Archive for September, 2006

26
Sep
06

Preview of How GMA’s Parliament Works

The recent promotion of Esperon is the latest preview of how GMA and her minions would run a parliament. Bypassing the Commission on Appointments, she promoted Esperon to the rank of a four-star general even if his third star has yet to be approved. If in a presidential system, she railroads and cuts corners, what more with a parliament when her powers are greater.

The continued erosion of our institutions is a glaring example of a weakening democracy. This has been perhaps tha administration’s gameplan all the while. Their solution, Cha-Cha. Certainly, a shift to a parliament where the powers are consolidated will only lead to abuse. The proponents of Cha-Cha and those who oppose it are still locked in battle in the Supreme Court. The SC should take note that included in the proposed “revisions” is the weakening of the Supreme Court. Checks and balances will be virtually non-existent. The SC will end up the whipping boy of parliament. They can longer judge the constitutionality of whatever the parliament decides to implement.

Accountability will be reduced or totally removed. The impeachment will be more difficult and could easily be “trashed” by a highly partisan representation. The lectorate will be relegated to spectators as direct elections will be abolished. With our currnet system, GMA had managed to impose EOs which violate the constitution. Although deemed unconstitutional by the SC, GMA simply renames the EO and even adds provisions that make accountability even harder.

If our current system cannot make accountable those who commit injustice to the people, the proposed revisions will tie the hands of the complainant/people. The lower house at present has made a mockery of the constitutional process of impeachment. They are also pushing for Cha-Cha. With the way they conduct themselves, how will the rights of the people be protected?

GMA has the makings of a dictator. Her arrogance has clipped the wings of accountability. Her minions in congress are mere lapdogs who are only as good/worse as the hand that feeds them. Conscience is of no concern anymore, political survival is their main goal. So to save their master and themselves, they too proposes their own Cha-Cha.

As the the fight for Cha-Cha nears its end, let us bear in mind the perils the country will face. We do not need another dictatorship. The greed of our “leaders” for power is so strong that we, the people should be wary of this Trojan Horse they call Charter Change. We have seen how this administration has abused its power, to give it more will be like surrendering our freedom.

Cha-Cha is for those who seek permanent power. I shudder at the thought that the future of my children will be in the hands of those who are in power now. The hardship we experience today will still hound our children as the rotten people in government will remain. Direct elections is still the way to go. To put your fate in people you don’t know is utter stupidity.

The past six years has been our window to how this administration works. Her actions and demeanor has shown you what she can offer. Would you like to see more of these or would you settle with a system though wanting in amendments, offers more room for democracy to flourish than a system built on greed. Its now a battle of good and evil. I know which side I’m on.

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26
Sep
06

Preview of How GMA’s Parliament Works

The recent promotion of Esperon is the latest preview of how GMA and her minions would run a parliament. Bypassing the Commission on Appointments, she promoted Esperon to the rank of a four-star general even if his third star has yet to be approved. If in a presidential system, she railroads and cuts corners, what more with a parliament when her powers are greater.

The continued erosion of our institutions is a glaring example of a weakening democracy. This has been perhaps tha administration’s gameplan all the while. Their solution, Cha-Cha. Certainly, a shift to a parliament where the powers are consolidated will only lead to abuse. The proponents of Cha-Cha and those who oppose it are still locked in battle in the Supreme Court. The SC should take note that included in the proposed “revisions” is the weakening of the Supreme Court. Checks and balances will be virtually non-existent. The SC will end up the whipping boy of parliament. They can longer judge the constitutionality of whatever the parliament decides to implement.

Accountability will be reduced or totally removed. The impeachment will be more difficult and could easily be “trashed” by a highly partisan representation. The lectorate will be relegated to spectators as direct elections will be abolished. With our currnet system, GMA had managed to impose EOs which violate the constitution. Although deemed unconstitutional by the SC, GMA simply renames the EO and even adds provisions that make accountability even harder.

If our current system cannot make accountable those who commit injustice to the people, the proposed revisions will tie the hands of the complainant/people. The lower house at present has made a mockery of the constitutional process of impeachment. They are also pushing for Cha-Cha. With the way they conduct themselves, how will the rights of the people be protected?

GMA has the makings of a dictator. Her arrogance has clipped the wings of accountability. Her minions in congress are mere lapdogs who are only as good/worse as the hand that feeds them. Conscience is of no concern anymore, political survival is their main goal. So to save their master and themselves, they too proposes their own Cha-Cha.

As the the fight for Cha-Cha nears its end, let us bear in mind the perils the country will face. We do not need another dictatorship. The greed of our “leaders” for power is so strong that we, the people should be wary of this Trojan Horse they call Charter Change. We have seen how this administration has abused its power, to give it more will be like surrendering our freedom.

Cha-Cha is for those who seek permanent power. I shudder at the thought that the future of my children will be in the hands of those who are in power now. The hardship we experience today will still hound our children as the rotten people in government will remain. Direct elections is still the way to go. To put your fate in people you don’t know is utter stupidity.

The past six years has been our window to how this administration works. Her actions and demeanor has shown you what she can offer. Would you like to see more of these or would you settle with a system though wanting in amendments, offers more room for democracy to flourish than a system built on greed. Its now a battle of good and evil. I know which side I’m on.

26
Sep
06

He Still Doesn’t Get It

Hermogenes Esperon, the unconfirmed AFP Chief obviously doesn’t get it. After being pelted by UP students with two dozen rotten eggs last week, his interpretation of what happened couldn’t be more wrong. Any decent, moral, thinking man would see the incident in a differnet light. Maybe, he doesn’t know what a “fascist” is. This is what the UP students called him. The disappearance of two female students and their farmer host has been attributed to his leadership. The students are not remorseful of what they did, one even said that rotten eggs are not even enough to show their disgust with Esperon.

After lambasting the students, he recently floated the theory that the reason behind the opposition’s apparent dislike for him is his refusal to launch a coup to oust his master in the palace. To him, this explains why he has yet to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Opposition to his appointment had been strong because his name is one of those implicated in the “Hello Garci” scandal.

Its either he thinks too highly (undeclared arrogance) of himself or he’s too drunk with the glory his Gloria is giving him. The people will never include his name in a list of possible officers to launch a coup. Nor will the people support a coup headed by Esperon. His name will always be associated with Garci. His rise to power will always be seen as payment for a “fraud” well done. We all know what kind of person he is. We need officers with conviction and not those who walk with their heads stuck in their asses.

He has the temerity to call the UP students as “bad eggs”, c’mon, we all know who the “bad eggs” really are. And they can all be found in the administration. Please don’t give yourself too much credit as we find you incredibly incredible. A true officer will unconditionally quit his post if his name is dragged in a controversy such as electoral fraud. Unless you expect to be paid handsomely for your role, you will not allow your name to be tainted in any way.

If he thinks he is serving the nation, he better think again. You are the protector of the state and not the presidency. Your oath is with the people and not with some dictator-wannabe. You are not suppose to blindly follow a despot unless you yourself is a despot. After all is said and done, Esperon until now does not seem to get it.

26
Sep
06

He Still Doesn’t Get It

Hermogenes Esperon, the unconfirmed AFP Chief obviously doesn’t get it. After being pelted by UP students with two dozen rotten eggs last week, his interpretation of what happened couldn’t be more wrong. Any decent, moral, thinking man would see the incident in a differnet light. Maybe, he doesn’t know what a “fascist” is. This is what the UP students called him. The disappearance of two female students and their farmer host has been attributed to his leadership. The students are not remorseful of what they did, one even said that rotten eggs are not even enough to show their disgust with Esperon.

After lambasting the students, he recently floated the theory that the reason behind the opposition’s apparent dislike for him is his refusal to launch a coup to oust his master in the palace. To him, this explains why he has yet to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Opposition to his appointment had been strong because his name is one of those implicated in the “Hello Garci” scandal.

Its either he thinks too highly (undeclared arrogance) of himself or he’s too drunk with the glory his Gloria is giving him. The people will never include his name in a list of possible officers to launch a coup. Nor will the people support a coup headed by Esperon. His name will always be associated with Garci. His rise to power will always be seen as payment for a “fraud” well done. We all know what kind of person he is. We need officers with conviction and not those who walk with their heads stuck in their asses.

He has the temerity to call the UP students as “bad eggs”, c’mon, we all know who the “bad eggs” really are. And they can all be found in the administration. Please don’t give yourself too much credit as we find you incredibly incredible. A true officer will unconditionally quit his post if his name is dragged in a controversy such as electoral fraud. Unless you expect to be paid handsomely for your role, you will not allow your name to be tainted in any way.

If he thinks he is serving the nation, he better think again. You are the protector of the state and not the presidency. Your oath is with the people and not with some dictator-wannabe. You are not suppose to blindly follow a despot unless you yourself is a despot. After all is said and done, Esperon until now does not seem to get it.

21
Sep
06

Images of the Past Continue to Haunt Us

The Martial Law years have long been forgotten. The lessons it taught us are rarely discussed. Flashes of its memory quickly die down. Those were some of the most violent years of the Philippines’ history. Killings and forced disappearances was the rule of the day. Dissent was almost non-existent except in the ’80s.

After years of apathetic slumber, the populace has had enough and finally rose to oust a dictator. There are many so-called Martial Law Babies who grew up under the shadow of a dictatorship. Through the years, they were exposed to the harsh reality that despite an aura of peace, rights are being violated. People just took everything in stride and dared not to concern themselves of the goings on around them.

The abuses continued unabated and with impunity. With the lifting of Martial Law, the opposition was embolden to carry on the struggle. This time however, they were joined by the youth. Now awakened from hybernation, throngs of ordinary people joined in the fray. Marcos now had a spontaneous uprising in his hands which finally forced him to relingquish power.

Those days have since passed, the Filipino is once again complacent. While a new dictator rises amongst us, the nation is once again plunged in apathy. It seems we never learn from our experiences. People once again couldn’t care less as they are personally unaffected by what is going on behind the scene. While the government basks in its temporary glory, a growing number of families suffer from its wrath. The killings and abuses reminiscent of those dark years of Martial Law have been on the rise.

Once again, just like Marcos, GMA is getting flak from the international community. Pressure from outside our shores is breathing down the pretender’s neck. Soon, as these atrocities continue to mount, this practice of the current dispensation would finally hit closer to home. Just like before, the struggle will no longer be political but will turn personal, The ordinary Filipino will soon realize that their patience has been abused and their rights trampled upon.

We shouldn’t fall into this trap again. We must let this government know that we’ve seen these signs before. We shouldn’t sit idly by and watch how our country is ravaged again by an oppressive regime. After we regained our democracy, we said “NEVER AGAIN”. While we as a people accept what is forced upon us, the images of the past will continue to haunt us. We cannot let the future of our children be held hostage by those whose greed for power is insatiable.

So to my countrymen who continue to sleep soundly, you better open your eyes and mind before its too late. Just like before, we have a presidency and a congress in connivance to perpetuate themselves in power. Would you like this new “gang” to make the fight more personal? Or would you stop them now before it reaches your doorstep?

20
Sep
06

Blackeyes for Cha-Cha

Proponents of Charter Change have been insisting that shifting to a parliamentary system is the answer to our countries woes. House Speaker Jose De Venecia time and again asserts that the fusion of the legislative and the executive branches of government will give our country politcal stability and lasting economic prosperity. He also added that political gridlock and military adventurism will be virtually non-existent.

While the People’s Initiative of Sigaw ng Bayan awaits its fate in the Supreme Court, the majority bloc of the lower house has stepped up to the plate and came out with Resolution 1230 to convene congress to a constinuent assembly. Both the PI and Resolution 1230 are results of GMA’s call for Charter Change.

Well, JDV and SnB might end up eating their words as two international events both involving the parliamentary system which they say is the savior of the Philippines is currently hugging the limelight. Due to leaks of lying about the economy, the prime minister of Hungary, Gyurcsany is in hot water. But due to his overwhelming support from the members of parliament, the people are left with no alternative but to kick him out themselves. He has not been ousted just yet as no calls for his ouster from the members of parliament has not been announced.

Reports of corruption and abuse of power has also been the torn on the side of Thailand’s prime minister. Thaksin is also facing allegations that he bent the laws to benefit his family’s interests. A coup attempt by disgruntled military personnel loyal to the king is in the offing. The parliament has been dissolved and members of Thaksin’s cabinet has been rounded up. He is currently in New York to attend the UNGA.

With these two situations in mind, how can JDV and SnB justify their assertions? Clearly, both had been telling half-truths to further their interests. They have not studied their lessons well, thinking that what they would say would be taken as gospel truth by the ordinary Filipino. Certainly, the parliamentary system just like any other system is full of holes, especially with morally bankrupt people at the helm. Obviously, the parliamentary system can also be abused. Consolidating the powers of government can lead to tyranny and dictatorship.

JDV said that military adventurism will be eradicated, why is there a coup now in Thailand? Check and balance is a bone of contention, clearly, the Thai situation showed us that check and balance can be circumvented when the PM has the members’ backing. This is also very evident in the Hungarian situation. When the PM holds the majority in the parliament, he cannot be ousted even if the people no longer support him. A vote of no confidence cannot oust the PM just like that. Unless the members of parliament band together and spring a coup, the PM can stay in power as long as he keeps the majority “happy”. It all boils down to who holds the majority.

Since we’ve seen how the tyranny of numbers in the lower house has made a mockery of our constitution and democracy, certainly they can do this in a parliamentary system as well. So all this hoopla about the “shift” is nothing but a waste of time and money. These recent developments in Hungary and Thailand is an eye-opener for us. JDV and SnB has been clearly lying to the people all this time. I’m glad these events are unfolding at a time when the administration is trying to pull a fast one on the Filipino people. My two cents, Cha-Cha is nothing but crap. Its a diversionary tactic for the pretender to buy time. Its actually pushed to keep the status quo and not in support of genuine change. Cha-Cha will not rid this nation of its problems but clearly used as a ploy by those who hold power now to stay in power forever. A personalistic view than nationalistic one if you ask me.

19
Sep
06

The Big and Small of Things

Obviously irked by the World Bank report on the country’s state of corruption, the administration’s officials and allies were quick to defend the executive. Of course they would blame none other than the national scapegoat, former Pres. Erap Estrada. I must admit though that my perception of Erap is not that immaculate but we must take into consideration the corruption scandals that has hit GMA’s administration.

As far as I can recall, only the small fries have been caught although they charged a fairly big fish from the DPWH, it still doesn’t cut it. The big ones who have been exposed have yet to face the music. Whatever happened to the Nani Perez case? And who wouldn’t know about the Bolante fiasco? They have been trying to nail Erap with the IMPSA deal, but we all know that it was at the start of her term when this was finally signed. Perez was forced to duck the limelight and has been in cold storage ever since. Accusations of a $2 million bribe had been quietly swept under the rug even if evidences point to money changing hands.

The Jose Pidal episode continues to hound GMA and her family. The Jueteng Gate even with several witnesses bribed into silence is still there. The alleged overpricing of the Northrail Project is even included in the charges lodged against her in the impeachment. But the biggest scandal to hit this administration is the Fertilizer Scam which has made a fugitive out of Joc-Joc Bolante and even landed him in jail (in the US, not here unfortunately). Even with the supporting report of the Commission on Audit, the administration has managed to evade the issue. The latest is the allegation that the first family has money stashed abroad.

These cases are too glaring to be overlooked by the world’s biggest lender, the World Bank. For sure they have been closely monitoring these scandals. To cry foul regarding the country’s rating is absurd. The Presidential Anti Graft Commission headed by de Guzman has yet to move its ass on these cases. I couldn’t blame Simeon Marcelo for just packing up and leave his post. Its very taxing to run after crooks who are being cuddled by those who rein power. Even if the Ombudsman would want to do his job, strong opposition and pressure is what faces him in actually performing and fulfilling his job.

If the administration wants to change this perception, all it has to do is to face all these allegations and answer them squarely. But of course we all know that is political suicide for the incumbent. This regime reeks of corruption from top to bottom. International perception is hard to change especially when even the locals see it the same way. A culture of corruption has been nurtured by the highest offices of the land. While the small fish are fried the big fishes still swim freely in this pond of corruption. They may be safe for now but they will have to face the music sometime.




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