Friday, April 07, 2006

No to PIG, Yes to Snap Elections! - Then Let's Move On

After the flurry of email forwards from both sides of the political fence settled down, nothing much has really changed. We’re still as hopelessly divided as ever.

Consistent with the surveys, only a few expressed outright support for GMA. It really boils down to a battle between those who espouse GMA’s ouster and those who say, “I don’t like GMA, but…” The latter would invariably conclude their piece with the exhortation, “Let’s move on!”

By that, they mean “leave GMA alone to focus on governance, and let her finish her term until 2010”. They, of course, assume that GMA will govern under the status quo. I doubt if any of them ever anticipated the reckless charge towards charter change.

Why the indecent haste in shifting to a parliamentary form of government?

GMA’s worst fear is to go down in history the same way Erap did – discredited and shamed. For it will besmear not only her own legacy, but that of her father as well. She will do anything and everything to finish her term up to 2010.

On June 26 of this year, the opposition is poised to file another impeachment complaint. With the 2007 election just around the corner, many Congressmen will be mindful of their reelection bid. And it becomes risky for some of them to be associated with GMA, given her consistently low trust ratings at the polls. The opposition might just get the numbers needed to send the impeachment complaint to the Senate.

Even if she survives this year, the 2007 elections will alter the present configuration of Congress. Going by the prevailing anti-GMA mood reflected in the surveys, it is not unlikely to see more opposition-leaning solons in the next Congress. And it becomes more likely that she will be impeached in 2008.

The palace-formulated ChaCha is designed to preemptively neutralize all such efforts to remove her from office. The target is to convene the existing Congress as the interim parliament when it opens its session sometime July. This will hinder, if not completely bar, any impeachment proceeding. And with automatic term extensions for the incumbents embedded in the transitory provisions, GMA is trying to preserve the composition of a subservient Congress until the end of her term in 2010.

When Speaker JoeDeV could not get the numbers to transform Congress into a Constituent Assembly, GMA had to resort to a little known provision of the constitution called “people’s initiative”, in spite of a Supreme Court ruling declaring there is no enabling law to exercise this right.

GMA’s choice of a metaphor for this initiative – a train, is ironically, quite appropriate. It reveals their true intentions – to railroad the process and to destroy everything that gets in its way, including institutions and democratic processes.

But I like the metaphor used by Akbayan better. They call it “People’s Initiative of Gloria” or PIG for short. For that is what it has become… “babuyan na talaga”.

If you have read this far, you’re probably one of the politically astute few who is keenly interested in current political affairs. But I’m also willing to bet that you have not read the proposed charter change, and appreciate it enough to endorse or reject it. And yet, GMA would like us to believe that an obscure advocacy group, without funding support, has sufficiently explained it and managed to convince 8 million people to endorse it in a span of two weeks, enough to make them sign a petition. And they even have the gall to proclaim that “the people have spoken!” What an insult to the intelligence of our people.

What shall we do, then? How do we move on?

The root cause of our present political crisis is the question of legitimacy of the GMA presidency. It is evident by now that the palace-sponsored charter change is part of an elaborate scheme to skirt the issue and window-dress the remaining term of GMA with a semblance of legitimacy. But it will not work.

The solution is to confront the issue squarely. Let GMA seek a fresh mandate from the people through snap elections, to settle once and for all the issue of legitimacy.

The trick is to engage all sectors to abide by the results of the election. GMA can show good faith by using the vast resources of her office to “influence” the revamp of the Comelec into a more credible body. (She might even be surprised at how much goodwill this will generate for her.) In exchange, the anti-GMA groups will commit to stop all protest actions if the people decide to give her a fresh mandate.

Some might argue that there are legal obstacles. But I think they are much easier to hurdle than the obstacles facing the chacha train today. And if GMA’s strategists will only look at this option objectively, they will discover this to be a far better means to resolve the crisis in GMA’s favor. She has the advantage of the incumbent. And if, as they claim, the opposition remains fragmented – they could probably never agree to rally behind a single candidate.

And to those who keep asking, “Who is your alternative?”… Well, the answer now lies in your hands. More importantly, this will put a closure to the legitimacy issue that all started with the Garci tape.

NO. Charter change is not the answer. The answer is SNAP elections.

If you want to end the current political crisis, I invite you to sign up in our online petition We may never reach 8 million petitioners but if there are enough decent Filipinos who will join this clamor, then maybe we can influence our leaders to make it happen.

Then and only then can we all truly say, “Let’s move on!”


Tet said...

"GMA’s worst fear is to go down in history the same way Erap did – discredited and shamed. For it will besmear not only her own legacy, but that of her father as well. She will do anything and everything to finish her term up to 2010."

Please do not leave out her mother, the only name that the PPA can think of now whenever they build a passenger terminal. Presently the PPA is handing out negotiated contracts to cargo handling operators, perhaps expecting that more facilities may be named after her and/or her mother.

Artemio de la Cruz said...

Vice-President Noli De Castro should resign if he really cares about country’s unity instead of insisting as the constitutional successor to bogus President Gloria Arroyo. Both have questionable mandate. I doubt he can unite a deeply divided nation. He can run in the snap election to test his popularity. Resign Para Sa Bayan Kabayan !

Kevin Ray said...

I am Kevin Ray Chua, 15 years-old and I believe that Charter Change would be good to the country... But the problem is that, Mrs. Arroyo tries to influence the process. She wants to stay longer in power. People's Initiative is illegal despite its constitutional mandate for the fact that there's no enabling law... (Santiago vs. COMELEC)

President Arroyo should know that she is the solution to all the problems that she's facing today together with her compatriots.

If you would allow me, may I join your blogroll. I would be very happy if you link my blog, TWBPSK Kevin Ray's Corner Blog ( I promise I would also link your blog.



led said...

07 April 2006


I regularly join the echanges of ideas/comments at the blog site of ellen tordesillas, I have always mentioned that the best solution to our politicl crisis today is the not the system of government, it has always been the people running our government. I think it would be better if we call on gloria and noli, together with all of the elective and appointive officials of the country to resign now and call a snap election. This way whoever wins the snap election, we will support (provided that the snap election is honest and clean election). Let us sweep away these politician, who only thinks of themselves.


I agree, noli is not the best solution to run our country, he like a game show of eat bulaga "LABAN o BAWI", he is incosistent and to add that he is also insecure. If de castro really thinking of the people, he could have asked gloria and the others to resign their post and call a snap election.


The Bystander said...

MY GRIM FORECAST: Despite clear legal obstacles, Gloria and her rabid lapdogs will go on with the PIG initiative. The Comelec will entertain the petition and proceed with the plebiscite. With the pace the SC decides on a constitutional issue, events will simply overtake them and when they do decide on it, the same will be moot and academic because the plebiscite has taken place. Hate to say it.. but the SC and the opposition will simply be disregarded. If the people continue to be fence sitters in this crisis, this will all the more embolden the Administration to impose its will on us. I feel really disillusioned. Hearing Bunye and Defensor et al deceiving the unsuspecting masa almost on a daily basis makes my blood boil!


Re: Tet's post

As Max Soliven says, who in spite of being avid Gloria supporter likes to poke Gloria and (indirectly) DONA EVANGELINA MACAPAGAL by saying , "Like mother, like daughter", or "She's her mother's daughter".

What I caught my attention was that the "PPA is handling NEGOTIATED CONTRACTS".

Tet, I'm sure you are aware that "Negotiated contracts" have NEVER really been negotiated to the government's advantage, i.e., RP government but to the advantage of the contract "sponsor" in government, i.e., Gloria's "inaanak".

Just look at the MABEY&JOHNSON bridges
and a host of other so-called NEGOTIATED CONTRACTS.

Helga said...

Ach, you're so right, HB! These deals are big reasons for so many wanting to be in government.

Speaking of Gloria's mother, I remember my granmother saying that Eva M was never a charmer.

Artemio and Led, BnW has called for Noli's resignation since last year. If a bullet amendment to hold snap elections were to pass in the House, then we'd have a chance to start the cleansing.

Kevin, thank you for yor request. Will have to do a post on tonight's Black Friday Protest then visit your blog, ok? It's great to know that a young man such as yourself is aware of what is going on around us. Keep those eyes, ears, and your heart open. That way, you'll see clearly - most of the time. Go ahead and link to us, thanks!

pinoy said...

SNAP ELECTION???? It won't happen. Not with Gloria. She won't bite the bait. She won't do a Thanksin, if that's what the post meant.

EXPOSE THE PIG! That's what we should do. KILL THE PIG! Have elections as scheduled on 2007.

We will just be wasting time and resources if we mount a campaign to pressure Gloria to call for snap election. Si Gloria pa!

Granting for the sake of argument that Gloria calls for a snap election and she looses her mandate? Is it automatic Noli or are we going to have another election to replace Gloria? What if she wins and there was again massive cheating? Or if Gloria looses and she claims she was cheated. Who will do the recount? PET? Who will initiate the snap election law? What if the COMELEC is not revamped? Nah. Things will just become more complicated. Let's just call for the pushing through of election in 2007.

Artemio de la Cruz said...

A Worst-Case Scenario: It appears that Independent Vice-President Noli de Castro won’t resign. Kabayan Noli and his supporters (Lopez clan) are prepared to take over the presidency in event of force resignation of bogus President Gloria Arroyo. In this scenario there will be NO SNAP ELECTION. All anti-Arroyo forces will be back in square one. Business as usual for GMA allies. It looks like a “safe or friendly environment”. Garci Generals were appointed to key military posts. There’s a possibility the next Chief of Staff of the AFP will be Army chief General Esperon, a known GMA loyalist. The Supreme Court and the Ombudsman are Arroyo appointees and former allies. The party of thieves Lakas and Kampi controls the Lower House. Mrs. Arroyo will make secret deal with “El Presidente Noli” for protection from “political harassment” before power turn-over. The triumvirate of Arroyo-De Venecia-Esperon will be a possible real power behind Noli’s throne. “EL Presidente Noli” may appoint a new vice-president from the opposition. He can pick Senate President Frank Drilon or Sen. Aquilino Pimentel to silence them. What’s next? Gloria and Mike Arroyo will enjoy their loot in luxury somewhere in South Pacific Islands. Is there any Plan BCDE in case of Kabayan Noli refuses to resign?...... U.S.-supported People Power?, a Divine intervention? Then let's move on.

ellen said...

Did you hear Mike Defensor's reaction to the snap elections suggestion? He said it would be a power grab by the opposition. He knows that Gloria Arroyo will not win in a clean and honest elections.

ellen said...

I've also posted this petition in my blog.

Helga said...

Thank you, Ellen! The more folks we get to sign on, the better picture we'll get as to who really understands what the PIG juggernaut's all about.

Mike Defensor has learned all too well from his "Tita Glo". He grew up under her shadow as a neighbor in La Vista, and he is truly her nino bonito. So, lying and obfuscation come natural to him.


I agree that there should be a snap presidential election today in our country. Let's make a snap election that will allow Eddie Gill to become a provisionary president for 2 months. Eddie Gill as a provisionary president must act as a "neutral guarantor" of a fair and clean snap presidential election in our country. Mrs. Arroyo can run again as president in such election. Eddie Gill is well-versed in the Bible and should allow the transparency of such a snap presidential election. Eddi Gill as a provisionary president in a period of snap presidential election in our country would be a milestone for Philippine democracy. Mrs. Arroyo should now voluntarily resign from her illegal presidency. Bro. Eddie Villanueva should urge all of the Christian archbishops (including the Catholic archbishops) to unify a common stand that will peacefully and legally urge Mrs. Arroyo to resign from her illegal presidency and give way to a snap presidential election. Thanks.

ellen said...

A suggestion posted in my blog:
Tiago Says:

April 8th, 2006 at 4:41 pm (Edit this comment)

One remark, and should be done now; there are a lot of people that would like to sign the petition but does not have an email address. There should be an alternate course where they can sign and get heard. Thanks

caffeinatedpinoy said...

It would be great if the various opposition factions can agree on snap elections, and abandon the dangerous "transitional council" idea, which a lot of people are apprehensive about. Snap elections is something that more people can really rally behind as a good first-step solution to the political crisis.

Just out of curiosity, does the B&W have any personalities whom they would like to support in case snap elections do happen? We would need to choose someone eventually, it might be good to start floating some names now.

Helga said...

Points well made, caffeinatedpinoy. BnW's been pushing for snap, or special, elections, since last year. We were laughed at, but now so many are beginning to see it as viable. It really is the constitutional way, if we can get that bullet amendment passed in the House, or use people power, an extra constitutional but not unconstitutional means. Since the latter is a hard sell these days, persuading our Reps to pass the amendment may be the way to go. Am glad that the momentum's building again, but it must be kept up.

The question of viable alternatives to Gloria has come up in our meetings and we have floated names, and we're still in the midst of making choices - plural, because there are quite a few good people. I remember that a couple of years before Marcos called the snap elections, many of us were doing the same thing, and Cory didn't come up as a choice till shortly before. Having said that, I don't mean that we should wait that long if we finaly get our chance at snap elections. Am sure we all have a fairly good idea of who you'd vote for. The main problem, as seen before, is whether or not that person will really deliver the goods. This is why we're hesitating at throwng named into the basket. We're still searching, studying.

I can only speak for myself. My choices are eclectic, some familiar, others not, but I like these guys because even as politicos, they strike me as sincere and knowledgable, and most of all, they love their country. My list is far from final. We should really keep looking, in familiar and unfamiliar places. I like - Neric Acosta, Serge Osmena, Jesse Robredo, Jun Magsaysay, Butch Abad.

caffeinatedpinoy said...

Thanks for the response Helga. My own short list of presidentiables has Oscar Orbos, Jun Magsaysay, Randy David, even Eggie Apostol. But that list is very preliminary as well.

Also, this might be helpful:

I agree that the momentum's building again. Allow me to re-post here my comment in the "How Baboy Naman the PIG" post:

"In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are f*cked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely" - Hunter S. Thompson.

It's time that the various opposition groups put their acts together now. It seems that anti-GMA sentiments are gaining momentum again, what with the NYT editorial, Thaksin's resignation, the ADB bursting Gloria's deceptive economic claims, the CBCP finding their voice again, etc. The British-based Financial Times also criticized Gloria in their April 4, 2006 electoral. And even Mareng Winnie seems to have found her balls again (although she still stops short of putting the heat on GMA herself, currently content with just lambasting Puno and de Venecia.)

caffeinatedpinoy said...

Oops. "Financial Times electoral" above should be "Financial Times editorial"

Helga said...

The Thompson quote is apropos - for us in BnW, it really isn't just a matter of winning that's paramount, it's partly making things right, and mostly keeping at trying to make things right over here, or we're all f*cked. Gloria and her lackeys have learned how to keep us at bay for now. We already know what lessons post-EDSA failure has taught us, so let's use them to our advantage. It's infuriating when people complain then do nothing to right the wrongs.

Tet said...

Check my site at, where I have some real names of GMA and the FG's "croony capitalists" getting juicey negotiated contracts from the PPA.

caffeinatedpinoy said...

I just want to share this excerpt from an article by Filomeno Sta. Ana III, coordinator for Action for Economic Reforms:

"Some analysts describe the present state as a stalemate,
with Mrs. Arroyo taking advantage of the state apparatus to preserve power and the broad opposition occupying the moral and political high ground. The time, however, is on the side of the opposition forces. They have to wisely use the time to cohere, rally behind a credible leadership, and offer a vision and agenda for long-term reforms.

The opposition forces have to exercise caution in eyeing a quick victory. This translates into bad strategy and tactics and leads to failed expectations. It will take painstaking work to organize, educate, and convince people to become politically active. It will take time to establish solidarity between the upper classes and the masses."

Nice point there about the need to rally behind credible leadership AND to present an alternative platform of governance and reform agenda.

Most Filipinos already know about GMA's various wrongdoings, and surveys say that the people want her out. But somehow, this sentiment hasn't translated into widespread protests and other visible forms of public indignation. Perhaps it's because many are looking for that "alternative" -- in terms of leadership and agenda.

We already know the "black", now it's time to make the "white" clear and concrete.

pinoy said...

Nice point there about the need to rally behind credible leadership AND to present an alternative platform of governance and reform agenda.

Exactly! Snap election is not the answer.

Present first a credible leadership w/ alternative platform and reform agenda, then count us in. Unfortunately, this BnW group is in such a hurry that kicking GMA now has become the top agenda. In calling for her immediate ouster, it creates suspicion on the sincerity of the group.

caffeinatedpinoy said...

Hi pinoy, thanks for appreciating my last comment. Of course credible leadership and a good reform agenda are important, thus for me, it becomes even more imperative that we remove a leader like GMA who has lost practically all credibility and moral authority and who seems bent on perpetuating the defective political and socio-economic status quo by maintaining--even strengthening--the same old brand of rotten trapo politics.

I believe that there's a real urgency in removing GMA because she has already done so much damage to our institutions, and is poised to do even more. And she continues to evade accountability for all her actions. She and her cabal of trapos need to be stopped NOW, before they wreck and corrupt this nation further.

There is immediacy in removing her because we still have so much to do afterwards, and these changes can't be achieved with GMA and her allied trapos at the helm because they're the ones who have caused many of the problems that we face today, and of course they are mightily resisting efforts at much-needed reforms since these are inimical to their narrow selfish interests. Instead what they've done is counter calls for such reforms with lies, lies, and more lies.

And clean and credible snap elections can be a good first-step solution. It's not a cure-all, but it's a step in the right direction. Of course, groups such as B&W will need to rally behind credible leadership and reform agenda in case of snap elections. And I have faith that they will. Certainly there are lots of highly-capable Filipinos who have much more integrity and moral authority than a lying, cheating, thieving, repressive ruler. (A few names were even mentioned in some comments above.)

pinoy said...

to caffenaitedpinoy:
that is my real issue with your group, why the urgency? her time will come. she will not be president forever.

You say they need to be stopped NOW before they wreck and corrupt this nation further. I say change has to come from the bottom otherwise nothing will change. At this point, there is no one, no one, who could really inspire and unite us as a people. NO ONE. Granting for the sake of discussion that we, you, are able to oust GMA, whoever replaces her will again be dragged down by whatever interests that will not benefit from the change. Yes, there may be a three month honeymoon stage. But after that, we will go back to where we started before. Various forces will again pull that new leaderhsip down.

Yes a clean and credible snap election can be a good first step solution. Who will make it clean? Who will make it credible? What is the point of calling for a snap election if we will not have any guarantee that it will be clean and credible. And I really doubt it if Gloria will ever do a Marcos. She will never call for a snap election. Itaga mo yan sa bato.

So what do we do? WE PAY IT FORWARD.

caffeinatedpinoy said...

To pinoy: Just to clarify, I am not with B&W. I do support their efforts, however, even if I don't completely agree with all their methods, because at least they are speaking out against the evils of the current administration, and trying to do something about it.

I already gave my point of view (in my comments above) on why I believe that there's an urgency in replacing GMA now. A corrupt, repressive, sinister regime that acts like it's above the law (it refuses to accept accountability for anything, and continues to impose its malicious will even through illegal and unconstitutional acts) and is bent on perpetrating itself in power through means fair or foul--mostly foul--such a regime must be stopped as soon as possible. At the very least, I believe that we should continue to speak out against the wrongdoings it's wantonly committing, and we must continue to protest the brazen lies that it keeps on foisting on us.

You don't see anyone who can replace this morally-bankrupt leadership? Are we that pathetic a nation, that the best we can come up with is the lying, cheating, thieving, power-hungry GMA who thinks nothing of corrupting and perverting our nation's institutions just so she cling on to power and preserve her self-serving interests?

Myself, I think that there are so many better alternatives to GMA. If you don't see any, then that is just your opinion. Many others do not share your pessimism.

By all means let's all continue changing ourselves for the better and doing our share to uplift our communities and help others. It's important to rebuild our foundations, I definitely agree.

But changes should also occur at the top. For genuine substantive reforms to happen, one must work both up and down. Remember, it is the government that controls hundreds of billions of the people's money, it is the government who sets the national agenda, it is the government who has the network and resources--and mandate--to make the most significant changes in our nation. To say that let's just change ourselves and just don't pay any attention to the government--and by extension, our government officials--that's also wrong thinking too (and a bit naive.)

Let's change ourselves and at the same time continue to fight for good governance. Who said that those two endeavors are mutually exclusive anyway?

pinoy said...

to caffenaitedpinoy:
i sincerely believe that there are righteous persons out there who can replace the incumbent. there are. but the problem is, they will not win if an election is held today or a year from now. it will still be trapos who will reign the political landscape.

let us continue raising our voices against lying, cheating, corruption. we must never let our guard down and vigilance is very, very important in our survival as a nation.

i am simply being realistic. raise your voices as loud as you can but GMA will not resign. calling for her resignation is futile. she will not do it.

then take into consideration that in spite of the 65% who believe that she cheated, they are not marching out in the streets. that works in GMA's favor. but not for long.

since you are not with BnW, i am now directing this statement to the group. re think your strategy. i believe in your sincerity. however, with what you do and with what you demand, your group will not go anywhere.