Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Year of Living Dangerously

We saw 2006 not as a year of hope but a year of challenges and more uncertainty. It was a year of more killings and political persecution. Harassment and cover-ups were the norm. But it has its brilliant moments when the Supreme Court showed its credibility and independence. Makati's Judge Pozon showed what impartiality and independence is. We saw 2006 as an eye-opener for most Filipinos who had stood in the sidelines and finally realized what the Arroyo's and their allies are made of. It was a year of danger to those who oppose the evil empress and her ass-lickers.

2006 was a year that saw the administration at its weakest and boldest. The Charter Change finally saw its death and the CBCP slowly getting its act together. The forces of mother nature showed its powers and blasted the Philippines with a battery of calamities that left millions homeless and thousands dead. It showed the ineptness and callousness of the administration and its shamelessness at its peak.

The "New Heroes" as our OFWs are called saw how GMA cares for them. The debacle in Lebanon exposed how this administration silently stole the funds of the OWWA for the campaign kitty of the bogus presidency. It also highlighted the redefinition of what unemployment meant. To hide its inability to create more jobs, Arroyo went on a worldwide marketing blitz to sell our work force to other countries. These heroes expose themselves to all kinds of danger to give their families a little taste of life. The social cost of this practice will be felt for generations to come. With more than a million souls exported, GMA boasts of a booming economy courtesy of the OFWs whose remittances has propped up our ailing economy.

The education sector did not fair well as the system had been "tweaked" by GMA to conceal the enormous classroom problem that left our youth to suffer for the inadequacies of government. We have no one to blame but our corrupt leaders whose twisted view of education is nothing but mere statistics. Even the feeding program for the poor students was not spared. Scam after scam has hit the DepEd. And this is how GMA cares for the future of our nation.

Thanks to political favors extended by GMA, the military and the police's credibility is in the gutters. Dangling juicy post-retirement appointments, the AFP and PNP's top brass are falling in line to lick her ass. Gone were the principles and doctrine they were suppose to adhere to, instead they run the constitution and the rule of law to the ground to please the queen of the enchanted kingdom. Those who stood by the flag and country were whisked away to military detention facilities to face court martial proceedings.

Every institution has been infected by the virus that the fake one spreads. Even the lower courts had given in to the Arroyos, especially to the "esposo". His manner of dealing with the press has even reached distant shores. Foreign media organizations has condemned the obvious harassment and silencing tactics he has employed against his family's critics. With the help of Raul Gonzalez, he had managed to file a string of cases against their critics. To be a "legitimate" media practitioner is inviting harm. Hundreds of members of the press had been silenced permanently under this regime. Its only war-torn Iraq that bested the Philippines when it comes to danger to journalists.

Legitimate political dissent is met with brute and violent force. Anyone who displeases this regime either ends up dead or charged with trumped up charges of rebellion and sedition. Lawyers, members of religious groups, advocates, members of progressive groups and youthful students have fallen prey to the brazen disregard of due process and rule of law. To date, more than 800 extra-judicial killings have been reported since GMA stole the presidency. GMA created the Melo commission to absolve the military and the government of any connection to these killings. Amnesty International and the UNHCR has reminded the Arroyo administration time and again to respect human rights. But these fell on deaf ears as the administration is hellbent in cleaning up any opposition to its despotic rule.

Those who aided her theft of the presidency in 2004, were either cleared or have received juicy posts. The country is held hostage by withholding funds for development and social services. This administration has risked the lives of the very people its suppose to protect. Such is the life in this country, where the wicked rule with impunity and the good persecuted. The Philippines is not at war, nor is it under threat from outside. The biggest threat is from within, not the communists or the separatists, but from the government.

As we face the coming year, one would wonder what it holds for a country wanting in good and honest governance. Would lawlessness prevail once again? Or would the good Lord finally hear my prayers? I hope that He finally will hear my prayers and rid this nation of those whose only concern is to make slaves out of my countrymen and perpetuate themselves in power.

Looking back to the year that was, I pray for those who gave their lives in the fight for freedom. I pay tribute to those who rose up to fight for my rights and the rights of every Filipino. I salute the few sincere politicians and men in uniform who never wavered and stood by the people and the constitution. To the men and women of the Black and White Movement and One Voice, thank you for rising against those who wanted to make a mockery of our constitution. To the Supreme Court and the other members of the judiciary who stood by what is just and lawful, may your tribe increase. To the Filipinos, may we all unite and peacefully kick these usurpers out of office.


Saturday, December 30, 2006

In The Dead of the Night

I suppose the practice of this administration to deal with issues in the dead of the night shows how despicable this regime is. We can recall how the majority in the lower house would be present and tackle the impeachment against GMA till the wee hours of the morning. While important bills are taken for granted, they would fight off sleep to save their benefactor's neck.

Like thieves in the night, they tried to ram the Cha_Cha down our throats. Thanks to media's participation and the vigilance of the Black and White Movement, they failed in their bid to install GMA as president for life. Faced with a new people power, they back-pedaled and tried to save face.

But the arrogance and impunity does not stop there. The DoJ under the rabid Gonzalez put one over the people. Taking advantage of Christmas eve and in the dead of the night, government prosecutors cleared Virgilio Garcillano, GMA's election operator of perjury and falsification of public documents. Despite the evidences presented, the DoJ found no reason to charge Garci and instead blamed the complainants for the dropping of the case.

The latest assault on the constitution and the judiciary came at a time when the country is busy with a long weekend and offices are already closed. A few hours ago, personnel from the US embassy, under the cover of darkness took custody of convicted rapist, Daniel Smith from the Makati City Jail. Responding to queries, the embassy pointed to the Philippine government for the transfer. Raul Gonzalez for the few days have been sending signals and issuing statements against Judge Pozon. Even the Court of appeals has junked Smith's bid and defered the proceedings till after the holidays.

The DoJ and the DFA has manifested and stated provisions in the VFA to get Smith. But without the order of Judge Pozon, they are helpless. The cancellation of the Balikatan turned on the pressure that placed the government at its wits end. With no other option, the administration chose to violate the laws of the land and delivered Smith on a silver platter to US embassy officials. Now, not only Nicole's rights have been trampled upon, the sovereignty of our country and the independence of the judiciary had been made a mockery. Now Nicole has been raped, not once, but twice.

So once again in the dead of the night, GMA and her minions have succeeded with impunity. So much for constitutionality and due process. This is the kind of people who want our constitution changed. Will we allow them to stay in power with the kind of abuses they have committed? They are no better than thieves and thugs. Their kind should never be given positions but put behind bars.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Bleak Christmas: Hunger in the Philippines

I had discussed this a few blogs back, "The Hungry Filipino". It seems that a bleaker Christmas awaits our less-fortunate citizens. From 16.9 percent in September, the hunger has surged to an all-time high of 19 percent. While the administration boasts of a steady economic growth, this is not felt by majority of the people. A country rich in fertile lands should never have a problem like hunger and starvation.

The apparent lack of concern by the government has led to more desolation. The lack of government support and the continued looting of the national coffers has continued unabated. Plus the fact that the government would rather please the international community than the very people its suppose to serve. The dumping of agricultural produce by our Asian neighbors continue to tighten the noose around our farmers' necks. Only big plantations with concentrated crops are holding out against the influx of produce from other countries. The backyard raisers who supply 75% of our food supply are feeling the pinch and are closing shop at a fast rate. The low cost of imported goods has led to huge losses and doesn't make continuing their operations viable.

The entry of the Philippines to the WTO was suppose to open the country to more trade. But with very weak domestic economic foundations, even our manufacturers are hurting. Cheap products especially from China has hurt our local businesses. Unemployment was even redefined by the government to hide the true number of our unemployed. Now, they are even contemplating on liberalizing ownership of land, business and utilities to foreign entities. The administration thinks that this is the panacea for our woes, at least that's what they want the people to believe. If only they have a little patriotism left in their hearts, the Philippines will be progressive again.

How insensitive it is for the government to spend P3 billion for the ASEAN Summit which will last for only a few days. The outcome of which is still uncertain as the economies in the region are in a downtrend. We have facilities in Manila which with a little improvement would cost much less than constructing new ones in Cebu. The boastful administration would rather spend lavishly on others while its own people could barely make do with the scant finances they have. Government officials constantly travel to all parts of the world, spending precious dollars that could have been better spent on basic services. How callous it is for the government to buy expensive vehicles, build expensive resthouses and spend on nonessentials like the people's initiative and their Con-Ass. Ghost projects and fund diversion which up to now has yet to be accounted for and whose cases have been languishing in the courts, add to the woes of the ordinary Filipino.

But as long as we have leaders whose only concern is how to stay in power, social justice will never be achieved. While the those in power busy themselves with a charter change to maintain the status quo, millions of my countrymen are going hungry everyday. Children too malnourished to learn anything, will never be able reach their full potential in life. Misplaced concerns has led to the deterioration of society and degradation of humanity. Should this viciousness continue, the Philippines will be left with nothing to hope for. A nation so wealthy but yet so poor. For now, the Filipinos will have to scrounge for whatever they can get their hands on to survive.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thanks But No Thanks

Last Sunday's CBCP Rally called for a different kind of Cha-Cha, Character Change. Of course GMA as usual issued a statement to appease the bishops. We all know how the despot operates, she never mean what she says. As always, she squirms out of tight spots through lies and deceit. It has been the routine of this bogus administration. Speaking like repentant fools, spewing out promises with crossed fingers, only their relatives would believe them.

Like a cornered beast, she will do and say anything to save her hide. All these talk of her changing her values will never materialize. At least her allies were more forthcoming and said they will not have a change of heart. No sooner had the week passed, statements from the palace by the murky river said that they are still pursuing their Cha-Cha bid. The CBCP has been fooled once again. Liars will never change. They learn to believe their lies as the truth. Pichay admitted that the archived Con-Ass can be revived anytime. So the minority's suspicion is right all along.

So all the statements made by the bogus president were issued to stem the tide of public disgust after all. It seems she had won the day again and we will have to continue living in uncertainty. When will the CBCP ever learn. Repentance has no place in the hearts of these scoundrels. There is no such thing as a change of heart for people committed to perpetuating a crime. So where will this lead us to? The CBCP should have allowed the people to air their sentiments last Sunday. Now GMA is laughing at the church and the people. She had successfully fooled the bishops into believing her lies. She has averted a catastrophe that could have evicted her from Malacañang.

This should be a lesson for the church, always be wary of wily liar. The low attendace last Sunday could have been a result of some people's dismay over the CBCP. Some people I was able to talk to said that they would have gone had the CBCP been more forceful. They were expecting the church to lead the way in showing this illegitimate administration that we have had enough. But instead, the CBCP took a safe way out. Its not about politics but the threat to the morals of a nation.

The CBCP should not treat the issues piecemeal, its really one big issue that the country faces, the legitimacy of the incumbent. The parochial view of the CBCP has led to more confusion and they are sending mixed signals to the people. Instead of uniting the people, they have fragmented us and many now believe that they have no credibility. Prayers must be complemented with action. They must decide on where they stand. Lip service does not cut it. Bishops Yñiguez and Tobias are more credible and are more in touch with the people than entire CBCP.

So, there was really nothing to be thankful for. I doubt if anyone would heed the CBCP's call again. The people will be wary of any statement from the CBCP after how they handled the Sunday rally. Should they offer us another option/venue in the future, my answer would be, "Thanks but no thanks". I'm better off praying directly to God than use them as a conduit.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Lest We Forget

As the hoopla of our recent success against Charter Change reaches its crescendo, we must bear in mind the dark years under Martial Law. It must never be forgotten and worth revisiting time and again. Marcos was able to impose his brand of leadership through the people's apathy. And with the same impunity and arrogance as what we see today, Marcos ruled the country as his very own kingdom.

Just like before, mass actions ruled the days leading to the state-sponsored coup. Though a constitutional convention was underway, a group which steered the commission finalized the provisions, the rest was history. This lesson must be taken into consideration. Electing delegates to a constitutional convention is not an assurance that GMA cannot use her influence. Marcos was able to cajole the members back then by dangling promises. There is nothing to stop GMA from doing the same. Delegates will also campaign just like our politicians. Her minions whose terms would be ending next year can opt to run for the convention. She can field her allies and we might just end up with a commission no different from the lower house we have now.

We must be vigilant and watchful of the signs which emanate from Malacañang. We must not let our guards down as those in power has all the institutions under their control. The intimidation continues, so does the persecution and killings. It is imperative that the people move as one in defending the democracy we all cherish. It may cause a little inconvenience but at least there are those whom we should thank for covering our backs.

This renewed unity and collective voice must be protected. It is the only force we can muster against the arms and power the administration has. I have long shed the skepticism I have with the different entities which have risen against this administration. I have to put my trust in somebody or I will forever be blinded by GMA's lies and deceit. The wheel has turned full circle, and we are at the crossroads of a new phase in history. The signs are all there, the abductions, bombings and political assassinations. Its all reminiscent of the times before martial law. The mass actions and the awakened populace could lead to the critical mass which could shatter GMAs dream of her Enchanted Kingdom.

The only action left now after all the losses GMA received is to declare not a state of national but complete martial law. The signs are all there. She cannot afford to be kicked out of office like Marcos or Erap. Keeping the military close to her is her only insurance. Her trusted bureaucrats and political allies are all content and in powerful positions. Everything seems to be in place. The only thing lacking is how she will justify the declaration. The following days or weeks will be crucial to her survival and our quest for true democracy.

We cannot count her out with our numbers, her attack dogs have shown us what they are capable of doing. The lines have been drawn in the sand. The first to blink will certainly lose. There will be no quarters given and this could lead to a face off. I only hope and pray that should that time come, the protectors of the the constitution, the decent men in uniform will rise to the occasion and defend the country and the flag against GMA and her horde. We must not forget the lessons we learned during the '70s and '80s. The signs are there, lest we forget.


Black & White Motorcade for the December 17 Rally

General Information

1. Assembly Points

Location: Quezon City
Exact Area: Parking Lot Gate 3, Ateneo Loyola
(Note: Enter gate 3, then turn left on the first road and proceed to parking lot on the left)
Assembly Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 nn
Departure Time: 12:00 nn

Location: Makati City
Exact Area: Thailand (formerly Rada St) cor Legaspi St.
Note: Thailand St is one-way towards dela Rosa St)
Assembly Time: 11:30 am – 12:20 pm
Departure Time: 12:20 pm

Location: Alabang
Exact Area: Parking lot of SNR (formerly Price Club) along Zapote Rd. Filinvest
Assembly Time: 12:00 nn – 12:20 pm
Departure Time: 12:20 pm

2. Destination

In front of Malate Church beside Aristocrat Restaurant
Target time of convergence: 1:00 pm
March towards Luneta Park: 1:30 pm

3. Routes

Location: Quezon City
Route: Ateneo–Katipunan–Aurora–Nagtahan–Quirino–San Andres–Malate Church

Location: Makati
Route: Rada–de la Rosa–Buendia–Ayala–Metropolitan–Vito Cruz–SS Hiway–Quirino–San Andres–Malate Church

Location: Alabang
Route: SNR parking lot-Festival Mall–SS Hiway (Filinvest entrance)–Quirino–San Andres –Malate Church

4. Vehicle Dress-up

Black and white ribbons on car antennas
Black and white balloons
Flaglets – print the downloadable Black&White flaglets and attach to barbecue stick. To download, please visit this site
(Note: You will also need this as we march towards Luneta Park)

5. Dress Code

Please wear black, white, or combination black and white shirts.

6. Contact Person

Ms. Leah Navarro – 0917.8981957 for more information and coordination details.

Everyone is invited to join and be counted. Let's all watch and pray. Let's all be vigilant. Let's all declare through our presence that we will not take brazen attempts to destroy our democratic processes and institutions sitting down.

Please invite friends and relatives to join.


Why We Should Abolish The Lower House

Recent actions by the bullies in the house showed how they have abused the mandate given to them by their constituents. Being elected into office does not give them the right to turn their districts into little fiefdoms. The people had grown tired of the way things are being run. The voice of the people is supreme. No congress or president for that matter can ever do another Marcos. The people silent as they may be, is always aware of what goes on in government.

At this day and age and with media's role, the people are now more informed. No longer can the administration hoodwink the people. No amount of smokescreen can hide the fact that Cha-Cha is all about their survival. Now they call on the senate to push the Con-Con. With their parochial view, the house should stop their insanity. If there is any institution worth abolishing, its the lower house. They had never cared for their constituents, they took them as their serfs.

Being locally elected by a handful of people, congressmen are nothing but glorified barangay captains. A mayor has a bigger constituency than they have. Their position is a redundancy. They only use their pork barrels to hold hostage their constituents and sell the people out to the highest bidder. The house is better off without them. Its best that the lower house be composed of representatives from marginalized sectors of society. I'd rather be represented by a party list representative than a district one. Sectoral representation has a better grasp of national needs and a broader sense of social sentiment. They have a more nationalistic perspective than that of a district representative whose sight is too limited and parochial.

Perhaps we could push for a true constitutional amendment which will lessen the powers given to institutions. A constitution that will be simpler and clear which even the ordinary Filipino will be able to comprehend. The administration must understand that our current problem is not the form of government but good governance. Public perception stem from how the government addresses certain problems/situations. With the rampant killings and corruption scandals, the public can only blame the administration.

The arrogance of the house has no place in a democracy. Its high time we, the masters of these politicians assert our power over them. They are our servants and we, those who pay their salaries should now consider kicking them out. Maybe its time we, the people show our own brand of arrogance and put these people in their proper place. Power emanates from the people and the people is government. The house has outlived its purpose, its best we replace them or better yet abolish the house. Our country will never move forward or even be united with the regionalistic views of the lower house. Those who represent the poor districts couldn't care less as they are unaffected by the poverty that surrounds them. If ever a plebiscite should be held, the question should be: "Do you want the lower house abolished?"


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Human Rights Rally in Brussels

Brussels, December 11, 2006, 6:30pm: More than 1,000 people from different sectors converged at the Philippine Embassy in Brussels to urge the Philippine government to stop the spate of extra-judicial killings. The rally organizers' goal was to have 750 participants to represent the 750 victims of the killings.

Human rights has been one of the problems the European Union urged Macapagal-Arroyo addressed. To date, the killings have not stopped and more victims are being added to the list. The latest count was almost 770. The continued killings has hampered European investments from coming in.

More and more nations are taking notice of these killings and are outraged by the impunity by which these are committed. In a bid to stem the tide of growing international concern, the Melo Commission was created. To date, the Melo Commission has not found any member of the military culpable of any crime. Even with a handful of witnesses who point to the military as the perpetrators of the murders, The commission absolved the suspects.

Its the government's duty to protect the people regardless of ideology. Whether some were killed by the Leftists is no longer the question. Its imperative that the government do its duty and prevent the killings.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Terrorizing The Terrorists

The administration has been in panic mode since their house-only Con-Ass hit a brick wall. Terror does beget terror, now the terrorist administration is backtracking. The once "proud" majority reduced to bullied bullies. Their ranks decimated by defecting congressmen who has accepted the fact that the Filipinos cannot be fooled. Faced with the prospect of losing their "heads", they now have to turn to their Plan C.

Their Plan C is to blackmail the senate to join them in their madness. They intend to shift the blame on the senate as has been their practice to divert the people's ire. By issuing a 72-hour ultimatum to the senate, they intend to pressure the senate to join their immoral act. A rejection will definitely be given a negative spin by the administration. The senate has shot down JDV's call and says that their Cha-Cha is good as dead. The palace denies giving the house its marching orders but we all know that GMA is the biggest beneficiary of Cha-Cha.

The house has miscalculated the people's reaction. All sectors of society are now up in arms and had unleashed its fury. The "terrorists" are now being terrorized by the very people whose rights they trampled upon. RC Constantino could not have said it better, JDV and his terror cell are indeed shameless and serial rapists. The combined outrage of religious groups is just too much to handle. GMA and her cohorts have nowhere to run. They have dug their own hole and the wrath of the people threatens to bury them. The patience of the Filipino has grown thin, no more quarters will be given. Damage control and diversion will not cut it. The terror-stricken palace terrorists are in for the fight of their lives. The people called their bluff and the tables had turned. Everything is out in the open, the people has grown to recognize the administration tactics.

Will this be the last straw that will break the camel's back? I suppose the game has just been cut short. No more statements will be taken lightly. The lies and deceit will no longer work as the people has had enough. The apathy has been overtaken by disgust, The house has awaken the people and their arrogance had done them in. The fight is now on and the administration couldn't do anything but run.

In her moment of fear, GMA had no option but to cancel the ASEAN Summit. She has recalled the thousands of military personnel to Manila. Her survival is her only concern. She needs to consolidate her forces. The only question now, will the military finally realize that Arroyo is not the country, the government or the constitution?


Black and White Movement Release

For Immediate Release
The Black & White Movement
Contact: Vicente R. Romano III
Media Liaison: Leah Navarro


They blinked. After realizing that a great number of our people were angered by their show of arrogance and hubris, the House Majority is literally dancing the “cha-cha”. Like the seasoned grifters (con artists) that they are, the House Majority has once again tried to bamboozle the people into believing that they have abandoned their dreams of a Constituent Assembly without the Senate in exchange for a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con). During their press conference, they shocked the nation by issuing a “challenge” to the Senate to reply within 72 hours or the House shall revert to Con-ass as usual.

What gall! Do they think we will meekly accept this “back step” and follow their lead? The Black and White Movement is not at all inclined to dance to this tune. We see right through their deception. They hope to pin the blame for all this trouble on a recalcitrant Senate but the truth is that they alone are truly responsible for the myriad missteps and miscalculations brought on by their greed for power, hope of No-El, and the dream for an end to term limits.

If the House Majority were so sincere in their claims of “accommodating” an irate republic, they would not have imposed conditions and should have abandoned their illegal Con-Ass dreams altogether. It is clear they do not have the people’s interests at heart.

“Rats on a sinking ship have no right to demand which side of the ship should sink first”, declares co-convenor Atty. Edwin Lacierda.

“To restore what’s left of their credibility, these Congressmen should apologize to the Filipino people for the wrongs they have committed against them and the valiant House Minority. They should return the House Rules to status quo and rethink their choice of leadership”, says co-convenor Leah Navarro, “They should explain why they found it so easy to trifle with our Constitution”.

Enteng Romano, Black & White Movement lead convenor says, “We call on our people to be vigilant and not be deceived by a House Majority that seeks to perpetuate itself in power. Together with our people, we will continue with our planned week long activities in the Batasan, and around the country, culminating in the inter-faith prayer rally at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta on Sunday, 17 December”.


Friday, December 08, 2006


The sessions in the house in the last two days should be an eye-opener for the Filipinos. We are not yet a parliament but the house thinks we are. The "Neanderthals"(as Purple Phoenix describes them) in the house decided to take on Cha-Cha all by their lonesome. While the people slept soundly, the majority in the whorehouse impressed upon itself a constitutional undertaking which calls for both chambers of congress to tackle as one. Like psycho talking to itself, the majority in the house discarded all forms of decency and silenced the minority. In the dead of the night, they have crowned themselves absolute rulers of the land. Even the death and suffering in Bicol and Marinduque, did not deter the scoundrels from achieving their sinister goal.

The pimp in the palace must be in cloud nine as her whores in the brothel was able to give her what she wants. Her glee could be short-lived as the gallant minority succeeded in bringing out the flaws in their unconstitutional actions. The minority was able to lay the groundwork for a fight in the Supreme Court. The only hurdle these whores have to face is the legal battle that looms in the horizon. Its now up to the Supreme Court to show the nation its impartiality.

Its now time for the people to show their disgust. The whores intend to take away our right to vote. We consider the elections personal as its is the great equalizer. We cannot let these thugs take away the only means to voice our will. The fight is now a personal matter as our basic right is being taken away from us. We cannot allow a handful of nitwits take over our lives so they can do as they please. Its time for the people to step up to plate. We are the majority and not them. We must put a stop to this hooliganism by a few whose lust for power is insatiable. We must help the few who try to protect our future. Its high time we join this fight against tyranny.

"Tyranny only prevails when the people do nothing."


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Human Decency , Compassion and Ethics

Nicole was given by the court a pseudonym. This is to protect her privacy and to avoid selective ridicule from parties with vested motives. The live coverage of the court's resolution however has exposed her true identity and has compromised her privacy. While a live coverage cannot be edited, subsequent reports such as news files and written reports by the media should have used her alias. But it seems that media had been remiss in its duty to isolate Nicole. Ethical standards were disregarded and ratings and saleability became the priority. Responsible media practitioners had refrained from using Nicole's real name. Even foreign news has used her court-appointed pseudonym in their reports. Our local media should take notice of this and apply ethical standards in their reporting. How can we defend press freedom if we are careless and do not adhere to proper standards in reporting the news?

The blogsphere too has its share of irresponsible individuals. At least those I was able to give suggestions to, quickly edited out Nicole's real name. For that, they have shown that unlike some vultures in the media and blogsphere, they showed decency and compassion. Nicole has since manifested that she would like to keep her identity a secret and just move on. To continue posting her name would add to the stigma and pain that she has to face her entire like. Its criminal and contemptuous to continue using her real name in reports and postings.

Some had averred that in the name of accurate reporting, its imperative to give the details and facts. Fine, let's discuss the case but the court has ordered that privacy of the victim is always the priority. What behooves me is the insistence of some to add to the misery of the victim. A much publicized case does not make the victim a public figure. Rape is a private crime and therefore must be addressed as what it is, private.

Some may have other motives aside from accurate reporting to expose fully the victim to more ridicule and public humiliation. Some justify the revelation to drive a point or support their advocacy. But an educated, sensitive human being will never cross the line of ethics and human decency. We can drive our points without using and abusing the victim. It is never justified to use an individual for one's personal gains.

Nicole has been raped, to continue exposing her is raping her many times over. I scoff at those who try to screen their motives by exposing Nicole's identity. I consider them criminals just like Smith. To be tools to further add to the trauma is unforgivable. We must at all times be sensitive to those around us. This is what makes us different from beasts as we humans have common sense and compassion.


Monday, December 04, 2006

The Cha-Cha Tragedy

The house continues to assert that a parliamentary form of government is the only way to save the country. While surveys say otherwise, public perception of the move by the house is: first, to save GMA, second, to keep themselves in power. With their sheer numbers, the majority bloc will surely succeed on changing the present rules to pave the way for convening congress into a constituent assembly. Many believe that the present constitution has flaws and needs upgrading, but to do it haphazardly is bordering on the insane to purely criminal. While expenses would be less than a that of a constitutional convention, the process would be highly suspect as the 'lawmakers' would be the beneficiaries of such an undertaking.

Many in the majority bloc are in their last term in office and those who are running for reelection know that the electorate will run them down come election day. This is due to their immoral decision to kill the two previous impeachments. They have nowhere to run and Cha-Cha is the only way for them to keep their positions and powers intact. They will not rest until they get their Cha-Cha. Even the recent tragedy in Bicol will not deter their plan to subvert the constitution.

Such arrogance and insensitivity on the part of the majority in the house. While the numbers of dead and missing continue to rise, they would rather waste their energy and taxpayers money on the Con-Ass. They say that they are the representatives of the people and yet put the people's welfare in the least of their concerns. The tragedy in Bicol and the apparent lack of sensitivity of the lower house only shows the true nature of these (mis)representatives. They never cared for the people. They ran for a seat to enrich themselves. These people are only good when they need the people's help. Only in during elections do they show their 'affection' for the people. They forget their constituents when their positions are at stake.

Despite the calls of some sectors and their colleagues for them to prioritize on the rehabilitation of the Bicol region, the majority is still pushing to amend Sec. 105 of the house rules. The call of GMA for unity is nothing but lip service. How can the country unite when her idiots in congress seem to be oblivious to the plight of the people. Her declaration of a state of calamity is somehow delayed. The reality is that the country has been in a state of calamity since she took over. The Arroyo regime has suffered two calamities, the tragedy in Quezon and the Bicol tragedy. The third would do the us in, its called the Cha-Cha Tragedy.


A Half-baked Decision

This afternoon saw the promulgation of the Subic Rape Case. Judge Pozon of the Makati courts found L/Cpl. Daniel Smith guilty of raping 23 yr. old Nicole. He however acquitted Silkwood, Duplantis and Carpentier. I am not a lawyer but my simple appreciation of the case is that a crime of one is the crime of all. The rape was committed in a confined space where all of the occupants knew what was happening. The fact that they allowed and a abetted a commission of the crime in their presence alone has made the other three accomplices in the crime. To isolate one could raise doubts if and when an appeal is made.

Clearly, the public prosecutors were remiss in proving beyond reasonable doubt the existence of a conspiracy. I cannot blame Judge Pozon for coming up short. He certainly based his decision on the facts presented by both sides. I know he appreciated each and every piece of evidence. The public prosecutors should have strengthened the conspiracy theory. I laud Judge Pozon's decision to detain Smith in the Makati City Jail at least for the meantime.

In the end, justice has been served. Though our expectations were not fully met, we can be content that somehow, there is closure. The overwhelming support by the people and Nicole's courage to see the case to its finality is a victory for justice. The legislators must now restudy the VFA and plug the loopholes in the treaty. Unlike in Japan and Korea were the treaties are somehow level, we must insist an equal dispensation of justice. Indictment alone in these countries leads to the arrest and detainment of the accused. The host country gets the custody of the accused serviceman during the entire judicial process. The US cannot dictate its will on these nations.

We must, as a sovereign nation enjoy equal footing with other countries regardless of their perceived power. The US is not above us and we must assert our right as a coequal. They need us more than we need them. The VFA has not offered anything substantial and had made our country into America's little playground. Either they recognize our sovereignty or let us do away with the VFA.