Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Catholic Umma On the Move...and the Cuckold Congress


We will probably hear from the head of the Catholic Bishops all day today, as he is besieged by the Mass Media for "urging people power".

Reading Archbishop Lagdameo's Post (MP3)



Here is the BLOG POST that has become the subject of a front page banner headline and will be in all the prime time news casts for a while, I would think. There is something exultant about the title of MLQ3's post on these developments: Once more unto the breach my friends, once more upon the belief that, as Caffeine Sparks put it parabolically yesterday, the Catholic Umma are indeed mixing it up again between religion and politics as much as the radical Christianists are doing in the Bible Belt.

But I think the view of these events by the blogger who writes Deep Caring: People Power Now or Never? (new in the Philippine Commentary blogroll) deserves an extended hearing ...
The Anti-Arroyo bishops, religious and mixed groups (with various agenda) are desperate in reviving symbols and themes of Edsa people power to unseat the present president for alleged grand corruption of her administration. But they found their call for people power unheard by the people. So, they rationalize that this inaction of the people is part of the growing process towards an inevitable people power and efforts to awaken the people must be sustained.

Because of their desperate desire to unseat a corrupt president through people power, they are even willing to crown Jose de Venecia as hero for the Filipino people and to accept all the confessions of Jun Lozada as gospel truths. They cannot even trust the legal system in facilitating the search for truth, because obviously it takes time and slow down the momentum of the inevitable people power. Extra-judicial forum, which is prone to trial by publicity, is more preferred venue, not only to search of truth, but to heighten the agitation of the people to act now. The forthcoming Edsa anniversary adds power to this call. Archbishop Lagdameo and other religious groups are using all their resources to agitate more the people in order to gather them back to Edsa, with or without the CBCP.

Time is essential in this call for people power. The call for people power is urgent; it's now or never. For the Anti-Arroyo forces, who failed to inspire people to launch another people power at the height of the Hello Garci scandal, the testimony of Jun Lozado and the break-away of Jose de Venecia, both articulating the long tradition and culture of corruption in Philippine politics, the momentum for people power is inevitable. If this momentum is lost, we need another spark plug to ignite the people's rage. D0 we really need this sense of urgency and momentum to achieve long and lasting change?

However, because of this urgency and momentum, the Anti-Arroyo forces may have sponsored many prayer rallies but failed to pause and reflect in prayer. They may have rightfully identified all the negativities of the present administration but failed to reflect and identify a leader who will lead us to a better future. Because we are in haste to dethrone a president at the height of people's rage that we simply install any leader for the vacancy, like what happened to both Edsa I and II. This is our collective ningas-cogon mentality.

Are the Anti-Arroyo groups reading the sign of the times?

First, the CBCP is divided. Not only divided but an overwhelming majority of the bishops are not in favor for the resignation of the president. Only 6 out of 125 are for the resignation of the president.

The term "communal action" needs to be explained to avoid its immediate implication as a call for people power to unseat another perceived corrupt president. Archbishop Lagdameo is obviously more comfortable to define this "communal action" as people power.

We have yet to listen from Archbishop Lagdameo to say mea culpa in behalf of his brother-bishops who are grateful for the financial gifts of gloria to their dioceses.

To put simply, the divided voice of CBCP has lost its prophetic voice to denounce the evils of the present administration.

Second, people power failed to empower the people. The first president we installed after Edsa people power, Cory Aquino, has failed to institutionalize people empowerment. She was, however, successful in installing back the economic and political elites to the power-base. She betrayed the Filipino people.

No wonder there is no single personality today who is calling the people back to Edsa has the moral integrity that inspires people to express their collective indignation against the amoral governance of gloria.

Not that the people are not angry with gloria but they see no credible voice, even among their pastors, to paint a better future where people are truly empowered. What they rather see is another transfer of power from the hands of the elites as championed by Cory, their rallying symbol for change in Edsa people power.
I suggest that we simply allow the rule of law to facilitate our search for truth and be vigilant in the entire process. Let us see to it that the culprits are penalized and will not allow another mockery of presidential pardon for plunderers and corrupt government officials and their cronies. Let us use our time and resources in the formation of the political conscience of our people. This is where the civil society must focus its effort. Of course, while we still have no highly politicized people, we should be vigilant against the corruption of the government officials. But our program of communal action is geared towards a mature voters who will select leaders who are responsible and accountable to the people.
Read it all by clicking on the entire article link.

Archbishop Lagdameo today describes the once glorious Edsa Dos People Power Revolution in this wise--
"Came People Power II in 2001: we thought that history would automatically repeat itself. It did not. With the disappointment and doubts surrounding Election 2004, we now look at People Power II with mixed emotions and interpretations. Sadly, People Power II installed a leader who lately only has been branded as the “most corrupt” and our government is rated “among the most corrupt governments.” Is this the reason why many in civil society regard another People Power with cynicism and indifference? They are afraid another People Power might only bring the country from one frying pan to a worse frying pan."
From the frying pan to the frying pan.

There is something painfully accurate about this adaptation of the more famous aphorism involving frying pans and fire. It also unintentionally reveals the belief that there can't possibly be any improvement forthcoming from another People Power regime change, but that any change, even to a different, if equivalent frying pan would be preferable to the present tirisible situation with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. By parity of reasoning, the good Archbishop is also claiming that it can't possibly be worse, either.

From the frying pan to the frying pan.

Now despite the headline making claims for the good Archbishop, there is actually a lot of wiggle room to what he said. Indeed, the title of his post was actually:

DISCOVERING A NEW BRAND OF PEOPLE POWER!


I think he means "looking for"--and welcoming that spirit of discovery, I would urge reflection upon what the Catholic Church did at Edsa Dos, and go from there. Because while the Edsa Dos Diehards, would locate the beginning of disenchantment with Pres. Arroyo in the 2004 Hello Garci scandal, it was at Edsa Dos when the fundamental destruction of the separation of powers, of checks and balances between and among the three branches of the government occurred. In particular, it was at Edsa Dos when the Supreme Court usurped the sole and exclusive powers of the Congress to enforce 1987 Article XI Accountability of Public Officers. Anyone who passed English in High School can read this article and realize that the Supreme Court ought to have nothing to do with its subject matter since in fact it has the largest number of IMPEACHABLE Constitutional officers!

There is absolutely no comparison between Edsa 1986 which produced the present Constitution and Edsa 2001, which produced Gloria Macapagal Arroyo by the illegal acts of its Chief Justice in conspiracy with the Chief of Staff of AFP and the very same Catholic Church, who together aborted the impeachment trial of Erap and nullified what was sure to be an acquittal. In itss decision, Estrada v. Arroyo, the Supreme Court then blessed that singularly destructive act of Hilario Davide. When the House then tried to impeach Davide for financial mismanagement of the Judiciary Development Fund they got shackled with that silly Impeachment Initiation Rule that makes a mockery of the House's EXCLUSIVE right under the Constitution to initiate all cases of impeachment. The most cuckolded institution however is the Philippine Senate. It was its SOLE right to decide all cases of impeachment that was usurped. In fine there has been an unwritten doctrine of JUDICIAL SUPREMACY in which the High Court insists that all major POLITICAL QUESTIONS must now come before its Majesty.

I wonder how it will rule for example on the EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE claimed by Neri for what he knows of Evil...

32 comments:

Cocoy said...

"it was at Edsa Dos when the fundamental destruction of the separation of powers, of checks and balances between and among the three branches of the government occurred."

so true.

it is through the rebuilding and strengthening of our institutions can our democracy move forward.

john marzan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john marzan said...

so true.

it is through the rebuilding and strengthening of our institutions can our democracy move forward.


Brilliant. That's what Arroyo said too, while trying to get people to forget Edsa Dos.

Let's punish and discredit those hypocrites who destroyed our institutions then. My Question to you then is: did you support edsa dos? Question 2: When are you going to call for her resignation?

Sometimes you need to burn the "Edsa Dos" house down in order to rebuild it again.

Anonymous said...

What do you want to happen, djb? What end scenario and events leading to that scenario do you wish?

DJB Rizalist said...

The Supreme Court must realize the error of its ways. They are, in my humble opinion, the main reason the institutions are destroyed and imbalanced.

They must reverse Estrada v. Arroyo and uphold the primacy, sole and exclusive powers, of the Congress on the matter of Accountability of Public Officers.

If you think about it, all our problems revolve around that. It's nothing to do with morality!

It's how the system reacts to immorality even at the highest places.

That is the genius of democracy that the SC, the only institution that could have done it, defeated and sabotaged.

Now they want to run the place like the Judges of old Ysrael.

blackshama said...

The defective 1987 Constitution is the really the main reason why our institutions have been mangled.

As early as 1991, the flaws had become evident. We really have to do away with this constitution and have a replacement as an amendment.

People Power as enshrined in this constitution is the biggest defect.

The defects really stem from Cory Aquino's decision to appoint a constitutional commission.

Aquino should have not abolished Parliament.She should have dissolved it,called for new elections and this Parliament composed of elected representatives should have written the Constitution.

john marzan said...

The Supreme Court must realize the error of its ways. They are, in my humble opinion, the main reason the institutions are destroyed and imbalanced.

barking at the wrong tree.

the supreme court is heavily influenced by Arroyo. just like the COMELEC of the past and present. just like the DOJ. nothing gets approved or delayed or cancelled without her tacit approval. if you agree with me on this, then you know what you say is pointless running around in circles. if you don't believe this to be true, then i really don't have anything else to add about the matter other than to say i stronly disagree with you.

john marzan said...

The defective 1987 Constitution is the really the main reason why our institutions have been mangled.

:rolleyes:

People Power as enshrined in this constitution is the biggest defect.

if that is true, then why is this administration preventing those opposed to her from exercising the same right that she used to oust erap? why the CPR/BP 880 in mendiola?

stuart-santiago said...

hey djb, manolo says you oppose people power? parang that's not how i read you. you're against the way the arroyos used people power in edsa dos, as well as the the way the davide supreme court handled people power... that doesn't mean you oppose people power, do you?

btw, oo nga, no, the supreme court has pre-empted the senate on impeachment cases. another job for people power. maybe we should make a to-do list of priorities. at the very least, we can vote for 2010 candidates who will support such changes.

DJB Rizalist said...

Angela,

Peaceful People Power would be the LEGISLATIVE and POLITICAL process in a direct democracy.

We have a representative democracy, which is a very different thing.

People power is to a representative democracy what gasoline would be like in a cigarette lighter. It gets the cig lit, along with our face.

Yes, indeed I oppose People Power because it makes insurgents of us all and prevents the slow uptake of the processes that are required to make a representative system work. It is elitist not because the elites participate, but because minor fractions of the entire population are actually involved. Even a million is only about 1% of the people, about equal to the vote of Eddie Gil in 1998, yet that's more than ever was at Edsa Dos.

How in the world did they overrule the will of the 12 million who voted for Erap.

We were RIGHT to oppose Erap and seek an end to his rule. But Edsa Dos was not FAIR.

Sometimes we must abide being prevented from doing the right thing, if only to avoid being UNFAIR. Because we can be wrong and yet be just, but we cannot be just and be unfair as well.

Erap was going to be acquitted. Most Filipinos saw that. Yet he was overthrown by the few, who were right, but were unfair in the means they employed to achieve the right.

Now they wonder why the PEOPLE won't help them get into POWER. Again.

Anonymous said...

But Estrada was found guilty, was pardoned, and accepted the pardon. If we reverse Estrada v. Arroyo, does this mean that Estrada should return as President and that we should reverse the guilty verdict? Or does "reverse" mean making sure that the removal of a President through protests does not happen again? If so, wouldn't that involve greater police powers? And if it is certain that Congress will never be able to hold high government officials accountable, and if that is what is happening right now, then isn't your solution the same as what the current administration wants?

john marzan said...

Now they wonder why the PEOPLE won't help them get into POWER. Again.

i don't know, dean. the masa once tried to oust arroyo via edsa tres, but it failed, not because it lacked PEOPLE, but because the MILITARY component was missing, unlike in ONE and DOS.

besides, if anybody deserves to be people powered, it's her. you live by the sword, you die by the sword.

DJB Rizalist said...

anon,

Estrada's term expired. He's done.
It's NOT about Estrada. It's about the Supreme Court and the separation of powers. It is naive and wrong to think that the Supreme Court can meddle in ANYTHING. The truth is they can meddle in ALMOST anything, but not cases of impeachment. That is where they breached separation of powers in so grievous a way, I claim it is what killed the checks and balances. Erap should have sued Davide not Gloria. It is simply that the Supreme Court has ZERO jurisdiction in all cases of impeachment. The Court cannot even do judicial review of an impeachment case. Even Executive Clemency cannot touch an impeachment conviction!

What Davide did was inconceivable in a Chief Justice. He's the real villain. Of course if America has its 9/11, we have our 4/11.

She needs to be impeached though. It's the only acceptable way to me.

DJB Rizalist said...

john,
it's not her that would die by people power. It's the whole concept of constitutional government. people power is a DRUG ADDICTION. Sure one more hit. One more syringe full of liberation from corruption. Then what? Eight years of Noli de Castro?

john marzan said...

it's not her that would die by people power. It's the whole concept of constitutional government.

...it was half dead on edsa dos. it died in 2004.

people power is a DRUG ADDICTION. Sure one more hit. One more syringe full of liberation from corruption. Then what? Eight years of Noli de Castro?

if he's elected, no problem.

besides, i heard from somewhere that noli wants to return to mass media raw.

isa pa, what makes you think noli will not run as a successor of Arroyo after she finishes her term in 2010?

john marzan said...

She needs to be impeached though. It's the only acceptable way to me.

this is total BS. if george bush rigged the elections in 2000 like Arroyo did in 2004, forget impeachment. forget the "peaceful" people power.

how about riots? how about civil war?

stuart-santiago said...

hmmm. parang there's no putting the genie back in the lamp. and parang it's not meant to be put back. but yes used more creatively and constructively to address the many concerns.

blackshama said...

The problem is that Gloriana has found ways to subvert people power. I would concede that the constitution may recognize People Power as a principle and THAT this should be execised in representative democracy. But what has happened is that this is short cut in changing duly elected governments.

In a cabinet system, it is Parliament that changes elected governments but despite how despicable MPs can be, Parliament is not a mob and MPs have accountability.

The so called "Parliament of the Streets" has very little accountability. Who are these Street parliamentarians acoountable to?

Thus the tempation to recourse to military power grabs as supported by Dodong Nemenzo.Too bad the symbol of this extra constitutional means is Trillanes. But Trillanes now a Senator is accountable to his electorate.

Despite how odious Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her cabinet is they are still accountable to the electorate.

To whom is People Power accountable? Since we never got to answer that question we have Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

DJB Rizalist said...

Angela,
Ok a different analogy. people power is like a genie. You gotta keep him in the bottle most of the time, else you use up all your wishes. I think we already used 2 out of 3. Better save the last one for maybe the next Marcos? Oops is she already worse?

Anonymous said...

The real problem is Gloria M. Arroyo. Kick her out and, with time, things will come back to their proper places.

Right now you can all blame pretty much everything to no avail. Gloria and her goon squad can violate anything to their advantage - at will.

I don't think there will be another Pipol power. Unfortunately, the people are being forced into a corner without any choice. The crater you have been looking for at Glorieta might show somewhere else, maybe by the Pasig river.

Anonymous said...

Given your argument that the Supreme Court is wrong, what do you think should be done?

Next, do you really think that the President can be impeached?

DJB Rizalist said...

anon,
yes, I think she can be impeached. mainly because of what you said that the people are being pushed to a corner. In other words, you are also right, there won't be another people power, but there is enough now for an impeachment. Pressure should be applied on Congress for an impeachment. That's where we have all failed. That's where we must return to take the turn we missed in Jan 2001.

john marzan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john marzan said...

Ok a different analogy. people power is like a genie. You gotta keep him in the bottle most of the time, else you use up all your wishes. I think we already used 2 out of 3. Better save the last one for maybe the next Marcos? Oops is she already worse?

Or the Next Erap.

Question is: Is she worse than the last guy who got people powered in 2001?

who abused their power more and corrupted the system more? erap or gma?

DJB Rizalist said...

John,
I think that is too moralistic an approach. Our concern should be systemic. We should expect to have evil people in government. It is unrealistic to constantly demand SAINTS be in govt. To expect it is the folly of the people power folks.

Given that evil people WILL get into govt, what are the institutional checks and balances we should establish so that the inevitably larger number of GOOD people in govt will be empowered to weed out the bad apples.

Evil people in govt is like cancer or heart disease. They are inevitable. But RADICAL SURGERY is not the only response.

john marzan said...

oh okay. I just wished that you were that Voice of Reason back in 2001.

john marzan said...

The meaning of people power is that Filipinos are no longer a stupid flock of sheep, blindly trusting the government as a benevolent shepherd. The Erap era has made us realize government's potential to be a vast criminal enterprise. Distrust of government is at an all-time high. All its institutions are damaged. This is why the new administration will not be enjoying much of a honeymoon. The cycle of new leader to disenchantment to replacement by people power, could be devastatingly foreshortened and repeated, if government leaders fail in delivering on their promises. Government's fate lies more in performance and less in personality, a warning to the ebullient new administration.

Anonymous said...

If people power will succeed in Manila, I think Gloria will make her last stand on Cebu, and declare a breakaway province. Negros, with Gonzales influence, will join Cebu. There will be negotiations and stalemate. Mindanao has to choose., Manila, Cebu, or Breakaway on its own. However being visayan speaking area it will join cebu.

Anonymous said...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=_Jq4q1S7SjQ

MLQ3 said...

the irony is this: it is the threat of people power that might foster a proper impeachment.

Jego said...

Right on, MLQ3. We can direct PP towards Congress as well as Malacanang. A proper resignation or impeachment.

Come to think of it, that's not ironic at all. Use the informal institution of PP to make our formal institutions work.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Use the informal institution of PP to make our formal institutions work.

That's how it often works in older democracies. PP as in nationwide strikes. Powerful heads have fallen too.