Sunday, September 30, 2007

China calls Burmese crackdown "internal matter"

Sabi ni wretchard:

And the UN is on the way. Mizzima news fears a sell-out:

with China, which along with Russia vetoed a Security Council resolution on Burma earlier this year, once again calling the ongoing protests and crackdown an internal affair, the Council ended up urging the junta to exercise restraint.

China is full of BS for propping up the junta, Wretchard.

But that's what the same thing the US embassy said during the Hello Garci election fraud scandal (na kabaligtaran sa stance nila sa... let's say Belarus) and at the height of the protest rallies in 2006, with the admin using violent CPR dispersal tactics and the declaration of Proc 1017 to prevent a "people power" type movement vs. Arroyo. Sabi ni US envoy Christopher Hill according to djb:

I also listened to the remarks of US Undersecretary Christopher Hill yesterday, here on a 3-day sudden visit at midweek. He said it was "up to the Filipino people" and that the US government was not about to interfere in an internal matter.

Besides wretchard, you say the right things on Burma, but made apologies for the arroyo regime.

John McCain: Expel Burma from ASEAN

(via Instapundit) I completely agree with this one from my man, John McCain, during a conference call with bloggers:

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), in today’s bloggers’ call, asked for Burma to be expelled from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). “We should isolate Burma even further,” he said, while calling for an end to the present policy of inclusion in ASEAN since it clearly has failed. “And I refuse to call Burma Myanmar.”

The senator, who spent six years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, expressed his deep admiration for Burmese dissident and 1991 Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.

“I only have one photo of anyone, apart from my family, in my office. She is a woman I greatly admire, particularly for the sacrifices she has made for her country.” Sen. McCain talked about how the military regime did not allow Ms. Suu Kyi to visit her husband (who at the time was dying of cancer) in England because she wouldn’t have been allowed to return to Burma.

“China should also make a stand for human rights,” stated McCain, while calling for the junta’s censure and condemnation by the international community.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007

Rudy Romero: Does CBCP approve of Bishop Soc?

From Rudy Romero of the Tribune:

Up until now, the image of the Philippine Catholic Church has been that of an institution that embodies and works for the spread of love, charity and justice. The church had always spoken out against government excesses — a posture that achieved its greatest glory with the unceasing opposition of Cardinal Sin to the Marcos regime’s abuse and misuse of government power. The church charities and charitable institutions have always been a source of sustenance for thousands upon thousands of hungry and shelterless Filipinos. And the reputation of Catholic churches as dependable sanctuaries for oppressed and harassed Filipinos was reaffirmed by presumptive President Corazon Aquino’s quest for refuge in a Carmelite convent in Cebu City upon the outbreak of the Edsa Revolution.

The image of the church, to wit, more than 80 percent of Filipinos belong, was completely shattered by what former Senator Osmeña, Makati City Mayor (and United Opposition president) Jejomar Binay and their colleagues said about Bishop Villegas’ actions in connection with the quest for sanctuary of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) deputy director Samuel Ong and Isafp (Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines) T/Sgt. Vidal Doble Jr. in Makati City’s San Carlos Seminary. The hitherto seemingly sensible Bishop Soc was shown by their testimonies to be a callous, calculating and highly partisan cleric.

In the light of what Osmeña and his colleagues told the Senate, it is no wonder why the Bishop of Balanga chose to write an unsworn letter to the Senate rather than face Senators Alan Cayetano, Rodolfo Biazon and Richard Gordon and their committees’ members during the Sept. 17 joint hearing.

In his letter to the Senate, Bishop Villegas said (1) that he had been asked by Malacañang Undersecretary Remedios Poblador for help in putting an end to a “crisis” that she said was developing in San Carlos Seminary, (2) that he agreed and then flew to Makati from Balanga in a helicopter provided by Poblador, (3) that in doing what he did, he acted to ensure the safety of the San Carlos seminarians and (4) he then flew Doble to Camp Aguinaldo where the military agent’s family was waiting.

In their testimonies, Osmeña and his colleagues showed this to be not the case. They said what really happened was the exact opposite of what Bishop Soc so piously recounted.

Osmeña, Binay, actor Rez Cortez, Luis Sison Jr. and the other Senate witnesses testified that the Bishop of Balanga was very much in-charge at the seminary, that he appeared to be in touch with Malacañang and at one point spoke of “talk(ing) to the President,” that the seminarians were never in any danger, on the contrary, it was the lives of NBI man Ong and Isafp operative Doble that were in jeopardy, that Bishop Soc was adamant about Doble leaving the seminary and going to Camp Aguinaldo and refused to give the fear-filled Ong a one-hour extension of his stay in the seminary. Clearly, Bishop Soc, on that 2005 day, shed his image as a benign, charitable and caring priest and donned the raiments of a heartless, headstrong and partisan individual.

So deeply affected by Bishop Soc’s behavior was one of the participants in the drama — Donn Remo — that he renounced his Catholic faith that very day. I dare say, many a Filipino who read or heard the Senate testimonies about Soc Villegas is inclined to do the same.


The Bishop of Balanga and Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. have one thing in common. They appear to have lost their moral bearings and wandered off into areas that have nothing whatsoever to do with either elections (in the case of Abalos) or religious duties (in the case of the good bishop).

These developments about Bishop Villegas have given rise to a very important and nagging question. What does the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) think of the Bishop of Balanga’s actions on that June 2005 day? Does the CBCP approve of what Bishop Soc did?

The nation is waiting to hear from Archbishop Angel Lagdameo and his fellow prelates.

Sobra ka naman, Rudy. Ni "rescue" lang ni Bishop Soc si Doble. Katulad ng pag-"rescue" ni Mike Defensor kay Udong Mahusay.

Previous: Bishop Soc Villegas: "You will be ALL out of here by 7 o'clock!!"

Pangalanan: Anti-Chinese racism at the Senate

Sabi ni Raul Pangalanan:

Wednesday’s Senate hearing brought out into the open whatever latent racism lingers within the Filipino soul. The irony is that we are a nation of migrant workers, who are often victims of racist bigotry in host countries abroad, and those of us in the old country protest each time we hear a derogatory stereotype against one of our kind.

If only for that reason -- and there are other and better reasons -- the anti-Chinese remarks by no less than the chair of the Senate committee on foreign relations have no place in the records of the Senate or, for that matter, in any conversation in the Philippines.

Can you imagine how much worse it could have been kung si Erap ang presidente? I recall hearing worse anti-chinese rhetoric coming from PDI and other mainstream papers during erap's time because of his association with Lucio Tan, Lucio Co, Jaime Dichaves, Dante Tan, Atong Ang...

But this from Mr. Pangalanan is just stupid:

If President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo earlier had the gumption to issue Executive Order 464 to shield witnesses from inquisitive and inquisitorial senators, it was precisely because of these public displays of arrogance by the senators themselves. They grate against the Filipino sensibility. The personal questions asked during the NBN hearings -- and for that matter, the probing into the love life of the amorous former T/Sgt. Vidal Doble during the Garci Tapes hearing on Tuesday -- merely remind the public why Malacañang was so cocky that it had public sympathy for its gag orders. The Senate must not give the Palace more ammunition in this battle.

Pero hindi ba ang magaling na senator (at 2010 presidential candidate) na si Richard Gordon ang interesado sa sexlife ni Vidal Doble? Hindi ba si Miriam ang nagbitiw ng mga racist anti-chinese remarks?

Hindi ba mga administration senators sila, Mr. Pangalanan? Of course they want to muck things up.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Stonewall Neri

I think he made a mockery of the so-called bombshell expose he was about to deliver. The guy did a one-man stonewalling job, using the dreaded EO 464 to gag himself.

From the Uniffors site:

The little shit hid behind executive privilege all day, refusing to reveal any more than that he reported the bribe offer to Gloria.

I must admit I was too distracted, enjoying too immensely, the skewering of Abalos I did not catch on to Neri immediately.

It was Ping Lacson who finally exposed Neri.

Lacson realized that Neri was not going to budge from his executive privelege position so he offered Neri a way out. If he couldn’t talk because of executive privilege then maybe Bondoc could do it for him, considering that he was a source of many of Bondoc’s information.

So Lacson asked Jarius Bondoc how many times he talked to Neri and if he was willing to reveal what they talked about.

Jarius replied, ‘yes but I have to ask Neri’s permission first.”

Lacson then asked Neri if he would permit Jarius to reveal the contents of their conversations.

Neri replied, ‘I will not grant permission.’

That’s it, I told myself. Neri was sent to rat on Abalos. He didn’t go to the Senate to tell the truth. He went there to throw Abalos to the wolves…

Obviously, nakalamang ang admin sa EO 464 ruling ng Supreme Court ni Arroyo. It's obviously a great tool to keep people from talking or telling the truth.

I knew the SC's decision on EO 464 and Proc 1017 was bullshit from the very beginning, but some people back then were giving kudos to the SC for their "shining moment."

Read this too from DJB.

Enablers

Sabi ni MLQ3:

This comment in Ricky Carandang’s blog was also shrewd and on the button, I think:

I believe Romy Neri has two things in his mind. He wants to fight corruption and the best way to show it is to expose Abalos. On the other hand he does not want chaos by exposing GMA, he knows that it will trigger street protest, bring down the economy, create a crisis, usher in the uncertainties of a De Castro presidency. Maybe looking at some of the opposition senators he might tell himself “dito ko ba sa mga ito ipagkakatiwala ang katotohanan, they can’t handle the truth”.And maybe if the senators eliciting the truth were Ninoy Aquino, Lorenzo Tanada, Jose “pepe” Diokno, and Jovy Salonga kaninang umaga pa natin alam ang katotohanan.


But nonetheless Romy Neri is not the judge of who deserves the truth. Poor guy, he’s playing God.


So there.

Kuya manuel, you've just highlighted what we already know about the mentality of some of Arroyo's enablers like Bong Austero and other like minded arroyo defenders in the blogosphere.

It is this same mentality that made the notion of Arroyo stealing the presidency acceptable in their eyes--a "necessary evil"--cuz you know, we don't want the opposition to win. (Or at the height of Hello Garci, their reasoning was... sino papalit kay Arroyo kung may Special Elections? Baka manalo pa ang opposition. NO WAY!)

It's an easy way to justify letting ARroyo off the hook.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Burma's "People Power" revolution

I hope it succeeds. Super roundup here. Here is China's role in propping up the junta.

And the US Bush admin supports the democracy movement in Burma.

(hmmmm... what if the Burmese junta started supporting US interests in the region, will they also get a free pass like Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan or the "pro-US" fake president Arroyo? will the burmese military junta use the tactics and CPR strategy used to crush "people power" in Belarus and in the RP?)

When did Francisco Chavez become Mark Jimenez's lawyer?

From the tribune:

Jimenez withdraws raps vs kin, Nani Perez et al

09/26/2007

Former Manila Rep. Mark Jimenez has withdrawn all the criminal charges he filed against his estranged live-in partner, children, on-leave Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary Raul Gonzalez and former Justice Secretary Hernando Perez, merely saying he did it “in the spirit of reconciliation.”

Jimenez’s entourage, with his lawyer former Solicitor-General Francisco Chavez, went to the DoJ in Manila and

sought the withdrawal of the criminal cases before Assistance Chief State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon.

“I have unconditionally withdrawn all the cases I filed against my children and other relatives. Also I have withdrawn the cases I filed against Raul Gonzalez and Hernani Perez,” Jimenez told reporters after coming out of the DoJ building.

Naging lawyer na ba siya ni MJ nung binibira niya si ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez sa IMPSA scam noong Jan. 5, 2007? O hindi pa?

OMBUDSMAN Merceditas Gutierrez was accused yesterday of sleeping on the job after she failed to deliver on her promise to resolve pending criminal complaints against former Justice Secretary Hernando "Nani" Perez before the end of 2006.

Former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez, a complainant against Perez, said Gutierrez has apparently developed immunity to criticisms about her snail-paced action on complaints against individuals allied with the Arroyo administration.

"As usual, the Ombudsman is sleeping on the job. Our problem is that it is not a short nap but a long slumber. The callousness of the Office of the Ombudsman is too thick even for public opinion. Kapalan talaga ng mukha," Chavez said.

Chavez has accused Perez of receiving $1 million to secure a government guarantee for IMPSA, the company involved in the rehabilitation of the Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan hydroelectric plant, weeks after he was named justice secretary after President Arroyo seized power in 2001.

At ano nang mangyayari sa "imbestigasyon" ni ombudsman Mercy kay Nani at yung IMPSA?

From the Journal.ph:

CONTROVERSIAL businessman Mark Jimenez yesterday withdrew all the criminal charges he filed separately against his estranged live-in partner, children, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez and former Justice Secretary Hernani Perez, stressing that he did it in the “spirit of reconciliation.”

Accompanied by his lawyers led by former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez, Jimenez quietly sneaked into the Department of Justice and formally withdrew the criminal cases pending before Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon.

MTRCB gives Jonas Burgos docu an "X rating"

Which pretty much bans this film from being shown in your local theaters or TV. Armida Siguion Reyna wrote:

While we weren’t looking, with our attention mostly on last week’s Senate investigation of the ZTE, where Secretary Leandro Mendoza showed us the difference between a blank face and a really, really blank face, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) rated 13 independent short films, collectively known as RIGHTS, with an “X” — not for public exhibition.

The “X-ing” took place Tuesday, Sept. 18, the same day we first heard Joey de Venecia illustrate how he was told to “back off!” with a finger two inches away from his face, at the Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club, from a transaction potentially as damaging to this administration as “Hello Garci.”

RIGHTS, a series of shorts, so short and running just around the length of regular TV commercials, is a series of independently produced segments fearlessly depicting the human rights situation in the country, and this is how far bold the set goes, no flesh, no skin, no nipple, not one strand of pubic hair is ever seen. The collection, put together by the group Southern Tagalog Exposure with assistance from the human rights NGO Karapatan, aims to support the Free Jonas Burgos Movement’s campaign for the immediate and safe release of not only Burgos, but all others who have similarly disappeared, and under mysterious circumstances, in the term of Gloria Arroyo.

It was scheduled for showing at the Robinson’s Galleria on Sept. 21, the Saturday just past, as part of the Indie Sine’s activity for the 35th anniversary of martial law and the International Day of Peace, but no. All of the 13 were “X-ed” because “Scenes in this film are presented unfairly, one-sided and undermines the faith and confidence of the government and duly constituted authorities, thus not for public exhibition.”

Don’t be startled. You’re reading it correctly. I didn’t make a mistake, or missed out on a phrase, from MTRCB Ma. Consoliza Laguardia. I copied the quote directly from the letter sent to Kristine Kintana, Philippine Independent Filmmakers Cooperative representative, on Sept. 19. Chairman Laguardia signed, or was made to sign, a letter that was grammatically incorrect, and from where a key phrase from Presidential Decree (PD) 1986 had also been dropped, in Sec. 3, (c), ii): “Those which tend to undermine the faith and confidence of the people in their government and/or the duly constituted authorities.”

Kapag may MTRCB sa US, malamang mababawal rin Fahrenheit 911, yung Daily Show, at ang mga late night shows sa US.

Previous: Erap video given the X-Rating by MTRCB

UPDATE: More on this from the Free Jonas Burgos blog.

"You will be ALL out of here by 7 o'clock!!"

Sabi ni Bishop Soc Villegas kay Samuel Ong bago niya pinatalsik ang whistleblower sa San Carlos Seminary.

The truth about what really happened at the San Carlos Seminary between June 10-13, 2005 is coming out at the Senate investigations into the Garci wiretapping scandal. No matter how hard Juan Ponce Enrile and Dick Gordon tried, the overwhelming preponderance of eyewitness testimonies of many well known persons there present, including Bishop Teodoro Bacani, Senator Sergio Osmena, Oscar Orbos, Mayor Jejomar Binay, and Atty. Luis Sison seemed to win the day. For one thing, the claims that Vidal Doble was being "illegally detained" at San Carlos Seminary by former NBI Deputy Director Samuel Ong are now completely unbelievable (if they weren't already before!) because of the mass of corroborating details from all these witnesses. What was really happening was that Sammy Ong, who claimed to have the Mother of all Tapes (actually four in number) given to him by Vidal Doble, was about to hold a press conference in which he would reveal everything about the scandal that had been precipitated a few days before on June 6, when Press Sec. Ignacio Bunye first revealed the Garci wiretappings. They were seeking sanctuary in the "Bahay Pari" (House of the Priests) of San Carlos, when the place was surrounded by heavily armed units of the Armed Forces, police, and the Intelligence Services. Now according to Atty. Luis Sison, who was also present during the entire three day incident, there came a point in time when Bishop Soc Villegas came to pick up Vidal Doble and bring him to General Abu at Camp Aguinaldo, where he said Doble's wife and children were waiting to see him. Doble folded and the press conference was off because of the pressure of his family being fetched all the way from Kidapawan City by Palace trouble shooter and the niece of Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, (a Ms. Medy Poblador). They were then given a deadline to leave by 7 pm June 13. Sison relates how Atty. Samuel Ong, having no other sanctuary to run to, asked Bishop Soc Villegas for just a one hour extension. The good bishop is said to have coldly looked around the room and declared, "You will be ALL out of here by 7 o'clock!!" At that point, Sison described Bishop Soc Villegas "MERCILESS." Another eyewitness, a Mr. Dan or Don Remo said that he gave up being a Catholic on that very evening. Atty. Sison also said that when he tried to explain to Bishop Soc Villegas that Sammy Ong truly feared for his life (since the Seminary was surrounded by reported sharpshooters and several armed agents had actually entered the Seminary and ended up leaving their car full of firearms on the grounds), whereupon he says the Bishop made a big show of making a phone call to the President to assure her there was no need for that and to call off any "sharpshooters."

"Merciless", sabi ni DJB. I agree. Read the whole thing.

Outrageous. If this is not obstruction of justice, I don't know what is anymore. Siguro sila Austero at Sassy na lang ang nakakaalam?

Previous: "If by six o'clock this morning you haven't given us the resignation letter, we will storm the gates of Malacañang!"

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hindi na natuto

Ricky Carandang his blog:

Some inquiring minds think that the suspension was actually prompted by Arroyo watching Romulo Neri on TV last night vowing to tell all he knows about the NBN deal. The argument is that now that the deal has been suspended, we can all ”move on” and there’s no need for Neri to appear before the senate anymore. I can already imagine the chorus of the “lets move on” crowd filling the columns of newspapers and blogs and airwaves of TV and radio stations. I anticipate Joker Arroyo saying on Wednesday that since the project has been suspended, there is no need to investigate the matter further and therefore we can let sleeping dogs lie. Its a win-win solution. The opposition can claim victory by blocking another DOTC white elephant, no one goes after Abalos and Mike Arroyo anymore and Joe De Venecia remains Speaker…for now. Of course there are some loose ends. Joey De Venecia is hung out to dry, and if his allgations are true, someone forfeits their $200 commission, and Abalos will have to find some way to return the “monies” already advanced by ZTE, or the generals will break his kneecaps.

That's a realistic political assessment from Ricky. Ganyan rin ang nangyari sa Venable deal at Norberto Gonzales eh. At yung sinabi ni Ricky tungkol kay Joker sounds familiar:

SENATORS Panfilo Lacson and Ramon Magsaysay Jr. yesterday asked the Blue Ribbon committee to reopen its investigations on the controversial Venable LLP lobby contract now that national security adviser Norberto Gonzales has returned to work.

But committee chairman Sen. Joker Arroyo said there is no need to reopen the investigation since the contract has already been terminated, and with only Gonzales as a resource person, resuming hearings would be a "waste of time."

Sa pagkakaalala ko, wala ring naparusahan sa shady deal na ito.

(But IIRC, it was joker arroyo who also said na maam arroyo may have survived Hello Garci, but if there's another huge scandal implicating her and her fam, babagsak raw ang gobierno niya. I can't remember where I read that article re his comments anymore though.

Eniweys, this ZTE broadband deal is post-GLORIAGATE, hindi ba? So hindi pa rin natuto ang mga mokong sa malacanang, but i tend to agree with Ricky's opinion na hindi matatanggal si Arroyo dito.)

And check out Manuel's blog, MLQ3 has a nice roundup of the latest on the ZTE deal. Read the part about Tony Abaya's lines being tapped.

UPDATE: China faces spy scandal fallout

Analyst: Chinese Face Spy Scandal Fallout
SEPTEMBER 03, 2007

A report suggesting that the Chinese military has hacked into German government computers could have a negative impact on the prospects in Western markets of Chinese equipment vendors Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp., believes an analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort .

German news magazine Der Spiegel reported recently that computers in the German chancellery and the foreign, economic, and research ministries had been infected with Chinese spyware software, and German officials say they believe the hackers were linked to China's People's Liberation Army. (See China's Premier 'Gravely Concerned' by Hack on Germany and China to Use Computer Viruses as Cyberwarfare First Strike.)

The incident overshadowed German Chancellor Angela Merkel's state visit last week to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

But the ramifications could go far beyond international relations and even damage Chinese companies' prospects for IT and telecom contracts in the West, believes Dresdner Kleinwort analyst Per Lindberg.

"The ability of Huawei and ZTE to participate in, let alone win, telecom infrastructure tenders in the Western hemisphere may have lessened considerably following last week's shock report," writes Lindberg in a research note issued Monday. "It could trigger a return to national security clearance when it comes to procurement of telecom networks," he adds.

Meralco rates are Asia’s highest

From Herman Tiu Laurel:

Meralco rates are Asia’s highest, as Freedom from Debt Coalition shows: industrial rates — South Korea, Japan,$0.051/kWh; Philippines (Meralco) highest, $0.128/kWh; Philippine residential rates $0.102/kWh, third highest $0.174/kWh as South Korea is $0.19 and Japan is $ 0.18/kWh. But Japan and South Korea’s Purchase Power Parity (PPP) is eight and five times higher, which really makes overall Philippine rates the highest in Asia. Other Asean industrial/residential rates: Hong Kong $0.139/$0.139; Singapore, $0.066/$0.13; Malaysia, $0.039/$0.085; Thailand, $0.032/$0.089; Vietnam $0.027/$0.077; China $0.061/$0.066; Indonesia, $0.015/$0.041. Our power rates are up to 20 times higher!

Read the whole thing. Kaya pala maraming small at medium sized businesses ang nagsasara na--dahil sa taas ng singil sa kuryente.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Anwar Ibrahim not allowed to visit Estrada

The ARroyo admin has refused to grant Mr. Ibrahim permission to see his friend Estrada. From the Malaya:

Former Malaysian deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim yesterday said the conviction of former President Joseph Estrada is “an issue in selective prosecution (in) the midst of pervasive corruption.”

Anwar is keynote speaker of the 2nd World Forum for Democracy in Asia biennial conference at the Sofitel Plaza Hotel.

Anwar, a close friend of Estrada, said the verdict was “harsh” because the prosecution was selective. He said he believed, however, that the trial “contained pertinent issues of law.”

He said he has requested the Philippine government to allow him to see Estrada “to say hello” and to “wish him well.”

The government has not acted on his request. Neither has he been invited to call on President Arroyo in Malacañang.

In his address, Anwar thanked the political personalities who supported him in his three-year political imprisonment in Malaysia.

He thanked Estrada, former President Corazon Aquino, the late senator Blas Ople and Speaker Ramon Mitra, Speaker Jose de Venecia, and Sen. Eduardo Angara. These personalities, he said, “mobilized moral support” in his “fight against tyranny and oppression in Malaysia.”

Ganyan rin ang nangyari kay Erap eh. He also wanted to visit Anwar Ibrahim in jail noong 1998, pero hindi pinayagan ng Malaysian Gov't.

Matagal nang magkakilala sila Anwar Ibrahim at Erap. Estrada was one of the few ASEAN leaders who was vocal in condemning Ibrahim's arrest.

More from the Archives Oct. 16, 1998:

During Mr. Estrada's four-hour stop in Batam Island, he and President Habibie discussed ways of reinforcing Philippine-Indonesian economic ties, their views about Asean and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. They also discussed the plight of their common friend, former Malaysian Deputy Minister and finance chief Anwar Ibrahim, who was fired and arrested last month.

Mr. Estrada said he and President Habibie had explored the possibility of asking Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to get Anwar out of jail and just place him under house arrest while undergoing trial.

More: ERAP, HABIBIE APPEAL FOR ANWAR HOUSE ARREST

In an earlier interview on board the ferry "Ocean Raider" on the way back from Batam, President Estrada said Anwar should not be treated like an ordinary criminal. He should only be placed under house arrest at least during the trial.

"It is not only Anwar who is suffering, but also his family and relatives," he added.

Anwar's daughter, according to the President, has just informed Mr. Habibie that his father is being held in a cramped cell.

"We should not interfere with the affairs of other countries but as I had said, human right is a universal concept and it should be respected in all countries of the world," he said.

Read this too. Siguro yan, pati ito at ito ang dahilan kung bakit inis si Mahathir kay Estrada.

Kaya this explains DOJ Sec Nani Perez's hirit back in 2001:

PEREZ ADVISES ERAP TO HIDE IN BRUNEI

Manila, March 4, 2001 - Justice Secretary Hernando Perez said it is likely that Joseph Estrada's lawyers would advise him to go another country, possibly Brunei, because he is left with very little options.

"Alam ko naman kung ano yung ebidensya laban sa kanya. Talagang matibay at mahihirapan talaga siyang makalusot doon. Ang maipapayo ko kung ako ang abogado ni dating Pangulong Estrada ay talagang magtago na siya. Iniisip ko ay hindi ang Sabah o Malaysia dahil galit sa kanya si Mahathir. Baka kako sa Brunei magpunta," he said.

Estrada and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad do not see eye to eye because of Estrada's friendship with jailed former Malaysian finance minister Anwar Ibrahim.
========

But who is Anwar Ibrahim? Here's the Wikipedia on him.

Dato' Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim (born August 10, 1947) is a former deputy prime minister and finance minister of Malaysia. Early in his career, he became a protege of the former prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir bin Mohamad, but subsequently emerged as the most prominent critic of Mahathir's administration. In 1999, he was sentenced in a highly controversial trial to six years in prison for corruption and in 2000 to another nine years in prison for sodomy. However, in 2004, an appeals court reversed the second conviction and he was released.

Anwar is both a controversial and charismatic figure in Malaysian politics.

He was one of the Asian leaders with tremendous potential, pero naka-away niya si Mahathir kaya ipinakulong nito siya on bogus Sodomy charges.

Here's his blog (with recent blog item and photos of him with Speaker de Venecia).

From the Sunday Times: Voice of moderate Islam wins support

Voice of moderate Islam wins support
Michael Sheridan, Kuala Lumpur

THERE has rarely been a political comeback like this one. For a man barred from office until 2008, Anwar Ibrahim, politician and former prisoner, is receiving a rapturous welcome on what looks distinctly like an election campaign in villages and towns across Malaysia.

“I’m talking about corruption,” he said. “Nepotism is still part of the game. Nothing has changed. I’d say we are 10 years behind the times here.”

The Malaysian government has every reason to be worried, because Anwar, 58, has become much more than a local figure.

He is emerging as an international spokesman for moderate Islam, with a teaching position at Georgetown University in the United States, invitations to Oxford and a demanding schedule of speeches and seminars around the globe.

He opposes the war in Iraq but attacks “the delusions” of those who worship Saddam Hussein rather than face home truths about the crisis in Muslim societies. He argues with Malaysia’s fundamentalists because, he says, “you have to draw a line” against compulsion in religion.

Read this too from the Washington Post.

He was urged to run for the previously vacant UN Secretary General position in 2006.

Malaysia's former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has admitted that he's considered the possibility of becoming the next Secretary-General of the United Nations after Kofi Annan retires.

His name has come up repeatedly in international circles, as a moderate Muslim candidate from Asia. But he says he's not actively seeking the post, because he feels that doing so would compromise his freedom to speak out on important international questions.

On the Middle East, for example, Anwar Ibrahim has launched a strongly worded attack on Israel and the United States, as we'll hear shortly.

It's been an extraordinary journey for Anwar Ibrahim since he was released from prison just over a year-and-a-half ago.

Surgery has helped him recover from the police beating that crippled him in jail, his old nemesis Dr Mahathir Mohammed is in retirement, and his sodomy charge was overturned.

Natuwa si Publius Pundit sa idea na yon at that time. Sabi niya:

Democratic revolutionary Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia is being approached by … well, someone … to apply for the top United Nations post, to succeed UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

I think it’s a great idea!

Anwar is a terrific leader whose appeal extends borders and who can talk to all kinds of people. Young men in Indonesia, who might otherwise move over to follow the Islamofascists, drop those stupid ideas when asked about Anwar, whom they really admire. He’s an authentic globalist and a very reasonable Muslim. I remember the democratic reformasi revolutionaries of 1998 in Jakarta has a particular admiration for him, even though he was Malaysian and they were Indonesian. (Culturally, they are very close.)

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t something for the rest of us, too. Anwar is a reasonable, sensible guy who’s spoken out against Islamofascist violence (when I lived in Singapore next door in 1998, I specifically recall him ragging on about how gross the Taliban was) and promoted Eastern values - like hard work, prosperity, sound economics, stable families, and empowering everyone. He’s not a fan of handouts, he’s a fan of opportunity.

Anwar led a partial democracy revolution Malaysia in 1998, over the question of due process (it wasn’t the whole hog like Indonesia 1998), and was politically persecuted by nationalist dinosaur Mohamad Mahathir (who is not a total villain, but shouldn’t have persecuted Anwar either), who threw him in jail for several years and did what was really important to him - banned him from running for office in Malaysia for several years.

Mahathir is out, and his successor is very decent, but that leaves the splendid presence of Anwar un-utilized. He’s a communicator, he’s an authentic moderate, he understands economics, he has the right instincts, he believes in prosperity, and he’s a good leader. I’d love to see him lead the United Nations.

Asiaweek 1998 profile on Ibrahim:

POWER POINTS In the glare of the economic crisis, Anwar is eclipsing his boss Mahathir Mohamad as the man of the hour. By leading efforts to soothe financial markets, cancel expensive megaprojects and draw up tough austerity programs, the deputy premier won international kudos. He also proved himself an adept domestic trouble-shooter during ethnic unrest in his hometown and amid the national water shortage. But he is sometimes caught in the middle, trying to explain some of Kuala Lumpur's less logical economic policies. Anwar is still unlikely to challenge Dr. M for the top spot, but his grassroots support within UMNO is growing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"Ewan ko sa kanya. I mean, ako I don’t use my parents’ influence to get government contracts."

Arroyo lets daughter Luli to take the fight to de Venencia. From the Malaya:

PRESIDENTIAL daughter Evangelina Lourdes "Luli" Arroyo yesterday lashed at businessman Jose "Joey" de Venecia III for linking her father First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo to the $329-million national broadband network deal between the government and Chinese firm ZTE Corp.

A visibly irked Luli, in an ambush interview in Malacañang, said her family does not meddle in government contracts.

"Ewan ko sa kanya. I mean, ako I don’t use my parents’ influence to get government contracts," she said.

"Just because you fail in your business practices, don’t blame it on innocent people here.

Good for you. (while taking an indirect shot at Joey Mullet de Venecia)

But what about your pops, Luli? Or Mikey?

Luli was also the designated "hitwoman" to bring up Joey's druggie past:

"Just because you fail in your business practices, don’t blame it on innocent people here. So parang, kakainis ka naman, no. But I mean, what can we do? Ganyan talaga yung…I don’t know. I don’t know if his old drug use affected his thinking but – whatever! I mean, tawa na lang kami, di ba? I mean kami na naman. What else is new?" she said.

Ms. Arroyo said allegations her father went to Italy to evade the controversy is like "grasping at straws as thin as his (De Venecia’s) hairline."

LOL. Galing galing ni Ms. Luli. Even if what was said about Joey dV is all true, how could this be any worse than what was said about Chavit Singson when he did erap in?

Plus: Ernesto Maceda on the 15.5 Billion Peso ZTE Deal:

The Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the ZTE national broadband network (NBN) project has exposed five important facts

1. That First Gentleman Mike Arroyo was in on the deal.

2. That Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. was the principal broker for the deal.

3. That Neda Secretary Romulo Neri, while initially against the deal, finally approved the project on the eve of the signing of the contract at Boao, China.

4. Most significant, that GMA, our hands-on President, knew of the deal from its conception to date. She was present at the signing of the contract on April 21, 2007 at Boao, China.

5. The ZTE contract covers only 35 percent of the country and if expanded to cover 100 percent could go up to $800 million cost.

Free at last!

The New York Times Opinion columns, that is. (via Althouse)

Rudy Romero: Medy has created RP’s Watergate

From the Tribune:

Medy has created RP’s Watergate

ZOOMING IN

Rudy Romero

09/19/2007

The 1972 break-in at Washington, D.C.’s plush Watergate residential complex did not become a red-hot political issue until a connection was established between the White House and one of the men who broke into the complex. It was the disclosure that former Central Intelligence Agency operative Howard Hunt had closed ties with members of Richard Nixon’s staff that converted the Watergate caper from a run-of-the-mill break-in into a problem capable of placing a presidency at risk.

The same thing is happening in the current Senate investigation of the claim of former Isafp (Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines) T/Sgt. Vidal Doble Jr. that he wiretapped Gloria Arroyo and listened in on 15 cellular phone conversations that she apparently had during the 2004 pre-proclamation period with former Commission on Elections official Virgilio “Garci” Garcillano. The inclusion during the last Senate hearing of Medy — short for Remedios? — Poblador has one of the dramatis personae of the 2005 Doble-exposé episode that has turned the “Hello Garci” Senate inquiries from a was-that-Gloria’s-voice exercise into an episode with the greatest potential for the downfall of the Arroyo presidency.

Prior to Doble’s last appearance before the chamber, the investigation of the Hello Garci tapes had wallowed in the languid waters of legality (because the anti-wiretapping law prohibits the public playing of wiretapped materials, would the members of the Senate not become lawbreakers if they were to agree to the playing of the Hello Garci tapes?) and national security (who in the AFP hierarchy ordered the wiretapping of the Commander-in-Chief’s conversations and at what point or points did a break in the national security structure occur?) but with Doble’s introduction of Poblador into the June 2005 drama, the Hello Garci inquiries has taken on an entirely different complexion.

For the benefit of those who neither watched Doble’s last appearance before the Senate or read any of the accounts of that appearance, let us recall what the former Isafp operative and the Catholic bishop of Balanga said about Poblador and her role in the June 2005 drama at the San Carlos Seminary and Camp Aguinaldo.

The Senate was told two very significant things about the part that Medy played in that tension-filled June 2005 day’s political event. First, Bishop Socrates Villegas, who had gone post-haste to the San Carlos Seminary to bring Doble out of that Catholic institution, wrote the Senate a letter — intended to take the place of an appearance before the joint committees — saying Medy had called him to request that the good bishop take Doble out of the seminary and that she had made the arrangements for the availability of the helicopter that airlifted the Isafp man to Camp Aguinaldo.

The second thing that the Senate learned was that upon reaching Camp Aguinaldo, Doble was brought to the residence of Chief of Staff Efren Abu, where he saw his wife and children and a casually attired woman whom his wife identified as “Medy, a secretary of President Gloria.” Medy has since been identified as a member of Gloria Arroyo’s close-in staff and, in Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s words, “one of only two women who can ride in the presidential car.”


Poblador is apparently one of the staffers whom Arroyo relies upon for congressional liaison work. She is said to be a gal who gets things done, and she was much in evidence in the Batasan during the impeachment proceedings of 2005 and 2006. Doble’s wife reported to him that Medy approached her in General Abu’s residence and told Mrs. Doble to let her know if she “needed any help.”

Senator Lacson, who is responsible for reviving the Hello Garci issue, has said the revelations about Poblador have brought the 2004 election fraud controversy right up to Gloria’s doorstep. This is what was said 34 years earlier about the White House-Howard Hunt link. Richard Nixon’s presidency ended not long after the public disclosure of the connection.

Malacañang, now in damage-control mode, has declared that in getting involved in the 2005 Doble episode, Medy Poblador, “acted on her own.” Do Malacañang staffers now, on their own, order choppers to go and pluck people out of religious facilities and bring them to the residence of the AFP chief of staff? Let us not forget that the June 2005 day in question was no ordinary day. It was the day on which Vidal Doble Jr. alerted the world that he was going to make an earth-shaking revelation about the 2004 election fraud involving Arroyo.

Medy Poblador should be brought before the Senate — no ifs and buts about this — to explain to the Filipino people why and for whom she did what she did on that momentous day in June 2005. Her actions on that day have given rise to this country’s counterpart of the Watergate scandal.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Apostol to Erap: "Forget Appeal, Ask for Pardon."

From Malaya:

CHIEF presidential legal counsel Sergio Apostol has unsolicited advice to former President Joseph Estrada: Let the guilty verdict become final and executory then apply for presidential pardon.

Apostol yesterday said Estrada is eligible for pardon because he is already 70 years old.

He said applying for pardon takes a shorter time than appealing the decision of the anti-graft court, and if denied, moving on to the Supreme Court.

"Mas maganda na tanggapin na niya. Kung mag-file sila ng appeal kasi gusto nila na ma-declare na walang kasalanan. That means gusto nila na masabing walang kasalanan. E ganun di naman yung pardon, di ba, napapawalang-sala sila?" he said.

Wow. This Apostol guy is a genius, ano?

But does erap even have to apply for a presidential pardon when the admin is secretly hoping erap accepts a presidential pardon?

besides, the Memorandum Circular 155 is already in place, specifically written with erap in mind.

So, tigilan na natin ang kabuki dance, please.

More: The admin's reasons for delaying the Erap Trial

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Battle of Algiers (1966)

Maybe one of the best political movies ever. Still relevant film, lalo na NGAYON.



(Special thanks to the people at Q.)

"You're Next, Gloria" raw...

After the erap conviction; but i doubt it. Tignan mo na lang ang composition ng Supreme Court, puro Arroyo appointees na halos lahat.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dick Gordon's finest moment

During the Doble hearings at the Senate.

Erap found Guilty

As I expected. But that's not the interesting part.

The interesting part will be what will the Arroyo admin do next to Erap.

UPDATE: From Ninez Cacho Olivarez:

The crime of plunder, as explained by Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, has to do with the the malversation of public funds, or raids on the public treasury.

One must then ask: Where was the plunder then that the Sandiganbayan Special Division justices claimed Erap Estrada committed when they declared him guilty of plunder in two instances, namely, the commissions from the BW shares of stocks and the jueteng payoffs while acquitting him of two other plunder charges, namely, the P130-million tobacco excise tax diversion and the Jose Velarde account, since neither the BW commissions nor the jueteng payoffs came from public funds?

Plunder then should have referred to the P130-million tobacco tax funds diversion, but Erap was acquitted of this crime and in the case of the commission from the BW shares sale, this, too, can’t be considered public funds. So where was the plunder and what public funds were malversed by Estrada?

Evidently, in the case of the P130-million tobacco tax diversion, the justices couldn’t quite justify it, since they were present in an ocular inspection of the alleged delivery of the money in four boxes, as per the testimony of the demonstrably corrupt governor, Chavit Singson. There was also the fact that the justices were present in a Central Bank test of P130 million fitting into the four boxes whose dimensions were provided by Singson.

I believe Erap took bribes from Chavit, but I don't think he stole or diverted public funds for his personal use. Anyway, read the whole thing.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Loren Legarda goes after pornographers on the Net

and had them arrested.

First... they go after our porn... and next thing you know, they'd be going after other stuff... ;)

More: From Basapa - First filipino blogger to be arrested.

Sabi naman ni Yugatech na HINDI raw pina-aresto si Mike Verzo. O baka arrested, then released.

Villegas did the right thing?

Eto sabi ni John Nery:

"But it is also possible that it was Villegas who did the right, the EDSA thing, and those who criticize him now because of his role in reuniting Doble with his real wife in Camp Aguinaldo who have proved inconstant."


that's only true if you believe the other tale floated during the seminary standoff that doble was "abducted" and held against his will by samuel ong and bishop bacani.

(UPDATE) THE MILITARY has turned over custody of intelligence agent Vidal Doble to the police to facilitate the investigation and the eventual filing of charges over his alleged "illegal detention" at the San Carlos seminary.

Police on Tuesday fetched Doble and his family from the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) compound in Camp Aguinaldo and whisked them off to the Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response (PACER) headquarters in Camp Crame at around 3:30 p.m.

"This will be a laborious, long process but the PNP [Philippine National Police] is prepared to undertake this role of investigation," Chief Superintendent Leopoldo Bataoil, spokesperson of the Philippine National Police, told reporters. "Whatever this leads to, that will be the basis for filing charges against whoever will be identified."

Aside from the alleged abduction, the investigation would also tackle "all other related cases that may arise later," Bataoil said.

Read this too from the Sunstar.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Bishop denies 'detaining' military 'wiretapper'

"HE WENT there on his own free will".

Bishop Teodoro Bacani issued the statement in reaction to reports that churchmen who "detained" T/Sgt. Vidal Doble face arrest and charges in court.

Doble had been tagged by of former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) deputy chief Samuel Ong as the one that wiretapped the alleged conversation between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Election Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.

Doble earlier said he was being held against his will at the San Carlos Seminary.

Bacani said Doble went to the seminary to seek protection of the church ahead of Ong.

Rashma Hali, COMELEC whistleblower, also accused Harriet Demetriou and Rufus Rodriguez of kidnapping and detaining her.

More from the Manila Times:

THE lawyers of the opposition Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino on Saturday accused Malacañang of harassment to prevent them from disclosing more electoral irregularities during the congressional canvassing of poll results.

Harriet Demetriou said she and fellow KNP lawyer, Rufus Rodriguez, had been charged with grave coercion and illegal detention because they were lawyers of the opposition’s presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr.

“This is political persecution. This is not prosecution,” Demetriou, a former Sandiganbayan associate justice and former Commission on Elections chair, said in a press conference at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan.

The election officer of Tipi-Tipo in Basilan, Hadja Rashma Hali, claimed that Demetriou and Rodriguez had forced her to make an affidavit alleging election anomalies in her hometown.

Demetriou said she went to the office of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Friday afternoon to get a copy of the affidavit, but was not given any.

“They could not give me, the prime suspect, a copy of the affidavit, but a lawyer of K-4, Grace Maderamente, has copies which she distributed to the media. Nakapagtataka! [Unbelievable]” she said.

Pero hindi ba si Rashma ang topic of conversation nina Garci at GMA kung paano siya patatahimikin? Wasn't it even discussed during the Garci conversations at one point re the option of kidnapping one of Hali's relatives para hindi siya magsalita?

UPDATE: More from Nery:

Every now and then, I hear people complain about the quality of Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson’s exposés. In sum, the complaints say: “Kulang.” There may be a gun there somewhere, but it certainly isn’t smoking. Perhaps it’s because his exposés are prepared by ex-journalists and designed to meet journalistic, not legal, standards of evidence.

Almost six years ago, Lacson stood up in the Senate to accuse Jose Miguel Arroyo of running what the former police chief called the “Department of the Underground.” Lacson’s privilege speech came almost exactly a year after Teofisto Guingona’s “I accuse” speech, which famously led, two months later, to Joseph Estrada’s impeachment trial.

I was still editing “Talk of the Town” then. On Oct. 21, 2001, I took the liberty of comparing the two speeches. I wrote: “He [Lacson] uses media-savvy phrases: no parallels in history, the Department of the Underground, the President’s bed, and so on. And his main argument against Mike Arroyo’s Department of the Underground makes for great audio: ‘Its essence is to make the First Gentleman an honorable person before the camera. And off camera, it is to bring him the juicy slices of the bureaucracy.’”

I concluded: “The speech is vivid in language because it is vague on the evidence.”

It wasn't six years ago. Lacson's speech was made during August of 2003.

So how were you able to compare the two speeches (guingona's and lacson's) on oct. 21, 2001?

re the "kulang" part of lacson's evidence, well, kulang nga dahil na "rescue" ni mike defensor si mahusay hindi ba. So nawala ang witness ni Lacson. In other countries, what Defensor did would be considered "obstruction of justice" and "witness tampering."

So, bumaligtad si mahusay. Just like Doble and Rashma Hali. And Lacson was accused of illegally detaining Mr. Mahusay.

(then we later find out after the "rescue" na yung brother ni udong ay na-appoint bilang presidential adviser on region 9.)

UPDATE: Related stuff from Lito Banayo:

Why don’t the KAGABAY ask their friend Medy Poblador to tell the truth? No, not about her personal life, some tidbits of which have been the object of text messages. Those are absolutely irrelevant.

What is relevant to us all, and I hope even to short minds, should be her now unraveled central role in the events of June 10, 2005, when Sgt. Vidal Doble of MIG-21, ISAFP, was spirited away from San Carlos Seminary by Bishop Socrates Villegas, whom Medy fetched by government helicopter, to be "united" with his family who were under heavy guard by no less than the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Efren Abu and his deputy, Edilberto Adan, inside his official residence.

That information has been corroborated by the good bishop of Balanga, tutored by the Dominicans. His letter to the Senate verified the truth of Doble’s recollections of this lady named Medy.

And while we’re at it, when did Remedios Poblador, who traces her ancestral kinship to the Borbons of Batangas, whose most distinguished member is Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila, become undersecretary of the cabinet, assigned to the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office? A recently resigned cabinet member says it was certainly not before she was appointed to a post which allows one to sport a No. 12 car plate. Her "heroic" efforts at purloining Doble from San Carlos, along with making representations to her "Tito Padre", el arzobispo, was probably one of her "just" rewards, he said. That must be why Ricardo Saludo now post-facto says she did what she did "on her own initiative".

But everybody who knows the inner court of the stinking palace beside the stinking river, and I trust Ricardo Saludo is one, knows that Remedios Poblador has been as close a friend of the short one from Day One of the usurped regime.

MORE: Thoughts from Ninez on Bishop Villegas and Bacani.

UPDATE: John Nery responds.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Joker and Enrile: An Unlikely Pair of Comrades

United to defend a common interest, hehe.

From the PDI Editorial:

TWO OF THE MOST FORMIDABLE, IF NOT intimidating, lawyers in the Senate took turns trying to beat Vidal Doble’s credibility (arguably shaky at best, to start with) to a pulp. Sen. Joker Arroyo tried to point out the contradictions between Doble’s past testimony and the version he gave the Senate. Arroyo seemed eager to spotlight Doble’s having had a civilian lawyer, which would suggest that the testimony was beyond military pressure—until Doble pointed out that his civilian lawyer was provided by the Philippine National Police.

Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile focused on Doble’s habeas corpus petition filed with the Court of Appeals, a document prepared by opposition-affiliated lawyers. Doble, however, revealed that he had been reminded, before he testified, that the long and short of whatever he said was that he remained under the authority of his unit, the Intelligence Service of the AFP. So, Doble said, with that pointed reminder still ringing in his ears, he lied.

Instead of demolishing Doble’s credibility, Arroyo and Enrile simply clarified the tremendous pressure—Doble himself bluntly said it was duress—that tainted not his latest, but his previous, testimony.

Arroyo and Enrile—as unlikely a pair of comrades-in-interest we would ever hope to find, but politics indeed makes for strange bedfellows—had to retreat with obviously ruffled feathers, in the manner of Estelito Mendoza and his confrontation with Clarissa Ocampo. We are far from saying that Doble is an Ocampo. But the way he stood his ground, and made a shambles of the two senators’ virtual cross-examinations, is a comparable demonstration of how a witness, instead of being impeached, can impeach the prosecutors.

There's more. Read the whole thing, especially re Medy Poblador.

Omar of IraqtheModel in NY

He will be staying there for 2 years to study international affairs at Columbia University. Omar's brod Ali will also be in Long Island to go to college in Stony Brooks.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Who is Medy Poblador?

at anong koneksyon niya kay Doble? at kung may witness tampering o obstruction of justice dito?

From Ellen Tordesillas:

Former intelligence agent T/Sgt. Vidal Doble yesterday said a confidante of President Arroyo had offered him help on condition that he not testify on the “Hello Garci” controversy.

Doble, appearing at the Senate inquiry on the “Hello Garci” wiretapping controversy, said he met “Medy,” later identified as Remedios Poblador, at the quarters of then AFP chief Gen. Efren Abu in Camp Aguinaldo, where he was reunited with his wife Arlene and children Darren and Danica in June 2005.

Doble said Arlene identified “Medy” as the personal secretary of President Arroyo.

“Lumapit po siya sa asawa ko at sinabi niya na kung may problema, siya lang ang lapitan. Sinabi niya kay Arlene na siya ang bahala kung hindi ako magte-testify,” he said.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, during his interrogation of Doble, said Medy is “actually Remedios Poblador,” an undersecretary in the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office.
.....

“I did a little background investigation and research and I found she is the personal confidante of PGMA (Arroyo). Information has it that there are only two persons personally allowed by PGMA to ride in her car, Lupita Kashiwahara and Poblador,” Lacson said.

More from Malaya:

REMEDIOS Poblador is an undersecretary assigned at the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs, Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno said yesterday.

In a press conference in Malacañang after Poblador’s name cropped up during the Senate’s investigation into the "Hello Garci" scandal, Puno said Poblador has been in touch with the family of former military intelligence agent Vidal Doble from the time that he took refuge at the San Carlos Seminary in Makati City in June 2005.

He said she assisted Doble them in terms of food, transportation, "and the like" whenever she was asked.

He said Poblador is a relative of Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales, but did not get into specifics.

He said as far a he knows Poblador is helping the Dobles in a private capacity and not as Malacañang representative.

"Walang kinalaman ang Malacañang. Sa testimony ang sabi tumulong si Usec Poblador, si Medy. Iyun ang dapat alalahanin ng lahat. Hinilingan, hiningan ng tulong at tumulong siya, masama ba iyun? Kung may maipakita na iyung tulong ay may kapalit, halimbawa kaya lang niyan tinulungan ay para magsinungaling, ayun! Hindi naman yata iyun nangyari," he said.

Read the whole thing.

In other news, the generals invoke EO 464.

MORE: From the Malaya editorial.

UPDATE: Manuel Buencaminio nails it again.

And from the PDI Editorial:

But it is, perhaps, with regard to Doble’s testimony that he had been approached by presidential aide Medy Poblador, that his most recent testimony truly became more than a rehash or revision of his previous statements.

Doble said Poblador approached him, after he was spirited back to military custody under the auspices of Bishop Socrates Villegas, and offered him money in exchange for his refusal to testify before the House of Representatives. The public might just be willing to give the military the benefit of the doubt, for successfully retrieving one of its own who had, essentially, become a rogue agent. An aide of the President offering incentives to a witness to refuse cooperation with the House, on the other hand, is another matter altogether.

Poblador acts as a liaison between Congress and the President. She was perhaps most obviously in her role as presidential fixer during the first impeachment attempt, where she lurked in the lounge behind the Speaker’s chair in the plenary hall, for reasons best left to congressmen to reveal. There is no doubt she holds a favored place in the President’s innermost circle of can-do people.

The question now becomes, whether Poblador acted in a manner resembling US President Richard Nixon’s aides, to keep E. Howard Hunt, implicated in the Watergate break-in scandal, quiet in exchange for money. In the United States, the result of Nixon’s authorizing the bribe effort resulted in one of the articles of impeachment filed against him. We cannot emphasize how serious the allegation of Poblador’s potential involvement could be, precisely because it’s so reminiscent of the Nixon case.

Doble’s allegations concerning Poblador, who seems to have used family ties with Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, the Archbishop of Manila, to get Bishop Villegas involved, brings up questions about how the administration wields its clout with the Catholic hierarchy. Either the prelates naively acted in good faith, or were co-conspirators in crimes that range from intimidating a witness, including coercing the witness to commit perjury, to (possibly) outright kidnapping and the creation of a situation where an aide of the President could make an offer Doble couldn’t refuse.

At the heart of it is an insight into motive: If Doble were simply a liar, no government would have gone this far, possibly broken so many laws, or risked wrecking so many reputations. That it did suggests Doble really has the goods on them.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

UPDATED: Malu's back

Malu Fernandez, that is. I'm glad MST brought her back from the dead. But like I said before, I'm not in favor of getting her fired. Boycott? Yes. Fire Malu? No.

Ito yung sinabi ni MLQ3 back in Aug. 29:

However, if the potential for the re-escalation of the issue is fulfilled by the resumption of the column -which would also firmly lay the passions raised firmly at the feet of the paper and no longer the magazine- things would get possibly worse. After all, all the to-do about an apology and a resignation, would be proven either insincere, or merely a gambit: those arguing for moderation or a more nuanced approach would have been proven naive.


UPDATE: Ang Kape ni Lattex says no to boycott and calls people to "move on" from the issue.

He adds this:

Tess Termulo laments, over Twitter, that more people have given this controversy attention than Cris Mendez’s brutal murder. I agree with her (and I’m guilty of it too). The loss of an innocent life is infinitely more important than the words of a bigoted diva.

I have to disagree here. The Mainstream media gave the Cris Mendez story more attention (kahit na mas bago ito) -- which leads to more people being aware of this story -- than the Malu/MST controversy.

There's no contest really.

Besides, most people don't have much to add because all the facts on the case are not yet available for us to make a determination on who's responsible for this heinous act. Kaya nga may investigation pa isinasagawa eh. Let the authorities do their job. And not jump to conclusions re who's guilty. Or else, ganito ang mangyayari.

UPDATE: Forget Malu, let's pay more attention to Cris Mendez!

UPDATE: (oops! bakit nawala?)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

MLQ3: "Ping wants Manila cardinal grilled? Amen to that!"

Heh heh heh... pala biro si kuya manuel. I don't think Lacson needs to invite the Cardinal. Pabayaan na nating manahimik si mr. Rosales.

OTOH, Soc Villegas is a different matter...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hitchens: Mother Teresa an Atheist

Sabi ni Christopher Hitchens:

She tried her best to believe. Her atheism was not like mine. I can't believe it and I am glad to think that it is not true, that there is a dictator in the heavens. So the fact that there is no evidence for it pleases me. She really wished it was true. She tried to live her life as if it was true.

She failed. And she was encouraged by cynical old men to carry on doing so because she was a great marketing tool for her church, and I think that they should answer for what they did to her and what they have been doing to us. I think it has been fraud and exploitation yet again....

Because of the opportunist chance that Mother Teresa offered them for publicity, [the Church] failed to restrain someone who really should have been seeking proper help that she never got. Instead, they exploited her to the very end and even gave her an exorcism, as you know. The archbishop of Calcutta has admitted it. He even had to give her an exorcism in 1997, because they had so much despair of her state of mind. It‘s a cruel exploitation of a simple and honest woman....

[The C]hurch... has an answer for everything. If you can‘t believe it, if it all seems to be radically untrue, nonetheless, faith will square that settle for you. She was trying for that. But as we now know, she failed. It can‘t be done. You can‘t make people believe in the impossible. All you can do is make people feel very guilty that they can‘t make themselves believe it.

this was from Chris Matthews' hardball interview with guests Christopher Hitchens and Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, re Mother Teresa. There's a video of that segment here.

Para sa akin, whether she is a true believer or an good atheist, bilib pa rin ako kay Mother Teresa for all the good that she did for the poor.

Nobody goes to the movies anymore

especially in Manila. I know i don't.

Pumunta ako sa SM Manila kagabi, mga 6:00pm. parang ghost town yung lugar na pagbilihan ng tickets sa Cinema 1-6 at Cinema 7-12 sa 4th floor. Walang tao. Walang pila sa counter. no nothing.

maybe the ticket prices have something to do with people not going to the movies anymore. or Quiapo. ;)

siguro sa makati may nanonood pa ng movies. siguro sa mall of asia, yung mga can afford minsan doon nanonood. but for me, the only way i'll watch a movie nowadays is if it's a huge summer blockbuster film (Batman 2? Indy 4?) na mas nauna pang ipapalabas sa atin kaysa sa US.

Two different views

on Arroyo's economic growth report from mlq3 and Lito Banayo.

UPDATE: Read this too from Schumey.

Kaya pala

Cardinal Rosales ordered Villegas to "rescue" Doble from Ong and Bishop Bacani?

In the latest twist to the continuing “Hello Garci” tapes scandal, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales became the “newest” name mentioned in the growing number of personalities dragged in the poll-fraud controversy linking President Arroyo and a former poll official.

During an organizational meeting called yesterday by Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, chairman of the Senate national defense and security committee and overall lead in the reinvestigation of the 2004 scandal, opposition Sen. Panfilo Lacson implicated Rosales for having supposedly directed Bishop Socrates Villegas to spring a former military spy from the San Carlos Seminary in Makati City where he and former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) deputy chief Samuel Ong had sought shelter after they threatened to reveal all about the wiretapped conversations between then candidate Gloria Arroyo and former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Vigilio “Garci” Garcillano during the 2004 presidential elections.

Kung totoo ito, then this explains kung bakit nakapa pro-arroyo ni Cardinal Rosales (follow the link and start at the bottom) since the start of the hello garci scandal.

Eto sabi ni Dean Jorge Bocobo re Cardinal Rosales back in Feb. 2006:

Newly made Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales of Manila just issued a statement saying this move does not evince the true spirit of Edsa. (But I don't trust this cleric. He will dance with the dictator is my feeling from his actuations and statements in the past.)


UPDATE: Ninez responds to Cardinal Rosales' "Cain and Abel no closure" comment.

More from Ernie Maceda:

Turnaround. When Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales was appointed archbishop of Manila, a clear impression was made that, unlike Jaime Cardinal Sin, he was not going to be involved in political matters.

So it is a surprise to many that he has now turned around and issued a statement on two highly political issues. First, he issued a call on Erap supporters to respect the decision of the Sandiganbayan, not to mount protest actions. Second, he has announced his objection to the reopening of the “Hello Garci” wiretapping controversy by the Senate.

What happened, Excellency? You sound like you are now supportive of GMA.


UPDATE: More from Patsadakarajaw:

I was raised Catholic. And since my first communion what the Church inculcate in our tender minds is that truth shall set us free. That is why Jesus Christ, the son of God who become man to save the sins of mankind is the ultimate truth which our Catholic priest and leaders teaches us and which I accept and wholeheartedly agree.

But here comes a Cardinal, a prince of the Church, who is trying to tell us, in a clear intention to cover up someone dear, to leave some issues behind unresolved on the uncatholic and uncardinal premise that there are things which even the Holy Bible did not provide enough closure. I was jarred. I cant believe a religious man of the stature of Cardinal Rosales could utter such words. Its already bordering on blashphemy. My God, if we have a cardinal like Rosales then I am afraid of the kind of Catholics he and the other prelates are molding. In effect, Rosales sends us a message that crime or in this particular issue, cheating pays, given the right connections.

Parang ganon nga ang sinasabi niya. then this additional comment from djb:

Rosales is truly immoral and the Church itself ought to sanction him. When he points to the murder of Abel by his brother Cain, and claims that even that was an unsolved crime, he is really calling on people to ignore evil-doing because there is nothing we can do about it. His call to “move-on” is exactly what the Father of Lies advises in lisping whispers.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Ellen's site hacked

somebody managed to post an "Erap Pardon" article even though Ellen never posted such material on her blog.

The reason for the delays in the erap trial

My comment, after reading this latest from Ellen Tordesillas:

i believe arroyo is planning to pardon erap after the guilty verdict is handed down. the admin delays in the erap trial (kontrolado ng administration ang speed ng trial, IMO) serves a purpose in lengthening erap's detention, cuz once na pardon na si erap, parang naparusahan na rin siya dahil sa tagal ng house arrest niya. this is done to appease the remaining angry edsa dos supporters of hers of the idea on an erap pardon.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Hitchens: Bush an idiot to compare Iraq to Vietnam

Read the whole thing from Christopher Hitchens, but here a key excerpt:

Bush made his speech just as French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, a distinguished socialist and humanitarian, visited Baghdad and embraced some Iraqi and Kurdish freedom fighters, such as Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, the leader of a party that is a member of the Socialist International. It takes a special kind of political and moral idiocy to choose such a moment to wax nostalgic for the US' inheritance of a moribund French colonialism in Indochina. If one question is rightly settled in the US and, indeed, the international memory, it is that the Vietnam War was at best a titanic blunder and at worst a campaign of atrocity and aggression.

But not all the ironies are at Bush's expense. Change only the name of the analogous country and it becomes fairly clear that in Iraq we are fighting not the Vietcong, but the Khmer Rouge, as the Vietcong eventually had to do on our behalf. The logic of history is pitiless and Bush is not the only one who will find this out.