Aug 31, 2005


At the House: A non-victory for GMA

For the second straight day, the pro-Arroyo House leadership immediately suspended its plenary session in order to railroad the justice committee meetings. The House leaders are obviously maneuvering so that Mrs. Arroyo would not be saddled by an impeachment complaint when she flies abroad this month.

So brazen are the maneuvers yesterday and today. They suspended the House plenary meetings just to be able to resume the justice committee meetings with a singular purpose to scuttle the campaign to impeach Mrs. Arroyo. They have actually voted this afternoon to kill the Lopez and the amended Lozano complaint.

Mrs. Arroyo and her diehards in the House are naturally happy. They are in the process of depriving the Filipino people of the constitutional right to remove an impeachable official, in this case the President. More time for GMA, more perks for the "honorable" buwayas.

This is a non-victory for both Mrs. Arroyo and the House leadership. For one, the Filipino people now have every reason to take matters in their own hands and, through direct action as the holders of the sovereign power, enforce their will to remove Arroyo. The scuttling of the impeachment complaint in the most unprincipled and most mercenary manner emboldens the people to mount another uprising.

For the House leadership, it has now to contend with the perception that it is a House of Disrepute, a bastion of patronage, a mere rubber-stamp institution that would always renege on its mandate as the sole initiator of impeachment proceedings. The people's view that the House is not a partner in the anti-corruption, anti-fraud and reform-oriented movements has been given more basis, and it is only sound to say that, in this case, the House leadership has also betrayed the public trust by being a party to a cover up.

It is inaccurate to blame pro-impeachment solons for failing to gather 79 endorsers in order to bring the case to the Senate as the reason for the death of the impeachment process. Those who point that malicious finger at the pro-impeachment point four of their own fingers at themselves. For in reality, the score is that the majority of the House members, led by the House leadership would not like to enforce the Constitution, would not like to even see the evidence against Arroyo, and would like her solely to survive the impeachment campaign.

Some weeks ago, Mrs. Arroyo told the media and the nation that she welcomes impeachment proceedings. But saying so is different from upholding it in action. She never wanted to undergo impeachment -- she planted Oliver Lozano as her choice impeachment inoculator. She approved of Lozano's unverified and pathetic impeachment complaint in order to prevent other parties from lodging verified and pithy complaints against her. At this point, the House leadership has the task of sanctifying the Lozano complaint by a favorable vote on the issue of form but trashing it on the issue of substance.

The non-victory at the House is a clarion call for Filipinos. If the House would not do its job of impeaching the president, it now falls on the shoulders of the Filipino people to do what is right.

For ironically, the death knell to the impeachment sounds like the death knell to Arroyo's presidency. A people whose constitutional right to remove sitting Presidents may take issue at the betrayal of the House and they themselves -- the real sovereign in this supposedly democratic and republican state -- to do what needs to be done.

Goodbye impeachment? Goodbye GMA!

Aug 28, 2005


Alternative careers for GMA - No. 2: Prison Mayor

While the nation considers the manner by which Gloria M. Arroyo would be removed from the presidency, it is only worthwhile (and perhaps entertaining too!) to explore the many possible alternative career paths she could take when she finally leaves the Palace. This series of blogs on the topic will continue until a new national leadership is inaugurated.

Alternative careers for GMA - No. 2:
Mayor, Prison Mayor

When GMA finally gets the boot, she would surely be slapped with dozens of suits from aggrieved parties.

If the courts would be as loyal to the letter of the law as Prospero Pichay and Luis Pichay are loyal to their primadonna-president, GMA would have to be detailed in Quezon City Jail while in trial for plunder and other crimes she committed and continued to commit as president.

In the elections for Prison Mayor, she would surely win "fair and square" and beat the hell out of her foes. Anyway, she would have almost perfect company. Her PhD in Economics would again be tested -- to check proceeds from tong collections, to keeping the pecking order among warring gangs, to maintain her Prison Mayoral rule and to try what many have been trying to do: make do with a few centavos or pesos in allowances for food.

Sana makulong talaga ang pesteng presidenteng ito.

Aug 26, 2005


White Ribbon Movement

If you are for good governance, truth and justice, please wear or hang white ribbons.

When we do so, we want to send this message to Mrs. Arroyo: FOR THE SAKE OF THE COUNTRY, RESIGN NOW!

White ribbons symbolize our longing for an end to the bleak Arroyo presidency and to all the lies that have come from her mouth, as well as those emanating from her asinine kampon.

Here's more on the White Ribbon Movement which I strongly support:

Despite repeated surveys showing the public’s lack of trust in the Arroyo presidency, and despite the numerous and wide cross-section of groups and personalities now calling on Mrs. Arroyo to step down from office, the President insists on holding on to power.

Under such a situation, we, the so-called “middle forces,” play a crucial role in tipping the balance towards a peaceful, orderly and democratic resolution of the stalemate.

In this light, we invite you to be part of the White Ribbon Movement a movement of concerned Filipinos calling for President Arroyo’s resignation in order for meaningful reforms to take place in our country.


Sr. Mary John Mananzan, OSB

Bro. Edmundo Fernandez, FSC

Dr. Menguita Padilla, M.D., Rx Emergency: Resign Gloria NOW! and SINAG

Atty. Nasser Marohomsalic, Committee for the Defense of Liberty,

Marco de los Reyes, Chairperson, UP Student Council

Mike Pante, Editor-In-Chief, Matanglawin, Ateneo de Manila University

Who and what we are:

We are a movement of concerned Filipinos calling for the resignation of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in order that meaningful and substantial reforms may take place in our beloved country.

The color white symbolizes our stand for truth, integrity, renewal, peace and hope – the very values and principles that the President has tainted and apparently forsaken.

The white ribbon symbolizes our call for Mrs. Arroyo to step down from the presidency.

What we believe in:

• President Arroyo's telephone conversations with COMELEC Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano are not a mere "lapse of judgment." Such acts, including her vague apology and attempts to cover-up the truth, constitute a betrayal of the public trust and are culpable violations of the Constitution and other laws of the land.

• The Arroyo presidency is now in serious question. Mrs. Arroyo has destroyed her own credibility beyond repair. She has lost the trust and confidence of our people; she no longer has any moral ascendancy to remain in power. She must step down for the good of the country.

• We are for a democratic, orderly and peaceful transition of power from Mrs. Arroyo to her successor. But a mere change in the presidency is not enough. The new government should have a definite program for political, economic and social reform focused on the upliftment of society's marginalized sectors.

• It is a fundamental principle that sovereignty resides in the people and all power emanates from them. The public should be allowed full use of their civil liberties, especially the right to free expression and to peaceful assembly, in order to wield their sovereign power.

What we vow to do:

• Conduct a massive information and education drive on the issues behind the political crisis through public fora, community and workplace meetings, mass media, the internet, SMS, ring tones and all other means available.

• Revive the true spirit of EDSA -- of people taking a common stand and working together to advance the nation's interest and the people's welfare. Thus we shall work for Mrs. Arroyo's resignation through our concerted actions. We shall use creative, peaceful and democratic forms of action, including popularizing the white ribbon as a symbol of the call for Mrs. Arroyo to step down.

• Support and participate in other initiatives that aim to ferret out the truth and facilitate Mrs. Arroyo's removal from office.

Aug 21, 2005


Remembering Ninoy

When I was a kid, I was among the many admirers of Ninoy. I voraciously his written works and published articles about him. I even collected the Mr. and Ms. special editions that devoted precious print space for the coverage of the investigations that followed his murder.

What I liked about Ninoy Aquino was his ultimate personal sacrifice.

By walking into the lion's den, he showed the entire world that Filipinos are a respectable people who would stand up to a dictatorship and would even offer their lives for freedom and democracy. He set aside personal comfort when he rejected offers of plum positions and some peace and quiet if and when he would embrace the dictatorship. He taught us to look back at our history and rediscover the pantheon of heroes and martyrs, and urged us in no small way to follow their fine example.

Ninoy and the many other heroes and martyrs provide us a beacon light amid a status quo specializing in lies and deception. If we only look back at the sacrifices of our forebears and everyone who struggled before us, we would be more than aware, we would be pushed by our conscience to continue their unfinished business.

It is truly sad that many think that the sacrifices of Ninoy and our other heroes and martyrs were all in vain. But we should be critical as to where this pessimistic idea is coming from -- where else but Malacanang and the bastions of reaction. These malignant anti-change forces and institutions berate the memories of Ninoy and our revolutionary past and wrongfully pin on them the blame for sad situation we all face today.

Our heroes and martyrs fought and died for freedom, democracy and all good things. They wanted to have an authentic democratic and free government that will provide our people the opportunities to maximize our self-worth as individuals and as a people. They fought to the death for the defeat of malevolent forces such as liars, corrupt public officials, plunderers, foreign oppressors, those who poison our minds with colonial and defeatist ideas, those who equate peace with the silence of the murdered and disappeared dissenters, those who brand activists as terrorists as if that would legitimize their mass murder.

Today, we face the challenge of removing Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who, like Marcos, stole the elections, plundered the coffers, presided over syndicates and sold our national interests in the altar of alien gods. While already caught red-handed stealing the people's sovereign will, this president has made it a point to lie and to lie repeatedly, in what should be viewed as a continuing crime that should be stopped.

We owe it to Ninoy and our other heroes and martyrs to oust Arroyo and institute meaningful changes and radical reforms for the benefit of the democratic majority.

More importantly, we owe it to ourselves, our nation and our future to whom our pantheon of greats offered their lives.

Aug 12, 2005


Mike Defensor is insulting us

I take it as a personal insult the reported rantings of Environment and Natural Resources Sec. Mike Defensor that it was not his principal, Gloria M. Arroyo, who was speaking with Comm. Virgilio Garcillano as recorded in the Gloriagate tapes.

Hello!? Arroyo has already admitted her "lapse in judgment" vis-a-vis the 14 calls she made to Garci. The Gloria-Garci phone chit-chats are now the main case in the impeachment case filed against her in Congress.

Defensor is insulting me and other Filipinos by saying now that he could prove otherwise.

If Defensor still has some decency left and even an iota of respect to the public, could he just shut up? Never mind if he chooses not to apologize for his serial acts of stupidity since the Gloriagate scam erupted, as long as he gives us some peace and quiet, not to mention a modicum of respect.

Aug 10, 2005


Alternative careers for GMA - No. 1

While the nation considers the manner by which Gloria M. Arroyo would be removed from the presidency, it is only worthwhile (and perhaps entertaining too!) to explore the many possible alternative career paths she could take when she finally leaves the Palace.

This series of blogs on the topic will continue until a new national leadership is inaugurated.

Alternative careers for GMA - No. 1:
Telephone operator

She has shown a liking for making phone calls. Her 14 recorded calls to a Comelec commissioner showed her capacity to be uncharacteristically polite and not project her usual snooty and arrogant attitude. She knows who to call. She knows what she's got to do, like reminding Garci: 'Yung dagdag, yung dagdag" or following up on shopping lists: "Will I still get 1M (one million?)?

It may not be impossible that she might end up cheating, este, working her way to being the Telephone Operator of the Year!

Aug 8, 2005


Arroyo tries to buy innocence

Archbishop Oscar Cruz is reaping a PR attack for his allegations that the Palace is mobilizing henchmen and gazillions of money to shut the traps of whistleblowers against Mrs. Arroyo.

But what else is new in this God-forsaken land of pseudo-leaders who harbor illusions of royalty?

Archbishop Cruz may actually be telling the truth, considering last week's "pagbaligtad" of one of the anti-Arroyo whistleblowers and the barrage of anti-Cruz attacks on radio shows this morning.

Besides, Arroyo has always been reported to dangle largesse on errant congressmen and senators and practically every being ready to be bribed. Remember the discussions over the VAT and the reported flood of money accompanying calls for the revenue measure's swift approval?

Arroyo's attempts to pay off and smother with money all the accusers and accusations of misdeeds and perfidy may obtain the opposite of the intended results. For indeed, it only shows Arroyo being a quintessential trapo, a kapit-tuko sa puwesto, and would reap more protests.

Nakakainsulto ang laro at planong ito ng Palasyo.


US super-terrorism: Hiroshima

It was an opportune time for many to ask the right questions over the weekend, when Japan and the world marked the detonation of atomic bombs in Hiroshima.

The questions pertained to acts of terrorism perpetrated by governments as what happened when the US government authorized the pilot of Enola Gay to drop the bomb on the Japanese city.

The internet is full of accounts of that act of US super- terrorism that levelled Hiroshima in an instant, killing hundreds of thousands and rewriting world history in terms of priorly unknown horrors of inter-imperialist rivalry. Indeed, only the mad dash towards a redivision of Asia and the defeat of a strategic enemy could have persuaded the US government into doing what it did and turning Hiroshima into a burning hell more than five decades ago. The barbarism of imperial Japanese invaders could not be corrected by US super-terrorism.

But whatever the motives, the misdeed has been done. For the record, the US government remains the only record-holder of being the lone state power to use atomic weapons -- clearly a weapon of mass destruction -- during a war. This infamous record will be followed by the use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War and depleted uranium in the Gulf Wars.

To date, the US government possesses the most number of nuclear warheads, outnumbering all the other nuclear powers. Also, it has refused to disarm itself while hypocritically requiring others to do so.

What we should do now is to continue to condemn acts of terrorism in all its forms, especially those undertaken by governments.

Hopefully the world would be freed from the scourge of terrorism and hypocritical US super-terrorism. Otherwise, we would just be folling ourselves with a false sense of security and be party to the future slaughter of innocents by way of detonated weapons of mass destruction.

Aug 5, 2005


Roco and the people's quest for fresh leadership and meaningful change

It would have been better had Raul Roco and Eddie Villanueva combined for a spectacular tandem in the last presidential elections. Either way, they would have given Gloria Arroyo and Noli de Castro a run for their money.

Roco, who passed away today due to cancer, personified the best the traditional political elite has to offer. Prior to running for president, he was a former senator and congressman. He championed worthy causes like the "Study Now, Pay Later Act" as a staffer of Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. and various laws under his own Senate stint. He was, I think, the only "honorary woman" so honored by the nation for his work for the uplift of women through legislation. His criticisms of corruption and expressions of hope captured a segment of the youth.

Meanwhile, Villanueva put his presidential campaign solidly behind a call for moral renewal, asserting the notion that immorality hs taken over the presidency and all spheres of society. This immorality has resulted in so many crimes against people and in unbridled criminality among rulers.

Both Roco and Villanueva however suffered from several handicaps: lack of viable political machineries, absence of truly radical programs and consequently the failure to attract the support of the basic sectors of workers and farmers.

The latter, methinks, will for now on would be the most crucial part of any noteworthy campaign for national leadership in the days to come. This is especially true considering the growing disenchantment over elitist rule and the disastrous sidestepping of the interests of the workers and farmers inspite of their being the real democratic majority in our country.

With his death, Roco leaves a nation still searching for fresh leadership which he hoped to provide but was prevented by the most malignant sections of the ruling elite who would want nothing of the reforms he wanted to take and especially detest the comprehensive social revolution the people aspire for more than ever today.

Eventually, the rotten elite may hatch all possible plots but they have to brace themselves for the eventual triumph of the marginalized sectors whose program for genuine reform seek to overhaul the whole society and bring about a new Philippines that is free from corruption, feudal rule and foreign domination.

Aug 4, 2005


Blogging Gloriagate and regime change

Today, bloggers from all over are set to meet at UP's Malcolm Hall for the iBlog Mini: Blogging Gloriagate.

This is a good opportunity for an offline meeting among bloggers and perhaps the more militant, more active would be able to plan a little for both online and offline actions. I am sure TXTPower convenors and members who are bloggers too would gladly host a Grand Gloriagate Blogroll and Webring at our site.

The rise of blogging both as a venue for political debate and as political tool for otherwise marginalized voices is a positive development in authentic democratization. Activists and all dreamers of a Better Philippines should have a blog.

Take the impeachment complaint against Gloria as an example. Or the hearings on Gloriagate, juetenggate, whistleblower Louie Zuce. There are plenty of issues bloggers could focus their energies on, but perhaps with a clear view that we ought to help propel the mass movement for Gloria Arroyo's removal from office and for regime change.

Conscientious people who are sick and tired of trapos could blog their frustrations over the rotten status quo and let others read it and digest it. Those who have alternative programs and alternative viewpoints on how to solve problems such as the bulok na gobyernong Arroyo and the sistemang bulok are also most welcome in the blogging world. Such views are pervasive nowadays and they are so pervasive that Arroyo has unleashed rabid dogs like Raul Gonzales in a vain effort to terrorize everyone with stark stupidity.

The fight for regime change could be chronicled in the blogging world. At the same time, bloggers could also help map out the post-Arroyo period by writing about our dreams and aspirations on what could best replace the current setup. As a firm believer in the Filipino's capacity for greatness and openness, I am sure many people would be able to contribute immensely to this quest for both short-term and long-term solutions to the crisis gripping the country.

For now, see you at today's iBlog Mini and at the next rally.

Aug 2, 2005


Joseph Mussomeli loves Gloria Arroyo

Joseph Mussomeli, the top US diplomat in the Philippines, spoke about his love for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He said that Arroyo will survive the crisis and criticized moves towards a People Power uprising that will oust her from the presidency. (Mike Arroyo would have had a heart attack listening to Mussomeli at the FOCAP press forum.)

It is but natural for the US Embassy to articulate such views, considering the neocolonial status of the Philippines. As imperious chief representative of US imperialism in the Philippines, Mussomeli has the sworn duty to declare its best interests in the country inspite of the trappings of a so-called Republic of the Philippines.

Mussomeli has several reasons to fear the burgeoning anti-Arroyo movement.

First, Mussomeli and his government know full well of the big probability of Arroyo's removal either through People Power or through impeachment. Public sentiment is strongly against the US puppet Arroyo. It would be a threat to US interests if the US puppet would be given the boot quite abruptly or merely a bit over year since assuming the presidency through the most fraudulent means. Mussomeli likes Arroyo's obeisance to US interests, her abiding loyalty to George W. Bush's war of terror and for following to the letter all the prescriptions of US-led agencies WTO, WB and the IMF (Read: Taxes and more taxes, high prices, low wages, foreign debt payments, etc.).

Secondly, the US Embassy fears not the weakening of political institutions per so but the failure of pro-US institutions dominated by the pro-imperialist elite. Another People Power uprising may be healthy for the Filipino people in so far as punishing Arroyo's cheating, lying and oppressive rule. But for the US, that is already going overboard because the long-term hold of the US, made through embeded pro-US trapos, would be obviously threatened. The US abhors the idea of a politically-mature and independent-minded Filipinos.

Third, Mussomeli would love Arroyo to undertake the Charter Change. It is an initiative full of quid pro quos among the local elite: 1) bayaran at suhulan between Arroyo and the legislators; 2) creation of new opportunities for more corruption and more intense exploitation of people and more perverse corruption under a parliamentary-federal setup that may silence opposition to Chacha from among trapos; 3) lifting of whatever protectionist provisions left in the Chacha to favor, yes oh yes, the interests of the very country Mussomeli represents.

Lest we forget, the US has long wanted Chacha principally to remove all restrictions to the sellout by neocolonial trapos of our most vital public utilities, companies and industries. It wants to gobble up our forests and mines that, under the current Constitution's provisions, may only be exploited by Filipinos. It also seeks to water down the Bill of Rights so that the neocolonial state would be able to rein in on critics of US domination, be they armed or unarmed, legal or illegal.

Mussomeli is being transparent in his statements of love for Arroyo. US interests are first and last; Philippine interests are relegated to the garbage bin.

Simply put, the US wants to keep Arroyo in power and obtain a more pro-imperialist Constitution -- inspite of our people's strong objections.

Be that as it may, Mussomeli may have the surprise of his life. He may reap for the US the same level of disgust for Arroyo and help expand the anti-imperialist movement in the Philippines. His love for Arroyo may be what activists need in punctuating the need for a truly independent and democratic Philippines.

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