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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

entry arrow1:38 AM | Boiling a Frog

By Ellen Tordesillas

Gloria Arroyo is using the frog formula on the Filipino people in pushing for Charter change and it looks like it is working.

What’s the frog formula?

It is said that if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will leap out right away to escape the danger because its survival instincts are geared toward detecting sudden changes.

But if you put a frog in a kettle that is filled with water that is cool and pleasant, and then you gradually heat the kettle, it will relish the warmth. Its tolerance level is high as long as it’s gradual. By the time it would realize the danger, it would be too late to jump out of the boiling water.

It would then be turned into a nilagang palaka.

Notice how Arroyo and her cohorts keep on saying that the 2010 elections will push through. Speaking at the formal merger of the two parties that supports her, Arroyo declared, “Cynics and detractors love to paint grim scenarios about a cancellation of the 2010 elections. Let this merger of Lakas and Kampi be tangible proof of the administration’s readiness, nay determination, to help ensure that the elections do push through.”

Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno, the master election magician, and Gabriel Claudio never tire of talking about 2010 elections. That’s because they know that Filipinos love election.

The masses look forward to elections because it’s the only time that they become important to officials who ignore them once they are elected. It’s a fiesta complete with food, entertainment and money. It’s a safety valve in a highly stressed environment.

A Pulse Asia survey showed that 65 percent of Filipinos are convinced the May 2010 elections will be held as scheduled and believe that there will be much trouble in the country if the elections are not held.

So Arroyo will give Filipinos elections in 2010. The people will have their circus. But it doesn’t mean that the Constitution will not be changed.

Last Monday, with three days left before adjournment, the House committee on constitutional amendments convened an emergency session and approved a resolution to convene Congress, even without the participation of the Senate, into a constituent assembly to amend the Constitution.

The minority in the House led by Rep. Satur Ocampo thought that it succeeded in blocking the railroading of the con-ass resolution when it was sent back to the committee on constitutional amendments. He didn’t reckon with P20 million each incentive promised by Arroyo for the passage of the con-Ass resolution.

The congressmen held an emergency session and approved the con-ass resolution. At 11:30 p.m. of June 2, 2009, the House approved the con-ass resolution.

At the meeting with the foreign correspondents recently, Puno confirmed that Arroyo did meet with the congressmen at the presidential suite of the Manila Hotel after the Lakas-Kampi merger last Thursday and talked about the con-ass resolution. But he denied the reported offer of P20 million each for those who would be voting for it.

Speaker Prospero Nograles, explaining the haste that they are pushing the con-ass resolution, said there are no marching orders from Malacañang. “It’s part of our agenda. We have to get this over with.”

As of this time, debates are ongoing. Voting will be in a while.

After the con-ass resolution, which excludes the Senate in the process of amending the Constitution, is passed, it is expected that someone would question it before the Supreme Court. Arroyo’s operators believe they have the numbers to distort the constitutional provision of three-fourths of Congress to amend the Constitution. Referendum will be in September and as declared by Arroyo, elections will be held in 2010.

It matters little if it will be for members of the parliament or officials in a presidential system. The main feature would be Gloria Arroyo stays in power forever.

We laugh at Arroyo’s “Palaka” (Partido ng Lakas at Kampi) but actually, they are the ones who are having the last laugh. They must be enjoying seeing us boiled in the waters of complacency.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich