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The three new Speakers of the House
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on February 5, 2008 245 Comments 13 min read
Three Speakers of the House of Representatives Previous Deposing a Speaker Next

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(L to R) 1. Bank armored car: last minute delivery? 2. The Arroyo’s corner 3. Dato surveys his domain

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(L to R) 1., 2. Audience in the galleries 3. JDV’s last moments presiding over the session

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(L to R) 1. Kampi huddle 2. Admn Reps. talk to reporters 3. JDV perorates from the floor

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(L to R) Two scenes from the media frenzy after JDV finished his speech

My coverage of events from the Bastusan Pambansa was in the form of Twittering, you can see them here, and here, and here and here and here.

As I suspected, the announcement from the Palace, that there wouldn’t be fireworks in the House on Monday but instead, hopefully a tidy handover of power on Tuesday, was a ruse. The Palace was hoping that the galleries would be empty, the media absent, and public attention unfocused, so that it could minimize the risks if de Venecia decided to go down fighting.

In his blog, Rep. Ruffy Biazon (who went against his party’s decision to support Nograles) has an interesting account of the maneuvering behind the scenes:

A few days before the session resumed, both sides, the pro- and anti-JDV camps, conducted meetings one after the other. Some congressmen gave commitments early while some attended meetings on both sides. Signatures on manifestos were gathered, and there are even reports of congressmen signing on manifestos from both sides.

Both sides claimed they had the numbers and for a time, it was seen as a bluffing game. But it became clearer after the majority caucus held in Malacanang. It was a make or break caucus for JDV, where he was expecting (probably more accurately, hoping) that the President would step in and advise everyone to uphold the status quo.

According to information I gathered, the President instead tried to craft a set of procedures on how the showdown would happen, which was seen by others as the final nail on the coffin of JDV’s Speakership. On its face, it is a neutral act, but Congressmen saw it as a withdrawal of support from JDV and a blessing to the initiative of her sons to oust the Speaker.

After the adjournment of that caucus, word already spread out among congressmen about the position of the president and as expected, tides began to turn in favor of Cong. Prospero Nograles. The two camps held meetings after the caucus, the JDV camp in Rembrandt Hotel and the Nograles camp in Luk Foo, a Chinese restaturant near Congress.

There, the numbers and warm bodies were finally seen. At around 3:30 PM, thirty minutes before session was to begin, there were 47 congressmen in Rembrandt and 123 in Luk Foo. 121 votes were needed to oust De Venecia.

Jose De Venecia’s fate was sealed.

As it was, since no one really believes the Palace or trusts it, everyone due to show up on Monday showed up on Monday. At first things looked like they were headed for business as usual until Rep. Abraham Mitra of Palawan, soon after the referral of bills, rose and threw down the gauntlet.

He moved that the speakership be declared vacant. Ronaldo Zamora tried to derail the motion by rising on a point of inquiry but fellow minority member Plaza then rose and derailed Zamora’s inquiry. Datumanong, who was presiding, suspended the session. At that point, two hours of furious caucus-holding and negotiations began.

The two hours were spent basically hammering out two issues between the Nograles and the de Venecia camps.

The Nograles, or Palace, camp wanted to deny de Venecia the opportunity to demand nominal voting where each and every congressman would have to rise and put their vote for or against the motion, on the record. Furthermore, the Palace wanted to deny de Venecia the opportunity to make a valedictory speech.

Along the way, de Venecia clung to the hope he could, somehow, preserve his office and at one point, inquired with Rep. Tanada of the Liberal contingent whether, if he came out strongly enough against the President, the Liberals would reconsider their pledge to support the Palace’s candidate. Tanada responded by going out to the lobby and telling media they were foursquare behind Nograles (later on, after de Venecia’s peroration, Rep. Jun Abaya, great grandson of Emilio Aguinaldo and member of the LP, had the decency to try to register his vote on the motion by nodding; but Rep. Fuentebella, presiding at the time, insisted, rightly, that every congressman rise from his chair, go the mike, and state clearly what their vote was; Abaya sheepishly went to the mike and mumbled “Yes”).

At a certain point, about a half hour before he returned to the floor, de Venecia apparently knew his game was up and summoned his wife and son to his office. They returned to the gallery about ten minutes before the soon to be ex-speaker reappeared on the floor -there was an audible gasp from the galleries when he took his place by the rostrum. All the while, Rep. Mitra had hovered by the microphone repeatedly asking that the session be resumed and his motion carried out. The Arroyo brothers at various time surveyed the scene with proprietary interest and from time to time, Mikey Arroyo would disappear.

So when de Venecia returned, the question became, would he be permitted a swan song? Villafuerte and Pabling Garcia’s blustering were foiled by the intervention of Rep. Teodoro Locsin, Jr., Rep. Dilangalen, and the father of Chiz Escudero; in a nuanced and quite interesting ruling from the chair, Rep. Fuentebella said that a congressman has a paramount right to free speech, by means of making a privilege speech, after which the division of the House on the question of Mitra’s motion could then take place.

As for the speech of de Venecia, the various press reports will suffice: see The Speaker speaks — And How; and how De Venecia goes down fighting. See also Nograles is new House Speaker and Gonzalez: ‘He has burned his bridges with the President’.

The great defect of de Venecia as a politician was revealed for all to see, when his often rambling speech kept returning to a complaint that he was speaking off the cuff, because he’d been assured -and believed- that he’d have until Tuesday to state his case to his peers. Obviously the Palace was not inclined either to keep its word or do him any favors, yet the man thought that a pledge was a pledge. In a nutshell, that is the great defect of truly traditional politicians -they believe that there are some lines no one will cross.

To be sure, presidents can’t tolerate disloyal speakers. After Manuel Villar, Jr. transmitted the articles of impeachment against Joseph Estrada to the Senate, the ruling coalition deposed him and elected Rep. Fuentebella speaker instead. This time, de Venecia had to go, and hardly anyone sympathized with him.

Now, he is on probation: opponents of the administration will more likely than not, wait and see if he will fill in the details of the official chicanery he only painted in bold strokes in his valedictory. People inclined to be neutral, will be watching, as well, as INKBLOTS puts it,

As an ordinary citizen, I am more interested with his expose. While it may be too late a hero to expose the Presidency and its allies in its alleged lapses and involvement in various controversies, I realized something good was coming out of it, after all–that is the unveiling of some hidden truths and burning issues that the Filipino nation must face.

What will happen in the coming days is for us to see. As JDV said, it is just the start and the Filipino people would expect more in the coming days. That is for us to hear and see.

After some period of stabilization, we are again riding a political roller-coaster. I just pray that this move to expose the Presidency’s alleged shortcomings would do good for the country. Definitely, this move by JDV will turn tides. I just hope that many Filipinos would become more vigilant of those turncoat politicians who would take advantage of this situation, and that the people behind it would not resort to violence.

Returning to Ruffy Biazon’s blog, he states, clearly enough, I think, what the whole exercise was all about:

I believed that the ouster move was not motivated by a desire for change and reform in the House. It was never a secret that the primary movers of this move were the two sons of the President, who were hurt by the testimony of JDV’s son Joey against their father regarding the ZTE scandal. In the House, congressmen complain about JDV’s tendency to make promises and not make good on them, but there wasn’t any drive to remove him from office because of this. Issues about transparency in the House expenses were raised, but nobody ever really made a move to scrutinize them. During the budget deliberations, where the golden opportunity to ask questions about the House budget is there for everyone to take, no one grabbed it. The Commission on Audit annual report on House expenses is always ready for anyone interested to go over and review.

Some have said that the Speaker was responsible for the plummeting ratings and deplorable image of the House. But the House of Representatives is a collective body. The Speaker is said to be only the First Among Equals. The image of the House is the responsibility not only of the Speaker but by all congressmen as individuals and the entire House as an institution. Even if we have a Speaker with impeccable character, if a majority of congressmen still abuse their power, act arrogantly in their distrcits, involve themselves in questionable deals and transactions and perform their duties poorly, the House will remain a house of ill repute. It can be redeemed through extra spending in publicity and public relations, but those will never reform the House.

I have due respect and admiration for him as a colleague, but Cong. Nograles couldn’t have made it on his own. As the current head of the House contingent on the Commission on Appointments during this Congress, he is often not in the House, understandably because of his duties as head of the contingent. For the past months of the 14th Congress, he was concentrated on his duty instead of campaigning for change and reform in the House. Besides, going for the Speakership involves the mobilizing resources which I don’t think he has on his own. It had to take someone else with more clout and resources to organize and convince the congressmen to support him.

The House of Representatives elected three Speakers last night: Rep. Nograles to represent the castrated Lakas-CMD; and the brothers Dato and Mikey Arroyo through whom all public works flow.

And as I mentioned in my column, yesterday, the signal sent by this move is that Kampi is now the real mover and shaker in the House. It hatched the plot to oust de Venecia, a party man and leader with stature equal to, at least, the President; it sustained that plot and accomplished it; in other words, it is the party that matters, and its gaining the greatest numbers is merely a matter of time. As will be its deposing, in turn, Nograles the moment, say, the President decides that he has become a liability.

For example, the enmity between Nograles, a third termer out of the House by 2010 anyway, and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, is famous. By all accounts, Duterte isn’t going to take Nograles’ election as Speaker sitting down. Who will the President need more, in the coming years, if there are efforts to accomplish Charter Change? After Nograles delivers in the House, the effort will sink or swim depending on how local governments marshal their forces. At which point the President will need Duterte more than she needs Nograles. And his being a member of Lakas-CMD will matter little by that time.

I received this text message, today, which for now will have to be in the caveat emptor, scuttlebutt department:

Per Palace insider, Lakas convention set this week has been deferred to another date. Press con for FVR being arranged. They’ll next try to oust Villar. JPE is coy to be Senate Pres. but Angara agreed. ConAss preferred over PI which can’t change form of govt. Plan is for unicameral with PGMA as PM. JDV chopping is a 3-pronged plan: Revenge related to ZTE, reduce his influence in the House vis-a-vis ConAss, and break the Lakas which is not PGMA but FVR and JDV. Ermita is also in chopping board. Bunye asked to be moved to Monetary Board. Esperon to DND.

There will be easy ways to refute or prove this and previous scuttlebutt, much of which has ended up being verified publicly by the Palace, anyway.The EQualizer, on the other hand, makes some bold predictions.

Mon Casiple, in his blog, offers up this reflection:

We are witness to the final act of GMA’s current crisis of presidential legitimacy. In so doing, he has thrown the gauntlet at GMA’s feet, accusing her of orchestrating his ouster and hinting of stormy days ahead.

GMA has no choice but to pick up this gauntlet — issues are already joined. The fuse was lit by de Venecia and the clock is ticking. If taken to its logical conclusion — and if no major damage control is taken, however remote its possibility — the crisis of legitimacy has entered its final act. Jose de Venecia cannot be permitted to speak of living, breathing demons in the Malacañang closet.

GMA faces the specter of serious political opposition with the present and future JDV revelations. In a situation of negative presidential popularity, this is an explosive situation. The possible scenarios basically are open-ended. They certainly include a shortened GMA term or a possible desperate declaration of an emergency situation.

Malacañang’s political strategists miscalculated on this one. It may cost all of them their heads.

Reactions in the blogosphere can be found in The Philippine Experience, in smoke, and The Warrior Lawyer and Rebelmind. Also, there’s Ideological Soup and Tongue In, Anew.

See also I will BE and Manila Boy and chakringg…=) as well as Let’s go, IN! and Nomadic Thoughts.

And Iloilo City Boy proposes something I’ve pondered upon, too: perhaps the best thing would be to have a permanent, single-term limit for officials, without any possibility of ever returning to the same office.


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  1. “[Malacañang] wants to get away with murder, and to turn the House into its partner in crime.”

    But the House under JDV was just that: Malacanang’s partner in crime. What’s the diff? The only difference is it’s not JDV as speaker anymore.

  2. Jeg,

    That’s correct the House under JDV was also Malacañang’s partner in crime, however Malacañang has upped the ante and removed a RIVAL in power within the House. Before Malacañang had to share power with JDV, now they are the sole dictator and decides how the House would dance. The few opposition Congressmen, while putting up a stiff fight simply cannot muster the numbers. Now the one seated in Malacañang is the sole Godfather (or Godmother) with most of the Lower House as her minions.

  3. Same people making all kinds of wild suppositions, accusations and prognostications.

    How many times do they have to be wrong before they stop talking like they know everything?

    So much BS based on so few facts…..

  4. Kabayan:
    That’s correct the House under JDV was also Malacañang’s partner in crime, however Malacañang has upped the ante and removed a RIVAL in power within the House. Before Malacañang had to share power with JDV, now they are the sole dictator and decides how the House would dance. The few opposition Congressmen, while putting up a stiff fight simply cannot muster the numbers. Now the one seated in Malacañang is the sole Godfather (or Godmother) with most of the Lower House as her minions.

    one more house to go and shes going to yield absolute power! < i bet this is what ya’ll wanna think

  5. So much BS based on so few facts…..

    geo, ang unang makaamoy ang syang umutot.

    am glad you know your BS from your facts.
    where do i sign-up to subsrcibe in your BS?

  6. Hello Sir!

    The administration is self-destructing quite early. He! He! The opposition should simply watch the events unfold.

    But I don’t understand the move of the Liberal Party. Are they that naive to think that JDV’s ouster is geared toward reform?

    JDV has realized that there’s no gold at the end of the Rainbow Coalition.

  7. Devil,

    I’m not making unsubstantiated claims; I’m watching and listening. Most of the time, I have to sift through all the BS, trying to find some solid facts.

  8. Liam wrote:
    “one more house to go and shes going to yield absolute power! < i bet this is what ya’ll wanna think”

    No Liam, she would go by a different and easier route.

  9. Kabayan: That’s correct the House under JDV was also Malacañang’s partner in crime, however Malacañang has upped the ante and removed a RIVAL in power within the House.

    An insignificant rival from Malacanang’s perspective, what with the ease with which said ‘rival’ was ousted. His stay there, it turns out, is at the behest of the president. She couldve ousted him anytime she wanted to. During the ZTE scandal, all it took was a word of support from GMA to cause the would-be ousters of JDV then to back off. The same imprimatur of JDV’s leadership wasnt reiterated and it was bye-bye, Garfield. JDV wasnt much of rival. He was only powerful in his own deluded head.

    And from his post-ouster whining, we learn that Dato and Mikey wielded power even under his leadership, admitting that he had to beg the brothers for favors.

  10. Jeg,

    Nevertheless, JDV had to be ousted as he did not fit Malacanang’s plans. Even Malacanang had to be careful when they planned to oust JDV for they can never be sure what resistance he can put up or what garbage he can spew out, otherwise they would have acted immediately since last year. The move to oust JDV was a calculated one, something they did not take likely.

    Now he’s out, we fold our arms and see what “bombs” he claim to possess. I personally do not think much about it, but who knows … much of his claims remains to be seen.

  11. Kabayan is right.. even if Malacañang considers JDV as someone who can’t match their power of the purse, he is far from being politically sterile.. remember the old generals are with him but now, she has a new ‘praetorian guard’ that could counter that old soldiers’ block..

    2001-2004 era of the Leftist Block in her govt for helping her in erap’s ouster ex. hyatt 10

    2004-2008 the Old Soldier’s Block for the 2001 support and the ‘help’ in the elections.. ex. ramos, de venecia, ermita, reyes, mendoza, cimatu

    2008-beyond with jdv out of the picture and with esperon as head of the soldiers’ block, she can now focus on the impending legal battles towards ConAd – Constitutional Amendment which necessitates the need for lawyers in key positions.. puno, gonzalez(thank god he’s still alive), apostol, as well as defensor once he’s available

    @Kabayan: No Liam, she would go by a different and easier route.

    are you referring to declaring martial law? why risk straying towards the path that led to the demise of Marcos? the filipino people, like most of you here, are martial-law-phobic.. that would be a stupid path to take..

    but like what up n student said in the previous topic.. she can use the current constitution to exercise power as well hide behind it when necessary.. you dont suppose those brilliant team of lawyers behind her are nothing..

    @Jowana Balana Bueser

    nope, thats too naive an assumption, the LP is geared towards survival mode.. remember NP is siding with Villar in the opposition so Mar Roxas’ presidential ambition is for naught unless he chose to be the vice president.. they think that they could be catapulted back to prominence by siding with the opposition and forming the Drilon wing.. but the NPs under Villar beat them to it.. and ang JEEP NI ERAP is full anyway.. so they are now going back to the wings of the administration, with the ouster of JDV as the perfect excuse and opportunity..

    im sure that theyre thinking it would be nice to go back to Malacañang’s folds since they dont have a ‘winnable’ candidate yet(Fernando & Belmonte?), and they hope Roxas would compromise, he’s good at compromise anyway, to give a good exit strategy for GMA and use the powerful middle ages style of political engine the president has..

    but theyre in for a big surprise, for autocracy is going to be underway..

    note: [b]GMA’s Plan – a first world country in 20 years[/b] < where’s 2010 in the picture?!

    ohhh.. i hope i hope i hope ^^

  12. Tongue,

    Ok, I take it’s only one of the scams perpetrated by this administration. Makes you think that Juenteng isn’t such a bad thing in comparison. At least gambling is voluntary. This thing is right out stealing.

  13. this event has prompted me to look back on what this blog’s readers were saying 3 years ago:

    i found this nugget by a poster with the handle,

    Erwin :

    All I can say is that people who still believes in Gloria is called TANGA (TAong Naniniwala kay Gloria Arroyo)

    posted September 20th, 2005 at 10:52 pm

    under blogpost title President: I Am in Control

    mukhang numero unong TaNGA si JDV, lol. sunod si Nograles.

  14. *browsing Py’s picture galleries and bawling worse than a baby. sees 4th bday celebration tag, bawls even harder.*

    in some twisted way, this is what life is all about, cherishing those few moments we have…

  15. @ Jowana and Liam

    How does one explain the LP position in the recent “assassination” of JDV…? Goodness, but that is one complex rigmarole that extends all the way back to 8 July 2005. And how you view it depends, mostly, on whether you’re open to hearing from both sides or is rabidly anti-GMA.

    Well, for one simple explanation on the 18 or 19 LP voting “yes”… several columnists and articles have made continuous mention of the Commission on Appointments regarding the LP’s – both wings, btw – siding with Nograles.

    You see, because Frankie the Piggy backstabbed and set up Gloria in 2005, many of the Liberals in Congress who sided with his wing of the Party lost their committee chairmanships; why give enemies positions, di ba? After the results of the 2007 elections came in, the LP-D demanded for at least one seat in the CA, because they claim the LP achieved the minimum 20 congressional seats that a political party requires for a CA seat. To this, the admin coalition expectedly replied, “nek nek niyo.”

    So, there is a lot of talk going on that maybe that much-coveted CA seat is the price for the LP-D’s siding with Nograles last Monday. Maybe several of them will have their old Committee Chairmanships returned to them.

    Based on Newsbreak’s tally, only three Liberals (from either wing) voted against the move: Rep. Ruffy Biazon (LP-D), Rep. Sol Chungalao (LP-A) and Deputy Speaker Eric Singson (LP-A). No “orphaned” – i.e. Atienza Wing Liberals who were forced to run under another party in 2007 because of the SC decision on the case – Liberals appeared on the “No” list, if memory serves me. None abstained.

    Well, there was also that line Erin Tañada said about the “yes” to remove JDV as a move for reforming the House. Ewan ko how you’re going to view THAT.

  16. the longest running telenovela right now is not Marimar, it’s NBN/ZTE. Goodnight everyone. Bukas siguro ilalabas na ng PNP si Lozada…Si Madriaga naman ang susunod na dudukutin. Who will get the ax next time around? Your guess is as good as mine.

  17. EWAN KO LANG HA.

    I wonder why most of the Gloria apologists here are living abroad.

    Manong Bencard, sa tingin mo ba if GMA did all that she did (calling an election official, dispensing cash to tongressman, influence peddling) in your beloved USA she’d still be president???

    Please, if you live in a so-called first world country, why diss us for trying to apply first world standards to our beloved Philippines para naman umangat kami pa-unti-unti?

    cheers,
    Huckabee is still in it!

  18. “The pandak (we can heckle) has apparently able to ward off all opposition. There seemed to be no credible opposition at this time. We can whine.We can curse.We can gnash our teeth that the she devil is having it all, but what can we do? we are so helpless. We could not think and act right collectively. W deserve to gnash our teeth forever.” – Alas ka dora from the previous thread

    There is such a thing as silent protest. I think the public is already collectively aware of what GMA’s administration is all about now that the picture is very, very clear. Her luck at staying in power since 2005 is due to the fact that we have been held hostage by the perception that her cheating is a collective guilt of the thinking class of the country — she thinks that most of the intelligentsia and middle classes condoned her cheating — and she was partly correct in getting that pulse because indeed most of the middle classes were passive in that regard, that preventing an FPJ presidency would be justifiable by any means, including cheating.

    That’s why there had been no successful effort to oust her, paralyzed had the people been with the bitter and shameful truth staring at our faces because she is indeed our worst nightmare. There is nothing paralyzing as much as our leader telling us well in a twisted psychological way, “you were with me in spirit when I did that thing with Garci”. Forget about Lacson, et al because of course GMA was right in that regard too, that the opposition folks are a discredited bunch as well and would have probably done her thing too. So for the public and the spent Edsa forces, it was better for the status quo to persist, and well, allow GMA to prove her nettle, and if she was really worth that shameful period where the public was divided, and we “knashed our teeth” with no apparent hope in sight out of our dilemma.

    But now after 7 years, the answer is a reverberating no. She is not worth it, a symbol of the botched triump of Edsa Dos and the lapses that culminated in Hello, Garci. She is a Marcos in the making and by her very person and leadership lives up to the reputation of the elite as opportunistic and corrupt and we have come full circle since 1986. No more excuses, because Gloria has been granted the benefit of the doubt and found wanting after 7 years. Heck, we even allowed her to torture us into thinking that her vile deed was our vile deed too (whether out of apathy or passive approval of the cheating). It is time for us to render her a collective judgment. Doing a vile deed (for her it has been shown that it was a merely personal triumph for power and ambition) is different from contemplating its possibilities (for the middle classes it was to avert a disaster of an FPJ presidency). So who’s the sinner here? The sin is entirely now on GMA’s lap and if the middle classes partook of the evil, then, by this time, they have already paid their dues.

    If GMA will continue to use power to perpetuate her rule, and refuse to step down in 2010 (oh we are such patient people really, giving her the most time, space as much as possible) then I guess we are heading for a violent period in our history. And Devil’s I guess is right in his prognosis. We are heading for a civil war that will be brief and violent once and for all to rid ourselves of a dysfunctional political system and dysfunctional leaders. This time, I guess the peace-loving Pinoys will condone violence for the scores to be settled and for the knashing of teeth to stop in this Garci-induced purgatory — the public rejoicing over the demise of a JDV is just the start. Similarly, there will be no tears shed when Gloria falls even if she does so in a violent way. That’s my dire prediction folks and no crystal ball needed (I hate to give predictions, but just can’t help it now he he). I don’t know how this will all unfold – but with the increasingly autocratic, brazen and violent ways of the present administration it will coax its own nemesis, employing the same means and ways from out of the woodworks.

  19. “nograles is a burlesque king”

    Nograles is, indeed, known in his hometown of Davao as the “Burlesk King” due to that incident he was caught by an irate husband, a military man, trysting with his wife. The soldier burst into the hotel room and attacked Nograles, who was buck naked. Afraid for his life, Nograles ran away, scampering through the hallways in his birthday suit.

    But, more than that, Nograles’ prowess in diverting government funds is legendary. He, along with his lavish-spending best friend and namesake, Prospero Pichay, were famous for cornering House funds earmarked for Mindanao. Mindanao Congressmen had to kowtow to the two Prosperos for their pork allocation. They were known as JDV’s henchmen and held powerful positions in different House Committees. Nograles, by virtue of Committee positions, had a big say in PAGCOR and was known to have a stake in some gambling casinos.

    He was also in the committee on Housing and was much sought-after by real estate developers, who would generously “donate” large amounts to his campaigns in order to bypass environmental and other regulations.

    De Venecia created his own Frankenstein in Nograles, who smooth-talked his way into the good graces of Malacañang and the Arroyos. Nogie knows he will be used. But he won’t mind, because he will be using his new-found clout to make even more money. It’s the principle of reciprocity of which De Venecia was once the master.

  20. Her luck at staying in power since 2005 is due to the fact that we have been held hostage by the perception that her cheating is a collective guilt of the thinking class of the country — she thinks that most of the intelligentsia and middle classes condoned her cheating — and she was partly correct in getting that pulse because indeed most of the middle classes were passive in that regard, that preventing an FPJ presidency would be justifiable by any means, including cheating. – Madonna

    Madonna, i think you’re spot on with your analysis. The lesson is that the middle class has no business playing Machiavelli (or his heirs like Robert Greene) because, in the end, we do not have the numbers or the firepower to back it up. All we have is (or was) the moral highground which we have foolishly traded away to prop up Gloria.

  21. cvj, forgive me, but even that (moral highground) the middle class have not. our only real power is bridging the elites and the masses.

    the poor trusts us in ways they cannot do so with the rich. in turn, the rich mingles with us in ways they cannot do so with the poor. the middle class has always been the group reaching for consensus.

    the rich cannot rule alone without middle class support. and the poor cannot lead a successful revolt without the middle class’ leadership.

    in effect, we are (middle class) the swing voters.

  22. nash,

    Bencard is easily explained. He is on GMA’s payroll, in one form or another. He already admitted that he is an asswipe, which I thought was a signal that he really does not like what he is doing. But, he has to make a living, just like anybody else. It may not be the what some people considers a noble job, but hey, he has to eat, ok!

    It’s ok Bencard, I see where you’re coming from. Gloria is great, right?!

  23. Devils, perhaps you’re right. You know i grew up thinking that it was middle class values that will make or break a nation.

  24. “Pagkaraan ng pitong taon ramdam nila ang pag asenso!” Sabi ng mga TV ads ng GMA administration ay ramdam na ramdam daw ang pag-asenso ng ating mga kababayan. Agree or disagree? Kayo – ramdam ba ninyo ang pag-asenso?

  25. metrocom, in the amt of time i’ve been spending in this blog, and the amt of time i’ve known bencard thru his posts, in my best judgment, he is not a hack.

    i can see where he’s coming from. his only fault is that he’s not on ground zero, hence he cannot really appreciate why people truly dislike GMA. i bet that if he was here in the phils up until the garci event, he would’ve been one of first to line up and leave the phils (again. or would’ve been again)

    in many of my blog and forum-hopping, there have been a lot of times i’ve been tempted to accuse someone of being a paid hack. but i never did so bec. i believe in the greatness of arguing with ideas and not with ad hominems.

    it is a wise man who listens to a contrary opinion. no matter how vitriolic that opinion might be.

    if you want to discover what the absence of opposing views might do, visit Ellen’s blog and you will see the stark difference it has over here. there’s almost a cult-like behavior in there. debating thru ideas has the lowest order of priority there, and most posts are devoid of common reason.

    cults are rapacious in this reason: it saps reason and replaces it with hive thinking.

    but what if the hive is thinking illogically?

  26. cvj, if you think like that, then you have a kind of elitist mindset too, which you equate only with the likes of Sycip. that only the middle class have the values that will make or break a nation.

    it is a middle-class based kind of elitism.

    all our values (rich, poor, middle class) make or break the nation.

    we need the rich, because they have the power to effect the change. the middle class, the knowledge to bring abt that change, and the poor, to bring that change into fruition.

  27. DevilsAdvc8,

    “scalia got it coming to him in the previous thread. speculating on an issue he has no personal knowlegde abt”

    got it coming? my friend, please don’t flatter yourself. as if you’re in the know!

    you are also speculating on an issue you are clueless about!

    “tingnan ko lng kung ano maisagot nya sa apoy ko.”

    apoy? anong apoy? you call that apoy!? Its not even a posporo flame!

    again, please, don’t flatter yourself

  28. Devils, i think you’re right on that as well. When i criticize elitists, it does feel like i’m criticizing someone familiar so maybe that explains that. I try to be mindful of lapsing into that mindset but i guess since i belong to the middle class, it’s already part of my nature.

    all our values (rich, poor, middle class) make or break the nation. – Devilsadvc8

    Your formulation is better (although more idealistic). However, my point is, when push comes to shove, the rich can always fall back on their resources, and the poor on their numbers. In our case, we have to rely more on moral suasion, i.e. the intrinsic rightness of a course of action.

  29. thanks, devils. there’s no better defense than one coming from an adversary.

    metrocom, i’d rather be a toilet paper than an irredeemable shithole. evidently, you’re new to this blog. are you sure this is a place you want? you see, we discuss ideas here, not obscenities. take a cue from devilosadvoc8. you’d fit in better in ellenswville, assuming you didn’t come from there. you seem to have a lot of training in shit talk.

  30. Bencard,

    What ideas? Your ideas of kissing the Arroyos asses? Whoa, that’s new!

    You can’t cover your ass kissing with flowery or fancy words, bencard. It is easily discovered. You think people buy in to your tsu-tsu here?

    Yeah, perhaps some tolerate your asinine jabber, but I’m just saying what it, so just you don’t stray away too far from reality.

    Ok, buddy?

  31. @The Equalizer :
    To your question : “Agree or disagree? Kayo – ramdam ba ninyo ang pag-asenso?”
    Answer : Agree.
    ————–
    Pero kung itanong, dahil ba kay GMA o dahil sa sariling pagsisikap at sa tulong ng pamilya at kamag-anak, ibang usapan iyon.

  32. at kung itanong dahil ba kay JDV o sa bangko na nagpautang sa akin, mas importante sa akin iyong bangko.

  33. @Liam

    “reality check: the philippine is in the medieval ages stupid! democratic principles aren’t due til the next 500 years or until we get 60% of our people educated in the ways of western democracy..”

    OMG, are ye fer real?

    “western democracy”. Wow!
    “60%”.

  34. @UP n

    To your question : “Agree or disagree? Kayo – ramdam ba ninyo ang pag-asenso?”

    Hmm, ako ramdam. Pero ibang ramdam.

    Dahil sa pag-appreciate ng peso, I have to do my minimum-wager job 2 hours longer than usual to be able to send the same amount of money to pay off my voluntary sss contributions and private pension.

    Before: 2 hour part time work = £30.00 = P3000.00
    Now: 2.5 hour part time work = £37.50 = P3000.00

    Leche. Eh hindi naman ni-rorollback presyo ng fishball for that peso-dollar appreciation. (I really hate it when politicians try to impress us with P40=$1. As if naman basic goods also went down by 20%)

  35. @The Equalizer
    To your question : “Agree or disagree? Kayo – ramdam ba ninyo ang pag-asenso?”

    define asenso para makiwanag sa lahat. baka kasi iba na ang definition sa Pilipinas ng asenso.

  36. DevilsAdvc8,

    You seem like a stand up guy of some sort, and I respect that.

    I don’t second guess what people say or think. Bencard is what he/she does. And from that, this persona, is on a payroll of some sort. Bencard may get a rise out of you guys’ futile attempts to make him understand your position. That may be bencards pay.

    And then, again, for all you know he may be a lonely old fool looking for attention.

    For now, bencard is what bencard is. An admitted asswipe!

  37. tama si devils. anybody who accuses somebody of being a paid hack of gloria should try ellen’s blog. doon walang opposing view. parang singapore ang dating – walang oposisyon, one-party system.

    eh ano kung paid hack? attack the message not the messenger ika nga. tingnan mo ang nangyayari kung ganyan. puro personalan – ‘asswipe’, ‘shithole’, walang katuturan. mayroon bang nadadagdag sa kaalaman natin? wala.

  38. now, guys, we are getting a bit too emotional and personal, aren’t we? let’s think of dame mirriam to ease up a bit.

  39. Devils to Metrocom:”i can see where he’s [Bencard] coming from. his only fault is that he’s not on ground zero, hence he cannot really appreciate why people truly dislike GMA.”

    Agree. It’s hard to judge a person beyond what he says. Esp. in a cyberforum like this, where almost everyone is a faceless, sex-less, anonymous entity. Someone had pointed out earlier (is that you UPnS?)that we are all TEXTS on the screen. I’ve been trying to avoid ad hominems and unwarranted suspicions, believing that coolheadedness is still more fruitful than its opposite. (However, I do recognize that my parrying a blow sometimes deflects the boomerang to where it comes from. But that’s different.) One who does quickly falls into the same pit, lower than ground zero that intellectuals are supposed to be at.

    Let him be. Reserve your better punch in other ways.

  40. para doon sa mga bata pa lamang nuong panahon ng MARTIAL LAW, ang METROCOM ay isa sa mga ginamit ni marcos sa pang-aabuso at panunupil ng karapatan ng mga pilipino.

  41. DinaPinoy,

    Okay, nothing personal. How can you be personal with a ghost?… So, I just comment on what I see. what’s the problem?

  42. dinapinoy, every once in a while we get these stray trolls from who-knows-where dumbing down the level of discourse in this blog. most of the regulars here, including those that don’t share my views, are decent, respectable and highly intelligent individuals who “attack the message, not the messenger”. and you’re right, i learn a lot from them.

    too bad, i forgot the C’at’s advice: “don’t feed the troll.”

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