The letter

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JDV3 on phone; Lacson as early bird

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Nuns in the gallery; more senators arrive

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Villar surveys his domain; reporters around JDV3

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Atty. Princesa, Lozada’s lawyer, schmoozes; the two Manuels in a huddle

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Roxas talks to reporters; Lozada enters the Session Hall

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Lozada greets nuns; sits down

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Joint meetings called to order; Lozada prepares

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Lozada takes oath; Enrile during the lunch break

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Enrile rushes off; Lozada returns from lunch

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Lozada talks to Roxas and Cayetano; Bro. Armin of La Salle joins the huddle

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Huddle; Cayetano resumes hearing

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Lozada looks at photos of his abduction

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Estrada enjoying his moment with the photos; Lozada peers at the photos

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Enrile attempts cross-examination

The Inquirer editorial today, ‘Hacenderos’, quotes a portion of Randy David’s Saturday column, Greed in a changing landscape. A lengthier extract makes for instructive reading:

Like the feudal socioeconomic base in which it is rooted, traditional politics is authoritarian and arbitrary. Official power is but an extension of the private interests of the patron. Yet the relationship between the patron and his followers has a moral dimension. In exchange for the support and protection that the patron gives to his dependents, he claims their allegiance and undying gratitude. That is why the greatest sins in traditional society are treachery and ingratitude. This was the principal motif of De Venecia’s speech as he bowed to the rudeness of market politics.

This is a point I have tried to develop in previous columns: that the terms of traditional politics are changing right under the nose of its doomed players. The old values that used to mitigate the oppressiveness of feudal power — self-restraint, the value of friendship, loyalty, word of honor, etc. — are fading away. What is replacing the grip of old-world politics, however, is not the ethical professionalism of modern politics but the sheer rapaciousness of the parvenus of present-day Philippine politics. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s presidency is emblematic of this kind of transitional politics, still traditional and oppressive in every way but shorn of any redeeming qualities. No qualms, no shame, no conscience, no limit.

A society can get indefinitely stuck in this half-way stage between the old and the new. In this ambiguous state, the stench of decadence is sensed everywhere, acting as an incitement to corrosive cynicism or to moral conservatism. The passage to the new is finally cleared only after a wrenching effort is forced upon the society by the imperatives of system survival in a changed environment.

That wrenching moment is brought about by perturbations that occur with increasing frequency. The pressure for change is felt at the individual and societal levels. The reluctant and terrified whistle-blower Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr. exemplifies the personal insecurity that an individual, caught in this transition, experiences as he comes face to face with the ugly side of a gangster regime. He sees how defenseless he is as he unburdens himself of the guilt of an entire system.

As for the administration falling over itself trying to extract itself from a mess of its own making, as far as its culpability is concerned, why even Solita Monsod says it’s Obvious!

Today, Vicente Romano III, co-convenor of the Black & White Movement, released an article Jun Lozada wrote back in October, 2007. It first appeared on line in PinoyPress at 7:53 pm. The Senate is expected to grill Lozada on this. The version here is unedited.

Here is Enteng Romano’s introductory note:

Dear Friends,

Here’s a short write-up that Jun Lozada wrote sometime in October. He wanted me to disseminate it without attribution. I believe he was motivated both by his genuine concern for a beleaguered friend who was being maligned no end, and his desire, even then, for the truth to somehow surface. He left it up to me as to how and when to disseminate it.

I did not find any compelling reason to get it out then. But now that Jun has told it all, and Neri is being invited back to testify, I believe the public deserves to know what was (and maybe still is) in the mind of Neri — at least from the point of view of a friend. I’m sure Jun will not mind.Let’s get this out in the open.

God bless,

Enteng

And here is Jun Lozada’s article:

What is Neri afraid to say and Why?

Many speculations have been made as to what Neri knows about the ZTE-NBN most particularly the direct involvement of Pres. Gloria Arroyo in this abominable affair. After his damaging “Sec. May 200 ka dito” demolition of Abalos, the discredited former Comelec Chairman, many were left disappointed when Neri suddenly clamped up when the Senators started asking him about the nature of his conversation with Arroyo, no amount of coaxing, cajoling and threats was enough to break his Code of Omerta. The question on many people’s mind was, What was Neri trying to protect when he repeatedly invoked “Executive Priviledge” during that gruelling 12 hour Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on live television?

We have known the Truth all along as one of the few people that Neri confided his predicament during those fateful days of April 2006, and how he wanted to resign his post of NEDA Director General and Secretary for Socio-Economic Planning over this incident where he lost all his moral respect for Pres. Gloria Arroyo.

We are doing this document to give the public an understanding of this predicament.

What is Neri afraid to tell the public? He is afraid to tell the public that after he reported the Abalos P200 million peso bribe offer, Arroyo casually told him to ignore it and work for its recommendation for approval anyway. That when he protested that it is too controversial and may attract the wrong kind of attention from media, Arroyo retorted back “Pakulo lang ni Joey yan and his father”. When he tried to reason that it may not be accommodated in the Chinese ODA package because it has been filled up with a list of projects already, Arroyo again ordered him to remove the low cost housing project and some water project to accommodate the ZTE-NBN deal in the ODA loan. That when he attempted to reason that it may not be approved in time for the Boao Forum which was only two days to go from that fateful April day, Arroyo with raised voice told him to include the ZTE-NBN project in the agenda of the following day’s meeting of a combined NEDA Board and Cabinet Committee, who as expected promptly approved the project paving the way for the contract signing between ZTE and DOTC in China the next day. Neri is afraid to tell the public that this conversation took place between him and Arroyo because it might spark another impeachment complaint against Arroyo.

Why is Neri afraid to tell the public about this conversation with Arroyo? He is afraid that another impeachment will simply result to more expenses of public funds similar to the Hyatt 10 impeachment crisis, because as DBM Secretary who replaced Boncodin, he was entrusted with the large scale DBM payola operation of Arroyo to Congressmen, Senators and Governors not quite similar to the crude Panlilio incident that the public is witnessing now. He is afraid with a more partisan Andaya at the helm of DBM, more public funds will be spent to buy the silence and favour of these greedy legislators and local executives. He is afraid that with Arroyo’s firm control of public funds she can buy all the necessary support from most sectors of society to keep her in power.

He is afraid that even if the opposition knows about this conversation with Arroyo, he is afraid that the opposition will not pursue a serious impeachment proceedings against Arroyo, because it is not to their political interest that Noli de Castro becomes President in case Arroyo is impeached and becomes a more formidable political opponent in 2010. This insincere and unpatriotic goal of the opposition is already being manifested by the malicious speed that the Erap pardon is being cooked by Ronnie Puno together with the Erap camp to hastily put a united front of “Birds of the same corrupt feather” coalition against the emerging JDV led political opposition.

He is afraid that even if the Church knows the truth about Arroyo’s direct involvement in the ZTE-NBN deal, the Church will still not call for her resignation due to the closeness of Arroyo’s trusted lady liason to the Cardinal of Manila who was very effective during the “Hello Garci” crisis. That Arroyo’s Religious Affairs Operators have the Bishops firmly in their “donation” graces, as again manifested by the quick rebuttal of the Mindanao Bishops’ of the call of their fellow bishops in Luzon who where calling for the resignation of Arroyo just after Arroyo gave them a visit in Mindanao.

He is afraid that even if the military knows the truth about Arroyo’s direct involvement in the fraudulent ZTE-NBN deal, the AFP brass is much to indebted to Arroyo for their position and the perks that goes with their position, that they have demonstrated this twisted loyalty with their willingness to detain, remove from the service and even shoot their own men for voicing out their legitimate concerns regarding the corruption and moral authority of their Commander in Chief. It is a sad spectacle to see the respected warriors of the Marines & Special Forces rot in jail with their ideals, while their men are dying even without receiving the measly P150 per day combat pay that was promised to them by Arroyo due to lack of funds & generals gets a gift bag similar to those given to the governors and congressmen just for having dinner with Arroyo the day after that infamous breakfast & lunch meeting where bribe money flowed scandalously free.

He is afraid that even if the Media knows the truth about Arroyo’s direct involvement in the ZTE-NBN scam, Media will simply wither in the torrents of cash and favors similar to how the Hyatt 10, Hello Garci crisis were killed in the media headlines and Radio& TV coverages. Although he believes in the integrity of a handful of Journalist, he believes that a handful of these mavericks cannot withstand the hordes of paid lackeys of Malacanang. Especially that the Arroyo crisis team is now being handled by the best mercenary money can buy, from Ramos Sulo Operation, Erap’s DILG and now Arroyo’s troubleshooter, Ronnie Puno. Ably supported by the Media and PR money from PAGCOR being handled by Cerge Remonte to buy positive airtime, headlines and editorials.

He is afraid that even if the Business Sector knows about the truth of Arroyo’s direct involvement to defraud the coffers of the taxes they are paying, the businessmen will be reluctant to rock the boat of the current economic uptrend, especially with the very close personal and business relationship of the so called leaders of the big business like Ricky Razon of ICTSI, Donald Dee of PCCI and Francis Chua of the Filipino-Chinese Federation to Arroyo herself. He is afraid that the hard earned remittances of Filipino OFWs that is keeping the economy booming and that can keep the economy afloat even under any administration is being wasted under this unholy alliance of Arroyo and her favoured businessmen.

He is afraid that even if the Civil Society knows the truth about Arroyo’s direct involvement in the ZTE-NBN deal, that the Civil Society is now tired of mass actions after witnessing two failed EDSA revolutions, that Civil Society is now afflicted with a “Rally Fatigue” and cannot muster enough public outrage to denounce Arroyo’s “corruption with impunity”. He is afraid that the middle class is now indifferent to the corruption that goes around them, not realising that the middle class are the ones mainly carrying the burden of the loan payments for these corrupt deals. He is afraid that the middle class are more interested to become an OFW & to leave this country leaving their family and children behind, and may not care anymore about the crimes being committed against their country by its own President.

He is afraid that even if the Masa, the students, the workers knows the truth about Arroyo’s direct involvement in the ZTE-NBN deal to steal precious resources from public funds, that they are now too poor and impoverished to be able to afford the time to join mass actions against the abuses of the Arroyo administration, that these former vanguards of mass actions in the country are now completely dependent on financial resources of professional organizers and have turned themselves into a “Rally for hire” groups rather than a true and genuine political gathering shouting for reforms.

He is afraid that the public may not know the extent of corruption in this country and may wrongly believe that they can cure corruption by simply replacing Arroyo with another person. He is afraid that the public may overlook the systemic and institutionalized nature of the source of corruption in this country, he is afraid that the people will again opt for a regime change without concern or a plan to correct the root causes of corruption in the country. He is afraid that people may not realize that it is not bringing Arroyo down that is difficult, it is establishing a new order that is the difficult task.

This is the predicament of Neri which I want people to realize especially to those who are asking Neri to tell the truth.

A critical reading of the above, together with the statements of Lozada in public late last week, as well as his conversations off-camera, so to speak, but which he said could be quoted, will, I think, illuminate in the public’s mind how Lozada sees himself and his past principals. I went over this in a previous entry, which in amended form is my column for today, Hold the line.
Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ discusses how officials go about Shielding the President .

266 comments

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    • cvj on February 12, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    JMCastro, i think Miriam’s line of attack is designed to elicit the kind of doubts that you’re having. Along with legalism aka ‘where is the evidence’ (which Jeg already discussed above) and there is no alternative (the final fallback position), pare-pareho lang sila has so far proven to be an effective strategy for those who want to maintain the status-quo.

    • JMCastro on February 12, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Precisely, Jeg, even if I believe something to be true, there is still the question of what others believe.

    These are extraordinary times indeed if we cannot rely on strict requirements of what is true, and what are lies. It isn’t a question of what is legalistic, it’s a question of what all of us can agree on. This is the reason why someone with strong moral and ethical standards that all of us can accept has to get behind this.

    • Geo on February 12, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    The power struggle between FVR/JDV vs GMA (and between and within the Lakas and Kampi ruling factions) has been going on for some time.

    One reasonable theory is that the ZTE issue is just a part of that tug of war.

    One might think there was a fight over ZTE money…and the fight spilled over into the political arena. It’s also possible that a tactic used in the political struggle is to link the other party with some allegedly anomalous transaction. We, the public, can’t tell.

    Certainly, JDV (and Joey) is on one side of this ZTE “expose” and GMA (and FG) is on the other. Abalos, Neri and Lozada are somewhere in-between…and ultimately worried how they will come out of this battle.

    The Senate and the non-gov owned media are, for the most part, anti-GMA. And there are some very noisy groups who have been vociferously anti-GMA for years. On the other side are very powerful people who dominate the executive branch, both on national and local levels. Both sides have a lot of money.

    Then there’s the rest of us. Some of us don’t automatically and emotionally go against GMA (or for GMA) without some thought and some investigation. We’re the ones who want an emphasis on facts. We’re the ones who want to see this stuff go to the real courts.

    Did GMA and the FG set up a royal scam and skim plot? Or did JDV and Joey try to finnaggle a lucrative deal for themselves? Or neither? Or both? What were Abalos, Neri and Lozada’s roles in all of this?

    We don’t know the truth. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to uncover the truth. Trial in the Senate and media is almost assuredly the wrong way…especially with all the emotional fuel that is added to a hot issue.

    Sorry if some of you find this kind of thinking to be dastardly, treacherous or pro-admin. For me, I think respecting laws, institutions and procedures is part of a mature democracy. In contrast is what happened during Erap’s ouster…which we are all still paying for to this day.

    Take all of this to the courts.

    • Kabayan on February 12, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Take it to the courts … perhaps to the Ombudsman … or maybe the DOI, oh wait there’s something better … take it for a Congressional investigation and make Noggie the head (***guffaw***)

    • JMCastro on February 12, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Geo:

    If we respect laws, institutions and procedures, shouldn’t we respect the oversight function of the Senate? And this includes specialized investigations by select committees.

    • cvj on February 12, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    This is the reason why someone with strong moral and ethical standards that all of us can accept has to get behind this. – JMCastro

    Does the endorsement of the nuns and La Salle Brothers count?

    • JMCastro on February 12, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    cvj:

    The RGS sisters? Oh, most definitely. I also like the La Salle brothers.

    How about for everyone else?

    • hawaiianguy on February 12, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Abe N. Margallo:

    “The harsh reality appears inevitable: the longer President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo holds on to power, the sooner she (or even her immediate predecessor, if at all) will preside over a failed Philippine state in which life for the unfortunate majority of the Filipinos, so entrapped, will be “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”

    Fact is, she is now presiding a similar state – a “flawed democratic” system (The Economist, on “democracy” 2007). Failed or flawed, does it make a significant difference? Both stink, don’t they?

  1. Take all of this to the courts. – Geo.

    At the height of the Hello Garci episodes, the power of all agencies of government were focused to ensure the ball remained in the opponent’s backcourt. The police, DOJ, NBI, Ombudsman, were suddenly unaccessible or at least, uncooperative on matters that normally were well within their AORs. EO464, PP1017, and CPR were issued one after the other to coverup for the wrongdoings and prevent the massing of critics in the streets.

    Investigations? Nada. Except of course, the Senate’s.

    Even a lowly administrator of radio frequencies such as the NTC even issued the media a threat of franchise cancelation should the radio/tv companies play the tapes on air. Media took it to court. That was 2005.

    Three years later, the Supreme court is yet to announce its decision. But what do you know, the SC is finally coming out with one. TODAY! Just yesterday, the Ombudsman held their own presscon where they claimed the wiretapping/cheating case is not comatose as many have suspected. They are, well, 3 years after, INVESTIGATING! Hypocrites and liars all.

    And the procrastination goes on.

    When all democratic institutions, especially those which are mandated with checks and balance cease to function, the sham of a democracy does not deserve a day longer. Real democracy will have to defend itself and assert its right to survive. This fight does not happen in the courts.

    There are two sets of laws Gloria cannot repeal, laws she cannot circumvent, laws she cannot twist. Physical laws of the universe and divine law.

    Either one will catch her soon.

  2. Hindi ko naman masisisi si GMA, dahil may pangangailangan siya at sa mala-baboy na hitsura ni FG Mike Arroyo, eh talagang pamatay libog. Buti nalang andiyan si Mike Defensor.

    This is so lowlife a discussion.

    • Geo on February 12, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    This is far…very far away…from being a failed state. It is certainly not a failed democracy. Flawed? Sure…like most democracies that are less than 25 yrs old.

    Which courts? Yes, all of them. And yes, the Senate DOES have oversight and investigative functions…but it should send cases to the courts if it finds something.

    • Kabayan on February 12, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Missed potentially the most important and powerful court, The Court of the People.

    • Cehz on February 12, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    geO,

    Which courts? Yes, all of them. And yes, the Senate DOES have oversight and investigative functions…but it should send cases to the courts if it finds something.

    Sorry for interupting… but the senate could never be a proper party to send these things to court. The courts still have thess doctrine of Proper party to file these cases in court. Even on the premise of being a senator and filing a case in court for the people would still be under scrutiny so that it would be a valid case in court. Paradox is that after all the investigations the senate can not still initiate a court action against all these minions of the current government. All these investigations will lead to and supposed to lead to is a legislation to avoid further abuses of power and influence.

    TAke the ZTE case, the ending should be and should be done by the senators is make a legislation that would streamline procurement procedures by the state to protect the procurement from anomalous abalos and the like.

    What should not be in the current issue is to take the investigations as a venue for the senators to make political grandstanding and gain media mileage for further political careers.

    But those are the what should and should not be….. the ending is and I hope I’m wrong… that the investigations will lead to nothing but expose’ and media mileage for the very young chairman of the BLUE RIBBON COMMITEE. He still has what? 2 terms to go? He needs the media mileage to retain his seat in the senate.

    What I do hope is…. That a legislation will come out from all this and put the dysfunctional procurement process in its proper order and protect it from the 22% commissions.

    • Geo on February 12, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    TongueTwist,

    Funny you mention the Garci Tapes. Because, yes, that’s where the trouble started.

    The reaction to the tapes was led by politicians who screamed for an immediate ousting. People were called to go to the streets for Truth and Justice. High emotion and even violence became the norm.

    Imagine if the opposition had just calmly and intelligently put together their game plan and implemented it.

    But that’s not what happened. The volume and heat were turned up so high that the nation became threatened by collapse, powerful forces became polarized and the state went into a fortress defense.

    Since that time we’ve had to deal with an unpleasant political battle which threatens the concurrent dynamic economic growth.

    And the battle continues to be waged in the wrong fora. And many of us are sick of it. Yes, there are certainly problems which are systemic. And yes, there are some bad apples running around. But this has not been (and still is not) the right way to manage these conflicts and problems.

    The general population continues to disregard the calls for overturning the establishment. It’s not because people are lazy or stupid or selfish. It’s because — in their aggragate wisdom — they know the difference between approaching these problems and conflicts the right way and the wrong way. They have alread seen how trying to short-cut things just ends up making things worse.

    Do The Right Thing = Do It The Right Way

    • mang_isko on February 12, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    ‘Missed potentially the most important and powerful court, The Court of the People.’ – kabayan

    parang tunog KOMYUNISTA. okey let them try to hold this government. and see if we will survive for another with all the opinions we could have today!

    • mang_isko on February 12, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    kabayan? JOMA is that you?

    • Geo on February 12, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Kabayan,

    There is no Court of the People. The sooner that is realized, the sooner we can all try to make things better.

    Unfortunately, there are still political leaders selling that BS. Very few citizens are following them, though.

    • Kabayan on February 12, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    mang_isko,

    Joma who? Hmm, mang_isko … Joseph McCarthy is that you?

    Geo,

    Oho, your idol Gloria was installed by the Court of the People.

    • Mita on February 12, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    The legislative is not the institution people can rely on to fight corruption. Politicians are direct beneficiaries of corruption in government. Once in a position of power, it’s payback time and they are expected to appoint anyone and everyone who helped them along the way. And that’s why the strongest allies who risked the most get the most lucrative posts. Need I cite examples through the different administrations?

    Let’s just ask ourselves why corruption is still a problem 22 years after EDSA 1. The only answer would be, “It pays and it pays damn well to feed this dysfunctional political system.”

    Even if the courts do a fantastically great and unbiased job of prosecuting perpetrators of corruption in government….as it did with Erap…what does it matter if an executive pardon awaits the convicted felon in the end?

    Do we really have checks and balance in government if one branch of government only has to wink at the other branch in order to maintain that culture of corruption that feeds the machinery and all is well?

    Remember once in power, those waiting in the wings will want to get their share of the pie – nevermind if some of us consider it unfair – to them who ruled/rule/will rule, it’s their share and that is all that matters.

    This is a failed state. It needs a complete overhaul and it needs a total and indiscriminate change of names and faces running it – with a totally different mindset about SERVICE in government.

    • hawaiianguy on February 12, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Geo,

    “Flawed democracy” is an expert rendition of how RP stands, along with some countries in Africa and Latin America (courtesy of The Economist, UK). Far from failed? Maybe yes, maybe no. Depending on someone’s definition or situation. One who fails can still pass a test later on, right? (Like a bar examinee taking it for the second or third time).

    But flawed, can it be corrected and restored to a normal state? Maybe a little bit, by minor surgical means. But the defect is still there, almost intact. Like flawed design of a house, which is already built, later corrected.

    Ouch! It really hurts.

    RP is also rated on democracy by another group of experts, Freedom House (from USA). During 2002-2005 (under Gloria), the country was a FREE democracy. Then in 2006 and 2007 it retrogressed to PARTLY FREE.

    Incidentally, our neighbor Indonesia (during post-Suharto) agonized as PARTLY FREE, and joined the league of FREE democracies in 2007.

    The Economist and Freedom House defined democracies somewhat differently. To one’s surprise, their measurements of democracy are highly synonymous or correlated. (For Southeast/South Asian countries, the r is.94; where r = 1.0 is perfect correlation.)

  3. media mileage?

    Cayetano – negative perception during all the hearings he’s presided ever since
    Jamby – mas lalo lang lumabas na bobo
    Legarda – di nagbabasa ng mga records na binigay na sa kanya
    Joker – wala na. ipinagbili na ni tanda ang integridad nya
    Miriam – pwede nang ipasok sa mental ang isang ‘to
    Enrile – naknamputsa, pagkatapos ng martial law at lahat-lahat, ewan ko ba kung ba’t andito ka pa rin para i-torture ang taong bayan
    Villar – we caught you sleeping with both sides!
    Roxas – konting acting pa mr. palengke. halatang puro ka lang pa pogi eh

    may na miss ba akong senador?

    yung iba dekorasyon na lang. kahit isa sa sino mang nakaupo sa senado ngayon dapat perpetually disqualified na from any public office.

    mas lalo naman yung nasa lower house!

    dapat don isa-isa nang…

  4. Geo,
    I’m not going to debate that with you. Under normal circumstances, or under decent rulers, if you wish, what you say is applicable. But you totally missed the point. It’s not even a case against Gloria, it’s the NTC case that took all of three years and suddenly, when the heat has been turned up again, they rush and say it’s about time they decided. We have been complaining of the Senate’s 8-hours long hearings, look at the REAL courts! Three years for declaring an NTC order valid or invalid!

    I won’t fall into that trap that now seems, the only card left for Gloria’s apologists (I know you are not one) to play – take it to the courts.

    My God, since when was it the imbecile Ombudsbitch’s job to hold a presscon three years after an issue was first raised just to say , “Hey, we are investigating!”

    And btw, those who keep complaining about what good will come out of these Senate hearings, there you go. The sloth of a Supreme Court and the comatose Ombudsman are up on their feet.

    If I may borrow Benign0 – get real!

  5. kaya kung media mileage lang ang habol ng mga senador sa mga hearing na ito, aba-aba, dapat siguro tumigil na sila at mas lalo lang silang nagmumukhang: tanga, biased, at corrupt.

    so wait tayo dun sa legislation na gagawin nila. baka sakaling may patunguhan.

    ay oo nga pala, babanga rin iyon sa mababang kapulungan. kung san mas grabe ang kababuyan.

    ang sarap talagang…

    andon lang ang listahan sa newsbreak..

    ano duterte? di ba osmena?

  6. This is a failed state. It needs a complete overhaul and it needs a total and indiscriminate change of names and faces running it – with a totally different mindset about SERVICE in government. – Mita

    I will agree with this one. But if I may add, what’s the use of legislating when the implementors don’t even respect it? The laws are there and have been there for a long, long time. But look, whenever convenient, the implementor just disregards them totally. There is absolutely no legislative action now that is more urgent than oversight. I find it amazing people are complaining of the 8-hours “wasted time” in investigations when crimes have been continuing for SEVEN YEARS!

    Legislation has become a secondary function of the Senate as dictated by the need to stop the runaway corruption in all agencies. And it is doing so by its lonesome.

    We will start making laws again when we are sure these laws will be followed.

  7. so Tounge, Bayani Fernando for president?

  8. at least we’ll be sure he’ll make sure the laws are followed, kahit sino man ang masagasaan.

    • Geo on February 12, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    hawaiianguy,

    Yes, I am aware of those ratings/classifications. That’s why I said it is flawed, not failed…and that it is in a similar situation as many young democracies.

    Mita,

    That’s still not a definition of a failed state. But I agree that what exist now ain’t pretty. That’s one reason I’ve been for Cha-Cha for a long time…but I agree that it probably must be done once GMA is out of the picture.

    Kabayan,

    You wrote: “Oho, your idol Gloria was installed by the Court of the People.” Sheesh. You are beyond the reach of reasonable discourse.

    • Kabayan on February 12, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    TonGuE-tWisTeD said:

    “I will agree with this one. But if I may add, what’s the use of legislating when the implementors don’t even respect it? The laws are there and have been there for a long, long time. But look, whenever convenient, the implementor just disregards them totally. There is absolutely no legislative action now that is more urgent than oversight. I find it amazing people are complaining of the 8-hours “wasted time” in investigations when crimes have been continuing for SEVEN YEARS!

    We will start making laws again when we are sure these laws will be followed.”

    I agree Tongue, the real problem now is that the normal check and balance that a democracy is supposed to have has been compromised. Through the use of cheating, money, and strong arm tactics, the Lower House is influenced, the Executive Branch run like a Gestapo (E.O.464 precludes any active whistleblowers in this branch) while the Judiciary is already heavily infiltrated by the Executive Branch’s tentacles. The current zombie like control of the AFP and PNP held by the Executive is so severe that Praetor Razon even had to lamely give an excuse that Citizen’s arrest and the powers of the Sheriff is valid without police assistance while a Senate Sgt-at-Arms cannot carry out its duty to arrest anyone. That is the main reason that trust in governance is almost gone as it is we are now categorized as Partly-Free.

    • Jeg on February 12, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Take all of this to the courts.

    How about an impeachment court, Geo? Would that be acceptable? Or is that court too political?

    • nash on February 12, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    @cat cat

    yes, I need that scam fr. suarez (bili na, mura lang rosaryo) to heal my lowlife brain. 😀

    As you can gather, I’m not condemning GMA for her personal life, rather, her incompetence. Sadly, her lover boy is running all over the place as if he were still a government official, getting access to state funds…

    • Geo on February 12, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Impeachment court is fine by me. And if GMA gets booted, so be it.

    All courts. That’s their function, after all.

    • Mita on February 12, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Geo,

    I’m for Charter change too. Ramos tried it, JDV tried it and so did GMA – the problem is mainly distrust.

    If we can just get over the paranoia that every president who tries to make change has only one thing in mind – perpetuate themselves in office – maybe it can start things going.

    Our big problem is, the politicians who will rule this government will still be the same….which then takes us to the people who vote these leeches into office. How can we change the faces when majority of people are still hooked on personalities and not parties (let’s not even talk about party principles)…they are still believers of padrinos who will throw them a little cash every now and then.

    I’m hopeful for the people though. The brain drain is not so bad if you think about it. The kids left here will get better educated than their parents and that is the key to empowering the masa. Some people might say it’s sad – but that’s our reality and we just have to suck it up.

    It’s really up to the people to decide our future. Before we let media do that for us, I just want to remind everyone that most media companies in the country – big and small – are run by powerful individuals/families with their own interests to guard.

    We have to learn how to think independent of media and the most dazzling politico who gets the most airtime…

    • JMCastro on February 12, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Geo:

    I honestly think, despite the sensationalist tendencies of the opposition senators, the Senate as a collective still made it all work. Everyone, including the administration senators, got their pitch in.

    The problems with courts the way it is conducted in the Philippines today is that judgment relies too much on the discretion of a single personality, the judge. This is the most important reason why a court is the most vulnerable when it comes to back-room manipulations. This, and the fact that legalese is too technical for educated non-lawyers to appreciate.

    In the light of the fact that we are trying to grasp a reality regarding the conduct of high government officials, legislative oversight over executive functions — don’t you think that a court (with the exception of an impeachment court) is precisely the wrong place to find it?

    • Cehz on February 12, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    JMCAstro,

    I totally agree. conduct of high govrnment officials would be very difficult to bring to court. especially corrupt ones. They will do everything to cover their tracks. Even if its fairly obvious that their acts are already in the limelight yet proving them in court is another thing. The stringent legal procedures and rules will more likely prove to be in the favor of the affluently connected and well placed government official. Only the extremely naive and “stupid” officials will get caught with their pants down in court… others? They will most likely get away with it on legal technicalities by way of the brilliance of the legal luminaries paid for in millions of pesos.

    True, the courts is precisely the wrong place to find the justice for the people. Plainly said….to indict corrupt officials put them in the NPA courts. hehehehe!

    • vic on February 12, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    JM Castro, When we say “Blameless Inquiry” it simply means that there will be no Criminal Prosecutions to result as the uncovering of any kind of evidence in the conduct of Inquiry except for Perjury and Contradictory testimonies..It is usually conducted after all Criminal Investigation were wrapped up and the intentions for such inquiry is to find out the causes, the loopholes and the defects in the administrative and the bureaucracy and also the effectiveness of the current law to deal with such wrongdoings and to find measures to remedy them so the chance of Repeats will be minimized if not completely eliminated..so far it works just fine in our settings.. its very expensive..it is very exhaustive more than some traditional trials, and a large contingent of staffing needed to support the Inquiry, including Forensic and counsels available to all parties of interest at government expense..some may hire their own private lawyers for advice..But for aid of Legislation, I believe it is the best Process….

    • vic on February 12, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    It is also not done for Political wrongdoings, but also for man-made disasters, and one very good example was the contamination of the water supply of the town of Walkerton where scores of townsfolk died of Ecoli contaminations and thousands got sick..This one Justice O’Connor was able to pinpoint the exact causes and the individuals Responsible and a very rare case where the responsbible parties were charged for Criminal Negligence..and also the Good Justice advise the Government to work out the finacial settlement with all the victims.. Out of that Inquest the whole province water supply is now much, much safer..

    • The Ca t on February 12, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    <[email protected] cat

    yes, I need that scam fr. suarez (bili na, mura lang rosaryo) to heal my lowlife brain. 😀

    another irrelevant and immaterial issue.

    if it is a scam, then all churches selling rosaries in their church stores is a scam.
    Have you been to Lourdes, France?

    The way, i read you have never left your comfort zone, where hearsay is the order of the day.

    Don’t reply. i hope you never get the chance to be like the me and others who need the faith to get healed.

    btw, did you read my testimoniala about my healing from cancer. it was father fernando suarez who did it. and i never paid a single cent.

    • nash on February 12, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    dear cat,

    i apologise. i wish you good health and a good recovery.

    on another note, i don’t think it has anything to do with fr. suarez.

    in fact i challenge fr. suarez to a voodoo match at the DOJ. let’s see who among us can raise Gonzalez’ brain from the dead.

    i have been to lourdes and yes it is full of nutters.

    • JMCastro on February 12, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Hi Ca t,

    From what you have written, I believe that God healed your cancer.

    I hope you don’t take your detractors’ lack of experience with regards to miracles against them.

    • The Ca t on February 12, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    apology accepted nash.

    • The Ca t on February 12, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    jm,
    noted.

    • nash on February 13, 2008 at 12:03 am

    @JM

    I hope all the ills of the world will be healed.

    I just don’t believe in miracles in the ‘religious sense’ the same way that prayers alone will not save our country.

    • Bert on February 13, 2008 at 12:14 am

    “The stringent legal procedures and rules will more likely prove to be in the favor of the affluently connected and well placed government official. Only the extremely naive and “stupid” officials will get caught with their pants down in court… others? They will most likely get away with it on legal technicalities by way of the brilliance of the legal luminaries paid for in millions of pesos.–Cehz

    Cehz, you forgot they also do a lozada to get away with it, or a dimasidsing if you are far from de la salle. In this present dispensation, the legal technicalities come after the fact.

    • grd on February 13, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Sadly, her lover boy is running all over the place as if he were still a government official, getting access to state funds… nash

    @nash, is this true or tsismis? that’s a very strong statement.

    • Bert on February 13, 2008 at 12:29 am

    “I just don’t believe in miracles in the ‘religious sense’ the same way that prayers alone will not save our country.–nash

    Oh, yes, nash, the cat is praying to damn lozada to save gloria to save the country. Might just work.

    cat, I wish you well, prayers included. Even if you are well already.

    • JMCastro on February 13, 2008 at 12:30 am

    Nash:

    I prefer the term ‘spiritual’ as opposed ‘religious’.

    It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth when someone else’s spirituality is made fun of.

    I believe that one’s own personal beliefs is best left between oneself and one’s God.

    • Bert on February 13, 2008 at 12:31 am

    And I pray nash comments does not make you unwell.

    • vic on February 13, 2008 at 12:35 am

    nash, take it easy with your ‘lover boy’ side issue there, lest Hard Evidence demanded of you, like some images maybe? or wiretapped phone conversation, yet don’t ever present them, they can easily refuted just like the ‘Garci tapes’ so take it easy,take it easy like the eagles will advise their fans…

    • nash on February 13, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    @JM

    I am not making fun your right to spirituality but I have the right to find offense in a priest who claims he can raise people from the dead.

    • nash on February 13, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    @grd and vic,

    well, it’s a figure of speech. i often ask myself why mike defensor ‘loves’ gma so much that he’d do anything for her. is it blind love? love for his party leader? in any case mike defensor clearly loves gma and what she stands for.

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