Category: Events Mode

No ifs and buts about it

Tweet Read Uniffors. (yes, this is a day late, but better late than never)

Ways to help

Tweet The saving grace of this country is that in times of trouble, people don’t have to be asked to help. They spontaneously do so. The three most important issues here are: 1. the speed at which the aid can reach the victims; 2. the assurance that the aid really gets to them; 3. that …

Continue reading

Conference Notes

Tweet Notes from Big Brother and Empowered Sisters: The role of new communication technologies in democratic processes, Uppsala, April 16-17. See Also the ICT for Democracy blog’s entries. Related sites are Sida and in particular, Spider. For bios of speakers, see here. Day One I. Introduction: Mia Melin & Helena Bjuremalm In Tanzania, Civil Society, …

Continue reading

The Witness

Seven year itch

Every time the Marcos government was poised to seize the upper hand, the Palace or the prime movers and shakers in the shaky government would issue contradictory orders, or delay, and delay, and delay…So it’s not that Marcos was concerned with the well-being of his countrymen, but rather, he delayed too long (Fabian Ver had wanted the massacre to take place as soon as possible; Marcos said no, on TV; to this day, even some of his critics give him credit for doing so); and so, when he ordered the people gathered at Edsa massacred, the momentum had shifted to the rebels….  Up to the morning of the day he fell from power, it seemed quite possible he could counter-attack by summoning reinforcements from the provinces.In retrospect, Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Ejercito Estrada knew what had to be done, but were incapable of summoning the iron-clad resolve to do what needed to be done; they hesitated when their enemies, normally more cautious than they, had themselves thrown caution to the winds….  if Estrada, after leaving the Palace by barge, had holed up in Makati and dared those rallying at Edsa to engage in urban street fighting there, or even in the crowded streets of San Juan -or anywhere else.Cory Aquino faced down coup attempts by holing up in the Palace’s Guest House and her Arlegui residence; President Arroyo’s done the same.

Target of opportunity (updated)

And because the political situation is tense, notes from the peanut gallery expresses a suspicion that can only gather steam unless the authorities make an effort to remain sober and calm.  For now, ksolaris points out one reason a gas explosion is the main theory right now:They’re still investigating the cause, and I’m wondering if it’s a busted LPG tank, since I do remember that some time earlier this year, one of the restaurants inside the mall caught fire….  The restaurant was back in business after about a week.A spokesman from Ayala Land says it doesn’t appear the explosion emanated from any restaurants.

Watching a (failed?) inoculation (updated!)

The question then was whether this would precipitate a showdown in the House, and who, exactly, had the numbers; also, there was the very real problem that if the complaint wasn’t referred prior to the break, the October 25 Senate hearing would take place, and if anything ended up revealed in that hearing, the revelations could lead to the complaint being amended and possibly fortified.The Speaker’s options, as discussed by various sources, ranged from his having pulled a fast one last night by checking himself into the hospital for whatever reason (gastritis, LBM, etc.) and told the House to go on recess early, to his suddenly fainting in his office this afternoon and being rushed from the House in an ambulance, thus causing pandemonium, to the Mace either disappearing or being grabbed by his loyalists, thereby disrupting the session, to someone questioning the quorum, suddenly ending the session….  It played out pretty much as everyone had expected: De Venecia inhibits self from Arroyo impeach rap; Arroyo impeach case referred to panel; JDV inhibits himself; JDV inhibits self from impeach rap.I asked a couple of questions, because the Speaker said he was withdrawing from participating in the process, even though he had misgivings because of bribery allegations, etc., etc., but he urged del Mar to attend to his ministerial duty….  Art Defensor chimed in and said as chairman he was going to calendar the referral before the plenary that very night, for referral, in turn, to the Committee on Justice.The sending of the paper from Deputy Speaker to Rules Chairman to Justice Committee of course constituting the start of the one-year countdown of the ban on further impeachment complaints.So my questions focused on asking del Mar why he was rushing to refer the complaint, his answer was, it’s ministerial, and then I asked Defensor if he, as Chairman, could act on behalf of a committee he only chaired but which had more than himself as members; Defensor was offended and said the whole procedure is normally concluded as he said it would be, that he was confident in speaking for the committee, etc. Questions from the reporters present concentrated on this rush to start the Constitutional countdown while others focused on relations between the Speaker and the President.But I had to keep asking myself, why is the Speaker, who, depending on whom you asked earlier that afternoon, had been browbeaten by the President, or threatened with being deposed, or otherwise facing a momentous event in his political life, so relaxed, so calm -and what did he have to gain from surrendering to the Palace?Fine, he actually did the ethical thing, but I have to wonder if his inhibiting himself was the best legal advice.

Liveblogging will be at Inquirer Current.

See Attack of the Romulan.

Liveblogging will be at Inquirer Current

I will liveblog the Senate ZTE hearing over at Inquirer Current starting at 2:30 pm.

All in the family

This is being written early in the morning of Thursday.Wednesday was apparently spent by the Speaker (depending on the version one heard) avoiding all contact with people, or in a series of meetings with his loyalists from the House.By late afternoon there was word that a meeting had been called at the Palace for later that night….  Then, word was the meeting would be open to all members of the House who were committed to maintaining the President in office until 2010.Around dinner time (that is, a few hours ago), firmer details emerged from various sources….  Some congressmen were silent; others advocated a conciliatory policy, and cautioned against rocking the boat; others, irritated that events had moved too quickly to topple the Speaker earlier that day, argued plans had to be made to change the House leadership when sessions resumed on Monday.At that point, the Speaker arrived unannounced at the Palace.

President’s husband departs

Details are conflicting and sketchy, but reporters are apparently scrambling over the departure of the President’s husband at 5:55 pm tonight aboard CX 918 bound for Hong Kong: he was the last to board.The first information began being circulated at around 3:45 pm today that the President’s husband, together with businessmen Ricky Razon, and Endika Aboitiz were going to leave tonight for Europe, to make sure they’re scarce before tomorrow’s Blue Ribbon Committee hearing at the Senate on the ZTE deal.  Another version had it that Panfilo Lacson believed it would be businessman Bomboy Araneta accompanying the President’s husband, and not Ricky Razon, and that they would depart tomorrow at 5 pm.This, after Joey de Venecia had announced he intended to name someone big, as a participant in meetings at Wack-Wack golf club in which Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos was discussing the ZTE deal….  But since timing is everything, and up to this point, all the news has been how “miraculous” the recovery of the President’s husband has been, the unannounced departure has tongues wagging.

A trap of his own making

Estrada himself leaked what the verdict would be, and in general, the scuttlebutt prior to the reading of the verdicts indicated the eventual ruling (I didn’t go into this, but the scuttlebutt was this: some sources said, conviction for perjury but acquittal for plunder: this was actually the scuttlebutt for some time until yesterday; others, acquittal for perjury but conviction on all counts of plunder; the most accurate came late in the day yesterday, and it was: acquittal for perjury and conviction on two out of four counts of plunder, which proved exactly right)….  As it is, Estrada’s Supreme Court appeal might take 1-3 years; meanwhile, he does have a kind of new lease on political life by refusing administration offers of a presidential pardon or a congressionally-sanctioned amnesty; we have a scheduled presidential election in 2010 and he can then ask for or receive a pardon from the next president (I didn’t go into how his ability to extract a pardon might be improved by his backing a candidate in 2010).  Until the appeals process is exhausted, it seems the confiscation of Estrada’s bank accounts and New Manila property will be on hold, and he won’t be deprived of his ability to sign contracts and checks before then.How are Estrada’s urban supporters taking it?Asking around, I was surprised to hear that many of his supporters were in shock.