elderly divide – lumbera vs. salonga & bernas

it wasn’t a face-off, just three of our elders one-on-one with korina sanchez: first former senate president jovito salonga, then the jesuit constitutional commissioner father joaquin bernas, and finally national artist for literature bienvenido lumbera.

no doubt natuwa ang palasyo kina salonga at bernas who together took up 45 minutes of the hour-long show. di bilib sa people power ang dalawa. salonga is against “mob rule.” bernas is against a quick fix. both recommend that the gloria-resign forces expend their energy on rallying for electoral reform instead so the 2010 elections will be clean and credible. shades of the bishops and christian monsod. status quo. go by the rules. don’t rock the boat.

mas interesante si lumbera, who recently endorsed the u.p. council statement calling for the resignation of gma. clearly unequivocally against the status quo and not beyond breaking rules, breaking out of patterns, for the common good, lumbera speaks also for a group of political analysts, public policy experts and academic scholars whose attitude is, “Arroyo was installed to the presidency by people power, people power may also unseat her.” and since neither a noli succession nor a military junta is desirable, a citizens’ transition council might be just the thing.

lumbera soundbites:

I belong to the Center for People Empowerment in Governance, or CenPEG . . . [in our analysis] what could possibly be done is to set up a commission headed by the Chief Justice, and the task is to prepare for 2010, making sure that everything has been cleared up and every move has been taken to ensure real elections. How to get more people to support such a proposal, that’s the task of the movement right now.”

People should keep on demonstrating and expressing their will to get her out of power, and if she doesn’t resign, at least people learn how it is to participate in a group movement towards making her resign.”

Noli is part of the Gloria regime and therefore one can expect that his moves will be in line with what he got from associating with Gloria and her cabinet.”

It is possible that people right now behind Gloria’s decision to cling to power might begin to advice her to take cognizance of the demand of the people. Perhaps as the movement gathers more power, more support from people, then even provincial and local governments will begin to concede.”

This is the fruit of EDSA One and Two. We’re moving forward in the sense that now people are no longer personality oriented… People have a greater consciousness of the need for genuine change.”

I would not hazard a fearless prediction. All i can express is hope that there is going to take place certain realigments prior to 2010 which might involve people who will be give us hope for real change.”

Our political education has been moving in waves. First we were all convinced that the leaders we need are those America approved, then that our leaders should be those who are nationalist to a certain extent. When Cory took over, for a while there was real hope that the Philippines would find a new social order, but it was very disappointing; Cory proved to be a daughter, a child of her class. Then there was Fidel Ramos and we got to a point where the country was being dragged by the President to globalize. And then Erap; there was much hope that Erap, reputedly of the masses, would institute a government thats really for the masses. And then Gloria by accident was the one constitutionally installed; we were also bitterly disappointed that she did not live up to hopes of the people.”

I think the masses [are looking to] the politically educated to come up with moves that would bring about change. Our system of education has really distorted the minds/mentalities of our people. The colonial orientation of the educational system has made people think that only if we follow the Americans, then our country will be all right. There is a great hesitance to take a step that would depart from that mentality.”

I am full of hope that our country in a future time will achieve the kind of government that would give freedom and deomocracy to a greater number of people. How long is it going to take? It depends on the persistence and determination of those who are in the forefront of the Resign movement to get our population to realize that what needs to change is not simply the personalities in government but the system altogether.”

hmm, a two-year transition government to be headed by the chief justice. and who exactly would people the commission? excerpts from CenPEG’s issue analysis no. 5:

The trailblazing transition council will be composed of – and staffed by – representatives of people’s organizations, NGOs, and sectors that are struggling for the resignation or removal of Arroyo and are united by a concrete program of genuine social, economic, and political reform. These are the groups and sectors generally left out in Edsa 1 and Edsa 2 where the victories of people’s struggles were hijacked by members of the elite and ruled the country in the old tyrannical and corrupt ways that people power had precisely struggled to demolish.

“The citizens’ transition council will address the public clamor for a non-traditional, pro-people political leadership that may likely draw support from other key players such as influential members of the interfaith, business, and the military. For this option to become feasible, however, the pressure that will force Arroyo to resign should be strong and insurmountable in a supreme act of sovereign power by the people allowing them – extra-constitutionally – to entrust powers to this caretaker body.

“The short-term and minimum agenda of the proposed citizens’ council is to initiate immediate reforms starting with the electoral system to ensure a clean and democratic election in 2010. So long as this is made clear – alongside with the fact that the council will exist only for a specific duration – then it will likely draw the support not only from the disparate political forces arrayed against the regime but also significant segments of the broad public. Elite and traditional politicians should admit that they have already lost their self-proclaimed right to dominate leadership while the people have begun to realize they should assert their sovereign power if comprehensive reform in governance is to be instituted. . . .

“The search for a political alternative is a communal work in progress. Its shape and configuration will evolve in the process of widening and increasing the momentum for replacing a widely-perceived corrupt and most despicable regime. But the answer for an alternative leadership must soon be cobbled together by all democratic and patriotic forces as it will serve as the bridge toward building the “critical mass” needed to put an end to a regime of greed and fear. The arduous and contentious process of political reconstruction should begin with the first step.”

interesting. possibly because i’m not sure about noli anymore. caught him being ugly, scolding media for being makulit. how unpresidential.


  1. Change is never easy to achieve. We have to be radical at times to effect change. We cannot effect the change we want if we all sit idly by while our country is ravaged and institutions bastardized.

  2. However you dice it, the proposal essentially calls for burning the constitution and entrusting our faith on these “trailblazers”.

    Sometimes I wake up and get convinced that GMA should resign. But proposals such as this just make me change my mind.

  3. i know what you mean, carl. nakaka-tense talaga. but when i think of how the ones we’ve trusted are already burning the constitution, parang tama si schumey. we gotta be kinda radical, or else talong talo tayo until and beyond 2010.

    i’m thinking that if the different opposition groups, like cenpeg, and fosg ba yon, the group of karina david and mario taguiwalo and ciel habito, and a.e.r. nina filomeno sta.ana3, etc. could start working together, baka me pag-asa.