Friday, September 30, 2005

Fr. Bernas: EO 464 meant to hide truth

- Fr. Bernas: EO 464 meant to hide truth

FR. Joaquin Bernas, SJ, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, yesterday said President Arroyo’s signing of Executive Order No. 464 is an apparent attempt to prevent the truth from coming out.

Calling Arroyo’s order a "gag rule," Bernas said the EO would only succeed at obstructing the role of the legislature, effectively upsetting the check-and-balance among co-equal branches of government.

"She is refusing to reveal things, but what she is covering I don’t know. She’s scared," he said in an interview with reporters at the sidelines of a forum held at the De La Salle University.

Ducky Paredes has more on E.O. 464.

This too from Malaya:

Malacañang claims Executive Order 464, with its kilometric title "Ensuring Observance of the Principle of Separation of Powers, Adherence to the Rule of Executive Privilege and Respect for the Rights of Public Officials Appearing in Legislative Inquiries in Aid of Legislation under the Constitution, and for Other Purposes," is just a reiteration of Memorandum Order 112 issued by President Corazon Aquino on Sept. 29, 1987.

This is a barefaced lie. The title of MO 112, "Adopting Guidelines on Appearances of Cabinet Members before Congress," says it all.

MO 112 opens with the Article VI, Section 22 of the Constitution which provides:

"The heads of the departments may upon their own initiative, with the consent of the President, or upon the request of either House, as the rules of each House shall provide, appear before and be heard by such House on any matter pertaining to their departments. Written questions shall be submitted to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House at least three days before their scheduled appearance. Interpellation should not be limited to written questions, but may cover matters related thereto. When the security of the State or the public interest so requires, and the President so states in writing, the appearance shall be conducted in executive session."

MO 112 then went on to cite the rules of the House and of the Senate.

It then laid down the guidelines on the appearance of Cabinet members whether on their initiative or on that of either chamber of Congress. In either case, consent of the President is required.

What about EO 464? The coverage of persons who need presidential consent to appear before Congress, for one, is expanded to include all heads of and senior officials of departments, generals and flag officers of the Armed Forces and police officials with the ranks of chief superintendent and up, and national security officials.

Under MO 112, when presidential permission has been granted for a department head’s appearance, there is no restriction on what the Cabinet member may talk about save when the security of the State and public interest so requires as the President so states in writing (a reiteration of the Constitutional provision). When the exception is invoked, the appearance must be made in executive session.

In the case of EO 464, it bars outright public officials from disclosing "classified and confidential information" such as:

* Conversations and correspondents between the President and the officials so listed.

* Military, diplomatic and other security matters which in the interest of national security must not be divulged.

* Information between inter-government agencies prior to the conclusion of treaties and executive agreements.

* Discussions in closed-door Cabinet meetings.

* Matters affecting national security and public order.

There is, in short, a world of difference between MO 112 and EO 464.

It is the difference between an honest and open Cory and a lying and deceitful Gloria.


- This is disgusting:

Taxpayers paying for ritzy ways of Gloria envoys

Friday, 09 30, 2005

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is splurging taxpayers' money on diplomats assigned in six countries at a time the Philippines is suffering from a financial crunch.

The government is spending almost P50 million a year for what Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla yesterday called as Malacañang's apparently preferential treatment of seven Filipino diplomats posted in the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Austria and South Korea.

Remulla, during a budget hearing yesterday, hit at the DFA for spending too much money for housing the diplomats, specifically the case of Philippine consul general to the United States Cecille Rebong.

Rebong is residing at the posh Trump Towers in New York City, which is just across the United Nations, and Manila is spending $10,000 or almost P600,000 a month for that luxurious address

More here:

Kinuwestyon ng ilang kongresista ang natuklasang magagarbong tirahan ng mga diplomats ng Pilipinas sa iba't ibang bansa na kung saan ay hindi bumababa sa kalahating milyong piso ang upa ng mga ito kada buwan.

Natuklasan ito sa isinagawang budget hearing sa Kamara kaugnay sa 2006 proposed budget ng Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Lumilitaw na umaabot sa $10,000 o katumbas ng P588,000 ang upa sa tirahan ng consul general sa Los Angeles, California buwan-buwan; $11,000 o katumbas ng P616,000 sa Berlin, Germany at Paris, France habang $10,000 o P560,000 sa Rome, Italy at Vienna, Austria.

Magugunitang nauna na ring kinuwestyon ng Kamara ang Philippine Consul General sa New York na si Cecille Rebong na nakatira sa Trump Tower na may buwanang upa na $10,000 (P560,000).

- Northrail Contract a sellout of RP to China

More: UP finds Northrail deal illegal

THE University of the Philippines Law Center yesterday said the P503 million North Railways contract with China is "flawed and illegal".

Prof. Merlin Magalona and lawyer Harry Roque said the contract to rehabilitate 32 kilometers of railways from Caloocan City to Malolos, Bulacan, by the China National Machinery and Equipment Corp. (CNMEC) runs against the provisions of the Constitution.

The study was presented to senators during yesterday’s hearing at the Senate convening as a committee of the whole.

Rene Santiago, a technical expert of the center, said the contract was void and illegal since it was awarded to the CNMEC without public bidding.

Santiago said the project was not supported by a bill of quantities, which refers to the statement of work, material, labor, and specifications of the rolling stock.

Under an agreement signed in December 2003, China’s Export-Import Bank would bankroll the project with a $400 million loan and the Philippine government would put up a counterpart fund of $103 million.

At lumabas na naman ang pangil ng Arroyo admin.

FOR attending yesterday’s Senate inquiry on the North Railways project, a government corporate lawyer found himself locked out of his office.

Efren Gonzales, assistant government corporate counsel, is the third person to taste the wrath of Executive Order 464 which prohibits the appearance of senior officials before legislative inquiries without the permission of President Arroyo.

The order to padlock Gonzales’ office came from government corporate counsel Agnes Devanadera.

Gonzales was the lone government official who showed up to testify on the P503 million project which has been described by a UP Law Center study as illegal, flawed and violative of accounting and auditing laws.

Other scheduled resource persons stayed away, claiming that they either had not yet looked over the UP Law Center study on the project or because of EO 464.

- Garci now in South America?

Controversial former Com-mission on Elections (Comelec) official Virgilio Garcillano is reportedly taking “refuge” in South America, either in Brazil or Argentina, House committee on public information chairman Gilbert Remulla yesterday said.

The lawmaker made the revelation, citing a very reliable source, during the House committee on appropriations hearing of Malacañang's proposed national budget for 2006 amounting to P1.053 trillion.

Remulla, who led the five committees that heard the wiretapping incidents at the height of the election period last year, quoted very reliable sources informing him that Garcillano could have been hiding in Brazil or Argentina.

Vote for Gloria as TIME's "Asia's hero" raw

Here's the link.

It's riduculous enough that TIME chose the fake president as one of the 12 nominees in this poll... but wouldn't it be hilarious though kung siya pa ang nanalo sa poll na ito?

You thinkin what i'm thinkin... wink wink... ;)

Hee hee, hoo hoo, haa haa...

(hattip: xanana)

Where to find articles from NYT opinion columnists

Tom Friedman, Bob Herbert, Nicholas Kristof, Maureen Dowd, John Tierney, David Brooks, Paul Krugman, Frank Rich...

Alternative sites for NYT opinion columns can be found here, on John Tabin's site.

Yung nabasa ko recently:

Tom Friedman: The Endgame in Iraq (

Thursday, September 29, 2005

"I witnessed and observed all kinds of cheating, from start to finish."

Another whistleblower steps forward to tell the truth re Arroyo. After appearing in the Senate, General Gudani and his assistant Col. Balutan were sacked by the AFP leadership.:

DEFYING his superiors, Brig. Gen. Francisco Gudani appeared before the Senate yesterday for the initial hearing on alleged cheating in the May 2004 elections and the alleged participation of military officers in the electoral fraud.

Gudani, assistant superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy, named First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo in alleged payoffs, saying the presidential spouse made two trips to Mindanao before the elections and brought with him a total of P500 million.

Gudani also testified on massive cheating in Lanao del Sur. This ranged from padding of the list of registered voters, harassment of provincial election officers and snatching of ballot boxes.

"I witnessed and observed all kinds of cheating, from start to finish," he said.

He confirmed allegations that some election officials in Mindanao were paid to rig the elections, and that an "uncooperative" general was relieved, as contained in the "Hello Garci" wiretapped conversations between President Arroyo and former Elections Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.

"I would like to inform the Senate committee that the conversation in the Garci tape pertaining to a general who was ordered to leave his assignment during the very critical time when he was badly needed by his unit during the counting of votes of the recent national election is absolutely true… Why do I say this your honors? Because I am that general," said Gudani, who was commander of the Lanao del Sur-based 1st Marine Brigade during the election period and head of the Joint Task Force Ranao, which was created to ensure peaceful elections in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur.

After appearing at the Senate, Gudani and Col. Alexander Balutan, assistant commandant of the Corps of Cadets of the PMA, were sacked by the AFP leadership for allegedly undermining the chain of command.

AFP chief Gen. Generoso Senga said Gudani and Balutan had been told not to appear at the hearing without approval from President Arroyo.

Basahin nyo ang buong article. I predict more shit will hit the fan.

More on the firing of Gen. Gudani and Col. Balutan here.

Who is Gudani?

Read the GMA-Garcillano's tape-recorded conversations re Gudani here.

Ducky Paredes comments.

Lito Banayo comments.

Ninez Cacho Olivarez comments.

Ellen Tordesillas comments.

Arnold Clavio comments.

Jake Macasaet comments.

Like I said in a previous post, you can't plug all the leaks in your sinking ship, Mrs. Arroyo. Sooner of later, people who know the truth will speak out one by one.

Largest Pork Barrel in RP history

From Ernesto Maceda:

GMA has established another record — the largest presidential “pork barrel” in history. Grand total — more than P80 billion, yes P80 billion, not P8 billion. Here's the breakdown: P46.8 billion healing of Edsa I, II and III funds; () P5 billion Kilos Asenso Fund, P3 billion Kalayaan Barangay Program Fund; P3 billion Calamity Fund; P2 billion Contingent Fund; P650 million Malacañang Intelligence Fund; P1.2 billion Pagcor Social Fund; P500 million Pagcor Intelligence Fund; P3 billion PCSO Charity and Lotto funds; P15 billion DPWH projects fund; P5 billion road users' tax fund and P500 million Meco fund.

All of the above are lump sum funds disbursed upon approval or directive by GMA, with complete discretion as to the amount to be paid and as to the beneficiaries or recipients.

The new Kilos Asenso, Kalayaan Barangay Program and Healing of Edsa wounds funds do not have any working guidelines as of the time the budget was submitted.

Budget Secretary Romulo Neri was fumbling in a radio interview when asked for details. All he could say was that the Kilos Asenso Fund was for “productivity enhancement projects” submitted by local government projects and that the Kalayaan Barangay Fund was for “productivity convergence funds” for rebel-infested or -influenced barangays. If so, the Kilos Asenso Fund should have been specified in the Department of Interior and Local Government budget while Kalayaan Barangay Program Fund should have been integrated in the Department of National Defense (DND) budget. The words “productivity enhancement” can mean anything, including travel and training.

The fact that they were placed under the Office of the President's budget gives good basis to Rep. Francis Escudero's allegation that the money is going to be used as payback for those who supported GMA in the impeachment proceeding as well as Rep. Rolex Suplico's belief that it is also in preparation to fight the next impeachment complaint to be filed in June 2006.

Secretary Neri gave a shotgun explanation for the P46.8- billion healing of Edsa wounds fund including P29 billion for back pension payments for retired Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police personnel. If so, they should be included proportionately in the DND and PNP budgets. Neri went as far as mentioning additional meal allowances for prisoners as one of the purposes. That should be in the Department of Justice budget.

The fact that they are all lump sum allocations means full control and discretion by GMA. This is a step backward from the policy of transparency and itemizing all expenditures.

The two Kilos Asenso and Kalayaan Barangay funds are a reversal of the principle of local autonomy and decentralization spelled out in the Local Government Code. At a time when the 40 percent internal revenue allotment of LGUs is not released on time, adding P8 billion under the Office of the President for LGUs is hard to justify except that it is a political survival fund for GMA.

At a time of big-budget deficits and financial crisis resulting in successive downgrades of our credit rating, the P80-billion pork barrel of GMA is irregular, immoral if not criminal!


Unusual. Malacañang made two very unusual statements yesterday. First, it asked the Senate to suspend investigations for one week. Why? Is it because of the scheduled Northrail contract hearing this week? Or is it the Garci tapes hearing of Sen. Biazon which produced the testimony of Marine Gen. Francisco Gudani that confirmed part of the tapes? Gudani also testified that PMA cadets “believe the President is guilty.” Certainly, the request is a violation of the principle of separation of powers raised by Malacañang itself in the detention of National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales. Scheduling of hearings is a purely internal matter of the Senate.

Second, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita says GMA has her “personal reasons” for removing Juan Miguel Luz as undersecretary of Education for Finance and she does not have to reveal what it is.

Whatever the President does is of public interest, especially so when you remove a ranking civil servant who has security of tenure. These two pronouncements again are good indications that Malacañang is in a continuing state of panic and confusion. They are not thinking straight and committing one mistake after another.

Meanwhile, the PDSP of Norberto Gonzales is holding protest rallies in front of the Philippine Heart Center and the Senate. Do these PDSP members have a permit? Will the police disperse them? Of course not. Pro-GMA rallies are exempt from the ban. Ha ha ha!


Medical bulletin. Secretary Bert Gonzales is undecided on whether to undergo coronary bypass surgery. That implies his condition is not serious enough to require immediate surgery. It was claimed earlier that he had two blocked arteries and may be subject to a simple angioplasty procedure.

In either case, these are now routine surgeries just like an appendectomy. And no later than 30 days later, you can go back to work. DFA Secretary Bert Romulo had bypass surgery for two blocked arteries and was back at his stressful desk as Executive Secretary in less than a month.

If only to prove he is not malingering and the Heart Center doctors are telling the true state of his health, he should undergo surgery as soon as possible.

As a former coronary bypass patient (quadruple bypass), I can assure Secretary Gonzales there's nothing to fear, or is the fear of facing the Senate again the real truth?

Executive Order 464

It's Arroyo's E.O. to gag gov't, military and police officials from testifying before Congressional inquiries:

In a bid to prevent Marine Gen. Franciso Gudani and others from testifying before the Senate on the wiretapping issue related to the massive poll fraud committed last year, President Arroyo has barred all government officials in the executive department, including officers and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP), from participating in legislative hearings that tackle critical issues against her administration.

This was announced by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita yesterday who also stressed that certain conditions have to be met before the President authorizes the appearance of government officials before congressional arms, such as the legislative bodies providing Malacañang with a list of subjects of the inquiry and their submission in advance of the questions that will be asked by the senators.

But the senators branded this move of the President to clip their powers on congressional inquiries as unconstitutional and irregular, as such move also encroaches on the powers of the Senate to appear before the body under pain of contempt and arrest.

The face-off between the executive and the Senate is expected to come soon, as senators, without objection, subpoenaed other military officers who were earlier named in the “Hello Garci” conversations, to appear before the defense panel.

Ermita, in justifying the presidential ban, presented media with the copy of the just issued Executive Order (EO) 464 which he claimed was the legal basis for this presidential restriction.

Ermita said the EO was issued by Mrs. Arroyo with the aim of observing “the separation of powers and adherence to the rule on executive privilege and respect for the rights of public officials appearing in legislative investigations in aid of legislation and for other purposes,” even as he claimed that such government officials can appear before Congress but only after securing authority and permission from Mrs. Arroyo.

Malacañang rushed the issuance of the said EO after it confirmed the attendance of Assistant Philippine Military Academy Superintendent Gudani in yesterday's Senate hearing.

You can't plug all the leaks in your sinking ship, Mrs. Arroyo.

More here, here, and here from PCIJ.

UPDATE: Senators say gag order violates Constitution.

MALACAÑANG and the Senate appear headed toward a confrontation over the issuance by President Arroyo of Executive Order No. 464 which bars senior members of the executive branch of government from testifying in a congressional inquiry without her permission.

Senate President Franklin Drilon told reporters yesterday that the order is illegal and unconstitutional. He said he has asked the Senate’s legal counsel to study the order, known by its longish title "Ensuring Observance of the Principle of Separation of Powers, Adherence to the Rule on Executive Privilege and Respect for the Rights of Public Officials Appearing in Legislative Inquiries in Aid of Legislation Under the Constitution, and for Other Purposes."

The order, signed by President Arroyo yesterday, says that all heads and senior officials of departments, generals and flag officers of the Armed Forces and police officials with the ranks of chief superintendent and up, and national security officials must have the consent of the President before appearing in either the Senate or the House of Representatives.

"The scope of the executive privilege is defined under Article VI, Section 22 of the Constitution – it is only the appearance of the department secretaries which would require concurrence of the President. Any expansion of this provision is questionable under our Constitution," Drilon said.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who has taken the President’s side on many issues, said the issuance of EO 464 is highly irregular.

"The standard procedure is for the Constitution to be carried out by a law passed by Congress. Thereafter, the President issues the executive order to execute the law passed by Congress. Here, Congress has not yet passed the law," she said.

"The doctrine of executive privilege was not the ratio decidendi of the cases cited by the Supreme Court. Ratio decidendi means the reason for deciding the case. What the executive order cites are mere dicta, which means they are influential but not binding," Santiago said.

Santiago also said it is wrong for the executive order to say that the Constitution guarantees separation of power of the three branches of government. "The Constitution does not guarantee the separation of power, the constitution merely implies the separation of power," she said.

She said the President should not issue an outright prohibition against the attendance or testimony of her secretaries, who are her alter ego, in congressional hearings. She said the President should instead ask Congress to hold closed-door hearings if the matter to be discussed involves national security issues.

"Kung outright, parang may itinatago ang President," she said.

Read this too from Malaya's Editorial:

IT’S a well-settled doctrine that only heads of departments need the consent of the President before they could appear before either chambers of Congress. In fact, this is enshrined in Section 22 of Article V (Legislative Department). So Executive Order 464, which is the basis for Gloria Arroyo’s directive to AFP officials not to attend yesterday’s Senate hearing on "Hello Garci" wire-tapped conversations, is patently unconstitutional.

In issuing EO 464, Gloria says she only wants to maintain the separation of powers between the co-equal branches of government. Strange, but the EO has the contrary effect. The Executive department is now virtually saying that people under it are beyond the reach of congressional inquiries. In terms of checks and balance, this amounts to loading the scales in the Executive’s favor. If this is not a perversion of the principle of the separation of power, we don’t know what is.

But let’s not belabor the obvious: that Arroyo respects nothing – not decency, morality, the law and, yes, even the Constitution – in her obsession to stay in power.

The issue now before the nation is not what the law or the Constitution say. We are now facing naked exercise of power by an illegimate president. It’s sad seeing the Republic descend into lawlessness, but that’s the logical consequence of the chief executive stealing the election and ruthlessly using the powers fraudulently gained to cover up the original sin.

It should be remembered that yesterday’s hearing was about the "Hello Garci" conversations where Gloria was caught on tape conniving with election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano in rigging the results of the 2004 presidential election. Since the scandal broke out on June 6, Gloria has sought to hide evidence and witnesses, has bought members of Congress to dump the impeachment complaints against her and has threatened to jail everybody who continues to say she’s a liar, a cheat and a thief.

Gagging military officials is but a continuation of this policy of hiding the truth.

The Comelec, the House, the LGUs, the courts and the bureaucracy have been prostituted. What makes the AFP officer corps believe they would not be used and abused in pursuit of the continuing cover up?

Brig. Gen. Francisco Gudani and :Lt. Col. Alexander Balutan have been sacked and are facing court martial proceedings for corroborating accounts of widespread vote-buying and falsifying of election returns.

Not one hallowed institution is left standing. Gloria, with the institution of the presidency in total disrepute, is just a nudge away from falling off the precipice of her own making.

We are, we fear, nearing the end game.

Kat Alano


Smart minds think alike (ehek!)

Me and Conrad de Quiros have the same ideas on what's the next step:

In the past two Edsa uprisings, the alternative was clear, it was implicit in the struggle to oust the tyrant itself. The affirmation was contained in the negation. Oust Marcos, install Cory: that was the universal, if tacit, cry of the first Edsa. As Juan Ponce Enrile found out the hard way when he tried to install himself in power, presuming himself to be the country's savior with a military mutiny. He was rejected. Oust Joseph Estrada, follow the constitutional line of succession: that was the universally understood, if equally silent, cry of the second Edsa. Ms Arroyo might not have earned the moral right to replace Estrada -- she was no Cory -- but she had the legal right to. As the people who called for "Resign All" also learned the hard way. They were rejected.

There is nothing like that today. Right now, the unarticulated and anguished, cry of the nation is: Oust Gloria, then what? The line of succession cannot be followed because Noli de Castro is a beneficiary of Ms Arroyo's cheating and because the position of president was never vacated, it was never occupied. There is no affirmation contained in the negation. That's what has caught the nation in its vise, causing paralysis.

That cannot be broken by all this talk of a transitional government or council of elders, revolutionary or not, eclectic or not, representative or not. And I am truly begging you to put all that aside. The idea of a transitional whatever is the same thing as the reality of a fake president: It has no legitimacy. It will rule without a mandate from the people, like Ms Arroyo. Why should that inspire anybody to want to take to the streets? It is not inspiring hope, it is stoking fear. And you wonder why the people are apathetic.

You want to rekindle the fires of rage and dreams, there is only one call, and that is (credible) elections. I agree you have to prepare for that -- which means lining up the current election commissioners against the wall, metaphorically or literally -- and some group has to do it. But only for that: the faster elections are held, the better. I myself cannot abide a preparatory group that lasts beyond a couple of months or so. You cannot agree on something so basic, you can dream all you want about the miraculous changes you will work upon the country once you are in power, but it will take a miracle for you to un-stick Ate Glue from her seat.

I disagree that elections, however credible, won't go very far in solving the problems of the country. At the very least it will un-stick Ate Glue faster, and that is far enough by itself. You will notice-if you have not buried your noses under piles of agenda-that Ate Glue is veering the country toward martial law, if she has not done so already. If the Firm can forcibly un-stick my colleague in this space, Raul Pangalangan, from his position as dean of the University of the Philippines' College of Law, then it can un-stick anything, including every vestige of democracy from this country.

More than that, elections answer completely the question of legitimacy. Which is, to repeat, the real issue: It is not about Ms Arroyo's performance, it is about her legitimacy. It is not whether she is messing up the country or not, it is whether she has a right to. Logic 101: The problem is that Ms Arroyo cheated in the elections and we have no rightful president. The answer is to have new elections and have a rightful president. The problem is that Ms Arroyo stole the vote from the voters. The answer is to give the voters back their vote. The problem is that the people have been silenced. The answer is to let the people speak.

Here's mine naman.

And here's another CDQ article on Norberto Gonzales that is worth your time.

Paredes: No permit? Go rally!

I'm glad at least the Commission on Human Rights is speaking out against Arroyo's "No permit, no rally" policy. From Ducky Paredes:

On the radio yesterday, I heard both Commissioner Wilhelm Soriano and the Chairwoman of the Commission on Human Rights Commission (CHR) herself Purificacion Quisumbing in separate interviews.

They both say the same thing: The "no permit, no rally" rule violates the citizens’ human rights! This CHR stand is based on the law and on Supreme Court decisions. If this is the case, what does that make of our police that keep referring to the "no permit, no rally" rule as if it were writ in stone when, obviously, this is not even written anywhere and is even wrong – according to the government institution that is the authority on these things!

The clarification is that while one does not need a permit for the rally, one may need a permit to use a public venue. Thus, the public assembly is guaranteed by the constitution but the use of a public venue may need a permit, which is given by the local government at its discretion.

This is in Batasang Pambansa 880 which, strangely was a law passed during the martial law regime. Clearly, the dictator that we love to hate was more cognizant and more respectful of our civil and human rights than Gloria Arroyo shows herself to be.

At any rate, the CHR officials were asked whether if one did not have a permit to use, say, the streets around the Mabuhay Rotonda in Quezon City, does that mean that one cannot go on with the rally?

The answer, apparently is no, one can still gather at the Welcome Rotonda.


Yes, said Commissioner Soriano. "Puwede kang mag-rally kahit saan na walang permit pero kung gagamit halimbawa yung public assembly magkakaroon sa Luneta, kailangan ipapaalam mo ‘yan sa local government unit."

So, if one wants to go to the streets, does one need a permit?

"Hindi na po kasi daanan ng tao ‘yan. Hindi po ‘yan isang venue na talaga pong nagkakaroon ng programa.

Read the Whole Article.

And when even pro-Arroyo guys like Fidel Ramos criticize Malacanang's policy of "no permit, no rally," then you know na maling-mali talaga ang Arroyo admin sa isyung ito.

The Commission on Human Rights scored the “no permit, no rally” policy as unconstitutional.

Human Rights Commissioner Wilhelm Soriano said demonstrators can protest in Mendiola even without permits, because that street is not considered a public venue.

Leftist groups and personalities such as former President Fidel V. Ramos criticized the Malacañang’s move to limit rallies and called it a curtailment of freedom of expression.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Black & White Movement Denounces Executive Order 464 as Another Tool to Suppress the Truth

From the Black and White Movement:

THE motto of the Philippine Military Academy is “Courage, Integrity, and Loyalty.” The Black & White Movement salutes Brig. Gen. Francisco Gudani and Lt. Col. Alex Balutan, both of the Philippine Marines, for demonstrating courage, displaying integrity, and proving their ultimate loyalty to the nation by their decision to testify before the Senate. For their efforts, they have been rewarded by dismissal from their positions in the Philippine Military Academy, and the initiation of court martial proceedings.

The President of the Philippines is the commander-in-chief of professional, constitutionally-bound armed forces, and not a warlord with absolute powers over a private army. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has issued an unprecedented Executive Order requiring both civilian and military officials to secure presidential permission before appearing before either chamber of Congress.

The Constitution of our country, which every Filipino is duty bound to uphold, and which the President has specifically sworn to obey and uphold in the same manner as our officer corps is required to respect and obey the Constitution and the principle of civilian supremacy, imposes limits on the powers of Congress to compel the attendance of members of the President’s official family before its committees. The limits apply only to the heads of civilian departments who have been confirmed by Congress, who are required to receive presidential authorization to appear before Congress. The Constitution neither prohibits other officials, including members of our armed forces, from appearing before Congress, nor does it grant the President power to prevent the appearance of public servants before Congress.

The President has lumped together civilian and military officials, subjecting them to Executive Order 464 which aims to thwart the right of the people to information of public concern. She has combined both the Executive Department and the Armed Forces into one institution completely under her control, respecting neither the distinction that Executive Orders in general should apply only to the Executive Department, or the system of General Orders used in the armed forces.

The Black & White Movement encourages all public servants, whether civilian or military, to be aware not only of their individual and collective rights, but their corresponding obligations to the Filipino nation, its duly constituted representatives, and the principle that the sovereign people deserve no less that the wholehearted cooperation of all public servants when their assistance is required to enlighten the public in cases involving the public interest. The chain of command is meant to uphold military discipline, and the subordination of the military to civilian rule. It is not meant to, and should not result in, the transformation of the armed forces and the civilian bureaucracy into the feudal fiefdom of one, single official intent on frustrating the investigative efforts of a co-equal branch of government.

Where's Joker Arroyo and the other "human rights" groups?

So ngayong uso na naman ang "martial law tactics", bakit tahimik lang sila this time around?

Lalo na itong si Joker Arroyo. Napaka-ingay nito nung panahon ni Erap, whenever the police tried to disperse the unruly protesters, sisigaw kaagad si Joker ng "MARTIAL LAW TACTICS!!!".

Now, under the Arroyo admin, you can get arrested for just showing up at these "illegal rallies". I hope na somebody will inquire re those who were arrested two days ago, kung anong kondisyon nila o kung inabuso sila ng pulis.

THE Manila Police District yesterday gave a sample of the government’s "calibrated pre-emptive response" by arresting 13 officers and members of the Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD) during a lightning rally of about 50 students, workers and leftist groups in Mendiola.

Arrested were KPD chairman Pedro Pinlac, secretary general Carmelita Merante, and members Jess del Prado, Lilia dela Cruz, Restita Ramos, Michael Cadalio, Adelaida Ramos, Marie de Ocampo, Rhedo Cansancio, Mary Grace Gonzales, Tricia May Banua, Jenalyn Lontong, and Erwin Bautista.

Pinlac said their protest sought to dramatize their opposition to the planned amendments of the Constitution and to challenge the government’s "no permit, no rally" policy.

The group gathered along Recto avenue at around 10 a.m then marched to Mendiola where they were blocked by anti-riot policemen from the NCRPO.

Arrests were made when the protesters refused to disperse.

"We’re just imposing the law," said Chief Supt. Pedro Bulaong, MPD police chief. "These people just wanted to test us. They are provoking violence."

Those arrested will be charged with illegal assembly.

BTW, "Illegal" ang rally dahil ayaw bigyan ng pro-Arroyo mayors like Lito Atienza at Sonny Belmonte ng permit ang mga anti-Arroyo groups para mag-rally, pero nag-rally pa rin sila sa Quezon City or Manila.

Or ki-cancel ang permit na ibinigay ni Makati mayor Binay ng DOJ, pero tinuloy pa rin ang anti-Arroyo rally sa loob ng Makati.

Anyway, back to the main issue. So where are these so-called "anti-martial law", "civil rights", and "human rights" people now?

Bakit tahimik lang si Joker at ang mga ibang "human rights" groups na ito. Their silence is deafening.

Buti pa sa US, pwedeng gawin ito

Mag-hold ng anti-war, anti-bush rally sa harapan ng White House.

Nakaka-inggit. Bawal na kasing mag-hold ng anti-GMA rallies under our current administration.

Eto pa.

An anti-war protester looks into the White House perimeter while security stands guard during a protest in Washington September 26, 2005.

Sa Pilipinas, delikado yung ginagawa ng protester na yan, being too close to the fence. Baka makuryente kasi eh.

China: "The Internet is forbidden from inciting illegal protests."

Maybe this is where we are headed next under the Arroyo admin. I won't be surprised kung pinag-aaralan na rin nila yung strategy ng China to crush dissent. Read the whole thing.

They already made a similar attempt earlier with the MTRCB memo, hindi ba?

MTRCB Chief pinapasibak ng ABS-CBN

If not for Vic del Rosario's timely intervention, baka natanggal na si Laguardia. But it shows na ma-impluensiya talaga ang ABS-CBN sa Malacanang.

And yes, ABS-CBN slants pro-Arroyo in it's coverage of GLORIAGATE.

From the PJI:

SISIBAKIN na nga ba ng Malacañang si Movie Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson Maria Consoliza-Laguardia dahil sa kontrobersiyang dulot ng reality-based show na Pinoy Big Brother ng ABS-CBN Channel 2 na nais nitong ipasuspinde ng isang buwan?

Ganito ang naging usap-usapan ng mga opisyal at empleyado sa pagdiriwang noong nakaraang Lunes ng kaarawan ni Laguardia sa tanggapan ng MTRCB sa Quezon City.

Sinabi ng mapagkakatiwalaang sources na malungkot si Laguardia sa kaarawan nito matapos kumalat ang mga bali-balita na hanggang sa Oktubre 1 na lamang ito at ibibigay na ang posisyon sa ibang tao at hindi na muling itatalaga.

Ngunit, nalaman sa source na konektado umano ang kontrobersiya sa ginawang pagsuspinde ng MTRCB sa pangunguna ni Laguardia sa Pinoy Big Brother ng isang araw.

Ayon sa source, ibinaba ni Laguardia ang desisyon para sa isang buwang suspensiyon na grabeng ikinagalit umano ng ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation kung saan nagresulta na lamang sa isang araw na suspension na ipinataw noong nakaraang Linggo.

Inihayag ng sources na isang malapit sa Malacañang na kasangga ng pamilya Lopez ang humi-rit umano ng ulo ni Laguardia.

Nabatid sa sources na si Viva owner Vic del Rosario ang "sumaklolo" noon kay Laguardia na nagresulta upang bawiin ni Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita ang pinirmahan nitong liham na nagsisibak kay Laguardia sa posisyon noong nakaraang taon.

Hindi naman nakumpirma kay Laguardia ang mga balita-balita dahil wala ito sa kanyang tanggapan.

Nalaman din sa sources na hindi nagpunta ang karamihan sa mga bisita ni Laguardia sa industriya ng telebisyon at pelikula, kabilang ang ABS-CBN Channel 2.

Laguardia btw, is the same MTRCB chair who tried to ban LIVE political talk shows, public affairs programming, news documentaries if they don't get prior approval from the MTRCB, dahil may potential ang mga ito na mag "incite to sedition" against the bogus president. LOL.

NYT's TimesSelect

Ever since sinimulan ng NYT ang TimesSelect gimmick nila, bawal nang basahin ng libre ang mga columns nina David Brooks, John Tierney, Tom Friedman and Nick Kristof.

I must say though that I don't miss reading their columnists at all.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Kamay na Bakal

Bakbakan sa kalye --- Unang lumasap ng bagong anti-rally policy na ‘calibrated preemptive response’ (CPR) ang mga miyembro ng Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokratiko (KPD). Matapos manlaban sa puwersahang pagbuwag sa kanilang hanay, pinagdadampot ng Manila Police District (MPD) cops ang mga rallyista bilang istriktong pagpapatupad ng ‘no permit, no rally’. (Carlito Arenas)

- 13 Mendiola Protestors arrested

THE Manila Police District yesterday gave a sample of the government’s "calibrated pre-emptive response" by arresting 13 officers and members of the Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD) during a lightning rally of about 50 students, workers and leftist groups in Mendiola.

Arrested were KPD chairman Pedro Pinlac, secretary general Carmelita Merante, and members Jess del Prado, Lilia dela Cruz, Restita Ramos, Michael Cadalio, Adelaida Ramos, Marie de Ocampo, Rhedo Cansancio, Mary Grace Gonzales, Tricia May Banua, Jenalyn Lontong, and Erwin Bautista.

Pinlac said their protest sought to dramatize their opposition to the planned amendments of the Constitution and to challenge the government’s "no permit, no rally" policy.

The group gathered along Recto avenue at around 10 a.m then marched to Mendiola where they were blocked by anti-riot policemen from the NCRPO.

Arrests were made when the protesters refused to disperse.

"We’re just imposing the law," said Chief Supt. Pedro Bulaong, MPD police chief. "These people just wanted to test us. They are provoking violence."

Those arrested will be charged with illegal assembly.

- Commission on Human Rights boss susunod na sisibakin?

Pinangangambahang sumunod sa yapak ni Department of Education (DepEd) Undersec. Juan Miguel Luz si Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Commissioner Wilhelm Soriano na sinulatan ng ‘goodbye’ o ‘thank you letter’ ng Malacañang dahil ‘nalilihis ito ng landas’.

Kahapon ay muling sinuwag ni Soriano ang ‘kamay na bakal’ na pinaiiral ni Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo laban sa mga rallies sa mga lansangan nang deretsahan nitong sabihin na hindi makatwiran at lalong hindi makatao ang ipinatutupad na ‘no permit, no rally’ policy at mga pag-aresto sa mga demonstrador na mapayapang nagpapahayag ng kanilang sentimiyento laban sa pamahalaang Arroyo.

Kasabay nito, binigyan-diin ni Soriano na ang alinmang lugar na itinuturing na isang ‘public venue’ ay hindi kailangang ihingi ng ‘permit’ ng mga rallyista para sila makapagtipon doon.

Hindi ito ang kauna-unahang pagkakataong nagpahiwatig ng pagkontra si Soriano sa mga mapanggipit na polisiya ng pamahalaang Arroyo. Nang unang ilutang ng Pangulo ang pag-alis sa maximum tolerance policy para ipalit ang ‘rule of calibrated preemptive response’ (CPR), mabilis na nagbabala ang CHR na babantayan nila ang posibleng pag-abuso ng pulisya sa karapatan ng mga rallyista gamit ang bagong polisiya.

- Ducky Paredes says we are moving into a dangerous phase.

- Mother of all Pork? More bayaran in the works for loyal local officials?

Opposition: Pork barrel ni GMA nakakalula

GMA: P47B pork best medicine to "heal" Edsa wounds

OTOH, anti-GMA mayors like Binay won't see any bling bling in Makati's budget, if GMA gets her way.

- Hypocrisy exposed again:

As an aside, with all of Gloria's talk of a calibrated preemptive response, along with the “no-permit, no-rally” policy, why aren't those paid rallyists at the Heart Center in support of National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales being dispersed, or even threatened with the preemptive strike policy? And why aren't the businessmen and bishops bitching about this pro-Palace rally? Is it because this is a pro-administration rally?

Even more stupid are the claims of some pro-administration local executives who offer Makati businessmen their cities that they claim are “rally-free” along with businessmen who come up with the dare they would seek other places to do business in.

It is stupid, even from the point of view of business to dare a transfer of business address due to these claimed “disruptive to business” rallies, or for administration mayors to offer their cities as the new business site because there can never be guarantees given for a rally-free city since another election, say in 2007, may find the pro-Gloria mayors out of office and power.

But even as business and the bishops support Gloria's iron- fist policy on the constitutional rights of the people to speak freely and peaceably assemble for redress of grievances, there was Gloria's aide, admitting that which the Palace was studying and preparing for, was emergency rule which would allow Gloria Arroyo to take over or direct the operations of any privately owned public utility or business affected with public interest, which in the case of the Gloria regime, is taken in too broad a “public interest” term, being equated with her political survival.

Who then is scaring away business and investors? The anti-Gloria forces who have been peacefully holding rallies in the business center or Malacañang itself, with its admission of studying emergency rule with the intent of taking over private business?

And don't these same businessmen and bishops who came out in full support of Gloria's “calibrated response” to rallies look utterly stupid in the face of their opposition to emergency rule and the takeover of private business while plugging for Gloria's curtailment of constitutional liberties?

That move, too, should be seen by Gloria's bishop and businessmen puppies as yet another form of calibrated response. Shouldn't they then support and encourage this move? And will there be the same pro-Gloria mayors who can invite investors and other local businessmen to transfer to their cities, and claim they can guarantee a “no-takeover” of their business tinged with public interest under emergency rule?

But for these same idiotic puppies, it is alright to discard the freedoms of a people enshrined in the bill of rights by the fascist Gloria Arroyo because this will not disrupt business, but not that right in the Constitution for that same fascist President to declare emergency rule that will grant her the power to take over private business.

And don't they look utterly stupid objecting to emergency rule and takeover of their businesses by the same government they support in her preemptive response?

What this all shows is that these same bishops and businessmen — who support Gloria's iron-fist rule when it comes to gagging the Filipino people and stripping them of their inalienable rights by way of peaceful assemblies but oppose emergency rule and government takeovers of their businesses — are a selfish lot. It is only their interests they want to protect, not the Filipino people who are part of their flock and their consumers.

And they dare to lecture the Filipino people about abuse of constitutional rights!

- After being fired by the Arroyo admin for being "uncooperative," DepEd USEC vows to go down fighting.

Who's the Bully?

From Manong Ernie:

"I am fed up. I am tired of chasing the bully around the school yard,” declared GMA before cheering Kapampangans at the Clark Expo site, while threatening to arrest all protesters.

Opposition leaders retort “79 percent of the Filipino people are fed up. They are tired of your lying, cheating, stealing and dictating. You are their bully.”

Who is the bully, President GMA or Mayor Binay? Who has the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, the PSG, the Supreme Court, the Secretary of Justice, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and government funds in his/her pocket?

It's one error after another for a weakened President. Even FVR disagrees with the Malacañang policy of “calibrated preemptive response.” Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña announced he will not stop rallies in his city, even without permits. Business leaders have sounded off against authoritarian moves.

CNN and BBC graphically showed scenes of thousands of protesters in the business district of London enroute to the Prime Minister's office and in the busy streets around the White House in Washington, D.C. with no vehicular traffic in view. Of course, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair do not dare restrict the rallies, much less arrest participants. They are not dictators. They are true practicing democrats.


Look in the mirror. Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye fired a double-barreled shot at the senators for not observing the principle of separation of powers by detaining National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales.

GMA and her Cabinet should look in the mirror. In the recent triple murder of the impeachment complaints, Malacañang engaged in wholesale violation of the doctrine of separation of powers with its blatant interference characterized by bribery of congressmen, capped by offers of a big junket to New York. Groups of congressmen were brought to Malacañang while the committee on justice hearings were going on.

Political and legal circles have long been abuzz with Malacañang's intercessions with justices of the Supreme Court.

And Malacañang regularly exerts pressure on members of the Commission on Appointments (CA). GMA also dictates on who should be elected leaders of the House.

Meanwhile, constitutional expert Joaquin Bernas, SJ, writes that there are no clear national security issues in the Venable LLP contract. Fr. Bernas aptly points out too that executive privilege does not apply to Gonzales because he is not a Cabinet member of a line department but is just given Cabinet rank and is not confirmed by the CA.

Anyway, he has appeared in the Senate hearing and has therefore, waived any right to claim executive privilege.


Telltale signs. Secretary Ermita announces an upgraded policy of calibrated preemptive response against protesters. Then GMA announces she is fed up, bans rallies in Makati City and promises to arrest rallyists. When the President is pikon na, anything can happen.

What's next? “Camp Aguinaldo sources indicate that plans to declare martial rule, in place since June, are now being finalized. A list of 100 opposition and media personalities to be neutralized” is being prepared, with the Hyatt 10 and senators high on the list. Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez has admitted tasking his assistants to prepare emergency proclamations.

Simultaneously, the takeover of Hacienda Luisita by the Department of Land Reform is in the works and DILG is studying the suspension of Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay. Remember the sudden suspension of Cavite Gov. Ayong Maliksi?

But the 158 GMA allies in Congress should not rejoice.

If martial rule is decreed, it most probably wouldn't be submitted to Congress. The chances are Congress will be closed.


Unequal treatment. The problem with GMA's ban on rallies is the fact that pro-administration mayors allow pro-administration rallies and deny permits to opposition rallies. Remember the July 16 rally at the Quirino Grandstand? That stopped traffic on Roxas Boulevard, P. Burgos, San Luis and surrounding streets affecting all the businesses and hotels in the area.

One possible compromise would be for every mayor to designate a freedom park where any group of citizens can speak, such as the Hyde Park in London. Let us start with the Luneta in Manila, the Amoranto Stadium in Quezon City and the reclamation area in Pasay City and Parañaque City. Then the rallies need not be held all the time on Edsa or Ayala Avenue.

Incidentally, the Makati Business Club as well as financial and management executives called for GMA's resignation on July 8. The Ayala rallies are, therefore, in support of their stand. Can Malacañang identify the Makati businessmen who have complained to them? Or is it only the Yuchengcos, the Arroyos or the classmates of Mike Arroyo in the Makati Rotary Club?

What's hurting Makati business are not the rallies but the mismanagement by GMA of the economy which has greatly diminished the purchasing power of the Filipino. Ask the mall owners. Sales are 30 percent down in all areas.


Vengeance. Secretary Ermita fired Juan Miguel Luz as undersecretary of the Department of Education despite an adverse opinion of Civil Service Commission Chairman Karina David. He is the brother of Bill Luz, executive director of MBC.

Dean Raul Pangalangan was also replaced as UP College of Law dean. He joined the Resign Gloria calls last July.

All the congressmen who voted to impeach GMA are also being relieved of their chairmanships.

That's politics. But didn't GMA and Archbishop Fernando Capalla say, let's stop all this politicking. Well, it's politicking when the opposition acts, it's good governance when GMA does it. So what else is new?

When bishops "search for the truth"

From Conrad de Quiros:

DEAR bishops:

Your Orlando Quevedo says: “To search for truth in the streets or through a so-called people’s court seems to be mere political and even an ideological ploy. People are indifferent … which may mean that they do not totally believe in the so-called truth presented by the opposition.”

Your Fernando Capalla says: “Our stand is the same as before: people have the right to assemble and express dissent peacefully and within the bounds of law. But this right is not absolute and is limited by the rights of others. The rallies are disrupting classes and business in Makati. Constitutional rights have corresponding limitations.”

And your CBCP statement says: “We should now move forward and address the more important and urgent problem of the grinding poverty of our people -- poverty which has, to a considerable extent, been caused by excessive politicking.”

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the truth patently known? Frankly, I can’t understand why even those who protest in the streets keep talking about searching for the truth. Is it possible we have become so blind to the truth we cannot see it when it stares us in the face? Is it possible we have become so self-deluded we keep searching for an elusive truth when it is right before us, eager to be seized?

What in God’s name, which Capalla may now invoke only at risk of inviting a lightning bolt his way, do we mean by truth? Can there be any doubt that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is not the president of this country? We have the “Hello, Garci” tape to show she connived with a senior official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to defraud the voters. Can anyone in his right mind believe that conversation did not take place, or that the parties there are not Ms Arroyo and Garci? We have Ms Arroyo’s admission and apology for talking “to a Comelec official.” Can anyone in his right mind believe Ms Arroyo was not referring to the “Hello, Garci” tape?

The bishops' "search for the truth" is like O.J. Simpson searching for the "real killer"? LMAO!

Ballot boxes missing, poll returns tampered at House

Congressional cover-up of gloria’s poll fraud caught on video. From the Tribune:

More concrete evidence of the poll fraud engaged in by President Arroyo and subsequent cover up of the crime have surfaced, with over 150 ballot boxes containing election returns (ERs) from Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte and Surigao del Sur found missing at the House of Representatives, which has been tasked to safeguard these ballot boxes and their content. This was reportedly caught on video, as the House security cameras should have caught this.

According to witnesses who are willing to testify to the ballot box tampering and switching of ERs, these were done with the assistance of the President's congressional allies.

Also discovered were tampered ballot boxes from Tabagon, Cebu, with the provincial election officer of Cebu, Edwin Cadungog, exposing the massive tampering of ballot boxes through his report submitted to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).

Cadungog stressed that most of the padlocks of the 120 old ballot boxes and 103 new ballot boxes used by the town in last year's polls were lost and the inside security seals had been destroyed, noting that 350 of the 360 padlocks of the old ballot boxes and 303 out of the 390 padlocks of the new ballot boxes, or a total of 661 padlocks were lost.

Lawyer Sixto Brillantes said the opposition camp had expected to get over 200 boxes of election returns from the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte and Surigao del Sur but were able to obtain only 48 boxes, which were retrieved from the House for transfer to the Supreme Court, which is hearing the protest of vice presidential bet former Sen. Loren Legarda.

Members of the minority bloc in the Lower House said the ballot boxes would likely have been tampered with, as the makeshift stockroom at the Southwing Lobby of Congress had been broken in and left opened several times.

San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora stressed the opposition bloc has six witnesses who can testify that the ballot boxes stored in the stockroom were “tampered with and switched.”

“There have been many instances of unauthorized entries to the stockroom. This was where the switching of ballots occurred,” Zamora said during the minority's weekly press conference yesterday.

He said the six, who had agreed to testify, were used by Mrs. Arroyo's allies when the stockroom was opened on Dec. 24, 2004 to replace the contents of the ballot boxes.

House Minority Leader Francis Escudero challenged Speaker Jose de Venecia to release the footage of the 24-hour surveillance camera situated near the stockroom.

More from Malaya here.

Ducky Paredes comments.

Monday, September 26, 2005

“I’M tired of chasing the bullies around the schoolyard"

Comedian talaga si Mrs Arroyo. From Prof. Randy David:

“I’M tired of chasing the bullies around the schoolyard," Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo told a gathering of local officials in Pampanga the other day. "Those who would heed my call for unity and reconciliation, they are welcome. But those who would keep on creating disturbance, we're on top of the situation. Our barangay officials will enforce the rule of law."

The metaphor is wrong. Those who criticize her from the streets have no power other than their banners and voices. They are not the school bullies who can browbeat the weak into submission. And she is not the teacher who can use the moral and administrative authority of her position to restore order. She is the unelected bully who deploys coercive and remunerative means to maintain her hold on people.

It is unfortunate that Ms Arroyo uses the school as an analogue for society. The school is founded on dialogue and reason. Her regime is founded on deceit, bribery and intimidation. She conspired with a top election official to manipulate election results in the 2004 presidential election. She has freely used public funds and appointments to choice government posts to buy loyalty and secure political advantage. And now she is threatening to use more force to stop the rallies against her.

Read the whole article.

Monday GLORIAGATE/Martial Law roundup

- Without rally permit, local chief execs face arrest

Malacañang yesterday warned opposition local chief executives that their arrest is imminent if they insist on holding mass protest actions to call for the ouster of President Arroyo should the Department of Justice (DoJ) cancel any permit to rally.

Press Secretary and concurrent presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye, during a radio interview over RMN-dzXL, said the Arroyo administration has the power and is prepared to quash any threat to national security, including the arrest of leaders from the political opposition.

“The best person who could explain this is Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez himself... our government has the power to face any threat that would destabilize our economic and national security..,” he stressed, adding it is now the DoJ that has the final say whether Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay and other local executives who belong to the opposition could still hold mass protest actions against the President.

"The best person who could explain this is Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez himself"... heh heh... la lang. kasi anything coming out of raul gonzalez's mouth is funny eh.

- It's de Quiros best article to date. Read it here.

- From Jake Macasaet:

Kung wala tayong Jojo Binay, mayor ng Makati City, wala nang rally laban kay Pangulong Arroyo ang matutuloy.

Tanging si Binay lamang, isang matibay na haligi ng oposisyon, ang nagbibigay ng permit kahit kanino para sa mga rally.

So true, so true! More:

Ang mga mayor ng ibang bayan at ciudad sa Metro Manila ay hindi nagbibigay ng permit para sa rally. Para bang nasa bulsa silang lahat ni Pangulong Arroyo. Huwag magbigay ng permit.

Kung ganu’n, kasama ang mga amuyong na ito ni Pangulong Arroyo sa paglabag sa Saligang Batas. Wala namang nagdedemanda dahil alam nila na wala silang panalo sa sistema ng hustisya sa kasalukuyan.

Kaya tuloy na tuloy ang pagsupil ng rehimeng Arroyo sa karapatan ng mga tao na garantisado ng Saligang Batas.

Marunong talaga sa pulitika itong si Pangulong Arroyo. Dahil kampi sila sa kanya, ipinagbawal na ng Simbahang Katoliko ang paggamit ng EDSA Shrine para sa mga rally.

Pero noong itapon si Pangulong Estrada, nangunguna ang yumaong Cardinal Sin sa pagsasalita sa EDSA Shrine. Tahasan pa nga niyang sinabi na "guilty" raw si Pangulong Estrada samantalang umpisa pa lang ng kanyang impeachment trial.

Ang nakapagtataka sa mga obispong Katoliko lalo na si Msgr. Socrates Villegas, na ang utak ay hinubog ni Cardinal Sin, ay kung bakit bawal gamitin ang EDSA Shrine kung ang kalabang Pangulo ay kakampi niya.

- Herman Tiu Laurel says Arroyo has gone bonkers:

Before we go into how we intend to challenge the CPR, let's clarify why we think it's a serious psychological condition already that afflicts Gloria and cabal. First, this talk of “emergency rule” that secretary of Injustice Raul Gonzalez says he's been mulling with Speaker Jose de Venacia. He clarified that it's not about martial law but the prospect of government taking over key private industries in oil and the power sector, air and shipping transport lines, to meet the impact of the global oil crisis. But these industries are not at all the cause of the nation's crisis, its Gloria and company!

True, the companies in these sectors are taking advantage of the country and must be reined in; but Gloria and company with their track record of plunder of the nation's coffers would be even more rapacious than them. They probably feel there's no more to plunder from government coffers and must now target the rich lodes these corporatocratic pirates have to themselves. There is one thing good that may come out of this scenario, the political and corporate velociraptors may manage to devour each other up. In the process, the Filipino may find himself free of such vampires finally.

There's more proof coming out that Gloria herself has gone off her rockers. Gloria's one time trusted Cabinet member and former Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman showed how megalomania has overtaken her. She quoted Gloria as saying, “Bring in the muscle, let's bring in the fear” and using “national security” as pretext to cover up her insecurity. We're dealing with a mad woman here, prepared to trample on the Constitution, hurt and maim citizens, dismember our country, create civil war and even burn the country and watch a la Nero over Rome.

- Neal Cruz: People no longer afraid of martial law

IT WOULD BE THE HEIGHT OF STUPIDITY for the administration to impose martial law or emergency rule now. Such a move would achieve nothing. It would only reveal that the administration is desperate and in panic-and it would hasten the downfall of President Macapagal-Arroyo. Declaring martial law or emergency rule could be compared to throwing the turtle into the river-the militants would like nothing better.

I don't think martial law would be as effective as it was during the Marcos regime. Today, the people are no longer afraid of it. They know they can fight back and eventually chase the President out of Malacañang as they did with Marcos.

Neither are the people afraid to be arrested and imprisoned. They have learned that arrest and detention is a shortcut to fame and to a fruitful career in politics and government. Many of the oppositionists who were imprisoned by Marcos graduated to become senators, congressmen, Cabinet members, etc. They could not have created even a ripple in the political pond had Marcos not made heroes of them by having them arrested.

If not for Marcos, they would still be nobodies instead of the prominent personalities they are now. Many of them were elected or appointed to public office with no other qualification than that they were imprisoned by Marcos. To be imprisoned then was a badge of honor.

So if GMA (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) were to impose martial law or emergency rule, the opposition would just love it.

People who have so far been reluctant to join the street protests would suddenly be angry and realize that they have to do something to prevent another dictatorship. Street rallies would get bigger; it would be the heroic thing to do. What the opposition have been unable to do, GMA would do for them.

So I don't think GMA, or Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, are serious in imposing emergency rule. It is possible that they themselves purposely leaked the martial law threat as a trial balloon-to scare people from joining street marches and from criticizing the administration so much. Now they know people are not so easy to scare anymore.

"Calibrated Preemptive Response"

From the Malaya Editorial:

OUR government respects the rights of our people to assemble and to petition the government for redress of grievances. However, these rights, as guaranteed by the Constitution, are not absolute."

"They can only be exercised in a peaceful manner and always in consideration of the welfare of the majority of our people."

This, as formulated by Gloria Arroyo, is the underpinning of her policy of breaking up "illegal assemblies" and arresting their leaders and participants. A more fraudulent idea we have not come across since the time of Ferdinand Marcos.

Let’s see why it is a shell game.

When Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita last week first floated the idea of "calibrated preemptive response," we immediately noticed that in proposing to crack down on street protests he was not only talking about the administrative requirements that must be met to secure a rally permit. Incoherent as he was, he was broadly hinting that street protests could be banned in the name of the greater good of society.

The easy refutation of Ermita’s claim, of course, lies in the Bill of Rights. These rights are enshrined in the Constitution not to promote the well-being of the society or the interest of the majority. They are there to protect the minority, nay, even the lone individual if his opinion runs run counter to those held by the 85 million souls living on these islands. Even if only 10 citizens shout at the top of their voice that Gloria is a liar, a cheat and a thief, the Bill of Rights is there precisely to guarantee their right to air their sentiments.

And that’s where the fraud comes in. We are faced not by the J. S. Mill’s classic problem on liberty – of protecting the minority from the majority or of the individual from the state.

What we are facing is the problem of an illegitimate government that the overwhelming majority wants replaced. Gloria does not speak for the majority, much less the people. All this talk about the society’s clamor to be left alone to pursue its members’ business of earning a living is a lie.

All Gloria wants is to keep the power she has stolen. She has shown that she would not allow decency, morality and the laws to stand in her way.

What we are now facing is the emerging tyranny of a usurper. Banning street protests is indeed a calibrated response. She wants to cow the people to acquiesce to her continuing rule. If the people resist, she can invoke emergency powers, suspend the writ of habeas corpus and declare martial law – in that order of calibration. That’s the neat schema of intensified repression.

But the people are not helpless. Speaking of calibrated responses, street protests can turn into a general strike, a general strike into an uprising and an uprising into a revolution.

And when deceit, manipulation and state violence have exhausted their course, the truth will emerge. The people - not Gloria, the party of thieves or the cabal of generals - are the real sovereign.

The "no credible alternative" nonsense being peddled by Arroyo allies

Actually, most filipinos I sense would not shed a tear if GMA is forcibly removed from office. At this point, they probably would accept any viable alternative, basta lang matanggal na si Arroyo.

But as long as we still have the illegitimate president in office, the Philippines will continue to suffer until she is replaced.

Some people claim na it is impossible for Arroyo to be removed by people power because "the opposition is not united," I'm not sure I buy that. In fact, the military can do a Musharraf-like takeover ala Pakistan, citing Arroyo's illegitimacy and corruption, and many Filipinos I fear will accept that as an alternative for Arroyo.

She is that bad, IMO.

Besides, with the "no permit, no rally" now being enforced even in Makati, tapos ayaw pa ng mga pro-Arroyo mayors like Sonny Belmonte and Lito Atienza na magbigay ng rally permit sa mga anti-Arroyo protestors sa Manila at Quezon city, pati anti-arroyo rally mahirap na ring gawin.

Pag-Sequester sa mga kumpanya, isusunod na

Hacienda ni Cory ang isa sa unang target. From Abante:

Maigting na itinanggi kahapon ng Malacañang at ni Justice Sec. Raul Gonzalez na ipinoporma na ng pamahalaang Arroyo ang Martial Law ngunit inamin nitong ikinukonsidera nila ang pagtakeover sa ilang piling industriya, kabilang ang mga kumpanya sa ilalim nito, oras na lumubha pa ang masamang lagay ng ekonomiya sa bansa.

"Magpapabaril ako bukas kung magdedeklara kami ng Martial Law," binitiwang mga kataga kahapon ni Gonzalez bilang reaksyon sa akusasyong unti-unti nang inilalatag ni Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ang Batas Militar at ito’y unang nararamdaman sa paninikil sa mga rallies sa lansangan na gumigiit sa pagbaba nito sa puwesto.

Inamin ng kalihim na isang malaking ‘kabaliwan’ kung mayroon mang magpapayo sa Pangulo na magdeklara ng Martial Law dahil nakasisigurong hindi ito lulusot sa Senado. "It is exercise in futility because Senate will not allow it," ani Gonzalez.

Gayunpaman, pinag-aaralan umano nila ang mga probisyon ng Saligang Batas na nagbibigay ng kapangyarihan sa Chief Executive para maisalba ang ekonomiya ng bansa kung sakaling manganib ito hindi lamang dala ng krisis kundi maging sa banta at perwisyo ng mga kilos protesta sa lansangan.

"What I will admit is we have studied options if the economy worsens, Article 12 under Sections 17 and 18, the state may takeover vital industries temporarily. If it would affect national security, Section 18 speaks that government may operate vital industries and may pay just compensation of the same," anang opisyal.

Inamin din ni Gonzalez na isa sa puntiryang i-takeover ng pamahalaan ay ang Hacienda Luisita na pag-aari ng pamilya Cojuangco ni dating Pangulong Corazon Aquino.

May hidwaan ngayon sa pagitan nina Aquino at Arroyo dahil sa puspusang pangangampanya ng una para pababain sa puwesto ang huli. Tumanggi naman si Gonzalez na iugnay sa pulitika ang ginagawa nilang pag-aaral sa opsyon ng ‘industrial takeover’.

Ayon sa ilang political analysts, ang sinasabing ‘takeover’ na ito ay wala umanong pinag-iba sa ‘sequestration’ na ginawa noon ni yumaong strongman Ferdinand Marcos sa ilang kumpanya ng mga kalaban sa pulitika noong panahon ng Martial Law.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

CBCP's Fernando Capalla

Nagsalita na naman ang kakampi ng Arroyo admin na si Archbishop Fernando "Let's move on na!" Capalla.

No surprise here. This administration can always rely on the CBCP president to make pro-admin political statements when the need arises.

Bishops support GMA’s ‘calibrated response’ to rallies
By Edu Punay
The Philippine Star 09/24/2005

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is supporting President Arroyo in ordering a "preemptive calibrated response" to wildcat street protests.

While the Catholic Church remains supportive of the right to peaceful assembly, CBCP president Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla said constitutional rights also have corresponding limitations.

The CBCP echoed Mrs. Arroyo’s argument that national interest and public order justified the implementation of the new policy, which amends the government’s stance of maximum tolerance.

"Our stand is the same as before: people have the right to assemble and express dissent peacefully and within the bounds of law. But this right is not absolute and is limited by the rights of others," Capalla said.

Related: More on Capalla here.

Read this one too.

GMA warned against martial law imposition

Sunday, 09 25, 2005

It's going to be President Arroyo's funeral if she insists on imposing martial law, emergency rule or even suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

This was the reaction from various sectors on reports that Malacañang has already prepared a draft on the declaration of martial rule.

But while Malacañang quickly denied it has any plans to declare emergency or military rule, it was also noted that Palace aides quickly seized upon the support extended to Mrs. Arroyo by at least two bishops, archbishops Fernando Capalla, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, and former CBCP president Orlando Quevedo.

Both bishops expressed support for the repressive iron-fist policy of Malacanañg in dealing with anti-Arroyo protesters, broadly hinting that if emergency rule is imposed, the bishops would also be backing this Palace action, as the bishops echoed Mrs. Arroyo's statement that freedoms are limited and that rallies should be banned, so as not to disrupt business.

During a radio interview over RMN-dzXL, Press Secretary and concurrent presidential spokes-man Ignacio Bunye said the CBCP's support for Mrs. Arroyo's “calibrated preemptive response” to anti-Arroyo rallies is a “welcome development.”

And this. Di ibig sabihin ba nyan ay nagmukhang tanga ang CBCP? hee hee, hoo hoo, haa haa...

Gloria flip-flops on crackdown vs pro-rally mayors

By Sherwin C. Olaes
Sunday, 09 25, 2005

President Arroyo, apparently realizing that she had shot herself in the foot, yesterday flip-flopped on her threat to suspend executives of local government units (LGUs) who allow anti-government rallies in their areas of jurisdiction by turning tight-lipped on the crackdown just a day after she made it.

The Chief Executive last Friday instructed the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Department of Interior and Local Government to slap with a notice of suspension one such LGU administrator, her harsh critic Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay, who has been issuing various groups permits to hold protest actions at what is regarded as the country's central financial district located in the city.

Press Secretary and concurrent presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye, during a radio interview over RMN-dzXL, said they would leave the fate of Binay to DoJ Secretary Raul Gonzalez.

“Well, we believe (DoJ) Secretary Gonzalez should explain his side. Our point here is that these mass protests should have (their) limit. It's important that we address the needs of the greater majority,” Bunye added.

Mrs. Arroyo's turnaround is seen to confuse the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), which also yesterday gave tacit support to the President's warning.

“People have the right to assemble and express dissent peacefully but within the bounds of law. (But) this right is not absolute and is limited with the rights of others,” CBCP president Archbishop Fernando Capalla said in a statement.

Another member of the CBCP sees Capalla's defense of Mrs. Arroyo's is not helping the government any.

According to Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz, another harsh critic of the President, Malacañang's latest bid to quash protest rallies might yet turn out to be a big lesson in irony for Mrs. Arroyo.

“Such response had already been tried before for so many years during martial law. The ultimate result (was that the) then national leader became weaker, the protest rallies became stronger. The leader fell,” Cruz also yesterday said in a statement posted on the Internet, referring to strongman President Ferdinand Marcos, who declared martial law in 1972 and ruled until early 1986.

He added Malacañang's adoption of the so-called preemptive calibrated response betrays its panic, saying, “The perception of desperate times promotes desperate moves.”

Bunye cited the support for such response from Capalla, saying “majority” of Filipinos agree that freedom of expression and the right to protest must fall below the right to “get on with our normal lives.

Tignan nyo, the admin is even using Archbishop Capalla's statements to justify their "martial law"-like tendencies.

The CBCP better move quickly to replace their outgoing president Fernando Capalla ASAP. This guy has already done (and will continue to do) great damage to the CBCP's reputation with his partisan statements and actions. Don't wait till december (when he is scheduled to step down), kasi by then, it might be too late...

Marcos, Marcos, Marcos pa rin!

Ito ang ginawa ni Marcos bago siya mag-declare ng Martial Law (source:Wikipedia):

In 1971, Marcos called for a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of revising the 1935 Constitution. The Convention was composed of 321 elected delegates headed by former Presidents Carlos P. Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal. However, the Convention's image was tarnished by scandals which included the bribing of some delegates to "vote" against a proposal to prohibit Marcos from staying in power under a new constitution.

Marcos' second term was marked by increasing civil strife known as the "First Quarter Storm". After a series of bombings in Manila claimed to have been carried out by the New People's Army of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Marcos warned of imminent Communist takeover. On September 21, 1972, by virtue of Proclamation No. 1081, he declared martial law over the entire country, thereby extending his term indefinitely. By 1973, he had assumed dictatorial control—ushering in a so-called constitutional authoritarianism.

And here's Ninez Cacho Olivares latest article, noting similarities between the Marcos situation then, and Arroyo's situation today:

And so, she will, as she is doing now, blame “poison politics” and the “bad Philippines” to enforce her repressive moves, which she knows will be blunted by Congress — at least the Senate part.

She can of course do a Marcos, that is, declare martial law, padlock Congress, oust all the local executives and replace them with military officers and usher in a “new society” after which a new Charter, composed of her handpicked delegates, most of whom have been named, will have been drafted and ratified viva voce — and she continues to reign until kingdom come — or so she thinks.

There is a bit of a difference however. In 1972, Marcos had a united military. Today Gloria has a fractured military whose junior officers no longer hold any respect for her as their Commander-in-Chief.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

GMA will reap a whirlwind


- Defiance meets GMA threat of arrests.

If you ask me, I think GMA overplayed her hand in this situation. Thanks, GMA.

Anti-Arroyo forces yesterday said they have a ready answer to the President’s threat to arrest protesters holding illegal assemblies: "See you in the streets"

"The opposition will not be cowed by the biggest bully of them all – GMA. If standing up for the truth and fighting for it would mean politicking and destabilizing, I should not mind being called politician and destabilizer," Sen. Panfilo Lacson said.

Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel said no amount of "bullying tactics" from Malacañang would discourage the people from airing their discontent with the Arroyo presidency.

"President Arroyo is dead wrong if she thinks that she can suppress dissent against her misrule and illegitimate government by resorting to fascistic methods of curtailing the people’s constitutionally-guaranteed right to peaceful assembly," he said.

Pimentel said the order to clamp down on street protests and demonstrators only shows that Mrs. Arroyo is now feeling "extreme desperation over the incessant calls for her resignation."

"Banning rallies like that is an unmitigated exhibition of fascistic mentality that even Marcos did not do. Neither Cory, Ramos nor Estrada did it," he said. "Only a president like Gloria, who has no concern for the rights of the people, is daring to do that. She might succeed but her victory will only be momentary and pyrrhic."

Pimentel said the President’s order to break up rallies and round up protesters without permits could only be intended at "silencing her critics and curtailing all forms of dissent, in the wrong belief that this will ensure her political survival in the face of strong proof that she won the 2004 election through massive electoral fraud."

The reason why Arroyo is resorting to extreme tactics now is because it worked well before in the past, when she threatened the TV networks against airing the "Hello Garci" tapes.

Hanggang ngayon, takot pa rin ang ABS-CBN (Ch. 2) at GMA7 (ch. 7) na iparinig (with subtitles) at ipa-authenticate ang GLORIAGATE tapes sa tv stations nila. The best they can do is play bits of it on AM radio. Bakla kasi ang GMA7 at ABS-CBN eh. Hawak ni Arroyo ang dalawang tv stations sa bayag.

Additional info from the Tribune... Gloria, DILG chief all set to suspend pro-rally mayors

Malacañang is bracing for a coup d'etat sometime in October, which dovetails with the time frame in the ultimatum issued by varied groups of retired generals under a unity covenant for President Arroyo to resign.

Massive street demonstrations are reportedly being planned by opposition forces slated in October, which will reportedly have military backing. This much was admitted by the Executive Secretary yesterday.

This is also reportedly the reason the President has adopted the position of the “rule of calibrated preemptive response” to anti-Gloria rallies, a Palace insider told the Tribune, adding that in line with this new policy, local executives, namely mayors, who are identified with the opposition and known to grant rally permits to anti-Arroyo groups, are to be suspended for a period of time which could be anywhere between three to six months.

Tapped to work on the suspension of these mayors is Department of Interior and Local Governments Secretary Angelo Reyes. He has been tasked to throw all legal cases against these local executives, targetting primarily Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay.

The Palace insider admitted the President had already “coordinated” with Reyes to have Binay suspended.

And here's the Malaya's editorial:

GLORIA Arroyo had been warned. Manipulations in the House to block the impeachment complaints against her would force the opposition to bring its case to the streets. The warning was ignored. Now she’s reaping the whirlwind.

The near-daily pocket protests are punctuated by the occasional bigger rallies in Makati. The government now says these protest actions have gone too far, inconveniencing people and disrupting business. As a result, the government has decided to abandon its "maximum tolerance" policy and henceforth will disperse all "illegal assemblies" and arrest participants.

Not since the Marcos strongman rule have we heard the term "illegal assemblies" rolling off officials’ tongues.

The term "illegal assemblies" at the moment is being used, purposely we believe, by Malacañang in two different contexts. The first is legalistic. The second is political.

Gloria and principal law-and-order advocate in the Cabinet, retired general Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, say no rallies will be permitted without permits.

Fine. Local officials, the permit-issuing authorities, need enough time to plan for traffic rerouting, to advice residents to take the rallies into account in planning their activities, to prepare for ambulances in case protesters suffer exhaustion or heat stroke, etc.

But what if local authorities routinely reject applications to hold a rally or deny protesters access to historically recognized venues for the airing of grievances such Edsa, Liwasang Bonifacio, Mendiola bridge or Plaza Miranda?

The right of peaceful assembly is turned into a sham by Gloria’s local government lackeys.

Let’s go to the more insidious version of Gloria’s appeal to the rule of the law as it relates to street protests.

There is this vaguely articulated claim that the demands of street protesters should not exceed some "acceptable" boundaries, limits that have no relation to public safety, public health and respect for the rights of others.

Those who accept the impeachment verdict of the House are welcome, Gloria says. Those who do not, those who persist in going to the streets will be treated with the "full force of the law," she says.

The bottom-line of what Gloria is saying is that protests against her lying, her cheating, and her thievery will henceforth no longer be allowed.

We’re hearing murmurings of "fascism," a word that had been out circulation since the downfall of Marcos’ strongman rule. But why should we be surprised? Repression is the standard weapon of unpopular regimes in quelling disenchantment, discontent and dissent.

Gloria will do her worst to stay in power. The issue is whether the people will allow themselves to be cowed by this proto-dictator’s bullying.

Hindi naman ganito si Erap dati ah! Hindi naman siya nagbabawal ng rallies like what Arroyo is doing now.

Liberties are not absolute, says Gloria, using the iron hand approach. Henceforth, she says, since liberties have now abused and have become licentious, rallies will be banned, especially in Makati City, with her preemptive strike policy on rallies and demonstrations, which she says are meant to destabilize her government with the goal of toppling her, apart from “millions being lost by business” due to these rallies.

She has also dropped her efforts at unity and reconciliation, saying those who do not accept her olive branch will be dealt with the “rule of law” and that they have been forewarned.

So who is she scaring with her tough talk? Certainly not the political opposition or the militants. And just what rule of law is she speaking of, considering the fact that she and her elite cabal in 2001 disregarded her rule of law and grabbed power through highly unconstitutional means?

Did she and her elite Edsa II not stage rallies and demonstrations, and, as she herself had admitted in public, to oust then sitting President Joseph Estrada, a plot which she and her treacherous military and bishops, along with her elite businessmen, hatched a full year before the actual ouster of Estrada?

And she dares to even speak of adhering to the rule of law and her version of the constitutional liberties when she has been found too many times violating the Constitution and trashing the rule of law whenever it benefits her?

As for those frigging businessmen, the likes of Ronnie Concepcion and Donald Dee, why should they complain about rallies in Makati? Have they forgotten that in late 2000 and early 2001, they even staged a rally luncheon with militant peasant, labor and farmer groups, leftists and matronas, and held rallies at Edsa and elsewhere, without giving a single thought to the economy and foreign investments or even the sentiments of the majority of the people who wanted the impeachment trial to go on?

Yet now they have the gall to complain that rallies in Makati disrupt business and drive away foreign investors? Hello. It has been sometime since foreign investors held an interest in the country - long before the calls for Gloria to resign. And since when do constitutionally guaranteed liberties of the people be deemed subsumed to the interests of business?

- Impeachment ayaw pang isuko ng anti-arroyo group

SC asked to nullify junking of impeach complaints

LAWYERS from the Roque and Butuyan law firm, who helped draft the amended impeachment complaint against President Arroyo, and Cebu Rep. Clavel Martinez yesterday petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify for being unconstitutional the House of Representatives’ dismissal of the impeachment complaints last Sept. 6.

The petitioners questioned the House committee on justice’s decision to prioritize deliberations on the "prejudicial questions" on whether the three impeachment complaints filed against Arroyo were to be treated as separate complaints ahead of the determination of sufficiency in form and substance of the three complaints.

- Dahil sa sobrang corruption sa Arroyo admin, the $20-M US foreign aid to the Philippines is in peril

NEW YORK — Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo yesterday admitted the Philippines cannot avail of the $20-million funding from the United States government under the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) if Manila does not make refinements in its anti-corruption plan.

This after Washington continued to raise concerns about governance and transparency issues in the Philippines and asked the Arroyo administration to revise its programs in order for it to gain access to poverty alleviation funds under the MCA.

“If we comply with the requirements for good governance, investment, anti-corruption and all that, then we become beneficiaries. So it's up to us. It's in our hands,” Romulo, who met with Millennium Challenge Corporation officials in Washington Wednesday, stressed.