«

»

Jun 15

Argee’s chronology

(update) Flash: Ong charged with sedition.

(update No. 2): Bro. Mike Velarde says “don’t rush to judgement”; the President addressed members of El Shaddai today in Cavite.

It’s frustrating that Businessworld doesn’t have its columnists on line. In his column for today, Argee Guevarra presents his own chronology of recent events. I’ll just summarize them -if anyone finds a link to the actual column, please let me know.

Argee is affiliated with Sanlakas and gained fame as a writer in the Philippine Collegian with a gift for the witty turn of phrase, for exampling referring to the supporters of exiled Communist leader Jose Ma. Sison as “Joma’s Witnesses.” According to him (Argee), his chronology is based “also on published reports and information from well-placed sources from both the administration and the trapo [traditional political] opposition.”

He begins, [s]ometime between May 30 and June 1, during the heat of the Senate inquiry on jueteng, text messages started to circulate about the existence of audio recordings which claim to be damaging to the GMA presidency. Palace operatives were immediately ordered to verify the rumors by checking their veracity with the intelligence community. Before the order filtered to the proper channels, a CD copy of the recordings was leaked…on June 2 by members of the anti-GMA group led by retired Gen. Fortunato Abat.

He continues, The Palace prematurely presumed the recordings… represented the entire length and substance of GMA’s and Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcellano’s conversations.

His chronology may then be summarized as follows:

June 2, Thursday: The recordings reach media. The Cabinet’s crisis management team spends up to early in the morning of June 3 deciding on a course of action.

June 3, Friday: Media organizations who reviewed the recordings ask the Palace to react. Palace says a statement will be issued over the weekend. June 3 to 4 finds the crisis management team hurriedly drafting “its official political line on the matter: the leaked CD is a fake despite its knowing it to be real. Furthermore, it decides to produce its own version of the conversation and pass it off as the authentic copy, unaware that the original in its possession is merely an abridged and edited version.

Argee explains that the Palace version was supposed to be the recorded conversation between GMA and a political operator whose name should correspond to “Gary” or “Garci” as was the content of the original and unadulterated conversation. It featured the superimposed voice recording of Rep. Iggy Arroyo’s chief of staff, Edgar Ruado, who is better known as Bong among the congressional staff members.

Argee suggests that Gary’s selection was to obviate any accusations of inappropriate communication between a presidential candidate and a Comelec commissioner which constitutes an impeachable offense.

June 4, Saturday: Abat tells media he’s going to hold a press conference on Sunday –Gen. Abat’s group hoped that by playing the the tape before media, he would invite arrest from members of the AFP or PNP, and signal sympathetic quarters from the Philippine Marines to come to his succor and reprise… the siege of Camp Aguinaldo which triggered the 1986 People Power Revolution.

The Palace decided to preempt the Abat press conference by scheduling a last-minute… press conference of its own, making a side-by-side comparison between the original CD and the Palace-produced version. For the entire day of June 4 (Saturday) and June 5 (Sunday) the crisis-management team rehearsed its official yarn in a vain attempt to satisfactorily hurdle any inquiry and scrutiny…

June 6, Monday: Press Sec. Bunye holds a press conference, plays both recordings, says that both contain the voice of the President. The major networks broadcasts the tapes, and continues to do so until June 7. (thanks to crimson page for correcting this!)

June 8, Tuesday: suspended lawyer Allan Paguia says he was the source of the recordings.Argee says Sources indicated that… Paguia advanced the dissemination of the tape to coincide with that of Gen. Abat, although… Paguia intended his distribution to be on an installment basis to keep the Palace in the dark.

June 8-9: He writes, various anti-GMA organizations from Left to Right opened communication lines to prepare for a possible stewardship of any expression of national outrage which could convulse the streets… No basis of unity was achieved since the anti-GMA groups were ill-prepared for an abrupt regime change and bickered over post-GMA scenarios.

June 10: Samuel Ong surfaces. He seeks protection from the Church, then a fringe group from the FPJ campaign committee and the Erap camp attempted to simulate another Edsa 3 uprising, but was quickly smothered by a battalion of cops sent to the San Carlos Seminary to prevent any public assembly from reaching a critical mass. (Note: one of the lunatic fringe, confirms this.). The next day, Ong hands the tape to Bishop Bacani not merely to effect a transfer of custody thereof, but to oblige the Church to conduct a formal evaluation and inquiry.

Argee’s chronology bears comparison with that of the PCIJ here and here. What he suggests seems to be that the release of the tapes was a cunning plan by the Abat camp to panic the Palace into reacting to packaged information (that is, to panic by reacting to a tape, not knowing there was a longer tape); that the Estrada camp barged in and by so doing, bungled the whole thing; that (and this is my reading of Argee’s reading) the Abat people may have ultimately moved to derail a longer, more patient game plan by Senator Lacson.

11 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. buddy

    That puts Abat into perspective (I’m unsure if it’s proper). My first impression was that he was grandstanding when he presented himself as head of a post-GMA military junta.

    Of course, I won’t forget Argee “Pogi Points” Guevarra who invented the term and published it in Collegian way back when I was a freshie.

  2. tinapa

    sec bunye’s presscon where he played the alleged wiretapped conversation was on june 6.

    prior to this, he released this press statement:

    VIEW FROM THE PALACE
    by ignacio bunye
    june 5, 2005

    intelligence reports reaching the palace point to another desperate plot of some segments of the opposition to smear and destabilize the administration via a purported taped conversation between the president and a certain comelec commissioner plotting election fraud.

    the same reports proffer a wild story that the tape came from US government sources, thereby suggesting some kind of official US involvement in the plot to oust the President. over coffee last saturday, a senior official of the US embassy told me that he heard the story about a month ago but he thought it had died down.

    he denied any possible hand by an US official in any attempt to destabilize a friendly government.

    obviously, this news story about election fraud is a pure concoction.

    but we are no longer surprised at the depths of despair that some opposition members can reach considering the failed jueteng caper against the first family.

    before the start of the senate investigations, the market reacted negatively, anticipating a bombshell. but after boy mayor went about his shotgun testimony, implicating several legislators without proof, the market quickly recovered. the boy mayor testimony turned out to be ampaw (hollow) and the market saw through the charade.

    unfortunately, even if these allegations are obviously the concoctions of persons motivated only by self-interest, it is unfortunate that our chismis-driven culture laps it up as gospel truth.

    this takes away precious time and attention better spent on solving the many problems othat confront us.

    some people, rather than being part of the solution, are a big part of the problem. due to purely selfish reasons, these incorrigible destabilizers want the president to fail.

    they must realize, however, that the president’s failure would not only be her own, or her family’s, or her party’s. it would be the failure of our entire nation to pick itself up by its bootstraps and catch up with its legislators.

    the president has a clear and achievable ten-point agenda for our country. however, all the bickering, mudslinging, and politicking prevent our country from truly taking off.

    it is a shame that a nation of such talented, gifted and hardworking people cannot get its act together. unless we all put our differences aside, and work hand in hand with the president, no matter where our political sympathies lie, we will continue to be like an aircraft in a holding pattern – merely circling and not touching down.

    -end-

  3. mlq3

    buddy: I forgot about “pogi points,” oo nga noh.

    tinapa, thanks for the correction! I fixed it na.

  4. butch perez

    Manolo,
    An Umberto-Ecoesque subplot that you’ll find irresistible is the role of the Freemasonry in all this. During Samuel Ong’s first presscon, he melodramatically warned that he had left three other master tapes in the hands of three of his “Brothers”, to be made public in case anything dire happened to him. Later, as the Star reports today (June 16, in a news item and Max Soliven’s column), it turns out Ong might have been expelled from his sanctuary in San Carlos Seminary by the Catholic Church because he was outed as a Mason. It seems that most of the PNP hierarchy belongs to the Freemasonry as well. So, Ong’s “Brothers” must be other fraternal masons. How many in the chain of command of the PNP, AFP and ISAFP are masons? At the very least, this question should be included as an item in Malacañang’s loyalty checklist. And, as Max asks in a marvelous Solivenesque non sequitur, did Rizal really retract?

  5. butch


    Manolo,
    An Umberto-Ecoesque subplot that you’ll find irresistible is the role of the Freemasonry in all this. During Samuel Ong’s first presscon, he melodramatically warned that he had left three other master tapes in the hands of three of his “Brothers”, to be made public in case anything dire happened to him. Later, as the Star reports today (June 16, in a news item and Max Soliven’s column), it turns out Ong might have been expelled from his sanctuary in San Carlos Seminary by the Catholic Church because he was outed as a Mason. It seems that most of the PNP hierarchy belongs to the Freemasonry as well. So, Ong’s “Brothers” must be other Fraternal Masons. How many in the chain of command of the PNP, AFP and ISAFP are Masons? And what degree? At the very least, this question should be included as an item in Malacañang’s loyalty checklist. And, as Max asks in a marvelous Solivenesque non sequitur, did Rizal really retract?

  6. mlq3

    I don’t think they’d kick him out for being a Mason,. but yes, many members of the craft come from the military and the police. A recent PNP chief is the upcoming Grand Master, after all. There are many Masons in the Civil Service, as well. But the Masons of today are very different from the Masons of yesterday, though the Church doesn’t recognize this.

    I think it’s possible Rizal retracted, because the fear of hell can warp the mind even of a hero; but then I also think what’s even more possible is that he might have retracted, but in such a way as to have the last laugh -after all, would a retraction signed under duress be valid in the mind of someone like him? I think not.

  7. butch

    Sorry for the double entry.

    I was being facetious and was referring to the way Eco booby-traps his novels with quaint but historically interesting red herrings.

    Rizal never retracted, of course.

  8. mlq3

    I think he did, but didn’t mean it, and knew it wasn’t worth the paper the friars had provided, which is why they didn’t trot it out until decades after his death.

  9. Filosopo

    I reviewed the chronology of the Garci tapes. Something very important may have been omitted, deliberately or otherwise, and that is on May 2, 2005, the detained ex-president Joseph Estrada, made a vow to her mother that on her 101st birthday, he would be free to celebrate it with her without a deadline, without a time limit.

    To me personally, it implied that he would be free from prison because a change in administration would have been effected by then.

    A month later, on June 2, 2005, the saga of The Garci Tapes began.

    Below is a portion of an article by Tony Lopez extracted from this link, http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2005/may/04/yehey/business/20050504bus5.html:

    Wednesday, May 04, 2005
    VIRTUAL BUSINESS
    By Tony Lopez
    A mother’s 100th birthday;
    a son’s promise to be free

    The economic and political forces of former President Joseph Estrada gathered Monday night for the 1,500-per plate dinner at the Manila Hotel to mark the 100th birth anniversary of his mother, Mary Ejercito. The entire Ejercito barangay was there—147 clan members, including 62 great grandchildren, 36 grandchildren and one great, great grandchild of Doña Mary.

    The matriarch didn’t speak a word but her son, the deposed President, did.

    In a brief speech, Estrada vowed, “On your next birthday, I will be here—free to celebrate it without a deadline, without a time limit. It’s hard to have a deadline, like Cinderella,” he said in Pilipino.

    Are we missing a vital link here? Or is it just my imagination running wild?

  10. mlq3

    that’s very interesting indeed. thanks for pointing that out!

  11. Owos

    The masons are behind GMA thats why she could easily be removed from her Office. Most people know how influential the masons are and how they manipulate the world today specially the US. They spread throughout the world to control us.

Leave a Reply