Sizzling survey

In Thailand, the PCIJ’s Shiela Coronel reports from Bangkok on Thai reactions to the arrest of three members of their Electoral Commission. The three continue to be in jail, denied bail by the Thai Supreme Court. Prime Minister Thaksin is reportedly in shock, and presided over a rather droopy convocation of his party. There is the problem, though, of filling the vacancies in the Thai electoral watchdog.

Sobering reports in the Inquirer and The Manila Times on Filipinos affected by the Lebanon crisis.

Human Rights Commission warns the country may be blacklisted by the UN.

Ratings firms caution that the President’s planned infrastructure is well and good, but the government has to raise more cash.

Joc-Joc Bolante asks for political asylum; Michael Ray Aquino cops a plea; Black & White files latest impeachment complaint.

The Inquirer reports the results of the latest survey on public opinion concerning Charter Change. The Manila Standard Today trumpets the results as a triumph. Read the survey results, which have a plus or minus 3% margin of error for national results:

Charter change now, or later?
Now: 40% (biggest in Mindanao, 41%, and Class E, 47%)
Not at present: 38% (biggest in Metro Manila, 45%)
Undecided: 21%

If a plebiscite were held today, would you vote?
Would vote: 40% (Class E is the group most likely to vote, 49%)
Would not vote: 38%
Undecided: 22%

What’s the best way to amend Constitution?
People’s initiative route: 48% (increase of 8% from March)
Constituent Assembly: 28% (no change)
Constitutional Convention: 23% (down 7% from March)

Have you heard of the signature drive for Charter Change?
Yes: 67%
No: 33%

Are you in favor of the method used to gather signatures by Charter Change proponents?
Undecided: 24%

Specifically if you’re aware of the signature drive, do you approve of the manner in which it’s being done?
Favor: 16%
Disfavor: 65%
Undecided: 19%

So, if a plebiscite were held today, only 40% of Filipinos would be sure of voting in it; almost the same number seem inclined to boycott. There’s a statistical tie on whether or not Constitutional change is called for at the present time.

A large plurality believes that if the people themselves could propose amendments, it would be the best way.

But with regards to the means being pursued at present, large majorities are skeptical and disapprove: particularly among those who say they have heard of what’s going on. This last finding, is of course, being conveniently ignored by the Palace.

A beaming President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo confers on 2005 Miss International Precious Lara Quigaman the Order of Lakandula with the rank of Champion for Life during a Testimonial Lunch Wednesday (July 26) at Malacanang’s Rizal Hall. Quigaman was conferred the award for besting contestants from other countries in the 2005 Miss International beauty pageant. (Rey S. Baniquet-OPS-NIB Photo)

Gawad Kalinga village named after dead astronaut who had a Filipina wife.

Growth industry: porn production outsourcing moves to Philippines.

In the punditocracy, my column for today is Rootin’ tootin’ regime.

Pundits continue to buzz about the State of the Nation address: Juan Mercado, and Lito Banayo, and Tony Abaya and H. Marcos C. Mordeno all opine.

Billy Esposo quotes Fidel Ramos: the detention of Bolante, he thinks, may be an American effort to engineer an end to the President’s hold on power. Esposo and Ramos have also apparently decided to anoint a potential successor, to be announced in Esposo’s column next week.

Ashraf Ismail on why Israel can’t win. And, was the address by the Iraqi Prime Minister ghost-written by the White House?

In the blogosphere: Ricky Carandang dissects a beauty queen’s charges against Estrada and how they may be hokum.

Catholic bishops in Congo supporting election boycott.

Alleba Politics points to Botante Kami! An electoral-information site.

Open Source bill filed in Congress.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

23 thoughts on “Sizzling survey

  1. on jocjoc’s asylum bid: would the u.s. be so stupid to grant him this? is not political asymlum sought only if an invidual is persecuted by a despotic government? since when has npa become our government? can someone enlighten me on this?

    hoy jocjoc, duwag! pa-rotarotarian ka pa, di mo man lang kayang sagutin ang 4 way test ng organization mo.

  2. 27 July 2006

    Ahhhh, that picture of gloria conferring the award on ms. quigaman, what a sight, really a sight for sore eyes. But………. the manner in which the presidential award is given, parang mamera na lang ang halaga, tell me MLQ3, how many presidential awards were bestowed by gloria??? on almost everybody????

    TSK, TSK, TSK,…. at least in Thailand, they have the balls to prosecute the erring Thai COMELEC officials, but here in the PInas, its the other way around, they are hailed by gloria and her hoods to high heavens.

    CHa-cha, can’t we do it TANGO instead??? but I’m sorry I dont dance both, it is not that I am against Cha-cha, my position here is, not right now or in the nexe few months, we have to study further the changes that we want in our charter, why not make it piece by piece amendment/s??? In other country, a simple change in their charter takes them years to implement amendement/s, but here in the Pinas, system change in what??? 6 months???damn, are our politicians that good???genius ba sila???

    On “the joke” asylum??? who is he kidding??? him, bein nor persecuted in the Pinas, asking for an asylum??? crazy……the gull, he who has protection from the big guy, cannot be protected here in the Pinas, as the movie title “THE GOD’S MUST BE CRAZY!!!! I”m sorry if this is blasphemy

    whew…….. ang hirap na nito


  3. Mlq,

    You really did us all a great service when you pointed out the Satanic quote in the Singaw ng Impyerno ad. I used it in my column yesterday and Lito Banayo used it in his column today. We can keep throwing this back at them every time they point to their numbers.

    And the ending of Mark’s gospel was so appropriate for the Sona.
    A herd of swine feeding on the Batasan hillside.

  4. Ana and schumey,

    I did some research on canine pedigrees, since you seemed interested in the topic.

    Here’s what I learned. Neither parent is pure bred. The male dog is a mixture of Spanish, chinese and Malay. The bitch (female dog) is also a mixture of chinese, malay and greek by way of Alexander the Great . As to how that gay warrior produced offspring is something I still have to research on but for now I accept the claim of the bitch’s (female dog) father, Diosdado.

    The breed is known locally as “askal”. In America I believe the endearing term for the breed is “spot”.

    I hope my attempt at scholarly research added to your knowledge of canine pedigree.

  5. I’ve always enjoyed Billy Esposo’s columns and writings.

    What cliffhanger on FVR’s(and Billy’s) choice post-Gloria.

  6. I’ve always enjoyed Billy Esposo’s columns and writings.

    What a cliffhanger – on FVR’s(and Billy’s) choice post-Gloria.

  7. Manuel,

    Remember when I told you that one fo my Dad’s closest friends was called Buencamino, eh bien mon ami, his name was Dr David Buencamino! One of the top vets in the country during his time. I understand that a son of his has taken over the practice.

    “The bitch will visit her vet” – the vet might be a relative of yours! Ugh!

  8. Hahaha. But I went to St; Luke’s to check. And guess what ? It’s Legionnaire’s Disease.!It’s caused by leading Singaw’s legions.

  9. Total Nonsense — Billy Esposo’s imagination that US-of-A considers removing GMA from power is total nonsense. The US government will think of regime-change only if US interests are at stake (e.g. North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria). All formal US contacts will be with the GMA-government because it — the GMA administration — remains the duly-elected. This position changes only if there is a successful impeachment. The US government is putting pressure on GMA administration with regards protecting the media, freedom of expression and controlling the rampant extrajudicial killings, economic progress for the population, health, but GMA remains the duly-recognized administration. The US government wants constitutional processes to be followed — in other words, US-of-A will not be supportive of military coups. Lastly, JoMa and the CPP/NPA are considered terrorists by the US government.

  10. JoMa/CPP/NPA are considered terrorists by the US government. A person may agree with some of CPP-goals (justice and human rights for the poor, agrarian reform, stop to military abusive practices). However, the US government will be less tolerant of those people who provide financial and material support to Joma/CPP/NPA (and can bar them from entering US territory or expel them from the US if they happen to be tourists or greencard holders in the US).


    [AHRC Open Letter] PHILIPPINES: Alleged rights abuses by army demand full investigations, not whitewashing
    July 27, 2006

    An Open Letter to the new chief of the Philippine National Police by the Asian Human Rights Commission

    Director General Oscar Calderon
    Chief, Philippine National Police
    Camp General Rafael Crame
    Quezon City

    Fax: +63 2724 8763

    Dear General Calderon

    PHILIPPINES: Alleged rights abuses by army demand full investigations, not whitewashing

    The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has read with concern your interview published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer of 25 July 2006 entitled, “PNP clears Palparan on killings”. The article refers to how you have exonerated Major General Jovito Palparan, the commander of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army from allegations of serious rights violations.

    As you are aware, the AHRC has sent both you and your predecessor the details of a number of alleged grave human rights violations, including killings, by Palparan and his subordinates. We have rightly sought impartial and effective investigations into these. It therefore comes as a shock to the AHRC to read the remark attributed to you that, “[Palparan] was never implicated in any of our investigations so we have never asked for his statement (regarding the allegations).”

    Allow us to take a moment to remind you of some of the recent incidents attributed to troops under the command of Major General Palparan:

    1. FORCED DISAPPEARANCE: On the night of 13 October 2005, Tomas Paras, a 47-year-old rebel returnee was arbitrarily arrested and taken away by elements of 24th Infantry Battalion, one of whom was reportedly Staff Sergeant Elizaldo Betty. He has not been seen since. No investigation is known to have been conducted.

    2. TORTURE & INTIMIDATION: In November 2005, labour leader Enrico Estarez was alleged to have been threatened by an officer and men attached to the 24th Infantry Battalion in San Miguel, Bulacan. Estarez went into hiding; three of his colleagues, namely Francis Paraon, Reynaldo Pizon and Herminio Zuniga, were reportedly tortured at a military detachment. No charges are known to have been laid. Estarez and his family have not received any government-sponsored protection.

    3. INTIMIDATION: Since December 2005, 54-year-old Yolanda Lorenzana, her daughter Aileen Gutierez, and her ten children have left their village in Barangay Pinaod, San Ildefonso, Bulacan, for fear of the lives due to continuous harassment by the military. Elements of the 24th Infantry Battalion led by Master Sergeant Rollie Castillo allegedly forced Yolanda to disclose the whereabouts of two men, identified as “Emon” and “Ogie”, whom they claimed to be rebels and the sons of Lorenzana. There has been no known investigation into the family’s alleged intimidation.

    4. EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLING: On 16 January 2006, 61-year-old activist Ofelia Rodriguez (a.k.a. Nanay Perla) of Barangay Divisoria, Mexico, Pampanga, was shot dead by two gunmen believed to be working for the military. Prior to the murder, 2nd Lt. John Paul Nicolas, head of the 69th Infantry Battalion, allegedly threatened to kill Rodriguez and had given a gun to her neighbour in order to carry out the killing. Earlier she was reportedly forced to state that she was a rebel leader. We are not aware of any progress in the murder investigation, or inquiries about the army’s alleged role.

    5. ABDUCTION & EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLING: On 31 January 2006, Allan Ibasan and Dante Salgado were found dead at a funeral home a day after they were arrested and forcibly taken in Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac, allegedly by four military men attached to the 71st Infantry Battalion. It is reported that seven other villagers were harassed, namely Glen Ibasan (17), Cesar Andaya (44), Annie Salgado, Reynaldo Reyla, Ricky Salgado, Eduardo Magallanes, Dominic Reyla. Again the soldiers are not known to have not been investigated regarding their possible involvement in the killings.

    6. EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLING: On 13 February 2006, 19-year-old activist Audie Lucero was found dead in Barangay Capitangan, Abucay, Bataan, nearby a hospital where a day earlier he was seen when the building was approached by Lubao (Pampanga) Police, and then by more than ten personnel of the 24th Infantry Battalion. Yet again, there is no known investigation into the alleged connection between his killing and the security forces present at the time.

    7. FORCED DISAPPEARANCE & INTIMIDATION: On 14 February 2006, villagers Reynaldo Manalo (32) and Raymond Manalo (22) of Barangay Bohol na Mangga, San Ildefonso, Bulacan were reported to have been illegally arrested by elements of the 24th Infantry Battalion headed by Master Sergeant Rollie Castillo and subsequently disappeared in San Ildefonso, Bulacan. Several of their relatives, namely Jesus Manalo, his wife Ester, Reynaldo’s wife Maria Leonora, and the victims’ cousin Celeste and seven children were also reportedly threatened. Reynaldo and Raymond’s whereabouts are unknown. Again, there is no known investigation of the troops’ alleged role.

    8. FORCED DISAPPEARANCE: On 6 March 2006, labour leader Rogelio Concepcion (36) was forcibly abducted and disappeared by armed men in Barangay Mataas na Parang, San Ildefonso, Bulacan. Witnesses allege that military men were in the area at the time of the abduction, and that Concepcion was a target due to his criticism of a military deployment inside the factory where he worked as an organiser.

    9. FORCED DISAPPEARANCE: On 3 April 2006, 24-year-old activist Ronald Intal of Barangay Asturias, Tarlac City, was forcibly abducted and subsequently disappeared, allegedly by armed men who were seen taking him towards a military detachment in Barangay Asturias, Tarlac City, where elements of the 70th Infantry Battalion are stationed. He has not been seen since. Those allegedly involved are not known to have been investigated.

    As you will agree, these are serious allegations of grave abuses committed by troops under the command of Major General Palparan. In fact, they are but some among many such allegations. Yet in effect you have reportedly cleared him of wrongdoing even without having investigated these incidents or having called him to respond to the substantial allegations of rights violations committed by his subordinates.

    Regardless of whether or not Major General Palparan was directly involved in any of the alleged abuses, which remain unclear, he is ultimately answerable for the actions of his men. As you will understand very well, the principle of command responsibility is central to the maintenance of discipline in any security force. Where an officer is shown to be beyond the law by virtue of his rank, and not liable for the wrongdoing of those under his orders, it sends a message that it is impunity rather than law that rules the day. It sends a message to the victims and their families that there is no point in seeking justice. It sends a message to the perpetrators of killings, torture and abductions that they are free to continue without fear of retribution. It is therefore essential that senior officers are held to account.

    The Asian Human Rights Commission strongly insists that unless these and other similar allegations are adequately and effectively investigated, there can be no justification to exonerate either Major General Palparan or any of his accused subordinates. We urge you to retract your publicly reported statement freeing the major general of responsibility, and instruct your subordinates to continue with their inquiries as their top priority. They must exhaust all means possible to ensure that conclusive and strong cases are brought before the courts and the perpetrators of these serious crimes fully prosecuted.

    In this, we wish to remind you of the commitment given by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her State of the Nation Address on 24 July 2006: “In the harshest possible terms I condemn political killings. We together stopped judicial executions with the abolition of the death penalty. We urge witnesses to come forward. Together we will stop extrajudicial executions.”

    Extrajudicial executions and related gross abuses of human rights will only stop, and witnesses come forward, when you as the chief of police recognise that the perpetrators of killings are members of the armed forces, police, paramilitaries and persons working for them, and make as a top priority the pursuit, investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators. We urge you to do this without delay, and respond to the commitment of your president in real and unequivocal terms that will send a message to the victims and perpetrators alike that these killings and abductions will not be tolerated.

    Yours sincerely

    Basil Fernando
    Executive Director
    Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong

    Posted on 2006-07-27
    Back to [AHRC Statements 2006]

  12. Letters of concern about human rights violations may be sent to:

    A. Mr. Philip Alston
    Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions
    Atten: Lydie Ventre
    Room 3-016, c/o OHCHR-UNOG
    1211 Geneva 10
    Tel: +41 22 917 9155
    Fax: +41 22 917 9006 (general)
    Email: [email protected]

    B. Ms. Hina Jilani
    Special Representative of the Secretary General for human rights defenders
    Attn: Melinda Ching Simon
    Room 1-040
    1211 Geneva 10
    Tel: +41 22 917 93 88
    E-mail: [email protected]

  13. So Gloria is back again at the hospital. This time it’s only the flu daw. Only a few weeks ago, she was also brought to that same hospital. Diarrhea daw. You don’t usually go to a hospital just for a diarrhea or a flu. Those can easily be taken cared of even at home, more so even at a Palace. But course, she’s a “President”. Extra precaution, I presume.

    But is something more seriously wrong with Gloria and they’re not telling us?

    Are all these daily battles she has to fight finally taking its toll?

    Is all this drive to stay in power worth it?
    Is it worth all the lying and cheating and thieving and cover-ups?
    Are those Congressmen and thieving cohorts she has coddled all worth it?
    Is it all worth it to be surrounded by thousands of policemen when one delivers a SONA?
    Is it worth it to live in a fortress?
    Is it worth it to go to bed each night knowing your own people hate you?
    Is it all worth it to be forever a fugitive from your own people?
    Is it all worth it to destroy the institutions this country has built just so one can survive?
    Is it worth it if one suddenly departs from this world only to land in the arms of the Legions from hell?

  14. Something’s terribly wrong here. You see the RP Ambassador in Lebanon himself saying he doesn’t have the funds to send the OFW’s back home. But the DFA here is saying there are funds. You further see on TV a guy from the DFA proudly shouting himself hoarse claiming how wonderful a job they are doing in getting the OFW’s back home. And practically accusing the Ambassador of making waldas with the funds sent him. Gads! They’re bashing each other’s heads in front of TV before the whole wide world while the OFW’s are left in the lurch.

    And then you see videos of the pitiful OFW’s overcrowding a Church there and overflowing out of the Church tired and exhausted, and sleeping anywhere and everywhere including the parking area…waiting, waiting to go home. There’s really something wrong here.

    If they fiddled around with the OWWA funds, the OFW’s, their families have every right to go after the necks of whoever are responsible for the tragic situation.

    And this Administration has the gall to be there at NAIA and shake every returning OFW hand that passes her way.. and with a banner yet behind her that says “Welcome Home, Mga OFW Naming Mahal”.

  15. that’s what you call “BAD KARMA” and JUSTICE will PREVAIL
    – you will REAP what you SOW
    Not even a THOUSAND DEATH could pay the DAMAGE ….

  16. IMHO, the high percentage of yes to charter change from Mindanao should not be translated as a vote of confidence for Arroyo’s efforts. Rather, I think, it’s a vote of confidence for a federal form of government.

  17. So it’s pretty clear.

    1) The survey shows it’s practically even between Cha-Cha NOW and Cha-Cha LATER.

    2) But what is most significant is that the people by a big big margin don’t approve of the way the signatures have been gathered (by Sigaw’s Legion, of course).

    And as usual, this Administration’s Spinmeisters went to work and trumpeted their 2 point lead (a statistical tie, actually) but they kept quiet about the other significant finding of the survey (the anomalous and deceptive signature gathering).

    So people really do want some changes in the Charter. But the battle is between NOW or LATER.

  18. Funny how in past surveys which show reswluts that aren’t favorable to the Palace, Malacanang asserts that they “aren’t out to win popularity contests”.

    But when results apparently swing to their benefit, they go out of their way to trumpet the results.


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