Tuesday, July 31, 2007

On Miriam's Sobriety

Declaring herself sober Miriam Defensor Santiago is elated to be nominated to the International Court of Justice. Aside from being sober, she adds that it also depends on the nominee's personality. Her campaign manager is none other than DFA secretary, Alberto Romulo. It will be quite a feat as she belongs to a developing country and its always been first world countries who get the seats.

Its nice to hear that a Filipino is nominated to such a prestigious position. What I am afraid of is how long will she be sober. Its no secret how she "behaves" and how opportunistic she is. She can lose it anytime which could spell disaster for our countries image. Will her merits outweigh her demerits? I must admit that she has a way of re-inventing herself every time the need arises.

Will the ICJ conduct neuro-psychiatric tests as well? Will they discover the skeletons in Miriam's closet? Would the country's dismal human rights record do her in? Would the the government's international cases affect her bid? Remember that we have an arbitration case which looks a little sour in the eyes of international business community. These are just some questions that come to mind with Santiago's nomination.

She maybe a good RTC judge but the international scene is a totally different scene. She may possess the personality of an angel but sanity is imperative. Just because she can mouth off a grammatically correct sentence does not mean she is brilliant. She may have the intelligence of Einstein but the wisdom of a microbe.

She maybe sober for now but a tiny pinch could set her off anytime. The ICJ needs a person who will always have her head on her shoulder not one who has her mouth in her ass. On her credibility, I can only repeat her (in)famous line: "I lied!"


Monday, July 30, 2007

Four Years After Oakwood

Last July 27 was the 4th anniversary of the Oakwood takeover. I will not call it a coup or a mutiny. I would refer to it as desperate attempt to open our eyes to reality. Generations of soldiers will tell you that corruption and favoritism has ruled the military institution for years. While there are genuine soldiers in the military, it cannot be said for some.

Politics have wreaked havoc on the institution. It had clouded the vision and wisdom of weak officers. They have succumbed to corruption and have thrown away the lessons they learned in the PMA. Instead of taking the road less traveled, they took the shorter route to achieve success(?). Enticed by the lure of wealth and promotion, they licked the asses of their corrupt leaders.

The low pay and slow promotion has pushed some to the brink and joined their corrupt leaders in destroying the honor of the men in uniform. There are many more out there who continue to have integrity and honesty. The same cannot be said to the current lot of leaders in the AFP. They would rather sell their souls to the devil than serve the people.

Oakwood was an eye-opener for us. For the firts time, the people heard the rumors from the soldiers themselves. The young men of Magdalo knew what they were getting into. These men put their entire future on the line for the sake of the people and the military institution. We cannot fault them for their actions as its not only the military's intergrity that is at stake, its the entire nation as well.

The Magdalo did not happen overnight, they were frustrated by the system. They went to the grievance committee but was given the cold shoulder SEVERAL times. They sought the intervention of GMA but was not heard. Its obvious that they leadership was in a state of denial or all were in cahoots. Now I tend to believe the latter.

After four years, many who joined the Oakwood have sought different legal remedies. But some sold their comrades out. This only shows that even the Magdalo had weaklings among them. The admittance by most is not a sign of weakness, it was the only recourse they had. A very few went the extra mile and collaborated with Esperon and GMA to save their skin. A highly admirable few have remained steadfast and continue to fight for the truth.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes, IV and Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon continue to hold out along with several members of the core group of the Magdalo. The military hierarchy in its shameless state continue to persecute these idealistic young men. But try as they might, Esperon cannot break these men. He only showed what kind of corrupted leadership he has.

As Trillanes and Faeldon clearly points out, the situation in the military has worsened. The debacle in Tipo-tipo showed how leadership in the AFP has failed. The reaction of the leadership in the aftermath also showed how weak this administration is at handling the Moro insurgency. While the military addresses legitimate political dissent with unequaled savagery, the same cannot be said with the handling of the situation in the south. Is it because several interests would be affected? Are we to believe that this administration considers "diplomacy" than action? Is Malaysia a bigger player than just a mediator?

Four years and grievances continue to mount. The cancer had grown and no solution is in sight. As long as unfit leaders whose personal agenda comes first, the Oakwood incident will be followed as more disillusioned men will follow their footsteps. No amount of monetary compensation can buy integrity, honesty and genuine love for country. Men will rise up to continue the ideals of honorable men. Esperon and Gloria may have the upper hand for now but for how long? They will have to face the people sooner or later. Their mockery of morality will have to stop sometime.



CVJ and Manila Bay Watch have TAGGED me. I guess its my turn to reveal some things about myself. Just like MBW, I'm clueless how this TAGGING works.
  • In the 8 facts about [name], you share 8 things that your readers don’t know about you. At the end, you tag 8 other bloggers to keep the fun going. Each blogger must post these rules first.
  • Each blogger starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  • At the end of the post, a blogger needs to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
  • Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

But just the same here are 8 boring things about me.
  1. I love reading history books and finished reading about world civilizations by the age of 10. Still, I'm collecting books on the different conflicts worldwide. This has led to one of my hobbies, collecting models.

  2. I'm supposed to have been the youngest programmer in the Philippines. At least that's what the first programming school in the country told me. I was only 16 back then. I'm surprised at how the systems I studied are still the ones being used today.

  3. I love to eat. Pizza and Tacos make my day. But the ultimate high is still Kobe beef Yakiniku (that's a rare treat considering the price). I miss my trips to Japan which of course leads to a Yakiniku feast.

  4. I have seen the country from north to south. Huwag maging banyaga sa sariling lupa. My fave is still Batanes but the beaches of Bogo in Cebu are the best for me. Diving in Pagbilao is a wonderful experience and catching a shark off the shore of Curimao in Ilocos is a tasty experience.

  5. I never liked watching movies. I often sleep in the theater. I just rent or buy instead so that I can simply watch it again should I fall asleep. Public affairs programs are my constant companions. Any news program gets my attention.

  6. I've been an activist since I discovered the poverty around me. I've been fighting for equality which some had misconstrued as being communistic. But wouldn't it be nice to finally eradicate poverty? Its nice to see smiling faces around you.

  7. I love sports. I think I've tried everything. From basketball to track and field. My memories of my sporting years, 2 busted knees and a torn shoulder. It practically put a stop to my love for sports. Did I mention I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome too?

  8. Lastly, I love video and computer games. I maybe the oldest person who plays online. I play America's Army (which you can download and play after passing a battery of tests)and the walang kamatayang Counter Strike. I definitely hate terrorism.

I'm supposed to TAG eight bloggers and leave a comment in their blogs. They in turn have to tag 8 other bloggers. I guess I cannot TAG those who CVJ and MBW have TAGGED already.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

I Am Strong, I Am Invincible, I Am GLORIA!

From where I sat, squirmed and scratched my head while the lame duck beat her chest. The queen shouted to the heavens that she can be tough when she wants to be tough. Yeah sure, eat my shorts! Strength is not measured by how many activists, journalists and professionals have been killed or abducted. Nor is it measured by how many unconstitutional EOs one has issued. It cannot even be measured by how many rallies one had ordered dispersed.

When one deploys 9,000 policemen to guard her SONA, she just showed how scared she really is. A strong president can walk through any place without fear of getting booed or pelted with rotten eggs. A strong president will not resort to repression to silence the voices of the hungry. A strong president will never cheat and will adhere to democratic processes. A strong president will not cow and pay up political debts, she will choose the right people for the right jobs.

Gloria was clearly trying to look tough but deep inside, she knows she can be kicked out not by the people but those around her. She had to keep all her minions happy. So WHAT does she do? She takes all her cronies for another ride and promise them projects left and right. And THE bozos clapped and roared with delight at the prospect of having more moolah in their pockets.

She gives her "militia" the free hand to attack all unarmed and helpless political dissenters. But of course she allows them to "wage" war on the armed insurgents to keep their "trading businesses" going. Just imagine if peace is finally attained? The generals and their henchmen will no longer have materiel to sell to the rebels. Kickbacks from supplies will cease and they can no longer finish the mansions they are building. Their poor kids will no longer be able to go on trips or even study abroad.

Of course she has to keep the cholesterol flowing in congress. Pork translates to SOPs. And SOPs means having enough ammo for the next elections. So for the next three long years, we have to slave hard and pay our high taxes so she can shower her political allies with love. Of course she will have to send more Filipinos abroad as the dollars they remit would help her globetrotting junkets. The dollars will also help the BSP keep our peso strong and creditors happy.

But of course she will leave "helping the needy" to the NGOs and businessmen. She wouldn't waste her own money to help the poor, hapless Filipinos. She "worked" very hard for it. So now our students will have to make do with the scraps the government throw to them. They will have to study hard so the can work abroad and send their kids to school and prepare them to take their place as OFWs.

I have but one thing to say to this toughie, "being strong is totally different from having a THICK FACE".


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Political Props

Back in 2001, GMA used as her props, three boys from the Payatas dump site. They were promised scholarships, employment and housing. The first two were fulfilled while the last is yet to materialize. The boys also asked for the rehablitation of Payatas which up to now remained unfulfilled as dumping there continues. Justice for those who were killed in the landslide is left unanswered. Her seventh SONA was no different. She once again used political props to highlight her supposed achievements.

For the agrarian reform, she presented several farmers who benefited from the program. But she never lifted a finger on the plight of the farmers in Negros. Members of Task Force Mapalad have been trying to claim land awarded to them. Several farmers have been killed. To this day, Hacienda Velez-Malaga has continued to defy orders from the DAR to hand over 5 hectares to farmer beneficiaries.

She paraded students who won in international academic competitions to show that our education system is working. The problem is that she never addressed the current problems besetting the education sector. Lack of classrooms is still the number one problem. The high dropout rate and the lack of teachers are yet to be addressed. She also bragged that there is now a 1:1 ratio for textbooks for our public school students. What she said is true but she forgot that these books are riddled with errors that would mislead our poor students.

She has this penchant for using political props to make her look good. A handful cannot represent the entire picture. The 3 boys from Payatas is but a speck in the millions of young kids who have a harsher life. The level of poverty that prevails in our country has pushed more youths to seek employment. Child labor is now a growing problem as many face hazardous conditions just to survive.

The push for industrialization has displaced farmers and fisher folks and deprived them of their livelihood. Mining firms have taken over areas and had caused environmental catastrophes that would take years to rectify. In its bid to generate revenue, permits have been issued left and right much to the detriment of the locals and the environment.

Never were the stakeholders considered. The get-rich programs of this administration is no different from the pyramiding scams of certain individuals. GMA can boast all she wants, but all these amounts to nothing as the reality on the ground paints a different picture. In the end, its mere rhetorics once again and individuals were used as political props.

I hope the SONA will never be presented in such a restricted place like the Batasan. I hope the SONA is held in an open space where even the ordinary man can witness it delivered. I hope the SONA will not be restricted in attendance by cronies and political lackeys. I would rather hear the genuine applause or resounding boos of the ordinary Filipino than hear the scripted claps and chants of ass-lickers.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Response To GMA's HSA

At the SONA today, GMA asked the senate and lower house to craft laws to protect the rights of the people against abuse. Like I mentioned in a previous entry, the HSA is open to any abuse by those who would implement it. There maybe safeguards but loopholes and misinterpretation by certain quarters can render these inutile.

My response to her call is to ratify the Rome Statute. In a nation where institutions have deteriorated, nothing is safe from any kind of abuse. The concept of the creation of the International Criminal Court is to protect every citizen of the world from abuse of the state. When the state represses its people, the ICC can intervene on its behalf.

The extra-judicial carnage we continue to experience is a good case for the ICC. It is absurd for the administration to ask that we all abide by the rule of law while it attacks the very essence of the constitution. Calling for additional laws to protect the people from abuses of the security forces will amount to nothing as she can easily call upon her forces to respect the people.

She referred to men who commit these atrocities as rogue groups in the military. How convenient it is for her to use this alibi. The MILF uses this excuse as well to "protect" those who beheaded the ten marines, lost command "daw". Its so easy to point elsewhere to cover up the truth.

If the administration is clean and conducts itself properly with regards to human rights, then it should not be afraid to go under the scrutiny of the ICC. Are we made to believe that the ICC has a hidden agenda or even a deal with insurgents? I don't think that the ICC will be biased to any side. It will not allow its institution to be used as a tool for harassing any leader of any state.

The abuses in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Detention Centers showed why the Rome Statute should be ratified. Citizens should have someone to run to when leaders or even institutions who cannot be made accountable by its people abuse them openly. The administration clearly has unjustified reservations against the ICC.

Any complaint will first be investigated, the ICC will not readily accept cases without basis. If the government cannot make accountable these "rogue elements and lost commands", then where does this leave us? We signed the Rome Treaty on December 28, 2000. It was during Erap's administration. Since Gloria took over, nothing was heard of it and extra-judicial violations increased. It has been growing at a steady pace. Even when nations the world over have condemned these, GMA quickly dismissed tham and toed the AFP line that all these killings were done by the communists.

The Melo Commission whose task is to investigate the extra-judicial kilings and enforced disappearances have cleared the AFP. Witnesses were afraid to come out for fear of retaliation. In the end, the commission became a tool by this administration to cover up its misdeeds.

GMA stood beside the U.S. in not ratifying the treaty. The U.S. and Israel both signed but have said that they will not ratify it. Only countries whose leaders and military are abusive should be afraid of the ICC. Countries who have dictators and authoritarian leaderships will never accede to such a treaty. Maniacs who rule without respect to life will never approve such an agreement.

If GMA really wants us to give the Human Security Act a chance, yes we will. But she has to ratify the Rome Statute to make sure that someone will really be watching our backs. With her around, nothing should be left to chance.

Additional references to the Rome Statute can be read here and here.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

State Of The Nation's Distress

Tomorrow is the big day. The queen of the enchanted kingdom will once again address her loyal(?) subjects. She'll not be addressing the Filipino people as we already know and experience the realities of Philippine life. She will be speaking to the hundreds of ass-lickers and cronies in the gallery of congress.

Last year saw the birth of the super regions and hailing the butcher as the hero of her anti-insurgency campaign. This year, characters will change and data will once again be manipulated. She will praise herself to high heavens for a job well done. I'm sure she's tickled pink at the "timely" release of Fr, Giancarlo Bossi. She'll probably laud the Comolect for an honest and peaceful elections with special mention to the best actor/senator of Maguindanao.

She will again put emphasis on her ongoing programs for education. (Incidentally, Sec. Jesli Lapus admitted that only 4,000 or 10% of 40,000 classrooms needed by our public school students can be constructed.) She'll brag about how millions of error-filled textbooks have been distributed to our clueless students. She may even thank our teachers who worked tirelessly during last May's polls (except those who exposed the cheating).

She'll brag about the strong peso due to her sound fiscal reforms. Of course these reforms include BSP intervention and the successful employment abroad of more than a million OFWs. She will brag about the sharp rise in the stock market due to bargain hunting of only 40,000 of the more than 84 million Filipinos.

The highlight of her SONA is the Human Security Act. She will toast congress for approving it. For sure she will chide the detractors of the law and insinuate that they are terrorists. She will brag about making headway in addressing the extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances. She will brag about the creation of special courts to address these cases. She'll mention the great and heroic efforts of Esperon, Bacarro and Tolentino. She might even blame the killed/abducted militants for the fate which befell them. She will drop a promise or two to keep the international community at bay.

She will say that the poverty alleviation projects of the government are working despite the report that states that 19% of Filipinos experience hunger. She will boast of the millions of jobs her administration had created even if most of them were actually due the overseas demand. We all know her penchant for taking credit for everything good. Despite all her "achievements", prices are still up. Electricity and water costs continue to rise. Despite the strong peso, commodities are up and rising. The only thing stagnant is the salary of the lowly worker.

Her report on infrastructure will be something to watch out for. She'll report on the status of her super regions. She'll say how everything is on track despite the failure to open the NAIA Terminal 3. The Northrail project has yet to commence the actual groundwork. She will boast about her Chinese connection in getting more funds for her cyber corridor.

One thing we must be wary of is her intention to run for a congressional seat. Her ambition to be the prime minister has not diminished. The woman's greed for power sure is insatiable. For sure, they will make a more calculated push for charter change this time around. They cannot afford another setback.

Her SONA will most certainly be another spin-splattered one. She will captivate her supporters and keep them salivating of prospective projects. She will dangle new carrots to the "rabbi(t)ds" in the lower house to keep them on their toes. The only people she will not report to is us, the ordinary Filipino whose tax she continues to misuse. She will keep her "mongrels" happy and the rest of the nation distressed.

Another year had passed. The people had grown tired. The wicked queen had wore down the people. She had pushed the nation to desperation and made the people zombies. It has been 6 struggling years, 3 more grueling more to go. Have we really resigned to our fate or is the people biding its time? Will the queen deliver another SONA? Or will distress finally push us to the brink? Only her next actions will tell what awaits her.

One thing is for sure, should she survive till 2010, I will go into the t-shirt business. My shirt will say, "I SURVIVED THE ARROYO REGIME".


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Fascists Had Come To Roost

As the Human Security Act dawns on us, the list of queries seems to lengthen. Though hotly discussed, still, more obscurities crop up. The broad and vague definition of terrorism alone strikes fear among the people. Most may not be aware, but determination is left in the hands of unstable megalomaniacs.

A commission composed of a biased, highly partisan group will definitely abuse their power in order to curtail and finally rid GMA of her headaches. Are we to believe that they will exercise objectivity and impartiality? They are are now saying that this law is weak and is more disadvantageous to the law enforcer than to the suspect. But despite the assurances, trust for those who will sit in the commission does not exist. Do you expect the likes of Raul Gonzalez and Norberto Gonzales to exercise objectivity and due process?

How many times have we seen this administration overstep the boundaries of law? The military and police have been too trigger-happy when dealing with genuine dissent. Time and again we have witnessed violations in civil liberties. I am not saying that we should not tackle terrorism but we need to make everything clear. This administration has been taking it from so many sides but it has not touched the guilty but has vented its ire on those who have legitimate and moral cases against it.

Defenders of the HSA claim that its been de-fanged to the point that the law is inutile. With this administration, no law is sacred, not even the Supreme Court can prevent the executive from taking a law and interpreting it as it suits their needs. We watched from the sidelines and took Marcos's declaration, hook, line and sinker. It took years before we saw what Martial Law really was all about. To give the HSA a chance to breathe is like giving GMA the legal hand to destroy her detractors.

Signs of things to come have long been shown by the administration. Their obsession with "taking out" their critics is not about to end. GMA's attackdogs have even stepped up their propaganda and chest-beating. What's worse, some people actually believe it. The legal left's and the opposition's suspicions are not imaginary nor dumbfounded. GMA and her lieutenants have taken every possible step to silence them The big-name critics have been harassed and even charged in our courts with trumped up charges, while the lesser known ones and the insignificant others were made examples of and ended up as mere statistics of extra-judicial violations.

Marcos and as Enrile admitted, used the red-scare to legitimize his rule. GMA is now using the same and even exploited the Mindanao issue to ram through the HSA. If she is hellbent in the anti-terror campaign, why isn't the MILF or the MNLF in the terror list? Why pull out our contingent in Iraq? Clearly, the HSA was given priority to legitimize the extra-judicial operations of the government. Have we not learned our lessons yet? In the hands of an abusive regime, anything is possible. The Supreme Court maybe independent but not the other branches of the judiciary. The lower courts and even judges of the appellate courts have played along with the administration.

So who would safeguard our liberties then? A good law can always end up a bad one through bad implementation. A law in the hands of the "lawless" can be easily abused.The unlawful becomes lawful and vice versa. Terrorism is evil but it cannot be attributed solely to the insurgents. The state as well can be guilty of the same. When a state instills fear and cultivates a culture of fear or even just leaves a chilling effect, that in itself is terrorism.

We have both sides of the extreme. We have a long standing insurgency and an "extremely" paranoid administration. The state has the right to protect itself, but for the right reasons. Democracy has limitations, that is very true. That is why we have laws and these laws also guarantee our rights. In the end, its the implementation and those who implement the law that carries on its shoulders, the sole responsibility of staying true to its essence.

Some may argue that its the people who are paranoid. Who can blame us, all this administration has shown us is its insincerity and abuse. The administration wants us to support its baby, the HSA yet it has not lifted a finger to push a law against extra-judicial violations. Activists continue to disappear. Actvists continue to be wantonly killed. And even journalists fall victim to assassination. The balance clearly tips to the government side. It wants us to do our part with blind abandon but is unwilling to uphold what is rightfully ours.

So who's afraid of the HSA? Certainly not those who will benefit from it. The neo-cons and the extreme right must be partying now. Labor unions must now think twice before demanding anything from the government. The transport sector can no longer bargain for what little income they earn. Students can no longer voice their grievances against state policies. The opposition can no longer raise any issue against the incumbent no matter how it affects national interest. So who's afraid of the HSA? You and me, and the rest of the stakeholders of democracy.


Monday, July 16, 2007


What else can you call this but plain and simple stupid. Inquirer reports that the COMELEC has junked Cocs from three Lanao del Norte towns. The reason,the said Cocs were tampered. So what if the locks were forcibly opened, so what if there were no tallies?

These CoCs were junked when GO congressional bet Varf Belmonte questioned the CoCs from Maigo, Bacolod and Kauswagan. The PBoC was overruled by the COMELEC's 1st division. So the same cannot be done with the Maguindanao despite numerous questions raised by opposition lawyers. If the PBoC canvass is followed, Imelda Dimaporo will win by 7,000 votes over Belmonte.

If it can easily be done in this case, and it seems that the 1st division has common sense, why wasn't it done with the Maguindanao canvass? The Maguindanao controversy had even more defects than this one and yet, the En Banc never had the political will to do the same. Isn't it utterly stupid for them?

Clearly, Abalos did a good job making a fool of himself to please Gloria. The senate is a bigger issue as it embodies national significance. They have to be stricter and diligent as its a nationally elected position unlike the congressional race which is purely parochial in constituency terms.

The seven justices who voted in favor of Koko Pimentel's petition clearly have a straight head. They saw the point in all this brouhaha. They had the common sense and the political will to be objective in their decision. The other seven however, clearly showed how narrow their thinking is. Patsada Karajaw saw through it all and says that the seven have made up their minds long before. Like Abalos, they have been true to their master and delivered the 12th seat in a silver platter. All these seven have links to GMA. The SC maybe independent at times, but when it matters most for GMA, it will leave behind its principles and decide along party lines.

So the COMELEC after all can and will do what is right and lawful as long as it is inconsequential to the incumbent. The only reason that comes to mind regarding this selective implementation is that the lower house can afford another member of the opposition but the senate cannot.

Migz is a true blue trapo. Like his trapomates in the administration, he hides behind the cloak of technicality. If there is anyone who is rushing things, its Migz and his ever supportive COMELEC. The COMELEC and Migz has been harping that its of national importance that the 12th seat be filled. I'll throw them the same contention Raul Gonzalez has against allowing Sen. Trillanes to perform his senatorial mandate. The senate will function without Migz. Hell, it can even function despite lacking a 24th senator. The DBM would be happy as it will have to spend less on the senate's pork barrel.

In the end, its all about getting Migz in and Koko out. The administration cannot afford another opposition senator as it can be embroiled in more investigations. Can any of you think of another way to describe this situation? Suggestions are always welcome.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Proudly Made In the U.S. Of A.

For selling our national dignity, Uncle Sam repays us with lemons. It would have nice if it were the edible kind. But no, for toeing the American line on the war on terror, we are sold/given scraps. First the Hueys and now dud 81mm shells. This culture of mendicancy has got to stop. Soldiers uselessly shed their blood while the REMFs sit comfortably in their offices.

The footage of the dud 81s keep playing over and over in my head. Had they worked, it could have turned the tide. While the bushwhackers' rounds rained on the hapless marines, the poor soldiers had to extricate the shells wasting valuable time and exposing themselves to more deadly fire. Comically lethal situtation if you would ask me.

Funding for modernization was provided by the Erap administration, where is it now? Scandal of low-quality equipment abound. Even substandard Kevlar helmets were bought to the detriment of the men in the field. Surplus, reconditioned night vision goggles were also procured. What will be next, faulty body armor which cost so many American lives in Iraq?

This thing we have have for America has been way over played. What is it with US-made products that make them so superior? The AFP claims that the duds may have succumbed to the elements. This should not be the case if we bought newly produced ones. I am sure that what we bought are surplus items. Misfires are not accidents, their are mechanical.

Taiwan who is smaller and less richer in terms of natural resources gets the best from the US. And they are not required the same subservience expected from us. We are in the forefront of the fight against terror in the region and yet we are treated as second class. Ah, yes, I forgot, Taiwan is located across America's greatest threat, China!

Its high time we think of what is really best for our country. Even in trade, our leaders allow us to get the short end of the stick. America maybe a super power but it needs all the support it can muster from the international community. With its war on terror now being questioned, it cannot simply resort to arm-twisting. Its gun-boat diplomacy no longer works. Just look at how North Korea and Iran brushed them off.

I wonder if the producers of the faulty 81mm shells can be made liable? This is pushing the limits and could might just lead to uncovering a procurement scandal. The AFP said everything was done aboveboard, no hanky-panky. They now say they will investigate, we all know what happens when the military investigates itself. Either they found nothing wrong or they invoke secrecy. Worse, they can make a scapegoat of some innocent soldier.

The event in Basilan showed us how reliable US-made ammo is. The crashing Hueys showed as the quality of equipment we get. Lives depend on these basic needs of the military. Just because we are poor does not mean we have to "beg". The US, our supposed to be big brother obviously do not care. Our leaders also do not care. So while finger-pointing and justification is on-going, our soldiers will have to live with what little they have. While the rebels pour RPGs and mortars on them, all they can do is crouch and pray that their rifles, their only defense, do not desert them. They are M-16s of course, proudly made in the US of A, not by Mattel.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Amazing DisGrace

The Supreme Court has denied anew the petition of Koko Pimentel to stop the proclamation of Migz Zubiri. Voting 7-7, it could pave the way for the proclamation of the senator of Maguindanao. Its a setback for decency and honesty, plain and simple. There still is a main petition that could change the entire picture, but that is quite far-fetched. Koko might as well turn his eye on the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

As usual, Migz was his true theatrical self. With tears flowing, he did a Pacquiao, "Thanks Gods". Kissing his wife and showing relief, he broke into a smile. The Metro Manila Film Festival is still months away. I hope film outfits caught him in his best performance yet and maybe give him a starring role in one of their entries.

The highlight of the hearing was when two justices berated Pimentel and Atty. Sixto Brillantes for threatening the high court. They questioned Pimentel and Brillantes regarding interviews given by the two over on ANC. Brillantes denied he was interviewed and I caught the actual interview of Pimentel. Koko said that if he does not get justice from the "COMELEC", he will take his protest to the streets. Nowhere in his interview did he refer to the Supreme Court. Someone must have given the justices the wrong information. They should have checked first.

Now Migz can breathe again. The very same polluted air he had been breathing. He can now join his master thanks to the "11 million votes" he purportedly garnered. It includes of course the votes that gave him his seat, the Maguindanao votes. Bedol and the COMELEC can now give themselves a pat on the back for a crumby job well done.

In the end, money talked the loudest. He who spent more will reap the fruits of his "labor". It was not about who the people willed, it was he who had a deeper pockets. Political operators are happy and so are the local warlords. The people were silenced and dishonesty ruled the day.

No amount of electoral reform, technical or otherwise will solve our problems. As long as the COMELEC and the administration work in tandem to steal an election, there will be no change. Mere rhetorics and lip service is what spews from their mouths.

I just wonder how Migz will recover the cost of his campaign? I'm sure you all know the answer. If not, we can always ask Miriam Defensor Santiago how Migz intends to recover his losses!


Gutless WHIMPS!

Any human being will definitely squirm at the ghastly end ten of fourteen soldiers killed in an encounter in Tipo-tipo, Basilan. It was pure treachery on the part of the MILF. Units of the 1st Marine Brigade were on their way back to their base when attacked by 300 members of the MILF.

The MILF claims self-defense. Several questions crop up regarding this encounter. If the marines were on their way back, then they were definitely not attacking. The MILF said its aiding in the rescue of kidnapped priest Giancarlo Bossi and yet they take advantage of such a situation to kill and capture arms. Are the leaders of the MILF really in control or is their organization a patchwork of bands of bandits?

It only shows the insincerity of the MILF in achieving a peaceful solution to this lingering problem. The MILF showed its barbaric true self. Okay, you've killed the marines, but why behead them? Is this the kind of people who speak for Muslim Mindanao? Power over the Moros is all this group is after. They would like to dictate than free Mindanao.

Clearly, there is a failure in both leaderships. The MILF leaders do not have a hold on its commanders or may even have condoned the actions on the field. The government on the other hand has been too soft on these bandits. If only they have the same resolve like what they have against the left-leaning critics of this administration.

Instead of fielding troops to battlefronts, the AFP would rather send them to the depressed areas of Metro Manila. Such a waste of lives. These marines should not have died if only both sides were true to their tasks. The MILF has even the temerity to cry foul and complain to the MILF-CCCH. They clearly were not the aggrieved party.

These acts of barbarism would further stoke the flames of hate. It would overshadow whatever they are fighting for. Decent human beings do not behead and castrate their foes regardless of the circumstances. The very vocal Esperon and the banana-munching Norberto Gonzales however are suspiciously silent and even calls on everyone to keep their heads.

I see how these two suddenly lost their balls when confronted by armed opponents while they act like Spartans when facing unarmed civilians. The MILF and the military hierarchy are both whimps. The MILF stabs the back of government while the Dirty Harries take it from the rear willingly.

So much for their rhetorics. When push come to shove, Esperon and Gonzales are reduced to nothing but squawk boxes. They talk of justice for victims of the communists but are mum on the atrocities of the MILF. They quickly detain leftists yet helpless against the MILF. Eid Kabulu should be ashamed of his organization.

Treachery has no place in a modern society like ours. The MILF regardless of what is says can never justify their actions on the ground. Even Allah will not support their actions. What rights can we afford them when they disregard the rights of others. Respect begets respect, if the MILF cannot do this, then they deserved to be exterminated. They were reduced to nothing when Erap declared a total war, but because of political concessions, they were able to recoup their losses. Thanks to our politicians, more lives will be lost.

How I'd love to see the REMFs in the AFP do the fighting. Let's see how big their balls really are. While soldiers are dying in the field, they're holed up in their air-conditioned offices scratching their crotch. They couldn't care less is mortar rounds do not go off. They made a killing in their procurement.

There will be no peace in the south. Filipinos will kill Filipinos. The biggest losers are the onlookers in the sidelines. We all stand to lose everything because gutless whimps would rather play god than do what is right. The leaders of the MILF and our government are spineless. Maybe its time to rise up and kick both these groups out. The Moros and the Christians should unite in lynching these people.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Basurero Ni Gloria

No offense meant to our garbage collectors but Raul Gonzalez has once again puked and ate it himself. He did not wince as he showed dismay over state prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco handled the Jonas Burgos investigation. He questions the manner by which Velasco was quick to point to the ISAFP as the culprit for the abduction of Jonas Burgos.

He said that Velasco should first verify the authenticity of the information given by the informant to the DoJ. For someone who just lost a case because of lack of evidence, he should ask himself the same questions. Now that's what I call eating your own shit. But as I have expected, Velasco is now out as the head of the task force. Will the Burgos family get a fair shake? Naaah!

The ISAFP has denied that four of the six are connected with their group. But the exclusion of the four does not mean that they do not exist. There are still the remaining two officials who are actually in their roster. Its also a known fact that a "spy" will never expose his identity. What is Bangit thinking of? The ISAFP can deny all it wants but the fact remains that an institution will always try to cover up its mess.

So the garbage boy of the administration is at it again. His brand of selective justice despite his protestations and denials is an open book. The entire country knows he only works for one person. He will stoop low and even make a fool of himself just to protect his master.

Velasco has since been receiving threats and even said "live" on ANC that he thinks his phone is bugged. His interview was cut off with him saying, "my phone is bugged". Based on our experience with the Garci wiretapping and Gringo's capture, the ISAFP is capable of bugging anyone.

How can we expect justice if the DoJ can dispense with it depending who is involved? This only proves what we all know all along, the DoJ never served the people, it serves only those it wants to serve. The DoJ should be abolished and renamed Waste Management Department instead. Its used to clean up the administration's trash anyway, it has nothing to do with justice.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Why GMA Wants Erap Convicted

Erap's planned conviction has been hugging the headlines lately. Debates and speculations have been abuzz. Some say that the Sandigan would first convict Erap and GMA will grant him pardon. This is to show a compassionate administration and stem the anger of the Erap supporters.

Is this really the reason or could there be something else. I for one think otherwise. The palace has to justify Erap's ouster to legitimize Gloria's ascension to power. We should look back way beyond the impeachment and the EDSA 2.

Gloria needs to make sure that the focus or disgust for Erap's crimes be kept alive. This is also the reason why she had to steal the 2004 presidential elections. I agree that Erap is no saint but in a civilized society which we claim to be in, rule of law and due process should prevail. Its supposed to be a democracy.

Was Erap really guilty of plunder? Or is a victim of a power grab by opportunistic individuals. Why is Chavit untouchable? He had claimed to be part of the plunder. He was not just a plain accomplice to the Tobacco Excise Tax Scam. In fact, he played a major role based on his claims. The jueteng bribe is the main issue and the Tax Scam was the coup de grace.

An Erap acquittal would spell disaster for GMA. It would prove that Erap's removal has no basis and that everything was a power grab after all. The insight given by Mike Arroyo to Nick Joaquin in an interview will show how and why Erap was ousted. The ads that came out was indeed to condition the minds of the people. They had to come out with one to make sure the people will not forget the so-called Erap crimes.

The palace now has to devise a way to ensure a smooth acceptance of the guilty verdict. Never mind the masses, as long as they have the attention and approval of the middle and upper class, their hold to power will be justified. Their propaganda will be taken in and finally be accepted by all.

I will leave you with Mike's interview and let you see the big picture. You decide what to make of it.

Credit should go to Mike Arroyo

THIS is a season of remembering those exhilarating days in January last year when Joseph Estrada, accused of betraying the trust of the Filipino people who elected him president, was ousted three years and five months short of his term.

Believing in giving credit to where credit is due, we are reprinting here again excerpts of the interview with Mike Arroyo by the eminent Nick Joaquin on his role in the ouster of Estrada, which paved the way for his wife's takeover of the presidency. The interview appeared in the March 5, 2001 issue of Philippine Graphic.

"She had really left the Cabinet at the right moment: the timing was perfect. If she had tarried a moment longer, she would have been too late for EDSA: she would have made it there as an opportunist. And as for the ill-feeling in Metro Manila, we tackled that by going back to the door-to-door campaign: she went from barangay to barangay explaining her motives, outlining her program. And it worked. Then came the impeachment trial, and from there, tuloy-tuloy na.

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

"We got all those Erap tapes from Ramon Jacinto and distributed them all over. We bought one million and a half million copies of Pinoy Times to give away so the public could read about the Erap mansions and bank accounts.

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

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

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

"And they asked when the crowd was thickest; we told them: from three to five in the afternoon. So they agreed to come to EDSA at around that time. But while hiding in their safehouse, they got reports that General Calimlim could not be located and their first thought was: "He's out looking for us!" So they decided to rush to EDSA right away. When they got there, why there too at the Shrine was Calimlim! He had been looking for them all right, but join to join them, not to arrest them!

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

"I was negotiating with Pardo up to three o'clock in the morning: niloloko lang pala kami. But I told him point-blank: "If by six o'clock this morning you haven't given us the resignation letter, we will storm the gates of Malacañang!' But they insisted on more talk: with De Villa up front, and my back channel debate with Pardo, which even became a three-way contest, with Buboy Virata pitching in.

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


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Points To Ponder

So many questions have come up these past days. We all know Koko Pimentel is out of the running. The COMELEC is just prolonging Koko's agony. The absurdities and the blatant disregard for common sense displayed by the COMELEC has sealed his fate. But Koko will not fade into oblivion just yet.

Abalos and Migz have been cast in a very bad light. The "chance" encounter at the Makati Shang-rila Hotel had nailed the duo. Abalos caught again with his pants down has to blurt out different versions to cover up an impropriety. Migz on the other hand had to resort to his award-winning theatrics to gain sympathy.

Was it a chance encounter or a planned one? While Abalos claimed to have met Migz in the restroom, witnesses say otherwise. The time also differs as Abalos said it was around 7PM while witnesses claim its about 9PM. I guess we will never know the truth, all we know is that Migz will soon claim the last senate seat.

As we enter a new phase in anti-terror campaign(?), we are faced with the prospect of legalized abuse. The Human Security Act of 2007 will soon take effect. It ushers in not only speculation but uncertainty. Norberto Gonzales has been named as OIC of the defense department. With his brand of leadership, everyone is fair game. Any dissent, legal or not is bound to be dealt in the same way.

As for the other half of Gloria's screwballs, Raul Gonzalez, is now laying down his rules. He said that according to law, the DoJ may recommend the wiretapping of individuals/organizations suspected of being terrorists or destabilizers. The keyword is recommend. He definitely is warning everyone not to cross the administration or else.

These two have been laying down the predicate of who and what constitutes terrorism and destabilisation. Their interpretations of even basic law bewilders everyones senses. Now these two are entrusted with powers so immense that in their hands, the fate of our liberties depend. So this is how Gloria upholds human rights, she unleashes her wolves to prey on all of us.

The army once again turns to its punching bag. They have tagged an NPA breakaway group that is responsible for the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos. They even identified the perpetrators. But it does not end there, one of those they accuse has been dead for the past three years. Despite evidences gathered by the PNP pointing to members of the army, they have now come up with a concocted story of their own.

After Esperon snubbed the mother of Jonas repeatedly, they came up with another fabrication to cover up their dastardly deed. The AFP is better off being fiction writers. They have mastered the art of "creative" writing. They create stories so unbelievable that the Lord Of The Rings looks more real.

The "I am sorry" line is now passe. One-eyed-jack Lintang Bedol claims innocence against charges filed against him be the COMELEC. To even make the situation more absurd, Bedol was released on personal cognizance. This is the guy who have defied several summons fro the En Banc. This is the guy who lost documents that could resolve the 12th seat in the senate. This is the guy who singlehandedly made Migz Zubiri the senator of Maguindanao is now a free man.

His charges are all administrative and not criminal as the COMELEC justifies his release. But isn't his actions have national repercussions? He practically paved the way for Migz to win the senatorial race. He claims to threats to his life and yet the police were ordered to leave him alone. Someone obviously wants him out of the picture. Bedol should watch his back, not from those who think he's a cheat but from the very same persons who benefited from his clandestine operations.

After winning the mayoralty race in Manila, Mayor Fred "Dirty Harry" Lim has GMA scared shitless. He has opened Mendiola to rallies. GMA and Lito Atienza have managed to prevent rallies there in the past. Its all going to be different now with Lim in office. Of course permits are still to be requested but its a whole different ballgame from now on.

Malacañang must now hear the voices of the aggrieved and abused. They must now deal with those who merely ask for justice. They can no longer pretend to be deaf and blind. Gloria will now have to look for another way to avoid hearing the truth. No longer is her enchanted palace shielded from the voice of the oppressed.

Yes, its sweet justice. Now groups are lining up in preparation to their trip to Mendiola. It will be a sight to see. Perhaps, this will open the eyes of the incumbent to the naked truth that she is not wanted anymore.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Running Of The Bulls

We're not in Pamplona, Spain, but the way the NBC wants to ram the canvassing down are dried up throats, it looks more like a stampede. The "herd" of COMELEC commissioners is going to run us down. Their mighty gavels dictate what is and what is not in order, trampling all those who stand in its path. Some may call it railroading but to me, its as if all hell has broken loose and the day belongs to the thieves.

After the elections, Lintang Bedol presented CoCs showing that Team Unity massacred the Genuine Opposition in Maguindanao with a 12-0 win. Canvassing showed Chavit Singson getting the top spot. The CoCs were questioned by opposition lawyers and Bedol was asked to present supporting documents.

What was supposed to be a simple task turned into a game of cat and mouse. Bedol dropped out of sight and Task Force Maguindanao was created. Sarmiento was sent to investigate allegations of cheating but was caught by intrepid reporter, Ricky Carandang with his pants down. Abalos wanted to declare a failure of elections but decided otherwise as local winners were proclaimed.

Sarmiento feigned illness and was replaced by Nicodemo Ferrer. BEIs were asked to present documents to prove that elections took place and provide a basis to canvass the Maguindanao votes. The BEIs did come out and presented copies of Copy No. 2. This are the tally sheets posted on boards to show the results of the canvassing. Lo and behold, the documents now show Migz Zubiri as the topnotcher. Other pertinent documents were declared by Bedol to have been stolen. The TU who claims they have proof of their win never even showed their copies of the canvassed votes. How convenient.

A special canvass was conducted but the Special Board of Canvassers promptly declared all documents to be authentic and never gave the opposition lawyers the chance to question them. As expected, the copies were sent to Manila to be canvassed by the NBC. After Koko Pimentel failed to get a TRO to stop the canvassing, the NBC last Friday started to canvass the Maguindanao votes. Opposition lawyer Laila Delima tried to question the documents and was declared out of order with Ferrer threatening to "eject" her from the proceedings with the aid of security.

Migz can now sleep soundly. Abalos and his henchmen have done their job. They have succeeded in disenfranchising the voters of Maguindanao. The COMELEC was able to delay the canvass and give enough time for the cheats in Maguindano to "manufacture authentic documents" to finally put Koko out of his misery. Come Monday, the "bulls" will do their final run and proclaim the Senator of Maguindanao, the 12th senator.

It was not Garci after all, a higher figure was calling the shots in 2004. The big, bad bull was the chairman himself. He was always in the background conducting the orchestra. This elections was no different, he directed and played out the script. He talks of delicadeza when in fact he has none. The head honcho although hated, will come out of this theft unscathed and sporting a wide smile. His master will be very pleased as the poster boy of the enchanted kingdom will finally take his senate seat.

Koko, I am sure will be raring for a fight, but the "bulls" will gore him this time. He can still win as evidences so glaring cannot simply be dismissed. But it will take more time and more money. It could take the whole three years and could be declared the winner after all on the last day of session. So like his father, Nene Pimentel, he had been robbed in broad daylight. The impunity by which the COMELEC mocked the essence of democracy is just so appalling. They have managed to bring down democracy to its knees.

But like the bulls of Pamplona, the COMELEC will surely suffer the same fate. They will be be slaughtered in an arena, made to be examples of how man is far superior to beasts. Spectators will roar and cheer on the matadors that will stab them to death. Pray hard mister commissioners, the people will not be kind to you. You will be humiliated and forever be condemned for the absurdities you have committed.

Musa Dimasidsing will spit on you from heaven and will happily watch you squirm to your deaths. Karma will judge you unkindly and will mete you the punishment you deserve. So enjoy the what you have now, if not us, He who lords over us all will give you the spanking of your life.