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Democracy with Southeast and East Asian characteristics
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on January 25, 2008 126 Comments 13 min read
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Today is the 75th birthday of Corazon C. Aquino, who was the Free Press’s Person of the Century. A welcome move: Chief Justice Puno: Fine will do for libel (see also SC to release circular on libel). Concerning another Supreme Court initiative, see www.soriano-ph.com on Habeas Data. Naturally, it’s driving Philippine Commentary bananas.

In other news, Ayala offers more proof of G-2 bombing.

In Davos, Finger Pointing, Preserving Legacies, Looking for Leadership engages those present. In his blog, Stuart Santiago tackles the possibility of a global recession.See also Joblessness seen rising in 2008.

The debate continues: New ‘PI’ eyes revision, not amendment. Just a distraction, so Talks on with foreign firms on NBN can proceed? Or part of a broader effort to keep relevant, as Mon Casiple suggests:

Charter change–in these end-game times–requires extraordinary measures in order to neutralize the overwhelming public opposition to a GMA charter change. The 2006 Cha-cha debacles are still fresh in the minds of both proponents and oppositors.

President Macapagal-Arroyo should stop all these political maneuvers by her subordinates to maintain her in power after 2010. It only make more difficult for her to concentrate on a legacy agenda and for her coalition to maintain its unity. One can discern already the separation of interests between her and some of her advisers.

If proponents of amendments have given up on the parliamentary option as too alien -and alienating of the electorate- they continue to flog Federalism (which I am interested in, too). Miriam Coronel Ferrer in Cutting up the Philippines dissects the issue, but points to how the proponents generally envision a kind of consolidation of existing provinces into federal states:

In two House Bills filed in 2004, Luzon will have the five federal states of Metro Manila, Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog and Bicol. Visayas and Mindanao will each have three: Eastern, Western and Central Visayas; and Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, and Bangsamoro Federal States. In all, 11 federal states.

The Citizens’ Movement for a Federal Philippines’ draft constitution aims for 10 states, with Visayas divided into only two states: East and West. The current Western Visayas provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental will be boosted by the inclusion of Palawan, currently under Southern Tagalog. All the other Visayan provinces will make up Eastern Visayas.

A trimmer proposal recommends only eight states — Northern Luzon (including the Cordillera), Central Luzon (including provinces in Southern Luzon and Metro Manila cities except Manila, Makati and Quezon City), a single Visayan state, Bangsa Moro, Northern Mindanao, and Southern Mindanao. In this proposal, the federal capital will be made up of Manila, Makati and Quezon City. Jose V. Abueva suggests transforming the Clark Economic Zone into the federal capital instead.

She then tackles the opposition of other places to these proposals (for example, Palawan, which wants to be its own federal state), and gives proposals of her own, such as dropping proposals for a Bangsamoro state; her proposal’s very interesting but bucks the conventional wisdom too much, or rather, takes the inclusive rhetoric of its proponents too seriously.

My view is that proponents of Federalism from outside government view it far differently than its supporters within government. People outside government, it seems to me, view Federalism as a means to give greater freedom to local governments, but also, that provinces need to be reconsolidated into larger, self-sufficient territories. Proponents from within government, who have already gerrymandered many provinces into existence, aren’t interested in consolidating the resources and territories of their fieffoms.

This passage from “Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations” (Martin Goodman) struck a chord:

Government without bureaucracy could operate successfully only if it was government with consent -even if the motivation for consent was ultimately the fear of extreme violence by the state as penalty for open opposition. Much administration, such as the collection of taxes at the local level, was in effect carried out on behalf of the state by local urban elites in return for Roman support of their local status. The success of government thus depended upon acceptance by provincial aristocrats of the value of honors and tites bestowed by local people and recognized by Rome. Much of the extant evidence for this “empire of honor” appears to confirm such a consensus. Inscriptions on monuments from all over the empire boast about the status of local magistrates and the favors granted to them, and through them to their communities, by governors and emperors. Such evidence suggests an integrated society of provincials willingly cooperating with a benevolent and responsive state. But of course only those individuals who accepted and benefitted from the system will have paid for such monuments to be erected…

…More significant than the overt recognition by provincials of their place in the Roman system of power was the nearly universal practice of patronage to give individuals of all backgrounds a sense of connection, however tenuous, between themselves and the emperor. Almost everyone in the Roman empire knew someone who knew someone who might be able to intervene, through however many links in the chain of patronage, at the center of power in the state…. But for the provincials far away from the locus of power in Rome, the most effective invocation of patronage ties was acheived either by traveling to Rome in person or sending an embassy.

I wish more people would explore the political goings-on in other countries in our part of the world, to see if some sort of patterns emerge to show whether or not politics as our part of the world practices it, has common characteristics. I believe it does: dynasticism, the single-part urge, tight connections between business and the political class, to name just three.

See also Sycip pitches Asian democracy model, more power to technocrats:

Although he was cut short of advising that the government should do away with the elections as this will curtail the rights of the people to vote, Sycip said legislators should be stripped off the powers concerning the economic matters of the country.

This would mean the rise of the technocrats, who should be insulated from the politicians. These select people will run the country’s economy and will have the necessary powers to immediately effect change or react in cases of emergency, such as the recent move of the US Federal Reserve to cut its interest rates by three quarters of a percentage point.

Sycip, 87, said these technocrats should be given powers like those of the Bangko Sentral’s, that can either raise or ease interest rates immediately without getting the nod of Congress or consulting the President.

He said with this type of system, the technocrats can even go against the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, especially on family planning, in order to reduce the country’s population of close to 90 million.

Reading the dynamics of Japanese politics, see Japan’s Dilemma, where basically they have had single-party governance for close to six decades; or of the Taiwanese, see Taiwan Does the Presidential Math, where after decades of dictatorship they have developed a vigorous democracy, or Malaysia, see Malaysian Yumpies Just Wanna Have Fun (which suggests Tim Yap represents a regional Zeitgeist); or Thailand, see Thaksin’s Friends Are in Power, where they’re confronting the failure of their own version of Edsa Dos; the list goes on and on, as far afield as India.

In the blogosphere, Danton Remoto has a blog. His recent entries gives a pretty exhaustive list of senatorial candidates being proposed by the various parties. What’s amazing to me is that the parties are actively speculating on their senatorial bets -another sign of Arroyo fatigue? Or simply an admission by the entire political class -the leaders of all the parties- that they don’t intend to get anything done between now and 2010, so better to fuel speculation on elections they don’t even intend to have?

Torn & Frayed says the number of people who read books is dwindling:

Nevertheless and despite the terrible implications, I can’t help thinking that this is indeed “the twilight of the books”. As Samuel Johnson said, “people in general do not willingly read, if they have something else to amuse them”.

smoke takes a skeptical look at Christian Monsod.goodbye blue monday and Studentstrike continues the debate on the Left and Edsa Dos.. Re: the former, who asserts,

Sa paggamit ni MLQ3 ng resulta ng nakaraang eleksyon upang masukat ang laki at lakas ng Kaliwa kumpara sa mga dominante at pangunahing partido ng bansa, nakalimutan ata niya ang konsepto ng dagdag-bawas kung saan nabiktima ang mga kaliwang partylist at tumabo ng ganansya ang mga kandidato at partido ni Gng. Arroyo.

Uh, no. I considered that when I wrote:

Let’s argue the Left had only 1 out of every 4 votes cast for it actually counted, a potential constituency of 9,732,680. That puts it on parity with: Prospero A. Pichay, Jr. TEAM Unity – Lakas-CMD 9,798,355

She asks,

Sa mga komento, binaggit din ni Manolo na “in retrospect, the resign all call was the correct one to make.” Hindi ba’t ito ay dogmatismo sa pinakapayak na depinisyon ng salita?

No. That’s an opinion, a change of mind because a reflection made in retrospect -the opposite of dogmatism which never permits the changing of one’s mind or opinions.

As for her assertion,

Salamat kung inyong kinukundena ang pamamaslang. Subalit hindi rin naman nakakatulong upang matigil ito kung patuloy na ilalagay sa margins ang kaliwa. Kung patuloy silang ikokonsiderang insignificant. Kung patuloy na sasabihin na hindi pa sila tanggap ng mamamayan kahit na ang kasaysayan na ang magpapatotoo sa kabaliktaran nito.

The following readings will be relevant. See the columns of Juan Mercado: Guarded skepticism, from June 20, 2006, Have-gun-will-tax collection, September 5, 2006; Cry of the widows, September 6, 2007, Those grisly secrets, September 12, 2006, and Those sealed graves, September 14, 2006 (which may or may not include information presented in The CPP-NPA-NDF “Hit List” – a preliminary report).
(As for Jose Ma. Sison himself, he says Three Governments Persist in Persecuting Me. And there’s a dossier on why Romulo Kintanar’s death shouldn’t be blamed on the politburo. And much exculpatory material.)

But the ultimate point comes from Miriam Coronel Ferrer’s presentation (in the Forum on Violence Against Movements, Movements Against Violence), reproduced in PATH sums it up perfectly:

The language of anti-communism remains effective, given a general antipathy to communism, and an increasing alienation of the citizenry to national politics. To those who have fallen for this anti-communist rhetorical hysteria (defined by Wole Soyinka, first African to win the Nobel prize for literature, as the one-dimensional approach to all faces of reality, however varied or internally contradictory), the killings are not a case of ‘slaughter of innocents’ given that these people are somehow allied with the CPP-NPA. They don’t think much about the fact that slaughter remains slaughter; that the basic principle of respect for human life and human dignity is for everyone, including the enemy number one of the state, and yes, including terrorists; that there are rules even in war that must be followed, notably distinction between those who carry arms and those who do not. Meanwhile, businessmen and professionals may be morally aghast at the unabated killings of alleged communists, but are not motivated enough to put pressure to stop it, until somehow, it starts hurting their economic interests, or their immediate environment. The middle class will continue to fight for their own means of survival regardless of the course of Philippine politics.

However, class analysis alone cannot explain part of the lingering potency of anti-communism. Part of the effectiveness of the language of anti-communism and resultant alienation is also due to the CPP-NPA-NDF themselves “their excesses (revolutionary taxation of rich and poor, infliction of punishments), own pandering of violence and machismo, their inclusivity and dogmatic framing of Philippine society and politics, and their counter-monologue to the state’s anti-communist mantra. The purges, the CPP-NPA-NDF hopefully recognizes by now, cannot be simply forgotten without full retribution and honest accounting before former and present comrades and the greater public. The ghosts of murdered comrades will haunt the party forever. And though not particularly convincing to explain away the recent spate of political killings among those who study their politics, and revolting for the disrespect shown the dead lying in mass graves, the purges of the 80s and 90s will remain scraps (war material) to poke around with, in the AFP and police forces’ psywar ops.

In all, taken in the context of an untransformed state and reform-resistant state elites, the language of anti-communism coupled with anti-terrorism is actually anti-left (because the communists do not alone make up the Philippine left), and even more broadly, anti anti-status quo. Thus while we have our differences with the communist left, and as human rights advocates, oppose terrorist methods, we cannot tolerate the rhetorical hysteria of anti-communism/terrorism. We cannot be unconcerned with the killings of branded communists/terrorists, because the label easily includes all of us unhappy with the status quo, and exercising our rights to express our beliefs.

That razor-sharp statement of essentials having been made, what now do we make of scuttlebutt that a retired general linked to the time of the fast and furious and plentiful liquidations of activists, has now received a new lease on life -as the Deputy National Security Advisor. This man, when still in the active service, seems to have born command responsibility for some of the killings. Back in the saddle again, is it open season on the Left once more?

Postcard Headlines on land reform.

And finally, a UP Student’s Manifesto.


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  1. I think I could agree with DJB about the Supreme Court making the rules instead of rendering decisions on cases on Appeal..It is not for the SC to change the law or just lately even modified the Penalty for Libel cases. It is the duty of the Law Making body the congress and the Trial courts to impose Penalties based on the Merits of the Cases brought and decided upon before their courts as per guidelines and in accordance with the Penal Code…

    Now if the SC wants the Penalty changed or modified, they can ask the congress to amend the law or change(i’d rather see the Libel and Slander Law taken off the criminal code)and change the penalties…Think the SC is biting more than it can Chew…Makes more rulings in a week than ours in a year…

  2. 1 state, 5 states, 10 states, 8 states. What’s the difference? As long as there is a ‘Sa akin ang Tondo, sa iyo ang Cavite’ mentality, going federal is a waste of time.

  3. DJB is on a crusade to place limits on the press and to lift restrictions on the police power of the State.

    Sig heil!

  4. MLQ3, thanks for the mention here and in another recent blog entry of yours.

    …what now do we make of scuttlebutt that a retired general linked to the time of the fast and furious and plentiful liquidations of activists, has now received a new lease on life – as the Deputy National Security Advisor. This man, when still in the active service, seems to have born command responsibility for some of the killings. Back in the saddle again, is it open season on the Left once more?

    A sad development – I only hope we do not see another spike in political killings and abductions aimed at the Left and its marginalized constituencies.

  5. Wash Sycip should very carefully read the laws that legislated the creation of the Federal Reserve and the Congressional mandate that defined its policy objectives. – Full employment and price stability + together with the Comptroller of the Currency oversight of the banking institutions. They have the power to be proactive about downturns in the business cycle because they have a mandate to do so under oversight of the Congress.

    The Chairman of the Federal Reserve is obligated to report to the Congressional oversight committee, on a set time frame. There is no independent government sponsored enterprise or government agency that operates outside the oversight of the Congress. Someone should remind Wash Sycip that what his accounting company here gets away with would not be tolerated in other more advanced economies.

    The IRS (fiscal policy) and the Federal Reserve together with all the law enforcement agencies in the U.S. have the right to subpoena bank records of everyone including the President of the U.S.

    The Enron fiasco took down Sycip’s main accounting correspondent Arthur Anderson. The state filed criminal charges vs. the corporation itself.

    With weak state institutions the accountants and lawyers very easily overpower state agencies.

    Pump priming to a technocrat makes the economy simply a mechanism to move forward. They almost always forget the human part. However in more advanced economies the state will always also intervene in labor markets to mitigate the suffering.

    Wash Sycip wishes the Philippines to be more like a Confucian state where the head employs technocrats to help him run the country. His version of the Singaporean model still dwells on the merchant character of the Chinese community in the Philippines. Hence the success of the Chinese business communities that operate like merchant banks of old.

  6. I think a call for “resign all” was not tenable at the time of EDSA Dos.

    For one, it would isolate the organizers of the mass uprising from possible support coming from the anti-Erap politicians (who of course would not want to resign) and more importantly, other possible allies whose only point of unity is for the removal of Estrada from power.

    Second, a “resign all” call presupposes the holding of a national snap election in order to replace all those who resigned. Either that or the “resigned” authorities are replaced by appointed officials like in the first EDSA. Both options will definitely face stiff opposition from the affected sectors.

    In this, I agree with sir Bencard when he said in a previous comment that a “resign all” call could have only led to unnecessary instability.

    On the other hand, I’m sure the “resign all” slogan was formulated on the basis of the belief that the traditional politicians (be they from the opposition or administration) do not represent the aspirations of those massing up in EDSA; that Erap should not be replaced with more of the same type of morally bankrupt politician.

    Coming from a narrower segment of the Left (Sanlakas, BMP, et. al.), the framers of the “resign all” slogan may also have seen the situation from the line of intervening at a certain point during a crisis in the system to seize power or gain a share of it for themselves.

    However, what they fail to see (if indeed they also saw it that way) is the fact that their meager organized forces (even if combined of their possible allies from civil society) cannot constitute a basis for the staffing of emergent institutions of a new revolutionary government. (How can they, in their relatively small numbers, replace all the vacated positions in a national scale?)

  7. BrianB,

    Regarding your first post here; I’m not sure if this is the kind of info you are referring to but you might find the actions of Cebu Mayor Tomas Osmena interesting.

    He has a well known tiff against the city of Talisay and correspondingly seems to have executed several acts against that city or the Talisaynons.

    It concerns the SRP road, the cebu city market etc…..

    And all that under the present set up that we have (or inspite of it).

  8. brianb,

    ‘He might have even put up a rocket science lab for future space exploration by Filipinos.’

    There was a program to build missiles during the time of Marcos. I don’t know what kind. The materials for the fuel is still stored in Corregidor. The US of A asked Marcos to stop the program.

  9. MB,

    It’s none of my doing. The Media are pissing in the Wind, befouling themselves in Public and wondering why no one seems to care. Just watch, we should see another frantic blooming of the poem “When they came for the communists…” But since you are off goose-stepping with a black feather duster on your upper lip again, perhaps I should explain my fascistic ways…

    Have you read the Franchise of ABSCBN (which is largely identical to any other broadcast franchise)? It’s truly scary, mein Herr! It is essentially a claim that the State owns and controls the electromagnetic spectrum and grants franchises with exception clauses that would tickle Josef Goebels heart. But there it is. It’s the Law!

    If I were ABSCBN, I would pray the Supreme Court junks the amparo petition for their own good. The Justices would be doing the Journalists a kind mercy by sparing them from a dangerous escalation of the konfrontasi that they cannot possibly win.

    What I am struck by is the realization that the once omniscient Power of Media is derived not only from their sensationalistic news or sparkling views, but mainly from the privilege granted to them by the State to use the Laws of Nature for the commercial enterprise of buying and selling information. Perhaps that was not such an awesome concept or so obviously magnanimous and privileged a grant of access in 1935, but in the 21st Century Age of Information, it is the true physical and legal basis of broadcast Media’s “power”.

    Now it does raise an interesting question for the Philosophers on the thread to chew on: WHY are all media not created equal?

  10. “And all that under the present set up that we have (or inspite of it).”

    The present situation you are talking about is the state of our constitution being constantly undermined by people in power. Imagine when we become a federalist country. Such acts would be clothed with enough legitimacy to make the idea popular. How many provinces would want to prevent residents of other provinces from finding work there and competing with the natives? Filipinos will not have 7,900 islands anymore.

  11. “No wonder the Constitution explicitly prohibits the Supreme Court from increasing, decreasing or modifying substantive rights through its Rule making power” -DJB
    __________________________

    DJB,
    What specific provision in the Constitution are you referring to?

  12. “I think I could agree with DJB about the Supreme Court making the rules instead of rendering decisions on cases on Appeal” – Vic
    _________________________

    Vic,
    Kindly consider the provision below:
    Article VIII, Section 5, The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:
    …(5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the integrated bar, and legal assistance to the under-privileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court.

    … “It is not for the SC to change the law or just lately even modified the Penalty for Libel cases.” – Vic

    Revised Penal Code Art. 355. Libel means by writings or similar means. —
    “A libel committed by means of writing, printing, lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition, or any similar means, shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods or a fine ranging from 200 to 6,000 pesos, or both, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the offended party.”

    The penalty of libel is discretionary on the part of the judge, the Supreme Court is not changing the law nor is it usurping the powers of Congress, it is the abovementioned discretion that the Supreme Court is pointing out to the judges of the lower courts.

  13. BrianB,

    Your suggestion to me to imagine us as a Federal country is well taken but is unnecessary. You can glean my sentiments on Federalism for this nation in my long neglected blog.

    Nevertheless, regarding your issue on the cloth of legitimacy (I specifically center on the Cebu city markets matter on this one); it would depend on the interpretation of the Market code that Osmena wants to cite, the Local Government code and whether they indeed are consistent with the Constitution.

    Didn’t you get the idea behind “And all that under the present set up that we have (or inspite of it)”?

  14. The elites, especially in the Philippines, are normally self-appointed by virtue of their proximity to wealth and power. Owing to the fact that Philippine Society is not, and has never been, a meritocracy, these people are hardly the cream of our society. However, they fool themselves into thinking they are and look down on the majority who are not part of their circle. They are therefore very efficient in packaging arrogance and ignorance. That’s why we got the economic debacle that was Virata and Jobo. – cvj

    I was hoping you would be specific as to SyCip. It seems that you have this concept of ‘elites’ and then include SyCip with this ‘elite’ concept of yours.

    The hands of Virata and Jobo were tied by two words – Ferdinand Marcos (or should it be Imelda Marcos). They were not independent enough

    Yes, though they usually rely on thugs to do the dirty work for them and the less they know about the messy details, the better they sleep at night – cvj

    Again, please be specific on SyCip. For instance, how did SGV trample on the rights of the ‘non-elites’. Or worse, how it destroyed the sense of self-reliance of other people?

    The original elite (or what was left of it) retreated to Taiwan, learned their lesson and granted land reform to the local population. The new elite are the grandson and grandaughters of the revolutionaries who threw the previous generation of elites out. It is human nature for those who are born to privilege (in this case, of being part of the Communist Party) to have a sense of entitlement. That’s one of the reasons why periodic spring cleaning may be needed – cvj

    Look what happened to Taiwan now, courtesy of the non-native ‘elites’ from the mainland. Still, ‘elites’ pervade Chinese society at present. The Communists know they aren’t businessmen, so they just let the capitalists do their stuff.

    The successful economic program of China (and Vietnam, Taiwan and South Korea) was implemented after they took care of the problem of inequality. None of these countries, at the outset, practiced trickle down economics. By contrast, the local elite wants to govern on the basis of retaining the status quo – cvj

    After they took care of the problem of inequality? that their societies by that time were close to being ‘classless’ or flat? How then did their governments lick the problem of inequality? Thru western style democracy?

    As you said, none of these countries, at the start, practised trickle down economics. Something similar to what your beloved gloria is doing now.

    If you want to follow China’s model, you have to implement it whole and not cherry pick the part that is self-serving to those in power. Going to stage 2 market reforms will not result in economic takeoff unless we first accomplish stage 1 which is to address inequality. Market reform alone is not the ‘China model’ – cvj

    one thing is sure – for China, in stage 1 western style democracy is non-existent.

    Market reform alone not the ‘China model’? China’s wake-up call came when old man Deng decided that China should follow the capitalist path.

    Im still puzzled on your insistence on the addressing of ‘inequality’ by China. The nearest thing to equality China ever got to was when almost all of the Chinese are equally poor!

    I’ll mention it again – only 25% of Chinese belong to the middle class up (but a very huge market). What happened then to the ‘equality’ that was supposed to exist at the start of China’s take-off?

  15. brianb, on federalism, you said: “how many provinces would want to prevent residents of other provinces from finding work there and competing with the natives?”

    the rights, privileges and immunities of each citizen under the federal system are good, effective and secure in every nook and cranny of the federated territories. in the u.s., the greatest model of federalism, you are no less a citizen if you reside in washington d.c. as you are as resident of ketchican, alaska. each federated state, while entitled to self-government, its own local constitution and statutes, must conform its laws and action to the federal constitution (except for certain reserved powers).

    the country needs a thorough education on the concept of federalism. a lot about it is misunderstood.

  16. brianb, if you are wary about the Mobility right of every citizen, check this provision in our charter and maybe have similar provision in the Philippine Charter and for the sake of everyone Abide by it..

    Mobility Rights

    Mobility of citizens 6. (1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.

    Rights to move and gain livelihood (2) Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right

    (a) to move to and take up residence in any province; and
    (b) to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province.

    Limitation (3) The rights specified in subsection (2) are subject to

    (a) any laws or practices of general application in force in a province other than those that discriminate among persons primarily on the basis of province of present or previous residence; and

    (b) any laws providing for reasonable residency requirements as a qualification for the receipt of publicly provided social services.

    Affirmative action programs (4) Subsections (2) and (3) do not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration in a province of conditions of individuals in that province who are socially or economically disadvantaged if the rate of employment in that province is below the rate of employment in Canada.

  17. Hi all, just a brief rejoinder:

    Know your country and your people. Justice league, didn’t you mean that politician such as the one you mentioned have been doing those thing that I feared they’d do under a Federalist government?

    Bencard. We’re also a democracy, right? You can cite any provision after we’ve become a Federalist state and that would have less of an impact on people’s behavior, especially powerful people, than the idea of “states” being independent of one another and having the power to legislate their own laws, even laws contrary to the constitution.

    I think it was the people of Negors Occidental who first suggested the idea of Federalism, during Cory’s time. Agrarian reform was a serious threat to their way of life and so they broached the idea of a Federalist Philippines where, they thought, they would be immune from CARP, which is in the constitution.

  18. The hands of Virata and Jobo were tied by two words – Ferdinand Marcos (or should it be Imelda Marcos). They were not independent enough – Anthony Scalia

    Actually, they tied themselves to the IMF. Besides, even if we grant your point, won’t other technocrats be similarly tied by the current political leadership? Look at Romulo Neri today.

    one thing is sure – for China, in stage 1 western style democracy is non-existent. – Anthony Scalia

    Yes, but that fact in itself is unremarkable unless you can translate it to a model of development. All you (and Sycip) is saying is bahala na ang technocrats. That doesn’t inspire confidence.

    Look what happened to Taiwan now, courtesy of the non-native ‘elites’ from the mainland. – Anthony Scalia

    That is because defeat in the mainland struck fear in their hearts. As per Amsden…

    “The potential threat of an impoverished peasantry had been driven home to the Nationalists on the Mainland, and they were concerned with restructuring agriculture accordingly.” – Alice Amsden, The State and Taiwan’s Economic Development (1985)

    Im still puzzled on your insistence on the addressing of ‘inequality’ by China. The nearest thing to equality China ever got to was when almost all of the Chinese are equally poor! – Anthony Scalia

    At the point of its economic takeoff in 1978, China’s society was more equal. There were no big landlords and oligarchs getting in the way of business activity. Businesses were then able to compete on more equal terms (perhaps subject to local party leadership’s discretion)

    What happened then to the ‘equality’ that was supposed to exist at the start of China’s take-off? – Anthony Scalia

    By its nature, economic growth in China (and elsewhere) tends to increase inequality. That’s unfortunate but something that cannot be helped. (It is up to the State to mitigate its effects via welfare.) In China, as far as i know, it’s not yet an issue because the economy is moving along. It would be a problem if growth were to slow down and i believe the Communist Party is aware of this.

  19. that their societies by that time were close to being ‘classless’ or flat? How then did their governments lick the problem of inequality? Thru western style democracy? – Anthony Scalia

    Your flogging a strawman. I’m not advocating a ‘classless’ society. That’s not possible. I am advocating removing the thin layer of oligarchy that has been stifling Philippine Society for most of its history.

    As i told Jeg above, the only time a dictatorship will be ‘worth it’ is if it is used to address the problem of inequality. If you (or Sycip) advocated a dictatorship in order to address inequality, then maybe i would have been more sympathetic. Instead what Sycip recommends is to put more power in the hands of the status quo, which as i told Jeg above, is the worst possible combination.

    Your use of ‘Western style’ in conjunction with ‘Democracy’ is a weasel word designed to evoke something alien. Far from being alien, the love of freedom and democracy lie at the heart of the Filipino psyche. The problem has been that our political and economic elite has time and again subverted democracy because of their own misplaced sense of superiority. Elitists like Sycip have to learn to be more humble and respect the vote of the ordinary folk.

  20. that’s exactly what i mean, brianb. many of us have a weird understanding of federalism, i.e., that each province would be an “independent” state unto itself with the capability of disregarding the federal constitution if it wanted to. that’s not federalism. that’s balkanization.

    btw, i get what you mean. indeed, we are not the most law-abiding, or legal-minded people in the world. we can put all the safeguards in our legal framework but somebody could always find a way to circumvent it by hook or by crook, mostly by crook.

    the ultimate solution is the strict adherence by everyone to the rule of law, a strong-enough institutions, and a will to do right rather than the popular.

  21. DJB,

    Hahaha. Why”

    Because from cvj:

    “DJB has re-discovered Al Gore’s critique of broadcast media…
    http://www.tpmcafe.com/story/2005/10/5/14301/6133
    …although DJB’s reformulation is more of a caricature.”

    And because you really don’t need to cloak your resentment of media in aprez-legalese.

    One doesn’t need a reason to express an emotion because emotions are outside the realm of reason.

    Follow that advise and you will save yourself the trouble of having to explain anything using reformulated arguments.

  22. mb, originally-formulated argument is a rarity in this blog. ask cvj, the master of quotations from foreign sources.

  23. The country would be very well served if someone in the nature of Davao’s Duterte would initiate a seccession from the so called Republic. Gather all th governors from Mindanao and secede. It would be easy to start a new state with the resources of Mindanao. Initiate free trade and move to establish a separate currency immediately. Cancel all taxes paid to the national government and instead these should accrue to the new state.

    One can dream can’t one.

    The adminsitrators of the state will always try to define what people will see and hear from the media.

    The new rules on media gathering are nothing new in the age of the GWOT- (Global War on Terror) Pre-emption.

    The government came up with pre-emptive calibrated response and now pre-emptive censorship so to speak. An abstract rule which retroactively would be similar to what the Burmese soldiers did in Burma when they shot the cameramen point blank as part of collateral damage in protecting the state.

    The Reichstag model gave Adolph absolute powers to go after the states enemies then. The left and the Jews and anyone who questioned the new government. The German parliament then gave him emergency powers.

    For a lot contructionist followers of constituional laws, the ideology of slavery was embeded with the framers of the U.S. constitution. For all the heavenly idealism that Jihadists of Americanism portray it to be it had to take blood, guts and education to try to upend that ideology that still permeates a large sector of America. Racism is alive and well not only in the States but in many parts of the globe.

    Justice Thurgood Marshall and his band of men who were responsibile for Brown v. the Department of Education and eventually LBJ proded by the Civil Rights movement ended the Civil War. Affirmative action, busing were all seemingly unconstitutional to constructionists. But something had to be done to cure the imbalances in human opportunities.

    Sadly though it is said that the issue of the removal of Erap still stands not as a failure of the SC but as a failure of leadership of GMA. There can be no partly constitutional President. There can be no such thing as a semi-coup, semi- constitutional transfer of power. She was given the opportunity for radical revoltuionary change and she reversed the whole process to hide behind a de-facto constituional process. No matter what she continues to be a de facto President.

    She wasted so much time to initiate constitutional changes. People forget the history of the 83-86 crisis. The country had already defaulted on its foreign debt before Ninoy was killed in 1983. Cory came to power in 1986 and in 1987 a new constituion was formed.

    GMA lost whatever political and ecopnomic capital she had by making hay for herself while she had the chance. The Asian crisis happened in 1997 and by 2001 the economic crisis was serious. However during those first three years she borrowed like a drunken sailor and instead of working out a debt restructuring of NAPOCOR she subsidized rates to remain popular and by 2004 it took the U.P. School of Economics to inform her that government revenues were no longer sufficient to pay for debts of principal and interest. That Asian crisis then forced more pinoys to leave. Then she rams through higher taxes and higher electricity rates adding to the miseries of the domestic economy and today she prides herself on being called an economic miracle worker. She singlehandedly deepened the economic crisis. Future governments will be hard pressed to recover from this debt driven government. In Davos she reminded the world that the military establishment in the Philippines is on her side. A sad commentary on the state of a “constitutional republic”
    It is too bad that most of the young in the country are driven mostly by their hormones.

    This while she is in Dubai trying to convinve pinoys there to lend her government some money instead of sending all of it to their families.

    “After all, it is leaders who set the tone of their organizations through values they choose AND THE BEHAVIORS THEY DEMONSTRATE.” Jack Welch

  24. Actually, they tied themselves to the IMF. Besides, even if we grant your point, won’t other technocrats be similarly tied by the current political leadership? Look at Romulo Neri today -cvj

    so the problem’s not with the set-up, its with the people behind the set-up.

    Yes, but that fact in itself is unremarkable unless you can translate it to a model of development. All you (and Sycip) is saying is bahala na ang technocrats. That doesn’t inspire confidence

    Just because the earlier technocrats failed, it doesn’t mean the later ones will.

    Lets hear your better alternative to a ‘technocracy’

    For you it doesn’t inspire confidence because the idea comes from an ‘elite’ like SyCip

    That is because defeat in the mainland struck fear in their hearts. As per Amsden…

    ““The potential threat of an impoverished peasantry had been driven home to the Nationalists on the Mainland, and they were concerned with restructuring agriculture accordingly.” – Alice Amsden, The State and Taiwan’s Economic Development (1985)

    – cvj

    still, its the ‘elites’ who caused the difference!

    At the point of its economic takeoff in 1978, China’s society was more equal. There were no big landlords and oligarchs getting in the way of business activity. Businesses were then able to compete on more equal terms (perhaps subject to local party leadership’s discretion) – cvj

    oh really? there are no landlords and oligarchs in China now?

    let me get that straight – at the onset, there’s no inequality. yet as the economy progresses, the inequality increases?

    Your flogging a strawman. I’m not advocating a ‘classless’ society. That’s not possible. I am advocating removing the thin layer of oligarchy that has been stifling Philippine Society for most of its history. – cvj

    what thin layer of oligarchy are you talking about?!? stifling Philippine society? what if someone tells you the country is poor because the population growth rate is faster than its GDP growth rate? and that the growth ironically comes from that sector which badly needs family planning?

    As i told Jeg above, the only time a dictatorship will be ‘worth it’ is if it is used to address the problem of inequality. If you (or Sycip) advocated a dictatorship in order to address inequality, then maybe i would have been more sympathetic. Instead what Sycip recommends is to put more power in the hands of the status quo, which as i told Jeg above, is the worst possible combination

    ‘elites’ will always be there, theres nothing you can do about that. and what made you conclude that Sycip is for the status quo?

    you can’t point to a particular act of SyCip that makes him a member of your preconceived notion of an ‘elite’

    if Cabinet secretaries and technocrats like the people from BAP are free from that annoyance and disturbance called “inquiries in aid of legislation” they can do their job well.

    Your use of ‘Western style’ in conjunction with ‘Democracy’ is a weasel word designed to evoke something alien. Far from being alien, the love of freedom and democracy lie at the heart of the Filipino psyche. The problem has been that our political and economic elite has time and again subverted democracy because of their own misplaced sense of superiority. Elitists like Sycip have to learn to be more humble and respect the vote of the ordinary folk.- cvj

    look who’s talking. you equate ‘democracy’ with ‘western style democracy’ thats why you react negatively to the notion of a SEA variety of democracy for SEA. (you are also allergic to SyCip’s declaration that the Philippines suffers from too much democracy!) for you, a democracy that is not western style is no democracy at all. for sure you don’t consider Singapore a democracy.

    what type of democracy does the Pinoy love?

    a love of freedom is not inconsistent with self-restraint.

    what has SyCip done specifically that you want him to be ‘humble” and respect ‘the vote of the ordinary folk’?
    (take note of the word ‘specifically’)

    and how did ‘vote of the ordinary folk’ come into the picture? we are talking about SyCip’s suggestion for a powered-up ‘technocracy’ – people who are appointed

  25. “Arroyo told participants that she has instructed the Department of Labor and Employment to “review the contracts between foreign employers and Filipino workers so that such contracts will stipulate that they will be paid in pesos or dollars, whichever is stronger.” Jay Goteras Saudi Gazette

    This statement from a woman who prides herself in having a PHD in economics.

    She will say anything to satisfy her audience knowing fully well that this process she intends to intitate is only that, a process for process sake. Nothing will come of it. That is pretty much how her government operates.

    Yesterday she was featured on the front pages of the Philippine Star with the chairman of Citibank who was labeled the Chairman of Citigroup. William Rhodes is a co chairman of Citigroup and is pretty much on his way of out operations of the bank.

    It was simply a PR photo-op

  26. The heavy hitters of Citigroup and their compensation. They still made money last year in spite of their heavy loses that necessitated capital infusion and was one of the partial reasons that forced the U.S. Central Bank to drastically lower interest rates. You have to save capitalists from destroying capitalism for the common good. Yup that is the power of the state. Collectively the people. That is the main componenet of freedom, democracy and free makets. Retroactive state power. Proactive state power are command economies. In times of crisis it will succeed but then you will have to move to freeing markets to develop. The East is an example of pro-active states moving to become reactive states.

    In the case of the Philippines it is not yet even a state.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ax89iWcIHJpQ&refer=home
    Citigroup Awards Vikram Pandit $26.7 Million in Stock (Update1)

  27. BrianB,

    While some of the Mayor’s other actions seem to be that of a child having lost his candy; there seems to be basis for the action on the City market issue.

    Heck, I’m not saying that it’s right or moral; I’m just saying there is basis.

    Particular to note however is the selective enforcement.

    The Cebu city Market Code doesn’t seem to be available online so I’ll make do with a news story. (Most Bolds are mine)

    Article is titled “Drop claim on SRP, Talisay City advised” dated July 28, 2004.

    It states that “City Market Administrator Elpidio dela Victoria said Section 12.1 (b) of the code provides that a vendor is qualified to lease a market stall ONLY if he is a resident of Cebu City.”

    Under the Local Government Code, one of the basic services and facilities to be endeavoured to be provided by a city (and exercise power over)is/are public market/s. Hence a city can adopt its own local market code (I’m guessing this is for the public markets).

    Now again in the Local Government Code; it states:

    SEC. 5. Rules of Interpretation. – In the interpretation of the provisions of this Code, the following rules shall apply:
    (a)
    (b)
    (c) The GENERAL WELFARE provisions in this Code shall be liberally interpreted to give more powers to local government units in accelerating economic development and upgrading the quality of life FOR PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY;

    Further down the LGC, it states:

    SEC. 16. General Welfare. – Every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare. Within their respective territorial jurisdictions, local government units shall ensure and support, among other things, the preservation and enrichment of culture, promote health and safety, enhance the right of the people to a balanced ecology, encourage and support the development of appropriate and self-reliant scientific and technological capabilities, improve public morals, ENHANCE ECONOMIC PROSPERITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE, PROMOTE FULL EMPLOYMENT AMONG THEIR RESIDENTS, maintain peace and order, and preserve the COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE OF THEIR INHABITANTS.

    Take note that the general welfare provision is for people in the community. Not to mention the term “their residents” and “their inhabitants”.

    If you base the Cebu city market code on the Local Government code; it would seem to fit in.

    But still you have the Constitution. Is the Market code and the LGC in accordance with the Charter?

    Depends on the interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution, notably:

    ARTICLE XIII
    SOCIAL JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS
    Section 1. The Congress shall give highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social, economic, and political INEQUALITIES, and remove cultural inequities by equitably diffusing wealth and political power for the common good.
    To this end, the State shall regulate the acquisition, ownership, use, and disposition of property and its increments.

    Section 2. The promotion of social justice shall include the commitment to create ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES based on FREEDOM OF INIIATIVE and self-reliance.

    If someone thinks that they are in accordance with the Charter; then you have it at “And all that under the present set up that we have”.

    We are still a unitary state yet things like that are allowed so those with Tommy Osmenas’ mentality need not press us to federalize for that.

    If someone thinks it’s not; then that’s where my “(or inspite of it)” comes in.

  28. HVRDS,

    I’d like to clarify your dream.

    Is Duterte a member of the MILF or Abu Sayyaf?

    If so then he can most likely rein them in.

    If not; what is he going to offer so they won’t continue to try carving out their own portion of Mindanao?

  29. Anthony, it would be foolish to propose a set-up without taking into account the “the people behind the set-up“. Sycip’s proposal to bypass an elected legislature is an attempt to escape transparency and accountability. Without legislative oversight, how do you propose making the ‘powered-up’ technocrats (aka people who are appointed) accountable to the voter? What makes Sycip think that technocrats know best? What makes Sycip think that technocrats care for the welfare of the people?

    Like you, i believe that the ‘elite’ have the power to make a difference if only they go beyond the interest of their class. Chiang Kai Shek realized (or was forced to realize) that what is good for the masses also makes sense in terms of political survival. It also makes good economic sense.

    On the phenomenon of economic growth leading to more inequality, you can verify that by looking at the Gini coefficient of China in 1978 and their Gini coefficient today. (Gini coefficient is used by economists to measure inequality.) As i said, it’s not necessarily a bad thing (since it is in the nature of growth to be uneven) as long as the State looks after the welfare of those left behind.

    So you actually consider Singapore a democracy?

  30. qwert, now the argument is between the Chief Justice and the Palace Legal Counsel and also Justice Secretary (he always wants to join in)that he may impinge on the power of congress and the Chief is trying to clarify himself that he is not trying to influence the judges and he also mentioned that Libel is not that serious offense anyways and why can’t he make that ruling when the case comes in his court and make a precedent as the nullify the penalty of imprisonment for Libel and eventually send the Statute back to Congress for Revision or maybe decriminilization.

    My comments all just from my own observation the way our SC works..They wait until the case comes before them, either on appeal, or any process and they make a ruling..could be different in the Philippines SC in that case i may have reached the same opinion as the Secretary of Justice which I seldom Agree on anything..but the Secretary is known to be biased, so I could be Very Wrong..no harm done…

  31. The country would be very well served if someone in the nature of Davao’s Duterte would initiate a seccession from the so called Republic. Gather all th governors from Mindanao and secede. It would be easy to start a new state with the resources of Mindanao. Initiate free trade and move to establish a separate currency immediately. Cancel all taxes paid to the national government and instead these should accrue to the new state…. Hvrds

    actually, Duterte did made an unveiled threat already. that is, if people in imperial Manila keep on staging this “people power” mania, Mindanao will secede and declare a separate republic. now, that’s interesting. indeed, Mindanao can survive having those rich resources. Duterte has no problem cohabiting with the muslims as well (he has been supportive ever since on the issue of giving autonomy to the muslims). and if this Dream happens, I don’t see any reason why Visayas will not follow suit. so, I pray that this narcissistic movers of “people power” keep this fiesta going (people power 1,2 3, 4…) and see what happens when people outside imperial manila who are dragged into this chasm of despondency get feed up.

  32. Grd,

    But do the secessionist groups have no problem cohabiting with him with JUST autonomy on their table.

    How about the New People’s army’s front in Mindanao?

    Will the secession of Mindanao appease them into giving up their armed struggle in Mindanao?

  33. grd, it is expected for those in power to instigate regional rivalries as a method of divide and rule (like in the former Yugoslavia or in Rwanda). Conflicts along the lines of Davao vs. Cebu vs. Manila is fine with them as long as they maintain their position of dominance in Philippine Society.

  34. Are we invisioning smaller Republics within a Nation or the Breakup of the Nation into smaller Republics?? I think if that ever happens, we will not have just the insurgency and the separitist rebellion in the south, but an all-out civil war, a free-for-all perhaps?

  35. Vic, you know how desperate beleaguered ruling elites can get. That’s what caused the carnage in Rwanda and Yugoslavia, the division of India (which Gandhi tried to stop) as well as the expulsion of Singapore (over which LKY initially despaired over). It has proven an effective tactic in distracting the poor majority from who their real enemies are.

  36. vic,

    if Mindanao secedes successfully, you can bet Visayas will follow suit. What will happen next is the cannibalization of the Philippines. Secession won’t be confined to the 3 main islands. It will spread regionally.

    What is to stop Cebu itself from separating with the rest of Visayas? After all, Cebu can survive as a stand-alone state. And so can Davao, Makati, and Quezon.

    All’s well with this set-up until leaders of this states starts to desire neighboring cities and/or regions.

    Then you’ll see civil war as the next step.

  37. Thanks Devil and CVJ for voicing your agreement with my fears.

    Every one remember that this idea Federalism is not a mood that has been developing in the hearts of our population. The vast majority of Filipinos do not understand what it is and others couldn’t care less. If we become a Federalist state, it will strictly be the idea and the will of very few people. This is a very crucial point I am trying to make.

    Have you stopped and asked yourself why the advocates are so eager about the regional autonomy that federalism brings to their respective regions? If property distribution of government spending is the only problem, can’t Congress make the adjustments on their end?

    Wlang kinalaman buong bayan dito, sla sila lang may interes nito.

  38. Devil,

    Civil war might not be an appropriate term since it will be a war of conquest between separate states already.

    But should you happen to be the same DevilsAdvc8 in Mukamo; you might remember my piece on your similar sentiments there a long long time ago.

  39. ..wow, are we going back to the set-up similar to the greek city-states?

    whatever the set-up and the pros, we already know the cons: the dynastic families will be ready to take over these local fiefdoms: ie the zubiris, the angaras, the escuderos, the cojuangcos….

    tipong:
    osmenas: cebu is our city state
    zubiris: maguindanao is ours
    angaras: et tu zubiri?

    i love. we can start reading greek tragedies and cicero again….

  40. “vic,

    if Mindanao secedes successfully, you can bet Visayas will follow suit. What will happen next is the cannibalization of the Philippines. Secession won’t be confined to the 3 main islands. It will spread regionally.

    What is to stop Cebu itself from separating with the rest of Visayas? After all, Cebu can survive as a stand-alone state. And so can Davao, Makati, and Quezon.

    All’s well with this set-up until leaders of this states starts to desire neighboring cities and/or regions.

    Then you’ll see civil war as the next step.” -Devil’s Advocate

    How scary a thought… I mean, I’m a Manileño, but I have a certain love for Davao. If these guys just separate each other more, instead of unite… Those Self-serving politicians will have Filipino blood on their hands.

    Ancient Greece all over again, how ironic a thought, since Ancient Greece was the seat of democracy and reason, but deteriorated with the battles of the city states.

    If Federalism is conducted, then brace yourselves for another civil war.

  41. why should you be so negative. 😀 so what if provinces secede?? why should that lead to a civil war? why should I (from the cordilleras) force those who live elsewhere (ie mindanao) buy into this concept of ‘the philippines’? they should decide that for themselves.

    i mean, surely, we can have a visa/passport free zone the same way that an englishman can go to scotland (devolved) and wales (thinking about devolution from the UK too) without a passport.

    in my humble opinion, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the philippines breaking up.

    sadly, the reality is we need each other to survive.

    and going back to cebu, there was an article out recently about scotland should it finally want independence (and no violent reactions from the rest of the UK of course because that is scotland’s prerogative)…anyways, it was shown that scotland doesn’t have much going for it. and scotland being bigger than cebu, i’d do a bit of hand waving and say that contrary to one’s assertion above, cebu cannot live on its own…

  42. nash,

    any member of the union or confederation or federalism formed from autonomous states or provinces to start with, unless stipulated during the Union that breaking up is hard to do, or meaning, will be stopped by force, or can only be done by force, any member can peacefully separate by the agreed process.

    Not some other countries, but the Soviet Republic did breakup into several sovereign states, although their Union were not that peaceful..Quebec twice attempted to Separate, and the second time the referendum result was 51% to 49% or very close of succeeding..Now Quebec is recognized as a Nation within a Nation (nobody really knows the difference between the new designation from the Old One, The Distinct Society)and has clearly defined powers distinct to that of the rest of Canada, and the Québécois just love their new Nation within the Nation.
    But who knows, another return of Parti Québécois in power and maybe we will say goobye Québec and welcome la république de Québec.

  43. why should you be so negative. – Nash

    Nash, i guess that depends on how much we trust the politicians to do the right thing.

  44. “in my humble opinion, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the Philippines breaking up.”

    Nash, populations in provinces are not homogenous. Some provincials are present in many provinces no of their birth. Prejudice is present in all parts of the country. It is entirely reasonable to expect expulsions of non-natives from provinces. Especially since iba-iba ang ugali nang mga Pilipino. Filipinos have tolerance issue especially, and most probably exclusively, towards other Filipinos. I’m sure you’ve noticed this too.

    Conside this: Federalism isn;t really a popular topic among ordinary Filipinos. Only a few people in politics, mostly people from political clans who are interested in Federalism. Them and intellectuals who are desperate for change.

  45. Nash,

    For one, there is the possibility of border or territorial disputes.

    And these disputes tend to be far far uglier than a dispute like that between Cebu city and Talisay city.

  46. True.

    And I agree with you all.

    That’s why the pragmatic thing is to keep our Beloved Philippines intact.

    As to the form of government, I am of the firm belief that it’s the people who run government and not the form that matters. There are as many successful presidential systems as parliamentary as fedeeral… There are also very unsuccessful ones (no one is praising Mugabe’s parliamentary…)

    Pero this is good thought experiments for all of us.

    We have to see if Kosovo does secede, hopefully there will be no expulsions.

    Pero sa akin lang, dapat i-expel na from the republique ang Maguindanao. Ayaw ko namang sila lang pumili ng leader natin sa 2010. Tutal sinimulan na nila secession by electing the first regional senator (Zubiri)

  47. True.

    And I agree with you all. 100%

    That’s why the pragmatic thing is to keep our Beloved Philippines intact.

    As to the form of government, I am of the firm belief that it’s the people who run government and not the form that matters. There are as many successful presidential systems as parliamentary as fedeeral… There are also very unsuccessful ones (no one is praising Mugabe’s parliamentary…)

    Pero this is good thought experiments for all of us.

    We have to see if Kosovo does secede, hopefully there will be no expulsions.

    Pero sa akin lang, dapat i-expel na from the republique ang Maguindanao. Ayaw ko namang sila lang pumili ng leader natin sa 2010. Tutal sinimulan na nila secession by electing the first regional senator (Zubiri)

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