Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Arroyo Supreme Court wants journalist to name his source

But Publisher Jake Macasaet refuses to budge. Mukhang amoy kangaroo court na naman itong imbestigasyon ng SC sa Malaya.

Btw, like DJB said, it wasn't Macasaet who named Justice Consuelo Ynares Santiago, since mga blind items ang articles ni Macasaet, kundi yung Newsbreak, which did it's own investigating and has it's own sets of sources.

Here's Dean Bocobo's take:

Media in Focus with Cheche Lazaro interviewed Marites Vitug of Newsbreak, and lawyers Ed Lacierda and Marichu Lambino last week. Something I forgot about already was brought up by Atty. Lambino. It's to do with that infamous circular issued by then Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. forbidding the disclosure of the Statement of Assets and Liabilities of a Supreme Court Justice. Since SALs are public documents, the exemption is baseless and unconstitutional. It's immoral and self-serving.

Moreover, the Chief Justice Reynato Puno's close classmate in law school, Associate Justice Consuelo Ynares Santiago, is currently embroiled in an alleged case of bribery or attempted bribery that has been investigated and reported upon by Newsbreak Magazine. And Malaya editor, Jake Macasaet has been given a chilling "show cause" order why he ought not to be cited for indirect contempt of the Supreme Court, by his recent writings on the incident, but saying it was one of the relatively few Lady Justices. Though he did not name any specific Justice, nor did he even name the Supreme Court in his assailed editorials. (Ellen Tordesillas reports).

Members of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Sandiganbayan, are all called justices.

Continue DJB:

In short, what happened is that Newsbreak got a tip that a staff member of Justice Ynares-Santiago was allegedly fired last March after she inadvertently opened a neatly gift-wrapped package intended for her boss, thinking it contained perishables. Surprise, surprise, the package reportedly contained about P10 million in cash. This incident apparently occurred just before Justice Ynares-Santiago issued an important decision in the Piatco case. Now with the whole thing turned into a public brouhaha, an important dilemma has arisen and is worth examining in some detail.

There is a fog that must be dispelled in the public’s mind about the Supreme Court–Marichu said it herself and struggled with the conundrum–the Supremes must not be above the law, but where does one appeal as simple a thing as the refusal to show a guest logbook, which any visitor to the Court signs and accesses. She tells Cheche we must appeal to their reasonableness. You realize of course that this cannot maintain the integrity of our conceptions of justice and Rule of Law. There must be a functional, institutional check and balance to the Supreme Court.

MORE: May inconsistency sa istorya ni Delis at ng SC spokesperson:

A former SC employee who worked in Santiago’s office, Daisy Cecilia Munoz-Delis, allegedly opened one of five boxes intended for Santiago and found cash inside it.

Delis insisted she does not know anything about the alleged bribery attempt that appeared in Macasaet’s columns.

Delis faced off with Macasaet for the first time after she came out with an affidavit belying the allegations. She further insisted she was not fired after witnessing the alleged bribery attempt. She said she voluntarily resigned.

According to Supreme Court spokesman Jose Midas Marquez, Delis was terminated after she incurred huge overseas telephone bills. The termination took place a few years short of her retirement from office.

"I’m hurt (that) I’m being dragged to this mess. It (bribery) never occurred," she told reporters before the start of the hearing.

Asked why she resigned when she was nearing her retirement age, she said it was "for personal reasons."

So which is it? you were not fired, but you resigned after witnessing the bribery attempt? and i don't buy the telephone bills excuse bullshit.

Who should get next COMELEC post?

1) Someone who wants to get to the bottom of the Garci Scandal and kick some asses.

2) Someone who's gonna do some housecleaning within the COMELEC by removing officials involved with Garcillano's 04 operations and the Maguindanao election fiasco that delivered the votes to Migz Zubiri.

3) Somebody who's not afraid to confront fellow COMELEC commissioners and officials about their incompetence and corruption.

My suggestion to clean up the COMELEC for the 2010 elections: Conrado de Quiros. For the sole purpose of cleaning up the COMELEC of rogue operators and scalawags.

And I don't have any problems with the names mentioned here as long as they meet the criteria above. If not, then they can be left off my list. They need not apply.

Monday, October 29, 2007

JDV, the Erap Pardon, and Tabako

1) JDV will not be ousted as Speaker. But he will be relegated to the role of a powerless eunuch figure by Arroyo's allies in the House.

2) When FVR came out of his crypt and made his bold prediction re Arroyo, tama siya in a way dahil malapit na ang 2010. ;)

3) I hate to say I told you so but... I told you so (Esposo, you lose!)

The main problem politically tho for Arroyo's "Erap pardon" is the timing. If GMA pardoned erap immediately after edsa dos, where she risked angering her allies (even though she still had high credibility among the edsa crowd at that time), i'd be more impressed with her "generosity", cuz she'd be doing the unpopular move that would have hurt her politically bigtime in 2004. Think of Ford's pardon of Nixon that doomed him in 1976.

if she pardoned erap immediately after "winning" the 2004 elections (pre-garci tape), she could have credibly claimed that she did this unpopular move (she has nothing to gain from this) to "heal the wounds" of edsa and bridge the gap between dos and tres.

But what happened instead was this. Take it away Kuya MLQ3:

Much as everyone saw the pardon coming, what I don’t think anyone outside of official circles expected was for it to be used so crudely, so patently politically: a historic verdict required a historic demonstration of presidential statesmanship; instead, it was a tool used to blunt the effects of embarrassing headlines resulting from a Senate hearing;

Tama. But the pardon won't damage her much politically because she's already damaged goods. And she ain't afraid to offend her civil society friends anymore. (Wha? do you think Winnie, Sassy, Austero and Cardinal Rosales will switch sides and call Arroyo's resignation because of the pardon? Not happening.)

4) And my advice to Erap is to embrace ARroyo and accept the gov't position they're dangling for him. And never miss the opportunity to thank arroyo everytime for his freedom.

Bill Safire's Predictions on VP Possibilities

(from Safire's guest appearance at Meet The Press)

If Hillary gets the nomination, si Rahm Emmanuel raw ang Veep niya, hindi si Richardson.

If Obama gets the nod, si California Sen. Dianne Fienstein ang VP.

If Giuliani, then Fred Thompson.

If Romney, then Gen. David Petraeus.

If McCain, then Condi Rice.

UPDATE: Sa atin naman, sino magiging Vice presidential candidate ng mga potential candidates sa 2010? I know it's early, but here goes.

If Legarda runs, si Escudero ang VEEP.

If Roxas runs, si Kiko Pangilinan.

If Villar runs, si Jinggoy (along with erap's endorsement.)

If Noli runs, si Joker (heh heh..) o si Ralph Recto.

If Lacson runs, either si Alan Cayetano o WALA!

eniweys, happy halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Online petition for Snap Elections

If you're for Snap Polls, visit this site and sign up. For more details, visit Ellen Tordesillas' site.

Blogs for McCain

Here's a list.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

New Blogger Feature: Subscribe to Comments by Email

ngayon lang lumabas:

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass."

Al Gore on "Rendition"

'extraordinary renditions', were operations to apprehend terrorists abroad, usually without the knowledge of and almost always without public acknowledgement of the host government…. The first time I proposed a snatch, in 1993, the White House Counsel, Lloyd Cutler, demanded a meeting with the President to explain how it violated international law. Clinton had seemed to be siding with Cutler until Al Gore belatedly joined the meeting, having just flown overnight from South Africa. Clinton recapped the arguments on both sides for Gore: Lloyd says this. Dick says that. Gore laughed and said, 'That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass.'

“'Who do you want in place of Arroyo?' is not a thorny one, it is an idiotic one."

"...Or have we forgotten that we are supposed to be a democracy?"

Yeah, that a stupid question you hear often from the GMA apologists. And I agree with CDQ's call for SNAP ELECTIONS. Now na.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The conservative and anti-women policies of Lito Atienza

very anti-women. very talibanic.

UPDATE: Part Two of Rina Jimenez David's article on Lito Atienza.

John McCain introduces Saffron Revolution Support Act

From Sophie's Choices:

Imposes Strict Sanctions on Junta; Targets Individuals Responsible for Horrific Attacks; Increases Aid to Burmese Democratic Opposition

Read the whole thing.

Monday, October 22, 2007

What if Turkey attacks Kurdistan, Iraq?

A messy situation will get messier. Of course, the Democrats' Armenian resolution condemning Turkish's role in committing genocide in 1915 doesn't help US-Turkey relations at all.

From the American Thinker:

What if Turkey attacks the Kurds?
Dennis Sevakis
Sharon Behn of the Washington Times reports that the Kurds demand U.S. defense from the attacks that may come their way from Turkey, already enraged by the Democrats' resolution condemning the Armenian slaughter as a genocide.

Kurdish leaders said yesterday the United States is obliged by a U.N. resolution to defend them in the event that Turkish forces invade northern Iraq in pursuit of members of a Kurdish rebel movement.


So, what should we do? Are we ready to go to war with our "important ally" Turkey? Or do we abandon the Kurds who've been more supportive of the U.S. than anyone else in the Region (with the possible exception of the Israelis).

What should the US do? That's a tough one. They already have a handful with al queda and the shia militant groups. the last thing they need is trouble in the northern part of iraq (mostly peaceful and pro-US) and run by the Kurds.

I hope the Turks show some restraint before they distabilize the whole of Iraq. Look, US and Iraqi officials know Iran and Syria are allowing Al Queda and Iranian agents respectively to cross their borders to Iraq and kill US soldiers and bomb Iraqi civilians. The US and Iraqi government knows this but they restrain themselves from using military force to go into Iran or Syria and attack those countries for fear that direct confrontation might cause more destabilization in the region.

I hope our Turkey can show similar restraint.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Essential 100: DVD

How many do you own?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

BnW MQ Test

By now, it's obvious to all that the impeachment complaint filed by Pulido is a sham, intended only to immunize GMA for a year from a more legitimate complaint.

Rep. Crispin Beltran and two other congressmen were bribed up to P2.0M by Kampi Deputy Secretary General Francis Ver just to endorse the complaint. Rep. Cuenca of Cebu and a few other congressmen under cover of anonymity admits having received P200 to P500T after a meeting of pro-admin solons in Malacanang where GMA gave the marching orders in connection with the impeachment, "Do the right thing." In a separate meeting at the Palace on the same day, governors and mayors were given brown envelopes containing similar amounts.

At first, palace officials denied the payoffs ever happened. But after Fr. Ed Panlilio – Governor of Pampanga, showed to media the envelope and the crisp bills of cash, they feigned ignorance, wondering like the rest of us whodunit. Amazing.

Amidst these brazen and unconscionable acts of corruption and outright lies, we see no outrage – not even a whimper, from people or organized groups.

I am no longer surprised. Jarius Bondoc wrote several articles on the anomalous ZTE deal as early as March. But nobody paid attention. It was only after he exposed the Abalos sexcapades that people took heed. Corruption alone, even on a grand scale, no longer bothers us. It needs a bit of sex, or perhaps murder, to scandalize people.

Our national conscience has been desensitized irreparably and we have lost the capacity for outrage. We have become an indifferent, if not a cynical people. And the few who are incensed by the unfolding events feel helpless, not knowing how or where to vent their anger.

Is there hope? It really depends on each one of us. By now, I hope, we must have realized that the impunity we see today is a direct consequence of our apathy and inaction in the past. If we sit idly by and do nothing, it will only get worse.

First, let's take stock of how we view things from a moral standpoint, before we even think of what we can and should do. I invite you to take the Morality Quotient Test (MQ test) below.

What is your reaction in each of the situation described below? (Choose one that approximates your attitude)



1. Fr. Ed Panlilio accepts the P500,000 given out after a meeting with GMA by mayors and governors at Malacanang. He said the money did not come from jueteng or from any illegal source, so he decided to accept it. He intends to use it for projects that will benefit his constituents. How do you feel about this?

a. It was naïve of him to accept it. Understandable. He is, after all, a rookie politician. But now that he knows more about the circumstances of the payoff, he should just return the money.

b. I agree with Fr. Ed. Nothing wrong with using "clean" money to help the poor folks of Pampanga.

c. Father Ed, welcome to the world of politics. You should get used to this kind of wheeling and dealing.

d. He should not have received it in the first place. But since he did, then he should shut up. He's only giving the opposition fodder for their destabilization efforts.

2. Rep. Cuenca admits in a radio interview that he received a P200T "Christmas gift" after the Malacanang meeting. Other congressmen present in the meeting denied there were "gifts" given out. Cuenca later recants and says it was just a joke. How could he receive a "Christmas gift" when it's not yet Christmas, he argues. Cong. Defensor says, even if it were true, there's nothing wrong with it. And Sec. Lito Atienza says, that it's really standard practice for the President to give her allies gifts of up to P200K after such meetings. It was so in the 9 years that he was mayor. How do you feel about this?

a. I am outraged not only by the brazenness of the payoff and how our elected officials are trivializing it, but also by the blatant lying. The mere fact that this happened in Malacanang should compel the President to resign.

b. This should be investigated by the proper agencies (PAGC or Ombudsman or even the Senate) to determine culpability, punish the guilty, and clear the names of Congressmen who did not receive any amount.

c. What else is new? As Atienza says, this has been going on for the longest time. No matter who the president is, this practice will continue.

d. Elected and appointed officials should be more circumspect in their public pronouncements. Reckless statements like these are tainting our image and might scare investors away.

3. Joey de Venecia vividly describes how the First Gentleman points a menacing finger to his face asking him to "Back Off!" The First Gentleman vehemently denies it and says he could not possibly have done it since he didn't know Joey personally. But he did advice Joey that he could be violating the law which prohibits relatives of the Speaker from entering into a transaction with government. Obviously, one or both of them are lying. What's your take?

a. I believe Joey. I can't imagine him having the audacity to invent such a fantastic story. The Senate should compel, if necessary, the First Gentleman to explain his side.

b. It's really Joey's word against the First Gentleman's. Let the investigation take its full course and let the people decide for themselves.

c. It doesn't really matter who's lying. They probably both are. As some senators have said, it's just a quarrel for kickbacks.

d. It's probably part of a PR demolition job against FG to discredit and embarrass the GMA government.

4. Palace officials and pro-admin senators are saying that the Senate ZTE hearings should now be terminated, having been rendered moot by the resignation of Comelec Chairman Abalos. The Senate should instead focus on legislating priority bills to alleviate the condition of our people. Besides, they argue, Sec. Neri has already said everything he is willing to reveal and will only invoke executive privilege if pressed by the Senators. What do you think?

a. The hearings should continue to ferret out the truth and determine culpability of all officials involved, possibly including GMA. The Senate should challenge executive privilege at the Supreme Court if Neri invokes it. As for Abalos, a criminal case should be filed against him.

b. The Senate should continue the hearings. However, if there are no new witnesses or information, then they should stop and instead legislate laws as they were mandated to do.

c. Nothing good ever comes out of Senate investigations. Senators, especially those with presidential ambitions, are just showboating.

d. The hearings should stop. People are not interested in scandals. They're more interested in improving the economy. This will give them jobs and food on the table. Senators should instead work double time to pass bills that will improve the economy.

5. PERC – a risk consultancy firm, released its report on corruption among Asian countries. The Philippines garnered the highest index (8.6 on a scale of 10) making it the most corrupt country in Asia. Opposition groups cited this in their information campaign. Malacanang countered with a media blitz saying that PERC never said the Philippines is the most corrupt, and that this was merely the perception of company executives surveyed. It accused the opposition groups of distorting the survey for their own political ends, and that this has set back the economic gains that the administration has worked so hard to achieve. What's your take?

a. The fact remains that the Philippines is now the most corrupt Asian country. All corruption reports, including those prepared by Transparency International, are based on perceptions. Rather than worry about tainting our image, we should instead work on reducing the incidents and magnitude of corruption. And it should start from the very top.

b. Even if it's true that we have become the most corrupt, harping on it does not help much. We should instead work together to improve the situation.

c. What's all the fuzz? We don't need a foreign agency to tell us what we already know.

d. Let's not nitpick on the issue of corruption. Other countries as corrupt, if not more, than us are prosperous. Let's focus on improving our economy.



How to score: add 20 points for every (a) answer, 15 points for every (b) answer, 10 points for every (c) answer and 5 points for every (d) answer.

Interpreting your total score:



THE IDEALIST. If you scored a perfect 100, you're a hopeless idealist. To a lot of people, you're a self-righteous moralist, out of touch with realpolitik, and uncompromising. While it seems you're on the extreme, you may just be the right person to countervail what the CBCP now sees as the moral bankruptcy of our leaders. You must be fuming mad by now with the unraveling of one scandal after the other.



THE CONSCIENTIOUS. If you scored between 90 to 95, you have a fairly decent sense of right and wrong, perhaps tempered only by a healthy fear of instability. With the brazenness and impunity you see today, you are probably ready to act on the dictates of your conscience.



THE PRAGMATIC. If you scored between 65 to 85, you consider yourself a well-balanced person, looking at the big picture rather than just the moral dimension of an issue. When scandals first hounded GMA, you're probably one of those who kept asking, "But who will replace her?" With the magnitude of bribery you now see, you're probably close to saying, "I don't care who replaces her. Just get her out!"



THE CYNIC. If you scored between 30 to 60, you are probably snickering and saying, "I told you so." You are unfazed by current events, and are determined to continue doing what you do best – nothing. Well… you deserve the country we have today.



THE RUTHLESS If you scored between 20 to 25, you have a single-minded tunnel vision towards economic prosperity. Your philosophy in life could be – "Screw morality. You can't eat morality. It's the economy, stupid!" To you, the end justifies the means. I can only say one thing. God unleashed His wrath when His people sacrificed at the altar of Baal. I believe God has unleashed His wrath upon our nation because people like you have likewise been idolatrous – worshipping at the altar of economic progress.



What can we do?

For starters, you can forward this email to others. Don't forget to mention your score and how you feel about the current issues.

Secondly, you can join us. The Black and White Movement is organizing a forum this coming Monday morning, October 22 entitled, "Civil Society Consultation – Ano ang Tamang Tugon kung Ginagago na ang Mamayan?" Email me (enteng@healourland.ph) if you want to come so I can send you an invitation. Seats are limited so I can only send out so many invitations. Or if you can't attend, then just email me your suggested action which I can present at the forum.

Of course, if you're the cynic or ruthless type, there's always the "delete" key to deal with this distraction. You might as well throw your TV set out and cancel your newspaper subscription. These issues will simply not go away for days and weeks to come.



God bless and God save our country.

enteng

Michelle Malkin stuck in a mess of her own making

link.

Video of the Glorietta Mall explosion

From Tonio, video taken after the explosion.

But I think the media is just waiting for Ayala to release the video footage of the actual explosion caught on their surveillance cameras, katulad ng nangyari sa Madrid 3/11. It's just a matter of time before it gets "youtubed."

Friday, October 19, 2007

UPDATED: Glorietta Mall Bombing kills 8, injures 70

Right at the heart of the country's financial district. link. looks like al queda (escuse me Jemaah Islamiya) to me. video here. photos here.

MLQ3 has the roundup. Commentaries from DJB on who he thinks is responsible.

UPDATE: My initial guess on who was responsible for this is Jemaah Islamiya. Those peeps are my main suspects. Kung hindi sila, yung corrupt elements ng military (those involved in 2004 election rigging and extrajudicial murders.)

From MLQ3:

The President, dressed soberly in black, addresses the nation. Says it is likely it was a bomb. Issues warning against using the bombing for political motivates.

Thanks for the update, Manuel. She and her fellow anti-Erap acolytes are fcking hypocrites to be lecturing us on this issue, since the anti-erap opposition played politics on the LRT bombings back in 2000 and accused erap (without any credible evidnece whatsover) of masterminding the attacks to "distract the public" from the impeachment trial.

Isabela Rep. Heherson Alvarez urged the government to act swiftly and use its resources to uncover the perpetrators of what he described as "seemingly organized acts of violence."

He said the bombing incidents brought to mind the bombings, assassinations and other acts of violence that the Marcos regime carried out to justify its imposition of martial law in 1972.

"We warn Malacanang not to allow these terrorist attacks to be used as an opportunity to create conditions of martial law or a state of emergency," he said.

While opposition leaders refused to say who they suspected was behind the attacks, they said these were apparently aimed at "distracting" public attention from the hot issue of the day--the impeachment trial of the President.

More from other erap resign groups back in Jan. 2 2001:

A MINDANAO-BASED witness claims that a "military official" masterminded Saturday's wave of bombing attacks in Metro Manila, hatched the plan two to three weeks ago, and trained a team of convicts to carry it out, an anti-crime group said yesterday.
.....

The unidentified "witness" has offered to testify before a "credible and independent" investigation body, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption said.

VACC spokesperson Lauro Vizconde said he knew the witness personally and had spoken with him by telephone the other day.

"But he wants to tell all that he knows to an independent investigative body; that?s his demand," Vizconde said, describing the witness as "reliable and brave."

The VACC suggested that an investigative panel should be composed of representatives from the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces, the National Bureau of Investigation, and an observer from the United Opposition such as former Defense Secretary Renato de Villa, an expert in security matters.

But VACC chair and president Dante Jimenez said a presidential directive naming the PNP as the lead agency in an ongoing investigation "is not acceptable, considering that the credibility of PNP chief Director General Panfilo Lacson is being questioned and that he is perceived as an Estrada clone."

Whatever, Mr. Jimenez.

And this too from Jan 1, 2001: Estrada is gambling with lives for Power

OPPOSITION groups have blamed President Estrada for the unsolved bombings in Metro Manila.

Datu Haj Alonto, convenor of the Mindanao War Victims and the Kongreso ng Mamamayang Pilipino (Kompil) II, said Muslims believed that the President was behind the bombings.

Alonto, who had just come from a Mass and indignation rally at the Don Chino Roces Bridge (formerly Mendiola) in Manila, told the Inquirer over the phone yesterday that Mr. Estrada was out "to gamble everything, including people's lives, in order to remain in power."

He said the attacks were being blamed on Muslims again
, like the mall bombings last summer when "26 innocent Muslim construction workers were arrested and continued to be detained without charges since the police can't come up with any."

Militant groups belonging to the Estrada Resign Movement said the bombings were part of a plot to draw attention away from the impeachment trial.

They said the attacks would serve as an excuse to crack down on protest leaders and to discourage people from attending protest actions.

A martial law veteran said Mr. Estrada was "more evil" than the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos because the latter did not sacrifice innocent civilians in the stage-managed bombings immediately before he imposed martial law in 1972.

"I accuse as the mastermind of these bombings and terrorist attacks the real Jose Velarde," said Fr. Joe Dizon, spokesperson of the Estrada Resign Movement, in a Mass which turned into an indignation rally at the Chino Roces Bridge (formerly Mendiola).

Prosecutors in the impeachment trial have alleged that Mr. Estrada is the Jose Velarde who has a P1.2-billion account with Equitable PCI Bank.

"Only a cowardly and desperate man can do this. Someone who has the means, a P500-million to P1.2-billion bank account, the opportunity and the motive. That's Jose Velarde," Dizon said.

Of course, the anti-erap opposition were wrong. It was an Islamic jihadist from Jemaah Islamiya (a guy named Al ghozi) who detonated those LRT bombs on Rizal Day.

UPDATE: Let's hope somebody won't blame this one on "pranksters."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

CineEuropa Manila 2007 Schedule (Oct. 18-31, Sharila Plaza Mall Manila)

It's here. Recommendations on what film to watch later.

Atienza: Erap and FVR did it too

Arroyo's "gift giving" to 190 Congressmen and Local officials nothing new, according to Lito Atienza.

UPDATE: "Giving cash gifts not my style" -FVR

PRESIDENT Fidel Ramos yesterday denied a statement of Environment secretary Lito Atienza that he gave cash gifts to lawmakers and local officials during his term from 1992 to 1998.

"I am sorry to disappoint Secretary Atienza (who was vice mayor from 1992 to 1998 and mayor from 1998 to 2007) but my administration was never in the habit of distributing cash gifts in envelopes or paper bags," Ramos said.

"At no time in my administration did we ever get into the practice of distributing cash gifts to congressmen and local officials for whatever purpose," he said.

"The only times we distributed paper bags were during the holiday season when indigent families were ushered into the Palace to receive their usual gift packs," he said.

Ramos stressed that even if there were funds, these were released by the Office of the President and accompanied by proper disbursement papers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Good stuff from Ricelander

Especially the one about the Senate "Joker." (ht MLQ3)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Why McCain should be the Republican nominee

First, let me tell you why I don't think Rudy Guliani, Mitt Romney or Fred Thompson are the best choices.

Romney is a landslide loser waiting to happen and will never beat either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

About Thompson, I don't think the American people is in a mood to vote for another actor to be their president in a time of war. I don't think people want somebody like Fred to be their president after having Bush for eight years. Look I like Dubya, but the mainstream media has characterized him as an unqualified idiot, and most Americans seem to agree with that viewpoint. The last thing they need is another candidate who they perceive as an unqualified "Bush type" candidate.

About Guliani, I like him, and I agree with his social views and his stance on national security. But he seems to be the type of candidate Hillary can beat. He makes hillary look like the "Family Values" candidate since his personal life is even more messed up (3 marriages) and is almost as liberal as Hillary, which will cause problems with the GOP conservative base. And like Hillary, he seems to me to be a guy with a shady past (that we still don't know about yet, but will find out once he becomes the nominee.) He may be the 9/11 candidate, but the US haven't been attacked since 9/11, and domestic security is not resonating as much as the issue of the Iraq war--where his stance is not as forceful as mccain's.

So why McCain?

1) Having McCain as the GOP nominee will be good for (the future of) Iraq--which is the single thing that is driving Bush and Republican numbers down. I think Iraq will be the main issue in 2008, and you need it's most credible supporter (the guy who best understands what's at stake in iraq) and the most competent person to takeover from the Bush administration's early mishandling of the war.

2) Having McCain as candidate means Hillary will have to be more careful about dissing the military and the troops in Iraq. And she may even be forced to abandon his anti-Iraq war stance if "the Surge" continue to show better results. McCain's candidacy should give GOP candidates in the Senate and the House enough "backbone" to withstand some of the attacks from their liberal counterparts. And if Iraq succeeds, who is more deserving to receive the kudos for believing in the troops than McCain?

3) Unlike Guliani, it's not as easy for Hillary's camp and the Left-Wing attack machine/Liberal MSM to dig up dirt and smear a war veteran. It helps that this guy was the media darling a few years ago for criticizing the Bush admin's handling of the war. Hillary may be the media's favorite presidential candidate, but McCain I believe is the MSM "favorite Republican."

Monday, October 15, 2007

UPDATED: Thoughts on second Clinton presidency

Prediction: Hillary will be a two-term presidency. Obama will not be her Vice Presidential candidate. Her Vice will probably be New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

And she will be the third president (and second Clinton) to be impeached for Corruption and Abuse of Power.

Her administration will be as tough and ruthless against the Republicans as she will be against Al Queda terrorists. And that's a big problem. Her administration will use the gov't resources to spy and eavesdrop on Republicans, and they will be caught. If you think "FileGate" was bad (where First Lady Hillary was involved), things will be worse under madam president Clinton.

UPDATE: "Fading memory has helped some to forget about the Clintons, their political machine and their ruthlessness." (ht althouse)

Bonus Shot: The Church and Arroyo's natural allies in the media (like SassyLawyer and Austero) will be more involved in 2010. They will try to "redeem" themselves by focusing once again on "good government", "fighting corruption and criminality" and "reforms". The main target of their anger will probably be Lacson, or any candidate associated with Erap. Bibirahin rin nila si Noli kung tatakbo ito, but not with the same intensity and venom them reserve for the Opposition. And you just feel guys like Villegas and Rosales are just itching to get even... lol.

Sarkozys headed for divorce?

From the Observer:

An official announcement that the Sarkozys are to separate may come tomorrow. 'It is an open secret,' said Christophe Barbier, editor of weekly news magazine L'Express

'They are living through what millions of French people experience. There was a false end [to their relationship] in 2005. It seems that this time it is the true end," he added. Rival magazine Le Nouvel Observateur yesterday quoted unnamed sources as indicating the announcement would be made tomorrow.

Noynoy wants 3-strike rule vs Cabinet appointments

From the Malaya:

SEN. Benigno Aquino III has filed a bill that would stop the president from re-appointing cabinet members bypassed thrice by the Commission on Appointments, saying it frustrates the constitutional mandate of the appointments body.

"The act of the President in successively re-appointing by-passed nominees is a clear mockery of the mechanism enshrined in our fundamental law," Aquino said.

He added: "The intent of the framers of the Constitution in creating the Commission on Appointments was to provide an effective check and balance mechanism between the executive and legislative branch of the government."

I think what the Arroyo administration is doing is illegal. Appointing officials to cabinet positions that fail to get confirmed, like Raul Gonzales and Angelo Reyes.

Doesn't Arroyo get the message? If her boys don't get confirmed, don't bother re-sending them back to the CA. This three-strike rule is not necessary. Kung marunong lang sumunod sa Rule of Law ang administration na ito...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Meron palang blog si Kit Tatad

I did not know that. Link.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ramzi Yousef converts to Christianity

via drudge. He's the mastermind of the first World Trade Ctr. attack.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Who's afraid of Noli de Castro?

Sabi nila bakit pa natin i-impeach si Arroyo eh malapit nang matapos ang term niya? At paano na kung si Noli de Castro ang pumalit?

Sabi ni Ricky Carandang re the ZTE deal:

Personally, I don’t think this will lead to Gloria’s premature removal from office. Aside from having no hope that Congress will ever impeach her, I think too many of the elite cliques would oppose it at this late hour. With three years to go before she (presumably) steps down, her removal would intoduce a new element of uncertainty–a Noli de Castro presidency. By 2010, having tasted power for three years, Noli may want more and may resort to the same machinations to hold onto power as his predecessor. That in turn could usher in another prolonged period of political intramurals among the elites. Add to that the fact that Noli, like Erap,is considered by the establsihment to be an unacceptable outsider.

I'm not worried about Noli de Castro becoming our interim president. Besides, less than three years na lang ang term niya kung papalitan nya si Arroyo. Noli's not as bad as some people here thinks. He's well informed and competent.

(dapat may "special elections" para palitan si Arroyo dahil sa dayaan ng 2004 at hindi siya ang tunay na presidente. Pero kung matatanggal si Arroyo dahil sa ZTE at obstruction of justice, ibang usapan yan.)

By 2010, having tasted power for three years, Noli may want more and may resort to the same machinations to hold onto power as his predecessor.

Who says Noli will not run for office in 2010 if only we deny him a taste of the presidency? There's no rule that prevents Noli from running as the administration candidate in 2010.

Noli right now is having it easy running under the radar while Arroyo is rocked by scandals. None of the current Arroyo controversies so far has negatively affected Noli's political chances for the presidency because he has kept a low profile while supporting Arroyo behind the scenes since the Hello Garci scandal broke out.

If he is allowed to continue this course without suffering any consequences for his current support for Arroyo, then his chances for winning the presidency in 2010 after arroyo steps down--with his masa popularity coupled with administration's powerful "political machinery" (aka pera, dagdag bawas) still intact because no real reforms and credible personnel changes were made with ARroyo--is pretty darn good.

Noli's brain and fellow Wednesday club member Joker Arroyo will run Noli's presidential campaign.

But if Gloria Arroyo is impeached, her ability to fund and support Noli as successor will be rendered nil. At madadamay si Noli sa pagbagsak ni Arroyo dahil associated siya sa pekeng administration na to. And it'd be too late for him to flipflop and change sides because he should have done it back in 2005 pa. People will be reminded of Arroyo everytime the see Noli de castro as acting president--because he is part of the old corrupt and disgraceful administration whose head was impeached.

But if Arroyo survives, I don't see any weakening of Arroyo's ability to select our next president.

MORE: I don't mind removing arroyo now and having noli, pero para sa mga takot kay noli, how about impeaching and removing arroyo in 2009? at least isang taon na lang mamumuno si Kabayan. And "what to do with Arroyo" becomes an issue in the 2010 elections.

How and when is impeachment initiated?

Bumped up again: My blogpost on the matter.

DJB: How the Supreme Court Set Up That Silly Impeachment Initiation Rule

UPDATE: Related stuff from Francisco Tatad, who I did not know has a blog.

UPDATE: From the Tribune Editorial: Supreme Castration

In selfishly protecting its individual and personal interest, the Supreme Court of the land effectively castrated the constitutional proviso of removing an impeachable officer through the process of impeachment, thus granting the corrupt constitutional officers immunity from removal in office and making a complete mockery of the Constitution.

It is the high court that is solely to blame for this castration of the impeachment proviso and all because the justices were not only shielding then Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. — who was then facing a genuine impeachment complaint at the House of Representatives and which already had the required numbers to send the Davide complaint to the Senate for trial — but also immunizing themselves from future impeachment complaints...

Davide and a couple of other justices were facing two impeachment complaints, the first of which was sat upon by the House, while the second one, which had the required signatories, focused solely on Davide in the matter of the misuse of the judiciary development fund.

To evade an impeachment trial and to save the prostituted hide of Davide, the high court’s interpretation of Article XI, Section 3 (5) which states that no impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once a year, was that the proceedings meant the filing of only one complaint a year, thus opening wide the doors of instant immunization of the impeachable officers through the filing of a yearly bogus complaint.

One must not forget either that the prostituted House of Representatives helped to strengthen this Davide Court ruling, by ensuring that the bogus complaint is accepted, while amended complaints that have substance are immediately killed, without benefit of the presentation of evidence.

This unconstitutional ruling by the high court has been used to the hilt by Gloria Arroyo and her allies in the House, to immunize herself from impeachment proceedings, then, now and up till her term ends — and by the simple expedient of getting someone to file a bogus impeachment complaint yearly which will then be endorsed by one of her congressional allies.

This has happened again and again in her case.

The first time, with her government at the point of collapsing due to the “Hello Garci” wiretap tapes where her conversations on the cheating operations with poll commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, she and her then political adviser, Gabby Claudio, fixed up the bogus Oliver Lozano complaint which was quickly endorsed by her ally, party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta. Even as a genuine complaint amending the Lozano complaint followed and where no proceedings had as yet taken place, the impeachment complaint was quickly killed by Gloria’s House allies.

The second time, anti-Gloria groups beat a bogus complaint by filing the first complaint, but the prostituted House allies quickly killed it on claimed “technicalities.”

With the ZTE-National Broadband Network contract investigation threatening the political survival of Gloria and a falling out between her and the Speaker, Jose de Venecia Jr., there suddenly came yet another bogus complaint which Malacañang tried to pass off as a genuine one, even going to the extent of allegedly bribing several opposition congressmen to endorse the bogus complaint, to make it look as if it was authentic.

In the end, as Malacañang and its fronts failed to get any opposition member to endorse the complaint which was filed by lawyer Ruel Pulido, who is now being billed as the successor to Lozano, was endorsed by another Gloria ally, Laguna Rep. Edgar San Luis, who is having a difficult time explaining why he had endorsed the bogus three-page complaint.

But none of these bogus complaints would have made possible a fail-safe immunization for any and all impeachable officers if the high court and its justices chose to be true to themselves and to the Constitution they vowed to uphold and protect, if in the first place, they thought of the Filipino people instead of themselves.

Another reason why I don't trust Villar

When he makes comments like this one. (thanks CDQ)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Judith Miller and Juliet Labog Javellana

Ya know, this kinda reminds me of judith miller's case. she went to jail to for protecting a source.

the difference between juliet's case and judith is this:

Judith Miller went to jail for trying to protect the identity of the source who leaked the name of a covert CIA agent (thus jeopardizing her safety and her career) just to get back at her husband ambassador joseph wilson–-who wrote a scathing article in the new york times back in 2003 condemning the bush administration for twisting the intelligence information in order to justify going to war with iraq.

yung sa kaso naman ni Juliet, Joker's upset that Juliet wrote a front page article exposing joker's role in helping the administration cover up a criminal activity and gagging Neri. And now joker wants to get even with the 4 sources by forcing Juliet to name names.

That's the long and short of it.

From the Inquirer Editorial:

TWO SENATORS, WANTING TO GET TO THE bottom of the same issue, tackled it in different ways. The younger, Panfilo Lacson, titled his resolution (PS Res. No. 164) “Directing The Proper Committee/s of The Senate To Investigate The September 26, 2007 ‘Executive Session’ Of The Senators Where An Uninvited Guest Allegedly Hindered The Testimony Of A Witness And The Subsequent Publication Of What Supposedly Transpired In The Said Session, With The End In View Of Amending And Strengthening The Rules Of The Senate On Executive Session.” Only one of its eight “whereas” clauses mentioned the media—and only generically, as “newspaper reports.”

The elder, Joker Arroyo, titled his resolution (PS Res. No. 165), more compactly: “Resolution Directing The Appropriate Committee To Look Into The Violation of Rule XLVII And/Or Other Rules Of The Rules Of The Senate On Executive Sessions During The September 26, 2007 Proceedings.” Eleven out of its 13 “whereas” clauses referred to an Inquirer article, its writer and its editors, upon whom he poured out his frustrations in a piece he wrote and this paper published (unedited and in full, as he demanded) Saturday.

So, who among the two senators is after the interests of the Senate as an institution? Who is going hammer and tongs after this paper, while studiously ignoring the real issue at hand?

In a heated moment of interpellation, Senator Arroyo dismissed Senator Lacson with the contemptuous remark, “We are not policemen here.” But this is an issue that calls not for the obfuscations of a seasoned lawyer, but for the simple sleuthing of a rookie cop. What was the purpose of the executive session? To hear testimony that Romulo Neri was unwilling to divulge in public. What was alleged to have transpired in that executive session? Nothing. Then why all the fuss if nothing happened?

Because Senator Arroyo takes exception to the allegations that: Neri did not provide any testimony, going only as far as supposedly dangling the tantalizing possibility that what he knew might bring down the government; and that Neri would not, did not, could not, proceed further because a member of the Cabinet materialized in the so-called executive session.

Senator Arroyo also takes violent exception to his having been reported as the instrument by which the Arroyo administration infiltrated the executive session, thus rendering its purpose impossible. To which, a fellow senator reasonably, in effect, asks: If there was no confession, could there be a claim to the seal of the confessional?
.....

The purpose of executive sessions or any kind of official secrecy is to maintain the security of the state, the inviolability of legitimate official communications, but never, ever, under any circumstances, to obstruct justice or to hide official wrongdoing.

So, Joker’s slogan comes back to haunt him: Kung bad ka, lagot ka.

Read the whole thing.

"Executive Privilege exists in every part of the world, but it exists to protect secrets, not hide crimes."

More than that, true enough “executive privilege” exists in every part of the world, but it exists to protect secrets, not hide crimes. There’s a difference. Psychiatrists and lawyers are bound to secrecy, too, but they are freed from it when their clients tell them about a murder they propose to commit. Then they are duty-bound to do everything in their power to prevent it from happening, including telling the proper authorities of it. Even priests are freed from the confessional when someone tells them he means to bomb a bus. The priest in any case does not limit his response to telling the penitent to recite 10 Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s and Glory Be’s, and go in peace.

Word. Read the whole Conrado de Quiros article.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Let's kill all the American Comedy writers!!!

Another insensitive joke on Filipinos?!?

From the INQUIRER:

Cory Aquino a victim of ‘insensitive’ US TV joke

By Dona Pazzibugan, Miko L. Morelos
Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines-- Senator Benigno Aquino III denounced as “insensitive” and “in extremely poor taste” a joke that featured his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, in the hit US television show “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

“It is sad that while adding humor to such an important issue, the producers of the show chose to use pictures that were disrespectful, insensitive and in extremely poor taste,” the senator said of the show, which has won two Peabody awards and several Emmys.

“The Daily Show,” known for its comedic interpretation of the news, last week featured a picture of Cory Aquino, an icon of Philippine democracy, with the label “slut.”

REad this too from Dean Jorge Bocobo.

I watch the Daily Show daily--I tape it everytime it airs. Yeah, he's a Leftist jerk. But did you see him make fun of hillary's cackle though? hah ha hah!

BTW, I believe i've already seen that daily show episode re women leaders a few weeks ago with sam bee interviewing blogger lashawn barber (na colleague ni djb sa pajamasmedia, lol.) Did not think much of it. Of course it's a stupid and juvenile joke, and you should see the stuff they say about bush, hillary, rove, alberto gonzales etc (the jokes on iraq aka mess'opotamia are not funny tho.)

IIRC, lashawn (who's a conservative) said na she's not in favor of having a woman president dahil "less qualified" raw sila (oh, how CONSERVATIVE and NON-PROGRESSIVE!) The Daily Show "agreed" with her by showing photos of former women leaders like thatcher, golda mier, cory and angela merkel in "embarassing situations".

Ang nakakapagtaka, luma na yang episode na yan, but why are we making this an issue only now? Dahil sa desperate housewives?

I'm sure kung sa pinas ginawa ito, hindi papayag ang MTRCB na maipalabas yan (OTOH, hindi naman ang administration ni Arroyo ang tinatamaan, sa malamang pasado ito.)

But if we can force Jon Stewart to make an apology (with his tail between his legs), then color me impressed.

I guess like the "Arab street", we are slowly developing our own "Filipino street" after Desperate, and now this.

Kill all the American comedy writers! Behead those who insult Filipinos!

MORE: comment ni DJB:

I was very curious though that the dyed in the wool liberal moon bats on that Jon Stewart Show picked on Cory Aquino as the woman leader of the Philippines and not Gloria Macapagal Arroyo...

My guess as to why they chose cory? Because between the two, cory's more popular (an icon) than ate glo-- who's a nobody oustide the RP.

See, the thing is, nobody here would be offended if they used Arroyo instead of Cory. And if it's not offending anybody, it ain't funny to them.

UPDATE: Oops. Wala palang angela merkel. Mali si DJB. Golda mier, Thatcher at Cory lang pala.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Tama ba yung ginawa ni Jarius?

Kay Jarius Bondoc naman, eto sinabi ni Manila Bay Watch sa blog ni mlq3:

Re Bondoc’s latest column.

While we may all appreciate Bondoc for his adherence that the truth must come out because it is the truth, must say am a bit worried. He’s treading on dangerous ground, i.e., breach of confidentiality between a journalist and his source?

That Romulo Neri is Jarius Bondoc's source is the worst kept secret in town. Sino pa ba sa atin ang hindi nakakaalam nito before Bondoc wrote his monday article.

Kaya nga tinanong ni Lacson si Neri kung pwedeng magsalita si Bondoc eh:

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.’

Yes, Neri did not give Jarius permission to reveal what they talked about during the Senate hearings. But why only now, Mr. Neri.

IIRC, Neri never stopped Bondoc from writing about what they've talked about in Bondoc's previous columns on ZTE.

Eto sabi ni DJB:

That is certainly true for Jarius Bondoc, whose sensational columns about sexcapades and golf junkets in China, and millions of dollars in bribery money focussed the spotlight on ZTE and the national broadband project early on. Together with Joey de Venecia and Romulo Nery testifying in the Senate, the scandal has already resulted in the accused broker, Benjamin Abalos to resign as chairman of the Commission on Elections this past week.

But by revealing Romulo Neri to be the source of his news-making columns early on in the ZTE scandal saga, Jarius Bondoc broke a rule of omerta...

When bondoc was writing his ZTE articles, hindi pinipigilan ni Neri si Jarius. Which means not once during their numerous telephone conversations beginning april 2007 did Neri tell Bondoc to zip it. the fact that we knew neri was bondoc's source from the very beginning leads me to believe that what bondoc wrote before had neri's seal of approval (even using him as source.)

Nung nasa senado na siya atsaka lang nagkaroon ng "cold feet" si Neri at hindi nya binigyan ng permission si Jarius magsalita sa harap ng senado.

So no "rule of omerta" was broken when jarius started writing all those ZTE articles.


but maybe DJB is referring to Jarius' recent article after the Senate hearing this monday?

Since everybody knew who Bondoc's source was at this point, and knew pretty much what neri told bondoc, jarius probably concluded there's no point in keeping the rest of the sordid ZTE details to himself.

I believe Bondoc calculated that it was futile to keep the details to himself since everybody else pretty much knows the big picture of the ZTE deal, pero kulang na lang sa detalya. And everybody knows he knows.

By revealing what he knows in that article, the pressure coming from the senate, the media and other people for him to tell all (or in Malacanang's case, for him to keep quiet, or else...) will dissipate.

So should he be fired by philstar for disobeying neri after the neri told him to shut up at the senate hearing?

Oo raw, sabi ni Business World Vergel Santos.

UPDATE: From Ernesto Maceda:

Columnist Jarius Bondoc confirmed during a TV interview that Secretary Romulo Neri made 17 important admissions to him regarding the ZTE-NBN deal but he revealed only five in the Senate. He believes Neri has been threatened into silence...

UPDATE: I haven't read all of Jarius' ZTE articles, but my understanding is that sa simula pa lang ng pagsusulat ni Bondoc re ZTE, may idea tayo na si Neri ang source ni Jarius. Has neri discussed with bondoc how certain information he provided can be used or not used before he started leaking the info? What was their "speaking terms" agreement? on the record? on background? deep background? Double Super Secret background?

Sometimes, the editors or lawyers of the news organization are in on the source's identity too:

The identity of anonymous sources is sometimes revealed to senior editors or a news organization's lawyers, who would be considered bound by the same confidentiality. (Lawyers are generally protected from subpoena in these cases by attorney/client privilege.) Legal staff may need to give counsel about whether it is advisable to publish certain information, or about court proceedings that may attempt to learn confidential information. Senior editors are in the loop to prevent reporters from fabricating non-existent, anonymous sources, and to provide a second opinion about how to use the information obtained, how or how not to identify sources, and whether other options should be pursued.

So if bondoc "violated" any confidentiality agreement with Neri, then the editors probably were in on that too.

But I do know Neri's in trouble with Malacanang for leaking. I believe matagal na nilang alam na siya ang source ng mga article ni Bondoc (probably ever since nilipat siya sa CHED). Because of Neri's leaking, he is seen as disloyal by malacnang, and it is just a matter of time before he is punished or removed.

Sa US, I've never seen any recent administration who isn't paranoid about leaks (lalo na yung mga admin na may tinatago). Nixon employed the Plumbers to find and destroy the leakers in his admin. So imagine how Arroyo must feel about Neri. His goose is cooked.

From Manuel Buencamino:

Star should Jarius a raise. And sakay ako sa argument mo na gusto naman tlaga ni Neri lumabas yun baho kaya lang ayaw niyang sumabit.

Wasn't it obvious to everybody else that Neri is one of Bondoc's sources early on? Especially after Lacson asked and was denied permission by Neri to let Bondoc speak re ZTE?

paano ba nalaman ni lacson na si neri ang source ni bondoc in the first place, hindi ba?

Where is Sen. Alan Cayetano now?

Sabi ni Manuel Buencamino:

But here’s why we take Alan Peter Cayetano to task.

Remember those two impeachment hearings in the House? Remember how he and Chiz Escudero, led the charge for truth and all that against overwhelming odds?

Well, where the fuck is that crusader now? He didn’t even put up a fight.

I don’t know if this is the same Alan Peter Cayetano that we elected to the Senate so we would have someone to look out for us. Maybe the man we think is Alan Pater Cayetano is really Juju Cayetano, the fake candidate who ran for senator last May. That’s the kindest thought I can have for him right now.


Come to think of it, I’ve never seen Juju and Alan Peter in a picture together. Maybe because they’re one and the same now. Peke.

The guy's been taking his orders from opposition/administration Party boss Manny Villar--ang 2010 candidate na namamangka sa dalwang ilog. Cayetano lost his independence after getting elected.

Raul Pangalanan is worried re this MTRCB

for initially giving a human rights an X-rating

Sabi niya:

That is why when the MTRCB justifies its X rating by saying that “Rights” was “unfair and one-sided,” its decision was content-based, but it would scarcely give me any comfort if the MTRCB reverses itself by saying that it was fair and objective after all. Whether speech is biased or balanced is for the audience, not any government board, to decide.

The sole question before any government agency should be whether the danger posed by the speech is so imminent that it is “dangerous to leave the correction of evil counsels to time.” The classic formulation was made by Holmes: “The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.” I understand that the MTRCB eventually found its way and applied the clear and present danger test.

My real worry is not about government behaving badly. It is about a passive people immobilized by political correctness and unwilling to advance “freedom for the thought that we hate.”

My other concern is that we have already sent a chilling effect on young and independent film-makers, who may now shy away from politically sensitive topics. Worse, it may have scared away film producers and potential investors.

That's why it's not worth it to make a political film unless it's anti-marcos or anti-erap. People like pangalanan never gave a shit when the erap film was banned from the public because it "undermined the people's trust in the current admin." It's only when "their films" are banned for the same reason atsaka lang sila iiyak-iyak.

frickin idiots.

DJB: Pwedeng ipakulong ni Joker ang PDI reporter

because PDI won't reveal their sources on the embarassing Joker story.

I agree with DJB. If i were Joker, I would jail her to make her cough up her sources.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

UPDATE: Desperate Housewives pokes fun of our med schools

Ouch! (rimshot...)

Here's what Teri Hatcher said that some people found offensive:

"Before we go any further, can I check those diplomas? ‘Coz I just want to make sure they’re not from some med school in the Philippines."

What's the big deal here? It's a joke, and it reminded us of the nursing exams fiasco and the inept handling of the situation by the arroyo administration. But some people are overreacting.

More: Now Malacanang gets in on the action and demands Desperate Housewives' apology for "racial slur."

Ahhhh, if only Laguardia's MTRCB were in control...

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin comments.

UPDATE: ABC has apologized for slur.

Sabi ni Michelle Malkin sa apology ng ABC:

That was fast. Yesterday, I reported on the bubbling discontent of Jesse Jackson Filipinos demanding an apology from the “Desperate Housewives” show for a joke about Filipino medical schools.

Looks like playing the grievance card worked. The show has apologized...

Exit question: Will Filipinos demand sensitivity training and p.c. rehab?

Exit question number two: Who will step up and replace Islamic Rage Boy with Filipino Rage Doctor?

Isa pa ito...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Joker to PDI: Name your 4 sources!

Ah... now joker is trying to get the PDI reporter into giving up the names of her sources. Sana hindi bumigay ang PDI.

Senator Joker Arroyo has filed a resolution seeking to identify the four senators who revealed what had transpired in a Senate executive session with Romulo Neri, chairman of the Commission on Higher Education and former director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority.

A banner story of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, parent company of INQUIRER.net, on Sunday identified Senator Arroyo as the one who tried to stop Neri from revealing the complete story about the controversial $329-million deal with the Chinese company ZTE Corp. over the national broadband network project. The report cited four separate sources, which Senator Arroyo assumed were fellow senators.

In an earlier interview with DZMM, Senator Arroyo denied the allegations in the report.

“It’s a complete falsehood,” he told Senate reporters later. “There are two things here, either nakuryente si Juliet [Juliet was fed a false story] or somebody’s telling a lie among the senators. The four sources cannot be other than four senators. The Senate should investigate it, otherwise, wala ng maniniwala sa amin [nobody would believe us anymore].”

Arroyo was referring to Inquirer reporter Juliet Javellana.

Siguro mahirap paniwalaan ang report ng PDI kung isang source lang. But four sources?

So should Erap return his jueteng money to Chavit?

MLQ3's 2 conditions before the admin grant Erap a pardon:

My general principle is imprisonment really does nothing, I think it only leads to hardened and tougher criminals. In fact, my inclination is to support imprisonment only for three kinds of criminals: murderers, rapists/molesters and big-time drug dealers. All other crimes should be handled with fines and some sort of community service truly beneficial to the public. Anyone who has ever visited a jail, talked to inmates, knows that those crammed into jails enter a nightmarish world in which crime rules every aspect of the inmates’ lives.

For political crimes including plunder, which is grand-scale theft, I really think that what that UP Professor pointed out is a good idea. He clarified that what he said was the Filipino concept of justice is restitution, not retribution, that for Estrada, what the public wanted wasn’t just for the money he stole or illegally acquired to be returned to the public, but that he should also then quit politics, having betrayed public trust.

So, I support Estrada’s being allowed to go home, but only on two conditions: that assets forfeited by the courts remain forfeited (Estrada claims, anyway, rightly or wrongly, those assets were never his) but also, a ban on political participation. He can go home, but shut up, and not even be allowed to vote. And that should be the rule for all public officials accused of illegally amassing fortunes: return the money, and quit politics. Without these two requirements, no pardon should be considered or offered, because as so many have reminded me, there is an important precedent that’s been set.

Sa pagkakaalam ko, hindi naman ninakaw ni Erap ang pera ng gobierno. Pero tumanggap ng bribe kay Chavit to let him continue his illegal gambling operations in Ilocos Sur.

Mapunta naman tayo sa ZTE. Eto ang sabi ni Mon Casiple:

However, we can already glimpse something from the Neri testimony. One, there is definitely the BIG ONE in terms of information hiding behind the “executive privilege.” Two, there are possibly others–more powerful and far more vulnerable–deeply involved in the ZTE scandal. Three, the ZTE scandal has implications that go to the heart of the survival of the GMA administration and ruling coalition–possibly more than the Garci tapes scandal itself.

Nah, maybe because ZTE is a post-Gloriagate scandal (meaning after mid-2005).

Hindi ba sinabi ni Joker Arroyo na boss maam Arroyo may have survived Hello Garci, but if another scandal comes out, some of GMA's supporters will be less forgiving...

A golden opportunity?

Sabi ni Rina Jimenez David na "golden opportunity" raw yung pag-resign ni Abalos para repormahan ang COMELEC.

Golden Opporutunity? Okey sana kung yung mag-aapoint ng commissioners ay matino at mapagkakatiwalaan. Sino ba ang mag-aapoint? Hindi ba si Maam Arroyo ulit? At this point, can you really trust Arroyo to appoint credible people at the COMELEC, Supreme court or any other positions in government anymore?

Great minds think alike. Pareho kami ng posisyon ni de quiros:

And why on earth would anybody imagine that Abalos’ departure from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would naturally make the Comelec better, or as a couple of people put it, give it a chance at reform? Alberto Lim of the Makati Business Club says there will be two vacancies in the Comelec early next year that should give Malacañang the chance to appoint officials who are “competent, with probity and credibility.” Henrietta de Villa says Abalos’ problems had “hampered the Comelec from doing its job,” and with his resignation, we can now proceed to conduct “clean and credible elections.”

Well, who in God’s name appointed Abalos, and coddled him after he had bungled, wittingly or unwittingly, deal after deal costing the taxpayers billions of pesos, chief of them awarding the computerization of canvassing to a company that was not fit to bid; after he had shamelessly made Juan Miguel Zubiri a senator of this land at the expense of Aquilino Pimentel III by insisting on counting the tainted votes from Maguindanao province and after meeting with Zubiri’s father in Shangri-La (he also has a habit of bumping into the wrong people at the wrong time, which is really for him the right people at the right time); after the Neda chief reported him to his boss as offering him a couple of hundred million pesos as though it were his to give? The same person Lim and De Villa now expect to appoint competent, honest and credible officials.

Incidentally, that was an eye-popping remark by De Villa: “With his resignation, we can now proceed to conduct clean and credible elections.” That’s as clear an admission as any that it was impossible to have that while Abalos was there. But which again brings us to why he was there in the first place and has been there all this time: Which is that the person who appointed him and kept him there wanted him to not conduct clean and credible elections. Which is that the person who appointed him and kept him there would never have been in any position to appoint or keep anyone if he had merely conducted clean and credible elections, particularly in 2004.

Hindi naman talaga si Abalos ang main problem sa COMELEC kung titignan mo ng mabuti. Like Garcillano and Bedol, Mr. Abalos is just a henchman.

Yung nag-appoint at promo-protekta sa mga ungas na commissioners na ito ang tunay na problema.

UPDATE: I have to disagree with Rina on Computerization too. Sabi niya:

The most pressing of these reforms is computerization, reducing, if not eliminating entirely, the human “hands” that get in contact with ballots, tally sheets, canvassing forms, statements -- and in the process manage to lose, replace, revise, and reconfigure them and thus turn our elections into a sham.

True, we have been warned that computerization alone won’t be able to wipe out all forms of fraud or cheating. There are the “hands” (and duplicitous brains) involved, after all, in preparing the basic program that will run the software involved in reading and counting the ballots. Or even before then, the “hands” involved in preparing the registration rolls, which are the basic material on which clean, honest and credible elections are based. Still, computerization would make for a good start, and we can input all the protection measures we want right now, while we still have time to choose and pick among the many voting programs available.

Sen. Dick Gordon, whose pet measure has been computerized voting, says we don’t even have to write new programs or choose from among untested models. All around the world are computerized voting and counting systems that have long been used and proven successful. In Hawaii, for instance, he saw voting computers that even provided Ilocano translations of the instructions.

Rina, i don't think the lack of computerization is the cause of election fraud. And I don't give a shit about what Henrietta Villa, the CBCP or Dick Gordon has to say about that.

Computerization WILL make (MASSIVE) cheating EASIER to do, and HARDER to detect under the wrong hands, Rina. Because it is LESS transparent. That's a fact.

And believe it or not, MANUAL counting actually makes it easier to catch the cheaters. The problem in our case is that nahuhuli nga sila, pero HINDI NAMAN NAPAPARUSAHAN. Tignan nyo na lang si Virgilio Garcillano.

Nag-resign si GARCI, pero walang naparusahan sa GLORIAGATE scandal. SOUNDS FAMILIAR? Na-PROMOTE pa nga ang ibang mga lieutenants ni Garci eh.

Automized voting run by credible people is a tremendous positive.

But automized voting run by Arroyo's COMELEC will only make it easier for the bad guys to rig elections without getting caught. Unlike manual voting, it's going to be more difficult for media, much less ordinary people, to catch cheating. Not even computer experts (like Roberto Verzola) brought in by independent watchdog groups will be of much help in catching the operators within the COMELEC.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Buencamino: Bondoc deserves a Pulitzer

Manuel Buencamino says Jarius Bondoc deserves a pulitzer for writing this article yesterday.

And in other news, the Supreme Court's probe on Jake Macasaet sends chilling effect on media.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Jojo Robles: Neri is JDV's Cabinet Operative

(Read this first from MLQ3 re Enrique Razon and why his named cropped up in the ZTE broadband deal scandal.)

Who's been spreading the idea that Neri is Joe de Venecia's puppet. Why, the Manila Standard Today, of course, as early as Dec. 11, 2006:

People are still talking about last week’s attempt by House Speaker Jose de Venecia and his allies to ram the Constituent Assembly through Congress—and their subsequent tail-behind-the-legs retreat when they saw that their efforts were headed for a disaster of super-typhoon proportions.

But what a lot of people don’t know is that within the Arroyo Cabinet itself, a festering problem that has De Venecia’s fingerprints all over it has long been left unattended. And if the speaker’s vast and unwarranted influence in the affairs of state are to be truly reined in, his Cabinet surrogate must be stopped as well.

For years now, Economic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri has been espousing what he calls Plan 747, the catchily named program that seeks to spur 7-percent growth over seven years, with a view to achieving national economic stability by 2010. Nearly four years into his job as chief government economic booster, Neri has not only failed miserably to meet the goal he set; he has also shown a great talent for passing the buck and for good, old-fashioned window-dressing.

Neri’s entry into the Cabinet was largely De Venecia’s doing, because the speaker had wanted a more malleable Neda chief who would push his beloved railway rehabilitation projects. When De Venecia finally succeeded in engineering the removal of Dante Canlas as Neda director-general, the speaker recommended the long-time head of his Congress economic think-tank, Neri.

Neri has been a cooperative Neda chief, greenlighting the Northrail and Southrail projects that are so dear to the heart of his former boss. However, as far as the other aspects of his job as chief economic planning wizard of the Arroyo government are concerned, Neri can only be described as an abject failure.

It was shortly after Neri assumed his position that the government drew a lot of flak for window-dressing the number of jobs created by no longer including those “not actively seeking work.” By pulling this rabbit out of his hat, Neri and the rest of the government’s economic team were able to show that the unemployment rate declined from 11.4 percent to 10.7 percent from 2004 to 2005.


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

Better late than never

AFTER the 2007 elections, Arroyo's Supreme Court finally was able to issue the Rule on the Writ of Amparo:

Last week, while the country was absorbed in the latest twists of the National Broadband Network telenovela, the Supreme Court issued the Rule on the Writ of Amparo. The new package of protections will become effective on Oct. 24—just a little over three months after the high court convened an extraordinary “national consultative summit” on political killings and politically motivated disappearances.

This is, in truth, remarkable. The pace of judicial innovation is virtually unprecedented, a reflection of the judiciary’s sense of urgency over the crisis of political violence that continues to disturb the country. At the same time, it cannot be said that the high court threw all caution to the wind; a study of the process and the Rule it produced soothes our concerns. The court made haste, but slowly.

Alam nyo, tapos na ang "killing season." Meron pa ba kayong nababalitaang pinapatay na maka-Kaliwa, wala na di ba, unlike before na halos every other day may pinapatay. I think this has something to do with the removal of Butch Palparan. But I think the bigger factor here is that the killings were on the Lefties are election-related, and were meant to weaken Lefty organizations. At tapos na ang election.

Anyway, I hope Arroyo will finally pay for her permissive culture on political assassinations conducted by her appointee Palparan and other rogue military agents against Leftist activists.

From P5 to P15/kWh

From Herman Tiu Laurel:

before Epira, electricity generated and distributed was P5/kilowatthour, seven years later, electricity here is the highest in Asia at P11/kWh. Then, starting this early 2008, our electricity prices will hit P15/kWh as the Universal Charge kicks in with payment for “stranded costs” amounting to $9.6 billion that FVR and Gloria’s onerous IPP contracts and the Epira’s privatization — plus the wholesale electricity spot market (Wesm) and other charges (P2.60/kWh and more).

The “open access” amendment ballyhooed by Juan Ponce-Enrile, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Mikee Arroyo, supposedly to reduce the Lopez lock on the power market by reducing National Power Corp. privatization minimum from 70 percent to 10 percent to promote competition — all these are hoaxes to divert from the real task: the scrapping of Epira and the gargantuan stranded costs — the PPA overpurchased and overpriced by Ramos and Gloria and Napocor debts it incurred and transferred to consumers because the IPP and private distribution companies privatized those margins as corporate profit. That is the only way to save consumers, industry, taxpayers and this country from the cataclysm of the power rates going amuck.

The P15/kWh will hit the country with a whammy, a seismic shock that will make the Myanmar gas price increase that provoked even normally compliant Buddhist monks, look like a picnic. What GMA will try to do is to cover up the increase again, how? By passing it on silently as taxes — the way Joker Arroyo and Teddy “Boy” Locsin helped Gloria increase revenues by stealthily putting in 12 percent VAT into our power bills; but we’ll be here to inform one and all and they shouldn’t get away with it this time. But in addition to the stranded cost, the Wesm and PEMC fees and profits to “recover,” Meralco is also getting a revision to its profits-setting formula — from the 12 percent RORB (reasonable return of rate base) to the new PBR (performance based rate).

Kahit na ba si Joker Arroyo ayaw na rin magbayad ng kuryente niya!