Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Giniba na ang Stalls sa Carriedo

kakadaan ko lang kanina. Wala na siya. I think it's another ill-advised move by Mayor Lim. ano kaya say ni celdran dito?

Balita: Mayor Lim plans to reopen Carriedo to traffic

Buhayin ang Carriedo!

Napa-iyak si Ann Althouse sa pagkamatay ni Ingmar Bergman

link here.

Ako, ni isang ingmar bergman film wala pa akong napapanood. pero may "Wild Strawberries" na ako sa dvd. I'll try to look for the films Ann suggested in her post.

hello there world

hehe... hindi ko alam pwede pala yung italics at underline sa Title ng blogposts.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

ABS-CBN and Malaya don't "get it" yet

Ito ang iniwan ni djb sa comments' section ni kuya mlq3:

lots of people go to ellen tordesillas blog for “scream therapy”. IMO there is nothing wrong with that. It’s a blog after all and what makes it different is she couldn’t do that on ABSCBN News or the Malaya website coz they just don’t quite get it yet do they. But they’ll get there.

Tell us how you really feel, dean.

Friday, July 27, 2007

You've seen the Cebu inmates do the Thriller...

but have you seen these other lesser known "MTV videos" from the same group of inmates?

Jumbo Hotdog from "The Maskulados"

I Will Follow Him from the Sister Act film

Radio Gaga from The Queen

Women inmates do Dayang Dayang

You can either say na harmless fun lang ito from Prison Supervisor Byron Garcia, o isang "cruel and unusual" "abu ghraib-ish" treatment siya. ;)

But yeah, I enjoyed the videos. Thanks Byron. I hope there's more to come.

Here's the original Cebu inmates do the Thriller video btw.

UPDATE: I like this japanese "algorithm march" (definition)

UPDATE: Byron Garcia, the guy who created the videos, is the son of former Cebu governor and now speaker wannabe Rep. Pablo Garcia (and brother of current Cebu gov Gwendolyn Garcia.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

David Stern Nails Tough Press Conference

the guy delivered in the clutch amidst the NBA referee game fixing scandal.

Details of Commissioner Stern's Presscon.

Tignan nyo yung Electric Bills nyo next month

From Herman Tiu Laurel:

Hogs and hogwash abounded at Congress, while hundreds of thousands of electricity consumers got the shock of their lives in their July billing. The “automatic cost recovery” Meralco imposed, without the benefit of public scrutiny, was P 1.25/kwh, not just P1/kwh. That’s 25 percent of last month’s billing.


UPDATE: Rotating outages hit Metro Manila

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

UPDATED: I wonder why we're not hearing more from Christian Monsod of One Voice?

He says na importante raw na dapat malinis ang election sa 2007. Marami siyang suggestions kung paano ma-reporma ang eleksyon natin (katulad ng CBCP.)

Pero bakit wala tayong masyadong marinig sa kanya re harap-harapang pagnanakaw ng election sa Maguindanao para kay Zubiri (just like the CBCP too)? How can you do your "reforms" if you are unable to tell it like it is about the Zubiri case. There's a need for "election reforms" daw (duh!), sabi ni Monsod at ng CBCP. Pero pagdating sa Zubiri-Pimentel case, walang kibo ang mga ito. You guys are the masters of the obvious (yes we need "reforms"), but at the same time, you guys are unwilling to condemn blatant cheating right in front of you. Kung hindi nyo kayang i-condemn ang rigged election victory ni Zubiri, why should WE even trust you with reforms (or any other issues that requires HONESTY and INTEGRITY?) O baka naman sa tingin nya ay lehitimo ang pagkapanalo ni Meegz? Noted ba Christian?

Importante ba talaga ang malinis na halalan, o salita lang ito para sa iyo?

next, we'd see Winnie write another article claiming Zubiri was the real winner. lol.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Escudero calls Lacson a "spoiler"

Ahh... spoiling the Villar Senate Presidency?

From the tribune:

With Sen. Panfilo Lacson drawing first blood calling “political mongrels” with no “political pedigree” the senators who ran under the Genuine Opposition (GO) ticket and won but who are now backing for the Senate presidency of Manuel Villar Jr., along with the bulk of the administration and indepen-dent senators, Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Jinggoy Estrada shot back.

Escudero lashed back at Senator Lacson saying the latter is merely being true to form as a spoiler “very much like what he did to FPJ (Fernando Poe Jr.) and the opposition in 2004” when Lacson mounted his own presidential bid and ran against FPJ.

Uhmmm... hindi naman si Lacson ang dahilan kung bakit split ang opposition.

Fact one: Nakipag-collaborate ang Villar camp para makuha lang ang Senate presidency. Fact two: Mas marami ang boto ng admin kay Villar kaysa sa non-admin senators. So MALAKI talaga ang utang ng loob ni Villar sa admin. Mas malaki ang sway ng admin kay villar kaysa sa opposition.

So let's not be naive here. expected na may quid pro quo diyan. The admin is a BIG part of the majority.

As for lacson being a "spoiler"... I blame the LDP dictator and palace mole Angara for creating the mess. more later.

UPDATE: It was Angara the dictator who screwed Ping by rigging the nomination process for the LDP's presidential bet. If Angara believed in democracy, then he should have respected the will of the LDP majority and accepted Lacson as LDP's nominee instead of unilaterally selecting FPJ (who is not a member of LDP)

And now, Angara is with the administration. How fucked up is that.

And although Ducky Paredes thought FPJ had a better chance of winning vs. GMA than Lacson, he agreed that Angara double crossed Ping.

Sabi ni Ducky:

You are right to point out that Ping Lacson did not get a
fair shake from Angara. That is Angara's failure as a human
being and he ought to be condemned for that as he is being
roundly condemned by just about everyone. But, again, the
decision on who to field comes down to who can more easily
win. Angara is a politician first before he is a great human
being.

So Lacson had every right to be angry. Ginago ni Angara si Lacson, so he did an FVR (bolting from LDP), and ran a separate campaign from Angara's bet.

I was never a supporter of FPJ, but I believe he won the last prez election anyway.

and here's some criticism of Escudero's explanation of his vote yesterday from John Nery.

Another first-time senator quoted from the Bible, too. Unfortunately for the many who reposed their trust in him last May 14, the young Sen. Francis Escudero (“Chiz” to everyone) not only failed to satisfactorily explain why he broke ranks with the opposition; he also betrayed his ignorance of the spirit of scripture.

Escudero was the last of five senators to stand and explain their choice for Senate president, after Jinggoy Estrada, Ping Lacson, Kiko Pangilinan and Jamby Madrigal. He started off well: “It is written in the Good Book,” he said, that we should not judge lest we be judged. He went on to paraphrase the rest of the passage (from Matthew 7). In the New American Standard Version, the passage reads: “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

It quickly became clear, however, that Escudero had merely used scripture for rhetorical purposes; he defended his vote for Sen. Manuel Villar, not by discoursing on Villar’s merits, but by arguing that no one had the right to say who was truly opposition and who was not. In the mellifluous monotone (a contradiction, I know, but let it pass) that he has made famous, he said no one could claim the crown (“walang sinuman ang puwedeng umangkin ng korona”), the right, that is, to judge whether a senator was oppositionist or not.

This is a breathtaking claim. Does Escudero mean he cannot be classified as pro-administration, simply on his say-so? Does he mean his actions, his votes in the Senate, for example, really do not matter, because he is an oppositionist at heart?

* * *

Here’s the problem: Chiz thought the biblical passage he quoted meant no one can act as judge, no one can sit in judgment.

This is a misunderstanding. The passage does not seek to stop men and women from judging other men and women. How else can we distinguish between the good and the wicked? Instead, it seeks to reintroduce integrity into the act of judging. In the way we judge, we shall be judged. By our own measure, we shall be measured.

But really, all this is beside the point. Escudero’s appropriation of scripture was merely meant to bolster his argument -- it was a personal decision to support Villar, he said -- with the weight it did not have.

We recommend another scriptural passage for him: Mene mene tekel upharsin.

Report says Yi Jianlian likely to play for Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks team can breathe a sigh of relief now?

BEIJING (AFP) - Basketball star Yi Jianlin will likely play for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, Chinese state media reported Monday, contradicting reports last week that the move had been ruled out.

Officials with the Guangdong Tigers, Yi's Chinese team, said the earlier reports were wrong, the Beijing Daily Messenger said.

"Yi will play for the Bucks after all," it quoted the team's vice general manager Liu Hongjiang as saying, giving no reason for the apparent turnaround.

Yi's camp made it clear before the June 28 NBA draft that they did not want the seven-foot (2.12-metre) power forward to play for Milwaukee, one of the NBA's smallest markets and a city with a tiny Asian population.

Worried that his development might be stifled there, Yi's handlers would not even allow him team officials see him train before the draft, but the Bucks selected him with the No 6 pick anyway.

Last week, Guangdong Tigers owner Chen Haitao was quoted by state media as saying the team would block Yi's move to Milwaukee and that he "definitely" would not play there.

But Chen said that report was wrong and that Yi would not return to play in the Chinese Basketball Association, according to the Daily Messenger. It said Guangdong Tigers officials offered no further details.

The Bucks have offered assurances that Yi's development would not be stifled and various media reports have said team officials plan to visit China soon to woo the 19-year-old.

Yi is considered a key part of the national team that China hopes will perform well at next year's Beijing Olympics, and Chinese officials are said to be keen to maximise his development beforehand.

RP Power Rate now highest in Asia

Wow. From Neal Cruz:

What did I tell you? I wrote here about a month ago that power rates would go up again because of the return of the hated Purchased Power Adjustment (PPA). Meralco sent a letter (which I dutifully published here about two weeks ago) refuting the column. Now the prediction has come true: Meralco has just increased power rates by P1 per kWh. At more than P11 per kWh, our power rate is now the highest in Asia.

There’s more bad news: Power rates may rise again if the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approves an immoral and possibly illegal agreement that would allow Meralco to collect from electricity consumers P28 billion (that’s billion) that it owes National Power Corp. To repeat, Meralco will make its consumers pay for a P28 billion debt that it acknowledged it owes to Napocor.

The original debt was much higher, but through haggling, it was reduced to P28 billion. But Meralco still did not pay, so it ballooned to P57 billion (and is still increasing) because of interest. The national government has at present something like a P48-billion budget deficit. If it can only collect from Meralco, it would have more than enough to cover the deficit.

How did Meralco come to owe Napocor so much? Here’s a background...

Read the whole thing.

PREVIOUS: MERALCO rate to be increased by P1/KwH

Blade Runner Final Cut in Theaters Fall 2007

This is good news. And great looking Trailer.

sana ipalabas rin ito sa pilipinas, so i can finally watch my fave movie on the big screen.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

DOW closes at 14,000

-- and the S&P sets a new record, too. Cue more Kudlow gloating! Sabi ni Instapundit.

Banayo: Villar has failed the test of Leadership

Yeah. Pero naisahan niya sila Lacson, Legarda at Roxas ano? Ne? ;)

Villar has to be the "frontrunner" for the 2010 elections at this point.

From Lito Banayo:

A lot has been said, and written, about the race for the Senate presidency which will come to a suspense-less head on Monday, when the 14th Congress opens. As well everyone knows, Manuel Villar will be elected by, at the very least, 14 of his peers. They are: Juan Ponce Enrile and Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Edgardo Angara and Joker Arroyo, Lito Lapid and Bong Revilla, Dick Gordon, Pia Cayetano, plus the Gentleman from Maguindanao, all allies of the present administration, by party, political affiliation, or history of co-optation. Add to that two self-proclaimed "independents", Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, and Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan. Plus three who were elected as oppositionists, namely, Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero and Jinggoy Estrada. Nine plus two plus three, equals fourteen. They will together elect Villar their president, and comprise a 15-man majority.

The minority will be led by Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel, who will be the minority floor leader. With him are Loren Legarda, Ping Lacson, Noynoy Aquino, Sonny Trillanes, Mar Roxas, Rodolfo Biazon, and Jamby Madrigal.

On June 26, this space wrote an article entitled "And the winners…lose?", where for the first time, we detailed the backroom maneuvers for the Senate leadership. At the time, we said: "By arithmetic and by logic, and most of all, by vox populi, the thirteen (Legarda, Escudero, Lacson, Villar, Aquino, Alan Cayetano, Trillanes, Pangilinan, Pimentel, Estrada, Madrigal, Roxas and Biazon) should be the majority in the Senate. All political logic and all of political tradition clearly argue that the thirteen, having the numbers to choose who should be the Senate President of the 14th Congress, must likewise vote among themselves which Senate committees they should first have".

At the time of writing, the Gentleman from Maguindanao and the would-be Gentleman from Cagayan de Oro were yet locked in a political farce being played out by the Commission on Electoral Cheating (Comelec), with a cameo performance by the Supreme Court.

One would have expected that a "leader" by virtue of his being the Senate President in the preceding Congress, would have called his twelve other colleagues in the opposition to a meeting, and therein formally inform them that he wanted to be first among equals once more in the 14th Congress.

But that he would not do. That he did not do. And his supporters now say that he did not because clashing personal interests, the so-called presidential ambitions of three other equals in the Senate, justify his not meeting with Loren Legarda, Ping Lacson, and Mar Roxas. Oh, he did see Loren Legarda, after he had sewed up his fourteen signatures, to offer her the candy of majority floor leader, a position aspired for only by the lady and the majority floor leader of the 13th Senate, Kiko Pangilinan, his signature ally. That would have been convenient, because his signature ally would have been willing to take "sweeter" candy, such as the Blue Ribbon. But the lady refused. So, as of this writing, the ranks of the minority have not been decimated. They remain at eight.

To the president he impeached, who now licks his wounds in a hamlet called Tanay, with whom he has "reconciled," and who championed him in the last elections, and who saw him as a sure Numero Uno in the last senatorial elections (that of course was not to be), he made a promise: The major posts would be with the "opposition". And by that definition, Jinggoy Estrada will be the Senate President pro-tempore plus chair of Public Services, Kiko Pangilinan will re-assume the floor leadership, Juan Ponce-Enrile will be the chair of Finance which has power over the national purse, and Francis Escudero will be chair of Ways and Means, which has power over taxation. Is Kiko opposition? Well, he belongs to the Liberal Party, which is opposition. And the Wednesday Group, which matters more. What about the crusty and durable JPE? Well, he is still a card-carrying member of Erap’s PMP, even if he is aligned with GMA. That useless card is enough to qualify as opposition, never mind if it is never used.

What about Blue Ribbon, the investigative arm that is the Senate’s first line of combat against graft and corruption? The most visible oppositionist who wanted to chair it was Ping Lacson. But Villar denied him this, not in a meeting with his peer, not in a conclave with his "fellow" oppositionists, but through third parties, expressed in person as early as May 27, 2007, ten days before the first 10 senators were proclaimed by the Comelec, and four days before the first conclave of the opposition senators was initiated and hosted by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada in his San Juan office. That meeting was attended by Jinggoy’s invited, namely, Loren, Ping, Alan, Noynoy, Jamby, and Mar Roxas, whose credentials as "opposition" the trio of Villar supporters in GO now question publicly. Escudero was invited but could not come. Biazon was invited but did not come, preferring Roxas, his fellow Liberal, to represent him. Pimentel was abroad. I do not know why Jinggoy did not invite Villar, or if he did, why the latter did not attend a fellowship with his "fellows" in the opposition. He invited me and fellow Abante columnist Raymond Burgos as observers, and fed us all medium-rare roast beef that Mar Roxas lapped up con mucho gusto.

Mar Roxas batted for Nene Pimentel, but Cayetano said he was committed to Villar. Fine. But what if Villar, whom many of those present claimed have not talked to them about his intentions, yet has already been verified as conferring (as of that time) with Joker and Angara, and JPE, among others in the administration, co-opts the GMA senators? Alan Cayetano was to the point. "Kapag nakisama sa administrasyon, may dahilan na ako, maski na Nacionalista, na humiwalay". Well said. After that meeting, Ping Lacson told me, "talagang marunong manindigan si Alan".

But several meetings later, to cut a long story short (read my June 26 column and another on June 30, entitled "All the President’s Men" for details through the archives), even after a meeting on June 9 at Polk St. in Greenhills, where deposed President Estrada himself presided, along with GO campaign manager Serge Osmeña and his deputy, RC Constantino were present, along with Koko representing his father and possibly himself, it was clear that there would be no numbers for Pimentel, and neither was the man aching to be Senate President. To forestall a situation where "the winners…lose", which Senadora Loren eloquently put in Tagalog, I, representing Sen. Lacson who was then out of town, proposed that the senators-elect there present write down in a piece of paper the committees they preferred, and the same submitted for Erap to convey to Manuel Villar who would not meet his peers in conclave or caucus. And they did. There were no conflicts in preferences. Only Chiz wanted Ways and Means. Only Cayetano wanted Education. Only Loren wanted to be MFL, or if not, to chair Agriculture. Only Lacson wanted the Blue Ribbon. Trillanes was disinterested in a committee, but his representative, Oyie Averilla, grandson of my esteemed and highly respected predecessor at the Post Office, Postmaster-General Felizardo Tanabe, intimated two possible committees no one was interested in. Someone remarked that the only possible bone of contention would likely be between Pia Cayetano and Jamby Madrigal’s committee preferences. But that was something that could be resolved, Serge O said.

In succeeding meetings with the president-in-hamlet, Legarda, Lacson, Madrigal and even Roxas, whose opposition credentials the trio supportive of Villar now question, the message given was the same: "Let this be an opposition-dominated Senate. We have the numbers. We can make Villar SP without having to collaborate with the GMA senators."

Now the picture has changed. In my June 30 column, "All the President’s (GMA) men", I stated that eight administration senators, plus two independents, plus Alan and Chiz, possibly to include Jinggoy, would deliver the senate presidency to Villar, and as a result of which, by simple arithmetic, the majority would be dominated by GMA loyalists, not by the opposition which was given a resounding mandate by the people on May 14. At the time of that writing, I expressed hope, no matter how forlorn, that the newly-elected senators, along with Sen. Estrada, would read the message of the last elections right. Forlorn indeed, for even in subsequent meetings with them, it was clear that the die was cast, not just for Villar, but for GMA.

Alan Cayetano, who is admittedly close to me, protested plaintively my characterization of what they had done. But friends though I hope we remain, I choose to be black or white in my stand, and not grey on my principles. Simple arithmetic, I kept telling him. The GMA men and women have greater numbers than you and Chiz and Jinggoy. Nine (with the newly proclaimed Gentleman from Maguindanao included) is numerically superior to three. Sa Tagalog, sino ang sumuko? Sino ang naki-apid? Kailangan ba talagang makipag-collaborate?

Assuming arguendo, that Roxas and Legarda and Lacson were indeed looking at "leveling the playing field" so that a would-be competitor for the presidency in 2010 would be "crippled" this early, whatever is so wrong with ambition? What is politics if not for men and women with ambition? Ambition to serve is noble. Ambition to enrich oneself at the expense of public interest is ignoble. But without ambition, there would be no leaders whatsoever.

The naked truth is that Villar "crippled", or thought he did, the ambitions of Legarda, Lacson and Roxas.
Deny them their coveted and deserved soapboxes – Legarda as floor leader, Lacson for the Blue Ribbon, Roxas for Finance. In their stead, we will likely have Kiko the "independent" as floor leader of the re-constituted majority, Enrile as purse-keeper, and whoever as Blue Ribbon chair. (As of this writing, I know who he is, but let me keep you in suspense. In this game besides, you never know until the fat lady sings, and it’s not gonna be Miriam, who is matronly though un-plump, nor Pia or Jamby or Loren, who are, for want of a better term, svelte.)

Villar has won, but he failed the test of leadership. A leader could be crafty, but above all else, he must inspire trust and confidence. First among his peers and fellows, thence, to the public he is sworn to serve. Leadership requires a steadfast devotion to principles, to a vision for the public good, not a vision for personal gain or glory. Unfortunately in this benighted land, by traditional practices called "trapo" politics that has calloused our finer senses, winning is deemed everything, never mind the manner by which winning is achieved. Machiavelli remains every politician’s hero, never mind Thomas More.

My beloved mentor and ninong, Doy Laurel, when we were yet together battling the forces of authoritarianism, once remarked: "Marcos is not a leader. He is a manipulator. He divides and rules. He cheats and connives. He wheels and deals. Sure, he has been successful, thus far. But he is not a leader. He is just a manipulator."

He recalled personal history as example. In 1967, he and his Kuya Pepito (Speaker Jose B. Laurel), told then President Marcos that he wanted to be considered for a slot in the Nacionalista senatorial ticket, representing Southern Tagalog. Marcos profusely assured him of his support. Later he found out that the wily Marcos had instructed his boys in the party to work instead for Lorenzo Sumulong of Rizal. Undaunted, the Laurels stitched up the support for Doy on the convention floor, the honorable, open and transparent way to fight – to compete openly for the favor of your peers. Laurel won over Sumulong, to Marcos’ chagrin, and along with Ninoy Aquino, won in the senatorial elections. Marcos, the manipulator, was thwarted with determined resistance. (And yet it was the elder Laurel who saved Marcos from prison, and Pepito who drafted Marcos to the NP, which was key to his victory for the presidency.

The distinction of manipulator suits Manuel Villar fine.

In 1998, an impetuous Erap welched on his commitment to Joker Arroyo for the speakership of the House, because Manuel Villar, who was a "silent" but very rich congressman for two successive terms, approached him with 50 Lakas converts to Lammp. In November of 2000,when Erap was in the direst of political straits and in the lowest of spirits, "his" Speaker, upon the suggestion of Joker Arroyo, banged the gavel in lightning fashion, and impeached him. Poetic injustice. But Erap has forgiven and forgotten.

In 2004, Manuel Villar was on the side of Gloria, and it was singularly Las Piñas, his municipal empire, that delivered a majority for her in Metro Manila.

In 2005, when Hello Garci exposed the underbelly of cheating so gross, financed by stealing so massive, and papered over through lying most shameless, Manuel Villar preferred to be silent, even as his fellows in the Senate, who also rode with Gloria, cried "enough".

But in 2007, deserted by his Wednesday dinner fellows, Joker, Ralph and Kiko, Villar inserted his presence, in name more than in reality, with the "Genuine" Opposition under the sponsorship of the man he impeached and therefore betrayed. Now he spurns his "fellow" oppositionists and goes back to bed with GMA’s loyalists. With "young" Chiz and Alan his manipulated, in tow. And with Erap’s Jinggoy, his manipulated, blessing the enterprise. Congratulations, Mr. Senate President. You are "the" manipulator, par excellence plus sans pareil.


Ironically, the man who defined to me what leadership was as contra-distinguished from manipulation, Salvador H. Laurel, who served his country with distinction and with honor, bequeathed the Nacionalista Party, in his deathbed, to Manuel Villar.

Leader or manipulator? Ninong Doy must be tossing in the grave.

But I think Kuya MLQ3 has a different view from Banayo. Sabi niya:

And now, as our politicians screw up the mandates given to them...

I think manuel is referring to the opposition. Sa tingin ko hindi si GMA, dahil wala naman tayong "mandate" na ibinigay sa kanya para i-"screw." (Sa tingin ko hindi rin yung mga 2007 admin candidates ang tinutukoy ni q3, because people who voted for these people wanted more of the same--status quo.)

But in a previous article, he also said it's unfair to blame the Villar camp for the mess.

Put two and two together, malalaman mo na kung sino sa tingin nya ang may kasalanan sa Opposition camp.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Celebrity donors list: Who's contributing to Clinton, Obama, Kucinich, Guliani?

the list.

Ito kaya ang dahilan kung bakit sobrang taas na ng singil sa kuryente?

From Herman Tiu Laurel:

Automatic ‘cost recovery:’ P1/kwh increase

DIE HARD III
Herman Tiu Laurel

07/20/2007

Just a month after the removal of the public hearings required by the Epira Implementing Rules and Regulations by the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) , with Meralco and a handful of power distributor-independent power producer (IPP) combines, Meralco has exercised its power to “automatically” raise its rate under the pretext of “cost recovery” by P1/kwh. From P4.69/kwh to P5.67/kwh or a full 25 percent increase and adding P2 billion a month to the coffers of Meralco — a quarter of a hundred billion a year more charges without public hearing.

Resigned Energy Secretary Lotilla said, “I would like to end my vow of poverty,” so where does he get his money for expensive antique cartographs for his hobby? All DoE chiefs that promoted privatization from Viray to Lotilla are rewarded beyond the wildest dreams of most Philippine government bureaucrats. In the same way, the ERC appointees also do have great futures.

With Lotilla, incumbent ERC chairman Albano gave Meralco and other power-generating distribution companies their manna from heaven. Albano argued that the ERC would have to hear 1,600 petitions for “cost recovery” if the power utility companies were not given automatic privilege to recover the costs they claimed. Nasecor’s Pete Ilagan belies Albano’s claim because he asserts, “There are only seven companies engaged in both generation and distribution that the ERC has to deal with and not a hundred as Albano claims.”

Albano and Lotilla argued that they pity the power utility companies because of the burden of their unrecovered costs that have to wait for months to be heard and approved by the ERC; but they don’t or can’t and won’t pity the millions of power utility consumers many of whom have to scrimp on breakfast or on their children’s baon for school just to “advance” the cost recovery payment of Meralco and its ilk. A quarter of a hundred billion pesos will be sucked out of the millions of Meralco and other IPPs electricity consumers — imagine what contraction of the retail economy that will create.

Sen. Koko Pimentel (because he is the real 12th place senator) joined me at my table at the Club Filipino as I was writing this piece. He arrived to join the Binay “convention” of the anti-Gloria political groups, as well as meet his lawyers preparing for the Senate Electoral Tribunal protest of Zubiri’s proclamation. When Koko heard my explanation, he was shocked and kept repeating, “Are you sure its P1/kwh? That’s why the Meralco stocks shot up astronomically! The stock market players knew this automatic cost recovery was going to kick in!”

Koko added, “This automatic cost recovery is a post-audit system that spawns corruption. Checking for anomalies only after the disbursement. Charge the consumer first before public hearing and examination of the cost claims!” Consumers are put in an impossible situation now with Lotilla and Albano’s grant and we can audit only after they’ve withdrawn the blood and the blood donors are dead from the bloodletting. Why is it only Nasecor and this column are raising this rage to high heavens?

Ilagan and I had briefed the only sitting senator that will definitely take action on this matter: Senator Trillanes. We cannot preempt the senator’s legislative strategy that has been explained and is absolutely satisfactory. Of course, no legislation will be effective if the chief culprit is there on top of the executive branch of government to appoint the equally corrupt, pro-Big Business and anti-consumers such as Lotilla (now replaced by the job-hopping master of nothing Angelo Reyes) and Albano working in tandem with Meralco and company.

As we write this, our volunteer monitoring on the radio airwaves reported that Meralco’s claim that it will get only 13 to 15 centavos of the P1/kwh. The truth is the company will get at least 70 percent of the cost recovery of up to .70 centavos because it owns the IPPs from where Meralco gets the bulk of its power and where Meralco is also part owner. While here at the UNO-GO convention, I wondered if these “oppositionists” will bring up real policy issues as this automatic cost recovery promulgated by the DoE and ERC. Will Chiz Escudero bring it up? Impossible. He has a radio program on the Lopez-owned dzMM. Do you think he can speak out against this travesty of due process for the electricity consumers? What about Alan Cayetano? His late father became senator as the compañero on dzMM. Does Cayetano dare challenge their family benefactor?

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada filed a bill to junk Epira. He should revive it and maybe can beat Manny Villar Jr. and Mar Roxas II to the 2010 presidential run. The party that removes Gloria and Meralco’s plunder will be the next government. Can GO-UNO go in this direction?

US Congressmen question Zubiri's "victory"

Ano kaya ang sasabihin ni Meegz dito.

From the Tribune:

Two US lawmakers will write a personal letter to President Arroyo to raise the issue of the controversial election of administration candidate Juan Miguel Zubiri to the 12th and final senatorial slot.

Zubiri won the slot by virtue of the votes from Maguindanao province in southern Mindanao that an election watchdog yes-terday confirmed were fraud-tainted as shown by du-bious certificates of canvass (CoC).

In his letter to Mrs. Arroyo, US Rep. Donald Payne (Democrat, 10th District, New Jersey), congressional sources yesterday said, will express concern on behalf of his Filipino-American constituents regarding Zubiri’s proclamation.

The letter will be co-signed by US Rep. Robert Wexler (Democrat, 19th District, Florida).

“The Filipino-American constituents of the two congressmen from New Jersey and Florida have made representations before them. In turn, they are acting on the issue,” one of the sources said.


Here's more on fake senator zubiri's "win" from Robert Verzola:

According to Roberto Verzola, secretary general of the poll watchdog Halalang Marangal (Halal), the results of the May 14 mid-term elections from six towns in Maguindanao are fraudulent and should not have been accepted by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Verzola, during a press briefing at the office of the Philippine Rural Recons-truction Movement in Quezon City, said the average fill-up rate for senators in the six towns had exceeded 12, a statistical impossibility.

A report prepared by Halal recommended the investigation of the vote-rigging in Maguindanao, urging probers to nail those who falsified or forced Comelec officials to falsify results and official documents and those who hid or destroyed official documents and ordered the murder and kidnapping of witnesses to the fraud.

Halal also urged the prosecution of Comelec officials “who, despite the statistical and circumstantial evidence, officially accepted these results and foisted them on the Filipino people, and those who offered to pay or otherwise reward local officials who deliver them the votes, regardless of the people’s will.”

More from CVJ: Mama Mary vs Musa

Military brands Jonas Burgos as NPA member

Ito kaya ang dahilan kung bakit siya dinukot ng ISAFP?

Link.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

An Open Letter to Koko and Migz

From Adel Tamano:

Dear Koko and Migz:

Salaam. I begin this letter with a greeting of peace to emphasize that all that is written here is in good faith and done in a spirit of brotherhood to both protagonists in the battle for the 12th Senate seat. Yes, Migz has been proclaimed by the Comelec, but the issue of who really won in the last elections is far from over. So since the central characters in this drama will still face off in the Senate Electoral Tribunal, it is appropriate to give them some advice and constructive criticism, unsolicited as it may be.

For Koko:

Pañero, you and I are on the same Genuine Opposition team and naturally I am rooting for you but your approach to this situation has been, for the most part, wrong. First, you have been pursuing this as a purely legal battle. It is not. It is, more important, a battle for public opinion, for the hearts and minds of both your supporters and detractors. You have to make the complex legal issues involved in this case understandable and accessible to the general public. The vast majority of Filipinos are non-lawyers and are not interested in esoteric legal principles such as estoppel, statistical improbability, or the Lagumbay doctrine. Frankly, Juan de la Cruz does not care a whit about these concepts. What he wants to know is how election fraud affects him personally, how it destroys his mandate and his right to choose his leaders.

This leads me to my second point: This election debacle is not just about you and the impression that you have given the public, unwittingly I’m sure, is that you are only fighting for your personal right to be proclaimed as senator. Again, it is not about you — the mandate that has been abused, disregarded, and degraded is the people’s mandate. You have to show the public that you are fighting for their rights, their interests, not merely for your own self-interest. Stop talking about you being cheated — it is the people who have been cheated.

Third, trust your lawyers. From what I saw at Friday’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court, you are in very capable hands. Again, don’t ever lawyer for yourself because you will not have the clarity and objectivity needed to win.

Lastly, lighten up. You appear overly serious and combative when facing the press while your opponent, in contrast, appears in the media smiling and relaxed. I understand that you must be fuming mad because you know that you have been cheated but in our culture those who lose their cool are beaten (ang pikon talo). So chill out – you may have lost some battles but the war isn’t over just yet.

For Migz:

You do not know me and you probably see me as someone totally partisan so what I have to say may not have much weight with you. Nevertheless, allow me to offer some advice that I again must emphasize is done in a spirit of brotherly counsel and based on what I believe to be not only for the common good but for your personal benefit as well.

You do not need to do a survey to know that most people believe that the Maguindanao results are fraudulent. The results are not merely “statistically improbable” but are simply logically impossible. Remember, these are the poll results that had Chavit Singson originally at the top spot. More specifically, the Maguindanao results showed an over 90 percent voter turn-out and 19 candidates for senator, including extremely popular candidates such as Lacson, Cayetano and Aquino, getting zero votes in an entire province. This is simply unbelievable. In fact, the implication of the voter turn-out of over 90 percent is that on election day, practically everybody in the province of Maguindanao trooped to the polls. This means that almost no one was sick, injured, out of the province for work or leisure, forgot to vote, decided not to vote, or had to stay home to care for their children, parents, spouse, etc. This impossible situation utterly destroys the credibility of the province’s election results. Of course, it does not help that you have provincial election supervisor Bedol “losing” all the certificates of canvass and Namfrel and PPCRV not getting their election returns as mandated by law. Simply, it is obvious to any reasonable person that the results in Maguindanao are tainted with fraud. So do you really want that taint to be associated with your person? Would you like to be forever thought of as someone who benefited from cheating?

I have heard only good things about you as a person and as a congressman. Your friends and even those on the opposite side of the political fence say you are honest, well-mannered, God-fearing, and devoted to your family. All these descriptions of you lead me to believe that you are too decent to accept a tainted mandate. You should realize that accepting the results from Maguindanao will contaminate the mandate of millions of people who have supported you. Your supporters deserve better. You deserve better. You still have a bright future ahead of you but, as with all things in life, this issue regarding Maguindanao will be a real test of character for you. Call me naïve but I continue to pray for you that you will rise up to the challenge and refuse to accept a “victory” that includes a tainted mandate.

Lastly, for Koko and Migz, I pray that God will enlighten and strengthen you both and lead you to do what is right and best for our country.

Great post by CVJ

It's called Mama Mary vs Musa, on how Zubiri "won."

UDPATE: link fixed na. thanks for the heads up, cvj.

UPDATE: De Quiros does have a point (erm... or maybe not)

What is dismaying about all this is not the opposition’s inability to consolidate their victory at the polls by having a Senate president who would distribute the spoils among them. What is dismaying -- no, disgusting -- about this is that this so-called opposition can think of nothing else. What is dismaying about this is not that the opposition cannot get its act together in the simple matter of choosing a Senate president, mounting one failed meeting after the other. What is dismaying -- no, disgusting -- about this is that this so-called opposition should try to mount one meeting after another to discuss nothing else....

What is the mandate of the opposition? The mandate of the opposition is to oppose. The voters put them there, not so they could oppose the fact that they are not in power while their administration rivals are. The voters put them there to oppose the fact that an illegitimate government is mounting a dictatorship on this country. What is dismaying -- no, disgusting -- is that at the time the opposition was busy opposing one another on who should step into the shoes of the Senate president -- and presumably the president three years from now -- was that they did not lack for more life-and-death things to oppose. There was the impending reign of terror in the form of the antiterror law, there was the unrelenting spread of the culture of impunity in the form of the killings, there was Edita Burgos, mother to a disappeared child, who could not find justice in a land her husband helped to free.

Hell, they were so busy opposing one another they could not even oppose the horrendous iniquity of one of their own, Koko Pimentel, being muscled out of their fold right before their very eyes.

Bakit hindi ipinaglalaban ni Senate President Villar at ng mga iba pang taga opposition ang panggagago na ginagawa ng COMELEC at ng Supreme Court kay Koko Pimentel? Here's the rest of the Article.

Yan ang una nilang dapat asikasuhin, IMO. Else, magiging tatanga-tanga ang bagong Senate "majority" na ito.

UPDATE: OTOH, Hindi ba naiisip ni de Quiros na kaya gusto ng opposition na ma-resolba muna at makuha ang Senate presidency sa panig nila ay dahil kapag napunta ang Majority sa administration ay hindi na magiging ganado ang Senate sa pag-imbestiga sa mga abuses, extra-judicial killings, at ang katarantaduhan na ginawa ni Bedol sa Maguindanao?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Chiz chides ‘oppositionists’ over Senate leadership pick

Wala akong problema kung maging Senate President si Villar (to tell you the truth, siya ang first choice ko), as long as kontrolado ng Opposition ang senado. But the truth is that Villar has struck a deal with the admin, and you can't disregard the fact that there are more administration senators voting for him than Opposition. So MALAKI talaga ang utang ng loob ni Villar sa admin.

So expected ang quid pro quo diyan. At yan ang nakakasuka.

From the Tribune:

The rift between the warring opposition senators continues and with less than a week before they finally come face-to-face to start performing their tasks, it is likely to reach the boiling point before or after electing their Senate president.

Newly proclaimed Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero yesterday affirmed earlier reports on his intention to support Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. in his bid for the Senate presidency, along with Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

He lashed back at some of his colleagues in the opposition who accused him of “joining” the administration after winning the May senatorial elections, saying the race to the Senate presidency is a matter of personal choice on a certain personality, not on issues where clearly the lines are drawn as to who are with the administration or not.

“It’s a personal commitment given because he (Villar) was the incumbent, he ran with us in GO (Genuine Opposition) and at the time, Sen. (Aquilino) Pimentel (Jr.) gave no indication he was running and I cannot and will not turn back on the word I already gave,” Escudero told reporters in an interview.

He said Cayetano, also a GO candidate, agreed to support Villar.

Again, no problem with his Villar choice. But if Villar wins in THIS MANNER, malamang mas malaki ang say ng admin senators sa issues at agenda ng senado kaysa sa mga kontra administration.

So disagree rin ako kay Kuya Manuel nung sinabi niyang:

I do think critics of Senators Francis Escudero and Alan Peter Cayetano are being unfair, or at least, the critics who also claim they want a political system that has an electorate that votes for parties and not personalities, and officials who act according to party loyalty and platform. Cayetano is a Nacionalista Party member and his party chief is Manuel Villar Jr. So he must go in the direction his party leader points to.

Escudero is a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, itself a spin-off from the Nacionalista Party, and his party has stood foursquare by the side of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo all these years. At the end of the day, Escudero, as a good party man, must stand where his party chooses to stand: beside the President. If he felt uncomfortable with this ultimate alignment, he would obviously have left his party by now. And he hasn’t.

Well, let me say that I voted for GO because I don't want the admin to become the majority. So paano na yan? But I blame escudero and cayetano less, and Villar more. Obviously, hindi sya marunong sumunod sa USAPAN.

A 2-1 guilty decision for Estrada

Yan raw ang prediction sa kolumn ni Maceda:

Who’s pulling the strings? A retired justice of the Sandiganbayan told us that he expects a guilty verdict against Erap. He told us also that Special Division chairman Teresita de Castro is not the ponente. His view is that it may be a 2-1 decision and will go to a division of justices for decision. He confirmed that the original plan was to issue the decision this week but was pushed back to August because of the controversy created by the Erap: Guilty or not guilty ad. Very interesting.

Ito pa isang tidbit:

Opposition Rep. Teddy Boy Locsin (Makati, 1st District) is on the team drafting GMA’s State of the Nation speech...

"Opposition"?

MBC loses interest in fighting corruption; Says it's "a way of life"

How times change. Corruption is not a big issue anymore, unlike 7 years ago.

from the malaya:

FILIPINO business has come to accept corruption as a way of life, resulting in reduced enthusiasm in fighting it, Ramon del Rosario, chairman of the Makati Business Club, said yesterday.

Del Rosario, president and chief executive officer of Phinma, was reacting to the results of the 2007 SWS Business Survey on Corruption, which said that the scale of public sector corruption remains high in the country.

"Corruption is a fact of life but is something that should not be accepted to stay," Del Rosario said...

On fighting corruption, managers are willing to contribute 2 percent of their net income, down from 5 percent in 2006.

"The loss of interest in contributing to fight corruption may be traced to the fact that they do not see something is going to happen or be addressed, or because of the lack of visible results. This is why private sector should do its share by policing its ranks. True that some of us don’t pay honest taxes... we also bribe. It is true that some keep more than one set of books... but we continue to monitor how we can identify how we can improve ourselves through rigid standards," Del Rosario said.

But i bet the issue of corruption will make a big comeback if somebody they don't like (Lacson? Binay?) will run for higher office.

Weder-weder lang yan.

UPDATE: ganito rin ang sinabi ni MLQ3:

Parties should fight over issues, you say? Before 1946, the issue was: independence now, or later? After 1946, the defining issue of any election is that uniquely Filipino expression, “graft and corruption”: keep the current rascals, or replace them? Today, it’s poverty and the lack of social justice. Every election has been fought on one of these issues. They’re too broad, too simple, for you? Tough.

That's what you hear from the other side a lot too, nowadays. But before Edsa Dos, the issue was def "corruption." Doon natanggal si Erap. Even tho erap i think was about "poverty alleviation" before it was the cool thing to do. Hindi ba nag-improve ang economiya natin by 4.4% GDP in 2000 under erap, after the disastrous 1998 (due to asian financial crisis.)

Magaling talaga sila diokno, medalla at pardo, you have to admit.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sorry

but I don't subscribe to the idea that "doing good deeds" can erase or make up for the way Zubiri was COMELECted into office.

Because that is the same argument used by administration apologists and some of her CBCP fans to keep Arroyo in power (na she's doing a "good job" raw running the country.)

Sabi ni MLQ3:

At the very least, all sides should take Zubiri at his word, when he says he will work doubly hard to prove that his critics' misgivings about him are misguided.

I don't mind having a Zubiri. Kung nanalo siya. BUT THE FACT IS, COMELEC HELPED STEAL THE ELECTIONS FOR ZUBIRI. And no amount of justification... na porke "qualified" siya, o may "potential" siya can right THIS WRONG.

Unlike the other two administration candidates elected to the Senate, Zubiri after all isn't living out his sunset years. He isn't at the tail end of a career in politics, he is at the end of the beginning. I don't think anyone seriously expects the Senate Electoral Tribunal to resolve anything within one or two years, or even five; therefore we have what we have, and what we have is a Senator Zubiri: who has admitted that he will continue to be known as the Distinguished Gentleman from Bukidnon and Maguindanao for a long time to come. Only he, through legislation that makes a repeat of this year's messy elections impossible, can turn a term of scorn into a badge of pride.

rolleyes

I've said this before, and i'll say it again. Kung hindi nag concede sila Recto at Defensor, you'd be seeing one or two more admin senators, thanks to Maguindanao's "12-0 results".

UPDATE: Kung alam ko lang na magiging ganito ang resulta ng p*t*ng in*ang SC at COMELEC na yan, sana hindi ko na lang isinulat ang post na ito. Sana hindi na lang nagsalita si Musa Dimasidsing.

UPDATE: Tahimik lang ang CBCP sa "pagkapanalo" ni Zubiri (even though kaliwa't-kanan ang suggestions nila kung papaano raw gawing "mas credible" ang election). If you guys are incapable of making a stand on the Zubiri moro moro, then it's better if you guys just shut up na lang re "reform, reform" suggestions nyo sa elections natin.

Maybe they should read this article first from Conrad de Quiros.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Clintons eavesdropped on Princess Di's conversations

From Mickey Kaus:


You Connect the Dots! I tried this before, and it all came crashing down. But now there are two more dots!

Dot 1: Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta report in their recent book that Hillary Clinton personally

listened to a secretly recorded audiotape of a phone conversation of Clinton critics plotting their next attack. The tape contained discussions of another woman who might surface with allegations about an affair with Bill. Bill's supporters monitored frequencies used by cell phones, and the tape was made during one of those monitoring sessions.

Dot 2: Tina Brown's new Diana Chronicles contains this passage, supporting reports that Princess Di was thinking of marrying U.S. tycoon Ted Forstmann as part of a possible presidential ticket:

Diana built an escape fantasy around Forstmann for a time. "It's a true story," he told me, "that Diana had the idea that we should get married, that I should run for president and she would be First Lady."

Dot 3: Forstmann was in fact seriously mentioned as a Republican opponent for Hillary in the 2000 N.Y. Senate race.

Dot 4: Both Diana (according to Tina Brown) and Forstmann (according to the New York Daily News**) thought they were being bugged.

Dot 5: A British paper reported that Diana and Forstmann and Diana were bugged by some American outfit during the Clinton administration, although the official Lord Stevens inquiry failed to include this allegation despite press predictions that it would. (See also this account, which doesn't mention Forstmann but does claim Diana was bugged by Americans.)

Emphasis added.

**--Dec 12, 2006 Daily News story not online, but it's on NEXIS. 7:03 P.M. link

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Wow, ang taas ng singil sa kuryente

it seems in the last three months, habang pababa ng pababa ang KWH na ginagamit namin (we make an effort to save), tumataas parin ang singil sa electric bills namin.

Bakit palpak ang mortar ng Marines?

At ito ang dahilan ni Blackshama:

The Armed Forces of the Philippines should DEFINITELY bring the terrorist-bandits to justice. But as we all know there are major hindrances to the effectiveness of the AFP. Now when you have mortar rounds that won't fire, what would that say? Corruption in the purchase of ordinance seems to rear its head here.

Did you say corruption, Blacksharma? So saan ba napupunta ang mga US aid para sa military natin?

As for the Abu Sayyafs, the seem to be making a comeback.

UPDATE: At least we don't have ridiculous incidents like this anymore.

Planado ang botohan

Arroyo's SC does it again. I'm sure pinagusapan nila kung papaano sila boboto. "split down the middle."

Buti na lang nakonsensiya sila Defensor at Recto at nag-concede. Else, siguradong panalo sila at tanggal 10th at 11th placer sa Magic Twelve.

Noted Koko, Noted.

UPDATE: Short of another people power, there's nothing Koko can do at this point. Might as well round up all the the a-holes at the SC and the COMELEC and have them shot.

Friday, July 13, 2007

2007 FIBA U19 World Championships (Basketball) in Eurosport Asia Pacific

(all converted to Manila Time)

Scores and Team profiles from FIBA website:

Eurosport Schedule:

7/13/07 Fri

Litthuania (Lit) vs France (Fra) 12:30
Turkey (Tur) vs Australia (Aus) 17:00
China (Chn) vs Serbia (Srb) 18:15
Fra vs Brazil (Bra) 19:30 LIVE

7/14/07 Sat

Fra vs Bra 1:15
USA vs Chn 2:30 LIVE
Fra vs Bra 7:00
USA vs Chn 8:00
Fra vs Bra 13:00
USA vs Chn 14:00

7/15/07 Sun

Srb vs USA 17:00
Fra vs Lebanon (Leb) 18:00

7/16/07 Mon
Srb vs USA 16:00
Fra vs Leb 17:00
Srb vs USA 21:00

7/17/07 Tue
Semis 6:00
Semis 7:30
Semis 20:00
Semis 21:00
Semis 24:00

(will be updated regularly)

Players to watch: USA team members that are ranked in NBAdraft 2008

#13 DeAndre Jordan
#2 Michael Beasley
#8 Donte Greene

And From France

#3 Nicolas Batum

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Burgos Prosecutor relieved after tagging ISAFP as culprits

From the Malaya:

SENIOR state prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco was relieved yesterday by Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez as head of the panel investigating the disappearance of activist Jonas Burgos, two days after he ordered an investigation of military intelligence agents and two other officers suspected of involvement in the abduction.

Great timing. Great Firing. Who does Raul Gonzales think he is? Richard Nixon? O si Alberto Gonzales?

PDI: EU envoy ‘astonished’ at Velasco relief from Burgos case

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

MILF, Abu Sayyaf kills 14 marines, and beheads 10 who were looking for Bossi

Unbelievable:

Hundreds of Abu Sayyaf terrorists on Tuesday ambushed Marine soldiers involved in the search for Italian priest Giancarlo Bossi in Basilan, killing 14 and wounding nine, Marine spokesman Lt. Col. Ariel Caculitan said yesterday.

He said 10 of the fatalities were found beheaded near the encounter area in the village of Ginanta, Tipo-Tipo early yesterday. The identities of the fatalities were withheld pending notification of kin.

It was the biggest Marines casualty since 2005 when 12 troopers died in a clash with the Abu Sayyaf in Patikul, Sulu.

But Mohagher Iqbal, chief negotiator for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, said the men encountered by Marine soldiers were not Abu Sayyaf but MILF forces.

“They (soldiers) entered the area without coordination with the MILF-CCCH (Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities). That’s the reason why we had the encounter,” he said. “Our forces were attacked, we only defended ourselves.”

Sa inquirer naman: MILF, Abu join forces in Basilan ambush

LAMITAN CITY -- They were returning to base in heavy rains after a fruitless search for kidnapped Italian priest Giancarlo Bossi when their trucks stalled in the mud. Then the firing began.

In a 10-hour gun battle that turned into a carnage, 14 Marines were killed -- 10 of them beheaded -- and nine others wounded in one of the most shocking military debacles in years in the country’s southern islands.

“They were surprised when bullets rained on them,” Brig. Gen. Ramiro Alivio told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, recounting Tuesday’s daylong clash between 50 badly outnumbered Marines and some 400 Abu Sayyaf bandits and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) guerrillas in Albarka municipality (formerly Tipo-tipo) on Basilan island.

Sometimes, you can't tell the difference anymore between the MILF and the Abus Sayyafs.

JB Baylon: It's still not better late than never

Here's his follow up article on the CBCP:

It’s still not better late than never

Two years after the "Hello Garci, Hello Ma’am" conspiracy became public, here comes the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines calling for the total revamp of the Commission on Elections, from top to bottom.

Their reason? The conduct of the May 2007 polls which apparently they feel makes the Comelec deserving of a failing grade.

The good bishops, I feel, are trying to make up for lost time, what with their wishy-washy positioning at the height of the "Hello Garci, Hello Ma’am" revelations that almost brought down a government. I think I could imagine the bishops then, caucusing, realizing that their words and deeds – remember how the whole of Philippine society was just waiting to see what they would say and do? – could unmake one government and cause the establishment of another, or, some believed, even lead to total chaos. Was it a responsibility they were willing to take?

Apparently not, because our bishops chose to look at all that had happened in shades of grey ("everybody cheats anyway", said one of them!) rather than standing firm (even extreme) for what was right and moral and ethical and forcing everyone else to confront their relativistic tendencies.

The bishops chose to be relativist when the people were hoping they would be firmer.

Now, two years later, our good bishops are confronted with a second fraudulent election, and appear to be moving heaven and earth to make up for lost time. And now they are getting bolder–they are even demanding the heads of Abalos and Company!

Maybe we should all be happy, but I am not. Because this is how I see it:

In 2005 the bishops were confronted with evidence that a rapist was at large, someone who wasn’t simply "irresponsible" but someone who appeared to really have a criminal mind. Yet for one reason or another – perhaps for reasons of "reasonable doubt" – our bishops chose to react less forcefully than they should have, in effect allowing the alleged rapist to get away scot-free.

Only to see him rape again, two years later.

Yes sir, that is what happened: a rapist was caught in the headlights in 2005, yet our bishops chose to do little. Now that he has raped again, our bishops are stumbling all over themselves trying to do the right thing this time. Can they blame us if our applause is muted?

The fact of the matter is, our unwillingness to pierce the boil of electoral fraud that was committed in 204 but only became public in 2005 has two years later given rise to a second fraudulent exercise. And the second fraudulent exercise was possible because the "fraud machine" – peopled by the same "irresponsible" elections officials – remains intact. Many of the individuals named in the "Hello Garci, Hello Ma’am" recordings not only remain in office, some of them even were promoted to higher levels of responsibility, just like moving a thief from the position of store cashier to the position where you give him the codes to the bank’s vault!

And why was this possible?

Because in 2005, at the height of the public’s outrage at all that was being revealed, the bishops chose to address the matter with kid gloves. At the brink, they chose to blink – helped not, I hope, by envelopes said to have been made available to them – thus depriving the movement for better government its best possible moral armor.

"Everyone cheats anyway", one of them said – to which the response should be "even a bishop has a price".

If you think about it, a friend of mine who expressed a truly extreme position may very well be right. Why are there thieves in government, he asked? Because, he reasons, our church leaders are not willing to deny them the sacraments. Imagine, this friend continued, if priests would deny communion or a proper burial to any and every government official and his wife who are known to be a crook?

On the contrary, we do the reverse: because many of the corrupt are also those who are generous to the Church, they get rewarded with special masses, special attention by the Church hierarchy, even special blessings and special (I almost wrote Papal!) awards!

When the President’s spokesman – who is supposed to verbalize what the President wishes to say – held up two discs and told us that one was fake and one was real, he was lying. And she in effect was lying too. And that was no ordinary or ‘white" lie; that was a lie that went to the heart of the issue: Did GMA conspire with Virgilio Garcillano to cheat Fernando Poe Jr. of electoral victory?

"But everyone cheats anyway" was the answer we got from the bishops, an answer that took the wind out from the sails of those who believed that electoral fraud is the republican equivalent of a cardinal sin.

Now, two years later, after the same cardinal sin has been committed, the bishops want a total revamp of Comelec because "irresponsible" elections officials make electoral fraud possible. Again they miss the mark, because committing fraud twice in three years isn’t a mark of irresponsibility. It is a mark of criminality.

And if the bishops still can’t see that, then we can’t say "better late than never."

There's nothing else to add to what he said. I agree completely.

For me, it's too little, too late. I'm not really that interested anymore in what they have to say about electoral reforms or corruption, or how evil the marcoses, sen. lacson, and erap are.

UPDATE: Basta tandaan nyo na lang yung mga pangalang ito: Orlando Quevedo, Fernando Capalla, Ramon Arguelles and Soc Villegas, the guy who backstabbed Vidal Doble.

Previous:

- Not "irresponsible" but CRIMINAL.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Zubiri to be proclaimed by COMELEC as "12th Senator"

Shall we start calling him the senator from Maguindanao na?

PCIJ, OTOH, lists down the reasons (3-parter: here, here, here) kung bakit kaduda-duda ang election results sa Maguindanao (which cost whistleblower Musa Dimasidsing his life.)

Plus, on Garci's COMELEC pal Bedol.

UPDATE: More from PCIJ here and here.

Adel Tamano now a columnist for the Tribune?

Eto ang latest niya from the Trib. Ang pangalan ng column niya ay "The Advocate".

Columnist rin sya ng Manila Times.

"Hindi tayo patatawarin ng tao kung matapos nilang iboto ang oposisyon, e ipamigay pa natin sa administrasyon and mayoriya...."

"...Kung sino ang nanalo, siya pang talo."

- Sen. Loren Legarda

UPDATE: I don't think Federico Pascual is pro-Opposition, pero ito ang sinabi niya kay Manny Villar.

I thought Sen. Manuel Villar abandoned the administration in the last elections to run with the Genuine Opposition. I thought that the poll results clearly showed that the people want an oppositionist Senate in the coming 14th Congress.

So why is Villar, who had cast his lot with the GO, playing footsie with the administration minority in the chamber? So he could hold on to his Senate perch that he believes would help catapult him to the presidency in 2010?

That is just the trouble with Villar. He changes political color too often that no one remembers where he is or what he stands for — except for the unchanging fact that he wants badly to become President of the Republic.

But can anyone trust a man without firm loyalties?

UPDATED: Pressure should be put on Cayetano, Escudero, and Jinggoy

don't be stupid, guys. If voting for Villar means letting the administration become part of the majority party and control of the senate agenda, then don't vote for Villar!

Vote instead for whoever GO and Opposition senators have decided (within the group) to support as Senate President.

Here are Chiz, Jinggoy, and Cayetano's contact infos:

Chiz Escudero 8346590
minorityoffice AT gmail.com

Jinggoy Estrada 5526716
senjinggoyestrada AT senate.gov.ph

Alan Cayetano 5526692
alancayetano AT yahoo.com

Gosh, I hope it's not yet too late.

Previous:

- Thanks to Villar, Administration will decide who becomes Senate President
- Sen. Roxas: "Whoever wins the senate presidency by courting the administration senators is clearly the real purveyor of division within the opposition ranks.”

UPDATE: The inside scoop from Lito Banayo:

In a bizarre twist of events, the die is cast for Manuel Villar, who will once more be chosen president of the Senate by his peers from the administration. Thirteen senators of the realm have affixed their signature in a resolution of support for the gentleman from Las Piñas.

The thirteen are Edgardo Angara, Joker Arroyo, Pia Cayetano, Juan Ponce Enrile, Richard Gordon, Lito Lapid, Ramon Revilla Jr., and Miriam Defensor-Santiago, previously and/or currently with the administration. There are two "independents" in the sense that they did not run as official candidates of either the Team Unity or the Genuine Opposition: Gregorio Honasan and Kiko Pangilinan.

These ten signatories were joined by three who ran, and won, in the ticket of what was called the Genuine Opposition: Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, and of course, the beneficiary of their support, Manuel Villar.

There is talk that no less than Jinggoy Estrada, who is abroad, also signed, or at least that is the claim of the spokesmen of the administration bloc. President Joseph Estrada forcefully denied this, and declared that his son Jinggoy will remain with the real, the true, the "genuine" opposition.

This writer was present when a consensus was forged at the Polk St. residence of the Estradas on June 9, when eight senators of the opposition agreed to give their support to Manuel Villar provided the opposition, numbering twelve, would be the majority in the Senate, and as such, would decide as a group who among the independents and the administration senators, if any, would be invited as part of that Senate majority.

Representing Panfilo Lacson who was then out of the country, I suggested that the senators present list down their committee preferences, two or three in order of premium interest, and that the same be given to Senator Villar for him to prioritize, as should be. The representative of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV wrote down the committee preferences of the latter. Koko Pimentel was present, although at the time, it was clear that his victory hung on the balance. Mar Roxas and Jamby Madrigal were not present, but in previous meetings of the senators-elect wherein they participated, they made known their acquiescence to having Villar re-elected Senate president, with the support of the full opposition. All declared that having been elected as opposition, or in the case of Roxas and Biazon, having chosen to side with the opposition on the matter of GMA’s "election", courtesy of Hello Garci, the majority, by right of numbers, should be the opposition.

Roxas who in previous meetings had expressed preference for Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel as president of the Senate, reconsidered his stand, and was willing by then to support Villar. It was also agreed in principle that Senators Pia Cayetano and Kiko Pangilinan, by reasons of unanimous consent, were to be invited to an avowed opposition majority composed of: recently elected or re-elected Villar, Legarda, Lacson, Escudero, Aquino, Alan Cayetano, Trillanes, and Pangilinan plus previously elected Madrigal, Pimentel Sr., Roxas, Estrada, Biazon and Pia Cayetano. That is a total of fourteen.

The administration senators would therefore constitute the minority: Angara, Arroyo, Enrile, Gordon, Lapid, Revilla and Santiago, plus Honasan the independent. The latter was a special case, to be accepted into the majority fold if he would agree, considering that such an agreement may have to be made by him only after a "nihil obstat" from his long-time mentor, Juan Ponce Enrile.

All these meetings were not happening under a Pollyanna-like political environment. The senators present were aware at the time that Manuel Villar had been conducting meetings with administration senators. Villar claimed to President Estrada that he did not initiate the meetings, but could not refuse to meet with fellows in the Thirteenth Congress, specially since he too was elected in 2001 under the administration ticket. Add to that of course, his ties with his bosom buddies in the Wednesday Group, most particularly Joker Arroyo, his senior by almost a generation.

It was in fact these meetings done without first calling to a meeting his new-found fellows in the Genuine Opposition that triggered some resentment which led to the possibility of running Nene Pimentel against Villar. To be fair, Pimentel was not aiming to be the Senate president, and would agree to being the opposition candidate only if the fear of a Villar collusion with the administration became evident.

Loren Legarda captured the dilemma facing the opposition in plain Tagalog, when on that June 9 meeting, in the presence of the detained president and the GO campaign manager, Senator Serge Osmena, she quipped, "Hindi tayo patatawarin ng tao kung matapos nilang iboto ang oposisyon, e ipamigay pa natin sa administrasyon and mayoriya. Kung sino ang nanalo, siya pang talo."

Simple arithmetic and plain logic. But as our article on Tuesday, "And the winners…lose?" stated, the worst fears have come to pass, if the resolution signed was indeed signed by the opposition personalities, and/or if the signatories do not review and possibly withdraw their signatures. The personalities of the opposition involved come from the House of Representatives, where signatures are traditionally treated as writ on toilet paper anyway.

It is now clear, and quite obvious, that Villar had sought support first from the administration bloc, and likely committed the key positions of Finance, Blue Ribbon, Foreign Relations and others to them, at the expense of the Genuine Opposition and its allies. The Senate Presidency at all cost, never mind the incongruity between principle and position. The irrepressible Miriam Defensor-Santiago confirmed so, and even provided details of the concordat.

One recalls how the Opposition believed up to the last minute that Villar could bring in his Wednesday Group buddies to their ticket. So that line-up was hostaged up to the last few minutes by Joker and Ralph and Kiko, remember? And when finally Villar confessed his inability to persuade the compromised, the GO had to scramble to fill up the two vacant slots, along with swallowing Kiko as a "guest" candidate. That scrambling fortuitously produced Senator Antonio Trillanes, thanks to an opposition-determined electorate, and despite the Ampatuans, the Bedols, the Sumalipaos and the Abaloses of this world.

Is this message, this vox populi, now lost in the minds and consciences of young Alan and young Chiz? Is personal friendship or party loyalty (as if political parties in the real sense, do exist) so precious that sleeping with the "enemy" is now so convenient?

Key to the finalization of the concordat between the opposition "few" and the administration "many" rests upon Jinggoy Estrada, and by inference, the detained president. If Senator Jinggoy signs into the group, then Chiz and Alan will find some "moral" excuse for the incongruity of bedding with the administration while deserting their fellows in GO. They can always say that if Estrada, the opposition icon, agreed, then they cannot be faulted. "Follow the leader", even if they blazed the trail themselves.

Our friend Serge Osmeña, who shepherded the GO to victory in the last campaign, rationalizes the "carambola" as part of the topsy-turvy culture bred by this stupid multi-party format we force to operate in a presidential system. Maybe so.

Better yet, the sense of what is right and wrong, of what is proper as against what is expedient.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Not "Irresponsible" but CRIMINAL

JB Baylon reacts to the CBCP's latest pronouncement. Read the WHOLE thing.

I'll repost in here, Perez

Since I couldn't post my reply (probably because of the links) in perez's blog.

Continuation ng usapan namin ni Magnificent Perez. Did not know na he was a member of LAKAS and Joker Arroyo's lead counsel pala. Makes you see his "Necessary Evil" in a different light. (eto po ang initial reaction ko sa post niya. Reaction ni Patsadakarajaw.) Anyway, nakita ko kasi yung comment niya about Escudero, and I pointed out na there are similarities between Chiz Escudero and his idol. He responded.

At eto naman ang sagot ko atty. perez:

But then again, the fact that Joker actually went to jail during Martial Law era and got tortured for standing up to human rights abuses doesn’t count for much nowadays, does it?

thank god escudero did not experience those things, but other arroyo critics were not as fortunate.

Joker's reputation as a "human rights" fighter has lost its luster a little bit because of his silence on most of the arroyo admin's human rights abuses..

And when he did speak up, it was too little, too late.

While we’re at it, why don’t we overlook the fact that Joker is the active head of the Senate blue ribbon committee and has been doing a fairly credible job at it, like let’s say… insisting on the opening of the Jose Pidal bank book?

credible? Are you on drugs? ang alam ko, si joker ang pumatay ng pidal investigations eh.

The "Erap 11" vs. the "Pidal 10"

FPJ aside, what many people are missing as they get fixated on who the opposition bet will be is the emergence of a new bloc of senators along the lines of the much-maligned "Erap 11".

Remember them? These were the 11 senators who voted against the opening of the so-called "second envelope" during the impeachment trial of Joseph Estrada in the Senate in 2001.

Now, we have the "Pidal 10". These are the ten senators, led by Blue Ribbon committee chair Joker Arroyo, who have voted to uphold Ignacio "Iggy" Arroyo's "right to privacy" claim before the Senate investigation on the Jose Pidal accounts. By this decision, the 10 senators are saying that Iggy Arroyo cannot be forced to tell more about the accounts; neither can he be forced to sign the name "Jose Pidal" in front of the committee members.

Never mind that the signatures Iggy had submitted to GMA-7, which the network in turn submitted to the Senate, clearly show that they are not done by the same hand that signed the checks that Panfilo Lacson showed during his exposé.

gustong ngang buksan ulit ni lacson ang pidal investigations, pero "serado" na raw ang issue na yan, sabi ni joker.

Walang ginawa si joker from 2001-2005 kundi protektahan ang mga Pidal. Nung sumabog ang Hello Garci, nag-lie low siya muna, then he made his move, trying to look "independent" by opposing Arroyo's plans to abolish the Senate and contesting EO 464 and Proc 1017.

Pero pagdating sa pagnanakaw ni Jose Pidal, extra judicial killings, at ng dayaan sa 2004 elections, he sided with the arroyo admin.

Please, disregard the fact that Joker was also an active hand in both the overthrow of Marcos and Erap administrations. I guess that thing’s just not worth mentioning in the history books.

But he was also an apologist for the arroyos and it's admin -- an admin that is clearly more corrupt, abusive, and illegitimate than the previous one it replaced.

The point I’m trying to make Atty. Escudero is that without your crusade against GMA, you are nothing but an empty tin can, the kind that makes a lot of noise.

Same thing can be said re Joker and his crusade against Marcos and Erap.

Lacson seeks relaxation of bank secrecy law

Lacson wants to exclude gov't officials facing investigations from availing of the Bank Secrecy Law protections

From the tribune:

Lacson seeks relaxation of bank secrecy law

07/02/2007

As he braces for reinvestigation of the Jose Pidal controversy, opposition Sen. Panfilo Lac son is also out to bat for relaxation of the country’s bank secrecy law that will leave no room for excuses on the part of government officials suspected of amassing questionable wealth to withhold any information on their supposed hoard.

Lacson over the weekend said he again will seek approval of his proposal initially filed in the just-concluded 13th Congress, along with several other previously proposed measures that were not acted upon by his colleagues.

In moving to revisit the bank secrecy law, he said he will call for the exclusion of all government employees — from top bureaucrats down to messengers — from the protection that the law affords those suspected of stashing ill-gotten wealth.

The senator added this second look at the law will plug the holes in graft investigations involving people in government posts.

“This bill is basically premised on the principle that a public office is a public trust. I already filed such bill in the 12th and 13th Congresses, but it never got past the first reading. It never even merited committee hearings. But it is a measure worth refiling because once you enter government service, as President or clerk or even a janitor, you should not hide behind the provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act,” Lacson said.

He added fellow senator-elect Antonio Trillanes IV plans to file a similar bill.

Under Lacson’s version of the proposed measure, government officials facing investigation are excluded from the protection of the Bank Secrecy Act to allow probers to look into their bank accounts for any signs of graft.


Previous: De Quiros - Every public official should sign a waiver

"Whoever wins the senate presidency by courting the administration senators is clearly the real purveyor of division within the opposition ranks."

“There is an attempt to pin on two other senators (Ping and Loren) and myself the blame for a fragmented opposition in the Senate. Yet, whoever wins the senate presidency by courting the administration senators is clearly the real purveyor of division within the opposition ranks.”

“Whatever the outcome of the SP race, the LP senators except for Sen. Pangilinan will remain within the minority bloc. The people’s mandate in the last election is clear: an independent, fiscalizing Senate under the leadership and control of the opposition. I follow that mandate.”

Sen. Mar Roxas, on the Senate Presidency Imbroglio

Here's what I thought of the whole thing.

More from Ellen Tordesillas:

They are probably thinking that 2010 is three years away. Filipinos have short memories.

Erap reportedly warned Villar about it: “Naku masisira ka niyan.” But Villar reportedly replied, I’ll take my chances. I’m willing to go down as Senate President.”

He also said something like “Media lang dyan. Kayang ayusin yan.”

Yan rin ang sinabi ni Villar kay Lacson, after he failed to live up to his agreement with opposition members, and goes back on his word.

Lacson did not hide his disgust over the reported “flight” of their allies in the opposition to the side of the administration senators as well as the alleged maneuvering by Villar amid their efforts to form a opposition-led majority bloc in the Senate.

In radio reports, he claimed Villar had approached Mrs. Arroyo for support, leaving them hanging in the air, and broached alignment with the ranks of administration senators.

“When he (Villar) was warned that it (his meeting with the President) could adversely affect his political career, he said (his career will be taken care of through ‘media handling’) as if all media are paid hacks who can be cajoled into twisting the real situation,”the opposition senator said.
.....

“There’s nothing wrong with our opposition colleagues supporting Villar or Pimentel or whoever from the opposition. What is unacceptable among the eight of us who compose the minority is Villar and the three other senators’ turning their backs on our agreement that we will stay together in the opposition not join the administration camp,” he said.

maybe pwedeng idaan ito sa "media handling". pero the internets won't forget this, Manny V.

UPDATE: or maybe it will?

UPDATE: the opposition turned down the admin's proposal to oust villar as senate president.

NEOPHYTE Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III yesterday said it was Malacañang that approached the group supporting the Senate presidency bid of minority leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and not the other way around.

Aquino said the Palace sent an emissary around the last week of May or the first week of June. He said the emissary, whom he declined to name, talked with Sen. Mar Roxas about a deal wherein the eight pro-administration senators would align with at least five senators from the opposition bloc to oust Senate President Manuel Villar.

Aquino said Roxas then consulted the pro-Pimentel group and asked "if we could align with specific administration senators (to elect a new Senate president)."

He said the proposed deal was shot down.

"I declined (the deal) and so did Senator (Rodolfo) Biazon. Subsequently all our efforts have been directed to consolidating the opposition," he said.

But Villar has no compunctions dealing with the admin (dahil talo siya sa bilangan within the GO and oppo members) just to get his SEnate Presidency back.

UPDATE: Thanks kuya manuel for linking.

Eto yung lastest ko sa isyung ito:

- quote of the day from Loren Legarda
- Lito Banayo's inside info on what really happened

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Wala na ang Avenida Walkway

Nakakalungkot, kuya eddie.

Masakit rina para kay Celdran:

I didn't realize how much this would affect me. My heart is officially broken and I am a sniveling mess. I haven't slept well all week, I haven't left bed all day today, and this morning, I actually shed a tear in frustration (- and mind you, I never shed tears). All I kept thinking to myself was: Mayor Lim, why did you send The City of Manila back into the dark ages? The north side of the Pasig River is once again a crowded, traffic-choked mess since you started ripping out all the marble and pavement and returned asphalt and jeepneys to Rizal Avenue last Saturday. This is definitely not the best way to start your term. I am comletely unimpressed. As a matter of fact, I think I hate you.

Ya. I got depressed nung una kong nakita ito. Nagparinig ako sa blog ko na plis, wag nyong ipabukas ulit sa mga kotse at jeep ang kalsadang Avenida.

(i knew this would happen, kaya si danny lacuna ang ibinoto ko, kahit na taga-opposition si Lim).

Eto naman yung mga pictures ni Senor Enrique sa new look Avenida. depressing.

Adminstration will decide who becomes Senate President???

Eto ang opinyon ko. Since the administration senate bets lost in the last midterm elections, and since the opposition hold the majority in the Senate, syempre dapat sila na ang may control sa Senado, hindi ba? (at ang admin naman ay dapat ma-relegate sa minority status.)

I have no problems with the two candidates vying for the Senate Presidency: Manny Villar and Nene Pimentel.

(Actually, I initially prefered Villar over Pimentel.)

Pero ano itong balita na naririnig ko na just because Villar didn't have the votes necessary within GO and the Opposition to become senate president (malamang mananalo si Nene Pimentel), he shifted to plan B and started courting the admin senators to vote for him as Senate Prez.

And if he becomes senate president with the help of admin senators, ibig sabihin nyan hawak na naman ng arroyo friendly senator ang blue ribbon cmte? Makukuha ni Enrile ang Finance Committee chairmanship? si Miriam naman magiging foreign relations committee chairman?

This is total BS. Senate control should go to the Opposition, and who becomes Senate President should be decided within the group. There's a reason why Republicans usually don't allow Democrats to vote in their their primaries (and vice versa.) Cuz you don't want the other side to decide who your nominee is. There's a reason why the majority party (let's say the democrats) keeps the selection process for the Senate Majority leader and Speaker of the House within the party. Cuz you don't want the REpublicans to mess things up for your party.

Example: Once the dems have decided kung sino ang napili nilang Senate Majority Leader (Harry Reid) at Speaker of the House (Ms. Pelosi), the democrats were united in voting as a block in favor of reid and pelosi, even tho some of the dems are other candidates for majority leader and speaker.

Pero teka teka, maka-administration ka na ba o hindi, Manny V? Hindi ba kasama ka sa GO, you participated in the rallies and GO events? (is this the reason why you only want to be considered as "guest candidate" of GO?)

At yung mga taga opposition na sumusuporta ka Villar for senate president, I have no problems with Chiz, Cayetano and Jinggoy wanting Villar to be Senate Prez. But you have to realize, within the Opposition, you guys are in the minority. The only way Manny Villar becomes Senate President at this point is if he gets help from the administration senators.

C'mon opposition senators, are you gonna allow the admin to select the Senate presidency for the Oppo and regain control of the senate? (and relegating the Opposition to minority status) Kasi ganyan ang mangyayari if you choose not to respect the internal votes within the Opposition and decide to vote with the admin on Villar.

Like ganito:

While he tried to convince reporters that the issue on the Senate presidency is yet to be sealed by Villar, Pimentel and his ranks admitted in a separate press conference that they have “accepted” their fate in serving as the minority bloc in the Senate for the 14th Congress.

How ridiculous is that?

Yung mga democrats at republicans, do they allow the other party (the minority) to decide who becomes their party leaders and who gains control and committee chairmanships?

Think Chiz, think. Think Alan, think! Think Jinggoy, think!

Eto ang dapat nyong gawin. First, determine within the Opposition on who should become senate prez: Manny Villar or Pimentel.

Once that is decided, the GO and opposition senators as a block, should vote uninimously for Pimentel (or Villar).

If the internal votes within GO and the opposition show that Villar would probably not be Senate Prez, then tough, Manny. Respect the vote. Respect the Agreement.

Ano, yung Agreement? Eto siya:

Sabi ni Lacson:

“There’s nothing wrong with our opposition colleagues supporting Villar or Pimentel or whoever from the opposition. What is unacceptable among the eight of us who compose the minority is Villar and the three other senators’ turning their backs on our agreement that we will stay together in the opposition not join the administration camp,” he said.

Villar should respect The Agreement, just like the Opposition respected their agreement with the Liberal Party over Pangilinan.

Villar should be a man of his word, unlike Joker and recto.

UPDATE: Ellen Tordesillas is upset. Words of wisdom from kuya MLQ3.

JB Baylon says the fight over the Senate presidency is all about the 2010 Presidential elections.

UPDATE: The more i think about it, the more I believe Nene Pimentel should be the next senate president. Because aside from being qualified, he:

1) no selfish agendas or any plans to run for president in 2010.
2) is the most acceptable choice within the Opposition.
3) will make the effort to check on the admin's abuses and excesses and make em accountable.

Dagdag ko pa itong open letter ne Enteng Romano sa GO:

A grave mockery of the people's mandate is about to happen. While we gave
the GO slate an overwhelming vote to make the Senate an opposition-dominate d
chamber as a countercheck to the abuses of the GMA administration, the
opposition might still end up as the minority when the 14th Congress opens.

Why? Because this early, some of those whom we voted, perhaps out of
personal ambitions and blind loyalties, are aligning themselves with the
administration bloc to secure the office of the Senate presidency.

Word.