Friday, March 31, 2006

Palitan raw ang Constitution para wala nang "Gridlock"???

Nasa Debate show si Herbert Baustista kagabi and he was debating CHA CHA with Escudero and company. I caught only parts of the show at yung parte na yan ang napanood ko.

Sabi ni Bistek na isa sa dahilan kung bakit raw dapat palitan ang Constitution natin (to Arroyo's version) ay para mawala na raw ang "gridlock." Translation: What he and other pro cha cha supporters want is to get rid of the "checks and balance" in our system, so that the illegimate president can do whatever she wants without being challenged -- just like marcos.

And IIRC, gridlock wasn't a big issue panahon ni Cory, Ramos at Erap and even during Arroyo's first term as president. in fact, maganda ang working relationship ni maam Arroyo at ng senate majority, led by franklin drilon.

But I guess you can say na mas grabe at halata ang "gridlock" ngayon... pero hindi naman ito kasalanan ng senado, kundi dahil puro stonewalling ang ginagawa ng malacanang ever since nabuking sila sa GLORIAGATE scandal at naging questionable ang legitimacy ni Maam. And of course, arroyo's EO 464 did not help matters at all.

so, wala namang problem sa sistema natin dati eh. yung malacanang occupant ang may problema, kaya gusto na ng mga kaalyado ni arroyo na i-abolish ang senado.


Sen. Serge Osmena reveals documented Palace plot to rig Cha Cha

Backed up by Malacañang documents showing the mapping up the scheme on the signature drive through the people’s initiative, which bared the Palace’s fingerprints all over it, a senator yesterday disclosed the probability of the Senate calling for a referendum or a plebiscite for the Filipino electorate to decide on whether to hold snap elections to end President Arroyo’s time in Malacañang.

Sen. Sergio Osmeña lll yesterday said: “This is going to be a referendum on her performance because we see this as a dirty trick that they’re trying to pull a fast one on the Filipino people, all of them,” he said in reference to the ongoing efforts of Malacañang to rig a constitutional change, explaining that on the contrary, instead of signatures for Cha-cha, the public sentiment on her continued stay in power will be reflected as the end result.

“She (Mrs. Arroyo) is looking beyond 2010. As far as we’re concerned, if you are pro-Cha-cha, you want her to stay for life, if you’re anti-Cha-cha, you want her to step down,” he said.

“That is her doing…of course it benefits her. It will allow her to stay in power for life,” the senator stressed.

Apart from the Senate’s move virtually declaring the ongoing signature drive or people’s initiative as illegal in their signed Resolution 478, senators are prepared to go on a collision course with Malacañang by engaging in similar public forums, and gathering signatures to counter Cha-cha.

“I think we will have our own signature campaign for an amendment to the Constitution allowing snap elections, if a majority in the Senate call for snap elections,” Osmeña said.

“We might even come up with a bigger number of signatures…we could start today or tomorrow.

“The members of the Senate, at least, agreed to be more active in discussing this in public forum, that’s number one.”

Osmeña also corroborated charges on Malacañang’s involvement in the ongoing signature campaign under the guise of people’s initiative, baring documents showing a well-mapped-out scheme on the signature drive, saying as much as P500 to P1,000 is being “given” to each signatory-voter.

Read the whole thing.


DILG operators caught faking Cha-cha ‘yes’ votes

Malacañang’s poll cheating operators are back at work again, this time manufacturing the signatures for Charter change (Cha-cha) through the people’s initiative, and done at the old Byron Hotel, which has been renamed the Horizon Hotel in Edsa.

GMA-7 cameras yesterday caught Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officials at the hotel while their operators were carting away several boxes, believed to be the documents bearing the faked signatures, but in their haste to be caught by the TV crew, left one box behind.

During the canvassing of presidential votes and even after the proclamation by Congress of President Arroyo as the President-elect, certificates of canvass (CoC) were being manufactured and election returns altered by her poll operators, to ensure Mrs. Arroyo’s victory. There were also break-ins at the House of Representatives where ballot boxes were reportedly carted off and said to be taken to the home of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) officer lawyer Roque Bello for the switching of election returns.

All these previous cheating incidents were caught on camera and audio tapes, from which serious political instability stemming from a legitimacy issue of Mrs. Arroyo’s presidency has been plaguing the nation.

GMA-7 in its primetime news, identified the DILG official as Rolando Acosta. There were several other DILG officers as well at the hotel.

Huli ka!


Neal Cruz on why this is the worst to to Cha cha cha...

THERE ARE many reasons why we should not change our Constitution now. One is the motive of those who want to change it. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants to use it to cling to power. Speaker Jose de Venecia wants to be prime minister because he knows he will never be elected president. Former President Fidel V. Ramos wants to go back as chief executive through the prime ministership. The congressmen, governors and mayors want their terms extended. In short, their motives are selfish. Although they cite other reasons, it is clear to everybody that it is to benefit themselves that they want to change the Constitution. This is the worst reason to change it.

The framers of all our constitutions recognized the temptation of lawmakers to abuse their powers and pass laws that would benefit themselves. That is why there is a provision in the Charter that laws passed by Congress (such as increasing their salaries) cannot apply to them but become effective only after the election of a new set of legislators. Following the spirit of the Constitution, that should also apply to the writers of a new Charter. They should not benefit from the Charter that they themselves wrote.

Another reason that we should not change the Constitution at this time is the brazenness of the administration in using all means to achieve its ends. Bribery, in cash and in kind, is being used on everybody who would accept the bribes. A free three-year extension for local government officials, cash for barangay officials, jobs for relatives and friends of politicians, cash and food items to the poor herded to the barangay halls to sign the petition for a people's initiative.

Bribes, sacks of rice and more bribes. That's the best way to get the "people's intitiative" going.

Malaya Editorial: A regime of rule-breakers

See what ruthlessness in pursuit of self-interest can do? Gloria Arroyo is in perennial danger of being impeached for stealing and buying votes in 2004 and for the continuing cover-up of the original crime. The solution: Scrap Congress and the impeachment process through a shift to a parliamentary system. The immediate danger is eliminated. The bonus is the possibility of staying in power beyond 2010.

Ruthless indeed.

More here from Ellen Tordesillas. Check out MLQ's too.


Senate to reopen investigation on Venable contract... even though our favorite fencesitting senator, Joker ARroyo is having second thoughts about taking up the issue again.


Why is the COMELEC taking the Gov't initiated "People's Initiative" very seriously?

Sabi ni MLQ3 na achievable raw ang CHA CHA:

Going for broke is my column for today. I think the game plan is clear, and it’s achievable for the President:

1. Announce they have 4-5 million signatures by this or next weekend.
2. An obliging Comelec will say it will validate those signatures.
3. An obliging Supreme Court with either reverse its previous ruling or delay ruling on cases until the referendum is won.
4. A referendum on converting the presidential to parliamentary system will be held and won by the Palace.
5. The New interim parliament will convene before the end of this year, possibly as early as July or August.
6. Once in office, it will postpone election on the pretext that it has to convene as a Constituent Assembly for further amendments to the Constitution.
7. Instead of elections next year, there will be another plebiscite on many more Constitutional amendments.

Baycas dug this up this pdi article on the proposed CHA CHA timeline of lakas:

FOLLOWING is the proposed timeline of the ruling Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats party for the shift to a parliamentary system:

March 22, 2006: Approval of seven constitutional amendments by constituent assembly or people's initiative.

April 3: Start of information campaign on constitutional amendments.

June 2: Plebiscite on two questions, to be answered by "Yes" or "No": (1) Do you approve of the amendments? (2) Do you want elections for all elective officials under the parliamentary system in May 2007 (or May 2010)?

June 30: Transformation to interim parliamentary government.

June 2007 or June 2010, depending on final submission and result of plebiscite): Incumbent President winds up functions as head of state and head of the government.

Sabi ni Arbet Bernardo:

Most analysts and bloggers now think that the current issues on people’s initiative and Charter change are just diversions. To divert what?

To divert the people and anti-GMA group's attention away from Arroyo's illegitimacy and corruption issues and make them use up their energy to thwart her attempts to change the constitution more to her liking and stack the rules in her favor via the phony signature campaign by initiated by the Government.

btw, why is COMELEC taking this signature campaign seriously? since:

a) it's clearly a gov't initiated effort.
b) people got bribed using gov't money for their signatures.

So shouldn't the whole "People's initiative" thing be nullified by the COMELEC since halatang ginastusan ng Gobierno ang "initiative" na ito para mabili ang signatures ng mga mamamayan?

If the COMELEC validates this bogus "people's initiative", this should put any doubts to rest na hawak sila ng malacanang.

UPDATE: is vote buying and signature buying legal? i don't mind if a candidate uses his/her own money to buy people's support. pero kapag ginamit mo ang pera ng bayan para sa ganitong effort, hindi ba illegal yan?

UPDATE: More from Malaya:

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said: "This government has near-perfected the art of deceiving the people."

He said reports from the field showed government men were orchestrating the barangay assemblies.

"Talagang gumagastos sila ng pera sa pagpipirma na ginagawa nila. Sinasamantala nila ang kumakalam na sikmura ng kababayan natin para maisakatuparan ang kanilang hangarin na mag-shift tayo sa parliamentary system through people’s initiative. Alam nilang malaki ang problema sa Mataas na Kapulungan ng Kongreso," Lacson said.

Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said P20 million was initially released for the signature campaign.

He said municipal development officers of the Department of Interior and Local Government organized and coordinated the barangay assemblies.

"In that meeting, the local government officials were told about the funds for the holding of the barangay assembly and the money had been released," Pimentel said...

Pimentel said he was not surprised anymore when barangay officials and workers, as well as residents, openly admitted that bribe money was being offered to those who would sign the petition calling for amendments to the Constitution.

More here.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Questionable GDP numbers

From Ernie Maceda:

Diokno confirms. Former Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno confirmed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) findings that the government statistics on our gross domestic product growth is questionable. Earlier former National Economic Development Authority (Neda) Secretary Felipe Medalla seconded the IMF finding.

Diokno said there is a discrepancy between the expenditures and output figures released by the Neda. He added the large expenditure account is the fastest-growing in the government figures.

The University of the Philippines economics professor said GMA’s presidency is the only one that started the fiscal year for six years without a new budget with three years of an old, reenacted budget. Diokno further questioned the project expenditures of GMA under a reenacted budget as of doubtful legality as it violates the constitutional requirement of a specific appropriation law to back it up. This is another ground for impeachment.

With regard to the use of the Marcos money under the agrarian reform fund, Diokno pointed out the need for an Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) resolution to authorize its use. The President, while chairman of PARC, cannot by herself alone authorize the use of the Marcos wealth.

Diokno observed that in the six years of GMA, Congress has lost its power of the purse. He is absolutely correct.

Tsk tsk...


May Black Friday Protest bukas.

Black Friday Protest Bulletin #5 - ChiCha Kontra ChaCha

Designated time and place of flash protest for March 31:
Selected Jollibee Restaurants - 7:00 to 7:30 AM

For more details, click on the BnW link.

O, katulad nang sinabi ni MLQ3, simply wear black on Friday to protest.

UPDATE: Helga comments:

By the way, the DLSU Adhoc Committee on the Political Crisis is doing their own Black Friday Protest - at 6:30pm, they will form a human chain and candle lighting along Taft Avenue (in front of DLSU, all are asked to come wearing black, to "show our collective stand as a community in the continuing suppression of our Civil Liberties".

That's what we always hoped, that other groups would get together and do their own Black Friday Protests!

That's good to hear.

Doronila's spin: Pass the Constitution to get rid of Arroyo

Ambassador Doronila suggests na the best way to get the Arroyo Constitution passed is to sell CHA CHA as a way to get her out in 2007.

Uh... why would I pass Arroyo's Constitution para lang siya mapaalis? In the first place, I don't like Arroyo's constitution because it's a poorly made, self-serving document.

We can only achieve real reforms, whether sa COMELEC o sa Constitution, if the people leading or making the reforms have credibility and legitmacy -- and the ARroyo admin doesn't have it.

I see Arroyo' cha cha as nothing more than a grand diversion to her GLORIAGATE problems.

If Doronila is really serious about real reforms, his first call would be to ask for ARroyo's resigntation first.

And he wouldn't want to be associated or get anywhere near GMA's constitution.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

They're coming!!!

For the most comprehensive CHA CHA coverage, read MLQ3's latest.

Ernie Maceda:

Sen. Mar Roxas called it “bogus.” Sen. Richard Gordon called it “fake.” James Marty Lim, president of the National Federation of Barangays, confirmed that the persons soliciting signatures for Charter change (Cha-cha) were given “incentives” or an amount of money for every signature secured. Former President Fidel V. Ramos called it “deception” for getting signatures without explaining to the person signing what he was agreeing to. Rep. Gilbert Remulla said his barangay captains reported to him they were offered money and were even threatened by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officials to solicit signatures. Rep. Francis “Chiz” Escudero said in several areas, rice and PhilHealth cards were also given in addition to money.

President Ramos called it correctly when he said that which the Cha-cha movers were doing was “equivalent to vote-buying.” Sen. Nene Pimentel said without an enabling law, the signed petitions have been “conceived in sin and born in sin” and should be dismissed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) outright.

Sen. Juan Flavier predicted it will take two years to scrutinize each and
every signature.
Former Sen. Boy Herrera reveals that P10 billion has been allocated for the Cha-cha through the initiative campaign.

Old habits die hard. GMA, JdV, Ronnie Puno et. al are again coming up with every dirty trick in the book to ram through the initiative. And the way Comelec Chairman Ben Abalos is talking, it looks like he will cooperate once again. Reports from the Bicol Region say the Comelec officers will be paid handsomely for every signature they verify.

Patricio Diaz has some good points about this so called "people's intitiative":

No Initiative

The question asked of the people before affixing their signatures to the forms to be signed is this:

“Do you approve the amendment of Articles VI and VII of the 1987 Constitution, changing the form of government from the present bicameral-presidential to a unicameral-parliamentary system of government, in order to achieve greater efficiency, simplicity and economy in government and providing an Article XVIII as transitory provisions for the orderly shift from one system to another?"

This is followed by an attestation, then the attestee signs:

“My signature herein, which shall form part of the petition for initiative to amend the Constitution, signifies my support thereof.”

Note very well:

First, the people are asked to “approve” the amendment. Is this an initiative or a plebiscite?

Second, the question includes the reason for the amendment. But what is the amendment? How many know Articles VI and VII? How many can differentiate the presidential from the parliamentary form of government? Without fully understanding these, how can they appreciate the reason?

Third, whoever framed the question did not fully understand “form of government”. A parliamentary government maybe “unicameral”. But a presidential government cannot be “bicameral”.

Fourth, there’s a mention of Article XVIII as the transitory provisions. What do the people know about this?

Fifth, the people are asked to sign “the petition for initiative to amend the Constitution”. Is “petition” the same as “initiative”?

There is no initiative from the people in the barangays. They are only asked to support someone else’s “initiative” ­ either the House or the Con-Com draft. They don’t understand what they are supporting. They are only asked to, so they sign.

In fact, they don’t know what they are doing. But they do because they are told to do so. To the Palace, that’s democracy at its best.

Billy Esposo: How gov't advertising is being used to control the media

AttyErwinJames has an Q&A written for "Arroyo must stay" people like Winnie Monsod and Austero.


Sassy Lawyer, a pro-Arroyo blogger, says she is being attacked again by the forces of evil. She talks about bloggers "out to get her" but never provides any proof or links. I think she's becoming paranoid. :o) hehe...

"They're coming to get you, Barbara." -- Night of the Living Dead.

UPDATE: I've been reading a lot of MLQ3 recently, including his comments in the comments section, and i've never seen MLQ3 attack Sassy's person directly or indirectly. Did MLQ3 disagree with her sometimes? Yes. But attacked her personally? No. In fact, most of MLQ3's comments on sassy have been positive, and he defends her (and her views) a lot from the other commenters.

To bad I can't say the same thing about Sassy. Sometimes, she can't take criticisms of her ideas without taking it personal too.

Props to Manuel for taking the high road.

UPDATE: John Nery thinks he is the one being referred to in the Sassy attack post.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Crazy MoFo is back

Jonathan Tiongco is in the news again. From the PCIJ:

SOUND engineer Jonathan Tiongco filed this morning five counts of libel against PCIJ executive director Sheila Coronel and counsel Sandra Olaso-Coronel, following their appearance in a Senate hearing on March 14.

Tiongco also sued nine other media executives and their reporters, for publishing and airing what he said were “libelous quotations” from the PCIJ.

Those included in the suit are: Letty Magsanoc, Isagani Yambot, Norman Bordadora, and Philip Tubeza of the Philippine Daily Inquirer; Maria Ressa, Luchie Cruz-Valdez, and Lynda Jumilla of the ABS-CBN; and Katrice Jalbuena and Ronnie Calumpita of the Manila Times.

The libel case is Tiongco’s seventh suit against the PCIJ and the fourth against ABS-CBN. Yet Tiongco, in his latest complaint, says he is the one being harassed by PCIJ. He also did not sue other networks and newspapers that ran similar reports on the Senate hearing.

More here from the Malaya:

In a six-page complaint, Tiongco said the PCIJ respondents defamed his name during a Senate hearing on March 14 on the alleged media crackdown.

He said the two falsely accused him in their statements that he, together with the police, applied but failed to get a search warrant on March 10 in Quezon City in connection with the inciting to sedition charges filed against PCIJ last year; that he, together with the police, having failed to get a search warrant, went to Branch 76 of the QC Regional Trial Court on March 13 but again failed; that he and his wife were harassing the PCIJ by filing several libel cases; that Tiongco "has made it his career to harass and intimidate the PCIJ"; and that the respondents also called him "crazy."

Tiongco said he never applied for a search warrant against the PCIJ. He said libel was committed when Coronel’s statements were published in newspapers on March 15.

He said Coronel narrated at the Senate hearing that presidential chief of staff Michael Defensor told her that Tiongco was "crazy."

But Tiongco said Defensor denied uttering such words in their phone conversation

"Never applied for a search warrant", my ass, Jonathan. Crazy Mutherfucker.


Francis Escudero on the Government's Initiative to Cha Cha: "They stole our right (to choose our leader) in the last election. Now, they want to do it twice in as many years."

From MLQ Tres on Miriam:

Senator Santiago goes on ‘indefinite sick leave’ amidst speculation the Palace wants her to disown her having previously derailed the Pirma scheme during Ramos’s presidency.

I think Manuel's referring to this effort by Miriam back in 1997:

Santiago asks SC to widen scope of tro vs. signature drive

SENATOR Miriam Santiago is asking the Supreme Court to stop all groups and not just Pirma, from conducting a signature campaign to amend the Constitution.

Several groups, among them the Liga ng mga Barangay, have undertaken their own signature drive saying the temporary restraining order (TRO) only covers Pirma and the Commission on Elections...

...Santiago today asked the Supreme Court to amend its temporary restraining order against Pirma. Santiago wants the court to stop all signature campaigns aimed at amending the Constitution.

Malaya Editorial: Cha Cha a diversion

This is the reason for the launching of the parallel campaign for people’s initiative. There’s no doubt local officials, who are mostly in the pocket of Gloria, can deliver the required 12 percent of registered voters. People’s initiative, however, faces formidable blocks. The Supreme Court has ruled that the law on people’s initiative applies only to legislation. It does not adequately flesh out the people’s initiative provision for charter changes.

So what do we make then of the frenzied Cha-cha efforts?

Our suspicion is that Gloria is just trying to divert attention from the single most important issue facing the nation. And that’s the illegitimacy of her government and the calls for her ouster/resignation.

She is succeeding. So far. But the days are closing in for the filing another impeachment complaint before Congress.

Cha-cha will recede into the background. We’ll be back to where we started. And that is how to force an illegitimate president out of office.

From Ernie Maceda:

The reports have come in from the countryside to Metro Manila that P200-P500 was paid for every signature on the attendance sheets during Saturday’s barangay assemblies to be used for the Charter change (Cha-cha) initiative petition.

It was confirmed by outraged local executives that P1,000 per signature was released, or a P500-P800-incentive or cut per signature for every local official concerned. A barangay tanod in Rizal admitted on TV that she got P20 for every signature she solicited. A favorite city mayor and several favored provincial governors got P100 million in releases to the chagrin of Finance Secretary Gary Teves.

The target is to get 20 percent of the registered voters or eight million signatures. A total of P8 billion could be spent for this Cha-cha exercise, which a desperate President must push to head off a 2nd impeachment proceeding.

UPDATE: Poll officers bribed to ‘verify’ Cha-cha signatures

It’s looks like a repeat of the 2004 election payoffs and cheating all over again.

More here:

Roxas, in filing a resolution to effect a probe on the DILG circulars and barangay assemblies, denounced Malacanang for deceiving the public and undermining the laws providing for the people’s initiative.

The senator said he will see to it that an investigation will be called to order the soonest possible time even if officials to be called by them will be prevented by Malacanang by invoking Executive Order 464.

“Expectedly, they will invoke EO 464. But that should not deter us from doing our job. If no one among those to be called by the Senate will attend (the called hearings), they will only make it obvious to the public the real motive in this people’s initiative,” warned Roxas.

Both Roxas and Gordon said the matter of people’s initiative, contrary to what Malacanang is supposedly trying to feed to the public through barangay officials, would not uplift the current situation in the country as well as status of every individual.

“There is no connection between Cha-cha and improving people’s lives. This is not something like magic that everything could just change. Cha-cha is not the solution but political will, leadership and good governance are,” he added.

Gordon, chair of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments, revision of codes and laws, opted to take to the floor the issue, saying this is the work of “political opportunists with forked tongues whispering sweet chicanery, promising a cure for all the nation’s ills.”

“I stand before you today…to call for the strengthening of liberal democracy…This democracy is under severe threat from faceless people who come like thieves in the night, hoping to seize power while the Filipino people sleep soundly on the bed of their apathy,” Gordon said in a privilege speech.

“Today we bear witness to a time in our history when the Constitution is steadily losing its value. Politicians motivated by blind ambition and selfish interest have made a travesty of the Constitution by blatantly ignoring the processes that it prescribes in its sacred pages that should govern the conduct of our country. The political maelstrom that continues to plague our country has tested our character and say to say, Mr. President, we have found wanting.

“This lack of legal foundation has not stopped its proponents from taking steps to promote this initiative, another vivid example of cheap politics and lack of regard for the rule of law which continues to steal our dignity as a people and as a nation,” he added.


Lito Banayo on Ronald the Tree.


Gloria losing Visayas, Mindanao support

President Arroyo continues to be the most unpopular President the country has ever had, with her losing even more support from the Filipino people nationwide, including her claimed bailiwick, the Visayas.

It is not only the Filipinos from the National Capital Region and the balance of Luzon who express serious dissatisfaction over Mrs. Arroyo and her performance in office. She has started to lose as well the Filipinos in the Visayas and Mindanao regions, with 48 percent, or three percent short of a simple majority of Visayan respondents saying they are dissatisfied with Mrs. Arroyo, while a majority, or 55 percent of respondents from Mindanano, expressed the same dissatisfaction, the first quarter survey results of the Social Weather Stations showed.

Mrs. Arroyo is also fast losing the support of the D and E socio-economic class, with 58 percent of the E class expressing dissatisfaction with her, while the D class remained at a majority of 53 percent.

Say Hello to the people of Loserville

From Andrew17Robin, in the comments section:

Let us just work for the betterment of this country and go on with our lives. Let us begin to educate ourselves and the masa as a whole to vote wisely, to vote on the best alternative programs for the betterment of our country and not vote for those who are popular and moneyed. If not then the cycle of corrupt officials will remain.

And how the fuck are we going to be able "to work for the betterment of our country" and to teach our kids and people about making good decisions, doing the right thing, and being good citizens if you guys continue to mess it up by making excuses and defending Arroyo's corruption, illegitimacy and criminality, Andrew?

you know the other side is losing when attack us for being "moralists", without even bothering to defend Arroyo's legitmacy claims anymore (like Austero).

(And I hate the term "moralists" because it is usually associated with religious conservatives/zealots like Manoling Morato and his ilk, and I'm not religious at all.)

What does that tell us? Na they're angry because we want to do the right thing and have a legitimate president in place?

Pathetic talaga ang mga Arroyo Loyalists, ano?

Do you think replacing GMA now will removed corruption.

I don't think you'll eradicate corruption overnight, but I think replacing Arroyo is a first big step towards stability and legitimacy, and we have reversed a negative, corrupting trend, into something more positive. And make no mistake about it, she has pretty much corrupted every institution, including the COMELEC, SC, DOJ, AFP, PNP, Congress.

No admin has been this corrupt since Marcos, not even Erap.

Do you think replacing GMA now will removed corruption. No because as I see it all your rheotorics are the same as the old ones I have heard but have led us to nowhere.

and we cannot have real reforms if the ones who are doing it are the main rulebreakers in the country. We need somebody credible and legit to do that.

This bickering will lead us to nowhere because too many marunongs at nagmamarunong.
Why not make your own open letter and see if can reach the heights of Bong's letter.

I don't think i'll ever attain Bong's popularity, and I am not interested in it either.

About Arbet's proposal...

(Ito ang reaction ko sa comment nya about debating CHA CHA.)

Should we approve of Arroyo's constitution?


Why not?

Because I'm not in favor of changing our political system and I also don't want Arroyo to mess with our Bill of Rights. And I don't like the fact that what Arroyo is proposing is similar to the Marcos Constitution. Sorry, no can do.

Have I ever been for Charter Change?

No. Since FVR's time pa.

But am I willing to seriously consider Charter Change?

Maybe. But only if Arroyo's gone na and we have a new legit president who is also proposing Charter change.

Why not seriously debate it now, John?

Because even if i'm for charter change (and i'm not), I don't want to express my support for it, because I don't want Arroyo to use my support for CHA CHA to help legitimize or strengthen her cause.

How should the opposition react to Arroyo's CHA CHA?

By saying that Arroyo is the problem, not the constitution. And that changing the constitution to Arroyo's version will not solve the GLORIAGATE problem, but instead strengthen ARroyo and her allies and make things worse for us.

Passing the Arroyo Constitution will only make the ambitious and power-mad Arroyo and her power-hungry Porkers (oink oink... pork barrel... oink oink) in the House more powerful with the abolition of term limits and the removal the checks-and-balance, which is vital in our system to prevent corruption and abuse of power from the illegitimate Arroyo admin.

The opposition should offer the people an alternative to the Arroyo Consti, and that is to amend or repeal only the provisions in the constitution that restrict economic activities. Meaning, no more moves to change the constitution wholesale. No more changes in the political system. No more messing with our Bill of Rights.

But Arroyo and her allies will not like this though because they want more trapo power with their proposed Marcos-like Constitution.

Hope this helps, Arbet.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Quick comment on John Nery's reaction

I agree with John on some of his points. Comment ko lang yung iba:

From NewsStand:

Despite John Marzan's earnest good cheer I cannot but take surveys seriously.

Well, pabiro lang yung sinabi ko na "don't trust surveys". May ganito ;) at :p pa nga eh.

(although SWS screwed up big time in the exit poll here and here. and i've also discussed about Mercy Abad and her organization's role in gathering data for all three survey orgs [SWS, Pulse Asia and NFO Trends] during the 2004 election campaign. start reading from my earliest post re abad.)

Did Joseph Estrada have good numbers back in late 2000 and early 2001? Relative to Gloria Arroyo's dismal numbers, I guess the answer is yes. But relative to Estrada's own previously stratospheric ratings, his net satisfaction index of positive 9 in December 2000 was in fact a fall from grace. (Again, I am uncomfortable with the use of net numbers, but that is what SWS and Pulse Asia offer us. But a look at both the gross satisfaction rating [44 percent, down from 49 from September 2000] and gross dissatisfaction rating [35, up from 31] suggests that Estrada was weakening politically.)

Weakening a bit... yes, but he still had the support of most people then. Erap's numbers were something GMA would kill for now. And did i also mention that most people didn't want estrada to resign then?

Unlike Arroyo.

I believe ARroyo has one of the lowest trust and approval ratings among the presidents in RP history, IIRC.

John suggests that the real moral of the story can be stated thus: "as long as you have the military's support, you can do "people power", kahit na minority lang ang gustong magpabagsak sa isang presidente na katulad ni erap." In both people-power uprisings, the military was an active component. But contrary to what RAM leader Gregorio Honasan may still think, Edsa 1986 was led by civilians; the military played catch-up. Same thing in Edsa 2001; Gen. Angelo Reyes saw the people's exuberant handwriting on the wall, and decided to withdraw support from the President who had deep-selected him. But in both instances, I think the military action (that of an ambitious minority in 1986, that of an anxious chain of command in 2001) only reflected currents in public opinion.

But what about Edsa Tres, John, where the number of people who participated were at least four times the size of Edsa Dos.

Ano kaya ang nangyari kung may military support rin sila, ala edsa dos?

In the February 26, 2006 "standoff" inside Marine headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Marine Col. Ariel Querubin called on what he must have thought was the key to public opinion to come to his side. "I hope the bishops will not forsake us." My own take on this: Soldiers read surveys too. They watch video footage of street protests. And they can do the math.

Well, I was planning to go there (hehe...), pero nung nalaman ko na tapos na pala ang "standoff", hindi na natuloy. Anyway, I thought that if the "standoff" lasted for another day, who knows what could have happened?

Besides, don't underestimate the effect of Arroyo's aggressive CPR policy. that's gotta be a factor too, no?

Check out how Lukashenko (the incumbent Belarus dictator who cheated in this year's election) implemented his own CPR on the Belarus people too to minimize the possibility of people power. Check out how eerily similar their "new" methods are to the Arroyo admin.

(actually, if Arroyo is confident of her position, why not lift CPR?)

And Querubin should not rely on the CBCP and most bishops. The CBCP leadership supports arroyo and are even for Arroyo's CHA CHA.,

(thank god for PAGCOR)

Ho Lordy, another GLORIAGATE roundup

Randy David: Fighting a repressive and immoral regime

AS we now have seen, Proclamation 1017 had two basic objectives: first, to create a climate of urgency to justify extreme police measures and, thus, a chilling effect on the public; and second, to test the public acceptability of the use of even more coercive measures in the future.

The Arroyo regime's readiness to use coercion against its critics should, however, not lull us into thinking that her other powers have completely run out. Ms Arroyo continues to enjoy residual support from the mass media, from the business community, and from religious leaders. She knows this support is dwindling and is becoming passive. That is why she is doing everything to preserve what is left of it by paying these key sectors well-publicized presidential visits or by inviting them to dinner in Malacanang. We have to tell these presidential props that they cannot play this game without being made accountable. If they wish to remain politically neutral, they must manifest their neutrality both with respect to Ms Arroyo and to those who oppose her.

WORD! Read the whole thing.

As long as we just keep telling the truth about this administration and their allies, in the end, babagsak rin ang corrupt at mandarayang "presidente" na ito.

Ellen Tordesillas comments on David's article and has this story to tell about an ARroyo incident 2 years ago.

The deceased was one of the very few friends that Arroyo had since their Assumption high school days. She was with Arroyo during her Senate days and was in Malacañang during the first six months of Arroyo’s unelected presidency.

After a bitter departure from Malacañang over an issue that involved Mike Arroyo, the lady was found to have cancer. A source who was close to the family said as the lady lay dying at the hospital, Arroyo sent word that she would like to visit her. She was asked if she had forgiven her powerful friend. She nodded. Asked if she would welcome her visit, she shook her head.

At the wake at the Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Arroyo sent word that she was going visit and there was not much that the family could do.

When Arroyo entered the room, someone who was there described the scene as like "parting of the Red Sea." All those who were seated near the aisle, moved out. When Arroyo took the seat on the left side, almost everybody went to the right side.

The source said, the hostility of the other guests towards Arroyo was so palpable she left immediately after the mass.

That experience must have been the reason why Arroyo did not dare foist her presence during the wake of a distinguished journalist and an incorruptible lady government official last year. Malacañang officials, who paid their last respects to both personalities, must have told her that her wreaths were relegated far away from the coffin, an eloquent statement how she was regarded in those circles.

Si Bing Rodrigo ba ang tinutukoy dito?


Erap to be released in 2007?

From the Tribune:

Despite its much publicized efforts to reconcile with the camp of deposed President Joseph Estrada, Malacañang yesterday refused to give any commitment on the proposed release of the ousted leader next year when he turns 70 years old.

This was the Palace’s reaction to the statement of lawyer Leonard de Vera, convenor of Equal Justice for All Movement, who said Estrada should be released once he turns 70 years old next year based on Memorandum Circular (MC) 155 issued by President Arroyo on Nov. 17, 2004, which granted executive clemency to convicts who are 70 years old and above.

Heh. And Leonard de Vera is the one suggesting this? Hindi ba Erap hater yan dati? What made him change his attitude on Erap?

Of course, this move will be done to appease erap's masa supporters.

Estrada would turn 70 years of age on April 2007.

I wrote something about a possible "Free Erap" move by the admin back in February.


Arbet Bernardo calls for a debate on Charter change among bloggers.

Sorry, but I think I'll pass. I'm in no mood to debate CHA CHA as long as the fake president is the one orchestrating the change (and I'm against CHA CHA btw, since FVR's time pa.)


The "great debate" on Charter change has begun:

AT least two million people have signed a petition supporting amendments to the 1987 Constitution via the people’s initiative route, a coalition spearheading the campaign yesterday said.

The Sigaw ng Bayan Movement said it expected the figure to rise dramatically as more reports from the field were expected to pour in Sunday night.

It said local executives who monitored Saturday’s barangay assemblies reported that 20 to 60 percent of registered voters were likely to sign a petition calling for people’s initiative to amend the charter.

Opposition lawmakers lambasted the exercise, saying voters were being asked to sign the petition under false pretenses.

They added it was the height of hypocrisy for Malacañang to deny its hand in the signature campaign or its funding for the exercise.

Bayan Muna Rep. Joel Virador, one of the five party-list congressmen who are under House custody for rebellion charges, said Bayan Muna chapters in the Visayas and Mindanao "have monitored local government officials gathering signatures from barangay residents without even telling them the nature and purpose of the administration’s desperate drive for changing the 1987 Constitution."

"Our people must reject completely deceptive move of President Arroyo to continue with her illegitimate presidency," Virador said. "Malacañang-financed barangay assemblies nationwide are not sanctioned under the 1987 Constitution," he said.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said: "This government has near-perfected the art of deceiving the people."

He said reports from the field showed government men were orchestrating the barangay assemblies.

"Talagang gumagastos sila ng pera sa pagpipirma na ginagawa nila. Sinasamantala nila ang kumakalam na sikmura ng kababayan natin para maisakatuparan ang kanilang hangarin na mag-shift tayo sa parliamentary system through people’s initiative. Alam nilang malaki ang problema sa Mataas na Kapulungan ng Kongreso," Lacson said.

Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said P20 million was initially released for the signature campaign.

He said municipal development officers of the Department of Interior and Local Government organized and coordinated the barangay assemblies.

"In that meeting, the local government officials were told about the funds for the holding of the barangay assembly and the money had been released," Pimentel said.

Pimentel also took note of the one-page advertisements on people’s initiative which appeared in several newspapers on March 24.

He said only the government is in a position to bankroll such an expensive promotional campaign.

Pimentel said he was not surprised anymore when barangay officials and workers, as well as residents, openly admitted that bribe money was being offered to those who would sign the petition calling for amendments to the Constitution.

Sen. Edgardo Angara said the use of money funds and barangay personnel in pushing for charter change via people’s initiative should not invalidate the entire process.

Angara said the funds doled out by local government leaders to bankroll the people’s initiative petition were "a consequence and necessary expense."

Thank you, Ed Angara, thank you.

More on the Cha cha from Neal Cruz and Manuel L. Quezon 3.

Conrad de Quiros: "Change the Charter? Nope, just change the usurper. Cheaper, faster, better."

Ninez isn't through with Garci and Arroyo's allies on the Passport scandal.

Nene Pimentel: GMA true to form in dropping Garcillano.

MALACAÑANG’S failure to come to the aid of former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano shows President Arroyo’s penchant to use others for her own ends and abandon them in their time of need, Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel yesterday said.

"(Former Agriculture Under-secretary Jocelyn) Bolante and others, beware!" Pimentel said.

Yeah, I even remember the admin and her House allies being very protective of Garci, even offering Garci police protection and a safehouse to prevent people from making a citizen's arrest of Garci. My, my... how times have changed.

Rep. Teddy Locsin's comments on Garci's palusot:

"Nagsa-shabu ba s'ya? Nasisiraan na ba s'ya ng ulo?," tanong ni Locsin patungkol sa nagbitiw na komisyuner.

Ito ay reaksyon ng Makati congressman sa pahayag ni Garcillano na posibleng nagkaroon ng 'switching' at maaaring napalitan ng 'pekeng pasaporte' ang pasaporteng kanyang isinumite noon sa Kamara.


Smugglers are in Subic and Clark, not 168: Serge Osmena

SMUGGLERS are lurking in Subic, Clark and Batangas port and not in an obscure retail mall in Divisoria called 168, Sen. Sergio Osmeña said over the weekend.

Osmeña said the recent raid on 168 Mall was an attack against legitimate retailers who unknowingly purchased goods from smugglers.

"Zarzuela lang yon," he said.

Osmeña said government authorities could stop smuggling by apprehending container vans at the Subic, Clark Freeport zones and at the port of Batangas.

"Don’t raid the retailers but the bringers of smuggled goods in container vans. They’re there in Subic, Clark and Batangas," he said.

He said the 168 tenants paid for their inventories and could not be aware that taxes had not been paid.

"When you buy from a supplier, say a t-shirt, do you ask if taxes were paid for the t-shirt?" he asked.

He said until now the government has yet to arrest or charge a big-time smuggler.

Ducky Paredes: Retailers as Smugglers?

President Arroyo’s order to raid the 168 Mall in Divisoria was meant as a warning to smugglers that, henceforth, the government will be out to get them at all costs. Sadly, because the raid targeted only retailers and not the smugglers, all that the raid on 168 did was to create victims, Thus, the raid only turned out to be another signal of how repressive the government can be.

Taking goods from a retail store on the suspicion that these are smuggled does not hurt the smuggler. The hardest hit is the retailer who probably has his life’s savings in those goods.

How can anyone say that any goods being sold at retail have been smuggled? The way that the Bureau of Customs works these days, a flat fee is paid on a container that leaves the Customs Area. These containers are not inspected. They leave the piers unopened, with no customs personnel having ever seen them. How can anyone know what has entered the country when even the customs personnel are not allowed to inspect shipments? So, how can they possibly know whether taxes and tariff were paid on a particular item? The retailer too is hard-put to produce any entry documents of any products on his shelf.

More often than not, the retailer is five or more times removed from the smuggler. (When the goods arrive, the smuggler will often divide this up among his dealers who then distribute the goods to their sub-dealers, wholesalers and so on. The one at the end of the line is the retailer.) How can anyone expect him to produce the original documents of the shipment? The original document that proves that a fee was paid the BOC for clearing the container might exist but the retailer cannot possibly access this since he bought the goods from a sub-dealer of a sub-dealer.

Read the whole thing. Arroyo's barking at the wrong tree.


Military's loyalty should be to the people, not to one person, especially one that was never elected by the people.

Let’s talk about loyalty. The AFP’s loyalty should be to the Republic and Constitution, not to a person. We have been seeing clear abuse of this principle.

Remember the use of Intelligence Service of the AFP to concoct derogatory information against opposition leaders, starting with the purported hundreds of millions of dollars stashed abroad by Sen. Panfilo Lacson? That short step into politicizing the AFP was followed by the giant leap of using the military to manipulate the presidential election in 2004 in Mindanao. Last month, the Armed Forces was called in under PP 1017 to suppress "lawless violence" which in this particular case amounted to nothing more than a few thousand unarmed protesters trying to march to the Edsa Shrine.

It should be no surprise, thus, that using the military to bludgeon legitimate opposition and dissent has resulted in the restiveness in the military. Professionalism of the junior- and middle-rank officers and their men had not been an issue for sometime until Gloria grabbed power from Joseph Estrada. The last time soldiers marched out of the barracks was in 1989 against the Aquino administration.

"I expect you to be loyal to your values, to your nation and to your Constitution," Arroyo told the graduates.

She is preaching to the choir. Cadets don’t lie or cheat and don’t tolerate others who do so. It is in fact the cadets of recent years who are now serving in the Armed Forces who cannot stomach the lying, cheating and thieving they see around them.

Gloria should have addressed the generals whom she had placed in plum positions in payment for their conspicuous devotion beyond the call of duty to keep her in power.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Austero doesn't speak for majority of Filipinos who want Arroyo out

... but I do agree with some that he and that hypocrite Winnie Monsod speak for many (former) Edsa Dos supporters who once backed an extra-constitutional coup to oust Erap -- but are now vehemently against using the same method against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo -- the person they've installed into power.

Many of them are now having "regrets" about people power. Well, of course, because they started this precedent of removing a democratically elected presidents via edsa dos -- a blatant misuse of people power... and now that their idol (who stole the elections in 2004) is in danger of being removed in the same manner herself, they now lecture us about "following the rule of law" and "using only constitutional means" to remove GMA.

(Btw, nabasa ko na naman ang bagong post ni Austero sa blog ni Kuya Manuel.)

It's nice that the likes of Austero and Winnie Monsod are now asking us to respect the democratic processes. No more extra constitutional solutions raw. No more coups raw.

The problem though is that these two people are probably the worst people to deliver that message.

I think these phonies would be more credible if they did not support Edsa Dos.

And now, they prance around and lecture us about following the constitution?

As for me naman, I was very disappointed nung i-abort ng anti-erap opposition ang impeachment at nag edsa sila. They should have followed the constitutional process instead of going into a tactical alliance with the military and the communist/leftist groups to oust estrada.

Arroyo's political rivals and the opposition OTOH, tried to unseat Arroyo the constitutional way via the elections in 2004. Ang problema lang nga, pati yun dinaya pa. Tapos, ni-railroad pa ang proclamation ni GMA ng mga kaalyado niya (using their superior numbers, not at all dissimilar to what happened at the batasan when marcos was proclaimed by his allies as president in 1986), while denying all of the opposition's numerous request for a recount. but the opposition still did not call for "people power" to oust Arroyo.

Tapos, nung namatay si FPJ, pinatay na rin ng partisan na PET/SC ni Arroyo ang petition ni Susan Roces na ituloy ang kaso laban sa illegitimacy ni ARroyo, because Susan was not a "real party of interest" in the election fraud case raw. Image

Then, nung sumabog ang GLORIAGATE scandal, arroyo dared the opposition to file impeachment complaint against her. But when the opposition did take up her challenge, she had her allies kill the impeachment complaint on a technicality.

Anyway, balik tayo kay Austero at Winnie Monsod. I'm glad they've finally seen the light, and they now talk about the Filipino's need to "obey the constitution" and "follow the rule of law." I've been saying that all along myself, since 2001 pa.

But while I agree that only using legal and constitutional methods to remove her (like the 2004 elections, asking for her resignation, impeaching her) are the way to go, my personal belief is that the only way this illegitimate president can be removed from power is via people power. I say this after seeing how she and her allies rigged the presidential elections in 2004, how they railroaded her proclamation and how her allies killed the impeachment complaint, and how her administration wields tremendous corrupting influence over the COMELEC, SC, the CONGRESS and DOJ.

UPDATE: I feel for Austero:

Writing for this blog used to be a walk in the park. I could write about anything (theoretically, I still could since this is my space). Since my brush with pseudo fame, I had to watch what I write about because it seems anything I write is now open to a lot of interpretations. There is always someone out there watching out for a simple grammatical slip or a mixed metaphor that they can throw at my face with all the righteous indignation they can muster.

I admit I made fun of his comment about "we are prepared to lose our freedoms and our rights just to move this country forward."

UPDATE:From Dean Jorge Bocobo on the Austero interview:

But it was disappointing...Bong Austero is actually for IMPEACHMENT, just like me. In fact, if things get worse I'm pretty sure we'll see Mr. Austero at the barricades too, at least figuratively...

I thought he would actually have something interesting to say, some solid manifesto for ideological apathy. Not just another wishy-washy liberal who told Carandang he BELIEVES GMA cheated but is perfectly fine with it.

Austero's for impeachment, eh? Good.

But notice though that Bong has not called for Arroyo's resignation even though he believes Arroyo cheated.

(BUT he's for impeachment raw! - ed) Probably for the same reasons Arroyo, bunye, sassy lawyer and every other pro-arroyo types wants impeachment too, LOL.

And to refresh austero's memory, we already did this impeachment thing, bong, pero pinatay ng mga kaalyado ng arroyo admin ito sa House.

you guys were so quick to support people power nung hindi nyo nakuha ang boto sa senado laban kay estrada… pero nasaan kayo nung pinatay yung impeachment complaint vs. arroyo? i didn't expect you hypocrites to join another people power to oust the criminal president you've installed, PERO AT LEAST MAGALIT NAMAN KAYO sa panggagago na ginawa ng mga kaalyado ni arroyo sa pagpatay ng impeachment complaint AND CALL FOR HER RESIGNATION.

but instead of doing that, these people are calling for us to “move on” na lang raw...

UPDATE: Comment from Pinoy:

There is a statement from Austero’s letter that has been conveniently missed out by his critics. That is, But you have not been able to offer me any viable alternative.

Bullshit. Three step process.

1) Get Arroyo out.
2) Clean up arroyo's COMELEC
3) Hold Special Elections

There are many alternatives to replace arroyo like Mar Roxas, who a US thinktank believes is the most viable alternative, Serge Osmena 3, Bayani Fernando, Ping Lacson, Dick Gordon, Franklin Drilon, Biazon, and Magsaysay are all much better alternatives than GMA.

So it is nonsense to say na there are no credible alternatives to replace Arroyo. In fact, it is the easiest thing in the world to find a replacement for her, since finding a replacement for the most criminally corrupt, unfit, and illegitimate person currently holding public office right now in the Philippines is not exactly a difficult thing to do. I know many officials from the opposition and the administration who are more deserving and qualified of the presidency than her.

We're starting at a low point here, peeps, AND ARROYO IS THAT LOW POINT.

besides, the fact that you're asking us to find a "credible alternative" for her even though you know that she cheated shows that you don't take democracy seriously and has in fact approved of arroyo's methods to steal the elections from her rivals.

It is this same attitude displayed by the arrogant arroyo admin and it's supporters that made GLORIAGATE possible. They needed to cheat raw because their opponents are "not credible alternatives." They cheated "for the good of the country."

And it is the same attitude that Marcos had, kaya he unilaterally decided to stay in power for 20 years because he thinks the anti-Marcos opposition are not "credible alternatives".

Marcos cheated Cory in the 1986 elections precisely because he thought Cory, like the rest, are "not credible" enough. It is that kind of mentality that convinced marcos that he is "indispensable". It is that kind of mentality that made him want to stay in power for 20 years (and more if edsa 1986 failed).

To those who want GMA out now, what is your guarantee that whoever will replace her will not be as corrupt and not a cheater like GMA?

I cannot guarantee you 100% na her replacement will be better, but I think there's a 99.99% chance that he or she will, since I believe Arroyo has the most corrupt, abusive and criminally minded admin since marcos, and I think it will be difficult to top that. where lahat na ng institution ay na-corrupt ni GMA, including the AFP, COMELEC, SC, PNP, DOJ, CONGRESS etc. etc...

GMA is so bad that even erap's a better alternative at this point (which isn't much of a complement to Erap since he was a mediocre president to begin with)

And I can guarantee that the next president will have the LEGITIMACY and CREDIBILITY your president don't have, and will have a much better chance at improving and reforming our country... after we clean up the COMELEC and have special elections.

You're president NEVER had legitimacy Pinoy, not in 2001, AND not in 2004.

Yes GMA cheated but ousting her out now will not make things better for us. We have all become moralists that correcting what was wronged has become the primary task. But are we laying the foundation that the wrong act will not be repeated? Aren’t we just correcting a mistake for the sake of correcting it?

Again, you're making excuses for election fraud. This is the kind of attitude from some ARroyo apologists that continue to allow GMA to get away with her crimes.

And if there are any "foundations that are needed to be laid" or reforms that are needed to be done, GMA is the least credible person to do it. We need somebody better and legit to do that job.

And yes, we need reforms -- sa COMELEC. And we don't need CHA CHA to do that. And I don't trust GMA to do the "COMELEC reforms" herself, since If i recall correctly back in her rizal day speech, one of her promises was to have "clean and honest elections" in 2004, and we all know how that turned out. LOL.

It happened in 1986, then in 2001. And now you want it to happen again? Let us not just correct the mistake. What is more important is preventing the repeat of the same mistakes. That is how we move forward. Oust Gloria now and we will just go in circles.

Pinoy, edsa 1986 was no effin mistake asshole, unlike edsa dos. the filipinos suffered for 20 years under martial rule. tapos nung nag snap election, ninakaw pa ni marcos ang election at na-proclaim siya ng kanyang batasan. it was about effin time democracy was restored to our country.

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

More from Pinoy:

So if you really want GMA out, start campaigning for all anti GMA congressional aspirants. Impeaching her in 2007 will be a walk in the park.

Wish the anti-erap opposition have done that in 2001. at least malinis pa ang COMELEC under erap from 1998 to 2001.

The problem with Arroyo's COMELEC is that it has become a major dagdag bawas department for Arroyo.

And if she used the COMELEC in 2004 to help herself steal the elections, why would she not use it again to help her allies "win" the election or get her constitution "ratified"?

Remember sa "hello garci" tapes, it was not only arroyo's voice that was heard or name that was discussed re plans to steal the election, but other Arroyo allies in Congress too.

And when GMA and Garci met with some low level COMELEC officials to bribe them into rigging the elections for the admin, they also talked about helping other admin candidates "win" their elections.

So why would she and her COMELEC allow her allies to lose the majority sa House at Senate?

Can Noli clean up arroyo’s COMELEC. I hope so.

if you remove the corrupting influence of arroyo? Yes. that's what i wanted all along. duh.

Noli as acting president while special elections are being prepared.

3) Hold Special Elections
That is if Congress will pass a law calling for the holding of a special election. Well, that won’t happen until the opposition gets majority of both chambers.

And the opposition won't have a chance as long as Arroyo controls the COMELEC and the SC.


3rd German Silent Film Festival

Film screenings
August 3, 10, 17, 24, 2006
Venue: SM Megamall
Free Admission
Tel: + 63 2 722 4671 to 73

One of the country's most unique film festivals is back! Watch four
different bands each take on the task of scoring a German silent film
live. This year's lineup includes the classic "The Cabinet of Dr.
, crime caper "Aphalt", early horror film "The Golem" and the
beautiful love story set in the South Seas "Tabu."

Goethe-Institut Manila
Adamson Center
4-5/F 121 Leviste St.
Salcedo Village, 1127 Makati City
Metro Manila

Saturday, March 25, 2006

FVR's PIRMA campaign = Arroyo's "People's Initiative"

It's Ramos PIRMA campaign all over again, but this time under the new name "People's Initiative".

I dug some old articles on how the kontra CHACHA during fvr's time did it.

ABS-CBN article 02/21/97

Oppositon unites to counter charter change

THE UNITED opposition has begun its own campaign against charter change. They call their movement "Kontra Diktadura", and they include veterans of the anti-Marcos movement.

If pro-Ramos forces are gaining ground with Pirma, the united opposition has launched "Kontra Diktadura", an information drive meant to fight charter changes.

Cebu City is the pilot area and Cagayan de Oro is next. The opposition is bringing back fears of a dictatorship to counter Pirma's signature campaign.

An opposition congresswoman likens their campaign to the next peaceful revolution since Edsa. Rep. Tessie Aquino-Oreta says, "the next peaceful revolution will unfold soon unless forces allied with Malacanang withdraw their bid to perpetuate themselves in power."

Veterans of the anti-Marcos movement are among those opposed to charter change. They're still seeking the support of the Catholic church. But Catholic lay groups have already joined the bandwagon.

Here's Senator Miriam's views on the PIRMA campaign back in 1997:

Santiago asks SC to widen scope of tro vs. signature drive

SENATOR Miriam Santiago is asking the Supreme Court to stop all groups and not just Pirma, from conducting a signature campaign to amend the Constitution.

Several groups, among them the Liga ng mga Barangay, have undertaken their own signature drive saying the temporary restraining order (TRO) only covers Pirma and the Commission on Elections.

Meanwhile, Santiago has the Senate's support in her fight against the 90-day suspension order slapped against her for graft.

She has fought her battles alone most of the time. But in her battle against a 90-day suspension order, Senator Santiago has the entire Senate behind her.

The Senate Legal Department is helping her appeal the suspension before the Supreme Court.

Senators say the suspension order by the Sandiganbayan violates the principle of separation of powers.

Santiago is being suspended for legalizing Chinese nationals during her stint as immigration commissioner when her power to do so was under question.

But the suspension is becoming a sidelight in the debate on the Charter. Santiago is the chairman of the committee on constitutional amendments. She says the 90-day suspension is meant to silence her.

Meanwhile, Santiago today asked the Supreme Court to amend its temporary restraining order against Pirma. Santiago wants the court to stop all signature campaigns aimed at amending the Constitution.

There is no proof of conspiracy between Malacanang and the Sandiganbayan. But the suspension could be used to dramatize the increasing tension between Malacanang and the Senate on the Charter issue

PIRMA was also able to get 6 million signatures (at least 4.2 sigs were required then for constitutional amendments) without breaking a sweat.

The Constitution lists down three modes through which it can be amended: the people’s initiative, Congress convening itself into a constituent assembly, and a constitutional convention composed of elected delegates.

Pirma chose the people’s initiative mode, which requires that only one amendment be proposed per initiative, and specifies that an initiative may be conducted only once every five years. In this mode, a petition had to be signed by at least 12 percent of the nation’s registered voters, which should include at least 3 percent of voters in every legislative district.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is required to verify the signatures against the voters’ list. Once the Comelec finds the petition sufficient in form and substance, it sets a nationwide plebiscite on the proposed amendment.

If the yes vote wins, the amendment is submitted to Congress and implemented as the new law. The entire process, which the poll body is required to wrap up in not more than four months, is not just spelled out in the Constitution. It was fleshed out in Republic Act 6735 (or the Initiative and Referendum Act), the enabling law, and Comelec drew up the rules and regulations.

Pirma, with the help of other organizations in Access (Alliance of Concerned Citizens for Empowered Social Systems), more than met all the requirements for its initiative. In 1997, there were 35 million voters on Comelec’s list, which meant that Pirma needed at least 4.2 million verified signatures to warrant a plebiscite. As of July 1997, it had submitted to the Comelec 5.9 million signatures, or 17 percent of the total number of voters. Ramos’s national security adviser, Jose Almonte, claims that Pirma, his brainchild, gathered 11.5 million signatures.

Read the whole newsbreak article.

Anong ibig sabihin nito? getting these signatures will probably be a piece of cake for the arroyo admin, lalo na when it is reported that money will be raining on the baranggay chiefs for arroyo's cha cha drive.

More here from Pimentel and Pangilinan:

Minority leader Aquilino Pimentel said the interior department under Secretary Ronaldo Puno, provincial governors and municipal mayors have no business "acting as sponsors and organizers" on the move to amend the charter through a people’s initiative.

"Their involvement will violate the constitutional intent that it is the people who should directly propose amendments under the principle of people’s initiative," he said.

He said the people’s initiative "will not prosper if Malacañang, congressional and local government officials will act as prime movers and financiers."

Pimentel said the use of public funds in the charter change drive would also be a ground to nullify the process.

"With the use of government funds in this undertaking, what we have before us therefore appears to be a government initiative and not a people’s initiative," majority leader Francis Pangilinan said in a statement.

He reminded charter change proponents that a people’s "initiative is available only to amend not to revise the Constitution."

He said proposals to amend Article 6, 7 and 9 of the Constitution in order to shift to a parliamentary form of government with a single chamber "is tantamount to a revision and is not a mere amendment.

REad this article too on Carmen Pedrosa, the person behind the PIRMA campaign.

After reading about the Erap Trials again, may tanong ako...

Why is Chavit Singson not in jail for being a juetenglord? Why is Estrada under arrest for jueteng and Chavit is not? Hindi ba sinabi ni Chavit na willing rin siyang magpakulong kasama si Erap?

Hindi ba since natanggal na si Erap aka "lord of all lords", dapat mababawasan na ang jueteng sa bansa?

Pero bakit kabaliktaran ang nangyari? I recall na mas lumala ang jueteng sa probinsya during arroyo's first term in malacanang, at si Mike Arroyo aka Jose Pidal (kasama si Mikey) ang naging bagong "lord of all juetenglords".

HECK, even the church was caught taking jueteng money during arroyo's time, after hypocritically leading the fight to oust erap for juetengate.

Nung nabuking sila ni Willy Mayor, Sandra Cam, at Archbishop Oscar Cruz, at temporarily nag-lie low muna ang mga jueteng lords during the late 2005.

Next question should be, WHO HELPED GARCI ESCAPE?

Garci charged with perjury, faking passport by solons. House members fear ex-poll official set to sneak out of RP again.

In a seven page complaint, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Representatives Teofisto Guingona III, Alan Peter Cayetano, and Joel Villanueva, alleged that Garcillano lied when he claimed before the House of Representatives that he never left the country during the height of the “Hello Garci” controversy and presented his passport to substantiate his claim.

The complainants, however, pointed out that the poll official falsely made, forged, and counterfeited a passport and used it before a congressional investigation in support of his “perjurious testimony.”

They said Garcillano used the passport “to (allegedly) mislead Congress and the Filipino people (into believing) that he never left the country.”

The complaint stemmed from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) statement, after examination of the questioned document, that Garcillano’s passport was transfered and the note verbal from Singapore confirming that Garcillano visited Singapore at the height of the controversy.

“The findings made by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas can only point to the inescapable conclusion that the subject passport presented by Respondent Garcillano was fake. In other other words, Respondent Garcillano did not only speak a lie but he went as far as manufacturing a fake passport just to support his false claim that he never left the Philippines,” the complaint said.

Now the next question is, who within the administration helped Garci escape?

More on Garci's perjury and obstruction of justice problems from PCIJ.


Another tasteless Raul Gonzales comment.

JUSTICE Secretary Raul Gonzalez yesterday lashed back at the mother of the 22-year-old rape victim in Subic who called for his resignation over the alleged mishandling of the case against four accused US servicemen.

The mother, who was interviewed recently over several television stations, lambasted Gonzalez’ plan to downgrade the charges against three of the four accused.

Gonzalez stopped short of calling the mother of the alleged rape victim "ignorant" of the law, saying she might have been wrongfully influenced by "people who are crying for blood."

"Is she practicing to be a movie star? I am never influenced by emotional outbursts of people who don’t know the law anyway," he said.

Gonzalez said the woman should review the statements made by her daughter before making unsolicited comments about his alleged mishandling of the case.



Church group issues guidelines to fight gov’t repression

A group composed of priests and nuns from all over the country has officially come out with guidelines to fight which it described as repressive measures being implemented by the Arroyo government.

The Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), said in a statement yesterday that the government’s ongoing suppression of the people’s freedoms needs to be fought, and can only be done by “overcoming (the) fear” spawned by Proclamation 1017 and other similar orders.

“We cannot watch with indifference the unfolding of events reminiscent of the martial law days. The chilling atmosphere has crept within the cloistered walls. Our grounds for reflection which go beyond legality cannot but focus on upholding the dignity and rights of our people and the integrity of our national patrimony,” the group said.

“We find ourselves sharing the confusion of our people faced with continuing threats to freedom, situations of fear and violence and the contradictory pronouncement of the government that all is well,” it added.

This is different from the palusot given by the CBCP to remain silent on the issue of abuse and other civil rights violations perpetrated by the ARroyo admin.


Oh no! Another Kill Gloria plot announced by the military. LOL.

I'm sure this will be picked up again by the International media and bloggers outside the philippines.

Malaya editorial on the "Kill-GMA" plot:

That’s what worries us about this alleged assassination plot against Arroyo. It’s only Malacañang which has been talking about it. It first surfaced in the days leading to the PMA alumni homecoming last month. The attempt, the Palace now claims, has been reset to today’s PMA graduation.

Given the Palace’s credibility, or rather the lack of it, the alleged assassination plot is seen as another ploy to justify the crackdown against those calling for Arroyo’s ouster.

I may not like arroyo, but i don't want to see anybody killed or assasinated.

the editorial ends with this statement, which i completely agree:

So we fervently pray nothing happens this weekend. Real or fake, any assassination attempt would only lead to more vicious assaults against perceived enemies of Gloria. And who knows where the cycle of violence would stop.

-- Lito Banayo explains his "Wear Blue" article:

Areader, Rudy Portugal, reacted to our article entitled "Wear Blue", a satire on the fascistic arrest of Dinky Soliman and her company of blackshirts. He suggests that we also remove the colors red and yellow from the flag, and just retain the blue and white.

That’s both the Doña’s favorite color and those of the school which has Senor Don Jose Miguel Arroyo y Tuason as favorite alumnus.

-- Photos from yesterday's Black Friday Protest. Mas dumami ang sumali this time around.

Read this too from Malaya.


-- Arroyo continues to use fuzzy math to window dress their statistics

What the IMF particularly noted was that the GDP figure, which is, in reality, made up of estimates rather than the actual counting of economic outputs, is padded, using production estimates against those that are based on total national expenditures which better depict economic output.

The IMF said the discrepancy between the two estimates is large. The international creditor in its paper stated that the statistical flaws can be attributed to outdated data and methods in making economic estimates.

Yet, there are instances when statistics agencies come up with the so-called updated methods or formula in computing data, such as one on jobs in which the criteria for the unemployed were increased from two to three, resulting in a lower unemployment figure.

The February jobless rate was 8.1 percent using the revised formula against 10.7 percent with the broader definition of the unemployed.

That only goes to show that the statistical agencies may be migrating from one formula to another as they see fit to make up the Arroyo administration’s image.

Gloria’s bean counters have been caught once engaging in fuzzy math.

In 2002, the Asian Wall Street Journal came up with a report suggesting that the Arroyo administration fudges its current account data by understating imports.

During that time, the various credit rating agencies were looking over Gloria’s shoulders because of the worsening fiscal data. The budget deficit at the end of that year hit a historical high of more than P210 billion.

A better trade picture would have shown that the dismal fiscal performance of Gloria is not affecting the economy. Rating agencies, nevertheless, not too long ago decided to downgrade the country’s ratings.

The National Statistics Office (NSO) later admitted having erred in the computations of both exports and imports due to what it claimed as missed data inputs from the country’s free trade zones.

The NSO also admitted having counted exports from the zones twice, resulting in a better than actual trade and current account figures.

The formula for computing the incidence of poverty was also changed last year resulting in a poverty decline from 27.5 percent in 2000 to 24.7 percent in 2003. Who would believe that bull?


PCIJ: Reining in the press through advertising?

And this:

It was after this incident that Malacañang came up with the EO to make media critical of Gloria toe the Palace line.

Evidently, the Palace ploy is to ensure that the government ads go the “Gloria-friendly media” as well as those who are now willing to follow what Malacañang says is fit to print and air.

Is this unconstitutional? It will be if it can be proved — as it will eventually be proved — that government ads, taken from public money, will only benefit the Gloria-friendly media and choke the critical media.

Tax money does not come from Gloria’s supporters. It is extracted from every citizen in this country, through direct or indirect taxation. Even the poorest of the poor have to pay tax, such as the expanded value-added tax, whether in oil or food products.

Gloria has already diverted, in the billions, tax money to fund her election campaign, which is a gross violation of the Constitution and is an impeachable offense.

She still wants to commit yet another violation of the Constitution with this all-out control of government ad placements.

So why should tax money intended to be spent on government advertising be given only to the friendly media? That will have to be questioned before the court and the Tribune will make sure it will question this ad choke against the paper, in time.

I guess Malacanang is trying to replicate what Erap did to PDI, only on a more massive scale.

Friday, March 24, 2006

So now it's okay to legalize jueteng?

From Neal Cruz:

ISN’T it ironic that while former president Joseph Estrada is being tried for allegedly receiving kickbacks from illegal numbers game "jueteng," the person who grabbed the presidency from him is restoring jueteng under another name? The Small Town Lottery (STL) being pushed by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Malacañang is the same dog with a different collar.

Not only that Neal, pero hindi ba nagalit rin ang simbahan at civil society kay erap for trying to legalize jueteng and calling it Bingo 2-ball?

Here's some info on Bingo 2-ball:

On the surface, Singson's charges against the President and Ang appear to stem from differences over the numbers games in the country. Ang claimed Singson was resisting the government's efforts to legalize jueteng through the introduction of the "Bingo two-ball" game last August. Ang further claimed Singson wanted to continue the illegal numbers game because he got more money from jueteng.

.....Singson admitted that he opposed "Bingo two-ball" because Ang gave the franchise to operate the numbers game to his political enemies--his younger brother and his cousin. He claimed his authority as governor was undermined when Ang gave the "Bingo two-ball" franchise to his political rivals.

And this too from PCIJ:

Ang's proposal to legalize masiao in the Visayas coincided with the President's approval of Ang's Bingo-2 Ball, which Pagcor and Ang say was aimed at eradicating jueteng, the illegal numbers game that is rampant mainly on Luzon.

Bingo-2 Ball is very similar to jueteng except that the former will be under the strict supervision of Pagcor, according to Ang's plan. Ang's Power Management and Consultancy Inc. will get 23 percent from the daily earnings from Bingo-2 Ball, based on an agreement with Pagcor.

Full backing
Bingo2 was allowed to operate for close to a month—without any written contract with Pagcor - until Singson's jueteng exposé. Pagcor says Bingo 2 generated P43 million from its September 18 to 30 trial run.

So where's the outrage now on the STL?


Devious Cha cha moves by Arroyo people assailed.

PARTY-LIST congressmen of the Laban ng Masa sa Kongreso yesterday assailed Malacañang for spearheading a "silent, sinister, illegal and unconstitutional" people’s initiative mode in amending the Constitution.

In a statement, Akbayan Representatives Loretta Ann Rosales, Mario Aguja and Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel along with Anak Mindanao Rep. Mujiv Hataman and Partido ng Manggagawa Rep. Rene Magtubo said the campaign is "being done surreptitiously, in careful details and with blatant use of government resources and machinery."

"It proves once again that faced with a daunting opposition to Cha-cha in the Senate, the government is willing to mangle the law and contort the Constitution in order to push their agenda," it said.

Ellen Tordesillas has more.


Conrad de Quiros on Courage:

Last Thursday, a reporter asked me if I wasn't afraid about doing something like mounting the concert that we had at Sunken Garden in the University of the Philippines in Quezon City. I said, of course, I am, I have mouths to feed, too. But that is what courage is, overcoming fear to do what you have to do. The way I saw it, I said, it was just a choice between two things. I could be arrested and brought to prison where at least I could be free in mind even if I were not free in body. Where at least I could have the satisfaction of knowing my integrity and dignity and freedom are intact even as my body is shackled and subjected to various indignities. Or I could live in the bigger prison outside whose watchtowers grow taller and whose searchlights become more blinding each day that I am silent, where I can be free only in body but not in mind. Where I can be miserable in the knowledge that I am bequeathing a world to my kids where there is no air and sunlight and nourishment, spiritually if not physically.

The choice is a no-brainer.

House allies, DFA will not file case vs. Garcillano

Former poll commissioner Virgilio “Garci” Garcillano won’t be brought to court or even penalized by the majority in the House of Representatives, despite proof presented by the central bank that he not only committed perjury before the House, but had also manufactured a fake passport, as he had allegedly manufactured fake cretificates of canvass for President Arroyo, to ensure her victory in the 2004 polls.

The President’s House allies aren’t lifting a finger to get the courtroom rolling against Garcillano while the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), which earlier helped in stonewalling the wiretapped Hello Garci probe, now claims it is ready to file charges against Garcillano for presenting a fake passport but subject to conditions, such as claiming that it would wait for the House to file a case, which the House is not inclined to do.

I noticed na Teddyboy Locsin is back to being an Arroyo ally. Sad.

read this too:

Sen. Sergio Osmeña III yesterday also bared the existence of a manifest where Garcillano’s name appears on a flight from Johannesberg, South Africa. It also showed that the poll commissioner took the flight en route to a Middle East country destination and to Singapore on his way home.

“As expected, Garci was caught lying and such was a blatant display because he did it before the lower house (during a hearing). Obviously, his entire testimony now is put into question.

“If you lie in one thing, under the law, if you lie in one, you lie in all. So when he said he did not leave the Philippines, did not travel, did not talk to Gloria (Arroyo), did not engage in vote-padding and shaving...that’s all in doubt now,” Osmeña said....

Lacson said he is holding off any plans to file charges as well against Criminal Investigation and Detection Group- National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR) chief Senior Supt. Asher Dolina whom he identified as the alleged culprit in the manufacture of the tampered passport, due to lack of credible evidence and witnesses at this time.

“If evidence so warrants, later on (we will file charges) not now because we have no sufficient evidence (to pin Dolina down) unless we secure the deposition of the person who witnessed his delivery of passport (to the doosteps of Garcillano),” Lacson said.

Lacson also bared he has information that a Bureau of Immigration (BI) officer is involved in the tampering of passport as well.

At the same time, Lacson warned the Palace against toying with the idea again ensuring that Garcillano becomes scarce from public’s eye.

Osmeña, in emphasizing the need to take immediate action, noted the negative image this creates before the international community. “That’s (tampering of passport) one of the most-watched regulation today in the world because of the 9-11 (incident). All the Americans are going to be upse that we have fake passports running around this country.”

buking ka, garci. and word to sen. osmena.

btw, here's some old info on Asher Dolina back in dec. 16 2005:

The conspiracy to cover up the alleged cheating in the 2004 presidential elections has gone a notch higher, threat-ening to protect President Arroyo at the expense of Philippine-Singapore relations.

Opposition Sen. Panfilo Lacson yesterday made this claim after receiving information that Senior Supt. Asher Dolina, who was implicated in the reported illegal raid of handwriting expert Segundo Tabayoyong last August, was behind the purported manufacture of "clean" passports of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Virgilio "Garci" Garcillano to back up claims that he never left the country during the five-month period he had been reported missing.

By doing so, Lacson said Dolina may have unwittingly exposed a high-level conspiracy to cover up the cheating in last year's presidential elections at the expense of the country's diplomatic relations with the government of Singapore that had issued a note verbale attesting to the entry of Garcillano to the city-state last July 14 before proceeding to London.

Reliable informants of Lacson claimed Dolina was behind the alleged fabricated passports of Garcillano showing he did not have any foreign travels since 1996.

"Our sources identified the culprit as Dolina. The passport was made to conform with Garcillano's statement that he never left. We're still investigating how he did it," Lacson said.

Dolina, head of the Metro Manila division of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), happened to be the same person involved, along with several others, in the controversial San Mateo raid last Aug. 17.

The incident involved the questioned entry into the residence in San Mateo, Rizal, where Tabayoyong, a former ranking National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) official and considered as a handwriting expert, was staying.

The police seized from Tabayoyong's rented apartment alleged tampered election returns (ERs) and certificates of canvass (CoC).


Bystander comments about his experience with Sassy Lawyer.


-- Fil-Ams, alarmed about threats to RP democracy, urge Bush to act


Randy David on military's role under arroyo admin:

In the same forum, titled "The role of the military in a troubled democracy," UP professor Randy David said President Arroyo has succeeded in turning the military’s institution weakness into her strength.

He said Arroyo’s call for Armed Forces to remain apolitical means they should not interfere or grab power.

But, he said, she uses the military for her own selfish interest.

President Arroyo is accused of rigging the May 2004 elections to ensure her victory. The names of four generals were mentioned by former election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano in the "Hello Garci" wiretapped conversations between him and Arroyo during the 2004 election period.


JB Baylon says the noose is tightening on all the corrupt politicians


Ninez, on Chavit's inconsistencies:

Ridiculous it was, coming from Chavit Singson, to tell the media after Erap’s testimony before the court, that the detained leader’s testimony was full of inconsistencies and lies, when it can be proved, as it already has been proved, that it was Chavit who was caught lying under oath.

It can hardly be denied, as this is part of the court records, that Singson’s claim of having given Erap in his Polk Street home, P130 million in four boxes whose measurements were provided by Chavit and his accomplices who are also into the perjury game, was an impossibility, given the fact that this was tested in the central bank, with the BSP coming up with the money, in P1,000 bills placed in the measured box and concluded that less than P80 million could have fitted into four boxes. And that’s on the supposition that all the bills were of P1,000 denomination, which the BSP pointed out, was not probable at the time, as this should have been a mix of P500 and P1,000 bills, given the big amount of P130 million.

Add to the fact that Chavit’s tale of Atong Ang having driven the car they were riding right into the Polk driveway while Chavit watched from a street corner was all shot and full of lies. It has also been proved, during a physical reenactment with the justices present, that it was an impossibility as from that given distance, it was too far for anyone to view the car being driven into the driveway. Besides, being the President and in his home, as pointed out by Erap, the PSG would not allow any visitor’s car to get into that small driveway and block the presidential car.

In brief, there was never any delivery of the P130 million as claimed by Chavit and the Commission on Audit report will show it was Chavit who funneled that money and took it, which was why he flew to San Francisco to ask Erap to transfer CoA auditor Agustin Chan to another area, as Chan was getting to the truth of the tobacco tax money diversion. He paid for this with his life as Chan was peppered with bullets on his way to Ilocos Sur from Baguio, while following up the plunder in billions, as alleged, of Singson and his officials. The pattern of diverting the tax fund was established long before Erap became President. Chavit has been doing this for so long.

This is the reason Chavit turned against Erap, as the detained leader refused to do what Chavit asked.

It is Chavit’s testimony that is full of inconsistencies. Still, he knows he will get away with this, since he is being protected by Gloria Arroyo.


Ernie Maceda always has lots of stuff:

Plunderwatch chairman, Dr. Carol Araullo, boycotted the Erap testimony at the Sandiganbayan because the trial is now “hostaged” by political realities...Special prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio said Erap said nothing new. But this is the first time he has testified. Legally, everything he said is new...Erap’s teenaged son, Jake (with Laarni Enriquez) attended the trial, dressed in a barong “to give support to my father.” Son Jude was there, too...The Special Division trying Erap has undergone several changes with Justice Badoy, Ilarde, Chico Nazario and Sandoval having been replaced...Lawyer Rufus Rodriguez was at the Sandiganbayan hearing...The Sandiganbayan trial was momentarily stopped when they had to change microphones. Justice de Castro also admitted they had no Tagalog stenographer. The clerk translating Erap’s testimony from Tagalog into English was corrected many times. Pitiful!...Sen. Loi Estrada was in stylish St. John green suit. Erap called Jackie “my favorite daughter.” Jackie, dressed in white, blushed. The Sandiganbayan security people were efficient but respectful...At one point Justices Villaruz and Peralta reprimanded Villa-Ignacio for raising objections on minor matters which will not hurt his case...Sen. Ping Lacson said on TV that his predecessor at PNP, Director General Roberto Lastimoso, received P5 million a month in jueteng payola from Chavit Singson. So why didn’t he charge them?...CHR Commissioner Wilhelm Soriano has turned out to be an excellent constitutional officer. It takes a lot of courage to recommend murder charges against the powerful Angelo Reyes and Gen. Arturo Lomibao...The two-month expanded value-added tax target of P4.47 billion has not been met. Only P2.95 billion was collected...Liberal Party Atienza faction claims that 59 out of 102 National Executive Council members attended their meeting Wednesday. Drilon’s faction says only 22 did. They can’t even count right...Then incumbent Solicitor General Alfredo Benipayo did not sign the 47-page memorandum submitted to the Supreme Court. It was signed by Associate Solicitor General Margarita Eugenia Victorino...It is right that charges of child abuse were filed against Taguig teacher Brenda Elbambuena who forced two pupils to swallow pencil shavings...A Premier Bank branch in Quirino Highway, Novaliches, was held up by four men and one woman...A Taiwanese syndicate has introduced well-crafted fake $100 bills into the country, mostly in Mindanao...