The big set-up

Hardly had the croaking of the the congressmen who were at the Manila Hotel for the launching of what pundits call Palaka (Partido Lakas at Kampi) died down last Thursday when they were summoned by Gloria Arroyo to a room where she gave her marching orders: pass the resolution amending the Constitution.

Arroyo, the source said, offered the congressmen a hefty incentive: over and above their pork barrel, they will be given P20 million each.

There are two resolutions calling for the amendment of the Constitution pending at the Lower House. HR 737, authored by House Speaker Prospero Nograles, treats amendment of the Constitution as an ordinary legislation to be approved by three fourths of members of Congress, voting separately.

HR 1109, authored by Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte, seeks to convene a Constituent Assembly for the purpose of amending the Constitution even if composed only of members of the House of Representatives.

It’s a perversion of the Constitutional provision that amendments may be done by “The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its members.”

Congress is composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives but Gloria’s frogs believe they can ignore the senators who are not enthusiastic about amending the Constitution under Arroyo’s watch.

Arroyo’s meeting with the congressmen is the height of of her deceit because just a few minutes before that, she crowed before them, “Cynics and detractors love to paint grim scenarios about a cancellation of the 2010 elections. Let this merger of LAKAS and KAMPI be tangible proof of the Administration’s readiness, nay determination, to help ensure that the elections do push through.”

It’s classic non-sequitor. How can a Lakas-Kampi merger be an assurance that the May 2010 election under the 1987 Constitution would push through? It does not follow.

Actually Arroyo’s message was not for the palakas at the Manila Hotel. It was for the public, to lull us into complacency so that she can execute her Gloria forever scheme without resistance. Take note that she did not say that the elections in 2010 would be a presidential election under the 1987 Constitution.

It’s a setup.

To underscore her deviousness, two days before the Lakas-Kampi merger, her minions in the House committee on constitutional amendments recommended for plenary debate Resolution 1109 . The Committee on Rules will have to schedule floor deliberations on it this week before Congress adjourns on June 5 or else it would have to be in July.

HR 737 is now in the plenary and could be debated upon and voted on anytime.

Former President Fidel Ramos, founder of Lakas, who was absent in last Thursday’s event denounced the “undue haste” of the merger.

The “undue haste” is because Operation Gloria Forever is already behind schedule. In the original timetable, a Cha-Cha resolution should have passed Congress February or March 2009. Proponents expected the judicial question to be settled, in their favor by June. That means, Senate can be ignored.

The writing of the new Constitution should be no sweat. Malacañang has a ready draft of the new Charter and all that is needed is three-fourths vote of the House of Representatives. The approval by the Supreme Court of 32 more sectoral representatives caused some adjustment in Malacañang’s payola budget. But what’s P5 billion for the 200 plus votes (at P20 million each) to buy Arroyo’s protection after 2010?

Once the Con-Ass has produced a new Constitution, the referendum could be held in September. The May 2010 elections would be for members of the parliament (if in the new Constitution the system of government would be parliamentary) or for president without the 6-year term limit. Real smart, isn’t she?

Former President Joseph Estrada said if the report about the P20 million officer for a Con-Ass vote is true,” the people will have to make their voice heard against this attempt by the incumbent president to stay in power forever. This is too much. We do not want to wake up one day to realize that Arroyo can legally stay in power forever under a parliamentary form of government.”

Statements from Arroyo assuring us about 2010 elections should be taken with a grain of salt. Let’s be reminded that on December 30, 2002 she said in front of Jose Rizal’s monument, “ I have decided not to run for President during the 2004 election.  If I were to run, it will require a major political effort on my part since I am among the principal figures in the divisive national events in the last two or three years.  My political efforts can only result in never ending divisiveness.”  

In less than a year, she announced her candidacy as president in the 2004 elections

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P20 milyon bawat isang boto sa ConAss

Manloloko talaga itong si Gloria Arroyo.

May nagsabi sa amin na ayun sa isang kongresista na nandun sa Manila Hotel noong Huwebes sa pormal na pagsanib ng Lakas at Kampi, tinawag raw sila ni Arroyo sa isang kwarto at sinabihan na kailangan mapasa na ang House Resolution 1109 para sa Constituent Assembly na hindi kailangan ang Senado para mapalitan ang Constitution.

Ipinangako raw ni Arroyo na bibigyan siya ng tig-P20 milyon sa bawat kongresista na boboto para maipasa ang HR 1109.

Kailangan ni Arroyo ang boto ng three-fourths ng House of Representatives. Mga 200 na kongresista yun. Kung bibigay siya ng tig-P20 milyon para sa 200 na boto, aabot yun sa P4 na bilyon.

Kayang-kaya, maraming pera sa kaban ng bayan. Perang buwis ng taumbayan. Pera galing sa pawis at dugo ng mga OFW.

Dito makikita natin na sagad sa buto talaga ang pagka-manloloko ni Arroyo. Sa kanyang talumpati, pinaglandakan niya na may eleksyon sa 2010.

Ito ang sinabi niya: “Cynics and detractors love to paint grim scenarios about a cancellation of the 2010 elections. Let this merger of LAKAS and KAMPI be tangible proof of the Administration’s readiness, nay determination, to help ensure that the elections do push through.”

Ito ang translation: “Sa mga mahilig manira, palagi nilang nilalarawan na ang pagkansela ng 2010 na eleksyon. Hayaan niyong itong pagkaka-isa ng Lakas at Kampi ay magiging malakas na ebidensya ng kahandaan nitong administrasyon na matuloy ang eleksyon.”

Paano naman maging ebidensya ang pagkakaisa ng mga manloloko na hindi na matuloy ang kanilang panloloko? Kung may pinatunayan ang okasyun noong Huwebes, iyun ay garapal talaga sila.

Hindi sinabi ni Arroyo na ang eleksyon na gaganapin sa 2010 ay sa ilalim ng bagong Constitution na ang sistema ng pamahalaan ay parliamentary system at siya ay tatakbo bilang kinatawan ng Pampanga. Kapag miyembro na siya ng Parliament, hihirangin na siya na Prime Minister.

Garapal talaga kasi karamihan sa mga kongresista na pumalakpak kay Arroyo sa kanyang talumpati ay siya rin ang pumirma para mapunta na sa plenary ang HR 1109.

Pinipilit talaga nilang itinutulak kasi gahol na sila sa oras. Alam nilang may kukwestyon niyan sa Supreme Court kaya kailangan makapagdesisyon na ang mataas na hukuman sa loob ng buwan ng Hunyo. Karamihan na ng miyembro ng Supreme Court ay hawak ni Arroyo kaya kampante silang makukuha nila ang boto kahit labag sa batas ang kanilang ginagawa.

Hindi problema ang paggawa ng bagong Constitution na gusto ni Arroyo. Gawa na yan. Sa Septiembre magkaroon na ng referendum. Walang problema sa local governments. Nabusog na niya ang karamihan sa mga mayor at gubernador.

Kapag na-aprubahan na ang bagong Constitution, magkakaroon na nga ng eleksyon sa 2010 para sa miyembro ng parliament. Yan ang sinasabi ni Arroyo na eleksyon.

Manloloko talaga, ano.

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Defensor grudgingly withdraws perjury case vs Lozada

mike-defensor lorredo-may-28 jun-lozada-may-28

The main cast of characters: Defensor in an old photo, Lorredo reading the letter of Defensor, and Lozada.

Former presidential chief of staff Mike Defensor has withdrawn the perjury case he filed against whistleblower Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada, accusing the judge of bias.

“I write to respectfully inform you that I am no longer interested in pursuing the case,” Defensor said in a letter to Judge Jorge Emmanuel Lorredo, delivered to the court through his private counsel Reynold Munsayac.

Defensor said he was standing by his accusation that Lozada lied about events that transpired in connection with Lozada’s abduction just before he testified at the Senate on the NBN deal. But Defensor said, “I feel that I may not be able to obtain impartial justice from the “With all due respect, even a cursory reading of the orders issued by the Honorable Court would expose the Honorable Presiding Judge’s bias in favor of the accused,” Defensor said.

Click here (VERA Files) for the full report.

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De Castro: GMA Jr?

Sa kanyang pag-anunsyo na gusto niyang kumandidato bilang bise-presidente, sinabi Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno na “transformational politics” ang kanyang pairalin.

Ano yun? Tansform para sa mas matinding kurakutan at dayaan?

Ngayong araw, gagawing pormal na raw ang pag-iisa ng Lakas-CMD at Kampi, ang dalawang maka-administrasyon na partido. Si Gloria Arroyo daw and chairperson at siya ang mag-appoint ng interim officers. Kaya tatak Gloria Arroyo talaga itong pinagsanib na partido.

Hindi naman nakapagtataka kung pakinggan mo ang pananalita ng mga opisyal ng Lakas at Kampi, ang kanilang pinagyayabang at ang lakas ng kanilang organisasyon at “resources”. Ang ibig sabihin ng “resources” ay pera ng bayan, pera natin na maari nilang gamitin para sa eleksyon.

Wala sa usapan ang pagbabago sa moralidad at pagsasa-ayos ng pamahalaan. Dapat nga siguro ang kanilang slogan at “tuloy ang ligaya.”

Si Noli de Castro ang kanilang guest speaker so malamang na si De Castro ang kanilang gustong magiging kandidato para presidente. Si De Castro kasi ay walang sariling partido at nanalo sa pagka-senador noong 2001 bilang “independent” na kandidato.

Sa prinsipyo, wala namang pinag-kaiba si De Castro kay Arroyo. Wala pang garapalang kurakutan ang nakadikit sa kanyang pangalan (kahit na supporter niya pala si Celso delos Angeles ng Legacy). Ngunit wala naman siyang imik sa garapalang kurakutan nina Arroyo.

Walang dudang papayag si De Castro na siya ang standard bearer ng Lakas-Kampi-CMD kung makakatulong sa kanyang kandidatura ang madikit kay Gloria Arroyo ang pangalan niya. Kung siya na ang presidente ng pinagsanib na partido ng mga maka-Gloria, siguradong ipangako niyang prutektahan si Arroyo sa galit ng taumbayan kapag wala na sula sa Malacañang. Gusto ba ng taumbayan yan?

Ang kapalit naman sa pangako na yan, gamitin ang makinarya ng dalawang partido, kasama na ang gobyerno at pera ng taumbayan para sa kanyang kandidatura. Mabigat yan.

Kung si Puno ang kanyang kuning bise-presidente, sigurado na ang dayaan. Hindi lang siguro sa Cebu at sa ARMM, pati pa sa Comelec.

Paano na lang si Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro? Sabi ng ibang report, pwedeng Noli-Gilbert.

Sabi naman ng iba, baka Teodoro-Puno raw ang administrasyon. At magkakaroon ng independent na grupo sina De Castro at Kiko Pangilinan.

Mas naniniwala akong makukuha nina Arroyo si Noli de Castro. Hindi naman prinsipyo at kapakanan ng bayan ang pinag-uusapan kung di pansariling interes.

Ang hamon ngayon sa oposisyon ay ang magka-isa upang mabigyan katuparan ang hangarin ng sambayanang Pilipino na pagbabago.

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John Martir, a no-show


Looks like Maj. Gen. John Martir’s luck has been stalled. A reliable source said the Board of Generals recommended Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban as Marine commandant.

Martir, the source said, was given the choice of a Sulu assignment. He chose to be where he is now.

col-banez-lt-estolas sereno-family-with-bgen-lim-and-col-querubin with-jojo-chuidian

Maj. Gen. John Martir was a no-show yesterday at the court martial hearing of the 28 officers accused of allegedly committing mutiny on February 2006.

Yesterday’s hearing was supposed to be the start of the cross examination of Martir by the defense lawyers.

The prosecution panel told the Court that Martir notified them that “he was on a mission” but didn’t say what that mission was.

In the past two hearings, Martir testified that the 8 Marines accused, Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda. Col. Ariel Querubin, Col. Orlando de Leon, Lt. Col. Custodio Parcon, Lt. Col. Armando Bañez, Lt. Col. Achilles Segumalian, Maj. Domingo Fernandez, and Lt. Belinda Ferrer attempted to commit mutiny by planning to join a rally organized by civil society groups on or about February 23, 2009 and withdraw support from Gloria Arroyo.

Part of Martir’s testimony was about the standoff at the Marines headquarters on Feb. 26, 2006 over the replacement of Miranda by then Maj. Gen (now Lt. Gen) Nelson Allaga.

Martir ended his direct testimony last May 14 and his cross examination was supposed to have started May 19.

The accused officers and their lawyers were notified May 18 that the May 19 hearing would be postponed to May 26. At the hearing yesterday, lawyer Vicente Verdadero, counsel for Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, asked for the reason for the cancellation of the May 19 hearing.

Col Feliciano Loy, head of the prosecution team, said transcripts of the past two hearings were not finished. He also said that Martir asked for copies of the transcript of his testimony.

Verdadero pointed out that the court martial takes precedence over any mission except combat mission. He doubts if Martir is on combat mission because he is assigned at J-6, the AFP’s communication, electronics and information services.

Lawyer Rolando Cipriano, counsel for Miranda, underscored that the country is not in a state of rebellion, emergency or at war. As such, there is no mission that Martir can use to justify his absence in court.

“To be absent today, is a disrespect for the court,” Cipriano said.

Atty. Gilbert Gallos, counsel for Col. Orlando de Leon, said the non-completion of transcript of the hearings is not a “credible” excuse for Martir’s non-appearance in court.

Verdadero said, “If a witness is telling the truth, he doesn’t need transcripts of his earlier testimonies.”

Defense lawyers moved that Martir’s direct testimony be stricken from court records but the the Court denied it.

The panel headed by Maj. Gen. Jogy Fojas said Martir will be required to be present on the June 5 hearing. If he does not appear, the “court will not hesitate” to act on the motion to strike out his direct testimony.

Photo Caption:

1. Col. Armando Bañez with Lt. Homer Estolas and Capt. Dante Langkit during lunch break.

2. The rare times that the family of Lt. Sandro Sereño visits because they are based in Cebu. With Brig. Gen. Danny Lim and Col. Ariel Querubin.

3. Scout Rangers (Capt. James Sababan, Maj. Domingo Fernandez, and Capt. William Upano) plus Jojo Chuidian.

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