Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Davide to the UN -- We Get What We Deserve

MANOLO QUEZON (The Explainer) chides former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide for rushing to take his oath as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United Nations even if the Commission on Appointments won't confirm him. He says this demeans the former Chief Justice by making it all look like cheap political payback from President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Well, maybe the Explainer is learning to call a spade a spade. But I am still waiting for the day when Manolo runs out of justifications, rationalizations and defenses for that space-time Constitutional anomaly we call Edsa II People Power. I am confident that in the fullness time he and other good Filipinos of sound mind and stout hearts will come to discover the supreme importance and utter indispensability of fealty to and strict adherence to the substance and spirit of the Constitution. I have the unshakeable faith that they will come see with the same clarity as I believe most Filipinos do, that ALL Constitutional officers, not just the President, must be held to a public accounting of how they have or have not discharged their solemn oaths of office. In Davide's case, the passage time only increases the undeniability of his culpable and despicable dereliction of duty in the matter of upholding the explicit provisions of the Constitution on Presidential succession. Democracy was ignored, bypassed, negated, disrespected by that single, transcendental act of his on 20 January 2001.

The means simply do not justify the end.

In my opinion, Davide does not deserve the nation's respect, nor History's, for his act of illegally and inexplicably swearing in GMA, is truly indefensible, legally, morally and intellectually. He shall not pass into that Future scot-free of his crimes, nor shall his reputation be unmolested by the Truth, and neither shall his memory be revered even when he shall have passed away, for the harm and evil he did, will live on in the demoralization of the government and debasement of the Filipinos. We shall never wear the robes of Sovereignty with dignity and self-respect, until we shall have become a nation of laws and not of men and women who refuse to see how butt-naked the Emperors of our admiration and acquiescence really are.
Former Ambassador Letty Shahani was Manolo's guest tonight, but like Sonny Alvarez, she is given to working the small stuff nowadays...nostalgia and senior statesman shit. Unwilling to challenge the fundamental issue of Davide's authorship of the present dysfunctional democracy, she was talking as if none of this really matters much to her, except that the Foreign Service was so much better in the halcyon days when there was a "sense of mission." Her basic message was, this is just the way it is with the Filipinos, first they fight fiercely, then they forgive and forget...Just like you M'am, I guess they have no eternal principles to believe in and fight for -- but sheer survival. Ambassador Shahani and Manolo Quezon probably share the same opinions I do that the 2004 elections were defrauded by GMA with Virgilio Garcillano's help. They should wonder where she got the gall to so disrespect Democracy and the Constitution, and who it was who showed her how easily and stealthily both could be cheated of their due.

But if Davide and GMA are good enough for us, then indeed, we shall get what we deserve.




Re: "But I am still waiting for the day when Manolo runs out of justifications, rationalizations and defenses for that space-time Constitutional anomaly we call Edsa II People Power."

Manolo cannot but rationalize Edsa II. He was part and parcel of that 'people power.'

The elitist and the intellectual in Manolo dictate that he should justify to the very end why Edsa II was right lest his very existence will lose meaning.

Rizalist said...

HB--I'm not sure that is the reason in his case. I think he really does believe some of the usual rationale, like the idea that it was "to prevent violence". As I said, I don't think the FACTS can be ignored forever, especially if and when GMA is impeached herself. The precedent of a trial aborted by prosecutors and the Presiding Judge cannot but be reviewed, even when the Senate adopts new Rules for the procedure, which I say MUST be undertaken through its conclusion, or the Rule of Law shall never be re-established.



I believe you are right that that's part of Manolo's rationale - "it was "to prevent violence"" but it didn't prevent violence, eg, Edsa 3, did it?

I don't want to continuously blame Manolo for that kind of rationale but it's time to face realities; to continue justifying that it - Edsa II - was the right thing to do is suspicious to me.

Six years later and we're still where we are because people like Manolo cling to the 'ideals' of an Edsa II. I believe it is important to really, truly look back and to determine with some kind of finality where Edsa II supporters erred.

After all, it's easy to collate facts. You and Alan Paguia have been doing it and there's not an iota of irrationality in what you've always come up with.

There can be no healing until we all have come to face the harsh realities, i.e., where and how Edsa II failed, what it did to the country's own judiciary, to the Constitution, etc.


And Dean, I agree with what you said up there: "We get what we deserve"

Short of kicking Gloria out today, it is fair to say that Filipinos deserve the people and the politicians they get.

mlq3 said...

Edsa Dos erred in being half baked. People Power must always be extraconstitutional. The problem has been in trying to fit the genie of rebellion, peaceful or not, into the bottle of constitutionalism.

DJB is right in that the lesson has been, you can be half rebel and half constitutionalist. When the impeachment trial failed, for whatever reason, and people took to the streets, it was revolt, and the end game for it should have been a new constitution, a revolutionary government.

when a new government wasn't formed, because of conservative instincts among many leaders and followers, edsa tres was hatched. it was people power too -at least, in my view, until it turned violent. then it was an old-fashioned revolt of the masses and crushed by force of arms. which does not guarantee that the masses will accept their defeat.

what i think is interesting is that keeping the genie in the bottle is something most people still want. february last year actually was an effort to reach the terminal end of edsa dos, or compromise with edsa tres, even. but it failed because cory and the cardinal in 2001 might have read the public will better than cory alone did in 2005.