Late last night, the story broke: Arroyo decides ‘not to continue’ with ZTE deal–Bunye. Today, the story got to be clarified further: GMA explains ZTE fiasco to Hu (as another story put it, Arroyo ‘stops’ deal with ZTE; China prexy accepts decision).

Obviously, that was the main objective of the President, with specific, domestic political considerations on her mind. As her people put it, ‘Political instinct’ made Arroyo scrap ZTE deal — Palace.

Having achieved that, she can then attend to other things.

Contrary to speculations to the contrary, the President has a serious reason for visiting China. She’s there in support of Philippine investments overseas, a legitimate and praiseweworthy thing for any president to do, and which explains why she’d go to China when the Chinese themselves are enjoying one of the major holidays in their culture.

As the news has it, Arroyo inaugurates Razon container terminal in Shandong. After all, Razon now most powerful businessman, says De Venecia son. Those interested in the maritime ports industry might be interested in the blog Maritime Watchkeeper.

The main thing is that prior to the electrifying news arriving late in the evening from China, the Palace faithful had been mobilized to propose the party line: Palace wants Senate to stop NBN deal investigation. This was expressed by the Executive Secretary when the President left; in addition, after the President left, her husband returned: obviously well-briefed on what he, in turn, should be saying: Mike Arroyo: I never said ‘Back off’.

What I found very curious last night was that a couple of hours before the news of the President’s statement was released, the distinct possibility that the scheduled ZTE hearing for Thursday would end up being either canceled outright, or postponed, began to circulate. Obviously, coming at the heels of official Palace expressions of desire -for the hearings to end- this is what made the scuttlebutt take on the Wow factor.

Consider, first, that resuming the hearings would further add scrutiny to an already open can of worms: Probe of PDI, 4 solons sought over leak on secret meeting (for its part, the paper I write for says, PDI stands by story on Joker’s intervention in Neri’s testimony). The Senate, then, having already spent yesterday arguing its case before the Supreme Court (see No TRO on ‘Hello Garci’ probe; SC grills petitioners) and earning a minor victory (no TRO to stop the Hello Garci hearings) and faced with that probe called by an angry Joker Arroyo, and headed for a justifiable confrontation with Romulo Neri on his invocation of executive privilege, seemed poised for, well, a home run.

As the Inquirer editorial for today put it, in The battle resumes:

This returns us to the Senate, which is due to resume its joint committee hearings on the ZTE deal. There will be two issues immediately confronting the chamber. First, allegations concerning the conduct of the executive session last Thursday. This was meant to allow senators the opportunity to understand why Chair Romulo Neri of the Commission on Higher Education invoked executive privilege just as he had tantalizingly came close to revealing that the President had said more about Abalos’ bribe than just advising Neri not to accept the bribe.

Conflicting suggestions of improper behavior, either by senators or members of the Cabinet, in that executive session, have been made. One senator has asked whether these suggestions of improper, even scandalous, conduct justified the unprecedented move of some senators to reveal what took place. We say unprecedented, because the allegations of what happened during that executive session are unparalleled in the history of our Congress and perhaps any legislature in the modern era.

The second issue is whether or not to compel Neri to reveal what he knows but won’t say. Senators must decide if they will detain Neri and trigger, in turn, a case in the Supreme Court to settle, once and for all, whether the Cabinet member is right in invoking executive privilege. This is a confrontation that seems not only inevitable, but necessary. We cannot agree with Sen. Joker Arroyo that the Senate should quit while it is ahead.

It is by settling these two questions, which all hinge on Neri’s possessing information as to what the President knew, and when — and what she did or did not do, knowing what she knew — that checks and balances are asserted and the parameters of democracy are more clearly established. At stake is the ability of Congress to exercise oversight, of witnesses to use legitimate legal shields or hide behind legal barriers erected to cover up official wrongdoing. There is even the possibility that Neri’s value as a witness has been compromised, because he no longer has free will, and has been subjected to official intimidation — whether from the Senate, or the executive branch.

Except, the battle has been… well, to put it charitably, postponed. And this brings me to what got reporters scrambling back into action last night, even prior to the announcement by the Palace, that the President had ordered the ZTE deal “stopped”. Here’s the report by Malaya: Senate freezes probe into broadband deal. As their report puts it,

The freeze was a result of the decision to scrap an all-member caucus last night where a proposed hearing tomorrow was to be taken up.

The caucus was called to discuss how the Senate would pursue the inquiry after the resignation on Monday of Election Chairman Benjamin Abalos, the alleged broker of what was suspected as an overpriced supply contract with the Chinese company ZTE.

Earlier in the day, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the Senate investigation might not be relevant anymore after Abalos’ resignation.

“Ngayong wala na yung object ng kanilang investigation, ano’ng relevance noon?” he asked.

He added that President Arroyo “is very confident that things will somehow simmer down.”

Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, chair of the Blue Ribbon, the lead committee, said the failure to hold a caucus only means that no hearing has been scheduled.

He said the inquiry will definitely continue.

He said the committee has subpoenaed the NEDA Investment Coordinating Committee for all documents relating to the ZTE contract. He said the transportation department has already submitted the documents in its hands upon receipt of a similar subpoena duces tecum.

Congress was originally scheduled to start its All Saints’ Day break on Oct. 13. On Monday, it was announced at the Senate that the recess would be advanced by a week.

As of last night, when the buzz about either a cancellation or a postponement began, Senators were contacted and immediately responded vigorously: Senate to continue with ZTE hearings–Cayetano. The rhetoric from all the chairmen was all right: we will continue, never fear, etc., etc., although the views of some colleagues, such as Francis Escudero, was noticeably temperate while other senators complained they never got the memo: Senator puzzled over lull in hearings on broadband deal:

He said no hearings were scheduled this week because his committee needed to assess the status of the investigation, which led to the resignation of Benjamin Abalos Sr. as Elections chief following allegations of bribery.

Before he took the floor, Cayetano told reporters in a press conference that the hearings would be scheduled some 10 to 14 days from now, during the four-week congressional break.

He also gave as reasons the impending absence of senators, who are about to go on a break, and the absence of resource persons willing to speak about the deal.

Actually, the whole country didn’t get the memo.

So I can’t help but wonder at the confluence of events.

A newspaper finishes layout pretty early, and there’s no indication, for example, Malaya held the presses, which makes it reasonable to consider that its story on a cancellation (outright) of the ZTE hearings was, at one point yesterday evening, in the cards. On the same day the Palace expressed the desire the whole thing should be stopped -and knowing, as we do now, that Ermita spoke knowing full well what the President would later on announce, after the formality of her meeting with the Chinese president was concluded.

The Senate had the chance to have two more weeks of hearings, but decided to knock off work early, and all the vows of pursuing the hearings after their vacation, doesn’t explain the thing that puzzles me. Politics is about timing. It requires seizing the initiative, and doggedly refusing to relinquish it. But then, with things going in its favor, the Senate decides to, well, how else can I put it?

Back off.

And just when there were more questions raised, than settled, by the President’s statement from China. As Manuel Buencamino puts it,

Once upon a time Gloria Arroyo rightly laid out clear policy guidelines for the broadband network: build, operate and transfer; no loans; no sovereign guarantees; use and pay, rather than take or pay. Then one day, suddenly and without any explanation, she reversed those guidelines.

Can she tell us why the ZTE deal was so hastily approved that her Cabinet cannot even make up its mind whether it’s a supply contract or an executive agreement?

Can Mrs. Arroyo tell us why she allowed a contract of this magnitude to be signed even if it did not follow the proper sequence of steps as dictated by laws and regulations?

Can she explain why a concessionary loan is better than no loan at all?

Can she explain why it’s better to spend billions of pesos to own and operate an exclusive network that taxpayers will pay for whether the government uses it or not, rather than a network whose services taxpayers will pay for only when the government uses it?

Can she tell us how, and why, the Department of Justice (DOJ) rendered an opinion on a contract it never even saw?

Can she tell us why the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) did not furnish a copy of the contract to the DOJ when DOTC chief Leandro Mendoza admitted to the Senate that his department had finished reconstituting the contract on May 24, weeks before the DOJ rendered its opinion?

Can she tell us why she allowed Mendoza to keep the departments of Justice, Trade, Finance, Budget, the Executive Secretary, the Palace legal counsel and the public in the dark?

Is pushing through with the deal only a legal matter to be settled by the Supreme Court, or more important, is it a taxpayer expense that must be justified?

Meanwhile, the Palace suddenly has the means (and most definitely, the motive) to then pursue its prey (just when it seemed businessmen were beginning to start showing signs of increasing uneasiness about the Palace: see Tongue In. Anew, who has an interesting take on things).

After the primary prey of the opposition, the now ex-Comelec Chairman, has quit (entrusting his fate into the hands of our deeply respected Ombudsman, which, as this report indicates, is overflowing with the milk of human kindness: Ombudsman Gutierrez logs a record of going easy on Abalos, Comelec), taking him out of the game, the Senate takes itself out of the game, too, for a month.

And there’s also wiggle room in the Supreme Court: Motion to junk NBN-ZTE deal not yet moot – Supreme Court, by which I mean, there’s time to further buttress the Palace arguments by means of filing appropriate motions…

As Uniffors puts it,

Anyway, Gloria and Mike are on the ropes, to use a boxing term… The whole nation is waiting for the Senate to go in for the knockout… But what does the Senate do?… It decides to go on its All Saints Day vacation a week early.

Gloria and Mike will now have until Nov 5, at the earliest, to gather their wits, marshall their strength, and work their way back into the fight.

To be fair, the Senate’s decision to suddenly advance their vacation and to postpone the ZTE hearings indefinitely was not entirely Alan Peter Cayetano’s to make. It was a collective decision. (Maybe everyone collected. 200 each maybe?)

But here’s why we take Alan Peter Cayetano to task.

Remember those two impeachment hearings in the House? Remember how he and Chiz Escudero, led the charge for truth and all that against overwhelming odds?

Well, where the fuck is that crusader now? He didn’t even put up a fight.

I don’t know if this is the same Alan Peter Cayetano that we elected to the Senate so we would have someone to look out for us. Maybe the man we think is Alan Pater Cayetano is really Juju Cayetano, the fake candidate who ran for senator last May. That’s the kindest thought I can have for him right now.

Come to think of it, I’ve never seen Juju and Alan Peter in a picture together. Maybe because they’re one and the same now. Peke.

With breathing room the Palace, intends to make permanent: Spare First Gentleman, Neri from future NBN hearings–Palace, it now only has to face one: a potentially bruising battle for the first time ever, over the budget. House begins plenary debates on 2008 budget.

We all know that the greatest power of the House, is the power of the purse. A House inclined to be unpleasant to a President can go over the budget with fine-toothed comb, subject cabinet officials and presidential appointees to an inquisition, and unlike the Senate, it can do so without anyone really noticing -or with everyone watching if the House tells reporters to expect fireworks.

But instead of facing a battle on two fronts, the President, knowing Senators are off to attend the Interparliamentary Union gabfest, and so she can instead focus on, well, this story tells it all: ‘I have nothing to fear,’ says De Venecia on ouster rumors.

The antidote to threats of a House with a sudden zest for taking budget-writing seriously, is to say: look, for a whole month, JDV3 is going to get hammered by the Palace. And daddy, too.

Anyway, good news: Senate approves cheaper medicines bill.

And cool news: Super jet to touch down in RP next week.

And I think Sassy Lawyer is spot on why people should cut “Desperate Housewives” some slack.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

253 thoughts on “Kowtow

  1. Pete Since Noli is not a hostile successor, GMA might take that into consideration. But then again, after all that’s GMA have been through, she things that there’s no “crisis” that she cannot overcome. I mean, the Hello Garci was a pretty obvious one, even more blatant that the ZTE-NBN deal. She’s having a winning streak and as most gamblers would do, they won’t quite but go on with the game.

  2. cvj, karah, mbw, mb

    May reiterate: “The point is a viable and reasonable exit scenario could be set as the agenda of a popular movement.”

    cvj, your suggestion is for JdV’s support to oust, by impeachment GMA, would take more than a year of social tension and conflict. How about a scenario worth considering by major players — GMA, allies, opposition, civil society — but could attract support of popular movement?

    Would you consider supporting and pushing for a scenario where GMA foes on leave, Noli takesover including a condition that he appoints a coalition cabinet?

  3. Pete,

    I would support such a move but knowing our politics’ crab mentality, doubt very much it is doable. Again, be worth looking into if JdV comes out and puts his neck on the chopping block literally to get Congress on side.

    People I believe might back up an initiative of this kind if they are sure that there will be no balimbingan.

  4. MBW I’ll try to research on the models. I do think that RADARS and MISSILES go hand in hand. Yes, RADARS are a conditio sine qua non for the MISSILES to be useful. But these things are considered “military secrets” and we might know that they have the radars but where these equipment are placed is another matter.

    As for the Philippines – NO RADARS, NO MISSILES.:D Just a scenario: what if a Foreign Country would have an interest in invading us, can we even defend ourselves? Lolz. The question might be somewhat naive but I just wanna see the opinion of other people and how they would respond to that question.

  5. Karah,

    Not so much a military secret really. I, personally, know where Malaysia’s radars are. But that is another matter.

    And really the Philippines will be like Belgium if Malaysia gets it into their head to invade us (but I don’t think so) – will take no more than 2 hours for Pinas to fold! Honestly!

  6. karah,

    Her ‘political instinct’ made her cancel the ZTE deal, instinct tells her that odds are catching up on her. I think an LOA where she retains immunity from suite and the breathing space to plan a secure exit is favorable for her. What’s important is that she’s out of that seat where she can do more long-term damage.

  7. Heh! Re “I think an LOA where she retains immunity from suite and the breathing space to plan a secure exit is favorable for her.”

    There will be heavy looting of the treasury in that case or if and when she receives said LOA!

  8. Pete If we look at the constitution, the only ways that a Vice-President can take over as President if: (a) in case of death of the President; (b) permanent disability; (c) removal from office – impeachment. By your term “Noli takes over”, is it as PRESIDENT or as OIC?

    As for Noli becoming President, I’ll give him a chance. A coalition Cabinet might be chaotic not unless Noli can be a good “referee” so to speak.

    I’ve noticed that you’ve been asking a lot of questions. 😀 Now, it’s my turn to ask questions. What do think would the effects and consequences of the regime change, in the widest sense of the word?

  9. Pete I do hear your point. The problem with an LOA is it might have some “constitutional questions” since I don’t see any LOA provision in the Constitution. Another alternative is for GMA to go on self-exile at the country of her choice. If the allegations are true that she’s PLUNDERER then I would suppose she’s got more than enough to FEED and SUPPORT 5 generations of Arroyo’s or even more.


  10. mbw,

    That’s why the coalition cabinet condition. Check and balance inside Malacanang. To check the looting. The sooner this is done the better. Three remaining years is an irresistable ‘window of opprtunity’ for GMA allies/cronies. An LOA can prevent this from happening, appointees can be replaced immediately.

  11. But there is that question that Karah raised regarding the constitutionality of an LOA?

    Of course, by all means, any non violent move (coz elite and masa can’t be truly counted on to stay the course in a battlefield) between now and 2010 to make her quit is good enough for me. The earlier we get them (she and her husband) out of Malacanang is in my book the right thing to do. What you are suggesting there is very sensible.

    As Karah said earlier on, the only valid alternative to a peaceful solution is revolution or assasination but these solutions are too violent and in a very unstable country like ours, the military might step in and I don’t like that (militarist as I may be). I don’t trust our current crop of military generals down to colonels and lt colonels. Those who may be different are in stockade.

    Assuming that your solution is doable, we gotta do with what we have to avoid bloodbath: accept Noli if or when Gloria surprises us with a resignation due to popular demand of course on the condition that Noli accepts to be seconded by better management or political brains. Now, who do you reckon should be fielded in that coalition cabinet is the next question.

  12. karah,

    In the context of this thead, as stated the objectives are to 1) keep Gloria from being forced by circumstances to do things with serious long-term consequences, each day she stays in power she wreaks havoc on our institutions and our patrimony, 2) a peaceful, just, constituional ( as much as possible) transistion to normalcy. These are the objectives, the hoped for consequences of ‘regime change’.

    The constituionality of an LOA had been discussed by some congressmen. I’ll get the details.

  13. Pete, Karah, MBW, interesting discussion. About the LOA with coalition cabinet, that’s worth considering but is something i have to sleep on.

  14. Pete I perfectly comprehend your two objectives. Re: Objective 1, I do respect your opinion on that regard and your points are well taken by me. Re: Objective 2, it can only be two things, something voluntary and something with force (whatever form it may take). Now my question is, what would be the effects/consequences of a “regime change?” In the sphere of Business & Economy taking into consideration Market Reaction, Investor Reaction. In the sphere of Politics, how the different Politcians would play this scenario (there’s a possibility of to each his own). In the sphere of International Relations, how would the different Foreign Government would view this? There’s no denying that fact that each time a REGIME is “aborted”, there are consequences as it speaks of political stability.

    Re: LOA, please give me a link on where I can find the discussions you were talking about. These mere initial discussions and if this would be passed into Law, the process would take a year or so or even longer.

  15. ‘SF260TP’s are I think WW2-era planes”

    These are Italian made planes bought during martial law. It’s a trainer plane. Some were modified to carry weapons.

    Singapore also has S211 jets that are base in Australia. It has a squadron of F-16s in the US too.

  16. Malaysia can’t invade the Philippines. They have to land at least 250,000 soldiers just to secure a foothold. They don’t have the navy to transport that many soldiers.

  17. we don’t watch teri hatcher’s tv series but…

    my wife is always desperate to watch house. unfortunately, she has lots of things to do. it’s a good thing she has her pda (which i loaded with some house episodes i already finished watching). she’s able to steal some time to view the exciting series.

    i can’t forget house’s “airborne” episode wherein the flight attendant asked a sick Asian guy: nilalagnat ka ba?. wow, talking of a Filipino Connection (as mr. nepales of pdi wrote about it some time back). it’s really great!

    judging from what i heard on radio, the reaction to that particular desperate housewives episode was reason for a Filipino Disconnect…and also reason to holler foul?

    well, anyway, we don’t watch that series and we don’t really care about it (even watching the link sassy cited in her blogpost) for my wife and a lot of our doctor friends take pride in their med school. no amount of sarcasm will take that pride away from them!

    that show must go on…just as long as no direct invectives toward Filipinos in general are said and/or depicted. i agree, sassy is right.

  18. Re: “Malaysia can’t invade the Philippines. They have to land at least 250,000 soldiers just to secure a foothold. They don’t have the navy to transport that many soldiers.”

    There’s no need to invade RP along the same lines of land invasion to make Pinas fold, buckle under if conflict arises between the two ‘old’ enemies.

    All they have to do is to bomb us to kingdom come, wreck our ports, airports, infrastructures, naval fleet, and airports and of course, cause havoc in Mindanao.

    If I were a Malaysian general asked how to maim Pinas, I would choose air strikes and naval strikes against our military bases (not that these bases have anything worthwhile saving) down south and in Western Philippines on top of which use submarines to sink every single working vessel of the Navy!

    No need to land troops. Waste of time and energy.

  19. karah,

    At this point the key is to provide a remedial answer to the “I’m sick of Gloria, I’m sick over what’s happening to our country, but I just don’t know what to do” syndrome, by presenting a specific agenda that could attract the support of the ‘silent majority’ that will provide the critical mass mobilized to break the debilitating impasse.

    re the consequences, 1) on the economy/market, the constituionality, democratic, non-violent/peacefull multi-sectoral participation, the formula of a constitutional/duely elected VP presiding over a coalition cabinet are bases for economic and political stability which I think in a crisis is the priority.

    The means dictate or determine the ends. The consequences of the undertaking depends upon the means used to achieve the objectives.

    re LOA constitutionality, Rep Crispin Remulla drafted Erap’s LOA letter. He’s a law grad from LaSalle, discussed Erap’s LOA with Teddy Locsin, Ateneo Law grad. I’ll check them out for details re provisions in the constitution and/or jurisprudence.

  20. Also, Supremo, don’t understimate Malaysia’s navy – their naval officers and troops might not be as gallant as ours but they have much, much better ships and weapons systems than we have on top of which they already have submarines and minesweepers.

  21. On the land front, agree, would be difficult but even on land battle, don’t know how our military can effectively react.

    In spite of their bombastic statements that they are used to guerilla warfare, they aren’t exactly experts at assymetric warfare themselves, just look how our poor military is being bundled around by rag tag, slipper donning NPAs, Abu Sayyaff, etc.

    One thing we’ve got that the Malaysians have got is perhaps the fighting spirit – Malaysians are NOT exactly the bravest of the brave.

  22. ooops, One thing we’ve got that the Malaysians HAVEN’T got is perhaps the fighting spirit – Malaysians are NOT exactly the bravest of the brave.

  23. Her ‘political instinct’ made her cancel the ZTE deal, instinct tells her that odds are catching up on her.

    Bet no one expected that she’s going to India after China. So who’s going to predict what’s her next move.

  24. Ca t,

    I suspect there are companies in India who are willing to do the NBN deal with her so next stop India. India can do it – they’ve already got their own NBN in place so easy to replicate it in Pinas.

    How ’bout that for a prediction? Heh!

  25. mbw,

    phil-malaysia bout is hypothetical, chinese invasion is real, on-going, economic agression

  26. If she visits Bangalore, then could be that she is thinking India side to continue her NBN (ZTE is there so Chinese could course ZTE under the cover of an India company.)

  27. Pete, almost inevitable to buckle under economic aggression by China given that even US is already invaded.

    If China pulls plug, i.e., collect their more than 800 billion dollars in IOUs, US will be in a mess (and the world with them.)

  28. mbw,

    US pressed China to open market and join WTO, backfired. I think China’s jumping into the global capitalist decadence will accelerate the collapse of the world economic order, the world financial system is in a state of disintegration, inevitable.

    China’s capitulation to capitalism is tragic for it’s people and for the rest of the world. China is underestimating the power of capitalist greed and over-estimating the residual power of Mao’s ideological indoctrination over its people. The youth in China have converted from Communism to Individualism, from Cofucianism to Western Hedonism.

  29. True, US is in deep fiscal mess; but messier is China’s cultural disintegration. The trade-off is consummated, irreversible. Now, collapse is inevitable.

  30. Pete,

    Re “I think China’s jumping into the global capitalist decadence will accelerate the collapse of the world economic order, the world financial system is in a state of disintegration, inevitable.”

    There is a lot of truth that our Western economists, financiers, banks, share much of the blame if western financial systems finally disintegrate but some if not lots of the blame could be heaped on lil would be dictators in the likes of Gloria, Mugabe, and other African leaders who are now succumbing to the continuing Chinese economic aggression. Not so much because they need China in that respect but because they are greedy.

    Individual greed, utter greed!

  31. No one can invade the Philippines without landing 250,000 troops to gain a foothold. They should also do the landings in the right places. The WWII landing of the Japanese Army is the best one so far. The landings in Aparri and Lingayen forced MacArthur to go to Bataan prematurely. The Japanese learned this north Luzon strategy from the Fil-American War. That war would have been shorter if the Americans secured Cagayan Valley right away. MacArthur’s liberation landing in Luzon is an overdone copy of the Japanese landings.

    Let’s just say X country did invade the Philippines successfully. The only thing that they should do to avoid any resistance is grant independence to any baranggay who wants to form their own country.

  32. Supremo,

    Agree – invading Pinas is not the right tack and besides Malaysia will never do that – their population too small. Difficult with a population like Pinas to invade Pinas – suicide. War between Pinas, if ever, could only be on the issue of Sabah but there would be no land invasion, or invasion for occupation purposes.

    If RP declared war on Malaysia today or vice versa, the purpose of that war is not to physically invade to occupy it the country but to put it on its knees just to force the defeated party to the negotiating table.

    There would be no need to go into classic warfare to defeat RP. Malaysia definitely with its small own population would find that difficult. The purpose of battle would be on another level, “maim, wreck, destroy much of the Philippines” to surrender (geez, hate typing that).

    So you’re right Malaysia would never invade Pinas to OCCUPY Pinas but to put it on its knees (hope to God it would not get there because believe me, Pinas will fold, buckle under straight away with the military strikes scenario I presented earlier.)

    When RP’s communications infrastructures, land infrastures, airports, military bases and its military assets shot down, Pinas cannot but ‘surrender’, go to the negotiating table and sue for peace. RP has no military assets to pit against Malaysia’s assets today – but none at all!

  33. Wait, just to be more clear: “So you’re right Malaysia would never invade Pinas OR to OCCUPY Pinas BUT if ever Malaysia gets it into their head TO ENGAGE PINAS IN WAR, their strategy would be focused on PUTTING PINAS on its knees (hope to God it would not get there because believe me, Pinas will fold, buckle under straight away with the military strikes scenario I presented earlier.)”

  34. I suspect there are companies in India who are willing to do the NBN deal with her so next stop India. India can do it – they’ve already got their own NBN in place so easy to replicate it in Pinas.

    It’s more on the issue why the bill on cheap medicines are not yet enacted. So it seems.

  35. MBW, Don’t fear the Malaysians. They are at least civilized. Fear the Indonesians. heard of “Posoo”? Go to YouTube and search the word. Warning: footage only for sociopaths.

  36. Oh and Brian, don’t fear Malaysians at all – as I said, they are not, as a people, exactly the bravest of the brave… geez, I hope I won’t be hit here for racist slur. Just saying the truth. OK Basta!

  37. Wow! The senate investigation of the ZTE deal postponed without any satisfactory explanation?

    It does look like a sudden “brownout” during a Manny Pacquiao title fight! That makes those senators complicit in the scandal, doesn’t it?

    Senator, may 200 ka dito.

  38. mbw,

    “PUTTING PINAS on its knees”

    The Philippines is about 1850 km from north to south and 1100 km from east to west. The combat radius of the F/A-18 is only 500 km. The Malaysians have to move it to Kota Kinabalu from Butterworth to bomb (after air refueling) Jolo or Puerto Princesa. The Mig-29 (600 km) might reach the same cities without air refueling. The Su-30 (800 km) might be able to reach Bacolod and Zamboanga cities without air refueling. How many sorties do you think is needed to demolished these cities? China can’t even reach Laoag from Hainan using the Su-30. We are safe for now from any invasion or air raids.

  39. cAt: re India, it’s long been planned, heard about the state visit even before august, i think, and someone from the south asia division of the dfa emailed me requesting background info on rp-india relations and ties (i’d had a show on rp and india and written about it) on 9/24/07, so i complied and sent info (regardless of political stands when asked, you help out any which way you can for a state occassion).

  40. This has always been my concern . People open up or raise an issue but nobody is driving it to proper closure.

    Kung titingnan natin, andami na talagang scandal o exposes na lumabas simula ng umupo is Gloria. Unang una yung Jose Pidal, then Hello Garci, tapos etong NBN-ZTE at sangkatutak pang iba. Pero wala talagang closure na maayos.

    Asan ba talaga ang problem dito. OK given na na si Gloria ay talgang tuso. Pero dito sa NBN ZTE Deal, malaki talaga ang pwedeng gawin ng Senado para masupalpal ang mga balak at hakbang ni Gloria .

    Pakiramdam ko toluy parang pinaglalaruan at pinaglalaway lang ang publiko…

  41. Impressive Supremo!

    There will be no need to launch air strikes against the entire Phil archipelago to put Pinas “on its knees.” Just enough to create havoc and destroy enough assets will already put militarily impoverished Pinas on its knees.

    By creating such havoc on major infrastructure routes, bridges (Mactan), airports (Cebu, Palawan, Davao, Zamboanga, Gen Santos, main ports (there goes the Aboitiz hold on ports), communications platforms (there goes Globe and Smart) in the Visayas and Mindanao regions will already make Pinas wobbly. Typically, the main strikes could be launched air and naval against the main bases in Western (Palawan) and Visayas Commands (Cebu) as well as in Mindano (Zamboanga, Jolo, incl Tawi Tawi) while submarine attacks could launch torpedoe assault on our own fleet and could go up to Phil Fleet in Sangley Point.

    True that combat range of Hornet is limited but with air to air refuelling that should be not a difficult problem to solve. How? Easy. If needed, Malaysia can rent/lease air tankers right away from any nation in Europe (even US) that even France can readily lease them one since they’ve already ordered Airbus 400s to use as air tankers.

    Of course, this is purely hypothetical. If things go hot over the Spratleys where there’s a rich reserve of gaz and petrol, the military strike scenario jsut might be different.

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