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Sep 14

Post bishop brouhaha roundup

Big news today is the bishops and a Filipino ex-cop arrested for espionage in the USA (see the Inquirer and Manila Times versions on the cop story). Several takes on the latest statement by the Catholic bishops: the view of the Manila Times, the Star, the Standard-Today, and the Daily Tribune. Decide for yourself which is the most accurate (the Inquirer editorial takes a pot-shot at Cardinal Vidal for taking a pot-shot at media). Senator Enrile thinks the election protest of Loren Legarda will help resolve the political crisis. Sec. Tiglao leaks that 26 out of 50 names for the Consultative Commission on Charter Change have been drawn up (I know of one person who has refused).

On a personal note, I can’t help but be touched by this letter from a reader of the Inquirer. Another letter writer thinks Filipinos of 50 years ago were better than Filipinos today.

In the punditocracy, America Facing a Widespread Crisis of Confidence is my Arab News column this week. Max Soliven proclaims the victory of Junichiro Koizumi a triumph of new politics; in Time Magazine, Karel van Wolferen thinks it’s all operatic grandstanding (of foreign elections, here’s a view on Germany’s polls). Armando Doronila, who may or may not be smarting after the Commission on Appointments bypassed his nomination as ambassador to Belgium, denounces the Bukluran ng Katotohanan and Cory Aquino for trying to incite the military to rebel (I was at the press conference and Mrs. Aquino attempted no such thing; I doubt, too, if that was Bro. Luistro’s intention when he said what he said). Emil Jurado condemns the opposition of today in much the same way he denounced the opposition during the days of Ferdinand Marcos. Speaking of Marcos, Johnna Villaviray-Giolagon reflects on the dictator and his family. Cocktales, the most widely-read business column in the country, takes a peek at the Makati Business Club leadership that came out against the President.

In the blogosphere, Ricky Carandang mourns the passing of Haydee Yorac; Abe Margallo ponders a recent personal entry of mine, and suggests it’s a sign of a new kind of involvement in social issues; Hundred Years Hence recommends lateral thinking for politics (and why not?); Edwin Lacierda suggests the restoration of the submission of judicial appointments to Congress for approval (an idea also supported by Fr. Joaquin Bernas). Carlos Celdran has a cat fight with columnist Tony Abaya, and refuses to see the President’s problem as a moral one. BuzzMachine delves into the question of confidential sources for journalists, including online journalists.

On a cultural note, Rey Agapay mulls over how real can reality TV be?

32 comments

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  1. Carl Cid S.M. Inting

    Maybe the naïve Bro. Armin Luistro still hasn’t been initiated into the real world. Whatever his intentions were, his words can be taken to suit the aims of different groups. The firebrands and the anarchists can take it as a call to arms and the government can take it as an irresponsible statement. It just confirms the adhocracy of Bukluran. Maybe Bro. Armin still has to mature.

  2. Alex

    What about Cory, does she still have to mature, too? Taken together, the statements of Luistro and Cory, may or may not be inciteful, but have do have some provocations. On the other hand, are these just signs of desperation?

  3. Alex

    Or maybe they were just taken by the euphoria of the moment, the Bukluran’s inaugural press con?

  4. BMV

    In these times any public statement can be twisted any way you want to serve whatever end you want. If Bro. Luistro’s statements can be twisted to become an incitement to rebellion (and how does Doronila know what was actually said? Was he there?)then the CBCP’s reaffirmation of their first statement can be twisted to mean “let’s forget all about this and move on.”

  5. carlos

    Ay. Di naman catfight. I just got a wee testy. Oops.

    I even pulled a melanie marquez and mixed my metaphors in the rush of things.

    Sigh. I should really just learn to shut up. I’m obviously the minority in the blogosphere.

    And morality has never been my strongest point. Ever. Cheers man.

  6. Laker

    I support Cory and Brother Armin. No matter what muddling the camp of Gloria does, it all boils down to doing the right thing. I am sad and sorry for all these people who have forgotten their concept of what is right and wrong. They may have different reasons for doing it: money, expediency, etc. It is very pathetic indeed.

  7. djuara

    is it true that informetion gathered by michael aquino has been forwarded to sen. lacson?

    it is interesting to know what that information
    is, since, as alleged it concerns GMA.

    as for the bishops looking back at history
    how many gobernador-generals were killed or ordered killed because they wanted to institute
    reforms in colonial philippines which to the horror of the catholic hierarchy would undermine their influence, power and abuses they wantonly did.

    reading neal h.cruz, on former VP tefisto guingona’s call for civil disobedience, this is a wake up call to everyone who abhors violence as a means to change in our present government.

    i am inclined to support VP guingona.

  8. joey

    Not only doronila condems Bro. Luistro.The military too has told him to mind his own business. but also the editorials of inquier & Phistar.I guess it’s ilagan time & being taken out of context excuse.but w/ due respect to those who believe in bukluran. chemicaly water & oil dont mix, so what good can come out from something that does not readly mix?
    Educators must stick to education & not exploit positions and innocent people or else what makes them different from those in goverment doing the same.Or is it because his wearing a sotana?erap thought he was Mr. teflon.See where he is now.No individual has the momopoly of the truth.But a group w/ a Binay who has made the mayorship of makati a family affair or a Lacson who might end up in jail in the States or a Cory mixing w/ a Beltran is anything but convincing to go & seek the truth.
    We pinoys have our faults, but this is puching it.

  9. juan dakô

    With apologies to former vp guingona, who was never known for brilliance of any sort, civil disobedience defeats all filipinos.

    I have read that civil disobedience against the Japanese in WWII led to the weakening of the civic fiber of filipinos. It was OK to destroy property in the name of civil disobedience. It was OK to steal in the name of civil disobedience. That mentality warped our perception of right and wrong whereas, before WWII, it was clearly black & white. In the end, guerillas committed rape and robbery against innocent civilians, simply because they were tagged as “collaborators”. Incidentally this was when “peoples courts” were common and were abused. Even honorable men like Claro M. Recto were branded as “collaborators”.

    It is vp guingona’s privelege to use civil disobedience as an option. Many large businessmen will welcome that because they can justify not paying taxes. Instead of being tax evaders, they will be heroes in vp guingona’s book. Just like smugglers.

    In my book, it is like cutting your nose to spite your face.

  10. joey

    juan dako, i agree w/ you.guingona is out of line.i think that before we do anything we must think about the poor.i think that even the church has recognized the pressing problems w/ have.democarcy is something nice but we can also use it to dig a hole so deep that we will have ourselves to blame alone at the end.
    i think that insted of scheming and planing there are better things that we can do.Japan from the results of it’s latest elections has shown that there can be new politics.

  11. joey

    the issue of michael aquino i guess can be answered by asking question as to who are his freinds here and who is he associated to? anyone who wants to bring down the goverment must also know what info the states has on the philippines.who knows?the americans might maybe even know about the tapes.
    the very cold baby face look of lacson holds lots of misteries.since he can get away w/ a lot of things here in the philippines, nakahanap na siya ng katapat now

  12. acidboy

    boy oh boy! if ping gets out of this one unscathed, hats off to him! he DID admit that he is the recipient of the fbi dossiers (kungsabagay, i-deny niya yan lalabas din ang katotohanan later!) but he lamely said that the files were mostly news clippings and other media thingies. well, mr lason, er lacson, being a former head of the philippine national police and also being a concurrent senator, and push it further- almost being a president of the republic, siguro naman you know that ANG BAWAL AY BAWAL! if the $h!t that has hit the fan did stain the senator, then that’s extradition time plus 10 years. senator angara must be smiling like the cheshire cat right now.

    to hell with the “let’s wait till he’s proven guilty” excuse, i am passing off my opinion, and from what i know of mr lacson he is not too low to do this. he is guilty as sin here! mahilig pa naman siya sa mga exposes. if you can judge gma guilty of cheating then i can judge ping of espionage. now, is this the kind of people the legitimate groups opposed to gma (legitimate = no political interests) would want to join hands with in kapit-bisig mode?

  13. joey

    acid boy, i have spoken to one man who was about to be salvage by ping during the martial law years but because of a miracle he was able to get out.
    lacson projects himself as a no non sense guy, but do you really know how far he will go?
    i’m not judging, just that don’t get deceived by looks.
    when the police caught-up w/ the mafia godfather in palermo who killed anyone along his way in the most brutal way.you would be surprised that they saw a gentle person who no one would have ever suspected.did you not watch it in national geographic.
    his a military man and his smart & sadly his also w/ bukluran

  14. bogchimash

    even if i am the minority around here, i do not care. as far as i am concerned, the things that gma and her allies are saying about ping lacson are not easy to accept. the only fault i find in the guy is that he is too damn boring.

    i am too convinced of the man’s integrity especially after he went against two of his own boss’s closest friends, berroya and lastimoso, so probably some saint took pity on me and directed me to this link:

    http://www.gov.ph/forum/thread.asp?rootID=19341&catID=11

    maybe the reason why we do not have investors with scruples and many benevolent organizations that are willing to dole out freebies, is because they do not want to contribute to the enrichment of our corrupt leaders. while they honor the righteous amongst us, we do the opposite. i understand their frustration and disgust.

  15. joey

    I think investor look for predictability and stability & rules & policies not changing in the middle of the game. it’s really hard to do busines in this country also for locals. honestly, it’s hard to do business w/ the rightous, that is where labor problems start.

  16. Expedito C Mercado

    The spineless CBCP will never go on issuing a stand that is against GMA. She has to give her “nihil obstat” before the subservient group will release their statement or else no gift envelopes and no contributions from PAGCOR.

    These bishops are supposed to be the guardian of morality, but see no moral obligations to demand from GMA to come out openly and cleanly in the present crisis. They suggest exhausing all possible legal and constitutional ways to arrive at the truth, but they do not demand from her not to obstruct all the avenues to get at the truth.

    It can only be hoped that later on they will be enlightened and involve themselves in the call for GMA resignation, especially if she will not the real rule of law to prevail in the Philippines.

  17. Carl Cid S.M. Inting

    Manolo, apparently our wiretapping scandals are very common in other countries, particularly Italy where the government is said to spend up to 1.3 billion Euros a year to pay telephone providers to eavesdrop on selected persons. Please refer to this article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9287439/site/newsweek/

  18. Carl Cid S.M. Inting

    Correction, the amount is 1.3 billion Euros in the past 5 years. But here are some interesting bits from the article:

    “At one point last year, the Eurispes report charges, one mobile-phone company had 7,000 taps in place. The government’s eavesdropping business has grown so large that it must outsource much of the transcription work. The result: leaks, often for hefty fees, of the most luscious details of private lives and legal proceedings.

    Evidence from the taps is used increasingly in Italian courts. Voice matching is considered as conclusive as DNA testing, and testimony (or confessions) over the phone can seal a verdict. In the past several months, Italy has caught several big-name criminals, including Hamdi Issac (a.k.a. Osman Hussain), the would-be London bomber whose calls to his brother were traced for days before his arrest in Rome on July 29. Before that, taps led to mafia and Red Brigades arrests and a handful of white-collar detentions for crimes ranging from bribery to corruption.”

  19. sleeping with who

    Interesting that the Spying activity is such a small entry as this is probably the biggest real news in the last months..

    Since September he has been getting classified documents from the FBI..

    Lacson has admitted to recieving documents from him, and some news organisations may also be involved.

    Three Present and Ex-Government Officals are also implicated, Would this be Lascon, and two others that are no longer in government service.. (Lacson being a Senator is Part of government.) Could using information from a foreign power to bring down a government, be thought to be Treason as you are now working on information from a foreign entity..

    Interesting how if we wait long enough some of truth rises to the surface..

    Why would he be trying to get information back in September last year, and Lacson has admitted to recieving an email in or around Feb.

  20. jay ermitano

    espionage…conspiracies…the situation in the country is becoming more and more of a dan brown-style novel…people cant be blamed though – information today is the most precious commodity aside from petroleum products (US spends roughly around half a trillion on information gathering and covert operations)…

    carl i think some countries still treat taps and recordings as inadmissable documents for evidence (like here and in the US or UK) so even if it is used for civil and legal proceedings it will not weight but in the “people’s court” it will be gladly accepted…

    maiba po tayo…it was really bizaare that Congressman Tenga sat beside Aleng Glo on the meet of UNSC yesterday…nagmumukha tuloy siyang nagpupumilit at feeling tsk tsk…i was watching it on CNN and FOX and i was amused on how the delegate from Oman looked irked at Tenga…ito talaga si Gloria nagsama pa ng buraot

  21. acidboy

    bogchimash,
    i respect your views. if i might add, the reason ping lacson is very popular with some people (aside from the perception that he is a no-nonsense crusader ala alfredo lim circa ’80s) is he did help fighting kidnapping back then- the gokongwei’s and the lim’s (of sterling paper) are in deep gratitude for his help. but nevertheless he still has a lot to answer for fromhis past. sige, take that away, he still is POSSIBLY criminally liable for taking what is not should be taken in the first place, kahit ano pang sabihin niyang those documents are only clippings and whatnots (assuming it is true). ang bawal ay bawal. funny lang how he dismisses the maneuvers gma’s cohorts played in congress and now he is doing his own version of iwas-pusoy.

    you should read the fbi report in today’s inquirer. not only is it good reading, the pnp and nbi should also model their own reports on this with regards to “form and substance.”

  22. joey

    Expedito, i think that no matter what we must not forget to be fair. if i turn the tables around and you would be the accused. i can just imagine waht you won’t do to defend yourself from accusations to know are not true.others maybe will accuse you of obstructing justice but you will know that you are only defending yourself.is it not a natural human instint to defends ones self? that is why there is the rule of law.
    you talked about morality.morality work bought ways.those accusiting to must be moraly right because they must have unqestionable evidence gathered legaly & those accussing must not be identified w/ the opposition because that creates doubts to their intensions.
    I just wounder.why is everone ganging-up on pgma? is it because she is a short woman?is it becasue the things she has to do are not popular.is it because deep in our subconcious we are looking for a macho figure.i remembere susan roces remarking that it’s about time we have a male president.
    sometimes our society can be so over opioniated that our judgments get so clouded and the irony of it is that we want the truth.
    i think that in a way the church has failed in taking care of our morals.and now they are so desperate that they are namamanka sa dalawang ilog, as if saying their authority is all incompassing.i know that they can’t make mistakes on the dogmass of the church but honestly in politics they can only make fools of themselves.
    why don’t they distribute free copies of the church encilicals to help educate the people on the churchs teachings.the encilicals have universal values and are not partisan. the church is supposed to be universal.

  23. sleeping with who

    You seen the Article on the phil news site on Lacson ..

    Not my words their words..

    It is indeed a rare and fascinating occurrence when an arrogant Filipino politician is humbled before the law. Unfortunately, in the Philippines, where justice is routinely sold to the highest bidder, such events rarely ever happen. But as luck would have it, US courts unlike their Philippine counterparts, still believe no one is above the law. Thus Panfilo Lacson, who years before had brazenly told Blanquita Pelaez that she would never see a cent of her commission unless she, in essence, lied for him, was forced to eat his words and cough up the $37,000.00 dollars due her.

    How did Ping come up with the court-ordered cash? A previously unheard-of association called Filipino-Americans for Panfilo Lacson (FA4PL) had a fund-raising dinner and in a single night raked-in all of the money asked by the court. Filipino-Americans in the Bay Area–where the fundraiser was held–found it surprising that someone like Lacson, who has almost no following in the Fil-Am community, would have enough supporters with the wherewithal to rise that kind of money from a single night’s event!

    If indeed Lacson felt he was right to withhold the amount now demanded by the court from Ms. Pelaez in order to pay for the customs duties of the transaction, then why wouldn’t he want to argue that point in Judge Miller’s court? Why wouldn’t he want to make it known to the judge and to the whole world that he was only looking after the interest of the Philippine Government. $37,000.00 dollars is after all, a lot of money in a third-world economy. Instead he chose not to. He chose not to because he knew that if he showed his face in that court, jumping from the frying pan into the fire!

    Because who knows what else Blanquita’s lawyer Rodel Rodis would have asked him under oath? Ping had a pretty good idea of what Attorney Rodis was going to ask because he published some of those questions a week before in the newspaper. Among the many questions Ping would have had to answer were:

    “When he purchased his home at 1011 Laguna Seca Loop in Chula Vista, California on March 1, 1996, where did he get the money to buy it? When he sold it on July 20, 1999, where did he deposit the money? Did he then buy the property at 2305 Sea Island Place in Chula Vista? What other properties did he purchase?”

    In April 22, 1996, Lacson’s two bank accounts at Bank of America in Chula Vista (17471-00188 & 17478-00046) totaled $104,793.26. In October of that year their total balance had risen to 178,544.88! As chief of deposed President Estrada’s infamous Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force–with it’s silly-sounding acronym, PAOCTF (pronounced: paa-oak-tee-eff). “What was his salary then? After he closed those two bank accounts, where did he transfer those funds to?”

    “On November 13, 2000, Lacson remitted $100,000 to his wife Alice at her Bank of America, Woodman Sherman branch account in Van Nuys, California through the Bank of New York. Two days later, on November 15, the amount of $49,980 was sent by Teresita Go to the same BofA account through HSBC New York. On November 27, $149,980 was remitted again through HSBC NY. On December 26 (the day after Christmas), another $144,339.62 was remitted to that same account this time through the Bank of New York.” Where was all this money coming from?

    These were just the a few of the questions Rodis would have wanted Lacson to answer. And in light of the paper-trail left by all these large-dollar transactions that have been occurring since the mid-1990’s, it is almost inconceivable that Ping would have walked into Judge Miller’s courtroom on his own volition. The risk for him was just too great.

    And now in a separate development, his chief henchman during his stint as head of the PAOCTC, Michael Rey Aquino has just been apprehended in New York by the FBI for spying against the United States. Maybe we’ll be get some questions answered after all. Unfortunately for Ping, this incident also raises a lot of new questions.

  24. jay ermitano

    as i said before…never will a good politician be a great leader and vice versa…plus the eleventh commandment…THOU SHALL NOT CHEAT and GET CAUGHT…

  25. sleeping with who

    Rule number one.. Dont get caught.
    Rule number two.. Dont get caught.
    Rule number three.. Cast blame elsewhere

  26. joey

    it’s pay-back time for lacson!!!!!!!
    thanks to america that gen. garcia was busted!

    moral of the lesson: it takes only one mistake to get screwed

    what are second level positions in goverment?

  27. masha

    bro armin should be commended. he is a formator and part of being that is not just to limit himself to the 3 r’s. mores form a big part in the formation of an individual. a lot of clearly immoral acts are now acceptable in the philippines and i’m not just talking about pambababae, or robbery or other similar crimes but little things like returning lost objects, pagsauli ng sobrang sukli. i salute bro armin in being a true formator in going against a patent wrong. our educators should model themselves after him. the upbringing of our youth is at stake. a lot of people should take stock of the lack of honor/adherence to moral values of pinoys as being part and parcel of our non-development.

    on michael ray aquino. nakakainsulto ang implicit admission ng fbi na nage-espiya sila sa atin. ang mas nakaka-insulto ay ang pagtanggol ni gilbert asuque ng dfa sa mga amerikano sa lantarang pang-e-espiya nila. naman. kahit man lang mild language of “being disturbed” by such spying activities basta lang magsabi na di naman tayo b*tch nila. ang masama b*tch na nga tayo nila and proud of it pa samantalang karamihan ng mga kano ngayon di man lang alam na naging commonwealth nila tayo.

  28. masha

    by the way, point of clarification lang ha. asking that gloria go through a trial to finally determine her culpability or even to ask her to resign is not equivalent to “bringing down the government”.

    let’s wait for what evidence the fbi has against aragoncillo and aquino. were the pcs of information passed really classified? baka naman lumabas na naman ang hello garci tapes. sana nga. bring it on! i’m all for getting to the bottom of this. i want to know what pcs of info they got on the admin.

  29. masha

    gen garcia was mentioned. it’s gen ligot’s turn now. will it ever be angie reyes’? and after him, who next?

    gma will never live these issues down till she submits herself to a process where she can either be cleared or indicted. making deals with congressmen to get her out of an impeachment trial does not convince people that she did not cheat in the elections.

  30. masha

    sandali sandali. ang u.s. nag sa-spy sa pilipinas. yung nakuha ng mga kano sa pilipinas, inespiya ni aragoncillo and aquino. tapos yung dalawa lang ang titirahin ng mga pinoy? how makapili is that?

  31. Giorgia Palmas

    Interessando, luogo abbastanza luminoso, penso +5

  32. BigBernie

    Very nice. Love this place!
    Keep up the good work!

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