The hubbub, Bub, is all about the expected Estrada verdict(s) tomorrow. The online media have put up their competing sites: Inquirer.net has The Estrada Trial while GMANews.TV has Erap Plunder Trial (hat tip to Macuha.com). The scuttlebutt within media circles as to what the verdicts will be, has been fairly consistent for some time now: it will be interesting to see if the scuttlebutt had a basis in fact, or ends up widely off the mark, and the reasons why.
I think Ivatan Blogger who takes a skeptical approach to everything media, the defendants, the prosecutors, the politicians, even the public, does, is probably closest to reflecting true public opinion with regards to the whole thing.
News items like this really has me puzzled: Arroyo likely to be holed up in Palace on Erap verdict day. The easiest explanation is, if you’ve gone through a trauma like May 1, 2001, paranoia and a siege mentality come all-too-naturally to the powers-that-be. Maybe. Or, as The Philippine Experience puts it, maybe it’s a colossal case of political karma. Tingog.com suggests unease is fostered by the case being lose-lose for the administration; I myself am more inclined to agree with New Philippine Revolution’s analysis. Referring to the possibility public protests will erupt tomorrow, the blogger writes,
First, its obvious that the Arroyo administration will do everything in its power to thwart any attempts at unseating GMA. This “Perfect Storm” scenario is quite feasible, but I believe it does not include an assassination attempt. Quite possibly, the hawks in the Cabinet would prefer a scenario of continuous destabilization, because, like I wrote in previous blogs here, destabilization further strengthens this regime rather than weaken it. Any group who’ll attempt to oust GMA must do it in a blitzkrieg fashion rather than opt for a protracted struggle. A protracted struggle only makes GMA stronger.
And the blogger goes on to point out something I believe is quite obvious, which is why the Palace’s paranoia puzzles me:
One, Erap’s conviction will not generate an EDSA 3. Erap’s throng is not than strong unlike the ones seen in May 2002. Second, the middle class remains divided over the issue. I feel that there is no strong moral reason for the middle class to support Erap. And third, there remains no dramatis causa to speak of, only some noise coming from the media.
And this, in particular, interested me. The blogger asks, what’s wrong with Estrada’s strategy, so far? The blogger writes,
Everything. First, he has amateur strategists in his inner circle of advisers. His pr man, Ferdie Ramos, is a total idiot when planning these kinds of actions. Ramos does not know how to create a scenario. He’s an exposurist. He’s not a strategic pr thinker.
Second, Erap’s stance of just waiting for the verdict and telling the people that he’s ready to accept whatever fate he’ll get from the courts is total kagaguhan. This shows Erap’s weak armor. Erap revels in drama. He’s still living in fantasy land. Or he still sees himself as portraying the role of the people’s champion. Erap, you’re playing a really dangerous game. This stance of yours is precisely what led to your ouster. Its good to be popular but its better to be a winner than continue to be a perennial loser.
What Erap should do is lead the people to protest the verdict. If he will not do this, he’ll lose very, very badly…
Hasn’t he, already?
Anyway, for journalists like Lovefull indeed 🙂 who will be in the front lines, take care. It will be a mad scramble, because the court won’t allow live media coverage of the handing down of the verdicts. wits and nuts has a point about the rendering of the verdict being a public act.
The ZTE deal: Abalos offered me $10M, says JDV’s son: In exchange for dropping broadband bid. In Uniffors, who attended the presser and got to analyze de Venecia the Younger’s statements up close, there’s a synopsis of the juicy bits and why they’re convincing:
If Joey had exposed Abalos before the deal was signed, both ZTE and Abalos would have accused him of making wild charges to help his own bid. As far as business is concerned, it was still no harm no foul at that time. It was still all talk despite the fact that ZTE had already made a downpayment because, if the deal fell through at that stage, then ZTE would be the only loser.
Joey spoke at the right time — after the deal was signed and after he gathered enough documentation to screw all those who benefited from the overprice of $130M.
It appears that Joey and his group devised a brilliant strategy to expose the ZTE deal. They released damaging information in trickles.
One drop would force Abalos to issue a statement, the next drop would expose Abalos’ statement as a lie, Abalos would correct his lie with another lie and another drop comes to expose that Abalos was lying about his lies. Abalos is trapped in his web of lies.
I bet the next step is to corner DOTC Usec. Formoso and Mendoza, They signed the deal, a deal they knew was flawed from the very start.
In his blog, Jove Francisco recounted how the Palace has tried to maintain a stiff upper lip about the whole thing.
The Unlawyer points out reasons why governments like loans from China’s government, including the Chinese avoiding putting conditions that Western governments regularly attach to their loans, such as anti-corruption provisions.
1:51 PM: this just in. Supreme Court has handed down a TRO ordering government to stop the ZTE broadband deal.
Administration senators want ‘Garci’ probe halted. Why? See Conrado de Quiros and the Inquirer editorial from last Sunday (and see Jove Francisco’s account of how the Palace intends to fend off further investigations).
And just to note this article: Political realignment has started: Bicol NPs start recruitment by raiding Kampi ranks. Hmm….
Overseas, the latest round of terrorism-related arrests in Europe explained in Target Europe; Singapore’s one-party rule and how it’s maintained, in Chee Soon Juan Back Behind Bars for Opposing One-Party Rule. Also, Osama’s Vision of the Future.
My column last Thursday was Nitty-gritty, compared with GDP (some related readings can be found in Inquirer Current); my column yesterday was Save the titling system; see Pagbabago Pilipinas, which also has a roundup of articles related to the case.
Rasheed Abou-Alsamh on why fraternities should be banned. See Patricia Evangelista‘s poignant column on the death of Cris Mendez.
In the blogosphere, even though the issue has failed to get traction in the media, the detention of Jose Ma. Sison continues to be debated. The Marocharim Experiment says what will be on trial isn’t just Sison, but his entire movement. Neocon blogger The Belmont Club strongly agrees.
Random Thoughts, a Filipino student in the UK. says the Dutch police zero in on people only if there’s reason to do so; and wonders why Sison insisted on staying in Holland (similar sentiments in IsnaypMedia, whose wife is Dutch and who says Dutch prisons aren’t awful).
In his blog, tonyo provides Mrs. Sison’s account of her husband’s arrest, and what she believes was wrong with it. It’s interesting to read Mrs. Sison’s objections (particularly in terms of procedure) and compare her points to a description of the Dutch legal system, and its procedures, outlined by Toby Sterling (a Dutch blogger sympathetic to Sison). Quite obviously, despite their long-term residence in the Netherlands, the Sisons are still thinking in American and Philippine legal terms. But the Dutch system’s different.
Center Sight points out the Sison arrest isn’t a PR boon to the Philippine government, because of its own murky human rights record. He suggests what officials, if they were enlightened, could do:
For help on moving away from a terror state apparatus and mentality, Manila can look to the success of South Africa for ideas. South Africa pursued a very carefully thought-out, tough-minded but open-air program that succeeded far beyond the best hopes held by all going in. For help on corruption, the Philippines can consult the generation-long program by which Singapore rid itself of that problem. Of course it’s not easy, nor even certain, to overcome either problem with solutions based on situations that had fundamental differences from their own, but the toughness, intelligence and work ethic of the Filipino suggests that once set to the task success might come to hand. Especially if this country and others deeply involved with the Philippines genuinely help them.
tonyo also takes up what he says is Alex Magno’s slander concerning the academic credentials of Sison. mongster’s nest points out what a world-historical figure Sison is, and how his detention underscores that fact. Your Daily Fix of Oslec’s Ego is more interested in Sison’s singing.
This entry from [email protected] is chilling: how passengers on the MRT are seconds from disaster.
YugaTech on misinformation concerning a blogger allegedly arrested by the NBI; he points to the Warrior Lawyer’s explanation of the issue. Touched by an Angel looks at the whole thing from a parent’s point of view.
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