Return of the scheme

Earlier today, at around 10:51 am, radio station DZMM said that the Palace was set to issue a statement favoring Charter Change today. During the lunchtime news program of Tony Velasquez and Bernadette Sembrano, word is that the President, in a workshop this morning, directed government agencies, particularly the Department of the Interior and Local Governments and the Department of Budget and Management, to pursue Charter Change by 2009.

What will make this version of Charter Change different is that it will be focused on Federalism, an original component of the administration’s first Charter Change efforts, but eventually dropped in favor of a focus on a shift to the parliamentary system.

Whether this focus on Federalism is meant to muster local government support, and salve the wounded feelings of original Civil Society allies of the Palace, remains to be seen -just as whether this is an effort to put the President’s imprint on this version in contrast to the parliamentary focus of the Speaker who pushed for the previous effort: after all, having solved the President’s impeachment-related problem for 2007-2008, the Speaker is now dispensable (despite warnings from the Speaker that if he falls, she falls, which he said he told her in a one-on-one meeting Sec. Puno denies every happened; see also Datumanong drafted by Palace to replace JDV? But Newbsreak says, detente is the name of the game).

Anyway, here’s the news: Arroyo renews call for Charter change: Panel formed to draft federalism ‘roadmap’ by 2012. See also Arroyo revives Cha-Cha bid, forms federalism panel (the political opening, of course, would be, such a shift would require some sort of transitional government).

I’m inclined, for now, to treat this as a clumsy effort to deflect attention from the Palace’s dilemma over what to do with Pampanga Gov. Ed Panlilio. But it would be prudent to place the whole thing within the context of a problem identified in Chinese Money Meets Filipino Politics in Asia Sentinel:

With the president out by 2010, however, her hold may be waning as junior leaders look toward their political futures. There are allegations of other irregularities in Chinese deals and critics may find lots of material to throw at newspaper reporters in an effort to chip away at Arroyo’s credibility, despite the country’s solid economic performance in recent years.

Mon Casple in his blog, says the ruling coalition is also increasingly paranoid:

The real rift between the GMA and the JDV camp threatens the solidity of the ruling coalition–a coalition that weathered the political storm of the past three years.

This is compounded by a lot of factors: among them are the continued political challenges coming from the opposition, the inexorable deadline of the 2010 end-of-GMA-term, the wily play of the presidentiables, the US and Western concern over growing Chinese influence, health problems of key administration players, and the flexing of the military’s political clout.

These factors are leading to a growing perception of a lameduck GMA presidency. This may not yet be the case but it cannot anymore be denied that, if no decisive GMA policy decision on the political crisis is forthcoming, the perception will take hold and influence the decisions of the various key players.

Atty. Pulido’s impeachment complaint–however haphazard it may seem to many–acquires significance beyond its original assessment in the light of this current political reality. Considering the political nature of an impeachment process, a significant coalition of legislators in the lower House can seize and railroad the process (only 80 votes needed for impeachment). They can shortcut the process and give it to the Senate.

Such a possibility spooked Malacañang and hence its attempt to hold the line with the ruling coalition majority. It may entail more concessions to the JDV camp. On the other hand, it may also precipitate an ouster move on him. What is clear is the signs of nervousness (and suspicion) that everyone exhibits when looking at his or her neighbor in the coalition.

Shifting loyalties–such is the stuff of transitions and wind of political change.

As the political class’s attention increasingly focuses on 2010, the Palace has to find ways to keep itself relevant to the political class. An effective way is to keep everyone guessing what the President’s real intentions are concerning 2010 and one way is to keep local government officials and legislators coming back to the trough for regular fattening.

A news item like this one, seems innocent at first, Palace looks to add judiciary in Ledac, but becomes interesting in light of what the President is poised to do next year: enjoy the opportunity to appoint a new Civil Service Commissioner, new Commission on Audit Chairman, several Supreme Court justices, etc. An institutional means to circle the wagons over the next couple of years has just been floated.

Gov. Panlilio’s revelation last week was that after a Palace meeting, he was given half a million pesos in cash. Bulacan Gov. Jonjon Mendoza confirms the account of the Gov. of Pampanga. Their accounts go in the face of denials or conflicting testimony from everyone else who was at the same meeting. An earlier meeting involving congressmen, has led to conflicting accounts, too: Cash gift ‘standard’–House leader: This is when we’ve done something good, he says and Two more congressmen admit receiving Palace ‘cash gifts’. Now the congressional dole outs may have had impeachment immunization in mind (see GMA gets ‘immunized’) but the local government dole outs make sense not only with the baranggay elections but also Charter Change in mind, too.

Gov. Panlilio’s initial response was pastoral, not legal: to take the money and place it in the provincial treasury and use it for good works. But then he seems to have realized that what is pastoral (therefore, moral) is not necessarily legal. Also, considering he’s a reformist governor, it’s a political opening for his critics: Kampi mayor to Gov Ed: Why did you take the money?. So the Governor has said he intends to ask why he was given money without the required voucher, and if Palace can’t explain why he’ll return the money: Panlilio to Palace: Where did P500,000 come from?.

Meanwhile, Neda firm on keeping NBN papers. Konfrontasi with the Senate continues.

Even as Opposition plans to take impeach referral to SC, this is a sensible move: Opposition to boycott impeachment hearings. And this is a long-overdue reform: Noynoy eyes 3-strike rule vs Cabinet appointments.

Economic news: No stopping the peso, closes even higher while Hot money back, Sept. net inflow $38.2M.

Senator Joker Arroyo vigorously justified himself in a piece he demanded be published, and his opinions are shared by Philippine Commentary while criticized by last Sunday’s Inquirer editorial and in a commentary by Amando Doronila today.

In his column, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ discusses what an impeachment is and isn’t:

The whole point of the impeachment process is to save the nation from one who does not deserve to be in office. It is not meant to be an instrument of punishment. Punishment can follow in a criminal proceeding if impeachment succeeds or when the official concerned leaves office.

The constitutional rules for impeachment, however, can be manipulated to make the process achieve the precise opposite of its purpose. It can be manipulated to shield an official from a serious impeachment complaint for one year. And this is easily done. All that is needed is one member of the House who is willing to file or endorse a flimsy complaint. This is what all the current brouhaha is about.

(See Philippine Politics 04 for related materials on impeachment and the Supreme Court’s definition of when a complaint gets initiated.)

Justice Isagani Cruz tackles executive privilege.

Randy David says the legal system hasn’t caught up with public opinion:

Thank heavens not everyone hangs by the thread of unresolved legal issues. In the meantime, there are political closures. The fact that GMA or her husband has not been charged or found guilty of any crime does not negate the certainty that the majority of Filipinos have closed the political book on her. Her consistently negative approval ratings in recent surveys attest to this. The rejection of most of her candidates in the last senatorial election shows this in no uncertain terms. The stunning election to the Senate of the detained young military officer Antonio Trillanes IV, accused of leading a mutiny against her government, confirms this closure. Ms Arroyo governs on the sufferance of a nation still recovering from past upheavals. Everyone awaits her last days in the presidency.

There are moral closures too. No one today, not even its most rabid supporters, thinks of this administration as an emblem of good government or of ethical leadership. Those who still see politics as a contest between the forces of good and evil are in no doubt at all as to which side Ms Arroyo is aligned with. No other administration has been as brazen as this one in giving cash to legislators, election inspectors and bishops.

And there are social closures. After Marcos, no other head of government has earned the resolute distrust of the citizenry as much as GMA. Again, survey after survey expresses this. More than at any other time, distrust permeates the whole political system today because of the way she has run the government. She ought to listen to how ordinary folk talk about her on AM radio. She may not sense this now, but it will be difficult for her not to notice it when she finally leaves public office. She will receive none of the lingering affection and awe that Cory and Erap continue to bask in when they are among ordinary people. No one with any hope of winning will want to be associated with her in any future election. That is social closure.

A truly outstanding entry in Ricelander’s blog, on the relationship between politics, politicians, and issues: read the whole thing.

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285 comments

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    • justice in waiting on October 15, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Granting a proposed change of government set-up from unitary to federalism is on the table, how would the country divide itself into several autonomous member states that will share power with the Federal government? In a federal form, member regions, provinces or states share power by the clearly defined allotment of which belongs the member states and which is under the jurisdiction of the Federal government. It is quite a very complicated system that it will take a little while before both level of Governments will be able to thresh out all their differences. Does the country got the time to figure these things out?

    It would be very different from other countries like the U.S.A. and Canada which started as independent sovereign states and provinces before the union. The Philippines will be doing it the reverse way, creating several independent or semi-independent but autonomous regions to start with.

    In our country, we will begin by dividing the country into several regions or provinces with clearly defined borders among them. And to revise the Charter to allow free movement of citizens from one region to another without interrupting their lives as to losing the benefits that maybe available in one region, but not in the other.

    And then again, people will crowd the progressive regions or move out of mis-governed or poor regions to move to where there are opportunities for a better life. Then there is a taxation problem, because each region has to raise its own funds for their own budget. Then the sharing of the Federal Government dole outs.

    Well anyways good luck to the panel and hope they know what they are doing, otherwise the country will end up chopped into several countries if they know not what to do…not a very easy job and if they have any other intentions than to attempt to better the governance, well let us see…

    • qwert on October 15, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    justice in waiting,
    Good points. It will take a lot of political acumen,political will and sincerity to at least jumpstart this gargantuan task and endeavor. The regions/provinces might end up seceding from the Federal government.
    I hope GMA will tell us the real reason and not just the good reason behind this charter change cum federal form of government issue.

    • Levy on October 15, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    ganyan naman talaga si gma. tuwing nasasangkot sa gulo, pilit na binubuhay ang charter change. it’s really unfortunate because the merits of federalism, parliamentary form of gov’t, etc. deserve to be debated and discussed in an environment that is free from hidden agendas,political survival concerns, etc or to put in bluntly, free from gma….

    • hvrds on October 15, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    Taking a good look at the war chest for the new Cha -cha. The 2008 Budget

    Total outlay for capital expenditures (infrastructure) for 2008 – Php 159.7 Billion.

    LGU share of revenue – Php 211 Billion

    Operations and maintenance of government – Php 176 Billion

    The executive (GMA herself) has discretionary power over Php 500 Billion of next years budget.

    Outside of this are projects to be financed by GOCC’s and ODA. – Unknown amounts.

    Php 385 Billion for salaries and benefits – mostly untouchable

    Php 296 Billion for debt service all untouchable by the executive

    • baycas on October 15, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    to ricelander:

    great! superbly written.

  1. Mlq3, thanks for the link.

    Here’s a question I would like to ask Dean since I could not get in his comment box:

    DJB: Do you mean EVERYTHING is confidential in an executive session? If someone tells the outside world, someone fell asleep in the session, would you call that a breach of confidentiality? Or someone went out for the toilet twice? or a senator cursed another? Someone has to convince us that what came out was part of a testimony for which a witness was sworn to give in total confidence. The purpose of confidentiality does not to my mind cover all and every act that happened inside the closed door. They could have physically mangled Neri…

    • nash on October 15, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    I Dare Gov. Panlilio to ASK and find out where his payola came from.

    • Jeg on October 15, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    The good governor is just continuing a practice learned from his days in the clergy, which is not to ask where the ‘blessing’ came from and use it for his flock. Remember Cardinal Sin’s comment on jueteng and Pagcor donations to the church? He said if the money came from Satan, he’d still take it so he can serve his flock better.

    Alas, he aint no priest anymore, but a guvnah. It is ironic that as guvnah, he is held to a stricter moral code. That’s probably because he has set the bar so high for himself. I wish him the best.

    • Shaman of Malilipot on October 15, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    “I Dare Gov. Panlilio to ASK and find out where his payola came from.”

    nash, he already did. He has written Malacanang a letter asking where the money came from so he could issue an official receipt. He also said that if Malacanang would not be able to explain the money, he would return it.

    • Willy on October 15, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    Probably realized already what is moral is not necessarily legal. A bit of an unusual situation we see here. Usually, the game goes the other way around. When there is a question of morality in governance, the smart guys just resort to legalities. Hopefully, its a sign to realize that moral AND legal should go together.

    • nash on October 15, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    @Shaman,

    Well and good. These are tax/public funds that must be accounted for and disbursed properly.

    As a jueteng bettor (paminsan-minsan lang naman), we know fully well where the money goes, and that it’s illegal and I don’t expect my betting losses to fund anything but the linings of the gambling lords.

    But as a taxpayer, it’s different. It’s implied that ‘tax’ is to prop up the state and its infrastructure. You want it spent wisely and legally and not handed down in envelopes.

    Which brings us to the other payola recipients. WHY THE AREN’T THEY ASKING THE SAME QUESTION AS PANLILIO…TANGGAP LANG SILA NG TANGGAP.

    And then the gall of the government to say we don’t have money for schools! I say the teachers should also go to Malacanang to get those envelopes! They deserve it more than our Tongressmen.

    • benign0 on October 15, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    “It would be very different from other countries like the U.S.A. and Canada which started as independent sovereign states and provinces before the union. The Philippines will be doing it the reverse way, creating several independent or semi-independent but autonomous regions to start with.”

    But wasn’t the Philippines a bunch of disparate little kingdoms, tribes and sultanates before the Spanish arbitrarily named the islands the “Philippines”?

    There is no such thing as “the Philippines” beyond anything more than it really is — a sad legacy of Spanish colonial expansion of 400 years past. As a matter of fact, nobody can even say for sure what being “Filipino” REALLY means.

    So breaking up this nation quaintly known to this day as “the Philippines” into autonomous little pieces will come as naturally as Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union came apart in the spectacular manner that they did. 😀

    • cvj on October 15, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    Benign0, in light of your known biases against Filipinos, i don’t think you can consider yourself an authority on this matter. Of course, you don’t think much about the concept ‘Filipino’, but that’s just to be expected coming from you.

    • benign0 on October 15, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    Tough luck cvj. I consider myself an authority on the matter. If you dispute any ideas or views that I have on the matter, you are free to ARTICULATE your counter-arguments. Til then, stidi ka lang diyan. 😀

  2. if he falls, she falls

    Very interesting. And the game of chess continues.

    • nash on October 15, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    @benign0

    out of curiosity, how are you an authority on the matter?

    • cvj on October 15, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    Life is too short.

  3. hmmm, A Santa Claus dressed in barong. No one could identify him. The person identified claimed he was abroad. Ay mali!!!
    And the plot thickens. (soundtrack of Mission Impossible as mission has been relayed and the self-destructing cd starts to disintegrate.)

  4. It may be a lesson for the Chinese, however, who can now witness the practice of democracy, Philippine-style, as the scandal seems certain to be played out for months to come in an open and contentious media environment light years away from the censored press of China.

    We do not teach China a lesson. They know it very well. Otherwise, the business of Cybered project with the firm headed by the son of the high official in China would have been criticized a lot if it happened here in the Philippines.

    • MAV on October 15, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Corruption Perception Index

    http://www.transparency.org/news_room/in_focus/2007/cpi2007/cpi_2007_table

    In the 2007 Corruption Perception Index done by Transparency International covering 179 countries, the Philippines was ranked no.131.

    The three countries perceived the least corrupt were Denmark, Finland and New Zealand ( the three countries sharing the no 1 position).

    In the Asean region ,Singapore (no. 4 rank)was perceived to have the least corruption. Malaysia was ranked no.43, Thailand ranked no. 84 and Vietnam ranked no. 123.

    The two Asean countries perceived with worst corruption were Indonesia
    ( no.143) and Myanmar (no.179).

    Question: Do you think our global ranking will improve or deteriorate in the next Global Corruption Index? Why?

    • Noospherian on October 15, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    Tempting the fates. JdV’s still smarting from that RC Constantino confrontation last time they so shamelessly peddled the Charter Change.

    Next time around, there won’t just be one RC.

    • MAV on October 15, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    “Tough luck cvj. I consider myself an authority on the matter. ”

    my BS meter just went off…

    • ramrod on October 15, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    beg your pardon guys,

    What is the possible impact of this charter change?
    Can GMA and company achieve this?
    Would a Federal system aggravate the Filipinos’ divisiveness as it will split the country into several fiefdoms?
    Personally, I think it is best to retain the current system for the moment and concentrate on looking for the new team that will run the government for us.

    • MAV on October 15, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    “So breaking up this nation quaintly known to this day as “the Philippines” into autonomous little pieces will come as naturally as Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union came apart in the spectacular manner that they did. 😀 benigno”

    A clear case of mental masturbation,eh,benigno?

    • ramrod on October 15, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    ni hao ma cvj. good evening mav, I read the threads of the other topic, seems you had some chit chat with our bipolar friends 🙂

    • MAV on October 15, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    ramrod: gloria pidal is just trying desperately to divert the nation’s attention away from all the bribery news and corruption scandals haunting her every day.

    • MAV on October 15, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    ramrod: all those aliases are now grouped together under “multiple choice”.

    • qwert on October 15, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    ramrod,
    you missed the action last night…

    • ramrod on October 15, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    “ramrod: gloria pidal is just trying desperately to divert the nation’s attention away from all the bribery news and corruption scandals haunting her every day.”

    So this is just another diversion. You have to admire these people their penchant for misdirection makes the character of John Travolta in the movie “Swordfish” look like an amateur. Unfortunately, some people (like you) can already smell them a mile away.

    • MAV on October 15, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    qwert:I found it so funny when multiple choice was blogging to herself or itself or himself adopting various aliases.

    • rego on October 15, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    I hope GMA will tell us the real reason and not just the good reason behind this charter change cum federal form of government issue. -qwert

    “it’s really unfortunate because the merits of federalism, parliamentary form of gov’t, etc. deserve to be debated and discussed in an environment that is free from hidden agendas,political survival concerns, etc or to put in bluntly, free from gma…. -levy

    ———————-

    Pero di ba lahat naman may hidden agenda, kahit naman nga yung opposition. Wag na tayong lumayo, masdan natin araw araw nating pamumuhay laging may hidden agenda sa pakikipagrelate sa kapwa natin.

    Pwede namang pagdebatehan ang charter change ng wala si Gloria. Kung gugustuhin talaga natin.

    Kung ang concern ay baka gamitin ni Gloria ang cha cha para iperpetuate ang sarili nya sa Malacanang. Then lagyan na lang provision na mag ba ban ng sa kanya para tumbakbo. Pero teka diba 2012 naman ang narereport na implemtation date? Eh di wala na si Gloria nun.

    Pabor ba ako sa cha-cha? sa ngayon HINDI! Wag na muna.Magulo eh. Patapusin na lang muna ang term ni Gloria. Hindi naman eto talaga urgent need ng bansa sa ngayon eh.

    Mas mabuti kung i focus natin ang lahat sa paghahanap ng ipapalit kay Gloria.

    At sana mag karoon ng matinong impeachment bago umalis si Gloria. Na sana ang opposition ay mag sundo sundo at mag kaisa. Planuhin at talagang pagtrabahuan ng husto ang draft. Meron na naman draft dati eh. Ia update na lang naman. Sana wag na munang mag press release habang nasa drafting stage pa lang.

    • MAV on October 15, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Ramrod:

    I’m alarmed at the mischief that’s going on, day after day, in the highest corridors of power.

    We have a failure of leadership in a flawed political culture.

    Too much misinformation and outright lies being peddled by the “system”.

    The smart operatives can put out the most outrageous SPINS to fool us.

    But we will not allow ourselves to be fooled!

    • ramrod on October 15, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    qwert,

    I had a little peak but my computer ran out of power.
    Anyway, I was just talking with some businessmen earlier this afternoon, they were laughing when I told them about the 7.5% GDP growth, it seems that the this reported growth has not translated into an increase in consumer spending. Business is still flat, even the cigarette industry reports a shrinkage, newspaper also, beer, is it because people have channeled their money for cell phone loads as reported earlier or the money is not circulating at all?

    • cvj on October 15, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    Hi ramrod, there is a method to their madness. btw, did Benign0 ever respond to you? He didn’t respond to my query in the previous thread on how he arrived at his red and blue lines.

    • qwert on October 15, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    It will take 10 years (a conservative estimate) according to the Consultative Commission on Charter change chaired by former University of the Philippines president Jose Abueva, and their going to move “heaven and earth” to do it. Lo! and behold GMA wants it done in 5 years, the “roadmap” that is, whatever she meant by it.

    • MAV on October 15, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    “Pabor ba ako sa cha-cha? sa ngayon HINDI! Wag na muna.Magulo eh. Patapusin na lang muna ang term ni Gloria. Hindi naman eto talaga urgent need ng bansa sa ngayon eh.rego”

    amen

    • ramrod on October 15, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    “Hi ramrod, there is a method to their madness. btw, did Benign0 ever respond to you? He didn’t respond to my query in the previous thread on how he arrived at his red and blue lines.”

    No, he didn’t. Though I found the material interesting, even funny, witty at best, but not the the stuff that gets published in textbooks.

    • ramrod on October 15, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    “Lo! and behold GMA wants it done in 5 years, the “roadmap” that is, whatever she meant by it.”

    I sort of noticed this pattern, infrastructure projects just come out of the blue, some as short as two years even. These look good on paper being achievements but some were probably fast tracked too much certain environmental impact concerns were not addressed. Take for example the Korean Spa thing in Taal (or was it?), that was fast, good thing someone saw it coming. Lately, this ZTE issue, it could have been a fast one again and we’d be impressed with all these reports of progress etc.

    • ramrod on October 15, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    “Mas mabuti kung i focus natin ang lahat sa paghahanap ng ipapalit kay Gloria.”

    Amen…Although I’m not that hopeful with the impeachment to be successful but I’ll pray for it. I’ll just be glad to see a new set up, sana we don’t have to start from scratch…

    • benign0 on October 15, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    Hmmm… the lack of the kindly requested counter-arguments rings loudly… 😀

    • qwert on October 15, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    Mav,
    To me the funniest thing was the start of the war between France and Spain. Les Miserables against Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha…

    • ramrod on October 15, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    qwert, I had a response for you earlier but its “awaiting moderation?”
    Mav, however did you come up with that Luli Internet Brigade stuff? 🙂

    • MAV on October 15, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    ramrod:The “luli arroyo internet brigade” stuff is 100% true.ridiculously funny at best and absurd at worst .check it.

    • cvj on October 15, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Benign0, in your proposition that the breakup of the Filipino nation will come naturally, you have to contend with those of us who self-identify as Filipinos. In matters having to do with patriotism and nationalism, that’s as much argument as is needed. Of course you would think that the idea of the Philippines is ephermal because your contempt for the Filipino is what comes naturally to you. So why would anyone take you at your word when i have first hand proof of the contrary?

    Now since i obliged you, can you respond to my question that i posed to you on the previous thread:

    …In your chart (with the red and blue lines), what unit of measure does your y-axis represent and can you provide the underlying numerical data? Also, can you put dates (not necessariy exact but could be the general time period) for your x-axis?

    October 13th, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    I need to know the basis of your chart to be able to evaluate its validity either way.

    • MAV on October 15, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    “Hmmm… the lack of the kindly requested counter-arguments rings loudly… 😀 benigno”

    enjoying your mental masturbation up now,eh beningno?

    • Bencard on October 15, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    i smell a badly rotting fish in panlilio’s “revelation” (even a former priest is not a paragon of truth and morality, especially if he has chosen to be a part of dirty politics). first, since he accepted the “bribe”, panlilio must know the person who handed it to him, or at least describe him for an artist’s rendition, if he did not recognize him. this business of saying, it was from “malacanang (the palace is a public place accessible to many people, if not to all) just doesn’t wash. how could anyone be so sure that the alleged envelope did not come from the plundered loot, jueting, drug trafficking or other illicit source, and ‘delivered at malacanang solely for the purpose of embarrassing the president?

    second, why would “malacanang” (whoever official is referred to) give cash rather than check, the taker accept it, put it in his vault, and, all of a sudden, question in the eager media its source and purpose for all the publicity it could generate?

    third, what’s so special about panlilio among hundreds of governors? he is not even a known ally of the president and cannot have anything to do about the attempt to impeach the president, the favorite motivation, kuno, used by the opposition to implicate the president.

    btw, panlilio’s claim that he accepted the “bribe” in good faith is a defensive move but not very convincing and leads to more pointed questions. one does not just accept 500,000 pesos inside a small gift bag without even knowing who is giving it and why.

    the above observations apply to the bulacan governor (didn’t get his name), the other alleged “bribe” receiver.

    i see the same pattern: highly questionable accusation, media hysteria, senate investigation, impeachment, impeachment, impeachment!

    • cvj on October 15, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Bencard, that’s the spirit.

    • MAV on October 15, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    I saw Tonypet Albano on TV again,the one of the “command votes” fame .His new title is ” USEC for Political Coalition Affairs.” sound like an intriguing working title!

    There are other strange “Honorific” titles in the gloria’s cabinet.To name a few:

    Cabinet Officer for Presidential Engagements
    Cabinet Officer for Provincial Events
    Cabinet officer for Religious Ecclesiastical Affairs
    Presidential Adviser for Poltical affairs

    These are in addition to about 24 Cabinet line members.

    Hope they are all productive.

    • ramrod on October 15, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    Whats this “betrayal of public trust” this congressman (I didn’t get the name Egay something) was talking about last night with Boy Abunda, is there really such a law?

    • MAV on October 15, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    “second, why would “malacanang” (whoever official is referred to) give cash rather than check?bencard”

    Elementary,my boy! answer it yourself in one second ,baby!

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