Saturday, March 31, 2007

Dr. Joey Montemayor vs. Rep. Mikey Arroyo (Pampanga's 2nd district)

The Liberal Party (Drilon Wing) has fielded Dr. Joey Montemayor to run against Rep. Mikey Arroyo in Pampanga:

From the PDI news:

Doctor challenges Arroyo son for Pampanga congressional post

'I'm running against a corrupt administration
'
By Erwin Oliva, Maila Ager
INQUIRER.net
Last updated 09:07pm (Mla time) 03/30/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE) The Liberal Party wing, led by Senator Franklin Drilon, has fielded a challenger against incumbent Representative Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo, the President’s son, in Pampanga’s second district.

Dr. Joey Montemayor, a cardiologist, confirmed filing his certificate of candidacy Wednesday but without fanfare for fear that his opponents would deploy nuisance candidates, citing the case of opposition senatorial candidate Alan Peter Cayetano.

Montemayor said he took his oath of membership with the LP this week and subsequently got its endorsement. Although INQUIRER.net could not get confirmation from Drilon, former LP president Florencio “Butch” Abad confirmed Montemayor had approached him earlier to express his desire to join the party.

"This is going to be a proxy fight of the Filipino people against the corrupt GMA [Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo] administration," said Montemayor in phone interviews with the INQUIRER.net Friday.

Montemayor, who is working at the St. Luke's Medical Center, stressed that there has been a clamor not only for an "alternative" but a "best choice" for a candidate against the President's son.

Montemayor said he wanted to represent the “general disappointments” of the people of Pampanga towards the son of the President.

“There is a general perception that he [Arroyo] has no opponent. Ever since, they are conditioning the minds of the people that he has no opponent but that’s not true. I am running,” Montemayor said.

“I want to represent the general disappointments of [the] Kapampangan. They don’t like him because he is not even a real Kampampangan. He could not even speak our language,” Montemayor said.

"He [Mikey Arroyo] could not possibly know the general sentiments of his constituents because he rarely goes here," said the 45-year-old
Montemayor, son of a judge that had convicted actor Robin Padilla for illegal possession of firearms.

More from Rina Jimenez David:

THE FIRST of these men is an “interventionist cardiologist” with an active practice in St. Luke’s Hospital and the Philippine Heart Center.

But for Dr. Joey Montemayor, 45, who filed his certificate of candidacy for congressman in the second district of Pampanga, his decision to run is not the result of “a personal battle,” but rather the offshoot of his desire to provide Kapampangans “true representation” in the House, as well as part of the larger battle “against the corrupt Arroyo government.”

Running under the Liberal Party, Montemayor says that compared with Mikey (the failed actor-wannabe son of the President), he is far more qualified to represent the people of Pampanga. “Mikey cannot even speak Kapampangan!” he exclaims in disgust. While the President’s son grew up in Metro Manila and studied in elite schools, Montemayor says he spent his elementary and high school years in his hometown of Sasmuan and in Guagua. And aside from his medical degree, Montemayor says he also studied law at the University of Santo Tomas, and holds an MBA from the University of the Philippines.

“I think I am fully armed with the leadership capabilities and management expertise needed of a congressman,” he says.

In contrast, Montemayor cites Mikey’s lackluster performance in Congress and the scarcity of bills he has filed, much less shepherded through Congress. “He was too busy defending himself and his mother from the jueteng payola accusations to the impeachment.” And only lately have projects “sponsored” by Mikey been seen, “since people had been complaining that he wasn’t even spending his Countryside Development Fund in the district.”

This is not Montemayor’s first foray into politics. In 1998, he ran against action star Lito Lapid for governor of Pampanga, under the People’s Reform Party. Married, with two children, the cardiologist knows he is the decided underdog in this “mano-a-mano” electoral brawl (as of 10 p.m. Thursday, his lawyer says no one else had filed his or her candidacy for the district). But, he declares: “If the people will guard their votes, I’m sure their true sentiments will be revealed and their real preference will emerge.”

Dr. Montemayor's candidacy sounds good to me. The guy's more competent and educated than Mikey. I hope the people of Pampanga will support Doc Montemayor's candidacy.

Mayor Sabas Mabulo vs. Datu Macapagal Arroyo (Camarines Sur 1st District)

Rina Jimenez david has an article on the two candidates who will go up against Maam Arroyo's sons, Mikey and Datu, for the House seat in Pampanga and Camarines Sur. One of them is Sabas Abang Mabulo (vs. Datu). From the PDI Editorial:

MANILA, Philippines-SPARE A THOUGHT FOR SABAS ABANG MABULO, the three-term mayor of San Fernando, Camarines Sur. Last week, the United Opposition named him its candidate for congressman of the first district of Camarines Sur, against the President’s second son, Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo.

It won’t be an easy run, given that President Macapagal-Arroyo’s considerable resources, especially those of the persuasive kind, will undoubtedly be placed at her son’s disposal. But it is a necessary candidacy, because the people of Camarines Sur must be given a choice.

We are happy to note that Mabulo is highly qualified for the post, with his proven popularity and a reputation for competence and performance. But even if he weren’t, the fact that he is contesting the post against the President’s own son should be acknowledged and recognized.

In the first place, Dato Arroyo is—to use a resonant term of the political art—a carpetbagger. He hails from one place, grew up in another, but now presumes to represent the citizens of a third. Secondly, he is, indubitably, a dynast—a member of the country’s most powerful dynasty, seeking a free ride to public office, to join his brother-congressman in Pampanga, his uncle-congressman in Negros, and, of course, his mother in Malacañang. How else explain his decision to seek political office, in his own name, in another vote-rich region?

Finally, he is the product of machine politics—that is to say, his still unannounced candidacy is the result, not of extensive consultation with political partners or of a groundswell of public support (as measured, say, by public opinion polls), but of an areglo, an arrangement entered into by the powers-that-be.


Here's a very informative post from Willy Prilles: ‘Abang’ Mabulo dares to dream

But who is Abang Mabulo? To help address this information asymmetry, I googled his name and only came out with the following:

(1) He is Bikolandia's most outstanding municipal mayor in 2002, making him an automatic finalist in the Local Government Leadership Awards (LGLA), then being managed by the DLSU Institute of Governance. The LGLA is to outstanding mayors and governors as Gawad Galing Pook is to outstanding local government initiatives. Its growing list of winners can be found here.

(2) He is a trustee of the Ateneo de Naga University, joining the likes of Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo, City Councilor Miles Raquid-Arroyo and corporate whiz Monico Jacob. No wonder, the Ateneo community is solidly behind his candidacy, in spite of the fact that Dato earned his bachelor's degree from the same institution after transferring from Ateneo de Manila in the late '90s.

But yahooing it yielded this gem, a circa 2004 article by the Inquirer's Juan Escandor who allows us a peek into his public career and NGO background, which should explain why he became Bicol's best mayor a few years back. Renee Gumba of the Ateneo Institute of Politics said they are coming out with a better profile of the man that dares to dream the politically impossible.

More from Prilles on Abang.

THE INQUIRER editorial on San Fernando Mayor Sabas "Abang" Mabulo's bid against Diosdado "Dato" Arroyo, Jr. dominated last week's airwaves as well as the front and opinion pages of local papers.

For all indication, Mabulo's longshot candidacy is tapping into a powerful emotional wellspring that defies conventional thinking: whether it is powerful enough to overturn the wishes of Camarines Sur's political gods, all the way to Malacañang, remains to be seen.

Read the whole thing.

PDI: GO presents bet vs Arroyo’s son, Dato

B&W Leah Navarro is also asking for your help to raise funds for Mayor Abang's campaign:

Dear friends,

We are raising funds for the success of his campaign! For his campaign is one of the icons of our black and white listing campaign!

On April 16, Monday, 6-8 pm, we are calling on all supporters/campaigners/Bicolanos to a fund raising dinner for Abang at Conspiracy Garden Cafe, 59 Visayas Ave.

Please come and share one thousand pesos for a good dinner and company of black and white listers! We need all the resources at our disposal to win in the battle of D1CS!

Pls call Conspiracy ( 02-4532170) for reservations.

Sincerely,

Volunteers for Abang

- "Juetengate" and "Hello Garci" stars to run for public office.

- Malaya Editorial: An inutile CHR

Friday, March 30, 2007

HS female sophomore w/ freakish athleticism

A female HS soph dunks the ball effortlessly. She's 6'5" Brittney Griner.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

I predict...

call me crazy, but internet censorship will become a reality in the Philippines if Arroyo's people wins the 2007 midterms. There will be a major push to control the internet.

It will be under the guise of fighting pornography and "protecting national security." it will get the support of the moral crusaders at the CBCP.

kapag lumabas ang isyu na ito after the 2007 elections, don't say i didn't warn you.

MORE: Sen. Revilla, Villar mulling creation of Internet censorship body?

Hostage Crisis thankfully over

I'm glad nobody got hurt. Whew!

kuya Mlq3 has the roundup.

UPDATE: Sabi ni John Nery:

If, as President Arroyo said after the hostages were released, the incident was “prank terrorism,” shouldn’t charges be filed against those who were, let us say, accomplices in the prank?

Dapat siguro, tukayo.

Yang ginawa ni Ducat, gawa ng isang prankster yan.

Tama si Maam.

Pero ito hindi.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cardinal Rosales lends helping hand again

Conrad de quiros has been a powerful voice in condemning the arrest of Satur Ocampo, the extrajudicial killings and Arroyo's harassment of the media. Binira pa niya ang opposition for "not doing enough" to protest Satur's detention and the extra-judicial killings.

But how can we win succeed in our fight against this corrupt and amoral regime if other groups who people used to rely on for moral guidance are the ones undermining our efforts and minimizing the effects of all the killings by parroting the malacanang line?

Pinasalamatan pa nga siya ng mga kaalyado ni Arroyo eh. lol.

When I asked the CBCP to speak up about the assassinations that are taking place, I expected the Church to take a tougher stand on the killings. Pero ito ang sinabi ni Rosales.

The cardinal who did not appear to be bothered by the political killings, disappearances, torture and other human rights abuses under the Arroyo regime, echoed the Malaca�� and Armed Forces of the Philippines? (AFP) line, saying it is not just the military that has engaged in these political murders, stressing that the (communist) rebels are deeply involved in these political killings.

"Sorry for saying this but even our (rebel) brothers are involved in the killings. But I think what we should do now is to do away with the sin and killings and that all will commit to stop the killings and I think we would all be at peace," Rosales said.

Cardinal, non sequitur ang sinabi mo, dahil wala namang kinalaman ang mga party list groups sa terrorist activities ng NPA eh. And yes, dapat huliin at pigilin/patayin ang mga NPAs na yan. but killing arroyo's lefty critics morally wrong.

UPDATE: Okay, I kinda expected Cardinal Rosales to make apologist statements on Arroyo.

Previous:

- Where's the CBCP this time re "Sin City"?

Let's send one Kapatiran candidate to the Senate

Can we do it? Is it possible? Can we at least all agree on one Ang Kapatiran candidate?

Originally, after Kiko was dropped by GO, si Mr. Remoto sana ang iboboto ko for my 12th Senate Candidate. Since mukhang hindi na siya tatakbo sa senado, pinagiisipan ko kung sino sa apat (kiko, doc martin, jess paredes, adrian sison) ang iboboto ko for my twelfth candidate.

i was leaning towards either doctor martin bautista and zosimo paredes. Pero mukhang mas attractive at interesting na kandidato si dr. bautista.

(I've posted about Ang Kapatiran last month, after reading mr. de quiros and mr. pangalanan's articles re them.)

After reading pareng baycas' endorsement of martin bautista sa blogpost ni ellen re the "Ang Kapatiran", I'm officially including doc in my list of senators i'm voting for.

I will try to convince others to support doc martin for the 12th slot. let's see if we can send one Ang Kapatiran candidate to the Senate, thru word of mouth via the internet. Spread the word, my peeps. Doc Martin Bautista will make it to the Senate!

And if doc martin manages to get more votes than singson, tessie, kiram, magsaysay, lozano, montano (or even tol defensor), siguro matatawag na rin nating "moral victory" yan para sa kanila. and it will encourage other worthy candidates to join in future elections.

I'm sure this is not true...

di ba, uncle fidel?

UPDATE: I'm sure nagsisinungaling lang itong si Chiz.

Joker is right on this one...

Joker Arroyo: Ang Ladlad should not have been disqualified

LADLAD should have been given a chance.

Thus said Sen. Joker Arroyo in reaction to the disqualification of the gay party list by the Commission on Elections.

Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos has dismissed Ladlad as a nuisance group as it “has no nationwide membership, and that its supposed members are mere phantoms.”

“It is a sad commentary on the times that Comelec has excluded Ladlad as a nuisance party candidate,” Joker said.

“How can they say that we are not qualified?,” protested Ladlad nominee Danton Remoto. “I have a doctorate degree to speak of, that is to say we are more qualified than most other candidates and we are fighting for the rights of millions out there who are being silenced by gender discrimination and injustice.”

For Joker, to disqualify Ladlad would be outright unfair for many Filipinos and Filipinas.

“Ladlad has a very legitimate concern that should be allowed representation in Congress,” Joker said.

“They should be given a chance to participate in the party-list election to prove the worthiness of their advocacy,” he added.

You know, i've been disappointed with mr. arroyo recently, but i have to give him credit for taking this stand.

Last na, Kuya M.

mlq3:
It would be easy to say that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, as chief executive, has not lived up to the standard of leadership set by her father. But Sen. Joker Arroyo, for one, says she has. He has pointed out (to defend, of course, his decision to run under GMA’s Team Unity) that much as he had been a pain in the neck when it came to her executive issuances, the President never used her position to put pressure on him;

maybe not on him, pero tignan nyo na lang ang ginawa ni maam arroyo sa mga mas mahihinang tongressmen, cbcp, sa judiciary at mga appointed officials nito.

In contrast, the Estrada era began with the disappearance of the man said to have video-taped Erap gambling, and ended with the disappearance of a political public relations fixer at odds with him. Not to mention the use of the BIR against his enemies and advertising boycotts.

MLQ3 conveniently fails to mention the extrajudicial killings that are going on right now. And Arroyo did not use the BIR against her enemies?????????

and i have no idea who killed bentain. it's been six years na na out of power si erap. siguro kung guilty si erap o si lacson, matagal nang lumabas ang ebidensiya na tumutukoy sa kanila. as for dacer, again ask fr. baldostamon. he might know something.

i do recall before dacer disappeared, the PR man was on his way to meet a certain General/client of his.

The story is now told to close friends by the Dacer children, Ampy and Sabina, that the Ramos visit to Dacer’s office on that fateful day of the disappearance was very uncharacteristic. In the many years of Dacer and Ramos’ professional dealings, never once did Ramos visit Dacer’s office. But on the day of Dacer’s kidnapping Ramos did, and after only an hour of waiting he started making it too obvious he was concerned—by calling media about his alarm over Dacer’s disappearance.

It could have just been traffic, a flat tire or engine trouble, a sudden family emergency, a bum stomach, an extended breakfast meeting, or a hundred other small possibilities that delayed Dacer for an hour. With cell phone service the way it is today, and service providers undermining each other by delaying interconnections or with cell sites jammed or down, an hour’s wait to get a cell phone connection happens quite frequently. So, delayed cell phone contact is not sufficient reason to panic and call media.

Read the whole thing. It was ramos who called the attention of the police re dacer's kidnapping because na late lang ng isang oras si dacer. Makes you go hmmm....... (ah!~ siguro masama ang kutob o ESP ni FVR re dacer kaya tinawag nya kaagad ang mga lespu)

i think these accusations and piling on happened after edsa dos. understandable. Arroyo wanted to finish off their enemies. but i think the dacer accusation is as credible as the accusation vs. erap/lacson na sila ang may pakana ng LRT bombings, or the one that corpuz/rosebud/pelaez started re lacson's "hidden bank accounts" in the US and HK.

Not to mention the use of the BIR against his enemies and advertising boycotts. In contrast, President Arroyo, even when business was being critical of her, never hit the businessmen where they’d hurt: their pocketbooks;


I have to strongly disagree na Arroyo doesnt put pressure on her civil society enemies. re using dirty tricks against her enemies, what about arroyo's attempt to silence cory aquino with the hacieda luisita issue?

what about her attempt to intimidate and harass those in the media that are critical of her? to coerce abs-cbn by putting pressure on the lopezes and it's other business ventures.

and except for the Left, she has avoided many opportunities to hit her enemies really hard.

well, mas mahihina yung iilan sa mga middle class at civil society types eh. she doesn't have to threaten the civil society types with bodily harm, unlike the left. all she had to do is to push the right buttons, know their breaking points, hit them where it hurts.

ya don't have to kill the weak civil society types. just threaten them with jail time, and they will fold like a house of cards. or buy them off. proven strategy na yan. ganyan rin ang nangyari kay mahusay, zuce, rashma hali etc.

eto sabi ni manuel re that:

PCIJ suggests it might be a way to hit the media where it hurts -in their bottom lines. That may be so. As this Philippines Free Press editorial from 1909 points out, using government advertising to punish the media is an old, old trick. After Edsa, as a way of democratizing things, publishing laws and government ads for things like bidding for contracts was encouraged. That was before the days of the internet, and in the two decades since Edsa, the placement of government ads, notices, and announcements has become a way of subsidizing friendly media and punishing unfriendly media.


Eto pa, from MLQ3 too:

Of course. Many smaller papers, though, are kept alive mainly by government ads. Therefore, creating, in a sense, a government ad placement authority is a strategically clever move, and is quite politically useful. Such a move is not a blow to press freedom; but it is an enhancement of government’s financial clout with the media.

So MLQ3's claim na arroyo puts no pressure on the "enemies of the state" is not true.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sandali lang kuya Manuel...

Tama si pareng Willy, winning by a majority would be nice, but what arroyo needed after edsa dos was a clear mandate, an outcome that is credible and accepted by everybody, even her opponents -- and not necessarily winning by a majority.

Because of massive fraud in the 2004 elections, Arroyo never had that mandate (nor legitimacy.) but thru dagdag bawas, Arroyo was able to stay in power after 2004.

Eto pa ang analysis ni kuya Manuel re our past presidential election results.

The traditional strengths of the presidency haven’t been there for some time: a majority and not plurality mandate, and a party machinery solid enough to last at least as long as an administration’s term. The last time a president achieved an unquestionable majority was in 1965; the last real landslide was in 1969. Since then, the best percentage a post-Edsa president has managed was 39.6 percent (Estrada in 1998). But this only put him on a par with the most underwhelming presidency of the Third Republic, that of Carlos P. Garcia, lone plurality president of his time, who obtained 41.3 percent (over time, it’s the percentage, not the number of votes that matters, since our population is always increasing).

Hookay... Eto yung resulta ng past presidential elections from 1946-1998:

1946
roxas 2,471,926 - 54%
osmena sr. 1,129,996 - 45%
hilario moncado 8,538 - 0.34%

1949
quirino 1,803,808 - 51%
laurel 1,318,320 - 37%
Jose Avelino 419,890 - 12%

1953
magsaysay 2,912,992 - 69%
Quirino 1,313,991 - 31%

1957
Garcia 2,072,257 - 41%
Yulo 1,386,829 - 28%
Manahan 1,049,420 - 21%
Recto 429,226 - 8.55%
Quirino 60,328 - 1.2%
Santos 21,674 - 0.43%
Abcede 470 - 9.36e-5

1961
Macapagal 3,554,840 - 55%
Garcia 2,902,966 - 45%

1965
Marcos 3,861,324 - 52%
Macapagal 3,187,752 - 43%
Manglapus 384,564 - 5.2%
7 Others total 791 - 1.06e-2%

1969
Marcos 5,017,343 - 61%
Osmena Jr. 3,143,122 - 38%
10 Others total 1,339 - 1.64e-2%

1981
Marcos 18,309,360 - 91%
Alejo 1,716,449 - 9%

1986
Marcos 9,795,337 - 54%
Aquino 8,283,859 - 46%

1992
Ramos 5,342,521 - 24%
Santiago 4,468,173 - 20%
Cojuangco 4,116,376 - 18%
Mitra 3,316,661 - 15%
Marcos 2,338,294 - 10%
Salonga 2,302,123 - 10%
Laurel 770,046 - 3.4%

1998
Estrada 10,956,610 - 39.6%
De Venecia 4,390,853 - 15.9%
Roco 3,772,505 - 13.6%
Osmena 3,363,599 - 12.1%
Lim 2,397,224 - 8.7%
de Villa 1,337,856 - 4.8%
Santiago 807,506 - 2.9%
Enrile 344,532 - 1.2%
Marcos 247,094 - 0.89%
Dumlao 39,833 - 0.14%
Morato 19,770 - 7.14e-2%

Sabi ni mlq3:

The last time a president achieved an unquestionable majority was in 1965;

1965? Marcos only won by 52% over Macapagal's 43%.

Hindi ba ang sagot ay 1969? Where Marcos won by 61% over Osmena's 38%. Unless there was dayaan involved in the 1969 elections that i do not know of.

Since then, the best percentage a post-Edsa president has managed was 39.6 percent (Estrada in 1998). But this only put him on a par with the most underwhelming presidency of the Third Republic, that of Carlos P. Garcia, lone plurality president of his time, who obtained 41.3 percent (over time, it’s the percentage, not the number of votes that matters, since our population is always increasing).

Kaya mahirap makakuha ng majority victory ngayon ay dahil maraming major candidates ang sumasali sa presidential elections after edsa 1986.

Before 1986, it was pretty much a 2- or 3-way race for the presidency -- 1946, 1949, 1953, 1961, 1965, 1969, and the so called elections during 1981 (where marcos won with saddam hussein like numbers), and 1986.

The one time in 1957 where there were four big name candidates (fourth placer si Claro M. Recto sa election), Garcia did not reach above 50%.

Mahirap na talagang makakuha ng majority dahil sa dami ng malalakas ng presidential candidates na sumasali. FVR should know. tignan mo yung 1992. Six candidates (Ramos, Miriam, Cojuangco, Mitra, Imelda, Salonga) got double digit percentages in the number of votes cast. (Pero nakapag-govern naman si tabako ano, kahit na 24% lang ang nakuha niya).

Tignan nyo yung 1998 elections. Four candidates got 10% or more of the votes (fifth placer Fred Lim got 8.7%). There were 10 nationally recognized names running for the presidency at that time (erap, JDV, Roco, Osmena, Lim, de villa, imelda, enrile, santiago, morato). Mahahati talaga ang boto nyan.

Imagine if the Democrats and Republicans did away with the primaries at karambola ang nangyari. For the Democrats, si Hillary (first woman prez candidate), Barack Obama (first african american prez candidate), John Edwards, at Bill Richardson (latino vote, terrific resume) ang tatakbo. Sa Republicans naman, si Rudy Guliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney (First Mormon candidate).
7 nationally recognized candidates (with Bill richardson the least popular), sa tingin nyo ba may aabot rin ng 50% votes sa kanila pagdating ng 2008 presidential election???

Unlike kuya manuel, i think legit yung landslide ni erap, kahit na hindi majority ang nakuha niya.

There's a 23.7% difference between Erap and his nearest rival JDV. That was the biggest margin of victory since Marcos trounced Osmena Jr. in 1969 (23% difference). And second only to Magsaysay's dominance over Quirino (a whopping 38% difference).

Kahit na i-add mo yung percentage totals ng 2nd placer JDV at 3rd placer Roco (combined 29.5%), lamang pa rin si Estrada.

If you add JDV, Roco and Lito Osmena's vote percentage (41.6% total), talo lang nila si blundering plunderer by 2% points.

Lito Banayo backs out of Manila Vice Mayor race

Sayang si Lito, he would have won over Don Bagatsing if he only stuck around. Here's Lito Banayo's column:

Last Thursday, a later privately-commissioned survey was shown to me. The field research was very, very recent – March 15 to 20. But for the now increased numbers and less undecided voters, Miranda’s earlier advice was correct. Lim had to narrow down the competition, and Ali Atienza was gaining by the multiplicity of candidates. For my part, my improvement from virtual unknown was quite fast, but there was too much ground to cover, and time was not on my side.

On Friday, I offered to withdraw as vice-mayoralty candidate in favor of last-term congressman Joey Hizon, who was himself seeking the mayoralty post. The offer was intimated to close political associates of Hizon, as well as to President Estrada and Senator Lim.

On Saturday evening, Senator Lim informed me that there were snags in his talks with the political associate of Rep. Hizon, and he had instead chosen Marissa Papa, a barangay chair and vice-president of Manila’s barangay league, as his running mate.

On Sunday morning, Lim had announced his choice, and I for my part had informed those in media, including Malaya’s Gerard Naval, that I had withdrawn my bid for the vice-mayoralty post. Thus ended my first serious electoral quest.

And he said he's also taking time off too from writing a column for Malaya.

Comment of the Day

This one's from Phil Cruz

Comelec to give cash rewards for honest poll service.

What? Is being honest now the exception rather than the rule? Why not vigorously punish the dishonest instead.?

Comelec employees were hired to be honest. In fact, all government employees are expected to be honest…and they’re getting paid for it.

Rewards are given only for performance above and beyond the call of duty. Being honest is not going above and beyond the call of election duty…unless the employee gets hurt courageously defending the sanctity of the electoral process.

Abalos’ move may be well-intentioned but it is a sign of desperation. It’s a dead give-away that his Comelec is practically crawling with dishonest personnel.

Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales: Killings under GMA mere blood speck

"(What is happening today by way of human rights abuses) is nothing compared (to what we have experienced. What is happening under the Arroyo regime today) is so tiny that it is a mere speck."

-Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, comparing the killings under Arroyo to Marcos' time.

Previous:

- Cardinal Rosales: We have "bigger fish" to fry than GMA.

Monday, March 26, 2007

UPDATED: The only Erap policy to get support from Civil Society

It's the abolition of the Pork Barrel. To reduce CORRUPTION.

PORK BARREL SCRAPPING GAINS SUPPORT

Manila, July 13, 1998 - The Bishops-Businessmen's Conference (BBC) is in full support of President Estrada's decision to abolish the controversial "pork barrel" of legislators in a move to eliminate graft and corruption. The support was given at the end of the 22nd General Assembly and Annual Meet of the BBC at the Manila Hotel.

Scrapping the "pork barrel" is one of the radical measures being adopted by the Estrada administration in order to meet the country's financial needs. The funds, Estrada proposed, should instead go directly to projects that would benefit the poor.

The pork barrel issue has polarized the members of the House of Representatives, with blocks for and against the proposal strongly arguing their respective positions and threatening the solidarity of the President's coalition party LAMP.

Eto pa, from Bel Aquino, no erap admirer she, back in 1998. Money quote:

His other obsession -- to abolish pork-barrel politics -- is being received better by the public, because it hits at the core of Philippine official corruption.

If you read the entire Bel Aquino article, it was very negative vs. Erap. The "Let's scrap the pork barrel" idea was the only thing she complemented re erap. lol.

Not only that, but there is a consensus among pro-Arroyo (Sassy, Austero) and anti-arroyo (MLQ3, Neal Cruz) columnists that the scrapping of pork barrel is necessary in order to reduce corruption and government wasteful spending. And hey, if the abolition of the pork barrel pisses off a former tongressman like Sergio Apostol in 1998, you know you're doing the right thing:

Cutting congressional pork is another of Estrada's strategies to improve the country's finances. "Pork has made Congress a den of corruption," maintains the president-elect. He says the practice eats up 20% of the $14 billion national budget and half of that goes to payoffs to congressmen for endorsing funded public-works projects. For their part, congressmen insist pork is an effective way to funnel development funds to the countryside, which cannot otherwise get allocations from Manila. "We will not allow Estrada to abolish pork," vows Lakas congressman Sergio Apostol.

Not surprisingly, Apostol's sentiment was shared by many of the tongressmen at that time too.

So far, si Sen. Lacson, Lim at Drilon pa lang hindi tumatanggap ng pork. Sen. Lacson did a study on how pork barrel money was used, and it was determined that 50% of the money is lost or wasted due to corruption.

If we are serious about fighting corruption and we don't want to end up being the most corrupt country in Asia in the PERC survey again, then we better end the practice of pork barrel politics (where Maam arroyo is it's biggest practicioner) in our political system.

I bet the abolition of the pork barrel as an issue will be hailed by the businessmen, kahit na pro-arroyo sila. Arroyo needs the pork barrel to buy off the House members support.

What the Opposition should do:
First, after consulting with businessmen, assure them that the opposition will maintain the current economic policies with little tweaking. To the public, the opposition will vigorously pursue the fight against corruption within our politics highlighted by the scrapping of the Pork Barrel and reducing gov't spending waste. We will reform the COMELEC and the military so that they will gain the people's trust again. And as soon as gov't corruption and wasteful spending is reduced significantly, then a tax cut will be forthcomming for businesses and everybody else.

UPDATE: from Neal Cruz:

MANILA, Philippines – Members of Congress have doubled the pork barrel for themselves in the 2007 budget, from P6.240 billion to P11.445 billion. The smaller amount was the pork budget submitted by the executive department and passed by the House and the Senate; but the bicameral conference committee added P3.6 billion taken from the retirement fund of government employees. As a result, 7,000 to 8,000 employees won’t get their retirement benefits, but the pork barrel of each congressman will increase from P40 million to P70 million and that of each senator to P120 million.

The chairpersons of the Senate and House contingents to the bicam are Sen. Franklin Drilon and Rep. Joey Salceda who is now Malacañang’s chief of staff. Predictably, they are silent on why they did such a thing and are not answering the reporters’ phone calls.

All the reelectionist senatorial and congressional candidates, with the exception of Senators Panfilo Lacson and Alfredo Lim (who is running for mayor of Manila) collect their pork barrel allocations. The pork barrel system is the dirtiest and most corrupt ploy used by public officials to steal taxpayers’ money. The money is used to fund the projects of senators and congressmen but a large part (it can go up to 50 percent) of each allocation goes to the pockets of legislators and other public officials as kickbacks. The private contractors either make do with the remaining half (which is why public works projects are substandard) or overprice the projects. Either way, the taxpaying public ends up the loser.

No decent administration should have the pork barrel system because it is the fount of corruption in government. The sooner we abolish it, the better for us. But considering our legislators’ greed and lack of shame, the pork barrel will not be abolished, never if we just leave them to do it. But it can be abolished if the Constitution mandates it in a very definite and clear language; and the constitutional provision should be self-enforcing, requiring no more legislation. Otherwise, the pork barrel, like the political dynasties, will stay.

Through the “pork,” congressmen and senators are duplicating the functions of other executive agencies. Legislators have no business determining what road or bridge to construct; that’s the job of the Department of Public Works and Highways. The job of a legislator is to pass laws, not to be a duplicate secretary of public works, education, agriculture, health, etc.

But in the Philippines, it is the congressmen or senators who determine what road, bridge or school to build in their districts. No law gives them that right. But since it is the legislators who enact the budget, they can do pretty much what they want. And unless the Constitution stops them, they will continue with the pork barrel system because it’s a very lucrative—though very dirty—source of income. That is why politicians are willing to spend millions just to win an election. Once in office, they can easily recover all their election expenses from government coffers.

More: Sen. Lacson tackles the pork barrel issue in his podcast interview with PDI.

Where's the CBCP "outrage" in this?

Rev. DJB writes na kaya raw tayo nagugutom ay dahil "sugal, alak, babae" ang inaatupag ng mga pinoy.

Pero guess what, Deej, hindi nakikinig si ate glo:

Gambling haven. I remembered during the impeachment trial of former President Estrada, one of the issues being used against him is the opening of a casino in Manila Bay with Hong Kong based Casino owner Stanley Ho. This agreement draw protest from the religious sector and civil society groups. But recently PAGCOR, is planning to set up a $15-$20 billion gaming and entertainment complex in the country which will be funded by foreign investments. This “gaming” mecca will be called Pagcor city. I think this is just the same as the one proposed by Stanley Ho which was vehemently opposed by Church and civil society groups.

But PAGCOR Chair, Ephraim Genuino is quite confident that the CBCP will not opposed to the plan because PAGCOR is “helping” CBCP in its projects.

Genuino said Pagcor is not expecting the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to oppose the development because the state-owned gaming agency has helped with many of the Church’s programs.“The Church will understand it because we have been contributing a lot to their social projects.”

The mistake erap made was that he didn't use gambling to buy off the bishops, unlike the admin with PAGCOR and chavit singson with jueteng money.

Remember the outrage the anti-erap opposition felt over stanley ho and his casinos?

Remember when Cardinal Sin blasted Ho and his gambling empire nung panahon ni erap?

Hindi ba bumagsak si Erap dahil sa juetengate?

Pero mukhang nagbago ang tono ng CBCP post Edsa Dos. It is now okay pala to accept jueteng money or gambling money kung "gagamitin ito para sa mahihirap".

Jueteng ‘benefits’ Church

Gambling lords among donors, says CBCP exec


By Maricel V. Cruz, Reporter

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) disclosed on Tuesday that the Church has been accepting “donations” from big-time gambling lords.

Jo Imbong, CBCP lawyer, admitted at the House inquiry that the Church accepts money from whatever source, “whether lawful or illicit.”

....

Neophyte administration Rep. Maria Milagros Magsaysay of Zambales recalled what the former archbishop of Manila, Jaime Cardinal Sin, had said in 2000 that “he’s willing to accept money even from Satan as long as it could help his flock.”

If that so, Magsaysay said, then the CBCP should study its position on the proposal to make jueteng legal.

Pressed by Magsaysay, Imbong said that from her personal knowledge, big-time gambling lords “help in civic projects” of the Catholic Church by giving donations.

“We acknowledge the source of a donation from whatever source, whether lawful or illicit. I think we should draw a distinction between the source and the motive of the donation. When the person gives a gift, we should respect his intention of sharing, whether he’s a jueteng lord, a gambler or a Mafioso,” Imbong told the committee. “If we say that accepting it is not good, because it came from a gambler, we are judging the donor. Any person is presumed innocent until proven otherwise.”

Imbong’s explanation annoyed Magsaysay and other members of the committee. “Isn’t that pure hypocrisy on the part of the Church that you will accept something from an illegal or immoral source and then you just accept it, anyway they’re doing civic work?” Magsaysay asked. “You’re supposed to be the bastion of morality and yet you accept something from a polluted source and say that’s ok.”

Eh kung galing sa druglords o sa kidnapping lords, pwede rin kaya?

Eto ang reaction ni Conrad de Quiros sa balitang ito:

The notion that it is all right for an archbishop to accept gambling money because he is desperate to give to the poor makes about as much sense as the notion that it is all right for presidential candidate to cheat in elections because she is desperate to serve the people. The premise voids the conclusion.

Kaya pala cool na ang simbahan sa issue ng gambling at jueteng ano? Cuz they're getting some.

Of course, not all bishops have a blase attitude towards taking gambling and jueteng money now that arroyo is in power. archbishop oscar cruz is continuing his fight vs illegal gambling/jueteng, issues that led to erap's downfall in 2001.

But unlike before, he's all alone this time. Kung mapapansin nyo, siya na lang ang nagsasalita tungkol dito. yung mga dating bishops na nagpabagsak kay erap because of his involvement in jueteng ay tahimik na lang.

Questions the media should ask the Senatorial Candidates

To GO and TU:

1) Did you find the 2004 Presidential elections credible? If not, should Arroyo resign and her admin be made accountable, or should she finish her term?

2) We are the most corrupt country in Asia according to the recent PERC survey. Transparency International also listed us as one of the most corrupt in all of Asia. What are your plans to reduce corruption in RP? What are your thoughts on the corrupting influence of Pork Barrel politics?

3) We know that the COMELEC and the Military is suffering from low credibility because some of it's top officials were involved in dagdag bawas. So far, many of these officials remain in power (many were promoted) and none have been punished, including Garcillano. If you are elected senator, what are your plans to fix the COMELEC and depoliticize the Military? What are your plans to reduce cheating in the future?

4) According the the UN and other NGO groups, the military death squads are mainly responsible for the assassinations and murders targetting Leftist party listers. How do you intend to stop the violence and catch the perpetrators?

5) About the RP-US relations. Joker Arroyo recently commented that the US was meddling in RP affairs on the extra judicial killings issue. Do you agree? The Arroyo admin on the other hand, has been heavily dependent on US assistance and protection in exchange a military presence in Mindanao. Should we (especially Joker) call for the removal of US bases in Mindanao too?

6) On the economy, should we stay with the current policies of the admin, or change course? What are some of the things would you want to see done differently?

7) Enrile promised during his senatorial campaign in 2004 to pursue the lowering of the cost of electricity and punish the corrupt wheelers-and-dealers responsible for us having the second most expensive electricity in asia, behind Japan. Well, neither promises have been kept. We're still paying through our nose with the high electricity rates (with EVAT pa, which makes things even worse), and the corrupt people behind the anomalous IPP contracts remain free (thanks maam arroyo). If elected senator, what do you intend to do to hold those people behind the anomalous IPP deals responsible?

8) On our unemployment situation. The admin claims it has lowered unemployment significantly, but it used statistically trickery to make it happen. People are leaving in droves to find work abroad because they can't find a job here and because of the high cost of living. What should the gov't do to create more jobs here so that our kababayan have the option of not having to go overseas just to find work?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Another idiot apes Austero

I was a bit leaning towards boycotting the coming elections. Yes, I voted in the past elections but never did my votes really mattered. There can only be two kinds of winners: Those in power who will cheat mainly in the counting and the opposition who will cheat mainly in the campaign. So where should my vote go when there is no one to choose from?



That quote was from Sef of Alternation. Nabasa ko yung post nya kay MLQ3.

Yup, everybody cheats like the admin, right?

Well, Sef... meet Bong Austero.

UPDATE: Sef, meet Bishop Arguelles.

Satur's arrest an election-related hitjob

The arrest was meant to take Satur Ocampo out of the campaign and damage Bayan Muna. I believe the trumped-up charges against him will be dismissed eventually, and he will be released--but only after the elections.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

LAKAS laughs off Lacson's claim

Hindi raw totoo na nagkakawatak-watak na ang LAKAS at gustong lumipat ng iba sa GO.

I guess the admin are reacting to these news here and here.

Appearing at the weekly Senate forum Thursday, Lacson said people "very close" to former President Fidel Ramos relayed such response to him.

Lacson, however, did not identify the "people close to Ramos" he was referring to.

"They are not shutting the doors to the possibility of a coalition. They developed an open mind and to me, this is a positive reaction. Before, they would not do this because at the time they had not realized that Arroyo's Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino is raiding and undermining them," he said in Filipino.

Malacanang: Arroyo's poverty numbers better than predecessors

From the Malaya:

Saludo said based on SWS data, the average SRP was the lowest at 57.3 percent during the Arroyo administration, compared with that of President Joseph Estrada at 59.6 percent, President Fidel Ramos at 62.2 percent, and President Corazon Aquino at 63.4 percent.

He said the finding that SRP dropped in Metro Manila from 54 to 39 percent is proof the economy is improving with the National Capital Region as the first beneficiary.

"As economic benefits spread further outside the metropolis, other regions will see poverty declining," he said.

He said data from the National Statistical Coordination Board showed economic gains cut poverty incidence from 27.2 percent or 25.5 million Filipinos in 2000 to 23 percent or 19.9 million Filipinos in 2006.

I guess if you change the definition of poverty, the magic unicorn will appear and magically reduce the poverty for you too!

Here's what pro-Arroyo columnist Jojo Robles said about Arroyo's poverty numbers in dec 2006.

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

From the PCIJ: Can you survive on P36 a day?

IF you have P36 a day for your food and non-food needs, you live above the country’s per capita poverty threshold — at least according to the government. The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (Philippines) (GCAP) derived this number from a 2004 National Statistical Coordination Board announcement that one would have to earn at least P13,113 annually to live beyond the poverty threshold.

Thirty-six pesos a day is clearly not enough for a healthy, dignified lifestyle, according to GCAP.

“This amount will probably buy noodles three times a day but it will not provide adequate nutrition. It will not provide for other needs like housing, water, sanitation and medicine,” said Prof. Leonor Briones, lead convenor of Social Watch Philippines, in a statement.

Last October 7, GCAP held a P36 challenge in which participants were asked to try to survive on P36 for one day. The tallied expenses of Delia, whose husband earns P150 a day as a gasoline boy, is almost double the prescribed amount.

Kaya nga pinagtawanan ni Neal Cruz yung SONA ni Arroyo last year eh.

Government statistics are supposed to be credible. When the government says something, it is supposed to be the truth. Not anymore. Government statistics have been corrupted and fudged under the Arroyo administration. When the government says, for example, that there are enough classrooms, that means packing 100 students into each classroom. Before, when you have no job, you are jobless, period. Now, if you happen to land a part-time job once during the year, you are listed as “employed.” Also now, the government has reduced the number of poverty-stricken families by simply lowering the poverty level.

Hey, even JOMA sison is right for once about arroyo stinking numbers back in 2005:

Contrary to absurd government claims that poverty has fallen from 40 per cent to just 30.4 percent of the population in 2003, some 90 percent of the population live on the equivalent of around USD 3 a day. A recent report by the Asian Development Bank points out that the Philippine government achieved the reduction of the poverty level not by raising the people's income but by lowering the poverty line. Indeed, while the general price level supposedly rose by some 15 percent between 2000 and 2003, the government raised the poverty line by just 7 percent - to just PhP 33.60 or some USD 0.60 a day.


Related:

- Arroyo's Magic Unemployment Numbers

Official GO site now on

here's the URL address:

http://genuineopposition.com

Friday, March 23, 2007

Bakit bumaliktad si Blanquita?

Mike defensor and chavit singson offers their own theory: Binayaran ni Erap si Blanquita!

TU bet Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson accused deposed President Joseph Estrada of being the brains behind the Pelaez expose, saying that Estrada had given the mother-daughter team a “budget to sing.”
.....

In a twin press conference and pulong-sulong interactions, with local officials and the Arroyo bets in Legaspi City, Albay, Defensor and Singson, seemed threatened over the backlash of the Pelaez expose and could impact negatively on their candidacies, as they appealed to Estrada and his forces to spare them the “mudslinging.”

“We are appealing to the opposition and to President Estrada not to subject us to black propaganda. The way things are going now, I have become the center of mudslinging through text messages, in newspapers, tabloids and broadsheets and television, despite the fact that I am not rating that highly. It would be better for them (opposition) to hit the others who rate higher,” Defensor said.

Singson said that even when he participated in the ouster of Estrada last January 2001, he is not brave enough to fight and that he is completely innocent over the move of Pelaez to link him to the demolition job against the deposed leader.

“I want to make it clear that I am not a brave man. It is I who does the laundry at home, but if Erap is serious in his intention to include us (he and Defensor) in the libel case he filed against Pelaez it is not going to be a problem, but it is also clear that it will be a case of harassment only.”

Singson and Defensor even charged that they are prepared to undergo lie detector tests with the two Pelaezes to prove their innocence.

Singson accused Estrada of being behind the Pelaez’s expose and alleged that Estrada financed the Pelaezes to come out in the open and destroy his, and Defensor’s senatorial bids.

“It’s election time. Who else is mad at me if not Erap? That is why I know it was Erap who gave Blanquita and Joelle a budget, to destroy me,” Chavit said.

I don't agree with Defensor and Chavit. I believe what really happened was that there was a huge some of money (agent fee) promised by the admin operators like Defensor and Chavit to the pelaezes if they make this and that accusation vs. Erap. But defensor and the admin failed to fulfill their side of the agreement (or deliver the full amount), kaya nagsasalita na ngayon si Blanquita at Joelle Pelaez.

If you think these kind of quid pro quo arrangements between the pelaezes and the admin hasn't been done before, think again:

CORPUS SHOULD ACCOUNT FOR P12-M ANTI-LACSON FUND

Military intelligence chief Col. Victor Corpus would have to account for the release of at least P12 million in intelligence funds that financed the investigation into his allegation that Sen. Panfilo Lacson has at least $700 million in banks abroad.

Previous reports, including that of Corpus' six-man investigating team led by Col. Mario Chan, showed government spent at least P12 million in the conduct of the probe.

Corpus also has to answer for his unauthorized release of intelligence reports to the media before he furnished Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes the same report.

These were among the recommendations of a Senate legislative research team to the Senate leadership in its 16-page draft report on Reyes' statements before the chamber during a three-day "Question Hour."

The report, signed by majority leader Loren Legarda-Leviste late yesterday, will be referred for plenary approval once the Senate has finished its deliberations on the anti-money laundering bill.

Aside from the two recommendations, the report also called for an inquiry by the Senate blue ribbon committee on the alleged payment of P9 million in "agent's fee" to Blanquita Pelaez for the "trip" on the supposed Lacson overseas accounts.

Pelaez, a PNP supply contractor blacklisted by Lacson, allegedly acted as informer of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines team in its month-long probe in the United States. She reportedly accompanied the ISAFP team to the US.

Here's another one, on the Mary Rosebud Ong case vs. Mike ARroyo:

'Rosebud' accuses Mike Arroyo of blocking P3-M agent fees

BATTLE ROYAL coming up: Mary "Rosebud" Ong vs President Macapagal-Arroyo's husband, Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo.

In a letter to the President, the controversial police agent yesterday accused Mike Arroyo of blocking her "agent fees" worth at least P3 million, ostensibly to keep her as a "reserve force" against opposition Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson.

She also said an alleged Mike Arroyo publicist had told her that the notorious 14K gang would kill her, and that the President's husband had paid a businesswoman P12 million to file a civil case against Lacson in the United States.

Contacted for comment, Mike Arroyo sent a brief text message: "How can that be? I don't even talk to Ping. I have never even talked to Ping. Those are her own conclusions. You know me better than that. Cases vs Ping are still ongoing."

But in a phone call to the Inquirer later, he said:

"Rosebud is hallucinating. Maybe she has a problem with her handlers, but why is she blaming me and dragging me into the picture?"


Previous:

- Blanquita Pelaez says Mike Defensor behind case vs Erap
- Blanquita Pelaez history and roundup

Imelda to run for Manila mayor

From the Tribune:

With barely two weeks left before the end of the filing of certificate of candidacy for local elections, former First Lady Imelda Marcos has finally decided to return to politics.

Meeting with her supporters after attending a gathering at the Hyatt Hotel in Manila after midnight Wednesday, Marcos at first said she would shun “divisive politics,” not seek any election post.

The former first lady was at first apprehensive to accept the pleadings of the loyalists for her to run in the May 14 polls but as chants and requests grew louder and after receiving a “manifesto of support” containing 150,000 signatures from her supporters urging her to run for mayor of Manila, Marcos said: “I will do that.”

Naku, sino kaya ang susuportahan ni Maam Arroyo, si Ali Atienza o si Maam Imelda?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

How to drag US into Arroyo's war with the Left

It's very simple. If i were an evil, scheming Malacanang operator, here's how i would do it. Plan a terrorist attack against US soldiers in Mindanao with massive casualties, ala Lebanon. Then blame the NPAs for the attack.

if the US bites, then lagot ang NPAs. And since the admin has been linking the NPAs to the Leftist groups all along...

Blanquita Pelaez says Mike Defensor behind case vs Erap

From the Tribune:

It was Malacañang, through its then presidential chief of staff, Michael Defensor, now an administration senatorial candidate, who worked on the controversial Blanquita Pelaez and her daughter, beauty contestant Joelle, for them to file a bogus lawsuit against detained President Joseph Estrada.

This was bared yesterday by Blanquita herself in an interview with GMA 7’s Saksi, where she intimated that her daughter was used by Malacañang and Defensor, who had gone to the United States twice meeting with the Pelaez mother-daughter team to convince Joelle to file money laundering charges against the ousted president.

More from GMA7news:

Pelaez and her daughter arrived in the country July last year to file charges against Estrada, claiming the deposed president courted Joelle and gave her expensive gifts.

Estrada denied the charges and filed libel suits against Blanquita and Joelle, who returned to the United States shortly after filing the charges.

The elder Pelaez said Defensor met with them at least twice to convince Joelle to file a case against Estrada.

She claimed Defensor even paid for Joelle's roundtrip ticket to the Philippines, and provided her with shopping money.

"Airline ticket, mga ganyan, tapos mga hotel, everything. Of course nag-shopping naman siya (He paid for her airline ticket, hotel accommodations, everything. Of course Joelle went shopping) ... You mean to say you just used my daughter for something?" she said.

In the same Saksi report, Defensor denied the charges, but admitted the Pelaezes "consulted" him on filing the case against Estrada.

"Alam ko ang kaso na iyan dahil binanggit nila sa akin. Hindi ko ikinakaila, pero hindi ko sila itinulak o in-encourage para sa kaso na iyan (I know about the case because they mentioned it to me. I won't deny discussing it with them but I did not encourage them to file the charges)," he said.

He also denied spending for Joelle's roundtrip ticket and hotel accommodations, and giving her shopping money.

Ah, he flew to the US to "consult" with the Pelaezes? Sino kaya sa dalawa ang nagsasabi ng totoo?

From Lito Banayo:

Months ago, ex-beauty queen contestant Joelle Pelaez came to town from the US of A, claiming to whoever cared to listen that she was "gypped" and "used" by friends of deposed President Joseph Estrada, who allegedly courted her when he was yet in Malacañang.

Good copy for the salacious press, while it lasted. Soon, Joelle and mother Blanquita left town in a huff, after Estrada’s lawyers started asking why mother had not been arrested on a conviction for estafa.

Estrada sued the Pelaezes for the canard they spread. Blanquita was later, much later, interviewed by television and she confessed that she and her daughter were "used" to further demonize the Estrada that Edsa Dos tarnished. And the go-between, the agent of this "demonizing" process? Why, Miguelito el defensor de causas malas, Blanquita claims.

Twice ‘Tol pressed her in the Bay Area, Blanquita claims, to concoct the tale of Joelle. What would Mike say in his defense?

Something like this, perhaps: "It is I who went to Blanquita, yes, but it was not I who did the talking."

UPDATE: Chavit and Mike Defensor accused Erap of being the brains behind the Blanquita expose.

"If you can’t beat ‘em, cheat ‘em. If you can’t cheat ‘em, kill ‘em. If you can’t kill ‘em, harass and arrest them."

Cory Aquino released Jose Ma. Sison from jail, and it provoked coup attempts against her by the military. But the end result of that policy was to reduce Sison to singing karaoke in the Netherlands and dancing with Ara Mina.

A rebellion needs martyrs. Sison is not a martyr. Those martyrs are being created here, at home, by a military unable to see how counterproductive it is when people dedicated to legal political work are killed. How subversive it is, to law and order when a turning a blind eye to liquidation squads becomes military policy.

An idea, which Communism is, can only be fought if other ideas remain relevant and prove they can accomplish social justice better than Communism ever can.

You do not fight Communism with fire. You fight it, as it has been effectively fought before, by dazzling a previously oppressed and hopeless citizenry with the blinding light of a democracy that works.

You do it by means of a corruption-free military, where honest generals command well-fed troops respectful of the civilian population; where government delivers justice, and doesn’t indulge in political persecution; where the state delivers basic services, and holds fraud-free, credible elections.

From Manuel L Quezon's latest, "Blunders Allied With Crimes."

The tallest lineup in Pro Basketball history

according to the Guiness Book of World records.

the starting five of the ABA team Maryland Nighthawks that included:

Sun Ming Ming (7-foot-9)
Gheorghe Muresan (7-6) former Washington Bullets player
Ayo Adigun (7-1)
Deng D'Awol (7-0)
Barry Mitchell (6-8)

Some glimmer of hope in Iraq

I don't want to be overly optimistic, but the surge seems to be working for the moment. And there's a construction boom in Kurdistan, who is virtually unaffected by the violence and chaos in iraq.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

More Commentaries and Reactions on Satur Ocampo's case

From Asianjournal: Ocampo son cries but others are just plain mad

His father may have put on a stoic face and his mother a defiant one.
But it was the son who expressed the pain the family of Bayan Muna Rep. Saturnino "Satur" Ocampo was feeling.

"Nakakapagod na (It's wearying)," Ocampo's son Antonio said between sobs during the "Solidarity Gathering" for the detained party-list lawmaker at Club Filipino in San Juan, Metro Manila, Monday.

Amid the strong show of support from a cross-section of society, Antonio broke into tears while his father was in a police hangar, awaiting a final decision to fly him to far-flung Hilongos town in Leyte province.

"I don't want him to go on like this .... He's turning 68 and he still finds it difficult to be with his children and grandchildren," Antonio lamented in Filipino, noting that March 16 was the third time that his father had been arrested.

"That's why I ask for your support and prayers," he told his audience.

Antonio and his family received plenty of support from opposition stalwarts, human rights lawyers, academicians and members of the religious who banded Monday into the "Free Satur, Stand for Justice" movement.

Among them were National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, movie directors Joel Lamangan and Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, Ang Ladlad president Danton Remoto, lawyers Rufus Rodriguez, Harry Roque and Lorna Kapunan, and members of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines.

"We have to give him justice now because he deserves justice!" former Vice President Teofisto Guingona told the gathering.


From Manny villar:

Out on the campaign trail, reelectionist senators were infuriated by the Arroyo administration's shabby treatment of Ocampo.

Senate President Manuel Villar said he was shocked by the PNP's audacity in forcing Ocampo's transfer to Leyte against the court's advice.

"It's a cause for concern -- the nerve of our authorities to think of doing (this)," said Villar, who interrupted his campaign to denounce the government's handling of the party-list congressman.

Villar said what was done to Ocampo could be done to other perceived dissidents.

"This is disheartening and scary because in the future this might also be done to ordinary citizens. We should make a stand. While we understand that anyone who commits a crime should be punished, everyone has rights, too, and we should protect these rights at all times, whether it's Ka Satur or someone else," he said.

From Ping Lacson:

Another senator, Panfilo Lacson, said he was "dismayed and angered by the administration's short-circuiting of procedures in forcibly bringing Ka Satur to Leyte in complete disregard of the court."

Lacson decried the administration's defiance of the order of Leyte Judge Ephrem Abando deferring Ocampo's transfer on the flimsy excuse that the Philippine National Police had not received any written order.

Lacson said it was clear that the administration was "hell-bent on harassing and intimidating members of the legitimate opposition" to ensure the "survival of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from a third impeachment proceeding in the 14th Congress."

From Nene Pimentel and Ralph Recto:

In a statement, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel condemned "the Gestapo treatment" of Ocampo by the police.

Even Sen. Ralph Recto, a TEAM Unity senatorial candidate, was appalled by the government's action.

"Satur Ocampo is not a flight risk, harboring no plans to go abroad or underground. So there is no reason that his travel arrangements to Leyte be done a lá Con Air," said Recto in a statement.

He said the government's action had actually backfired.

"If I were the government, I would go easy on Satur, because if the aim of arresting him is to prevent him from returning to Congress, then recent developments may have just guaranteed the opposite. Persecution is a proven vote-getter," Recto said.

From Binay, Escudero, Pimentel

Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay of the Genuine Opposition recalled one instance when he saw Ocampo at City Hall and was told: "Jojo, it won't be long before you find yourself among those being charged."

Malacañang suspended Binay in October last year based on a complaint filed by a rival that he had padded the city payroll with more than 1,000 "ghost employees." Binay got a court order quashing the suspension order.

"We're here to fight for the real spirit of democracy," Binay told Ocampo's supporters, who included GO senatorial candidates Francis Escudero and Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III.

From Wigberto Tanada:

Former Sen. Wigberto Tañada condemned the manner by which the government implicated Ocampo in the alleged "purging" of suspected government spies in Leyte 22 years ago and worked for the issuance of an arrest warrant until the lawmaker was eventually arrested.

"This is not the way to strengthen our democracy and freedom," Tañada said. "This is not the way to peace, to justice and truth. Let us all wake up because what's happening to our friends may also happen to us."

The solidarity movement is set to hold a nationwide protest action on Wednesday to further generate support for Ocampo's petition during the oral arguments before the Supreme Court on Friday.

Ocampo's camp had filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition against the arrest warrant issued by Leyte Judge Abando.

Here's the PDI Editorial on Arroyo refusal to answer media questions on extrajudicial killings and the Satur Ocampo case. "Political" raw kasi eh. Dapat raw tungkol lang sa ekonomiya ang dapat itanong ng media natin sa kanya.

More Ocampo Commentaries:

Rina Jimenez David: An Iconic Photo

Amando Doronila: The kidnapping of Ocampo

Ernie Maceda: Arrogance of Power

Lito Banayo: When it Pours

Ellen Tordesillas has more on Satur here and here.

Ninez Cacho Olivarez: Spinning out of Control

Editorials: PDI, Tribune

And finally from Conrad de Quiros, who pens another slam bang article against the admin on the satur case. He also criticized the opposition candidates for not protesting violently against on the admin's handling of Satur.

Well Conrad, the opposition is doing what they can to support satur and condemn the admin. (unless you are referring to the Ang Kapatiran candidates Zosimo Paredes, Martin Bautista, and Adrian Sison, who have yet to even condemn or protest Satur's treatment in their blogs or give a press statement on that matter)

What is more disappointing is that the civil society types and human rights groups/NGO ek eks who used to come to the aid of the persecuted are nowhere to be found. Only those members of civil society who were anti-arroyo are the ones coming to satur's aid right now.

Pati yung CBCP at simbahan, noticable quiet sila sa pangaabuso ng administration, whereas kung ginawa ito ni erap, magpro-protesta ang mga ito. Bakit kaya? Siguro may kinalaman si Efraim Genuino dito, lol.

(o baka malakas pa rin ang pull ng pro-arroyo wing ng CBCP that includes Capalla, Quevedo, Arguelles and Soc Villegas.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Naku Conrad, baka matulad ka rin kay Maam Ninez

Baka akusahan ka rin ng "inciting to sedition" for writing this article. nyehehehe...

The Opposition shouldn't feel too safe...

What the Arroyo admin did to Satur, they can do this to Lacson and Binay too.

If the admin can "dig up" or manufacture something (ala Manapat) against Ocampo and Beltran (napakulong na rin ni Marcos sya), malamang pwede rin gawin ito kay lacson (buyahin ang kuratong baleleng case) at kay binay (DILG’s corruption case vs. him) at a future date. Instead of going thru a smear campaign and trial by publicity first, derecho na silang ipapa-aresto ng admin na ito.

Lacson's presidential ambitions will be shot down the moment he is served an arrest warrant for KB and corruption charges on March 2010, while he is running for the presidency again.

Buti na lang sa admin, walang napaparusahan. tignan mo na lang yung hello garci case at lahat ng mga tao na involved dito. wala ni isa ang nakulong o naparusahan dito.

TU candidates need to condemn Arroyo's policy on targetting Leftist party listers

no ifs and buts. it's not enough for some to just express "support" for Satur Ocampo or keep silent.

If all TU candidates are honest and sincere about their claims na they are against the politics of personal destruction and abuse of power, then they need to denounce the ARroyo administration's arrest of Satur Ocampo and harassment of the party listers, and call for a reversal of these loathsome policies.

UPDATE: Well, tis a good start -- from the opposition.

UPDATE: So far, si Joker pa lang ang gumagawa nito, but in a half assed way, but he is very reluctant to criticize the person chiefly responsible for implementing these policies, Gloria Arroyo.

Sabi ni noted pangilinan:

Independent senatorial candidate Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan said he suspected that the government was behind the harassment against Ocampo.

Suspected??? What are you, stupid? sino pa ba ang may kagagawan nyan? Or are you just playing stupid dahil ayaw mong birahin ang ARroyo admin tungkol dito? These are the kinds of lame responses that we don't need.

Asked what President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should do about Ocampo's case, Pangilinan said, "They know what to do. I don't need to tell them what to do."

Do what, noted? he seems to have a difficult time spelling out what arroyo "needs to do". he just gave an evasive answer.

Sabi ni Ralph Recto:

Senator Ralph Recto suggested the Ocampo be confined within the House of Representatives at the Batasan Complex in Quezon City and said that the lawmaker was not a flight risk so that's why "there was no reason why his travel arrangements to Leyte be done ala-Con Air," referring to a movie involving a plane full of convicts.

Is that all you can suggest? Put him under "house arrest" instead of jail? How about asking your president to release ocampo now and stop this partisan nonsense during effing election time!

It seems that joker, kiko, and recto know something is wrong, but they don't have the guts to attack the source of the problem.

the you know who.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Joker ARroyo, Enrile "oppose" US meddling on RP affairs too

From the Inquirer:

But Sen. Joker Arroyo said the US hearings on the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines were an encroachment on the country's sovereignty.

"The extrajudicial killings have to be condemned but at the same time, we must not compromise our sovereignty. Just imagine, no self-respecting country will allow its officials to participate in the public hearings. Malacañang officials do not have the authority to compromise Philippine sovereignty," Arroyo said in an interview.

Hello Joker, where have you been all along? US "meddling", especially under this admin, have been happening for a long time na, lalo na pagdating sa Mindanao. We've already "compromised" our sovereignty when Arroyo allowed the US military to have it's own base of operations there (not that it's a bad thing, cuz the Americans doing a marvelous job of rebuilding Mindanao singlehandedly, pero hindi ba unconstitutional yung presence nila, if i recall the debates back then?)

Siguro ang ibig sabihin ni joker ay okay lang makialam ang US sa affairs natin, as long as it doesn't put Maam Arroyo in a negative light.

Look Joker, if you don't want the US to meddle in RP affairs, then have the guts to tell the US to get out of Mindanao na, and tell arroyo to stop being dependent on US foreign aid money, para maging "independent" na tayo.

But I doubt that will happen, especially when joker, who claims he doesn't really support the anti-terror bill, authored and passed one anyway just to "please the US".

He said "too many people want" the anti-terror bill.

"From an international point of view, the government needs [the anti-terror law] because the US wants it and because we are so dependent [on US goodwill], of course, every administration thinks [of pleasing the Americans]," he said.

"You must remember that in all of Asia, [countries have] no anti-terror bill [which accounts for the US' concern]," the senator said.

Sabi nga ni MLQ3:

But Senator Arroyo may have a point: why is the US Senate conducting hearings on the human rights situation here at home, when the hearings obviously have little to do with what America’s concerned with, the “War on Terror”? The answer lies in how American foreign aid has become tied to the human rights situation in countries receiving that aid. This has been the case, more or less, since the Carter administration. Up for discussion is the US budget, and it contains a portion on foreign operations, which covers our part of the world, involves oversight over US government spending over the past year, and contending views on policy with the executive branch of government (see the PDF for an example of how the US executive responds to challenges on policy raised by the US Congress).

So the answer to Sen. Arroyo is that since the US government gives aid to the Philippines, and our government accepts it, we can’t avoid coverage by appropriate US policy tying aid to human rights.

=====

At eto naman ang sinabi ni mr. enrile re the US "meddling".

Senator Juan Ponce Enrile scored the investigation called by the US Senate Foreign Relations committee on the spate of political killings in the Philippines, ABS-CBN News reported Sunday.

Enrile said the US congress should set its sights first at the numerous killings in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said US has no right to meddle with Philippine affairs.

But isn't this the same Enrile who recently said the following re the Nicole rape case (bonus si apostol):

“ What we should be worried about is the withdrawal of the aid of the US. (Sergio Apostol, Presidential legal adviser)

”If there is no America, we will have to spend half of our lives to provide with ourselves with our security umbrella to protect ourselves from our neighbors. We do not have a Navy, the Air Force. We have the ground forces to protect ourselves but that’s all.” (Juan Ponce Enrile)

“Are we ready to confront America on this issue and is it worth our people’s interest to sacrifice the security and the national interest of the country, including maybe our economic interest, in this particular issue. That is a larger consideration to be taken into account.”(Enrile again)

More enrile here:

But Enrile said the issue of Smith’s transfer should not even be a cause of alarm. He added that the Philippines has more to lose than gain if it insists on detaining Smith in Philippine custody.

"Now, if we push that, we will have a democratic rupture with America," Enrile said. "Are we ready to confront America on this issue and is it worth our people’s interest to sacrifice the security and the national interest of the country, including maybe our economic interest, in this particular issue. That is a larger consideration to be taken into account."
....
Besides the nation’s security concerns, Enrile said the US government greatly helps in uplifting the country’s economy, which may be the more logical reason why the Philippines could not simply reject the US government’s request for Smith’s transfer.

Enrile also said the RP should investigate the US for human rights violations in iraq and afghantistan.

Another resolution which Enrile has in mind when Congress resumes session is an investigation of what the United States is doing in Iraq and Afghanistan insofar as human rights violations are concerned.

According to Enrile, if the US Congress can investigate alleged political and extra-judicial killings in the Philippines, ergo, the Senate can also inquire what is happening insofar as human rights are concerned with the American troops in Iraq, and Afghanistan.

If the US Congress can investigate alleged human rights violation in the Philippines, why can’t the Philippine Senate do the same?

Certainly, it’s within the ambit and power of the Philippine Senate to also inquire what the US Congress is doing on human rights violations in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s sauce for the goose is certainly sauce for the gander. Better put, it’s tit for tat.

Uh... the democrats are already investigating the bush admin and the republicans on iraq and other corruption/accountability issues.

There wasn't much of that when the republicans controlled the senate and the house though. katulad nga ng sinabi ni david broder, the Republicans will--

...pay the price for the temporary breakdown in the system of checks and balances that occurred between 2001 and this year -- when the Republican Congress forgot its responsibility to hold the executive branch accountable.

If enrile wants to "investigate" the US for "human rights violations", then go ahead. But I do think the newly installed Democratic Senate and House will do a better job of holding the Bush admin to account.

Our opposition's ability to hold the arroyo admin to account though is pretty much weakened by the admin's EO 464 (and it's other incarnations). Tignan nyo na lang yung nangyari sa garci investigations.

Read this too from the PDI:

It was another dramatic hearing in the halls of the US Congress, made even more riveting by the calm demeanor of the woman at the center of the hearing. The issue involved the use of violence by government forces and possible treason by high public officials—and all of Washington, D.C., it seemed, had turned out to witness the event, or watch it on screen.

No, it was not the US Senate’s inquiry into extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, held on March 14 and chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer of the subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific affairs. Boxer was a calm and forceful presence, too, but that hearing largely went unnoticed in the American press.

What caught the US media’s obsessive attention was Victoria Plame Wilson, the former undercover Central Intelligence Agency operative who was “outed” by the Bush administration for what she called “purely political motives.” After four years of silence, she finally testified on March 16 before the committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the US House of Representatives.

We point this out because it helps provide some of the context for the Boxer hearing on extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. In the first place, both legislative inquiries took place because the Democrats have regained control of both houses of Congress. Now the machinations of the Bush administration in creating a false, fabricated rationale for invading Iraq in 2003 are under investigation; human rights abuses—not usually high-priority items in the Republican agenda—in countries that receive US aid are also under scrutiny, precisely because the Democrats are back in charge in Congress.

In the second place, both inquiries are a function of the US Congress’ check-and-balance role; in other words, their ultimate object of attention is the conduct of the American executive department.

Our checks and balance system here OTOH, is pretty much crippled.

More: Arroyo didn't mind US "meddling" in CHA CHA

The Arroyo admin is also confident that there will be no slash on US aid to the Arroyo administration.

Here's a second opinion from Amando Doronila.

Arroyo and Gonzales didn't mind US "meddling" in CHA CHA

From Conrad de Quiros:

MANILA, Philippines - Raul Gonzales is livid (in more ways than on). "That is blackmail," he says of the American threat to stop military aid to this country if the extrajudicial killings do not stop. "(The US Senate foreign relations hearing) is one-sided because the complainants were all heard but we were not heard. That is already making a judgment that all our efforts are not sincere."

What's batty about that statement is, well, what's not about anything Gonzalez says? Batty is his middle name. But at the very least what's so about his claim of US meddling in our affairs and even blackmailing us is its breathtaking selectiveness in perception.

Only a couple of years ago, his namesake, Norberto Gonzales, was in fact begging the United States to please intervene in the most basic of our affairs, in changing our Charter. Indeed, he wasn't just begging for it, he was proposing to pay an American firm, Venable LLP, a fortune to lobby the US Congress into doing so. The US Senate foreign relations hearing merely upholds a universal principle that crosses borders, which is the preciousness of life, the transgression of which constitutes a crime against humanity. Norberto's initiative would have trashed a principle cherished by the community of nations, which is the preciousness of sovereignty, the transgression of which constitutes intervention- and, for those who initiate it from within, treason. Well, Banana (Republic) is Norberto's middle name. My profoundest apologies to bananas (and republics).

I do not recall that Raul was stoked to his usual irascibility by that object lesson in "How To Betray Your Country."

Pero there's nothing wrong with the Venable contract raw, sabi ni Ralph Recto.

But in a recent joint statement with Joker Arroyo announcing their joining TU, they bragged about their opposition to the Venable contract:

We fought the Venable contract which involved American money to change the Constitution. We fought the People’s Initiative to do the same.

Err... about the Venable contract deal, hindi ba ginago lang kayo ni norberto gonzalez, at pinakawalan nyo siya?

This is another example na walang napaparusahang big fish sa arroyo admin.

Anyways, the venable deal was cancelled raw (in 2005) after the admin got much criticism.

Pero what did Ralph Recto mean when he uttered this remark noong March 13, 2007, on the US senate investigations on extra judicial killings:

Reelectionist Sen. Ralph Recto, for his part, said it is the job of embedded Malacañang lobbyists in the US Capitol to make sure that the side of the government is heard.

If the lobby firm Venable is still engaged, then I presume that the terms of reference include assistance and representation in presenting the Philippine case.

Akala ko ba tapos na ang dealings natin with venable?

UPDATE: Ah... Malacanang pala has quietly rehired Venable in 2006, but Joker admitted he was helpless at that time because of EO 464. That's checks and balance for you, amigo.

Wonder if they followed up on it after EO 464 "was lifted"?