Sunday, November 30, 2008

RH Rocks!

Come one come all! If the free concert doesn't hook you, I bet the free condoms will :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Junking the Impeachment Complaint

11.00 am, November 26, 2008.

Rep. Satur Ocampo asks the House Committee on Justice not to dismiss the issues presented by the impeachment complaint.

Rep. Risa Baraquel thanks Rep. Defensor for finally calling on her, that she is no longer "invisible." She insists that documents that would prove the President's culpability in the ZTE-NBN contract should not be grounds for the committee finding the impeachment complaint insufficient. The Rules of Impeachment of the 14th Congress says that the impeachment need only allege facts and hard evidence is not needed at this stage.

Rep. Casino says he is not new to the impeachment process. He states it is a political, not a juridical process. "We will not be judged as judges...but as representatives of the people...Mahirap magreklamo laban sa presidente...and it takes a lot of guts...Yan po ba ay lulunurin natin sa legalismo?"

Rep. Casino then says that during the Erap case, the most damning of evidences came during the hearing in Senate, not during the discussion of substance and form. "Ano po ba ang kinakatakot natin?" He asks whether the committee members are afraid of implicating themselves for accepting bribes from Malacanang.

Rep. Guingona asks that the committee give the impeachment complaint a chance. He questions whether the Congressmen who were rumoured to again have received money in Linden Suites were also present in the committee. He then unveils a timeline of a master plan that would lead to Martial Law. Junking the impeachment complaint is but the first step. Next Tuesday it will be dismissed in the plenary. On Wednesday Congressmen will then hie off to the United States to watch the Manny Pacquiao fight, and also to cool off. When they come back, then charter change will come into full gear.

Rep. Maza again motioned to have Kampi party members be disallowed from voting on the substance of the complaint - especially those who received money in 2007 and the recent "pamumudmod ng pera." Rep. Defensor asked to have the body vote on Rep Maza's appeal - summarily denied with resounding "ayes."

Rep. Mariano asked to have these committee members be disqualified. He then insisted on reading out loud the 22 members who received money from the President's party. Defensor insisted it would be unparliamentary.

Rep. Casino then says the committee members are not only mute and deaf, but also blind.

Motion to dismiss the impeachment complaint - 42 in favour versus 8.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Here Kitty, Kitty

When all the world has gone crazy, my little piece of happiness. Meet the latest addition to the family. The proud, fierce, cute and cuddly Tinay!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Truth Hurts

Being a woman who is not naturally personable nor charming, being unpopular is probably not new to the President. In her latest loyalty check, she thanks the LGUs for realizing that "effective governance is not a popularity contest."

I beg to disagree. A government that works should garner the support and approval of the majority. Surveys show that her approval and trust ratings have been steadily declining. If you're not the kind who gives credence to surveys, just ask your family, your friends, the friends of your friends, the underclasses on occasion that you might have a brief moment to speak with them.

They will all tell you the truth.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Minutes of Justice Committee Hearing and the Quezon Intervention

10.00 Roll call. 32 members of the Committee are present.

Rep. Defensor’s opening statement lays down the agenda for the hearing – to determine whether the De Venecia impeachment complaint is sufficient in substance and also to determine the status of the Sotto complaint and the Quezon intervention.

Rep. Golez interrupts Defensor’s opening statement on point of order. He questions why the committee chair is already stating his position on the complaint.

Reps. Garcia and Datumanong question Golez’ interruption.

Rep. Golez insists that the moment the chair hints his position, this compromises the proceedings’ “fairness” and “objectivity.”

Rep. Defensor continues his opening statement. He cites legal justification to uphold the one year ban rule. He says “the right to intervene is not an absolute right” and that the Quezon intervention is a totally disparate (pronounced ‘desperate’ by Defensor) from the De Venecia complaint filed on October 13.

Rep. Liza Maza brings up the inhibition of Rep. Villarosa from the proceedings.

Rep. Villarosa says she chooses not to inhibit herself.

Rep. Maza continues to question the continued participation of Rep. Villarosa on grounds of comprising the process the latter’s involvement in bribe distribution. Also, the latter might unduly influence her co-party (Kampi) colleagues in the committee.

Rep. Villarosa defends herself, saying Kampi members have independent judgment.

Rep. Domogan motions to dismiss the Sotto impeachment complain and the Quezon intervention.

Rep. Casiño insists that the Quezon intervention is not a separate complaint because it puts forward the same charges as the De Venecia complaint. The intervention also charges the President of the culpable violation of the constitution, but cites specifically the MOA-AD.

Further, Casiño says the complaint has not yet been sent to the Senate and therefore it should be allowed amendments. The committee should consider allowing ordinary people to participate in the process.

Rep. Barzaga says that while the law allows ordinary people to file impeachment cases, there should be some order as to how these proceedings are run. He insists that the Intervention should be considered a second, separate complaint.
Rep. Castro says the committee has no jurisdiction to entertain the Quezon intervention.

Rep. Maza on parliamentary inquiry says the she has only received the copy of the Sotto complaint and the intervention this morning. She questions why the chair seems well-versed in its contents.

Rep. Defensor: “You don’t have to read the whole document” [to determine its contents].

Rep. Mariano says it is premature to summarily dismiss the Quezon intervention. “Hindi ko po inaasahang may paunang-husga na ang committee chairman.” He says the constitution only prohibits multiple impeachment “proceedings.” The case can be considered one proceeding with multiple complaints.

Rep. Domogan quotes some legalese. He again insists on the dismissal of the intervention.

Rep. Casiño insists this is the first impeachment proceedings and the multiple complaints can be consolidated.

Rep. Raul Gonzales provides historical background on the amendment of impeachment rules. He says the 13th congress failed to liberalize the rules.

Rep. Maza wants Rep. Defensor to answer, when did the committee transmit the Quezon intervention document to committee members?

Rep. Defensor quickly replies Nov. 17

Rep. Maza says she wants it on record she only received the documents this morning. “Paano itatapon ang hindi pa nababasa?”

Rep. Barzaga picks up from Rep. Castro, the committee has no jurisdiction to decide on the three complaints.

Rep. Mariano says the motion to dismiss the Quezon intervention is out of order.

Rep. Datumanong says “We return the Sotto and Quezon complaints for violating Sec 3, Article 5 of the Constitution.”

Reps Garcia, Domogan and Lagman move the committee to vote.

The Quezon intervention is dismissed, 35 in favour and 4 against.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Minutes of the Justice Committee Hearing on GMA Impeachment

10:00 am House Committee on Justice begins hearing of impeachment complaints against Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. 31 committee members are present.

Rep. Casiño says Rep. Villarosa should be disqualified in the committee hearings as she admitted on record that she distributed bribe money. Committee chair Defensor replies inhibition is voluntary. Rep. Villarosa admits to distributing the money to only 2 representatives – Abante and Dumpit.

Rep. Golez raises a point of order, hearings are too rigorous. He questions why the committee seems to be rushing the proceedings. He wants the justice committee to have a “more reasonable calendar.” Rep. Defensor defends the 4-day marathon.

Rep. Guingona wants to have his resolution to endorse the impeachment complaint be recognized.

Rep. Defensor’s opening statement says the House of Representatives is on trial. Proceedings have to proceed swiftly and should not be motivated by person and political ambitions.

Rep. Mariano of Anakpawis wants to have on record all parties to the complaints.

Rep. Puentevella says the complaints are so voluminous. Which one should be deliberated upon? “Every year this is an annual fiesta…’Wag na tayong mag-utuan ditto.”

Rep. Jala: The complaint is a “mere scrap of paper.” It is insufficient in form and should be dismissed. He says it should not be considered since it violates the rule that there can only be one impeachment complaint filed against an official in a year.

Rep. N. Gonzales says “We are not aware of the Quezon complaint.” The Committee on Rules does not have the authority to add another complaint to the order of business.

Rep. Defensor implies complaints not submitted to the Justice committee should be dismissed.

Rep. Lagman intervenes, the one year ban rule has already expired. It need not be mentioned in the De Venecia complaint since it was submitted on Oct. 13. The one year ban expired on October 11. On this ground, the complaint is sufficient in form.

Rep. Golez: “We are so repressed in the minority. This is what you call the essence of democracy?”

Rep. Domogan insists that only the De Venecia complaint should be considered by the committee, whether it is sufficient in form.
11.30 Recess. Lunch break.

Rep. Liza Maza clarifies whether the Sotto complaint should be excluded. Minority clarifies that the Quezon intervention was referred by the Secretary General to the Justice Committee.

Rep. Puentevella mocks House minority.

Rep. Antonino-Custodio calls on Rep. Defensor that the Justice Committee already received the intervention. She wants to the committee to consider the intervention and how it should be treated. Should it be accepted as an amendment or supplementary to the De Venecia complaint?

Rep. Defensor is non-committal. He says the committee will consider the Quezon complaint a separate one, violating the one year ban rule.

Rep. Antonino-Custodio calls on Rep. Defensor not to unilaterally make this decision. The matter should be decided upon by the whole body.

Rep. Casiño says he has no copy of the intervention and so he cannot decide on the matter. He calls for the resumption of the hearing tomorrow.

Rep. Antonino-Custodio expressed concern that should the intervention be considered a supplement to the De Venecia complaint, then it will also be dismissed without the committee’s deliberation.

Rep. Golez calls on Defensor’s opening speech, seemingly “in favor of dismissal.”

Rep. Zialcita asks, “How many interventions should we entertain?”

Rep. Puentevella says the minority should get its act together and consolidate only one impeachment complaint.

Rep. Antonino-Custodio says the minority needs time to present the complaint(s) properly.

The majority proposes having only 5 representatives from either group present their sides. Minority representatives all express dissent against limiting only 5 representatives from either side present their case. All minority representatives should be able to speak.

12:15. Hearing adjourned and to be resumed tomorrow.

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Small p, big P

Of the people we know, how many take interest in politics? In this country, it is synonymous to greed, filth, corruption. Politics is never associated with honor, justice, ideals.

The spectacle of Bolante's interrogation in the Senate is a perfect example of how we tend to focus on the small p, not the big P. I'm afraid traditional media has a role in this kind of discourse. Through its filter of information, we are fed "frames" on how to interpret events. They've got the who, what, where, when and how covered. "Why" is probably the most difficult, and so there is little media coverage following this line of questioning.

The small p will focus our attention on the details of the fertilizer scam. People whom I've heard discuss the media spectacle do so in jest, as though it were entertainment. In a way it is. That is the frame we are fed.

A discourse on the big P will frame this spectacle within a larger context - the crisis of our agricultural sector, the corruption diverting funds away from farmer support, the food security of the country, the global crisis in agriculture given the current international trade system.

Let's focus on the big P. The bigger, the better. :)

My Worldview

A cool quiz from Chris Williams. I'm a postmodernist. No surprise there.

You Scored as Postmodernist

Postmodernism is the belief in complete open interpretation. You see the universe as a collection of information with varying ways of putting it together. There is no absolute truth for you; even the most hardened facts are open to interpretation. Meaning relies on context and even the language you use to describe things should be subject to analysis.



Cultural Creative














Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Precariousness of Hope

Change. We can all agree that we can probably easily quantify what change would mean for all of us. For me it means not feeling so powerless, not feeling like a victim of everyone and everything. It means being able to live decently and fairly. It means living in a society whose leaders do not make it their official business to rob everyone blind. Is that too much to ask?

From the periphery of our collective mentality, we all know this government is corrupt. This society is corrupt. Our values are corrupt. Most of us know this, and in our acquiescence of the fact we are complicit in keeping the monster within alive and well. Over a century ago, Rizal had a name for it. Over the decades the cancer has metastasized a dozen-fold, eating away at everyone and everything. Is there anything healthy left?

Change. It has to start somewhere. Powerlessness means not knowing how or when or where. Powerlessness means not being able to picture any other alternative. The reality of now is resolute and etched in stone.

Ignorance is truly bliss. Most everyone goes about the business of their lives not knowing the extent to which greed rules this country. The most rapacious of criminals reside in the halls of power. There are no laws. There is no justice. Has everyone gone blind or have we simply grown inured to this fact? Numbed by scandal after scandal after scandal?

I am twenty-eight years old. Privileged to have been granted the best education this country can offer. In me resides the promise of the generations who came before me. I am too young to be jaded. Let me see a glimmer of something. Let me see.