August 21, 2005 · Posted in: In the News

A black-and-white day

BLACK-and-white is the new yellow, at least for this particular segment of the middle class that gathered at the De La Salle Greenhills auditorium this afternoon to ponder the question: How do we solve a problem like Gloria?

Years ago they wore the Cory color, but this afternoon, they came either in black or white shirts to symbolize their cause — that cheating, in particular the kind they say Gloria Macapagal Arroyo committed in the 2004 elections, is a moral issue that can have no gray areas, only black and white.

"Let us bring morality back to government," said Louie Sison of Bangon Pilipinas, one of the groups that helped organize today’s activity. The main message is that Arroyo has to go — either through resignation, impeachment or ouster or RIO in the words of the Black-and-White movement.

But that is easier said.  What worries the leaders of the movement is the possibility of sudden death for the impeachment complaint against Arroyo. That’s because this coming Tuesday, the House Committee on Justice is set to tackle the complaint once again and it just might rule that the complaint is "insufficient in form and substance" and throw it into the congressional dustbin.

"Saan tayo pupunta pagkatapos pag wala na yung impeachment complaint? (Where do we go if the impeachment complaint is voted down?)," asked former education secretary and Liberal Party leader Florencio "Butch" Abad.  What path do people take once the impeachment option is slammed shut in their faces?

That is the big question that perplexes the Black-and-White movement at the moment. Most of them are banking on this constitutional option as the way of the leadership crisis, since Arroyo refuses to resign and Filipinos have yet to muster the numbers to kick her out a la EDSA People Power.

There were other suggestions drawn up during the workshops this morning such as making Arroyo leave the country for exile but ensuring she is prosecuted later, or launching a civil disobedience movement. But the majority choice was still abiding by the impeachment process.

This is why the most urgent call today was keeping the impeachment process alive. Leaders of the Black-and-White movement say one way to do this is to call for a mass mobilization to the House of Representatives on Tuesday to show lawmakers that there is enough support among the citizenry for an impeachment process. Such a mobilization will also counter what they expect will be the government’s hakot crowd that is sure to make an appearance on Tuesday.

In the meantime, the movement has also launched a campaign to gather one million signatures of people seeking Arroyo’s resignation.  They’re also talking to Vice President Noli de Castro to convince him to be a transition president who will help usher in political reform, in the event that Arroyo is impeached or resigns. 

139 Responses to A black-and-white day

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apollo

August 21st, 2005 at 11:33 pm

have you ever called your representative yet?

if not then as – forrest gump would say…you are as stupid as stupid gets..

have you even tried to remind them that being representatives… they are of course representing you…. and that you would want this impeachment process – unequivocally supported and rammed thru gma’s throat….?

the 3 minute priviledge speeches has been given….. but the vote will still happen on tuesday…. for the little time we have, you can still affect and effect change on the votes that will be cast instead of just waiting for the results….just by calling your [?]honorable representatives…

act today while we still can….

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Popsie

August 22nd, 2005 at 12:30 am

Black and White Movement Group 2 composed of 25 people, Muslim, non-Muslim, Seniors, Youth, Religious, Businessmen, employees, husband and wife, came up with a manifesto declaring their basis of unity to include:

GMA is bereft of morality and her prolong stay in Malacanang will just perpetuate immorality and dishonesty resulting to greater poverty and hopelessness. Already GMA is trying to win back Erap and his allies after promising to let Marcos be buried as a hero. After the change charter initiative, she has resorted to illegal and legal dispensation of authority. The economy will continue to flounder with E-Vat and government un-doings.

The impeachment complaint will soon be thrown out. The mode of expulsion is OUSTER through an active, constructive, alternative non-violent ways. Ultimate goal is paralyzing the government while GMA is in office. Civil disobedience has many forms. Sit-ins, Signature campaigns, peace camps, boycotts, noise barrages to name a few. The middle forces can help but should not wait. The middle force should launch a massive information campaign to get active support from LGUs, Bishop Businessmen Conference , bureaucrats and military to expand and reach the provinces. Erap and Pro-Marcos forces will not be excluded.

The middle force will present alternative programs and economic models from the process leaders will emerge. We believe that this active force of evil that GMA embodies should be confronted with moral courage that surpasses Edsa I and II. . A collective leadership to include VP Noli De Castro will form a transition government whose members will not be re-elected and for a fix tenure.

For meaningful changes, we have identified six urgent tasks that the transitional government should pursue. Initiate reforms that benefit the poor, institute reforms in Electoral, Justice, Economic and Financial System, pursue long lasting peace efforts and finally constitutional reforms through constitutional convention.

We have to claim back our country, the Philippines. Mabuhay!!

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luzviminda

August 22nd, 2005 at 4:33 am

Iloilo representative Rolex Suplico, one of the endorser of the impeachment said that, the pro-impeachment group will fight until the end of their patience to seek the legal means for GMA ouster. But I advise them not to withdraw the case. Let the pro-administration Congressmen (GMA TUTAs in Congress) throw out the impeachment first so that THEY WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR KILLING THE TRUE SENSE OF DEMOCRACY OF OUR COUNTRY. It means that JUSTICE IS DEAD! And the therefore the LAST RECOURSE IS TO SEEK REDRESS OF PEOPLES’ GRIEVANCES ELSEWHERE AND BY WHATEVER MEANS! This time NOT EDSA IV (After I-II & III)… BUT LET US ALL GO STRAIGHT TO MALACAÑANG !!!!

SUGOD MGA KABABAYAN!!!!!!

(Attention: BantayImpeachment & Other Pro-Impeachment Groups)

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benign0

August 22nd, 2005 at 7:46 am

If there was one stupid question we could choose for 2005, this would be it:

“Saan tayo pupunta pagkatapos pag wala na yung impeachment complaint?” (“Where do we go if the impeachment complaint is voted down?”) asked former education secretary and Liberal Party leader Florencio “Butch” Abad. What path do people take once the impeachment option is slammed shut in their faces?

Here is the simple answer folks: YOU JUST GO BACK TO WORK!

If the impeachment complaint is voted down by THOSE REPRESENTATIVES PINOYS ELECTED TO OFFICE, then that is that. You elected them, YOU stand by their decisions. If Pinoys are truly serious about their outrage over the behaviour of their REPRESENTATIVES, then the time to exhibit this outrage is in the next congressional elections. That is, of course, IF ANY LESSON WILL HAVE BEEN LEARNED BY THEN. :D

Then again if Pinoys’ historical track record of selecting leaders WISELY is an indication of what we have in store for us in future elections, then I’d say our nation is truly on the way… on the way to loserville.

For some brilliant insight on the kinds of leaders Pinoys deserve, check this out:
http://www.geocities.com/benign0/4-00_Leaders.html

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benign0

August 22nd, 2005 at 7:48 am

If there was one stupid question we could choose for 2005, this would be it:

“Saan tayo pupunta pagkatapos pag wala na yung impeachment complaint?” (“Where do we go if the impeachment complaint is voted down?”) asked former education secretary and Liberal Party leader Florencio “Butch” Abad. What path do people take once the impeachment option is slammed shut in their faces?

Here is the simple answer folks: YOU JUST GO BACK TO WORK!

If the impeachment complaint is voted down by THOSE REPRESENTATIVES PINOYS ELECTED TO OFFICE, then that is that. You elected them, YOU stand by their decisions. If Pinoys are truly serious about their outrage over the behaviour of their REPRESENTATIVES, then the time to exhibit this outrage is in the next congressional elections. That is, of course, IF ANY LESSON WILL HAVE BEEN LEARNED BY THEN. :D

Then again if Pinoys’ historical track record of selecting leaders WISELY is an indication of what we have in store for us in future elections, then I’d say our nation is truly on the way… on the way to loserville.

For some brilliant insight on the kinds of leaders Pinoys deserve, check this out:
http://www.geocities.com/benign0/4-00_Leaders.html

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watcher

August 22nd, 2005 at 8:24 am

I do not trust the vice president, if he is really the real vice president at all. As for gloria, she is slowly but surely going down the path of perdition along with her gang. When that time comes, it will be too late. Eternal fires, fires that can not be squelched. Your soul burning over and over and over. What a dreadful consequence. All for what? Earthly power, earthly riches? People just never learn.

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apollo

August 22nd, 2005 at 8:54 am

I have always been a street parliamentarian…. the things i haven’t been able to change with my vote, i have tried to affect & effect a change thru the streets…. I have walked, shouted my voice hoarse, been bombarded by water cannons & have come to blows with truncheon wielding policemen……all this for my view of a better and wonderful tomorrow for my Philippines….

I have done my part in this society of ours…We have ousted Macoy, called Aquino & Tabako’s shortcomings to view, and have kick Estrada off packing…I have been to edsa… always listening to the promises and always hoping for the promise of a better tomorrow…

now we have this shameless stupid dwarf saying she’s the rightful president…..yeah right…

I guess it would be nice to let things pass by as mr. benignO would advise everyone, right anay?…. just sit your butts around, go back to work and do nothing anymore… you can’t change things anyway…let it be…. PWEEE!!!! mouthing malacanang’s byline always leave’s my mouth crappy..

Do you honestly believe that I would just sit around and go back to work? when you [benignO] and your ilk work their butts off sowing evil all over the land?

So what if the tongressmen deliberately block and trash the impeachment proceedings? that doesn’t mean anything but just a change in venue for the process of kicking that pretentious little midget out of the People’s office….

Nah…. i will still continue to work for change… cause i still believe that there will be a better tomorrow for my Philippines…..You will still see me in the streeets… i love my country so much to let it be yours and gloria’s to abase and destroy….I will go down fighting….

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indio_lawless

August 22nd, 2005 at 9:37 am

I fully agree with Apollo.

Exercising one’s civil rights does not come as often as having a free lunch. While Filipino’s generally work their butts for the welfare of their families, there are still some who thinks and look forward for the betterment of the country we live in.

While we also work our butts to pay our taxes fair and square, we are not that stupid to sleep on our rights.

Thus, If this certain guy ( that Apollo and the rest of the bloggers have rebutted so eloquently ) could only offer a ” go back to work ” order, then, its about time for him to change aliases,and if Benigno Aquino, Jr., would have been alive today ,he would be more than happy to concur.

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johnmarzan

August 22nd, 2005 at 9:40 am


“Saan tayo pupunta pagkatapos pag wala na yung impeachment complaint? (Where do we go if the impeachment complaint is voted down?),” asked former education secretary and Liberal Party leader Florencio “Butch” Abad. What path do people take once the impeachment option is slammed shut in their faces?

======

MLQ3′s old post may provide some answers on “another option.”

The Philippines – Filipinos – tried to do everything by the book, they tried to do everything exactly as specified by the Constitution, they even rallied within parameters defined by that Constitution as far as the right to free speech and assembly are concerned. Joseph Estrada, on his part, did what he could legitimately do, which was, first of all, proclaim in public that he was all for the impeachment process but proceed, in private, to muster every resource available to block the impeachment reaching the trial stage.

Now the reason Estrada fell in the estimation of nearly anyone can be given short shrift: first of all, he alienated every important sector because of his bad habits and his gangster mentality. It is not true the businessmen and the elite were against him from the start. As has happened time and again in our history, the ruling class of this country loves a winner. They fall over themselves in proclaiming every new President the greatest in history. The businessmen that supposedly hated Estrada from the start were licking his boots until several things happened. First, Estrada wanted to give Marcos a heroes’ burial. Then Estrada wanted the Constitution amended. Worst of all, under Estrada, the stock market suffered its biggest scandal. Then Estrada began to bully the media, and started using the internal revenue service to go after his opponents.

Now if this isn’t enough to alienate businessmen who, while used to asking for favors, still have a lingering phobia of too many fixers having too strong an influence on government policy, and if this isn’t enough to alarm a public that tends to equate media freedom with its own freedom, and if the President’s personal life isn’t enough to start getting the Church and middle class antsy, and if, you add all of this together, this isn’t enough to convince decent citizens that the guy on top is a greedy thug, and if people still don’t do anything about it, then what would this say about Filipinos?

At least they got mad. They got upset. Sectors started getting disenchanted and deciding the man had to go – but Constitutionally.


As Prof. Reynolds would say, read the whole thing.

btw, ngayon ko lang nalaman na isang malaking kasalanan pala ang pag-amend ng constitution. MLQ3 used it as one of his justifications to remove erap.

So anyways, ano na ba ang position ni Quezon ngayon sa Constitutional Amendment? :D

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benign0

August 22nd, 2005 at 9:43 am

apollo,

Check out all the stuff you itemised as “achievements”. They are all extraconstitutional “heroism” that were fine during those days. At some point though, a nation needs to live off due process and outgrow its addiction to childish street politics.

You seem to have skirted the issue of the fact that all those congressmen who are now screwing the Pinoy nations were in fact elected into office by popular vote. The only way to rectify this is to use the system to express your dissatisfaction. If you and your types continue to have your way and continue to promote this adolescent approach to “working for change”, then our nation will continue to behave like an adolescent nation.

I don’t know where you got the impression that I am advocating that we let things be. On the contrary, I am showing that part of what is is because of how Pinoys voted in the past, and therefore THINGS SHOULD CHANGE — the way Pinoys vote, the way Pinoys regard The System, and the way Pinoys approach nation building.

If you are sick of listening to promises that never get fulfilled, then in the next elections VOTE for people whom you BELIEVE IN instead of dancing to the tune of the entertainers these politicians hire to numb the voting publics’ brains.

It’s not about you as an individual. It is about the very way Pinoys’ minds are constituted and how we behave collectively — AS A NATION — not as a mob of fools dancing on our streets.

Go ahead and fight and you go on and “go down fighting” and make yourself just another statistic. Ninoy did the same, but then he is no good to us dead.

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benign0

August 22nd, 2005 at 9:55 am

MLQ said Filipinos have already tried everything ‘by the book’.

But here is the real question:

Have they tried to exercise their right to vote WISELY? If we are so outraged by the prevalence of trapos in our midst, then why do they keep getting elected to office?

Food for thought.

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benign0

August 22nd, 2005 at 10:02 am

Even during Erap’s time. Who was behind the crash of the effort to impeach him? Still those same “honourable” members of congress who FILIPINOS VOTED INTO OFFICE.

So who’s to blame for all the screw ups? Take a guess (unless of course one simply CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH).

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jonas

August 22nd, 2005 at 10:14 am

He,he, he, that’s their fault because they’re the ones responsible why Gloria was able to reside in Malacanang. Now they’re having a headache how to kick her out. Talk about karma.

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pedro

August 22nd, 2005 at 10:58 am

I would just like to share a view on TRUTH inasmuch as we hear this word bandied about everywhere nowadays.This is culled from an African lore depicted in a beautiful Cuban film.

In the beginning, TRUTH and LIE were separate individuals who looked so much unlike one another. One day they had a terrible fight. They struggled against each in a big fight that lasted for days. Finally, both grabbed machetes and hacked each other’s head off their bodies. God appeared suddenly and looked for the two. Afraid that they would be banished forever, the two scampered to reattach their heads. But in their haste, they committed an error: TRUTH got LIE’s head while LIE reattached TRUTH’s head. Upon realizing their error, and fearful that God would banish them forever, the two scurried away separately from one another. From then on, Truth roamed the earth with the body of lies while Lie too roamed with the body of truths, and until now, never has the two antagonists met to correct their ancient mistakes.

Real food for thought. :)

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fencesitter

August 22nd, 2005 at 1:08 pm

i like your story, Pedro. it reminds me of the story also of the cow and carabao changing clothes. But anyway, like apollo, i cannot just sit and go back to work while the blatant lie that is gloria is trying to wear the head of truth. We filipinos have gone through a lot to let an immoral, pretentious president lead this country. We have fought against the dictatorship in 1986, we were able to oust a corrupt president in 2001, i count on the goodness of everyone not to allow as always , an immoral leader like gloria macapal arroyo

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mlq3

August 22nd, 2005 at 1:32 pm

John: I answered your point in your own blog, but let me add, I recall being there when Estrada linked arms with Cory Aquino and Cardinal Sin against FVR’s cha-cha. A thrilling sight: Estrada gained a lot of good will from that and his opposition to the US bases. When Estrada proposed charter change during his time, going as far as to appoint the Narvasa Commission, it came across to those who opposed FVR’s cha-cha as a betrayal of his public stand against FVR’s cha-cha. That’s why it became an issue. The question of charter change calls for consensus, as I’ve said, not a diktat from FVR.

As for Benign0′s trademark style of commenting: an overwhelming majority of Filipinos rejected FVR, Estrada, and Arroyo. As far as that goes, you can argue Filipinos have a clear idea of what they don’t want. They have a less clear idea of what they want, which is why we have been cursed with minority presidents: and that boils down to a failure in leadership. Everyone, for example, saw Estrada coming; those united in disliking him couldn’t unite against him: so he won. Same goes for the opposition 2004, and also, it’s the weakness of the administration: it has never figured out a genuine basis for unity.

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jun2001

August 22nd, 2005 at 1:42 pm

Apollo, I have similar experiences with you. I have also been der than dat….I am also a veteran of Marcos days and the streets until a few years back. Like you, i used to like fiesta democracy…and shout on almost any issue on the streets.

What I did a many years back was I went to the rural areas and communities in different parts of the country and instituted livelihood programs, community projects , community organizing etc. And I am happy to say that I/we directly change the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people. In some areas we have increased literacy by a few percent, increased incomes by more than 300 percent in some, and in others reduced mulnutrition by some percentage.

However, I agree with benign0 – when things are settled and the impeachment case ay naibasura na – we have to get back to work. Politics and politics, everyday, 365 days a years for the next decade and the next…I mean the personality centered politics that we have will not do us any good.

let us follow the rules, the law, respect our institutions, report corruptions, watch and vote wisely during elections. and we have to get back to work – wait for 2007 elections.

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benign0

August 22nd, 2005 at 1:54 pm

MLQ3:

That still begs the more fundamental question: Why do our political parties fail to unify or find a “basis for unity”?

Here’s what I think: Because there IS no basis for unity — not in a nation where personality politics ALWAY trumps issues/platform-based partisanism. Traditional commentators like yourself cite this and that dynamic of Philippine politics to come up with reasons why our politics are so dysfunctional and unproductive. Yet we often fail to show that those dynamics came about because Pinoys have no track record of forcing their politicians to organise and re-organise themselves around issues and ideas like they do in REAL democracies. Instead we show them that they could win votes by doling out cash, grandstanding about pork barrel projects, hiring the Sex Bomb dancers in their campaigns, painting their achievements (that are funded by public funds) on pedestrian walks, and generally acting like the oligarchs that Pinoys love to worship.

And yes, we Pinoys do not know what we want because we are too lazy to figure out what we want and tell our politicians exactly what we want. Instead we put morons into office in our true-to-form approach to elections and expect the very same morons to come up with all the answers for us while we sit back and wait for an opportunity to blame and rally them out of office whenever we feel the least bit “victimised”. And when they don’t deliver (as what usually happens in this situation of moronic leaders coupled with lazy constituents I describe), that’s where the stories of the GMA’s and the Erap’s start. Messiah-complex, always looking to their leaders to save us rather than looking for specific ways to save ourselves AND THEN tell our leaders EXACTLY how they can help us achieve our own self-formulated objectives.

That is what a truly enlightened people do. They expect no more from their leaders than what they themselves can do individually in the course of ordinary civic life. A world of difference from us Pinoys who are forever looking for leaders who will piss cash into our empty pockets while we proceed to collectively turn our country into an import-dependent capital-starved dung heap.

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pedro

August 22nd, 2005 at 2:18 pm

i hope you didn’t get me wrong fencesitter. :)

the story wasn’t aimed at a particular position or course of action. by all means, do what your heart or mind tells you. it was just to impart that there are no absolutes in this world and don’t go look for one because you will only feel constantly disillusioned by a small untruth here and there. the world is what it is. we can only change it to a point it allows us to.

:)

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fencesitter

August 22nd, 2005 at 2:19 pm

follow the rules, the law, respect for the institution… who did not follow the rule on the first place, who violated the law in the first place hindi ba si gloria. macapal.

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fencesitter

August 22nd, 2005 at 2:34 pm

yes, Pedro, I know the morals of the story. I know also that you were just trying to tell a story, nothing more. But the trhead/topic “Black and White day is about a course of action. So aside from the thought being suggested by your story, this thread as also about one million signatures of people seeking the resignation of gloria. that’s why i am asking for the goodness of everyone to sign in.

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stopball

August 22nd, 2005 at 2:49 pm

THE CHALLENGE OF DUE PROCESS
By Ricardo Saludo

“In this grave situation, various groups take advantage of one another, manipulate situations for their own agenda, and create confusion among our people sometimes by projecting speculation or suspicion as proven fact, with the aim of grabbing power.”
— Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, 10 July 2005

With the ongoing Congress deliberations on the impeachment complaints against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, due process on the allegations against her has finally begun. After months of accusations aired in Congress and media, including what the CBCP described as “speculation and suspicion [projected] as proven fact” both accused and accusers will at last present and cross-examine all their evidence and arguments.

Given the way due process evens the odds for the accused, it should surprise no one that some accusers once so eager to hurl charges with little challenge now think twice about testifying in impeachment proceedings. Yet the odds are far from even for the President or for due process itself.

Millions of Filipinos have already judged the First Family without the benefit of a fair trial, if recent surveys reflect public opinion. Due process too may have credibility problems, not because it is flawed, but because its even-handed proceedings and strict rulings will surely present a very different impression of what happened than the largely unchallenged accusations aired current controversies.

One thing is therefore imperative for the impeachment and its rulings to win wide acceptance and to bring stability, not further unrest. Proceedings should not only be conducted with unassailable fairness, but also be clearly explained and justified to a public already steeped in months of allegations and materials intended to incriminate. These claims have faced hardly any opposition from lawyers of the accused who have rightly kept their counter-evidence and arguments under wraps until due process begins.
Hence, it could be an uphill battle for credibility for the impeachment. Fortunately, our people had shown remarkable willingness in past celebrated cases to give due process its due, despite widespread belief in the guilt of personages implicated. When the five-member Agrava Fact-Finding Board was created in 1983, the running joke then was that only five people in the country did not know who killed Ninoy Aquino. Yet the nation followed the board’s proceedings. In 2000, resignation calls resounded after Chavit Singson made his accusations. Yet people were glued to each episode of impeachment TV and only went to the streets when most senators voted to hide evidence.

Still, there are special problems in gaining credibility for the current impeachment. The dominance of the administration coalition is portrayed as a factor that could compromise the proceedings, especially if congressmen vote largely along partisan lines (as the U.S. Senate did in the Clinton impeachment trial). Furthermore, very many Filipinos have set aside the fundamental tenet of due process not to pass judgment until all evidence and arguments from both accuser and accused are presented.
Believing a person guilty makes it easier to accept testimony against him, and harder to take in exonerating facts. Those who think the President culpable do not question a widely denied claim that at least 15 people participated in bribery at her home in the presence of so many possible whistleblowers, even though there was not a single rumor about the supposed event nearly one and a half years since. Her detractors are also persuaded by an alleged fraudster quoting the purported rantings of a drunken man.

By contrast, evidence and statements for the accused are disbelieved or even deemed incriminating. Susan Roces’s fuming words twisted the President’s apology into an admission of poll fraud. A leading newspaper headlined a story suggesting it was evasive for Malacañang to “clam up” after denying charges. Yet it is the accusers who must respond to denials by producing solid proof, not the accused who is presumed innocence. When jueteng witnesses regretted their testimony, the First Gentleman was blamed, even though Archbishop Oscar Cruz said he had not stringently screened witnesses.

Also hard to impart at this time is the admissibility and validity of evidence in due process. So much supposedly incriminating material, including weeks of hearsay testimony and different versions of the tapes, has proliferated and gained some credence among the public. It may prove difficult to justify why some of that has to be excluded or given little weight.
The tapes are either falsified, manipulated, illegal, or some combination of the three. They may not be admissible as evidence in judicial, legislative and impeachment proceedings, on pain of imprisonment and disqualification from public office for violators. And for any recording to be given evidentiary weight, it must be certified by impartial experts to contain real conversations of the parties said to have been wiretapped, and to be free from alterations. As the CBCP has urged, there must be “a credible, independent process for authentication.” The same can be said with the reams of alleged election documents now being peddled to media by the opposition.

Of the many people making accusations against the First Family, only two have purportedly seen illegal acts. Sandra Cam claims to have personally given a payoff to the President’s brother-in-law, and former Palace functionary Michaelangelo Zuce alleged the bribing of election officials. But both have not produced indisputable corroborating evidence (Zuce’s scribbled lists require authentication). Still, if some of the foregoing evidences are deemed inadmissible or weak, would people devalue them in their minds?

A third issue demanding clear explanation would be the legal and technical aspects of the impeachment itself. Overruled congressmen can also decry decisions based on what they consider trivial technicalities. Opponents of due process can exploit the public’s limited legal knowledge to cry injustice over hard-to-explain rulings. Some issues that may be controversial: Should congressmen consider only one complaint, and leave the others for next year? Can the impeachment include actions and events prior to the current term of the President? Can electoral fraud charges and the validity of the results of the May 2004 elections be covered, or should these be left to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, the sole body empowered to rule on election contests over the top elective posts?

Will rulings on such issues unleash hordes into the streets, as the Senate’s refusal to open the second envelope did in January 2001? And will the people accept an honest-to-goodness vote by the House to reject the impeachment complaints due to weak evidence?

The bottom line for the nation is simple: the current political controversies, particularly the tapes and jueteng issues, must be addressed through credible processes that obtain truth and justice. If there is not a strong case for impeachment, other duly constituted venues may be used, including the Sandiganbayan, the electoral tribunal, the civilian and military courts, and he proposed fact-finding commission. In this democratic constitutional endeavor, our people must be given a truthful explanation of all issues and decisions in the proceedings, not distortions designed to trigger EDSA 4.
The nation must also take to heart the central imperative of due process: allowing accused and accusers to present all evidence and arguments, and to fully assert their legally mandated rights, before judgment is passed. Only with careful deliberation and ample evidence in accordance with the law should an internationally recognized head of state chosen by nearly 13 million Filipinos in elections affirmed by respected independent parties as credible, be prevented from fulfilling her sworn duties to the nation.

In this historic quest for truth and justice, which will again test the integrity and resilience of our national institutions, all participants must put the rule of law and the country’s welfare above personal and partisan interests. Will our leaders deliver this indispensable statesmanship? Will the media do its part in due process by educating the public about its tenets and presenting a balanced, impartial reportage of all contending arguments and evidence? And will the people accept and support a judgment based on the facts and the law, rather than unproven suspicion and speculation? The answers will determine not just the fate of the President, but the future of the Philippines.

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agol_78

August 22nd, 2005 at 3:02 pm

pansinin nyo naman si american idol benign0

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soledad t. tubay

August 22nd, 2005 at 3:41 pm

We did not even have to hear Susan Roces to know that the PGMA violated our rights as voters. All that matters now is for her to go through the process where she can prove her innocence. There is prima facie evidence and the burden of rejoinder rests on her.

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ole

August 22nd, 2005 at 4:00 pm

ang dapat gawin ng mga PARI, huwag papasukin ng simbahan si GMA hanggat hindi nagsisisi at tanggapin ang siyay nagkasala, maglagay ng pooster sa pintuan ng simbahan na BAWAL ANG SINUNGALING AT MAGNANAKAW na presidente

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fandong

August 22nd, 2005 at 5:28 pm

ok sa akin ang mga opinion ng black and white na ito. ngunit, ang hinde ko kayang palampasin ay bakit hinde nila kinikilala si noli de castro, bakit kailangan na transition leader lang siya. kala ko ba you are following the constitional processes? pero, i know the answer to my own question, You can not accept de castro because he was elected by the majority who are POOR, na ang pagtingin ninyo mas maliliit sa inyo, ang tingin ninyo sa mahihirap second or third class beings. Wala ba silang rights. kayong mga hipocrito ginagamit niyo lang ang constitution saka human rights kong pabor sainyo. Sayang ang pag kaidukado ninyo, puros pabor lang sainyo ang ginagawa ninyo. WALA KAYONG RESPETO SA MGA MAHIHIRAP

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soledad t. tubay

August 22nd, 2005 at 6:25 pm

The following is taken from the August 22 column of Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J.
“Having seen the broad meaning of “betrayal of public trust,” we next look at what the Constitution prohibits. It prohibits the initiation of more than one “impeachment proceeding.” It does not necessarily prohibit more than one complaint. More than one complaint would be prohibited only if the multiple complaints would require more than “one proceeding.” But if they can be logically and conveniently combined into one proceeding, there would be no violation of the Constitution.

“In the current controversy, the so-called “amended complaint” and the Lopez complaint, both transmitted on the same day to the Justice Committee together with the Lozano complaint, are nothing more than “bills of particulars” to accompany the Lozano complaint. They both elaborate on the one constitutional offense of “betrayal of public trust.” For constitutional purposes, therefore, what is being initiated is only “one proceeding involving one complaint but with an extended bill of particulars.”

“I can understand, however, why the President’s defenders argue the way they do. They must realize that if the “bill of particulars” is elevated to the Senate, the President will be tarred and feathered and be made to squirm. I guess we must bemoan the conclusion that the presidential defenders and their client do not wish to face the music.”

(Please read, specially the anti-impeachment creatures)

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mlq3

August 22nd, 2005 at 6:53 pm

Benign0, I have great difficulty with people who find something particularly “Pinoy” with either “personality-based” politics, the kind of campaigning we have, or voting morons into office. They obviously haven’t heard of the way public funds are doled out in Malaysia, the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger in California, bribe-taking and bribe-giving in South Korea, Taiwan, the LDP governments in Japan, or how slick publicity is turning parliamentary into pseudopresidential style governments in places such as the UK and Israel.

Obviously we lack a sense of citizenship, in that rights should be accompanied by responsibility, but for a country that has had to compress into a century the kind of economic and political development that took centuries elsewhere, there is much room for hope. You only have to look at parliamentary government in England in the 17th and 18th centuries, the difficult reforms they began in the 19th and only completed after ww2 in the 20th, the kind of Tammany Hall politics in America so that up to the Kennedy-Nixon election there could be allegations the corrupt Daley machine in Chicago swung the election, etc.

You say, “Yet we often fail to show that those dynamics came about because Pinoys have no track record of forcing their politicians to organise and re-organise themselves around issues and ideas like they do in REAL democracies.” By this you mean they do not push the issues you find important, but which may not be important to the electorate. There have only been two issues over the past 75 years: up to 1941, it was independence. After 1946, it’s been graft and corruption. Both were valid issues. Both actually remain valid issues. The reason neither has been succesfully resolved is that those proposing harsher alternatives have been ruthlessly repressed, while any moderate response is, indeed, limited by our culture. Were you to eliminate politicians being godparents, sending scholars, and doling out funds for burials, etc., you’d have the extinction of the political class. The pressure for a different kind of politics comes from a broader middle class, of course, something disappearing -so the basic things become the basic issues. Who can dole out freebies? Those people win -and in a sense, deserve to win, with such an impoverished society. The poverty in Lousiana produced Huey Long, who founded a dynasty; the same kind of poverty produces the leaders we have.

We don’t have oil, which produces enough cash, for example, to mask the corruption in Malaysia and which pays for impressive infrastructure in Indonesia; we only have people. So we export people, which means unlike those countries, we can’t produce a critical mass of reformists. We only produce a hard core Communist fringe and a increasingly desperate ruling class. But don’t blame it on the people. It always goes back to the leaders.

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soledad t. tubay

August 22nd, 2005 at 7:03 pm

Dear parents and guardians,

Sa palagay ko marami marami tayong pagtatamang dapat gawin upang maibalik sa dati ang mga values at prinsipyo ng bayang ito. Kapag nanonood tayo ng mga contest para sa mga bata nakatutuwang marinig ang mga dahilang itinuturo sa kanila para sa pogi points kung bakit gusto nila ang ganito at ganoong propesyon. Very idealistic! Subalit, datapwat, ngunit, ang tunay na naitatanim sa puso ng mga kabataan ang tunay na basehan ng pagpili ng propesyon ay ang laki ng perang kikitain dahil dito. Ang batayan ng tagumpay, ayon sa aral ng mga magulang, ay yaman na makukuha mula sa hanapbuhay. Walang magulang na magsasabi sa anak, “Mag nurse ka anak upang makatulong ka sa paggaling ng mga may sakit” sa halip ang sinasabi nila ay “Mag nurse ka anak para guminhawa ang buhay natin pagkatapos mo at nakapag trabaho ka sa U.S. o sa U.K. kaya.”

Iyan ang totoo!Materialism ang ipinakin kay Arroyo at sa marami sa mga mambabatas sa kasalukuyan. The same materialism that we are probably feeding our children with. For as long as our principles and values have not changed we cannot expect the path we are travelling to be easy.

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gloriaresignnow

August 23rd, 2005 at 1:09 am

the impeachment is going nowhere. pro-administration congressmen and senators will surely quash it.

it’s time for us to unite and take action. enough is enough. public office is a public trust. GMA does not deserve another minute in malacañan.

gloria resign now!

another gloria resign website is born. visit http://www.freewebs.com/gloriaresign/ and let your voice be heard.

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jonathan

August 23rd, 2005 at 2:13 am

i agree with mlq that the ruling political class has failed our country. benigno is also right in preaching about changing the mindset of the electorate and that we deserve what we elect. The problem with Benignos approach is that he is preaching to a crowd (the literati) that’s already politically mature. The real challenge for him is how to get his message to the masa, the C, D, E crowd, to adopt issues-oriented politics and depart from the padrino system. Take for example the admission by a Pampanga Mayor that he accepted jueteng money so he can have money to spend for the demands from his constituency. That is very typical in almost all localities in the Philippines. Damn if he does, damn if he doesn’t. Both the ruling political class and the masa are caught in a vicious cycle. Our approach should be on how to liberate both groups. The long term solution of course is economic liberation for the masa. The ideal will be to increase the percentage of the thinking Middle Class in the social pie. But there are here-and-now solutions that we can implement: provide safety nets in health care and provide universal free education for the poor. The other immediate solution will be for the ruling political elite to change themselves. And they can start this with strict observance of the rule of law and this includes no more playing footsies with people power or other extra-judicial undertakings. Our institutions have to implement the laws and policies that are already in place: put grafters and tax evaders in jail, eliminate red tape in government, make every government transaction transparent, no more palakasan, etc. These are immediate and doable solutions.

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tongue in, anew

August 23rd, 2005 at 5:57 am

Akala ko pa naman matino at mahusay si BeningnO, nilamon rin siya ng sarili niyang falsehoods. Masyado siyang idealistic, pero nakasuot naman ng tapaoho, walang peripheral vision.

Sabihin ba namang kasalanan natin kung bakit nakaupo si Gloria ngayon, helloooo! Hindi nga siya tunay na ibinoto ng tao, no! Kung akala mo BenignO na sapat nang bayaran ni Gloria ang mga masang Pilipino para iboto siya at ang kanyang mga alipores, pwes, kulang pa ang iyong kaalaman sa pulso ng ordinaryong Pinoy, o kaya’y inaakala mong sapat na,ayon lamang sa sekondaryong impormasyong iyong nakalap. (magaling na ba ‘kong magtagalog?)

We all know that the people in general (the masa in particular) have clearly demonstrated in the past few elections their disgust in trapos such that more actors, sportsmen, mediamen, and other high profile candidates got more votes, eventually, more posts than in previous times. These candidates got elected because the average voter has more essential knowledge about them and if he feels he can trust him, he then puts that name in the ballot.

Hindi sapat yung pambibili ng boto (at iba pang raket) ni Gloria at kanyang kapartido kaya kinailangan ng isang Garcilliano dahil alam nilang maraming tatanggap ng pera pero di sila iboboto! Sa Baseco lang, umulan ng kwarta mula sa Lakas. Anong resulta? Tambak si Pandak kay Panday!

Kung meron mang bumoto dahil binayaran siya, ito ay may kalakip na pag-asang muli siyang maalala ng kandidato sakaling ito’y manalo na, at ang isang araw na maitawid ang gutom ng kanyang mag-anak sa pamamagitan ng P150 na suhol ay inaasahang maulit pa nang madalas. Sabihin mo nga sa akin BeningO, masisisi mo ba sila?

Hindi mo siguro dama ang hapdi ng sikmura ng karamihan, at hindi mo rin siguro alam na mahirap man, mas marami ang bumotong may prinsipyo, but for the others, the principles were never strengthened and enforced as the masses’ clamor for information to make enlightened choices were never provided for. Mali ang iyong thesis na hindi bumoboto ang mga masa base sa issues.

Maiksi rin ang memorya mo mali rin ang iyong conclusion, “Pinoys have no track record of forcing their politicians to organise and re-organise themselves around issues and ideas like they do in REAL democracies”. Sa palagay mo, bakit pinili ni Doña Gloria na itakwil ang kanyang co-conspirators sa IRAQ kapalit ng isang ordinaryong Angelo Dela Cruz?

Isa pa, yung “real” democracy na sabi mo, gaya ng UK, kahit anong pilit ng mga mamamayan nito, di lumubay sa giyera ng Iraq, ano ang ibinunga? Alam naman natin, mayorya ng British Parliament kontrolado pa rin ng Labor Party ni Tony Blair matapos kelan lang ibinoto ng “enlightened voters”, ikamo. Kaya pala binomba ng terorista. Dalawang ulit pa.

Yan ba ang uri ng “real” democracy na dapat na dapat kainggitan ng Pinas?

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baycas

August 23rd, 2005 at 6:38 am

off topic:

another way of professing love to our “inang bayan.”

please vote Philippines in The World Challenge…
http://www.theworldchallenge.co.uk/index.html

vote now…
http://www.theworldchallenge.co.uk/vote.php

the competition aims to find individuals or groups from all over the world who have made innovative projects that help make a difference to their communities.

Philippines is one of the 12 finalists! the others are Zambia, Kenya (2 entries), UK, Spain, USA, Ukraine, Malta, South Africa, Vanuatu and India.

thanks!

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apollo

August 23rd, 2005 at 7:01 am

ANAY,

extraconstitutional “heroism” & childish street politics. nice tag and all but still full of bullshit….

crap… anay what the fuck are you thinking?

if the institutions that are in place doesn’t work at all – do you really accept the notion that nothing can change things, enough to accept these and let things be? how stupid can you get?

there are times and seasons for everything…. there are times when i would advocate peaceful means by working the system – hence my blog comments advocating people to call their congressmen to affect and effect change properly? but what the fuck do you do when the process itself is deemed improper and of no use at all ? [becasue it has been corrupted by the midget herself]… then it is time to call for direct action….

do you think Macoy would have eventually left? really?
would Aquino & Tabako change their policies?
do you think Estrada would still be here?

NOT WITHOUT DIRECT ACTION….

It’s just so fucking ironic that you had the temerity to mention Ninoy.
you said “Go ahead and fight and you go on and “go down fighting” and make yourself just another statistic. Ninoy did the same, but then he is no good to us dead.”

Ninoy submitted himself to the ministrations of Imelda’s goons like a lamb to the slaughter. and you know why? it’s because as he said “the Filipinos are worth dying for.” He had with supreme sacrifice moved the body politic to severe macoy’s deathgrip in this country. and now we all have this freedom which even you enjoy today.

Ninoy might not be among the living but i still hold him in my heart as a father figure that everyone should emulate…. after all the Tree of liberty needs the blood of this country’s sons to nurture it so it will grow….

I dont care whether i die too… a statistic? maybe….
But I will always strive to serve this country not only thru words like you do… but thru my actions too….

cowards die a thousand deaths… i’ll only die once – unlike you….

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bayonic

August 23rd, 2005 at 7:20 am

soledad t tubay wrote :
“Iyan ang totoo!Materialism ang ipinakin kay Arroyo at sa marami sa mga mambabatas sa kasalukuyan. The same materialism that we are probably feeding our children with. For as long as our principles and values have not changed we cannot expect the path we are travelling to be easy.”

tumpak ka dyan STT .

the changes should come from each individual i think … and materialism is one of the things we should change .

tanggalin na yang mga pa contest contest at pa raffle raffle ng mga malalaking kumpanya . ibigay na lang ang budget sa honest and deserving government workers , honest cabbie , etc.

and sobra na ang trapik sa metro manila , magpaparaffle ka pa ng kotse ?

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benign0

August 24th, 2005 at 7:30 am

mlq3,

Trying to cite similar types of dysfunction in other societies is like an alcoholic citing that there are other winos in the neighbourhood to excuse his behaviour. In any case, Malaysia is a more prosperous country and has a clear and positive path of development laid out before it while the US has institutions that are trusted and actually work. There is graft and corruption in Japan and Korea as there is in most other societies but not in the scale that prevails in the Philippines and certainly not to the extent of grossly depriving people of their basic needs and hopes for personal prosperity.

To compare the dysfunction of the Philippines to the dysfunctions of vastly more prosperous and stable countries kind of sounds like a wino harping about how the rich love their wine too. Maybe that is why you have “great difficulty with people who “find something particularly ‘Pinoy’ about” the dysfunction I cite — because you are barking up the wrong tree, because any “uniqueness” that I cite in the dysfunction of our society is not the cornerstone of my argument.

You cite how other societies took hundred of years to prosper yet conveniently ignore the ‘miraculous’ three-to-four-decade rise of the Asian tigers that are closer to us both in time and in georgraphy and therefore having developmental contexts far more relevant to our situation than that of “England in the 17th and 18th centuries”.

Sure sure, corruption exists in this and that society. But they managed to prosper anyway, just like the Filipino-Chinese did too, DESPITE their dysfunctional host society and the equally moronic government it tolerates.

We don’t have oil but we were a rich land in other ways (and certainly rich in population but not necessarily in the quality of said population). And just like oil, it takes innovation and an ethic of technological excellence to harvest the value of natural resources. And yes, we export labour and they in turn contribute 10% of the value of the national economy. But do you see any of those funds being sunk into the capital base of said economy? I think they just go to jeepneys, karaoke machines, and cellphones. How many thriving businesses (the kind that add value to our capital base) do you know of that were built on OFW remittances?

I do agree we only have people — and it is the very people that have made the country poorer, destroying what wealth the land had — its forests, waters and air — and yet having nothing in the way of economic prosperity and certainly no cultural depth to speak of to show for all that cost incurred. Having just about achieved the destruction of our natural wealth, we go abroad to earn dollars to send back home to spend on further consumption much of which is fuelled by imported goods, which then contributes to further destruction and depletion with no permanent self-sustaining value added to the economic wellbeing of the society itself.

And no, it does not “go back to our leaders”. In this day and age, leaders merely reflect the people they lead. If we continue to look to our leaders for our salvation, we will continue to give them the power to destroy us. The answer lies in building strong institutions to frame the quality of their leadership and service.

Mr. jonathan,

look through a few of the comments here. The “politically mature” audience you think exist here are clearly in the minority. The Philippine elite not only have the resources (e.g. control of the media, etc.) to provide cultural and behavioural leaderhship to the masses, they have the potential smarts to comprehend the fundamental issues about Pinoy society I keep harping about — that is, if they start seeing beyond the distored lens of tradition and denial they choose to view things through.

Mr. apollo,

Is the Pinoy truly worth dying for? Ask that to the tens of thousands who leave every day, specially the doctors who would rather work as nurses abroad. If investors cannot even find a decent ROI in the Philippines, then imagine the folly of investing ones very life on our little group of rocks.

What does Ninoy have to show for his death? Just another stariray actress.

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jackryan68

August 24th, 2005 at 9:45 am

To ignore leadership as an element in nationbuilding is to ignore the critical role played by Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore and Mahathir in Malaysia at the time the Asian tigers are rising. And who did we have in the Philippines at the time? Marcos who in the end destroyed the very institutions that Benigno is harping about.

Which brings me to my second point. It is incorrect to blame the ordinary Filipinos solely for destroying the natural resources of our land. In this country, the political/economic elite have a bigger share of the blame, and they have wrought far more havoc to our wealth than ordinary citizens can ever do. Again, the issue of leadership comes to play.

What is happening to the country is a vicious cycle that sprang from bad choices it made in the past, leadership failures among them. These have impaired our collective capabilities as a nation, in the process limiting our options. But to give up on the only country we’ve got is not one of those options. Benigno is right in saying that we need to build strong institutions. But these institutions are not built in a day. We need to start somewhere – and it is not with a defeatist attitude that Benigno has.

Given the national leadership we have that is constant source of embarassment especially when you’re abroad, I have chosen to do so where I can be more effective: at the community level.

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mlq3

August 24th, 2005 at 1:30 pm

whynopis, haven’t used a cane in some years. i myself have pointed out the defect of not having a run-off election. the lack of such an election, as you’ve said, is precisely why we don’t have majority presidents, when the presidential system requires a majority to work. I don’t mind your calling my statements full of crap, because of course that’s what would come to mind if you don’t check what i’ve argued before. Same goes for quoting MLQ to me, when you and everyone else take that quote out of context. you should however, learn to argue without ad hominems although it’s perhaps too late. you’re welcome to go through the things i’ve written -and then comment if you wish, and if you can do it politely in a public forum.

benigno, i disagree that korea and singapore are the most valid comparisons, but malaysia is a good example, indeed: their lesson is one expats tell me time and again, it’s not our corruption that’s unique, but the insatiability of the corruption. one expat game me examples from africa, etc: corruption there is predictable, and limited, while here, according to the expat, the sky’s the limit. in that sense, the problem is unique. but going back to foreign examples, i prefer to look at britain and japan because they are island nations, with a history of a stubborn and selfish ruling class. your asian tigers, at least korea and singapore and even taiwan, have a strong confucian tradition which we’ve never had. we simply don’t have the cultural framework for national solidarity they have. so we must find other means.

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whynoypisfail

August 24th, 2005 at 2:33 pm

MLQIII,

Apologies, but your comment that spurred me to mention the run-off elections didn’t quite explain your advocacy of election run-offs – hence it really did make it look like you barked up the wrong tree – as Benign0 would say.

As for other other countries you fail to see that Japan itself also comes from a Confucian tradition. And Taiwan too is an island nation – so is Singapore.

Looking at Britain, you will see that we have very little in common with them – most especially that Britain belongs to the Northern European protestant grouping – which Weber says is a factor in its relative success. We, OTOH, are Malayo-Polynesians with a Hispano-Catholic (therefore more Southern European heritage), which may put us within the “Western Sphere of Influence” but doesn’t put us in the same sub-category as the Northern European and Protestant cultures. Compare White Anglo-Saxon societies like the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand with Latin America and the Philippines, and you’ll see where the difference lies.

Among those societies from the Hispano-Catholic derived ones, it’s worth mentioning Chile, since that country shines out as Latin America’s success story – and tries to benchmark itself vis-a-vis Singapore. In fact, it touts itself as the Singapore of Latin America. Ironically, though, the foundation for Chile’s success was a result of its harsh but disciplinarian phase under Pinochet. The same can be said about Spain’s economic foundations having been laid out under Franco’s dictatorship.

Back to Japan, you fail to see that Japan has an overwhelmingly strict and disciplinarian culture with a highly Confucian background. Moreover, it is also largely culturally monolithic – save for the minority Ainus and Okinawans. Why then would you consider Japan to be a better model than South Korea, Taiwan, or Singapore?

You even state that in contrast to Singapore, Malaysia would be a better comparison – when in fact, Singapore was functionally and culturally a subset of what later on became Malaysia. The only difference is that while Malaysia’s Malays and indigenous people outnumber the ethnic Chinese, it is simply the reverse in Singapore. By and large, both societies are very identical except for the ethnic proportions.

If you analyze carefully, Singapore only later “branched away” from its otherwise natural tendency to be a mini-Malaysia with a Chinese majority by undertaking a cultural shift towards clean government and efficiency.

You also talk about Oil, but you fail to realize that while Oil does help Malaysia a bit, it is not the end-all be all of its society’s strengths. In contrast, Brunei, which has a very small number of people, but huge Oil Revenues per capita, is for all intents and purposes LESS DEVELOPED than Malaysia. A trip to Bandar Seri Begawan will open your eyes to this fact that they are nowhere near KL’s cosmopolitan nature – most of which was not built on Oil Revenues. Sure, it can be argued that the Petronas Towers was built primarily from Oil revenues, but indeed the rest of KL’s development was not oil-derived.

So what is it? Island or not Island? Confucian or not Confucian? Who then should we benchmark ourselves against, if you will say that being an island-nation qualifies one as being a good benchmark, yet being Confucian doesn’t? Confusing, really.

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benign0

August 24th, 2005 at 2:37 pm

mlq3,

Then we therefore agree that culture is the fundamental issue of our society and the root cause of why we fail. Our culture is not compatible with any known development models (I dare say, this goes beyond “national solidarity” but into the very reason why we fail to expand economically and deepen our cultural framework), which is why I’ve for the longest time advocated taking a close and often painful look at the very building blocks that constitute our society and culture — our attitudes, belief systems, the way we regard and practice religion, customs and traditions, approach to thinking, etc. The very core of our being as a people. Things that manifest themselves when you take a long critical look at the very nature/substance of the arguments put forward in blogs like these.

I think that is where this guy, whynoypisfail, is coming from (btw, I don’t find anything ad-hoministic about his comment, contrary to what you claim). I myself get impatient with this tendency to find ‘kadamays’ in graft and corruption and other national diseases amongst other societies. I do agree that it is a bit crappy in form to be arguing using this tack. We should treat our malaise as an absolute problem, finding solutions that are relevant specifically and absolutely to the Philippines. Let’s not rest on the knowledge that corruption also exists elsewhere.

That said, the journey can’t begin unless Pinoys become a bit more open-minded to different views. Even acknowledging that we are hopeless at saving much less creating/building and accumulating capital is a huge challenge already (that’s to do with attitude). They bristle at being told that the argument on GMA’s legitimacy has degenerated from the issues to personalities (that’s to do with approach to thinking), etcetera, etcetera. Even the call to challenge the very wisdom (or lack of it) behind shoving the Tagalog language down everyone’s throats (in the face of the rising supremacy of English as a ticket to prosperity) is a small voice in a wilderness of traditionalists.

Corruption — everyone’s favourite example — is often taken as an issue in itself, whereas I believe it is just a symptom of the deeper malaise of *lack of trust* as I explain in the following article:

http://www.getrealphilippines.com/solution/trust.html

As the Bisolvon commercial say, you gotta get at the source of the cough — phlegm. ;)

Even in the corporate world, there is a clear acknowledgement that change in culture underpins all major corporate turnarounds. And the Philippines is certainly a society that requires a major turnaround. The key lies in the elite (contrary to what people think). They control the nation’s information dissemination infrastructure, and provide cultural leadership to the masses. Certainly those who have access to the Net and therefore are able to post on this blog constitute a good representation of the Philippine elite (though many here would deny it). Yet if you look at their attitudes and their regard for this latest of political setbacks, you find not the least bit of introspection, not the least bit of critical analysis of how things got to this point — specifically why we cannot even trust our own congressmen to do the right thing for us.

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mlq3

August 24th, 2005 at 3:33 pm

whynopis, thank you for tempering your comments, apology accepted with pleasure. your further comments are actually a delight to read: the value of an open discussion like this, is we all have to keep thinking.

Your bringing up Weber brings up a crucial point, which is the absence of a Protestant work ethic here, and the effects of Iberian Catholicism on our culture and economy. The incidence of baksheesh in Islamic societies also compares unfavorably to Protestant countries (economies?) and why they’re disadvantaged in a world economy in which the Calvinism of Northern Europe and Confucianism seem inclined to foster capitalism and industrial/technological development. This actually suggests the cultural problem at the heart of Singapore’s separation from Malaysia, whether on ethnic or cultural grounds: Mahathir has perpetually bewailed the inherent laziness and lack of initiative of the Malays -to use a pun, the malaise of the Malays, a malaise we seem to share.

Your points brings up the question of whether or not we should examine South America more for useful examples and comparisons. Furthermore, pointing out Japan as Confucian is also important.

But I do believe Japan and Britain are worth examining because, as I said, of the British experience with the selfishness of their ruling class and the means that were found to develop a broader democracy and a welfare state. Japan is valuable to my mind, because of the manner in which Japanese politicians work, the factional nature of the LDP party which is reminiscent of the tendencies of our own politicians. Furthermore the British experience with minorities and regional identities has lessons to offer us. I would add the example of India, so perhaps our benchmarks should be dependent on which sector or area we want to consider. I confess to a bias against Singapore because it’s such a stifling dictatorship (requiring people to take classes in creativity); off hand I’d point to Thailand being a good model, but they were never colonized. Malaysia, too, is only emerging from the status of a one party state, and its relatively small population points to conditions more like the pre-war Philippines than one we can fairly compare to us, today. So where does that leave us? Exploring your South American examples, and for the ultimate objective (a mature democracy and welfare state), the UK, and for problems more similar to our own, perhaps India and to a certain extent, why not, Thailand.

On a final note, Singapore is an oligarchy, although perhaps, enlightened. Were Makati to be independent, it might possibly work, but the Singaporean model -would it work in a larger, more culturally diverse, country? The real question is whether an “enlightened” dictatorship is a prerequisite to development, as exemplified by Spain, South Korea, Taiwan, even China. This would make for an interesting topic, and I’d only suggest that Ninoy Aquino was suggesting something that Francisco Franco actually did: groom a successor. Spain took off after Franco’s repression was replaced by Juan Carlos’s gradual but firm opening up; Marcos refused to groom a successor, even if Ninoy practically volunteered to be one on more than one occassion.

Benign0, I suggest the root issue is colonialism, with the easy way out mentality: blame foreigners, blame each other, avoid changing the system. I will even go as far as to say our society suffers from the inherent small-mindedness and ignorance of island cultures (the famous insularity of the British, the insularity of Americans who actually inhabit a gigantic cultural island). I think the frustration people have with you, is similar to the frustration you feel when it comes to your critics. So if this is wrong, then what? If we have cultural defects, that still means this is the culture we have, and how then do you go about cultural change, when whatever culture we have is already being transmitted from one generation to the next in a haphazard and slovenly manner, because of too few transmitters of culture, and too many people lining up to receive anything more than a superficial culturalization?

And yet, my optimism comes from the fact that people are thirsty for knowledge, and explain things, and things are likely to be understood. Not enough is being done in this regard by people in the middle (the Communists are energetic about their teach-ins). And you may want to consider if you’d get more productive debates going if you didn’t view things in such absolutist terms (how will people be convinced to exchange views with you, if you ultimately argue that you have all the anwers, anyway?).

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whynoypisfail

August 24th, 2005 at 6:19 pm

MLQIII,

Taken by itself, what Weber refers to as the Protestant Ethic is not necessarily the only thing that should lead culturally Christian-based societies to progress. The Age of Enlightenment (aka “The Age of Reason”) which pretty much followed the Rennaissance actually did usher in some progress even in traditionally Catholic societies such as France. It was this particular model that Kemal Mustafa Ataturk borrowed his concepts of Turkish Modernization from. I am saying, therefore, that other Catholic societies were at least able to move towards some degree of progress because of some of the economically-productive insights brought about from the Enlightenment. The Philippines, unfortunately, did not pass through the Enlightenment the way other Catholic societies did. Only those Pinoys who went to Europe got a whiff of it.

But yes, by and large, there are major parallels between the largely Calvinist-based Protestant Ethic of certain areas of Northern Europe and the Confucian ethic of the “chopstick societies” of Asia which use chopsticks and traditionally use Chinese Characters to represent formality and tradition. Even Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria mentioned this parallelism that exists between the Confucian ethic and the Protestant Ethic several times in his articles and publications dealing with societal development.

Looking at Mahathir’s Malay Dilemma and his persistent push towards his fellow Malays to improve themselves and catch up with the more successful immigrants to their land, you can see that their leadership is not fond of political correctness and sugar-coating. Instead, Malaysia’s leadership looks squarely at things as their are and tells people, point blank, to deal with problems squarely without burying their heads in the sand.

It is actually rather naive to immediately dismiss Singapore as a model, and many often do so because of its small size… The reason I call it naive is that the world’s most populous country itself – the People’s Republic of China – looks at Singapore as an ideal model for which it can draw many useful examples in its quest to modernize.

I am not aware that you know this, but the creation of Shenzhen – which was formerly just a small uninteresting village on the border with Hong Kong was an experiment undertaken by the late Deng Xiaoping in the early 80′s pretty much after he had visited Malaysia and Singapore (especially Singapore) where he saw the manner in which the majority Chinese nation-state do things in a particular way. He took these key insights from Singapore with him and applied them in the experiment that created the city which is one of the most progressive and most prosperous in China. Indeed, that was from nothing to something: Shenzhen was first created as a specially-designated but empty area consisting of so-and-so number of hectares, fenced-off with barbed wire by the People’s Liberation Army under orders from the Paramount Leader Deng himself.

That Singapore is stifling is subjective. You are probably not very aware of the Triads problem that existed in Singapore which Hong Kong has never successfully licked. It was a multitude of factors which included the Triads that forced the government to take on a firm stance against allowing loopholes that would have been exploited by those gangsters. You also fail to realize that Singapore decided to prioritize its tasks according to their socio-economic state at a given point in time. In truth, now that Singapore has successfully become the most economically-developed state in Southeast Asia, they have in many ways softened and loosened up. It is actually very unfair to characterize Singapore as a police state, since my visits there reveal to me that there are hardly any policemen roaming the streets. At least, I never got to see any – and yet people naturally followed the rules because they just got used to it. The story goes that they were very much like a police state in the early years of cleaning it up, and they progressively just kept decreasing that big-brother presence as they noticed that people eventually got used to doing things properly even without supervision or without the authorities watching.

Again, it is wrong to just dismiss Singapore as a model. We have a lot to learn from it. If the People’s Republic of China, the world’s most populous country, can learn from one of the world’s smallest countries, then we shouldn’t be arrogant and pretend we have nothing to learn from them. It is that attitude of just dismissing any opportunity to learn from others that is disgusting and I dare say imbecilic.

It is also wrong to characterize Singapore as an Oligarchy. By its very definition, Oligarchy refers to a degenerated elite – one that acts based on its caprices and on narrow self-interests. In fact Aristotle mentioned that an Oligarchy is a malignant form of Aristocracy – whereby aristocracy is merely the rule of a society by an elite, preferably an enlightened one.

Singapore is an aristocracy, perhaps in the same way that Plato’s Republic was. If anything, Singapore seems to be the closest thing to Plato’s Republic actually happening in real life.

I still submit that between Singapore and Japan, Singapore still turns out to be the better alternative to finding a good model from which to draw developmental insights from. Japan is monolithically unicultural, whereas Singapore is multicultural and even each of its own cultural “races” are further subdivided according to dialect or origin. You ask whether Singapore’s model can work with countries larger and more culturally diverse? For size, check out why China’s copying them and learning from them so much. For cultural diversity, compare just how culturally diverse the Philippines is compared with Singapore. You’ll find out that Singapore is so many times more culturally diverse – for a country that size! The Philippines is 99% Malayo-Polynesian and even those who immigrated from other shores have assimilated into the culture and language of their locale… Singapore, OTOH, has Chinese – who are further subdivided into mutually unintelligible and traditionally mutually-antagonistic dialect-groups (Fujianese versus Cantonese versus etc,etc) Malayo-Polynesians who also come from different ethno-linguistic groups (Melayu, Jawa, Bawean, Bugis, etc), Indians (primarily Tamil, but also has Punjabis, Malayalees, etc), and so many more!

Are you telling me that the Philippines is more diverse? Singapore, for the small island it is, is far more diverse that you have Chinese, Malay, and many different kinds of Indians while the Philippines only has variations on how we look (racial continuum – from very Indio-looking to very Tisoy or very Chinese, to all the varying in-betweens).

Moreover, they were in pretty much the same shithole that we were in, them being in a worse position long ago. You have to see pictures of Singapore in the 60’s and 70’s just to compare the crap they were in compared to the nice stuff we had during those days.

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mlq3

August 24th, 2005 at 10:21 pm

whynoypis-

Points well taken, and I will study Singapore further. However, I can’t help but suspect that the bottom line when it comes to viewing Singapore as a model (particularly the Chinese admiration for it), is the idea of a one party dictatorship, which is basically what Malaysia also had under Mahathir. This then brings us to Marcos, who had that chance, with popular support at the beginning of his attempt to create a New Society. Unlike Mahathir or Harry Lee (Lee Kwan Yew), he failed to limit his avarice. Seeing that we went through a dictatorship, and it was a disaster, I really don’t see how we can go down that road again, among many reasons being the lack of anyone qualified to take on the job. So we must muddle through. Your posts however are quite thought-provoking and I’m glad you took the time to share them, hopefully many people will ponder them.

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whynoypisfail

August 24th, 2005 at 10:36 pm

Lastly,

You complain that Benign0 seems to know all the answers. I don’t see that in his posts nor in his website. In fact, I’m seeing that attitude from you, actually.

Benign0′s website is just a simple collection of stuff that ultimately points at one thing we Filipinos all have to realize:

That our cultural faults are the reasons for our failure!

What now? You might ask.

Isn’t it obvious? That we Filipinos should therefore get into the business of self-reform.

If other countries themselves used to suck but realized that they sucked, then finally decided to do something about it, why can’t we?

Indeed, this is exactly what the advanced cultures of the “Nusantaran” Malayo-Polynesians (the ones who later formed the Sri Vijaya and Madjapahit empires and are the precursors to the dominant cultures of Malaysia and Indonesia) did in order to achieve their relatively high level of indigenous culture. These people were originally just like our indigenous Pinoy ancestors of long long ago – wearing bahags and worshipping anitos.

But at some point, they came in contact with the Indians and a few Chinese traders. And they noticed how culturally advanced those Indian and few Chinese traders were. In the end, they decided to borrow parts of Indian culture and even took some elements of Chinese culture and made it theirs. They shifted from their old animistic faith and converted to Hinduism (as well as Buddhism), copied the art and architecture and social systems in them and eventually prospered. They didn’t stop there. They continued on absorbing more and more influences – and at some point even stepped up on their Chinese borrowings – quite evident in certain aspects of their architecture.

This is all evident in Balinese culture, which is the elite culture that Java had before it became Muslim. (Bali is where the Hindu-Buddhist elites fled to) In Bali, you see evidence of Chinese and Indian architectural influences everywhere – and if and when you ask them why, they’ll say that they learned these hundreds of years ago from the Indians and the Chinese. (The result is that Balinese cultural artforms taken as a whole are like a pre-cursor to Thai-Cambodian cultural art-forms.)

They DID NOT WAIT to be colonized by foreigners to actually become who they were. They took it upon themselves to learn directly from people they happened to be in contact with and so developed a high level of culture which ultimately became unique in a certain sense.

In fact, even the move from the old Hindu-Buddhist traditions that they originally had towards Islam was also a self-directed move. They weren’t conquered then converted – they asked to be converted. They felt that here was a new religion which was relatively more egalitarian than their old Hinduistic traditions (yes, even the Balinese and pre-Islamic Javanese had a caste system) and noticed what appeared to be wealthier and more gracious traders from Hadhramaut in Yemen as well as Muslims from different parts of the Indian subcontinent. Some even say that probably Chinese Muslims of the Hui minority visited their shores. So no, they didn’t wait to be colonized for them to adopt new modes of thinking – and at that point in time, Islam was the most modern civilization to reach their shores so they veered towards Islam. In short it was their “kusang-loob” that got them there.

The problem with us Pinoys is that it seems as if we have to wait to be colonized before we learn from others. Even the Japanese didn’t wait to be colonized to go through the Meiji Restoration which brought them into the modern age. (It was in this era that English was even considered as a possible candidate for Japan’s “Official Language!”)

Ataturk brought Western ideas and systems into Turkey and Latinized his language’s written system rather than waited for some colonial interloper to invade them and Westernize them.

Peter the Great of Russia didn’t wait for some external colonial power to take over his beloved Rossiya before he decided to shift Russia to look Westwards and modernize.

King Mongkut and his son Chulalongkorn didn’t wait for their beloved Siam to be turned into either a French or British protectorate before they spearheaded their country’s initial moves towards modernization. They took that path themselves.

Why then can’t Filipinos think that way? Why do we Filipinos keep waiting for Heaven to fall upon us?

Worse, why can’t Filipinos unite and make rational decisions towards the common goal of fixing our society?

And of course, the first step is for Filipinos to realize how fouled up the situation is, how fouled up our way of doing things is, and how necessary to identify exactly what those wrong things we do and what those wrong attitudes are that lead us to do those wrong things.

Only then – after acknowledging our faults and pinpointing them ourselves – can we actually start fixing ourselves. Obviously, you can’t fix something if firstly you don’t know there’s something wrong with it, secondly you don’t know what’s wrong with it…

Filipinos still haven’t gotten to the first stage. So far in all these blogs and all the different “nice-to-hear” messages being passed around as chain emails among Pinoy friends, I don’t see Filipinos understanding that there is fundamentally something wrong with us as a people.

And that, correct me if I’m wrong Benign0, is a lot of what Benign0′s messages in his website are. In fact, they’re not all Benign0′s, but are a collection of stuff other people wrote!

The bad part is that when people read the jawbreaker e-mail as well as Benign0′s website, people say that these messages are “negative” or “pessimistic” or “focused too much on the bad side.”

Well what do you expect?!?? The situation IS bad. And it’s only right to say it like it is!

Why sugar-coat it? Why hide it? Why pretend that it’s not bad? Why all the bullshit politically correct messages that make people simply “feel good?”

I remember the message of the Monty Python guy, John Cleese, where he something to effect of Comedy having some bad effect on people because it makes life somewhat more bearable and thus prevents people from making the necessary changes. I don’t remember the exact words, but that’s pretty much the gist.

We Filipinos are too much into making things bearable rather than taking steps to improve the situation. As a people, we tend to lower the bar if we fail the first time rather than practice and prepare more so that we succeed the next time.

You could argue that Pinoys would rather adjust their perception of the shitty smell emanating from the toilet (they “get used” to it, in other words) rather than actually do the right thing of investing one hour worth of manual labor in cleaning the toilet thoroughly enough so that the shit-stench is totally eradicated and after that get on with your life WITHOUT the shitty smell that used to be there.

There’s no excuse here, MLQIII. Our people have taken your grand-daddy’s statements to its logical conclusion. Today, we have an entire society that is run like hell by Filipinos (even the Philippine branch of the Catholic Church is run like hell by the Pinoy Clergy – look at that pathetic Running Priest! It even required a foreigner – the Papal Nuncio – to dissuade the CBCP from doing anything stupid during the resign-campaign!), and even if we have a few good men and women trying to improve it, we Filipinos work doubly hard to make it difficult for them to do what has to be done.

So I’m sorry if I sound like I’m lecturing you here. The Philippines was merely correctly described by Benign0 to be in deep shit simply because Filipinos continue to do the wrong things and seem to have no capacity to learn from the obvious mistakes we make over and over again.

The bad part is when influential people like you and a few others try to mask what is wrong with the Philippines and more importantly, what’s wrong with Filipinos by using some palusot or mentioning that “other societies have these problems too.” Moreover, you add to the problem if and when people such as Benign0 who are merely telling the truth are dismissed by you and others.

The truth hurts, and telling the truth plainly as it is hurts even more.

But there is a reason God made it hurt… It hurts so that we are forced to get rid of the hurt by doing something about it.

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noelet

August 24th, 2005 at 10:57 pm

WOW!

Talk about a great marketing idea?

Seem a free and a lengthy advertising.

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noelet

August 24th, 2005 at 11:03 pm

So guys and gurus, aside from your current advertising and profiling the “what-you-claim-is-a-cultural-flaws”… are you black or white?

I think the color of the day is pink. ;)

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noelet

August 24th, 2005 at 11:27 pm

So saan na tayo pupunta? Pagkatapos sigawan mo ba ng JUST GO BACK TO WORK! – a show of a rotten culture I guess – when a person who claim to be a handyman of social and cultural solutions tries to shut someone else’s ideals.

Thats rotten tomatoes… Then try to be serious ya all to claim the answers is by the book?

Yung mga linya na binoto nyo yan panindigan nyo… sus ano ka ba bata? Pero sige patulan na natin. Mali ang boto nila doesn’t means its the end of the world. So what kind of culture are you preaching here? More flaws? Oh men…

But people have the right to redeem themselves. Take that from every culture-analogy.

Then again would you blame 100% the voters in a very immoral landscape of elections we have? So between the impartial COMELEC, the very rich candidates, the entertainers, the empty promises, the cheatings… but still the bottom line is its the voters fault?

So what kind of culture are you advocating? Attack those who are weak in ideology for you can hurt them? And you can feel great as the all-knowing-one?

More that what you say is ideological can be a psychotic parallel.

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noelet

August 24th, 2005 at 11:37 pm

So instead why not create “The Pink Movement”?

To those who idealistically detach themselves to current problems by preaching that the solutions is historical, is deep, can be fantastically discussed… maybe enlightening to the ears… technical in nature…. its not pro-opposition… not even maka-gloria… that its not black… and its not white… its pink.

In other words, the real fiesta spirit – a very carefree attitude.

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tongue in, anew

August 25th, 2005 at 4:18 am

Amen.

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benign0

August 25th, 2005 at 7:27 am

Mr, noelet, you simply demonstrate the very essence of the fundamental issues about the psyche of the Pinoy that whynoypisfail described — that utter lack of substance in both form and thought that you show.

ha ha! :D

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benign0

August 25th, 2005 at 7:35 am

mlq3,

The root issue goes beyond colonialism but to why people of our sort are quickly damaged by colonialism. The obvious reason is because we have a shallow culture (you can also see this lack of substance in the Filipino in the comments you see in blogs like these and the singular focus on petty politics that dominate Pinoy debate. Compare us to China that itself had been colonised (even the commies tried to destroy it in their ‘cultural revolution), yet its culture remained largely intact and is once again in full bloom.

It’s the culture, dude. Culture culture culture. Our culture is weak and easily blown away by the slightest breeze.

Pinoy’s thristy for knowledge? I beg to differ. If you hang around this blog long enough, you will see that more substantially intellectual debate is shunned for the showbiz and stariray-type talk that prevails (and as some of the more recent comments on this particular thread had demonstrated). Pag-seryoso na ang usapan, you often get the response – tama na yang pa-inggles-inggles na yan!

Typically Pinoy. ;)

I explain some of the issues of the utter vacuousness of Pinoy debate in my latest artik:
http://www.getrealphilippines.com/agr-disagr/18-5-hangin.html

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whynoypisfail

August 25th, 2005 at 8:17 am

Palibhasa si Noelet walang masabing matino dahil di talaga nagbabasa…

That’s one problem the Pinoy educational establishment has been grappling with: Why Juan does not Read…

Noelet, magbasa ka muna. Better yet, fix your attitude. Why don’t you just admit first of all that you were hurt by the very true comments I made about our failings and shortcomings as a people.

…Then do something about it!

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JMONEY45

August 25th, 2005 at 12:03 pm

I am an alumnus of La Salle Greenhills and I can’t be any prouder about my alma mater. They have always been on the side of the truth and what is best for the Filipino people.

What bothers me are the intentions of the school’s president in allowing the school to be a venue for these activities. Bro. Bernie Oca is somewhat questionable in his intentions. I can only speculate if he is aloowing all of these in exhancge for something. Or then again, maybe there was no UAAP game to watch that day that is why he allowed the school to be used as a venue for this gathering. Some sort of a past time maybe.

Ah regardless of what his intentions are, ANIMO LA SALLE!

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sinningsaint

August 25th, 2005 at 1:43 pm

‘sensya na po, benignO and whynoypisfail… pero your line of thinking are, i presume, the same line of thinking that these “used-to-be” idealistic congressmen has… they present their pieces with so much passion, with so much gusto, with so much conviction.

great. the only difference is that they did something about what they chose to believe, and eventually took advantage of the same culture that they deemed flawed.

(and don’t bother to comment further because i expect this comment of mine to be branded as a showbiz response… compared to your genius analysis and conclusions… both, nonetheless, present no better alternative to this doomed country.)

jmoney45… at least your school has the guts to support movements like these after it has publicly made a position (GMA resign)… review past PCIJ blogs… andaming iba jan… may mga official statements ek-ek pa.. press conferences… but ever since the scenario seemed to be going GMA’s favor after the “lapse in judgment” drama: less than 79 signatures, the Catholic Church opted for the constitutional process, the military showed continuing support to the administration, blah, blah, blah… WALA NA ‘YUNG IBA… QUIET NA… TESTING THE WATERS… hmmm…

guess Amang Magsaysay is just the sign of things to come.

dahil marami jan ang bumitaw na sa laban. dahil marami jan ang nagbago na ng isip. dahil marami jan ang nakikisakay lang sa passion ng iba.

ANIMO LA SALLE!!… peace, bro!

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foreign_devil

August 25th, 2005 at 2:16 pm

whynoypisfail, mlq3, benign0,

great discussions, guys! i have been reading your exchanges for a while and i can’t help but notice the incisive arguments you all masterfully brandish like the sharpest rapiers.

however, i just have one question which i would like to pose in this manner: a glass of water filled midway may appear either as half-full to a person who don’t want a drink or as half-empty to a thirsty fellow. Given that your discussions have tackled important matters on the past and present of the Philippines vis-a-vis its neighbors, may I know what are your prognoses on its future? of even crucial import, may you please enlighten us all not only on the WHATs but on the HOWs?

There is this ancient fable of belling the cat which tells that in the final analysis, the true beauty of an idea lies in the fact that it can be put into operation. Otherwise, we might all be lapsing into the luxuries and vagaries of intellectual, err, pardon the word, masturbation.

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noelet

August 25th, 2005 at 2:26 pm

Philippines is one of the most read country. So why Juan does not read? – ask yourself where did you get that theory…

Then again you’ll reply “intellectual reading”… so better rephrase or complete your questioning. ey!

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mlq3

August 25th, 2005 at 2:53 pm

devil, my views are simply that we’re entering a post-nationalist phase, where the country is merely cradle and retirement home; that there’s a serious effort to restructure things by focusing on the local instead of the national; personally, i believe the question of the president’s leadership should be resolved against her, as it will help reinvigorate whatever national politics we have left; that after that, exploring ideas such as federalism will offer a chance of better governance and better lives, and that the ofw phenomenon is helping along this process, though at times i wonder if my belief that exposure to systems that work well abroad, is really rubbing off in a positive way, or that once ofws come home, they simply revert to old habits.

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noelet

August 25th, 2005 at 2:56 pm

Benign0,

You should try to rediscover your ideals more than be blinded by it.

Consider this: I don’t sarcastically blame my fellow voters for having a corrupt system. I value my culture more than how much you trash your own.

Consider the psyche as your idealistic fantastication – its just a term. Or let us discuss Freudalism.

Considering you fantastic ideals as SOLUTIONS with brutal and sadistic admonition to the rest – especially those movement that are presently fighting on present problems – is just a punch to the moon.

So if the impeachment dies, what happens next?

JUST GO BACK TO WORK?

So what happens if a culture acccepts cheating? Considering that you consider our very culture flawed – then it is rightful to assume that you welcome this eventuality as part of you evolving fraud theory.

A trap ideology.

At least the Black and White – contrary to the Pink – have actual ideals to redeem what it sees as fundamental problem of cheating and not allow IT to persist in our culture.

And contrary to the Pink Movement – The Black and White has REAL ideology, REAL solutions… no matter how small they are.

And these are not TEXTBOOK ideology either.

So is the solutions to get my own LIBRARY CARD? Hehe

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jackryan68

August 25th, 2005 at 3:40 pm

Foreign devil, your question reminded me of a cornerstone strategy of the school board-led education program we have been implementing in Naga City. We call it the “half-full glass” strategy, which essentially says that what the law does not expressly prohibit, it allows. This mindset essentially enabled us to experiment and implement governance reforms in the public school system here that other Philippine school boards would not dare touch.

The strategy was actually influenced by the “home rule” provision that certain US local authorities invoke to promote self-determination and lessen state control. It is certainly controversial, and is being opposed by state governments, but it has not diminished its inherent appeal as a concept.

In the same vein, I agree with MLQ3 that a federal form of government is a better alternative as it fleshes out a sort of “home rule” compatible with our regional identities, but its final form and substance should not be hijacked by vested interests. I am genuinely worried that the present regime is predisposed towards this route just to ensure its survival.

Just the same, I am hopeful about our future. We’ve only had a 50-year or so experience, with a dysfunctional democracy at that, and we should learn from our mistakes and the lessons that other societies provide. At the risk of sounding repetitive, we have been preparing for federalism as an eventuality, assuming as if the national government – specifically the national leadership that is a constant source of our embarassment – does not exist.

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noelet

August 25th, 2005 at 6:20 pm

How many years of experience we have in a functional democracy? If none, then we aught to try that… ryt?

So admitting that we haven’t tried a system – with these mock trial – should we change the system or use the current form correctly?

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noelet

August 25th, 2005 at 6:21 pm

Fiesta is Pink – It’s not Black nor White.

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noelet

August 25th, 2005 at 6:30 pm

Btw, a side note, a have a pink LIBRARY CARD back in college. Hehe

So up we go read, read and read.

Im not hurt though, but angered by how people mock those who act according to their system of belief – those people on a movement that is generally regarded as moral and right. For people to just overthrow that upside down with just TEXTBOOK notes?

TOTALLY UNFAIR, dude.

I might try and fail than read and think I win where in fact I achieve nothing.

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noelet

August 25th, 2005 at 6:37 pm

Form and Substance?

Benign0, you can’t even begin to explain your paranoia on the guilt of voters… much more to explain the whole systemic flaws in Pinoys psyche?

http://www.getrealBenign0.com/whyiblamethevoterssomuch.html

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José Rizal II

August 25th, 2005 at 7:11 pm

(won’t use whynoypisfail anymore…)

MLQIII,

I don’t see why you’re blaming colonialism per se as being the problem of the Philippines. Other countries were themselves colonized, yet that didn’t stop them from getting their acts together and moving forward. Indeed, China was colonized by the Mongols (Yuan Dynasty) and by the Manchus (Qing Dynasty) and even later on in the 1880′s, the Mainland Chinese continually point to the “Ba Guo” (8 countries – 8 Western colonial powers) that controlled several treaty ports as having “colonized them.”

The Vietnamese were under the French – and even before that, there was pretty much an entire Millennium in which they were a vassal state to China. But why are they getting their act together? Even the Finns were under the Swedes for a very long time.

Malaysia and Singapore were both under the British… And as you can see, these two ex-colonies are at the top of ASEAN’s ranking.

Colonialism per se is not the root cause, MLQIII. It’s Pinoy cultural and attitudinal dysfunctionality. And I say this not to condemn us Pinoys to eternal mediocrity but in the spirit of expressing the fact that we can actually improve. A lot of it may have had to do with our environment, in fact. Our little cultures grew up in relatively small tropical island settings where the bare minimum requirements for survival are so low that both complacency and mediocrity still allow one to survive. Analogous to a school that allows a passing grade of 20 / 100, where the teacher gives “effort points” for showing up and “attempting to answer the test” and those effort points are enough to make a lazy student pass. Our cultures (‘coz we aren’t a single culture, after all) evolved largely from that type of setting. But now in this day and age, this cultural background won’t get us anywhere. And knowing that, it’s really time to change and improve ourselves.

Rather than looking for someone to blame – in your case, you’re blaming colonialism and indirectly our colonizers – let’s take responsibility for ourselves and decide to do what’s necessary to move forward.

And let me enlighten you about the separation of Singapore from Malaysia. Firstly, the Malayan leaders originally didn’t even want Singapore in because of its Chinese majority – which would cause the overall number of Chinese in the new unified federal state to numerically swamp the indigenous people. Lee of Singapore, on the other hand, did not want Singapore to go it alone because it would not have its natural hinterland and supply source if it were cut-off. In the end, the Tungku (then the Prime Minister) decided to take Singapore in because he feared that its Communist movement might succeed and they might then use it as a base from which to convert Malaysia to that system.

However, the 2 years of merger yielded some issues. Malaysia wanted to uphold an affirmative action policy as well as move towards Malay as the official language. Singapore preferred to stick to a meritocratic – rather than an affirmative-action based – formula. In the end, they decided to split.

You also claim that Malaysia is just emerging from a one-party rule scenario when in fact Malaysia has always had many different parties – just functioning as a single coalition, though usually having internal debates and disagreements (which is normal) – the Barisan Nasional – which includes the Chinese and the Indian parties. What you are simply referring to is the general success of the fundamentalist Islamic PAS in being able to govern two states and provide a “credible” opposition to the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional.

As regards big versus small… You are aware of some scientific principles, are you not?

You are familiar with aerodynamic concepts, aren’t you?

Well, big or small, real or toy, commercial or private, jet or propeller-driven, airplanes all work on the same aerodynamic principles. Same cross-sectional wing shape, same concept of air-flow, same concepts of roll, pitch, and yaw.

The only difference is that smaller planes require less air volume to get up in the air and thus require shorter runways, while bigger and heavier planes need bigger air volume and thus longer runways.

But the principles are the same. Aerodynamic flow is identical. The same principles apply.

That being said, the principles of leadership and management are often the same, whether it be a small country or a big one. Indeed, there will be a few differences, analogous to the big plane versus small plane example, but the underlying principles are very similar.

That’s why I say that it is fundamentally foolish for people to say that using Singapore as a model is “wrong” purely on the basis of its small size. I gave China as a counter-example in it being the 3rd largest country in the world and being the largest in terms of population size, and yet it takes tiny Singapore as an example on which to fashion itself.

And here you go again with Malaysia’s supposedly relatively smaller population… If you continue with this idiocy of shying away from models purely on the basis of area or population size, then there will indeed be no models the Philippines can draw from. Worse, you will consistently come up with the wrong models – using already developed countries in the West whose path towards development spanned hundreds of years instead of looking for examples of countries that FAST-TRACKED their development in less than 40 years.

Are you suggesting that we take 400 years to get our acts together before we reach the same levels the West already enjoys today?

What you need, MLQIII, is to be more honest and more objective about the situation. You seem to read widely, but I see that your arguments try to veer away from making an honest assessment of the real situation in the Philippines. It’s almost as if you’re avoiding the charge of political incorrectness by trying to make feel good statements. I can see this with your arguments saying that “it’s the leaders, not the people who should be blamed.” Well who are the leaders? They are among us. They were once us. And who chose them? We did!

That’s the point, MLQIII. You are pretty much on the right track as regards accumulating data for you to use in your arguments, but you have to temper it with honesty and courage. Do not be afraid to make statements that are unpopular and supposedly politically-incorrect.

Tell it as it is.

The problem of the Philippines is the Filipino. And that’s where we begin the change.

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José Rizal II

August 25th, 2005 at 7:17 pm

Noelet,

We are trying to have an intelligent discussion here. Quit nuissance act.

And please, read first. And I don’t mean komiks or tabloids like Abante – I mean real books.

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noelet

August 25th, 2005 at 9:08 pm

The master and the apprentice.

The keyword here is, “You seem to read widely…”

The contention is you need to read and read…

So atleast I should know the technicalities of government structure? No more sense in realising your history, on your experience to bureaucracy? That I cannot formulate a correct solution by basing it to history.

What you need is to read what solutions guided other country’s success. Mmmm, make sense? Hope so.

I don’t even hear the Philippines complaining. So maybe the Philippines has no problem, ryt? It’s more right to say that Filipinos has problem… culture? psyche? – careful mixing psychology with your philosophy.

But its nice to the ear – The Pinoy psyche – kind of like an old-english-hidden-knowledge thing to it. Hehe

As I said earlier its psychotic. Because the psyche is psychological not cultural. But Im not a wide-reader, ofcourse… ;)

So what is bothering Filipinos today – politics, economy… or culture? Take your pick… Is it really Pinoys? Or leadership? So other say that leaders also comes from among us – the very problem itself.

There’s a bit of Nazism in these ideology. Sort of like the superiority of the Arian race to the inferiority of Pinoys – the solution is to kill the Jews.

Ok. I have to read more to catch up… Haha

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foreign_devil

August 25th, 2005 at 9:38 pm

Jose Rizal 2,

Can you do justice to your name?

Pray tell us HOW DO YOU PROPOSE TO CHANGE THE FILIPINO SO THAT THE PHILIPPINES COULD BE A BETTER PLACE?

Can you at least give us an outline? There ought to be more than just namecalling and labelling.

Please, please, we are all trembling in anticipation….

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noelet

August 25th, 2005 at 10:21 pm

Red carpet rolling… ta ran!

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noelet

August 25th, 2005 at 10:40 pm

Haha… I told you you’ll say that. Let me quote myself:

“Then again you’ll reply “intellectual reading”… so better rephrase or complete your questioning. ey!”

Is this a nuisance act or you just cant provide real solutions – just a fantastic theory discussion?

Why not answer foreign_devil point blank? Please… we’re dying for answers. You see above I’ve even laid a red carpet.

And don’t misconstrue intelligent discussion with selective discussion. For as far as I know intelligent discussion is open – as being discussed by open minded individuals. I propose some glaring intelligent questions to which your discussion continously failed to answer.

Or are you still researching with your books.

But at the time you get weary you’ll still end-up having an abante while taking your poo.

So are you half-empty or half-full?

Or your discussion might end up a nuisance to the current socio-political solutions.

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noelet

August 26th, 2005 at 12:21 am

On trying to be nuisance, atleast mlq3 had replied that it is more pressing a solution to tackle first the impeachment and resolve the issue of leadership.

So you still believe that leadership has no value in a restructuring efforts?

That everything is a sham? As Benign0 said, voters are shams. As you said, leadership are sham. As you both said, pinoys, filipinos are shams. The root of all evil – Pinoys. And coupled with fantastic textbook definitions – and I will TOTALLY succumb to that. Taas kamay ko. Kasi talaga naman you’re presenting a very intelligent pieces of text.

But before you fail to realize that these intellectual authors: historians, politicians, analyst – have all written their INTELLECTUAL PIECES based on thier common sense and personal experiences. To which your so-called intellectual discussion very well lacks.

That’s why you shun people who question your motives and source.

And obviously, or I might be wrong, but your so arrogantly punishing everyone else with your we-know-the-problem discussion. But as of today have failed to discuss the we-know-the-solution side.

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tongue in, anew

August 26th, 2005 at 3:29 am

Tama ka siguro, Noelet. Pink nga! Wala sa bokabularyo nila yung aksyon. puro dada! Wala ring vision kasi laging sa nagdaan nakatingin. Paano uunlad ang Pinas kung yung talent ng mga magagaling na henyong mga ito sa dakdak lang ginagamit?

Pati tuloy itong driver kong si Mang Erning, nabubuwisit sa pcij blogs. Malalalim daw masyado ingles. Wag mo silang pansinin, Mang Erning. (Linisin mo na lang yung Jaguar, dadalhin natin sa Tagaytay, dahil yung Lexus ang gagamitin ni Ma’am mo, ok?)

Wag kang magsasawang lumaban, Noelet. Kung lahat ng Pilipino katulad mong marunong mag-isip, manindigan at umaksyon, darating din tayo sa minimithing katatagan at kaunlaran bilang isang lahi. Maganda ang intellectual discussions pero nothing substantial can be achieved kung puro discussions. Hindi sa ganyang paraan mararating yung Utopian state that exists only in the minds of these believers pero cynics, idealists pero pessimists, geniuses pero idiots. Ok ba? hehehe (rin)

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Abe N. Margallo

August 26th, 2005 at 3:46 am

Here’s my take.

If not GMA, who? And what’s the alternative?

by Abe N. Margallo

Part I

The mother of all our problems

Former President Fidel Ramos Ramos speaking before the Makati Business Club on August 27, 2003, cited the “unholy alliance” and “perverse symbiosis” between politicians and a few families, powerful, wealthy and “greedy rent-seeking,” to whom many of the former are beholden – which makes the unequal alliance and symbiosis doubly unholy and perverse – as the “mother of all our problems” throughout history.

The sad state of affairs looks more to be a present-day embodiment of the same friar system Spanish era reformists like Dr. Jose Rizal intended to dismantle: a network of entrenched power relations among the friar surrogates, mostly landowning families of Chinese descent who originally had served as stewards for the estates of the monastic orders, morphed into hispanized hacienderos, then transitioned as mutually-buttressing guilds or factions of Marxian bourgeois and cosmopolitan elites.

At the turn of the last century, oligarchy was re-imposed upon the Filipinos after the Americans, in the Madisonian tradition, had recycled the role of the ilustrados plucked out of the ancien regime upon the racist pretext that the Filipinos in general were not fit to govern themselves. The Americanized system has dominated Filipino nationhood ever since down to what it has become today.

Not too long ago, or in December 2003, Romulo Neri, the Philippine government’s chief economist, described the current form of the “unholy alliance” and “perverse symbiosis” as “booty capitalism” (a derision first coined by American Paul D. Hutchroft) practiced by a well-ingrained oligarchy that invests in politicians to curry policy favors and “capture economic power.”

Neri certainly was then apprehensive this oligarchy would again control the outcome of the May 2004 elections.

People Power Democracy instantiated

When institutions (civil society), which mediate between families and the State, assert their primacy, the result could be their collectivization into Civil Society. Whereas elitism is the rule of the privileged minority, civil society governance is the rule by minorities. Civil Society, on the other hand, is a monopoly of the legitimate use of power by the great majority. In this context, Civil Society equates with the sovereign will – supreme and absolute. Therefore, Civil Society, theoretically, no less than People Power, empirically, is the conception of the State itself.

To illustrate this, the political system instituted in the American constitution by its founding fathers was a compromise, based on distrust, between, on the one hand, the numerical majority (the masses) together with the minorities (some idealistic elites and middle-class Americans who supported the “leveling” sentiments) and, on the other, the privileged minority (the merchants, financiers, manufacturers, and certain wealthy landholders) as to who, what and when to exercise the monopoly of the powers of Civil Society. The paramount question then was whether to vest the monopoly of those powers in the many at the expense of the few or vice versa.

People Power democracy, on the other hand, is the exercise by the people – the Civil Society – of the republican principle of the last say which may result to replace (as in People Power I) or keep (as in People Power II) the existing system. It does not decide particular issues for that would notionally be direct democracy. The triumph of People Power democracy should be measured not upon its physical manifestation that successfully brought about the immediate change desired, which is an end in itself, but when the consensus formed by civil society or civil societies – those politically informed, active and diverse minorities groups such as the business sectors, political alliances, labor unions, religious organizations, and the like – is brought to be reckoned with by those formally vested with policymaking. It is thus a continuing transformative citizenship. Whenever civil societies are marginalized in the governance process, the result could either the rule by the privileged minority (or the oligarchy) or by the multitude, irrespective of the agreed upon formalities of governance.

In another breadth, the conception of people power represents a critical challenge from civil society groups who have asserted their misgivings with inefficient and ineffectual institutions in our version of democracy and with the rank subservience of those institutions to the dominant segments of our society. In such regard, people power configures an oppositional culture that has affected a broad spectrum of the civil society. The dimension of the challenge is as significant as that of the threat of a rival ideology such as communism or authoritarianism or as real as the menace of terrorism. The concomitant fear that it is a malady in the body politic rather than a curative force in a dysfunctional structure is then understandable from the standpoint of status quo defenders.

Writing more recently about the state of affairs of the “politicized middle class” in the Philippines (inq7.net, January 10, 2004), Prof. Randy David has deplored that its “activism is however weakened by the lack of sustained follow-through . . . (folding) its banners as soon as a crisis has passed, leaving the traditional politicians to mismanage the political investment they have made.” Prof. David however believes that the “politicized middle class could be the key to the transformation of the poor into a potent force for peaceful and meaningful change. And this can happen, in Randy David’s opinion, “(t)hrough popular organizing and education, and through the formation of mass-based political parties . . . (to)help the poor recover their voices and expand their participation in the nation’s life.”

Tracking the political storm

For the purpose of tracking the political storm that is perilously brewing in the Philippines, knowing the difference between the two most recent people’s movements, People Power II and EDSA Tres, is both critical and essential.

Whereas the People Power II coalition made a judgment call only after thoughtful deliberations and reflections among the various groups and individual participants, EDSA Tres was sired through manipulation and instigation by some people who had no intention of treating themselves as co-equal partners with the Lumpenproletariats in their contrivance. People Power II was an exercise of empowerment, EDSA Tres, unfortunately, was a sad shrill of powerlessness.

However, far from being unsettling, insurrections of the EDSA Tres kind are on the contrary stabilizing. It is only when repressed that such movements could become liable to boil up into dangerous intensity.

Today, the GMA regime must not be lulled into believing that a “people power” that might have fizzled out is less harmful than the eruption that was EDSA Tres. Remember that having spent its steam during the Palace siege, the EDSA Tres “hothouse” has cooled off relatively uneventfully. In fact during the assault, the EDSA Tres horde has become as rudderless as a decrepit craft and ultimately petered out. Nonetheless, now as then the state of being of the EDSA Tres “rebels” has remained within the tradition of their powerlessness, and kept within that bound, they pose no threats of exploding like Mayon any time soon.

The volcano theory

In the Philippines, the poverty or volcano theory has been often cast, and quite unwittingly, to justify the clamor for societal changes that directly affect the health, safety, property, liberty and general well-being of those who are ensnared in the “hothouse of rebellion” of PCIJ’s Sheila Coronel. At a closer look, those political and societal anxieties thus trapped are no more those of the “cultured” people’s than of the Great Unwashed. Thus, as long as the beautiful ones don’t start preaching armed revolutions, such a clamor could only be taken as earnest attempts to maintain order, not to sow anarchy, and therefore similarly tranquilizing.

It is when cultured people found themselves “at the end of (their) tether” that worries about Sheila’s hothouse would make some sense. Otherwise, there would have been nothing to deprive those, as former Manila Times editor Ms. Malou Mangahas puts it, “toothless, shoeless and shirtless” people, whose mode of survival is “scavenging through other people’s trash,” to incense them to launch a great social revolution.

Didn’t Alexis de Tocqueville warn that “generally speaking, the most perilous moment for a bad government is one when it seeks to mend its ways” and in the process creates unfulfilled promises and expectations?

Part II

The Promise

Just to revisit, the promise was that after Marcos things would be better. Cory Aquino, although given the benefit of the doubt perceived as she was by many to be just a transition leader, was not spared of coup attempts precisely due to the failure of the People Power revolution to meet the expectation. Then President Ramos began to deliver. NIChood was at hand under his leadership but the constitutional term limit prevented him from going further. The constitutional water was in fact tested possibly at the thought his most likely successor, Erap, would be unable to keep the benefits he had the best momentum to pursue. Ramos, a good soldier that he is, did not think of himself to be indispensable. Upholding the rule of law, he stepped down at the height of his achievements.

Erap promised to let market and welfare improvements go hand and hand. There was also the perception he would assume rather a rubber stamp than a “directing” role to give his team of experts a freer hand to manage the economy and continue the Ramos’ initiatives.

The loss of “moral ascendancy” of Erap’s government abbreviated GMA’s route to the presidency. But, not wanting to be a magician, the explicit promise of GMA was first to restore moral authority in governance.

After EDSA Tres, there was also engendered an implied promise on the part of GMA’s government to institute social and economic reforms for the benefit of salus populi.

The breach of the promise

While not as severely damaged by the Asian crisis as Thailand, Malaysia, and South Korea, Philippines was slower to recover. Even politically torn Indonesia was not far behind. Meanwhile, the ghost of Marcos was back in Eduardo Cojuanco, Lucio Tan and company.

Erap also foolishly courted a near shooting war with China, cheapened the nation’s morale with jueteng and other indignities, allowed his official family to stab each other in the back, and “Binabalaan ko sila” became a part of the Erap jokes. Erap paid dearly for the breach.

As the specter of the jueteng controversy (confounded by the more serious charges of tampering with the electoral will) is cast upon the doorsteps of the First Family of GMA, a direct breach of GMA’s express promise is inescapably perceived to have taken place. On the other hand, four years of peripheral economic and poverty alleviation programs from a leader who professes to know her economics has been clearly emerging as constituting relative deprivation not on the part of those whose violent expression of powerlessness the GMA government had easily quashed during EDSA Tres but of those who would continue to see others being forever rendered powerless.

More and more the country looks like a laughingstock again.

Under the theory of “accelerated relative deprivation,” both expectation and capabilities increase at a steady course, but the former outpaces the latter. A breach of the promise is thus implied from the relative deprivation.

Upheavals happen as a result of relative deprivation.

The Jury is out

Just as reciprocal checks and balances within government are required in a procedural democracy, so also are social checks and balances (upon governmental decisions) within the larger society in People Power democracy. Hence, “manufacture of consent” by the power of suggestion, sinister or otherwise, through television and media politics or through “legal gobbledygook” can claim success only when society acquiesces in it as a rational one.

Therefore, in the current crisis, it is not enough for GMA to tell the people that her opponents are engaged in “dirty politics.” The allegations of her regime’s wrongdoings or “betrayal of trust” in the constitutional sense are very specific. She must in turn disprove them in specific terms. The accusations unanswered, the legitimacy of her government – just as that of the regime of Marcos’ notwithstanding the attempt to legitimize it by the Philippine Supreme Court and the U.S. support – will remain badly tainted to say the very least.

It should be remembered that as the process of legitimization of Macapagal’s ascension to power had taken its course (eventually, it became the subject of the first impeachment against Chief Justice Davide and seven other Supreme Court justices for allegedly conspiring at the height of the EDSA II uprising to put the first legitimizing imprimatur by swearing in Macapagal as Estrada’s successor), people power practitioners like Cory Aquino and Jaime Cardinal Sin began to warn against the habit of resorting to people power. Aquino and Sin conveniently reversed themselves and invoked people power in defense of Chief Justice Davide.

Bad habit or not, people power democracy is intently watchful, impatient and alive.

To reserve the Constitution and to spare People Power from being sullied unnecessarily, GMA either must seriously consider the still patriotic option of resignation (if not out of sheer Filipino delicadeza) or like Estrada (but unlike Davide) she must submit herself to the constitutional process of impeachment in deference to procedural democracy. However, unlike Estrada, GMA must complete the task of proving her innocence in such a process that also puts on trial the very system in place.

All participants in the constitutional process are called upon to exercise no less than their Solomonic wisdom. If recent experience is any measure, a reasonable perception of failure of the process is likely to oblige the Ultimate Arbiter to weigh in the facts by itself and render its verdict accordingly.

A constitutional coup d’etat

The purpose of impeaching a president is to override his election. It therefore assumes a political dimension beyond mere legality. As a legal process, the procedure and the grounds for impeachment as provided in the Constitution must be complied with. Otherwise, an impeachment is no more than a coup d’etat, albeit a constitutional one.

The political legitimacy of an impeachment process thus rests in the justification of what in effect would be the annulment of the election of the impeached president. Hence, in order for an impeachment to be both legitimate and politically correct, not only that the legal grounds for the impeachment must be proved, it must also be shown that the president no longer deserves the election she is supposed to have won.

Like any democratically elected president (assuming arguendo now that GMA has been democratically elected), GMA (as Erap then) is charged to lead the nation and serve as a symbol of national unity and stability. As such a symbol, the Filipino people look up to her as the national embodiment to inspire confidence in the authority and legitimacy of the political system; she is also expected to marshal her influence within the system in order to initiate the public policies she promised she would do when elected president; and as chief executive, the people conferred in her the trust that he has the competence to supervise the conduct of the government and the economy, and in time of crisis, to reassure and calm the citizenry.

The political goal of a potential impeachment proceeding is also to answer whether the President, given the seriousness of the allegations involving her government and her family, can still effectively discharge the high office of the presidency? If not, then un-election through impeachment must carry on.

What’s sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose

The test given by Jaime Cardinal Sin was simpler: Had President Estrada lost the moral ascendancy to govern?

Even more specifically: Was GMA involved, directly or indirectly, in fixing the results of last presidential elections? Did her family receive jueteng payoffs in a manner reasonably knowable by her? These are matters that GMA can easily refute if she is squarely standing on the side of truth. Wiretapping is technically illegal, but are the contents in the tapes substantively true?

Once again, if the impeachment process is pursued, the members of Congress must remember that the Great Beast enters the public arena when procedural democracy fails. Hence, permitting legal technicalities to derail the search for truth is likely to trigger a constitutional breakdown potentially similar, as many now appreciate, to the Dirty 11’s refusal to open the infamous envelope during Erap’s impeachment trial.

It goes without saying that when it comes to the exercise of People Power, the people has the last and final say, not the media, the military, Congress, the President or the Supreme Court.

Part III

Beyond a business-as-usual approach to change process

The Philippines is essentially a modern nation and by sheer instinct for growth, it cannot possibly remain a basket case forever.

However, to author its own destiny, the nation has to look into the inner structure of its being: as a community, by rediscovering the public realm that informs it and the strands of solidarity that hold it together; and the individual member, by defining the tasks he assigns to himself, his goals he aspires for, and the values his life rests on, and then determining how his tasks, goals and values are identified with public.

Historical accounts abound about how societies perished or self-destructed when those in a position to exercise the power of governance, by deliberate intent or sheer imprudence, had failed to act, or if they had acted, to account for the consequences of their actions.

Well-meaning citizens normally rise to the occasion and raise fundamental issues directly challenging the underlying assumptions of the established political and economic order when lapses in governance threaten the very existence of a nation. These citizens, sometimes operating inconspicuously, are often perceived as change-agents.

The threshold question on personal leadership and the power of consensus

On the matter of personal leadership the threshold question is: Who among those eagerly waiting in the wings to assume the national leadership has the singular qualification of the power of the will to break up the long-standing “unholy alliance” and “perverse symbiosis” of the wealthy and powerful without breaking the nation apart?

The crossroad issue is not so much about the potential of another transition political leader of a third-rate caliber as the lack of will of any leader to confront the continuing crisis of citizenship among those whose decisions really matter to take the risk of transforming the nation into an economic powerhouse, thereby allowing the country’s full potential to compete with neighbors in the region and in the other regions of the world. If the Philippines needed such a leader at all, she must be one of nearly mythical character and empowered by the people’s faith in her to whip up the wealth producers of the nation; and reining them away from unproductive rent-seeking economic activities, to get all the needed capacities they could muster dedicated faithfully to an economic development plan, strategy and ambition upon being so forged in a broad national consensus.

On the other hand, unquestioning reliance upon the “directing class” has muffled any such an idea of attempting to reach a national consensus (in which the voiceless, through their genuine representative, should be granted a voice) as to what the country really needs to accomplish in order to compete.

In the context of communicative people power, one possible alternative proposition is: Whether the gateway to equitable accumulation and ultimately national development could also be accessed by way of the power of consensus of people power democracy that’s willing to learn from the best practices that work and, based on ongoing experience and rising above ideologies, eschew things that don’t, or change even established notions and practices when concrete realities and the complex necessities for change in the service of the common good require.

The Taiwan example

The Taiwan model is an excellent case in point. At the time Marcos placed the Philippines under martial law supposedly to address what the dictator declared was a national emergency and to create a New Society, Taiwan was also struggling to exorcise the twin demons of imminent international eschewal (having lost its seat to the UN) and the crippling energy crisis, and appeared on the way to economic catastrophe. Taiwan emerged triumphantly after both government and private business intensified efforts to implement on schedule economic grand designs first by launching development projects aimed at energy production and creating an efficient transportation infrastructure network, while continuing to stimulate the growth of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). Specifically, the projects were for: the development of an integrated steel mill, a shipyard and a petrochemical complex; the building of highways, railways, waterways, airports and harbors; and the construction of nuclear power plants. On the other hand, Taiwan Industrial Technology Research Institute was established in the same period as a non-profit R&D outfit for the purpose of handing down its data and findings for commercial use by private enterprisers.

What’s more, both the government and the family in Taiwan have always believed in investing a great deal in education. Taiwanese are among the best educated people in Asia second only to the Japanese, with only about five percent of the population being considered illiterate, mostly the elderly. The persistent pursuit of universal education and the adoption of flexible and continuing educational policies to meet changing requirements accounted for much of Taiwan’s economic growth.

The elites of Taiwan opted to take enormous risks and bring on ambitious projects because of their will to develop driven in large measure by the exigency to showcase the Nationalist regime’s nation-building ability in the midst of the Communist specter from the mainland.

Accelerating the economic development efforts in the following decade, Taiwan targeted the machinery, equipment and information sectors as strategic industries. And through the Industrial Development Bureau, substantial R&D subsidies were directly provided to selected firms while others that did not allot and invest on R&D a prescribed percentage of their annual earnings were penalized. The elites offered real opportunities to the Taiwanese.

What had been earlier treaded as a re-distributional path through broad distribution of land ownership and via the so-called decentralized industrialization approach (the latter, as a late-industrialization strategy, being in stark contrast to the high aggregate concentration of the South Korean chaebol model), providing high returns to labor (and consequently household savings and capital accumulation) initially in agriculture and then in countryside export-oriented industries and by what’s now known as singular, solid and sustained efforts in the direction of technology-intensive industry, proved to be the major reasons for the “miraculous” transformation of Taiwan into an economic powerhouse. Even so, Taiwan’s trajectory to pursue “accumulation” ahead of (political) “participation” was essentially in line with the course taken by the other tiger economies in the region.

Other neighborhood paradigms

It seems that the problem today in the Philippines is rather behavioral (especially on the part of private business) than fiscal, bureaucratic or anything.

The Japanese, to cite another neighborhood paradigm, have clearly defined national purpose. Economic growth ranks high as a national goal in Japan to which labor and business are expected to subordinate their private interests. Japan’s MITI is the agency primarily responsible for this coordinated arrangement to ensure the attainment of the industrial development objectives vis-à-vis other economic and social goals.

The South Koreans have the same high sense of national purpose. While business conglomerates were allowed by the State to thrive in protected domestic markets, they also strived to produce for the export market so that during the giant stride by South Korea toward industrialization, which was heavily bankrolled by foreign loans, the ratio of foreign debt to GNP remained virtually the same.

Building a strong republic through entrepreneurship

To build a strong republic the atavism of the political class must be consigned to their caves to make way for the entrepreneurial zeal to take the lead in the pursuit of aggressive growth-oriented strategic goals. Specifically, such goals are: aspiring not only for the short-run objective of a domestic market patronizing Pinoy products but for such products with fewer export components to attain the competitive edge for the export market; taking the risk to explore the nation’s great potential for sustainable alternative sources of energy to produce those products without undue reliance upon imported sources; investing enough in our human capital, through quality training and education, as part of the goods of the future; or essentially, producing the right goods the right way doing the best with what we have or potentially should have so that the national vision informed by the consensus upon such societal aspirations as decent standard of living for the greatest number, supported by high-income employments that keep our “best and brightest” home, could come into fruition.

Once again, the goals and vision afore-cited demand high levels of capital, human, social and cultural investments and vigorous entrepreneurship with a great sense of national purpose on the part of the economic elites first and foremost.

(NOTE: This is my very first post, slightly varied, in PCIJ. For a lengthier disquisition about “WANTED: Empire Builders,” please check out http://redsherring.blogspot.com/2005/08/wanted-empire-builders.html .)

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benign0

August 26th, 2005 at 8:02 am

Mr noelet say:

“But before you fail to realize that these intellectual authors: historians, politicians, analyst – have all written their INTELLECTUAL PIECES based on thier common sense and personal experiences. To which your so-called intellectual discussion very well lacks.

That’s why you shun people who question your motives and source.

And obviously, or I might be wrong, but your so arrogantly punishing everyone else with your we-know-the-problem discussion. But as of today have failed to discuss the we-know-the-solution side. ”

For which I echo what this other guy observed about you being a bit reading-challenged. If you care to look, I have actually reserved an entire section in my brilliant site for a take on solutions. Check it out here:

http://www.getrealphilippines.com/solution/

To which I cite this case as another example of why I beg to differ to Mr. MLQ’s claim that Pinoys are thirsty for knowledge. How can that be when we are not even fond of reading?

ha ha! :D

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José Rizal II

August 26th, 2005 at 10:30 am

foreign devil,

You’ll have to understand firstly that it isn’t easy for me to just post stuff into this site. Just to get my last post to come out fully complete, I had to keep submitting and re-submitting it as there seems to be some kind of glitch with the system, that is, it probably rejects long posts and treats it like spam. (Or maybe the PCIJ folks have something against my office IP address)

The solutions are actually simple and based on common sense and are found in Bening0′s website. Moreover, a lot of them are simply based on just looking at the best practices employed in other countries which had been able to achieve success in terms of economic development in less than 40 years. Noelet and “Tongue in a new” (disguised insult) both fail to see that a major part of the solution itself has already been outlined in the mere mention of acknowledging that the situation is bad (and should not be considered “bearable”) and is rooted in Pinoy cultural flaws.

Changing the Filipino in a nutshell requires strict and consistently-applied Social Engineering. It sounds manipulative and in a way, politically-incorrect, but that is how people are different from animals: We can transcend our natural tendencies and improve ourselves if we really wanted to.

BF Skinner, in his book “Beyond Freedom and Dignity” outlines exactly what I would propose as a way of reforming the Pinoy. The problem here is that many not-so-intelligent Pinoys will just shoot it down with protests like “human rights violation!” or “violation of civil liberties” or “dictatorial!” That’s the reason for the necessity of first pointing out how bad the situation is and that the problem is ultimately us and our flawed (and damaged) culture. Only when Filipinos universally acknowledge that there is a real problem will we agree to set up our society so that Filipinos ultimately reform for the better – despite what would appear to be “draconian” measures designed to result in behavioral and societal reforms.

Again, the example of Singapore comes to mind – and don’t use the “it is small, so we can’t follow it” line of reasoning.

Singapore was very dirty in the 50′s and 60′s and its people largely unhygenic and somewhat unruly to the point that the Philippines was hands down, a much better society than Singapore was back then.

But when Singapore applied BF Skinner’s theories in practice – where stiff penalties were very consistently enforced on undesirable behavior and rewards handed out on desired behavior, people slowly – but surely – reformed their habits. What was formerly SPIT-TOWN became the cleanest in Asia. Indeed, this is just one instance from which the Mainland Chinese borrowed heavily from Singapore, especially in key cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, and a few others. You should remember that it is a Chinese cultural trait to spit. That Singapore has stamped it out is a feat in behavioral reformation.

Filipinos have to realize that it can happen and it can succeed. But we will have to move away from our traditional – and flawed – notions of “civil liberties” and “human rights.” Only a few people are self-directed self-starters who are capable of self-reform without being told by others. The vast majority of people IN ANY SOCIETY require others to tell them and correct them. (That is, by the way, why very few people who work out on their own in gyms really succeed, and why people who have personal trainors are many times more likely to succeed in either slimming or getting their muscle mass up. Most people need to be told by others!)

We will be going against certain tendencies. Being lazy, late, and complacent, are all derived from our unfortunate geography – and even Montesquieu’s Spirit of the Laws outlines this – since our environment allows us to survive with the barest of essentials and complacency is not punished with death by the environment.

But hope lies in the fact that we need not be slaves to our past and our behavioral evolution. We can reform if and only if we first accept the fact that we need reform, and then properly apply tried and tested solutions on cultural and behavioral reform as outlined by BF Skinner and proven in practice by Singapore (and now – to a small degree – by Mainland China’s main cities).

My message to Noelet and Tongue-in-anew would be for the both of you to humbly sit back and reflect upon your resistance to ideas of self-reform (and behavioral, cultural, and societal reform) that Benign0 and I present here.

Part of your problem is that you want a wham-bam action plan, without even thinking things through. Well, there already is a plan, and it’s really all out there (again, just read BF Skinner and read about how Singapore reformed itself). The problem is, are the two of you ready to accept that the solutions will not allow us to just coast along, laze around, and complacently let things be?

You keep talking about “action”, but you don’t realize the need for planning. More importantly, you don’t realize the need for laying out the groundwork.

This is the problem in the Philippines, because whenever some people come up with good plans and implement them properly – like Bayani Fernando does – ordinary Pinoys have this tendency to want to shoot them down.

That’s why there’s a need for us to thresh out these issues in a forum like this.

More importantly (and this goes to you too, foreign devil), this blog is also a discussion forum. I don’t see why there’s anything wrong with first discussing a theoretical framework that leads towards an action plan? I mean, even without talking about the action part, this discussion forum is primarily meant for discussing in the first place. We are ordinary citizens here who just want to discuss issues. We’re not policy makers (though some probably are) whose job it is to draw out action plans, policies, and perhaps get them implemented.

So don’t use that wrong argument of “nice discussion, but where’s the action” line here. This blog IS A DISCUSSION forum for lay people like you and me (unless of course you guys are politicos yourselves) and coming up with action plans and implementing them is for another venue – that of government – to do.

Now if you (especially Tongue-in-anew and Noelet) got lost in the stuff I just said and can’t see where my suggested action plans are (which I’ve actually mentioned so many times and have embedded and implied in my other posts), then I suggest you read my posts 2, 3, or 4 times – more carefully.

;)

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foreign_devil

August 26th, 2005 at 10:45 am

I went to Benign0’s site and looked up his solutions. And here is what I found as his prescriptions:

Manage our resources properly.
Save and invest.
Work with one another to create robust organisational frameworks.
Owe allegiance to the community and the system, not its leaders.

He arrived at these prescriptions after 20 plus paragraphs and a nice graph that attempted to summarize (!) the entire development of civilization from hunting-gathering to modern post-industrial societies.

What can I say? It depends.

If I were a professor in, say a management class, I would give him a grade of A++ for the conciseness of his paradigm and the clarity of his prescriptions. If were his boss, I would give serious thought to promote him to a managerial job so that he could streamline the efficiency of a workplace.

But if I were a serious student of Philippine society, nay even an observer, I would never waste my time again visiting his website nor be affected by his nasty and oftentimes insulting blog comments.

That’s because Benign0 is totally bereft of any knowledge of the fundamental principles of archaeology, sociology, anthropology, economics, history and most other social science disciplines. I suspect that a lot of guiding principles that govern Benign0’s “brilliant” discourses are based on stacks and stacks of management books that oftentimes have merely abstracted from the truisms already arrived at by the social sciences and simply elevated these truisms as sound management principles. In the process, a lot of essential lines of argumentations and historical rationales got lost along the way. Allow me to illustrate.

I have read earlier about Benign0’s disparaging comments on Marx which another blogger, pedro if I’m not mistaken, tried to correct by giving him links to the man’s original works. Benign0 simply waved pedro off by saying that he doesn’t know anything about Marx’s works except that Marxist politics have been responsible for decades of whatever.

But had Benign0 even read just one of those works, even Engel’s Origin of the Family, he would not have the courage to summarize centuries of mankind’s development (from hunting-gathering to modern times) in such a way as those 20+ paragraphs and then announce for all the world to read that his summary is “brilliant.” Even his comments on Philippine culture won’t stand the test of even the quaintest anthropological principle.

Benign0, you might impress a lot of clueless readers, but we, serious students of societies, laugh at your nimble yet arrogant cluelessness. Sure, you have innate intelligent mind, a very creative one in fact, but that’s why we have libraries—to cultivate innately intelligent minds in the hope that they can produce real knowledge. And that’s not pedantry, that’s not “textbook thinking.” That’s cultivated real knowledge, knowledge builds upon what others have already achieved, or improve or innovate on them, or better yet, discover new horizons barely touched on or overlooked by previous thinkers. Otherwise, people end up like the toad on a well thinking that all that it can see already consist the entire universe.

Now I’m really waiting for Jose Rizal 2 to show me his wares beyond BF Skinner.

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José Rizal II

August 26th, 2005 at 11:03 am

Mr. Abe Margallo,

Kudos on your article. It’s truly refreshing to see well thought out articles with a grounding on accurate and factual basis and common sense rather than on ideological gut-feel. Great work!

For the reading-challenged out there:

Key takeaways are:

1. Asian Tigers focused first on Capital/Resource accumulation rather than on Democratic Participation (this is our flaw as Pinoys – we put the cart before the horse)

2. The primary problem of Pinoys is BEHAVIORAL. From my own analysis, all our other problems in the fiscal and bureaucratic realm are ultimate derived from our behavioral issues. Fix the behavioral aspect and the rest will follow.

3. The positive role played by the elites and ruling classes of the Asian Tigers. (The elites there are not oligarchs and are instead enlightened “aristocrats” who take the lead in improving society for the greater good of the greater number of people.)

4. The intense focus and single-minded National Purpose of the other Asian Tigers as regards their goal of developing their societies economically (first), then socially (next).

(Caveat: The Asian Tigers mostly come from older Confucian backgrounds or other Monarchial civilizations and thus do not have the major behavioral issues plaguing Pinoy society. Before we even get to the economic development stage, Pinoys will have to realize firstly that we have to learn to do things properly.)

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José Rizal II

August 26th, 2005 at 11:21 am

Wow. It looks like PCIJ does have something against my original IP address… I decided to use another computer – not my designated office-computer, but a common-use desktop (with a different IP address), and I don’t get the spam-filter!

foreign devil,

It seems like you have already made your conlusions way in advance – rather than do the scientific thing to do which is to suspend judgement and draw conclusions only after carefully weighing pros-and-cons.

BF Skinner’s ideas are not high-fallutin’ which is why his ideas on social engineering and behavioral reform are what I mentioned. If you can discuss intelligently and objectively rather than arrogantly dismiss ideas just because they go against your pre-judged conclusions then we have something to talk about.

Right now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I see you using Marx-Engels thought as the basis for your world paradigm. (Considering that this joint stream of thought has produced failed economies, not to mention is part of the major reason for the mass starvation in Ethiopia during the 80′s – I don’t see the logic in continuing to use this as a framework for any modern intellectual discourse.)

You asked for Social Engineering – which is what Behavioral Reform (aka Changing the Filipino) is all about – so I gave it to you. BF Skinner’s ideas are merely re-statements of what centuries of human experience and human civilization have known: that man can be improved and behavior can be reformed based on appropriate reward and punishment. Singapore’s behavioral reform reflects those same concepts.

What more do you want?

As I said, it seems like you’ve already pre-judged this whole issue based on some ideological basis and take exception to what I or perhaps Benign0 say simply because they don’t match what you’ve already pre-concluded.

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José Rizal II

August 26th, 2005 at 11:29 am

foreign devil,

By the way, I also mentioned Montesquieu’s “The Spirit of the Laws.” That’s another one you probably should read up on – in addition to Skinner’s “Beyond Freedom and Dignity.”

That is if you are genuinely and sincerely interested in learning more about how the Pinoy – and ultimately the Philippines – can be improved.

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indio_lawless

August 26th, 2005 at 11:53 am

Well said, Foreign Devil.

Interestingly, MLQ3,PN Abinales, xanana, usda_gradeameat, noelet, tongue-in-anew, and other bloggers here have also taken note of such “ampao” commentaries.

Intellectual discussions are a welcome sight but should always be done with a great amount of tact and civility.

I cannot imagine on historical perspective, if ever the correspondences of Rizal and Blumentritt were done “palengke” style.

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José Rizal II

August 26th, 2005 at 3:22 pm

indio_lawless,

If there is any fault with Benign0′s style of writing – as I’ve read it – it’s the fact that he tries to make his articles as brief and as accsesible-to-the-ordinary-layperson as possible. That is in contrast to how I or say Mr. Abe Margallo would write whereby we try to explain as much as possible our reasons for saying something so as to avoid misinterpretation as well as to provide ample back-up. (Correct me if I’m wrong, Mr. Margallo – that’s just my observation.) In fact, despite our attempts to be unambiguous with our use of examples just to prove our points, many ordinary Pinoy readers still get lost and misunderstand. (Is it a reading disorder among some Pinoys on the net?) I checked Mr. Margallo’s blogsite and I saw an idiotic anonymous post saying something like “ang haba naman nito! walang babasa nito!” – clearly showing that Benign0′s style also does have a point since he’s trying to reach a wider audience. Sometimes a toss-off between brevity on the one hand, and unambiguity (and wealth of examples) on the other has to be made. Benign0 – correct me if I’m wrong – merely chose brevity due to what appears to be his intention of reaching a wider audience.

Mr. Margallo and I do not exactly target the same group he does. (At least that’s how I observe Mr. Margallo’s style. Please correct me if I’m wrong, Sir.) We’re looking for patient readers who rise above ideological fixations and seek to make honest and objective assessments of the real situation. If you’re the type that likes to do knee-jerk reactions based on gut-feel fixations on ideology, then you don’t belong in a discussion group. :)

It would be good for people like you (as well as Noelet, Tongue-in-anew, MLQIII, and foreign devil) to try reading through Mr. Margallo’s article – which I think was well analyzed and well written compared to my admittedly off-the-cuff and candid ramblings. I would like to hear from you what you think about what he said.

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foreign_devil

August 26th, 2005 at 4:07 pm

Jose Rizal 2,

i am real sorry but i do not wish to educate you. lastly, kindly drop the name of Jose Rizal because you are really doing the fellow a real disservice.

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noelet

August 26th, 2005 at 4:16 pm

Maybe the Bible coud help us.

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kimosabe27

August 26th, 2005 at 4:17 pm

My two cents worth.

Jose Rizal 2′s polemic on the virtues of social engineering and his downright adulation of BF Skinner’s operant conditioning on human behavior almost made me affirm that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is a fag and his works: The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, are nothing more than wimpy bellyaches during his brief hiatus inside the glorious Soviet labor camps. However, Jose Rizal 2 also made me remember my elementary school teacher during the Marcos years who, in her utter devotion to the Bagong Lipunan movement, persuaded my classmates and I to eat algae and golden kuhol and to pursue only the true the good and the beautiful.

The last time I checked my backside, my conus medullaris is still not elongated. The discovery made me strongly believe that I still have not been transformed into a laboratory rat and that I am still a human being: sentient and, to some extent, intelligent.

Perhaps under laboratory conditions and given the right amount of time, conditioning may dislodge that creative spark in us that causes too much mischief and may transform us into obeying zombies. But life is not ceteris paribus as Heisenberg would agree (to the consternation of Albert Einstein).
There will always be kinks in the system.

Bottomline, whipping does not only make us dumb, it also make us demoniacally enraged. History has shown us that conditioning among humans not only addles the brain, it also represses rage that when the critical event comes, it erupts into something catastrophic. Hitler and Stalin were very much “conditioned” by their respective fathers, look at what they have done to the millions whom they try to socially re-engineer.

POLITICAL SADO MASOCHISM may work for the Chinese who like their women being forced into having small feet.

But for us Pinoys? I remember reading Pigafetta and his comments about our ancestral women who will not allow our lolos to copulate unless the latter wear bolitas so as to experience full pleasure.

On an extreme, I would rather be an impoverished tambay who dabbles on Marx and Neruda than a half wit who gets publicly flogged for not properly disposing a chewing gum.

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José Rizal II

August 26th, 2005 at 4:26 pm

foreign devil,

Don’t take this all personally. The number “II” is there to distinguish me from my predecessor. You have no right to tell me to drop my name – because it is very appropriate, actually. What I say today are things my predecessor would have said were he alive today. My predecessor would be so proud to see someone step up the plate to fill in his shoes.

Also, while you say that you don’t want to educate me, it is my wish that somehow along the way, I end up educating you. * wink *

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foreign_devil

August 26th, 2005 at 4:46 pm

Ahhh, kimosabe27, nice to hear from you.

I would bear the most slanderous comment from you (of course, you haven’t, at least not yet) rather than educate a bigot.

Indeed, i would rather have marx and neruda anytime, anywhere than bore myself to death disproving or elucidating on a behaviorist named bf skinner.

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kimosabe27

August 26th, 2005 at 5:44 pm

He he, my esteemed nemesis, foreign devil,

Yes, slander is a staple in my market-style riposte, it gives much flavor to the discussion. Besides, Socrates and Jesus engaged their critics in the market and I don’t think they used flowery words and parliamentary procedures in their debates. It must have been their stiff-lipped editors Plato and Matthew et. al. who erased the “F… you you pig-headed Pharisee and Go suck Homer’s d… you motherf…er” in their actual diatribes. They want it sanitized.

Much the same with Jose Rizal2 and his avatar BenignO, they want to straight jacket this blog much the same they way want to straight jacket Philippine society with their behaviorism bs.

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José Rizal II

August 26th, 2005 at 5:55 pm

kimosabe27,

You miss the point totally – as Benign0 would probably say “in typical Pinoy fashion.”

Sorry, but this is how ultra-opinionated people destroy a discussion – you fashion strawmen, christen the strawmen as your opponents’ arguments, and strike them.

foreign devil was asking a question: How do we fix the Pinoy? How do we change the Pinoy? How do we improve the Pinoy?

The answer – as politically incorrect as it may sound – just happens to be social engineering. I’m not in the business of political correctness here since I’m not looking to earn votes the way some people are.

For the most part, you fail to recognize that Anglo-Saxon societies have a tendency towards honesty and the rule of law simply because of their unfortunate experiences of having gone through a few centuries of harsh rule during the “Dark Ages.” You’d have been boiled in oil for stealing a loaf of bread or hunting the King’s Deer. Something to that effect. Not following the law had serious consequences. It was not in any way similar to the libertarian modern society of today.

The point is that they were all thrust into a situation or an environment that forced them to do some things and avoid others – OR ELSE.

I myself hate to say it because I am essentially just like you – Pinoy. I grew up in the same environment of not liking certain things and in fact I too still have residual feelings of not liking the whole “reward and punishment” scheme to bring people to do things. How I wish it were true that all people could be good simply because they wanted to.

But unfortunately, that’s how the world works. That’s how effective societies were formed – through reward and punishment. That’s how a backwater country like Singapore with its dirty, unhygenic, corrupt, lawless, and formerly ultra-impolite people turned into a clean, “sterile” (as some people would like to negatively refer to it), upright (as far as corruption goes), law-abiding, and learning-to-be-more-polite society changed itself.

I don’t like the fact that they had to do that – which means that we’ll have to go through it too if we want to get our act together, but that’s how the world works.

I didn’t make it so – that’s just how it turned out. Don’t blame me – blame human nature!

Now as I see, you claim to prefer to dabble in Marx. I mean this is another Pinoy problem: the inability to use common sense in determining what’s worth experimenting on and what experiment has failed and must be discarded. Experimenting with Marxist thought might have been cool in the 60′s and 70′s, but it’s 2005 now. Haven’t you learned about what happened to those societies who experimented with Marxism?

Marxism has already failed miserably in delivering on its promises to create a Utopian society. And while it’s true that it claimed that it would probably take a long, long time to achieve that Utopian end-state, the Marxist Socialist phase of society’s evolution should have been far superior in terms of material benefits and other things when compared with Capitalist societies.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but if indeed you do subscribe to Marxism, I’m telling you, there’s something seriously wrong with your brain.

Why? Because it clearly has failed and yet here you are still adhering to it.

The conditioning and the social engineering I refer to are not in anyway related to the extreme examples you mentioned. You are guilty of erecting strawman arguments which is again a favorite pastime of Pinoys who go out in rallies, create papier mache effigies of their enemies, and burn or strike at them. It makes you feel good, but have you really beaten your enemy? In the same vein, anyone can find exaggerations of a situation so that it ends up absurd. Certain medicines, taken in their proper doses, cure diseases, but taken in the wrong doses either won’t work, can kill, or can cause serious side effects. The effectiveness of a medicine is assessed based on its PROPER USE, not on a ridiculous lunatics attempt to swallow a whole bottle-full of pills.

In the same way, the effectiveness of efforts of Behavioral Reform or Social Engineering are measured and assessed based on a fair and proper application of the principles, not on capricious or ridiculous scenarios that lunatics employed.

So kimosabe27, your arguments against social engineering and BF Skinner are invalid precisely because you used over-exaggerated and invalid counter-examples. Is this the best you can come up with? I mean can’t you folks come up with valid counter-examples instead of mentioning invalid and over-exaggerated ones and erecting strawman scenarios? If you are unable to come up with counter-arguments without resorting to the deliberate distortion or over-exaggeration of counter-arguments, then you will just have to submit that perhaps no counter-examples exist to disprove the points I or other people have mentioned.

I had expected people on this forum to be logical and intelligent enough not to be absurd when interpreting texts. But I am seriously disappointed by how you choose to overexaggerate simply because you can’t accept the facts as they are.

I repeat – and I hope repeating what I say helps drive the point to you – I used to wish (and still secretly wish) that BF Skinner was all wrong, that there was no such thing as gravity, and that people didn’t have to die.

But that’s not the way things are. We just have to learn to accept the facts of life – not sugarcoat them or deny these facts just because these facts conflict with our own idealistic (and sometimes naive) pre-conceptions of the world.

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José Rizal II

August 26th, 2005 at 6:07 pm

kimosabe27 and foreign devil,

Hey, this is only a discussion. You’re all taking this too personally.

Why can’t you properly form your arguments without resorting to slander?

Look, the Philippines is your own little “Paradise” precisely because we didn’t go through the right type of social engineering that should have produced a more efficient, punctual, prosperous, and morally-upright society. We suffer the problems of the Philippines today and you complain. Now that Benign0 and I offered solutions – which in my case, I admitted were not necessarily going to sound politically correct – you now complain.

Can’t you get your act together? Do you want an improved Philippines or not? Do you prefer the Philippines as it is or would you prefer to see it reformed for the better?

I never claimed that the suggested solutions to the problematic traits of the Filipino were going to be easy and nice-to-hear. I gave fair warning that it was going to sound “politically-incorrect.”

Then again, you probably like the Philippines the way it is, which is why you oppose little suggestions like mine about the need for appropriate social engineering and behavioral reform. In that case, just enjoy the Anarchy and Chaos of our beloved country.

foreign devil, care to tell me what is so bigotted about what I said?

Wait, you still haven’t shared your views about Mr. Abe Margallo’s brilliant piece.

What say you? * wink *

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noelet

August 26th, 2005 at 6:29 pm

Now we have a real discussion… maybe Benign0 might try to find other forums, oh well lets wait what he can say now. Hehe

But Im not a wider-read, I know communism but not entirely its authors and founders. This is my first to know BF Skinner – whoever.

But I have a big common sense. For example, whynoypisfail have suggested that the singapore system is universal akin to the law of aerodynamics which governs the same small aircraft or the huge boeing. The difference is aerodynamics is a science, not an opinion. By conceiving that the singapore model is right for the philipines is more of an opinion – its not science.

Surely one could claim scientific methods on arriving to the thoughts of mimicking singapore for filipinos to succeed. But then again the final outcome is still just a scientific opinion and not a law.

And again Benign0 tried using psychological terms to denote his views – The Pinoy Psyche. It is a very misleading effort. There is a Pinoy culture but the psyche is universal. Or i dont know if he’s really reffering to that branch of psychology – psycho-analysis – as founded by Carl Gustav Jung.

This is the name I can only offer that relates to this blog. To the rest I admit I dont have direct knowledge of.

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kimosabe27

August 26th, 2005 at 7:01 pm

Jose Rizal 2,

Well I haven’t heard of a Singaporean cosmonaut being launched in space. Neither have I seen a fleet of Singaporean Tupolevs darkening the sky during their Independence Day rite. Have you?

My point is that you are prescribing to us the Singapore, Taiwan (Confucian countries) economic models when the best thing than can be said about it is that they only have, at the present time, big stashes of money. We’ve already seen that in the rise of Soviet Russia from a decimated society to a superpower in just a matter of decades. What do they all have in common? Social engineering by means of centralization of resources at the behest of human rights. Well, to an extent, we can apologize for the abuses made in Russia since they were able to pioneer in space exploration where we, denizens of the internet, are the primary beneficiaries. But Singapore? What can you say about them except that they made themselves rich in order for Lee Kuan Yew to deride us Filipinos as the Sick Men of Asia.

No, I haven’t missed the point Rizal2, you are asking me to give up my freedom and my rights for the price of 30 pieces of silver. You are asking me to don the straight jacket of conformity just to enable the rich of this country plow enough money that the leftovers may be able to trickle down to us poor.

No, Rizal 2, I have not over-exaggerated (what a redundancy) my arguments, I have just crafted them in proportion to the readability criteria of this blog. If you want an extensive, point by point analysis of the problem, then why don’t you organize a forum and I will try to mail you in bulk the working papers on the policy directives as well as program implementation on specific povery-alleviation issues.

Again you are wrong Rizal 2, I may love Marx but I’m definitely not a Marxist. The proof is right in front of you If I am a Marxist I won’t be wasting my time arguing with you in this blog. I would have been busy designing the gulag from which I will ensure that you will be the first occupant.

I say I dabble in Marx because I find him, like Voltaire, skillful in the art of the political satire. I like him because in his works, he was able to mock the know it alls of his time about their paltry reasoning. “A spectre is haunting Europe…boooo! matakot ka”

No, Dr. Mengele of political alternatives, I’m not here to provide you with a counter-thesis, I’m here to say the truth–that your social re-engineering is not the alternative that we are looking for. And for this assertion, I won’t give you a detailed argument but a characterization. You are the emperor who says that social re-engineering is the cloth worthy in all empire and all of us citizens should bow, I am the little boy that says social re-engineering is a phantasm and your little dingaling is flapping wildly.

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jackryan68

August 26th, 2005 at 8:46 pm

I’ve been following this discussion for some time now, and as a practitioner with a local authority, I must say I’m learning from your exchanges.

But let me ask you this question – how do we implement social engineering, assuming it is THE solution to the problem that is the Philippines?

It is easy to say let’s reform the Filipino. The specifics of doing it is the problematic part.

Correct me if I’m wrong but it has to start somewhere. In the Singaporean model that JR2 has been particularly espousing, you cannot take Lee Kwan Yew out of the picture. In China’s case, it took a Deng Xiaoping to start the ball rolling, as you yourself mentioned.

But in the Philippines, who will start the ball rolling? It cannot certainly come from the Filipino people of whom you have very little regard.

The president? She’s governing on a day-to-day basis. Our political and economic elite? You must be joking.

The only possibilities I see are (1) for another dictatorship to take or grab power, or (2) for a bloody revolution to erupt, decimating the existing institutions as we know it, and creating a new order from the ruins.

But then again, that assumes that the new dictator/s or national leadership will be of the Lee Kwan Yew type. But with the corrupting power of absolute power, I think Lee is more of the exception and Marcos the rule.

My conclusion is – on the surface social reengineering might appear to be an appealing, even workable solution. But implementing it in the Philippines is fraught with the same inherent danger arising from what you claim is the behavioral flaw of the Filipino: he cannot be trusted and, consequently, his chosen leaders cannot be trusted as well. And in GMA’s case, I must say I agree with you perfectly.

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jackryan68

August 26th, 2005 at 8:50 pm

But the problem is, my experience in doing local education reform in my city has shown the exact opposite. Here, we have a good mayor who is trusted by his constituents. And we have leveraged this high trust level–backed up by city hall’s proven competence in the area of governance, a measure of financial muscle, and a good understanding of the problem–to undertake and institutionalize reforms in the delivery of public education services.

And more importantly, we did not have to do a Lee Kwan Yee because we believed in the democratic values of partnerships and participation: working with parents, teachers, and local communities to understand the state of education, assess the root cases of its problems, find solutions, and implement them. We dealt with DepEd, whose leadership helped institutionalize them in recent department orders so that impact is now nationwide. Aiding us is a national network of like minded education reformists called Synergeia whose common approach is to pursue these from the bottom up.

I do not mean to lecture you on a peripheral experience that might be boring. But I while I can understand your and most everyone’s frustrations with the state of the Philippines, I just can’t relate with your prescriptions.

What I am saying is there has to be a better way (and I personally believe there always is), suited to our values and ideals, and it is imcumbent upon us to find it. Our national leadership indeed sucks, but if it cannot provide the leadership required, we must look for it elsewhere.

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benign0

August 26th, 2005 at 9:22 pm

jackryan, It seems to me that you are considering only political solutions to implementing a social engineering program. Maybe there are other ways to do it, and we can learn a lot from the corporate world.

Corporations are devilishly efficient at changing behaviour and making people act in the strangest of ways. See how really shrewd marketing can turn teenagers (and most other schmoes with money to spend) into brand-worshipping dimwits and make people spend more than they earn on luxury goods and other unnecessary things. The power of imagery is what prompts many Pinays to desperately apply skin whitening lotions all over their body and spend fortunes on hair straightening regimes.

Maybe we can apply the same principles to socio-cultural engineering. The elite not only have a huge influence on the tastes and behaviour of the masses, they CONTROL the information dissemination infrastructure of the land — the media. See how easily Pinoys dance to the tune of material dished out by the media and you will see how much potential there is to implement change outside of traditional politics (an arena that is already tainted by fools and the fools who voted for them).

That said, the elite need one ingredient though — enlightenment. Something we discuss in the following article:
http://www.geocities.com/benign0/3-00_Makati/enlighten1.html

Yet, maybe the method to implement drastic change does not lie in education (an endeavour that Pinoys seem to have a distaste for in any case). That comes later when an ethic for acquiring knowledge manages to kick in. Maybe it lies in marketing cultural change the way, say, Starbucks is marketed.

Regardless of the methods we use, I do have a proposed roadmap for change. Check it out here:
http://www.getrealphilippines.com/solution/framework.html

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noelet

August 26th, 2005 at 9:58 pm

Benign0, after all the post on your behalf since you’ve last posted, you seem to select your reply. I’m waiting on how your reaction would be to foreign_devil’s commentaries on your site and ideas.

Or maybe your typing it now… ;)

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noelet

August 26th, 2005 at 10:20 pm

Beningn0, you should know that your buddy Whynoypisfail aka José Rizal II is billing you as:

“…that Benign0’s style also does have a point since he’s trying to reach a wider audience…”

As far as my common sense tells me, it should mean that you respond to every query, ryt? You must be able to depend your views and expand your horizon.

;)

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noelet

August 26th, 2005 at 11:11 pm

Oh well… maybe José Rizal II was wrong about you – reaching a lesser audience.

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pingkian

August 27th, 2005 at 12:20 am

Bobo ba ako kung si FPJ and binoto ko? Kasalanan ko bang pobre kung ang mayor ko ay korupt? Handa ka bang aktibong kumilos o di kaya’y magbigay ng libong piso sa kampanya ng isang baguhang politico na posibleng matino upang ang tulad mong di pa kilala ay manalo sa elekyon? Mababago mo ba ang kulturang Pilipino kung mismong ang iyong pinaka-mataas na pinuno ay sinungaling, mandaraya, at magnanakaw? Anong bunga ang aasahan sa isang punong mapakla? Subalit ito ang masasabi ko:

1. Handa akong magdusa sa ilalim ni mayor, ni congressman, at ang kapartindo nilang si governador dahil ipinagbili ko ang aking boto sa kanila.
2. Ipinagbili ko ang aking boto sa may pinakamataas na presyo dahil pare-pareho rin namang silang magnanakaw.
3. Hindi ko binoto si Roco, si Eddie Villañueva, si Lacson dahil alam ko rin naman matatalo sila, liban pa sa wala rin naman kaming kasiguruhan na magiging matino sila.
4. Si FPJ ang binoto ko, bagamat di nakapag-kolehiyo tulad ko, eh, baka sakaling siya ang umakay sa amin sa bagong umagang aming inaasam. Wala kaming tiwala kay Gloria, mataas man ang pinag-aralan ay wala naman kaming natamong kahit konting kaginhawahan at wala rin kaming nakikitang sinseridad.
5. Subalit, handa kaming tanggapin Pangulo si GLORIA kung tutoong siya ang nanalo sa eleksyong at makipagtulungan sa kanya.
6. Handa akong tanggapin na Pangulo si GLORIA kahit marami ang nagbibintang na nandaya siya kung wala namang matibay na ebidensya.
7. Ang Garci tapes ay matibay na ebidensya laban sa kanya at ito’y aking pinaniniwalaan, subalit handa akong baguhin ang aking paniniwala kung magkakaroon ng bukas at pataas na paglilitis.
8. Subalit di ko siya matatanggap na aking Pangulo kung patutloy niyang haharangin ang impeachment at harangin ang katotothanan.
9. Ako’y isang pobre lamang, subalit hinding-hindi ko kayang maatim na harap-harapan niyang akong pag-sisinungalingan, dadayain at yuyurakan ang aking dignidad o dangal.
10. Maaari mapanatili ni GLORIA ang titulo bilang pangulo, subalit kailian man ay di ko siya kikilalanin at gagalangin bilang pangulo. Ang lahat ay may hangganan.

Sa mga taong nagpaparatang na ako’y tanga, kulang sa pinag-aral at walang asal, ang masasabi ko’y hindi nyo ako kilala. Ang alam ko ay ang magnakaw, magsinungaling, at mandaya ay masama. Binoto ko man si mayor na “sinasabing” korupt ay dahil korupt din naman “sinasabing” ang kapalit. Ang ibig sabihin wala akong matibay na batayan na sila nga’y korupt. Hindi ko kinukunsinti kamalian ng aking mga anak. Para sa akin, ang lantaran pagkunsinti kasamaan ay siyang totoong katangahan at kawalang asal.

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benign0

August 27th, 2005 at 8:35 am

Mr. noelet,

Which part of foreign devil’s “ideas” would you like me to comment on? As far as I can see, they are nothing but ad hominems and do not clearly make an argument about any specific idea I make. All he does is make speculative insight on my character.

If this is the kind of post you are pinning your hopes on to debunk my views, then I must say you are just as clueless and typically Pinoy in your manner of debate as most people here. ;)

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foreign_devil

August 27th, 2005 at 12:32 pm

Benign0,

A marvelous day to you! Speculative insights as to your character, I assure you, is the last thing I would try to do to while away any free time I have. Debunking you and Jose Rizal 2 would even be stretching the realm of impossibility too far.

Did i call you a moron? I think I did not. Did I call you an idiot? I don’t think so. Did I call you stupid? Nope. Where then did you get the idea that I resorted to ad hominem?

If I remember right, what I tried to call you was IGNORAMUS—ignorant of the fundamental ideas of archaeology, economics, sociology, etc.etc. And to prove my point, i started by reposting your teeny-weeny “solutions” to the problems your country is experiencing. Actually, given your grand diagnoses and sharp ripostes, i expected something more earthshaking. But “save and invest”? “Manage our resources properly”? “Work with one another to create robust organisational frameworks”? “Owe allegiance to the community and the system, not its leaders”? And then enforce all these “gems” using behaviorist, nay fascist, conditioning? Whoa! Such a grand plan to achieve such trifles!

In effect, yours is an idea that amounts to something like this: in belling the cat, a band of mice will boldly attempt to cut the cat’s sharp claws and teeth while it is sleeping while another band will autosuggest in its ears a thousand and one management techniques and ideas. The objective? So that when the job is through, the original band of mice who will install the bell in its neck will be able to do so without fear, without trembling.

I won’t call it an idiotic idea. Neither will i call it stupid or moronic. To avoid ad hominem, i’ll simply call it REFRESHING!

Satisfied? : )

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foreign_devil

August 27th, 2005 at 12:52 pm

Kimosabe27, my dear bete noire,

i completely agree with what you wrote except that part about apologizing (even partly) for the horrible abuses in Soviet history. They would have nonetheless achieved such grand feats without, say the 1935 Old Bolshevik trials and the Tukhachevsky purges. Trotsky, even in his last days, refused to condemn wholesale the Soviet system whose assassins spread all over the world in search of him. And in China, what did the crass Cultural Revolution really achieved but set back its progress by a decade or so?

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timangismyname

August 27th, 2005 at 2:12 pm

just wanting to share this inq7.net feature feedback from a one reader. it’s worth reflecting…thanks…

Have we lost our sense of morality?

First posted 02:49am (Mla time) Aug 27, 2005
Inquirer News Service

Editor’s Note: Published on Page A12 of the August 27, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

WHAT have we done to our country?

One can’t help but feel sick with all the news about the Philippines that we’re getting today. It seems that in this country, presidents can get away (and with applause yet during the State of the Nation Address) with the padding of votes, kidnapping of witnesses, etc.

Witnesses who come out against powerful and influential public officials either end up getting “rescued” in a dubious manner or retracting their statements in tears.

Members of the House of Representatives proudly announce their decisions on the impeachment complaint even before they get to the hearings and presentation of evidence.

Law enforcers raid houses to confiscate evidence that shows cheating by administration and Commission on Elections officials in the 2004 elections.

Then we have a Catholic Church that closes its eyes to “pray and discern” as if a mountain of evidence (coupled with “suspicious” coincidences) were beyond its ken and vision; a citizenry
that swallows all the lies of government officials, hook, line and sinker; a supposedly intelligent and idealistic studentry doing nothing in the face of serious crimes committed or still being committed by their similarly well-educated public officials; and the also educated and relatively well-off middle class indifferent to the crisis.

Meanwhile, the government is imposing additional taxes as a response to fare increases and to the rise in the prices of oil, electricity, water, food and nearly every other basic commodity, while salaries and wages remain the same.

What is the root cause of our apathy and inaction? Our concern for survival? Or is it because we are so tired of the shenanigans of our politicians? (But how can we be so tired, when we have done very little yet?)

The answer is no. It simply means we have either lost our sensibility or our morality or both. Every day we see wrongdoings, but we prefer not to bother ourselves with them. When some people call for action against irregularities, we distance ourselves from them and brand them as deviants, crazies, subversives, even terrorists. Otherwise, we only watch the news and pretend everything is fine while the specter of economic and political disaster hangs over all our heads. In the end, we should ask ourselves, are we any better than the vile “trapo” [traditional politicians] and criminals we allow to get away with their crimes?

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Popsie

August 27th, 2005 at 3:41 pm

WHEW!!! What an exchange of ideas. I am grateful for PCIJ for coming up with this blog site. Galing nina Noelet, Kimosabe27, Indio_lawless, and others. Carry on, guys.

I joined BLACK AND WHITE MOVEMENT, because my conscience says GMA is LYING, CHEATING and STEALING fake president. I cannot accept to my children that I did not do anything.

We have a culture-problem, social engineering is needed, love for reading handicap, etcetera. Ang pinaka-importante pa rin ay paano paalisin ang dwendeng pekeng pangulo na kapit-tuko sa pamunuan.

SIge ipagpatuloy ninyo. God bless the Philippines!!

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José Rizal II

August 27th, 2005 at 5:49 pm

Noelet,

Sad to say, not only are you not a wide reader, but you really do have poor reading comprehension skills and logic.

The concept of aerodynamics is indeed science – and so are the concepts of human behavior. BF Skinner (or should I say “Dr. BF Skinner, PhD”) was a psychologist who merely collected information on stuff all civilizations of the past already knew and merely looked into it from a psychological (and therefore scientific) perspective. These same scientific concepts about human behavior were the basis for how Singapore’s behavioral reform and programme for improving their society was conceived.

They are NOT AN OPINION. And if you were to simply look at it as if it were “just an opinion” well, it’s a “more correct opinion” than what you’d probably have.

This is another Pinoy flaw. Many non-thinking Pinoys (of which Noelet is one example) cannot tell scientific fact from opinion. And when opinions are asked to be drawn, many non-thinking Pinoys assume that “all opinions are equal” – without understanding that oftentimes some opinions are better than others.

If the opinion asked of a person would be a question of “what color of umbrella do you prefer?”, them that type of opinion is all about preference and taste. Whether it be blue, red, white, green, or yellow, it’s all up to you – and it really makes no difference.

But if the question were “which size of umbrella do you need?”, then that’s a different story, because you’d have to figure how often you’re alone or with your girlfriend or wife or with other friends, ’cause that way, you’ll figure out whether to buy yourself a small easy-to-carry-around umbrella, a “good-for-3 people” umbrella, or a bigger one that allows 6 people to join in. That type of opinion has consequences and has varying levels of appropriateness attached to each option. If you think you’ll be alone most of the time, then choosing the small one would make sense. If you’re always with your wife or girlfriend then something that allows or 3 people to properly be shielded from the rain makes sense.

In the case of Government, this is not about “preference” anymore. It’s about what the right thing to do is… And the guide here would be scientific principles and objectivity – something that Pinoys aren’t usually strong at because as a people, many of us tend to be subjective.

What Singapore used for themselves worked and allowed them to get their act together in a really short span of time. There’s no question about it – their system worked, and more importantly, many of the principles that form the basis of their system are universally scientific ones that can work in others. Of course, it is still necessary to take note of the local conditions rather than using a one-size-fits-all scheme. No one here (not even I) is suggesting that.

It is necessary for Filipinos to realize that the underlying principles of human behavior work everywhere and it’s those principles we should pay attention to, not necessarily the act of “copying-exactly-everything-Singapore-did.” Even the Singaporean government themselves – when asked for advice by other governments – always advise others not to blindly follow everything they did to the letter and instead look at the underlying principles on which they based their system on and customize them for the society in question.

I hope this isn’t lost on you, Noelet…

Kimosabe27,

Singapore doesn’t really have that much in common with the Soviet Union particularly because for the most part, it simply made use of effective reward and punishment schemes with which to get its society moving forward including the economic aspect. In the case of the former Soviet Union, though, and very much in consistency with Marxist thought, it wasn’t “social engineering” they did, but Marxist COERCION, that of getting the State to force its ideas and ideals through obstrusive, repetitive propaganda and with threats for non-compliance in order to get its objectives met.

Anyway, this is another expose of Pinoy pettiness as you Kimosabe27, can’t seem to understand that someone here asked a question: if the Pinoy needs to be reformed, what then is the proposed solution?

And social reengineering (by looking at the essense – not the exact letter – of what Singapore did and how they did it) is the answer I gave.

I don’t see you providing any alternative answer on “how to effectively fix the Filipino” or “how to properly improve the Filipino.”

Benign0, Abe Margallo, and I see the problem of the Philippines as being the behavioral issues of the Filipino. Our society is fouled up because majority of those who are in the position to make decisions affecting the rest of the country have the wrong attitude, act wrongly, decide wrongly, think wrongly, etc.” In the end, a lot of the end-results of what we do are wrong, half-baked, or ineffective.

Benign0 himself would say “It all boils down to culture” and I agree. If our culture weren’t what it is today – if we weren’t petty and narrow-minded – and instead more capable of prioritizing properly and being focused on achieving our goals based on those correctly chosen priorities, we would actually succeed.

But how then do we fix the Philippines? That’s why social engineering is there.

I take it that you’re one of those “fixated-on-political-correctness” types who think of Social Engineering in very negative terms – imagining the creation of clones or automatons with no individuality.

Of course not!

Social engineering – the Singapore style – is, in a nutshell, nothing but simply setting up a rewards versus punishment structure that gives incentives for desired behavior that is beneficial to the entire society, and penalizes behavior that is deemed harmful or unwanted.

For smoking, for instance, cigarette packs are extremely expensive, and fines for smoking violations are steep. In the end, is smoking a necessity of life? Is it “good” for the non-smokers all around the smoker’s vicinity?

I’m not talking about creating “Hitler Youth” or “Young Pioneers” or “Kabataang Baranggay” type organizations… That’s social engineering in its GROSSLY MUTATED and OVER-EXAGGERATED form. Akin to taking 5 pills in one go because you’re too impatient to take 1 pill per day the next 5 days. In fact, that actually isn’t considered part of social engineering per se. That’s the creation of cult orgs.

That’s just what I sense from you Kimosabe27 – fear of the unknown, or perhaps fear of what you’ve misunderstood.

At first glance, the word SOCIAL ENGINEERING seems scary as it seems to sound almost like GENETIC ENGINEERING – something that connotes tinkering with and altering nature.

Social Engineering is nothing but a directed approach to proper habit forming. If you’re so opposed to the term – which again is simply what I sense from you, then if you want, I can just use the term “Good habit formation, bad habit elimination social programmes.”

Is that ok?

Really, that’s another thing with many of us Pinoys. I know – ’cause I’m Pinoy too. I used to get the jitters hearing certain words or concepts that I didn’t know much about but were painted in a bad light. Far too many fellow Filipinos cannot accept the “social engineering” line simply because of a wrongly formed bias they’ve been fed.

Don’t be too afraid of social engineering (most especially the Singapore variety). Be afraid of malignant types of brainwashing done by Marxist cadres, Nazis, and Al Qaeda type fundamentalists…

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kimosabe27

August 29th, 2005 at 1:58 am

Rizal2,

Hey, if you’re in a habit of butt whipping or bitch slapping your kids (or future children or future petri dish golems, I don’t know if women nowadays are attracted to control freaks) just to conform with your narrow worldview, then keep it to yourself, we freebird pinoys love our freedom saturated lebenstraum.

Again you’re wrong Rizal 2, Singapore and the former Soviet Union do have one fundamental characteristic, that is they have a monolithic state which squeezes the creative freedom out of its civil society, particularly its freedom to say no. Coercion comes in myriad of forms. It may be a first class accommodation to the world famous Lubyanka Square or it may be a Sotheby’s dictated price of a pack of cigs, both have the same effect—deprivation. The first tortures the life and limb of a Soviet “nekulturny” the second the lung and life of a Singaporean nicotine junkie. They may be the dregs of society in your world view, but they are fellow humans having the same rights as us, but are being trampled upon because they are unable to say no, thanks to an all pervading state which you are espousing.

So don’t tell me that social re-engineering and state coercion are not the same, the former is just a modern day euphemism of the latter. Let me go further by reiterating foreign devil’s F word, social re-engineering is another word for Fascism.

A bleeding heart for the common man may be petty to you Rizal2, but my alternative to the question on the why and how of Pinoy reformation, is to first say NO to top-bottom alternatives, specifically social re-engineering, for it will be again the unempowered majority who will be at the receiving end when the shit finally hits the fan.

Of course, you will say that social re-engineering can be introduced in controlled doses, but, as we have experienced during the Marcos years, exercise of political power is like sex and Pringles, once you pop you can’t stop.

I don’t blame you Rizal2 for being born with a goldfish’s brain, you know, goldfishes having memory spans of 3 seconds, but to entirely forget the lessons from 20 years of our very recent history, sheesh, Forrest Gump is a brainiac in comparison.

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masha

August 29th, 2005 at 2:59 am

hmmm….i digress but i need to ask, do you need to put DR. if you’re going to put PhD or any kind of xD after someone’s name? redun-dan-dan ba kung ilagay mo pareho? ex Dr BF Skinner, PhD.

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noelet

August 29th, 2005 at 6:01 pm

But go ahead my fantastic hero… claim all you want of my stupidity. If that satisfy your deep psychopatic tendencies then I would not obstruct your theraphy. Hahaha.

Oh my Jose Rizal, I praise thee…

Pink is still pink after all. For one the use of a nick to claim a heroist stand – bad move.

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noelet

August 29th, 2005 at 6:44 pm

Oh my dear Pepe,

Here’s part of my “poor reading comprehension skills and logic.”

Aerodynamics’ science is based on laws of physics. BF Skinner’s Behavioral models – are just scientific studies, they are not scientific law.

Ok maybe your could prove your point – so give me references to The Laws Of Behavioral Science then…

Expand you knowledge ma friend… go beyond Skinner as your favorite psychology author.

So the next time you go to your library please do take note of the difference between science as a law and scientific methodologies.

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noelet

August 29th, 2005 at 6:45 pm

Maybe your referring to Skinner in the X-file series… hmmm…

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noelet

August 29th, 2005 at 10:51 pm

The Theory of BF Skinner vs. The Law of Aerodynamics.

There’s a big difference between the two. The latter being a law is always persistent in its outcome. The other being just a THEORY can not be the same. It involves a lot of fine tuning to conform to its own rules. And it always needs to be proven to be accepted… and can be disproven as well.

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mhitzi

August 30th, 2005 at 11:18 am

Interesting discussion peeps!

Pero teka lang. Hindi ba kaya si mlq3 at si noelet ay iisa lang? Everytime jr2 hits mlq3, noelet gets angry. Tapos tatlo tatlo pa ang mga post. Running amuck na talaga, as in. Wala lang, observation ko lang.

Advise ko sa yo JR2, pagbigyan mo na lang si mlq3. Sinira mo kasi pangalan niya. No one likes to be humiliated. Bilib ako sa mga arguments mo, pero masyado mo yatang dinikdik si mlq3, na wala man lang siyang graceful exit. Tuloy, you have these little characters like noelet and company popping up out of nowhere tapos nanggugulo na lang at sira na ang intellectual discussion.

Sana naman bumalik ang tunay na mlq3 sa discussion at hindi na paninira ang mangyari sa discussion na ito. Gusto ko sana makita ang mga sagot niya. Malay niyo, baka sakaling may hirit si mlq3 na pangganti, o di ba?

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indio_lawless

August 30th, 2005 at 1:54 pm

JR2 alias Whynoypisfail :

Earlier you have solicited my view on Abe Margallo’s commentary entitled “ If not GMA, who? …” on this blog (26 August 2005) after I posted “ Well said, foreign_devil”.

As a matter of professional courtesy, I normally defer from commenting on any brethren’s take. More so, we have this joke that outside of the Court, lawyers got the propensity, if not the tendency, to argue “till kingdom come” with or without an audience and I presume, Abe also knows that being a lawyer himself.

Seriously, I concur with Abe’s postulate “ that the problem today in the Philippines is rather behavioral (especially on the part of private business) than fiscal, bureaucratic or anything.” In our profession alone, some of our comrades face the prospect of being disbarred for ‘misbehaving’. (Though, I posit a contrary view that Alan Paguia should not have been severely disciplined by means of disbarment for “questioning” the High Court.)

It can also be argued that the Filipino’s behavior could be more than subjective rather than being objective. Take the case of my late law professor who flunked two classmates of mine for a simple reason that he doesn’t like their faces. The same way, that there are also some Judges who plainly dismissed cases for the same simple reason that they don’t like the faces of the arguing counsel on record.

But, as we all know, Filipinos could not claim monopoly of the said “subjective” behavior. Try asking any Noypi whose application for U.S. Visa got denied. Or those OPAs whose contracts were not renewed by their Japanese principals.

In the same vein, some people in this blog may brand others as subjective or otherwise, particularly when one wrote passionately on the gloriagate issue.

But, again, that’s the beauty and art of opinion making and the reader himself/herself, being the arbiter, always got the final say. Caveat, however, that the authors themselves, no matter which side of the fence they belong, should exercise tact and show a certain degree of civility in making their opinions known.

Thus, while I duly respect the opinions you have wriiten, it’s my belief branding others as “reading-challenged” is argumentum ad hominem. As a learned individual, there is no need to remind you that the handicapped or even an uneducated have also the right to be heard.

Lastly, as the self-proclaimed predecessor of Dr. Jose Rizal, ( nothing personal here), Isn’t it appropriate for you to propagate also his works and writings in your commentaries? How about, for starters, the relevance of Noli and El Fili to the present times, particularly in the case of bogus president?

Educate us, please.

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tongue in, anew

August 30th, 2005 at 4:14 pm

Woo Hoo!
.
I have since moved to the other blogs in PCIJ, but this morning I can’t believe seeing 109 comments (and still going!) and it’s great to note the scholarly discussions, fiery and more passionate, and very lengthy at that. That’s also the reason I cannot keep pace (masyadong mahahaba, parang kinopya sa masteral theses) I can only spend limited time on the web. I’d rather walk my horses or tinker with my new MP5 Army edition.

Well, I would’ve kept my peace and left these geniuses make fools of themselves (well you know who you are) in futile attempts to validate their own flawed, often arrogant, arguments but one fast scan through the long posts took me to one that asks me to sit back and lectures me on self-reformation, in fact it was a very long one I didn’t even bother reading in full. I just remember the homily revolved around Skinner. Is he the behaviorist who based his theories on his studies of mice inside a (Skinner?) box? Sorry dude, we’re human beings. Unless you would admit otherwise. And oh, yeah…Singapore!

Whoever it was, suffice it to say that Singapore is but the size of the province of Cavite and the population of Pasay CIty. In that case, would you want to Johnny Remulla (or Ayong Maliksi) to run the Philippines? Or Lee Kuan Yew (the man who, during his tenure, outlawed public debates) to run Pasay City? Hey, my Singaporean business partners cannot be too happy that they’re done with him.

Singapore is a tiny, effectively 2-island nation compared to our 7,100. Hans Sy, recently speaking on behalf of taipan-brother Henry in a charity dinner (which I am usually invited to attend…hrmm) said that SM Prime Holdings owns real property seven times the size of Singapore! I am tempted to believe that Henry Sy was probably a better Executive than Lee Kuan Yew could ever be.

Maybe seven times better.

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noelet

August 30th, 2005 at 5:11 pm

Hey mhitzi, are u a jr2 replica as well? Nice observation of having an interesting intellectual discussion running amuck? O well how little a character are you? Wala lang, obeservation ko lang. Hahaha

As for me and the rest of bloggers, except of course for jr2 and mhitzi, none claim intellectual superiority or of branding great opinion. Others try to focus on the adjectives – this is my opinion and its great, correct and absolute.

So lets test mhitzi intellectual capacity then… go ahead take the plunge!

Oh and i don’t wish to tire somebody with a lenghty post. This is not the right place for that.

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noelet

August 30th, 2005 at 5:32 pm

Me too, i skip lenghty copied-scripts. I observe what’s being debated, what are the main points… then I post my opinion. Sad to say that some bloggers INTERPRET long post as tantamount to being intellectual, or the use of latin words etc.

My first observation was that the Black&White movement seem to have been lost in the topic with a sinister plot to argue a very alienating solution – The Skinner Theory.

I dont know what governs an intellectual discussion nor what it is that would make one an intellectual… or that it is needed for sharing a thought? Others fougth for it like a no-id no-entry system, “Hey Im an intellectual, I should ONLY talk to other intellectuals like me.” So the very demeaning commments like poor reading, no logic, small characters, ad hominem ;) … and oh lets not forget their main thesis – the typical pinoy backward culture argument.

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noelet

August 30th, 2005 at 5:39 pm

O fear not my child mhitzi for I have taken 3 consecutive posts each having diminutive ideas in them… My darling here’s my kiss – keep it short and simple.

Bwahaha

Opps, is the use of expression like laughter a taboo for the intellectuals? Let me know wil ya.

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mhitzi

August 30th, 2005 at 6:45 pm

Ano ba yan? Gusto ko lang na bumalik na ang the real mlq3 para naman may real na debate! E sobra lang kayong namemersonal e. Time to go back to the discussion, ‘ika nga.

Totoo ngang parang ikaw ang alter-ego ni mlq3 e. Talagang todo ang defense mo sa kanya. Ako nga e, I adviced jr2 na ‘wag masyadong dikdikin si alter-ego mo para naman hindi siya mapahiya ng husto. ewan ko ba sa inyo?

Studyante lamang ako, and I just want to read some nice and interesting things here so I learn something new, hindi yung mga panlalait at kabobohan na pinapaskil niyo dito.

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noelet

August 30th, 2005 at 7:31 pm

sus wag na magmalinis mhitzi… estudyante ka lang pala eh so your saying aspiring intellectual ka pa lang? kapal mo naman ata magmalinis at magpahayag na naapi ka bilang isang mahinang estudyante… just review your earlier post, wil ya. tnx

or you could admit that you just being for the benefit of mr jr2.

so much for behavioral science. hehehe. heres the plot: mlq3 and jr2 suppossedly clashed here eaerlier in this post. somebody tried to think being the winner. mhitzi believe its jr2 having self-proclaimed superior opinion. then jr2 has been confronted by the rest with objections to their theory by apparently much learned intellectuals (or maybe the real ones). to the point that he seem not able to rebut anymore. then came mhitzi clearing a road for his master to come. very dubious character indeed.

so to mhitzi, your comments are out of place trying to be a self-intellectual yourself. why not comment on the theories? no, because your just a student?

naging personal ba ako sayo? or maybe naging personal ka sa akin? yes. you see just review your post. that’s right. read it again. word for word. bago mo sabihin pinepersonal ka tingin sa salamin. k.

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noelet

August 30th, 2005 at 7:36 pm

mhitzi personal question lang, row 4 ka ba? Hehe

ayaw ata dungisan ni jr2 ang kanyang intellectual character kaya he created a dummy one – mhitzi, na pedeng magsalita ng panlalait ng mga kabobohan habang pinanatiling mataas (daw) ang kanyang alter-ego.

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noelet

August 30th, 2005 at 7:37 pm

So mhitzi, are u pink? you seems so. Hahahaha.

Your definitely not Black&White.

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noelet

August 30th, 2005 at 7:47 pm

oh my god. mhitzi can i ask whats your iq? hanep sa last post –

“Totoo ngang parang ikaw ang alter-ego ni mlq3 e. Talagang todo ang defense mo sa kanya…”

if you are intellectual enough to read the entire blog you’ll find that only 1 time did i mention mlq3 – and that is in reference to foreign_devils question to the debaters: mlq3, mhitzi este whynoypisfail este jr2 and benign0. mlq3 replied but mhitzi and benign0 didn’t. so i raised them to answer because thats what intellectuals do as a point of order. ;)

only 1 time. pero wow grabe – talagang todo? imagine this post having 119 post. and i mention mlq3 ONLY once. my god (warning this will be personal) with permission can i call you pea-brain?

better study more. Hehe but nice try.

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noelet

August 30th, 2005 at 7:50 pm

So my advice to your estudyante blues… you wana start intellectual debate? you cannot start it by becoming a dog. that’s why my first intellectual reply to you is go ahead take the plunge – lets see what your brain got.

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noelet

August 30th, 2005 at 7:52 pm

Just like your most naive post – wala lang, observation ko lang. ;)

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noelet

August 30th, 2005 at 11:01 pm

Pinoy behaviour is not the only problem, not even a priority if your trying to look for solutions. Though I may concede to people pointing it as the main problem. Pinoy behaviour might be the obvious problem. Unfortunately the debate here sorround mostly on the percieved solutions – the ONE problem and a MIGHTY solution concept – with a sarcastic and retarded analogy to REAL issues and problems. In a way its a forced solution. Kind of like their first implementation of Skinner’s social-engineering.

From this level it already failed.

Do you have something to say my student? ;) A question perhaps…

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José Rizal II

August 31st, 2005 at 2:21 pm

If you’re wondering why the Philippines is in such a pathetic state – look no further: It’s all evident on the PCIJ blog. On this site you’ll find utter foolishness abound with irrelevant and petty remarks flying here and there. It’s a miracle that characters like Noelet, Tongue-in-a-New, and ultra-sensitive and non-thinking types like kimosabe27 haven’t gotten themselves run over when crossing the street. Just look at the kind of vacuousness with which they argue their points so unintelligently. Then again, this is the Philippines: A very tolerant society where foolishness is permitted and allowed to survive.

Indio Lawless,

it seems therefore that you agree with my stand on several points. Abe Margallo’s points are pretty much the same things that I would say.

Indeed, the Filipino is far too subjective and largely devoid of objectivity. It’s not to say that there are no objective Filipinos, because Abe Margallo, Benign0, and I at least strive our very best to be. There are also lots of ordinary people who are, except that they don’t join political opinion forums like the PCIJ blog, and perhaps they just stick with their common sense. Now the thing is I don’t want to see the “it exists elsewhere” point being raised. Just because subjectivity exists in other societies, doesn’t mean that we Filipinos are allowed to continue on with letting our subjectivity rule the majority of Filipinos. We do have a huge problem as this subjectivity prevents us from looking at our real situation and admitting that we’ve got to get our act together. Other countries or societies will have subjective people too, but perhaps not in the same degree to which our society has it and not with the same disastrous effects this subjectivity wreaks upon us when we continue doing the same wrong things without realizing the need for reform.

So it seems you are also on the right track. At least you agree that the problem of the Philippines is behavioral: that the behavior of Pinoys (and our attitude in general) is what’s ultimately causing our failure.

As for Noli and Fili, I don’t see the issue today as being one with the president. It’s the problem of the people. We right now have a president who tirelessly works to fix the country, and unfortunately, there is no one else who is qualified that happens to be in the line of succession. If you ask whether there are alternatives, I’d reply “YES, there are.” But who are they? Former President Ramos. Bayani Fernando. Senator Richard Gordon. Tell me, are they in the line of succession?

On to the Noli question: Noli Me Tangere – a title taken from the Latin Vulgate Bible as a statement by Jesus to Mary Magdalene when He appeared to her after resurrection and before ascending to Heaven – is a book that doesn’t talk about the Spaniards being the bad guys per se. Noli Me Tangere’s main point was in talking about the cultural flaws of Filipinos and of the Filipino elite as being the cause of a lethargic and pathetic society. In El Filibusterismo, my predecessor likewise does not change his focus on Filipino cultural flaws, albeit he posits that perhaps a more radicalized approach may emerge should reformist clamors be rejected.

Back to Filipino culture, I think that by examining the manner in which these petty little interlopers who waste bandwidth and server storage space with all their incessant heckling – largely because they’ve already lost the argument – we can really see why our country isn’t moving forward.

Kimosabe27,

I don’t use corporal punishment on my kids, because I don’t need to. They are generally good kids. Instead, I withdraw privileges from them (mild offenses) or scold them (graver offenses) depending on what they did. But as usual, this is all lost on you. You’ve already prejudged the situation based on your fervent beliefs, not realizing that they all come out as foolish.

All civilizations and all religions HAVE social engineering. The very existence of religion or government is primarily to implement social engineering to ensure that people stay away from doing what’s bad and strive to do what’s good. That’s just the way it is. The question is not the presence or absence of social engineering concepts but rather the consistency and appropriate level of application. You think the Americans don’t have social engineering? What then is the whole concept of catching criminals and punishing them? When then is the whole concept of the President giving Medals for special types of achievement to outstanding citizens? That is social engineering.

You just don’t like the sound of it because you’re an ignorant fool that thinks social engineering is similar to genetic engineering and you automatically think that implies the creation of clones and zombie-like automatons who can’t think for themselves. Shame on you for not knowing any better.

You have to read. You have to think.

Tongue-in-anew,

I’ve already addressed the Singapore issue that people like you and mlq3 like to raise: that it’s small.

As I said earlier, Singapore may be a small country, but the world’s most populous country and world’s 3 largest country (CHINA) is learning how to modernize itself and organize itself by copying Singapore.

You also try to deride Singapore but at the end of it all, they are still a much better society than we are. Case in point: Filipinos don’t have jobs back home and instead have to seek out employment abroad in droves. A large number of Filipinos have to become domestic helpers and not surprisingly, there are also some who turn towards prostitution.

Singapore doesn’t have that problem. They don’t send maids abroad, they don’t send people to become “pros” abroad. And even in their own country, where prostitution is legal, studies have revealed that there are no Singaporean prostitutes and instead what you have a Malaysian Chinese, Thais, Indonesians, and yes, some moonlighting Filipina maids (or Filipinas who purposely went there as pros)

So deride that country all you want, but they’re the one’s having the last laugh while our country continues to wallow in freakish misery.

Your attitude is another Filipino flaw: instead of acknowledging that we ourselves have a serious attitude/cultural problem that we should fix, you delight in looking at your imagined flaws of others (I say imagined, because they exist only in your foolish brain). But the reality is still there… They’re the successful ones, and we’re the flunkies.

And you talk about Cavite and Singapore, but you fail to see that objectively, Singapore is still so many times more successful than Cavite (or the Philippines, for that matter).

Regarding BF Skinner, he observed both animals AND human beings. So there you go with your ignorance. You try to refute what I say, but you use the wrong facts. Very typically Pinoy Pseudo-Intellectual, indeed!

This is how pathetic the Filipino Intelligentsia is. This blogsite is but a reflection of the dearth of introspection and knowledge that represents the better-class of Filipino society. The very poor people have their excuse – they are poor, lack resources, and are not well educated. But people like you don’t have that excuse – and yet you make statements that are so devoid of common sense.

Is that the best you can do? Heckle and make stupid remarks because you can’t discuss intelligently anymore?

Well, that’s the Pinoy “Intelligentsia”: Pathetic.

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noelet

August 31st, 2005 at 9:57 pm

im hurt… no special reply fo me. hehe

no comment on:

The Theory of BF Skinner vs. The Law of Aerodynamics.

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noelet

August 31st, 2005 at 10:01 pm

jr2 wrote,

“Heckle and make stupid remarks because you can’t discuss intelligently anymore?”

as if your so innocent for such stupid remarks. magmalinis ba? eniweys ang pagmamalinis is a typical pinoy backward mentality. atleast that’s part of your behaviorist theory. so judging you as example… i beginning to feel your correct at your observation – pinoy’s mentallity is really pathetic.

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noelet

August 31st, 2005 at 10:05 pm

jr2 wrote,

“So deride that country all you want, but they’re the one’s having the last laugh while our country continues to wallow in freakish misery.”

tongue-in-a-new isn’t deriding singapore. we should all know that he’s deriding someone in this blog. sshhhh. its secret.

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José Rizal II

September 1st, 2005 at 1:29 pm

Noelet wrote:

“i beginning to feel your correct at your observation – pinoy’s mentallity is really pathetic.”

Well there you go! At least you’re beginning to understand what the root cause of the Philippine Problem is.

*wink*

Another thing, aerodynamic theory and BF Skinner have already been properly presented. If you’re too intellectually-incapable of understanding simple posts brought down to layman’s terms, Noelet, then that’s your problem.

Not mine.

*wink*

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madrokko

September 6th, 2005 at 12:01 am

Reading BenignO in this blog, I could not help but shudder at his statements like:

“It’s the culture, dude. Culture culture culture. Our culture is weak and easily blown away by the slightest breeze.”

I would rather tend to accept foreign_saint’s comments, that there is a lot of wind with no substance from a social science point of view.

Not everyone who can use “dysfunction” or “paradigm” is scientifically grounded. Language can mislead, especially to the uninitiated. But those with basic knowledge of social science will easily spot the impostor. A humbler attitude would be more appropriate than “knowing the solution”. We always look with suspicion at solutions that appear to be Allheilmittel – panacea.

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noelet

September 6th, 2005 at 12:24 am

jr2, seems so lost at his over-blown explanation of little skinner and the big aero… you’re not rebutting my point ther. instead ties to wiggle it out of proportion. sort of like the houdini act – there i can call you a master.

allow me to illustrate:

1. bf skinner’s theory is akin to aero in scope. singapore the small plane… and mmmm china na boeing?

2. my take is that incomparable: the laws of aerodynamics is exact to both small and large plane; whereas skinner’s singapore implemetation is isn’t. A TRUE scientist would be excited in implementing skinner’s theory to a bigger country – i say would be excited and would die love to record all statistical data for corroboration with skinners theory.

not the other way around – that it would fit all.

there you continuously fail in your seemingly belittling logic and science to fit your needs.

or you could represent your theories in other forms more exact.

do not push more your aero paradigm as we are not as ignoramus as you in science. heck im not a whiz kid but as basic as physics and psychology – that don’t mix.

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noelet

September 6th, 2005 at 12:31 am

or maybe you can’t handle well trying to do a layman’s interpretation of the laws of physics and the big THEORY of skinner.

here’s some aero thought for you: do you feel the air touching your skin? now do you feel my behaviour? – that’s your aero and that’s your skinner.

trying to convince me with your layman? then do layman and stop intimiditaing aerodyamics – its too technical for you.

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noelet

September 6th, 2005 at 12:35 am

jr2,

you continuously failed to properly represent your theory. or maybe you cant handle it anymore.

your act of trying to be mr clean with your anti-person remarks shows that you too have a rotten culture.

but a typical political remark is trying to purge, cut and sew and rebut only on incomplete ideas and statements for personal glorification.

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José Rizal II

September 8th, 2005 at 3:06 pm

Noelet,

There seems to be a grain of truth to the allegations that Mhitzi raises about you possibly being an “avatar” of MLQ3. After all, I meant the Aerodynamics parallel (which you clearly know nothing about) to be addressed to the “esteemed” MLQ3.

Unfortunately, he is not a scientist nor does he have any real aptitude nor inclination towards the sciences, so he didn’t dare respond.

Instead, you immediately popped out of nowhere and started your tirades against whatever I said.

Your tirades are filled with so much passion against all my arguments against MLQ3 – especially the Aerodynamic one which really devastated MLQ3′s side that he has not been able to rebut at all – that it is quite obvious that Mhitzi is indeed quite observant. I’ve been too busy to notice little clues like that, but come to think of it, it is rather suspicious that that you’ve taken up the cudgels for MLQ3 on almost everything, most especially that killer argument about Aerodynamics.

* wink * :)

And yet you still have nothing to say against it except engage in the type of pseudo-intellectual bickering and futile rhetorics that are, according to Shakespeare, “full of sound and fury, signifying Nothing.”

Neither have I seen MLQ3 come out to properly defend himself using his MLQ3 handle. And you do obviously try to change your manner of speaking. You’ve slipped this time because early in your career as a “heckler” (as some people would call you) you used lousy English grammar to mask your real style of saying things. Now you’ve slipped so that your real MLQ-esque style (and he admittedly can speak some English) comes out – though you are still trying to mask it by being rude.

Sorry Noelet. But I’ve already explained it before. No use re-explaining it all to a loser like yourself. The principles of Management and Governance are generally the same be the society big or small. And they have parallelisms in the Natural Sciences – which is where aerodynamics fits in. The dynamics of Social Sciences are no different, except that it is simply more difficult to do controlled or clean-room type laboratory experiments on social behavior. For that, we have no choice but to rely on history. Your problem is that you think that the Social Sciences can easily be manipulated by rhetorics and “pambobola.” That’s not how science works – and the social sciences are no exception.

So please bring MLQ3 back. I would like to just discuss with him nicely without all the idiotic comments coming from you. If you aren’t him, you are obviously his friend. Please tell him to come back and discuss with me properly. I will forgive him for your emergence as long as he comes out to properly answer or present his side.

Of course, he (MLQ3) just doesn’t know as much as I do ’cause while I’m busy reading and analyzing, he’s too busy politicking and coming out on television – preparing for his political career, so I guess he has no choice but to resort to the heckling you’ve been doing since I beat him and his pathetic arguments to a pulp.

*wink* :)

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kavenishi

September 8th, 2005 at 3:36 pm

to noelet & Jr2, pwede pong paki simplehan nalang po ang english nyo. Imbes po na maconvince ako sa argument nyo, lalo akong nacoconfuse sa lalim ng mga english nyo. pasensya na po ha, di ako kasintalino nyo sa english language.

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noelet

September 9th, 2005 at 12:09 am

After all, I meant the Aerodynamics parallel … to be addressed to the “esteemed” MLQ3.

Well could be. But my guess would be your running out of point.

And well so much for the acclaimed intellectual librarian, now rellying on pure tismis to acquire trivial knowledge. such a show of intelligence, isn’t it?

Still aside from you lull to the dark-tsismoso side, mangement is different form social science which is different from aerodynamics which is different from behavioural science.

The use of aerodynamics and airplanes were misleading. The point is you did mislead some to prove you as an intellectual. Instead of insisting on your theory your more geared toward insisting that your comparison work.

No much of a thinker but more of a boastful dude.

Me mlq3, i don’t know? Do you? Well not my problem to find out. But if you insist you can search all these blog.

*wink* :)

The point is you’ve wasted way too much trying to tell people that you are good than trying to present you’re broken theory. That’s means that what you carry is the ego and not the heart of a true intellectual.

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noelet

September 9th, 2005 at 12:12 am

Still a theory is to be proven and a law exist.

If you know what I mean.

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José Rizal II

September 12th, 2005 at 2:34 pm

Noelet,

Still, Singapore is a hugely successful country that moved from Third World to First in less than 40 years.

…And Gigantic and Most populated CHINA is heavily learning and copying from tiny Singapore on how to improve their society and its economy. And China is succeeding because it is copying Singapore!

And what about the Philippines? We are still in a pitiful state because idiots like you (who happen to be so abundant in these islands) continue to reject common sense.

*wink*

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dimasalang

September 12th, 2005 at 2:56 pm

JR2

May i know in what terms is China copying Singapore? It is impossible to take the path of a country with only 1 million people and apply it to one which has 1 billion. There must be something that was copied but not entirely. Can you tell me what?

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José Rizal II

September 13th, 2005 at 8:08 pm

Dimasalang,

You may have to review your figures. Singapore is not a “1 million people” country. It already has passed the 4 million people mark, approximately around 4,425,720 people (July 2005 est.) – this figure is also found on http://www.nationmaster.com.

More importantly, China is copying Singapore in terms of its aggressive courtship of foreign investment as well as the manner in which China aggressively tries to reform and modernize its society. You have anti-spitting laws now in place – copied straight from the Singaporean model – in a few key cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, and a few others. They are, admittedly, not as successful as Singapore is in implementing some of these rules, but they have indeed copied Singapore in this regard.

Beijing and Shanghai have actually progressed in this regard, since both cities have drastically eliminated the spit-anywhere practice that is so common in less-developed areas and cities.

Additionally, Singapore was the model on which the creation of the city of Shenzhen was based. Deng Xiaoping observed the whole idea of setting up special economic zones from his visit to Singapore, and Shenzhen was one of the very first ones he set up with the intention of using it as a conduit between HK and the rest of China, and also attracting HK investors to set up factories in Shenzhen due to the much lower costs there.

You are right that it was not done entirely – and no one should copy a country entirely. Singaporeans themselves emphasize that the imitation of their experience should be on the foundational level and based on fundamental principles of governance – rather than an exact “ad verbatim” copy. Copy the spirit/essence, not the exact letter, in other words.

The Chinese are themselves also very conscious not to copy everything in its entirety. But you do have to admit that the approach is there… Copy, modify according to local conditions, then implement.

Turkey, by the way, copied Switzerland’s Civil Code – almost in its entirety – during Kemal Mustafa Ataturk’s modernization drive. There were lots of other things they copied from other societies, and while Turkey does have quite a substantial territory with a huge population (though certainly not as huge as China’s), Switzerland, is a small, landlocked country with a small population.

As for China, their strategy in “copying” or drawing key learnings from Singapore is to treat key cities as if they were like Singapore. That’s how they do it. They break up the management into “bite-sized pieces.”

Do not use the “A is small, B is big” line of reasoning to reject the fact that many principles of management and governance are similar and based on the same fundamental laws and concepts regardless of size.

It is in fact wrong for many to say “Singapore is strict because it is small, but a bigger country cannot use the same system…” Because in fact, Montesquieu himself observed that larger territories are even more likely to require higher levels of authoritarianism and strictness than smaller ones.

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