The possibility of the Supreme Court being dominated by Arroyo-appointees has been the subject of political discussions for several months now. And since then, I’ve been trying to look for someone to support though I know I don’t have a say as I am not even a lawyer nor a politician.

I still would like to support someone so as to provide the necessary antagonism as Gloria is expected to simply pick the one who can deliver the needed political vote for her continuous reign at the Palace. One of the most awaited political decisions (though an actual legal controversy and a case of merit are yet to happen) of the Supreme Court would be the procedures for a Con-Ass; Gloria’s preferred mode of charter change and one of the methods to prolong her hold to power.

With this, I’d prefer that the next SC Justice be very vocal of his view on how the Constitution provides Congress the power to amend the charter. And that is how I’ve been conducting some research on the issue.

Only recently, I’ve heard that CA Associate Justice Hakim Abdulwahid, in a session of grilling by the Judicial and Bar Council, said that, “The voting should be separate. In local legislation it is separate. Moreso in respect to charter change.”

That for me is courageous as he knows that it could spell the end of his aspiration for a seat in the high tribunal. And given the situation and the number of seats that would be vacant, that is, in my opinion, enough to support Justice Abdulwahid’s bid to the SC.

And as I research about him, I have read that other people and groups are supporting Abdulwahid. They have varied reasons though but it is the 10 Muslim Congressmen’s mention of the 1996 GRP-MNLF Accord that caught my interest. They cited that the said agreement provides that it shall be our national policy to have at least one SC Justice and at least two CA Justices from among the qualified jurists in ARMM. Further research informed me that the first and only Muslim appointed in the SC was Justice Abdulwahid Bidin back in 1987, Cory’s time.

Well, that’s their reason. And as I’m not a legal expert nor a lawmaker, I’d rather support him with a reason as simple as my opposition to the Gloria Forever Plan.

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In just a week after Gloria’s cohorts in the House of Representatives (thieves?) passed the Con-Ass resolution, various groups have already launched different forms of protests. To think that I am only watching videos through the internet, these creative protest actions (some may not be as lucky to be projected on television) reminds me of the time when I was still a full-time activist during the height of the anti-Erap struggle on the last quarter of the year 2000.

So I dared to make a list of the different forms of protest I’ve heard and seen:

1. Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) announced that they will siege the houses of the congressmen who voted in favor of HB 1109. They started last June 9 by pelting Quezon City District 3 Representative Matias Defensor’s concrete walls with rotten tomatoes. Another group made the same act at the District Office of Speaker Prospero Nograles in Davao the next day.

2. Sanlakas hosted a prayer intercession parody event in front of the Quiapo Church to cast the evil spirits out of those who railroaded the Con-Ass resolution. Celebrity host Tado Jimenez acts like Moses, complete with a wooden scepter, at the activity. They’ve called their tarpaulin gallery of Con-Ass railroaders as the “Altar of Traitors”.

3. RockED-Philippines hosted a silent protest at the Baywalk in Manila. One of their streamers displayed a bold “Explain Yourselves”-slogan addressed to the evil congressmen.

4. Anakbayan tried and was almost successful in reclaiming Mendiola and the EDSA Shrine as legitimate venues for demonstrations. It seems that the police force were given the instruction to finally practice maximum tolerance as violent confrontations will surely ignite the social volcano.

5. Partido ng Manggagawa used the Metro railroad tracks as a venue for their protests. Using trolleys, they chanted, “Chicha hindi Cha-cha!” Sloganeering and economism rolled into one.

6. The Liberal Party distributed small packs of Boy Bawang at the June 10 Ayala Rally to ward off the “Con-Asswang”. Of course, their Presidentiable Mar Roxas leads the pack.

7. Alab-Katipunan, in the same rally, brandished a colorful placard depicting Arroyo as the “Con-Ahass”. Creative enough for an obscure leftist organization.

8. Confessed Vice Presidentiable Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, Pampanga Gov. Among Ed Panlilio and Color It Red vocalist Cookie Chua stars in a supposed anti-Con-Ass TV advertisement. They are still waiting for funding though according to a news report.

9. Anti-Con-ass activists in Cebu were seen wearing protective masks against the H1N1 virus. They just added a simple “No to Con-Ass!” to their health-conscious fashion accessories.

10. Body and face painting is the theme of the demonstration in Cagayan de Oro City.

11. The band Datu’s Tribe led by vocalist Cabring posted a hilarious photo essay protest against Con-Ass on their blog: http://lupitnicabring.wordpress.com/2009/06/10/datus-tribe-contra-con-ass-lego-adventures-3/

12. OFW Noli Benavent created a Facebook cause entitled Stop Con-Ass Now! a day after the resolution was approved. As of the latest count,  it already has more than 73,000 members.

 

this list will be updated every now and then

I have to explain to my team leader and teammates why I can’t attend the Batangas team get-away. And I told them the truth. I won’t miss this year’s Labor Day protests. As our teammate (and future team lead) Jeremy puts it, “Wala na pala tayong no choice.”

My shift ends at noon that day so I had to rush downstairs to call anyone from the march to updated where should I proceed. I immediately called Aaron of Sanlakas Youth after grabbing my phone out of my locker.

Pa-Mendiola na kami. Recto daw ‘ata ito.”, the Cebuano student leader, sounding not too sure, answered when I asked where they are already. His stay for 2 semesters at the San Beda College of Law before seems not enough to learn the confusing streets of Metro Manila’s urban jungle.

I, then, rode a cab thinking that heavy traffic is expected along the usual jeepney route. As always, I navigated the cab through Quezon City and Manila’s inner streets and I was already at Mendiola right when the frontline is about to cross the Recto-Legarda intersection.

The sun is hot enough to give other teams back at work the impression that I attended our team’s beach activity. The heat is really scorching that not a few protesters can’t fight the temptation of going to the sidewalks, where there are a lot more shade than in the streets, to rest.

The Mendiola program is short. I greeted several comrades, waved and danced with a flag and sang the Internationale with the rest of the working class on our birthday. Yes, I am officially a part of the labor sector.

After the program, we, nearly all of us in our 20’s (except for Rasti… hehe), ate at a nearby hole-in-the-wall carinderia along Gastambide. We rested there for a while and with our stomachs full, walked towards España as all of us are QC-bound.

Pia Montalban, the blogger-activist from the group PUNYAL that I met at the Student Summit weeks ago, went with me at home to drink a couple of Super Dry with some political pep talks as pulutan. She actually requested a talk back then regarding my take on several issues, mainly political and some organizational about the left.

She went home at about 8pm and I proceeded to a new hang-out along Kalayaan Avenue to dine and drink with a Aaron, Rasti, Jofti, Rhodz and Job. Sato, Iris and Jan of UP Diliman came along afterwards.

A few quaffs of a German beer, the name of which I can’t pronounce and the spelling I can’t remember, capped my first May 1 as a salaried slave. Happy birthday to me!