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Shock and awe
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on September 19, 2007 62 Comments 13 min read
All in the family Previous Liveblogging ZTE hearing Next

(Update, 2:21 pm: Arroyo allows Cabinet men to attend Senate ZTE hearings. See also Arroyo orders Cabinet execs to attend NBN probe )

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Mike Arroyo is mystery man says the Inquirer; Joey tags Mike says Business Mirror. I think it’s safe to say the de Venecia revelations have resulted in shock and awe. The effect the testimony’s had, on people who were solid supporters of the President up to now, I think is particularly keen (from anecdotal evidence). I find it ironic though, that the “move on” crowd, now says “let’s do it right,” as Bong Austero puts it (hat tip to CJV).

Why so (the shock and awe and sudden posturing by “move on” crowd that they care)? JDV3’s testimony has what’s called verisimilitude, it involves behavior (his own, as a businessman who only made noise when he lost out; and everyone else as he’s described it) that is familiar to the upper-class supporters of the President, not only because they know her and her husband, but are fully aware that the way JDV3 described how deals are done, and where, is precisely how they’re done -and by whom.

In the blog smoke, there’s this exploration of how the de Venecia III revelations, for example, have cast a pall over habitues of Wack-Wack golf club:

That sound you hear is the sound of no one being surprised.

Well at least i wasn’t surprised. And I don’t suppose the other regular habitues of Wack Wack were surprised either. Big deals – not all of them crooked – are conceptualized and finalized in that place. Mostly because in there, you’re among people who understand that loose lips sink ships. There’s a kind of unspoken rule that, within the walls of Wack Wack, people can speak freely about how best to make money, even if it involves a conspiracy against the public. This kind of freedom is not available elsewhere because, elsewhere, you run the risk of being spotted by media, or by ‘others’ – people who inhabit less rarefied circles of society who look up at you and would tear you down in a minute if they could. Wack Wack was a safe haven where you didn’t have to show guilt for being filthy rich and where you could talk about people as tradeable commodities without inviting moral judgment from others. In there, business was strictly business.

By unbuttoning his lips and talking about the wheeling and dealing inside Wack Wack, Joey has broken that rule and thoroughly shaken a lot of people up. For many captains of industry and finance, Joey’s tattling has pretty much upset their conception of places like Wack Wack as a safe place to talk unabashedly about making money by all means possible.

Many members have long since stopped golfing, but still they come. Not for the links, but for the linkages created by aggressive networking. But with Joey’s revelations, the sense is that if you can’t talk shop in Wack Wack, what use is going there?

There’s a hushed silence in the Verandah – normally a place abuzz with several conversations going on all at once in different tables. No one wants to talk anymore, or talk loudly. Whispers all around; some remember seeing what Joey was relating, but they don’t want to talk about it. They don’t even want to talk about him, except to say that in a moment of pique, he screwed them all good. So Marie Antoinette, eh? And these rich fellows, eyes glued to the televised chat session of the year unraveling of the sanctity of their sanctum sanctorum, resemble a bunch of nobles and aristos, cowering within the palace at versailles, waiting for the torches to come and illuminate the grounds. A seige mentality is settling in.

What sets apart JDV3’s ratting on his peers from Chavit Singson is that Chavit’s testimony was a peek into the mafia underworld; JDV3’s testimony is squealing on how business and political circles conduct themselves.

In his blog, ABC5 Malacanang reporter Jove Francisco recounts the President’s day, yesterday:

As the president went on with her schedule today…

It was quite apparent that she’d rather not think about the noise emanating from the halls of the upper chamber brought about by the investigation on the ZTE deal.

Never mind that her “vacationing” husband was again dragged into a controversy.

Observers say it is either the president is really focused on her job or is already desensitized by political intrigue.

But evidently, the President is concerned about the issue.

Minutes before Joey De Venecia dropped the bomb at the Senate identifying First gentleman Mike Arroyo as the MYSTERY MAN of the ZTE deal…

The President, just before the cabinet meeting, pre-empted him by going live on government nationwide television to address the raging issue about the supposed anomalous contract…

True to her resolve to apply Executive Order 464, she then gave clear instruction to her officials to shun appearing before lawmakers and just explain themselves in court.

She specifically advised DOTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza to face the Supreme Court to shed light on the ZTE Broadband deal…

The pattern of being evasive only made more people suspect that the sudden trip abroad of First gentleman Mike Arroyo last night is connected to the broadband deal investigation and that he’s trying to flee from the controversy.

In the end, in the face of the investigations, all the Palace can come up with, is a Claim of impunity, as the Inquirer editorial puts it. And in classic Watergate mode, Gil Cabacungan asks, What did President know, when did she know it?

The First Couple and Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., during a 10-city visit to China, were invited by the ZTE president to play golf in Shenzen where Commission on Elections Chair Benjamin Abalos Sr. was one of the guest players, Jose “Joey” de Venecia III, a son of Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., said in his testimony at the Senate Tuesday.

Based on his father’s account, ZTE offered to build a broadband network on a government-to-government basis, to which Ms Arroyo suggested that the company follow “Joey’s proposal,” a build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme, the younger De Venecia said.

Amsterdam Holdings Inc., the company founded by the younger De Venecia, submitted an unsolicited bid to undertake the NBN project. AHI lost the contract to ZTE.

“Why don’t you just copy Joey’s proposal — no guarantee, no debt, no subsidy and no risk to the government?” the businessman said, quoting his father on what Ms Arroyo had told Abalos.

I find it interesting that reporters would grill the surgeon of the President’s husband for political opinions, while the lawyer of the President’s husband talked about the medical imperatives of the trip.

There’s a contradiction. The surgeon said Atty. Arroyo told him of the trip last Tuesday:

But Cariño, whom the First Gentleman had been calling “my miracle surgeon,” said his patient’s trip to Europe had been planned for some time.

He said Mr. Arroyo asked him last Tuesday for permission to go on a European trip.

“He really wanted to go abroad. He said he will go to Europe, with his friends. He said he would be there only two weeks,” Cariño said.

Cariño said the First Gentleman did not specify his ultimate European destination. Sources, however, said that from Hong Kong, Arroyo was en route to Munich, Germany.

The lawyer said the trip was planned even before the emergency surgery:

Santos said Mr Arroyo’s departure last Monday has nothing to do with the ZTE deal controversy, because the First Gentleman’s trip abroad was planned even before he underwent heart surgery last April.

One possible destination, Munich, Germany, is very, very, interesting, too. Remember all that fuss about German bank accounts? In her column, Ellen Tordesillas scoops everyone else with detains on Arroyo’s itinerary and traveling companions:

Accompanied by his cousin, Benito “Bomboy” Araneta, Mike Arroyo left Manila Monday afternoon for Hong Kong.

In Venice, a source said Mike Arroyo will be met by a very close female friend whom we identified earlier in this space as “E”, who is a Filipina carrying Swiss citizenship.

“E” had gone ahead to Switzerland last week.

Our source said Arroyo’s party is billeted at Luna Hotel Baglioni in Sestiere di San Marco. They will be brought there by boat.

An internet search showed that the Luna Hotel Baglioni, is one of the most elegant and luxurious hotels in Venice. It is said to be the oldest hotel in Venice. The Knights Templars are known to have stayed in a building on the Luna’s site in 1118 during the Crusades.

Arroyo and his party will be staying in Venice up to Friday. On Saturday, they will all go to Zurich, the banking capital of Switzerland. As we all know, Switzerland is where people keep their money whose origins they cannot explain.

The source said Arroyo’s good friend, Rey David, president of the Development Bank of the Philippines, will join Gloria’s husband, his lady friend, and his cousin. They will be in Zurich up to Monday.

After three days in Zurich, they will proceed to Munich, Germany where they will be joined by two more businessmen, who are known as Arroyo’s cronies. The source said Mike Arroyo is expected to be back on Oct. 3 via Hong Kong again.

So it’s not just the timing of the trip, but the destination, that could be characterized as “unfortunate”.

Meanwhile, the Comelec Chairman says there was no meeting. The Speaker, who leaves for abroad today (update 2:39 pm the Speaker has apparently put off his departure for Rome; Rep. Luis Villafuerte apparently went on radio and warned the Speaker might be toppled), says his son is his own man, even as Arroyo’s House allies in disarray; kin to the defense:

What’s going on? What’s happening to our coalition?” asked Cebu Rep. Pablo Garcia, 81-year-old stalwart of Ms Arroyo’s Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi) party.

Garcia seemed at a loss as to the impact of the revelations of the son of Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. on the already unsteady relationship within the ruling coalition in the House of Representatives.

Businessmen are sticking to vanilla responses (some time ago, Smorgasbord of Random Thoughts castigated the MBC for expressing concern over the ZTE deal).

Also, the Palace beats the Senate to the punch in releasing a supposed statement by Senator Santiago -and in releasing a supposed de Venecia III statement, too. What’s certain is the President’s statement: Mendoza ordered to explain ZTE deal before SC.

The blog Breathing Space boils down the battle of the statements quite succinctly, I think:

Comelec chair Abalos said that Joey’s testimony in the Senate were “all lies”

That’s a general denial, Mr. Abalos. As a lawyer you know the effect of general denials. That won’t work.

What goes against Abalos and the Arroyo government is that they are refusing to refute the accusations of Joey in the Senate.

Worse, Mike Aroryo slip out of the counrty on the eve of Joey’s scheduled Senate testimony.

If Mike Arroyo didn’t know beforehand that Joey was going to involve him in this multi-million dollar transaction, so now he knows.

He should be rushing back to the Philipines to explain things.

He shouldn’t be on vacation, as his legal parrots want the people to believe.

President Arroyo also is not of help when she directed Transportation Sec. Leandro Mendoza to answer Joey’s accusations in the Supreme Court and not in the Senate.

How can Mendoza do that when he is not a lawyer?

Only lawyers appear before the Supreme Court.

More, the Supreme Court is not a trier of facts but resolves and adjudicates questions of law.

The people are waiting for the government’s response to Joey’s accusations.

If they don’t, Joey’s testimony’s stands, and the government looses by default.

As for the aggrieved firm itself, ZTE denies bribe, feels frustrated. Now a great service to all readers has been provided by Placeholder, who’s published a preliminary analysis of the ZTE contract for the NBN; the blogger is in the IT field (the contract is available on line).

See The ZTE cast of characters: Loser, husband, political foes and deputies for reference. Then refer to Manuel Buencamino’s column, where he looks at the cast and says,

If the mystery man is directly linked to Mrs. Arroyo, I doubt she can count on the continued support of even the most vacuous civil-society matrons, those ladies who used a photograph and a statement of Leah Navarro for an advertisement without first getting her permission.

Even Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, that great exponent of moral relativity when it involves Gloria Arroyo, might hesitate to come to her aid.

But I could be wrong; truth is no match against empty minds and unscrupulous prelates.

Benjamin Abalos Sr. is the perfect villain. He didn’t suspect fast enough that the trickle of exposés about his involvement with ZTE could have been deliberate. He responded to each new revelation without first considering the possibility that an even more damning one would follow. He feigned ignorance reflexively, and now he has painted himself into a corner.

Abalos may deny he offered de Venecia the younger a bribe, that he bugged and threatened him, or that they discussed what Joey said they discussed; but he cannot deny that he was up to his neck brokering the ZTE deal.

Those meetings at Speaker Jose de Venecia’s home, at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club, at the Comelec offices, at the Kempinski Hotel in Shenzen, China, and at the Diamond Hotel in Manila definitely happened.

The only thing that Abalos can claim didn’t happen is the sexcapade in China. And, frankly, I believe Abalos told the truth about that.

He can screw millions of voters in one day, with or without sipping soup from Shang Palace, but I doubt he can play a round of golf and do two girls on the same day, with or without a handful of orange pills.

As Arthur Conan Doyle once said, “Whenever you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

In Inquirer Current, I take a stab at analyzing the geopolitical circumstances surrounding the ZTE deal, and why the President’s stuck trying to find ways to uphold a politically-noxious deal.

And from Palawan Bushman, a letter to a columnist, with a harsh but thought-provoking analysis of our national culture. Timely.

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  1. Manolo, thanks for the link. I also find Rom’s insights into the sociology of golfing interactions and the effect of JDV3’s testimony fascinating. It shows that Adam Smith’s words…

    “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

    …have a timeless quality.

  2. Now that the public has heard how the business-elite cum politicians conduct business, the need to find new leaders from neither the retired armed forces personel, young politicians from old political clans nor figures from showbiz and sports arenas will become even stronger come 2010.

    More priests would relinquish their robes to run for public office? Dear God!

  3. Does anyone see a connection between Manuelbuencamino’s speculation on the need to reimburse the aggrieved party in order to forestall an end to GMA’s ‘presidency’ and the FG’s trip to Europe as reported by Ellen?

  4. cvj,

    Wow! I didn’t see that connection but now that you mentioned it…hmmm…

    You made think about the following:

    The royal couple is refunding everyone’s else’s advance royalty. Is the royal couple in control or controlled?

    Are their underlings are actually overlords operating in a climate of impunity because they can screw up a deal and instead of meting them punishment, the royal couple covers them with EO 464 and shoulders their “debts”?

    Is it correct to say “the queen reigns but she does not rule?”

    So who’s in control? Is it the 2004 election operators? Then that probably means they are blackmailing the royal couple. And that could mean that the ISAFP is still monitoring their every move because blackmail works best when there’s always fresh damaging information.

    Hmmm…cvj…and I thought i could dream away this rainy day in peace

  5. who is that palaweno bushman? i can’t say his observations are accurate. they’re certainly hyperbolic, but only represent the worst of the filipino, not a fair picture at all.

  6. r.o., i only know what the blog and entries say, and that the blogger is a former writer for business mirror. the entry’s interesting because it represents views that are reflected, to one degree or another, in many writings/comments you encounter both in print and the interweb.

  7. the bushman is like the local version of many our friends from the diaspora… just a bit more daring for the fact that he’s actually within reach of the people he casts his aspersions at.

    and i don’t blame his disillusionment. heck, i feel like that sometimes.

    but i get over it.

  8. “More priests would relinquish their robes to run for public office? Dear God!” – jhay

    Why not? At the rate Among Ed is going in Pampanga (collecting P1 million/day in quarry fees vs. Lapid’s P80,700/day), it may not be a bad idea at all.

  9. Is the Speaker of the House of Representatives up to something? It looks like he is not afraid anymore of the first couple.

    Perhaps this JDV III’s expose is related to the recent attempt to stop JDV to become Speaker of the Lower House.

  10. “The truth is I am cute and short but I AM ABOVE GOSSIP.”

    Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
    President,Republic of the Phlippines

    April 20, 2001

  11. Rep. Luis Villafuerte apparently went on radio and warned the Speaker might be toppled…

    Quite a gambit, this. To try to topple the speaker again so soon after a previous attempt to install a new speaker failed. It only takes 70+ votes in the lower house to impeach and JDV might have more than that number if they push him too far.

  12. well, ZTE inquiry again tomorrow. and yes (confirmed), the Senate has WiFi. i think you just have to register for it or something like that.

  13. Topple JDV now, para umandar na ang Impeachment Engine!

    My theory is that JDV is behind it all. Imposibleng hindi sila nag-usap ni JDV3 about his affidavit and all. JDV knows na ililigwak din sya ni Gloria as 2010 nears, so he launched his JDV3 torpedo to sabotage GMA’s plans.

    Tinitira sila ni JDV nang pailalim! 🙂

  14. I sense a similar pattern of corruption with all these Chinese funded deals, from the North Rail, to ZTE, to the Cyber Ed projects. The Arroyo government has become brazen enough, with the assurance of non-impeachment no matter what they do, to burden the Filipino people with these huge mega-deals while making billions for themselves in return. Heard a rumor from an inside source that Mike A. bought a King Air plane recently plus numerous stories of the spending extravagance of the First Family. Ang kapal na talaga. It seems they’ve found a gold mine in Chinese companies willing and eager to dole out bribes. Here’s my simple solution to all these bullshit deals: Since these deals are all long-term in nature, with payment terms stretching for 20 years or so, MAKE ALL 2010 PRESIDENTIABLES SIGN A MANIFESTO RIGHT NOW THAT IF EVER THEY REACH THE PRESIDENCY, THEY WILL RESCIND ALL ANOMALOUS CHINESE ORIGINATED CONTRACTS AND REPUDIATE ALL LOANS ASSOCIATED TO THESE CONTRACTS. That simply means if a change of government occurs, no payments will further be made to the Chinese Eximbank. This bank just serves as a money launderer to the plunderers of this country. This should be enough of a deterrent to Chinese companies not to bribe government officals to get their deals through, assuming they don’t bribe the presidentiables as well.

  15. whoa jerry… you’re getting very close to being labelled a “destabilizer” by the establishment. make sure you change SIM cards regularly and use code when on the landlines.

    high value government contracts without bribes? preposterous!

    nyahahaha

  16. oh, everything is gathering momentum!

    yes it is!

    talk of siege mentality, the president not being her own man, err — woman, JDV going resbak at the Kampi folks, thieve’s honor being broken (and if Wack-wack isn’t sacred anymore, then what is? opines thieves mong themselves), talk of doing it right (or jz doing it damn it!), more calls for a revolution and not another lengthy moro-moro, GMA heading off a very REAL stalemate in the offing when subpoenas and such and such were discussed instead of jz mere “invitations” by ordering cabinet members: sige na nga, u can go ahead and appease the co-equal branch. ya know, jz give them sum lolly or sum candy to chew on for the meantime (in other words, STALL them dammit while we rush to plunder more while we still can!), more lively coverage of this entire debacle will stir the stew some more (but not likely move the masses into action — unless sum1 above blame steps out of nowhere and be a rallying point), my 3 yrs prediction may not even make it at this rate (but im sticking to it bec di pa puno ang salop ng taumbayan. nagsasaing pa lng sila). i still think a much more bloody confrontation is in the offing in 3 yrs.

    when the snowflake do become a hell of a snowball rolling downhill, everyone clutching the coattails of GMA will be rushing to jump like rats on a sinking ship and denounce her as if they’ve always denounced her all their lives. it won’t wash of course. they’ll also be cut down by a very real Jacobin in the near future. everyone will join in the clamor, and no one’s really safe until the bloodlust has been sated.

    and how do i know this?

    bec. human psychology is a study of cause and effects. and history courses through a very predictable path that only doofuses ignorant of history will fail to see.

  17. jerry, u have to take note that “China” will be GMA et al’s haven when the dust settles. they’re jz greasing the tracks to facilitate their escape.

    meanwhile, I invasion a strikeforce similar to what Israel created to get back at the Olympic killers. jz erase these dumbasses anywhere they go and to hell w/extradition.

  18. We question impunity and culture of crime in this country:

    In other countries lalo na sa middle east :abnoy ang mga businessman pag wala silang nakahandang lagay lalo na sa KSA.

    we rely on messiahs and heroes? Those heroes and messianic types of recent history were all temporary relief,parang paracetamol lang;for filams acetaminphen.

    Self reliance:
    at least on the agrarian side: was that not the goal of CARP. But as cvj said the elite were not serious about it.

    There goes JP Laurel’s wish during WW2 that we need an aristocrat who ca nrule or something like that.

    Kasalanan ba natin kung ganito tayo,inakala nating malaya tayo nung pagdating ng onaks yun pala,kakapitan lang tayo sa leeg.and the rest is history.

    are we really immuned pag tapos ba nito me bagong autocratic couple na naman, sa mga local at national election,we get what we deserve na lang ba palagi?

    ___

    PS

    i read is a recent blog that benign0 does noty want to follow the law because the police just looks the other way pag iba.

    He sometimes violate the color coding and gets pissed when acosted,but gets even more pissed,pag nakita nya na pinabayaan lang ang mga bus at jeep or other drivers.

    That is partly very correct and has verisimilitude.

    But, still why do it pag alam mong mali.

  19. “WE ARE PREPARED TO LOSE OUR FREEDOMS AND OUR RIGHTS JUST TO MOVE THIS COUNTRY FORWARD.” – Bong Austero

    “Well-being and happiness never appeared to me as an absolute aim. I am even inclined to compare such moral aims to the ambitions of a PIG.” – Albert Einstein

  20. I’ll do u one better MB.

    “You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views. Which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering” – The Doctor

    “This is not bad, this is a conspiracy to remove happiness from existence. It seeks to wrap its hedgehog hand around the still beating heart of the personification of good and squeeze until it is stilled.” — Chuck Sonnenburg on Voyager’s “Elogium”

    “Man, you know politics are bad when you would prefer a known mobster in power rather than the current group because it would decrease the body count and increase respectability.” Academia Nut

  21. mb,

    re trade-offs:
    portion of a comment 1st wk sept.

    What can we expect, in the long term, from the treasonous sacrifice of our sovereignty and patrimony? Reasons why growth of the economy under GMA could be real but malignant. The trade off is unconscionable but GMA is doing it.

    Is it possible for a people to have a growing economy but be loosing its country? As you’ve said:”That’s why they’ve abandoned ship and sought hope and prosperity abroad.”

    Are we Filipinos willing to loose our country in exchange for a better economy? The worse thing is loosing both. But of course one thing leads to another, first is when Filipinos, starting with its leaders, loose their sense of country, the rest follows. GMA is leading the way.

  22. After describing Joey de Venecia’s testimony as a vaudeville act, Gloria changed her mind and ordered Mendoza, Favila, and Neri to appear before the Senate and put on their own Dog anf Pony show.

  23. WHOA!

    “The days of plunder are over.”
    -your President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Press Conference
    March 20, 2001

  24. “The Lying and the Cover-up at full gear now!

    “Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo confirmed through his lawyer on Wednesday that he met Jose “Joey” de Venecia III in a “purely chance encounter” at a golf clubhouse but denied ordering him to “back off” from the national broadband network (NBN) deal.

    Jesus Santos, lawyer and spokesperson of the President’s husband, said Mr. Arroyo did meet De Venecia III in mid-March but his version of the story differed greatly from that of Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr.’s son.

    For one, Arroyo denied berating de Venecia and ordering him to pull out of the national broadband deal in favor of the eventual winner, China’s ZTE Corp., allegedly upon brokering by Commission on Elections Chair Benjamin Abalos Sr.

    At a press conference in his Makati office, Santos said Arroyo only “reminded” the young De Venecia III that as the Speaker’s son, it was inappropriate for him to get involved in government contracts.

    He also denied Abalos was present at the meeting at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Mandaluyong City, saying it was only Arroyo, De Venecia III and Transportation and Communication Secretary Leandro Mendoza.”

  25. Today,September 19 is the International Talk like a Pirate day!(ITLAPD).It’s a day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate.

    This pirate song is for the PIDAL couple, the Filipino pirates of the century!

    “Yo ho, yo ho, the pirate life,
    The flag o’skull and bones
    A merry hour, a hempen rope,
    And hey for Gloria and Fatso!”

  26. my bet is this.
    with the filipino people able to bear and grin with the obvious rigging of the 2004 elections, what else can make this nation revulse. nothing.not his ZTE brouhaha. but that’s make a good topic in the coffee shops and offices duing snacks,nothing else.
    wanna bet?

  27. save my dare and compare 12 months from now. he he he. GMA will still be there grinning…
    We lost, as a society, to express collective anger and expertly learn the art of “moving on.”
    When Garci scandal broke out, i thought then it was the best time to show to the world how decent people we are.
    How wrong i was. So friends bear and grin with GMA. We deserve her.

  28. “Well-being and happiness never appeared to me as an absolute aim. I am even inclined to compare such moral aims to the ambitions of a PIG.” Einstein

    Manuelbuencamino, I’ve always wondered why a Catholic country is so obsessed with well-being. I think I once pointed out that we are not Buddhists but Catholics and Catholics do not expect peace of mind and well-being. Life is a struggle against evil and guilt.

  29. “We lost, as a society, to express collective anger and expertly learn the art of “moving on.”
    When Garci scandal broke out, i thought then it was the best time to show to the world how decent people we are.
    How wrong i was. So friends bear and grin with GMA. We deserve her.FROM BELOW”

    ” The truth is I am cute and short but I am above gossip.”
    – Your President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
    April 20, 2001

  30. “my bet is this.with the filipino people able to bear and grin with the obvious rigging of the 2004 elections, what else can make this nation revulse. nothing.not his ZTE brouhaha. but that’s make a good topic in the coffee shops and offices duing snacks,nothing else.
    wanna bet?From Below”

    “I wouldn’t mind if you were nice to me once in a blue moon.”
    – Your President GMA
    April 20, 2001

  31. Grin and bear it,

    ok a century from now, we will read in the history books, even with everything happening….they just grinned and bore it.

    so, its sadomasochism all the way huh.

  32. defeatism,getrealism,wakeupism,immunism

    yata yata yata

    ————————

    maiba tayo,

    remenber the luli arroyo internet brigade,
    dinapinoy, me tawagan din kami dito pero asar talo at walang banned ang kelangan lang ay umayos.

    humihirit na naman si Luli, drug addict daw si Joey.
    media talaga oo,hihingi ng opinion kung kelan pikon ang tao.

    tapos Zarsuela, daw,me dalaw daw senator backer si Joey.

    mahilig naman tayo dyan eh. But just to grin and bear

    it,just wait ika nga ni devils di pa tapos mag saing.

    Even in coffee shops you wait for the coffee to brew so

    you can talk about it,while you wait.

  33. It does not require rocket science to make some bold predictions what will happen in the next 6 months:

    1)The NBN/ZTE contract will be “abrogated” by Gloria with some “face saving” moves by China.

    2)Fatso will virtually be on exile again and Gloria will declare again that “she is married to my country”.

    3)Speaker Joe will be replaced as speaker by somebody from KAMPI(ask Ronnie Puno for details).

    4)There will be a realignment of forces in the senate as the “Opposition” senators realize that something is blowing in the wind in their favor.

    5)Some body “decent” in the Cabinet will corroborate Joey’s assertions.

    6)FVR will support JDV.

    7)The CBCP will ask for prayers.

    8)Brother Mike will have a position supporting JDV.

    9)The Makati Business Club will come uo with a position paper “Enough is EnougH!

    10)The Tipping Point( depends on the U.S. of A).

  34. meron lang ankong di maintindihan sa zte hearing:
    ung kinwento ni jdv ke joey na galing dun si abalos sa bahay nya at sinabi daw na papatayin sila ni Jarius bondoc.

    Tapos ang sabi lang daw ni JDV,wag intindihin yun?
    medyo dun lang ako nahihiwagaan sa impluwensya ni Abalos para daw sabihann si jdv ng ganito…is he being shown here as more influential than JDV?

  35. Dear KARL(KG):

    When I conceived the Luli Arroyo Internet Brigade, I saw a long fight ahead. I pictured sleepless nights replying point by point to every destabilizer-with-an-internet-connection. I looked at the task ahead, and despaired.

    However, it’s taken surprisingly little effort to achieve our intended goals. Why? Because our enemies have been doing our job for us.

    To wit:

    The partnership between the Communists, the Cory faction, and the Erap/FPJ faction: a master-stroke in undermining credibility. I wish I could take credit for it, and I commend you, my agents, for keeping a straight face as Jinggoy and Cory stood together in solidarity against my mom. I wish I’d thought of putting Guingona and Erap back together, as if the impeachment never happened. They shot themselves in the foot – we didn’t even need to pull the trigger!

    OK, so I thought we still had the Church to contend with – but my worries vanished when that Bishop fulsomely apologized to Erap for that little misunderstanding called Edsa II. Problem solved – and we didn’t even lift a finger!

    Credibility-reducing hyperbole. And I thought I’d seen it all when Imee Marcos all but accused my mom of being a “liar and thief”. But when the destabilizers began to bandy around words like “worse than Martial Law” to refer to my mom’s presidency, I knew the movement had jumped the shark!

    Mission accomplished? Hell no! There’s quite a ways to go. But it looks like they’re saving us the trouble: the more our opponents come out looking like they’ve forgotten to take their Tourette’s medication, the more their media sympathizers cry wolf, the more they substitute wacky conspiracy theories for astute analysis – all the more they defeat themselves!

    Cringeworthy public appearances. We’ve already talked about the strange bedfellows of the Left and Right uniting against the government. Scratch that. I’m talking about the Black and White Movement’s regular Friday tea parties-cum-public protests. I’m talking about Maria Theresa Pangilinan throwing a tantrum at her own graduation. I’m talking about every single instance where the destabilizers get together to wave flags and choke traffic, and piss off the undecided who would otherwise be attracted to their cause.

    The reactions to the people’s overwhelming non-reaction have come in two flavors – “Gloria’s people are working against us to keep us down”, or “Fuck the middle class, they can’t take a hint.” Neither of which are even close to the truth. But, brigadiers, we want them to keep believing this. We want them to keep believing that the Luli Arroyo Internet Brigade has been largely responsible for the utter silence that greets them every time they enter a Starbucks in a black shirt. We want them to believe they can “rearrange the furniture” around an apathetic middle class. The greater the gulf between the opposition and reality, the more successful we shall become!

    Stay vigilant, my agents – in time, the opposition, for all intents and purposes, will BE the Luli Arroyo Internet Brigade!

    Love and kisses,

    LULI A. (My Mommy right or wrong!)

  36. Grin and bear it,

    ok a century from now, we will read in the history books, even with everything happening….they just grinned and bore it.

    so, its sadomasochism all the way huh.– karl garcia

    ———————————————————

    that is true. was true during the spanish time, american time, japanese time, marcos time. and soon to be Gloria time.
    Erap time? that was an aberration.

  37. Erap time? not an aberration, really. a concoction prepared sumptously by a shamed elite, unforgiving intelligentsia and a self-righteous church and middle class.

  38. “Erap time? not an aberration, really. a concoction prepared sumptously by a shamed elite, unforgiving intelligentsia and a self-righteous church and middle class.frombelow”

    We want them to believe they can “rearrange the furniture” around an apathetic middle class. The greater the gulf between the opposition and reality, the more successful we shall become!

    Stay vigilant, my agents – in time, the opposition, for all intents and purposes, will BE the Luli Arroyo Internet Brigade!

    Love and kisses,

    LULI A. (My Mommy right or wrong!)

  39. Sec. 5. Prohibition on certain relatives. – It shall be unlawful for the spouse or for any relative, by consanguinity or affinity, within the third civil degree, of the President of the Philippines, the Vice-President of the Philippines, the President of the Senate, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to intervene, directly or indirectly, in any business, transaction, contract or application with the Government.

    I wonder if JDV3’s aware that he has also violated the Philippine Law on Graft on and Corruption Practices ?

    Will he also do ala Chavit Singson? Any lawyer to explain.

  40. JdV3 didn’t do it for ‘King and country’ as they said in England – don’t believe his motive was altruistic at all when he denounced before the Senate FG (Fat Goon) Mike Arroyo is grossly overpriced ZTE broadband deal’s “mystery man” whom Manuel Buencamino also calls “Mr. Nimam,” which, by the way, we already ‘half-guessed as being the bigger, stouter, stronger fish than election boss Benjamin Abalos who had tried to bully little Joey here to “back off.”

    Just the same, I salute the young ‘un for his courage. In this country, we desperately need “civilians”, “non politicos” that is, with the courage to fight the enchanted Mafia in Malacanang on all fronts and to me, Joey has shown the way by going the whole hog. Let’s hope others in big business and some of the politicos do the same thing.

  41. Why did the Speaker cancelled his trip? His publicist says he’s supposed to go to Amsterdam. And what I read here, FG has flown to Hongkong enroute to Germany, then to Switzerland. Are these two men supposed to meet there to iron out a gentleman’s agreement to end the ZTE controversy? Possibly. However, close associates of the president says, FG’s concern is how to protect the millions of dollars stashed in a Swiss bank, courtesy of ZTE.

    You said, it could be because of Villafuerte’s radio interview, that imminent JDV ouster. Possibly. That’s why Lakas issued a statement of support behind JDV. However, I do think JDV’s cancelled trip could be an overt declaration of war. Note that the president’s relations with the Speaker and that of Lakas has not been that good. It has seen better days. During the elections, close allies of the president tried, but failed to end JDV’s political career. Talks are rife that this controversy could either break or make JDV’s career. If JDV takes a neutral stance, he could lose the Speakership still. Why? Because that would still portray him as weak. If the Speaker sides with his son, he has a better chance of realizing his dream of being the captain of this nation’s ship. However, should he continue supporting the president and doing nothing while close allies of the president undermines his rule as speaker, he loses the chance of being great and of being the speaker.

    Manolo, this “fight of the giants”, as what a congressman described this to be, goes beyond ZTE. ZTE is just a pawn in this high-stakes political game. Behind this titanic fight is the prime ministership which JDV and GMA are obviously salivating since two years ago. GMA wants JDV gone, period. What better way to do it now, with this controversy? Expect more personal attacks not only to Joey but to his father. Expect fireworks between these two elite groups. The question remains–who’ll win? JDV must prepare himself. He must use all of his resources to win against GMA. He must also side with his son. That’s his best chance and hopefully, mass enough support from all sectors (especially civil society) strong enough for a revolution. JDV’s survival now depends on how strong and how resilient his forces are against the expected onslaught from GMA’s camp. If JDV does not sever his ties with GMA, he may yet see himself as a weakened political entity in 2010. However, should he galvanize support for a big push against his former political ally, we may yet see him in the pinnacle of power very soon.

    By the way, where’s Tabako when you need one?

  42. Joey sideswipped by his own China “business partners”:

    Joey’s company had to be kicked out to accomodate Abalos, the ultimate fixer. The good thing was that Joey’s company is merely a supplier of ZTE, hence, technically ZTE corporate could go directly to DoTC with a proposal of their own by slightly modifying Joey’s project so technically, their offer would be “different ” from their own local supplier’s proposal to government – no direct “clash” of interests there or so they thought or were made to believe.

    This modus operandi has been done before and not a few times when a foreign company’s local supplier, distributor, service provider was egged out of a potentially bigger project by that same foreign company-supplier by going direct to government agency with their own local, high-power and more credible conduits. In the ongoing saga, this is what happened to Joey most likely particularly if it’s true that his company, the AHI owes ZTE corporate a huge chunk of money in unpaid bills.

    Bad thing for them! Joey, the son of a political scion and major ally of the Palace midget, was proving difficult, and was becoming a thorny issue. What better way therefore than to have no less than a potentially big timer too – Abalos, a real biggie what with elections in the offing and INDEPENDENT of Malacanang (being COMELEC boss) to boot taking the cudgels for the Malacanang mafia-like organized crime syndicate to make Joey back off?

    The Malacanang organized crime syndicate through one of their own lynchpins – Mendoza – hits two birds with one stone: They get Abalos on side (for the elections) and cover the tracks of Malacanang at the same time.

  43. What they didn’t reckon would happen was that Joey would be so mad, so furious that he was being double-crossed and would squeak! They didn’t believe Speaker Joe de Venecia would not be able to stop his son from squeaking (but easy to believe that JdV gave his blessing to Joey at a given point in time and even finetuned with him the squealing operations seeing that things weren’t very clear between him and Gloria anyway… after all, doesn’t Philippine Star’s Jarius Bondoc who first exposed the overpriced contract in the making admit now that he met Joey in the Dasmarinas Village home of Speaker Joe de Venecia?).

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