Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Preview of How GMA's Parliament Works

The recent promotion of Esperon is the latest preview of how GMA and her minions would run a parliament. Bypassing the Commission on Appointments, she promoted Esperon to the rank of a four-star general even if his third star has yet to be approved. If in a presidential system, she railroads and cuts corners, what more with a parliament when her powers are greater.

The continued erosion of our institutions is a glaring example of a weakening democracy. This has been perhaps tha administration's gameplan all the while. Their solution, Cha-Cha. Certainly, a shift to a parliament where the powers are consolidated will only lead to abuse. The proponents of Cha-Cha and those who oppose it are still locked in battle in the Supreme Court. The SC should take note that included in the proposed "revisions" is the weakening of the Supreme Court. Checks and balances will be virtually non-existent. The SC will end up the whipping boy of parliament. They can longer judge the constitutionality of whatever the parliament decides to implement.

Accountability will be reduced or totally removed. The impeachment will be more difficult and could easily be "trashed" by a highly partisan representation. The lectorate will be relegated to spectators as direct elections will be abolished. With our currnet system, GMA had managed to impose EOs which violate the constitution. Although deemed unconstitutional by the SC, GMA simply renames the EO and even adds provisions that make accountability even harder.

If our current system cannot make accountable those who commit injustice to the people, the proposed revisions will tie the hands of the complainant/people. The lower house at present has made a mockery of the constitutional process of impeachment. They are also pushing for Cha-Cha. With the way they conduct themselves, how will the rights of the people be protected?

GMA has the makings of a dictator. Her arrogance has clipped the wings of accountability. Her minions in congress are mere lapdogs who are only as good/worse as the hand that feeds them. Conscience is of no concern anymore, political survival is their main goal. So to save their master and themselves, they too proposes their own Cha-Cha.

As the the fight for Cha-Cha nears its end, let us bear in mind the perils the country will face. We do not need another dictatorship. The greed of our "leaders" for power is so strong that we, the people should be wary of this Trojan Horse they call Charter Change. We have seen how this administration has abused its power, to give it more will be like surrendering our freedom.

Cha-Cha is for those who seek permanent power. I shudder at the thought that the future of my children will be in the hands of those who are in power now. The hardship we experience today will still hound our children as the rotten people in government will remain. Direct elections is still the way to go. To put your fate in people you don't know is utter stupidity.

The past six years has been our window to how this administration works. Her actions and demeanor has shown you what she can offer. Would you like to see more of these or would you settle with a system though wanting in amendments, offers more room for democracy to flourish than a system built on greed. Its now a battle of good and evil. I know which side I'm on.


He Still Doesn't Get It

Hermogenes Esperon, the unconfirmed AFP Chief obviously doesn't get it. After being pelted by UP students with two dozen rotten eggs last week, his interpretation of what happened couldn't be more wrong. Any decent, moral, thinking man would see the incident in a differnet light. Maybe, he doesn't know what a "fascist" is. This is what the UP students called him. The disappearance of two female students and their farmer host has been attributed to his leadership. The students are not remorseful of what they did, one even said that rotten eggs are not even enough to show their disgust with Esperon.

After lambasting the students, he recently floated the theory that the reason behind the opposition's apparent dislike for him is his refusal to launch a coup to oust his master in the palace. To him, this explains why he has yet to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Opposition to his appointment had been strong because his name is one of those implicated in the "Hello Garci" scandal.

Its either he thinks too highly (undeclared arrogance) of himself or he's too drunk with the glory his Gloria is giving him. The people will never include his name in a list of possible officers to launch a coup. Nor will the people support a coup headed by Esperon. His name will always be associated with Garci. His rise to power will always be seen as payment for a "fraud" well done. We all know what kind of person he is. We need officers with conviction and not those who walk with their heads stuck in their asses.

He has the temerity to call the UP students as "bad eggs", c'mon, we all know who the "bad eggs" really are. And they can all be found in the administration. Please don't give yourself too much credit as we find you incredibly incredible. A true officer will unconditionally quit his post if his name is dragged in a controversy such as electoral fraud. Unless you expect to be paid handsomely for your role, you will not allow your name to be tainted in any way.

If he thinks he is serving the nation, he better think again. You are the protector of the state and not the presidency. Your oath is with the people and not with some dictator-wannabe. You are not suppose to blindly follow a despot unless you yourself is a despot. After all is said and done, Esperon until now does not seem to get it.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Images of the Past Continue to Haunt Us

The Martial Law years have long been forgotten. The lessons it taught us are rarely discussed. Flashes of its memory quickly die down. Those were some of the most violent years of the Philippines' history. Killings and forced disappearances was the rule of the day. Dissent was almost non-existent except in the '80s.

After years of apathetic slumber, the populace has had enough and finally rose to oust a dictator. There are many so-called Martial Law Babies who grew up under the shadow of a dictatorship. Through the years, they were exposed to the harsh reality that despite an aura of peace, rights are being violated. People just took everything in stride and dared not to concern themselves of the goings on around them.

The abuses continued unabated and with impunity. With the lifting of Martial Law, the opposition was embolden to carry on the struggle. This time however, they were joined by the youth. Now awakened from hybernation, throngs of ordinary people joined in the fray. Marcos now had a spontaneous uprising in his hands which finally forced him to relingquish power.

Those days have since passed, the Filipino is once again complacent. While a new dictator rises amongst us, the nation is once again plunged in apathy. It seems we never learn from our experiences. People once again couldn't care less as they are personally unaffected by what is going on behind the scene. While the government basks in its temporary glory, a growing number of families suffer from its wrath. The killings and abuses reminiscent of those dark years of Martial Law have been on the rise.

Once again, just like Marcos, GMA is getting flak from the international community. Pressure from outside our shores is breathing down the pretender's neck. Soon, as these atrocities continue to mount, this practice of the current dispensation would finally hit closer to home. Just like before, the struggle will no longer be political but will turn personal, The ordinary Filipino will soon realize that their patience has been abused and their rights trampled upon.

We shouldn't fall into this trap again. We must let this government know that we've seen these signs before. We shouldn't sit idly by and watch how our country is ravaged again by an oppressive regime. After we regained our democracy, we said "NEVER AGAIN". While we as a people accept what is forced upon us, the images of the past will continue to haunt us. We cannot let the future of our children be held hostage by those whose greed for power is insatiable.

So to my countrymen who continue to sleep soundly, you better open your eyes and mind before its too late. Just like before, we have a presidency and a congress in connivance to perpetuate themselves in power. Would you like this new "gang" to make the fight more personal? Or would you stop them now before it reaches your doorstep?


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Blackeyes for Cha-Cha

Proponents of Charter Change have been insisting that shifting to a parliamentary system is the answer to our countries woes. House Speaker Jose De Venecia time and again asserts that the fusion of the legislative and the executive branches of government will give our country politcal stability and lasting economic prosperity. He also added that political gridlock and military adventurism will be virtually non-existent.

While the People's Initiative of Sigaw ng Bayan awaits its fate in the Supreme Court, the majority bloc of the lower house has stepped up to the plate and came out with Resolution 1230 to convene congress to a constinuent assembly. Both the PI and Resolution 1230 are results of GMA's call for Charter Change.

Well, JDV and SnB might end up eating their words as two international events both involving the parliamentary system which they say is the savior of the Philippines is currently hugging the limelight. Due to leaks of lying about the economy, the prime minister of Hungary, Gyurcsany is in hot water. But due to his overwhelming support from the members of parliament, the people are left with no alternative but to kick him out themselves. He has not been ousted just yet as no calls for his ouster from the members of parliament has not been announced.

Reports of corruption and abuse of power has also been the torn on the side of Thailand's prime minister. Thaksin is also facing allegations that he bent the laws to benefit his family's interests. A coup attempt by disgruntled military personnel loyal to the king is in the offing. The parliament has been dissolved and members of Thaksin's cabinet has been rounded up. He is currently in New York to attend the UNGA.

With these two situations in mind, how can JDV and SnB justify their assertions? Clearly, both had been telling half-truths to further their interests. They have not studied their lessons well, thinking that what they would say would be taken as gospel truth by the ordinary Filipino. Certainly, the parliamentary system just like any other system is full of holes, especially with morally bankrupt people at the helm. Obviously, the parliamentary system can also be abused. Consolidating the powers of government can lead to tyranny and dictatorship.

JDV said that military adventurism will be eradicated, why is there a coup now in Thailand? Check and balance is a bone of contention, clearly, the Thai situation showed us that check and balance can be circumvented when the PM has the members' backing. This is also very evident in the Hungarian situation. When the PM holds the majority in the parliament, he cannot be ousted even if the people no longer support him. A vote of no confidence cannot oust the PM just like that. Unless the members of parliament band together and spring a coup, the PM can stay in power as long as he keeps the majority "happy". It all boils down to who holds the majority.

Since we've seen how the tyranny of numbers in the lower house has made a mockery of our constitution and democracy, certainly they can do this in a parliamentary system as well. So all this hoopla about the "shift" is nothing but a waste of time and money. These recent developments in Hungary and Thailand is an eye-opener for us. JDV and SnB has been clearly lying to the people all this time. I'm glad these events are unfolding at a time when the administration is trying to pull a fast one on the Filipino people. My two cents, Cha-Cha is nothing but crap. Its a diversionary tactic for the pretender to buy time. Its actually pushed to keep the status quo and not in support of genuine change. Cha-Cha will not rid this nation of its problems but clearly used as a ploy by those who hold power now to stay in power forever. A personalistic view than nationalistic one if you ask me.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Big and Small of Things

Obviously irked by the World Bank report on the country's state of corruption, the administration's officials and allies were quick to defend the executive. Of course they would blame none other than the national scapegoat, former Pres. Erap Estrada. I must admit though that my perception of Erap is not that immaculate but we must take into consideration the corruption scandals that has hit GMA's administration.

As far as I can recall, only the small fries have been caught although they charged a fairly big fish from the DPWH, it still doesn't cut it. The big ones who have been exposed have yet to face the music. Whatever happened to the Nani Perez case? And who wouldn't know about the Bolante fiasco? They have been trying to nail Erap with the IMPSA deal, but we all know that it was at the start of her term when this was finally signed. Perez was forced to duck the limelight and has been in cold storage ever since. Accusations of a $2 million bribe had been quietly swept under the rug even if evidences point to money changing hands.

The Jose Pidal episode continues to hound GMA and her family. The Jueteng Gate even with several witnesses bribed into silence is still there. The alleged overpricing of the Northrail Project is even included in the charges lodged against her in the impeachment. But the biggest scandal to hit this administration is the Fertilizer Scam which has made a fugitive out of Joc-Joc Bolante and even landed him in jail (in the US, not here unfortunately). Even with the supporting report of the Commission on Audit, the administration has managed to evade the issue. The latest is the allegation that the first family has money stashed abroad.

These cases are too glaring to be overlooked by the world's biggest lender, the World Bank. For sure they have been closely monitoring these scandals. To cry foul regarding the country's rating is absurd. The Presidential Anti Graft Commission headed by de Guzman has yet to move its ass on these cases. I couldn't blame Simeon Marcelo for just packing up and leave his post. Its very taxing to run after crooks who are being cuddled by those who rein power. Even if the Ombudsman would want to do his job, strong opposition and pressure is what faces him in actually performing and fulfilling his job.

If the administration wants to change this perception, all it has to do is to face all these allegations and answer them squarely. But of course we all know that is political suicide for the incumbent. This regime reeks of corruption from top to bottom. International perception is hard to change especially when even the locals see it the same way. A culture of corruption has been nurtured by the highest offices of the land. While the small fish are fried the big fishes still swim freely in this pond of corruption. They may be safe for now but they will have to face the music sometime.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Chilling Effect: Terrorizing the Enemy

Intimidations, veiled threats, libel suits, suspensions and AFP rationalization are just a few of the administration's latest tactics to finally silence its most ardent critics. We first dealt with abductions, extra-judicial killings and illegal arrests. Instilling terror/fear has been the main goal of this administration and its cohorts. Even those "close" to the pretender has abused our legal system. Even if the Supreme Court has ruled on some of the tactics employed by this regime, they continue to make a mockery of our constitution.

All these were used to create a culture of fear. Media has not remained untouched. Journalists are also subjected to these kinds of practice. All those who speak out against this administration and its minions are either "silenced" or harassed with libel cases. Even the most absurd reasoning has been used to leave a chilling effect on media.

The Department of Justce has been used as a tool to rid this administration of its critics. The rule of law is applied at the whimsical caprice of the palace. Justice only serves those in power. And those who disagree are left to be devoured by the administration. Even the opposition in congress was not spared. Trumped charges of inciting to rebellion faced the lawmakers.

The mighty pork barrel, the bread and butter of the ordinary citizen has been used to hostage representatives and their constituents. To be an oppositionist means the death of your district. This is how the administration "whips" its members to keep in line. The pork holds the key to a congressman's success, fearing its loss would render the representative morally inutile. With only a very few exposed die-hard supporters of GMA, one would wonder how many are silently suffering while swallowing this bitter pill called pork.

The administration has graduated to a new level and is employing the latest tactic called suspension. Local executives whom they perceive as opposition are targetted for silencing. After Mayor Trinidad has been dispatched, Mayor Binay is next in line. With the prospect of taking over a mayoralty post, any ambitious low ranking officer would readily jump at this opportunity. With the support of the DILG, the complainant need not worry about finding evidences to back his claim. All he needs to to is to affix his signature on the complaint.

Former president Aquino has been stripped of her only remaining security officer, so are other officals who have gone against the current dispensation. These soldiers providing security were recalled due to the AFP's rationalization program. If so, why does FVR continue to have his security detail? Then its safe to say that even various programs of this government is selective as well.

While pressure mounts against those who oppose GMA, her vindictiveness is slowly being exposed. Soon, fear will be replaced by terror as she let's loose her minions who will overrun the nation. Maybe before that day dawns on us, the sleeping populace will wake up from its apathetic slumber.

*No. of victims of extra-judicial killings: 748 (and still rising) Yr. 2001 - present
*No. of missing: 175
*No. of cases solved: 0
*No. of Journalist killed: 76
*No. of Libel cases filed against journalists: 43 (from FG alone)
*No. of Opposition Mayors suspended: 1 (soon to be 2)
*No. of Congressmen lined up for expulsion: 1
*No. of Congressmen accused of rebellion: 6


Friday, September 15, 2006

All For Show!

As expected, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon blamed the Communist "purge" of the spate of killings that has been taking place in the country. Facing the Melo Commission, he pointe to the CPP-NPA as the culprits in the unabated killings that had taken more than 740 lives. Point a finger and the other four points back at you.

Esperon also stressed that being a signatory to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, they are duty-bound to uhold human rights. He also pointed out that they do not consider militant groups as enemies of the state. But he added that these organizations are CPP-NPA fronts. To my mind, indeed militant groups are enemies of the state. So what if we are a signatory to the UNHRC, the UN can only condemn and not prosecute offenders. They can sanction but still, it does not carry any weight. The administration can always ask for support from other nations who espouse dictatorial rule.

The Amnesty International had also "suggested" guidelines to make the Melo Commission credible. But even before this recommendation reached the commission, Norberto Gonzalez was quick to point out some elements of the AI tends to politicize things. It seems that GMA's emergency meeting with AI was all for show. Its commonly called photo-ops or pogi points in street parlance.

So far, all the administration has done were to make fools of people to say that it is doing something to address the country's woes. Her invitation for these observers to oversee the invewstigations are merely for show. Her insincerity is just too glaring to overlook. Witness protection is also non-existent here. This is the reason why witnesses would rather keep to themselves the atrocities they have seen. Witnesses are either placed in storage or worse, just disappears.

The Justice Deparment too has a habit of conducting witch hunts and fabricating and ressurecting dead cases to harass and intimidate the legal opposition. Evidences and even witnesses here are fabricated to prop up the DoJ's allegations. So how do really expect to get to the bottom of things if due process is mangled and individual rights trampled upon?

The International Criminal Court is the best and most credible body to undertake fact-finding and investigative process. Their hearings are victim-based and unbiased. No government-sponsored commission will succeed in this country. If the executive can render a co-equal inutile, what more than a mere toothless commission. The government's continued refusal to sign the Rome Statute which will place the Philippines under the ICC's jurisdiction only shows their fear of being exposed as the biggest human rights violator in the country.

So if this government truely want to ferret out the truth, go ahead, sign the Rome Statute and clear your name in the international court. If you don't, then speculations against this administration will continue. The cloud of doubt will never clear and people both here and abroad will forever look upon you with distrust.


GMA's Stench Reaches Distant Shores

It seems that accusations of political killings will hound GMA throughout her European tour. After being criticized by Finland's premier, she then was reminded by EU Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso that the continued killings of militants and journalists is a matter of concern for the European Union.

Protesters composed of Filipinos, Belgians and Dutch did not let the opportunity pass as they made GMA feel their sentiments. Even members of the Belgian and Flemish parliament joined the protests. Bearing placards and banners denouncing the spate of extra-judicial killings, they lambasted the pretender and her military henchmen. There was no CPR in Brussels to silence the crowd. Even the threat of arrest did not deter the protesters from letting GMA know how they felt. The Filipino security aides of GMA were helpless, nice to know that there is democracy in Europe.

It seems that she will not have a peaceful trip after all as even Filipinos in Britain are preparing a "warm welcome" for her. No amount of deodorant will overpower the "stench" that she carries with her wherever she goes. Try as she might, she couldn't hide the fact that her notoriety had preceded her and that the Europeans are neither deaf nor blind of the events in the Philippines. At least, her European trip is far smoother than facing the ire of the those wanting to pounce on her had she attended the United Nations General Assembly.

Even the Bolante affair followed her on her trip. Filipinos in the US are well aware of the Fertilizer Scam and are closely monitoring his immigration case. Let's see how her US trip will go. Would the Fil-Ams be kinder to her or would she have to endure a new round of protests when she crosses the Atlantic or would the stench follow her on this trip too?

*Photos courtesy of Anna de Brux. Additional reports and photos can be found at the Arkibong Bayan website.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

International Pressure

To appease the growing foreign condemnation of the spate of extra-judicial, GMA created the Melo Commission. Its main responsibility is to investigate the increasing number of politically motivated(?) murders and disappearnces. Amnesty International and other international organizations have lambasted GMA for the continued human rights violations in the Philippines.

GMA had also continuesly rejected to sign the Rome Statute allowing the country to be under the International Criminal Court. Had she signed this, the ICC can prosecute any individual with crimes against humanity. Together with the United States, GMA continues to sign the resolution. Bush and GMA are probably afraid that someone would file charges against them for crimes against humanity. With both clearly overstepping the bounds of what is legal and humane with the actions taken against their "perceived" enemies, the ICC will definitely put them in their proper place.

Currently, we have three bodies investigating these killings and forced disappearances. The Human Rights Commission, Tasf Force USIG and the recently created Melo Commission. Of the three, TF USIG and CHR are both funded by the government while the Melo Commission as reported needs to "beg" for funding from the very organizations it has to investigate. CHR and TF USIG can also compel those they are investigating to appear before them. The Melo Commssion however does not have this mandate.

Though the CHR may investigate, their powers are only recommendatory and not prosecutorial. The MC on the otherhand cannot compel anyone to appear before them. How on earth can these panels work effectively if their hands are tied. In the case of the CHR, it was constitutionally created and would need congress to give it the teeth it needs. The MC however was created by GMA and she can if she wills it, give the commission the necessary tools to be credible. TF USIG as we all know have concluded that these killings are non-political and suggests that its the CPP-NPA who's responsible.

But it seems she never wanted the commission to succeed. GMA herself has declared that "her" military is clean. The commission was conveniently created to show the international community that she is addressing these killings and abductions in earnest and to deodorize her administration. She may have succeeded initially, but the international community is wary of her sincerity and that they will be sending their own teams to get the truth for themselves. Try as she might, her credibility abroad is not good and worse, whatever she does will always be suspect both here and abroad.

We have also sponsored a UN resolution condemning Israel's actions against Lebanon. Unfortunately, when the time to vote came, the Philippines abstained. Now we have incurred the ire of the Organization of Islamic Countries. We are trying to get an observer status in the OIC for years and this latest fiasco had put us in a bad light. The OIC for years have been trying to get the Islamic secessionists and the GRP to peacefully end the hostilities in Mindanao. This has forced GMA to skip the UN General Assembly for fear of being questioned by other leaders on her turnabout regarding this resolution.

Arroyo's insincerity has flown from our shores to distant lands. The EU is looking at the possibility of using the Rome Statute as a prerequisite for European investments. The United Nations Human Rights Council also intends to send a team to investigate the spate extra-judicial killings. Malacanang revealed that its GMA who invited them to see for themselves. Really? For sure they are cooking up another ploy to hoodwink these observers. Just like what they did during the 2004 elections where they herded foreign observers to "friendly" areas while they did their dastardly acts elsewhere.

Finally, the international community is taking notice of our people's plight. The killings continue unabated and rights are suppressed. Other forms of harassment are employed to silence the opposition. Lowly members of the administration's critics are killed while the more notable are slapped with trumped up charges. I hope the international teams arrive soon before every member of the opposition is silenced and evidence is swept under the rug.


Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11: Terror Alert

While America and the rest of the world remember 9/11 as another day that will live in infamy, the Philippines will be remembering this day not for Marcos' birthday but the expected escalation of extra-judicial killings, abductions and more abuse of our civil rights.

Today is the day that GMA's favorite general is set to retire. I am of course talking about Gen. Jovito Palparan. The infamous general often called "The Executioner" or "The Butcher" who leaves a legacy of abuse and an unequaled resolve to erase all Communists from the face of the earth with whatever means imaginable. He may not have succeeded in eradicating the insurgency in Central Luzon but his new appointment will definitely give him more teeth to fulfill his psychotic dreams.

Today will be the dawn of terror for progressive groups, student activists and all other anti-Arroyo groups. Reports say that he will be named as Deputy National Security Adviser. Now the tandem of terror is complete. NSC's head honcho Norberto Gonzales couldn't have a more perfect partner in the person of Palparan. With Gonzales issuing terror threats left and right, Palparan will be handling the "execution" of the administration's terror plans.

Expect the Mutt and Jeff of GMA to terrorize the populace into submission. Their styles would definitely complement each other. One is good at cooking up stories of impending threats and the other will be doing the actual terrorizing. GMA can now sit back and relax as her terror cell is now complete.

While the world sleeps soundly knowing their governments are there to protect them from terror, the Filipnos will have nightmares, as the government tasked to protect them will step up its efforts to terrorize them even more. So as the the new day of Palparan's retirement begins, he is now more powerful than ever. Palparan is now a member of GMA's "SELECTED UNTOUCHABLES" and the NPA's "MOST WANTED".

UPDATE: The palace had since withdrawn Palparan's appointment due to the public's outcry.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Party Politics and Independent Politics (WHAT IF?)

Many have said that we need to strengthen political parties and a two-party system could do just that. What we have at present are coalitions and of course the partylists which are supposed to represent marginalized sectors of society.

Seing the potential of these partylists, major political parties have dipped their hands in the partylist field in the guise of representing special interest sectors and have instead polluted and prostituted it. We see partylists who have toed the administration line, disregarding the sentiments of their constituents. They have become either swing votes or lobby groups for the current dispensation. While some had adhered to and tried to truly represent their sectors, they have lost their effectivity. This is mainly due to administraion propaganda and misinformation. They have not seen eye to eye with the administration and have been branded as distabilizers and the more extreme, as communist fronts.

Obviously, those partylists which defend the "president" has been funded by major parties which support the presidency.(Its quite obvious, isn't it?) We must remember that partylists are nationally voted and they need not only a good machinery to be voted into office but an eaqually strong mass base. So to counter the upsurge of progressive groups, political kingpins invidually or with their party's support create their own partylist to gain more leverage in congress thus ensuring and increasing their party's clout.

With the funds from their "political sponsors", this pseudo-partylists were able to gain seats in the house and deprive legitimate partylists from representing actual sectors of society. Its about time we review and amend the partylist law. Better yet, why not rid the entire lower house of political parties and instead make them all independents. Afterall, members of the lower house are just local officials with added powers and benefits. In this way, we rid the system of syndicated politics or what others may call Mafia style politics. Let's leave the major players to battle it out in the senatorial arena where we see a diversity of views and not just plain party politics.

We will then have a truly independent lower house which will be free from political debt. This way too, representatives will be more accountable to their constituents than have a major party cover up their mess. A wide range of views will lead to a more effective way to draft laws as all sectors will truly be served and heard. Campaign funding will be at a manageable level that elected representatives will actually work for the people than work to recover their campaign expenses and repay their political debts.

At present, our "congress" represent interest groups and not the marginalized. We have trapos who cloak their twisted ambitions in the guise of representing their constituents' sentiments. The current practice of tyranny by numbers will be eradicated as partylines will be non-existent. The presidency will be more in touch with the people than just dealing with political parties and have his/her way. Legitimate representation will then be in place. Lobby groups will also have a hard time "buying" politicians as they will have to deal with independent persons and not a group which they can easily influence.

A truly independent lower house will be more objective than subservient to only one person. Senate and the lower house will no longer be suspicious of one another as there are no political parties or party doctrine involved but plain unadulterated public service. This will also deprive the president of having a constant shield to protect him/her from impeachment.

Some of you may find this view insane. Its just a thought I have been mulling for quite awhile. I may not have answers to your questions, but to me, this is a way to purge our politics of unscrupulous individuals who can be easily dictated to by their political parties and political masters.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Credibility and Integrity in the 13th Congress

The Arroyos finally came out swinging. Smoked from its burrow, the Arroyos are in a fighting mood. They are out to hang Cong. Alan Peter Cayetano who have alleged that they have an account in a German bank. Aside from filing a libel case against Cong. Cayetano, they have now filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee. It now changes the whole picture as Cong. Cayetano now has a forum to finally present the evidence the minority fought hard to be presented during the botched second impeachment.

But it seems to public perception that this complaint has been pre-judged by the said committee. Several congressmen in a show of support, even accompanied and even gave statements in support of the Arroyos. How then could we expect the proceedings to be credible? Would be another numbers game? The administration bloc had time and again shown us how morality has no place in the lower house. Remember, what is legal is not always moral and what is true can always be made false by sheer numbers.

I caught Ricky Carandang's show where he had Cong. Etta Rosales and Rudy Antonino as his guests. I also caught portions of his interview with Cong. Cayetano. What struck me the most is how Antonino lawyered for the Arroyos. Even to the point of saying his intuition tells him that the Arroyos are more credible than Cong. Cayetano. He followed this up by saying that he had known Mike for a long time and that he has the right to protect his good name. Good name? Now to me, after what he said, he should inhibit himself from the case. So are those who accompanied Mike when he filed his complaint in a show of support. (Antonino, Macarambon, Suarez, Veloso, Raul Gonzalez, Jr.) They can say they'll be impartial but no one would believe them.

Congressional integrity is at stake with this complaint. It is a known fact that congress had not lifted a finger nor condemned any action against its members who belong to the minority bloc. Is this the fair, just and impartial congress which the majority would like to portray? They did not raise a howl when Cong. Hontiveros-Baraquel was physically thrown into the back of a police van and yet remained silent on a sexual harassment case against one of the "old" members of the majority. It seems that if you are with the opposition, you have to fend for yourself, but if you belong to the "trapos", you'll be treated with respect and protected by your peers.

The majority insists that the lower house has credibility and integrity. Why then are they so anxious to push their Cha-Cha? Its obvious that this is their last ride and to hold elections in May would be catastrophic to their political ambitions. They know quite well that the people no longer believe in their so-called credibility and integrity. If we hold the elections now, for sure these people will be thrown out of office by their constituents.

From cover-ups to lawyering for the Arroyos, they have actually done nothing but to tell the world that they are righteous and just. That they can never be removed from their mighty perches because they have the numbers. They they can twist the law to suit their liking. I think its the lower house we should abolish and not the senate as they have practically done nothing for the the country than travel the world in the guise of attending conferences and seminars. Go on junkets with their beloved pretender. And whose money do they spend? Unfortunately ours, the taxpayer.

This is the worst congress we've ever had. What we have are lapdogs that had made a mockery of the institution. Its worthy of the number 13, just like Judas who for a few pieces of gold sold his soul to the devil. I hope they do a Judas too and hang themselves. But it seems Judas has more guts to face his conscience unlike this so-called representatives who continue to misrepresent the people all for the name of greed. Credibilty, integrity, this are virtues the lower house is completely devoid of.

Now, is there any credibility and integrity in the 13th Congress? Nah, nada, zilch, nil, zero!


Thursday, September 07, 2006

HILLBLOGGER's Contribution

I'm posting this on behalf of Hillblogger who posted this in my comments box. Thanks Anna for the links.

Hi Schumey,

I hope you don't mind my posting the following note:

For Filipinos who may want to write to Mr Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Union, with whom Gloria is slated to meet (and to discuss, I suspect the gruelling question of graft, corruption, human rights abuse committed in Philippines) during her trip to Europe, so that Mr Barroso could be apprised of the grievances of Filipinos and may take this up during the meeting, they may do so:

- By e-mail: sg-web-president @
- or By post: President José Manuel Barroso,
European Union
1049, Brussels

A letter to President Barroso may not cure what ails our nation today but we need allies to put the Arroyos in their place - in the dustbin!

Moreover, a letter from Filipinos to President Barroso would help Europe get acquainted with the Philippines because to most Europeans, the Philippines is still very much an unknown quantity.

Thank you very much.

PS: useful links : index_en.htm

Here's another Belgian link which might be of interest to our kababayans.

Thanks for allowing me to post it.

“Stop the killings in the Philippines!� campaign. Solidarity groups, human rights advocates and trade union activists are defending in this campaign their Philippine colleagues’ right to life.

More information at


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Perversion of Democracy: Resolution 123(0)

In a masterstroke worthy of the best criminal minds, the Committee on Constitutional Amendments passed Resolution 1230. Voting 30-7, the majority once again demonstrated how these political perverts work. Taking only a minute to approve and 3 hrs. debating of what title should be given to the resolution. It was another numbers game and they have no qualms admitting it. Honor and integrity had been thrown out, lust for money and power now spews out from the bowels of congress.

Nograles had the slip of the tongue during an interview and said admitted the reason for their urgency in passing the resolution was because time is running out. He added that their term would be over by June and they must convene the congress at the soonest possible time. Out from the horse's mouth, indeed their only consideration is to hold on to power and not the people's welfare. JDV, and the pretender must now be overjoyed by the resolution's approval. But the last line of defense could be the senate whom they have yet to convince to toe the line of the moral dwarf in the palace.

Jaraula didn't fair better as Aguja insisted and proved that the process was indeed railroaded by the majority. Try as he might, he had been cornered and had to result to making flimsy excuses on why the sudden urgency to approve Resolution 123(0). It can be debated in the plenary he said, but with their overwhelming numbers, what would prevent them from calling for a vote? We all know they cannot take their sweet time deliberating. With their perverted view of the consitution as always, they can always get what they want with impunity. To hell with public hearings, what are they in power for?

Like vampires, the majority continues to bleed the Filipino dry of its senses, imposing whatever they wish upon the populace. What kind of perverts has democracy bred? I can just imagine the majority salivating at the prospect of perpetual power. They say that we, the people can always reject their proposed amendments thru a plebiscite. With distrust and disgust, I would say that they have already rigged the outcome this early which is why they are so confident their Choo-Choo will be ratified. By hook or by crook, they must succeed.

Power corrupts but in the Philippines' case, our "trapos" are inherently corrupt. The die had been cast, mere vigilance will not suffice anymore. What is needed now is to face this assault on democracy head on. All who oppose those who mocks our constitution must now band together before we are all raped by these perverts in the majority. Like a hoard of hungry cannibals, they could not care less if they have to devour their fellowman for their greed for power.


Sunday, September 03, 2006

Lawless Presidency = Lawless Society

We often hear the administration say that we all should follow the rule of law, to adhere to due process. But what do we do if the administration itself does not abide by these laws? Such is the case of the Philippines wherein the palace continues to violate the laws of the land.

The administration refuses to adhere to what is lawful and constitutional. We live in country where the highest office of the land gets away with anything, destroying the institutions along the way. Disregarding rulings of the high court to skirt from issues besetting the current dispensation in a blatant act of contempt.

So what do you expect the populace would do? Soon, everybody will just succumb to this lawless practice which pervades our society today. To the simple mind, committing a crime will therefore be the norm without fear of punishment and accountability. The "president" should be the last person to violate the law and yet in the Philippines' case, its the president who disobeys and of course, the rest of the country follows.

With impunity, members of the military and the police go their merry ways committing abuses and crimes against humanity. Even with the eyes of the international community now closely monitoring these acts, they couldn't care less as even the "president" gives them her utmost support. Even with the creation of the Melo Commission tasked to investigate extrajudicial killings, the military/police could not be touched. Afterall, they have already been absolved by the pretending president. GMA really is just a pretender, for no real president will allow her people to be subjected to any kind of abuse.

Even when the Supreme Court has ruled that most of her EO's are unconstitutional, she just merely orders another as those rulings only covered sprecific EOs. Unless the SC gives an encompassing ruling, she can basically do anything she wants and get away with it. Even abuses by the lower house go unabated as nobody even dares to file anything against its members. Being a co-equal, they make their own rules and bend it to suit what they want. Like tailors and designers, even jurisprudence is interpeted by these felons to their liking.

Institution after institution fall prey to the whimsical caprice of those who wield power. Even the future of our nurses lay in peril because of the adminsitration's policy of herding our professionals to distant lands to slave for the much needed dollars of our economy. Quality had now been sacrificed for quantity. Diploma miils will once again rise, educational quality is now compromised for the sake of covering up for the government's incompetence at rejuvenating an already worsening social concern. Teachers continue their flight to foreign lands as dometic helpers and doctors turn to nursing and caregiving to get better paying jobs. Even engineers work as mere construction workers as they can get higher wages sbroad.

If only our government follows and upholds laws, we all will have a smoother society which in turn wil lead to economic growth. Unless we as a people initiate a real Cha-Cha (CHARACTER CHANGE), we will never amount to anything than a country of cheats, liars and thieves. This is what the current dispensation has reduced our once proud nation to the eyes of the world. Truly, a lawless presidency leads to a lawless society.


Friday, September 01, 2006

Whose Voice Are They Talking About?

Proponents of Cha-Cha will now be at the mercy of the Supreme Court. Lambino believes that with Panganiban at the helm, they will be given a favorable ruling. Speculations of a "script" designed by the administration abound. Lambino asserts that the voice of the people be heard. Is this really the voice of the people? I don't think so.

In my barangay, "kagawads" and other barangay employees went around to gather signatures. No explanations were given nor were any seminars conducted. How on earth would the people know what the signatures were for or what the PI was all about? I did not sign because what was presented to me was more of a survey form than a petition.

My humble interpretation of a true "people's initiative" must come from the people and not some organization obviously allied with the pretender in the palace. ULAP also tainted the integrity of the initiative as they would definitely benefit should the Cha-Cha succeed. We must bear in mind that ULAP is composed of local officials whose tenures are limited. They cannot say that they support this PI as private citizens. Any government official/government institution must not involve with such an initiative. If indeed this PI came from ordinary folks, then we must be all millionaires as this endeavor needs a huge funding to undertake. Travel expenses alone for the proponents would run in the millions. Add the almost hourly ads on different TV networks, one would wonder where all their money comes from.

Aumentado can insist all he wants that he is pushing this initiative as a citizen, but he cannot escape the fact that he is the incumbent governor of Bohol and would be a beneficiary of their proposed amendments. The PI would have been more credible if a farmer, a fisherman or a street vendor started this initiative. Malacanang probably thought that mere assertions would do the job. What they failed to realize was the ordinary folks can see through their flimsy cloak.

Ordinary folks don't even know what kind of animal the PI ni Gloria is. And yet Sigaw asserts that all those who signed knew what they were signing. While the country lacks in social services, the administration continuous to waste money on this initiative. SnB and ULAP insists that the voice of the people be heard, while the true voice of the people had been muffled and silenced by CPR, extra-judicial killings, illegal arrests and arbitrary detention. Whose voices again? Only the voices of the pretender's allies in congress and her legions for Cha-Cha can be heard.