Friday, February 22, 2008

Philippine Political Perversion

The Philippine economy had a boom-bust cycle in the last Millennium until 2004, when continuous growth since then up to 2007, has positioned the country for a much anticipated take-off. Today, the political elite have conspired to reimpose the primitive Neanderthal methods of mob rule to effect political change, in order to take the limelight for their fading careers threatened by this success; and to further their interests while salivating uncontrollably at the prospect of taking over, to the detriment of the economy and the interest of the Filipino people.

Using a well known fact about government projects being supplier driven, they have drummed up unsubstantiated allegations of unimaginable corruption hurled at the First Family, and are attempting to create momentum through their temporary allies in the media - who also have interests to expand and protect - to generate a groundswell of indignation to coerce President Gloria Arroyo to resign. All the elements are there: media covered Senate Hearings (selective hearing would be more accurate), newspaper columns, radio commentators, editorialized news coverage, and scheduled public rallies to show massive dissent.

Unfortunately for them, the educated white collar workers are not biting. The middle class is in a cocoon of their own, making a living and minding their own business.They do not want to be duped a third time into supporting alleged honest causes only to be replaced by more dishonest and corrupt leaders. These unsavory politicians even went to the extent of allowing unknown heads of civil society organizations to speak at the indignation parade (with less than 8,000 indignant members and paid rallyists) in order to draw attention away from their own lack of credibility, dishonest efforts, and anti-people positions. With that failure, they now parade their star witness in Catholic schools to generate their support crowd, shying away from the public schools because they may be misconstrued as paid members of the crowd. And yes, the Catholic Church has actively taken part in this best orchestrated effort so far, to add a religious flavor to the events.

The Catholic Church's waning influence is constantly being challenged by progressives, and their support for this movement is to reclaim their moral authority over the social, political, and economic lives of their flock. The left, who have consistently supported all such efforts to sell their ideology and make it more palatable to the majority, have never learned the lesson of only being used by the hidden elite, and then dumped into the swamp when the process is completed. The media grandstanding politicians, whose greatest skill is going around the constitutional prohibition on political dynasties and allowing their wife, husband, siblings, and all other blood relatives to own political positions; throw their questions at the witness as gently as a kitten, while hurling questions at the government officials with prejudiced and biased premises. Most make monkeys of themselves in the process, making one shudder referring to them as "Your Honor".

There is no doubt that Rodolfo Lozada is speaking a truth, the problem lies in 3 issues. One is the amount of bribes he claims was being asked. The other is the absence of proof, everything is alleged, nothing is documented. The third, he was not always speaking the truth. The kidnap is implausible, (Starbucks, Outback, overnight in La Salle with Family, then rejoins kidnappers to see a lawyer), and what is surfacing is a well planned script (with tears and tremors) created with a Senator whose chief of staff is a close friend of Lozada's brother. They correctly assumed that with his made up stories of fear of death threats and refusal to testify at a Senate Hearing, a cover up will be made - this would take down all the President's defenders and isolate her. Very creative.

The error was in assailing people with unassailable characters tested by time and consistency. Even at the Hearing, Lozada shows arrogance and disrespect, perhaps he knows none of those he faced in the Senate deserve any. In admitting to his own enthusiastic participation in corruption, and the subsequent release of conversations that reflects the true scoundrel that he is; he has become tainted and will soon end up in the long list of failed students of the Senator's Academy of Witnesses. The script is failing because of the haste in the production, the weakness of its hyped hero, the avoidance of the middle class, and the fatigue of entrepreneurs and medium sized businessmen from such change processes.

Corruption must end. President Gloria Arroyo's gang of thieves must be deterred from further plucking the treasury. Cases must be filed in the appropriate courts. Impeachment proceedings must be initiated. But let not these impostors make fools of the Filipino People by using these issues of which they are also a part of when they were in power, to claim moral ascendancy; and be the designated replacement through unconstitutional means.

Among those Senators involved in the Hearing, the spokespersons for the government, and Rodolfo Lozada himself, the other good thing that could be said is that he (Lozada) was the only one there who was least disreputable and dishonorable.



Anonymous said...

In Solita Monsod's Inquirer column today, she cites a quote used by Michael Crichton in one of his books; actually borrowed from author Alston Chase:

"When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the process is reduced to a quest for power"

Very appropriate don't you think?

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...


I cannot add anything more to that. I agree! --Durano, done!

The Immortal said...

At the rate the students are being co-opted by the stupidity of the Catholic Hierarchy, they will become the third generational victim hoodwinked by the clerico-fascist structure to lynch a sitting President.

The Bishops are fools. No wonder they were a dunce cap.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Immortal,

As far as I know the Bishops are divided on the issue of raising a resignation call.

The young students will definitely be fooled because some members of the Bishops of the Church actually believe all the statements of Lozada. They have to be approach and be informed of the grand scheme designed by this sinister Senator. They are falling for it.

Their prayers must be going downward. :-) --Durano, done!

Philippine Updates said...

Some people are playing god. Let's see how far they can sustain it.

thewordwarlock said...

i don't know which economy you're looking at. but as far as Philippine economy is concerned, whatever gain achieved in 2007 is hollow. you were speaking of economic improvement without giving any basis or explanation as if your words were simply a gospel truth. but i won't buy that (as an economics major).
if not for the policy of exporting human workers abroad, there won't be any philippine economy to speak of. then look closely at how our country utilized acquisition of loans from foreign lenders. we are simply on a loaning spree. just a few years from now, our country will soon feel the effect of this economic strategy--perhaps another financial crisis similar to that experienced in 2004 (which was the basis why the government imposed new taxes (vat, etc.). and oh, actually we've been feeling the effects of this strategy since time immemorial. look at the gov't budget allotment every year, more than 50% goes to debt servicing. no wonder the government can no longer be an effective catalyst of development--it's power to invest even on infrastructures is severely constrained by its budgetary priorities. and before you praise the GMA administration for its economy-friendly policies, look first on how it spends the foreign-loans it acquires. the ZTE deal is a perfect example. with or without Lozada's testimony, it is already a proven fact that the deal was signed and approved by Malacanang despite its failure to comply with standard operating procedures for gov't deals such as public bidding and other provisions of the Gov't Procurement Act. this is very reminiscent of the Bataan Nuclear Plant project-the country ending up paying for foreign loans which only went to corruption. i understand clearly where calls for the president to explain and for the senate investigation to continue are coming from.
Now you are saying that this legitimate call for accountability is hurting the economy. again, what economy are we talking about?

jc smith said...


I have written a number of articles against outrageous government claims. However, let us give credit where it is due. Erap's 880 days was marked with the near collapse of the stock market, capital flight (ask employees of procter and gamble why they relocated to japan and china), etc, etc.. Based on the amount that Erap was convicted of unjustly having acquired, it's around P4.2 million per day as president.

During this time of GMA, our currency climbed above the average international decline of the dollar, some of our debts were preterminated, etc. We took fresh loans, yes. But it was a lot better than serving the higher rates of the old ones. Did she ever try to intervene in the market to arrest the climb of the peso? She didn't. That I credit to good economic management.

Policy of sending people abroad? Why, was there ever a policy barring anybody from leaving? Can you do that? Go around the world and ask how much of the their population are OFW's. Switzerland has 15%, we only have 5%, etc, etc.. Common, dude. It's as if others did better. It's as if you can do better. Hate GMA and I'm with you. cry corruption and I'm with you, as well. Badger her to resignation and I still wont stop you. But pls be fair. Otherwise, you will be no better than the people that you claim have been grossly unfair.

thewordwarlock said...

to jc smith

i see you were banking your arguments on the sudden rise of the peso against the dollar. please remember also that it was during GMA's term that the peso hit its lowest point in the international exchange. plus, these recent rise can very well be attributed to the influx of OFW remittances during the last quarter of 2007 and early quarter of 2008. anyway, if you would ask exporters, this peso strength could be bad and would mean less export revenues on their side and more imports on the other side. and since when did the peso-dollar exchange rate became a fundamental standard of economic growth. a standard like this is very volatile and very temporary--only on the same level of speculative foreign investments in the stock exchange where capital could dissapear at the blink of an eye. i remember Ramos boasting of economic development in 1996 based on this volatile types of growth only to be exposed as hollow by the 1997 financial crisis.

being involved on a loan-spree however is entirely different. its effects could felt hard on a much longer term. in 2004, we almost suffered an argentinian-type financial meltdown as warned by UP economists. the only answer then for the government was to bleed the people dry with new taxes, and even with that, the economy barely managed.

if you would measure economic development, you should look at national productivity- meaning industries should have prospered, multiplied, and raised their capacity to create wealth and employment. the question is, did we improve or on the contrary, deteriorate on our industrial sector? how about our agriculture? are they winning against the flood of imports from China, US, Australia? aside from call centers, do we really have industries to speak of?

the diaspora of workers in millions to other countries should tell us something about our economy. the fact that university graduates here continue to work as housemaids and garbage collectors abroad disputes any claim of economic growth. and yes, about comparing our country to switzerland. our population is 87,000,000. ten percent (not five percent, please check your facts)are already abroad. switzerland has about 7.8 million citizens, meaning there are more filipinos abroad than switzerland has citizens in or out of their country.
and yes, exporting humans has been a policy of this country ever since our economy started to suffer its perennial trade deficits. for Filipinos, its not a matter of liberty to migrate to other countries, its a matter of finding a job in the farthest corners of the world (even in Iraq)or facing poverty here.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Wordwarlock,

I don't feel the need to respond anymore as JC has done it all.
--Durano, done!


Thanks. I didn't notice these last 2 comments since it is already on the lowest part of my page. I could not have answered better.

But GMA is corrupt like the rest of our politicians and those blood sucking oligarchs. It does not matter who is more corrupt or who stole more; what matters is all corruption must be extinguished. I don't know if that will happen in our lifetime. --Durano, done!

jc smith said...


While you mentioned your being an econ major, your arguments are lacking of econ logic. Or perhaps, it was just your poor reading abilities combined with low comprehension?

I mentioned that the rise in peso was above the decline of the US$. That means, that there should have been something good done in here. FYI, the US$ started its decline not only during the 4Q of '07, it was waaaay earlier than that. Check your figures, baby! is it 36-24-34 or is it 36-48-48? -- hehe, kiddin!

I am very sure, I have been lossing on my $ for quite sometime now. But I am not complaining, knowing that it's better for the poor. If you're an econ, you should know the reason why..

Your argument of a bad effect of peso appreciation is very much lacking. You didn't mention the other side of the equation. I wonder what you have been saying all those years that the peso was declining. Or perhaps, you were born just now, as in... 5 minutes ago?

Makes me wonder if you know econ at all. What school again, please?

You also talked about the loan spree but conveniently omitted the pre payment parts. Bad reading, bad logic, or simply bad?

5~10% OFW's is a matter what figures were consulted. The point being, our percentage is small compared to others. There is a lot, I acknowledge but it's something that nobody, not even anybody's policy can prevent. Policy of sending pinoy's abroad-- gimme a break! Do you know how difficult it is to get a passport, POEA license, etc? Do you know how the government makes it easy for the placement agencies to make migration and finding overseas jobs so difficult.

No reaction to Erap and his conviction in a P4.2 M per day corruption case. Are you by any chance, a Ejercito?

Your arguments are so rich.. rich in flaws!

"If you don't know econ, dont say it"

I dont know econ, but I know.. ispaghetting pababa, pababa ng pa baba...

How i'd like to write "Durano, done!" But it's taken....

theworldwarlock said...

the fact that we have poea in the first place reveals its been a govenment thrust since marcos' time. then check out the national development plan, even the migration act, maybe you'll understand how migration have been liberalized. its hard to get travel papers? oh yeah, that's why millions have left. open your eyes mehn.
again, with the peso rise, it's only good as long as it lasts. how long? who knows?it won't be even remembered after gloria leaves. the country could even have a stronger peso than at the present while its productivity is at rock bottom.
and who cares if i'm from Bruce Lee or Manny Pacquiao School of Economics. at least, unlike you, i know that a can of sardines and a pack of ready-to-cook noodles is quickly becoming the staple food in this side of the world. or maybe economics is not a matter of what statistics you read, its a matter of what you experience. and most of the time, economic "improvement" as experienced by some, simply do not trickle down to all the rest.

yes, i might have forgotten about the pre payment side of foreign debt, that's because i also forgot to mention that we are acquiring new loans to pay for old ones. did i mention already all the conditions that are attached with these debts? hmmm.. like ZTE? do you even know what SAP did to our economy?
and finally, erap or gma? i don't see any difference between them. but at least erap was legitimately elected.

jc smith said...

Aha, the warlock is becoming a lot less feisty compared to the first time it came to this page.
Btw, apologies for the many typos. I wrote that comment near midnight, while being bugged to go home by a 36-24-34 creature. My concentration was surely so divided with the better creature getting most of it.. hehehe!

Anyway, after brazenly questioning the benefits of a strong peso, the warlock turned peacelock is now singing a different tune. Hmmnn.. you're starting to read econ again, huh? Afraid that your professors will take your passing grades back, eh?

Now, your rebuttals are limited only to a few issues. A little more reading my friend, and I assure you, you shall be reduced to one or two. By then, I shall ask the Philippine Economics Society to welcome you back. You know, it's too crowded already, where I am-- Air Force One (Paranaque). :D

In regard to migration, you should have understood its global rationale based on what I wrote in the last 2 pieces, despite my bad English. However, read a bit more and you'll find out.

As for the loans, read a bit and ask the banks. They will tell you that borrowing anew (at lower interest rates) and terminating the old (high interest ones), is a good financial management strategy. Didn't they teach you that at Manny Pacquiao's and Bruce Lee's School of Econ?

Sardines and noodles? Hmmnn. that's introducing a new issue to cover a weak one. The problem with your argument is that I know that I never said that the country is now first world. On the contrary, I talk about increasing poverty incidences and the like. The simple contention of my posts, from the very first til now, is fairness. Credit where is is due and outrage at the proper time. The very fundamental flaw of your arguments from the first post until you softened in the last, is that there was nothing right in this administration. I continuously maintain, that by being unfair to topple the unfair is tantamount to nothing. If people like you will be at the forefront of this country, all the struggles will be naught and reduced to nothing. If that will be the case, I'd rather go back to notting hill, where the weather is cool.

I didn't provide employment and pay taxes here so that it can be ruled by the unfair.

thewordwarlock said...

to jc smith porn star--i see you were in air force one that's why you have such a "hard head". you were claiming this and that on global migration trend. here's what the the experts claim, prof. Bello from UP sociology dept. claims that the philippines is a perennial name on the the top 15 list of migrant-workers-sending-countries in the world. Global Forum on Migration (international NGO) on the other hand notes that the philippines is one of the countries most dependent on migrant labor in asia. Japan as well thinks the same and capitalized on this by making us sign an agreement on establishing toxic waste dumpsites in the Philippines in exchange for them importing filipino nurses. and don't compare the philippines to small countries like sitwzerland. countries with small population tend to have greater rates of immigration and emigration because, well they have small population.

and you were saying i should be fair to what GMA had achieved--strengtening the peso against the international decline of the dollar. then i say mehn, you have such a low standard. almost eight years in office and that is all she could achieve? if that proves anything, it is that GMA had no other economic gain to boast of that's why we have to argue on the peso surge. and why argue on the peso anyway? why not look on the more fundamental components of the economy? how stagnant is Philippine agriculture these days? how far down is the industrial sector? where the hell is our productivity rating? how fast are we loosing jobs in the country?

you said GMA was a good economic manager in the issue of debt. at what trade off? too much taxes. that's one reason why our productivity cannot compete. but then again,some taxes can be passed on to consumers. that's one reason again why sardines and noodles are so popular these days. another trade off is too much debt allocation on our national budget. that's why we have to make new loans so that the government may still be able move on with--at least--some of its projects. that's why public hospitals and public schools have to commercialize because the government cannot give anymore funds. that's why the poor are now paying for services that used to be public service. that's why students go to manny pacquiao/bruce lee school of economics and read bruce lee-authored books on economy because even UP education now is too expensive. is it still good economic management? i doubt it, but if you would still argue on its merits, i say other countries did better. argentina, did a default once. brazil too, and some country in africa on debts acquired by its former dictator. venezuela also defualted on debts. were they penalized by the lending institutions? No. the banks of course complained. IMF and World bank pleaded for them to pay, even offered them loans at a much lower rate than GMA could ever get, but they were not penalized. did the investors punished them instead? of course not. the investors were even impressed with their political will and the way they strengthened their economic standing. that's what i call good economic management WITH political will. GMA simply doesn't have the balls.

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