The renegade and the insider

First, the renegade. There’s an interesting interview of Danton Remoto in PinoyCentric, where he speaks pretty bluntly about what he observed as a candidate in the last elections.

From Remoto’s observations concerning local politics, let’s move on to the insider(s), particularly talk concerning national developments, starting with Postcard Headlines who takes a look at the interest generated by a news item titled Politics goes retro: It’s NP vs LP in 2010.

Next, with the stage set, there’s Ricky Carandang’s explanation of why he thinks Senate President Manuel Villar, Jr. is the front-runner in the 2010 race:

Villar has also taken care of the financial side of the presidential run. The recent public offer of Vista Land, his newly restructured flagship company, raised P20 bilion, a significant chunk of which will go to Villar. I’m told that it costs about P5 billion to run a successful presidential campaign. The IPO puts Villar ahead of his presumptive rivals in the all important money race.

A cursory look at the financial abilities of his rivals will show that at this stage, only Mar Roxas comes close in terms of resources. The Araneta-Roxas family certainly has assets worth P5 billion, but much of that is in real estate and co-owned by the family. Mar wouldn’t be able to simply write out a cheque for P5 billion to fund his campaign.

At this early stage, other possible candidates Loren Legarda and Ping Lacson don’t have anywhere near the required amount.

Incidentally, today’s headline, Cayetano bags prized blue ribbon committee, represents, in Carandang’s opinion, a nifty political side-step on Villar’s part:

Now, just as the cries of “sellout” were beginning to gain ground, he has managed—over the initial objections of the Palace—to have opposition stalwart Alan Cayetano named chair of the Blue Ribbon committee, the body that investigates government wrongdoing. In one stroke Villar has managed to silence the criticism and transferred the onus of proving his independence to Cayetano.

If, in his investigations, Cayetano is perceived to be soft on the adminstration it is he who will be accused of selling out, not Villar. If he does as promised and goes after the Arroyo regime he will silence the critics from the opposition and Villar will be praised for standing up to the majority.

The proof of the pudding will indeed be in the eating: those who voted for Cayetano will expect him to hold slam-bang investigations in the Blue Ribbon. It seems to me, aware of this (having tried to stop Cayetano’s selection as Blue Ribbon chairman), the administration’s backing off from hot potato deals: No go for broadband deal–Palace adviser. Nip it in the bud!

But what’s interesting, to me, is the overall allocation of committees, where most legislative work is done. The administration’s the clear winner here: Enrile with Finance, Santiago with Foreign Relations and Energy, Gordon with Constitutional Amendments, Tourism, Codes and Laws, Angara with Banking as well as Agriculture, Lapid with Gaming and Amusements, Revilla with Public Works, Honasan with Public Security, Escudero has the very powerful Ways and Means committee (along with oversight committees on the Lateral Attrition Act, the National Internal Revenue Code and the Special Purpose Vehicle Act), has oversight over taxation, which will surely please his party chief.

All the other chairmanships seem peanuts compared to the ones the administration’s ended up with. And the ultimate message is, everything’s still negotiable, which is why the President can send out feelers like this: Arroyo calls all senators, not Trillanes, to meet. When you read news like this, Arroyo seeks Congress’ passage of 28 priority measures, compare the list of the President’s priority legislation, with the newly-announced committee chairmanships in the Senate.

Going back to Carandang’s opinion that Villar is the frontrunner, John Nery in his column, says he’s privy to the findings of a currently-embargoed survey, and the presidential frontrunners aren’t the ones widely reported in media:

The polling organization showed its survey respondents a list of six prospective candidates, and then asked, “Who would you vote for, if the elections were held today and these personalities were in the running?”

Of course, it is far too early to place bets on 2010, but it certainly seems like the moneyed rivals (and the real frontrunners on the list) have their work cut out for them. Image-building, party-building, alliance-building — that’s a whole lot of infrastructure investing.

Some interesting theories propounded by columnists today. For background, first see today’s Manila Times editorial and the entry The real story on the kidnapped Filipino technicians in Iraq in Uniffors; then go on to Tony Abaya, who says he’s convinced there was an American plot to oust the President, but that since then, Uncle Sam’s decided to live with her until 2010. Writes Abaya,

(In early December 2005, there was a story in media about 88 Filipino workers who were stranded in the Dubai international airport and could not proceed to Iraq, but refused to come back to the Philippines. They and the 51 workers Mayberry testified about – and possibly other unpublicized groups – may be part of what Madsen calls “low-wage slave trading in the Middle East.”)

Madsen says that the Arroyo administration banned the PPI… from further recruiting Filipino migrant workers for the Middle East after a Filipino was killed during a terrorist attack on Camp Anaconda in 2004.

…Madsen claims there is a connection between PGMA’s “ordering the repatriation of Filipino workers from Iraq and Kuwait, and the discovery that US Marine Corps and FBI spy Leandro Aragoncillo, a Filipino-American who worked as a Marine security aide inside Cheney’s office… who was arrested by the FBI last October [2005], had stolen dossiers from Cheney’s office that were considered damaging to Mrs. Arroyo.”

…The above means that the NSA was intercepting and eavesdropping on PGMA’s landline and cell phone conversations, and passing on the dirt to Estrada. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Hello Garci tapes were first made public by Allan Paguia, a “former” lawyer of Estrada.

The above paragraph confirmed what I have written several times, that the neo-cons in Washington, who are led by Cheney, wanted to see Arroyo removed from office, for (a) withdrawing the Filipino contingent from Iraq; (b) signing an oil exploration agreement with the Chinese on the Spratlys; and (c) failing to dismantle the Jemaah Islamiyah camps in Mindanao…

But after the Aragoncillo-Michael Ray Aquino espionage case was thoroughly investigated by the Americans, Estrada – considered the main beneficiary and financier of the caper – and Panfilo Lacson – the former boss of Aquino – have been dropped from the neo-cons’ short list of replacements for GMA, and the Americans have decided to stay with GMA until 2010, or until a suitable replacement can be found before 2010.

Which suggests, first of all, that the tapes were genuine to begin with, but also explains where they came from -returning to speculation at the time (2005) that the tapes were an American leak!

Incidentally, it’s also interesting to connect Abaya’s belief of continuing -but conditional- American backing, with Amando Doronila’s analysis of how panic-prone the administration remains:

The panic was triggered after Joachim von Amsberg told foreign correspondents prior to his departure as World Bank country director in the Philippines that the Arroyo administration’s failure to meet its five-month revenue target had put at risk its ability to sustain fiscal reforms and meet its budget deficit goals.

The warning so unnerved the administration that the panic it touched off has defined its policy responses and priorities since July. It has been responsible for a number of developments, including a clueless Cabinet reshuffle, an economic policy vacuum, and the loss of direction of the national agenda despite the blueprint set by the SONA.

Meanwhile, Ellen Tordesillas revisits a proposal that’s been discussed pretty widely for some time now (see my blog entry for June 22, 2007 for example, and Fr. Bernas’ July 2, 2007 column), that is, a grant of amnesty to put to heal the political divisions since 2001:

Lacson’s advisers said the opposition senator is amenable to sponsoring a bill granting amnesty to those accused of political crimes but they said they would have to be careful about its coverage including the cut-off date. They said JDV and Lacson may not have the same definition of “political crimes”.

The amnesty proposal is supposed to solve the political tension that has bedeviled the Arroyo administration since its start in 2001. Amnesty is an instrument of reconciliation as it erases the political crime of the accused even before conviction. It differs from pardon, which can be granted only after conviction.

Logically, those who would likely be included would be former President Estrada, son Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and lawyer Edward Serapio who are awaiting the Sandiganbayan decision on their plunder cases; the Magdalo soldiers who staged the so-called “Oakwood Mutiny” in July 2003 that includes Trillanes; and the 28 officers led by Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda involved in the alleged aborted withdrawal of support from Arroyo in February 2006.

De Venecia has not spelled out details of his amnesty proposal but sources told us the cut-off date, presumably at the time of the filing, would in effect protect Arroyo and her associates from being charged with plunder and other crimes once she is out of office. That means she would be automatically absolved of the crime of betrayal of public trust for cheating in the 2004 elections and for diverting millions and millions of pesos for the people to her election fund. Same thing will happen to her accomplices like former Agriculture Secretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante.

Sources said the amnesty proposal is actually designed for Arroyo. Estrada, Miranda and Trillanes et. al. would just be collateral beneficiaries.

By the way, concerning Trillanes, the critical camp has its exponent in Solita Monsod; blogger Quixotic Kibitzer points out flaws in the arguments of those (including me) who criticized the court’s decision to refuse Trillanes permission to attend Senate sessions.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

123 thoughts on “The renegade and the insider

  1. We both agreed that Zubiri did something as in the bio fuels initiative,………

    sabi mo buti pa sya me nagawa si Cayetano wala….

    I am looking for the exact article..gusto ko din makita kasi

  2. Just got this from inq7 headlines news…

    I’m not against the Senators Cayetano but you see that they are two and they will always be favored because, apparently, when they vote they immediately get two. That is what the others are complaining about and I’m not the only one saying that,” said Gordon.

    See Manolo, this what I have been saying all along….Like it or not having two siblings in a senate will really be an issue. Now abangan natin ang mga susunod na composition ng senado. Padamihan na magkakama anak yan. Tapos ang ending nyan sisihin na naman natin ang political dynasty sa palala ng pala na kondisyon ng bansa and even with out taking responsibility that we all made it happen . haay buhay …

  3. djb, read again, please. i said preponderance of evidence to prove that the lower court’s verdict was erroneous, as the appellant claims, and NOT his innocence.

  4. Eto yung part mo

    dahil ilan beses mo inulit kaya madali hanapin.

    pero di naman palagi ako disagree sa yo di ba….

    rego :
    Oh di tama nga ang hinala ko about Alan Peter Cayetano
    House records show Zubiri most prolific lawmaker, Cayetano least productive
    By Delon Porcalla
    The Philippine Star 02/15/2007

    Bukidnon Rep. Juan Miguel Zubiri was the most prolific among the five congressmen running for the Senate in the May 14 elections, and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano was the least productive, according to official records obtained by The STAR.

    The records showed that Cayetano “authored none and co-authored none” of the 37 laws that Congress had passed since July 2004, as compared to the four other lawmakers.

    Zubiri sponsored two bills passed into law, among them Republic Act 9341, or the Rental Reform Act of 2005, and RA 936, the Biofuels Act of 2006.

    The pro-administration’s Unity Ticket candidate is also credited with co-authoring seven other bills that were eventually signed into law by President Arroyo.

    Representatives Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III of Tarlac and Prospero Pichay of Surigao del Sur each co-sponsored four bills that have been passed into law.

    House Minority Leader Francis Escudero authored none but co-authored three of the laws that have consequently been enacted.

    Aquino and Escudero joined a multitude of lawmakers in resetting the barangay elections (RA 9340), repealing the death penalty law (RA 9346) and helped pass the Juvenile Justice System (RA 9344) Bill of Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara.

    Pichay co-authored four, the last being a local measure. So did Aquino, who helped pass RA 9354 sponsored by his provincemate, Tarlac Rep. Gilbert Teodoro, who withdrew his senatorial bid.

    Escudero had the most number of House bills authored, with 77 measures, 51 of which remain pending, 18 have been substituted by several related bills, while eight have been transmitted to the Senate for approval.

    Next was Pichay with 66 bills filed in the 13th Congress; 40 of which are still under deliberations in the committee level, 13 measures substituted and the remaining 13 others were elevated to the Senate.

    Third was Zubiri. Out of 61 bills, two have been signed into law by Mrs. Arroyo – the Rental Reform Act and the Biofuels Act – and eight have been forwarded to the Senate.

    Fifteen were substituted with related bills, and the 36 others remain pending.

    Cayetano came in fourth. He filed 12 bills; three have been sent to the Senate, five remain pending, while the four others have been substituted with other related measures.

    Last was Aquino with eight bills authored, one of which was transmitted to the Senate, while another is on third and final reading in the House. Two bills of his were substituted, while three are undergoing committee deliberation.

    All five congressmen will be “graduating” by June 30. They are on their third and last term and can no longer seek reelection.

    February 15th, 2007 at 7:32 pm “

  5. DJB,

    At the RTC level, the accused is on trial.

    At the appeals level, the decision is on “trial”

  6. rego,
    Pia cayetano. She got in because of a sympathy vote for her outstanding father, but I think she has not redeemed the expectations of that sentiment by merely running in the New York Marathon with Fernando Zobel, or scattering rose petals wherever Mar Roxas walks but still vote for Villar.

    Still, i’m a great believer in genes as efficient bearers of potential genius or madness. Biochemical combinations that worked in the past often work in the future, so let her surprise us in the three years she has left.

  7. karl, thanks for the citation. alam ko yang si cayetano e puro bunganga lamang, a real empty shell. the blue ribbon committee, chaired by true “giants” of legislation in the past (including joker) will never be the same again. i hope this hastens the demise of this useless, expensive debating society called the “senate”.

  8. Rego,here it is!
    rego :
    “But for what it is worth… it is about time some one face the big guy head on..di ko naman masabing nakiki ride lang sa senate elections dahil consistent naman sya..for the last year and a half or so….pero kahit na..some one must have the balls to face the fatman and that some one is Allan… “- Karl Garcia on February 8th, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    To me (and even most people in our yahoo group), Allan has it from the very begining. He and Chiz wanted to be senators from the very begining. They both use the Garci Scandal and all other issues they can come up with to be very visible in the media. All in the name of name recall. Are they really serious on going after the Arroyos? I dont think so. Bacause if they are really serious something must have been accomplished already.
    In terms of making things happen. I would still give to the Spice Boys, (Mike Defensor, Miguel Zubiri, Nonoy Andaya and Ace Barbers) for being able to bring Erap to the impeachment court.

    In terms of Loyalty and principle orientation, I would still give it again to Spice Boys for sticking it out with Gloria to the very end even risking their own political careers. It would have been easier for them to join the bandwagon of Gloria haters to further their chances of being a senator. So unlike Allan Peter who easily jumped to the the other side when he saw an opportunity never. Mind if he ran and USED the Aroyos to be able to get elected in the last election. And what happened to all his crusade against the Arroyos?. Did the nation benefitted from it? Nothing, nada, zilch! To me he has not acomplished anything for the nation. All he has accomplished was for himself alone. Being able to get elected to the senate through the media that he used shrewdly. He has a trapo written all over in his face and body.

    And what good can we get by having a brother and a sister in the senate, a father and son, a half brothers, a nephew and aunt?
    And then we have two coup plotters ( oh sige let launch a coup para sumikat) several movie actors and political parties who distributed their candidates on both sides?
    The senate election is nothing but garapalan, lokohan… so I will never ever allow myself to be a part of it. Kayo na lang dyan.
    February 9th, 2007 at 5:58 am

    Karl Garcia :

    Hello spice boy.
    Wala akong babawiin sa sinabi ko..I might even compare Allan’s crusade and compare it to Lacson’s..sabihin na natin na from the very beginning senado ang habol nya…karapatan na nya yon libre lang mangarap pero bilyones ang kailangan para manalo…that is the nature of the beast…pero balik tayo ke Lacson..nabitin ako sa Jose Pidal case ni Lacson… nang olats comment na sa mga ibang issue.

    Now to your spice boys..anong magandang nagawa ni Mike Defensor sa housing at sa DENR…???
    Sure he is the loudspeaker of the administartion but hanggang dun lang..
    Nonoy Andaya…no problem with him
    Napakahirap asikasuhin ng friend once worked years behind the scenes with him..You might not know him ..the SEC commission sectretary Gerard Lukban
    Migs Zubiri….cool!

    I like his biofuel initiative..wag lang nya palabasin na yan na ng magsosolve ng lahat mg problema natin…bola na yan..

    You may be surprsided with my comment…I think neither UNO or Unity will sweep the senate race if they really base it according to track record…

    pero we all know not all the best people win elections.


    rego :
    All I was comparing the Spice boys and the Smart boys based their impeachment efforts. Kasi yun ang common na ginawa ng mga younger politician na eto.
    I agree , Mike performance in DENR is not acceptable. That is why I dont want to vote for him. He is not made for the senate yet. I already said this in the previous thread.
    As matter of fact I have decided to never to vote anybody in the senate.Its apersonal protest!
    BTW, if Migs Zubiri has biofeul initiative what do Chiz and Alan have?
    February 9th, 2007 at 10:30 am

  9. “Still, i’m a great believer in genes as efficient bearers of potential genius or madness. Biochemical combinations that worked in the past often work in the future, so let her surprise us in the three years she has left.”

    Ay sana naman, DJB! oo nga pala 3 years na ang nakalipas at may remaining three years pa…Sabi nga ni Karl abangan na lang natin. May aabangan naman kay tayo? Or we will still be stuck on the same rut after three years.

  10. DJB,

    First, do you think Trillanes and his group would implicate Honasan as the mastermind?

    Second, unlike Trillanes, Honasan allegedly worked in the shadows. He was not with Trillanes when they occupied Oakwood. He came there in the afternoon as a “negotiator”.

    Third, the evidence against Honasan consisted of tapes and testimonies showing he was in a meeting with the Magdalo officers, lecturing them on the virtues of hi National Recovery Program, and making a “blood compact.” Unless, the first question can be answered in the affirmative or the prosecution did not came out with more damning evidence because of the suspected cavorting with the administration, the evidence held by the prosecution against Honasan would fall short of the required quantum of proof.

    Therefore, Trillanes and his group cannot benefit from the dropping of charges against Honasan.

    On the matter of bail, the Trillanes case has the following similarities with the Montano vs Ocampo case:

    1. both are still on trial and thus, benefit from the presumption of innocence
    2. both are senators and the subsequent rationication is that because of their public stature, the possibility of flight is negligible.

    Unfortunately, the similarities end there. Now the differences:

    1. The Montano case was decided in 1953 under the old rules of criminal procedure.
    2. Under the present rules,promulgated only in December 2000, an accused of a crime punishable by reclusion perpetua may be granted bail if evidence of guilt is weak. In Montano, the SC said the prosecution failed to adduce such evidence. In the Trillanes case, Judge Pimentel denied the motion to demurrer of the Magdalo because he believes the evidence is strong. And we have seen that the Judge quoted quite substantially the Jalosjos case.

    Trillanes, on the other hand, may still argue that, unlike Jalosjos, he did not evade capture (well, because they surrendered).

    The prosecution, on the other hand, the prosecution will highlight the danger that he might again commit the crime he is accused of. Remember that he still insists that there was nothing wrong in what they did at Oakwood and it was a valid expression of their grievances. So, what’s wrong with doing it again?

    With such nuances, tt is still a toss-up between Jalosjos and Montano.

    However, it is incontrovertible that the rules of criminal procedure states that an accused in a case punishable by reclusion perpetua cannot be granted bail, regardless of the stage of the proceeding, when the evidence is strong.

    I think it is too late for Trillanes and counsel to get to the good side of Judge Pimentel, having annoyed him with their incessant claims of precedents and making it look like the judge does not know his law. For a judge and an eminent law professor, it would be shameful if he backs down.

    With that, I personally do not like Trillanes’ chances.

  11. Honasan and Misuari, those are the two cases the judge could have used as reason to rule favorably on the petition of Trillanes.

    The case of Honasan reveals how this regime has tipped the scales of justice.

    When Honasan was captured, Raul Gonzalez immediately prejudged him, telling the press he was “involved in all” coup attempts”, his “fingerprints” were in every attempt at destabilization.

    After Honasan made peace with Gloria, his “fingerprints” in the Oakwood Mutiny suddenly and inexplicably disappeared. Raul Gonzalez could not see them anymore so he ordered his lawyers to drop the case against Hanasan.

    The DOJ prosevutors were understandably pissed. They said the grounds for dismissal Gonzalez used had no relevance to the case they had built against Honasan but since Gonzalez, their superior, had spoken, they had to obey.

    Misuari on the other hand is still charged with rebellion yet he was even given permission to campaign and then go to Saudi Arabia for peace talks.

  12. “We shall need compromises in the days ahead, to be sure. But these will be, or should be, compromises of issues, not principles. We can compromise our political positions, but not ourselves. We can resolve the clash of interests without conceding our ideals. And even the necessity for the right kind of compromise does not eliminate the need for those idealists and reformers who keep our compromises moving ahead, who prevent all political situations from meeting the description supplied by Shaw: “smirched with compromise, rotted with opportunism, mildewed by expedience, stretched out of shape with wirepulling and putrefied with permeation.”
    Compromise need not mean cowardice. …”

    John Fitzgerald Kennedy

  13. mb,

    Don’t forget that Senator Aquino had a death sentence (for subversion, murder and illegal possession of firearms) when Marcos allowed him a medical furlough. Looks to me that if Trillanes stays locked up for another three years he has no where to go but step into the martyr’s larger than life shoes. Sonny by some measures has the cast of the resoluteness and allure of the young Ninoy.

  14. “Cayetano has the mandate to perform a function born of the public’s instinctive appreciation of Wilson’s beliefs. But he must produce evidence, do some real lawyering and focus on the facts. In other words, he should not just put on a show, but do the job, zealously and without mercy. Otherwise it’s all an act.” -Inquirer net editorial today”


    This is all I wanted from Alan Peter….

  15. U.S Senate Investigations

    “Historically, successful Senate investigations (as well as those conducted by the House of Representatives) have required a combination of persistence, diligence, expert staff, sharp questioning, good publicity, and some luck. Successful investigators have conducted a great deal of background research in order to collect evidence, and have been shrewd in evaluating evidence and in questioning witnesses. They needed to achieve a level of bipartisanship to maintain credibility. They also needed enough showmanship to attract the press and hold public attention. Ultimately, it was not sufficient for them simply to uncover serious problems; they needed to do something about them, whether by punishing transgressors or by enacting laws to prevent a recurrence. “

  16. devilsadvoc8: thank you for taking the time to read past entries. i agree with you re: edsa dos. i’d add, the reform and clean government mandate of that revolt were so thoroughly squandered, it put off the young students who were there, from further political participation. it took several years for the sheen of 86 to be lost, for example; after 2001, that it would be business as usual became clear with the nani perez related scandals within days. and the middle class, too, decided to do other things (emigrate, or do gawad-kalinga style things) after class warfare erupted in may 2001.

  17. rego:

    a) depende kung talagang bumoboto silang si lang sabay, kundi pare-pareho
    b) depende kung anong isyu ang sinusuportahan at kinokontrahan nila sa paraan ng kanilang mga boto

  18. mlq3, you should hear (or read) the thoughts of today’s generation. since i belong (mostly) in their age bracket, i converse with them a lot. none show their disdain abt People Power more than this statement: na naman?

    i think it has to do with the fear of our nation becoming a banana republic. the class warfare (Edsa 3) you are referring to was just a precursor, and not very complete. it did not end in the exhaustion of that class’ frustration with the upper and middle classes. parang kumukulong sinaing, binuksan lang ang takip para palabasin ang steam, tapos nang humupa ang tubig, tinakpan uli, para tuluyang umangat at maluto ang kanin. beneath the surface, class warfare is simmering, needing only an inspired prodding to let it all out.

    i might’ve mentioned this before, but I believe civil war can do what everyone has failed to do. unite the survivors of that war in a common goal of correcting our past’s terrible effect on our psyche, and forging a new history for the Filipino people. spilling blood and fighting for a cause are what Filipinos need. in EDSA 1 (and 2), the peaceful revolution made the people feel as if their freedom was easily won. those 2 events did not give the majority the passion to see the fruition of the ideals that inspired each revolution. nothing like kinship in war to bind people together. look at the American civil war. after it, their country was born. bec the people who fought in that war fought for their beliefs with their lives on the line. it swiped aside or made inconsequential people without convictions. the winner then wouldn’t necessarily be the one who had the superior belief (or the right cause). the winner would be the one possessing the greater conviction to see through that what they were fighting for succeed. and of course, those winners would have that same passion (after the war) to see that what they fought for, will not be squandered foolishly, or uselessly after the war has been won.

    so though it would upset the hemophobics, blood still needs to be spilled if we want our country to change (in either directions, better or worse)

  19. hehehe. he must be thinking of the judiciary and not about the commonly used dictum by legislators “in aid of legislation”. these debates are confusing sometimes.

  20. Abe,

    yeah. it (detention) may transform him, just like it transformed Ninoy. maybe he should fast. being on the throes of death due to hunger seems to give people an epiphany of some sort.

  21. Devilsadvc8, i think your romanticizing the effects of war. If that we’re true then we should be seeing the benefits in the Muslim regions by now since they’ve had more than a generation of conflict. If you go back to mlq3’s ‘Horrifying’ thread, you can see that the rationale given for unspeakable atrocities (like the A-bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the fire-bombing of Dresden) is because it was an ‘unfortunate necessity’ in a time of war. Being fully aware of this, why create a situation when people would be in a position to give such an excuse once again?

  22. cvj, there is no benefit to see in Mindanao since the war there has not seen an end. and i did not claim as well that a war’s effects would all be good. i said it could turn out in either direction, as shown in the African countries embroiled (or had been) in civil war. if the just won, we’re lucky. and if the mad won, well then, we’d be condemned to the fate suffered by the same African nations that saw an unsuccessful continuation to their civil wars. what my point is, is that those wishing for change must be bloodied. never mind if they’re the only ones to suffer so. never mind if their opponent never suffer the same. what is imperative is that they taste the harshness of evil. a good thing cannot be had just for the asking. it must be fought for. likewise prosperity (or freedom) cannot be had cheaply. people must be deserving of it.

    it is like Bush’s asinine war to bring “democracy” to Iraq. you cannot shove freedom down people’s throats. they must first want it and ask it for themselves. “self-determination” must come from the people, not from some self-perceived liberator.

  23. I am of the mixed minds of Rizal and Bonifacio. Rizal believed the people was not ready for a revolution, that they must be allowed to grow into a revolutionary mind, and that they must be ready for the freedom they may attain if ever they won the revolution. It is in this context that Rizal saw education as the means to free people from their chains. In contrast, Bonifacio believed people will never be ready for revolution unless they are pushed into it and given no choice but to take sides. He believed Filipinos are too patient to a fault, and Rizal too naive and too romantic, to believe education will ever accomplish what both of them desired. In a similar line, I believe in Bonifacio.

    I believe the Filipino people is not ready, and unlike Ninoy and company, I am not wont to lay my life on the line w/o being assured that what I am fighting for will succeed. But like Bonifacio, I too believe that only a revolution can accomplish that aim. I am not as impatient as Bonifacio. I hold with Rizal that the people must be nurtured with education, so that one day they may be ready to exercise the freedom they may win, and exercise it correctly and responsibly.

    When the fruit is ripe, I will be more than glad to be among the first to die.

  24. devilsadv8

    Eve of Destruction

    Eve Of Destruction
    By Barry McGuire, 1965

    The eastern world it tis explodin’,
    violence flarin’, bullets loadin’,
    you’re old enough to kill but not for votin’,
    you don’t believe in war, what’s that gun you’re totin’,
    and even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’,
    but you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
    ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

    Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say?
    Can’t you see the fear that I’m feeling today?
    If the button is pushed, there’s no running away,
    There’ll be noone to save with the world in a grave,
    take a look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy,
    but you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
    ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

    Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’,
    I’m sittin’ here, just contemplatin’,
    I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
    handful of Senators don’t pass legislation,
    and marches alone can’t bring integration,
    when human respect is disintegratin’,
    this whole crazy world is just too frustratin’,
    and you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
    ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

    Think of all the hate there is in Red China!
    Tehn take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
    Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
    but when your eturn, it’s the same old place,
    the poundin’ of the drums, th pride and disgrace,
    you can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace,
    hate your next-door-neighbour, but don’t forget to say grace,
    and you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
    ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

  25. Just look at how illogical the whole system is: The electoral law allows a person accused of a crime to run for office and yet when that person wins, there is no law that specifically allows him/her to discharge his/her mandate. If it is really in our judicial system that a person accused of an unbailable crime cannot discharge his official functions if elected to office, why allow that person to run in the elections, in the first place? Para que? Parang inu-uto lang ang electorate. The electoral law might as well prohibit accused persons from running for public office.

    We say that in a representative democracy, an electoral win has the stamp of the people’s will on it. So, if a senator wins with a vote of 11 million out of 85 million, he is deemed elected by the will of the 85 million people. He becomes s senator of all 85 million people, not just of the 11 million who voted for him. In the same manner that when a person wins the presidency (without cheating) with a vote of 18 million out of 85 million, he is deemed elected by the will of the entire people. He becomes the president of all 85 million people, not just the 18 million who voted for him.

    Now, in the case of Trillanes, what I cannot understand is how an RTC judge can overturn the will of the people, without even yet convicting the accused.

    My stand is this: If the law must allow a person accused of a crime to run for public office, because presumably he is still innocent, then it must allow him to discharge his official functions when he wins. He only loses his right to discharge those functions when he gets convicted with finality, because then he also loses the trust and confidence of the people – all 85 million of them. Logical, di ba?

  26. Devils, whatever their relative merits, Rizal ,Bonifacio and our other heroes would have been more useful to our people alive than dead. I think the reason why our generation now lacks heroes is that they keep getting killed in our successive wars – against the Spanish, the Americans, the Japanese and our home grown dictators. At the onset of every war, it is the brave who tend to die. The one’s who are left to multiply are the lucky and the ones who make their own luck i.e., the opportunists, the cowards and the collaborators. In the last century, natural selection has worked against us.

    Instead of taking another gamble, i think we should count our blessings and build on our strengths. For whatever reason, there are already enough forces pushing us to use violence at it is. No need to add your voice. Do you really want to be complicit to causing suffering and extinguishing a human life?

    It seems that appreciating the horrors of war is a lesson every new generation has to learn for themeselves. If not for your sake, then for the sake of the innocent, i.e. the 26 Million Filipino children, i was hoping your generation would learn this lesson vicariously.

  27. Shaman, MB:

    I also agree. I can take the court’s refusal to grant him bail but not the decision not to allow him space, etc in his detention to perform his duties, which will all be taken away upon final conviction.

  28. Re: “Presumption of Innocence”

    I believe this cannot be taken away even upon SC’s final decision. Our courts are not perfect. That is why a person can only be convicted “beyond reasonable doubt”, not with absolute certainty and the SC can reverse or review (even) its final decision base on valid reasons.

  29. I believe AC will kick some ass soon. I hope he lives up to my expectation..will the guy run for VP?

    Didn’t you just read the news about AC?

    He said he has other priorities and definitely, Pidal case is not one of them.

    Backscratching is sure the best way to go to the top.

  30. tagakotta,

    Can’t say if that’s Barry Maguire singing or Bob Dylan.

    But I like the original version of the song better.

  31. My stand is this: If the law must allow a person accused of a crime to run for public office, because presumably he is still innocent, then it must allow him to discharge his official functions when he wins. He only loses his right to discharge those functions when he gets convicted with finality, because then he also loses the trust and confidence of the people – all 85 million of them. Logical, di ba?

    Now THAT makes a lot of sense. Not much legal gobbledygook, but it sounds perfectly logical and… correct.

  32. tagakotta, very catchy tune, and a very nice message. war is indeed grisly, and i liked the line: there’ll be no one to save, w/d world in a grave. it gave me pause, and made me ask myself if we can really achieve freedom (from unjust structures) w/o resorting to violence. if we can, then i am all for peace.

    “Do you really want to be complicit to causing suffering and extinguishing a human life?” – cvj, by what? by advocating civil war as a solution? standing idly by or being apathetic can also be considered as being complicit in causing untold sufferings and taking of human life. should we jz wait for the political dynasts and elite to roll over and perhaps die a natural death? when will that be? when these guys prove harder to kill than the most resistant bacteria. look at the resurgence of the Marcoses now. look at all the other political dynasties. these guys are good at turning over their powers to the next generation and keeping it for the next generation still. these people are the same ones keeping social inequity alive. they have all the means to entrench themselves in power, and meanwhile, what is the common man to do? wait for God to unleash a plague on all their houses? yes, i believe civil war can break those unjust structures and give us a fresh new start. but by no means, i do not advocate it as our first choice. indeed, I pointed to Rizal, and his belief that education would set the common people free. but free only as far as minds and hearts go. free from economic and political slavery, that is another thing. if i could only upload (matrix-style) into every kids Philippine and world history, i would. that would save us the inanity of repeating history. especially bad ones. as for natural selection working agst us, it is not country-specific. everywhere around the world, virtuous people are less likely to succeed than less virtuous people. and are more likely to be killed. though we are not in short supply of them bec all of them has been killed off and their breed erased from our land. it is just that people today consider practicality better than idealism. and people today equate practicality with unscrupulousness than with integrity. i’ve tried counting our blessings. it is depressing. all our blessings are being wasted bec the people can’t maximize them freely bec of the same unjust structures i want to break free from. and as for building on our strengths, we already are doing that. its called the OFW phenom. our strength to excel elsewhere except here in our own country. where our talents are spurned by envious individuals, who guard the entrances of their field with savage jealousy. it also doesn’t help that here, we still have a hangover in degrees as making a person’s worth, while in progressive countries, they couldn’t care jack if you didn’t even had schooling, as long as you can do the job and are one of the best.

  33. shaman, logical or not it is not Law. in our system, Law is supreme. even government itself must vow to the Law. your “stand” is fine but until it’s properly legislated and invested with the force of law, it remains a mere aspiration. and, ay-naku, you cannot dismiss law by labeling it “legal gobbledygook”. you can create your own law at your peril.

    devilsadvc8, i see you are sold to the idea of armed revolution, as advocated by some in here. my question to you all is: should it succeed, how would we replace our current government, what kind would it be, and who would replace our current leaders?

    i think we have not improved as a people since the days of rizal. we are the same non-achievers, selfish schemers, simple-minded, mendicant, unimaginative, unresourceful, status-hungry, and congenital imitators. we pay lip service to patriotism but we do not love our country and as long as our ourselves, our families, our friends, our townmates, are o.k., then everything is o.k.

    then, as now, we are not ready for a revolution. like i said, we probably need a national lobotomy.

  34. Devilsadvc8, as Gandhi and Mandela have shown, there are alternatives to violence. Consequently, their respective countries have benefited greatly from their committment to peaceful struggle. India (save for the Partition) was largely spared the revolutionary convulsions of neighboring China. South Africa has (so far) been spared from the chaos that is currently taking place in Zimbabwe.

    As you said, the choice is not limited to armed rebellion and apathy. You also acknowledge that resorting to violence is a gamble. So if you advocate civil war, you will also be complicit to any atrocity that befalls the innocents when it takes place. When that happens, rationalizing that such things are ‘unfortunate necessities’ will not absolve you as you are fully aware of the consequences of your advocacy.

    If you accept that virtuous people are more likely to be killed, then what is the logic of exposing our remaining virtuous people to further risk? Why not try to turn the odds in their favor for a change?

    Besides, i don’t think the oligarchs and warlords see war as a threat. They have their henchmen to do the dirty work and can always sit out the violence in some other country. In fact, the threat of war will give them more excuse to restrict freedoms that people are only now learning to use.

    I think the oligarchs and warlords fear more the current set-up where there is always the possibility that the poor majority will wise-up and elect someone who would genuinely have their interests at heart.

  35. Cat said, “Didn’t you just read the news about AC?

    He said he has other priorities and definitely, Pidal case is not one of them.

    Backscratching is sure the best way to go to the top.”

    Cat-cat, that’s not the way CA delivered his message if you have watched his interview. that’s a slanted interpretation of what has been reported.

    here’s an excerpt of that interview:

    Asked if he would reopen the Jose Pidal investigation, Cayetano said he still had to consult with Sen. Panfilo Lacson who had made the accusation.

    “I won’t hesitate opening anything worth reopening,” he said.

    Cayetano said the committee would decide as a collegial body which investigations it would pursue in order to remove any perception that the chairman had the sole discretion to decide.

    “The point is the blue ribbon committee should not be accused of investigating in aid of extortion, in aid of publicity or whatever,” he said.

    “Right now I’m going to put some order in the process so the public will again trust the blue ribbon committee,” Cayetano said.

  36. shaman, logical or not it is not Law. in our system, Law is supreme. even government itself must vow to the Law. your “stand” is fine but until it’s properly legislated and invested with the force of law, it remains a mere aspiration. – Bencard

    My discussions with Jaxius in his blog made me realize that practicing lawyers have largely given up on pursuing ‘just outcomes’ and have instead focused on ensuring order by means of ‘consistent processes’. Justice, if ever it is achieved, is a happy bonus. And i thought the IT profession was a mess:-)

  37. perfection is not of this world, cvj. you have to attain “heaven”. “paradise” or “nirvana”, however you may want to call it to achieve that. but we can keep trying to be perfect. meanwhile, we have to do the “next best” thing in this life, don’t we?

  38. Bencard, what sets the Law apart from other alternative means of maintaining order is its promise of bringing about Just outcomes, or so i thought. Law without Justice simply becomes another tool by which the rich and powerful preserve and extend their gains. In what way then can you justify your assertion that “…in our system, Law is supreme.“?

  39. “should it succeed, how would we replace our current government, what kind would it be, and who would replace our current leaders?” – bencard, the how is already the revolution, the mode of govt should be voted upon on a plebiscite and the transitional govt simply adopt the past one for the moment. as for who should replace the probably dead and hanged, the only thing i can say is, none of them should include the leaders of the revolution.

    cvj, Gandhi and Mandela as examples are good. but as you can see from our experience, peaceful struggle did us little good. the oligarchs still stole the victory from us. the logic in exposing whatever remaining heroes we have to risks is bec as i said, it is a gamble. its either we win it all or we lose. anyway, what’s their use living under the radar if their virtuosity cannot even affect change? as for oligarchs just fleeing when civil war rages, once it ends, and the anti-oligarchs win, i doubt any of them would be able to return. and if you are referring to a Hugo Chavez emerging from our current crop of politicians, dnt hold ur breath. the question is not whether the poor will wise up and elect someone who genuinely have the masses’ interests at heart. the question is, would those virtuous people we were jz talking abt wise up and offer themselves as alternatives? i personally see no hope from the top 5 presidentiables we have. and even Manny Villar whom I thought would be at least an average President and not be a complete ravager (like GMA) has began to raise doubts in me. as for the question of absolving me in advocating war as a solution, i guess that is only for me to tackle when the time comes. its either i’ll be able to live with myself, or suddenly see the error of my ways. either way, you have nothing to worry abt as i’ll be the only one bothered by my conscience while i dream of all those children killed for a “cause.”

  40. “Law without Justice simply becomes another tool by which the rich and powerful preserve and extend their gains.”

    well said, cvj. i’ve always maintained that lawyers who myopically stick by the rule [how much have we expended on the basis of technicalities, your dishonors?] and not the spirit of the law are legal sluts.

  41. cvj, law is supreme in our society because no one is above it. it is the embodiment of the people’s will expressed in the constitution and the statutes. when the law is transgressed, society is violated. law derives its power from reason rather than brute force. a law that emanates from a barrel of a gun will always need a more powerful gun to sustain itself. and a society that’s built upon such a law will not endure, and will last only until a more lethal force comes along.

  42. devils, no leaders of the revolution? who are you kidding?
    what are you gonna do with them, keep them outside just salivating for power and wealth? how many “maximus” (of the movie, gladiator) do you think you could find in philippine society. get real, buddy.

  43. Bencard,

    If the law is a product of reason, how come we have this irrational legal system where a person is allowed to run for public office but is barred from discharging his official functions when he wins? Do we need to attain “heaven”, “paradise”, or “nirvana” first to set aright a disconnected legal system? If there is anybody who needs lobotomy, it’s those brilliant lawyers in Congress who cannot even fashion out a logical legal system. What would it take to cure the disconnect, anyway?

  44. cvj,

    As I’ve commented in Jaxius’ blog, I, too, cannot fathom how the pursuit of justice can sacrifice order that the latter must take precedence.

    Order first before justice? Oh, yes, I remember how the Marcos dictatorship kept order and inflicted great injustice to the Filipino people. (Bencard had to flee the New Society). But we know what happened. The people tossed away the “supreme” law (presidential decrees and letters of instructions) and People Power (people’s will) triumphed.

  45. For Justice League:It seem as appropriate today as it was back then!

    Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’,
    I’m sittin’ here, just contemplatin’,
    I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
    handful of Senators don’t pass legislation,
    and marches alone can’t bring integration,
    when human respect is disintegratin’,
    this whole crazy world is just too frustratin’,
    and you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
    ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

  46. Law is supreme. even government itself must vow [sic] to the Law.

    What is this religion called The Law? How did it come about? And who are these evangelists trying to convert us?

    Law is NOT supreme. Principles are supreme. Justice, for instance. The law must bow before justice.

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