Saturday, April 1, 2006

Throw Mareng Winnie Off The Chacha Choochoo Train

MARENG SOLITA "WINNIE" MONSOD, who writes the Saturday PDI column Get Real -- has indeed! In her piece today, Brazen Lies and Karma, she seems to be trying to jump off the Chacha choo-choo from its caboose, whilst uttering curses at the Train Engineers with the floppy ears -- after spending the last ten months being only second to her next door neighbor, Bhel Cunanan, at the intellectual ramparts of defending Gloria Macapagal Arroyo against the pro-Erap barbarians, the remote-controlled Leftists, the adventure-seeking military Rightists, the meddlesome Catholic Bishops and Christian Brothers, and the rest of the Vast Leftist-Rightist Coup Conspiracy that has threatened the Arroyo Presidency.Atty. Edwin Lacierda, of the San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet is livid but gladdened--
She has arrived late in the day and perorates about the immorality of the whole enterprise. But where was she when Joc Joc, Raul and Norberto Gonzales were making the government bureaucracy look like a feast of fools and a den of thieves. Where was her genuine outrage? Still, it is a welcome surprise that Winnie's anger is real. For someone to cry karma, this train must have hit a raw nerve in Winnie. And as they say in Filipino: "huli man daw...[Better late than never...]"
Meanwhile, John Nery writing in Solita No More at the Newsstand today, has a different take on Ms. Monsod's apparent change of spirit--
"Where does the political center lie? I'm asked infrequently. Sometimes, depending on my mood, I answer: The center is where Winnie Monsod is."

CAVEATS: To me the Winnie Monsod-centric "Center" that John Nery describes lost its moral moorings by buying into the myth of People Power and Edsa 2. I think the Center should be where MORAL CONSISTENCY lies. Winnie Monsod belongs with PDI itself in the steadfast belief that Erap really was deposed by "a popular uprising" -- the current foreshortened formula that once appeared in front page articles and editorials as "a popular civilian-military uprising" -- but no more!

Yet what "the Center is really avoiding is the charge that Edsa 2 was actually about "The End Justifying the Means." On this point, Winnie Monsod's rhetoric up until just now, has been almost indistinguishable from that of Javellana vs. The Executive Secretary. Her rhetoric is the doctrine of acquiescence, although laced with an abhorrence of Erap and the alternative.

But if we continue to accept the validity of Edsa Dos, we are caught in a morally inconsistent position, because we must also legitimize the Military Mutiny of Angelo Reyes, and vouchsafe Hilario Davide's Judicial Coup d'etat, as proper and acceptable means of regime change.

This is utterly wrong. The "Center" should tell us Rightists and Leftists why they have not repudiated Edsa 2 in this regard.

The "Center" wants to get off because people like Winnie Monsod suddenly see where it is going...with or without their acquiescence, apathy, revolt or antipathy. As the President said yesterday: "THIS TRAIN HAS LEFT THE STATION!"

We should hope that in the future the men and women of our Military will be loyal, honorable soldiers who would abhor Mutiny and Coup d'etat as means to any political end, no matter how good or well-intentioned.

But we cannot expect such a high level of dedication to Moral and Constitutional principles from them, if the Law itself does not establish an example with Angelo Reyes.

I claim that until the Mutiny of Angelo Reyes on 19 January 2001 is repudiated (preferably in bold headlines at PDI), we cannot professionalize the military, insulate it from politics, or expect our future soldiers not to follow the example we hold up as the very basis of the present dispensation.

It would be as if General Benedict Arnold of the US Revolutionary Army had been appointed Secretary of Defense, Interior and the Environment between 1776 and 1786 and his acts of treason in withdrawing support for the American Republic called "constructive patriotism" like a similar neologism in Estrada vs. Arroyo. Mutiny has been blessed by the Davide Court's Edsa Dos decisions.

The other outstanding feature of the Edsa 2 People Power thingy that remains unrepudiated by "the Center" is the judicial coup d'etat executed by their idol, Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. (retired) who set aside the explicit requirements of the Constitution on presidential succesion on 20 January 2001, declared the Presidency vacant by way of permanent disability, swore in the Vice President as President, changed their mind two months later and invented "constructive resignation" and declared it all Constitutional and legal throughout! It is a conceptual mind-bendern in which a Supreme Court Chief Justice became the principal protagonist in the events that were subsequently adjudicated by his own Court as if they played minor, inconsequential roles in those events. I won't even go into this now. My brain hurts every time!

But for Mareng Winnie and the Center, I highly recommend the study and practice of political Buddha DHARMA. That is what the Buddhists call moral consistency. (though I am a bardolatrous Darwinian, not a Buddhist.)

UPDATE: Did Pulse Asia Misinterpret its own data? Winnie Monsod also mentions in her column today the March 2006 Pulse Asia Survey on Chacha, in which the headline is that 43% support chacha while 48% "do not."

But lets look at the raw data instead of the Media Release wrapper: Pulse Asia, Inc. reports on a Question that it asked of 1200 adult voters during its March, 2006 National Survey with the raw data breakdown in the following Table:

Table 3 Whether It Is Right to Amend the Present Constitution Now or Not (March 2005, Oct. 2005 and March 2006)

Question #176: Sa inyong palagay, tama ba na baguhin ang Konstitution sa ngayon? (In your opinion, is it right to change the Constitution now?)

Pulse Asia gave its respondents exactly four possible answers to choose from in the survey: (The three percentage numbers that follow below are the nationwide responses from March 2005, October 2005 and March 2006.)

Choice of Answers:

(1) YES the Constitution should be amended now. (29% ... 36% ... 43%)

(2) NO, the Constitution should not be amended now but it may be amended at some time in the future.(27% ... 35% ... 24%)

(3) NO, the Constitution should not be amended now nor any other time. (28% ... 20% ... 24%)

(4) Don't know or can't say.(16% ... 8% ... 9%)

There is something fishy about this question because of the allowed answers listed by the pollster. Notice that there are two NO categories here. But consider a slightly different but closely related question:

What percentage of Filipinos are in favor of amending the Constitution?

According to Table 3 it would appear as if a strong majority of Filipinos -- two-thirds or 67% of them in fact -- are in favor of Charter Change now or in the future, while a shrinking minority of 24% say No, not ever. Yet, the data also shows that since March 2005, the fraction of the adult voters who are for changing the Charter NOW has been on an increasing trend from 29% to 43%, a sizeable change.

The reason there is this ambiguity in the possible and plausible interpretations of the same data set lies in bad survey question design by Pulse Asia. There are, as one can see by inspection, actually two questions being asked, but only one answer allowed.
I'm not personally for Charter Change under the present dispensation, but if the data was collectedprofessionally, the correct scientific conclusion cannot be ignored -- both of them!

Public Opinion Polling As A Genre of Journalism
Pulse Asia Survey on People Power
Polling Bleg -- Ponnuru's Puzzle



Absolutely magnificent great blog Dean!

Congratulations for another history reference landmark which our nation's budding politicians should read and debate on TODAY!

ricelander said...

Re: Solita Monsod. I had a fun time too with Monsod's opinions in the past and each time, I wondered whether my time was worth spent reading her acrobatic arguments. Even then, I would check her out and other contrary opinions if only to have a good laugh and maybe a basis to re-examine my own. But this I have to say: we tend to be a little nicer with people we believe in and too narrow on people we dislike. That I suppose accounts for the inconsistency which one way or the other we may be guilty of, if not here or there, in our other affairs.

Anonymous said...

This is also discussed on MLQ3's blog...

I saw one commenter said that she never was for CHA CHA in the first place....

If the two episodes of DEBATE I saw regarding CHA cha would be my basis then I would agree that in those two episodes..Monsod was for check and balance and is pro bicameral,but it is only in her latest article I can see that she is out of the train...because at that talk show she could only be speaking hypothetically..

As always DJB ,nice blog!

LCsiao said...

Who gives a f*ck about what grumpy old Whiney Monsod thinks? (The PDI? Sure, as if the general population also gives a friggin' hoot about this Janus-faced, critical-"kuno", fearless-"kuno" paper.)

I think the only ones left enamored with Whiney's elucidations are those with an IQ below 50.

For example, just take a cursory look at her recent twisting of Pulse Asia numbers in her PDI column and one can easily conclude that this histrionic bitch is totally bereft of moral consistency and lacks even an iota of intellectual integrity.

ricky said...

lcsiao, you have made the best comments. congratulations.