Same old hackneyed song from the same tired singers

That New York Times editorial which described GMA as a Marcos-in-the-making has been making the rounds and has raised a number of points - both valid and without basis, depending on where one stands. I do not think there is anything more I can add to those that have already been discussed in many blogs, except to note that 1) there is nothing in that editorial that has not been raised by a number of Filipinos, and perhaps with better clarity and more accuracy (I guess when the sentences are printed on better quality newsprint, they assume more weight?), and 2) I think the suggestion of the NYTimes that US President Bush issue a warning to President GMA is disturbing, it labors under the assumption that the Philippines is under the sovereignty of the USA. I am amazed that that part of the editorial is being glossed over by many people.

We have been issued a stern warning by dear old big brother. Whoa, big bleeping deal!

Okay, so it is good to know that people abroad are showing some concern about what is happening in our country. But in another time, I am sure there would have been loud denunciations about America's meddling in our internal affairs. I nearly choked on my dinner when I saw Teddy Casino on TV singing paeans of praises to the NYTimes. This is a man who always invariably mouths "fascist imperialist US" as part of his protest rhetoric.

I guess that bit about there being no permanent enemies only permanent interests is true after all. And it is on this note that I view with some cynicism the supposed "coming together" of the opposition. I wish them luck because I believe that it will take more than the usual suspects engaging in a token kapit bisig to galvanize people into empathizing with their cause.

It is also in the same light that I view with skepticism the Gloria Resign campaign started by the five senators (Pimentel, Drilon, Madrigal, Lacson, Estrada). It's like being trapped in some dingy karaoke joint where the same annoying people have been hugging the limelight and the microphone singing off-key variations of the same old hackneyed song.

Guys, cut the crap. Get more credible singers to do the front act and be content to sing in the chorus. And while we are at it, change the whole repertoire please, and play some alternative music. (I know, the mixed metaphors are godawful trite, but it is one of those days when the spirit is willing but the creative juices are not simply not working).

But to summarize: same old song from the same old singers.


This is a long shot, but I am hoping that certain people would take me up on this idea. I truly think it is time to take the matter out of the hands of the politicians.

I am calling on key people with unquestioned integrity, who occupy leadership positions, and who have not been tainted with the ongoing mudslinging to come together: the likes of Senator Juan Flavier, Congressman Teddyboy Locsin, Washington Sycip, Cardinal Rosales, etc., to convene a truly-representative non-partisan congress of Filipino leaders.

Get professional organizations who have remained non-partisan to facilitate it (like professors from the Asian Institute of Management, the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines, the Philippine Business for Social Progress, the Philippine Society for Training and Development, etc.). In that Congress, draw a strategic roadmap for the country and then let's work backwards to the present.

And then let's present the strategic plan to the people, complete with solutions.


Anonymous said…
On your "Congress" -- I once worked with one of those "groups" - a private sector group created by GMA to advise her on governance. Its suggestions were almost primarily middle-class concerns, and there was very little discussion of the problems in the rural areas. The outcome of your congress would be hostage to two factors -- the quality of the people who join it and the fact that it would still be up to Congress to implement. In other words, its an unrealistic solution.

The problem is that the system that we have does not fulfill the critical function of balancing the interests of a fragmented electorate.
Anonymous said…
I don't know about including AIM professors in your group. (Certainly not all.)

Some time ago, an AIM professor presented a hypothetical situation to his students. The following sequence of events took place:

1. A salesperson dies after a night of alchohol-binging with a client.

2. Congress passes a law to ban "the use of alcohol" when entertaining clients (Sounds ludicrous... but it's not my hypothetical situation).

3. Your company adheres to the law but begins to lose market share as other companies ignore the law.

The question posed to the students was: What should you do?

The professor discredited all answers except one. The answer? Find out how your competitors are able to violate the law (without getting caught) and do as they do.

Obviously, this is just one professor. But still, he's a worm in a basket that is continually filled with apples.
Taga-Iyam said…

I did read the editorial after I read your piece.....I do not think Bush will even think of warning PGMA on this matter, because, he has enough problems. I believe he knows that this is an internal problem that PGMA can handle. The opposition has just anothercard to throw at her.

True...watching the 5 senators disrespect the president was very disgusting. They are just big bullies.Nakakayamot!
Anonymous said…
bong, you keep harping on locsin, flavier, and sycip to pick up the torch of leadership. what if they're all talk and posture? they're part of the establishment and i have a sneaking suspicion that guys like these are tolerated (and perhaps sometimes encouraged) by their ilk as token independent minds who, in the end, won't really make a dent on the corrupt system that keeps all of them in power. i think we must look beyond this current basket of leaders. way beyond.
jher said…
Bush warning GMA on Philippine matters? Eh yung sarili nga nyang problema at kredibilidad sa bansa nya eh di nya maayos. Pwede ba.
Anonymous said…
I am pretty sure had George Bush sang hossanahs the way GMA is reigning our economy, the same opposition will cry 'Foul'. Imperialist America has no business talking about the way our government is being run. It just goes to show that they will take issues on anything just to be able to put down GMA. Why do you think the Hyatt 10 and some others like Golez who suddently turn their backs against GMA? They all were able to get hold of those emails coming that fugutive Aquino in the US who was receiving classified infomation from a mole in the high echelon in the US government. They thought that the US is about to abandon GMA and they all had to get out of the sinking boat. Unfortunately, when the US authorities learned about the leak from the White House, they had to deny evertything and the Hyatt 10 and company were left holding and empty bag and come up with other issues to justify their foolish acts. NOw they are also asking GMA to do a Thanksin and are filling the air with their stinking rhetorics.
What a pitiful and pathetic group. Kawa-awa naman sila. nauubusan na ng magandang issue kaya hindi na relevant ang mga pinagsasabi.
cvj said…
Bong, the NYTimes editorial is indeed the same message coming from a different messenger but so was yours. Just as your open letter spoke what's in the heart of a lot of our countrymen, so does the NYT editorial. You and the NYT are presenting two competing versions of reality. Some have cheered you for presenting your version so you cannot begrudge the opposition when someone presents theirs. I would have preferred it if you, a fellow Filipino, came over to our side rather than a foreign paper, but what the heck, i'll take what i can get.
pinoy said…
i doubt if this non partisan congress will be doable. who will decide when a person is partisan or not? who will fund the congress?

we all want to move forward. unfortunately, we're in the dark on how to get there. there is no leadership. there is no common ground or basis of unity. we all love to engage in debates. that's where we are good at.

it's about time that we walk the talk. we cannot wait for a mahatma gandhi or a lee kwan yew to lead us out of this mess. we need to take a collective stand and action outside political interests.
Anonymous said…
Mr. A,

I agree with you on some points:
1. NY Times, keep the hell out of our own business! You would not like it if we do the same to your business...
2. Same old, same old "trapos=senators" singing a new tune...hate that Drillon , really! How hypocrite!
3. Teddy Casino (you should include Renato...of Sec Gen Bayan Muna?) a-hole communists ! They will contradict everybody in gov, unless they themselves are in power! Tapos takot din pala makulong , tago ng tago sa Congress!

But on your proposed "congress" with Locsin and Flavier...don't we have better choices? What's with Sycip? Do you honestly believe those "ego-maniacs" in congress would allow others to put one over their heads...? I don't have a concrete solution to all our problems right now...but I do know, once our voters start voting the "right" persons in public office...that would be a good "right" persons, I meant, people who truly loves our country and people first, above their personal interest...a true meaning of "public servant"...
Anonymous said…
Why not a real people's initiative...composed of ordinary, everyday Filipinos - professionals, executives, ordinary employees, farmers, small-medium businessmen, the disenfranchised urban poor and not just a representative - from every part of the country.
The usual faces and names will always be suspect of one thing or another. It has to be largely voluntary but some groups may be willing to support it.
BongA said…
So we are down to dividing lines between who is for or against? I do not necessarily think that way -I think that we are on the same side, it is just that we see and do things differently. We disagree on basic principles and the details, but I think we are all in agreement about what we want - a better country. But thanks for your sensible comments. I truly appreciate that you continue to be in the communication process and be part of the crafing of the solution - I am confident that at one point we will get there.

domingo said…
01. "... to convene a truly-representative non-partisan congress of Filipino leaders."--Bong

I second the convening of the "Congress" you have proposed.

But, how will your proposed "non-partisan Congress of Filipino leaders," be chosen so that they can rightly claim to be "non-partisan," or that their "strategic roadmap" can be regarded as, "truly-representative"?

Will the proposed "Congress" be "truly-representative" of what is usually invoked as the basis for authority, the "will of the majority"?

02. "... it is good to know that people abroad are showing some concern about what is happening in our country."--Bong

If New York Times is "truly" concerned about what is happening to Filipinos, it should write instead about a festering injustice to Filipinos-- about how America continues to disown Territorial Filipinos (Filipinos born during the American territorial period) that the U.S. Supreme Court in a decision way back in 1954 yet recognized as "American nationals" at birth.
cvj said…
Bong, thanks as well. I think on that matter, we can agree.

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