Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Palparan again

More reports of abuses from Arroyo's favorite general? I think Arroyo should recommend Gen. Palparan to the Bush administration and send him to Iraq to pacify the insurgents in Baghdad and Mosul. Who knows, he might a do a good job there too, no?

Conrad de Quiros says that in order to have clean elections in 2007, you need to root out those involved in the 2004 gloriagate Election rigging scandal:

But there is one thing more than computerization that will guarantee clean and honest elections in 2007. That is for us to have clean elections in 2004. Or since that is no longer possible, for us to correct the dirty and dishonest elections of 2004. Frankly, I don't know why we're even talking about how to make the 2007 elections clean when we're still laboring under the weight of elections that were not. We don't correct the 2004 elections, we won't have clean elections in 2007. We don't correct the 2004 elections, we will never have clean elections even after 2007.

What's to prevent administration candidates from using government funds to campaign, talking to Comelec officials, and tinkering with the counting machines (most of them can't be cracked from the outside, only from the inside) so that they can win by a million votes or -- greed having no limits -- more? History shows all you have to do is say you made a lapse in judgment and apologize. And go on as your punishment to seize the position and silence activists and protesters, preferably permanently.

We don't correct the 2004 elections, we can forget about elections. They won't mean a thing. The purpose of elections is for us to have the leaders we elect. We don't get them anyway, let's trash the trash. We have no lack of less expensive and more amusing forms of entertainment. "Philippine Idol" is one of them. The winners there win honestly.

That's the reason I've been calling for "snap elections" since the "Hello, Garci" tape came out. It's the only way to correct the 2004 elections. It's the only way to restore faith in elections. There are two ways to go about it: You can either call for snap elections before the 2007 elections, or if that's too expensive, include the position of president in the 2007 elections. Otherwise we'll just have the kind of elections Ferdinand Marcos trotted out during martial law, the zarzuelas (my profoundest apologies to the zarzuelistas who produced grand music in their works) that nobody took seriously. For good reason: They were being held under the auspices of an illegitimate leader who was murdering people across the country with help from thugs in military uniform to prop up illegitimate rule.

I agree.

Kit Tatad on the administration's attempts to abolish the senate:

The Senate stands in the way of President Arroyo’s continued rule without resolving her legitimacy crisis, so she wants it abolished, through Charter change (Cha-cha). But as Cha-cha is widely opposed, she wants to kill the institution in stages, through a sustained boycott by the executive department of all Senate inquiries.

Between the Senate and the House of Representatives, the latter has long lost its reason for being. Since 2001, the House has continuously failed to pass the budget, without first reducing it into the spoils of office. For the most ignoble of reasons, it has also wrecked the impeachment process.

Yet it is the Senate, the more useful chamber, that is being targeted, and the House leadership, which has destroyed honor and dignity in politics, has become Mrs. Arroyo’s long arm in prosecuting the project.

Mrs. Arroyo seems totally unconcerned that the attack on the Senate has provoked a new constitutional crisis, as highly divisive and destructive as the mother crisis arising from the unresolved legitimacy question.

The mainstream media have tried to reduce the Senate affair into a petty squabble over the kind of questions senators ask Mrs. Arroyo’s subalterns during Senate inquiries.

They have studiously avoided pointing out that Mrs. Arroyo simply does not want to answer to anybody on anything at all, beginning with her right to stay in office, and missing billions of pesos.
But the Senate, though not always articulate, still wants to perform its informing function.

The real offense is not to the Senate only, and it is not enough for the senators heading the inquiries to rage against the offending officials. The entire Senate must act as an institution to defend its right to exist and function as an institution.

It must speak with one voice and by resolution denounce the organized assault on its right, if it means taking on Mrs. Arroyo directly, and those who are politically in bed with her.

These would include the Supreme Court (SC) justices who disgracefully ratified Mrs. Arroyo’s unconstitutional excesses in Executive Order (EO) 464, while drawing so much praise for reportedly rescinding the same.
Read it all.

-- Can we really trust this administration with the anti-Terrorism Bill and the National ID? The information (here, here, here, here, here) makes me think passing the anti-Terrorism bill now in it's current form and implementing the national ID would only help stifle dissent and will definitely be abused by the current administration to harass Arroyo's critics.

And does the administration really need an anti-Terror bill? Or is it just all for show?

Even if the House and the Senate pass an anti-terror law, as wished for by Gloria Arroyo, who has quickly ridden on the coattails of the London airline bombing plot discovery, such would have to be ruled as unconstitutional, because that which the legislators who are so hot on pleasing Gloria want included are provisions that are banned by the Constitution.

Under the Bill of Rights, it is so stated that no searches of houses, seizures of papers and effects can be made by the authorities as well as arrests without warrants except in cases where probable cause is determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and witnesses and “particularly describing the place to be searched and or persons or things to be seized.”

This proviso, as everybody must know by now, is hardly ever followed by Gloria’s police and the military.
This has been proved time and time again. Even the arrest of the Magdalo officers and seizure of alleged plans to bomb the Batasan complex were unconstitutional and whatever “evidence” the police and military team planted and took, cannot be used as evidence in any court of law. The cops can’t even produce that search warrant. As for arrest warrants, there certainly weren’t any, as they couldn’t have possibly known, and made known to the judge, just who were the persons to be arrested, and what documents would be searched and seized.

Then there is too that proviso where a suspect cannot be detained and interrogated without the presence of counsel, and if that suspect wants to waive that right, the counsel must still be present when he does sign the waiver. This too, is being breached by the cops and police.

As for detaining suspects well over 36 hours, which Gloria and her goons in the police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines push in an anti-terror law, will this likely be respected by them, given the fact that the same goons are known to abduct, illegally detain, torture and even kill these alleged suspects? They are already engaged in such unconstitutional practices, so why should an anti-terror law that gives authorities even more allotted time make any difference? For one, these same officials and officers aren’t going to let the public know where these suspects are being held — as evidenced by the many missing victims — and in the case of those victims who survived the hell created by the police and the military, even as they had these victims in detention, the authorities continued to deny they had them in their custody, despite inquiries by the relatives. Even the torture proved by physical marks on the body, was being denied by those who tortured the victim.

But the reason these Gloria goons want a longer time to detain alleged terror suspects — and most definitely, under the Gloria regime, this would be used against her political foes — is not to get a true confession from them, but to force them into confessing to a crime they did not commit and link others to the crime.

There is no such thing, when it comes to our police and military, as physical or forensic evidence, much less records, with which to link the suspects to the crime. More often than not, since the crime and the evidence are manufactured to frame some political foes, what happens is that they get an individual, pass him off as a terrorist, or one belonging to a terrorist organization, for him to link whoever the authorities want to link, then abduct, illegally detain and torture the linked individual into confessing to the fabricated crime, and point to the individual Gloria and her goons are really targeting for persecution — not prosecution.

Check on all those so-called pieces of “evidence” the Gloria government puts out against its political foes. They are all made up of affidavit complaints that are perjured — as can be gleaned from proof positive that the accused was nowhere in sight of those alleged witnesses and can prove even through documented proof, where he was at that specified time.

Gloria and her goons certainly don’t need an anti-terror law, given the fact that they have been gravely abusing the basic rights of the people enshrined in the Constitution in the Bill of Rights.

What she really wants, by way of a passage of the anti-terror law, is that she can wave this to the United States government and claim she is really on the ball when it comes to anti-terrorism.

She is still not in the good books of the US government, and is seen by the world as flaky, for bowing to terrorist demands in exchange for the life of truck driver Angelo de la Cruz.

To date, she can’t even get the real terorrists — the Jemaah Islamiyah recruiters and trainors based in the country.

She even lets the financiers of these terror groups go scot-free, even when they have already been caught and detained. The anti-terror law is all for show.

Read it all.

Lito Banayo defends anti-GMA Josie Lichauco from gov't harassment.

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