FORMER PRESIDENT FIDEL RAMOS has just called the proposal to cancel the 2007 National Elections a "disaster waiting to happen." He spoke at the meeting this morning of the Council of State convened by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo but boycotted by former Presidents Corazon Aquino, Joseph Estrada, Senate President Frank Drilon, and virtually the entire political opposition. FVR cited the recent downgrade of the Philippines from Free to Partly Free in the 2005 World Survey of Democracy conducted by Freedom House International, a New York-based watchdog of how nations around the world are progressing or not towards democratic statehood. He said that unless the Palace and its allies prevented the no-elections scenario from coming to pass, the Philippines would surely be downgraded even further to NOT FREE. The proposal to cancel the 2007 elections has been made by the Consultative Commission appointed by the Palace, as part of its proposed Transitory Provisions from the current republican presidential system to a new, unicameral parliamentary federal system that House Speaker Jose De Venecia has been backing. The No-elections Scenario has been dubbed an indecent proposal and a naked attempt at bribing the trapos. At Philippine Commentary, this is exactly how we speculated GMA would take over Lakas from FVR. That speculation has proven to be largely correct, judging by the loss of influence of the Lakas Party Chaiman Emeritus, and the rejection of his ideas by the rank and file who know where the true power now lies. Now we know the answer to the question , "Will FVR Lose Lakas to GMA?" since FVR made no mention whatsoever of his earlier much-publicized demand that the President relinquish power in 2007 after six years in office, or some of his other ideas involving cutting her term short. But at the very end of his talk, FVR grinned and he --I think naughtily-- asked the President for permission to distribute copies of his recent columns and interviews with the Press! I predict that FVR will now make himself much more available to Media. Maybe he will even start a blog. (You heard it here first!)
SPEAKER JOSE DE VENECIA outdid himself stating the Palace Party Line, "I fully agree [with Vice Pres. Noli de Castro who just spoke] United we stand, divided we fall. We should make an appeal to every one, to put an end to divisive politics, to destructive politics, to negative politics, to investigative politics, to adversarial politics, to poisonous politics, that have plagued out society..." It does not occur to JDV that his Constitutional Change initiative is the biggest piece of energy and time wasting POLITICS one could possibly imagine. What could be more divisive, destructive, investigative, negative, adversarial, poisonous and every other available adjective than the self-administered radical brain surgery JDV recommends we do. He has already plunged the country into a vast intellectual quagmire, a debater's and bullshitter's Paradise of competing models, systems and principles. A chance to be a forefather! To formulate the eternal panacea.
KIKO PANGILINAN was there, sitting next to EDGARDO ANGARA: the past and the future? And paired with MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO was RALPH RECTO. Now there was a scary pair of side-by-side minds. Senator JUAN FLAVIER, was also there, but none of these were allowed to have any say. Fine, since they haven't any and are part of that wasted presidential timberland called the Senate. I suppose the other loyalists, JOKER ARROYO, MANNY VILLAR, DICK GORDON--all the silent guns of convenience and shameless accomodation, were there too. Well, we can't expect to find too many statesmen where it pays to be a scoundrel and see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil. Amen.
All I can say is: we are ruled by a political Mafia that can command the prime time news. FVR's right. We are headed for the NOT FREE category.