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February 29, 2008


Jon Limjap

The irony in this is, in first world countries, corruption is healthy but unnoticed because they "don't bukol".

Sure, people can raise a howl against, say, Halliburton in Iraq, and prosecution has been successful against Enron -- however, no action has been taken directly against Bush or Chenney.

And who would say that the US is any better considering that they actually pardoned Nixon before he could be prosecuted.

So, is it OK to bleed the country dry? Hell no. But it would not be surprising of a country that adopted the systems and political culture of its colonizers, including it's illicit practices.


"But what sort of message does that send to future presidents? It is OK to bleed the country dry so long as projects don’t bukol too noticeably?"

I'm against extraconstitutional means of removing Gloria because it sends other messages too: it justifies People Power as the answer to any dissatisfaction with the current regime, and it justifies using the power of crowds to do an end run around constitutional processes.

In the end, I think that's why the oust-Gloria crowd isn't getting the support it should: because they're asking us to resort to extra-constitutional means even as constitutional means haven't been fully exhausted yet.

* * * * *

Another thing I just thought of: Erap was allowed to speak on the stage of the "inter-faith" rally. So let's say the next president gets into the opposition's bad books in a few years... will they also welcome Gloria onto a rally platform sometime in the future?

By giving Erap and his associates a prominent place in the protest, the rally became less a statement against corruption in government, and more a statement against Gloria the individual. It's as if the rally suddenly became an ad hominem argument. That's just my opinion, of course.


Hi Jon -- I agree as usual, though perhaps it is not right to lump all "first world countries" together. In fact, even individual countries vary in the extent of their corruption -- the direct personal ties people like Cheney have in companies profiting from the war in Iraq seem to me to have taken rotten governance to a new level (at least in terms of how blatant it is).

Hello Micketymoc -- Long time no see. Thanks for the thought-provoking comment.

To take the easy one first, I agree about the involvement of Erap. I know jon does too as he has made that point on other blogs. Putting the previous deposed president up there just makes it seem like all the protesters are doing is helping another lot of thieves to put their snouts in the trough.

I dunno about constitutional means though. What means are available -- impeachment? As I said above, since the people who will decide on Gloria's crimes (congressmen) are very ones who benefited from what appears to have been extensive electoral fraud, what kind of justice can be expected there? In any event, even if there was the slightest chance of an impeachment motion being successful it would be easy enough for her to delay matters for the next two years.

What I think this crisis has shown though is that, despite the image of Pinoys as mob happy (which many people hold, both here and abroad), they are actually very loath to take to the streets. The overthrow of Marcos and Estrada were exceptional cases and not the rule.

Gloria's survival also demonstrates how important it is to build up your defenses by co-opting the military and the political class. At times it seems that such coalition building is all she has done right as she has launched from one disaster to another. Marcos had grown too lazy and too ill to do that effectively and Erap just figured he had no need to do it because after all he was Erap, the most popular man in the country. And so they fell, while Gloria, barnacle-like, clings on.

DJB Rizalist

Regarding Congress, which is the institution that clerico fascists led by Hilario Davide destroyed at Edsa Dos, how many of your precioussss Filipino citizens bothered to pressure their congressmen about impeachment?

That's the social contract: the Rule of Law is exercised through representatives of the people, not clerico fascist fallacies like People Power that have only led from the frying pan to the Fire.

I urge you to re-examine your complete appreciation of People Power: what it really is and why we ought to reject it unless the idea is to establish a new order and Constitution that will be submitted to the people for approval at plebiscite.

If we make a coup detat like Edsa Dos, but don't get the people to approve it, that's fascism.

What are the chances that if the Supreme Court had NOT said E2 was Constitutional throughout, do you think the Filipino people would've approved of Erap's People Power ouster in a plebiscite.

If not, how can anyone support such a 'People' Power?

Major Tom

Maybe there's a genius out there who would know all the answers to our problems; but I greatly doubt it.

It's a bit ironic that our problem is so patent and yet so unresolvable.

philippine politics

GMA is a good strategist. She knows how to protect her personal interests. So let us expect that she will be there until 2010 or the worst beyond 2010.

Politics in the Philippines is a numbers game.

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