Thursday, March 30, 2006

Eat for Democracy

The Black Friday Protest Movement's activity for tomorrow is Breakfast for Democracy. No kidding. How I wish I had a stake in a Jollibee franchise just now. Then again, it would probably have a miniscule impact on sales.

Though it is very difficult not to make fun of them because of the pathetic depths they've been reduced to, still, we have to respect them for their consideration in not inconveniencing the rest of us. No traffic-inducing rallies during rush-hour, for example, a big improvement. Or maybe they just ran out of funds for hakot. Regardless, let them eat their Chickenjoy in peace.

Feel free to join them, if you're so inclined, or you can just Breathe for Democracy.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Take Back Black!

Goddamit, I can't wear black anymore without seeming to be a comrade of Dinky's. Fingering privileges aside, it's like when a political party drapes itself with the flag, only worse -- they've appropriated half my entire wardrobe!

Two can play at that game, though. Henceforth, from this day forward, I do hereby declare khaki as the official color of the administration. All artifacts of this color, including but not limited to clothing, banners, furniture, fruit, dirt and bare skin, shall hereafter be considered as signifying approval, support, or at least sufferance for the current occupant of Malacanang and/or her policies.

Take that, fashion thieves!

Wear khaki if you support Arroyo, or oppose the opposition.

What the hell, wear it with black if you want to.


One comment I recently came across in Mr. Quezon's blog:

"Wonder if Gloria is feeling jittery?
I bet she will be holding boodles and picnic parties with the military.
She’ll be using them as her sword of Damocles.
Not a good political tack but definitely an advantage for the anti-Arroyo forces (civilian and military). Gloria is giving them a tool of PASSION to strike back at her with double PASSION.
Hah! That should keep her busy as a bee from governing."
[emphasis mine]

The last line in particular pretty much sums up some of these people's attitudes. Nevermind if they screw the country, as long as they get to screw her.

So it's no surprise really when the rest of the country tells them to screw themselves.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Opposition legislators planning to file impeachment case again. Ho hum. This is starting to become normal and routine. Like the boy who cried wolf, and like those who issue American homeland security alerts, they've managed to inure the public to their dire warnings and protestations. Pity when the time comes that they're actually right.

Still, I suppose it's a blessing. The legislative antics put us firmly in the league of contemporary South Korea and Taiwan. That this also passes for normalcy in those places should convince investors it's not that scary to put their money here after all.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Franchises, Diversity of Views

cvj comments on my previous post, and is thankful i've given voice and form to the "21st century Filipino middle class variant of fascism". quite flattered, my initial instinct was to accept this gracefully and just rest on my laurels, content to wait for the near future when i'd be receiving royalties for my own little version of Mein Kampf. but courtesy demands a reply, and creature of habit that i am, i have no choice but to set aside my complacent laziness, and start typing my response.

but first, what indeed is fascism? almost always, the term is never self-descriptive; it is so loaded and has been so misappropriated that often its only use arises when one party wants to tar-and-feather another. by supporting the current administration, we'd long ago been called fascists by those dedicated to its downfall, way way before i supposedly confessed to being one. it is useless to object to and contest their definition, as useless as it is to argue with most of them. they think we are fascists? very well then, we will embrace it as a badge of honor. they profess to abhorr fascism? very well then, it must have some redeeming qualities, and we will consider its aspects more seriously. they call us fascists to our face? very well then, fascism can't be too bad.

let us look at 'A'.

in my original post i expressed a reluctance to give more weight to the opinions of those more passionate about their causes. i stand by my belief that passion, or the lack of it, is irrelevant to the worth of one's political position. it does not automatically confer correctness, logic, or even clarity. its only contribution is drama. indeed, it was to guard against such passions that the founding fathers of the US designed a representative (some would say restrictive) rather than a more direct type of democracy. they were as wary of democracy run amuck with emotions as they were of tyrants.

yet there are those who would insist that their views are more valid, just because they take the time to march on the streets. they denigrate those who refuse to participate in that way, and call them apathetic, a state of mind they would have no way of knowing. do they realize how that appears to the rest of us? what it looks like is that just because the opposition does not have the numbers, they now have to claim a greater worth for the few who are with them. a selective application, if any, of the democracy that they so profess to espouse.

i agreed with torn's statement that there would be violent reaction from those wedded to the 'one-man-one-vote' principle. i myself have my doubts about the principle. as i've posted before, i think a minimum educational qualification would, um, 'improve' the electorate, if you'll forgive the newspeak. so my opposition to torn's statement has less to do with defending that principle, than with an objection to his particular basis for restricting the franchise. still, whether you're wedded to that principle, or take the more extreme view i espouse, i think you'll find it an objectionable idea. after all, those who are truly not interested wouldn't even bother going to the polls. why force the issue and second-guess who these people would be?

with regard to 'D', i affirm the parenthetical statement. unlike in the physical world, diversity of views is to be commended in weblogs, where they do not hinder economic progress. lest there be any mistake, i say this unironically. in plummy tones and with as much gravitas i can manage, even. i do hope cvj was not in any way belittling this vibrant virtual marketplace of ideas. even if it is not as disruptive or dramatic as actual rallies, it is a lot more constructive and useful, the occasional flame war notwithstanding. and in any case, he is part of it.

gah, i've already spent too much time on this. back to work. next, some other time, when i feel like it, we'll look at 'B' and 'C', and maybe construct a theoretical underpinning for the Philippine middle class' will to power. then again, maybe not; as torn notes, perhaps we have neither the energy nor the principles to ever truly achieve fascism.

my thanks to mr. jugo for challenging me to synthesize these disparate musings into something resembling a consistent, systematic school of thought. i assure him, i'm working on it. if i finally get around to writing it down in a book or propaganda pamphlet, it will be dedicated to him, whether he likes it or not.

Friday, March 10, 2006


Annotations to Torn & Frayed's post on the suitability of democracy for Southeast Asia:

"Aglionby’s interpretation (in common with that of Arroyo’s supporters) seems to rest on quite a narrow interpretation of representative democracy more suited to 'mature' democracies than the more volatile polities of the developing world."

Indeed, this is exactly what we want for the Philippines and what we think is what the country badly needs.

"I do think that the person who gets off his/her ass to stand on Ayala or Edsa has a greater right to political recognition than Johnny Stay-at-Home who is prepared to put up with almost anything (of course I am not talking about a hakot crowd here)."

So you're talking about restricting the franchise, eh? And not just basing it on some form of qualification, but making it proportional to what you perceive is the voter's passion on a particular issue. So, for example, if I were prepared to die for, say, (choose any silly or not-so-silly issue to put here) and everyone else is lukewarm against it, my vote would count far more than ten of theirs? By your logic, die-hard communists would have more rights to see their views through than the numerically superior but lukewarm bourgeoisie. By the same token, a enraged middle class up in arms against Estrada had more weight than the hordes of unwashed masses supporting him. Oh wait, that was what I've been arguing all along. Yeah. Thank you for proving my point :)

"If you are not prepared to participate, should we really heed you?"

And how the hell do we pro-ad people participate? By staging mass rallies and demonstrations? Please, we've already decried the opposition doing that. It would be hypocritical of us to inconvenience you in turn. Besides, unless one lives in Cuba or North Korea, one does not go to rallies and demonstrations to display support for a sitting administration. In western democracies, I think, one would read the papers and just keep a stiff upper lip. And when elections come, vote to keep the current dispensation in power. That is the time-honored way for the majority to participate.

"Of course, one could go on about these matters all night..."


Annotation to cvj's comment in mlq3's blog:

"Democratic and other such values aside, if i wanted to look only after my own middle class interest, i would certainly look the other way when GMA does what she can to remain in power. In the meantime, i’ll support moves to change the Constitution so that the Head of State would never depend upon direct voting by the population. In that way, the trauma Erap presidency and the specter of an FPJ candidacy or a Noli Vice presidency would never be repeated. This is how the fascist framework fits so neatly with middle class aspirations. These are the new middle class values, post EDSA2."

Indeed, I totally agree with everything you said. Just a few things I'd like to add. First is, what's good for the middle class is good for the country. Yeah. That's right. Let that sink in. We don't want a larger share of the pie. What we want is a bigger pie for all. And a bigger middle class too. Preferably through upward mobility of the lower class, not downward mobility of the upper class.

Second is, what's wrong with fascism? Yup. Let that sink in, too. As long as we don't invade other countries and don't commit any Holocausts, I'd sure like to see our trains run on time (figuratively speaking, since our actual trains already do). Without taking into account institutional racism, and without considering hostilities with other countries, which are really different issues, I'd like to know what the disadvantages of fascism are. Just asking.

Annotation to mlq3's reaction to my reaction to his reaction:

A clarification of my position: Democracy, like other institutions, has to have a usefulness to the societies that employ them. It does not exist for its own sake. Its usefulness is also what ensures its persistence in the societies that enjoy it. The moment it ceases to be useful to the national consensus is the moment it becomes vulnerable to being swept away into the dustbin of history. Such may have been the case in the runup to martial law, when the majority stood by while Marcos instituted his New Society in the name of Ordnung. In the years that followed, the usefulness of what was lost became more apparent. Democracy, after all, functions best in removing incompetent leaders. As Marcos became more and more incompetent, the imperative for democracy to be reinstituted grew. So we had EDSA. An incompetent leader was removed, and democracy proved its worth. Now, however, it has become a hindrance to economic progress, which I think is a priority to the national consensus. It has become, in its present form, useless.

A slavish devotion to democracy, turning a blind eye to the flaws of its particular implementation, does our polity a disservice. I am not against democracy per se, since it has its uses. I just want people to turn a critical eye to it, and think of ways to implement it without hindering, nevermind helping, economic progress. Indeed, retaining democracy would ensure the long-term stability of the polity, and thus provide the foundations for long-term growth. It is this simple: Make democracy useful, and it will not lack for support.

It is when democracy is worshipped mindlessly, flaws, warts and all, that I fear. That is when everything else will be sacrificed to its altar, demagogues and populists reign supreme, and the time to flee has come.

Micketymoc has a blog. I didn't know that.

Missed this guy in mlq3's comment threads. With adb and company making groupthink almost inevitable, micketymoc was a breath of fresh air. Highly recommended.

To be fair, though, some oppo posters like karl and cvj are more discerning, but are evidently a minority. Pro-ad comments now are likely to get one accused of being in (hehe) Luli Arroyo's Internet Brigade. I wish. Taking up the cudgels for this administration is a thankless job!

Will be out of town till Monday. To everyone, readers, friends, and critics alike, happy weekend :)

The Original Polemic

Just found out today the author of the most widely circulated open letter on the current crisis, a certain Bong Austero. Mr. Austero is more civilized and holds views that, I think, are more mainstream than mine, but he blogs and his posts are definitely worth reading. For those who've been under a rock the past few weeks, his open letter can be found here.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Vote With Your Feet

Mr. Quezon's blog post today asks what the silent majority would do if the tables were turned and found itself the minority. I can only say, I would hope we'd enjoy the same amount of freedom and license that the noisy minority is thoroughly enjoying today. But apart from that, the hypothetical concept that we're a minority necessarily assumes that most people have by then accepted that the economy is no longer paramount, and that democracy, malfunctioning or not, is already an end in itself. In which case, it may no longer be feasible to mount an EDSA uprising, either because the numbers would be lacking, or the opposition of a larger segment of society would make the resulting government unsustainable. In which case, I'd advise all who are still sane to liquidate all their assets and look for a new country. The time when we're no longer the majority is the time when the Philippines has begun its final descent.

Democracy is a Function of the Economy

One of the most discerning epistles on the current crisis I've recently found is in Edwin Lacierda's website. Now Mr. Lacierda, from what I've gleaned from his other posts, seems determinedly against the current occupant of Malacanang. Nonetheless, his letter, although apparently intended to explain and recruit support for Arroyo's ouster, would (taken another way) confirm and support the positions held by those he opposes. I've therefore taken the liberty of quoting and commenting on his assertions, for the purpose of further clarifying where both camps stand. As the chances of ever reaching a consensus diminish by the day, this will I hope give an understanding of why that is so.

"...democracy is more than putting food on the table or seeing the peso appreciate against the dollar..."

This is a fundamental statement of values and priorities. Some would beg to differ. In which case it would be useless to argue any further.

"If it were so, Cuba would have been one of the best democracies in the world, since it is reputed to have one of the best health care systems in the Southern Hemisphere."

Wrong example. Cuba may excel in healthcare but does well in nothing else. (Ok, cigars. But that's it!) As it is, they've sacrificed democracy for nothing*. The model we're looking at is more along the lines of Singapore, or Hong Kong before Chris Patten, or Taiwan under the Kuomintang, or South Korea under Park and Company, or Augusto Pinochet's Chile. Even Mahathir Mohammad's Malaysia, or the so-called People's Republic of China. But please, not Cuba!

* There are Cubans who would dispute this, and claim their "democratic socialist revolution has achieved the workers' paradise", or somesuch communist, er, national democratic drivel. Indeed, it could be argued that Castro's victory was populism's triumph.

"If your friend's child was murdered and you know who murdered the child, do you tell your friend, 'think positive and move forward'? Will your friend not go the extra mile and see that the murderer be brought to justice?"

Without further flogging the dead horse that a murderer must be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt, and without going into the fact that the prescribed process for removing a sitting president (impeachment) is essentially political and meant to be so (so it's no use crying over its result), I think the difference between us is the degree in which we are affected by the supposed misdeed.

You compare it to murder. Heavy stuff. That's your prerogative. I see it as something just a little bit more serious than Totoy looking at a codigo during the finals. I'm really not prepared to give Totoy the death penalty for this. In fact, I might even forgive him for it if it was to forestall a 'greater evil' (say, his dad was going to flog him or something for failing the exam). More even, if it was on my behalf (like keeping Erap or FPJ from the presidency). There, I've said it. Again, a unbridgeable difference in values and priorities. Useless to argue.

"If the country is doing badly economically, will one agree with those who go out to the streets, justify the political noise, and pray for her reign in government to end?"

Oh yeah, definitely! We'll beat you to the barricades, even! And if you want proof, just look at Edsa Dos. Don't get any ideas, though. We can smell economic sabotage a mile away.

"...who is the greater fool? The fool who insists on the truth, or the fool who puts blinders on his eyes and trusts this present government to do what is morally right?"

We do not trust this government to do what is morally right. We trust this government to do what would ensure its self-preservation. Namely, to manage the economy competently. Sort of like China, where the ruling class' legitimacy derives from its being able to maintain a high growth rate. That would be the ideal. If ever Arroyo (or any other President, for that matter) falters, through her own fault and not through circumstances beyond her control (like oil prices and opposition stunts), then I'm quite prepared to eat my words and, as I've said, march in the barricades.

"In essence, to summarize the position of the silent majority, democracy has become a function of the economy..."

Thank you for acknowledging our position as the majority's. Very generous of you.

Personally, I view democracy as a means to an end, which is economic progress and, consequently, a decent standard of living for everyone. It is also, when judiciously implemented, generally the best mechanism to ensure a political economy's long-term stability and, therefore, its long-term growth. However, I suspect its local implementation, reflected by our political culture, has long ago turned malignant, and its current manifestations hinder rather than help the end for which it exists. In other words, the exercise of our version of democracy prevents rather than facilitates our economic progress. As I do not support democracy as an end in itself, it means either that it must be totally replaced, or radically revamped (read: Chacha). I'd rather we do a radical revamp instead of junking it entirely, for the purpose of long-term stability. But that's just me.

"Sounds very practical but, unfortunately, very amoral. What does that teach our children? And, again unfortunately, what does that speak of our values?"

Our values, and our children's values, have been changing since even before Arroyo came into Malacanang. Look at how many have voted with their feet and left the country. Look at their preferred destinations: vibrant economies with jobs aplenty. Some of them are even functional democracies. But ask the would-be emigre why he or she chose that particular country. Chances are, it's not because of the right of suffrage, or the lively parliamentary debates, or the multitude of political parties. It's because of the strong economy. "Mataas ang sweldo!" Fact: People vote with their pocketbooks. Bill Clinton got this. "It's the economy, stupid!" he said. His Georgetown classmate, and a lot of her countrymen, apparently get it too.

Arroyo is the product of our values, not the other way around.

As for myself, all I can say is, I wasn't alive when Japan left us in the dust. I was too young to care when Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea overtook us. I've seen Thailand and Malaysia pull away further and further in my lifetime. But I'll be damned if see Vietnam or, heaven forbid, Cambodia do it as well. Hell, no!

"Indeed, apathy and indifference, former sins, are the new virtues of this age. They are the weapons of mass distraction foisted by the government. That notwithstanding, Dante has reserved the apathetic and the indifferent to one of the lowest rungs of hell."

It would be foolish to misconstrue support for this government as mere apathy and indifference. I think quite a lot of people are going in with their eyes wide open, and casting their lot with her nonetheless.

As for Dante, I think he placed those who were neither for nor against God (which JFK very liberally interpreted as neutrality, not apathy or indifference) in a special region near the mouth of Hell. The lowest part of Hell, if I'm not mistaken, was specifically reserved for traitors.

So there. It could be just me, but the overall effect I got on reading it was a clearer enunciation of my own position, and its affirmation as well. It also convinced me there was little or no chance for compromise, as fundamental differences in values and priorities are evident. At least hostilities are confined to polemics. That's something.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Selective Vision

Big to-do in the blogosphere over what mlq3 calls "The Battle of the Epistles". Lively discussion also going on in the comments thread of Ricky Carandang's site. Posters have pretty much covered the issues, both pro and con. The only thing I want to add is this:

Everytime someone decides to forward a particular email for or against the administration, that person tacitly endorses it. That person, in effect, votes for it. How and when this tacit vote acquires a lesser value than, say, hanging around a Starbucks wearing black and sipping lattes (snicker), I do not know. But that's basically what Enteng Romano implies at the end of his very own epistle. So what if we registered our approval or disapproval electronically by forwarding an email? For that matter, so what if we showed our displeasure with these people by not getting off our asses on Feb. 25, or by not getting orange mocha frappucinos last Friday? By exercising our right to remain silent? Who is Enteng to judge the worthiness of our means of expression? Lest he forget, mockery works both ways :)

Having said that, I think the opposition deserves kudos for their new tack. Say what you will about their Starbucks gimmicks, but at least they're no longer causing traffic jams or scaring away investments. Now, if only something can replace their coup-mongering, we might even have here the beginnings of a loyal opposition.

Thanks to mlq3 for mentioning this blog. This guy really does check his referrers list. Amazing. Unfortunately, I still have to keep him in The Freezer. My apologies, mlq3, if you're reading this, but it's a matter of principle. I'm pretty sure, though, that you'll take it more as a mark of distinction. In which case, you're welcome.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Traditional Telcos Running Scared

A couple of stories these past few days seem to indicate this. First is on, and involves a major Philippine telco. Another was featured just a while ago on the ABS-CBN program, XXX. A reporter accompanied NTC operatives to arrest a distributor of VoIP phones and services which allow users to call landlines in the US and elsewhere for just PhP1.00 per minute (that's PhP60.00/hour). Obviously this would devastate the telcos' international long-distance business if it becomes more popular. It could even devastate their local long-distance profits. Which is why they're panicking. Of course, the NTC raid was ostensibly because of the multi-level marketing scheme of the VoIP start-up, with some distibutors complaining of not getting their cuts. Everything the telcos and the NTC did is, of course, legal and above-board. Still, my conspiracy-prone mind thinks there might be more happening behind the scenes. I'm not accusing anyone of anything; heavens, no, this is just opinion. You go figure for yourself.

My personal view on this is that VoIP should be thoroughly deregulated for it to provide the maximum benefit to Filipino consumers. Declaring it a value-added service (which allows non-telcos to offer it) was a step in the right direction, but then the NTC put up regulatory roadblocks that unfairly favor the traditional telcos. Capitalization and performance bond requirements of PhP10-million and PhP5-million, respectively, discriminate against non-telco players, while the telcos (which could easily afford these) are exempt. Even worse, service providers are required to enter into an agreement with the telcos before offering VoIP. This means that, to quote Disini, "The telcos can simply set terms and conditions for VoIP VAS providers, and if the latter don't want to accept them, then they can't offer the service even if those terms and conditions are unreasonable." This means there's little chance of consumers getting the lowest rate. Whatever we pay for VoIP, a substantial chunk of it will still go to the traditional telcos, at little or no cost to them. Chances are, it's the telcos themselves that will provide VoIP, and we'll have no choice at all.

Cheap international and even national long-distance phone calls are against the interests of the traditional telcos, burdened as they are by their legacy networks, from which they'd prefer to wring out every last drop of profit. So for them to provide VoIP, which can drastically lower the costs of these calls, is very much counterproductive to them. They would rather pervert the service. They'd make it expensive enough to keep their profits. Even independent VoIP providers are required to negotiate agreements with the telcos, so we can't expect them to be any cheaper. Result: instead of PhP1.00/minute, we have PLDT's PhP5.00/minute -- five times more expensive than VoIP could, and should, be! Instead of protecting consumers, the NTC is further driving them to fly-by-night VoIP providers, since only they could provide its real benefits.

It is not the state's duty to ensure that large corporations do not go bankrupt. They made their bets on these old technologies, they should face the consequences. It is not the state's role to hold back technological progress. It is not the state's role to force consumers to subsidize unimaginative corporate decision-making. Deregulate VoIP as it should have been deregulated. Let the chips fall where they may. Let the big telcos take the hit as they should. That's the least the NTC could do.

The Franchise Isn't for Everyone

Recent (and not so recent) events have convinced me more and more that a limitation of the franchise would be beneficial to the Philippines. The concept of "one equal vote per adult" after all was not generally accepted in democracies until the middle of the last century. Prior to that, the right to vote in most democracies was contingent on financial situation, landholdings, sex, race, or other factors.

While I certainly don't advocate using any of these qualifications again, it might be worth considering limiting the franchise to those who have finished high school, who are at least more likely to think for themselves and less prone (I hope) to the blandishments of populists. Since education is provided by the state up to the high school level, everyone is given the chance to be enfranchised. One side benefit, too, is that the powers-that-be will have even more incentive to improve the state education system. We have an age qualification for voters, why not (a very basic) educational qualification as well?

Given the difficulty, though, of taking back the franchise, the next best thing is to make our democracy less of a direct type and more of a representative type. Instead of a directly elected head of government (one level of representation removed), having a PM elected by elected MPs (two levels removed) would provide more insulation. The executive won't have to pander to populist passions, and opportunistic populists won't be elected to the executive. And to those who would say this setup is less democratic, I don't hear the British, or Canadians, or Australians, or Germans complaining. You don't like how your MPs voted, then don't re-elect them. Democracy isn't diminished, only its worse excesses tamed.

Self-Appointed Guardians

Came across this comment in mlq3's site a couple of days ago. Though I don't agree with all that the poster said, it pretty much captures what I, and I think a lot of other people, feel. As it is an open letter, I am reproducing it here, and I intend to email it to everyone I know as well. If you agree with it, I would suggest you do the same...

Open Letter to Our Leaders

Dear Tita Cory, Senators, Congressmen, Businessmen, Media people, Leftists, and all Bleeding Hearts Out There:

I am angry. And I know that there are many out there who are angrier than I am for the same reason. And that reason is simple. I am sick and tired of all you guys claiming to speak for me and many Filipinos. I feel like screaming every time you mouth words about fighting for my freedom and my rights, when you obviously are just thinking about yours. You tell me that the essence of democracy is providing every citizen the right to speak his or her mind and make his or her own informed judgments, but you yourselves do not respect my silence and the choices I and many others have made. In other words, your concept of democracy is limited to having your rights and your freedoms respected, at the expense of ours.

I am utterly flabbergasted that you still do not get it: we already responded to your calls, and our response has been very clear - we chose not to heed your calls to go to EDSA or to Fort Bonifacio not because we do not love our country or our freedoms or our rights, but precisely because we love our country even more. Because quite frankly, we are prepared to lose our freedoms and our rights just to move this country forward. You may think that is not correct, you can tell me all the dire warnings about the evils of authoritarian rule, but quite frankly all we see is your pathetic efforts to prop up your cause. You tell me that you are simply protecting my freedoms and my rights, but who told you to do that? I assure you that when I feel that my rights and my freedoms are at a peril, I will stand up and fight for them myself.

You tell us that GMA is not the right person to lead this country because she has done immoral acts. As someone who sees immorality being committed wantonly in many ways every day and by everyone (yes, including the ones you do), I may have become jaded. But you have not been able to offer me any viable alternative, while GMA has bent over backwards many times to accommodate you while continuing to work hard despite all the obstacles and the brickbats you have thrown her way. From where I sit, she is the one who has been working really hard to move this country forward while all of you have been so busy with one and only one thing: to make sure she does not succeed. So forgive me if I do not want to join you in your moral pissing contest. Forgive me if I have chosen to see things from another perspective. You say she is the problem. I say, we are the problem, more to the point, I think you are a bigger problem than she is. Taking her out may solve part of the problem, but that leaves us with a bigger problem: you. That is right, YOU!

While I felt outraged that she called a Comelec official during the elections and that she may have rigged the elections, I have since then taken the higher moral ground and forgiven her. Yes my dear bishops, I have done what you have told me to do since I was a child, which you say is the Christian and moral thing to do: forgive. Especially since she has asked for forgiveness and has tried to make amends for it. Erap certainly has not apologized and continues to be defiant, continuing to insult us everyday with his protestations. Cory has not apologized for her incompetence but we have forgiven her just the same because like GMA, she has worked hard after all.

I know you do not think that GMA’s apology was not enough, or that she was insincere, or that that apology should not be the end of it, but please spare me the hypocrisy of telling me that you do so for the sake of protecting the moral fiber of society. The real reason is because you smell blood and wants to go for the kill.

Well, I have news for you. I do not like her too. I did not even vote for her. I voted for Raul Roco. But as much as I do not like her, I do not like you even more. I may not trust her, but guess what; I do not trust you even more.

You know why? Because all you do is whine and sabotage this country. You belittle every little progress we make; conveniently forgetting that it is not just GMA who has been working so hard to achieve them. Every single day, we keep the faith burning in our hearts that this country will finally pull itself out of the mess and we work so hard to do that. Every little progress is the result of our collective effort, we who toil hard everyday in our jobs. Yet, you persist in one and only thing: making GMA look bad in the eyes of the world and making sure that this country continues to suffer to prove your sorry point. In the process, you continue to destroy what we painstakingly try to build. So please do not be surprised that I do not share your cause. Do not be surprised that we have become contemptuous of your antics. You have moved heaven and earth to destroy her credibility, you have convened all kinds of fora and hearings and all you have done is test our patience to the core. For all your effort, you have only succeeded in dragging us further down. I say enough.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not asking that we take immorality lying down, or that we let the President get away with anything illegal. But you have tried to prove your accusations all these time and you have not succeeded, so it is time to let things be. Besides, you are doing something immoral as well if not utterly unforgivable. The Magdalo soldiers are consorting with the communists - the same people who have been trying to kill democracy for years. Cory has been consorting with Erap and the Marcoses.

So please wake up and take a reality check. In the absence of true and genuine moral leadership, many of us have decided to cast our lot with the President, even if we do not like her. A flawed leader is better than scheming power hungry fools who can not even stand up for their convictions in the face of an impending arrest.

Your coup attempts and the denials that you have consequently made only underscore what we think is true: you are spineless and unreliable people whose only defense is to cry suppression when your ruse do not work. You are like bullies who taunt and provoke, but cry oppression when taken to task for your cruelty.

I would have respected you if you took the consequences of your actions like real heroes: calmly and responsibly instead of kicking and screaming and making lame excuses. You say you are willing to die for us, that you do all these things for the country and the Filipino, but you are not even willing to go to jail for us.

Come on, you really think we believe that you did not want to bring down the government when that is the one and only thing you have been trying to do in the last many months?

We love this country and we want peace and progress. Many among us do not give a f**k who sits at Malacanang because we will work hard and do our share to make things work. If you only do your jobs, the ones that we elected you to do, things would be a lot simpler and easier for every one.

The events during the weekend only proved one thing. You are more dangerous and a serious threat to this country than GMA is. We have seen what you are capable of doing - you are ready to burn this country and reduce everything to ashes just to prove your point. If there is something that we need protection from, it is protection from you.

SC Austero

That pretty much sums it up.

Hit and Run No More

Finally got tired of hit-and-run blogging. Yep, squatting on other bloggers' comments threads can get tiresome after a while. So I'm striking out on my own. Can finally post whenever I want to. No need to reply to comments that contradict me. In fact, no comments here at all. Too lazy to correct those who disagree, hehe. Got a problem with that? Start yer own blog!