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Jul 20

General on the attack?

Lt. Gen. Romeo Dominguez, at one time ommanding general of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division, and most recently retired as chief of the Northern Luzon Command, and who was known for having rescued an American hostage (he quit, apparently over politics), has come out swinging -sort of. It seems he’s bitter over having been passed over for the position of AFP Chief of Staff, so he retired early. His aide had been accused of trying to stir up trouble in order to put the Vice-President in place of the President.

Interviewed on ANC, asked if there’s the chance of a coup, he replied, “it depends on your definition of a coup d’etat.” He said, “we have thinking soldiers now.”

He believes those implicated in the “Garci” tapes should be investigated, “to help these people clear their name also.”

He has a gigantic Arawana fish at home. I think that was the most news-worthy outcome of that rambling interview. (Update: ok, so he wants other generals to quit, too).

Jove updates with the results of a (Flintstones-like) “gay old time” at the Palace, with Cebuano politicians all taking pot-shots at John O. The “Solid South” now has two renegades: Rep. Clavel Martinez, and former senator Osmena.

Update: Rigoberto Tiglao clarifies on ANC that neither person who recently left the administration (Guidote or Garchitorena) had cabinet rank. They were both consultants, Guidote to the Communications Director, Garchitorena, directly to the President on a honorary basis. The way it works is a Presidential Adviser is of cabinet rank, while a Presidential Assistant is usually an Assistant Secretary or Undersecretary.

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  1. Jojo

    This is sad. Has Bobi now regressed into pure semantics — i.e., whether one had a cabinet rank or not? Perhaps the fellow who interviews him for ANC should ask him (a) why his boss did not mention the name of Garcillano when she fezzed up to calling the COMELEC; and (b) why it would still be constitutional for her to call someone in an office that is supposedly autonomous from the executive and the legislative. I consider Bobi a good friend, but I worry that he has regressed to engaging in such petty qualifications: the last persons I listened to doing this were Bill Clinton (apres Monica) and Kit Tatad (when he had to explain the 99% turnout in favor of Marcos in the plebiscite of 1973).

  2. holyfather

    Jojo, and this is why I fear for our country as it has become a giant Petri dish for corruption. GMA admits it: the longer you stay in that noxious environment, the more compromised you become. Tiglao et al are good people but there is just some element in this damaged cuture of ours that destroys everyone.

  3. Jojo

    hi Holyfather: You are right — there is something about the way our government has been organized that led (and leads) to people like Bobi — and before him, Miguel Cuaderno, O.D. Corpuz, Jaime Ongpin, etc — to be compromised. I think it has something to do with what the Americans imparted (not imposed) to us. When they came to Pinas, they were bringing with them the good and bad side of patronage, machine politics, which included a view that the government is nothing but a target for spoils (Michael Cullinane’s book out of Ateneo University Press suggests this; but you might also want to check out the volume titled The American Colonial State in the Philippines: Global Perspectives, edited by Julian Go and Anne Foster – Anvil holds the Pinoy edition and you can find a lot of copies at National SM North EDSA). This means the challenge of “transforming” and reforming the system necessitates a fundamental reorientation of what government service is all about.

    By fundamental reorientation I, of course, do not mean that we go the Bayan Muna-CPP course of constructing a socialist state. The record of the defunct USSR, China, and North Korea reveals not only that corruption does not exempt socialist regimes, but that such regimes also often become family fiefdoms (simply check out where the children of Chinese communist cadres are, and, of course, there is Kim Jong Il).

  4. marvin

    Living with compromises? That’s a fundamental human condition. It’s bound to happen to all of us regardless of the circumstancesm, time and places that we live in. The issue though us this: what are our non-negotiables? What is it in life that we are not willing to give up in any circumstance? And GMA and her crowd? I guess, some have less non-negotiables than others.

  5. spew

    check this out — http://www.anonymous-sources.blogspot.com/

  6. james

    as far as nonnegotiables. pinoys have a high tolerance for shenanigans. it must be a survival mechanism. otherwise, we would go nuts. but some lines just aren’t supposed to get crossed.

    the one that comes to mind is incest. whether gma crossed the line appears not to be so clear, though.

    it is also not clear whether pinoys won’t let her get away for cheating. or for getting caught and still lying about it.

    either way, maybe i don’t care. i hope she doesn’t get away with it.

  7. Jojo

    Manolo, fascinating retort by Bobi in today’s Inquirer. His citing of the experiences of other leaders is an adept way to pointing out the provincial character of the opposition. He hopes that the other side has not read or is not familiar with what happened in Malaysia, Thailand and the USA. Dinky’s essay naman is not as convincing because we have read/heard her angle before. The pointedness of her criticisms is not there anymore

    I wonder how the other side will respond to Bobi comments.

  8. Jojo

    Bobi Tiglao’s retort in today’s Inquirer is fascinating: you cite other cases to show that embattled presidents do not necessarily mean weakened leadership. It’s also a dig at the provincialism of the other side; I can actually imagine Bobi smiling at the thought that “Bright boy” Chips (?) Escudero and Teddy Bay Casino know nothing about Mahathir and Thaksin. Dinky’s essay, on the other hand, is lame — a repetition of previous arguments that many of us already read and heard. The sting is not there anymore. But Bobi’s pack some wallop and it would need someone familiar with Malaysian and Thai politics, not to mention Clinton era politiciking, to show how he was selective in picking which evidence in this country could suit his defense of his boss.

  9. howie

    Gen. Dominguez was the same general in charge of what could be the biggest blunder in Phil military history — the botched Lamitan seige.

    He denied receiving a pay-off from the Abu Sayyaf, but never fully explained how his men could have allowed the enemy to escape in broad daylight with most of their hostages, including the Burnham couple, after having them surrounded in a small hospital compound.

  10. mlq3

    howie, so that might explain the large arawana!

  11. pingkian

    It’s not Gen. Domiguez who botched the Lamitan siege. Remember that the chain of command was broken during that botched siege. It’s somebody else higher than him. Ask Senator Serge Osmeña. Poor Gen. Dominiguez, always a victim of politics.

    But i can’t agree with the notion that supposedly good people is bound to be corrupted by our “damaged culture.” This thieving, lying, and cheating pretender in Malacañang with the support of the military and the police may have won the initial skirmishes, but they haven’t won the war yet. They are ruling on a unstable ground. But they have lost the battle of the hearts and mind of the people.

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