Missing link

As one report has it, Sison trial set, says Dutch embassy official: Communist leader incommunicado, claims colleague.

A blogger like Uwak! Uwak! thinks Philippine coverage of stories like Sison’s arrest leaves a lot to be desired. It seems to me, though, that what won’t appear in our media is something along the lines of Alan Dawson’s ‘Missing Link’ mastermind in custody: Jose Maria Sison, now at last a prisoner and mass-murder suspect in Dutch custody, is the unrepentant and arguably last Maoist radical in east Asia, which appeared in the Bangkok Post:

Authorities in the Netherlands, where he was arrested on Monday, believe he ordered the deaths of two senior communist leaders in Manila in 2003 and 2004.

Although the case is still developing, it appears Mr Sison may escape prosecution for ordering the murders of hundreds of followers in the 1980s, a purification campaign that earned Mr Sison and his closest CPP advisers a Time magazine cover story titled, ”The New Khmer Rouge.”

(For anyone who has a couple of US Dollars to spare, the article mentioned above can be found here: The New Khmer Rouge, by Ross H. Munro; this letter to the editor indicates the article was apparently serialized in the Inquirer, too. However, a similar article is available on line, see Inside the Communist Insurgency, an engrossing look at the initial attractiveness of revolutionary justice, and how, having established its credentials by liquidating class enemies, proceeds to clamp down on those liberated).

Returning to Dawson, he is obviously no fan of Sison:

Sison was last seen in public in Southeast Asia while receiving the 1986 SeaWrite Award for essay writing and poetry. The award, for his collection Prison and Beyond, was handed over at an Oriental hotel gala in Bangkok, during which Mr Sison was treated as a celebrity, rather than the celebrity-killer many even then believed him to be.

And he says the party purges were true, regardless of whether or not Sison’s culpability is proven in court:

The killings were diabolical, meticulously planned by the communist leadership, which in turn was directly under Mr Sison and a tiny cabal of cadre. They were located both inside the Philippines and outside, mostly in the Netherlands.

Whatever Mr Sison’s specific involvement, now to be finally examined by a court, the CPP leadership concocted and carried out three, separate mass-murder plans, each in a different part of the country. They aimed at rooting out what the fearful leaders were convinced was a massive and successful attempt to infiltrate the communist movement with government informants and supporters…

The worst of the Philippine massacres was Operation Zombie in the far south, in which at least 1,000 Communist Party soldiers and members were slain by their fellow revolutionaries. In what became a trademark of the Philippines version of the killing fields, almost all victims were brutally and violently butchered by specific party order, so that the survivors would never forget what could lie in store for them if they tried to hurt the communist leadership.

A second massacre was on the mountain ridges in the shade of Mount Banahaw, where communist functionaries killed about 200 mostly young people in what they gleefully called ”Oplan Missing Link”. As explained later by survivors and confirmed by senior party members, ”Missing Link” was designed to purge informers in a manner that would intimidate all others, supporters and innocent villagers alike.

Contrasting views on the man are starkly demonstrated by two bloggers.

There’s tonyo, who takes an admiring, even loving, view of the man:

And finally, there’s Jose Maria Sison or Ka Joema or Ka Joma or just Ka Joe. His infectious laughter and self-deprecating style of sharing jokes almost immediately shattered whatever misconceptions we had about him. He laughs really heartily and what makes us always laugh when we were with him was when he tells his brand of jokes that were “pilyo” or naughty.

He was a very exceptional fellow, an intelligent man and an obedient husband to Ka Julie. Talking with him nd listening to him makes him wonder why the Philippine government continues to demonize him. Does his words really hurt them? Do they honestly believe that this exile and political refugee who still cannot speak Dutch can actually direct and manage the NPA in the Philippines direct from Utrecht?

On the other hand, Miron sa Amerika (who has not had the good fortune of being personally charmed by Joma) argues that Sison is a political dinosaur:

Letters from “Armando Guerrero” — I always thought Joma chose an apt pseudonym — provided a glimpse about his totalitarian mindset. I thought, here was a man so thoroughly convinced about the superiority of his ideas, so ruthless in his predilections that I was ready to believe the worse of what was being said about him. I shuddered at the thought of this ideologue running the Philippines.

Even after the Soviet Union collapsed, even after China started experimenting with her brand of neo-socialism, and with much of the world shifting away from armed struggle, Joma doggedly held on to his convinction that “political change only came from the barrel of a gun”.

Until now, I marvel at how he could, in his mind, repudiate reality so articulately. But even his genius is suspect, at least for me, when the CPP-NPA failed to exploit the opening of the 1986 People Power revolt. They were at their peak, armed partisans were inside the capital, the military was in flux — and yet they did nothing. Pinulot sila sa pancitan. It was all downhill after that.

Joma’s time, along with his idea of armed struggle, is long past. He would be irrelevant were it not for government’s corruption, the military’s excesses and the Filipinos’ own reluctance to openly reject violence as an instrument of change. But I believe Joma had vision ripe and compelling for his era; it just failed to evolve with changing realities. If he were a dinosaur, I would certainly count Joma as a T-Rex, formidable and fearsome but extinct, nevertheless.

Not that Miron’s views would get more than short shrift from Sison’s admirers. Passionate (dis)Attachments responds to a friend who asked why she hadn’t yet spoken up:

Needless to say that Sison’s arrest is not exactly an ‘event’ in the manner that Badiou defines an event. An ‘event’ belongs to a wager that one hopes will never be legitimate, since all legitimacy belongs to the existing coordinates of the system. The Dutch government with its recently established ties with the Arroyo regime is not capable of realizing an ‘event.’ Sison, on the other hand, and precisely because of his communist wager, is.

What is lamentable in this situation is, therefore, Capital’s (because Capital = State until a proletarian seizure of the latter) symbolic attempt to rob the ‘event’ by capturing a symbolic figure of and for the ‘event’ that is bound to happen anyway. Sison is not the first victim of the State’s apparatus of capture.

Political killings and enforced disappearances happen almost everyday. The academe and its hegemonic claim via postmodernism that ‘there is no event’, that nothing actually happens since we do not have a standard of truth by which we could really see what happens, (If stupidity were a disease, then this world would have been a better place.Unfortunately, stupidity is a prerequisite for academic tenure. So once again, fuck you )is resposible for the contemporary intellectual scene, leaving young minds with a dogmatic belief in interpassivity as a more viable option (now this is criminal! therefore, fuck you). The ideology of the stable, heterosexual-suburban-middle class family simply sucks the potential brilliance out of every kid regardless of class origins. (And I have seen people who have been dwarfed by this family disease. Anwyay, fuck you).

The views of the supporters of Sison are plentiful online. Those of his critics not coming from military circles less so. Two books make for engrossing reading: “Red Revolution: Inside the Philippine Guerilla Movement” (Gregg R. Jones) and Breaking Through: The Struggle within the Communist Party of the Philippines (Joel Rocamora) which won a National Book Award (there are others, but in general I only recommend books I’ve actually read. However, Project for Critical Asian Studies points to useful readings).

My view on the issue of Sison’s arrest is this: having sought asylum in the Netherlands, having resorted to Dutch and European courts to counter other charges against him, Sison must submit to the Dutch courts. If we welcome European pressure in terms of human rights, then when their systems of justice operates, who can complain? It is not as if Sison will run the risks a trial at home would entail: torture, possible liquidation, political pressure trumping the justice system, etc. (yet I’ve never understood how he can point to court cases as vindicating him, when his goal is to topple the system, including the law; in which case a judgment even in his favor by a Philippine court isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, if Sison’s ideological premises are to be believed).

He will be treated humanely and accorded every opportunity to clear his name. He might even be acquitted, and if he is, then it will go a long way to substantiate the claims he’s made all along he’s just an old Marxist pensioner puttering around Ulrecht writing poems and singing karaoke.

We can’t be for one-sided justice, either: relentless in pursuit of military abuses but turning a blind eye to revolutionary murders. But neither does finally bringing Sison to justice suddenly prove the military was right all along. Along these lines, I invite you to read Murder, they Wrought by Bobby Garcia (a victim of the purges, and who pointed out the NPA didn’t torture soldiers to prove their moral ascendancy, but tortured their own comrades when required: you can read an excerpt from his book online):

It is important for the State to recognize the fact that murdering its political opponents, apart from being violative of fundamental principles, would not even help them in the first place. Such policy would simply generate sympathy for their enemies, and it cannot possibly escape international scrutiny. These killings need to be condemned. At the very least, even if you do not agree with the victims’ political choice, the killers are even denying them the chance to change their minds. At the most, who is to stop them from targeting you next?

The CPP-NPA, meantime cannot be blame-free. As Miriam Ferrer puts it:

“Part of the effectiveness of the language of anti-communism and resultant alienation is also due to the CPP-NPA-NDF themselves — their excesses (revolutionary taxation of rich and poor, infliction of punishments), own pandering of violence and machismo, their inclusivity and dogmatic framing of Philippine society and politics, and their counter-monologue to the state’s anti-communist mantra. The purges, the CPP-NPA-NDF hopefully recognizes by now, cannot be simply forgotten without full retribution and honest accounting before former and present comrades and the greater public. The ghosts of murdered comrades will haunt the party forever. And though not particularly convincing to explain away the recent spate of political killings among those who study their politics, and revolting for the disrespect shown the dead lying in mass graves, the purges of the 80s and 90s will remain scraps (war material) to poke around with, in the AFP and police forces’ psywar ops.”

Hence, the problem with all this is that we have a case where the the pot and the pan are both calling each other dark and greasy. The AFP and the CPP-NPA hold dismal human rights records, thus when one squeaks about violations, the other can easily squawk: “Look who’s talking!” Credibility automatically becomes suspect when an armed group that has fired too many rounds on human flesh accuses its enemy as being too violent.What we are seeing now is a bloody spiral, and we’re getting dizzy.

Indeed. Sison should face the accusations squarely, secure in the knowledge he will be getting a trial his comrades could only dream of in Manila. There is a reason former cadres have called for his trial and people on the opposite side of the ideological fence are exulting over his arrest. And it can’t all be propaganda.

See The Great Left Divide in PCIJ, and Rebelmind for an explanation of the schism within the Left.

In other news, Senate votes to reopen ‘Garci’ case; playing tape on hold. Which is a pity. My column for today, Bluffing, was kind of hoping they’d play the tapes and call Santiago’s bluff.

At this point let me point to the Committee Report by the House of Representatives on its investigations of the Garci Tapes. The whole thing is a valuable resource, with a time line, a digest of testimony, the findings, then recommendations, of the hearings. Here it is:
Committee Report No 1653

And let me reproduce the House’s discussion on two crucial questions. First, the Anti-Wiretapping Law and whether the tapes could be played in public, and second, what were the national security implications of the whole controversy?

First, as to the playing of the tapes. A lengthy extract, but if you read it, I think you’ll agree it’s a useful crash course in the law and how lawyers approach controversial questions. It begins by describing the circumstances surround the Anti-Wiretapping Law and the principles upon which it’s based, and its provisions:

The existence of the so-called Garci Tapes highlighted two important concerns, to wit: the opposing interests of an individual’s right to privacy and the right of the public to know matters of direct and intense public interest, such as election fraud.

RA 4200 was enacted for the precise purpose of protecting without any exception whatsoever the privacy of communication. The 1935 Constitution, the prevailing Charter at the time RA 4200 was passed in 1965 provided that:

“The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except under lawful order of the court or when public safety and order require otherwise.” (Article III, Section 5 of the Bill of Rights)

This same right was again enshrined in the 1973 Constitution specifically in Article IV, Sections 4(1) and (2) which state that:

“The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except under lawful order of the court or when public safety and order require otherwise.”

“Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.”

These same provisions are likewise guaranteed in the present 1987 Constitution, Article III, Section 3(1) and 2).

Accordingly, any illegally wiretapped recording of a conversation in violation of RA 4200 “shall not be admissible in evidence in any judicial, quasi-judicial, legislative or administrative hearing or investigation” (Section 4, RA 4200). This ban is all encompassing and must include “any proceeding” as provided for in the Constitution. Consequently, the ban extends to congressional investigations and possibly even impeachments.

The foregoing prohibition is lifted or does not apply in only two instances, namely: (1) when all parties have authorized the recording (Section 1 of RA 4200); and (2) when the wiretapping is authorized by a written order of a competent Regional Trial Court upon written application and examination under oath or affirmation “in cases involving crimes of treason, espionage, provoking war and disloyalty in case of war, piracy, mutiny in the high seas, rebellion, sedition, conspiracy to commit sedition, inciting to sedition, kidnapping as defined by the Revised Penal Code, and violations of Commonwealth Act No. 616, punishing espionage and other offenses against national security (Sec. 3 of RA 4200). In short there is only one legal basis for publishing or otherwise using a wiretapped conversation, and that is if it was authorized by a court order.

What is protected is the privacy of communication irrespective as to whether the parties are private persons or public officials. However, if the conversation or spoken word is uttered in a public manner, the protection does not apply. This legislative intent is clear in Senate deliberations on the law.

In Navarro v. Court of Appeals (GR No. 121087, August 26 1999) the Supreme Court had the occasion to distinguish between private and public communications, describing the latter as the kind conducted in a manner that the parties to the conversation know and will allow it to be overheard. The public character as opposed to the privacy of communications has nothing to do with the contents of the same.

This brings us to the issue of how R.A. 4200, could be enforced without requiring the subject of an illegal wiretap to come out publicly by filing a complaint, thereby linking the embarrassing contents of an illegal wiretap with himself or herself. It was repeatedly stressed by legal experts that the President’s failure to come forward and formally complain against the illegal wiretap and order the prosecution of the same – indeed her refusal to seek a judicial injunction against its playing, not to mention mass reproduction and sale – meant that the law was not broken because no one had come forward as a victim of the crime.

Yet violation of RA 4200 is a public crime, the offended party should be the State or the People of the Philippines. Thus the law should be enforceable even without a particular complainant and even against those who so much as claim to be uttering illegal wiretap recordings without need of having to authenticate the same. This is debatable, probably intensely so, but the law might be amended to allow for another distinction to be legally recognized between the public and private character of conversations, so as to allow the evidentiary admission of wiretapped conversations; and that is if it would serve a critically important public interest such as the prosecution of impeachable or national security offenses.

At this point, the House then says it had to wrestle with a dilemma: should public or private interest prevail?

Whether we should allow the admission of even illegally wiretapped conversations on these limited grounds turns on how Congress weighs the competing interests of privacy on the one hand and the need to deter the use of new technology to further political crimes like election fraud. In short, are public officials entitled to the privacy of their conversations involving solicitations to crime?

As the law now stands, mere possession let alone manufacture, not to mention publicity of illegally wiretapped material is criminal. And yet the rapid and extensive proliferation of the so-called Garci tapes, in willful disregard of the patent illegality of the same, in addition to their being publicly played by a Joint Committee of Congress, has, in our view, eroded the authority and credibility of the law. Either the severe and all-encompassing character of RA 4200 is reaffirmed by new legislation or relaxed to accommodate the politically charged character of illegal wiretaps, such as that of the so-called Garci tapes.

The belated appearance of Garcillano and his unwavering refusal to give responsive answers to any questions relating to the so-called Garci tapes showed how wrong the Committee, the opposition, the public and the press were to have put so much importance on Garcillano’s testimony.

Where the constitutional mandate of the Committees to conduct the inquiry comes into conflict with public interest and privacy issues that may be invoked under the law, the Committees were guided by the opinions of the country’s legal experts as follows:

“The right to privacy protected by the Constitution under RA 4200 must be balanced against the right of the people to information under the Constitution.”

“… nothing is more vital to the democratic polity than the issue of who was elected president in the last elections and whether or not the democratic processes have been distorted. Now that the president has authenticated the tape and admitted that hers is the voice on the tape, it is imperative that the people should get to know what their President had told a member of the independent constitutional commission and what the latter had replied.”
“The contents of the alleged wiretapped materials are not merely of private concern; they are matters of public interest.” … “Privacy concerns must give way when balanced against the interest in disseminating information of paramount public importance.”

The House report then discusses how its legal minds responded to legal arguments proposed to the congressmen. They made up their own minds:

The Joint Committee does not adopt as definitive any or all of the legal opinions offered. At least one of them appears to be based on a misreading of the celebrated case of New York Times Co. v. United States [The Pentagon Papers Case] which qualified its decision to allow publication of so-called national security documents in the interest of the public’s right to information and freedom of expression by adding, through Justices Douglas and Black, that “[t]here is, moreover, no statute barring the publication by the press of the material which the Times and Post seek to use.” While Justices Stewart and White, stressed that “[I]n the cases before us we are asked neither to construe specific regulations nor to apply specific laws. We are asked instead to perform a function that the Constitution gave to the Executive, not the Judiciary.”

But in the Philippines, there is such a statute barring the public disclosure of certain information; to wit, Republic Act 4200. So that the situation would be akin to that in Snepp v. United States, where the Court held that the failure of a CIA agent – who had signed a confidentiality agreement with the CIA yet failed to get CIA permission for the publication of his memoirs – even if the government conceded that they divulged no confidential information – created a constructive trust over the proceeds of the publication in favor of the government. If that was so with regard to a general law like contracts, what more a specific enactment such as R.A. 4200.

And they played the tapes, and pointed out what this meant:

In any case, the Joint Committee ultimately voted to play the tapes on the insistence of the majority of its members for tactical political reasons. And it did so with the repeated caveat that the Joint Committee was not treating them as authentic, or that their content was true or admissible as evidence for any purpose. It was listening to the tapes merely as part of the narrative of the witnesses who presented the same or as “reference materials.” It must be noted that the Joint Committee made no disclaimer to the witnesses about their criminal liability for introducing the tapes or admitting to handling them so that they testified at their peril. Yet, curiously, the government has shown no interest in prosecuting these clear violations of law.

The so called Garci tapes were played in open session. But to what effect this has on the authority of the law has yet to be determined. Fr. Bernas had suggested that it would be more prudent for the tapes to be played in executive session to minimize the legal fallout. Did the playing of the tapes in public by the law-making branch of government effectively create an exception to the blanket prohibition in R.A. 4200 to the use of the products of illegal wiretaps? Do we have here an implicit congressional repeal? Might it be said that the production and playing of the Garci tapes in Congress and by Congress decriminalized the same, so that it can now be authenticated by the admission of those who conducted the wiretap without peril of prosecution? Can the contents of the tapes as captured in the House of Representatives transcripts of stenographic notes be now received in evidence for purposes of congressional proceedings, such as impeachments, or a prosecution for election fraud? Is there a need to reenact the anti-wiretapping law because of what transpired in the joint hearings? Perhaps these questions will get definitive answers when a comprehensive review of the law is finally undertaken in more sober circumstances. But to be consistent, the Congress that played admittedly illegal wiretaps should proceed to legislate a legal exception for itself.

by so doing, flaws in the law became clear (to the congressmen):

The hearings also showed the deficiencies of RA 4200 as a potentially powerful legal tool in the prevention, detection and prosecution of serious crimes. Enacted on 19 June 1965 and never amended since, the concerns raised during the discussions show that the law needs to be updated to accommodate unanticipated improvements in communications technology, as well as unprecedented political situations, particularly on the following provisions and salient concerns:

1. In Section 1 of RA 4200, the modes of communication that can be open to legitimate wiretapping appear to be limited by the prevailing technology at the time of its enactment — “…to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept or record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or dectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape recorder,…” It could be construed as having failed fatally to anticipate novel technologies and services such as digital or wireless communication. In the strict construction required of penal laws, this shortcoming could favor the accused and prove fatal to a criminal prosecution based even on authorized wiretaps.

Novel and unanticipated wiretapping technology at the time of the law’s enactment might be deemed excluded from the penal law’s strictly circumscribed coverage. Still, we are satisfied that, in the present case of the so-called “Garci tapes,” the phrases “any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear intercept or record” adequately covers even the new technology by which the Garci tapes may have been made. We can conclude, therefore, that the recording of the same is fully covered by the existing language of the law. Nonetheless, a clearer language covering to both existing and future possible technologies via an amendment or new law may be called for; (italics supplied)

2. Section 3 of the same law only specifies a limited range of crimes for which legitimate wiretapping can be sought, to wit,”… crimes of treason, espionage, provoking war and disloyalty in case of war, piracy, mutiny in the high seas, rebellion, conspiracy, …” This covers mostly national security offenses. The emergence of organized crime groups that are able to exploit modern digital telecommunications has put law enforcement at a distinct and severe disadvantage. For example, it is virtually impossible to conduct a drug buy-bust operation with cellular phones able to alert the suspects to pull out of a “deal” before police agents can swoop in. The new and eminently portable communications technology has greatly enhanced the ease and impunity with which other serious crimes can be committed.

An amended law should now include drug trafficking, bank robbery, kidnap-for-ransom, human trafficking, white slavery, child pornography, illegal recruitment, including acts constituting impeachable offenses as some of the crimes which could be covered by a court order authorizing wiretapping.

3. The NBI has denied possessing even the capability to conduct interception and other wiretapping activities. While the ISAFP has admitted that it can tap landlines or land based cable/wire phones, it has likewise denied any capability to wiretap cellular telephones. Both the major telecommunications companies, Globe and Smart, have also denied possessing equipment capable of conducting electronic intercepts or of having allowed at any time in the past the use of their equipment by law enforcement agencies authorized to conduct the same for the prevention or detection of crimes, such as kidnapping.

It would be frightening to believe the ISAFP’s and the NBI’s firm assertions of technical impotence in the field of modern surveillance. It would put the country on the watchlist of countries abetting, deliberately or by neglect, organized crime such as drug trafficking and terrorism.

The Joint Committee believes that the following needs to be done: 1) Congress should make sufficient budgetary allocations to enable law enforcement and national security agencies to conduct modern surveillance and, equally imperative 2) strictly control and monitor the possession, acquisition and use of modern surveillance instruments by these agencies, severely punishing their unauthorized acquisition and use, extending to their publication. It was the sense of Congress in a recent and related piece of legislation, to wit, RA 9160, as amended, The Anti-Money Laundering Law, that one of the most effective ways of protecting the confidentiality of records and communications is to explicitly and severely penalize their disclosure and publication. RA 9160 therefore included the media within the scope of the prohibition and made it liable for the publication of confidential information, with the aim of discouraging the extortion and blackmail of public officials and private persons by media practitioners.

4. R.A. 4200 does not explicitly mandate the cooperation and assistance of telecommunications service providers or other similar private entities equipped with up-to-date equipment and facilities through which electronic surveillance might be conducted.

Several countries such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Puerto Rico, have enacted laws giving legal authority to law enforcement agencies to conduct surveillance and intercept communications, and for that purpose obligating telecommunication carriers to assist in this endeavor, subject to judicial authorization. This is called the “Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act” or the CALEA.

A provision responsive to this issue is included in several proposed bills under deliberation in plenary. The Joint Committee believes and recommends, however, that this specific matter should be further studied. The Committee on Public Order and Security and the Committee on Justice should undertake a comprehensive study and determine whether we need similar legislation in this area.

Next, national security:

The Joint Committee was not able to establish that the ISAFP or the NBI were responsible for the Garci tapes which involved cellular phone conversations. Both denied the technical capability to do it. But the Joint Committee uncovered that at least one such equipment - GSM Cellular Phone Interceptors and Transmitters capable of intercepting digital cellular phones - existed in the NBI. On 7 July 2005 Rep. Jesus Crispin Remulla submitted documents showing the acquisition of such equipment in Y2000/2001, thus showing that, at one time, the NBI had it. NBI Director General Wycoco denied the NBI’s capability to wiretap “at the moment,” though he later qualified his statement by saying that such equipment as the NBI had was, as he put it, a “lemon.”

But, according to the affidavit of NBI Regional Director Carlos Saunar, these particular wiretapping equipment were handed over to Atty. Samuel Ong on 4 July 2001 and on 30 July 2001 or immediately thereafter upon the verbal instructions of Wycoco. Atty. Saunar stated in his affidavit that at the time of turnover to Atty. Ong, the equipment did work. Ong’s refusal to appear in person denies Saunar’s testimony the corroboration it needs.

The Joint Committee had received information that some of our law enforcement and other intelligence agencies such as the former Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) or its spin-off, the current Presidential Anti-Crime and Emergency Response (PACER) do have the capability to intercept communications on digital cellular phones, which are being used for anti-kidnapping and anti-terrorists operations. But it is unable to say with any confidence if the information is true. It may just be a useful fiction intended as a deterrent to the use of cellular phones in crimes.

The Joint Committee is fairly certain that, whatever the condition of the wiretap recordings – original or altered – it was former COMELEC Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano who was the subject of the wiretap and not the other parties he was allegedly conversing with. Only Ong’s direct testimony on the manner in which the wiretap was conducted could have established the truth. The closest that the Joint Committee might have come to the truth was by consulting the phone records of the alleged parties to the alleged wiretapped conversations, contemporaneous with the time the same are alleged to have taken place. A legal opinion submitted by Dean Agabin stated that the phone companies could submit these phone records without violating the privacy of the persons involved. But time had run out on the Joint Committee. As Congress prepared to reconvene, the action shifted to the 2005 impeachment proceedings.

Regardless of who was the intended victim of the interception, the Joint Committee is very much concerned that the President of the Philippines and other high officials of the government can be victimized by wiretaps. Such activities can compromise national security, not least by exposing these officials to blackmail and extortion that would, most likely, affect the performance of their duties and subvert their fidelity to the public trust.

There is compelling reason to conduct a review of not only the capabilities of law enforcement agencies to conduct effective surveillance and intercept operations, but also the manner in which classified information or intelligence materials are handled and treated. Specifically, the following should be given importance:

1. Conduct an audit of existing technological capabilities of law enforcement and national security agencies for wiretapping and other forms of electronic surveillance;

2. Review how the above agencies handle intelligence material. That the wiretapped material in question, if authentic, may have been leaked, sold and otherwise illegally disclosed, for whatever purpose, underscores the careless, cavalier, not to say criminal fashion in which intelligence material is handled by the military. This is eloquently exemplified by General Quevedo’s testimony that although he had heard about the CDs, these did not appear important to them (ISAFP) and were even surprised when the CDs were presented to the media. At the time of his testimony on 13 July 2005, he had not bothered to listen to the CDs.

Similarly, the NBI averred utter indifference toward what could well be a wiretap of presidential conversations and refused to budge or even consider investigating the provenance of the so called Garci Tapes even after they blossomed into a full-blown political crisis marked by bitter political divisions, as well as shameless dodging of the issues on one hand, and grandstanding on the other.

Both agencies are hereby reprimanded for their cavalier attitude toward a development that, unchecked, swelled into a national crisis. Even if the so-called Garci tapes had not been authenticated, the fact that it sounded like the President’s voice in the wiretapped conversations and the apparent breach in security should have been a cause for grave alarm.

3. In relation to the above, there is, too, the case of T/Sgt. Doble, who according to his testimony, was approached by Ong to “own up” to the wiretapping in exchange for two million pesos. This happened in the Imperial Hotel on Timog Avenue, which is highly identified with the entertainment industry. He was, however, contradicted, by his lover, Marietta Santos, who testified that it was, in fact, Doble who sold the tapes to Ong for the said amount in that hotel. Regardless of who was telling the truth, Doble should be held accountable for his actions in this issue. As an officer in the Philippine Air Force, and as an agent of ISAFP, his participation in this drama raises questions about his integrity and conduct. Doble must be held liable for violations of the Articles of War, as amended, specifically Articles 63, 67, 84, 95, and 97 and the AFP Code of Ethics, Sections 1.2 and 2.8 of Article III and Sections 3.1, 4.1.2, 4.1.3 and 4.4.8 of Article V.

4. The Committee on National Defense and Security shall exercise its oversight powers and conduct further investigation into the management of intelligence information. In the matter of the subject tapes, their authenticity should be firmly established or definitively disproved to the extent possible, and their real provenance established, so that if the intelligence agencies are shown to have been involved, the officials concerned should be held accountable.

5. Congress should endeavor to promote and preserve professionalism in the AFP and other national security agencies. Legislation should institutionalize these reforms. Congress, particularly the pertinent committees, should exercise oversight powers more firmly, demand higher standards, and conduct a sharper scrutiny of the appointment and promotion of officers in the AFP and other agencies involved in national security.

The section of the report covering technology, might be of interest to other, tech-oriented bloggers, I don’t know. But anyway, read the report: it shows what is considered factually established, what remains unknown, and what has already been covered in terms of the legal arguments.

For most people, though, it is this extract from near the end of the report, that will be the most interesting. I myself have said many times before, most recently in my column today, that the cover-up conducted by the Palace in the wake of the tapes, was enough to damn it. Apparently, the House believed so, at least to a certain extent. It heaps blame on all parties concerned, which will please both sides of the political fence. So let’s close today’s entry with the House report’s findings:

The brunt of Minority Floor Leader, Rep. Francis Escudero’s privilege speech was that the government was unfairly blaming the opposition in the House for the illegal wiretaps, their disclosure and the resulting political instability.

The opposition repeatedly denied that it had or could have had anything to do with the so-called Garci tapes and the resulting instability. Nothing said in the joint hearings belied its claim of innocence, not to say inutility, particularly when the government itself denied referring to the opposition in the House.

It cannot be denied that former Senator Tatad belongs to the opposition. Mr. Tatad admitted that he gave Atty. Paguia the two audio cassette tapes from which Paguia’s 32-minute CDs were copied. Mr. Tatad has also stated his view that the Arroyo government is illegitimate.

It is therefore difficult to escape the conclusion that this so-called wiretap tapes, whether genuine in whole or in part, or completely fabricated, could have just materialized out of thin air and fallen fortuitously on the laps of the persons who brought them to public attention. Indeed, there is compelling reason to believe that, if not their production, then certainly their acquisition and subsequent publication were actively sought and were components of a plan involving several persons and considerable financial resources, with the aim of embarrassing the President into leaving office or, failing that, toppling the government by the political mass action generated by the scandal. Who were the persons involved, the Joint Committee cannot say; almost everyone who passionately invoked the tapes as authentic was even more vehement in denying any knowledge that could prove its authenticity or having had anything to do with the tapes.

While it is unfair if not impossible to require proof of a negative – to wit, that the alleged conversations in the so-called Garci tapes did not take place – on the contrary, the President confessed and apologized that conversations, not necessarily the same, took place between herself and a COMELEC official – Malacañang was clearly at an utter loss to explain the tapes and, on at least one occasion, attempted a cover up.

This was when the Press Secretary’s claimed that of the two CDs he purportedly received from an anonymous source, one was original and the other tampered with. This only raised more issues and answered none. How did he know which was which? He later said he had relied on the labels of the CDs, one saying it was fake and the other genuine. But why would anyone send out a pair of contrasting tapes, one self-admittedly a fake and the other claiming to be a true reproduction? And why would Bunye rely on the labels? Was he adopting the labels as true? He appeared to have done so, claiming that one tape contained the President’s voice. But he later disowned his own statement.

In sum, on the one hand, a conspiracy clearly existed to topple the President by embarrassing her with the so-called Garci tapes; on the other hand, the administration could not and would not confront the tapes, contributed nothing towards arriving at the truth about them but on the contrary attempted a cover-up.

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    • rego on August 31, 2007 at 10:08 pm


    How did I scare you??? 😉

    • rego on August 31, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    oh yeah, nash, that argument number 1….ofw remittances…

    • BrianB on August 31, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    “the soldiers locked up now – trillanes, etc or even legendary combat officers like colonel querubin or parcon, who chose to be consistent with their values and turn away from prestige and power are people so credible to me. i’d listen to their opinions and beliefs, cos these are people who would stick to their stands no matter what. konti na lang ang ganito sa mundo dahil lahat, egotistic yabang opportunist idiots.”

    No, there are a lot of principled people. You need principles if you want stability, especially poor people. Opportunists are the people in power who think principles are a total waste of time. Indeed, if all you want in life is power and money, principles get in the way of that.

    But we all got to live, and it’s not only the rich and powerful who have the right to enjoy his life.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on August 31, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    Cvj, I was just intrigued when MB said that DJB was taken from detention and brought straight to a plane for the US. What was conjured in my mind was the CIA rescuing one of its assets.

    Perhaps, he never really was a communist. Perhaps, he really never changed ideologies.

    DJB a DPA. Certainly, that would make for an interesting movie.

    Okay, I’m imagining things.

  1. Haahahaha! “Cvj, I was just intrigued when MB said that DJB was taken from detention and brought straight to a plane for the US. What was conjured in my mind was the CIA rescuing one of its assets.”

    Great imagination, Shaman!

    But here’s some more material for your script (Tom Clancynesque)…

    What is also intriguing is Djb’s proclamation of his admiration for General Yano who was one of those young ‘uns from the PMA who were used (and abused) to stregthen the muscle of the military operating under Martial Law then – who hounded and tortured his colleagues and fellow young left-wingers working with and for Joma.

    Fortunately, we all know now that Djb was already long gone, having been promptly spirited from the hellhole at Camp Crame or Aguinaldo by his ‘truest friends’ the Americans and had been thoroughly ‘debriefed’ somewhere in the US of A when current PA strongman General Yano started flexing his martial law muscles back in the mid 70s so there cannot be any connect between the two. In other words, I don’t suspect there’s anything between Djb and Yano today even if he praises Yano to high heavens.

    But Shaman, there’s potential spice to add to your script if you please: The military folks who ‘manhandled’ young Communist Djb back in the early days of Marcos’ martial rule may be long gone from the AFP but surprisingly, are still to be found in the service of Gloria – they are either members of her cabinet or are ambassadors while many are occupying juicy positions in govt sequestered corporations. These were the same junior military folks then who were responsible for liquidating the troops of Joma.

    (OK, ok, Dean, laugh this one off, ok? I suspect though that you must be tickled pink that people are now raising your life story with the communists and the neocons as proper movie material! Heheheh!)

    • watchful eye on September 1, 2007 at 12:41 am

    well, the difference between truth and fiction is which one is sexed-up?

    • Shaman of Malilipot on September 1, 2007 at 12:46 am

    Thanks, MBW.

    Now, the plot thickens.

    • DJB on September 1, 2007 at 12:58 am

    I’ll make the movie if you guys play the various other parts. Of course I shall write the script and assign the roles.

    Shall we start now?

    • DJB on September 1, 2007 at 1:15 am


    How Ninoy Aquino Escaped Death During the Plaza Miranda Bombing

    Dramatis Personae

    Jose Maria Sison — played by Shaman of Malilipot, you have to practice cackling a lot and making like a praying mantis with your hands and adjusting your glasses with your middle finger to the forehead. You plan the Plaza Miranda Bombing intending to blame it on Marcos.

    Kumander Dante and Danny Cordero — played by cvj, you get to throw the grenades, but you really have to practice missing the stage on the second throw.

    Jovito Salonga — played by a narrator who is reading from his book revealing the true story of the Plaza Miranda bombing. Karl Garcia.

    Imelda and Cardinal Sin– MBW you can play her because it’s the only woman part, and him coz he wears skirts too and will dance with the dictator for 14 years before People Power saves his soul from eternal damnation.

    Ferdinand Marcos … Rego?

    Ninoy Aquino … MLQ3?

    I play the role of deep penetration agent in another movie that is rated X and has nothing to do with the real life story that unfolded all those long years ago, when the CPPNPA fooled all the people all the time, and still do for some.

    • DJB on September 1, 2007 at 1:23 am

    You know I’m not even sadistic, but I think you folks are such gluttons for punishment, you gotta get checked for adult-onset masochism.

  2. Hahahahhaha! You can be absolutely, d e l i c i o u s l y, divinely drole when you get cracking!

    Hmmm… btw, that x-rated film role you appropriated for yourself – it has nothing to do with Ferdie’s, er… Rego’s vocal wish “Oh how I wish sexual you can do the same with your sexual orientation….. “, now, has it?

    • Shaman of Malilipot on September 1, 2007 at 1:48 am

    What? No role for MB?

    Sorry, MBW, the Dean isn’t laughing.


    • Shaman of Malilipot on September 1, 2007 at 1:57 am

    Deep penetration? X rated?

    Must be the lateness of the hour.

    I’m turning in.

  3. Ah! But Shaman, that’s why he is drole!

    On second thought – the story doesn’t end there… Victor Corpuz, the traitor, the legendary defector twice over first to Joma’s camp to become chief NPA tactician and back to the AFP as ISAFP chief was the hero of a generation – Djb’s (generation) to be precise and celebrated author of The Invisible Army and who was feted quite recently in the US. Now, where does he come in? It was La Sallite Corpuz who revealed (and not under torture) that Joma ordered the bombing of Plaza Miranda and not Marcos.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on September 1, 2007 at 2:02 am

    “the legendary defector twice over first to Joma’s camp to become chief NPA tactician and back to the AFP”

    For a while, I thought you were talking about the Dean.

    I’m definitely going to bed.

    • BrianB on September 1, 2007 at 3:51 am

    “BrianB (@August 31st, 2007 at 2:19 am), i agree. I think the Magdalos’ ideology/principles are more compatible with the aspirations of the majority of Filipinos. I think the next threat to the elite will come from an awakened Filipino foot-soldier.”

    Am I the only one who thinks the elite are weak. They are at their weakest right now: dependent on OFWs, beseiged pretenders in business and in politics. After Edsa 3 they met their nightmare for the first time, and then there is the fact that they don’t really impress anyone abroad. Not the Europeans, not the Americans, not even other Southeast Asians. Now, if indeed the communist threat would be finally resolved, they’ll lose their only legitimate scapegoat (this is not an oxymoron). No, CVJ, not their next threat but the end-game. I just hope it won’t be bloody.

    • leo on September 1, 2007 at 6:35 am

    The ZTE BB deal is TREASONOUS. Simple.

    While the gov’t is pursuing the communist insurgents in the hills the usurper in Malacanang is surrendering control of our economy to Communist China.

    Gloria’s Red Scare propaganda covers up for her ‘Red Tide’ secret deals.

    Gloria is the more serious threat to national security than Joma.

    An Occupying Force is running this country.

    Rebellion is fighting against a duly constituted gov’t.

    What is called for is a liberation movement to liberate, free the Philippines from an Ocuppying Force.

    • leo on September 1, 2007 at 6:47 am

    Communist Chinese invasion by Gloria’s invitation:

    North Rail – deal with state-owned Communist China company, under the jurisdiction of Chinese court.

    Large Scale mining concessions.

    Hundreds of thousands of prime agrilands under Chinese control.

    ZTE BB deal.

    DepEd computerized edu project.

    Made in China goods dumped/smuggled into the country killing domestic agri and industrial producers.

    • leo on September 1, 2007 at 7:02 am


    “I think the next threat to the elite will come from an awakened Filipino foot-soldier.”

    Let’s talk about the more serious threats to national security and, of course, the ‘human security’ of Filipinos who are victims of poverty and rising criminilaty at home and who are abused, murdered and raped abroad.

    We need an enlightened Citizenry – masa, soldiers including the elite – to save this country and secure the well-being of our people.

    • ramrod on September 1, 2007 at 7:11 am

    Goodness leo, you’re starting to sound like the Americans.

  4. So I am the narrator,reading from the book of Sen Salonga, I mean your script.

    Kelan shooting Direk?

    Ay scripwriter ka nga pla,sino director?

    Tapos deep Ttroat ka pa,I mean deep penetration agent.

    Are you sure this is just an X rated film,not XXX

    Anong Inanarate ko kung XXX,walang storya lahat yon eh,ad lib lahat.

    • ramrod on September 1, 2007 at 8:14 am

    Let the military be free from politics. They have a code of conduct that defines them and the chain of command that ensures efficiency and effectivity. The earlier attempts of “reforming the military” only served to open Pandora’s box and brought confusion in the ranks of the noble profession of arms. The military if left by itself devoid of any political influence is a living organism that is capable of policing itself. If you look closely there are SOPs (standard operating procedures) for every imaginable scenario from logistics, training, grievances, I mean everything. A soldier can be very good at his job because his life is simple, he has a mission, he has objectives, and he is focused at meeting these objectives thereby accomplishing the mission. At the helm is the officer corps, embued albeit forcefully with principles in a manner not even the best schools in the land can emulate. For four years they repeat a mantra “we the cadets do not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate others who do so.” Someone can even be dismissed if he eats his room mate’s cookie without permission, or use his hankie for that matter. Isolated and left to do their job, they are the best at it. But then again, this organization is not self-supporting. Herein lies the influence of the ones handling the purse strings, the civilian committees dangling the promotions, the budgets, etc. Top that with civilian suppliers in mini skirts or would-be-golf-buddies tempting the logistics officers with untold riches and pleasure. The military is only as good as its officers because of the chain of command, but if the weak link is the officer, the whole organization will weaken. The good ones can discern who these weak links are but unfortunately the strength that makes them good officers makes them inept at politics and in frustration they vent out in ways that violates the chain of command and are punished by the rules they have followed religiously all those years. Politics in the military is two-edged sword, it can serve to “awaken the foot soldier” or strengthen the positions of those corrupt soldiers already embedded in its ranks. Bottomline, the foot soldier always loses. Just look at Querubin, Trillanes, etc. We don’t even have to look far, just ask Biazon. There a lot of promising career officers who left the military and are in the private sector now and I believe they made the right choice. But for those who stayed I salute them, they are living the dream steadfastly.

  5. enlightened citizenry?

    Knowing is not enough,nowadays, It is not even half the battle.

    All mentioned: combination of masses,soldiers and elite already happened,and what happened…wala di ba?

    I might agree with BianB that the elite here is at its weakest.But don’t forget that these are businessmen with outside contacts and funding as well.

    The soldiers: ramking, hierarchy and organization apeal to the right,and its force or numbers apeal to the left.But,it can not act alone.

    And wonder why we have so much money during elections.
    All the money is laundered from drug money,gambling money,to revolutionary taxes,church money, corporations… Bakit,I can speculate too.
    Dealing with China,who does not,almost all the manufacturing of not only US is already there,so even the US deals with China.
    The thing mentioned by CVJ about India,being saturated ,that is why many are relocating here.
    Common they have a billion people,there must be another reason. One could be the turnover there is much higher than in RP because many are degree holders and they treat outsourcing jobs as temporary jobs.Whichnis quite logical.
    And as a Filipino,the Americans prefer us because,the Indians are more into the British accent,even those who came back from the US. and others have hard tongues.

    So many are relocating from India to here,not because of saturation. Good for us!

    • ramrod on September 1, 2007 at 9:11 am

    I agree with Karl. The upsurge in OFWs and BPOs marks the emergence of a strong middle class increasing consumer spending and narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor. As we are living in an age of globalization, out only recourse is to be globally competitive – and we are, in more ways than one. Our OFWs, exports (electronics, etc.), and BPOs. The Europeans and Americans are scrambling to get a foothold in Asia’s fastest growing economy – China. The administration under GMA is doing one hell of a marketing job as I see it. Hell, we even have a San Miguel brewery in China already and Jet Li is in one commercial (talk about target market). Of course trade works both ways, we sell to China, they sell to us.
    The developed countries have mastered this skill, they can focus resources on developing markets (globally) while at the same time closing down non-performing assets (liabilities). We are actually (at the moment)capitalizing on our strengths. Unfortunately, the Philippines, as a market in itself is not that attractive. We have one of the worst prices in the region. I mean, a lot of businessmen want quality but don’t want to pay for it, but then again they end up buying cheap from mediocre (even inferior) sources and selling them at high prices. If this goes on, sooner or later European, even American business will avoid us, and we’ll be stuck with unregulated or substandard products which will in turn affect our output and further push us down the food chain. This is something the senate and congress can look at, even though its not as dramatic as “hello garci or hello papi” and cannot generate any media mileage it has long term implications.

    • bogchimash on September 1, 2007 at 9:17 am

    DJB’s shift towards the right could be consistency and not selling-out afterall. Since his days as an anti-estblishment warrior, the State has given in to many “commie” policies which they fought for in the streets. Probably there’s no more need for him to stay averse to the system. Those whose demands have been met but remain relentless in overthrowing the government are just anarchists.

    • ramrod on September 1, 2007 at 9:29 am

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    Now some people still believe in this and quite literally too…

    • DJB on September 1, 2007 at 10:42 am


    “No one falls under a simple set of labels”
    –Fleetwood Mac

    The Filipino Public leans decisively to the Right compared to many other countries like France, Belgium, if the metric is degree of trust and support for the US Government. We are closest to Israel and former vassal states of the old Soviet Union, like Poland.

    This was “discovered” recently by SWS when they participated in a 20 nation survey of world public opinion.

    In analysing the data, Mahar Mangahas noted a paradox. This silent majority opinion is not reflected in the Media, Academe and the Street, which have come increasingly to be dominated by the Left.

    So you are quite right that the Government itself is full of the old Leftists who’ve become its minor and major funmctionaries, consultants, publishers, editors, broadcasters, reporters, professors and other relative juicy social positions, compared at least to the workers,peasants, students and “our Muslim brethren” whom they pay lip service to as serving.

    They are serving themselves, and a few are still serving Joma. The former are okay by me, but it is the latter that ought to just stop and joint the Herd. Nothing wrong with that once in a score or two of years wasted in insane violence.

    Unfortunately for us, the Left provided the most cogent ideologies over the years, and many good people are in the thralls of their loopy fallacies, because there aren’t better ideas, or better counter-explainers with better ideas to supplant “the class struggle”, and the various cults of victimhood the Left organizes around its favorite ISMs.

    The Right has better ideas because they are the people’s true conception of what is ultimately good for them. That is why it is not me that says it, but it is a “discovery” or a measurment by SWS.

    The masses of the Filipinos (>80%) are pro-American rightists.

    It is the FAILED ruling class of totalitarians like Joma that comprise the vanguard of the Left.

    It is the communist insurgency that keeps the people poor!

    Lookit, even if we abolished public education altogether, just our tourism potential could give most Filipinos jobs right here in the archipelago, which is the equvalent of 500 Hawaiian islands. For decades the communist gunmen and rebels have driven away tourists and investors.

    I claim it is the twin insurgencies that keeps us from becoming the England of Asia, an independent archipelago of English speaking indios, where the women are strong and the men are good looking and the children are all above average…the Golden Spike of the 21st century by which East and West can meet.

    • DJB on September 1, 2007 at 10:52 am

    There were two Evils from the Ilocos province in the days of the First Quarter Storm: Joma and Marcos.

    Though his loyalists claim to still give him a haircut and shave on special occasions like his birthday on September 11, Ferdinand Marcos is more macabre now than menacing, especially when the airconditioning is off.

    Since we have not been able to do it for ourselves, the Dutch may do it for us and bring Joma to Justice.

    They both widowed many women unjustly.

    That is all that counts to Blind Justice, now.

    • cvj on September 1, 2007 at 11:09 am

    The thing mentioned by CVJ about India,being saturated ,that is why many are relocating here. – Karl

    Maybe i need to explain ‘India being saturated’ more fully as that term is not precise. What i meant what that India’s Services sector has been growing phenomenally for a decade now. The judgement call that the MNCs have to make is whether India’s phenomenal growth (which contributes to their own Companies’ growth) can be sustained or whether it will taper off either because of shortage of skills or an increase in local salaries that is not commensurate with an increase in productivity. Because of India’s high quality educational system which is able to churn out skilled graduates, the former may not be true, but growth can also be choked off by the latter (i.e. increase in salaries). If the MNCs want to sustain their own growth rates, they have to look for new suppliers which are early enough in the growth cycle and that is where we come into the picture. One Executive of a Fortune 500 IT Company remarked that we were ‘a diamond in the rough’. (BTW, many of them are executives who are looking into the Philippines are themselves Indians. As is well known, Multinationals follow business logic, not national aspirations.)

    Ramrod, our military is already into politics courtesy of Gloria Arroyo which is why the threat is there in the first place. They have been turned into a private army.

    • jaxius on September 1, 2007 at 11:50 am


    the politicization of the military preceded Gloria. She merely exploited what is already there. C’mon, she’s not that good. I am not defending Gloria, but place the blame where it is due.

    • cvj on September 1, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    Jaxius, to clarify, nowhere did i say that it was Gloria Arroyo who started the politicization of the military. However, she did take it to new heights by enlisting the help of her Generals to rig the results the 2004 Presidential elections. At the very least, that calls for a qualifier stronger than the word ‘merely‘.

  6. Cvj,
    point taken(outsourcing).
    (politicization of military) jaxius is correct politicization of the military came before Gloria.
    Ramrod’s points are perceptive and insightful,as well
    Re: DJb’s old days:
    DJB ia from batch 70 of lSGH,meaning when arrested he was just 19 in his sophomore year in College. Since MBW mentioned Corpuz, it was about 1970 when he robbed the armory of the PMA and defected,maybe MBW is correct that Victor Corpuz has inside knowledge of the Plaza Miranda bombing.

    And for Corpuz,he also has rightist connections because he was the professor of Gringgo,et al prior to defection.


    • cvj on September 1, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    DJB, as i mentioned earlier, i believe the fundamental flaw in your own worldview is that you equate the concept of conflict among the classes exclusively with communist ideology. Just because you learned it first there does not mean that other schools of thought cannot admit the same phenomena within their own analyses. For example, BrianB above, is no communist and probably hates them as much as you do but he acknowledges that there is a clash of interest between the elite, middle classes and the masa.

    If you allow this reality of class conflict into your own worldview and attempt to deal with this problem within your own chosen ideological framework thereby making it more ‘cogent’ in the process, maybe it would cure you of some of that paranoia of seeing Reds everywhere (a-la Sixth Sense).

  7. CVj,
    Your explanation on politicization of the military was read late,by me.

    • leo on September 1, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    ramrod :
    “Goodness leo, you’re starting to sound like the Americans.”

    Beware not just of Communist invasion but basically of multi-national invasion/colonization of the Philippines. Of course the Americans, Canadians, Australians have established control over several regions in the country.

    Since the issues about GMA’s drive for economic growth, legal and extra-judicial operations against Leftist militiants while making deals with Communist China are current news, a simple observation points to a ‘split personality’ type of national leadership with regards to the menace of communism.

    How would you reconcile GMA’s intent to wipe Commnist isurgency by 2010 while making deals that virtually gives away control of vital and strategic infrastructures to Red China?

    Point is the Philippine crisis is better assessed in the
    context of human security. And if we do, it’s easy to see that GMA’s administration’s fundamental direction in driving the economy disregards the primary need to secure our national sovereignty and human security.

  8. Nothing wrong with dealing with China as long as it is not anomalous.

    Like that Fraport deal,it is found anomalous,because for one they admitted that they own more than 40 % of it,whichn is aginst the constitution,Australian mining firms and most mncs,finds away out of that 40/60 rule through dummies Who’s the dummy now?
    one more the Dubai firm which now operates south harbor odes not care if they violated the 40/60 rule because,they were not told the the British firm they bought it from.

    If we look at things one issue at a time and not the big picture,we will only see the rotten can,not the worms inside.

    • cvj on September 1, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Leo, i completely agree with you on the matter of extra-judicial killings and in opposition to GMA’s all-out war policy, however, having foreign nationals or foreign businesses in the Philippines is not equivalent to an ‘invasion’. Here in Singapore, they welcome foreign investments and almost half of the working population is made up of foreigners. If only for pragmatic considerations, we need to welcome them as much as they have welcomed us as OFWs. Just like Karl, I don’t necessarily disagree with doing business with China as long as they are above board (unlike the ZTE deal).

    • leo on September 1, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    MLQ3, Karl, cvj,

    About this contoversial deals with Red China,my focus is on national security. To illustrate:
    “US Senate delays Chinese takeover of Unocal”

    “The Chinese bid caught the US government off guard. Traditionally, the US government does not interfere with foreign ownership of US companies, but a communist state-controlled company acquiring a large US energy concern is a novelty and left both the Bush administration and Congress uneasy.”

    “Last month, the US House passed a measure blocking the Bush administration from approving CNOOC’s purchase of Unocal by a vote of 333 to 92.”


    “Chinese Drop Bid To Buy U.S. Oil Firm”

    “it could not overcome resistance from politicians in Washington who said such a deal could threaten U.S. national security and violate the rules of fair trade.”

    US isn’t even fighting a decades old Communist insurgency like in the Philippines and they feel theatened by Chinese conrol of just one oil company. GMA’s deals with Red China like the ZTE BB deal that virtually gives China access and control of Phil gov’t information system should pose a very serious security concern. I say this deal is TREASONOUS. US imperialism is bad enough; combined with Red Chinese ‘economic sphere of influence’ over the Philippines, it’s horrendous – deadly. While GMA is chasing the local Red Rats she gives red carpet treatment to the Red Dragon — asleep no more.

    • jaxius on September 1, 2007 at 2:49 pm


    What you said was “our military is already into politics courtesy of Gloria Arroyo which is why the threat is there in the first place”. I do not know how to read except that of saying she ushered the military into politics.

    The military helping rig the elections is not something new. The military was complicit to every accusation of rigging the elections even before Gloria. In recent history, remember FVR?

    If there is a person to be given the infamy of bringing to new heights the politicization of the military, it should be no other than Apo Macoy. Gloria’s influence over the military can never compare to how Apo Macoy wielded it.

    • ramrod on September 1, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    cvj. I’m glad you mentioned Singapore. From the first time I set foot in that city state, it has never ceased to facinate me. Every time I’m there for our management meetings I make it a point to interview the taxi drivers on how they feel about themselves as a people, their government, even touching on their limited freedom and extremely sterile environment. They are consistent, they like their government, it takes good care of them and given the chance – they would vote for the ruling party over and over again. It was in Singapore where I learned not to call my bosses “sir” my colleagues taught me that I shouldn’t lower myself before our European bosses, do your job very well and maintain the first name basis. They are a proud people and very aware of themselves and where they come from. Best of all, they respect us as a people, I have never heard any insult or snide remark, or even put downs, and these guys have Filipino maids and yayas. If you look around, Indians, Chinese, and Moslems work side by side harmoniously, and effectively (efficiently also). I’m not saying that I would like the Philippines to be exactly like Singapore, we might come up with something wholly our own – probably use it as a model of sorts.
    I saw the feature on Singapore in Discovery Channel a few months ago, there was a time when Lee Kuan Yew apologised to the people when Malaysia rejected them as part of it you could see the remorse in his eyes, a grown man (very tall at that) break down in tears in front of the tv camera, this was the “I’m sorry” I never saw in GMA. Our love for our country will give us the resolve to make it a better one.

    • leo on September 1, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    cvj, ramrod,

    By its effects there’s obviously a big difference between developing a global economy and society Singapore-style and Philippine-style. What do you think Singapore did right and the Philippines did and is doing wrong in this regard?

  9. Singapore is tiny.

  10. I think Singapore’s success has something to do with history – Malaya at the time being “ruled” by the Brits was “colonized” not so much militarily but by setting up the ground work for an emerging nation, more administering, teaching and in open partnership with the locals.

    I also nelieve that the Singapore-Malaysia split was the best thing that happened to Singapore. Rahman was a pain in the ass; Lee, who had a different approach to governance, brisk and professional, (while Rahman’s was Malay style – “set it up for me please” with a bit of ‘teka teka’ kind of) wouldn’t have succeeded seeing eye to eye with Rahman.

    • cvj on September 1, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    Jaxius, then maybe it’s my fault for giving you that impression. I took it for granted that the history of the politicization of the military is common knowledge (in the sense that i know that you know that i know etc.). Hindi pala. No one argues that Marcos was the master in this department and maybe FVR did rig the elections via the military but why bring these up to excuse Gloria Arroyo’s actions of continuing with such tradition and taking it to a new level? As Randy David said, maybe the electorate has over the years matured such that it takes democracy more seriously. In this respect, i think the masa has overtaken the middle class, many of whom have chosen to stick to an elitist conception of democracy.

    Ramrod, Leo, one big difference between SG and us is that Lee Kuan Yew did not have to deal with his own landed class so they were able to leap frog us in that respect. A big part of what’s holding us back is the big landlords who have disproportionate representation in Congress. Also, taking off from Manila Bay Watch’s point above, take a look on the comment by hvrds on mlq3’s succeeding thread (about Ramon Magsaysay) on how the Americans policies sabotaged our development.

    As for my experience with taxi drivers, the stories are more varied. Many are as you say, supportive of the government but some hate the fact that the Lee family has undue influence over business interests (via Temasek etc.), some complain about the lack of regard by the government to elder Singaporeans, some hate the way the government has infiltrated the opposition. One taxi driver, upon hearing my Filipino accent, just sang Jose Mari Chan’s ‘Beautiful Girl’. Personally, i just wish they keep quiet so i can do my reading while in transit 🙂

    As for the maids, the review is mixed as well. I recently watched a one man comedy show where the lead performer, in one segment, impersonated Erap visiting Singapore. He appointed himself ‘MM’ or ‘Maid-Mentor’ (a parody of the ‘Mentor-Minister’ title of LKY) and one of his promises was to provide a parachute to every Filipina maid, a number of whom are reported to have fallen from the high-rise apartments while cleaning windows. Then he revised his promise to say that he is giving two parachutes to allow for the fact that the lady of the house will surely keep one for ‘safekeeping’ (as what is frequently done with the maids’ passports).

    By and large, there is racial harmony but that does not mean the undercurrents of racism do not exist, although it’s not as common as in Malaysia where racial matters seem to be a more common topic of conversation (esp. with taxi drivers).

    Personally, I would not like the Singapore model to be implemented in the Philippines because translated to our circumstances, that would mean our elite, which has nothing to show for, acquiring more of that undeserved sense of entitlement (a-la Benign0 or Washington Sycip) and arrogating for themselves power that they will only use for themselves.

  11. Agree with cvj, there is a strong undercurrent tone of racism in both Malaysia and Singapore. I suppose that can’t be helped – various cultures are obliged to live side by side in order to advance.

    In Malaysia, Indian-Malaysians, particularly the Sikhs, speak lowly of Malaysians of ‘purely’ Malay descent; the general feeling of these Indian-Malaysians I know is that Malays are lazy and dumb – there are jokes circulating endlessly against the Malays. They say that had Mahathir not been of Indian descent, they believe Malaysia wouldn’t be where it is today – with a strong and still getting stronger middle class.

    The Chinese-Malaysians I know hold Malay-Malaysians in contempt and speak against the Bumiputra policy freely when they are with friends.

    Perhaps, because I’m a Pinay, I haven’t exactly heard a Malay-Malay speak derogatorily of Pinoys (but seem not to have great respect for Indonesians), prefering to smile(which to me speaks volumes) when someone compares Pinas and Malaysia politics and economy even if these friends know Pinas politics and economy inside out. Singaporean Chinese I know are a bit more forward when it comes to giving their opinion on Pinas.

    • jaxius on September 1, 2007 at 6:57 pm


    I did not intend to make an impression that I was justifying, or at the very least trying to wiggle a room to excuse, Gloria’s abuse of her commander-in-chief powers. I just wanted to place your comment in the proper historical and factual context.

    If someone who’s not entirely familiar with our history read your post, he would have been led to believe that the politicization of the military is of recent development. It would seem that prior to Gloria, the Philippine military was the beacon of courage, integrity, and loyalty. Probably, in such a context, you are trying to justify your position that Magdalo is somehow the hope of the nation being the zeitgeist of the common people’s struggle against elitist pigs – our very own modern zealots, if not messiahs.

  12. Something that bugs me is that the current Merdeka festivities to apparently celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Malaysia is absolutely wrong.

    Merdeka, which Gloria is attending by the way, was all about the granting of independence to MALAYA, a nation at the time composed of Malaya and Singapore and not to a nation called MALAYSIA which wasn’t founded yet 50 years ago.

    Malaysia’s founding as Malaysia, technically is not due till 2010.

    In that Malaysia’s govt is doing a spin and revising their history. They have also buried and forgotten the real father of Merdeka, (whose name I can’t remember) who led the revolt against the Brits and laid the groundwork for Merdeka. Malaysians now simply want to concentrate the honour on Tunku Abdul Rahman as the ONLY FATHER OF MERDEKA. Absolutely not true.

    • ramrod on September 1, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    Cvj. I believe you are more politically wise as I am. I’m not for copying the Singapore model as is. We have to come up with something that works for us or stick to the present system and make it work. I knew there was something strange with a seemingly perfect exterior (I’m always suspicious when everything looks so perfect). With regards to treatment of the elderly, I heard one of my colleagues say that the SG government has passed a law wherein a certain portion of their salary will go into savings “so they will not become a burden to others in their old age.” I didn’t comment of course but here in the Phils. we take care of our elderly without even thinking about it, its part of our makeup.

    As for politization of the military, you’ll be surprised when I tell you that way back in the early 80’s, a certain class (I will not specify) boycotted classes, duties and converged in the parade ground (Borromeo Field)in their 2nd Class year to protest an unjust dismissal of a classmate accused of “hazing.” Student activism inside the academy.

    Another thing, I will never forget the time I watched a television talk show featuring a former chief of staff who is very supportive of the present administration. He was asked if what he was saying was “ALL RIGHT?” Now this is a challenge invoking the honor code wherein the answer to 2 basic questions must be yes to ensure you are doing the honorable thing : 1) Do I intend to deceive? and 2) Do I intend to take undue advantage?
    This gentleman dismissed the challenge as a “property of the cadets” and didn’t even bother to answer, it was a simple case of just yes or no. Right then and there I knew that this guy will lose the respect of all the classes that came before him and after. He dismissed the honor code as only applicable to the cadets, does this mean that you can turn your sense of honor “on and off?” Ateneo boy was right, a lot of our officers come in idealistic and principled but are gobbled up by something more powerful than “honor” and even “integrity.”

  13. Ooops, “Malaysia’s 50TH ANNIVERSARY founding as Malaysia, technically is not due till 2010.”

    • bogchimash on September 1, 2007 at 9:49 pm


    The “commie” intrusion that I had in mind is actually in policy direction, not so much on personalities. Initially, we only had social legislation for the peasant farmers and laborers. Later on, more laws for the benefit of the less powerful expanded to other areas such as journalism, education, public utility and the corporate world.
    Seeing this grand response to the writing on the wall by the State, I thought that maybe you had enough of this fighting the establishment business without really selling out.

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