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Oct 27

The fugitive

bolanteRI.jpgMy column today is Bolante’s great escape. For details, check out Newsbreak’s Timeline: Joc-joc Bolante and the Fertilizer Scam and CA upholds decision to freeze Bolante’s bank accounts and the Arroyo Corruption wiki and Rotarians urge Bolante to come out and tell the truth (not to mention Jun Lozada weighing in, too).

The Warrior Lawyer points out that besides Bolante, former Agriculture Secretary Cito Lorenzo has some explaining to do, too.

So tomorrow, Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante’s due to arrive. It seems a caucus of senators, meant to help the Senate President decide whether to instruct the Senate sergeant-at-arms to serve a warrant of arrest on him or not, ended up cancelled.

As it is, former Senators Franklin Drilon, Sergio Osmena III, and Ramon Magsaysay Jr. are holding a press conference, tomorrow, at 2 p.m. at the Club Filipino, to point out that their report did not write finis to the Bolante investigation.

Whoops, hold the presses! Latest (6:42 p.m.) is that Senate President Villar has directed the Senate sergeant-at-arms to serve the warrant of arrest on Bolante upon his arrival. The Drilon-Osmena-Magsaysay press conference has been canceled, as a result…

The scuttlebutt has been plentiful concerning how the Palace will handle the return of the fugitive. Bolante’s lawyer, Tony Zulueta, is supposedly identified with the President’s husband. But you don’t have to believe that to see the fingerprints of the Palace all over the place: what was submitting a motion to the Supreme Court on Office of the Solicitor-General stationery all about?More interesting was scuttlebutt that retired General Palparan was going to be sent to meet and greet Bolante upon his arrival; this has been overtaken by reports that the National Bureau of Investigation will send agents to “meet” Bolante and “escort” him to the NBI or the Bureau of Immigration where he can be “debriefed.” Mixed messages here -is it to help him or keep him on good behavior?- made all the more complicated because Federal officials in the USA won’t just escort Bolante to his Manila-bound flight, but, it seems, accompany him to his destination to make sure he won’t sneak back into America.This means not only will Bolante have to come home, but that the public will know when and where he’s arriving -which makes whisking him away a ticklish thing to accomplish. He just represents an inconvenient truth at this point, much as the Palace thinks it has all its ducks in a row and that it has the political momentum to finally achieve the constitutional amendments it wants.

Blogger Barangay Kidlatan is of the opinion that Bolante and impeachment are related, something others seem to think, too. Of course they are related, but whether the former will actually breathe life into the latter is what seems to me a bit of a stretch.

So I don’t know if I agree with Mon Casiple when he says,

Now, throw Jocjoc Bolante into the brew and a possible insider impeachment witness has appeared on the horizon, in addition to all the others. The impeachment—a quixotic proposition before—suddenly now seems plausible.

It’s like pinning any hopes at all on former Speaker de Venecia’s posturing concerning the impeachment complaint. It’s posturing, calculated on the premise that he’ll never really get called upon to deliver testimony against the President (and knowing too that the Palace won’t be as bold as to actually call his bluff).

The dilemma, it seems to me, for much of officialdom is whether they should make hay while the sun’s still shining, or bite the hand that feeds them in the hope of juicier tidbits from a new dispensation. Those interested in the presidency are more interested in coalition-building and part of their coalitions-to-be would include the dregs of the present dispensation. So they will sniff around for maximum barking time but refrain from any real biting.Yet there are officials aplenty, to my mind, who’ve never had it so good, and so, why not keep the party going?

There are many, many, more in the ranks of officialdom who know they will never be senators, much less presidents, whose ambitions only extend to their little fiefdoms, and if there’s a lightning rod in the presidential palace to distract public attention, so much the better, and why curry favor with a new regime if the old one can be given a new lease on life?But that may be getting too far ahead of the story, unfolding as it is. Bolante’s coming home.Might he not sneak off, if his flight has a stopover somewhere? Who knows.

Senate President Villar is agonizing, apparently, over whether he wants a showdown with the Palace on one hand, or to let sleeping dogs lie and arm his opponents in the upper house with another issue on which to base a plot to unseat him.

The Senate President seems to have realized public interest’s been piqued on this one, and the Senate has to continue what it began.

Everyone in the political class is waiting to see whether the public, once more, growls disapproval or shrugs the whole thing off.

And of course, the best laid plans of mice and men … well, whatever plans have been hatched, there’s always the possibility an underling botches the job, and creates a new P.R. problem.

Meanwhile… For the first time ever, trading was temporarily suspended in the Philippine stock market.Overseas, as the American presidential race enters the home stretch, see the electoral math over at RealClearPolitics and Electoral-vote.com. Democrats agonize over their success, the Republicans form a circular firing squad amidst news of an electoral bloodbath. And, Benjamin Pimentel’s convincing argument of The Philippines as a Red State. Egads.

117 comments

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  1. grd

    “like if USA invades Iraq, the US troops could find the WMD that Saddam denies that he has.” UPn

    well, dodong just made an admission. the US fooled the world and its allies. there’s no WMD, it’s all about OIL… and make life better for americans.

    on taxes, dodong and leytenian are so greedy they worry too much about paying more as if their president Obama will make their lives miserable. maybe they should seek advise from bill gates or dylan wilks.

  2. grd

    “let’s prove the pollster wrong and that god is on mccain’s side.” nash

    ??? relihiyoso ka pala nash. so, you think God is on gloria’s side?

  3. d0d0ng

    “And d00d0ng…. you may have missed the donut hole in Obama’s social-security-tax proposal.”

    On the contrary, you sound like donut hole is a nice word. Not at all. For medicare retirees donut hole is a nightmare, figure out why before embracing the donut hole in Barack’s social security tax.

  4. d0d0ng

    “the US fooled the world and its allies”

    Excuse me. The United States of America went into war unilaterally. It is free world. Any country made its free choice like France.

  5. d0d0ng

    “dodong and leytenian are so greedy they worry too much about paying more”

    where have you been on tax101? Tax should be fair. Otherwise, you are penalizing the very productive segment of the society and rewarding those that do not contribute. America is built on free enterprise and not on socialist or communist ideals. Certainly, it is not a welfare state.

  6. d0d0ng

    “Warren Buffet -his company business is definitely paying a lot of taxes”

    The same where I have my investment, the companies are paying a lot of taxes. It is the distribution that counts where the tax bite most. The tight wad Warren created his foundation to avoid personal tax and so is Bill Gates. So who is really paying the taxes. It is us the middle income earners.

  7. leytenian

    Obama is a social climber not a socialist.

  8. nash

    “It is easy to say that unless you are the billionaire paying $33M taxes. With the prospect of paying another $5M under Obama, I rather relocate production to Mexico and get savings from cheap labor.”

    You have to be a very selfish billionaire to feel the pain of losing 0.5%. You simply cut down on the consumption of Mouton-Rotschilds. There is no sense in moving production elsewhere because the knock-on effect of unemployment in your own backyard means no one can afford your products. This applies in smaller businesses too. You see, poor people are not good for business.

    We talk about the Republican party’s main strength of ‘traditional family values’. I don’t exactly know what they mean by this but what it means to me is ‘looking out for others’. And the ‘others’ is everyone in this recession.

    Bill Gates and Warren have simply redistributed their wealth to vaccine research for poorer countries which is nice of them. It’s a naive assertion but then again, the first world can afford to pay for its wars.

    Bill Gates knows that he can’t sell Windows to poor africans, and neither can Warren Buffet sell Coca Cola to countries where water is scarce. They are astute businessmen. They know the long term effect to their business of these ‘charitable’ works.

  9. nash

    “Obama is a social climber not a socialist.” -leytenian

    Well, he made it to Harvard and was president of the Harvard Law Review so he must be a really good social climber. In this case, it’s a good thing compared to jocjoc who stole money to hobnob with the rich.

  10. supremo

    nash,

    ‘clinton had a surplus’

    Clinton never had a budget surplus. It was a deficit for him too. It appeared that there was a surplus because Social Security was collecting more than it had to pay in benefits to retired persons during that time. All the Social Security surplus was used to buy U.S. Government securities which eventually ended in the budget. The last Clinton budget, even with Social Security surplus, started the string of deficits the the US government experiences today.

  11. nash

    @supremo

    really? ok. it must be smoke and mirrors then. anyways, dubya doubled the deficit into a big deep hole.

    the next prez can always be papogi and ignore it and find a way to plug it outside of taxation. it’s not our problem 😀

  12. grd

    :Excuse me. The United States of America went into war unilaterally. It is free world. Any country made its free choice like France.” dodong

    free choice my a_ _. look at what happened to those who refused to be bullied in joining the coalition of the willing. relation with the US went sour “like France”.

  13. UP n grad

    to nash : McCain may believe in the bayanihan-spirit, but there are limits. McCain “family values” goes way beyond economics or tax-deductions for charitable contributions. I still remember when in an interview John Mccain said “in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, personally, I prefer someone who has a grounding in my faith”, and that has to mean something. [Also explains Sarah Palin choice — she shares McCain family values. Plus she has great-looking legs, as Amadeo had alluded to.]

    But beaucoup Hispanics and Filipinos are running away from John McCain as they looked into the details. McCain has sought and has accepted endorsements from Rev. John Hagee, who rightfully called the Catholic Church “The Great Whore” (isn’t that the truth???). Muslims also running away from McCain (and from Pastor Rod Parsley, his “spiritual adviser,” who calls Islam a “false religion” that should be “destroyed.”) McCain has sought and accepted endorsements from evangelical Jerry Falwell, who has said, 9/11 can be blamed in part, on “the pagans and the abortionists, and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians”.

  14. UP n grad

    Democrat-vs-Republican class warfare is not that intense (hey, a lot of card-carrying Democrats have $5Million-and-above networth and have businesses), as compared to the amalgam of culture warfare issues.

  15. UP n grad

    Another reason that beaucoup Hispanics and Filipinos are turning away from the Republicans? Welfare!!

    Actually, it is illegal migration by brown-colored peoples. Along with “… all green-card and US-citizens should speak fluent English” 💡 which makes sense, except Republicans then say “NO!” to spending tax-money on bilingual education for Hispanics and English fluency lessons for California pinoys. :mrgreen:

  16. leytenian

    MCain is now leading Florida. Last week Obama was leading a 6 point lead. Now McCain is leading 1 point lead. It’s not including the majority votes for Mccain on where I live.

    Go mccain go.. It’s interesting and exciting.

  17. Motorcycle

    I too cannot figure out how they will get out of this one.

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