Archive for December, 2006

31
Dec
06

A Year of Living Dangerously

We saw 2006 not as a year of hope but a year of challenges and more uncertainty. It was a year of more killings and political persecution. Harassment and cover-ups were the norm. But it has its brilliant moments when the Supreme Court showed its credibility and independence. Makati’s Judge Pozon showed what impartiality and independence is. We saw 2006 as an eye-opener for most Filipinos who had stood in the sidelines and finally realized what the Arroyo’s and their allies are made of. It was a year of danger to those who oppose the evil empress and her ass-lickers.

2006 was a year that saw the administration at its weakest and boldest. The Charter Change finally saw its death and the CBCP slowly getting its act together. The forces of mother nature showed its powers and blasted the Philippines with a battery of calamities that left millions homeless and thousands dead. It showed the ineptness and callousness of the administration and its shamelessness at its peak.

The “New Heroes” as our OFWs are called saw how GMA cares for them. The debacle in Lebanon exposed how this administration silently stole the funds of the OWWA for the campaign kitty of the bogus presidency. It also highlighted the redefinition of what unemployment meant. To hide its inability to create more jobs, Arroyo went on a worldwide marketing blitz to sell our work force to other countries. These heroes expose themselves to all kinds of danger to give their families a little taste of life. The social cost of this practice will be felt for generations to come. With more than a million souls exported, GMA boasts of a booming economy courtesy of the OFWs whose remittances has propped up our ailing economy.

The education sector did not fair well as the system had been “tweaked” by GMA to conceal the enormous classroom problem that left our youth to suffer for the inadequacies of government. We have no one to blame but our corrupt leaders whose twisted view of education is nothing but mere statistics. Even the feeding program for the poor students was not spared. Scam after scam has hit the DepEd. And this is how GMA cares for the future of our nation.

Thanks to political favors extended by GMA, the military and the police’s credibility is in the gutters. Dangling juicy post-retirement appointments, the AFP and PNP’s top brass are falling in line to lick her ass. Gone were the principles and doctrine they were suppose to adhere to, instead they run the constitution and the rule of law to the ground to please the queen of the enchanted kingdom. Those who stood by the flag and country were whisked away to military detention facilities to face court martial proceedings.

Every institution has been infected by the virus that the fake one spreads. Even the lower courts had given in to the Arroyos, especially to the “esposo”. His manner of dealing with the press has even reached distant shores. Foreign media organizations has condemned the obvious harassment and silencing tactics he has employed against his family’s critics. With the help of Raul Gonzalez, he had managed to file a string of cases against their critics. To be a “legitimate” media practitioner is inviting harm. Hundreds of members of the press had been silenced permanently under this regime. Its only war-torn Iraq that bested the Philippines when it comes to danger to journalists.

Legitimate political dissent is met with brute and violent force. Anyone who displeases this regime either ends up dead or charged with trumped up charges of rebellion and sedition. Lawyers, members of religious groups, advocates, members of progressive groups and youthful students have fallen prey to the brazen disregard of due process and rule of law. To date, more than 800 extra-judicial killings have been reported since GMA stole the presidency. GMA created the Melo commission to absolve the military and the government of any connection to these killings. Amnesty International and the UNHCR has reminded the Arroyo administration time and again to respect human rights. But these fell on deaf ears as the administration is hellbent in cleaning up any opposition to its despotic rule.

Those who aided her theft of the presidency in 2004, were either cleared or have received juicy posts. The country is held hostage by withholding funds for development and social services. This administration has risked the lives of the very people its suppose to protect. Such is the life in this country, where the wicked rule with impunity and the good persecuted. The Philippines is not at war, nor is it under threat from outside. The biggest threat is from within, not the communists or the separatists, but from the government.

As we face the coming year, one would wonder what it holds for a country wanting in good and honest governance. Would lawlessness prevail once again? Or would the good Lord finally hear my prayers? I hope that He finally will hear my prayers and rid this nation of those whose only concern is to make slaves out of my countrymen and perpetuate themselves in power.

Looking back to the year that was, I pray for those who gave their lives in the fight for freedom. I pay tribute to those who rose up to fight for my rights and the rights of every Filipino. I salute the few sincere politicians and men in uniform who never wavered and stood by the people and the constitution. To the men and women of the Black and White Movement and One Voice, thank you for rising against those who wanted to make a mockery of our constitution. To the Supreme Court and the other members of the judiciary who stood by what is just and lawful, may your tribe increase. To the Filipinos, may we all unite and peacefully kick these usurpers out of office.

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30
Dec
06

In The Dead of the Night

I suppose the practice of this administration to deal with issues in the dead of the night shows how despicable this regime is. We can recall how the majority in the lower house would be present and tackle the impeachment against GMA till the wee hours of the morning. While important bills are taken for granted, they would fight off sleep to save their benefactor’s neck.

Like thieves in the night, they tried to ram the Cha_Cha down our throats. Thanks to media’s participation and the vigilance of the Black and White Movement, they failed in their bid to install GMA as president for life. Faced with a new people power, they back-pedaled and tried to save face.

But the arrogance and impunity does not stop there. The DoJ under the rabid Gonzalez put one over the people. Taking advantage of Christmas eve and in the dead of the night, government prosecutors cleared Virgilio Garcillano, GMA’s election operator of perjury and falsification of public documents. Despite the evidences presented, the DoJ found no reason to charge Garci and instead blamed the complainants for the dropping of the case.

The latest assault on the constitution and the judiciary came at a time when the country is busy with a long weekend and offices are already closed. A few hours ago, personnel from the US embassy, under the cover of darkness took custody of convicted rapist, Daniel Smith from the Makati City Jail. Responding to queries, the embassy pointed to the Philippine government for the transfer. Raul Gonzalez for the few days have been sending signals and issuing statements against Judge Pozon. Even the Court of appeals has junked Smith’s bid and defered the proceedings till after the holidays.

The DoJ and the DFA has manifested and stated provisions in the VFA to get Smith. But without the order of Judge Pozon, they are helpless. The cancellation of the Balikatan turned on the pressure that placed the government at its wits end. With no other option, the administration chose to violate the laws of the land and delivered Smith on a silver platter to US embassy officials. Now, not only Nicole’s rights have been trampled upon, the sovereignty of our country and the independence of the judiciary had been made a mockery. Now Nicole has been raped, not once, but twice.

So once again in the dead of the night, GMA and her minions have succeeded with impunity. So much for constitutionality and due process. This is the kind of people who want our constitution changed. Will we allow them to stay in power with the kind of abuses they have committed? They are no better than thieves and thugs. Their kind should never be given positions but put behind bars.

20
Dec
06

A Bleak Christmas: Hunger in the Philippines

I had discussed this a few blogs back, “The Hungry Filipino”. It seems that a bleaker Christmas awaits our less-fortunate citizens. From 16.9 percent in September, the hunger has surged to an all-time high of 19 percent. While the administration boasts of a steady economic growth, this is not felt by majority of the people. A country rich in fertile lands should never have a problem like hunger and starvation.

The apparent lack of concern by the government has led to more desolation. The lack of government support and the continued looting of the national coffers has continued unabated. Plus the fact that the government would rather please the international community than the very people its suppose to serve. The dumping of agricultural produce by our Asian neighbors continue to tighten the noose around our farmers’ necks. Only big plantations with concentrated crops are holding out against the influx of produce from other countries. The backyard raisers who supply 75% of our food supply are feeling the pinch and are closing shop at a fast rate. The low cost of imported goods has led to huge losses and doesn’t make continuing their operations viable.

The entry of the Philippines to the WTO was suppose to open the country to more trade. But with very weak domestic economic foundations, even our manufacturers are hurting. Cheap products especially from China has hurt our local businesses. Unemployment was even redefined by the government to hide the true number of our unemployed. Now, they are even contemplating on liberalizing ownership of land, business and utilities to foreign entities. The administration thinks that this is the panacea for our woes, at least that’s what they want the people to believe. If only they have a little patriotism left in their hearts, the Philippines will be progressive again.

How insensitive it is for the government to spend P3 billion for the ASEAN Summit which will last for only a few days. The outcome of which is still uncertain as the economies in the region are in a downtrend. We have facilities in Manila which with a little improvement would cost much less than constructing new ones in Cebu. The boastful administration would rather spend lavishly on others while its own people could barely make do with the scant finances they have. Government officials constantly travel to all parts of the world, spending precious dollars that could have been better spent on basic services. How callous it is for the government to buy expensive vehicles, build expensive resthouses and spend on nonessentials like the people’s initiative and their Con-Ass. Ghost projects and fund diversion which up to now has yet to be accounted for and whose cases have been languishing in the courts, add to the woes of the ordinary Filipino.

But as long as we have leaders whose only concern is how to stay in power, social justice will never be achieved. While the those in power busy themselves with a charter change to maintain the status quo, millions of my countrymen are going hungry everyday. Children too malnourished to learn anything, will never be able reach their full potential in life. Misplaced concerns has led to the deterioration of society and degradation of humanity. Should this viciousness continue, the Philippines will be left with nothing to hope for. A nation so wealthy but yet so poor. For now, the Filipinos will have to scrounge for whatever they can get their hands on to survive.

19
Dec
06

Thanks But No Thanks

Last Sunday’s CBCP Rally called for a different kind of Cha-Cha, Character Change. Of course GMA as usual issued a statement to appease the bishops. We all know how the despot operates, she never mean what she says. As always, she squirms out of tight spots through lies and deceit. It has been the routine of this bogus administration. Speaking like repentant fools, spewing out promises with crossed fingers, only their relatives would believe them.

Like a cornered beast, she will do and say anything to save her hide. All these talk of her changing her values will never materialize. At least her allies were more forthcoming and said they will not have a change of heart. No sooner had the week passed, statements from the palace by the murky river said that they are still pursuing their Cha-Cha bid. The CBCP has been fooled once again. Liars will never change. They learn to believe their lies as the truth. Pichay admitted that the archived Con-Ass can be revived anytime. So the minority’s suspicion is right all along.

So all the statements made by the bogus president were issued to stem the tide of public disgust after all. It seems she had won the day again and we will have to continue living in uncertainty. When will the CBCP ever learn. Repentance has no place in the hearts of these scoundrels. There is no such thing as a change of heart for people committed to perpetuating a crime. So where will this lead us to? The CBCP should have allowed the people to air their sentiments last Sunday. Now GMA is laughing at the church and the people. She had successfully fooled the bishops into believing her lies. She has averted a catastrophe that could have evicted her from Malacañang.

This should be a lesson for the church, always be wary of wily liar. The low attendace last Sunday could have been a result of some people’s dismay over the CBCP. Some people I was able to talk to said that they would have gone had the CBCP been more forceful. They were expecting the church to lead the way in showing this illegitimate administration that we have had enough. But instead, the CBCP took a safe way out. Its not about politics but the threat to the morals of a nation.

The CBCP should not treat the issues piecemeal, its really one big issue that the country faces, the legitimacy of the incumbent. The parochial view of the CBCP has led to more confusion and they are sending mixed signals to the people. Instead of uniting the people, they have fragmented us and many now believe that they have no credibility. Prayers must be complemented with action. They must decide on where they stand. Lip service does not cut it. Bishops Yñiguez and Tobias are more credible and are more in touch with the people than entire CBCP.

So, there was really nothing to be thankful for. I doubt if anyone would heed the CBCP’s call again. The people will be wary of any statement from the CBCP after how they handled the Sunday rally. Should they offer us another option/venue in the future, my answer would be, “Thanks but no thanks”. I’m better off praying directly to God than use them as a conduit.

15
Dec
06

Lest We Forget

As the hoopla of our recent success against Charter Change reaches its crescendo, we must bear in mind the dark years under Martial Law. It must never be forgotten and worth revisiting time and again. Marcos was able to impose his brand of leadership through the people’s apathy. And with the same impunity and arrogance as what we see today, Marcos ruled the country as his very own kingdom.

Just like before, mass actions ruled the days leading to the state-sponsored coup. Though a constitutional convention was underway, a group which steered the commission finalized the provisions, the rest was history. This lesson must be taken into consideration. Electing delegates to a constitutional convention is not an assurance that GMA cannot use her influence. Marcos was able to cajole the members back then by dangling promises. There is nothing to stop GMA from doing the same. Delegates will also campaign just like our politicians. Her minions whose terms would be ending next year can opt to run for the convention. She can field her allies and we might just end up with a commission no different from the lower house we have now.

We must be vigilant and watchful of the signs which emanate from Malacañang. We must not let our guards down as those in power has all the institutions under their control. The intimidation continues, so does the persecution and killings. It is imperative that the people move as one in defending the democracy we all cherish. It may cause a little inconvenience but at least there are those whom we should thank for covering our backs.

This renewed unity and collective voice must be protected. It is the only force we can muster against the arms and power the administration has. I have long shed the skepticism I have with the different entities which have risen against this administration. I have to put my trust in somebody or I will forever be blinded by GMA’s lies and deceit. The wheel has turned full circle, and we are at the crossroads of a new phase in history. The signs are all there, the abductions, bombings and political assassinations. Its all reminiscent of the times before martial law. The mass actions and the awakened populace could lead to the critical mass which could shatter GMAs dream of her Enchanted Kingdom.

The only action left now after all the losses GMA received is to declare not a state of national but complete martial law. The signs are all there. She cannot afford to be kicked out of office like Marcos or Erap. Keeping the military close to her is her only insurance. Her trusted bureaucrats and political allies are all content and in powerful positions. Everything seems to be in place. The only thing lacking is how she will justify the declaration. The following days or weeks will be crucial to her survival and our quest for true democracy.

We cannot count her out with our numbers, her attack dogs have shown us what they are capable of doing. The lines have been drawn in the sand. The first to blink will certainly lose. There will be no quarters given and this could lead to a face off. I only hope and pray that should that time come, the protectors of the the constitution, the decent men in uniform will rise to the occasion and defend the country and the flag against GMA and her horde. We must not forget the lessons we learned during the ’70s and ’80s. The signs are there, lest we forget.

15
Dec
06

Black & White Motorcade for the December 17 Rally

General Information

1. Assembly Points

Location: Quezon City
Exact Area: Parking Lot Gate 3, Ateneo Loyola
(Note: Enter gate 3, then turn left on the first road and proceed to parking lot on the left)
Assembly Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 nn
Departure Time: 12:00 nn

Location: Makati City
Exact Area: Thailand (formerly Rada St) cor Legaspi St.
Note: Thailand St is one-way towards dela Rosa St)
Assembly Time: 11:30 am – 12:20 pm
Departure Time: 12:20 pm

Location: Alabang
Exact Area: Parking lot of SNR (formerly Price Club) along Zapote Rd. Filinvest
Assembly Time: 12:00 nn – 12:20 pm
Departure Time: 12:20 pm

2. Destination

In front of Malate Church beside Aristocrat Restaurant
Target time of convergence: 1:00 pm
March towards Luneta Park: 1:30 pm

3. Routes

Location: Quezon City
Route: Ateneo–Katipunan–Aurora–Nagtahan–Quirino–San Andres–Malate Church

Location: Makati
Route: Rada–de la Rosa–Buendia–Ayala–Metropolitan–Vito Cruz–SS Hiway–Quirino–San Andres–Malate Church

Location: Alabang
Route: SNR parking lot-Festival Mall–SS Hiway (Filinvest entrance)–Quirino–San Andres –Malate Church

4. Vehicle Dress-up

Black and white ribbons on car antennas
Black and white balloons
Flaglets – print the downloadable Black&White flaglets and attach to barbecue stick. To download, please visit this site
(Note: You will also need this as we march towards Luneta Park)

5. Dress Code

Please wear black, white, or combination black and white shirts.

6. Contact Person

Ms. Leah Navarro – 0917.8981957 for more information and coordination details.

Everyone is invited to join and be counted. Let’s all watch and pray. Let’s all be vigilant. Let’s all declare through our presence that we will not take brazen attempts to destroy our democratic processes and institutions sitting down.

Please invite friends and relatives to join.

15
Dec
06

Why We Should Abolish The Lower House

Recent actions by the bullies in the house showed how they have abused the mandate given to them by their constituents. Being elected into office does not give them the right to turn their districts into little fiefdoms. The people had grown tired of the way things are being run. The voice of the people is supreme. No congress or president for that matter can ever do another Marcos. The people silent as they may be, is always aware of what goes on in government.

At this day and age and with media’s role, the people are now more informed. No longer can the administration hoodwink the people. No amount of smokescreen can hide the fact that Cha-Cha is all about their survival. Now they call on the senate to push the Con-Con. With their parochial view, the house should stop their insanity. If there is any institution worth abolishing, its the lower house. They had never cared for their constituents, they took them as their serfs.

Being locally elected by a handful of people, congressmen are nothing but glorified barangay captains. A mayor has a bigger constituency than they have. Their position is a redundancy. They only use their pork barrels to hold hostage their constituents and sell the people out to the highest bidder. The house is better off without them. Its best that the lower house be composed of representatives from marginalized sectors of society. I’d rather be represented by a party list representative than a district one. Sectoral representation has a better grasp of national needs and a broader sense of social sentiment. They have a more nationalistic perspective than that of a district representative whose sight is too limited and parochial.

Perhaps we could push for a true constitutional amendment which will lessen the powers given to institutions. A constitution that will be simpler and clear which even the ordinary Filipino will be able to comprehend. The administration must understand that our current problem is not the form of government but good governance. Public perception stem from how the government addresses certain problems/situations. With the rampant killings and corruption scandals, the public can only blame the administration.

The arrogance of the house has no place in a democracy. Its high time we, the masters of these politicians assert our power over them. They are our servants and we, those who pay their salaries should now consider kicking them out. Maybe its time we, the people show our own brand of arrogance and put these people in their proper place. Power emanates from the people and the people is government. The house has outlived its purpose, its best we replace them or better yet abolish the house. Our country will never move forward or even be united with the regionalistic views of the lower house. Those who represent the poor districts couldn’t care less as they are unaffected by the poverty that surrounds them. If ever a plebiscite should be held, the question should be: “Do you want the lower house abolished?”




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