AFP’s Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib

On March 17, 1957, President Ramon Magsaysay was killed in a plane crash, the third president to die in office.

The Philippines Free Press blog traces the trajectory of Magsaysay’s career with three articles:

Ramon Magsaysay, Man of the Year, 1951

The “dictatorship” of Ramon Magsaysay, 1955

Nestor Mata’s Story, 1957 (still active today, Nestor Mata was the lone survivor of the plane crash).

The papers report 65% of Filipinos want the President out: although the Palace ignores low survey rating of GMA. As is his wont, Newsstand dissects the survey. Significant findings, if one looks at the details: there is no consensus on how the President should go; her Visayas bailiwick is shrinking; but her upper and middle class support has grown (and those in favor of the President are more cohesive than those arrayed against her).

Remember 168, the shopping mall supposedly made possible by officially-protected smuggling? News is, Smugglers’ haven raided. After fat holiday profits have been made all around, of course.

Building owner slain in Ortigas: the fellow allegedly had a run-in with Luis “Chavit” Singson some time ago.

Newsbreak Magazine finally has its own site online. Read their cover story on the events of February 23-24: Failed rebellion, focusing on the soldiers; and the story of the administration’s response, Yes to Emergency; and that of other groups in Romancing the Military; and their report on the Sunday Standoff.

The other day, in a media forum, former National Telecommunications Commission head Josie Lichauco said she’s been trying to tell the public (in vain, it seems) that Executive Order 454, which placed the NTC directly under the supervision and control of the President of the Philippines, was dangerous. She said in the past, the NTC has been under the Office of the President only nominally, which is as it should be, since the NTC is meant to be independent.

In the same forum, I was struck by what one lady said. She was from one of our tribal minorities (Aeta, I believe). Her appeal: people in Metro Manila should hold firm about exercising their right to protest peacefully. She said that only in the National Capital Region can people expect to properly exercise their rights; the control of local officials and warlords in the provinces are so thorough that any kind of dissent there is a dangerous proposition. My own reaction was to think to myself, of course. In a provincial setting, a protester does not enjoy either safety in numbers or the relative anonymity afforded by protesting in a metropolis. (Read PinoyPress’s account of the forum, complete with recordings of some of the talks; listen in particular to Vergel Santos’ analysis -indeed, it’s brilliant.)

No wonder Fr. Romeo Intengan says Davao and Compostela Valley are danger zones for the administration: as are Batangas, Palawan, the Bicol region and the Cordilleras. So much for the claim that only Metro-Manila is hostile to the President.

In Thailand, the Nation proclaims A great victory for freedom of speech. A commentary in the same paper, Hanuman’s monkeys are coming for the PM’s heart, paints the battle against Thaksin in mythic terms:

Since February 4 the black flags of Hanuman, the Monkey God, have been flying everywhere among the troops of Sondhi Limthongkul. The media tycoon has fully assumed the role of Rama’s valiant soldier, with his supporters wearing black T-shirts sporting the picture of Hanuman. As one of the five leaders of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, Sondhi has launched his campaign under the slogan “We’ll Fight for the King”. He has been calling for a royally appointed prime minister to succeed Thaksin and preside over a second round of political reform.

Thaksin has been seen as the enemy of justice, virtue and democracy. He may not like it, but in this battle he has inevitably been painted as Dasakantha, the 10-headed, 10-faced and 20-handed demon. Dasakantha is a paradoxical character. In some eyes, he is bold, ruthless and fearsome. But at other times, he is a very elegant, gentle and romantic character with a sense of humour. He has flesh. He is full of life. He is very smart and very stupid at the same time.

In the punditocracy, Mindanews columnist Patricio Diaz makes what he calls disturbing observations, including what he suggests is a concentration camp being built, and the Supreme Court’s overly-relaxed attitude towards resolving crucial cases.

Amando Doronila says the country is getting closer to being a police state.

Dan Mariano explains why media has reason to be nervous:

Going by Gonzalez’s standards, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein and their Washington Post bosses, were guilty of inciting to sedition and other crimes when they ran a series of investigative pieces on the Watergate break-in. The expose eventually led to the resignation of US President Richard Nixon – a precedent that probably has got Gonzalez et al nervous.

JB Baylon says the point is, people are still searching for answers.

Fel Maragay says the Big Push is on to “inform” the public on Constitutional changes the administration wants, and that there’s a schedule:

Based on its timetable, all the necessary Charter amendments should be approved before Congress adjourns in mid-June. The plebiscite will be held before the end of the year. The election of members of the unicameral parliamentary should be held in early 2007. And the officials of the new parliamentary government will be ready to assume office and function by the middle of 2007….

At the House of Representatives, De Venecia and company claim they have already solicited at least 150 signatures for the ChaCha resolution. But whether the required 195 signatures will be reached is uncertain because the minority bloc has launched its own signature campaign opposing ChaCha. De Venecia and his allies subscribe to the belief that once the 195 signatures are obtained for the resolution, the House can go it alone and it doesn’t matter anymore whether the senators will participate in the process. The senators, however, insist that the Senate and House should vote separately on the resolution as well as on every proposed amendment to the Constitution.

Clearly, the stalemate between the two chambers of Congress over ChaCha has become sharper. To put it more graphically, the administration is groping in the dark in pursuing this objective.

In the blogosphere, the Sassy Lawyer damns the media with faint praise, and proceeds to stuff everyone with a contrary opinion on the “Hello, Garci” tapes in four compartments:

Way I see it, every person who propagated those tapes by copying and disseminating is either 1) a part of the ploy; 2) a business opportunist who intended and/or actually made money from the tapes, directly or indirectly; 3) a political opportunist who sought visibility with the hope that with the downfall of one administration, he could hold a lucrative post in the next; or 4) simply and plainly gullible.

No exceptions, ladies and germs.

After All muses on Romulo Neri striking a discordant note with regards to the Palace Hallelujah Chorus on the strengthening peso.

New blog on the block: WWF Philippines joins the blogosphere. Bravo!

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

170 thoughts on “AFP’s Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib

  1. jon, if by “issue” your dreaming of taking your side of the issue.then you must be really dreaming.
    how can i not be any more clear then i have been this past months.i have been talking of the BIG PICTURE w/c can’seem to figure out what it is.since your so lost in your own limbo.
    i have been trying to reason out but you obviously agree w/ those who see it like you.everything else you brand w/ whatever.
    if you’ll pick on me for my wrong spelling, sana naman don’t be so mababaw.sorry i’m not as perfect as you are but i’m surely not anyone who can be manipulated as others.
    i guess you wanna sound like the head of the “pangkat”.i can’t do anything about that.
    but i think first you must get clerance from manolo.
    sana naman give manolos blog some respect & don’t make it look like a “samahan” of whatevers.

    i know manolo is a great lover of democracy & free debate.
    i’m sure manolo would not like that his blog digenerate into some kind of “fraternity”.
    i’m sure manolo is hardput in situations like this.
    so typical pinoy.when you can’t critisize.then you brand.then you use all sorts of misplaced words.

    maybe this littel incident is an exsample of what is happening society wide.
    the irony of it is that your “trying hard” to sound & project yourself better then the others.
    maybe it’s about how freedoms & liberties can be abused.
    it’s about how certain people can be threatened because of their weakness.

    all i’m after is an intelegent debate that does not digenerate into name calling.if your not capable then just can gain more respect that way

    talking about sassy,i have big respect for her because she is truely independent.she is more free then other people can be.

    actually karl,i’m not the type na ibabalik ko mistakes to others.i’m not that can write very well but if you have no subsatance.your just another writer in the sea of writers.

  2. joselu, you admitted to pig’s eye that you were using your mispellings as a rhetorical device to provoke others. that’s your style and everyone has to respect that but i don’t think that shows respect to the people you’re addressing. in any case, i guess all is fair…

  3. Guys no need to fight this is a democratic country and it will only work if we respect the opinion of others and we get no price for submitting a post with a purfect spelling.

    har har har har

  4. Joselu said “so typical pinoy.when you can’t compit you critisize then you brand. then you use all sorts of misplaced words.”

    So who used the words “barkadahan”, “fraternity”, “pangkat” to describe some of the bloggers here at MLQ3’s blog? It’s Joselu, he’s typical pinoy then?

    Regarding spellings, I believe that it can be learned. Joselu is an employer, he must write business letters too. I’m sure he won’t get good business if he writes his business letters the way he blogs. (Or maybe he’s got a very good secretary).

    If you refuse to learn spellings, does it follow that you will refuse to learn other things too? Or is it entirely different? (who are psychology majors here?)

    But of course, we have already established that Joey/Joselu uses his wrong spellings to get reactions from others…

  5. cvj, for the wrong spelling, i’m guilty of that.i also think it’s really so mababaw to be provoked by it.are we only after a form & no substance?
    do you beleave something witten so well will solve or clarify issues?or is this all about showing-off writing skill only?how about writing w/ subsatnce?how many points does that get?how about daring to be different & not go w/ the flow of the tide?
    i think a wrong spelling can’t be a reason for disrespect.besides i have my doubts how formal a venue a blog could be that you have to present your credentials first.i have always beleaved that respect is earned & not demanded.
    i find it strange that if we can’t go over silly things like spelling, how much more more serious issues.i’m sure we surely will get stack along the way.
    cvj, if you where to give a score on the written things in the blog, how would you rate them according to substance?will they be a lot of conjecture, hear-say,unfounded judgments, hate, or just a way of unloading frustrations, etc….?
    obviously, i’m not perfect unlike many of you & i don’t pretend anything.
    i’m sure if there is anybody provoked it’s not realy for mababaw things but it’s because of the counter views that i write.
    maybe you noticed others make a spelling error too but the difference is that they agree w/ the others.
    maybe it’s just all a reflection of the kababawan of our culture.
    in the case of jon.from the start we have never agreed w/ each other.
    it never crossed my mind to “brand” him for anything or look for faults.but i guess he just got to pikon,anyway typical pinoy.
    i’m sure what i’m doing is completely unpopular but i’m not into a popularity contest.never was & never will be.
    so all i ask is objectivity.
    we had objective exchange of ides.did you let your emotions take the best of you?
    infact your one of the extremly few people that i admire.not for our spelling but for your attitude.

  6. sige na jon, so your the “principled” person of them all.
    hey jon, you started it.i was just continuing it.let’s put an end to it already.what do you think?
    let’s argue na lang on substance & objectivity.let’s go beyound the petty things that divide us.
    i think we will be doing manolo a favor pa.

  7. “i’m sure what i’m doing is completely unpopular but i’m not into a popularity contest.” — Joselu, your statement reminded me of gma and Bunyeta who keep on denying the low reting gma gets fram d masa. Anyway, keep kool!

  8. sleeping corny
    our tendency of giving more value to popularity is watering down our democracy.we seem to value it more to isssues & objectivity.

  9. yes manolo i understand.i noticed what a great writer you are, even your teacher told me that.although i notice that if the error is favorable to your cause it can also be judged differently.
    when someone makes mura the hate object w/c is a clear form of disrespect,then it’s judged differently.
    there seems to be double standard.
    at least the bad word where correctly spelled.
    honestly, i’m not into the hair splitting business.
    i just don’t get it.are you really against the system or your selective of some wrongs of the system that work for you?
    pls. manolo don’t get me wrong.if i do write in your blog it’s because i would like to learn & understand things better.sorry na lang if you do get inis,just that i go stright to the point.
    if your acting in a position of leadership,then what values are you communicating.
    since your disgusted w/ the credibility of others, then what are you doing that is different from the rest?

  10. joselu, if you’ve noticed, i’ve appealed to people to be fair to you. i will not order them, much less ban them. the only banning i’ve done is one person who was issuing death threats against a person in private life.

    i believe there has to be a broader freedom for expressions against public officials. not because of the president, but because of all presidents. if someone made mura against estrada, they should be able to do so against arroyo. that’s free speech and not a crime. also, if you say that, others will of course judge you.

    everyone gets inis but the inis passes, and even if it doesn’t, life goes on.

  11. [pahabol sa bull session]

    joselu, if i get a bit irritated it’s because i’m trying my best to get to the substance of what you’re writing. as it is, there is not enough time in the day to get through all the information that needs to be processed. everyone has a duty to make themselves clear.

  12. yes, cvj, same here, there is not enough time of day to really write & explain things better because we are both busy w/ better things & maybe also more fulfilling things.
    because a blog in a way is not a place whetre there is a begning & an end to issues.maybe in a way it becomes some sort of depository of things w/o any conclussions.but my point in writing you is that you have been cool all the point is although we might not agree w/ each other,we can still be civil.
    bull session, hehehehe, i think it’s a healthy thing.

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