Now they are all against her on at least one substantive and perhaps decisive issue: NO to CHACHA. I think it's a major shift in the stance of the Catholic Church and may have some bearing on events about to unfold. It's quite a surprising turn of events in some respects, considering how the President just fulfilled a long-standing Church campaign to abolish the Death Penalty, and has even hied herself off to the seat of the Holy Roman Empire bearing it as a gift for Pope Benedict. Perhaps the Bishops saw through the pandering involved in Gloria's somesault from lethal injector to unctuous abolitionist. This impression can only be deepened by the hypocritical alacrity with which she runs to kiss the Papal ring as if she had been earnestly working for it all along. Sure to loudly ring her own bells of self-benediction upon returning from the Vatican and Spain, she may mistake the cold welcome of surly men for envy. But it may be distrust, or even disgust, that they feel for what she has already done -- and remorseful chagrin at what they themselves have failed to do! She has certainly not heeded their advice, nor fulfilled her promises to them. I also find it touching that these Churchmen have apparently rediscovered the importance of democratic elections and respecting the people's true will. It's taken over five years since the Edsa Dos coup d'etat in which the Catholic Church was more than complicit, but it is a realization that comes better late than never. Gloria, in their estimation, has perhaps, finally exceeded Joseph Estrada in her potential for doing evil.
FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS succinctly summarizes what is really at stake with the People's Initiative of Sigaw ng Bayan, after visiting their website and discovering there a copy of the Petition to be filed with Comelec for the Supreme Court to step in ...
But if the Court should let tragedy fall upon us, surely we will debate whether we should strip the people of the right to vote for a President, whether to do away with elections in 2007, whether to let Jose de Venecia lead the formulation of the revision, whether to fuse the Senate and House into one powerful body with an indefinite life, whether to remove the power of the Supreme Court to check grave abuse of discretion on the part of government officials, whether to expand the commander-in-chief powers of the President to a level rivaling Marcos, and whether to give to the present holders of power longer, more enjoyable and more rewarding tenure.These are questions that are all preeminently worthy of debate. But, as I said, let Sigaw ng Bayan make the preparatory salvo by bringing its shout to the ears of the Comelec. What is holding Sigaw back?Fr. Bernas notes that Sigaw ng Bayan probably won't be able to meet the Constitutional requirement that 3% of every legislative district sign the petition, reporting on at least two districts in "Lobregat country" down south that did not have any petitioners. He doesn't think they can get past Santiago vs. Comelec (1997).
The argument that the One Voice movement is an elitist movement that opposes Charter Change just coz, is advanced here by Atty. Rita Linda V. Jimeno, writing for the Standard, right underneath Bong Austero on this same topic, who can't seem decide what to think about this one.
DEATH PENALTY ABOLISHED: As I feared, that one billion peso all out war on the communist insurgency, is really a billion pesos worth of OPTICS-- nothing but a cynical moro-moro to neutralize the fall-out from the administration's peremptory abolition of the death penalty. Hounded by victims and anticrime crusaders, and not wanting to look soft on heinous criminality, President Arroyo has adopted the pretense of being a dictatorial warmonger ready to unleash a bloodbath on the Left. Of course, certain Media outlets and left-wing supporters of the CPP-NPA glady obliged by over-dramatizing and aggrandizing the President's tough posturing against the armed insurgency. Over the weekend, the Left's media and propaganda bureaus were working overtime on the fairy tale that there is an assassination plot against Jose Ma. Sison, who is basking in the sun of the liberal Dutch welfare state right into the sunset of his own sorry and murderous career. By thus portraying her as an anticommunist tyrant, the Left paints itself in holy martyrdom's habitual colors, but unwittingly puts a tough veneer on the President.
ROUND 2 of the Impeachment Battle began today with the filing by 200 citizens of an impeachment complaint, readily endorsed by Minority Leader Chiz Escudero. But it all boils down to this: do they have the required number of 79? MLQ3 tackles the absurdities of Romulo Macalintal in his PDI column today.
CARMEN GUERRERO NAKPIL proves how durable the hold of the Catholic Church truly is on the Filipino consciousness, despite being layered on a distinctly anti-Western nationalism and "Asianism" in politics and culture. Tita Chitang revels in the existence of a map purportedly by "a Chinese Admiral Zheng He" who beat Columbus to the discovery of America by 75 years. Of course, this is hardly significant in the light of quite old knowledge that America was discovered by the people who became the "American Indians" in far more ancient times. (I think they were Igorots who decided to move on from Banaue and finally arrived in Alaska.) But after summarizing some popscience on the Big Bang, she says of the creation vs. evolution debate:
The above paragraph, a condensation of a long science article, and the trouble my readers and I have assimilating it, leads me to see why most of us prefer the Biblical version of how life on earth started. The story of the 6-day Creation by God of life’s elements and everything on this earth, including the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, is somehow more understandable and easier to accept than the convolutions of molecules and amyloids locked in chemical reactions. Thank God for the Bible too.Yet, just a few paragraphs back she was all praises for Admiral Zheng He who...
was already familiar with all the continents, including Africa, Asia, North and South America, Australia, Europe and Asia and took for granted that the earth was round as early as 1418.Lucky Zheng He didn't read the Bible...he might have ended up in the Philippines instead of America!