Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ricky Carandang Interviews Ompong Plaza, Neric Acosta and Roilo Golez

Dateline Philippines on ABSCBN News at noon had an interesting conversation with three Opposition Congressmen:

Rep. Rodolfo "Ompong" Plaza (Agusan del Norte) has inhibited himself from deliberations of the House Justice Committee on the Second Impeachment process against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Ompong says that during the 2004 election campaign, his district is reported by the Commission on Audit as having received millions in Fertilizer Funds through the fleeing fugitive JocJoc Bolante of the Agriculture Dept. But he didn't know anything about it because the GMA election machine allegedly coursed the money directly to other local government officials. He calls upon all others named in the COA report to inhibit themselves from the proceedings of the Justice Committee.

Roilo Golez (formerly GMA's national security adviser and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD and the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City) makes the point that the admin stalwart Luis Villafuerte was actually supporting Golez's motion for inhibition of BOTH administration and opposition representatives who were named in the COA report, out of delicadeza. I support his motion. So what if the opposition's numbers will be reduced further, they don't have the numbers anyway, but an important point of principle would be established -- that indeed there is merit, both in form and substance to the impeachment charge involving the Fertilizer Fund Scam that involves the runaway fugitive in Chicago under US custody: JocJoc Bolante. He sinks the majority's argument that inhibition would "leave the congressmen defenseless" by saying that it is precisely to prevent such congressmen from defending their personal interests by using their position on the Justice Committee prejudicially. (It doesn't seem to matter what stones of logic or truth are thrown at the Stone Wall the Palace has put up, but one day it'll all crumble!)

Quotable from Neric Acosta: "The Difficult Right versus the Easy Wrong"

I thought Neric's was the best answer given to Ricky Carandang's persistent putting to the trio of the question on everyone's lips: "Why continue to press for impeachment when the Majority has the solid numbers to railroad it dead no matter what you do?"

Neric's difficult right is not to give up on fighting for what is right, instead giving in to the easy wrong of just giving up, of being fixated on "...but they have the numbers..."

Right your ARE, Neric! But I don't think there is any reason to hang your head low, unless you are doing that on purpose. For it IS all part of the democratic process that it SHOULD be hard to achieve a Regime Change justly and legally before the constitutionally mandated six year presidential term is up. It should NEVER be as "easy" and almost miraculously accomplished as it was in Edsa 2 when Vice Pres. GMA, Chief Justice Hilario Davide, General Angelo Reyes and Gov. Luis Chavit Singson undertook the most successful coup d'etat since Ferdinand Marcos pulled one off in 1972.

This time we have to do it the hard way. The right way. Impeachment by the numbers in the House, trial in the Senate by the numbers, and conviction or acquittal. It's really the only way out of the political crisis, no matter what the Palace wishful thinkers and fairy tale spinners whisper in the President's ear.

But with the 2007 Senate looking more and more like a solidly Oppositionist Senate, the Palace has clearly decided it must sink or swim with the Lower House.

I'm with Neric, Ompong and Roilo! To hell with the Majority of Moral Dwarves!


Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

What is happening in the House of Representatives impeachment deliberations is the best argument against a Parliamentary Form of Government.

Gloria has the majority in the Lower House. If we have a unicameral body this will translate to no Senate going against Gloria. She will have her way in everything that she wants. IF SHE IS A GOOD PRESIDENT that would be nice because all her programs will be passed without a TRUE scrutiny. But the point is SHE IS NOT A GOOD PERSON. In Filipino, “hindi siya tutuong tao.” “At matapang ang Apog niya.” She is the problem and not the form of government.

The impeachment may not win, but then who knows. Events have a way of unfolding that is beyond the expectations of men. So, lets go for it!

Rizalist said...

Right on BFR!

And truly, it goes far beyond Gloria to any future autocrat that uses Democracy against itself in that chic, modern, premeditated manner that this President has developed for itself, if not originated for those future malevolents.

But impeachment and trial is the most difficult, but also the best route to EITHER regime change or regime reaffirmation.

Tom said...

Men (and women) of integrity who want to do the right thing do not allow the jeering and disdain of the opposition to stop them. I applaud those who continue to fight facing seemingly insurmountable odds.

Helga said...

Hello DJB. As an individual complainant, I personally know what it's like to suffer through a day in the House. The arrogance and lack of decency that suffuses it makes me retch and want to flee in disgust. But that would be too easy. That's what these sad excuses for public servants want us to do. On the other hand, I am happy at not being alone, out of my comfort zone. I am buttressed by the company of Nini Quezon Avancena, Neric Acosta, Dina Abad, and many others. We're in for the long haul. The odds are against us, true. But it would be giving Gloria a virtual thumbs up if we gave up so easily. I only wish there were a few more folks that would make a small sacrifice by leaving their comfort zone.

Rizalist said...

But Helga,

Ours may be the DIFFICULT right,
But it IS the RIGHT, and there is no zone the conscience is more comfortable in.

I grant the President the Constitutional right AND duty to be the President until one or more of the following events occur:

1) she resigns;
2) she is impeached and convicted;
(3) she dies;
(4) she is permanently incapacitated;
(5) her six year term expires.

One or more of these events is actually SURE to occur. I am disinclined towards all other means of accomplishing "Regime Change."

To me the best IS #2 above. But it is the most DIFFICULT because we have to play by the rules. Only one of which is "Majority Rules."

Therefore I salute you as a complainant in a difficult case.

Besides, I honestly believe that next year -- 2007 -- the third time will be a charm.

The Palace will exhaust the last of its political capital and promise the moon to the wannabes in 2007. But I think when the nation sees the prospect of a 2007 Senate rise up solidly oppositionist and ready to convict an impeached president it will become IRRESISTABLE for many more than EIGHTY candidates to coalesce into a force for reform and change.

PREDICTION MADE THIS DAY AT PHILIPPINE COMMENTARY: GMA will be impeached and convicted in 2007.

GMA has lost the trust and support and indeed the credulity of too many good people, too many of the best minds in the archipelago, too many of the moral and civil society leaders, too many of the thinkers and the writers and the sensitive, sensient folks in a body politic undergoing massive cerebral hematomic swelling, the cancer of pride, a vacuum of humility and delicadeza wrapped up in cute lil package.

Helga said...

From your mouth to God's Ear, DJB! Although there are days when I fear the Omnipotent One's a touch hard of hearing.

There may well be a plethora of new candidates aching to run on an anti-Gloria platform in 2007, but as we all know, these fellows may have a "change of heart" once comfortable ensconced in their congressional seats and exposed to her largesse. We have already begun a "study" of sorts. Let you know soon.

Rizalist said...


The greatest possible expansion is in the party list ranks. Fifty seats (up to 20%) are up for grabs by "marginalized sectors". The Palace is good at setting up dummy organizations of all kinds because GMA has lots of NGO types working for her. I think you already know this from the Fertilizer Scam investigation. It's very important for those fifty seats be solidly opppositionist if impeachment is to succeed. Even if I think the whole concept of the party list reps stinks, no tactician considering 2007 can ignore those ranks.

Never mind the Omnipotent One, who knows the truth anyway, but Waits!

AmericanPainter said...

DJB, This is off topic but I wonder how many know that the Philippines once donated a warship to the United States? While browsing through U.S. Naval archives I found a ship (a Destroyer) named the USS Rizal. It made me curious, so checking further, this is what I found:

USS Rizal (Destroyer # 174, DD-174; later DM-14), 1919-1931

USS Rizal, a 1060-ton Wickes class destroyer donated to the United States by the Philippine legislature, was built at San Francisco, California. Commissioned in May 1919, her initial operations were off the U.S. west coast. In 1920, she was converted to a fast minelayer, redesignated DM-14 and transferred to the Asiatic Fleet.
Rizal, the majority of whose crew were Filipinos, thereafter served in the Far East, visiting ports in Japan, China, the Philippines and Guam during the 1920s. In late 1930, she returned to California. Rizal decommissioned in August 1931 and was subsequently scrapped.
Rizal was named in honor of the martyred Philippine patriot Jose Rizal (1861-1896).

Her picture can be viewed at: