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Wrong Temario Rivera?

Temario C. Rivera


The Center for People Empowerment in Governance


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The Center for People Empowerment in Governance

Company Description

The Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) is a public policy center established shortly before the May 2004 elections to help promote people empowerment in governance. Mindful of the elitist and patronage-driven character of the current electora...more

Background Information

Employment History


UP Open University


International Christian University of Tokyo

CenPEG Vice-Chair and Professor

International Christian University


Asia Pacific Basin




development studies

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Web References(70 Total References)

Center for People Empowerment in Governance [cached]

Temario C. Rivera
Board Chair, CenPEG; professorial lecturer in political science & former chair, UP Diliman Department of Political Science; former professor, International Christian University, Tokyo; awardee, outstanding social science book (Philippine National Academy of Science and Technology) and Manila Critics Circle

Are elections and international actors effective in promoting democracy? [cached]

However, there are other ways of legitimizing the reign of leaders, such as through authoritarian rule and coercion and repression and revolutionary conquest of power," said political scientist Dr. Temario Rivera, CenPEG vice-chair who facilitated the discussions.
Rivera, a former chair of the University of the Philippines' political science department in Diliman, is currently associate professor at the International Christian University in Tokyo. Largely because of American tutelage, many Filipinos have learned to rely heavily on elections to maintain government since the first elections under U.S. colonialism were held at the turn of the 20th century when new village leaders were chosen under a new political regime. However, Rivera said there are examples of legitimated authority where leaders are not accountable to the people. Among these are monarchies like Brunei, those in the Middle East, and in old England. Legitimization was also done through revolutionary conquest of power in such countries as Russia, China, Cuba, Vietnam, and elsewhere that made themselves independent through their anti-tsarist and anti-colonial struggles. In many of these countries, the revolutionary struggles were led by workers parties and people's armies guided by the socialist principle of proletarian dictatorship. Western concepts of political legitimization, Rivera said, propound that the best way to do it is through democratic rule when leaders are chosen and made accountable to the people through predictable political mechanisms. In the Philippines, the presidency is a powerful institution, with its power of the purse and appointment, development funding, political networks that can force realignments, and legitimate state powers. Local political clans have survived even the support of political parties, or have created their own political parties, such as the Garcias in Cebu or the Josons in Nueva Ecija, Rivera noted. Rivera said one must distinguish between minimalist and maximalist conceptions of democratic rule. The minimalist concept promotes a procedural definition of democracy through free, competitive elections and the guarantee of civil liberties. The maximalist concept, however, insists on a more substantive definition that stresses empowerment of the people so they could be more effective in advancing their interests and achieve power, not just through elections and other procedures, but in actually achieving desired outcomes such as provision of socioeconomic and political relief, and actual participation in processes. "That is the reason why in the Philippine Political Science Association, we are more careful in using terms and we use a lot of qualifiers, such as oligarchic democracy (to refer to elite-oriented politics)," said Rivera. Rivera pointed out, however, that in some countries where socioeconomic goals were achieved, the party system has been weak. Even activists, he said, have to recognize that so-called liberal reforms are progressive enough to lead to an upgrading of social, political and economic standards, such as the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the writs of habeas corpus and habeas data, and the formation of the International Criminal Court. "We should support these developments as they help (the people) objectively," he said. Electoral procedures and civil liberties must be upheld for elections to be seen as credible, and for electoral results to be accepted by the competing elites and the people, he said, amid observations that in the Philippines, many voters are not politically enlightened to help them distinguish among the political programs promoted by those seeking public office. Rivera asserts that even in Western Europe, United States, Japan, and South Korea, democratization happened late as the process of nation building was promoted first. In the Philippines, the weak state is shown by a highly politicized bureaucracy coupled by weak institutions of accountability, as exemplified by the Ombudsman, Commission on Audit, Comission on Human Rights and the Civil Service Comission. The weaker institutions have no capabilities to enforce even mundane state functions like peace and order, and taxation. The saving grace of weak states in the modern world, however, is the big participation of civil society groups that provide services where the state fails. Said Rivera, the electoral process in weak states is not an effective mechanism in choosing leaders who can effectively challenge status quo.

CenPEG's 2nd roundtable with media showcases TAPAT [cached]

Among the resource persons were CenPEG's policy analysts Dr. Temario C. Rivera and Prof. Bobby M. Tuazon, who also served as the forum moderator, AES Watch spokesperson Dr. Nelson J. Celis, former Comelec Comissioner Gus Lagman, AES Watch volunteer lawyer Manuelito Luna, and the persons behind TAPAT, Engr.


Temario C. Rivera, Board chair of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG), says the proposed Federalist system of government risks being mistaken as an one-size fits all type of solution to the country's endemic problems.
Speaking first during CenPEG's 8th State of the Presidency (SoP) on July 28, 2016, Rivera said that so far Federalism proponents led by the new president himself, Rodrigo R. Duterte (RRD), agree only on the principle of "self-rule and shared rule" which is being used to provide for the fair allocation of development resources among the regions and as a final solution to the decades-old struggle for self-determination of the Moro people as well as national minorities. Temario C. Rivera: Constitutional Change, the Way Forward? Federalism and Related Institutional Reforms

'A Damaged Presidency, a Besieged Administration' [cached]

The briefing was led by a panel of CenPEG Fellows and analysts, namely: Temario C. Rivera, CenPEG Board chair; Bobby M. Tuazon, policy studies director; Roland G. Simbulan; Dean Julkipli Wadi of the UP Institute of Islamic Studies; and Jose Enrique Africa, executive director of the economic think tank IBON.
Citing the P140-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) program in his talk, Rivera said "it appears that President Aquino and Budget Secretary Abad deliberately sought to test and expand the limits of the law confident in their line of defense that the billions of pesos were spent for the public good. We now know that much of the DAP was also used for patronage and for huge lump sum allocations for projects, personalities, and places, solely at the discretion of one or two men." Rivera said the thorny issues of corruption, armed conflicts, automated election system fiasco, maritime crisis, and impunity of human rights "dramatize the limits, ineptness, and unpreparedness of a political leadership unable to effectively address fundamental structural and institutional problems about the country's dysfunctional system." Temario C. Rivera SOP panel July 25, 2014: The panel of speakers (L-R): Bobby Tuazon, Carl Marc Ramota, Jose Enrique Africa, Temario C. Rivera, Rioland G. Simbulan, and Julkipli Wadi.

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