It seems to me the most significant news today is the mass defection of Pampanga mayors from Lakas-CMD to the President’s pet party, Kampi. Capture the flag time should have begun a year ago, but the Pampanga defections should be the opening salvo in the raiding of Lakas. The mission? Make it a minority, instead of the dominant, party in the ruling coalition by January or February next year (see Comelec AKO’s election calendar).
This reminds me of the comment of a lawyer after the suspended mayor of Sta. Rosa, Laguna explained the reasons (political) behind his suspension by the Palace. The lawyer smiled and said, “Mayor, your mistake was that you didn’t run over to the Palace to take the oath to Kampi the moment you heard they were going to suspend you.” The mayor smiled and nodded. So I asked him, “would your constituents have understood if you did?” “Oh, sure,” replied the ex-and soon-to-be-again mayor.
UP Diliman reaps a windfall from leasing land.
The President is all pumped up. Two cautionary views on Honasan: the Inquirer editorial says he should retire; Amando Doronila thinks Honasan’s capture will only sweep a larger problem under the rug. A reporter’s notes: Ces Drilon pens a comparison of Honasan’s capture then and now.
Two views on foreign businessmen and their concern over human rights in the Philippines from Luis Teodoro and Dan Mariano. But Mariano also has news of racketeering in the Cebu Asean meeting preparations (via Newsbreak’s print edition):
“Long before the unlikely-to-be-completed [Cebu International Convention Center] drew attention, the Philippine government was already projecting itself in a bad light in relation to its hosting of the Asean summit.
“It seemed some organizers were trying to make money at the expense of foreign journalists and media agencies planning to cover the summit. The published rates of hotels in Cebu were US$60 on the average. When foreign journalists tried to make reservations, the hotels turned them away—they were supposed to go through the International Press Club [IPC] that’s with the Office of the Press Secretary.
“So they went to the IPC, which asked them to pay $200 a night for an average hotel [read: not five star]. To some foreign news agencies, the rate being quoted was $250 a night. They were told that they had to pay in dollars, in full, by the end of October.
“Journalists who covered this gathering in the past say that in Kuala Lumpur last year, the average room rate in five-star hotels was only $75 a night. Last we heard the IPC was giving the journalists only acknowledgment receipts for their payments, not provisional receipts from the hotels. The journalists couldn’t establish who really set the rates; the IPC said these came from the hotels, but the hotels wouldn’t talk. A few reporters who didn’t coordinate with the IPC got rooms for only $85.
“The high cost of covering the Asean summit in Cebu doesn’t end with the hotel rates. Journalists were told that vehicle rental would be P7,500 to P8,000 a day. When they complained, the IPC cut the rates down to P2,000 to P2,500 a day.”
Patricio Diaz observes how Americans use people’s initiative.