the president & people power #cj trial

am seriously disturbed by this part of the president’s tagumpay ng bayan speech last 16 feb in the first of “townhall meetings” to mark the 10-day run-up to the 26th EDSA anniversary on feb 25:

The impeachment trial of Mr. Corona in the Senate began on the 16th of January. I chose to observe the proceedings and to keep my silence; my faith in due process remains steadfast. But what has been happening now? Speculation and commentary have muddled the true issues; it is as if we are purposely being confused and misled so our interest in the proceedings would fade. Will Juan and Juana de la Cruz allow themselves to be shut out of this process? Will we allow a select few to decide the fate of all? [emphasis mine]

certainly sounds to me like a call for people power: due process is too confusing, oust corona now.  going by edsa history, it’s looking like he might try for another fake, um, okay, orchestrated, edsa a la gma in 2001.  but in contrast to gma who had the grace, delicadeza, whatever (feels weird saying something sort of positive about her) to keep her distance from the erap impeachment trial, this president is known, okay, said, to have been part of the impeach-corona project since the hacienda luisita ruling, and now that the trial isn’t delivering as quickly and surely as he hoped, this president is himself openly agitating the public, it would seem, not to wait for the senate impeachment court’s decision but to decide the fate of corona in the streets now na, or maybe on feb 25?

winnie monsod is disturbed too:

… the President (if the news reports are accurate) is not only practically inciting the people to take matters into their own hands, but is also showing a dismal ignorance about how the will of the people is to be served. As in “Would Juan de la Cruz allow himself to be left out of this process? Are we going to let only a few to decide for all of us?” Good grief. Doesn’t he realize that he is one of those “few,” as are all legislators and local executives, and that they were chosen by the people precisely to carry out their will? Or does he want every decision to be subject to ratification by the people? Ridiculous, right? The implication is that we can ignore, with impunity, the rule of law, the absence of which in this country has held back our growth and development.

Demagoguery is a dangerous tool—and can boomerang on the persons using it.

of course the prez’s spokesgirl abigail valte denies it:

Malacañang on Friday denied that President Benigno Aquino 3rd was calling on the youth to march to EDSA and stage another “People Power” uprising once Chief Justice Renato Corona is cleared by the Senate impeachment court.

…Valte said Mr. Aquino has also the right to voice out his opinion.

“All the President was asking for is to take a stand, be informed, know what is happening,” she said.

hmm.  but read about the aquino admin’s full throttle preparations for the People Power anniversary celeb next week.

Secretary Coloma said that the Edsa People Power Commission has been lining up several activities in 26 different venues all over the country for the celebration that will focus on the innate Filipino spirit of volunteerism, unity and concern in achieving national progress.

and jojo robles’ The anti-Corona road tour

Sources have intimated that a top political operator of the palace has started mobilizing heads of local government units who hold top positions in the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines to stage rallies in favor of Aquino’s anti-Corona position. The point man of the palace’s political operative is reportedly a prominent mayor of a northern province who used to be a fair-haired boy of the Arroyo administration.

The initial salvo is supposed to be a rally that will be the culmination of the people power anniversary. The pro-administration shindig is supposed to have as participants the crowds that will be gathered by local officials from amongst their own constituents; and, as any mayor and governor knows, such crowds cost money.

ah, initial salvo lang ang feb 25 rally?  whatever, there’s a lot of mobilizing going on behind the scenes, including the information campaign that the 188 reps mounted a week or so ago to keep their respective constituents informed on the Senate trial developments, which of course the corona camp sees as part of a sinister ‘People Power’ plot vs Corona.

and then there’s the Left.  with akbayan partylist rep arlene kaka bag-ao and bayan muna partylist rep neri colmenares in the prosecution team, it would seem that the Left is united and squarely behind the aquino admin on this one.  how would they handle kaya a call for people power.

and what about hacienda luisita. corona has not minced words, the prez wants him out not just because of his gloria connection but because of his stand on hacienda luisita.   so i wonder what the Left’s stand is on the cojuangcos’ desired (and exorbitant) compensation of 10B? maybe they actually hope to be a restraining influence on the president?

let’s remember that the Left lost a lot of credibility in the time of edsa tres — when the masa, whom leftists claim to represent and champion in the halls of congress and in the countryside, rose up to protest the illegal ouster and ill treatment of the president they had voted into office.  the leftists were mostly on gloria’s side then.  now naman they’re on aquino’s side.  how progressive is that, really, aligning with the ruling elite — the oppressors mismo, witting or not, of the masa?

what would be progressive is if the Left were to take a stand for due process, no matter how long it takes, no matter who wins, because to ignore the rule of law na naman, as in edsa dos, would be as disastrous for nation and the interests of the masses as gma’s 9-year rule was.

yes, nakakapagod, nakakainis, nakakalito, nakakadismaya, ang nangyayari sa impeachment trial sa senado, thanks to a bumbling prosection, pero nandiyan na ‘yan, let due process take its course.  it is for the senate to speed things up without losing its balance, and it is for us to be patient, to learn what we can from this rare public event, and to see it through to the end.  let us finish what we started, just because it is the right thing to do.

besides, what if noynoy calls out his people and corona supporters rise up too?  the president does not have a franchise on people power, even if he thinks he does.


  1. you didnt quote the very next paragraph, wherein he clarifies exactly what he means:

    “This is why I am here today: to shed light on matters that have intentionally been obscured, and to set straight the issues that have been distorted by a few, so that the common Filipino will be enlightened and will be able to take part in the discussion. ”

    so, its quite clear: by “shut out” he means (from his POV) “misinformed”. and by “select few to decide”, he means that all should take part of the discussion.

    i think his statements are wrong (specifically, his premise is that people are mostly deluded by the defense/CJ, which is not accurate), but not because he wants to incite people.

    • Oh, Gabby. You’ll never change, will you? He clearly wants to incite people, and the only “shedding light” he wants to do is on his twisted side of the story, because he believes he needs Corona out to save the farm and get rid of Binay (even though ousting Corona in no way guarantees those outcomes).

      Angela’s right. N/A should be leading the call to the country to see the process through, because the rest of the world sees only a surface view of what’s going on here. An impeachment trial (the details of which are largely unimportant beyond these borders) is normal. Stable. Inciting the mob is abnormal and unstable — the plaint that “the CJ is guilty” coming from the President in that case does not mean a damn thing. If the CJ is bad, Mr. Aquino, then why can’t you follow your process?

    • never change? if u mean i will always read the whole piece to get its meaning, then yes, i’ll never stop doing that.

      setting aside the issue of “what aquino means”, and “what aquino wants”, its interesting that you feel that aquino wants something that, by your own analysis, DOESNT MAKE SENSE.

      you must feel that aquino is so dumb that his motivations make no sense. in which case, it is no mystery why you interpret his actions so. it wont matter to you that aquino himself AGREES with you, and said that your ascribed motivations dont make sense either.

      there is now no mystery about ben, but what about angela?

      angela, whats your reason for interpreting him thus? as far as i can tell, you are a fair minded person. why interpret him as such, when its obviously not the case?

      like ben do you also believe that pnoy is pushing for something that everyone (including pnoy) believes doesnt make sense?

  2. Hey Angela, it’s hard to imagine what people power might look like in this context. Is it people massed outside the Senate to press for conviction? If the trial aborts, or the Senate acquits, what next? Is there an analog to the ‘withdrawal of support’ from a cabinet or the military? (Obviously not.)

    Perhaps there are many ‘under the wraps’ scenarios. Consider a Don Quixote episode: The Senate acquits. The President resigns to make the point that he doesn’t want to be part of a ‘lame duck’ country (using de Quiros’ latest metaphor today). The VP takes over, and sweetly asks the whole SC to resign out of ‘courtesy’ because the street protests continue. And we start from scratch, with new rules on SALNs and an amnesty for past infractions, etc. (And I’m Sancho P.)

  3. ricelander

    With everything so far on hand, I am betting on an acquittal. I think the President himself is feeling it, which is why he hardly tries hiding his sentiments now. It could lead to his break down, indeed. If we are to take that there is truly something wrong with him, that’s something to watch out for.

      • ricelander

        The prosecution’s best bet was on Article 2, the rest, suntok sa buwan, realistically speaking. I myself thought they had him cornered on the P31M or so discrepancy on deposit which clearly was not reflected in his SALN, but if he could show convincingly that the amount is not really part of his assets but an amount held by him in trust as he later claims it is, lusot na siya. The prosecution may charge dishonesty and ill-gotten wealth, but it is their burden to prove so. Just to test how well they have convinced you so far— presently, do you support the confiscation of the amount representing the discrepancy in favor of the state?

          • ricelander

            Corona wrote the decision that paved the way for the confiscation of alleged hidden wealth and deposits of Marcos. Some people are saying, that very decision could very well apply to him now hehe. Bongbong must be secretly amused.

  4. angie,
    “On expect the un-expected mode”-my intuition (a tru-blue Aquarian) tells me that there is a viable Constitutional option which I think is within the bounds of democratic structure and rule of law to be fair between the two equal branches of govt. I refer to its power to impose administrative sanction (that is both apolitical and judicial) on Corona as SC Chief Justice, however,whereas such suspension with termination clause is subject to a referendum during the 2013 election to affirm or reject the Impeach Court decision. This will give time for Corona to justify and erase the minds of the people if he truly deserves the verdict or not. As you have fairly commented about this Enrile court as one where its procedures and application of the rules have so far consistent and reflective of its independece and credibility, I dont see why the people will accept or deny the verdict of the Impeachment Court as steered by an astute,erudite and experienced legal luminaries like Enrile.