The Hillblogger (somewhere in Europe) ran into Senator Jamby Madrigal and Party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo on their way to a Kangaroo Court. Since Joma couldn't preside over the Presiduum in last year's local version, it looks like they will put on the same silly extravaganza at the Hague. Ahem. Dutch Treat of the Philippine People's Republic of Utrecht?
Global Voices Online features recent Commentary from the Philippines on the pending Anti-Terrorism Bill that was recently approved on 3rd reading in the Senate. Here are some of my posts on terrorism.
Marcus Aurelius in Wisconsin notes that Wretchard in Sydney has discovered a sewer line between Kabul and Paris. Here's one between Nanning and Manila.
John Marzan wants a new Chick Justice.
Ellen Tordesillas notes her blog is a year old. Lively, wild comment threads for a most successful blogger, columnist and journalist. Happy Blogiversary dear! (And don't worry, Mike Arroyo is going down, down, down to where the Jumblies frown!)
The Manila Standard reports that Fidel Ramos is pitching a Modern Atlantis soon to rise in Alaminos. Yup, I can just see it now...the 5 billion peso Centennial Expo rises from the seas around the Hundred Islands of Pangasinan. Well with chacha dead, what's FVR got to do but move on?
Meanwhile, the Manila Bulletin reports on the big ASEAN-China "commemorative meeting" that President Gloria Arroyo is co-chairing with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Remember North Rail? This is more grist for the Senate mill. But it is also the beginning of China's New East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere based on free trade agreements.
A PDI Editorial makes Postigo Luna at ComelecAko think "it's obvious" Chief Justice Art Panganiban ruled as he did on people's initiative because he is planning to run for the Senate next year. I think his reasoning is flimsy but I hope the rumor is true. Perhaps the paper has been pressuring its former Publisher, now Chief Justice, all along. Even though the paper had cast unfair aspersions on the Court prior to the Ruling, all that is forgotten as they are now singing Hosannas to the Panganiban Court and even warning of dire plots after he retires in December. But so what if he runs and wins? It will vastly increase the average I.Q. of the Senate, though the Supreme Court will suffer a reversal in the same statistic. But it would be endlessly interesting to see, if and when an Impeachment Trial occurs, the battle royale between a former Chief Justice as Senator-Judge and his successor as Chief Justice presiding!
Amando Doronila confirms my suspicion that the Philippine Daily Inquirer has been working on Chief Justice Art Panganiban all along.
"President Arroyo and Speaker Jose de Venecia used the public platform as a bully pulpit to influence the Court to rule in favor of people's initiative. It is not known what blandishments they employed covertly on the justices. What's important is the outcome: The Court on the face of its decision did not succumb to the pressures. "They are as much a source of hidden and overt pressure on the Supreme Court as the President and the House Speaker. Let's admit it, EVERY ONE with an interest in the nation's future had something riding on the issue.
But Doro's column today is also a kind of confessional that agonizes over, yet defends and justifies the way that PDI reports the data and Media Releases of the opinion polling firms.
"Days before the Court went into session, the Social Weather Stations published a public opinion survey that found that 62 percent of Filipinos nationwide were "unsure" the Court would decide fairly on the petition. The poll asked this question. "Do you have much trust, are unsure, or have little trust that the Supreme Court would make a fair decision as to whether or not to grant the petition of Sigaw ng Bayan and Ulap (Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines) regarding people's initiative?"I notice Doro does not mention the fact that it was PDI that put out the offensive headline, PDI: 60% of Filipinos doubt fairness of the Supreme Court, says poll which was of course UNVEILED pressure on the Court, just as much as the SWS Media Release Bureau's misrepresentation of its own data.
The survey question was "loaded" with a leading premise identifying Sigaw ng Bayan and Ulap as the source of the petition. These two groups were closely identified with the administration in the publicity attending the people's initiative. This was the equivalent of demonizing the initiative by associating it with a presidency that has been plagued by record-breaking unpopularity ratings. The survey has been denounced by administration supporters a "veiled pressure" on the Court to dismiss the petition.
The data plainly and undeniably showed that the Filipinos were undecided on the whole question. But shhh! PDI and SWS are actually apologizing to their utterly FAIR friends on the Court. That's because they didn't think those friends would succumb to their brand of pressure. As I've pointed out, this quid pro quo will include full support of the broadsheet if Panganiban runs for the Senate as they've probably suggested he do. But I'd love to see him become a Senator. It would only improve the average I.Q. over there.