Monday, March 31, 2008

The effects of Neri vs Senate

The resolution in the Neri vs Senate Committee Case is like seeing "the good, the bad and the ugly"...

  • The "good" because finally, everybody can breath upon knowing how powerful the President of the Philippine Republic is. Siyempre next time, alam na kung sino ang puwedeng magsabi ng Noli Me Tang-ina... este Tangere. Siyempre, luminaw na rin ang bolang kristal at alam na kung ano ang mas mahalaga... ang kapakanan NG MGA PILIPINO o ang kapakanan ng ILANG PILIPINO -- that is, the salus populi or the salus presidente.

  • The "bad" because the Neri vs Senate Committee show the bias of the Supreme court to the Supreme Law... the law of the salus presidente. Excuse us: wala pa pong personality na involved. We are just talking of the presidential seat here.

  • At dahil nakita natin ano na ang hugis ng batas, nakita rin natin ano na ang hugis ng demokrasya sa Pilipinas -- meaning, democracy only caters to a selected few. So if there is a conflict between the salus presidente and the salus populi, the former prevails. Hence, the "ugly".

    We have seen also the "ugly" because we have seen that the real democracy ends when secrecy begins. So while we argue that the Executive Privilege is a constitutional fact, we tend to forget that transparency is also a constitutional fact. And when we argue that the Executive Privilege has a constitutional basis, we tend to forget that the ideas of "public office as a public trust" and "accountability" also has a constitutional bases.

  • The "good, the bad, and the ugly", however, shows how difficult the job of a Justice of Peace and Justice of Court is. It simply means weighing interests against interests, and be conscience-stricken for the outcome. So if Ed Ermita has been doing double-talks, and if there is now a stalemate between the two branches of the government, it now rests with the Justices. And whether or not the Justices can rest in peace with their decisions, kanila na lang yun. But too sad that in the democracy Pinoy style, the fate of a greater number is decided by the lesser few.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The whole is not the sum of the parts

The Inquirer reports: The European Union has commended the Philippines for its recent economic gains and the significant decline in the incidence of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, the EU ambassador told a news forum yesterday.

According to European Union Ambassador, Allistair MacDonald, the Philippines' 7.3-percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2007 deserves to e praised because "this is the best macroeconomic performance in some 50 years and we wanted to acknowledge that, noting as well that this was accompanied by controlled inflation, a balanced budget and an improved balance of payments", MacDonald said.

Ayos din si MacDonald. Kaya lang, naisip niya kaya na posibleng tinawagan din ni Gloria Arroyo si Garci para mahilot ang economic figure?

Kung sabagay, wala nga palang pakialam ang EU sa internal affairs sa Pilipinas. And it doesn't care kung tunay o hindi ang figures so long as these are official figures. Pero for a fact lang: dumami ang mga mahihirap from 24.4% to 26.9%; self rated hunger also grew up and is expected to soar with the increase of prices of the local commodities without the corresponding increase in the daily wage; self rated poverty also increased because the alleged increase in the GDP did not trickle down to the pockets; that self rated poverty will further increase considering na lalong dumami ang babayarang utang ng mga Pilipino dahil sa corruption.

Next, though it may be true that the number of extra-judicial killings declined, hindi naman gumalaw ng solution rate at wala ni isa pa man ang nappatunayang guilty sa mga namatay. Sa disappearances naman, wala pa ring lumilitaw. And though the numbers of the killings slightly improve, lumala naman ang sitwasyon sa freedom of speech and expression; nawala na rin ang transparency ng gobyerno lalo na ngayon na paborable ang naging desisyon ng Supreme Court sa kaso ni Neri vs Senate with regards the extent of the executive privilege. And this is much worse than extra-judicial killings. Binuhay mo nga ang tao ginawa mo namang parang hayup ang buhay niya.

Kung sabagay, wala namang pakialam ang EU dito sa Pilipinas. Siguro nga mas gusto pa ng EU na laging mahirap ang Pilipinas para maging dependent ang bansa ni Gloria Arroyo sa EU lalo na sa aids at loans. Kung mangyari ng ganun, mahawakan na rin ng EU sa leeg ang Pilipinas... a case which is no different from what the Imperial United States is doing.

Pero sana di tulad sa US ang EU. At sana sa European system of measurements, naiisip pa rin nito na "the whole is not always the sum of its parts".

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Marketing the Rice Importation Idea?

According to Felipe Medalla, UP Economics professor and former planning secretary: The collective wisdom of the market should decide importation… The more the government interferes in the market, the more the economy is vulnerable to shocks and crisis.

What Medalla is saying is to let the market decide everything and that the government should have lesser interference on importation. But will this give us an assurance that:

  • The rice cartel will not be in-charged of the importation?

  • That the people will be assured that rice prices will become lower?

  • That the government will be able to control smuggling, specifically rice smuggling?

  • That the farmers will not be on the negative side should there be importation of rice?

Dahil sa patuloy na denial-to-death ng gobyerno lalong nabubuhay ang rice cartel. With this, magkakaroon kaya ng assurance na hindi ang kartel ang magiging in-charged ng importation?

Siyempre dahil open na ang importation, puwedeng lalong umigting ang smuggling. At siyempre dahil mura ang bigas galing sa smuggling, puwedeng mag-usap ang mga smugglers at ang rice cartel. O di ba, happy together? To note, ni hindi nga nakokontrol ang smuggling so this is not impossible. According to whispering spirits, me mga kakutsaba pa nga ang mga smugglers diyan mismo sa gobyerno. Me mga nagsasabi pa nga na ang ilan sa mga smuggling lords ay nakatira pa sa palasyo.

Lastly, opening up the imports will, of course, hurt the local producers. When the Philippines signed up the WTO and the GATT, wala itong ginawang safety nets para sa mga local producers. Lalo na ngayon na ang concentration ng efforts ng gobyerno ay broadband deal at ang "anti-corruption of the corruption efforts". Ibig sabihin, bahala na ang mga local producers sa kanilang mga sarili.

Kung sabagay, even the government's puppy, si Papa Neri, nagsabi na oligarchy ang Pilipinas. Ibig sabihin, the efforts of the government is designed not to answer the needs and interests of the people (as in the case of the real democracy) but to serve the welfare of the selected few.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Salus presidente est suprema lex.

From declaring herself as "the State" in Presidential Proclamation 1017, here comes Gloria Macapagal Arroyo with a smile that could connect one ear to the other. The Supreme Court, through Neri vs. Senate Committee, ruled on the extent of the Executive Privilege the Philippine President and her cabinet secretaries could invoke. The resolution penned by Justice Teresita De Castro states that:

The context in which executive privilege is being invoked is that the information sought to be disclosed might impair our diplomatic as well as economic relations with the People’s Republic of China. Given the confidential nature in which these information were conveyed to the President, he cannot provide the Committee any further details of these conversations, without disclosing the very thing the privilege is designed to protect.

And what are these questions? These are as follows:

a) Whether the President followed up the (NBN) project?

b) Were you dictated to prioritize the ZTE?

c) Whether the President said to go ahead and approve the project after being told about the alleged bribe?

The Senate, according to the high tribunal, failed to show a compelling need for the answers to said questions. Thus, the court continued, the Senate cannot compel Neri to divulge information which are covered by the executive privilege.

Arroyo's smile further broadened when the Ombudsman also junked the motion to subpoena the president over the scandalous national broadband deal. This means she remains a privileged person far and above the law. This also means that the interests of the people -- their right to information, their right to a transparent, responsive and accountable government, and their right to have their welfare placed above anything else, is set aside.

Kung sabagay, bakit pa kailangang magtaka ang mga Pilipino? It is already made clear by the Freedom House that the Philippines is not a democratic country. Sa isang demokrasyang bansa kasi,the welfare of the people is the supreme law. In the case of the Philippines, it is the welfare of the President -- something similar to case of monarchs who rule under the benefit of the Divine Law, and the dictators.

Otherwise, puwede rin imbestigahan si Gloria Arroyo or i-subpoena tulad ni Bill Clinton when he had a sex scandal at tulad ni Richard Nixon during the Watergate Scandal. O di ba?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Even the statement of support for GMA is padded

If there is one thing that is not padded with Gloria Arroyo, it's her height.

After the padding of the figures of the economic growth came the padding of the election votes. Then we have the figures on classrooms, on projects undertaken and even the SOPs and kickbacks. Count the infamous ZTE-National Broadband Network deal. But as if these are not yet enough, meron na namang bago sa "padding-mania" ni Gloria. Ito ang alleged support ng mga Assumptionista.

Almost a week ago, binugbog ang mga major broadsheets ng manifesto (kuno) ng mga taga-Assumption College stating their support for Gloria Arroyo. Immediately after the publication of the manifesto, however, umangal ang mga nasa listahan saying they did not express their support for Gloria. According to Tribune:

The old girls of Assump-tion Convent are reportedly up in arms against a pro-Arroyo group of Assumption alumnae, led by Cynthia Carreon, an Arroyo official, for including their names in a full-page pro-Arroyo advertisement published yesterday without their per-mission and even knowledge.

A statement against the manifesto was also published in the Inquirer for a mistake that was deliberately dishonest by bringing the dead people alive and those living overseas signing the manifesto without even moving a tip of their fingers. This reads as follows:

In the interest of truth, we would like to set the record straight in regard to the full-page advertisement titled “Concerned Assumption women in support of truth and stability” (Inquirer, 3/13/08) and the correction the advertisers hastily, possibly frantically, issued two days later.

The advertisement, listing fellow alumnae of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from Assumption College who supposedly were supporting her, was clearly a brazen case of misrepresentation. The “honest mistake” was not as insignificant as the advertisers—upon being swamped with complaints of arbitrary listing—claimed they were. For how could people proclaiming themselves publicly to stand for the truth—indeed, paying their way dearly through publicity—have mistaken dead people (15 years dead in one case) for living Arroyo supporters, and graduates of other schools for alumnae of Assumption College, Ms Arroyo’s alma mater?

To say that the “errors” were made due to voluminous influx of data from relatives and friends is unacceptable. Would a relative volunteer the name of a loved one who has long been dead? Is it not deception, shameless as well as desperate, to nevertheless put on the list the name of a person who has told the advertisers to their faces, “’I don’t want to be included”?

In fact, from Ms Arroyo’s own class of 80 (yet, a moderate estimate) fewer than a dozen support her. The advertisers admitted 16 mistakes, but added new names to make up for them. But, again, how could the exact event of the misrepresentation be determined? Surely, if we had the time and resources to investigate more closely, we’d have found more evidence.

At any rate, such case of padding and lying could not have come as any surprise to anyone who knows how this government is run. It has been the story of GMA’s reign.


Ganito na ba talaga ka-"padding maniac" ang administrasyon ni GMA? Hmmmnnn.... alin pa kaya ang padded?

Filipinos disapprove of GMA?

Monday, March 17, 2008

The fight vs impunity

Defense Sec. Gilbert Teodoro said that foreign groups should not dictate how the Philippines will solve its problems on its own way. As Teodoro said: We are dealing with the issue of extra-judicial killings structurally in the department. It will be at our pace, on our terms, in our own programs.

While we agree with his message as a statement of Philippine sovereignty, we are in buried in doubt. First, what pace? 20 years? 50 years? Ilang beses na rin ba itong sinabi ni Gloria -- na aayusin niya ang culture of impunity sa Pilipinas? During the post-Marcos period, sa panahon niya lamang may pinakamalalang patayan. Worse, instead of a declining figure, lalo pa atang tumataas.

Second, in what terms? Killing the noisy ones lalo na ang media? In the Gloria administration alone, 7 journalists are killed per year. Mas malala sa panahon ni Erap na kalaban talaga ng media, o ni Tabako Ramos na isang military general. Di pa kabilang ang mga frustrated killings.

Third, in what program? Feeding program lalo na ng mga underpaid na media? O kaya PP 1017? O kaya ang pagbabawal na mag-rally at magpahayag ng sama ng loob laban sa gobyerno?

Instead of babbling, mas maganda na ipakita ang blueprint paano ito ma-address. At agad-agad dapat may sample. Alam na pala ni Teodoro na may mga military personnel involved, ba't di pa yun ilabas at i-prosecute? Mas inuuna pa ang Magdalo case na huling nangyari kaysa sa mga journalists and Leftists killed starting from he first few years of Gloria Administration. If they consider the Magdalo's actions are an attack to democracy, mas malala ang nangyaring mga pagpapatay. They are not only an attack to democracy but on the freedoms of life and liberty as well as the freedom of the press - the basic foundations of democracy. Kung baga, bubong lang ang ginulo ng Magdalo samantalang sa mga pinatay na journalists at Leftists, pundasyon ang sinira. Kaya hindi kataka-takang bagsak ang Pilipinas sa pagiging isang tunay na demokrasya sa mata ng ibang bansa at sa mata ng mga international entities.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Aside from the national broadband network (NBN) project, the Philippines is still a signatory to another confidential loan -- a 4 billion-dollar loan with ZTE International Investment Ltd., the sister company of Zhong Xing Telecommunications Equipment Co. Ltd. (ZTE Corp.) of the infamous broadband deal. This was disclosed by Trade Secretary Peter Favila during the Senate hearing on the NBN deal. The $4 billion loan is for the establishment of an information technology school and training center; exploration, development and operation of mining areas in North Davao and Diwalwal in Compostela Valley in Mindanao, and the establishment of a special economic zone in Davao.

Wow, masyadong generous naman ang mga Intsik. Pero teka, me colatilla daw ang loan. As reported by
In the MoU, it indicated that "unless otherwise required by law, regulation or an order of a court or any appropriate government agency, a party hereto shall not reveal the contents of this agreement, or issue any press release or make any public announcement pertaining to the projects contemplated herein without prior written approval of all the parties to this agreement."

GANUNNNNN!!!!! We are going to pay for something we are not allowed to know? At bakit?

This is crazy. Ipinapangutang na ang buwis ko ng di ko alam? AT di ko puwedeng malaman? *#@*&^%)(&)*&!!!!!!!


Pero ang malala, ipinapahamak tayo ng gobyerno na hindi rin natin alam. Article 11 of the agreement for Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking in Certain Areas in the South China Sea (JMSU) between China and the Philippines, it is stated:

This Agreement and all relevant documents, information, data and imports with respect to the joint marine seismic undertaking shall be kept confidential during the Agreement Term and within five (5) year after its expiration and shall not be disclosed by a Party to any third party without the written consent of the other Party. However, no consent shall be required when said documents, information, data and reports are disclosed, for the purpose of implementation of this Agreement, to the Parties' respective governments, affiliates or stock exchanges on which a Party's shares are registered.

Ibig sabihin, sekreto lang ang gagawin ng Pilipinas at China sa Spratlys at di ipapaalam (1) sa mga Pilipino, at (2) sa ibang bansa na involved gaya ng Malaysia, Brunei, at Taiwan. Kung hindi pa umangal ang Vietnam, di rin nito malalaman.

The problem, the act of China and the Philippines is treachery on the part of the other claimants. Ang masaklap, ang Pilipinas pa ang nagsulong na status quo muna bago ang JMSU.

Ganito na ba talaga ka-traydor ang gobyernong Arroyo? If she really studied economics, did she even think of the cost-benefit analysis of entering into a treacherous agreement with China? And did she even think of the welfare of the Filipinos? Paano kung mag-spark ng giyera ang ginawa nila? Kaya ba ng sandatahang lakas ng Pilipinas na paangat pa lang ang mga helicopter at fighterplanes sumasabog na kahit hindi binabaril? Na kahit ang Abu Sayyaf na sabi ay ilang dosena lang di pa magapi-gapi? O kaya ang mga rebeldeng New People's Army na sabi ay ilang daan na lamang?

Tama si Albay Gov. Joey Salceda. Bitch. And more than a bitch. Just to enrich the pockets of the privileged few, ibebenta na lamang ng ganun kasimple ang mga Pilipino?


Little Red Riding Hood (lum)?

The words of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, in a speech before signingthe P1.227-trillion 2008 national budget, are clear: To fix the corruption that still plagues our nation, we call on Congress, now that you have passed the budget, to work with us to pass a comprehensive anti-corruption reform act in 2008.

This reminds me of the wolf in the story of Little Red Riding Hood a scene of which goes:
Upon reaching the house of her grandma, Little Red Riding Hood knocked on the door so the wolf asked: Who's there?

Little Red Riding Hood, hearing the big voice of the wolf, was at first afraid; but believing her grandmother had a cold and was hoarse, answered, "It is your grandchild Little Red Riding
Hood, who has brought you a cake and a little pot of butter mother sends you."

The wolf cried out to her, softening his voice as much as he could, "Pull the bobbin, and the latch will go up."

Little Red Riding Hood pulled the bobbin, and the door opened.

The wolf, seeing her come in, said to her, hiding himself under the bedclothes, "Put the cake and the little pot of butter upon the stool, and come get into bed with me."

So a question for Arroyo goes: Bakit ngayon lang na naipasa na ang pinakamataas na budget appropriations? At bakit ngayon lang na meron na namang alingasngas? And to add: Why still pass anti-corruption laws eh andami na natin nun? In addition, we even have a Code of Ethical Standards for government employees and public officials?

The issue here is not that we do not have laws. The issue here is implementation. We do not need additional laws. Sumobra na nga eh kaya nga dahil sa sobrang laws like EO 464, hindi nakakausad ang mga investigations na ginagawa.

Likewise, what we need is not an additional number of anti-corruption laws. What we need is an accountable and transparent government. And we do not need laws to be accountable and transparent.

Sabagay, going back to Little Red Riding Hood story, kung transparent ang wolf, he could have not eaten the girl. Kung transparent din ang Arroyo Government, no one could have dipped in their hands in the lucrative government projects. Si sana maingay ang Spratly contract with China, o kaya ang ZTE Broadband Deal, ang North Rail Project, ang South Rail Project, etc., etc., and ad infinitum.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

In search for truth

San Fernando Archbishop Paciano Aniceto celebrated his birthday today with a mass with Gloria Arroyo and other government officials, including Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio in attendance. In his homily, he reiterated the call of the CBCP for ora et labora (pray and work). As Aniceto said: If we really pray together, you cannot monopolize the truth. Truth begins in the heart, the sanctuary of our conscience.

Pero hanggang ngayon, di pa rin maayos kung ano talaga ang truth na hinahanap ng CBCP vis a vis the truth na hinahanap ng civil society at ang truth na ipinapanalangin din ng grupo ni Gloria. Tinanggal na ang fangless na EO 464. Ano na ngayon? Inamin na ni Gloria ang Hello, Garci! at ang anomalya sa ZTE. Ano na rin ngayon? Ba't wala pang aksiyon? Mukha atang mali ang sinasabi na: And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Hanggang ngayon kasi we are still un-free. Malabo pa rin ang mga bagay-bagay. Magulo pa rin ang lahat.

Kung sa bagay, it appears that the truth everybody seeks vary. While the civil society looks for the truth and the action or scenario beyond (i.e., matatangal ba si Gloria? Mapaparusahan ba siya? Marereporma ba ang Pilipinas?) the CBCP seems to be asking: Ilan pa kaya ang misa na gagawin at magkano pa kaya ang abuloy na tatangapin sa paghahanap ng katotohanan? At sa panig naman ni Gloria ang truth naman na hinahanap: Sino ba sa oposisyon ang may pakana ng lahat? At kailan ba sila titigilan ng oposisyon?

This being the case, no matter what ora et labora will be done, no God will listen. Why? Because everybody is praying a different thing. In simple terms, there is divisiveness... and chaos.

Kaso nga lang, devils have a motto and it goes: In chaos there is opportunity.

Pero teka, sino ba ang nakikinabang sa chaos ngayon? The Church which earns from conducting mass on both the anti-Gloria and pro-Gloria camps? O si Gloria na napapahaba lang ang pag-upo niya sa puwesto dahil di pa rin nagkakaisa ang mga Pilipino? But, if they benefit from the present chaos, sabi ng katabi ni Tikboy: Oh my Gulay! They must be .....

Random thoughts and GMA's latest disapproval rating

According to Pulse Asia:
Amidst the controversies hounding the incumbent national administration, around three in four Metro Manilans (71%) express disapproval for presidential performance while almost the same percentage of Metro Manilans (76%) distrusts President Arroyo. These figures are essentially the same as those obtained by the President back in July 2005 (68% and 72%, respectively) during which time ten members of her cabinet resigned and various groups and individuals called for her to step down from office at the height of the Garcillano wiretapping issue.

The highest disapproval rating came from the Philippines' socio-economic Class E with 80% and then the Class D with 73%. Classes A, B, and C has the greatest share of undecided respondents with 20%.

Medyo naiisip ko na ang mga sagot ng Malacanang: "Commissioned yan ng oposisyon" o "Hindi yan totoo". Pero ng bumaba ang self-rated poverty survey sabi ng Malacanang "Tunay yan". In simple terms kung paborable sa palasyo, tama ang survey pero kung hindi, it's either commissioned by the opposition or untrue.

Pero aminin man natin o hindi, kahit 20% ang margin of error ng survey, majority pa rin ang ayaw kay Gloria. O kahit sumakay ka lang ng jeep, maririnig mo ang mga reklamo ng mga tao at masasabi mo rin na talagang marami na ang ayaw sa nakaupo sa palasyo. For instance, ilang beses bang nagtaas ang pamasahe sa pitong taon niyang panunungkulan? At ilang posiyento ba ang itinaas? Naalala ni Tikboy, P2.50 lang ang pamasahe noon ng umalis si Erap. Pero ngayon, minimum fare ay P7.50 na. Dagdag din ang itinaas ng mga bilihin...

Ang pinakamalala, sabi ni Mang Pedro, "Ginawa kaming mga loko-loko. Ibinoto namin si Fernando Poe, ng binilang ay Arroyo."

Pero okay lang po. Nasa demokrasya pa rin tayo at sa demokrasya, mas malakas ang bilang ng mga may pera. Kaya nga lalong malapit ngayon ang Pilipinas sa China.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Goodbye, presidential seat!

Me kasabihan: Huli man daw at magaling ......... huli pa rin.

Finally, Vice President Noli De Castro is now open to talks with the anti-GMA forces for the ouster of his lady boss. Kaya lang marami ang nagtataka, pagtataka na meron pang soundtrack ni Ogie Alcasid na "Bakit ngayon ka lang?".

Bakit ngayon nga lang ba si Noli nagsalita after those dark days and lonely nights? Let us count the ways:

  1. Malapit na ang 2010 presidential elections. And his stints in politics is just new: three years in the Senate, four years as vice president. Ano nga ba naman ang panama niya kay Manny Villar na maliban sa pagiging public official in appointee position,naging congressman pa ang ST, Speaker of the House, Senador at Senate president? At ano rin ang panama niya kay Mar Roxas na naging appointed public official at Cabinet Secretary, naging consultant pa sa ilang malalaking organisasyon public man yan o private bago naging senador? Si Erap nga naging mayor muna bago naging presidente.

  2. Malapit na ang 2010 presidential elections. Lahat ng makakalaban niya na lumulutang na ngayon me mga partido na susuporta. Siya? Siya po ay isang independent lamang at taga-sunod kay Gloria. Si Erap nga, bago naging president kahil 3 taon lang, meron ding LAMMP maliban sa ngayon ay party-list na PMAP. At andiyan din ang UNO na kahit papano ay pinakinabangan din ng ousted president. Siyempre, kailangan din ni Noli ng partido at makukuha niya lamang ito kung me pang-leverage siya. At ito ang pagiging presidente ngayon kung matanggal si Gloria.

  3. Malapit na ang 2010 presidential elections. At wala siyang masyadong malaking pera to finance his campaign. At nakita niya, mapera pala sa gobyerno lalo kung nasa langit ka, este, nasa pinakamataas na posisyon. Kung ayaw mo na humingi sa America, puwede kang mangutang sa China o ibenta ang ilang pulo sa Spratlys.

  4. Ang masaklap, malapit na ring mawala si Gloria. At ang isinusulong ngayon, Resign All!. Inaantay na lang si Chief Justice REynato Puno na sumagot ng matamis niyang "oo". At tingin naman ng halos lahat na sector at ng iba-ibang political spectrum from Left to Right, ok naman si Puno. Walang negatibong record. Kahit ang kampo nina Villar at Roxas, payag din. Ngayon, kung resign all ang mode, paano pa si Noli? Balik sa TV? At paano pa ang pangarap niya na maging presidente, pangarap na nabuo lang ngayong huli?

Si Charming na anak ni Aling Maring, niligawan ni Pido. Nagpakipot ng nagpakipot kaya hayun, tumandang dalaga. Ang Pido naman, meron ng asawa. Ganito rin ata ang magiging kapalaran ni Noli?

Independence from Uncle Sam... finally?

According to the Inquirer.Net:
The United States had been "pissed off" by the Philippines' deals with China, including the joint seismic study in the disputed Spratly Islands, former Senate President Franklin Drilon said Friday.

Finally, the Philippines, through Gloria Arroyo, is deciding on her own. Finally, the Philippines, through Gloria Arroyo, has started to move away from the shadow of America. Pero, seryoso na kaya ito?

Reading the pages of contemporary history, it appears that:

  1. The actual signing of the agreement on joint seismic exploration with China happened after the Philippines got a verbal whipping from the US for backing out of the Iraq War

  2. The actual signing of the agreement also happened after the United States and other members of the Coalition of the Willing tightened its purse on loans and aids to the Philippines

Galing di ba? Meaning, the Philippines is trying to stand on its own feet. Kaso nga lang, if it is true that the agreement is a precondition for the questionable loans wherein only a few will benefit, and will always involve the first family, mukhang mas personal interest- rather than national interest-driven ang decision to shy away from the shadows of Uncle Sam. Does this mean the claim of our whispering spirits Gloria is now being abandoned by the US? That in the recent restlessness and mass mobilizations, parang walang paki na si Uncle Sam?

Pero sabi ng isang taga-Malacanang, busy lang ang US sa elections kaya dun naka-focus. Kaya? Hmmmnnn....

Hala.... may momooooo!!!!!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Whistleblowers banned

I missed this from yesterday's news:

Palace: Lozada ‘truth caravan’ dangerous to youth
AFP says whistleblower not welcome in camps

Even then, I had some comments in Ellen Tordesilla's blog which I quote:

I think tama din naman ginawa ni jesli lapuz. Kung papayagan niya kasi na magsalita si Lozada sa mga public schools, magkakaroon ng public knowledge ang mga public school students at magiging publicly aware sila sa pangyayari. Siyempre malalaman din ng mga public school students na niloloko rin pala sila ng gobyerno dahil habang nagpapasarap ang iilan sa million-dollar kickbacks at SOPs, itong mga public school students ay nag-aagawan ang mga puwit sa kakarampot na bangko at pisara ng kanilang mga eskuwelahan; nagsisiksikan sa kokonting classrooms; nagpipipilit gumising ng maaga para lang mahabol ang three shifts ng kanilang paaralan; at nagtitiis sa gutom o kaya nagkakasya na lamang sa limang pisong baon. Kung magsasalita kasi si Lozada, baka mainggit lang itong mga public school students sa sarap ng buhay ng iilan, na maganda rin pala sa Wack-wack, at ansarap ng P650 na burjer ni Abalos. Kung mangyayari yun, baka mag-drop out sila sa klase at mag-applay na lamang bilang mga caddie.

At tama din si Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo when she said that "The youth can be very emotional about this, and the danger is, when we become emotional, we lose objectivity."

Unquote: baka mag-rally ng mag-rally ang mga estudyante at mahulog sa silya ang presidente.

"In the many times that he [Lozada] came out, he has not presented concrete evidence, not even one, to back up his claim," Fajardo said, adding, "And that's dangerous."

Unquote: Di pa rin kasi pinapayagan na lumabas si Neri.

But funnier is the apolitical AFP who also issued statements na bawal ang whistleblower sa kampo. Bakit kaya di rin ipagbawal si Esperon dun? Apart from the fact that he is really due to go, he also blew the whistle without doing the appropriate action -- i.e., by filing cases at the proper courts an attempted coup for the officials whom he said are recruiting him?

Poor De Venecia

According to Inquirer: De Venecia denies Spratly pact tied to loans from China.

There are only two reasons why former Speaker Jose De Venecia will issue such a statement:

  • He also has some benefits from the agreement. Who knows, baka meron din siyang 200.

  • On the other hand, he really doesn't know. Otherwise, di siya bibitawan ng kanyang mga ka-KAMPI as House Speaker ng ganun-ganun na lang. Meaning, he is as dispensable as the "burjer wrapper" in Ben's Diner.

If it is really the second, kawawa naman pala ang former Speaker. He doesn't know what's going on behind him. And he can accept that? At di siya iimik? Hmmmnnnn....

Thursday, March 06, 2008

EO 464 and the death of Godzilla

Finally, EO 464 was scrapped but its baby, Memorandum Circular (MC) 108 remains enforced. And we do not know if there are still a number of babies awaiting to get out of their shells. Parang Godzilla. They killed the mutant mother reptile without knowing that underneath, mas marami pa pala.

Bayan Muna, however, says it's a victory. The Catholic Bishops (most of them if not all) says they are pleased. Just like the mayor and the general in the Godzilla movie. Ang problema nga lang, they seemed to forget the succeeding moves of the power game. Una, what will happen to the legal issue raised by Romulo Neri before the Supreme Court? If the case was anchored strictly to EO 464, there is a greater likelihood that the high tribunal will dismiss the petition for being moot and academic. In a sense, hindi pa rin mare-resolve kung hanggang saan ang boundaries ng executive privilege ng presidente. Talo pa rin ang mga Pilipino.To note, even the Supreme Court Spokesperson Jose Midas Marquez admits that the executive privilege is innate in the president and can be invoked anytime.

Ikalawa, EO 464 is not an assurance that Neri will be spilling the beans. During the time of the Senate hearings for the Jose Pidal account, Iggy Arroyo had been invoking to the teeth his right to privacy. How sure are the Filipinos that Neri and the others will not also use the same old worn out line?

And we may not know. Somebody might spill some blood to keep the beans in the basket. Parang accident ga', sabi ni Dodong.

Pero teka, if EO 464 is Godzilla with the documents like MC 108 and the ZTE Contract as the babies, asan yung isla kung saan nag-mutate si Godzilla? Is Ricky Carandang correct na ang isla na yun ay ang Spratlys? Hmmmnnnn....

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Dirty minds

On the idea that the joint activities with China to explore the Spratly Islands was only arrived at to secure loans for the Philippines, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales just said: Nothing, nothing. That is a lot of speculation by people who have dirty minds.

On one of his posts, Ricky Carandang expounded his theory on the possible connection of the NBN-ZTE Contract to the joint Philippine-China activities on the exploration of the Spratly Islands. And it looks there is a sense. For instance, bakit nga ba dumami ang loans ng China sa Pilipinas? At bakit sunod-sunod ang mga kontrata na kahit palpak pinipilit pa rin na isulong? Consider the Northrail project among others. At ngayon, ang ZTE Broadband deal. Does this prove Leuccipus who said that "Nothing exists at random but out of reason and out of necessity"?

Mukha nga. With the uncommon common sense of Ms. Gloria Arroyo, it is not impossible for her to sell even the whole Philippines. Consider the fact that she still signed a highly irregular and anomalous contract despite her knowledge about it.

A third evidence is provided by the 2004 presidential elections and the "Hello, Garci!" recordings. One, bakit atat manalo si Ms. Arroyo? At bakit di dapat bumaba sa 1 million ang gap ng boto nila ng second contender? Bakit di na lang iasa sa tunay na saloobin ng taumbayan? Will her loss mean a lot like life and death? Hindi kaya dahil me cash advance na sa China at kung hindi siya manalo baka mag-leak agad ang anti-Filipino Spratlys joint exploration ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas at China? At kung walang cash advance, san nga ba kumuha ng pera na ginasta? Tingin ni Aling Maria, tunay na pista ang 2004 elections. Surely, hindi lang yun dahil na-liquify ang fertilizer funds o iba pang government funds.

At any rate, Aling Maria and the others may just have dirty minds. But why is Ms. Arroyo hiding her hands with the invocation of the executive privilege? And why is she not pushing for the prosecution and incarceration of those who caused the flaws of the contracts she signed? Kala ko ba galit din siya sa katiwalian? Why, is her hands dirty that she is trying to hide them?

Corruption, a matter of executive privilege?

In Tuesday's hearing on the question of law filed by Romulo Neri with regards his attendance to the Senate probe on NBN-ZTE Scandal, an agreement was reached. According to the high tribunal, Neri should attend the hearing but could not answer the following questions:
  • Did the President (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) ask him to approve the contract despite his report of bribery and kickbacks?
  • Did the President order him to prioritize the project?
  • Did the President follow up on the contract?
It is said that those are matters of executive privilege, questions that clearly give the clues as to whether or not Arroyo indeed took a dip in the honey of corruption.

Kung sabagay, the Senate probe is not about whether Arroyo is corrupt or straight but as to whether or not the NBN-ZTE Contract is indeed anomalous. Isa pa, di pa naman nagbibigay ng final na desisyon ang Korte Suprema defining particularly what executive privilege really is and what are its limits and boundaries. But given these developments, and if in the end the Supreme Court will sustain the result of the compromise agreement, magkakaroon na ng precedent ang mga susunod na administrasyon. Una, puwede palang mangurakot ng mangurakot and when probes like the one being done by the Senate is conducted, i-invoke lang ang executive privilege. Ikalawa, magiging "for display purposes" na lang talaga ang Sections 27 and 28 ng Constitution which we quote:

Section 27. The State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption.

Section 28. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.

Similarly, useless na rin ang mga anti-graft laws natin at laws on the code of conduct of public officials and employees dahil sa pamamagitan lang ng executive privilege, free as a bird na ang mga nasa top positions covered by the executive privilege.

Pero di pa naman tapos ang lahat. We still believe that the Supreme Court is still independent and that it can end the crisis involving executive priveleges in the soonest possible time.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Esperon the squealer?

When Tikboy was still having his ROTC, he was called in a room for a meeting with some officials. At the end of the meeting, the commandant said: What you see, what you hear, when you go leave it here.

The words kept ringing in Tikboy's ears and heart. Kahit palpak ang ROTC training dahil panay lang harap sa salamin... este kaliwa o kanan ang ginagawa, nakakataba din ng puso ang pagkakaroon ng mga ROTC officials na marunong magtiwala at rumespeto sa "sense of confidentiality". Pero mukhang sa ROTC lang pala yun at dun lang sa upisinang yun. In the real world, particularly sa AFP, di pala tunay yun when the AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon himself showed how unbecoming and un-gentleman he is. Quoting Inquirer.Net:

The chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) claimed a retired military officer tried to recruit him for a plot to unseat President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
While we do not agree with the attitude of the retired military cum recruiter, the more we do not agree with Esperon's behavior. Why still blow the whistle to the media? Why not directly file a case against this retired official in the appropriate court? Is Esperon also trying to get the attention being enjoyed now by Jun Lozada? Does he want a reward? O gusto niyang maging pulitiko after his retirement. Senador? Congressman? Cabinet appointee?

Saludo na sana si Tikboy sa kanya for his strong resolve to remain apolitical amidst the scandals rocking the Arroyo Administration. Kaya lang, his actions contradict his words. While this is the nth time he became a whistle blower of those he called as coup plotters, this is also a zeroeth time that he proved his case before the competent authorities and properly accuse said plotters.

Galing no? Buti na lang, buwag na ang ROTC. At least, wala na ring ebidensiya na for a time, there really is this rule: What you see, what you hear, when you go leave it here.

Kaya siguro usong-uso ang mga whistle-blowers ngayon. Prrrrrrrttttt!!!!

Monday, March 03, 2008

So, where's the truth?

After the CBCP statement calling for the search for truth, many are asking: Ano na ang developments?

After the admission of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on the flaws of the ZTE Contract, nothing followed except the ominous celebration of EDSA I and the show of faith in the Makati City Prayer Rally. Pero kung sino ang nasa likod ng flawed contract at kung ano na ang nangyari sa kanila, at kung tunay nga na may kickback si ex-commissioner Ben Abalos at sumigaw ng "back off!" si First Gentlemen, wala na pong nakakaalam. Boses lang ni Joey de Venecia at Jun Lozada ang naririnig.

Kung sabagay, dahil ata sa panalangin kaya natinag si Noli De Castro. Hayun, nagsabi na siya na ready na siyang pumalit kay GMA. Kaya lang, asan pa rin ang katotohanan?

The only thing sure at this moment are the winners in the ZTE Scandal. One of these is the Catholic Church which benefits from both camps for the gifts and donations. Mantakin mo namang dala-dalawa ang misa sa paghahanap ng katotohanan. Meron sa anti-GMA, meron sa pro-GMA. Pero teka, asan na nga ba talaga ang katotohanan?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Writings on the Street

When two opposite poles attract each other, the only thing certain is there's a magnet.

Yesterday's inter-faith rally was an interesting sight. There we see ousted president Joseph Estrada and one of the key figures in ousting him, former president Cory Aquino, joining together in a common cause. Inquirer.Net even had a picture of them appearing to be dancing together. We also see the prayerfuls and the prayerless; the religious groups and the atheists; the movie stars and the movie-goers; the left and the right; the capitalists and the anti-capitalists; the employers and the employees; and so on and so forth. All are united in saying that truth must come out. But will the concerned people led by the claiming president Gloria Arroyo herself listen?

For a person trying to save his or her ass, parting with power may disprove Shakespeare's statement that "parting is such sweet sorrow". For this people, parting will be very bitter, hard to take pill. Paano pa kasi magiging Darna si Darna kung wala na ang bato? O paano pa magiging presidente ang presidente kung wala na siya sa puwesto?

But whether these people will listen or not, the writings on yesterdays streets in Makati will show: the end might be near. Ang pagsasama-sama ng magkakahiwalay at magkakatunggaling na puwersa ay isang indikasyon na dapat bigyang pansin. Ganun din ang pagpayag ng mga publicity-hungry na pulitiko na huwag magsalita sa entablado at ang mga anti-imperialist na huwag sumigaw ng "ibagsak ang imperialismo" para huwag mabuwag ang mga tao. It's plain and simple science: Opposite poles attract. When these attract each other, a new shape is forming, and a new shape will surely be formed.