(Manila Times photo)
In the news today, Ninez Cacho Oliverez, editor-in-chief of The Daily Tribune, blares that Gloria readies exit plan; Ã¢â‚¬ËœPerfect StormÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ plot set
PALACE TO STAGE COUP, INSTALL Ã¢â‚¬ËœNEW ORDERÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ WITH LOYAL GENERALS ANOINTING 3-MAN Ã¢â‚¬ËœJUNTAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. Read the whole thing. The idea of a self-coup won’t go away, it seems.
Speaking of coups, Malaya says, General, 4 colonels tagged in coup plot: Army chief to putschists: Come out and fight.
The Secretary of Justice thinks aloud on what to do with nutty retired generals.
The hacienda of President Aquino’s family will be subdivided, finally, which ironically frees Mrs. Aquino of a big political and social problem.
The Senate has approved a report recommending that the Comelec resign. This is something people on both sides of the political aisle should be able to support. Christian Monsod, for one, has long advocated some sort of Comelec reform.
And just so we can accentuate the positive, take a look at the good news on Inq7.net. (By the way, the Filipino blogosphere’s showbiz-heavy ratings numbers, as I’ve argued, simply reflects the reading habits of the public in general: see Inq7.net’s 10 most-read columns for the past week).
The issue, as far as the AFP is concerned, is whether the President had her conversations tapped, and who did the tapping. Investigations by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and Newsbreak magazine suggest that Isafp did the tapping, upon the instigation of various groups, including one group, which according to Newsbreak magazine, included the PresidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s brother, Diosdado Macapagal Jr., and Ruben Cesar C. Reyes, a businessman who is said to be close to some top military officers. The Senate has been given testimony by Marietta Santos, a girlfriend of T/Sgt. Vidal Doble, that she saw the equipment used and had free access to where Isafp agents held office and did their work.
The question of course being, an age-old one: who will guard the guardians? That is my concern, and it is one brought up by the inability of the armed forces to submit itself to scrutiny. Dan Mariano has more on why the military’s handling of the controversy is worrisome.
Amando Doronila is of the belief that looking too closely into the issue is dangerous:
Garcillano is a witness with a shattered credibility. His testimony is worthless whether it is intended to clear the President or to smear or show the hypocrisy of her detractors.
The hearings have opened a peripheral issue that is irrelevant to election cheating and the legitimacy of the President. That issue focuses on who ordered the military intelligence service to tap the conversations between the President and Garcillano. This issue involves national security. If the President is not safe from wire-tapping by the Armed Forces, the implication is that the commander in chief has lost control over the military.
Should Congress push this issue beyond the end of the year, it is bound to give rise to a nasty confrontation between the military and civil authorities.
Marichu Villanueva thinks rumors of military unrest and possible intervention are a matter of intramurals within the officer corps:
On the other hand, the coup talks were spawned reportedly by the inter-class intrigues among the graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). You see, both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are headed at present by Gen. Generoso Senga as Chief of Staff and Director-General Arturo Lomibao, the eminent members of the PMA Class 1972. But in fairness to both gentlemen, they do not allow themselves to be dragged into such petty intrigues. In the meantime, however, the Commission on Appointments (CA) deferred to next year the confirmation of SengaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s promotion as AFP Chief of Staff. SengaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s confirmation got snagged not because of the coup rumors but on the “Hello Garci” case where the Intelligence Services of the Philippines figured in the alleged illegal wiretapping activities. If we are to believe all these allegations, an ISAFP agent got President Arroyo, the AFPÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Commander-in-Chief, in trouble.
Conrado de Quiros has a superb meditation on the dangers of apathy.
Jojo Robles muses on the first anniversary of the death of Fernando Poe, Jr. -and seems rather glad he’s dead.
The Philippines Free Press blog reproduces its Man of the Year article for 1940 (Elizalde became the first Philippine ambassador to the USA and then Secretary of Foreign Affairs; interesting is the use of the world “Pinoy” so long ago).
Normblog on how more is known on what Germans knew of the Holocaust when it was happening.
Professional Heckler lists some ironies.
cyberbaguioboy lists why he wishes Christmas was over.
sketches of a village idiot savant reports it costs 31 Pesos to watch Harry Potter in Dumaguete.