Preemptive calibrated response

The Senate convened to interrogate National Security Director Norberto Gonzalez and as a colleague described it, “it’s like watching an eel wriggle on a fish hook.” He was actually handled by kid gloves, particularly by Senators Joker Arroyo and Pimentel, old colleagues in the anti-Marcos opposition. But the senators eventually lost their cool, at one point threatening to detain him because the man was incapable of giving a simple -or coherent- answer to some fairly straightforward questions: did the President authorize the contract? Who is paying for it? And while lobbying contracts are ok, is it ok to have a lobbying contract for constitutional amendments? And so the hearing has been going in circles until interrupted either by hypoglycemia or hypertension on the part of Sec. Gonzalez (Alvin Capino has an amusing account of how Gonzalez hung up on Teddyboy Locsin when he couldn’t take the line of questioning on a radio show). The hearing resumed and really, it’s refreshing to see senators crushing a witness under the pressure of honeyed, silky words, and not of angry questioning. The hearing ends with Serge Osmena’s “Thank you Bert. Hope you feel better,” in the manner one talks to an imbecile. Final resolution for today: Gonzalez is a prisoner of the Senate (cited for contempt), and the books of accounts of the National Security Agency and allied offices, have been subpoenaed.

Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary’s announced that “maximum tolerance” has given way to a “calibrated preemptive response.” The Makati rally under the auspices of Bukluran para sa Katotohan is gearing up. Ricky Carandang reports that he hears murmurs of disquiet among the membership, and that there may be a significance to the absence of both Susan Roces and Cory Aquino (and the Hyatt 10) from the rally (Cory has other engagements; Susan is sick; the Hyatt 10 have other engagements, too).

Readings for today: the Inquirer editorial laments the lack of closure when it comes to the Marcoses (and Michael Tan recalls the martial law period and subversion; blogger Armed with Idealism recalls student activism); the Manila Times recounts the declaration of martial law; Greg Macabenta writes on Filipina maids coping with tension; Mindanews has a piece saying the Edsa statue of the Virgin Mary is cursed; the Vice President objects to being called inept by the Americans (Miron, who makes a welcome return to the blogosphere, is highly amused); Carmen Guerrero Nakpil compares George W. Bush to President Arroyo (NBC News blog describes the frantic efforts in the West Wing of the White House).

In the blogosphere, Jove Francisco reports on camping out in New Jersey to witness the American authorities’ handling of Michael Ray Aquino (read the entry, it’s quite interesting); Ricky Carandang says the urgent task is to rebuild the Middle; Newsboy has yet another juicy entry, defending the President because of the idiocy of those opposed to her: I’m almost ready to proclaim him the Kitty Go of journalist-bloggers, tee hee; Global Voices Online links to the Sassy Lawyer (who has a provocative take on the existence of terrorism here); Edwin Lacierda asks if a one term limit is wise (I prefer no term limits, because the public deserves the democratic closure that comes from voting a president out of office, which has often been the case: a president who loses becomes a retired official resigned to obscurity); Ronnel Lim has a delightful excerpt from the memoirs of Achmed Sukarno; La Vida Lawyer wonders what the Supreme Court’s actions on the VAT appeal really signifies;

Finally, for the record, here’s the official Bukluran para sa Katotohanan statement for today:

Press Statement

Bukluran para sa Katotohanan joins the nation in recalling September 21, when by virtue of Proclamation 1081, President Ferdinand E. Marcos placed the entire country under martial law, imposed one-man rule and perpetuated himself in power.

We call on the nation to reflect on how, in the name of public order and security, our nation’s cherished democratic rights and civil liberties were set aside. We ask all our citizens to pause and pay tribute to those known and unknown, prominent and unrecognized, who were detained, tortured, killed or disappeared simply because they fought for democracy or were viewed as enemies of the state.

For those of us, whether young or old, who recall the true nature and dark days of Martial Law, for those who resisted it from the start, or came to appreciate its full horrors later, let us vow: never again. For those too young to recall Martial Law’s excesses, let us always remember the sacrifices, miseries, bravery, of those who bravely stood up for freedom, who paid the ultimate prize for national redemption, who redeemed our nation by working to restore our liberties.

Many of our fellow Filipinos will commemorate the anniversary of martial law with various fora and protest actions. We urge every concerned Filipino, as their principles and political beliefs guide them, to exercise their right to participate in what should always be a National Day of Consecration to Freedom, Democracy and Peace.

BUKLURAN itself will hold a protest march and rally at Ayala Avenue on Wednesday, September 21, at 3pm with the theme “Gloria Must Go!”

Accountability and truth from our government are the path to peace and justice. Acknowledging its accountability with regards to the question of determining the validity of its mandate is the means to finding the truth as to allegations of electoral fraud. Instead of stonewalling, and its efforts to suppress or evade the truth, to the extent of abusing its authority, we ask our government to come clean. A government that fights the truth is like the Marcos Dictatorship. It must be made to step down.

BUKLURAN urges: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, since you will not tell us the truth, you must go! You have ensured no impeachment to worry about. You can no longer plead the necessity of being silent to promote your attorney’s defense. To remain silent now is to squander and lose every opportunity to claim a constitutional mandate and reclaim our people’s recognition, trust and confidence.

For all of us, old and young, veterans of the fight against dictatorship, or who have grown up enjoying the relative freedoms regained since then, let us commit once more, to each other and to our country, that our democratic space is too precious to ever lose again.

The price of liberty, it is often said, is eternal vigilance. Too many slept, when, in the dark of night, our democracy was extinguished and our hard-won rights taken away. Let us always resolve that there will never be another opportunity for our liberties to be stolen, as if by a thief in the middle of the night. We remain united for the truth, we remain committed to demanding the truth, we act as one to defend the truth. Since Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo continues to deny her people the truth, she must go.


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    • ab. on September 21, 2005 at 5:00 pm


    • Y! on September 21, 2005 at 5:16 pm

    Religion itself is a curse, if I may add.

    • ab. on September 21, 2005 at 5:28 pm

    You should watch The Exorcist to undrestand what curse means.

    • sleeping with who on September 21, 2005 at 6:33 pm

    The Exorcist is not that the movie where the house says ‘Get out’..

    If a house talks to me and says get out i am getting out….

    Some people have nothing better to do.. If he came up with this one he must really be bored taking down a statue because it is cursed..

    • Y! on September 21, 2005 at 6:47 pm

    Sorry, I don’t believe in fictional movies.

    • F. on September 21, 2005 at 7:03 pm

    No amount of dimwits in the Arroyo administration will bring it down. Simply because too many, including myself, the alternatives are too dubious. Ganun lang yun. The pool where Gonzales and Arroyo came from is the same pool that produced Drilon et. al. As for Bukluran, they are entitled to their own opinion. But honestly their Sept 21 statement sounds utterly sanctimonious. Surely they can do better than painting themselves as suddenly more heroic, more principled, more vigilant than the rest of us.

  1. for this article i suggest a selection – definitely The Da Vince Code or most probably Angels and Demons…no satire there just plain clash of science and religion with politics as a medium…

  2. by the way…

    kuya manolo are we seeing another Magdiwang-Magdalo power struggle again? Does history really repeat itself?

    with the books of history written and to be rewritten…does the period of absolution in philippine politics (martial law) deserve a whole chapter or just a footnote in history? Kasaysayan daw ang tagalog ng history at siguradong ito ay nagmula sa salitang ugat na “saysay” (meaningful…important)…could it be categorized as may saysay?

    just asking…

    • gari on September 22, 2005 at 12:28 am

    well…bert is just taking his own medicine.
    in short, karma…a scheming and master manipulator deserves to be grilled the same way he grills someone’s innocence for their own purpose.

  3. Gonzales a master manipulator? You wouldn’t know it from his behaviour at the hearing. Napakababaw ng talent pool natin. Pathetic.

    • Arbet on September 22, 2005 at 9:10 am

    Memo to Norberto

    That’s what you get from lying – a high blood pressure and a drop in your blood sugar level. If a lie detector test is strapped to you, it would have sounded like a fire alarm.

    It’s a sin to tell a lie.

    • sleeping with who on September 22, 2005 at 9:29 am

    Watched ANC last night and saw how good people acted during martial law, people getting into ques to jump on a jeepney. I know this is not a good reason for martial law, but with the amount of laws and civility being lost to the people today and screaming at the top of their lungs for freedom..

    Freedom is a right, but it has to be tempered with the rights of all others. Pushing in line is not nice but it is normal here. Personal space is disregarded and it the norm.

    Freedom can go too far and i think this is what has happened here. Yes the law has to be tempered with Freedom but Freedom should not ride shotgun over other peoples rights.

    The other rights i am talking about are
    Freedom to earn a honest living.
    Freedom to live in a safe city.
    Freedom to not have to worry if your wife or child do not come home on time.
    Freedom to obey the law.
    Freedom to go through a Green Light.
    Freedom not get flooded out of house and home.
    Freedom to get medical Help when needed
    Freedom to be able to complain to the police without fear.
    Freedom to get an education.
    Freedom to a speedy trial (Both for accuser and Defendent.)

    These are more important than the RIGHT to Appeal the 100th time to a court for illgotten gains.

    • har on September 22, 2005 at 10:11 am


    Lying and kissing ass – or covering other people’s ass.

    • joey on September 22, 2005 at 10:29 am

    The senators really lost their cool really big time!!!
    I think we can get more answers if we do things right the first time.
    Hearings must not nesseserely be a “nation wide” event.
    Since Gonzales handels National security, it’s better to be prudent.Let’s not over simplify things just because stright question are asked.
    What was obvious yesterday was that those senators have no love lost for PGMA.
    Personaly, I think they where ready to do anything short of killing him!
    I honestly find it hard to believe that what happened was about democracy!
    It can also be that Gonzales may know something about those very Senators who lambasted him.Remember, most of them are PGMA haters.
    They can hold him for contempt and that is as far as they can go.
    Remember the Senators are already pikon why the impeachment did not reach them.
    The next best thing will be to pick on anything to get back at the administration.
    the game is not anymore about what is right or wrong. There are more things than we can see.
    I’m sure certain Senators have interest to protect and they are using the system to protect themselves.
    I honestly do not see the purpose of the Senate.If there is a purpose,it’s clear they are not doing their jobs!
    I think that their bragging of being “independents” is counter productive.But they will surely hit-on PGMA in every oppurtunity or take a popular stand.
    Gone are the days when the Senate was a breeding ground for future Presidents.Gone are the days of Statesmen.
    I watched Madrigal the other night saying”there is no oil shortage,then why has fuel gone up 13 times,she concluded it’s price manipulation”.
    Senators like madrigal are a shame to society!Wealth or name does not make a person or whatever academic achivments she has!all she really is arrogant & is fooling the people just like several others in the Senste!
    The Senate is about “frustrated wanabees”

    • joey on September 22, 2005 at 11:04 am

    I agree w/ you Sleeping.
    No one will argue against freedom.
    But how can we really be free when we jump to conclussions & have the penchant to taking popular sides of issues?
    More than just hoping & dreaming for Freedom.
    Lets ask ourselves why do we think we are not Free?
    Is it because we never seem to learn from our past?
    Is it because we have so many cultural hang-ups?
    Is it because we let so many fears & insecurities control us?
    Is it because we are not letting democracy work for us & insted we just pick whatever serves our purpoces?
    I think when the CBCP when they told PGMA to exsamine her concience. That was an advice just as good for us.
    Maybe, as a society, we are suffering from a disconnect from what is politics, our religion, our individual needs?
    Maybe we have demanded always from goverment things that could not be done overnight?
    Maybe we never thiought of what we can give?
    Maybe we have a self-worth crisis in us?
    I just hope I’m asking the right questions,fully knowing my limitations too.
    I think that asking question can sound so simple, but honestly, it’s not that simple.
    I have always beleived that the answers I will find in myself everytime I overcome so many biases & weakneses and than I really feel free.

    • sleeping with who on September 22, 2005 at 12:27 pm

    To Joey well said..

    I was also watching the program on that doctor in the US Patch Adams..

    The question he asked himself was how can i help..

    He stood at the top of the cliff after his girlfriend was murdered.. And said to god that he was not worth killing himself. But the people deserved the help.

    Notice at the end of the Program which was done years ago he had 10,000 doctors signed up to volunteer to work in his hospital not for money to make life worth living.

    I think also it was said on Dr House, Death and Dying there is no nice way. You must fight it. But one must live life to the best..

    As my mother used to say SMILE.. If you make one person happy today you have succeeded..

    She Died of Cancer.. Even at the worst of the times when the pain was too much, She would smile and try to help someone else..

    Talking about morality and truth and all this other BS is CRAP.. We must make a move ourselves not wait for others to improve the situation for us..

    Who did you smile to this morning, who did you say good morning to, and actually mean it. I can count at least 15 on my walk to work..

    Who did you congradulate this week for a good job and mean it.

    LOVE LIFE – LIVE LIFE and make someone happy,

    Even the beggar on the way to work. Everyone deserves to be treated with diginity, and some love..

    I know it may sound like soppy shit, But it is the way to overcome our differences.

    • sleeping with who on September 22, 2005 at 12:57 pm

    To quote someone on my way to work one day..

    He is an elderly man who i said hello to everytime i saw him and asked him how he was..

    The Question was..

    “Why are you so nice to me?”

    I was flabergasted, I was not being nice to him for any reason I was being myself. I believe all people deserve respect, and that was the only way i could show it to him.

    “My reply was im not i just like to be happy and to recognise everyone i pass…”

    “Have you ever had a guard ask for a loan and pay it back and offer interest.. One that you just see on the street? ”

    We can make it work we just have to think about the better good not just ME ME ME..

    • ebm on September 22, 2005 at 1:24 pm

    Joey is damn right! Nakakasuka na sila. All they do is bla bla bla bla bla and then when somebody takes pity at us by killing these people full of toxic gas the media venerate them as heroes. Ah!!! just look at our heroes if they truly did something great except die maybe at the right time.

    • joey on September 22, 2005 at 3:23 pm

    Sleeping, ebm, thanks i like very much what you wrote. guys there will always so many positive action that can be done.
    sleeping,thanks for the things you wrote.Those pauang things, I have my share of those things too & it’s also a delicate thing, not to mention that it ruins by budget too hehehe.
    yah nga sleeping we really can’t wait for the others or pretend to be searching for a leader to follow or some sort of a leader figure.I’m sure we have so much inside us we can do that we just don’t realize.lets leave the adults & elders, we can’t do much about their ways of doing things that is drugging us dowm.

    • joey on September 22, 2005 at 4:35 pm

    Manolo, just read your article.Certainly no one argues w/ freedom & rights.
    What makes us a civilized society is because we recognize that there must be rules in the game cuz if not there will be anarchy in the streets.
    I think it’s correct that goverment show strenght.It’s important that goverment send a clear signal to those who use your ligitimate right for other purposes.Only those w/ evil intensions will be thretened by goverments show of force.
    About the majority not liking PGMA I think is an over statement.
    I think society is divided by:
    1.Those who where deeply & emotionaly affected by the garci tapes.
    2.Those who are taking advantage of the situation.Left,Right & Opposition.
    3. Those who are not fully convinced of the garci tapes.
    4. Those who know that since there is no viable person to take the place of PGMA and the opposition is clearly not an option.
    Just like when there are to many candidates in a presidential election, no one candidate can really win w/ a majority.It only makes it eassier to win w/ a minority.
    So there is really no such thing as a majority,It’s more of who makes more noise,press releses & dominates the media waves.
    Rallies are counter productive.They send the wrong signals to investors we much need that can help in generating jobs.The very jobs those unemployeed ralliest need.
    At the end of the day,life is not about freedom & rights alone.
    We have to think that we are 60-70 million Filipinos.
    It’s about trying to forget about the “ako” & the my rights & my freedom.
    And just for once think as a Nation, as a Pinoy who has something to give and be an asset and not just another liability.
    We are supposed to be human being,the highest forms that can reason & think.
    Honestly I read your article more than once.You said a lot of things.Maybe i’m guilty of poor reading & comprehesion skills also.but one thing i understood your kinda rebellious.Ok lang, that makes you Manolo.

    • juan dakô on September 22, 2005 at 6:49 pm

    About time those rallies & mass actions were curtailed. I didnt like erap, but was always annoyed by those rallies demanding he step down. Did they get us anywhere? look where we are now, back to square 1. If not back several squares down. folks should just concentrate on their livelihood. This will all come to pass. There is a God. Even if i agree that erecting idolatrous images to the blessed mother could be basis for a curse.

    • masha on September 23, 2005 at 4:39 pm

    tama lang na ma contempt si gonzales. he obviously knows the answers but refuses to give them. yan ang kabastusan. if he only answered with candor then wala sanang high blood/contempt/ospital. he only got what he deserved. he can get himself out of pit he’s in if he starts talking. the filipino people deserve to know why an nsa is taking steps towards charter change and who paid the downpayment and who the middleman is. imagine? a private individual paying for a contract like that? anong kapalit? grabeng garapal. this administration is playing us for fools.

    • MitaMS on September 24, 2005 at 1:25 am

    Amen to ALL that…

  4. Kung pamilya ang pag-uusapan,pamilyang Pinoy ang ‘pinaka-close’ na marahil…ngunit pagdating sa pambansang kapasidad(politika),napakalinaw na wala walang pagkakaisa! marahil maganda kung babalik tayo sa pagiging totoong simple…

    …ang hanapin kung papaano ba talaga tayo MAGKAKAISA…PAGKAKAISA…PAGIISA!

    PAG-IISANG DIB-DIB! parang mag-asawa,isasantabi lahat ng mga di-pagkaka-unawaan tungo sa mas malaking kapakinabangan.

    ang problema sa Pinoy:

    GUSTO lang natin —

    KAILANGAN natin (ito dapat ang ating hinahangad)

    Ang PAGKAMAKABAYAN(PAGKAKA-ISA) ay dapat ipantay natin sa pagka-uhaw, pagka-gutom.


  5. Kung pamilya ang pag-uusapan,pamilyang Pinoy ang ‘pinaka-close’ na marahil…ngunit pagdating sa pambansang kapasidad(politika),napakalinaw na wala, walang pagkakaisa! marahil maganda kung babalik tayo sa pagiging totoong simple…

    …ang hanapin kung papaano ba talaga tayo MAGKAKAISA…PAGKAKAISA…PAGIISA!

    PAG-IISANG DIB-DIB! parang mag-asawa,isasantabi lahat ng mga di-pagkaka-unawaan tungo sa mas malaking kapakinabangan.

    ang problema sa Pinoy:

    GUSTO lang natin —

    KAILANGAN natin (ito dapat ang ating hinahangad)

    Ang PAGKAMAKABAYAN(PAGKAKA-ISA) ay dapat ipantay natin sa pagka-uhaw, pagka-gutom.


    walang kokontra…maski pangarap man lang magkaroon tayo ng pagkakaisa…

  6. OA lang ba tlga ung unano sa palasyo o sadyang naghahanap siya ng gulo?

    she’s really trying everybody’s patience!

    what’s next??? wag niyang sabihin na haharangan niya tayo pati sa pagrerebolusyon sa banyo!?!

    • jerryLD on February 27, 2008 at 10:18 am


    to the Filipino people and the world. you need to “shut-up” and “give yourselves a time to pray”, and ask the Heavens, why you existed. GIVE YOURSELF A TIME FOR YOUR CREATOR. ESPECIALLY THE WEALTHY PEOPLE. READ THE HOLY BIBLE. YOUR MINDS ARE DECEIVED BY YOUR RICHES BEFORE GOD, YOUR CREATOR.

    atheist and sinners are alike. they shall not see God. “But” if you repent and / or start believing. God is “Righteous” to heal you. REPENT!


    God Almighty, through His very Own Word, His Only Begotten Son,He is now revealing His very own Self, as created by Himself, by His Word. everything you see is Created by Him. WHOM YOU DON’T SEE! PEOPLE ARE DECEIVED BY THEIR OWN ARROGANCE!



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