Thoroughly unrepentant and still yip-yapping chacha, House Speaker Jose de Venecia was whining and wailing for a whole hour on ABSCBN's The Big Picture with Ricky Carandang Thursday night. He was gnashing his teeth and the angle between his eyebrows went over from obtuse to acute as he fumed at the foot-dragging and blindness of people who cannot see the supernal and urgent need to switch to the Unicameral Parlimentary form of government. We can catch up with the Asian tigers, Joe exclaims, and go from being "a Third World Country, to being a Second World Country, and finally to being a First World Country." Since JDV has used this line for over a year since the SONA of 2005, it's pretty clear that he still hasn't heard about the Cold War and no one close to him has explained the proper English usage of First, Second and Third Worlds. Would somebody please!! (It's not just him that get's embarrassed since he IS Speaker of the House, fer Chrissakes.)
The diplomatic community in Manila, which has surely been monitoring events after the Palace canceled the December meeting of ASEAN in Cebu, may also be scratching their heads at the Speaker's earnest but embarrassingly unconventional usage of those terms.
Throughout the Big Picture episode last night, I got the impression of show host Ricky Carandang trying to keep a Party Balloon from drifting off into Outer Space and that very Parliament-in-the-Sky.
JDV is really a bad case of logical fiddlesticks when it comes to Charter Change and the Constitution. He has become like Joma and the communists--unable to overcome the hypnotic, compulsive obsession with an Idea, convinced of its utter superiority and omniscience. Eat my shorts, Joe!
It's been a breathtaking year and a half since the Garci scandal broke and President Gloria Macapagal decided to throw the country into a loop-de-loop by backing a radical Charter Change initiative of Jose de Venecia and Fidel V. Ramos to abolish the Bicameral Presidential form of government and replace it with a Unicameral Parliament. All as part of a complex quid pro quo that saved GMA from the electromagnetic radiation of Garci's cellphone, the Palace first backed an FVR-style People's Initiative (Sigaw ng Bayan) that failed on the steps of the Supreme Court for basically the same reasons as the first one did -- insufficient in form, prohibited revision in substance.
Then, GMA allowed JDV and the House Lemmings to do a unilateral banzai charge to convene a CON-ASS, which failed on the steps of the Churches of Public Opinion and the Cold Shoulders of a schadenfreudian Senate after everyone saw how serious the threat was to cancel the 2007 elections.
Thee attempted gang-rape of the Constitution by the House Majority, led by Speaker Jose de Venecia, his Deputy Prospero Nograles, and ideologicians Constantino Jaraula, Luis Villafuerte, Edcel Lagman, Butch Pichay, and Teddy Boy Locsin, cannot be lightly forgiven and forgotten. The people of faith won't let them get away with such a display of Bad Faith.
It would be wrong to think however that they will ever give up. The Gnomes have found the Instruction Manual for the Ship of State and I am afraid they shall never tire of the Article that says any change can be made that a majority of the People ultimately ratify.
Only Public Opinion threatening to escalate into People Power last week pushed back this unilateral Constituent insurgency by the House Majority. The Prayer Rally on Sunday is still on and promises to be a rather suggestive showing of Vox Populi Vox Dei.
People Power is a dream that we can always make revolution and force regime change peacefully. But after the January, 2001 People Power II event overthrew a democratically elected President, it had become both an ideology and a technology, a dream that we can accomplish revolutions peacefully — a kind of instant plebiscite on the current leader and a ratification of his or her overthrow and replacement. And blessed twice over by the Supreme Court.
It is of course the penultimate constitutional shortcut only by disavowing violence and not counting those people power events that do turn violent, like People Power III, which was in form and substance the same basic Mob Rule and demagoguery as People Power II.
But this dream is also a dangerous illusion because I believe that revolutions can not always be accomplished peacefully. In 1986, the brave Filipinos actually faced a moribund leader already fat and sated after 21 years of feasting on power. Edsa I was peaceful only because Paul Wolfowitz suggested a famous line for Ronald Reagan to convey to Ferdinand Marcos at the end: Cut and cut cleanly. Otherwise it could’ve been a bloody massacre that we wouldn’t be paying homage to as a peaceful people power revolution that some fantabulists even claim inspired the breakup of the Soviet Empire. Wherein such people power events as caught up with Nicolae Ceaucescu in Romania would not be mentioned in our pious lil People Power Coffee Table Books. In fact, among the politically correct, there is actually no such thing as Edsa III.
Likewise, in the case of Erap, he never was a tyrant even if he was most certainly a boozer, womanizer and plunderer. In Edsa Dos it WAS peaceful as you point out because the Chief Justice and the Chief of Staff conspired with the Vice President and the Church to overthrow the President. “People Power” did not do that. The Mob was just a prop and an excuse for a coup d’etat by the highest officials of the land.
There can be no Edsa Dos style People Power now because Hermogenes Esperon and Reynato Puno are not about to do an Angie Reyes or Hilario Davide. There will be no Regime Change on Sunday.
But I think one day, we shall face a real tyrant, fresh in the prime of her autocracy. It is then when People Power will have its true test. On that day, we shall have to defend our freedoms with deadly force if we are men and not mice, or wear our chains in abashed silence again. Now that is the scenario the Left dearly would love to happen.
Actually, the need for such dramatics was long ago obsoleted. How? By regular democratic elections and the Charter Change Provisions in every democratic constitution! Today, Erap is a political force only because he is a living symbol of how constitutional democracy was destroyed by that so-called People Power and its idolatrous, heretical worshippers.
It was Edsa Dos and the intellectual dishonesty of the Davide Court, that are the real roots of the House Majority’s utter disrespect for the Constitution, for their propagation of the myth that the Constitution is what the Supreme Court says it means. (That is true only for people who did not pass English Composition in school.)
If we are looking for the source of the recklessness and the hubris of the House Majority’s chacha campaign to devastate the Constitution look no further than EDSA DOS! After the Constitution was raped to put GMA in power, JDV and his gang bangers want their turn at her too.
I don’t interpret Sunday as the further development of People Power. I see it as the beginning of Filipino political conservative FEELING. Maybe the Con-Artists in the House and Palace will be broken up over this news, but it now appears that the Filipino people really DON'T want charter change, now or in the foreseeable future. Judging from the White Flags Frantically Waving from the ramparts of both the House and the Palace signaling surrender, it seems as if GMA and JDV know it too.
Pinky Webb to Boy Nograles: "Really, SEVEN to TEN assassins, sir?"
While talking to ABSCBN News noontime news anchor Ms. Pinky Webb, House Majority Leader Boy Nograles sounded a little bit TOO RELAXED and UNCONCERNED for someone who has just narrowly escaped a planned ambush involving "seven to ten assassins." Maybe he was trying to impress her with his flippant comment that he just takes it all as God's will. Strange, when Ms. Webb shifted the subject to the recent House Majority's debacle, he launched into some of the usual fine distinctions about what the President must've really meant by dropping the chacha choochoo, as if NOTHING whatsoever almost happened to him. The guy must have nerves of steel, considering the NBI hasn't arrested or charged anyone except for an "informant." Hmmmm...
Ambassador Victoriano Licaros, spokesman for the ASEAN Summit Meeting in Cebu was pulling the leg of Twink Macaraeg and Tony Velasquez right now, insisting that it really WAS the weather and not a terrorist threat alert from five countries (which is he says is important only for the tourist crowd!) , or ConAss fallout that caused the sudden cancellation. He even sees a bright side in the fact that Typhoon Senyang apparently revealed what an awfully rushed construction job was done on the building. Thank God all those foreigners didn't have to see that and just stayed home instead. Another graduate of the JDV School of Logical Fiddlesticks!
International Herald Tribune reports on the comments of Akira Amari, Japan's Minister of Trade and Industry that the Philippines had lost credibiliity over the cancellation of the ASEAN meeting. Now I know why the smooth talkers are making the rounds of local media: DAMAGE CONTROL.