I’m leaving on a jet plane… Not!

Update 8:34 pm (heard on the road around 7 pm) Arroyo changes mind, ‘advises’ Neri to attend NBN hearing. The end of a long day of official flip-flopping!

Update 6:28 pm: Senate to subpoena Neri to attend NBN probe next week . I think the Senate’s let him slip through their fingers on this one.

Update 5:29 pm: guess who just filed a new impeachment rap?

Ta-da! Oliver Lozano.

***

Over the weekend a source described the situation between the President and the Speaker like this. It’s like Defcon 3, the source said. The missiles are fueled and primed, the launch codes have been brought out and authorized, but neither side has pressed the launch button. The papers report that an initial effort to topple the Speaker failed.

Wednesday’s Senate hearing showed every sign of being the launch-button-pressing event.

In his blog, Ricky Carandang reported on the hastily-called press conference last Saturday, where two cabinet secretaries announced that the ZTE and the CyberEd deals had been suspended. And why a sudden reversal of the official position was called for:

Some inquiring minds think that the suspension was actually prompted by Arroyo watching Romulo Neri on TV last night vowing to tell all he knows about the NBN deal. The argument is that now that the deal has been suspended, we can all “move on”and there’s no need for Neri to appear before the senate anymore. I can already imagine the chorus of the “let’s move on” crowd filling the columns of newspapers and blogs and airwaves of TV and radio stations. I anticipate Joker Arroyo saying on Wednesday that since the project has been suspended, there is no need to investigate the matter further and therefore we can let sleeping dogs lie. It’s a win-win solution. The opposition can claim victory by blocking another DOTC white elephant, no one goes after Abalos and Mike Arroyo anymore and Joe De Venecia remains Speaker…for now. Of course there are some loose ends. Joey De Venecia is hung out to dry, and if his allgations are true, someone forfeits their $200 commission, and Abalos will have to find some way to return the “monies”already advanced by ZTE, or the generals will break his kneecaps.

Carandang’s opinion, in a comment in his own blog, makes for a compelling analysis:

Personally, I don’t think this will lead to Gloria’s premature removal from office. Aside from having no hope that Congress will ever impeach her, I think too many of the elite cliques would oppose it at this late hour. With three years to go before she (presumably) steps down, her removal would intoduce a new element of uncertainty’a Noli de Castro presidency. By 2010, having tasted power for three years, Noli may want more and may resort to the same machinations to hold onto power as his predecessor. That in turn could usher in another prolonged period of political intramurals among the elites. Add to that the fact that Noli, like Erap,is considered by the establsihment to be an unacceptable outsider.

What I see happening at this point is that all the accumulated evidence of wrongdoing will be used against Gloria and her accomplices after she is made to stepdown in 2010 and face a plunder/economic sabotage/multiple murder/crimes against humanity/ case before the Judiciary.

But the clumsy, heavy-handed actions of the Palace over the weekend has only intensified demands for the hearing (while BusinessWorld reports the President and her husband’s ratings have dipped). See last Sunday’s Inquirer editorial and today’s Inquirer editorial. Interest in what former NEDA chief Romulo Neri has to say, is particularly keen. In his column, today, Jarius Bondoc says Neri could possibly not only implicate the President herself (see the Newsbreak article from September 10, PCIJ’s primer on ZTE, as well as GmaNews.tv’s scoop: Cabinet split on cost, benefits of NBN, overlap with CyberEd), but a prominent businessman:

Romy then rattled off many things he knew about the events leading to the scheduled signing of Apr. 21. I later learned that he had told at least three of our common friends the same things.

Some of the items have since been reported in broadcast and print. There was a supposed invitation from COMELEC chief Benjamin Abalos to golf at the Wack Wack Country Club, during which Romy was offered P200 million to support ZTE. As the story goes, Romy turned down and told President Arroyo about the indecent proposal. Whereupon, she instructed him to not accept the bribe but ensure the NEDA approvals just the same. Romy has neither confirmed nor denied the reports.

Only God and Romy know if under oath he would confirm or deny the other items. I pray that he expound on them. He had told me on that morning of Apr. 20 and several other times that not only a COMELEC official but an influential businessman too was inordinately lobbying for ZTE Corp. The businessman allegedly was responsible for the sudden rise of the ZTE tag price to $330 million days before the signing, when its original offer in Dec. to Feb. was $262 million. What was the $68-million difference for, I asked in subsequent talks. Romy said the businessman was assigned to raise campaign funds for an administration party during the last election.

I would understand if Romy balks in identifying the businessman. In a previous cocktail party at the residence of Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., he said, that man had cornered and threatened him for opposing a fishy pier project. That man reportedly also worked on Romy’s consequent transfer from NEDA to the Commission on Higher Education.

Romy in our talks implicated most of the persons Joey de Venecia has exposed under oath as thieving from the broadband purchase. But I get the impression that Romy knows much more than the heroic whistleblower who initially was bidding for the telecom project.

About ZTE executives, Romy also said he has never seen any group as aggressive as them in pushing for a contract. They were waiting outside the NEDA conference room while the Cabinet was deliberating about them.

More importantly, Romy said a very powerful official arm-twisted him to turn the broadband project from a safe build-operate-transfer plan to a risky outright supply purchase. It was for that reason, he told me on Apr. 20, that he almost resigned from the Cabinet the day before.

And yet, in the face of increased public interest, it seemed that the President’s only option would be to invoke EO 464 and forbid executive officials from appearing.

But that would solidify negative public perceptions of the President. But there seemed no other option: better people coming to sinister conclusions rather than solid testimony made under oath.

Then, this morning, a pretty breathtaking example of Marcosian jujitsu.

The President leaves for New York tomorrow, and it’s being widely discussed that among her entourage will be Romulo Neri. (update, 1:235 pmPresident asks Neri to take US trip with her–reports. There you go!

(update 2:10 pmNeri: DFA ‘advised’ me to go with President:

Romulo Neri, ex-economic planning secretary, and a key resource person in the national broadband network contract between the government and the ZTE Corp. of China, has disclosed that he was “advised”to accompany President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the United States this week.

Neri, who was at the House of Representatives for a budget hearing Monday, issued the statement in response to a question by Bayan Muna Congressman Teodoro CasiÑo on whether he would go with the President in her US trip.

“It’s a possibility,”said Neri and said that he had been “advised” by the Department of Foreign Affairs to go to the US where the President is expected to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

But before the budget hearing, Neri told INQUIRER.net that he would still have to think about whether to accept the invitation as he has agreed to attend the Senate investigation on the NBN project this Wednesday.

(update 3:40 pm):

“I have been advised by the DFA that I may be needed to help in the Millenium Development Challenge,”said Neri Monday, responding to Cagayan Representative Rufus Rodriguez’s question about his impending US trip.

“The President is my superior…I guess, if instructed to go and it’s a legal order, I may have to follow it,”said Neri who attended the budget hearing at the House of Representatives.

But at the same time, Neri said he would “come back in time.” “As I’ve said I’ve promised to attend [the Senate investigation].”

The question then becomes whether Neri is a free agent or not, at this point: if he’s a captive, he will bundled onto the presidential plane. If he is partially free, he can wriggle out of the trip and stay for the Senate hearing: a gambit which may or may not succeed, not least, because it depends on the risks Neri is willing to take.

Or, if it’s just a propaganda effort to deflate the ballooning effort to cheer Neri on.

My column today, Heroic leadership, suggests why Neri should be prepared to testify even at the risk of disobeying the President (I also quoted from this article by Matthew Mehan on St. Thomas More). There are even those, like blogger Uniffors, who are calling on Neri to live up to his Ateneo principles.

A few days ago, Solita Monsod said, in her column, that she believed Joey de Venecia (I Set No Corner agrees). She also used a term that I found interesting: a scorched-earth campaign is under way, she said, against critics of the NBN deal. But I‘d pointed out scorched-earth governance has been the style of the Palace for some years now. Just how scorched-earth? Read Tony Abaya describe how his writing a column skeptical of the ZTE deal triggered a negative in Enrique Razon’s paper -the same paper Abaya writes for:

So, between 12:23 pm when I emailed the article to Manila Standard Today, and 1:30 pm, or a little over an hour later, someone in Malacanang had concocted this story about how Joey de Venecia ‘ whom I had never met in my entire life – had been talking to me to destroy the credibility of the ZTE Corp.

This is all the more surprising since this article ‘A-B-Z-T-E-F-G ‘ did not see print until the next day, Sept. 20. And it was not sent electronically to my distribution list until 8:51 pm of Sept. 19.

So the only copy of that article that the Malacanang source could have possibly seen was the copy that was sent by email to Manila Standard Today. Either someone in the newspaper office forwarded it to Malacanang, which I doubt, or “intelligence agents”wire-tapped the cable lines of my computer, which is more likely.

(I first became aware of my computer being wire-tapped in July 2005, but that’s another story for another day.)

In the blogosphere, Yugatech’s entry made news: Filipino bloggers frustrated with NBN Senate investigation (would they agree or disagree with Patricia Evangelista, too?). In Newsstand, John Nery says he wasn’t satisfied with the way the senators conducted their questioning. A Nagueno in the Blogosphere calls the deal a “Frankenstein project.” Slap Happy simply isn’t surprised.

New Philippine Revolution has an interesting take on things, similar thoughts expressed in Ya Basta de Disparates. I wonder though, if, as the blogger (NPR) asserts, Sec. Leandro Mendoza is “clean.” There was a point during the last Senate hearing, when senators seemed like they were trying to pin him down on the question of whether an executive agreement existed or not. Mendoza said, no executive agreement existed. The Q&A hinged on what Mendoza tried to pass off as ungrammatical English on the part of the lawyer who wrote the contract with ZTE.:

7:26 Legarda: Is there an executive agreement or not?

M: Not yet. It’s still in process.

L: Even if the supply contract says there was an executive agreement signed?

M: This was explained by the one who wrote the contract, this may be explained by maybe there was some error…Uh, well, if the other party thinks it’s OK…

L: There is an admission by the executive that there was an error in which the document was drafted and signed?

M: Well, no, the executive agreement is under process…

(continued debate on “is”and “was”and differences in terms of English usage; Mendoza insists lawyer said intent of document was clear to both parties; Mendoza says there are many angles; government thinks, though, best angle to pursue is the Supreme Court, they will follow the rule of law…

I wonder though: what if Mendoza perjured himself? Which is the easier, and thus, more likely explanation? Poor English skills or, that the document was referring, indeed, to an existing executive agreement?

In his blog, Karl Garcia says, take a second look at Abaya vs. Ebdane. See Manila Bay Watch and big mango, too.

 

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110 comments

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    • koolit on September 25, 2007 at 7:34 am

    rego,

    Good question “How?People Power? Impeachment?”

    Michael Jordan’s advice to the Filipino people:

    “Just do it.”

    What to do? Get off the comfort zones first, then our the answer will unfold as we move.

    • Art on September 25, 2007 at 7:42 am

    Koolit,

    You’re kool man, your comments make a lot of sense:

    Better a CERTAIN Gloria than an UNCERTAIN Noli.

    Better to move than get stuck in the groove.

    Groovy, man, that’s kool koolit.

    • Art on September 25, 2007 at 7:44 am

    Let’s Just Do It, koolit !

    • benign0 on September 25, 2007 at 7:49 am

    “What to do? Get off the comfort zones first, then our the answer will unfold as we move.”

    At the moment though, the comfort zone of imagination-challenged Pinoy society is political buffoonery; i.e. personality politics, impeachment politics, and street politics.

    Jordan’s “just do it” is best exmplified by focus on the important things rather than trivial tabloidesque discussions that dominate the airwaves and blogosphere.

    Pinoys have a talent for wasting the best of what hi-tech has to offer on mediocre pursuits. 😀

    • Art on September 25, 2007 at 7:53 am

    correction pls:

    Better an UNCERTAIN Noli than an CERTAIN Gloria !

    sorry koolit,

    • koolit on September 25, 2007 at 8:07 am

    benign0

    “Pinoys have a talent for wasting the best of what hi-tech has to offer on mediocre pursuits.”

    Gloria and her bright wimpy boys have a talent for wasting the best of what hi-tech has to offer on ZTE NBN and CyberEd white-elephants-in-the-making.

    Don’t worry ’bout me wasting the hi-tech, I earn a lot out IT, it’s hard work not just the tech.

  1. Thanks for the mention, MLQ3;
    naisip ko kesa ulit ulitin ko bat di ko na lang iblog

    Thanks for the liveblogging,btw,malaki ang naitulong nun.

    • indoro ni emilie on September 25, 2007 at 9:06 am

    “Absolute pardon for Erap? Di kaya parang unwise naman ang plano eto. I dont think this will help any efforts to curbecorruptin in the highest leve of government.”

    unwise? is that all you can meekly say, rego?

    it is a mockery!!!!! an exercise she has perfected.

    benigno: please deliver us to a country where politics is never personal? your kevin rudd is not even spared from garbage-digging politics.

    • TDC on September 25, 2007 at 9:33 am

    “AN ABSOLUTE pardon means the government will no longer confiscate P1 billion in ill-gained assets that deposed President Joseph Estrada had allegedly acquired and that the Sandiganbayan wants forfeited in favor of the state.

    This was how Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno interpreted the proposed unconditional pardon .”

    I know understand why GMA wants to pardon Estrada:

    1)To establish a legal precedent:a sitting president granting pardon to a convicted former president.

    2)To keep the Pidal clan’s ill-gotten wealth after she is pardoned one day!

    “Deal or No deal?” “Game ka na ba?”

    • Shaman of Malilipot on September 25, 2007 at 9:44 am

    “I wonder who is doing the safe keeping of all the evidence?” – rego

    PlunderWatch is doing it. Carol Araullo has said that they will pursue the case against Gloria after she leaves office more vehemently than they did in Erap’s case.

    • TDC on September 25, 2007 at 9:48 am

    As the Senate resumes its NBN/ZTE hearings,expect the following “clusters” of Senators to act accordingly:

    Genuine Oppositionists:
    1)Pimentel
    2)Lacson

    Credible Independents:
    3)Roxas
    4)Allan Peter Cayetano
    5)Kiko
    6)Escudero
    7)Gordon

    “Sound Bites/Photo Ops”Senators

    8)Biazon
    9)Loren
    10)Noynoy
    11)Gringo
    12)Jinggoy
    13)Villar
    14)Pia
    15)Jamby

    Old,Tired Fogeys
    16)D’Joker
    17)D’ Johhny
    18)D’ Miriam
    19)D’Angara

    Silent Ones
    20)Lapid
    21)Revilla

    The Silenced One
    22)Trillanes

    Kasali ba?
    23)the 12th senator(from Maguindanao)

    • peter on September 25, 2007 at 9:52 am

    mlq3, rego, ine,

    Mayor Lim said the law applies to all or none at all.

    Clear as clear can be,
    Gloria says The Law applies to none at all,

    Gloria goes for FFA — Free For All — where she who has the force rules all,

    ROF — Rule of Force — instead of ROL — Rule of Law since EDSA 2’s ROE — Rule of Elite — the very few who rules the economy rules the country, by military’s force if need be.

    All in all what Erap pardon means is Gloria rules.

    • tonio on September 25, 2007 at 9:54 am

    Curriculum Vitae

    Atty. Oliver Lozano

    Hobbies: Reading, Writing, filing impeachment cases…

    😛

    • BrianB on September 25, 2007 at 10:25 am

    “Better a CERTAIN Gloria than an UNCERTAIN Noli.”

    Maybe they don’t get the point. What’s certain is that we cannot tolerate what is happening. If we do, we lose all pride as a nation. What is certain is that PGMA knows she will not be tolerated any longer, and she wil certainly do something to prevent a coup or a revolution. What is certain is that she will act not only to defend her position but also to try to clean up her name. Can you imagine her retiring from politics with this specter over her?

    What is uncertain about Noli: he will or he wion’t be a tolerable transitional president.

  2. Ricky Carandang’s punditry, while quite “compelling,” may have missed the suggestion that in some way the Philippines remains a semi-colony of the U.S. as maybe indicated in the following:

    – so far, the most persuasive criticism of the ZTE deal is the one by Fabella and de Dios. But something turned up during the Senate investigation – the possibility of Big Uncle’s footprint in the report. The diction of the Fabella/de Dios report sounds AGILE (which serves the purposes of the US Agency for International Development) to me. It is therefore not surprising that beneath the well-reasoned analysis is the sly attempt to sell the Washington Consensus – essentially the free-market and liberalization paradigm (as the continuing prescription for countries as the Philippines that cvj has referred to as comprising the Empire 2).

    – Tribune reports “that word had gotten around to the Palace that the United States Embassy was mulling the cancellation of the visa issued to Neri, ostensibly to prevent him from leaving the country “ because the “US government is apparently interested ” in the probe and that “US Ambassador Kristie Kenney earlier advised the government to observe transparency in the signing of the deal with the Chinese firm.”

    – on the other hand, expect PGMA spinmeisters to try twirling GMA’s NY appearance with a view to toning down the impact of the ZTE controversy at home, like to the effect that if it’s harmless to the mainland, why shouldn’t the colony give it a pass.

    • Jeg on September 25, 2007 at 10:51 am

    Update 8:34 pm (heard on the road around 7 pm) Arroyo changes mind, ‘advises’ Neri to attend NBN hearing.

    ‘Oplan Neri’ is a success, Ms. Arroyo? Seems the prez is confident about Mr. Neri’s testimony at the senate hearings.

    • tonio on September 25, 2007 at 11:21 am

    hmmm…. did this sudden confidence involve ridiculous amounts of money or psychological torture? it’s all up to prof. neri tomorrow.

    • indoro ni emilie on September 25, 2007 at 11:27 am

    there goes civil society again deciding who should rule the country in the event of a presidential ouster.

    who else but the vice-president?!? it happens to be noli, so be it. respect the choice of the majority. para naman kasing hindi na sila natuto sa pagpapatalsik kay erap, and now here they are again disregarding and worrying about the democratic process of succession.

  3. If the us is so inetrested in the NBN
    why did sprint, the third largest telecom in the US partnered with ZTE to supply multiple wimax devices in the us.(baka gusto nila partners sila with ZTE dito sa pinas)

    well, iba nga pala pag sinabi us government interests at us corporate interests.

    speaking of corporate interests; apparently Mattel offered an apology to China for the exaggerations being reported by media.

    The us cannot afford to cross china,because that is where almost all the mnaufacturing money went,and now with their current economic problems(and others obviously),they need more allies than enemies.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on September 25, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    Ricky Carandang and Marieton Pacheco interviewed Speaker JDV on ANC yesterday morning wherein JDV may have implicated GMA in the NBN scandal:

    “This morning on ANC, Marieton Pacheco and I interviewed the Speaker who confirmed a story told by his son Joey before the Senate last week: that sometime in October 2006, the elder De Venecia, President Arroyo, and Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos were in Shenzhen to meet with Chinese officials about a number of things.

    “As JDV tells it, he and his president were on a bus from Hong Kong to Shenzhen when she had a phone conversation with Abalos. Apparently Abalos had flown ahead to China and was waiting for them there so they could all play golf. During the phone conversation, Arroyo asked Abalos why he couldn’t tweak ZTE’s broadband proposal so that there would be no need for the government to borrow money or issue a sovereign guarantee for the project. In the presence of the Speaker, she asked Abalos why he couldn’t get ZTE to submit a proposal similar to the one submitted by Joey De Venecia’s company, Amsterdam Holdings, which had no up front cost for the government.

    “JDV says he didn’t know how Abalos replied to the President because she was speaking to him on the phone. He said that they only met with Abalos after they arrived in Shenzhen.

    “What does this tell us?

    “First, that President Arroyo knew that Abalos was pushing the ZTE proposal. Based on what the president said, she not only knew that Abalos was involved in the ZTE proposal but assumed that he had enough influence over ZTE to get them to materially modify their proposal.

    “Second, that the president knew that the ZTE proposal did not conform to her own policy and guidelines about how a broadband deal should be done. She knew that, contrary to her stated policy, the ZTE proposal would require the government to borrow the money to fund the project. And yet, she approved the deal later on anyway.

    “This is not an unsubstantiated claim by some oppositionist trying to oust the president. This is the Speaker of the House talking about something he had direct knowledge of. The fourth highest offical in the country and a loyal ally of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Whether he meant to or not, the Speaker may have just implicated the President in the ZTE Broadband scandal.”

  4. apparently the telecom giants in the us are a bit scared of ZTE and its main rival in China Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd entering the US market slowly but surely,it even made Lucent and Alcatel suddenly merge.

    ZTE is making its presence felt all over,so RP is just peanuts if they are not successful in implementing it.

    For them,it would be our loss not theirs.

    If cancelled,I go back to the moral lesson of robin hood and machiavelli,of exactly what not to follow, Consequentialism

    • Shaman of Malilipot on September 25, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    From Malaya newspaper:

    “ELECTIONS chair Benjamin Abalos yesterday said he is ready to face Senate probers tomorrow over the controversial $329-million national broadband network deal.

    “‘I do not need to prepare for it. You don’t need to prepare if what you are going to say is nothing but the truth,’ he said.”

    From Inquirer Online:

    “Benjamin Abalos Jr, the beleaguered chairman of the Commission on Elections, was a no show at a budget hearing in the House of Representatives Tuesday.

    “(Comelec executive director Jose)Joson said Abalos was in consultation with his lawyers in preparation for his appearance in the Senate this Wednesday while the other commissioners cited personal reasons.”

    Liar talaga.

    • cvj on September 25, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Karl, the US cannot afford to cross China because it is its one of its largest creditors.

    …the U.S. economy has become dependent on low-interest loans from China and other foreign governments, and it’s likely to have major problems when those loans are no longer forthcoming…

    …Here’s what I think will happen if and when China changes its currency policy, and those cheap loans are no longer available. U.S. interest rates will rise; the housing bubble will probably burst; construction employment and consumer spending will both fall; falling home prices may lead to a wave of bankruptcies. And we’ll suddenly wonder why anyone thought financing the budget deficit was easy. – PAUL KRUGMAN, The Chinese Connection’ Published: May 20, 2005 NY Times

    Of course, the need to borrow money from China is the result of GW Bush’s tax cuts for the rich and his invasion of Iraq, but that’s another story.

    • cvj on September 25, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    Here’s the [newly liberated] link to the above.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/20/opinion/20krugman.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

  5. CVJ,

    Touche!

    Many Thanks!

    • 3rdson on September 25, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    paano mo naman nalamang nagsisinungaling yung taga comelec? alam mo ba kung nasaan si abalos at yung ibang commissioners?

    • leah on September 25, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Manila Bay Watch :

    Question 1: Who first “demobilized” the ROTC, I mean which president?
    September 24th, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    answer: ROTC became voluntary under GMA, but not really because of her. Just timing. But even voluntary RP has 80 thousand ROTC, USA has 55,000 ROTC only.

    my question is: why Jinggoy would introduce this? no political gain for him to make millions angered.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on September 25, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    3rdson,

    Hindi mo ba na-gets? Sabi ni Abalos hindi raw kailangan ng preparation para sa Senate NBN hearing bukas kasi purong katotohanan lang raw ang sasabihin niya. Pero, ang sabi ni Comelec executive director Jose Joson, hindi raw nakapunta si Abalos sa budget hearing ngayon sa House dahil kapulong niya ang mga lawyers niya in preparation for tomorrow’s Senate hearing.

    O, ano, na spot mo na ang kasinungalingan?

    • 3rdson on September 25, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    masyado kang literal magisip. Ang “I don’t need to prepare” ay hindi katumbas ng “I will not prepare.” yan ang hirap sa banat ng banat, palaging ginagawang big-deal pati ang mga inconsequential na salitang ganyan. sa tingin mo ba, sa ganyan ka-importanteng tagpo ay hindi mag-hahanda ang tao? para ka namang inosente niyan e.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on September 25, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    I’m inclined to believe that even GMA’s sudden order for her cabinet to attend last Thursday’s Senate NBN hearing, after calling it a “vaudeville act”, was “inspired” by the Americans.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on September 25, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    O, sige na lang, 3rdson.

    • 3rdson on September 25, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    ok, shaman

    • peter on September 25, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    BrainB,

    I agree with you that tolerance of GMA had been stretched to breaking point, its wrong in fact.

    Your comment is to Ricky’s comment and to art’s mistake on paraphrasing koolit’s take,
    Noli presidency is a risk, koolit’s comment asks if we should take the risk on Noli:

    “Between the CERTAINTY of accelerating pillage and plunder during the three remaining years of GMA and the UNCERTAINTIES of a Noli de Castro presidency, shouldn’t we take a RISK in the latter?”

  6. For Leah,

    the answer could be that those retire and get killed every year from outnumber those who enter.

    approximately 300 enter pma plebes and it gets reduced along the way.The others enter as enlisted personnel who are in the frontline.

    very few from the enlisted personnel gets to be officers.
    if you are in the rotc,with additional training you are an officer pronto,an example would be the major who handles the NCR guys, major Zagala,he graduated lia com from dlsu and obviously not an Ayer and yet his responsibility is the whole ncr forces.

    But as I have mentioned before also in reply to you,that the ROTC here is somehow bastardized by the cadets themselves,by buying their way to light duties with conninvance with their doctors and some officers and the trees that give them shade.

    but i am sure that does not answer your question,why jinggoy would file such a bill,because you asked it again after a month.

    ps

    your figures regarding the 55,000 rotc in the US needs updating,because as far as I know ROTC comprises 39 % of the force.

    before our AFP had an average composition of 75 % or more from the ROTC.

  7. Leah,

    Must say I don’t see the connection between the filing of the bill and a potential pardon.

    Karl may be right when he says the killed in action outnumber the applicants. Could be just that, i.e., need to replace. He saw this as a bill that could be useful.

    Of course, if Jinggoy has not been one of them active legislators in terms of number of bills drafted and given that there’s a question of absolute pardon or whatever pardon, it’s easy to imagine that there’s an ulterior motive behind his filing of ANY bill. Sinister motives of any kind could be imputed on any of his acts as legislator.

    Anyway, am curious, why would millions be angered by such a bill? The Philippines has a small armed forces. It has a small corps of officers coming from the PMA so could be that the ROTC is the answer. Perhaps the bill is meant to change the rules or to make it more ‘professional’ to do away with the charges enumerated by Karl. All these could be just conjenctures.

    In fine, I’m for ROTC but a “professionalized” ROTC, i.e., not just marching under the sun endlessly day in day out and for hours and given college credits for having done just that – doesn’t make sense. The forced ‘recruits’ must also be trained in leadership and taught warfare, after all, they are potentially, if the corps, if you want, the breeding ground for military officers.

  8. Ooops, “after all, they are potentially, if you want, the breeding ground for military officers.”

  9. Leadership cannot be imbued by only forcing these ROTC lads to march.

    • pete m. on September 25, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    mbw, kg, leah

    I’m for ROTC as component of a pyramid model of the afp. I’d say i’m for pro-activating a bigger/wider base. I have a wonderful model in mind. present problems in afp increase relevance of totally re-engineering the armed forces.

  10. Pete m,

    Could you elaborate on that wonderful model of yours?

  11. Re cvj’s, “Karl, the US cannot afford to cross China because it is its one of its largest creditors.”

    That’s for sure! If China pulls the plug, i.e., collects their hundreds of billions of dollars in American debt, the whole world will be in a mess.

    • cvj on September 25, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    MBW, in the realm of national competitive strategy it’s an incredible double achievement for President George W. Bush. From strategic economic advantage during Clinton’s time, he moved the USA to a position of strategic economic disadvantage vis-a-vis China. From strategic military advantage as the world’s only superpower at the end of Clinton’s term, he now leaves the Americans with a broken military responsible for an unlawful invasion and hundreds of thousands dead. Uncannily, back in January 2001, the satirical online magazine ‘The Onion’ foresaw all of this with an imagined inaugural speech which plays out how his term would unfold.

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28784

    Funny, but scary.

  12. “Perhaps the bill is meant to change the rules or to make it more ‘professional’ to do away with the charges enumerated by Karl. All these could be just conjenctures.”

    As to all conjectures,I beg to disgaree,at least at one point in my life time I saw it with my own eyes. Now,as if it happened all the time and everywhere ,that could be time I have to agree that they could be conjectures.

    I am for a professionalized ROTC too,
    Pete ,anytinme you are ready share with us the model.MBW,myself and even Jaxius is interested in military affairs.

    Many Thanks.

  13. Karl,

    I didn’t mean that YOUR charges were conjectures – sorry if it came out that way. I was actually referring to my entire plate of suppositions if you like that I proposed up there…a possibility, hence I said, COULD BE JUST conjectures. I should have specified, MY CONJECTURES.

  14. cvj,

    it is frightening indeed that the world’s most powerful nation on whose stability – financially and militarily – the world depends is hostage to Bush and China.

    • cvj on September 25, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    The Chinese leaders have a good head on their shoulders. The same cannot be said of Bush. After all, as an evangelical, he believes that we are living in the end times.

  15. cvj,

    in that report, Bush said,

    “The insanity is over.

    “After a long, dark night of peace and stability, the sun is finally rising again over America. We look forward to a bright new dawn not seen since the glory days of my dad.”

    That was pure insanity.

    • cvj on September 26, 2007 at 12:38 am

    Yes MBW, it’s amazing how that parody speech can reflect reality so closely.

  16. Heheheh!

  17. Mbw,
    No problem,sorry for making such a fuzz out of it.

    But regarding our conjectures, I read a few day old paper that the intention of teodoro was for replacement or replenisshment so to speak and he was suggesting scholarships for qualified or potential commissioned officers.

    Since it became voluntary,the armed forces has been terribly depleted.

    maybe an interim solution if they need people in the battlefields in mindanao is to recall all driver bodyguards,assigned to the generals.(not all,of course)

  18. The US economic problem was not even anticipated by greenspan.

    news says crisis will last till 2008.

    Bush needs a jocjoc type or enrique razon type of a fund raiser for the elections.

    maybe zte and its rival will merge with all the us telcos or something,with all the lobbyists of bush in full force.

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