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Seeing Red
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on August 29, 2007 80 Comments 13 min read
The Long View: Bluffing Previous Impotent reassurances Next

According to the blog Center Sight, the Bangkok Post first broke the news of the arrest of Jose Ma. Sison in the Netherlands. The link no longer works, but here’s how the story’s being covered here at home: Joma Sison arrested (also: PNP takes credit for Joma’s arrest and Arrest of Philippine communist leader raises security issues, sparks protest plans).

Incidentally, the clash of opinions on Sison in the blogosphere: even as Philippine Commentary rejoices over Sison’s arrest; even before the arrest, bloggers like tonyo, had taken critics of Sison to task, saying they were being unfair and even committing slander:

No case or investigation against Jose Maria Sison and the CPP pertaining to the Plaza Miranda bombing has prospered. As I have pointed out in an earlier post, the Manila City Prosecutors trashed the police charge against the CPP leaders for lack of sufficient basis.

The recent rebellion charges against the Batasan 6, scores of legal and underground left leaders — an obvious politically-motivated prosecution dismissed with finality by the Supreme Court — included the charge about Plaza Miranda bombing.

There is something dangerous in what Bocobo, Doronila and other detractors of the Left are saying and doing. The demonization of the Left through blatantly baseless and discredited charges such as the alleged CPP order to bomb Plaza Miranda is helping deodorize and prettify the stinking political elite, including the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Like all Grand Pooh-bahs of Communism, Sison is criticized at times for being the centerpiece of a gigantic cult of personality, his followers so fiercely devoted to him that Argee Guevara, in his (wittier) student days, called them “Joma’s Witnesses.” Still, whether suffering from excessive zeal or filled revolutionary virtue, supporters of Sison have taken to drumbeating the same message: see we have no names, witness statement, young radicals, for a small sampling of the reasons why his followers object to his arrest. Or read what the man himself has to say (and you can download mp3’s of his singing and songs).

But as it stands, the reason for his arrest is this: Widow of NPA chief Kintanar speaks out: ‘Yes, I filed case against Joma’.

The Joma brouhaha has sidelined public attention on the Senate debates on the Garci Tapes, and the refusal of the ZTE broadband issue to go away.

Concerning the Garci business, Arroyo’s Senate allies to stop playing of ‘Garci’ tape. Blogger Philippine Commentary generally expressing admiration for Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago’s arguments in a privilege speech yesterday, while accepting that Tortured analysis’–Santiago to Escudero on ‘Hello Garci’ was perhaps more out of Santiago’s pique over Escudero’s making a good legal point:

He makes the very persuasive point that it must first be demonstrated that these recordings are wiretapped materials before the sanctions against possessing them may be invoked as Miriam wants to do even BEFORE such demonstration. That the Garci recordings ARE wiretappings cannot just be asserted and then believed “hook line and sinker”, Chiz claims, but must be tested with questions and logic when the witness Vidal Doble makes his claims and accusations. But first he must be allowed to make those claims. Putting the cart before the horse, you are, Madame. Touche!

What the law prohibits after all is the knowing possession, dissemination and reproduction of illegally wiretapped materials. Chiz basically asks a question that destroy’s the premises and suppositions on which are founded Miriam’s entire discourse: How do we KNOW that these are illegally wiretapped materials and not, let us say, studio spliced recordings?

Miriam had no answer to this other than to assert again “the absolute prohibition against and absolutely inadmissibility of illegally wiretapped material for use in ANY legislative hearing or other proceeding.”

This self-evidently a false claim on the face of it — as if one did not know about Section 3 of the law! Surely, the products of a real spy’s illegal wiretapping activities would be the best physical evidence of those criminal activities, as explicitly allowed for in Section (3) of RA 4200, which covers wiretapping cases involving National Security and kidnapping.

She chooses to ignore the simple fact that the “Anti-Wiretapping Law” does explicitly allow any or all of the acts she claims are prohibited absolutely, such as wiretapping, possession, replay and reproduction of wiretapped materials–before, during or after any crime against national security or in cases of kidnapping.

But, Philippine Commentary says, Santiago’s arguments have their own merit:

I actually agree substantially with the effective position of Miriam to investigate with vigor the Garci Tapes WITHOUT REGARD TO THEIR CONTENT (the electoral fraud angle), and instead to focus on discovering who the Masterminds of Wiretapping are in the Philippines. This is also substantially the position of Rodolfo Biazon, to prosecute the crimes against national security implied by the wiretapping itself. Never mind the content.

Manuel Buencamino pens this gem:

One day every member of the Senate votes to investigate the illegal phone-taps, the next day four legal beagles of Gloria turn around and start barking, “You can’t use those tapes. It’s against the law to use tapes of an illegal wiretap to prove illegal wiretapping. You have to remove the corpus from corpus delecti.”

Does that make any sense? It does if you’re a Dick, a Johnny or a Joker.

See, too, interesting arguments by two attorneys, Leonard de Vera (and needed amendments to the Anti-Wiretapping Law) and Abelardo Aportadera (on how bugging the President is an offense against National Security).

And about the ZTE deal, Lawmaker sues officials in broadband deal (the issue won’t go away, sweeteners of course also help to keep the administration faithful to the deal: Favila: Gov’t can use $400-M China loan any which way). Blogger An OFW Living in Hong Kong has some noteworthy observations to make.

Sometimes I think Amando Doronila is simply dying to prove the President can pull rabbits out of her hat. His column, today, Arroyo seizes the initiative, seems along the lines of his previous claim that the President had pulled a “breathaking” reclaiming of the political initiative after the May elections. The Inquirer editorial takes a different view of things: obstructionism, then and now, remains the President’s game, it says.

I think Mon Casiple (as always) is right on the money:

By now, everybody knows the story of the Garci tapes, and Malacañang claims people are already bored with the story. However, knowing is far different from confirming and admitting. Much as the GMA administration would wish to the contrary, the tale of the tapes is not yet over — a full political closure still has to happen.

The timing of the Doble resurfacing seems to indicate that post-2007 election political negotiations among the administration, opposition, and — interestingly — the presidentiables — are coming to a head without an agreement in sight. We are now confronting a scenario of hard-ball negotiations amidst heightened political tensions, including the resurrected Garci tapes, the Erap decision, a brewing war in the South, talks of coups and emergency situations, and what not.

The importance of the Garci tapes lies in their coercive message to the administration — to make clear its intention not to plot a post-2010 GMA-still-in-power scenario. It is not a surprise that the Senate — the heart of presidential ambitions — has become the arena this time.

Given her narrow window of opportunity before the lameduck syndrome kicks in, the president will have to make many vital decisions affecting her political future in the coming few weeks or months. This should make everyone tensely waiting for the decision on the political compromise with the political opposition, her choice of a presidentiable to support, or to wage the lonely battle to maintain the power.

The column of Ellen Tordesillas, who says the administration’s paranoid about the Philippine Marines, brings to mind blogger Center Sight (originally mentioned above) took an interesting look at Philippine Government Faces Pressure from Several Directions, advocating continued American support for the country:

But it is indeed vital that our government continue to support, advise and provide funding to assist Manila in coping with the ideological equivalent of a two-front war against democracy. While the Philippines continue to develop as a major front line against Islamist hegemony, the decades old Communist insurgency led by the “New People’s Army” is rumored to be gathering forces for a fall offensive against the Filipinos’ strained resources. Opportunity for mischief could arise in expected riots of popular anger when former President Estrada — inexplicably a hero to the poor he championed while pocketing millions intended to help them — is finally convicted for his corruption. And meanwhile, the Islamist subversion is becoming more ambitious, sophisticated and dangerous.

Instead of the usual “bomb ’em all back into the Stone Age” hawkism we usually hear, though, this American blogger takes a more balanced view of things:

The United States should be deeply involved in stimulating reform as well, as emphasized by the continued involvement of police and military forces in “disappearances” and torture involving legitimate political opposition members, and the scandal of politicians in the recent election handing out guns to warlords in exchange for votes. There is reason to believe many of those weapons have since been used on Philippine soldiers.

and he points to nuances I’ve tried to point out, too, in terms of who we’re fighting and why those we’re fighting are fighting us:

The “old” Muslim question in the Philippines had to do with regional independence or relative autonomy for Mindanao and other Muslim majority or plurality islands in the predominantly Catholic country. The Moro insurgency of the Fifties was a nationalist guerrilla movement whose suppression raised unrealistic hopes for success in other countries and took the Philippines off the radar as a front-line of defense.

The new Muslim insurgencies have varied in their mixture of nationalism and contemporary jihadism. In purest form, the New Jihadist seeks to establish a multi-national caliphate stretching over several continents, an Islamiyah ruled with strict interpretations of Islamic law, relatively free of infidels. Under the contemporary formulation, this means that all of the Philippines (indeed the world) is fair game.

Still, returning to Ellen’s column, and the headlines (see RP braces for ‘retaliatory attacks’ over Sison’s arrest: Military on red alert), blogger New Philippine Revolution (who seems sympathetic to caudillo-ism) has an interesting take on things:

The arrest of CPP Founder Jose Maria Sison due to trumped up charges has doomed peace talks with the rebels. Possible effects would be escalation of armed confrontations between AFP and CPP-NPA. This development is worse than the Mindanao conflict.

For the next three years, peace will elude this administration. MILF said that they will not enter into a peace agreement with the government. It will only do so if the GRP accedes to ceding some territory to the rebels. Meanwhile, MNLF will definitely not enter into any pact for as long as GMA is there in the palace. The arrest of Sison dooms peace negotiations with the Reds.

In the next few years, GMA will become a war president. These wars in the North and the South will put a heavy strain in the economy.

To prevent the country from going down the drain, members of the elite will allow extra-constitutional measures to replace this administration with a caretaker government. One model is Thailand. The possibility of having a government like that of Thailand in the Philippines is very strong.

A good column by Bong Austero on the travails of Gawad Kalinga.

In the blogosphere, people are abuzz over whether a newspaper’s playing with matches after already having been doused with gasoline.

smoke got the ball rolling with a scan of a portion of The Manila Standard Today. This was independently verified by Freedom Watch, the official blog of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility.

Again, a note of caution: what has been proven is a notice was published, not why the notice was published, or what the notice was supposed to achieve. When I asked a colleague in the media familiar with newspaper operations about it, my colleague said it could be a production error. The newspaper may have a template used whenever a columnist fails to submit a column on time. My colleague also said it’s either that, or a good way to boost sales. People would go off to buy copies on the date mentioned, to see if the paper actually dared to run the column again.

Conclusions, then, might be premature until September 3, the supposed resumption of the column. However, in the absence of any official statement from the paper, speculation’s bound to be rife until then.

Until then, scrutiny of the issue, as provided by The Journal of the Jester-in-Exile and Bryanton Post is neither premature nor unproductive.

The inevitable gulf between professional writers and the public, I think, is best demonstrated by my rather liking publisher Babes Romualdez’s letter about his magazine’s stand on the issue, and the Jester’s dissatisfaction with it; let me point out, further, that Romualdez at least made a statement while the newspaper’s editors have kept silent up to now, and indeed, dodged the issue as I pointed out last August 24 (see the last few paragraphs of my entry).

However, if the potential for the re-escalation of the issue is fulfilled by the resumption of the column -which would also firmly lay the passions raised firmly at the feet of the paper and no longer the magazine- things would get possibly worse. After all, all the to-do about an apology and a resignation, would be proven either insincere, or merely a gambit: those arguing for moderation or a more nuanced approach would have been proven naive. Then we might have the media equivalent of a conversation Louis XVI supposedly had with a courtier, upon being told of the storming of the Bastille.

“Is it a revolt?” the king asked.

“No, Sire,” the response came. “It is a revolution.”

FYI department: Commissioner Sarmiento wrote to Ricky Carandang.

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  1. No case has prospored locally (because our justice system is a circus), but take note:

    Sison, 68, will be on trial in the Netherlands, not the Philippines, said spokesperson Wim de Bruin of the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

    “There is no extradition request,” De Bruin said. “These are crimes that were committed in the Netherlands. Ordering murders is a crime according to Dutch law.”

    The Left should protest in front of the Dutch Embassy not in Mendiola. Lets just wait and see how the Dutch case will prosper.

  2. It’s good that Sison is finally facing Justice. ‘New Philippine Revolution’ is right. Democracy does not usually survive under war conditions.

  3. “One day every member of the Senate votes to investigate the illegal phone-taps, the next day four legal beagles of Gloria turn around and start barking, “You can’t use those tapes. It’s against the law to use tapes of an illegal wiretap to prove illegal wiretapping. You have to remove the corpus from corpus delecti.Manuel Buencamino”

    It’s truly an amazing sight to see the respected Joker Arroyo side by side with Johnny Enrile,Ed Angara and Miriam
    Defenson Santiago defending Ate glue.Oh well,nobody is perfect.

  4. per evening news, the garci issue has been transferred to the defense committee as lead,blue-ribbon,and electoral reform.They might not even discuss replaying of the tapes,they might just get the transcripts from the lower house.
    ************
    Now, as to the defense panel of Joma claiming that it politically motivated,and the wife blaming the government.
    Even if this happens with the US,Dutch and RP’s presidents entirely different maybe let’s say after ten years,(Joma would be 78 then)
    The remarks would still be the same.

  5. The NPA admitted, boasted even, that they executed those two rejectionists.
    Joma must accept command responsibilty for those murders. Enough of this bullshit about being a mere consultant and being out of the loop.

    But, it remains to be seen whether the Dutch govt can make the charges against him stick. I hope to God they succeed.

    Joma is a megalomaniac. He claims he is God’s gift to mankind except that he is too big to believe there is a god greater than him.

    I hope his trial is fair and swift and he gets his just desserts.

  6. Hot Damn! Is that YOU, MB?

    Hey big guy, I got tickets to the next Cebu Algorithm Ball. I hear Joma’s dance card is all filled up and they’re starting to raffle him off, he’s so cute!

  7. DJB,

    Unlike you I have never been a follower of Joma. Unlike you I never went on a pilgrimmage to China to have my little red book blessed by the Red Guards. I never bought into that crap. I never needed an ideology to help me figure out what my senses and common sense tell me. So don’t act as if you witnessed me experiencing an epiphany.

    I have told you many many times before I am no commie sympathizer. At the same time I don’t buy that neocon crap either. As far as I’m concerned neocons and commies are two sides of the same coin. And their ideological fanaticism is equalled only by jihadists and zionists. Still, I can see the human being behind the fanatic ideologue.

    Celebrate Joma’s fate if you want but don’t rejoice over an epiphany I never had to have.

  8. Here’s a report from the Daily Trib on those 3 witnesses produced by the PNP

    “The PNP, through Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief Edgardo Doromal, the other day presented before the media the “witness,” Emerito Lipio, a self-confessed New People’s Army (NPA) guerrilla who claimed he has vital infor-mation on the abduction of Jonas.

    During investigation, Lipio said he was getting orders from his leader based in Bulacan province, north of Manila, one “Delfin de Guzman.”

    But it was learned that De Guzman HAS BEEN IN GOVERNMENT CUSTODY SINCE 2006.

    In his testimony, Lipio said it was De Guzman who had ordered him and another NPA member, Marlon Manue, alias Ka Carlo, to conduct surveillance operations on Jonas, who was being suspected of pilfering the communist movement’s funds and passing information to the military.

    DE GUZMAN WAS ARRESTED LAST YEAR after he was implicated in the killing of Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara, both former NPA leaders.

    Records showed that he was nabbed by military agents last May 11, 2006, in his safehouse in Barangay San Mateo in Norzagaray, Bulacan.

    DE GUZMAN WAS EVEN PRESENTED TO THE MEDIA BY THEN MILITARY CHIEF GEN. GENEROSO SENGA during a press conference held at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City last May 22, 2006.”

    Hmmmm….

  9. “The Arroyo regime has conjured the illusion of economic growth by engaging in unbridled foreign and local borrowing and by attracting speculative portfolio investments. It has not at all solved the financial crisis but has aggravated it by increasing the debt and tax burden in a stagnant economy that is driven by overconsumption of imports, worst of which are the luxuries of the exploiting classes.”

    Isn’t this so obvious? Am I a communist if I agree with this 100% The only inappropriate word here here is overconsumption. Aren’t we already beyond that stage of choosing whether to consume imports or local. Hell, everything is import. Blame the parasitic business elite who know nothing more than play piggy back on the hardwork of OFWs.

  10. “Defensor Santiago’s arguments in a privilege speech yesterday, while accepting that Tortured analysis’–Santiago to Escudero on ‘Hello Garci’ was perhaps more out of Santiago’s pique over Escudero’s making a good legal point”

    I wonder why Filipinos do not post on YouTube. Americans post everything on YouTube. When you missed something interesting on the News, you can always look it up on YouTube. Where is the YouTube video?

  11. “smoke got the ball rolling with a scan of a portion of The Manila Standard Today. This was independently verified by Freedom Watch, the official blog of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility.”

    I’m glad there is more Malu. I’m stumped with communist idiocy? Is it ideology or cult of personality? The most derivative idea to have come our shores. Even ABS-CBN is more original than Philippine communists.

  12. “Unlike you I have never been a follower of Joma. Unlike you I never went on a pilgrimmage to China to have my little red book blessed by the Red Guards. I never bought into that crap. I never needed an ideology to help me figure out what my senses and common sense tell me. So don’t act as if you witnessed me experiencing an epiphany.”

    Interesting that because of JOMA and Marcos, smart Filipino men will never enjoy hero status again.

  13. MB, No one ever knows what you believe in other than that Gloria strangles small animals for giggles. You said it yourself: you have NO ideology, just sense and common sense. Congenitally liberal, progressive, enlightened, critically open-minded from toddlerhood. Never needed anything to believe in.

    Yeah, MB, and I was born with a beard! But never mind you, You don’t believe in anything anyway, and since believing in something is the source of all the trouble, there can’t be possibly be any trouble from you.

    You are such a rock of consistency too, compared to the commies. Been looking at the really Red blogs, they’re strangely hedgey, know what I mean? Like when a cow first gets a touch of the ole Bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Wonder if its that ole paranoia itching their trigger fingers again?

  14. mb,
    nice try with the trib article. but maybe it was jonas who turned de guzman in! as for the fact that de guzman was in custody, so what? Joma is half way around the world, yet the Dutch authorities have apparently found cause to arrest him for ordering a pair of remote-control killings.

    I am supremely interested in the truth of the Jonas Burgos case, because I think it is a test of the claim that there is an ongoing purge in the Cpp’s ranks.

    And since a case has just been filed by the AFP against Burgos’ abductors, as attested to by the witnesses, a court of law will have a chance to evaluate the evidence and testimony they present.

    isn’t this exactly the process we want to be inplace to deal with the alleged killings.

    Or are you unhappy that it is the AFP that suddenly has the witnesseses, the trial, the charges, the proof?

    Besides if they were killing off the big fish like Tabara, Lagman, Kintanar, then a jonas burgos could really have been killed by the NPA for malversation of funds during such hard times as these, given that CC has just lost even its Dutch welfare checks.

    I wonder if they’ve had a chance to talk to Mrs. Burgos because if they are telling the truth, I bet they could convince her that they are with “telling details” diba?

  15. “Certain people have been accused of spending organizational funds for personal affairs. There are innuendoes of illicit affairs, immoral conduct, egotistical behaviors, messianic complexes, etc.”

    Messianic complex. He he.

  16. “But there is also wisdom in forsaking personal needs and agenda in favor of nobler and larger goals. I expected CfC to be bigger than any individual leader or member. I guess I was wrong. But it’s not too late for CfC to prove otherwise.”

    Truly, only the courts can settle this.

  17. Misuse of funds? One can sue someone for that, you know.

    My point is, religious people always underestimate the law and overestimate the church. The church tried, now it’s the courts turn. I believe if someone actually got sue, all the stupidity and egotistical grievances will slink back under the skin where they belong.

  18. Misuse of funds? One can sue someone for that, you know.

    My point is, religious people always underestimate the law and overestimate the church. The church tried, now it’s the courts turn. I believe if someone actually got sue, all the stupidity and egotistical grievances will slink back under the skin where they belong.

    And ROM, why don’t you go to sleep.

  19. brianb:the money issues are collateral, i think. the split was ideological in nature. something about how some CfC members questioning GK’s relations with Mormons or some intolerant shit like that. anyhow, yeah. if they brought the accusations of financial shenanigans to court, that would be very interesting. expose a lot of people for being hypocrites and all that.

    And brianb, does it bother you I’m still awake?

  20. joma sison’s indictment for murder of rival ideologues in netherlands (her refuge) is not necessarily a confirmation of internal purges within npa, but will, finally, put on trial their existence. this, in turn, will put a damper on the presumptuous lot who makes conclusory assertions regarding government’s culpability in “extrajudicial killings” of people linked to the subversive organization. i would think this would tone down a bit the hue and cry in international circles of militants and “bleeding heart” ultra liberals on this issue. i think we have been shooting ourselves on the foot a little too much by allowing foreign interlopers to make conclusive presumptions against our government’s alleged involvement in the killings, celebrating them in our biased media as though they were God’s gifts to us from heaven. i would enjoy seeing them with rotten eggs on their faces. shame on them and on those of us (e.g. jamby madrigal) who embolden these foreign people to put our country to international opprobrium.

  21. LOL! A friend told me that things are really coming to a momentum. Along with the PNP expose pointing to the NPA as to the culprits of the Jonas abduction, this surprising development (the arrest) is doubtlessly a boon for the Gloria administration. A stunning coup. It shifts the attention of the public away from the Garci scandal investigation, putting the administration back to the offensive from its erstwhile uber lame duck like status, especially on the issue of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearance.

  22. “LOL! A friend told me that things are really coming to a momentum.”

    And without EDSA, this “acceleration” brings us all to the unknown. The Unknown, ladies and gents. If you’re a true Filipino you’d be feeling very optimistic.

  23. “CFC members questioning GK’s relations with Mormons or some intolerant shit like that. anyhow, yeah.”

    I wonder why Filipinos have no respect for Mormons. Is it because they practice polygamy? So do Muslims. Is it because they believe in schizophrenic profits? One can say that about most religions.

  24. “It shifts the attention of the public away from the Garci scandal investigation, putting the administration back to the offensive from its erstwhile uber lame duck like status, especially on the issue of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearance”

    Simply illustrates the utter lack of substance of Pinoy “political” discussion.

    Focus shifts at the slightest change in wind direction.

    If I recall right, SHORT ATTENTION SPANS are often associated with JUVENILE minds.

    If Pinoy thinking (if you can even call it that) was grounded on any kind of SUBSTANCE, then noise wouldn’t be propagated the way it does in the Philippines. 😉

  25. Hi, Manolo:

    “…those arguing for moderation or a more nuanced approach would have been proven naive…”

    Not certain if I fall under the “nuanced” category, though I am one of those questioning the manner with which we, in general, respond to issues like this.

    However, I would like to point out that those who have indeed been proven naive are those who (may) have prematurely proclaimed victory for the blogosphere.

  26. “Abalos also heartily laughed when he said he “wished” he could be the person, who was mentioned in the newspaper column as someone with the “sexual prowess” to handle two women in one day.

    “That would make my wife very happy. You know, I am not at all affected by these allegations. It’s really laughable. One [partner] in the morning, and another in the evening?” he said, chuckling.”

    Chairman Abalos really knows no boundaries in being naughty either in the electoral process or in “sexual prowess”!Deal or no deal in Comelec and in the ZTE escapade!

    What a way to go for an “Honorable” Comelec Cha1rman.

    Truly false pride(“Hubris”) comes before the fall!

  27. joma sison’s indictment for murder of rival ideologues in netherlands (her refuge) is not necessarily a confirmation of internal purges within npa, but will, finally, put on trial their existence. – Bencard

    The internal purges in the CPP/NPA have been a matter of historical record, although i agree that whatever additional information that would come out in the trial of Joma Sison is welcome. The extrajudicial killings by the military are another matter though. That would require a separate trial.

  28. A simple response from the newspaper would’ve mollified the people. But they choose to remain silent, apart from columnists B. Austero and C. Veneracion.

    Maybe they think this will all blow over soon and everyone will forget about it. Kasi nga naman ang Pinoy daw madaling makalimot.

    But this media unfolds in real-time, available for all and sundry to read 24/7 non-stop…in theory, until kingdom come. Or until US servers are nuked. That is the difference between old media – newspapers and TV spots. The messages they give are fleeting, once delivered they are gone. But our blogs, forums and mailing lists? They deliver the message and the message is there to stay ’til we decide to close shop. Ah well. Sagutin ang hamon ng Manila Standard Today.

  29. tagakotta, it is obvious to me that abalos was being sarcastic and facetious. i think, in all fairness, his statement should be taken in that vein, shouldn’t it? of course, the “simple minded” would take that literally.

  30. “Padilla said Abalos played golf with executives of the Chinese telecommunications firm in Shenzhen and in Mandaluyong City where the Comelec chair once served as mayor just “weeks before April 2007” when the contract was signed.

    Padilla cited a column by Jarius Bondoc in the Philippine Star on an unnamed election official who reportedly negotiated the NBN deal while he played golf and had sex with women in Shenzhen.”

    In April 2007,Chairman Abalos was very busy with golf and other extracurricular activities in China while preparing
    for the May elections.

    chairman abalos ,at 73,is is still very good in multitasking!!!! tsk.tsk.tsk.

    Heard he will be rewarded for a job well done after his retirement in Feb.2008,as ambassador to China! Such his life.He could teach the Chinese a thing or two about:

    1)How to conduct “clean” elections.

    2)How to broker a deal a P15 billion deal on NBN(non-election matter).

    3)How to play golf(he was a caddy once)

    4)How to handle other”extra-curricular” activities(he’s 73 years young)

  31. ABALOS ‘Things to Do …

    “Once the province of bird-watchers, mountain climbers and sufferers of obsessive-compulsive disorder, the life list has become widely popular with the harried masses, equal parts motivational self-help and escapist fantasy.

    The lists are, proponents say, the perfect way for anxious time-crunched professionals to embark on spiritual quests in a productivity-obsessed age. The lists are results-oriented, quantifiable and relentlessly upbeat.NEW YORK TIMES”

    If I were Chairman Abalos,I would have this “10 things to do” life list upon retirement in February 2008:

    1)Write a manual for his successor(Rene Sarmiento?) on “How to institute Electoral Reforms”.

    2)Write a “Dear Son” Letter to Mayor Abalos of Mandaluyong
    on “How how he did it His Way!”

    3)Write a letter to Mrs.Abalos (“Sorry Dear,I could only do it That Way in China)

    4)Write a letter to golf caddies on “How to play golf and
    influence Chinese friends”.

    5)Write a “I’m sorry letter to Pimentel (“Sorry ,trabaho lang companero”)

    6)Write a letter to Garci (“Ikaw kasi eh!”)

    7)Write a letter to the 99% of Comelec people who are honest and fair(“Sorry,it’s not your fault,folks!)

    8)To his fellow Commissioners(write a sincere “Repent”!)

    9)To GMA(“I’m always at Your Service Madame)

    10)To the Filipino people(A “BE VIGILANT Next time” letter)

    11)Reflect for the rest of his life on the truth behind this saying”You can some people all the time,and all the people some time,BUT you can’t fool ALL the People ALL the TIME!)

    Chairman Abalos and late Nani Perez will join the Comelec Hall of Fame(or shame) soon!

  32. With regard to the wake of the investigation of the “Hello Garci” scandal, it seems that the public is not as interested to it as before when it first emerged to public awareness. The only good thing about it now is that the Senate, which we all know is far more independent from Malacañang than the House, will be the one who will investigate the issue this time.

  33. sparks, in fact, im still waiting for the paper to issue an apology. them and Malu’s editors. just bec Malu already issued an apology does not absolve them from issuing one as well. and of course, I agree that the power of new media lies in engaging people, not in shutting them out. info in new media is all preferential. the reader gets what he wants to read bec he’s the one controlling all the clicks and searches. old media on the other hand is not very interactive. you can’t choose which news you want the mass media to cover. you can only choose to watch/read it or not. even their reader letters section is so prone to censorship and slanting. they get to choose whose comments and letters get published. of course, bloggers have that same prerogative. but i don’t think they exercise it often. bloggers often crave for comments – of any kind. bad publicity is better than no publicity. besides, comments are the standards by which bloggers judge how many read them.

  34. I like the way PDI handled the fracas caused by the Justice Cruz article that contained many passages offensive to homosexuals: they published a rebuttal by one of their star columnists. If memory serves, PDI itself didnt publish an apology. Nor did they need to, IMO.

    MST doesnt need to publish an apology, IMO. A editorial stating that they do not agree with what Ms Fernandez has written wouldve sufficed (or if they agree with it, state that too). That, and publishing readers’ reactions to the Fernandez article. BUT they shouldve done that sooner. The fact that they ignored the reaction says a lot about their attitude towards the bloggers and internet groups.

  35. “If I recall right, SHORT ATTENTION SPANS are often associated with JUVENILE minds.”

    you mean like those in the let’s-move-on movement?

  36. DJB

    Ay Naku!

    The man who ran away from Joma’s embrace only to bed with neocons, lectures me on the need to have an ideology to guide me through life, to have the tool to differentiate between an asshole and a hole in the ground.

    Well, dude, to each his own. If you want to proclaim your identity through your ideology that’s fine with me. If you need a name tag that’s says “Hello My name is Deanie Currently Neocon Bocobo” to pull your through life’s cocktail party, that’s your right.

    But don’t go sticking name tags on my chest because I don’t need that shit to complete my identity.

    You spout neocon ideology just like you did when you were a little red guard for Joma amd Mao.

    Dude, your ideology may have changed but you’re still the same guy who has always been incapable of walking through life without an ideological crutch.

    I’m happy with my senses and my common sense. It helps me from becoming a fanatic about ideologies du jour.

    Remember the old saying about the young being infatuated with liberal causes and the older you get you become more conservative? Fits your political evolution to a T, doesn’t it?

    By the way, sorry for bringing up the Trig news report. I didn’t want to throw a wet blamket on your party.

    Let’s celebrate Joma’s arrest but let’s not go overboard and start with clearing the AFP from involvement in human rights violations.

    However, I do undertand that your ideology forces you to see the worst in reds and the best in any group that is against them But fer crissakess, use your common sense. You know the AFP’s hands are as bloody as the NPA’s.

    Didn’t the AFP throw you in jail right after martial law was declared and only your American citizenship saved you from truly experiencing the famous AFP hospitality? Weren’t you taken from detention straight to a plane for the good ol’ US of A?

    The only reason why I condemn the AFP more is because they are the duly constituted authority mandated to serve and protect the constitution while the NPA constituted itself to destroy the constitution.

    I’m really pissed when I see the very people I pay to protect my constitution go around behaving like they were the NPA.

    Put it another way, for some reason or another although pedophilia is pedophilia regardless of circumstances, it always seems worse when its a clergyman or a victim’s parent doing it.

    That is the way I feel about the AFP doing the same awful things the NPA does.

  37. Simply illustrates the utter lack of substance of Pinoy “political” discussion.

    Focus shifts at the slightest change in wind direction.

    If I recall right, SHORT ATTENTION SPANS are often associated with JUVENILE minds…

    Sir Benigno, correct me if I’m wrong but that’s exactly what the present administration is aiming to take advantage of. The way I see things, that is probably one of the best talents of the Arroyo and her henchmen – riding on “the slightest change in wind direction” to shift public attention from its own shenanigans. 🙂

  38. “On Wednesday Abalos belied accusations that he had brokered the national broadband deal and received cash and lavish gifts, including women, from grateful ZTE officials. Abalos also denied leaving his wife in Hong Kong to engage in sexual activities in mainland China.

    Abalos was reacting to a privilege speech delivered by Nueva Vizcaya Rep. Carlos Padilla on Tuesday.

    Padilla accused Abalos of spending days and nights of debauchery in China courtesy of ZTE for which he reportedly lobbied to ensure that it got the government’s broadband contract.”

    Chairman Abalos:At 73,relaxs na! You already have than more than enough to leave a lasting impression to your country and to your family!Tama na ,sobra na.

  39. On the Malu case:

    I don’t think the paper has to apologize. Malu did not engage in hate speech. She didn’t say anything that would incite violence against a certain group, unlike Isagani Cruz who wrote that during his time it was okay to beat up men who flaunted their gay ways.

    The issue about Malu is political correctness. She wrote something politically incorrect.

    The truth of the matter is political correctness is a bogus value. That’s the kind of value that encourages censorship. It’s what censors board is all about.(Besides, I would be unemployed if political correctness reigned supreme,hehehe)

    This is a free country. If she offended you, then you can turn the page, offend her too, or give her a lecture on good manners and right conduct.

    I prefer the second option, naturally.

    So who’s going to be the first to respond to Malu’s politically incorrect speech by responding with a picture of her in a thong bikini?

    A picture like that is worth more than a thousand offensive words.

  40. Attention spans
    many myths about it,some blame it on watching too much TV,which makes it correct to say that it is a juvenile behavior if you count couch potatoes off the list.

    But again to call it to be unique to Filipinos would be beyond stupid.

    If political here discussions lack substance,then why setup a website with some topics initiated by you, which includes political discussions,btw.Oh, I took a look and it seemd to lack substance because the last commenter’s comment was after a few months from the last one.

    Was it becasue of lack of attention span,lack of substance or lack of something new?

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