Sunday, July 31, 2005

Arroyo only "joking" when she claimed she was cheated in 04 polls

From the Tribune:

Malacañang yesterday defended President Arroyo, saying the Chief Executive was only joking when she said contrary to popular belief, it was she who was cheated in last year's presidential elections.

But no one seems to be laughing.

Wags, however, commented: Is this “joke” now an admission that it is Gloria who cheated?

Press Secretary and concurrent presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye said “The President was just joking...because in the dzRH (exit) surveys (done right after the election in May 11) she should have won by a bigger margin — 8 percent I believe, coming from a popular survey, but her actual margin was only 3 percent. But, our President was just joking.”

In a radio interview over dzRH, the President was earlier quoted as saying, “I am happy for dzRH because they have done an exit survey in last year's election. Right after the election, the exit survey of dzRH said I won by 8 percent. Although, I won only finally, by three percent. So, it means that I may have been the one victimized by cheating here. So, in other words, whatever is the percentage, of all the exit surveys, it was I who really won. That's why I am the President and I stand by that,” she said in Visayan.

Here today, gone tomorrow

Natuwa raw si Gloria nung nalaman niya na she made the Forbes list of Most Powerful Women for 2005.

I say, let her celebrate. Kasi para na ring "last meal" yan ng isang death-row inmate bago siya masi-silya elektrika eh.

From the same Forbes Magazine:

The 100 Most Powerful Women
Elizabeth MacDonald and Chana R. Schoenberger, 08.15.05

The up-and-comers, the ones to watch, the returnees. Here are the women who make things happen.

Our second ranking of the world's most powerful women illustrates how fleeting power is. Megawati Sukarnoputri, the former president of Indonesia who lost her reelection bid, dropped off the rankings. Gone, too, is Carleton (Carly) Fiorina, booted from Hewlett-Packard. The scandal-plagued president of the Philippines, Gloria Arroyo (#4), could soon be off as well. Among the newcomers: Yulia Tymoshenko (#3), prime minister of Ukraine.


Here's Forbes' first Most Powerful Women list in 2004.

Charter Change a tawdry attempt at bribery and evasion

The situation we face is not unlike the wrenching dilemma that a wife faces when confronted by the painful discovery that her husband has raped his own daughters. To ask him to go away because of this unspeakable betrayal is to expose the family to economic insecurity and ruin, from which the members may not be able to recover. This is how countless families end up staying silent under a regime of mendacity, abuse and pretense. They abhor this person in their midst. But they fear the unknown even more. They invent all kinds of rationalizations to justify the arrangement. They seek comfort in the recurrent thought that he has been a good provider. They hang on to the hope that someday he may reform. It's a no-win situation for the mother. Only the thought of her children's future finally makes her break the silence.

Whether one is dealing with the pathology of a family or that of a nation, therapy must begin with recognition that there is a problem, that an honest understanding of its complex roots is needed, and that an enduring cure can replace short-term palliatives. Tinkering with the Constitution at this time, to my mind, is like saying to a family that is recoiling from the blow of a betrayal, "I am sorry for this lapse in judgment, but let's move on. Let's take a holiday and play Scrabble." If the problem were not so serious, a respite from bickering might work wonders. But when the problem concerns the trustworthiness of the head of the family himself, a holiday is nothing but a tawdry attempt at bribery and evasion.

From Randy David.

WAAAHHHH... Aga Muhlach can't take it anymore... WAAAAHHH!!!!

Sabi ni Aga Muhlach:

"Before I left for London, there were already rallies on the streets," he said, speaking in Filipino. "I return, and there are still rallies. When will this end? Nakakasawa na!

They are destroying my country, the country where I was born and raised and where my children were born and [are being] raised," he said of politicians. "Politics is destroying the country."

Waaahh... Waaaaaaaaaahhhhh.... Aga Muhlach can't take it anymore!!! WAAAAAHHHHH!!!

Hey dumbass, if you wan't to help end this crisis, then ask the fake president to resign.

If you don't want to do that, and have nothing intelligent to say other than whine and bitch, then STFU you crybaby!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Great Boston Celtics Champion team of 1986

Nakumpleto ko na ang pag-post ng writeups sa napaka-galing na 1986 Boston Celtics team featuring Bird and Co sa isa pang blog ko, The NBA in 86. Bisitahin mo siya kung mahilig kayo sa "old school" NBA. Updated daily ito.

Ito sila: Regular season and NBA Finals MVP Larry Bird, uber low post player Kevin McHale, stone-faced Robert "the Chief" Parish, current Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge, annoying ESPN commentator Bill Walton, Dennis "DJ" Johnson, sharpshooter Jerry Sichting, current Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle, Scott Wedman, former PBA import David Thirdkill, Greg Kite, and Sam Vincent.

This is probably the best "white" NBA team in history, with 8 white guys.

Galeng talaga nila.

Where's Garci Now?

Gloria says: Don't look at me. I don't know where he is!

Here's a pic of the missing COMELEC Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.

Lito Banayo lists down all the previous Garci sightings to help our local pulis hunt the COMELEC "election fixer":

Let me backtrack, and piece together information that I have culled from various sources as well as media reports. "Nasaan si Garci?" seems to be on everybody’s mind except Malacañang’s illegal tenant.

On June 6, 2005, a Monday, Ignacio "Toting" Bunye, official mouthpiece then and till now of Doña Gloria, exposed the Garci taped conversations of his boss, right inside the palace press office. The following Wednesday, Garci flatly said "No! That’s not me" before mediamen who staked him out at the Comelec office in Intramuros. The day after, he stopped reporting for work.

On Friday afternoon, June 10, Garci, along with some Comelec officers, including the Region IV director, Atty. Juanito Icaro, was sighted in a two-star hotel in Tagaytay City. The waiter who served Garci’s favorite Carlos Primero is the son of the caretaker of a neighbor of mine in the highland city. Garci drank his woes away till Sunday. But his ubiquitous cell phone kept ringing. The cell phone held by a faithful aide, Garci talked only to those whose voices were familiar. "Hello Garci?" could have been one of them.

On Sunday, he left the hotel and met "someone" dark-skinned at a restaurant near the rotunda where Aguinaldo Highway forks, either to Batangas or to Laguna. On Monday, June 13, he went down to Metro Manila. On Tuesday, June 14, he flew to Cagayan de Oro City. "Manong Gil" as they call him in Mindanao’s "golden city of friendship" was positively identified by Lumbia airport employees.

For two nights, Manong Gil stayed at his farm in Bukidnon, a modest-sized spread past Makahambus and the roaring Cagayan river, nestled in fairly cool weather approximating wind-swept Tagaytay. Then on Thursday, June 16, he went down and proceeded, not to his house at RER subdivision, but to his friend, Atty. Inigo Palana’s downtown Hotel Conchita. This is another two-star lodging place located beside hardware and wholesale stores near Cagayan de Oro’s Cogon market. Curiously, the Comelec regional director for Southern Tagalog, the guy whom Garci called "Dyani" in some taped conversations, also checked in at the hotel. A Batangueno who loves the charms of the friendship city, obviously.

Waiters at Conchita Hotel swear that theirs is the favorite watering hole of Manong Gil. "Sige s’ya diri. Kanunay mag-daa ug Fundador", said one. But these days, Fundador has been replaced by Carlos Primero, solamente. (Boy! Someone should initiate him into Hennessy XO. At P6,000 a bottle, that’s peanuts to the now immensely wealthy Garci.)

Coincidentally, his phone pal, GMA, misma, was in Cagayan de Oro on that Thursday, but no, she never went to Hotel Conchita. Two days later, a man who looked like Hermogenes Ebdane, DPWH Secretary, arrived on the first flight from Manila. He was met at Lumbia by a retired general, also very close to Madam Arroyo.

He tried so hard to be incognito, and did not bother to call his regional officials to any meeting. After a few hours, he left for Manila. That Saturday afternoon, June 18, a convoy consisting of one Pajero, one ambulance, and two back-up vehicles "wang-wanged" their way out of the city directly into the tarmac.

At 4:25 p.m, on board a Subic Air jet, Garci left Cagayan de Oro for Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Pampanga.

Under cover of darkness, he was lodged somewhere in Central Luzon. The following day, he was seen at the Gotesco Towers at the foot of Ayala Bridge. Some reports also said he checked out his condominium unit in Bayview Gardens on the reclaimed area beside the most expensive boulevard in the universe. Then, reports also said he was holed for days on end somewhere in Bataan, amid a fishpond said to be owned by the lord of jueteng lords. Orani, even Pilar?

Yet, Garci was able to celebrate his birthday, July 5, somewhere in the metropolis, where once more, bottles of Carlos Primero flowed. And lechon, brought by a politician, kuno, from Central Luzon.

There were sightings thereafter too, of Garci and his coterie somewhere in Laguna, in a lakeside resort in a small town near Erap’s Tanay villa. And surprise, he was paid a courtesy visit by someone inside a luxury SUV that sported a Numero Ocho plate number!

Parang UFO. Pagkadami-daming sightings, kuno! But if Gilbert asks the police, they will say, "Search us!" If Gilbert asks Wycoco of NBI, he might point to his boss, Raul Gonzales, the tormentor of Cory and Kris and Emily, this UST Law school graduate who damns the "best" law school in town, the UP. Gilbert might try asking Ebdane, now busy looking at Bailey bridges in Mindanao’s boondocks after a lifetime of "looking" for jueteng lords in Lubao as in Iba.

Fifty-two days since Bunye unveiled the tapes, July 28, 2005, some irreverent news anchor tried asking Dona Gloria if she knew where her phone-pal Garci was.

"Sobra na yung trial by publicity sa akin" was the reply. Hellller?


Gloriagate Roundup for July 30

- Sen. Serge Osmena: Sisihin mo sarili mo Gloria!

Walang ibang dapat sisihin si Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sa pagpi-piyesta ng media sa kanya kundi ang kanyang sarili mismo.

Ito ang binig-yan-diin ni Sen. Sergio Osmeña II matapos umangal si Pangulong Ar-royo kamakalawa ng gabi sa pana-yam ni Mike Enriquez ng GMA-7 na biktima siya ng trial by publicity.

"Since the issues of cheating and corruption against her are so shocking and scandalous, she cannot blame the media and the Filipino people for debating them," sabi ni Osmeña.

Aniya, kasalanan umano ng Pangulo kung araw-araw ay binabaterya sa mga pahayagan, telebisyon at radyo dahil matagal din siyang nanahimik sa isyu ng usapan diumano nila ni dating Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.

Minsan lang umano ito humarap sa media subalit nagsagawa pa ng censorship nang salain ang mga tanong at miyembro ng media na nagtatanong sa kanyang press conference noong Miyerkules.

"The matter has been made worse by her refusing to answer valid queries from media. Worst of all, she has resorted to censoring presscon questions. She has only herself to blame," dagdag pa ni Osmeña.

- P300M to bankroll Cha-cha drive?

A MEMBER of the United Opposition yesterday asked Malacañang to explain where national security adviser Norberto Gonzales would use the P300 million he is reportedly requesting from the budget department.

The amount might just be used for President Arroyo’s campaign to get support for her call for a shift to a parliamentary-federal form of government through a constituent assembly, said Rep. Teofisto Guingona III (LDP, Bukidnon).

Guingona said he has received reports that Gonzalez was asking the budget department to release the amount for still unknown purposes. He added Budget Secretary Romulo Neri has not responded to the request as he is also reportedly hesitating.

"Where exactly will Secretary Gonzalez use this amount upfront? We would like to find out ano ang plano niya sa P300 million, where is he going to use it, at ano ang kanyang legal basis," Guingona said in a press conference of the United Opposition.

He expressed fears the money would be used to bankroll Arroyo’s campaign for charter change. "Si GMA daw iikot sa bansa… Panay kampanya ito without an election so what does this mean? This means a lot of funds at kung saan kukunin, I don’t really know," he said.

Guingona also challenged Malacañang to publish the DBM’s recent releases of special allotment release orders (SARO) and notice of cash allocations (NCA) amid the allegations that the Palace has been dangling pork barrel funds to buy their support to oppose an impeachment complaint against the President.

- Admin solons criticized for bending impeach rules to favor Arroyo

Members of the opposition yesterday accused President Arroyo's allies in the House of Representatives of deleting some words in the House impeachment rules in order to prevent them from presenting pieces of evidence during the justice panel's hearing on whether the impeachment complaint is sufficient to merit the transmittal of the complaint to the Senate.

House Minority Leader Rep. Francis Escudero, together with Representatives Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig-Pateros), Teofisto Guingona Jr. (Bukidnon), Joel Villanueva (Cibac partly-list) and Florencio Noel (An Waray), said the administration lawmakers, particularly Rep. Edcel Lagman (Albay), have deleted some words in Section 5 of the Rules on Impeachment which pertains to the presentation of evidence.

“If the committee finds that the complaint is sufficient in substance based on the evidence presented, it shall, thereafter, proceed to conduct formal investigation of the charges alleged in the complaint...,” Escudero said, citing the rules on impeachment during the 12th Congress.

Administration lawmakers, however, are now pushing impeachment rules that do not contain the words “based on the evidence presented.”

He added he is wondering why Lagman is defending the new impeachment rules on the floor when he was not even among those who drafted the rules.

- Gloria fears jueteng fallout, pressure on for probe halt

With Archbishop Oscar Cruz' jueteng “star witness” determined to tell his tale on the illegal numbers racket payoff directly benefiting President Arroyo through its usage in bribing Commmission on Elections registrars, said to be about 18 of them, Malacañang reportedly has been putting the pressure on the twin Senate panel chairmen to end the jueteng probes.

Games and Amusement committee chairman Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid, is said to have announced that his panel would no longer hold any hearings, the effect of which would be denying the open testimony of the eyewitness Cruz will be presenting to state that jueteng payola was distributed among Comelec registrar allegedly by Pampanga jueteng lord's wife, Lilia Pineda in front of Mrs. Arroyo, to ensure her victory at the polls.

Earlier, the Tribune had already reported that an eyewitness on the jueteng payoffs of P1 million for each Comelec registrars was handed by Mrs. Pineda in the presence of the President at her La Vista home, where she had tendered a dinner for these poll officers.

The Tribune also reported that a fax machine each was given to them, for easier direct reporting to the President.

Huh? WTF!!!

From the Tribune:

Despite the public's obvious lack of interest in the issue of Charter change (Cha-cha), President Arroyo yesterday went on a media offensive, defending her efforts to amend the Constitution and at the same time attacking opposition efforts to unseat her.

In an interview over radio station dzRH, Mrs. Arroyo warned that the existing political system had weakened government, describing it as leading to “anarchy.”

WTF? Ang kapal naman ng mukha ni Arroyo. "Biktima" raw si Arroyo ng presidential system natin? Siya ang nandaya pero yung Constitution raw ang problema?

ULOL niya.

Citing the situation in Myanmar, where activists are fighting for democracy, Mrs. Arroyo mused that “in Myanmar, if they are working to strengthen democracy, in the Philippines, we are weakening our democracy so that it becomes anarchy.”

You got it backwards again, Mrs. Arroyo. By making the cheater accountable for her own actions and asking for the fake president's resignation, we are in fact defending democracy and strengthening our institutions.

OTOH, the easiest way to destroy democracy is to steal the elections and allow your loyal allies to stonewall and coverup for you.

So we can't use the "Manny Villar precedent" anymore?

From the Malaya:

THE opposition’s tactic of gathering by installment the required number of endorsers to the impeachment complaint against President Arroyo is likely to be rejected once the House of Representatives approves the rules of impeachment.

The sponsor of the impeachment rules, Rep. Edcel Lagman (Aksyon Demokratiko, Albay), yesterday said that this tactic, dubbed "creeping" impeachment, is not sanctioned by the Constitution.

Lagman dismissed the minority bloc’s citing as precedent the fast-tracked transmittal to the Senate of the impeachment complaint against President Joseph Estrada by then Speaker Manuel Villar.

Villar said the act was "unconstitutional."

Lagman told an interpellator, Rep. Roilo Golez (Ind., Parañaque), that the "creeping" impeachment employed in Estrada’s case could not be used as precedent in the present situation so as not to "perpetuate" the mistake of the 11th Congress.

"We should perpetuate something right but strike down something that is wrong," he said.

In the 11th Congress, the justice committee had wrapped up its hearings on the Estrada impeachment case but had yet to submit its report to the floor when the required 77 signatures were met. With the endorsers making up at least a third of the membership, Villar "railroaded" the transmittal of the impeachment case for trial at the Senate.

Based on this precedent, the minority has been insisting that the impeachment complaint be automatically transmitted to the Senate once they muster the needed 79 signatures of endorsement even if the committee on justice has already assumed jurisdiction over the complaint.

The justice committee is waiting for the approval of the impeachment rules at the plenary before beginning to examine the form and substance of the complaint, after which it will hold hearings and investigations and then come out with a recommendation on the case.

A recommendation not to impeach can be overridden by a vote of one-third or 79 members at the plenary.

Golez, who has bolted the administration over the "Hello Garci" tapes, asked Lagman why he did not question the constitutionality of Villar’s move during that time.

"If it (creeping impeachment) is unconstitutional, how come you did not question it when you were even one of the prosecutors then (in the Estrada impeachment trial at the Senate)?" Golez asked.

Lagman blew his top, saying not questioning something that is wrong does not necessarily make it right. "Something that is wrong cannot be righted just because it was not questioned," he said.

LMAO @ Edcel Lagman.

Media Manipulation 101

From Ellen Tordesillas:

IT’S obvious that Gloria Arroyo and her media officials have no high regard for the Malacañang Press Corps.

Arroyo thinks reporters are her tools to be used for her own selfish interest. And she knows many of them enough to be confident that she can get her way. As to the hard-headed ones, the few who are not willing to be part of her cheering squad, her officials have ways to isolate them.

Malacañang’s manipulation of media was blatant in last Wednes-day’s press conference, her first in seven weeks since the Garci tapes were made public. The Malacañang reporters’ subservience was best expressed by the president of the Palace press corps, Ferdie Maglalang of the Manila Bulletin, who said, "we should thank the President for giving us part of her time to have a press conference."

Why would reporters be grateful to an official who gives a press conference? As president, Arroyo has the duty to the people to explain to the people issues confronting the country. And she does that through the media. Media’s role is to disseminate the information about the presidency so that the officials could be held accountable by the people. Media should not take that as a favor to them.

Reporters said the day before the press conference, Undersecretary Isabel de Leon distributed to the Malacañang reporters (numbering about 40) cue cards asking them to write the questions or topics they were planning to ask.

De Leon, who used to cover Malacañang for the Manila Bulletin, said such practice was "institutionalized" under Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye with the consent of the press corps for a "better flow" of questions during the press con.

Lynda Jumilla of ABS-CBN said she was compelled to submit back the cue card with "charter change" as the topic she would touch on in her question because they were told that those who would not do so would not be allowed to ask questions. Even then, Lynda was not one of the Lucky 10 that Bunye blessed.

When I was covering Malacañang during the Ramos presidency, it was Press Secretary Jess Sison who started the practice of asking reporters the topic they planned to ask. I did not particularly welcome this, but I admit that you would get a more substantial answer if they had time to research on the topic you wanted to raise. Besides, we were not compelled. If we told them the subject of our questions in advance, fine. If not, we still could ask our questions during the press con.

The set-up then was open to everybody, even to non-members of the Malacañang press corps. Anybody who wanted to ask questions would just have to approach the microphone, introduce himself or herself and the media entity he or she represented. Or you could raise you hand to be recognized by the press secretary acting as moderator.

I know that the press secretary sometimes would suggest to friendly reporters particular questions on topics they would like the President to talk about. There is, of course, the risk of being snapped at by FVR if he didn’t like your question. But as we say, that’s part of the territory. As a whole, there was no discrimination and censorship.

I attended a few press conferences by Arroyo at the beginning of her unelected presidency. There were a few times that I raised my hand to ask a question. I was never recognized by the press secretary.

In Arroyo’s press conferences, the reporters wait to be called. By agreeing to that setup, the reporters have allowed Malacañang to manage the press con, as what happened last Wednesday.

The quality of some of the questions also didn’t speak highly of the Palace reporters. Take this question: "Ma’am, I wonder where you get or where you are drawing your inner strength and weaknesses these past weeks, this political crisis that hit you?"

It was right down Arroyo’s alley: "From the Lord, from praying."

Why didn’t anybody ask where and how did she acquire the gall to cheat and to lie to Filipino nation? Why didn’t anybody ask her pointblank if she was the one talking to Comelec Commissioner Garcillano about vote padding as heard in the wiretapped tapes? Or why, two months after the Garci tapes came out, has there been no order to investigate who did the wiretapping? How true are reports that she approved the wiretapping of Garcillano because she was worried that he would sell off to the opposition?

These are matters that have caused the current political crisis. These are questions that the public wants answered.

Banning members of foreign media last Wednesday never happened even during the darkest days of the Marcos regime, Time Magazine correspondent Nelly Sindayen said.

In Arroyo’s July 26, 2005 schedule given to media, the 11 a.m. item was "press conference, for media coverage". It didn’t say "Exclusive to Malacañang Press Corps" as Bunye now claims.

In all presidential press conferences, foreign media was never excluded. Even in the luncheon meeting of Arroyo with a small group of reporters, a member of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines was sometimes included.

Isagani de Castro of Asahi Shimbun made sense when he told Malacañang media coordinators, who were shooing them out of the Ceremonial Hall, that since it’s televised anyway, why don’t they just allow them to be there even if they would not ask questions. (In FOCAP meetings, non-members may attend but only members can ask questions.). But the order from Bunye was no foreign media.

Was Bunye afraid that one of the foreign journalists would not adhere to the managed set-up and ask a question without waiting to be recognized as is done in international press conferences? That would have ruined his scripted press con indeed!

It was clear that Arroyo’s Wednesday press con was part of Malacañang’s grand plan to perpetuate the lie which is the Arroyo presidency, exposed by the Garci tapes.

They are adhering to the dictum of Nazi chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels that "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

They must have in mind Goebbels line that " It is important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent for the truth is the mortal enemy of lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

Goebbels’ fate should not also be lost on Arroyo and her propagandists. While Soviet troops were entering Berlin on May 1, 1945, Goebbels poisoned his six children, shot his wife and then himself.

I don't know why the Arroyo press office continues to treat the local mainstream media like dirt. It's not like they're anti-Arroyo or anything. LOL.

Injustice Secretary Raul Gonzalez on the Marcos Burial

From Abante-Tonite:

Samantala, sinabi ni Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales na walang legal na balakid sa panukalang ilibing sa Libingan ng mga Bayani si Marcos. "Under the law, you cannot bury a criminal in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Technically, former Pres. Marcos cannot be considered a criminal because he has not been convicted in any crime," ani Gonzales.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Did Rep. Teddyboy Locsin Jr. really say this?

He made this statement when asked kung anong form of government ang gusto niya.

He expressed preference for a presidential-federal form of government like in the US.

"There is something in that system of government and it includes 200 years of interpretation by the US Supreme Court and US Congress, so let’s adopt that (presidential-federal) form," he said.

"Remember the Americans are the worst people to govern. They are racists. They are really brutal, in fact one of the most brutal societies in the world and yet they are still around and getting far more and more powerful by the year. So there’s something about their political system that," he added.

Teddyboy's loony statements sounds a little extreme, don't you think? Akala ko ba Amboy ka?

Poll Results: GMA Resign muna o Charter Change


Resignation ni Arroyo 75% (43 votes)
Charter Change 25% (14 votes)

GMA did an "impromptu interview" with Mike Enriquez yesterday

UPDATED: Scroll down.

PCIJ blog thinks it's GMA doing "damage control" after the "press conference" incident yesterday.

Enriquez got to raise some of those unasked questions:

On whether Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano was the election official she had asked to "protect her votes," referring to her apology to the nation on June 27, the President said her lawyers advised her not to comment on the matter. She also said she had no information on Garcillano’s whereabouts.

On the possibility of having her term of office cut short: "I am the duly elected President. My terms ends in 2010. This is my position."

On her reaction to the drop in her ratings in various surveys: "That’s the presidential system. You have a fixed term. The good thing is you’re able to institute unpopular reforms because that’s the system. And the reforms we’ve been initiating have been unpopular. Add to this severe trial by publicity…."

I think what GMA's Press Office did was to collect all the question from the reporters during the "press conference" and let GMA only answer those questions that she came prepared for that day (charter change, SONA and other "soft issues.") That's part one.

The second part is about answering all the remaining questions that Arroyo refused to answer in the "press conference."

(Why didn't she tackle the more difficult questions at the presscon? Probably because she was unprepared for those questions at that time and doesn't have her trusty teleprompter with her. And she's afraid of committing a gaffe. If they've only seen the movie "Quiz Show"...)

Yung mga kinolektang tanong ni Bunye na hindi sinagot ni GMA sa "press conference" niya ay ibinigay kaagad sa mga lawyers at spinmasters ni Arroyo para pag-aralan, and provide GMA with "prepared answers" the following day for her scheduled "interview".

Sa lahat ng mga media na humihingi ng interview kay Arroyo, they selected pro-Arroyo "journalist" Mike Enriquez to do honors. Natch.

He gets to "ask" the questions that Arroyo refused to answer during the live "press conference", and GMA parrots the "scripted answers" that her lawyers provided her.

Scripted "press conference". Scripted "interview".

(Maybe the Bush White House can learn a thing or two re how the Arroyo admin manipulates the media. Talong-talo ang Bush admin sa kanila. LOL.)

So I kinda disagree with PCIJ blog. What GMA did yesterday with Mike "ilong" Enriquez was not really "damage control", kasi they were planning the "interview" after the "press conference" all along.

Everything's scripted now for Arroyo. ;)

Abante lists down some of the questions na na-censor during arroyo's "press conference".

Ilan sa mga ‘na-censor’ na tanong, kabilang ang tanong ng Abante, ay ang mga sumusunod:

1. Sino ang Comelec official na inamin n’yo na kausap n’yo noong nakaraang eleksyon?

2. Ang pagtatayo ng Truth Commission ay ‘front’ lang daw upang takpan ang tunay na isyu ng pandaraya noong nakaraang eleksyon?

3. How damaging is the current political crisis to your administration? What lessons have you learned?

4. Sinasabotahe daw ng palace ang impeachment proceedings?

5. Malacañang behind move to oust Drilon as Senate President, bina-back-up daw si (Sen.) Miriam (Defensor-Santiago) bilang kapalit?

6. Hyatt 10 magte-testify laban sa inyo sa impeachment?

7. Are you in favor na referendum muna bago ChaCha?

8. Comment on negative surveys?

9. Birthday wish for Susan (Roces)? Is the door of reconciliation still open for her?

10. Would you still accept former allies from Hyatt 10?

11. How’s FG, Mikey? Comment on Sandra Cam’s implication involving you (GMA) on jueteng?

12. How confident are you that you will last your term given the current political situation?

UPDATE: It's like taking a peek at the test paper and knowing all the questions one day in advance before take a Final Exam. Daya yan.

If she wanted to look credible, she should have answered the difficult questions right there during the press conference, and not a day after.

Yes, medyo unpredictable and sometimes mahirap sagutin ang mga questions ng local media at foreign press lalo na kapag hindi ka prepared, but at least the public will know that the event is not scripted and you got no overnight coaching or tutoring form your lawyers and spinners on how to answer the "censored questions" the following day for your "interview" with Mike Enriquez.

Ninez comments on GMA's TV appearance:

Even when Gloria gave that Channel 7 interview two nights ago, where questions on the Garci tape issue, his going missing, the charges of jueteng, her comment on whether she would be willing to have her term cut short, reactions to Susan Roces' statements as well as the political opposition, she again adverted to her Sona spiel and her usual, she has been counseled by her lawyers not to reply to issues related to that of the impeachment charges, her push for Cha-cha being old hat, her trial by publicity and her appeal to respect her and her wish still being for unity and reconciliation for a united Philippines.

That TV interview, sorry to say, was just as controlled and much too careful on the part of the anchor, in the sense that he didn't press on with the questions, even as the topic was already opened. Why not?

So who needs such crappy answers for the news?


- Handpicked media reporters lob softball questions at Arroyo at "Press Conference"

The List of those who signed the impeachment complaint

Ito yung listahan ng 41 (so far) that has already signed the Impeachment complaint against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo:

1. J.R. Nereus Acosta - LP, 1st district Bukidnon
2. Lorenzo R. Tañada III - LP, 4th district Quezon
3. Benigno Aquino III - LP, 2nd district Tarlac
4. Alfonso Umali Jr. - LP, 2nd district Oriental Mindoro
5. Manuel Mamba - LP, 3rd district Cagayan
6. Henedina Abad - LP, Lone district Batanes
7. Rozzano Rufino Biazon - LP, Lone district Muntinlupa City
8. Reynaldo Uy - LP, 1st district Western Samar
9. Proceso Alcala - LP, 2nd district Quezon
10. Rolex Suplico - LDP, 5th district Iloilo
11. Erico Basilio Fabian - LDP, Lone district Zamboanga City
12. Teofisto Guingona III - LDP, 2nd district Bukidnon
13. Agapito Aquino - LDP, 2nd district Makati
14. Juan Edgardo Angara - LDP, Lone district Aurora
15. Jacinto Paras - LDP, 1st district Negros Oriental
16. Rodolfo Agbayani - LDP, Lone district Nueva Vizcaya
17. Francis Escudero - NPC, 1st district Sorsogon
18. Darlene Antonino-Custodio - NPC, 1st district South Cotabato
19. Joseph Santiago - NPC, Lone district Catanduanes
20. Rodolfo Plaza - NPC, Lone district Agusan del Sur
21. Ruy Elias Lopez - NPC, 3rd district Davao City
22. Alan Peter Cayetano - NP, Lone district Taguig-Pateros
23. Justin Chipeco - NP, 2nd district
24. Ronaldo Zamora - PMP, Lone district San Juan
25. Clavel Martinez - Lakas, 4th district Cebu
26. Imee Marcos - KBL, 2nd district Ilocos Norte
27. Rolio Golez - Independent, 2nd district Parañaque City
28. Joel Villanueva - CIBAC
29. Mujin Hataman - Anak Mindanao
30. Florencio Noel - An Waray
31. Eulogio Magsaysay - AVE
32. Satur Ocampo - Bayan Muna
33. Rafael Mariano - Anak Pawis
34. Liza Maza - Gabriela Women’s Party
35. Crispin Beltran - Anak Pawis
36. Teodoro Casiño - Bayan Muna
37. Mario Aguja - Akbayan
38. Loretta Ann Rosales - Akbayan
39. Anna Theresa Hontiveros-Baraquel - Akbayan
40. Joel Virador - Bayan Muna
41. Rodante Marcoleta - Alagad

Pansin ko wala si Gilbert and Crispin Remulla (Erap's former spokesperson). Lumipat na talaga sila sa administration ni Arroyo. LOL. Kunyari pa kasi si Gilbert Remulla na magsa-sign raw sa impeachment complaint... pa-cute lang pala siya, sabi ni EyesWideOpen.

Can. You. Say. Balimbing.

Shift to Parliamentary form not a panacea

Read it all, especially the last 2 paragraphs of JB Baylon's article.

I HAVE no objections, really, to turning the Philippines’ form of government from presidential to parliamentary, provided we learn from the best examples of parliamentary government around the world and pick their best features.

I will have strong objections, though, if Speaker Joe de Venecia keeps on misleading the public by implying that the parliamentary governments are unicameral in form.

Let me be blunt: The unicameral parliament that Speaker Joe de Venecia wants – that is, a legislature (Parliament) with one house only – is perfectly suited for a trapo who aspires to become prime minister. Trapos, you see, very rarely can win a national election which is what we require for president, vice president, or senator; but a trapo can easily win election in a district-level race, dominate that district with a dynasty, help fellow trapos win and voila! You have a trapo prime minister elected by a trapo unicameral legislature.

If President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in her desire to save her neck from impeachment, has surrendered to the forces that were begging (if not threatening) her to concede to a Constitutional Assembly that would put in place a unicameral legislature, then I am afraid her lasting legacy to the nation other than the unfinished "Hello Garci" business is turning us over to the trapos. What can we say? Hanggang sa kahuli-hulihan nandadamay pa!

Let’s try our best to put that aside for the moment and analyze the parliamentary form of government. How different is it from what we have?

The major difference of most parliamentary governments is the fact that the executive (the prime minister) is selected by fellow members of the lower house of the legislature from among their own. Naturally, it is usually the case that the leader of the majority party becomes prime minister. If no party has a majority in the lower house, then parties form coalitions and usually the leader of the biggest party becomes prime minister.

Because they elect the prime minister, the members of the lower house can also change him, usually through a "no-confidence" vote. When this happens it either means that the majority party no longer supports its former leader – or the majority party is no longer the majority.

In short, under this type of set-up, which is the case in most parliaments (examples such as the UK, Italy, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, India, Israel, Portugal, Spain) the ordinary voter no longer directly elects the national leader. He is left with electing a representative from his district.

There are a few parliamentary forms that have presidential-style leadership, the best example being France. In France, you have a bicameral parliament (they still call the upper house the Senate) and a prime minister is elected by the lower house. However, the real power in France is the President, who is elected by all French voters – thanks to Charles de Gaulle’s Fifth Republic constitution. Now – how different is the de Gaulle/French parliamentary form from our presidential form? Not very, except that they don’t have a vice president while we don’t have a prime minister.

I think one of the biggest objections the ordinary voters will have to a shift to a parliamentary form of government is their loss of the right to directly elect their leader. I suspect that Filipinos value this right very much – notwithstanding presidential calls to notorious elections commissioners to discuss kidnapping, ballot stuffing and the like – and the proponents of a parliamentary form will have to deal with this objection, hopefully in an intelligent rather than a corrupting manner.

Again, though, let me return to a major issue about the proposed shift to a unicameral form of parliament: this is a unique animal in the world of parliamentary governments, and the reason why it is unique is because this form suits the interests of certain individuals. Your guess is as good as mine as to who these people are.

Come to think of it, if we want both a federal form of State – that is, with regions or states that have considerable levels of autonomy – and a parliamentary form of government, then there is no way a unicameral legislature can meet the bill. The different federal states should be represented at a higher level of governance – which will mean we will need a sort of Senate, only this time perhaps elected not on a nationwide basis but on a regional or state-wide basis, just like the Senate is in the United States. There, each of the 50 states elect two senators, which is why the United States Senate has 100 members. So why can’t we just change the way we elect our senators and have, say ten Senators elected from Luzon, eight from the Visayas and six from Mindanao?

And so I say again: there is nothing wrong with looking at a shift to a parliamentary form of government, but let’s be open and honest in discussing this form, as the unicameral form that Speaker Joe de V is dying to pass will even strengthen the dominance of trapo politics in this country.

Come to think of it, though, will a shift from presidential to parliamentary stop leaders from calling Comelec officials in an attempt to manipulate votes? I don’t think so. The problem that the President failed, or refused, to acknowledge was that our present crisis is caused not by the form of government but by the quality of leaders that we have. So why shift when it is the leaders themselves and not the form of government that is the problem?

Leaders who lie, cheat and steal will do so whether the government is presidential or parliamentary.

Gloria baba muna, then we talk about other more complicated issues like Cha-cha.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Handpicked media reporters lob softball questions at Arroyo

From the Malaya:

AN image makeover for President Arroyo backfired yesterday when Palace reporters fumed that her first news conference in seven weeks was choreographed and foreign media complained about being shut out.

Arroyo has begun a public relations campaign to ride out the worst crisis of her four years in office over allegations of vote-rigging and graft in her family.

The news conference got off to a bad start, with members of the Malacañang Press Corps saying they had to submit questions in advance and that reporters from state-run media were given priority.

"It was a very strictly staged-managed press conference," said Lynda Jumilla of ABS-CBN. "Many of the questions there were of no use to us. They were not the questions we wanted to pursue."

One of the reporters asked Arroyo where she found the "inner strength" to cope with the crisis.

"From the Lord, from praying," replied Arroyo.

What a softball sipsip question from that unnamed reporter. Kanino kaya siya nagtratrabaho. Out that reporter! LOL.


Journalists working for foreign media outlets were surprised to discover they were not allowed to cover the President’s remarks, which were carried live on radio and television.

"We are drafting a letter to Secretary Bunye expressing disappointment at not being included," said Karl Wilson, president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Association of the Philippines (Focap).
"It’s a travesty," said Gil Cabacungan, of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. "It’s like we were used to legitimize the press conference."

Members of the Malacañang Press Corps were given cue cards Tuesday by staffers of the Office of the Press Secretary who asked them to submit their questions for Arroyo’s press conference at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Some preferred to list only their topics, anticipating that they might be stricken off the list if Palace officials knew that they would ask controversial questions, such as whether Arroyo would give orders that would enable Garcillano to surface.

Others pulled out or changed their questions after being told that four reporters already wanted to ask about the truth commission, eight about Charter change, and six about impeachment. About 40 reporters expressed desire to ask questions.

Press Undersecretary for Media Relations Isabel de Leon compiled the questions and topics.

Shortly before the press conference started, OPS officials ordered members of the Focap to leave the Ceremonial Hall on the ground that it was an "exclusive" press conference with the MPC.

The Focap members contented themselves with watching television monitors at the Press Working Area.

A few minutes before the press conference, Bunye announced that only eight questions would be accommodated because Arroyo only had 30 minutes to spare.

And one of those questions came from that sipsip reporter.

About a third of the press con was taken up by Arroyo’s monologue about her administration’s achievements – which she already took up in her State of the Nation Address on Monday but were not picked up by the media.

The dismay started when Bunye picked reporters from the National Broadcasting Network (NBN) 4 and Radyo ng Bayan – both government media entities – to ask the first questions.

The eight other reporters who were allowed to ask questions were from The Philippine Star, DZRH, DZMM, Manila Bulletin, Bombo Radyo, Remate, Ang Pilipino Star Ngayon, and Manila Standard Today.

Phil. Star and Manila Standard? No surprise there, if you know what I mean... (hi sassylawyer!)

Remate? LMAO!!!!

The topics ranged from the omission in the SONA of the charges raised against her, her relationship with Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos, Charter change, her coping with the political crisis, the status of the truth commission, and the proposed 2006 budget.

Bunye said he picked the reporters who would ask questions based on "representations per topic."

He did not pick Inq.7’s Lira Dalangin-Fernandez who had said she would ask a question on the Garcillano issue.

After the press conference, the tension continued all the way to the press office, with confrontations breaking out between some reporters who were able to ask questions and those who were excluded.

Others assailed the Palace in interviews with television and radio stations and foreign wire agencies.

The Focap and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines issued statements denouncing the prior restriction made by Malacañang

The MPC has not issued a statement. MPC president Ferdie Maglalang said he would call a meeting of the MPC.

But Maglalang, in several media interviews, said: "To put it in proper context, we should thank the President for giving us part of her time to have a press conference."

PCIJ blog reports on the media rigging by the Arroyo admin:

What was obviously intended as a PR blitz, however, went awry, with the Palace’s insistence that only Malacañang reporters be allowed to attend the press conference. The Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines was miffed that they were left out. And even the regular Palace reporters were upset that they were not able to ask their questions. Reporters were asked to submit their questions in advance, but many were not given a chance to query Mrs. Arroyo. “We were used,” said Inquirer reporter Gil Cabacungan.

Balita ko, yung Phil. Star na raw ang bagong paborito ng Malacanang.

Abante lists down some of the questions from the media na "na-censor" during the "press conference:

Ilan sa mga ‘na-censor’ na tanong, kabilang ang tanong ng Abante, ay ang mga sumusunod:

1. Sino ang Comelec official na inamin n’yo na kausap n’yo noong nakaraang eleksyon?

2. Ang pagtatayo ng Truth Commission ay ‘front’ lang daw upang takpan ang tunay na isyu ng pandaraya noong nakaraang eleksyon?

3. How damaging is the current political crisis to your administration? What lessons have you learned?

4. Sinasabotahe daw ng palace ang impeachment proceedings?

5. Malacañang behind move to oust Drilon as Senate President, bina-back-up daw si (Sen.) Miriam (Defensor-Santiago) bilang kapalit?

6. Hyatt 10 magte-testify laban sa inyo sa impeachment?

7. Are you in favor na referendum muna bago ChaCha?

8. Comment on negative surveys?

9. Birthday wish for Susan (Roces)? Is the door of reconciliation still open for her?

10. Would you still accept former allies from Hyatt 10?

11. How’s FG, Mikey? Comment on Sandra Cam’s implication involving you (GMA) on jueteng?

12. How confident are you that you will last your term given the current political situation?

More here, here and here.

The Trib also has a report on this:

Arroyo ‘makeover’ backfires, leaves media fuming

Thursday, 07 28, 2005

An image makeover for President Arroyo backfired yesterday when members of the media fumed that her first news conference in seven weeks was choreo-graphed, with members of foreign media complaining about being shut out.

Mrs. Arroyo yesterday showed rudeness to members of the opposition media, who complained of having been barred from asking questions during press conference.

Instead, only administration-friendly media entities were allowed to ask the Chief Executive questions despite the long list of tri-media reporters who wanted to take part in the affair.

All media entities perceived to be Palace critics were dropped from the list, among the Tribune.

As early as a day before the press conference, the office of the press Secretary asked Malacañang reporters who wanted to ask the Chief Executive questions to write their names in a prepared sheet.

What was intriguing was that the interested reporters were also asked to write their respective questions to Mrs. Arroyo for them to be arranged accordingly, a staff of Bunye said.

But minutes before the 11 am press briefing, Bunye, who acted as moderator of the event shocked media when he announced they would only entertain questions from eight reporters and make sure these questions would represent vital issues of the day.

The Palace also banned the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap) from the affair, claiming it was exclusively for members of the Malacañang Press Corps.

Focap members who were not advised of such restriction were not allowed to enter the Palace Ceremonial Hall where the event took place.

“We are drafting a letter to Secretary Bunye expressing disappointment at not being included,” Karl Wilson, Focap president said.

Contrary to Bunye's statement, the questions asked did not represent vital issues but merely concentrated on Mrs. Arroyo's call for a Charter change, the recent state of the nation address, and other “light” issues.

The administration-friendly media entities chosen to ask questions were representatives of government TV station NBN-4, government radio station dzRB (Radyo ng Bayan), Philippine Star, dzRH, dzMM, Manila Bulletin, Bombo Radyo, Remate, Pilipino Star and Manila Standard Today.

Philippine Daily Inquirer's Gil Cabacungan said there has been an obvious attempt to control the media and use it as Mrs. Arroyo's propaganda tool.

“We thought all of us could ask questions, but tougher questions were weeded out. We believe the press conference is just a moro-moro, a make over of the President's image. Obviously, the President manipulated the media, the Malacañang Press Corps, we were made to look stupid but that's not our choice,” Cabacungan said.

On Bunye's alibi that he had not anticipated Arroyo's tight schedule, which forced him to limit the number of reporters, Cabacungan said, “They have no time? But Mrs. Arroyo still has time to pose for a series of photo sessions with the media. It could have been done in Luneta instead, if she wanted to.”

Cabacungan was referring to the photo session held after the press conference.

Those barred were supposed to tackle the election fraud issue, the audio tape scandal, the impeachment proceedings, even the accusation of Sandra Cam that Mrs. Arroyo benefited from Lilia Pineda's jueteng money, her sentiments on the current political surveys, Susan Roces, Senate President Franklin Drilon, the negative survey results, and other issues hounding the Arroyo administration.

MPC President Ferdie Maclalang said they will ask Bunye to explain the criteria he used in favoring the “privileged media entities in the said press conference.”

“What happened this morning showed the kind of news management this government has in the face of the crisis. To my mind, there seems to be an apparent policy of containment of media and we object to it,” he said.”

So what happened to FVR's plan to give GMA a "Graceful Exit"?

Isn't FVR's charter change proposal supposed to provide a "graceful exit" for Arroyo?

Bakit iba na ang kinakanta ni FVR ngayon?

Nagbago na ba ang plano?

Mainstream Media STILL won't play Gloriagate tapes

It's now almost 2 months since we first heard of Gloriagate, but the Mainstream Media like ABS-CBN and GMA7 still won't play the tapes on TV, or have them authenticated and analyzed by experts -- even after Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's "admission" and "apology". These media giants don't deem it important enough to let their viewers listen to the tape themselves.

And that's why most Filipinos are still half-informed re the seriousness and scope of the Arroyo administration's crimes.

But GMA7 and ABS-CBN had no problems playing Chavit Singson's X-tape on TV (with subtitles, IIRC) even though Chavit himself admitted that the tape is not verified.

The same rin with the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Phil. Star. Why don't you authenticate the tapes yourselves, make them downloadable for your readers, and provide a thorough analysis of it's contents?

(If PDI can send a reporter to the US to dig up dirt on "Lacson's billions," I'm pretty sure they can send the Ong tapes and even Malacanang's "original" and "spliced" version for authentication.)

Come on ABS-CBN, GMA7, PDI and PHILSTAR, What are you afraid of? Do your job. Do this as a public service to the Filipino people.

Play those tapes on tv now and make them available for downloading.

But in the meantime, while the MSM is still d1cking around, we need to keep telling the truth re this administration and their allies.

Related Story:

- Sen. Estrada: Probe Chavit’s X-tapes


- Amazing but True
- Ano? Wala pa rin, ABS-CBN, GMA7, PDI and Philstar?
- Bakit naka-tanga lang ang GMA7, ABS-CBN at PDI?
- More thoughts on ABS-CBN, GMA7, PDI and Philstar's pa-tanga-tanga attitude

Defending our institutions

A FRIEND told me she had a conversation with a Malaysian recently, and her Malaysian friend teased her: "Why don't you just scrap elections altogether since they don't seem to work for you anyway?" My friend laughed at the joke, but was quite bothered by it. It did seem, she told me, that we were becoming something of a joke for our leaders having short shelf lives.

This reminded me again of a story an American friend, a journalist, told me some years back. This really happened, she assured me. On a trip to the hinterlands of Cambodia, she asked an old woman what she thought of a coming election. The old woman answered: "What can I say? We're having another one again. That means the last one didn't work."

I personally am not bothered by comments about this country making a joke out of its institutions. Or about us having developed a bloodlust we mount king-hunts, or queen-hunts, at every turn. At the very least, who the hell cares what others think of us? At the end of the day we, and not they, will have to live with the consequences of our actions, or the lack of them. Indeed, who the hell cares about the opinion of people who would do well to discover People Power themselves and oust leaders who rule with an iron fist and stay for as long as they want? And send opponents to jail on trumped-up charges, as Mahathir did to Anwar Ibrahim.

But it's more than that. What's weird about the perception, local or foreign, about this country making a travesty of its elections or its institutions is that the campaign to oust President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is in fact a staunch defense of this country's institutions, chief of them its elections. The campaign to oust Ms Arroyo is not a throwback to the move to oust Joseph Estrada, it is a throwback to the move to oust Marcos. Its only resemblance to the oust-Estrada campaign is that Ms Arroyo is accused as well of plunging the country into a gangster's paradise, one ruled by gambling lords, including her son, Mikey, and by people who like to murder journalists. Lest we forget, this country has become the second most corrupt in Asia and the most dangerous place for journalists in the world. That's worse than Estrada.

But the move to oust Ms Arroyo resembles the move to oust Ferdinand Marcos and not Estrada because of one fundamental thing. It is a move to oust a president who is not the president at all. The only one who can demand with any credibility that this country respect its institutions, chief of them elections, is Estrada -- and he does so to this day. He was at least clearly, decidedly, overwhelmingly elected President of the Philippines. Neither Marcos nor Gloria was, or is. Marcos at least after martial law: He was elected twice before that. After martial law, Marcos ruled by force; before martial law, Ms Arroyo rules by farce. Marcos ruled by decree, Ms Arroyo rules by Garci. Law was the last thing Marcos had on his side, but it was the first thing he kept invoking. So does Gloria. God must truly be merciful to be sparing with his thunderbolts.

To oust Ms Arroyo is to defend this country's democratic institutions, it is to defend the sacredness of its elections. It is to affirm in the most forceful way that no one is above the law, no one may mess around with the elections-much less so in the brazen way Ms Arroyo did with Garci -- and get away with it.

Take a bow, Conrad. Excellent point. Read the whole article.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Even Malaysians think poorly of Arroyo

From Ellen Tordesillas:

In Kuala Lumpur last Saturday, critics of Malaysian Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz, who swore on the Koran to deny allegations of corruption in the country’s national car program, compared her to Arroyo.

A news report said UMNO delegate Ismael Hashim drew loud applause when he said: "I don’t want to mention one word but just look at what is happening to President Arroyo in the Philippines."

It’s not honor that she earning abroad. It’s shame.

I did some googlenewsing and found this article.

Among those who poured scorn on the system was Arau Umno Youth division committee member Ismail Hashim. He wanted to know why the International Trade and Industry Ministry had awarded more than 25,000 APs to three individuals.

Not mincing his words, Ismail described the system as being contradictory to its objective of helping Bumiputera entrepreneurs enter the automotive market.

"If we could allocate the 25,000 APs to the Bumiputeras gathered here, we would all be Bumiputera corporate figures.

"Instead (they are) only given to one person. Why is that?" Ismail (picture, below) said, to loud cheers from the more than 2,000 Umno Youth delegates at the Dewan Tun Hussein in the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

"I don’t want to say much, or name names. But if this was the Philippines, Arroyo would already have been toppled (if this issue cropped up)," he said to laughter and cheers from the delegates.

Ismail’s comment was a veiled reference to International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz, who is at the centre of the AP controversy.

Sikat na talaga si Gloria Macapagal Arroyo!!!

Charter Change and SONA reaction roundup

Never Surrender!!! Patayan na kung patayan !!! Onwards Cha-cha!!!

- Senators are in no mood to dance Cha-cha

Senate President Franklin Drilon said the Senate "is not in the mood to discuss charter change."

He said it was not the proper time to debate on the proposal because the public’s attention is focused on the "Hello Garci" recordings and the impeachment complaint against Arroyo. "And besides, our political situation today is not normal," he said.

Drilon said the Senate would pursue its legislative agenda which was formulated shortly after the first regular session of the 13th Congress convened last year.

The legislative agenda covers a three-year period and is focused on formulating measures that would lead to macro-economic stability.

Majority senators held a closed-door caucus at Drilon’s office yesterday and discussed the direction the Senate would take in the second regular session.

"You can say that it (charter change) is not part of the legislative agenda. We did not discuss it in the majority caucus. For that matter we did not discuss any new legislative agenda. The agenda that we agreed upon last year that enumerates the laws that we want to enact on a short term, medium term and long term would still stand. In other words, we set a legislative agenda at the start of this 13th Congress," Drilon said.

Senate president pro tempore Juan Flavier and majority leader Francis Pangilinan confirmed that there were no serious discussions on the charter change during the majority caucus.

"More or less in general principles, without substantive discussion, we touched on the options between constitutional assembly and constitutional convention and the overwhelming consensus is towards con-con. But there were no real discussions on the issue," Flavier said.

Pangilinan said most senators are not keen on amending the Constitution. He said they would rather find solutions to the current political crisis and wait for the impeachment process.

"If we tackle charter change now and the constitutional assembly mode and the impeachment process, members of Congress might have a hard time," Pangilinan said.

- More commentary on GMA's SONA address

If today, under a pliant House of Representatives, faced with the reality of a sitting President who has lost all trust and confidence of the great Filipino majority owing to her loss of moral and legal ascendancy, the same congressmen who will be sitting as a constituent body for a new Charter, won't even touch the impeachment complaint against that Chief Executive as a means to get her to account for her violations of the Constitution, how can they be expected to pass a no-confidence vote on a scandal-ridden government under a parliamentary system?

And yes, Virginia, in a parliamentary system, it would still be the same prostituted congressmen who will be the parliamentarians making up the Cabinet government.
No-confidence vote from these congressmen who have absolutely no shame, and even ignore their constituents' cry? Even the tooth fairy is more credible.

Gloria made no mention of the fiscal crisis, which has certainly deteriorated since. Is she then indirectly saying the fiscal crisis and the bigger economic mess are over, as she claimed the country is “poised for a takeoff” save for the too political Philippines?

And even as she delivered her address and spoke of a parliamentary system, she bared no budget particulars, and how the proposed funds are to be allocated, and for what purposes in her government program.

No mention was made of reforms to be instituted even in the Commission on Elections, or on revenue-raising plans to get the country out of the debt rut she put it in. Everything was focused on Cha-cha, which she knew would be music to the ears of both the congressmen and the local government executives.

All she and her image handlers wanted to convey to the public at large was that she had fantastic support and was highly appreciated by them, and ensured that, at the end of her every sentence, she would be greeted by applause and standing ovation and this, even before she uttered one word.

But who was she — along with her supporters who filled the hall, obviously in exchange for political and financial goodies — trying to fool? The Filipino people? The foreign investors? The diplomatic community?

Her speech was empty. The country is faced with the worst political and economic crises today, and she says nothing of these two crises.

Gloria said the country is poised for a takeoff. Wrong. It's poised for a crashlanding.

- Conrad says GMA is her own worst problem

What made it funny was that all the pressing problems she mentioned, to which she proposed various solutions, could easily be solved by one thing:

That was if she resigned or was ousted, whichever came first.

Ms Arroyo said the problem was that power was too centralized in Manila. The people need a government that "begins at their doorstep in the 'barangay' [village council], and does not end before the closed door of a bureaucrat in Metro Manila."

She resigns or is ousted and that problem will at least abate, if not disappear. Not since Ferdinand Marcos has anyone more centralized or concentrated power unto herself. While at this, if I recall right, before they mutinied, Antonio Trillanes and company did try to bring the complaint of the soldiers in Mindanao-that their superiors were literally stripping them of their boots -- to Metro Manila, and it ended before the closed door of a bureaucrat in Malacañang named Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Well, the door was not entirely closed, it was ajar, and the officers were let in -- to a scolding. That was well before eight out of 10 Filipinos said they wanted Ms Arroyo out. Guess if that will persuade Ms Arroyo to democratize power.

Ms Arroyo said we needed to give local and foreign investors a strong message: "We will not waver in our commitment to economic reform and fiscal discipline, whatever the political cost."

She resigns or is ousted and the German investors of Piatco and their government will hear that message. Fiscal discipline will improve dramatically from the sudden disappearance of pillage, along with Mike Arroyo. Best of all, the political cost will be cheap for the nation, if not for Ms Arroyo.

She said "our political system has now become a hindrance to national progress. [It has] degenerated to an extent that it has become difficult for anyone to make any headway yet keep his hands clean."

Ms Arroyo resigns or is ousted and we will have lost our biggest hindrance to national progress. What hinders progress is a political system that has become the refuge of scoundrels, also called "trapo" [traditional politicians]. You won't find bigger trapo on earth than De Venecia, Fidel Ramos and Ms Arroyo herself who has gone boldly where the first two have not gone before. And of course all those chimpanzees jumping up and down last Monday. They resign or are ousted too and we will have instant progress-not least in improving the looks of Congress.

As to keeping hands clean, that has nothing to do with political systems. Some people just like to wallow in mud.

Ms Arroyo said the country needs peace. She resigns or is ousted and this country will not just have peace, it will have peace of mind. Ms Arroyo said this country needs education. She resigns or is ousted and this country will not just have education, it will have enlightenment. Ms Arroyo said government needs a new Constitution. She resigns, or is ousted, and this government will not just have a new constitution -- it will be constituted by those who were actually elected -- it will stop its decline into prostitution.

Ms Arroyo said we should stop being divided. "Now is not the time for divisiveness.... Let us never lose sight of that greater battle for one people."

She resigns or is ousted and this country will cease to be divided. In fact, she does not resign and this country will be united-against her. She herself said so in December 2002: "If I run, it will require a major political effort on my part. But since I'm among the principal figures in the divisive national events for the last two or three years, my political efforts can only result in never-ending divisiveness." What applies to running applies to overstaying.

Ms Arroyo said we should overcome our "tendency to be our worst enemy."

She resigns or is ousted and we will have overcome our worst enemy.

- Here's an article on the hypocrisy of some admin solons re impeachment solution.

- Onwards Cha-cha

With much haste and after apparently realizing that her political survival and that of her administration depend on a shift in the system of government, President Arroyo will personally bring the issue of Charter change (Cha-cha) to the people in the countryside as she will revive her provincial tours soon for this purpose.

The rest of the nation will also see more of the Chief Executive in the next few days as she will finally be accommodating requests for interviews from the media.

- Gloria laughs off "weak" impeach case

President Arroyo yesterday dismissed the case for her removal from office as “weak.”

Her spokesman Ignacio Bunye said it looks like the “proponents themselves feel they have a weak case. This is evident in their premature move of threatening to resort to extra-constitutional means should they fail.”

At the same time, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez claims that the

opposition is unlikely to muster enough numbers for the impeachment complaint against the chief executive. Opposition lawmakers filed an impeachment complaint the other day but managed to get the signatures of only 42 solons, 37 signatures short of the required 79 to automatically transmit the complaint to the Senate for trial. “Well, if they cannot get the numbers now, it would be more difficult for them to get the numbers later,” Gonzalez told reporters yesterday.

We'll see about that, Sir Raul.

- Malacanang taunts Opposition: Tapos na ang Boxing!

- Impeach team presses short route to Senate trial

PRO-IMPEACHMENT congressmen at the House yesterday said they should be allowed to transmit the impeachment complaint against President Arroyo to the Senate for trial once they could muster 79 votes, following the rules applied in the impeachment trial of President Joseph Estrada in November 2000.

Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano (NP, Taguig), spokesman for the United Opposition at the House, said: "Speaker (Manuel) Villar then transmitted the complaint to the Senate after having reached the needed number so hindi naman puwedeng si Speaker de Venecia hindi idi-diretso as Senate."

Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III (LP, Quezon), one of the eight LP members who endorsed the impeachment complaint, agreed.

"Let’s do it quickly, Mr. Speaker. We owe it to our people to do our constitutional and moral duty to ferret out the truth. I have no doubt in my mind that we can quickly gather the additional 37 signatures. After all, in the Estrada impeachment complaint, there were initially only 20 or so endorsers. Here, we already have 42," Tañada said.

Tañada said Villar did not wait for the committee on justice to report out the impeachment resolution against Estrada. "The moment one-third of the House members signed the complaint, he endorsed it to the Senate even if the committee on justice had yet to report it out," he said.

Great Debate???

"Great Debate" ba talaga o Grand Diversion???

GLORIA Arroyo’s shameless pursuit of self-interest regardless of the people’s will is the most eloquent refutation of the proposal to shift to a parliamentary form of government.

During her State of the Nation Address the other day, Gloria said a parliamentary form of government is the cure to the "degenerate" political system that is holding back the country’s economic takeoff. How a degenerate political system could be improved by changing the outward form while retaining the same degenerate personalities at its core is not explained.

In fact, nothing was said in the SONA about the advantages of the parliamentary over the presidential form.

Since it is left to us to fill the gap, here we go. Under a parliamentary system, the powers of making laws lie with the legislature while the execution of the laws lie with the prime minister and the cabinet who will be chosen by the party that controls the legislature. Legislative and executive powers are, in effect, fused and exercised by the party in power.

Its main advantage is that there can be no gridlock between the executive and legislative which characterizes the set-up where there is separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches.

If such then is the main advantage of a parliamentary system, can Gloria and the supporters of charter change give us a single example -- yes, just a single example -- in the last five years where an executive-legislative deadlock paralyzed government? Or going even further, since the restoration of democracy in 1986?

Gloria’s allies, in fact, have been in control of Congress all the time since she ascended to the presidency in 2001. She and her lap dogs in Congress are now blaming the system for their failure to exercise leadership?

Another advantage of the parliamentary form is that the government can be toppled by a vote of no-confidence by parliament. This makes it easier to kick out leaders who clearly can no longer lead.

Gloria is accused of cheating in the elections. People want her out. But she insists in staying in office.

So we now come to the reduction ad absurdum. Gloria wants to shift to a system where it would be easier to kick her out because she has lost the people’s trust and confidence. Why doesn’t she just resign and put an end to the current crisis? And why do her allies in the House not just promptly impeach her to mercifully put an end to her agony?

And that’s where the deceit comes in. Gloria, we suspect, doesn’t even care whatever form of government is in place. Charter change is a tactic meant to divert attention from mounting calls for her to resign or be kicked out.

It’s so patently obvious. No wonder nobody is taking up her challenge to a "great debate" or a "cheap debate" on charter change for that matter.

Romero: It's the people, not the system

No proposition has been subjected to as much abuse of late as the idea that this country's economic and social problems are attributable to its system of government at present and that the only thing that needs to be done to place this country on the road to rapid and sustained development is to replace the presidential and centralized system of government with the parliamentary and federal governmental system. Like all instances of abuse, the abuse of the the-system-is-the-problem notion has to be brought to a speedy end.

The idea that all that needs to be done to cure all our national ills is to scrap the presidential system in favor of a parliament – the principal purveyors of this political nostrum are former President Fidel Ramos and Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. — is pure and unadulterated nonsense. It is a miserable excuse for the frailties and shortcomings that have held back the development — especially the economic flowering — of this country. It is what Americans call a cop-out.

Indeed, Messrs. Ramos, De Venecia and others of similar persuasion remind me of the now-classic remark made by Peanuts of the Charles Schultze comic strip of the same name. “I love mankind,” Peanut proclaimed in a moment of grandeur. “It's people I hate.” Our current natural predicament is not about systems; it's about people.

I am not for an instant suggesting that our republican, democratic and presidential system of government at present is perfect. Far from it. It has many flaws. It needs tuning up, and it requires refining in certain places. But basically it is, in my view, a good system.

People make a governmental system work or not work. The best system — whatever that is — quickly deteriorates and soon becomes largely unserviceable in the hands of unworthy people. On the other hand, even the most rudimentary and unsophisticated governmental system can provide the basis for rapid and sustained natural development if operated by men and women imbued with patriotic feeling and good sense.

By and large, our current governmental system — a system based on the mutual checking and balancing of its three branches — has served this country well. To be sure, it needs improvement and refinement in many places, especially the economic ones. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with it that good governance cannot put right.

While I have always been a pro-parliament person, I fully realize that it is neither the end-all nor the be-all of good public administration. Some parliaments in the world operate wonderfully; others leave much to be desired.

With the kind of politics that is being practiced in this country — highly personalized, corrupt and philosophy-less politics — a parliamentary system could bog down, before too long, in a morass of unstable government policies and even more unstable political activity. There just isn't any guarantee that the parliamentary system will produce the governance wonders that it has produced in other climes and times.

People, not particular systems of government — are what count. To get people to collect and pay higher amounts of taxes, one does not need the introduction of a new type of government. The current tax laws and tax administration structure can do a good job of ensuring high tax compliance if allowed to operate efficiently.

The fervent pursuit by FVR and Jose de Venecia Jr. of a shift to a parliamentary system in the midst of a movement to get Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to resign the presidency because of electoral fraud is mainly an attempt to provide Mike Arroyo's wife with a graceful exit and provide FVR with an opportunity to get back in Malacañang. Will the people allow them — the two savvy pols their captive daddy — to get away with this ploy? I don't think so. “Punish the lady first, then let's talk about a parliament” is the feeling of the majority of Filipinos.

Summing up, its people, not the system, stupid.

From Rudy Romero of the Tribune.

Miriam Defensor Santiago thinks FVR's proposal is pathetic

Even back then, Sen. Miriam, a pro-Arroyo ally, thinks FVR is full of crap:

Bagama’t nanatiling suportado si Mrs. Arroyo, hindi itinago ni Santiago ang nararamdamang pagkadismaya sa pagpapel ni Ramos sa palasyo, kaakibat ang buweltang gusto lamang nitong maging ‘hari’ sa gobyerno.

"He is advocating charter change as a solution to the problem. That is pathetic. In times of national crisis, the Constitution should be the solution. The Constitution should not be part of the problem which is what will happen if we follow the Ramos scenario," ani Santiago.

Damn right!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Arroyo's Other "Achievements"

UPDATE: The list has been updated after GMA's SONA speech.

It's not just about GMA's election cheating that I'm angry about, folks.

When GMA loyalists claim that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is the only person that can "fix the Philippines", na siya raw ang "savior" ng Pinas, and that we need to keep her na lang kahit na nandaya siya because she is the "lesser evil", all I can say is -- NOT IF YOU HAVE THESE AS YOUR OTHER "ACCOMPLISHMENTS"

The True State of the Nation Address is shown in President Gloria M. Arroyo's shameful record unmatched in Philippine history:

1) The first Chief Executive to be formally accused in Congress of cheating, lying and stealing.

2) The highest level of public debt (P6 trillion) and the biggest amount of foreign borrowing (more than Presidents Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada combined).

3) The biggest number of downgrades of American, British and Japanese credit rating firms.

4) The No. 2 most corrupt country in Asia in a survey of 102 countries according to the World Economic Forum and Asian Development Bank. Now also confirmed in the CBCP statement calling for “reforms” in her “graft-ridden” government. Estimates of amounts lost to corruption reach as high as P200 billion.

5) The most dangerous place for journalists in the whole world, 2nd only to war-torn Iraq according to the New York- based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and earlier the London based ICJ. And the killings of judges, prosecutors and lawyers are also common. Index crimes are up 15 percent over last year.

6) The new shabu-manufacturing center in Asia with the number of drug users multiplying rapidly. Marijuana plantations in the highlands are increasing.

7) The harshest repression of freedom of speech and of assembly topped by a no permit, no rally policy. Control of media is Malacañang's policy.

8) The highest unemployment rate (20.3 percent adult unemployment rate as reported by SWS) and the highest underemployment rate (26 percent) including the collapse of the garment industry. UP Economics professor Dr. Ernesto Pernia found out that with 1.4 million new entrants to the labor force yearly, GMA created only 800,000 new jobs annually, many of them casual or part-time.

9) The weakest link in the war on terror and the loss of standing and respect in the international community accompanied by a deterioration of US-Philippine relations. Mindanao has been tagged as a terrorist training ground.

10) The most expensive and the most fraudulent elections held ever on May 10, 2004, now documented on tape and prefabricated election returns and certificates of canvass. A ranking DBM official has now revealed that P750 million was released to PhilHealth before the elections and more than P3 billion has been spent for the alagaan mo ang kalsada natin election gimmicks.

11) The fastest deterioration in the poverty line from 32 percent under President Erap to 53 percent in four years of GMA with a Ph.D. in Economics. Hunger stalks the land with 58 percent saying they are not eating properly, with many saying they eat only once a day. Many are even selling their bodies or their organs just to survive.

12) Interference with the Supreme Court and other inferior courts highlighted by mediocre appointments to the judiciary stressing political paybacks and personal loyalty to GMA.

13) The most number of casinos and gambling establishments and proliferation of gambling operations nationwide topped by an importation of 60,000 slot machines and a jueteng payola reaching billions of pesos. We are now one big gambling parlor.

14) The highest dollar-peso exchange rate (P56.50 to $1).

15) The highest importation of rice over a four-year period (about 6,000 metric tons) indicating a failure in agriculture and agrarian reform amid claims of billions in kickbacks.

16) The highest prices of oil products ever (P33.80 per liter for premium).

17) The most number of foreign and domestic trips by a President accompanied by a big entourage, a big travel budget.

18) The most number of adverse travel advisories released by foreign governments against travel to the Philippines.

19) The largest number of retired AFP and PNP officers appointed to civilian positions.

20) The biggest number of doctors, nurses, managers, professionals, even domestics and caregivers leaving the country with 7,000 braving death or injury in Iraq. An estimated 10,000 doctors have left or about to leave the country as nurses.

21) The biggest percentage increase of service and clearance fees, toll (3,000 percent), license fees, ever imposed by any administration. You even have to pay to enter an NBI office.

22) The lowest amount ($14 million) of foreign investment in any given year aggravated by the departure of major investors for China such as FedEx lately.

23) The biggest number of pyramid scams, pre-need plans, bankruptcy, thereby a failure to protect the consumer.

24) Condemnation by the German government and business associations on the Fraport-Piatco issue.

25) The Peace Bonds scam giving away P1.3 billion to Code NGO and incurring a P35 billion additional debt in the process.

26) The biggest amount of unpaid pensions to AFP and PNP retirees (P17 billion). And unpaid DPWH contracts.

27) The biggest importer of used cars and tax-free luxury cars highlighting a record of smuggling.

28) The emergence of fake US treasury bills, fake dollar and peso bills, fake drugs, fake CDs and VCDs, fake brand name products, fake recruiters, fake passports, topped by a fake President, fake Vice President and fake senators. And now a fake impeachment complaint.

29) The first President to send her spouse into exile.

30) The first President whose Sona address is boycotted by a big number of senators and congressmen.

What do all these amount to? A failure of governance by the worst administration in our 107-year history.

"So this is how democracy dies..."

"... with thunderous applause."

- Padme Amidala, Star Wars Ep. 3: Revenge of the Sith

An expensive and costly strategy to divert people's attention from GLORIAGATE

Tataasan na naman ang buwis natin para maipatupad ang napaka-expensive na Grand Diversion scheme ni Arroyo/Ramos to distract people's attention from her stolen presidency.

Already, it is being admitted that we have a serious fiscal, economic and debt problem and yet here they are, talking about another expensive round of elections, a federal form that will definitely bring about more taxes, as there would have to be a state government and a federal government, both of which will have to survive on taxes. So where will they get the funds? And that's just a tiny fraction of the problem.

And in the meantime, as the new Charter is being drafted, what is expected to happen with Gloria still there in Malacañang? Will the problems suddenly evaporate? Will the protest and resign movements suddenly die? Will Congress continue to stonewall the many probes of the Gloria scandals?

Not so fast GMA. Think you and tabako can pull a fast on us with ConAss? Mmmmmhmmmmm... Mag-resign ka muna.

It's not even yours (of FVR's) to decide whether we should have Charter Change or not since hindi ka naman namin tunay na presidente eh. Let have new elections first shall we, and let the pro-Charter change candidates run on that platform.

Let's see kung kaya nilang manalo without Garcillano.

Anyway, na-discuss ko na rin ito dati at ito lang ang masasabi ko diyan.

As far as I'm concerned, removing the fake president is the number one priority. Any discussions on Charter Change should only be done after Arroyo leaves office and we have a new legit president, PERIOD.

(I may not be for changing the constitution myself, but even if I am -- would I trust this fake president Arroyo or Ramos and their allies to engineer the change? HELL NO!!!)

From Neal Cruz:

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Pangalatok twins are getting confused. The people want Ms Arroyo to step down for cheating in the last elections, but the P-Twins, former President Fidel Ramos and Speaker Jose de Venecia, propose instead to change the Constitution and the system of government. The people ask Ms Arroyo to resign but she orders her whole Cabinet to resign instead. The people want Ms Arroyo to get out of Malacañang but she sends her husband and son out of the country instead. The people clamor for her to resign but she says instead, "I won't resign."
But I have to hand it to the P-Twins. They know how to take advantage of the present crisis. They were able to push what they had been unsuccessfully pushing for so long -- a shift to a parliamentary system -- in the guise of "saving" the country and giving Ms Arroyo "a graceful exit." In reality, they are only giving themselves a graceful entry to the seat of power.

Under the present presidential system, both of them are barred from Malacañang -- Ramos because the Constitution bans him from running for reelection, and De Venecia because he can never win in a presidential election. Their solution: Change the Constitution and shift to a parliamentary system. They're doing it in a hurry, too, before the people wake up and realize the sleight of hand they're doing.

Instead of a constitutional convention writing a new Charter, they want Congress to convene as a constituent assembly to amend the Constitution so that parliamentary elections can be held in March next year and new officials can take over in May, with the new prime minister most likely being none other than Ramos himself. That's only 10 months away. In 10 months, Ms Arroyo would be jobless.

Ms Arroyo thought the P-Twins saved her. Actually, like a condemned prisoner, she was given only a brief reprieve. Her execution has been set for May by the P-Twins. Poor Ms Arroyo, even her perceived "friends" are taking advantage of her.

Basahin nyo siya lahat.

More here.

Just look at the Eastern European countries that operate under a parliamentary system whose people have moved, in people power fashion, to remove their leaders from office.

Besides, just who are likely to become our parliamentarians under a new Charter if not the same prostituted members of the new Congress.

Say a scandal has erupted and the government in power, in control of parliament, should theoretically be voted out on a no-confidence vote from the majority in parliament. Would this likely occur in the Philippine political context considering the fact that even as Gloria Arroyo is now mired in the biggest political scandal of having stolen the sovereign will of the Filipino people, just what are the administration congressmen — the future members of the new parliament — doing and saying? Are they even listening to their constituents?


Will the Bush administration support "regime change" vs Arroyo

like it once did here and here against another foreign leader, kahit na "hindi Constitutional" ang methods na ginamit?

(For the record, the guy that the US admin was trying to help topple was a bad guy too, so I was happy when this fellow was removed from power, albeit temporarily.)


- Things that make you go, hmmmmm...