Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Useless appeal

I saw this from MLQ3's blog:

Last week I received this text message:

PLS patronize pirated DVD’s so that the Filipino movie industry will die & we will no longer have actors, actresses, nor their spouses running for public office. Pls pass.

And reacted negatively to it.

Pointless ang appeal cuz karamihan sa mga dating artista ay naging TV o telenovela stars na. At ang TV networks na ang nagbui-build up ng mga young stars ngayon (Starstruck? Star Circle Quest? Pinoy Big Brother?).

So in short, wag na matakot sa mga artista. Mas matakot kayo sa mga Telenovela stars, Noontime hosts o Newscasters na tatakbo (o papatakbuhin?) in the future by the GMA Kapuso Party or the ABS-CBN Kapamilya Party.

UPDATE: I have nothing against artistas or TV celebs running for office as long as their are qualified, knows the issues, and has good leadership potential. Kaya nga i am against the extremist idea (proposed by some quarters) of banning artistas--even those without college degrees--from running for public office.

MALAYA: Mindanao media men decry AFP surveillance

Intimidation tactics? From the Malaya:

On Feb. 14 in Salay, Misamis Oriental, soldiers reportedly belonging to the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion took full-face photos of five media men who were covering the burial of peasant leader Dalmacio Gandinao, the second militant leader slain in Misamis Oriental and in the Northern Mindanao region (Region 10).

Gandinao’s burial was also attended by Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo and other regional and local leaders of Karapatan, Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and the Misamis Oriental Farmers Association.

Pictures showing the soldiers taking photos using cellphone cameras were published. But Maj. Gen. Jose Barbieto, commander of the 4th Infantry Division, denied his men were involved in the surveillance.

So yung mga uma-attend ng mga funeral ng mga pinatay na aktibista kinukunan ng photographs ng mga military? Methinks hindi lang mga mediamen ang target dito.

Warning Graphic Image Shaun Livingston dislocates knee

LA Clipper PG Shaun Livingston lands awkwardly and well... See it on youtube.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What a way to celebrate Edsa People Power

Rina Jimenez David reacts to Arroyo's self-serving speech:

What a way to celebrate the anniversary of an event that changed the nation!

First, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, herself a beneficiary of a replication in 2001 of the Edsa People Power I revolt, asks the nation to observe the event by vowing never to embark on a similar exercise again. Saying another display of “People Power” would merely derail the economic gains her administration has achieved, she warned that “the world will not tolerate another Edsa” and instead condemn the Philippines if people mass on the streets again.

We all know where she’s coming from, of course. If ever “People Power” does materialize in this country again, it will probably result in her ouster. She has come this close to it time and again, and it is only a matter of luck that, due to various factors, the “tipping point” to a restaging of Edsa I has not been reached.

Still, wasn’t it rather crass of her to discredit the very event that led to her ascension to power? Would she have said the same thing in 2001 when, due to the massing of People Power incensed by the goings-on at the impeachment trial of President Joseph Estrada, she found herself prematurely thrust into power? A little gratitude would seem to be in order, and some acknowledgement, at least, of the value of People Power, and the lessons those events taught us but which, sadly, we have failed to learn or take to heart.

And if Edsa I was such a big deal, then why should there not be -- depending on your historical valuation -- an Edsa III, IV, V and so on down the line?

A President, who is confident of her mandate, secure in her place in history, clean of conscience and knowing she owes no one, least of all the people, an apology, has no reason to fear a reenactment of Edsa I.


Eto naman ang reaction ng Tribune Editorial re Arroyo's claim na dapat wag na raw mag-People Power dahil maapektuhan ang economiya natin:

One certainly can’t call Joseph Estrada a tyrant or a dictator. He may have had his faults, but certainly dictatorial was never one or them, since he never tried to muzzle the freedoms of the Filipino people — even of those who were against him. He kept the Senate and the House independent, and before the coup plotters, among whom were the businessmen and the then political opposition and the leftists who are now suffering under Gloria’s rule, the economy was doing very well under Estrada, with foreign investments coming in, as even the official data show.

So did the Edsa dos types cared about our economy then when they tried to topple erap? IIRC, from the time erap inherited FVR’s broken economy in 1998 (mainly because of the Asian financial crisis) to the year Dec 2000, the economy grew from -0.6% in 1998 to 4.4% in 2000 (so the economy even then was headed in the right direction), but he still got “people powered” in 2001.

for all its faults, the erap admin still left behind a 4.4% GDP in 2000 for Arroyo when she took over in Jan. 2001. Buti pa si arroyo. During Arroyo’s first year though, the GDP rate fell to 3.2% in 2001. You can look that up.

Anyway, sabi ni Maam na wag na raw tayong mag-people power. Pero ito ang sinabi nya dati nung ginamit nya ang Edsa para patalsikin si Erap.

Sa innaugural speech ni Maam noong Jan. 20 2001:

“..I pray that we will all be one – one in our priorities, one in our values and commitments, and one because of Edsa 2001.

“People Power and the ‘oneness’ of will and vision have made a new beginning possible.

“As we break from the past in our quest for a new Philippines, the unity, the Filipino’s sense of history, and his unshakeable faith in the Almighty that prevailed in EDSA ’86 and EDSA 2001 will continue to guide and inspire us.

“I am certain that Filipinos of unborn generations will look back with pride to EDSA 2001, just as we look back with pride to Mactan, the Katipunan and other revolts, Bataan and Corregidor, and EDSA ’86.

“People Power has dramatized the Filipino’s capacity for greatness.

“People of People Power, I ask for your support and prayers. Together, we will light the healing and cleaning flame.”

Dec. 03, 2001

It is now more than ten months since edsa dos, when I assumed the
presidency through the process of constitutional succession and on the
shoulders of people power, spontaneous people power, not people power
mobilized by any one organized group. I stress this point because it was
my discernment on january 20th that god was speaking through the almost
one million people who were in edsa, saying, gloria macapagal-arroyo.
many months, the organized protesters were frustrated in their efforts to
mobilize sustained people power. Then i, on january 16th, it was i, the
lord your god, who inspired my beloved filipino people in the hundreds of
thousands and also million to go to edsa and create the vacancy that
allowed you to ascend to the presidency. Therefore, this is my discernment.

God said to me that his expectation is that I will work constructively for
the benefit of the filipino people whom he love so much, the only catholic
nation in asia, the nation to whom he showed his love in an extraordinary
way in edsa one, and again in edsa two. And for my part, I hope that in
these last ten months, I have kept faith with what I perceived to be that
mandate from divine providence.

April 18, 2001:

The late chief justice teehankee said that "the rule of law is the basis of any civilized society -- and it is here -- a law that upholds human dignity and freedom and protects human rights." This is the essence of our democracy with a government which acknowledges that sovereignty resides in the people. And this principle of sovereignty residing in the people was the principle that was invoked when chief justice davide said that he would administer the oath of office of my position as president on that day january 20th. Indeed, nothing can be more demoralizing to the mass of the people than to see public officials uninhibited by old, conventional practices because they are left disconcertingly without a code of ethics to guide and restrain them.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Issues for the 2007 Midterms

(UPDATE: Thanks, Manuel)

Gusto ko sanang ipagpatuloy ang pag discuss ng mga issues na dapat gamitin ng Opposition sa 2007 elections, but I was distracted by the delayed composition ng Senate slate (kasalanan ni Joker ito), and other issues that demanded immediate attention.

So continuation ito ng mga posts ko dito, dito at dito.

1) Make Arroyo and Garci accountable. I know it's difficult for some people, but it must be done. We need to do the right thing. If we let her get away with it, I see no end to the divisions and political instability even after 2010.

2) A Zero Tolerance Approach to Cheating. It's a two-step process. First, reform the COMELEC and do a thorough housecleaning within the Election commission of all those involved in the dagdag bawas operations of 2004, and those who helped lie and coverup for those guilty COMELEC officials. Second, automate our voting system. But we need to do the COMELEC housecleaning first.

3) Depoliticize the military and investigate and punish all personnel involved in:

- helping Arroyo and Garci conduct Dagdag bawas operations in 04.
- extra-judicial killings
- wiretapping/spying on opposition and admin officials
- Corruption (it aint just carlos garcia, folks)

Re sa extra-judicial killings, sayang si Randy David dito. His candidacy would have turned the spotlight on the issue of military assassinations against the activists and lefty critics of Arroyo.

I do believe that most in the military are honest and trustworthy, like Gudani and Balutan, but around 30% of them are corrupt, and most of them were high ranking military officers appointed by Arroyo after Edsa Dos. It's a joke na si Gen. Carlos Garcia lang ang nahuli (ng US).

(re Trillanes, I don't agree with his methods, but he was right on the issues. He was in a way, a whistleblower to the corruption that's going on within Arroyo's military, and I'm glad that he has chosen a different path by participating in the political process.)

Tungkol naman sa ISAFP. We may need to abolish this highly politicized spy organization and replace it with something less partisan.

4) Get tough on terrorism, without becoming monsters ourselves. We need to go after the bad guys, not our critics. Kasi kapag pinapatay mo naman yung mga student activists at mga party list critics mo sa Kaliwa, abe e, mali yan. The Military needs to be able to distinguish between the killing real terrorists (yes) and assassinating Arroyo's critics from the left (Big NO!).

5) Pursue strong and friendly US relations, but we must be willing to stand up and defend citizens against potential abuse from American personnel and officials. Hindi yung katulad ng nangyari kay Nicole, where our own Gov't even tried to sabotage her rape case.

to be continued tomorrow...

Tape justifies killings?

From the MLQ3:

The government’s response, besides the usual reflex call for “calm”, was to release a video of Jose Ma. Sison (a very interesting one, indeed, if genuine: as points out, has put it up on YouTube for the viewer to judge; Tingog has a clip from GMA7, and he also states Sison’s reaction: “it’s a fake!”), and call the UN official “in denial.”

So to blunt the Alston report and sort of justify the targetted assassination of leftys, the Arroyo admin leaked a 20 year old video of JOMA sison that tells us what exactly? ("Pero hindi ba si Crispin Beltran ay ipinakulong rin ni Arroyo on a 22 year old rebellion charge filed during Marcos' time?" - Ed, Oo nga ano.)

Nag react ang mga party list groups sa video ng military:

IN what was described as a “crude attempt” to dispute the findings of the Melo Commission and of United Nations Special Rapporteur Philip Alston on the extrajudicial killings, the military released a 20-year-old video tagging certain party-list groups as “legal fronts” for the communist rebel movement.

Releasing the video, party-list groups Anakpawis and Sanlakas said, “strengthens the argument that the real target” of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are the progressive party-lists and militant organizations.

“By releasing the tape, the propaganda line being peddled by Malacañang and the AFP is that they have the right to go after the unarmed left as ‘enemies of the state’ by association,” Wilson Fortaleza, Sanlakas national president, said in a statement.

Both Alston and the Melo Commission held certain rogue elements of the armed forces responsible for the political killings. Human rights organizations claim that more than 830 left-leaning activists had been killed since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came to power in 2001.

The said video shows Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Ma. Sison delivering a lecture in Brussels, Belgium in 1987. In the speech, which Sison said was “an old doctored film clip,” he allegedly identified legal mass organizations likeBagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Kilusang Mayo Uno, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Gabriela, and the League of Filipino Students as “front organizations” of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF).

Sison said the military conflated a passage of his speech enumerating the said organizations and another passage mentioning the NDF.

“What is the point of (Armed Forces Chief Hermogenes) Esperon in making all the foregoing false claims against me? To prove that I have identified legal organizations as belonging to the NDF and to ‘justify’ the military in threatening and murdering legal activists?” Sison said.

At sabi pa ng isa sa mga nakakita ng video, commenter Ruth:

have you seen that joma video? you know, i’ve see it when esperon played it during his presscon yesterday. Its pretty old video, 2 decades ago they say. Joma just mentioned that there are revolutionary organizations in the Philippines. Then he went on to say that there are also legal democratic forces in the country and mentioned organizations like Bayan, KMU, Gabriela, KMP LFS, kadena, (can’t remeber the others).

From that statemement, joma was only statinga fact about the existence of such organizations in the Phils. He never said anything that these orGANIZATIONS ARE UNDER cpp-npa?

guys, I haven’t heard that he mentioned Bayan Muna Partylist, GABRIELA Women’s Partlylist? or other partylists that they are saying as leftists. Besides guys, the video really looks very old (they say 2 decades ago), probably 80’s. But when was the partylist system became a law and implemented? Was it not in 1998? And when did Bayan Muna started to run and won 3 seats in congress? was it not only in 2001?

Guys, I think you are smart enough to discern . We don’t have to be activists to know these facts because the partylist sytem is still relatively new, only in 1998.


And the point of these killings is not to weaken Communism or the NPAs (in fact, the opposite is what's happening), but to eliminate Arroyo's critics from the Left, and blame it on the Communist purge.

Previous admins had no problems with these lefty groups. Panahon ni Cory, Fidel Ramos, at ni Erap. Even during arroyo's time noong 2001-2005. I don't agree with most of their politics, but I don't consider these party list groups a threat to our way of life either, unlike some crazy right wing hawks and other arroyo sycophants. Naging problema lang sila kay arroyo nung sumabog ang gloriagate scandal at nasira ang legitimacy claim ni Arroyo. Rally kasi ng rally eh, hindi na natauhan sa CPR... kaya hayan, palparan and co. have been trying more "creative" ways to neutralize them.

NAPAKALUNGKOT KUYA EDDIE: And you know what's really sad? What's sad is that hindi naman magkaaway dati ang military at mga leftist groups eh. In fact, they joined forces in 2001 to oust Erap.

And if you believe ARroyo, there was a Communist-Military alliance to topple her gov't.

So naisipan ng admin at ni palparan na pagawayin ang military at mga maka-kaliwa, para wala na silang tiwala sa isa't isa.

UPDATE: Gen. Butch Palparan eyes seat in congress.

UPDATE: Conrad de Quiros comments:

But still more than that, there is the war that Arroyo has unleashed against the Reds, which is as criminal -- and cynical -- a war as you can get. What’s wrong with it isn’t just its boast about accomplishing its goal in a record two years, though that by itself guarantees a scale of mayhem that rivals that of martial law. As Philip Alston suggested when Raul Gonzalez boasted again about wiping out the enemy before you could say “idiot,” what did he propose to do, kill everyone?

What’s wrong with that war is that war itself. At least when Marcos (and later Cory Aquino) unleashed the sword of war against the insurgents, the insurgents were a threat to the country. Today, they are a spent force, lacking arms, lacking a flood of recruits, lacking an ideology that could attract the youth, lacking moral superiority (specifically because of the “killing fields”), lacking numbers.

The only purpose Arroyo’s war against them serves is to save Arroyo, not the country. That war turns public attention away from the real threat to the country, which is an illegitimate government, by trotting out the Reds as the bogeyman, the way Hitler trotted out the Jews in his time. Additionally, it strengthens the “Hello Garci” generals in the military by giving them the power to hound “subversives,” quite literally on pain of death, while neutralizing the rebellious junior officers who have been asking what in God’s, or Arroyo’s, name they are doing fighting (and killing) folk who, like them, have been driven to arms by poverty and injustice. It’s a cynical war -- with criminal consequences.

Like I've been saying before, the purpose of the killings is not to weaken or destroy the NPAs (the opposite is happening), but to take out Arroyo's critics from the left, one person at a time.

Mas malala ang Opposition... sa Belarus!

After the Belarusian Opposition got CPR'ed by the thugs of fake president Lukashenko, and failing on their attempt to remove him via people power, eto na ang mga latest headlines sa 2007 on the Opposition's effort oust the illegitimate Belarus president:

Belarus: Why Can't The Opposition Just Get Along?
By Jan Maksymiuk February 20, 2007

February 20, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The Belarusian opposition is planning a nationwide congress for March 17-18, one year after a flawed presidential election gave President Alyaksandr Lukashenka an unprecedented third term. But Lukashenka's main opposition challenger, Alyaksandr Milinkevich, says the congress will be nothing more than "internal squabbling" over leadership -- and that he doesn't intend to go.

Lukashenko attacks "corrupt" Belarus opposition
Tue Feb 6, 2007 3:43pm ET

Lukashenko offered olive branch
Web posted at: 2/2/2007 9:21:37

MINSK • Belarus's opposition, long the object of President Alexander Lukashenko's disdain, offered yesterday to help him in his bid to repair ties with the West after an energy row with Russia.

Vintsuk Vechorka, leader of the opposition Popular Front, urged Lukashenko to use a traditional rally next month to promote his new campaign to reach an understanding with European states that have accused him of crushing fundamental rights.

US State Department's Office meets with Belarusian opposition leaders

Belarus crackdown on opposition continues, more youth arrests
Feb 12, 2007, 14:07 GMT

Flawed Elections … and Parties
16:43, 21/02/2007, by Rodger Potocki, «Transitions Online»

How Belarus` opposition parties, already under attack from the governing regime, squandered their meager chances to score even symbolic gains in January`s local elections.

Two major conclusions can be drawn from the local elections held in Belarus on 14 January. The first is obvious: President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has engineered another manipulated and flawed contest. The refusal to include any real opposition representation on election commissions, spurious rejection of many democrats’ attempts to register as candidates, intimidation of campaign figures, routine denial of permission for opposition election events, the alteration of election laws, and the refusal to produce campaign materials, combined to insure that yet another election in Belarus would not be free, fair, or transparent. Germany, as holder of the European Union Presidency, and EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, were quick to confirm this.

However, the regime’s violations of its own election laws, blatant repression and cynical ploys against democrats, as well as the pre-determined outcome of many of the contests, should not obscure what was also a striking failure of the opposition.

Read the whole thing.

Two Belarus opposition activists released

8 February 2007 | 01:38 | FOCUS News Agency

Minsk. The security services in Belarus released Wednesday from prison two young opposition activists arrested earlier this week, a spokeswoman from their group said, cited by AFP .
Oleg Korban, 22, and Zmiter Hvedaruk, 18, leading members of the Malady Front, are suspected of "illegal participation in an unregistered group" and may face up to two years in jail if convicted.
"They remain suspects, they were not formally charged, they must be charged within a week," lawyer Pavel Sapelka said.

Pero in our country, pinapatay na lang natin isa isa yung mga yan.

“Reporters Without Borders”: Difficult Situation of Press in Belarus Hasn’t Improved Yet
17:25, 01/02/2007

US State Department official warns EU against "going soft" on Belarus

09.02 // 21:59 // English

An official of the US State Department suggested at a conference held in Brussels on Thursday that the European Union should not "go soft" on Belarus despite Alyaksandr Lukashenka's statements about readiness to cooperate, BelaPAN reported.

Is dialogue between opposition and authorities feasible?
18:18, 13/02/2007

here's a classic oldie headline from last year.

Belarus opposition 'plans coup'

Where have we heard that accusation before, ay? But no matter, mga kapatid natin sila sa laban na ito to restore true democracy back to our respective countries.

Soc Villegas's role in hijacking Edsa

This is the brave churchman who once led the fight to oust Erap via Edsa Dos noong 2001. He was also the guy who helped this administration by backstabing whistleblower Vidal Doble by "releasing" him to his ISAFP superiors, who were after him because of the Garci tapes. Nagtago kasi sa seminary si Vidal eh, and this Villegas guy was the one who kicked him out.

Eniwey, nabasa ko itong post ni Ed Ching about the Church's role in selfishly hijacking Edsa for itself. Bida na naman dito si Soc Villegas, again! lol.

DENIAL is one big word dominating local news headlines nowadays. The big fact exposed recently by UN special rappoteur Philip Alston about military involvement in extra-judicial killings during the Arroyo administration, and the continuing arrogance displayed by people inside the Arroyo government in the midst of continuing hardship among the Filipino poor, is one reason why everything that the Filipino people did at EDSA 21 years ago has gone for naught.

What the proponents at the EDSA Shrine also need to know is that they too have a hand in the contribution of a "dying" EDSA spirit. In case Msgr. Soc Villegas had forgotten, he himself had told publicly some years ago, after the rowdy EDSA III staging by pro-Estrada supporters at the EDSA Shrine, that he had declared the EDSA Shrine as off limits to rallies and demonstrations, and had directed the PNP to make sure that the shrine premises will not be allowed to be used as a staging area for future rallies and demonstrations of any kind, except for religious activities.

Such stifling of freedom to use the Shrine, is in itself dampening the spirit of the EDSA celebrations of late. Especially now that the military and the police are buoyed up by President Arroyo's unconditional support for their ranks.

The short memory of Msgr. Villegas is clearly evident. He had forgotten the very purpose why the Shrine was put up in the first place. In case he forgot about the history of the Shrine, that very spot 21 years ago was just a grassy field when the nuns and priests came face to face with the tanks of the military and they prayed for the soldiers. According to those who have been there in 1986, they also claimed that Mama Mary had miraculously intervened in what would have become a bloody encounter had it not materialized.

The spirit of EDSA is at its strongest in that spot where the EDSA Shrine now stands. It is the spot that Msgr. Villegas some years back had decided that it would not be for the free use of any Filipino citizen for any rally or demonstration except for religious activities. It is also the same spot that President Arroyo was swept into power by a second people power revolution.

Msgr. Villegas must have forgotten that his own pronouncements on the use of the EDSA Shrine had in itself killed the public's enthusiasm for the EDSA celebrations itself. His forgetfulness of this fact I'm afraid, would not make the Filipino anymore think of celebrating this momentous event in our history. Most of them believe they will now only be there to serve as props for the Arroyo government's propaganda machine, not really to emphasize the call for reforms that the EDSA Revolution was known for.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Have "Conversations" and "Townhall meetings" instead of Rallies

UPDATED: Earlier, I suggested na each individual opposition candidate should do separate townhall meetings during the campaign. I think it's a better idea if they campaign in groups of three, at mag switch sila ng makakasama nilang candidates during the long campaign. pero okey rin kung mag-campaign sila ng solo pa-minsan minsan.

Ito ang suggestion ko after attending the GO! Opposition's rally sa Plaza Miranda kahapon.

The opposition should be holding more townhall meetings with it's supporters instead of outdoor rallies.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about -- from Hillary's "Conversation with America" or "Let the Conversation Begin" townhall meeting inside a high school gymnasium in Des Moines, Iowa accompanied by local Congressman Boswell. Watch it--especially you Nikki and Loren. The New York Times has more details on the event.

I don't like outdoor rallies, kasi minsan mainit sa labas at walang upuan. Depende talaga sa weather kung magiging maganda ang takbo ng rally o hindi. tapos yung sound system sa outdoor rallies minsan hindi talaga maganda. and you can't see the candidates kapag nasa malayo ka.

The solution of course is to hold these events indoors, with a Q and A portion later. Tawag sa ganito ay "townhall meetings." Sa isang malaking gymnasium o auditorium nyo gawin ito. Sure, sometimes mas maliit ang seating capacity and it may hold only 2,000-3,000 people, but that's okay.

The advantages of holding it in an auditorium or a gymnasium is that may upuan sa loob, para comfortable ang mga supporters mo, lalo na kung may Aircon. May ilaw rin sa loob. Kahit na maiinit o umuulan sa labas, tuloy pa rin ang event/usapan. At mas maganda ang sound sa loob ng auditorium, or at least it is easier to put up a good sound system para marining ng tao ang bawat salita ng speaker.

Kung papanoorin nyo yung video ng "Let the Conversation Begin" townhall meeting ni Hillary, they held their event inside a school gymnasium. The video was twenty minutes long. First four minutes of the video was about announcing hillary's arrival into the gymnasium with rep. Boswell and the school principal. Dumerecho sila sa stage which was located in the middle of the gym, a perfect place because it puts her at the center surrounded by supporters holding Hillary signs. they sang the national anthem (she was off key). At the four minute mark, rep. boswell gave a 3-and-a-half minute speech welcoming the crowd and introducing hillary. After that, it was hillary's turn to talk. her style was very conversational. she introduced herself to the adoring crowd. she made some jokes. she skewered bush and the admin failures in iraq. she got a lot of applause. she addressed the issues facing America today. Hillary didn't bore anybody, unlike Nikki Coseteng and Loren Legarda. She wrapped up her talk in 12 minutes, before doing a Q and A with supporters.

Sana ganyan rin ang gawin ng mga opposition candidates. Kasi usually sa rallies, yung kandidato lang ang nagsasalita eh. Dito sa townhall style meeting, pwedeng mag-participate ang mga supporters mo at tanungin ka tungkol sa iba't ibang issues. instead of giving us boring hour long speeches na may halong STUPID entertainment in between (like singing and dancing, UGH!), i think most people would rather have a "conversation" or a Q and A with their favorite candidates.. Kahit na umabot ng isang oras, okey lang dahil mas interesting ang "townhall" style meeting, where you get to interact with supporters, at mas less scripted ang Q and A, kaysa makinig ka lang ng speech. And if you have a guy like ping lacson, Manny Villar or Koko Pimentel doing the townhall meeting, it's even going to be more fun than usual, because they're good speakers and people are interested in what they have to say.

Katulad na nakita natin sa video, mas maganda kung isang kandidato lang ang mag-hold ng event na ito. Or at least up to three candidates ang magkakasama sa townhall meeting. pangit kung lahat sila nandodoon.

(isa pa, the opposition doesn't need to campaign together regularly. mas maganda pa kung hiwa-hiwalay sila, each candidate holding separate townhall meetings, para ma-maximize nila ang oras nila to reach out to the voters. at habang nasa townhall meeting sila, aside from campaigning for himself, each candidate also needs to remind the voters to vote for the other opposition candidates. each candidate needs to stump for the other candidates. tulong tulongan. Sa mga political banners at streamers na isasabit nila sa mga meetings na ito, aside from having his/her name in big bold letters, dapat nakalagay rin ang mga pangalan ng ibang opposition candidates. para reminder.)

Maganda sana at ideal kung puro supporters mo at mga "undecideds" (hmmm, meron pa ba non?) ang dadalo sa townhall meeting, pero minsan talaga, hindi maiiwasan na may mga administration plants sa audience na manggugulo, and the candidates need to be prepared for that. But that's the risk of having a Q and A townhall meeting with the public, ano?

At kung may ganitong "townhall meeting", maganda sana kung i-tape ito event nato at ilagay sa youtube. Kung may media coverage, even better.

More: One way to notify the public na may "townhall meeting" is thru GO's official website (hmmm... meron na ba sila non?) or the candidates' individual websites. The Opposition should invite the public to go to their websites, where they can subscribe and be a part of the opposition's email list to get the latest announcements on the Opposition candidate's activities and appearances. Or they can get the same announcement via text messaging in their cellphones, which i think everybody in the country has access to. lol.

UPDATE: Aside from a townhall-style meeting, another way to hold these events is to have a "moderator" do an interview with the candidates live on stage sa mga schools at auditoriums. The moderator could be a member of the media or a faculty member of the school. Also have the moderator ask the audience to write down their questions to the senatorial candidates for the Q and A. Tapos the moderator can choose kung ano ang relevant na questions na itanong sa kandidato.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

GO rally sa Plaza Miranda, Quiapo today

5:00pm Tara-lets!

UPDATE: Okay, I got there at around 5:30 pm. nandoon si pilita corrales as MC. I saw Ernie Maceda and Butz Aquino. A Muslim man was doing a prayer in English to start the show. After the prayer, Nagkaroon ng entertainment, a guy with a guitar na kakanta. I left plaza miranda to go to the "other side" of the underpass to check on the latest dvds (THE Q!).

After 30 minutes, bumalik ako sa plaza miranda, and there was ms. loren loren sinta Loren Legarda doing her speech in perfect Tagalog about giving Filipinos quality education, health care and platitudes. What a boring speaker. Nobody talks like that anymore. She's the female version of Al Gore. She's so robotic. She's smart and well-accomplished, but boy-o-boy-o-boy, a boring speaker! buti na lang nung bumalik ako, patapos na siya.

Next speaker was Noynoy Aquino 3. He talked about his background, his family, Kris and James, heh... the issues, this administration, but he kept it short and sweet. The guy did get a lot of applause after finishing his speech.

Next speaker was Johnny O John Osmena. Even before pa, I thought this guy was funny and can communicate his ideas effectively to the masa. Folksy type. At sa umpisa, nappapatawa siya, and people laughed. He obviously had his audience's attention. He talked about the history of plaza miranda at yung plaza miranda bombing noong 1971. Nandoon rin pala siya at nasabugan. But he went on and on re the past, at yung 1986 elections na ang pinag-usapan niya, i just tuned him out (okay i left to buy me a drink at Isetann and did some quick shopping.) But Edsa Anniversary nga ngayon ano? so i guess that's the reason why john brought it up. But for me, i'd rather hear the candidates talk about the current situation and the future. Osmena was doing okay na with his banats to the admin cuz the guy can be funny, and his speaking style is "converstional" (take note maam Loren and maam Nikki) and easy to follow. Oh well, i guess feb. 24 ngayon so he had to bring up the Edsa dahil appropriate naman.

Eniwey, Pagbalik ko from isetann, si nikki coseteng na ang nagsasalita. if loren loren sinta was boring, she's worse. she went on and on about his prepared (memorized) speech about edukasyon, pabahay, kalusugan... i guess there's nothing wrong with talking about that, pero her speaking style is so "old school", the kind of speeches that politicians make in the 60s, 70s and 80s that nobody listens to anymore. GET ME OUT OF HERE! iniisip ko... GUSTO KO NANG UMUWI! And what's even worse is that she gave a VERY LONG SPEECH. nabuwisit na talaga ako dahil hindi ko pa naririnig sila Ping at Alan Peter at Manny V, pero gustong gusto ko nang umuwi dahil kay NIKKI! She sucks the air out of the event. Nobody wants to go thru a Nikki Coseteng boilerplate speech. NOBODY!

Umalis na sana ako pero thank god natapos na ang speech ni Nikki. at si Koko Pimentel na ang sumunod. Wow, thank god. and koko pimentels a good speaker. good speaking voice. it makes people want to listen. taga UP siya. top notcher sa bar exams. taga mindanao. He is for lowering our taxes (i agree). but by this time, umuwi na ako dahil a) napapagod na ako b) nabuwisit pa rin ako kay nikki. Koko's a good speaker, he needs to hit the talk show circuit more to stump for his and his mates candidacies. Hey, if i'm paid to cover the event, i'll stay there as long as it takes. pero hindi naman ako media eh. but I saw the tv stations reporters covering the event.

eniway, i heard na nandoon rin raw si dinky soliman, leah navarro and my main man lito BANAYO sa event...

sayang hindi ko napakinggan ang sila ping and villar.

Gloriagate and Political Assassinations

I believe majority of those in the military are not corrupt, like Gudani and Balutan, but around 30% are.

I don't believe most in the military engage in extra-judicial killings, but a few are, and they're being protected.

And I bet you that that some of those corrupt and crooked military officers who were involved in the dagdag bawas operations in 2004 are the same people involved in killing and assassinating Arroyo's leftist critics too.

Political bloggers fear publicists will infiltrate sites

Here's an article about political campaigns infiltrating the comments sections of blogs. Sabi ni Ann Althouse:

It shows the high standards of blogging, doesn't it? In normal life, there are plenty of places where you're for sounding like you're not being paid.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Arroyo Admin's Permissive Culture of Political Assassinations

Sabi ni Wretchard na the Alston report was unfair raw:

Now here's the truth. An independent commission accused the Philippine Armed Forces of tolerating, even encouraging political assassinations -- but found that those killed by the Communist movement far outnumbered the victims of the military. (Philippine Star)

There is evidence that the military "allowed, tolerated and even encouraged" political assassinations, and that retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan was among those who justified the killings, according to the report of a special commission. The report – made public only yesterday – of the fact-finding commission headed by former Supreme Court Justice Jose Melo, also stated that those killed by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) far outnumber the victims of summary executions carried out by "a small military group." ...

The Melo Commission said it is not "ignorant or unmindful of the crimes committed" by the communist rebels or the benefits of having "a decent military to defend our freedom and way of life." But it also urged the military not to stoop to the level of communist rebels "with their lawless, treacherous methodologies" but to respect the rule of law in running after enemies of the state.

Activist members of Bayan Muna, Akbayan and Gabriela = Enemies of the State?

I get it na. Delikado ang mga party-listers na ito ngayong election.

And Wretchard, it's okay to go after the terrorists and Communists/NPA rebels. It's okay to kill or capture them, dahil terrorista sila.

But to justify or make excuses re the political assasinationations of Arroyo critics from the Left and other left-leaning political and militant student organizations is simply beyond the pale.

If Bayan Muna or Akbayan or the League of Filipino Students are indeed involved in terrorism, then this admin needs to declare them as terrorist organizations na and go after them.

I guess for the ARroyo admin, there is no difference between the NPAs and a member of the League of Filipino Students. lol.

Almost all of the left-leaning labor, student, socialist, and women's organizations that you can find in the Philippines are anti-Arroyo (But they were also anti-Erap before too.) And like most lefty organizations, they're predictably against the US military presence, anti-Bush, anti-Iraq War. Not surprising since they are typical of most lefty organizations and groups found in the US, Europe and around the world.

What is happening inside the Philippines right now though, and Wretchard seems to be defending this, are assassinations being perpetrated against ARroyo critics associated with the leftist and militant organizations. Many of those murdered were student-members of Bayan Muna, KMU, League of Filipino Students or Akbayan.

Think of it this way, if members of MOVE or Code Pink or Not in Our Name or A.N.S.W.E.R. started getting whacked one by one by the CIA or elements of the US military because of their vocal and critical opposition to Bush, his policies, and the Iraq War, Bush would have been gone by now and some members of his cabinet and members of the military would be facing jail time. Thank god that has not happened in the US, but that's what is like under Arroyo's watch.

(And if these Leftist organizations were so bad, if they're the "enemies of the state", why did Arroyo (with photos) and military right-wingers join forces with them in 2000 to topple Estrada?)

To me, these assassinations are signs of a corrupt, inefficient and highly politicized military (dagdag bawas) under Arroyo.

They have a tough time going after the real terrorists (NPAs, Jemaah Islamiya, ASG), so they go after ARroyo's Lefty critics on the political arena. Kasi for the ARroyo admin, there's no difference between Gabriela women's organization and the terrorist/NPA hit squads. And they're easier targets too because they're "soft targets," just like the terrorists in Iraq would would rather kill innocent Iraqis instead of US troops because they're easier to accomplish.

But if i recall correctly, the leftist groups weren’t aggressively targetted like this until after the Hello garci tapes surfaced. i don’t recall the lefty party listers being harassed or murdered one by one with regularity like this during the 2004 elections no? sa legitimacy issue ni arroyo talaga nagsimula ang lahat. Rally raw kasi sila ng rally eh ang mga maka-kaliwa eh (hindi kasi nadala sa CPR) ayon, isa isa na silang pinapatay ng mga military hit men ng arroyo admin. probably by the same people who rigged the last 2004 elections too.

but why am i not surprised. when she appointed palparan and adopted his policy, what the fuck was she expecting???

So to me, the purpose of the assassinations is not to weaken or destroy communism, but to remove the lefty critics of Arroyo's legitimacy problems. (the same people she joined hands with to remove the previous president.)

More from Wretchard:

Great. I will now wait, with bated breath for the United Nations and Human Rights Organizations all over the world to seek the custody not only of any murderers in uniform, but also of the man who leads the Communist Party of the Philippines, the man who probably masterminded the murder of Colonel James Rowe. Jose Maria Sison, chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines. They don't have far to look for Sison. He currently lives in the Netherlands, not far from the Hague. For far too long has Sison ordered the death of innocent people with impunity, protected by the Left in the Europe. The same people who profess to care about international morality and humanity have this man to hold up as a mirror to themselves.

I agree with Wretch re Joma. So why doesn't Arroyo try harder to have Sison extradited? I'm sure if she puts her mind to it, she can come up with something compelling that will force the Dutch gov't to hand Joma over to the Arroyo gov't. But why couldn't they? Instead, this administration adopts a very permissive culture of targetting and assassinating lefty activists.

More: Majority of those in the military are not corrupt of course, like Gudani and Balutan, but around 30% are. And I don't believe most in the military engage in extra-judicial killings, but a few are, and they're being protected.

UPDATE: More from MLQ3 on the Alston report:

Please read Alston’s report, as he explains why the Melo Commission’s efforts are unsatisfactory; he also looks into the question of human rights abuses in a very objective manner, refuting the claim it’s all a Communist exaggeration quite well, as he does the view that it’s a gigantic politico-military conspiracy. After you read the UN Rapporteur’s statement, it might help put in context the debate going on on the CPP-NPA-NDF and organizations, including some party list groups, accused of being Communist fronts.

UPDATE: i guess the issue here is this: there would be no problem if we're targetting or assassinating the NPAs terrorists or Jemaah Islamiya types or the Abu sayyaf instead of arroyo's political critics from the left.

Now, if Arroyo declares Bayan Muna, Akbayan, LGF, Sanlakas, and Gabriela party lists as "terrorist organizations," then siguro pwede na silang isa-isahin ng Arroyo admin.

And please read the Alston and Melo report, para ma-judge nyo kung anong accurate.

Where would the Celtics, Suns and Sonics have been without DJ?

DJ suddenly passed away at 52 because of a heart attack.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Dennis Johnson, the star NBA guard who was part of three championships and teamed with Larry Bird on one of the great postseason plays, died Thursday after collapsing at the end of his developmental team's practice. He was 52.

Johnson, coach of the Austin Toros, was unconscious and in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived at Austin Convention Center, said Warren Hassinger, spokesman for Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services.

I remember Dennis when he was playing for the Celtics. dj's more known as a streaky shooter. if you look at his shooting percentage, it was very low, especially during 80s era of higher shooting percentage.

but he's clutch, meaning he'll make the game-winning outside shot if bird's doubled.

btw, they used to make fun of him back in the old day, he's the only black guy with freckles raw... lol.

Anyway, here's what the 1988 The Complete Handbook of Pro basketball said about Dennis:

Rock steady... One of the all-time "big game" players... When Bird stole the ball, his cut to the basket and difficult reverse layup in Game 5 vs. Pistons was exclamation point to fantastic play... How many players would have had the sense to do that?... Where would the Celtics be without him?... How could the Suns and Sonics make such terrible deals, dumping DJ?... Hard to believe Lenny Wilkens once called him "a cancer."... Only Celtic to shine in Laker finale, rolling up 33 points... Ultimate team player... Born Sept. 18, 1954, in San Pedro, Cal.... Drafted 29th overall by Sonics in 1976, out of Pepperdine... Earns about $800,000 a season... Was MVP in 1978-79 playoffs... Big and durable, for nine straight years he has been named first- or seond-team All-Defense... If your life depended on one game, this guy would be on the team.

And on the 2000 writeup:

This season will be his last... bothered by sore Achilles early in season and averaged just 10.0 points, lowest since his rookie season... One of the greatest clutch playoff players in NBA history, has made countless big shots to win games... Led Sonics to their only title in 1979 and was named MVP of the playoffs... Spent three turbulent years in Phoenix before Celtics stole him for Rick Robey and two second-round picks in June 1983...

Great article on DJ by Bill Simmons of ESPN: DJ should have made Springfield while still alive

Previous: Remembering DJ's 1986 season:

Where would the Sonics have been without him?... Where would the Suns have been without him?... Where would the Celtics have been without him?... Lost in the expansive shadows of the Celtics' frontline, but DJ was neck-and-neck with Larry Bird for final-round MVP honors until subpar Game 4... Outlived his welcome in Seattle, where coach Lenny Wilkens called him "a cancer" and in Phoenix, where coach John MacLeod said he was disruptive... Hard to believe that about the DJ of today, who is quiet, confident and productive at both ends of the floor... Born Sept. 18, 1954, in San Pedro, Cal.... Drafted 29th overall by Sonics in 1976, out of Pepperdine... Earns $ 782,500 per season... One of 16 children... Was MVP in 1978-79 playoffs.

Esposo on Joker's TV ad

From Abs-Cbn:

Joker Arroyo’s TV spot stood on his defense of the Constitution, the Senate and the Bill of Rights. It’s absolutely senseless because he allied himself with the very person who assaulted the Constitution, Senate and Bill of Rights.

It doesn't make sense, does it?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

If this happened during Marcos or Erap's time...

If this happened during Marcos or Erap's time... Joker Arroyo, the famed human rights lawyer, would be the first to speak up loudly and condemn it.

Or if the guy accused of masterminding it was somebody from the Opposition like Lacson, for example, instead of Palparan (who GMA praised in her SONA), Joker Arroyo and the Arroyo administration would be the first one to attack Lacson.

UN blames AFP for murders; GMA gov’t in total denial


The United Nations, through its special rapporteur, Philip Alston, in a press conference held yesterday, placed the blame on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for many of the political murders that have rocked the country and pressed President Arroyo to rein in the bloodshedm stressing that the AFP and the Arroyo government are in almost “total denial’.

Wrapping up an investigation into what rights groups say are more than 800 political assassinations, UN special envoy Alston said many of the killings stemmed from the military’s campaign against left-wing guerrillas.

Alston stressed that the Arroyo government was responsible for a climate of impunity but said he did not have evidence to support allegations by the nation’s leading human rights group that Mrs. Arroyo had ordered the murders.

Earlier, Alston was said to have briefed several Philippine officials, among whom was presidential legal counsel Sergio Apostol, whom sources told the Tribune reportedly asked of Alston if he could defer making public his findings after the May elections, to which Alston reportedly replied that he was not here to engage in politics.

Alston said “the increase in extra-judicial executions in recent years is attributable, at least in part, to a shift in the military’s counter-insurgency strategy,” adding that “in some instances, such intimidation escalates into extra-judicial executions,” he said, stressing that many of the killings had been “convincingly attributed” to the military, which he said was in “almost total denial” and has refused to cooperate in conducting fair investigation on the unabated executions.

Pero hindi eh. When maam Arroyo started her "War with the Left" last year, and lefty militants started from Bayan Muna, Akbayan and others started getting murdered one by one on a more regular basis by some elements in the military, and the body count kept piling up -- tahimik lang si Joker.

When Palparan last year openly advocated targetting "the enemy" (and he ain't just talking about the NPA's, if you know what I mean), tahimik lang si Joker.

Why is this guy, who we all know was a fighter and a human rights lawyer during the Marcos era, and was a vocal critic of Erap's "human rights violations" (he calls it Marcosian) whenever erap uses force to disperse the militant protests in Mendiola... bakit tahimik lang siya ngayon sa mga patayan na nangyayari during maam Arroyo's time? Aren't these the kind of issues the grandstanding Joker used to get all worked up during Marcos and Erap's time? Isn't that his forte? Wha happened? Cat got his tongue?

Joker's silence is truly DEAFENING.

More on the UN report here, here, here, and here.

Read this must-read Conrad de Quiros article on Joker ARroyo too. Money Quote:

How can anyone who has ever been a human rights lawyer possibly be confused about the direction in which this country has moved? It is not forward, it is downward. At the very least, it’s no small irony that a day before Joker said this, his boss had just walked out of a press conference because our reporter, Gil Cabacungan Jr., kept asking her why the effects of her touted economic growth had not reached the hungry. In fact, Gil didn’t just ask a perfectly legitimate question, he asked the only question worth asking. Growth that happens explosively in only one part of the body is not called progress, it is called cancer.

But far more than that, how can anyone who has ever been a human rights lawyer possibly not see the killings? Or, indeed, the mayhem that is happening right in a Bicolano’s own backyard? The deaths caused by the superstorms from the Pacific are nothing compared to the deaths wrought by the evil wind from Malacañang. One has yet to hear the opposition denounce the extra-constitutional plots of adventurous military officers? One has yet to hear Joker denounce the extrajudicial executions by murderous state-sponsored cutthroats. The killings are not just a vicious trespass against human rights and civil liberties, they are an abomination against any decent community, never mind democracy.

And still that is nothing. One has yet to hear the opposition denounce attempts by military adventurers to topple government and set up one outside the Constitution? One has yet to hear Joker denounce the actual act by a presidential aspirant of stealing the vote and setting up a government outside the Constitution. How can anyone, human rights lawyer or not, possibly ignore the “Hello Garci” tape? The fact that it was illegally obtained may only prevent us from using it to jail GMA. It may not prevent us from using it to not hail her as President. The only reason no one, opposition or not, is denouncing any attempt to oust this regime, by coup or by Cory, by military strike or by People Power, is that this regime is a coup regime. One wrought by ballots rather than by bullets, one wrought by Garci rather than by guns. It has been defended by guns ever since, which brings us back to the killings.


I'm calling you out, JOKER!

Tukayo ni Cayetano, kargador sa pier?

Joselito "Peter" Cayetano, kargador sa pier?

Ibinulgar kahapon ni reelectionist Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson na isang estibador o kargador sa pier ng Davao City ang tukayo ni opposition senatorial candidate Alan Peter Cayetano, na si Joselito Cayetano, alyas Peter.

Ayon kay Lacson, kandidato ng Genuine Opposition (GO), malinaw sa impormasyong ibinigay ng kanyang asset sa Davao City na isang kargador umano sa pier si Alyas Peter Cayetano, ang kandidatong inampon ng Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), sa pamamagitan ni Atty. Oliver Lozano.

Isang lider ni Lacson sa Davao City ang nagkumpirmang isang kargador umano sa pier ang tukayo ni Cong. Cayetano, na nangangahulugan aniyang malaking kasinungalingan ang pagiging Marine engineer nito, katulad ng press releases ng kampo ni Lozano.

"Kilala siya ng isa sa mga lider ko sa Davao dahil ito raw iyong taong nagsanla sa kanila ng lupa sa may gawing Parola compound sa Davao," ani Lacson sa isang press conference sa Pampanga.

Aniya, hindi rin totoong Peter ang palayaw ng tukayo ni Cong. Cayetano at lalong hindi rin "Jojo" kundi ‘Visayan version’. "Ang tawag nga raw sa kanya ay Juju at hindi rin Jojo," ani Lacson.

Ang labis na ipinagtataka ni Lacson ay kung bakit nagtatago si Juju Cayetano gayong trabaho ng isang kandidato ang mangampanya para manalo, at hindi aniya ang magpakanlong kay Lozano o sa sinumang kampon ng administrasyon, katulad ng pagtatago sa isang safe house.

Juju pala ang palayaw niya, hindi "Peter."

On Cayetano's Citizenship issue: Gonzalez butata sa citizenship ni Alan

Butata kahapon si Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Raul Gonzalez matapos kumpirmahin ng Bureau of Immigration (BI) na Pinoy si Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano at hindi nila iniimbestigahan ang citizenship nito.

Sinabi ni Immigration Commissioner Alipio Fernandez, si Cayetano ay nabigyan ng certificate of recognition bilang Filipino citizen noong taong 1992 sa panahon ni dating Commissioner Andrea Domingo. Ang naturang certificate ay kinatigan naman ni dating Vice President Teofisto Guingona na siyang tumatayong kalihim ng DOJ.

"In the 1972 and 1987 Constitutions, if either of your parents is a Filipino, you are a natural-born Filipino," pahayag ni Fernandez.

Itinanggi rin ni Fernandez na binubusisi ng BI ang citizenship ni Cayetano at sinabing ang mga tao na ideneklarang Pinoy, maging naturalized o natural-born Filipino man, ay hindi na iniimbestigahan pa ng kagawaran.

Ang kumpirmasyon ni Fernandez ay taliwas sa inihayag ni Gonzalez noong Lunes na inaalam nila ang rekord sa citizenship ng nasabing kongresista dahil umano sa sumbong na taglay pa rin nito ang alien certificate of registration.

Binigyan-diin pa ni Gonzalez na hinahanap nila ang mga dokumento ng nasabing pag-apruba ng DOJ dahil kung wala ito ay maaari pang madiskwalipika sa pagtakbo si Cayetano sa darating na eleksyon.

But Arroyo's COMELEC under Ben Abalos still seems to be in a fighting mode. Gimik lang raw yung pagku-kwestyon ni Alan Peter Cayetano yung desisyon ng COMELEC na tanggapin yung nuisance candidate na si Joselito "Juju" Cayetano.

“Gumigimik lang ni Congressman Peter Alan Cayetano nang kuwestiyunin nito ang kandidatura ng kaapelyido niyang si Jose Pepito Cayetano upang mapag-usapan,” Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr. said during a press conference in his office yesterday.

Abalos said Cayetano’s action questioning the other Cayetano could have been his political strategy so that everybody could talk about him and that it could help him in the coming election.



- BongBong and Imee exposes Joselito Cayetano as a sham KBL candidate


In other news: Party-list na pinasisibak nangunguna sa survey

NANGUNA sa pinakabagong survey ng Pulse Asia sa party-list groups ang mga militanteng organisasyon na nais ng pamahalaan na ipasibak sa Commission on Elections (Comelec) dahil nagiging “front” umano ng New People’s Army (NPA).

Base sa isinagawang survey noong Enero 25 hanggang 29, nanguna ang Bayan Muna matapos makakuha ng 16.4 porsiyento habang sumegunda naman ang Akbayan sa pamamagitan ng 9.1 porsiyento at pumangatlo ang Gabriela na nakakuha ng 8.8 porsiyento.

Kabilang rin sa ilang nanguna ang Angat Antas Kabuhayan Filipino Movement (AANGAT KA FILIPINO), 8.1%; Citizens Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC), 3.5%; Adhikain at Kalusugan ng Ordinaryong Tao Para sa Lupa, Pabahay, Hanapbuhay at Kaunlaran (AKO), 3.4%; Association of the Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC), 3.3%; at iba pa.

Hindi naman naisama sa survey ang grupo ng Anakpawis na kinakatawan ng bilanggong si Rep. Crispin Beltran.


People's Journal: Richard Gomez appointment questioned

AN opposition lawmaker yesterday questioned the appointment of independent senatorial candidate Richard Gomez as special adviser on illegal drugs and narcotics of the House of Representatives.

Iloilo Rep. Rolex Suplico, in a statement, also urged the Commission on Elections to look into Gomez’s appointment.

Speaker Jose de Venecia, on Tuesday announced the appointment of Gomez as a partner of the Lower House in its campaign against illegal drugs.

According to Suplico, the law prohibits appointment of government officials and advisers during the election period.

“Hindi ko nakita ang appointment pero mukhang may sabit ‘yan kasi may ban na sa appointment nitong January pa lang,” Suplico said.

Gomez signed an agreement with De Venecia as consultant and adviser of the House committee on illegal Drugs chaired by Ilocos Norte Rep. Roque Ablan.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

BongBong esposes Joselito "Peter" Cayetano as a sham KBL candidate

From the Tribune:

Lawyer Oliver Lozano and his nuisance senatorial candidate Joselito “Peter” Cayetano were yesterday exposed as a fraud by Ilocos Norte Gov. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., after the late strongman’s son submitted a certification to the effect that one Joselito “Peter” Cayetano was not a member of the political party Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), where Marcos sits as its president.

Lozano, interviewed on ANC cable TV’s Prime News last night, failed to explain satisfactorily his claim that his KBL-endorsed candidate from Davao, was rejected by Marcos, claiming later that Marcos was not the KBL president, but one Vicente Millora, whom he says is both president and chairman of the party.

He then claimed that the KBL he is aligned with is the Millora wing, not the Marcos wing, even as this was never stated before the issuance of the Marcos certification denying the membership of Joselito Cayetano which was shown by Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano to the media.

The congressman, who is running for a Senate seat under the Genuine Opposition (GO) ticket, showed the Marcos certification to the media, to prove that the other Cayetano perjured himself when he filed his senatorial candidacy at the Commission on Elections,.

Lozano went ballistic and accused the news anchor, Ces Orena-Drilon of bias and charged her with asking him leading questions, insisting that in the end, it will be the Comelec that will decide on whether Joselito Lozano would be disqualified.

More from Lito Banayo:

Some jerk from Davao happens to be a Cayetano, and he is whisked off to Manila to file his certificate of candidacy for senator of the realm. Mysteriously, he claims "Peter" as his nickname, even if his Christian name if Joselito. Por San Jose na por San Pedro pa? And the moribund KBL suddenly springs to life in the person of Oliver Lozano to embrace him as one of them.

Quite clearly, it is a brazen attempt to steal the votes of oppositionist Alan Peter Cayetano, whom the First Gentleman and his brood hate with utmost passion. Write "Cayetano" or write "Peter Cayetano" in the ballot, and your vote is null and void. "Stray" because it defines neither the real Cayetano you want elected, or the unknown impostor.

And just because the impostor Cayetano, who is called "Ju-ju" by his neighbors in Davao, belongs to "an established and registered political party", the Comelec chairman says there might be problems disqualifying the impostor. Is he laying the legal predicate for the most ridiculous of decisions? Huwag naman sana, or this early, we might as well give up on elections, and march in the streets.

UPDATE: Here's the interesting part. Yung isang nuisance candidate na si Teodoro Aquino, ay tinaggal na ng COMELEC.

Rodrguez stressed that there is a precedent, as the Comelec had thrown out the senatorial bid of one Teodoro Aquino, who also purportedly aims to muddle the electoral chance of opposition senatorial bet Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

“If the Comelec junked the senatorial bid of this Teodoro Aquino, why not Joselito Cayetano’s? Between the two, (Noynoy) is much better since he has a following compared to Joselito, who has none,” he said.

Rodriguez appealed to Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. to prove true his vow that he wants to leave a “good legacy” to Filipinos when he retires from his position in January 2008.

But Rufus, they did not do it for Noynoy, but for Tessie Aquino.

And the Tribune Editorial continues to "undermine" the credibility of the COMELEC:

Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. could have gained a bit of credibility for his election body, had he promptly disqualifed the nuisance bet Joselito “Peter” Cayetano, said to be running under the KBL party.

That he is a nuisance bet who has been fielded by another nuisance bet, lawyer Oliver Lozano, to sabotage the chances of Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano’s electoral victory is undeniable. That the Arroyo spouses want Cayetano out of Congress, due to his constant criticisms of the presidential couple, is just as undeniable. And that Abalos is toeing the presidential line is just as evident.

And as this issue is up, there goes Gloria’s attack dog, the Injustice secretary, coming up with a citizenship issue against the congressman, a move that is no different from Gloria’s ploy against FPJ, the opposition standard-bearer in 2004 whom Gloria cheated massively.

But there are enough legitimate reasons for the Comelec to disqualify this Joselito Cayetano.

It has been proved that this nuisance KBL bet from Davao has never been known to his friends and neighbors as “Peter” but as “Jojo.” Also, it has been found that he had falsified his certificate of candidacy with his claim that he is a marine engineering graduate of some school, when he is not.

Then too, Rep. Imee Marcos, who should know about the KBL party, has come out to state that this fake Peter Cayetano is not a member of the KBL.

Yet Abalos huffed and puffed at the congressman who was seeking the disqualification of the nuisance Cayetano, saying just because Alan Cayetano was ranking high in the surveys, or that he has the Cayetano name does not mean he has a monopoly over the Cayetano name, insisting that Joselito Cayetano cannot be disqualified since he belongs to a legitimate political party, the KBL.

What a justification Abalos comes up with. If that is the Comelec’s measure of approval or disapproval of a senatorial bet, then any crackpot named say, Recto, Arroyo, Escudero and Aquino running under a discredited party would have to be approved by the Comelec.

But then again, the Comelec, under Abalos, wouldn’t dare approve the candidacies of any “nuisance” bets with the same surnames of the Gloria bets, as evidently, the plan is to destroy the electoral chances of the opposition bets, never of the administration bets.

The Editorial ends with this parting shot:

What is also clear to the electorate is that the Comelec under Abalos appears more than willing to become an integral part of the Gloria cheating machine.

Yet Abalos is only one vote in any en banc decision. For the Comelec as a body to agree to approve the candidacy of the nuisance bet Joselito Cayetano means that even those so-called “independent” appointee-commissioners whom One Voice lauds, appear to be willing to participate in these cheating operations. There goes any hope for the Comelec to regain even a shred of credibility and respectability.

Siguro hindi fair yung criticism of One Voice, pero legit ang criticism laban sa mga COMELEC officials na ito.

Fake Sultan?

From Ernie Maceda:

Fake? Malacañang must explain if it is recognizing Jamalul Kiram as the Sultan of Sulu when GMA introduced him as such when the administration named him its 12th candidate for senator. Sultan Esmael Kiram II has taken out a full-page ad claiming to be the real Sultan of Sulu. Is Malacañang presenting a fake?

In Parañaque City, GMA even introduced Jamalul Kiram as the Sultan of Brunei. It looks like Team GMA is not taking Kiram’s candidacy seriously. He is just a filler to complete its slate. Imagine eight Cabinet members refused to run with Team GMA: Eduardo Ermita, Angelo Reyes, Joseph Ace Durano, Francis Duque III, Rolando Andaya Jr., Ignacio Bunye, Alberto Romulo and Heherson Alvarez.

MORE: He also had nice things to say about Sonia Roco:

Genuine educator. In the air-conditioned Cebu Coliseum, GMA proclaimed Tessie Oreta as “The Champion of Women and Education,” understandable because the erstwhile oppositionist is the only woman in the Team GMA senatorial slate. She served as chairman of the Senate committee on education.

Sen. Serge Osmeña said a look at her Senate record shows that the lack of classrooms and teachers worsened during her term as Senate education committee head. The long-standing formalization of pre-school or early childhood education was not passed. She does not have a bachelor’s degree much less a master’s degree in Education or related fields.

In contrast, the opposition is offering Sonia Roco as its Inang-guro, who will focus on the problems of education and women causes.

Sonia graduated from St. Joseph’s College with a bachelor’s degree in Education, magna cum laude. She earned a master’s degree in Communication Arts and Social Psychology from Ateneo de Manila University. She took post-graduate studies in speech and drama in London.

Roco founded our school, a center for early childhood education at the Ateneo. She established the Live and Learn Pre-school at Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

She is an active leader of civil society and NGOs. She is past president and founding member of WIN (Women in Nation Building). Her campaign slogan is education-focused: Bawat bata ay nag-aral, bawat pamilya ay may graduate.

Sonia’s track record in education and women’s causes is better and bigger than Oreta’s. She’s a genuine educator.

She is a fresh face in the political scene. A survivor of the Baguio earthquake, she is a woman of destiny.
I will strongly campaign for her.

Leftover Halo-halo

Galit raw si Arroyo kay Villar nung hindi siya sumama sa Team Unity ni Arroyo, according to Marichu Villanueva. Money quote:

The Arroyo administration must be desperate at this early to come up with muck to throw at a very strong candidate like Villar. But they must come up with more substantive issues than fussing over Villar’s status as "guest" candidate of the UNO. The Arroyo administration is obviously still smarting over Villar’s decision to ally with no less than ex-President Estrada. Villar calls it a cheap shot when the police security assigned at the rest house detention of Estrada in Tanay, Rizal barred him and his wife Rep. Cynthia Villar from visiting the deposed President last Saturday. This was the time the administration was still hoping to get Villar to join the unity ticket.

And this must have even made them more furious:

SENATE President Manny Villar yesterday vowed to deliver the votes of Las Piñas to candidates of the United Opposition in the May elections, ending questions as to where his loyalty lies.

"Kung saan kami, dun sila," Villar said, referring to the more than 400,000 registered voters of the city that he once represented in House.

In the May 2004 elections, President Arroyo won only in Las Piñas among the 17 cities and towns of Metro Manila.

Villar, president of the Nacionalista Party and an adopted candidate of UNO, said Las Piñas will deliver the votes to the UNO candidates as he said the city mayor down to the barangay captains are allies.

Las Piñas is considered a bailiwick of the Aguilars, to which Villar’s wife Rep. Cynthia Villar belongs. The mayor, Imelda Aguilar, is the sister-in-law of Rep. Villar.

Villar said Las Piñas did not go for Fernando Poe Jr. in the May 2004 elections because the opposition fielded a candidate against Rep. Villar.

He also said his colleagues in the opposition should stop doubting his political loyalty after he gave them a grand welcome to his city.

"Dapat wala ng doubts," he said.

The Villar couple hosted lunch for the UNO candidates also campaigned in Parañaque and Muntinlupa.

Villar said his group took three days to prepare the Las Piñas welcome.

He also said he intends to join UNO rallies if his schedule permits.

Thank god for Manny Villar.

Manny Villar, Sonia Roco, Koko Pimentel, Loren Legarda, John Osmena, Nikki Coseteng, Jejomar Binay

There was even an attempt to bar Villar from attending the PMA rites by Arroyo acolytes. But the admin failed, and during the PMA rites, Villar slammed the Arroyo gov't.

FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City — It was a double whammy for Malacañang and some members of the executive here yesterday, with both President Arroyo and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. getting a dose of their own medicine for their reported failed attempt to bar opposition senatorial candidate, Senate President Manuel Villar Jr., from attending this year’s homecoming celebration of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

The lawmaker, who is seeking reelection in the May 14 polls as an adopted candidate of the opposition, took a dig at the executive’s continuing moves that tend to politicize the ranks of the military, both active and retired, to get back at its critics.

In his speech, Villar criticized the alleged continuing measure to shield government officials from Senate inquiries and the Palace-backed efforts to amend the Constitution, which, he said, was meant to abolish the Senate and stop the chamber from investigating alleged anomalies in the government.

He stressed that the Senate has been a “watchdog of the performance of the executive branch” and it crosses party lines when the issues at hand are a matter of “national interest.”

“Unfortunately, there are those who are not comfortable with the independence of the Senate. Our determination to expose what we honestly perceive as anomalies in governance is construed as the work of an obstructionist,” the Senate chief noted.

While some of those who graduated from PMA during the mid-1970s and beyond, resorted to “heckling” Esperon, aside from the apparent “cold treatment” they afforded him, for having been supposedly a “party” to the case involving Villar.

Syempre, hindi ito pinalampas ni Iggy Bunye, at binira rin niya si Villar.


Marcos at least allowed Ninoy media access when he was a prisoner-candidate - Noynoy Aquino

Comparing Presidents Ferdinand Marcos and Gloria Arroyo in their treatment of prisoner-candidates, the son of slain Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., “Noynoy” who is running as an opposition senatorial candidate, yesterday said Marcos was a lot better and more humane than President Arroyo.

In calling for the administration to grant detained Oakwood rebel Navy Lt/SG Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes, also an opposition senatorial bet, access to media and interviews, Noynoy recalled that Marcos allowed his father, who was in a military jail but was also a candidate for the Marcos Parliament, to campaign via the media, granted this to his father, the late Senator Aquino Jr.

“He (Trillanes) should be given the opportunity to share his message through media interviews,” Aquino stressed adding that even his father was given the same opportunity even by Marcos even when Aquino was tagged as an enemy of the state.

“At least in this particular case, I urge the Arroyo government to do a Marcos,” Aquino said, adding that if Mrs. Arroyo doesn’t grant Trillanes that media access he asks for, then she is worse than Marcos.

Trillanes, who faces rebellion charges, is barred from joining the opposition on its campaign sorties. He was likewise was barred from granting media interviews to television and radio crews at his detention cell in the Marine Brigade, Fort Bonifacio.

“I hold no grudge toward the people caught in that situation. What I’m saying is that we should give these people a chance to return to the fold of the law,” he said.

What is more important now, he added, is that Trillanes has already demonstrated his resolve to go back to the system and embrace the Constitution by participating in the May 14 elections. And this must be acknowledged by the government, he added.

“Trillanes is opting for electoral reforms. We must encourage him for going within the system. The charges are not the issue. The issue here is that he returns to the system.”

More from Susan Ople on Trillanes:

I have this on good authority.

Detained Navy Lt. SG Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes was recently offered campaign funds amounting to P4-million by a known jueteng lord. Despite meager funds — certainly not enough to finance a full-blown TV ad campaign — the senatorial candidate of GO refused the offer.

That P4-M would have been enough to at least cover the expense of a few radio spots, campaign posters, and mobilization costs of his volunteers. That he turned it down speaks volumes about this young guy’s principles. I never agreed with the Magdalo’s mutiny, no matter how romantic or idyllic the notion behind it. But I believe in second chances, not just for him but for all of us as well.

Still, there is a cynical belief in the political world that honesty doesn’t get one elected. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to prove these cynics wrong?


Ernie Maceda reacting to Dodong Nemenzo's comment na puro trapo raw ang mga kandidato sa dalawang panig (Team Unity and GO!):

Nemenzo’s complaint. Former UP president Francisco Nemenzo said both administration and opposition senatorial tickets are full of trapos. Why? Because non-trapos refuse to run. Prof. Randy David, Prof. Adel Tamano, former DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman and Leah Navarro among others were invited to run, but they refused.

Top lawyer Mario Ongkiko is running for senator as Kapatiran Party candidate together with resigned Usec Zosimo Paredes. Ok, President Nemenzo, you can go all-out and campaign for these two non-trapos.

It’s time to ask, weren’t non-trapos, a.k.a. civil society leaders, responsible for putting GMA in Malacañang? And these so-called trapos now, weren’t they civil society or non politicians before they ran?

Loren Legarda was a TV personality, Ping Lacson was a career police officer, Pong Biazon was a Marine general. So they become trapos just because they ran and won? There’s something not right in labeling all those who have won and served as “trapos.”

If I may use my own experience, sir, you call me a trapo too but didn’t you honor this trapo for being one of the magnificent 12 who voted against the extension of the US bases? Didn’t I join former Sen. Bobby Tañada in voting against the ratification of the GATT? Throw in more than 200 laws I have authored or sponsored and 200 exposés that saved billions of government funds. Remember the PEA Amari deal invalidated by the Supreme Court?

Yes sir, not all traditional politicians are bad. Every senator and congressman including those belonging to dynasties must be judged on his individual record. Just as each UP professor must be judged on his individual performance.

It’s not fair to brand all politicians as trapos just as it is not fair to brand all UP professors as communists.


Sabi rin ni Lito Banayo:

Manong Ernie Maceda decries friend Dodong Nemenzo’s sweeping denunciation of all trapos, when the former UP president said both tickets reek of them.

There are good trapos and bad trapos, adopting the political pejorative at face value. But as Manong Ernie asks, where have the non-trapos gone? When the senatorial slate was being formed, why did non-trapos like Randy David and Dinky Soliman, and Leah Navarro reject the opposition’s repeated offers to stand up and be counted? They would have made highly attractive candidates to the middle class, and in a campaign, could likewise get the masa vote. Sonia Roco stands out for her courage, despite initially low survey ratings. That’s one candidate who I will not only vote for, but will campaign vigorously for.

Hehe... si Helga inalok na tumakbo bilang senador rin pala...


Joker Arroyo: "GMA is the best protector of the Constitution."

But only true in the most cynical sense.

Besides, wasn't it a last december that the admin was trying to destroy the current Constitution and change it to benefit her and her allies (via Con Ass and the so-called "People's Initiative") and abolish the senate to remove the Checks and Balance?

Protector of the Constitution, my ass.

Lito Banayo to be Lim's Manila Vice Mayor pick?

Sabi raw ni Ernie Maceda.

If this is true, then I see a Lim-Lacson alliance here na ikatutuwa ng mga supporters ng dalawang tao sa MayniLA.

1-M Signature campaign niluluto sa pagtakbo ni Pacquiao

From the Abante-Tonite:

Maglulunsad ng signature campaign ang kampo ni People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao upang kontrahin ang kanyang mga kritiko na kontra sa pagtakbo sa Kongreso ng boksingerong idolo ng masa.

Ito ang impormasyong nakalap ng TONITE kung saan isang milyong signature umano ang balak na kalapin ng mga supporters ni Pacquiao na sisimulan anumang araw ngayon.

Layunin ng naturang signature campaign na ipakitang marami pa ang nagtutulak kay Pacquiao na tumakbo bilang congressman sa unang distrito ng South Cotobato.

Nabatid na isasagawa ang signature campaign sa Metro Manila at iba pang bahagi ng bansa dahil kung aasa lamang ito sa mga residente ng naturang distrito ay hindi aabot sa isang milyon ang makakalap na lagda.

Ayon kay South Cotobato Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio, umaabot lamang sa 250,000 ang botante sa kanyang distrito kaya malamang na hindi sa kanilang lugar mangangalap ng lagda ang mga supporters ni Pacquiao kundi sa ibang lugar tulad ng Manila.

"Wala akong ideya sa impormasyon na iyan pero kung sakali, baka hindi sa district ko sila mangangalap ng lagda dahil more or less two hundred fifty thousand lang ang botante sa amin," ayon kay Antonino-Custodio.

Ayon naman sa impormante, gagawin ng kampo ni Pacquiao ang signature drive dahil sa kaliwa’t kanang batikos na inaabot ng People’s Champ sa desisyon nitong kumandidato sa Kongreso.

Subalit naniniwala ang impormante na mahihirapan ang kampo ni Pacquiao na makakuha ng isang milyong lagda dahil lahat ng mga bumabatikos sa pagpasok nito sa pulitika ay ang kanya mismong mga tagahanga.

"Kung dadayain ang signature baka sobra sa isang milyon ang makukuha nila. Kung malinis, baka walang lalagda kasi nais pa ng kanyang mga fans na ipagpatuloy niya ang kanyang boxing career at naniniwala ang mga tao na wala siyang magagawa sa Kongreso," ayon sa impormante.

And the true fans of Manny Pacquiao could also launch a similar signature campaign to urge Manny not to run and ask him to continue concentrating on his boxing career instead of being used as a tool by the ARroyos, Lito Atienza and Chavit Singson.

I'm sure more than 3 to 5 times pa yung signatures na makukuha sa "Please don't go into Politics, Manny" signature campaign kaysa sa "Run, Manny, Run" sig campaign ng mga Atienzas at Malacanang.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Int'l Press group asks Malacanang to drop sedition raps vs. Tribune journalists

From the Tribune:

An international press freedom watchdog on Saturday called on President Arroyo to drop sedition charges against a newspaper publisher and two columnists who have been critical of her government.

Ninez Cacho-Olivares, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Daily Tribune, and columnists Herman Tiu Laurel and Ike Señeres were charged last Wednesday for writing articles and editorials allegedly aimed at stirring dissent.

The three have vowed to fight the charges and said the Arroyo government’s move went against freedom of speech in a country that is one of Asia’s most free-wheeling democracies.

“Resorting to sedition charges against journalists who are critical of the government smacks of overreaction and outright intimidation,” Joel Simon, the executive director of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said in a statement.

“The Arroyo government should drop these charges immediately,” Simon stressed.

The government last year raided the offices of the Tribune after Mrs. Arroyo invoked emergency powers to quell a coup allegedly hatched by political figures close to the newspaper, disgruntled military officers and leftist insurgents.

Some 28 officers, including two generals and several highly decorated colonels, are now being tried in a military court, while some 16 civilians, including six leftist politicians, were arrested but later freed.

CPJ noted that the raid on the Tribune offices was ruled unconstitutional by the Philippine Supreme Court in May of last year.

Senior state prosecutor Phillip Kimpo, in announcing the charges last Wednesday, said there was “probable cause” that the three accused had incited to sedition, which is a criminal offense in the Philippines.

According to Kimpo, reading of the questioned articles “reveals some grossly or obscenely abusive libels against the government and its officials.”

He cited an article written by Olivares on Dec. 11, 2005, in which she stated that the “military willfully engages in illegal activities and follows illegal orders from the Commander-in-Chief.”

Ito ang ikinagalit ng Malacanang sa mga sinulat ni Ninez:

The first of the editorials cited by prosecutors, entitled Candles for Truth was published on September 2005 and described the Arroyo administration as having “turned into a government to buy the people.”

“She (Arroyo) cannot exercise the rule of government except through the buying of support. That was the way she swayed Congress to her side. Support was bought, directly or indirectly, through early release of pork barrels or commitments for such and that should not be denied by those who accepted the virtual bribes.”
Particular mention was made by the prosecutors of a column last Dec.11, 2005 where Olivares stated “that the military willfully engages in illegal activities and follows illegal orders from the commander-in-chief.”

At ito pa, from the Malaya report:

Kimpo said Olivares fueled disenchantment at the Armed Forces, Congress and the Supreme Court by insinuating that they no longer deserve the respect, trust and confidence of the people.

Kimpo said a column written by Olivares on Dec. 11, 2005, said the military willfully engages in illegal activities and follows illegal orders from the commander-in-chief.

He said Olivares categorically said that the incumbent president is a bogus president.

In the same column, she also supposedly maligned then Armed Forces chief Gen. Generoso Senga by saying he was unprofessional and a protector of criminals in the military establishment.

Here's my initial reaction nung nabasa ko yan.

Ang masasabi ko lang is that i don't see anything wrong sa mga sinulat ni ninez tungkol sa corruption, election rigging, at kung paano ginamit ni arroyo ang COMELEC at military sa dagdag bawas operations nila.

So Ninez's columns in the tribune continue to "undermine" the people trust and faith in the arroyo administration? Naku, kasalanan pa pala ni Ninez kung bakit konti lang ang tiwala ng tao sa administration ni Arroyo.

Eh paano naman yung mga columns ni Conrad de Quiros, maam arroyo? Sample:

The administration does have superior political machinery, but that machinery isn’t given to organizing or campaigning. It isn’t even given to acts of vindication or revenge, especially after government got a sound beating from the Supreme Court on the Charter change issue. That machinery is given only to cheating. That machinery is eager to get back at the opposition not by means fair or foul but by means foul or worse.

We have seen how that machinery was put to work in 2004: it was used to siphon off all monies from government offices to pay for billboards -- yes, the same ones they now want to put down -- and an unrelenting barrage of TV ads, and to give fertilizer funds to congressmen overseeing urban jungles. Ask that big joke, Jocelyn Bolante. It was used to ransack even money of overseas Filipino workers, a good portion of the fund of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration being used to buy off voters through the PhilHealth cards that had Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s grinning face on them rather than the forlorn ones of their beneficiaries. It was used to manufacture votes in the Central Luzon area, including Metro Manila, to give Arroyo an artificial lead.

And when all that still failed, Arroyo called up Election Commissioner Virgilio “Garci” Garcillano.

That machinery has not been dismantled. That machinery exists intact, and can be employed with the same ferocity to produce the same results. We count the votes right next year, and the opposition will very likely trample all over the administration the way the Liberals trampled all over the Nacionalistas in 1971. But that is like saying that if we had counted the votes right in 2004 Fernando Poe Jr. would have, if not routed Arroyo, at least had her biting his dust. What was done before can be done again. No, more than that, what was done before demands to be done again. Getting away with murder is an open invitation to murder again and again.

What’s to prevent it? The Commission on Elections (Comelec), which played the role of conspirator rather than arbiter during the last elections, has not been revamped. No one even knows whether the canvassing will be computerized or not, which is openly courting nasty surprises at the end line, the kind Benjamin Abalos and company sprang on the unsuspecting public the last time around. I haven’t heard any furious discussions about plans to stop cheating. I have not heard any demands from the opposition for an international delegation to monitor the elections the way Cory Aquino and company did during the snap elections of 1986.

More than this, as I said some weeks ago when Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos and Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz were predicting there would be no more “Hello Garci’s” because the military would no longer be used in elections, why should that be so? The generals did not call up Garci, Arroyo did -- and she hasn’t been punished. The only way crime stops is when it is punished. Crime gets rewarded, it will riot like weeds in an untended garden. The fact that Arroyo remains president assures there will be massive cheating in next elections. Look at the nurses and see if cheating has not become the accepted norm in this country.

Which brings me to my completely immodest proposal. That is for the elections next year to be held not just as regular senatorial elections but to be turned into a presidential election. No need to call for snap elections if the problem is time and money. We can always turn the regular elections next year into a special one to resolve the problem of a fake president.

Or this one: Importations

Eduardo Ermita and company say a replication of the Thai coup is impossible in this country. Well, if it’s so, why do they keep saying it, as though they want to convince themselves of it?

And Edcel Lagman says such a coup is impossible in this country because of “a popular aversion to extra-constitutional means of subverting the status quo.” Well, he’s right about the popular aversion to a coup, or an extra-constitutional means of seizing power. That is why there is a popular aversion to the regime he is determined to serve, the GMA regime, which is a coup regime, one wrought by ballots instead of bullets. The surveys bolster that fact. The overwhelming majority of Filipinos do not think GMA is the President and a clear majority wants her ousted from power. You can’t find clearer proof of the popular aversion to a coup or the forcible seizure of power than that.

But which is why another coup is not just possible in this country, it is probable. If not soon at least down the line. The specter will always be there. It can only be a counter-coup to end a coup, and if it keeps along the lines of the Thai coup, it will be more than accepted, it will be embraced. There is no question about public resistance, there won’t be any. The only question is the template, there doesn’t seem to be any either.

Maybe, we should import some Thai generals?

Or this one: Cheating

Well, what was the last presidential election all about? It was a case of massive cheating. It was a case of someone in whose hands would be left the care of a sick and dying country proposing to hurry it up to its grave. Never mind the nurses who might not add to the remittances Pidal means to loot because of the flawed exams. Mind only the 85 million or so Filipinos whose lives have just been made hell.

Can anything be more hysterically funny, or a brilliant if unwitting exercise in self-satire, than Arroyo telling the prospective nurses they have to take the exams again because many of them cheated in the last one? The same reasons for requiring new exams are the same reasons for requiring new elections. No, they are more than the same reasons. Far, far more. The stakes in elections are higher. The price to pay for cheating in elections is steeper. If this country cannot survive the reputation of having fake nurses, it will survive even less the reality of having a fake president.

About the military's role in the gloriagate dagdag bawas operations:

“HELLO GARCI WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN,” predicts Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz. That is so in the light of the Comelec resolution to limit the role of the military in elections. No more will soldiers take part in counting and canvassing votes, choosing precincts, transporting ballot boxes and carrying election materials and results. Henceforth, they will merely man checkpoints and enforce the gun ban. And only 10 percent of them will be involved where before the entire 125,000-strong Armed Forces of the Philippines was.

Comelec Chair Benjamin Abalos agrees enthusiastically: “Garci is gone, there will be no more Garci.” He adds jokingly, “There will only be ‘Hello Brawnie’,” in reference to Romeo Brawner, a newly appointed Comelec commissioner.

So all’s well that ends well?

Not really. All sucks that ends badly.

I grant that limiting the military’s role in elections can have tremendous salutary effects. Especially given that today’s AFP is controlled by the generals mentioned in the Hello Garci tapes as having cheated for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, chief of them Hermogenes Esperon. They were all rewarded, and not punished, for that monstrous act of infamy. But limiting the AFP’s role in elections won’t exorcise Garci from the face of this earth, or even come close to it.

Lest we forget, there’s an exchange in the “Hello Garci” tape, where GMA worried about not getting enough votes in some parts of Muslim Mindanao and Garci responded by saying, as you know Ma’am the military isn’t really good at rigging things, “di gaano marunong gumawa,” but that generally speaking the effort to pad her votes was being executed well, “’yung hong pagpatataas sa inyo maayos ho naman.” That is a breathtakingly revealing statement in more ways than one. The least of what it reveals is that the soldiers are not the Einsteins of cheating in elections, people like Garci and his boss, GMA herself, are.

On comparing Arroyo with Marcos:

Is Arroyo another Marcos?

Good question to ask today, the 34th anniversary of martial law, and the year Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo unleashed 1017 and other martial law-like edicts. My answer to it is yes and no. But lest readers take comfort in that answer, the “no” there is an even greater source of dread.

The yes is patent. Arroyo is another Marcos in many respects.

Marcos became an illegitimate ruler after September 1972, ruling without the mandate of the people. Arroyo became an illegitimate ruler after May 2004, ruling without the mandate of the people. However she twists in the wind, Arroyo will never be able to escape the ghost of the “Hello Garci” tapes. Her allies in the House of Representatives may refuse to accept that as evidence to impeach her, but the public will always find in it a reason to revile her.

Marcos wanted to rule forever, Arroyo wants to rule forever. Not quite incidentally, Marcos also tried to circumvent the ban against a third presidential term by bribing the Constitutional Convention to shift the form of government from presidential to parliamentary. His plot was foiled by an honest old man named Eduardo Quintero who exposed the bribe. His legal avenues closed to him, Marcos took the illegal route of declaring martial law.

The Cha-cha (charter change) prospers, and Arroyo can rule after 2010 by becoming prime minister. Of course, Jose de Venecia thinks he will be it, but he has always been horribly deluded. Of course, too, the transitory provisions say Arroyo can only name the prime minister and not be it, but the last elections also say Fernando Poe Jr. and not Arroyo won, and she has been it. Indeed, the whole trajectory of Arroyo’s rule suggests she does not mean to give up power ever. The scale of the killings, which opens her up at the very least to legal retribution from her victims in the form of a class suit not unlike the one the martial-law torture victims lodged (successfully) against Marcos and at the very most to physical reprisal, must suggest so.

Marcos ruled by force, Arroyo rules by force. That follows from the fact that both were/are illegitimate. The only way to maintain illegitimate rule is by force. Marcos unleashed a scale of killings unprecedented in postwar Philippine history, Arroyo has launched a scale of killings unprecedented since Marcos. The object of the killings then as now is the same: to wipe out opposition from the face of the earth. The only difference is that Arroyo does so indirectly, by sending a chilling message to critics via her death warrant on the New People’s Army.

Marcos was obsessed with power and broke all the rules to get what he wanted, Arroyo is obsessed with power and is breaking all the rules to get what she wants. Both lied through their teeth. Lying was Marcos’ favorite pastime, too. When I was writing the book on martial law, I toyed with the idea of titling it “Lying in State,” but my publishers thought it either misleading or grim. But that was what Marcos did more than anything else: he lied relentlessly about matters of state.

On the political killings being perpetrated by the military:

The fools who constitute the majority of the House of Representatives, who blocked the impeachment bid against their favorite tyrant would say to a man and woman that there was nothing to connect their favorite tyrant to the killings. Well, there is still something worse than being dead while being alive, and that is being a congressman who has sold his soul to GMA. There is no worse state than this—and if they themselves cannot feel the misery of it, it is only because there is no feeling left in their bodies, or souls. Some day too they will reap the whirlwind in terms of the contempt of their countrymen, the infamy to hound their names and houses till kingdom come.

Nothing to connect GMA to the killings? You have to have lost all sense of sight, hearing, smell, taste and feeling to mouth that. At the very least, what is government there for? There’s nothing more ludicrous—the kind that kills when you laugh—than GMA cajoling the witnesses in the killings to come out so she might stop the mayhem. And what, unless the witnesses materialize—something she herself has discouraged by stopping witnesses against her from appearing before the Senate—she is freed from the duty, the responsibility, the imperative, to stop the mayhem? And what, so that the witnesses, who will then have implicated themselves as being in the company of suspected NPA members, will become target practice for Palparan?

We pay taxes so that government will serve us. The least of the service being for it to keep us alive, not to kill us. There’s nothing more ludicrous as well than Eduardo Ermita saying, “But what about the killings by the NPA?” Well, what about them? The human rights groups have condemned those killings as well. I know I have, repeatedly. More to the point, we do not pay taxes to the NPA, we pay taxes to the government. We do not owe allegiance to the NPA, we owe allegiance to the government. You want us to apply the same rules to the NPA as to government, let us pay taxes to the NPA, and let us owe allegiance to the NPA.

While at that, the NPA “killing fields” is a case of the NPA slaughtering its own comrades. The day Palparan slaughters his own comrades is the day I will praise him to high heavens. The day he slaughters himself is the day I will ask for his sainthood.

But GMA’s crime isn’t just one of omission or ineptitude, it’s one of commission or direct authorship. The only thing worse than the scale of the current mayhem—which surpasses even that of martial law: then there was at least a distinction, however often blurred, between combatant and non-combatant; today even NGOs and party lists are combatants—is the ease with which Palparan is able to justify it. He openly advocates the murder of the “enemy,” that category being what and how his diseased mind decrees it, and his boss does not reprimand him, his boss praises him before the nation, before the world, before heaven and earth, for a job well done. This is not sporadic or intermittent bloodletting, this is systematic and calculated bloodbath. This is not accident, this is policy. This is not violence most regrettable, this is murder most foul.

And pray, what, the butler did it?

Not so, Mr. Speaker. The usurper did it.

On Sec. Duque's role in using the PHILHEALTH money to fund arroyo's 2004 election campaign.

In the end, Executive Secretary Ermita exudes neither confidence nor reasonability, he merely exudes foulness. At the very least that is so because he owes the OFWs an explanation for where their money went. We do know where part of it went: P530 million of it in Medicare funds meant solely for OFWs went to PhilHealth to campaign for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the last elections. That is so notwithstanding PhilHealth's repeated claims they got the checks only after the elections. Francisco Duque's letter to Arroyo saying that the transfer "will bear significantly on 2004 elections," Arroyo's executive order transferring the funds, and the labor department's approval, all done before the elections, supply the motive, opportunity and means for the crime.

Where there's smoke, there's fire. Where there is this theft (there is no other word for it), there will be more.
Who cares if Owwa officials recite like a mantra that the OFW billions are intact? Intact for whom? It can't come as a comfort to a depositor that his money is in the bank but he can't touch it -- ever. Government officials continue to snub the Senate, and the OFWs may safely assume that their billions have been stolen from
them. And rage, rage, against the dying of this light.

I can go on and on about this, here, here etc. But you get the point. I've just focused on de Quiros. Hindi ko pa isinama yung mga articles ni Neal Cruz, Randy David at mga ibang PDI columnists.

But I guess it's easier to pick on the Tribune than the Inquirer ano?