President Hee Hee and President Ha Ha

20080624_d-0085-7-515h.jpgMuch levity courtesy of the Summit of the (Lame) Ducks in Washington.

Got this by way of Age of Brillig who pointed to Bush To Filipino President: “I Am Reminded Of The Great Talent Of The — Of Our Philippine-Americans When I Eat Dinner At The White House” in the Huffington Post, and which pointed in turn to Bush jokes about the White House chef in the Los Angeles Times’ Countdown to Crawford blog. What caught my interest was not the famously barely comprehensible American President’s folksy attempt at being gracious (Filipinos are, after all, very proud of Cristeta Comerford, and the White House has a long tradition of Filipino stewards serving there), but rather, this exchange near the tail end of the Oval Office photo-op. See President Bush Meets with President Arroyo of the Philippines:


PRESIDENT BUSH: Thanks for coming.

PRESIDENT ARROYO: Thank you, thank you. Mr. President, with your permission, I’d like to address our countrymen in my own native language. (Speaks in Tagalog.)

PRESIDENT BUSH: I couldn’t have said it better myself. (Laughter.)


PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, all.

Snippets found the President’s delivering a statement in Filipino from the Oval Office curious, but I don’t see why. The President took the opportunity to film a message to her people from the most famous stage set in the world. That message was the justification of the trip, Exhibit A in proving the trip was worth it. (What I do find curious -because the President and her handlers have been very conscious of the subconscious effects of colors on the public- is why the President’s been appearing in cheery and bright colors when she herself and American officials have tried to soberly pay tribute to the victims of the recent typhoon.)

Interestingly enough, though, as of the time I’m writing this, the Palace’s propagandists haven’t posted anything on the Oval Office meeting. So we don’t know what she said.

What I find very interesting -see Matthew Good as an example, or Inky Horizons or Wonkette– is that many Americans offended by their President’s remarks, thought our President was visiting Dubya to rattle a tin cup and ask for typhoon relief. To the minds of these Americans, it makes perfect sense that at a time of tragedy, our President was panhandling their President. But that was not the purpose of our President’s trip, see her list of things to do.

Anyway, the President, having secured her photo-op with the Great White Father, can proudly say “mission accomplished” and have NBN endlessly replay her cameo appearance in the Oval Office: she’s in Good Odor and can brag about obtaining Dubya’s Seal of Good Housekeeping.

According to RG Cruz, the subsequent improvement in the President’s mood can be seen by all and sundry, as a Public Works and Highway Undersecretary discovered:

Aquino: I am representing secretary ebdane who visited Iloilo. Out of nine bridges that were damaged, we have restored two bridges

GMA: Are u talking here of guimbal and sta. barabara

Aquino: No ma’am, these are in Iloilo ma’am

GMA: Yes they are both in Iloilo (laughs out loud)

If u were not such a good undersecretary on the ground I will spank you (laughs more)

Aquino: These are the towns of sigma dau cuatero road in capiz

GMA: That’s not Iloilo that’s capiz

Aquino: Yes ma’am all in panay island

The President continues her torrent of instructions: Arroyo orders flooding of NFA rice in typhoon-hit areas. This as Farm, schools damage: P7B.

In his column, Manuel Buencamino points out, in an open letter to the President,

And then, as an added treat, according to your press secretary’s web site, “Some 600 Filipino-Americans witnessed the President’s conduct of a video conference with the National Disaster Coordinating Council where President Arroyo showed that despite her being out of the Philippines to foster diplomatic relations with its most important ally, she remains focused and on top of the situation back home.”

Your president at work?

A total of 198,545 Ilonggos are in 58 evacuation centers in Iloilo City; 353,000 were displaced in the rest of the province; 33,000 families suffered the same fate in Eastern Visayas; and over 700 are dead in a ferry accident. And you’re in Fresno, California, posing for pictures.

In Washington the only meeting you cannot pass off to a Cabinet member is your tête-à-tête with lame-duck George. That’s nothing but a photo op. What lasting commitment can you get from him, who will be gone by January?

It would be nice to personally thank Bush and the US Senate for the Veterans Bill, but there’s a calamity back home. They will understand.

You don’t have to go to the Pentagon. Gilbert Teodoro can meet with his counterpart to discuss defense reform even though it’s a waste of time because he will be talking to a lame-duck secretary.

There is no meeting in Washington that you cannot cancel.

As for New York, do you really have to personally wine and dine those UN permanent representatives to get their vote for Miriam Santiago? What do you think the people of Iloilo will appreciate more: Your presence in their province or you campaigning in New York for their province-mate?

You have been compared to Marcos countless times. It’s unfair to the late dictator and his family. Marunong makiramay ang mga Marcos in times of calamity.

Imelda Marcos and her children, even at the height of a typhoon, would always be at the scene of a disaster giving aid and comfort to the victims. You always arrive late.

I remember when Milenyo hit the country, the first photo to appear in the papers was you, in your cute little rainwear, inspecting the fallen trees in Malacañang while hundreds of thousands of victims in the Bicol region and Southern Luzon were waiting for some relief. And you wonder why you are the most disliked president this country ever had?

I have seen Imelda shed tears as she embraced victims of calamities. Her tears were real. I have seen you in similar situations; you look uncomfortable, and your discomfort is real.

(more, in a similar vein, from Fil-Ams Perry Diaz and Greg Macabenta who, for some reason, thinks Fresno was on the President’s itinerary to help her avoid, and not see, Fil-Ams! OTOH, knicnax defends the President)

So what, indeed, did the President have to attend to, that her subordinates couldn’t have undertaken in her absence?

Billy Esposo sent an email containing his conspiracy theory, which I find difficult to subscribe to in full:

A state of the art nuclear powered aircraft carrier task force is not needed for Typhoon Frank victims. The US has never been this compassionate. This is all about China and GMA’s shift to China – the real US agenda for the meeting with GMA. A lot things can happen with this development. We cannot discount these possibilities – a US-backed coup, civil war or an MILF war with the US backing the MILF which is just about the last burden the GMA regime can afford to take on.

Esposo seems to believe that America’s interests lie in separating Mindanao from the Philippines, although personally I think his suspicions are a Cold War hangover, the kind that sees the CIA lurking behind every bush. American interests more likely lies in using Mindanao as a kind of sideshow laboratory to learn jungle-fighting but not much else; certainly the Philippines isn’t worth the time and resources required to redraw the region’s map.

But I do think it’s quite possible the President made obtaining Uncle Sam’s blessings for martial law one of the main objectives of her trip -the Americans had vetoed martial law in 2005-06, after all- and if you’re going to go into conspiracy theories, Tony Abaya’s column makes more sense to me:

But my sense is that the real purpose of the visit is the meetings with Bush, Obama and McCain. And she is meeting with these three to protect her flanks. Everything else is mere fluff.

The coordinator of this visit — San Francisco consul general (not Ambassador, as media describe him) Marciano Paynor, Jr. — says he did not see anything wrong with PGMA meeting McCain and Obama ahead of the presidential elections. He said that this was something done by every head of state or government…

Really? In the past 60 days, President Bush was visited by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. I do not recall either of them meeting with McCain or Obama or Hillary Clinton.

President Arroyo has been trying to meet with Bush for years. In the APEC Summits in Hanoi and Sydney, her press people talked about 20-minute one-on-ones with George W, which were either cancelled by the Americans or reduced to a seven-minute “pull-over” photo-op, meaning, I presume, that he was pulled over on his way to or from the men’s room.

In February 2006, on the 20th anniversary of Edsa I People Power “Revolution”, it was suddenly announced that she was leaving for Washington to address the American Press Club (APC), but then, just as suddenly, her trip was cancelled…

My interpretation of this little mystery was: Malacanang’s PR retainer in Washington DC was able to wangle the speech invitation from the APC, a poorer cousin of the prestigious National Press Club With this speech invitation, the White House was asked for a meeting with Bush, since GMA was going to be in Washington anyway.. When the White House said no, the speech date with APC was cancelled.

President Arroyo is not the favorite “ally” of the Americans that she may think she is, after she withdrew the 51 Filipino policemen from the Coalition of the Willing in Iraq in 2004, and after she signed an agreement with Beijing for the joint exploration for oil in the Spratlys, also in 2004. In 2005, Vice-President Dick Cheney is said to have started moves to remove her from power, starting with the Hello Garci tapes, which, according to my information, were made possible by the US National Security Agency or NSA.

The Americans could not have grown fonder of her after the aborted, corruption-ridden ZTE broadband contract in 2007, which would have given the Chinese total and instant knowledge of all decisions of the Philippine government, including sensitive ones such as on the positioning of US troops and intel assets in Mindanao, Sulu, and Basilan. How could she have been so naïve as to be unaware of the consequences of her actions?

President Arroyo obviously wants to personally explain to Bush (and his successor) why she did what she has done. And perhaps sound them out on a possible declaration of martial law if and when it becomes necessary in 2009 or 2010, given the deteriorating global situation. Or a possible asylum in San Francisco, just in case.

The reason America would be a preferable haven to, say, Spain or Portugal (her previously-rumored potential exile haunts) is that her human rights record will result in her being hounded in the European Union the way Pinochet was, arrested in England upon orders of a Spanish court. And her other possible place of exile, China, may not be so hospitable considering the NBN-ZTE brouhaha.


blackshama’s blog says the Vice-President’s coming off looking positively presidential as he presides over disaster management meetings:

Political pundits here on the Mango Isle (hey! They are found from the lowliest barangay of the smallest provinces to the elite kapihans of Manila) say that Queen Gloria’s refusal (even when Frank has caused a national disaster rather than a regional one like previous typhoons) to cut short her glorious junket to the US of A will cost her much. According to the pundits the one who wins the pogi points is no other than the Veep Noli.

Some have remarked that Noli de Castro once dismissed as a talking news puppet, looked soooooo presidential in leading the national disaster response committee, even more presidential than the Queen herself…

So methinks the biggest political beneficiary here is the Veep. We ask the logical question. Did Malacanang intend this? or is Malacanang the victim of the law of unintended consequences?

Palace sez: Arroyo sets Tuesday visit to Iloilo to assess storm damage: President to hold Cabinet meeting there. She’s the Boss.

While I don’t think that once something’s online, it’s there for ever (lots of articles I once had online have vanished), in the wake of any major event, personal stories published in the blogosphere bring the scale and scope of the typhoon to life.

blackshama’s blog recounts arriving at the scene in the wake of the typhoon:

The road from the new international airport is littered with the remains of washed out houses and vehicles some of which were completely filled in with mud. Not a few of the cars were brand new. Evacuees line the road and many have begun the clean-up. One resident told me that the water just rose within five minutes leaving them caught unawares. The only good thing is that this happened during the day and if it did happen in the night,the death toll would have been horrible, says the cab driver who took me around.

Iloilo is defined by two rivers and a geography the gives the city its name. Residents say that they have never experienced an “Ormoc style” deluge in their lives till Saturday. This is attested by a centenarian who lived to see this day. recounts Iloilo stories:

A friend’s house was flooded up to the roof. A boss’ car was swept by floodwater. I heard a story about a Mayor who cried while watching helplessly a family on top of their roof as they were swept by the current. Poor and rich families were not spared. Typhoons do not discriminate on status. It destroys anything and everything on its path. I am fortunate my family was spared.

On to the ill-fated Princess of the Stars (the nomenclature of which blogged about by Pine for Pine), PCIJ points to its past reports, Sulpicio Lines and maritime safety: An often woeful, tragic tale:

But the occurrence of major tragedies such as the recent sinking of the Princess of the Stars has only served to underscore what problems remain to this day, some of which were identified in the PCIJ story - ageing and badly maintained ships, the absence of minimal safety navigational aids like lighthouses, and lack of competent seafarers, many of whom are lured to work in more well-paying shipping companies abroad.

Back in the early 1990s, a Japanese study already pointed out that at least 700 lighthouses were needed to illuminate the country’s major waterways. At the time of the PCIJ report, existing lighthouses were only half that number. At present, the number has reportedly increased but to no fewer than 500, many in very poor conditions.

The spotlight fell as well on the Coast Guard, whose authority to ensure sea safety continues to be hampered by poor funding and badly trained - and some charge, corrupt - personnel. The Coast Guard now gets almost P2 billion from the national budget, five times the allocation it used to receive when it was still under the armed forces. Back then, a commodore estimated that at least P1 billion is needed to make the Coast Guard an effective regulatory agency. Today, that amount is not even enough as more than P1.3 billion go to cover the cost of personal services, mainly salaries and allowances.

What the PCIJ also found out then was the weak and fragmented authority of the Coast Guard when it came to enforcing safety standards as its decision in the controversy surrounding the Filipina Princess was set aside by the Department of National Defense. Ordering a second review, the DND argued that the Coast Guard’s decision to ban the ship from traveling was “unjustly” issued and without due process. Sulpicio had asserted the safety of its ship, whose navigational record in the last eight months that time included suffering at least six breakdowns at mid-sea, one lasting 20 hours.


If you go through the Maritime Industry Authority website, you’ll find that its mandate is very broad, indeed, while that of the Philippine Coast Guard is more specific, but also very broad and may actually conflict with Marina’s.

They do have a Memorandum of Agreement, PCG_MARINA_MOA_3.pdf but in its editorial, Sulpicio’s ally, the Inquirer also points out the enormity of the problem, in that Marina has a broad mandate and the Coast Guard, responsibilities that have either been delegated by Marina or which have been left hanging.

Austin Dwi Lawyer takes up the cudgels for the Coast Guard but says it’s been compromised by its dealings with Sulpicio Lines:

And add to the equation, the poverty of PCG for which reason, Sulpicio sonofabitches fucking shits gave alms to their weary palms.

Someone said, the PCG is so poor that even their diesel is always up for sale. When the President and the higher ups say: “Hoy, habulin ninyo ang Abo Suyya!” “Mga totoy, hulihin ang mga pirata!” “Oy, ano, intersepin niyo ang mga illegal fishing boats!” “Daliiii!” “Ano ba!?!&%$#” “Kilos na!!!”

The PCG will allegedly only very demurely quip:

“Ay Maaam, Siiir, ay surreee po, wala tayo krudu!!!)

So, Sulpicio knowing, and feeling compassion, gave alms to the Coast Guard. And Coast Guard supposedly feeling the crunch, accepted the beggar’s relief cash. Possibly some relief goods too.

Sulpicio probably knew there was a disaster-in-waiting. They gave out relief cash and goods in advance.

As far as figuring out responsibilty for the tragedy and doing something about it, is concerned, the first step requires untangling the relationship between Marina and the Coast Guard and other agencies, including their mutual mother agency, the DOTC. There’s an alphabet soup of agencies with overlapping functions, and any government effort will be in the nature of a patch-work solution (and thus, only as good as the next, and inevitable, tragedy) unless the current process left to unfold to reveal its deficiencies, then the entire system is reviewed.

The problem is that everything is so interconnected, the official neglect so pervasive, that tackling one problem only leads to others cropping up and everyone ends up despairing over anything actually getting done.

Meanwhile, as both the editorial and At Midfield pointed out, Sulpicio Lines has already calculated its maximum payout from the tragedy -each passenger’s insured to the tune of 200,000 pesos- and surely, the cost of such a payout versus adequate maintenance, etc. for its fleet, was calculated time and again by the shipping line.

Piling on the bureaucracy to address the shortcomings of the existing bureaucracy, is, of course, the solution bureaucrats adore. And so, DOTC drafts executive order creating National Transport Safety Board (NTSB).

But it’s the human cost that keeps being hammered home: two days ago, My beautiful life…… blogged about a missing cousin:

I was hoping that my Mom’s first cousin and Cebu Port Captain for Sulpicio Lines would be able to provide us with information but it seems like Uncle Bondjing had limited info as well. And I’m sure he’s got his hands full right now coordinating and managing things. Jay is his nephew as well.

I really worried about Jay. I spoke to my Aunt this morning and apparently she was able to talk to Jay briefly when the ship was already aground. Auntie Juvy received a text message from Jay asking for prayers due to their very dangerous condition. Auntie Juvy called his cellphone to confirm it was indeed Jay.

Auntie apparently passed the phone to Jay’s son who then told him to be brave and not to be scared because he still wants his tatay to bring his toys back in Cebu. And the phone went dead.

More recently, blogs that he’s lost a cousin:

I just found out a few hours ago that my cousin Bebot was on The MV Princess of The Stars. Bebot used to help drive me around on some occasions when I was still in school. He’s a good guy that everyone is fond of. He has a daughter that just graduated nursing. He’s a good father, having had to sacrifice going overseas, as a seaman, in order to make a living. And now, because of the assholes at Sulpicio, The Coast Guard, and hell even PAGASA, the perfect storm has taken my cousin. A father, a husband, a cousin, a damn good guy.

The Mount Balatucan Monitor and Ricky Carandang (who has an acquaintance whose brother is missing) both take issue Sulpicio Line’s handling of the concerns of relatives of the missing or confirmed lost. Carandang is particularly scathing:

During the press conference held by the company, the vice president Sally Buaron, who answered reporter’s questions kept referring to the loss of the ship and seemed more concerned about that than the hundreds of people who in all probablility are dead.

I remember when one reporter was pressing her for more information about the fate of the vessel and the survivors, she said something like “If you are very concerned, so are we. That was our boat and it was expensive.”

Another reporter asked her if the company had quantified the cost of damage and she said something like “I don’t want to think about it. Sasama lang ang loob ko.”

Pedestrian Observer even points to a comment that brings up the possibility of looting taking place in the capsized ship. Manilenyo in Davao has some interesting observations and suggestions:

Maybe they should increase the number of check-ups/maintenance of their vessels. It was soooo ironic that the ship was reported to have had problems with its engine during that day. There were no reports of inadequate life saving equipment, so i guess its true that the vessel really passed the safety standards.

The Captain knows best, its his ship and for sure he has vast experience sailing even in worst conditions such as that one. Maybe, this is just a hunch, maybe the captain knew that if he asked the people to abandon ship early, they will be crushed by the big waves. Maybe the captain thought that staying in the ship will be better and he was hopping that the tides would push them near the shore. But then again, the captain should know the area. I think the part were they capsized has a rocky sea bed which punctured the vessel.

The passengers should know best. Their lives are at stake here. This are those times where constant communication and information updates should be present. If they knew that there was a typhoon, they should cancel the trip. I hope that Shipping lines could include this in their policies that any customer can re-book their trip in consideration of their welfare whenever there is a typhoon. And when 30% of the passengers re-books, then the shipping line can cancel the trip. That’s just a suggestion. I think its better to cancel the trip than face the consequences of a sunken ship and loosing lives right? Maybe airlines can adopt this also.

I asked around from people who often use and travel by water/sea and they said that big ships like the MV Princess can withstand a signal number 1 and 2 typhoon. I asked 2 of my uncles who works as seamen, they said they often experience typhoons along their way. What made this case different is that the ship had problems. It was not able to “go with the flow” and battle the waves. It was like a sitting duck.

By way of the Washington Monthly, you can You can check out the Map of the (American) Political Blogosphere. For less America-centric mapping, see Frog in a Well (China), which links in turn to TouchGraph and Websites as Graphs.



Manuel L. Quezon III.

134 thoughts on “President Hee Hee and President Ha Ha

  1. And nowhere to hold press conferences :

    MV Princess of the Stars captain still missing
    06/24/2008 | 10:36 PM

    MANILA, Philippines – Captain Florencio Marimon, the captain of the ill-fated MV Princess of the Stars that capsized in Romblon waters last Saturday, is among the hundreds of passengers and crewmembers still unaccounted for in the tragedy.

    QTV’s News on Q on Tuesday night reported that Sulpicio Lines, the owner of the vessel, chose Marimon to navigate its premier vessel because he is the most senior and most experienced among its captains.

  2. ‘TAIPEI, Taiwan — President Ma Ying-jeou has canceled a plan to participate in this year’s Dragon Boat races, bowing to mounting pressure that he stop having fun in festive events while people in central and southern Taiwan have been hit hard by heavy rains and flooding.’

  3. I hope they have cancelled Captain Marimon’s passport already. And I hope Philippine government has in place the requirements where the officer-in-charge of a public carrier (ship, bus, train, LRT, airplane) that is involved in an accident/disaster that results in 3 or more deaths
    (a) shall notify the government authorities of his/her location within 3 days of the disaster;
    (b) shall not leave the country except for reasons of health;
    (c) shall submit himself/herself to the proper government agency for inquiry/hearings into the accident within 45 days of the accident;

  4. Question: how much again was the compensation given to the victims of the terrorist bombing of the SuperFerry 14 in February 2004?

  5. The RAND Corporation identified that the number of deaths in Superferry14 bombing would have been less if the Government of the Philippines requires effective internal sprinkler systems in the ferries. Question: is “internal sprinkler systems” now a requirement in Philippine ferries?

  6. Gloria is following the footsteps of George Bush in terms of showing INSENSITIVITY to the people’s suffering.She refuses to change her 10-day sked in the U.S. and plans to visit the typhoon -ravaged areas NEXT WEEK!

    History is repeating itself!

    Remember the New Orleans floods in 2005?

    The pathetic initial relief efforts underscored the government’s neglect, with refugees waiting in squalor as Bush played golf and Condoleezza Rice went on a shopping spree for fancy shoes.

    But even as they tried to recover politically, the Bush crowd showed their insensitivity: Bush commiserating with Sen. Trent Lott about his lost beachfront mansion and commending his FEMA chief (“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”), and matriarch Barbara Bush opining that life in the Houston Astrodome really wasn’t so bad for the flood refugees, since they’d been underprivileged before the flood.

  7. Is Noli de castro the only one of the 2010-wannabe’s visible during these past days? Do the other candidates know something about the memory of Philippine voters?

  8. UP n,

    though obviously making himself visible for 2010, Noli can get away with it by saying that he’s just doing a VP’s job, especially now that gloria is out of the country

    eh ang mga wannabes na senators, di nila masasabing they’re just doing a legislator’s job kung papapel din sila sa rescue and relief efforts; obvious early campaigning na yun. di kakagatin ng media any investigation on typhoon Frank ‘in aid of legislation’

  9. of the possible candidates, the veep has been presiding over ndcc meetings and was spotted in marinduque, gordon cancelled going to the states and stayed behind to supervise the red cross, roxas has been spotted in iloilo… i haven’t seen/heard where legarda, escudero, villar were.

    it may be, though, and this is only a hunch, that candidates to be are relying on being seen but not too eagerly tooting their horns, as a fine line has to be maintained between being seen to help, and too obviously doing things for brownie points.

  10. Is Noli de castro the only one of the 2010-wannabe’s visible during these past days? Do the other candidates know something about the memory of Philippine voters?

    All the presidentiables are very visible these years.

    Look up and see the bilboard of Legarda Loren endorsing a skin whitener product; Ping Lacson with his skin care (rolleyes); Mar Roxas in his ad of laundry detergent?; Francis Escudero with energy drink.

    This is what you call, Below the line promotion, a subtle type of promotion that a product is being endorsed.

    In these ads, what are subtly promoted are the faces of the presidentiables.

  11. I know that I raised the question. Also that there is no Rudy Giuliani in the Philippines (where divorce is illegal) so others may say the analogy is a stretch. But Rudy may be a lesson —- it may take more than “all-visible during an emergency” to be accepted as The-Next-President.

  12. taga iloilo naman yata si mar roxas, kaya ok lang siguro kung pumapapel sya sa rescue and relief operations doon

  13. Mayer son of Amschel of the later House of Rothschild said, “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes the laws.”

    With a global class military force and control of the international currency the empire do not need to physically invade countries today. Even with the end of the Cold War the military budget of the U.S. will hit U.S. 1 trillion soon. This is apart of the cost of the GWOT that will hit $1 trillion by the time the next President gets to sit in the W. House.

    The face of the U.S. in the world today are the the investment bankers and the Pentagon.

    The whole world is indirectly paying for that.

    Under the dollar empire the client state borrows money (pesos) to enable the state to borrow in dollars so the client state can then turn around and lend the empire dollars at subsidized rates.

    So the poor countries are in effect financing the budget deficit of the empire at subsidized rates which are lower than the rate at which the poor country borrows the same money.

    W. should be thanking the Pinoy state for their generosity in subsidizing the Empire. Even though our share of the financing is smaller than the major economies of the globe.

    Based on our lack of finance capital it is a heavy burden most especially in times of disasters.

    Hence what you get is simply governance by press release or media events.
    ……..Mayor fumes from the Daily Inquirer

    “The mayor of San Fernando, Nanette Tansingco, Wednesday blew her top and broke into tears during a meeting with a delegation that arrived Wednesday from Manila consisting of representatives from the Presidential Management Staff and the departments of social welfare and transport and communications.”

    “Tansingco said that national officials had been coming in and out of her town for media engagements but had not given assistance to the local government. She said she had been using her personal funds for emergency operations.”

    “The mayor and residents of the town said that other areas on the island were also on an emergency mode dealing with destruction caused by the typhoon.”

    “On Wednesday, Sulpicio Lines finally pulled out five fatalities in the town whose stench had caused complaints from a nearby school.”

  14. Kayo naman, why are you letting GMA cancel her trip, who cares about the dead????? Hindi naman sila voters….

    .ay wait….judging from the list of congressmen on the junket, they do rely on dead voters….

  15. to dodong(MLQlover) funny how you zero in on ONE single subject to argue that bush is a lame duck president. ONE. and just ignore all the bush bills passed by congress? every f***** day??? who’s engot now?

    to frombelow: sorry you oppositionists will have to wait your turn in power. doubt that will REALLY happen soon; malas ninyo!

  16. pwede naman pala mag cancel ng trip eh.

    Arroyo cancels trip to Capiz due to bad weather

    Are you for real? Another apple and orange comparison?

  17. What is it with you cathcath?

    I have not attacked her Us trip me nadinig ka ba bukod sa mirriam at paqcuiao. entorage yung tinira ko di si pgma

    capiz and us.

    I know it is apples and oranges, obvious ba?

    Lighten up,will you?

    O sige, let me attacK PGMA if that is what you are asking for.

    my point was alam nyang matindi ang bagyo sa visayas,it was enough to cancel her sorties in Iloilo and capiz tumuloy pa din.

    that is how I feel about,it and I already heard your side,kumontra ba ako sa mga sinabi mo?

  18. The issue is now much less about GMA leaving for the meeting with Bush, the issue is so why again did GMA not return to Philippines after the Bush meeting?

    The Fresno, CA side-trip was something she should have skipped. [FG plus 4 or 5 of the entourage could have filled in for her and everyone would have understood.] And it will be extremely bad taste if a single member of the GMA entourage shows up at the Pacquiao fight.

  19. the job of governing does not stop just because of a storm and it’s consequences. while the loss of life and property is heartbreaking, this is not a life & death situatiaon involving millions or the country’s security. there are officials in gov’t. who are tasked to provide leadership and assistance; this is not PGMAs direct function. she doesn’t have to be in the country for the gov’t to work. anong pipillin nyo, ang ikauunlad ng bayan para sa marami? syempre.

  20. to cvj: ‘collecting’ hubris? wrong english ata. sa totoo lang, totoo lang ang sinasabi ko.

  21. just want to restate what i said to rego on the preceding thread: it seems the very ones who bitch about “gloria” being absent (at least in this blog) are her usual detractors who cannot stand her presence (lovl).

  22. Latest Lameduck Bush announcement :

    WASHINGTON – President Bush said Thursday he will lift key trade sanctions against North Korea and remove it from the U.S. terrorism blacklist, a remarkable turnaround in policy toward the communist regime he once branded as part of an “axis of evil.”
    . . . .

    Specifically, Bush said the U.S. would erase trade sanctions under the rading With the Enemy Act, and notify Congress that, in 45 days, it intends to take North Korea off the State Department list of nations that sponsor terrorism.

  23. to mikel: you are saying, right, that GMA should make pili

    … ang ikauunlad ng bayan para sa marami.

    For the greater good…..

    What a radical concept! Disagreement is because “for the greater good”, like beauty, ‘delicadeza’, productivity or good economics is valued through the eyes of the beholder.

  24. This is like the conumdrum :

    …. I don’t like to pay taxes, nanakawin lang.

    …. I don’t want to contribute to Typhoon relief, nanakawin lang.

  25. Bencard,

    there is a job opening fit for you: Committee Chairman for the Defense of the Indefensible under Robert Mugabe.

  26. thanks, nash, but i usually go for a winning case. i hate being on a losing side where some people seem to thrive.

  27. bencard on, “i hate being on a losing side where some people seem to thrive.”

    Bencard is for the Philippine gov’t officials (the winners) who screwed up the Filipinos further into poverty (the losing side).

    Said by Mikel, “Malas ang Pilipinas”.

  28. wrong , dodong. i was referring to you and the likes of you – the losers. you are not “the Filipinos”. don’t be presumptuous. btw, i thought you are no longer a filipino. how come you are still talking like you still belong?

  29. i hate being on a losing side where some people seem to thrive. – Bencard

    Classic balimbing mentality.

  30. mikel

    “she doesn’t have to be in the country for the gov’t to work.”

    If that is case, why bother teleconferencing and nauseating television feeds on how she manage the country by remote control.

    Which is which, mikel.

    An old Chinses sage said that there is wisdom in not defending the indefensible.

  31. Bencard on, “how come you are still talking like you still belong?”

    It is called freedom of speech. Smile.

  32. Bencard on, “wrong , dodong. i was referring to you and the likes of you – the losers”

    Thanks for getting personal. You can call me names if that makes you happy and other “presumptuous” winners out there. I can just smile.

  33. “Malas ninyo. Mikel”

    Kaw naman, a leader LEADS. whether you are a supporter or not. As a matter of fact, good leadership skills always converts critics, and captures everyones support in the end. Meron pa kaya nyan sa Pinas?

  34. In a national emergency situation, only the president can approve the release of billions of funds for rescue and rehab. It gets worse when the secretary in charge of disaster coordination is with her. Ditto the Budget Secretary.

    Remote control governance has its limits. The present situation is beyond those.

  35. cvj, name one and i’ll tell you why i think he has already one foot on the door. either he is disgruntled for not getting what he wants, not up to the job, or just plain ingrate.

  36. And the capsized ship goes from bad to worse to worst:

    A large cargo of loosely-packed highly toxic chemicals for use as pesticide in one of the pineapple plantations had just been found inside the ship. The cargo was not declared as it is not allowed in passenger ships.

    More headaches for Coast Guard.

    Talaga namannnn….

  37. Bencard,

    “just want to restate what i said to rego on the preceding thread: it seems the very ones who bitch about “gloria” being absent (at least in this blog) are her usual detractors who cannot stand her presence (lovl).”

    oo nga ‘no? i thought for them gloria is a fake president, so dapat for them gloria’s continued stay in the US does not matter. eh peke nga for them?

    are they guilty of estoppel?

    parang si Sen. jinggoy. halos hanggang langit ang pasasalamat kay gloria sa pardon kay erap, pero para sa kanya, peke pa rin si gloria (parang di nya alam na presidente lang ang pwedeng mag-pardon)

  38. to dodong: i never said “malas and pilipinas”. pls don’t quote out of context. if you read my comment, it was malas to the rabid anti-gloria faction.

  39. “if you read my comment, it was malas to the rabid anti-gloria faction.” Mikel

    “Malas” for what? For having a president like GMA?
    Be profound kasi.

  40. i don’t know cvj, but my reading of the ca’t’s and grd’s comments doesn’t indicate that they have “one foot at the door”. anyway, i leave it up to them whether or not to explain their positions to you.

  41. cvj, name one and i’ll tell you why i think he has already one foot on the door. either he is disgruntled for not getting what he wants, not up to the job, or just plain ingrate… bencard


    i have explained my position quite clearly before. as I stated, I’m for the rule of law. no to another people power and yes to impeachment. and if I may add; I voted for the late Raul Roco last time.

    but you know, with the kind of mindset that our friend here possess, no amount of explanation will do. the guy is simply brilliant with his generalizations.

    and talking about generalization, I can dish out my own also. I think I know where he’s coming from. although I’m not a psychologist, based on the categories you wrote above, I think he belongs to the first one. after his all out support for gloria in 2001 up to 2004, look where he is now (forced to go on exile against his will while his fellow elitist back home are enjoying the fruit of their undying support for gloria). he must have been deeply hurt. i think that’s the root cause of his disgruntlement. poor fellow. no amount of pro-poor pronouncements can hide away his hurt feelings. imagine it took him 4 long years to realize he made a mistake. what a brilliant mind. as the saying goes, “Hell has no Wrath like a Woman’s Scorned.”

    lastly, if you have noticed it, the guy is so OBSSESSED he keeps on bringing back old comments of people here. he must have been affected too much. he thinks he’s in a state of war. “if you’re not with me, then you must be on the other side.”

    i rest my case. 🙂

    who’s the balimbing by the way?

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