December surprise


(Right: Official OPS photo)

A fire has broken out in one of the Department of Budget and Management’s buildings. This comes at the heels of reports of former Budget chief Emilia Boncodin making a deposition about the release of fertilizer funds in time for the 2004 elections. This is going to be one of those “coincidences” that is impossible to explain away.

Yesterday someone pointed out an Inquirer story I’d overlooked: Good news for holidays, according to Arroyo. It says the President has a December surprise in store for the country:

She said among the things she planned to give the country is a new executive order that would allow front-line government agencies to operate on “emergency” mode and work more effectively…

“This may need amending the objectives of my EO (executive order) on government reengineering and the issuance of an enabling executive order that will allow front-line agencies to operate in an emergency or state of calamity mode.”

The President did not specify the front-line agencies or the extent of their powers, only that it would help lessen the burdens of entrepreneurs in doing business in the country.

…Ms Arroyo said she planned to reorganize the Presidential Commission on Effective Governance, originally established to streamline the bloated Office of the President…

Aside from putting front-line agencies on emergency mode, the President said she would also embark on a massive cleanup of all municipalities and provincial capitols, re-brand the metropolis from Metro Manila to simply Manila, and decongest it.

Of course, inevitably there’s speculation as to what the President exactly has in mind, and what kind of a trial balloon her statements represent.

In the punditocracy today, the Inquirer editorial says the Citizen’s Congress for Truth and Accountability is a predictable outcome of recent events. Patricio Diaz endorses Sen. Edgardo Angara’s proposal that the President put forward a plan of government as the basis for reconciliation, asks if the Citizen’s Congress is “too serious to be dismissed, but can it be taken seriously?”, and wonders
why Dr. Jose Abueva complained about his Charter change commission being branded a rubber stamp body. Ellen Tordesillas says Bobi Tiglao is being sent to Greece as ambassador, but not quite so fast -perhaps sometime next year, but it may mean he’s either lost out in yet another Palace power struggle, or thrown in the towel. Rene Saguisag mentions the Locsins have apparently lost their decades-long case to recover properties and assets Marcos cronies forcibly took at bargain-basement prices, when the dictatorship shut down the Philippines Free Press: he says it’s bad enough the Locsins lost the case (boldly suggesting it may have something to do with Rep. Teddyboy Locsin voting against the House Committee on Justice’s report), but what’s worse is that the Justice tasked with writing the decision was all praises for the craven martial law Supreme Court. The Free Press (for which I write) at the time of martial law had an enormous circulation, and one of the most modern printing plants in the country. After throwing Teodoro M. Locsin, Sr. in jail, and shutting down the magazine, Marcos was said to have engineered the acquisition of its assets by Hans Menzi, publisher of the Manila Bulletin. That’s why today, the former Free Press office and printing press is used by publications of the Bulletin Group, now owned by Emilio Yap. After Edsa in 1986, with his son as Minister of Information, Locsin, Sr. could have simply taken over the Free Press assets, but insisted that the proper thing to do was to go to court. The case now ends some years after his death. Then, Dan Mariano dissects the President’s new TV program and the question of whether or not the press is too hostile to her.

In the blogosphere, Jove Francisco writes about how the Presidential Security Group has detailed a minder to the Palace Press Corps; my favorite Communist blogger writes eloquently of the times she’s spent communing with novelist and publisher F. Sionil Jose; Edwin Lacierda writes about what it was like to attend St. Jude Catholic School, located next door to the Palace, during the days of martial law; apropos of the Palace, Punzi notes that when that press office factotum tore up the “summons” from the Citizen’s Congress, he may have broken the law; Big Mango continues his series of reflections on the Blueprint for a Sustainable Philippines and examines infrastructure; BuzzMachine blogs about how a new way of assessing the readership of blogs has to be put together; and in The Daily Nightly, Albert Oetgen, a senior producer at NBC News discusses the question of leaks and attributing information gained from such leaks. Political Wire comments on George W. Bush withdrawing the nomination of Harriet Miers to the US Supreme Court, according to some upon the instigation of White House Rasputin Carl Rove, rumored to be facing possible indictment for “Plamegate.” Oh, and this is too good to pass up: The Rude Pundit says Michelle Malkin “ought to be caged like a rabid Shitzu.” Ha!

Manuel L. Quezon III.

10 thoughts on “December surprise

  1. Yep as stated by Joselu

    Bukluran of tubig at langis lead by Bro. Armin Luistro, representing the same school that can’t even play an HONEST UAAP game is at it again!Forming their latest “peoples court”!The comis must be very flatered & elated to see that their ways are catching on.

    And what did the UAAP say today about a Catholic School that thinks its above reproach..

    The inversigation was a whitewash and that they are disapointed in DLSU actions..

    Manuel it was so quiet while you were gone.. Maybe it is you that is helping keep this flame going..

    But in the case of all you have said, Saying that an agreement with Australia is a suck up action to the US is a joke..

    Where did the US forces retreat to in WWII and come back from to remove the Japs..

    You did read history..

    I still go no mention from anyone regarding the links between SWS – PCIJ and the FPJ camp…

    We can all spin stories to connect every instance here and there to a political move. maybe it was the opposition getting rid of the money trail so it looks bad on the government?

    Always two sides of the story..

    Just like why was it so quiet in the new when you were out of town?

    ———Those without sin cast the first stone,

    Dont lift the stone next to you just in case it has your dirt below it for us all to see… PCIJ-SWS-FPJ.

  2. Manolo,I read the Phil. Star & Inq..If I want to wake up & get intrigued I read Inq. But if I really want to know more about the news, there is nothing like Phil. Star.I really end up reading it from cover to cover.
    I think both papers are making good money.For me, it means you can sell just the same w/o having to slant a story or create intiguing stories.
    I guess the problem really is all about people in media geting drunk w/ power realizing the power they have.Nothing different from how democracy or religion is practiced.Anything is as good as the people who use it.
    Dan Mariano article made me wounder what press freedom his talking about.I don’t think freedom is the problem.It seems to me the problem is about responsibility.
    Sure media people get killed.Question is, what is the percentage that it’s in the line of duty?Or can it also be because of their power they fill invinsible that they get reckless and make enimies?
    In Broadcast.If I wanna know how bad the country is doing, I watch ANC. But if i wana see accurate news reporting, it’s GMA, 5, 9 & 4.
    It seems media could not care less if goverment does anything right.Sadly, because “bad news” sells.Good news is boring.
    So does it mean media is the messenger of bad news only?
    In this almost 5 months has media contributed or added to the confussion?
    I’m not critisizing.Just that media can be so abstract in substance sometimes.

  3. The other thing

    he says it’s bad enough the Locsins lost the case (boldly suggesting it may have something to do with Rep. Teddyboy Locsin voting against the House Committee on Justice’s report).

    I wish all the cases in the courts where dealt with rapidly not like this. If it had come out the other way then they would have sid she made a deal with the Locsin’s

    It a never ending story..

    What do they call PR people Spin Doctors,.. I think you should rename your site to

    The SPINNER.. Able to doctor any outcome to be Anti GMA…

    Wheres your followup on the peoples court, out spoken once then Hushed up did they give you the trip to the US to keep quiet on that?..

  4. Big Mango makes good points regarding infrastructure in his critique of the Blueprint for a Viable Philippines. There is too much emphasis on urban infrastructure, specifically Metro Manila.

    It’s about time that infrastructure was focused on the countryside, where the majority of our people live. It’s a shame, we’re an agricultural economy, yet we are not self-sufficient in food production. We even have to import rice, our staple food.

    We legislate land reform, but we do not provide basic infrastructures like decent farm-to-market roads, irrigation, post-harvest facilities, etc. Agrarian reform without these infrastructures is empty. It does not uplift the real farmer-tillers. That is why our land reform has been reduced to an exercise of instant gratification – grabbing lands in prime locations, such as those near urban areas. But very few are genuinely interested to till the soil because government has not provided the mechanisms to make farming a viable and profitable endeavor.

    We also need more emphasis on countryside infrastructure in order to halt the migration to urban areas. We need to create wealth in the countryside.

    That having been said, I must give due respect to the Blueprint. At least it puts forth concrete suggestions to help resolve our problems. We may not always agree with their recommendations, but at least they are talking points. After all, it is supposed to be a work-in-progress. Hopefully the opposition would work on something along these lines instead of indulging in stunts and gimmicks.


    So, Gloria says that her planned EO will allow national agencies to function on an “emergency mode!” Hah! What’s new?

    The country’s been always on a knee-jerk mode; Gloria’s proposed EO will not contain anything new – so she’s lying when she says it’s a December gift (which by extension, should be ‘new’)…

    The Philippines has good people but, it is the bad people like Gloria and her policy makers that’s the root of the problem.

    Gloria’s priorities are so thoroughly misplaced. She defines or lays down priorities according to the political mood(s) which she herself provokes then she turns around and makes decisions in a knee-jerk fashion which are totally devoid of constructive reflection!

    Gloria’s incredibly poor ability to make coherent policies (which deserves a failing mark no less) results in a socio-political system that functions like a hurricane – it devastates with horrific results followed by serene calm for a little time but comes charging again to wreak greater havoc, and in a nation that is never prepared for such eventuality, the result is chaos recycled.

    Could the country’s geographical location – in a natural calamity prone area – have anything to do with the way its people think and act, Gloria included?

    Perhaps, it would be wiser to ‘re-educate’ Gloria in economics, in politics, in sociology and God knows, in other areas that require good governance abilities.

    Notwithstanding, I believe that the entire nation should go in a BACK TO BASICS mode to break the socio-political impasse.

  6. sleeping, read my previous entry, there is no people’s court. they listened to me. oh, and if you look back a few entires too, you will know who, exactly sponsored my trip: the Stanley Foundation.

  7. Carl I totaly agree w/ you.
    It’d what PGMA has been doing all along.That is why she has a strong support w/ the LGU’s.
    While “Imperial Manila” has forever been busy playing dirty politics.PGMA has been attenting to LGU’s
    Carl, it’s really the right attitude to give due respect to the Blueprint.
    Cause the tagedy in this country is because of obsessive politics we can never concentrate & work for long term gains.
    This is the reason that my position is ENOUGH OF DIRTY POLITICS!!!!
    Work is more fulfilling for human growth.Politics is just another name for selfishnish!!!

    Manolo, escuse me,don’t wanna interupt, but, if it’s not a people’s court, then, what is it?
    Are we just talking of symantics but the substance is the same anyway? We probably know the conclussion even before they start.
    Must we support losers who can’t wait a year?
    Must we give them a serious thought or just dismis them as a farce?Don’t we have better things to do than dwell on recycled stuff, gimmicks that did not sell?
    Why do we have the propensity to lose so much time in patetic endevors?
    Does it really matter to those clowns what people really think or they just could not care less?
    Bro. Luistro must concentrate that his school represents HONESTY first!!!!!!!

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