Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hope springs eternal

“Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have.” — Anonymous

Seven out of 10 Filipinos still believe there’s hope in the Philippines ; they should. Our hope lives on while there are still outstanding leaders who keep setting the example of sacrifice and determination to liberate this country from poverty, mental stupor and national mendicancy. Gen. Danilo Lim, Sen. Trillanes, the Bagong Katipuneros and President Joseph E. Estrada—with his slogan, “Walang tutulong sa Pilipino kundi kapwa Pilipino”—are all such leaders who lead us toward national emancipation.

In historical terms, our struggle is still shot compared to the awakened giant of Asia, China , which decayed and languished for 500 years before revolutionary, anti-colonial, and nationalist leadership emerged 59 years ago. If measured from the year of the Malolos Republic of 1899 when the Philippine struggle set up its sovereign government, it will only be 100 years next year.

We thus have no reason to believe that this historical event may finally be completed soon. But with the right leadership to galvanize this nation’s energy, we can achieve a turnaround in 10 years of what China has achieved for itself in 60. By then, we would have returned to our pre-eminent stature in the Asean community—something that we took for granted in the 50’s. But these positive aspirations should be first stoked in all Filipinos’ hearts that they may be fired up to achieve the socio-political and economic changes we so direly need. For where there is no hope, there can be no progress.

It is therefore heartening news that hope still springs from the Filipino soul as the recent Pulse Asia survey found. Yet, there is another factor that increases the likelihood of our much-needed changes: The return of thousands of OFWs who are now jobless.

All the decades since the 70’s, the only pressure relief valve for scores of unemployed but able-bodied and talented Filipinos was the OFW deployment. Millions had left the country to earn a living, including many leaders from the activist movement and the intelligentsia. But now that these foreign jobs are disappearing, OFWs still with boundless energies will be forced to return home with little prospect of employment.

Where are they going to work here? Where are the kinds of factories they’re used to when they were in Taiwan , for example? What about construction workers from the Middle East who are coming home to a construction slump? Workers in the electronics sector, meanwhile, will come home to the news that Texas Instruments had just laid off 400 workers in its Baguio plant. Then, as Filipino white collar OFWs from the US also come home, to what office will they be recruited when retrenchments here have already begun?

Radically changing the present paradigm is thus the only way to solve this impending unemployment tsunami: By reorienting the country’s economy toward import substitution to produce what we import today such as milk, diapers, rice, meat, etc.

Buttressing this is the latest PhilExport News sent via e-mail: “Exporters increase sales to domestic market… A manufacturer and exporter of handcrafted Christmas and other holiday décors…said since sales abroad went down because of stiff competition from China and other Asian countries three years ago, exporters have been participating more in domestic trade fairs. She bared that the local market now comprises around 20 percent of their total sales, while that of a furniture company is much higher at 40 percent… So over the years, we have found out what the Filipinos are looking for. We already produce for the domestic market…and it is enough to take care of our overhead cost.”

For sure, increased earnings will take care of more than just the overhead if there is a full blown government-led policy to cultivate the domestic market henceforth. However, it’s more than just furniture and Christmas décor we should make for the domestic market. We need agricultural implements, organized organic fertilizer production, production of skim milk from coconuts to replace almost all milk imports, and more high tech people to put up big and micro-geothermal power plants all over the country. You see, it just takes some little imaginative twists to shift our orientation from export-dependence to import-substitution.

Then again, there are macro-economic issues to take care of too, like reviewing our debt amortizations to shift resources to domestic pump-priming, as well as, cutting down power and water costs, which, despite declining oil and exchange rates, are still going through the roof with petitions from Meralco, the NPC, and the new Maynilad owners, to increase charges yet again.

These are the things that all Filipinos should be focused on while struggling to remove the one big obstacle to all these remedies—Gloria Arroyo, together with the foreign and local oligarchs propping her up. All the other carping from diverse anti-Gloria groups are only secondary to this. The debate on the CARP law, for instance, is moot and academic, as any land reform program won’t work while the landlord class still controls Malacañang and Congress. Moreover, all investigations of corruption will come to naught while Gloria Arroyo is in power for she serves to cover all their asses.

All forces for positive change against Gloria’s tyranny must therefore come together and concentrate on the removal of Gloria and the establishment of a genuine leadership dedicated to the welfare of this nation and its shift to an independent and progressive economy.

Thankfully, the nation is coming close to a final turnover of power to a new leadership that can and will change this country. The previous Friday, all soldiers were confined to barracks with a headcount conducted to ensure that no one was out to join any unauthorized movements, an intel major confirmed. The Gloria Arroyo regime is suffering from violent nervous convulsions because it knows that there are unceasing efforts to break open the floodgates of change. Their diversionary bombings won’t help them anymore. The odds are all against Gloria and her corrupt henchmen as she and her FG’s billions will be inutile when the social volcano erupts.

(Tune in to 1098AM, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.; Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Destiny Cable, Channel 3, Tuesday, 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., featuring Mrs. Aloy and Ms. Aika Lim, wife and daughter of Gen. Danilo Lim; also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

Monday, December 15, 2008

United toward victory

The two huge rallies staged by two major anti-Gloria movements signify a resurgence and imminent victory of the fight for justice and truth that was started at Edsa Tres in May 2001.
Last November 10, six Catholic bishops and the KME (Kilusang Makabansang Ekonomista) mustered one of the largest rallies of the past year in front of St. Peter’s Cathedral along Commonwealth Ave. What distinguished it was the active mobilization of thousands of Catholic school students by the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP). With them too were thousands of farmers from various land reform advocates such as Unorca, the group of Bishop Labayen, and fellow Manila Pen veteran Ka Vangie.
On November 12, Friday, it was the turn of the political opposition -- from the Left to the Middle Forces – to gather up to 30,000 people at the juncture of Ayala Ave. and Paseo de Roxas. Though it was a very positive show of force, it didn’t match the 60,000-strong October 2003 march on Ayala that our own Edsa Tres groups organized -- the one where I was able to block a phalanx of at least half a dozen riot policemen with my outstretched body pressing against their riot shields until I collapsed from tear gas asphyxiation. Still, a significant thing about this recent gathering was the broad spectrum of forces represented in the rally -- except for the presence of tradpols and political opportunists like Frank Drilon and Butch Abad who, aside from spearheading Edsa Dos, continue to promote globalization and power privatization policies that are so discredited today. If only the rallies at St. Peter’s and Ayala were combined, we would have had one of the largest rallies ever assembled.
Few people know that the St. Peter’s rally was just a glimpse of the movement’s nationwide character. Bishop-led rallies in six other provinces were held simultaneously in Zamboanga, Samar, Naga, etc., with Bishop Navarra mustering 30,000 rallyists in Bacolod City alone.
I am sure there will soon be a convergence of those two opposition movements, provided that nationalist objectives form the basis of their anti-Gloria unity. These developments prove once and for all that the struggle started in May 2001 for a just cause will bring the nation to final victory. Already, President Estrada’s role in the anti-Gloria, anti-Cha-cha struggle has been accepted by all significant sectors of the opposition. He was not only welcomed but eagerly awaited in the march, which he unfortunately had to miss at the last minute due to his ailing mother’s condition.
On another front of our struggle, another victory is being won: The Senate is now working on the teleconferencing attendance of Sen. Trillanes in its sessions. This will be a sweet triumph for supporters of the Oakwood young officers and the Manila Pen protest, as they’ve kept faith in the peaceful struggle by Gen. Lim and Sen. Trillanes.
While we have no love lost for the likes of Juan Ponce Enrile, we have to acknowledge his act of making amends by helping in this action, if it does finally push through. The Senate is sorely missing the contributions of Sen. Trillanes who has continued to perform despite incarceration; participating or sponsoring over a hundred Senate resolutions and legislations the past year.
In Sen. Trillanes’ latest blog entry, for instance, he discussed energy generation from garbage incinerators, which is an advocacy of mine too. In 1991, I built one neighborhood incinerator with a wet scrubber pollution control mechanism in Quezon City , and it worked very well. Only environmental nincompoops and energy saboteurs like Meralco’s Bantay Kalikasan spew the lie that incinerators are bad, even when Japan already has 2,500 of them. This is but one necessary component in our country’s quest for energy independence -- part of the economic liberation this nation should realize in the midst of the global economic crisis.
While the political fight continues to expand, we must also be aware that the economic struggles of this country will be escalating.
Partly due to self-preservation, Gloria Arroyo and Congress are now forced to heed some of this column’s warnings and prescriptions. One newspaper headline, for instance, reports Congress readiness to reduce the rVAT from 12 to 10 percent, which, of course, I would like to push even further by calling for a debt default -- the same kind that Ecuador has just officially implemented.
Thanks to the West’s financial collapse, all have now seen the perfidy of international bankers and the double-standard of ratings agencies that pontificate on corruption and credit-worthiness. We should be fighting back now and reject all onerous and unjust debts. For sure, Gloria Arroyo and her “tongresista” are incapable of doing this, which is why we need the change even today.
Pump-priming by infrastructure spending is what every government is doing these days, from Obama to Hu Jintao. Gloria is allocating P100 billion for this, but the question is where to put it. If Gloria will be given her way, she’ll spend it all on grass cutters until Election Day. That’s certainly what her Neda chief Ralph Recto would do as well. After all, he has proven himself stupid by his sponsorship of rVAT during election year (for which he was handsomely rewarded as his own staff admits he got loads of money from oil and power companies for removing the “no pass-on” provision).
Fortunately for us, Gloria, by necessity, has assigned the task of studying where this allocation should go to one professional economist, Romulo Neri, who’s also anti-oligarchy. This proves that despite having called her “evil,” it is actually Neri who has Gloria by the balls; not the other way around.
Neri could thus seize the day by focusing on three areas that offer the greatest economic impact from the P100-billion fund: a crash program for geothermal energy projects; coconut integrated processing centers the Philippine Cooperative of VCO and Allied Products proposes to maximize the 350 million hectares and three million coconut farmers’ coconut resources for skim milk, flour, sugar, pharma- and nutri-ceuticals; and the “System of Rice Intensification” (SRI) from Cornell Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development, taught by Filipino scientist Engr. Obet Verzola, that increases rice farm yields by 50 to 100 percent without chemical fertilizers.
Neri must also work with medium and small scale business associations to include import-substitution industries among the sectors to be supported.
The anti-Gloria forces should talk, then unify and consolidate for another push toward victory while working with all sectors to help the national economy triumph over the global financial and economic collapse.

(Tune in to 1098AM, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.; Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Destiny Cable, Channel 3, Tuesday, 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

Friday, December 12, 2008

‘Lord, it’s you!’(?)

There’s very little for Filipinos to celebrate this Yuletide season had the Pacquiao fight didn’t come along. But is it really something to cheer about? I came across a Nevada news website which reported that the three Pacquiao fights the past year saved the Nevada economy, saying that 90 percent of audiences who paid to watch the fights on site and via pay-per-view were Filipinos in the US , in other countries and in the Philippines . That’s hundreds of millions of dollars from Filipino pockets and, indirectly, from the national economy paid to promoters, bookies, and foreign satellite and cable operators. Pacquiao did earn a lot, but the Philippines lost a hundred times more than the fraction he earned.
At the Manila airport, Pacquiao was reported to have credited his win to “the Lord.” Is this the Lord Pacquiao acknowledged first before any other in the speech he made in the boxing ring? I doubt that the Lord of Archbishop Oscar Cruz would find it amusing to be confused with that widely renowned lord of jueteng and other nefarious activities Pacquiao has been effusively praising. We can’t blame the boxing great if he gets a little confused about Lords and Ladies and the issues he raises. Pacquiao advices people to forget politics but he not only wouldn’t stay away from politicians who blatantly use him for their ends, he caters to them. It’s laudable that Pacquiao says he’s going back to school. Maybe he’ll find better company there than the kinds of Lords molding his values today.
For the followers of the true Lord of the season, this Christmas is clearly a very different celebration. Six bishops of the Catholic Church led the Wednesday demonstration at St. Peter’s Cathedral and the march to Batasan. The action was spurred by the failure and junking by Congress of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, as well as, the Cha-cha Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been attempting to sneak through that body. The common arena for these issues is Congress and it’s not going to be a fair fight for the bishops when the congressmen have just enjoyed the impeachment bonus which they used for their trip to Las Vegas to watch Pacquiao. CARP, the oligarchs say, has failed. What no one explains is the sabotage of the farmers from denial of credit and support, to Congress’ reluctance to speak for those without money.
The bishops and the marchers don’t have the money to give congressmen to vote against the Cha-cha; though the fear of the Church consolidating people power may strike the fear of God in them. The bishops’ rally will eventually merge with the Friday anti-Cha-cha demonstration in Makati , but these demonstrations will go the way of countless other bigger rallies of the past eight years if there is no action on the part of our AFP to support change and reforms. Mao has always challenged the lords of peace on this point every time his tenet is uttered: “Power comes from the barrel of the gun.” Even withdrawal of the gun is enough to tip the scales in any situation, but the AFP men of good intentions have been more like lambs -- except for those who have openly protested, who now languish in detention. Still, hope springs eternal and we’ve all learned to wait in waging the struggle peacefully.
The Congress’ fear of God may not equal the power of the god of money that Gloria commands. Besides, there’s a way to genuflect before the bishops and still get more money out of Gloria, through a Con-con or Constitutional Convention. The Church may be persuaded with a Con-con as conservatives have always found this acceptable. A little sweetener for the likes of Bishop Capalla will help smooth the Church’s slide to the Con-con, while opposition politicians may be lulled into thinking this formula automatically disqualifies Gloria Arroyo for lack of time. Or, they’ll think, the US and the new global rich like the South Koreans, Taiwanese, and Chinese, will be too happy to buy hectares upon hectares of Philippine land from congressmen and big businessmen who’ve been land banking the past years -- a sure bonanza for land speculators.
Speaking of Lords, there’s been a lot of talk among local columnists about events involving the Lord of Thailand, the King -- nitpicking with the Thai ambassador who expressed irritation over descriptions of the Thai demonstrations as “immature,” with some comparing these to the Edsa Dos “parliament of the streets” -- altogether missing the core political-economic and geopolitical issues.
The collapse of parliamentary democracy in Thailand was engineered by the Royal Family and the pro-western Privy Council backed by western royalty. At issue are: The drug trade, which the Thai establishment has profitably condoned but which Thaksin cracked down and worked with Myanmar to stamp out (to the chagrin of the opium-trading British and drug legalizer George Soros); Thaksin’s Asean support for Myanmar and their joint projects; Thaksin’s grassroots-up economic development model through massive credit to the villages which started to build a politically consciousness and base that was perceived as a challenge to the Thai monarchy; and the slow shift of economic relations from the West to the East, as symbolized by the sale of the Shinawatra telecoms company to the Chinese-dominated Temasek of Singapore.
Forbes reports that the Thai King is the richest monarch (topping the Sultan of Brunei) with $35 billion in personal fortune while Thai peasants remain poor. EIR’s Michael Billington writes, “Ji Ungpakorn, a professor at Chulalongkorn University… denounced the ‘democratic’ demonstrators for what they are: a ‘royalist’ fascist mob which has powerful backing from the Army, the Queen, the so-called Democratic Party, the courts, the mainstream media and most university academics… with total contempt for the Thai electorate who are poor… (On) Nov. 7, the British government cancelled the visas of both Thaksin and his wife. It is certainly not coincidental that Princess Alexandra, the cousin of Queen Elizabeth, arrived in Bangkok on that very day, at the personal invitation of her close friends, the King and Queen of Thailand.”
In this supposedly democratic day and age, should small power elites still be allowed to lord it over the Rule of the Majority?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Media: Educator or entertainer?

I am writing from a small carinderia just a few meters off the corner of the Bataan National Highway and Alauli, Pilar Road after a two-hour drive from Manila , through the NLEX (which brought me at loggerheads with one of the Lopez potentates) and the SCTex. I am on my way to a mountain farm I’ve put up to grow ginger, leeks, camote, cassava and other vegetables and spices for our family’s little food chain. I lament having to reduce our regular supplier’s income but with the economic tsunami hitting us now, we all have to cut costs. Ginger, for example, now costs P75 a kilo in Manila and I could get it here for the cost of planting and tending it for the next eight months, which is practically free.  
I’m afraid there’s very little being done to prepare Filipinos for self-reliance and sustainability. At the Ka Entrep (entrepreneurial association) assembly held last week at the Adamson University , I was asked how small entrepreneurs should brace for the challenges. I could have chanted the standard mantra: Cut cost, innovate and adjust; but any thinking entrepreneur would be doing all these already. Instead, I advised the 200-strong audience to work more closely together and pressure government to promote the growth of domestic, import-substituting industries, and reverse past policies of mainly promoting exports.
While the G7 and G20 cautioned countries from turning “protectionist,” the undeniable reality is that most are now taking steps to shore up their economic and financial defenses.
For instance, in a direct negation of the West’s demands for China to revalue or appreciate its currency to reduce its trade imbalance with the West, the UK’s Telegraph reported last December 4 that China is set to even devalue the Yuan by 6 percent over the next year. Obviously, China devised this to take other export market shares to offset the precipitous drop in its export sales, which is essential to stemming the tide of social dislocation caused by the US subprime and credit collapse (that’s leading more and more to a US Depression as many fear).
Another case in point: OPEC countries are cutting back production to inflate oil prices. That’s also protectionism.
To this day, it still is a dirty word to prescribe protection for the Philippine economy and its people. But why are our supposed leaders unable to grasp this for the sake of our people?
There are grand talks of an economic “marshal plan” from some administration economic advisers, like investment agent and Arroyo-sponsored Bicol governor Joey Salceda, who recommended a P100-billion stimulus package, which was raised in the Ka Entrep open forum. But where does Salceda propose this to be put and used? For really, there are never any details from him because he doesn’t understand real economics like Gloria, as they’ve been brought up in the Lehman Bros. and AIG tradition of investment speculation.
Unfortunately, these breakfast reflections didn’t carry over to my lunch here at Morong because of Manny Pacquiao’s latest match. The noise from the TV in Donny’s carinderia made it hard for me to “hear” my own thoughts. But then, I also saw why there is so little thinking done in this country. Practically all -- senators, congressmen, the hoi polloi -- prefer the slam-bang of boxing to the task of understanding, mastering and surmounting our national crises.
I imagine that if another TV monitor were set beside the Pacquiao fight TV, and reported on the P1-trillion swindle the 50-year franchise for the Transco privatization wrought, I doubt that anyone else will pay attention.
Even the BIR’s announcement that it will tax consumers for the refund of illegal Meralco meter deposits, amounting to several billions, would probably not distract the audience from the said bout. In addition, despite this being announced two weeks ago, we still seem to be the only ones protesting.
Not even a recent Napocor announcement that it will be charging consumers for its billions of pesos in fuel supply contract losses to foreign and local Independent Power Producers (IPP) the past decade turned heads. No wonder this country is going to the poorhouse while it hapless citizens enjoy the “entertainment!”
At that point, amid the loud and bloodthirsty goading of the audience signifying Pacquiao’s apparent lead, I focused on the problem of information and values in this country.
Many studies have postulated that media molds 80 percent of the public’s views and people’s understanding of their world. It will, thus, explain what we, as a nation, are today. By the same token, progressive countries that can be comparable to our development in recent history, where entertainment and boxing are given lower priority, all seem to be doing much better.
For instance, boxing offers no great shakes for China , South Korea , Malaysia or Taiwan , and they are all progressive. While Japan has Sumo wrestling, it is more a cultural and spiritual ritual rather than a gladiator sport.
True, the Philippines has had several boxing champions; but it undeniably has a failed economy. These reflections lead me to recall a speech at the formal launching of the Global News Network (GNN) of Destiny Cable and its satellite link of over 200 networks of the Philippine Cable TV Association -- making GNN a truly nationwide broadcast soon.
Mrs. Elena Lim, matriarch of the Destiny Cable group, stressed her vision of education over entertainment in shaping the GNN mission -- a visionary declaration I was extremely delighted about.
We need comprehensive information and values education for true democracy. And as Pacquiao just won; thanking the worst of the lot like Chavit Singson and several “tongressmen,” it only means we will have a lot more work to do toward values formation.
(Tune in to 1098AM, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.; Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Destiny Cable, Channel 3, Tuesday, 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Behind the sound and fury

The sound and fury over Gloria’s Cha-cha cum Con-ass are rising. Among those who have joined the anti-Cha-cha bandwagon, El Shaddai’s Mike Velarde and JIL’s Eddie Villanueva are sure to give their “heavenly” stamp to this rallying cry. A supposed Palace ally, meanwhile, the NPC of Danding Cojuangco, is said to be ready to spring a surprise on Gloria too at the proper time.

Of course, President Estrada has long warned about this and is now ready to mobilize the briefly hibernating masa against it. Coupled with Catholic Church progressives, these combined groups will be a force to reckon with.

But lest anyone believes Gloria’s schemes have been thwarted, there is still a Con-con fallback, and it will be foolhardy to think she can’t buy her way into that as well.

The Liberal Party, for example, has already expressed its desire for an elected Con-con in 2010, which would seem to bar the incumbent for a new term on the premise that Gloria can’t get her way with an elected body.

But that’s just wrong on many counts. First, Gloria can pick the winners in a Con-con election with her control of the Comelec. Then, she can control that delegation with her money, in the same way that she has held local executives and Supreme Court justices, among many others, by their balls.

A Con-con could then neutralize the Catholic Church, which has expressed openness to this route since 2007, as objections from progressives will be drowned out by conservatives, who’ll argue for the body’s seeming democratic composition, apart from its expected espousal of federalism, which some quarters in that church have foolishly rendered as a panacea to save the country.

At best, a Con-con would only put the anti-Cha-cha forces in disarray. Come to think of it, this may yet be the best bet for Gloria to open up the Philippine economy, particularly Mindanao, to US ownership.

Filipinos should therefore brush up on global realpolitik to understand the Philippine political-economic milieu today -- an arena where Gloria has outsmarted almost everyone.

Gloria understands that the key to her political longevity is to capitalize on the geopolitical and economic interests of the US to her advantage.

In Edsa II, she promised US transnational corporations the right to plunder the nation through power and other privatizations in exchange for their sponsorship of her coup. And in the years that followed, we saw how her covert Edsa II cohort, the MILF, formally kowtow to the US in a letter to Bush, with its acquiescence for their joint primacy over what should only be RP’s national patrimony in Mindanao.

The US is a superpower because of its economic and military clout. Even with its economic clout now greatly diminished, the “Sword of Damocles” still hovers above any Malacañang occupant because of potential US-instigated subversion through its many elements in the military, police and NGOs or “civil society” groups.

In the 1989 coup attempt by the RAM, for instance, it was the US agent FVR who pleaded with then Gen. Colin Powell to get Phantom jet backing for the Cory Aquino regime, forcing coup leaders to back down in the face of what they perceived to be “superior power.”

But putting military might aside, we also need to discern the deeper issues that are clouded by the sound and fury or the smoke-and-mirrors of what turn out as anti-Cha-cha and anti-Joc-joc “theaters of the absurd.”

Let me point out that the Transco franchise was passed last week by the legislature right from under our very nose despite the Senate’s promise never to allow this P1.1-trillion highway robbery of the Filipino people through.

To refresh, $6 billion worth of Transco assets were sold for a significantly paltry $4 billion sum and on an installment, pay-as-you-earn basis, transferring annual clean profits from public to private hands of at least P20 billion, or P500 billion in its 25-year franchise, without compounded interest. Perhaps, our only consolation is that this “franchise” will expire at some distant point. But still, imagine the glee of this transnational syndication composed of the Carlyle group with the China State Grid and Gloria’s “packager,” renowned for his ZTE role and his port operations that charge the highest fees in the world!

Thus, the real way to stop not only the Con-ass but the Con-con and the US-Gloria collusion is to inform all Filipinos, with special emphasis on the AFP, on the real plan behind Cha-cha by whatever means, to dismember the country and swindle us of our national patrimony, to the detriment of our children and grandchildren. In sum, it is the theft of our country’s chances toward economic security and prosperity that is at stake here.

The only action this country needs to bring about social change and liberation, which neither a Con-ass-ed or Con-con-ned Cha-cha, nor even an election can lead to, is a nationalist revolution lead by civilian and AFP patriots -- the same revolution that harks back to the days of Rizal and Bonifacio.

If the parliamentary opposition remains weak, it’s only because it is still not unified in embracing the true political revolutionary, Erap, who aroused masa power. If the political revolution has yet to push through, it is only because the likes of Gen. Danilo Lim and Sen. Antonio Trillanes continue to be wasted in detention.
Let us have the nationalist revolution first before any constitutional review. Otherwise, we will only fall right into the trap of Gloria and the foreign powers.