Friday, June 30, 2006

Thank God it's Friday!

Friday List:
  • There's a new blog called Bantay Impeachment 2.

  • Conrad de Quiros slams the Black and White movement for "muddling things," and delivers this scathing remark:

    Dinky and company continue to say a mouthful about why Arroyo should resign -- or be impeached -- but they have yet to say because she stole the vote. I leave them to say why they cannot say that.

    Hala, lagot ka... Sumbong kita kay kuya Manuel, kuya Conrad.

    (Ay, alam na pala ito ni MLQ3.)

    to the citizen-impeachers naman, CDQ also gives this advice:

    I do wish, however, that the citizens-impeachers would emphasize one thing above all others. I do wish that the citizens-impeachers would put in black-and-white ahead of all items in their charge sheet one thing. That is the fact that Arroyo cheated in the elections. It is not that she has lost the public trust, it is not that she has become a dictator, it is not that she has caused the slaughter of the innocents or committed crimes against humanity. It is that she stole the vote, it is that she is not the rightful president, it is that she is ruling this country without the voters’ mandate.

    I agree. And like me, he's for new elections to replace the fake president:

    I do wish, as my one other caveat, that the citizens-impeachers would launch an accompanying campaign for snap elections. The one goes with the other. In the past, calls for the impeachment of Arroyo have run up against the question, trotted out by her supporters, “But whom do we replace her with?” A ridiculous question doubtless -- proposing as it does that anyone may seize the reins of government and keep them for as long as there is no immediate “alternative” -- but unfortunately one that has not fallen on deaf ears. Arroyo herself is the best argument for it, demonstrating as she does that removing a bad leader can produce worse. Noli de Castro is second.

    The answer is snap elections. It preempts or voids the question “But whom do we replace her with?” that’s bound to be raised again against impeachment. The answer to illegitimacy is legitimacy. The answer to a leader who did not win the elections is a President who won an election. The answer to who to replace Arroyo with is who the voters want to replace her with. That’s what democracy is. As I’ve argued repeatedly, the most obvious legal argument for snap elections rather than for succession is that the presidency isn’t being vacated by illness or incapacity, it has never been occupied. An impeachment initiative that says first and foremost that Arroyo stole the vote presumes that.

  • Isabela mayor slain in QC ambush. The Manila Standard Today reports that the slain mayor was a communist sympathizer.

    PDI Editorial: Spreading Impunity

  • Students and young people joins impeach bid against arroyo. Ask solons to "let the truth come out."

    In other news, three activist UP students were abducted on monday by armed men and remain missing up to now.

    THREE activist students from the University of the Philippines in Diliman were abducted Monday from their house in Bulacan and remain missing up to now, the League of Filipino Students (LFS) said yesterday.

    The LFS identified the students as Karen Empeño, Sherlyn Cadapan and Manuel Merino.

    LFS said that at around 2 a.m. Monday, six armed men wearing black bonnets pounded on the doors of the house where the three were residing, demanding that everyone step out.

    The armed men even threatened to destroy the doors just to force the residents to come out, LFS said.

    The men then bound Merino and forcibly brought out Empeño and Cadapan.

    Empeño is a BA Sociology student of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. She is a member of the LFS-UP Diliman. She went to Central Luzon to do research on the plight of farmers.

    Cadapan is an award-winning triathlete from the College of Human Kinetics (CHK). She served as CHK representative to the University Student Council of UP Diliman. She also became a community organizer for Anakbayan. She is a volunteer researcher for farmers in Central Luzon.

    I hope they don't end up getting the "Erap 5" treatment.

  • "Nicole" likely victim of rape, says doctor.

  • Ducky Paredes on Dennis Villa-Ignacio's meltdown.

  • MTRCB suspends I-Witness show. More here from Rina Jimenez David on the MTRCB. (Bong, ito ang tunay na moralists, hindi yung mga taong kumontra sa pekeng pangulo mo.)

  • Paredes on the insensitivity of some of our gov't officials to the Pinay rape victim's plight.

  • The Arroyo's as a comedy team?

  • PCIJ wins Jaime V Ongpin award for excellence in journalism. What story won that award? Eto siya:

    PCIJ broadcast director Luz Rimban’s story, “Running on taxpayer’s money,” won first prize in the investigative category in the non-daily division. Rimban’s investigation uncovered how billions in government funds were released as doleouts to local officials in the weeks before and during the campaign of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2004.

    Congrats, Luz.

  • Ephraim Genuino, Mike Arroyo's boy, plans to turn Manila into a big gambling parlor. From Ernie Maceda:

    Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) Chairman Ephraim Genuino, the No. 1 protégé of First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, had planned to put up a Las Vegas- style gambling city at the reclamation area.

    But now, Genuino has expanded his plans to make the entire Metro Manila one huge gambling parlor.

    After putting up slot machines, Internet gambling and bingo parlors all over the landscape, Genuino has now issued instructions in a memo dated June 16 for all VIP clubs which used to be just slot machine parlors to add and set up six gaming tables on or about July 30. This translates to as much as 64 new casinos in Metro Manila.

    What is objectionable, according to Vice Mayor Danny Lacuna, is this new expansion has been awarded to a foreign-owned contractor on a 60-40 sharing basis which according to Lacuna is a sweetheart deal that violates the Pagcor charter.

    Malaysian whispers are very loud that out of the 60 percent share of the foreign operator, 20 percent is earmarked for the higher ups. Adding up the alleged take from the Subic, Marina Hyatt, Waterfront, Thunderbird, Pan Pacific and other big casinos, Pagcor oldtimers say we are talking multibillions here. Wow na Wow!

    By the way, will the P10 million a month share of Manila be doubled as requested? Has there been an audit as to how the city government spends the Pagcor windfall? Nothing that we know of.

    So bakit tahimik lang ang simbahan dito? Hindi ba nag-ingay sila noong inimbita ni Erap si Stanley Ho para i-expand ang gambling business niya.

    Anyway, balita ko napayagan na si Mr. Ho na magpatayo ng gambling business niya sa Pilipinas by the Arroyo gov't. Nag-complain ba si Archbishop Fernando "let's move on na" Capalla dito o yung CBCP tungkol dito?

  • Manong Ernie asks: "The International Football Federation (FIFA) gives $200,000 yearly to the Philippine Football Federation. Where is the money going?

  • Erap: GMA, not I, issued sovereign guarantee to IMPSA.

    It was the Arroyo government that issued a sovereign guarantee to the Argentine power firm Industrias Metalurgicas Pescarmona Sociedad Anonima (Impsa) for the rehabilitation of the Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan (CBK) power plant in Laguna, ousted President Joseph Estrada reiterated yesterday.

    And he had the evidence to prove this charge, as his camp made public copies of the Arroyo sovereign guarantee.

    Under the sovereign guarantee, the Philippine government absorbs all the losses and other dire consequences of the contract if Impsa defaults on the payments of its debts.

    Estrada, during a radio interview, maintained that had he signed the sovereign guarantee for the contract, then Justice Secretary Hernando Perez would not have issued a legal opinion on the matter.

    “If I had approved the guarantee, why would Secretary Perez still issue a legal opinion on the matter?” the now detained leader said.

    According to his spokesmen, lawyer Rufus Rodriguez and former Maguindanao Rep.

    Didagen Dilangalen, the sovereign guarantee was embodied in Perez’s legal opinion dated Jan. 24, 2001 just three days after then Vice President Gloria Arroyo took Malacañang from Etrada by force through the Jan. 21, power grab led by Mrs. Arroyo herself and a clutch of conspirators from the so-called civil society.

  • Tigerhawk found loopholes in the "Great Firewall of China."

  • Lots of stuff today about the NBA draft from Henry Abbott, the best basketball blogger, IMO. Check him out.

  • Gilbert Arenas says he's willing to take a pay cut to help the Wizards upgrade it's roster, but the NBA and player's union forbid such moves.

Interesting Manila Mayor's race in 2007

Balak ni Mike Arroyo na makuha ang Makati para sa administrasyon by getting Lito Lapid to run for mayor in Makati (dahil hawak ng opposition ang makati under Binay). Okay lang yan, because I don't think Lito Lapid will win anyway.

OTOH, maganda ang chance ng opposition na makuha ang Manila once na bumaba si Lito Atienza sa Mayor's office after serving 3 terms there. And WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT kung makuha ng opposition ang Manila? ;) Di mas maganda ang chance na rerespetuhin ni Lim ang karapatan ng mga anti-GMA groups na mag-rally sa Mendiola, unlike Arroyo's puppet Lito Atienza.

Anyway, I did my research and I found out na sa opposition, si Sen. Ping Lacson or Sen. Alfredo Lim might run for mayor in 2007.

On the Admin side naman, si Imelda Marcos raw gustong sumali. Pati rin si Mark Jimenez aka Mario Crespo (Wretchard's favorite candidate). LMAO.

More on Lacson March 7 2005, from MST:

Local elections are still two years away but a number of developments have set tongues wagging.

• A high-ranking official from City Hall says the senator from Cavite has already obtained his Manila residence certificate.

• Friends and neighbors of former councilor Alberto Domingo report that Lacson recently bought the house and lot owned by Domingo on Panday Pira Street in Tondo.

• Unconfirmed reports say Lacson has also bought a house and lot in San Rafael Village in Balut, Tondo, and a condominium unit in the Chinatown district of Binondo.

Pero chismis lang raw na tatakbo si Lacson, sabi niya a day after the MST article came out:

“It’s only a rumor. It’s not true,” he said. “I have not acquired any residence in Manila. I am not renting any house, nor do I have a mailing address in Manila.”

Mark Jimenez (jan. 25, 2006) says he's not running raw and will endorse candidate Joey Hizon (who?) instead. In that article, it sez that Mr. Jimenez is also the leader of a newly formed religious organization called Nagkakaisa sa Diyos, Nagkakaisang Pilipino. Wow. Bro. Jimenez!

Pro-Arroyo columnist Emil Jurado (jun. 13, 2006) on who's running in 2007:

The mayoral elections of the city of Manila may become a four-cornered fight in 2007 among Senators Ping Lacson and Fred Lim, Vice Mayor Danilo Lacuna and former jailbird and Rep. Mark Jimenez.

I don’t know if incumbent Mayor Lito Atienza will make his son Kim, run after his 3rd term. For Manilans, the more candidates there are, the merrier the whole thing gets. More money will be spread around in the process.

The more the merrier. Yeah right. Ulol!

Kim Atienza will not run raw. Gusto na niyang umalis sa pulitika (apr 03, 2006) dahil mas masarap raw maging media personality.

More from Kim atienza (june 2, 2006), who vowed never to run again for public office:

Lights? Yes. An audience? Yes. Television? Most definitely. So much so that he has turned his back on what many consider in this country the most attractive place on earth: Government. And, more surprisingly, he has vowed never to run for any position ever again or campaign for any relative in 2007 and thereafter, just to be TV Patrol World’s newest weatherman. For such are the rules of the ABS-CBN News and Public Affairs Code of Ethics, which has been strictly implemented by its chief, Maria Ressa, since November 2005.

From Ernie Maceda (6/28/06):

The campaign for the mayorship of Manila is heating up with Vice Mayor Danny Lacuna, Sen. Fred Lim, Rep. Joey Hizon, former Rep. Mark Jimenez and Ali Atienza, Lito’s younger son now organizing their leaders...

Notice na wala si Ping Lacson at Kim Atienza. Kung ito ang tatakbo, malamang na mananalo si Fred Lim. I don't care kung anak ni mayniLA si Ali Atienza (Ali who? - John Marzan)

I think this 2007 election is going to be dirty if Lim runs as the opposition candidate for Manila mayor, judging from the tactics used by Arroyo/Manapat/Fornier and the Atienza/Miles Roces group in the 2004 elections. GMA's National Archives director Ricardo Manapat, Fornier with their phony documents almost succeeded in having FPJ disqualified dahil hindi raw siya tunay na Pilipino. Remember, these were also the same people who tried to have Fred Lim disqualified in 1998.

And during the 2004 elections, people working for the Atienza/Roces group were behind the disqualification of Harry Angping (a previous two-term congressman from Manila) because he wasn't a natural born citizen, so the guy had to drop out 5 days before the elections. Hindi ba settled na ang citizenship niya dati, kaya siya pinayagang tumakbo noong 1998?

Anyway, kung tatakbo ulit si Fred Lim sa Manila, malamang buyahin ulit ang chinese citizenship issue laban sa kanya. Kung nagawa nila kay Angping yan, pwede rin nilang gawin ito kay Lim.

Sayang si Lacson kung hindi siya tatakbo as mayor of Manila. Malakas siya sa Chinese community and ordinary Manilenos, and he could have blown the competition out of the water.

His slogan for Manila could have been: "A safer and more progressive Manila".

Safer, dahil bumagsak ang crime and kidnapping sa panahon niya without resorting to controlling the media coverage. He managed to reduce corruption in the PNP to a minimal level and has managed to instill discipline in their ranks. Kaya the PNP under his watched received the highest approval rating of 69% percent (or a net rating of +58%). Before his stint, the organization received negative ratings. Kapag safe ang environment sa Maynila, mas magiging attractive ang Maynila sa foreign investors at local businesses.

A more "progressive" Manila because alam naman nating napaka-conservtive at backward si Atienza sa mga social issues, lalo na sa family planning. hehe... Progressive dahil hindi trapo ang approach ni Lacson, whether he's running a police organization into top professional shape, or possibly running and managing a city as big as manila. I think Lacson will be able to attract more businesses and investments into Manila than Atienza.

UPDATE: Atienza was okay as mayor, but I'm a little sick of seeing his name, his face, his MayniLA, and his son-in-law Cong. Miles Roces' name and face plastered and printed all over Manila. Para sa akin, magaling lang si Lito Atienza sa mga expensive beautification projects niya at magpatayo ng mga bagong gusali. So in a way, he's like our own Imelda Marcos, na mahilig ring magpatayo ng mga "beautification" projects.

But either Lacson or Lim is okay with me if both run for mayor of Manila.

At sabi ni Lord Dracula:

I agree. Pinaganda lang ni Atienza yung distrito nya. Better look and see District I, it's a forgotten land. And district II, well, di sya manalo-nalo run kaya pinabayaan din nya.

Lim and Lacson should stay in the Senate, although I know both prefer executive positions. Kasi, more than ever, we need an opposition Senate.

In any case I'd go for Lim.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mike Defensor says Hyatt 10 tricked Arroyo into saying "I'm Sorry"

Mike Defensor says that Arroyo was tricked raw by the Hyatt 10 into giving her "I am Sorry" speech last year

PRESIDENTIAL chief of staff Michael Defensor said yesterday President Arroyo’s "I am sorry" speech made a year ago yesterday on national television was a "mistake" and that she was set up by her former allies who are now with the opposition.

"Yung kinakalungkot natin doon, yung mga nagtulak para magsalita ang Pangulo ang siya rin palang babaligtad laban sa Pangulo. Mukhang inihanda ang ganitong klaseng sitwasyon sa Pangulo para magsalita at sa bandang huli, iiwanan din nila ang Pangulo at magtulak ng ibang kandidato para pagkapangulo o di kaya para agawin ang poder ng gobyerno," Defensor said.

Wrong. The reason why Arroyo was forced to apologize was because the 10 cabinet members threatened to resign if she did not come clean to the public. When her instead delivered her so-called "apology" instead of coming clean and telling the truth, doon nag-resign ang sampu.

Anyway, in a move to pre-empt the resignation of the 10 cabinet members, inunahan ni GMA sila by firing all of them.

More here from the Washington Post. When Arroyo made her "apology", Connie Veneracion, a supporter of the Arroyo presidency, was furious. Bad move raw, she said.

More from Defensor:

"Nagkaroon pa kami ng away doon during the debate. Pati yung pamilya ni Presidente pinag-usapan. They were talking of the family as if on a personal level, as if they were talking of a Cabinet appointee pero pamilya ito. That night when I left, they met with the President and that was how I believe they were able to force the President to take that position," he said.

Of course, that's what he says. Here's how some of the cabinet members remembered it last year:

IF the Hyatt 10 had not told us about a July 5 Cabinet meeting where Gloria Arroyo talked about using "muscle" to counter protests against her crumbling administration, we would have dismissed Chavit Singson’s X-tape as pathetic.

Gloria Arroyo’s propagandists Ignacio Bunye and Rigoberto Tiglao can deny to high heavens that they had nothing to do with Singson’s crude tactic but the signs are there that it was a Malacañang-sponsored attempt to obfuscate the truth of election fraud exposed by the Garci tapes.

In that July 5 meeting, the Hyatt 10, Arroyo’s key officials who resigned and asked for her resignation in a press conference at the Hyatt Hotel last July 8, said that they were aghast when Arroyo blamed them for convincing her to admit and apologize over her conversations with Garcillano.

She reportedly said:,"You know, against the advice of my legal counsel, I followed your recommendation to admit and apologize. Now I’m getting all the flak and I’m constrained to use muscle."

Then Social Services Secretary Dinky Soliman and Budget Secretary Emy Boncodin were aghast. It was there that they realized that there was really no contrition on Arroyo’s part despite her June 27 "I am sorry" televised address.

Arroyo proceeded to explain her plan to show the opposition that they have "muscle". "From now on, (Davao Mayor Rodrigo) Duterte and (Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward) Hagedorn will have a prominent role."

Duterte had threatened that he will establish a Mindanao republic if Arroyo was ousted. This prompted then Agriculture Secretary Rene Villa, who is a lawyer, to remark, "Are we engaging in a state-sanctioned secession?" Shouldn’t we be distancing ourselves from Duterte?

Villa also remarked that throughout the Garci tapes controversy, Malacañang’s line was to uphold the "rule of law" to justify its silence on the illegally obtained phone conversations as well as in ignoring calls for Arroyo’s resignation. He pointed out that Duterte’s threat is "against the law."

Arroyo’s reply: "Duterte said if they remove me, that’s against the law. So, if we react in such manner, we are just correcting a violation of the law."

"That’s tortured logic," the flabbergasted Villa remarked. Three days after, he and nine others called it quits.

Duterte was joined later by Singson, hero of Edsa Dos that installed Arroyo as unelected president in 2001, who also announced his plan to secede Ilocos Sur from the Philippines if Arroyo is ousted.

So, kumusta na ang secession threats ng mga kaalyado ni ARroyo?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

2nd Impeachment complaint filed against Arroyo

A second impeachment complaint is now filed vs. Arroyo.

I'd like to see Arroyo impeached para matapos na itong GLORIAGATE issue na ito. This gives Arroyo the opportunity to defend herself in court, and show the public na transparent ang government niya at hindi siya guilty.

At kung na-impeach si Arroyo at sa impeachment trial niya ay napatunayan na hindi guilty si Arroyo at si Garci, then ako mismo hindi ko na susuportahan yung mga future impeachment complaints laban sa kanya and not only will I stop calling for her resignation, I'd support her presidency 100% pa.

Gusto kong ilabas ng mga pro- at anti-Arroyo ang mga ebidensiya nila so the Filipino can judge for themselves kung guilty talaga si arroyo o gawa-gawa lang ng opposition ang GLORIAGATE.

And I'd like to hear the GLORIGATE players tell their story under oath in impeachment court at ma-cross examine sila. People like Virgilio Garcillano, Vidal Doble, Ignacio Bunye, Joc Joc Bolante, Michaelangelo Zuce, Ricardo Manapat, Mike Defensor, Gen. Esperon, Kyamko and others, PNP chief Lomibao, Rashma Hali, Gen. Gudani, Capt. Marlon Mendoza, Alexander Balutan and others.

I'd like to see Garci questioned again about a few things na medyo inconsistent sa kanyang testimony noong um-attend siya sa hearing that was presided by Arroyo's allies. Obviously, walang nakitang krimen o nakawan ng election ang mga kaalyado ni Arroyo, at yan ang inilagay nila sa walang-kwentang committee report nila. Hindi raw guilty si Garci. Whatever, Teddyboy.

From MLQ3:

The new charges are powerful: First: GMA exercised dictatorial powers to stifle political dissent triggered by her illegitimate presidency. Second: GMA committed crimes against humanity. She abetted, if not encouraged, the systematic and widespread killings of political dissidents and journalists to silence criticisms against her. Third: GMA criminally concealed her conjugal assets, engaged in graft and corruption, and entered into illegal government contracts.

Each charge stands on its own, and isn’t dependent on the other two. The House is tasked to deliberate on each one, and to decide which ones deserve to be prosecuted in the Senate. Each charge needs to be answered, and it is in the detailed reply to each charge, and the things that constitute the grounds for them, that the House and, hopefully, the Senate, with the public observing the process, must make up their minds.

With regard to the first charge: when Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye released two CDs to the public, and Secretary Michael Defensor remarked “that is the President’s voice, but that isn’t her talking,” did a conspiracy to obstruct justice take place, with the consent of Ms Arroyo as principal? When the calibrated preemptive response, EO 464 and 1017 were made official policies, did Ms Arroyo arrogate unto herself powers fit only for a dictator? When she authorized the raid on The Daily Tribune and had the police exert pressure on the publication, did she violate her oath of office; and does the harassment of party-list representatives constitute arbitrary and illegal behavior? As for the allegations of electoral fraud in 2004, did such cheating occur?

While the second charge speaks for itself, what of the third charge: do the Jose Pidal accounts, Piatco bribery allegations, the NorthRail contracts, policies on jueteng, as well as the highly partisan handling of the congressional pork barrel constitute behavior that would justify Ms Arroyo’s removal from office? To refuse to face these charges now is to ensure that they become central issues in the 2007 elections.

I'd like to see the reason Arroyo's allies use to justify killing this new impeachment complaint vs. Arroyo. At nagtatanong lang

More here from the PCIJ and Ellen Tordesillas.

Michelle Malkin on being discriminated against in the Philippines

Tuesday Bullets:

  • If this is true, then this is very damning against the US servicemen in the Pinay rape case. I still think matatalo ang victim sa kaso na ito, dahil malalakas ang kalaban nya. I'm thinking a slap on the wrist or outright acquittal for Keith Silkwood and his gang of thugs.

  • Although I disagree with Conrado de Quiros's views on the WOT, I think his article is spot on as to why Arroyo is recently so atat-na-atat about starting a New War against the Left and Commies.

  • Lito Banayo remembers 27 June 2005, when we all had a laugh on national tv.

  • Has GMA really lost the support of the Catholic Church?

  • PNP: Taking to the streets? Show permit! Pero hindi ba under BP 880, automatic na pwede ka nang mag-rally if the mayor's office fail to take action on your rally permit request after 2 days? Makakaasa ba tayo kay Lito Atienza na mabigyan tayo ng permit para sa mga rally sa Mediola, katulad ng panahon nina Cory, Ramos at Erap?

  • JB Baylon on the chismis and talks surrounding Ate Glue's recent trip to the hospital.

  • Baka sabihin ng iba na hindi kami "fair and balanced" sa Philippine Politics 04. Eto naman ang panig ng kabila. Fel Marangay, who is a reporter and a columnist for the Manila Standard Today, puts out the latest Malacanang talking points. Top story for the Standard Today, bylined by Marangay too is: Malacanang to critics, show respect while GMA is away.

    O, eto pa, from column-mate Bong Austero, who thinks we should give the group behind the GMA-backed People's Initiative a chance. (off topic: wow, mas matanda pa pala si Austero sa akin. akala ko 24-25 years old lang siya. LOL.) Here's his pic:

    Bong Austero Manila Standard Today

  • Hello Garci operator Lintang Bedol to be promoted as judge?

  • Garci General Esperon to become the next AFP chief? HU-AH!

    More from the PDI Editorial: Wanted: Generals

    Will she appoint ideological generals to head the AFP or the PNP? This will be the surest sign that the Arroyo administration’s new hard-line position is not merely rhetorical, but real. It is one thing when, say, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye avoids making a distinction between a communist rebel and a street protester; it is altogether another thing when someone like Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan blithely assumes that a militant activist peacefully demonstrating for human rights and an armed insurgent planning an ambush are one and the same.

  • Top Asian, European liberals alarmed at militants’ murders

    The Arroyo government received another black eye, this time coming from Asian and European delegates to a conference of Liberal Democrats that convened yesterday. They condemned the non-stop political killings of leftists in the country.

    But even as a former German Liberal Party leader pointed out that President Arroyo’s all-out war against local communists is not necessary as top liberals from Asia and Europe expressed alarm over the increasing number of militants being killed in the Philippines, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) started its investigation and armed push to determine the possible involvement of government officials, particularly party-list congressmen identified with the Left who it said are providing support to the New People’s Army (NPA).

    According to Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr., 7th Infantry Division commander who has a reputation of being a “butcher” of leftists, the partylist congressmen, standing as a support system for the armed rebels, must be stopped and not allowed to sit in Congress.

    “It’s clear that the partylists groups are part of the armed rebellion as they serve as a support system for the armed groups”, Palparan was quoted as saying.

    No wonder isa-isa silang pinapatay...

    More from Ninez Cacho Olivares:

    If Gloria and her aides think that by abolishing the death penalty, she will be strengthening European diplomatic support and recognition of her presidency whose legitimacy continues to be doubted both here and abroad, they certainly have another think coming.

    While the European governments may express satisfaction over the death of capital punishment in this country, they are just as uptight in matters of summary executions that are happening much too frequently in the Philippines, where too many leftwing militants and journalists are being murdered, and by military and police people, even if they keep on denying this.

    Even more worrisome for the European governments is the dismal country state on the blatant violations of human and civil rights.

    For the European audience, hearing or reading about Gloria’s all-out war against the Left is anathema, since leftists — whether socialist or communist — are recognized in their democracies in their parliamentary struggle.

    Not so in this country, as evidenced by the Arroyo officials slapping rebellion charges on elected congressmen with the leftist bent. Gloria, her aides, her military and police generals, do not make a distinction between the armed communist group and the above ground leftists or militants. To them, they are part and parcel of the communist movement and must therefore be jailed or even summarily executed. A general even says they should not be made to sit in Congress.

  • “WHERE are all the good leaders?” “Who is the alternative to the present leadership?” “Yes we believe that the Gloria Arroyo cheated, lied and stole her way to the presidency, and we believe that the stealing goes on, but will fighting the present wrongs, resisting the present injustice, bring us anything better?”

    These are some of the questions from the "Arroyo stay" people that Dr. Maria Padilla tackled.

  • Michelle Malkin on color discrimination in the Philippines, in her old 1998 Seattle Times article:

    MY skin is light mocha brown.

    Growing up in rural South Jersey, it always seemed darker than it really was. To the pink-necked bigots who couldn’t tell Philadelphia from the Philippines, the light mocha brown skin of the Maglalang family and the caramel skin of the Patel family and the deep ebony skin of the Jackson family were indistinguishable. We were all equal, all right. Equally non-white. Equally “Niggers.”

    On a recent vacation, my naturally burnished hide once again invited the kind of circus-freak scrutiny I’d grown indifferent to since childhood. A genteel lady from rural Virginia had been chatting vacuously with my husband (who happens to be a person of pallor). When I joined him casually and slipped my hand in his, the curious belle interrupted herself to squint closely at my brown visage. In the lilting, exaggerated manner of a civilized explorer trying to
    communicate with a deaf barbarian, she asked me: “AND . . . WHAR . . . ARE . . . YEW . . . FRUM?”

    I’ve been called every racial epithet in the book. But whites aren’t the only ones who pass ill judgments based on color.

    Within my own ethnic group - within my own family - there is shade-based bigotry. Back in the Philippines, upscale restaurants refuse to hire natives with skin darker than sand. The movie industry promotes model “mestizos” and “Maria Claras” - pale as paper due to the blanching effect of Spanish blood. Lighter-skinned cousins mocked me as “The Brownie.” Pitying aunties suggested rubbing my skin with pumice stones for a more desirable complexion.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Val Lewton Horror Collection

At last! I finally have it! ASTEEG! The collection is a 5 DVD disc set with the following movies:

Cat People (1942)
Ghost Ship (1943)
I Walked With a Zombie (1943)
The Leopard Man (1943)
The Seventh Victim (1943)
Curse of the Cat People (1944)
The Body Snatcher (1945)
Isle of the Dead (1945)
Bedlam (1946)

All New Documentary: Shadows in the Dark -The Val Lewton Legacy

DVD Savant reviews all the 9 films.

Nice statements Ambassador Kenney, but not enough

Sunday Bullets:
  • GMA gots the diarrhea, and was rushed to the hospital.

  • This is nice Ambassador Kenney, but not enough.

  • Helga updates the Black and White movement blog. She and any others will be at the Batasan tonight to beat the hell out of Oliver Lozano (or his ilk) if he ever make an appearance to file his bogus impeachment complaint. God Bless you all.

  • The Asia Blog Award 2006-2007 is now on. Here are the nominees for Best Philippine blog.

  • How legislators voted on the death penalty before, and now. Sinong mga flip-floppers, at sinong hindi.

  • A reunion of Erap's Midnight Cabinet? This one's for you, Wretch. ;)

  • Lito Banayo: "Doña Gloria wants businessmen to stop paying 'revolutionary taxes' to the NPA. Businessmen retort: 'Can you protect us?'"

  • Hello GArci lawyer up for judgeship:

    President Arroyo’s 2004 poll payback hasn’t ended, as a Commission on Election (Comelec) officer who was reportedly mentioned in, and caught speaking with Mrs. Arroyo’s political operator on the wiretapped vote-rigging operations conversations between herself and former poll commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, has reportedly been recommended for a position as judge in a regional trial court.

    Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. yesterday took note of this unending political payback as he called the attention of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) on what he insinuated was an impropriety on the part of the judicial council body to even consider the appointment to a judgeship of one lawyer Lintang Bedol.

    Garcillano, in the tapped conversations, mentioned the name Bedol many times and in a conversation with one “Danny,” another poll operator, Garcillano was heard to say that he was just waiting for Bedol to fax him, referring to the poll fraud operations in Cotabato City, where Bedol was apparently tasked to work magic on the votes to favor Mrs. Arroyo.

    Remember, Nene Pimentel was the first one to object to Virgilio Garcillano's appointment as COMELEC Commissioner by Arroyo dahil may reputasyon ito bilang isang dagdag bawas operator. And he was right to oppose that appointment. Now, Arroyo's allies at the JBC are trying to sneak in another corrupt official to another important position. When will these fools ever learn? And you expect us to beleive that Arroyo will be able to reform the COMELEC? Or to appoint credible people in office?

  • Justice secretary Gonzalez bans Satur Ocampo from criticizing GMA, administration abroad:

    Party-list Rep. Saturnino “Satur” Ocampo left yesterday despite having had a difficult time convincing Justice chief Raul Gonzalez and Immigration Commissioner Alipio Fernandez who both played hard ball in granting him permission to catch a last-minute flight to Europe where he is slated to attend a United Nations human rights conference and visit his fellow parliamentarians in Belgium.

    He was given permission to leave only after extracting from Ocampo, and his wife Carolina Malay, a pledge that he would not criticize President Arroyo abroad for violations of human rights.

    The couple, accompanied by their lawyer Neri Colmenares, turned up at the Ninoy Aquino International Airpoirt (NAIA) Terminal I around 5:30 p.m. yesterday to board Lufthansa Flight LH 789 bound for Geneva, Switzerland via Frankfurt, Germany, but were almost prevented from doing so by Immigration and NAIA officers who tried to implement the hold-departure order (HDO) against the congressman issued by Gonzalez last Thursday.

  • Ang listahan ng "palakpak boys" na kasama ni Arroyo sa junket niya patungong Italy

    Also joining the President are congressmen Juan Miguel Zubiri (Bukidnon), Ma. Amelita Villarosa (Occidental Mindoro), Eduardo Veloso (Leyte), Emmy Lou Talino-Santos (North Cotabato), Mary Ann Susano (Quezon City), Danilo Suarez (Quezon), Lorna Silverio (Bulacan), Rizalina Seachon-Lanete (Masbate), Victoria Reyes (Batangas), Herminia Ramiro (Misamis Occidental), Francis Nepomuceno (Pampanga), Roger Mercado (Southern Leyte), Hermilando Mandanas (Batangas), Uliran Joaquin (Laguna), Cecilia Jalosjos-Carreon ( Zamboanga del Norte), Del de Guzman (Marikina City), Arthur Defensor (Iloilo), Rodolfo Antonino (Nueva Ecija), Jesus Reynaldo Aquino ( Pampanga) and Rodolfo Albano III (Isabela).

    Governors on board are Ben Evardone (Eastern Samar), Erico Aumentado (Bohol), Miguel Rene Dominguez (Saranggani), Adolph Edward Plaza (Agusan del Sur), Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. (Camarines Sur), Josephine dela Cruz (Bulacan) and Pax Mangudadatu (Sultan Kudarat).

    Manila Mayor Joselito Atienza is also flying with Mrs. Arroyo.

    "kill-impeach" at CHA CHA ang most likely na mga topics na paguusapan nila doon. Kasama rin si Manila Mayor Lito Atienza para pagusapan ang crowd dispersal tactics sa Maynila at paano ma-implement pa rin ang unconstitutional na CPR.

  • Charles Krauthammer: "God, I Love Australia."

  • "Islam's Ann Coulter."

  • Roger Ebert has just added "The Shining" (1980, Kubrick) to his greatest movies list.

  • Ayan, nagpakalbo na si Dirk.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Maurizio Gherardini!

Friday Bullets:
  • The "One Voice" campaign was launched yesterday by Manuel Quezon Tres and others. Here's their website. Q3 explains why he joined the group.

    Here's the report from Malaya on the "One Voice" campaign yesterday.

    Ito ang 5 proposals ng "One Voice" group:

    The first is, to discontinue the present “people’s initiative”; the second, to arrive at a social reform program now; the third is, to ensure that the elections in 2007 are held as scheduled, and to agree that if freely and fairly held, they will serve as an indisputable, indirect referendum on the administration (for this to happen, we need electoral reform now); the fourth, to hold a constitutional convention (not a “con-ass”) after the 2007 elections, assuming a public clamor for it continues; and the fifth, regardless of one’s partisan affiliations, to push for a collective effort to rebuild the trustworthiness of our democratic institutions.

    Q3 adds:

    Allow me to propose that the public has been clear in expressing what it expects:

    First, that certain political boundaries be respected by everyone. Those boundaries are: (1) any solution to social or political problems should be peaceful, non-military and non-revolutionary -- in other words, constitutional; (2) confidence in elections as the supreme expression of the people’s will must be asserted -- and therefore, elections, to be credible, must be free and fair; more people should be engaged in the effort to identify and achieve solutions to concrete problems.

    Tama siya. So bakit hindi ito ang nangyari noong 2001? Bakit hindi ginamit ang 2001 midterm elections as a "referendum" kay erap? Aber Mareng Winnie, bakit?

  • Chemical weapons found in Iraq. Instapundit has a huge roundup.

  • 7 Marines, sailor charged in Iraqi's death:

    Seven Marines and a Navy corpsman were charged Wednesday with premeditated murder in the shooting death of an Iraqi man who was pulled from his home and shot while U.S. troops hunted for insurgents. They could face the death penalty if convicted.

    All eight also were charged with kidnapping. Other charges include conspiracy, larceny and providing false official statements.

    To the family of the victim, buti na lang sa Iraq nangyari yan, where the Bush adminsitration is under pressure from the Mainstream media and Human Rights organizations not to coverup and whitewash any case of abuse by US soldiers in Iraq.

    To the Pinay rape victim naman, I'm sorry to say this, but it's very likely na makakalusot yung mga nang-rape sa iyo with little or no punishment. You're not gonna get much cooperation from the US gov't or from the Arroyo admin, lalo na kay DOJ Sec. SiRaulo Gonzalez.

  • Interesting tidbit from Lito Banayo: "But why is the CIDG hounding this Inquirer columnist and his brothers, tailing him here and there, simply because he has fallen out of grace? For reasons unknown to many, this columnist who used to be a good friend of someone most powerful, started writing about the waterfront activities of a mysterious lady and her brother. He knew very well the lady was not a push-over. She’s not exactly pretty by most standards, but someone is over-protective of her "privacy". Why can’t the same CIDG look for Joc Joc?"

    Oo nga naman, why can't this admin use it's resources to find and catch Joc Joc? At sino ba yang inquirer columnist na yan? Si Doro ba ang tinutukoy diyan?

  • Drop rebellion raps, ‘Erap 5’ ask DoJ.

  • The AFP threatens to file charges against the Marine Col. who recently resigned in disgust over the politization in the military under the ARroyo administration. More on this from the PCIJ. And the Tribune: AFP chief threatens court martial vs De Leon

    May tanong si Ninez:

    Yet how can the AFP chief threaten De Leon with court martial when he was no longer part of the service at the time his letter of resignation, dated June 15, was being circulated before a public forum on the 19th of June?

    De Leon, being a private citizen and no longer under military control, has every right to air whatever he wants to air, without being sanctioned by the military leadership.

    But the AFP leadership insists that De Leon had not resigned, despite evidence of his letter of resignation addressed to his commandant, Gen. Nelson Allaga, who incidentally has been mentioned too in the “Hello Garci” wiretapped conversations.

    So why the insistence by the military brass of De Leon not having resigned?

    Simple. With his resignation, De Leon is now free to speak out his mind, and even more important, De Leon is no longer covered by Executive Order (EO) 464, Gloria’s gag rule which has already been struck down by the high court, but which Gloria and her cohorts in the military continue to enforce, clearly to keep up with their cover-up operations.

    More to the point, if the Senate calls on De Leon to appear before the legislative body on the wiretap probe and the inclusion of the Mayuga Report, the retired Marine official will have no choice but to appear before the body. And this is what Malacañang and the military brass really fear, since De Leon appears to know a lot of funny stuff going around in the military.

    UPDATE: From Ellen Tordesillas:
    "Col. de Leon is still in the service. He just resigned from his post as marines chief of staff."

    Thanks for the correction, Ellen.

  • MLQ3: "It seems pretty much official: the State of the Nation address will focus on the super-region scheme, and not on constitutional amendments. Makes sense, since it’s easier to trumpet the regional scheme rather than deal with sustained criticism (despite trotting out Fidel Ramos) of the amendments effort."

    I also think she'll focus on her "War vs the Left" and her "War vs. Corruption" <..roll's eyes..> in her SONA.

  • The PDI Editorial is very critical of Arroyo's ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez:

    In the meantime, Gutierrez has been fighting an old order from the Supreme Court to get cracking on the poll automation case. Instead of filing charges against everyone involved in the fraudulent transaction, Gutierrez has been questioning the Court’s authority to issue such an order.

    Thus, we have the agency charged with investigating and prosecuting graft cases showing extreme reluctance to do its duty in defiance of a court order and the recommendation of the Senate. By her inaction on these cases, Gutierrez has virtually confirmed suspicions that she was put in the position to protect persons close to the President.

    Given how Gutierrez seems to be single-mindedly pursuing that mission, not even throwing billions into the campaign will ensure that the war against corruption will be won. The new war is lost before it begins.

    Ganyan rin ang attitute ni Ms. Gutierrez nung nasa DOJ pa siya sa IMPSA corruption scandal ng dating DOJ secretary na si Nani Perez.

  • The book "55 Ways to Have Fun with Google" is now in PDF form.

  • The Toronto Raptors has hired Benetton Treviso GM Maurizio Gherardini as Bryan Colangelo's right-hand man. This makes Gherardini the first European to hold a senior position at an NBA ballclub. And it's almost certain that Andrea Bargnani, who helped Benetton win the Italian Liga A chapionship two days ago, will be the first overall pick of this year's draft by the Raptors. Here's a great 2004 Chad Ford article on Gherardini, "possibly the most powerful GM in the world, outside the United States." And here are photos of Gherardini.

  • In other NBA news, Isiah Thomas now gets to coach the mess of a team he has assembled.

Fidel Ramos the comedian

The parliamentary system raw is the solution raw to replace a corrupt, abusive regime like Arroyo's. Well, that's what Fidel Ramos is trying to sell to the public.

From the PCIJ:

EVEN as a broad range of groups are uniting against attempts to amend the 1987 constitution, former President Fidel V. Ramos made another pitch for charter change, arguing that “the parliamentary system will enable our people to replace an oppressive, corrupt and/or nonperforming chief executive democratically and smoothly.”

That argument was obviously intended for the groups that are seeking the ouster of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Ramos said that the current presidential system lacks accountability. “Since the President is accountable directly to the electorate, ” he said, “He/she is in reality answerable to no one the moment he/she gets elected.”

The fixed presidential term, he added, makes impeachment tremendously difficult, allowing presidents to “defy public opinion with impunity.”

Hokay. But will it really remove an illegitimate, abusive and corrupt official like ARroyo? Is our children learning? Here's FVR just a few weeks ago:

FVR drops bid to cut GMA term
By Fel V. Maragay

Former President Fidel Ramos has dropped his call for the shortening of the term of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the country moves toward a parliamentary system. Shortening her tenure is “no longer realistic,” he said.

Ramos, a senior adviser to Mrs. Arroyo, said yesterday it became pointless to insist on the reduction of her term when she is determined to complete her mandate in 2010.

The former president had proposed the fast-tracking of Charter Change within a 12-month period to make way for the setting up of a parliamentary system by July this year.

He made the drastic proposal on July 8, 2005 when eight Cabinet members and two bureau directors resigned from the administration and key political allies, as well as prominent business leaders, withdrew their support from the President.

The mass resignation and withdrawal of political support nearly caused the collapse of the Arroyo government. Ramos, who stood by the President, advised her to cut short her term as a personal sacrifice to bring back political stability.

In withdrawing his call for the reduction of the President’s term, Ramos said: “It’s no longer realistic. The time line that I put out is past. So can you bring back the time? Of course not.”

LMAO. So removing Arroyo is "unrealistic" at this point huh? So should we take the old general seriously anymore when he makes claims he can't back up?

Katulad nga ng sinabi ni MLQ3: "Fidel V. Ramos throws in the towel: the man’s licked, and knows it."

Thursday, June 22, 2006

If the CHA CHA failed to divert, what to do? Start a new War, of course!

The legitimacy and corruption issues continue to hound Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. She tried diverting our attention from the GLORIAGATE scandals with her "Great debate" on CHA CHA. Didn't work. 80% of Filipinos (pro- and anti-GMA) still believe she stole the elections and 60% wants her out of office.

(meaning, the other 20% who believed GMA cheated thinks it was okay/normal/necessary for Arroyo to do it because there were "no good alternatives" to GMA then, and now raw... they rationalize.)

So up to now, zero pa rin ang kredibilidad ni Arroyo sa publiko, at hindi pa rin niya maiwas-iwasan ang GLORIAGATE scandals. What to do?

Announce another war, of course. This time with "the Left." People will think, oh goody it's about time we wipe out the communist insurgency. And who isn't for wiping them out?

But Arroyo's real target here I believe, are the pesky leftist groups like Bayan Muna, Gabriela and Sanlakas etc. Sila kasi ang madalas na mag-rally laban kay Arroyo eh (just like when they did during Erap's time, nung kakampi pa ni Arroyo sila, LMAO.)

I mean, hindi naman mga communist rebels ang nababalitaang isa-isang pinapatay diba. Ang pinapatay araw-araw ngayon ay yung mga leftist militants na kasali sa opposition movement laban kay Arroyo.

And it's weird kung bakit biglang naging "serious threat" ulit ang communists sa ating bansa, eh matagal nang spent force ang mga Commies na yan, and they're more of a nuisance than a serious threat.

At matagal na tayong at war sa kanila.

Eh mas serious pa ang terrorism threat ng Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiya at ilang factions ng MILF (who still provides sanctuary to ASG and JI) sa ating bansa, IMO. After 9/11, the Americans wanted to establish a military presence here in the Philippines again to contain and fight a deadly threat, and we're not talking about the Commies, let's put it that way. ;)

But the biggest distabilizing and divisive force in our country are not the reds or the islamofascists, but the corrupt and illegitimate regime of Arroyo. When you have a president who has no credibility/legitimacy, who nobody trusts and respect, and has a tendency to act in a marcosian manner to those it labels "destabilizers", mas malamang baka lumakas pa ang communist movement, at maging recruiting tool si Arroyo ng mga komunista.

Yes, the Abu Sayyafs, JI's and CCP are all a threat to this country, but the commies are marginal and pathetic, and the US military presence here are helping to neutralize the terrorism threat from the ASG, JI and the MILF. I don't think Arroyo will be playing the China card any time soon, LOL.

It's just sad to see that the biggest threat to the stability of this country is the cheater running her quasi-dictatorhip from Malacanang, along with many of the unsavory characters she appointed to the administration.

I'm reposting this to see if technorati removes it again from their listings

Napansin ko na nawala na kasi sa technorati (dito at dito) ang post ko na ito eh. Meron naman siya sa Yahoo.

Hindi rin naka-lista ito at ito sa technorati, even though i recall seeing it before there, he he he...

UPDATE: okey na yung dalawa.



Mike Arroyo, in his own words.

Credit should go to Mike Arroyo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wednesday Bullets

  • -From PCIJ: NAMFREL part of the poll fraud coverup. Yup, matagal na nating alam yan, although si Bill Luz naging anti-Arroyo na. Ewan ko na lang kay Joe Con.

  • -Manuel L. Quezon 3, on why he doesn't want a parliamentary system.

  • -‘Kill impeach bid or we’re all dead’

  • -JB Baylon: The best way to eradicate corruption is to shut down Congress, starting with House of Representathieves. Heh.

  • -MLQ3: "Bong Austero of open letter fame, makes the transition from blogger to mainstream media opinion columnist." Now here's an easy question. Can you guess which paper he is writing for? Natch.

  • -Will Senate President Manny Villar turn into Malacanang's puppet?

    Very observant rin si William Esposo:

    Notice how pro-Arroyo Senators are very sparing in defending her these days. Instead, they would prefer to take positions that only happen to reflect her side on a given issue. But they will be careful not to be perceived as defending her. Senator Ralph Recto will promote the EVAT but he will avoid defending Arroyo’s failed fiscal policies.

    Miriam D. Santiago is untypical of any of the other Senators yet even Miriam minimizes her defense of the Palace occupant these days. Miriam even announced last Thursday that she will file a bill to free media from government influence and interference which to me is an indirect broadside against Arroyo’s assault on press freedom. I don’t think that Miriam has altogether given up on her presidential ambition.

  • -The news of the arrest of Chen Sui Bian's son-in-law arouses envy in China. Hoy! Hindi lang kayo ha! Ako rin naiingit... :(

  • -So true. so true. I have experienced it first hand.

  • -Technophilia: Five things you didn't know you could do with Yahoo!

  • -Congrats to the Miami Heat! Boy, this guy looks stupid now, doesn't he?

  • -Nicholas Kristof: In China It's ******* vs. Netizens

    To test the limits of the Internet in China, I started a couple of Chinese blogs - in which I huff and puff as outrageously as I can.

    For a country that employs some 30,000 Internet censors, that turned out to be stunningly easy. In about 10 minutes, I started Ji Sidao's blog - that's my Chinese name - on two Chinese Web hosts, at no cost and without providing any identification.

    Writing in Chinese, I began by denouncing the imprisonment of my Times colleague, Zhao Yan, by the Chinese authorities. I waited for it to be censored. Instead, it promptly appeared on my blog.

    In frustration, I wrote something even more provocative: a call for President Hu Jintao to set an example in the fight against corruption by publicly disclosing his financial assets. To my astonishment, that wasn't censored either.

    Desperate, I mentioned Falun Gong, the religious group that is the Chinese government's greatest enemy: "In Taiwan, the Chinese people have religious freedom. So in the Chinese mainland, why can't we discuss Falun Gong?" That instantly appeared on both my blogs as well, although on one the characters for "Falun" were replaced by asterisks (functioning as pasties, leaving it obvious what was covered up).

    Finally, I wrote the most inflammatory comment I could think of, describing how on June 4, 1989, I saw the Chinese Army fire on Tiananmen Square protesters. The two characters for June 4 were replaced by asterisks, but the description of the massacre remained intact.

    These various counterrevolutionary comments, all in Chinese, are still sitting there in Chinese cyberspace at and (When State Security reads this, it may finally order my blogs closed.)

    All this underscores, I think, that China is not the police state that its leaders sometimes would like it to be; the Communist Party's monopoly on information is crumbling, and its monopoly on power will follow. The Internet is chipping away relentlessly at the Party, for even 30,000 censors can't keep up with 120 million Chinese Netizens. With the Internet, China is developing for the first time in 4,000 years of history a powerful independent institution that offers checks and balances on the emperors.

    It's not that President Hu Jintao grants these freedoms, for he has arrested dozens of cyberdissidents as well as journalists. But the Internet is just too big and complex for State Security to control, and so the Web is beginning to assume the watchdog role filled by the news media in freer countries.

    Let's hope he's right. Read the whole article. Thanks Peking Duck.

    UPDATE: Okay, both of Kristof's blogs (this and this) are gone now.

The case agaisnt Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

Randy David's speech on Arroyo's impeachment is posted in it's entirety.

Impeachment without illusions
(Concerned Citizens Forum, Manila Polo Club, 19 June 2006)
Randy David

We need to impeachment Gloria Macapagal Arroyo because it is the last constitutional procedure available to us if we wish to put a closure, once and for all, to the debilitating political crisis that was spawned by the fraudulent 2004 presidential election.

In its ruling on Proc. 1017, the Supreme Court said we cannot implead a president. How then do we make a president accountable for sins committed against the nation? The answer is impeachment. To impeach Mrs. Arroyo is to uphold the constitutional order. It is to defend what remains of our democratic institutions from the sustained assault to which they have been subjected by a reckless politician and her civilian and military allies. Of course, there is no guarantee that we will succeed in removing Mrs. Arroyo from the office she has willfully usurped. But the removal of a sitting president is only one goal of impeachment. The other goal is to actively engage our people in the political resolution of the crisis, preparatory to the long term rehabilitation of our society. In this regard, impeachment is not the end, but only the beginning.

A full year has quickly passed since Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye, in a frantic effort to cover up the crime of his boss, first publicly announced the existence of the so-called Hello Garci Tapes. These tapes, as we now know, contained 152 highly incriminating conversations between former Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano and various individuals including Gloria Macapagal Arroyo herself and her husband Mike Arroyo. Countless media reports, notably those printed by Newsbreak magazine, have pointed a finger at a unit of the ISAFP, the intelligence arm of the armed forces, as the source of these tapes. Yet, until now, no agency of government has been able to tell the public who exactly performed the wiretaps, on whose orders, how, and for what purpose. Strictly from a security standpoint, perhaps nothing can be as alarming as the wiretapping of the President.

What we know is this: Hardly anyone today disputes the fact that the inimitable voice in those tapes belongs to Mrs. Arroyo. Secretary Bunye said so himself, even as he claimed that in the “original” tape the person Gloria was talking to was not Garcillano, but a man named Gary Ruado, a staff member of Rep. Iggy Arroyo, Mrs. Arroyo’s brother-in-law. A few days later, unable to provide a believable account of where he got the tapes, and why he knew which recording was original and which one was tampered, Bunye dropped out of circulation. He later retracted his story.

Bowing to public pressure three weeks after the existence of the tapes became known, it was Mrs. Arroyo’s turn, on June 27th, to address the issue on national television. Reading from a carefully-crafted speech, she said that she owed it to the nation to set the record straight on the Hello Garci tapes. She admitted having called a Comelec official during the canvassing period. She called it a lapse in judgment for which she wished to apologize. In English, and then in Filipino, she said she was sorry. From there, she urged the nation to move on.

In subsequent interviews, she deftly avoided answering any further questions about the tapes. Each time the issue was brought up, she gave a stock answer: the question of the tapes should be raised in the proper forum at the right time. She was entitled, she said, to the “rights of an accused.” Clearly, she was bracing herself for an impeachment. She begged the public not to prejudge her. In one interview, she said she should be allowed to have “her day in court.”

Few believed that she ever meant to answer the charges against her in a proper impeachment proceeding. From the start, she was bent on using every legal technicality available in order to avoid moral and legal culpability.

Many of us then, who had already poured out into the streets, already knew that this shrewd politician would do everything to forestall the explosion of public outrage. Given the critical nature of the circumstances at that time, we knew that the shift to the impeachment mode would slow down the gathering storm and give her time to consolidate her defenses. But, having just emerged from the political turbulence of 2001, the public wanted to give the constitutional processes a chance to work. This we could not ignore.

Impeachment was a decent option that was cynically manipulated by an indecent president. Mrs. Arroyo was not at all interested in having her day in court. She was focused on rigging the whole process. With the connivance of legal mercenaries masquerading as luminaries, she and her allies in the House successfully killed the complaint before it could even reach first base. She personally phoned every single congressman she thought would listen to her. She talked to their parents, their spouses, their siblings, and their patrons. It was obvious that it wasn’t to their sense of justice that she was appealing. For she knew, perhaps more than any other politician of this generation, that everyone has a need, a weakness, and a price. And she was prepared to pay the asking price.

One doesn’t need to be a moral philosopher to know that such behavior is foul and reprehensible. But from a legal standpoint, the question always is: what law is being violated? We know that she bought the House with public funds. But how does one tell a bribe from a timely pork barrel release?

Theoretically, all laws have moral origins. But in the hands of an amoral practitioner, the law is nothing more than a guide to calculation. Perhaps this is modern society’s principal weakness – having rendered moral values increasingly irrelevant, it encourages crimes of calculation. This is especially evident in countries like ours that are undergoing the painful transition to modernity. Here, the rules are no longer fastened to any moral foundation. The old values that gave to everyday behavior the imprint of an ethical instinct are everyday being erased. Yet, what should have taken their place — the rule of law and its accompanying institutions — have not fully taken root. In other words, the old is dying, but the new hasn’t been born. This is where we are.

When one reviews the events that have transpired since the crude murder of the first impeachment, one cannot avoid feeling suffocated in a self-sustaining miasma of moral brazenness. Consider the following: A Senate committee, headed by Sen. Magsaysay, that is investigating the possible diversion of public funds intended for agricultural inputs to Mrs. Arroyo’s electoral campaign suddenly finds its quest rudely blocked at every point. A crucial witness, Jocjoc Bolante, a former undersecretary in the Dept. of Agriculture and a known underling of Mike Arroyo, cannot be located. This man freely goes in and out of the country’s airports, yet no police officer nor any NBI agent has been able to identify and bring him to the Senate.

Another Senate committee, headed by Sen. Biazon, has been investigating the role played by key officials of the Armed Forces and the PNP in the manipulation of the 2004 elections. Two Marine officers, Gen. Francisco Gudani and Col. Alexander Balutan, dutifully appeared before the Senate to answer questions. Both were severely reprimanded by their superiors. They now face the possibility of a court-martial.

On the same day Gudani and Balutan were summoned, Malacanang issued EO 464 requiring high officials of the government and of the armed services to first secure permission from the President before they could appear in any congressional hearing. This was quickly challenged before the Supreme Court by the senators no less. But it took a while before the high court would rule on the petition, and so the investigations could not proceed. Crucial portions of EO 464 were subsequently declared unconstitutional. The appearance of government officials other than president in congressional hearings in aid of legislation is mandatory, said the SC. If executive privilege is invoked, the reason must be explained. As expected, the Palace appealed the decision, and so the ban on such appearances in hearings in aid of legislation remains.

The popular movement in the streets has kept alive the spirit of protest despite the seeming indifference of many from the middle and upper classes. The weekly demonstrations, no matter how small, have made sure that the issues against Mrs. Arroyo would not be forgotten. To put an end to these noisy rallies, Mrs. Arroyo ordered her Executive Secretary, a former general himself, to adopt the so-called “calibrated pre-emptive response” in lieu of the existing policy of “maximum tolerance” in dealing with rallies without permits. A firestorm of legal challenges greeted CPR. Again, it took a while for the Supreme Court to act on the petitions. When it finally did, it categorically struck down CPR as invalid and declared it as having no place in our democratic firmament. Forced to fall back on the existing BP 880 governing public assemblies, the PNP has continued to use repressive measures to confront demonstrators. When reminded of the high court’s rejection of CPR, their cocky response is: So sue us!

Emboldened by the Supreme Court’s seeming silence on the petitions against EO 464 and CPR, Mrs. Arroyo, on Feb. 24th, Mrs. Arroyo issued Proc. 1017, declaring a state of national emergency. Through General Order No. 5, she ordered the military and the police to suppress all lawless violence, acts of terrorism, and rebellion. On the authority of this proclamation, all rallies were banned, warrantless arrests of critics were made, and government forces raided a newspaper office, claiming the right to issue standards to govern mass media, as well as to take over public utilities during the emergency.

Malacanang claimed it had unearthed a conspiracy between leftwing militants and rightwing soldiers to overthrow Mrs. Arroyo’s government. What this supposed conspiracy is all about, and who the plotters are, remains a mystery to this day. What we know is that it is the civilian critics who have borne the main blow of state repression since the issuance of 1017. In a deft maneuver that has now become familiar, Mrs. Arroyo lifted 1017 one week later, before the Supreme Court could rule on it, claiming that the emergency has passed. But instead of pronouncing the issue moot and academic, this time, the SC acted with dispatch. In sharp language, the Court reminded the President that civil liberties are so basic to a democracy that they cannot be set aside by a declaration of a state of emergency.

In a separate concurring opinion, the Chief Justice minced no words. Replying to Justice Tinga’s dissenting opinion, CJ Panganiban wrote: “Some of those who drafted PP1017 may be testing the outer limits of presidential prerogatives and the perseverance of this Court in safeguarding the people’s constitutionally enshrined liberty. They are playing with fire, and unless prudently restrained, they may one day wittingly or unwittingly burn down the country. History will never forget, much less forgive, this Court if it allows such misadventure and refuses to strike down abuse at its inception. Worse, our people will surely condemn the misuse of legal hocus pocus to justify this trifling with constitutional sanctities.”

If our country were Japan or South Korea, where personal honor is still highly valued, Mrs. Arroyo would have long bowed out of power in shame for disgracing her office. She would have drunk poison, or thrown herself into the murky waters of the Pasig. If this were Germany or Great Britain, where law and politics are taken seriously, the party in power would have instantly and decisively distanced itself from its discredited leader as an act of mortification if not of self-preservation. If this were the US, she would have been convicted for obstruction of justice on multiple counts, and hounded out of the presidency.

Our tragedy is that we are neither bound by traditional mores nor governed by the rule of law or the dynamics of a modern party system. We have a head of state who seems impermeable to guilt or shame, but is not respectful either of the ethos of the law. We have no real political parties; only parties in name – paper organizations of perennially shifting alliances based on transient interests. They do not command nor expect any enduring loyalty from their members. And worse, our justice system is manipulable.

As both a political and legal process, the idea of impeachment is based on the notion of democratic politics as an ongoing debate between a dominant and an opposition party. Where political parties do not function as aggregations of collective interests, there cannot be a meaningful political opposition. This is the reason why in societies like ours the public is called upon to play a catalytic oppositional role that one does not usually find in mature democracies. This explains why social movements, NGOs, and popular coalitions of civil society have had to be at the forefront of the struggle to build a better nation. This, of course, has its downside. For as long as social movements are forced to perform the function of the opposition, we will continue to project the image of a politically unstable society. How do we cure this image?

For the moment, we seem to have no choice but to play that role. Our people have become disenchanted not only with the administration but with the political opposition as well. That is why the question of alternatives won’t go away. Our people have come to distrust not only the politicians in power but also those presently out of power. For this reason and many others, we should not wonder if they treat the impeachment process as though it were a futile and costly exercise.

They see impeachment in exactly the same way columnist Boo Chanco imagines it in one of his recent columns – a process that only serves to fatten a bunch of greedy congressmen and local government officials. Boo’s advice is that the impeachment idea ought to be dropped, “unless the House Opposition can gather more than enough sure votes for the impeachment of Ate Glue to progress.” I find this kind of reasoning somewhat illogical, but I am sure it makes sense to a lot of people. Boo Chanco argues that the danger of being impeached has forced Gloria to make decisions that are useful to her political survival but detrimental to the nation’s interests. The opposition, he says, must bow to political realities; if they do not have the numbers, they should give to Gloria the period of political calm she needs in order “to undo some of the things she did that are inimical to public welfare.”

This kind of reasoning assumes that Mrs. Arroyo’s controversial rise to the presidency in 2001 and her equally controversial bid to keep it in 2004 have not yet tied her down so completely that she could still actually govern well if only she was not distracted by her critics. It assumes, above all, a well-meaning and principled president. I think we all know that in both 2001 and 2004, Gloria accumulated enough political debts that she would likely need another lifetime to repay all of them. Today, the situation is such that the greatest threat to her remaining in power comes not from her political opponents, but from the very people who helped her capture the presidency and retain it. I do not think these people have been fully repaid, or if they have, it is likely that not all of them are happy with what they got. I think that if Gloria asked many people to help her lie, cheat, and steal in the course of her rise to power – it would be next to impossible for her to have calm and peace of mind.

We have no choice but to pursue the impeachment cause whether or not we can muster the requisite votes at the House. Let me show you why we should pursue impeachment without any illusion.

1. First of all, to remain quiet is not an option. A quietist attitude rewards thieves, opportunists, and dishonest people. Democracy is anything but quiet. The day citizens shut up will be the day they lose their stakes in the nation. The well-documented findings and recommendations of the Citizens Congress for Truth and Accountability constitute a good beginning, and we can only be thankful for the painstaking work that went into the making of the CCTA Report. The findings should make everyone’s blood boil.

2. Yet I also believe that our people are not ready for anything radical at this time. Out of exasperation, they may welcome a revolutionary government, but I am almost certain that if they were not part of it from the start, they would not have the energy to support or defend it. It will not take long before they start to question the basis of its authority, its legitimacy.

3. Our people are worried for their families. That is why many have voted with their feet, by the thousands everyday. They fail to see any hope of redemption for the country under the existing political leadership. They’re skeptical of almost all our present leaders. We must tell them that there is hope for the country, but that hope can only be forged in acts of sustained resistance. Impeachment is an act of resistance, even if, in the context of the comprehensive failure of our social system, it seems such a mild response. It is at least a fitting response to the fraudulent ballgame that the Arroyo government has thrown at us – the so-called “People’s Initiative” for Cha-cha. I’ve always believed that it is in the course of resistance that new leaders are born, new ideas are conceived, and new solidarities are formed.

4. Fourth, I believe the 2007 midterm election is unavoidable. It presents our people with an opportunity to see where their representatives stand on a crucial moral and political issue. They will be watching how they their congressmen will vote on the impeachment of the most unpopular president this country has ever had. We cannot ignore elections, no matter how meaningless they might seem to many of us.

In the years following the assassination of Ninoy Aquino, foreign observers ridiculed our people by calling us a nation of 65 million sheep ruled by two clever thieves. Our seeming patience with the Marcos conjugal dictatorship was inexplicable to foreigners. Marcos himself thought he could be president forever when he called for a snap election. We all knew he would rig the election, but for our people, it didn’t matter. They wanted to use the election as an opportunity to show how angry they were. Thus the snap election became the nursery of people power.

I think the situation today is not so different. As in 1985-1986, we may create the constituency for reform in the very process of opposing the existing government. We learn more about ourselves or what has become of us as we take our institutions seriously. I think we should begin to regard our actions as experiments – as attempts to find out something about ourselves. We hope to see the new leaders emerge from all corners of our country as we focus on the failings of the present leadership. The new impeachment complaint may be killed again by Mrs. Arroyo’s technicians of opportunism even before it could be heard. If this happens and our people don’t get angry, then we will find other ways of resolving the crisis. But we should never give up. As I said, we can’t even be sure that the voting at the House will be any different from the way it went last year. I have no illusions. We should remain open to the willful surprises of politics.

If, perchance, we can persuade our people – especially the young – to once more take up the challenge of political involvement as we go through the process of explaining the case against Mrs. Arroyo, I think we shall have contributed to restoring our people’s confidence in the nation as a whole. At no other time has this become more necessary. By the power of negative example, Mrs. Arroyo has done a lot to cultivate in our people not only an intense dislike for politics, but also a comprehensive distrust for government. If our nation is to survive in the long term, we must do what we can to help repair the damage that has been done. It will not be easy. It will take a while. But we must seize the initiative whenever it presents itself, and begin from there. The impeachment of an unworthy leader is always a correct starting point for a nation’s political rebirth.

Thank you.

Shorter is sweeter

From MLQ3, here's the list of the three impeachment charges:

June 26 marks the date set for the filing of a new impeachment complaint against the President. The administration pooh-poohs the new charges, argues it’s unfairly pandering to public opinion, and warns that if the effort to succeed, not just the President would lose her job.

This time around, the complaint will originate with a broader segment of the public, and then nursed through the process by the opposition. The charges to be leveled against the President are more concise and powerful than ever before. They are, according to the lawyers, three main accusations:

GMA EXERCISED DICTATORIAL POWERS TO SILENCE, IF NOT STIFLE, POLITICAL DISSENT ARISING FROM HER ILLEGITIMATE PRESIDENCY. Charges of obstruction of justice, EO 464, CPR and 1017, Daily Tribune, the Batasan 5, electoral fraud.

GMA COMMITTED CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. She abetted, if not encouraged, the systematic and widespread killings of political dissidents and journalists to silence criticisms lodged against her and to continue her illegitimate hold on power.

GMA CRIMINALLY CONCEALED HER CONJUGAL ASSETS, ENGAGED IN GRAFT AND CORRUPTION, AND ENTERED INTO ILLEGAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS. The Jose Pidal accounts, PIATCO bribery, Northrail; jueteng; as well as illegal withholding of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).

Yup, simplified at concise na ang impeachment complaint. I recall making a suggestion na the opposition simplify their articles of impeachment vs. Arroyo, katulad sa 4 articles of impeachment ni Bill clinton.

More here from PCIJ.