Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Delikado rin maging anti-GMA o opposition sa panahon ni Arroyo

Baka ma-torture kayo. From Ellen Tordesillas:

As a member of the United Nations, the Philippines adheres, or it is supposed to adhere, to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment.”

The Philippines is also a signatory to the United Nations Conventions against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment which defines torture as “an act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or confession…”

Our Constitution’s Bill of Rights states, any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent counsel preferably of his own choice. “No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited.”

The Constitution further guarantees the inviolable right of each and every Filipino citizen against warrantless arrests, unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose.

Yet, on Monday last week, elements of the Military Intelligence Group-15 (MIG-15) of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines abducted Virgilio Eustaquio, chair of the pro-Estrada Union of the Masses for Democracy and Justice , Ruben Dionisio, Dennis Ibona, Jose Justo Curameng and Jim Cabauatan while they were gathered at the house of Eustaquio in Quezon City.

While AFP Information chief Col. Tristan Kison was denying any knowledge of the abduction and custody of the five, they were being subjected to torture.

Sixty-year old Dionisio said men took turns beating him while he was blindfolded and tied to a ceiling. They covered his head with a plastic bag and administered electric shocks to his genitals.

His claim is supported by bruises on his stomach, some looking like needle pricks and a red patch near his right kidney.

Dionisio said his torturers wanted him to admit that he was also Mike Gumera or Ruben Siamson, an officer of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army who they said was planning to assassinate cabinet members.

The beating stopped when he agreed he would admit to being a CPP official. He was given food. But the beating resumed when he failed to give names of people who composed the Metro-Rizal CPP chapter.

Eustaquio corroborated Dionisio’s ordeal. From where he was taken, also blindfolded, he said, he could hear the beating of Dionisio and the answers they were demanding from him. “It went on the whole night. They didn’t allow us to sleep. If they saw us becoming sleepy, they hit us,” he said.

Eustaquio said they were constantly being moved, a common technique by torturers to disorient the victims. They were first brought to a cold place, then to a hot place, then outside, in what they imagined as an open field because they could feel the grass and the wind. “We could smell gasoline. The hands that touched us were very cold. We could not understand what was happening. It was mental torture.”

Cabauatan, a Quezon City policeman who just dropped by at Eustaquio’s place that Monday afternoon, said he was “treated like a dog” all throughout his detention. In what he felt was farmland, he could hear chopping, hammering and someone sharpening a blade. “I could stand the physical torture but the mental torture was what hurt most.”

Cabautan has a brother who is a sergeant in the military. It pained him so much to be accused of being a communist. “I fight criminals and he (his brother) fights subversives and rebels,” he said.

More from Ellen Tordesillas:

Ito ang salaysay ng dalawa sa limang mga supporters ni dating Pangulong Estrada na dinampot ng mga intelligence agents noong Lunes.

Ang lima ay sina Virgilio Eustaquio, Jim Cabauatan, Ruben Dionisio, Dennis Evona at Jose Curameng. Maliban kay Curameng, lahat ay mieyembro ng Union of the Masses for Democracy and Justice (UMDJ), isang grupong nasu-suporta kay Estrada.

Si Curameng ay isang Quezon City police na napadaan lang sa bahay ni Eustaquio sa Kamuning, Quezon City kung saan nagmi-miting ang apat ng sila ay dinampot. Nasa ospital pa si Dionisio dahil siya raw talaga ang pinahirapan ng mga ISAFP agents. Pinilit kasi siyang pinapa-amin na komunista raw siya at may balak raw i-assasinate ang ilang cabinet members ni Arroyo.

Sabi ni Eustaquio, chairman ng UMDJ, dinala sila sa magkakahiwalay na lugar . Nakatakip ang kanilang mata: “Ang aking kinalagyan ang pinakamalapit kay Ruben (Dionisio). Naririnig ko ang mga suntok at ang mga palo sa kanya. Naririnig ko rin ang mga tanong sa kanya at kanyang mga paghagulhol.”

Siguradong sinadya ng mga hayop na ISAFP na iparinig ang kanilang pagpapahirap sa kanilang mga kasama. Sabi pa ni Eustaguio:“Ang hirap. Sa bawat naririnig kong palo kay Ruben, parang ako na rin ang sinasaktan. At mas mahirap dahil wala akong magagawa. Buong gabi yun. Hindi nila kami pinatulog. Kapag nakita nila inaantok ka, papaluin. Kung naririnig nyo lang ang iyak ng aking kasama.”

Pagpatuloy ng salaysay ni Eustaquio: “Hilo-hilo at litong-lito kami. Hindi naming alam kung gabi o umaga. Hindi naming alam kung ano ang nangyayari sa aming mga kasama. Hindi naming alam kung sino ang dumukot sa amin. Hindi naming kilala ang mga nanakit sa amin. Basta pina-paamin kami na kasama ra kami sa hit squad ng mga komunista.

“Tatlong beses ako linipat. Una dinala kami sa isang malamig na lugar. Tapos sa isang mainit na lugar. Sunod sa isang mahangin na lugar, may mga damo. Mental torture. Naa-amoy ko ang gasolina. Malamig na kamay ang humahawak sa amin.”

Ang salaysay naman ni Cabautan: “Nakatakip ang aking mata. Nakatali ang aking mga kamay. Iba-ibang klaseng sound ang aking naririnig.Dinala ako sa isang lugar na parang taniman. Naririg ko na parang may pinpalakol. At parang naghihinang ng itak o patalim. At may minamartilyo. Mahirap ang physical torture pero ang mental torture mas mahirap.”

REad this too from the Daily Tribune:

They were physically and mentally tortured, the five, who now have access to their counsels, told family, friends and reporters.

Subjected to physical torture was Ruben Dionisio, a barangay officer whom the military and police, as well as the state prosecutors said is a communist hit man, assigned to kill President Arroyo and key Cabinet officials, on the basis of the claim made by an alleged communist leader in Bulacan.

He is now confined at the police hospital in Crame.

The four, Virgilio Eustaquio, Jim Lucio Cabauatan, Dennis Ibuna, and Police Officer 3 Jose Justo Curameng, were also reported to have been mentally tortured, with some of the accused saying they were blindfolded for days, kept in confinement for days, were made to hear the screams of Dionisio being tortured; brought to a vehicle that reeked with gas, with their captors threatening to light the vehicle and burn them to a crisp.

Another time, they said, they were made to hear people around them digging the ground up while saying they would be buried alive, if they refused to confess to the crime of their plot to assassinate the top government officials.

Dionisio ealier accused authorities of physical torture, showing the reporters the bruises from the mauling he received from his abductors, but added that he was also tied to hang, where they hit him some more. Explaining the pinprick marks on his body, Dionisio told reporters that his abductors let out a school of ants to travel all over his body, where he was bitten.

Dionisio also accused his captors of torturing him by electrocuting his genitalia.

I'm not surprised na tahimik lang yung mga pro-Arroyo bloggers tungkol sa isyung ito (like SassyLawyer). These hypocrites make like to lecture us about the human rights abuses and tortures that happened during marcos' time or that Lacson is a torturer blah blah blah-- pero tahimik lang sila kapag yung idolo nila ang nagto-torture ng mga "destabilizers" o kritiko ng arroyo admin.

It's obvious na okay against lang sila sa mga abuso at torture KUNG ginagawa ito sa kanila at mga kakampi nila.

Pero kung ginagawa ito sa kabilang panig o sa anti-GMA opposition, TAHIMIK lang sila.

At least si Conrad de Quiros na condemn itong katarantaduhan ng Arroyo admin, kahit na alam nating hindi siya pro-Erap.

But I'm pretty sure Richard Fernandez-- the great Fil-Aussie blogger who calls himself Wretchard... the guy who used to work for Fidel Ramos and who is pro-Arroyo himself--doesn't mind all this torture stuff. Because aminin na natin mga Belmont Club readers, isn't our main man a strong advocate of torture himself? Read his old posts on defending the use of torture.

And I just feel that the US administration will continue to prop this corrupt and illegitimate regime while looking the other way. For "stability's sake", sabi nila. I've given up on them (the U.S. gov't) already. They say they're our friends. I don't know what that means anymore. As far as I'm concerned, we're on our own now against Arroyo and I don't expect them to be on our side.

UPDATE: from Ducky Paredes:

Did his military captors torture Ruben Dionisio? He says that he was and had bruises to show the media in support of the claim. Dionisio also said that electric shock was administered to his penis.

Now, according to Virgilio Eustaquio, leader of the Union of Masses for Democracy and Justice (UMDJ), Ruben Dionisio’s condition has worsened: "Kailangang kailangan na siyang i-confine ngayon. Hindi na ho makahinga sa bali ng buto" (He needs medical attention in a hospital. He can’t breathe from his broken bones.)

Read the whole thing.

More here from the Malaya Editorial. Eto pa.

From LIto Banayo:

This bloody chapter in Central American history went through my mind upon learning of the fate of the Erap 5. Members of a pro-Erap group called Union of the Masses for Democracy and Justice, the five were summarily picked-up in the house of Ver Eustaquio, their president, who is a common sight in street protests. Fifteen heavily armed men swooped on his residence in clear daylight, and abducted the five, without any warrant of arrest, in the presence of his shocked and traumatized family. One of those arrested was even a lowly policeman.

Only when they were in custody, one of them separated from the group, for the "special" treatment of torture, did they learn they were in the hands of the MIG-15 of the Intelligence Services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Most likely, the military agents looked for the most "yagit-looking" among the five, and proceeded to rough him up. They tried to force him to confess complicity to a plot by the "usual suspects" – the communists, to assassinate high officials of the usurper-regime. (Assassination is too lofty a word to describe extermination of like characters).

The spokesman of the armed forces denied they did anything. The executive secretary, with pained look even, wondered aloud why they were always the "usual suspects" in abductions of this nature and daring. But only when media and senators raised a howl over the frighteningly fascistic episode did the MIG-15 surreptitiously transfer custody of the five to the CIDG of the Philippine National Police, and presented them to the media later.

They were accused of the "usual" crime – rebellion, and worse, conspiracy to assassinate worthless officials of the usurper-regime. They were hailed for inquest before a state prosecutor who must have finished his law in a school of nursing, who dutifully prattled before media the alleged "evidence" of their alleged crime. The tortured one stood up and bravely showed media the welts and bruises he suffered at the hands of his captors, unmistakable signs of torture. At least the nation and the world saw in that instant how depraved les tontons de Gloria could be.

Nobody has bothered to explain why the ISAFP, whose mandate is to gather and analyze intelligence data that would be of value in the operational tactics of the fighting men of the Armed Forces, had become the constables of the nation. That is the work of the civilian police. But then, the same ISAFP attempted to abduct Sigmundo Tabayoyong, a former NBI official who was quietly analyzing and collating faked election returns to prove the massive cheating of Dona Gloria in the 2004 elections.

Recall that the Senate tried to get to the bottom of the attempted abduction of Tabayoyong, but got nowhere because the Doña forbade her officials to testify, first on grounds of national security, later, through the mantle of the infamous EO 464. And because they got away with it, courtesy of a usurper-commander-in-chief who would condone all evil for as long as it is done in her furtherance, they did it again, this time against the five, if only to supply proof to the wild allegations of some dolt in Malacañang, that there was a leftist-rightist conspiracy to exterminate him and four or five others.

The incident came on the heels of the almost daily killings of mediamen and suspected "communists", in this land of everyday violence. The wave of impunity had shocked Amnesty International, civil society, the diplomatic community, the institutional Church, everyone except the military, the police, and the bunyetas and little boys who surround their insensitive Doña, who mocks us all by promising in the same instance, an "enchanted kingdom of the First World".

More: Rights abuses seen as worst since Marcos

DATA from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) show the Arroyo administration has likely surpassed the combined record of human rights violations under its three post-Marcos predecessors.

In yesterday’s plenary debate on the proposed P202 million budget of CHR, Sen. Manuel Villar said he was furnished documents showing that human rights abuses from 2001 to 2006 were "really very high."

He did not provide figures, but Sen. Jinggoy Estrada said that based on a CHR report, there have been 1,800 human rights violations under the Arroyo government.

Estrada said the figure has surpassed the combined number of violations committed during the Aquino, Ramos and Estrada administrations.

Villar said the CHR is still compiling reports of human rights abuses in past administrations.

Villar said a comparison would likely show abuses are higher during the current administration.

Read the whole thing.

And the latest on the "Erap 5" from Ellen:

The operation by intelligence agents of the Armed Forces of the Philippines against the five supporters of former President Estrada was so crass that, in some portions, it looked like bad comedy.

Quezon City policeman Jose Curameng related that at the military headquarters they were brought to (after they were abducted at the house of Ver Eustaquio, chairman of the Union of the Masses for Democracy and Justice), his interrogators were forcing him to admit that he was a communist.

Curameng said, “I told them it was impossible because I’m a policeman.” His interrogator snarled at him, “Di, komunistang pulis. Kaliwang pulis. (A communist police. A leftist police.)”

Curameng, in his blue police uniform, looked aghast . Trained to fight lawless elements, which in police definition, include communists, “Komunistang pulis” was an oxymoron.

The same “communist” angle was also pursued by the interrogators on the four UMDJ members. Dennis Ibuna said they addressed him as “Kumander” and insisted that he was a member of the liquidation squad. They also asked him about the other names in the “hit list”.

Ruben Dionisio, who is still in the hospital with broken ribs and inflamed liver, had earlier told Eustaquio that he told his torturers he would admit to being a communist officer just to end the beating. But then, when asked about other members of the Metro-Rizal CPP chapter and could not produce, they resumed the beating.

The torture lasted three days until they were brought to the Department of Justice May 24, where they told they were being charged with rebellion for plotting to kill some members of the Arroyo Cabinet. Among the pieces of evidence presented was the service pistol of Curameng, which was confiscated by ISAFP agents when they were abducted.

Curameng said he has the memorandum receipt covering his service pistol.

Chairman Purificacion Quisumbing of the Commission on Human Rights, said the ISAFP agents are liable for a number of offenses from arising this operation. She mentioned trespassing, abduction, illegal arrest, detention, serious physical.

She said the fact that it was done in broad daylight showed the temerity of the operatives. She expressed concern that, if it could be done in Metro Manila to persons who have influential friends, what about those in the provinces who have no access to media and do not know personalities who will take up the cudgels for them?

The absence of military officials , who invoked the unconstitutional EO 464, in yesterday’s hearing only strengthened the public’s belief that the abduction was a government operation with the approval of the commander-in-chief.

The “communist” angle that ISAFP agents are pursuing connects with the series of killing of persons identified with progressive organizations or the Left, the latest of whom is Sotero Llamas, former leader of the New People’s Army in Bicol and consultant to the National Democratic Front in the peace negotiations with the government, who was gunned down the other day.

A reason is surfacing through all this madness. It all goes back to the illegitimacy of Gloria Arroyo’s presidency. She thinks she can erase that by suppressing dissent through EO 464, Calibrated Pre-emptive Response, Proclamation 1017 and Charter Change.

The Supreme Court has declared the first three illegal and unconstitutional. She will have to violate more laws to push through her Cha-Cha. Arroyo has reached a point where the only way for her to continue to hold on to power is to trash the law and be authoritarian to generate funds to pay those who prop her up or satisfy their demands in terms of positions and contracts.

The strategy is to create a situation of anarchy to justify the dictatorship that she is heading for.


- How Reynaldo Wycoco will be remembered
- Commissioner Garci's attempt to have COMELEC official Rashma Hali abducted
- How Gov't officials "rescued" Pidal witness Mahusay and GLORIAGATE whistleblower Vidal Doble

UPDATE: From Manong Ernie:

Col. Tristan Kison is either a fall guy following orders or is plain incompetent. He tries to explain his denial of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)’s involvement in the abduction of the “Erap 5” by saying Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Cmdr. Leonardo Calderon did not receive a report on the “arrest” until after 24 hours.

Colonel Kison is in effect saying two things: 1) that Calderon does not know what’s going on in Isafp and 2) Kison did not inquire with the Officer of Day or other Isafp senior officers about the matter.

Even after Sen. Jinggoy Estrada accused the Isafp of involvement, the official AFP answer was, “if the good senator has evidence, file a case in court.”

AFP Chief of Staff Generoso Senga’s defense of Colonel Kison is also unacceptable. Senga said “Kison has no knowledge of the operational activities of Isafp. That he doesn’t have the information. He can’t give information he has no knowledge of!” Precisely, he didn’t have the information because he did not ask for it.

If that was the case, then Kison (and Gen. Angel Honrado) should not have made an outright denial. He should have said “I will check with our units if they have five people in their custody.” By making a categorical denial that the AFP had the five in its custody, it is assumed Kison had done the necessary checking. If he checked properly and Calderon or some Isafp officers denied having them, then Kison must reveal the source or basis of his denial. Even Commodore Calderon should have said “I will check first.”

Senate President Franklin Drilon asked a very relevant question — why is the military exercising police function — the arrest should have been made by the Philippine National Police, not Isafp. Even FVR pointed this out too.

And Malacañang’s reaction was pathetic. “The arrest stopped an assassination plot. On the charges of irregular and unlawful arrest and torture — let the Armed Forces answer for themselves.”

Malacañang has no time for this sort of problem, they seem to say.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Delikado maging mediaman (o kritiko) sa pahanon ni Arroyo

I can understand kung bakit galit si Conrad de Quiros. Pero hindi ako surprised sa ganyang attitude ng Arroyo administration at mga kaalyado nito.

For example, these are the comments made by Mike Arroyo and former NBI chief Reynaldo Wycoco about the media killings last year:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The serious answer to these questions is of course to be found in the Constitution: "No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances."

Of course, as we all know, the second part of this provision is no longer honored by the present government. The present rule is "No permit, no rally!"

Thus, even if no law has been passed abridging any of these freedoms, the fact is that we can no longer exercise many of these freedoms. As for journalists, the hard fact is that the Constitution does not guarantee the journalist’s freedom to live.

And when Arroyo stooges Sergio Apostol and Romela Bengzon were explaining how their CON COM was going to mangle our constitution and bill of rights to make the media "more responsible", they made these points:

In last night’s “Strictly Politics” ANC, hosted by Pia Hontiveros (disclosure:I’m editorial consultant for the show) the topic was this particular Concom provision. Guests were former Rep. Serge Apostol and Atty. Romela Bengzon, both members of the committee on Bill of Rights, Atty. Adel Tamano, professor of law at the Far Eastern University, and Vergel Santos, columnist of Businessworld and director of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility.

Bengzon said the word “responsible” was put there to “enhance and focus”. She talked about investments not coming in, because investors always read bad news. We should give more tiem and space for “good news”, etc. etc., the usual Malacañang line although she denied that the Concom was inspired by GMA’s tirade on media and the opposition.

Apostol asked what’s the problem of of the word “responsibility” when media people themselves invoke that word all the time.

Apostol said soemthing shocking: proof that media can sometime be irresponsible is the high number of journalists being killed.


I remember an Arroyo apologist blogger saying na it's okay to lose "our" (meaning: the opposition's) rights and freedom so that "we can move the country forward." I've called out that prick many times already, because it is this kind of excuse-giving on their part that allows this administration to show it's Marcosian tendencies.

So how do you deal with the "innacurate" and "irresponsible" media?

Well, my advice to these pro-Arroyo idiots is to stop whining about it in general terms and be more specific. Show us where they got it wrong on the GLORIAGATE election fraud scandal, the kidnapping/abduction of witnesses and other people connected to the anti-Arroyo movement, etc etc...

(Here's an example of how it should be done.)

Oh, maybe you think the media is not "fair and balanced" dahil puro "bad news" lang ang naririnig natin at wala ang "good news." I think the so-called "good news" on the economy is being reported, pero hindi lang talaga maiwasan na mai-report ang mga katarantaduhan, abductions, murders, tortures at criminal activities ng admin na ito.

How and when should D'Antoni use Kurt Thomas against the Mavs

To help us decide, I've listed down the pros and cons of playing KT in this series.

KT should play because:

1) For rebounding purposes.
2) To match up with Diop (or Dampier.)
3) To give Marion, TT or Diaw a rest.
4) Because he's our enforcer (and dampier, theirs).

Why D'Antoni will not play KT:

1) He's not an effective perimiter defender. And Diop and Dampier are not worth guarding, according to D'Antoni.

"I like our team right now. I like the way we're going," he said. "I don't know what kind of shape he's in. Plus, he's not really a Dirk (Nowitzki) guarder. So he'd be guarding a guy that we really don't need to be guarding, Erick Dampier or DeSagana Diop. The best thing Kurt does is shut somebody down. Who's he going to shut down?"

2) Coach would rather use quicker, smaller perimiter players for his run-and-gun offense, to render Diop and Dampier ineffective, like what the Suns did to Yao Ming in the regular season.

3) KT's not a shot-altering/shotblocking presence like Diop.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Alejandra Nash's Photo

John Banks of the DMN's Mavericks blog is looking for a photo of Steve Nash's lovely wife Alejandra Nash.

Wife wants to know what Alejandra Nash looks like. I promised her we would help if she let me keep the remote tonight. (I am not downtown with the AAC crew.) As some of you know, said wife flipped the channel to 8 for segment on arm lifts during Game 1 crucial last moments, causing me to hyperventilate.

Anyone out there help? She was at Game 1.

I found a picture of Alejandra. I'm not sure if it is her though, since I haven't seen her before. Can someone please confirm it?

More on Alejandra from the Dallas Morning News Mavs blog:

After the game, Christie spotted a very attractive woman in the same ladies room wearing a Suns jersey. Christie said something like, "Well, at least if you guys had to win, it was my former favorite player who killed us."

She was talking about Steve Nash, of course.

That's when this lady smiled sympathetically and introduced herself as Alejandra Nash. (The two-time MVP married his longtime girlfriend last June.)

UPDATE: Here's another Alejandra Nash photo from the Suns website.

Alejandra Nash and Steve

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I'll be blogging about the Suns for the duration of the WCF series

So the Suns lost game 2 of the WCF. Josh Howard (with his bad ankle) had a career playoff night. Dirk also played well, as usual.

So what adjustments should Mike D'Antoni make for game 3? Eto siya:

It's obvious that Dirk's post game has improved from last year's playoffs and Marion's defense is not as effective in containing him. And boris has a tough time keeping up with josh howard.

So Coach D should assign the Matrix on Josh Howard and put Diaw on Nowitzki. Shawn on Howard because we need someone to matchup with howard's athleticism and rebounding.

And Diaw on dirk because Boris is a better post defender than shawn, and he's still quicker than nowitzki, so I doubt Nowitzki will be able to put the ball on floor and drive by Diaw with regularity. Dirk's not going to outquick Boris.

Will boris do a good job on Dirk? I don't know. Let's hope so. But Marion is a good matchup against Howard, I believe.

If the matchup works, then at least we can contain one of their two top scorers from game 2. I don't mind letting dirk get his, as long as josh is contained.

Btw, here are some of the blogs and news sources I visit to get the latest on the Suns Mavericks series.

Arizona Republic and East Valley Tribune's coverage of the Suns

Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star Telegram's coverage of the Mavericks

Yahoo's coverage of the NBA playoffs (for scores and stats)

Dallas Morning News' Mavericks blog

SLAMonline's Links

True Hoop


Paul Coro's playoff dish

Mark Cuban's blog

Deadspin's NBA coverage

Jeramie McPeek's Suns blog

One last thing, here's #1 in action:

Amare #1

Sorry for the lack of blogging

I'll probably be back around June.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Is there any reason to trust Imee Marcos at this point?

GALIT si Imee Marcos kay Francis Escudero. From the PDI:

REPRESENTATIVE Imee Marcos lashed back at House Minority Floor Leader Francis Escudero Monday over his threat to boot out from the opposition bloc members who would not support a new impeach bid against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Who are you to bully fellow solons?” Marcos told Escudero.

She said Escudero had “no right to intimidate any member of the opposition -- nor does he have a monopoly of the minority bloc.”

Escudero announced last week that the opposition bloc was set to launch a fresh impeachment bid against the President.

He said “each member must support this stand” and “those who will not support it must no longer stay in the minority."

But Marcos retorted: “Is he the only one who can challenge the administration of President Arroyo?”

Escudero clarified that he was just expressing his personal opinion.

“[I] was merely expressing my opinion on the matter and [the remark] was not directed at anyone,” said Escudero in a text message to INQ7.

Hmmmm... bakit sobrang sensitive ni Imee Marcos? Natamaan ba siya?

And I know asking this question may sound stupid or redundant, and the answer too obvious, but I'll ask it anyways: Can the anti-ARroyo groups really trust Imee Marcos at this point?

Hindi ba nag "absent" si Imee sa impeachment vote after initially signing her name on the impeachment complaint vs. Arroyo? Ito ang sinulat ko dati:

What's her excuse for not attending? How can she look at her other pro-impeachment colleagues in the eye and justify her "disappearing act"... at a crucial time when they needed her presence the most?

Yeah, it was a backstabbing of the highest order.

Ellent Tordesillas also commented about it on her Sept. 9 Malaya column.

At the party tendered by Susan Roces for members of the House of Representatives who had signed the impeachment complain t(there were 47 of them at that time), Imee was there dressed in a bright pink T-shirt emblazoned with Susan’s picture. Susan paid tribute to them for "fighting for what is true and just."

Everybody that night talked about upholding the truth in the face of odds they were up against. Well, almost everybody because after the Jose de Venecia-led slaughter of the impeachment complaint against Gloria Arroyo last Tuesday, I checked my notes on a specific quote from Imee and there was nothing. She must not have said anything quotable because I was only taking down significant statements.

As of this writing, the usually-visible Imee Marcos has become invisible. The day after the impeachment burial, Marcos lawyer Oliver Lozano was at the Department of Justice reviving the request of his client for burial of Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng Bayani. Collection time?


Imee later blamed her actions as a "total failure of judgment" on her part. Sound familiar. She also apologized for her actions, although I have to admit I have a tough time trusting her ever since inidiyan niya ang mga kasama niya.

Eto pa:

Marcos said her departure for Singapore during the crucial session was a "coincidence" although she admitted that she also wanted to minimize the tension between herself and her mother, former First Lady Imelda Marcos.

Mrs. Marcos wants the remains of her husband Ferdinand Marcos buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and there were talks that a deal is being worked out with the Arroyo government.

"Mas matindi ang nanay ko sa 51 na bumoto. Mas mabuting umiwas na lang ako," Rep. Marcos said.

Rep. Marcos, however, sidestepped questions on whether she is ready to redeem herself by supporting the motion for reconsideration that the minority plans to raise at the resumption of sessions on Sept. 19.

She and Asistio said they both believe Arroyo should be ousted through a people power revolt.

Now you understand why Imee is behaving the way she's behaving, Mr. Escudero? ;)

And oh yeah, "coincidence" my ass, Imee.

Read this too: I did a double-take on this one...

Gen. Carlos Garcia acquitted of perjury in Sandiganbayan

Why am I not surprised? And the Sandiganbayan also lifted the hold-departure order issued against Garcia.

Manila's Taliban vows to padlock theaters showing ‘Da Vinci Code’

From the PDI:

THE Manila government on Monday threatened to padlock movie houses that continue to show the controversial "The Da Vinci Code" movie.

As of Monday afternoon, some theaters in the city were still featuring the film, three days the Manila city council banned its showing in the Philippine capital.

A council resolution which took effect Friday said the movie, based on US author Dan Brown's explosive novel, is "undoubtedly offensive and contrary to established religious beliefs which cannot take precedence over the right of the persons involved in the film to freedom of expression."

According to Geronimo Tolentino, chief of the city’s Business Permits and Development Office, theater owners were furnished a copy of the resolution a day after it was approved. However, some of them said they would only comply if the city government were to pass an ordinance and not just a resolution.

In response, Mayor Lito Atienza ordered Secretary to the Mayor Emmanuel Sison to write a letter ordering theater owners to stop exhibiting the film.

"The letter would come in a form of an order from the mayor. It will be based on the resolution and the mayor's personal directive," Tolentino said, adding that the letter were supposed to be distributed Monday afternoon.

Council member Benjamin Asilo, who authored the resolution, had said malls and cinema owners in Manila who defy the ban risked being fined, or their owners imprisoned.

Those caught selling pirated DVDs or VCDs of the movie could also be jailed for up to six months, Asilo said.

I sure the CBCP are pretty happy to let their surrogates do the dirty work for them.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Arroyo ally Miriam wants to see the Senate abolished

We're so used to this admin's efforts to mislead the public, kesyo "bumaba" raw ang unemployment figures to single digits last year. O "nanalo" raw si Arroyo sa nakaraang election.

And now, the admin is using data magically produced out of their asses to come up with the "figures" claiming na pababa na raw ang population growth rate ng pilipinas.

Key point from DJB:

What the NSCB and the government are doing here is intellectually dishonest. Data projections like this could be used to justify the government's inaction on population explosion. In fact I would add that these NSCB projections are likely to be mathematically dishonest, because as any freshman student in Calculus knows, you can spot such dishonesty with the naked eye of mathematical aesthetics. I also caught my old friend from Harvard, Dr. Cory Raymundo and Prof. Ernie Pernia both of the University of the Philippines, talking to Ces Drilon, Monday night about this projection and how unbelievable it is, considering the government has in fact abandoned the use of legally and medically accepted forms of contraception and birth control during the 2001-2010 period. Now, by comparing the historical trend as shown above, I can say with some certainty that there is something mighty peculiar about NSCB's projections. It's almsot as if they decided to ignore the results of the 1990, 1995 and 2000 census count and draw a straight line from the 80s all the way to middle of the 21st Century. It's pretty obvious that this lil bit of prestidigitation with the numbers, means that the Palace can now make a self-serving but dangerous assertion: that population growth rates are trending down despite abandoning its support for serious birth control methods and effective family planning programs, apart from Catholic Church approved natural methods such as "Vatican Roulette." If it has been fudged for that purpose, and is inexplicably discontinuous from the 10 to 15 year trend of a plateau near 2.3% or so, this will result in a serious understimation of how many citizens the government should plan for in the first half of this century. It would be insanely irresponsble if that were the case.

Read this too: Arroyo's ultra-conservative and retarded policy on family planning

And more on the disputed population growth claims here.


Arroyo's new favorite ally Miriam Santiago pushing for the abolition of the Senate, para raw makatipid ng pera.

Alam mo Miriam, mas mabuti pa kung i-abolish na rin natin ang House at i-abolish na rin natin ang elections (oops, i forgot... balak nga ng CHA CHA yang "No El" na yan, LOL) para doble doble ang matitipid ng taongbayan, at gawing president for life o Reyna na lang si Arroyo. Tanggalin na natin ang checks-and-balance at dissent sa gobierno, and we should allow this admin to harass or takeover the media whenever they please.

Here's a must-read Malaya Editorial on Miriam and her Cha cha cohorts.

Helga: Will the 51 Congressman stay the course?


Hindi pa rin tapos ang pangha-harass ng Arroyo admin sa Batasan 5.

One of these days, yung mga dirty tactics na ginagamit ngayon ng mga officials ni Arroyo ay babalik rin sa kanila.

In other news, seems like maraming namamatay ng mga leftist leaders ng Bayan Muna under the Arroyo admin.

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga -- Just a day after Malacañang ordered a thorough inquiry into the unabated killing of militants, assassins posing as customers shot dead a Bayan Muna leader after ordering beers in a videoke bar.

The murder of Bayan Muna coordinator Manuel Nardo on Saturday night in this Pampanga city brought to at least 123 the number of leftist activists killed since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took office in 2001, according to an Inquirer count. Of that figure, 93 were Bayan Muna members.

Nardo was also the fourth militant to die by an assassin’s hand in five days.

Eto pa, as of today:

Another left-wing leader was killed by still unidentified gunmen in San Nicolas, Pangasinan, early Tuesday, bringing the death toll of leftists leaders to 122 since 2001.

Initial reports identified the victim as Jose Doton, secretary general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan. His brother, Diosdado Doton, is in critical condition.

The report said the two were ambushed in Barangay Cabuloan around 11 a.m. Tuesday

The killing is the fourth in the past seven days and comes less than three days after a Bayan Muna leader was gunned down in San Fernando, Pampanga, on Saturday.

Let me get one thing clear. Even though I don't agree with most of their issues and positions, I don't consider these Bayan Muna and Gabriela people as the "enemy" and I don't see them as a threat to national security. Maybe a threat to the fake president, pwede pa.

Yung mga hardcore communists like Ka Roger ang dapat na huliin at patayin ng militar, at hindi yung mga Bayan Muna, Sanlakas, Anakpawis, Gabriela types. Kung may solid evidence ang admin na may ginawang krimen ang mga leftist critics ni arroyo, eh di sampahan sila ng kaso at huliin sila.

And it is disturbing to see many of these people getting killed one by one under the arroyo's watch. Imagine people from or the Sierra Club, or ANSWER and other dissenters and critics of the Bush admin getting murdered one by one under George Bush's presidency. Maybe rightwingers like Marcus Aurelius or Mindanao Bob would be happy with such outcome, but this is very troubling for me, even if I don't agree with their wacko lefty politics.

People are not complaining much right now because mga leftist critics ni arroyo lang naman ang pinapatay. Ano, hihintayin pa natin until tayo na ang tinatarget ng admin bago tayo magko-complain?

(And i won't be surprised either if we see more critics from the oppposition camp getting offed too one of these days kasi, sino ba naman sila, mga erap, lacson, FPJ supporters lang naman yan diba? We're "better off" without these "destabilizers", yes?)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

MILF independence via Arroyo's CHA CHA planned

I think this is big news if true.

From Ninez Cacho Olivares of the Tribune:

President Arroyo and her government panel negotiating a peace pact with the Islamic secessionist group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), are reportedly agreed on pushing a constitutional change as a solution to the contentious issue of the MILF’s insistence on regaining the Bangsa Moro people’s so-called “ancestral lands” as the proposal is to grant the MILF the independence it seeks with the Arroyo government agreeing, in principle and subject to the constitutional changes to be obtained through Charter change, to the setting up of a Palestinian Authority-type government for starters, congressional sources told the Tribune yesterday.

The set-up will reportedly allow the MILF to form its separate and independent government with the intention of becoming an independent state, while lording it over its territories with its own military.

Control and ownership of the territories by the MILF will be granted by the Arroyo government in the guise of ancestral lands which will cover areas in Mindanao over and above the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Under the current Constitution, even the ceding of Philippine territories to the secessionist group on grounds that these are ancestral lands is not allowed,” Ilocos Norte Rep. Imee Marcos said, but noted that “this ancestral land” issue “has become the most contentious issue” in the negotiations between the MILF and the Philippine government panel (GRP).

“The problem (GRP) faces is that shortly after Edsa ll, the Arroyo government moved to sign an agreement in Tripoli with the MILF that included the portion on the ancestral land that the MILF insists belongs to the Bangsa Moro people.

This was then followed up with some kind of a treaty in Malaysia, and even then, there was already talk of this being made possibly through a change in the Constitution,” Marcos pointed out.

The MILF spokesman, Eid Kabalu, a few weeks back, also made public, during an interview, that the whole idea of the MILF-GRP negotiations was to pave the way for the MILF to start out as an independent government within the Philippine state similar to the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian Authority, while independent, is seeking statehood status.

The MILF, even in 1997, rejected the peace pact offered by the Ramos government to an autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao and broke away from the group of Nur Misauri of the Moro National Liberation Front.

A congressman from Mindanao pointed out that if this set-up is granted by the GRP, the MILF “will definitely become an independent state,” but stressed that the people of Mindanao, and even the indigenous groups, like the Lumads, will oppose such a move.

“What? We in Mindanao who are not Muslims will be governed by the MILF? No way,” the congressman, who asked not to be identified, said.

He added that even the local officials in Mindanao who are Christians, will not go for that move, stressing that if this is the “hidden agenda” of the Charter change move, he would definitely reject any and all moves to change the Constitution, even if he is allied with Mrs. Arroyo.

Another source, a member-leader of the Mindanao Independence Movement, when contacted for a phone interview, told the Tribune that he and his group are willing to join forces with the MILF on a “tactical alliance basis” but they are not willing to have the MILF take control of an independent Mindanao state.

Even as he asked for anonymity, the source who is based in Mindanao, said the move for independence in Mindanao has become very strong, with sector support and given a little more time, will be able to even wage a secessionist war against the Philippine government, saying that even the soldiers in Mindanao are on their side if it turns out hat more land is given to the MILF for its control.

“We already have some junior officers on our side if it (giving Mindanao away to the MILF) comes to pass. This is something personal and emotional to the military,” he said, recalling the days of the all-out war launched under the Estrada government.

Retired military officers contacted by the Tribune for comment confirmed this information from the Mindanao source, saying that President Arroyo is asking for trouble if she as much as officially hands back to the MILF those camps that the government had earlier recovered from this secessionist group, pointing out that it will become an even bigger problem in the future on the war against terror.

“There is no question that the MILF and the terror groups are in cahoots. They (MILF) have been giving protection to the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and many of the MILF have already been recruited by the JI,” the sources said, adding that “a lot of our soldiers died then, while retaking those camps (such as Camp Abubakar and other satellite camps). This is not going to go well with the Armed Forces,” one retired general said.

Another noted that giving the MILF “power and control over Philippine territory will trigger a civil war.”

Marcos said she is certain that when Congress resumes sessions, all other issues will be laid aside with the House leaders focusing solely on Cha-cha. “They will insist on revising the Constitution, even if it means voting without the Senate,” while adding that “already, Malacanang has gotten the support of Sen. Miriam Santiago for a constituent assembly (Con-ass).

Santiago had earlier signed a Senate resolution stating that the senators reject the House move to vote jointly with the Senate in revising the Charter.

Santiago, however, gave the condition that she would join the House in revising the Constitution and abolishing the Senate in a single voting scheme if the Supreme Court rules this as constitutional in a test case.

Malacanang, Marcos said, is desperate to have the Constitution revised, not just to give Mindanao to the MILF, but also to ensure her political perpetuity.

“All that talk of JDV (Speaker Jose de Venecia) on the move for a federal system through Cha-cha, also has something to do with this negotiations with the MILF on ancestral domain,” she said, but hinted that “this is just the opening line,” and that once Cha-cha gets going, all those revisions will include even giving up all of Mindanao to the MILF, just so Mrs. Arroyo gets a crack at the Nobel Peace Prize as the “greatest Asian peacemaker.”

Malacanang is said to be funding the Sigaw ng Bayan People’ Intiative signature campaign to change the present Charter, but this move has been meeting up with constitutional snags, apart from vocal opposition to the move to draft a new Constitution.

It has also been discovered that signatures have been forged. The case has been brought before the courts.

Sigaw ng Bayan’s move to change the Constitution through the people’s initiative, said to be managed by Malacanang, came about after the House failed to muster, among its members, three fourths of the vote.

But with the People Initiative being opposed even by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, and with the bishops objecting to the methods used by Sigaw ng Bayan in gathering signatures of barangay residents without however, even explaining what they were signing up for, the people’s initiative is deemed a failure.

The House has again moved to revive Charter change through a Constituent Assembly, even if it moves alone, without the Senate’s participation.

“It (revising the Constitution) has to be done under the control of JDV and Gloria because all those changes—especially those that will empower the MILF and grant it control over territories in Mindanao and an independent state—cannot pass muster if this is brought up (in the plenary). Everything will have to be railroaded,” Marcos said, adding that the catchword will be federalism, which people in Mindanao want, but what they don’t know is that the Speaker and Gloria will present the nation with a fait accompli of an independent MILF state.”

She also said that unless the Commission on Elections undergoes a genuine purge, the yes to “Cha-cha” will, in a plebiscite,” win by a landslide,” saying that if she (Mrs. Arroyo) did it in 2004 she will do it (cheat at the polls) again.’ NCO

Banning the "Da Vinci Code" movie in the Philippines?

Ducky Paredes comments on the possible banning of the Da Vinci code film:

Alot of people, even my own brother, agree with Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita: "If you are to ask me, personally, I think if we know that indeed it will offend the sensibilities of the Filipinos, we being a Catholic country, we should do everything not to allow it to be shown at the least."

This is on the movie "The Da Vinci Code," which is a work of fiction but which some believe paints the Holy Roman Catholic Church in dark hues. The book was a thriller. The movie would probably be one, too. Fiction books and movies are entertainment and not religious expositions to be taken seriously.

Should we ban the movie? George Bernard Shaw’s take on this is the following: "All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships. There is the whole case against censorships in a nutshell."

Frankly, I would go with Shaw rather than my own sibling or Ermita. As a Catholic, I do not believe that "current conceptions" about Christianity and the Church to be in error. Because I believe that, I really cannot see how a work of fiction could affect my beliefs.

Amen, Ducky.

More from Dean J. Bocobo:

Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales of Our Ever-Loyal City of Manila has called for its outright ban, together with Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita. Both however are very likely disappointed that the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines would rather not give the film any more of a boost by announcing a boycott. The CBCP refuses to piss in the wind as Señor Ed Ermita and Fray Rosales have.

Wag na yung ban! Pugutan na lang ng ulo yung mga nang iinsulto sa Christianity. Violence works I tell you, Cardinal Gaudencio. Pugutan ng ulo si Tom Hanks at Ron Howard!

-- Lower population growth disputed

SEN. Rodolfo Biazon yesterday disputed the reported slowing down of the annual population growth to 1.95 percent.

Biazon said the National Statistics Coordinating Board could not have conducted a census last year because there was no funding for that activity.

The country’s population stood at 85.2 million in 2005. NSCB projects it would reach 94 million by 2010.

He expressed suspicion the figure was fabricated, noting President Arroyo announced in her state of the nation address last year that she was targeting a reduction in the growth rate to 1.9 from 2.36 percent.

"In the SONA, (Arroyo) stated that the population growth at that time was 2.36 percent, and then she proceeded further that she was targeting to reduce this to 1.9 percent… Meaning in 10 months without implementing a program to support the lowering of the population growth, we achieved it, without the benefit of a census," he said.

Biazon said a census is required conducted every five years, with the last one in 2000.

"There was none in 2005 because the executive department did not submit the funding requirements for the conduct of that census," he said.

Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla has said the figure was "misleading" because it was based on "a mere projection."

Remulla said the NSCB has issued only a projection based on the 2000 census that population growth could go down to 1.95 percent between 2005 and 2010.

Puro panloloko lang talaga ang administration na ito.

More from Malaya Editorial:

Since Gloria Arroyo came to power in 2001, the government has been dismantling the population management programs put in place by previous administrations. The Department of Health has effectively gone out of the business of providing reproductive health education and handing out contraceptive devices. The local governments are supposed to take up the slack. But in Manila, for example, the conservatives have the run of the city-owned hospital and health centers.

Sad but true. And read this article too from Rina Jimenez David last year to find out how retarded Arroyo's family planning policies are.


Interesting commentary from Randy David on the article written by Angelo Reyes 5 years ago:

ON Jan. 19, 2001, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Gen. Angelo T. Reyes, went up the Edsa Shrine with the service commanders of the AFP to announce their withdrawal of support for their commander in chief, President Joseph “Erap” Estrada. That act tilted the balance against the incumbent president and precipitated his ouster from Malacañang.

General Reyes said that he regarded Erap as a personal friend, and that it pained him to turn his back on his friend at a most crucial point in his political life. He did not want the public to see him as someone who thinks nothing of betraying a friend. And so he felt compelled to write a personal account of what happened. The Inquirer published this in four installments in March 2001, under the title “The 11th Hour Decision.”

This reflective narration discusses in detail how Reyes, who had retired by then and become the new secretary of defense, arrived at his decision. At the time of Edsa II, I took his account at face value and glossed over the many questions that a critical reading would have raised. Reading this document five years later against the background of recent events, I now realize how, indeed, past events acquire new meanings in the light of the present.

Sige, go read the rest of the article.

This is worth taking note though:

First, there was the surprise visit from “Alan Ortiz, a close adviser of then Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on economic and security matters.” The purpose of the visit was “to invite me to touch base with the Vice President to reach a common level of understanding should the political situation turn from bad to worse.” Reyes says he turned down the invitation as improper. “I explained to Mr. Ortiz that if I can do that behind the President’s back, then the same thing could happen to Vice President Arroyo should she become chief executive herself one day.” General Reyes says that his guest went away convinced that he was right.

Second, Col. Victor Corpus and Col. Gerry Cunanan had told him about restiveness in the military. “Specifically, they informed me about the earlier reported covert attempts of Marine Lt. Gen. Edgardo Espinosa, prodded by elements within the United Opposition, at organizing troops to move against the Estrada government, as well as reports that the RAM and some retired generals were mobilizing their contacts within the AFP and the PNP.” In response, Reyes says he reiterated the need to keep the chain of command intact. One wonders, however, if he ordered the investigation of General Espinosa, an officer known to be very close to Ms Arroyo.

And this one is funny ha ha in a familiar sense:

Third, following the prosecutors’ walkout at the impeachment trial, Reyes recounts that he received intelligence reports “that New People’s Army (NPA) operatives were coming in from the North and that extreme rightist elements were plotting to set up a military junta.” In response to these reports, he says he ordered the drafting of a contingency plan. But he also contacted “retired General Renato de Villa, one of the closest aides of Vice President Macapagal-Arroyo, to get a picture of the situation from the United Opposition’s point of view.”

So inunahan na niya ang so called "military junta" by siding with Mike ARroyo and Edgardo Espinosa's leftist-rightist coup plotters instead. LOL.


- Falsification charge vs CHA CHA signature gatherers

A CASE of falsification of documents was filed yesterday by four Makati residents against Akbay Pinoy, a proponent of charter change, and its leaders in connection with the people’s initiative signature campaign.

The respondents were Akbay Pinoy Makati president Carmencita Tabamo, national president Adelaida Lazaro and several John and Jane Does.

The complainants were Edwin Vitalli of Barangay Kasilawan, Hugo Villaroman of Barangay Palanan, and chairman Victor del Prado and Virginia Salega of Barangay Sta. Cruz.

The complainants said they could not have participated in such a drive because they are opposed to the people’s initiative.

Salega said the signature of his father, Barangay Sta. Cruz captain Severino Oliva, who succumbed to cardio-pulmonary arrest on Dec. 24 last year, appeared on the signature sheet.

"How come my father’s signature appeared on the list they submitted for verification?" she asked while presenting a copy of his father’s death certificate and a picture of the tombstone bearing his name, date of birth and demise to attest to the fact.

Haha! Buking! I see dead people's signatures!

More from Sen. Biazon: ‘Don’t drag soldiers into Cha-cha drive’

SENATORS yesterday chided advocates of charter change for dragging soldiers into partisan politics by asking them to help disseminate information on the need to amend the charter.

Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, defense committee chair, said pushing charter change among military and police officials would politicize them.

"If Malacañang pushes for charter change (among AFP generals), then we are politicizing the AFP… Do not politicize the AFP," he said.

Sen. Mar Roxas accused Malacañang of seeking to indoctrinate the soldiers with its cha-cha drive.

"There is a world of difference between information and indoctrination," he said.

Leaders of Malacañang’s Advocacy Commission on Charter Change the other day asked the 500-member Association of Generals and Flag Officers during a fellowship meeting in Camp Aguinaldo to help in the information drive as they said they believe that the military is a major political arbiter.

Roxas described the soldiers and police personnel as "true patriots who deserve more than just propaganda about a subject as vital as the Constitution."

And read this too from the Black and White Movement.

More on the potential Aragoncillo-Arroyo connection

From Ellen Tordesillas:

Kaya pala sinabihan nina Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita at Solicitor General Antonio Nachura sina Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez at Presidential Chief of Staff Michael Defensor na hinay-hinay lang sa kanilang planong sampahan ng kasong rebellion si dating Pangulo Estrada at ilan pang lider ng oposisyon base sa kanilang koneksyun kay Leandro Aragoncillo, ang Fil-American na intelligence analyst.

Maaring may kuneksyon rin pala si Gloria Arroyo.

Naibalita na isa mga tumanggap ng mga dokumento na kinuha ni Aragoncillo sa White House at Federal Bureau of Investigation tungkol sa mg analysis ng United States sa sitwasyon sa Pilipinas ay si Rep. Rodito Albano ng Isabela.

Si Albano ay miyembro ng partidong maka-administrasyon. Ang kanyang tatay, si dating Rep. Rudy Albano ay chairman ng Energy Regulatory Commission. Malaki ang posibilidad na ang mga nakuha ni Albano na mga impormasyon kay Aragoncillo ay ipinasa niya sa mga opisyal ng administrasyon kung hindi man kay Arroyo mismo

Albano not surprisingly, denied sharing this information directly with Mrs. Arroyo.

“Now I understand why law enforcers had raided the Tribune newspaper during the duration of the state of national emergency last February. “They are full of lies. I challenge them to present the classified information they claim I passed on the President, if not, they should apologize to me or to the President. Can they state what classified documents were passed on by Aragoncillo to me? They should not engage in character assassination.”

Ellen, maybe albano did not give it directly to the "president". sirugo nai-share lang niya ito sa mga ibang adminstration officials at allies, at yung mga admin officials at allies naman ang nagbigay ng classified info kay arroyo.

And take note mr. albano never said he did not share this information with anybody else.

UPDATE: Maybe we should conduct our own "Plamegate" investigation too, right Wretchard? ;)

maybe somebody in the media should ask albano kung sino sino yung lahat ng tao na nakausap niya at na-share ran niya ng FBI classified info sa pinas.

that would clear things up, i think.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Arroyo also received spy reports from Aragoncillo?

From the Tribune:

Malacañang aides may have spoken too soon in accusing detained President Joseph Estrada and Sen. Panfilo Lacson of being co-conspirators in an espionage case while riding on the guilty plea of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) analyst Leandro Aragoncillo.

As it turns out, even as she sat in Malacañang, President Arroyo was also the recipient of the so-called classified reports from the FBI files, as these were said to have been passed on to her by Representative No. 1, whom a Palace insider identified as Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III, said to have been a close family friend of Aragoncillo, with Albano having been identified as the FBI spy’s alleged conduit in passing on the information to Mrs. Arroyo.

The deposed president earlier on, admitted not only to have read these reports which he said were hardly classified as these were on the local political developments already pointed out by the media. Estrada also said he had shown both National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales and presidential chief of staff Michael Defensor the copies he had received.

The two Palace aides have confirmed this.

But the inclusion of Albano explains the “turnaround” position of some Palace aides who had threatened to file charges of an attempted coup against Mrs. Arroyo’s political foes, and even have them extradited, with Solicitor General Eduardo Nachura advising Malacañang to proceed with caution in filing cases against the detained leader, saying the Arroyo government must tread carefully, or risk being embarrassed before filing any case against the alleged co-conspirators of Aragoncillo.

Another source confirmed that Mrs. Arroyo was regularly in receipt of this reports, as passed on by Albano in the early years of her presidency, with Aragoncillo not realizing that Albano was allegedly a mole of Mrs. Arroyo, and had in fact become one of her staunchest allies.

Plus This: Palace backs off from threats to charge FBI spy’s RP links

With reports out that President Arroyo’s ally, Rep. Rodolfo “Rodito” Albano lll was pointed to by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) analyst Leandro Aragoncillo as the Philippine House Representative #1 who had recruited the Filipino-American while “appeal(ing) to (Aragoncillo’s) sense of loyalty to the Philippines and its people,” Malacañang backtracked from its earlier threat to charge the alleged unindicted co-conspirators, among whom the Palace identified as detained President Joseph Estrada, his son JV Ejercito and Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson with treason and rebellion and have them extradited to the United States.

Albano went on a media blitz yesterday and denied reports of his having been linked to the Aragoncillo espionage case, even as he had admitted that the US government informed him that his conversations with Aragoncillo had been legally tapped.

The Palace yesterday said it will not allow the deposed leader to be extradited to the US, even if the US court insists on it, save perhaps for what it said were the “low-level key opposition figures reportedly involved in the espionage case.

In a Palace press briefing, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez said the US government may insist on inviting other opposition figures such as opposition Sen. Panfilo Lacson of former Rep. Arnulfo Fuentabella but not in the case of Estrada.

He added they are still in the evaluation process in the matter of charging opposition figures or co-conspirators of Aragoncillo of rebellion, espionage or other possible crimes.

“It still depends. As of the moment, we still have to evaluate because if we send documents to a certain opposition figure I don’t think that’s already a conspiracy. But if you ask for information, the sensitive pieces of classified information and had kept exchanging information... a linkage has been already established... so you could be considered conspirators... (but at) this time we will not speculate,” he said.

Noticeably, neither Gonzalez nor the Palace aides made mention of the alleged Aragoncillo conduit, Rodito Albano, who was reported by the Tribune, quoting reliable sources, that he had passed on the reports to President Arroyo, even when she was still the Vice President.

Of course, Albano denied it.

For his part, Albano yesterday denied allegations that he passed on to Mrs. Arroyo classified information from the FBI spy.

“In fairness to the President, I did not pass on anything to her because there was nothing to pass on. It’s all hearsay. It’s unfair to drag the President into the Aragoncillo case,” said Albano, who claimed that he never in his life passed on any document or information to the President although he is an ally of the administration.

He took exception to the Tribune report that he said “falsely” and “unfairly” tagged him as a mole who gave the President classified reports from Aragoncillo.

“Now I understand why law enforcers had raided the Tribune newspaper during the duration of the state of national emergency last February. “They are full of lies. I challenge them to present the classified information they claim I passed on the President, if not, they should apologize to me or to the President. Can they state what classified documents were passed on by Aragoncillo to me? They should not engage in character assassination.”

Tribune sources confirmed that Aragoncillo faxed these reports to Albano in 2000, believing that these would be given attention by the Estrada government when Estrada was still sitting as President.

Sources said Albano was still getting reports even after Estrada was deposed.

“Those reports were not even being furnished Malacañang then as he was instead giving them to Gloria (Arroyo), who was then in the thick of negotiating with coup plotters,” the sources, close to the Estrada camp, said.

The sources pointed out that if he was not in touch with Aragoncillo or was not his conduit, why was his phone tapped by the Americans?


Rudy Romero on JDV's Parliamentary "panacea":

The Speaker of the House of Representatives must be hopping mad with the demonstrators of Thailand, which has a parliamentary system of government, and the voters of Italy, another unicameral-legislature country. Just when Jose de Venecia Jr. (JdV) thought he was making some headway in his campaign to get the Filipino people to agree to discard the presidential form, Thailand’s demonstrators and Italy’s voters have shown him to be a liar. JdV has been claiming loudly and persistently that the parliamentary form of government is more conducive to political stability than its presidential counterpart.

The Thai demonstrators and the Italian voters have eloquently shown that this is not the case...

The swift removal of Thailand’s prime minister by a simple wave of the no-confidence wand has not happened. The elections that Mr. Thaksin called in an effort to obtain a fresh popular mandate did not provide the solution because the opposition, wanting nothing short of Mr. Thaksin’s resignation, staged a boycott. As a result of the boycott, the winners in over 30 parliamentary districts won by less than the legally mandated minimum percentage of registered voters, necessitating the holding of a second round of elections in those districts.

Sensing the prospect of continuing turmoil if the prime minister remained in office, King Bhumibol called in Mr. Thaksin for a discussion of the situation. After the audience with the monarch, the embattled Mr. Thaksin decided to throw in the towel and announced his resignation. Where was the smooth transfer of power that JdV has been touting all this time? What happened to all that all-it-takes-is-a-no-confidence-vote palaver? The transfer of power in Bangkok has been anything but smooth. Thus far the unscheduled elections, royal intervention and the prime minister’s forced resignation have been the lot of the Thai parliamentary system. And with numerous personalities contending for the prime ministership, the end of the transfer-of-power process is not yet in sight.

and this:

The assumption underlying a smooth and quick transfer of power under the parliamentary system is that the members of parliament vote with their consciences and along strict party lines. One can imagine how things are going to be in a unicameral Philippine legislature when — to use the vernacular — iiral ang pera.

Remember how, with a House of Representatives led by you, last year’s impeachment complaint against Mrs. Arroyo didn’t get very far, JdV? Assuming that a shift to the parliamentary system did take place — an increasingly untenable assumption — would you really just stand aside with your money or the House’s money, Speaker Joe, while a no-confidence move was being hatched against you?

UPDATE: More on the Aragoncillo-Arroyo connection here.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ynez Veneracion type na magkaanak sa foreigner raw

From People's Tonight:

Heto pa, gustong magkaanak sa foreigner si Ynez para maganda ang magiging anak.

Payag siya sa invitro procedure basta siguraduhin lang na gray eyes ang sperm donor.

Haha! That's the attitude, Ynez. You can do it! Para dumami ang mga mestiza sa Pinas.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What, another roundup?

Pasensiya na kung medyo rusty pa ako ha

Conrad de Quiros on Leandro Aragoncillo and what a REAL coup plotter looks like. He also praised the SC for their "independence" over the arroyo admin.

- DOJ Sec. Raul Gonzalez: I hope they go back to the hills

JUSTICE Secretary Raul Gonzalez yesterday said five party-list congressmen who had sought protective custody from the House of Representatives are not off the hook yet despite a Makati court’s rejection of an amended complaint charging them with rebellion.

As the so-called Batasan 5 finally left the House premises after more than two months of being under its protective custody, Gonzalez said: "I hope that they will go back to the mountains. That’s where they belong."

No, that's where you and your so-called president belongs, Raulo.

More from Malaya Editorial: A formula for detention without trial

The chronology of events should show clearly enough that at this moment there is no case against the five congressmen. But Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez makes it appear that the decision not to arrest the congressmen was by his tolerance. Gonzalez said he did not want a media spectacle. So he was letting them go. Anyway, they could be arrested anytime.

So we are back to the question: What is the basis for continuing to threaten them with arrest without warrants?

We are left with that PNP CIDG complaint which says there is an ongoing rebellion being waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army and that the CPP/NPA has been joined by the opposition and right-wing adventurists. The five are leaders of "front" organizations of the communist party; therefore, they are engaged in rebellion.

Following this line of reasoning, all the government has to do is have the police accuse somebody of rebellion to have him arrested and thrown into jail (rebellion is a non-bailable offense).

The DOJ can then take its own sweet time building a case. When the DOJ finally gets around to filing a case and the case is thrown out by the courts, the hapless "rebel" continues to be a guest of the state while the DOJ files a motion for review. The DOJ suffers another setback, it proceeds to build another case.

If this is not formula for indefinite detention without trial, we don’t know what is.

Read this too from Lito Banayo: When outlaws rule nations

- May bagong kwento si MLQ3, entitled: ‘Calabasa’ gets a call". Can you tell who's who? And can you tell kung kaninong talking points ito?

“Step 1: Never say you’re wrong. Step 2: Always say they’re wrong. Step 3: Say the enemy is the elite. Step 4: Say we represent the masses. Step 5: Say we want change. Step 6: Say they never want change. Step 7: Say our change is the only change. Step 8: Say we will win! Step 9: Say they will lose! Step 10: Say those who ask questions are insincere, because sincere people do what they’re told! Step 11: Our critics are confusing the issues by trying to sound smart! Step 12: Whatever they say, reverse it, and say it back! Can I tell you? It works every time!”

- PCIJ: Bureaucrats punished for accusing Palace of disrespect for civil service

IS the Career Service Executive Board (CESB), the government body that oversees the top tiers of the country’s bureaucracy, being punished by Malacañang?

Many in the CESB think so. After all, in a March 20 resolution, the CESB did something unheard of: it accused Malacañang and the Cabinet of "transgressions" of civil-service laws, rules and regulations.

The strongly worded Resolution No. 619 said the unjust termination of an undersecretary, presumably Education Undersecretary Juan Miguel Luz, a career bureaucrat, and the appointment of non-civil service eligible officials "have resulted in growing apprehension and demoralization among the members of the CES (Career Executive Service), which can further erode the institutional foundations of a professional bureaucracy."

It also pointedly reminded President Arroyo that in a Jan. 22, 2001 speech, she had recalled that her own father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal, had advised her to "respect the bureaucracy, respect the civil service." (Resolution 619 can be downloaded from

In return, Malacañang has reacted with a series of what appear to be punitive and retaliatory moves against the CESB.

Within days after the resolution, two of the CESB’s eight members lost their seats. Two others – one of whom was reportedly forced to resign – were replaced after a couple of weeks. Insiders at the agency say the resolution also strengthened the resolve of Palace officials to replace Civil Service Commission chair Karina David as CESB chair.

Earlier, Malacañang had withdrawn its then two-week-old nomination of CESB executive director Mary Ann Fernandez-Mendoza as commissioner at the Civil Service Commission. Mendoza had issued a ruling that Luz was a tenured civil servant who could not be summarily terminated.

Vindictive talaga. Read the complete article of Yvonne Chua here.

- Jake Macasaet: The Looting may go on

Sunday, May 07, 2006

You make me proud, Phoenix Suns

Wow. Just wow.

Can you believe it. the Suns just came back from a 1-3 deficit to win their first-round series against Kobe and the Lakers 4-3.

Previous to this amazing effort, there were only 7 teams out of 160 IIRC that have managed to come back from 3 games down facing elimination.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Should Raja Bell be suspended?

sa game 6 for his flagrant foul on Kobe Bryant? Sana hindi.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Arroyo says peaceful May 1 celebration marks "political maturity" raw

From Malaya:

PRESIDENT Arroyo yesterday said the peaceful Labor Day celebration reflected the political maturity of the people in "upholding unity and hard work as the solution to the nation’s problems, not self-interest and incessant strife."

Arroyo, who lauded the police and the military for maintaining law and order amid threats of political mayhem, also thanked "enlightened" labor groups who she said are against any destabilization plot against her administration.

Actually, kaya peaceful ang rally ay dahil hindi nyo na-implement yung CPR policy nyo.

Peaceful naman usually ang mga anti-Arroyo rallies eh. Remember the two big rallies sa Makati last year before CPR was implemented? Violent ba yung mga rallies na yun? Hindi, diba?

Nagsimula lang yung gulo nung sinabi ni Arroyo na she's tired of "chasing bullies across the schoolyard", IIRC... at inimplement nila ang bagong policy na CPR.

More on this from Conrad de Quiros and Malaya.

Read this too from the PDI editorial.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Conrad de Quiros: Snap Gloria!

From CDQ:

It’s no small irony that Arroyo’s supporters should keep using that line “Let’s move on,” when the last thing this country is able to do is move. We have been condemned to go round and round in circles or, like Sisyphus, to push a rock up a mountain only to see it fall back again and again. I agree: Let’s move on. Let’s move on by removing the one huge obstacle that lies in our path. Let’s move on by smashing the shackles that prevent us from moving. Removing Arroyo won’t solve everything, but it sure as hell will solve a great many things. Removing Arroyo won’t naturally make us advance, but it sure as hell will bring us to a point where we may be able to.

I’ve repeatedly offered a way to move on. That is snap elections. We cannot move on because we have an illegitimate president, we can move on by having a legitimate president. That is done by snap elections. I have little doubt that if everyone will unite on that one simple and logical call, it can and will be carried out. I propose in this light that in lieu of, or alongside, “Stop Cha-Cha!” we form an alliance called “Snap Gloria!” The “Snap” there meaning, “Say No to A Phony.” That is one coalition that will have the blessings of 65 percent of the population.

Let’s stop hacking at the branches. Let’s remove the root of the problem once and for all.

Arroyo to "Destabilizers": SHADDAP!

"To our destabilizers, I say: Leave the people to their work and let the President do her job. To our destabilizers, I say: Stop the noise and start to serve." - Mrs. Arroyo

Mahirap yan, Mrs. Arroyo. Since majority of the Filipinos want you to resign. I guess they're "destabilizers" too, huh?

Stop the noise, Gloria tells destabilizers

PRESIDENT Arroyo yesterday told destabilizers and critics of the administration to stop making noises and instead devote their time and energy to serving the people.

Arroyo, during the Labor Day celebration in Malacañang, said she has always been open and listening to the needs of the people.

She said she hopes her critics would do the same and that destabilizers should stop listening to the "call of self-interest and endless strife."

"To our destabilizers, I say: Leave the people to their work and let the President do her job. To our destabilizers, I say: Stop the noise and start to serve," she said.

I think a better idea would be for you to step down and let somebody else take over. For the good of the country.

Malaya Editorial: More turbulence ahead


Lito Banayo attended the STOP (Sa Tamang Oras at Paraan) Cha cha movement workshop last friday and wrote about it in his column today.

Conrad de Quiros remembers "Edsa Tres."


Neal Cruz: Gov't officials and sycophants ganged up on Maria Theresa Pangilinan at the DEBATE show

I WATCHED THE TELEVISION SHOW "Debate" before the weekend, and I was irritated by the way the government officials in the panel pounced on Maria Theresa Pangilinan, the student leader who heckled President Macapagal-Arroyo during the graduation ceremonies at the Cavite State University. The debate's question was: "Which should have priority, the citizen's right to protest or respect for the President?"

The question was, of course, a no-brainer. Surely, a citizen's right to protest comes first. But Rep. Monico Puentevella and Cavite Vice Gov. Jonvic Remulla repeatedly needled Pangilinan, saying respect for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) should have prevented her from shouting "Patalsikin si GMA" (oust GMA) and unfurling banners expressing the same sentiment while the President was delivering her speech.

Where is your respect for the President, they asked the girl who bravely stood her ground and replied that she was expressing an opinion, which was-and still is-her right.

The correct answer to that question should have been: "None!" Respect is earned, not forced. You cannot force others to respect you if you are not respectable. How can you respect anybody caught cheating to "win" the elections? How can you respect somebody who does not fulfill her promises? How can you respect someone who shamelessly and repeatedly violates the Constitution she has sworn to defend? How can you respect anybody who prevents government officials from testifying in investigations that may reveal shenanigans in her administration? How can you respect anybody who is desperately trying to change the Constitution to stay in power?



From PCIJ:

- Arroyo’s charter-change moves copied from the Marcos book

- Cha-cha in Congress déjà vu of impeachment – Rep. Baraquel

- Freedom House reports press freedom decline in RP


Malacanang brands Cory’s Cha-cha group liars, GMA haters

Malacañang yesterday belittled the STOP (Sa Tamang Oras at Panahon) Cha-cha group of former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, practically calling them “liars and deceivers” whose aim is to force President Arroyo out of office at all costs.

Presidential adviser on political affairs Gabriel Claudio said while they welcome the action of Aquino’s group, they cannot accept its motive behind its campaign.

He added the group is not telling the truth when it claimed the moves to amend the Constitution is for the Arroyo administration to bury the alleged massive fraud in the 2004 elections and extend the President’s term even after 2010.

“It is not the truth when they said the current moves to amend the Constitution are meant to divert people’s attention from the so-called issue of Mrs. Arroyo’s legitimacy in office. That issue has been settled in the minds of the majority of Filipinos who want a stop to the opposition’s noisy and destructive politics so that the nation can move forward,” Claudio said.

“The alleged political crisis over accusations of poll fraud and persist only in the cynical minds of these few oppositionists and GMA (Mrs. Arroyo’s initials) haters who will not rest until the President is unseated regardless of the consequence on the nation’s future. It is even more deceitful of them to claim and propagandize that Cha-cha is aimed at extending President Arroyo’s term. The President’s term is up to 2010 only. There’s nothing in the agenda of the administration and its allies for Cha-cha that contemplates, harbors or hints at any arrangement for President Arroyo to go beyond 2010,” he added.


More on the Freedom House assessment from the tribune editorial:

Gloria and her aides may think that, by constantly claiming through their spin that all she is doing — by way of her attempts to control the press, through a takeover of this paper under the guise of emergency rule, banning rallies and arresting her critics for joining protest rallies, also under her Proclamation 1017, and on the pretext of having unearthed documents baring a leftist-rightist alliance to oust her — is to protect democracy and the freedoms gained and to protect the Constitution and uphold the rule of law, they would convince, not just the Filipino people but the world that everything she does is by the constitutional book, they should now realize that nobody is buying that spin — not even the high tribunal.

Whether it is the local media and political critics, or the New York Times, or the Heritage Foundation, or the Freedom House, the judgment is that Gloria is into establishing a repressive regime and curtailing all the people’s freedoms, to ensure that her crimes committed against the people are prevented from being exposed.

Although Freedom House spoke of the status of press freedom in the country, what was noted in that report was that the liberty watchdog also pointed to the “sharp” downgrade of the Philippines based on “credible allegations of massive electoral fraud, corruption and the (Arroyo) government’s intimidation of elements in the political opposition.”

All that can’t be missed, obviously, because all her moves in the matter of curtailing the liberties of the people are rooted on her determination to stop the truth of the massive electoral fraud and the equally massive corruption in her government, from surfacing. And she wants to block the truth to ensure her political survival.

Her gag order on all officers and employees of the executive department, Executive Order (EO) 464, was clearly intended to prevent the Senate from digging deeper into the massive poll cheating, which includes the participation of the military and police generals, along with some of her Cabinet secretaries.

Her calibrated preemptive response, or CPR, banning rallies, with her allies in the local governments refusing to grant rally permits to anti-government demonstrators to ensure their violent dispersal by the police and military was intended to prevent a critical mass from forming, which would then lead to a “people power” that would cause her ouster.


Ninez Cacho-Olivares finds it odd that the Supreme Court justices are exempt from disclosing their Statements of Assets and Liabilities (SAL):

It is only the Supreme Court (SC) justices, among all the government officials and employees, who cannot be forced to disclose their statements of assets and liabilities (SAL).

This is so because, as court spokesman Ismael Khan told reporters, these justices need protection from blackmailers and extortionists, who can use those SALs against them.

Such justification is odd, as it assumes that SC magistrates not only have something to hide, but that they are vulnerable to blackmailers and extortionists, or those who want to pressure the justices into ruling in their favor, if these petitioners or respondents in a case use their SALs as a pressure point.

But why should these justices think that they are vulnerable to such types of blackmailers and extortionists if, in the first place, they acquired whatever money and property they have honestly?

So what if a high court justice has several properties listed on his SAL which was obtained by any individual and threaten to use this knowledge and document against the justice, if, as stated earlier, his assets were legitimately acquired? How can this now be used to pressure that justice into doing what the blackmailer wants?

What they fear, it was also said, the justices could be subjected to harassment. But so are the other elected and appointed officials who are duty bound to submit their SALs and which are, under the laws, open to the public — even if the agencies to which these documents are submitted treat these as confidential matters.

And if such is the reason for justices to keep their SALs private, to be freed from blackmailers, they too, could be their victims. So why should the justices be placed in a special pedestal, and virtually proclaim themselves to be above public scrutiny — in their behavior and in their wealth, or poverty, for really honest judges?

Good point. Read the Whole thing.

UPDATE: Tinamaan rin si Hilario Davide dito:

All the more the SC justices should make that effort to be fully transparent, precisely because it is they who interpret what the law is, wrong or right. There is no other body that is tasked to do that. But what has happened through the years is that the high court justices, especially in the court of Hilario Davide Jr., moved to protect themselves fully, as evidenced in the way they handled the judiciary funds issue, as well as the impeachment complaint lodged by the House of Representatives against Davide, the then Chief Justice.

Instead of facing the music, and abiding by the rule of law and undergoing an impeachment trial, Davide and his justices moved to protect themselves to evade impeachment, and issued a ruling whose result was far-ranging, as the high court virtually made impeachment a useless tool against constitutional and impeachable officers by Congress, as they can easily evade an impeachment rap by simply having a bogus impeachment complaint filed yearly, knowing that this will go nowhere — as Gloria Arroyo did last year, apart from buying off the congressmen, to ensure the killing of the complaint.

It was also then that Davide refused to even honor the invitation sent him by the House committee for clarification on the judiciary development funds which was clearly being misused, as there was clear evidence of the funds going into projects not covered under the law on the funds, such as the posh vacation homes for retired high court justices.