Thursday, August 31, 2006

You fight a bad idea with a good idea

I think the SNAP! (Say No to a Phony!) proposal by Conrad de Quiros is a brilliant idea to counter Arroyo's Cha Cha Choo Choo. Why did I not think of it before?

I do think we ought to "do battle" with Cha-cha, but I don't think that merely opposing Cha-cha is the way to do it. There is no end of ways to do battle, and I think a purely defensive posture is the least effective of them -- if indeed it is effective at all. As the impeachment bid shows, having the truth on your side means nothing if you are fighting the enemy on his turf. You want to fight back, think offensive. You want to fight back, take the battle to your turf.

My own tack is this: In lieu of just mustering arguments against the Cha-cha and taking it on in various forums, launch your own signature campaign for a movement. The only way to fight a bad idea is through a good idea. My suggestion remains a campaign called: "Snap Gloria." The "Snap" there meaning "Say No to A Phony," and the call being for snap elections. A signature campaign for something like this has several advantages.

First, it will show up the lie in the name "Sigaw ng Bayan," which the people demanding Charter change have seen fit to appropriate. The only real "sigaw ng bayan," or cry of the people, you will hear in this country is for Gloria to go away. You see that in surveys, you hear that in conversations. There is no cry for the presidential system to disappear from the nation's life, but there is a cry for Gloria to disappear from the people's lives. If the Cha-cha people can launch a signature campaign that says the sun revolves around the earth, I don't see why we can't launch a signature campaign that says the earth revolves around the sun. Like I said before, I am confident a campaign to "snap Gloria" will get more signatures in one week than the Cha-cha got in one year. Launch a campaign like this, and you will have more people lining up in your booths than before health centers distributing condoms. Some protections are better than others.

Second, it draws attention to the heart of the matter, something we may not allow this nation to forget. Which is the problem of an illegitimate president, which is the problem of an illegitimate rule. I do think the people who tried to impeach Gloria for a second time made the mistake of enumerating too many issues against her. One would have sufficed: She stole the vote. Everything comes back to that, everything owes to that. A signature campaign to snap Gloria brings that back into focus. And it ranges itself directly against the Cha-cha: The Charter is genuine, the president is fake. Change the usurper, not the Charter. That is the slogan the campaign should carry.

And third, it gives the public something to do. Opposing Cha-cha merely turns the citizens into spectators of a not very genteel sport invented by their "betters." A signature campaign to snap Gloria gives them the opportunity to fight back. Nothing is more frustrating than immobility and a sense of powerlessness. It gives way to cynicism, indifference, or – as the survey shows -- a desperate desire to flee this country and live elsewhere. The citizens need to be able to fight back. The citizens need to have a way to fight back.

If somebody's gonna give me a petition to sign for SNAP! I'm in.

Cha cha will not solve our Arroyo problem. New elections will. IMO, people would rather change Arroyo than change the constitution. And this SNAP proposal is a better alternative than Sigaw ng Bayan. I think more people will be eager to sign this petition than the arroyo funded People's Initiative.

UPDATE: Myrna's reaction from Ellen's site:

Bakit hindi gawin o bigyang pansin ng mga nasa oposisyon yung iminumungkahi ni Conrado de Quiros. Pirma brigade din, SNAP (Say No to A Peke) Gloria.

Siguro naman, marami rin pipirma niyan, at kung ibabase sa survey results na karamihan ayaw kay Bansot, bakit hindi gawin?

Siguradong mas marami ang pipirma.

The best defense against a bad idea (SnB) is a good offense (SNAP!)

"Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?"

UPDATED: From ComelecAKO:

About my comment on Biazon, you might have forgotten to include the last two sentences in that paragraph you quoted: "Now a man comes along and offers evidence and he gets shot down? That's just plain stupid."

See how important it is not to take things out of context? I was saying that the administration's allies were stupid for trying to shut biazon up. If he had evidence, he should have been given the chance to present it. I stand by what I said then: if there had been evidence, it would have made the garci episode an open-and-shut case. Instead, Gloria has been able to dance around her opponents precisely because they couldn't pin her down.

What kind of evidence are you still "looking for" at this point, ComelecAKO? Seriously.

You know, ang problema ng administration na ito is that hindi lang nila ninakaw ang election, they also tried to coverup and stonewall any serious investigation or efforts at accountability -- from the day Arroyo's allies in congress railroaded GMA's proclamation without even a recount on the disputed COCs, to Ignacio Bunye stunt of holding two discs (original and spliced) in an effort to confuse the public and coverup for his boss, to the killing of the second impeachment just recently.

Para sa akin, rigging the elections to help Arroyo win is a serious crime, but the coverup IMO is even worse than the actual crime itself.

John, I really didn't see cheating on a scale that would have materially affected the outcome of 2004.

That's what the appeal for a recount during the canvassing and the two impeachment attempts on arroyo were supposed to do, show the evidence and testimony and the transcripts that GMA and Garci, in cahoots with some military and COMELEC officials, rigged the elections in favor of the Malacanang Occupant.

Too bad Arroyo's allies are too busy "noting" the evidence away, or making excuses and covering up for Arroyo.

I think it isn't wrong to want to see proof before condemning an entire institution. Of course, if some people don't need proof, well that's fine too. After all, what sort of reformer would I be if I were willing to abdicate reason for the sake of unfounded reports? Now if Biazon had been able to show evidence, I would probably be more condemning of the COMELEC.

Yan rin ang sinabi ng mga allies ni Arroyo sa kaso ni Joc Joc Bolante, "where's the evidence!!!" that gov't money was illegally diverted to the 2004 campaign of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Who in their right mind would believe Garci? No one. That's exactly my point. Think of it this way. You live in a house with a saint and a guy everyone believes to be a klepto and another guy. Now supposing you took the third guy's last yosi and he realized it was missing. Now I know you, John, would probably admit to taking it, but pretend for a moment that you wouldn't. Who would you blame so that you could get off scot-free? The saint or the guy everyone believes to be a klepto? You would blame the the guy everyone believes to be a klepto of course. Because no one would believe him even if he denied involvement. Garci, in Rasalan's testimony, is the the guy everyone believes to be a klepto. The man no one would believe. And Rasalan would be you, the hypothetical thieving housemate, the guy who wants to get away with a lie.

Garci's reputation is shot because of what he has been accused of doing.

Soooooooooooo...... you don't think Garci is guilty of rigging the elections for Arroyo then, ComelecAKO? Parang ganun rin ang dating mo dito eh..

And finally, its a pretty sad commentary on the state of things in this country when reasonable people like you, John, feel that our institutions are no longer trustworthy. That is why I am blogging. Because I hope people will see that not everyone inside the COMELEC is hopeless.

I think there are a few trustworthy people in the COMELEC, like Rashma Hali (before the admin got to Hali) and Ferdinand Rafanan, to name a few.

But this culture of coverups is harming the credibility of our government, the COMELEC, the DOJ, the military, and the police.

As for your role as a self proclaimed "reformer" inside the COMELEC, good luck. How are you going to "reform" the COMELEC if you refuse to face reality? Some of your reform ideas are nice, but unfortunately, what you are proposing are half-baked measures that doesn't go far enough to address the serious credibility issues of the politicized COMELEC.

I want REAL and CREDIBLE reforms, not some half-assed version of it where it gives off the appearance of reform. By not sending guys like Garci and other COMELEC people involved in GLORIAGATE to jail, malamang mauulit na naman ang mga massive cheating operations sa susunod na mga election o "referendum", because the dagdag bawas infrastructure is left intact.

If we never learn from the past, if we never do a serious housecleaning on the COMELEC, the military, heck this entire ILLEGITIMATE administration, it's going to bite us again one day.

don't say I didn't warn ya all.

UPDATE: ComelecAKO responds:

What kind of evidence? The kind that stands up in court. not newspaper accounts and rumors of uncertain provenance spread by men of uncertain motives.

I'll admit that the tapes are inadmissible in court because they are illegally taken. But re the other documentary evidence and eyewitness accounts, the opposition have it.

coverup is terrible. I also agree.and yes, too bad about all the 'noteds'. if the evidence had been allowed to come out, things would be very different now, and we might even be on the same side of the fence.

so what if arroyo's allies say 'where's the evidence?' wouldn't you say that too if you were accused of some crime? should arroyo and her ilk go the extra mile and maybe step down to clear the way for an investigation? sure. why not. the point is, the evidence must come out. until then, i reserve judgement.

i don't know what to think of garci, to tell you the truth. like I said, i need evidence and proof. you have that? show me. and if your evidence is good, i'll add my voice to yours.

Whatever. I believe that people who try to obstruct justice and engage in coverups are clearly guilty. I think most people believe that too. Obviously, you don't believe that.

And thanks for finally "clarifying" your position on Garci.

why don't you join government, john? and try actually doing some of the hard and sweaty spadework for the kind of reforms you want. we would appreciate an extra pair of hands.

Thanks, but I think i'm more effective as an outsider -- an independent telling it like it is and not answering to anyone or any special interest groups.

Besides, why would I want to join your Arroyo government, ComelecAKO?

(don't answer, rhetorical question)

I've already said what actions and steps are necessary to clean and reform the COMELEC. Since Arroyo and her apologist/henchmen at the COMELEC are inherently incapable doing this work credibly and completely, or are preventing others from doing the necessary painful housecleaning, I strongly believe na we're gonna pay for this one of these days in future elections or "referendums".

UPDATE: PCIJ's report on COMELEC's Fall from Grace and Garcillano: Master Operator.

UPDATE: More credibility problems for COMELEC:

The cheating never stops.

Even as the 2004 elections show, by way of documented evidence — as well as the infamous “Hello Garci” tape, with Gloria Arroyo and her cheating operators in the Comelec and even in the military along with the cheating politicians in Mindanao and the Visayas, to name just a few, exposed as massive cheats — such exposé did not stop them and their operators from engaging in yet another fraudulent exercise — this time through the Malacañang-initiated people’s initiative, where Sigaw ng Bayan claimed to have gathered some 10 million signatures to amend the Charter.

From its inception, there was already fraud in the sense that the move was for a revision of the Constitution, not a simple amendment. But the Palace and Sigaw went on, even when they were fully aware of the fact that the Supreme Court (SC) issued a ruling that permanently barred the Comelec from entertaining such initiative, until such time that Congress fashions an implementing law.

But Sigaw, not only encouraged but funded by Gloria and company, went ahead with their signature drive, getting even Malacañang to declare a Barangay Day where Sigaw would be pushing the signature drive, complete with documents that were printed in the government printing house — and yet they claimed that the Arroyo government was not involved in this, as this was a private initiative, even as the local government units were proudly at the forefront of this initiative, on Gloria’s orders.

Sigaw immediately claimed success, saying the organization had gathered thousands of signatures, and had these signed papers verified by the Comelec registrars. And all this, without even explaining to the people just what this move was all about. But then again, there was no need to do so, for their language is money, cheating and bribery.

It was discovered soon enough that the signatures were falsified, and, just like the election documents in 2004, only one person was filling up the spaces for the signatures.

Worse, a lot of those who were claimed by the Sigaw-Ulap tandem to have signed up for the initiative were discovered to be long dead, while others were children.

Then too, there were the usual Comelec registrars who certified that they had verified the signatures and said these were genuine, giving Sigaw and its initiative the thumbs-up to complete the so-called 3 percent vote per district.

How then can a people even begin to trust the election body, given the fact that, despite its having been exposed as engaging in cheating for Gloria Arroyo in 2004, Comelec is still at it, and playing the same game directed by Gloria and her cheats.

Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Killed three times

Eto sabi ni Teddyboy Locsin on why he voted not to impeach Arroyo:

The impeachment complaint has been decried by the minority as “assassinated” and by the majority as “dead on arrival.” I submit it was never alive nor was it ever intended to be. Like Frankenstein’s monster, but without the requisite electrical charge, the exhumed cadaver of the previous impeachment was meant only to be used as a club with which to beat the respondent after rigor mortis had set in, it was never the intention to enlighten judgment or educate as to the substantiality of the charges, as common men and women understand substance to be.

Yes, impeachment is dead, but like De Quiros said, only because your friends in Congress killed any efforts at public accountability three times.

The first time na nangyari yang patayan ay nung ni-railroad ng mga kaibigan mo ang proclamation ni GMA while they dismissed any requests for a recount on the disputed COCs.

And the nerve of some of your tongressman friends to put the blame on the opposition for delaying vote canvassing. Kung may ebidensiya ng dayaan siyempre made-delay yan, dahil pinipigilan ng opposition ang pag-railroad ng coronation ni GMA, dahil gusto nila ng recount, na hindi nyo naman pinayagan.

But you know what, this issue keeps coming back dahil questionable ang legitimacy ni Arroyo, at puro coverups lang ang ginagawa ng mga kaibigan mo sa administration.

More from Amando Doronila.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Roilo Golez is right

Roilo Golez's email to ellen tordesillas:

We ended up with less votes. 32 compred to 51 last year. But one must look at the 27 who were conspicuously absent and did not vote.

Many of those absentees were with us last year and must have gone through severe moral dilemma. I believe their hearts remain with us but the exigencies of the times forced them to do what they just did,i.e. to be absent. Morally, they remain with us.

I agree with Mr. Golez. And I don't think it's productive to go after or "purge" guys like ruffy biazon, edmund reyes or clavel asas martinez.

i'd rather focus on defeating those who voted twice to kill impeachment, and those congressmen who absented themselves last year and voted to kill impeachment this year.

BTW, will Mikey and Iggy Arroyo run for congress next year?

MLQ3 lists down those who switched their votes:

Representatives Proceso Alcala, Teodoro Locsin, Jacinto Paras, Arthur Pingoy, Antonino Roman, Hans Christian Señeres and Rodante Marcoleta initially oppose resolution, insisting on exploring bacteria option. Then they change their minds.

I think these names are worth remembering too. And Marcoleta if you'll recall, is the arroyo stooge who endorsed the oliver lozano complaint.

UPDATE: Funny sensational headline from the Pro-Arroyo newspaper Manila Standard Today: Minority sets purge of ‘infidels’

I can't find other newspapers where the opposition called those who did not vote for impeachment "infidels", Rey Requejo and MST Editor in cheif Jojo Robles. Lumalabas na naman ba yung bias nyo?

I found this Ryebosco comment in PCIJ...

I saw this comment from Ryebosco in PCIJ blog:

Dear Filipinas,

Those of you who leave the Philippines in search of jobs, money and food, you deserve what you get: maltreatment and humiliation. Go ahead and be sexually assaulted! Go and jump from the balcony and risk killing yourself! Go out on Sundays and have a picnic in a Hong Kong park with your fellow ‘katulongs’ and be taunted as ‘monkeys eating bananas.’
YOU DESERVE IT! Don’t blame the Philippine government or the status quo.

If only your president's economy was able to generate more jobs and make the cost of living here less expensive, I'm sure many of our poor kababayans would rather stay here.

But it seems na si Arroyo pa ang No. 1 recruiter ng OFWs para sa Saudi Arabia at Hong Kong para maging "SuupaMeido". She's such a failure pag-dating sa job generation in our country, na she's left with no other viable alternative but to send our filipino teachers overseas to work as maids in HK.

Blame yourselves for leaving the Philippines, for being afraid to speak up and protest what needs to change in our own country.

Well, the admin still continues to implement CPR in spirit, via BP 880.

You chose to turn your back from your responsibility here at home. You chose to elect mostly idiots in office.

Well, the people did not vote the Arroyo administration into office, the biggest source of instability, corruption, and division in our country today.

Reports like this don’t bother me anymore. In the end, the government is not to blame. It is those who choose the easy way out rather than tackling corruption at home. Don’t expect special treatment in other countries when you don’t even demand it here in the Philippines. You deserve every physical and emotional abuse in Hong Kong, Lebanon, et al because you were a coward to begin with in your own country. SO STOP COMPLAINING AND HAVE A PATHETIC LIFE BEING A KATULONG!

Sincerely, Rye Bosco

All this hypocritical talk about "tackling corruption" is laughable, since you're one of Arroyo's biggest apologists.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

87-570-23030-32100-62771571, or 87-570-23030-32100-6271-571?

UPDATED: Thanks for linking, Manuel.

Mike Arroyo presented the wrong account number to the media. From the Tribune:

Mr. Arroyo left for Germany last Thursday with some members of Philippine media to obtain a certification from the Munich-based HypoVereinsbank. Last Friday, he was seen on local television stating that the bank had issued a certification to the effect that there was no such bank account in the name of the First Gentleman existing, and added that the sequencing of the bank account numbers does not even tally with the bank’s account number sequencing.

Mr. Arroyo, according to his press statement issued to the local media yesterday, said the German bank’s certification categorically stated that the bank does not have an account number 87-570-23030-32100-62771571, which he said was alleged to be the dollar account number of the First Gentleman and his family in Hypovereins bank, and then called Cayetano a liar.

It was noted, however, that the account being referred to by Cayetano is 87-570-23030-32100-6271-571 and was never claimed to be in the name of the First Gentleman.

The account number Mr. Arroyo in his statement and certification issued to him has one extra digit, which the media noted makes a big difference in establishing bank account numbers.

Magka-iba pala ng digits yung kay Cayetano at yung ipinakita ni Pidal sa media.

Big Mike #: 87-570-23030-32100-62771571

Cayetano #: 87-570-23030-32100-6271-571


The certification was signed by bank vice president Peter Reisner and general secretariat head Evi Vollmann, who also declared that the bank does not maintain an account in the name of Jose Miguel Arroyo.

The certification was dated Aug. 25.

Cayetano, in disclosing that the evidence of this bank account in one of seven boxes of alleged impeachment evidence, never claimed that the account was in the name of the presidential spouse. He has also challenged the First Gentleman and his family members, including their beneficiaries, to execute a waiver for the bearer of the waiver and authorized representatives to look into their alleged assets and other properties here and abroad.

Exactly. hindi nasa pangalan ni Mike Arroyo ang account. Maybe nasa pangalan ni Pidal?

UPDATE: This was from the tribune dated aug. 20 2006:

Sources told the Tribune yesterday that the amount found in that “secret bank account runs to the tune of $500 million. The German bank’s assets stated are worth $200 billion.

In Friday’s radio interview, Cayetano did not mention names, but said the evidence was against the President for the impeachment case.

The same sources, who said they had seen the documents, also stated that the bank account was under the name of the presidential son, Mikey.

Cayetano was quoted in the reports as having alleged that “immediate members” of the family of Mrs. Arroyo were hiding a multi-million dollar bank account in Hypo-und Vereins Bank AG, in Munich, Germany. The account number was given by the congressman, exposing it as bank account 87570-23030-32100-6271-571.

Just "do a Lacson" and sign the waiver, Pidal.

UPDATE: Eto yung Acct no. ni Cayetano sa Malaya (aug. 19, 2006):

Cayetano, spokesman of the pro-impeachment team, has said in the impeachment hearings last Wednesday that the money is kept under account No. 87570-23030-32100-6271-571 in the Hypo-und Vereins Bank AG in Munchen.

Eto rin yung account no. ni Cayetano as reported by the tribune back aug. 20 2006:

Cayetano was quoted in the reports as having alleged that “immediate members” of the family of Mrs. Arroyo were hiding a multi-million dollar bank account in Hypo-und Vereins Bank AG, in Munich, Germany. The account number was given by the congressman, exposing it as bank account 87570-23030-32100-6271-571.

OTOH, the Philstar, Inquirer, and People's Taliba account numbers are similar to Pidal's 87570-23030-32100-62771571.

More reaction from Jon Mariano.

I don't know why the bank issued a certification to Mike Arroyo and not the the Tribune, since hindi naman raw client ng german bank si Mike Arroyo:

This issuance of the certification by the German bank appears contrary to the bank’s policy in disclosing details of any account.

In response to a Tribune query on the stated account, the German bank, in an e-mail message to the Tribune said, “We are legally not allowed to give any information whether a person or a company is a client of our bank or not. But of course we cooperate with legal institutions within the legal framework.”

The certification that Mr. Arroyo said was issued by the bank to him went against this policy, as it also said in that certification that the bank does maintain an account in the name of Jose Miguel Arroyo.

Presumably, in obtaining that bank certification, no legal route was taken by the President’s husband.

UPDATE: Hokedocs... eto pa. The Sunstar, ABS-CBN, Manila Times, Balita, numbers are similar to Tribune and Malaya: 87570-23030-32100-6271-571.

And People's Taliba got it right the first time.

But you know what, tama si Mike Arroyo, tigilan na natin ang kakatanong sa mga hidden bank accounts na yan. Mag cha cha na lang tayo. Back to regular programming, plis...

JB Baylon remembers the Pidal Accounts:

And then there was the scandal involving bank accounts attributed to the President’s husband under a unique name which he claimed he did not know – only to find out that 1) it was a real name, the name of a grandfather of his in fact; 2) the bank account was later claimed by his brother whom the President’s husband had identified as the "richer" one, but 3) it turns out this richer brother was paying income taxes as if he were as ‘rich" as a Shoemart saleslady! Before anything else could be dug up about this scandal, the powerful brothers invoked their right against self-incrimination. Or was it privacy? Then again, in their case, what would be the difference? But to add insult to injury, the small taxpayer of a brother is now an honorable member of Congress.

UPDATE: JB Baylon is still skeptical re pidal:

Speaking of lying, didn’t you claim that you never knew a "Jose Pidal"? But didn’t it turn out that you are descended from a Jose Pidal? Were you lying then, intentionally or not, FG sir? Then again, since you are not a public official, I suppose we can’t urge you to resign too.

When people close to you, FG sir, claimed that Ping Lacson had millions of ransom money in bank accounts, Lacson did not go to the United States to get a certification to clear his name; instead, he issued a waiver allowing anyone to see for themselves whether indeed the bank accounts in his name had millions.

And what did we find out? We found out that the allegations were false, and that the accounts, while existing, had only a few thousand dollars (if I am not mistaken) in them.

The banks in question, if I am not mistaken again, were banks the ordinary man on the street could go to and open an account in.

But that’s not the case with the German bank, is it? If I am not mistaken (for the third time) the bank in question here is a private bank, established to offer its services to the most discerning of clients seeking privacy in their financial matters. You now have a certification from the bank clearing your name, yet you didn’t seem to have any problem knowing where the bank was – I didn’t seem to ever hear you say "I never even heard of such a bank!"

Saturday, August 26, 2006

"Constructive People's Initiative?"

I don't think the Supreme Court is dumb enough to reverse itself and approve the Arroyo's so called "People's Initiative" or the House version of "constituent assembly", and lose whatever little credibility it has left.

Even if most of the SC Justices na yan are now Arroyo appointees.

But you never know.

The Comelec has been barred by the high court from approving such a petition, owing to the fact that there is no enabling law to effect a people’s initiative. For the Comelec to accept Sigaw’s petition is to court not only its officials’ impeachment, but also a lawsuit.

But let us say that the Supreme Court (SC) does reverse itself on this issue while toeing Gloria’s line, how does the SC handle the other issue that the Sigaw petition carries with it, such as the fact that it is calling for a parliamentary shift of government, since this constitutes a revision of the Charter, and not just an amendment of the Constitution?

But to go around this, what Sigaw proposes is for the incumbent members of Congress to sit without being elected, as the first members of the unicameral parliament, thus abolishing the Senate permanently while making Gloria not only the sitting president but the prime minister to last her lifetime. Incidentally, the vice presidency will also be abolished, with Noli de Castro reduced to being just a member of parliament.

Gloria under a new charter, will of course be in full control of legislature and the executive department, since her so-called prime minister will merely be her assistant. All these “revisions” are, if Sigaw’s claims are accurate, will be left for Congress to do.

And here is where the Pangasinan Express comes in, with the House’s dubious “constituent assembly” where the incumbents sit to give Gloria and themselves the power and the glory, as stipulated by Gloria’s Abueva constitutional commission, which has ensured that Gloria is made president-prime minister for life; where the liberties of the people will be curbed — especially the freedom of the press, which has been modified to read “no law shall abridge the freedom of the responsible press.” For Sigaw, the end should come with the Comelec quickly rejecting its petition for a people’s initiative, that is if the Comelec hews to the rule of law, and the rulings of the high court. If not, there will definitely be a case lodged against it in the high court.

There may also be yet another case elevated to the SC if the House constitutes itself as a constituent assembly and vote for Charter change on a single house vote, since the Senate has already passed a resolution not to participate in such a move, unless the Senate votes separately on the issue.

Whatever the moves, all roads lead to the high court which path will take too long a time, unless of course, bowing to Gloria, this court will immediately tackle the issues and reverse itself, using yet another convoluted judgment, such as perhaps “constructive people’s initiative” or a “constructive changes through a single House vote.

UPDATE: More commentary from MLQ3, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, and William Esposo.

Money quote from Fr. Bernas:

In public fora, I have been asked how I think the current Supreme Court justices, almost all of whom are appointees of President Macapagal-Arroyo, would handle a petition for initiative and referendum. My usual answer is that I am convinced that the current justices know how they would like to be remembered by history.

They may be pro-Arroyo, but I don't think they will commit suicide and destroy what little credibility they have left.

And this PDI Editorial:

But surely a court that struck down key provisions of the CPR policy, EO 464 and PP 1017—and gave the Arroyo administration pointed reminders on democratic governance in the process—will also strike down the present “people’s initiative”? We have to admit that there still exists residual skepticism regarding this issue, but perhaps the administration strategy is not an outright win, but—and just like the first three landmark rulings—“only” a “win-win” decision.

That would allow the administration—fully aware of the Senate’s reluctance to go to war, totally cognizant of the Supreme Court’s slow, collegial decision-making—to proceed as planned.

And who isn't for a "win-win" decision from Arroyo's SC, diba? ;)

German bank may divulge account after receiving Tribune email

German bank to divulge account via legal means:

"The presidential family may not be off the hook yet on the issue of the controversial alleged “secret” bank account in Munich, Germany, which reportedly holds some $500 million, said to be in the name of the presidential son, Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo.

An official of the HypoVereinsbank in Munich, Hartmut Pfeifer, Media Relations Head, informed the Tribune yesterday that the bank is more than willing to cooperate with Philippine authorities on the controversial account, identified as account number 87570-23030-32100-6271-571.

In response to an e-mail sent by the Tribune, the bank official said HypoVereinsbank will provide assistance to a requesting party provided it is done within the legal framework.

Pfeifer did not elaborate, although he appeared to know of the controversy in the country regarding the account.

The bank, however, neither confirmed nor denied that such an account exists, but two multinational bankers Tribune spoke with yesterday took the view that if no such account exists in that bank in Munich, this would have been quickly denied by the bank, rather than have the bank’s name continually dragged into the Philippine political controversy, and even court German and European authorities to check on possible money laundering operations connected to that account.

It will be recalled that when the Palace-sanctioned team led by Col. Victor Corpus claimed that a senator and the detained President Joseph Estrada had various bank accounts abroad and made public bank account numbers said to have been deposited in various named banks in the United States, the banks abroad quickly issued a letter of denial, stating that no such bank account exists and pointed out too, that their banks don’t use such numbers for their clients’ accounts.

In the case of the Munich bank, it neither confirmed nor denied that the account exists."

The damn Tribune again! REad the whole thing.

"The Dead are rising again..."

Studio greenlights new George Romero zombie flick:

Horror maven George A. Romero has signed on to write and direct "George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead," following in the tradition of his 1968 cult classic "Night of the Living Dead."

With a story mixing elements of "The Blair Witch Project" and the long-running "Dead" series, the film will follow a group of college students shooting a horror movie in the woods who stumble upon a real zombie uprising. When the onslaught begins, they seize the moment as any good film students would, capturing the undead in a "cinema verite" style that causes more than the usual production headaches.


Romero's new script replaces the original's static-filled radio with new technologies like smartphones to inform characters of impending doom. But fans can expect the classic Romero style.

"It has my sensibility, my sense of socioeconomic satire," he said. "And it has my zombies! They're not rushing around -- they're gonna be moving slow." Added Grunwald, "There'll be a lot of howling."

Sounds good to me.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Just sign the waiver, Jose Pidal

Ganyan rin ang ginawa ni Lacson nung inakusahan siya ni victor corpus na may tinatagong "billion dollar" bank accounts sa US.

Cayetano dismissed the challenge of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo to accompany him to Germany to claim the account.

"Dapat sumagot sila (Arroyos). Dalawa lang ang paraan para malaman ang totoo dito. Una ay ituloy dapat ang impeachment. Ang ikalawa ay ang ginawa ni Sen. Panfilo Lacson na pumirma ng waiver upang mabuksan ang ano mang bank account na mai-uugnay sa kanya," he said.

Kaya mabilis nabuking si Corpus, Ador Mawanay at Rosebud ay dahil pumayag siya sa na mag sign ng waiver at SPA (Special Power of Attorney) para makapag withdraw si Corpus ng $$ bilyones sa account ni Lacson, at yung bangko mismo ang nag clear kay Lacson. Lacson wrote the bank managers there to inquire about the accounts. Doon natin nalaman na peke yung account numbers na ibinigay ni Corpus sa media dahil sa acct number digits pa lang ay mali na (16 digits yung citibank account numbers ni Corpus, pero 11-14 digits lang ang ginagamit ng CITIBANK.)

Even the inquirer, whose reporter Christine Herrera went to the US with corpus to dig some dirt on Lacson, later admitted in 2003 that Corpus' "evidence" were duds, zilch:

It was Corpus who exposed two years ago the alleged multi-million dollar bank accounts of Lacson in Hong Kong and North America. But to date Corpus has yet to produce evidence.

This from a newspaper that was chiefly responsible for pushing the Lacson's hidden wealth story along with the Arroyo admin back in 2001.

See how corpus, mawanay and rosebud's tale quickly collapsed after lacson got the banks to cooperate in the investigation and his willingness to give corpus the SPA and sign the waiver?

Ito lang naman yung importanteng eh para maipakita kung sinungaling si Cayetano o hindi:
Cayetano earlier dared the Arroyos to issue a waiver to allow scrutiny of the dollar deposit with account No. 87570-23030-32100-6271-571.

Opposition sources said the account contains about $500 million.

The waiver Cayetano sought would allow any investigating agency like the Anti-Money Laundering Council to examine "deposits of whatever nature, in our name (Arroyo) or for our benefit, with banks and banking institutions in the Philippines or abroad."

Signing a waiver to prove that you do not own that German account is easier than going to Germany and go through all this rigmarole.

If lacson can sign the waiver, Pidal can do it too, no? Kung matapang ka at alam mong inosente ka, You can "do a Lacson" too.

Between the dare to sign the waiver and the dare to go to germany, mas practical at mabilis gawin ang pag-sign ng waiver para sa account na yan.

i guess we'll see who will blink first in give in, Cayetano or Mike Arroyo.

Sabi ng lawyer ni Pidal:

"This (allegation) is a dead horse...Patay na kabayo at kahit kalansay wala dito," he said.

Santos said they would file charges against Cayetano if he is proven wrong.

Since you and Mike Arroyo know Cayetano's wrong, why not file charges na, and not later? Since he's been already doing it to other journalist and critics of him and this administration.

Here's Lacson's reaction:


Was the quick and angry reaction of First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo and Malacañang to Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano’s expose involving supposed German bank accounts a sign that the expose is just a story, or was it a carefully crafted spin?

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Malacañang’s angry reaction was in total contrast to its delayed and meek reaction to his expose in 2003, where he linked the First Gentleman to the Jose Pidal bank accounts.

“The quick and angry reaction of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and Malacañang to Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano’s German bank account expose was not in any way the same to their delayed and meek reaction to the Pidal expose. In fact it took them quite a while before denying they knew or heard of Jose Pidal, only to be confronted by a TV network’s research on the Arroyo family tree,” Lacson said.

He said the Palace’s angry response to Cayetano, which included a dare to prove his claims and a demand for an unconditional apology, may have been packaged to discredit Cayetano’s expose as “just a story.”

Cayetano had bared the accounts as part of the supposed seven boxes of evidence supporting the impeachment bid against President Arroyo. The Lower House’s justice committee ruled last week the impeachment complaint was lacking in substance.

“Was the story really a dud? Or have the accounts been carefully stashed away?” Lacson said.

Lacson also noted that in 2001, he issued a dare of his own in responding to claims of dollar accounts abroad by then top spy Victor Corpus, self-proclaimed witness Angelo “Ador” Mawanay and self-proclaimed agent Mary “Rosebud” Ong.

“I myself reacted to the Corpus-Mawanay-Rosebud dollar accounts yarn with a brave challenge to sign a waiver concerning those reported dollar accounts which Corpus rejected outright with the lame excuse of a misspelled surname in my prepared waiver. Mawanay has since recanted, Mary Ong is still in the unofficial payroll of the Arroyos while Corpus remains red in the face for being had,” he said.

Erap film given Triple-X rating by MTRCB

If this is not political censorhip, I don't know what is. I don't think it's right (or smart) to censor or ban anti-Erap or Anti-Arroyo movies and tv shows. And I don't it's smart to intimidate the media and use McCarthy-like tactics to target them.

Who says you can’t change the rules in midstream?

Not the country’s film and television watchdog that seems to have gone beyond reviewing and classifying small and big-screen fare and crept straight into apparent political censorship.

The detour yesterday was questioned by a lawyer for detained President Joseph Estrada in reaction to a decision of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to ban the airing of a video documentary on the profes-sional and political history of the ousted Chief Executive after its initial review last week and giving the video a triple X rating based on its content allegedly biased against President Arroyo.

Former Immigration Com-missioner Rufus Rodriguez said the MTRCB’s decision against the airing of the video “To Live for the Masses” was patently unfair and was a violation of the board’s mandate.

“The video deals exclusively with the life and times of President Estrada and is based on facts and actual events,” Rodriguez pointed out.

“In fact, it can be clearly classified as a newsreel, meaning it is a short motion-picture film dealing with current events. Thus, technically it is not up to the MTRCB to rule on its airing,” the Estrada lawyer said.

The board’s job is to review movie and TV fare for obscenity, blasphemy, profanity, derogation or vulgarity.

The newsreel genre or documentary is beyond these as it is a depiction of actuality and this genre is one of only two exempted from review of any agency, the other being government-produced materials.

Rarely had the MTRCB given even movie and television materials that it considered obscene, blasphemous, profane, derogatory or vulgar an X, double X or triple X rating.

triple xxx means it won't be shown in theaters or other public places except maybe in a place like the UP film center (pwede x-rated doon). and i don't know if it will show up in pirated dvds kung hindi ito papayagan ni Don lito atienza.

Yung reaction ng Arroyo admin sa isang anti-admin docu or movie ay ibang iba sa nakikita natin sa US and other free countries. Sa America, there are quite a few anti-Bush administration movies, tv shows and docus. Even though napaka anti-Bush ng Fahrenheit 911, hindi naman ito pinagbawalan o binigyan ng Triple X rating ng review board doon. Nanalo pa nga si Bush sa 2004 despite Moore's docu being a box office hit.

Everyday on Tv I get to watch the Daily Show with John STewart mock the Bush admin. Jay Leno, David Letterman and Conan O'Brien does that too.

So What the Fuck is this administration afraid of with this Erap documentary? Bakit pinipigilan nila ang pagpapalabas ng mga movies at docus na kontra sa kanila?

More from PDI:

THE documentary film about the life of disgraced leader Joseph "Erap" Estrada has been banned for public viewing after the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) gave it an “X” rating.

MTRCB chairperson Consoliza Laguardia said the film, entitled “Ang Mabuhay para sa Masa” (To Live for the Masses), "may undermine the faith and confidence of the people in their government and/or duly constituted authority."


Estrada’s son, Senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, rebuked the rating, saying he saw no reason why the censors board should ban the film.

The documentary reportedly tackled issues such as the 728-million-peso fertilizer scam and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's alleged rigging of the 2004 presidential polls.

"I don't think it (X rating) is proper for it only features his (life),” the young Estrada said.

“It is not seditious. What is included in the documentary is the truth," he added, denying that the documentary was a form of a black propaganda against the government. "Our purpose is for people to know the truth, for them to know how he earned his fame.”

But Laguardia in a phone interview told the Inquirer that the documentary was “highly opinionated” in recounting events that occurred after Estrada’s ouster.

Boy, Bush can sure use somebody like Laguardia right now no? With the way the news and talk shows there are undermining the people's faith and confidence in the Bush administration and the Iraq War and all...

And it's not the first time the MTRCB and Laguardia tried to control the media.

More from the Malaya:

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said an X-rating is not limited to materials with extreme violence or explicit sex.

Ermita, a member of the board, said when they crafted the criteria used by the MTRCB in its review and classification functions, they stated that there should be a moral and redeeming value in the theme or story of the submitted material.

He said this lack of "moral and redeeming value" could be one of the factors which the MTRCB considered in giving an X-rating to the documentary.


UPDATE: From the Trib:

The country’s unofficial movie and television censor has pulled a fast one on detained President Joseph Estrada.

The Estrada camp yesterday accused the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board of ensuring that it will not find the time to appeal the triple X rating that the MTRCB had given a video documentary on the life and times of the ousted leader – which effectively banned the biography from public showing.

Estrada lawyer and former Immigration Commissioner Rufus Rodriguez questioned the “haste” with which the MTRCB scheduled its second review also yesterday without giving sufficient time for the producers to appeal the denial of their official request that the biography be exempted from review.

Ayaw talaga.

From Ali Sotto of Manila Times:

MTRCB’s X-rating of Erap’s bioflick only serves to tweak public interest in what would have been just another pro-Erap video but for the attention it is now getting. It was deemed unsuitable for public viewing because of its anti-GMA slant in the latter part of the film. This administration seems to have a very low-tolerance level for criticism. Ensconced in our comfortable couch, my husband and I get our regular dose of Bush-bashing from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the opening monologues of Jay Leno and David Letterman. The tirade is almost always leveled at his ineptness and lack of verbal skills. More virulently critical is Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 which had a successful commercial run. And so it goes in the Land of the Free.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Don't Question Kevin Drum's patriotism

Sabi ni Kevin Drum, if you criticize Iran, you're siding with Bush and the Republicans raw. From Junkyardblog:

Wiggity Wow. Kevin Drum says the quiet part loud:

…we need to engage more energetically with the war on terror and criticize illiberal regimes more harshly.

Maybe so. But this is something that’s nagged at me for some time. On the one hand, I think Beinart is exactly right. For example, should I be more vocal in denouncing Iran? Sure. It’s a repressive, misogynistic, theocratic, terrorist-sponsoring state that stands for everything I stand against. Of course I should speak out against them.

And yet, I know perfectly well that criticism of Iran is not just criticism of Iran. Whether I want it to or not, it also provides support for the Bush administration’s determined and deliberate effort to whip up enthusiasm for a military strike. Only a naif would view criticism of Iran in a vacuum, without also seeing the way it will be used by an administration that has demonstrated time and again that it can’t be trusted to act wisely.
So what to do? For the most part, I end up saying very little. And Beinart is right: there’s a sense in which that betrays my own liberal ideals. But he’s also wrong, because like it or not, my words — and those of other liberals — would end up being used to advance George Bush’s distinctly illiberal ends. And I’m simply not willing to be a pawn in the Bush administration’s latest marketing campaign.

Kevin Drum is a fairly well-known lefty blogger and not a bat-crap crazy Kos type at all. I think he greatly overestimates his own importance, however, if he thinks that his legitimate criticisms of the Iranian regime might possibly get used by the Bush Administration someday to justify a strike on Iran or something that Drum just might not approve of.


Hollywood stars vs. Terrorism

Here's the list of Hollywood types who signed the full page anti-terrorism ad that ran on the Los Angeles times. The Names include Nicole Kidman, Michael Douglas, Michael Mann, Gary Sinise, Bernie Mac, Viveca A. Fox, James Woods, Bruce Willis, Sam Raimi, Serena Williams, Stephen Dorff, Sylvester STallone, Dennis Hopper, William Hurt, and Ridley Scott.

Palparan: Soldiers could be behind militant killings

Palparan: "Soldiers could be behind militants killings."

He said na probably "individual responses" raw yan ng mga iilang sundalo to avenge the death of their fellow soldiers at the hands of the NPA. Kaya pala hindi ma-solve solve ang iilan sa mga kaso sa pagpatay ng mga leftists. Understandably, there's a reluctance from the military and the admin to go after their own people.

Controversial Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division, yesterday admitted that soldiers could be behind the killings of left-wing activists but, he stressed, they were not ordered by the military leadership to do so.

“I am relatively to blame for the killings since I encouraged people to fight insurgency,” Palparan said.

Calling the killings as “individual responses,” he reckoned that the soldiers could be out to avenge the death of their brothers-in-arms in armed clashes with the communist New People’s Army (NPA).

Palparan also admitted that he had encouraged, too, people to take the law into their hands.

“But I cannot give the same order to my soldiers. I have encouraged people who were victimized to get even, but it’s their individual responsibility (to own up to the killings),” he said.


So you're saying na gumaganti ang sundalo sa NPAs by targetting leftist militants and critics labeled as communists? Why not go after those NPAs instead?

At kung may solidong ebidensiya naman kayo laban sa mga militants na yan, bakit hindi na lang sila kasuhan, instead of encouraging soldiers to go vigilante on them?

This permissive policy/culture of targetting leftists or critics labeled as communists coming from the top leaders of this administration is not very helpful, IMO.

Conrad de Quiros on Arroyo and Palparan:

Nothing to connect GMA to the killings? You have to have lost all sense of sight, hearing, smell, taste and feeling to mouth that. At the very least, what is government there for? There’s nothing more ludicrous—the kind that kills when you laugh—than GMA cajoling the witnesses in the killings to come out so she might stop the mayhem. And what, unless the witnesses materialize—something she herself has discouraged by stopping witnesses against her from appearing before the Senate—she is freed from the duty, the responsibility, the imperative, to stop the mayhem? And what, so that the witnesses, who will then have implicated themselves as being in the company of suspected NPA members, will become target practice for Palparan?

Monday, August 21, 2006

UPDATED: Gonzalez: Media infiltrated by Commies

  • US urged to to bar GMA, allies over corruption. Fil-Am group invokes Bush’s ‘no safe haven’ declaration

  • MLQ3 and Black and White Movement writes about Ninoy Aquino's death anniversary today.

  • PDI Editorial: Anti-Ninoy

    Ninoy’s legacy is many-layered, but we do not lack for anti-Ninoys, who pay lip service to his ideals while in the very act of betrayal. They are in positions of power or influence: a Cabinet secretary who says it is all right for board examinees to receive leaked answers as long as they did not solicit them; an election lawyer who argues that the truth of new fraud allegations is immaterial because legal remedies have already been exhausted; an Army general who seeks to justify the deaths of hundreds of leftist activists by pointing to those slain by the communist insurgents themselves. Their number, truly, is legion.

  • MLQ3 second response to Isagani Cruz. What's "Further affiant sayeth naught?"

  • Norberto Gonzalez: Media infiltrated by commies.

    "It is a normal practice of rebel movements to recruit media personalities because propaganda is an important component of their effort to propagate whatever they (communists) are engaged in," Gonzales told a news forum in Quezon City.

    "So it’s normal that they are going to get elements from the media to be their members and we know that there are," Gonzales added without naming names.

    Asked how many communists have infiltrated the media, Gonzales said: "Let us not talk how many…That (propaganda) does not involve numbers (of infiltrators) but on how effective they are able to smuggle to media what they want."

    Ito po yung ISAFP list ng mga media na kampi ng komunista.

  • Ninez Cacho Olivarez said that the Supreme Court lost what little credibility they gained with that dumb ruling against Gudani and Balutan. Yeah, akala ko ba unconstitutional ang EO 464?

    They already succeeded in slowly building up the faith and confidence of a people in the judiciary when the high court justices voted unanimously to junk Executive Order (EO) 464, or the presidential gag rule on all employees with the executive department, save perhaps for the janitor, in instances where Congress, in hearings, summons them.

    It was clear in that ruling, that Congress’ power to compel officials — especially from the executive department, to testify before it during hearings in aid of legislation was upheld and about the only time the executives should seek permission from the President would be in instances of the Question Hour, which is hardly called for by Congress.

    But the high court justices just lost that flowering public faith and confidence when they, in another court ruling, weakened the power of Congress and strengthened the power of Gloria through the ruling against (retired) Gen. Francisco Gudani and Col. Alexander Balutan in the case of their having appeared before the Senate hearing even as it was claimed by the ponente, Justice Dante Tinga — the same justice who dissented from the 1017 ruling, saying Gloria’s 1017 was nowhere near Marcos’ martial law decree — that the orders of the Commander-in-Chief to her officers cannot be defied.

    That ruling was deliberately opening the door for Gloria to exercise her gag powers over Congress by amending the earlier Supreme Court (SC) ruling on EO 464.

    In the first place, it was fairly clear to one and all that Gudani and Balutan never received any order from Gloria not to testify before the Senate, as the information — it was not an order — came after the two had already appeared in the Senate.

    In the second place, it was clear that the hearing held by the Senate was in aid of legislation — and about the military activity during the election period, which had nothing to do with a clearly illegal order from Gloria for military officials to shut up to effect a cover-up of the crimes committed by their Commander-in-Chief. This had nothing to do with national security issues. Their testimonies had something to do with criminal acts.

    Yet the SC, speaking through Tinga, said in the instant case, the President was exercising her powers, not as Chief Executive on the EO 464, but as Commander-in-Chief in preventing military officers from testifying.

    If the high court justices could make that distinction between orders coming from a Commander-in-Chief and another gag order coming from a President, how is it that the justices failed utterly to make a distinction between the gag rule order on Gudani and Balutan in the instance where they were to testify not on military security matters but on the cheating that went on during the 2004 elections?

    Even a simpleton could make that distinction, yet these supposed “wise men” in the high court could not?

  • Cory a no show at GMA-graced rites honoring Ninoy.

  • FG sets $1M demand for $500M German bank account check Tribune Editorial: Threats and Intimidation again.

    "Gloria and her aides has always said, when charges are raised: “Prove it. Show us the evidence. Bring this to the proper court” and oh, yes, she even appeals to the people to uncover evidence and come forward.

    But these are all meaningless, as it has been proved time and again, that even as solid evidence is presented to back up these charges, they are quickly dismissed by Gloria and her aides, with the usual line of these pieces of evidence and charges being “recycled garbage.”

    But what is recycled in the German bank deposits? This is certainly the first time this charge was raised. How can this be recycled? Even the P3-billion fertilizer funds scam is not a recycled charge as part of an impeachment complaint. So the scam was investigated in the Senate, but Malacañang conveniently omits the fact that it ensured that not one of its Cabinet officials — and especially Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante would appear before the Senate panel. This issue was never brought up in the first impeachment complaint....

    Still, there must be something to this German account, for Malacañang occupants to react so vehemently to this disclosure. After all, if there is no such account belonging to the presidential family, and in that amount, it should be easy for the presidential spouse to sign a waiver allowing the congressmen to look into that bank account, to verify the truth of this charge.

    But even in the case of the Jose Pidal secret accounts, there certainly were pieces of solid evidence that pointed to the First Gentleman being Jose Pidal, yet the government agencies — including the handwriting police laboratory — lied about this while the brother, Iggy Arroyo, claimed to be Jose Pidal then clammed up before the Senate, claiming his right to privacy.

    UPDATE: MLQ3 comments: "The question of the alleged German bank account of the First Family is interesting, part of a larger trend of placing the financial activities of the President and her husband under scrutiny. So the opposition asks for a waiver; the President’s son says he’d rather fly first class to Germany with the opposition to verify the existence of the account. But wouldn’t the money have been transfered by now, with the news?"

  • JB Baylon notes the similarities and differences between Gerald Ford's presidency and Arroyo's.

  • All this reconciliation talk from Arroyo is meaningless and insincere if she refuses to do the right thing and resign. If she resigns though, I might favor a pardon for her and Pidal's crimes. More on this reconciliation talk from Malaya editorial

  • Out of commission yata ngayon si Lito Banayo ah. matagal nang hindi updated ang column niya.

  • Malaya Editorial: "It is easy to forget now that the dictatorship was wrapped in the trappings of democracy and the rule of law when Ninoy was killed 23 years ago. Martial law was lifted in 1981. There was a nominal legislature in the form of the Batasang Pambansa. The courts were functioning. There was a small but highly critical press.

    But we all knew that the reality was one-man rule, supported by a fawning clique of politicians, big businessmen and generals whose interests coincided with that of the Marcos.

    This in the case of mounting popular opposition to continued authoritarianism.

    We have restored democratic processes and institutions. But we could hardly distinguish, say, the current House from the Batasang Pambansa. The Supreme Court has struck down the more execrable actions of the Executive for being unconstitutional. But by its equivocations it only succeeds in justifying the crackdown on dissenters (upholding the Batasan-era rules on rallies and demonstrations while junking the calibrated preemptive response) and emasculation of the powers of Congress (setting "guidelines" on the appearance of executives before legislative inquiries while ruling against the expansion of executive privilege via Executive Order 464)."

  • Ninez says na dapat "Impeach Gloria" ang campaign slogan ng opposition.

  • Ed Ching: The Hypocrites in our midst

    When you hear people showing displays of support and admiration for Sen. Aquino, and you examine their own contributions to democracy in this country, it is very easy to tell if that official or personality is a hypocrite of democracy or not.

    Those who are hypocrites to democracy love to talk a lot about their convictions. Those who are really for democracy are continuously working in the background to ensure its preservation.

    At a time when Martial Law tactics are all too obvious, particularly the cedula tactic of the military in Central Luzon, the least thing the government needed, is to flood Manila with yellow ribbons, and the exposure of President Arroyo on television gracing the memorial observance of Aquino's martyrdom.

    If I were President Arroyo, I'd rather do these to preserve Ninoy's dream: immeadiately resign as President, allow the unobstructed investigations against any wrongdoing of the Administration, guarantee freedom of assembly and abolish BP 880.

    Yup. I saw lost of yellow ribbons around manila yesterday. And plenty of big yellow flags/banners with ninoy aquino and lito atienza's on it.
  • Arroyo's German account part of Int'l probe

    No apologies will be forthcoming to the Arroyos, and Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano is not backing down.

    From the Malaya:

    TAGUIG-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano yesterday brushed aside Palace demands for an apology, saying it should instead be President Arroyo who should say sorry "for cheating, lying and stealing the (2004) elections."

    Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye has demanded from Cayetano a "full and unconditional retraction" and a "public apology to the first family" after the latter accused the Arroyos of maintaining an account with a German bank.

    "If that is not forthcoming, the proper charges shall be filed and full justice and retribution shall be sought for the damage done," Bunye added.

    Cayetano on Friday said a bank deposit was traced to members of Arroyo’s family in Hypo-und Vereinsbank in Munich, Germany, under account No. 87570-23030-32100-6271-571. He said the documents on the deposit are contained in one of the seven boxes of evidence on the impeachment complaint, which the President’s allies in the House refused to open.

    Opposition sources said the documents showed movements of unusually huge amounts of money to the German bank through a member of an armed department of government closely identified with "an immediate member" of the Arroyo family. The amount allegedly involved is in the range of $500 million.

    Although he was not named by Cayetano, Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo (Lakas, Pampanga) last Friday denied the allegation. "Haka-haka lamang yan," he told a radio interview. "These allegations are just mudslinging tactics," he said.

    Cayetano said in a radio interview: "This is not a wild goose chase because, one, there is an account number and, two, this has been going around in official circles. This is being investigated and is going around not only locally but internationally. So, I’m just giving them the opportunity to clear themselves."

    Hypo-und Vereinsbank (HVB Group) is Germany’s second largest bank after Deutsche Bank. It operates 2,000 branches in more than 40 countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas.

    Germany, which is part of the global anti-money laundering network, requires reporting of deposits amounting to 15,000 euros or more. (A euro is equivalent to P65.93).

    Cayetano dismissed the challenge of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo to accompany him to Germany to claim the account.

    "Dapat sumagot sila (Arroyos). Dalawa lang ang paraan para malaman ang totoo dito. Una ay ituloy dapat ang impeachment. Ang ikalawa ay ang ginawa ni Sen. Panfilo Lacson na pumirma ng waiver upang mabuksan ang ano mang bank account na mai-uugnay sa kanya," he said.

    "We can start with the one in Perea street in Makati," Cayetano, said referring to a deposit at the BPI-Family Bank in the Makati-Perea branch under account No. 661-5-00497-7 under the name of Jose Pidal.

    More from Ellen Tordesillas:

    Gloria Arroyo must be feeling the noose tightening around her neck.

    It showed in the statement her spokesman issued last Saturday threatening Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano “full retribution” if he did not retract his exposé that some “immediate members” of her family maintain a bank account in Hypo- und Vereinsbank in Munich.

    Bunye demanded a public apology from Cayetano to which the young congressman from Taguig-Pateros replied: “You should be the one to apologize to the Filipino public for cheating, lying, and stealing.”

    Cayetano said the information he has about the German account is in a document inside the boxes that they were supposed to open if the impeachment complaint against Arroyo pushes through. Arroyo’s allies in the Lower House, however, are determined not to have those boxes opened.

    But Arroyo is nervous because she knows the documents Cayetano and the opposition have, came from international investigating agencies, which are thorough and uncompromising in their work. As Cayetano said, “this is not a wild goose chase because one, there is an account number and two, this is going around among official circles. This is going around not only locally but internationally.”

    Arroyo knows this because some members of an anti-corruption agency of another country met with local officials. If she thought the case would just end like that of former justice secretary Hernani Perez, she has former Agriculture Jocelyn “Joc-joc” Bolante miserable in a Chicago jail to remind her that things could work against her this time.

    Early in 2001 Swiss banking authorities informed the Philippines of a suspicious $2 million deposit to Coutts bank in the account of Perez’ wife and brother in-law Ramon Arceo. The money was later traced as having come from businessmen Mark Jimenez and was believed to be part of the alleged payoff of the Argentinean power firm IMPSA in exchange for a government guarantee for its foreign loan.

    Despite the Swiss banking authorities’ report and charges filed by anti-graft crusader Frank Chavez before the Ombudsman, Perez was never prosecuted.

    In Bolante’s case, however, the US government’s anti-corruption drive snared him. Wanted by the Philippine Senate in connection with the alleged diversion of P728 million fertilizer fund for the 2004 election campaign of Arroyo, Bolante was arrested last month upon arriving in Los Angeles after his business and tourist visa was cancelled.

    Bolante is now under detention while his request for asylum is being processed.

    Read the whole thing.

    MORE: An email sent to Ellen from Billy Esposo:

    A group of LA Filipinos have organized the Philippine Anticorruption Movement U.S.A., Inc. - PAMUSA in short, pronounced PAM U.S.A. - with Federal Tax ID or EIN 20-5362418 as nonprofit for public service to heed a call of President Bush for NGOs and business community to help fight corruption wherever it exists. Its focus naturally is the Philippines and its organizers see PAMUSA as providential (hulog ng langit).

    Since Filipinos don’t seem able to solve their problems on their own God, truly loves the Philippines that in his mysterious ways has devised the “No Safe Haven” policy for the whole world to help our country solve its most debilitating problem: government corruption. The U.S. and other G8 nations, namely: Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the U.K. as well as over 100 other countries have adopted “No Safe Haven” pursuant to the U.N. Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) to deny entry for corrupt officials (past and present), those who corrupt them whether in public or private sector, and their illicitly-acquired assets.

    Former DA Usec Jocelyn Bolante became the first Filipino recorded to be collared (in police parlance) under “No Safe Haven” when he arrived in LA on July 7, 2006. The reason: he’s ipso facto a corrupt official. Evidently, Bolante had a valid U.S. visa when he departed Seoul; otherwise, he wouldn’t be allowed to board the plane to LA. Since the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security receives advance passengers manifest of all those bound for the U.S., Bolante’s visa conceivably was cancelled by the U.S. Embassy in Manila while he’s in flight.

    He could’ve returned though on the same plane he came in which is the procedure when a person is denied entry. Instead, Bolante opted for detention as illegal alien and applied for asylum according to reports the U.S. immigration wouldn’t deny or confirm. The ground is fear for his life if he answered a Senate subpoena on his role in the PhP728-million fertilizer scam. That’s jumping from frying pan to the fire because he’d be subject to U.S. laws like Imelda Marcos who was charged under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO).

    After Bolante’s story came out, rumors went around the “No Safe Haven” could’ve been a reason Mrs. Arroyo skipped Italy after all she’s in Rome already as well as France, Germany and Russia in her last European trip. A visit to Russia would’ve had great political mileage. Russia could supply RP with oil to balance our country’s dependence on Middle East sources and as quid pro quo Russia could be a big RP export market.

    That in a nutshell explains a serious problem Mrs. Arroyo and all those supporting her have caused our nation. The solution obviously is for Mrs. Arroyo to step aside since RP recovery under her is now an impossible dream. Any economist knows at least two conditions sine qua non for our nation’s recovery to take off, to wit: (1) Confidence of the people and business community in the national leadership; and (2) Net inflow of foreign investment which again depends on the international community’s confidence.

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know Mrs. Arroyo couldn’t elicit confidence from the international community when she might not even be allowed to enter the G8 nations which is the biggest single source of foreign investment. Sad to say, no matter how Mrs. Arroyo’s drumbeaters spin it, local and foreign investors’ confidence in her has been leaking like gas in a tank nearing empty.

    PAMUSA’s organizers know most of you aren’t just for the ride but to faithfully serve our country which is an honor to be proud of. In that case, please ask yourselves: What has Mrs. Arroyo done for the nation to deserve further support for her dubious presidency? Could she prevent her impeachment every year by bribing congressmen who are no doubt concerned now with “No Safe Haven”? All of us know Mrs. Arroyo can step down sooner if she so decides rather than later which would exacerbate our nation’s problems unless some sense is hammered into her that resignation like Nixon’s is a good and honorable option. Otherwise, she would bring her family and allies including all of you down to the hole worse than the Marcoses and their corrupt supporters fell into. They didn’t have “No Safe Haven” then.

    RTWT rin.

    Tribune: German government holds key to GMA, family ‘hoard’

    The Yao Ming Crossover

    Watch Yao go coast-to-coast as he displays his ballhandling skilz!

    From YaoMingMania:

    The most amusing play occured about mid-way in the third quarter when Yao picked up one of his controversial fouls. Standing close to the basket on defense, Yao tipped a pass and flicked it forward to another Chinese player so that player could start a fast break the other way.

    Unfortunately, the other player wasn’t expecting the pass, so Yao picked up the loose ball and basically caught his own pass — which is a double-dribble — but the refs didn’t call it, and Yao started dribbling it up the court himself. The USA’s Kirk Hinrich tried to steal it away from him, but Yao was able to fend him off and keep his dribble while still heading up court. Then seeing Lebron James in his way as he dribbled past half court, YAO IN FULL STRIDE DID A CROSSOVER DRIBBLE TO GET BY LEBRON! I couldn’t help but laugh on how wicked that move was!

    That move allowed Yao to get into the paint and perhaps allow him to finish on one of the sweetest sequence of moves a 7?6? man has ever scored on. But unfortunately for Yao, future Rocket teammate Shane Battier came into the lane and, in my estimation, established position with both feet in the lane right before Yao ran into him. But even after he made contact, Yao threw the ball up at the rim, which the ball grazed from underneath, popped over the lip of the rim, and fall through for the score! But it wasn’t meant to be after the ref called the charge on Yao.

    Will China own us one day?

    Sa Charter Change ni Arroyo, isa sa mga bagay na gusto nilang baguhin sa Constitution ay yung mga provisions na nagli-limit sa mga foreigners na mag-own ng lupa at mag-develop ng natural resources, mag-manage ng public utilities, media etc.

    Although i'm not for wholesale charter change, i'm for amending the constitution to remove only the restrictive provisions on the economy.

    Many people think the US will be one of our biggest investors pag natanggal ang mga provisions nito, but I think China will be our biggest investor, and will be on a shopping spree once the economic provisions are amended, because Big China is hungry for natural resources.

    Here's Tom Friedman on what China is now doing to help boost it's country's growth. Parang warning na rin ito sa atin:

    It takes a while to get used to Lima's Chinatown - the largest in South America - with all its Chinese shopkeepers and restaurant owners speaking Spanish. But once I found the "sopa wantan" and the "pollo con castana de caju" (wonton soup and a Peruvian chicken with cashew nuts) on the menu at the Wa Lok cafe, the neighborhood definitely started to feel like home. And even my Spanish fortune cookie ("Learn to read between the lines") seemed somehow appropriate.

    In the mid-19th century, thousands of Chinese were imported to Peru as slave laborers, replacing black slaves who had been freed. They worked sugar plantations and built railroads - until they, too, were liberated.

    Today, Chinese are again flowing to Latin America. This time, though, it isn't as laborers. It's as businessmen and government teams looking to acquire farms, forests and mines to fuel China's growth. Yes, "the sucking sound" you hear coming from Latin America these days is in Chinese.

    Fish meal, soybeans, oil and gas, iron ore, steel, timber and coffee from Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia and Colombia are all being pulled into China. To be sure, China, like America and Europe before it, is entitled to acquire resources in Latin America. It is paying market prices and fostering a growth spurt - albeit a resource-driven one - all across Latin America.

    But here's the rub: U.S. and European multinationals today operate in the developing world under a powerful environmental microscope. Most are public companies, sensitive to any article or blog or e-mail campaign that might accuse them of despoiling the environment - and thereby trigger backlashes by shareholders or consumers, who expect a high level of green behavior. Also, a web of U.S. and European environmentalists and media constantly monitor their companies' global footprints.

    Chinese companies do not yet operate inside such a web. So they are on a global campaign to amass oil, gas, farms and mining concessions, from Latin America to Africa, with few of the legal, public opinion or peer-pressure constraints of Western firms.

    That is why one of the biggest environmental challenges in the world today is how to turn "Red China" into "Green China" - not just at home, but abroad.

    China is becoming more sensitive at home to the costs of its polluted rivers and air and the overuse of its natural resources. That is encouraging. But we don't want China to export its degradation - cleaning up at home, while despoiling ecosystems abroad.

    This could easily happen. On a tour of Latin America in 2004, President Hu Jintao said that China would invest $100 billion over 10 years in developing resources here, and the ports and railroads to transport them. Since 1999, the Latin American share of China's total imports has more than doubled, according to Intelligence Research Ltd.

    Here in Peru, China's Shougang steel company bought the Marcona iron ore mine in 1991 - one of the largest in Latin America - along with a Pacific deep-water port. But it is located next to a natural bay, loaded with wildlife. Shougang has regularly made it into the Peruvian press, accused of dumping effluents into the bay and not treating its workers well.

    The amount of press it gets here, though, "is nowhere near what a North American company receives," a U.S. consultant in Peru said to me. And none of this makes news in China.

    Read the whole thing. If we do remove the restrictions, we need to discuss with the Chinese gov't on how they do should do their business here, without destroying our environment.

    Saturday, August 19, 2006

    Quick Sunday Hits: Postigo Luna

  • What is Postigo Luna's (aka COMELEC-ako) views on GLORIAGATE? Does anybody know? I heard he's a COMELEC official..

    UPDATE: I guess the answer is here, from COMELEC-Ako:

    And to add even more crap to the cess-pool, Administration allies are up in arms against Biazon for opening his trap. Why, I ask you, why should they complain when this whole political mess that the country has obsessed about for more than a year was caused by a damnable lack of solid evidence pointing to cheating -- or to the absence thereof? All allegations of cheating have so far been just that mere allegations.

    That's what Arroyo's congressmen said too. WHERE'S THE EVIDENCE??? Which is funny because Arroyo's tongressmen did everything they can to prevent the evidence from being presented. And how about trying to address some of these questions on the 2004 Presidential Elections.

    And Postigo Luna, how are you going to reform the COMELEC if you refuse acknowledge that the COMELEC was used as a dagdag-bawas machine for Mrs. Arroyo candidacy in 2004?

    More: Interesting Postigo Luna's opinion on Garci:

    The linchpin to the entire alleged plot is once again Garcillano - the one person who will never be believed regardless of what he says. For the lawyers out there, remember the Dead Man's statute? The Dead Man's Rule "bars one party of an oral contract from testifying about the agreement if the other party is dead." The theory being that when nothing is in black and white, the dead man can't contradict the claims of the living, therefore putting him at a grave (bwahahaha! get it?) disadvantage.

    Well, as far as his credibility is concerned, GArci is a dead man, making this is a great way of ensuring that otherwise shaky and unsubstantiated charges are given a bit of armor: the only person who can actually contradict it will never be believed anyway.

    who in their right mind would want to believe a guy like Garci?

    And why is his credibility "dead," just like Arroyo? Did you ask yourself that question? O baka naman sasabihin mo siniraan lang siya ng opposition kaya wala na siyang credibilidad.

    Postigo Luna says if anybody has evidence na nandaya si Arroyo or the COMELEC, they need to go to court raw. That's his stock answer. But we all know what will happen kapag idinala ito sa korte under the Arroyo regime. Tatakutin o babayaran ang judge at maki-clear ang mga kakampi ni Arroyo. Ganyan ang nangyari kay Nani Perez at Ricardo Manapat. Ganyan rin ang nangyari kay Garcillano.

    OTOH, atat na atat na habulin ng mga judges ang mga kaaway ng administration.

    UPDATE: Here's my response to Postigo Luna's comments below

  • Mabuhay kayo, Clinton John Colco and Arsenio Rasalan for telling the truth. The tribune website is back, Ninez comments on these latest revelations. But Sen. Pimentel also cautioned the opposition to check on their motives for coming out. Ellen T. sa malaking papel ni Ebdane sa GLORIAGATE.

  • Ito ang RSS feed ng temporary blog ng PCIJ.

  • More from the PCIJ on Rasalan's testimony on GLORIAGATE:

    Talking in a soft voice, Rasalan said the fraud conspiracy involved President Arroyo and “her trusted allies and lieutenants,” including the police chief at that time, Gen. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., who was named after his retirement in August 2004 to the juicy post of public works secretary.

    Rasalan’s is by far the most direct testimony by a named individual on the post-election manipulation of election returns. In his statement, he gives a chilling account of how the fraud was done, including the deployment of 40 people to fill in precinct-level election returns (ERs) in their own handwriting. This was supposedly so that the manufactured returns would match the figures of the provincial certificates of canvass that had earlier been tampered with by former election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.

    Rasalan says that the President and her advisers apparently panicked when presidential candidate Ferdnando Poe Jr. and his running mate Loren Legarda filed an election protest. Because of the protest, it was likely that the ERs kept at the Batasang Pambansa would be opened up. To cover up the fraud, new ERs had to be manufactured. According to Rasalan, this task was assigned to Ebdane, who in turn took in Bello to implement the presidential order. Bello, in turn, tapped the services of Rasalan.

    More here and here.

  • GMA stash in German bank bared. Opposition dares her to execute a waiver.

  • Winnie Monsod: Is the Parliamentary system really better then Presidential?

  • Ramon Mayuga on the Anti-Kleptocracy law in the US and Joc Joc Bolante.

  • Thai Editorial on Thaksin: Reconciliation about more than silencing critics. Money quote: "You can't play dirty, hit your opponent below the belt, and then scream "let's meet halfway"."

  • Loi to seek a second term.

  • Isagani Cruz defends himself against accusations of bigotry. He's just exercising his free speech rights, he says.

  • Randy David: "THE state of national emergency that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared on Feb. 24, 2006 was supposed to have lasted only one week. But events in the last six months suggest a different conclusion: emergency rule may have, in fact, become Ms Arroyo’s paradigm of governance." Read the whole thing.
  • It's all politics and propaganda, says Sassy

    UPDATED: Connie Veneracion believes the accusations of "extrajudicial killings" against Arroyo and the military are just propaganda and politics. (hattip: MLQ3)

    WHEN I come across propaganda, I rarely stray beyond the opening paragraph. I say “rarely” because not every piece of propaganda deserves the trashcan. As with any spoken word or written statement, when the subject is something important, the better policy is to take the statement at face value and conduct one’s own research and draw one’s own conclusions. In short, when reading or listening to propaganda, the best mistake that one can make is to believe every word as gospel truth. Every piece of propaganda has a political agenda and unless one belongs to that breed that will believe anything that has emotional appeal, it is best to reserve one’s opinions until one has a better grasp of the subject matter.

    I say this because there are so many Filipinos hooked on condemning extrajudicial killings and holding President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo personally responsible for them.

    Eto pa:

    So, when we hear someone, or a group, or an entire organization or coalition of organizations condemning extrajudicial killings, what is it exactly that they condemn? Is it the killing, per se? Then, why not just condemn murder in general? Or is it only the killing of people known to be active in fighting for human rights? If it were the second instance, is there a reason extrajudicial killings should be considered more reprehensible than generic murder?

    The answer to the last question is most probably NO. The insistence on a different term to denote political killings is not because most find them more reprehensible. It is because giving them a political dimension makes it easier to put the blame on the entire administration without the need to go through legal processes. While the commission of murder must be imputed to a specific person or people and their participation established and proven, the entire administration is sought to be held liable for extrajudicial killings committed during its term unless it can show that it did everything humanly possible to end them. In other words, the term “extrajudicial killing” is resorted to when no specific murderers can be named.


    When is a killing or kidnapping attributable to abuses committed by individual military and policemen and when do they take on political color? Is Mrs. Arroyo liable based of command responsibility? Isn’t that equivalent for holding her responsible for the crimes of every rogue cop and soldier in the country? Isn’t that unjust?

    Way I see it, her liability rests on her failure to stop the killings. The chain of command or proof of her knowledge and/or complicity is entirely irrelevant. It isn’t necessary to prove them. It is a simple question of competence. That is why all the frenzied cries and condemnations that make her out as a heartless monster who will stop at nothing to keep her throne are just unnecessary propaganda.

    An even more relevant question to ask is why those quick to condemn the President do so as though the buck stops at the door of Malacañang. Does it really stop there? Or are these extrajudicial killings a mere component of the larger antiterror campaign of US President George W. Bush that this administration has vowed to support?

    The killings of leftist militants she implies, are either the work of individual military /police officers, OR the fault of George Bush's policy. LOL.

    And is it REALLY just a lack of competence on Arroyo's part kung bakit hindi nila ma-solve at mahuli yung mga pumapatay sa mga leftist activists? Arroyo seems to be a strong admirer of Gen. Palparan, his policies, and what he stands for. Is Sassy a strong admirer of Palparan too?

    And here's a list (as of Apr. 2005) of lefty groups and media organizations who the government and ISAFP has labeled as "enemies of the state". Thank god hindi kasali ang Manila Standard Today sa listahan!

    Related: ISAFP botched this one up.

    UPDATE: Seems like Amnesty International doesn't think it's all politics and propaganda

    Amnesty International tells RP : Shame on you
    Slays traced to state of emergency, war vs Reds

    By Norman Bordadora
    Last updated 01:59am (Mla time) 08/16/2006

    Published on Page A1 of the August 16, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

    THE UNABATED killing of leftist activists constitutes a pattern of political executions that should be a source of “deep embarrassment” to the Philippine government, according to Amnesty International (AI).

    In a 51-page report released yesterday, the London-based human rights group said the threat of more such murders had intensified this year along with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s declaration of a state of emergency in February, the arrest and threatened arrest of militant party-list lawmakers, and the administration’s all-out war against communist insurgents.

    The group raised concerns about “credible reports” that security forces were involved in the killings, or at least tolerated or had knowledge of them.

    AI documented a steep increase in the incidence of extrajudicial killings this year, recording 51 cases in the first semester. It pointed out there were 66 such killings in the entire 2005.

    “No one deserves to die for their political affiliation. It should be a deep embarrassment to the government that people in the Philippines cannot freely exercise their rights of political expression and association,” said AI’s Southeast Asia researcher Tim Parritt.

    In its report that included case studies of the killings and of warrantless arrests, AI listed these key recommendations: Reassertion of respect for human rights; guarantee of the administration of justice; compliance with the human rights agreement in the peace process, and action by other human rights institutions.

    That seems about right.

    Culture of impunity

    In her State of the Nation Address last month, the President said she was condemning the political killings. But she also heaped lavish praise on Major General Jovito Palparan, who has been tagged the “butcher” of leftist activists for the cases of extrajudicial killings and rights abuses in areas where he has been posted.

    “The common features in the methodology of the attacks, the leftist profile of the victims and an apparent culture of impunity shielding the perpetrators has led AI to believe that the killings are not an unconnected series of criminal murders, armed robberies or other unlawful killings,” the group said.

    “Rather, they constitute a pattern of politically targeted extrajudicial executions taking place within the broader context of a continuing counterinsurgency campaign,” it said.

    It cited motorcycle-riding death squads preying on leftist activists as well as cases of militant politicians and activists being labeled as communist cadres.

    AI said there was “an increased risk that those responsible for the killings would believe that they had received a signal of official acquiescence for these abuses.”

    It cited “repeated credible reports that members of the security forces have been directly involved in the attacks, or else have tolerated, acquiesced to, or been complicit in them.”

    It said that as early as 2003, the UN Human Rights Committee called for government action on “the lack of appropriate measures to investigate crimes allegedly committed by state security forces and agents and to prosecute and punish these perpetrators.”

    AI called on the Deputy Ombudsman for the military and other law enforcement offices to conduct “prompt, thorough, impartial and effective” inquiries into all complaints of political killings purportedly involving military, police or other security personnel.

    I guess it all starts at the top with Arroyo's "War on the Left" and her military's policy of targetting arroyo critics and militant groups.

    More on the Amnesty Int'l report from Ellen Tordesillas here and here.

    Luis Teodoro comments:

    The irony is that there are simple lessons in these wrongful assumptions a less intellectually challenged regime, and a brainier police and military, would have learned from the martial law experience. These are—repeat after me, now—that (1) attacking the very population whose hearts and minds you claim to want to win will win you only a harvest of resentment, hatred and further rebellion, and (2) the only way to compete with community activists is by serving the community rather than slapping residents around.

    That the Arroyo regime and its military and police henchmen have not learned lessons so simple only simpletons could fail to absorb them, speaks volumes about its sheer incapacity to understand what drives the poor into rebellion. It also demonstrates how far it will go in its greed for power, wealth and privilege. For in the end and beyond all the rhetoric, greed is what the ongoing destruction of Philippine communities and the entire nation is all about.

    UPDATE: Sassy does a rowback.