Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Shall we dance?

Once again, our legislators shall dance to the tune of the Cha-cha (Charter Change). After the President’s announcement in her fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) in 25 July 2005, it is now “all systems go” for our legislators to revised/amend the Constitution through a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass). This was cheered by most members of the administration, especially cha-cha stalwarts like Former President Fidel Ramos and Speaker Jose de Venecia. On the other hand, opposition figures, plus a majority of the Senate, jeered.

I heard and read a lot of interesting points and comments from distinguished scholars and academicians, politicians, and grandstanders for and against cha-cha.

One side says cha-cha is good because it will amend some “restricting” articles and sections of the 1987 constitution. Also, cha-cha that will lead to a change in the form of government into federal-parliamentary would boost economic growth in the countryside, at the same time, would solve hostilities in the south. According to them, it would also contribute in the decongestion of the metropolis, which is one of the President’s ten-point agenda.

On the other hand, others say that charter change may not be the solution to the lingering problems of the country. They say that it does not promise anything but a mere change in the form of government. And a change in the form of government does not guarantee solution to systemic problems like poverty and unemployment.

I was a former advocate of Charter Change, but not through Con-Ass, but through ConCon (Constitutional Convention), wherein the electorate would vote the members of a constitutional convention, a body that will review and amend our current constitution. I prefer this because a Con-Ass would only advance the interests of the Congressmen and a few of their constituents. Also, the current roster in the House of Representatives does not have the institutional capability to review the constitution. As far as I know, no congressman is an expert of constitutional law. If there is any, the intellectual debates will only be concentrated on these few individuals… And a few more hours shall be wasted on grandstanding and non-sense parliamentary inquiries. The election of a con-con would bring out the best and the brightest constitutional experts and advocates. Though I should say that it also doesn’t guarantee that a Con-con would bring out a perfect roster, but at least, it will lessen the grandstanding.

However, after hearing and reading from some academicians, I realized that constitutional change doesn’t guarantee improvement in our systems or economic growth. A known expert in Philippine politics said that in order to prepare our institutions to a parliamentary form of government, we should develop a certain level of maturity in our political party system. A parliamentary form of government is most effective under a political system with strong political parties.

Also, after what has been revealed in the past months, I realized that the assurance for a “quality” roster in the constitutional convention has dwindled. Following the admission of some of our political leaders that it is common practice to talk to COMELEC (Commission on Elections) officials during vote-counting, vote-rigging via coercion, persuasion, or bribery has become more of a reality than myth. Now, there are qualms as to whether the COMELEC can produce the real results to the people, should an election for constitutional convention takes place. This doubt over the COMELEC’s capability shall persist unless drastic change takes place.

These are primarily the reasons that convinced me to side with “status quo” in terms of charter change. Now is not the time to change the constitution. There are prerequisites to charter change, and according to some experts, these prerequisites are not yet accomplished.

The President may have her reasons for announcing cha-cha. Whatever it is, I hope it is for the benefit of our national interest and not only the interests of the “chosen few.” Let’s just hope that Congress can dance the cha-cha well.

These are just opinions of a short-sighted (and near-sighted) young man. Objections are welcome.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Strolling Down Memory Lane...

I got this from our electronic group site and I just felt like posting it here. See how thin I was in my high school senior year?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Halikinu, classmates...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Intellectual Discourse

I love hearing people's views on things that matter. That is why I opened this site for comments from anyone.

I would love to read viewpoints from readers. Write up. Not that violent please. hehehe...

Looking forward to an interesting intellectual discourse to all.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Lapses, Lapses, and more Lapses

It is funny that we see a lot of lapses in our society these days. Two weeks ago, we see one of the biggest TV spectacles of the decade: President GMA's apology for her "Lapse in Judgement." Then last Monday, Inquirer apologized for its "lapse in grammar" after printing the headline "FYR Factor Makes GMA Hangs Through."

I personally commend the two parties for their admission to their lapses: may it be minor or major (or some should say, ultra major!). However, in our current political situation, we see more than just two lapses... And they are not that minor. Let me enumerate some:

a. Lapse in Moral Ascendancy - This is the main reason why the opposition lacks support from the people, particularly the Church and the middle class. I think they should also undergo introspection and deep discernment, as what the Bishops advised the President. Better yet, admit these major lapse, get out of the streets, and start writing their memoirs before it's too late... hehehe

b. Lapse in Healthy Brain cells - This is also one reason why people express disgust and dismay over the current administration. Some people think that we got leeches and dogs hovering around the Presidency in the guise of Cabinet Members and GOCC and GFI Presidents and General Managers. I should state this in Tagalog... Those who think they are no longer helping the Presidency, "Magpakatotoo kayo." There is nothing wrong with admitting you can't do the job so you just do a graceful exit so that the already hurting Presidency would not suffer any longer. Admit this lapse and we shall all be merry. Plus, do write your memoirs, too...

c. Lapse in involvement - in short, people have grown apathetic after two failed EDSAs. They believe that after this ousting, life just goes on. They will just continue to eat the same lucky me in the morning, the same biscuits in the afternoon, and the same sardines in the evening. Only now, with VAT.

d. Lapse in weather - It's the rainy season! Would you expect people to brave the storm and accept to be drenched while chanting "Gloria Resign" on the streets of Ayala? I don't think so. As Sen. Flavier once said in a TV advertisement, "Sa panahon ngayon, bawal magkasakit." I suggest they offer eggs to the St. Claire sisters.

e. Lapse in political will - This is not to judge the current Presidency, but I think this major lapse needs to be admitted and addressed immediately.

f. Lapse in direction - Both sides think of what to do in the present. Admin boys and girls think about their survival, opposition people want a new President. The question is, where are we heading?

g. Lapse in concern for national interest - Was the voice of the ordinary Filipino heard in this circus? I think too much shouting in Congressional hearings deafened our beloved lawmakers. In the end, Juan de la Cruz is left with nothing but an emptier stomach.

h. Lapse in love for country - if we truly love this country, this series of political unrest would never have happened. Cheating would not have taken place, bickering would not have started. Once we realized that we are all Filipinos and brothers and sisters in one nation, there is no reason for us to implode like this.

There are many more lapses in our current situation. Again, I admire those people who sincerely admit and apologize for their lapses. I hope the others would do the same.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

For your white and blue...

Yesterday, the Ateneo Blue Eagles suffered a loss with a big-margin of deficit. What’s worse is that we lost to our beloved arch-rivals (beloved arch-rivals?!), the De La Salles Archers. All along I thought it was going to be a close battle considering that the Eagles have the height advantage.

However, I was wrong. The Eagles had a great start, with sophomore big man Japeth Aguilar (he’s 6’8 by the way) blocking shots at will. I think he made three straight blocks with just 3 minutes of game play. He’s a promising youngster, indeed. However, after player rotations made by Coach Norman Black in his Blue Eagles coaching debut, the team went bananas. Turnovers here and there, missed baskets, and worse, loss their defense.

They totally lost it after the first quarter. At the end of the second quarter, Ateneo was down by 30 points. Yes, thirty points… Luckily, the Eagles managed to cut the deficit to 18 points, and foiled the Archers’ attempt to pose a new record for highest lead over the Eagles. The biggest lead posted by La Salle over Ateneo was by 24 points, with final score 74-50. Wow, at least they somehow saved our faces from utter humiliation. Mike Enriquez can again brag this big win to Chino Trinidad over the morning radio show. We will be hearing the La Salle Anthem again over DZBB...

What I thought the players lacked yesterday was the leadership they once saw in Enrico Villanueva, Rich Alvarez, and Larry Fonacier. LA Tenorio, being one of the last remnants of the 2002 UAAP Championship Team, should step up and give their team the leadership they need. As what TJ Manotoc said, it’s about time that LA should dominate the court. There is no one left to lead but him.

Also, when I saw the players’ rotation, I thought maybe Coach Norman is still feeling the team. He used all of his players Yesterday, even rookies Laterre, Reyes, and Al-Usaini (did I speel this correctly?). I think he’s still in the process of looking for combinations and tandems to jell in the offense, and the right men to bring out tough defense. However, as what my colleague in the public sector and a co-fan of the Blue Eagles, you shouldn’t experiment in an Ateneo-La Salle spectacle.

Well, I hope the Eagles learned an important lesson yesterday. Until the next Ateneo-La Salle game… Fabilioh!!!

Thursday, July 07, 2005


I just love music. I love listening to the FM radio before going to sleep. I even, keep the radio on even till the wee hours of the night. I prefer listening to my CD collection instead of watching those melodramatic koreanovelas, chinovelas, spanovelas, or other ovelas we have in primetime TV. I never take my Discman out of my clutch bag. I simply love music.

However lately, I was into the congressional hearings to listen to the Congressmen argue on whether they will launch and play the best-selling album of all time: The wiretapped tapes allegedly between Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano and several influential people, including allegedly the President. The taped played for more than three hours last Tuesday.

I think the launching was successful. On my way home, I rode three jeeps and an FX, and all of them tuned in to the radio to listen to the Tapes. When I reached home, the tanods, tambays, and even my dad and mom listened as they reacted to every “controversial” conversation in the tape. I think on this day, Darna’s rating went on its all time low.

After an insane mix of love for music and politics, I have listed the current administration’s top ten tracks. This music list could be a good repertoire for the Next Angie-Joey-Bayani benefit concert… hehe… Here it is:

10. Can’t We Start Over Again? – Jose Mari Chan

9. Cool Change – Little River Band

8. Take Me Out of the Dark – Gary Valenciano

7. I Started a Joke – Bee Gees

6. What Can I Do? – The Corrs

5. You and Me Against the World – Helen Reddy

4. Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word – Elton John

3. Ipagpatawad Mo – VST and Co.

2. Love Me for What I Am – Carpenters

1. If We Hold on Together – Diana Ross

Let me remind readers that this is just an attempt to bring to a lighter side the demoralized, jaded, disillusioned, or disappointed feeling of our Filipino brothers and sisters. Don’t you worry guys. As what my friends have said, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And hopefully, after this crisis, moral recovery comes next.

I hope this is not just wishful thinking…