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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. MLQ, I sooo loff your “Live from the Bastusang Pambansa” column! Brilliant and hilarious!

  2. Bencard,

    Your idea of a brilliant idea is Gloria! The reality of it is: the truth hurts. And for some good reason a nerve is hit. Thus, your reaction.

    Ok, bencard, I’ll handle you with kids gloves. Toilet paper na lang tawag ko sa iyo. Like that one better?

  3. “dumbing down the level of discourse in this blog”

    Alangan naman i-high falutin pa natin kung dumb na the original statement, otherwise, it would be patronising naman.

  4. Bencard:”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.”

    You’re right there. Maybe you heard of the golden rule? It’s better for everyone, not just for you. That’s the intrinsic message of Nash.

  5. Bencard is the message and the messenger. There is no distinction between the two.

    People are kidnapped, tortured and unjustly persecuted by this Gloria Arroyo and Bencard champeons her cause. And here you are in your cozy little world posturing yourselves to be intellectuals, patronizing gloria’s deciple.

    Wow, no wonder Gloria keeps winning.

  6. “Pangasinan Representative Jose de Venecia, Jr. said on Tuesday he would appear before the Commission on Elections to shed light on what he knew about the alleged fraud that attended the presidential elections in 2004.” -PDI

    The accessory to the crime speaks.

  7. 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.

    Devils,

    the best thing I’ve read here. Nice division of the classes. No one will accuse you are any of us here of lacking appreciation for the necessity of an hierarchy.

  8. a little bit about the past….

    METROCOM

    Metrocom Intelligence and Security Group (MISG).

    II. TORTURE & TRAUMA:
    1.) Elite Torture Units: During 14 years of martial law, the elite anti-subversion units came to personify the regime’s violent capacities:

    a.) Under the command of Marcos’s close cousin General Fidel Ramos, the Philippine Constabulary housed the 5th Constabulary Security Unit (CSU) and the Metrocom Intelligence and Security Group (MISG).

    b.) Officers in these elite units were the embodiment of an otherwise invisible terror.

    1.) The MISG’s commander for twelve years, Colonel Rolando Abadilla (PMA ’65), in the words of his obituary, towered over other heavies in that closed, tight-knit, psychotic club of martial-law enforcers.

    .
    .
    .
    .
    4.) Torture & Class ’71:

    a.) We can best see the impact of torture on the Armed Forces by examining the experience of the Philippine Military Academy’s Class of 1971.

    b.) Only 18 months after their graduation, Marcos declared martial making these young lieutenants the fist of his repression.

    c.) Whether war, peace, or military dictatorship, generals keep to their tents, while lieutenants serve on the line and suffer its fate.

    d.) From the time of its founding in 1936, the Philippine state’s primary defense against coups has been the socialization of its officers into subordination at the PMA.

    1.) For Filipino officers, the first years of active duty are a second, critical phase in this process of military socialization.

    e.) Whether they became Marcos loyalists or RAM rebels, officers assigned to these elite anti-subversive units that regularly tortured suspects seem transformed by the experience.

    1.) Many members of Class ’71, served as officers fighting the dirty war against Muslim rebels in Mindanao before transfer to civil control operations in Manila.

    2.) Others were assigned directly to intelligence units that regularly tortured suspected subversives.

    a.) Then Lieutenant, now General, Panfilo Lacson, for example, joined the MISG right after graduation and spent the next 15 years in this elite torture unit, rising to deputy command under his mentor Colonel Abadilla.

  9. no need to remind us of the past as it’s the same under GMA.

    GMA has Palparan, Esperon, and that uber-idiot SiRaulo Gonzalez ready to charge you with sedition and imprison you for merely expressing your right of non-violent opposition.

  10. no need to remind us of the past as it’s the same under GMA.

    it’s not the same, yet.
    gloria has no METROCOM. sure, she has a faction of the military on her side, so is lacson, FVR, erap, you name it. politicize na ang military so sa tingin ko, kanya-kanyang manok na ang nangyayari. many are ‘experienced’ martial law enforcers kasi.

  11. nash,

    nang makita ko kasi ang handle ni METROCOM, nagbalik sa aking ala-ala ang nangyari sa akin noon. sabi ko nga, my post was for those too young during the martial law years.

  12. 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.

    Though I’m not suggesting Bencard is a GMA operative and I believe he isn’t, hacks are very sophisticated nowadays. I used to ghost write for an international artist who has a blog and part of my job is to mimic his/her writing style, i.e. sounding like I had the same background, educational level, even had to study interview clips. It’s not impossible and when done right is very effective. The problem with most hacks is that the tend to underestimate people on the Web. They don’t know readers online are used to reading anonymous comments. We read the comments themselves, what is written, and not the person behind it, which makes for a very “smart” set indeed… not to be self-promoting.

  13. BrianB,

    “the best thing I’ve read here. Nice division of the classes. No one will accuse you are any of us here of lacking appreciation for the necessity of an hierarchy”

    true. what the anti-elitists do not appreciate is the reality that this hierarchy isn’t forced, it just happens

  14. to whom it may concern:

    di nyo ramdam ang benefit ng P40 = US$1? side by side with US$100 per barrel oil?

    mararamdaman natin ang epekto if P56 = US$1 and oil per barrel is still US$100!

  15. cvj and nash,

    nakupo! ellentordesillas.com, what the majority of Pinoys think towards gloria?

    asus! that blog just confirms the biases of people belonging to the anti-gloria school. parang yung article ni Paul Hutchcroft, as if he wrote something that the anti-gloria school does not know yet!

    yes it gets a million hits, courtesy of less than 30 people. the principle of ‘repeat clients’ in business is the secret of that blog’s success!

    that blog just shows how the ‘quietest whispers’ can come across as loud as the sounds of thunder!

    but i still encourage you (nash) to visit it.

  16. I am glad of Dinapinoy’s short history lesson. Gloria’s mercenaries and goons in uniform are far worse. Pray that they don’t get on your asses. They are not going to care if you just the messenger, the message or what have you.

    They won’t care if your are straight, bading, man, woman or child. And when you are lucky enough to get a taste of what these terrors have to offer, let’s see what you think of bencard when he saye he is giving these people the benefit of a doubt.

    You may now go back to your high school debate exercises. Bencard will continue to champion GMA and you will all be nice little ladies and gentlemen. And watch that craby thinking!
    I do not know what kind of experience dinapinoy had with the Metrocom. Probably not so much as to rush to toilet papers side.

  17. But, honestly, I don’t care about the rising peso. Sayang kasi taxes and lost opportunity sa mga kurakot. Prgress is such an accumulative thing. You miss a year, it’ll cost you. You miss a decade… well…

  18. @nash: OMG, are ye fer real?

    as real as it gets. im both in the field and in the state room. even if democratic debate can sway ideas, the roman-style partisanship still exists.

    why don’t you all accept it? it really is so naive to assume that we are living in a true representative democracy right now. and 60% is just my assumption on the number required to really make democracy work..

    @nash:

    @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%)

    yep.. but imported goods are down.. cellphones, personal computers.. wheat, steel.. oil.. we’re getting relatively 20% cheaper oil compared to the 50:1 ratio.. you just have to ADAPT..

    @anthony

    controversies attract men like galls to flies

    @Metrocom

    though i am just 23 and am still a virgin in the ways of politics.. i have learned early that the way to really affect change is by going through the system, bask in its faults, and once you’re on top; change it! just be careful you wont get corrupted in the process. and as of now, my core values are still intact.

  19. @BrianB:
    “anthony scalia, at least I’d be 30% richer. Anong pakialam ko sa oil, naglalakad lang naman ako.”

    that is just a very selfish statement.. you get to be 30% richer but the rest of the nation would be greatly burdened.. the OFWs, noble as they are, are just a fraction of the entire populace.. and try not to count their families, alangan naman asa lang sila sa inyo.. and kung asa lang sila.. that’s a more sorry state you should attend to than complain about the rising peso..

  20. Inquirer editorial really made a boo-boo out of the Lozada disappearance.

    akala nila siguro, parang si bobby dacer.

  21. The Equalizer said:”“Agree or disagree? Kayo – ramdam ba ninyo ang pag-asenso?”

    ———-

    Answer : Agree.

    Ramdam namin ang pagasenso ng kapitbahay namin, nagpapa-party lagi, may BMW pa, but of course he is believed to be involved in corrupt government transactions.

  22. “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!”

    i’ll take my speculations over your speculations anytime. i have a whole family of immigrants backing up my rationalizations. what do you have?

    at pasensya ka na kung nakukulangan ka pa sa apoy ko. pero hanggang dun lang ang kaya ko and still remain civil.

  23. @cvj, of course its idealistic. but dreams are better built high. and really, the middle class have no more moral suasion than the regular pinoy, be they rich or poor. what we have is the ability to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. we’re the middle men in the market of reforms.

    @bencard, the thanks goes to you too. for grounding me in the many other readers here by presenting a different view. it’s hard to appreciate an opponent, until you realize that they’re the ones keeping you on your toes. without opposing views, we’d have a lucifer effect in here. because irrationality feeds on itself. once you hear opinions only the same as yours, you start to believe in the magnanimity of your cause. you start to miss points you’d otherwise have seen if you weren’t so biased. in effect, you start to go blind. reading posts such as yours, help me purify my views and remove my extreme bias agst gloria when im arguing my ideas.

    BrianB, hahaha. but of course, we try so much to blur class lines. but it is in human nature to segregate.

    and yeah, online readers, esp veteran web surfers, easily spots impersonators and single-person multiple handle-types. just like with writing, the voice and style of the writer comes out, no matter how much they try to mask it. even ghost writers slip into their own voice unconsciously.

    idk, perhaps its just an uncanny ability innate to me, but can you notice when it is mlq3 writing the pdi editorial and when it is john? i can! mercado’s voice is too obvious, and de quiros’ style never changes.

  24. Devils

    I like your last post. At least you’re one of the rational ones in this blog. Just because somebody decides to take a different point of view doesn’t necessarily mean they totally agree with what’s going on with the present situation but rather trying to temper what may be extreme arguments that is based on sheer emotion.

  25. Silent:

    it’s always better to read a day or two after a controversial event… by then the rage and indignation have died down.

  26. @Justice Anthony Scalia

    I am ANTI-GLORIA simply because, wait, let me rephrase my answer in da form of a question:

    1. Why should trying to influence the outcome of an election by calling an election official be acceptable?
    2. Why should disbursing taxpayer money in cash directly to congressman be acceptable?
    3. Why should imprisoning and killing people just because they disagree with you be acceptable?

    If you want us to become First World, then we should adopt First World Standards. Period. We should have ZERO TOLERANCE for these shenanigans. As a taxpayer, I expect no less.

    If the CEO of my company is using his expense account for his personal needs not related to our business or if he is just plain incompetent, I’d vote to have him/her removed. Hindi ko na lolokohin sarili ko na porke’t my MBA siya sa Wharton ay ipipikit ko mata ko sa kagaguhan niya.

  27. though i am just 23 and am still a virgin in the ways of politics.. i have learned early that the way to really affect change is by going through the system, bask in its faults, and once you’re on top; change it! just be careful you wont get corrupted in the process. and as of now, my core values are still intact. – Liam Tinio

    So I don’t understand why you approve of Gloria’s actions. Obviously she has been corrupted in the process. Or at least revealed to be corrupt. If she is changing the system in any way, it is only in the direction of concentrating all power in her office. And as we all know, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  28. @Liam

    1. Where are we going to get this ‘western democracy’ you propose?
    2. What is that 60%?
    3. Electronics will always go down every year irrespective of where you are but I’d like to find out where I can buy oil that is 20% cheaper. Remember, we don’t print dollars, we have to acquire them….

  29. @ nash

    A little bit of challenge to your post of 7 Feb. 08, 5:01 pm.

    You said that the three points you raise are the basis for your being Anti-Gloria. I guess this also encapsulates the basis of the whole rabidly anti-Gloria crowd.

    Now, then, you said:

    “If you want us to become First World, then we should adopt First World Standards. Period. We should have ZERO TOLERANCE for these shenanigans. As a taxpayer, I expect no less.”

    If so… why are you limiting your tirade against Gloria ONLY?

    Are you trying to say that those opposing her in the UNO are themselves innocent of your Three Questions?

    And please take note that I’m not adopting the Palace’s line of “he who has no sin cast the first stone.” All I’m asking is why it seems ONLY Gloria is being taken to account, almost to exclusivity, as if she is the be-all-end-all of the malaise in Philippine politics. As if excising her and her family, would be like some magic bullet that would save the Republic.

    I know its hard to get past the trap of the “First Stone Cast” moral dilemma, but in my view there’s something problematic when the basis for the removal of someone from power is on the basis of morals alone. Don’t you people think there’s something wrong when a liar asks that a person be condemned for lying, or when a cheat brings to court someone for cheating?

    Is it because she’s the President and should therefore be held more accountable than an ordinary citizen? But we’re not talking about comparing her to ordinary people. We’re talking about the political sphere and the life of a whole nation. We’re discussing replacing the Chief of State with… who? With what? More of the same?

    Again, I’m not defending GMA. She has enough people doing that for her and I am certainly not in her payroll (well,unless you consider all government employees as being under her payroll, that is…) to do so. I’m more concerned that we don’t do the mistakes of the last time we removed a President from power.

  30. DevilsAdvc8,

    “i’ll take my speculations over your speculations anytime.”

    of course thats expected already. just take note that we are both speculating, so ones speculations aren’t above the other’s

    “i have a whole family of immigrants backing up my rationalizations. what do you have?”

    more than dozens of families who stayed behind, were not swayed by the allure of the supposedly almighty dollar, and were able to have relatively comfortable lives, by sheer hard work and belief in the reality that one need not migrate to have a decent standard of living

    i don’t deny the existence of migrant success stories. what i will dispute is that a similar success cannot be replicated here

    “at pasensya ka na kung nakukulangan ka pa sa apoy ko. pero hanggang dun lang ang kaya ko and still remain civil”

    oks lang

  31. “Is it because she’s the President and should therefore be held more accountable than an ordinary citizen? But we’re not talking about comparing her to ordinary people. We’re talking about the political sphere and the life of a whole nation.”

    But OF COURSE, kaya nga we put “Her Excellency” before her name (or “Honorable” before the Congressman’s name). We elect these people to represent our interests and do what’s best for us. We give these men/women access to our resources. When Gloria speaks at the UN or at an International forum, represents our whole nation. Dapat lang naman na she is beyond reproach. Look at Zimbabwe? Who takes that nation seriously? It’s because it has Mugabe as its face.

  32. “Is it because she’s the President and should therefore be held more accountable than an ordinary citizen? But we’re not talking about comparing her to ordinary people. We’re talking about the political sphere and the life of a whole nation.”

    But OF COURSE, kaya nga we put “Her Excellency” before her name (or “Honorable” before the Congressman’s name). We elect these people to represent our interests and do what’s best for us. We give these men/women access to our resources. When Gloria speaks at the UN or at an International forum, she represents our whole nation. Dapat lang naman na she is beyond reproach. Look at Zimbabwe? Who takes that nation seriously? It’s because it has Mugabe as its face.

  33. “I’m more concerned that we don’t do the mistakes of the last time we removed a President from power.”

    Siempre, hindi naman natin na-forsee na ganun pala ka-corrupt si GMA.

    Let me tell you about Baguio. Last term, we had the mayor replaced, NOT because he was corrupt (NO thought he was) but because he was incompetent (the city felt he had his priorities all wrong). He was politely asked to resign, he didn’t. He was then removed by recall (petition)

    We got a better replacement after him.

    When one is removed because of his incompetence by constitutional means (recall, resignation) other than letting his term lapse, we are sending a message that before you even decide to run for office, you better be up to the job.

  34. Gloria’s mercenaries and goons in uniform are far worse. Pray that they don’t get on your asses. They are not going to care if you just the messenger, the message or what have you.
    They won’t care if your are straight, bading, man, woman or child. And when you are lucky enough to get a taste of what these terrors have to offer…

    uhmmm, did you actually experience these mercenaries and
    goons of Gloria getting on your ass? you seem so sure about that.

    Bencard, you remember your good friend ramrod? don’t you see the similarity?

  35. “that is just a very selfish statement.”

    @Liam

    Read the statement after. And besides, the country is funded by foreign money.. OFW remittances, call centers. Tumataas lang dollar value nang mga Ayala. Basics hindi bumababa. A low peso would actually discourage Filipinos from buying imports, which is good.

  36. @Rob Ramos: On “… its hard to get past the trap of the “First Stone Cast” moral dilemma, but in my view there’s something problematic when the basis for the removal of someone from power is on the basis of morals alone.”

    The Constitution defines the basis and procedures for removal of elected officials. It is “less the morals” and “more what the Filipinos have accepted as the ground rules”.

    On replacing the Chief of State with… who? Constitution says Vice-President.

    On More of the same? if that is what the impeachment-body becomes willing to risk, then so be it.

  37. On why (for me) impeachment is better than EDSA marches… it is because the Baguio-congressman can concentrate less on the TV shows and newspapers of Metro-Manila and listen more closely to the opinions of the Baguio-population. Likewise the Camarines-Norte congressman concentrates on identifying the opinions of his constituency — the farmers, teachers, policemen, students, local businessmen. Then, when all these congressmen vote to continue/discontinue the leadership of the Chief of State, then practically all segments of the country has been represented .

  38. grd, i was thinking of the same guy who was bragging about his military past and skills as a “boxer” and sharpshooter and now, i think, is selling paper (perhaps, including toilet paper). i rally think the guy is scrounging around for some undeserved accolade. Poor thing!

    nash, as long as all you can do is whine and bellyache about “gloria” based on what you hear and read from the biased media, and from grandstanding politicians drooling on the possibility of a power grab, there will always be other people who will challenge you and your kind. if you really know anything credible, stand up and testify under oath and offer your proof. you can start by offering your “evidence” to overzealous cayetano in the senate. i’m sure he will treat you like gold.

  39. guys,
    after all the clashes of ideas, personalan, napagod din akong basahin ang comments nyo.
    basta ako, kung hindi man ngayon o sa 2010 o beyond, mlq3 for president pa rin.
    mlq3, keep up the good work, continue studying and blogging, continue to be a good filipino! and when destiny calls, you will be ready to lead us!

  40. “basta ako, kung hindi man ngayon o sa 2010 o beyond, mlq3 for president pa rin.”

    That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. You’ve ever heard Manolo tell us his ideas on economy, social justice, education, etc? Just because he’s a nice guy doesn’t men he can lead. He’s also open to a lot of input from many places, which makes him a weak leader. He’s even considering Federalism, for crying out loud. He’s too sympathetic to the elite, his view of current history is anachronistic – from the time of Thomas Carlyle. He doesn’t seem to be faithful to one religion but he’s in speaking terms with church leaders. All his ideas have never been subjected to peer review. The closest thing to it is this blog.

  41. Mang Bencard,

    “as long as all you can do is whine and bellyache about “gloria” based on what you hear and read from the biased media,”

    We just have different thresholds for corruption. You accept these acts to be acceptable, I don’t.

    GMA herself admitted she called an election official. Her staff and party admitted they doled out cash. Whether the media is biased or not became irrelevant when she so admitted.

    YOU JUST HAVE LOW STANDARDS. I DON’T. I want my leader beyond reproach. Period. I’m not even whining. As a stakeholder and taxpayer, I expect to be treated no more or no less than the next guy but I certainly require minimum requirements.

    Unlike you, I’ve personally met GMA. I was even in that very same park when she said she wouldn’t run again. I’ve seen her up close and she’s a certified bitch.

  42. UPnS: “On why (for me) impeachment is better than EDSA marches…”

    That’s the ideal (maybe the best way), when followed to its logical conclusion. As representatives of their people, their “yes” votes are supposed to speak for a wider range of the Filipino public than those who march at EDSA. Upon deep analysis, People Power (1 & 2) is generally a case of Manila revolt. We know it does not represent those in the periphery.

    Apparently, there is a disconnect between public opinion for Gloria’s impeachment (majority, according to SWS, favor it) and congressional behavior (veto any move for her impeachment). How to bridge it is a herculean task.

    On the ground, this is the reality, I think. Most people, however, don’t care or are turned off right at the start to even ask their congressmen. Many have, in fact, done just that. But a letter or two to a pro-admin congressman is bound to fall on deaf ears. Not even a petition signed by hundreds, if you are dealing with rabid supporters whose minds are already cast in stone, reinforced by carrots always doled out from somewhere (we know who they are). In the end, Judas still barters his vote for silver.

    I think the congressmen who would like to see change happen can do it more effectively by convincing their own colleagues. People should better write NOT their own congressmen who are known lapdogs but those at the other side, the “moderates” and others whose votes can still be persuaded.

  43. @hawaiianguy: Naturally, one can write to as many congressman as he/she wants. One can support B&W Movement (or one of the “Let’s Move On” groups) so that these groups can carry the same message that a person believes in.
    The practical reason to also let your congressman know what you want (dven if your congressman is tagged pro-GMA or not-pro-GMA) is the reminder (which can be implied, or which you can include in your letter-to-your-congressman) that the congressman is in his office because of votes, followed by a reminder that you vote and that you are already talking to relatives and friends and office-mates to about the issue to sway them to vote in a particular direction.

  44. nash, i really don’t want to dignify your emotional but meatless argument but answer these 2 questions: (1) did “gloria” admit she “cheated” in the 2004 election by saying she talked to an election official? (2) did she admit she “doled out cash”? if your answer to either is “no”, put up or just shut up!

    how do you know i haven’t met “gloria”? don’t you flatter yourself, whoever you think you are. hundreds, if not thousands, of people see her almost everyday. that doesn’t mean they “met” her, much less judge that she is a “certified bitch”.

  45. as I said, we just have different thresholds. yours is low, low, low. (but don’t take that personally, that’s my opinion)

    1. She did not admit she ‘cheated, she admitted to calling an election official during the count. That is unethical and unbecoming of someone running for high office.

    2. Cash was doled out in Malacanang as admitted by recipients and her staff. Did she do anything about it after being ‘informed’ did she fire any of her staff to say she does not condone such brazen waste of tax money?

    If you find these acceptable, I have nothing more to say.

    I’ve hosted lunch for her in my previous capacity and I’m not flattering myself. I have no reason to.

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