Tuesday, March 28, 2006

It shouldn't be wrong to ask

In a fit of rage…. (If I have to… grabe, I should avoid reading newspapers. They only make my blood boil.)

What is happening?

Mind the facts. It is evident that the government is pushing for changing the constitution. Can somebody please tell me why?

Why do you want to change our system from presidential to parliamentary? Why? Because we’ll “join the ranks of the First World in twenty years”? What is your basis? Are you telling me that the US has a parliamentary system? It doesn’t. And it’s part of your so-called First World. Does this mean that we don’t actually need to change the Constitution so that we can be wealthier as a nation?

Is it true that you’ll want to allow foreigners to own Philippines land? Is it true?

Is it true that you’ll want to allow foreigners to own nationalized industries? Is it true?

Why don’t we just change the Constitution so that foreigners can own my body, soul, and spirit?

When I read the papers and see that barangays have been calling Assemblies to collect signatures for charter change, I can’t help but be mortified. Where are they getting the money to do this?

And please, don’t tell me that it’s not my station to ask. I pay my taxes. If my money is funding the agenda of a few (ie, amending the Charter), it is my right to know; it is my right to object. How much are they getting from me? 12 percent from VAT alone. I should be allowed even one question. I should be allowed even one answer.

And what do I think when I hear of a justice secretary who is quick to convict? I think that we don’t have justice at all. We don’t. Why will a justice secretary pick fights with one of the Commissioners who drafted the Constitution? Why will the justice secretary go and call him the Dean of Destabilization? Can’t we speak anymore? Aren’t we allowed to speak anymore? Tell me. Is that it? I’m not allowed to speak against you anymore? Ang kakapal niyo.

What are our primary concerns? All we’re just concerned with is: the Truth. All we’re asking is, is it true that the votes were not counted properly? We’re just asking. You can’t take that away from us. In a representative democracy, all we can do is vote. After that, we cede the sovereign power to our elected officials and go on about our daily lives. But you can’t abuse that power. It’s wrong.

And you know what? If there really wasn’t any hocus pocus, wouldn’t it be the easiest thing in the world to say that there was no hocus pocus? If the elections were clean, wouldn’t it be an easy thing to say they were?

We ask. We wonder. But what do you do to us? You call us destabilizers, you arrest us, you gag us, you threaten us. What do we have to do to make you stop?

The public office is a public trust. That's in the Constitution, in Article X, I think. What that means is, the People hold the true powers of the State; these powers are held in trust by our public officers. Now, trust, in law, is complicated and long winded. In common language, all trust means is just that. We trust you to care for these powers and to use it for our welfare. Because if the opposite happens, well, when and if you finally amend the Consitution, maybe we should just delete that provision all together.

Sure. The State has a right to protect itself, but who is the State? It’s not any one individual. The State isn’t the President. The State isn’t Congress. The State isn’t the judiciary. The State is us, Madame. It’s us. Us. Not the people who come to you in the dead of the night asking for favors. The State is the woman you see in the streets, sleeping in the dirt, dirtied, and without clothes. The State is the child who comes up to you and asks for alms. The State is the child who clambers up jeepneys and bends down to clean your shoes with soiled rags. The State is the farmer who can’t sell his produce in the market because of foreign competition.

Don’t deny us our democracy. It’s all we have.

Monday, March 27, 2006


Whoa! I’ve been busy the whole month. Papers due, exams to cram for. It’s funny how all these things can take over a life, how they can obscure everything and keep them hidden in the shadows. Even my dreams- conspiring against me. I dream of blanks to be filled, and of essay answers to be written. My fingers cramp up when I wake.

My only consolation? Within a week: Peace. (If even for the moment.)

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Proc 1017 was lifted last Friday. Are we back to normal?

Press Secretary Bunye says Emergency can be reimposed.
It seems that sedition charges are being filed against Olivares and several other columnists.

It’s becoming more and more apparent that 1017 was signed into existence to coerce the press into publishing only the Good News, like newspapers were the Bible. They're not. And the government today is hardly the Messiah this country needs and is wanting for.

Though I must admit that it’s amazing that we’re turning more and more to religion as we forge on. I can’t recall the last time the Church called for the Oratio Imperata. I do know that even atheists turn to prayer when they’re on the verge of death or are dying.

We’re not- dying. But our freedom to speak is. Although I won’t say that losing the freedom to speak isn’t equivalent to the former.

I don’t know why people should be all het up about other people speaking their minds to say how crappy a government is. You’d think they’d be ecstatic if they’re prohibited from saying that their government’s making their lives Heaven-On-Earth. Of course, since we’re supposedly a democracy, then maybe we should go and ask everyone if they’ve finally found paradise. Today. Here. If they have, then maybe we’ll all just keep quiet and keep our opinions to ourselves. Last I heard, my right to speak is guaranteed by the Constitution. Otherwise, my profs will have all been lying to us.

We're asking the Supreme Court to rule on the petitions to invalidate Proc 1017. Especially now that the government has made the justices' lives easier by lifting the Proc. It's probably the hardest thing in the world to nullify an Order of the President. Pressure at every turn. But now that the Executive herself has withdrawn it, then maybe the law should be properly heard. No pressure; it's already been withdrawn anyway.

The court has decided on cases in the past, even if they’ve already been held to be moot and academic. They may be moot, but they’re certainly more than academic.

In the case of Evelio Javier v COMELEC, the Court called itself the government's conscience. The court said…

"The abolition of the Batasang Pambansa and the disappearance of the office in dispute between the petitioner and the private respondents-both of whom have gone their separate ways-could be a convenient justification for dismissing the case. But there are larger issues involved that must be resolved now, once and for all, not only to dispel the legal ambiguities here raised. The more important purpose is to manifest in the clearest possible terms that this Court will not disregard and in effect condone wrong on the simplistic and tolerant pretext that the case has become moot and academic.

"The Supreme Court is not only the highest arbiter of legal questions but also the conscience of the government. The citizen comes to us in quest of law but we must also give him justice. The two are not always the same. There are times when we cannot grant the latter because the issue has been settled and decision is no longer possible according to the law. But there are also times when although the dispute has disappeared, as in this case, it nevertheless cries out to be resolved. Justice demands that we act then, not only for the vindication of the outraged right, though gone, but also for the guidance of as a restraint upon the future."

Let the conscience speak.


I don’t know why some people are saying that we’re overreacting when we go and compare the Proc to Martial Law. The name is different, sure, but even if we call something a rose it doesn’t mean that it is. Unless God Himself calls the thing a rose, then by golly, it Is a rose. But last I heard, God didn't run for and win office here.

We argue with facts, which Congressman Lagman is doing, by the way. Very enlightening speech.

If we’re afraid that the past is coming back to haunt us, that is our prerogative- fueled by instinct- honed by thousands of years of evolving. If we ignore it, we might as well consider ourselves extinct. Now. Here.


The best way to quell people’s fears and doubts isn’t to go and tell them to shut up. Or to go and arrest them for them to shut up. You contain pressure and it can only explode. What you do is stick to your mandate, which is to care for All the people of this country- not only to those you’re indebted to- and… explain.