Season’s Greetings 2006

The political year ends in confusion for the President’s forces even as it also ends on a despondent note for everyone else. Is the plan a May referendum? Labor lauds a wage increase for the year end; Capital closes the year on a somber note because of it. But it only affects those earning minimum wage.

The Economist Intelligence Unit has this in its “Philippines at a Glance, 2007-08”:

The authority of the president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, remains fragile. During the past year she has survived demands for her resignation, an impeachment bid by the opposition, allegations of vote-rigging and a reported coup attempt.

Her hold on power is increasingly dependent on the support of the military. Congress (the legislature) is discussing options for constitutional reform.

The budget deficit will shrink in 2007-08. Private consumption will continue to be the main driver of GDP growth, which will slow from an estimated 5.6% in 2006 to 5.5% in 2007 and 5.3% in 2008. Annual consumer price inflation will average 5% in 2007-08. Buoyant remittances from Filipinos working overseas will ensure that the current account remains in surplus.

The Philippine president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, is in a precarious position. In the past year she has survived a coup attempt, allegations of vote-rigging and an opposition attempt to unseat her.

Restiveness within the lower ranks of the military remains a concern, and opposition-led street demonstrations could lead to her ouster in a “people’s power” revolution. Despite this, the president has retained the support of the top ranks of the military.

The possibility of her sudden overthrow cannot be ruled out, but, unless a credible alternative government emerges, Ms Macapagal Arroyo should be able to survive as president until the end of her term in 2010.

Maitet Diokno-Pascual and Clarence Pascual examine economic prospects for the country, too.

Overseas, Andres Oppenheimer in a year ender says Latin America is shifting Right, not Left. History Unfolding points to a useful chart summarizing the year that was for Iraq: and a columnist who says Arab politicians are different: they tell the truth in public, but lie in private.

In the blogosphere, Holiday notes (annoying and good things) from baratillo@cubao. Holiday viewing courtesy of Now What, Cat?

Whispers in the Loggia points to Misa de Gallo as not only a Philippine, but global Filipino, phenomenon. At home, village idiot savant marvels at Mass attendance.

Morofilm looks at the holidays from a Muslim and Davaoeño’s point of view.

The Professional Heckler gives the world the best of his lists, including his most famous list of all.

This blog is going on vacation for the holidays. There really isn’t any need to agonize over vacations. Unless something earth-shattering happens, I’ll see you all after the New Year. Thank you for reading, for sharing your thoughts, for arguing with me and each other, for staying informed and keeping involved.

For everyone, a message from One Voice:

Season’s Greetings to all!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Manuel L. Quezon III.

90 thoughts on “Season’s Greetings 2006

  1. “Adios, Patria Adorada”

    Could mean differently depending on who is saying it.

    GMA: Adios, Patria Adorada
    To you I say good bye
    It’s you who die
    not I

    Adios, Patria Adorada
    I have surrendered your sovereignty
    given away your patrimony
    sold your people to slavery

    Adios, Patria Ginahasa, Inalipin, Binusabos Adios
    It’s your people who die
    not I

  2. Disregard the trapos of the administration and opposition alike. Never ever forget their past sins. If we want change then change everything as a whole. We need new leaders.

  3. UPn student,

    well said. that’s exactly what we need. concrete ideas. now, lets spread the word.


  4. I prefer to call the woman as simply Gloria. Using one’s initials is a sign of respect.

    I also now prefer to delete the letters “gress” from the word “Congressman”. And we might as well stop using the title “Honorable” for these people.

  5. The HOUSE badly NEEDS a NEW FACE come 2007 !!!

    It’s the HOUSE that CATERS to the caprices and whims

    of the PRETENDER and LIAR !!!

    The SENATE is OKAY …

  6. UP student,

    Excellent ideas!

    Like what I have been saying before in other fora, nasa tao ang gawa, nasa Dios ang awa. Hindi pwede ‘yong dasal lamang nang dasal…kailangan kumilos tayo.

    Sabi nga sa UP….kung di ka kikibo, sino ang kikibo?

  7. Happy New Year!

    So 2007 is here, and it is a chance to change the faces in Congress and in the senate..

    when this happens we should be ever watchful,we know the past tricks,we have been experiencing,reading it time and again…its always those Gs..guns,goons,gold and that so called gentleman and the other gs,gonzales,gonzalez,garcillano,gma’s men etc and gma.

    It is hard to have an action plan even with the first g mentioned.kaya ba ng character change yan?dasal,kaya din ba yan?….

    Anyways..we won’t just sit there and watch…di ba?

  8. UPn student,

    here’s a couple more little things one can do to show non-support (readers, list a few more why dont you?!:)) :

    1. be the opposition.
    2. encourage people to ostracize these people sitting in government. boycott every establishment known to cater to the whims of these people. if they eat in a restaruant, dont eat there.
    3. if they attend your church or speak in your school, walk out if you must. or be silent and turn your back on them until they leave.
    4. alone or with a group of friends, quietly and orderly stand in a little corner of a mall, or public street corner, with a placard saying “i do not support this government.” just for five minutes. who knows how many people you can inspire to do more after this.
    5. be honest in ALL that you do. nothing embarasses dishonesty more than acts of integrity. it may take a little more creativity to fight honestly, but it can be done.
    6. tell your tricycle jeep taxi driver not to sign any barangay petition or document they do not understand. god knows what form of fraud their signatures can be used for. tell them that whatever freebie they get cannot be worth the continued poverty slide that will worsen their situation. mabuti pa konteng tiis na lang muna until this coming election.

    anymore ideas from anyone? every little bit helps.

  9. mr. mlq III

    thanks for your venue. may your fight for all that is good be justly rewarded.

  10. worried,

    all your suggestions seems except item # 5 and # 6 to me are ineefecitive.
    1. Be Opposition? we all know that opposition exist. and they too have become a part of the huge problem.
    2. Is not a good idea too. I even believe is too such a childish if not immature idea. For one it does bring any positive results. It will just have a negative effect on the establishment- financial loses
    3. Is another childish idea that doesn’t result to any psoitive results at all. What you get from walking out? Nothing!
    4. This idea was tried by Opposition already. It simply did not work at all!

    The best thing todo is to really come up with a very clear problem statement. Then contain the problem, do root cause analysis. Then implement a correcive action.

  11. fight for all that is good?

    that we are stuck in a system that has been proven ineffective the last decades. that we continue to have popularity contest each election time. that we continue to play along with religeous groups whose agenda is suspicious. that we play along with the leftists and communists who are like vultures jumping at each oppurtunity to destabilaize the governement. that we change economic and political stratgies each time we change the administration. THINK again.

    excerpts from atty. Jimeno

    If popularity, name recall and money are still the tickets to winning an elective seat, which is what our system is all about, when will the real public servants, who are not movie stars or celebrities or gambling-and-all- sorts-of-lords, have the chance to serve? In a parliamentary system, there is a much better chance for the real public servants to come forward and run for a seat in the parliament. Because elections will only be by regions, and not on a national scale, it will be much less costly and there will be less need for fame and name recall.

    In the year that passed my only regret was that in the frenzied rejection of anything identified with the administration many have forgotten or had chosen to forget that there were genuine advocates for constitutional reforms whose only dream is to see this country move toward progress and economic and political stability. They are those who were never in politics and see this nation for what it really is and for what it can be.

  12. ah!! if only we could manage little things well instead of screwing up grand plans. and what i mean by being the opposition is precisely to rely less on the established politicos and work your own brand of vigilance to keep government in check. that, in my little mind, is the ultimate form of political opposition.

    and while you can dream big mr. rego, some are not so inclined and would prefer to do little things. what would walking out do? if a critical mass of people, slowly, gather the courage to do this, then we can reduce the power of the subject of this kind of ostracism. that’s the genius of civil disobedience. individually, it may seem ineffectual. but once a critical mass is gained, it will be a force that could even be more powerful than that which our nation has seen twice already.

    you are welcome to do you grand things, by all means. but do not underestimate the power of little things done with earnestness and with a sense of duty.

  13. well, mr worried, no need to over act, i was just saying that the little thing that you have mentioned was already tried by opposition in many ways than simple. I was just trying to challenge you to come on, be more creative and be more effective! He he he…. read around, honey, and you’ll find out that it did n’t work at all in past and there is no way that it will work in the future. people are just tired of so many ineffective tricks coming from both sides.

  14. James, if i understand correctly, what you (and Atty Jimeno’s) are saying is that elections that are more local in scope will give ‘good’ candidates (i.e. those who will be the real public servants) a better chance. If that were true, how do you account for the quality of the current members of the House of Representatives who are, even today, elected by district?

    Worried, with your recommendation #1 above,’be the opposition‘, i think you have neatly summarized what needs to be done by men and women of goodwill (which in any other society would have been a no-brainer), and your explanation at 12:33 above (i.e. enough of us have to join the opposition to have a chance of shaping its character) explains why this should be the case. Unfortunately, what rego, bernardocarpio and others seem to understand by that statement is to profess allegiance to the dominant personalities in the traditional opposition (Erap, which is the more old-fashioned way of looking at things. I see their stance as a largely futile attempt to stay above the fray.

    This mindset is what Gloria will try to exploit. For the Senate race, she will come up with candidates who will be presented as alternatives to traditional politicians. Whoever these potential candidates are should realize, or be reminded, that if they do accept to run under Gloria’s banner, they are selling their soul and favoring expediency over principle, which will only mean further enabling the injustices of this administration.

  15. cvj, your assumption about me is way too off i’m looking at the whole picture as part of the solution unlike you who is looking only after Gloria. Yes it’s your right to fight Gloria because you voted for her, that’s a personal mistake that you really have to correct. What I’m against is repaying the opposition trapos in the coming May 2007 election just because they suit one’s stance over Gloria (it’s already given that pro-admin will lose which is good). Gloria is only but one of the symptom of a rotten system removing her and discounting the others is not change at all. Its better too hang on to my belief in a total overhaul of the system rather than fall for a short term solution like its a be all end all solution to the problem of the country.

  16. it is also unfortunate that the people in other side are the ones who keeps bungling the definition of everything. That people are now so confused about everything about what really is the definition of rally, peopel power civil society. Now to mention the word opposition, who have to put an adjective traditional a and non traditional.Its like calling a spade a spade is no longer works in this debate. I remember this is the trick use by the group of dinky soliman. they dont want to join forces with the traditional opposition in teh fight against Gloria. (Now if you dont want to call that sa being above the fray…) and gues what happen next. When the can cannot gather enough number they have no chocie anyway but to join forces with the traditional opposition. and then you see Cory locking arms with Loi and Susan. That make the whole scene really really stupidly funny…..

    The thing is it doesn’t matter anymore what side you put yourself eh. Being a non traditional opposition doesn’t mean you are safe from being exploited. You may have sheilded yourself from of Gloria. But you are definitely throw yourself to the hungry opposition.

  17. The May2007-election provides another opportunity to reduce the number of trapos in Congress. Everybody should help send the message, though, that a citizen’s vote is more valuable than a fifty-peso bribe or or to quiet the screaming for “Alis diyan!!”. If you are going to talk to a jeepney driver or your uncle’s katulong about being protective of their vote, you might as well them tell some of the issues (in addition to for- or against- impeachment) that they may care about. “Cha-cha” reform is important, but there are other issues. This may make it easier for someone to not vote for an actor who would again raise taxes on cellphone text to buy helicopters for the military or who is not thinking of ways to create more jobs in his district. “Cha-cha” may be important, but more schools and improving law-and-order may be much more important. Some of the issues, in my mind, include:
    1– Economic growth
    (1a) what is their plan for workforce development?
    (1b) what do they propose to increase employment opportunities and seed-money for Grameen-type loans?
    (1c) What is their plan for infrastructure (is it highways versus airports) — where will the funds come from?

    (2a) Education — What are their proposals to improve the public school system? Are they waiting for foreign aid, or will they support raising taxes to put to constructing more schools? higher teacher salaries? more spending for books?
    (2b) Public Health — Are they aware that 25% to 30% of Filipino school children are malnourished? Do they have new ideas with regards malaria, dengue and other health issues? Who is responsible for planning for the next flu pandemic? What are the plans? Do they support the current policy (importation from India) regarding low-cost medicine?
    (2c) Law and Order — What are their proposals for community policing? Are they content with the PNP performance, or do they propose reforms? What about the rash of killings — political murders, murders of media personnel, reported human rights abuses?
    (2d) Ethics and Accountability

    3– Fiscal Policy
    (3a) Do they have ideas on “pork barrel” reform?
    (3b) Will they fund projects by borrowing, or will they raise taxes? [Or do they think that money just grows on trees?] What are the top-three (local- and/or regional-) projects they espouse?
    (3c) What is their position on the national government reneging on Marcos’ debts? Do they support increasing the budget so that the PNP can hire more personnel?

    4– REFORM
    [This includes more issues other than “cha-cha”.]
    4.a Political reform
    4.a.1 Executive branch reform / standards and accountability
    4.a.2 Legislative branch reform
    4.a.2.1 Organizational structure
    4.a.2.2 Standards and accountability
    4.a.3 Provincial government reform
    3.c Judicial service reform
    3.b.1 Workforce development
    3.b.2 Standards and accountability
    3.c Management practices by Civil service
    3.c.1 Workforce development
    3.c.2 Standards and accountability

  18. It’s better too hang on to my belief in a total overhaul of the system rather than fall for a short term solution like its a be all end all solution to the problem of the country.” – bernardocarpio

    Twenty years ago, that was the same reason given by the CPP/NPA and their followers in boycotting the 1986 snap elections. While that may be the best strategy for those who have nothing left to lose, waiting for someone (or some group) to come along and overhaul the system is not a prudent strategy if you are part of the middle class. While i agree with you that Gloria’s removal will not solve all the problems of the country, it is a necessary step in preserving the good that remains in our restored democracy. In this matter, i believe that there is still a lot left that is good that can be taken away, as shown by the fact that JDV and the Admin trapos want to change the Constitution to suit their own purposes.

    Gloria’s personal contribution to the rot is her subversion of the electoral process. That needs to be corrected before we are able to move on to tackle the other problems on a national level. If opposition trapos win because of an honest election, then we have to respect the people’s choice. Our role would then be to stay in the opposition and continue the fight for honesty, justice, and good governance. That was the original intent of EDSA Dos, but somehow the middle forces, once in power, got lost along the way. We have to work our way back to credibility by showing purity of intent and to do this, we have to make an example of Gloria Arroyo.

  19. it doesnt really matter wether you are an opposition or an administration or in the middle force. All you have to be is be a part of the solution not the problem. The problem is not gloria alone. all the current political player are the problems themselves. because of the defectiev system that we are in. Wether the CPP/NPA joined the 1986 election or not it doesn’t matter anymore. because if look at how the lefts are doing in congress now, they are still a big disappointment. Gloria is not only the one who contributed to the rot. We are all in this together. And yes CVJ, you are one of the major contibutor to the rot. admit it or not!

  20. Rego, with your response, i don’t think you understood my reference to the CPP/NPA’s boycott of the 1986 elections in relation to today’s events. Just like you and bernardocarpio, they opted out of political participation in the system because they saw it as defective and beyond saving. While i can understand this kind of action coming from the radicals, i do not think the middle forces (which i count you, me and bernardocarpio to be part of) appreciate the effects of such non-participation in the system. Blaming the system while ignoring the major players like GMA is a cop-out and plays into the hands of radicals of all sides who would benefit from its eventual collapse.

  21. well if you mean not joining yours and worried’s opposition is non participation, im fine with it. Becuase definitely I dont wnat to join in any side i believe is just soooo as ineffective.

    Now what does bernardocarpio and me doing in this blog and debating with you on what needs to be done mean to you..????Oh yeah we have to conform with your definition of participation again.

  22. Where did you get the notion CVJ that I’m implying that the system is beyond saving? The constitution gave us the right of suffrage to correct the system right? It is the retention of old players in the political arena that should be dismantled. Just because I’m not part of your be all, end all bandwagon doesn’t mean I’m a cop-out I’d rather take the path were you guys have been ignoring all along which are opportunists and trapos.

  23. Rego, i’m not referring to your participation in this comments section as that is a given, otherwise this discussion will not exist in the first place. I’m using your definition of non-participation along the same lines that you mentioned in an earlier discussion we had sometime back:

    …Look Mrs Arroyo was able to declare the SoE with not much resistance form the apathetic sector. Because the genreal perception is that whatever Mrs Arroyo and the opposition do will hardly have a positive impact on their lives. What our politican are doing very much out of reality.

    So 90% of our [yahoo]group members have joined the Revolution of the Silent. And we have decided to just do help our country men in our very own way…” – Rego on March 31 10:17pm

    It is this kind of non-participation that you have described above that i object to. I continue to believe that your group’s Revolution of the Silent approach is deeply flawed and will do damage to the Middle in pretty much the same way the Left’s boycott of the 1986 Snap elections damaged their cause.

    bernardocarpio, i got that impression from your use of the phrase total overhaul of the system. If i went too far in my interpretation of your position then i stand corrected. We share the same objective of dismantling the old players so it is not accurate to characterize my position as be all, end all. Removing Arroyo is the first step in dismantling traditional politics. If we cannot remove one of our own, i.e. someone who is a product of the Middle Forces revolt (i.e. EDSA Dos), what credibility do we have in confronting the populist trapos? Since you also believe in the right of suffrage to correct the system, doesn’t it make sense to start with the one who has subverted that right, or do other considerations (e.g. preventing the return to power of the trapos in the Opposition) take precedence?

  24. mr rego,

    you refer to previous attempts by the representatives and well established opposition. i was referring to each individual to do every little thing that may help. what didnt work was the attempts by politicians and known oppositionist groups. it didnt work because it didnt involve you. you’ve seem to resign yourself to believing that the philippines’ fate remain in the hands of only two groups. maybe that’s why it never worked. perhaps we should take the time now to make it our responsibility.

    my question really is, what have we done individually. it may just be time to stop letting the fate of our country depend on someone else but us. by “us” i mean me, you, your neighbor, the street vendor, the teacher, the supermarket counter lady…

  25. mr. rego,

    i respect your stand and may see where youre coming from. but the whole point of my argument is precisely to NOT be a part of either group bu our own. to rely on our individual selves to send the message across, whether it be to remove gloria or to make a better philippines. to send a message with our own voices without the self-interested representation by any other group.

  26. CVJ I will not wait for Gloria’s downfall just to show the trapos that we have had enough of their misdeeds. Why wait for another election if I have the chance already this coming May 2007? It is up to everyone of us to make the coming election as credible as possible without ever resorting to a lynch-mob strategy to prove our disdain for a rotten system.

  27. hello thinking people.

    you are all smart already so i will just wish you courage this year. be strong and compassionate.

    start with ourselves. have the strength to examine thy self and see if you were loving enough to your mom who is annoying, boring and baduy because, according to bill gates, she took self improvement for granted. all she did was work ’til her back cracked to make sure we got the things that she only dreamed of.

    and the maids in the house. is concern for them is beneath the loftiness of your affairs? if you care, have the resolve to make it an issue even amongst the inteligencia crowd of this blogsite. i hope none among you here still have a different set of meals for them. your regular fare should also be what they eat. remember what our history teachers taught us, an alipin is not a slave. that concept is western in origin. the maids are supposed to be above alipin status so they should be treated as part of the family already. moreover, their forefathers fought side by side with ours during the revolution as brothers. we just got lucky. the breaks of the game favored our lolos.

    how about the caged dog nobody particularly loves? nakakulong na nga, ‘di pa pinapakain. show the mutt a little love naman. inosente naman ‘yan eh.

    beyond our walls, the street children. who doesn’t die a little inside when a child, as old as your own or your ates and kuyas, knocks on the car’s window to beg for alms? if you abide by the anti-mendicancy law, at least be strong enough to look them in the eye and make some gentle gesture to these human beings indicating that you are not going to give them anything. this gloria is really some kind of a shitty president. did she not once hold the dswd portfolio?

    the ordinary folk. do not be afraid of feeling for him. when it comes to our usual preoccupation in this blogsite, state affairs, never scoff at him for choosing to elect an artista or condescendingly shower praises all around for his agreement with your ideas. have more respect. sit down and open your mind and heart to him. if we can give quality time to naruda, homer, basho, chaucer and dante, why can’t we have more understanding for our own bretheren? i do not speak without fault as i too am guilty of these sins. in the 2004 elections, i discouraged people who believed in me from voting for fpj. i was always quick to point out that the other guy, among others, is the most honored local public servant by respected international groups. when fpj died, the same mass media corporations that mocked him capitalized on the event. they showed the public the real fpj; that he was a skilled ceo, assuming control of his father’s studio at the age of 15, seeing it thrive and outlive other bigger outfits; that he helped many people but wanted no publicity for it; that he was not a push over who would allow himself to be used; that he was well traveled, exposed to different ways of life; and that truly, he was a king. i realized my mistake. given another chance, i would join his party and campaign for his victory. looking back, i think that i could have discovered the good things about the king which the hypocritical media reported to the public only when he passed away. because of my yabang, i did not care enough to look closer at the candidate of the masa and missed the opportunity to have worked for a better president.

    finally, i hope that andres bonifacio will have the proper appreciation this year because his life and times inspire the ordinary folk to take responsibility for his own fate and that he is capable of great things, which translates into action and a greater sense of nationhood. blood bath is not necessarily the only thing that a revolution brings to the table.

    happy new year to all

  28. cvj, all you see is Gloria, your preconditions are all about Gloria. you know very well that removing Gloria won’t clear the sky all together.

    its like not going to hear mass anymore because you don’t like the priest or not going to school anymore because you don’t like the teacher.

    well, i know cayetano after 3 terms has only 6 or less bills passed in congress and most are reanming of schools. but i do admire most of them for their stance on reforms.

  29. bernardocarpio, i agree with One Voice’s position on making the May 2007 elections a referendum on Gloria’s legitimacy (although i have yet to see to how this could be made feasible). I’m also in favor of snap elections to resolve the legitimacy issue. I don’t think those can be considered lynch-mob strategies.

    james, i can see where you’re coming from. your faith in the proposed unicameral parliamentary system stems from your admiration for the current crop of Representatives to the House. To say the least, i do not admire most of them.

  30. I still consider the Black and White movement with their Patalsikin Na, Now Na slogans and together with their November ’06 ultimatums as a lynch-mob strategy.

  31. bernardocarpio, by definition a lynch mob involves violence. From the BnW website:

    …members of the Black & White Movement are committed to actively campaign, through democratic and non-violent means, for the resignation, impeachment or ouster of PGMA…

    …The Black & White Movement stands by constitutional succession as the main viable option for resolving the current leadership crisis of the country. That option is a Special Election as provided in our Constitution. We also believe that a Snap Election is also possible via a Bullet Amendment by Congress…

    I don’t think the above can be characterized as lynch-mob strategies.

    There is a difference between mobilizing the people to act for peaceful change via rallies or protest actions and an outright lynch mob – the kind of difference you see between Gandhi and Moqtada Al Sadr. If you want to see a real lynch mob in action, you can view the hanging of Saddam on the Web. I do agree that a line can be crossed, but as a participant in their contingent during the recent Luneta prayer rally, i can tell you that, if anything, they chose to err on the side of sobriety.

  32. hay naku worried, if only you here here early on, I pointed to CVJ the circle of influence and circle of concern from the book the 7 Habits of Highly effective People by Stephen Covey. That to be more effective you have to work on your circle of influence rather than the circle of concerns. Things that are very doable by yourself. Thats is the reason why I pointed out to CVJ, that I a more active on the college scholarship project of the cyber community that I belong rather than than joining the protest movements against Gloria. IO find it more fulfilling.

    This Gloria issue are everybodys concerns. Thats it a concern. And we have to accept the fact we cannot really do nothing much but to have her tried in the impeachment. After 3, years I hope you already realized that the peopel just dont want any more short cuts like resorting to people power , coups etc…So wala ng say say pa ang pag usapan pang ang kung ano ano protesta. Its just a waste of time, money and energy. Mag eelection na eh, So why not just campaign for all the candidates that you believe can help you out with your concerns.

    Now since were so preoccupied with protest and all the offensive and defensive action to and against Gloria, we forget to the most important thing. And that is the fixing of electroal system. Now election is fast approaching and it is higly likely that we will be debating the same issue again.Even worst.

  33. Rego, i don’t know of anyone who disputes Covey’s circle of concern vs. circle of influence, which is why we have our respective scholars. Even People Power fits within Covey’s framework as it is a collective manifestation of the public’s circle of concern which, after reaching a certain threshold, is transformed into a circle of influence. Even GMA realizes that which accounts for CPR, PP1017 and the like.

    BTW, just to clarify, Hello Garci was made public on June 5, 2005 which means that it has been 1 year and 7 months since the legitimacy crisis started (not 3 years).

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