Friday, August 31, 2007

The Worst part of the Sen. Craig story

From Instapundit:

According to the police report, the senator presented a business card and asked, "What do you think about that?"

Bathroom sex -- or the possible attempt to obtain same -- is one thing. Abuse of power is another.

But that kind of abuse happens here all the time, and local politicians get away with it.

Suicide scene from "The Royal Tenenbaums"

The movie where Owen Wilson was a co-writer. Clip here.

Eduardo Ermita the principal suspect in the "Hello Garci" wiretapping case?

According to Ernesto Maceda.

UPDATE: Related story from Ricky Carandang.

UPDATED: The Story behind Gawad Kalinga's Splitsville

Good roundup from Bong Austero on why, how, when GK broke apart.

UPDATE: "Crab Mentality" the reason for GK split? Sabi ni Rina Jimenez David:

I don’t think it was an accident that rumors of differences among the CfC leadership broke out in the open shortly after Gawad Kalinga (GK) was conferred the Ramon Magsaysay Award for social development last year and Tony Meloto, executive director of GK, was named “Filipino of the Year” by the Inquirer. Indeed, in November last year, the Board of Elders of Couples for Christ was compelled to issue a document addressing the “contradictions” that had arisen between the “mother” organization and the project. Gawad Kalinga, it said, was just one of the “seven pillars” of CfC, and that “a pillar cannot be bigger than the organization.”

GK without the support of CfC, the document added, “would be just one other nice, successful social development work. And ultimately, without the base and blessing of faith, it will not renew the face of the earth according to God’s design.” And so, they declared, “GK needs CfC as CfC needs GK.”

Couples for Christ is itself a breakaway from the Catholic Charismatic group Ligaya sa Panginoon. If I remember right, it began building its membership base as a support group for married couples who went through marriage enrichment seminars, though it soon reached out to other constituencies with “Singles for Christ” and even “Teens for Christ.”


And the very public split has shed light on the real nature of CfC and GK organizations:

BUT in some way, I’m glad the split among the leadership of the CfC has brought public scrutiny to bear on the real nature of CfC and of Gawad Kalinga itself.

In a previous interview with Meloto, he was at great pains to point out that GK was willing to “work with anyone,” emphasizing how they had helped build communities even in Muslim-dominated areas, and that their “values education” programs were designed to be compatible with community values and to be culturally sensitive.

But the exchange of e-mails and declarations now make it obvious that GK was also in part conceived as a means of “recruiting” members to CfC, and using the “values education” modules as a way of spreading the CfC’s conservative Catholic ideology. As the November 2006 statement stresses: “We must be mindful of the reality that if we eliminate poverty but lose people to non-Christian sects or cults, then we would not have achieved Jesus’ mission.”

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Blogger Sir Martin noted some of the issues with GK long before they became public.

Magdalos Cookbook

written by two of the detained Magdalo officers, Ensigns Elmer Cruz and Emerson Rosales and edited by Ellen Tordesillas and Yvonne Chua can be had at the Manila Bookfair, at the booth of Anvil Publishing.

It's called "Pulutan: From the Soldier's Kitchen"

‘Pag-aralan mong umiyak nang may luha!'

From Joey to Willie, re the Wilyonaryo Scam.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Nixon-style coverup

Sabi ni MLQ3 re the tapes:

I myself care less about the content of the tapes themselves, and more about the Nixon-style cover-up that ensued. That’s enough basis to conclude the administration has lost its legitimacy.

And also Abuse of Power. Nixonian indeed. Btw, I didn't know that Jonathan Tiongco (defensor's audio expert) died in a car crash last june.

Latest on the Jonas Burgos abduction

here's the latest on those "witnesses":

The Philippine National Police (PNP), in a bid to fend off accusationsit played a part in the abduction of agriculturist Jonas Burgos nearly four months ago, yes-terday found itself in hotter water when an alleged com-munist rebel from whom one of the “witnesses” to the kidnapping had been taking “orders” turned out to be under military detention since the rebel’s arrest last year.

The PNP, through Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief Edgardo Doromal, the other day presented before the media the “witness,” Emerito Lipio, a self-confessed New People’s Army (NPA) guerrilla who claimed he has vital infor-mation on the abduction of Jonas.

During investigation, Lipio said he was getting orders from his leader based in Bulacan province, north of Manila, one “Delfin de Guzman.”

But it was learned that De Guzman has been in government custody since 2006.

Hmmm... i recall the arroyo adminstration authorities used whistleblower rashma hali of all people to accuse harriet demetriou and rufus rodriguez of kidnapping and illegally detaining him.

More from Ninez Cacho Olivarez:

More gross blunders from the military and the CIDG: Police witness Lirio was found not to be an NPA, but one of the disappeared, as he was identified by a jeepney group, Piston, as a legitimate transport leader who went missing in July 2006.

It was clear then that the military was lying all the while as the military had denied then that Lirio was not in the custody of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, but with his being surfaced by the police recently, it has been proved that the AFP had Lirio under its custody all the while.

The CIDG certainly knew this, too, but went along with the lie when the CIDG chief presented Lirio to the media, thus proving that the police chiefs as well as the military generals are more than willing to protect the criminals in the military to the point of their manufacturing witnesses and providing perjured testimony, which makes them lawbreakers.

This is not the first time either that the police and military have presented to the media alleged terrorist-bombers who were found to be recycled suspects. The Tribune some time ago, published a photo of the suspects presented by the PNP to the media, and identified them as also having been presented earlier by the same PNP as suspects in the bombings in other sites.

This recycling of suspects is usually being done by the cops and the military to claim that the cases have been resolved, and for them to be able to claim success in curbing terrorism, crimes and whatever else they want to claim.


This admin indeed has a history of manufacturing and recycling "witnesses."

Huli Ka Willie!

Tawa ako ng tawa nung napanood ko ang Wowowee Wilyonaryo Scam sa Youtube.

Kuya Willie, mag-ingat ka sa internets at youtube. If you do something stupid on the air, Walang lusot!

UPDATE: Explanation raw.

Here's the latest on the Joey vs Willie tiff from Abante.

Tito Rolly would like to know if it's true

Yung conversation between Erap and an unknown gov't official caught on tape.

Well Rolly, your wish might come true this time with the re-opening of the wiretapping investigations.

Doronila: After and Before

From MLQ3:

Sometimes I think Amando Doronila is simply dying to prove the President can pull rabbits out of her hat. His column, today, Arroyo seizes the initiative, seems along the lines of his previous claim that the President had pulled a “breathaking” reclaiming of the political initiative after the May elections.

I don't know. Iba ang recollection ko kay kuya Manuel re Doronila's "previous claims."

Eto yung "Arroyo seizes the initiative" article ni Doronila:

Instead of producing an issue around which the opposition senators would close ranks, the bid by Sen. Panfilo Lacson to revive the tape scandal has allowed the President to seize the initiative by shifting the issue to the economic argument, thereby painting the opposition senators as a bunch of obstructionists standing in the way of giving momentum to what she has claimed as the “highest level” of gross domestic product growth since 1991, based on the 2007 first quarter growth of 6.9 percent.

But here's Doro from last month (July 27, 07):

No State of the Nation Address (Sona) delivered by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the past seven years has devalued the intrinsic worth of the presidential word more than the one of July 23.

Sona 7 was so puffed up with the vision of a country transformed into a First World economy in 20 years that, on closer examination, it proved to be not worth the weight of the paper on which it was printed.


More:

the picture we get is that the foundation upon which the Sona vision of a Philippine Shangri-La is built on two assumptions, both of them pies in the sky. The realization of the infrastructure program in 20 years depends on expected revenue collection. Sona 7 has offered a promise of an economic paradise in 20 years in exchange for domestic peace and the more immediate prospects of a coercive political environment in the remaining three years of the Arroyo presidency. This is an extremely one-sided tradeoff that gives little in terms of short-term economic benefits, at least through poverty alleviation, in exchange for the immediate curtailment of political liberties.

With the flick of a sorcerer’s wand, the President tried to shortchange the Filipino people by offering uncertain promises of prosperity in exchange for reducing their political liberties. This trade-off contradicts academic studies showing democratization is not incompatible with economic development. These studies are based on the development experience in Southeast Asia during three decades of re-democratization from the 1970s.

In this tradeoff, Sona 7 tried to turn the clock back to the era of the hard authoritarianism in Asia epitomized by Suharto in Indonesia, Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia and Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore. In 1972, Ferdinand Marcos tried to bring the Philippines in step with these prototypes as a latecomer in the Southeast Asian authoritarian club.


In Sona 7, Ms Arroyo tried to revive this Faustian bargain by offering a delusionary prosperity in exchange for reduced political liberties threatened by the launching of the Human Security Act days earlier.

The Sona slammed the door on the Supreme Court-convened summit recommendations calling on the President to order state security forces to halt the wave of extrajudicial executions. Although Congress gave a place of honor to Chief Justice Reynato Puno during the delivery of the Sona, the gesture turned into tokenism when the President acknowledged the summit’s resolutions with a mere paragraph in the compendious speech.

The reference bristled with contempt with this passage: “We fight terrorism. It threatens our sovereign democratic, compassionate and decent way of life. Therefore, in the fight against lawless violence, we must uphold these values. It is never right and always wrong to fight terror with terror.”

On human rights, she asked Congress to enact laws to “transform state response to political violence,” including laws to “impose harsher penalties for political killings,” and laws “reserving the harshest penalties for the rogue elements in the uniformed services who betray public trust.” This declaration shifts the onus to Congress to pass more laws, when the moment calls less for laws and more for emphatic action from the executive branch.

This washing of the hands offers little hope that the killings will stop. It underscores even more sharply the emptiness of the economic promise of the tradeoff dangled by the Sona.

U.S. Bases are back

Which is helpful IMO to help rebuild and stabilize Mindanao. But a guy like Joker Arroyo would usually object to this, hindi ba? Tahimik lang siya ngayon.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan still alive... but barely

You see, they were tortured by Palparan and his goons. From Ernesto Maceda:

Two farmers, Raymond Manalo and his brother Reynaldo, who escaped from their military captors two weeks ago, have disclosed that University of the Philippines (UP) coeds Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan are alive and that they had seen them at Camp Tacson, an Army camp at Limay, Bataan. The two farmers also claimed they have witnessed the torture of the two UP coeds.

Their statement corroborates earlier statements of Oscar Leuterio and Lourdes Rubrico, former military detainees.

This revelation makes a complete liar of Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr., who used to be Philippine Army chief, Lt. Gen. Romeo Tolentino and Lt. Col. Rogelio Boac, who have continuously denied the two coeds were in military custody.

When the two women were abducted by a military detachment in Hagonoy, Bulacan, even then Malacañang chief of staff Michael Defensor denied they were taken by military men. GMA never ordered an investigation of their disappearance and even praised Palparan before a packed audience in her Sona speech last July 14, 2006.

The above-named military officials formally denied having the women in their custody in habeas corpus proceedings before the Court of Appeals (CA) which Palparan snubbed.

They are therefore guilty of contempt of the CA and those who appeared and testified are guilty of perjury. They should be correspondingly charged.

The lying in the case of the two UP coeds also destroys all credibility of GMA, Esperon and company on their denials of military involvement in the extra-judicial killings and abductions of more than 900 militants, the bigger number belonging to Bayan Muna and affiliated organizations.

The case of Empeño and Cadapan emphasizes the indifference, if not neglect, by all sectors — Malacañang, Congress, the Supreme Court (SC), the CA, the Commission on Human Rights, The Melo Commission, media groups and citizen watchdogs including lawyers organizations, for not giving all-out attention and priority to the obvious GMA administration’s policy of extra-judicial and extra-legal measures in the war against insurgency and terrorism.

The entire Empeño-Cadapan episode should be fully reviewed and revisited by all, to put a stop to these incidences once and for all.

Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who pledged to lead the fight against extra-judicial killings in the summit he organized, must seize this opportunity to make the military and executive officers involved account for their acts, besides immediately ordering the release of Karen and Sherlyn before they are terminated.

The case is pending with the SC.

Sana imbestigahan rin ito ng Senado, dahil wala akong tiwala sa DOJ, PNP at NBI eh.

Previous: Using Torture vs "Erap 5"

Joma Sison finally arrested

DJB delivers the news.

UPDATED: "How could the President of the Philippines end up with a tapped phone?"

Ito sabi kuya MLQ3, na itinutulak rin ni Tito Deej:

I believe Dean Jorge Bocobo was the first to argue that the real story -and scandal- all along, boils down to a question: how could the President of the Philippines end up with a tapped phone?

I have to disagree with Manuel and Dean on this one. I don't think Arroyo was the target being spied on by ISAFP, BUT GARCILLANO. Napatawag lang si maam kay Garci kaya siya nadamay.

Katulad ito ng kaso ng wiretapping sa CNN journalist Christianne Amanpour. Hindi si Amanpour ang target ng NSA surveillance kundi yung terrorista sa kabilang linya (who's probably a "source" for Amanpour's reporting.)

UPDATE: Btw, panoorin nyo yung video ni Lacson kay Doble na nasa PCIJ.

Haha, nice one Lito.

UPDATE: "National Security"? Puh-lease!

Hindi po si Arroyo ang mino-monitor ng authorities kundi yung rogue official na si Garci.

Nadamay lang si Arroyo dahil tinawagan niya si Garci.

Why did some in the administration higher-ups eavesdropped on garci's phoneline? because they know he's up to no good and they don't trust him, so they want to keep an eye on Garci just in case namamangka si Garci sa dalawang ilog, o magsumbong siya sa kampo ni FPJ.

Wouldn't be a huge problem for her if they were just chit-chatting. but when they talked about silencing witnesses and fixing elections, ibang usapan na yan.

UPDATE: Tanong ng Inquirer Editorial:

If the “Hello, Garci” tapes had never surfaced, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would be firmly in charge, there would be, at best, a token opposition, and she wouldn’t be, today, the Richard Nixon of Philippine politics. But the tapes surfaced, and the country then, as now, must ask: Why does the chief victim of the wiretapping, the President, seem the least inclined to get to the bottom of the matter?

Doronila OTOH, makes the case for the other side.

Ellen Tordesillas offers a different view from Doronila.

UPDATE: Neal Cruz is disappointed with Joker Arroyo.

Midnight Hot Francine Prieto

Two of Fashion TV's longer version videos of Francine Prieto's Maxim Photoshoot can be found here and here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

MST and People Asia's Editors screwed up too

A must-read article on Malu Fernandez from Schumey.

Money Quote:

Obviously, the editors of both Manila Standard and People Asia are to blame for this Malu Fiasco. Since this thing blew up, neither publication has issued any kind of statement regarding this matter. Their indifference only shows and even justifies calls for boycotting them. They should not have waited for this fiasco to reach fever heights. They should have come out to clear their now tarnished names.

Did he really mean it?

Iba na ang tono ni Doronila ngayon:

The tapes created a crisis of legitimacy for the Arroyo presidency that was not resolved by the May 2007 midterm elections, seen as a referendum on her administration. The poll results gave the administration’s ruling coalition an even more overwhelming majority in the House of Representatives and the opposition a slim majority in the Senate.

Kung ikukumpara mo sa mga isinulat niya dati:

On June 7, Ms Arroyo gave a speech at the closing session of the outgoing 13th Congress, thanking its members for saving her from two impeachment attempts. More than that, she acknowledged the overwhelming victory of the coalition in the House and the local governments in the May election, the 25th since the seminal 1907 parliamentary election.

Ms Arroyo recognized only one overwhelming result -- that for the House and local government offices -- although the Senate election results were equally overwhelming. She said the House election results were a “continuing mandate of reform, unity, more work and less politics. We all have a mandate to look forward to and leave behind the contentious past.”

Was doronila sincere when he wrote that? Or this?

Annihilation

First posted 01:58:20 (Mla time) June 08, 2007
Amando Doronila
Inquirer

The impact of the overwhelming opposition sweep of the Senate election was so shocking to the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration that it took more than a week after the 8-2-2 result had firmed up to recover from the shock and to concede it had lost control of the Senate.

O pambobola lang ito to make the opposition feel good about themselves?

Because when the opposition tried to fulfill their mandate by holding the admin accountable for Hello Garci, parang galit si Doronila. Eh kung ipina-imbestiga rin ng oppo yung Maguindanao at yung extra-judicial killings, magagalit na naman si Doronila?

28th Manila Int'l Book Fair (Aug 29 - Sept. 2)

Bukas ang opening.

For What it's worth

From Ernesto Maceda:

My prediction, if Erap is convicted, he will run! If acquitted, he will endorse a candidate from among Villar, Loren Legarda, Lacson, Jojo Binay and Chiz Escudero.

Why is Mar Roxas not on the list? Because the Liberal Party broke ranks with the opposition in the last days of the 2007 campaign.

Hindi ko alam na kumalas pala ang LP sa UNO during the last days.

UPDATE: Peter Lavina took offense at Maceda's comment and had this to say:

There appears to be a sinister plot to isolate the LP - and Mar Roxas - from the opposition, which is perceived to be the winner - again - in the next elections.

Enrile in no position to make demands

From the Malaya:

SEN. Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday bolted the administration line rejecting a fresh inquiry into the "Hello, Garci" scandal by agreeing to a "conditional" Senate investigation on the wiretapping controversy.

Enrile said he would participate in the planned Senate inquiry as long as the opposition bloc will not present as evidence the recordings of wiretapped conversations between President Arroyo and former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano during the 2004 elections.

If the tapes need to be played, para mapatunayan yung criminal activity--they will be played.

Maguindanao Senator Games the System

From John Nery:

On the eve of his proclamation as the 12th winning candidate for senator in the May elections, Juan Miguel Zubiri declared: “I just want to buckle down to work and redeem myself.”

I did not realize it then, but it seems that for the three-term congressman from Bukidnon, that declaration could only have been an either-or proposition. For him, work in the Senate and redemption must be mutually exclusive. That is to say, to keep working in the Senate, he has to do -- has in fact done -- the irredeemable thing. He has filed an absurd counter-protest against rival candidate Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III before the Senate Electoral Tribunal, or SET, contesting the results of a jaw-dropping 73,000 precincts. (That’s one-third of the entire country.)

I do not know if the SET will give his counter-protest due course; considering that Pimentel didn’t even have enough campaign funds to show more than a handful of TV spots featuring top celebrity endorser Angel Locsin, the claim that he cheated massively is preposterous.

But Zubiri does not need to prove his allegation of election fraud. All he needs to do is tie up the SET in an interminable recount. Pimentel, who believes he was cheated in 2,680 precincts in a total of seven provinces, is confident that the review of election returns he is contesting will be completed in half a year or so. Zubiri’s protest, on the other hand, would take years to resolve.

Redemption? More like a ruthless gaming of the system. The “Senator from Maguindanao” has cynically exploited the limitations of our election rules, to hold on to his job.

Exactly.

UPDATE: I guess hindi matutupad ang wish ni Kuya MLQ3. More here.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Coolest Gameshow. Ever.

I had fun watchting this via torrents.

"National Security"? Puh-lease

Sabi ni Dean Jorge Bocobo, breach of "national security" raw yung Hello Garci tapes kasama sa wiretap yung boses ni Maam Arroyo.
Yet the obvious NATIONAL SECURITY implications of the case have oddly never been a major concern of either the administration or the opposition. To this day, for example, there is no official explanation or even investigation by the Executive Department, of WHO made the Garci Recordings, WHY, HOW, WHEN and WHERE they were made. Yet no one seems to perturbed by the utterly stunning and uncontested fact that the COMMANDER IN CHIEF of the Armed Forces had been illegally eavesdropped upon, and her communications with ranking members of Philippine officialdom, both civilian and military, had been illegally recorded. This SILENCE or INDIFFERENCE to what should be regarded as an ALARMING BREACH in national security, is the most poignant indictment of the Arroyo political machinery's ultimate complicity and perhaps essential guilt in the production of those recordings.

THE MERE EXISTENCE of the Garci Recordings is to me PALPABLE EVIDENCE that a major breach in NATIONAL SECURITY occurred LONG BEFORE these conversations came to the knowledge of the general public, through members of the political Opposition like former Sen. Francisco Tatad and lawyer Alan Paguia, and indeed Ignacio Bunye.

But I don't think ARroyo was the one being targetted and spied on by ISAFP, kundi si Garcillano. Ang tinatarget ng administration for wiretap operations ay mga kaaway nito sa opposition at mga rogue untrustworthy administration officials o criminals katulad ni Virgilio Garcillano.

Nadamay lang si Arroyo dahil tinawagan niya ang "Master Operator" para pataasin ang boto niya at "ayusin" ang eleksyon.

Sa "Hello Garci" tapes kung mapapansin mo, si Garci ang "common denominator" doon.

And if you're a fan of the NBA, i'm sure you're familiar with the Tim Donaghy scancal. He's the referee consorting with mob bosses on a gambling scheme to fix the outcome and point spread of NBA games.

How did respected NBA ref Tim Donaghy finally get caught? The FBI was tapping the phones of the mob to monitor their illegal activities and his voice and name came up on the tapped line.

I guess like Arroyo, Donaghy too was "a victim".

UPDATE: The latest from DJB: Chiz to Miriam: Nego Supositum!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

RSF: Chinese Blog Providers sign "Self Discipline Pact" to stop anonymous blogging

From Instapundit:

CHINESE BLOG-SERVICE PROVIDERS AGREE TO "SELF-DISCIPLINE" -- or, in other words, to censor their users so the government doesn't have to.

Participating companies include Yahoo.cn and MSN.cn raw.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Paguia was right all along

eto sabi ni alan paguia sa SC ruling ng EO 464 last year.

SUSPENDED law professor Alan Paguia yesterday described the Supreme Court decision on Executive Order 464 as a "judicial swindle of the highest order," saying it provided a road map for Malaca?ang on how to go around congressional inquiries and exempted President Arroyo from answering questions about the "Hello Garci" wiretapped conversations on alleged cheating in the May 2004 elections.

Paguia, a former counsel of President Joseph Estrada, has been suspended from legal practice owing to statements made in public that the Supreme Court said undermined its integrity.

He said while the tribunal partially declared EO 464 as unconstitutional, a closer reading of the 64-page ruling shows "it was actually in defense of President Arroyo."

Read the whole thing.

Admin senators won't support investigation on wiretapping

Ayaw raw nila Joker at Dick Gordon na mabuksan ulit ang "Hello Garci" dahil gusto lang raw ni Lacson buhayin ang impeachment case laban kay Maam.

In defense of President Arroyo, administration Senators Joker Arroyo and Richard Gordon yesterday took a different tack in their refusal to have the controversial wiretapped conversations probed by the Senate, now saying this move by the political opposition is in aid of another impeachment complaint against Mrs. Arroyo, apart from reiterating their position that probing an illegal wiretap conversations may all land them in jail.

I'm calling BS here. Both Joker and Gordon know na Arroyo will not be impeached because they have the numbers in the House. They don't want the investigation because they know the admin and ISAFP are both guilty of wiretapping Public officials from the admin and opposition. Pati si Cory, Rez Cortez, at Mike Defensor wina-wiretap.

I mean hindi ba sabi ni DJB na pati si Maam Arroyo at Garci ay biktima ng wiretapping. Ayaw ba malaman ni Maam at Hello Garci! kung sino ang nag-utos ng wiretapping sa kanila?

So there's no reason to think na this administration and ISAFP have stopped their spying activities on anti-arroyo groups or individuals and opposition media.

It's probably not possible to impeach Arroyo anymore, kahit na lumabas pa ang additional evidence re ISAFP's wiretapping activities o yung dayaan sa Maguindanao, pero if we can prevent ISAFP from doing any more spying vs the opposition, "enemies of the state", the media and private citizens, and we seriously CLEAN UP the COMELEC of crooked officials-- at least we've done something good in making future administrations more accountable, and helping the elections at the national level more credible.

So to JOker and Gordon, the only way i'll accept your excuse is if you assure the public na hindi na ginagawa ng ISAFP ang ginagawa nila, at hindi na rin niluluto ng iilang rogue COMELEC officials mga election sa national level.

Kuya MLQ3 may not approve of PIng Lacson's latest move, but at least Ping's one guy who takes the mandate to hold the admin, ISAFP, and COMELEC accountable seriously (sana wag na rin magalit si Manuel kay Ping kapag sinimulan na niya ang imbestigasyon sa ninakaw na eleksyon sa Maguindanao. Galit pa nga si de Quiros sa opposition eh for "abandoning" Koko Pimentel raw.)

Sabi ni Commissioner Rene Sarmiento gusto rin raw niya buksan muli ang Hello Garci para malinis ang pangalan ng COMELEC, pero mukhang nagba-bluff lang pala siya

UPDATE: nakalamang ang admin sa EO 464 ruling ng Supreme Court, sabi ni DJB. Pero matagal na nating alam yan. Hindi lang yan, pati yung SC ruling sa CPR lamang rin yung admin.

Pero hangang-hanga si CDQ sa SC ni Arroyo nung time na yon.

"Win-win." Heh.

The Basement

Meron palang lugar na "basement" sa quarters ni Gen. Abu eh. From Ellen Tordesillas:

Yes, Esperon must think so low of the public that he didn’t have qualms in lying about the “basement” in the residence of the AFP chief of staff.

T/Sgt Vidal Doble, in a revival of the “Hello Garci” issue presented by Sen. Ping Lacson last Tuesday at the Senate, disclosed that he was fetched by Bishop Socrates Villegas from the San Carlos seminary, where he sought refuge with former NBI agent Samuel Ong, and brought to the official residence of then AFP Chief Efren Abu. There, he said, he saw his wife and children at the basement of the chief of staff’s residence.

“I am now occupying the quarters of Gen. Abu… and I must tell you that there is no basement in that quarters,” Esperon said.

I have been to the CS residence and I remember a portion that is lower than the main floor. I checked it out with a friend who had also been there and she said, “Yes, they call it basement. It has low ceiling and dark so you have to open the lights. That’s where the radio room is located. There’s also an area for the living quarters of aides and some close security of the chief of staff.”

It's Over

Malu Fernandez resigns from Manila Standard Today. She also has issued an apology to the OFWs.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Rene Sarmiento's golden opportunity

to "clean up" the COMELEC. I hope he takes advantage of it.

UPDATE: Manuel Buencamino summarizes the wiretapping case and admin strategy:

Doble blows the whistle on Operation Lighthouse.

What’s your evidence?

Garci Tapes.

Oh you can’t use that. It’s against the law to use tapes of a wiretap as proof of wiretapping,

Heh.

It could work again

On May 1, 2007 right before the elections, Lacson filed graft raps vs. DOI Secretary Sir Raul O. Gonzalez for offering bribe money to local officials:

Reelectionist Sen. Panfilo Lacson yesterday filed graft charges against Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez before the Office of the Ombudsman for offering village officials in Iloilo P10,000 each in exchange for 12-0 sweep for administration senatorial candidates.

According to him, Gon-zalezs acts constitute the crime of attempted cor-ruption of public officials penalized under Article 212 in relation to Article 6 (Consummated, Frustrated and Attempted Felonies) of the Revised Penal Code.

The next day, Gonzalez responded by bringing up the Aragoncillo case:

Angered by the move of Genuine Opposition senatorial candidate, reelectionist Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson of filing graft and corruption charges against the Department of Justice secretary for his offering of a bribe of P10,000 each to Iloilo village chiefs in return for a Team Unity senatorial sweep on May 14, the DoJ chief, Raul Gonzalez, yesterday threatened to have Lacson extradited to the US to face spy charges, saying he has the documents from the US government to prove that the senator is the brains behind the spying activities done by American-Filipino Leandro Aragoncillo, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent and former Philippine police officer, Michael Ray Aquino, a former Lacson aide.

Reeling from the graft complaint filed against him for “vote-buying,” Gonzalez yesterday vowed to indict his accuser, Lacson, before a US court.

Sought for comment, an irate Gonzalez in a phone interview insisted he had evidence against Lacson on his alleged involvement in a spying case in the US against a former Lacson aide.

“I have that document (against Lacson) but I don’t want to talk to the Tribune about it,” Gonzalez said, but stated nevertheless that his office is eyeing the possibility of processing the extradition of Lacson to the United States.

Deja vu? Replay?

In other news:

- Lambing ni Taulava kay Mike Defensor naka-wiretap
- Previous: Cory’s telephone found bugged
- "Hello Adel?"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

UDPATE: Tuloy tuloy pa rin pinag-uusapan

ang Malu Fernandez issue in the blogosphere.

pero wala pa rin sa mainstream media.

UPDATE: Finally, there's one from Connie Veneracion. But like cathcath, she seems angrier at the non-OFW people and bloggers calling for malu's resignation or a boycott, even to the point of questioning their motives and agendas. I think she's a little paranoid, writing in her cocoon at the MST. Sabi niya:

The sadder truth is that we, migrant workers and non-migrant workers alike, are all part of this twisted culture of cracking jokes at the expense of others. Haven’t you laughed at and disseminated Erap jokes via SMS and e-mail? Don’t you watch Bubble Gang and guffawed at the impersonations of politicians and media personalities? Don’t you giggle at the local version of Candid Camera hosted by Michael V. which victimizes unwary people on the street, subjecting them to embarrassing and humiliating situations all for the sake of entertaining the show’s viewers? See, everything is funny until we find ourselves to be the subject of the jokes. Then, it isn’t so funny anymore. And, often, it is not easy to tell where the humor ends and the insult begins. Then, it becomes an emotional issue.

What amazes me that no one seems to realize that media is responsible for the workers’ reaction. Media spoiled and pampered them by building them up as modern-day heroes and they have gotten used to the title. So who is this woman with the gall to look down on them? She’s part of media too. Why isn’t she writing the way media has always written about these migrants? Thing is, there is a way to disagree with the sensational declaration that they are nothing less than heroes without making fun of them as persons. And not everyone is incapable of discerning between an obvious insult and one that has been sugarcoated to make it appear as humor. Under the circumstances, the reaction of the workers is understandable and the demand for an apology cannot be considered unreasonable.

What is truly mind-blowing is that non-OFW sectors of the Philippine blogging community are in on the act too and demanding far more than what levelheaded migrant workers are asking for. In the e-mail I received, and this was circulating among OFWs, the demand was for an apology. There was no name-calling such as what has been going around in Web logs posts and comment threads where Malu Fernandez is referred to as Miss Piggy, slut, fatso, oink oink... Some of the worst name-calling appear on Web logs that are not even written by migrants and they go as far as calling for her resignation, or for People Asia magazine and Manila Standard Today to fire her and issue public apologies. Otherwise, a boycott. These people want blood. Why? Sympathy? Or is it something else?

I tell you, there is nothing more useless and unreasonable as an angry, unthinking mob. And there is nothing more dangerous than a mob with an agendum—lest we forget, the Philippine blogging community is a medium too and hardly exempt from the mentality that anything goes if it translates to readership/audience.

She's seems to think it's unusual for non-OFWs to react negatively to Ms. Fernandez's drivel. First of all, hindi lang naman OFWs ang target eh. She's also targetting poor, masa-type Filipinos with her "humor."

I don't think Malu has any issues with middle class, or upper middle class professional Filipinos working abroad at all. And that's why cathcath and her ilk feel like they're not the target of malu's screed.

As for Connie to claim that OFWs are less angry than non-OFWs re Malu, and none of the OFWs have called for her resignation, just apology lang raw? do you think that's accurate? what do you think peeps?

"I think we can start also the reopening of the Aragoncillo case here. "

Haha, binuhay rin ng Arroyo admin ang Aragoncillo/Aquino spy case laban kay Lacson. Interesting reaction from the Arroyo admin.

Eniwey, all i can say to the Arroyo admin is: Bring it on.

"My name is Bishop Soc from Balanga. I come here to help you, trust me,"

Read Bishop Socrates Villegas' role in the cover up of the Hello Garci scandal. Can you say "obstruction of justice."

But but... pero hindi ba ang official story ay "ni-rescue" si Vidal ni Soc Villegas from his "illegal detention" at the San Carlos Seminary? Hindi ba kakasuhan ng pulis si Samuel Ong at Bishop Bacani for "abducting" doble
and "illegally detaining" him at the seminary against mr. doble's will?

UDPATE: what a bizarro, orwellian world. yung mga taong nag-bigay pa ng protection at sanctuary kay Doble (like Ong and Bishop Bacani) ang naging masamang tao. Yung nag backstab naman kay Doble (Villegas) ang bida for turning over the whistleblower to the ISAFP agents.

More: Errmmm... hindi ba inakusahan rin ng gobierno dati si Harriet Demetriou at Rufus Rodriguez of kidnapping and detaining Rashma Hali?

More from the PDI article:

But Doble said he was later surprised when he was picked up by Bishop Socrates Villegas and brought to Camp Aguinaldo to the quarters of former Chief of Staff General Efren Abu.

“I saw my two children and my wife detained in the basement of General Abu’s quarters. This is why I didn’t continue my exposé on the Garci tapes,” Doble said in Filipino.

“My family was kept in custody from June 2005 to April 2006. I was there from June 2005 until I was discharged in February 2007. I did not reenlist.”

Kaya pala nag "Udong Mahusay" rin itong si Vidal. And read this informative post from Patsadakarajaw. Plus Ellen Tordesillas.

Here's the government's version of events.

Philippine bishop secures military intelligence man
MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2005 | RELIGION

MANILA, June 13 (PNA) – It took a military chopper to seek a man of the cloth in Balanga, Bataan.

Around 1:30 p.m. Monday, Bishop Socrates Villegas was able to "reunite" TSgt. Vidal Doble with his wife and two kids.

Until Villegas' arrival, military and police officials claimed that Doble was being "illegally detained" inside the San Carlos seminary in Makati City where whistle blower Samuel Ong had been holed up since Friday.

Going by Ong's pronouncements, Doble was the source of the taped conversation between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Elections Commissioner Virgillo Garcillano purportedly suggesting operations to rig the May 2004 elections.

Policemen and military forces have surrounded the seminary complex after Doble's wife allegedly filed a complaint that her husband was being held against his will inside the compound.

"My name is Bishop Soc from Balanga. I come here to help you, trust me," came Villegas' words upon seeing a "distressed" Doble inside the complex.
In reply, Doble asked how his children were doing and moments later, was able to talk to his wife over the phone.

After a little while, Doble was whisked off along with Villegas to a waiting vehicle which would take them to Camp Aguinaldo and meet Armed Forces chief Gen. Efren Abu.

At a news conference, officials said Doble requested to take a rest before speaking to the media. Since when and how Doble entered the compound, officials would not disclose. Doble was being kept in an undisclosed safehouse.

"That is the subject of our investigation. As of now, Doble is not saying anything," said military deputy chief Lt. Gen. Edilberto Adan.

The Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response (PACER) and the National Anti-Kidnapping Task Force (NAKTF) will investigate to determine who would be charged over the alleged "illegal detention," said Chief Supt. Leopoldo Bataoil, National Police spokesman.

Villegas said he did not ask Doble if he was being detained at the seminary. "I think that will be inconsiderate of me."

"When I saw him [Doble], I saw he was so, so distressed," Villegas said. "I just assured him that he's safe with me."

"You are now safe. I will answer for you," he added in Filipino.

When asked if people inside the seminary were preventing Doble from leaving, the bishop said: "None. I think he was allowed to move freely."

Earlier in the day, Ong and Bishop Teodoro Bacani disclosed that Doble was not held against his will. (PNA)


Previous:

- How Gangsters Operate

Haha, may blog na rin si Ping Lacson

Link here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

An interesting Theory from Cathcath

Here's an interesting theory from The Ca t, owner of the blog Cathcath, about what's driving the Malu Fernandez Blogstorm:

Manila Standard may be assessing where the noise is coming from. From the OFWs themselves or from people who may not like their political leanings?

Now, that's an interesting theory, cathcath.

Monday, August 20, 2007

UPDATED: I Pity the Fool

(UPDATED and BUMPED up again: To be fair and Balanced, I present the other side on the Malu Fernandez debate)

Schumey takes a Manila Standard Today columnist to task. You've heard of the term "ugly Americans". Well, meron ring "Ugly Filipino" sa atin.

UPDATE: I think it's okay to criticize and condemn ms. malu fernandez, but i'm not in favor of getting her fired. getting her fired let's her off the hook too easily. baka maging martyr pa siya.

i'd rather see her deal with the anger, ridicule and accusations of being a bigot every day habang nasa MST siya. She can say whatever she wants in MST. Free speech rights niya yan. But we too have freedom of speech to show our disgust and contempt for her.

UPDATE: Paolo Mendoza defends Fernandez (one of the few I think) and calls those who reacted negatively to Ms. Fernandez hypocrites. There's a little bit of "Malu Fernandez" in all of us raw, he said. Then he ended with the quote, "Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone."

Heh.

UDPATE: Didn't know Malu Fernandez is Migz Zubiri's aunt. Plus this from CVJ:

As expected, she and like-minded individuals would rationalize that they are just 'being real'. Of course, such an excuse is self-serving because facing reality in its fullness would require admitting to themselves that they are grotesque specimens of humanity.

Ms. Fernandez's "GET REAL" mentality reminds me of this guy.

UPDATE: I wonder if the Malu Fernandez issue will cross over to the Mainstream Media. so far kasi, sa internets pa lang ito pinag-uusapan. So far, wala pang article sa Google News reacting to the Malu Blogstorm.

UPDATE: To be fair and balanced, here's the other side of the Malu Fernandez debate:

From Bencard, who uses the example of blacks calling each other "niggers":

i’m not trying to defend fernandez, i think what she wrote about ofws was reprehensible. but like me, most of the commenters here don’t know her as a person (kg claims this is the first time she heard of her). how can these people judge her with such venom and putrid language? what does her looks, body size, clothing, make-up, etc. anything to do with her article, detestable though it may be?

blacks often call each other “nigger” and they just laugh it off. seldom do they take offense in that case, unlike when someone other than another black (whites, especially) do it wherein they would surely make a federal case out of it, if not resort to physical violence.

as a filipino herself, i see fernandez as trying to be self-deprecating - maybe even thinking that a good number of her own kind shares her observation. her fault lies in not realizing that she was committing the worst kind of political incorrectness - insult a class she thinks is lower than her’s.

Blacks do sometimes call other blacks "niggers". I guess it's a question of intention or how they intended to use the term. What was Malu's intention when she was writing (and defending) those articles of hers? Btw, I think this issue is not about race, bencard. It's all about economics. Economic status pala. Malu is of the upper middle class status who has a low opinion of OFWs and poor working-class Filipinos.

Trosp wrote:

What I found out after reading her key statements is she was just relaying observations the way she was seeing it. I didn’t even see any malice in the way she has expressed those observations and her feelings towards them. (Perhaps, she could have just keep it to herself so as not to be marked as a bigot. But then she is a writer.)

And from Cathcath, on why boycotting the newspaper is a bad idea too:

I agree with Manolo and that was my stand too when I joined the call of Nick to condemn the lady columnist and her article. As I have said, it is not the columnist who’s going to suffer when the paper loses revenues because of the boycott. The small workers would be the first in line when there is downsizing. There are also thousands of newspaper boys (never mind the distributors, they have other magazines to sell) who will be affected.

It’s not Malu’s bread and butter btw. She got a boutique.

If that’s how cathcath puts it, then I’d rather see Malu fired na lang instead of the newspaper boys losing their jobs over Malu’s bigotry.

UPDATE: Good idea from Ella. OFWs take out an ad vs. Ms. Fernandez.

UPDATE: I do remember 4 prominent US journalists and personalities resigning because their actions or comments sparked a controversy that started small in the blogosphere and slowly but surely (albeit sometimes reluctantly) got picked up by the major media. One thing all of the examples have in common is that the issues and controversy were driven primarily by blogs.

- Trent Lott over his Strom Thurmond comment, resigned as Senate Majority Leader. Andrew Sullivan was one of the first to call him out.

- Jayson Blair, along with NYT Editor in Chief Howell Raines and NYT Managing editor Gerald Boyd. The Raines firing was a big deal. Not often do you see a executive editor of a major newspaper getting fired. In this case, the biggest newspaper in the world.

- Dan Rather, after using forged documents to tar Bush re his stint in the Texas Air National Guard in 60 minutes a few weeks before the November 2004 elections.

- Eason Jordan - CNN's chief news exec (the guy who helped build CNN) resigned over his comments na the US soldiers were deliberately targetting media people raw, without providing proof or backing it up. He also wrote a controversial op-ed piece in the NYT back in apr 2003 called "The News We Kept to Ourselves" re Iraq and Saddam.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hindi ba Unconstitutional na ang EO 464?

Pero bakit pa ito ini-invoke ni chief presidential legal counsel Sergio Apostol?

Malacañang issued notice yesterday that the Senate cannot count on its cooperation in a planned inquiry on allegations top government and military officials have a hand in “feeding Filipino troops to the enemies” that led to death of 14 Marines in an encounter in Basilan, 10 of whom were beheaded and severely mutilated.

Instead, chief presidential legal counsel Sergio Apostol branded opposition Senators Rodolfo Biazon and Antonio Trillanes IV of fomenting destabilization in initiating the inquiry.

During a phone interview, Apostol said the Arroyo administration would surely invoke Executive Order (EO) 464 or Memorandum Circular (MC) 108 to prevent any government and military officials from attending the planned Senate investigation.

“Once Trillanes and Biazon start the inquiry in the Senate and come out with the names from the executive branch and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) leadership on the charges, EO 464 or MC 108 would be invoked,” Apostol said.

"Project Runway" sa Pilipinas?

How true is this?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Adel Tamano, Artista na!

From Journal.com.ph:

GO spokesman, nakaw-eksena kina Sen. Jinggoy at LT

AGAW-EKSENA ang Genuine Opposition spokesperson na si Adel Tamano sa last shooting day ng Metro Manila filmfest entry na Katas ng Saudi nu’ng Huwebes ng gabi.

Sabi nga ni Lorna Tolentino, leading lady ng bidang si Senator Jinggoy Estrada, tinalbugan silang lahat ni Adel dahil ito ang pinalibutan at tsinika ng showbiz press. Hehe!

Ito ang screen debut ng 36-year-old na si Adel, na gumaganap sa guest role bilang barangay chairman na maninita sa maingay na pagka-karaoke ni Sen. Jinggoy (as OFW Oca) at ng mga kaibigan, kabilang si Bayani Agbayani.

Nagtawanan ang lahat habang nagri-rehearse para sa isang take dahil mistulang on cue ring bumanat ang bagyong si Egay nang simulan nina Sen. Jinggoy ang pag-awit ng Remember Me ni Renz Verano.

Matinee idol na matinee idol ang dating ng GO spokesman kahit pa may asawa na’t dalawang anak na lalaki.

Maging ang director ng Katas ng Saudi na si Joey Reyes, pabirong nagsu-swoon sa kaguwapuhan nito.

Hindi man full-time ang showbiz career, promising naman ang entrance ni Adel dahil nakatakda rin siyang umapir sa isang proyekto ng GMA Films.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Snipers

I was watching the docu "The Revolution will not be Televised" recommended a year ago by MLQ3 about the failed coup plot to oust Chavez.

There was a scene in the docu about snipers shooting at the crowds and rallyistas of pro- and anti-chavez demonstrators.

NARRATOR: We moved back into the heart of the Chavez crowds when all of a sudden the firing started.

[sirens]

NARRATOR: We couldn't tell where the shots were coming from, but people were being hit in the head.

[gunshots]

NARRATOR: Soon it became clear that we were being shot at by snipers. One in four Venezuelans carry hand guns and soon some of the Chavez supporters began to shoot back in the direction the sniper fire seemed to be coming from.

I recall the admin was caught using snipers too at the height of the Gloriagate protest rallies during 2005. Buti na lang hindi ginamit.

De Quiros is wrong on this one

He thinks "Ang Kapatiran" will make a good "Opposition" party vs the evil Arroyo.

I don't know about that. Are they really opposed to Arroyo? if you read Martin Bautista's blogs, he avoids talking about ARroyo's Garci/legitimacy issue (not once did he call for arroyo's resignation). Actually, he avoids the arroyo issue in his blog as much as possible. I guess he doesn't see Maam as a problem. And not once did he address the issue of extrajudicial killings OR even the arrest of Satur in his blogs (nung in-arresto siya). Ganyan rin ang stance ng ibang Kapatiran partymates nya. tahimik lang sila dito. At least the opposition protested the arrest of satur and the assassinations of leftists.

I guess in CDQ's book, that makes Ang Kapatiran = "Opposition".

And his answer to my Arroyo question on whether she should resign was pretty disappointing. Nawalan na ako ng gana sa kanila after that. Para silang CBCP, unwilling to take a tough stand on Arroyo (unlike before). I kept the disappointment to myself, but i never blogged with much enthusiasm re Ang Kapatiran after that.

Even bautista-booster Baycas (the guy who asked me to support doc martin) was disappointed himself.

Anyway, I don't think CDQ is really that familiar with the Ang Kapatiran.

If you want to blame somebody on why the Oppo fragmented, blame the guy who pushed for collaboration with the Administration.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"We accept her, one of us, gooble gobble, gooble gobble..."

Classic scene from the 1932 Tod Browning film "Freaks"



we accept her one of us
we accept her one of us
gooble gobble gooble gobble
we accept her we accept her
gooble gobble gooble gobble
one of us one of us
gooble gobble!

UPDATE: The Cast of Characters (w/ photos)

"Hello Adel?"

Adel Tamano thinks his phones may have been tapped.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Referendum on Mindanao

I think it's the only solution. I'm puzzled as to why maam arroyo is not publicly pushing for this idea. Maam should try to implement it as soon as the trouble spots in Basilan and Sulu have calmed down.

eto po yung suggestion ko dati:

For lasting peace in Mindanao, accept the MILF's proposal to hold a referendum on Mindanao, supervised and monitored by the UN and the int'l community. Katulad ng nangyari sa East Timor. The areas in Mindanao where a majority of the population votes for separation will be included in the new Moro homeland. Once the results are out, everybody accepts the outcome. No more appeals.

From the Inquirer:

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said it would propose the holding of a plebiscite with the aim of creating “a separate homeland (for Moros) in Mindanao.”

Eid Kabalu, MILF spokesperson, said the proposal, which would be coursed through the MILF peace panel, could be finalized as early as next year after the rebel group has finished a series of consultations with the Moro people and lumad communities.

One of the issues being asked in the consultations is ancestral domain, one of the two remaining issues confronting government and MILF negotiators.

The government and the MILF have been negotiating to resolve the decades-old Moro rebellion, which already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives since it first broke out in the 1960s.

Jun Mantawil, head of the MILF peace panel secretariat, said the MILF already met tribal leaders from Bukidnon, Columbio in Sultan Kudarat, the Davao provinces, and the Zamboanga Peninsula.

The result of the consultations would be presented when the peace negotiations resume.

“Legally and historically, Mindanao is the homeland of the Moro people,” Kabalu said when asked why the MILF still want a separate state.

However, he said the MILF is also willing to compromise on its demand for a separate republic for Moros in Mindanao.

Moro and indigenous peoples account for less than half of the population in Mindanao.

“We recognize that we are only minority.* Our proposal for a separate homeland will only be confined to areas where Moros are majority,” Kabalu said.

He said when the peace talks are concluded, areas with large Moro communities would also be asked if they are in favor of the agreement or not.

We would be foolish not to accept this offer, if this means lasting peace in Mindanao.

* Approximately 20.4 percent of the population of Mindanao is Muslim, according to the 2000 census.

Faulty US Voting Machine made in Philippine sweatshops

'DAN RATHER REPORTS' to Present Conclusive Evidence of Touch-Screen Voting Machine Failures

Hour-Long Special This Tuesday Night to Expose Startling New Information, Including Filipino Sweatshops Where Faulty ES&S Systems Are Produced

Email from Leah Navarro:

Just when you thought it couldn't get any more absurd, here comes an hour-long investigative report on HD Net with some disturbing new findings about the machinery of our "democracy"...check out the video of the first 12 minutes of this startling report at the link below...

Villar's version "cock-and-bull"

From John Nery.

It is painful to see lies and half-truths work their insidious way into the public discourse. When even an eminent columnist unsuspectingly accepts Senate President Manny Villar’s less-than-accurate version of events, about how he came to form the so-called “Manny coalition,” the pain becomes more acute.

In describing the new reality of floating majorities, the columnist took a look at the dynamics in the Senate and, perhaps distilling the content of many news stories published last week, wrote very much in passing: “An attempt by his fellow opposition senators to replace him prompted him to form his own majority.”

This, Villar’s version, is plain cock-and-bull.

There was, in fact, no opposition attempt to replace him as Senate president -- unless, of course, Villar saw the effort to draft Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. as a candidate, as tantamount to replacement.

The truth is, most of the senators in the opposition did not even hear from Villar. They found out that he had already reached a concordat with the administration senators the same way most of us did: through other sources. As one of them plaintively asked: “Why didn’t he talk to us?”

I agree with John. Villar didn't even bother to meet with the opposition re the senate presidency until he got the admin vote sewed up.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hard Candy

I just saw this great indie film kagabi. Now tell me, who's the real predator here, 14-yr old Haley, or 32 yr old Jeff the pedophile?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tony Abaya wears his Tin-foil hat

Tony Abaya and his conspiracy theories. He was convinced that there was an American plot to remove Arroyo (via MLQ3):

(In early December 2005, there was a story in media about 88 Filipino workers who were stranded in the Dubai international airport and could not proceed to Iraq, but refused to come back to the Philippines. They and the 51 workers Mayberry testified about—and possibly other unpublicized groups—may be part of what Madsen calls “low-wage slave trading in the Middle East.”)

Madsen says that the Arroyo administration banned the PPI—which operates from PO Box 42252, in Dubai—from further recruiting Filipino migrant workers for the Middle East after a Filipino was killed during a terrorist attack on Camp Anaconda in 2004.

Madsen: “Inside sources report that PPI has some high-level financial partners, including the Nahayan royal family in Dubai and Cheney.” Madsen claims there is a connection between PGMA’s “ordering the repatriation of Filipino workers from Iraq and Kuwait, and the discovery that US Marine Corps and FBI spy Leandro Aragoncillo, a Filipino-American who worked as a Marine security aide inside Cheney’s office… who was arrested by the FBI last October [2005], had stolen dossiers from Cheney’s office that were considered damaging to Mrs. Arroyo.”

“Aragoncillo passed Cheney’s reports on Macapagal-Arroyo, some of which were obtained from National Security Agency intercepts, to [Joseph] Estrada, a political opponent of Macapagal-Arroyo… Estrada was planning a coup against Macapagal-Arroyo with US support.” (Emphases mine.) The above means that the NSA was intercepting and eavesdropping on PGMA’s landline and cell phone conversations, and passing on the dirt to Estrada. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Hello Garci tapes were first made public by Allan Paguia, a “former” lawyer of Estrada.

The above paragraph confirmed what I have written several times, that the neo-cons in Washington, who are led by Cheney, wanted to see Arroyo removed from office, for (a) withdrawing the Filipino contingent from Iraq; (b) signing an oil exploration agreement with the Chinese on the Spratlys; and (c) failing to dismantle the Jemaah Islamiyah camps in Mindanao. (See my article “Replacing GMA,” June 14, 2005).

That paragraph also confirmed what I wrote when the Hello Garci scandal first broke out in June 2005, that “the Americans here certainly have the capability for eavesdropping on President Arroyo’s cell phone or landline conversation and recording whatever incriminating statements they can find for future use, when she is no longer useful to them…” (See my article “Junta? Maybe. Erap? No,” June 7, 2005).

Finally, that last paragraph from Madsen also confirmed my belief that the neo-cons favored Joseph Estrada to replace Mrs. Arroyo because of the “total war” that he had waged against the Muslims in Mindanao when he was president. (See my article “US Loves Erap,” Sept. 25, 2005) His chief lieutenant, Horacio Morales, was summoned twice to Washington, the first time in November 2004, the second time in March 2005, in both times meeting with the staff of Cheney.

But after the Aragoncillo-Michael Ray Aquino espionage case was thoroughly investigated by the Americans, Estrada—considered the main beneficiary and financier of the caper—and Panfilo Lacson—the former boss of Aquino—have been dropped from the neo-cons’ short list of replacements for GMA, and the Americans have decided to stay with GMA until 2010, or until a suitable replacement can be found before 2010.


1) If Dick Cheney and the US govt were secretly giving damaging documents thru Aragoncillo to topple the Arroyo adminsitration, you'd think the FBI and the Bush justice dept. would even bother investigating Aragoncillo if it is in the interest of the US to see Arroyo gone? And risk implicating Dick Cheney?

2) The US gov't isn't the only entity that can eavesdrop on unsuspecting cellphone callers. Isama mo na rin diyan ang ISAFP. But one thing we can all agree on is that the tapes are real.

3) If the US really wanted Arroyo out, their usual M.O. is that mag-iingay yan about the lack of credibility (Belarus) of our last presidential elections as soon as lumabas yung garci tapes noong 2005 (lalo na kung GALING SA KANILA yung tape at alam nilang totoo ito, hindi po ba?) Ganyan rin ang ginawa nila sa Ukraine by encouraging People Power, right? Or being vocal about it's support for Lebanon's Cedar revolution to kick out the Syrians, or the effort by Venezuelan civil society to oust strongman Hugo Chavez--before it failed.

If Arroyo knew that the US is the one destabilizing her gov't, don't you think she would have reacted the same way as chavez? The US plot to remove arroyo would have damaged even further the already damaged relations between the US and RP after the IRAQ pullout. You'd think Arroyo would ever trust the US again kung totoo yung conspiracy theory mo? Or is it more likely na this would push Arroyo even closer towards US rival China?

The timing of the Power rate increase

Yeah, it was done after the 2007 midterm elections. The recent increase after the elections made our power rates the highest in Asia (even higher than Japan). Read this interesting observation too from Koko Pimentel.

The administration was smart to take the high cost of electricity issue off during the campaign by promising to lower our power rates. Sabi ni MLQ3:

(Here’s hoping consumer groups monitor power rates to see if rate drops last as long as guaranteed: 10 month in Luzon, 18 months in Mindanao, visayas for 3 months, and at the biggest drop, 31 centavos per KWH, seems to me pure electioneering in the President’s bailiwick right there).

Well, promises were meant to be broken after the elections. And I can't wait for the outcome of the Ombudsman Mercy's investigation on the Nani Perez IMPSA scandal.

RElated:

- Check your June and July Bills.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Don't be stupid, Ping

Accept Jose de Venecia's offer, and you end up being a fool. Here are the details from Ellen Tordesillas.

Lacson’s advisers said the opposition senator is amenable to sponsoring a bill granting amnesty to those accused of political crimes but they said they would have to be careful about its coverage including the cut-off date. They said JDV and Lacson may not have the same definition of “political crimes”.

The amnesty proposal is supposed to solve the political tension that has bedeviled the Arroyo administration since its start in 2001. Amnesty is an instrument of reconciliation as it erases the political crime of the accused even before conviction. It differs from pardon, which can be granted only after conviction.

Logically, those who would likely be included would be former President Estrada, son Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and lawyer Edward Serapio who are awaiting the Sandiganbayan decision on their plunder cases; the Magdalo soldiers who staged the so-called “Oakwood Mutiny” in July 2003 that includes Trillanes; and the 28 officers led by Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda involved in the alleged aborted withdrawal of support from Arroyo in February 2006.

De Venecia has not spelled out details of his amnesty proposal but sources told us the cut-off date, presumably at the time of the filing, would in effect protect Arroyo and her associates from being charged with plunder and other crimes once she is out of office. That means she would be automatically absolved of the crime of betrayal of public trust for cheating in the 2004 elections and for diverting millions and millions of pesos for the people to her election fund. Same thing will happen to her accomplices like former Agriculture Secretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante.

Sources said the amnesty proposal is actually designed for Arroyo. Estrada, Miranda and Trillanes et. al. would just be collateral beneficiaries.

I don't care if JDV wants to offer "amnesty" to erap, the oakwood boys and GMA. I don't care if erap gets "amnesty." But you'd never live it down if you put your signature on that proposal. You'd be known as the guy who let Arroyo and Garci off the hook.

But if Villar, Mar Roxas, or Loren wants to co-sponsor this "amnesty" for erap, GMA et al, go ahead boys and girls.

Toothless Blue Ribbon Chairman

Ito sana ang gustong mangyari ng Kontra Daya para ma-investigate ang dayaan sa Maguindanao:

Watchdogs to Senate: Probe poll chief, Bedol on fraud

Poll watchdogs yesterday expressed their dismay over the kid-glove treatment of Maguindanao provincial election supervisor and lawyer Lintang Bedol from the Com-mission on Elections commissioners and asked the Senate to probe not just Bedol but also Comelec chief Benjamin Abalos Sr. and other commissioners, pointing out that the Comelec en banc’s tap on the Bedol wrist manifests an alleged grand conspiracy to commit and hide wholesale electoral fraud.

The watchdog Kontra Daya scored the commission for threatening the media with the charge of electoral fraud, saying, “If anyone is guilty of electoral sabotage, it is Abalos himself and his patron in Malacañang. It is funny how the Comelec insists on punishing the media for allegedly manufacturing news when the cheat in Maguindanao polls has been freed, unleashed. Such threat is an affront to press freedom.”

Kontra Daya, in a statement, said: “The Comelec tried to make it appear that it is determined to punish Bedol. With the penalty it has imposed on Bedol, however, the Comelec has again become a laughingstock.”

The group called on the Senate to investigate the massive fraud in the recent elections. “We hope that the Senate will summon Abalos and Bedol and investigate their hand in the cheating. We are certain that only Miguel Zubiri, the Maguindanao Senator, will protest such a probe.”

Sorry to say this, but i don't anything of significance will come out of the Blue Ribbon panel (even if Alan Cayetano is heading it), if the membership of the panel overwhelmingly controlled by the administration:

Treading the line. While Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano bagged the chairmanship of the blue ribbon committee, he still has to tread a difficult line. The membership of the committee will be divided into 2 to 1 in favor of the administration-backed majority following the 16-8 proportion.

If the blue ribbon committee has 21 members including the chairman, you will have 14 members form the majority and seven form the minority. Any committee report must get a majority of the votes of the members before it can be submitted to the plenary.

The administration majority can always outvote Alan anytime and can derail his agenda. Kaya mapapansin mo, iba na ang priorities ng Blue Ribbon Chairman ngayon. Heck, Kiko Noted was even able to veto the Tamano appointment.

See, this kind of predictable BS can happen because an "independent" "opposition" guy like Mr. Villar is willing to sleep with the administration.

Check your MERALCO'S June and July Bills

From Pete Ilagan (via HTL):

“Before you go over these figures, please get your Meralco bill last June and July 2007. Just go to the first and third charges, generation and system loss, and let the figures speak for themselves. The Inquirer’s banner story last Sunday was captioned Meralco cuts rates by P0.43/kWh. Here are the facts cited therein: 1. generation charge will go down by P0.3786/kWh; 2. system loss charge will decline by P0.0508/kWh; 3. the July generation charge was P5.67/kWh; 4. the July System Loss Charge was P0.90/kWh; 5. the August generation charge will be down to P5.2978/kwh; 6. the August System Loss Charge will be down P0.8479/kWh; 7. Napocor rate fell by P0.45/kWh so its average rate is now P5.19/kWh, meaning it used to be P5.64/kWh; 8. Meralco’s IPP rates also went down by P0.31/kWh so its down to P4.03/kWh, meaning it used to be P4.34/kWh.

Our comments (pls. check the figures in your June and July billings): 1. The story failed to cite that the June generation rate was P4.42/kWh (pls. check your June billing) so the July rate of P5.67/kWh applied an INCREASE of P1.25/kWh. So, even if Meralco cuts down by P0.37/kWh here (P1.25 - 0.3786 = P0.8714/kWh), it will still enjoy an INCREASE of P0.8714/kWh IN THE GENERATION CHARGE in its August billing based on its June rate of P4.42/kWh; ERC gave Meralco a provisional increase of P0.26/kWh in the previous months so it is still (P0.8714 less P0.2692 = P0.60/kWh) P0.60/kWh higher. 2. The story also failed to cite the June system loss charge of P0.72/kWh (pls. check your June and July billings) so the July rate of P0.90/kWh (P0.72 + 0.18) applied an increase of P0.18/kWh. So, even if Meralco cuts down its system loss charge by P0.0508/kWh, it will still enjoy a P0.12/kwh INCREASE in the system loss charge in its August billing. The provisional increase in the system loss charge in the previous months was only P0.07/kWh. 3. Prior to the commercial operation of the wholesale electricity spot market in July 2006, the GENERATION CHARGE that appeared in our Meralco July billing was P5.21/kWh. The ERC-approved Napocor RATE rate then was P4.93/kwh. This only shows that Meralco IPP rates were higher than P5.21/kWh. 4. Using their own announced figures, let’s ADD the Napocor’s rate of P5.19/kWh and Meralco IPPs’ rate of P4.03/kWh and we will arrive at an average rate of P4.61/kWh. This should be then the GENERATION RATE Meralco should be charging us for August AND NOT the P5.27/kWh it announced. The rate given them by ERC prior to the restoration of the automatic recovery adjustment. ERC’s provisional approval on GENERATION adjustment recovery (power purchased) was P0.2692. Add this to the basic charge of P4.4296, we were charged then P4.69/kWh.

Now that we have allowed Meralco’s announced figures and the figures from our Meralco June and July 2007 bills to speak for themselves, let’s ask ourselves if this Meralco announced rate reduction is something to rejoice about? Let’s pray that Meralco may learn to put off falsehood so it may learn to tell the truth. Please forward this to your friends so the truth may come out. — Pete”

Open Letter to Judge Oscar Pimentel

from Manuel Buencamino.

Bakit Pikon si Noted kay Adel Tamano?

From Ellen Tordesillas:

I texted Pangilinan for confirmation of his stand against Tamano and his reply was, “Let’s just wait for the decision of the chair on the matter. As ex-officio member of the Blue Ribbon committee, I will make my position known at the appropriate time.”

I texted him back: “But I understand you have already made known your desire to block Tamano’s appointment. Did this have something to do with incidents during the recent election campaign?

Pangilinan replied, “Will limit my comment to previous text for now.”

Noted that "Noted" didn't deny the incident. What he pretty much said was "no comment."

But Kiko Noted doesnt have to make his position official because now because the issue of Tamano's appointment will not be brought up anymore by Cayetano-- dahil "na-veto" na Kiko ang appointment ni Tamano kay Villar.

Pre-emptively na pinatay yung appointment ni Adel. Kita mo, mas malakas pa ang impluensiya ni "independent" Kiko kay President Villar kaysa sa buong Opposition.

UPDATE: More here on Noted Pangilinan "running interference" for the administration.

UPDATE: Tongue-Twisted notes the connection between Noted, Alan Cayetano, KC and Lino Cayetano.

UPDATE: Senator Pangilinan responds to Ellen. (Although hindi pa rin niya sinagot ang issue kay Tamano.)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

UPDATED: Opinions for the day

Item #1: Words of wisdom raw from David Llorito, sabi ni MLQ3:

All those who want to reform the Philippine politics and economy should therefore strive to remove the nexus between politics and the economy. This policy reform objective could be achieved through measures including low and neutral tariff rates (to discourage smuggling as well as the incentive to make deals with Customs officials), the removal of the pork barrel system, opening up entry and exit of all businesses including utilities and telecommunications without having to acquire franchise from Congress, and lowering of corporate taxes coupled with the removal of fiscal incentives, among many others. The central idea is to prevent political motivations to encroach in people’s economic decisions, subject to certain limited criteria such as environmental regulations and national security.

We should adopt the concept that doing business or engaging in entrepreneurship is an inalienable right on par with our freedom of assembly and speech as well as of pursuit of happiness. That way mayors, governors, and bureaucrats will not have any power to put barriers against people’s entrepreneurial energies. You remove political intervention in economic decisions and you can see that “public service” will only attract two types of persons, either statesmen or masochists, and that will be for the good of the country.

Tinanong niya kung agree tayo o disagree.

I pretty much agree with Llorito on that part. Lalo na yung sa pagtanggal ng pork barrel, para naman hindi na palipat-lipat ang mga trad pol House members from one president to another every six years.

Let's say the pork barrel system is still in place after 2010. if mar roxas wins the presidency, yung mga dating trapo LAKAS at KAMPI members ay magiging LP na. Kung si Villar naman ang manalo, tataas ang membership ng NP. We've seen it before with FVR, Erap, and GMA getting the majority of the congressmen to switch sides after becoming president.

===

Item #2: Adel Tamano blocked in Senate,tapped for PLM presidency

Ho Well, I guess this things can happen if Villar sleeps with the administration.

Biro mo yung mismong GO spokesperson na kakampi ni Villar na-veto ni "independent" candidate Kiko Noted Pangilinan, as Senate Blue Ribbon lead counsel. Noted, Kiko, Noted!

Former Genuine Opposition spokesman Adel Tamano’s appointment as general counsel of the Senate blue ribbon committee was allegedly blocked by majority leader Francis Pangilinan at around the same time the latter was nominated by Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim to chair the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.

Senate sources said the animosity between Pangilinan and Tamano which started during the campaign for the May elections was the reason for Pangilinan’s move. The source said the senator, who does not want to see Tamano in the Senate, went to Senate President Manuel Villar when he learned about Tamano’s impending appointment to the BRC.

It was Tamano who reportedly gave Pangilinan an ultimatum to attend the GO proclamation rally and its sorties if he wanted to be drafted into the GO senatorial lineup. Pangilinan stuck to his independent stance and was subsequently dropped from the opposition slate. He won his senatorial bid just the same.

Naku, bakit pa nagalit itong si Noted. Ayaw naman talaga niyang sumali sa GO eh.

Ipinilit lang ng LP si Kiko Noted sa opposition, kahit na alam nilang mas panig sa Wednesday group ito at sa admin. Kaya 11 lang ang candidates ng GO dahil sa agreement ng LP at Opposition na isama si Noted no matter what.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

TimesSelect Dead

I agree with Ann: Yay!

Noli Eala resigns

link. More here.

I disagree with Eala's firing. The removal of Eala has created more problems for the PBA than if they were to have kept him as commissioner. Eala should have done an Arroyo and stayed put. At least sa kanya extra-marital affair lang.

Eniwey, I remember the same thing happened to the Phoenix Suns back in 2002, only worse. Their new head coach, Frank Johnson, had an adulterous affair with the wife of one of the team's sponsors.

A Phoenix-area home builder who says he is ending his company's $600,000 per year sponsorship agreement with the Phoenix Suns over "integrity issues" has accused coach Frank Johnson of having an affair with his estranged wife.

Greg Hancock, president of Hancock Communities, told the East Valley Tribune in a story published Friday that that his wife, Linda, and Johnson had an affair. Hancock said he and Johnson had been neighbors for six years.

Hancock did not say that the alleged affair was the reason he was severing ties with the Suns, but he told The Arizona Republic earlier in the week that he was discontinuing his payments because of "integrity issues."

Johnson released a statement through the Suns saying only that he and his wife, Amy, had been separated for a year.

The Suns lost some money because of their new coach's affair with the sponsor's wife:

The Suns lost a sponsor last week over integrity issues."

The East Valley (Ariz.) Tribune says at issue is an affair between coach Frank Johnson and the wife of the sponsor. Even if Phoenix- area homebuilder Greg Hancock did not specify the relationship as the reason.

Johnson said he and his wife, who have two teenage daughters, have been separated for a year. He did not address the affair. Linda Hancock's divorce lawyer did.

I don't think this has anything to do with Frank Johnson or the Phoenix Suns," attorney Brian Kelley said. This is about a divorce case and a wife who didn't choose to do what her husband demanded in terms of settling the divorce."

Hancock has five years left on a 10-year deal to pay the Suns $600,000 per year.

As far as the issue in the Tribune and Frank's statements, the Suns have no comment," Suns attorney Tom O'Malley said. That's an issue between those two gentlemen."

Using the word loosely.

But the Suns stuck with their coach at that time and didn't fire him. Johnson coached the Suns to the playoffs in 2003. He was fired in 2004 though for the teams awful performance (the year marbury was traded) and replaced by Mike D'Antoni.

Monday, August 06, 2007

CDQ on Eala's disbarment

Conrad de Quiros on the Noli Eala disbarment

Neal Cruz on why we have the highest power rate in Asia.

TimesUK: "Kidnapped" Filipinos build US embassy in Iraq

Michelangelo Antonioni films on TCM Asia

TCM pays tribute to Michael Antonioni (1912 -2007) this thursday night by featuring two films directed by him.

Blowup (1966) - Aug. 9, 6:30pm, Aug. 10, 2:30am, Aug. 10, 4:30pm

Zabriskie Point (1970) Aug. 9, 8:30pm, Aug. 10 4:30am, Aug. 10, 10:30am

I've seen Blowup before, and I'm going to see it again this Thursday. Great film.

Blowup (1966) Antonioni

From AlfieHitchie:

When Alfred Hitchcock met with novelist Howard Fast (Spartacus) at Universal Studios in late 1966 to discuss a film (probably the unfilmed Kaleidoscope) and their daily round of discussions began. "My God, Howard!" Hitch exclaimed early on. "I've just seen Antonioni's Blowup. These Italian directors are a century ahead of me in terms with technique! What have I been doing all this time?" And with the uncharacteristic admission of the need for revaluation, Hitchcock continued to watch every film of 1966 in his private screening room.

Kevin Chua's Mar Roxas for President 2010 is up

check it out.

nowadays, it's never too early to start these things.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Rolling Stone says Ethanol is a Scam

"The great danger of confronting peak oil and global warming isn't that we will sit on our collective asses and do nothing while civilization collapses, but that we will plunge after "solutions" that will make our problems even worse. Like believing we can replace gasoline with ethanol, the much-hyped biofuel that we make from corn."

More here.

Arroyo Supreme Court disbars PBA Commish Noli Eala for adulterous relationship

From GMAnews:

The Supreme Court on Wednesday disbarred lawyer Jose Emmanuel "Noli" Eala, commissioner of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), after the latter was found to have "immorally" maintained sexual relations with a married woman.

In a nine-page per curiam decision, the high tribunal set aside a resolution of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines board of governors dismissing a disbament case against Eala.

Instead, magistrates found that Eala, a married man himself, "showed disrespect for an institution held sacred by the law" and "betrayed his unfitness to be a lawyer."

I really have nothing to say here. Just passing on this news. A victory for conservatism in this country, i guess.

More: Commissioner’s disbarment shakes PBA, surprises execs

Two members of the Philippine Basketball Association board Thursday said that morality is an issue as far as being commissioner of the PBA is concerned.

They were reacting to reports published Thursday about commissioner Noli Eala’s disbarment by the Supreme Court, which declared the former broadcaster guilty of adultery.

“Morality is an issue here because as commissioner, he [Eala] is effectively the face of all 10 PBA teams,” said the first board member, who requested that he not be identified.

“The leader of the PBA should have high integrity.”