Sunday, July 30, 2006

One Voice Is Being Heard

I was getting a haircut last night in a barbershop with lots of talkative people, who also happened to be watching a popular tv singing contest (Pinoy Superstars). Turns out, one of the barbers and a manicurist struggling with an ingrown toenail had actually tried out for the show. But when a paid advertisement from the newly organized movement called ONE VOICE came on, there was a noticeable hush and everyone seemed to realize a serious message was being relayed. After the ad, there were murmurs and remarks about "chacha" and I was curious what they thought it all meant. Turns out, barbers and manicurists can be quite philosophical in their views and narratives ("kwentong barbero"). These ranged from the expected skepticism about ALL political messages nowadays, to one particularly insightful comment by the manicurist that chacha means "Hindi na tayo boboto para sa Presidente, sila sila na lang! Eh ano, wala na akong paki diyan!" And the talk immediately turned to relative singing skills and comparative looks of Jenalyn and Katrina.

But the remark struck me. The lady manicurist understands the practical meaning of a shift to the Parliamentary system: that it will take away from the electorate their ability to vote directly for national leaders (Senate and President) and will only be voting for their local government officials--a dicey and dangerous position if you happen to oppose the local warlords and political dynasties that cover the Archipelago. I am convinced this is the very powerful message that will derail the chacha choochoo train of the Singaw ng Bayan movement being funded and pushed by the Palace: GMA's chacha is a sinister plan to take away their vote and give it all to Jose de Venecia and his moral dwarves. One Voice is being heard!

I had attended the One Voice orientation seminar at the Ateneo de Manila University Saturday morning and got to chat with and interview some of its convenors.

CHRISTIAN MONSOD, former Comelec Chair and nominal leader of the organization, led the presentation which was attended by about 200 people. His message in the first One Voice ad, sums up the movement's important objective: We must restore the people's faith and confidence in democracy." In a Palace counter-attack on the group's apparently effective first advertisements, Singaw ng Bayan and Rep. Judy Antonino have accused the group as "elitist" and that One Voice has P252 million in ad money. Mr. Monsod disputed the figure, but revealed that "businessmen concerned about growing authoritarianism" have generously donated the money for the ads, on condition of anonymity.

MLQ3 ("The Explainer") was present and leads the speakers lineup in the coming national campaign to explain the chacha and to get the vote out. I predict that school campuses, with its vast numbers of young unregistered but eligible voters, will be a major arena in which One Voice will make big difference. It is a statistical fact that students and youth often have strong opinions about things, but they don't bother to vote. A strong registration campaign is an effective, yet truly nonpartisan method of mobilizing larger numbers of citizens to participate in the electoral process. And to help restore faith and confidence in democracy by alerting the people to the power of their numbers and their ballots.

RAUL CONCEPCION was present at the affair and I had a remarkable conversation with him about ELECTORAL REFORM. I only wish our friend Postigo Luna of ComelecAko were there too. Mr. Concepcion strongly backs the idea of VERIFIABILITY OF PRECINCT RESULTS that we've been discussing here. And he agrees, any new law should enforce the mandate upon Comelec to publish those results in newspapers or online throughout the canvassing period. (He was even more passionate about this idea than I was). We also exchanged views on the role of automation and the need to reduce or eliminate that durn multi-stage canvass during which the Garcis of this sad archipelago do their dirty work. Btw folks, please check out and contribute to the wiki that Postigo Luna has put up: Botante Ako!

From the looks of the planning workshops that followed the convenors presentations, One Voice has shifted into second gear and represents a major force to stop the chacha choo choo train. Jose de Venecia was on tv last week to describe his revised timetable for taking away the peoples ability NOT to vote for his sorry sack of shit (GWB and CNN use "shit" so why can't I?):

Sometime in August, the Comelec will complete their over-eager and possibly unconstitutional indulging of Raul Lambino's Singaw ng Bayan signature campaign and begin considering how and when to schedule a plebsicite. By the end of September, the Panganiban-led Supreme Court will reverse itself on the historic 1997 Santiago vs. Comelec decision, which ruled the people's initative mode of chacha as unconstitutional for lack of an enabling law. (Funny how FVR, the Pedrosas and other shady characters from that era are also on board the new chacha choo choo). Then, after the required 60 day campaign period, JDV expects to convene a interim Parliament by November after a plebiscite that he says (with moist and gleaming eyes, his eyebrows crouching into a sharp inverted "V") will bring peace and prosperity to the country.
Well, I don't think so.

When GMA and Erap finally share a cell block together, I'll donate the 24/7 webcam and Internet service.


(9:45) In the Media workshop of One Voice, there was an interesting discussion on the accusation of Palace surrogates that the organization is "elitist" and proof of this was the estimated P252 million cost of the ad campaign (which Christian Monsod disputed and said was actually less than 10% of that figure). But the discussion centered on how to "counter" this charge. I was playing the Devil's Advocate by observing that Filipinos don't have any problem voting for elites, both from the political, business, social and entertainment elites, all of whom have one thing in common: money. It comes with the turf, and though One Voice proclaims nonpartisanship, the general impression I get from my own (unscientific) polls of people, is that most think of One Voice as being "anti-GMA". (I suppose it's the prominent presence among its signatories of the "Bishops 6" accused of participating in what ABSCBN News insists was a "failed coup d'etat" last Feb. 24.) But contrary to some "politically correct" opinions expressed at the workshop that One Voice should project a masa image, I don't think it hurts One Voice at all if the Palace wants to portray it as having P252 million pesos worth of support from anonymous donors. The group decided, it would not go into a defensive position on the Palace accusation. Right on! There is no need to display elitist guilt feelings or self-consciousness. It's enough that one's true motives are on the side of the people, and not hypocritical elites whose motives are not.

(1600) Thanks to William "Dave" Hanley of San Antonio Texas who emailed this link to an article in the National Review Online by Victor Davis Hanson on the use of language in the Media with respect to the ongoing conflict between Hezbollah and Israel:
The Victory of Untruth. (NRO) by Victor Davis Hanson

A "ceasefire" would occur should Hezbollah give back kidnapped Israelis and stop launching missiles; it would never follow a unilateral cessation of Israeli bombing. In fact, we will hear international calls for one only when Hezbollah's rockets are about exhausted.

"Civilians" in Lebanon have munitions in their basements and deliberately wish to draw fire; in Israel they are in bunkers to avoid it. Israel uses precision weapons to avoid hitting them; Hezbollah sends random missiles into Israel to ensure they are struck.

"Collateral damage" refers mostly to casualties among Hezbollah's human shields; it can never be used to describe civilian deaths inside Israel, because everything there is by intent a target.

"Cycle of Violence" is used to denigrate those who are attacked, but are not supposed to win.

"Deliberate" reflects the accuracy of Israeli bombs hitting their targets; it never refers to Hezbollah rockets that are meant to destroy anything they can.

"Deplore" is usually evoked against Israel by those who themselves have slaughtered noncombatants or allowed them to perish — such as the Russians in Grozny, the Syrians in Hama, or the U.N. in Rwanda and Dafur.

means that the Hezbollah aggressors whose primitive rockets can't kill very many Israeli civilians are losing, while the Israelis' sophisticated response is deadly against the combatants themselves. See "excessive."

Anytime you hear the adjective "excessive," Hezbollah is losing. Anytime you don't, it isn't.

"Eyewitnesses" usually aren't, and their testimony is cited only against Israel.

"Grave concern" is used by Europeans and Arabs who privately concede there is no future for Lebanon unless Hezbollah is destroyed — and it should preferably be done by the "Zionists" who can then be easily blamed for doing it.

"Innocent" often refers to Lebanese who aid the stockpiling of rockets or live next to those who do. It rarely refers to Israelis under attack.

The "militants" of Hezbollah don't wear uniforms, and their prime targets are not those Israelis who do.

"Multinational," as in "multinational force," usually means "third-world mercenaries who sympathize with Hezbollah." See "peacekeepers."

"Peacekeepers" keep no peace, but always side with the less Western of the belligerents.

"Quarter-ton" is used to describe what in other, non-Israeli militaries are known as "500-pound" bombs.

"Shocked" is used, first, by diplomats who really are not; and, second, only evoked against the response of Israel, never the attack of Hezbollah.

"United Nations Action" refers to an action that Russia or China would not veto. The organization's operatives usually watch terrorists arm before their eyes. They are almost always guilty of what they accuse others of.

(1620) LUMAD GROUPS REJECT INCLUSION IN BANGSAMORO HOMELAND (Via Mindanews) Here is a really thorny problem for those in the administration who think that the Mindanao problem can be solved simply by creating a Bangsamoro Ancestral Domain to be run by the MILF/MNLF:
Representatives of the Lumad (indigenous peoples) from 26 tribes in Mindanao have issued a “unified position” declaring their “strong opposition for the inclusion of our Ancestral Domains/Ancestral Lands into the Bangsamoro homeland.” Arumanen-Manobo Datu Al Saliling of Carmen, North Cotabato, the Lumads’ representative to the government peace panel’s technical working group, said at least 107 representatives from 18 tribes and eight sub-tribes in Mindanao, signed the position paper at the end of the two-day Indigenous Peoples’ Summit last Monday (July 24) in Tulugan, Sungko, Lantapan, Bukidnon.
We better get this thing right or we could be turning Mindanao into another Lebanon. Coincidentally, I listened to the Chairman of the Bangsamoro People's National Congress, Amalim Centi Tillah, evading ABSCBN ANC's Tony Velasquez's direct question about the call of AL QAEDA's Zayman Al Zawahiri's call for global jihad against Israel. I did not hear him categorically reject such a call. No wonder even the lumads (native Filipinos who are neither Christians nor Muslims) are suspicious of the deal being cooked up with the Bangsamoro's leaders, many of whom are indistinguishable from the Christian warlords and local potentates all over the North and Central parts of the Philippines.


Karl M. Garcia said...

Thanks DJB,
for blogging about the seminar/orientation.

I have decided to sign up with one voice,but was not able to attend the orientation.

Pero alam ko kung sakali ngang matuloy ang plebiscite,alam nating malaman lang ng mamayan na hindi sila pipili ng presidente at kung walang milagro na mangyari sa resulta sigurado ako di matutuloy ang chacha.

AmericanPainter said...

DJB, I’ll admit that I get down and dirty in a dog fight and that is my fault, but I have you on a mental pedestal.

You are a superb, thinker, writer and blogger, you express so well everything I would like to express. Though it is tempting, don’t lower yourself to their level, you‘re far above them.

Rizalist said...

AP--We cannot all agree on everything. I appreciate everybody's opinions, and respect them, whether they agree with mine or not. I often lose self-control myself and give in to sarcasm or the lower forms of art. For that I apologize to one and all. The world is often a grim and gruesome place, but I find in these forums a glimmer of hope in reason and compromise. For all of our human failings and weakness, we must not lose hope in each other! Thanks for your contribution to that.

AmericanPainter said...

DJB, See how you are, I admire you so much for the fairness in your views.

Karl M. Garcia said...

I too put you DJB in a mental pedestal.

For me you are not pikon,there are only a few instances that you get emotional,it is unfortunate that sometimes that it is beyond our control.

But I am glad that we don't dwell in the past here,one thread or so it is forgotten.

Rizalist said...

Enough of the pedestals already! The doves are coming! the doves are coming!

jhay said...

I wanted to attend the orientation seminar but the Ateneo campus is just too far from where I live and go to school. Oh well, I'll just hope and wait they visit Lasallian campuses soon.

Rizalist said...

Jhay, the really impt activity that the working groups agreed to undertake in a serious way yesterday is a massive and concerted effort to REGISTER the youth and college vote. This is an impt nonpartisan educational effort, which however gives One voice a channel to promote its advocacy. Fact is MOST college students are eligible to vote but don't. DLSU should be in the forefront of this activity. I'll keep you informed.

Karl M. Garcia said...

What is wrong with having funds? ...As if all the so called non profit groups do not have funding.

Maybe they would claim the non transparency issue.

It is always a look who's talking situation.

Karl M. Garcia said...

They don't need to be maka masa,lalo silang magmukhang show biz nyan.

postigo luna said...

DJB, I too wish i was there. I still remember when JoeCon's pet advocacy (aside from modernization, of course) was dipping the voter's entire forefinger in indelible ink. That was a really good idea, and I campaigned for it as hard as I could - obviously to no avail. I think I'll try again.

And thanks too for the plug for botanteKAMI. Its still going slow, but as elections near ... well, who can tell?

As for you being on the pedestal ... I would much rather have you at ground-level. Easier to talk with you then. You get a crick in the neck when you talk to someone up on a pedestal, and you don't know if he can even hear you. Besides, I hear that the air up there does things to a person.

About the doves - do you know what you get when you keep feeding pigeons? Fat pigeons!

Rizalist said...

Hahaha! You got it Postigo! I'm just trying to lighten up after a long heavy week of war-vs-peace debates here at Philippine Commentary. Lucky everyone here has been pretty civil, even though this is a very emotional issue. Like I've said though, we learn the most from those who disagree with us.

The Bystander said...

Even with ONE VOICE (literally and figuratively), the same will fall on DEAF EARS. How do you expect a government that’s bent on violating human rights and corrupting democratic institutions to SINCERELY LISTEN? The intentions may be noble but the question is: will it be enough to arouse and mobilize the general citizenry to act for the good of the country? Second, and this is what I'm hesitant about, they forget the fundamental fact that many of the reforms they are advocating can and will never be realized under the tutelage of Mrs. Arroyo.

Hoping for a credible elections in 2007 they say? If the "People's Initiative" of the Sigaw ng Bayan won't succeed (at the rate its campaign is going), she and her cohorts will make sure -- by hook or by crook -- that they get the most number of local and national positions to cement her hold on power. Yes, the 2007 elections should push through but it is highly doubtful whether it will ever be credible. I've said it before and I will say it again: Mrs. Arroyo is the problem. Unless she resigns or is impeached or ousted, efforts at social or electoral reform will only go for naught. This is a condition sine qua non.

Of course, as the saying goes, there's no harm in trying. But they run the risk of eventually becoming a VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS.

Rizalist said...

The reason I like the One voice approach Bystander, is that it represents a big tent under which all principled resolutions of the political crisis can be facilitated. For example since you are for impeachment, it simply does boil down to the numbers being present in the Congress, even if we know how the required number comes to be absent. If you truly are for impeachment this seems to be the only constitutional method of ensuring it happens. At the same time, those who are "disinclined" to support impeachment can truly put an end to it if in the elections next year the people refuse to vote in pro-impeachment reps. One Voice is also working hard a electoral reform as you can tell from the proceedings yesterday, because you are absolutely right about "credibility" of the elections. That is a problem that however GMA did not create, even if she worsened it. It will be there even after she is gone unless we do something about it now.

The Bystander said...

I'm all for electoral reform and I agree with you that with or without GMA, our electoral woes would nonetheless persist. But as I said, I doubt it if this government will ever implement the needed "reforms" with Mrs. Arroyo at the helm. She hates it. It is anathema to her rule. It's not a bad idea to advocate on social and electoral reforms but they must be coupled with a demand for accountability from those who manipulated the elections of 2004. And this is where ONE VOICE seems to be lacking, deliberately or not.

Moreover, even assuming that the 2007 elections will be "credible", it can never be used as a measure to determine GMA's fitness to remain in office. Why? Because the people in the countryside will vote for the Congressmen and Mayors either based on parochial concerns or whoever can show the money come election day. Whether or not their favorite Congressman is pro or anti Arroyo is a non-issue insofar as they're concerned. So how can Christian Monsod say that the 2007 elections, even if credible, wil put to rest the scandals besetting GMA's presidency?

We must first remove (legally, through peaceful means if possible) the one big stumbling block to all these meaningful reforms -- GMA -- before Christian or his wife Winnie even murmurs the idea of electoral reform. Besides, how can you push electoral reforms when Congress under JDV and the Comelec under Abalos are beholden to the Queen? Do you expect them to precisely put into law the practical suggestions of ONE VOICE? Or can you expect the likes of a defiant Abalos to precisely implement such reforms?

Rizalist said...


I think our problems are even worse than you say. If GMA were the biggest of these problems, or even the worst of them, we should actually be happy. But imagine her gone and what would you have left? Almost exactly the same debased and paralyzed basket case of a society. Or imagine that she were the exact opposite of herself, how much of these problems would remain as the same seemingly insurmountable stack of self-inflicted disabiities and societal weaknesses! Take the challenge of electoral reforms. Not even a Comelec filled with angels would be sufficient to eliminate the cheating, corruption and inefficiency that are the corrosive acids eating away at democracy.

Look at the Filipinos themselves. Many are actually as "corrupt" and despicable as her. Go to any slums and observe the men with their big fat stomachs proudly exposed deliberately as a sign of laziness and pleasure-seeking, while all around them are filth and chaos that a lil elbow grease could alleviate. But no! they think poverty gives them the right to do nothing.

GMA is only one tumor among many in our metastatic condition. I think it is convenient for us to speak as if she were the only real problem and that everything would be hunky dory if we could just punish or obliterate her.

Sadly, the situation as I said, is actually far worse than you seem to appreciate. And solution much harder than you suppose.

Innovate, don't just fulminate Bystander! Turn your anger into creativity, your frustration into cunning, and give to your convictions the power of courage at prospects of failure.

Doctor, heal thyself!

Karl M. Garcia said...

In addition,to the ills of society,which can not be changed immediately with the removal of gma.

The bureacratic layers,coupled by the size of the bureaucracy leading to red tape, which the president proudly says can be removed by chacha.

Rationalization of positions is fine but to have it replaced by irrational solutions like by ading new government offices by creating new ones,will make the move null and void..

What about our present law making bodies,more laws with no budget,more laws to change the name of the streets,more laws to add waiting sheds and yet they want it expedited by removing the check and balance factor,which they say won't be removed at all.
Can that be immediately resolved by removing the sitting president?

The comelec,the AFP,the deped,the statistics body, have been tackled and discussed already in this blog,
all of these problems will still reamin even with the immediate stepping down.

That is the reason,why I don't mind them not calling themselves anti-arroyo.

Rizalist said...

Excellent points Karl!

Karl M. Garcia said...

Thanks DJB!
I know there has been a lot of programs...
Senator Honasan,has one National Recovery program he wants implemented.
Nemenzo has another.

We all want change,why not consider one voice?

I too have initial skepticism.I have asked many blogger friends on their thoughts,and I heard them.

I decided to register on-line,with the reasons and points mentioned above as my weighing scale.

kulas said...


Don't you just wish you authored "The Victory of Untruth" yourself?

Nick said...

Oh God. The quotes of Victor Davis Hanson show just how far the this once respectable soul has sunk. Sure, they can be funny in a private, partisan, trying-to-make-a-point but snickering kind of way and I can kind of understand why DJB might want to point to them, but the words themselves are far above what I've come to expect from DJB.

If you don't know Hanson, this Wikipedia article is a start.

Here's another, more recent view of him by someone that started out respecting him also.

Karl M. Garcia said...

Off topic,

As noticed too by Amadeo,
I don't see anywhere in the blogosphere the plan for evacuation of Filipinos in Israel.

Is there any news about this?

Karl M. Garcia said...

I am sorry for posting this here,instead of the previous blog.

People forget the anti semitists in America.

In the news,although he is an Aussie...Mel Gibson even blamed his DUI against the Jews!

Maybe he still thought that he was in the set of his movie,while being under the influence.

john marzan said...

In the Media workshop of One Voice, there was an interesting discussion on the accusation of Palace surrogates that the organization is "elitist" and proof of this was the estimated P252 million cost of the ad campaign (which Christian Monsod disputed and said was actually less than 10% of that figure). But the discussion centered on how to "counter" this charge. I was playing the Devil's Advocate by observing that Filipinos don't have any problem voting for elites, both from the political, business, social and entertainment elites, all of whom have one thing in common: money. It comes with the turf, and though One Voice proclaims nonpartisanship, the general impression I get from my own (unscientific) polls of people, is that most think of One Voice as being "anti-GMA". (I suppose it's the prominent presence among its signatories of the "Bishops 6" accused of participating in what ABSCBN News insists was a "failed coup d'etat" last Feb. 24.) But contrary to some "politically correct" opinions expressed at the workshop that One Voice should project a masa image, I don't think it hurts One Voice at all if the Palace wants to portray it as having P252 million pesos worth of support from anonymous donors.

they don't have to project a masa image. the trick here is to not act in a condescending manner towards it's target audience -- whether taga-masa man sila o taga-middle class. don't talk down to them.

The group decided, it would not go into a defensive position on the Palace accusation. Right on! There is no need to display elitist guilt feelings or self-consciousness. It's enough that one's true motives are on the side of the people, and not hypocritical elites whose motives are not.

tama yan.

john marzan said...

Eventually, we will have to use the automated counting machines. Pero let's first clean up the COMELEC muna of those who are involved in GLORIAGATE and it's coverup.

Kasi I agree with Instapundit na it is easier to cheat kung automated siya at mas mahirap mahuli ang mga ito lalo na kapag insiders ang gumagawa.

More here:

Further adding to the scandal is the fact that the backdoor (or doors) were designed into the machines intentionally, against accepted design practice and, indeed, simple common sense, as Diebold spokesman David Bear admits in the same New York Times article. He goes on to say, "For there to be a problem here, you're basically assuming a premise where you have some evil and nefarious election officials who would sneak in and introduce a piece of software," he said. "I don't believe these evil elections people exist."

Obviously, he's never seen how some of our COMELEC officials operate.

At may mga GLORIAGATE COMELEC officials hindi pa natatanggal

Rizalist said...

I think we are stuck with Comelec as it is currently populated, though I guess One Voice is campaigning hard for the seventh and last member that will be appointed to somehow be someone of unquestioned integrity. (good luck!)

Worse, I heard that ABalos is calling for a law to be passed that will allow them to use the system they illegally paid out a billion they don't have to return the money of the citizenry after they feasted on it in a corruption case that the Supreme Court, with all its high and mighty powers, can't seem to punish.

More than likely JDV and his Kongress will pass just such a law.

They're gonna screw the people both ways: first with a manual election, then next with an "automated one"!

I hope the Senate bill will shortcircuit some of these machinations, by introducing provisions will make the need for an honest Comelec largely obsolete.

postigo luna said...

Just very curious ... how many people know that:

The Supreme Court held only one hearing on the Automation Case, and that one hearing was for a TRO which was NOT granted.

The Supreme Court held no other hearings, nor received any other evidence after that.

The Supreme Court - on the same body of evidence that it said was not enough to warrant a TRO - later said that the evidence was enough to strike down a consummated contract.

The Supreme Court, in striking down the contract, simply relied on the supremely debatable assumption that the existence of a consortium could only be proven by a single document and not by a multiplicity of documents (as maintained by another Justice in her concurring opinion) supported by testimonial evidence showing contemporaneous acts and circumstances , all pointing to the existence of a consortium.

The Supreme Court HAD to rely on it's "single document" theory because it is not a trier of facts, and so could not ask the parties to present testimony.

The Supreme Court's nullification of the contract is, therefore, based on a SINGLE assumption that was not supported by facts - the facts were actually never even looked into.

The Supreme Court, perhaps aware of the need to shore up such a flimsy decision, resorted to stigmatizing the technology used by resorting to doomsday scenarios.

These scenarios were all the product of the underinformed mind of the present Chief Justice, without the benefit of expert opinion, and in total disregard of the DOST's findings.

The COMELEC offered expert opinion but it was cavalierly dismissed by the Supreme Court without even saying why it was unacceptable.

Really. Just very curious.

Rizalist said...

good morning Postigo,
We are actually thinking along the very same lines! I agree with you that the TECHNICAL reasoning of the Decision cannot justify imposing it at such a late date. I've ALWAYS puzzled over this, which was why I had suggested to you in the earlier postings that the automation was junked for OTHER than technical reasons. Panganiban was able to show off some of his superficial knowledge of technology, since he was trying to become the "technology" guy on the Court. But just as I thought RA 8496 was a written by computer dummies, I thought the decisions was an even worse amateur's job, at least where they were using "technical" objections to the system. I believe your assertion that the systems were " fine" at least in so far as DOST's testing, though other system design considerations really do make the overall design unacceptable to me. For example, the transmission and data handling part of the system is actually more critical than the counting technology.

I think you are right that the Decision was flimsy even if it was right about the "bidding".

Btw, do you agree that the bidding was "corrupt" or done illegally?

postigo luna said...

Hey DJB,

I don't think the bidding was corrupt or done illegally. Ignoring for the nonce, Davide's statement that no suggestion of graft tainted the project, the facts would bear out that conclusion:

1. The members of the mega pacific consortium had always represented themselves as being part of the consortium; and consortia were explicitly allowed to participate

1.a. The reason Panganiban didn't see this was because the Court is no trier of facts. It didn't have access to testimony on the contemporaneous events and surrounding circumstances that would have conclusively proved the existence of consortium.

Why then, didn't they remand it to the trial courts, as suggested by Tinga, for the exhaustve ventilation of the undisputed facts? I don't know. But that doesn't mean Tinga was wrong.

2. The COMELEC had always made it very clear that the provisions of the BOT law could be applied to the automation bidders, hence, the BOT provision that the totality of the qualifications of the consortium members would be used to determine the eligibility of the consortium should have been made to apply.

3. All proceedings relating to the bidding were witnessed by external agencies, and none of those witnesses ever raised a complaint about the procedures that were followed.

4. The BAC was well within the scope of its authority when it declared the various errors (the ones being harped on by the petitioners in ITFP v. COMELEC) to be minor and not fatal to the bid.

5. The BAC showed no manifest favor for the winning bidder. If anything, the number of waived errors (all considered minor) was greater for the losing bidder.

6. The BAC's recommendation was made only after gruelling testing by the DOST. Testing that was witnessed by people allied with the petitioners, independent observers, and even the media (Bernadette Sembrano was there, and I have to say, the woman doesn't sweat. she glows).

7. The BAC delivered a full oral report to the en banc regarding their recommendation. Only later did they submit their written recommendation, which did nothing but reduce their oral recommendation into writing. Is it logical to say that an oral report - delivered in front of the en banc, and subject to questioning - is somehow inferior to a written report?

And since turn about is fair play, may I ask, my friend, what basis do you have for believing that the bidding was corrupt?

postigo luna said...

I omitted this (sheepish) ...

All these facts show that at no point during the bidding process was any law violated. Nor were there any violations of COMELEC's bidding rules and procedures.

And since turn about is fair play, may I ask, my friend, what basis do you have for believing that the bidding was corrupt?

Rizalist said...


I don't believe the bidding was corrupt either! Sorry if i gave that impression. In fact, the more interesting question is really WHY the Court decided in the way it did. It has been my theory that the junking was ordered by the Palace because Garci did not think he could handle the operation if there was this big change in the process. And that Panganiban made it happen with the expectation that he would become Chief Justice.

Am I wrong? Coz I don't actually know. Your theory?

I can't believe they just made a mistake.

kulas said...


Just what kind of impression did wish to give when you said:

"I think you are right that the Decision was flimsy even if it was right about the "bidding"."

Rizalist said...

The bidding was technically illegal and the court showed that in the decisision. They made a big thing for example about the spec change from 99.9995% accuracy to 99.995% accuracy. But it doesn't square with the enormity of the impact on the elections. The real goal was simply to kill the automation project because the election machine run by Garci could not have handled the required "dagdag bawas".

Now I shall tell you that I did hear one rumour from a social matrona whose circle of social matronas were abuzz during the November to December 2003 time frame (just before the decision was handed down) because one of their members who was married to a rich Chinese guy that was part of the MPC consortium, was suddenly spending extravagantly on luxury items like jewelry and anew mercedes benz. It was said that the consortium members KNEW the project for which they supplied ACMs would NOT actually be used during the elections, so they really didn't have to worry about any of it working at all. They had gotten the billion pesos by this point. I didn't believe any of it until mid-January, 2004 when the Decision was handed down, and my own column in the Inquirer from mid December was quoted in the Decision on a technical software objection to the system. (It's one of the final footnotes of the Decision.) But even if that corruption angle is true, the FAR bigger story is really WHY the system was so peremptorily kiboshed by the Supreme Court: so Garci could cheat the 2004 elections!

Maybe Panganiban was really convinced

Juan said...


I like your opinion about the real reason behind the SC decision. Abalos is still pulling our leg suggesting that the machines be used for 2007. In that case,they'll rely on the 'super' porks and perks to hijack the 2007 elections even without or less dagdag-bawas.

postigo luna said...


i understand where dean is coming from, and altho I still think he has little reason to believe that corruption tainted the bidding, I have decided to simple agree to disagree.

I am curious, however, to know what your basis is for believing the same.