Sunday, April 30, 2006

STOP (Sa Tamang Oras at Paraan)

STOP (Sa Tamang Oras at Paraan)

From Malaya:

Be ready to take to the streets: Cory
Warns of tribunal flip-flop on ‘initiative’

AN anti-charter change coalition launched yesterday by President Corazon Aquino, the opposition and civil society groups said it would call on the people to march in the streets if the Supreme Court would uphold the Palace-backed people’s initiative.

But for the moment, the coalition Sa Tamang Oras at Paraan (STOP) will focus on filing court petitions at the district level to stop election officials from verifying signatures gathered by Cha-cha advocate Sigaw ng Bayan.

Bishops said they will provide moral and spiritual guidelines, but the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines will not take an active role in STOP.

Aquino urged coalition partners to start preparing for a possible reversal by the Supreme Court of its previous ruling against people’s initiative.

The tribunal in 1997 ruled that the law on initiative and referendum applies only to ordinances and laws; it is inadequate to cover people’s initiative for charter amendments.

"It’s important that we decide now (on) what we are prepared to do (next). It took us 14 years to act against Martial Law, but I hope and, considering my age, it won’t take that long. The key is to make a commitment again and again," she said.

Aquino led a similar coalition in 1997, which staged a massive rally at Luneta Park, against a proposed amendment to lift term limits.

The 1997 Cha-cha campaign was stopped cold by the Supreme Court ruling on people’s initiative.

Joining Arroyo at the STOP launching were Senate President Franklin Drilon, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, president of the United Opposition (UNO), and House minority leader Francis Escudero, UNO secretary general.

More here: ‘Sa tanda kong ito, ngayon pa matatakot?’

From the Tribune:

It is not the right time to change the Charter.

This was the main theme espoused by former President Corazon Aquino, as she continued her salvo against Charter change (Cha-cha), while stressing that the Arroyo government must first address the pressing problems in the country before moving to change the Constitution.

She was joined in at the Club Filipino by former vice president Teofisto Guingona, who said the government’s decision to institute reforms was a mere “cover-up” to divert people from the real issues.”

Aquino and Guingona are at the forefront of “STOP (Sa Tamang Oras at Paraan) Cha-cha,” which seeks “to ardently oppose the Cha- cha railroad” of Mrs. Arroyo.

Plus this from the Black-and-White movement blog. Maraming pictures sila sa post na yun.

Yesterday, in historic Kalayaan Hall of Club Filipino, political, religious, business, academic, legal, and civil society leaders gathered to share their thoughts and ideas on how best to to derail Gloria Arroyo's Cha Cha Train. No printed invitations were sent out, each and every person there was either invited by a friend or had heard about it and decided to attend...

As part of the secretariat that put this meeting/workshop against Gloria's Cha Cha, the Black & White Movement, along with members of the Hyatt 10, Akbayan, Laban ng Nasa, UNO and other groups worked over a frenetic two week period to make it possible. We had to be sensitive to the various convictions of those in attendance. Not all of the participants shared the same core beliefs, but what was apparent yesterday was the respect we all had for these beliefs and the willingness to put them aside. Respect, after all, is what Gloria doesn't have for anyone. It was heartening to see it in abundance in Club Filipino.


Malaya Editorial:

The discredited CPR is being rehabilitated in the guise of strict implementation of the "no permit no rally" rule. Police officials, after initially saying they would revert to the "maximum tolerance" policy, are now talking of arresting "violators" of the law on public assembly. We can already see the practical effects of this "get-tough" stance. If policemen try arresting demonstrators in rallies without permits, the latter for sure will resist. Violence will be the inevitable result.

What takes the cake is Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez’ warning yesterday that in case protesters march and lay "siege" to Malacañang on Labor Day, the administration would not hesitate to re-impose a state of emergency.

Warrantless arrests, ban on demonstrations and muzzling of the press again?

Gloria and her people only have contempt for the Constitution. But do they have to be this brazen?

Read the whole thing. Unconstitutional na ang CPR, pero mukhang may posibilidad na masi-CPR ulit ang mga protesters na ayaw bigyan ng permit to rally ng mga kaalyadong mayors ng Malacanang.


From Lito Banayo, on the "9 million visits" on the "Sigaw ng Bayan" website claim made by Bel Cunanan:

Her running dogs include kuno academics and kuno legal minds whose main front organization they call "Sigaw ng Bayan", funded kuno by the private sector, and whose website kuno had as much as 9 million hits in a few weeks which Manolo Quezon in a column for another paper correctly pointed out as arithmetically impossible. Peke na nga ang "people’s initiative" nila, pinipeke pa pati response. Well, what could you expect in the administration of a pekeng pangulo? "Singaw ng Bayan", our friend Jorge Balagtas prefers to call this group of fakes.

Heh. And from his article, nabalitaan ko na nagbukas na ulit ang "Mall 168."

Friday, April 28, 2006

United 93

Kailan ito kaya ipapalabas sa Pilipinas? Sana ASAP. Sana walang cut.

Review from Jim Pinkerton:

Nearly two centuries ago, the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge described his goal in writing poetry: "to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment." The willing suspension of disbelief. Coleridge achieved that goal in such works as "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," and "93" achieves it, too, in part because the audience, at least not yet, can't click around, pause, rewind, etc. What you see is what director Paul Greengrass, best known for his documentary-like film "Bloody Sunday," has aimed for you to see -- and believe.

But don't take my word for it. Here's Variety reporting on Tuesday night's New York City premiere: "After the film's devastating final scene, the screen abruptly went dark and a cacophony of loud, uncontrollable sobs could be heard coming from the back of the theater, where many of the nearly 100 family members of 9/11 victims were seated. Some were seeing the film for the first time. As more than 1,100 viewers filed out, a funereal silence filled the theater." That's cinematic power.

Yet at the same time, "93" is not tricky or manipulative. It's about as straight a retelling of the events of 9-11 -- as seen inside one of the doomed jetliners and inside various air-traffic control towers -- as one can imagine. Each viewer is left to connect the dots as to what's on the screen, to make his or her own meaning...

Just as crucially, the Arab hijackers -- a Lebanese ringleader and three Saudis -- are "normal," too. We might all agree that these mass-killers did an evil act, but they didn't see themselves that way, and since the film strives for realism, as opposed to didacticism, they are played straight; there's no mustache-twirling, no gold-teeth gleaming, no sadistic blood-lusting. These are serious men on a serious mission, and, yes, they are more than a little scared themselves. Notably, the hijackers come across as deeply religious; most of their dialogue seems to involve Allah and Islam. They are selfless, literally, and courageous in their pursuit of murderous martyrdom.

In other words, as we sit in the darkness of the theater, we have to make sense of the light and dark we see on the screen. It's our job to provide the moral editing, because "93" eschews the usual emotion-cueing devices, such as slow motion, swelling music, and freeze frames. Even "Let's roll!" is just another phrase as the passengers rush the cockpit -- we have to know, or not, that those words later came to evoke the fate of UA 93.

So does Greengrass miss his chance to make a true epic? And more seriously, does he sink into moral relativism? Not at all. He has deliberately made a small film that concentrates all its energy into a narrow vortex of actual events. He is confident that just about everyone will get the message. Indeed, there's a distinct artistry in keeping a tight focus.

From Roger Ebert, who gave it four stars:

It is not too soon for "United 93," because it is not a film that knows any time has passed since 9/11. The entire story, every detail, is told in the present tense. We know what they know when they know it, and nothing else. Nothing about Al Qaeda, nothing about Osama bin Laden, nothing about Afghanistan or Iraq, only events as they unfold. This is a masterful and heartbreaking film, and it does honor to the memory of the victims...

There has been much discussion of the movie's trailer, and no wonder. It pieces together moments from "United 93" to make it seem more conventional, more like a thriller. Dialogue that seems absolutely realistic in context sounds, in the trailer, like sound bites and punch lines. To watch the trailer is to sense the movie that Greengrass did not make. To watch "United 93" is to be confronted with the grim chaotic reality of that autumn day in 2001. The movie is deeply disturbing, and some people may have to leave the theater. But it would have been much more disturbing if Greengrass had made it in a conventional way. He does not exploit, he draws no conclusions, he points no fingers, he avoids "human interest" and "personal dramas" and just simply watches. The movie's point of view reminds me of the angels in "Wings of Desire." They see what people do and they are saddened, but they cannot intervene.

Read the whole thing.

And more praise for the film from the father of one of the victims.

REad this Ebert article too on director Paul Greengrass and United 93.

Pahabol Roundup: Arroyo's War against the Senate

- PCIJ: Unmasking the Myth of Arrovonomics

Unmasking the myth of what she calls “Arrovonomics,” Pascual said that Arroyo’s economic successes remain anchored on short-term solutions, only this time with the central objective of ensuring her political survival.

“‘Arrovonomics’ sees credit upgrade as the key to survival,” Pascual said. “Its main strategies are to finance the machinery for survival, and maintain the confidence of the creditor community by continuously stressing that the problem is political and not economic.”

Read the whole thing.

- Arroyo pollster commissioned SWS to test political messages

- PDI Editorial: The Administration's war against the Senate

In the end it doesn't matter if President Arroyo really held a meeting in Malacañang in which she scolded Charter change advocates for not getting enough done and taking too long to accomplish what they have. It is irrelevant, too, if the President thundered that the Senate is the enemy and must be vigorously, and continuously, portrayed as such. What does matter is that never since the pre-martial law Marcos administration, or the American era before that, has a chief executive been so hell-bent and dead-set on a political showdown with the Senate.

To accomplish the defeat--and abolition--of the Senate, nothing is beyond the pale, neither the selective use of information in ads or in press statements. In the case of the recent, highly expensive, Philippine Information Agency campaign, survey firms have complained that their findings have been misused, a complaint shared by the Makati Business Club, whose members are struggling to recall statements it allegedly made, as quoted in the ads. In the case of press statements, the Senate is blamed for the non-passage of a budget that was submitted late by Malacañang, and deliberated upon for eight months in the House of Representatives (with a total lack of speed until all pork allocations were ascertained). Now both the House and the President are expecting the Senate to complete its budget deliberations within one month! The Senate can be faulted for many things--among them, extravagance in insisting on renting Pasay City premises when it could have constructed a home for itself in Quezon City, delays in deliberating on the ethanol bill--but it cannot be faulted for delaying the budget.

The executive branch is engaging in a mentally dishonest blame game. One, for example, is putting forward "appeals" to the Senate not to investigate allegations of executive abuse of authority or corruption, so as to help cope with a looming oil crisis. Passage of an ethanol bill now will only see results in several months or even a few years. Short-term savings on air-conditioning or gasoline by the Senate would also pale in comparison to the expenses incurred for the same things by either the executive branch or the House of Representatives. Indeed, it should be asked: After the fuss and bother during the last spike in oil prices, where did the executive devote its energies? The answer, of course, is the so-called people's initiative for Charter change.

- Ex-Erap lawyer says 464 ruling a swindle

SUSPENDED law professor Alan Paguia yesterday described the Supreme Court decision on Executive Order 464 as a "judicial swindle of the highest order," saying it provided a road map for Malacañang on how to go around congressional inquiries and exempted President Arroyo from answering questions about the "Hello Garci" wiretapped conversations on alleged cheating in the May 2004 elections.

Paguia, a former counsel of President Joseph Estrada, has been suspended from legal practice owing to statements made in public that the Supreme Court said undermined its integrity....

"Tinuruan lamang ang mga abogado ni GMA ng tamang palusot. Ang ipinapa-justify ng petition, yung (congressional) power of inquiry pero ang na-justify, yung executive privilege. No wonder Malacañang was very happy with the ruling," he said.

Read the whole thing.


Sen. Biazon: Coup Plots a Palace concoction

SEN. Rodolfo Biazon yesterday asked Malacañang to be careful about raising coup threats which he said are "non-existent."

Biazon said threats of power grab have been used by Malacañang to justify suppressive measures in addressing anti-government rallies and demonstrations.

He said even at the height of "Hello Garci" controversy when calls for the President’s resignation were snowballing, there really was no coup threat.

"There never was a significant credible threat of a coup. The threat was of the possibility of a withdrawal of support from the commander in chief by the armed services. That was the threat, not a coup. These are two different things," said Biazon, a former AFP chief.

He said a withdrawal of support by the military rank and file can be triggered only by a critical mass going to the streets to demand the resignation of President Arroyo.


Malaya Editorial: Macapagal II

Mike Defensor, presidential chief of staff, was reminded that President Ferdinand Marcos was met with raised clenched fists and placards when he addressed the graduating class at the UP some time back. Mike’s retort? That was different because the heckling took place during martial law.

Mike missed the point by a mile, and only succeeded in making his principal suffer in comparison to Marcos.

If Marcos, the dictator, could be gracious at the height of his powers, why should Gloria take offense when the Bill of Rights is in full operation? Or rather supposed to be in full operation. For people are clubbed for marching in the streets. They are arrested without warrants. The press is muzzled.


In other news:

- MLQ3 fisks Bel Cunanan over her claim na the Sigaw ng Bayan website got "9 million visits". DJB has more.

- House Cha-cha by itself fails to secure 195 signatures

- Here's more from Malacanang's efforts to control the media coverage from Herman Tiu Laurel.

- More on the EO 464 from Malaya:

Even before EO 464, there was a pretty much settled principle that all department heads require presidential permission before appearing in congressional proceedings. It was EO 464 which extended this privilege to other senior officials, generals in the AFP, chief superintendents and up in the PNP, senior national security officials and those falling in the residual category "all other officers that the national security adviser and department heads and AFP and PNP officials are deemed covered by the order."

Let’s take a look at the inquiries of the Senate where EO 464 was invoked. On the investigation into the "Hello Garci" tapes related to the involvement of generals in election cheating, the only Cabinet member the Senate wanted to invite was Press Secretary Ignacio "I have two tapes" Bunye, who incidentally does not head a department. All other invited AFP officials, from AFP chief Gen. Generoso Senga and below, sought refuge under EO 464. Brig. Gen. Francisco Gudani, who is now retired, and a lieutenant colonel under him made an appearance. For their efforts, they are now facing court martial investigation.

In the fertilizer fund scam, an undersecretary who handled the money for the disappeared former DA Undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc Joc" Bolante refused to appear, also citing EO 464. A former assistant secretary did the same even as he is no longer connected with the agriculture department and is now working for the Government Service Insurance System.

Bunye is now twitting the Senate for the never-ending "Hello Garci" and fertilizer fund probes. He ought be reminded that had the Palace been more respectful of the separation of powers and less "creative" with its interpretation of the Constitution – that is, if it had not come out with EO 464 – the Senate inquiries would have likely ferreted out the truth by now.

- So this is how a job interview with Google is like...

- MLQ3: Arroyo admin launches new political information campaign

No coincidence that yesterday, too, began a tremendous (and quite obviously, hugely expensive) “information” campaign on all media: television, radio, the broadsheets and in the tabloids, to push forward the administration arguments. The President is said to be quite adamant that the Senate be painted as the enemy. And destroyed. Billy Esposo explains why the Philippine Information Agency seems the wrong agency to mount such a drive.

- Roilo Golez: ‘Gloria the Hun is on constitutional change rampage’

A FORMER administration ally yesterday likened President Arroyo to Attila the Hun for what he described as the administration’s "creeping" charter-change campaign.

Rep. Roilo Golez (Ind., Parañaque), former national security adviser who severed ties with the administration over the "Hello Garci" scandal, said the "genesis" of the current people’s initiative being pushed by Malacañang shows that "it has mutated from constituent assembly to a one-chamber process to the present people’s initiative."

"Like Attila’s horde, this multi-headed charter change offensive blatantly and arrogantly assaults all institutions, like Congress, particularly the Senate, and even the Supreme Court and the people to get what Malacañang wants," he said.

"Cha-cha is like a slimy worm slithering, looking for holes along the way," he said.

He said it is clear from the Cha-cha chronology that Malacañang and its allies "are attacking like Attila’s horde to get the political ends that they want, overrunning institutions that block their way."

Golez said Malacañang initially wanted charter change by constitutional convention as shown by the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino’s previous pronouncements, expressed by then Kampi president Ronnie Puno who is now interior secretary.

The House majority, in parallel, was pushing the constituent assembly route. When the "Hello Garci" tapes scandal exploded, the forces were joined with the President’s July 25, 2005 SONA statement favoring constituent assembly, he said.

Golez said the House committee on constitutional amendments then started its "frenzy of hearings which mysteriously came to a screeching halt on Jan. 31, 2006 when it became obvious that the Senate did not want to have any part of the constituent assembly."

The effort then shifted to a single-chamber effort with pronouncements that the House can do it alone, against the opinion of nearly every constitutional expert of note, he said.

When it became obvious that the approach suffers from fatal constitutional infirmity, the people’s initiative "sprung into action," Golez said.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Pwede kayang gamitin yung "Freedom Park" near Malacanang para sa rallies?

Eto siya.

The extensive grounds of Malacanang comprise one of the few parks in Manila, with tropical shrubbery, century old acacia trees, and even a balete or two. The acacias are festooned with the cactus like 'Queen of the Night.' The broad lawns, lush trees and greenery indicate how Manila may have been when it was less populous and times were more leisurely.

The public garden now known as 'Freedom Park' fronts the Administration and Executive Buildings. It has statues symbolizing the four freedoms (religion, expression, want and fear), that were brought to Malacanang from the Manila International Fair of the 1950s. The statues were long forgotten at the cogon field that Rizal Park then was, when First Lady Eva Macapagal retrieved them.

Nagtatanong lang po. Kasi I got the idea from Jose Sison btw:

There is an area in front of Malacañang long known as "Freedom Park", but who will believe that rallyists can assemble there when they can’t even pass through Mendiola because of CPR?

Aba! Kaya nga ang tawag diyan ay "Freedom Park" eh. Syempre dapat pwede yan!

UPDATE: Pwede rin kaya sa Mendiola Bridge? From Manila Standard, June 27, 2004:

Mendiola Bridge is a freedom park, not a restricted area.

In a virtual reprimand, Malacañang yesterday reminded local government units, particularly Manila officials that they should have a park for groups to exercise freedom of expression.

“If protest groups cannot get permits, each LGU should have a designated freedom park where people can assemble freely and express their sentiments even without a permit,” said Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio Bunye in reaction to complaints from militant and opposition groups that they are unable to get rally permits.

More than a week ago, Manila police dispersed a rally of Fernando Poe Jr. supporters reportedly without provocation. The group later said Manila City Hall sat on its application for a rally permit.

That same day, Manila police chief Pedro Bulaong stressed that for the moment, there would be no freedom park in the city of Manila. For his part, Mayor Lito Atienza reminded protest groups that the “no permit, no rally” policy will be strictly enforced.

Amid reports of a destabilization plot, the Malacañang Palace Complex remained under tight guard with barbed wire, trailer trucks and presidential guards blocking every entrance.

Mendiola Bridge, a designated freedom park, was declared as restricted area.

UPDATE: And for those who don't believe na may lugar called "Freedom Park" sa Malacanang Complex, check out this address from World Trade Link (a company that sells coffee beans).

Contact InformationCompany Name: World Trade Link
Contact Person: Mr Jason Naez

Address: 262 Freedom Park, Malacanang Complex, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines

UPDATE: More from Rizalist: Equal Protection and the Freedom Parks Injunction

BP 880 will still lead to CPR-like dispersals

Kahit na naging "unconsitutional" na ang CPR, as long as nandiyan pa rin ang Batasang Pambansa No 880 (crafted during the Marcos dictatorship), you can expect na pretty much bawal pa rin ang mga anti-Arroyo rallies sa kalsada since ayaw naman ng mga kaalyado ni ARroyo like Manila mayor Atienza at QC mayor Belmonte na magbigay ng permits para makapag-rally ka sa Mendiola or Edsa. At kung wala kang permit, usually bugbog ang aabutin mo sa pulis, meaning... parang na-CPR ka pa rin.

For example, Tignan nyo ito:

Under BP 880, once the mayors do not act on applications to stage a rally within two days, the application is deemed approved. In such event, maximum tolerance is applied.

Ang problema dito is that if you don't have a permit to show to the police, madi-disperse ka pa rin, kahit na "automatically deemed approved" na yung permit application mo (dahil lumampas na ng dalawang araw na hindi in-aksyonan ng mayor ang request mo.)

Kasi eto ang sabi ng pulis ni Arroyo: PNP will still disperse illegal street protests

2ND UPDATE) POLICE will still disperse street protests without permits or those that obstruct traffic flow, a police spokesman said following a Supreme Court ruling declaring Malacañang’s calibrated preemptive response (CPR) as unconstitutional.

Even without CPR, police could still invoke Batas Pambansa 880 or the Public Assembly Act, which bans demonstrations without permits, except in designated freedom parks, Senior Superintendent Samuel Pagdilao Jr. said Tuesday.

"Rallies without permits are banned… They can be dispersed," Pagdilao said in a phone interview.

At least nung panahon nina Erap, Ramos at Cory, pwede kang magrally sa kalsada ng Mendiola, Makati at Edsa, ano? Ngayon, virtually bawal na siya.

More here from Atty Ted Te.

(UPDATE: Pwede na kayang magbigay ng rally permits ulit si Mayor Binay ng Makati. Last year kasi, Arroyo suspended Binay's powers to issue rally permits eh, even though we had two huge and peaceful anti-Arroyo rallies in makati before CPR became policy.)

Read this too from Jose Sison (thanks to Baycas for the tip):

MANILA, October 14, 2005 (STAR) (KEEPS TROUBLE AWAY) By Jose C. Sison - One of the guarantees inviolably enshrined in the Bill of Rights of the past and present constitutions of our republic is that "No Law shall be passed abridging…the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for redress of grievances". "Abridge" in any parlance and as used in this Constitutional provision simply means to "curtail, cut down, prune or reduce". Thus in the case of J.B.L. Reyes vs. Bagatsing (GR 65366, November 9, 1983), our Supreme Court (SC) declared that the presumption "must be to incline the weight of the scales of justice on the side of such right (of free speech and peaceful assembly), enjoying as they do precedence and primacy". The SC went as far as to stress that "it is settled law that as to public places, especially so as to parks and streets, there is freedom of access". In fact in the much earlier case of Primicias vs. Fugoso (80 Phil. 71), the Supreme Court categorically declared that the right to assemble is not subject to prior restraint. It may not be conditioned upon issuance of a permit, although if it is to be held in a pubic place, a permit for the use of the place, not of the assembly itself may be validly required. Hence in Ruiz vs. Gordon 126 SCRA 241, the SC reaffirmed and reproduces the guidelines laid down in the Reyes case to be followed by the licensing authorities, generally the city or town mayors. In his separate opinion then Justice Teehankee said that "the granting of such permits for the exercise of a fundamental right, absent any clear or present danger, is after all practically a ministerial duty. The burden to show the existence of such grave and imminent danger that would justify an adverse action lies on the mayor as licensing authority". And if he is of "the view that there is such an imminent and grave danger of a substantive evil, the applicants must be heard on the matter". Underscoring the ruling in the Reyes case, the SC further said that the exercise of this right "is not to be abridged on the plea that it may be exercised in some other place".

Reyes and Ruiz were decided at the height of the rallies and demonstrations during the Marcos era following the Ninoy Aquino assassination. And due to such rulings people enjoyed ample freedom in the exercise of this right even under an admittedly more repressive regime. Compared to the present rallies, the rallies at that time were generally more peaceful and orderly. The reasons were obvious. The Mayors then invariably granted the permits, as a rule, cognizant of the settled doctrine that the power to issue permits should be used merely as means to regulate rather than a pretext to preclude the holding of rallies. In fact the SC even observed in the Ruiz case following the Reyes ruling, that the then Mayor of Manila, Ramon Bagatsing, "granted all subsequent applications for such permits, ensuring only that there be no conflict in the scheduling of such assemblies and thereby eliminated the need for the applicant’s having to go to court". At present however, the Mayors apparently found more leeway in their licensing power under the Public Assembly Act (B.P. 880) passed by the Marcos Batasan in 1985. Under said act, permit is required for all rallies in public places except in designated freedom parks, in the campus of a government owned and operated educational institution, and of course in private places which only requires the owner’s permission. While the Act provides that denial of the permit may be justified only upon clear and convincing evidence that the public assembly will create a clear and present danger to public order, safety, convenience, morals or health, it did not expressly place the burden on the licensing authority to submit such proof. Hence, permits may be denied solely on the Mayor’s own appraisal of what public order, peace or safety may require, as what is happening now. Besides, B.P. 880 requires the mayors to designate within six months from its passage the freedom parks where rallies can be held. But up to now, nobody knows for sure where these freedom parks are. There is an area in front of Malacañang long known as "Freedom Park", but who will believe that rallyists can assemble there when they can’t even pass through Mendiola because of CPR?

"Calibrated Preemptive Response" (CPR) is actually the bigger cause of the less peaceful and more disorderly rallies happening now. Its justification seems plausible because it is directed only against street protesters without permits. But this "no permit, no rally" policy sounds good and looks unassailable only if the granting or denial of the rally permits is not susceptible to abuse or arbitrariness that consumes time to redress or remedy. In fact CPR precisely deprives people arbitrarily denied a permit to rally, the right to air their grievance against such arbitrary denial. The very word "preemptive" connotes prior restraint that is repugnant to the exercise of this right. And it becomes more oppressive if the denial is done by the local officials sympathetic to the party against whom the rally is directed. Riskier still is the physical confrontation engendered by the CPR. Frontal clashes between human beings vulnerable to uncontrollable passions and emotions may lead to consequences as dire as lawless violence, insurrection or rebellion. With CPR in place, the Philippines is virtually sitting on a power keg.

The administration should therefore rethink its policy on CPR. B.P. 880 itself says that if it becomes necessary to maintain order, law enforcers must be at least 100 meters away from the assembly. If they assemble despite being justly denied a permit, charges could simply be filed in court and arrest of the leaders thereafter made by virtue of a warrant. The ranks of rallyists are anyway dwindling as to be a threat to National Security. In fact during the Marcos time, "maximum tolerance" was the policy adopted. Physical confrontations in prohibited zones were avoided more by putting up barb wires instead of deploying humans whose response may not be as calibrated as envisioned by the CPR policy makers.

Pwede kayang gamitin yung "Freedom Park" sa may Malacanang? ;)

Raul Gonzalez threatens to file criminal charges against Arroyo heckler

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez thinks Maria Theresa Pangilinan has committed a crime and wants her investigated.

JUSTICE SECRETARY Raul Gonzalez said a crime had been committed when a graduating student stood up, unfurled a banner and called for President Macapagal-Arroyo's ouster during graduation rites at the Cavite State University in Indang, Cavite, last week.

Gonzalez ordered an investigation of mass communications graduate Maria Theresa Pangilinan who heckled Ms Arroyo as she was delivering her commencement address.

In a memorandum, he also directed the National Bureau of Investigation to identify the other people who had raised banners calling for Ms Arroyo to step down, determine the possible involvement of university officials in the incident, and to find out how the protesters were able to enter the school premises.

Interview reporters
"Gather information and sufficient evidence for the possible filing of charges against those persons," Gonzalez said....

Gonzalez said he was not asked by the President to order the investigation, but that he did it on his own initiative.

"As far as I'm concerned, a crime was committed," he told reporters.

And here's Ms. Pangilinan's statement and reaction to Mr. Gonzalez.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Home-Schooling sa Pilipinas, viable ba ito?

Meron bang nagho-home school sa inyo diyan? Ito ang wikipedia ng Homeschoolng.

Conservative MTRCB Censors Fashion TV for Global Cable viewers

These Moralists are at it again. Hindi ba Cable ito, MTRCB? If some subscriber doesn't want to watch any partial nudity, then wag na silang mag-subscribe sa Global!

From Ed ching:

Since early last week, both Global Cable and Destiny Cable systems
were forced to turn off the feed of Fashion Television once twelve
midnight strikes due to content deemed unacceptable to mainstream
Filipino viewers.

"Midnight Hot", as the title suggests, broadcasts at 12 midnight and
features seductive fashion statements and trends mostly dealing with
lingerie and photography of some topless fashion models.

Recently in one of the episodes, a feature on the making of a
European-based fashion calendar was aired that showed a female
fashion model openly posing half-naked with breasts exposed
throughout the duration of the shoot.

The Philippines is one of the few nations that still frowned even on
partial nudity. Recently, the Movie and Television Review
Classification Board, in coordination with the National
Telecommunications Commission, are policing the ranks of cable
operators for illegal broadcasts and other programs that showcase
partial or suggestive nudity.

Recently in an official correspondance to its Madrid headquarters,
Spanish state-run television channel Televicion Espaniola (TVE) was
warned that they would be banned from the Philippine cable TV lineup
if it persisted on airing shows that display sexually suggestive
topics. In the past, TVE was also showing R-18 flicks that contain
one nudity scene every 10-15 minutes for the duration of the film.

Aside from this, the MTRCB also loves to butcher films that has nude or violent scenes in it. "The Lords of War" and "A History of Violence" are just some examples. And the "Wedding Crashers" and "40-Year-Old Virgin" would have gotten R-18 ratings from the MTRCB (equivalent to the US' NC-17 rating) kung ipinalabas sila dito without cuts. Imagine that, NC-17 ang "Wedding Crashers", LOL.

At kung R-18 ang rating niya, bawal yan sa SM cinemas. At kung hindi maipalabas yang mga teen comedy flicks na yan sa SM, pinakamalaking mall chain sa pilipinas, hindi kikita ng malaki ang pelikula. Kaya madalas napipilitan ang mga distributors na putulin ang pelikula nila bago ito i-submit ulit sa MTRCB.

IIRC, hindi ipinalabas ang "Brokeback Mountain" at "Jarhead" sa SM dahil R-18 sila. So to those who claim na mas "liberal" ang MTRCB natin ngayon, you're full of crap. I still remember with the conservatives did to former MTRCB chairman Nick tiongson back in 2001.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Oh, That Inquirer editorial

Honestly, this editorial must have been written by Ambassador Doronila or Bel Cunanan. O baka galing ito sa Phil. Star o Manila Standard Today, LOL.

Reality check. According to the surveys conducted since the Hello Garci scandal erupted last June, public opinion about the President's culpability in the alleged election fraud has been remarkably steady. After an initial period of doubt, a majority of Filipinos are now convinced that election fraud did take place, and that the President was involved in it.

And yet, there is-there has been-no significant outrage in the streets, no sign that yet another flourish of People Power is imminent. Many reasons have been offered to explain this outrage gap; whatever the reason, it is a reality that opposition politicians must take fully into account.

Reality check my ass. The editorial conveniently forgot to mention na CPR was in effect then, and that mahirap talagang mag-rally sa kalsada ala Thailand kung palagi kang binubugbog at ina-arresto ng pulis. Parang katulad tayo ng mga middle east countries like Iran and Syria, o sa China where holding anti-government protests are banned at nabubugbog at ina-arresto rin ang mga protesters. During the GLORIAGATE scandal kasi, nawala ang "freedom of assembly" rights natin. May "free speech" at "free press" pa tayo thank god, pero medyo under attack ang mga freedoms na yon recently at unti-unting nai-intimidate ang media natin.

So I don't understand how the PDI Editorial can say na "walang significant outrage" sa kalsada? How can they really know that kung may CPR tayo nung panahon na yon? Sure, it's possible na baka ayaw na ng taong bayan na sumali sa rally, but it's difficult to say kung ganyan talaga ang kaso dahil sa CPR. Ang nakakatawa pa, those pro-Arroyos who tacitly approve of CPR are the same ones who like to taunt the anti-GMA opposition for being "pathetic" and not being able to organize huge anti-Arroyo rallies.

(Btw, anybody who doubts the effectivity of CPR can look at Belarus situation.)

The good news though is that Arroyo's Supreme Court finally declared the CPR unconstitutional, but they took an awfully long time in coming up with this decision.

(UPDATE: Arroyo's SC (and everybody else) knew then that CPR and EO 464 were patently unconstitutional, that's why the Supreme Court dragged their feet in coming up with this decision, to give arroyo enough time to weather the worst storm via the brutal CPR and the stonewalling EO 464 policy. That's the most Justice Carpio, Corona and the SC can do for her without totally losing their own credibility.)

It would be great to test that SC decision on May 1, and other future anti-Arroyo and anti-cha cha rallies lined up. I hope susundin ng admin ang desisyon ng SC na bawal ang CPR at Maximum Tolerance ang dapat. At dapat ibasura na rin ang unconstitutional na "No permit, no rally" rule. Dapat ring payagan na ang mga anti-Arroyo rallyists na makapag protesta sa kalsada (mendiola, makati, edsa) katulad nung panahon ng Cory, FVR at Erap admin. The Thailand model of handling anti-gov't rallies is the one this administration should be emulating. Kung lahat ng ito'y natupad, at hindi pa rin maka-organize ang mga anti-arroyo groups ng malalaking rallies within the next 6 to 12 months, then i'll concede na there's no great outrage against Arroyo.

At eto pa ang nakakainis: The Editorial has also swallowed the administration line na the senate inquiries are just undisguised witchhunts:

THE SUPREME COURT DECISION DECLARING two provisions of Executive Order 464 unconstitutional presents the public with the opportunity to help resolve the President's crisis of legitimacy. But we must make clear: The ruling does not constitute a license for the Senate-where the opposition to President Macapagal-Arroyo is concentrated-to wreak havoc on the democratic polity.

The decision should not be interpreted, in the words of administration congressman and Deputy Speaker for Mindanao Gerry Salapuddin, as the first sign of an "open season" on administration officials and allies...

The opposition must therefore use the ruling as an opportunity to build public consensus about the way we proceed from now on. The political theater of senators browbeating witnesses must come to an end. The spectacle of senators coming in late to hearings and repeating questions already asked must no longer be inflicted on the public. Not least, the practice of senators using the coercive power of the contempt citation as a punitive measure, as in the case of the (admittedly frustrating) testimony of National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, must stop. The democratic project is first about process, before it is about power.

I vehemently disagree with this characterization of the Senate investigations by the PDI editorial. the senate is about to "wreak havoc" on this administration raw and "browbeat" the witnesses. Yeah right. Forget the stonewalling and the coverups and getting to the bottom of the GLORIAGATE scandal.

Parang sinabi ng editorial na ngayong ginawang unconstitutional na ang EO 464, tigilan nyo na ang mga investigations na ito.

- According to Rizalist, nakalamang ang Arroyo admin sa desisyon ng Supreme Court sa EO 464. De Quiros OTOH, pats the Supreme Court on the head with their decision.

- Conrad de Quiros: Thank God for Theresa Pangilinan!

Money Quote:

Soriano is right that people should show respect for others, particularly their superiors. He is wrong to address that injunction to Pangilinan and company. Who was insulting whom in that graduation? You are Pangilinan, you will wonder too what credentials your guest speaker has to lecture you on the subject of how best to get ahead in life -- the honest way. You know that you are a reasonably genuine future leader of the community while the person in front of you is an arguably fake current leader of the nation. You know that you at least won your diploma through hard work, the one thing your teachers taught you to value like life, while the person in front of you won the presidency through cheating, the one thing your teachers taught you to loathe like a plague.


- Michelle Malkin: Queen of all media!

- Demaree Raval: Is there even a Mayuga report?

Does the Mayuga Report really exist?

Not until we get to see it published in its unexpurgated candor could anyone say it exists. After all, what Navy Chief Mayuga disclosed were only his alleged conclusions, which may not be supported (yet) at all by the facts actually gathered or concocted so far.

Methinks this a reportage version of reverse engineering, where the conclusions are already predetermined, and the facts or findings are gathered and meticulously tinkered with, tailored, bent and recast to support a foregone conclusion. Any minutae that goes against the grain is weeded out. The conclusions are then inflicted upon the nation, floated like a trial balloon that is tantalizingly pimped up to draw reactions from a populace whom they think is too dumb to see through the subterfuge. That way, the military could claim that it is telling the truth. After all, a conclusion can only be based on facts adduced.

Read the whole thing.

The administration is Crying Coup again

Sa May 1 raw, Labor day may "coup" ulit, according to the administration.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday bared intelligence reports on an alleged coup attempt on May 1, Labor Day, even as it expressed confidence that “no (military) officers will withdraw support from (President Arroyo) on that day.”

The AFP and the police are known to announce coup attempts on predictable dates, all of which never come to pass.

Despite a threat made the other day by Malacañang that the government will reimpose a state of national emergency, militant labor groups also yesterday said they will still mark the day with nationwide rallies.

AFP deputy spokesman Lt. Commander Earl Evan Pabalan quoted from “Oplan 4G” under “Oplan Hackle” wherein more than 500,000 protesters, including alleged rebel soldiers, are set to take to the streets on Labor Day.

Didn't the administration and it's military also warned us of an impending "coup" a few days before 20th anniversary of People Power nung February 2005, to justify Arroyo's "state of emergency" call and media crackdown, dahil natatakot sila na baka lumaki ang anti-Arroyo rally sa araw na yon?

Obviously, the announcements (before in February, and today) were meant to pre-empt and brand those who participated in the anti-ARroyo rallies as part of a "coup plot."

Since those who participated in it are either "destabilizers" or "coup plotters", the administration is justified in "using muscle" (Arroyo's term) to crack down on the dissenters and violently dispersing the rallies via CPR.

This is similar to the strategy also used by the autocratic regime of Belarus to crackdown on the opposition (may dayaan rin sa election nito). From Instapundit:

EU ministers endorsed the damning findings of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s 476-strong observer mission.

The mission’s report found that Mr Lukashenko had “permitted state authority to be used in a manner which did not allow citizens to freely and fairly express their will”.

It said statements by the Belarusan KGB associating the opposition with terrorism and accusing it of planning a coup had led to a "climate of intimidation". Campaign workers and opposition figures had been subject to "physical assaults, detention and even imprisonment."


And to these Magdalo "escapees", ibang klase rin sila ano? They announced their planned coups ahead of schedule for everybody to know. Hindi ba if you're a serious coup plotter, you try to keep your plans a secret?

Anyway MLQ3, is this another "Auto-Golpe"? Maybe Mr. Faeldon is a true escapee, pero yung apat na sumunod (si San Juan, Sarmiento, Rabonza and Bumidang) mukhang pakawala ng admin.

All they do is come out and make announcements na they're planning to topple the admin on predictable dates. Then the administration tries to smear the opposition by linking the them to these "escapees" plot.

Btw, False accusations and fabrications (read the part on Rashma Hali) are nothing new for this administration.

UPDATE: Bakit ito lang ang pinag-iinitan ng administration? because they're easier to demonize?

Hindi ba kasama rin sila Cory, Drilon, Jinggoy, Loi atbp sa "coup plot" laban kay Arroyo nung Feb. 24?

Malacañang announced that all rally permits were revoked. Protesters at Edsa were truncheoned, hosed down and arrested. Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez announced that the Ayala Avenue wreath- laying program would be dispersed and even former President Cory Aquino would not be spared.

If Secretary Gonzalez thought that he could instill fear in the citizens, he was wrong.

The Ayala march went on and was an outstanding success both in the number of attendees and the quality of personalities who joined. Thirty thousand persons attended.

Led by former President Cory Aquino, former Vice President Tito Guingona, Senate President Frank Drilon and Mayor Jojo Binay, the march was joined by prominent leaders of the Makati Business Club among them Ricardo Romulo, Roberto de Ocampo, Jesus Estanislao, Oscar Hilado, Jun Campillo, Ramon del Rosario Jr., Jose Cuisia and Guillermo Luz.

Senators and congressmen were in full force, among them Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and House Minority Leader Francis Escudero together with Senators Ramon Magsaysay, Luisa Estrada, Jinggoy Estrada, Jamby Madrigal, Alfredo Lim, Panfilo Lacson, Sergio Osmeña III, former Senators Leticia Ramos Shahani, Vicente Sotto III, Francisco Tatad, Wigberto Tañada, Ernesto Herrera, Rene Saguisag; Representatives Ronaldo Zamora, Peter Allan Cayetano, Butz Aquino, Gilbert Remulla, Teodoro Locsin Jr., Joel Villanueva, Roy Golez, Erin Tañada, Noynoy Aquino, Rodolfo Bacani, Satur Ocampo, Dina Abad, Teddy Casino, Risa Baraquel, Renato Magtubo and Lou Antonino.

Cory Aquino was accompanied by Noynoy, Margie Juico, Dinky Soliman, Butch Abad, Teresita Deles, Imelda Nicolas, Edilberto de Jesus and daughter Kris and fiancé James Yap.

The religious sector was prominently led by Archbishop Oscar Cruz, Bishop Teodoro Bacani, Jesus Is Lord Bishop Eddie Villanueva, La Salle Greenhills president Bro. Armin Luistro, many priests, nuns and seminarians.

Ateneo and UP students came in droves while Makati bank employees and junior executives belonging to the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines led by Bobby Flores, Jose Umali and Gerry Segismundo came out to join or to applaud while others rained yellow confetti on the marchers. Bayan Muna and Renato Reyes arrived from Edsa.

Among other personalities seen were movie Directors Joel Lamangan and Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, Renato Constantino Jr., Dr. Menguita Padilla, Chito Gascon, Ditas Rodrigo, Tony Lopa, Leah Navarro, former FVR officials Amina Rasul, Cesar Sariño, Cielito Habito and Ernesto Garilao, Lito Anzures and Councilor Junjun Binay.

There definitely was no fear. In fact, everybody was ready to be dispersed or even arrested...

O, kailan nyo rin ipapakulong itong mga "coup plotters" na ito?

I blog so I will not forget

Kapag nagblo-blog ako, I usually write long posts or comment about politics. But sometimes, I tend to just do a roundup (link and quote articles from other newspapers and blogs) with little or no comments at all.

Sabi sa akin ni Dean Jorge Bocobo dati na I should just concentrate more on writing original stuff and leave the Daily dish roundups to Manolo quezon and Instapundit. I agreed with Dean dati kasi I also thought na yung quality ng mga postings ko ay palala ng palala, na puro linking at quoting na lang ang ginagawa ko. And I'm doing a poor imitation of MLQ3's Daily Dose.

Pero na-realize ko later na may purpose pala yung mga roundups na yan. Kasi you have to understand na hindi reliable para sa akin ang google at yahoo sa pag retrieve ng mga really old articles na "negative" sa arroyo administration. Lalo na yung mga articles ng Tribune at Malaya. OTOH, in my experience, mas mabilis hanapin yung mga old "positive" articles sa Arroyo admin.

Ito rin yung napansin ni MLQ3, according to Jove:

Manolo chronicled the blog movement during Gloriagate (thanks for the mention MLQ3!), and used the timeline as proof to the claim made by some observers that last year was the year of blogging in the Philippines. After his talk, I told him in jest that the title of his talk: “Tag Teaming Against the President” is a good book title. Hehehe. He then reminded me of this idea for a book that he’s been suggesting kina Sheila. Pwede. Manolo also raised this issue about “lost entries” in cyberspace. He discovered kasi when he was looking for definitive pinoy blog entries during Gloriagate that some important entries/sites are now “mahirap hanapin”. Sabagay, history din yun na dapat i-preserve.

Kaya ang ginagawa ko minsan, I just post all the relevant and important articles (that I have a feeling na hahanapin ko ulit) sa blog ko, and I rely on Technorati to search for the old articles when the need arises.

So parang ginawa ko nang repository of information about the ARroyo administration yung Philippine Politics 04, kasi mas mabilis hanapin yung mga lumang Tribune at articles at ibang blogposts kung ni-link ko siya sa blog ko. And if the link is dead, at least I can use Wayback Machine to retrieve a cached version of it.

UPDATE: Obvious ba na I really don't trust Google or Yahoo to "remember" and find these anti-Arroyo articles? Hehe...

May diperensiya ang Blogger kahapon

...kaya ngayon ko lang ito na-post:

Nag-react ang isa sa mga kakampi ni Arroyo sa Heritage Foundation report:

Administration congressmen also yesterday rushed to the defense of the President over the salvo from the Heritage Foundation.

Rep. Marcelino Libanan (Eastern Samar), vice chairman of the House committee on justice, accused the think tank of meddling in the country’s affairs.

Libanan said the US President would not believe that Mrs. Arroyo’s style of governance is dictatorial.

“If (her style) is dictatorial, what should we call the US policy to declare war and invade foreign countries?

Uh... but Congressman Libanan, didn't ARroyo support the Iraq invasion too?


I agree with Ellen. What Maria Theresa Pangilinan did took guts. She stood up to the so-called president and told her the truth. She did none of that phony, bullshit, pro-Arroyo apologist crap from the likes of Bong Austero.

And Congrats to Ms. Pangilinan on your graduation!

Monday, April 24, 2006

List of DVD Classics na makikita nyo sa Quiapo

Lahat ng mga old classic films/DVD na nakikita nyo sa Quiapo ay usually galing sa TrBoy.

Here's the google translated version of their site. Happy Hunting.

(warning: slow loading yung mga webpages nila.)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

One more thing Dana...

Another reason kung bakit dapat tanggalin na si Arroyo sa pwesto ay yung involvement niya at si Garcillano sa kidnapping attempt ng isang COMELEC official (Rashma Hali) para patahimikin siya at hindi magtestify tungkol sa election fraud.

Stealing elections may not shock many people like it used to Mr. Dana Dillon, but catching the president and her COMELEC commissioner on tape talk about how to silence and neutralize a COMELEC whistleblower via kidnapping should leave no doubt about the depraved criminal nature of this administration.

I've posted about this in the past:

- More on Rashma Hali
- Transcript of Arroyo-Garcillano phone conversation on Rashma Hali kidnapping attempt
- Confessed felon
- My reply to Neurotic Bitch Goddess

And read this "Hello Garci" phone transcript too for more info. And oh yeah, the conversation is in Tagalog, so get somebody who knows tagalog to translate it for you.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Dana Dillon got it half-right

UPDATED: Ito ang latest article ni Mr. Dillon tungkol kay Arroyo. May problema po ako sa sinulat niya.

Contrary to what Dana Dillon wrote, "People power" demonstrations don't break out regularly in Manila, because the Arroyo admin has implemented the Calibrated Preemptive Response (CPR) rule to disperse/ban any major anti-Arroyo rallies from forming in the streets.

Just look at how this admin tried to disperse the Feb. 24 Edsa 1986 celebration. Pati yan gusto pang i-ban. Those who organized the event were called "coup-plotters", tapos Arroyo declared a "state of emergency".

And if you want to know how effective CPR is Dana, tignan mo yung nangyayari sa Iran at sa mga ibang middle east countries ngayon. Or look at how effective the CPR strategy was in Belarus.

Yes, the killing of many journalists in the Philippines is a problem. Although I don't think na may kinalaman naman dito si Arroyo sa mga murders na ito, the admin's foot-dragging when it comes to solving these murders is indeed unacceptable. But the admin's attitude didn't help either.

Read this article re Arroyo's husband Mike Arroyo and former NBI director Wycoco on the media deaths:

WHEN the First Gentleman tells the Bacolod Press Club that the reason those who are killing journalists have killed no member of the BPC is that the members of the BPC are responsible journalists who are well behaved, Mike Arroyo is telling the world that the killers of journalists are in the right.

In effect, he is telling us that he agrees that those who, in his mind or in the mind of those ordering the killings, are irresponsible journalists, ought to die. It is only right. After all, what purpose do these irresponsible journalists serve if not to "destabilize" his wife’s government? They make themselves the enemy when they act irresponsibly. And, who are acting responsibly? Those who agree that Gloria Arroyo is the greatest thing that has ever happened to this country.

This is how dangerous journalism has become in this country. All that has to happen is for someone like Mike Arroyo or some local satrap such as a governor or a mayor to identify some writer or broadcaster as a "destabilizer" and that journalist’s goose will soon be cooked. In other words, he’s dead! That is the reality.

The sad part is that if even Mike Arroyo, the husband of Her Excellency feels this way, why would anyone – policeman or government functionary — go out of his way to protect journalists or to find out who killed them?

Imagine, too, that the head of the NBI also came up with advice to journalists to the effect that because these are dangerous times, journalists ought to go easy in what they write or broadcast and how they write or speak. The onus for the killings is, in the mind of NBI director Reynaldo Wycoco, on the journalists, rather than on the killers.

The victim is at fault. If he did not write or talk about the corruption, the cheating, the mistakes of those who govern and their profligate ways, then, he would not have been killed. It is as simple as that. It is as though he willed himself to be killed. Because he did all those forbidden things, then, naturally, he has to be killed. Do we actually expect the crooks in government to allow just about anyone to write any which way about them?

Who gave journalists the right to write or talk about these irregularities? Who told them that they could do those things that they do that make the powerful uncomfortable and that shame them before the people that they are supposed to be serving but whom they are victimizing by their incompetence and avarice?

How can anyone be doing a good job of reporting when he does not support Gloria Arroyo with the devotion of a lapdog?

But that is not the reason why Arroyo is despised has lost the trust of Filipinos. (The latest survey is consistent the previous surveys). Mrs. Arroyo is unpopular because everybody (yes everybody, including her supporters) believe that Arroyo stole the elections. The person has legitimacy and credibility problems. Pero hindi lang yan ang problema ni Arroyo. Her admin also was wracked by scandals and corruption issues, at lahat na ng mga gov't institutions ay na-corrupt niya, including the COMELEC, AFP, SC, CONGRESS, PNP, DOJ etc.

And yes, the reason why arroyo is trying to crack down on the media is because the GLORIAGATE reports and other corruption exposes have seriously damaged arroyo's credibility and legitimacy. The arroyo admin is slowly but surely beginning to mimic China and other middle east countries in experimenting with different ways to control and intimidate the media.

(Arroyo's chief of police Lomibao even recommended that the gov't take over and run an opposition newspaper critical of arroyo:

Daily Tribune Publisher Niñez Cacho-Olivares vowed Saturday to resist the government's plan to take over the newspaper after police late Friday night raided and shut down the publication.

"Simula pa lang sa amin ito, sabi nila (This is just the beginning for us, the police said) they would take over [the paper] but I will fight it out," Cacho-Olivares told in a telephone interview...

Olivares denied the claims by PNP chief Director General Arturo Lomibao that the Tribune was raided because it has been publishing baseless stories that abet coup plotters.

Lomibao told reporters Saturday in Camp Crame that the PNP will recommend that the government run the operations of Tribune.

Plus this:

IN A BALD WARNING, the Philippine National Police yesterday said it would take over any media organization that would not follow "standards set by the government" during the state of national emergency.

A government team will examine the editorial contents of newspapers and the news or views aired by broadcast stations to see if these conform to the standards, according to PNP Director General Arturo Lomibao.

"We will recommend [action] based on our evaluation," Lomibao said in a press conference, adding that the PNP would work in cooperation with other government agencies which he did not name.

He appointed the PNP spokesperson, Sr. Supt. Samuel Pagdilao, to serve as "liaison officer" between the media and the police.

"If they (the news groups) do not follow the standards-and the standards are if they would contribute to instability in the government, [or] if they do not subscribe to what is in General Order No. 5 and Presidential Proclamation No. 1017--we will recommend [a takeover)," Lomibao said.

And this:

Director General Arturo Lomibao of the Philippine National Police (PNP) candidly admitted at the Manila Overseas Press Club (MOPC) that the decision to take over The Daily Tribune was a unanimous decision of the security cluster of the Cabinet. The security cluster is headed by the little President, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, a former general. It has as members Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz, Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Armed Forces chief of staff Generoso Senga and Lomibao.

Galing, ano?)

The last part of Dana Dillon's article is interesting too:

Meanwhile, the United States continues to prop up the Arroyo regime. Indeed, it bestowed more aid on the Philippines in 2006 than the year before.

But as a close observer of foreign policy on Capitol Hill said recently, there is a “growing awareness in Congress about the deterioration of the rule of law in the Philippines.” That awareness extends to the White House, where debate continues over whether President Bush should meet with President Arroyo.

In a stunning display of Orwellian “doublethink,” Arroyo wants to convince policymakers that her illegal and unconstitutional suppression of journalists actually serves to preserve the constitution and rule of law.

Congress and President Bush must show her that this “logic” doesn’t fly here, and that this goes for all allies in the global war on terror.

Instead, Congress and President Bush should review the security assistance provided to the Philippines and ensure that accountability procedures are followed and American-provided equipment and aid is used properly.

We have a carrot to offer. Arroyo desperately wants a visit with President Bush to shore up her shaky political situation at home. We should tell her to get serious about apprehending those who kill journalists and about preventing intimidation of the press. If she does, we can discuss a presidential visit. But not before.

Interesting. Mr. Dillon is setting the bar low enough to allow Arroyo to get her state visit with Bush. All arroyo has to do lang pala is to just apprehend the killers of the journalists (or make a show of it by apprehending a few suspects) and don't harass the media anymore, and she will get what she wanted all along: A presidential visit at the White House to get "bush's endorsement" and help improve her sagging image at home.

And the fact that the Bush administration seems to be propping up this illegitimate and corrupt administration of Arroyo shows that the Bush admin has reverted back to the old US policy of supporting dictators (like mubarak) and illegitimate corrupt rulers for "stability's sake". And we know how well that turned out in the mideast, ano?

the US may think that it is better to tolerate such a character as Arroyo because she's a "strong US ally" in the "War on Terror", just like Marcos was a "strong US ally" against the "War on Communism" in Asia back in the 70s and 80s, for "stability's sake." but we know the damage marcos did during his time as Philippine president/dictator while the US looked the other way and abetted the old fool, because the US believed then the nonsense that that marcos was "the key to fighting the communists."

And of course, we can't let Arroyo lose power too because we don't want a "military junta" or a "communist takeover". LMAO!

(But Arroyo legitimacy problem is precisely the reason why were vulnerable to a military coup.)

Of course, having Arroyo resign and we do this special elections is the way to go, but arroyo's friends keep saying na "wala raw credible alternative" among 80 million filipinos na pwedeng pumalit kay arroyo, so mabuti pa tiisin na lang natin si arroyo, katulad nung tiniis rin natin si marcos. LOL.

Btw, this is not the first time i've commented on Dana Dillon's "proposals." Ito ang mga previous posts ko on Mr. Dillon.

- Heritage Foundation: Crisis in the Philippines
- More on Dana Dillon's dumb suggestions
- Does this remind you of Dana Dillon's proposal?

Reading the his article and my old posts, mapapansin nyo na walang pakialam si Dana Dillon kung nandaya si Arroyo o hindi. Ang importante lang sa kanya ay ang interes ng U.S., ang War on Terror at ang China problem. He is also pushing for the Charter Change, which is interesting because yan rin ang gusto ng Arroyo admin.

He wants the US to fund the Charter Change. But Dana, have you seen how this admin is ramming Charter Change down our throats via the "People's initiative"? Dyan nyo ba talaga gusto mapunta ang pera nyo, sa isang questionable at isang BS na initiative ni Arroyo to help prop her up?

UPDATE: I forgot one more thing, Dana...

May problema pa rin yung Tribune website

Minsan, naa-access mo. Pero most of the time, hindi accessible.

I hope hindi seryoso ang problema nila.

UPDATE: it's possible na target sila ng Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Supreme Court partially voids EO 464

Mike Defensor criticizes bishop Tobias for apologizing to Erap:

PRESIDENTIAL chief of staff Michael Defensor yesterday said he no longer respects Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias after the bishop apologized Wednesday to President Joseph Estrada for the role of the Church in his ouster in 2001.

"I respect him as a bishop, pero hindi ko nirerespeto yung ganoong klaseng pagkatao dahil para sa akin kung may ginawa kang decision, hindi mo dapat pagsisihan dahil at the time na ginawa niya iyon tama iyong decision na iyon. Bakit ka gagawa ng maling decision?" Defensor said.

"Para bang sasabihin mo you’re sorry because you joined Edsa 2. Edsa 2 is not wrong; it was correct. Edsa 2 had its basis during that time, so you do not say that you now regret having joined Edsa 2," he added.

"When I hear of these things, I cannot help but feel sorry for those people who say sorry now because they feel that Edsa 2 was wrong or what they did was wrong…Kasi hindi naman mali iyon. Kami ni Erap nag-uusap naman kami but I never said I am sorry for Edsa 2, or for the actions that I did," Defensor said.

Misunderstanding lang yan, Kuya Mike.

More from Ducky Paredes: Tobias' boo boo

Here's the alternate spin from Rina Jimenez David.


PCIJ: Supreme Court partially voids EO 464

Dean Jorge Bocobo: Executve Privilege Covers Information--Not Executives

Malaya Editorial:

The legal beagles of Malacañang probably knew all along that extending to subordinates and military and police officials the required presidential permission for appearances of Cabinet members before Congress was skating on thin ice.

But the gag order had worked as originally intended – prevent Congress from digging deeper into the "Hello Garci" scandal and the fertilizer fund scam at the height of the clamor for Gloria Arroyo’s ouster – and Arroyo’s strategists must be feeling smug despite the Supreme Court ruling.


PDI Editorial on the Subic Rape case:

OUTRAGE over Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez's downgrading of the charges against three of the four American servicemen accused of raping a Filipina seems to be concentrated more against his words than against his actions. This only goes to show how effective Gonzalez is as the pit bull of the administration, in charge of snarling and frothing at the mouth and lunging at the crowd, both to frighten and distract the public. After all, he is not just any loose cannon but an integral part of the legal and political arsenal of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

There exists, in fact, a clear division between official attitudes toward the case. State prosecutors, such as Olongapo City Chief Prosecutor Prudencio Jalandoni, believe they have adequate evidence to successfully prosecute all the accused American servicemen. Gonzalez has decided to the contrary, and while he hasn't totally let the other three American soldiers off the hook, only one will actually go on trial for rape. The charges against the others have been reduced to their being accessories.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye has gone on record to say the Arroyo administration fully supports Gonzalez. That means that the justice secretary's rather loathsome rhetoric aside, what he has done has the full blessings of the person for whom he serves as an alter ego: the President.

One of the lawyers of the rape victim brought up a point which indicates why Gonzalez's actions have been met with disgust. Even if Gonzalez says there isn't enough evidence to prove the other accused American servicemen actually raped the victim, Evalyn Ursua points out that the three kept chanting "Go, Smith!" as their fellow soldier assaulted and raped the Filipina. The lawyer asserts that egging on a rapist in this manner is tantamount to participating in a gang rape. It is an argument important enough, to our mind, to deserve being pursued in court. But because of Gonzalez, it won't be brought up when the case is tried.

And this:

Again, we return to our original point: For every comment Raul Gonzalez has made that offends, it is well to remember that the man, his thinking and the fruits of his thinking have the full and unequivocal support of the President and the rest of the Cabinet. And that's the most offensive thing of all -- as well as the greatest injustice, not only to the executive branch of government but to the country.


- Ellen Tordesillas writes about her blogging experience and IBLOG2 + "Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace". Also read her additional comments on the Mayuga report.


Malaya Edit on the dishonesty of the Cha cha advocates:

Advocates of charter change are not being honest in flaying opponents who used to support calls for amending the 1987 Constitution.

Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel and Sen. Mar Roxas were calling for specific changes, not a wholesale upending of the current governmental setup. So were House minority leader Francis Escudero and the so-called House bright boys.

More, they sought to introduce the amendments in an open and transparent manner, which cannot be said of the deceitful tactics Gloria Arroyo and her allies are using to ram through their proposed shift to a parliamentary system.

What specifically were the advocacies of Pimentel and Roxas? Pimentel championed a federal setup where the center of power would be shifted from imperial Manila to the local governments. Roxas, who was trade secretary during the Estrada administration, favored an easing of the nationality restrictions in doing business.

They have not changed their minds. What they object to is the revision of the Constitution at this time of a continuing leadership crisis and how the proposed changes are being rammed through.


Update on Mike Arroyo's libel case vs Malaya's Publisher Jake Macasaet and Malaya opinion columnist Lito Banayo.


- Iraqi Prime Minister Abrahim Al-Jaafari clears the way for his party to withdraw his nomination for a second term. Iraqi Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni leaders attended the news conference today.

- Michelle Malkin's critics have crossed the line:

It’s one thing to be politically unhinged; yet another to become criminally so. Michelle Malkin’s critics have crossed the line, publishing satellite photos of her family’s home along with the address. The intent is to intimidate her, and while that won’t work, it could lead to an abyss.

Publishing the contents of a press release, as Michelle did, should never lead to the end of one’s physical security. But now that every person on earth can easily find where she lives, she and her husband and children have no security in their own home. Enough is enough.

This aint good.

- Top 100 Unsexiest men in the world. Number one si Gilbert Gottfried of the Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno.

- Ignore bloggers at your own peril, researchers say.

- The NYT has a long article on Google in China

It's Phoenix vs. the Kobe Lakers in the first round

Okay, the NBA Playoffs matchups are set: Suns v. Lakers

Here's how I would demolish the Lakers:

Let Kobe average 60 ppg (or the same amount that jordan averaged against the Celtics in the 1986 1st-round playoffs), and take his teammates out of the game early. Single cover everybody. Let Odom and the rest of his teammates be spectators of the Kobe show instead of being active participants. Let kobe get his against Raja Bell or Marion.

But if the game is still close with 1 or 2 minutes left, start doubling Kobe everytime he has the ball, and let his teammates -- who were non-factors in the first three and a half quarters of the game -- beat us.

If the Suns are worried about the refs factor, then don't let Kobe have the ball in the last two minutes of a close game, period. Because i doubt kwame or odom or smush would benefit from "superstar calls" like kobe.

UPDATE: To settle the debate on who's the real Regular-season MVP between Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant, panoorin niyo yung first round matchup ng respective teams nila. If the Suns win the series, then si Nash talaga ang MVP. Kung si Kobe ang nanalo, then I'll concede na si Kobe ang MVP.

Btw, Predictions:

San antonio over sacramento in 6
Suns over Lakers in 5
Clippers over Denver in 6
Mavericks over Grizzlies in 4

Detroit over Milwaukee in 4
Miami over chicago in 5
Nets over Pacers in 4
Washington over Cleveland in 7

yan lang po muna.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bishop Tobias: Church was right to stage Edsa Dos

- So sorry for Edsa 2, bishop tells Erap... well, not really.

NOVALICHES Bishop Antonio Tobias yesterday asked President Estrada to forgive the Catholic Church for its role in the EDSA 2 people power revolt in 2001 that forced him out from power.

"I hope you have come to terms with us bishops and priests," Tobias said in his homily in a mass at the St. Peter’s Parish church in Quezon City in honor of Estrada’s 69th birthday...

Tobias in a press conference with the Kilusang Makabansang Ekonomiya, an organization advocating economic reform, said his apology was for the hurt inflicted on Estrada.

He said he still holds that the bishops and people were right in staging Edsa 2.

Heh. He also said people power will always remain an option.

But this comment is interesting too, from CBCP president Angel Lagdameo:

In a statement, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said it has nothing to apologize for to Estrada.

CBCP president Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said Tobias was just being considerate to Estrada since it was his birthday.

Lagdameo said the CBCP did not issue any official statement against Estrada and his decision to leave Malacañang in 2001 was his own.

Oh C'mon Mr. Lagdameo, you know the CBCP and Cardinal Sin's position were for Erap's resignation.

Haven't you heard of Google, sir?

So what are you trying to say, Archbishop Lagdameo? Na hindi involved ang Simbahan sa Edsa Dos? Who are you trying to fool, sir? So now you're washing the CBCP's role in edsa dos? Ano ito, lokohan? Revisionist history?

- When dead people's names start showing up in this so-called "People's Initiative" ni Arroyo, then may problema tayo, peeps.

- Jester-in-Exile, who was at the Iblog2, has a long post about it. Good read, Jester. Maganda rin itong kay Susan Ople.

Read this too Iblog2 roundup from Quezon Tres.

- Manuel Viloria has a video of Dean J. Bocobo making a comment at IBLOG2.

- Photos, photos, and more Photos at FREE EXPRESSION IN AN ASIAN CYBERSPACE by Jove.

- Howard Kurtz on my main man Brit Hume of Foxnews.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Our own "Devil's Bargain"?

Sabi ni Dana Dillon of the Heritage Foundation on Arroyo's media crackdown:

In a stunning display of Orwellian ‘doublethink,’” he wrote, “Arroyo wants to convince policymakers that her illegal and unconstitutional suppression of journalists actually serves to preserve the constitution and rule of law.”

And more here from DJB on our new Chief Justice Panganiban's novel (and scary raw, says DJB) ideas about the Judiciary.

After reading Dillon and DJB's piece, ang masasabi ko ay gusto rin yata ng arroyo admin na matulad tayo sa China, that we also have our own "devil's bargain", meaning we sacrifice some of our freedoms (speech, assembly, media) in favor of "economic prosperity".

but the difference between us and china though is that the chinese were coming from somewhere where there was no freedom, and now they're getting a little bit of it.

Sa atin naman, OTOH, the reverse ang nangyayari. gustong ng arroyo admin na unti-unting bawasan ang freedom of speech at gawing less free ang press natin.

From Rebecca Mackinnon on the "Devil's Bargain":

It's certainly true that China's educated urban population have been "bought off" to a large extent, and that includes journalists. When I worked as a correspondent for CNN in China, many of my Chinese journalist friends complained that while they wanted to do real journalism ... there was no incentive to do so. Hard-hitting journalism might make you famous in the short term but would likely get you in trouble eventually -- if not demotion, then possibly jail if you really go too far.

Journalists who do the best financially in China are those who don't bother with sensitive stories and instead take bribes from companies. ... In fact, in the 1990s, bribery ... was so rampant that at corporate press conferences Chinese journalists expected to receive a "little red envelope" in exchange for actually filing a story -- which was often just a rewrite of the press release. My office sometimes got calls from Chinese companies asking how much money we needed in order to do a feature about them. When I explained we don't do that, people were often bewildered.

There is something else going on, however. There is a new phenomenon of online citizens' media. China now has an estimated 15 million blogs. What's important to understand is that many Chinese are willing to accept a fair amount of censorship in exchange for being allowed to do more than was previously possible.

Bloggers get in trouble if they trash their leaders or try to organize a campaign to overthrow government officials. But the conversations are much more wide-ranging, culturally and socially, and much freer than they were 20 years ago. China's most famous blogger writes ... about her sex life. One of China's recent pop heartthrobs is a schoolteacher who rose to fame because so many Internet users downloaded ... an MP3 file he stuck online. The Communist Party is losing control of China's youth culture, thanks to the Internet.

After one of China's most famous bloggers, Michael Anti [Zhao Jing], was censored by MSN Spaces at the end of last year, many bloggers said he was a necessary sacrifice so that the majority of Chinese can continue to have an online space to express themselves as they choose. So the point is, compromises are being made at every level of society because nobody has the expectation of political freedom anyway.

Gosh, I hope we don't end up like repressive China, or buy Arroyo's "logic" that her media crackdown and intimidation tactics were necessary in order to preserve the constitution and "move the country forward."

UPDATE: More from Yan Sham-Shackleton:

In ... Hong Kong, self-censorship is increasing; I see it every day. The reason media outlets are self-censoring is because the bosses [have] business interests in China that need protecting, or [they] want to break into the China market. ... [I]t's a business decision.

UPDATE: We can have economic success without sacrificing our freedoms. FVR has proven that in the mid-90s.

Only corrupt politicians with legitimacy and credibility problems would resort to repressive tactics and accuse critics of being "destabilizers" in order to stifle dissent.

UPDATE: My man Bong Austero speaks for many pro-Arroyo supporters when he said this:

Because quite frankly, we are prepared to lose our freedoms and our rights just to move this country forward.

He said that after Arroyo declared a "State of Emergency" and started cracking down on the media.

Austero may not be the first person to express such views, because we've heard variations of those talking points before from the administration itself, and other pro-Arroyo media surrogates in the MSM and gov't-controlled media. But he's probably the person who became most famous for eloquently expressing such views that resonated deeply among the Arroyo Loyalists and gave the Arroyo admin encouragement to intimidate her critics in the press.

(Of course, later we found out na he didn't really mean what he said. LOL.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Iblog2 coverage (from other bloggers)

I wasn't able to go sa Iblog2, so I have to rely on other bloggers para malaman kung anong nangyari kaninang umaga at hapon.

PCIJ wasn't there either, but they have links of people who were there to cover the event.

Jove Francisco has blog posts on Rebecca MacKinnon, Kuya MLQ3, and more photos of your favorite bloggers here and here.

Balita ko some of the sessions will be made available as podcasts on iblog2. Aabangan ko yan, lalo na yung sa kay Rebecca Mackinnon, MLQ3 at Ellen Tordesillas.

Dean Jorge Bocobo has more on IBLOG2.


PCIJ: Conservative U.S. think-tank hits Gloria

BARELY two weeks since a scathing New York Times editorial that accused President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of undermining the Philippines’ “hard-won democracy,” a senior policy analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation hit the President for resorting to “the methods many dictators use to silence criticism.”

In a commentary published in the Fox News website, Dana Robert Dillon, the Heritage Foundation’s senior policy analyst who writes regularly on the Philippines and Southeast Asia, criticized the Arroyo government’s moves to curtail free speech and assembly and suggested that the US Congress and President George W. Bush review American security assistance to ensure that “accountability procedures are followed” and U.S.-supplied military equipment is properly used.

The commentary is one more indication that that the Arroyo government is losing support in Washington, despite its expensive efforts to shore up its standing in the United States by hiring American lobby groups.
Last September, the PCIJ reported that the Arroyo government had signed a $75,000 monthly contract with the Venable LLP law firm to lobby for grants and congressional earmarks for the Philippine military and also for charter change. While the government said it had rescinded the contract with Venable, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita recently admitted that the contract continues.

REad the whole article.


From Google Blogscoped: Downloadable Tiananmen Square Massacre Documentary in WMV format, including:


-Tens of Millions of Protestors and the Theater of Massacre

-China’s Rise and Two Chinas

-The Struggle to Control Information analyzes how Western IT companies like Google work with the Chinese gov’t
PBS has more on this documentary. [Via Digg.]


- Lito Banayo: Ang daming isiningit si Arroyo during Holy Week, when everybody's away and no one's looking.

- More on Davide, Baja and Del Rosario from Ellen Tordesillas.

- Batasan 6 asks SC to stop probe

- MLQ3: Unintended Unity

- JB Baylon:

"I was also happy to read in yesterday’s papers the position of Senator Richard Gordon on charter change; the former Miracle Worker of Subic is advocating Cha-Cha after the 2007 elections and urging that the first thing we ought to do is clean up the Comelec and restore its credibility in the eyes of the public.

I agree with this position 1000 percent."

Well, that's better than what is being done now, but as long as Arroyo is in power, I'm still very uneasy about this CHA CHA thing.


On the Mayuga Report:

Malaya Editorial: Stonewalling all over the place

PCIJ: Mayuga's Resource persons named


Oh yeah, hanggang ngayon wala pa rin ang Daily Tribune sa internet.