Category: gordon

homestretch blues

dismaying but interesting.   our minds and communications are on mercury-retrograde mode for the next three, four weeks, right smack in the last three weeks of the presidential campaign, which means that instead of moving on to other important issues we’ll be going back over old ground, which means more of hacienda luisita, alleged psychological incapacity, lack of experience, etc. with regard to noynoy, and more of c-5-at-taga, landgrabbing charges, and the poverty spin with regard to villar.   we will see how low either camp would stoop to discredit the other all the way to election day.  mas madaling magsiraan (hindi mauubusan) kaysa magmagaling (mauubusan).

are we going to see survey kulelats gordon, bro.eddie, jc, perlas, jamby giving up the fight to endorse either noynoy or villar, erap or gibo?   i seriously doubt it just because, if memory serves, it hasn’t happened in recent multiparty history.   to the very end they all think they have a chance, surveys are questionable, anything can happen, never say die, not even when llamadong llamado ang mga kalaban.   a pinoy macho thing, i suspect ;)) but hey i’d love to be disproven on this, just because it could tip the balance one way or another, make for a most definite win for the lucky one.   and then, again, maybe not.

what we ARE likely to see, i’m afraid, even now, are all kinds of glitches with machines, esp. those that have to do with communications and transportation, anything that moves people and ideas around, including the machines for automated counting of votes and conveying of results.   sana hindi.   sana suwertehin tayo, for a change.   but the odds are against us, so dapat ay paghandaan by having plans B and C, just in case.

meanwhile i still don’t have a president.   and i haven’t stopped wishing, how retrograde of me, that it were mar running for president and noynoy for vp.   i disagree with the notion that if noynoy had run for prez later rather than sooner, he could not have counted on the same phenomenal love and energy a la edsa generated by (ninoy’s) cory’s death that birthed the clamor for the unico hijo’s candidacy last august.

i don’t see why not.   i think that noynoy as vp (mar would have won easily, with noynoy behind him) could have used the next six years to clean up his act, do the morally, and politically, correct thing with regard to hacienda luisita, AFTER reading of course ninoy’s testament from a prison cell and other writings that might enlighten him a little about the Left.   if there were no poverty and oppression, there would be no Left;  snubbing and demonizing the Left (instead of finding a way for Left and Right to work together for the good of the whole) would not have been ninoy’s way, is no way to honor ninoy’s legacy, in fact it dishonors ninoy’s legacy.   anyway, if he used the six years wisely andcreatively, maybe also studied the education problem thoroughly — an additional two years of schooling is not the answer —  i have no doubt that the cory-ninoy effect would have kicked in as powerfully, and there would not be so many undecideds in 2016.

for now hindi ko pa mapatawad si noynoy for the hacienda luisita killings and for being so anti-Left, or is it anti-poor.   i guess i’m still hoping to hear him say something reassuring, to the effect that he will prevail upon the cojuangco-aquino clan to follow the law and give up luisita to the farmers, and that he would snub the likes of palparan and get the military to produce jonas burgos atbpang missing activists.

lacking either or both, well, there’s villar, pero kahit kayanin ko siyang patawarin for c-5 at taga and, even, the obscene spending, ay di ko yata kayang patawarin his obdurate stand against reproductive health.   si erap, he got his turn already, and he botched it.   gibo looks good but he reeks of status quo politics.   amboy gordon i considered, but only briefly.   bro.eddie is too fundamentally religious, perlas too green, jc too sophomoric.   jamby at least has not only the best-looking FG (french gentleman), she has the best platform of the lot.   so hmm, if not noynoy, it could be jamby for me, a protest vote, on principle.

Midnight CJ and the Four R’s

Rene Saguisag

The framers could have said the position of Chief Justice (CJ) should be filled up immediately and that only the CJ could swear in a Prez. They did not. They said any judicial vacancy should be filled up within 90 days, which I suggest is even merely directory, not even mandatory. No way we can mandamus a Prez.

The case of Justice Minita Chico Nazario, where the vacancy was filled up six months later is instructive; she twisted in the wind that long before finally taking her oath and becoming a credit to the SC.

It took more than six months for CJ Querube C. Makalintal to replace CJ Roberto R. Concepcion. Thus, the virtue of collegiality. It also shows that when the Constitution gave the Prez 90 days to name a new Justice, the lack of urgency was seen. May the SC order the JBC, headed by the CJ?

When Marcos won, if my memory is true, I had at least two excellent teachers who had been named to the bench just before Macapagal himself was to step down. Seen as more than qualified, maybe, but no one in the judiciary, or elsewhere, is indispensable. The two had to go. In May, 1982, for a working week, we had no Supreme Court at all! All told, vacant days added together, we had no CJ for years. The nation moved on. There simply was no fire.

Now we have a golden chance for a transparent process in lieu of arcana. Justice Rene Corona must disclose in open hearing his suspicion that Justice Tony Carpio was out to smear him. Tony denied the charge, corroborated by Nanding Campos, who Rene had said tried to influence him improperly by using three ex-Justices to approach him (which those of us of the old school us would never do; it just was not and should not be done).

GMA acknowledged on December 30, 2002 that she divides our people. Now, she plans to continue in public life, and some salivate. Why? Are these but the noises of democracy we were glad to have again in 1986 after 15 years of coercive elimination of dissenters, leading to Jackson’s unanimity of the graveyard?

Charito Planas I first met in Washington, D.C. in 1982. She has chosen to be with GMA. The right to pick we cannot question, be it elixir or poison we choose. But, as in the case of Gary Olivar, what does she have to say about the Morong 43? The duo both courageously fought martial misrule. May God bless them both. But we in the human rights community need to hear them on the 43.

FOCAP (like our friend, Tony Lopez) could be naughty. Last Tuesday it held a forum entitled Who Will Fix the Mess? I saw no one take issue with the tendentious theme. All prez wannabes said No to operating the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Bravo! A Korean firm said it would need a billion pesos at least, which may yet double, or triple, to repair and upgrade it. But, we are pasable-OK-na-puede-na Pinoys. I hope Prez Cory and I would no longer be blamed for not operating the plant in 1986, when Chernobyl made it easy to mothball it. But, I had not realized I was so effective chairing the Cabinet and Senate Committees on it that here we are, 24 years after the event and no Prez or wannabe is for operating it.

This fact emerged with crystal clarity in the FOCAP affair. Nick Perlas was with me in the 1986-1992 effort.

Even Engineer FVR would not dare put the nuke plant on line (his home province is Pangasinan; I married one from there and it now welcomes nuke power in a nation where Murphy’s Law—if anything can go wrong, it will—prevails in rampancy: I am not sure we can be like Russia or Japan ably dealing with Chernobyl or Toyota’s recall). We need new energy plans. We need to know from the bets what their plans are, on top of their other sales talk, to pay public servants above the level of corruption by laying down the economic foundation of honesty. Dick Gordon would want school teachers to get P40,000 a month, less than the additional bonus of House employees last Christmas given by Congressmen: how much did they get for themselves?

There must be a better deal for employees, whether public or private, for them to compete for admission into public service.

On specifics, what do they have to say on senior citizens discounts where an employer’s profit is marginal and who will go under with the additional discount? Is this not confiscatory? Any subsidy? Else, the employer may fire employees to salvage the ailing business. There must be a health program too so one with a dollar (less than P50) can have dialysis monthly. More than Motherhood spiels we need from the leading bets. Those who have no chance should withdraw, to improve the chances of even a bad bet; else, by hurting him, we may get a worse, or even the worst one, in lying, cheating and stealing. Balzac said that behind every great wealth is a great crime. How many of the bets have no great wealth?

Anyway, I need to see in the text of the 1987 Constitution, or maybe, someone can show us that, in the debates, the intent was that in the judiciary “midnight appointments” are allowed, contrary to what the SC has nixed. I know how careful the JBC and SC are in observing the no-appointment rule during the critical two months. That was why the promotion of some RTC Judges created a hassle some years ago (even if admittedly, the nominees were good); there was static about antedating to make it appear as not falling within the interdicted two-month period. No transparency. Shielding the nomination process from scrutiny should go. If it would need a constitutional change so be it. Back to the Commission on Appointments? Noynoy I don’t recall ever having opposed any change in the 1987 Consti. He and his Mom, along with millions, simply wanted to do the Right thing in the Right way at the Right time for the Right reason.

Nothing says the CJ should administer the oath. Cory and Doy were sworn in on February 25, 1986 by “mere” Associate Justices, who used the rather unconventional formulation I rushed the night before in a rinky-dink typewriter. Indeed, an ordinary notary public can administer it. When we took power in 1986, I had no time to take it but then it was a risky revolutionary government we had inaugurated. Later, in a more normal time, I took it before a notary. It could not be said that I violated my Four R’s.

Today, what is not being violated in the violent time in the vilest possible way?

cowards all

it’s not only manny villar, who has been called a coward for refusing to answer questions re the c-5 extensions that allegedly benefitted his real estate empire in the millions, billions.   i don’t even think that snubbing the senate is as much a matter of cowardice as of some kinda guilt, or why won’t he take questions in the proper forum?   “is manny villar blameless? is the pope protestant?”

by cowards all i mean all five leading presidential candidates noynoy villar erap gibo and gordon, for not having the audacity, the daring, to think big and brave and to talk the radical changes that are implied in the promise of good governance.

this is not just a failure of the candidates though but a failure too of the electorate for not demanding more of these guys, which in turn is a failure of the media for inadequately informing and inspiring themselves, and the people, to ask demand clamor shout-out for changes beyond an end to corruption.   particularly changes in a system that was designed, in the first place, to benefit the few elite and NOT the manymanymanymanymany poor, as we should all see by now if only we hadn’t become too lazy to read and think and be critical, and  if only we would stop trusting in these candidates’ motherhood statements na kunyari they have the best interests of the poor at heart, because they don’t; rather they’re quite willing to play along with the same forces, inside and outside, that gloria arroyo (not to speak of past administrations, including erap, all the way back to the commonwealth) has been playing along with, to the detriment and degradation of our land and our economy, our people and our sovereignty.

they are cowards all, these leaders who don’t have the courage to stand up to the catholic church on the RH bill and sex education, never mind that 7 out of 10 filipinos want need deserve it.   cowards all who won’t stand up to the U.S. of A. on the chauvinist imperialist VFA and the IMF-WB-imposed “development plans” that over the decades have rendered the country nowhere near “developed”, rather turned us into the basket case of the ASEAN, basket-case meaning no legs of our own to stand on, no arms to work and feed ourselves with, how humiliating, how depressing.

they are cowards all.   afraid, not of going to hell if they defy the church’s stand on RH and sex education, just afraid of losing votes that the church allegedly commands.   cowards all.   afraid of espousing any kind of deep-seated change not because it’s undoable but out of fear and disinclination to defy and displease uncle sam, paano na ang campaign contributions, aray, paano na ang “special” fil-am relations, lol, how colonial the mentality pa rin.

it bears repeating what the journalist tony abaya of manilastandardtoday wrote back in august 2009 in response to rumors that noynoy might run: that what the country needs is a forward-looking president, a truly revolutionary president, someone with the attributes and visions of lee kwan yew, mahathir mohamad and gen. park chung hee:

… it is someone who has the qualities of these three foreign leaders that the Philippines badly needs in order to overcome decades of consistently poor governance, restore our badly battered self esteem, and draw for us a credible vision of what we want our country to be.

We need someone like Lee Kwan Yew who was/is personally incorruptible and at the same time was/is so conversant with economics and international relations that he could speak ex-tempore and defend his policies before an assembly of multinational CEOs and diplomats and made/make solid sense, whether they agreed/agree with him or not.

In addition we need the strong sense of nationalism of Mahathir Mohamad who in the 1980s drew a vision – Malaysia Vision 2020, that sought and seeks to transform Malaysia into a fully industrialized country by the year 2020 – that he was able to convince the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-religious people of Malaysia to embrace as worthy of their national loyalty, beyond the narrow appeals of their tribes and ethnic groups. No mean feat, considering the catastrophic demise of equally multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious federal Yugoslavia in the 1990s that cost hundreds of thousands of lives.

Mahathir’s nationalism also expressed itself in his readiness to fearlessly fire back at other countries, other world leaders, as well as international agencies whenever he felt they were trampling on the national self-interests of Malaysia.

We also need the single-minded determination of Gen. Park Chung Hee to transform his impoverished, resource-poor and inconsequential Republic of Korea from 1961 to 1979 (when he was assassinated) into a fully industrialized country that is now one of the ten biggest economies in the world.

… this is what the Philippines needs, a leader who can start and lead a revolution, a peaceful one, as much as possible; a violent one, if necessary.

anything less is just not good enough.  hindi na lang ako boboto.

oh and what’s this BS about villar NOT belonging to the elite just because he started out poor, unlike noynoy and gibo?   c’mon, rene azurin, you can do better than that.   by any reckoning, villar and the tsinoy taipans who all started out poor are very much a part of today’s elite, the irresponsible filipino elite, that wittingly or unwittingly collaborates with foreign powers, keeping the masses poor and marginalized.