‘Jueteng’ since time immemorial – INQ7.net: is my Inquirer column for today.
Newsbreak has an issue focusing on Chavit Singson, political kingpin of the Ilocos, and has a strong message from the editor (click on this: Newsbreak). Manuel Buencamino, who’s trenchant opinion pieces used to appear in the defunct Today newspaper and in Businessworld, writes why not hold a contest? to pick a replacement for President Arroyo.
Overlooked was an article on May 27 by Rick Carandang on control of the quarrying industry being in the hands of Senator Lito Lapid. Rumor has it Ricky’s on to a big story, but we shall have to see if and when it appears.
The big news, brewing for some days but increasing in intensity and speculative power, is that there is a recording of President Arroyo discussing how to cheat in the 2004 elections. The tape was supposedly leaked by the United States government. The opposition denies possession or knowledge of the tape, sort of. Their sites are not link-friendly, but to get the opposition point of view, check out the articles in today’s issues of The Tribune and Malaya (Tribune has an intriguing article on Kit Tatad’s allegations that not only did her officials suggest her resignation, but that the president is hellbent on staying in power down “to the last hired general.” Both papers are essential reading for divining the opposition mindset).
Discussing why the United States might be interested in such an expose, which could possibly bring down the administration if proven true, I put forward the following possibilities:
1. Punishment for the double-cross on Iraq.
2. Frustration over the continued inefficiency, incompetence, and corruption in the military, which is needed by the US in Mindanao.
3. Alarm and a dislike for proposals to amend the constitution.
4. Too much friendliness to China.
5. None of the above; simply “because they can.”
And who would be a political beneficiary palatable to the United States? Anyone in the line of succession would be acceptable to the United States. I’d go as far as to consider the Musharraf model, which would certainly bring a twinkle to Angelo Reyes’s eyes.
This is all presuming, of course, this country is worth the bother as far as the United States is concerned (with the New American Century types running the show, any kind of regime change, I think, is worth their while). I wouldn’t underestimate the depths of antipathy Washington feels for the present government.
My comment on the travails of the president is that she should never have allowed her son Mikey to run for office in the first place. I said so publicly in my column in the Pinoy Times.
Columnist Neil Cruz today counsels the administration to stop panicking and do its job for once. Carmen Guerrero Nakpil points out, surveying all the past administrations, that the present one is the most unpopular and has set out to out-Marcos the record of Ferdinand Marcos.
Business as usual – INQ7.net: has Conrado de Quiros making the trenchant, and very true observation that when it comes to businessmen denouncing corruption,
that is all very nice, except for one thing. It presumes the business community to be part of the cure when it is in fact part of the disease.
News abroad is CIA is demoted, Negroponte ascendant..