After the last Sona, GMA’s OPTIONS

Outline of the extemporaneous talk delivered by retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban during the “Inquirer Briefing” on July 30, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. at the Philippine Daily Inquirer Multi-Purpose Hall, 1098 Mascardo and Yague Streets, Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City.

  1. Prepare to step down from power
    1.  Exit gracefully, name transition team and relish legacy
      • Some SONA bites
        1. The state of our nation is a strong economy.
        2. Our reforms gave us the resources to protect our people, our financial system and our economy from the worst of shocks that the best in the west failed to anticipate.
        3. Since (2001) our economy posted uninterrupted growth for 33 quarters; more than double its size from $76 billion to $186 billion. The average GDP growth from 2001 to the first quarter of 2009 is the highest in 43 years.
        4. Our administration, with the highest average rate of growth, recording multiple increases in investments, with the largest job creation in history, and which gets a credit upgrade at the height of a world recession, must be doing something right, even if some of those cocooned in corporate privilege refuse to recognize it.
        5. The noisiest critics of constitutional reforms tirelessly and shamelessly attempted Cha-cha when they thought they could take advantage of a shift in the form of government. Now that they feel they cannot benefit from it, they oppose it.
        6. At the end of this speech, I shall step down from this stage – but not from the Presidency. My term does not end until next year.
        7. I never expressed the desire to extend myself beyond my term. Many of those who accuse me of it tried to cling to their posts like nails.
        8. But I never declared martial law, though they are running scared as if I did.
        9. I accepted the invitation of President Obama to be the first Southeast Asian leader to meet him at the White House later this week. High on our agenda will be peace and security issues-terrorism, injustice and prejudice, how to protect lives, climate change, and global recession.
    2. Assure a credible 2010 election
    3. Protect her back; strengthen hold on
      • House of Representatives
      • Supreme Court and Sandiganbayan
      • Ombudsman
      • Commission on Elections
      • Military
    4. Choose a viable presidential candidate who would shield her
      • Run for vice-president and team-up with Noli or Erap
      • Run for a congressional seat in Pampanga
    5. Shun the International Criminal Court, which punishes “genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and aggression.” ICC recognizes no territorial borders, no immunities, no amnesty, no prescription of offenses.
  2. Extend reign as President/Prime Minister
    1. cha-cha
      • Peoples Initiative – for simple amendments only, not complicated revisions
      • Constituent Assembly – three-fourths vote all the members of Congress
      • Constitutional Convention – no more time before elections
    2. Martial law (plus Cha-cha) – To quell “invasion or rebellion” for 60 days only; may be revoked, shortened or extended by majority vote all members of Congress, voting jointly; SC can pass upon “sufficiency of factual basis” of ML; SC must decide within 30 days
    3. Emergency rule – no constitutional authority; no international backing; our people will rebel against it; even the military may not support it;
    4. “Transition government,” “Self-coup” or Military Junta – by GMA and her military allies
    5. Hold-over
      • No-election – due to man-made (like terrorist attack) or natural causes (like earthquake)
      • No proclamation – election is held but no winner chosen, due to automation problems
      • Succession to the presidency – VP, Senate President, Speaker
  3. Preventions and alternatives
    1. Honest, orderly and peaceful elections in 2010 (HOPE)
      • Preferably automated
      • Manual will do, if necessary
      • Citizen and voter education
    2. Vigilant people and media
    3. People power – Who will lead it?
    4. CBCP and “communal action”
    5. Twitter revolt
    6. Full-scale revolution

“Insanity is committing the same errors and expecting different results”

-Albert Einstein

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