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See Attack of the Romulan.

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    • Jeg on September 26, 2007 at 11:45 am

    That smell, ladies and gentlemen, is the smell of someone’s goose being cooked.

    • tonio on September 26, 2007 at 11:46 am

    here we go. let’s hope it all hits the fan.

    • BrianB on September 26, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    I’ve always thought it was woman who invented corruption. Chinese pala.

    • lacierda on September 26, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    M,

    Pangilinan is correct. Only the President can invoke Executive Privilege. If she allowed Neri to appear before the Senate, then that means Neri must testify to all and sundry conversations with the President.

    It must have been tactical for Neri to testify against Abalos but not GMA. But he will find no comfort in invoking executive privilege. Only the President and by extension and authority, the Executive Secretary can so invoke. And it cannot be invoked piece meal precisely because the President has given her approval for her to appear.

    The approval itself is suspect but until MO 106 is disapproved, it stands. And having allowed Neri to testify despite the presence of MO 106, Neri could not invoke executive privilege.

    • tonio on September 26, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    so they called Neri in… Malacañang must be telling him to shut up already.

    • Diego Torres on September 26, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    From the gallery, we conclude:
    Lawyers for the administration
    Sen Miriam – threw squid ink and debased the proceedings and witnesses with her remarks.
    Sen Arroyo – made Neri look like a NINCOMPOOP and NEDA, a mere agency that passes the buck to simply get the monkey off its back.But you miss the point , sir Joker, even if it were just 200 pesos offered by Abalos to Neri, that was still a bribery attempt. Whatever happened to you, sir?
    The rest of the senators with the exception of just a couple, did not study their homeworks and preferred to shoot their questions – to sound bright -from the morning dailies they may have read.
    But the saddest part is: the administration’s gargantuan and conspiratorial effort to lie and protect the liars and their loot. Wow, this is really the pits!

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

    “Pangilinan is correct. Only the President can invoke Executive Privilege. If she allowed Neri to appear before the Senate, then that means Neri must testify to all and sundry conversations with the President.”

    Based on this argument, the President shouldn’t allow the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of Defense to ever appear before the Senate or the House? Imagine a stupid Senator or Congressman asking these people about State secrets.

    • tonio on September 26, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    this is the philippines. yun lang.

    (i’ll stop now, lest i find benign0 agreeing with me. hahaha)

    • BrianB on September 26, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Attack of the Romulan? It took me a while to figure out it’s from Star Trek. But what is the relation?

    • hvrds on September 26, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    It is astounding that suppliers to government can meet with cabinet ministers who are after all ‘alter-egos’ of the President, privately to discuss their offers.

    No matter what, Abalos is buried deep in shit in acting as fixer on behalf of a supplier and off course the still as unnamed people.

    Government procurement in the Philippines is always about buying goods and services with non-transparent standards, shoddy workmanship and incomplete deliveries.

    Approving a project without having a basis for comparative costs is a recipe for stealing. Yet NEDA approved the project based on what? The executive department approved a procurement contract without even knowing what the hell they were getting.

    The Secretary of Finance, the Secretary of Transportation, Secretary General of NEDA and the Commissioner of Elections Abalos met with suppliers to the government to discuss their proposed offer in private meetings.

    We now know that the President of the Republic knew of these meetings.

    If there was no JDV3 offer this deal would have gone through.

    There is fundamentally a serious character flaw with these people who take an oath to serve the people in a constitutional framework. Maybe it is a cultural flaw. I do not know what to call it.

    There really is no concept of the common good amongst the highest levels of men at the highest positions of government.

    I am really stunned at the callousness of these men. I am totally dumbfounded as to why there was no alarm sounded by any of this men.

    Neri always speaks of regulatory capture of government but there he was involved in a shady process of which he sees absolutely nothing wrong. He rationalizes his part in the food chain and disclaims responsibility for the rest of the chain.

    I am reminded of Watergate. If Alexander Butterfield did not reveal the existence of the tapes Nixon would never have been forced to resign. John Deans testimony would not have been corroborated by Nixon himself.

    The Supreme Court then struck down Nixons claim of executive privilege simply because he was accused of probably committing a felony.

    Now it seems Neri is claiming executive privilege? But he is not the President and there is information that she is probably involved in a crime.

  1. I’m thinking maybe Sec. Neri is waiting willingly to be cornered for the knockout question. Then he could say, “wala na akong magawa! nasabi ko tuloy ang totoo” We’re waiting for that question, Mr. Senators.

    • BrianB on September 26, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    “There is fundamentally a serious character flaw with these people who take an oath to serve the people in a constitutional framework. Maybe it is a cultural flaw. I do not know what to call it.”

    hvrds, it’s the intsik in all of us.

    • BrianB on September 26, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    “I’m thinking maybe Sec. Neri is waiting willingly to be cornered”

    I’m thinking everything’s scripted, including Miriam’s rant. I remember one middle aged guy complaining about the youth’s penchant for ranting. Well?

    • tonio on September 26, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    brian:

    it’s a play on Romulo Neri’s name first of all…. and well, the Romulans were one sneaky, backstabbing bunch in the Star Trek series. their spacecraft had cloaking devices. 😛

    • enid on September 26, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    I think it funny, ‘Attack of the Romulan’ hwehehehehehe.

    • tagabukid on September 26, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Neri also said that on the advice of his lawyers, he mentioned Abalos’ offer to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in a phone conversation.

    “Abalos offered me P200 million,” Neri recalled as telling the President.

    Gloria replies: “E…yung additional na 1M?”

    • BrianB on September 26, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    “it’s a play on Romulo Neri’s name first of all…. and well, the Romulans were one sneaky, backstabbing bunch in the Star Trek series. their spacecraft had cloaking devices.”

    Yeah, Neri does look like a Romulan. Slim like them too, without the pointy ears. But Romulans are the bad guys.

    • tagabukid on September 26, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Gloria: “Hello, Neri?… yung pampataas? yung pampataas na 1M?”

    • Karl Garcia on September 26, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    attack of the Romulan,

    Was it from Star Trek?

    • Karl Garcia on September 26, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    Sorry BrianB,
    I did not scroll up.

    Me sagot na pala.

    • Rego on September 26, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    Ewan ko lang, pero medyo na bore ako sa live blogging na to. There is really nothing much so far. Kaya tulog muna ako

    • BrianB on September 26, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    “Ewan ko lang, pero medyo na bore ako sa live blogging na to. There is really nothing much so far. Kaya tulog muna ako”

    We’re going to war with China, but you’re probably over drafting age.

    But your right, as long as they can avoid any major drama (i.e. Loren crying) this thing will prolly just blow over. It has that vibe.

    • BrianB on September 26, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    What’s wrong with Madrigal? MLQ3 should edit her out of his live blogging. A genuine bummer.

  2. Been reading blow by blow live blogging account by Quezon.

    My initial comments:

    As usual, this is first class reporting – can’t wait to read the rest.

    Arroyo the senator seems to be the one who’s asked the more relevant questions.

    Pity they didn’t continue the line of questioning: what abalos doing brokering for a deal with a line agency very much outside his turf.

    Highly irregular.

    Even if i can’t see Abalos’ body language, his replies point to being evasive, and much as one wants to give him benefit of doubt, the man is clearly lying.

    He brokered, fixed the deal for ZTE.

    To be able to go around Speaker Joe de Venecia in deals of this kind or that he’s shown interest in and seems to back (ok it’s his son’s), only another ‘bigger’, powerful official can do that at election time; easy to dedeuce that among protagonists present, only Abalos could do that. The next would have been president.

    • Willy on September 26, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?”. The only surprising thing I got from the
    liveblog was chairman Abalos himself quoting scripture! Nakaka pangilabot! We have to commend him at least for memorizing this verse, from Matthew 16:26. If he had only proceeded further to verse 17, it goes on “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and
    WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.”
    Let us look into Chairman Abalos history in the Comelec to have an idea of his DEEDS, all there for the public to take note of. Maybe, next time chairman Abalos quotes scriptures, someone please tell him to understand its full context first, and that it certainly applies to him too.

  3. In Mlq3’s liveblog feed, Neri said or rather someone called Sales said that there were no other proposals so difficult to make comparisson – one senator quipped, NEDA didn’t do job properly – then insisted that this deal was based on tied loan.

    Actually it’s line agency that didn’t do its job properly – how can they be so sure that other govts can’t propose better loan terms if they didn’t ask other govts. All they have to do is inform embassies in Manila soliciting proposals. Embassies would have done job for them contacting industries. DoTC didn’t even have to get off its backside and proposals would be “pouring in”.

    Embassy economic post would have lobbied with their govt for back to back govt loans.

    Only way to know if Chinese offer is good offer.

    In other words, however they want to slice this as being tied to China govt loan, etc., this ZTE deals smacks of corruption, not only financially but morally.

    At the very least, RP govt line agency has been very negligent and NEDA has not been up to their task. At that level, it’s RP chief exec who should be blamed. Am trying to be very objective here and do not wish to accuse her of anything at this point save for gross negligence. She has command responsiblity.

    For one who is reputed to be micro management prone, she overlooked, and only god knows why, the flaws and gross negligence committed by her cabinet men in the performance of their tasks.

    ZTE deal is purely commercial transaction even if backed by their own govt banks (Chinese) so it’s not as if this deal is a national security treaty matter involving China that president cannot question or compare it with other possible offers from other countries.

    Any way you look at it, this deal is fishy.

    • Enrico Navea on September 26, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    Sen. Pangilinan is wrong. Sec. 2a of E.O. 464 is valid according to the decision of the Supreme Court. They cannot force Neri to tell them what was discussed between Neri and PGMA.

    Be objective. You are all bias and already prejudged this issue.

    • Enrico Navea on September 26, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    Mr. Willy,

    You are not God to judge a person.

    • Enrico Navea on September 26, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    Tagabukid,

    Sa bukid ka na lang magtanim. You are not helping the Philippines. What you are saying are insults and speculations.

    • nash on September 26, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    So is Abalos being sacrificed now? He has no aces up his sleeve. He can’t get back at GMA by exposing the dirty tricks of the last elections because he’ll be in a deeper hole.

    I must say, excellent tactics by GMA. This bitch is good.

  4. Abalos doesn’t have to do any exposé frontally – if he thinks he’s being made the fall guy, and if he’s got the goods on her, Abalos is not nearly a dumbo not to be able to have some trusted fellows to leak things to the press and to Congress without incriminating himself.

    Other words, Gloria is not yet off the hooks if it’s true she wants Abalos to serve as the fall guy.

    • Mike on September 26, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Nash: I’m not sure what you mean. If Abalos is to be sacrificed, why can’t he threaten to bring down the whole house of cards?

    Then again, I guess it depends on just how he will be sacrificed.

    BrianB: It’s up to the Senators to prevent this from blowing over. This is, so far, the biggest stink that the administration has been associated with and it will not go away so easily.

    • tagabukid on September 26, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    For sure, these leeches will claim that there’s no harm done because the ZTE deal is now suspended and will eventually be canceled. Nobody benefited.

    No harm no foul?! No Sir, this is what one may call: Frustrated Plunder!

    • nash on September 26, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    He can’t because as a fall guy he would have been exposed as a liar so he can’t say anything against gma that gma can’t easily wave off with her magic wand.

    Unless of course he does a Chavit Singson, admit he’s a crook, then spill the beans.

  5. Tagabukid,

    “Nobody benefited.”

    Not so sure about that…

    • Chabeli on September 26, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    Neri played up to Malacañan’s propaganda. He did EVERYTHING to protect Gloria & Mike. I was so disappointed at him. I agree with Sen Lacson when he said Neri missed the opportunity for his defying moment. Arrogantly, Neri said he will be the judge of that.

    Notwithstanding I suspect that Abalos is a crook, but after listening to the manner of how Neri was answering the queries of the Senators, I’m beginning to doubt about the 200 that was offered to him by Abalos. I wouldn’t be surprised if Neri said that if only to deflect the public’s focus on FG & Gloria.

    A few hours after listening to the hearing, I got the feeling that Abalos was going to be the fall guy of FG & Gloria. What the public got was the supposedly tell-all of a whimpy Neri. Impressed ? Not !

  6. Neri confirms bribe alright but if he cannot be more specific, i.e., by refusing to reveal his conversations with Gloria following his squealing to her of the bribe attempt, then Abalos goes scot free and in addition, Gloria can say once more… let’s move on.

    Not at all the results I expected from this Senate hearing today. Not at all…

    Up to the Senators to dig more intelligently.

    • dakoykoy on September 26, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    too many events where abalos’ names appears to be considered just a mere coincindence.
    neri is telling half-truths…covering for someone…can’t blame the guy(neri), PNP already posted in front of house…sure sign of intimidation!
    senate inquiry too technical questions…what happened to common sense and plain and simply truth?

  7. there were “advances” already made. that itself makes sure “somebody” benefited.

    Enrico, AFAICS Willy was not judging. He was pointing out that Abalos’ deeds are all there for everyone to see. and btw, as public officials, men like Abalos cannot just claim citizens are not Gods, so they shouldn’t judge him. public officials will always be subject to criticisms. and tha tby itself is a form of judgment.

    so we aren’t Gods huh? tell that to the justices who renders judgments on persons and cases.

  8. If I were senator, I would ask Neri following:

    In conscience and deep in your heart, could you say in your capacity as a respected technocrat (economist or whatever his/Neri’s title or profession is), that this contract or whatever it’s called, not disadvantageous to govt if only to refer to fact that from 262 million dollars, bloated to 330 million in a few months…

    Answer yes it is disadvantageous or no it’s not disadvantageous and explain why or why not.

    • dakoykoy on September 26, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    read between the lines…neri says he doesn’t approve the contract but merely recommends it…who signed the contract in china( GMA was there!)…GMA had prior knowledge of the bribe attempt as neri said…neri might not be saying it loudly but, he is saying it clearly!
    let the pieces fall where there are supposed to.

  9. Senators MUST ASK QUESTIONS THAT WOULD MAKE THE GUY SPEAK AT LENGTH, TO EXPLAIN…

    I get the impression reading Quezon’s live feed that they cut him off and only ask stupid quesitions so they can in turn show off to the gallery!!! Dumb thing to do if they want to get Neri to expose what he knows, then they are not doing it properly.

    The guy is a technocrat so let him explain his side of the story by making him lecture if need be – and that’s when you pounce on what he said if it’s clear he’s hiding something.

    Going round and round serves no purpose.

  10. And if he falters, Senator should merely say, “Go on… you were a professor (or still a professor of something), so please feel free to lecture us on why you think it’s disadvantageous or not disadvantageous to govt…”

  11. which is why the senators are doing it wrong. if they’d just let these people speak at length, they’ll eventually stick their foot in their mouth. lying and hiding the truth can be very confusing. you’d have to be alert all the time jz to catch yourself from contradicting things you’ve said. no person can ever keep this up at all times!

    and senators shouldn’t be allowed to interrupt and “coach” when witnesses are beginning to crumble. in fact, i wonder where these senator’s manners are when they keep on interrupting people speaking. i’ve never been like that. if i want to interpellate or back people into a corner (when i was still in the debating team) i note things they said, and when they’re finish putting their foot in their mouth, i point it out: sirs and madames, how does ur foot taste?

  12. Devils,

    “i note things they said, and when they’re finish putting their foot in their mouth, i point it out: sirs and madames, how does ur foot taste?”

    Absolutely!

  13. Devils, that’s why mlq says they smack of baranggay cop mentality.

    • pete m. on September 26, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    mlq3,

    abalos nilaglag, gma protektado

    now abalos will get back at gma,

    anything abalos can do to get back at gma?

    most serious threat to abalos, heart attack before he can counter-attack

    neri chose gma over 80m filipinos,

  14. MBW, so true. sigh.

    • Bencard on September 26, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    on the issue of neri’s invocation of executive privilege on behalf of the president with respect to certain questions asked of him, i agree with sen. enrile’s view that it doesn’t make sense, legal, logical or practical, to compel neri to answer right then and there. every lawyer worth his law diploma knows that, in the context of an oral examination, the issue of privilege only comes into play after the question is asked, not before (unless the witness is a mind reader). and since, under the ermita sc decision, only the president herself and the executive secretary (who are not physically present) can claim the privilege, how can they do so without first being made aware of the question being asked? and how can neri know right then and there that either the president or the executive secretary would want to invoke the privilege with reespect to that particular question?

    contrary to ordinary layman’s belief, eo 464 was not totally invalidated by the sc. in fact, it upheld executive privilege within certain parameters. but i don’t believe sc made its exercise a virtual impossibility.

  15. pete m, no. Neri chose his family over everything else. even I would choose the safety of my family over 80m strangers whose only claim to my goodness of heart is that they’re my countrymen. and some don’t even deserve to be fought for.

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