Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Eleven Score and Eleven Years Ago Today

UPDATE: Please visit the website of Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace: A Conference of Asian Bloggers, Podcasters, and Online News Providers. The conference is ongoing till Friday and is open to the public, but especially working journalists and persons interested in the global online phenomenon: weblogging. Kudos to Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ).

[My apologies to the Comment Thread for being largely absent these days. It's my week for conferences, first IBlog2 and Southeast Asia Journalists rest of the week...]

Big event in the local blogosphere today was IBLOG2, the Conference, held at the University of the Philippines Law School. (Coincidentally, it was also the 231st anniversary of the Ride of Paul Revere, MP3 on April 18, 1775.)

Rebecca MacKinnon,
a Research Fellow at the Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, was one of the keynote speakers. Formerly a broadcast journalist with CNN, she spent nine years in China, and is a prime mover at Global Voices Online. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese (and possibly other languages), she has observed the fragmented nature of the Asian blogosphere, which is clearly due to the language barriers, even within individual countries. But I believe there is a powerful meme that will unite and energize the Asian lingospheres despite these barriers: Democracy. This is the word that increasing will be heard from Asia, with China looming large, an ancient realm, ringed by the world's newest democracies, who are motivated, empowered by the Anglosphere and its powerful language and culture already embodied and vibrant in the World Wide Web.

Manuel L. Quezon III gave an oh-so-true survey of the blogosphere's "blogger types" and ran the political panel session.

I ran into Dean Raul Pangalangan, former Dean of UP Law, and a weekly essayist at the Philippine Daily Inquirer. His recent piece, Orwell's Double Think in Manila 2006 is destined to be classic.

At the conference, it was also a very great pleasure to meet in person, Dominique of Village Idiot Savant, Marv of La Vida Lawyer, and Punzi at the Corner Blog. We were discussing the recent speech of Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, which I notice is now available at the Supreme Court's spanking new website (in ßeta Test but sleek!). Here is "Liberty and Prosperity" (full text) and a video (WMV) so you can hear and see the Chief Justice describe his novel (and scary) ideas about the Judiciary. Here are extended portions that I want to dissect later.
These twin visions of a reformed judiciary and a revitalized legal profession are directed towards two loftier goals of safeguarding the liberty and nurturing the prosperity of our people, while upholding the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary...A never-ending saga of trials and triumphs for the judiciary and for our people is the battle for civil liberties, especially the inviolability of our persons and our homes from arbitrary searches and seizures, those guaranteeing our freedoms of abode and travel, and the so-called Miranda rights of persons accused of crimes... As I said earlier, the judiciary’s duty to protect liberty is quite well-known and well-established. What distinguishes our Supreme Court is its willingness and courage to lead other judiciaries of the world in recognizing and protecting new freedoms prompted by new technologies and sciences. I do not have the time to present here a comparative discussion of the attitude of other countries towards the right to conduct and to publish public opinion polling, but those interested in the details can refer to my book Leveling the Playing Field.[6] To repeat, the safeguarding of liberty is a given for the judiciary, but the nurturing of prosperity is new -- something even seasoned jurists and lawyers may not all readily understand as a judicial imperative.

Recent events, however, impel me to advocate a necessary – nay, indispensable -- nexus between political liberty and economic prosperity. Ladies and gentlemen, how we cope with the stark realities of poverty -- the antithesis of prosperity -- has become the litmus test for the mandate of the courts to weigh the scales of justice in favor of the downtrodden and the neglected.[17] Amid the paradigm shift in the role of the courts in economic development are welcome moves to redefine poverty as a “deprivation of essential assets and opportunities to which every human is entitled.”[18] Under this new definition, the right to prosperity is elevated to the level of a universal human right.

After you read the entire speech, so full of ironic and paradoxical sayings, so full of innovative ideas, you may feel giddy and understand why I've found an event that occurred eleven score and eleven years ago today, extremely and urgently relevant.


marvin said...

The right to prosperity is a judicial imperative? You're right DJB, it sounds like a tag line to uphold Proc. No. 1017.

digitalfilipino said...

Thank you so much for supporting iBlog2. Sa uulitin! =)

Karl M. Garcia said...


i tried reading the blogs from those who attended.Nakita ko na din ang picture mo. Sayang di ako nakaattend dahil sa tingin ko wala pa akong K. siguro next year aatend ako.

john marzan said...

Under this new definition, the right to prosperity is elevated to the level of a universal human right.

pareho yata ang gusto ring mangyayari ng arroyo admin sa sitwasyon ng pilipinas at china, that we have our own "devil's bargain"?

but the difference between us and china is that the chinese were coming from somewhere where there was no freedom, and now they're getting a little bit of it.

Sa atin naman, OTOH, the reverse ang nangyayari. gustong ng arroyo admin na unti-unting bawasan ang freedom of speech at gawing less free ang press natin.


Gloria has mastered the intricacies or the art of double think and double speak.

On January 21, 2001, she I N V I T E D the members of the Supreme Court to her "oath taking". She made no bones about going through with the oathtaking ceremony, SC members present or not. I thought it was a masterpiece in double think and double speak...

The second time she showed her brilliance in doublethink and doublespeak was when she announced to the Pinoy world that she was going to run because God spoke to her or something of the kind... the greatest artisan of modern day Pinoy Orwellian doublethink continues to "astound" us.

Manuel Viloria said...


I posted a video of part of your comment made after MLQ3's talk. It's the one where you said that ideas are independent of people.

Karl M. Garcia said...

Thank you Mr. Villoria.I appreciate the video!
It is needless to say that I am a DJB fan.

Karl M. Garcia said...

Ideas are independent of people.

memes: the cultural equivalent of the dna.

we pass these ideas from generation to generation. Now instead of the word of mouth where folk lore and legends are born, we have the blogosphere:the arena for our ideas.

it is a good thing the attendees of that event are bloggers, a blog about the event almost makes you feel that you were there with them.


Hi Dean, hi Karl...

Off topic but can't seem to access the Tribune site http://www.tribune.net.ph

I was wondering whether it's still on.


Edwin Lacierda said...


Malcolm Muggeridge found the phrase "the pusuit of happiness" in the Preamble of the US Constitution ridiculous. He thought it was hedonistic.

In our case, are we to say that we are becoming a materialistic nation on account of the new thrust on prosperity?

Incidentally, to your continuing pessimism on the Panganiban Court, I scored one right prediction on the 464. Lets hope they stay independent. And i hope I am proven wrong with CPR. I predicted SC will rule in favor of govt with CPR.


On the SC ruling on a unified ID system: I bet Tony Carpio's voice was heard louder and clearer this time.

It was he who had been behind a unified Nat'l ID system way back FVR's time.

I support a national ID system because it is an official manner by which a person can say "I belong to this society..." Obviously, there are a plethora of practical reasons too like simplfying red tape required to officially identify oneself. It's like a one stop process that will alleviate clogged government bureacracies.

Having said that a foolproof national ID system will be costly to produce. The technology itself must be procured abroad. Congress must allocate fundings for the various steps needed before a national ID could be issued. However, foreign governments could perhaps be asked for grants or subsidies. This is very possible.

One thing in favor of the Philippines is that there is a good, qualified IT population that could do the task of integrating a sophisticated computerized network for feeding extremely massive data. BSP has the printing capability for the ID.

If not so wealthy Cameroun in Africa and even neighboring China which started it in 1998 could do it, the Philippines could too!

So, on you go folks!

Rizalist said...

Hellow everyone! Just got back from the SEAPA-PCIJ conference. Wow! it was fantastic.

Glad to see you back Hillblogger. That was a long golf game, dear!

Ed, Ha ha, I guess I would have had to agree with Muggeridge, if the Constitution had said the "right to happiness."

I would certainly support the notion that we have the right to PURSUE prosperity, the opportunity to be happy must be open to all.

But the mandating of a result is not only futile, it is dangerous socialism and totalitarianism if you think of it.

I think liberty is the right which maximizes that opportunity.

BTW, JJ Disini and I were together at the conference and are having quite an interesting discussion on the Anti-Wiretapping Law. Would you be open to a lil informal conference? There seem to be new insights...

Rizalist said...

Welcome to Philippine Commentary Digital Filipino. that must be you, Janette Toral? Sorry I missed you this week at Iblog2. Where were you?

Rizalist said...

Thanks for posting the video Manny Viloria! I haven't had the courage to view it yet.

A Warm Welcome to Philippine commentary

J. Angelo Racoma said...

Great to finally get to meet you, DJB!


Rizalist said...

Likewise Angelo. Welcome to Philippine Commentary!



Hahah! Golf tournament with kids was loooong --- but did manage to drive out of the tiny Kingdom of the Belges for a weekend in the City of Lights. But I gathered that your own week has been terrific what with blogging and crucifixing, not necessarily in that order I reckon...

Anyway, wish to post a comment on something which is really off topic. It concern's the recent pronouncement of dear, suave, clean-cut ex LtGeneral, DND Chief and now Mr Little President - taaa daaaaaaa, daa daaahh.... Ed Ermita.

According to the Inquirer, Ermita was quoted as saying that ex-Inspector General AFP and now top honcho of the Philippine Navy who will reach mandatory retirement age of 56 in December 2006 may be tapped as successor to ex-SOCOM Commanding General and now would be future ex-AFP Chief Generoso Senga when this little "burk" retires in July 2006.

If that happens, and I'm saying it is not unlikely to happen, Mayuga will be the FIRST naval officer to rise as Chief of Staff AFP ever even if only for 5 miserable months until he retires in December this year, unless ex-Vice President but now commander-in-chief illegitimus GMA extends his term to God knows when...

While their fate was never really on the card, they managed to re-define their fate with a little help from their friends. Horse trading, my dear DJB, horse trading is really the secret of every many successful AFP officers like Mayuga...

For an armed forces that never prided themselves of a real military cavalry, our military folks is simply astounding when it comes to horse trading... Ed Ermita is one such expert in the art of horse trading in the armed forces!

Goddamn amateurs!

Rizalist said...

Haven't posted on this yet, but I hope you've heard the news about EO 464 being ruled unconstitutional. It's on the INQ7 website. What people are saying is that it means all the Garci generals will now be called to the Senate hearings. Though that remains to be seen. Including precious Mateo Mayuga. Still remains to be seen as Ed Lacierda remarks, what will happen to CPR and Proclamation 1017.

ED--I honestly hadn't heard about it till I got home this evening. Hehe. But before you teach me the FEU cheer, I'd like to see a decision written by the CJ himself, perhaps on Garci's Second Petition, which will be germane to the impeachment case, or Proclamation 1017. After all, as Mike Defensor remarked, "EO 464 has already served its purpose." (He's rotten to the core that boy!)



Re EO464

The SC ruling sounds OK to me but look, if members of the Senate do not put more teeth, more bite when they "hear" Gloria's generals, the unconstitutionality of EO464 will mean nothing or little only to us ordinary folks.

These generals will be directed, nay, INSTRUCTED to use "official" Palace lines to parry questionings by the Senate, so toothless questions will not reveal meaningful answers except what Gloria and Ed Ermita want potential toothless Senators want to hear.

There are 3 former members of the AFP in the Senate who should be able to ask ruthless questions to offset Gloria's lines that she wants her squeaky military to mouth. These PMAers, ex military officers turned Senators know what military horse trading is all about. They should show their sting and fire the first salvo. Goddammmit! They are universally elected by the voting population to their seats of power and owe it to their sense of military honor and to the people to DIG INTO THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH. In other words, they either have the balls or they don't. If they don't, they must be roasted.

But what really, absolutely disgusts me is the UTTER LOSS of HONOR and MORAL COURAGE in our current crop of generals. I also really, truly despise many of our military officers today.

The likes of Aris de los Reyes, David Wong, PN Captain Angue, Jaime Tan, Cris Balaoing, Admiral Domingo, Colonel Viernes and a few others didn't go very high in the AFP hierarchy because they were honorable while the likes of Angie Reyes, Mayuga, Senga, Esperon, Ebdane shame the military because they choose to trade their honor for a few Gloria trinkets.

Rizalist said...

You're right of course HB, that all this does is allow them to be called back. But just because they can be questioned guarantees nothing about the answers. Remember, we can't force them to self-incriminate. But they could be led to incriminate each other, or if one or more begin to sense the noose closing in, to SQUEEEEEEL!

I just got done with a first reading of the Decision. There are some things in it that will bear further examination.

And Mike Defensor looked like he was showing some sweat on tv tonight



The generals who will be called to the Senate witness box don't have to resort to squealing on each other. They don't have to answer self-incriminating questions and can avoid that by not telling lies or half-truths which are what official Palace lines will be anyway.

A modus operandi designed to hear our military officers could be finetuned by the three members of the Senate themselves who KNOW what the military institution is all about, inside out. They should ask questions that will force our generals lacking in moral courage to give straightforward answers. This can be done. Obviously, it will take loads of skill, cunning and definite moral courage for our 3 PMAered Senators to do this.

While I understand that there are more limitations than one to the the SC ruling against the unconstitutionality of EO464, it is nevertheless is a great opportunity for members of the Senate to go full blast into the Hello Garci tragedy. This is one opportunity that they should NOT miss - the opportunity to get rid of scalawags in officers' uniform in the military, one great service they can do for the nation.

Pingkian said...

DJB and HB,

I’m not surprised by the ruling of SC on EO 464. Neither would I have been surprised if SC decided differently. As HB quoted Mike Defensor, “EO 464 has already served its purpose.” GLORIA has already delivered her message. Thanks but no thanks to SC who has delayed ruling on the issue. I doubt if the Senate can really take full advantage of the ruling to ferret out the truth. Remember Garci and NSA, Sec. Gonzalez? I think the Senate has been sufficiently browbeaten and that resource persons can simply parrot the palace line and parry the questions being asked by the Senators or walk out. The SC may also soon decide declaring PP 1017 unconstitutional. What is more critical is how the SC will decide on CPR.

Yes DJB, the concept of “the right to prosperity” is scary though laudable on the surface. As infamous Marcos’ slogan proclaimed, “Sa Ikauunlad ng Bayan, Disiplina and Kailangan.” And what has judicial activism or reforming the judiciary has brought us, “EDSA 2 and constructive resignation.” The SC has no business talking about prosperity, except to dispense justice fairly for the rich and poor alike. The SC is on track if “reforming judiciary” means making justice more accessible to the disadvantage sectors. I’ve read Dean Pangalangan’s article, it’s great. I hope the SC is not conditioning our mind to accept the liberty can only guaranteed in an environment of prosperity. Di na nga nila medesisyonan ang issue ng CPR at marami na ngang nabubulok na mga kaso sa ating mga Korte, palalawakin pa nya pa ang mandate nito.

Hi Karl.

Pingkian said...

But of course, the SC's decision declaring EO 464 unconstituional is a welcome development. I hope the SC would also declare CPR as unconstitutional and that it wont reverse itself on the issue of PI (People's Initiative).


Hi Pingkian,

Right you are. It would have given the SC a pogi point had they limited their "prosperity" glib to LEGAL prosperity if there's any such thing considering the number of cases that's been clogging our courts just as you pointed out...

Anyway, really I'm not impressed with the current GMA SC circus. They've lost the wise man's "aura" of old; they've become procrastinating legal patsies.

Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

Somebody said that the Supreme Court's ruling that "EO464 is unconstituional" proves that it is not in the pocket of GMA.

For me, it proves nothing! In the first place the SC ruled that "only parts" of EO464 is unconstituional and some parts are. Yet, I believe that this is not what bodes ill about EO464, rather THAT GLORIA HAD THE GALL TO ISSUE IT and not to be reprimanded over it. It was issued to stop the Senate from asking TOO MANY QUESTIONS and it accomplished precisely that. EO464 has done its job, so okey lang sa Malacanang. We have a term for this when playing marbles during our boyhood: "BALE-TODO!"

What bodes ill is that GMA will issue repressive EOs again and again and not mind the Supreme Court. BALE-TODO lang, she can shoot her marbles any which way she wants and to hell with the SC.

Karl M. Garcia said...

Hi Anna,DJB,Pingkian!

I think the remaining parts of the the eO declared constitutional are
the parts that are already in the constitution or just merely repeated in the eO.

Take a look at the video it lasted for 2 and a half minutes naputol pa nga eh. It made me think that the passion you displayed in the conference and in this blog is very the same!

Lord Dracula said...

The SC decision is like chopping off the rotten part of a tomato and selling to you the best part. Would you buy a chopped-off tomato? Or a chopped apple, if you like?

Karl M. Garcia said...


If anyone in the right mind sells those stuff in the market;No I would not.

If in the market no one would sell chopped off apples or even tomatoes, apparently the supreme court sells em.

So it's done, what happens next is up to congress!

They must catch up and jumpstart to the mayuga report!Question everyone including the so called witnesses who were the basis for absolving those involved!

Atty-at-Work said...

Good day Dean, just dropping by to say it's a pleasure meeting you at last.

Lord Dracula said...

Karl, since the Mayuga Report involves military officers, their dilemma is much worse - while EO464 was a nice cover in its run, military officers can't still attend hearings, since they are bound by their orders. Remember that Gudani and Balutan were court martialled (is this a right verb) not because they defied EO 464; they were charged with insubordination. The EO was issued to cover civilians.

Karl M. Garcia said...

Arbet, secton 2b is declared ubnconstutional....
Correct me if I am wrong but that means the military must attend when summoned for hearings in aid of legislation.
Refer to below...(section 2b)

b) Who are covered. – The following are covered by this executive order:

Senior officials of executive departments who in the judgment of the department heads are covered by the executive privilege;
Generals and flag officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and such other officers who in the judgment of the Chief of Staff are covered by the executive privilege;
Philippine National Police (PNP) officers with rank of chief superintendent or higher and such other officers who in the judgment of the Chief of the PNP are covered by the executive privilege;
Senior national security officials who in the judgment of the National Security Adviser are covered by the executive privilege; and
Such other officers as may be determined by the President

Karl M. Garcia said...

Now I understand why the senate is claiming victory.Before I also said why not the entire EO.

The SC only left out the portions that are already in the constitution in the first place...the executive privilege was there before hand.

The other things they left out were the formalities to issu the order.basically all the new things in the EO are deemed unconstitutional.

To the lawyers,please do correct me if you feel that I am talking rubbish.

Karl M. Garcia said...

Can you access the blog site of MLQ3?
Was there a prior advisory of the down time?

Lord Dracula said...

Karl, when commanded, a soldier has no recourse but to obey. That's the soldier's dilemma. If for example, the Senate summons a soldier, and his commanding officer orders him not to, what would he do? Obey his CO's order, and he will be cited for contempt. If he defy his CO's order, he will be charged with insubordination. That's why Gudani and Balutan were charged, not in defiance of EO 464, but for disobeying orders.

the jester-in-exile said...

hello djb,

a pleasure to have met you in iblog2 -- i agree with everyone who says that the video of your comment in thread 1 was "bitin."

anyway... the quote "nexus between political liberty and economic prosperity" is rather suspicious; i get the feeling that there's this mindset to "sacrifice freedoms in order to ensure progress" or something to that effect (first read something like that in an S.C. Austero letter that spammed me several times).

arrant nonsense. better to be poor and yet free than rich but a slave.

Rizalist said...

Ah! Jester-in-exile. Welcome to Philippine Commentary. Likewise. You got good energy vibes!