I write better when I smoke. Don’t ask me to reduce it to a science.

Makes me want to quit

You gotta admire how frank the High Priest of Smokes is, when he says 

we are for the extension of PGMA’s term. We need her to continue what we’ve started and that is, create a society that promotes oligarchies. Plain and simple.

But his kind makes me want to quit smoking, if only to ensure that we have nothing in common.

On background, the High Priest takes pains to make it clear that he is an elected official and that he believes the governed are to be led like sheep by the governors. In the process, he makes no secret of his disdain for the writers over at FV.

Apart from his candor – which should be respected – I totally disagree with the High Priest’s world view. He writes:

You voted for us. You must trust your elected officials of the task that you reposed on us.

Ideally this would be true, except that we are never really 100% sure that the people in office are the ones who were voted for, are we? And isn’t that the root cause of all the shit GMA is currently wallowing in? I may subscribe to the belief that the legitimacy issue should not be allowed to paralyze government, but I am not blind to the consequences of the existence of that issue.

Precisely because GMA’s authority is considered illegitimate by some quarters, there is created a practical need to govern better than just satisfactorily. The leeway that people might be inclined to give to a president whose legitimacy is unquestioned is practically absent in GMA’s case. She must be more transparent, she must be more open to criticism, she must expect zero-tolerance for error, legal brinksmanship, and stupidity.

Elected officials who take refuge in Machiavellian truisms, in blind defiance of this reality, are just being moronic.

In any case, the mere fact that someone is voted into office does not negate the power of the voters to disagree with his decisions. This means that while we may have vested an elected official with the power to act on our behalf, we are not estopped from later on disowning his actions by voting him out of office. We don’t have to trust our elected officials forever; the most these people can expect is that we give them the benefit of the doubt – or come to think of it, that we should give OURSELVES the benefit of the doubt that we didn’t choose the wrong person.

This is what makes the High Priest’s statement

Like this charter change thing. People will never understand why we want PGMA to extend her term. Yes, I’m saying it here with all candor–we are for the extension of PGMA’s term. We need her to continue what we’ve started and that is, create a society that promotes oligarchies. Plain and simple. I don’t want to mince words. 

Come November, we will get what we want and people will just follow us. These ordinary people do not have the strength nor the will to oppose us. 

so heinous. It arrogates unto elected officials the power to select a President – a power that, under our system of government, should always be reserved to the people. 

This arrogance the High Priest manifests is totally unfortunate, since he raises several valid points: that criticism should be founded on something more than just the belief that we are right and the government is wrong; that under certain circumstances, the State is duty-bound to take unpopular actions for the good of the governed; and that government cannot function effectively in a fishbowl.  

The validity of these arguments will always be overshadowed by his megalomania, his contempt for the intelligence of the ‘ordinary people,’ and his apparent hard-on for authoritarianism.


Filed under: politics, , ,

Ameril Umbra Kato


Umbra Kato is one impressive gnome. 

Beginning at 0:51, Kato denies the status of his unit as a lost command – claiming that his unit has not done anything contrary to his organization’s orders. 

At 2:15, Kato denies that he started the troubles in North Cotabato. He claims that soldiers and CAFGU attacked – unprovoked – MILF cadres in Aleosan (?). The attack, Kato claims, took place on July the first. That ought to be easy enough to verify, eh?

Anyway, Kato goes on to explain that the attack was clearly intended to drive them out. “Where do we go?” he asks. “We can’t go to Luzon or the Visayas.” All in all, he paints his actions as being grounded on a ‘defense of one’s home’ kind of theory. Of the military, he says “You are driving somebody from their own place. Terrorist yun!” Then he asks, how would you like it if we did the same to you?

Starting at 4:53, Kato draws a parallel between himself and the Prophet Muhammad. He says that the 10 million reward for his death or capture is simply an indication that the military has run out of ways to get him. The same thing, he said, happened to Muhammad for whose capture his enemies offered a hundred camels. Shades of a messianic complex?

Asked about the escalation of hostilities in Maguindanao, Kato mumbles something about how that had always been the President’s plan – to ‘invade’ Maguindanao under the guise of preventing the signing of the MOA-AD.

And that’s where part one ended.

Filed under: news, , , ,


Does the MILF represent the Bangsamoro? This question has been asked by me and others, and it was only last night that I realized that the question is really moot when asked in relation to the MOA-AD. The terms of the MOA are so good for the Bangsamoro people in general that they really don’t care who pushes it for them. 

This is why debate on the MOA has cut raggedly across party-lines, with the split cleaving along cultural-religious divides. Muslims want it – regardless of how they feel about the MILF – and Christians don’t want it – regardless of how they feel about Muslims.

So, in theory, if the MOA were to carve out a Bangsamoro homeland without impinging upon Christian occupied lands, there really would have been no fuss. Lobregat and Pinol would have prolly been the first to say ‘Huzzah!’ Unfortunately, these MILF got too greedy and, in their haste to restore the Sultanate, ended up rubbing their Khilafah in Christian noses.

And this, I have to believe, they did willingly. Just as they willingly entered into this MOA knowing full well that it would never fly. For them, what mattered was that the Government gave them the acknowledgement they craved. The issue of whether that acknowledgement would eventually come to fruition as the actual recovery of homelands was something they were willing to work on at a later time. For one thing, they must have known that the current government doesn’t have anywhere near enough social capital to make the MOA operational. And so, they were content to get the recognition now – as effect-less as it might be. At the very least, they can go international with that document. Actual operationalization would be a battle for another day. 

And in exchange for this recognition, they would provide the government with a killer tool to force charter change. Such tangled webs we weave.

Filed under: politics, society, ,