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The Original Sin and the Continuing Crime
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on March 10, 2008 304 Comments 15 min read
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080308_03co_640.jpgMy column for today is Cory, Erap, Binay, Noli, Satur and J-Lo, which discusses the question of whether united front politics have any value at this time (a very observant peek at the administration’s coalition building was in Patricia Evangelista’s Sunday column, Gangs of Manila). In my column, I point to Hello, Garci as the Original Sin and the abduction of Jun Lozada as the Continuing Crime (see Reflections on the Bangsa Moro here and here).

Concerning the Original Sin, it’s frustrating to me that much of the refusal to take the issue seriously comes from the childish argument “they all cheat anyway,” which, even if true, is beside the point: a generalization is as nothing when confronted by a specific case of someone caught.

Anyway, it also frustrates me that people insist there is no evidence, or that what evidence is hearsay, only. For their part, supporters of the late Fernando Poe, Jr. have been doing a thorough study of the fraud in the 2004 elections, and doing so, mind you, without attracting publicity or calling attention to themselves. Generally, their efforts have identified the fraud as having had three phases:

1. The disenfranchisement of voters in areas that were opposition-inclined, and the increase of voters in administration bailiwicks.

2. The systematic padding and shaving of votes, particularly in Luzon and the Visayas, to preserve the expected percentages of the candidates but which would result, over-all, in decreasing opposition votes and shifting those votes to the administration.

3. An emergency, in many ways, ad-hoc effort to secure a winning margin of votes after the results of voting in Luzon and the Visayas showed that the first two phases still hadn’t managed to obtain a winning margin for the President; in the emergency operation in Mindanao, the President micromanaged the effort, which was clumsily undertaken, and the first to be exposed.

The research of the FPJ supporters took two years to undetake, particularly because phases 1 and 2 were quite sophisticated. But they cracked the system and I’ve been nagging them to circulate their findings so the public can study their arguments. Finally, they’ve begun doing so and here’s the first of several PowerPoint presentations you can download, study, and dissect (and rebut, if you wish).

Here it is, examining phases 1 and 2 of the 2004 cheating: 2004 Electoral Fraud PPT Presentation 1 (click the PCIBChartsData12.ppt link)

Yesterday’s Inquirer editorial called the administration Spratley’s policy a Slithering policy.

As I mentioned in my entry Today the Spratlys, tomorrow Palawan (updated) , it’s well worth reviewing our Constitution. I’d referred to the relevant article before, but not the crucial last sentence which I’ve highlighted, see this extract from Article 12: National Economy and Patrimony:

SEC 1. The goals of the national economy are a more equitable distribution of opportunities, income, and wealth; a sustained increase in the amount of goods and services produced by the nation for the benefit of the people; and an expanding productivity as the key raising the quality of life for all, especially the underprivileged.

The State shall promote industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform, through industries that make full and efficient use of human and natural resources, and which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets. However, the State shall protect Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices.

In the pursuit of these goals, all sectors of the economy and all regions of the country shall be given optimum opportunity to develop. Private enterprises, including corporations, cooperatives, and similar collective organizations, shall be encouraged to broaden the base of their ownership.

SEC. 2. All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated. The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. The State may directly undertake such activities, or it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens. Such agreements may be for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and under such terms and conditions as may be provided by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water supply, fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, beneficial use may be the measure and limit of the grant.

The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.

The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence fishermen and fishworkers in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons.

The President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving either technical of financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils according to the general terms and conditions provided by law, based on real contributions to the economic growth and general welfare of the country. In such agreements, the State shall promote the development and use of local scientific and technical resources.

The President shall notify the Congress of every contract entered into in accordance with this provision, within thirty days from its execution.

The Secretary of Justice says he read the agreement and that nothing in it violates the Constitution. As far as his statement goes, he is correct. But as Carandang suggests below, it’s what the President did, after the agreement was signed, that could open up Constitutional questions. If the Constitution requires the President to inform Congress of any contract, then the question is, did she inform Congress? The contract itself pledges the parties to secrecy, except for authorized government agencies, clearly adhering to our own Constitution requirements; but did the President then comply?

In his entry yesterday, Ricky Carandang continues his ongoing investigations into what, really, the Spratleys deal is all about, and its potential infirmities, constitutionally and otherwise. It was an effort to wiggle out of constitutional requirements by calling a spade a preliminary earth-moving device:

Note that the President is allowed to enter into agreements with foreign corporations to explore for oil, provided this is done in accordance with the law and provided Congress is notified of the agreements within 30 days of its execution.

Congress was never notified of the agreement and the Palace had no intention of doing so. In fact, the agreement has never been released to the public. So how did the Palace lawyers get around this?

By simply referring to the agreement as a pre-exploration activity.

The palace geniuses and their allies pushing for the deal argued that by labelling the seismic study as a pre-exploration activity, it did not constitute exploration per se, and therefore they had no obligation to notify Congress. But others raised the issue that seismic mapping was in fact already part of the process of exploration. In their eagerness to sign the deal, they said by simply referring to it as a pre-exploration agreement that would be enough to circumvent the constitution. The problem is simply declaring it as pre-exploration doesn’t necessarily make it so. But that’s why the text of the agreement refers to it as a pre-exploration activity. And that’s why the [Palace] press release above made it a point to say that the agreement was not an exploration agreement, but merely a study.

The problem is that any oil industry expert will tell you that seismic mapping is in fact, part and parcel of exploration activity. In the oil exploration business, pre-exploration activity consists of mostly of studying the regulations, lining up the financing, and obtaining the licenses and the other government approvals necessary to begin exploration. Again, don’t take my word for it. Do the research. Talk to oil industry experts. Google “oil exploration” or “seismic exploration” and you’ll see ample literature out there on seismic studies and how they constitute part of exploration.

Case in point: In 2002 the Department of Energy granted an oil exploration company called Forum Energy a license to explore for oil and gas in the Reed bank of Western Palawan. The license was called Geophysical Survey and Exploration Contract (GSEC) 101. A GSEC, as its name implies, is a license to explore for oil or gas in our territorial waters. As you can see, seismic surveys are part and parcel of exploration activities. Their exploration gave them enough reason to believe that GSEC 101 contained oil and gas in commerical quantities, so Forum applied to convert their GSEC into a Service Contract (SC). Normally, having given a company a GSEC, the DOE would grant the SC as a matter of course. After all, if you let them explore, you would also let them drill. But unexpetedly, te DOE balked at convefting Forum’s GSEC into a SC, something that almost never happens.

The problem with Forum was that after the Philippines and China (and later Vietnam), signed the Spratly deal the Chinese government began to apply pressure on the Philippine government not to convert Forum’s GSEC into a SC, because GSEC 101 was part of the area included in the joint exploration deal. In asserting its rights under the Spratly deal, China is now questioning the granting of exploration licenses in an area where we were already granting drilling licenses to private companies. As far as I know, China did not contest the granting of the GSEC to Forum in 2002, but the Spratly deal has emboldened China to do that now. Forum saw the writing on the wall and sold its stake in GSEC 101 to Monte Oro Resources and Energy, a local firm partly owned by Walter Brown of Philex and and reportedly, Enrique Razon of ICTSI (yes, there’s a story here which I will save for a later date).

As we can see from this example, the Spratly deal has already weakened our claim on certain territories we claim as our own, like Palawan.

In view of the preceding sentence, see RP knew Spratlys exploration ‘too close’ to Palawan. See also 6 Philippine-occupied islands covered in Spratly agreements. As with all the ongoing scandals, the net keeps catching more than the usual flotsam and jetsam: De Venecias, Razon behind oil, gas extraction by UK firm. The only question is, as Senate to start new probe on Spratlys exploration, is, will it serve as a distraction from the NBN-ZTE deal? Perhaps not, as it’s all related, anyway.

And as usual, it’s the behavior of the Palace that validates the old saying that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Instead of asserting that its embarked on a visionary initiative, the Palace’s reaction is to duck responsibility: Spratlys project put on hold as Chinese ODA mess rages. And not only ducking, but it’s trying to pass the buck: Palace: Let De Venecia explain Spratlys deal. But the problem with this is that if the ex-Speaker acted as the broker, his brokering the deal required presidential approval. The Palace is probably calculating that de Venecia will not want to incriminate himself and so, won’t incriminate the Palace. And others who may be considered collateral damage in the deal, won’t spill the beans either: Mañalac knows more than Spratlys deal: The hotshot geologist was fired for allegedly blocking Palace interest. But by all accounts, even if summoned to the Senate, he won’t talk beyond confirming that the contract he signed was, to the best of his knowledge, constitutionally-sound (and as I’ve pointed out, probably so, up to the point of signing but not thereafter).

The Palace itself has acknowledged what’s at stake: Gonzalez: 3 trillion cubic feet of gas at stake in Spratly deal.

For reference, since Text of Spratlys agreement disappears from DFA site (sourced from Newsbreak):

Agreement-Bilateral Marine Seismic Undertaking.pdf.

and

Tripartite Agreement-Marine Scientific Research.pdf.

As for what seismic exploration is, it’s explained in NaturalGas.org. See also the Encyclopedia of Earth entry. Greenpeace states, unambiguously, that seismic exploration is “the first stage of oil and gas exploitation in an ocean area.” How everything comes together can be gathered by looking at the processes (and incentives) granted by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation:

The investment opportunities in the downstream are many. Some of them are:

Refining, Petrochemicals and Gas Utilization

In order to reduce the investors’ risk, speculative seismic data acquisition is carried out in the deep offshore using the services of reputable data acquisition companies. In the inland area, there is direct involvement in exploration activities.

For his part, Mon Casiple says one problem is that there are oppositionists more interested in dribbling the ball than in going for the game-winning three-point shot:

In the meantime, the Senate plans to continue the hearings–possibly with new witnesses–amidst a spreading and more organized public campaign against the Arroyo administration. This maintains pressure on the president while avoiding an immediate decisive confrontation that forces a GMA resignation.

A prolonged crisis scenario without a decisive ending favors those who do not want GMA to resign immediately and therefore usher in a Noli de Castro presidency. If the crisis does not force their hand, they would want to prolong things and bask in the priceless public fascination with the scandal.

What I think we have here is a dribbling of the ball. Meantime, there are unforeseen consequences–not the least of which is a possible polarization of the situation.

The ultimate futility, politically speaking, of arguing that the economy is doing well to justify turning a blind eye to official corruption,is exposed by Amando Doronila in ADB report links RP corruption to investment dip (here is the ADB paper he commented on:critical-dev-constraints.pdf.) The futility of that argument is further demonstrated by the results of parliamentary elections in Malaysia. No one can doubt that the ruling party had put in place an economic policy resulting in growth. But along with inflation, it was the issue of crime, including allegations of widening official corruption, that forced the Prime Minister to call for early elections and the elections resulted in the defeat of the ruling party -the first since 1967. See Malaysia’s Leaders Suffer Setback in Time.com, and Malaysia’s ruling coalition suffers stunning blow Malaysia’s ruling coalition suffers stunning blow and Shock election result for Malaysia’s ruling party in the Financial Times. Incidentally, t seems a blogger, Jeff Ooi, has also been elected as an opposition MP!

People interested in questions of autonomy might want to take a look at The coming pain in Spain in The Economist, which discusses the reasons why Spain’s ruling party faces a tough time at the polls.The problems of bureaucratic reforms is also tackled in another Economist article, What’s holding India back?

In All Roads Lead to Rove, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick looks at a book by one of the attorneys fired for partisan political reasons by the Republicans, an issue the writer says was raised “some zealous congressional oversight and award-winning journalistic coverage” by a blogger. The question of executive privilege has also been raised in the United States, particularly as the present American administration keeps mutating its definition:

As Mukasey has argued and Jonathan Turley has decoded, the Bush administration formulation of executive privilege constitutes a perfect legal möbius strip: “[L]awyers cannot commit crimes when they act under the orders of a president – and a president cannot commit a crime when he acts under advice of lawyers.”

In Questionable privilege? Alex Pabico of the PCIJ introduces readers to Executive Privilege Versus Public Interest by Atty. Nepomuceno Malaluan, which provides an exhaustive overview of executive privilege issues that have arisen in the Senate. In his column today, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J. dissects the proposed compromise peddled by the Supreme Court in Anatomy of a rejected compromise.

Starting at midnight tonight, there will be a major transport strike: Provincial bus operators to join strike; government fielding free transport. The cost of oil is just one of the bread-and-butter issues of which every government has a horror: today’s Inquirer editorial calls it a Food emergency. See Prices of rice seen high in all of 2008 and RP, others hurting as rice price skyrocket and DTI heeds flour millers’ appeal, but . . . and

And in another triumph of the rule of law, Imelda not guilty of dollar salting.


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  1. Maginoo, here’s an example of the relatively egalitarian nature of Canadian politics as related by Vic in the previous thread.

    http://www.quezon.ph/?p=1709&cp=1#comment-760182

    If we are to become a truly modern society, we should get rid of the elitist mindset and adopt a paradigm that makes distinctions in terms of specialists and generalists.

  2. @nash and kabayan: Between a US$120Mil contract to provide broadband to 90% of med-to-large-sized municipalities, and a US$120Mil contract for a world-class vote-counting platform (e.g. 36 hours after polls close, that 95% of votes have been counted and made available to all the candidates (and the media); voter-list made available to all candidates 2 months before polls open) I believe Filipinos will agree on which project should be funded first.

  3. cvj,

    Where I came from, being “elite” meant being a specialist or expert in what you do, better than anyone else for that matter or better trained. Social standing has nothing to do with it.

  4. bencard, the cheating was for the position of president. you forget we vote for president and vice president separately. all i know is, these are people who did the study with fpj’s vote in mind, for the record, to explain what happened. but since they don’t view the present incumbent as legitimate, why legitimize the organs of her government? at least, that is how i understand their position.

  5. scalia, cheating is cheating. the cheating was done for one person. by many people. the beneficiary of the cheating is the first target because of the sensitivity of the position. and because while still in place, the beneficiary of the cheating has vast resources and great authority to protect the accomplices.

  6. mlq3, the following are the differences:

    – the comments are paginated. you have to click ‘show all’ to see everything.
    – the <blockquote> </blockquote> is hard to distinguish from the main comment
    – the fonts seem to be smaller.
    – the links to comments no longer work

  7. @UP n

    1. That price for broadband is overpriced…besides, the government shouldn’t even be running a separate broadband network, let the competent commercial companies do it…and if the government is really very keen about a dedicated national broadband network pass the design to the DOST 😀

    2. It’s funny you mention the voting system…British ballots are still counted by hand (the ballots casually spilled on the table) and the Nordics are pilot testing voting via text messages. Estonia is way way advanced in terms of e-government. Of course being Pinoy I asked “But aren’t these methods prone to cheating?” They were flummoxed. The thought of cheating never occurred to them 😀

    So no, it’s not really the system…we just have too many cheats.

    cheers

  8. mlq3, yes, i did not forget that. but the only way they could have aired their purported “evidence” is through the election protest of legarda since, like it or not, fpj’s case is moot and academic. constantly blubbering about it will, probably, keep it alive in a “respirator”, but how would that benefit the country?

    btw, the rule of law determines the legitimacy of a president, not the say-so of some disgruntled losers who just would not accept defeat. thank God so many others know when the game is over. otherwise, the series of rallies questioning pgma’s legitimacy would have been better attended than the most generous estimate of 30 to 100 thousand protesting people at edsa after the 2004 elections.

    one thing that impresses me about the american political system is the readiness of the losers to congratulate and support the declared winner at the earliest opportunity. this is so regardless of the bitterness of the contest, and the charges and countercharges made in the course of the campaign. the abiding principles are that the presidency is too important for the ambition of one person, and the existence of the union depends on the continuity of the office. that’s probably why i have yet to hear a losing candidate, even in the primaries, complaining of being “cheated”.

  9. pakibasa lang ho.

    Theres The Rub
    Footnote to an idiocy
    By Conrado de Quiros
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    First Posted 01:06:00 03/10/2008

    ano masasabi ho ninyo?

  10. cvj –

    just to be clear, modern society, as world history would have it, is reckoned from the 1830s thereabouts.

  11. Using the term, Original Sin, and especially capitalizing the first words, is an obvious reference to the Christian’s and/or Catholic’s perception of it as taught. As used in the context of the column then, it misrepresents the real doctrine behind it and overlooks the great divides between Original Sin and actual sins. Thus, likely confusing even more Christians/Catholics who read the column and derive their own political views based on it.

    The implication then is that because GMA committed the Original Sin, everybody in her government and all those favorably associated with her, whether they have done anything wrong or not, have also acquired the guilt and consequences of that sin.

    Is that then the tacit understanding for the use of that term? Or is it used primarily for its dramatic effect?

  12. The monumental irony, of course, is that the one person who has done these is also the longest serving non-president of this country after 1986. Of course, her allies justify that by saying she is merely accused of doing these things and there is no proof she has done these things. Well, quite apart from that being a symptom of simulated blindness, the lack of proof in some cases merely points to other equally heinous crimes. For that lack of proof is the product variously of kidnapping witnesses (Lozada and the public school teacher in Tawi-Tawi during the 2004 elections), preventing witnesses from talking (EO 464), and to go by the witnesses in the NBN, issuing death threats against truth-tellers or proof-givers. The tack is not unlike cops and soldiers blatantly stopping marchers from marching to the Edsa Shrine and crying out triumphantly afterward: “See? They only got a small crowd.”—de quiros/pdi

    http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20080311-123945/Heaven-and-earth

    sana mamulat na sa katotohan ang mga filipino na naniniwala pa rin si arroyo ay isang inosenteng at mabuting lider na kinaiinggitan lamang ng mga oposisyon at komunistang organisasyon.

  13. btw, the rule of law determines the legitimacy of a president, not the say-so of some disgruntled losers who just would not accept defeat. – Bencard

    Fr. Joaquin Bernas, a recognized authority in Philippine Constitutional Law, has cynically posed the following question in his PDI column (of 3/10/08) mlq3 cited above:

    “We do have Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code which punishes refusal to heed a subpoena of Congress. Can you imagine the Department of Justice or the Ombudsman prosecuting Neri for refusal to heed the Senate’s call?”

    I suppose Fr. Bernas is not a loser, his opinions as amicus curiae having been relied on by the Supreme Court in a number of celebrated cases. But isn’t a highly regarded legal luminary (by the highest court of the land no less) in fact asking: Are the Ombudsman and the Department of Justice capable of respecting the Rule of Law?

    “Can you imagine” that? (No dramatic effect intended)

  14. As I kept on saying

    Prove to me that the GMA’s Rule of Law can be used then I will gladly follow it like a worker ant.

    But then again refute this,

    1) tried impeachment, but what happened? it went to allied’s number.
    2) Cheating allegations – What happened? It was noted.
    3) Senate’s investigations – Oh yeah EO whatsthatnumber?
    4) Raul Gonzales – Care to tell me what’s her connection to Madam?
    5) Ombudsman – Oh who are they? I supposed they arent connected to the first gentleman eh?

    If you cant refute that, sino ang tanga dito?

  15. From the first session of the People’s Direct Democratic Republic:

    A vote on a new resolution will be held tonight: (1) Resolved all wealth shall be divided equally by having the Rich pay the Poor compensatory taxes. (2) All private property shall be abolished. (3) Inequality will be outlawed.

    What’s the vast majority gonna vote for?

  16. @nash: On broadband-pricing (and that it should be left to private industry)… agree.

    On Comelec and failure-to-count-vote-quickly-enough and with-integrity may be a Filipino culture problem, not a technology problem. Hmmmmm… if you were a Brit or some foreigner they may ask that you be deported!!! (unless you’re from New Zealand with last-name Wallace… Wallace is special)
    ———-
    Kamote: I presume that “Rule of Law” means “innocent until proven guilty”, so this is how people have taken advantage and still take advantage. Priests seducing children (of both sexes). Men with their ‘kabit’ and women with their toyboys — adultery is illegal, isn’t it? Gaming the income tax submission (Abe surely knows this) e.g. by overstating charitable contributions. Marijuana. Under-aged drinking. DUI. D-without-license.
    (Disclosure: once 8 years ago, I drove — DUI. Or maybe I didn’t. Now, I don’t remember. And I don’t keep diaries. No, I’m not talking anymore, and I will deny unless you come up with hard evidence that is admissible in court.)
    And ask ramrod what the law is regarding pre-marital sex. Or illegal possession of firearms. Ask cvj. Ask Abe. Ask Bencard.

    —————
    History is replete of instances where “Innocent until proven guilty” has prevented “The Law” from putting a number of guilty into jail. But a lot of innocents have been spared from going to jail because of this principle.
    Kamote: go google. You should quickly get the feeling that many lawyers (not all lawyers, but many lawyers) insist on “innocent until proven guilty” because there have been many cases of people that have gone to jail and would have stayed in jail for the remainder of their lives except that in fact they were innocent (DNA proved them innocent).

    Abe, I think, is “case-by-case-basis” regarding the “innocent until proven guilty”-principle.

  17. I think it is very important to KNOW the real name of something one opposes.

    Folks, the reason why in both cases of Edsa People Power we have seemingly replaced one fascism for another is because that is what the replacements actually were. From Filipino autarkies which are always conjugal dictatorships in the Philippines (Marcos and Imelda, GMA and FG, Erap and His Mistresses!) we’ve had two liberal, and specifically clerico-fascisms.

    In both cases Church and Military were immeasurably strengthened as institutional players in the national political game, so much so that they have become the actual institutions that can both carry out OR veto any fresh people power movement.

    What the Catholic Bishops have been doing ever since Garci is deciding that cheating, stealing and lying are just venial sins (or at least forgiveable mortal sins) compared to Erap’s apostatic dipsomania and lechery. It is the bishops who are enforcing the “no better alternative” argument, not the people per se, who would want Barrabas in there, err, Erap. (Hold a snap election in your mind right now and ask who would win if Erap ran).

    Ever since Edsa Dos we’ve had a CLERICO-FASCIST regime that rules in the background. GMA was the person they chose in 2001 and have stuck to that choice because Erap is still around.

    Now I know why GMA pardoned Erap. It was to make sure the Ruling Junta of the Direct Democratic Republic of the Philippines always has that choice clearly before them: GMA or ERAP.

    Their choice was clear on February 29. Viva Phalange! Duce! Duce! Duce!

  18. The Original Sin, as far as the Clerico Fascist Catholic Church of the Philippines is concerned is still the European liberalism of Jose Rizal and the infant democracy that was kidnapped from a spanish Convent and tutored by Protestant America in Hollywood.

  19. There is no more naive idea than “direct democracy”. — DJB

    Here’s another term for this:

    Lynch Mob Democracy

    All we see today is a virtual IDENTICAL re-run of what happened in mid-2005, as I recall here:

    http://www.getrealphilippines.com/agr-disagr/18-5-hangin.html

    …where I quote a rather insightful observation from the Sassy Lawyer:

    We have the entire Lower House debating an issue which is no longer about whether there is clear evidence that Gloria Arroyo did commit electoral fraud. The debate has become, quite simply, whether one is for or against Gloria Arroyo. And the media is propagating that twisted debate.

    NOTE that this was all written back in mid-2005 but it may as well have all been written TODAY.

    Pinoy nga naman talaga. Sirang plaka on a NATIONAL scale. 😀

  20. NY Governor Spitzer caught with a prostitute during a Federal wiretapping of a prostitution ring. He was said to be client number 9. Client number 9 paid $4300. He was not the real target of the wiretap. He immediately apologized for what he did. There are now calls for his resignation.

    I’m sure I heard a similar story somewhere. Where could it be?

  21. DevilsAdvc8 Says:
    March 10th, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    i hate this new format of mlq3’s blog.
    won’t you revert back to the old format manolo?
    this format makes for painful reading

    i noticed comments dropped after the change
    ————————————————–
    I SOOOOOOOOOOOO AGREEEEE. Bring the old format back, Manolo. Why fix what’s not broken?

  22. guys,
    Tanong lang po sa direct democracy.
    I am no intellectual;kahit na minsan iba ang dating ng mga comments ko ayokong matawag ng ganito kaya ayokong mag label o mag asume na me intellectual dito.

    me mga ngasasabi na lynch mob ito,me nagsasabi fascist kaya tanggalain natin ang street protest at people power sa direct democracy.

    gamitin natin yung sample na parang kailangan ng consensus building to arrive at policies, e di ganun din;instead na tao ang binoboto issues nga lang.
    Ok ito sa mga lugar na gumamagana ito tulad ng Switzerland pero dito,consensus building and policy making left to the masses,pano yung mga illiterates, di ako nagmamaliit pero aminin na natin na ganyan dito, e di anong gagawin ,wag sila isali? bakit pa mag didirect democracy kung pipigilan ang gustong mag participate.

    Massive info campaign? e no readno write nga eh,kahit anong info campaiogn won’t work, e di ang gastos.Puro hula lang ang sagot tulad sa mga survey.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am shooting off any ideas,been there, done that; and nagulpi sarado ako, and not only once,because I never learn.

    Ang sinasabi ko kung walang congress,wala man lang mga councilors, e kung yung idea na sasali tayo sa policy making with the congressmen around,How could that work within our lifetime?

  23. mlq3,

    “scalia, cheating is cheating. the cheating was done for one person. by many people. the beneficiary of the cheating is the first target because of the sensitivity of the position. and because while still in place, the beneficiary of the cheating has vast resources and great authority to protect the accomplices.”

    if cheating is cheating, then the opposition also cheated for an intended beneficiary. if the kick-gloria-out-now school’s desire will prevail, those who cheated as well (but whose intended beneficiaries didnt sit) will simply replace another cheater. then the cycle continues

    i have yet to hear an advocacy that wants gloria out now, and at the same time equally denounces opposition cheating, calling the opposition’s barking “the usual rant of a crook on another crook” (better said in tagalog – galit ang magnanakaw sa kapwa magnanakaw)

  24. DJB, your clerico-fascist thesis is fully dependent, obviously, to the passivity of the people. They do not have influence on the military though they do on politicians via their hold on the psyche of all Philippine class” upper, middle and lower.

    In our current culture, most anyone with theory and a sizable following of that theory (communism, catholicism, Hollywoodism, Americanism, Atenism and UPism) can have a fascist-dictatorial control of this country.

  25. Scalia, maybe you should run after the opposition who cheated? Why ask them to do what you want to do?

  26. BREAKING NEWS!!!

    The Philippines is the most corrupt Asian economy according to rankings released today by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC).

    Hearsay! Hearsay! Hearsay! And that violates the Rule of Law. hehe

  27. DJB: From the first session of the People’s Direct Democratic Republic:

    A vote on a new resolution will be held tonight: (1) Resolved all wealth shall be divided equally by having the Rich pay the Poor compensatory taxes. (2) All private property shall be abolished. (3) Inequality will be outlawed.

    What’s the vast majority gonna vote for?

    Exactly. One-man-one-vote is tyranny of the majority. Democracy is about moral rightness (We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…) that comes about through debate and giving everybody a hearing. It has a moral foundation, not just a numerical one. Moral rightness can and does come from a minority. In a society of cannibals, one-man-one-vote would make it legal for me to eat my neighbor.

    Fascism is the very opposite of ‘direct democracy’. Fascism is giving all power to the State. One of fascism’s linchpins is Universal Suffrage because they place the State above all else not subject to ‘the laws of Nature and Nature’s God’.

    Scalia: sorry my friend, thats the law. a presidential electoral protest does not survive the dead protester

    Then the law sucks, dont you agree? Electoral fraud is a crime against the people and not against an individual. I seem to read a triumphalist tone in your comment, as in, ‘Belat, sorry ka, that’s the law’ instead of ‘Tsk tsk… wala tayong magagawa yun ang batas e.’ Alin dun, Tony?

  28. According to (Jonah) Goldberg (author of “ LIBERAL FASCISM: The Secret History of the American Left From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning”), fascism in America predated the regimes of Mussolini and Hitler. He believes that Woodrow Wilson turned the United States into a “fascist country, albeit temporarily” during World War I. Americans in 1917 were reluctant to join the slaughter in Europe. Their nation hadn’t been attacked; there was no defining event — a Fort Sumter or Pearl Harbor — to rally public support. So Wilson formed the country’s first propaganda ministry, the Committee on Public Information, to teach people what they were up against. The devil became German militarism — the merciless Hun — and Americans were encouraged to lash out at those of German ancestry inside the United States. Vigilante groups arose to mete out justice and spy on fellow citizens. Congress passed draconian laws banning “abusive” and “disloyal” language against the government and its officials. The Post Office revoked the mailing privileges of hundreds of antiwar publications, effectively shutting them down. Rarely if ever in American history has dissent been so effectively stifled. – Excerpts from “Heil Wilson!” by DAVID OSHINSKY, a book review of “Liberal Fascism.”

  29. Brian: Jeq, you’re taking that phrase 1-man-1-vote too literally.

    That’s the only way to take it, Brian. Actually, in my original comment I used it as a metaphor for representative democracy. But I think DJB meant it literally as in his comment I replied to about the People’s Direct Democratic Republic. Dont get me wrong, though. If he decides to run for Senate (as in MLQ3’s dream team), I’ll vote for DJB, trusting the other senators to reign him in in case he wants to invade another country. 😉

  30. comments difficult to read…

    eye strain.

    …i wish they’d be more pleasant to read as some of the contents.

  31. amadeo,

    The implication then is that because GMA committed the Original Sin, everybody in her government and all those favorably associated with her, whether they have done anything wrong or not, have also acquired the guilt and consequences of that sin.

    I think that’s a fair representation of why the term is being used, to represent the gravity of the offense, and the futility of continued association with her government as it can only compound the offense and incriminate even the well-meaning.

  32. i’m trying to understand this dilemna…there’s a group of people who believe GMA cheated and they have proof of this. but, since they don’t recognize this administration, they will just sit on it. DUH, can we make a guess where that is going??

    rego, in his comment 79, is saying something important…there’s an opportunity NOW, don’t focus on the past because that didn’t fly. not only that, current attempts will only be jeopardized if you keep digging into the past. why are ordinary people trying to convince other ordinary people about what they believe in? the people are tired. They have lives to lead, mouths to feed. Honestly, I’m getting that same old feeling that this is a hate campaign against one individual…kaka-turn off.

    no one wants to listen, but so many have already said: we want allegations to be proven in proper forums. no more people power because it is not only disruptive but dangerous for the country in the long run.

  33. Mita

    Maybe you’re not reading the newspapers when you said this,

    o one wants to listen, but so many have already said: we want allegations to be proven in proper forums. no more people power because it is not only disruptive but dangerous for the country in the long run.

    Oh they tried going to the proper forums. Guess what happened?

    KTNX!

  34. Jeg,

    “Then the law sucks, dont you agree? Electoral fraud is a crime against the people and not against an individual. I seem to read a triumphalist tone in your comment, as in, ‘Belat, sorry ka, that’s the law’ instead of ‘Tsk tsk… wala tayong magagawa yun ang batas e.’ Alin dun, Tony?”

    the anti-FPJ will say ‘Belat, sorry ka, that’s the law’

    the pragmatic idealist will say ‘Tsk tsk… wala tayong magagawa yun ang batas e.’

    either way, same result.

    either way, thats the law. regardless of how anyone feels about it, thats the law.

    the law sucks? could be true. but its still the law.

  35. kamote, maybe we don’t live in the same country – cause where i’m at, GMA is still president.

    doesn’t that tell you there’s something bigger that needs fixing? why should the burden always fall on the people to correct things when we supposedly have a government with elected officials and appointees to man the whole operation? we’ve tried people power in the past and in 2001, it only made things worse for the country, the latest attempts didn’t amount to anything…maybe it’s time to try other options?

  36. Coming back to the present, Leo San Miguel is the Senate’s surprise witness. There’s the chance, focus on that.

  37. From the first session of the People’s Direct Democratic Republic:

    A vote on a new resolution will be held tonight: (1) Resolved all wealth shall be divided equally by having the Rich pay the Poor compensatory taxes. (2) All private property shall be abolished. (3) Inequality will be outlawed.

    What’s the vast majority gonna vote for? – DJB

    Your scenario can hold true even if the poor majority voted for their representatives who in turn voted for the above three resolutions.

    Minority rights is what is protected by the “liberal” portion of liberal democracy. What you are describing above is a form of illiberal democracy that does not recognize the rights of the individual.

    If you want to prevent the above three from happening, then what should be emphasized would be the rights of the individual, even if that individual belongs to the minority, as Jeg mentions above (at 9:28am).

    As i mentioned in a previous comment, the worldwide crisis of democracy that we are seeing is that there are increasingly liberals who are not democrats and democrats who are not liberals, with the liberal democrats having to fight on two fronts.

  38. Mariano,

    “Scalia, maybe you should run after the opposition who cheated? Why ask them to do what you want to do?”

    as to running after the opposition who cheated – maybe in the future. the constraint here is any effort to that effect will simply be construed as ‘pakawala ng Malacañang’ or ‘pampagulo ng issue’.

    besides, that will just disturb my modest efforts to help in job creation, which i think is much much more important than to prove opposition cheating.

    sorry my friend, pero di ko na-gets yung ‘Why ask them to do what you want to do?’ Who is ‘them’?

    feeling ko kasi, all efforts to prove gloria cheating implies that the opposition is squeaky clean on cheating. unwittingly, the ‘cheat provers’ are getting other cheats off the hook by focusing the cheating on one party only.

    if the goal is to eliminate cheating, a good way to start is to acknowledge that both sides cheated, and that the guilty from both sides need to be punished by law.

  39. Scalia: the law sucks? could be true. but its still the law.

    Yes. But this time I read a shrug in your comment. 🙂 One of the great insights of the American jury system is that the jury not only judges the facts of a case, they can also judge the law. Jury nullification has occurred in instances when the jury felt the law was unjust. Juries are the last line of defense against the power abuses of the authorities. We dont have that here. Perhaps we will one day as we mature as a people. We’re still a young country.

  40. Coming back to the present, Leo San Miguel is the Senate’s surprise witness.

    “Pano ko paniniwalaan yan e isa yan sa greedy group. It’s like the pot calling the kettle black, etc, etc, yadda-yadda-yadda.”

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