the Tony Awards!

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

103 thoughts on “New Asian alliance

  1. Ncie ncie tcuoh.

    Tughoh I hvae a polebrm wtih aobut a cluope of wodrs.

    Just bringing back the idea on “visual word recognition” that made a big hit in the netwaves and blogs in September 2003.

    But terhe mhigt be an iusse on Hloy Week.

    We can always celebrate or commemorate both birthday and deathday. But that would amount to a lot of holidays. I guess commemorating both is only reserved to the supreme hero.

  2. Justice League, i think it’s ‘consecrate’.

    Thanks, cvj.

    Now, for Padre Florentino’s oration…this time, in Filipino:

    “…Naaasn ang ktabaaang dpaat mag-aaly ng knanyiag ksarwaiaan, ng knnayag mga paagiinnp at sgaiisg uokl sa kbihaatun ng knyaaing Innag Baayn? Nsaaan syia na dpaat knsaug-loob na mghaobus ng kainanyg dguo unpag mahasguan ang namaainaprkg kyhhaaiin, ang naramknpaaig pkaksaglaaa, ang nankpriaamag kakulsam-sakulm? Dliaasy at wanlag biatk daapt ang aaly unapg tganiagpn ang pnhhaadogag!…Naaasn kyao, mga ktbaaaan, na mataauahaskgsan ng sliga ng bauhy na taakmus sa ainmg uagt, sa kaislaadayn ng pag-isiip na nualobk sa anmig uatk, sa aopy ng ssiaigg na nutgapo sa amnig psuo? Hhintiiany nmian kyao, O mga kaaaatbn! Hkaalyio, sakagpat hhaniintiy niman kyao!”

  3. To The Bystander:

    I take that all to mean that you are for being RIGHT but NOT FAIR. I understand, believe me. That is why Kangaroo Courts are the real alternative to democracy.

  4. djb, you appreciated (and probably enjoyed) all those good things even during Erap’s time, but you are not the “people” and thereore you are only speaking for yourself, don’t you?

    i say it again, the ofw remittances to their loved ones cannot be the only reason for the good economic news that we are having today. it helps a lot but it is only a minuscule part of the revenue that the country needs just to pay its debts and interests thereon, support the entire government, build essential infrastructures, and defend the country from its enemies. i’m disappointed that you are one of those who would not give pgma the thumbs up for a job well done (not necessarily an obscene gesture which i think you are above doing).

  5. justice,

    “And your contention that “he was willing to face the trial” greatly depends on your definition of what “willing” means.

    did he or didn’t he stop his partymates in the lower congress from voting to impeach him? did he exert pressure not to? can you speak the same of the gnome? that is what i define as “willing.” and when the impeachment trial was ongoing, he expressed his intention to show up and tell us all and sundry about his side of the story. that to me is willingness, even if he was going to throw us crap. can you speak the same of the gnome?

    result: the gnome, in her kapraningan, has pull all the plugs not to subject herself to the same, knowing fully she is likely to be indicted for all the kabalastugan she committed against the law just to keep her position.

    between the two, who is the lesser evil?

    recall, too, that erap was dangled with the offer to leave the country. he stuck it out with the sandigan. guilty or not guilty, that speaks volume of the person, doesn’t it?


    “it still has a lot of problems but it definitely is not the inferno that we knew under Cory and Erap. are those not enough to make us hope for the future?”

    an honest question and advice: when did you leave the philippines? where you around during cory or erap’s time? when are you coming back to the philippines. do it now while you still have you gma in the midst of this global economic upswing. but save your dual citizenship, it might come handy when the boat will sink again.

  6. INE,

    I wonder why Villar was to be replaced on the same day of the impeachment in the House then or before the instance of impeachment.

    Ex-Pres. Estrada says something but his lawyers were planning to file a demurrer to evidence. Makes one curious whether he was serious about what he said.

    Willingness to throw us crap. Yup. I think I read that right.


    Ok then.

  7. the second envelope was crap, which was thrown to us by the prosecuting panel. we relished in that, didn’t we? the consequence of the texters party at edsa 2: it turned our constitution into total crap.

  8. INE,

    Such of a crap that the defense seemed afraid of it, weren’t they?

    Well the Constitution is still operational so whatever “total” you mean; is not.

  9. “Such of a crap that the defense seemed afraid of it, weren’t they?”

    i reckon they truly were. but they have a point: it was an inadmissible evidence, which could have been done away it, in retrospect. gma’s legion of sycophants knew this lesson well: don’t even let the garci tape get pass the 1st roundl kill the issue on technicality, or the people will have another round of text party in the streets. wily, no? but that’s political process. we can only appeal to the gnome for instropection: “i admit, i am the cause of all this divisiness. i promise not to run.” crap.

    “Well the Constitution is still operational so whatever “total” you mean.”

    i meant this admin and the texters partygoes making a crap and mockery out of it. of course it’s still operational. sorry for the misplaced delivery of message.

  10. bencard,
    ofw remittances are a miniscule part of what we need??

    ahem. Last year that miniscule part was comparable with the national budget.

    Sorry, bencard, but your habitual argument that people are just being pessimistic and won’t give GMA credit where it is deserved, does not apply to me.

    The reality is all GMA has done is TAX and SPEND the OFW contributions through EVAT which she and Recto once sold as the solution to the foreign debt. Instead, as critics said from the beginning, once the government gets the money, it will be irresistable not to spend it. Sure enough, all EVAT has done is finance the PORK BARREL. Even Moody’s warns that this is a hollow thing and won’t last because our real levels of debt are still high.

    I am not deceived. She’s a lousy economist. I put my hope in the OFWs, who will be there long after she’s gone and are the real reason for the economic good news and will continue to be.

    You need a new argument, man!

  11. let me echo another comment made in one of manolo’s previous blog posts:

    “Anak ng teteng we’re still talking about Edsa Dos!”



    why is it, when it comes to the current administration, you firmly stand behind the rule of law and everyone’s right to due process…

    but when it comes to your favourite president’s political enemies, you don’t even bat an eyelash and proclaim that the Estrada Presidency was a “gargantuan mistake and something had to be done to “correct” the situation and stop the hemorrhage.”

    be consistent, sir. due process is a right that needs to be afforded to EVERYONE, regardless of what you think of them.

    the events played out as they did, and like it or not, we continue to reap the consequences of life under Gloria.

    and by “we” i mean, those of us here, who don’t have the luxury to sit on the sidelines and weep and lament, and what have you.

  12. In all fairness to Davide his colleagues legitimized his putschist coup d’etat? –DJB

    Dean, if you are referring to the decision of the Supreme Court in Estrada v. Desierto, I think you have it the other way around.

    The Edsa Dos rebellion was already legitimate having succeeded to install a new government and thereby de-criminalizing the rebellion with or without Davide’s colleagues in the SC attempting to re-legitimize in Estrada v. Desierto; but by doing so, that is, by bringing the new government back into the fold of the deposed order pursuant to the decision, the Court has criminalized anew the rebellion in which Davide was an active participant. On this score I agree with you that Davide as well as his partner in crime Panganiban remains as a rebel roaming free yet to be indicted.

  13. i’ll tell you what, tonio. comparing gma with erap is like comparing a barracuda with bangus. i will leave it up to you to figure out why i say that. But to help you do that let me just say: GMA’s enemies tried their poor imitation of “people power” (not once but three or four times, at least) to remove her, barely managing a noisy crowd of about 30,000 in their last two attempts; they tried impeachment, not once but twice, only to bite the dust each time; they tried melodrama via “resignation” of the “Hyatt 10” and presumptuous call for resignation by corazon aquino and drilon, and by other lesser characters, only to make themselves an ignored voice of unreason; they tried tying her hands by not passing a national budget, not once but twice, but she remained steadfast in steering the country away from troubled economy.

    for all the calumny being heaped upon her by her enemies, she has, to my mind, never been accused of (1)directly or indirectly stealing the people’s money, let alone plundering it;(2) building mansions for concubines; (3) alcoholism and being drunk while in office; (4) gambling, big time or otherwise; and, most importantly, (5) poor work ethic (i.e. laziness), ignorance and incompetence.

    believe you me, tonio, i’m all for due process and the rule of law. but in erap’s case, the nation took the law into its own hand, and the courts acted in the most pragmatic way to avoid possible bloodshed and massive loss of innocent lives, or a full-pledged civil war. such was not the scenario in all the failed attempts to oust PGMA,

    djb, if you are arguing that the ofw remittances to their relatives are the single, most decisive factor for the improvement of the country’s economy, then you are arguing that we don’t need a head of state to lead us achieve self-sufficiency and prosperity. do you think we should abolish the presidency?

  14. “…but in erap’s case, the nation took the law into its own hand, and the courts acted in the most pragmatic way to avoid possible bloodshed and massive loss of innocent lives”

    Really? Huh, I thought at that time the people, military, PNP, SC, the Congress, etc. etc. have all joined together to oust Erap. Who are they going to fight it out with? They just don’t have the law or the constitution behind them and have to think of something like creating the Erap’s resignation.

  15. Choosing between gloria and erap is like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. But the bucktoohed midget is more ruthless and savage than the celluloid hero in terms human rights violations.

  16. Choosing Joseph or Gloria, i would neither have one of them. they are both in the same bag; and stealing, and cheating and human rights violations, each one or all are unforgivable sins for a National leader and whether in court of law or Public perceptions and in reality, both are without doubt guilty of one or all.

    Estrada had his day in court and now await the judgement, while Gloria has still to see hers and may no even have a chance. But Gloria is not only accused by the so-called oppositions for the human rights violations and the corruption that is going on on her government; the cheating by the electoral body personnel, but by the meanstreams and even by the foreign concerns that have nothing to do with taking over the power. Are we accusing the leaders of Singapore, even the other countries, like the South Korean, Australia, etc.? Even the leaders of Vietnam don’t get accused to have allegedly committed the sins of ms. macapagal arroyo and her minions of opportunists…

  17. Davide (and Panganiban) and the EDSA Dos crowd were partners in crime so no use beating up one and not the other. Either their(our) actions in Feb 2001 were justified or not. It’s that straightforward.

  18. DJB,

    Im not sure that the blame should fall squarely on Davide, and by extension to Joker. Davide has had a sterling record in public service, one untainted with corruption and malfeasance. Joker is and has always been outstanding. If we are to buy your argument, then they must have squandered a lifetime of dignified service to the people by committing the treacherous acts you impute upon them.

    But hindsight is always 20/20 vision.

    Were you there when things were unfolding? Do you have a first-hand, blow-by-blow account of how things went?

    The fact is, as has been widely reported, Davide thought that by swearing in Gloria he would have averted a bloodbath. Did he go to the shrine and climb up the stage on his own volition? Or was he taken there at gunpoint? Who knows? I know it’s all hypothetical and to our eternal frustration, no one will ever know things than the One who pulled the strings from behind the scenes. IMHO, things went out of hand and beyond Davide’s control and that his decision to swear Arroyo in might not have been his own either.

    As for Joker, i thought he had been magnificent during the trial. Weren’t you mesmerized too when he showed those powerpoint slides of Erap’s and Velarde’s signatures and how he defended his argument? Wouldn’t you give him credit, as one of the lead prosecutors, for pulling off the Clarissa Ocampo Act? He might have messed it up when he led the walkout, but i dont know if it’s premeditated and that he knew that that act would lead to Erap’s eventual downfall.

    What’s the use of blaming it all on Davide and Joker? Will cursing them and their progeny bring things back in order?

    Is that being right or being fair?

  19. On the other hand, I couldn’t agree more on your argument about the OFW remittances and the so-called ‘economic miracle’ that Gloria’s apologists are peddling. They stand a better chance selling snake oil and hotdog waffles in LRT stations.

    I cant believe that Bencard could just simply pooh-pooh the ofw remittance’s contribution to the economy. Minuscule? Try Gargantuan. The fact is, the whole world knows that it’s what keeps our economy afloat.

    DJB got it right on the EVAT. Recto ran on the platform that the government should tax the people more, he even planned to tax the OFW’s remittances. He learned the painful reality last month that the people do not want more taxes on them. Vilma might have known that it’s about a more efficient tax collection and prevention of corruption.

    The reason why Gloria couldn’t get the thumbs-up for the ‘job well done’ is because she’s not doing it very well. The economy may be on its way up but the people are dying either in extrajudicial fashion or old-fashioned death by poverty. The stock exchange guys and their brokers may collect their dividends at the end of the trading day but pity the common tao, the ordinary tatay who is at his wit’s end trying to find the next packs of Lucky Me pancit canton to feed the brood.

    It’s not just the economy, stupid.

  20. OFW’s do not pay Philippine income taxes on the income they earned overseas, do they? [And Panfilio Lacson and GMA will pay zero-taxes to the Philippines on the profit they make on their US-of-A real estate holdings.]

    In fact, candidate Doc Bautista, despite his tens-of-millions-of-pesos-a-year income has paid significantly less taxes to the Philippines — ZERO — than bystander and schumey combined.

    Last year and the year before, money to build/maintain Philippine highways came from bystander (in taxes) and “nada” from doc-bautista.

  21. Davide (and Panganiban) and the EDSA Dos crowd were partners in crime so no use beating up one and not the other. Either their (our) actions in Feb 2001 were justified or not. It’s that straightforward. – CVJ


    That’s the whole point of my post – to underscore the absurdity (which I once called “a perpetuity in juridical misadventure”) of the decision in Estrada v. Desierto, that is, with justices deciding to preserve their seats in the SC by holding in effect that there was no change in the constitutional order despite EDSA Dos, they have on the other hand also ruled that the millions who participated in the uprising as well as their active supporters were rebels and abettors of the rebellion. Unfortunately for the robed sires, two of their members (Davide and Panganiban) were wearing two hats. So, as SC members they have kept their judicial seats by virtue of Estrada v. Desierto, but as rebels (as you said you also were, cvj) their acts remain as indictable offenses. Of course these are more of a theoretical exercise now because for all intents and purposes there were enough legitimating factors of the GMA regime (other than the holding in Estrada v. Desierto) such as for example the recognition by the major powers (e.g. the US) not to mention all the other governmental institutions in the Philippines.

    It should be pointed out however that the legitimacy issue of the GMA regime post “Hello Garci” is another thing. In my opinion this remains an open issue and a very difficult one. (Note: the issue had already led to two impeachment attempts and even in the last mid-term election, this was the most contentious one). Let’s see how this will unfold in a new Trillanes-led investigation in the Senate.

  22. Bencard :
    “i’ll tell you what, tonio. comparing gma with erap is like comparing a barracuda with bangus.”

    ha ha ha!

    Erap and his paid hacks / jukebox wanted to “return the gesture,” and give the government a dose of its own medicine.

    They chewed more than they could swallow. Consequently, they always had to swallow their own bitter pill.

    Why do so many men love to pounce on a woman? Do these men want to follow the careers of honasan/trillanes/iskodiro/cayetano?

  23. jonphil and Abe: Was the HongKong-based political economist an Erap paid hack when he said that “It (Edsa Dos) is either being called mob rule or mob rule as a cover for a well-planned coup.. But either way, it’s not democracy.”
    How big was the Edsa Dos mob? Abe 2 or 3 posts above writes ‘.. the millions who participated in the uprising”. I thought the EDSA Dos crowd was couple of hundreds of thousands (and EDSA Tres even less).

  24. INE,

    “… but that’s political process.we can only appeal to the gnome for instropection …”

    Geez, I feel like that is abject surrender.

    I certainly won’t recommend such a sentiment on whoever is the President of this country.

    Cheer up.

  25. Abe, thanks for the explanation. I looked up the Estrada v. Desierto decision and as i now understand it, the problem has to do with the Supreme Court’s ill-reasoned, after the fact distinction between the original EDSA (in 1986) and EDSA Dos (in 2001) in the following paragraph:

    In fine, the legal distinction between EDSA People Power I and EDSA People Power II is clear. EDSA I involves the exercise of the people power of revolution which overthrew the whole government. EDSA II is an exercise of people power of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly to petition the government for redress of grievances which only affected the office of the President. EDSA I is extra constitutional and the legitimacy of the new government that resulted from it cannot be the subject of judicial review, but EDSA II is intra constitutional and the resignation of the sitting President that it caused and the succession of the Vice President as President are subject to judicial review. EDSA I presented political question; EDSA II involves legal questions. A brief discourse on freedom of speech and of the freedom of assembly to petition the government for redress of grievance which are the cutting edge of EDSA People Power II is not inappropriate.

    If we apply Occam’s razor, we can see that EDSA and EDSA Dos are the same extra-constitutional acts (in Bencard’s words, they took the law in their own hands), only that the latter was participated in by a smaller ‘elitist’ section of Philippine society. This distinction is obvious given the subsequent reaction in the form of EDSA Tres a few months later.

    Although the EDSA Tres crowd will think differently, i also believe that Gloria was legitimate (in a revolutionary sense) before Hello Garci, mainly on the strength of the 2001 Senate elections which turned out in favor of the People Power Coalition over Puwersa ng Masa, 8 to 5.

    An interesting piece of trivia documented in Estrada v. Desierto is on how:

    President Arroyo’s public acceptance rating jacked up from 16% on January 20, 2001 to 38% on January 26, 2004

    That’s barely a week! That to me, is another example of the balimbing effect i.e. the automatic over 20% windfall of support that goes to anyone who assumes power (by whatever means) in the Philippines. I believe that automatic 20% support still applies today to anyone who would mount a coup and succeed (not that i would encourage it).

    UPn Student, i believe EDSA Tres was even bigger (two to three times) than EDSA Dos. Both were expressions of democracy. Flawed expressions maybe, but nevertheless democratic.

  26. UP n student :
    “jonphil and Abe: Was the HongKong-based political economist an Erap paid hack when he said that “It (Edsa Dos) is either being called mob rule or mob rule as a cover for a well-planned coup.. But either way, it’s not democracy.””

    Just that: HongKong-BASED political economist (if not an ‘envelopemental journalist’)

    “How big was the Edsa Dos mob? Abe 2 or 3 posts above writes ‘.. the millions who participated in the uprising”. I thought the EDSA Dos crowd was couple of hundreds of thousands (and EDSA Tres even less).”

    I agree with the millions – Erap’s MILLIONS OF PESOS to fund majority of the crowd of EDSA (kuno) 3.

    How do you call the congregation of people in fuente osmeña, Cebu during EDSA 2? How about the other congregations in Baguio, Davao, Iloilo & other parts of the country? EDSA ___ ???

    justice league :

    Is INE – Inidoro Ni Erap?

  27. cvj,

    By demoting EDSA II to an inchoate cousin of EDSA one and holding that Erap was talked and not forced out of office, the SC has also said it’s ok to EDSA Dos every day. But is this mere free speech or peaceful assembly?:

    (Narration by former Armed Forces Chief of Staff and General Lisandro Abadia (ret.) that was published by the Philippine Inquirer in its March 2, 2001 issue):

    It was surreal. I felt like I was Chief of Staff again, but this time, conferring with and giving instructions to a rainbow army. The Left and the Right seemed to be marching in perfect cadence.

    Who were in that room? Apart from myself, the agreed overall planner and commander, there were Metro Manila police chief Edgardo Aglipay, Western Police District chief Avelino Razon Jr., Teddy Casiño of Bayan, Nathanael Santiago of Bayan Muna, Dinky Soliman, retired Vice Adm. Armando Madamba, Fr. Robert Reyes and their assistants.

    When I asked Nathanael and Teddy for the strength of their forces, they gave figures from a low of 50,000 to a high of 100,000. Then I asked Generals Aglipay and Razon for the number of police troops they would commit to the area. They assured me of 1,200, with reserves on standby. When I asked about the whereabouts of the pro-Estrada forces, they answered that they would be at Mendiola.

    And before “(going) for the jugular by marching to Malacañang,” Gen. Abadia further recounted:

    There are things that are not quite clear to you, and so you have to make assumptions. And one must anticipate the enemy’s intentions using intelligence information. All of these data and assumptions are analyzed until one finally forms a course of action. I’ve been retired for nearly seven years but the military planning habit has not left me.

  28. Abe, i agree. The EDSA Dos and Tres crowds came about because they both have their respective crises of representation. These are two segments of Philippine Society who have to come to terms with each other’s grievances. Dismissing EDSA Dos as a ‘texters party‘ and appending the adjective ‘kuno‘ to EDSA Tres are not helpful. Next to this matter, issues involving the Constitution are secondary.

  29. tagabukid, lest you forget, the ofws send $$s to their families , not to the government. they couldn’t care less if they are helping the country’s economy or not – ask any ofw. until they were called “heroes” by some gushing countrymen and the media, their sole interest was to make more money for their own exclusive use, not to pay the country’s humongous debts, or make GMA look good. what about the fruits of the labor of our local farmers, fishermen, miners, construction laborers, factory workers, professionals, small entrepreneurs, bus, pedicab, and jeepney drivers, tourist workers, entertainers, etc. – do they count? like everyone is supposed to, they pay their taxes and that’s their contribution to the financial needs of the country.

    re- your “oft-repeated” plaint about “extra-judicial killings”, didn’t this problem exist from the time of commonwealth down through all the presidents from quezon to GMA? how many unsolved “political killings” were there in quezon’s watch, osmena’s, Roxas’, Quirino’s, Garcia’s, Macapagal’s, (and of, course, the one and only dictator’s), corazon aquino’s, ramos’ and estrada’s? anybody knows? the point is, there are political killings because there are always violent political dissensions in every society. complete peace and tranquility in this contentious world is unattainable.

  30. correction: last sentence, i should say “complete peace and tranquility in this contentious world ARE unattainable.”

  31. cvj: Dismissing jonphil’s comments can be counterproductive as jonphil is not the only one who believes that EDSA 3 was not completely spontaneous.
    In the same manner that many believe that EDSA Dos was orchestrated and that many people “were had” (manuBuencamino’s words), there is also the belief that a paid mob (paid by Erap and Erap sympathizers) marched during EDSA Tres.
    Come to think of it, immediate-past and the future of EDSA marches resemble Philippine elections…. money talks!!!! EDSA less democratic, though in that the Romblon-folks and Naga-folks don’t receive any largesse and college students of Mindanao and the Visayas are not quite that well represented.
    Amazingly, many of the EDSA-march believers swear to the one-man/one-vote principle.

  32. UPn Student, as i said before, denying the significance and reality of EDSA Tres is common among the upper and middle class. It’s a natural reaction to fear. I won’t be surprised if there were backroom arrangements in EDSA Tres (as there were in EDSA Dos) by the usual politicians and powerbrokers who seek to turn the situation to their advantage.

    Ultimately, however, these are of lesser significance than the genuine sentiments expressed by the multitude on both sides. Outrage at Erap’s treatment (and its subtext) was as genuine as outrage on the Senate vote (and its subtext) a few weeks earlier. Those familiar with the American tradition may find it hard to accept but exercising democracy does not just mean periodically electing representatives. Sometimes it also means direct (non-violent) action by the people. That’s what happened in January and May 2001.

  33. bokyo, answering your question “who” they have to “fight it with”. It’s people like you who didn’t believe in ousting estrada – who would defend him to death, and that violent mob which comprised the so-called Eds 3 a few days after Edsa 2. of course, they would do it anyway, supreme court or no supreme court.

  34. “tagabukid, lest you forget, the ofws send $$s to their families , not to the government. they couldn’t care less if they are helping the country’s economy or not – ask any ofw.”

    let’s us start analyzing how these remittances reflect in the nation overall economy or well-being.

    granted the ofws are exempt from paying income tax on their “foreign currency” income, those monies get into the country economy, no matter how the family spent them. the government then could print the equivalent peso currency for the remittances for internal circulation and use the foreign for:
    1. paying the import that are paid in different currencies, most in U.S. dollar or Euros or Canadian, or chinese currencies.
    2. service the principal and interest of the country’s international obligations.

    3. use to laundry the dirty money of most corrupt politician.

    $12 Billion worth of remittances in different currencies equivalence is a huge some for the Country.

    And also every time the families of OFWs spent those monies, they are paying EVAT, built-in taxes on Gasolines, and property taxes in the property (houses and lots) that those remittances had bought.

    Just like in many countries, most make money for their families in mind, but as they do it, their government benefit as well as the whole society.

    Yes, the OFWs remittances is a big contributors to the country’s economy, like our oil export to the U.S. and our soft wood lumber, that without our $50 Billions surplus in two way trade, we might as well join the U.S. of A.

    The Doc and her Doc husband across the border would not like the last statement (my sis and her husband).

  35. jesus christ, no wonder GMA et al keeps singing “Let’s move on.” Some of us are still stuck in time wishing things would’ve gone different. i always value history for its lessons, but never wallow in it for what-ifs. and before Bencard could jump for joy that i’ve vindicated him…

    A year into the GMA “presidency,” it became clear to me that EDSA 2 was premeditated, and was executed to a master stroke by the people behind it. The middle class’ resentment of the Erap presidency was obvious for everyone to see. What remained to be done was how to stoked that resentment into action.

    The giant networks had a lot to do with the stoking. With both stations premiering putchists like Alex Magno to spout opinions like they were gospel truth. Of course, Erap helped a lot to indict himself. Nothing like a womanizing idiot gambler to stoke the sanctimonious.

    To indict Davide and Joker or not, that is the question. Whether they did it of good will or not, only they can know. What I do know is this: the 2nd envelope was a ruse the prosecution did. It contained nothing, but that was irrelevant. They knew Erap was guilty, enough to be afraid of something like a purported evidence of his guilt. Like old sleuth Perry Mason, they just went out fishing — and captured a biter. Like a psychology of consequences, knowing what the enemy would do surely helped. The plotters, anticipating the pro-Erap senate to block any attempt to open the 2nd envelope, thought up the “walk-out.” Syur, Joker may have done it impulsively… but all of them walking out like it was rehearsed? gima a breyk!

    And the text-brigade. Yes, people just started texting everyone all by themselves — or a group started the ball rolling by sending out a few thousand messages out, and it rolled into one hell of an avalanche.

    In retrospect, I could write out in this blog a dozen pages of all that i’ve realized this past few years abt that cursed Edsa 2, but what does it matter? we’re in this mess now, and reminiscing won’t help (unless it’s to learn something that we can use to solve it).

    If there is one thing I agree with GMA et al, it is this: Let’s move on. But not just any moving on. Let’s move on to removing her and all her sycophants and slowly roasting them on a poke on national tv. (yes Bencard, I am in need of ur spiritual guidance as I sense horns starting to stick out of my head agn) And no, I will not be satisfied with a Marcos-like exile, or a Tanay-like detention. I want my pound of flesh and I want it as soon as I can get it. 3 years? Can’t wait.

    There is this line that always comes to my mind whenever I wallow in despair abt the quagmire our country is in:

    In a battle of ideas, we will never know who is right and who is wrong. The victor winning only means that they either had the greater strength, or employed the right course of actions. Even history cannot judge rightly, as it can be rewritten by the winners for their posterity. What matters is that we fight for our ideas with all that we have, knowing full well what it entails, and prepared to sacrifice everything for it.

    Without regret, without fear, let us draw the line and choose our sides. Whoever emerges the winner can then go on and write this country’s history the way they want it to go. Nothing to unite everyone than the bond given by a fierce battle fought.

    Civil war? To the deep end I’ve gone. And it shows much light than the surface. Any way, it’s either more of Gloria or death, so what’s the difference?

    Wipe the slate clean. A civil war would accomplish one thing. Whoever wins can go on nation-building with everyone behind them (as everyone who opposed them would either be dead or behind bars). Or they can go on to squabble amongst themselves for the spoils they’ve won. Either way, what’s the difference?

    It’s either boost, or go bust.

  36. And oh, to say OFWs do not pay taxes to the Phil gov’t is the height of ignorance. they may not pay taxes directly, but i assure you, every person living, earning a living, using the market for change of goods and services, pays taxes. ever wonder why they say no one escape taxes except after death?

    As long as they send that money back here, all it touches is tinged with taxes.

    in my little city, 3 lil piggies were playing. they had the goldilocks bears sending them their coins. soon came-a-riding little miss red hood. she saw d piggies and their coins and decided to put up shop for pigrolac. lmrh was soon rolling in goldilocks coin. not to be outdone, grandma put up her hood shop. with a variety of colors now than just red. lmrh soon became litte miss (input color of hood she’s wearing for the day) hood. grandma was happy and rolled in goldilocks coin together with lm?h. deciding to join in the party, the rest of fantasia crowded around my little city, and before u know it, figures showed it had a robust economy! golly wow! and the queen of far, far away(look) named “Clueless the Mole” was ecstatic abt her good governance of a city she didn’t even know existed. so ecstatic was she that she decreed (DECREED, i tell you!) that henceforth the piggie’s bdays must always be on an economically sound day. or else, how can the rest of us share in their bday celebration?
    lolololol. that was an uber hax idea, thought Clueless the Mole.

    meanwhile, in Mole’s palace, the pathetic wolf is huffing and puffing. day and night he works up a lot of hot air, and once a lot of it is stored in his cheeks, goes to Piggy City to blow it all off on everyone. He is the harbinger of truth, says all that bad breath. Figures do not lie. (but they occasionaly do when tanning season comes. and they sway a lot, too!) The truth — err, the harbinger, declares everything by the grace of her majesty. Piggy city is having a party bcoz Madam made it so. The fact that goldilocks coin is funding everything even her grace’s dildo is irrelevant. what matters is what her grace says so. didn’t they tell you? figures do not lie.

    in my lil city, a funeral there was. came home, the goldilocks did. mourning was so ever great. for none expected their party to end.

    coin stopped coming. for a while, coin alrdy in the city circulated. but as in all coins, they eventually found their way out, to other cities, other places. and with no real coin generating system in place, Piggy City went back to being a pig sty.

    And Clueless the Mole? Let’s jz say that till this day she refuses to acknowledge anything besides the fact that she’s 5 feet tall, and has a dildo for a lover.

    no. no one loves her.
    not even God.

  37. devilsadvc8, i don’t know where you get the notion that civil war somehow ‘wipes the slate clean’.

  38. “How big was the Edsa Dos mob? Abe 2 or 3 posts above writes ‘.. the millions who participated in the uprising”. I thought the EDSA Dos crowd was couple of hundreds of thousands (and EDSA Tres even less).”

    up n: the size to fit araneta coliseum. and some retiring exile call that a nation?!?


    “Geez, I feel like that is abject surrender.”

    i know. that was being lame to the very least. we probably need a footie player to give her the boot.


    “a civil war is quite good for this country. Then we start taking ourselves seriously.”

    you serious?



    “no. no one loves her.
    not even God.”

    but doesn’t she have direct hotline to heaven? the 11th hour commandment: “it was god who put me here”.

  39. Edwin, why not just move to ARMM so you can start taking yourself seriously without affecting the rest of us?

  40. vic, nobody is arguing ofw remittances are not helping philippine economy. they do. but to claim they are the sole reason for the country’s economic turn-around – that is a real no-brainer. in terms of an excuse not to give pgma credit for doing a good job, that takes the cake.

  41. devils, if a civil war would not make a difference, then why bother annihilating each other in a fratricidal warfare. that’s right, the tyrant you get rid of could be replaced by a new one that could be much worst.

    you don’t need a spiritual advisor. just change your job and cease advocating for the devil – it is fraught with danger. otherwise, you can try lobotomy to re-arrange your brain.

  42. “that’s right, the tyrant you get rid of could be replaced by a new one that could be much worst.”

    are we, in fact, admitting this stunted queen a tyrant by any chance? coz if we are, then we’re one step closer to an agreement Ben. And maybe then, civil war wouldn’t have to be so attractive anymore.

    why would civil war not make a difference? it would virtually change everything!

    ah, u must’ve meant abt me saying twice: what’s the difference?

    well, i meant bet civil war and more of Gloria, what’s the difference? bet conflagration or simmering peace, the difference doesn’t matter. better go in with the possibility of change, than stay fence-sitting sinking in Gloria’s quick sand. yeah it could be worse after. but i won’t be alive to know that if that happened eh?

    “you don’t need a spiritual advisor. just change your job and cease advocating for the devil”


    get a mirror and speak that again. u myt understand why that set me off laughing.

    btw, no comments abt Piggy City and Clueless the Mole? everything completely made sense? and not even contesting that no one loves the silly dwarf? sad. even her supporters agree no one loves her.

    and Mama Mary says get her out of it. this silly queen’s propensity for taking God’s and all the saint’s names in vain is contagious. Zooberry jz caught some if it.

    hachoo! a pig in a poke, a pig in a poke…
    manolo must’ve been such a seer by forseeing this as Gloria et al’s end. roast queen anyone?

  43. devilsadvoc8: You are still glorifying (pun intended) the OFW non-payment of taxes using a methodology that does not make sense. Your premise — the “pesos after-taxes” sent by OFW’s to their dependents spent in the Philippines is their way of paying taxes. Well, bystander (who directly pays taxes) also spends his after-tax income in the Philippines which results in VAT and other taxes. Come on already…. bystander is a better contributor to the Philippine economy than an OFW who does not pay income taxes.

  44. Now David Llorito (in his own blogspot site) has a hypothesis on how OFW’s help the job-market. He posts:

    …Are wages rising? It’s possible. That is quite observable in the case of the fast growing industry like the call centers, other cyberservices, and electronics. It’s also possible that the continued flow of skilled workers abroad has started to tighten labor supply. Or it’s also possible that the 6.9 percent growth rate may have really created more job opportunities….

  45. Devilsadvoc8: This ancient Chinese saying may contain an iota of truth about the high value the Philippines puts on the OFW sector:
    —With money in your pocket, you are wise and you are handsome and you sing well, too.

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