Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What More Will It Take?

Did any of you catch "Strictly Politics" on ANC last night? The episode was on what we, the proudly anti-Gloria, call the bogus people's initiative. The guests were Atty. Raul Lambino, champion of the initiative, Rep. Roilo Golez, Atty. Howard Calleja, and two barangay captains, one from Cebu, the other from Iloilo (my apologies to them, their names escape me).

Never mind that I'd heard so much, almost too much, about how the DILG, other government officials, were involved in this exercise, it was still shocking. It was clear that the guests, apart from Atty. Lambino, were up in arms over the use of government agencies - the barangay captain from Iloilo called the inclusion of the petition in the barangay agenda as a "smuggled" initiative, the officials were told to "sneak" the petition into the agenda. The Cebuano barangay captain told of a meeting last week, called by the mayor and local government, that discussed "full support" if the signature gathering without having to explain anything to the people. They also spoke of signature gatherers and signatures being bought.

Golez couldn't get a straight answer from Lambino about how much it cost to print the over 400,000 signature sheets needed to be distributed among 42,000 barangays. Lambino kept saying it was all the work of groups like Sigaw ng Bayan and ULAP (Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines), which begged the question - how and from whom did they get the money? It costs at least Php200M to mount a nationwide campaign like this. Atty. Calleja said it was a "smuggled", illegal, initiative, citing the law and the Supreme Court. I had to laugh when Lambino claimed they had gathered over 1.5 million signatures as of last night - my, my, these guys should be drafted into the COMELEC, they count so fast!

As I watched, this question came to mind - how much more can the middle class Filipino take before he or she is enraged enough at Gloria Arroyo's blatant misuse of power? There's the Fertilizer Scam the Austeros of this world continue to gloss over, the alleged cheating that Gloria doesn't want discussed in the Congress or any court, the coddling of Garci et al, the use of executive power to suppress our basic freedoms (CPR, PP1017) and muzzle her lackeys (EO464), the imprudent excesses of her husband, the politization of the military, and the list goes on and on.

It didn't take long for the answer to come to me - sadly, it seems many people are willing to take very, very much more of this abuse. I mourn for the loss of national dignity, the ease with which we dismiss all this as par for the course, the loss of idealism and continued inaction. So many claim that cheating is "normal", and stop right there, not bothering to offer suggestions on how to erase it. So many say they don't like Gloria, didn't even vote for her, but are only too willing to let her stay on so as not to discombobulate their lives. They raise their eyebrows at the abuse, but are content to "discuss" from the comfort of their arm chairs and that's about it. Sorry, this "I do my part by earning a living for my family", etc., is great, but it's also very selfish. So much for "loving our country". That line from their mouths is beginning to sound pretty bogus to me.

16 comments:

Tet said...

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

My convictions are borne out of actual experience. I have long complained and concerned myself about the fact that in a country where waterways are most abundant, our sea transport cost does not allow our productive enterprises any competitive advantage simply because the industry has become a fertile area for rent-seeking rewards being dispensed in exchange for political patronage. I do not see why we should continue to be burdened by a sea transport cost 40% of which can be traced to an activity called “cargo handling” being institutionally imposed by a government corporation. But this has been going on since the time of President Ramos when we were forced by international institutions to start deregulation of our sea transport systems.

I am familiar with the neo-hacienderos of the maritime industry and I guess they have their counter-parts in other sectors as well. The neo-hacienderos were “tame-me” during the Marcos regime. They supported President Cory, they tested the waters with President Ramos, they liked the ways of President Erap and now, they are really lording it over as if there is no tomorrow. But I do not think you will continue to let them con us into believing that the only way to move forward is to support President Arroyo. That is why they are also going to move heaven and earth to amend the Constitution, because that will be their guarantee for deliverance from having to answer for all the transgressions they have so far committed. They sure plan ahead, but even that is too shortsighted and ephemeral. They are just plain greedy!

This is just like agreeing to play basketball, but when the going gets tough we allow a team to break all the rules and get away with it. Then, finally, having won the game the winning players declare that after all what we were watching was a game of football, not basketball. They have to make this provision if they want the audience to come back for another season and believe they won the game “fair and square”.

You want an alternative? Try this for size - why not Erap? At least we have no problem about the legitimacy of his election. People that removed him from power can definitely also give it back to him. If it is so easy to give a habitually lying president the benefit of a doubt mainly because there is no other better alternative can you not pardon a person that has already suffered for five years? If people will trust him, I think there is room for him to reform in his profligate style of governance. "Naka-kaon na ug tagam" in Cebuano is when a person is able to taste the results of his own actions and vows not to repeat the experience. But let's hear out Erap first whether he really has "naka-kaon na ug tagam".
Only he can tell us.

john marzan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
john marzan said...

I was wondering why the opposition and the anti-GMA groups have not called for a major rally/"show of force" vs. Arroyo this year.

Last year, may dalawang malalaking anti-GMA rally sa Makati before CPR was implemented.

I'm curious when anti-GMA forces (the Cory middle forces and the political Opposition, and the leftist groups) will combine their forces and call for another major rally to oppose Arroyo's Constitution (and call for her resignation.)

Kasi they haven't pa eh, this year.

(unless one considers the Feb. 24 peaceful gathering commemorating Edsa 1986 a major anti-Arroyo rally, which was disrupted by the police dahil may "coup" at "state of emergency" raw, with all rally permits cancelled for that day, CPR was implemented and arrests were made on the protesters.)

They should set an advance date for that, ASAP. And they should coordinate with the mayor and local police para walang disruptions or attempts to block the rallyists from going to the designated rally site on that day.

Helga said...

Hi John! I really think it's because we're in a valley of sorts, and will peak again when this bogus petition coems to a head. It' also a weather thing - it's really too hot for most folks to come out into the streets. Thinking about making our next Black Friday more weather friendly - meaning, early morning, not too physical, less serious. Let it not be said that we've become like the "unsmiling ones". :-D

john marzan said...

It' also a weather thing - it's really too hot for most folks to come out into the streets.

yah, start na ng summer. but it's going to get worse though during the rainy season.

pinoy said...

From the post

the loss of idealism and continued inaction

Simply because I have taken a different path is not loss of idealism. I take action, even how subtle just like blogging, and that is not inaction.

So many claim that cheating is "normal", and stop right there, not bothering to offer suggestions on how to erase it.

And I ask, will cheating disappear with Gloria's ouster?

So many say they don't like Gloria, didn't even vote for her, but are only too willing to let her stay on so as not to discombobulate their lives.

Because no clear path is being offered. What we see is more chaos if we oust Gloria NOW. Please take note of the bold and caps.

They raise their eyebrows at the abuse, but are content to "discuss" from the comfort of their arm chairs and that's about it.

That's not about it. I am not content to discuss. I seek lasting solution. I seek not moving on but moving forward.

Sorry, this "I do my part by earning a living for my family", etc., is great, but it's also very selfish. So much for "loving our country". That line from their mouths is beginning to sound pretty bogus to me.

Simply because I do not believe that your present courses of action won't solve our real problem, it makes me a sham, a bogus? Do I need to kowtow to your judgment and kind of reasoning to make me pure and holy? I am not saying that you are wrong. We simply differ in our opinions. And with the difference, I become a bogus, apologist, perverted, immoral, sham, fake and all other terms you can find in the book.

caffeinatedpinoy said...

@John, I believe there'll be one big rally on May 1, Labor Day. Hope the various anti-GMA groups can have a big "show of force" there. Count me in.

Simonne Aguilar said...

I agree with pinoy...

And please... for God's sake! ERAP is not even an option.

caffeinatedpinoy said...

@pinoy, you ask:

"will cheating disappear with Gloria's ouster?"

For sure not entirely and not at once, but it certainly will be a good start. First of all, it will send a clear message that electoral cheating won't be tolerated anymore. Secondly, a new government will have the chance to bring the "cheats inc" to justice and overhaul the electoral system. Unlike now when Gloria is coddling and even rewarding all these people who helped her cheat, from the Comelec to Jocjoc Bolante to the Generals.

pinoy said...

TO caffeinatedpinoy:

For sure not entirely and not at once, but it certainly will be a good start.

It was a good start in 1986. Look at Imelda and her children, where are they now? Have they paid for the crimes they committed against the people? It was a good start in 2001 and we are still awaiting for the final verdict against Erap and his co accused son is sitting in the senate!!!!!



First of all, it will send a clear message that electoral cheating won't be tolerated anymore.

Didn't we send a clear message when we ousted Marcos and Erap that corruption won't be tolerated anymore? And now you are telling me that once we oust Gloria, it will send the same message????





Secondly, a new government will have the chance to bring the "cheats inc" to justice and overhaul the electoral system.

A new government will overhaul the electoral system??? If it will always be the same people, trapos and various interests, who will helm on us, nothing will change.


Unlike now when Gloria is coddling and even rewarding all these people who helped her cheat, from the Comelec to Jocjoc Bolante to the Generals.
Didn't Marcos coddle Danding and Lucio Tan? Where are they now?
Didn't Erap coddle Singson and Puno? Where are they now?


We are on the same side. I am simply not in agreement when you say that once we oust Gloria, we can have a fresh start. That things will be better. That there will be change. You oust Gloria now and nothing will change because we will just go back to our ways. What needs overhaul is us, as a people. We are the bigger problem. National pride is non existent. We always try to find short cuts to our problems. We don't seek unity but instead we prefer to out debate each other.
We need a direction and a symbol that will bring us to the Philippines that we all dream of. Unfortunately, we are too stuck with personalities. We take pleasure in out smarting each other. Our crab mentality is our worst enemny. We are our worst enemny.

Yes, Gloria is a cheater and it must not be condoned. But have we looked at the mirror. Butch Abad may not be a cheater but allowing his wife to take his place after his third term puts him on the league of all other trapos. Did Soliman say sorry for allowing herself to be used? Why did she has to cry on national television when NOli became a threat to her position?

If you direct your efforts and resources towards this renewal that we all need, Gloria won't be such a difficult problem to deal with.

POLITICAL_ABROGATIONERS said...

Charter change is a democratic process. The Filipino people should be asked first if they are in favor of ammending the constitution right now under a seemingly-bogus presidency before any commission for ammending the constitution is formed. There is nothing wrong in ammending the constitution. But there is something wrong with the Philippine presidency. Social reformers in the Philippines should first make proposals in peacefully and lawfully "ammending" the current presidency in our country. Mrs. Arroyo should first obey the constitutional procedure of impeachment before venturing into a make-over of our constitution. We invite the progressive readers of this message to visit our blog: http://wwwpoliticalabrogationers.blogspot.com . Thanks.

asarnabwisitpa said...

erap as an alternative? wtf?!

congratulations to PINOY for having the most sensible post/s on these blogs

please do keep posting

JuanDLC said...

i agree with pinoy..

the cycle will continue on and on and on and on..wala ng katapusan. we are only replacing the head but not the body..

manong tet, fan k b ni erap?miss mo n b mga pelikulang nya? d k pa b nadadala? wala tayong pinagtandaan kung ibabalik nyo si erap...Come on manong, think...

is it because erap has higher approval rating based on the survey? ok..so kapag bumaba na sya sa survey sisigaw na tayo ng, PATALSIKIN NA! NOW NA!..

That clearly shows the lack of alternative from the anti-GMA. aside from that it is also pragmented...EVERYONE WANTS TO BE A PRESIDENT....

I'm just tired of all this.. All politicians from administration and opposition are just using the people to their own end. Kanya-kanyang interest lang yan..

TAMA NA! SAWANG-SAWA NA AKO! NOW NA!

caffeinatedpinoy said...

@pinoy: funny how you kept comparing GMA to Marcos, and actually used those comparisons to somehow defend GMA...

Anyway, re: your response to my previous comments here: so you're saying that since we've already tried to overhaul the system before and failed, that we should simply stop trying and just give up? Shouldn't it be let's keep on trying until we succeed? That since the trapos didn't seem to get the "clear message" before, that we should just stop speaking out, and be silenced? Shouldn't we raise our voices in protest even louder until they finally hear us loud and clear?

Also, who said that only the trapos from the ranks of the traditional opposition can replace GMA? To quote Randy David: "I do understand the alarm that the presence of some familiar faces in today's protest marches tends to trigger. But I do not understand why we think alternative leaders must automatically be recruited from their ranks. Certainly, if we fail to nurture and offer new leaders, the familiar and the shameless will always be the first to step up to the plate."

There are many credible and competent Filipinos who are definitely more acceptable than GMA the cheater. Allow me to mention a few names here: Oscar Orbos, Manny Villar, Ramon Magsaysay Jr, Joker Arroyo, Hilario Davide, Eggie Apostol, even Winnie Monsod. Certainly no one's completely faultless, but they have far more integrity than the morally-bankrupt GMA.

By the way, you also asked: where is Ronnie Puno now? He's in GMA's cabinet, leading the chacha drive...

caffeinatedpinoy said...

@pinoy, pahabol lang: we allow ourselves to be brazenly fooled by GMA, and you wonder why national pride is almost non-existent?

Also, what do you propose we do with the "Gloria problem"? Wait for the 2010 elections (assumming she doesn't do a Marcos and decide to be dictator for life) and have four more years of an immoral, repressive, corrupt regime that lies through its teeth, with more illegal acts being committed with no accountability whatsoever?

POLITICAL_ABROGATIONERS said...

The Arroyo regime has continuosly curtailed the right of the Filipino people to verify the legitimacy of Mrs. Arroyo's presidency. For the Arroyo fanatics in the government, like such macho guys as Mikee Defensor, Angelo Reyes and Raul Gonzales, Mrs. Arroyo has "the beauty and the brain" to make the Philippine economy work efficiently, even if Mrs. Arroyo's presidency has been tainted with "cheat-allegations" during the last presidential election here in our country. The fact is that Mrs. Arroyo has led this country since year 2001 and, yet, up to now in year 2006 the Philippine economy is still being besieged by poverty, large-scale corruption among the governmental leaders and social backwardness in many urban and rural areas of the Philippines. Mrs. Arroyo has been ruling this country with an iron-clenched fist and boastful promises of economic reforms.


Would Mrs. Arroyo give way to real and moral democracy this year? I hope so..... Mrs. Arroyo can't go on ruling as president without the full confidence of the Filipino people regarding the legitimacy of her own presidency. The current Philippine presidency is still being laughed at, insulted, ignored, subjected to harsh jokes and being tagged as "insane" by the majority of the Filipino people. Hence, Mrs. Arroyo can't ignore the fact that her presidency has been degraded already by the Filipino people. It is only her, Mrs. Arroyo herself, who is insisting that she is the "only capable Filipino leader" right now who can make wonders for the Philippine economy. She has been bragging that line since year 2001. Year 2006 has revealed that the Arroyo presidency has been a "mediocre economic machinery" for the past 5 years. Thailand and Malaysia has now become semi-tiger economies. The Philippine economy is still a "kitten economy" being run by corrupt politicians under the Arroyo regime.


The Filipino people has to continue the peaceful and legal struggle to gain real and moral democracy for this country. The political abrogationers support such endeavor. The progressive readers of this message can view the ideals of the political abrogationers at this blog of mine: THE POLITICAL ABROGATIONERS' PAGE. Thanks.


From SERGIO MORAN