The pursuit of nothing

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Apparently to everyone’s–including his most ardent House supporters’–relief, Manila Congressman Mark Jimenez has decided to bow to the inevitable and to present himself to the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

The decision will spare him the embarrassment of being arrested and imprisoned by the Philippine government of which he is a part pending his extradition to the United States. It would also put an end to nearly two years of futile debate and endless charges and counter-charges. Continue reading

Demeaning their office

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) ruling that Senators Loren Legarda, Panfilo Lacson and Juan Flavier can go on endorsing consumer products so long as they’re not yet officially candidates for the 2004 election is likely to encourage others to follow these politicians’ example.

It won’t make for either a vibrant democracy or a better government. But it will be one way for the politicians to stay in the public eye even in those moments a voter least expects, and to get paid for it besides.
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Throwing the rascals out

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Because it is currently and most loudly coming from Congress, and because the members of that body proposing it want it to happen by 2004, the proposal to shift to a parliamentary system has become suspect.

It doesn’t say much for the citizenry’s faith in its elected representatives. But the suspicion is that the shift to a parliamentary system through constitutional amendments is being supported by House third-termers banned from running again under the present system, and that it is being vigorously pushed by those who see parliament as the only way they can end up heading the government.
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The usual suspects

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The decline of the satisfaction ratings of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is the only possible reason why the already settled question of whether to put former president Joseph Estrada under house arrest or to keep him where he is has once again been raised

An impossible proposal?

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In proposing that the Arroyo government turn itself into a administration of national unity, House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. is saying that it isn’t—a fact obvious to anyone except, apparently, to Arroyo spokesman Rigoberto Tiglao.

Tiglao said the Arroyo administration had been trying to be an administration of national unity. If it has, it’s been going about it rather oddly. Mrs. Arroyo’s appointment of her husband Mike as ambassador to the country’s workers overseas (OFWs), for example, has provoked more division rather than unity, and for quite understandable reasons.
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Reason enough for debate

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It doesn’t help the administration case much for its officials to continue blabbering about how it was necessary to keep the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement a secret, despite its being a “boring,” supposedly accounting instrument to facilitate US military aid to the Philippines and US access to “facilities” in the Philippines.

On the other hand, it doesn’t help those opposed to it either to keep on harping on the need for the Agreement to have passed Senate scrutiny first.
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