Sunday, December 31, 2006

Opposition should not settle for 80 House seats only

Continuation ito ng previous post ko on how the Anti-GMA Opposition should run their campaign. Ito ang pagkaka-iba ng Senate race sa Local House race ng mga congressman:

This election is all about accountability, fighting corruption, good governance, and having an honest and credible government...

iba ang strategy para sa Senate election campaign at sa House. National issues sa Senate races, at dapat nationally known ang mga candidates mo.

Sa House races naman, more on local issues, pero pwedeng i-nationalize ang mga House races. The Democrats did that in 2006 on the Iraq issue, and the beat the Republicans badly in their own midterm elections.

Last time, I focused on the Senate Strategy. Ngayon House strategy naman para sa Opposition.

First off, I think the Opposition shouldn't be just settling for 80 House seats in Congress (Eighty is the number needed to impeach Arroyo). Because this is more than just impeaching Arroyo. This IS about changing the culture of corruption and pork barrel style politics in Malacanang and in Congress, and throwing the corrupt politicians and bums out of power.

Winning eighty is nice, but it doesn't get us control of the House. The only way we can make meaningful changes and reforms in the system is if we gain the majority in the House. That means winning more than half of the House seats.

Winning the majority will be more difficult than just winning 80, but because of the Arroyo factor, I believe it's doable and a goal worth pursuing.

Okay, before we go to the main issues that the Opposition House candidates should run on, I want address "Local Races, Local Issues" rule first. I believe the opposition should allow their local candidates some leeway to decide on some local issues, like whether they should run as pro- or anti-Charter Change.

For example, if the polls in Cebu show that CHA CHA is popular in certain areas/districts in Cebu, then my advice for the Cebu opposition candidate is to support Cha Cha to negate his opponents advantage on that issue. OTOH, a local candidate from the Manila or Laguna can run against Arroyo's CHACHA and clobber his opponents with this issue, especially with the way many of these tongressmen CHA CHA supporters recklessly pushed CON ASS down our throats. Pero nasa local candidate na yan kung anong position ang hahawakan nya. Judgment call na niya yan.

(Ito pa ang isang example: Sa US politics, a Democrat will have difficulty winning in Southern states (or in the Bible belt) if he's perceived as too liberal. That's why Democrats National Committee tend to recruit democrats with conservative or moderate platforms to run in places like Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas or Alabama. Pagdating naman California or New York state elections, a Republican who's very conservative on social issues has little chance of succeeding in these liberal "blue" states. Only moderate or liberal pro-Choice Republicans like Rudy Giuliani or Arnold Schwarzenegger can do well.)

Anyway, after the CON ASS incident, it is likely na pati yung mga dating pabor sa CHA CHA ay na-turn off na rin sa pinaggagawa nina JDV, the Proseperos, Lagman, et al, and their actions have convinced many of thsoe inclined to support CHA CHA that this may not not be the right time to do CHA CHA, and that the people behind this "clamor" may not be the most credible or trustworthy.

(Here's another tip: Against these shameless ten, it would be wise for the local opposition candidate to run against CHACHA, to help remind voters of their roles in the CON ASS.)
1) Luis Villafuerte, Camarines Sur
2) Edcel Lagman, Albay
3) Prospero Pichay, Surigao del Sur
4) Prospero Nograles, Davao City
5) Douglas Cagas, Davao del Sur
6) Constantino Jaraula, Cagayan de Oro
7) Simeon Datumanong, Cotabato
8) Arthur Defensor, Iloilo
9) Matt Defensor, Quezon City
10) Rodolfo Antonino, Nueva Ecija

Pero i'm sure nagtataka kayo kung bakit iba yung advice ko sa Senate Opposition candidates at sa House Opposition candidates pagdating sa CHA CHA. Kung nabasa nyo yung advice ko para sa mga Senate Opposition Candidates, ang sabi ko:
The Senate candidates should run against Arroyo's Cha Cha proposal. Most people are against Arroyo's CHA CHA push, and think that the issue is too toxic, too divisive to take up right now. As a national issue, running against CHA CHA is a winner for the opposition senate candidates.

Yung CHA CHA as a national issue is still unpopular for majority of Filipinos (probably even more after CON ASS). That's why even Mike Defensor was smart enough to distance himself from the administration's continuing CHA CHA moves. And he's distancing himself from Arroyo's CHA CHA because he plans to run for Senator, dahil national election ito, he'd hurt his candidacy if he adopted the administration aggressive stance on CHA CHA.

More Later: Part 2 ng strategy para sa House Candidates

Malls nagtitipid na ng tubig

Napansin nyo ba na ang mga malls ngayon sa Maynila ay nagtitipid na ng tubig?

Kapag napapadaan ako sa SM Manila, Isetann Recto o sa Gotesco City, mahirap nang maka-inom ng tubig sa mga food Court nila.

Sa SM Manila for example, mahaba na ang pila sa water fountain ngayon dahil iisa na lang ito, unlike before. And they adjusted the pressure kaya mahina ang labas ng tubig. I guess gusto ng mga SM na bumili na lang kayo ng softdrinks of juice sa foodcourt of sa supermarket nila.

Sa Isetann Recto, "out of order" na ang water fountains nila. Sa mga pinag-bilihan nyo ng pagkain na lang raw kayo humingi ng tubig.

Sa Gotesco City, May water fountain, pero walang baso na available. I guess kailangan mo munang bumili ng pagkain bago ka bibigyan ng baso.

"People's Initiative" sa Israel?

From Jesus Sison:

An old friend who now works in Israel told me that the OFWs in that country were being asked by official government representatives to indicate their approval of Charter change. He said that all the workers in Israel were listed including their addresses and work places. The names of their recruitment agencies were also listed. If my informant is correct, it is clear that the advocates of the Constituent Assembly (Con-ass) and People’s Initiative (PI) are still actively campaigning for their goals. Is Malacañang aware of this movement?

Akala ko ba, tigil na sa CHA CHA? Ano ito, stealth campaign ng admin to pressure OFWs to cast their support for Arroyo's PIG?

"We know your name. We know where you live. We know your status."

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Zuce a Stalking Horse?

Tatakbo raw si yung dating whistleblower na si MichaelAngelo Zuce para labanan ang uncle niyang si Virgilio Garcillano sa pagka-kongresista sa 1st district ng Bukidnon.

Sabi ni Rina Jimenez David:

WHO IS Michaelangelo Zuce and why is he saying these things about possible opponents in the race for representative of the first district of Bukidnon? One would have thought Zuce had grown tired of the limelight after his requisite 15 minutes of fame as a witness in the Senate hearing on irregularities in the 2004 elections. But now here he has surfaced once again, declaring that he will contest the seat against his uncle, Virgilio Garcillano.

Well, we all know who Garcillano, better known as “Garci,” is. He has enjoyed far more than 15 minutes in the national spotlight, although he faded from the scene somewhat until recently when a panel of state prosecutors cleared him of all charges filed by a Senate committee. But with Garci making a comeback, it seems Zuce is not far behind. And I have a suspicion that Zuce’s announcement of his candidacy is only in reaction to the endorsement given by Malacañang to Garci’s electoral aspirations.

My strongest reaction, however, was to Zuce’s dismissal of the qualifications of Socorro Acosta, a former congresswoman and mayor herself and mother of incumbent Rep. Nereus Acosta. “Ma’am Socorro may already be too old. She might no longer have what it takes to mount an effective campaign,” he was quoted as saying.

Having met and talked at length with “Ma’am Socorro,” and having heard stories told about her energy and drive, and seeing first-hand the fruits of such hard work, such as the network of women’s groups which have benefited from the “Grameen-style” micro-credit program she and her son started, I can honestly say that she has much more than it takes to mount an effective campaign and serve effectively as Bukidnon congresswoman.

The latest word is that opposition leaders are determined to field a single opposition candidate against Garci, who they believe was the brain behind the alleged fraudulent conduct of the 2004 presidential elections. Since Neric Acosta is a stalwart of the Liberal Party, it’s not such a stretch to believe that his mother enjoys the backing of the LP, and will be supported by other opposition parties.

I agree with Rina. The opposition needs to field a single candidate, and that candidate should be Socorro Acosta, not Michaelangelo Zuce.

Besides, why support Zuce's candidacy when "bamalik-loob" na si Zuce sa administration and is working for them again? More on Zuce from Ellen Tordesillas.

Isa pa, Zuce's a self-confessed election "fixer". If Bukidnon's 1st district is left with 2 election fixers/criminals (Zuce and Garci) as their two main choices, baka manalo pa si Garci.

Here's what I think: I believe Zuce's a spoiler, a "stalking horse" to divide the opposition votes and help admin candidate Garci win.

People should be reminded na he's back working for the admin again. But if he is still sincere in helping the opposition, then the best thing he could do for everybody is to just support the opposition candidate Acosta. Heck, he doesn't even have to quit his "anti-jueteng" job sa administration.

Besides, we already got every information we need from Zuce's testimony before he sold himself to the admin, just like Udong Mahusay (who got his brother Ferdinand appointed as Presidential Assistant for Region 9.)

If Zuce still insists on running, then bahala siya, but he will not get any support from the Opposition. He's on his own. (or let me put it another way, I'll treat Zuce's candidacy the same way the Democrats treated Ralph Nader's candidacy in 2004.)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Media defends itself from Mike Arroyo

From the PCIJ:

JOURNALISTS are filing a civil class action suit against presidential spouse Jose Miguel Arroyo today at the Makati regional trial court in response to the flurry of libel cases he has filed since 2003 — 10 against 45 members of the press, a number unprecedented in Philippine history.

The plaintiffs, represented by half of those Arroyo has charged with libel, are joined by other journalists and media and journalists? organizations, including the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility. They are contesting the First Gentleman’s claim that he has been maligned as a private citizen, for which he is seeking at least P141 million in damages.

Arguing that the reports are fair commentaries on matters of public interest, the journalists assert that the “sheer number of libel suits Arroyo has filed suggests that these are primarily intended to intimidate the press and silence criticism.”

Kasali rin si Ellen sa mga nag-file.

Some 60 journalists and concerned citizens , including yours truly, yesterday filed a civil class suit against Mike Arroyo before the Makati Regional Trial Court.

In the suit, we contend that Mike Arroyo, spouse of President Gloria Arroyo, is both a public figure and a public officer.

We said that the libel suits he has filed against 45 journalists is a “clear abuse of right and an obvious effort to obstruct, defeat, and/or violate the Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights “ and obviously intended “to stifle and/or chill the exercise of freedom of the press, thereby causing them grave injury and tremendous amount of money”.

We asked for a symbolic amount of P15 million in damages.

The class suit is unprecedented and the first of its kind in the world.

Mahirap na kalaban si Big Mike at ang mga officials na konektado sa kanya as long as GMA is still in power.

Remember the PROBE team, "the longest-running and most awarded television newsmagazine" in the country. Well, it was pressure from the administration and Pidal's best buddy Efraim Genuino that led to the censorship and cancellation of Probe Team by GMA7.

No surprise there, matagal na nating alam na maka-Admin ang GMA7 at si Mike Enriquez.

As for Efraim Genuino, ito ang report ng PCIJ on how valuable Genuino is to the Arroyo admin:

THE name of Ephraim Genuino, chair of the cash-rich Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), came up in the press conference held this morning by President Arroyo’s former Cabinet members.

Former Education Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad said that a small group of Cabinet secretaries had asked Arroyo to let Genuino go at the height of the political crisis.

But the president wouldn’t, according to Abad. He quoted her as saying, "I need Genuino because… he takes cares of the media and the bishops for me."

Genuino, a close associate of First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo, apparently does more than dealing with the press and the clergy.

In its latest issue, Newsbreak identified 15 conversations in the controversial "Hello, Garci" tapes as supposedly those between the Pagcor chair and then elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.

Genuino, in two instances, asked about possible payoffs to election manipulators, according to Newsbreak.

Several of the 15 conversations were earlier reported to have been between Garcillano and Mr. Arroyo or former Sen. Robert Barbers.

Newsbreak’s story in full.

Vote for Garci?

Arroyo's Election Fraud expert will run for the 1st district House seat in Bukidnon. From the ABS-CBN News:

Former poll commissioner Virgilio Garcillano confirmed Thursday his candidacy as 1st district representative of Bukidnon in the 2007 May elections, saying that he would win “without cheating.”

“I am [running as] congressman [in the] first district of Bukidnon… I have decided to run,” he said in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN Regional Network Group.

“I want to prove to all that… I can win an election fair and square manner, not cheating,” he added.

I guess it's all systems go na after the DOJ cleared Garci of perjury and falsification of public documents, ala Ricardo Manapat.

To get to know more about the man they call Garci, read these two in-depth articles from the PCIJ:


Related stuff here, and here.

UPDATE: Malaya editorial on what Garci's candidacy means:
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita has said if former election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano runs for congressman in Bukidnon under the administration ticket as the latter says he will, then the Palace is committed to support his candidacy. For Ermita, it’s us versus them. Garcillano might be the biggest electoral thief this country has ever known, but he’s their thief and that’s all that counts.

We already know the boundless arrogance of these bastards. They bought and stole the presidency for Gloria. They buried the impeachment complaint against Gloria without a proper hearing. They cracked the skulls of people who denounced these shameless exercises of naked power. They barred wholesale the appearance of executive department officials at legislative inquiries. They even tried to impose martial law under the guise of a national emergency. They tried to change the Constitution to ensure their continued stay in power.

But do they have to rub the people’s face in the dirt by saying they could make a slimy snake run for a congressional seat and possibly make him win too?

Garcillano was the mastermind of the wholesale cooking of provincial election returns that made Gloria "win" by a million votes over Fernando Poe Jr. When subpoenaed by the House over his taped telephone conversations with Gloria Arroyo, he went into hiding, then flew to Singapore and proceeded to other parts of the world unknown. When he surfaced, he presented a forged passport before the House to buttress his claim he had been in the country all along.

This is the kind of lying low-life that Malacañang is prepared to foist over the poor Bukidnon folks as their honorable representative to the House.

But why should we be surprised? Garcillano is just being embraced back publicly by his fellow cheats, liars and thieves. Garcillano and Ermita – and, yes, Gloria - are peas from the same pod. They should be comfortable with each other’s company.

Nobody wants to sit and eat with John Kerry

Kawawa naman si Mr. Lonely. (via Althouse)

MORE: The photo is being disputed by the lefty bloggers, but Michelle Malkin has analyzed the photos and says it's authentic.

Bwe heh heh...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gerald Ford's Legacy

"Our long national nightmare is over."

Buti pa sila.

Ford's pardon of Nixon helped heal a damaged country torn apart by the Watergate scandal.

Of course, it also helped that their disgraced president had resigned first.

Go click on that link and read the excellent Ann Althouse post. Then think about their situation compared to ours.

More: Ford is the only unelected president in American history. And Arroyo is the only unelected president in Philippine history.

What the Opposition must do to win in 2007

(scroll down for updates)

Dear Mr. Binay, Mr. Drilon and others,

Since palapit na ang May 2007 midterm elections, I guess it's time na to write down all my ideas on how the Arroyo Opposition can win the elections and gain seats in the House and the Senate.

This election is all about accountability, fighting corruption, good governance, and having an honest and credible government. Main themes:

1) Throw Arroyo and her crooks out of power.

2) Arrest Garcillano.

3) Thorough COMELEC housecleaning para hindi na mangyari ulit ang 2004 Garci elections.

4) Reform and depoliticize the military.

5) A thorough investigation on the extra-judicial killings in the country. No sacred cows here, including Gen. Butch Palparan.

6) Abolish ISAFP, then create a new depoliticized Intelligence agency.

anyway, iba ang strategy para sa Senate election campaign at sa House. National issues sa Senate races, at dapat nationally known ang mga candidates mo.

Sa House races naman, more on local issues, pero pwedeng i-nationalize ang mga House races. The Democrats did that in 2006 on the Iraq issue, and the beat the Republicans badly in their own midterm elections.

Unahin muna natin yung Senate Strategy para sa Arroyo Opposition.

1) Make Arroyo and Gov't Corruption the main issue.
2) Election Reforms. Accountability.
3) No, No, No to Arroyo CHA CHA.

Para sa akin, malaking issue yung corruption, abuse of power, at illegitimacy ni Arroyo, at yan ang pinaka-effective na national issue para sa opposition.

Pangalawa ay ang Election reforms. Deliver high profile arrests like Garcillano and Bolante once Arroyo is removed from power. Do a thorough housecleaning sa COMELEC at AFP and every department including PHILHEALTH, DOH, DPWH (road user's tax) and the Agriculture dept. Find out every COMELEC and military dagdag bawas operator involved in GLORIAGATE and those who helped in the coverup at bigyan sila ng mabigat na parusa para hindi na maulit pa ang pinaka-malaking nakawan since 1986. I want Real Reforms. And I want Credible investigations na hindi mauuwi sa Whitewash.

Pangatlo ay ang Charter Change. The Senate candidates should run against Arroyo's Cha Cha proposal. Most people are against Arroyo's CHA CHA push, and think that the issue is too toxic, too divisive to take up right now. As a national issue, running against CHA CHA is a winner for the opposition senate candidates.

One of the reasons why is because of Arroyo herself. She has used CHA CHA issue in a very divisive manner to divide the public and more importantly, to divert people's attention from her GLORIAGATE legitimacy scandal from the beginning.

And it's worked so far. Kaya hanggang ngayon, ayaw pa rin nilang tigilan tayo sa CHA CHA (kahit na sa People's Initiative or sa CON ASS), despite their claims na ayaw na raw nila ito ituloy.

The Administration has also used CHA CHA to push for the abolition of the Senate, one of the few remaining bodies that remains independent from Arroyo's clutches. Dahil siguro banas na banas ang administration sa mga Fertilizer funds at 2004 dagdag bawas investigation ng Senado. The Admin continues to apply EO 464 whenever it sees fit.

I believe the only time we can have a serious CHA CHA discussion is after 2010, when GMA says she plans to leave office raw. She also once said na she's not going to run in 2004. and she promised on Rizal's grave na we'll have clean presidential elections in 04.

(I also think na CHA CHA might have been acceptable to the opposition and other anti-GMA groups if it focused only on economic reforms, which benefits every Filipino and the economy, not the pols. But since Arroyo and her allies wanted to change the ENTIRE constitution and our system of government, which we know will only benefit these incumbent politicians in power, there's resistance to this move. It also doesn't help that those pushing for it have zero credibility with the public.)

MORE LATER: House Strategy para sa Opposition.

That Powerful Earthquake in Taiwan

has affected the internet connections in the region, abot hanggang dito sa Pilipinas.

Greetings from Tri-Isys Internet!

We regret to inform you that our Internet service is currently experiencing slow browsing:
Service Outage Time Start: 11:40h local time, December 27, 2006
Service Outage expected to be Restored: (no definite time)
Expected Total Outage Duration: (no definite time)

Service Outage Details: Several International cable facilities – Including the system that our MAIN PROVIDER is using, specifically APCN2 and its secondary route – have experienced major cable breaks due to the recent earthquake in Taiwan measuring 7.2 in the Richter scale. As a result of this, majority of our services with international connectivity have been seriously affected and are currently unavailable. Presently, the international consortium operating the cable system has already mobilized cable ships to repair the affected segments of APCN 1 & 2, EAC, SEMEWE and GP-China US; C2C and restoration work will be conducted round the clock

We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the outage.Thank you for your kind understanding.

For more info. please contact our Helpdesk Support at 230-8000 or 480-0888.

Technical Support Team
Inter-Island Information Systems, Inc.


- Internet access in Singapore severely affected by Taiwan quake

- Taiwan quake disrupts some communications services in S. Korea

- Is Shanghai's internet broken?

Saan na ang Senate Slate ng Admistrasyon?

Akala ko ba ilalabas na ito sa Dec. 20, 2006? Bakit ngayon wala pa?

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s political party will come up with its own list of senatorial candidates if its three conditions for Charter Change are not met on or before Dec. 20, a party official said yesterday.

Gabriel Claudio, secretary-general of the Lakas Christian Muslim Democrats, said the party could only pin its hopes on Charter Change for so long. It would have to contend with the mid-term polls next year if the shift to a parliamentary system failed to happen.

“We have to decide on Dec. 20, and we have to make sure that we have a strong campaign because to do otherwise would be suicidal for the party,” said Claudio, Mrs. Arroyo’s adviser on political affairs.

Lakas-CMD party wants to see both houses of Congress convened into a constituent assembly on or before Dec. 20. It also wants a petition for a plebiscite for Charter Change filed before the Commission on Elections, and to be sure that the Supreme Court does not turn down the petition.

“If these three conditions are not met, then we have no choice but to prepare our slate for the 2007 elections,” Claudio said.

Ah, so ibig bang sabihin nyan ay balak nyo pa ring ituloy ang CHA CHA, kaya wala pa kayong Senate lineup?

Advice to the Opposition: Let the administration first reveal their Senate slate bago kayo. Just take your time, even if you reveal it just a few days before the deadline for filing of candidacy sa COMELEC. You can afford delaying your announcement while the admin can't, because they need more time to prepare. Once they've revealed their Senate lineup, you can make your adjustments sa Senate lineup nyo.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Senator Backbone

Yan ang tawag ni Larry Kudlow kay Sen. John McCain. I agree. This is the reason why I'm still a McCainiac. I backed McCain in 2000 over Bush. Sayang natalo si McCain sa primaries, lalo na sa South Carolina.

From Larry Kudlow's post:

Two of the most important qualities necessary for a run to the Oval Office are decisiveness and strength of character. In recent weeks, John McCain has proven that he has more stock in these traits than most any public official today.

As American fortunes in the battle of Iraq have deteriorated, the senator has forcefully elevated the policy debate by fearlessly offering unpopular advice on how to turn the tide toward victory. In fact, McCain is several steps ahead of nearly everyone on the subject of this war. At his recent news conference, President George W. Bush said the U.S. should expand the size of its armed forces, especially the Army and Marine Corps. McCain has been saying this for years. Bush and his high command are now mulling a possible troop-force surge in Iraq; McCain has been advocating this for quite some time.

Of course, each of these positions is out of favor. But that’s not silencing McCain: “I understand the polls show only 18 percent of the American people support my position. But I have to do what’s right, what I believe is right, and what my experience and knowledge and background tells me is the right thing to do in order to save this situation in Iraq . . . In war, my dear friends, there is no such compromise. You either win or you lose.”

In the midst of the latest doubt, pessimism, and quibbling over our direction in Iraq, here is John McCain digging his heels in the sand. He is fighting the defeatist tide, and though it might endanger his presidential bid, he is entirely comfortable with his posture. I believe this is called courage. Principle. Leadership. It’s what has long described this highly decorated former Navy fighter pilot and Vietnam prisoner of war.

More kudos go to McCain for blasting the defeatist recommendations of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group.

Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, he said “There’s only one thing worse than an overstressed Army and Marine Corps, and that’s a defeated Army and Marine Corps. I believe this is a recipe that will lead to our defeat sooner than later in Iraq.”

McCain specifically ridiculed the Baker-Hamilton suggestion that American combat troops withdraw from Iraq while more advisors and trainers embed with Iraqi forces. He argued that this would “put at risk a large number of American advisors” who would be subject to hostage-taking and the attacks of rogue militias or terrorists.

McCain also mocked the commission’s idea of seeking peace talks with Iran and Syria, saying “I don’t believe that a peace conference with people who are dedicated to your extinction has much short-term gain.”

Gift-giving is down this Christmas season

Mapa-showbiz naman tayo. One movie writer, Pete Ampoloquio, is sad na matumal raw ang Pasko ngayon:

Matumal ang Pasko. Depressing talaga lalo na’t obvious na umiiwas ang mga artista sa reporters.

Kung noong isang taon ay may naligaw pang mga regalo, this year, we have yet to receive one single gift from anyone.

Kahit nga ‘yung may mga career kahit papaanong mga artista ay wala talagang ipinapadalang gifts sa publications.

I agree with Pete. We haven't shopped much to buy any gifts to send this Christmas. And I don't expect any gifts from others either. Namamahalan lang kasi kami sa mga bilihin ngayon. At sa taas ng singil sa kuryente at tubig, nagtitipid na lang kami ngayon.

In other showbiz balita:

- May bagong boyfriend na si Anne Curtis. Yung anak ng PAGCOR Chairman na si Efraim Genuino, the guy along with Pidal who helped kill "The PROBE team" in GMA7.

- Hindi raw totoo yung relasyon nina Mark Lapid at Tanya Garcia.

Hindi kami naniniwala sa relasyon nina Gov. Mark Lapid at Tanya Garcia.

Palabas lang ‘yan ng mga bayarang reporters ni Mark. Ang totoo hindi type ni Tanya ang anak ni Sen. Lito Lapid. Kinuha lang ni Mark si Tanya para maging leading lady sa pelikula.

Ayon sa aming source, napipilitan lang si Tanya na sumakay sa isyu, dahil nahihiya ito kay Mark.

- Dalawa lang ang matinong pelikula sa MMFFP 2006

SABI ng aming mapagka-katiwalaang source, napanood na raw niya lahat halos ng mga pelikulang kasali sa Metro Manila Film Festival, maliban sa isa na talagang hindi na niya pina-tulang panoorin pa.

Ayon sa kanya, sa lahat daw ng mga pelikulang kasali, dalawa lang ang masasabi niyang maaaring pagaksayahan ng pera at oras, ang Mano Po 5 ni Lorna Tolentino at ang pelikula nina Judy Ann Santos at Ryan Agoncillo na Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo.

There's a new forum on RP Politics

It's called (not related to this blog). It's relatively new and was only recently brought to my attention. Go over there and check it out.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Lito Lapid confirms he'll run for mayor of Makati

(via MLQ3) Straight out of the horse's mouth nga. He'll run for office in Makati.

Inamin ni Lito Lapid dati na pakulo ng magasawang Arroyo na tumakbo si Lito Lapid sa pagka-mayor ng Makati early this year.

Lapid, who is out of the country, had earlier said it was Mrs. Arroyo and her husband who proposed that he run against Binay in the 2007 polls.

Mr. Arroyo denied Lapid’s statement, adding that the senator “has a mind of his own to decide on his political destiny.”

Ito naman ang reaction ni Mr. Binay:

"Thank you, Mr. Arroyo, for confirming what we have been saying – that the 2007 election in Makati will not really be between me and Lapid, but between me and the Arroyos," Binay said. It is just sad, he added, that they can’t even fight their own battles, and that Lito Lapid, now a Senator in his own right, is reduced to being a stuntman or stand-in for the first family.

Binay likewise reminded Arroyo that it was Lapid himself who told media that the Arroyos had convinced him to run for Makati mayor.

"If he is bellyaching about being dragged into the issue, then he should scold Lito Lapid who told the media about the role of the Arroyos in his planned candidacy," he said.

Madaldal kasi si Lapid eh.

More info from Ducky Paredes:

If Senator Lito Lapid wants to run for mayor of Makati against incumbent Mayor Jejomar Binay, we ought to do our best to encourage him. Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. has Senatror Lito that doing so would be committing "political harakiri" but Lapid says that he is being pressured by Gloria and Mike Arroyo to run against Binay.

Lapid has even announced that he will buy a house in Magallanes Subdivision and should already have applied for residency in the city last April 15, if his plans have not changed.

And Ellen Tordesillas has lots of details about Lapid's Makati moves and how it fits in with Mike Arroyo's plans.

For me, this is more than just a Binay vs. Lapid fight.

This is Mike Arroyo's war against Binay.

Halos lahat ng mayors ay nasa poder na ng Administration, like Lito Atienza of MayniLA, and Sonny Belmonte of Quezon City.

Si Binay na lang ang kailangan nilang patumbahin. And what a prize Makati is for the Arroyos. Makati is the Business center of the Philippines. Doon nakatira halos lahat ng mga businessman foreigners. No wonder atat na atat na gustong makuha ni Mike arroyo ang Makati.

My advice for Binay is this: he should make Mike Arroyo an issue in this Makati race, cuz there's no separating Mike Arroyo from his pawn Lito Lapid.

You cannot separate the puppeteer from the dummy.

Binay is right. This is a proxy war waged against him by the admin dahil gustong makuha ni Pidal ang Makati.

Christmas Gift from the DOJ kay Garci at Arroyo

(UPDATED)The timing is just perfect. From the PCIJ:

THE exoneration of government officials implicated in the wiretapping controversy that started in June last year and almost toppled the Arroyo government is now complete with former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano cleared of charges that he falsified his passport and lied before a congressional inquiry in order to avoid criminal culpability.

In a 12-page joint resolution, the Department of Justice (DOJ) ruled that there is no probable cause to prosecute Garcillano for perjury, violation of Passport Act of 1996, and falsification of public document. The charges against Garcillano stemmed from two cases — one complaint filed on March 24, 2006 by Senator Panfilo Lacson and three representatives, and another filed on April 4, 2006 by 16 opposition congressmen led by Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla.

The dismissal of charges against Garcillano caps the series of investigations on officials named in the “Hello, Garci” tapes, all of whom were likewise absolved.

Now that's just sweet, isn't it?

Time the release of the news of GARCI’s exoneration when nobody’s paying attention to the news this holiday season. Brilliant.

Christmas gift yan ng arroyo admin kay garci, sa sarili nila (and I guess sa ating lahat na rin)

"It's the most wonderful time of the year..."

UPDATE: Ah, the Garci was cleared as early as Nov. 14, 2006, pero nung December 24 lang nila ni-release ang balita. Timing is everything talaga.

The 12-page DOJ resolution was issued as early as Nov. 14 by State Prosecutor George Yarte and approved by Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño upon the recommendation of Assistant Chief Prosecutor Richard Fadullon.

But a copy of the decision was obtained by the media only the other day, faxed by Garcillano’s lawyer Eddie Tamondong.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Top Ten Con Ass Goons

From Ernie Maceda:

Between the impeachment and the “shameless” Constituent Assembly, there are the most criticized congressmen:

1) Luis Villafuerte, Camarines Sur

2) Edcel Lagman, Albay

3) Prospero Pichay, Surigao del Sur

4) Prospero Nograles, Davao City

5) Douglas Cagas, Davao del Sur

6) Constantino Jaraula, Cagayan de Oro

7) Simeon Datumanong, Cotabato

8) Arthur Defensor, Iloilo

9) Matt Defensor, Quezon City

10) Rodolfo Antonino, Nueva Ecija

Remember them on election day.

He also has commentary on the congressman killed by assassins.

Gov. Vicente Valera of Abra is credible when he denied being behind the killing of Rep. Luis “Chito” Bersamin Jr. They have been allies for at least three terms with Valera running for governor and Bersamin for Congress which gave them easy election victories. What is disturbing is the belief that some Philippine National Police (PNP) officers may be behind the many killings in Abra. The motorcycle used by the assassins was traced to a master sergeant assigned in Abra.

Is the involvement of PNP officers the reason for over a dozen killings of officials and political leaders in Abra remaining unsolved? Gen. Arturo Lomibao believed so when he relieved the entire PNP force in Abra during his time...

In the Senate, administration Sen. Richard Gordon took to task the PNP in a privilege speech:

“What is most the growing temerity of these criminals in committing their heinous deeds. Imagine, they don’t even bother to bring an escape vehicle anymore, they just commute to and from the crime scene. These criminals are treating murders and assassinations like they would a nine-to-five job, perfectly confident that they would get away with it. The murderers and the assassins think of themselves as the law.”

Related: Raul Gonzalez claims the reds were behind the killing raw.

Article of the Day

This one is from Rina Jimenez David. The fact that she, who is not as anti-Arroyo as I am, is very critical of the CBCP "anti-CHA CHA" rally only shows how the organizers have dropped the ball on this one.

Here's the complete article.

EVEN AS Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Archbishop Angel Lagdameo were calling for “character change” among Filipinos instead of Charter change, operatives were moving among the crowd at the Rizal Park distributing flyers announcing that Sen. Franklin Drilon would give free foodstuffs to anyone who attended the rally.

When his attention was called to the flyers, by his driver and some of his staff who got their hands on the spurious material, the senator was driven to denounce the “dirty trick” that had been played to discredit him before the public and perhaps throw suspicion on the motives of everyone who came to Rizal Park last Sunday. “Obviously the call for character change is not going to affect these people at all,” the senator said, referring to the brains and financiers of this “black ops” tactic.

So when Malacañang spokespersons said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would heed the prelates’ call and conduct an examination of conscience to see how she might need to change her “character,” some sectors of the public could be forgiven for responding to this news with raised eyebrows. If she were sincere in her intentions, she already knows what she needs to do: tell the truth about the conduct of the 2004 elections and its results, and step down from office.

But in calling for a different kind of “cha-cha” among the populace, I’m afraid the Catholic bishops have managed to dissipate the collective anger roused by the congressional leadership’s mule-headed attempt to ram a constituent assembly through. Granted both the House and the executive have backed down and rescinded their foolish attempts at forcing their way through legal blockades. Still, the evil intent, the arrogant behavior and the undemocratic conduct that so riled the public deserved a proportionate response, not the subdued, half-hearted protest that took place in Rizal Park.

* * *

BY MOST accounts, the turnout in Rizal Park was disappointing, a far cry from the promised half-a-million crowd that organizers said they were expecting to attend.

Perhaps the lack of focus -- prayer? thanksgiving? moral indignation? -- had something to do with the tepid response. When bishops tell us that “character change” is what this country needs, they are deflecting our focus from what should have been the real targets of public anger: the administration congresspersons and their political patrons.

When the bishops call on all the faithful to change their ways, they are saying the country’s deteriorating political situation is everybody’s fault -- and therefore nobody’s.

But excuse me, I refuse to share responsibility for that railroading attempt carried out in the dead of night. Innocent bystanders have no need for an examination of conscience, except perhaps as voters for allowing the wrong people to sit in the House. But the real fault lies squarely on the shoulders of those men and women who plotted against the national interest and rode roughshod over public sensibilities.

The organizers had also wanted to transform the rally from a protest to a “thanksgiving.” Thanksgiving for what? That Congress and the President finally saw the light? They did so only because their eyelids were forcibly yanked open. Thanks but no thanks -- the time for a mea culpa has long passed, and today is not the time for painless, self-serving atonement.

* * *

I REALLY don’t know what happened between the first, angry reactions issued by Bro. Mike Velarde of the Catholic charismatic group El Shaddai and Bro. Eraño Manalo of the Christian denomination Iglesia ni Kristo, and the staging of that rally last Sunday in Rizal Park.

True, Archbishop Lagdameo had been unusually swift in his denunciation of the Con-ass, questioning whether it had been truly “for the common good.” But was this enough justification for the CBCP to hijack what had been planned as a multi-sector, multi-faith demonstration and turn it into an exercise in pious futility?

Wasn’t it rather ungracious of the organizers to decree that no politicians and non-bishops, including non-Catholic leaders, would be allowed onstage? And that no “political” banners be displayed at the venue itself?

I mean, who called for this rally anyway? It’s like a latecomer barging into party preparations and then demanding that the guest list be amended, that the décor be torn down, and that the guest of honor be excluded. Whose party was it anyway?

* * *

ONCE again, the institutional Catholic Church in this country confronted a moment to turn the tide of history and -- blinked.

Commenting on the turnout in Rizal Prk, a friend quoted from Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink,” where the author declared that when you make a snap decision, based on your experience, your knowledge and your instincts, the best option is to stay the course. It’s when you start trying to explain yourself that you get bogged down in justifications and motivations. That’s when you lose the momentum.

Perhaps, stunned by the wave of public indignation that they managed to catch when they reacted with all the righteous courage of biblical prophets, the Philippine bishops began to backtrack in haste. Perhaps, uncomfortable with finding their feet on the path of activism, they began to scramble for safer ground by mouthing the usual pieties.

But the bishops -- and the pro-Gloria politicians -- will soon find out that the simmering resentments that boiled over the other week are still around and gathering steam, and will find expression one way or the other. Whether these are manifested through the ballot or through extra-parliamentary regime change, the guardians of the status quo should realize that you thwart popular will at your peril. And redistributing blame or guilt is not the way to assuage anger that demands to be redressed.


MORE: Hmmmm... bawal ang political speech sa prayer rally, or else aarestuhin sila ng pulis? Bumigay ba ang simbahan dahil sa request ng PNP, o request mismo ng CBCP organizers ito?

If Senate president Manuel Villar or Sen. Ping Lacson or actor Rez Cortez go on stage during a rally for peace on Sunday, they will be arrested. That’s according to the strange order of Reynaldo Varilla, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office of the Philippine National Police.

For what crime, only Varilla knows.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted Varilla as having said,”There will be no political speeches and no movie personalities onstage. The organizers will run the show. If they (movie stars and politicos) will insist and thigs get messy, we will do our thing and arrest them a per request of the organizers.

Why Varilla is setting the guidelines for a rally being organized by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and other religious groups is something that could only happen when one is a state of panic.

Rep. Roilo Golez is also puzzled.”What’s the crime?,” he asked. “Illegal grandstanding?”

Read this previous post of mine too.

UPDATe: More from Kuya Manuel re the latest flipflop from Arroyo in his Arab News column.

Labelling Arroyo's Lefty critics as Communists

Uso na naman ang McCarthyism tactics. From the PDI Editorial:

LAST Saturday, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales urged that left-leaning party-list candidates be labeled as communists to caution voters, particularly soldiers and policemen, against electing what he called “democracy’s enemies” to Congress. “It is important to show soldiers and police what groups are being used by the communists to continue their bad intentions on the public,” he said.

We thought the Cold War was over, but here we have the national security adviser smearing leftists as “communists.” There was a time when labeling someone a “communist” or “leftist” practically set him up as a target for assassination by government forces. Now it seems, the time is coming back, no small thanks to the national security adviser.

WHAT??? the Lefties, who were once Arroyo's buddy buddies and helped her overthrow erap, are now "democracy's enemies"?

I guess the administration just want to divert people's attentions from the people who actually did screw democracy, Arroyo and her dagdag bawas operators at the COMELEC and the military.

And these statements are nothing unusual for this administration. We've heard them before from Arroyo's Butcher, Gen. Palparan.


In the 1980s, the moderates and anti-communist politicians reached out to Left. “In an odd way,” Abinales said, “what happened in the 1970s and early 1980s was that being communist … was becoming acceptable to many, especially in the urban areas. To be Left was hip, and respect for the Left grew as the dictatorship began to weaken.”

Thus, to be “leftist” became politically acceptable. Leftists were encouraged to go above ground, and the culmination of the “legitimization” of the Left was the inclusion of a provision in the new Constitution for the election of party-list representatives who would constitute 20 percent of the total number of congressmen.

The party-list provision gives voice to the under-represented sectors like labor, peasants, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities and the youth. Since 1998 left-leaning groups have been getting more seats in the House of Representatives: two out of 13 party-list representatives in 1998, seven out of 20 in 2001 and 10 out of 24 in 2004.

Now Gonzales would set back political progress, shut out leftist groups and individuals from Congress, and worse, set them up as targets for assassination for being “democracy’s enemies.” This is the sort of rhetoric that legitimizes the unabated killing of activists and militants. Such rhetoric should have no place in a free, democratic and civilized society.

That's what secretary of injustice Raul Gonzalez wanted too after saying na he hoped the leftist party list members "go back to the mountains" because "that's where they belong" raw.

Ako, i'd rather see the NPAs and hardline commies give up their arms and join the political arena. And I don't want to drive leftists underground to become armed rebels.

Related: Anong purpose ng "War vs. the Left" ni Arroyo?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

More on Ducky

Previous: Ang pagbabaligtad ni Ducky Paredes

One last thought. The difference between Ducky Paredes' political turnaround (from anti-GMA to pro) compared to the other bloggers I used to read daily like Andrew Sullivan (from pro-Bush, and iraq war supporter to anti-bush and highly critical of iraq policy) is that alam ko kung bakit bumaliktad si Andrew.

Andrew Sullivan was the first blog I read and read daily after 9/11. Thru him, I discovered other hawkish, center-right blogs that are now part of my blogroll. He was an impressive writer and a strong supporter of Bush at that time. He is also a gay conservative (rare siya.)

Alam ko kung bakit bumaliktad si Sullivan kay Bush. it was because of Bush's opposition to gay marriage. That, for Sullivan, was "the deal breaker", even though he was trying to hide it in his own blog back then.

I can understand why Andrew feels that way. I myself am supportive of gay marriage. But the most important issue for me then (and now) is still national security. Obviously for Sully it's gay marriage. Kaya unti-unti naging hostile ang blog niya kay Bush the candidate. At naging pro-kerry siya even though mababa ang tingin niya kay kerry dati.

At unti-unti kong hindi na rin binabasa siya hanggang totally tinigil ko na ang pagbabasa sa kanya.

Now kay ducky paredes naman. Matagal na rin akong reader nya. Since 2001 pa akong daily reader niya from Mondays to Saturdays sa Malaya at Abante. And I know he used to be Anti-GMA and anti-Mike Arroyo.

but what made him change his mind about the arroyos and become an attack dog for them all of a sudden? i don't know. do you know?

Arroyo flipflops on CHA CHA issue again?

MLQ3 compares arroyo's statement today and her previous statement last Dec. 14, 2006.

Pero, para sa akin, It wasn't surprising at all.

More here from Ellen Tordesillas.

"Filipinos wanted to go to Luneta to give vent to their outrage. Instead, the bishops moved to cool that outrage..."

"...which explains the lesser than expected numbers at the rally."

(UPDATED: keep scrolling down)

A watered-down, "slap on the wrist" "thanksgiving" message from the CBCP to Arroyo and her cohorts will never be taken seriously by either this corrupt illegitimate administration or the anti-Arroyo groups.

Want to call another anti-Arroyo rally? Only if you mean it.

Here's quoting the Daily Tribune editorial in it's entirety:

It was not due to fear of terror, sabotage and provocation threats raised by Gloria Arroyo’s security adviser and military and police generals that kept the church-expected rallyists from turning up at Luneta but the many restrictions placed by the organizers — the Catholic bishops — on the general public, such as what cannot be displayed, who can’t be on stage; what they are forbidden to say by way of political speeches, and many more don’ts besides.

There were other factors of course, such as evident Malacañang pressure on some of the bishops not to stage rallies with a political flavor and no doubt, pressure made to bear on some religious leaders, who generally can whip up over 300,000 of their believers, but who obviously didn’t bother to send them, or if they did, deliberately didn’t tap the bulk of their followers for the bishops’ prayer-rally.

That Malacañang pressure on them worked, was evident, as the bishops suddenly turned the rally into a “Thanksgiving prayer-rally.” And all the don’ts injected by the organizers appeared to have been a way to deliberately cool the people’s passion.

Surely the bishops knew that if they wanted the prayer-rally to be conducted along strictly religious lines, they may as well have held an ecumenical Mass in a church and thank their God for what they called a “miracle of grace.”

The bishops cannot honestly believe that the outraged-over- Charter change people will brave the traffic and flock to Luneta, just to hear a homily from them giving thanks for the congressmen and Malacañang for dropping Cha-cha via the Constituent Assembly. Just why should we give thanks for something that shouldn’t have been done by the same public officials in the first place, since, as claimed by the bishops themselves, this is immoral and illegitimate?

What these church leaders did was no different from their pastoral letter that spoke of “searching for the truth” but dismissing the impeachment bid against Gloria as a useless exercise. So how did the bishops expect to search for the truth? Through a pastoral letter telling the people to pray for the public officials’ enlightenment?

That would be like telling the faithful to please pray for the devil’s enlightenment and for that devil to undergo a character change. But didn’t they know that one can’t change the nature of the beast?

As proof that people wanted to hear the compilation of sins of Gloria and her administration, the vice president of De La Salle University got the loudest applause as she zeroed in on these issues.

The same bishops couldn’t have been that naïve either to expect the followers of the politicians or activist groups to bring in the numbers to join this “Thanksgiving” prayer-rally organized by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and meld into the crowd without even being recognized. While their leaders — whether politician, religious or activist groups — would be around to show their support, they won’t be likely to bring in their supporters. Who is to know anyway who brought in the numbers, save for some religious leaders who caved in to Gloria’s pressure?

Still, not even the followers of televangelists are likely to be overjoyed to be at the Luneta when their leader is not around to give them their usual pep talk and keep their spirits up. People belonging to these religious groups flock to a site to hear their televangelists speak, just as the supporters of politicians go there to hear their political leaders speak.

But the bishops put in all these silly restrictions, such as no political speeches. Why not? What were these church leaders so scared of? That these speeches would be inflammatory, thus raising the level of outrage being felt by the Filipinos over the many sins of Gloria? But wasn’t the original idea of the prayer-rally marketed as an outlet to express the Filipino people’s outrage? So why didn’t the bishops allow the people to speak out?

And just what do the bishops think Cha-cha, the “Hello Garci” electoral fraud and fertilizer funds scam as well as the Cha-cha railroading all about, if not political, since all these are political issues?

Filipinos wanted to go to Luneta to give vent to their outrage. Instead, the bishops moved to cool that outrage, which explains the lesser than expected numbers at the rally.

Too bad, they again lost that authority to morally guide a nation that has had enough of the immorality and illegality of this current government.

UPDATE: I agree that the withdrawal of support for CON ASS was a face saving move to reduce the size at the prayer rally. But I think kasalanan rin ng organizers kung bakit konti lang ang dumalo sa "thanksgiving" rally. The bishops played into the administration's hands on this one.

More from the Malaya editorial:

Last Wednesday, armored personnel carriers rolled out of their depot and soldiers in combat gear poured out of their barracks in Camp Aguinaldo in what was described by AFP chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon as a "camp defense exercise." For those who were too thick-headed to immediately get the message, Esperon warned that communist rebels and Islamic fundamentalists might bomb the rally.

The next day, the PNP said there were no such threat, but a day later, it was national security adviser Norberto Gonzales’ turn to warn that NPA members were on the way to Metro Manila with firearms and explosives.

Instead of denouncing the raising of the hoary Red bogey, the organizers gave the assurance they were taking adequate security measures to prevent mayhem.

It’s like we were being treated to the following dialogue:

"The Reds are coming! The Reds are coming!" a hyperventilating Gonzales warns.

"Trust us, we would not allow them near," chief rally organizer Henrietta de Villa, former ambassador to the Vatican, assures.

The nightmarish vision of a repeat of the Plaza Miranda bombing in 1971 probably led to countless parents telling their children who are enrolled at Catholic schools to stay home.

All the while, Gloria’s sycophants were praising the bishops to high heavens for turning the planned protest rally into a prayer gathering for the "enlightenment of the nation’s leaders." The organizers, as if following a script written in Malacañang, followed with warnings against carrying of streamers and placards with political slogans.

Those who originally planned to join to add their voice to the rising wave of indignation and outrage over Gloria and Joe’s shameless display of power probably decided they might stay home as well. What, after all, is the whole point in trekking to Luneta when they could as well pray for the conversion, however unlikely, of the liars and cheats at the privacy of the home or the nearest church?

What worries us is that those who had been scurrying with their tails between their legs when earlier faced with the threat of people power might be emboldened to press their agenda after this perceived unsuccessful rally.

The frustrated rapists are unrepentant. To the call of character change, they now have the gall to say the churchmen and those who joined them at Luneta ought to undergo the same moral transformation too. The victims are now as equally guilty as the criminals?

The March to Mecca for Gay Rights

These organizers got balls! (via Instapundit)

EMBARGO DATE: December 15, 2006, 4 PM.


Human Rights Watch,, ACT-UP, the Huffington Post and David Geffen are proud to present the March to Mecca, a celebration of peace that calls all gay brothers, sisters and people undergoing sex-reassignment to march to the holiest of holy cities, Mecca, the capital city of Saudi Arabia's Makkah province on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2007.

The march, a brainchild of activists and celebrities who acknowledge that more gays are dying from Islamic fundamentalism than from the policies of George W. Bush, will begin 12 noon sharp in Jeddah, the stunning night-life friendly Saudi Arabian city located on the coast of the Red Sea.

"Not marching in these countries, in this era of terror, seems cowardly," says event co-organizer Sharon Stone. "I'm embarrassed to say at social gatherings I even blamed the United States for everything. But I realized it's the radical Muslims - not the US - who want gays dead, and for that I am truly sorry."

Paris' gay Socialist Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, who was stabbed by an immigrant Muslim, is organizing the European contingency which features Limahl, Johnny Hallyday and Ciccolina. Whoopie Goldberg, along with Robin Williams will be hosting the kick off party at the Sheraton Riyadh. There will be refreshments and karaoke, hosted by David Hyde Pierce.

Beth Ditto, lead singer of the Gossip, who will perform with the newly reformed Yaz, thinks the march is overdue. "Forget right wing Christians. They don't hang gays for being gay. Islamofascists do. That's why were asking moderate, non-violent Muslims across the Western Province to join hands and embrace gay people everywhere."

I believe we're seeing this only now because the Democrats won big in last election. and now that the democrats are back in power, they are less fixated on bush and less angry about their former out-of-power status and are now willing to focus their attention on issues that might even indirectly help the Bush admin and their WOT.

Sharon Stone only realizing now na ang mga jihadists at radical muslims, at hindi si Bush o yung Amerika ang pumapatay ng gays? A big Heh.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Quote of the day

A citizenry that has had a hand in electing its national leadership since 1935 can’t be asked to willingly give up that right, and rightly so. No democratic people have ever given up the right to directly elect their chief executive in exchange for indirect selection by members of a legislature.

If no free people on earth have ever given up the presidential system to replace it with a parliamentary one—though parliaments have been abandoned for the presidential system—then it is unreasonable to first propose, then demand, and then attempt, to make the public abdicate that right to a bunch of politicians. Such a thing only happens when dictatorships are established and all elections of whatever kind become meaningless rituals.

Most of all, they ignored a fundamental reality in politics: you cannot have everything. Absolute victory and total surrender are the goals of warfare, not politics. Only when the present proponents of constitutional change shall have realized this, will the time be ripe for the setting aside of past differences. Only then can a frank, but mutually respectful and productive, debate resume. But not before.

- from Manuel L. Quezon III, in today's PDI article "Parameters"

CBCP "Thanksgiving prayer rally" failed expectations

Read this report from MLQ3. Most of the reports estimate the crowd size at 15,000 to 50,000. MLQ3 thinks it's around 40,000. The CBCP expected crowd turnout to be at 500,000.

The fact na hindi umabot ng 100,000+ yung crowd means na hindi sumali ang El Shaddai at INC crowd. I think Henrietta De villa screwed it up.

Jay Cynikho says that the CBCP calling the event a "THANKSgiving rally" is a dumb idea:

How many people, maybe hundred of thousands are so angry with the rape just done to their country that they were willing to attend the rally to show their anger WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY WERE TOLD
rapists stopped the rape before their ejaculation. THEY ARE TO PRAY
the hell would want to do that except those indirect beneficiaries of past
rapes. I will never say thank you for the coitus interruptus of de venicia
and his Tongress who’s using gloria’s Viagra to make the rape more
prolonged and bloody. May be the bishops are happy that the country
is still spread eagled and bleeding and in tears for the next assault.

Thank you GMA. Thank you JDV. Thank you Villafuerte. Thank you lagman. Thank you jaraula. Thank you zubiri. tanks a lot...

From Phil Cruz:

I already had my doubts about the success of the rally when the Church preferred to call it a Prayer Rally, a Thanksgiving Rally instead. But I kept it to myself so as not to discourage people from attending the rally. Sure enough, it was a letdown. The second time the CBCP let us down.

But then I tried to console myself with this thought. What can I really expect from the Church leaders these days? Do I really expect them to lead the Charge of the Light Brigade against the Despicable One’s fortress? I guess not. I think I would prefer them to just play a supporting role - from the pulpits.

I would much rather prefer that another sector sound the clarion call and take the lead next time with the Church just in the background. I know that next time the Church calls for a rally, not too many will come.

Dirty trick on Drilon in prayer rally

From the INQ7:

(UPDATE) SENATOR Franklin Drilon has denounced a dirty trick allegedly perpetrated against him by his political opponents who, on his behalf, distributed to people stubs for five kilos of rice, P250 in cash, and some groceries in exchange for their presence in Sunday’s prayer rally against Charter change.

Lawyer and former Camiguin governor, not Guimaras as posted earlier, Antonio Gallardo, Drilon's chief of staff, on Monday blamed what he called “Malacañang's dirty tricks department” for the hoax he said was meant to embarrass the senator.

He claimed Drilon was targeted for the hoax because the senator is a principal critic of calls to change the Constitution.

“We are officially denying that we distributed those stubs. Gawa-gawa ito ng mga kalaban nya sa pulitika [This is the work of his political opponents] to embarrass him,” Gallardo said.

“These unscrupulous political operators who tried to fool the Filipino people with this self-serving Cha-cha [Charter change] scheme are up with their old tricks again, this time doing a demolition job on Senator Drilon. This cheap trick simply betrays the filthy character of Drilon's political opponents,” Gallardo said.

Drilon himself called the hoax the “work of sick minds.”

The stubs, which a staffer said were part of a leaflet that bore Drilon's picture, had fooled a number of people into going to Room 301 at the Senate, where the goodies were supposed to be claimed.

About 100 people reportedly received the stubs during the Sunday rally.

The text of the leaflet, which included a picture of the senator, reads: “Maraming salamat sa iyong pagdalo sa rally laban sa Cha-cha! May pamaskong naghihintay sa iyo sa tanggapan ni Sen. Franklin Drilon. Pirmahan ang ibaba ng coupon na ito at pwede mo ng kunin ang iyong 5 kilong bigas, groceries at P250 cash sa Rm. 301, 3rd floor, GSIS Bldg., Pasay City. Mamimigay si G. Manny Pecson mula 4:00 ng hapon hanggang 6:00 ng gabi [Thank you very much for attending the rally against Charter change! There are gifts waiting for you at the office of Sen. Franklin Drilon. Sign at the bottom of this coupon and you can claim your five sacks of rice, groceries and P250 case at Room 301, GSIS Bldg., Pasay City. Mr. Manny Pecson will be giving (the (gifts) from 4 p.m. to 6 in the evening]. ”

In the first place, imposible yan dahil walang pork barrel si Drilon, just like Lim and Lacson.

Ang Pagbabaligtad ni Ducky Paredes

Napansin ni npongco na nagiging pro-Arroyo na si Ducky paredes, and he wrote a letter to ducky to ask him about it.

Recently, some bloggers made comments or criticized veteran columist Ducky Paredes for his change of position. I wrote him a letter and inquired about it, and herewith is his reply which I’m sharing with everyone:

I am so disappointed in the leaders of the so-called opposition. Not
one of them has any real plans for this country. they have plans only
for themselves. Anyway, if this is the parting of the way for us, so
be it. I believe I am stil writing what I believe.

"I believe I am still writing what I believe"? heh heh. not exactly a strongly worded statement.

Anyway ducky, you may still "believe" in yourself, but I don't anymore.

bumaliktad na si ducky. matagal na nating alam yan.

I believe it was around August of 2006 that ducky became pro-Arroyo. yeah, i can still remember it. it was weird because one week he was still in his anti-Arroyo mode, the next week he became anti-opposition and pro-cha cha. the tone of his articles have changed. pinuri pa nga niya si mike arroyo sa isang article niya sa abante eh.

Para sa akin, Biglaan ang change of heart niya for this one time ducky paredes reader. It started from him suddenly become a fanatical advocate of CHA CHA around august, then naging anti-opposition at anti-senate yung column nya, hanggang naging pro-arroyo na siya completely.

he crossed over to the dark side. that's when i stopped reading him na.

and i don't buy his BS na yung opposition raw ang dahilan kung bakit siya bumaliktad.

More: One way of knowing that Ducky has changed is how he writes about Mike Arroyo nowadays.

here's his recent article re the media's countersuit against Mike Arroyo.

A Countersuit Against Mike Arroyo

by Ducky Paredes

The 42 journalists who have been sued for libel by Mike Arroyo, the President’s husband, will file a countersuit. Initial costs of the suit will be underwritten by the Southeast Asian Press Alliance of Bangkok and the local Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, which have, together, put together P100,000.

One idea that the journalists like is to sue Mike for P87 million – a peso for every Pinoy. However, this would require a filing fee of P1.7 million and since the whole idea is to speak out for press freedom, the group will return any contributions that will come from politicians or political groups. So, without contributions from those with money to throw, how can one hope to raise millions?

The group will accept only small donations, no really large ones.

In a sense, this saddens me. We have become a people who give no quarter to those we consider our enemies and the enemies think in exactly the same way. I will not point fingers at who may be responsible for this state of things but will only state it and wish for the time when one can again shake hands with those in the opposing camp and even praise them for what they do or have done.

Too bad that those days may be gone forever.

Yeah right. Damn, I miss the old Ducky. Read this too and weep for the man we used to know as Ducky.

Anyway Compare his recent articles re Mike Arroyo to his old articles (before 2006) and you'll see the difference.

More reaction from kitamokitako:

Npongco, just a reaction to the reason given by Ducky Paredes. I, for myself, cannot believe that to be a very valid reason for the change of his tune. Almost all bloggers here have been attacking Glue, but have not changed tune and mind just bec there are no plans of the ‘opposition’. That shortcoming of the opposition is there a long time ago, but it did not stop us from punching the maldita tiyanak. I think some big deals can happen while playing golf. Well, he can have his opinion and i have mine too.

Ducky does love to play golf. Nagkakasalubong kaya sila ni Mike Arroyo?

MORE COMMENTS: This time from Anna Hill, whose letters ducky used to publish in his column.


My comments used to be an almost "regular feature" in Ducky's columns, i.e., he used to publish my posts rather frequently because I used to read his columns regularly and reacted as the went along but I can't remember exactly when his views against Gloria started to water down but when I remember that when I felt that they were "less interesting", I became a less frequent reader of his column and virtually stopped reading him except of late when he was talked about in Ellen's column.

Nevertheless, I sent him one last letter (quite recently) containing my reaction to what he had written, but he did not publish it. I reckoned, it was mainly because the contents of my letter were virulently anti-Arroyo.

I will not be definitive in my judgement of Ducky yet, suffice to say that I have observed his opinion no longer reflects his erstwhile views of the Arroyo govt.

Thanks for your input, Anna.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Comment of the Day

from mike_dlc:

I wouldn’t be surprised if at an opportune time, those scalawags who are identified with Gloria would abandon her. Why? She was the first to do that to them, didn’t she? She dropped them like a hot potato when strong reactions against cha-cha intesified.

"Non-Political" Prayer Rally at Luneta?

From the Malaya editorial: Ayaw na raw ng CBCP na haluan ng pulitika ang prayer rally nila sa Luneta. It's not really about CON ASS anymore:

As the organizer of Sunday’s rally at the Luneta, the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines has all the right to set down the ground rules on how the gathering is to be conducted. Unfortunately, the CBCP-designated organizing committee, in seeking to evade accusations of political partisanship, has introduced so many prohibitions we are now mystified as why the faithful and other people of different faiths and persuasions have been called to gather together in the first place.

The organizers said placards and streamers will have to be left behind on Taft avenue as participants trek to the Quirino Grandstand where the mass will be held. There will be no chanting of slogans. No politicians will be allowed to make speeches. Only the bishops and other celebrants of the mass will be allowed onstage.

This will be a prayer rally for the enlightenment of our national leaders, the organizers said, not a political assembly.

Really? Were the people just imagining the events of the last two weeks when Gloria Arroyo, Joe de Venecia and their allies almost succeeded in forcing through their plan to tear up the 1987 Constitution in their drive to perpetuate themselves in power?

Ayaw nilang makisali sa pulitika? Nakalimutan na ba nila ang role nila sa Edsa Dos? Hindi ba kaya lang maraming may gustong sumali sa rally na ito ay dahil sa galit nila kay Arroyo at sa mga kaalyadong Tongressman?


Gloria and Joe retreated only in the face of mounting public outrage that greeted their Constituent Assembly by the House own lonesome. The bishops, to their credit, saw through the deceitful exercise and condemned it as immoral. Sunday’s rally has been precisely called to denounce and protest the frustrated rape of the Constitution.

Gloria and Joe have seen the light, or so it appears. They have retreated from Con-Ass and are now shifting to Constitutional Convention as the mode of revising the charter. But only the blind cannot see that they are still dancing the Cha-cha. They are taking one step backward in preparation for another two-step lunge forward.

The bishops are again playing into the hands of Gloria and Joe by taking the seemingly prudent and reasonable position of non-confrontation. They have not apparently learned their lessons.

When the election cheating charges were raised against Gloria, the bishops said they saw no widespread fraud during the 2004 elections. In July when the Hyatt 10 resigned at the height of the "Hello Garci" scandal, the bishops gave Gloria the benefit of the doubt. As protests mounted, Gloria came up with the calibrated preempted response to protest actions, EO 404 and PP 1017. Nary a peep was heard from the bishops.

It’s all water under the bridge now. But had the bishops acted firmly from the start, the cheats, the liars and the thieves would probably have long been stopped dead on their tracks.

Eto pa, bawal raw si Mike Velarde at si Bro Eddie sa grandstand:

ORGANIZERS of the prayer rally to be held Sunday at the Rizal Park against Charter change announced yesterday that politicians would not be allowed on the Quirino Grandstand along with Bro. Mike Velarde of the El Shaddai group and Bro. Eddie Villanueva of the Jesus Is Lord Movement.

“Participants should just carry the rosary,” said Henrietta de Villa, former ambassador to the Vatican and chief organizer of the event. She said that placards, banners and streamers should be left on Taft Avenue -- well out of sight of the anticipated huge gathering called by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

De Villa said the stage would be exclusively limited to prelates and priests who will concelebrate a Mass. She said the strict protocol was meant to keep the occasion devoid of any political color.

“No politicians will be allowed on stage, none at all,” she told the Inquirer yesterday in a phone interview. She said that since the CBCP had sent no invitations to specific persons or groups, the event was open to anyone believing in the call to “watch and pray” for recent political events in the country.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Calderon and his Metro Manila police chief Director Reynaldo Varilla on Wednesday also warned politicians and movie stars would be arrested if they mount the stage and issue political statements.

Just carry the rosary? At bakit ba sino-solo ng CBCP ang event? Why exclude Mike Velarde (who can generate bigger crowds than the CBCP) or Bro. Eddie or INC on the stage?

I'm beginning to suspect that Henrietta de Villa is an Arroyo agent, and her statements were designed to dampen the crowd turnout and enthusiasm for the rally.

MORE: Check this out about Henrietta de Villa. Before many used to show up for the arroyo admins' call for "clean elections":

In a short message, Mrs. Aquino thanked the presidential candidates for attending the Mass and for their willingness and cooperation in ensuring the conduct of honest and credible elections.

Mrs. Aquino also enjoined the people to pray for Armed Forces chief Gen. Narciso Abaya and Philippine National Police chief Director General Hermogenes Ebdane who have been tasked to secure the electoral exercise.

Other prominent personalities who attended the Unity Mass were former President Fidel V. Ramos, Senate President Franklin Drilon Speaker Jose de Venecia, Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Commission on Elections Commissioner Ressureccion Borra, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting leader Henrietta De Villa and businessman and National Movement for Free Elections leader Jose Concepcion.

Ngayon (post-GLORIAGATE), sila Henrietta de Villa at si Joe Con na lang ang natitira, LOL. From the Malaya Oct 31, 2006:

COMELEC Chairman Benjamin Abalos yesterday said there would be no-repeat of the "Hello Garci" scandal in 2004 with the signing of a memorandum of agreement that would limit the role of the military in during elections.

"With the role of the military now well-defined…there’s going to be no Garci (controversy)," he said.

"May you (media) know that Garci is no longer with us so definitely there will be no more Garci. I don’t know if there is going to be ‘Hello Brownie’," he said in jest, referring to Comelec Commissioner Romeo Brawner who was at the signing.
Abalos said it was time to end "this shabby and dishonorable action since the military has been dragged into this mess for a long time".

"Kawawa naman sila (military)," he said.

The other signatories to the memorandum were Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz, National Movement for Free Elections chairman Jose Concepcion and Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting chairman Henrietta de Villa.
The remaining GMA loyalists. And Businessman Jose Concepcion of NAMFREL is still pro-Arroyo, unlike Bill Luz.


UPDATE: Read this article re Neal Cruz's most distrusted/hated list. Here's what he wrote re Mr "I have two discs" Bunye.

The first non-congressman in the most hated/distrusted list is, ironically, somebody who should have the trust of everybody because he is the spokesman of the President: Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye. There is something strange in him. When he says something, people believe the truth is the opposite. When he says the sky is blue, people believe it is yellow. When he says Ms Arroyo is lily-white, people believe her heart is hell-black.

Maybe the reason is that when Bunye gives statements to reporters, he has a pained expression that seems to say he is embarrassed to be forced to say those things.

“Have you noticed?” said one reporter in the survey. “When he answers questions from the press, he can’t even look you straight in the face.”

“Why don’t you believe what he says?” I asked.

“Because what he says is so different from reality,” he replied. “They are very transparent lies.”


- the latest on Pidal's harassment move vs. Newsbreak from PCIJ.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

This doesn't make any sense

- I agree with the Malaya, the CBCP doesn't make any sense. Big blunder on the part of the Bishops. Kung hindi successful ang Luneta rally, look to this as the main reason.

- Nagdadalawang isip si Lacson re running for mayor in Manila?

Manila update. Sen. Panfilo Lacson is having second thoughts about running for mayor of Manila after lawyers warned him of possible disqualification due to lack of residency. Mayor Joselito Atienza is still undecided on who will be Ali Atienza’s vice mayoralty partner. Vice Mayor Danny Lacuna has stepped up his organizational efforts. He met with 150 coordinators from Sampaloc last Wednesday at the NDC Clubhouse at Pureza, Sta. Mesa. Mark Jimenez braved the rain and distributed fried chicken and cash during the fiesta of Our Lady of Loreto at Plaza Bustillos, Sampaloc, last Sunday. Sen. Alfredo Lim is concentrating on his radio and TV programs. Rep. Joey Hizon insists he’s decided on running for mayor.

Who gains most by a Lacson withdrawal? I would say Lim and Lacuna. But it will certainly encourage Jimenez to go ahead and run despite his denials.

It looks like 4th District Rep. Rudy Bacani would slide down to vice mayor with either Lim or Jimenez.

- GMA gives mayors "Christmas love" worth about P20,000-P50,000. Reaction ni Manong Ernie:

Despite Malacañang denials, Mayor Liberty Manzano of Candoni, Negros Occidental, admitted she had received P30,000 and a Christmas card from GMA during her Iloilo visit. Multiply that by 1,600 mayors, that’s a huge amount. Where was it sourced, private or public funds?

- Sabi ni Philip Tiongson: "Why are we so scared of changing the constitution? Why are we so scared of change?"

I don't think most people are afraid of CHA CHA per se. What they are afraid of are the people behind such moves.

If Erap in the past failed to get support for his reasonable and modest CONCORD proposals to amend the consti, si Arroyo pa kaya with her plans to change the ENTIRE constitution and system of government to her and her allies benefit?

Opposition now recruiting candidates for 2007 elections

From Ernie Maceda:

Contact Jojo. The United Opposition (UNO), now an accredited political coalition by the Commission on Elections, is screening potential candidates for senator, congressman and local positions. Contact the office of Mayor Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, UNO president, if you are interested. The lineups will be finished by Jan. 31.


Goodbye FHM

FHM US is closing down. Their last issue will be coming out this March 2007.

paano na ang FHM Philippines?

Friday, December 15, 2006

General Info on Black and White Movement Motorcade to Luneta

Skeds and Location on where to meet for Sunday Prayer Rally, 17 December 2006.

Let the kapalmuks come

From Ellen Tordesillas:

Sa “Strictly Politics” ni Pia Hontiveros sa ANC noong Martes ng gabi, sinabi ni Ronald Llamas, secretary general ng Akbayan na may natanggap silan “feelers” mula sa ilang kapi kay Gloria Arroyo na gusto nilang sumali sa rally sa linggo na inu-organize ng Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

Arroyo and her cohorts are the reason why there’s a rally being planned against them.

I think it’s absurd that they now want to join the prayer rally.

But in the event that these garapals do invite themselves to the gathering, the people there should make them ehem… “feel welcome” and boo those asses out of the stage. but i doubt that will shame them enough though.

Mas maganda sana kung batuhin na lang sila ng bakya o itlog kapag nagpakita sila sa stage, but since it's a "prayer rally", siguro hanggang boo o thumbs down na lang tayo. but i can understand the urge to throw something at these clowns...

Face-Saving and Temporary only

GMA "umatras" na raw sa CHA CHA. Sabi ng maka-Arroyong si Realist:

according to abs-cbn news: gma gives up on cha-cha. So, naunahan na naman ni gma ang kalaban. Sasabihin ni gma sa mga obispo, “o yan, sinagot ko na panalangin ninyo, di pa man kayo magpasimulang magdasal.”

Well, it was a face saving move for arroyo. And it wasn’t that surprising.

You see, when her allies like JDV becomes a political burden to her, she dumps them to save herself. Shows her true character.

But i have a sense na temporary retreat lang yan ni arroyo.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Now they tell us

Inamin na rin ni Jojo Robles of the Manila Standard Today ang BS na madalas isubo ng Malacanang at mga pro-Arroyo media sa publiko.

That more than a few of the Statistics and Data the admin is trotting out are just "window dressing":

It was shortly after Neri assumed his position that the government drew a lot of flak for window-dressing the number of jobs created by no longer including those “not actively seeking work.” By pulling this rabbit out of his hat, Neri and the rest of the government’s economic team were able to show that the unemployment rate declined from 11.4 percent to 10.7 percent from 2004 to 2005.

Neri also made the outrageous claim that poverty actually declined during his watch—but only because of the absurdly low poverty treshold of per capita income. Currently, according to the National Statistics Coordinating Board, a family of five needs an annual income of P65,565. This translates to P1,092 monthly per person, which breaks down to P36 daily. No wonder the latest Social Weather Stations survey revealed that despite Neri’s claims of poverty alleviation, unemployment and hunger are still rampant, with more than half of all Filipinos actually believing that life has become more difficult in recent years.

I've posted about the manipulated unemployment and poverty level numbers of the Arroyo admin in the past. The admin also had used deception in their population data numbers (to justify their retarded stance on family planning) and education numbers (wala raw classroom shortage) in the past to mislead the public.

It's good that jojo robles is finally admitting this fact. Heck, it's refreshing to see that somebody... anybody with pro-Arroyo leanings is finally admitting this. Better late than never.