Friday, July 29, 2016

DUTERTE'S CLUSTER BOMB




photo from http://www.redthreadinc.co/red-thread-blog/2015/4/2/dyi-cyber-vigilantism-the-heroes-we-need


I'D AGREE that when you let calls and checks for human rights work for the criminals, as criminals have no concern for human rights, then human rights end up benefiting criminals, to the disadvantage of anti-criminal enforcement (which is usually the only present subject for human rights calls and checking).
    However, I also buy the fact that when due process that is meant to protect the wrongfully accused is removed from the equation of going after criminals, the absence of that process also successfully removes from the face of the earth both 1) the criminals and 2) the wrongfully accused . . . having both been summarily executed by the judge, jury and executioner-cleaner who implemented their removal. And should we ignore the collateral damage that these executions produce? One wonders if the absence of due process is truly the only way to successfully clean a dirty street, or if there is a more precise way with almost no collateral damage.
   
Could there be a cleaner with a cleaning plan better than what the Duterte/de la Rosa cleaning theory boasts as being the only plan sure to successfully clean streets? Could a denial of an alternative plan be due to an attitude indifferent to collateral damage? [S / -I]



ANG PULISYA AT ANG DIWA NG KARTON


photo from https://twitter.com/biancadava/status/749329266139992064

SABIHIN na natin na ang mga nasa larawang ito ay totoo ngang methamphetamine drug pushers na direkta o di-direktang may kinalaman sa maraming krimen na nangyayari sa ating lipunan. Malamang totoo ngang pusher sila, dahil . . . may tattoo.
    Pero paano, halimbawa, kung ito ang nangyari? May mga akyat-bahay na pumasok sa isang shop at naabutan sila ng dalawang may-ari ng shop kaya pinatay na lang ng akyat-bahay ang dalawang may-ari ng shop at nagsulat ng "pusher, huwag tularan" sa isang nahanap na karton at itinabi ang karton na ito sa mga bangkay ng kanilang napatay na mga may-ari ng shop. Ano sa palagay ninyo ang gagawin ng pulis ukol dito? Iimbestigahan ba nila ang marder na ito? Maaaring hindi. Dahil maaaring maging malakas ang dating sa superintendent nila ang diwa ng karton. [S / -I]


Digong's Pale Vision of a Revolution




photo from http://www.1meee.com/%E2%80%AArodrigo-duterte%E2%80%AC%E2%80%AC/


PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte wants the French model, a semi-presidential system, but with a unicameral legislature. What gives? Well, the basic rationale for the parliamentary system against the presidential system is that it's the parliamentary system that gets rid---more or less---of national big business' hold on presidential candidates (who need big business money to run at all). So what does this say about the Duterte vision of a revolution for the Philippines' future?
    Another basic rationale for the parliamentary system is the fact that, like two-party systems, political parties automatically get serious about their being parties in fighting for majority seats. And even when parties lose seats in a parliamentary system, they get serious about forming a shadow government. In this kind of setup, the need for the pork barrel, which is used in the presidential system for congressmen to veer their voices to a path more in tune with the executive branch, virtually disappears. In turn, in a parliamentary system, there is no more need for party people to change parties everytime a new president from another party enters the picture. Duterte's vision of a revolution, it seems, doesn't want to get rid of the pork barrel and just wants the "unicamerality" of a Parliament.
     So much for revolutions? [S / -I]



Alam Mo Ba Ang Ibig Sabihin ng Quid Pro Quo?


photo from http://thesource.com/2015/12/17/happy-37th-birthday-manny-pacquiao-top-5-humanitarian-movements/

SO, dahil alam mo naman pala, ano kaya, Senador, kung ang binabalak mong gawin sa trabaho mo sa Senado ay gawin din ng mga katulong at hardinero mo sa iyo, magustuhan mo kaya?
     Ano kaya kung ang tao nalang ang maging Senado sa isang direct democracy para makapag-sports nalang ang political elite ng ating plutokrasiya o walang kuwentang representative democracy? [S / -I]



Thursday, July 28, 2016

BINABARIL BA KAYA NG BARIL MO ANG SARILI MONG PAA?


photo mula sa http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/07/07/16/3-lalaking-nanlaban-sa-mga-pulis-maynila-patay

ILAN sa mga napabalitang napaslang (sa ilalim ng anti-drug drive ng gobyerno) ay anti-drug activists na pinaslang ng mga drug trafficking organizations? Ano ang ginagawa ng gobyerno para di na dumami pa ang mga anti-drug activists na mapapaslang ng mga organisasyong ito?
    Ilan sa nabalitang mga napaslang ang napaslang dahil sa mistaken identity? Ilan na ang nadampot dahil sa mistaken identity?
    Ilan sa napabalitang mga napaslang ang wrongfully accused o biktima ng wrongful execution (na tinaniman pa ng ebidensya at baril)?
    Ilan sa napabalitang mga pulis na nakapaslang ng diumano'y nanlaban na mga suspek ang bahagi o nasa payroll ng drug trafficking syndicates at maaaring napag-utusan ng sindikato na paslangin ang lahat ng may nalalaman tungkol sa kanilang druglord? Ano ang ginagawa ng gobyerno sa pag-usisa tungkol sa usaping ito? Naniniwala ba talaga si General Rock ofthe Rose (Bato dela Rosa) na hindi ito posible, ayon sa sabi niya sa panayam sa kanya ng TV5 tungkol dito, dahilan kung bakit walang pag-usisa sa usaping ito?

KUNG walang ginagawa ang gobyerno para maprotektahan ang mga anti-drug activists na may kaunting alam tungkol sa ilang public figures sa illicit drug trade, ano ang impact nito sa anti-illegal drug drive ni Presidente Duterte?
    Kung walang gagawin ang gobyerno tungkol sa mga napaslang dahil sa mistaken identity, kung totoo ngang mayroon, o nadampot dahil sa mistaken identity, kung totoong mayroon, ano ang impact nito sa anti-illegal drug drive ni Presidente Duterte?
    Kung walang gagawin ang gobyerno sa mga kaso ng wrongfully accused at mga kaso ng wrongfully summarily executed, ano ang magiging impact nito sa anti-illegal drug drive ni Presidente Duterte?
    Kung walang gagawin ang gobyerno sa mga problemang nabanggit, dahil lamang sa kaniyang paniniwala na hindi posible maging totoo ang mga problemang ito, . . . dahan-dahan bang pinapatay ng gobyerno ang sarili niyang anti-illegal drug drive?
    Abangan na lang siguro natin kung saan ang lahat ng ito ay patutungo, at kung tataas nga ba ang bilang ng mga napaslang na di dapat napaslang. [S / -I]



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

HIGIT PA KAY FREDDIE AGUILAR, MAS KAILANGAN NATIN NG LAPASTANGAN NA ANAK NG NCCA




photo from http://alchetron.com/Freddie-Aguilar-122164-W


MGA ginigiliw kong kababayan, nung isilang kayo sa mundong ito marahil ay mayroon nang National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Matagal na ito. Marami nang nangyari. Di ko na iisa-isahin; kayo na ang bahalang mag-Google tungkol sa anumang pumapasok ngayon sa inyong mga alaala. Marami nang kontrobersya. Kamakailan lamang, tumaas ang kilay ninyo nang mabanggit ang pangalan ni Freddie Aguilar para maging dagdag na commissioner sa 12 commissioners ng kumisyon na nakaupo ngayon. Ito'y ayon sa kagustuhan ng bagong halal na ama ng ating bayan, Rodrigo Duterte; laking tuwa ng magulang niyo siguro nang malamang hindi ito maaari.
    Sa bandang akin, sasabihin kong higit sa isang Freddie Aguilar ay mas kailangan natin ng isang non-governmental at unaffiliated na grupo ng mga artists at kritiko na tututok sa mga pinagbibigyan ng grants noong mga nakalipas na taon nitong NCCA na ito. Ito na marahil ang maaatasan ng ating independente at malayang mga sarili upang magsuri sa mga grants na nabanggit, upang ang mga ito ay mahusgahan---mahusgahan ang pagiging klasiko at makabuluhan ng ilan sa kanila, at ang pagiging walang kuwenta o pagiging sa kategoryang nagsayang lamang ng pera ng bayan ng iba. Gawin na natin ito. Dahil hindi na dapat tinatawanan lang ang problema, at dahil dapat nakahihigit sa lahat ang tao. Sa madaling salita, gawin natin ito para sa bayan mo at bayan ko. Isang shadow NCCA committee, kumbaga.
    Ang bubuuin natin ay parang shadow cabinet sa maraming parliyamento. Kung ang NCCA ay naging diktador na ina sa atin, na nagdikta ng kanyang taste at judgment sa milyun-milyon niyang anak na nagbabayad ng buwis, aba'y ang bagong grupong minumungkahi ko na maaari natng itayo ay maaaring ituring na "lapastangan" na mga anak ng NCCA na bagamat sa unang silip ay tila'y sin-lapastangan ng industriya ng pamamahayag (journalism industry, o fourth estate) ay maaari rin namang maging makatarungan sa lahat. Ang puno't dulo nito ay simple lamang: ang bawat grant ay pera ng bayan, kung inyong maaalala. Ang bawat grantee ay pulubi, pulubing nanghihingi kay Juan at Marya de la Cruz ng pondo para sa kanilang buhay musikero, buhay pintor, o buhay anuman.
    Totoo, sasabihin ng iba na magiging produkto lamang ito ng "bitterness" ng mga di-napagbigyan ng NCCA noong nakalipas na mga taon, ng mga bulag, pipi at bingi sa mga magagandang nagawa ng NCCA. Subalit di nga ba't maganda na may ganitong opisyal na kumite (bagamat non-governmental), para may civil na mungkahi, ika nga, at may objective na boses? Ibig sabihin, magkakaroon ng pormalidad o pormal na damit ang mga kumento rito at hindi tulad nung mga dinadaan sa isang mahabang garapal na paglapastangan sa dingding ng Facebook ng bagong henerasyon. Dahil, uulitin natin, hindi lang naman magiging mandato nito ang manghusga sa mga grantee na sa pananaw nito ay walang kuwentang nagawaran ng grant, obligasyon din nitong puriin ang mga magagandang nangyari.
    At kung may lalabas mang bias mula sa isang miyembro sa non-governmental at unaffiliated na kumiteng ito, ito ay maaari ring "pansinin" ng ibang miyembro ng kumite at lalung-lalo na ng nakararami sa ating lipunan na siyang final na hurado. Dahil . . . sa issue ng mga maaaring may "bitterness" sa NCCA na miyembro ng kumite, aba---bilang boses ng unaffiliated at pribadong mga mamamayan---sino ba ang may karapatang maging bitter kundi silang mga mamamayan (artists man o hindi, cultural workers man o hindi) na habang hirap sa paghahanap ng pondo para sa sarili nilang mga ambisyon at naiisip na mga proyekto ay nakakakitang pinopondohan ang proyekto ng kanilang mga ka-kompetensiya ng isang gobyernong istriktong naningil ng buwis sa lahat? Hahayaan na lang ba nating ang boses nila ay nananatiling mga buntong-hininga na walang magawa kundi ang bumulong ng "hay, ang buhay nga naman ng taong walang pribilehiyo"? Iba na ang gobyerno, at sana'y pantay na ang turing sa mamamayang nagbabayad ng buwis at mamamayang nagpapasasa sa kabaitan ng namamahagi ng pondo galing sa buwis. At, in fairness sa kumiteng ito, hindi naman siguro imumungkahi nito na buwagin na ang NCCA, hihingi lamang ito marahil ng pagkakataon na mabigyan ng medium ang mga boses ng tao na tila walang tagapamahagi-ng-pondo-galing-sa-buwis ang nakinig noong nakalipas na mga taon.
    Panahon na. Panahon na upang magkaroon ng lapastangan na mga anak ng NCCA na magiging boses ng bayan ko at bayan mo, na magiging boses din ng mga nahusgahan ng kumisyon bilang mga walang-kuwentang mga Magdaleno't Magdalenang nagputa sa komersyalismo kuno at hindi sa kuno'y standards ng nasyonalismo o hindi ayon sa pananaw ng mga nasa kapangyarihan sa NCCA. Panahon na para may pagsusuri rin sa mga inatasan ng rehimen at estado na maging manunuri. Ito ang ating pagbabalik sa estudyante blues para mapag-aralan na ang mga bagay na sa matagal na panahon ay nagpasarap sa ilalim ng ating pagbulakbol. Sige, simulan na natin ang pag-aaral at pangungumusta sa ating mahal na NCCA, na sana'y ito ay nasa mabuti. Halina't sumabay kang manindigan para sa iyong perang binuwis na matagal mo nang sinasabing ipaglalaban mo hanggang sa dulo ng mundo. Sige nga, mga ginigiliw ko. [S / -I]



Friday, July 22, 2016

Why perfect crimes worry democracies


photo from http://www.philstar.com/nation/2016/07/14/1602788/top-drug-personality-killed-oriental-mindoro-raid

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte's announcement of his goal to “really go after” illegal-drug traders and illegal drug-manufacturing lords has produced one seemingly desired effect: the illegal-drug companies were seen quickly initiating the elimination of their own armies consisting of small drug-pushing armed gangs. This quick decision by the companies is understandable, considering that these armies’ elements also function as smell tracks for the police dogs now let out to hunt for the sources of the illegal-drug menace. The Philippine National Police, especially now under anti-illegal drug advocate Bato de la Rosa, would be quick to admit that sometimes the companies would do this elimination process through their own assets within the PNP ranks.
     Now, this is not what President Duterte should allow to happen if he wants to gather whistleblowers who 1) could point to drug-manufacturing lords he doesn't know yet and 2) could testify against these lords in court. But that's if the President doesn't know these lords yet and has any intention of bringing any of these lords to court.
     Now, the reason why I call the ongoing spate of drug-pusher killings a “seemingly desired effect
” is because the government doesn’t seem interested in putting a stop to it or in investigating the legitimacy of all these so-called “encounters with police raiders”. You would wonder why the government is leaving the momentum to consume its own fire, so to speak. You would wonder if it already has a plan for the next scenario.
     My theory is that the reason why the government is allowing all these “fatal encounters” and “discovered bodies” to proliferate is probably because it's precisely those little armies that shoot down police, lawyers, and judges, and journalists mind you, who are not aligned with the lords. And so, by allowing the "companies" to eliminate their own armies—presumably as they try to cover their tracks—the government is simply paving the road for government authorities to later operate clear of these armies. Once the fire has consumed itself, as it were, government can then proceed to go after the lords it had already known the names and whereabouts of since the day of Adam and Eve, now absent their armies that they eliminated by themselves. It will be smooth-sailing thence.
     But here's the downside to that plan. Because of Duterte’s announcement of his desire to clean up the streets on Robert de Niro’s behalf, which seems to have been taken by the illegal-drug industry as a serious pronouncement, the industry didn't just end up eliminating its own armies qua links; it also initiated a program of eliminating anyone who could point to industry lords, and this includes anti-drug activists who (may) have information on them. Thus the assassination of that Ateneo de Manila teacher, who seems to have been involved (as per circulating information) in anti-drug campaigns as an anti-illegal drug activist. Now, if this goes on until all the hovels in the barangays grow silent, it's likely that we won't be left with any whistleblowers or witnesses around. Whistleblowers and witnesses with strong testimonies, whether from the bad side or from the good side, whom we could tap to testify against the apprehended lords the day they appear in court, could all be gone soon.
     So, here’s my question: I wonder if it is indeed better to let the illegal-drug industry keep at it, in this ongoing elimination of its own armies that the government is standing down against, than have those armies largely around for use as testifying witnesses. Because the latter option, given that the members of drug-trafficking gangs number in the thousands, does run the risk of leaving elements that could still (as they definitely would) start killing police, lawyers and judges and, I almost forgot, journalists who know much about or have an inkling on who's who in the trade. True, lawyers and judges (and journalists) won't like it that the Duterte government, as per its recurring pronouncement, won't be coursing the elimination of the lords through their much-avowed space of usual due process; they won’t like it for the traditional reasons why one shouldn’t like it. This, even if the Duterte government’s decision to go in this path of “letting the fire consume itself” is what would give those very lawyers, judges and journalists the safety of their lives, a possible fact that these lawyers, judges and journalists might find hard to accept or not have the capacity to appreciate.
     Now, in case you
re  starting to read me as a total advocate of the Duterte governments procedure, let me tell you that what I’m interested in right now is the availability of alternatives. Thus, now, my quick question: How would you do it? If you were appointed head of the Commission on Human Rights, with a mandate to protect the human rights of all, and concurrently head of the government's anti-drug trade agencies, tasked with the objective of the total-if-possible elimination of the illegal-drug trade, and concurrently a court judge, tasked with the legalist ethos to look at the evidence solely . . . how would you do it? For, evidently, the task and mandate of the President of the Republic cannot be any less than of those three. So, in case the President was you and not Rodrigo Duterte, what would you seek to achieve with your alternative? Which of these three departments concerns would you most likely put prior focus on and likely be more successful at? Which of these three departments would you be most likely to fail in?
     It's a comfort to think that we live in a democratic world with absolute respect for due process, which process—I'd like to believe—is largely aimed at protecting the innocent, the wrongfully accused. But, correct me if I’m wrong, there’s a reality that stares us in the face, a reality also telling us that the demos of democracies (which includes their lawyers and judges) have not been able to fix certain menaces through the available due process precisely because the menaces have had—from the git-go—a direct handle on it, in short have hijacked that process almost completely, rendering the crimes of drug trafficking perfect crimes. Its a sad truth there, but its a 3D truth, and the only available options are for one to either deny or accept its being true.
     Now, from the point of view recognizing the truth of the fact, it
s absolutely sad that due process in democracies has been failing at protecting the innocent victims of a certain menace and have been succeeding more at protecting the industry stakeholders of that same menace. We could choose to simply live with that paradox for a very long time and not do anything about the legalism, and certainly students of democracy and democratic jurisprudence would be debating on the born issues decades from now.
     But that doesn’t mean that, within this sadness, there’s nothing we can do except watch the police up their game. For, even now, that point of view can pray that a Senate investigationmeant to be launched anytime soon on the currently growing number of “assassinations” and “police raids resulting in deaths”does us all a great favor by focusing on this sad truth, to thereby look for a resolution that might harmonize the true objectives of the anti-illegal drug agencies and those of the authorities of democratic law. [S / -I]



Paano Mamuhay sa Glorious Century ng mga Mesdames, Eraps, at Erams


photo from http://www.rappler.com/nation/politics/elections-2013/29417-gloria-arroyo-proclaimed-winner-in-pampanga



NAGTATAKA ka pa kung bakit malaya si Imelda na ngayo'y Kongresista pa, si Erap na ngayo'y meyor na uli, at---ilang oras mula ngayon---si Gloria na maaari nang ibalik sa Konggreso, ayon sa kaniyang mga in-appoint na maging mga "hustisya" ng Korte Suprema? Di ka masanay.
     Alam naman nating sa Pilipinas, walang kapamilya ng isa sa mga pamilya sa tuktok ng ating plutokrasiya at oligarkiya ang nakukulong ng matagal, dahil parating ang kanilang pagkakulong ay bahagi lamang ng drama, ng isang serye ng moro-moro plays, sa gitna ng tunggalian ng mga magkakalabang pamilya rito.
     Drama, o moro-moro play, dahil kahit man may tunggaliang pulitikal, tunggalian sa lupa o sa negosyo, o anumang away sa gitna ng mga pamilyang ito, bahagi pa rin ang bawat isa sa kanila ng magkakakabit na relasyon ng kanilang mga angkan na may mga sariling iginuhit na linyang di dapat nilalalagpasan ng anumang aksyon ng isang Bahay. Kumbaga, sa bandang huli, pare-pareho lang naman ang kanilang mga ipinaglalaban---ang kanilang mga sariling yaman.
     Batas? Ang batas sa mga pamilyang ito ay isa lamang laruan, at minsan ay isang punyal na maari lamang ipukol ng tuluyan sa mga di-nila-kauring lapastangan sa kanilang royalidad.


PERO, siyempre, pagkalabas nila sa kanilang drama-entabladong kulungan, iboboto natin sila uli. Dahil alam mo naman, ang star system sa ating representative democracy ay isang sistemang walang pinagkaiba sa noong malayang pinapipili ang tao kung sino ang gusto nilang magdala sa kanila sa kalayaan: si Prinsipe X o si Prinsesa Y. [S / -I]





Wednesday, July 20, 2016

WHAT TO EXPECT, WHAT NOT TO EXPECT FROM BILATERAL TALKS WITH CHINA: A TAOISTIC FORWARD VIEW


map borrowed from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ph_Territorial_Map.png


ABOUT entering into bilateral talks with China concerning the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea and China’s claims to geomorphological forms within the same sea as well as to the sea itself, I trust that the Duterte government realizes this: that such a venture, while welcome for the benefit of letting China announce to the world what it now has to say to a “cooperative” Philippines in these talks, remains a very tall order for attaining any target result due to the following unchanging reasons that would make it impossible for those talks to please the various parties:
    For one, collectively the Filipino nation will maintain its position that it cannot give up its sovereign rights in its EEZ and in some, if not all, of the shoals, reefs, and/or islands within this 200-nautical-miles-from-the-main-archipelago’s-shoreline EEZ. The thing is that it would even be ludicrous to imagine the Filipino people still debating today on the issue of whether we should give up our EEZ claims (or parts of it) or not. We also know that we cannot abandon the principles of freedom of navigation in seas as per the demand of international trade between nations, which freedom of navigation in the waters and airspace in question has its own historical background that runs centuries long prior to China’s recent occupation of the same waters and its conscription of the same airspace; in short, this same freedom of navigation had hitherto and heretofore witnessed a long and stable situation of international use. Therefore, given all this, the Philippines cannot be other than persistent in staying put—that is, cannot have a sympathy other than for remaining where it stands with the overlapping claims to zones within its EEZ as well as to the free seas beyond (and in managing claims to these through a sea and airspace Code of Conduct).
    Many, therefore, are curious or would like to know as soon as now the target of the Duterte leadership in relation to the bilateral talks it is planning to humbly launch with China. Yes, it is understandable why it is now looking to experiment with alternative ways of resolving the problem, from parties other than our own international law and history experts, the United States’ and other Western powers’ advice, the United Nations, or the ASEAN as a body. But here are the givens, which we trust the Duterte government knows full well:
    The Philippines cannot be other than prepared, not least for negative results concerning what China has to say, for it is almost certain that China will put on the table tempting pictures of expanded opportunities for the Filipino nation that it
—directly or through the AIIBcan offer as a neighbor and friend and as a “co-investor in progress”. Those temptations by economic cajoling we can, and must, resist if in exchange we are expected to give up our sovereign rights within certain geologic features within our EEZ that we have hitherto strongly (peacefully) demanded. The bone China will offer will be just that: for us to give these claims up, to which withdrawal China would presumably reciprocate through an offer to share access to, as well as resources and profits to be derived from, the area; in short, China will grant the benefits of paternalism to any nation that kowtows to its international patrimonialism. But we are not fools, of course, who would bite into non-binding concessions or compromises that the Other can at anytime withdraw. Or into binding concessions that the Other can anytime announce as expired, as per instructions that may suddenly be downloaded from its centralized patrimonialist wisdom.
    We are weak and are an easy target to those who would like to take advantage of that weakness, of that state of being open season to empires’ sudden macho hunting urges. Thankfully, though, we have our strength in our faith in the natural persistence of correctness, in our adherence to international law that China—in contrast—would not allow itself to submit to, and in our belief in the right and the fair. This persistence is gentle, which is also fortunate, in contrast to persistence that is hard. True, from the perspective of impatience, our kind of persistence is the persistence that is difficult to fulfill, but it is also the sort that is more likely to succeed. In fact it’s the sort that has the potential to convince the Other (and most of the world), presenting fertile opportunities to improve the situation through means that—however difficult and farcould in the end shorten the problem instead of prolong it.
    Prolong? Well, prolonging is precisely what the other sort of persistence could threaten to move us into. Which, fortunately, we still have the majority wisdom to dismiss. For there are no drastic solutions to this dispute that can avoid an easy slide towards breaking up everything into another series of problems; thus the correctness of a delicate treatment of it by leaders from both sides and all sides who may have honest hope for things to go well.
    We don’t know if China has such a leader—with honest hope for things to go well, in ways other than what its pronouncements have been envisioning for itself (through preponderance over the small and weak). But we can be thankful for the fact that to the eyes of the world the Philippines inhabits the humble position of the non-threatening claimant armed solely with a law or set of laws (and a history of being abused by power). Some sensibilities see this as a humiliating position, the position that can have no other means to deliver its resistance than through terrorist demonstrations of non-submission. But the humble position can actually be a position of strength where, albeit one cannot make demands from it, one can make claims to the international sensibility of being one ambitious superpowers’ imperialist victim. To be the occupant of an oppressed body is to be threatening enough in the eyes of the civilized world. That’s not being threatening in the Communist sense, which is probably the only threat that China can understand; that’s being threatening in the sense that one
s commission of oppression by sudden ambition towards the humble instantly commits the demeaning and discrediting of oneself, of ones respectability, the possibly irreversible painting of oneself henceforward as unworthy of anyone’s trust. [S / -I]



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Thank You, All


photo from http://globalnation.inquirer.net/140358/philippines-arbitration-decision-maritime-dispute-south-china-sea-arbitral-tribunal-unclos-itlos


YES, let us thank Noynoy Aquino's correct stance towards China re the West Philippine Sea disputes (despite his falling for lousy arrangements that came with the purchase of an old warship in 2013 and allowing too many Chinese mining operations in our soils).
     But let us not forget Justice Antonio Carpio, who played a large role in leading the legal team that presented its arguments at The Hague, and the authors and sponsors of Republic Act 9522, the act which amended an old baselines law not compliant with the UNCLOS.
     But the arguments were already there, weren't they, collectively shaped by various discussants (historians, legal experts, etc.) from a long way back to the recent. Thank you, All. [S / -I]




Friday, July 8, 2016

ANOTHER RANT AGAINST LEGALISM IS NOT A VOICE FOR LAWLESSNESS; IT'S LEGALISM THAT UNWITTINGLY IS


photo from http://www.elitereaders.com/naia-source-disclosed-how-scammers-pick-their-targets-at-the-airport/


PRESIDENT Duterte's order to stop all "tanim-bala" arrests comes from the presumption that all past instances of finding single bullets in passengers' luggage came from an extortion scam practiced by airport personnel (with likely consent from their officials). Will the order stop the scam? No. The extortionists at the NAIA will move on to harder methods: planted drugs, for one.
Duterte's order, which some legalist media elements and anti-Duterte citizens would point out as ignoring a law (never mind that they didn't holler a bit about Aquino's having ignored a thousand laws, the anti-DAP ruling chief among them), is---I believe---just a temporary fix and a probe. I believe that Duterte knows that the ultimate solution to the complex set of NAIA's problems is to replace the very elements that man this airport's security department and its systems, or replace the system that doesn't allow this police to be policed. Sure, erring personnel (and their defenders sympathetic to the previous government) can cite once again certain laws that may legalistically protect their positions. But we should remember that toying around with legalism is playing with fire, with the possibility that some people's frustration with laws that seem to only protect the erring will birth the death of Law itself.
Simply because the intelligent powerful have been more concerned with the letter of the law (the intent of which concern had been to protect certain interests) more than with the spirit that birthed good laws (the intent of which had been to protect the people) does not mean that that is the only way to treat laws and keep ourselves from getting into utter trouble. In fact, we ought to be careful with what we're sowing by that very legalist culture. For when people get frustrated with laws, because our legalist thinking have been turning a blind eye to the legalist effects of these laws' usage (waiting for Supreme Court rulings to reprove those legalisms), God knows if it might be too late to realize that it had been our very legalism that farmed that crop that cropped a lawless monster. [S / -I]




Monday, July 4, 2016

My amendment proposals re the Initiative and Referendum Act (RA 6735)


DESPITE my being a part of the convenors' team of ePIRMA (the Empowered People's Initiative and Reform Movement Alliance) that later joined forces with the Cebu Catholic hierarchy-backed Cebu Coalition and the Makabayan Coalition in a largely evolutionary effort to draft the 2014 People's Initiative Against Pork Barrel, my reservations on the viability of the initiative process in the country as avowed by the existing initiative-enabling law (RA 6735) has proven itself to be correct. Watch from 1:46:


     I am not, of course, Joey de Veyra (I'm Jojo de Veyra), and I was not trying to "batikos" (criticize) the proposition campaign during the time of this news clip. In fact, despite my being identified as the convenor of a different group (the Facebook group called Forum for Direct Democracy), I (and FDD's cause) was right among those very individuals trying to convene more people to join in ePIRMA's efforts (efforts which culminated in a "people's congress" held at the Asian Institute of Management convention center), and if you listen to my entire speech at that forum in the news clip---and my answer to a journalist's question on how ePIRMA proposed to do the signature-gathering realistically---you'd see where I stood in that whole affair, despite my ambiguity. But that's immaterial now. The point is that I did express my reservations about the potential of the effort to succeed, which was a reservation shared by many in the group that also pushed the group to join forces with the Cebu Coalition (which was then loudly doing a parallel campaign in the Visayas) for a more united front.
     In August, 2014, the initiative was formally launched in Cebu City. I was there as part of ePIRMA. But as regards to what happened soon after the launch, I'd here confess that the signature gathering was mostly left to certain parishes of the more organized Catholic Church, the primary backing of the Cebu Coalition. Sporadic rallies of support were organized by the Makabayan group and provincial groups. Other members of ePIRMA were seen to have moved on to various other national concerns. Manny SD Lopez---ePIRMA's leading convenor and most active campaigner on the road---would also busy himself with organizing the Christian Peace Alliance, one of the groups advocating for a drastic review of some provisions of the then-in-its-final-thrust Bangsamoro Basic Law. Lopez would also form the EdlSA 2.22.15 Coalition, a group that called for President Benigno Aquino III's resignation after the Mamasapano mishap. I submit that in this latter period I was not privy anymore to how the signature-gathering for the initiative on the pork barrel was progressing. I did hear of some pockets of resistance to the initiative, as well as the Comelec's seeming lack of enthusiasm towards verifying the signatures, but that's about it. I soon became part of an online art magazine. . . .
     Then came the various noises leading to the 2016 general election, within which news concerning the initiative's progress were nowhere anymore to be found on Google.
     Then came the elections. And, guess what: Rody Duterte became our new President, and Leni Robredo our new Vice President. What do these names mean? Or, rather, what---ideally---should these names mean to us?


DUTERTE belongs to the PDP-Laban, a political party that claims to be for popular democracy and participatory democracy. Robredo, in turn, is the wife of the late Jesse Robredo, who made a name for himself as a stalwart of participatory governance in his capacity as mayor of Naga City before he became the Interior Secretary of Noynoy Aquino. Robredo, as Jesse's widow, was soon drafted by the Liberal Party to run for Congress; she won and became a vocal campaigner for participatory democracy and, as a priority, participatory budgeting (you can read my worldview on Robredo's decorative role within the Liberal Party government by clicking here).
     What this all means is this: that perhaps the time is ripe for a more realistic RA 6735, one that would provide the people a usable initiative instrument in lieu of the existing one that simply provides a semblance of direct democracy that ultimately ends up as short (because near impossible to fulfill the requirements of).
     Thus, for us to truly provide a usable instrument for a participatory government of the people, by the people and for the people (as against the continuance of our present purely-representative democratic governance by the prescriptive representatives of the people, of the prescriptive representatives of the people and ultimately for these representatives of the people), let me now propose the following amendments to RA 6735 (even before that new federal-parliamentary Constitution being proposed by the Duterte government arrives). My proposed amendments are here below, in red, which a lawyer out there could more properly articulate:
Section 5. Requirements. — (a) To exercise the power of initiative or referendum, at least ten per centum (10%) of the total number of the registered voters, of which every legislative district is represented by at least three per centum (3%) of the registered voters thereof in the case of Constitutional amendment, and of which every region is represented by at least three per centum (3%) of the registered voters in the case of national statute initiatives, shall sign a petition for the purpose and register the same with the Commission.
(b2) A petition for an initiative on a new national statute, or one on an initiative seeking to amend an existing statute, must have at least twelve per centum (12%) of the total number of registered voters as signatories, of which every region must be represented by at least three per centum (3%) of the registered voters therein. Initiative seeking to amend an existing national statute may be exercised only after three (3) years from the ratification of the same and only once every three (3) years thereafter.
Section 7. Verification of Signatures. — The Election Registrar is obligated to verify the signatures on the basis of the registry list of voters, voters' affidavits and voters identification cards used in the immediately preceding election within twenty (20) days from receipt of the petition.
SECTION 8. Conduct and Date of Initiative or Referendum. — The Commission shall call and supervise the conduct of initiative or referendum.
     Within a period of thirty (30) days from receipt of the petition, the Commission shall, upon determining the sufficiency of the petition within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the same, publish the same in Filipino and English at least twice in newspapers of general and local circulation and set the date of the initiative or referendum which shall not be earlier than forty-five (45) days but not later than ninety (90) days from the determination by the Commission of the sufficiency of the petition.
     My arguments-cum-reasons for these amendments, should they appear to be not so obvious, I shall provide later. For now let me here say that the signature requirement of 3% of the registered voting population per legislative district is, while required by the Constitution for Constitutional amendments, is just too steep for the creation of new statutes and amendments to existing statutes via initiatives. Furthermore, with that requirement, it is possible for one legislative district to hostage the national interest, which definitely runs counter to the tenets of democracy and plurality. . . . [S / -I]



Sunday, July 3, 2016

A tiny pebble of a linguistic joke about leaving no space for hard-headed dealers of crack, stoners, etc.


photo grabbed from http://mybigblogger.com/de-la-rosa-challenges-drug-lords-quick-draw/


DECLARING a war on drugs and druglords is no laughing matter. However, assured now that we have a government that wants to doubly assure us that we can rest easy from worrying too much about this phenom, since the authorities are already off to taking care of that business this early in the game, maybe we can now crack a tiny joke about it too. Here goes mine, which is kind of on the linguistic side (sorry):
     My countrymen, in Bato dela Rosa's and Rody Duterte's seemingly solid war on "crack," "stoners," "meth," "ecstasy," etc., I think we ought to give Bato some space to work through those cracks in the hovels. . . . Space, yes. After all, his name means Rock ofthe Rose (note the missing space between "of" and "the").
     Not really a funny joke, I know. Unless you're a semiotician, to whom there could be a symbol there literally begging for a meaning, or a prescriptive linguist, for whom one ought to think twice about giving that Pinoy cultural linguistic flaw concerning that nobiliary particle (or prepositional particle for a non-noble toponymic name) some slack. :) [S / -I]