Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Calling for Arroyo’s resignation could weaken the country’s democratic institutions."

Bishop Francisco Claver said calling for Arroyo’s resignation could weaken the country’s democratic institutions. Claver said many had apparently misinterpreted the bishops’ call for communal action as an endorsement of another people power to remove Arroyo. The CBCP invited Fr. Joaquin Bernas, a constitutional expert, to explain how the country’s democratic institutions can be strengthened. In a recent newspaper column, Bernas said it would be better to push for the abolition of EO 464 than call for Arroyo’s resignation since it was unlikely Arroyo would heed the call to quit.

Palace thanks CBCP

Malacañang, meanwhile, immediately issued a statement welcoming CBCP's decision."We welcome the statement of the CBCP which exhorts everyone to fight corruption and search for truth," he said. "The recommendations addressed to the executive, the legislature and the media certainly deserve very serious consideration," he added.


-- From Newsbreak

Okey dokey.

If you Bishop Claver and Fr. Bernas won't call for her resignation because it might "weaken the country's democratic institutions", will you NOW call for Arroyo's impeachment?

O ayaw rin?

LOL at Francisco Claver

From MLQ3, the Jesuit writes:

An Infinite Series of EDSAs
(Ramblings of a retired bishop)
Is it possible to avoid firming up an extremely dangerous, if still inchoate, tradition?

EDSA I was about restoring a system which had been destroyed by the introduction of a dictatorial system of governance. That is why most of us bishops had no qualms about taking part in putting an end to President Marcos’ stolen power.

EDSA II was the momentary failure of the restored system—it carried a sense of desperation that the system wasn’t working as it should. (The dancing lady senator was a perfect metaphor of its dysfunctional operation.) The Supreme Court’s act in confirming GMA, for all its disputed constitutionality, was basically aimed at stabilizing a dangerous situation?

EDSA III, if it happens, promises to be the institutionalization of an infinite series of EDSAs. This is what is scary about the present situation and I’m wondering if a vague fear of it is behind the apparent unconcern of most of our people today about all the agitation to come up with yet another EDSA rebellion.

_______________________________________________

Is the question a “purely” political one? Or precisely because the danger is there that, with another EDSA ousting of an incumbent President, we help firm up a tradition of unstable governments, the question becomes a deeply moral one?

For bishops in regard to this development: Is it a moral duty incumbent on them to see to it that we do not go the way of institutionalized instability? Or at least to speak on the problem and show how we must be aware of the possibly deleterious implications of whatever option we make in the solution people give it? As one of Philippine society’s basic institutions, is the Church being called today to be the—or at least a—stabilizing force in our society?

In a very true sense then, our problem comes down to this: how to correct the aberration that is the present administration without destroying the stabilizing structure that is our democratic system of government? We keep the structure but correct the aberration? But if the correcting destroys the structure—or weakens it immensely—what then?

People power was born to bring back stability. I think it should be used now to protect it, not to destroy or weaken it. The way things are now, it is being invoked again in the effort to correct what I called above an aberration, but I’m afraid its repetition in the present crisis will only lead to that unwanted world-without-end-series of EDSAs.


If we do not go the way then of that infinite series, we still are left with what I call the aberration. We haven’t put our heads together yet to see how we go about correcting it without bringing the whole house crushing down on us. This is what we should be doing now?

____________________________________________

I wonder if the system of four-year terms for presidents and the possibility of another four is not after all the best for us. Suffering through six years of a bad presidency (more, if he/she comes in to fill the term of an ousted one—as we have now) is intolerable, and that is why it is easy for people to succumb to the temptation of using extra-constitutional means to end the present one. This is an argument for charter change?

In more established and mature democracies: In the United States, for instance, the Bush presidency is bad enough and highly unpopular, but somehow nobody there is thinking of doing something like an EDSA uprising.

__________________________________________

For some reason some folk proverbs keep intruding on my thoughts as I write this thing—like the one about lying on nests that one has feathered? (We tolerate corruption—and rigged elections—but we do not blame ourselves for their consequences too?) Or changing horses in mid-stream? (It’s akin to the principle in spiritual life: “In desolation, don’t change”—but that’s what we do with every EDSA?) I guess we haven’t really learnt yet what these homely proverbs mean!

Francisco Claver, S.J.

February 19, 2008

rolleyes

Put our trust in the democratic system and the institutions? Here's what the CBCP said in 2006.

CBCP in 2006: Impeachment not the means for establishing the truth

=========

Bonus: CBCP in 2005: “We do not demand her resignation”

UPDATE: Damn! Is Francisco Claver, former Vicar Apostolic of Bontoc Lagawe, the same guy who wrote (ghostwritten?) the 2008 CBCP Pastoral Statement/Letter under Lagdameo's name?

A highlight of the meeting is the passing of the Pastoral Letter calling for social, political and moral reforms. Penned by Bishop-Emeritus Francisco F. Claver, SJ, DD, the letter was guileless in saying that most of our country’s problems roots in our subordinating the common good under personal interests.

Ito ang Reaction ng PDI Editorial sa Pastoral Statement ni Claver:

Rumors or facts?


Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:17:00 02/05/2008

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in a statement issued at the close of its plenary session last week said that the basic fault in the country’s political culture is the subordination of the common good to the private good. But the CBCP places most of the blame for the failure to promote the common good on the people. It did not even so much as slap the wrist of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration for its failure to lead in the effort to promote the common good.

The CBCP did not call the administration to account for the many “sins” that have been imputed to it. On the contrary, it called the many problems of the country “simply rumors, fears, suspicions, imagined wrongs.” “Because these are reported in the newspapers, we begin to believe that they are true.”

Corruption in government is part of the “rumors, fears, suspicions”?

Heh. Here's my reax to the CBCP's Amazing Statement.

Amd John Nery said the CBCP Pastoral Statement intellectually dishonest.

More on the Letter and Claver from NewsBreak: Move On, Bishops Tell GMA Critics

UPDATE: PDI's Checkmated Bishops article on Bishop Francisco Claver's revisionism.

Same Old, Same Old

From Ellen, Bishops Slam corruption again:

”We strongly condemn the continuing culture of corruption from the top to the bottom of our social and political ladder,” the bishops said in a pastoral statement.

”We must seek the truth and we must restore integrity. We are convinced that the search for truth in the midst of charges and allegations must be determined and relentless.”

Those statements smell familiar. But I wanna know when are you going to call for Arroyo's resignation?

Oh, I did not read the statement carefully, we must continue "seeking" and "searching" for the "truth" raw, whatever "truth" the bishops and people like Francisco Claver are looking for--okay, I'll shut up now. (slinks away...)

UPDATE: CBCP calls for the abolition of EO 464

Uhhhmmm... didn't the CBCP join the call for it's abolition back in 2006?

Eniwey, akala ko ba unconstitutional na ang EO 464 according to Arroyo's Supreme Court. from Conrad de Quiros (2006):

I WAS TEMPTED TO COMPARE THE Supreme Court's decision to junk EO 464 with Manuel Villar's success in getting Congress to impeach Joseph “Erap” Estrada some years ago, and call it the Supreme Court's "shining hour." But there seems to be quite a difference. Villar's effort was brilliant and courageous. How he got a pro-Erap Congress to buck the Chief Executive showed huge political acumen, and how he got to push something this country had never tried before against a president whose popularity this country had never known before showed bigger balls. The Supreme Court has merely shown common sense.

As with most things the GMA (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) regime has done, EO 464 was a non-issue as far as its intrinsic merits were concerned. It had none. As Fr. Joaquin Bernas has said, the brazenness of EO 464 was patent even to his first year students in law class. I will go further and say that the brazenness of EO 464 was patent even to the istambays in my neighborhood who congregate nightly among the stores, drinking themselves silly and arguing (noisily) about everything under the sun, or starless sky. The image that comes to mind is a priest telling a congregation whose hands are bound and whose mouths are taped, "If anyone has any objection to this marriage, speak up or forever be silent." And hearing no objection, proceeds to say, "I now proclaim you man and wife."


But at least Fr. Bernas wants to see EO 464 abolished again.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"The D Spot worries about her kids, what happens if they decide to join rallies."

(via MLQ3's blog) D Spot is Dine Racoma.

Dine, I understand your concerns. But if I recall correctly, many Catholic High Schools and universities in 2001 suspended classes and encouraged/forced their students to join the edsa dos rallies cuz it's the Patriotic Thing to do. I know some students were encouraged to go there by their teachers. Join the rallies and you won't be marked absent. Or join the rallies to oust erap and you will get additional points on your grades.

The school elders (teachers, nuns, priests) encouraged these kids to march to edsa they wanted to see erap go. Now, the same schools and the CBCP are not encouraging students to join the rallies because of safety concerns --AND because the CBCP does not really want to see her go. (We can't have Noli or the Opposition taking over, that would be a disaster!) This Jesuit's letter represents the latest talking point being used by these people. The CBCP continue to refuse to call for Arroyo's resignation too-- unlike during Marcos and Erap's time.

The Taguba Report guy endorses Hillary

From Marc Ambinder: "Clinton was endorsed today by Maj. Gen. (ret). Anthony Taguba, he of Taguba Report fame -- or infame, to Rumsfeld. -- a 34 year veteran of the Army."

2008 Oscar Acceptance Speeches

from Tilda Swinton (for winning Best Supporting Actress, Michael Clayton)

from Javier Bardem (for Best Supporting Actor, No Country for Old Men)

from Daniel Day Lewis (for Best Actor, There will be Blood)

from Marion Cotillard (Best Actress, La Vie en Rose)

from Marketa Irglova (Best Song, Once)

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. "

"... We are the change that we seek.” -- Barack Obama (hattip: Conrad de Quiros)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Umulan kanina sa Mendiola

and I forgot my umbrella. The crowd size was decent sized and I hear there were other rallies and masses held today from other parts of the country to commemorate edsa.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

How Media should Use the Garci Tapes

I'm sure you've heard by now the latest PCIJ reports of wiretapping and spying vs. Arroyo's critics. Alam natin na up to now ginagawa pa rin ito ng Arroyo Administration--even after ISAFP was already exposed as the culprit behind the Hello Garci scandal.

re the relevance of the Garci Tapes: Most people have already made up their minds whether Arroyo is guilty or not. So playing the tapes now, after a looooooooong two and a half year delay thanks to the SC, won't change people's minds anymore.

But what the media can do is expose the people who ordered the gov't wiretappings on public officials from the administration and the opposition.

That's where the Hello Garci and Lozada tapes come in.

I think it is outrageous that to this day, this administration is still wiretapping and spying on critics and officials who have the potential to embarass this administration.

People like Lozada and JDV III.

And people like Garci too, because just like the previous two, the people who were behind this did not trust Garci either. So they had to put all of these people under surveillance.

UPDATE:Email on Scheduled Edsa activities on Feb. 25

UPDATE: There are other rallies that will be held simultaneously around Metro Manila, but Cory and Lozada will only make an appearance at the Shrine of Perpetual Help in Baclaran, Paranaque. Look, you can attend the rally in Makati or Baclaran. Kung saan ka malapit, doon ka mag-attend. UPDATE: Meron rin bukas sa Mendiola.

From Leah Navarro:

Please disregard all other text/email announcements regarding the supposed schedule of activities on 25 February 2008 involving former Pres. Cory Aquino and Jun Lozada. What follows below is the truth:

TRUTH IS OUR PERPETUAL HELP

The Black & White Movement invites everyone to a special Mass in commemoration of the 22nd anniversary of the EDSA 1 People Power Revolution at the Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Baclaran, Paranaque, on Monday, 25 February, 3:00 p.m.

We will be joined by former President Corazon Aquino, ZTE-NBN Deal truth teller Jun Lozada and family.

We look forward to seeing you, your family, and friends at this celebration of our nation's gift to the world – People Power.

The Truth is our Perpetual Help.

SA TOTOO TAYO!


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Michelle Obama's Thesis surfaces

From Mark Hemmingway:

A while back, Jonah noted he was curious as to why Princeton has made Michelle Obama's thesis unavailable until the suspiciously convenient date of November 5, 2008. Well, The Politico got their hands on a copy — you can even download it. Well, I know what I'll be reading tonight...

Another Alarming Case of Wiretapping

akala ko ba tinigil na ng ISAFP ang pagwa-wiretapping sa mga political opponents at mga kritiko nila?

How McCain weathered the Storm

recent textbook example of how to deal with scandals.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I'm not buying John Nery

Ito raw ang dahilan kung bakit ayaw magsalita ni Romulo Neri:

I will hazard one guess why Romulo Neri has continued to decline to “cross over” (in Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s evocative phrase) to the other side: Lacson is there, waiting for him. Sen. Jamby Madrigal, too.

In what Neri called “a gentleman’s agreement,” the three decided to hold a secret meeting, together with a few others, last December. To do what? In Neri’s press briefing in Malacañang Monday, he said it was to discuss the state of the political economy. If true, the timing is most curious, considering that the effort to compel Neri to testify anew at the Senate was by that time well underway.

Neri’s close friend, Rodolfo Noel “Jun” Lozada Jr., told the Senate a different version: The meeting was his idea, and was meant to allow Neri to touch base with the two opposition senators. He spoke, quite unexpectedly, about Neri’s poor financial prospects, in the event the former socioeconomic planning secretary told the Senate the rest of whatever it is he knows about the controversial ZTE national broadband network contract. The meeting, Lozada said, was meant also to float the idea of collecting “patriotic money” -- that is, funds for Neri in case he was kicked out of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s inner circle. (Memo to Lozada: You would have been better off using another, less jarring euphemism for the money, say a Clintonesque "legal fund".)

But we are all grownups here. We all know there must have been another reason for Neri to agree to such a secret meeting. He wanted to sound out the opposition. More specifically, he must have wanted to know what it would be like if he did “cross over” to the other side. (Lacson, waxing unusually poetic, contrasted Lozada’s moral stance now with Neri’s in terms of light and shadow.)

Considering that Neri has remained loyal to the President, and given his emphatic albeit nuanced denial on Monday of Lozada’s recollections of that December meeting, I can only conclude that he found Lacson and Madrigal wanting. Perhaps the opposition should choose, or coalesce around, other leaders.

I know John doesn't think much of Lacson and Madrigal, but what gave him the impression that Romulo Neri is willing to tell all--IF ONLY we coalesce around more "credible opposition leaders"?

What is john's definition of a "credible" opposition leader anyway? Si Mar Roxas? Si Manny Villar? Si Loren Legarda? Do these people even REALLY care about Jun Lozada and the ZTE scam? Are they (especially Mar and Mr. Villar) really upset about this?

But let's say John considers Roxas or Villar as the type of "credible" "opposition" "leaders" that mr. romulo should seek out, then why isn't Romy seeking them out kung ayaw niya kay ping at jamby??? Or why isn't he seeking out the help of THE BISHOPS for sanctuary? Or civil society? bakit hindi siya humingi ng tulong kay cardinal rosales?

Tukayong John, I don't see any reason why we should give Romulo Neri the benefit of the doubt at this point, especially since hawak ni maam si Neri sa bayag. Maybe Maam has nude pics of Neri, or she knows something brokeback that Neri doesn't want to get out to the public?

Or maybe Lacson just doesn't enough drug money stashed in his secret bank accounts in CITIBANK to support a witness like Romulo Neri? Kaya hindi natuloy.

UPDATE: Romulo Neri calls for a one year political ceasefire.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Coordinated protests to mark Edsa 1

From the Malaya:

THE United Opposition yesterday said it would offer a thanksgiving mass at the Ninoy Aquino monument in Makati City on Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the 1986 Edsa Revolution.

Various militant organizations are also planning "nationally coordinated" protest actions on Monday.

They will not be allowed to use any portion of the 24-kilometer Edsa for their activities, according to the Metro Manila Development Authority, but they may use the People Power Monument in the White plains area, said MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando.

Fernando said any activity that will hinder traffic flow on Edsa from Monumento to Baclaran will be prohibited.

Congressmen in Robes

as Arbet Bernardo points out, most of the Bishops continue to tacitly support Arroyo in her admin's latest crisis. I think PAGCOR still is a factor.

They Traded Kurt Thomas to the Spurs?!?!

WTF!

Nuggets of Wisdom

From the Philippine Commentary:

Ok a different analogy. people power is like a genie. You gotta keep him in the bottle most of the time, else you use up all your wishes. I think we already used 2 out of 3. Better save the last one for maybe the next Marcos? Oops is she already worse?


Or maybe the Next Erap?

Question is, who's worse? Erap or GMA?

who abused their power more and corrupted the system more?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

UPDATED: Arrogance

Carlos Celdran re Arroyo's corruption:

Idea to float by the Senate: Start the moral revolution by commiting mass hara kiri. Zest-o juice drink with a dash of cyanide would be my cocktail of choice for you all.

Why call on them to commit suicide when it’s the arroyo administration who has betrayed our public trust and abused it’s power?

And this dude said na if Arroyo's investigated, we should also investigate her accusers raw. What for? As a retaliatory move, Bong? To harass her critics?

Idiot.

MORE: Ito naman ang headline ng tribune base sa sinabi ni CBCP Archbishop Lagdameo: Edsa II a mistake, says CBCP head

“In People Power I, we were very satisfied with the result. The second one, we were somehow disappointed because People Power II, with the help of the church, installed a president who later on was judged by surveys as the most corrupt president. That is embarrassing,” Lagdameo said.

“We went from the frying pan to (the fire), but what can we do?” he asked.

I don't think Archbishop Lagdameo said Edsa Dos was "a mistake", just that they were "disappointed" with the results.

And I noticed Lagdameo said Arroyo...

"was judged by surveys as the most corrupt president."

Okay, that's what the survey says. But does Lagdameo or the CBCP also believe that themselves? Or do they believe that all of these are “simply rumors, fears, suspicions, imagined wrongs”? John Nery said the bishops are being intellectually dishonest with us raw.

I think Lagdameo's "mea culpa" with Edsa Dos has less to do with contrition and more to do with protecting Arroyo from another people's revolt. Which is puzzling because I don't think Gloria is in any danger of being ousted via People Power at this time since watak watak ang opposition ngayon (thanks to villar) at hindi pa organized ang mga anti-Arroyo forces.

Oh well, everybody's distancing themselves from Edsa Dos. Even Arroyo. Lagdameo is just the latest to "see the light", so to speak.

Going after the clerks

diyan magaling si ombudsman Gutierrez. here's a recnt post on the same topic.

UPDATE: Hao Siao

(bumped up)

Sabi ni Bong Austero:

Let me get this clear: This administration is hopelessly corrupt beyond redemption and the sooner we get rid of these people, the better. But it’s not just these people. And removing this administration, and mainly by embarrassing and ridiculing it—which, also harms business and ourselves—should not be the only goal. A major reason why this administration is still in power is because most think that the people who are itching to replace this administration are doing so mainly for personal political gain.

Uhhh... how soon? 2010? When are you going to call for her resignation?

Austero's line that we should also get rid of (or investigate) those who are opposed to Arroyo's corruption is ridiculous. Who is he, a writer for Arroyo's Pravda?

Why can't he just call for Arroyo's resignation without adding anymore qualifiers and pre-conditions? Kung may ebidensiya si Austero laban sa mga anti-Arroyo personalities, di ilabas niya.

So I have one suggestion to the senators and everyone else. Rather than making all these hearings simply about removing this administration, how about putting a wider, more comprehensive, more encompassing context to them? If you want everyone to care, don’t just make it about yourselves and your political agenda. Like Lozada said, it shouldn’t be partisan.

Bong, why don't you and your colleagues at the Manila Standard Today start a witchhunt against Maam's enemies, huh?

UPDATE: Ramrod, responding to Austero's claim:

“A major reason why this administration is still in power is because most think that the people who are itching to replace this administration are doing so mainly for personal political gain.”


How sure are you? If a snap election is called tomorrow, you and I can predict with total accuracy even to the last percentage that Gloria Arroyo will not win, granted of course that we get a decent Comelec.


UPDATE: Carlos Celdran is channeling Austero. And tell us how you really feel, ate Jessica.

Maybe Deval Patrick should run for Prez instead of Obama

Obama wants to be a Patrick clone.

A New Contest: Name That Author

"Justice may have been saved this time by the direct democracy of people power, but it is a repetition of history to which we are hopefully not condemned. The people's heroism ought to be reserved for the greatest of tyrannies. At some point, institutions have to do the work. Budgets cannot be passed at demonstrations, nor policy made by a mob, unless one is at the head of it.

Rare moments in history are those, when from its peaks, one can see the shining city of the future, rising from the penumbra of the past. If people power offers hope, I think I found it in the multitude of young people who were holding an all-night rave party at Edsa before the mass defections ended Erap. In that darkling midnight before the dawn, the iridescent lights of their cell phones revealed bright eyes of that empowered vigilance with which to secure their own liberty."

when he talked about the "greatest of tyrannies", he was referring to Erap (at that time.) and this one too.

The wider implication is that the entire government will be under the perpetual siege of its critics. People power can only grow as Filipinos are awakened to the suspicion that their government is not the omnipotent savior they have always hoped it would be. The apparent silence of the majority of Filipinos in the D and E classes will become a less secure refuge for scoundrels and demagogues. Advancing media and communications technologies will see to that, by wiring ordinary Filipinos together more effectively and busting the traditional opaqueness of government.

The meaning of people power is that Filipinos are no longer a stupid flock of sheep, blindly trusting the government as a benevolent shepherd. The Erap era has made us realize government's potential to be a vast criminal enterprise. Distrust of government is at an all-time high. All its institutions are damaged. This is why the new administration will not be enjoying much of a honeymoon. The cycle of new leader to disenchantment to replacement by people power, could be devastatingly foreshortened and repeated, if government leaders fail in delivering on their promises. Government's fate lies more in performance and less in personality, a warning to the ebullient new administration.

The presidency and national government will not be the only target of the people's scrutiny and vigilance. Issues such as the quality of mayors and councilors, are all fair game in the emerging era of an empowered citizenry.

He he he...

both quotes are from the same author. Unlike Jessica Zafra, I have no prizes to dole out for those who got it right.

UPDATE: Here's the answer. Link 1. Link 2.

Not Serious

CBCP Archbishop Lagdameo calls for a "new kind of People Power", whatever that's supposed to mean.

How can you be serious about ending corruption and the abuses if they can barely mention the name of Arroyo? How can they be serious if they know the truth but still refuse to call for Arroyo's resignation, like what they did to Marcos and Estrada?

Why the moral inconsistency and double standard?

Instead, these people would rather put the blame on everybody else for the mess they help created:

Catholic bishops appear to have totally lost their moral moorings as they virtually exculpated Gloria Arroyo and her government from blame on the rampant corruption and instead put the blame on the Filipino people for the moral decay in society.

They also placed the blame on the media for the “darkness” that we live with today, saying Filipinos are “a people almost without hope,” seeing darkness everywhere, adding the many problems we have today are “simply rumors, fears, suspicions, imagined wrongs” and as these rumors, imagined wrongs, suspicions and fears are reported in the newspapers, the people believe these imaginary problems to be true and factual. All these were stated in the bishops’ pastoral statement issued Monday.

This is truly an amazing pastoral statement from the bishops who claim to be the country’s moral guides.

The genius of the Bishops. Read the whole thing. What they're doing at this moment is a form of damage control, if you think about it.

UPDATE: "Nakakalito ang mga sinasabi nila."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"I want to be the first black governor of Alabama, and I'm going to run on the Republican ticket."

Charles Barkley used to be a Republican. More here.

But not anymore, it seems.

What about Jun Lozada's legal bills?

I don't know if he has lawyers working for him pro bono, but I hope there's a way for ordinary people to offer donations to Jun Lozada. I'd be willing to personally donate money to tide him over this difficult period. Are there any Internet fundrasing systems set up for Lozada to accept online donations from overseas Filipinos? Paypal? via Snail Mail?

Malaki kasi ang kaaway niya eh. Gobierno.

UPDATE: Info on the Lozada Sanctuary Fund (tip from mlq3)

Castalone said the money that will be generated from the fund-raising activity will also be used to aid other whistleblowers on government corruption cases.

Meanwhile, she called on the people to help Lozada, as they anticipate other forms of harassment to be thrown his way.

Donations to the AMRSP Sanctuary Fund may be sent to the AMRSP Secretariat, 28 Acacia Street, New Manila, Quezon City, at tel. nos. 724-4434 and 448-5644.

They may also be deposited directly to MBTC Account No. 3259-07445-3, under the account name AMRSP Special Funds (Sanctuary Fund)

So why can't we impeach Arroyo NOW?

bakit sa October pa? Because of THIS Supreme Court's self serving decision. More here on why i think their ruling is hao siao.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Bokya si Obama

From Ann Althouse:

As reports show "about 80 election districts among [New York City's] 6,106 where Mr. Obama supposedly did not receive even one vote." There is disarray ahead as every delegate matters now. And it's not just a question of ascertaining the true vote count, but why the dramatically wrong count every occurred. If there was a plot to steal the primary, it was poorly devised with glaringly suspicious results like 0 votes for Obama in Harlem.

Ganyan rin ang nangyari kay FPJ (read item no. 6) noong 2004 at sa Opposition noong 2007.

UPDATE: Where's the outrage?

Photos and Reports from the Ayala Rally last Friday

From Jego. Nice job.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

"Kung gusto ninyo ng laban, di laban. We will unleash the BIR against you.”

- text message reportedly sent by an Arroyo cabinet official to the Makati Business Club.

PDI Editorial: Checkmated Bishops

But still the bishops hem and haw, even deny they have the duty to lead the people. An instance of this is Bishop Francisco Claver’s revisionism of Jaime Cardinal Sin, the bishops and people power. He wrote in a commentary on Feb. 13 in this section: “[Cardinal Sin] wasn’t the real decision-maker for [the] occurrence [of EDSA People Power I and II] ... the real kingmakers are not the bishops but the people.”

Claver’s argument is platitudinous, if not misplaced. It overlooks the fact that in the long dark years of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship, it was Sin who boldly spoke out against the strongman and his depredations, even without the people visibly or resonantly protesting. EDSA People Power I came to pass because of the activism of Sin and later, of the bishops, who kneaded the critical mass. The people may not be marching in the streets now, but it is because they’re waiting for the clarion call of our bishops.

But the bishops seem to have jettisoned their moral and pastoral duty. They’ve become spiritual and moral illiterates. They seem unable to read the signs of the times. Perhaps checkmated by their own prudence and discretion, they’re now inspired less by the Holy Spirit and more by moral stasis. Worse, they seem to have made themselves a party to the grand constitutional larceny. Perhaps Lozada was referring to them when he quoted St. Thomas Aquinas freely, “The worst corruption is the corruption of the best.”

Indeed.

Neal Cruz: Gov't intimidating the Press and Whistle-Blowers

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"The Vice-President, for obvious reasons, has begun to grow a spine."

Heh.

Manuel Buencamino: The True Story

UPDATE: From the Malaya re the Ombudsman:

The Senate must stop its investigation be-cause Merceditas Gutierrez, the "see-no-corruption, hear-no-corruption" Ombudsman, suddenly woke up one day to find that the nation’s attention has been riveted for months on the scandalous overpricing of the proposed national broadband project?

The senators, excepting Miriam Defensor Santiago (who made the suggestion), Juan Ponce Enrile and Joker Arroyo, should be exchanging high fives for the unsolicited compliment. They had been patiently chipping at the whole edifice of lies erected around the corruption-laden deal. Now that the investigation is heading straight to the doors of the liars and the thieves, they are being asked to back off, to borrow a word that whistleblower Joey de Venecia used to describe how Jose Miguel Arroyo sought to persuade him to give way to former Election chair Benjamin Abalos who was already the designated, ahem, facilitator with the Chinese supplier firm ZTE Corp.

May we suggest that Sen. Alan Cayetano, chair of the lead committee Blue Ribbon, strike a deal with Gutierrez? The Senate and the Ombudsman have been proceeding on different paths in the campaign on corruption. They should formalize the division of labor, as it were, and make it official, to wit:

Gutierrez shall stick to running after clerks. The Office of the Ombudsman has been boasting of record number of cases investigated and of record number of convictions at the Sandiganbayan. She should stick to what she knows best.

The Senate shall focus on big-time corruption. Like the P720 million fertilizer scam pulled off by Agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc Joc" Bolante and the P1.2 billion rip off in the computerization program undertaken by the Commission on Elections during the time of – surprise! - Abalos with a Korean firm (why is it that foreign corporations are such an easy touch for "commissions"?)

Heh.

BnW: CLARIFICATION ON FRIDAY AND SUNDAY ACTIONS

From the Black and White Movement:

There have been reports that the Black & White Movement is organizing Friday's protest action in Makati. This is unfair to UNO and Bayan, these organizations are making great efforts to organize it.

The clarion call of our times is for every Filipino to peaceably exercise their right of assembly and to petition for the redress of grievances. We support the Friday protest.

On our part, the Black & White Movement invites everyone to attend the Mass in support of Jun Lozada and family at La Salle Greenhills this Sunday, 17 February, at 10:00 a.m.

Communal action and communal prayer. Indivisibly, SA TOTOO TAYO. Now na! -- END

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fear of Noli no excuse to let the Arroyos off the hook

Just because some members of civil society and the CBCP fear VP Noli de Castro becoming president doesn't mean they should let the Arroyos off the hook. This is the reason why the Arroyos are able to get away with everything: tapping the phones of it's political enemies, intimidating witnesses, corruption, and stealing elections.

Mark Penn: Why Hillary, Not Obama, is the Democrat to Beat McCain

written by Hillary Pollster Mark Penn. Interesting. With her, everything's already "factored in" na raw.

"I wonder what took them so long?"

From the Philippine Commentary:

The Supreme Court has finally handed down its decision on the Garci Recordings saying
it's okay to air them two years after they've been posted on the Internet and everyone already has!

I wonder what took them so long? What is moot and academic is the desire to suppress them because of the ignominy they bring to the President. The Supreme Court itself partook of that ignominy by this unconscionable delay Two years would seem to have been long enough for this fruit to ripen. Now it is just rotten.

Makati Business Club calls for Neri's Resignation

A laugher from the Malaya:

THE Makati Business Club yesterday called for the resignation of Environment Secretary Lito Atienza and acting Commission on Higher Education chairman Romulo Neri, saying they have lost their "moral authority" to stay in their posts because of their involvement in Malacañang’s attempt to prevent Rodolfo Noel "Jun" Lozada from appearing before the Senate inquiry into the national broadband network scandal.

Sorry MBC. But resignation is not a decision Neri can freely make anymore, but Arroyo's.

Kung ayaw ni ARroyo tanggalin si Neri sa administration--in order to muzzle him and to keep him away from the public via EO 464, then wala na tayong magagawa diyan.

You know how the Nixon administration were ruthless in hunting down unidentifed leakers and punishing them? Even to the point of using wiretaps and break-ins.

Well, Neri is an IDENTIFIED leaker (probably around the time before his "CHED assignment".) He's screwed.

Hawak ni Maam si Romulo Neri sa bayag, so to speak.

Related:
- Arroyo administration tapping phones of critics

UPDATE: From the Malaya:

The dilemma facing us is probably best shown in the position of the Makati Business Club. It calls for the resignation of Lito Atienza and Romulo Neri, but oddly enough it says nothing about the continued stay in power of Gloria. It expresses support for mass action and the rekindling of the EDSA spirit. It stops short of calling, however, for another exercise of People Power.

The MBC is barking at the wrong tree.

Joker's wife told Lozada not to participate in Senate Hearings

Nakausap rin naman pala ni ZTE witness Jun Lozada ang asawa ni Joker Arroyo. And Joker's wife pretty much told Lozada not to cooperate:

AFTER issuing a stern warning against ZTE star witness Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr. "not to mess around with my wife (Felicitas)," Sen. Joker Arroyo has chosen not to talk about the matter.

"No, I don’t want to talk about it, that is a private matter," Arroyo said.

On Monday, Arroyo accused Lozada of being selective of the people he wanted to talk to.

"It smacks of bad faith... You’re talking to some, but you’re not talking to us. You favor some senators, you don’t favor others. I raise those points because it’s a question of good faith," Arroyo said.

Lozada replied: "Kung sabi ninyo na bad faith na kinausap ko si Senator Lacson, nakausap ko rin ho ang asawa ninyo."


Lozada described how he entered Arroyo’s house in Dasmariñas Village, Makati city.

He said it was a "Tony Abaya" (there are at least three persons of that name including a former congressman, a newspaper columnist, and a media communications expert) who facilitated his meeting with Arroyo’s wife.

But the senator cut off Lozada, saying: "Do not mess around with my wife."

On questioning of Senate President pro tempore Jinggoy Estrada, Lozada said Arroyo’s wife told him not to speak in the Senate inquiry.

I'm not surprised by this. Joker himself tried to stop Neri from revealing all during the executive session.

In other news, the police guy who escorted (abducted?) Lozada is now detained inside a Police safehouse for "his safety raw". (or maybe he's being coached on what to say if he is forced to testify?)

Related:

- Joker and PDI Reporter Juliet Labog Javellana

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Neri was and still is afraid to testify in full not because regime change will happen but because it won’t."

- John Nery, re Lozada's letter.

And no John, the Archbishop of Manila is not a "clueless" bystander in the Arroyo affairs. BTW, John Nery is not related to Romulo Neri.

Related: Who is Medy Poblador?

Monday, February 11, 2008

"When Iran gets the bomb, the Middle East will go nuclear."

- Lee Kwan Yew

His thoughts on other issues:

Commentary: Playing with fire

Published: Feb. 8, 2008 at 9:46 AM
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By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE
UPI Editor at Large
SINGAPORE, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- NATO's future is at stake in Afghanistan, warned Asia's senior statesman, and unless America's European allies abandon appeasement and the United States realizes Afghanistan cannot succeed as a democracy, the world balance of power will shift in favor of Russia and China.

In an exclusive interview with United Press International, Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, long known as the Kissinger of the orient, took the Europeans to task for balking at casualties in Afghanistan. He blamed "short memories" that have forgotten that "America came to rescue them in two world wars," which has rekindled the "appeasement" of the 1930s.

The United States, said this key player in every major Asian event for almost half a century, "should realize Afghanistan cannot succeed as a democracy. You attempted too much. Let the warlords sort it out in such a way you don't try to build a new state. The British tried and failed. Just make clear if they commit aggression again and offer safe haven to Taliban, they will be punished."

Now known as the "minister mentor" of Singapore, who turned a malarial island into a city of skyscrapers that thinks like a great power and is more important to the global economy than most big countries, Lee fears failure in Afghanistan will alter the world balance of power in favor of China and Russia. These two powers "would be faced with a much weakened West in the ongoing global contest."

Europe's NATO allies have turned a deaf ear to Bush administration requests to send additional troops to bolster the 21,000 U.S. and 20,000 NATO soldiers now in Afghanistan. Canada warned last month it would pull its 2,500 troops out early next year unless NATO agrees to send reinforcements. In Afghanistan last month, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates took the European allies to task for contributing to this rising violence in the fight against the Taliban as some of them "don't know how to do counterinsurgency operations." Hoping to show the example, Gates committed an additional 3,200 troops -- all Marines -- to the Afghan war.

The Europeans have cut defense budgets back to a stage where they cannot afford to send additional helicopters, aircraft for evacuating wounded, or troops to the Afghan theater where only British, Canadian, Dutch and U.S. troops conduct offensive operations. Responding to criticism at home, even these have been sharply curtailed in recent months. The other 22 NATO members have placed caveats on the use of their troops designed to keep them out of harm's way.

The Taliban uses privileged sanctuaries in Pakistan's tribal areas where President Pervez Musharraf has warned the United States it cannot conduct military operations. Most European terrorist trails also track back to what is known as Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Asked about the "Pakistan-terrorist nexus," Lee Kuan Yew -- "Harry" to his close friends -- replied, "We should learn to live with it for a long time. My fear is Pakistan may well get worse. What is the choice? Musharraf is the only general I know (there) who is totally secular in his approach. But he's got to maneuver between his extremists who are sympathetic to Taliban and al-Qaida and moderate elements with a Western outlook. … There is an interesting study of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency that says 20 percent of the Pakistani army's officer corps is fundamentalist (and therefore pro-Taliban, an organization that was originally organized and subsequently controlled by ISI until Sept. 11)."

And what happens to al-Qaida in this hands-off Pakistan approach?

"Any U.S. interference in Pakistan would result in its four provinces becoming four failed states. And then what happens to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal? It's a horrendous festering problem," he said.

Iraq was a mistake, Lee said. Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with al-Qaida or Sept. 11. It was a costly diversion from the war on al-Qaida. "I cannot see them winning, and by that I mean able to impose their extremist system ... even if we can't win, we mustn't lose or tire. We cannot allow them to believe they have a winning strategy and that more suicide bombers and WMD will advance their cause and give them a chance to take over."

The "Islamist" bomb, said Kuan Yew ("the light that shines far and wide," in Chinese), has already traveled from Pakistan to Iran "and the U.S., the Europeans, even the Russians, will (now) have to make up their minds whether to allow Iran to go nuclear." He took Russian President Vladimir Putin to task "for playing a game, posing as the nice guys with Iran, supplying nuclear fuel, and making it look as if America is causing all this trouble. But if I were Russia today, I would be very worried about Iran acquiring the bomb, because Russia is more at risk than America. The risk Israel runs is another dimension.

"Russia is at risk," he explained, "because whether it's the Chechens or Central Asian Muslim states that were former Soviet Republics, none are friendly to Moscow. Next time there's an explosion in Moscow, it may be a suicide bomber who isn't wearing an explosive jacket, but something a lot bigger. It would certainly be in Russia's interest to say … to Iran, 'this far and no further.'"

But Lee said, "It could also be that Russia no longer knows how to stop it, in which case the Russians will be opening the door to a very dangerous world of nuclear proliferation. You can also be quite sure that … when Iran gets the bomb, the Middle East will go nuclear."

When this reporter last interviewed Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore in May 2001, he said his biggest concern about the future "is an Islamist bomb and mark my words it will travel." It now has done just that courtesy of Pakistan's A. Q. Khan, the anti-American father of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. When asked this week about the advisability of the United States or Israel bombing Iran's nuclear facilities, Lee fell silent. He was about to express an opinion, then changed his mind. "I can express no views on that," he said lowering his voice.

Lee's second-biggest concern eight years ago was China's challenge to the global status quo. No longer. "Will China be to the 21st century what America was to the 20th?" we asked.

If the Chinese leaders stay on their present course, Lee answered, "The peaceful rise of China's power will prevail. They are determined not to challenge any existing power, meaning America, EU, Russia, but just make friends with everybody. Given the rules of the game now that China is in WTO, they can only grow stronger year by year, and within three or four decades, China's GDP will equal America's, their technology will be equal to what was long regarded as the world's only superpower, and their GDP will be larger than America's.

"And all that stems from what they have long studied in details in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. … They are sending 250,000 students abroad every year, and even though they may lose 60 percent to 70 percent of them to other countries, they don't care because they know many of them will come back eventually. … They want to avoid building a pre-World War II Japan or Germany. Territorial conquest is not necessary as it once was.

"You don't have to be a genius to know that they are producing five times as many engineers and scientists as the Americans. … They are everywhere (in the world) today. Can you be everywhere while focused on Iraq? In the Caribbean you have one Embassy in Barbados that serves six other tiny island countries. The Chinese have an embassy in each place. And that's what you call your front yard."

Taiwan?

"They won't invade," Lee responded, "and try to take over militarily. That would be far too costly for them all over the world. … Can the Chinese land troops in Taiwan and establish and hold and widen a beachhead? The answer is no. Can they conquer Taiwan militarily? Again, no. They can only inflict damage." Today, Lee added, "Taiwan goes to America to get its technology, which then transits to China. If they take back Taiwan, it becomes Chinese without the same freedom of access to U.S. technology and research labs. So why kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?"

Hillary's Latina Campaign Manager drops out

Signs of troubles in Hillaryland.
adios patti solis doyle
Adios, Patti Solis Doyle.

UPDATED: Big Brother ISAFP is listening to us

Disturbing.

From the PDI Editorial:

Perhaps the most disturbing revelation from Rodolfo Lozada Jr.’s testimony before the Senate last Friday was not the confirmation of systemic corruption, which allegedly distorted the controversial ZTE contract to build a national broadband network, as the disclosure that the Arroyo administration is spying on its enemies—and on allies with the potential to turn hostile.

When Lozada told a packed Senate hall about his intercepted text messages—how, in that interminable stretch when he was alone in the strange car with two armed and unknown men, he sent one message seeking help after another, until one of his custodians turned around and told him to stop because they were reading his messages anyway—a collective shiver ran down the public’s spine. If this is the way the Arroyo administration treats its allies, what kind of surveillance is reserved for its critics?


Read the whole thing.

So... who's helping the administration monitor and spy on it's critics? Smart? Globe?

And oh, isn't Abuse of Power an impeachable offense, btw?

And it does make the whack job done by Mar Roxas' Liberal Party really look awful the more we know what's really going on when we connect the dots.

UPDATE: So when is the CBCP going to wake up and call for Arroyo's resignation? If not now, when?

UPDATE: Arroyo-defender, Opposition-basher Cathcath mocks Lozada and asks: Why only now?

Read this too from Conrado de Quiros, who's article re the ZTE/Lozada I agree with.

Neal Cruz: Greed, panic, lies; is justice next?

Interesting tidbit from the Inquirer editorial yesterday:

Which is why, last Friday, as a week of administration bungling brought forth a new star witness in the controversial NBN-ZTE deal, administration senators made themselves scarce. Among those pleading the political equivalent of diplomatic illness was Sen. Joker Arroyo, who once upon a time thundered, “We cannot have a nation run by a thief”—and who probably did not want to be reminded of what he said in the face of testimony pointing to even grander larceny.

Instead, the only ones who dared to stand by the administration were Juan Ponce Enrile, whose wife wants to be ambassador to the Vatican, and whose former law partner connived to have Lozada sign a false affidavit; and Miriam Defensor-Santiago whose husband is a Malacañang official, whose brother is currently an ambassador-at-large, who has two cousins sitting as administration allies in the mercenary House of Representatives, and whose nephew, Michael Defensor, acts as secret liaison officer with Catholic prelates, and who tried to organize a press conference of lies until it was foiled in the early morning hours of Wednesday.

And so, as one senator put it on Friday, we have a government that undertakes kidnapping, coercion, violations of the anti-wiretapping law, obstruction of justice and engages in conspiracy to hinder the work of the legislature in full public view. One that takes its cue from the First Family that behaves as if the rule of law is what it says it is. Not to mention all the previous catalogues of sins of commission and omission that range from perverting the law to liquidating opponents, from electoral fraud to plundering the state.

And which has the gall to keep demanding of us, the people, “Where is your evidence?” To which we say, look around—look at yourselves. You are the evidence, all of you.

Kidnapping? That's the administration's M.O. Garci talked about kidnapping COMELEC official Rashma Hali's relatives to silence the witness.

Previous:

- "Intsik pala siya eh. Kung ako ipapa-deport ko na yan."

UPDATE: Money quote from Ellen Tordesillas:

To answer the question that Secretary Mendoza declined to address, one has to go back to the original sin which is the cheating in the 2004 elections.

Since she is in power not by the will of the people, she is held hostage by a group of people who did not have qualms of committing the crime of thwarting the will of the people to fulfill her ambition of remaining in power.. Gloria Arroyo owes those people big time.

That’s why when Abalos came collecting his fee, Gloria and Mike Arroyo cannot say “No.”

In the BWAHAHAHAHA files. Like many of the people we know in the media, Jessica Zafra used to sometimes write about politics. Nowadays she mostly focuses on pop culture. But here's her recent blog post on the Lozada case.

UPDATE: I misused the word "hatchet job". What i meant was "Whack job" pala. like in the mob. haha.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday

ngayon na! Are you excited?

Shortsightedness of the Liberal Party

From Rod Kapunan:

The political shortsightedness of the Liberal Party (LP), Franklin Drilon and Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II wing, in aligning itself with those seeking to oust Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. is obvious. The brewing fight to wrest the Speakership mounted by the Arroyo clan has nothing to do with the reforms about which LP Quezon Rep. Erin Tanada is taking. It is a pure and simple fight between two erstwhile collaborating powerbrokers sparked by that accusation made by Jose “Joey” de Venecia III, implicating the husband of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Jose Miguel Arroyo, to the scandal that shrouded the failed $329-million National Broadband Network (NBN) deal with China’s ZTE Corp.

It is a fight involving pride and ego, not to say the continuing quest by the Arroyo clan to consolidate power, this time fronting a proxy in the person of Davao City Rep. Prospero Nograles. There is no issue in this much-ballyhooed fight to necessitate the LP to come out against De Venecia. A change of leadership in Congress is a routine thing that can happen to a politically-laden and bankrupt state such as ours. Neither can it be said the Speaker is being ousted because he is stonewalling the passage of vital reform measures of which the LP Drilon-Roxas wing is hallucinating. For that matter, there is no clear-cut delineation between the two politicians, except that one is on top while the other wants to grab the saddle in the most pathetic fashion of acting as gladiator for the two sons of Mrs. Arroyo, Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo and Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo, and their uncle, Negros Occidental Rep. Jose Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo.

Previously, Villar, along with a few NP senators and Erapists, sought the help of Administration SEnators to get help him elected as SEnate president.

Now Mar Roxas and the Liberal Party, knowing that Erap's probably not gonna endorse Mar, and not wanting to be the party that has little or no influence, allied themselves with the administration to bump LAKAS out of GMA's ruling coalition and punish Jose De Venecia for not putting the kibosh on his son JDV III. (For the LP, this also means magiging mas influential na ang LP kaysa sa LAKAS sa GMA coalition, even with Nograles as Speaker.)

By lending a helping hand, they are doing more damage to their party as it means that even before the 2010 presidential elections, they already contracted much of their influence for unnecessarily aligning themselves with a political party abhorred by the people. For that matter, either way the fight for the Speakership will turn out, the voters will punish the Drilon-Roxas LP wing for joining the fray that has its underpinning on the right of Malacañang to place its pivot man in Congress. Pursuant to that, the deciding factor will not be on whom the people will vote, but on the candidate who bravely fought against the undeclared dynastic-dictatorship of Mrs. Arroyo. Even important issues will be sidelined because political emotions will run high with the people dichotomized to voting for or against this regime. This is dangerous for in murky situations where they have been obfuscated with hatred, often it is the most articulate demagogue that emerges winner, and not the one with a sober and sensible platform of government.

Exactly. Nobody's buying their excuse bullshit na they can't get any reform bills passed raw because of Speaker de Venecia. Trapo JDV has many faults, and I'm no fan of Yoda de Venecia myself, but the timing of his removal is all wrong. The (real) reason for his removal is all wrong.

Why is the Liberal Party so eager to be the hatchet men for the Arroyo coalition? You can't tell me Mar Roxas doesn't know what going on with his party. He's their leader for chrissakes. Say it aint so, Mar!

Tell me I'm incorrect in my analysis here. I'm interested to hear what Peter Lavina and Kevin Chua has to say about this.

UPDATE: Read the highlighted parts of Ruffy Biazon's blog at MLQ3.

UPDATE: here's kevin's response:

Should there be a fuss if the Liberal Party (LP) of Senator Mar Roxas voted against the former House Speaker Jose de Venecia? I think it's just an over reaction. After all, the LP was deprived from having a representative in the Commission on Appointments, House committee chairmanships and its priority bills were not given a chance thus further isolating the party.

Such is life when one belongs to the minority party........ Unless really LP considers itself part of the Arroyo Majority but feels that it has been treated unfairly, like an unwanted stepchild compared to KAMPI, LAKAS and NPC.

But if that is the reason, then fine. The LP has put party interest ahead over doing what is right. There are many things i don't like about JDV, but does anybody really believe that JDV would have been replaced anyway if his son did not tell the truth about the Arroyos?

Why play the role of the Useful Idiot for the Arroyos?

Removing JDV because they offended the arroyos is like impeaching erap for having extra-marital sex.

A loyal son's disappointment with the Catholic Church

John Nery comments on the CBCP's latest pastoral letter. Called their statement "less than intellectually honest."

Previous: "An Amazing Pastoral Letter from the CBCP"

Joker blames Senate, Palace for Neri ZTE Mess

Link.

Everybody but himself, of course--the guy who ran interference for the Arroyo admin.

Hillary tears up again

will it work again for Super Tuesday? Hillary Cried, Barack Died II?

What the Clinton-Obama ticket means

...a potential 16 years of dominance in the White House for Democrats.

"I spent several years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, in the dark, fed with scraps. Do you think I want to do that all over again..."

...as vice president of the United States?"

- John McCain, responding to rumors that he wants to be John Kerry's vice president in 2004 at the Late Show with Conan O'Brien

Monday, February 04, 2008

Liberal Party Colluding with Malacanang

to oust JDV, because "reforms may be possible in a change of leadership" raw. The Inquirer calls the statement naive. More here from Doronila. So is the LP in effect collaborating with the Arroyos to get rid of JDV because of the ZTE expose? Because that's what it looks like to me.

At ang Liberal Party ba ni Mar Roxas ang papalit sa Lakas bilang bagong chief collaborators ng KAMPI ni Maam GMA? Opposition pa ba si Mar Roxas? He's the leader of the LP, yes? So all these moves are done with Mar's approval, right?

More: Is Rufus Rodriguez still with the Opposition? Safe to assume Erap approves of this too?

UPDATE: Hi MLQ3 readers, I have more re the LP in my recent post: Shortsightedness of the Liberal Party.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

McCain-Romney '08 ticket

Crazy idea, i know since McCain doesn't really like Romney personally. But this is the best way to reconcile with conservatives and unite the party, I think. McCain can show that he can wage a spirited campaign (sometimes rough) and still shake hands with his opponent in the end.

McCain can try to reach out to people like Rush or Sean Hannity, but I don't think they will be swayed. Just look at this for example. The most that McCain can do is to go to their radio show and take the tough questions. Earn their grudging respect--even without the love.

I don't think Rudy wants to be a Veep, but maybe i'm wrong. Maybe there's already a deal in place?

But I still think the technocrat Romney will make a better VP, because dealing with economic issues is one of his strengths, and the US is headed towards a recession raw.

Huckabee would be useless as a VP choice because most conservatives hate the guy as much as they hate McCain. Choosing the silver-tonged Huckabee for vice president won't endear McCain to the conservatives and won't help his candidacy in the general elections.

Fred Thompson is meh. Pass.

I know McCain and Romney are the political odd couple, but look at JFK-LBJ. Look at Reagan and Bush Sr.

More here from Innocent English who has similar thoughts. More here.

REad this too.

UPDATE: Roger L. Simon: Is Romney Angling for Veep?

I don't think they're suicide bombers

i think it's wrong to call these two mentally disabled women (afflicted with Down's Syndrome) "suicide" bombers.

because they did not knowingly die for al queda's terrorist cause. But what Al Queda did is just evil. Pure evil.

Pau!

Gasol! gets traded to the Lakers for Kwame Brown and throw ins. Suns title hopes are almost gone.

Ann Coulter suffers from MDS

or McCain Derangement Syndrome. here's some proof.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Arroyo admin changed the way GDPs were computed

since coming into office.

Bakit ngayon lang lumabas ito!!! According to kuya mlq3:

Concerning Gov’t bares 7.3% 2007 GDP growth With robust 7.4% recorded in fourth quarter: Gov’t bares 7.3% 2007 GDP growth, strongest since 1976, a minor caveat.

Gdpchart
You will see on the chart above, which comes from a presentation of Dr. Michael Alba, that the line showing the country’s GDP is broken at one point. I asked him what that meant. He said, it represents a change made in the manner GDP is computed, which makes all previous data and all subsequent data not precisely comparable to each other.


What the F-ck???

Eto naman ang sabi ni Jon Mariano:

Wow, galing talaga ni Arroyo. Noon kulang ang school rooms, ang solusyon ay baguhin ang pag-bilang, noon mataas ang unemployment rate, ang ginawa niya baguhin ang pagbilang, ngayon tumaas ang GDP ng super taas (unexpected daw), pero binago din pala ang pagbilang! Ganito ba ang itinuturo sa UP?
Heh.

Related:
- How to reduce the number of poverty-stricken families by moving the poverty line

UPDATE: From the Tribune Editorial:

Something smells in the data

02/03/2008

There was something smelly and not palatable with the way statistics are being suddenly and drastically revised by the Arroyo government.

A case in point was the third quarter gross domestic product (GDP), which the government statistics office said in a footnote to the “31-year” record growth performance it released Thursday that it was revised from 6.6 percent to 7.4 percent.

Amazing growth, considering the drought and the destructive typhoons that hit the country. Amazing, too, considering that manufacturing has been contracting, month, after month, after month.

But a list of data was supposedly updated, mainly on merchandise trade transaction, as a reason for the big kick up.

The sudden spurt in the government growth record was the reason Gloria, fresh from the World Economic Forum at the Swiss Alps, was able to proclaim to the world that the economy, in terms of GDP, grew 7.3 percent, while the gross national product (GNP) that takes into account remittances of the army of Filipinos working overseas rose 7.8 percent last year.

The government also revised the third quarter GNP growth rate to an astounding 8.8 percent.

Add to that, the figures showing that while it may take a lot of effort to prove that the figures are being massaged to suit Gloria, the frequent revisions of the economic data make every figure that the government churns out questionable.

The whole exercise in churning out economic data, more than making Gloria glow pink with self exaltation, was for local businesses to chart their road ahead for the year.

A difference of a decimal of a percentage point in the data may prove fatal to investment decisions, particularly those involving huge costs such as those in the property sector.

Now, we have the government saying the main economic data for the third quarter were off by nearly one percentage point.

The government can shrug it off as a pleasant error in the sense that the figure was ramped up instead of reduced by 0.8 points, but it still proved the unreliability of the numbers coming from supposedly official sources.

If such huge errors can be made, there would be less scruples for possible intentional managing of numbers for a crucial period, such as the visit of representatives of credit rating agencies that actually have only been made recently.

Would there be any difference if figures are padded for the meantime by 0.8-percentage point, and a quarter later say the figure was revised down or up depending on whatever the mood of those in Malacañang was for the moment?

The government has been censured internationally in the past for releasing way off figures.

Economists have bewailed the fact that they cannot rely on government for correct data.

The statistics institutions, in turn, have been complaining about the lack of funds and personnel for the skewed data.

Whatever the problem is, what was important for Gloria was that she can bask in the thought that the economy supposedly grew fastest during her term.

By the way, has not Gloria been proclaiming, one or two State of the Nation Addresses (Sona) back, that the country has the fastest economic growth in Asia and that it would be among the First World nation in 20 years?

Economists and representatives of multilateral institutions said it would need the economy to grow at least seven percent a year for the least of Gloria’s fantasies to come true.

So now the country had to have a 7.4-percent GDP growth last year.

What Gloria asks, Gloria gets — especially the untrue made into truth.