Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
"Petraeus has a rare combination of great geopolitical skills as well as tactical and military ones," says retired General Jack Keane, a fellow architect of the surge strategy. "He is good at working with ambassadors, with the Iraqi government, and he also knows how to cope with uncertainty and failure, which is what you get in an environment like Iraq."Read the whole thing.
Lest Gen Keane seem a little biased, it should be pointed out that British commanders hold Gen Petraeus in similarly high regard.
Several Northern Ireland veterans who worked with him in Baghdad this year came away with the opinion that it is now America, not Britain, that is the world leader in counter-insurgency.
A Mighty Heart
The Lives of Others
We Own the Night
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Andrew MacCarthy minces no words in exposing the face of the real enemy in Pakistan, where the Global Jihad threatens to become a nuclear power, strangely enough, on the strength of what some of our local "jihadists" might praise as "People Power" while managing to denigrate Democracy itself.
Sino yung mga "jihadists" na tinutukoy niya dito? Abu Sayyaf? MILF? MNLF? I don't recall any of them advocating "People Power".
Oh well, it's nice knowing ya tito dean... ;)
OBAMA OVER MCCAIN?
Sen. Barack Obama's rise against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination leads some of the party's strategists to celebrate the prospect for a better match-up against Sen. John McCain as the Republican nominee.
"I'll take a 47-year-old [Obama] against a 72-year-old [McCain] any day," is the private comment of one prominent Democrat who long ago made Sen. Clinton his pick for president. Like many insiders of both parties, he considers McCain -- on the rise for the Republican nomination -- as the GOP candidate most likely to defeat Clinton.
And McCain is the most likely candidate to beat Hillary. Dat I agree too!
Mccain > Hillary > Obama > McCain
It's like Rock, Paper and Scissors!
But don't scrap the elections.
Friday, December 28, 2007
UPDATE: There will be more civil unrests in nuclear Pakistan after Bhutto's assassination. Interesting times ahead.
UPDATE: Hitch on Bhutto.
David Ignatius comments on Bhutto's murder.
Ali Eteraz on Bhutto, Musharraf and Nawaz Sharif. Read it.
UPDATE: What Musharraf should do next.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
UPDATE: Money quote:
One additional point: Petraeus's counterinsurgency stands out not just for its conceptual ambition and the skill of its execution but for its humanity. There were those who argued that the U.S. military could not succeed in counterinsurgency because Americans were not tough and bloodthirsty enough. They said that brutality was essential in subduing insurgents and our humanity would be our downfall.
They were wrong. The counterinsurgency campaign of 2007 was probably the most precise, discriminate, and humane military operation ever undertaken on such a scale.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), GMA-7 said: "ABS-CBN/DZMM reporter Junrie Hidalgo's reports is erroneous where AGB Nielsen named GMA-7 as the network that allegedly funded an operation to bribe metered homes in Bacolod City to watch GMA-7 shows and influence the ratings."
GMA-7 further asserted that an affidavit submitted by Maya Reforma of AGB Nielsen "belied such accusations against GMA-7."
"There is no evidence that shows any significant impact on NUTAM data as a result of the activities purportedly launched by GMA-7," GMA-7 quoting Reforma's affidavit.
But that's different from saying there were no manipulation done to boost the ratings. What Ms. Reforma said was that YES, THERE WERE SOME MANIPULATIONS, but that they had no significant impact on the ratings raw.
AGB Nielsen also said that based on its own exhaustive investigations, the alleged tampering was confined to certain “home panels” in Bacolod City.
But AGB Nielsen said the alleged attempts to tamper with its data had no effect on its TV survey results.
Reforma told the court that the company had “reprocessed” its data by excluding the panel homes in Bacolod, compared the new data with the original and found that the alleged tampering activities had no effect on the results.
ABS-CBN had alleged that some families that participated in the AGB surveys were contacted by a rival network through house-to-house promotional campaigns offering cash prizes and promotional items, thus, rendering AGB data unreliable.
Ms. Reforma claimed that their data is reliable and accurate, but that is being disputed by ABS-CBN. And how would they know that the tampering is not limited to the Bacolod areas? If it wasn't for the whistleblower from ABS-CBN, they would still be clueless.
Sabi rin ng GMA7 sa print ad nila sa PHILSTAR kahapon:
GMA categorically denies that the ABS-CBN informant ever worked with or for GMA.
No, I don't think the informant was an official employee of GMA7, But what if the informant worked for somebody who worked for GMA7? Then GMA7 can claim that the informant never worked for or with GMA7, no?
But don't give me this BS that there were no manipulation done to boost GMA7's ratings.
MORE: Arroyo sycophant Dan Mariano is carrying water for GMA7, attacks ABS-CBN for being a "monopoly". Non-sequitur attacks, changing the subject, all in a days work.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Reminds me of RATS ads of the RNC against the Democrats. Video here.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines on Wednesday identified GMA-7 as the television network being linked to bribery attempts to unduly influence TV ratings being harvested by the research firm in Bacolod City.
In an interview, AGB Nielsen general manager Maya Reforma said an informant revealed that it was GMA-7 that allegedly funded an operation to bribe metered homes in Bacolod City to watch GMA shows and influence the ratings.
Reforma said GMA-7 conducted promotional activities in Bacolod City to increase viewership for the network. She added that the research firm has yet to confirm if the activities influenced TV ratings in the area.
She said there was no reason for the research firm to stop the ratings surveys since the tampering could be an isolated incident.
Last week, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. sued AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines for continuing to release possibly tainted nationwide TV ratings despite information that metered households used to gauge the ratings might have been bribed.
"The Filipino people and the entire media industry deserve to know the truth. We in ABS-CBN have discovered what can only be viewed as a systematic, organized and well funded attempt to cheat in the ratings," ABS-CBN Chairman and CEO Eugenio Lopez III said in a statement.
Vivian Tin, ABS-CBN Research and Business Analysis chief, said ABS-CBN informed AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines last November 20 about the bribery attempts and urged the research agency "to stop the release of erroneous data, check their panel nationwide and resume release only when they can guarantee the integrity of the data."
She said the network filed a P63 million civil suit against AGB Nielsen after it continued to release the weekly TV ratings even after the informant met with AGB Nielsen officials. "They did go with the informant and he did show them the homes. According to the informant, the homes that he showed them were verified to be AGB Nielsen homes," she told reporters at 9501 restaurant.
Katulad ng sinabi ni Archbishop Arguelles, malas nyo dahil nahuli kayo!
If you are getting weird problems connecting to the web, and are using PLDT’s or Globe’s DSL service, we may have a stumbled upon a less than optimal DNS entry on our side.
Lately, we have been receiving reports from our hosted clients using PLDT and Globe internet connection that they cannot view websites. During the investigation of the problem, we initially thought that there was temporary problem with PLDT’s DNS servers. As out test below would show, some other DNS servers on the Net did not have the same problem.
Uh-huh... he added:
So we escalated the problem to PLDT’s top network honchos and asked them what they were seeing from their side. It seems that both PLDT and Globe servers could not resolve the IP address of one of the Name Servers on our side. But other name servers on the internet could.
While we were troubeshooting the problem, we advised our clients to use OPENDNS when encountering problems that are related to PLDT and Globe DNS server. Here are the instructions on how to change DNS settings to OpenDNS
After exhaustive investigation, it seems that our NS records did not have the accompanying A records. (In layman’s terms, it was not fully compatible with some of the DNS servers out there). So we corrected the problem, and with help from PLDT DNS guys,we were able to get confirmation that the DNS servers are now in sync and compatible with PLDT DNS.
Mali siya dito, I'm still not able to access some websites because of this DNS problem.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
McCain Endorsed by Over 100 Admirals and Generals
ARLINGTON, VA -- Today over 100 retired admirals and generals endorsed John McCain for President of the United States at a press conference in Columbia, South Carolina. These distinguished leaders supporting John McCain come from all branches of the armed services and include former POWs, Medal of Honor recipients and former members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
John McCain was joined today in Columbia by five distinguished military veterans: Admiral Leighton "Snuffy" Smith, USN (Ret.); Vice Admiral Mike Bowman, USN (Ret.); Rear Admiral Tom Lynch, USN (Ret.); Rear Admiral Bob Shumaker, USN (Ret.); and Major General Stan Spears, USA, Adjutant General of South Carolina.
"This nation is at war and we'd better damn well understand that fact," said Admiral Leighton "Snuffy" Smith, USN (Ret.). "John McCain understands it, and he is the only candidate that has not wavered one bit in his position regarding the importance of victory in the war against Islamic extremism or in his commitment to the troops who are doing the fighting. He has consistently demonstrated the kind and style of leadership that we believe is essential in our next Commander in Chief. Our nation faces a growing array of serious foreign policy challenges. John McCain is the ONE candidate who, in our view, truly understands the strategic landscape and is fully prepared to deal decisively and effectively with those who wish to be our friends and, importantly, those who wish us harm."
John McCain thanked the admirals and generals, stating, "I am deeply honored to have the support of so many distinguished military leaders. I thank them for the trust they have in me, but more importantly, our nation is indebted to their service in defense of our freedom. Our next president will face two wars and an array of national security challenges around the world. My experience, knowledge and background have prepared me to confront these great challenges and lead as commander in chief from day one."
Friday, December 14, 2007
From the Daily Tribune:
Bribery in RP among worst in world — TI
The Philippines under the Arroyo regime has climbed high in the global corruption index.
Corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) ranked the Philippines in the top rung of countries most affected by bribery in the world based on its Global Corruption Barometer 2007 report released yesterday.
According to the corruption watchdog, it is the police, politicians and judges who are the most corrupt.
One in every four persons has been asked to pay a bribe to the police, and political parties and parliaments or Congress, are the most tainted by corruption, a TI study showed.
The poor are targeted for bribes in both developed and developing countries.
The study “has made it clear that too often, people must part with their hard-earned money to pay for services that should be free,” said TI chairman Huguette Labelle. “And they do not see enough commitment when they look to their governments and leaders.”
The study found that among the countries with the highest level of petty bribery, with 30 percent of respondents reporting paying bribes, is the Philippines.
Mrs. Arroyo has been mired in corruption scandals that keep on coming, and where she has been seen to block all investigations into the corruption scandals, the latest of which are the China ZTE Corp. National Broadband Network project, along with the P500,000 cash bribes each given to some 190 congressmen and a big number of local executives, right in Malacañang.
The World Bank also recently suspended funding of several road projects in the country owing to the discovered “excessive” corruption and huge overpricing in bidding for the projects.
The TI survey showed the Philippines along with Albania, Cambodia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania and Senegal in the top rung of countries with the highest incidences of corruption in the world.
More from the Tribune:
Santiago’s proposal to the Pulse Asia survey was a variation of the ready response by the Palace on corruption surveys.
Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) chairman Constancia de Guzman has made a somewhat similar proposal against Transparency International (TI).
De Guzman wrote the TI last year asking the anti-corruption watchdog to strike the Philippines off its list of countries included in its annual corruption level survey after the ranking of the country progressively sunk from the time Gloria took over the presidency in 2001 through a naked power-grab.
Stated differently, what Gloria, through her lackey De Guzman, wanted was for the country under her corrupt regime out of the TI listing to ensure that the corruption level in the country will no longer be recorded, and for them, the problem of gross corruption in Gloria’s government will simply vanish.
De Guzman even went to the extent of casting aspersions on the character of the head of the local TI chapter to defend Gloria from the unfavorable surveys.
De Guzman frequently enumerates the name of low-level state workers being charged in court for graft as proof that the government has been relentless against corruption.
Yet everyone knows it is only the small fry that Gloria and her anti-graft commission charge with corruption. What is their record on the Bolante P3-billion caper, for starters? Years have passed, and promises have been made, yet there are no findings and no charges to speak of from Malacañang.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Alarmed by his wife's slide in the polls and disarray within her backbiting campaign, a beside-himself Bill Clinton has leaped atop the barricades and is furiously plotting a cure - or coup....
Another Democrat with close connections to the Clinton campaign describes Bill Clinton as "very engaged and very agitated. He's yelling at [chief strategist] Mark Penn a lot."...
One post-Thanksgiving meeting erupted into finger-pointing over the loss of her advantage.
"They all want to kill each other," said a source aware of the closed-door meeting.
The backstabbing involves several high-level people in the campaign, including Penn, Mandy Grunwald, Ann Lewis and Howard Wolfson, sources said.
From the New York Daily News.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I disagree with the survey findings. She's probably somewhere between Marcos and Erap.
And Malacanang questions how the survey was done. Respondents were "too few" to say Arroyo is most corrupt raw.
For one thing, Bunye said, there were too few respondents.
"So 1,200 out of 84 million Filipinos? So 'yan po ay napakaliit na bahagdan ng ating mga kababayan (So that is a very small percentage of our countrymen)," Bunye told dzBB radio.
Too few? Sa US, CNN/Opinion and CBS/NYT did two recent polls that almost had the same number of respondents on the US presidential candidates:
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Huckabee Surges In Two National Polls
Clinton Up By Double-Digits Over Obama Mike Huckabee has been skyrocketing in the polls in several early states, and now it appears that his success is translating into national appeal. A pair of new national polls out this morning show him running neck-and-neck with Rudy Giuliani for the lead in the GOP primary. On the Democratic side, the polls diverge one shows Hillary Clinton leading Barack Obama by 10 points, the other by 23 points.
The CNN/Opinion Research poll of 1002 adults, including 377 registered Republicans and 467 registered Democrats, conducted over December 6-9, shows 24% would vote for Giuliani; 22% would vote for Huckabee; 16% would vote for Mitt Romney; 13% would vote for John McCain; 10% would vote for Fred Thompson; 6% would vote for Ron Paul; 2% would vote for Duncan Hunter; and 1% would vote for Tom Tancredo. On the Democratic side, 40% would vote for Clinton; 30% would vote for Obama; 14% would vote for John Edwards; 4% would vote for Joseph Biden; 4% would vote for Bill Richardson; 2% would vote for Chris Dodd; and 2% would vote for Dennis Kucinich.
Meanwhile, the CBS Evening News reported, "A brand new CBS News/New York Times poll just being released at this hour shows a dramatic shift on the Republican side. Take a look. Nationwide, Rudy Giuliani still leads but by the slimmest of margins. One point. The story? Mike Huckabee's surge into second place. He's up 17 points since October."
The CBS/NYT poll of 1133 adults, including 1028 registered voters, conducted over December 5-9, shows Giuliani leading with 22%, followed by Huckabee, 21%; Romney, 16%; McCain, 7%; Thompson, 7%; Paul, 4%; Hunter, 3%; and Tancredo, 1%. Among Democrats, Clinton leads with 44%, followed by Obama, 21%; Edwards, 11%; Biden, 2%; Kucinich, 2%; Richardson, 2%; and Dodd, 1%.
Sa US, around 1,000 adults out of a population of 300,000,000 ang ginamit. I guess hindi rin scientific ang mga polls sa US.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
A new Gallup poll shows an across-the-board increase in the favorable ratings of major Republican presidential candidates – with the exception of Rudy Giuliani, who until recently had the highest favorable ratings of any Republican. According to the new rankings, John McCain now has the highest favorable rating of any candidate, with Giuliani second.
The poll shows Mike Huckabee's favorable rating jumped 15 points in the last three weeks, from 18 percent to 33 percent. (Huckabee's unfavorable rating ticked downward, from 18 percent to 16 percent.) Fred Thompson's favorable rating went up ten points, from 29 percent to 39 percent. (His unfavorable rating also went down, from 28 percent to 26 percent.) Mitt Romney's favorable rating went up eight points, from 28 percent to 36 percent, while his unfavorable rating went down a point, from 31 percent to 30 percent. And McCain's favorable rating also went up eight points from 47 percent to 55 percent, while his unfavorable fell from 34 percent to 30 percent. As for Giuliani, his favorable rating fell from 55 percent to 52 percent, with his unfavorable rating jumping from 32 percent to 37 percent.
During the same period, there was little change among Democrats, who already had higher favorable ratings than several Republicans. Hillary Clinton's favorable rating went down five points, from 52 percent to 47 percent, while her unfavorable rating went up from 45 percent to 50 percent. Barack Obama's favorable rating stayed the same, at 53 percent, while his unfavorable rating ticked upward from 30 percent to 33 percent. John Edwards' favorable rating also stayed the same, at 50 percent, while his unfavorable rating went from 31 percent to 35 percent.
Kung gagawin nating Net Approval Rating, ito ang lalabas:
John Mccain: 55 - 30 = +25
Mike Huckabee: 33 - 16 = +17
Rudy Giuliani: 52 - 37 = +15
Fred Thompson: 39 - 26 = +13
Mitt Romney: 36 - 30 = +6
Barack Obama: 53 - 33 = +20
John Edwards: 50 - 35 = +15
Hillary Clinton: 47 - 50 = -3
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
And here's what I said a few weeks ago. ;)
And he's getting some results.
UPDATE: Related stuff from MLQ3:
Maria Ressa pointed out whichever way the government slices or dices what took place at the Peninsula -a “hostage situation,” or “terrorism,” or whatever- she can find an identical scenario covered just as aggressively by media abroad, and no democratic government anywhere did to journalists what our government did here at home.
MANILA Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales has called on President Arroyo to "personally and sincerely" address the issues that were raised by the group of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV that took over the Manila Peninsula Hotel last Thursday.
Rosales said while he does not agree with the means used by the dissenters, it would be unwise for the administration to simply shrug off their complaints.
"The issues of justice and legitimate leadership that the protesters espouse must be heeded and addressed according to the laws of the land," Rosales said.
He said the issues raised by the so-called Pen 50 should be addressed to avoid similar incidents from occurring.
"What all long to see is a humble, honest, inspiring and compassionate leadership among public servants who are completely disposed to unity," he said.
We've all been doing that since 2005, Cardinal Rosales. Tell the whole truth about Garcigate and do the right thing: Resign. Where have you been? Oh yeah, I remember--making excuses for Arroyo.
You want Arroyo to "personally and sincerely" address the issues? What do you mean by that? You know she's incapable of addressing the main issue that has bugged her so called presidency since 2004 (and 2001)-- and that's her Garcified legitimacy. And i have no problems with your statements above--i just question it's sincerity. is all.
UPDATE: From Maceda: "Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles revealed that he was approached for support by those behind the Makati City standoff but he had refused."
Of course he will refuse. Wasn't he the same person who said dismissed the allegations of election rigging when asked about Arroyo's Garcified Elections:
“Talaga naman nandaya, e. Pero kahit nandaya, maliwanag naman na si Presidente ang nanalo. Hindi siguro one million (votes) pero siguro mga ilang hundred thousand….Lahat naman nandaya, e. Natalo lang ’yung iba sa dayaan.”More on Archbishop Ramon Arguelles from Conrado de Quiros.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Amid the public uproar over the successive hikes in the prices of petroleum products imposed by oil companies, which include that of liquified petroleum gas (LPG), Malacañang yesterday passed the buck as it laid the blame on former Navy Capt. and now Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, whom it accused of making life harder for the poor Filipino masses by inflicting further damage on the economy when he took over the Manila Peninsula hotel last Thursday and demanded the resignation of President Arroyo.
In a statement sent to reporters, deputy presidential spokesman Lorelie Fajardo stressed there are mitigating measures being done by the government to help poor Filipinos cope with the oil price hikes but Trillanes, along with other Arroyo critics have been impeding Mrs. Arroyo’s economic programs.
“This is the reason acts such as that of Senator Trillanes would make it harder for the poor to cope with the international oil price,” Fajardo said.
She also defended oil companies and their move to jack up oil prices, saying such is inevitable.
“The increase in the price of LPG is inevitable because of the oil price hike in the world market. The President herself went to Paco Market (in Manila ) before going to Europe, to make sure that the prices of the basic commodities are stable inspite of this,” Fajardo said.
Is he a "the Conservative Clinton"? I love to hear him speak. Nakaka-hypnotize. And Great job on losing all that weight Governor.
And look out, he has surged in Iowa to take the top spot.
UPDATE: In other US political news, Karl Rove advises Obama: Win Iowa or lose the race
If he can't win there, I doubt he can win anywhere else.
UPDATE: "NIE? What NIE?"
I like Huck, but not for president.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
As soon as Trillanes et al. signaled surrender, the police moved in to arrest everyone in sight, regardless of whether they were Magdalo soldiers or sympathizers or media people going about their business of reporting what was obviously a significant event. Then they tied up everyone with plastic tie wraps (except for a few feisty female reporters who refused to be subjected to such indignity) and herded them into buses that would later bring them to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City. Some media men who stuck their hands out of the window to show to television cameras were hit with sticks. A few said the police pointed their guns at them.
What was their crime? None, police and civilian officials declared. Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno explained that there were reports that some Magdalo members or sympathizers had disguised themselves as members of the media and the police wanted to make sure they didn’t get away. So, he said, everyone was being taken to Bicutan for “processing” so that the authorities could determine if those who claimed they were from the media were indeed what they claimed to be.
Of course, the police cannot be expected to know each and every reporter, photographer or cameraman working for scores of media organizations based in Metro Manila. But unless someone does not watch the news on TV at all, he would surely know that Ces Drilon and Pinky Webb work for ABS-CBN Broadcasting and Sandra Aguinaldo for GMA Network. Their faces are their IDs, so why did the police have to confirm their identities in Bicutan? And why was it not good enough for the police that top station officials would vouch for the identities of the people assigned to cover the event?
If all that the police wanted was to check the media people’s identity, they could have done that right at the hotel by asking for everyone’s ID and calling the newsrooms to verify. But no, the police had to humiliate the media people and force them to go through the ordeal of being handcuffed and transported to Bicutan. Only to find out that their information about infiltration was wrong, since they found not a single impostor among the media people they had brought in for questioning.
But Puno himself hinted that there was a dark reason for the arrests other than identity checks, when he accused the media people of “wittingly or unwittingly, all of them, obstructing justice.” In other words, the administration suspected the journalists who covered the event of being part of the plot to topple Ms Arroyo. In fact, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Avelino Razon is now threatening to charge the journalists present at the Manila Peninsula with obstruction of justice if they would file any charges against the policemen who hauled them off to Bicutan.
The media should call Razon’s bluff. Let’s see if he can find a friendly judge who will declare it a crime to cover breaking news. If the media will blink in the face of such intimidation, the Gestapos in the PNP and in Malacañang will continue to march in triumph, crushing under their heels everyone’s political rights and civil liberties.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Some of Alston’s sharpest words, for example, are aimed at Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. Her office, he writes, “has done almost nothing in recent years to investigate the involvement of government officials in extrajudicial executions.” That kind of track record is simply indefensible, but Alston, a professor of law, probes deeper and concludes that the “Office of the Ombudsman has surrendered its constitutionally-mandated independence from the executive branch.” Considering the special role the powerful office plays in the administration of justice, this is a chilling but not unjustified conclusion. What exactly does he mean by that? He offers several answers, including possibly the most damaging of them all: “The Office of the Ombudsman often operates as a de facto subsidiary of the Department of Justice.”
That a constitutional officer like Gutierrez, one of the few so-called impeachable officials in the government, finds herself effectively a subordinate to a rankly political alter ego of the President like Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez is a legal calamity. It explains why, as Alston writes, “Despite having received a significant number of complaints alleging extrajudicial executions attributed to state agents, no information was provided by the Ombudsman’s office indicating that it had undertaken any productive investigations.” It also explains why, to give just one of many possible examples, the Mega-Pacific anomaly became the perfect crime.
Alston also takes aim at National Security Adviser Bert Gonzales: “Senior government officials are attempting to use prosecutions to dismantle the numerous civil society organizations and party-list groups that they believe to be fronts for the CPP [Communist Party of the Philippines]. While this project is sometimes discussed as if it were a dark conspiracy, it was explained to me openly and directly by numerous officials as the very function of IALAG [Inter-Agency Legal Action Group], which was established in 2006.” And who runs IALAG? Real “institutional power and legal authority over its operations is concentrated in the Office of the National Security Adviser.”
Alston concludes: “The most deleterious role played by IALAG bodies may be to encourage prosecutors to act as team players with the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] and PNP [Philippine National Police] in counterinsurgency operations and to de-prioritize cases involving the deaths of leftist activists.” This explains not only the rehashed charges against party-list leaders but also the administration’s convenient resurrection, as necessity dictates, of the communist bogeyman.
UPDATE: An Arroyo adminitration's handpicked Melo commissioner from the CBCP, Bishop Juan de dios Pueblos disputes the Alston report, claiming that Communists insurgents were the major cause of the extrajudicial killings of leftist activists.
Though, he admitted that insurgency is also a major cause of the killings, the AFP, Pueblos said was acting only to eradicate "communism" since they are now considered "terrorists".
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
But that fool atienza of the so-called "atienza wing" of the LP is in no position to make demands. mar roxas is in the ascension and will be the LP candidate for 2010, while atienza's madam Arroyo will be out by that same time.
There's going to be a new sheriff in town by 2010, and Lito needs to ally himself more with rising star Mar Roxas, and not than the other way around. Kumbaga, Mar Roxas is the "strong horse", and Lito Atienza is the "weak horse".
(Unless Atienza loyalists want ally themselves to the other potential candidates from the Villar/Erap camp or the Loren/Danding side.)
One thing the LP and Mar Roxas doesn't want right now is to be seen as pro-Arroyo. And Lito Atienza and other ex-LP Arroyo loyalists have yet to disassociate themselves from Arroyo or turn opposition vs. the administration...
Atienza’s faction snubbed the LP meet. He said his faction was not invited.
But he did have a few words about Roxas’ election. He said:
“Congratulations, Sen. Roxas, at your installation as president of the Liberal Party faction led by Frank Drilon and his merry cabal of destabilizers. We were hoping we would be congratulating Mar as our president, the head of a newly-united Liberal Party, but it seems the worst fears of our group became reality after all,” referring to former Senate president and outgoing party chief Franklin Drilon.
Atienza, together with other LP stalwarts loyal to President Arroyo including former presidential chief of staff Michael Defensor, ousted Drilon’s group in a rump session in late 2005, which elected Atienza as party president.
If you're anti-Arroyo, you're a "destabilizer".
Monday, November 26, 2007
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Sunday, November 25, 2007
All good strategies have an antecedent. The antecedent strategy for the Clinton campaign of 2008 is the Nixon strategy of 1968. Then, the problem was: how do you make the country's most disliked politician electable? Frank Shakespeare and Fred McWhorter started by trying to make Nixon warmer, friendlier, your next door neighbor. A young turk named Roger Ailes came in, took a look and said (and I am paraphrasing here): "forget it. No one will ever warm to the guy. He's un-likeable. We've got to change the narrative. This is about a man in the arena; this is about grit and determination and hard work and brains and perseverance." Ailes went on to create televised "Man in the Arena" town hall meetings, at which Nixon answered voter questions, by himself, being himself. Voters didn't need to like Nixon to elect him. He only needed to earn their respect.
Like Nixon, Senator Clinton is widely disliked. Like Nixon, she cannot be made warm, even by a modern-day Roger Ailes. Like Nixon, she is a politician whose resentments are always close to the surface. And like Nixon, she is a politician about whom her peers have real doubts.
But also like Nixon, she is intelligent and diligent and determined and tough and she has been through hell and back. She is experienced in a way that only her husband and President George W. Bush are experienced. She knows what it's like to get her head kicked in every day, day after day after day, for months and years on end. She endures.
That was the whole point of the 1968 Nixon campaign narrative. He wasn't perfect by any means, but he was formidable and he endured. It's a narrative that fits Senator Clinton's campaign like a glove.
Intersting. Mickey Kaus comments.
Sabi ni Ann Althouse:
Ha ha. They need to explain to us how to vote for Hillary, even though we don't want to.
But I'm not really laughing. Actually, I picture myself doing exactly that. I don't like her, and I don't want to vote for her, but somehow, I assume that in the end I will. I'm resisting now — look at all my recent Hillary posts — but it's probably because I see myself ending up doing what I don't want to do.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
UPDATED: "The Senate President wants his Senate to investigate. Tama na, please. Wala namang mangyayari."
They will just invoke executive privilege and all kinds of other excuses. And if they do appear, they will just lie before your senators. There are after all at least three of your senators who will abet any form of lying, accept all obfuscations, and even bellicosely treat whoever dares to tell the truth in that chamber.
- Lito Banayo, on the World Bank accusations of irregularities.
Yup, walang kwenta talaga yang Senate President natin na yan. In bed kasi si Villar sa administration, kaya marami sa mga importanteng committee chairmanship ay napunta sa administration--which SHOULD NOT have been the case kung hindi niya inilagay ang personal ambitions niya ahead of the opposition goals. Kaya hanggang ngayon, FECKLESS pa rin ang senado under villar's leadership pagdating sa administration abuses and obstruction of justice attempts even though nanalo ang opposition sa senate elections (although the maguindanao situation didn't help.)
If Villar can't stand up against EO 464, if the senate is under his compromised leadership is being given the run around by the Arroyo admin, then Villar is one person I feel will not bring any meaningful changes if he replaces Arroyo.
Ang taong namamangka sa dalawang ilog... that person I don't trust.
UPDATE: Besides, Mr. Villar, wouldn't this only add more to the "political bickerings" kung iimbestigahan pa nyo yan?
UPDATE: How Manny Villar set the neophyte Sen. Cayetano up for failure by making his job a LOT harder.
And it's obvious that Lacson should have been the Opposition appointee to the Blue Ribbon committee position. Just sayin.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
From NY Daily News:
'Isiah has to start me,' Marbury fumed, according to the source. 'I've got so much (stuff) on Isiah and he knows it. He thinks he can (get) me. But I'll (get) him first. You have no idea what I know.'
Here's a roundup of the Marbury-Isiah feud.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
So if I were JDV, i'd tell Enrile he's making a mistake, and he should apologize for attacking him just because his son exposed the ZTE corruption scandal.
UPDATE: Manuel Buencamino delivers an Enrile smackdown. Sweeet. And Enrile's stunt reminded me this Raul Gonzales move vs. Lacson. More on that here.
UPDATE: Lito Banayo comments.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
After the indignation in the Filipino-American community for a racial slur on Philippine nurses in a "Desperate Housewives" episode, ABC-TV now says it will hire Filipino- American actors and actresses, and even scriptwriters, directors, and producers.
Only two candidates have a good chance of getting erap's endorsement: Villar and Legarda. I think Villar will get Erap's endorsement.
I also sense too that both Villar and Legarda are the most likely to flipflop from Opposition to Admin if they don't get Erap's blessing. Since malamang makukuha ni Villar ang endorso ni Erap, magiging defacto candidate ng administration si Legarda at official candidate for the president ng NPC ni Cojuangco. Pero kung si Legarda naman ang maging kandidato ni Erap, si Villar ay magiging unofficial candidate ng Malacanang.
I think Mar Roxas doesn't mind getting erap's endorsement and be the main opposition candidate for the presidency. Sa tingin ko hindi siya lilipat sa admin kapag hindi niya nakuha ang basbas ni estrada. Same with Lacson.
But I don't see Erap picking Ping and Mar, so both of these two will run as third force type candidates.
Mar Roxas will most likely be civil society's anti-Arroyo candidate (as opposed to Villar as ERap/GO candidate). And Lacson once again will run as an Independent candidate. Legarda will be the NPC and the admin's candidate.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I know that Joker Arroyo grieves deeply the passing away of Dulce, and prays that his good friend Rene would recover from such tragedy.
But one wonders what possessed Joker to suddenly author a resolution "expressing the concern of the Senate that the number of Filipino cardinals is grossly disproportionate to the huge number of Catholics" in this benighted land. Joker further notes that the Philippines has the second largest concentration of Catholics in the world.
While I do not think Joker’s resolution violates the constitutional provision on the separation of Church and State, as expressed on the floor by one of his colleagues, I wonder if he was asked (tasked?) by the Boss Lady in Malacañang to lay the predicate to her soon-to-be-made importuning to the Holy Father, for a fourth Philippine cardinal.
In 1999, there was talk in Church circles that then Pope John Paul II would name a cardinal from among one of the archbishops of Mindanao. My good friend Carmelo Morelos, DD, Archbishop of Zamboanga and before that Butuan, was prominently mentioned. But that did not come to pass, and with the death of the beloved pope, a new sovereign in the Vatican reigns.
Guess who the Boss Lady wants to see elevated by Pope Benedict to the College of Cardinals before her term is over, if it ever gets over? Her lord Archbishop Fernando Capalla of Davao, the previous president of the CBCP who stood by her during the dark days of Hello Garci in 2005.
This is the same bishop who early in the days of Gloria tried to broker a solution to the impounded 40 billion-peso coconut levy, along with Norberto Gonzales, then presidential adviser on "special" concerns. That did not materialize when legitimate representatives of coconut farmers began to question the terms of their arrangement.
Sometime last year, after he had forgotten the slightly soured relations we had because I refused to support his bosom buddy FPJ in the presidential run, Erap told me that in April of 2004, this archbishop from Davao visited him in Tanay. Capalla supposedly asked him to withdraw his support from FPJ, and thus pave the way for a GMA victory. In exchange, Capalla said the Boss Lady would ensure his acquittal before the Sandiganbayan. Erap refused.
I mention this now, without leave from Erap, and pray that the CBCP or the newly appointed papal nuncio could verify this highly immoral intervention on the part of Capalla not only in secular matters, but in favor of his patroness Gloria, even to the point of promising that the "rule of law" could be so easily thwarted by the political compromise he proffered.
And this is the man who the Boss Lady would want to be the next cardinal from the Philippines?
I was schooled in the thought that "Deus" precedes even "Patria". It would seem that in the illegitimate reign of the Boss Lady in the stinking palace, where she arrogates "patriotism" to mean her self-interest, even matters of the Church are within the sphere of her habitual "transactions".
I scratch your back, you scratch mine.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
But the peso gaining stregth has probably more to do with the weak US dollar. Read this Washington Post article: Bush's Disastrous Dollar Policy
Even French President Sarkozy is complaining:
Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy told a joint session of the U.S. Congress the Bush administration must stem the dollar's plunge or risk triggering a trade war.
``The dollar cannot remain `someone else's problem,''' Sarkozy said today on Capitol Hill. ``If we are not careful, monetary disarray could morph into economic war. We would all be its victims.''
Sarkozy's complaints that the U.S. currency's drop against the euro is undermining European competitiveness struck a discordant note in a summit intended to demonstrate an improving U.S.-French relationship. His comments came as the euro surged to a record high against the dollar. The currency touched $1.4731 today, a 65 percent gain since the end of 2001.
Concern that the euro is too strong has been a Sarkozy theme since his presidential campaign earlier this year. Since his May 6 election, he has urged European Central Bank officials to lower interest rates to weaken the currency.
From the NYTIMES:
WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 ? It is hard to know which effort has longer odds, the bid by Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, to become president of the United States, or his bid to unseat Vice President Dick Cheney by impeaching him.
Both efforts got a brief burst of publicity on Tuesday when Mr. Kucinich brought his bill to impeach Mr. Cheney to the House floor and, with the surprise help of Republicans aiming to embarrass Democratic Congressional leaders, nearly succeeded in securing an hour of debate.
After a motion to table Mr. Kucinich’s bill failed , the majority leader, Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland, stepped in with a motion to refer the bill back to the House Judiciary Committee. That motion succeeded, by a near-party-line vote of 218 to 194, and spared the Democrats a potentially embarrassing distraction.
House Republicans initially opposed the effort to debate Mr. Kucinich’s impeachment measure, and briefly there were 290 votes in favor of tabling it.
But then the Republicans sensed an opportunity to irritate the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, who has said the Democrats have no interest in impeaching Mr. Cheney or President Bush over the Iraq war. The Republicans began changing their votes, and by the end, the tally was 251 to 162 not to table it, with 165 Republicans voting no.
Grrr... those evil republicans!
MORE: An old MLQ3 post tries to compare our situation with the US, pero mali ang basa niya, IMO.
UPDATE: Welcome MLQ3 readers! Re MLQ3's post on Pakistan, Ito ang dagdag ni Jim Hoagland kanina:
Pakistan is an unusual country -- a nation capable of looking into the abyss, pausing briefly to consider its options and then jumping headfirst into darkness. The willingness to go splat has been the backbone of Pakistan's national survival strategy for its 60-year history.
Whether rattling nuclear rockets at a much more powerful India or allowing terrorist networks to use Pakistani territory to mount plots against Afghan, American and British targets, the country's leaders have raised political blackmail to a national and international art form. Oppose or ignore us at our -- and your -- peril is the unofficial national motto of Islamabad.
Read the whole thing too.
UPDATE: Anne Applebaum: Georgia's Leap Backward
Friday, November 09, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Government prosecutors have decided to throw the book at former military intelligence officer-turned whistle-blower T/Sgt. Vidal Doble Jr.
The Department of Justice (DoJ), in a statement yesterday, said it has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to file criminal charges against Doble for violations of Republic Act (RA) 4200, or the Anti-Wiretapping Law.
Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor said the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office has already assigned a team of prosecutors to handle the investigation into the complaint.
The directive to the NBI came following a report submitted by NBI Deputy Director for Intelligence lawyer Ruel Lasala.
The NBI has been directed to charge Doble before the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office based on a complaint-affidavit submitted by NBI head agent Regner Peneza, chief of the Counter-Intelligence Division, that the former agent is liable for violation of Sections 1 and 2 of RA 4200.
In his two-page affidavit-complaint, Peneza said the offenses involved incidents and admissions allegedly made by Doble on Sept. 7, 17, 25 and Oct. 1, 2007.
Peneza revealed in the hearings conducted by the Senate joint committees on national defense and security, accountability of public officers and investigation and constitutional amendments, revision of codes and laws that the former agent of the Intelligence Services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp) described acts which the DoJ said were in violation of the wiretapping law.
Among the actions Doble allegedly committed was when admitted monitoring, taping and transcribing conversations of particular cellular phones from Sept. 3, 2003 to April 2005.
Doble is also being charged for reducing to tape recordings and compact discs the monitored conversations and that he gave some master tapes to a certain Angelito Santiago.
It was Santiago who, in turn, handed the tapes to former NBI Deputy Director for Intelligence Samuel Ong.
Doble also admitted having received P2 million for the tapes.
On Sept. 3, 2007, Peneza was ordered by acting deputy director for intelligence lawyer Edward Villarta to monitor the proceedings at the Senate, especially those that have bearing on violations of criminal laws.
“Due to wide publicity on the alleged wiretapping activities, the bureau took interest in intently monitoring the hearings of the committees, where Doble, under oath, testified in detail on the alleged wiretapping he conducted,” the Justice department stressed.
There were no indications yet on whether Doble would be charged for his allegedly womanizing, which was also revealed before the Senate hearing which also uncovered Doble’s presence at the Solid Mills building in Makati City in 2000, when he was with the now-defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force.
After two years in hiding, the former Isafp agent surfaced last August and testified before the Senate the wiretapped conversations between President Arroyo and former Elections Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, apparently to ensure Mrs. Arroyo of victory in the 2004 presidential elections.
UPDATE: Ping Lacson's blog comments.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
More: I'm seeing more and more dems turning 9/11 into a joke or using it as a punchline when talking about Rudy Giuliani.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I like Lacson but I have to admit he's not the favorite for now to win the Presidency. Si Mar Roxas at si Manny Villar ang 1-2 sa presidential race. Third si Lacson. As for Legarda, i'd put her at number 4 for now. and Noli at 5th place.
I guess one thing going for Lacson is his campaign against wasteful spending and pork barrel politics. If you're disgusted with the amount of money being thrown around by this administration to bribe governors and congressmen and want to put a stop to it, then you should take a second look at Lacson.
And unlike Mar Roxas (who I like) and Manny Villar, who I don't trust--the guy pretty much gave the administration control of the senate and most of the important committees in exchange for the senate presidency--Lacson has been a consistent and vocal opposition since day one.
(Roxas btw, only became an official "opposition" senator after the 2007 elections after fence-sitting on the Garci issue most of the time.)
While it is not inconceivable for Roxas, Villar or Legarda to flip flop from being "opposition" to becoming an administration bet, I don't see it happening with Lacson.
(Paano lilipat sa administration sila Roxas, Villar or Legarda? Ganito. Let's say napagkasunduan ng Opposition (o si Erap) na si Roxas ang magiging Opposition bet para sa 2010, I wouldn't be surprised if Villar or Legarda suddenly switched sides and started jockeying with each to become GMA's annointed. Pusta! Ganyan rin ang mangyayari kung si Villar naman ang napili na maging Opposition standard bearer. kung decided na ang opposition bet, sila Legarda at Roxas ang magsasabunutan para makuha ang endorso ng Malacanang.)
At habang maaga pa, gusto ko lang sabihin kay Lacson na hindi niya makukuha ang endorso ni Erap, just like in 2004. The sooner he realizes that, the better. It doesn't mean na he should sever his ties the opposition, but he will be disappointed again kung iniisip niya ulit na makukuha niya ang suporta ni Erap. He has to be prepared to run without erap's endorsement, kung balak niyang tumakbo sa 2010.
MORE: And what to do with Arroyo, the COMELEC and wiretapping should also be one of the issues in 2010. I want all candidates to weigh in on these issues. This should be make for intersting debate. AND there WILL be presidential debates this time. I hope the format will be similar to the one implemented on FOXNEWS for the last Republican candidates' debate in florida this month.
MORE: Filipino voters also want candidates who can reach out to the other side and work with people they disagree with (and i'm not talking about that phony Villar.) Lacson should pledge that if he's elected, he is willing to appoint opponents or competent people from the other side to important positions in government.
Filipino voters I believe are tired of the same old dirty campaigns and want candidates to run a more positive campaign. Not the type of BS we saw during 2004 where the administration used phony documents to question FPJ's citizenship. Or 1998, when FVR released ex-con/kidnapper Rey Berroya early to make false accusations about Erap being a "kidnapping mastermind."
Monday, November 05, 2007
Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales yesterday asked critics of the appointment of Iligan City Judge Moslemen Macarambon to give the Malacañang appointee the benefit of the doubt. Rosales said that the designation of Macarambon was apparently the result of a selection process. Â“I heard there was a committee in Malacañang that selects who should qualify and that was what the President did through that committee,Â” the Manila prelate said. But he declined to elaborate when asked if he knew the members of the selection committee.
I don't trust Cardinal Rosales . And whenever he injects himself on any political issue, his statements causes skepticism in me instead of reassures.
And I certainly don't trust Arroyo.
- "Leftist Killings a mere speck"
- "We have bigger fish to fry than Arroyo"
Ya only have to do 6 months jail time and pay a measly P1,000 fine for so called "indirect contempt" charges. That's a very very small price to pay for giving the Administration and Sen. Dayanara Zubiri their "victories". And you get to keep your job at the COMELEC once you're free again.
So kaya mo yan.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
I thought at the beginning that there's no chance in hell she would be seriously considered by Malacanang dahil gustong labanan ni Erapsky ang desisyon ng Sandiganbayan. But Erap finally blinked and accepted the pardon (and tacitly bowed to the decision of the kangaroo court Sandiganbayan).
UPDATE: Nasa huli na ang pagsisisi. Erap slams rewarded Sandigan justice’s rise to SC.
UNITED NATIONS — A U.N. expert on Friday called the growing practice of converting food crops into biofuel "a crime against humanity," saying it is creating food shortages and price jumps that cause millions of poor people to go hungry.
Jean Ziegler, who has been the United Nations' independent expert on the right to food since the position was established in 2000, called for a five-year moratorium on biofuel production to halt what he called a growing "catastrophe" for the poor.
Scientific research is progressing very quickly, he said, "and in five years it will be possible to make biofuel and biodiesel from agricultural waste" rather than wheat, corn, sugar cane and other food crops.
Reaction on this from Dean Jorge Bocobo.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Btw, like DJB said, it wasn't Macasaet who named Justice Consuelo Ynares Santiago, since mga blind items ang articles ni Macasaet, kundi yung Newsbreak, which did it's own investigating and has it's own sets of sources.
Here's Dean Bocobo's take:
Media in Focus with Cheche Lazaro interviewed Marites Vitug of Newsbreak, and lawyers Ed Lacierda and Marichu Lambino last week. Something I forgot about already was brought up by Atty. Lambino. It's to do with that infamous circular issued by then Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. forbidding the disclosure of the Statement of Assets and Liabilities of a Supreme Court Justice. Since SALs are public documents, the exemption is baseless and unconstitutional. It's immoral and self-serving.
Moreover, the Chief Justice Reynato Puno's close classmate in law school, Associate Justice Consuelo Ynares Santiago, is currently embroiled in an alleged case of bribery or attempted bribery that has been investigated and reported upon by Newsbreak Magazine. And Malaya editor, Jake Macasaet has been given a chilling "show cause" order why he ought not to be cited for indirect contempt of the Supreme Court, by his recent writings on the incident, but saying it was one of the relatively few Lady Justices. Though he did not name any specific Justice, nor did he even name the Supreme Court in his assailed editorials. (Ellen Tordesillas reports).
Members of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Sandiganbayan, are all called justices.
In short, what happened is that Newsbreak got a tip that a staff member of Justice Ynares-Santiago was allegedly fired last March after she inadvertently opened a neatly gift-wrapped package intended for her boss, thinking it contained perishables. Surprise, surprise, the package reportedly contained about P10 million in cash. This incident apparently occurred just before Justice Ynares-Santiago issued an important decision in the Piatco case. Now with the whole thing turned into a public brouhaha, an important dilemma has arisen and is worth examining in some detail.
There is a fog that must be dispelled in the public’s mind about the Supreme Court–Marichu said it herself and struggled with the conundrum–the Supremes must not be above the law, but where does one appeal as simple a thing as the refusal to show a guest logbook, which any visitor to the Court signs and accesses. She tells Cheche we must appeal to their reasonableness. You realize of course that this cannot maintain the integrity of our conceptions of justice and Rule of Law. There must be a functional, institutional check and balance to the Supreme Court.
MORE: May inconsistency sa istorya ni Delis at ng SC spokesperson:
A former SC employee who worked in Santiago’s office, Daisy Cecilia Munoz-Delis, allegedly opened one of five boxes intended for Santiago and found cash inside it.
Delis insisted she does not know anything about the alleged bribery attempt that appeared in Macasaet’s columns.
Delis faced off with Macasaet for the first time after she came out with an affidavit belying the allegations. She further insisted she was not fired after witnessing the alleged bribery attempt. She said she voluntarily resigned.
According to Supreme Court spokesman Jose Midas Marquez, Delis was terminated after she incurred huge overseas telephone bills. The termination took place a few years short of her retirement from office.
"I’m hurt (that) I’m being dragged to this mess. It (bribery) never occurred," she told reporters before the start of the hearing.
Asked why she resigned when she was nearing her retirement age, she said it was "for personal reasons."
So which is it? you were not fired, but you resigned after witnessing the bribery attempt? and i don't buy the telephone bills excuse bullshit.
2) Someone who's gonna do some housecleaning within the COMELEC by removing officials involved with Garcillano's 04 operations and the Maguindanao election fiasco that delivered the votes to Migz Zubiri.
3) Somebody who's not afraid to confront fellow COMELEC commissioners and officials about their incompetence and corruption.
My suggestion to clean up the COMELEC for the 2010 elections: Conrado de Quiros. For the sole purpose of cleaning up the COMELEC of rogue operators and scalawags.
And I don't have any problems with the names mentioned here as long as they meet the criteria above. If not, then they can be left off my list. They need not apply.
Monday, October 29, 2007
2) When FVR came out of his crypt and made his bold prediction re Arroyo, tama siya in a way dahil malapit na ang 2010. ;)
3) I hate to say I told you so but... I told you so (Esposo, you lose!)
The main problem politically tho for Arroyo's "Erap pardon" is the timing. If GMA pardoned erap immediately after edsa dos, where she risked angering her allies (even though she still had high credibility among the edsa crowd at that time), i'd be more impressed with her "generosity", cuz she'd be doing the unpopular move that would have hurt her politically bigtime in 2004. Think of Ford's pardon of Nixon that doomed him in 1976.
if she pardoned erap immediately after "winning" the 2004 elections (pre-garci tape), she could have credibly claimed that she did this unpopular move (she has nothing to gain from this) to "heal the wounds" of edsa and bridge the gap between dos and tres.
But what happened instead was this. Take it away Kuya MLQ3:
Much as everyone saw the pardon coming, what I don’t think anyone outside of official circles expected was for it to be used so crudely, so patently politically: a historic verdict required a historic demonstration of presidential statesmanship; instead, it was a tool used to blunt the effects of embarrassing headlines resulting from a Senate hearing;
Tama. But the pardon won't damage her much politically because she's already damaged goods. And she ain't afraid to offend her civil society friends anymore. (Wha? do you think Winnie, Sassy, Austero and Cardinal Rosales will switch sides and call Arroyo's resignation because of the pardon? Not happening.)
4) And my advice to Erap is to embrace ARroyo and accept the gov't position they're dangling for him. And never miss the opportunity to thank arroyo everytime for his freedom.
If Hillary gets the nomination, si Rahm Emmanuel raw ang Veep niya, hindi si Richardson.
If Obama gets the nod, si California Sen. Dianne Fienstein ang VP.
If Giuliani, then Fred Thompson.
If Romney, then Gen. David Petraeus.
If McCain, then Condi Rice.
UPDATE: Sa atin naman, sino magiging Vice presidential candidate ng mga potential candidates sa 2010? I know it's early, but here goes.
If Legarda runs, si Escudero ang VEEP.
If Roxas runs, si Kiko Pangilinan.
If Villar runs, si Jinggoy (along with erap's endorsement.)
If Noli runs, si Joker (heh heh..) o si Ralph Recto.
If Lacson runs, either si Alan Cayetano o WALA!
eniweys, happy halloween!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
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Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
"That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass."
'extraordinary renditions', were operations to apprehend terrorists abroad, usually without the knowledge of and almost always without public acknowledgement of the host government…. The first time I proposed a snatch, in 1993, the White House Counsel, Lloyd Cutler, demanded a meeting with the President to explain how it violated international law. Clinton had seemed to be siding with Cutler until Al Gore belatedly joined the meeting, having just flown overnight from South Africa. Clinton recapped the arguments on both sides for Gore: Lloyd says this. Dick says that. Gore laughed and said, 'That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass.'
Yeah, that a stupid question you hear often from the GMA apologists. And I agree with CDQ's call for SNAP ELECTIONS. Now na.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Imposes Strict Sanctions on Junta; Targets Individuals Responsible for Horrific Attacks; Increases Aid to Burmese Democratic Opposition
Read the whole thing.
Monday, October 22, 2007
From the American Thinker:
What if Turkey attacks the Kurds?
Sharon Behn of the Washington Times reports that the Kurds demand U.S. defense from the attacks that may come their way from Turkey, already enraged by the Democrats' resolution condemning the Armenian slaughter as a genocide.Kurdish leaders said yesterday the United States is obliged by a U.N. resolution to defend them in the event that Turkish forces invade northern Iraq in pursuit of members of a Kurdish rebel movement.
So, what should we do? Are we ready to go to war with our "important ally" Turkey? Or do we abandon the Kurds who've been more supportive of the U.S. than anyone else in the Region (with the possible exception of the Israelis).
What should the US do? That's a tough one. They already have a handful with al queda and the shia militant groups. the last thing they need is trouble in the northern part of iraq (mostly peaceful and pro-US) and run by the Kurds.
I hope the Turks show some restraint before they distabilize the whole of Iraq. Look, US and Iraqi officials know Iran and Syria are allowing Al Queda and Iranian agents respectively to cross their borders to Iraq and kill US soldiers and bomb Iraqi civilians. The US and Iraqi government knows this but they restrain themselves from using military force to go into Iran or Syria and attack those countries for fear that direct confrontation might cause more destabilization in the region.
I hope our Turkey can show similar restraint.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Rep. Crispin Beltran and two other congressmen were bribed up to P2.0M by Kampi Deputy Secretary General Francis Ver just to endorse the complaint. Rep. Cuenca of Cebu and a few other congressmen under cover of anonymity admits having received P200 to P500T after a meeting of pro-admin solons in Malacanang where GMA gave the marching orders in connection with the impeachment, "Do the right thing." In a separate meeting at the Palace on the same day, governors and mayors were given brown envelopes containing similar amounts.
At first, palace officials denied the payoffs ever happened. But after Fr. Ed Panlilio – Governor of Pampanga, showed to media the envelope and the crisp bills of cash, they feigned ignorance, wondering like the rest of us whodunit. Amazing.
Amidst these brazen and unconscionable acts of corruption and outright lies, we see no outrage – not even a whimper, from people or organized groups.
I am no longer surprised. Jarius Bondoc wrote several articles on the anomalous ZTE deal as early as March. But nobody paid attention. It was only after he exposed the Abalos sexcapades that people took heed. Corruption alone, even on a grand scale, no longer bothers us. It needs a bit of sex, or perhaps murder, to scandalize people.
Our national conscience has been desensitized irreparably and we have lost the capacity for outrage. We have become an indifferent, if not a cynical people. And the few who are incensed by the unfolding events feel helpless, not knowing how or where to vent their anger.
Is there hope? It really depends on each one of us. By now, I hope, we must have realized that the impunity we see today is a direct consequence of our apathy and inaction in the past. If we sit idly by and do nothing, it will only get worse.
First, let's take stock of how we view things from a moral standpoint, before we even think of what we can and should do. I invite you to take the Morality Quotient Test (MQ test) below.
What is your reaction in each of the situation described below? (Choose one that approximates your attitude)
1. Fr. Ed Panlilio accepts the P500,000 given out after a meeting with GMA by mayors and governors at Malacanang. He said the money did not come from jueteng or from any illegal source, so he decided to accept it. He intends to use it for projects that will benefit his constituents. How do you feel about this?
a. It was naïve of him to accept it. Understandable. He is, after all, a rookie politician. But now that he knows more about the circumstances of the payoff, he should just return the money.
b. I agree with Fr. Ed. Nothing wrong with using "clean" money to help the poor folks of Pampanga.
c. Father Ed, welcome to the world of politics. You should get used to this kind of wheeling and dealing.
d. He should not have received it in the first place. But since he did, then he should shut up. He's only giving the opposition fodder for their destabilization efforts.
2. Rep. Cuenca admits in a radio interview that he received a P200T "Christmas gift" after the Malacanang meeting. Other congressmen present in the meeting denied there were "gifts" given out. Cuenca later recants and says it was just a joke. How could he receive a "Christmas gift" when it's not yet Christmas, he argues. Cong. Defensor says, even if it were true, there's nothing wrong with it. And Sec. Lito Atienza says, that it's really standard practice for the President to give her allies gifts of up to P200K after such meetings. It was so in the 9 years that he was mayor. How do you feel about this?
a. I am outraged not only by the brazenness of the payoff and how our elected officials are trivializing it, but also by the blatant lying. The mere fact that this happened in Malacanang should compel the President to resign.
b. This should be investigated by the proper agencies (PAGC or Ombudsman or even the Senate) to determine culpability, punish the guilty, and clear the names of Congressmen who did not receive any amount.
c. What else is new? As Atienza says, this has been going on for the longest time. No matter who the president is, this practice will continue.
d. Elected and appointed officials should be more circumspect in their public pronouncements. Reckless statements like these are tainting our image and might scare investors away.
3. Joey de Venecia vividly describes how the First Gentleman points a menacing finger to his face asking him to "Back Off!" The First Gentleman vehemently denies it and says he could not possibly have done it since he didn't know Joey personally. But he did advice Joey that he could be violating the law which prohibits relatives of the Speaker from entering into a transaction with government. Obviously, one or both of them are lying. What's your take?
a. I believe Joey. I can't imagine him having the audacity to invent such a fantastic story. The Senate should compel, if necessary, the First Gentleman to explain his side.
b. It's really Joey's word against the First Gentleman's. Let the investigation take its full course and let the people decide for themselves.
c. It doesn't really matter who's lying. They probably both are. As some senators have said, it's just a quarrel for kickbacks.
d. It's probably part of a PR demolition job against FG to discredit and embarrass the GMA government.
4. Palace officials and pro-admin senators are saying that the Senate ZTE hearings should now be terminated, having been rendered moot by the resignation of Comelec Chairman Abalos. The Senate should instead focus on legislating priority bills to alleviate the condition of our people. Besides, they argue, Sec. Neri has already said everything he is willing to reveal and will only invoke executive privilege if pressed by the Senators. What do you think?
a. The hearings should continue to ferret out the truth and determine culpability of all officials involved, possibly including GMA. The Senate should challenge executive privilege at the Supreme Court if Neri invokes it. As for Abalos, a criminal case should be filed against him.
b. The Senate should continue the hearings. However, if there are no new witnesses or information, then they should stop and instead legislate laws as they were mandated to do.
c. Nothing good ever comes out of Senate investigations. Senators, especially those with presidential ambitions, are just showboating.
d. The hearings should stop. People are not interested in scandals. They're more interested in improving the economy. This will give them jobs and food on the table. Senators should instead work double time to pass bills that will improve the economy.
5. PERC – a risk consultancy firm, released its report on corruption among Asian countries. The Philippines garnered the highest index (8.6 on a scale of 10) making it the most corrupt country in Asia. Opposition groups cited this in their information campaign. Malacanang countered with a media blitz saying that PERC never said the Philippines is the most corrupt, and that this was merely the perception of company executives surveyed. It accused the opposition groups of distorting the survey for their own political ends, and that this has set back the economic gains that the administration has worked so hard to achieve. What's your take?
a. The fact remains that the Philippines is now the most corrupt Asian country. All corruption reports, including those prepared by Transparency International, are based on perceptions. Rather than worry about tainting our image, we should instead work on reducing the incidents and magnitude of corruption. And it should start from the very top.
b. Even if it's true that we have become the most corrupt, harping on it does not help much. We should instead work together to improve the situation.
c. What's all the fuzz? We don't need a foreign agency to tell us what we already know.
d. Let's not nitpick on the issue of corruption. Other countries as corrupt, if not more, than us are prosperous. Let's focus on improving our economy.
How to score: add 20 points for every (a) answer, 15 points for every (b) answer, 10 points for every (c) answer and 5 points for every (d) answer.
Interpreting your total score:
THE IDEALIST. If you scored a perfect 100, you're a hopeless idealist. To a lot of people, you're a self-righteous moralist, out of touch with realpolitik, and uncompromising. While it seems you're on the extreme, you may just be the right person to countervail what the CBCP now sees as the moral bankruptcy of our leaders. You must be fuming mad by now with the unraveling of one scandal after the other.
THE CONSCIENTIOUS. If you scored between 90 to 95, you have a fairly decent sense of right and wrong, perhaps tempered only by a healthy fear of instability. With the brazenness and impunity you see today, you are probably ready to act on the dictates of your conscience.
THE PRAGMATIC. If you scored between 65 to 85, you consider yourself a well-balanced person, looking at the big picture rather than just the moral dimension of an issue. When scandals first hounded GMA, you're probably one of those who kept asking, "But who will replace her?" With the magnitude of bribery you now see, you're probably close to saying, "I don't care who replaces her. Just get her out!"
THE CYNIC. If you scored between 30 to 60, you are probably snickering and saying, "I told you so." You are unfazed by current events, and are determined to continue doing what you do best – nothing. Well… you deserve the country we have today.
THE RUTHLESS If you scored between 20 to 25, you have a single-minded tunnel vision towards economic prosperity. Your philosophy in life could be – "Screw morality. You can't eat morality. It's the economy, stupid!" To you, the end justifies the means. I can only say one thing. God unleashed His wrath when His people sacrificed at the altar of Baal. I believe God has unleashed His wrath upon our nation because people like you have likewise been idolatrous – worshipping at the altar of economic progress.
What can we do?
For starters, you can forward this email to others. Don't forget to mention your score and how you feel about the current issues.
Secondly, you can join us. The Black and White Movement is organizing a forum this coming Monday morning, October 22 entitled, "Civil Society Consultation – Ano ang Tamang Tugon kung Ginagago na ang Mamayan?" Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to come so I can send you an invitation. Seats are limited so I can only send out so many invitations. Or if you can't attend, then just email me your suggested action which I can present at the forum.
Of course, if you're the cynic or ruthless type, there's always the "delete" key to deal with this distraction. You might as well throw your TV set out and cancel your newspaper subscription. These issues will simply not go away for days and weeks to come.
God bless and God save our country.