Garci news hits the fan

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(Philippines poised for takeoff? No, just a malfunctioning F-16. From

Almost all the papers banner the expected resurfacing of missing former Comelec commissioner Virgilio Garcillano. The Philippine Dally Inquirer: Garcillano is back, says wife; Ex-poll exec ‘slipped’ into Palawan from Sabah. The Manila Times: Garcillano back, willing to tell all. The Daily Tribune: Garci back, wife says BUT UNDER GLORIA CUSTODY WHILE ‘TUTORED’ BY PALACE AIDES. Malaya: Garcillano is back; Ping’s boys on the hunt. The Philippine Star: Garci back, ready to tell all. ABS-CBN Interactive, which together with DZMM and ANC, broke the news yesterday, reports the fallout in the House of Representatives, which began yesterday, continues: Garci return revives House wiretap probe.
This is actually one of the best examples in recent memory, of how headlines for the same story reveal the editorial line of the papers concerned. The inquirer views it as a thrilling whodunnit; the Times and the Star, both frankly pro-administration papers, trumpet the Palace party line (“Garci” is gunna spill the beans on everyone!); the Tribune, pro-Estrada, sees it as a new chapter in a dark plot masterminded by the President; Malaya, pro-Lacson, sounds the charge for the vigilante crowd. Incidentally, the shadowy Uniffors says, We told you so:

Like the famous Watergate break-in, the Hello Garci cover-up is worse than the crime that was originally committed. It perverted our law-enforcement system, from the Justice Department and the NBI all the way to the DFA and the Immigration Bureau. It debased our law-makers even more with millions in bribes to kill the impeachment complaint. It continues to divide the country. It has caused immeasurable damage to the country’s morals, morale and reputation.

Read Philippine Commentary’s take on the development.

Anywho, government workers have been assured of their 13th month pay.

Parliamentary notes. So much for parliamentary government fostering party loyalty. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon leaves the Likud Party, forms his own, and seems set to win elections -and a new term as PM- next year. So much for parliamentary government resulting in the swift replacement of governments. After months of bickering, Germany has its first female Chancellor, stuck with a “Grand Coalition.”

In the punditocracy, my Arab News column for this week is The Untold Influence of Ex-Presidents in the Post-Marcos Era.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer editorial is titled Final Solution, denouncing the systematic murder of Communists (for more, read Dan Mariano’s column). This reminds me of a commentary by Ralf Dahrendorf on the three pillars of a liberal democratic order (the first: democracies must not tolerate those who set out to destroy democracy, an idea Dean Jorge Bocobo would heartily agree with; the second is authentic rule of law; the third, a vibrant civil society).

Carmen Guerrero Nakpil tackles the present crisis from the point of view of linguistics (speaking of language, Greg Macabenta suggests some sort of peace corps solution to the disappearance of English in the Philippines). Jarius Bondoc tackles the Pork Barrel and strongly hints Justice Reynato Puno will be the next Chief Justice. Amando Doronila tackles the Citizen’s Congress and judges it as having usurped state functions.

Ellen Tordesillas reviews a new book on journalism ethics by one of my favorite columnists, Vergel Santos (who writes for Business World which has locked away its online content for op-ed, alas). She summarizes Santos’s advice for people dealing with the media.

Marichu Villanueva mourns the lost chance of the Philippines to have a Disneyland. Ambeth Ocampo writes about a Catholic priest active in the Philippine Revolution. Jojo Robles says the arrival of Vietnam’s team for the SEA Games tomorrow indicates a show down with the team leader is nigh (his paper had an exclusive regarding a statement by the head of the Vietnamese Olympic Committee, that the games in Manila will be rigged). Ting Tiongco reminisces about studying in UP Manila in the late 1960s (and meeting his first feminist).

Finally, last Sunday’s column by Randy David reminds me of the points I raised in my pieces in ; David argues now, what I’ve been saying all along: the President is leading a rear-guard action to save a system that’s failing (the larger thesis is in my essay, Circle to Circle).

The blogosphere has Jove Francisco reporting on an unusual (though perhaps expected) modification to the Palace: the elimination of the Mabini Gate (formerly known as Gate 7). The gate was the attacked on May 1, 2001. It has been basically closed since (among other reasons, because the gate was considered to have bad Feng Shui). Incidentally, apparently my official history of the Palace is available on line.

2nd link to Philippine Commentary: his eloquent defense of the War on Terror (my mixed feelings on that war have to do with Dubya and his Deputy President, Cheney, and their views on an absolutist control over America abroad). Accompanying reading comes from Belmont Club’s dissection of Australian intelligence and low-intensity conflict as a necessary adjunct of the war.

PCIJ inaugurates its podcasts with a podcast on the “Hello, Garci” tapes and another podcast, on how Filipinos are born mimics.

Big Mango continues his series dissecting the Philippines’ Medium Term Development Plan. ExpectoRANTS is miffed with those dispensing “the truth”; Another Hundred Years Hence bats for the integration of ticketing for the various light rail lines in Metro Manila (a colleague claims there are I Love the MRT websites, but I haven’t found them). has been touring South East Asia and reports Thais don’t like Tuk-tuks (their version of the jeepney). They tolerate them because tourists like them, that’s it.

The Daily Nightly mourns the death of Hugh Sidey, who covered every US president from Eisenhower to Dubya.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

49 thoughts on “Garci news hits the fan

  1. Disney land:have not read Ms . Villanueve’s article

    Just a guess…..
    Was it the late mother of the late president who somehow bungled the Mindoro Disney deal

    that to me was one of the first turn offs by the american investors

    If I have the correct sources of rumours este History pala

  2. see we got ways to stop a gloomy christmas….

    the supposed return engagement of Garci
    ANC commercial saying we are masiyahin
    and the barrage of reminding us of our values

    and not tom forget the very happy first day of the sea games in Bacolod by a happy congressman and two happy newscasters….

  3. DJB about your floating question on harbouring a fugitive

    I am not afraid for what i say I mean….

    During the 89 coup in a village which used to be makati which is now taguig where justa wall dividing it from ddasmarrinas

    coeexisted an AFP chief of staff,the family of a cousin of the known rebel soldier,the marine commandant, a former marine commandant who got the blame for mendiola

    draw your own conclusion

  4. LIVE COMMENTING from Subic Prelim hearing: The Lawyers for the Filipina don’t seem to be prepared! They don’t have all their affidavits and evidence ready! The Defense has won Round 1 while the Lady Lawyers huddle. Hope it doesn’t disintegrate into a declamation contest on the Rules of Court…

  5. Strange. All the defense lawyers are male and all (most?) lawyers for the Filipina are young women. I would have picked a young strapping lawyer, a middle-aged father type and a senior grandfatherly man to bring her case to this court. Di ba?

  6. I don’t know but was impressed by the speed though

    siguro maniniwala na ako na masiyahin ang pinoy dahil sa tawanan na nakita ko

    is that good or bad we r not a hateful bunch

    sabagay wala naman dun yung mga marino

  7. Heard interview of Atty Legarda that they are in for tough times
    but what isaw in the preliminary seemed smooth enough

    hope it stays that way smooth but not lutong macao

  8. I just read the INQ’s newsbreaking report.

    Did DoJ Chief Raul Gonzalez really say that government is under no obligation to look for Garcillano?

    No kidding!

    What on earth possessed the DOJ chief to open his mouth again and utter such gross and clumsy remark? What did he mean by gov’t not under obligation to look for Garcillano?

    When you have half of the population of a country – and even less – backed by its legislature clamoring for an election official accused of rigging the elections to come to the open and shed light on the accusations affecting the highest office in the land, government agencies, particularly the legal branch of that government has the MORAL obligation if not the legal obligation to search every nook and cranny of this earth, and the universe if necessary to answer the accusations.

    Never have I seen such vile contempt for a people by their government except in Bogota.

    I’m against the capital punishment but I think I’m prepared to change my mind in the case of DoJ Chief Gonzales. People have been guillotined before for much lesser offense.

  9. I think Mrs. Garcillano can and should be arrested for aiding in the flight of a fugitive from Justice, with a Warrant for his arrest from no less than the Kongress. I agree: it’s a mockery of the law, and we know who is doing the mocking!

  10. KARL: This is political theatre on an international scale. We should strut our stuff and play to all our moral strengths, not show sweat. Where’s that ED Lacierda when you need him? We gotta show that we protect our women folk, not just protest the gumminess of the Law.

  11. Why not Frank Drilon, or Jun Magsaysay, or Nene Pimentel, or Joker Arroyo, or even the Fortun Brothers? Big burly guyz, you know? Would’a been over in 30 minutes, no? It’s the home court, why don’t we play the darn advantage?

  12. I’m still lost for words re: garci
    if i experiencecd the soldier turned senator can be just foot steps or even under the nose of the chief of staff

    what kind of patintero are we playing
    is it a no defense basketball game

    dont take my word for it..statements that are based from memory are said to be inaccurate what’s more powerful are scripted statements

    About the six soldiers I just want to wait for the News Now

    at 5am so I could have slept on it already….

  13. Karl,

    Ever the wise you are and funny to boot!

    I believe you! Gloria might just field Garci as candidate for senator for the next election.

    If Max Soliven is to be believed, Garci did a “garci” (manipulating election results) way back when he was a candidate for president of a student council.

    Well, now that Garci has become cause celebre, basking in notorious glory (almost typed gloria there), he’s become more ‘eligible’ (by Philippine standards) than many to run for Congress. And I don’t doubt for an instant that if he does, he will win (win or lose, he’ll win – he will do a garci on his own election returns.)

    Come to think of it, when a high-level official or a media ‘darling’ is accused of coddling criminals or committing a crime, it seems Filipino voters fall in love with him/her and elect him/her to the legislature or to some executive position somewhere. Just look at Arroyo kin Iggy Jose Pidal Arroyo! Then you’ve got Mark “I shall return” Jimenez, Jalosjos, Chavit Singson, et al.

    Boy, oh boy! What a loony place you are in Karl. Tell your Dad I said so. I’m sure he’s aware of that because this sort of thing hasn’t escaped the military establishment; there’s been a few people who landed a major service command position in the AFP who, frankly, would have never made it past LtColonel or Commander rank in the British or French Armed Forces (not even in the ‘lowly’ Italian armed forces). Ugh!

  14. P.S. Particularly members of PMA Class ’62 who ended up (all of those of ’62 who stayed on in the service till and a little after your Dad’s retirement) with a star pinned on their shoulders, deserving or not. That was PMA 62’s crowning glory – all of them, virtually 40 or so of them who stayed on all made general and I firmly believe two or three if not more didn’t deserve it! They must thank Rene de Villa for that!

    Honestly, several people and I thought your Dad should have been FOIC instead of Dumancas.

  15. A De brux he never had command at sea that’s the problem

    he started in the marines after that the comptroller,then log com never got a chance in the sea..

    water under the bed

    its ok even if we have no car cant pay the bills on time

    we went out of dump in taguig while others has a house in AFPOVAI,AYALA ALABANG,etc but still wont give way to the junior officers

    We are happy that’s all that matters

    ps the story I mentioned earlier
    they ended up together in the senate well you knw the rest….

  16. I’ve just read Circle to Circle and Randy’s piece. I’d like to test the idea that you’re both defeatists, not as an accusation but as an observation. He, for a different reason than you. He sees the fulfillment of the old communist dream: the destruction of the capitalist state from its own internal contradictions. He doesn’t necessarily want communism to win, not after writing books for the Ayalas and sending his children abroad. But you sir, are a puzzle. Is it “failure by flight” — everyone has left for better places — coupled with a failure of the elites? Or is it the need to be unique. That you cannot imagine we could succeed by imitating successful models, especially those that work for the colonizer? That we really have to do it our own way or no way. Did you support Raul Roco? Or wanted to?

  17. So I won’t be a defeatist just support who’s right or what’s right if that can’t happen anything near it…

    many things happened but actually when I live day by day I would not care less of the past…

    Thou shalt not judge based on readable text alone

    You have seen my funny side am a jolly person

    Do you call than living in denial….or living day by day baby steps at a time….

  18. Karl,

    TS one of our close friends (your Dad’s and mine) of class ’63 who had no sea command badge either almost bagged the FOIC post. Even R de Villa issued a DND memo saying that even non-sea dogs should be eligible. Just that guys at PN started to grumble so Rene blinked! Luckilly, Edong made it.

    Hey, I know a couple of guys who are real sea lions (no sea cats at all) who made it to top command post but are incapable of inter-personnel management or of great command spirit – what a disaster!

    One thing I can assure you Karl is that your Dad is one of the few most principled naval officers I’ve met. A very, very rare breed in PN… And I believe I know what I’m talking about (just ask him).

    P.S. Class 63 has a few of those misfits, unfortunately but I know who you are talking about.

  19. My overall reaction to Circle to Circle is this: I’m square and old fashioned. I think we can make all the old corny ideas work. But we cannot do it by looking inward for it, not in some ancient Tagalog nobility, not in some past Eden that was wrecked by invaders, nor some great First Republic aborted. Certainly not in some Maoist fantasy of an old and decrepit communist leader having difficulty getting to the bathroom on time and so hurrying for a victory, any victory. I think we must look out into the rest of the imperfect world and see how others are making do. NO matter what we feel about the justifications for going to war in Iraq, the fact is, they will probably have a constitution ahead of this 107 year old First Iraq’s upcoming fifth attempt to give birth to itself. If we do not make common cause with the rest of suffering, imperfect, lied-to-by-history humanity, as well as the successful prosperous peoples, we shall find nothing but the future void of possibility depicted in Circle to Circle. There is a lethality to that obsessive compulsion for uniqueness that seems inherent in Filipinos. Thanks for a depressing but enlightening read.

  20. Put it better: Should I hate England because Shakespeare beat me to the writing of Macbeth and Hamlet and King Lear?

  21. Thanks A de Brux

    When my dad arrives at home no politics just the fun stuff on tv….

    When you do arrive in December would want to meet you

    to be honest my parents really are confused as to who you are when i mention a de brux please give another keyword other than iris

    pls e-mail me…

    since this is my last post for tonight

    so I will no longer a faceles entity to you

    go to friendster search via my e mail addy

    we could have drink or have a non political talk

    if you want to know who i am ask gerard Lukban….Cong Albert garcia….brother Armin….Dean Philip Ella Juico….. …Sec Jun Factoran you will find a way

    signing off dont want this series to just have my name on it….

  22. DJB- what a challenge! I do not consider myself a defeatist, but the outlook for the near term is, indeed, grim. Oddly enough, this afternoon I was quizzed by a foreign diplomat precisely on that essay and other things. Will cobble my thoughts together and explain.

  23. Cory Aquino did not know it at that time but she had a rare
    opportunity to transform this failing system, if only she agreed to make Hacienda Luisita a showcase for CARP. I would trace this refusal to put her moral authority behind genuine land reform as the start of the split of ‘EDSA 1’ into the ‘EDSA 2’ and ‘EDSA 3’ crowds. After six more years of FVR’s ‘trickle-down economics’, the time was ripe for Erap’s populist backlash. From this episode, it seems that it is again the privileged classes that learned the wrong lessons. The main threat to democracy and development currently are the reactionary members of the middle class who would want to institute a system of electoral apartheid. More than anything else, an unequal system is what is holding back our country. We cannot fix things by adding more forms of inequality.

  24. DJB, you’re right in that we should embrace globalist ideals for we are among its primary beneficiaries, but i don’t think that means casting our lot with those who would make us tools of their wars. Whatever their differences, the Islamofacists and Christofacists are actually on the same side. Too bad they’re both on the drivers’ seat.

  25. Sorry DJB nadmay k pa

    I took your advice on google and I just learn that she was a frequent writer to Mr. Antonio Abaya and was said to be from Belgium

    It seems that she has the advantage,I don’t know her,but she knows my whole life ………

  26. Thanks for the e-mail DJB

    now for that hanging question….

    Atty Legarda is known for her victorie on Leo Echegarray,Battered wife syndrome and jalosjos pa yata

    she is now training the police om how to deal with women cases

    about the maverick lawyer trump card

    Personally I feel the same way but if it is for the betterment of future victims and them getting the right help finally maybe Atty Legards is the right defense team
    if it is for long term solution
    but for short term solution am just praying that justice to whomever is the victim will prevail

  27. “We cannot fix things by adding more forms of inequality.” Hmmmmm. I like that. I was reminded of my caucasian officemate who gave me lecture on why we need to fix things which we don’t have real control. She said you can’t control other people but you can always do the right thing. It is by ones example that others may do the same. You will have peace of mind and more productive. This is what the proactive and progressive Filipinos were doing since the Marcos’ era looking for opportunities elsewhere. The money that we sent home is floating the Philippine economy regardless what the political class and the government were saying for themselves.

  28. It is equally shocking to hear question from Fil-Am veterans on what was the woman thinking bar hopping with these young American marines whose pent-up energy on war and violence is released on games and sexual gratifications.
    There are those seeking a utopian fantasy of harmless relationship with good looking American soldier. Regardless if the Filipina woman is putting herself at risk, we want the same justice be applied as if these boys raped a stupid blond woman.

  29. Garci is an expert manipulator whose past services were after sought and bidded by different camps. He is not spilling the beans on anyone to the disappointment of many. That is just his trade.

  30. “but for short term solution am just praying that justice to whomever is the victim will prevail ”

    to be more objective the soldiers maybe victims too

  31. MLQ3:
    As to parliamentary notes, it must be noted that Ariel Sharon stayed with Likud for over 30 years which is much more than could be said for the politicians in our presidential system. He also did leave Likud for policy reasons and not merely political advantage. In the case of Germany, they usually form gov’ts quite rapidly; the recent difficulty is quite uncharacteristic, caused by shifting political party system. Here, in our country, the elections were over a year ago and we still have not resolved the crisis it caused. There is never any guarantee that forms of gov’t will work all of the time. However, what I see in our current country, is a case of a system not working much, even most, of the time. We tried the presidential system twice (1935 and 1987) and the results were to put it mildly, not good.

  32. See how the script is so far unfolding. Some details will be intentionally spilled by Mrs. Garcillano. She will do the setting up to “warm up” the people in order to cushion the impact of the expose of the Garci’s version.

    After the public has gotten enough innuendos, chismis and fishwive whispers Garci will appear and just mouth what his wife already told the public.

    Bottom line, everybody cheated except Gloria.

  33. rumour…new tapes are about to be released tonight showing that other politicians were talking to Garci. Or have they done so already this am. been out in the boondocks… This seems to be part of the Garci show. The fact occurs to me now that there must be a roomful of tapes. That in fact is the big secret isn’t it, there is far far more of a cell phone bugging operation involved here. Maybe that’s the biggest story of all…the Palace was monitoring everybody last year. Their problem is how to use the incriminating stuff they have without revealing that massive cheating operation. They must have known every move anyone was making. …just speculation

  34. Dear cvj,

    “Christofascists” as you call them don’t behead Indonesian school girls because they are Muslim, as recently happened to several Christian school children in Sumatra at the hands of JI-enraged jihadis. Christofascists don’t blow up weddings. The only Christofascist I know who has blown himself to Paradise is the Christofer McVeigh, but I don’t think he believed in Jesus Christ. Not really.

    But let us accept that all sides have faults. I am curious about the Cold War style of thinking that says, weell this side is just as bad as that side, so we can pick and choose which side we can be on. That is the luxury that Western liberalism fostered. But do you think in fundamentalist Iran, one can be so “liberal”, or in North Korea be so morally relativist about the official religiion?

    Oho no sir! There are big differences between the Islamofascists and “Christofascists” — a world of difference.

  35. DJB, sooner or later those tapes you mention will come out. Mrs. Garci, being interviewed by Ricky Carandang, already said that a prominent lady politician, not GMA, was one of Garci’s most assidous callers. I have no doubt in my mind that it was Loren Legarda.

    Anyway, let’s wait and see (or hear).

  36. Lets put our heads together on this one shall we? If we were stagemanaging Garci, what are we trying to accomplish? We are going to try and show that taken out of context any conversation can be made to look bad. So when these “context” tapes come out, they will be chosen to spread out the blame and paint a picture that there were at least one from each camp in the elections who did seem to talk to Garci in ways that sound like GMA in the Garci tapes. The natural tendency will be for whoever is named to focus on defending themselves and explaining what that was all about. It’s a classic poison pawn gambit in chess. Because then there will two weeks of that, then Garci disappears. What did we miss? I say:::the roomful of tapes. That should be the object of the investigation now. Because I think aside from VOTERIGGING, another crime of GMA in 2004 was gross, systematic and multiple violations of the ANTI-WIRE TAPPING LAW!

  37. Admittedly, Christofascists have a kinder, gentler, more familiar face. Their evil is of a more banal type born more of out arrogance and ignorance rather than rage, but the end result is more or less the same. Their leader invaded a country under the flimsiest of pretexts, updated detention camps, secret gulags and the art torture to meet the needs of the 21st century. Currently, they are the side whom we are 100% certain possess weapons of mass destruction. In Fallujah, they have even used a chemical agent (white phosphorus) in their ‘shake and bake’ operations. It’s plain to see that the two sides feed off each other’s hate, much like the interaction between Marcos and the NPA. Together, Bush and Bin Laden have set the tone for the first decade of this century. The earlier we get out of this destructive loop, the sooner we can start leaving the tragedies of the 20th century behind.

  38. “gross, systematic and multiple violations of the ANTI-WIRE TAPPING LAW” – Exactly. That’s why the roomful of tapes will not materialize. Nobody will admit outright to wiretapping and, by now, those tapes must be somewhere out of reach. Unless some people are even more stupid than I thought. But bits and pieces can appear, seemingly out of nowhere. And they could implicate members of the opposition. Or at least make it seem that they, too, were asking Garci for favors. And politicians, of whatever stripe, have such a rotten reputation that it will be very credible. Yes, DJB, Garci will be the poisoned pawn or tar baby or whatever is appropriate. Anyone who has had contact with him will be poisoned or stuck in the tar. There could soon be a lot of pots calling the kettle black. It’ll be a political ati-atihan.

  39. DJB, to accept that we have no choice but to accept Islamist chaos or Neocon-style American hegemony is to take on a defeatist attitude. (After all, it was the Empire and not the Trade Federation that ended up slaughtering the Jedis.) There is always the hope of transforming our world where englightened publics don’t manifest the worst expectations of the other. In the US, there is currently a struggle to recover the very ideals that once made the Republic an example for others to follow. Good luck to them.

  40. CVJ: We Filipinos are good at absolutes, that is our genius. That is also why we can’t seem to make anything work. Because we insist on perfection or purity. You say the world is full of nothing but devils, both sides are equally evil “Good luck to them” you say. That is what I mean by “Cold War” thinking, liberal thinking that pretends to be open minded by not taking sides because everyone is equally wrong or invalid. That condition I call demoralization. Smart, cosmopolitan sophistication cannot hide the void in such a life. Disdain is always smaller than conviction. But it’s still a democracy here, its not yet a communist or theocratic state, so fencesitting is okay.

    CARL: a case for breaking the anti wire tapping law would start with the perpetrators. That means whoever produces these context tapes that we assume will be used to show that other candidates also tried to cheat (as you say probably Loren) but likely several others can be nabbed right there. In other words, maybe they CANT produce more tapes without being accused of breaking that law!

  41. DJB, someone once observed that there are two kinds of people, those who classify things into two sides and those who don’t. I’m of the second type.

  42. …and when i said ‘Good luck to them’, i meant it as a heartfelt wish, not snark. (I guess the intent got lost somewhere between the keyboard and the screen.)

  43. i don’t think the garci cover-up was worse than the original crime. the latter dealt with the actual denial of the people’s will, the undermining of the electoral system.

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