Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Reactions to the CBCP pastoral letter

From Conrad de Quiros:

THANK God for Archbishop Angel Lagdameo. It’s enough to make you believe God may have something to do with the names of people in this magic-realist country. Remember Gen. Fabian Ver, Gen. Luther Custodio, Edna Camcam and Rolando Galman in the past? Today, we have Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Michael Defensor, Archbishop Fernando Capalla, and Angel. What can I say? Lagdameo is holier than Capalla.

I don’t know how much of the new statement of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) owes to the bitter complaints the bishops have gotten from their flock since they went astray in July with their position finding no cause to ask the person in Malacañang who called up "Garci" to resign. That July statement, read by Capalla, reminded me uncannily of the Supreme Court position ratifying the Constitution that the Constitutional Convention hastily drew up soon after Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law, a monumental exercise in double talk characterized by double negatives. The Supreme Court said it did not find anything in the way the Constitution was made that would cause it not to uphold it. The CBCP statement last July was a classic in that kind of evasiveness, too.

Forthrightness is what the new CBCP calls for, and it practices what it preaches. It is explicit in its stand. It calls for “a relentless pursuit of truth,” something it criticizes Congress for thwarting when it blocked Gloria Arroyo’s impeachment, which would have provided a wide avenue for it. “What we have seen are acts of evasion and obstructions of the truth, as in the case of the wiretapping and the Garcillano tapes controversy.” The crisis today is fundamentally moral. “Because of this crisis of values in our public life, the common good and the plight of the poor are being ignored.”

But he also criticized the CBCP on it's other propositions:

But I part ways with the CBCP in some of its other propositions. Chief of them: Why do you have to restrict yourself to constitutional means to oust an unconstitutional government? As I said earlier, what has demolished this country’s natural aversion to coups is that its current government is the product of one. The Arroyo government is arguably a coup, wrought not by guns but by Garci, not by a cabal of soldiers but a gang of carpetbaggers. I myself have repeatedly called for civil disobedience, capped by not paying taxes. Why should I yield my hard-earned money to an illegitimate collector?

More importantly, I do not know why the people should present a “credible alternative” for the Catholic Church to ask a usurper to resign. At the very least, when we catch a thief who has stolen our cell phone, we get our cell phone back as a matter of course. We do not have to prove we have better uses for the cell phone than the thief before we can get it back. You catch someone stealing votes, you oust her as a matter of course. You do not have to prove another person can do a better job.

At the very most, as I’ve also kept saying, contrary to popular opinion, the question of who should replace Arroyo is not the hardest thing to answer, it is the easiest. Who should replace Arroyo is who the people want, which is expressed in the vote. What is the problem? The problem is that Arroyo stole the vote. What is the solution? The solution is to give back the vote to the voters. I do not particularly care if the voters vote for Noli de Castro or even Joseph Estrada again. I do not particularly care if the voters vote for a dog or a cat. In a democracy, the one who governs is the one the voters voted for.

The idea of the people offering an alternative, credible or not, doesn’t make things better, it makes things worse. It adds fuel to the fire. It contributes to a nasty turn in Philippine politics, which is that the vote has become irrelevant people now just think of decreeing what is good for the country, namely themselves. That was what Arroyo and her cabal did. Why should we want to do the same thing? Every time I get asked that question, “But whom do you want to replace Arroyo?” my answer has always been, “That is not for me to say, that is not for you to say, that is for the voters to say.”

But we’re getting there, with no small help from angels.

I agree. It is this attitude displayed by the arrogant arroyo admin and it's supporters na "hindi credible alternative" raw sila FPJ, Roco, Ping at Bro. Eddie, kaya okey lang raw dayain ang election.

The fact that Archbishop Lagdameo is even asking for a "credible alternative" to replace GMA is a sign na he doesn't take the concept of democratic elections very seriously.

I mean, if the real winner FPJ were still alive, would he fit the Lagdameo's criteria of a "credible alternative"? If he does not pass Lagdameo's standards, then we might as scrap the elections and do a coronation of Arroyo- and Garci-approved candidates na lang.

Rina Jimenez-David:

"THEY did not really pursue the truth” is Archbishop Angel Lagdameo’s dry assessment of the impeachment proceedings against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last year. Lagdameo, the newly elected president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), was speaking at a press conference during which he read one of two CBCP statements on the national situation.

Echoing Lagdameo’s point of view, the bishops’ statement called on President Arroyo to pursue “relentlessly” the truth behind the “Hello, Garci” tapes and the allegations of electoral fraud these gave rise to. They also firmly opposed moves to cancel the 2007 elections, which is one of the “carrots” being waved at lawmakers and local government officials to get them to join the campaign to amend the Constitution.

Though the CBCP statement falls short of calling for Arroyo’s resignation (it says the country has no real alternative to her, yet), the pastoral letter is seen as a step farther than the one the bishops issued in July last year, when oppositionists were counting on them to help speed up the momentum created by Cory Aquino, the “Hyatt 10” group of resigned Cabinet officials, the Liberal Party, and business groups.

The Daily Tribune, frontpage:

A day after issuing their strongly-worded pastoral statement on the political turmoil present today, members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) openly expressed dissatisfaction with President Arroyo, saying she still is not doing enough in having the truth surface on the massive electoral fraud committed in 2004 as well as in the Virgilio Garcillano controversy.

Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the CBCP admitted that even as the bishops stopped short of openly calling for the resignation of Mrs. Arroyo, it can be said the bishops are unsatisfied with the Chief Executive’s handling of the issues involving the electoral fraud and the corruption in government.

“We are weighing it and her (moves) are insufficient,” Lagdameo told reporters during an interview at the prayer rally organized by the Silent Majority movement headed by Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz.

More from Ninez Cacho Olivarez and the Tribune Editorial.

From Ellen Tordesillas: Sampal ng mga Obispo

From the Malaya Editorial:

Huli man at dumating, magaling din," the saying goes. We can say the same thing about the bishops’ call for the "relentless pursuit of the truth" about Gloria Arroyo’s cheating during the 2004 election as shown by the "Hello Garci" wiretapped conversations. But how we wish the bishops had issued the call when it could have made a difference.

The bishops said the search for truth has been blocked and evaded. True. But the pastoral statement they issued after their plenary council meeting last weekend made no mention about who did the evading or obstructing. There’s a time for diplomacy and circumspection, and a time for raining hail and brimstone on unrepentant cheaters, liars and thieves. By their timidity, the shepherds sadly let their flock down.

Read the whole thing.

From 2004 prez candidate Sen. Ping Lacson:

SEN. Panfilo Lacson yesterday said President Arroyo should heed the pastoral letter of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines instead of twisting its contents in her favor.

"If there is a shred of self-respect left in GMA, she should concede that the CBCP is trying to tell her right in her face that they knew all along that she fixed her way out of impeachment," Lacson said in a statement.

He said the only reason the CBCP was not too harsh in its letter was that the bishops were "just trying to be priestly" in their statement.

The CBCP, after a three-day plenary council over the weekend, issued a letter calling for a "relentless search for the truth" over the "Hello Garci" tapes.

It said truth has become a "victim of political partisanship as well as of transactional politics" as it assailed "acts of evasion and obstructions of the truth."

Lacson said an "armor-plated skin," and not her claimed moral armor, saved Arroyo from impeachment over charges of "lying, cheating and stealing."

He said this was evident when she tried to grab credit for the achievements of other Filipinos, including overseas whose remittances strengthened the peso last December.

Wycoco died a very wealthy man

From Ernie Maceda:

Legal wife Lucila Wycoco has accused Rosario Calderon, live-in girlfriend of the late Reynaldo Wycoco, with stealing the documents and titles of several properties of General Wycoco, including a house in Pampanga, several condominium units in Metro Manila and parcels of land in several cities and provinces. Lucila also charged Calderon, a Harvard graduate, with having taken possession of cash and bankbooks of bank deposits.

While Lucila is entitled to inherit the properties and deposits of Wycoco, her claims also confirm that Wycoco died a very wealthy man.

Shouldn’t the state intervene here and stake its claims to the Wycoco unexplained wealth whose whole career was spent in the Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation?


Randy David and Gregorio Honasan on Feb. 7

From Ellen Tordesillas:

The second in the series of lectures being organized by concerned women of means led by former Transportation Secretary Josie Lichauco will be on Feb. 7, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Manila Polo Club.
Guests will be UP Professor Randy David and former Sen. Gregorio Honasan.

In the first lecture last December, the speaker was former Economic Planning Secretary Cielio Habito, who explained the real economic situation of the country beneath Malacañang’s propaganda of an economy taking off because of Gloria Arroyo’s expert management. Habito said it is not yet time to party and there is not really much to be happy about in our current situation.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Under new constitution, number of votes to impeach raised to 2/3's of all House members

From the Tribune:

Under the “working draft” of the House committee on constitutional amendments, Cha-cha proponents want the number of votes requirement for impeachment of an official increased, particularly the Chief Executive.

From the one-third required votes to impeach an impeachable official under the current system, it is proposed that this be increased to two-thirds of the members of the House before an official can be impeached.

According to House Minority Leader Francis Escudero, secretary general of the United Opposition, this is clearly a “reactionary provision” aimed at ensuring Mrs. Arroyo’s stay in power.

“I thought it was going to be a parliament? Why is there impeachment? It’s a reactionary provision,” Escudero said.

When you don't agree with a person and feel threatened, BAN HIM!!!

LOL! at least mukhang ganito ang patakaran ni Connie Veneracion. Wala namang masama sa post ni Dean Jorge Bocobo eh. Very civil naman ang message at tanong niya at hindi naman bastos, unlike some of the commenters Ellen Tordesillas is getting in her blog lately.

Thanks for the correction Sassy. But what was the answer to my question? Does he claim to be the CREATOR of the works and that all the visible and identifiable components of it are actually his? Before we start emoting over PCIJ supposed turn to crass commercialism and unethical behaviour? What is your opinion about the observation that the basis of his komiks are probably screengrabs of ABSCBN broadcasts?

Eto naman yung sagot ni pikon.

Sassy Lawyer:
Dean, nice try in provoking me and trying to get me to write something with the thought of diverting attention to you.

Won’t work.

That’s your last comment in my blog.

di man lang sinagot ang tanong... LOL.

anyway, re the topic of SL's thread, PCIJ did wrong kung hindi nila i-attribute yung original works ni Happy. And it is good to see Sheila Coronel willing to do the right thing and own up to the mistake, apologize and offer compensation for Happy Vergara (although apparently it is still not enough).

ang sa akin naman, i'm all for bloggers protecting their stuff on the internet. but i do hope that the very same people that are so protective of their materials on the net are not the same ones who often steal photos (video caps) and articles from the Mainsteam media.

UPDATE: One thing Happy did that was smart was to make sumbong to the biggest pro-arroyo blogger out there. LOL.

Sassy and her cronies like cathcath have been looking for something like this to knock down PCIJ a peg or two (because most of PCIJ's reports lately are not exactly flattering to their president, GMA... and Veneracion is obviously not happy with it.)

UPDATE: UPDATE: Sabi ni Happy Vergara:

Dean, you may be right in my being ambiguous about what I own and do not own. No one’s suing (as some might like to think; and definitely not a “blog war” geez) and I certainly made it clear that I own none of the images.

I wonder kung humingi rin siya ng permission na gamitin yung images na hiniram o ninakaw niya sa Mainstream media.

In the end, I'm not really all that exercised about this "issue" unlike Connie because I don't have an axe to grind against the "anti-Arroyo" PCIJ. Nag-apologize na ang PCIJ and they're willing to compensate Happy, so good for them.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Riding on other people's positive images

From Randy David:

There is, of course, nothing wrong with the head of state personally congratulating citizens who bring honor to the nation. It is to be expected even more in a society that has gone through relentless demoralization. Ms Arroyo did what was right by phoning Pacquiao and Quigaman minutes after they were declared winners. On their return, she welcomed them into Malacañang and personally feted them. These are appropriate official celebrations of individual prowess.

Only a thin line, however, separates celebration from exploitation. Ms Arroyo, the political entrepreneur, has made it a habit to wrap herself in the medals and crowns of the individuals she applauds. What she lacks she seeks to acquire by association. She basks in the brilliance of Manny Pacquiao’s decisive victory, as if that would dispel the darkness that surrounds her presidency. She draws from the clarity of young Cristina Bugayong’s basic honesty as if, by some magic of association, that would erase all doubts about her own integrity.

The more her legitimacy is challenged, the more she resorts to riding on other people’s positive images. No other president of this country, in my recollection, has, for example, been more publicly “prayed over” by all kinds of religious leaders than Ms Arroyo. I am told that most of these are solicited benedictions, received fulsomely by her for the benefit of the cameras. It is disgusting. In this manner are many innocent events used as messages in political communication.

I think matatalo pa ni Arroyo si Erap pagdating sa paggamit ng "positive images" and scripted events sa presidency nila.

The only way to remove Arroyo is by force

Just stating a fact, peeps.

You can't people power Arroyo yet because CPR prevents people from forming a big assembly. The only way left to remove the fake president is for people to forcibly oust the illegal malacanang occupant with the help of the military... like Edsa 1986 style.

Sa harap ng kawalang interes na bumaba sa puwesto at lantarang pagtatakip sa iba’t ibang eskandalong kinasasangkutan ng administrasyon, hinamon kahapon ni Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson ang Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) na huwag maging bulag at bingi sa pang-aapi ni Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Bagama’t walang direktang panawagan para sa isang malawakang pagkilos o paglulunsad ng kudeta, nanawagan si Lacson sa mga dating comrade-in arms na maging tunay na protektor o tagapagtanggol ng sambayanan, hindi ng iisang indibidwal lamang.

Ayon kay Lacson, suntok sa buwan kung kusang-loob magbibitiw ang Pangulo at wala ring pag-asa pang makausad ang isang bagong impeachment case sa Mababang Kapulungan ng Kongreso dahil namumuro ang mga bataan ng palasyo.

Sa kawalan ng opsyon upang palitan si Arroyo, tanging pagkilos ng militar ang natitirang solusyon, ayon kay Lacson, kapag sobra na ang kaapihang naranasan ng publiko sa kamay ni Mrs. Arroyo.

"Kung nakikita nilang aping-api na ang Pilipinas, aping-api na ang mga Pilipino sang-ayon sa Saligang batas dapat na kumilos ang AFP para protektahan ang estado at mga mamamayan," ani Lacson.

Nakapaloob sa Saligang Batas, ayon kay Lacson, ang papel ng AFP bilang tagapagtanggol ng estado at mamamayan kung kaya’t legal ang gagawing pagkilos ng militar kung nakikita nitong sobra-sobra ang pang-aapi ni Mrs. Arroyo sa kanyang nasasakupan.

"Sana huwag mabigyan ng kulay. Ang isang posibleng option ‘yung nakasaad sa Constitution, ang AFP ay protector of the state and the people," ani Lacson.

And to the opposition, you need to be as ruthless as Mike ARroyo and Chavit Singson.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Tarja! Tarja! Tarja!

Finland's presidential election this Sunday is too close to call, but I'm rooting for Tarja Halonen because he looks like Conan O'Brien (daw!).

Here's their pics. You decide.

- Related: Is Conan O'Brien unduly influencing elections in Finland?

Maximo Oliveros

Nakasali yung "Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros" sa Sundance this year 2006 under World Cinema Competition: Dramatic

Eto pa lang yung mga lumalabas na review not written by a Filipino.

- Variety's Dennis Harvey

Auraeus Solito's first narrative feature "The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros" is an unusually low-key Filipino drama whose neo-realist air generally triumphs over the script's violent, tearful contrivances. Worthy of further fest (especially gay fest) attention, pic will nonetheless prove a difficult sell offshore, where the 12-year-old protag's cross-dressing precocity and his relationship with a hunky policeman may cause more discomfort than amusement.

UPDATE: Does this count? It's a review posted in Ain't it Cool, but the review was email by Joey Fernandez, Filipino film buff.

Kidnapping the relatives of terrorists

From the AP:

The U.S. Army in Iraq has at least twice seized and jailed the wives of suspected insurgents in hopes of "leveraging" their husbands into surrender, U.S. military documents show.

In one case, a secretive task force locked up the young mother of a nursing baby, a U.S. intelligence officer reported. In the case of a second detainee, one American colonel suggested to another that they catch her husband by tacking a note to the family's door telling him "to come get his wife."

Ah... that's an old trick Filipino vigilantes (both Christians and Muslims) use to convince the Abu Sayyaf to release their hostages. I commented about it at wretchard's old blog:

I remember the hostage taking situation in Basilan. Some fed-up Muslim citizens immediately formed vigilante groups and kidnapped the wives and relatives of the Abu sayyaf hostagetakers so that they will be used as "bargaining chips" in exchange for the release of student hostages.

And didn't russian authorities do the same thing too in beslan by seizing some of the relatives of the chechen terrorists "for questioning"?

Go google about it if you like. Too lazy to provide the links right now. Maybe later.

US, Saudi gov’ts refuse to host GMA

From the Tribune:

The United States and Saudi Arabia governments have refused to host a proposed visit of President Arroyo.

This was disclosed yesterday by opposition stalwart former Sen. Francisco Tatad even as he said the President is now “totally isolated” and vulnerable to a coup. (See related story)

“Whether here or abroad, Mrs. Arroyo has become a pariah. She is now politically isolated. This makes her much more vulnerable to the coup, which her top Cabinet and military advisers seem to be waiting for,” Tatad added.

The former Senate majority leader and chairman of the Senate committee on foreign relations, quoting official sources, said both Saudi Arabia and the United States had turned down a proposed Arroyo visit in February.

In Washington, D.C., Tatad added, Philippine Ambassador Albert del Rosario with the help of Venable LLP, the lobby firm contacted by National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales last year to push Charter change, had tried to lobby for a one-on-one meeting between Mrs. Arroyo and President Bush or at least with US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice but were turned down.

“They were roundly rebuffed. Neither President Bush nor Secretary Rice would be available to give Mrs. Arroyo the time of day,” he said, quoting Foreign Affairs sources.

Tatad noted that this is not the first time that Bush had turned down a proposal from Mrs. Arroyo to have a one-on-one meeting with him.

“In last year’s UN Secretary Council session, presided by the Philippines by virtue of the rotation rule, Mrs. Arroyo was alleged to have exerted every effort to have such a meeting, but was turned down,” he said.

Tatad claimed that Mrs. Arroyo wanted to be out of the country and talking to Bush on the anniversary celebration of Edsa I because “she would be completely helpless, should the celebration turn into a hostile demonstration against her” which would be “joined by the police and the military, instead of being dispersed by them, the crowd could then march to Malacañang and drag her out, if she is still there.”

168 Mall a front for illegal drugs?


An open letter to the CBCP

From the Black and White Movement.

And this is interesting:

Malacañang appeared to be preventing Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz’ Silent Majority Movement from taking off, as the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, barred the group from holding its first prayer gathering, leading the bishop to say that “Malacañang thinks the prayer gathering is a partisan entity and that’s a pity because it shows some kind of undue nervousness on the part of Malacañang.”

During an interview, Cruz said he and his group were really surprised that be told that the UP chancellor had denied their request to hold the prayer gathering in its famous Sunken Garden, the venue chosen for the Silent Majority Movement’s prayer-rally.

“This is strange because the UP Sunken Garden is considered as practically a freedom park and the truth is that not even the police can enter UP,” Cruz noted, adding they chose UP because of its significance.

Asked why UP had turned down their request for their launching of the newly-formed movement with Cruz as the lead convenor, the bishop said the university chancellor invoked “an old law which prohibits religious activities in the campus.”

Cruz hinted broadly that Malacañang had a hand in UP’s barring of their prayer rally.

“Religious processions are held in the UP campus by the existence of the Catholic parish there. It is understandable that the UP administration could have been prevailed upon by Malacañang not to grant permission for the prayer event,” he added.

This is silly because UP because I recall UP has held so many religious activities inside it's campus in the past.

So what is the ARroyo admin afraid of, this time?

Friday, January 27, 2006

PCIJ has done more tests on Garci's voice

Link here.

UPDATE: Dean Jorge Bocobo/Rizalist comments for the defense:

What Garci told the Supreme Court in his Second Petition is that people in Congress and in the Media are using certain illegally wiretapped recordings to accuse him of voterigging during the 2004 elections because they say that is his voice on the tapes. The question is do they have a right to use such recordings to make such accusations against him when the ONLY legally sanctioned use of wiretapped materials is when it is covered by a Court Order as specified in R.A. 4200. Tanada set it up so that wiretapping was illegal, and so is the mere possession, use or reproduction of wiretapped materials for any purpose, by default, unless you had a Court Order to perform wiretapping yourself at some specified FUTURE time and place OR to use wiretapped materials as evidence in PAST crimes against persons guilty of illegal wiretapping!

Why the Opposition has not filed for such Court Order designation of the Garci Tapes as evidence of such crimes TOTALLY MYSTIFIES me. Nothing in RA 4200 prevents them from doing so today. Why don’t they? Especially since Garci is hurrying up to get the Supreme Court to grant the exact opposite prayer: BURY THE GARCI RECORDINGS!

I don't know, Rizalist... it's obviously illegally obtained since hindi naman humingi ng permission ang ISAFP na i-wiretap si Garcillano (baka kay maam, meron pa).

So hindi pwedeng gamiting ang tapes sa court of law.

BUT there was never any intention by the opposition to use these tapes in a court of law anyway.

Pero I believe pwedeng gamitin ang tapes sa impeachment trial, because Impeachment doesn't follow the same rules in a court of law and is more of a POLITICAL EXERCISE.

And like you said, the mere possession, use or reproduction of wiretapped materials without a court order is illegal. So why didn’t GMA’s DOJ Sec. Raul Gonzalez and Garcillano do the smart thing and arrest PCIJ, Sen. Serge Osmena, Rep. Roilo Golez, Alan Paguia, you, me and everybody else who has copies of the voice recordings?

At bakit hindi sila interesado na malaman kung sino ang nagwa-wiretap sa kanila? Hindi ba sila concerned dito? At yung nag-wiretap sa kanila (at sa opposition at admin officials), ARE THEY STILL DOING IT?

And are they still doing it because this admin refuses to do anything to find out who these perpetrators are and is in fact trying it's best to coverup the spying operations done on public officials?

Sinong gumastos?

From Conrad de Quiros:

GLORIA Macapagal-Arroyo has appealed to her foes not to politicalize the Manny Pacquiao fight. That is all very well, except for one thing. She should be addressing that message not to her foes but to her friends. She should be addressing that message not to her critics but to her family. She should be addressing that message not to her detractors but to herself.

I did not see Francis Escudero or Alan Peter Cayetano among the crowd on ringside wasting taxpayers' money to see the fight up close and personal. I saw Prospero Pichay and other congressmen do so. I did not see Francisco Gudani or Alexander Balutan clamber up to the stage to embrace the sweating Pacquiao the better to bathe in his glory, I saw Mike Arroyo and Chavit Singson do so. I did not hear Cory Aquino or Susan Roces call up Pacquiao to insinuate themselves into the picture, I heard Gloria Arroyo do so.

It would be interesting to know kung sino ang gumastos sa junkets ng mga politicians na ito. Did they use their own money, o pera ng gobierno? Or did somebody else pay for those? And if somebody else did pay for their expenses, sino sino sila? Full disclosure please.

Kasi, I believe there is no such thing as a free lunch in this town. Kung ginastusan ang isang politician ng malaki ng mga rich-but-unidentified characters na yan, usually may hinihingi silang kapalit in return. Not now, but later... maybe in the form of gov't contracts, tax breaks, favors etc. that are not exactly beneficial or advantageous to the Filipino people.

Tignan nyo yung ingay na na-generate sa Juetengate ni Erap. Corruption raw yan dahil erap was taking bribes.

Well, yung recent na junket ng mga politicians at mga big shots na yan--doesn't that have all the makings of a Jack Abramoff type of deal here?

So again, nagtatanong lang. Sino ba ang gumastos para sa mga napaka-mahal na expenses ng mga politicians na yan?

Thursday, January 26, 2006


from the Detroit Free Press:

Google is criticized for censoring sites

January 26, 2006

SHANGHAI, China -- Google Inc. launched a search engine Wednesday in China that censors material about human rights, Tibet and other topics sensitive to the government -- defending the move as a trade-off that grants users in China greater access to other information.

Within minutes of the launch of the new site -- which bears China's Web suffix, ".cn" -- searches for the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement showed that scores of sites were omitted and users were directed to articles condemning the group posted on Chinese government Web sites.

Searches for other sensitive subjects such as the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader, Taiwan independence and terms such as "democracy" and "human rights" yielded similar results.

Try searching "amnesty international china", "tibet", "tiananmen square massacre", "freedom", "democracy", "falun gong", and "human rights" in ordinary Google.com and with Google.cn

UPDATE: Damn, ang baba ng ranking ng blog ko sa google china if i type the search words "philippine politics" (without the quotes). Sa regular google, top ten yung Philippine Politics 04.

Bakit China, BAKEET??? O sige na, I will stop talking about democracy, freedom, fighting corruption, censorship, and clean elections, OKIE?.

UPDATE: More on Google China's censorship from Rebecca Mckinnon.

Major roundup here.

UPDATE: Bryan Preston has done his own testing on Google.cn with interesting (and not exactly surprising) results.

How Garci pulled his disappearing act

Article here.

Of course, Garci denies fleeing the country for 5 months to nung simulang sumabog ang GLORIAGATE scandal.

He can rig elections, lie and get away with it, because just like agri fund scam artist Joc joc Bolante and National Forger Ricardo Manapat, this guy will remain an "untouchable" as long as ARroyo is in power.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

True electoral reforms will only happen once Arroyo is gone

If I were to run, it will require a major political effort on my part. But since I’m among the principal figures in the divisive national events for the last two or three years, my political efforts can only result in never-ending divisiveness.

On the other hand, relieved of the burden of politics, I can devote the last year and half of my administration to the following:

First, strengthening economy; to create more jobs and to encourage business activities that is unhampered by corruption and red tape in government.

Second, healing the deep divisions within our society.

Third, working for clean and honest elections in 2004.

- Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Dec. 30, 2002

Back in December, Joker Arroyo called for the resignation of COMELEC officials, but it's not because of the GLORIAGATE election fraud scandal.

It's over the COMELEC's anomalous handling of it's election modernization program.

Joker ARroyo's Senate Blue Ribbon committee, where he is chairman, is not interested in investigating the election scandal or the wiretapping cases on ISAFP. The guy in fact has called for ending the GLORIAGATE probe.

The Black and White Movement has picked up Joker's recommendation and is now asking for the COMELEC commissioners resignation:

A Truth Forum on ELECTORAL REFORM sponsored by

The Black & White Movement

On January 13, 2004, the Supreme Court released its decision nullifying the contract signed by the COMELEC with Mega Pacific eSolutions, Inc., directing the Office of the Solicitor-General to exert all efforts to recover the money and the Ombudsman to “determine the criminal liability, if any, of the public officials (and conspiring private individuals, if any)” involved in the subject contract.

The Supreme Court decision is now two years old, yet nothing much has happened. The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has released Report No. 44 which recommends the resignation of the commissioners. The report further suggests that should the commissioners not resign, they can nonetheless be charged criminally by the Ombudsman.

Time is running out. If we want clean and credible elections and ultimately automate the process, then the COMELEC commissioners must resign. For as long as the present Commissioners remain, there is no hope for credible elections.

The Ombudsman must release their report and must elevate the case to the Sandiganbayan. NOW!

The Black and White Movement means well, but their reason for calling the COMELEC commissioners' resignation is insufficient, IMO. Walang serious na electoral reform na mangyayari if guys like Joker refuse to deal with the bigger issue of election rigging during the 2004 elections.

And by just focusing on the failed handling of the election modernization program, they're letting Arroyo and her commissioners off the hook on COMELEC's role in the massive dagdag bawas operations.

And we will not learn our lesson kasi kung akala lang natin na by using the automated machines, ayos na tayo, aba eh nagkakamali kayo diyan. Pwede ring dayain ang election using the counting machines kung gugustuhin talaga ng administration. Garbage in, garbage out.

Or kung ipapag-resign lang natin ang mga COMELEC commissioners without getting to the bottom of the GLORIAGATE operations--who were the COMELEC officials involved from top to bottom, how did they get away with it, who from the admin assisted the rogue COMELEC officials in rigging the elections--then the Arroyo admin will just appoint new partisan COMELEC officials who supports using the Automated Counting Machines, then Arroyo will call that "reform".

Isa-sakripisyo lang ni Arroyo yung mga commissioners niya at papalitan ng mga bagong Garcillano, Abalos at Barcelona.

But I guess this is what Joker wants. Suggesting cosmetic electoral reforms to get Arroyo off the hook, while refusing to go after all the COMELEC crooks and administration officials involved in the election rigging scandal.

Nice one Joker, but not so fast.

The only way really to have serious reforms in COMELEC is to boot out Arroyo and her COMELEC commissioners, and all those lower-ranking COMELEC officials involved in the GLORIAGATE operations.

Conrad on Jovito Salonga

Sure, I've had my disagreements with Salonga in the past concerning this CURRENT administration, but I think one thing all of us will agree on is that the guy is honest. And clean, as in not tainted by corruption.

Read the de Quiros tribute article on Salonga here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Yung ninakaw na pera, ninakaw ulit?

Paano at sino ang umuubos ng stolen Marcos wealth na na-recover ng gobyerno?

Kobe Bryant for MVP?

Porket naka score lang siya ng 81 pts? Etong si Steve Kerr gusto nang sumali sa Kobe for MVP bandwagon.

More on Kobe's historic night from Dan Wetzel.

Two blog etiquette questions

From Mickey Kaus:

Sources protecting their reporters: Cathy Seipp deals with two newfangled bloggy etiquette questions: 1) Do you have to refrain from blogging about it when an MSM reporter (or anyone, for that matter) calls you to research a story? 2) Do you have to honor unilateral demands for confidentiality in emails from newsworthy figures like MSM reporters?

For some of the answers, click on the Kaus link and read the whole thing.

New Tribune Columnist: Ronald Roy

I don't know much about this guy, but here's his first article for the Trib.

Trapos bask in glory of Manny Pacquiao's victory

Can anything be more pathetic?

More from de Quiros.

Some people are worried na Manny Pacquiao might allow himself to be used as an Arroyo propaganda tool. Well, the guys a grown-ass man, and he can certainly do whatever he wants.

But it would be extremely disapointing if he chooses that path, and I will lose my respect for the guy.

UPDATE: Ernie Maceda lists down the names of the politicians who went to the Pacquiao-Morales match:

Atienza went. In his post-victory interviews, champion Manny Pacquiao acknowledged the presence of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, my “compadre” Rep. Mikey Arroyo, Sen. Lito Lapid, Representatives Monico Puentevella, Boy Nograles and Baby Asistio, former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson, Rizal Gov. Ito Yñares and Mayor Joselito Atienza. Yes, we stand corrected, Mayor Atienza was there with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando and 11 other Metro Manila mayors who stayed at the 5-star Mirage Hotel.

And with Mike and Mikey Arroyo there, Pagcor Chairman Ephraim Genuino was there picking up the tab.

Yes, they were all deliriously happy. They won thousands of dollars in bets causing the change of odds in Manny Pacquiao’s favor. The Arroyos and Chavit were said to have won at least $500,000. They were last seen giving balatos to officials and newsmen.

Read this Tribune Editorial too.

CORRECTION: Atienza was not part of the junket according to the mayor's office:

Not in Vegas. The office of Mayor Lito Atienza called to say that contrary to the impression created by Manny Pacquiao’s mention of his name at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Mayor Atienza was in Manila and watched at an SM theatre.

UPDATE: Why the FAT MAN was booed.

It was a universal reaction, wherever the fight was shown – the SM Mall cinemas from Davao to Baguio, the Leyenda Hotel in the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, hotel lobbies all over Metro Manila and the country (even where the audience was exclusively foreigners). When the First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and Governor Chavit Singson climbed into the ring to congratulate Manny Pacquiao on his knockout of Mexican Erik Morales, the audience gave a loud boo.

Why this reaction?

Mayor JV Ejercito explains: "I join the nation in hailing the victory of Pacquiao in Las Vegas as a demonstration of the Filipinos’ physical prowess and self-discipline, but I bewail the insensitivity and cheap gimmickry of the Arroyo administration in exploiting the fight for publicity and in spending millions of dollars for their cronies who attended the fight while millions of our countrymen starve."

JV’s is a politician’s explanation. I believe that the reaction is much more guttural than that. The reaction to the triumph was universal because it was a victory for the country and for the Filipino masses. When Arroyo and Chavit went up the ring, the audience reacted the way it did because it seemed that even that momentary jubilation was being stolen by the Gloria administration for themselves, again leaving nothing for the Filipino masa. They have stolen everything; now, they are stealing even this momentary joy for themselves.

And Read this from JB Baylon.

Monday, January 23, 2006

"Perpetual Campaign"

What is this "perpetual campaign" by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo anyway? Read this PDI editorial first.

Then read this latest from Neal Cruz.

This too from Conrad.

Answering MLQ3

Linawin muna natin ito para wala nang gulo.

Sabi ni MLQ3 na gusto raw ng oppostion ng coup para may military junta or ma-install ulit si Erap sa kapangyarihan.

But I think he's wrong.

Opposition favors resignation, snap polls

By Gerry Baldo


Rather than staging a coup as a means to oust President Arroyo, the political opposition prefers to have the resignation of Mrs. Arroyo and her vice president, Noli de Castro, to pave the way for snap elections, with the Senate President taking over for a limited period of 60 days within which fresh elections for the two top posts will be scheduled by Congress.

This would be the peaceful way out of the current political crisis that has been fueled by the alleged illegitimate presidency of Mrs. Arroyo, owing to widespread public judgment of her having cheated at the polls in 2004, as caught in the wiretapped conversations between her and Commission on Elections Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, where the poll rigging operations were discussed.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and former Sen. Vicente Sotto III, in separate statements, yesterday pointed out that a snap election would be a better option now for Mrs. Arroyo in the face of an alleged brewing coup by the military.


Eto pa.

Kung si House minority leader Francis "Chiz" Escudero naman ang tatanungin, wala itong balak na basta na lamang palitan ng oposisyon si Arroyo sa poder kapag natanggal na ang pangulo.

Ayon kay Escudero, mas pabor ito na magkaroon ng snap election kapag natanggal si Arroyo upang magkaroon ng partisipasyon ang taumbayan na pumili ng panibagong leader.

"Mas magandang magkaroon ng snap election agad para magkaroon ng bagong leader," ani Escudero.

Sabi pa ni MLQ3:

and what we should know, because if you are going to go down the path of wanting the soldiers to solve things, you'd better know what you're getting into.

Gusto ko lang linawin ang isang bagay, manuel--I'm not in favor of any military junta, but i'm in favor of removing GMA via the so called "constructive resignation".

I'm also not in favor of installing erap back to power, if that's what you are thinking. Erap is sooooo five years ago. I want to move on na rin from Erap. Sure, there are some erap supporters like Herman Tiu Laurel who want to install erap back as president, but they're a fringe minority. A significant majority of the opposition and those who are against ARroyo (I still count you as one of them) favor new elections to replace the fake one. I myself have been pushing for Snap elections w/out Arroyo since June of last year pa.

And once she's out, hindi lang yung mga COMELEC commissioners ang magre-resign, pero PATI na rin yung mga lower ranking COMELEC officials na involved sa GLORIAGATE scandal (hindi ito kasali sa petition nyo to reform the COMELEC, IIRC, which is a one of it's BIG pagkukulangs, IMO... I will deal with that later in a future post).

Kapag maayos na ulit ang COMELEC, then we will have new elections to elect a legit president. But no junta for me, MLQ3. And I don't want to see erap back as president either... LOL.

re: wanting the soldiers to solve things for us

I don't want the soldiers "to solve" the GLORIAGATE crisis for us. And I don't want to see them take the PRIMARY role in ousting GMA.

But do I want them involved in future "people power" moves against Arroyo? DEFINITELY.

I want them to play a SUPPORT role in ousting a corrupt and illegitimate president like they did in Edsa 1986 (where sila ang nauna at nag-spark ng edsa revolt) or in Edsa Dos (where kumalas sila kay erap after medyo malaki na ang mga anti-erap crowd sa edsa noong 2001).

And yes, dapat tayong mag-ingat sa mga "self-coup" na yan, since the people around arroyo and the people surrounding the marcoses then think alike. we know Arroyo's people and supporters are ruthless and cold blooded. And it doesn't hurt arroyo na she is already close friends with imelda, so maraming tips na maibibigay si imelda marcos kay GMA on "coup me" tactics.

"you'd better know what you're getting into."

hahahaha, thanks for your concern Manuel... but i'll be taking some tips from Mike ARroyo on how to form a military "strike force". ;)

MORE: ang comment ko sa latest post niya.

In May, 2001, Estrada loyalists and their allies capitalized on a public outpouring of sympathy for Estrada by calling for People Power, but it seems their objectives were muddled: was it to spring Estrada out of jail, or simply to whip up popular support for the elections?

Heh. "whip up popular support for elections?" I don't recall anybody from Edsa Tres calling for "snap elections". What all those who participated in Edsa Tres wanted then was to remove Arroyo and install Erap back to power.

And I don't know if this is a deliberte attempt by MLQ3 to plant the seeds of doubt among his readers on the intentions of those currently opposed to Arroyo. Like, totoo ba talaga yung sinasabi nila (like me and Conrad de Quiros, and the opposition) ngayon na gusto nila ng "snap elections"? O kunwari lang yan para maibalik nila ang kanilang idolo na si ERap Estrada sa Malacanang?

Well Manuel?

The military, for one, were not about to reverse themselves so soon after abandoning Estrada. But neither were they prepared for an uprising that went beyond the past, well-organized demonstrations. Either from ambivalence or a lack of familiarity with handling People Power, the Estrada group kept stoking the rage of the protesters while holding back from unleashing them; this gave the government enough time, for example, to convince the Iglesia ni Cristo (standing in for the Catholic Church in this particular model for People Power) to withdraw its support and cut off coverage.

The admin was able to "convince" the INC to cease their coverage by sending in the APCs to their TV stations. LOL.

Notice na most of the pro-Arroyo mainstream media at that time gave minimal coverage to Edsa Tres, unlike Edsa dos a few months ago, even thuogh mas malaki (4 times larger?) ang crowd sa Edsa Tres compared sa Edsa Dos.

What could have happened if the protesters were better led, and more of an effort made to try to convince the military to defect? Or was that prospect closed off the moment Edsa Tres turned violent?

I disagree. After Edsa Dos, maraming in-appoint ni Arroyo ang mga loyalist generals at police officials na sumali sa Edsa dos sa mga importanteng posisyon, pati na sa cabinet niya, so mahirap kumalas ang militar sa opposition dahil puro mga arroyo loyalists ang nasa matataas na posisyon.

Edsa Tres went on for 5 to six days, IIRC, at hinintay ng mga anti-Arroyo opposition na kumalas ang militar kay Arroyo, pero loyal talaga eh.

Besides, why would the military give back it's support to erap after just removing him from power, when conventional wisdom at that time states that GMA was a "good leader" aka edsa dos' "the chosen one", while is Erap bad, immoral, corrupt, a crook etc etc... so of course most of the soldiers were reluctant to join the erap forces back in May 2001. I guess nobody knew the REAL Arroyo then, huh--me, the opposition, you, and everybody who supported Edsa Dos.

Or was that prospect closed off the moment Edsa Tres turned violent?

Edsa one could have turned violent, like Tiananmen. Edsa Dos could have turned violent too. I guess pagdating sa pag-involve ng military, mas magaling ang civil society sa ganitong bagay (may PLAN A, Plan B, at backup "strike force" pa all over the country when Edsa dos started, I guess the military withdrawal was "spontaneous" and "unplanned" too, huh?)

From MLQ3 commenter CVJ:

Apologies in advance, but…will everyone who favors a bloody revolution to achieve that hoped for ‘cathartic effect’ please step forward and offer themselves up and/or their own families as blood offering so we can get this meme over and done with? I can’t fathom why otherwise normal people, especially civilians could be so glib about life and death matters - as if a single human life is worth another’s psychological change in disposition.

Eat this, cvj.

I'm not for a coup/junta. I'm not for installing erap back to power. BUT I'm against Arroyo. And I'm for people power of the Edsa 1986 kind to oust the fake president.

And I take Mike defensor's warning very seriously, that's why I wrote this post here, because I want to warn those who oppose arroyo and give them every opportunity to walk away from joining another people power vs arroyo. FOLKS, WE ARE NOT DEALING WITH NICE PEOPLE HERE!!! Arroyo's thugs are ruthless and will use extreme violence to protect the fake president. Yes, it is VERY LIKELY that the next people power could turn into ANOTHER TIANANMEN!!!

And yes, Arroyo has deployed snipers in the past during a peaceful Anti-Arroyo rallies in July 25, 2005. So if they want to cause trouble, they'd just start shooting the marchers from afar one at a time to cause panic and a stampede.

Me, I'm an idiot LOL (or "reckless" -- Bunye's word). I'll join anti-Arroyo rallies even though the risks involved in joining an anti-administration protest rally in the Philippines is much greater than 6-8 years ago. If there's a people power call to oust ARroyo, if I'm physically able, I'm there, even if I know there's the possibility of TIANAMEN.

UPDATE: I posted this on PEX:

besides, all the coup talk is a straw man argument anyways. i don't know of anybody who's for a coup/military junta except for those from the admin who are fanning this kind of talk and the possibility of a "self-coup" or "coup-me" ala what marcos did in the early 70s. remember the "attack" on juan ponce enrile's car? arroyo could do something similar to that too and blame the opposition for it.

OTOH, a significant majority of those who are opposed to arroyo wants her "constructive resignation", then new elections.

One of the reasons kung bakit may possibilidad na magka-coup ay dahil pinipigilan ni Arroyo ang karapatan ng tao na gumawa ng GMA-resign rallies sa kalsada via "no permit, no rally" at CPR. You try to crush dissent by banning rallies, you push some to the edge.

At least nung panahon ni erap, nakakapag anti-admin rally ka sa edsa, mendiola at makati no? tsk tsk...

UPDATE: MLQ3 comments

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Ang hirap ma access yung blog ni Ellen Tordesillas ngayon

I hope she's not experiencing a denial-of-service attack.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

If you can tolerate a bigger crook like GMA...

then you might as well free Erap na rin.

The fact that the bigger cheating crook is free while the other one is not is becoming more and more of a joke each day.

All the people who claimed they want to remove erap because "he's a criminal" and is corrupt while at the same time defending Arroyo to death are a bunch of hypocrites and liars.

So please, stop lecturing us about Marcos's corruption or Erap's corruption, because you're not really serious about these issues.

You want us to "move on" from GMA? Good. Let's "move on" na rin from Erap and free him.

Garcillano? "Move on" na no?!? Marcos? let Imelda bury her dead husband's rotting corpse sa Libingan ng mga Bayani para makapag-"move on" na rin sila. LOL.

I take Mike Defensor's warning very seriously

Any weakness on the part of the government in responding to such tests of resolve could only encourage further violent challenges. In these extraordinary times of political turmoil, the primordial duty of the government is to defend the state and maintain public order. It cannot be squeamish over its methods of response. The message is clear: Some heads will be bashed and some will be killed if they mount violent action to express grievances outside of the legal process.

-- Ambassador Amando Doronila Nov. 13, 2003, after the violent dispersal of a demonstration in Makati protesting the hometown decision of Arroyo's Supreme Court

"You know, against the advice of my legal counsel, I followed your recommendation to admit and apologize. Now I’m getting all the flak and I’m constrained to use muscle.

-- Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

And today from the Malaya:

INCOMING presidential chief of staff Michael Defensor yesterday warned that any attempt to oust President Arroyo would turn violent, bloody and more damaging to the country.

Defensor said the four Oakwood mutineers who escaped from detention in Fort Bonifacio Tuesday night probably did not understand the meaning of resorting to a "revolution." He said they should think twice before asking the people to join them or any group out to overthrow the government.

Army Capt. Nathaniel Rabonza, and 1Lts. Lawrence San Juan, Sonny Sarmiento and Patricio Bumidang on Thursday vowed to topple what they said was the illegitimate administration of President Arroyo. They said they now make up a "new" Armed Forces that is growing stronger everyday.

Defensor said an uprising would not lead to a peaceful withdrawal of military support from the president as what happened in 1986 during Edsa 1 and 2001 during Edsa 2.

Any administration that is capable of dispersing any peaceful anti-administration rallies with excessive violence (Calibrated Pre-emptive Response) is capable of bloodshed.

This coming from a guy (Mike Defensor) who was directly part of ARroyo's attempts to silence a witness by kidnapping.

If Defensor is capable of that, he is CAPABLE OF ANYTHING.

Ito ang post ko noong Oct. 14, 2005:

And IIRC, mas malaki ang size ng Edsa Tres crowd kaysa Edsa Dos, and the potential for another Edsa is always there. No wonder medyo insecure ang admin na ito, that they have to resort to "Calibrated Preemptive Response" (with emphasis on "Pre-emptive") to nip any potential uprising in the bud.

Having said that though, I fear na magiging madugo ang susunod na "Edsa." More Tiananmen (China) and less "Orange Revolution" (Ukraine). It's Arroyo's military loyalists and the remaining few pro-GMA members of Civil Society vs. the People. And the longer she stays in power, the worse it will become for our country.

I believe this admin is capable of Tiananmen...

UPDATE: I kid you not when I say na napaka-ruthless at ambisyoso ng mga nakapaligid kay Arroyo. Take Mike Arroyo, for example. Here are some of my favorite quotes from an old interview he did about Edsa Dos that he'd rather us forget:

"Our group there was a back-up strike force. In fact, it was our group that won over to our side the PNP first. If Panfilo Lacson had resisted, he and his men would have been repelled: there would have been bloodshed, but not on EDSA. In every place where Erap loyalists had a force, we had a counter-force to face it, with orders to shoot. And not only in Metro Manila. Carillo had already been sent to the provinces; and in Nueva Ecija, for instance, we had Rabosa. This was a fight to the finish. That's why those five days that Erap was demanding were so important. He was counting on counter-coups and baliktaran.

and this...

"I was negotiating with Pardo up to three o'clock in the morning: niloloko lang pala kami. But I told him point-blank: "If by six o'clock this morning you haven't given us the resignation letter, we will storm the gates of Malacañang!'

and this...

"There was a time honestly, when I felt I erred in advising her to resign from the Cabinet. The masa in Manila apparently wanted her to stick it out with Erap. And when she started attacking him, everything fell on us - grabe!- everything! But I told myself: it's now or never; if we lose here we're totally destroyed and it's goodbye to her political career - but if we win here, she becomes President! So we really fought.

And this...

"And when EDSA happened, we texted everybody to go running there. EDSA, EDSA: everybody converge on EDSA! Panalo kung panalo. Patay kung patay! Jinggoy had already announced what they would do to us if they won."


"Chavit Singson had Plan B involving elements of the military to strike the first blow. They would kindle the spark by withdrawing from the government, and one by one others would follow: Class '71 would also withdraw, then Class '72, and so forth. But General de Villa warned that the timing had to be precise because one untimely move against the government and the military would automatically defend it. The move must be made at what De Villa called a 'defining moment.'

"You see, General De Villa had his Plan A, which was better than ours, because his was focused on the Chief of Staff and the Service Commanders. At past one o'clock p.m. January 20, Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes defected but we knew that already the night before, when negotiations had lasted until the small hours. By past 2 a.m. we knew Reyes had been convinced to join. His only condition was: Show us a million people on EDSA so it will b easier to bring in the service commanders.

and finally, this...

"But the threat to march to Malacañang was for real. And so was the danger of bloodshed. I wasn't telling Gloria everything: I didn't want her alarmed. So she didn't know about the orders to shoot."

Tarantado ka talaga, Mike.

ISAFP wiretapping on opposition bared

The camps of FPJ and Lacson were also wiretapped. From the Malaya:

PHONE conversations of political leaders and private persons identified with two rivals of President Arroyo in the May 2004 presidential elections were bugged by a unit of the Intelligence Service of the AFP.

The Isafp, it was learned during a hearing yesterday of the Senate committee on national defense and security, keeps in its "Blue Room" a highly-technical wiretapping equipment called the Cellular Interceptor-GSM Digital that is "available to government agencies only."

The equipment, according to a brochure provided by Sen. Sergio Osmeña III to committee chairman Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, costs $420,000 or about P25 million.

Osmeña obtained the brochure from the website of the "Spy World" in the Internet.

"Children" recordings of the "mother of all tapes," which were played during the hearing, showed that the office phones of former Sen. Gregorio Honasan and a mobile phone of Maj. Gen. (ret.) Rodolfo Canieso were tapped during the campaign period between January and June 2004.

The "children" recordings consisted of two audiotapes provided to the Biazon panel by Samuel Ong, former NBI deputy director for intelligence.

Ong claims he has in his possession the original copy of the "mother of all tapes" containing the bugged conversations between President Arroyo and former Elections Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.

Honasan was the head of the vote security group of the late Fernando Poe, Arroyo’s closest rival in the elections. Canieso, former chief of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, is a member of the Soldiers for Peace and Progress Movement which helped protect the votes of Sen. Panfilo Lacson in the 2004 elections.

Honasan was still a senator when his office phones were bugged.

And more here about an emissary sent by the Palace to stop the investigation.

Malacañang sent a presidential emissary to Sen. Rodolfo Biazon with a plea for him to cancel the Senate investigation of the wiretapping activities that also mentioned the names of several military and police generals who were said to have engaged in rigging the polls to favor of President Arroyo.

There was apparently reason for the President to worry, as the probe revealed that not was the President and Commander-in-Chief tapped illegally, but that the whole wiretapping operations was done by the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp) who had spied on several opposition activities by tapping their telephones, mobile and landline.

Marieta Santos, lover of T/S Vidal Doble, who had earlier admitted that he handed the “Hello Garci” tapes to former National Bureau of Investigation Deputy chief Samuel Ong, identified several Isafp MIG agents through their voices in the tapes, as annotators.

Malacañang tried to prevent the probe from continuing, but Biazon, committee chairman, stood his ground and refused to blink.

It was established in yesterday’s Senate hearing that it was the Isafp, under orders of someone higher than their military chiefs ordered the illegal wiretapping activities. Although names were not mentioned, it was made evident that the order, illegal as it is, could only have come from the top chief — the President and commander in chief.

It was also established that as early as Jan. 2004, the wiretapping covered even the camps of then two rivals of Mrs. Arroyo in the presidential race: Sen. Panfilo Lacson and the late Fernando Poe Jr.

Biazon, when contacted by the Tribune, confirmed the information of the Palace emissary sent to seek him out but refused to elaborate on details such as the identity of the Malacañang representative.

Sources said the “emissary” sought an audience with the senator, who ran and won under the banner of the administration coalition party during the 2004 polls, in Senate office as he had been quoted announcing that six witnesses stand to testify in the resumption of the probe on the so-called “Garci tapes.”

Sources, however, are not privy as to what was on offer or how the offer was made, but said Biazon was “fuming mad” over such a brazen Palace ploy to stop him from doing his mandated duty, He was quoted as saying no amount of pressure from Malacañang could stop him from investigating the matter.

“They can send as many emissaries as they want but I will not be stopped (from getting to the bottom of the case),” sources quoted the senator as supposedly saying.

Next: Biazon wants to know who ordered ISAFP to do the wiretapping.

AFTER the Senate committee on national defense and security established that military intelligence agents bugged phone conversations of opposition political leaders during the 2004 elections, its next job is to identify who authorized the wiretapping.

Committee chairman Sen. Rodolfo Biazon yesterday said he is planning to go to the courts to compel top military officials to answer questions on the recordings.

"There lies the big question and we will continue to pursue the answer or answers to this specific question: Who authorized the wiretapping operations that was mounted against the opposition during the election of 2004?" he said in a press briefing.

The committee, which is investigating the "Hello Garci" election fraud scandal, on Thursday concluded that a core group of the Intelligence Service of the AFP bugged the phone conversations not only between President Arroyo and former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano but also political leaders allied with the late Fernando Poe Jr. and Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who both ran against President Arroyo in 2004.

Biazon said it was possible that Gen. (ret.) Narciso Abaya, AFP chief during the election period, was "bypassed" when the wiretapping was carried out.

Biazon said only two authorities could bypass the AFP chief of staff, and these are the defense secretary (then Eduardo Ermita, now executive secretary) and the commander in chief, who is President Arroyo.

Me, I want to know naman if ISAFP is still spying/wiretapping on opposition and administration officials (and members of the media) to this day.

(additional question: bakit tahimik lang si Joker Arroyo sa isyung ito? usually, the guy gets all worked up over this kind of issue... kesyo "martial law" tactic raw yan at invasion of privacy yan.


This smells like Watergate:

Senators are out to make the Armed Forces of the Philippines answer charges on the apparent massive wiretapping operations at the height of 2004 elections by the Intelligence Service of the AFP (Isafp) even if they would have to haul the intelligence unit to court just so it could be directed to testify before the Senate.

Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, chairman of the committee on national defense and security looking into the wiretapping of President Arroyo, yesterday said he is seriously considering taking the issue to court to enable the Senate to compel the Isafp officials’ appearance in the ongoing hearing.

“We will determine that later. This is still a thought that is now crystallizing in my mind because that could be the last resort, really. I learned from the Watergate incident because they went to court,” he added.

“I’m considering this option ...the committee going to court to compel the appearance of those personalities to testify before the hearing, much like what was done in the Watergate issue when the United States’ Senate compelled the appearance of that tape that led to the threat of impeachment by the US Senate against then US President Richard Nixon,” Biazon stressed.

Friday, January 20, 2006

What? 5th anniversary ng Edsa Dos ngayon???

They used to celebrate Edsa Dos in Malacanang. Strangely this year, tahimik sila pati yung media nila re this.

Pictures of Edsa Dos.

A lot of people who supported edsa dos 5 years ago, have changed their views lately. Pero wag mo raw silang tawagin na hypokrito.

Me, I supported Edsa One, but not Two.

UPDATE: Sabi ni MLQ3:

Edsa Tres had no leaders on the front lines, and no clergy to counsel peaceful protest. It became an attack on the Bastille that failed.

Edsa tres had no military support too, that's why it failed.

But that being the case, our fate will be decided in only one of two ways: a coup, or charter change. In both cases, most civilians will be on the sidelines as things play out.

Coup, huh? hindi na "people power" ang tawag, unlike edsa one and two? I guess bawal nang gamitin ang Edsa TM.


-- Defending Edsa Dos (posted: August 20, 2005)

UPDATE: UPDATE: From Randy David:

IT is amazing how People Power, a form of non-violent political action that Filipinos accidentally developed in their struggle against a dictatorship, has suddenly become an embarrassment to its inventors. Rather than draw strength and renewed commitment from its remembrance, those who mounted it, only feel disgust now. Its prime beneficiaries—those who came to power on its wings—fear it above all. Instead of heroism, they associate it with recklessness. Instead of the sacrifice, they only see the bid for power. Unable to praise it, they denigrate it. Such is the tragedy of people power.

A group of activists from Akbayan and Laban ng Masa dutifully showed up the other day at the People Power Monument, with placards bearing the single message: "Spirit of Edsa betrayed by Gloria." Implicit in that note at least is a continuing belief in some Edsa spirit, however we may understand it. In contrast, Malacanang would rather forget all about Edsa. Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye says "the people are losing faith in people power," dismissing it as "reckless gambles at power." How perspectives shift with time!


More from Ellen Tordesillas. I recall Ellen writing a best-selling book detailing Erap's excesses, so Ellen's not exactly an Erap supporter here (Just like Arroyo-critics JB Baylon and Conrad De Quiros).

But compared to Erap, I guess Arroyo's worse.

(I myself was VERY anti-Erap before and did not vote for him in the 1998 elections, but I found out later na mas malala at hypocritical pa pala yung mga kaaway niya. "Sugal, alak, babae"? Puh-lease. So yung galit ko kay erap, lumipat sa kaaway niya--which is really nakakagulat because I never liked erap from the beginning anyways.)

And Mike Arroyo remembers Edsa Dos.

Last Friday was the fifth anniversary of Edsa Dos that installed Arroyo in Malacañang without having been elected to the position. Not a word from Malacañang extolling the spirit of Edsa Dos as was their practice the last four years.

Hah, I agree. Nung Jan. 20, 2005, Malacanang released a press statement in observance of Edsa Dos 4th anniversary, where Arroyo, in a radio interview, said Edsa Dos' message was about "fighting graft which has also already corrupted our culture."

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said today’s observance of the 4th EDSA Dos anniversary is an opportune time for Filipinos to talk about how the country fared economically since she took over the national leadership four years ago.

EDSA Dos refers to that fateful day on January 20, 2001 when then President Joseph Estrada left Malacanang in response to the Filipinos’ demands for his resignation on account of his alleged involvement in massive graft and economic plunder.

Estrada was then on impeachment trial by the Senate. The day before, his majority Senate allies blocked the opening of the Jose Velarde bank documents that first person witness Clarissa Ocampo said were opened and personally signed by him in her presence.

In an interview over radio station DZEC, Mrs. Arroyo said EDSA Dos’ message then and now remains basically the same: "We have to fight graft which has also already corrupted our culture" and which has made the country an economic laggard for decades now.


More from Ellen:

Since Arroyo wants to abolish People Power with her Preemptive Calibrated Response, we would like to remind her how she extolled it on Jan. 20, 2001 at the Edsa Shrine when she took her oath before then Chief Justice Hilario Davide. Her words:

“..I pray that we will all be one – one in our priorities, one in our values and commitments, and one because of Edsa 2001.

“People Power and the ‘oneness’ of will and vision have made a new beginning possible.

“As we break from the past in our quest for a new Philippines, the unity, the Filipino’s sense of history, and his unshakeable faith in the Almighty that prevailed in EDSA ’86 and EDSA 2001 will continue to guide and inspire us.

“I am certain that Filipinos of unborn generations will look back with pride to EDSA 2001, just as we look back with pride to Mactan, the Katipunan and other revolts, Bataan and Corregidor, and EDSA ’86.

“People Power has dramatized the Filipino’s capacity for greatness.

“People of People Power, I ask for your support and prayers. Together, we will light the healing and cleaning flame.”

The whole speech is posted in Bunye’s website: www.news.ops.gov.ph

The speech can also be accessed here.

UPDATE: Tignan nyo yung nakalagay ngayon sa website ni Bunye dated Jan 20, 2006. Heh.

The Liberal films for 2005


Patricio Bumidang OR Bumindang?

I'm not getting much info on him bago siya tumakas.

Eight VAT charges in electric bill

From PDI email writer PABLO CALICANTO:

I JUST received my billing from Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) for Dec. 15, 2005, and counted eight value-added tax (VAT) billings:

VAT for general charge, VAT for trans charge, VAT for SL charge (whatever that is!), VAT Power Act Rdn, VAT for Dist & Subs (again, whatever that is), VAT Sales, VAT zero rated, VAT Exempt.

Vhat about VAT for farting?

From a 70-year-old retiree getting P2,000 from the Social Security System, enough to pay his Meralco billings and its VATs.

And that folks, is why we have the second most expensive electricity in Asia, behind Japan (o baka naunahan na rin natin ang Japan ngayon dahil sa EVAT na yan ni ARroyo).

Blast from the Past

Back in Sept. 14, 2005

Court grants freedom to 26 Oakwood mutineers

STATE lawyers failed to pin own 26 Magdalo soldiers who joined the July 2003 mutiny at the Oakwood Premier apartments in Makati City so that the Court of Appeals (CA) ordered the release of the soldiers upon posting bail of P100,000.

In a nine-paged decision penned by Associate Justice Juan Enriquez Jr. of the CA's Seventh Division, the appellate court dismissed the petition for temporary restraining order (TRO) filed by government against the junior officers who joined the Oakwood siege.

The CA affirmed the ruling of Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Oscar Pimentel, who dismissed the coup d' etat case against the 26 accused but retained the detention of the three leaders in his orders last July 8, 2004 and October 26, 2004, namely Captain Gerardo Gambala, Captain Milo Maestrocampo and Lieutenant Senior Grade (LTSG) Antonio Trillanes IV.

Gambala, Maestrocampo and Trillanes have been denied bail after the court found strong evidence of guilt for the crime against them.

In dismissing the petition, the CA cited Section 7 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, which states "capital offense, or offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, is not bailable."

It further cited that under Article 135 of the Revised Penal Code, any person in government service who participates or executes directions or commands of others in undertaking a coup d`etat shall suffer the penalty of reclusion temporal, unlike their leaders who shall have the higher penalty of reclusion perpetua.

The CA maintained that the case for coup d`etat did not charge the respondents with leading the uprising, rather that they are merely participating or executing directions and commands of leaders.

It further ruled that the no-bail recommendation of government prosecutors does not constitute a strong evidence of guilt against the soldiers.

Since they are charged with felony, the soldiers were tried before a civilian court but this however does not remove any pending cases against them before a military court.

"It is settled that conspiracy must be proven as convincingly as the criminal act itself. Like any element of the offense charged, conspiracy must be established by proof beyond reasonable doubt," the CA said.

Among those who were granted bail were Captain Gary Alejano; LTSG James Layug; LTSG Manuel Cabochan; LTSG Eugene Gonzales; LTSG Andy Torrato; Captain Laurence Somera; Captain Nicanor faeldon; Captain Albert Baloloy; Captain Segundino Orfiano Jr.; Captain Alvin Ebreo; 1st Lieutenant (1LT) Florentino Somera; 1LT Cleo Donga-as; 1LT Sonny sarmiento; 1LT Audie Tocloy; 1LT Von Tayab; 1LT Rex Bolo; 1LT Laurence SanJuan; 1LT Warren Dagupon; 1LT Nathaniel Rabonza; 1LT Jonel Sangalang; 1LT Billy Pascua; 1LT Francisco Acedillo; Second Lieutenant (2LT) Kristoffer Yasay; Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG) Arturo Pascua; Ensign Armand Pontejos; Police Officer 3 Julius Mesa and Police Officer 3 Cesar Gonzales.

On July 27, armed soldiers entered the premises of Oakwood Premiere in Glorietta. After the uprising, they surrendered to government and were charged by the DOJ with coup d` etat.

Later, the charges were withdrawn against 290 soldiers involved in the mutiny, but the Makati court denied bail to their three leaders. (ECV/Sunnex)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Who's in? Who's out?

Who's going... who's not to the biggest and phoniest event of the year.

It's nice to finally hear Garfield aka Coolitsky aka Cathcath's voice

It's here, Moonyeen.

Of course most of you know her as Cathcath, who also used to post under that username in Pinoyexchange.

Before 2001 though, she used to post in this forum. We knew her then as Garfield, Garfield-Moonace, Coolitsky, and Kul1tkodaw. Matagal na siyang hindi pumupunta doon, but then matagal na rin akong hindi pumupunta doon.

Even before, I knew she's a strong anti-Erap guy, kasi corrupt raw at immoral si Mr. Estrada, sabi niya. And I laughed at many of her erap jokes because they were funny at that time.

It's too bad though now that we have another crooked "president" trying to wreck our country with her vote-stealing cronies in the COMELEC and her power-hungry CHA-CHA pushing allies in congress... na MISSING IN ACTION si Garfield this time around. Where's all the talk about fighting corruption, fighting immorality etc etc etch etch...?

Now where's the old GARFIELD-MOONACE we used to love. People loved it when you criticized and made fun of the Marcoses and the Estradas, pero bakit tahimik ka lang sa mga katarantaduhan ni Arroyo? Judging from your recent posts here. I'm not trying to start a fight here, I'm just curious lang...

Didn't you and your civil society friends put ARroyo in power. Where's your sense of responsibility, Garfield/Kulitkodaw/CATHCATH/Coolitsky, to right your mistakes regarding Arroyo?

The CBCP are like that too. They talk about fighting corruption and immorality and indecency, but we all know that kind of TOUGH TALK only applies to people THEY DON'T LIKE.

UPDATE: Btw garfield, you can visit PHNO forum again. Hindi na sila anti-GMA. go ask feling. just like imelda and bongbong has joined hands with arroyo, kumampi na rin yung mga maka-marcos doon kay arroyo. So PHNO is now a pro-arroyo forum.

You'd be at home there.

Arroyo admin to take over MERALCO?

This is scary kung magkatotoo ito. Shades of Marcos all over again.

The last thing we need right now is a power-mad illegitimate ruler taking over vital private industries such as electricity, water, telecoms and media.

Election fraud, Charter change being initiated by crooks and cheaters, sequestration of vital private industries... SOBRA NA TALAGA ITO!

Bakit minamadali ng LAKAS/Arroyo group ang CHA CHA?

JB Baylon asks. Bakit kaya?

Unchecked Powers for future Marcoses

From Neal Cruz:

WITHOUT realizing it, administration congressmen and members of Lakas-CMD party, in pushing for Charter change and a parliamentary form of government, are showing very clearly to the people why we should not change the Constitution to have a parliamentary government.

A parliamentary/unicameral government is run by the political party in power as if it is a dictatorship or a monarchy. There is no system of checks and balances as we now have in a presidential/bicameral government. The members of Parliament are also Cabinet members, and have influence over the Supreme Court and the judiciary. In other words, they can do pretty much what they want and there is nothing the people can do to stop them, except mount a revolution or a coup d'état. If the majority party can do what it is now doing in a bicameral government in rushing headlong into Cha-cha, imagine what it will do in a parliamentary government.

And the CHACHA propenents say na hindi raw bagay ang presidential system sa Pilipinas because of it's checks and balances. It causes "gridlock" raw, they say.

HAW HAW HAW. With the current crop of corrupt politicians we have in Arroyo's ruling majority, changing the constitution to give them more UNCHECKED POWER is the worse thing we can do right now.

The last time we did that, we got Marcos.

Neal Cruz offers a suggestion:

The US Constitution is still the same one that its founding fathers wrote. It has been amended several times, but it has not been changed even once. And America is now the richest and most powerful nation in the world, with a bicameral Congress like we have.

So let's amend our Constitution provision by provision, and the people can vote yes or no for each one. Changing the whole Charter at once mixes the good provisions with the bad ones, and the people have to vote for or against all in the plebiscite. In voting for the good provisions, they are forced to vote also for the bad ones.

And let's have a Cha-cha after the current politicians are out of office.


UDPATE: More on "gridlock"

Gridlock? One congressman after another led by Speaker Jose de Venecia blames the Senate for legislative gridlock or delay in passage of legislation.

This is definitely incorrect. Proof — the budget. Since it received the General Appropriations bill last July, it is still pending in the House up to now, or a lapse of more than six months. After transmission to the Senate, the Senate usually passes it in one month to six weeks. So the delay is in the House, not in the Senate.

What congressmen are really complaining about is the non-passage of local bills by the Senate. But here, the situation is the reality that most of these local bills are just for show, not necessary and without any source of funds.

If not for the Senate, every congressman would like to have a university, a medical center or specialty hospital and a tourism zone in his district. In addition, every congressman wants to have a high school in every big barangay in his district.

In some cases, they want to separate their districts and make it a province. In many cases, they divide municipalities or even barangays, for purely political reasons.

If the Senate allowed 3,000 or so local bills to pass annually, the financial and political implications would be serious, if not disastrous.

In a unicameral parliamentary system, that will happen.

Manong Ernie, kaya nila hindi pa ipinapasa yang 2006 budget na yan ay dahil gusto nila ng Re-enacted budget.

What's so bad about a re-enacted budget? Read this.

More from JB Baylon:

By the way, in debating whether the form of parliament we will have is British or French, the proponents fail to tell us something: that both the British and French parliaments have TWO, and not ONE, chambers. Of course they do not tell us that, because they are dying to have a single house. A single house, you see, is more prone to the control of whoever wishes to control it. So think about it: if, in a bicameral Congress like ours we could not impeach a President, all the more how could we expect members of a unicameral Parliament to impeach one of their own?

Good point.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Joker

LAKAS MEANS STRENGTH. What kind of strength it represents or means to exercise, you saw last Monday. Juan Flavier, a Lakas member who did not attend the Lakas meeting that day, put it this way. "Yabang ng dating, machong macho. Gagawin nila 'yon, sabi nila, even without the Senate. Kaso e, hindi pwede (They came on strong with a macho air. They were going to do it even without the Senate. The problem is, the law doesn't allow it)."

Flavier has got a point. But he forgets that neither GMA (President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) nor Fidel V. Ramos (FVR) nor Jose de Venecia (JDV) nor their ilk has shown herself or himself capable of being deterred by the law. On the contrary, they have repeatedly and consistently shown that they are above the law -- no, that they are the law -- and will use all their lakas to bend the world to their will. The problem is the senators? They will ignore the senators. The problem is the Senate? They will scrap the Senate.

Joker Arroyo is furious. The decision lies with the Senate, he says, not with Lakas. Well, that's what you get for playing a joker. If I recall right, he was the one who said in 2004 that it was better to vote for a corrupt president than an idiotic one because we can remedy corruption constitutionally by impeachment while we cannot remedy idiocy by any means. He did not know GMA. None of them did. There is no constitutional remedy there. The Constitution will be remedied before she is.

Read the whole article.

And that's the problem my friend. Sabi ni Joker we have constitutional remedies to remove a corrupt president.

But what if the corrupt president doesn't want to play along and instead insists that THE CONSTITUTION IS THE PROBLEM, NOT HER, and that the old constitution needs to be removed raw and replaced with a new one?


GMA justifies this by saying there is a pressing need for change. The people are tired of political noise and want to reform the political system. Hence, Charter change. She misses the point completely.

Of course, there is a pressing need for change. But she is wrong about what needs changing. We do not need to change the Charter, we just need to change her.

There is nothing wrong with the Charter, there is everything wrong with her. The Charter is genuine, the President is fake. Changing the Charter presumably because it is defective is like claiming when gold turns to dross at the touch of vinegar that the vinegar is fake, a joke wrongly attributed to the Moro peddler. There is nothing wrong with the vinegar, there is everything wrong with the gold. Change the gold, not the vinegar.

The Charter was made by commissioners who fought a dictatorship and distinguished themselves in various fields for their courage and probity. They crafted a Charter that sought to prevent a dictatorship from ever rising again, suffusing the fundamental law with the spirit of libertarianism and respect for human rights. Today's call for a new Charter is being led by a non-president who hid under the bed while others fought a brewing tyranny, who distinguished herself only by appearing in public with Cory Aquino on one side and Jaime Cardinal Sin on the other. She wants a Charter that will prevent democracy from ever breathing again, assigning the making of it to crooks, hustlers and blackguards who are pleased to call their party "strong."

The public is not tired of "political noise," the public is tired of GMA. And over these past weeks probably of FVR and JDV, too. Look at the surveys. No, just listen to your neighbors. They do not say that the overwhelming majority of Filipinos find the Charter defective, they say the overwhelming majority of Filipinos find their president defective. They do not say that the overwhelming majority of Filipinos want their Charter retired, they say the overwhelming majority want their president removed. They do not say the overwhelming majority of Filipinos want to change their government from presidential to parliamentary, they say the overwhelming majority of Filipinos want to change their government from fake to genuine.

Read the Whole Thing.

How would the CBCP react kung may "people power" attempt kay Arroyo?

The CBCP says na ayaw na raw nilang makialam sa pulitika. They've already participated in the past in 1986 and 2001, by calling for Marcos and Erap's resignation respectively, at sawa na raw sila sa ganito. So I guess ligtas si Arroyo sa Simbahan.

Pero kung nagkaroon ng people's revolt this year, sa tingin nyo, tatahimik lang ba ang simbahan o magbibigay sila ng political statement. Sa tingin ko, makikialam sila, MAKIKIALAM SILA IN FAVOR OF THIS ADMINISTRATION.

Remember when Archbishop Capalla when he was one of the first to approve of CPR. (If that's not political, I don't know what is...) Remember when he was the guy who leaked the ARroyo admin's idea of a "truth commission"? Remember when he gave the thumbs up to the police when they water-cannoned Tito Guingona and company sa Mendiola? Remember when Capalla declared that he will not support Archbishop Oscar Cruz in his anti-Jueteng drive vs. this administration? (pero sinuportahan naman niya ang juetengate laban kay erap. Go figure.)

Just because the CBCP is not calling for Arroyo's resignation-- unlike in the past vs. Marcos and ERap-- doesn't mean na hindi sila nakikialam.

So here's my prediction kung magkaroon ng people power revolt this year vs. this illegitimate administration:

a) there's a 60% chance na the CBCP will make a statement telling people NOT to join the "people power" vs. Arroyo.

b) there's a 35% chance na they will just keep quiet and say nothing.

c) there's a 5% chance na they will call the people to rally against this admin, just like when they called for People power vs. Marcos and Erap. But like I said, it's just 5%.