Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Florida ver. 2005

This is what I'm worried about. Sabi ni Joaquin Bernas re the impeachment case against Arroyo:

One of the framers of the 1987 Constitution and dean emeritus of the Ateneo Law School, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, yesterday said that he expected the Supreme Court to once again play the role of final arbiter.

Not good at all. Why? Because sigurista si Gloria Macapagal Arroyo eh. Aside from putting in place the "cheating machine" to crank out a pre-determined result (GMA's "victory"), she tried to pack the Supreme Court with her appointments, para just in case na kailangan ng Korte Suprema ni Davide na mag-decide sa 2004 Prez Election result ala Bush v. Gore sa Florida noong 2000, llamado si Arroyo.

So GMA made 8 Supreme Court appointments before the start of 2004 elections. Put in as many as possible in the 15-member Supreme Court.

Some of the partisan appointees include Arroyo lawyer Antonio Carpio of "The Firm", also a former PDI columnist.
Antonio Carpio

Then there's Renato Corona, Arroyo's former Chief-of-Staff in 2001 and a partisan GMA loyalist.
Renato Corona

All in all there are now 9 arroyo SC appointees (8 appointments before the elections, plus 1 appointment after)

Here are all the names of the 9 Arroyo SC appointees:

Antonio Carpio
Alicia Austria-Martinez
Renato Corona
Conchita Carpio-Morales
Romeo Callejo Sr.
Adolfo Azcuna
Dante Tinga
Minita Chico-Nazario
Cancio Garcia

Then isama mo pa si Chief Justice Davide at si Justice Artemio Panganiban (who I recall wrote a book re how the SC helped GMA steal the presidency from Erap) -- mukhang dehado ang opposition.

If you'll recall it was Davide's SC that help legitimize the unconstitutional takeover of GMA via Edsa dos. Then, when Davide was in danger of being impeached for technical malversation in the matter of the Judiciary Development Fund, Arroyo came to the rescue along with Speaker de Venecia and helped thwart the impeachment attempt on Davide.

May utang na loob si GMA kay Davide, at may utang na loob rin si Davide kay GMA.

Anyway, ito lang ang masasabi ko. If the SC today is as partisan as the PET that threw out the Poe protest case (using the lame excuse na patay na raw si Poe), then walang pag-asa ang mga pro-impeach congressmen na makakuha ng fair decision.

MANILA, March 30, 2005 (STAR) By Jose Rodel Clapano - The last legal challenge to President Arroyo’s claim to winning the 2004 presidential election was dismissed by the Supreme Court (SC) in a unanimous decision yesterday. In a 14-page resolution, the 15 SC justices, sitting as members of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), dismissed the election protest filed by actor Fernando Poe Jr. "on the ground that no real party in interest has come forward within the period allowed by law, to intervene in this case or be substituted for the deceased protestant."

Poe died last Dec. 14 with his election protest pending, and his widow Susan Roces asked the PET to name her instead as the petitioner. But in the same resolution penned by Justice Leonardo Quisumbing, the PET dismissed the election protest, saying Roces — Jesusa Sonora Poe — was not the "real party in interest" in the case. "The motion of Jesusa Sonora (Roces) to intervene and substitute for the deceased protestant (Poe) is dismissed for lack of merit," the ruling said.

The SC said Roces cannot substitute for her deceased husband since under the PET rules "only the registered candidates who obtained the 2nd and 3rd highest votes for the presidency may contest the election of the president." "Patently, Mrs. Poe did not receive the 2nd and 3rd highest votes (as) she was not even a candidate for the presidency in the (May 2004) election that is being contested," the court said. Mrs. Arroyo won the presidency by over a million votes, but allegations of electoral cheating led to a drop in her popularity.

Eh hindi naman balak ni Susan Roces na pumalit kay Poe bilang replacement candidate eh. Gusto lang niyang malaman ang katotohanan. Just like what she is doing now.

GAGO talaga ang SUPREME COURT natin. and i'm worried na they will have to decide this election fraud case again.


I can't blame some of our congressmen

kung reluctant yung mga ilan sa kanila diyan ng mag-sign ng impeachment complaint laban kay Arroyo, even if they believe she is guilty of stealing the elections.

Because they remember the Davide impeachment case where the anti-Davide congressmen were able to gather 93 signatures, which should be more than enough to impeach Davide -- pero hindi pa rin na-transmit yung complaint sa senado for trial, because of the dirty tricks employed by Malacanang, Speaker De Venecia and the Supreme Court itself.

And some of these congressmen don't want to be burned again.

DoJ chief takes swipe at Susan anew

Raul Gonzales opens his mouth again:

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez took another potshot at Susan Roces, the widow of opposition leader Fernando Poe Jr.

Gonzalez, during a press briefing, yesterday said Roces' recent actions mean that the actress is no longer apolitical.

“She's getting politicized. She's been contaminated by the fever of politics,” the Justice chief added.

Gonzalez accused Roces of having been convinced by some quarters “that only she can be a symbol” of the opposition. “I’m not warning her. She’s old enough,” he noted

LMAO! I too got the "fever."

Impeachment Walkout Photos

Headlines from the major Philippine Newspapers The Day After

Malaya: WALKOUT! Sub-headline: Majority pushes vote on Lozano

ManilaTimes: Impeach hearing ends in a walkout

Manila Standard Today: Impeach bid near death

(Comment: Well... it's Enrique Razon's newspaper.)

Philippine Daily Inquirer: Arroyo foes stage walkout

(Comment: "Arroyo foes"? The PDI makes it look like na mga kaaway sa pulitika ni Arroyo lang ang nagsasabing nandaya siya. What about the majority of Filipinos not associated with the opposition at hindi kaaway ni GMA who thinks Arroyo cheated too?

And can you imagine the PDI with a headline like "Erap foes stage walkout" back in 2000?)

Here's PDI's front page photo.

Philippine Star: House opposition walks out

Daily Tribune: Pro-impeach solons walk out amid justice railroad

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Can somebody tell me if Joaquin Bernas did a Flipflop?

Been reading Dean Jorge Bocobo's blog to so some research on the Davide Impeachment.

Ito ang views niya on the Davide Impeachment complaint back then. He thinks na "unconstitutional" ang impeachment complaint laban kay Davide on the malversation of JDF funds because he considered this the "second impeachment complaint" na na-file vs Davide. Kasi his reasoning back then was, once you file a complaint, "initiated" na raw ang impeachment kay davide at bawal nang mag-file ng additional impeachment complaints (Bawal kasi na mag "initiate" ng more than one impeachment proceeding per year eh, ayon sa Constitution.)

One of the oddest bits of reasoning picked up by the Supreme Court to rationalize the point of initiation of an impeachment proceeding as being when the Complaint for Impeachment is filed, comes from Jesuit priest Joaquin Bernas, Cardinal Sin's man on the ConCom. He is quoted by the Court in its ruling today as stating that the transmission of Articles of Impeachment is not the initiation point because it is the end of the House proceeding and the beginning of another, the Senate trial. I can't believe those who support this view. Don't they think PROSECUTING the case of impeachment is a substantial role of the House in the impeachment process, the reason it initiates impeachment? Nay, transmission of the Articles of impeachment is just the start of the House's work on impeachment, that's why it's the real initiation point. Some countries that agree with me: America, England, France, Germany, Spain, shall I go on...sigh...

More Here:

IRONIES are multiplying now that the shoe is on the other foot. I just got done listening to Jovito Salonga talking to Gene Orejana. Sen. Salonga makes the most disgusting argument for why the people ought to accept his verdict that the "second impeachment complaint" as he calls it, is unconstitutional::he claims that the first three amici curiae to address the Supreme Court this morning all said it is. (Justices Florenz Regalado and Regalado Maambong, and Joaquin Bernas, SJ). It's a fine kettle of stinking fish again

But here's Bernas' opinion now on the GMA case regarding multiple impeachment complaints. He finally got it right this time.

[W]e next look at what the Constitution prohibits. It prohibits the initiation of more than one “impeachment proceeding.” It does not necessarily prohibit more than one complaint. More than one complaint would be prohibited only if the multiple complaints would require more than “one proceeding.” …

In the current controversy, the so-called “amended complaint” and the Lopez complaint, both transmitted on the same day to the Justice Committee together with the Lozano complaint, are nothing more than “bills of particulars” to accompany the Lozano complaint. They both elaborate on the one constitutional offense of “betrayal of public trust.” For constitutional purposes, therefore, what is being initiated is only “one proceeding involving one complaint but with an extended bill of particulars.”

I can understand, however, why the President’s defenders argue the way they do. They must realize that if the “bill of particulars” is elevated to the Senate, the President will be tarred and feathered and be made to squirm. I guess we must bemoan the conclusion that the presidential defenders and their client do not wish to face the music.

Pero sabi nya dati "filing a impeachment complaint" means the impeachment process has been "initiated" na, diba? So when the Oliver Lozano filed his complaint, automatically "initiated" na ang impeachment process?

LMAO! But again, I'm glad he got it right this time, because we need to get the fake president out of Malacanang ASAP.

Maybe Joaquin Bernas like Hilario Davide more than Mrs. Arroyo?

Does the fake president have the credibility to unite this country?

From Lito Banayo:

THOSE who peddle the argument that in the face of the mounting economic crisis brought about by our huge fiscal albatross compounded by the continued oil price shocks, we ought to unite behind the governance of Doña Gloria must be nuts.

Her kind of governance is sheer madness, impelled only by political survival. Anything and everything must surrender to that over-arching obsession. Now what guarantee do we have that she would ever change style after she has survived impeachment on grounds of tenuous legal technicalities? What we will get is more of the same. More of stealing and lying, hallmarks of the miserable years of stolen leadership that she has now converted into "elected" leadership by cheating.

I guess not.

The article has lots of info about the licuanan resignation and the recent "holiday" confusion, so read the whole article.

Killing the impeachment complaint

From Ellen Tordesillas:

Dito sa impeachment, walang panalo si Gloria Arroyo.

Kung matutuloy at maging matagumpay ang impeachment, talsik sa pwesto si Arroyo. Makukulong pa katulad ni Joseph Estrada. Kasama pa ang kanyang asawa at anak.

Kung mahaharang naman nila sa pamamagitan ng pagbili ng mga kongresista at mga senador, magagalit ang mga tao.

Ang impeachment na lamang ang huling legal na paraan para lumabas ang katotohanan noong 2004 election. Nakita natin kung paano binale-wala ng Kongreso sa pamamagitan ng "Noted" nina Raul Gonzalez at Kiko Pangilinan ang mga reklamo ng mga oposisyon tungkol sa dayaan sa panahon ng national canvassing.

Binasura rin ng Korte Suprema ang election protest ni FPJ na ipagpatuloy sana ng kanyang maybahay na si Susan Roces. Kaya ito na lamang impeachment ang natitirang legal na paraan.

Kaya naman ang oposisyon ay pinipilit na idaan ang lahat sa legal para ipakita sa tao na sila ay sumusunod sa batas. Ngunit sino ang bumabaluktot sa batas para mapagtakpan ang pandaraya at katiwalian?

Pinipilit ni Arroyo na mapatay ang impeachment complaint para maipagyabang niya sa kanyang pagpunta sa Amerika na panalo siya. Kaya naman parang shopping mall ang Kongreso sa bilihan ng kongresista. Siyempre pera natin ang ginagamit.

Kapag pinatay nila ang impeachment, sa lansangan ang punta ng mga tao. Baka mapadali pa ang pagpatalsik kay Arroyo.

Looking back at the Davide Impeachment case

Did you know na nakakuha ng more than 90 signatures ang Impeachment complaint vs. Hilario Davide, pero the case was never submitted to the Senate for trial?

Yup. Naalala ko yun after reading MLQ3's recent article sa Inquirer.

More on the Davide Impeachment case here and here.

UPDATE: Exact number was 93 endorsers.

Tuloy na ba ang planong ilibing si Ferdinand Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani?

Ito ba ang "reconciliation" na tinutukoy ni Arroyo?

From Ducky Paredes:

It looks like there may actually be a fix in the making in the burial of Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

His widow Imelda, has invited Gloria Arroyo to attend the late dictator’s 88th birth anniversary rites in Laoag, Ilocos Norte.

Gov. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. admits that his mother has been talking to Malacañang and is in negotiations for his father’s burial in the cemetery where soldiers, high officials and other great men are buried.

Is this part of the present Malacañang push for reconciliation of all political forces?

Says Governor Bongbong: "I think my family and Palace officials have discussed the issue before. The offer for a reconciliation started from us. We are still waiting for Malacañang’s answer."

September 11 will be a working holiday in Ilocos Norte where President Ferdinand Marcos is revered by just about everyone.


UPDATE: So was the Oliver Lozano impeachment complaint, described as a piece of "toilet paper" by pro-impeachment congressmen, part of the quid pro quo with Imelda -- so that her dead husband Ferdie will finally get a "hero's burial"?

Ang sarap maging Congressman ngayon

Kahit anong gusto mo, tutuparin ni GMA basta lang wag kang pipirma sa Impeachment complaint.

Open season. Members of Congress are having a field day getting GMA to approve their recommendations for appointments and requests for funds.

Armand Arreza, recommendee of Sen. Richard Gordon and cousin of Rep. Prospero Pichay, has been appointed administrator of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority causing the irrevocable resignation of Chairman Francisco Licuanan, a former Ayala Executive who served for less than a year.

Rep. Rodolfo Valencia got GMA to attend a groundbreaking of his new building in Tagaytay and got his casino license approved.

Two Moslem congressmen got their brothers appointed to high positions. Two Southern Luzon congressmen got their protegeé appointed undersecretary of a major department.

Twenty-five million pesos in provincial development assistance fund (PDAF) or “pork barrel” is being released by the Department of Public Works and Highways to supportive congressmen in addition to the original P40 million allocation.

Media reports say GMA cancelled an appointment to visit Malabon to launch a project of Mayor Tito Oreta because of the objection of Rep. Ricky Sandoval.

Government officials cannot displease or refuse congressmen's requests these days. An angry congressman can ask the President to fire you and GMA will probably accommodate. This is happening in the Insurance Commission.

All these are bad signs that no real governance can be expected from GMA. Emy Boncodin, Dinky Soliman, Ging Deles, Mely Nicolas and their Hyatt 10 colleagues have been proved right. How long can we allow these?

Ka-inggit naman!!! GRRRR!!! LMAO!

Cheats Inc.

No wonder the opposition's request for a recount of the votes was denied more than 200 times by administration allies in Congress. Alam nila kasi na mabubuking ang cheating machine ni Arroyo dahil hindi pa tapos ang "ER cleanup operations" ng mga dagdag bawas experts ni madam.

And here's the article from Miriam Grace A. Go of Newsbreak re the subject that's definitely worth your time. I'll highlight the relevant parts para hindi nyo siya ma-miss.

From Newsbreak:

Around this time last year, some of the political operators who helped President Arroyo win in the 2004 elections were called to work again. The month before, on Aug. 8, 2004, the President filed her reply (with a counter-protest) to the election protest of actor Fernando Poe Jr., her closest rival. Poe had alleged that Arroyo’s votes were padded by more than one million and thus reversed the results of the election in her favor.

There were two ways Poe wanted the votes verified, both involving revisiting the election returns (ERs). The documents accomplished by teachers who man the polling precincts, the ER is the first step in consolidating the ballot count. In the absence of any manipulation, it should reflect the true number of votes. The figures from the ERs are then consolidated in the municipal statement of votes (SOVs), and the figures in the SOVs are totaled in city or provincial certificates of canvass (COCs).

For Luzon and the Visayas, Poe asked for the “ER-down” counter-checking. Through this approach the totals in the ERs would be compared with the ballots from the corresponding precincts. His camp was convinced that in the President’s bailiwicks in these island groups, the figures in the ERs, SOVs, and COCs were consistent since these were supposedly accomplished before the elections, and were switched with the genuine forms before the local canvassing.

For Mindanao, he wanted the “ER-up” approach. The figures in the ERs would be added up again to check if the SOVs reflect the accurate totals, then the SOV figures will be totaled and checked against the figures in the COCs. (This is the move that President Arroyo’s allies in Congress refused to do during the canvassing of presidential and vice presidential votes.) Poe was convinced that in this southern island, operators for President Arroyo left the ERs and SOVs alone and just tampered with the figures in the COCs.

In questioning or proving President Arroyo’s victory, therefore, the election returns would be the most crucial documents.

Switching ERs

So starting September 2004, or three months after President Arroyo was proclaimed winner, a group hired by the administration reportedly started printing ERs that they intended to fill up and then switch with the genuine ERs that were in some of the ballot boxes being kept in the House of Representatives.

The target of the operation was ERs from the Muslim Mindanao area and surrounding provinces, where the alleged vote padding was done only in the COCs. Apparently, the ER-switching was meant to fix the records to pass future scrutiny. The figures in the new ERs, when added up, would now be consistent with the totals in the COCs.

The administration has repeatedly denied allegations of cheating.

But this is the story that six operators who worked for President Arroyo told NEWSBREAK in recent interviews. We sought them out as we tried to complete the picture of what actually happened during the presidential elections. Most of them are long-time NEWSBREAK sources, and had provided information in our series of reports on poll fraud last year.

They said that even if they revealed damaging information regarding the elections, they doubt if the opposition would really go out of its way to identify them and ask them to surface. “Some of them have utilized us in the past and they will be needing us in the future,” one of them said. For security reasons, however, these sources shall remain unidentified.

One of the sources entered the room in the Batasan complex and participated in switching the fabricated ERs with the original ones in January and February this year. His participation was confirmed by two other sources, one of them a police officer who belonged to the group that planned this post-proclamation operation.

The other sources were privy to this Batasan operation because they belong to the small circle of operators who carried out the padding of Ms. Arroyo’s votes before elections and after canvassing in various regions nationwide.

The President, her close advisers, and officials of her party have maintained that she won in the elections fair and square. If the accounts of her own operators are to be believed, however, the administration not only planned to cheat way before the May 10, 2004, elections, but continued tampering with the presidential votes even after Poe had died in December 2004, and just before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal dismissed with finality his protest in March 2005.

Testing the Waters in 2001

Three sources, who did special operations for the senatorial candidates of the People Power Coalition in 2001, said Ms. Arroyo and her strategists, as early as then, were already studying how vote-rigging could be done for her possible candidacy in 2004. At the time, she had just assumed the unfinished term of ousted President Joseph Estrada, and was therefore eligible to run to get her own mandate.

On May 18, 2001, the Friday after the senatorial elections, President Arroyo reportedly met with election lawyer Roque Bello, a retired regional director of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in his 60s who is known in political circles to have the sophistication and the right contacts within the poll body to influence the votes to favor whoever his principal is. We were able to reach Bello on his cell phone last August 2, but he declined to give an interview.

In that 2001 meeting, the President was supposed to have been given Bello the orders to make sure Ralph Recto would win a full six-year term, to prevent Francis Pangilinan’s votes from being shaven, and to keep hardline opposition candidates from winning.

What the President actually wanted from Bello at the time was to effect a 13-0 sweep for her slate, one of the sources said. The President, he disclosed, was apparently aware of how Bello was said to have achieved for former President Ferdinand Marcos’s slate the 21-0 sweep during the Interim Batasang Pambansa elections in 1978. Still, some opposition candidates “who also operated” slipped into the winning circle.

“She realized [from the 2001 results] that [unlike during the dictatorship] it is no longer possible to carry out special operations for entire slates; individual candidates pay for operators. She learned that it would be easier if she focused on her votes alone,” another operator said.

In early 2004, the President reportedly considered Bello and Garcillano for the two commissioners’ seats about to be vacated at the Comelec. Garcillano was eventually named and on February 19 started a series of meetings with local Comelec officials at the residence of alleged jueteng lord Rodolfo “Bong” Pineda in Greenhills, San Juan. The meetings continued until March.

Bello, however, was reportedly tapped to devise a strategy to get a pre-determined number of votes for the President. One of those who worked in Bello’s group said Bello proposed that genuine ballots be filled up before the elections and switched with the ballots that voters will cast at the precincts. He reportedly explained that working on the ballots would mean that the succeeding documents, from the ERs up to the COCs, would be “clean” and pass any scrutiny.

By April, the President’s strategists decided to abandon Bello’s proposal because they deemed that dealing with the ballots would be a lot costlier and would involve more risk of getting discovered. They left the ballot stage out of their strategy and opted for filling up genuine ERs, SOVs, and COCs with pre-determined numbers of votes. The forms were provided by the Comelec.

‘Blackjack,’ the Operator

The wholesale switching of pre-fabricated election forms was done in a few provinces in Luzon, particularly Ilocos Sur and the Arroyo’s home province of Pampanga, and in the entire Visayas. The Visayas operation, particularly in Cebu, was considered more sophisticated because the administration effected an artificial dramatic increase of voters’ population and registered “ghost precincts.” This was to justify the lopsided share of votes that operators would enter into the prepared election forms.

The regional and provincial election officials whose cooperation was needed for this operation were planed in to Manila and billeted either at the Aloha Hotel or at the Grand Boulevard Hotel, both along Roxas Boulevard. The “production line,” sources said, was in safehouses in the target provinces.

“Nobody would be too stupid to bring in those bulky ERs and COCs in the hotels,” one of them said. He said that the safehouse in Cebu was rented for six months, but was occupied only from March to June 2004. The safehouse in Iloilo was located in a private subdivision. The forgers of signatures (called “golden arms”) and those who thumbmarked the forms (called “pianistas”) were flown in from Manila, the sources said.

The master operator, or the one who gave direction to negotiators and bagmen, for the three regions in the Visayas, was said to be Victor Rigor, who was a liaison between Malacañang and the then Ministry of Local Government during the Marcos regime. This means that Rigor, now in his mid-50s and known in the political circle as “Blackjack,” was connected to the agency in the same years that Ronaldo Puno, Ed Soliman, and Gabriel Claudio were there. The three worked in Arroyo’s campaign, either officially or in the shadow campaign teams. Puno is a strategist closely identified with the First Gentleman, and is now congressman of Antipolo City. Soliman is an undersecretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government. Claudio was the campaign manager of the President last year and is at present the presidential adviser on political affairs.

NEWSBREAK was unable to reach Rigor, but one of his operatives confirmed the information.

This operator said Rigor differentiates his work from cheating, which is “the changing of the election results.” He said Rigor would maintain that what he does is just “influencing” the outcome of the election by a vote-delivery system.

Vote Padding

The Arroyo camp was confident that with the fixed votes coming mainly from the Visayas, the President would be able to win by at least one million votes. However, when the results from Poe’s bailiwicks in Luzon came in, the President’s strategists estimated that the votes could wipe out her margin from the Visayas.

Dagdag-bawas was then carried out in the Muslim region and a few neighboring provinces in Mindanao.

“They panicked, so Garcillano’s operators just switched votes indiscriminately,” one of the operators said. Since the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao was Poe’s stronghold, the easiest way to pad Arroyo’s votes there was to just switch her totals with Poe’s in the COCs, the source pointed out.

Evidence in the custody of the opposition—including the fifth copy of the ERs that they were entitled to under the law, but which the police and military confiscated in a raid in Rizal—seem to support the accounts of the administration operators.

An administration strategist said that the top 11 provinces where the padding of votes for the President was maximized were (according to the percentage of votes they contributed, from the highest): Cebu, Pampanga, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Bohol, Southern Leyte, Zamboanga del Sur, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, and Basilan. The padded votes amounted to 1.2 million.

Arroyo officially finished with 12,905,808 votes, against Poe’s 11,782,232. If the alleged padding of votes is true, then her lead of 1.12 million is well within the margin provided by the operation.

The extent of the vote-padding acknowledged by the source is not very far from estimates that other camps have come up with.

Verzola Study

Roberto Verzola, an engineer teaching at the UP, published a study on the results of the 2004 elections based on the ER-based quick count of the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel). He said the ERs from Namfrel, although incomplete, already indicated a total vote padding of 837,454 in favor of President Arroyo—mostly from the “source” provinces acknowledged by the administration strategist.

Sixto Brillantes, who was Poe’s counsel in the election protest, said that based on the evidence they have, the extent of the cheating was between 1.3 million to 1.5 million votes.

Verzola and Brillantes separately pointed out that when Namfrel stopped its quick count, Arroyo’s lead over Poe was only about 600,000 votes. At the time, there were still 4 million votes from Poe’s bailiwicks that had yet to be counted, and only 1 million uncounted votes from Arroyo’s areas.

In a briefing with journalists in August, Verzola said that based on the Namfrel figures, President Arroyo could have won over Poe by only 77,000 votes, but only because the “highly questionable” votes from Central Visayas and the ARMM were included.

To Poe’s camp, this means that if the votes from these two regions would be corrected, Poe could emerge the winner, with a lead of 200,000 to 300,000 votes over Ms. Arroyo.

So when Poe filed his protest, according to administration operators, the Arroyo camp intended to “correct” the incriminating ERs from Mindanao that were in the ballot boxes in Batasan. This was when Bello and his network of operators were again called in.

Clandestine Trips to Batasan

The operator from Bello’s group said that the questioned Mindanao provinces involved 10,000 ERs, but 4,000 were “duly corrected” before these were sent to Manila during the canvassing. Using official paper from Comelec, they tried printing the 6,000 more ERs from September to November 2004.

He said “wastage resulted [because] the ERs could not be reproduced exactly as the ones done by Ernest Printing,” referring to Comelec’s official printer of ERs for last year’s polls. They couldn’t source a numbering machine, a Heidelberg similar to what Ernest Printing used.

In mid-December, however, a contact of Bello was able to “borrow” the numbering machine from Ernest Printing. The operator said they printed the ERs during the Christmas week. The ERs were accomplished by “golden arms” and “pianistas” again.

The source said they made “four clandestine entries” into the Batasan in January and February 2005. He said a police general helped them in the operation. Policemen guarded the room of ballot boxes. He said the guards “looked the other way” when they entered, which was either late Sunday evening or early Monday morning.

The last entry, the source said, was made the weekend before Valentine’s Day. The police official who facilitated their entries was named to another government agency immediately after the operation.

As election campaigns go, the operators said, they consider their work completed once their principal has been proclaimed. After the proclamation comes the “cleanup,” when they close headquarters, abandon safehouses, recall those assigned in the field, and hopefully count victory bonuses

For their biggest candidate last year, they noted, their “cleanup” was of a different kind

CBCP parroting the Arroyo administration line of "reconciliation"

Link here.


The CBCP has a huge problem. It still refuses to tell the truth about Arroyo's illegitimacy and acknowledge the fact that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is the one dividing the nation.

Unlike before, where the Bishops and nuns had no problems in demanding Erap's resignation, this time they "straddle the fence" and continue to either ignore or remain silent in the face of mounting evidence vs Arroyo questionable mandate and corruption.


- CBCP: We don't support Archbishop Cruz's Juetengate expose
- Archbishop Rosales wants the "whole truth", says we have "bigger fish" to fry than GMA
- One of the reasons why the CBCP loves Gloria
- Archbishop Cruz and Fr. Nacorda

The Good and Bad about Gloria Macapagal Arroyo


More on the Amando Doronila appointment

Ducky Paredes thinks it's the WORST Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has made:

It may well be the worst appointment that Gloria Arroyo has made. This is the appointment of Inquirer columnist Amando Doronila as ambassador to the Benelux countries and to the European Union.

First of all, there is a law (also ignored by Gloria when she appointed Teofisto Guingona as ambassador to China) that sets an age limit of 65 to those who would serve as ambassador. This means that they ought to retire at 65. And here is Gloria appointing Doronila, who is already 77. Doronila is way past the upper age limit. If he were a sitting ambassador, he would already have been retired and here he is just starting on a diplomatic career, way over the age limit!

Doronila is also sickly. He recently suffered a stroke and may not even be fit to travel, much more take on a busy schedule that is required of an ambassador to what may well be one of the busiest ambassadorial posts in the world.

Also, Doronila, at his best, is nowhere near to having any diplomatic skills. He may be an egghead and a great columnist; but he certainly is no charmer.

Why, in Heaven’s name would Gloria make such an incompetent appointment? According to sources in Malacañang, Doronila asked for the posting and Gloria, for some reason, felt obliged to give the old man his wish.

Commission on Appointments members Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Luisa Ejercito Estrada, Sergio Osmeña III and Rodolfo Biazon have questioned the competence as well as the physical fitness of the newest ambassadorial wannabe.

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, chairwoman of the CA committee on Foreign Service, has promised that she will pointedly ask Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo to explain how career and non-career ambassadors are selected for particular postings. What are the criteria? Which posts will get a career posting and which posts deserve only a non-career person with no training in foreign affairs or embassy work?

Senator Osmeña said that, when asked, Doronila failed to answer basic questions such as the level of trade between Europe and the Philippines and the number of overseas Filipino workers in the continent.

Senator Enrile adds that Doronila does not seem to know what his job entails.

The Doronila appointment is in trouble so early on.

"It will be difficult for him to be confirmed," says Santiago. "Some members of the committee have serious doubts if he can carry out the functions of the position."

Enrile promised to invoke Section 20 if the committee recommends Doronila’s confirmation. This would mean that the confirmation is placed on permanent hold.

Enrile, who is of Doronila’s generation, has nothing personal against Doronila: "He’s competent in the area of being a journalist. He can write but whether he’s competent as diplomat is something else. That’s why we have to know and be assured that he can represent us there and protect our interest."

My two cents worth: Withdraw the appointment. If she does this, Gloria may actually be doing Amando Doronila the biggest favor she can do for him.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Jose de Venecia must be confident

that the opposition won't get 79 signatures that he declared this.

UPDATE: More here:

Speaker Joe de Venecia arrogantly declared on national TV that the impeachment is dead because he has secured firm commitments from 280+ Congressmen who will vote down the complaint. And this, even before they could decide which complaint to process, and even before a single evidence is presented.

The Price of Parouk Hussin's Silence

The Ambassadorship to Saudi Arabia.

THERE is no limit to what Gloria Arroyo will do to suppress the truth about the cheating she did in the 2004 elections.

This time, she is dangling to former ARMM Governor Parouk Hussin the ambassadorship to Saudi Arabia to make him keep quiet about the many things he know about the massive election fraud in Cotabato City, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Lanao del Sur- which make up the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

The matter of managing the results of the ARRM 2004 elections figured several times in the wiretapped conversations between former Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano and Arroyo and several other elections operators.

Yvonne Chua, in her article "Working ‘Miracles’ in Mindanao" in the special edition of "I", the magazine of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, said: "The ARMM votes were crucial to ensuring the President’s 1.1 million lead over opposition candidate Fernando Poe, Jr. A quarter of that winning margin –277,729 – came from ARMM alone. In all, Arroyo’s lead over Poe in Mindanao was 496,116, of which ARMM was responsible for more than 56 percent. ARMM contributed 17 percent to the President’s total Mindanao vote."

Last month, before the Aug. 10 ARMM elections, in the presence of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and Libyan Ambassador Salem M. Adam, Arroyo offered Hussin the position of ambassador to Saudi Arabia, which is currently being held by a Muslim career officer, Bahnarim Guinomla.

Since Hussin had established good relations with the Organization of Islamic Conference, Arroyo also mentioned about naming him concurrent ambassador to the OIC, a function being performed by Rafael Seguis, foreign undersecretary for special concerns.

The offer was Arroyo’s peace offering to Hussin who had to withdraw his candidacy for ARMM governor because of Malacañang’s non-support. Malacañang supported Zaldy Ampatuan, who was eventually declared the winner.

Between Hussin and the Ampatuans, the latter have greater leverage on Arroyo as they actively operated for her in the 2004 elections. Hussin at that time was a senatorial candidate under Arroyo’s K-4 party.

Zaldy Ampatuan was mayor of Shariff Aguak, whose election results in 2004 were found highly suspicious. Of the 22,854 registered voters, Arroyo got 22,754 or 99.98 per cent while Fernando Poe Jr. got only 5 or .02 percent.

Zaldy is the son of Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan. The opposition report of the 2004 elections stated that "no elections took place in hundreds of precincts in Maguindanao."

The opposition report also said, "the provincial COC’s for Maguindanao is a product of fictitious and spurious votes coming from 11 municipalities, which have a turnout of 99.99 per cent, with all the votes going to candidate GMA and zero for candidate Poe."

It is understandable that the Ampatuans would stick it out with Arroyo and that Arroyo would continue cultivating the Ampatuans because they are both deeply embroiled in the alleged election fraud in 2004.

There are even talks, unconfirmed, that before leaving the country last month, Garcillano was seen in the jurisdiction of the Ampatuans.

It was not surprising therefore that Hussin would be dropped in the ARMM in favor of Ampatuan. Yet, Hussin is not completely ignorant of what happened in the ARMM, not only in the manipulation of votes but also in the use of public funds. Somehow, he had to be given an incentive to keep silent. Thus, Saudi Arabia was dangled.

Sources in the DFA, however, said there has been no instruction from Malacañang to seek Saudi Arabia’s agreement to nominate Hussin although Guinomla is being transferred to Turkey. There is also no instruction to create a new position of special envoy to OIC for Hussin.

Early this year, when national security adviser Norberto Gonzales wanted to push Hussin out of ARMM due to differences on how to use the multi-million dollar development fund from foreign countries for the autonomous region, Malacañang instructed DFA to nominate him as ambassador to Sweden. (Hussin’s wife is Swedish.)

The Sweden assignment for Hussin caused a minor furor in the DFA because Ambassador Vicky Bataclan had assumed her Stockholm post for a little over a year and she should not be moved out until after the regular three-year tour of duty. The DFA then thought of setting up an embassy in Norway for Bataclan. The plan never materialized due to lack of funds. Hussin was allowed to finish his term up to Sept. 30 this year.

Hussin is getting restless waiting for his ambassadorial nomination. He is worried that he would be discarded now that Arroyo is preoccupied with buying allies in the impeachment battle.

We have a suggestion to Hussin: try blackmail, the language best understood by Arroyo. He should threaten to expose what he knows on the 2004 ARMM elections. Let’s see how fast she would reach for the phone and make the call to Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo.

Or he can forget about that Saudi assignment and, for once, think of the country. How about telling the truth?

Agree. Tell the truth. It is the right thing to do. Wag kang magpabili kay GMA.

- PDI columnist Amando Doronila's nomination as EU Ambassador questioned

Crazy American Woman Touring Iraq

Just kidding. She's brave, I must say. Here's her blog.

(HT: Michael Totten)

How bout hiring Bounty Hunter Duane Chapman to hunt down Garci?

Here's his TV show "Dog the Bounty Hunter". And his bio.

Yung P1 million reward ng opposition ibigay sa kanya kapag nahuli niya si Virgilio Garcillano.

(thanks to commenter james for the suggestion)

Arroyo, Estrada, Imelda

Conrad de Quiros has thoughts on the possibility of the three sharing the same stage together.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

How to win in Iraq

Here's an essay by Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr., published in Foreign Affairs magazine.

Summary: Because they lack a coherent strategy, U.S. forces in Iraq have failed to defeat the insurgency or improve security. Winning will require a new approach to counterinsurgency, one that focuses on providing security to Iraqis rather than hunting down insurgents. And it will take at least a decade.

ANDREW F. KREPINEVICH, JR., is Executive Director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University. He is the author of The Army and Vietnam.

An important article, IMO.

And here's David Brooks reaction to Krepinevich's article.

Andrew Krepinevich is a careful, scholarly man. A graduate of West Point and a retired lieutenant colonel, his book, "The Army and Vietnam," is a classic on how to fight counterinsurgency warfare.

Over the past year or so he's been asking his friends and former colleagues in the military a few simple questions: Which of the several known strategies for fighting insurgents are you guys employing in Iraq? What metrics are you using to measure your progress?

The answers have been disturbing. There is no clear strategy. There are no clear metrics.

Krepinevich has now published an essay in the new issue of Foreign Affairs, "How to Win in Iraq," in which he proposes a strategy. The article is already a phenomenon among the people running this war, generating discussion in the Pentagon, the C.I.A., the American Embassy in Baghdad and the office of the vice president.

Krepinevich's proposal is hardly new. He's merely describing a classic counterinsurgency strategy, which was used, among other places, in Malaya by the British in the 1950's. The same approach was pushed by Tom Donnelly and Gary Schmitt in a Washington Post essay back on Oct. 26, 2003; by Kenneth Pollack in Senate testimony this July 18; and by dozens of midlevel Army and Marine Corps officers in Iraq.

Krepinevich calls the approach the oil-spot strategy. The core insight is that you can't win a war like this by going off on search and destroy missions trying to kill insurgents. There are always more enemy fighters waiting. You end up going back to the same towns again and again, because the insurgents just pop up after you've left and kill anybody who helped you. You alienate civilians, who are the key to success, with your heavy-handed raids.

Instead of trying to kill insurgents, Krepinevich argues, it's more important to protect civilians. You set up safe havens where you can establish good security. Because you don't have enough manpower to do this everywhere at once, you select a few key cities and take control. Then you slowly expand the size of your safe havens, like an oil spot spreading across the pavement.

Once you've secured a town or city, you throw in all the economic and political resources you have to make that place grow. The locals see the benefits of working with you. Your own troops and the folks back home watching on TV can see concrete signs of progress in these newly regenerated neighborhoods. You mix your troops in with indigenous security forces, and through intimate contact with the locals you begin to even out the intelligence advantage that otherwise goes to the insurgents.

If you ask U.S. officials why they haven't adopted this strategy, they say they have. But if that were true the road to the airport in Baghdad wouldn't be a death trap. It would be within the primary oil spot.

The fact is, the U.S. didn't adopt this blindingly obvious strategy because it violates some of the key Rumsfeldian notions about how the U.S. military should operate in the 21st century.

First, it requires a heavy troop presence, not a light, lean force. Second, it doesn't play to our strengths, which are technological superiority, mobility and firepower. It acknowledges that while we go with our strengths, the insurgents exploit our weakness: the lack of usable intelligence.

Third, it means we have to think in the long term. For fear of straining the armed forces, the military brass have conducted this campaign with one eye looking longingly at the exits. A lot of the military planning has extended only as far as the next supposed tipping point: the transfer of sovereignty, the election, and so on. We've been rotating successful commanders back to Washington after short stints, which is like pulling Grant back home before the battle of Vicksburg. The oil-spot strategy would force us to acknowledge that this will be a long, gradual war.

But the strategy has one virtue. It might work.

Today, public opinion is turning against the war not because people have given up on the goal of advancing freedom, but because they are not sure this war is winnable. Why should we sacrifice more American lives to a lost cause?

If President Bush is going to rebuild support for the war, he's going to have to explain specifically how it can be won, and for that he needs a strategy.

It's not hard to find. It's right there in Andy Krepinevich's essay, and in the annals of history.

Billions in Farm Funds used for Arroyo Campaign

Naglalabasan na ang baho ng Arroyo admin, ano?

From Luz Rimban of PCIJ:

The PCIJ’s latest report follows the trail of nearly P3 billion released by the Department of Agriculture (DA) during the 2004 presidential campaign. Our investigation found that big chunks of that money were diverted to congressmen, mayors and governors who are allies of President Arroyo. We also found that a portion of the money mysteriously ended up in the hands of obscure private foundations and companies. At least one of these foundations doesn’t exist, according to records of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). From the foundations, the money was siphoned to the Arroyo campaign, say DA insiders, Commission on Audit investigators and farmers’ groups.

While Congress has been busy looking into allegations that jueteng lord Bong Pineda contributed P300 million to the Arroyo campaign, far less attention has so far been devoted to charges that the President’s biggest donor was actually the Filipino taxpayer.

The Marcos wealth, we found out, was also tapped. The DA fund releases included over P1 billion that came from the portion of the Marcos money confiscated by the government. In April 2004, part of these funds were transferred from the Department of Land Reform to the DA. Up to now, the DA cannot account for these funds, which were supposed to be used to buy seeds and to bankroll community irrigation projects. Farmers groups allege the money was instead diverted to the presidential campaign.

In all, as much as P5 billion from government coffers could have been used to promote Arroyo’s candidacy, PCIJ research shows. While the bulk of this amount came from the DA, other sources included the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Fund, which financed the issuance of temporary Philhealth cards. Millions of these cards bearing the President’s photo were distributed during the campaign. In addition the Motor Vehicles User’s Charge was used to pay for GMA billboards and to provide temporary jobs in an effort to win votes.

Read the whole thing.


- Did Marcos Wealth and Taxpayers bankroll GMA Campaign

The Great Misconception about Impeachment

Another mail, from Enteng Romano again of E-Mandirigma. Read the whole thing:

My fellow e-Mandirigmas,

I’ve heard it asked many times. “Why are you people pre-judging GMA? Why don’t you let the rule of law take its course and prove her guilt through a constitutionally prescribed due process?”

They are, of course, referring to impeachment. And they believe this is the forum where GMA should be properly accused, evidences presented, and GMA defended. At the end of the exercise, they expect a determination with finality (which means it cannot be appealed) of whether or not she is guilty.

And there lies the great misconception... because impeachment is not a judicial process where determination of guilt or innocence is based solely on evidence. Impeachment is a purely political process decided by politicians, for whatever reason.

Regardless of the evidences presented, Congress can simply decide to quash the proceedings.

Take the impeachment case of COMELEC Commissioner Tantangco, for example. The evidence compiled by the impeachment complainants could have indicted Tantangco with over 100 counts of electoral fraud and corrupt acts in a court of law. But Congress thrashed the impeachment complaint just the same, because it was not in the best political interest of the justice committee members. Besides, there were no other interested parties aside from the complainants, and therefore no political pressure upon them to even pretend looking at the merits of the complaint.

And because this is a political exercise, it is important that we, the people, participate.


First, we have to make a judgment based on the information available to us – the transcript of the Garci tapes, the testimonies, the maneuverings of both the opposition and the administration, and the political developments as they unfold before us.

Next, we have to bear upon our legislators to make a decision based on our sense of right and wrong.

Speaker Joe de Venecia arrogantly declared on national TV that the impeachment is dead because he has secured firm commitments from 280+ Congressmen who will vote down the complaint. And this, even before they could decide which complaint to process, and even before a single evidence is presented.

But you know why they still have not voted it down? Because many of the Congressmen are still not sure whether it is the “politically correct” thing to do… because many of them fear that it might trigger a “second-envelope” scenario that led to EDSA 2, and they might find themselves on the wrong side of the political fence… because there are people who have not relented on making it known that we will not allow the process to be railroaded.

I believe it is time to assert our voice in this political exercise that is called impeachment. In the coming days, we will flood the mailboxes of targeted Congressmen to make them know where we stand and to appeal to them to, at least, give opportunity for evidences to be presented, so that we – the people, might know the truth.

Those of you who have been with me during the Erap eLagda days will remember this as the e-Mandirigma campaigns. Well.. it is time to activate it once again.

I invite those of you who share my belief to please send a blank email to where I will be giving instructions on the target Congressmen and the suggested message for the day.

By God’s grace, if we make a stand now for our moral convictions, we may yet see a better Philippines for our children.

God bless and God save the republic.


Cheating is a moral issue where there are no shades of gray. There’s only black and white.

Invitation to a forum with Hyatt 10 on August 30

From Enteng Romano of E-Mandirigma:

The Facts You May Never Hear if the Impeachment is Quashed

The Black-and-White Movement is pleased to invite you to a forum with the Hyatt 10 on Tuesday, August 30, 2005 from 10:00 am - 12:00 nn at the Metro Club (across Rockwell) Estrella corner Amapola Street in Makati City.
We believe the issues surrounding the Presidency and the Impeachment Complaint are as clear as Black-and-White. There are no shades of Gray when it comes to the Truth. The tapes, the letters, and the actions all speak for themselves.

Join us in this forum to listen to the facts you may never hear if the impeachment is quashed. Then decide for yourself where the Truth lies and what should be done about it.

Please join us for this important forum. For reservations, please call C4T at telephone numbers 4266001 loc 4624, tel/fax 4265938, or e-mail, or simply reply to this email.

Participation in the forum is free of charge but reservations are necessary because space is limited.

Hope to see you there.

God bless and God save the republic.



Bayani Fernando and Anna Leah Javier

Impeachment team napasukan ng espiya

Kaya pala alam ng admin ang lahat ng kilos ng impeachment team eh.

O, bakit pa rin tayo target ng Al Queda?

Hindi ba kapag sinunod ni Arroyo ang demanda ng mga terrorista sa iraq by pulling all our troops out, hindi na raw tayo aatakihin ng Al Queda?

O bakit "secondary target" pa rin tayo ng AQ?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The longer she stays in power, the more bankrupt government becomes

At the rate the transactions go, using the road users’ tax in the hands of Ronnie’s kid brother Dodie Puno, using Pagcor funds from the ever-willing Ephraim, using gentle Romy Neri whose open-ended management of the budget is not even half as parsimonious as the lady Emily Boncodin, not all the VAT’s in the world will save this government from insolvency.

The longer she stays in power, the more bankrupt government becomes. There is a direct proportion between Gloria in Malacañang and the Philippine state of insolvency.

From Lito Banayo.

Aside from Ronnie and Dodie Puno, there's also Dong Puno of ABS-CBN to worry about. The guy's a top ABS-CBN official, IIRC.

The Party-List Mess

and how it may affect the impeachment process.

Arroyo's going-away present before she leaves for UN appearance

Nice gift from her allies.


Planting and tampering with evidence, how low will Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's goons will stoop to save the fake president from being ousted?

Tapos ang sasabihin ng mga kakampi ni GMA, "let's move on" na lang! Let's "forgive and forget" na lang!

From Ninez Cacho Olivarez:

The illegal raid conducted by the police and military goons of Gloria Arroyo on a rented home that served as a safehouse for an opposition-allied document expert-witness while seizing the election documents and other studies he had kept, really stinks to high heavens.

With the return by these goons of the seized private property to the opposition a week after the raid, it has become only too clear that the intent of Gloria and her goons was not only to rob the opposition of its evidence of poll rigging, but after being exposed publicly, also exchanged some of these poll documents that show blatant fraud with the fabricated documents.

The opposition charge of the inclusion of election returns (ERs) coming from Cebu which were not part of the documents being studied by Segundo Tabayoyong, as these have been stored in another site has been questioned.

There was, after all, so many days that the seized property stayed in police custody and just who, other than the opposition, would know which original and incriminating ERs and certificates of canvass were fabricated, if not the Gloria Arroyo camp, whose poll rigging ways even had the assistance of the police, now headed by a police chief whose name was mentioned in the Gloriagate tapes?

Why should there suddenly be a Cebu ER, when this was not supposed to be in the batch of seized documents, for instance? Cebu, as it is well-known, was where a lot of cheating was done to favor Gloria.

No doubt too, there are missing documents for which the raiding team cannot account, so it says instead that all the boxes containing the documents seized have been returned. There were also several videotapes said to be footage of poll fraud committed during the elections that are missing.

The Gloria goons, despite claims that the raid was legal, can't quite make their story stick. For one, they had no search and seizure order from a proper court. The court's permit is essential in that the probable reason for the raid would have been noted by the judge who issues the order.

But this legal step was dispensed with by the elements from the police Criminal Investigation and Detention Group and the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp) because they certainly couldn't come up with a legitimate reason to raid the opposition safehouse and seize election documents belonging to the opposition.

And the same goons couldn't quite come up with a claim that the raiding party was off to raid a shabu lab, or a jueteng or smuggling operation or even pounce on a kidnap gang holding a victim, as such a raid would not yield that which they would have told the judge was the reason for the raid and seizure.

The superiors of the Gloria goons claimed they went ahead with the raid because of a complaint from the owner of the house to Isafp (!) of suspicious activity. What activity, they did not say. But it was checked out with the security guards of the village in San Mateo that there were no visitors coming and going to that rented place. So what was so suspicious about Tabayoyong's activities?

As things stand, they are in hot water today, because there will be a probe on the illegal raid and seizure of private property and also the planted guns and magazines, whose ownership the police now claim they cannot establish since these are not registered. But of course they won't be registered, as these come from the raiding team itself, which has a lot of unregistered firearms.

But even more disturbing is the fact that the head of the Interior ministry, Angie Reyes, along with the police chief, Gen. Arturo Lomibao, the Defense chief Avelino Cruz and the AFP chief of staff, condone these illegal acts of their men, as all claimed the raid and seizure of the election documents and other videotapes were legitimate.

Since their superiors defend them all the time even when it is clear that the laws have been violated by their men, and worse, that these illegal operations are politically motivated and serving the personal political interests of Gloria Arroyo, how can they be expected to uphold the law and the Constitution, much less institute reforms in the police and military or even instill discipline and professionalism in these establishments when the top officials themselves defend all these illegal acts and encourage their men in uniform to engage in partisan political activities.

And they claim to be serving the people and the country?

They should hang their heads in shame instead.

It really is time for the Senate to give them a good dressing down and even recommend their being charged for violating all laws and the Constitution.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Segundo Tabayoyong

It's interesting na there's little outrage coming from the Mainstream Media and other civil society groups re the illegal raid conducted by ISAFP at CIDG sa bahay ni Segundo Tabayoyong para agawin ang ERs at iba pang dokumento na pagma-mayari ng opposition.

Of course, nagalit ang opposition sa "martial law" tactics na ginamit ng mga police thugs ni Arroyo, but aside from Sen. Drilon and one or two columnists from the mainstream media, wala! pffft! Either tahimik lang ang mga pro-Arroyo media people at civil society re this (dahil nahihiya sila sa katarantaduhan ng arroyo admin) or they're not really that upset or outraged. So where's Joker "Ubusin ang mga corrupt" Arroyo reaction to this? Where's Teddyboy Locsin's?

Instead, they take their cues from the Adminstration and focus instead on smearing Tabayoyong and questioning his qualifications. Or they would parrot Malacanang's line na peke at "manufactured" raw ang ERs na hawak ni Tabayoyong.

Then, there's Connie Veneracion, whose main concern re the "great raid" was that any evidence (of "ER tampering" and "phony documents" done by the evil opposition) found in Tabayoyong's residence cannot be used against the opposition because the raid was conducted without a warrant, therefore the evidence found there is "inadmissible".

Then she tries to suggest similarities between the tabayoyong raid and the "illegally wiretapped" Garci tapes... na parehong "inadmissible" raw yung ebidensiya sa dalawang kaso.

Pero hindi pwede eh, kasi yung wiretapped tapes is re evidence on Arroyo and Garci trying to rig the presidential elections. Yung sa Tabayoyong case naman, ninakaw ng administration ang mga ERs at iba pang dokumento kay Tabayoyong, para malaman ng mga tuta ni GMA kung anong ebidensiya ang hawak ng opposition.


Anyways, it doesn't matter kung "walang qualifications" si tabayoyong, like what the admin claims -- mali pa rin ang ginawang raid ng ISAFP at CIDG, dahil si loren legarda mismo ang nagpa-tago ng mga ERs na yan sa bahay ni Tabayoyong.

At kahit na "peke" ang documents, hindi pa rin justification yan para gumawa ng warrantless search. At hindi ba mas politically smart kung hintayin na lang ng admin na ilabas ng opposition ang "pekeng" documents bago nila i-expose ang "forged documents" na yan.

Pero hindi eh, dahil legit talaga yung kopya ng opposition and the police and ISAFP has no right breaking into tabayoyong's room to steal the documents.

Whoa! Mukhang isasali na ang Malaya sa Google News!

Here's hoping! (fingers crossed)

Click this google news link.

Take note yung nakasulat sa ilalim ng search box:

Search news source Malaya for arroyo

Meaning, news source na ang Malaya, pero wala pang lumalabas as of now (but hopefully within a day or two, may Malaya articles na rin sa Google News... SANA!)

Pasok na ang Daily Tribune sa Google News

As of August 24, 2005.Check it out here.

Now, if the good people at google philippines can do the same thing to Malaya, then that would be super cool.

Please click on this link to recommend the Malaya newspaper to Google News.

UPDATE: Interesting, ngayon ko lang nakita ito... as early as August 5, 2005 meron na pala ang Tribune articles sa google news.

BUT i'm pretty sure na hindi pa kasali ang tribune noong Aug. 5 dahil I checked eh -- using the search items "daily tribune" arroyo, katulad ng ginamit ko dati sa manila standard today: "Manila Standard Today" arroyo. Wala pang tribune articles dati sa google news when I posted this back in Aug. 14, 2005.

Which means what? Di-nitect na rin ng google news yung mga lumang articles ng Tribune, even though probably this week lang isinali ng mga taga-Google ang Daily Trib sa Google news?


- Let's get Google News to pick up Malaya and Tribune as a news source (Aug 23, 2005)

PNP fails to trace owner of guns seized in Rizal raid

Aside from that, the ERs were also returned to Loren Legarda.

The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) yesterday said it failed to trace the ownership of the guns seized at the rented house of former National Bureau of Investigation handwriting expert and chief document examiner Segundo Tabayoyong in an early morning raid by operatives of the PNP-CIDG and Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp) agents staged last week in San Mateo town, Rizal.

Police Supt. Wilben Mayor, CIDG-National Capital Region Intelligence and Investigation Branch chief, said his department found that the .38 caliber revolver and the .9 mm pistol seized from the rented room of Tabayoyong were not registered with the PNP Firearms and Explosives Division.

The alleged failure of the police to trace the owner of the weapons bolstered suspicions that they were “planted.”

The weapons were allegedly found by the authorities along with a lone magazine for a Thompson submachine gun during the raid that was staged last Aug. 17.

Finding nothing irregular in the seized items, the CIDG yesterday afternoon returned the seized 41 bundles ERs and other poll documents that were placed in 13 boxes to the opposition represented by former Sen. Loren Legarda.

Legarda, however, said she was “conditionally receiving” the documents from the CIDG as she raised the possibility that some of the election documents may have been “tampered with or substituted with forgeries” while in the possession of the police and military operatives who took them.

“Just because the CIDG has turned over to us these items, it doesn't mean that that's already the end of the story. The raid was illegal, and the seizure of the documents was illegal. We have to determine first if there are items missing or if alterations were done on the documents while in the possession of the raiders,” she said.

So, peke ba o manufactured yung mga ERs na nakuha nyo sa bahay ni Tabayoyong, ISAFP and CIDG? Dahil sabi ni Makalintal na peke raw ito.

UPDATE: But not everything has been returned:

Raval also claimed the video tapes which proved cheating during the elections last year were missing.

When pressed by reporters whether the video camera and video tapes which Tabayoyong had said were seized from the house were inside the boxes returned to Legarda, Mayor said his team had not taken any cameras or tapes from the residence.

Tabayoyong said the missing video tapes were important because he taped his examination of the election documents while they were taped on the wall of the house.

So why aren't the tapes returned yet, ISAFP?

Time is running out on Impeachment option

Still short of the required endorsers for the amended impeachment complaint to be automatically transmitted to the Senate for trial, the pro-impeachment bloc in the House is now under heavy pressure to solicit more signatures, having been tipped off that President Arroyo had given the administration allies the marching orders to kill the amended complaint by Tuesday next week, at the earliest but definitely before she enplanes for Saudi Arabia and New York next month.

From the Tribune.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Nagsalita na naman ulit Teddy Locsin

From the Malaya:

Locsin described the impeachment proceedings as a "fight between two groups of liars – the minority that claims it has proof of (Arroyo’s) guilt and the Palace which insists it is innocent."

Walang ebidensiya you say Mr. Teddyboy? Hindi lang naman yung "Hello garci" tape ang ebidensiya na may dayaan eh. What about the conflicting ERs and COCs that were presented during the canvassing of votes, Mr. Teddyboy? What about the "bokyahan" (GMA gets all the votes in that area, the rest all gets zero votes). Or the fact that GMA won in areas where mas maraming bumoto kaysa sa registered voters?

There were enough election fraud evidence presented during the canvassing of votes in 2004, but those were just "noted" away by kiko pangilinan and now DOJ secretary Raul Gonzalez. The opposition's request for a recount were denied more than 200 times by GMA's stonewallers. Dinaan nila sa numero ang pag-railroad ng proclamation ni GMA.

Sinabi rin ni Locsin na nagsisinungaling raw ang Palasyo dahil "hindi rin inosente" ito. Pero hindi specific si Teddyboy kung ano yung tinutukoy niya.

Hindi innocent si Arroyo dahil ninakaw niya ang eleksyon? O baka naman sa tingin ni Locsin ay "guilty" lang si Arroyo dahil nakipag-usap siya kay Chairman Ben Abalos at "lapse of judgment" lang ang kasalanan ni GMA? Medyo malabo si Locsin dito.

Ito kasi ang problema sa mga pro-Arroyo people (at mga pro arroyo bloggers, you know who they are) na nagkukunwaring "neutral" raw sila, but they spend most of their time criticizing the opposition instead of the administration on the GLORIAGATE case -- as if yung opposition, si Lacson at si FPJ ang nandaya at nagko-coverup sa nakaraang presidential election.

Locsin also advised the "united" opposition to pull its act together.

"If they continue to be bedeviled with their broad coalition, like Marcos, Cory, Erap and others, it would be very hard to reconcile (their conflicting views). Like, how can you have a rally with a Marcos and an Aquino? What would you call it, the Assassins of Ninoy Aquino for Freedom Movement?" he said.

well, the fact that people from opposite extremes like cory and erap have come to the same conclussion about GMA's illegitimacy without any quid pro quos or bayaran involved says a lot, don't you think Teddyboy?

And Imelda Marcos is now pro-Arroyo, FYI.

UPDATE: Garcillano's case is being revived.

Palace admits: GMA intel funds used to spy on political foes

Malacañang yesterday admitted that the intelligence funds of the Office of the President are being used to monitor the political opposition.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, who made the admission, at the same time said they will not cut President Arroyo's intelligence funds even at the cost of the government being forced to resort to borrowing from local and international sources to bridge the budget deficit.

When asked during a press briefing if Mrs. Arroyo intends to slash her intelligence funds of close to P1 billion to patch up the deficit that could reach P200 billion at the end of this year, Ermita replied, “Of course know, it is the opposition asking us to do this (spying) because they want to weaken the administration, so we can not run after them, that's what they want.”

He claimed that the opposition would have done the same if it was in power.

“But if we change positions, let us say they would be in our shoes... do you think they would like to cut their intelligence funds? Of course not. They want more resources to run after their detractors,” Ermita said.

His apparent slip coincided with Malacanñang's announcement of increasing by 18.7 percent the budget allocation for the “modernization”of the AFP for 2006.

Link to the whole article here.

It's nice to hear that our tax money is being used to spy on the opposition and other partisan purposes.

Arroyo the Gatecrasher

From Ellen Tordesillas:

Si Archie Yap ay nagtatanong kung nag-gatecrash nga ba si Gloria sa death anniversary na misa ni Ninoy Aquino. You bet, Archie. Sabi ng kaibigan ko na nandoon, nagpasabi siya gabi ng Aug. 20 na darating kahit hindi siya inimbita. Bitbit niya siyempre ang kapatid ni Ninoy Aquino na ngayon ay ang kanyang image consultant, ang film director na si Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara.

Tensyunado raw ang atmosphere habang nandoon siya. At para lang talaga magpakuha ng picture na nagbebeso-beso kay Cory Aquino at sa ilang miyembro ng Hyatt 10. Pagkatapos noon umalis na. Narinig ang isa niyang kasama na nagsalitang natatawa, "O di ba okay? Simple lang."

Akala talaga nila naloko nila ang madlang Pilipino.

Deja vu

Why do I sense that the outcome of the impeachment complaint vs. GMA end up in the same manner as the 2004 Canvassing of votes in Congress?

Noong kina-canvass ang mga boto sa nakaraang presidential election, dinaan rin sa technicalities at sa "pa noted-noted" nina Kiko Pangilinan at former congressman at current DOJ secretary Raul Gonzalez. Back then, the admin allies effectively stonewalled for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and denied the opposition's request for a recount of the disputed ERs by more than 200 times.

Everybody assumes a recount must have taken place since it took a long time for the canvassing of votes to be completed. But there was none. Most of the time was wasted on delaying tactics and technicalities by the administration allies to kill the proposed recount and "note" away all the evidence vs Arroyo.

And now, we're seeing the same thing happening again in the impeachment process.


But to those who think the opposition made a mistake by falling into the "impeachment trap" set by Arroyo's allies, mali rin kayo.

We need to go through the impeachment process para ipakita natin sa lahat na we've tried every constitutional means available to bring Arroyo to justice. It's necessary talaga.

UPDATE: Read this editorial too from Malaya.

PDI's Amando Doronila nomination to EU ambassadorship questioned

Isang thank-you reward itong EU appointment ng GMA Admin kay Doronila for his pro-Arroyo column in the PDI and his loyalty to the administration.

Here's the report:

Fitness of envoy-designate to EU questioned

NEWSPAPER columnist Amando Doronila’s nomination as ambassador to the Benelux countries and to the European Union met stiff opposition at the Commission on Appointments yesterday.

Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Luisa Ejercito Estrada, Sergio Osmeña III and Rodolfo Biazon questioned the competence as well as the physical fitness of Doronila, 77.

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, chairwoman of the Commission on Appointments committee on foreign service, said she would ask Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo to explain how career and non-career ambassadors are selected for particular postings.

"It used to be that it was left to the discretion of the President, but we want to know which embassies deserve a career officer or a non-career ambassador," she said.

Estrada said the foreign service should not be made a dumping ground for political appointees.

Osmeña said Doronila failed to answer basic questions such as level of trade between Europe and the Philippines and the number of overseas Filipino workers in the continent.

Enrile said Doronila does not seem to know what his job entails.

Biazon said Doronila is too old. The Foreign Service Act places the maximum age of an ambassador at 65.

Santiago said Doronila has suffered a stroke and is under medical observation.

Santiago said the bi-partisan objection to Doronila’s appointment has reduced his chances of confirmation.

"It will be difficult for him to be confirmed," she said. "Some members of the committee have serious doubts if he can carry out the functions of the position."

Enrile said he would invoke Section 20 if the committee would recommend Doronila’s confirmation without providing an explanation on the hierarchy of importance of embassies.

Invoking Section 20 automatically places a nominee’s confirmation on hold with the CA member invoking the privilege not having to explain his objection.

Enrile clarified that he has nothing personal against Doronila.

"He’s competent in the area of being a journalist. He can write but whether he’s competent as diplomat is something else. That’s why we have to know and be assured that he can represent us there and protect our interest," Enrile said.

Three nominees breezed through the process. They were former Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara who is going to Lebanon, Ambassador to Vietnam Victoriano Lecaros who is moving to Malaysia and assistant secretary for Middle East and African Affairs Norberto Basilio who is going to Bangladesh.

Rep. Eulogio Magsaysay's lame excuse

PCIJ has the details kung bakit siya umatras sa impeachment complaint. Read the whole thing.

This is funny too:

In his press conference, Magsaysay read from a statement that was prepared for him by his chief-of-staff, who told the congressman to just read its pertinent portions. Appearing clueless, or probably lacking sleep, Magsaysay even had to ask his staff which were the pertinent parts in the statement that he should read.

A prepared statement from Malacanang lawyers, perhaps?

In other news, we get more delaying tactics and technicalities from the admin allies.

It's Gloria, Stupid!

Tama nga naman si Herman Tiu Laurel, at responsibilidad ni Ramos yung mahinang 0.6% GDP in 1998 (mainly because of the Asian Financial Crisis):

Rigoberto Tiglao has insulted the intelligence of 84 million Filipinos again with his “It's the economy, stupid” article a few days back, using misleading interpretation of historical data claiming for GMA an average 4-percent GDP growth rate against Aquino's 3.8 percent, Ramos' 3.7 percent and Estrada's 2.8 percent. Tiglao uses a deliberately misleading assumption that Estrada's economic governance started in 1998 when the GDP fell to 0.6 percent. Economists know that there is a lag time of at least 6 months as one administration passes on to the next and 1998 is certainly Ramos' responsibility.

Estrada's first year was 1999 and growth had recovered to 3.4-percent GDP from -0.6 percent left by Ramos. This was followed by Erap's year 2000 GDP of 4.4 percent. When Mrs. Arroyo took over in January of 2001 after the Edsa II power grab, that rate fell to 3 percent. These are official Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas figures we are citing.

Tiglao claims that Erap's drinking and mahjong sprees kept him away from decisively leading the economy out of the Asian-wide financial crisis and that Chavit Singson's expose in 2000 only further weakened the troubled economies. But the data show Erap still managed 4.4-percent GDP.

Here's more:

Tiglao claims a decline in the poverty incidence from 27.5 percent in 2000 down to 24.7 percent in 2003 during Gloria's years. What Tiglao doesn't explain is that the poverty threshold was revised since then from P13,823.00/person down to P11,605/person. As an ADB report on the Internet remarked about the change in the poverty threshold, i.e. the level of income/year where an individual is considered poor, it gave the new poverty definition a $50 per capita bonus. But various surveys have put the poverty and hunger at over 50 percent, while real family income of Filipinos fell 14 percent from the year 2000 to 2003 and the purchasing power of the peso fell by 10 percent.

Tiglao omits a discussion of the unemployment figures that during Estrada's time and using SWS figures never exceeded 12.5 percent (the worse in Dec. 2000), while employment under Gloria fluctuated and deteriorated from 14.1 percent in March 2003 down to 20.3 percent in May of 2005. As a consequence, 57 percent of the people rated themselves as poor in the March 2005 survey. Mrs. Arroyo's debacles are real, unlike Estrada's created by destabilization in 2000. Tiglao clearly falsified the presentation of the statistics to suit his objective of prettifying what actually is a horrible economic picture of Gloria's economic management.

One of the most basic and important economic indicators is the level of external debt the Philippines has and this is one thing Tiglao obviously did not want to touch on and never brought up. During Erap's 1999 to 2000 years, foreign debt grew from $50.99 billion to $51.206 billion rising by only about $1.7 billion, Gloria's on the other hand grew from $51.900 billion in 2001 to $53.645 billion in 2002 and then leapt to $57.396 billion in 2003 increasing gigantically by almost $4 billion! Despite this, growth had not significantly improved in 2004 where the President claims up to 6.1-percent GDP, election spending created the artificial upswing which this year crashes back to 4.5 percent as the August issue of The Economist records.

Bro. Mike Velarde's palpak na gimmick

Nagmukhang tanga tuloy.

From the Malaya:

DURING Mike Velarde’s birthday celebration last Saturday, Gloria Arroyo said the El Shaddai leader was sent by God as a "prophet of reconciliation." We do not have the ability to discern what the Divine plan is for this benighted country, so we took Gloria’s word for it.

So what specific plan does the prophet of reconciliation have to end the current political crisis arising from charges that Arroyo stole the 2004 election?

Well, Velarde said he has come up with a formula where opposition groups would be brought in as partners of the administration. He said his proposal is for the opposition parties to get 60 percent of Cabinet positions.

Velarde said Gloria is "receptive" to the idea of a coalition government. More, she is open to having her term cut short to 2007 when elections would be held.

Velarde said he and Gloria have discussed the transition formula at least three times. He added he has taken up the idea with President Joseph Estrada and other opposition leaders.

That’s as specific a proposal as one could get. So what does the Palace say about Velarde’s initiative?

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye yesterday said there is no need for a coalition government. What Gloria wants, he said, is "principled working relation."

Poor Velarde, if poor is the word to describe this entrepreneur who a few months back was gifted by Gloria and her housing czar, Vice President Noli de Castro, with a P500 million loan for a real estate development project.

Hailed as a prophet last weekend, he is now obliquely being called a liar.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Early Indication on what will happen once we shift to Parliamentary

From Neal Cruz again:

An indication of what will happen to us once we have a parliamentary form of government is the abuse that the House of Representatives is already committing. Knowing that the Senate is against changing the Constitution through a constituent assembly, the House went ahead and passed a resolution by itself, minus the Senate, to form a constituent assembly to change the Constitution. This despite the fact that opinion polls show that eight out of every 10 Filipinos don’t want to amend the Constitution or have a parliamentary government.

We are a representative democracy and congressmen are elected to represent their districts in the House. They are supposed to follow the wishes of their constituents who are their employers. But look at what they’re doing. They are disobeying their constituents and pushing Charter change just because of the ambition of their leader who wants to become prime minister by hook or by crook because he knows he cannot be elected president.

The members of the new Parliament will be the same congressmen or their relatives. So you can see what they will do in a unitary legislature where there is no Senate to check their abuses, where they, the members of parliament and not the people, will elect the head of government, the prime minister, and where even the members of the Cabinet will come from among the MPs. Thus, there will be no balance of powers among the executive, legislative and judicial branches as we have now. The people will be at the mercy of the party in power. If our honorable representatives can commit these abuses in a system where there is a balance of power, imagine what they can do when there is none.

Kaya malaking kalokohan yung sinasabi nila na mababawasan ang corruption, dayaan at abuso sa gobierno kapag pinalitan natin ang sistema natin.


More here:

In the first place, there is no such thing as a “constituent assembly” in the Constitution. There was one in the 1935 Constitution but none in the present one. How can the House convene a constituent assembly when it is not authorized by the Charter?

It shows that the members of the House -- not the Speaker, not the members, not even the President who also endorsed a con-ass—read the Constitution. All except Rep. Hermilando Mandanas who also told the Kapihan sa Manila forum last Monday what the other members have also not read: that any individual legislator can propose amendments to the Constitution and that he, in fact, has already filed one.

He said, however, that Charter change should be put in the back burner, as the time is not right for it. This is the worst time for Charter change, Mandanas said, because we are financially and politically unstable. The politicians are only looking out for themselves, not the people, and therefore would change the Constitution for their own benefit.

In spite of the clear opposition of the nation against Charter change, it is still possible that the present gang in the House may be able to change it. In that case, the only way to stop them, short of a revolution, is to vote against the new Charter in the plebiscite. Vote No.

Vote No? Eh paano na kung dadayain ni Arroyo at ng COMELEC yung botohan sa Charter Change? It happened in the last presidential elections, so what makes you think na hindi nila gagawin ito ulit?

GMA's "Kapit sa Patalim" moves

From Neal Cruz:

A SIGN of the fear and desperation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is that she is trying to make deals right and left with people who can help her survive politically. She is offering a deal to former President Joseph Estrada, the man she kicked out of office and from whom she stole half of his presidential term. She is also dangling an offer to the Marcoses to bury the former president Ferdinand Marcos in, of all places, the Libingan ng mga Bayani [Cemetery of Heroes]. Former President Fidel Ramos is already in her corner in exchange for her support for a shift to a parliamentary system of government to make it possible for him to return to power as prime minister. Marcos, Ramos, Estrada and Macapagal-Arroyo -- four presidents banding together for their own selfish interests and like China, we will have our own Gang of Four.

We Filipinos have a term for it: “kapit sa patalim” [literally, gripping the blade]. The desperate will do anything, even hang on to a sharp blade, to survive. Like Faustus, he or she will make a pact with the devil to get what he or she wants.

Ms Arroyo seems to be making deals with anybody willing to be bought, paying congressmen to vote against impeachment, bribing witnesses to lie, hiding witnesses who could reveal things that would damn her, and committing other illegal acts such as disbursing funds for purposes for which they were not appropriated by Congress. Has she already made bribery, cheating and lying official policies of government? I hope not, but it is beginning to look more and more like that.

Makati Rep. Teddyboy Locsin revealed that shortly before the elections, she released funds intended for the purchase of fertilizers to congressmen, including those from Metro Manila and other urban areas where there are no farms to fertilize. Those fertilizer funds, however, were really intended to fertilize not farms but pockets.

The new fund releases from the Road Users’ Tax, on the other hand, are intended not for the construction or repair of roads but to run over the impeachment complaint by the administration’s congressional railroad. Proof is that after anti-impeachment congressmen got their shares, Ms Arroyo suddenly stopped further releases so that pro-impeachment lawmakers won’t get any.

The bankrupt government is being bankrupted even more by huge payoffs to buy Ms Arroyo’s survival. Taxes from the expanded value-added tax, not yet being collected now, are already being spent. As the "Hyatt 10" group of resigned Cabinet members said, money, patronage, appointments, contracts, etc. are not spared just to insure her survival. No position on Earth is worth all that much dirt.

GMA willing to appoint "opposition" members in cabinet

From the Tribune:

Malacañang yesterday said President Arroyo is open to appointing opposition members to her Cabinet amid speculations she is seeking reconciliation with political opponents amid moves to oust her.

Let me guess kung sino yung unang ia-appoint ni Gloria Macapagal Arroyo na taga-"opposition": Si Angara at si Enrile