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Oct 02

Resignation isn’t a get out of jail free card

Let me pay tribute to my former professor, Alex Magno, and his column today, on Burma. I’ve often been critical of him, but this column was splendid.

Concerning Benjamin Abalos,Oragon! asks, why resign? Newsstand and Ricky Carandang boils down the whole thing to its essentials: Abalos knew he’d be impeached, and he decided to fall on his sword to spare his family dire political prospects and spare the Palace fallout. tonyo features a roundup of blogger reactions. And of course, smoke rocks (not that I always agree).

Personally, my view is simple. For those calling for his resignation for ages now, don’t hit a man when he’s down. He resigned to save his ass, but he still resigned. Give him credit for that. Now, on to the harder part, hauling him off to court. Credit is due for resigning but that’s as far as credit goes. In a country where too few resign despite the public clamor to do so, he did it; but he also did it, to avoid what could have been an historic impeachment. So a historic trial necessarily comes next.

A quick note, primarily addressed to faithful reader Bencard, who has gotten me thinking on my tendency to support leniency for former president Estrada. My general principle is imprisonment really does nothing, I think it only leads to hardened and tougher criminals. In fact, my inclination is to support imprisonment only for three kinds of criminals: murderers, rapists/molesters and big-time drug dealers. All other crimes should be handled with fines and some sort of community service truly beneficial to the public. Anyone who has ever visited a jail, talked to inmates, knows that those crammed into jails enter a nightmarish world in which crime rules every aspect of the inmates’ lives.

For political crimes including plunder, which is grand-scale theft, I really think that what that UP Professor pointed out is a good idea. He clarified that what he said was the Filipino concept of justice is restitution, not retribution, that for Estrada, what the public wanted wasn’t just for the money he stole or illegally acquired to be returned to the public, but that he should also then quit politics, having betrayed public trust.

So, I support Estrada’s being allowed to go home, but only on two conditions: that assets forfeited by the courts remain forfeited (Estrada claims, anyway, rightly or wrongly, those assets were never his) but also, a ban on political participation. He can go home, but shut up, and not even be allowed to vote. And that should be the rule for all public officials accused of illegally amassing fortunes: return the money, and quit politics. Without these two requirements, no pardon should be considered or offered, because as so many have reminded me, there is an important precedent that’s been set.

The ever-impressive Mon Casiple gives his analysis of the whole ZTE deal and its fallout:

Neri testified that the President told him not to accept the bribe. He thought that may be sufficient to end the matter, even if it puts Abalos in hot water. However, he refused to elaborate or to testify on other conversations with the President regarding the ZTE matter, citing “executive privilege.”

Of course, this puts the Neri testimony on a continuing downslide thereafter as senators expectedly try to elicit the information behind the “executive privilege.” Many do not believe he told the other half of the truth, may be not even the truth he told — primarily because of his own hypes before the Senate testimony. It is also a glaring inconsistency when he readily volunteered the fact of his talk with the President regarding the Abalos bribe, but not the other talks on the ZTE matter itself.

However, we can already glimpse something from the Neri testimony. One, there is definitely the BIG ONE in terms of information hiding behind the “executive privilege.” Two, there are possibly others–more powerful and far more vulnerable–deeply involved in the ZTE scandal. Three, the ZTE scandal has implications that go to the heart of the survival of the GMA administration and ruling coalition–possibly more than the Garci tapes scandal itself.

Secretary Neri is protecting not only the President but an entire arrangement regarding Chinese investments and loans in the Philippines. The arrangement, I think, stinks to high heavens. It is too early to say but there are certain implications already on Philippine national security, the government’s “special relations” with the United States, Philippine sovereignty and national patrimony, violations of the Constitution, and sectoral concerns.

Senator Miriam Santiago is partly correct when she raised the observation that it is all a “squabble over kickbacks.” After all, at the heart of it all is the purported availability of some $18 billion dollars for Chinese investments and loans for the Philippines–a sum approaching, if not surpassing, the money available during the Marcos one-man rule. Senator Mar Roxas himself said the ZTE deal seems to be a “supply-side” decision–meaning the availability of the Chinese money preceded the project. However, as the ZTE drama unfolds, it is slowly becoming clear that what is at stake is the survival of the GMA administration itself.

Given the situation that she failed to reconcile with the opposition after the 2007 elections, that she still does not have any agreement with any or all of the presidentiables, and that there is the inability (for the present) to force a martial rule, GMA is running a clear risk of going down even before the 2010 term ending. The clock is running out on her, with diminishing influence over events as perceptions increase over her lame-duck presidency. The ruling coalition does not have a viable presidentiable at this time, cannot absorb the pressures, and may disintegrate well before 2010.

The ZTE scandal may well be the Waterloo of the Arroyo presidency.

New Philippine Revolution asks, who’s next?

Meanwhile, Arroyo: Name 4 senators who leaked Neri executive session.

Yesterday’s blog entry triggered a flashback in Slap Happy: there’s a related entry in Tongue In, Anew.

Quixotic Kibitzer asks tough questions concerning the telcos and wiretapping.In an earlier blog entry, Ricky Carandang points out the AFP now has ample justifications for disciplining some of its personnel.

Manila Bay Watch tackles questions of corruption.

stories from the middle earth press room on school rivalries.

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199 comments

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  1. tonio

    i wonder what happened to my first comment?

  2. Arbet

    Sir, what’s your reaction on this?

  3. mlq3

    arbet: noted.

    tonio, i dunno, nothing awaiting moderation as of now.

  4. Rom

    I think it was Sun-tzu who said that a good general picks his battleground. And that’s what Abalos has done. He has chosen the venue where he can defend himself the best: a court of law. The perception that he has ‘fallen on his sword’ I think, arises from the mistaken impression that the Chairmanship of the COMELEC is some prize to be held on to at whatever cost. For Abalos, as I think it is for everyone, the biggest prize is his freedom.

  5. manuelbuencamino

    To arbet,

    Vic Agustin is the columnist who taught the manly thing to do to someone he disagreed with violently is throw water on his face and then to hide behind women when the man he threw water on decided to go after him with fists.

    At a TV show where Agustin and his victim, Renato Constantino, appeared together, Agustin poured water on his head to show his remorse.

    It’s ironic Agustin calls his column “Cocktales” when tales are all he’s got.

  6. manuelbuencamino

    Abalos may not be Gloria but he is pretty big fish. We must thank God for small mercies.

  7. ricelander

    “Romy Neri was about to open up in executive session, said if he did there would be turmoil to follow. Joker called in Noel Andaya who physically threatened to haul Neri out. Neri even vomited due to the pressure. The senators took pity on Neri and called it a night.”
    This came from here: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view_article.php?article_id=91993

    Now that good old highly principled Joker Arroyo is mad; he wants to know why anyone outside should be able to know about that incident.

  8. ricelander

    I am inclined to believe the story about Joker intervening for Andaya because his denial of the incident is lacking in vehemence. If Neri lost consciousness there or probably collapsed of heart attack, he would be the first to invoke secrecy. That’s Joker for you, that highly principled human being by his own estimate.

  9. tonio

    manuel:

    not a marlin but one pretty hefty tuna, eh?

    water throwing incident? who’s vic agustin anyway?

  10. Arbet

    Sir MB, I do know him, and I read him for the business gossips (some of which turned out to be true). Methinks that Razon is now on the offensive, and Agustin is one of his foot soldiers.

  11. hvrds

    The President of the Philippines will have to explain why she changed the NEDA board approval of a purely BOT contract that would have been open and transparent with the national government making a commitment to purchase a part of the capacity of a privater provider to a supplier based ODA procurement with no transparency for a major procurement project committing the country to a debt based procurement.

    She ordered the Director General to fast track the NBN project knowing fully well that it was contrary to her own boards approval of a BOT project. She was also informed of the bribe to apparently change the procurement from a BOT project to an ODA based procurement from the PRC. Neri informed the ZTE people that the government would only consider a BOT process. His boss president overruled him and went with a purchase with a tied loan. (No oversight)

    No head of a line agency has the power to decide on the form of the procurement. The decision on how it will be paid for will have to be discussed according to laws governing ODA procurement.

    This is the crux of the attempt to influence the Director General of NEDA to approve the project.

    The early pronouncements (not withstanding the impropriety of his involvement) of Speaker JDV that in his conversations with the President that the procurement of a broadband network would be done on a BOT method clearly displays the fact that the President was involved in the decision.

    DOTC Secretary Mendoza can choose which supplier he wants but clearly the decision on a BOT as against an ODA purchase is not his call. That is mainly the Presidents call.

    The Office of the President is not GMA and GMA is not the Office of the President. That Office is the Highest Office of the Public Trust. The discretionary powers imbued with that Trust are to be used mainly for the common good. The President appears to have abused the Trust for private gain. Unfortunately in a poor country as is always the case the Public Trust in economic terms is the Treasury which gets plundered.

    It appears that that Trust has been abused by the President herself. No amount of rationalization can be used to cover up that serious offense. Trying to pass the offense to the Speaker of the House who is equally culpable of the abuse of the trust of his office. They abused the Trust for private gain.

    The institutions of government will be strengthened by this questions surrounding this anomalous transaction which involves not only the office of the President but her entire cabinet as members of he board of NEDA. NEDA is simply not a rubber stamp of the executive. It cannot be simply a political tool for the private gain of the incumbent and her cronies.

    She is a de-facto President with a questionable mandate and is not indispensable to the Office of the Presidency. The office will continue without her. The former President has been found guilty of plunder. The Office of the President has been strengthened by that. Now the sitting President has been caught with her hand in the cookie jar so to speak. It was the President who changed the proposal from an unsolicited BOT to a tied loan project. For Big Mike? Imagine a Pork Barrel that is made in China for billion of dollars
    without oversight.

    She cannot claim to be the savior of the Philippine economy as the overseas Filipino workers will have something to say about that. Global financial liquidity mainly caused by the rich economies of the world pump priming their mature economies to prevent downturns have created massive disinflation and the rise of the Indian and Chinese economies which are causing deflation in salaries and wages in other developing economies. So we have the specter of asset inflation (bubbles in stock markets, credit markets and housing) tied with disinflation.

    The legislature with JDV Jr. and the Senate have failed to point this issue of safeguarding the institutional framework of the government. Neri’s invocation of executive privilege is too little too late. It is a joke.

    The Office of the President can stand without GMA she has to leave to make sure it is kept strong. Like Abalos said, he has to separate himself from the Office he so tarnished to save it. For that he deserves out thanks. But whatever there is of law enforcement must still take him to task.

    From the NEDA website

    The NEDA is the Philippines’ social and economic development planning and policy coordinating body.

    “The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), as mandated by the Philippine Constitution, is the country’s independent economic development and planning agency. It is headed by the President as chairman of the NEDA board, with the Secretary of Socio-Economic Planning, concurrently NEDA Director-General, as vice-chairman. All Cabinet members, as well as the Central Bank Governor, are members of the NEDA Board.”

    The Chairman of the Board of the National Economic Development Authority is the President of the Republic.

    Neri Jr. use to be the Director General of the NEDA.

  12. Rom

    ricelander:”I am inclined to believe the story about Joker intervening for Andaya because his denial of the incident is lacking in vehemence.” This is a funny standard.

  13. manuelbuencamino

    arbet,

    mercenary is the word.

    But yes he is the lolit solis of the bizworld. And his gossip, like most gossip, is, more often than not, stale by the time it sees print. Realize that the likes of Agustin do not rub elbows with those people he gossips about. When he writes so called inside info it is fed to him by “sources” out to do a job on someone.

  14. Arbet

    Sir MB, I stand corrected.

  15. tonio

    manuel:

    so essentially, he’s just a guy making a living by using his newspaper job to further the agenda of whoever big business jerks his chain? what was it with the water sir?

  16. Arbet

    Tonio, during a presscon by JDV et al re: Chacha, Constantino tried to rant against them. Agustin doused him with water in return.

  17. BrianB

    “I am inclined to believe the story about Joker intervening for Andaya because his denial of the incident is lacking in vehemence. If Neri lost consciousness there or probably collapsed of heart attack, he would be the first to invoke secrecy. That’s Joker for you, that highly principled human being by his own estimate.”

    I wonder what Joker Arroyo is up to. He must have a plan or I’m inclined to think the real Joker was abducted by an alien. No animal on earth changes coats in its old age.

  18. BrianB

    “I think it was Sun-tzu who said that a good general picks his battleground.”

    Abalos is a foregone conclusion. If he gets away with it, the weaker PGMA becomes. Too dangerous for Arroyo if Abalos doesn;t get punished.

  19. tonio

    ah! now i remember. so he’s a mercenary eh? is he a practitioner of envelopmental journalism, or are dinners in Wack-Wack more his style. 😛

  20. Manila Bay Watch

    Re Bondoc’s latest column.

    While we may all appreciate Bondoc for his adherence that the truth must come out because it is the truth, must say am a bit worried. He’s treading on dangerous ground, i.e., breach of confidentiality between a journalist and his source?

  21. Manila Bay Watch

    Oops, just posting my thanks to Mlq3 for the mention (posted it in previous thread.) Thanks Mlq3.

  22. Manila Bay Watch

    Agree on this one thing re Abalos: “He resigned to save his ass, but he still resigned. Give him credit for that.”

    Considering that this kind of thing happens ever so rarely in govt, I think whatever his motive, must say he did right and for that I shall give him 2 brownie points (out of 10.)

  23. DevilsAdvc8

    MBW, Bondoc’s action is a BAD precedent bcoz now, sources would think twice before talking to media people, if they feel these journalists would breach their confidentiality jz to get a chance to “break the story first.”

    whatever lip service Bondoc’s saying abt truth, d whole truth, etc, etc, he should never have printed unless Neri consented. And Neri said to him “my life is in your hands..”

    well, golly! I bet now that he’s put his life in my hands, why don’t I jz break it wide in the open? after all, the TRUTH is more important. never mind if Neri doesn’t consent that I put both of our lives in danger. I mean, I could decide for myself, but gee, he gave his life in my keeping, so I guess that gives me the right to decide for him as well, doesn’t it? After all, TRUTH is more impt than both of our lives. And just so its clear, all Im after is the TRUTH ok? Have I said that enough? TRUTH! TRUTH! TRUTH!

    and then we have Joker demanding: reveal the 4 tattle tales!

    if any of the reporters who scooped the exec session followed Bondoc’s precedent by using his TRUTH excuse, we’d have PHIL JOURNALISM in tatters. and these reporters would be branded as “doing a Bondoc.”

  24. cvj

    well, golly! I bet now that he’s put his life in my hands, why don’t I jz break it wide in the open? after all, the TRUTH is more important. never mind if Neri doesn’t consent that I put both of our lives in danger. – DevilsAdvc8

    Devils, for someone who advocates civil war as the solution, you sure are squeamish about this matter. If your prediction is on track, it’s going to get messier than this.

  25. DevilsAdvc8

    cvj, to be precise, it is revolution i advocate, not merely civil war (altho that would suffice as well).

    and I know it’ll get messier, I jz am pissed that Bondoc had to make that decision which isn’t his to make.

    notice that even if I am of the view revolution or civil war will “reformat” our society, you don’t see me taking up the cudgels and jump starting it on my own. it jz isn’t my decision to make.

    oh sure, jump starting one is as easy as rolling a snowball downhill. the ingredients are all there. but a true revolution can’t be forced. it will happen on its own.

    and yeah, im squeamish abt people losing their lives, no matter how much i wish for a Bastille right here in our own country. i dread it happening, that’s why i still call for reform, even if i believe Bastille is inevitable.

  26. pete

    mlq3,

    casiple:”Three, the ZTE scandal has implications that go to the heart of the survival of the GMA administration and ruling coalition–”

    The China hand is holding GMA by the neck. But it can choke the entire economy as well.

    Implication of the ZTE scandal not only the survival of the administration but of Filipinos as well if the Phil-China bilateral relations goes into crisis and is mismanaged by the Philippine gov’t. Our exposure to China’s economic influence has made us vulnerable. A sudden pullout by China has dire repercussions for the Philippine economy. The seriousness of this implication should alert us all to be very circumspect about the manner by which we resolve this scandal.

  27. grd

    that’s the difference between Phil journalists and US journalists. while the former has no qualms in breaching their confidentiality agreement w/their source, the latter are ready to go to jail just to protect their source.

  28. cvj

    I see, then that means what Torn said about me (in a comment in my blog) applies to you as well.

  29. cvj

    My impression is that Bondoc did what he did to try to save Neri’s life (and maybe his own). When he invoked ‘Executive Privilege’, and disallowed Bondoc to reveal what was confided, i thought to myself Neri must be foolish leaving himself vulnerable like that. Bondoc’s revelation makes silencing Neri (unless out of spite or as a signal to future whistleblowers) moot and academic.

  30. grd

    ronnie puno’s dare: “to those who wants to bring down this administration, keep on trying”. (with a mocking smile as if he is saying you can’t outsmart Gloria).

    mike A is back. says, “I never said back off.” so, it’s jdv3 statement against mike & abalos.

  31. Manila Bay Watch

    cvj,

    that may very well be Bondoc’s intention, to save Neri’s life which I think is worth saving but again Neri asked him not to go into specifics. Also, Neri is a big boy, shouldn’t Neri’s consent to save his own life take precedence?

  32. pete

    cvj,

    I agree Bondoc’s presentation of the information and the considerations behind it is very reasonable and credible.

    “Journalists’ Rule, don’t reveal your sources”, but in times like this standards are set aside as the ultimate dictum takes over : “follow your heart”.

  33. DevilsAdvc8

    cvj, yeah i see echoes of myself in you sometimes. also in ramrod, and now in karah.

    grd, yeah, remember that NY times leak that went all the way to court? NY times stuck with not divulging their sources. that’s a big encouragement for future whistleblowers.

    re Mike A.

    he never said back off? perhaps JDV3 heard wrong. what Mike A. actually said was: f*@! off!

    and Mike’s claim he never pointed a finger at JDV3? maybe he really didn’t POINT his finger, maybe he just showed JDV3 THE finger.

    Mike A said: how can I point a finger and say back off at someone I didn’t know? You, would you be able to do that? I can’t do that. (what he’s trying to say) But I can do approach him and remind him he’s acting improperly. You know me, I approach all sorts of people I don’t know and issue them reminders from time to time. Like this one time, you know Bush? He doesn’t know me. Well not really well. One time or another I’ll come up to him and “remind” him he’s acting “improperly,” ya know? jz a friendly reminder.

  34. cvj

    MBW, perhaps Bondoc took too much liberties, but i can see the logic. He knew that Neri will only be ‘protected’ as long as he is of some use to the Admin. Once Neri completed his hatchet job on Abalos, his value was used up and he turned into a net liability. So it was a race against time, hence the rash decision.

  35. Manila Bay Watch

    Yes, cvj, I guess we can look or should look at it that way.

  36. frombelow

    have we forgetten the so-called prisoners’ dilemma. wherein two suspects ( it could be _a and _n ) being held in seporate cells by the police. One is told that if he squeals on the onher suspect he will get lighter treatment. With the two suspects not knowing that they will go scot free if they remain silent. But the tempatation of squeliong first to save his ass and the thought that he is being suealed on is not a farfetched thought. Coulf it be that some groups are now talng with a and n making it a race who will squeal first?

  37. vic

    MLQ,

    I myself would Disagree with your suggestion that any politician ‘Caught’ and convicted of “stealing” money should be spared the Jail. Such crime is so serious that not only they undermine the Public Trust, but it also deprive society of its rightful benefits afforded by those stolen funds.

    Even with a very long Jail sentences still too many commit corruptions. Take that punishment and all they prospective wrongdoers will say, “well, if I got caught and convicted, just returned the “known assets” (how about the assets diverted to relatives and dummies?) And just forfeit my right to run and chances of getting caught so slim anyways”, then you are inviting more of the same..

    If enforcement of the laws is so effective, I have no objections to your suggestion, but as of now, a long jail sentences and must be served, still act as some kind of Deterrents, that and plus all your others suggestion, like forfeiture of family assets acquired by unlawful means, plus punitive interest or fines…

  38. grd

    devils,

    yeah, big encouragement for future whistleblowers indeed. I think that was Miller who went to jail. she has balls than bondoc. but of course others here are fast to explain the logic behind that move of bondoc. really, it’s to save neri’s life (who by the way quickly turned from hero to rat) now doing a hatchet job against abalos on orders from malacanang. it’s a race against time… my as_. another conspiracy theory coming from the experts.

  39. nash

    re Prisoner’s dilemma:

    Mathematically, if all prisoners are acting as separate individuals, the most efficient solution is tit for tat.

    But it can also be beaten if clusters exist and work with some sacrifices taken.

    Kudos to GMA, she must have a closet mathematician as a PR adviser.

  40. TDC

    GMA should change her slogan from “Let’s Move on!”to Let’s forget About It”.

    A lot of things have happened :

    a)Her fall guy has already resigned.

    b)She has decided “not to continue” with the ZTE deal.

    c)FG is back after his “planned” vacation .He said he never said “back off” to Joey.

    So what’s the big deal?

    Her song:”Let’s forget about it”

    i told you i was sorry, i told you i was wrong,
    i said it was an accident and don’t tell anyone.

    but you love to circle round and round, I’m so misunderstood.
    yeah, you love to circle round and round & I know that we should
    forget about it –

    let’s forget about it
    let’s forget about it
    let’s forget about it

    i’ll stop crying on the mountain that we made
    from the molehill where we spilt the milk.

    so I say this never happened, perhaps not the way i thought.
    did i throw this out of focus – or was it just the way we fought?

    let’s forget about it
    let’s forget about it

    i’ll stop crying, if you’ll stop.
    i’ll stop crying, if you’ll stop.

  41. tonio

    i can’t help but feel that there was a bit of grandstanding involved with Bondoc’s move.

  42. supremo

    If this is a chess game with the Senate playing white and GMA playing black. The Senate’s opening is called Queen’s Gambit. When GMA allowed Abalos to resign to avoid impeachment, she made it a Queen’s Gambit Accepted. GMA should have answered with a Queen’s Gambit Declined by telling Abalos to stay for a protracted impeachment. GMA is expose and her pawn Neri is languishing in the middle of the board. She needs another wolf to sacrifice. Mendoza come on down!

  43. Chabeli

    I agree that Mr Mon Casiple did a great piece on the ZTE NBN deal.

    Thanks to Sen Miriam Defensor-Santiago on her China blah-blah, it makes one focus more on the Chinese government officials involved in the ZTE NBN contract. If indeed, “..there are possibly others–more powerful and far more vulnerable–deeply involved in the ZTE scandal”, then it should be a no-brainer to figure that some Chinese government officials must have benefited from the kickbacks. An eerie feeling comes to light of the great possibility that kickbacks for certain Chinese government officials were done in the Philippines to avoid the prying eyes of the Chinese government, sparing them from the possibility of getting shot in China.

  44. karah

    Here are some of my points regarding the Article:

    (1) TRIAL BY PUBLICITY. Whether Chairman Benjamin Abalos was “guilty” or “not guilty” of Bribery and Corruption, he was subjected to a TRIAL BY PUBLICITY. There are thousands of opinions about him but at the end of the day, it would be the Court who would CONVICT or ACQUIT him of any wrongdoing. His position as the Head of a Constitutional Body all the more fed the “curiosity” of Media. I wonder if to date, cases have already been filed in the proper courts against Abalos in this regard.

    (2) THE ONLY OPTION: RESIGNATION. The start of a FULL-BLOWN IMPEACHMENT and if the Opposition have the numbers, eventually, an IMPEACHMENT TRIAL in the Senate would not only affect Chairman Abalos alone but his whole family. Since Impeachment Trials is a Numbers Game, I don’t think that Abalos would have a chance given how the Senators treated him during the Senate Investigations. Fighting it out in the Political Arena is a losing battle. Fighting it out in the legal arena would give Abalos his “day in court” not “day in Senate.” He came through in the “nick of time.” At least he was smart enough to anticipate the Endorsement of the Impeachment Complaint wherein at the day it was signed, it became MOOT and ACADEMIC. 😀

    (3) Good Law Enforcement and Rehabilitation go hand-in-hand. Given how Justice becomes “Just-Tiis” in the Philippines and the present status of the different Prisons, I don’t think these Inmates are REHABILITATED save for some very exceptional facilties perhaps.

    (4) In the case of ERAP, my mind is clashing whether he should be GRANTED CLEMENCY or follow the RULE OF LAW. One, Erap is old and I don’t think the National Penitentiary would have the facilities to address his HEALTH NEEDS. On the other side of the fence, a gentle handling of a Former President CONVICTED with a HIGH CRIME might become a PRECEDENT. I do think that MLQ3’s suggestions like: (a) Forfeiture of Assets and (b) Ban on Political Participation is IN ORDER.

    (5) I do smell that CHINA wants TACTICAL and STRATEGIC foothold of the Philippines. In exchange for this, huge INVESTMENTS by China and Chinese Companies. This is what happened in the ZTE Deal, it’s DONOR-DRIVEN and SUPPLY-DRIVEN. To cut the long story short, CANCEL the Contract and RE-BID the said PROJECT OPENLY. I think that would lay to rest all speculations on OVERPRICING, on BRIBERY, et cetera. The question first is this, would the Government still push thru with a Naitional Broadband Network (NBN)?

    (6) Won’t delve into truckloads of speculations on wrongdoing that’s directly linked to Malacanang. I would hope that there would be people that would come forward with EVIDENCE or FIRST HAND TESTIMONIES. Come to think of it, the Hello Garci Issue was way MORE OBVIOUS than this NBN-ZTE Scandal.

  45. Carlos H. Lopez

    Funny thing is that here that GMA government fighting war against “communists” and dealing with CHINA, a communist country. In CHINA, people in the government are the BOSSES. Lest we forget, we are in a DEMOCRACY, hence people in the government are SERVANTS. Its seems that people in this administration are forgeting this. PUNO just said that people are out to topple this government. NO, people just want good SERVANTS. Analogy, if you found out your SERVANT was lying, cheating and stealing, wouldn’t you make him/her resign? PUNO mistakes the government vis=a-vis to people who are lying, cheating and stealing. OF COURSE, we do not want to topple this DEMOCRACY, but we want people in this government who lie, cheat and steal to RESIGN, just like ABALOS did. In short, we want GOOD , HONEST Governance. Simple lang, di ba?

  46. TDC

    “PUNO just said that people are out to topple this government. NO, people just want good SERVANTS.Carlo Lopez”

    Ronnie Puno willing to serve any master.He supported the presidential bids of eventual winners Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

  47. ay_naku

    Give some credit to the utterly despicable Abalos just because he resigned to save himself a worse fate? Oh God, ganun na ba kababa ang standards natin as a people, rason na yun for some credit? Ay naku ha. I mean, he hasn’t even apologized for (much less owned up to) anything. He deserves all the opprobrium he’s getting.

  48. baycas

    nbn is dead.

    let’s forget about the whole thing and…

    let’s. move. on.

    …btw, that was gloria talking while the venable contract’s still vivid in her mind…same banana, as norbie would think…

  49. baycas

    …now, everyone…on the nbn deal:

    mum’s the word,
    move-on’s the game.

    repeat after me: nbn deal is dead! all hail plankton…este, all hail gloria…

  50. supremo

    They will probably revive the NBN project later and call it “Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Information Highway”.

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