Whether it’s the Inquirer with a feature on Carlos Celdran (who blogs at Walk This Way) and the Manila North Cemetery, the Manila Times with ghost stories involving the House of Representatives, or the Manila Standard Today publishing an interview with an exorcist, the occult certainly dominated today’s papers -perhaps as a bit of magical realism to serve as an antidote to the coming into effect of increased VAT rates.
The holiday atmosphere this week, though, can’t hide brewing stories. There’s what the Philippine Star calls the US Intelligence Chief being briefed on the Philippine political situation, which the Daily Tribune says was the main event of a frantic Palace effort to retain US support. The Manila Standard Today, on the sideline reports it’s not true there’s an impending cabinet shakeup. But a colleague points out that there was a minor tiff between the Executive Secretary, who says there are two Jamiyah Islamiyah operatives on the loose in Metro Manila, and the Philippine National Police, which claims there are really four Abu Sayaf on the loose. But priorities are priorities, and the Palace attack on ABS-CBN continues with the announcement that a terror suspect released on bail has, well, disappeared. And while they’re at it, everyone is taking turns taking punches at the Palace’s trial balloon concerning the potential involvement of the presidential guard in a coup plot.
There’s also the fight (on low boil) between Speaker Jose de Venecia and Rep. Prospero Pichay, which the Daily Tribune says is due to the First Gentleman being suspicious of the Speaker; the Star says there is trouble between the two, but offers up the hope that things will get sorted out. The Liberal Party, Inq7.net reports, has unified in support of the Speaker (more or less, anyway, in a manner of speaking…). Meanwhile, on the sidelines is Rep. Gilbert Remulla wondering out loud if Garcillano might be dead.