Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Composition of new COMELEC officials, post-GMA

Sabi ni Sadirmata:

pero bago ang snap elections na yan, kailangang mapalitan muna ang present commissioners at officers ng comelec ng mga taong hindi identified kay arroyo o sa mga politiko o personahe ng oposisyon.

i agree. clean up the COMELEC and go after all the COMELEC officials (high and low) involved in the GLORIAGATE dagdag bawas operations. I disagree with you though about banning people associated with the admin or opposition from being COMELEC commissioners. that's an extreme view. because most people are either pro- or anti-arroyo. (In the US, that is like saying, yeah palitan natin ang mga election officials sa isang county, pero bawal ang mga republicans o democrats na humawak sa position na ito. pwede lang yung mga taga-green party o communist party. LOL. just impractical.)

example, i would be for jovito salonga as commissioner, kahit na he supported arroyo. i would be for joker arroyo as Commissioner, kahit na he still leans pro-arroyo (his opportunity for redemption). i would be for harriet demetriou as commissioner kahit na associated siya kay FPJ. heck, i would even be for winnie monsod as commissioner. because although they may support one or the other side, i believe they are fair, not corrupt and not power hungry.

but we have to remove the corrupting influence of arroyo first, because she and her appointed COMELEC officials rigged the 2004 presidential elections. for as long as GMA is in power, no real reforms will take place at magiging toothless at powerless lang ang office ng COMELEC under her dictatorial rule, katulad ng ginawa niya sa senado via EO 464. Magaling talaga si marcos... este GMA.

If we can find people who have no pro- or anti-arroyo opinions who can serve as commissioners, then bring them on. but highly unrealistic. but i'm in favor of comelec commissioners na associated with the admin or the opposition as long as credible sila, hindi corrupt, at balanced ang membership sa COMELEC as in 4-3 (4 associated with admin, 3 from the opposition, or 4 associated with the opposition, 3 from admin or even 5 admin, 2 opposition).

Monday, February 27, 2006


Mike Arroyo, in his own words.

Credit should go to Mike Arroyo

THIS is a season of remembering those exhilarating days in January last year when Joseph Estrada, accused of betraying the trust of the Filipino people who elected him president, was ousted three years and five months short of his term.

Believing in giving credit to where credit is due, we are reprinting here again excerpts of the interview with Mike Arroyo by the eminent Nick Joaquin on his role in the ouster of Estrada, which paved the way for his wife's takeover of the presidency. The interview appeared in the March 5, 2001 issue of Philippine Graphic.

"She had really left the Cabinet at the right moment: the timing was perfect. If she had tarried a moment longer, she would have been too late for EDSA: she would have made it there as an opportunist. And as for the ill-feeling in Metro Manila, we tackled that by going back to the door-to-door campaign: she went from barangay to barangay explaining her motives, outlining her program. And it worked. Then came the impeachment trial, and from there, tuloy-tuloy na.

"There was a time honestly, when I felt I erred in advising her to resign from the Cabinet. The masa in Manila apparently wanted her to stick it out with Erap. And when she started attacking him, everything fell on us - grabe!- everything! But I told myself: it's now or never; if we lose here we're totally destroyed and it's goodbye to her political career - but if we win here, she becomes President! So we really fought.

"We got all those Erap tapes from Ramon Jacinto and distributed them all over. We bought one million and a half million copies of Pinoy Times to give away so the public could read about the Erap mansions and bank accounts.

"And when EDSA happened, we texted everybody to go running there. EDSA, EDSA: everybody converge on EDSA! Panalo kung panalo. Patay kung patay! Jinggoy had already announced what they would do to us if they won.

"Chavit Singson had Plan B involving elements of the military to strike the first blow. They would kindle the spark by withdrawing from the government, and one by one others would follow: Class '71 would also withdraw, then Class '72, and so forth. But General de Villa warned that the timing had to be precise because one untimely move against the government and the military would automatically defend it. The move must be made at what De Villa called a 'defining moment.'

"You see, General De Villa had his Plan A, which was better than ours, because his was focused on the Chief of Staff and the Service Commanders. At past one o'clock p.m. January 20, Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes defected but we knew that already the night before, when negotiations had lasted until the small hours. By past 2 a.m. we knew Reyes had been convinced to join. His only condition was: Show us a million people on EDSA so it will b easier to bring in the service commanders.

"And they asked when the crowd was thickest; we told them: from three to five in the afternoon. So they agreed to come to EDSA at around that time. But while hiding in their safehouse, they got reports that General Calimlim could not be located and their first thought was: "He's out looking for us!" So they decided to rush to EDSA right away. When they got there, why there too at the Shrine was Calimlim! He had been looking for them all right, but join to join them, not to arrest them!

"Our group there was a back-up strike force. In fact, it was our group that won over to our side the PNP first. If Panfilo Lacson had resisted, he and his men would have been repelled: there would have been bloodshed, but not on EDSA. In every place where Erap loyalists had a force, we had a counter-force to face it, with orders to shoot. And not only in Metro Manila. Carillo had already been sent to the provinces; and in Nueva Ecija, for instance, we had Rabosa. This was a fight to the finish. That's why those five days that Erap was demanding were so important. He was counting on counter-coups and baliktaran.

"I was negotiating with Pardo up to three o'clock in the morning: niloloko lang pala kami. But I told him point-blank: "If by six o'clock this morning you haven't given us the resignation letter, we will storm the gates of Malacañang!' But they insisted on more talk: with De Villa up front, and my back channel debate with Pardo, which even became a three-way contest, with Buboy Virata pitching in.

"But the threat to march to Malacañang was for real. And so was the danger of bloodshed. I wasn't telling Gloria everything: I didn't want her alarmed. So she didn't know about the orders to shoot."

UPDATE: oh yeah there were communists and leftists too who participated in this: Crispin Beltran, Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casino Liza Masa, Rafael Mariano and Etta Rosales.

UPDATE: the difference between estrada and arroyo is that erap at least was democratically elected (won by a landslide), whereas Arroyo stole the presidency TWICE. One in 2001. The other during the 2004 elections.

UPDATE: I don't think Arroyo, Mike Defensor or any of those who supported Edsa dos (including the likes of that hypocrite winnie monsod) have any moral high ground at all when it comes to lecturing us about the evils of a coup, since it will only sound hyprocritical and laughable.

Maybe if they did not participate in the edsa dos, they'd be more credible.

And for me, the only legit edsa in my eyes is Edsa 1986 where we ousted an overstaying and illegitimate ruler/dictator who cheated in 1986, but was proclaimed "winner" anyway by his Congress/Batasan.

UPDATE: thanks Rizalist, Atty-at-work, and Hillblogger for linking to this post. go click on their links for more comments and info.

UPDATE: Another must read post from Rizalist. Check out the photos.

It's not the first time this administration harassed the media for reporting on gov't corruption and other issues

Let's start with the muzzling of PROBE team by Mike Arroyo and Efraim Genuino for their expose of the PAGCOR scandals, which led to the cancellation of the award winning show.

or the admin accusing GMA7 reporter Tina Panganiban Perez of "abetting rebellion" for interviewing "the other side" in the Oakwood mutiny incident in 2003. More on the "abetting rebellion" here.

Or the harassment suffered by Tribune editor in chief Ninez Cacho Olivarez by the hands of Arroyo lawyers by having her arrested and arraigned 19 times. Her only offense was the tribune's expose on the extortion attempts by Arroyo's lawyers on FRAPORT, which led to FRAPORT going to the World bank for arbitration:

The complaint lodged by Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide (Fraport) before the Word Bank arbitration body in Washington DC served to confirm the "tens of millions" extortion attempt made on the German investor by presidential aides, Gloria Tan-Climaco, presidential adviser on Strategic Projects; Presidential legal counsel Avelino "Nonong" Cruz; and his former partner and President Arroyo's personal lawyer, F. Arthur Pancho Villaraza.

More on this here.

Or how about the report that ISAFP (arroyo's spy organization that did the wiretapping on the Hello Garci tapes) had designated the respected media institutions and groups like PCIJ and NUJP as "enemies of the state"? Pati yung simbahan/CBCP damay...

Or the attempt to gag PCIJ for reporting on the questionable character of Gov't asset and coverup artist Jonathan tiongco?

Arroyo also falsely accused Julius Babao of bailing out a terrorist. Ang problema'y hindi naman si Babao ang nag-bail kay Dawud kundi yung asset ni Mike Defensor mismo na si Jonathan tiongco.

UPDATE: Read this Memo from Arroyo's MTRCB on their attempts to control the media.

The problem with arroyo is that there's too much corruption and too many questions about her legitimacy for the media not to report on this. Sorry, Mrs. Arroyo.

Parang may kulang ang Tribune ngayon

it's interesting that today, there are only three op ed articles in the tribune.

Missing yung column nina Ninez (who writes her column 7 days a week, i recall only once or twice where her column's missing), Rudy Romero and two others. siguro hindi nakapasa kay PNP editor in chief Lomibao... o "destabilizing" yung mga articles na yan.

here are the previous monday editions ng op ed ng Tribune:

Monday Feb. 13, 2006.

Monday Feb. 20, 2006.

isa pa, i hope kung iibahin o ise-censor ng PNP yung content ng mga tribune articles, paki-indicate na lang yung articles na na-edit.

parang may "Iraqi Minders" na rin ang tribune ano? yung "iraqi minders" yung nagbabantay sa western media during saddam's time, para ma-censor at ma-edit yung mga hindi nila nagustuhang articles on saddam and iraq.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Fight Proclamation 1017! Defend the Free Press!

If you care about a free press and fighting Martial Law under the guise of another name, then we should start holding protest rallies starting tomorrow to demonstrate our opposition to the authoritarian regime of Arroyo and Co.

From PCIJ: A Call for Solidarity

A call for solidarity

For a few years now, the global media community has acknowledged the Philippines among the most dangerous places for journalists. In the past two years, our country has been second only to Iraq in the number of media killings. Philippine journalists have fought hard to roll back the tide of violence. Today, however, the Philippine press faces its strongest challenge.

In declaring a "state of national emergency," President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made media among her main targets. She and senior aides warned of government takeover of media facilities considered friendly to the political opposition.

Police have already raided the offices of the Daily Tribune, a national daily. Armed men in civilian clothes have gone around the offices of Abante, the country’s biggest tabloid. Police had earlier arrested Randy David, a columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, holding the award-winning journalist and sociologist for five hours prosecutors said there was no ground to charge him with any crime.

The government deployed troops to the compounds of ABS-CBN and GMA-7, the country’s largest television networks. The government’s claim was that the soldiers were protecting these stations from a potential takeover by destabilizers.

Police have also declared that they would not hesitate to takeover media entities found "aiding" the administration’s enemies. The police also said they would soon release "standards" or guidelines that journalists must follow and that investigators and prosecutors were monitoring the news.

By the government’s definition, providing aid to Mrs. Arroyo’s enemies includes interviewing opposition parties. In simple terms, the administration wants media to present only the side of the embattled government, using force and coercion to bend journalists to its wishes.

Filipinos, journalists included, fought a long, hard battle to regain democracy after two decades of tyranny. That Mrs. Arroyo timed this crackdown on civil liberties with the anniversary of the Marcos dictatorship’s fall only highlights her break with the democratic aspirations of Filipinos. Even as she warns enemies of feeling the full force of the law, Mrs. Arroyo flaunts constitutional guarantees to free speech and expression and press freedom.

Leaders of Philippine society have spoken out against the government’s iron-hand tactics. The Philippine journalism community has also moved fast to unite against this grand assault on press freedom. Today, (Sunday, Feb. 26), the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines will lead various organizations and individual journalists in protesting the crackdown on media. The Philippine media community intends to send Mrs. Arroyo a strong message: We will not go gently into the night.

We call on all our colleagues in print, broadcast and digital journalism worldwide to support Philippine media in this dark hour. Please add your voice to our protest. Let us collectively condemn the crackdown on Philippine media and remind Mrs. Arroyo that no country can be free to prosper if its media is silenced and cowed. You can send protest letters to the government through the Office of the Press Secretary at osec@ops.gov.ph, with facsimile number (632) 735-6167 or deliver these to the nearest Philippine embassy and consulate. You can send solidarity messages to the NUJP through its email address, nujphil@gmail.com or post this on our website, www.nujp.org.

National Union of Journalists of the Philippines

Who is Arturo Lomibao?

Well, he's the guy who's threatening the media with a PNP takeover if they don't follow the rules:

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

Galing no?

He's also the same guy who was mentioned in the GLORIAGATE tapes.

Conversation between PGMA (Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) and Garcillano (V. Garcillano) on 06 19:00 hours June ’04

GMA: Hello?
Garcillano: Hello ma’am. Good evening. Tumawag po kayo.
GMA: Ah dumating...dapat i-sigurado natin consistent yung mga documents sa Maguindanao.
Garcillano: Oo ma’am. Hindi naman ho masyadong problema sa Maguindanao. Ano ho yung itinext ninyo kagabi na may mga fake precincts na ako raw ang mastermind?
GMA: Oo, oo.
Garcillano: Pero ma’am … Ano ba naman. Hindi ko maintindihan what they are trying to drive at when 120 days before elections established na ang precincts.
GMA: Ah ok, ok. Siguro ano, mga shot in the dark lang ‘yun, but I’m just letting you know everything I find out para we can always make the appropriate remedies.
Garcillano: Si Gen. Lomibao nasa Zamboanga na. I have all the people around us talk to him so that they will be able to prevent who is going to work.
GMA: Ok. Ok. Ok. Sige, thank you.

Conversation between Gary (V. Garcillano) and a certain Ruben on 07 20:38 June ’04
Garcillano: Hello.
Ruben: Yeah, Garci, si Ruben. Anong balita?
Garcillano: Eto, nag-aano ako kasi. ‘Yung sa Tipo-tipo na tao, parang nasa kamay na nila.
Ruben: Oo nga eh.
Garcillano: Pero wala namang damage magagawa … (garbled) … pero kay Wahab. Kaya dapat si Wahab ang gumalaw niyan.
Ruben: Pero, magte-testify sya against the administration eh. Against the President.
Garcillano: How can she? Wala naman siyang ginawa kay Presidente.
Ruben: Eh hindi, di ba ang gagamiting magte-testify siguro ‘yun against the President regarding the bawas-dagdag na ginawa dun sa ano.
Garcillano: Wala naman siyang ginawa para kay Presidente dun sa kanya ah.
Ruben: Hindi, ‘yun ang pinepresenta di ba? Yan ‘yung pinepresenta ni Rufus Rodriguez pati yung kay Ebron?
Garcillano: Oo nga, pero wala naman. Kay Ebron, di niya makukuha si Ebron, wala na, di niya makukuha.
Ruben: Si Ebron nga, hindi na nga dahil as of two days ago, nakausap na nga raw eh.
Garcillano: Sinong nakausap?
Ruben: Si Ebron, nakausap na ng military.
Garcillano: Sabihin mo dyan sa military na ‘yan, wag silang masyadong kwan makikialam, kasi sinampal pala si Ebron eh, aking tao yan eh, taga Batangas yan eh.
Ruben: Ah ganun ba?
Garcillano: Oo, huwag namang ganun. Bago nila ginawa yun nung primero, sinampal pa siya eh, kaya mangiyak-ngiyak yung tao eh. Pero kahit pakainin mo ng bala yun, di na magpapakita. Ngayon, itong si Rashma Hali, wala naman masasabi against kay ma’am eh, kahit anong gawin nila because she has
not done anything except kay Wahab Akbar. Kaya dapat si Wahab ang mawarningan.
Ruben: Pero, ano ba pare yung pinakikitang ano ni Rufus na ano?
Garcillano: Ah, pabayaan mo siya but it does not have anything to do with the President.
Ruben: Ibig mong sabihin yung pinakikitang dinagdagan daw yung boto ni Presidente eh....
Garcillano: Hindi naman nila matetestiguhan kung hindi sa kanyang munisipyo.
Ruben: Yung Tipo-tipo di ba?
Garcillano: Oo nga, pero ang problema niyan, wala naman kay Presidente dyan.
Ruben: Hindi ba yun ang pinepresenta ni Rufus na dinagdagan?
Garcillano: Yung pinakikita ni Rufus, tingnan natin sa provincial canvass, kasi wala naman nagagawa
yan dun sa kanyang munisipyo. Bahala siya, kaya nga ina-ano ko si Wahab, pina-aano ko kay Wahab
ngayon, dapat si Presidente ma-kwan niya kay Wahab para si Wahab ang kumuha ng taong yan kung
hindi, ipakukuha ko ang pamilya niyan.
Ruben: Uh-hum.
Garcillano: Yun na lang last resort ko, pakukuha ko ang pamilya nyan.
Ruben: Kaya nga. Ganun talaga ang dapat gawin dun.
Garcillano: Oo, pero dapat malaman ni Wahab na si Wahab, kasi ang more damage will be against that
Wahab Akbar, not the President.
Ruben: Bakit, maapektuhan ba yung boto ni Wahab?
Garcillano: Siya talaga ang ano, ang malaking ano, naka-pabor.
Ruben: Uh-hm.
Garcillano: Kaya kung maaari papupuntahin ko nga rito yung supervisor, patago ko rin dito sa kin.
Because, I want to clean out kung alin yung mga by municipality results.
Ruben: Hindi ‘yun nga ang nagkakaproblema dahil si Wahab ang nagpatrabaho nyan eh.
Garcillano: Eh ang problema niyang si Wahab, gumalaw si Wahab nung huli na.
Ruben: Huli na nga eh. Akinse na nung gumalaw si Wahab eh.
Garcillano: Alam mo si Wahab was working for FPJ actually.
Ruben: Oo, nung una.
Garcillano: Nung nalaman niyang matatalo si FPJ, saka bumaligtad.
Ruben: Sinabi mo. Totoo talaga.
Garcillano: Yung mga tao namin diyan, eh galit na galit sa kanya eh. Kaya ito, kung anuman, basta malalaman ko hanggang umaga, ng maagang-maaga kung ano talaga ang score doon so I can tell them to get her family kung halimbawa. Sabagay medyo matindi na ito kasi nandun naman si Lomibao, nandun din si... ewan ko kung sino pang nandun, may isang colonel na nandun. Kung kailangang kunin, di kunin na ang pamilya nya. Lokohan na rin lang eh, di kwan. Pero yang Rufus na yan, wala namang alam yan.
Ruben: Kaya nga, kaya nga.

Garcillano: Ewan ko lang kung pupunta pa uli yun, pakidnap ko siya. Nakakaano eh.
Ruben: Hindi naman pumupunta, pero ang balita ko nandirito sa Parañaque.
Garcillano: Nandito na yung ano...
Ruben: Nandito na nga raw sa Parañaque nun pang Saturday.
Garcillano: O sige. Basta we’ll ask somebody to look for her and then get her family, kung pwede.
Ruben: Oo, oo. Tanong ko lang sa ‘yo pare, papaano ‘yung ano natin, sa party-list?
Garcillano: Hindi ko pa maa-ano kasi hanggang ngayon wala kaming usapan mga tao tungkol diyan.
Tatawagan kita bukas ng tanghali kung anuman.
Ruben: O sige.
Garcillano: Ano yun? Ano yun?
Ruben: Yung TUCP at saka ANAD.
Garcillano: Ay! Wag mo nang dagdagan, mahihirapan tayo niyan.
Ruben: Hindi ba mas maganda kung yung lahat ng magkakatabi na yan eh...
Garcillano: Hindi kasi nag-proclaim na kami. Ang alam ng mga Commissioner and the other people
there, mahirap nang kumuha, kung magkuha tayo, yung mga malapit na, yung hindi na mahahalata kasi…
Ruben: Tama. Pero malapit yun ha kesa sa SMILE.
Garcillano: Kaya nga, bahala na pero ang kaso, pag sabay-sabay mo niyan, sinong pagagawin mo niyan eh itong mga bata hindi na pupwedeng gumalaw eh. Titingnan ko bukas kung anuman.
Ruben: Sige, tawagan mo ako ha.
Garcillano: Oo.
Ruben: Ok, ok sige thank you.

Conversation between Gary (V. Garcillano) and a certain Boy (believed to be either Renault “Boy” Macarambon or Renato “Boy” Magbutay) on or about 05 17:01 hotel June ’04
Garcillano: Boy.
Boy: Hello sir.
Garcillano: Hello Boy, tawagan ka ni Gen. Lomibao ha. Siya ang pinadala kahapon pa diyan ni Gen. Ebdane…dahil concerned sila primero sa Languyan…Pero ok naman…
Boy: Languyan o Tuburan?
Garcillano: Languyan. Primero Languyan hapun...
Boy: Languyan? Si Adnan?
(translated from the Visayan original)
Man: Wala naman silang sinasabing ganyan.
Garcillano: Meron. Kahapon pa.
Man: Ganoon ba?
Garcillano: Oo. Nasabihan ko na niyan si Mike Abas.
Man: So, tatawag na lang siya sa akin mamaya, sir?
Garcillano: Oo, tatawag siya sa iyo. Di niya alam na nasa iisang lugar lang kami. Akala niya siguro nasa
Mindanao ako. Si Gen. Lomibao ba.
Man: Lomibao? Sa PNP?
Garcillano: Oo, Chief PNP. General na siya.

Source: PCIJ's GLORIAGATE Transcript

ONGOING EVENT: Something's going on at FORT BONIFACIO

Sabi ni Mike Defensor sa MEDIA na wag raw i-cover yung nangyayari.

F-ck U Mike, You can't tell the media what and what not to cover.

UPDATE: tanks are arriving.

Check this Pinoyexchange thread for updates.

From annani:

Sec. Mike Defensor: Nakikiusap po muna kami sa media na huwag muna sanang icover ang mga ganitong kaganapan, kasi iba na nga ang sitwasyon... Huwag po nating palakihin. Baka po dumanak ang dugo... Kung maaari po sana huwag na po nating palakihin ang kaguluhan.

UPDATE: More here and here.

What the arrest of Crispin Beltran means

Let's recap:

Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran Saturday morning based on a 21-year-old rebellion case.

CIDG officials said Beltran was arrested on the strength of a warrant issued by Quezon City Judge Edgardo Tutaan on charges of inciting to rebellion filed in Oct. 7, 1985.

Lawyer Romeo Capulong, however, said criminal case 21905 filed against Beltran had already been junked by the Senate.

If the Arroyo administration can use a 21-year old rebellion case issued during the Marcos era (LOL!) to justify it's arrest on leftist Crispin Beltran, then definitely maraming pang makukulong in the coming days ahead.

many of those who fought the dictatorship and had old cases filed against them by Marcos judges. tignan mo yung kay mr. Beltran, Oct. 7, 1985 pa! LOL.

Kasi maraming kinaaway at ipinakulong si Dictator Marcos dati eh, and i'm pretty sure na marami sa mga kumontra kay Marcos ay may arrest warrants rin for rebellion or for various trumped-up charges, obviously meant to silence and crush the anti-Marcos opposition.

Fast forward to 2006. many of those who fought the dictator and had arrest warrants on them are fighting another corrupt and rising dictator in Arroyo. And guess what, she can use arrest warrants issued during the marcos era to arrest and harass these people again!

interesting too that during Cory, FVR and Erap's time, they did not bother to implement the arrest warrant on Crispin Beltran.

RELATED: Check out DJB's twin blogs here and here. He's blogging up a storm again.

More: Take note of the editorial of PHILSTAR. It says that the arroyo admin did not do a good job of "explaining" the crackdown raw, just like when it did not do a good job on explaining "EO 464".

But it did not condemn the raid and takeover of the Tribune. And it did not condemn the arrests of several opposition figures without any proof or basis.


Arroyo: "I believe I am the best person to lead this nation through this transition."

Sagot ni Ramos:

"That's just one person's opinion," Ramos told reporters at the opening of the photo exhibit on the 1986 People Power revolt at EDSA by photographer Sonny Camarillo at the Glorietta mall in Makati City.

Asked if he shared the President's opinion, Ramos smiled and said wryly: "How do you know she agrees with herself?"

Do you think they're still okay?

Wayback Machine Aug. 5, 2003: Tribune Chief Arrested, to be arraigned 19 times

It's not the first time Malacanang tried to intimidate and harass the tribune.

In 2003, Malacanang tried to silence the Tribune's Ninez Cacho-Olivares by having her arrested for exposing the PIATCO extortion attempt by Malacanang officials. And like GLORIAGATE, PIATCOGATE also involved a tape. Somebody leaked to Ninez the tape of a tapped conversation between FRAPORT reps and their lawyers.

In that tape, it was made clear that Villaraza had demanded a $20-million fee to be paid offshore to an entity in Hong Kong, in exchange for his services, to include fixing up the problems facing Fraport on its investments in the country.

The interesting thing is that Arroyo's lawyers did not say the tape was fake or manufactured. They did say though that the tape was inadmissible as evidence.

-- Tribune link:

Tribune chief arrested, to be arraigned 19 times

Tuesday, 08 05, 2003

The Daily Tribune's publisher and editor-in-chief, Ninez Cacho-Olivares was yesterday arrested by the Manila Police on two counts of criminal libel. Seventeen more arrest orders for Olivares have been issued by the Makati Regional Trial Courts for the same complaint filed by President Arroyo's personal lawyer F. Arthur “Pancho” Villaraza.

Bail was set by the Makati courts at P10,000 per count, with a total of P190,000 for 19 counts.

Olivares is scheduled for arraignment in 19 different salas in the Makati Trial Courts next month.

Malacañang lauded the Makati courts and the police on the arrest of the Tribune publisher saying the case will now be properly tried in court.

The 19 counts libel suit stemmed from the Tribune exposé on the $70-million extortion try by Palace aides and Mrs. Arroyo's personal lawyer and “fixer,” Villaraza, who was reported to have demanded $20 million for “background services” for Frankfurt AG (Fraport) to solve its problems with the Arroyo administration and the judiciary, including the high court, on condition that Fraport ensures the ouster of majority shareholder of Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (Piatco) Vic Cheng Yong in relation to the airport Terminal III project.

The report was based on a taped conversation held between the Fraport representatives and their lawyers, where the corrupt practices of the Palace aides were disclosed.

The Palace refused to have the charges probed and even ensured that the Senate probe, which had already come up with a resolution to investigate the report, would be stonewalled, this, despite the announcements from the President and the Palace that they were firm on ridding her administration of corruption and even appealed to the public to come forward and expose the corruption.

Olivares saw her arrest as pure harassment and said this was politically motivated, since it was Mrs. Arroyo's personal lawyer who had ensured that not only would she have 17 warrants of arrest issued against her, but would be arraigned 19 times in 19 different salas of the Makati Court for the same complaint.

Olivares was arrested at dawn yesterday by operatives of the Western Police District (WPD) in her residence in Parañaque City, despite the fact that the orders were for the warrant to be served in Ermita, Manila, where the Tribune offices are located. The case has been lodged in the Makati Courts.

The Department of Justice, where the complaint was being investigated, after Olivares and her lawyers asked for the inhibition of the Makati Fiscal's Office, owing to the fact that the chief prosecutor was a Villaraza appointee, denied Olivares due process when the DoJ did not bother to grant Olivares the usual 15 days within which to file a motion for reconsideration.

The DoJ decision was received by Olivares last Friday, and the Makati Trial Court issued the arrest orders on the same day.

As the arrest warrants were not quickly served, WPD policemen told Olivares that one of Villaraza's lawyer, a lawyer Navarro, appeared Sunday evening at the WPD warrants section office and asked its chief of expedite the Tribune publisher's arrest. She was arrested at 6 a.m. and brought to the WPD for fingerprinting and mug shots.

Shortly before noon, Olivares posted P20,000 bail for her temporary liberty, only to discover that there were 17 more arrest warrants to be served against her.

Several lawyers, led by Rufus Rodriquez, Alan Paguia, Rene Saguisag, volunteered their services, and worked out the temporary liberty of Olivares.

An additional P170,000 bail was posted, with Olivares leaving the Makati courts at 6:30 p.m.

“This arrest comes from a legitimate case there was a charge filed against the officers of this (Tribune) newspaper and after the charges were filed the warrants were issued by the appropriate judge and the warrant was served,” Bunye said.

In a press briefing, the presidential spokesman claimed the arrest of Olivares was not meant to muzzle the Tribune. He insisted that the administration had not violated Olivares' rights when she was arrested in her home.

The publisher appeared before the WPD authorities and was escorted by P/Insp. Felicisimo Reyes and SPO4 Gil Corpus both from the WPD warrant section.

The warrant of arrest was forwarded to the WPD-warrant section under S/Insp.Virgilio Dacara around 7 a.m. The other day (Sunday).

“There's something irregular in our not being given the chance to seek a motion for reconsideration,” she said, adding, and to be arrested in Parañaque by the Manila police in an ungodly hour.”

“It's definitely harassment. There is no more rule of law, no more due process. There is no respect for anything anymore under this administration. The judicial system has been so prostituted, it no longer works for anybody that is critical of this godamm government,” Olivares pointed out.

She said her lawyers had wanted the case moved to the DoJ since Villaraza “controls the courts in Makati City,” only to find out that Villaraza also controls the DoJ.

Lawyer Elsie Ramos, legal counsel of Olivares, described the arrest of her client as “a move designed to gag her from further criticizing the Arroyo government” even as she called “dubious” the haste by which the warrant was served by police.

She added that it was obvious, “from the beginning they wanted this case filed as soon as possible, they even exerted effort to do a mental job of delivering the documents to her house and force her to file the counter affidavit hastily,” Ramos said.

Ramos said the issuance of the arrest warrants late on Friday is not only “strange” but also in violation of the Supreme Court circular which prohibits such move.

Meanwhile, Olivares' arrest yesterday was deemed to be politically motivated even as it forebodes the imposition of martial law.

This was aired yesterday by Representatives Renato Magtubo of the partylist Partido ng Manggagawa and JV Bautista of Sanlakas who explained that “the timing of her arrest is very dubious.”

“We have every reason to doubt that her arrest is not politically-motivated specially since the Arroyo administration has not lifted the declaration of a state of rebellion,” the lawmakers said.

They said the arrest of Olivares all the more fuels speculations that the declaration of a state of rebellion is a prelude to martial law.

In a related development, senators said Malacañang is obviously instilling a chilling effect in the media by clamping down one by one critics and perceived “enemies” of the Arroyo administration.

Opposition senators, in separate interviews, said this is the impression they get from the sudden order of arrest of Tribune's publisher and editor-in-chief.

They joined hands in condemning the serving of the warrant against Olivares, questioning even the timing in which it was served saying they could only surmise the possibility of the incident being part of the plan to muzzle the opposition including media entities critical of the leadership of Mrs. Arroyo.

Sen. Teresa Aquino-Oreta denounced what she described as methodical efforts by certain quarters to use both traditional and non-traditional media as launching pads for alleged hatchet job that unduly link members of the mainstream opposition to the failed mutiny last July 27.

Oreta felt she was one of the two senators being alluded to described by those that linked the information as “conspicuously silent” on the issue with the other suspected to be either Senators Rodolfo Biazon and Panfilo Lacson.

Senators Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Biazon, Oreta, Edgardo Angara including Minority Leader Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Joker Arroyo reacted strongly to the serving of the arrest warrant against Olivares.

Sen. Arroyo, who is known to be a staunch supporter of Malacañang, even sided with Olivares saying it was a harsh move on her.

“That's too much,” he commented when he learned that there were 19 counts of libel slapped against the paper's publisher and only two of which were the subject of the warrants served yesterday morning by operatives of the Western Police District (WPD) in her Parañaque City residence.

“The timing is not every good because it could eventually add up to the deterioration of the situation by the administration projecting itself now mounting a campaign against those critical of the administration,” Biazon said.

Pimentel, Oreta, Angara and Sotto held the same view, raising serious alarm over the development saying the incident is proving that the situation in the country is getting worse as freedom of expression is slowly being curtailed by the government.

“It smacks of political persecution...If an editor of a major publication can be arrested, next steps can be so easy —just file cases against critics in the media,” Angara said.

Sotto could only nod in agreement saying the timing is indeed questionable and it does not speak well of the administration specially in the eyes of the public.

“But my piece of advice is that we should not be sitting down because it can have a chilling effect on the right of the media to criticize government on mattes of national interest.

Most of the mainstream media were silent then. You know who you are. Will they be silent again against this latest jihad by this administration on Press freedom?


-- Arroyo admin cracks down on Tribune, Abante

UPDATE: It's interesting reading all this old stuff. Some things never change when it comes to this admin.

Wayback Machine Aug 8, 2003: Ninez issues a statement

A million thanks

Senate probe is to be conducted over my speedy arrest and detention at the Western Police District on a charge of libel.

This is welcome news, not just for myself, but for all the journalists who may one day find themselves in a similar situation that is manipulated by the unelected but powerful figures in government who now have total control of the justice system, from the prosecutor's offices to the lower courts, all the way to the Supreme Court (SC).

Gloria claims I should not bring up my case before the media but to tell my story in court, saying there is no crackdown on the press.

I have always suspected Gloria of being silly, but it is only recently that I have discovered a high degree of idiocy in her.

My arrest and detention on a charge of libel are hardly the issues that are to be tackled in a courtroom. These are separate and distinct from the libel charges leveled against me by her powerful personal lawyer, F. Arthur “Pancho” Villaraza.

Besides, gross infractions were committed in arresting me last Monday, which merely show just how Pancho Villaraza and his client, Gloria, abused their power to harass me.

There was the clear violation of the memorandum of agreement forged between the National Press Club and the Philippine National Police and the Interior and Local Government department, which calls for coordination with the NPC in cases of an arrest order for a journalist. This was never done.

The arrest warrants, for two counts out of 19 counts, were issued by a Makati judge on a Friday, which is against the rules, and this was done without the Department of Justice (DoJ) granting me my right to ask for a motion for reconsideration, as this was just a preliminary investigation. This is a clear denial of due process for the accused.

The Makati judge rejected a motion from the DoJ to consolidate the cases, which paved the way for the issuance of 19 arrest warrants against me on the same libel complaint, to ensure that even after posting the bail, I would again be arrested, and arrested and arrested, as there were 17 more arrest warrants pending and to ensure that I would be charged excessive bail amounting to P190,000 for the charge of libel.

And the Makati judge rejected a motion to consolidate the 19 counts of libel, which translates to 19 judges hearing the same case of libel, with each sala hearing just one count even when there were just two complaints filed. Imagine 19 salas being utilized to hear one and the same case. What a waste of time and taxpayers' money.

This was also resorted to by Pancho and Gloria to ensure that I would be spending my time in 19 courts of Makati than in the newspaper.

And these same powerful people in and out of government dare to claim that there was nothing irregular about this arrest.

One sees just how prostituted the justice system is today, which includes the DoJ, as it has intentionally denied me the right to submit a motion for reconsideration.

Still, all these will be brought out before a Senate probe that is to be conducted soon where all concerned will have to explain how these violations came about.

And while Malacañang and its stooges, along with a high-ranking Supreme Court justice who was said to have celebrated my arrest with a “blow-out” for the SC justices, saying this arrest will “teach” me not to mess around with the justices of the high court and Malacañang, not to mention Pancho Villaraza, gloat over their success at “humiliating and embarrassing” and harassing me, a lot of them will now have to explain the many violations committed against a member of the press.

They may just discover that they celebrated too soon.

I would like to take this space to thank all those who have expressed support for my plight and to all my colleagues in the media who have denounced my arrest. My special thanks to the Manila Bulletin and the Philippine Daily Inquirer for their support as expressed in their editorials and columns. My thanks too to the senators of the republic who called for a probe into my arrest.

Thank you all for your support. The mails and calls received expressing support for me and my case are heartwarming.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

I reiterate my position: GMA, it's time for you to RESIGN.

For the good of the country.

PNP takes over the Daily Tribune

Police chief Arturo Lomibao said na he is recommending the government take over the Daily Tribune for now, habang may "state of emergency." napanood ko ito sa GMA7 kanina.


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 abs-cbnNEWS.com in a telephone interview.

She said she is consulting her lawyers, including Rene Saguisag, regarding the legal moves that should be taken.

She said she would go to the office later Saturday to bring out the Sunday edition of the paper.

"They can intimidate me all they like but I will fight them every inch of the way. If they close us down I will go to the Supreme Court," she added.

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.

Malacañan on Saturday said it is unaware of a police raid on the editorial office of the newspaper.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye, however, told DZMM that he is confident that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the PNP has strong basis for the action.

He said the newspaper could file a complaint before local courts.


From the PDI:

Police presence in Tribune a reminder to media, says Palace

First posted 06:44pm (Mla time) Feb 25, 2006
By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez

THE “strong presence” of the police in the editorial offices of the Daily Tribune will remain while “extraordinary conditions” in the country exist, as a reminder to other media organizations not to aid those who want to overthrow the government.

The stern warning came from Presidential Chief of Staff Michael Defensor who said that in the coming days, the publication would operate under the watch of the uniformed men.

”Hindi namin pinapakialaman ang publication pero gusto naming ipakita iyong strong presence namin na huwag kayong gagawa ng kahit anuman na makakatulong sa rebelde (We are not meddling with the publication but we just want to show our strong presence to tell them not to do anything that will help the rebels),” he said.

Defensor clarified that the government has not taken over Daily Tribune. However, he said it was a possibility under a state of emergency. In case of a takeover, he added, the government could even have a say on the paper’s editorial content.

In meetings with police officials, he said it was agreed that the government would not to interfere with the stories that the paper would put out.

After a raid in the wee hours Saturday, policemen from Camp Crame were stationed inside the editorial and business offices of the Daily Tribune in Manila.

Media organizations have denounced this act.

Whatever you say, Sir Mike.

Read this too the PCIJ blog: A call to journalists to take a stand.

UPDATE: From the Sunstar:

Police warn of more warrantless arrests, media takeover (4:00 p.m.)

MANILA -- Philippine National Police chief Director Arturo Lomibao warned Saturday of warrantless arrests and takeover of media entities who "continue to contribute to an atmosphere of instability."

Lomibao in a news conference said the national police is empowered to perform such tasks as stipulated under General Order 5 as contained in President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Proclamation 1017 or the declaration of the State of National Emergency.

On Friday, President Arroyo declared a state of national emergency hours after the military claimed to have foiled a plot to unseat her.

I believe the only person who creating this instability is Mrs Arroyo herself.


-- Daily Tribune offices Raided
-- Not the first time media has been harassed by the Arroyo government

Crispin Beltran arrested over 21-year old Rebellion case

Pathetic. Just pathetic.

Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran Saturday morning based on a 21-year-old rebellion case.

CIDG officials said Beltran was arrested on the strength of a warrant issued by Quezon City Judge Edgardo Tutaan on charges of inciting to rebellion filed in Oct. 7, 1985.

Lawyer Romeo Capulong, however, said criminal case 21905 filed against Beltran had already been junked by the Senate.

He said he will petition for Beltran's release, adding that he is studying the filing of illegal arrest charges against the arresting officers led by a certain Maj. Rene Corpuz.

Bayan Muna Rep. Saturnino Ocampo said Beltran along with a bodyguard, his wife, and two other companions, were arrested in his San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, home at around 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The five were reportedly taken to CIDG headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

The arrest came a day after President Arroyo declared a state of nationwide emergency after thwarting an alleged coup plot by disgruntled soldiers, leftist groups and civilian supporters.

Police also attempted to arrest Ocampo and another Bayan Muna congressman, Rafael Mariano, during a press conference in Sulo Hotel, Quezon City, but the two slipped away.

Opposition congressmen, including House Minority Leader Francis Escudero, Reps. Teddy Casiño, Roilo Golez, Rolex Suplico, Liza Maza, Rafael Mariano, Gilbert Remulla, Joel Villanueva, Etta Rosales, Rosa Hontiveros-Baraquel and Ronaldo Zamora, condemned the arrests.

via: Pinoy Rickey

More here from PDI.

UPDATE: More from Piercing Pens:

International human rights lawyer Romeo Capulong said Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran’s arrest is “illegal” and “an act of harassment and persecution.”

Capulong said Beltran is being held by the military for a charge of sedition against the labor leader-solon during the Marcos regime. Television reports say the case was filed in 1985, even before the dictator was ousted by People Power!

Manwhile, former Police chief Ramon Montaño and retired Police General Rex Piad were also arrested. Reports say Tribune editor Niñez Cacho-Olivarez will also de picked up.

I expect more arrests in the coming days ahead.

More from Quezon 3: A State of Panic

Dapat pala nung Friday ako pumunta, hindi Sabado.

Daily Tribune offices Raided

UPDATE: The tribune website is back up again.

UPDATE: I hope somebody re-post all the tribune articles for today (including the editorials and op-ed) on the net. dahil hindi ko siya nabasa sa internet kagabi eh. as of right now, the tribune website is down. Cannot access to it. DOS attack?

The opposition paper the Daily Tribune's office were raided last night by Arroyo's police.

From the PDI:.

POLICE officers from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group entered the editorial office of the oppositionist newspaper Daily Tribune in Manila around 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

There were no more editorial staff members present when the policemen arrived.

A radio report said the policemen numbered about 15.

They took copies of the mock-up copy of the paper's Saturday issue and copies of photographs before leaving the office on T.M. Kalaw Street.

A few of the policemen stayed outside the editorial office, saying they wanted to "secure" the place and make sure that everything inside would remain intact.

Tribune publisher Ninez Cacho-Olivarez said in a television interview that she tried to ask the policemen where the materials would be taken.

"Is there no freedom of the press? Is there martial law?" she said.

The publisher said she would file a suit at the Supreme Court.

(thanks for the tip, LD.)

too bad the tribune was shut down. i did not get to read them kagabi eh.

Reactions from MLQ3.

from Awbholdings.

from Mister E.

From Enrico Dee.

UPDATE: They tried to raid Abante's offices too.

From Reuters:

After Arroyo invoked emergency rule on Friday, police raided a pro-opposition newspaper, The Daily Tribune, early on Saturday, gathering documents, confiscating copies from the printing press and padlocking the office.

"They just swooped down, went inside," Editor-in-Chief Ninez Cacho-Olivares, said on radio. "This is like martial law."

Police also went to the offices of the Abante tabloid but Elvira Altez, a member of its board, said the officers left after seeing crews from two television stations...

The president's allies defended the newspaper raids as a legitimate step against attempts to incite unrest. Ignacio Bunye, Arroyo's spokesman, suggested the government knew few details.

"We will find out the circumstances. But I believe that those who did this had reasons, because the authorities are unlikely to be capricious about Tribune and Abante," he said.

"What is important is the publications concerned have the chance to question this in our courts."

So Malacanang distances itself from the raid. WE KNOW NUTHIN! YOUR HONOR! NOT OUR FAULT!

Kinda similar to what happened to the Tabayoyong raid.

More: Palace ‘unaware’ of Tribune, Abante raids

Unaware my ass!

but i'm sure pro-arroyo bloggers like sassy lawyer and cathcath would have been proud of such aggressive efforts by the administration to crush the opposition.

UPDATE: Bangkok Post -- Philippines launces press crackdown.

Xinhuanet: Philippine police raids Manila newspaper critical of Arroyo

CNN: Raid on paper critical of Arroyo

UPDATE: More from Piercing pens.

After Procalamation 1017, the biggest news today are the police raid of pro-Estrada newspaper Daily Tribune, the arrest of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran, and attempts to get other opposition figures.

Manila police raided and closed the Tribune office in Manila after midnight today, according to news reports.

Tribune editor Niñez Cacho Olivarez, one of the journalists who dared to criticize Marcos during martial law, said she will go to Supreme Court if the government will shut down the Tribune.

“Its just like Marcos all over again. It won’t be long before they start ringing editors and asking them to fire columnists or writers they consider to be againt them,” she added.

Independent newsmagazine Newsbreak expressed its alarm over the Tribune raid. “We view the raid on Tribune, an opposition newspaper, with alarm. It appears to signal the start of a crackdown on media organizations.” Newspaper columnist Manolo Quezon said he shares the Newsbreak statement.

and Unlawyer.

More arrests are expected throughout the day and into the rest of the weekend.

Meanwhile, Palace officials distance themselves from the dawn raid at The Daily Tribune’s [Sadly offline - Ed.] offices as a spokesman trenchantly dares opponents of emergency rule to go to court.

Yes, go to court. go to arroyo's Supreme Court.

and from Atty-at-work.

A CON COM member disassociates himself from Charter Change

Read this email from CONCOM's Vicente Paterno.

Here enclosed are the texts of Secs. 7, 9, and 11 to 13 of Art. XX. Sec. 7, the NO-EL provision, assure that the interim Parliament (2007-2010) will be filled with tried and proven allies, ready to do Pres. GMA’s bidding. The other cited sections, not as widely known, are more disturbing.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Here's the section on "NO EL"

SEC. 7. The elections scheduled in 2007 shall be cancelled and the terms of office of all elective officials shall be extended to June 30, 2010, coinciding with those of the incumbent President and Vice-President and the twelve Senators elected in 2004.


Ernie Maceda:

The luncheon meeting attended by former President Corazon Aquino, El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde, Makati Business Club leaders Ricardo Romulo, Bill Luz, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Ramon del Rosario Jr., Hyatt 10 members, former GMA secretaries Cesar Purisima, Butch Abad and Teresita Deles, former Finance Secretaries Roberto de Ocampo (under FVR), Jesus Estanislao (under Cory) and Jose “Titoy” Pardo (under Erap) is a very significant development.

The purpose of the meeting was summed up by former Education Secretary Butch Abad: “There is a sense of urgency that the political crisis has to be resolved at the soonest time possible because the constitutional venues for resolving the crisis are narrowing down.”

Also significant was the alliance of forces between the moderate Black and White Movement, the Laban ng Masa and Akbayan activist groups that marched together at Edsa with former Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman, Representatives Etta Rosales and Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel joining Representatives Mario Aguja, Rafael Mariano and Muslims headed by Anak ng Mindanao Representative Mujiv Hattaman. Laban ng Masa is led by former UP president Francisco Nemenzo and his wife Ana Marie who heads the Freedom From Debt Coalition.

The 30,000-strong marchers gained a significant victory when Philippine National Police Civil Disturbance units failed to stop them at Edsa and Santolan road and finally allowed them to proceed to the People Power Monument.

Clearly, the different anti-GMA groups have unified. Today, at one o’clock, Cory Aquino and Edsa I participants will lead an expected crowd of 20,000 persons together with Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay and other United Opposition/Kilusang Nagkakaisang Pilipino leaders in a reenactment of the confetti march down Ayala Avenue. It would be interesting to watch if Makati private corporations and bank employees will come out to express their solidarity with President Cory’s GMA resign demand.

All these while GMA escaped to Southern Leyte and Cebu to talk of the spirit of Edsa there. And this, after she was seen making beso-beso with ousted Edsa I First Lady Imelda R. Marcos. A fitting contrast.

Rudy Romero says that the real Edsa Dos has yet to come.

Ninez: Recycled coup plot.

Gloria Arroyo and her military chiefs must be in desperate straits, for Army chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon to hold a press conference and announce that a coup plot, named Oplan Hackle, had been nipped in the bud with prime leaders consisting of 14 junior officers who have been identified as the coup prime movers.

That, in itself was very strange, owing to the fact that the military top chief, Gen. Generoso Senga, was nowhere around to break this “big news” of the military thwarting a coup against Gloria.

But, as already pointed out by the Tribune in a much earlier report, the big chief in the military these days appears to be Esperon, as Gloria has been noted to be bypassing Senga too often, giving direct orders to the Army chief instead.

Also strange is Esperon detailing the Hackle coup plot since it was he who earlier dismissed this same plot as the renegade soldiers’ propaganda and psy-war tactics. Yet he now claims authenticity of the documented and detailed coup plot, even presenting to the media the rebel flag, pamphlets of a national recovery program, newly-minted rebel dog tags and describing the blood-letting ritual engaged in by the recruiter and recruited.

There was too, the military chief’s claim that the renegade soldiers have joined forces with the communist New People’s Army (NPA), which he termed as treason, and the reason these same prime movers of the coup plot, all 14 of them, plus some 200 soldiers, junked the coup plot and now support the chain of command as these coup plotters cannot stomach the idea of the military group sleeping with the enemy.

That line is so passe, so 1960s. Surely Esperon and the Palace don’t believe the military — as well as the people — would believe this crap? To this day, after four decades and a half of renewed red scare in this country by Malacañang tenants and their military, the communist party and its armed force, the NPA, still aren’t ready to take over the government, much less the country.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Arroyo declares Martial Law este... A State of Emergency

(Continuing updates)


Rizalist has lots of items today on Arroyo's "State of Emergency" call, check him out and keep scrolling.

GMA tells everybody she was part of Edsa 1986 too. Although I must admit I did not recall Arroyo's name during that time, LOL.

This is telling: ABS-CBN is giving LIVE coverage of what is happening right now at EDSA, while GMA7 is on regular scheduled programming as if everything is normal. but what is happening right now is not normal. And GMA7 is doing a disservice to the public. Certainly, their coverage of this event pales in comparison to their LIVE wall-to-wall coverage when erap was the one being ousted.

But it really doesn't surprise me since maka-pro-Arroyo ang GMA7.

UPDATE: Okay, now GMA7 is also covering what is happening at Ayala. ABOUT EFFIN TIME, A-HOLES! But they do it only with their 3-5 minute flash news updates.


Black and White Movement post the event's scheduled to celebrate Edsa's 20th Anniversary.

I will be at Edsa people power monument on Feb. 25, saturday.


PDI columnist Randy david arrested!

MANILA -- Professor Randy David and two other companions were apprehended Friday while spearheading a march rally in Santolan, Quezon City.

David said he and his group were holding a rally peacefully and were supposed to go to the Edsa Shrine in Ortigas Center as part of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the first People Power revolt when they their rally was dispersed and he was accosted by plainclothesmen along with Rolando Llamas and Argee Guevarra.

Discussions on Pinoyexchange:

-- Prof. Randy David, ARRESTED!
-- No more EDSA 1 Celebration - PGMA

Under Proclamation 1017, all EDSA 1 celebrations are now cancelled. It was made clear by Toting Bunye at the press conference at Malacanang.

-- PGMA On State of Emergency: Public Utility Takeover Allowed Including MEDIA


UPDATE: Cardinal Rosales in an interview said:

Cardinal-elect Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales could not hide his concern.

"Hindi magandang tanawin pag ang pamahalaan ay nagdeklara ng state of emergency. Bakit? Una, may panganib. Ikalawa, malaki ang tukso na alin mang panig na nagtutuligsaan ay matukso na gumamit ng dahas," Rosales said.

"Hindi yata tama ito. Napapalayo tayo sa tunay na diwa ng Edsa 1. Yung Edsa 1 nung 1986, kaya ito tanyag sa buong daigidig, ito ay naging modelo ng ibang bansa ay sapagkat walang gumamit ng dahas. Napapalayo tayo sa ating pupuntahan. Wala na tayong natatanaw," he added.

Rosales urged all parties to sit down and talk things over.

Rosales said he finds it "embarrassing" that the people, especially the country’s leaders, are divided and throwing accusations at each other.

"Hindi maaring katulad ng isang pamilya na girian ng girian, at sa bahay kapag hindi hinaharap ang problema nagkakaroon ng basagan ng pinggan. Huwag sanang ganon, konting lamig para sa mga Pilipino, magkaisa tayo."

Thank you Cardinal, for your concerns. Violence will only erupt because Arroyo was using strong-arm tactics to violently disperse the peaceful marchers, kinda like what iran, egypt and other mideast countries do against their citizen protesters. Well, at least Marcos and Estrada never used such tactics.

Sabi ni Rizalist:

Newly made Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales of Manila just issued a statement saying this move does not evince the true spirit of Edsa. (But I don't trust this cleric. He will dance with the dictator is my feeling from his actuations and statements in the past.)

True dat. I kinda predicted this all along with regards to the CBCP. Whether it's the "moving on" mantra or the so-called "truth commission" that malacanang wanted and CBCP approval of CPR, the Bishops more often than not, have abetted the criminal activities and given aid and comfort to this administration, sad to say.

UPDATE: Ah, more on the apologist statements of Rosales here -- Archbishop Rosales wants the "whole truth", says we have "bigger fish" to fry than GMA

UPDATE: Cardinal Rosales is for Arroyo's Charter Change too.

Rosales also pushed for amendments to the Constitution as another solution to the country’s social and political problems.

He explained the proposed shift to parliamentary form of government could help address needs for a quick change of the country’s political leaders without having to resort to another people power revolution.

But Rosales pointed out that in order for Charter change initiatives to be effective, a change in attitude of Filipinos and their leaders is necessary.

He said the country must do a thorough house cleaning by adopting a new political system.

Rosales added the people should focus on the positive implications of Charter change, noting a new Constitution for a parliamentary government would bring elections at a lesser cost aside from improving the country’s political image abroad.

Arroyo has no better advocate for her discredited charter change than Cardinal Rosales. they're perfect for each other.

More news from Malaya: Marchers marking Edsa step up ‘quit’ call

Malaya Editorial:

Our fear is we are running out of time. A regime change is inevitable. It either comes peacefully or violently. All those facile claims about people power being inapplicable to the times unintentionally only set us up for the terrible alternative.

That's what I'm afraid of either.

MLQ3: People Power Needs Certain Givens to Be Recognized

I disagree with MLQ3 na Edsa tres was a "rebellion in aid of re-election" for erap's allies in the senate. Edsa tres was more about an Erap restoration, re-installing erap back to the presidency and overthrowing arroyo.

Go check out PCIJ blog too. Lots of news items today.

Arroyo is the best president to lead transition, says Arroyo


Ernie Maceda:

"I am the best person to lead this nation through the transition,” GMA declared before foreign correspondents with an arrogant air.

In Tagalog barbershops, they call that “Ang yabang. Bilib sa sarili.” But don’t blame her too much. Since everybody is criticizing her, she might as well praise herself.

After five years of failures, disasters, plunder and malgovernance as shown by a string of negative reports by many international agencies, GMA is the worst President we ever had. Eleven million Filipinos who voted for FPJ agree.

There is one thing good in her statement, however. She admitted that there will be a transition. But it wouldn’t be in the form she is thinking of...

Lots of other stuff in his article. Read the whole thing.

More from Neal Cruz.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I'll be at Edsa on Saturday

See you there.

People power celebration roundup

Conrad de Quiros remembers what is was like before Edsa:

The first is that the talk in the years before the Edsa People Power reolution was about succession. The question everyone was asking then (as now) was: But who is going to succeed Marcos? Or who is the alternative to Marcos?

At the time, no one seemed to fit the bill. Marcos achieved that illusion first of all by systematically weeding the field of potential rivals and successors. Fearing the military in particular -- the Frankenstein monster of his own making -- he held on to the generals who were loyal to him well past their retirement age. A practice that was not without its internal contradiction: the "overstaying generals" blocked the upward mobility of their younger counterparts, which made for a lot of grumbling in the ranks.

Ain't that familiar, eh? REad the whole thing.

The Black and White movement has continuing updates on their march towards Edsa People Power Monument. Police in Full battle gear, meets them.

Heh. Bagay na bagay.

Tribune: Arroyo cuts ties with CORY, FVR.

Fr. Robert Reyes, the running priest, is now teaching at a Hong Kong university, according to Ernie Maceda.

Renato Constantino: Why an Erap restoration is not the solution. It's interesting na na-publish ito sa Tribune. I believe mr. estrada will do the right thing and he won't insist on returning to power, which means history will be kinder to him and he will be less hated than GMA.

State of Emergency, imminent?

PDI Editorial: Sumthing's fishy going on here.

Related: Ducky Paredes asks: Who set off the explosion inside malacanang?

EO 464 a shield for shady deals, senators tell tribunal.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Soc Villegas, hypocrite

From the Tribune:

Villegas admitted that he had had a change of heart on the subject of overthrowing presidents.

“I do not believe anymore in using people power to change governments,” he said even if he is “sad” and “disheartened” over the rampant corruption in the government that, according to him, caused the collapse of Marcos and then President Joseph Estrada....

“We must never allow any politician to ever tamper with people power again,” Villegas said, apparently referring to Mrs. Arroyo, who was openly supported by Sin as replacement for Estrada.

Yeah, we should not use people power anymore. Removing corrupt and incompetent leaders via elections are the way to go.

But weitaminit! Hindi ba we did that already in 2004 when the people voted Arroyo out of power?

The problem was: Arroyo, Garcillano and her COMELEC would not allow it to happen, so they rigged the elections. And her allies in the House helped in covering up the scandal by railroading GMA's proclamation without granting the opposition's numerous calls for a recount back in june of 2004 (apparently, Arroyo solons were afraid then na "hindi maganda ang pagpapataas" ng militar kay Maam, at baka mabuking).

As long as GMA controls the COMELEC, mahirap magkaroon ng credible elections o referrendum. And if you listen to the Hello Garci tapes, hindi lang naman si Arroyo ang nakinabang sa dagdag bawas eh. Listen to the other arroyo politicians whose voices were caught on tape too. Read the testimony of Zuce. Many of her allies in Congress have benefitted from the COMELEC cheating operations too.

Isa pa, you would have been more credible about your "no more people power" speech if you also asked for Arroyo's resignation as well. But obviously, you and your CBCP colleagues would rather let the status quo remain.

you TALK about corruption, but you refuse to even mention Arroyo by name. yet you and your CBCP friends have called for erap's resignation and removal from office a few years ago on lesser charges.

And does anybody really believe that you or the CBCP would not be calling for the president's resignation or people's power kung ang presidente ay galing sa opposition (like FPJ or PIng lacson)? This article speaks for itself.

apparently, people power should only be used against "the others" like the marcoses, erap, ping lacson etc.

but use it against "an edsa dos creation" like Gloria macapagal arroyo? NO WAY! NYET! NEVER!

btw, aren't you Socrates Villegas the same guy who backstabbed whistleblower Vidal Doble and handed him over to Arroyo's ISAFP? The media called it a "rescue operation". Just like what Michael Defensor did to Udong Mahusay was a "rescue operation" too, eh?

Sandigan chief handling Erap case leads nominees to SC post

From the Malaya.

SANDIGANBAYAN Presiding Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro emerged as the top choice from 14 candidates recommended by the Supreme Court to the Judicial Bar Council to fill the vacancy in the tribunal after Associate Justice Artemio Panganiban succeeded Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. last December.

In a poll of 14 magistrates, De Castro, head of the three-man Special Division handling the plunder trial of President Joseph Estrada, got 12 votes.

If she gets approved, Arroyo will have appointed 10 out of the 15 supreme court justices. Nice.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

About the recent credit upgrades

It's nice to see na nag-improve ng konti ang credit outlook natin, but it should never have become that low to begin with.

Do recall na most of the recent sunod-sunod na credit downgrades happened during Arroyo's time. Remember when she borrowed heavily overseas too to finance her re-election campaign, at dito lumobo ng todo ang utang natin at bumaba ang credit rating natin. She borrowed more than the previous 3 presidents combined (erap, cory, ramos).

And after she was proclaimed president, she announced that she would raise our taxes (which was not part of her election campaign pledges and most of the voters knew nothing about) para tayong mga taxpayers ang magbabayan sa campaign/cheating expenses niya noong 2004. Do recall na during the election campaign, she was bragging na our financial situation was great, so dapat iboto raw siya ulit. But after the elections, inamin niya na malala ang situation natin at baka maging Argentina tayo. Malaking panloloko ito ng admin at ng pro-arroyo media nila.

So with the overseas remittance coming in coupled with higher taxes, syempre may pera na naman ulit ang gobierno (para sa CHA CHA nila), but we filipinos have become much more poorer because of higher taxes na hindi na sana kailangan if Arroyo focused on the economy back in 2001 pa instead of going after the opposition (think Lacson, Roco, legarda) and focusing on her re-election in 04.

Brokeback Mountain doing better than expected

(well, at least in the theater where I saw the film)

I saw brokeback on isetann recto last sunday and it seemed na mas marami ang nanood nito kaysa sa "jarhead."

Eniway, supportahan ang mga R-18 na films. and DOWN with SM Cinemas!

Hostel will get an R-18 rating rin raw.

Gloriagate update: Arroyo creating conditions for Military intervention

May coup na ba sa Philippines?

-- From Randy David:

EVERY time we allow politicians to steal elections with impunity, to rule without accountability, to rob the public coffers routinely, and to lie brazenly-we are creating the conditions for military intervention.

So true. I'm not into military juntas or military dictatorships. So kung mangyari yung edsa 1986 ulit at natanggal si Arroyo, my suggestion is one, for the military to declare that there will be new elections within one month (or two at the most), two, that they will not run for office or ask for positions within the gov't and three, they will immediately hand over power to civilian authority in preparation for a COMELEC housecleaning, then special elections. these unselfish reasons will show na they are not in it for the power and they will not benefit from this whatsoever.

if this is all done, then they will most likely be received as heroes by the filipino people.

Read this too: My letter to Michelle Malkin.

and this. and this.

-- JDV giving out fake awards.

More here.

-- GMA all alone in Edsa anniversary.

-- Heh.

-- I'm beginning to like Joker Arroyo.

-- It's ALIVE!!! "No El" is still alive!!!

-- And Conrad de Quiros on Malacanang's hypocrisy:

IGNACIO Bunye had an interesting reply to Fidel Ramos’ complaint. Ramos had earlier fumed about government preparations for the 20th anniversary of Edsa People Power I not according it the proper fanfare it deserved. Edsa I, he said, was much admired around the world. “Why is it that here in our own beloved Philippines, where it all started, we should be trying to downgrade it, diminish it, and marginalize it?”

Bunye replied that there was nothing wrong with the low-key plans for the 20th anniversary. “The real meaning of Edsa resides in the national memory and in the hearts and minds of every Filipino and not in pomp and ceremony or rhetoric.” That is all very well, except for one thing: Only recently we celebrated a victory with much pomp, ceremony and rhetoric. That was Manny Pacquiao’s victory over Erik Morales in Las Vegas last month. Such was the importance given to the event the First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and the gentleman-farmer Chavit Singson leaped to the stage to bathe in Pacquiao’s glory, a thing that sparked an epidemic of booing in local movie houses where the fight was shown. Such was the earthshaking significance of the event a motorcade that wound the streets of Manila was thrown for Pacquiao when he came home. Manila Mayor Lito Atienza was at his side -- he would be there from Las Vegas to the plane to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Manila City Hall to Malacañang and all the way to Quezon City, Sonny Belmonte country. Talk of Brokeback Mountain!

Near my son’s school in Mandaluyong City, I see a big sign that says, “Bayani ka, Manny!” I don’t know how many other places in Metro Manila sport similar proclamations.

I figure Pacquiao deserves the accolades. But I have not seen one sign this coming 20th anniversary of Edsa I that says, “Bayani ka, Cory,” or more to the point, “Bayani ka, Juan de la Cruz.” Lest we forget, though we always do, the thing is called People Power and not Cory Power, or Sin Power, or Ramos Power, or, heaven forbid, Enrile Power. But I did not hear Bunye or his boss, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo -- who swiftly incorporated boxing phrases in her rhetoric (“We will TKO poverty”) -- say, “Forget the parade, the true meaning of Pacquaio’s feat resides in the hearts and minds of every Filipino.” What are they trying to tell us, that a victory by a Filipino boxer over his tormentor is infinitely more important than the liberation by Juan de la Cruz of himself from a tyrant?

Read the whole thing. BTW, I'm going to EDSA on saturday to mark the 20th anniversary of People Power, just like Conrad.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I want a copy of Ferrigno's "Prayers for the Assassin"

Here's the Amazon link.

From "Prayers of the Assassin" website:

Prayers for the Assassin is set thirty-five years from now, after a civil war in which most of the United States has become a moderate Islamic republic and the Bible Belt has broken away to become a Christian nation. This political shift was precipitated by simultaneous suitcase-nuke detonations in New York, Washington, D.C. and Mecca?a sneak attack blamed on Israel, known as the Zionist Betrayal. Within this tense world, the beautiful and intrepid young historian Sarah Dougan uncovers shocking evidence that he Zionist Betrayal was not linked to Israel at all, but was a plot carried out by a messianic a radical Muslim billionaire now poised ot overtake the entire nation.

From Reviewer C. Hutton who gives it five stars:

The storyline is what grabs the reader in this age of terrorism : A decade in our future, Israel is blamed for a nuclear holocaust that annihilates Mecca, New York City, and Washington, D.C. -- Israel is destroyed in retaliation and most of America converts to Islam. "Prayers For the Assassin" is a movie script in search of funding -- it is a page-turning futuristic thriller with no pretensions of being Pultizer Prize winning material. It is unique among post 9-11 novels and raises "what-if" questions for the reader in the same way that the Tom Cruise film, "Minority Report" does for its audience.

Ferrigno about the making of his book:

The premise of Prayers for the Assassin is that the USA loses the war on terror and becomes an Islamic republic. I make it clear that the USA was never defeated militarily, but bled white by a conflict without end, weakened internally by dissent, economic malaise, and a consumer culture hostile to people's thirst for meaning in their lives. A lot of people have asked me if I think such a thing could really happen. As always, the answer can be found in The Godfather.

There's a great scene in Godfather II, where Michael Corleone goes to Havana to deliver twelve million dollars to the Batista government to set up some casinos. On the drive from the airport to the presidential palace, Michael sees a young rebel blow himself up with a grenade, taking out the military police attempting to arrest him. While his partner, Hyman Roth dismisses the chances of Castro's rebels being successful, Michael is discomforted, noting that the soldiers are paid to fight, but the rebels are dying for what they believe in. I think this is the key to the world of Prayers for the Assassin.

There's more of course. Read the whole thing.

Hey National Bookstore, magbenta naman kayo ng kopya nito o.

As for me naman, I want a book that not only will educate me about Islam and the Muslim culture, but entertain me while doing so. I think "Prayers for the Assassin" is this book.

Read the book excerpts here.

Hugh Hewitt interviews the author Robert Ferrigno: What would America look like in 40 years if it was an Islamic republic?

Ferrigno also has a blog to promote his book.

Review of Prayers from BrothersJudd.

Nytimes review.

My letter to Michelle Malkin

I just had to react to this post from Michelle Malkin.

First off Michelle, if people want to help the victims of the mudslide and don't know where to donate, Manuel L Quezon 3 suggests donating to the Philippine National Red Cross.

As for the "mess" Mrs. Arroyo is in, it's largely of her own making. She stole the last elections and is corrupt as hell. Although I'm not for any coup that will install a military junta, I am for the illegitimate president's removal or ouster from office ASAP, then have new special elections to replace Arroyo. All of the local polls say a strong majority of Filipinos believe she cheated and the want her out. (she's as unpopular as the mullahs are to the iranian population) And even most of those who continue to support her thinks she cheated, but would rather see her finish her term for "lack of alternatives" raw.

Like what your colleague Michael Ledeen likes to say, "Faster, Please."

Ukraine's people power "Orange Revolution" (where they forced new elections because of electoral fraud by Yushchenko's rival PM candidate) and Lebanon's "Cedar Revolution" inspires many Filipinos to do the same to this crooked admin. And the 20th anniversary of Edsa People Power revolution is fast approaching, that's why you hear lots of talks about another people power to oust the illegitimate Arroyo.

the US may think that it is better to tolerate such a character as Arroyo for "stability's sake", just like when the US supported marcos back in the 70s and early 80s, but they're doing this knowing that they're backing a corrupt and illegitimate ruler in arroyo.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Incriminating GLORIAGATE photos?

If this is true, then this is big news.

I link, you decide.

And here's Newsbreak's "Cheats, Inc." article

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Strange happenings at the Supreme Court

link here.


Military confirms, then denies kill plot against Arroyo. < rolleyes > Nagkalituhan na naman ang militar sa talking points nila.

Anyway, is this similar to the Sen. Miriam's accusation na Cory and Sen. Drilon plotted to assasinate GMA too? LOL.


Ramos won't celebrate Edsa rites with GMA.


Arroyo solons defend sneaky "No El" provision in Arroyo's Cha cha, saying we "should not be paranoid" raw. Hwa hwa...

Previous: JDV sweetens pot with "No El" carrot


Arroyo allies whitewashed GLORIAGATE and ISAFP wiretapping scandal:

Yet even as these committees focus on what they call a conspiracy, they deliberately made no mention of the fact that Malacañang had manufactured a CD, passing the wiretapped conversations as the “original” with Gloria talking to her election officer, Gary Ruado, while another CD, the original chats, was passed off as “fake,” with Bunye’s claim that it had someone impersonating the poll official. For that matter, the House never called Ruado as a witness, despite his having admitted in a sworn statement that the voice on the Bunye tape sounded like him.

As for Garcillano, the House didn’t even recommend charges to be filed against him, with the committee chairman, Rep. Talino-Santos even being quoted as saying the former poll commissioner will be escaping criminal liability because he is no longer a government official! Wow, criminal liability is erased once a public official resigns, it seems.

As for former National Bureau of Investigation deputy chief Samuel Ong, who had said he has the “mother of all tapes,” the House cited him in contempt and ordered his arrest, this in spite of the fact that Ong’s life was in danger and that the justice chief had been vocal about having him arrested. But then, Ong is seen as a political foe, and definitely not an ally.

The House then claimed the truth was not arrived at. How could it have been arrived at when clearly, the intention of the Gloria-dominated House was to protect her by keeping the crime hidden? This was also the obvious reason the committees’ report didn’t touch Garcillano, because to recommend charging him would necessarily implicate his principal, Gloria.

Which is also why none of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp) chiefs were touched — not even on grounds of perjury, despite the fact that it was clearly the Isafp that had done the wiretapping, which is the reason Gloria has not bothered to charge anyone with wiretapping, since she would have to admit it was she who was speaking with Garcillano and that she will never do, since that will also be an admission that she had asked Garcillano and all others — including the military and the police officials to cheat for her.

Read this too from the PDI: Factual Vacuum


And finally, this from Lito Banayo on People power:

It is now five years and a month since Edsa Dos. It is now twenty years, a generation, since the First Edsa. Yet never has governance been this bad. Never has corruption been this endemic. Never have truth and public morality been so abused.

And so, as we commemorate, to many with much regret, the Edsas of our lives, beginning with that historic watershed in our history when bullets were stopped by prayer and determination, we are haunted by the continuing failures of the governance that it spawned.

Now, the very same people who once braved the armor and the bayonets of a dictatorship are much too disgusted with the aftermath, that they are unwilling to engage themselves in another Edsa, this time to topple a government that is without argument the worst they have had to endure.

Our people are haunted with the failure of two Edsas to bring meaningful change in their lives. But this does not mean they will not support any move to oust the present maladministration, whose claim to power is without doubt illegitimate, and whose stay in such power is prolonged only by the gravy train of corruption that it practices precisely to buy such stay.

In the fullness of God’s own time and with His infinite mercy, such uprising will yet come. Maybe not at Edsa, the boulevard of shattered Filipino dreams, but certainly it will come.