Most of the papers headline former president Fidel V. Ramos’s crotchety press conference yesterday:
Ramos gives Arroyo until mid-2007 to quit: Says he still supports President, but… (Inquirer)
FVR stands by Arroyo (Manila Standard-Today) – not to mention this charming tidbit, Ramos displays tattoo to explain his absence (for someone who remembers the sight of a septugenarian Ferdinand Marcos trying to display his muscles, Ramos trying to do the same thing -he proudly pointed out his biceps in a photo to the press- smacks too much of deja vu)
FVR still for Gloria, warns of unrest (Daily Tribune)
Ramos to Gloria: Shape up or else… (Malaya)
Ramos rues disunity in government (Sun-Star, and the most elegant headline)
Columnists weighed in with their views on whether the former president’s silence until recently was Delphic or whether he can be considered sphinx-like: Tony Abaya believes the last card Ramos has left to play is quite an Ace in the hole: Uncle Sam. Leandro Coronel, on the other hand, simply wishes the former president would fade away. Larry Sipin thinks Ramos is an attention whore. Ricky Carandang previously intimated that Ramos had to put out a frisky rabbit out of his hat soon (or at least set about procuring a better rabbit than the one promptly stewed and eaten by President Arroyo after Ramos pulled it out of his hat last July). But like I said yesterday, no rabbit, not even a hat. As one colleague pithily remarked after viewing Mr. Ramos’s press conference yesterday, “what a complete waste of time.” Philippine Commentary is less inclined to give Ramos short shrift like I did, and instead dissects Ramos’s statements: perhaps it’s true that Ramos is simply revising his version of the Schlieffen Plan?
News articles of note:
New law mulled for people’s initiative on Charter change -this is emerging as one of the main political fights of the year. Banketa Republique has more on the people behind this effort.
Council meets agenda, invitees’ list completed -the Palace had better move heaven and earth to ensure the attendance of both Joseph Estrada or Cory Aquino or the thing will be a non-event (asked by a GMA7 reporter about the Council of State, I said tradition dictates everyone invited should go, but then I’m old-fashioned enough to believe an invitation from the President, regardless of your political opinion, is a command; but if the former presidents aren’t complete then the whole reason for being of the council suffers a body blow).
After Cabinet, govt undergoes shakeup -a very interesting article, particularly the proposal for the Department of Foreign Affairs to absorb the departments of Tourism and Trade and Industry, and the idea of combining the departments of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform; we have had bloated cabinets since Ferdinand Marcos.
‘Pump-priming will work’ says the Business Mirror; the President’s announcement that she managed to salt away 40 billion plus and intends to spend it, begs the necessary, skeptical question: who will be enjoying commissions from the contracts?
New tapes surface, 6 witnesses to talk — so much for closure!
In the punditocracy, Connie Veneracion kindly mentions me and this blog in an interesting column on image and perception.
Juan Mercado has a depressing column on our dying lakes.
In the blogosphere:
Ellen Tordesillas reports that frustrated (and now fugitive) putschist Nick Faeldon’s website crashed after receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors; (while the Armed Forces, as Uniffors points out skeptically, denies Faeldon’s claims he is doing some visiting of his own -to various military camps).
Upset over the eternal delays preventing the opening of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal III? New Economist says the Indians are frustrated over airports, too.
Red’s Herring has a masterfully elegant meditation on Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and Jose Rizal.
The Philippines Free Press blog reproduces two articles three decades after they came out: Pete Lacaba’s Second Mandate: from January 10, 1970, a witty and biting account of Ferdinand Marcos’s second inaugural, and a cautionary essay by Teodoro M. Locsin, No Thanks, from January 8, 1972 — warning how the Supreme Court was making martial law more likely.
Bonifacio Papers reproduces Manuel L. Quezon’s message on the laying of the cornerstone for the Bonifacio monument, November 30, 1929.