The Mandate of Heaven (concluded the next day)

“Unity Walk”
“Solidarity Walk”

Same walk, different caption. A sign of the state of confusion at the Palace. Is it just me, or or are these pictured (from yesterday, the so-called “solidarity walk,” swiftly retitled “unity walk” at the Palace; by the way, see abashet joey on the President and PhotoShop) too creepily reminiscent of the End Days for Estrada, when he, too, tried to show his administration wasn’t beleaguered, by trotting out his cabinet?

Who among them is in or in the official family? The Inquirer editorial yesterday asked, Is it Neri next? and today it says it’s Panic time.

Trot, trot, clip-clop, tick-tock. What do you get?
A horse gone wild: Adviser calls Arroyo ‘luckiest b*tch’.
That’s just karma for what must surely have been a Palace factotum-released tusongbaboy YouTube video, featuring what seem to be wiretapped conversations between Jun Lozada and Joey de Venecia.

The Financial Times reports the President may be losing her fondness for playing the China card. I’ve begun rather interesting scuttlebutt of an intriguing kind, involving a government commitment to relinquishing our claims to the Spratley Islands in exchange for investments. But nothing firmer than that.

The ancient Chinese believed that the “mandate of Heaven” was revealed by tangible signs, such as flood or famine. Such misfortunes were indications that the legitimacy of a ruler was waning. Confucius elaborated the idea further, and taught that the “mandate of Heaven” was dependent on knowing the moral order of the universe, and demonstrating it in the six relationships that govern superiors and subordinates (i.e. minister to prince, friend to friend, teacher to student).

These relationships are evident in the various groups bestirred by recent events.

The Action for Economic Reforms is holding a presscon-forum on “The Godmother and the Philippine mafia” on Friday, Feb. 22 9:30 am to 12 noon at the Sta. Ana Room, 3rd Floor, U.P. College of Law. On the same day, February 22, The Law Student Government Coordinating Council, composed of the Student Councils of the Ateneo Law, UP, UST, FEU-La Salle and UE Schools of Law will be holding various activities (see i’m NOT a stop along the way. i’m a a DESTINATION for details). And Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan has a forum on Feb. 23 (with regards to the Ateneo, read the concrete steps proposed by Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan in their statement, as well as those proposed by the Ateneo’s Department of Political Science in its statement (the question then becomes, of course, what if government refuses to do anything?). On Feb. 25, there will be a “Concert for Truth, Accountablity and Reform” at the Ateneo from 4-8 pm (for information contact Ms. Reese Fernandez Programs Head, Team RP Tel: (02) 426-5657 <[email protected]>)

Starting February 24, it seems Masses “for Truth vs. Corruption” are going to be held, sequentially, in Adamson University, the University of Santo Tomas, de la Salle University, and then Miriam College.

In recent weeks, the political landscape of the Philippines has been shaken because of one man, Rodolfo Noel Lozada, Jr., and his past proximity to Romulo Neri, Jr.

Both are of Chinese extraction; I have even heard that Romulo Neri, Jr. practices a form of divination, the I Ching. At this point it seems to me, whether consciously or not, both consider themselves Mandarins.

The Analects of Confucius, L. Giles translation.

The first two extracts concern definitions of good government. The first involves the “five excellent things” and the “four evil things”:

Tzú Chang asked Confucius, saying: What are the essentials of good government? — The Master said: Esteem the five excellent, and banish the four evil things; then you will become fit to govern. — Tzu Chang asked: What are the five excellent things? — The Master replied: The wise and good ruler is benevolent without expending treasure; he lays burdens on the people without causing them to grumble; he has desires without being covetous; he is serene without being proud; he is awe-inspiring without being ferocious. — He is benevolent without expending treasure: what does that mean? — The Master replied: He simply follows the course which naturally brings benefit to the people. Is he not thus benevolent without expending treasure? In imposing burdens, he chooses the right time and the right means, and nobody can grumble. His desire is for goodness, and he achieves it; how should he be covetous? The wise and good ruler never allows himself to be negligent, whether he is dealing with many men or with few, with small matters or with great. Is this not serenity without pride? He has his cap and robe properly adjusted, and throws a noble dignity into his looks, so that his gravity inspires onlookers with respect. Is he not thus awe-inspiring without being ferocious? — Tzú Chang then asked: What are the four evil things? — The Master said: Cruelty: — leaving the people in their native ignorance, yet punishing their wrong-doing with death. Oppression: requiring the immediate completion of tasks imposed without previous warning. Ruthlessness: — giving vague orders, and then insisting on punctual fulfilment. Peddling husbandry: — stinginess in conferring the proper rewards on deserving men.

The second related extract involves the tangible signs of good government, and the things that can be dispensed with, and the thing that absolutely cannot be dispensed with:

Tzú Kung asked for a definition of good government. The Master replied: It consists in providing enough food to eat, in keeping enough soldiers to guard the State, and in winning the confidence of the people. — And if one of these three things had to be sacrificed, which should go first? — The Master replied: Sacrifice the soldiers. — And if of the two remaining things one had to be sacrificed, which should it be? — The master said: Let it be the food. From the beginning, men have always had to die. But without the confidence of the people no government can stand at all.

Then two extracts in a similar vein, on the means to maintain public confidence, and the means to instill harmony in the people.

A simple rule of thumb concerning the hiring and firing of officials:

Duke Ai asked, saying: What must I do that my people may be contented? – Confucius replied: Promote the upright and dismiss all evildoers, and the people will be contented. Promote the evil-doers and dismiss the upright, and the people will be discontented.

A similar reiteration concerning promotions:

Chi K’-ang Tzú asked by what means he might cause his people to be respectful and loyal, and encourage them in the path of virtue. The Master replied: Conduct yourself towards them with dignity, and you will earn their respect; be a good son and a kind prince, and you will find them loyal; promote the deserving and instruct those who fall short, and they will be encouraged to follow the path of virtue.

And then, an extract pointing to the importance of precision on the part of policy makers:

Tzú Lu said: The Prince of Wei is waiting, Sir, for you to take up the reins of government. Pray what is the first reform you would introduce? — The Master replied: I would begin by defining terms and making them exact. — Oh, indeed! exclaimed Tzú Lu. But how can you possibly put things straight by such a circuitous route? — The Master said: How unmannerly you are, Yu! In matters which he does not understand, the wise man will always reserve his judgement. If terms are not correctly defined, words will not harmonise with things. If words do not harmonise with things, public business will remain undone. If public business remains undone, order and harmony will not flourish. If order and harmony do not flourish, law and justice will not attain their ends. If law and justice do not attain their ends, the people will be unable to move hand or foot. The wise man, therefore, frames his definitions to regulate his speech, and his speech to regulate his actions. He is never reckless in his choice of words.

And what about wrongdoers?

Chi K’ang Tzú questioned Confucius on a point of government, saying: Ought not I to cut out off the lawless in order to establish law and order? What do you think? -Confucius replied: Sir, what need is there of the death penalty in your system of government? If you showed a sincere desire to be good, your people would likewise be good. The virtue of the prince is like unto wind; that of the people, like unto grass. For it is the nature of grass to bend when the wind blows upon it.

In sum, then, in the face of wrongdoing on the part of officials, considering the things that make for effective government, and which weaken it:

Confucius rejoined: Ch’iu, an honest man hates your hypocrite who will not openly avow his greed, but tries instead to excuse it. I have heard that the ruler of a state or of a clan is troubled not by the smallness of its numbers but by the absence of even-handed justice; not by poverty but by the preresence of discontent; for where there is justice there will be no poverty; where there is harmony there will be no lack in numbers; where there is content there will be no revolution. This being the case then, if outlying communities resist your authority, cultivate the arts of refinement and goodness in order to attract them; and when you have attracted them, make them happy and contented. Now you two, Yu and Ch’iu, are aiding and abetting your master; here is an outlying community which resists your authority, and you are unable to attract it. Partition and collapse are imminent in your own State, and you are unable to preserve it intact. And yet you are planning military aggression within in the borders of your country! Verily I fear that Chi-sun’s troubles will come, not from Chuan-yú, but from the interior of his own palace.

Do you need someone else to tie this all together for you? Including the abstract at the end of this entry? Thank you, Left Flank.

The question then… as my column for today is titled, is for people to see what the Minimum and maximum goals they want achieve from hereon up to 2010 will be. (someone who takes the court of public opnion seriously is Chances in the Starlight).
Blogger un suplemento metafisico a la realidad de mi existencia slices and dices things very well:

The administration shall be presumed innocent until they are proven guilty. However, its actions do not allow me to do so. The anti-truth mafia has scribbled so much manipulation of evidence, information, and facts that the presumption of innocence has been vaporized. Instead of testifying for the “truth” the co-conspirators of the anti-truth mafia has been hiding behind what they call “executive privilege.” The administration has pushed the envelope too far. It is now at the edge of a cliff and is desperately holding on by trying to cover-up all pieces of evidence that may eventually lead to its demise.

Thanks to the anti-truth mafia’s propaganda, Jun Lozada has been accused of harboring nothing but hearsay which they claim is inadmissible in courts. However, he does say these statements under oath, thus he has with him what is called testimonial evidence. “A woman who has been raped can send a man in jail just with her testimonies.”(Escudero, 2008) In addition, he seems to be very consistent with his statements unlike some of the anti-truth mafia. Jun Lozada was also accused of being corrupt – which he admitted with a smile, and I think this makes him all the more credible – He was part of the project, he was an insider, he knew the goings-on of the ZTE-NBN deal.

Jun Lozada is neither a saint nor a hero but he has with him the truth. Whether he came out to tell the truth for the sake of truth or for some other ulterior motives – which is hard to think of considering that his testifying in the Senate has put him in a very precarious situation. If he were to lie, what motive was so great that he was willing to put himself out of the pan and into the fire almost voluntarily? Testifying has put Jun Lozada between the legendary monsters Scylla and Charybdis. He is currently between hell and the deep blue sea. In whatever perspective I try to view the course of events for Jun Lozada, I can’t seem to find any advantage that he might gain in testifying. In fact, he was “forced” to do so – as with the summons, this implies that testifying is not advantageous for him. On the other hand, he might be thinking of a career in showbiz. If that is so, then he is making a good start. We are probably watching one of the best soap operas ever made.

It doesn’t matter whether or not the bringer of truth has been tainted with wrongdoings in the past. What is more important is that he has the truth with him and so his voice shall be heard. The substance lie in the statements, not in the personality. An honest man will voluntarily take off his clothes to show that he has nothing to hide; while a thief would wear layers upon layers of clothes just to hide whatever it is that he has stolen.

In the rest of the blogosphere, the Ateneo Mass last Monday was covered by Don’t fight darkness. Bring the light, and darkness will disappear and by Mahal ko Pilipinas!!!!! and …strawberry-filled donuts… (Lozada’s nephew) and with photos by Blahg, Standing in Motion, neo saicon, sj while thatniceboy gives an insight into the minds of those who remain detached. There were other activities, too: it’s a yummy world recounts attending a Mass at the Redemptorist Church. highwayse7en8 doesn’t like Masses with political aims. Neither does priest-blogger Bangor to Bobbio. On the other hand, Postcard Headlines in Cebu describes the first glimmerings of people bucking the view that the city is “GMA Country”.

As for Lozada, lifelong learning compares what he’s doing to debriding dead tissue; pine for pine compares folksy Lozada and Abalos stories; as for views, there are the pro: there’s lecheplan, and four-eyed joie’s thoughts as well as Verities of a Writer’s heart; con: you can’t be more straightforward in expressing skepticism than under deconstruction; and neutral: preMEDitated wants to believe, but doesn’t yet. dino! dedicates poetry to the man. rl_829 thinks he’s a dead man. My Mirror to Reality undertakes an interesting experiment: what if Lozada is 100% good, or what if he’s 100% evil?Law and ICT and mga kababalaghan sa buhay ko take opposing views on whether Lozada’s phone being hacked is believable or not. Vincula points out we should give thanks for the demolition team assembled by the Palace.

There are, of course, continuing views on what’s going on. Katataspulong some time ago, wondered if people really want decent officials, or whether the tangled web of corruption makes for a comfortable pigsty for everyone. jmtaylor has a bone to pick with politicians in general. Romwald’s Realm tackles the dynamics of corruption: subtle rebel runs down a list of the ironies of life (politics-wise).

Lawyer notes of marichu c. lambino points out that the government keeps corroborating the testimony of Lozada (tart comments on Gaite’s admitting he gave Lozada half a million in Alleba Politics and Bong Montesa’s weblog ). The Mount Balatucan Monitor is certain of the outcome of government efforts at damage control. The Warrior Lawyer takes a similarly skeptical look at the Ombudsman, etc.

And yet… there are those who prefer to stick it out with the administration because they continue to loath those who oppose her more. In a sense, the “same-same” message track of the Palace continues to work, as Walk This Way echoes:

I mean, yes, the First Gentleman is a little piglet. No doubt about that. But please don’t tell me that all the politicians pursuing this issue aren’t little piglets either (below). Getting little greasy slices of pork from projects like the NBN is modus operandi in ANY administration – it’s no secret to us and it’s no secret to the senators doing the grilling. It’s been the modus operandi for decades! Where else would ANY administration get money to do things like, oh, give to senators and congressmen for their election campaigns? Senators and Congressmen don’t come for free, ya know. Tip: instead of looking at the noisy ones, let’s try and count who are the quiet ones in Senate and Congress. Perhaps they are quiet because they already were given their pieces of the pork. And it’s only the squealing ones that are upset because they didn’t get theirs. Hence, if it’s all just piggies fighting piggies over pieces of pork that they just pass on to other piggies, then it’s just politics in the end. Period. Philippine politics and governance is sick, that is as obvious as obvious can be. But will this Jun Lozada scandal be the catalyst for the great changes that need to be made? Ha! Great changes will be done in this society through small ways and on a person to person basis. Paradigm shifts don’t happen through Senate hearings. Trust me, this “moral revolution” WILL NOT be televised.
Do I think corruption should be addressed? Yes. Do I think getting rid of Gloria will solve this issue? No. Do I agree with JDV that a moral revolution in government should be pursued? Yes. But will that revolution come from Senate and from Congress or from JDV himself. Hell no. Parehong baboy silang lahat. So that’s why I’m ignoring the politics and protests. And judging by their sad rally last week (Please. Makati Business Club, Black and White Movement, Cory Aquino et al. More people attended the Beyonce concert than your rally), I think others are too.

A senior citizen, My Life in the Philippines, is ambivalent about removing the President from office but for different reasons:

I consider GMA having lost the “Moral Authority” to continue on as President until Yr2010. Granting PGMA credit for a resurging Philippine Economy does not justify Moral Bankrupcy. While our kind of Democracy has made ours a “Country-of-Laws” (where Public Issues ought to be decided in the heirarchy of our Courts), a collective judgement of a fully-informed Citizenry (by a Free Press) in the Court-of-Public Opinion does carry a strong moral value.
…On the other hand, I believe: (1st) That People Power I & II have not brought about a “Better Philippines”. I consider “Graft & Corruption,” as an Ethical Problem which have not and could not be remedied by street-mandated Political Solutions – i.e. People Power Change-of-Presidents; (2nd) That the Church (visibly represented by the Religious Priest & Nuns in the Streets, in Congress, in the Courts) have failed in its Pastoral Work of enlightening and encouraging Political Leaders to move away from the evil of Greed-for-Money – thus necessitating “Graft & Corruption”.
…Given all of the above, I contend that it would be good for our country for PGMA to continue in office until Yr2010. But, she must take the lead for all in Public Office in a “Moral Crusade for Good Government”. She (together with all who would follow her example) could redeem herself/themselves in the Public Eye and erase all doubts about “Hidden Wealth” by a public demonstration of giving-up 90% of their respective Family’s Private Wealth accumulated during their entire Political Career. I liken this “Moral Crusade” to a “National Cleansing” following the Korean Example – not too long ago.

The senior citizen blogger isn’t alone: UST student james_cartmire says something similar:

i got into some debate though when i opened that my position, no matter where investigations lead, was for gma to definitely finish her term in 2010. i said that even if everything leads to impeachment, the impeachment process, being a political process, will just muddle and broker ties with old faces, further preventing genuine reform efforts, and that the whole gma vendetta might even ruin the promise of a new start in 2010. i also echoed what neri purportedly said (based on the supposed lozada document i received trhough mail) that an impeachment buzz would just increase government spending (i.e. malacañang diverting public funds to buy out representatives, opinion leaders and power brokers) and that all these crises could lead to another economic slump. after almost breaking to a 39-level before the nbn hearing resumed, just yesterday, the peso-dollar exchange rate was again P41 to $1.

And so, some are ambivalent about resignation or People Power (see Or the Catholic Church: Brown SEO asks some tough questions, as does Philippine Commentary opposes People Power. On the other hand, Ceci Da Supastar reproduces the soul-searching appeal of a member of the Left, who says they can’t afford to miss the bus again:

Why should we work with them? Because we all want the same short term goals, which are the end of the GMA administration, the reform of a corrupt system, and free and fair elections. We may disagree on our broad ideologies, but we agree that these are the immediate obstacles to our various long term goals.
But, perhaps more importantly, if there is anything we should have learned from our EDSA experiences, it is that we want bargaining chips when this is all over so that we can influence the future. And those bargaining chips only come in the form of weight of our participation and the numbers we draw.

And yet… Lunasandwich says people are increasingly interested, but still stumped on what to do:

I take this as a good sign, of the keen interest of the people to know how others feel or think about the issue. What has really struck me though is the disenchantment and shared distrust for almost all people in government…
It seems the enormity of the problem — graft and corruption (which does not end with Arroyo’s removal from office) and the deeply rooted social malaise — is not lost on the people. Sadly, while the problem has long been identified, at the moment, people still seem to be at loss on what to do.

Marvelous photos of the Senate hearings taken by Bro. Ceci of La Salle: Ceci’s Corner.

And here’s something eloquent by Yogon Multiplies: let’s remember to do the small stuff, too. lovelife?! – eto self supporting! ^_^ writes about school pride.

Thank you to the reader who sent me a copy of this paper: The Integrity of Corrupt States: Graft as an Informal State Institution by Keith Darden. Interesting abstract:

This article argues that corrupt practices such as bribery and embezzlement, which scholars have previously assumed to be evidence of the breakdown of the state, may reinforce the state’s administrative hierarchies under certain conditions. Drawing on a cross-national analysis of 132 countries and a detailed examination of the informal institutions of official graft in Ukraine, the article finds that where graft is systematically tracked, monitored, and granted by state leaders as an informal payment in exchange for compliance, it provides both an added incentive to obey leaders’ directives and the potent sanction of criminal prosecution in the event of disobedience. Where graft is informally institutionalized in this way, it provides the basis for state organizations that are effective at collecting taxes, maintaining public order, and repressing political opposition but that may undermine the development of liberal politics.


Manuel L. Quezon III.

422 thoughts on “The Mandate of Heaven (concluded the next day)

  1. Mita, just to clarify, your original point (at 7:31pm) where you attempted to contrast belief with truth was interesting enough to react to.

    It is your fallback position, where you claim that you were merely saying that truth is different from belief, is what is uninteresting, i.e. trivially obvious. That was not your original message.

  2. cat, there no such thing as hero? so ano ang tawag mo kina rizal, bonifacio et al? did we have bloody revolution against spain? maybe you should read your history books if you have any!

  3. ‘the BIR had beat you to it, the castration (not literally, but figuratively) process begun already with Bishop Cruz of Dagupan (see Inquirer news).’

    This is amazing!

    New York City filed a tax case againts the Philippine goverment for the same reason. The Philippine consulate building along 5th Ave. used to house a bank and a restaurant. The Philippines said the property is tax exempt. New York City said yes but not the whole property. The tax bill is now several million dollars because of interest.

  4. Tax exempt status of the Roman Catholic Church. Properties or assets of the Church that are used for worship and education are tax exempt. I am not sure about hospitals. However assets of the Church that are invested in commercial enterprises are not tax-exempt.
    The properties of the Catholic Church in the Philippines are under the control and possession of the Vatican.

    The Vatican recently fired the heads of UST who had mortgaged parts of the land of the university to fund the building of a new hospital. UST is a Pontifical University under the direct hierarchy of the Pope himself.

    All this nonsense about separation of Church and State forgets that the Dean of the diplomatic corps in the Philippines is the Apostolic Nuncio. The representative of the former Holy Roman Empire.

    Remember the Pope who faced down the former Commie head of Poland and the Russian bear in his open support of the Labor movement vs the state in Poland.

    In a country of predominantly Catholics he united his unarmed legions against the tanks and guns of the Russian commissars. They blinked.

    During his life he stood in Cuba and in front of the Cuban people railed against the evils of savage capitalism. He condemned both Marxism and savage capitalism.

    The present Pope rails against relativism and secularism but not secularity and relativity.

    The entire bedrock foundation of the Catholic faith is its universality of humanity and the fact that we are incapable of knowing the whole truth.

    Can we handle the truth that Catholic dogma tells us that we are actually eating and drinking the actual blood and flesh of Jesus whenever one takes communion.

    That is the integral part of the mystery of the mystery of faith. Giving up your flesh and blood for the life of your fellow man.

    The Pope quoting from St. Augustine on secularism and theism.”the struggle between two loves: love of oneself, ‘even to the point of showing indifference toward God,’ and love of God, ‘even to the point of being indifferent toward oneself.’”

    For agnostics or atheists morality is not the exclusive monopoly of religion. For man’s own self preservation and self interest evolving rationality and philosophies would make everyone wish to treat others are they would wish to be treated.

    The Philippine Catholic which has evolved from the Spanish branch of the Church (theocracy)which remained stuck in Pre-Copernican theological mode makes the Church in the Philippines undemocratic and closer to a Phalangist model.

    The Church in the Philippines is more facist than it is not.

  5. Read the excerpts of Erap’s speech in the Manila Polo Club and you will see an undercurrent of facism in the man.

    His message is simple I did not steal from the State like the present occupant has done. I might have made a few mistakes of indulging in criminal activity but never from the State.

    His main policy framework is that he is a law and order man.
    Go hard on the enemies of the State.

    Thank you Erap for making it harder for Big Mike and GMA to go.

    Let us look at the face of the political opposition in the country.

    Erap, Binay and Maceda. Joma and Trillanes.

    The effective rot that has forced the best and the brightest of the country to leave and shy away from the political process has brought us to this.

    The message of the left is dead on. However something went wrong with the messenger.

  6. income of whatever kind and character of [religious] organizations from any of their properties, real or personal, or from any of their activities conducted for profit shall be subject to tax.

    ahaha. dapat siguro inuuna ng BIR sina Velarde, Villanueva, at yung sa Dating Daan. mga mom and pop cultist ‘to operating as religious fronts. si Soriano nga garapalan na business por business na talaga di na relihiyon.

    the BIR had beat you to it, the castration (not literally, but figuratively) process begun already with Bishop Cruz of Dagupan (see Inquirer news).’

    nope. taxing them is one of the lesser idea. if you really want to break religious leaders’ hold on people you have to go to the base. outlaw baptism of minors. forbid cathechism in schools. if religion is to be taught at all, it should be as a historical and factual study, covering all religions, and should be taught by teachers who are secularists. schools should be removed from religious orders’ control.

    am i warming up yet?

  7. altho dapat sana sinagot na to ni Benigs. amf. wait ko pa naman kung masasagot nya. oh well. any other bright ideas benigs?

    pwede tayong mag tandem. you’re good with pointing out problems, im good with finding creative solutions.

  8. Is it naivete or stupidity of Neri’s part on his complaints against the oligarchy.

    He got caught with his hands in the cookie jar and now he turns reformist and populist against the oligarchy he so willingly served.

    The local oligarchy that controls the Philippine economy is dependent on the global oligarchy that basically pulls the strings of our local oligarchs. The basic issues being debated in the present U.S. electoral contest is the move to electoral populism where everyone will rail against the corporate oligarchs.

    On TV everyone becomes a populist and God fearing.

    Yet the continuing crisis of global oligarchy is at the heart of the slowly developing destructive deflationary movement in the asset markets that is threatening to unleash a deadly deflationary virus in the real economies of the world.

    The slow implosion of the U.S. derivative financial markets is spreading. The cause: the unregulated policies of the global oligarchy. A colossal failure of governance.

    “The big question, indeed, is whether lessons must be embedded in regulation. Optimistic opponents of regulation argue that the banks have learnt their lesson and will behave more responsibly in future. Pessimistic opponents fear that legislators might create a Sarbanes- Oxley squared. The Act passed by the US Congress in 2002, after Enron and other scandals, was bad enough, they say. The banks might now suffer something worse.”

    “Dream on” is my reply to the optimists. To the pessimists, I respond: yes, the danger of over-regulation is real, but so is that of doing nothing at all.”

    “Two points shine out about the financial system over the past three decades: its ability to generate crises, and the mismatch between public risk and private reward.”

    “It is true, on the first point, that none of the financial crises of this period has gravely damaged the world economy, although some have devastated individual economies. But it is probably just a matter of time. What would be happening now if US inflation were out of control or foreign official support for the US dollar were withdrawn? A deep and prolonged US recession would be probable, with devastating economic and political consequences.”

    “It also true, on the second point, that the banking sector is the recipient of massive explicit and implicit public subsidies: it is largely guaranteed against liquidity risk; many of its liabilities seem to be contingent claims on the state; and central banks create an upward- sloping yield curve whenever banks are decapitalised, thereby offering a direct transfer to any institution able to borrow at the low rate and lend at the higher one.”

    “In addition, banking institutions suffer from massive agency problems – between clients and institutions, shareholders and management and management and other staff. All this is also exacerbated by the difficulty of monitoring the quality of transactions until long after the event.” Martin Wolf, The Financial Times

    Lozada will be crushed like a bug. Someone should just simply help him with some investible funds so he may migrate to Canada or Australia. Like Magnolia the new flavor of the month will come out in due time.

  9. i’ve never minced words when it came to some of the catholic church’s stand on some issues. im what you call a nominal catholic. baptized of the faith but hardly practicing it. the only times i go to church is when my wife wants to and when i offered a thanksgiving mass. my last confession was 9 yrs ago. i don’t fast.

    the closest i have of a religion is this:

    humanism tweaked with my own beliefs.

    i have no hatred of God. only of his middle men. those who usurp his title and act as if blessed with blanket omnipotence, who refuse to accept fallibility, and cannot bridge the gap between faith and reason.

  10. times, they are a-changing…back in the 80s we’d have the vietnamese and the thais coming over to learn better crop techniques…..

    “President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has asked Vietnam to guarantee her country an unspecified volume of rice as tight world supply threatens its food security, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said Thursday.

    Yap said Arroyo had been in contact with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to secure an undisclosed volume of the Philippines’ food staple.”

    Eh kasi naman, Who is Arthur Yap and why is he agriculture secretary? He is a lawyer…and Arroyo, our very intelligent and competent President has in her divine wisdom, deemed him qualified.

    Pwe. Corrupt na, incompetent pa. And you think Erap was dumb?

  11. Nash,
    Dapat siguro itigil na ang pagconvert ng mga taniman ng palay sa buong Pilipinas bilang golf course, subdivision, mall at industrial zone mula pa ng time ni Cory. Take the case of Cavite wala ka ng makitang remnant ng malalaking palayan. E kung walang pakundangan ang pagconvert ng mga lupa sa buong Pilipinas e talagang nakakahiyang isipin na nag-iimport tayo ng bigas. Ganun talaga pag hacendero ang mga lider natin mula sa executive at legislative.

  12. hvrds, i don’t think Neri’s statements against the oligarchy is a last minute move to turn reformist. In an article by Vic Limlingan back in 2001, he points to…

    …the view espoused by Professor Romulo L. Neri of the Congressional Planning and Budget Office that the causes of poverty and bad governance are rooted in the oligarchic domination of the Philippine political economy. According to Professor Neri, the historical domination of the Philippines by the oligarchic elite has allowed it to distort government policies and keep its institutions weak. The ability of the oligarchy to distort government policy is exercised through political influence and through appointments of proteges in the state bureaucracy.

    Even back then, Neri was a leading proponent of the view that the oligarchic elite is the problem.

  13. ‘Dapat siguro itigil na ang pagconvert ng mga taniman ng palay sa buong Pilipinas’

    If this not doable then I suggest the following
    1) Filipinos should go on a diet. Eat less rice.
    2) Stop exporting Jasmine rice to the USA.
    3) Invade Sabah to increase land area.
    4) Merge with Indoneasia and send Filipino rice farmers to Irian Jaya.

  14. @bernardocarpio

    alam mo po nung bata ako, laging ipinagmamalaki ng nanay ko na ang pilipinas ang centro ng agricultural education at excellence. maraming mga thai, indonesian ang pupumunta sa IRRI at sa amin sa Bundok upang matutunan ang mga good agricultural practices…

    ngayon, tinatamad na kaming mag-farm dahil lugi ka na, dami pa kotong cops sa highway, at mas mura ang mga smuggled.

  15. Da blonde gay son of my imployir madam Fanny said Neri is now sooo powerful..can mek or brek govermint!!! He should demand GMA or butch dyke Madrigal and oder politics to approve Gay Rights and Marriage in Da Phils. This will help economy also by reducing population growth! Ay naku I no understand dis tings!

  16. Devils:

    nope. taxing them is one of the lesser idea. if you really want to break religious leaders’ hold on people you have to go to the base. outlaw baptism of minors. forbid cathechism in schools. if religion is to be taught at all, it should be as a historical and factual study, covering all religions, and should be taught by teachers who are secularists. schools should be removed from religious orders’ control.

    oh, this i like. let the Church go do its own marketing for a change. let it compete with other ideas unassisted. then maybe it will realize how irrelevant it is in these modern times.

  17. To The cold King;why don’t you borrow the anti satellite missile ship of the US and tell them you have a personal mission.Puro ka dada e kung may magbigay sa yo gagawin mo ba? ang lakas mo magtawag ng duwag.siguro ilan beses mo pinanood ang season one ng heroes kaya naenganyo ka sa consepto ng taong sumasabog.
    Itigil mo nayan bago ka pa matawag na bozo o moron.
    Someone said not to prod,prodding is just sundot,kung yan ang paraan mo para manundot baka di lang si benigno ang magtawag sa yo ng bozo;baka pati yung mga tinatakot mo na isama sa pagsabog mo.

    Sige, sakyan na nga kita ….
    Tulad ng sinabi ko at ng madami pa bago sa akin na the problem is the oligarchic elite.

    What wild show stopper do you have in mind to solve that problem?
    here we have the transco,where a local oligarch Razon, who is made a dummy by the the new international power, the chinese.

    We have 2 million hectares of land to be leased to the chinese for produce not meant for us,but made for china.

    I could have admired your patriotism, pero para saan kung di naman ito makakasolve ng problema.
    any other suggestions?

  18. outlaw baptism of minors. forbid catechism in schools.

    1987 Philippine Constitution, Article III, Section 5. No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF.

  19. cat, there no such thing as hero? so ano ang tawag mo kina rizal, bonifacio et al? did we have bloody revolution against spain? maybe you should read your history books if you have any!

    it should have read there are no heroes these days.
    see the big difference in the meaning when you omit some words. Now i made a point. thank you for taking the bait.

    rizal, bonifacio et al are heroes and they’re all dead.

    don’t ask me to read a book. i have four websites that cater to researchers and students about Filipino culture and history.

    And they’re all dead.

  20. the statement they are all dead does not refer to my websites. they’re active, one getting at least 3000 hits a day and others, 500.

  21. I find Cat to be overbearing sometimes. Parang ang taas taas ng dating na know it all and never makes mistakes.

  22. Overbearing = Having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy.

  23. “yes benigs. it’s time you lead this fight. i really am interested in how you can un-brainwash religious fanatics. but i know how to make religious leaders impotent (no, not sexually, but politically) so what good suggestions have you? you know how i’ve been agst institutionalized religion from the start.” — DevilsAdvc8

    I wrote a whole piece on the nonsense behind the concept of being “religious” way back:

    “In fact, our Edsa “revolutions” can be considered the modern versions of Crusades and jihads. They are blatant exercises in the use of methods to incite religious (as opposed to spiritual) fervor (which results in the alienation of other Filipino Christian sects) to create a mob psychology to move people to do “wonderous” miracles collectively.”

    I do disagree though when you say “taxing them is one of the lesser idea. if you really want to break religious leaders’ hold on people you have to go to the base. outlaw baptism of minors.”

    The last think you want is to drive organised religion to go underground. Remember that their rise to power was driven by an underdog/martyr mentality that the underbellies of societies (i.e. 95% of Pinoys) wholeheartedly relate to. When you make them illegal, it removes any further pretense of legitimacy and makes them even more dangerous.

    If you keep them within the legal framework and then work on dismantling them or progressively undermining their relevance THERE, there’s a better chance of succeeding in the long run. It’s bizarre though that given the relative literacy and degree of educational attainment of Pinoys, the dumbing down effect of religion on Pinoys’ minds seems to have not abated (and even seems to have strengthened) over the last few decades.

    Maybe their “marketing strategy” of always associating themselves with street “revolutions” is quite a clever one… Makes sense considering that addiction to these moronic activities is almost the exclusive province of the weak-minded (i.e. religion’s biggest fans).

  24. “The Church in the Philippines is more facist than it is not.” — hvrds

    Maybe this is why it always leads in stirring up all these moronic rallies and street “revolutions” — to divert attention from its own fascist initiatives.

    Food for thought for the cretins who don’t think twice about delegating their thinking to the robed ones.

  25. On outlawing catechism on school, sa public school siguro tulad sa tate at sa iba pang lugar pero sa mga catholic schools,di pwede ito.
    On adult bhaptism,I have no prblem with that pero who can have that influence to make such a paradigm shift?

    Out of the box suggestions is ok,but solutions should be implementable.

    sorry ako tuloy ang lumamalabas na devil’s advocate;in other words contravida.

    The only revolution that will happen, are the planets revolving around the sun.

  26. Cat wrote:

    There is no such thing as hero. but there is such as thing as if the price is right.


    So its all about money … tsk, tsk just as the god of this corrupt administration is money, how fitting.


    Cat wrote:

    Be careful Cat, you could be wrong.

    is this a threat?


    I don’t know Cat, do you feel threatened?

  27. Food for thought: Anger: Contagious and Deadly

    “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man. . .or you may learn his ways.” (Proverbs 22:24–25).

  28. Food for thought: Apathy

    “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” (Revelations 3:16)

  29. Yes being lukewarm can be deadly, look at these new round of repressive measures:


    February 21, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Rallyists vs ‘evil’ warned on sedition

    Luneta protest moved to Makati

    by Regina Bengco

    Malacañang yesterday said government would allow its critics to hold a prayer rally on Friday but the justice department would monitor it for seditious statements.

    “Hintayin natin ang mangyayari. Hindi namin sila pipigilan,” said chief presidential legal counsel Sergio Apostol.

    Apostol said the government will not suppress the rights of the rallyists, including Church leaders, to gather in Makati City.

    “(Ang) DOJ ang mag-e-evaluate niyan, sila na ang bahalang mag-assess,” he said with regard to statements against the Arroyo administration.

    Civil society groups are set to hold an interfaith rally Friday next week. The initial plan was to hold it at the Luneta Park but organizers yesterday said the rally venue would now be Makati City, where a thanksgiving mass will be offered Monday to mark the 22nd anniversary of Edsa 1.

    Two bishops have said the interfaith prayer rally could lead to calls for President Arroyo’s resignation. Militant and other anti-Arroyo groups joining the thanksgiving mass have said they would also hold mass actions after the event.

    Deputy presidential spokeswoman Lorelei Fajardo said the interfaith rally should be a “peaceful activity” and that Church leaders should lead the people to discern, instead of dictating on them what to do.

    Members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines appealed for sobriety in the interfaith prayer rally that was organized in response to the CBCP’s call for “communal action” against corruption in the government.

    Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, CBCP spokesman, said despite the possibility of the rally turning into a call for Arroyo’s ouster, the event is a prayer gathering and should be kept as such.

    “Sana maging within a religious atmosphere ang gagawin,” he said.

    Bishop Honesto Ongtioco said there is a need for proper discernment amid the ouster calls. He said the Church does not believe in a violent way of instituting changes in government.

    Earlier this week, several civil society groups met with CBCP president Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, Archbishop Oscar Cruz of Lingayen-Dagupan and Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez of Caloocan to seek moral guidance on their response to the bishops’ call.

    Lagdameo said this action could be a “new brand of people power” that the public is looking for in combating corruption and suppression of truth in the government.

    According to Cruz, the prayer rally could eventually result in a massive call for Arroyo to step down because “it cannot lead to ‘Gloria remain’ calls.”


    In a media briefing yesterday, Fr. Joe Dizon of Solidarity Philippines said the interfaith rally was moved to Makati because he and other prime organizers want to save Luneta for the largest rally against Arroyo that he said they are planning.

    “As of now kasi nagsno-snowball pa lang naman yung mga sumusuporta sa movement ng mga umaayaw sa administrasyong Arroyo,” Dizon said.

    Quitorio said Luneta “might be too big” as a venue for the event.

    Dizon said for the series of mass actions against Arroyo, they are looking to top the number of attendees in the Makati rally last Friday which had about 10,000 participants.

    The rally last week was organized by the United Opposition and militant and civil society groups to press for Arroyo’s ouster on the ground she has lost the moral authority to govern.


    The new calls for Arroyo’s ouster were triggered by allegations that payoffs and commissions bloated the price of the national broadband network project that government awarded to the Chinese firm ZTE Corp.

    “Malinaw na sinasabi dito na panahon na para sa taong bayan na maninidigan para sa truth and justice. The bishops have been providing the moral compass for us and it is up to us to act upon it,” Dizon said.

    Asked whether he agrees with Cruz that the prayer rally could lead to Arroyo ouster calls, Dizon said it depends on the people.

    “Hindi namin pinagbabawal ang freedom of expression. If people ay sisigaw para mawala na si Arroyo sa Malacañang, hindi namin sila pipigilan. That is their right if they have already reached that kind of discernment,” he said.


    A Filipino-American group that led protests against Desperate Housewives’ racist slur has trained its guns at the so-called “Desperate Household” of President Arroyo and First Gentleman Mike Arroyo.

    In an open letter to Filipinos in the US, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (Nafcon) lauded Rodolfo Noel “Jun” Lozada, the Senate’s star witness in its investigation in the alleged overprice broadband project, “for risking his life and that of his family for the cause of our nation.”

    It said “because of its treasonous acts and sinful violations of our nation’s integrity and of our people’s dignity, Arroyo and her regime must go.”

    The Nafcon letter, signed by Rev. Fr. Benjamin E. Alforque, MSC, expressed support to the CBCP’s call for communal action “leading to innovative and creative forms of People Power.”

    “We call on our people both in the Philippines, in the USA and throughout the world, to withdraw their support for GMA and her regime.”


    The group Gloria Step Down-Hong Kong (GSM-HK) announced the holding of interfaith prayers for Lozada on Sunday at Chater Road where many OFWs congregate on their day-off.

    “Here in Hong Kong, Jun Lozada and the truth have the support of Filipino migrant workers,” said GSM-HK spokeswoman Dolores Balladares.

    Balladares said Catholic groups, the Philippine Independent Church, the Jesus is Lord Church, associations of Filipino Muslim migrants and Protestant churches such as Methodists and Baptists will join the interfaith prayers.

    Balladares said OFWs are outraged over “the astounding greed of the GMA government, her husband and their friends.”

    “In the face of the economic hardships we face, we cannot be but indignant at the blatant robbery and display of unconcern for the plight of our people and our country,” she said.

    Migrante chair Connie Bragas Regalado said OFW families would be at the interfaith rally.

    OFWs will hold demonstrations in front of Philippine embassies and consulates on the same day, she said.

    “For too long, this administration has used overseas Filipinos as ‘milking cows’ or as a photo-opportunity. It’s also reprehensible that while Arroyo and her lackeys wallow in multi-billion peso kickbacks, she turns her back on OFWs in distress,” said Regalado.


    The National Capital Region Police Office said the “no permit, no rally” policy will be enforced for the Edsa 1 activities and the interfaith prayer rally.

    Director Geary Barias, Metro Manila police chief, said he and his five district police chiefs would hold dialogues with the rally organizers so they can lay out the regulations.

    He said about 10,000 policemen will be placed on standby during rally days.

    Barias said he has yet to be informed by the protesters where exactly they would hold the Edsa 1 rallies.

    He said his information is that one activity is to be held at the Sto, Domingo church in Quezon City to be led by former President Corazon Aquino and the United Opposition.

    He said the NCRPO will go on heightened alert status on Sunday. –With Gerard Naval, Anthony Ian Cruz and Raymond Africa

  30. red alert! ego-tripper on the run.

    competent researchers do not use blogs as reference unless the authors of such blogs have established themselves as authorities in the field, assessed as such by peers in the academe and recognized in their field. you want to educate visitors of your blog, put a caveat: “all these are products of my own research and have not been peer-reviewed.”

    please lang–or we’ll end up having several morons in our midst.

  31. On wiretapping cellphones.

    Manolo, someone should send this to the newspapers. Very cheap for $1,000. Any GSM phone and they can actually track your location.


  32. “I’ve begun rather interesting scuttlebutt of an intriguing kind, involving a government commitment to relinquishing our claims to the Spratley Islands in exchange for investments. But nothing firmer than that.” – Manuel Quezon III

    It may be more than scuttlebutt if it has been published in the Far Eastern Economic Review. The title of the article is:

    “Manila’s Bungle in The South China Sea” By Barry Wain.

    In this article, Barry Wain, a writer-in-residence at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and former Wall Street Journal Asia editor, explores the implications of conflicting jurisdictional claims in the South China Sea.

    It’s available in the magazine’s website:
    although one has to subscribe to be able to access the article.

    However, Jose de Venecia, the former speaker, is included as one of the accomplices having signed away the Philippines’ territorial rights to the Spratlys.

    So, by all means, Mr. Quezon. Dig deeper into this matter, no matter who gets hurt! This may involve high treason as it deals with our sovereign territory.

  33. Kailangan talaga ng bansang ito ng isang V kagaya ng nasa V for Vendetta , wala na talagang ibang paraan, kumbaga sa computer, corrupted na talaga ang programa kaya dapat ireformat mula sa umpisa, dapat magkaroon tayo ng Year Zero dito sa Pilipinas…

  34. jude wrote:

    I’ve begun rather interesting scuttlebutt of an intriguing kind, involving a government commitment to relinquishing our claims to the Spratley Islands in exchange for investments. But nothing firmer than that.” – Manuel Quezon III…Jose de Venecia, the former speaker, is included as one of the accomplices having signed away the Philippines’ territorial rights to the Spratlys.
    So, by all means, Mr. Quezon. Dig deeper into this matter, no matter who gets hurt! This may involve high treason as it deals with our sovereign territory.

    Months ago there were other highly questionable deals which put our national sovereignty but was buried in the ZTE scandal. I had the impression that this deal was withdrawn but I’m not sure if they trying to creep this back in, I haven’t monitored the status of this questionable deal lately…

    Gov’t Leases 1 Million Hectares to China Firm in Vague Contract


    “…This, according to a ranking official of the Department of Agriculture (DA), is the government’s main consideration when it decided to lease to China’s Jilin Fuhua Agricultural Science and Technology Development Co., Ltd. (Fuhua Co.) some one million hectares of Philippine land under vague terms. The area covers about a tenth of all Philippine agricultural land.

    The DA says that the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Chinese company is just an additional strategy to meet the department’s goal under the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP), which is to develop two million hectares of agricultural land…”


    Click the link and the picture itself will speak a thousand words.
    The story goes further that after winning the Pulitzer prize and all the accolades, when asked whatever happened to the starving little girl in the picture – the photographer realized he forgot all about her. When he returned a few months after, what he saw were just the skull and bones of what was once a small human being.

    With the exception of the owner of this blog and probably some others, the profile of a regular blogger would be one of a solitary individual opting to spend his free time (or most of his time) validating his existence by doggedly putting his thoughts, opinions, doubts, and even outrage in the perfectly safe insulated venue of the blogosphere. Add the illusion of courage afforded by anonymity and the simplicity of changing handles and IP addresses, perhaps we’re willing to lose our identity and demand that others accept us for what we can say not for who we are. But that’s just it, its who we are that matters and most importantly “what we did here” our words will be lost as easily as we forget last week’s menu for lunch. So lets move our stereotype, anti-social, geeky behinds and socialize with others, talk to real people, and see the real issues.
    The solutions to our economy do not lie in “high falluting” economic jargon but in our hearts. Its easy to manipulate numbers and words to come up with reports that highlight strengths and negate weaknesses. Anyone who has presented so many powerpoint works-of-art can see this ploy a mile away. If you know what I mean, you’ll have seen through the SONAs with more objectivity and see them for what they really are. What matters is what is real, what is here, and what we are actually going to do about it.
    The Filipino as a people have been maligned, insulted, called names by foreigners and surprisingly fellow Filipinos. What are we going to do about it? Our country has been under foreign occupation, our men slaughtered, our women raped, our children abused, and we read people saying that was the past and we shouldn’t judge the people who did that to us because it was a different era, a different context. If we listen to these pacifiers we will be the biggest PUSHOVER in the world. No, we must not forget, we must remember the HUMILIATION of being treated as slaves, as animals, as lesser humans. We have to use this humiliation as the source of IMPETUS for us to rise above mediocrity, to achieve, to gain the recognition that we deserve, and more importantly, to gain RESPECT. Now we are facing another point in our lives wherein we must choose, to act or remain as spectators, to make a difference or to ignore, this is another shining moment in our history as a people – lets use our POWER, let us feel once again that we are men who can chart our own destiny, to be able to change what does not work for us!
    Lets start by looking around us, see what is needed to be done, and do it with the degree of urgency akin to the emergency room scenario – a patient strapped to a defibrillator!
    Let us not be like the photographer who in his was able to win the Pulitzer but failed to act when the time came. This is our time, to do something good, something worthwhile, something to prove to ourselves that we are alive…

  36. Sa mga lumang panahon, kapag may mga aswang sa isang barrio, nagpupulong ang tauhan sa buong barrio para patayin sabay-sabay ang lahat ng maga aswang at sunugin ang kanilang mga tinitirhan, bakit hindi na natin magawa ito sa kasalukuyang panahon, wala na kasi tayong espiritu ng bayanihan …

  37. ramrod, kung baga, you want Pinoys to act ON IMPULSE yet again?

    Maybe it’s high time people act with the benefit of REFLECTION like mature adults (you know, the kinds who use their brains) rather than strutting around the way hormone-pumped adolescents do.

    Your sob hero-laced story is quaintly poetic. Unfortunately we have enough men in robes already telling the same story in various versions. They’re the kinds of stories that merely make people’s eyes glaze over nowadays.

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