Monday, April 30, 2007

It has nothing to do with "Science" or "Math" but CALL CENTERS

Sabi ni Tito Dean:

The poor, the uneducated “probably” wish they were fluent in English, because it would seem to me they already feel fluent in their native tongue and don’t need further education in it. Thus even Americans and Englishmen are often puzzled at why they have to study English. Until they realize that facility, fluency and expertise in English opens the doors to professional careers, businesses, promotions, wealth.

I think the poor and uneducated are “probably” aware of the fact that their betters, like Conrado de Quiros, Randy David, Patricia Licuanan, and indeed all the substantial people of society in govt, business, academe, etc. are all English speaking in their default condition and that when they deign to speak in the vernacular it is merely to impress the poor and uneducated with their noble and generous humility.

I am guilty of that as much as anybody else.

But I am also convinced that any initially poor person won’t be that for long if he can at least read and write good English.

And so I shall do everything to help our countrymen get a leg up on the world by promoting the use of the tools that will accomplish their upliftment: Mathematics, Science and the Lingua Anglica of the 21st Century.

That is not to say that Mandarin and Japanese and French are not also worthwhile studying. Or indeed Filipino. They are!

But we are inextricably a part of the Anglosphere of this Earth. There is no shame in that. Conversely, it is a cruel and misguided notion that the feel-good nationalism these Petitioners urge will do anything but win them National Artists Awards and congratulations from their peers. In its effects, their Petition to the Court, if granted, would be indistinguishable from the language apartheid policies of the Spanish Taliban which effectively cut the Islands off from the rest of humanity for 300 years, and is therefore despicable and hateful to me.

If I am glad and proud to be part of that Anglosphere, it is because the gift of English is what awakened the Sleepers of the Centuries in this archipelago, to the history of the world, to the wonders of science, to the knowledge and notion that they too could one day be as great as their Masters. Or even greater.


1) I don't think the petitioners are against teaching English.

2) So does that mean High School math and science teachers who are not proficient or fluent in English will get the boot?

3) Re using English as the medium of instruction, hindi ba most of our teachers try to teach math and science in English anyways? And everybody understands english, lalo na ang mga estudyante natin. Ang problema lang nga ay hindi sila fluent english speakers. siguro sanayan lang yan. pero sa napapansin ko, ang mga karamihan sa mga fluent english speakers natin:

a) lumaki o tumira sa amerika (o sa ibang foreign country).
b) They have parents who are fluent english speakers, at english ang primary language sa bahay nila habang lumalaki ang bata.
c) they have many friends (pinoys, americans) who are fluent english speakers, at english ang usapan nila madalas.

4) I have no problems with English as the medium of instruction. Kung gustong mag-ingles ng teacher, fine. Naiintindihan naman siya eh. Kung kailangang mag-tagalog, e di mag-tagalog... to get your point across.

5) But I think the real reason why the new "English only" rule is in place has nothing to do with math or science, djb. It has more to do with CALL CENTERS.

Katulad ng sinabi mo, halos lahat ng libro natin ay nasa wikang Ingles. Naiintindihan naman natin ito. Pero ang karamihan sa mga pinoy ay poor english speakers. Short of having the a) b) c)s that i listed above, it's going to be tough for the average pinoy to be fluent native speakers. The main intention of those who created this new "English only" rule is make our students become more fluent english speakers. Not a bad thing. (Good luck tho.) Pero ano naman ang kinalaman ng pagsagot mo ng ingles sa math or science? But do you get style points for being "more articulate." ;) Most Chinese (or "tsinoy") HS students that I know of are not as fluent in english, pero on average, I believe mas matataas ang mga math at science scores nila kaysa sa mga average pinoy studes (private or public high.)

Can Segolene Royal expect help from Merkel, Hillary?

Segolene Royal, Socialist female canidate for the French presidency. Mukhang hindi eh:

So far voters are not dividing along Daddy Sarko and Mommy Sego lines in the booth. Exit polls suggest that Sarkozy won 33 percent of the votes cast by women for 12 candidates in the preliminary round a week ago, while Royal drew 27 percent.

Nor is Royal getting momentum from an effort to suggest that the world would be a much better place under a sisterhood-in-power of Merkel, Clinton and herself.

Merkel, the Christian Democrat chancellor, prefers Sarkozy's policies on overhauling the European Union's institutions. And when Royal's camp put out feelers to Clinton's staff last year about a high-profile meeting of the two in New York, a deafening silence persuaded Royal's aides to cancel her trip to the United States.

It used to be said that for Americans, foreign policy debates stop at the water's edge. Today, so does political sisterhood.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Pacquiao slams Darlene over Pork and Impeachment

Sinapak niya si Darlene Custodio over the Impeachment of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and for not bringing home the Pork Barrel funds to her district.

First off, a significant majority of the people believe that Arroyo and Garci stole the elections, and that she should step down. Impeachment is another constitutional way to remove her from office. Unless Manny prefers an overthrow of the government ala edsa dos.

Second, the reason why there's no pork for her district is because she's with the opposition and she voted to transmit the impeachment complaint to the senate, Manny. I guess maam doesn't believe in accountability. But she believes in getting back at her critics by withholding the money for their districts.

But don't worry Manny, kahit na walang natatanggap na pork si Darlene for the last two years, she was still able to raise enough money for the people in her district.

The boxer had earlier lamented what he called the lack of development in General Santos City, simply because Custodio's politics had been getting in the way of the pork barrel.

But even without the allocation, Custodio said she was performing a more important role in standing up against the Arroyo administration.

"I am the voice of my constituents," she said.

This is not to say, however, that the lawmaker was all talk.

In the absence of the pork barrel, she said she still managed to raise more than P1.5 billion worth of development projects in General Santos City. She noted that this amount easily dwarfed the congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund, which is around P60 million annually.

Custodio said the projects, intended to expand the fish port in the area, were effectively insulated from possible interference by Malacañang because they are foreign-funded.

Last year, she negotiated a project with the National Irrigation Administration, but the government-owned agency later withdrew from the project allegedly because of Custodio's intense criticism of Ms Arroyo.


Pero sa issue naman ng pagtakbo ni Pacquiao, i've already gave my opinion here. Kung gusto talaga siyang patakbuhin ng Arroyo administration para patalsikin si Darlene, then that's his choice.

But I doubt he can concentrate on both his boxing career (which by all recent indications he is not yet ready to give up) and his potential new career as administration Congressman. May magsu-suffer diyan. I agree with 91% of the public na he should concentrate on boxing na lang for now. People of South Cotobato who don't want to see manny pacquiao get sullied or used for dirty politics by Mike Arroyo and Chavit Singson, and want their idol to concentrate boxing, should vote for Darlene.

Kasi pagdating sa boxing, Manny is pretty much his own man. God given ang boxing talent niya. He knows what he is doing inside the ring against the opponent.

Pero pagdating naman sa political ring at local issues, the guy obviously needs help. And he is getting help. But relying on the corrupting influence of Mike Arroyo's handlers to pull the strings behind the scenes may not be the best for everyone.

UPDATE: Man, Manny Pacquiao has made some questionable and reckless personal decisions in the past. Great boxer, but horrible decision maker.

UPDATE: Before deciding on becoming a candidate for congressman, Manny Pacquiao, with Lito Atienza's prodding, considered running for vice mayor of Manila first, to boost Ali Atienza's popularity and chances against the frontrunner candidate Ping Lacson. Ali Atienza is Lito A's son.

So, hindi first choice ni Manny ang South Cotobato.

UPDATE: Sabi ni Schumey: "He may be a brilliant boxer but a lousy person."

There's some truth to that.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sabas Mabulo's Website

Link here.

Thanks Tinnah for the tip. As you all know, malaking tao ang kalaban ni Abang Mabulo--si carpetbagger Datu Macapagal Arroyo, anak ni GMA, for Camarines Sur's first district House seat.

Like Fr. Panlilio, he needs every support he can get.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Angara believing his own propaganda

There it is again, the 12-0 mantra from the admin candidates. From Ellen Tordesillas:

Palagi pinagyayabang ng mga political operators ni Gloria Arroyo ang kanilang makinarya na siyang magpapanalo raw ng kanilang mga senatorial candidates kahit karamihan sa kanila ay sinusuka ng taumbayan.

Noong isang araw, nag-usap kami ni Sen. Edgardo Angara sa ABS-CBN at pinakita niya ang listahan ng mga probinsiya kung saan walang kandidato ang oposisyon. Marami yun dahil kulang nga sa pera ang oposisyon.

Sabi ni Angara, sigurado sa mga lugar na yun, sweep sila, 12-0 dahil yun ang sasabihin ng mga lokal na opisyal sa mga tao. Yun ang tinatawag na “command” votes.
Inamin ni Angara na talagang popular ang mga kandidato ng oposisyon sa senador. Ngunit pinipilit niya na pagdating ng eleksyon, susundin ng taumbayan ang dikta ng kanilang mayor o barangay captain na mga taga-administrasyon.

Sabi ko, “Di, ibig sabihin noon, ang resulta ng eleksyon ay hindi talagang kagustuhan ng taumbayan.”

Sagot ni Angara, “Ganyan ang command votes.”

Iba yung local sa national elections, Mr. Angara So even if malakas ang isang local admin candidate sa lugar niya, it doesn't mean na mananalo rin ang mga admin senate bets (NATIONAL) sa lugar na yon, much less 12-0 bokyahan for TU--unless there's garci like cheating in those places.

For example, LAKAS won the majority of the House seats in the 1998 elections, Pero si Erap naman ang nanalo ng NATIONAL presidential eleksyon noong taon na yon (LAMMP senate bets won 7 seats too out of 12.) But the Erap coalition managed to win only 64 seats in the House for a distant second place.


Pero alam natin na naglipatan ang karamihan sa mga LAKAS sa panig ni Estrada after the elections.

Sabi ni Julio Teehankee:

After the election, LAMMP was reorganized into Laban ng Masang Pilipino (LAMP) and emerged as the new dominant party after the presidential victory of its candidate Joseph Estrada. Lakas suffered the same fate as its predecessor, the LDP, in the lower house. In spite of capturing the most house seats, its numbers quickly dwindled as members defected to the new administration party. The membership of LAMP swelled and the party was able to elect Manuel Villar (a former Lakas member) as the new speaker. Other political parties suffered defections as well.

Same thing happened in 1992. Mitra's LDP party won the most number of seats in the House w/ 86, with LAKAS in second with 40. But after the elections, LAKAS was able to expand it's membership to 119 after Ramos won the presidency.

Kung naging presidente si FPJ, malamang magsisilipatan rin ang mga kakampi ni Arroyo sa partido niya, o mag join sa koalition ng FPJ admin.

Like i said before, Angara and his ilk can condition the minds of some of their dumb supporters or discredited groups like NAMFREL or the PPCRV, but the reality is, more likely than not, their propaganda is laying the groundwork and for massive cheating operations all over the country pagdating sa senate elections (national).

You know it's going to be a dirty election when...

the DOJ Secretary himself is engaging in vote buying on the baranggay level and encouraging local officials to "work for" (ehem cheat... cough) a 12-0 TU win by giving them cash incentives (not unlike the move made by Arroyo and Lilia Pineda to buy off the COMELEC officials at GMA's La Vista home last Jan. 2004). And I don't believe for a second na sariling pera ni Raul Gonzalez ang gagamitin niya para bayaran ang mga officials na yan (even if he did use his own money--vote buying pa rin yan, unethical and illegal.)

P10T each barangay
for 12-0 TU victory
Gonzalez: So? It’s my – not government – money


JUSTICE Secretary Raul Gonzalez on Sunday offered P10,000 to each of the 180 barangay captains in Iloilo who could deliver a 12-0 victory for Team Unity.

Gonzalez yesterday confirmed the report and said the money would come from his personal funds.

"It’s a prize, an incentive for them to work harder. This is my personal contribution to Team Unity. Marami akong pera, eh. You want to borrow? When I give money, I can say from which safe in my house it came from. Isang harvest lang ng misis ko yan sa kanyang manukan," he said.

He said he will shoulder the expenses of the Team Unity grand rally in Iloilo on May 10.

"I will spend for it all. I’m staking my leadership in Iloilo City for it," he said.

He said it would be up to the barangay captains if they will share the P10,000 "incentive" with their constituents."

And unfortunately, this kind of strategy/dirty trick will be replicated by the admin all over the country. But don't expect Joker "Ubusin ang mga Corrupt" Arroyo to make a fuss about this. Tahimik lang siya dito. Shhh....

And some people from the admin have the nerve to question the survey ratings showing the RP as one of the most corrupt in asia under the current administration. The admin's permissive culture of vote buying is even worse under this current administration. Oh Well. Mahirap talagang gisingin ang nagtutulog-tulugan.

UPDATE: I don't think Raul will get into trouble with the COMELEC because according to COMELEC's talking dude James Jimenez:

Technically, I don’t think any law has been violated by the Secretary of Justice’s claim that he would give monetary rewards to baranggay captains who manage a 12-0 victory for TU in their respective jurisdictions. First, the offer seems not to have been made to voters to influence them to vote straight for TU; rather the offer was made to people who could convince enough people to vote straight.

There you have it. It's the same thing with the other bigshot admin officials. They'll get away with it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Support pouring in for the Priest Candidate of Pampanga

I do think Fr. Panlilio has a decent shot at winning the governorship of Pampanga, judging from the support he's been getting not only inside the province, but also from outside.

Maraming enthusiastic volunteers si fr. panlilio; people from other parts of the country are also interested in his candidacy and are willing to help him by whatever means.

can mark lapid aka the quarry lord or bong pineda's wife say the same thing?

More from Federico Pascual:

Residents of this chartered city do not vote for a governor, but many of them are going all-out anyway for a Catholic priest running for Pampanga’s top elective post.

Fr. Eddie TongolPanlilio, former parish priest of Betis, is vying for governor in response to a pained lament that Capampa-ngans had been reduced to choosing the lesser of two evils, between a "quarrying king" and _a "jueteng queen" so to speak.

Many Angelenos active in civic and lay organizations have been campaigning outside the city for Panlilio in answer to a pastoral call of their archbishop, Most Rev. Paciano B. Aniceto, that in their moral dilemma, they should "reject the evil, choose the good."
Their worldly exterior may not show it, but Capampangans have an innate religiosity that often tilts the balance when they are to make a delicate decision.
* * *

OUTPOURING: The outpouring of support for independent candidate Panlilio is just amazing.
When normally candidates gave away t-shirts, his volunteers sold donated t-shirts for P100. Candidates normally treated voters to food and drinks, but here people jostled to have "Among Ed" as their guest.

In a fund-raising dinner last week, contributions flowed like honey. One donor insisting to be listed only as "anonymous" handed a check for P1 million.

One rich family with a thriving business pledged to pay for all campaign materials, whatever the cost.

Read the whole thing. If independent candidate fr. panlilio does win, what a great story that will make.

I wonder how the operators communicate nowadays?

Kasi alam nilang baka ma "Hello Garci" sila. so ano kaya ang precautionary measures ang ginagamit ng mga COMELEC at military dagdag bawas operators para hindi sila ma-wiretap ng ISAFP? Secure lines?

How to make Political Parties obsolete

Sabi ni MLQ3, let the NGO's replace the paleo-school Political parties in the RP. If given the choice between the NGO groups and the traditional political parties, mas may tiwala ako sa NGOs.

Basta mag-ingat lang sa mga fake NGOs, at fake party lists groups.

Distracted by the NBA playoffs

that's why there's not much blogging here lately.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Why did the Pentagon lie about Tillman and Jessica Lynch?

Sabi ni Don Surber:

Retired PFC Jessica Lynch’s testimony before Congress today was devastating. She, along with members of Spec. Pat Tillman’s family, told of how they were used by the Pentagon to sell stories of heroism that just were not true.

Why did Pentagon officials lie? Their distortions gained so little in the short-term and undercut the war efforts in the long-term. Heads should roll.

Yes. Somebody needs to lose their jobs for this. (HT Instapundit)

Don't vote for these candidates

Aside from the blacklist provided by the Black and White Movement, may idinagdag pang additional names si Neal Cruz, of those people who tried to "CON ASS":

While we are on the subject of blacklists, I would like to add a few more names. These are congressmen who were in the forefront of the foiled attempt of the House of Representatives to ram through a proposal to change the Constitution. I think they should be punished for that dastardly deed.

Already on the list are Jose de Venecia and Luis Villafuerte who were among the leaders of the aborted Charter change. The others are Edcel Lagman, Douglas Cagas, Constancio Jaraulla and the two Prosperos, Pichay and Nograles, who have become so prosperous after they became congressmen. Pichay’s province is among the poorest in the country, yet he himself is very prosperous, owning a plane and a helicopter. He didn’t have them before he became a congressman. How did he acquire them? Isn’t there a lifestyle check for congressmen?

Pichay is running for senator. I don’t know what positions the others are running for. But whatever they are, don’t vote for them even if they are running only for dogcatcher. Vote for their opponents. We already know what they are capable of doing when they are in power. Put them back in power and they will do the same thing.

Here's my top ten CON ASS goons na hindi dapat iboto:

1) Luis Villafuerte, Camarines Sur
2) Edcel Lagman, Albay
3) Prospero Pichay, Surigao del Sur
4) Prospero Nograles, Davao City
5) Douglas Cagas, Davao del Sur
6) Constantino Jaraula, Cagayan de Oro
7) Simeon Datumanong, Cotabato
8) Arthur Defensor, Iloilo
9) Matt Defensor, Quezon City
10) Rodolfo Antonino, Nueva Ecija

MORE: REad this too from Black and White Movement.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Does this mean Gringo is with the Admin na rin?

Along with Angara, Sotto, and Oreta? Basahin nyo yung article ni Ellen Tordesillas.

NAMFREL na naman?

this discredited organization is doing the "quick" "count" again? i'm extremely disappointed by this news.


- NAMFREL part of poll fraud coverup
- Conrad de Quiros on NAMFREL and Civil Society
- So Nagma-match? Nagko-Correspond? Kumpleto?
- "Okay naman ang NAMFREL sa atin. They are sympathetic to us."
- 2004 Presidential Elections "Absolutely Credible" - NAMFREL's Bill Luz
- Mahirap gisingin ang nagtutulog tulogan.

COMELEC will release names of party listers

but only at the last minute, somewhere within a few days before the May 14 elections. By that time, there won't be enough time to check the backgrounds of these shady Party List group nominees.

Yup. That's my prediction.

From the Malaya: SC asked to compel Comelec to name party list nominees

AKBAYAN Rep. Loretta Ann Rosales and former Senate President Jovito Salonga yesterday asked the Supreme Court to compel the Commission on Elections to disclose the names of all party list nominees for the May 14 elections.

In a 32-page petition for certiorari and mandamus, Rosales and Salonga, who represent Kilosbayan Foundation and Bantay Katarungan Foundation, said disclosure is required under R.A. 7941 or the Party List Law.

Petitioners asked the Comelec to furnish the names of nominees of newly accredited party list groups Babae Ka, Ang Kasangga, Akbay Pinoy, Aksa, Kakusa, Ahon Pinoy PFW party, Biyaheng Pinoy, Anad, Aangat and Kabuhayan, Agbiag, Banat, Bantay, Lypad and Aging Pinoy.

Rosales and Salonga said the Comelec made an erroneous reading of a portion of Section 7 of RA 7941, which states that the names of the party list nominees shall not be shown on the certified list.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Here are the requirements for PLDT's PLAN 990

I got a copy from a PLDT branch office. PLAN 990 (monthly fee P990) services includes the PLDT landline, myDSL unlimited internet connetion that's up to 384 kbps (raw), a free modem, and free NDD service.

Here is the agreement and terms of PLDT's PLAN 990.

Conforme for PLAN 990
(SWAP and NEW)

This is to certify that I agree to the terms and conditions prescribed by the current promotion of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT).

The terms are:

1) That I will subscribe exclusively to PLAN 990 (landline and myDSL bundle service) for at least 24 months. the speed of myDSL is up to 384 kbps.

2) Upon application, I will present to PLDT the ff. requirements: one valid ID, the previous 2 months billing statement from my previous telephone service operator (paid and in current standing) OR a photocopy of my latest credit card statement (at least fully paid on the minimum amount) and the PLDT official notice (Come and Pay Letter).

3) Upon presentation of the requirements and confirmation of PLAN 990 facilities, PLDT will waive it's landline service installation charges. The waived service connection charge is P1,999.

4) I will also likewise receive the ff freebies:

- Free NDD (PLDT-PLDT) for one year
- Free Modem worth P1,200

(I understand that i will own the PLDT myDSL Modem given to me and a one year warranty period will be extended from the date of installation. Past this warranty period, I also understand that PLDT will no longer replace this for free. Subsequent repairs and replacements will be my responsibility)

5) I agree to pay one month's advance of the monthly service fee worth P990. PLDT will only install the line upon the receipt of payment (PLDT will only require the advance payment if the complete requirements are not submitted).

6) If my subscription to PLDT landline and myDSL services gets disconnected due to non-payment of my monthly bills or loss of interest within the agreed periods, I understand that PLDT will charge me a termination fee amounting to P4170. This is worth three times the monthly service fee (P990 x 3) and cost of the modem (P1,200).

7) That I will hold PLDT free from any liabilities from my previous Telephone Company.


____________________________ __________________
(Signature over Printed Name) (Date Signed)

UPDATE: There are changes to the new PLAN 990:

1) The modem's not free anymore. You have to pay P1,200
2) 12 months na lang instead of 24 months kang naka-lock in.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Two Protests, One Sign of Hope

Some of the things Anne Applebaum of the Washington Post writes sounds familiar to this political observer. CPR, anyone?

Two Protests, One Sign of Hope

By Anne Applebaum
Tuesday, April 17, 2007; Page A21

And now, alert readers, it is time for a test: Here are two demonstrations, representing two political movements, that took place recently in two neighboring countries. For which country should fans of "democratization" cheer loudest?

Example No. 1: This demonstration took place in Moscow on Saturday. More precisely, it took place in Pushkin Square, legendary site of Soviet-era dissident protests. Some 2,000 to 3,000 people came to show their opposition to the Kremlin -- and they were greeted by some 9,000 club-wielding riot police officers. About 200 people were arrested, including Garry Kasparov, the former world chess champion who was described in the Russian Web site as "a political pawn who has sold his soul to the traitors who plot Russia's demise." Later, Kasparov was charged with "shouting anti-government slogans in the presence of a large group of people."

Example No. 2: This demonstration began in Kiev some days ago and continues. More precisely, it is taking place in the Maidan, also called Independence Square, the legendary site of the Orange Revolution protests of 2004. The organizers are the anti-Orange, pro-Russian "Party of the Provinces." Their goal is to prevent Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko from calling new elections. At their zenith last week, the protests attracted between 35,000 and 70,000 people, depending on whose estimate you prefer. They were not attacked by riot police. No one has been arrested.

Now, there are some inherent difficulties in judging the merits of these demonstrations, particularly if you are looking, as we Americans love to do, for good guys and bad guys. For it is true that the Russian demonstrators are, in their own words, fighting for freedom of speech, the press and association; that they oppose President Vladimir Putin's increasing authoritarianism; and that they deplore his virtual elimination of political opposition. It is true that there are worldly, well-connected, well-known English-speakers in their ranks. It is also true that they enjoy very little popular support, in part because the Russian media portray them, as the newspaper Izvestia did, as a tiny group of malcontents, probably paid from abroad, who deliberately provoked a fight with the peaceful authorities.

The Kiev demonstrators, by contrast, oppose the Westernization of their country, dislike the idea of Ukraine growing closer to NATO and the European Union, and generally wish for a return to the days when their country was a client state of Russia. Most of their supporters are provincial, not so well connected and probably don't speak English. There are no world chess champions among them. Nevertheless, they do enjoy an important measure of popular support: Although it does seem that their demonstration isn't nearly as much fun as the Orange Revolution was -- one observer described the demonstrators as "silent, poorly-dressed throngs of mostly younger men shuffling along Hrushevsky Street under blue flags" -- their leader, Viktor Yanukovych, is in fact the elected prime minister of his country, and they did vote for him in democratic elections.

It's a tough choice, I know: Intuitively, one wants to see brighter prospects for democracy in Russia. The Russian opposition is brave, its cause is admirable, and its members and methods are familiar. Unfortunately, the opposition's protest is not evidence of democratization in Russia but rather of its absence. The truth is that the Russian authorities have, through censorship, intimidation and even murder, largely eliminated genuine political debate in their country. As the police reaction to Saturday's demonstration in Moscow well illustrates, even the tiny number of people who want to maintain some kind of public presence outside the mainstream must now be prepared to encounter violence.

By contrast, Ukraine, though frequently condemned as a disorganized political basket case, does slowly seem to be transforming itself into a country where people can at least choose from two clear political options, after a more-or-less open debate. President Yushchenko's decision to call for new elections is indeed controversial. However, it is being examined by the Ukrainian Constitutional Court, and all sides have agreed to abide by the court's conclusions. Prime Minister Yanukovych's call for demonstrations in Independence Square was a stunt. However, the stunt was legal, nonviolent and one that he has every right to try.

To put it crudely, overly simply and in language everyone can understand: Ukraine, for all of its multiple faults, is a free country in which anti-democratic forces can demonstrate. Russia remains an authoritarian country in which democratic forces are beaten up and arrested.

Myself, I wish the Russians luck -- but at the moment, I'm cheering loudest for Ukraine.

Malacanang warns TV networks on GO ads

The aRroyo admin is flexing it's muscles again.

From the Manila Times:

Malacañang on Sunday warned the country’s two biggest television networks they could be dragged into a legal battle if the Palace decides to sue the Genuine Opposition for allegedly libelous TV political advertisements.

Secretary Sergio Apostol, chief presidential legal counsel, reminded ABS-CBN and GMA 7 “they have a responsibility” to the public for what they air.

GO had prepared four TV ads that highlight corruption and other issues against the Arroyo administration.

ABS-CBN reportedly accepted the ad on corruption but only after GO made some changes to it.

GMA 7 rejected the corruption ad completely, but accepted the other three materials.

“Under libel law, they shoulder the responsibilities for what they air,” Apostol said of the networks.

But he added that the networks already knew the consequences. “We will just monitor them. If we find basis to file any charges, that’s the time that we will act accordingly,” Apostol said.

Hmmm... gov't filing libel cases against the media. Hindi ba ginawa rin ni Erap yan dati sa Manila Times?

then they later calibrated their statements to say that they will settle this after the elections.

The administration’s Team Unity (TU), however, also yesterday said it is determined to file criminal raps in connection with the GO television ad, which it says is very libelous.

But filing of libel suit has to wait until the senatorial elections are over by May 14.

TU spokesman Antonio “Tonypet” Albano, during a weekly forum in Greenhills, San Juan, said “we will file after elections to avoid any political color in the filing of the case.”

He added “the administration has no plans to file any libel case now, maybe after the elections.”

after the elections, huh? i guess warning na yan sa mga TV stations, especially sa GMA7.

Malou Mangahas, who is GMAnews editor-in-chief, was also editor in chief of Manila Times under Gokongwei's time. Lessons learned, baby, lessons learned.

Whistleblower Carlos Saunar CORRUPT?!?

Yan raw ang sabi ng PAGC sa ads nila on corruption.

Carlos Saunar? This Carlos Saunar, who exposed Singson as a perjurer on the P130 million tobacco excise tax claim?

And for telling the truth re singson, he was relieved by Reynaldo Wycoco and was put on floating status back in october 2004.

For committing the cardinal “crime” of testifying truthfully, which cleared detained President Joseph Estrada on charges of having diverted some P170 million in tobacco excise tax funds, National Bureau of Investigation regional chief Carlos Saunar, was yesterday relieved by NBI director Reynaldo Wycoco, reportedly on orders of Malacañang and the Ombudsman.

Saunar is now on floating status.

The sacked NBI regional chief testified before the Sandiganbayan as a witness called in by the defense lawyers of Estrada, who then said in open court that the investigation conducted by the NBI showed that it was Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson who had diverted the tobacco funds, not Estrada, as the paper trail showed that the money was withdrawn, deposited and withdrawn again by persons identified with Singson.

His testimony destroyed the case of the prosecution, as the case for the prosecution hinges on the testimony of Singson, its star witness.

The NBI yesterday ordered the relief of Saunar for his alleged violation of a bureau policy on confidentiality of investigation records and for testifying in favor of the detained leader.

Lead lawyer for the defense, former Sen. Rene Saguisag, slammed the NBI action, saying “it was not enough for the prosecution to harrass the witness. Now it has to even terrorize the defense witnesses.”

More from Malaya here.
Eto yung reaction ni Ducky Paredes at that time:

But that is not the point. Saunar's relief is apparently a signal to the rest of the government that testifying to the truth will be punished. I can see the point of the government. After all, we cannot encourage whistle-blowers. What will happen to us if someone wants to testify against the Pidals? Imagine if someone will testify against Big Mike. Imagine if someone will testify about Little Mike.

Jump to Dec. 11, 2006. From Manila Times Rey David:

CARLOS SAUNAR. Defense witness No. 23 and former regional chief of the NBI as well as a lawyer-accountant, Saunar testified before the antigraft court in October 2004 that it was he who conducted the investigation on behalf of his agency on the alleged involvement of President Estrada and his lawmaker-son Sen. Jinggoy Estrada on the diversion of P170 million in tobacco excise taxes from Ilocos Sur.

Saunar’s answers to defense lawyer Raymund Fortun’s direct examination were forthright. “Nothing. Based on the [bank] records, none whatsoever. There are none.” Saunar was referring to the total absence of any single document that would even remotely link the Estradas to the massive anomaly, which effectively cleared them of any wrongdoing and added another nail in the coffin in which rests the pack of lies hurled by Governor Singson against the country’s most popularly elected president.

Chief Special Prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio attempted to play down Saunar’s explosive testimony, calling the NBI official a “biased” witness who provided the defense with original documents without informing his boss, NBI Director Reynaldo Wycoco.

“I represent the NBI, no one else,” Saunar announced. “There is no need for us to secure any clearance from the director. In fact, they even encourage us to bring these documents in court proceedings.”

It was this same fearlessness that earned him Wycoco’s ire. The NBI chief immediately ordered the Saunar’s relief from his post—a fact that did not escape the defense panel’s attention.

Estrada’s lead counsel, former senator Rene Saguisag, described Wycoco’s decision as “calculated to obstruct the administration of justice.” And many observers agree with his assessment.

But now the pro-aRroyo philstar reports that carlos saunar is accused of corruption by the PAGC:

In a press statement, PAGC Commissioner Jaime Jacob said Saunar and Fereira were dismissed for having acted in gross negligence of their duties as public officers, resulting in undue injury against the government.

Saunar’s offenses constitute the violation of Executive Order 292 (Section 22 B, Rule XIV of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V), the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act 3019) and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713). Fereira’s dismissal, on the other hand, was in violation of RA 3019 and RA 6713.

The dismissal orders to Saunar and Fereira were upheld and signed by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita by authority of President Arroyo last Jan. 18 and 19, respectively.

Saunar had failed to report for work for more than one year — from March 24, 2005 to May 2006 — without any approved leave of absence at the office of the Deputy Director for Regional Operations Services (DDROS) after he was relieved of his duties as regional director for Western Mindanao Regional Office (WEMRO). However, records showed that he continued to receive salary without rendering any government service during the period.

PAGC did not give merit to Saunar’s arguments that no specific or definite work was assigned to him at the time that he was relieved from WEMRO, and that there is no work for regional directors at the ODDROS; he did not report for work to avoid public ridicule being seen on the premises of the NBI doing nothing; and he just stayed at nearby establishments accessible to ODDROS.

This is corruption? Kaya nga ginawa siyang floating status ni Wykes eh. Or was this a setup by the arroyo admin to frame Saunar on trumped up charges? How could there be no approved leave of absence when it was Dennis villa ignacio who asked Reynaldo Wycoco (who went along with the idea) to dismiss Saunar for blowing the whistle on them?

Defense lawyer Jose Flaminiano said the relief of Saunar is tantamount to obstruction of justice.

Flaminiano said Saunar is still on the witness stand undergoing cross-examination. After that, he faces re-direct examination.

With the NBI action, Saunar will be testifying under duress, Flaminiano said. This is tampering with the witness, he added.

He said the defense panel will file contempt charges against NBI Director Reynaldo Wycoco and special prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio.

"Villa-Ignacio earlier said he would ask the NBI to sanction Saunar. Apparently he did and Wycoco went along with it," Flaminiano said.

Why they keep Raul Gonzalez around

After reading this editorial, I think one of the reason is because the secretary of injustice is not afraid to make certain statements administration officials wanted to make, but couldn't-- like calling UN representative a "muchacho", calling for the IPU investigating team to go home because it called for the release of political prisoner Crispin Beltran (in jail for "inciting to rebellion" in Marcos' time) and investigated the Batasan 5 case.

Sometimes, not having comments is better

Instapundit says he's glad he doesn't have a comment's section.

More: Teresa Nielsen Hayden offers advice on moderating conversations in virtual communities:

1. There can be no ongoing discourse without some degree of moderation, if only to kill off the hardcore trolls. It takes rather more moderation than that to create a complex, nuanced, civil discourse. If you want that to happen, you have to give of yourself. Providing the space but not tending the conversation is like expecting that your front yard will automatically turn itself into a garden.

2. Once you have a well-established online conversation space, with enough regulars to explain the local mores to newcomers, they’ll do a lot of the policing themselves.

3. You own the space. You host the conversation. You don’t own the community. Respect their needs. For instance, if you’re going away for a while, don’t shut down your comment area. Give them an open thread to play with, so they’ll still be there when you get back.

4. Message persistence rewards people who write good comments.

5. Over-specific rules are an invitation to people who get off on gaming the system.

6. Civil speech and impassioned speech are not opposed and mutually exclusive sets. Being interesting trumps any amount of conventional politeness.

7. Things to cherish: Your regulars. A sense of community. Real expertise. Genuine engagement with the subject under discussion. Outstanding performances. Helping others. Cooperation in maintenance of a good conversation. Taking the time to teach newbies the ropes.

All these things should be rewarded with your attention and praise. And if you get a particularly good comment, consider adding it to the original post.

8. Grant more lenience to participants who are only part-time jerks, as long as they’re valuable the rest of the time.

9. If you judge that a post is offensive, upsetting, or just plain unpleasant, it’s important to get rid of it, or at least make it hard to read. Do it as quickly as possible. There’s no more useless advice than to tell people to just ignore such things. We can’t. We automatically read what falls under our eyes.

10. Another important rule: You can let one jeering, unpleasant jerk hang around for a while, but the minute you get two or more of them egging each other on, they both have to go, and all their recent messages with them. There are others like them prowling the net, looking for just that kind of situation. More of them will turn up, and they’ll encourage each other to behave more and more outrageously. Kill them quickly and have no regrets.

11. You can’t automate intelligence. In theory, systems like Slashdot’s ought to work better than they do. Maintaining a conversation is a task for human beings.

12. Disemvowelling works. Consider it.

13. If someone you’ve disemvowelled comes back and behaves, forgive and forget their earlier gaffes. You’re acting in the service of civility, not abstract justice.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Winnie Monsod vs. Jojo Robles, who's more truthful?

Winnie Monsod is the pro-Arroyo economist who claimed (thru her "survey analysis") that GMA won in 2004. Jojo Robles is the Ed-in-chief of the pro-administration newspaper Manila Standard Today.

Sabi ni Monsod na poverty is down, relying mainly using NSCB data. The same NSCB (previously known as NSO) that used statistical trickery to lower our unemployment numbers to single digits.

Even the guy you claimed to rely on for "independent analysis" had to rely on NSCB statistics--unless kaya niyang mag conduct ng census, independent of NSCB. (siguro pwede kung may pera...)

Hindi raw accurate ang World Bank estimates on poverty, sabi ni Monsod. I agree. I believe parehong mali ang WB at NSCB.

At least Jojo Robles was honest to admit the truth re the government window dressing statistics. Read this too from Neal Cruz.

And can we really trust the NSCB? Can we trust their uhmmm... "projections"?

Please do remember, Maam Winnie, na the NSCB did not take a census of our population noong 2005. So we're pretty much relying on old Year 2000 data. And since gov't statistics rely on the most up-to-date population data (really necessary) to calculate unemployment, crime, poverty, education, cost of living statistics etc -- it's really difficult not to question the veracity and accuracy of these government "projections" that are favorable to the admin's agenda.

From the Malaya:

SEN. Rodolfo Biazon yesterday disputed the reported slowing down of the annual population growth to 1.95 percent.

Biazon said the National Statistics Coordinating Board could not have conducted a census last year because there was no funding for that activity.

The country’s population stood at 85.2 million in 2005. NSCB projects it would reach 94 million by 2010.

He expressed suspicion the figure was fabricated, noting President Arroyo announced in her state of the nation address last year that she was targeting a reduction in the growth rate to 1.9 from 2.36 percent.

"In the SONA, (Arroyo) stated that the population growth at that time was 2.36 percent, and then she proceeded further that she was targeting to reduce this to 1.9 percent… Meaning in 10 months without implementing a program to support the lowering of the population growth, we achieved it, without the benefit of a census," he said.

Biazon said a census is required conducted every five years, with the last one in 2000.

"There was none in 2005 because the executive department did not submit the funding requirements for the conduct of that census," he said.

Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla has said the figure was "misleading" because it was based on "a mere projection."

Remulla said the NSCB has issued only a projection based on the 2000 census that population growth could go down to 1.95 percent between 2005 and 2010.

Parang "re-enacted budget" ng admin yung mga statistical "projections" nila. In the re-enacted budget example, the admin fails to pass a new budget on time, they get the same old budget from last year. but they are allowed to re-juggle it to suit their purposes.

Sa admin "projections" naman, since we didn't conduct a 2005 census, the admin statisticians can be also creative in their "interpretations" and "projections" of the 2000 census numbers.

So when the admin tells us na bumababa ang population rate natin despite having virtually no reliable gov't population program in place, you start to wonder...

Julia Campbell was "careless and irresponsible"

Sabi ni Arroyo Justice Secretary SiRaulO Gonzales, pretty much blaming the victim for her death:

The Philippines justice chief practically blamed U.S. Peace Corps volunteer Julia Campbell for her death as she described the volunteer's decision to on a lonesome hiking as "careless and irresponsible."

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales said Campbell may have tempted fate when she went hiking in the mountainous Ifugao provinces to see the famous rice terraces.

Gonzales said, "She was careless and irresponsible. She took a lonely walk by herself in [that] deserted area."

Campbell was last seen on Easter Sunday in Batad, Ifugao province after informing her friends she wants to take a hike in the area. She was declared missing by the U.S. embassy in Manila since last week.

MLQ3 has more on our godforsaken DOJ head.

Read this too from Arbet Bernardo.


- Raul Gonzales greatest hits

The GO website has a new look

hindi na siya blog. check it out.

Nandito rin yung apat na TV ads nila (Corruption, High Prices, Poverty/Hunger, Human Rights)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sing-a-long: Battlestar Galactica: A New Crew in Town

Para sa mga Battlestar Galactica fans dyan. Awesome MTV. Sayang, hindi ko alam kung sino kumanta nito.

Lyrics for A New Crew in Town: The Battlestar Song

Let me tell you about my favorite ship.
Back in '78 it seemed pretty hip.
It wasn't the Millennium Falcon or the Enterprise.
It was the Battlestar Galactica who took that prize.

Sure back then the effects were kind of cheesy
But I loved it like George Jefferson loved his Weezy.
Didn't worry about gravity or anything inertial
And Apollo's hair looked like a shampoo commercial.

But there's a new crew in town, and they know how to throw it down.
They make the others look like a ship full of clowns.

You're my new Battlestar, and you've come so far
I love the slanted walls, and your A-shaped halls.
You're full of Cylon clones, and those old-fashioned phones.
Yoúre a frakkin' awesome machine,
So much better than the one with Lorne Green.

They had a Daggit and a boy named Boxey.
Now Starbucks' a girl and the Cylons a foxy.
For Adama, Eddie Elmos wins the fashion election,
Instead of padded robes, he chose a different direction.
Sorry Dirk Benedict, don't want you to lose face
but Í'd rather share my space with Kara Thrace.

Baltar still gushes with evil intent
but why is he the only one with an English accent?
I love hot Number Six and her identical twins
Cuz on cable they're able to show a lot more skin.

You're my new Battlestar, and you've come so far
I love the slanted walls, and your A-shaped halls.
You're full of Cylon clones, and those old-fashioned phones.
Yoúre a frakkin' awesome machine,
So much better than the one with Lorne Green.

You're my new Battlestar, and you've come so far
I love your bluish glow and your drunk XO.
I love that you brought back old Richard Hatch.
You're a frakkin' awesome machine
so much better than the one with Lorne Green.


- Time Magazine's #1 Tv show in 2005

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Arroyo admin tries to stop ABS-CBN from airing GO ads on corruption

From the Tribune:

With the decision of radio and television giant ABS-CBN to proceed with the showing of the Genuine Opposition’s (GO) political ads that highlight massive corruption in the Arroyo government, Malacañang has tapped the legal team of the government to check whether they could still stop the network from airing the allegedly “libelous” ads.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, during a phone patch interview, yesterday said they had summoned the legal advisers of President Arroyo and that the Chief Executive would be given recommendations on their legal actions, possibly against the leadership of the Lopez-owned ABS-CBN broadcast .

“We have not seen yet the degree of the allegedly libelous ads of GO, so our President would be just leaving that matter to our election lawyers. As of press time, it is still early to comment, I have not seen (the ads) yet, so we would also be leaving that matter to them,” Ermita added.
He said they had received an instruction from the President to strictly monitor foul advertisements of the Estrada camp, especially those deemed libelous because “baseless allegations... destroy the credibility of the Chief Executive and her government. “

“We’re still monitoring what these GMA 7 and ABS-CBN television networks would show to our people, so right now we cannot say if (the ads) are libelous but, if they are indeed libelous, we will not hesitate to lodge libel charges against the TV stations’ presidents, officials and managers because they have the responsibility, they allowed the airing, so it’s their responsibility,” Apostol added.

GMA 7 has rejected airing the GO corruption ad but ABS-CBN has accepted all four ads.

Good for ABS-CBN for airing those GO political ads. At least, hindi sila naii-intimidate unlike GMA7. (or maybe hindi naman talaga sila na-intimidate, dahil maka arroyo ang istasyon na ito.) ;)

Sana gumawa rin ang GO ng ads using the Hello Garci clips. ABS-CBN may accept the ads, but I'm very doubtful na tatanggapin ito ng GMA7, hindi ba Mike Enriquez?

Why some party list groups want to keep nominees's names secret

With help from the COMELEC, of course: From Rina Jimenez-David:

Indeed, the only reason I can think of that a party would want to conceal its list of nominees would be if they had a problem with the nominees themselves. Either one or all nominees don’t really belong to the sector or interest group they purport to represent, or they have something in their past that has to be kept secret, or they simply bought their way to a nomination or else created a party with no real constituency simply to win a seat in Congress.

Exactly. Once the nominees names are revealed, mare-research natin kung ano yung background nila. And the arroyo partylist fronts don't want that to happen.

Which of these reasons lies behind the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to keep the names of party-list nominees secret? And which party or parties indeed support this Comelec decision?

These partylist groups, perhaps?

Manuel Buencamino pens an open letter to Chairman Ben Abalos. Here's the part on the Party List issue:

Your response to the recent survey showing many Filipinos do not trust you was not surprising. What else could you say other than, “I cannot do anything about it. Some people no longer want to listen to your explanation. So you have to do your best.”

Malacañang is counting on you to do your best and explanations can only create problems.

For example, you didn’t have to explain why you decided to keep Malacañang’s party-list nominees secret. Mrs. Gloria Arroyo’s election lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, said no one could compel you to publish those names anyway.

Unfortunately, in your eagerness to appear aboveboard, you twisted the law. Your boy, Commissioner Resurrecion Borra, said, “We have discussed it thoroughly in the en banc and we have to follow the law.”

The truth is, as Mrs. Arroyo’s election lawyer pointed out, RA 7941, the Party-List Law, does not prohibit the publication of the names of party-list nominees. It only says that nominees’ names should not appear on the certified list of party-list organizations.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

First Hand Reporting on Virginia Tech Shooting from Pinoy students

from Omar Maglalang and Tricia Sangalang of Planet Blacksburg. (H/T: Truehoop.)

Sabi kasi ni MLQ3:

Besides the general horror of the story, a colleague told me Filipino newsrooms were following the story because the Yahoo group for Filipinos at VT listed 86 members.

So I guess may mako-Contact na Pinoy students ang ABS-CBN at GMA7 sa istoryang ito if they wish to pursue it further. Here's Tricia's profile at Planet Blackburg, btw.

Timeline of events (already has 558 comments and counting).

Black and White Movement Website Reloaded

After a long absence, Helga is back posting.

Greetings! Yep, I'm back after a protracted hiatus. My absence was partly due to a lot of work, both personal and BnW. It was also due to being just too angry to write. Sometimes it's good to take a step back, recover your well being and refresh yourself.

Another good reason to post is our Congressional and Party List Black List / White List. This is our way of getting involved in the coming local elections. We believe that the road to political and governmental accountability begins in the Lower House. If we want answers to all our questions about scandals like "Hello, Garci", the Fertilizer Scam of Joc Joc Bolante, and burning issues like extra-judicial killings, then we must elect men and women of courage that are willing to impeach Gloria Arroyo in the next Congress. Even more importantly, we must elect Filipinos that will return our badly battered and misused institutions to respectability.

Even now, the battering continues - COMELEC continues to delay the publishing of candidates' names, even Party List nominees. The military is conducting smear campaigns against those they fear, fueled by the paranoia of their civilian leaders. We have witnessed the blatant bias of legislators in exchange for pork and the like, do we really need any more of that? The list goes on and on. And so we have decided to fight back with our own Lists.

Please take the time to visit our website,, weigh in and spread the word.

Eto yung whitelist/blacklist nila for Partylist:

BLACK LIST (Huwag Iboto)
Babae Ka

WHITE LIST (Dapat Iboto at i-Kampanya)
Bayan Muna
Anak Pawis
Partidong Manggagawa
A Teacher

I agree. Wag iboto ang mga gov't fronts ni Arroyo sa blacklist.

Ito rin yung Blacklist/Whitelist for the congressional races.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Maramba: Giant Step for a Priest

Asuncion David Maramba writes about Fr. Eddie Panlilio candidacy for the governorship of Pampanga.

Eto ang mga bigatin na makakalaban ni Fr. Panlilio doon.

UPDATE: Manuel Buencamino on one of Fr. Panlilio's opponents:

Lito Lapid was tricked into running for mayor of Makati. Lilia Pineda did not announce her candidacy until Lito was safely out of the way - a resident of Makati.

If Lito were not so stupid, he could have run for governor of Pampanga just to defeat the Pinedas and keep his turf. Now Mark is in trouble and Lito can't help him.

The conchaba between the Arroyos and the Pinedas worked and the Lapids will now be out.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Jesse Robredo Case

Outstanding Naga Mayor Robredo is in danger of being disqualified again dahil hindi raw siya Pilipino, according to his rival Luis Villafuerte, KAMPI president-- even though Robredo's citizenships case has already been settled in the past-- in Robredo's favor.

Kinda similar ba ito sa kaso ni former two-term congressman Harry Angping? Delikado si Robredo kung involved dito si Atty. Romulo Makalintal, LOL.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Don Imus, free speech hero?

That's the worry with firing him raw, sabi ni Henry Abbott:

I haven't bothered to scan the reaction elsewhere, but I'm sure there is no shortage of support for Imus at this point. I am, in fact, all in favor of free speech and dissenting opinion. I don't have a strong feeling about whether or not Don Imus should have been fired. But I'm more convinced than ever that a healthier reaction, for our nation's ability to inch forward with a little racial healing, would have been for Imus to emerge from this looking like a doofus, not an icon of free speech.

That's why I agreed with MLQ3 na hindi dapat tanggalin si Isagani Cruz sa column writing nya for his insensitive remarks towards gay people. What Cruz wrote in his column was bigoted and wrong (and MLQ3 was right to criticize him for it), but to have him lose his job over this would have been an overreaction on PDI's part.

Friday, April 13, 2007

GMA 7 rejects GO's ad on corruption

I wonder why???

From the Tribune:

Television networks—at least two of them that are tagged as giants in the industry—appear to fear the wrath of Malacañang and displeasing some powerful Palace officials, as the two networks were said to be “overly sensitive” in accepting the political ads from the Genuine Opposition, sources from the GO camp yesterday told the Tribune.

GMA TV network reportedly accepted only three of the four advertisements and rejected the GO ad which focused on government corruption.

ABS-CBN network, for its part, initially also rejected the GO advertisement on corruption but asked the GO to change it, for this to be accepted by the network.

The latest word is that ABS-CBN accepted the GO’s submitted edited version and will air all four GO advertsiements.

“They (TV networks) seem to be so scared of ruffling the feathers of Malacañang for them to hesitate in accepting these opposition ads,” sources said. “First, there was the excuse of the ad being libelous in the corruption ad, but in that ad, there was no mention at all of Gloria Arroyo—just a general theme of corruption in government, but even that, they considered to be libelous and advised us instead to change it a little, which we did, and ABS-CBN accepted the corruption ad, and all the other ads. But GMA-TV rejected the corruption ad, instead approving only the three remaining ads,” the sources stressed.

The Fatalist

From NYT's TimesSelect:

The Fatalist
By David Brooks

Lexington, Va.

In August 2003, John McCain returned from a trip to Iraq and began a campaign to increase the number of troops fighting the insurgency. In the fall of 2005, McCain returned from another trip to Iraq and said it was time to shift strategies — time to protect Iraqi neighborhoods and not run around chasing bad guys.

McCain watched the Bush administration reject his ideas while prospects for victory slipped away. As months stretched to years, he grew angrier at Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld for their active arrogance. He grew frustrated with parts of the Pentagon and the State Department for their lack of any sense of urgency. He became exasperated by his friend President Bush, for his elemental failures at statecraft.

But most of all he grew sadder, in a deep way you probably have to be him to understand. He didn’t think he’d see his country slide toward defeat again in his lifetime, and sometimes the melancholy seeps out of him.

“For four years we’ve been screwing this up,” he said yesterday. “Too often we’ve misled the American people with talk of Dead Enders and Mission Accomplished.”

Now the administration has belatedly adopted his recommendations, and he is in the midst of a presidential campaign. In some ways, this campaign is like the one he ran eight years ago. There have been reports of a bloated staff, but in fact the same people who were around him then are around him now: Mark Salter, John Weaver, Rick Davis and a rotating crew of former P.O.W.’s like Orson Swindle who are his conscience and his boon companions.

McCain still has the same likes and dislikes, the same romantic interest in history books and novels, and the same tendency to tell stories from Hanoi Hilton days in a matter-of-fact style you and I might use for a college anecdote.

But other things are different. In 2000, the McCain campaign was an exhilarating ride upward, and then, in South Carolina, a quick, furious descent, as McCain responded with self-destructive anger to the dishonorable tactics he perceived Bush was using against him.

This time McCain has been gradually sliding in the polls, and he has responded not by panicking or by changing, but by surrendering himself to the fates. He’s had a wonderful life, he feels, and if he is not president, it will be no tragedy. At first I thought he was making pre-emptive excuses for a possible defeat, but after observing him closely I concluded this is a fatalism that Navy fliers must often adopt as they go into combat.

And there’s a resilience to him now, too, which was not evident on the Straight Talk Express. The atmosphere is much harsher toward him, and you can see the hardness he must have used to resist his Vietnamese jailers.

And most of all there is the war, which looms epic in his mind, making the political jabs that consume campaign days seem trivial. He comes back to the stories all day long: the 19-year-old who already has three Purple Hearts, the kid who was shot through the eye and who got up and walked to the ambulance.

In the shadow of their fighting, he says, he has an obligation to seek victory as long as there is any chance of it. He has a duty, he says, to support the strategy he still believes in, and perhaps ward off the worse cataclysm that would come from chaos and early withdrawal. Far from avoiding this potentially killer issue, he’s embraced it.

He gave a speech at the Virginia Military Institute yesterday that was an extended argument for giving the surge a chance. The problem with his approach is he doesn’t grapple with the psychology and culture of the Iraqis, upon which all else depends. His focus is largely military. But no one can doubt the substance and seriousness of his views.

He’s been consistent and steady these past few years, while others have flickered. He’s been offended by Democrats who laughed and celebrated during the passage of withdrawal legislation. Yesterday he criticized them in a way that was harsh but thoroughly considered.

But in the long run, his embrace of Iraq may not hurt him as much as now appears. In 10 months, this election won’t be about the surge, it will be about the hydra-headed crisis roiling the Middle East. The candidate who is the most substantive, most mature and most consistent will begin to look more attractive and more necessary.

Mga candidates for Councilors ng MayniLA!

If you're interested in MayniLA's local races for councilor, I've posted something re it sa Manila Mayor's Blog ko. Hindi pa siya tapos. I'll do more updates later.

IMAO's comment policy for a better blogosphere

(hat tip Instapundit) There's been a lot of talk about Blogger's "code of conduct" lately (mostly aimed at regulating comments). Here's a more sensible comment policy from IMAO.

* All comments you make are property of IMAO. As soon as a comment is made, we can do whatever we want with it. We can delete it, edit it, or print it out and frame it and sell it on eBay. You do have some rights, though, such as not having to give lodgings to soldiers and not being forced to incriminate yourself in a court of law (though we may edit comments so you incriminate yourself).

* Official policy of IMAO is that we don't read your comments. While I do in fact read every comment, if someone comes up to me and says, "Why didn't you do something about this horrible comment?!" My response will always be, "This is the first I've seen of it. I'll do something about it right away!"

* Because I say I'll do something about a comment right away doesn't mean I'll ever actually do something about the comment.

* Comments can be deleted for any reason... or no reason whatsoever. If a comment is deemed offensive, it may be deleted. If a comment is deemed too mean, it may be deleted. If a comment doesn't kiss my feet enough, it may be deleted. If a comment is in the way of an interblog highway, it may be deleted. If I'm fiddling around with blog settings before I've had my morning coffee, many comments may be deleted.

* The main purpose of comments is to stroke the egos of authors. Thus, comments that speak negatively about IMAO are likely to be edited. E.g. "IMAO has been going downhill for a while. You've lost your funny" may become "ROTFL! That was awesome! Who wants to have homosexual sex with me?"

* By writing a comment, you are agreeing to be made into a racist. I.e., a recent comment of, "LOL! Great post!" may be turned into "LOL! Great post! I hate black people!" I may also go back and edit all your previous comments so you have a long history of racism if I'm really bored. Nothing personal; I'm just a jerk and I find that sort of thing funny.

* Despite all these caveats, you should know that any of your comments may (and probably will) be used against you in a court of law.

* Finally, and most importantly, IMAO is absolutely not responsible for anything that happens in the comments. In fact, we're unaware that IMAO even has comments. Just because we own the site, that doesn't mean we have time to click on every link and see what happens. Like there's this link near the bottom that says "Syndicate this site (XML)." What the hell is that? Wow. Now that I finally look at my site, I do have a lot of ads.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

John McCain holds conference call for bloggers

Here's an Instapundit roundup of the conference call Presidential candidate John McCain did with bloggers.

Gateway Pundit's report:

John McCain says that "He Would Rather Lose An Election Than A War"

He also says that he could not believe what he was witnessing when he saw democrats celebrate their surrender vote on the House floor.

John McCain answered questions today on a blogger conference call about how to best communicate to the American people the importance of winning the War and Reconstruction in Iraq.

McCain says that he would communicate every other week on the successes in Iraq in a venue like CSPAN if he were in charge. He also would hold blogger calls regularly. McCain said this Surge is a change in strategy as well as troop strength. Some of the bloodiest fighting took part in Al Anbar province. Now we have local support in much of the area. McCain believes that Patreus is an excellent strategist and the morale at the Pentagon is high.

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Mary Katherine Ham says that McCain will continue to hold bloggers conference calls kahit na presidente na siya.

More on presidential candidates and the blogosphere from James Joyner:

Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson isn't a presidential candidate yet, but the current actor on the "Law & Order" television series took one of the first steps toward that end this week: He posted a guest blog entry.

In the information age, presidential candidates have to pay their dues in the blogosphere just like they do on radio talk shows, daytime and late-night television, and every other forum where they can reach potential voters. Some do it by holding conference calls with bloggers and others by guest-blogging at popular sites.

Blogger David All asks: If you become America's next president, what role would bloggers, left and right, play in your communications strategy?

McCain's Reply: "I feel strongly that bloggers now are a vital part ofthe information technology in America and the world, and it's anunusual and incredible development."

2000: "I don't know if they existed, but if they did, I sure as hell didn't know about them."

"If I were president and this war were still going on, it'd be Important to do two things. Every two weeks, have a regular briefing talking about the good news and the bad news on the ground... Now, maybe only the C-SPAN people would watch that, but at least you're communicating with the American people."

"And, the second: be on with the bloggers every two weeks... Maybe there's too many bloggers and maybe we wouldn't get all the questions in, and maybe my answers would be too long as they are now...But maybe by lottery. Anyone who wants to ask aquestion, we'll throw your name in a hat and pick the top 15, soeventually all the bloggers get a chance."

"One editorial comment--I think the bloggers have a lot of maturing to do in someareas, but...It is a phenomenon that historians will look back on as something that had an incredible impact on the Americans communicate with each other and the world."

How to make the GO website better

1) GO should encourage their senatorial candidates to contribute posts on the GO blog.

Would love to hear from Lacson, Villar, Roco, Chiz, Nikki and others have to say.

2) GO should spotlight some GO, LP, NP local candidates too.

GO can highlight some of their local candidates that are running for elections this may 07.

it'd be a big help for mayor sabas abang mabulo candidacy to be spotlighted in this website. his candidacy will be of interest to more than a few people because he will be going up against maam Arroyo's son Datu.

dr. joey montemayor LP, OTOH, is running against mikey arroyo in pampanga.

and here's a useful roundup on Abang Mabulo

the GO website should not only focus the national candidates, but it should spotlight some local candidates too. they need the buzz and good word of mouth. the GO website can help them get that.

3) Comments should be turned on again.

i noticed na naka-turn off ang comments section ng GO. it's probably because maraming nanggugulo ng maka arroyo sa comments section ng GO. understandable.

pero by turning off the comments section, hindi maka-comment yung mga matitinong commenters ng GO. sayang. kasi the comments section and discussions generated there are sometimes the ones that make the blog interesting.

i have a suggestion/solution. why don't you make the GO website comments section available to members only. and only people who get an invitation to register (via email) as members can comment.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

UPDATED: Joker's Revisionism on Jose Pidal

Kasalanan na naman ng opposition kung bakit na whitewash ang pidal case.

From the Malaya:

TEAM Unity candidate Joker Arroyo yesterday said had the opposition then secured a court order, the public would have known who owns the controversial Jose Pidal account.

Arroyo, chair of the Senate blue ribbon committee which suspended its inquiry into the fictitious bank account, said the opposition deliberately refused to secure a court order to comply with the provisions of the Bank Secrecy Law.

"I told them, you go to court but they did not because they wanted to use it for propaganda. So, it was a matter of going to court. Get a court order and we will obey," he said.

"The law is very clear. Bank accounts cannot be opened. No way it can be opened. That is the essence of the Bank Secrecy Law, which has been with us for over a hundred years, and that is sacred doctrine," he added.

"The problem with the opposition is they didn’t want to go to court because they wanted it hanging and they succeeded in making that an issue up to this moment," he said.

BS. Lacson did better by asking the Anti Money Laundering Council to freeze Pidal's accounts, where it's job is to check on these hidden bank accounts and other money laundering activities, di ba?

Pero ayaw ng mga kaalyado ni Mike ARroyo sa senado (notably joker and sen. barbers) na tanggapin ang ebidensiya na iprinisenta ni Lacson dahil hindi raw original ang iilan sa mga dokumento na nawak nya (xeroxed lang yung iba).

Even if the documents were authenticated by the banks:

Sen. Robert Barbers yesterday said he would push for the deferment of the hearing of the Senate blue ribbon, electoral reforms and banks committees if Lacson still fails to submit evidence in the next hearing.

Sen. Joker Arroyo, blue ribbon committee chairman, said the next hearing would be on Monday, with Ignacio Arroyo in attendance. Ignacio, younger brother of the President's husband, has claimed ownership over the Jose Pidal accounts which Lacson has alleged were actually owned by Mike.

"It's helpless if we can't ask questions without the evidence. In the absence of the evidence, we should not summon Mr. (Mike) Arroyo. I will ask for the original copies of the documents because even if it's authenticated, it will not hold water because it's not the original," Barbers said.

But it is almost impossible for lacson to get the originals dahil pagmamayari ni mike arroyo at ng mga bangko ang mga documento na yon. And mike arroyo and co. weren't going to give it up, period.

As for Barbers' comment na kahit na authenticated ng bangko ang documento ay hindi pa rin nila tatanggapin yan as evidence, that says it all about the admin senators intentions at that time--to stonewall the pidal investigations and protect mike arroyo at all cost.

The right thing to do sana was to allow the bank employees under oath to authenticate lacson's photocopied documents during the senate hearings, but since pati yung mga "authenticated" documents ay hindi na rin nila tatanggapin, WATS DA POINT of this "we need more evidence" charade by Joker and Barbers? (check this out too on Gen. Carlos Garcia's case.)

Sabi ni barbers walang kwenta raw ang mga authenticated documents because it is not the original, pero bakit sila tumanggap ng authenticated copies when they were investigating PIATCO?

Arroyo, chair of the Senate blue-ribbon committee, tasked by the Senate to conduct the investigation, asked Pimentel to stop badgering his committee on “what to do because he does not know whereof he speaks.”

He said his committee wrote to Fraport on October 20, 2003, through its general counsel, Jose Diokno, asking for an authenticated copy of Fraport’s pleadings filed before the World Bank International Center for Settlement of Investment and Disputes (WB-Icsid) particularly on its allegations that Cabinet-level officials insisted that Fraport’s Philippine partners be eased out of the airport consortium in exchange for the protection of Fraport’s interest.

Besides, what's the point of going to court, eh na "rescue" na ni Mike Defensor si witness Udong Mahusay kay kidnapper Ping. I don't recall Joker being outraged by the admin's blatant attempt at witness tampering. lol.

Sino sa mga whistleblowers ang lalabas kung tine-threaten sila ng mga kaalyado ni arroyo? Tignan nyo na lang ang nangyari kay acsa ramirez.

Pero eniwey, balik tayo sa umpisa:

TEAM Unity candidate Joker Arroyo yesterday said had the opposition then secured a court order, the public would have known who owns the controversial Jose Pidal account.

Uh... hindi ba ikaw at mga cohorts mo ang nag-recognize kay Iggy "I invoke my right to privacy" Arroyo bilang owner ng Pidal accounts? Akala ko ba siya ang mayari?

UPDATE: Rudy Romero on Joker Arroyo's handling of the Pidal case:

Joker Arroyo denies to high heavens, and becomes extremely indignant, when it is suggested that he is one of the Arroyo couple's men in the Senate, but very few knowledgeable people are impressed by the denials. How else to explain his unyielding ?Show me the hard evidence first? stance in the face of evidence and testimony strongly suggesting wrongdoing on the part of the person who signed himself as Jose Pidal? Sen. Joker Arroyo hastily brought the blue ribbon inquiry to an end.

Since the nation could not expect any punitive, even corrective, action on the Jose Pidal case from the blue ribbon committee as long as Ninez Olivares's HS is its chairman, Serge Osme?a decided to perform the chore of trying to get to the bottom of the matter. Joker Arroyo protested that something like the Jose Pidal case was properly the subject of a blue ribbon committee inquiry. Serge Osme?a countered that, the Jose Pidal case being a banking matter, a committee on banks inquiry was entirely appropriate.

At the inquiry conducted jointly by Serge Osme?a's committee and Sen. Edgardo Angara's committee on revision of laws in the aftermath of the blue ribbon committee's abbreviated proceedings, Jose Miguel Arroyo's brother Ignacio (Iggy), who previously claimed ownership of the Jose Pidal deposits and freely supplied television anchor Arnold Clavio with specimens of his Jose Pidal signature, was far less forthcoming.

He invoked a ?right to privacy? and refused to answer questions about the Jose Pidal deposits and declined to give specimens of his Jose Pidal signature.

In the face of all these circumstances and developments, Joker Arroyo has been unmoved and unyielding. Ignacio Arroyo is not a government official and is therefore entitled to invoke a ?right to privacy,? Cory Aquino's first executive secretary maintained. In so holding, Joker Arroyo conveniently ignored (1) that Iggy is the brother of the presidential consort, who took all of two weeks to come forward and declare that the Jose Pidal of the bank deposits was his brother Ignacio and (2) that Jose Miguel Arroyo had at first a feigned ignorance of the existence of a Pidal ancestry.

Serge Osme?a is convinced that his colleague Joker is engaging in chicanery and is doing his darndest to protect the skins of the Arroyo brothers and, that of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He intends, with the members of his committee, to get to the bottom of a scandal which has the potential to completely destroy whatever credibility GMA's administration still enjoys.

At the recent committee on banks inquiry, which was snubbed by Iggy Arroyo/Pidal, Serge Osme?a displayed, for all to see clearly, blow-ups of two signatures beside one another. One signature was the ?Jose Pidal? appearing in the returned bank checks, the other was ?Jose Pidal? as signed by Iggy Ignacio on Arnold's Clavio's GMA-7 show. Quips Serge Osme?a: ?Even my five-year-old daughter can see that the two signatures are very dissimilar.?

A vote for TU is a vote for the status quo

Status Quo = cheating, corruption and abuse of power.

Tama si Rina Jimenez David:

Commentators have since characterized the elections as a battle of “machinery vs. popularity,” since candidates in the Genuine Opposition slate have regularly dominated the list of winners as gathered by public opinion polls.

But when Lakas and the President say they are counting on “machinery” to see them to victory, they are actually saying that they are banking on the old, traditional and discredited way in which political power is distributed and wielded in this country. They are counting on mayors and other local officials, including traditional “ward leaders,” to brandish their influence and thereby compel voters to follow their dictates. They are also counting on the network of watchers to protect votes not just for local positions but, hopefully, for national candidates as well. “Machinery” might well include a network for “massaging” votes at the upper levels of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), which is why many smell something fishy in the refusal of the administration to compel the Comelec to test computerized voting and counting in some cities and towns, as required (and funded) by law.

A vote for Team Unity, then, is a vote for the “status quo,” for the way politics is structured in this country, as merely a way of redistributing largesse and perpetuating the elite’s hold on power and privilege.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An alternative to Mark Lapid and Bong Pineda's wife

From Rina Jimenez David:

MANILA, Philippines -- When someone asked what I thought about the candidacy of Fr. Eddie Panlilio, a parish priest in Pampanga province who was suspended from his post when he filed his candidacy for provincial governor, I said I wasn’t in favor of it because, as the Pope himself pointed out, politics is mainly the concern of the laity and the role of clergy and religious is merely to provide moral guidance to voters.

But this was before I read Randy David’s column last Sunday, where he told the story behind Father Panlilio’s decision to run for political office. The priest’s decision, he said, was born out of desperation: the two leading contenders for leadership in the province have links to the illegal numbers game “jueteng” and corruption, and no “lay person” was willing to risk money, reputation, time and even perhaps their lives to confront these political “giants.”

Gov. Mark Lapid is facing accusations of graft from the questionable collection of quarrying taxes. Lapid’s main rival, who enjoys the support of many Pampanga mayors, is board member Lilia Pineda, whose husband Bong is said to be the “kingpin” for many years now of the jueteng operations in the Central Luzon region.

Though he has risked much to take part in partisan battles in Pampanga, Father Panlilio, so a story in this paper indicates, is also finding a groundswell of support from volunteers and donors in the province. Not only are contributions in the form of campaign funds and campaign paraphernalia piling up, the camp of Panlilio also reports a wave of volunteers who have signed up as poll watchers and campaigners.

Of course, whatever amount the priest raises or the size of the army of volunteers he manages to muster will in all probability pale beside the war chests and forces of his two rivals for governor. But a grass-roots campaign like his, despite its romantic overtones, faces great odds. Victory is possible, but only if he is able to convince his province mates that their votes for him will not go to waste, if his followers remain vigilant and the votes he garners are all counted and reflected accurately in the canvassing.

I'm not from Pampanga but I too support his candidacy.

From Randy David:

As a son of Pampanga myself, I feel bad that I could not relieve Father Panlilio of the burden he had taken upon himself. Until the last minute, he was urging me to run. But I told him I did not know the situation of our province enough to presume that I could be its leader. Moreover, I reminded him that each one of us has a vocation, and that mine is not the political life. I think he was disappointed with my response.

The other day, accompanied by a throng of supporters from various civic groups, Father Panlilio walked the short stretch from the San Fernando Cathedral to the Commission on Elections to file his certificate of candidacy. I am told that the night before, my brother, Bishop Pablo David, auxiliary bishop of Pampanga, tried to dissuade him for the last time from crossing the line, but to no avail. Betis has lost a devoted parish priest, the Church has lost a fine preacher. I hope Pampanga realizes it has gained a leader.