AS we now have seen, Proclamation 1017 had two basic objectives: first, to create a climate of urgency to justify extreme police measures and, thus, a chilling effect on the public; and second, to test the public acceptability of the use of even more coercive measures in the future.
The Arroyo regime's readiness to use coercion against its critics should, however, not lull us into thinking that her other powers have completely run out. Ms Arroyo continues to enjoy residual support from the mass media, from the business community, and from religious leaders. She knows this support is dwindling and is becoming passive. That is why she is doing everything to preserve what is left of it by paying these key sectors well-publicized presidential visits or by inviting them to dinner in Malacanang. We have to tell these presidential props that they cannot play this game without being made accountable. If they wish to remain politically neutral, they must manifest their neutrality both with respect to Ms Arroyo and to those who oppose her.
WORD! Read the whole thing.
As long as we just keep telling the truth about this administration and their allies, in the end, babagsak rin ang corrupt at mandarayang "presidente" na ito.
Ellen Tordesillas comments on David's article and has this story to tell about an ARroyo incident 2 years ago.
The deceased was one of the very few friends that Arroyo had since their Assumption high school days. She was with Arroyo during her Senate days and was in Malacañang during the first six months of Arroyo’s unelected presidency.
After a bitter departure from Malacañang over an issue that involved Mike Arroyo, the lady was found to have cancer. A source who was close to the family said as the lady lay dying at the hospital, Arroyo sent word that she would like to visit her. She was asked if she had forgiven her powerful friend. She nodded. Asked if she would welcome her visit, she shook her head.
At the wake at the Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Arroyo sent word that she was going visit and there was not much that the family could do.
When Arroyo entered the room, someone who was there described the scene as like "parting of the Red Sea." All those who were seated near the aisle, moved out. When Arroyo took the seat on the left side, almost everybody went to the right side.
The source said, the hostility of the other guests towards Arroyo was so palpable she left immediately after the mass.
That experience must have been the reason why Arroyo did not dare foist her presence during the wake of a distinguished journalist and an incorruptible lady government official last year. Malacañang officials, who paid their last respects to both personalities, must have told her that her wreaths were relegated far away from the coffin, an eloquent statement how she was regarded in those circles.
Si Bing Rodrigo ba ang tinutukoy dito?
Erap to be released in 2007?
From the Tribune:
Despite its much publicized efforts to reconcile with the camp of deposed President Joseph Estrada, Malacañang yesterday refused to give any commitment on the proposed release of the ousted leader next year when he turns 70 years old.
This was the Palace’s reaction to the statement of lawyer Leonard de Vera, convenor of Equal Justice for All Movement, who said Estrada should be released once he turns 70 years old next year based on Memorandum Circular (MC) 155 issued by President Arroyo on Nov. 17, 2004, which granted executive clemency to convicts who are 70 years old and above.
Heh. And Leonard de Vera is the one suggesting this? Hindi ba Erap hater yan dati? What made him change his attitude on Erap?
Of course, this move will be done to appease erap's masa supporters.
Estrada would turn 70 years of age on April 2007.
I wrote something about a possible "Free Erap" move by the admin back in February.
Arbet Bernardo calls for a debate on Charter change among bloggers.
Sorry, but I think I'll pass. I'm in no mood to debate CHA CHA as long as the fake president is the one orchestrating the change (and I'm against CHA CHA btw, since FVR's time pa.)
The "great debate" on Charter change has begun:
AT least two million people have signed a petition supporting amendments to the 1987 Constitution via the people’s initiative route, a coalition spearheading the campaign yesterday said.
The Sigaw ng Bayan Movement said it expected the figure to rise dramatically as more reports from the field were expected to pour in Sunday night.
It said local executives who monitored Saturday’s barangay assemblies reported that 20 to 60 percent of registered voters were likely to sign a petition calling for people’s initiative to amend the charter.
Opposition lawmakers lambasted the exercise, saying voters were being asked to sign the petition under false pretenses.
They added it was the height of hypocrisy for Malacañang to deny its hand in the signature campaign or its funding for the exercise.
Bayan Muna Rep. Joel Virador, one of the five party-list congressmen who are under House custody for rebellion charges, said Bayan Muna chapters in the Visayas and Mindanao "have monitored local government officials gathering signatures from barangay residents without even telling them the nature and purpose of the administration’s desperate drive for changing the 1987 Constitution."
"Our people must reject completely deceptive move of President Arroyo to continue with her illegitimate presidency," Virador said. "Malacañang-financed barangay assemblies nationwide are not sanctioned under the 1987 Constitution," he said.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said: "This government has near-perfected the art of deceiving the people."
He said reports from the field showed government men were orchestrating the barangay assemblies.
"Talagang gumagastos sila ng pera sa pagpipirma na ginagawa nila. Sinasamantala nila ang kumakalam na sikmura ng kababayan natin para maisakatuparan ang kanilang hangarin na mag-shift tayo sa parliamentary system through people’s initiative. Alam nilang malaki ang problema sa Mataas na Kapulungan ng Kongreso," Lacson said.
Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said P20 million was initially released for the signature campaign.
He said municipal development officers of the Department of Interior and Local Government organized and coordinated the barangay assemblies.
"In that meeting, the local government officials were told about the funds for the holding of the barangay assembly and the money had been released," Pimentel said.
Pimentel also took note of the one-page advertisements on people’s initiative which appeared in several newspapers on March 24.
He said only the government is in a position to bankroll such an expensive promotional campaign.
Pimentel said he was not surprised anymore when barangay officials and workers, as well as residents, openly admitted that bribe money was being offered to those who would sign the petition calling for amendments to the Constitution.
Sen. Edgardo Angara said the use of money funds and barangay personnel in pushing for charter change via people’s initiative should not invalidate the entire process.
Angara said the funds doled out by local government leaders to bankroll the people’s initiative petition were "a consequence and necessary expense."
Thank you, Ed Angara, thank you.
More on the Cha cha from Neal Cruz and Manuel L. Quezon 3.
Conrad de Quiros: "Change the Charter? Nope, just change the usurper. Cheaper, faster, better."
Ninez isn't through with Garci and Arroyo's allies on the Passport scandal.
Nene Pimentel: GMA true to form in dropping Garcillano.
MALACAÑANG’S failure to come to the aid of former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano shows President Arroyo’s penchant to use others for her own ends and abandon them in their time of need, Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel yesterday said.
"(Former Agriculture Under-secretary Jocelyn) Bolante and others, beware!" Pimentel said.
Yeah, I even remember the admin and her House allies being very protective of Garci, even offering Garci police protection and a safehouse to prevent people from making a citizen's arrest of Garci. My, my... how times have changed.
Rep. Teddy Locsin's comments on Garci's palusot:
"Nagsa-shabu ba s'ya? Nasisiraan na ba s'ya ng ulo?," tanong ni Locsin patungkol sa nagbitiw na komisyuner.
Ito ay reaksyon ng Makati congressman sa pahayag ni Garcillano na posibleng nagkaroon ng 'switching' at maaaring napalitan ng 'pekeng pasaporte' ang pasaporteng kanyang isinumite noon sa Kamara.
Smugglers are in Subic and Clark, not 168: Serge Osmena
SMUGGLERS are lurking in Subic, Clark and Batangas port and not in an obscure retail mall in Divisoria called 168, Sen. Sergio Osmeña said over the weekend.
Osmeña said the recent raid on 168 Mall was an attack against legitimate retailers who unknowingly purchased goods from smugglers.
"Zarzuela lang yon," he said.
Osmeña said government authorities could stop smuggling by apprehending container vans at the Subic, Clark Freeport zones and at the port of Batangas.
"Don’t raid the retailers but the bringers of smuggled goods in container vans. They’re there in Subic, Clark and Batangas," he said.
He said the 168 tenants paid for their inventories and could not be aware that taxes had not been paid.
"When you buy from a supplier, say a t-shirt, do you ask if taxes were paid for the t-shirt?" he asked.
He said until now the government has yet to arrest or charge a big-time smuggler.
Ducky Paredes: Retailers as Smugglers?
President Arroyo’s order to raid the 168 Mall in Divisoria was meant as a warning to smugglers that, henceforth, the government will be out to get them at all costs. Sadly, because the raid targeted only retailers and not the smugglers, all that the raid on 168 did was to create victims, Thus, the raid only turned out to be another signal of how repressive the government can be.
Taking goods from a retail store on the suspicion that these are smuggled does not hurt the smuggler. The hardest hit is the retailer who probably has his life’s savings in those goods.
How can anyone say that any goods being sold at retail have been smuggled? The way that the Bureau of Customs works these days, a flat fee is paid on a container that leaves the Customs Area. These containers are not inspected. They leave the piers unopened, with no customs personnel having ever seen them. How can anyone know what has entered the country when even the customs personnel are not allowed to inspect shipments? So, how can they possibly know whether taxes and tariff were paid on a particular item? The retailer too is hard-put to produce any entry documents of any products on his shelf.
More often than not, the retailer is five or more times removed from the smuggler. (When the goods arrive, the smuggler will often divide this up among his dealers who then distribute the goods to their sub-dealers, wholesalers and so on. The one at the end of the line is the retailer.) How can anyone expect him to produce the original documents of the shipment? The original document that proves that a fee was paid the BOC for clearing the container might exist but the retailer cannot possibly access this since he bought the goods from a sub-dealer of a sub-dealer.
Read the whole thing. Arroyo's barking at the wrong tree.
Military's loyalty should be to the people, not to one person, especially one that was never elected by the people.
Let’s talk about loyalty. The AFP’s loyalty should be to the Republic and Constitution, not to a person. We have been seeing clear abuse of this principle.
Remember the use of Intelligence Service of the AFP to concoct derogatory information against opposition leaders, starting with the purported hundreds of millions of dollars stashed abroad by Sen. Panfilo Lacson? That short step into politicizing the AFP was followed by the giant leap of using the military to manipulate the presidential election in 2004 in Mindanao. Last month, the Armed Forces was called in under PP 1017 to suppress "lawless violence" which in this particular case amounted to nothing more than a few thousand unarmed protesters trying to march to the Edsa Shrine.
It should be no surprise, thus, that using the military to bludgeon legitimate opposition and dissent has resulted in the restiveness in the military. Professionalism of the junior- and middle-rank officers and their men had not been an issue for sometime until Gloria grabbed power from Joseph Estrada. The last time soldiers marched out of the barracks was in 1989 against the Aquino administration.
"I expect you to be loyal to your values, to your nation and to your Constitution," Arroyo told the graduates.
She is preaching to the choir. Cadets don’t lie or cheat and don’t tolerate others who do so. It is in fact the cadets of recent years who are now serving in the Armed Forces who cannot stomach the lying, cheating and thieving they see around them.
Gloria should have addressed the generals whom she had placed in plum positions in payment for their conspicuous devotion beyond the call of duty to keep her in power.