Senator Richard Gordon knots ZTE-NBN deal

August 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the powerful Senate Blue Ribbon Committee already concluded that the mothballed ZTE-NBN deal is not a mom and pop operations. No. For him, it’s a father and son caper. That’s how Gordon sees it.

Never mind if there’s a photo of the First Gentleman Mike Arroyo with his wife Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo with ZTE officials at Shenzhen Golf and Country Club. Nothing wrong when the First Gentleman met ZTE officials and project proponent Joey de Venecia III and uttered those infamous “back off” threats as nothing sort of an everyday expression from his friend.

Nothing wrong when Joey de Venecia III spilt the beans to the “most corrupt government project of all time” which was worth P 16 billion pesos, with a few billions thrown in good measure to Abalos, Neri and Mike Arroyo. Of course, Gordon saw nothing wrong when the President left for China while her husband lay sick in bed only to witness the contract signing of ZTE officials with DOTC officials, led by Secretary Leandro Mendoza.

And probably, Gordon would just flash his toothy smile and wink when he is reminded of that debacle in China, when DOTC officials reportedly lost the only signed copy of the deal. Of course, for Gordon, it is too presumptious for colleague and former Blue Ribbons chair Alan Peter Cayetano to say that the deal stinks as high up as the First Couple.

And obviously, Gordon saw nothing wrong when Mrs. Arroyo’s met with former NEDA chief Romulo Neri and told him to “just accept the money and approve the deal.” Or that infamous meeting between Jun Lozada and the First Gentleman when Lozada reminded everyone to “moderate the greed” because this could blow them all over. ” Bubukol ito, ” for Gordon, probably meant a description of the First Gentleman’s big tummy.

I’m beginning to think that the reason why Gordon wants to be chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee is he wants to ingratiate himself with the First Family. Is he serving as the First Couple’s hatchet man or he’s just being himself? I remember a few years ago when the Americans were still running Clark and Subic.

When cases of abuses were filed against American servicemen, Gordon saw nothing wrong with the accused safely inside the bases facility and waited for days before the cases were dismissed. Gordon saw nothing wrong with protecting the Americans rather than those comfort girls in those Zambales honky tonks. And of course, Gordon found nothing wrong when he showed the world how he wept unabashedly in public while his fellow Americans left our shores.

Gordon also saw nothing wrong with Americans spraying dirty water to Gordon’s fellow Filipinos protesting in Subic. Gordon even saw those protestors as “monkeys”, just like what those WASPs think of us.

So, I’m not really surprised that Gordon wants to crucify the whistleblowers than the masterminds. Or Gordon is doing it because Joey de Venecia stands to get his seat in the senatorial elections?

Or, probably, that was the concession Gordon got because America and his friends, Mrs. Arroyo already agreed to revive the Clark and Subic bases and Gordon wants nothing sort of getting his old post back? Or, Gordon really saw nothing wrong with his logic.

Shell’s Stupidity

April 7, 2009 § Leave a comment

Have’nt you noticed something? Shell just lowered their pump prices probably after seeing that not all big players followed suit. Diesel prices went up to 28 pesos plus during the weekend and it’ll remain about 26-27 by this week.

But, if you go to Cavite or Quezon City, you’ll find that diesel pump prices remain at the 23 plus to 24 pesos per liter. That’s about 2 to 3 pesos lower than Metro Manila prices.

And if you have’nt heard, Meralco just raised their electricity rates to about 75 cents. That’s more than 2 pesos within a span of a week. Is this the price we pay for PLDT’s incursion in Meralco? I mean, people, come on! Are we supposed to give back what Manny Pangilinan invested in that near bankrupt utility?

Government is quite insensitive about the people’s concerns. High electricity rates…higher gasoline pump prices and higher food stuffs. Government is really trying our patience! Government is really killing us with this. How are we supposed to survive these exorbitant commodity prices?

Treachery Against the Continuing Revolution

February 23, 2009 § Leave a comment

Betrayed by Pseudo-Revolutionaries

Betrayed by Pseudo-Revolutionaries

On May 10, we will be commemorating the death of the great Plebian Andres Bonifacio. This is not marked as a holiday in any of our calendars. Yet, it bears remembering here, since that treacherous death signalled the new chapter in the Katipunan revolution. As what fellow Historian Ambet Ocampo wrote in his book on Bonifacio, his death led to a shift in leadership, from the worker’s class to the propertied class. With Bonifacio gone, pseudo-revolutionary thought permeated within the Katipunan, promoted by Filipino peninsulares and intelligentsia, the likes of Paterno and Aguinaldo. These propertied men tried to erase the millenarian character of the revolution and attempted to pattern the revolt with Western models. The adoption of Western war tactics paid off, but, these concepts carried conceptual baggages like diplomacy, truce and sell outs. History is replete with instances of sellouts by the Filipino propertied class to subvert the pure Filipino concept of revolution. Despite these attempts at diluting the millenarian nature of the Katipunan revolution, manifestations of Katipunan revolts mark every chapter of Philippine history. The mark of these revolts bear noting, since these are not just agrarian nor worker’s based outbursts. Rather, they bear the Katipunan trademark, ascribing the struggle as that of Jesus Christ, with all the markings of the Pasyon written all over it. One such incident was that of Macario Sakay, who led the New Katipunan against American colonialists. Like his forebear Bonifacio, Sakay was a victim of treachery. Dr. Reynaldo Ileto in his book, ” Pasyon and Rebolusyon” (Passion and Revolution) wrote many manifestations of the Katipunan Spirit, as recently manifested in the EDSA revolt. Ileto said that EDSA I and the Katipunan bear striking resemblance due to the millenarian character of these two revolts. It just showed that there is, still, a continuing revolution which claims its roots from the Bonifacio led revolution. Like its predecessor, EDSA I has its pasyon chapters in it. The birthing of EDSA is the ” baptism” chapter. Cory’s revolutionary cabinet was like Jesus Christ’s formation of his 12 disciples. Enrile’s highly publicized resignation as Cory’s defense minister was history’s version of Judas Iscariot’s alleged treachery. And the series of coup attempts made against Cory was like Jesus Christ’s passion. The interregnum (Ramos’ administration) can be likened to Christ’s descent to hell where he tried to save as many souls as he can. Yet, it was interrupted by an attempt to re-institute a hellish version with Erap’s administration which led to an obvious attempt at “re-birth” with EDSA two. So, we see that our history is replete with highs and troughs, bearing the mark of Christ passion. Predictably, what we are in right now is what I call the “treasorous” stage where former architects of the revolution are reprising their Judas Iscariot roles all over again, much the same way as those propertied class did against Bonifacio and Sakay. Last Sunday’s EDSA picture, showing Enrile, Honasan and the RAM boys sipping tea with Mrs. Arroyo is obviously a painting likened to Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” except that the characters show a pseudo-Christ partaking food with Judases in barongs. It was an attempt to promote a new kind of philosophy rooted in what Mrs. Arroyo termed as “a new kind of boldness”. Arroyo’s new boldness philosophy is being made as a counter-ideology against the rising and fully gestating true expression of Katipunan revolution. That picture of Mrs. Arroyo with Enrile and the RAM boys and that Inquirer ad showing various organizations uniting behind the leadership of Danny Lim are filled with meanings. It revealed two competing forces in modern Philippine history, much the same way as those of Magdalo and Magdiwang during the revolution. However, one obvious question remains—which among the two forces will win it this time? What people don’t know is that the real inspiration behind the RAM is actually not Honasan. No. Honasan did played a key role but the ideologues behind that historic movement are not those in that stage with Mrs. Arroyo. Those who sipped and partook of the poison fruit by Herr Majesty last Sunday are like the Macabebe scouts who betrayed Sakay. They are the inheritors of the ignominious role played by Col. Makapagal who pulled the trigger that killed the Great Plebian in that mystical mountain in Maragondon Cavite. Like historical traitors, these former comrades will also share the same fate as their father who hanged himself in the tree. When these RAM boys staked their legacies for a fistful sum of gold, they threw their souls along with it. Like those Katipuneros who betrayed Bonifacio, they will all share the same fate as that of Aguinaldo’s who died of old age (Enrile?) What is certain is that light always triumph against darkness. This “show of forces” which we witnessed today mark the continuing, not the end, of this revolution started centuries ago. Mrs. Arroyo’s “boldness” speech tried to stab this revolution to death, yet, what she failed to recognize is that no force is strong enough to kill the “dream”. The dream may have died with Enrile, Honasan and the RAM boys of Gloria. Yet, those words etched in the RAM offices in Makati are still pretty much burning within the hearts of the True Patriots of Bonifacio’s revolution. With God’s help, that dream, will, someday, if not soonest, become a reality.

Era of Plots and Counter-plots

November 26, 2008 § 1 Comment

As I am writing this, I received information that Gloria’s men are meeting in a secluded place in Malacanang and plotting for their next move. With the impeachment complaint squashed, the palace political operator is reportedly plotting to oust ex-Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. The ouster of JDV will be made in a political caucus by Lakas members. Former palace legal counsel Sergio Apostol is allegedly the one tasked to cut JDV’s head.

I think this plot will just be a counter-plot since it will just anticipate the expected bolt of the JDV-FVR faction in Lakas to coalesce with Manny Villar’s Nacionalista Party and Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco’s Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC). Sources say there is already an understanding between FVR and Cojuangco while FVR’s group reportedly is almost close to talks with Villar’s. Meaning, Lakas is just trying to mitigate the effects of a formal split, since obviously, Malacanang, for the longest time, has been trying to marginalize both JDV and FVR.

A split within Lakas will definitely affect the strength and stability of the entire “rainbow coalition” at the House. It would impact particularly on KAMPI, since majority of its members are former Lakas stalwarts. If JDV and FVR succeeds in coalescing with Danding and Villar, the possibility of another party raid within Kampi-Lakas is huge given that JDV and FVR still commands respect among the old guards of Lakas. In practical terms, with Danding and Villar united, this sends a message to Congressmen that the gravy train has shifted from Gloria to again, the JDV-FVR tandem.

JDV’s marginalization will all be done immediately after the AFP attack on Camp Bushra of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Reports say, the AFP brass is preparing for an outright assault on Bushra this December. JDV’s ouster from Lakas will coincide with this military assault.

By the way, Joey de Venecia the Third, who I find to be a very serious Nationalist, sent me his statement stating his opinions on the killing of his impeachment complaint. This is what he has to say:

STATEMENT OF JOEY DE VENECIA III
DISMISSAL OF IMPEACHMENT CASE
DUE TO INSUFFICIENCY OF SUBSTANCE
November 26, 2008

This is a sad day not only for us the complainants and the minority lawmakers, but more so for the Filipino people. Our right to take President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to task has again been taken away from us.
As our minority lawmakers have said repeatedly, this process is a way to let government show the transparency that the Constitution mandates.
The impeachment process is the proper and legal forum to let the people know what is happening and to allow the government and its officials to explain themselves.
It appears that the government would rather that the people take its grievances to the street than offer them a decent and legal forum.
The House Justice Committee might have stopped the impeachment complaint but I assure everyone that the Committee cannot stop us from airing our grievances and allegations in any and all other forums available to us.
We will bring this case straight to the people. We will go to them and talk to them. We will put out into the open what the government would rather keep under the cloak of darkness.
I give my utmost appreciation to all those who supported us in any way. I thank the Filipino people for their sentiments and their prayers.
We will not keep quiet. The fight in the halls of Congress may be over but the real fight for truth and justice goes on.

A NEW MORNING FOR EVERYONE

October 11, 2008 § 1 Comment

Many economists are already saying that more than 250,000 Filipinos will probably lose their jobs due to the global recession. This doesn’t take into consideration the estimated 20-30,000 Pinoys abroad who’ll probably lose theirs and go back here because of the US financial meltdown. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have both said that this recession hasn’t even started yet, but we are feeling a terrible crunch already.

Having said that, it is good that we all work together to make this country of ours united and peaceful. Peace and order is one sure thing that would make our country a viable investment site. Economists are urging government to attract more capital infusions  abroad since the domestic economy cannot adequately satisfy the local capital markets. Despite efforts, net capital inflows continue to slide, and slide it will in the next few months not because of political instability. No.

The Philippines remains in the bottom rung of places to consider for investments because it has a corrupt, decrepit and patronage-based system. Foreigners are avoiding us like a plague because we have a government that Filipinos and foreigners hate alike. Why? Because corruption has already been institutionalized. Government has spent billions already fighting graft; but corrupt practices remain because it has been part of the informal policies of this administration.

Net—it is not political theatrics of has-beens that’s harming our country. It is the very government that’s the core problem. Everybody wants a charmed life in this little paradise of the Orient. Everybody’s united to survive this global malady that is afflicting each and every country in the world.

However, the one that’s supposed to lead the body politic is the one causing all these problems and making our country an embarrassment before the eyes of the international community. We deserve a government that is better than the present one. It is our right as a people to enjoy the blessings of democracy under a government that we trust. Unfortunately, we don’t have such a government. And 2010 or not, we must all unite to oust this government now.

 

If we don’t do it now, all our efforts at surviving this global financial sickness will all go to waste. The one reason why people are apparently showing disinterest is the fact that the Filipino People are waiting for new faces to lead them against Gloria.

Colleagues, these new faces exist! They are still here, waiting for the right time to unleash the People’s Justice against Gloria and her gang of evil misfits. There are still Filipinos who have the will, the heart and the spirit to make a better Philippines happen. If this impeachment complaint fail and I’m sure it will, it’s not the end of everything. No.

It will be the start of a New Morning for everyone. Darkness will surely be defeated in the end because that’s the fate that awaits those who oppress, kill and create injustice against their fellowmen. Let it be said here that Filipinos are not those maids being depicted by BBC. Filipinos are not those docile creatures populating an otherwise dark paradise in the Pacific.

Let the world know that, we Filipinos stood out against an immoral and evil regime, now, not in 2010. Let those who hold the torch still, stand up and forever be counted among the patheon of heroes.

Pinoy Film Mavericks

September 12, 2008 § Leave a comment

 

Make us all proud guys!

Make us all proud guys!

Pinoy film makers are one of the best in the world. In fact, many young film makers are rewriting film-making history by their creative works. Mavericks, they are, these young artists are making waves in the international front.

 

Sadly, not too many of us, know about them or their works of art.

Now, idealistic film-makers are uniting and coming up with a festival that will highlight the best films of Pinoy digital film artists.

.MOV (do-nov) – the first digital film festival in the country – is a week long festival that will showcase innovative films from independent filmmakers both from the local and international arena starting September 30 to October 4, 2008 at Robinsons Movieworld, Robinsons Galleria.

Digital Dekalogo 10×10

.Mov will have an exhibition of ten of the very best local and international independently produced digital features explained through ten local filmmakers with aims of mentoring the Filipino audience to appreciate world cinema with an expert’s eye and Filipino sensibilities.

The best visual digitals I ever saw

The best visual digitals I ever saw

Tribute.Mov

Cineastes would look forward to is .MOV’s tribute to local filmmaking mavericks – Lav Diaz, Roxlee and Kidlat Tahimik – with a book, CD and DVD launch plus premiers of Melancholia, Green Rocking Chair, and Maikli at Tahimik.

Retrospective.Mov

A retrospective on the wild, wired, digital world of prominent movers in digital film making with this year’s theme of Extreme Cinema Wasakero that highlights films and filmmakers that challenge the norm with the themes of their movies.

Shorts.Mov

The inaugural event will also have a program called Shorts.MOV, a showcase of the best digital short films in the world from two of the most prestigious international short film festivals, Clemont-Ferrand (France) and Oberhausen (Germany)

Silvershorts

A short film competition for students and professionals that range from narrative, experimental, documentary, animation and music video. Finalists for the student category include: 123, Anomi, June 9, Kamatis, Kumot, Papelove, Pisi, Stop, Play and Pause, Ultra and Publico Makata. Finalists for the open category include: # Café, Ambulancia, Ampo, Andong, Libingan, Nekro, Saling  Pusa, The Prayer, Tiangge and VTR.

Film Concert.Mov

A special programming of rare, out-of-print Filipino classic films scored live by the country’s most recognized independent bands like Radioactive Sago Project, Pedicab, and Queso, will be featured with a digital twist that underscores the festival’s aim to showcase film’s ever changing language.

Cinemo: Young Artists Initiative

To develop a new breed of filmmakers to follow these legends’ footsteps, .MOV will have workshops led by world-renowned industry experts as well as a young critics’ initiative that focuses on teaching how to write about films by tackling a new wave of criticism, retrospection, and commentary on films to help artists to interface with the international community.

So The Creation of the first digital international film festival was rewritten, reedited and redirected and there was .Mov and the film gods saw that it was good.

.MOV is the first digital film festival in the Philippines. Dedicated to the exhibition and promotion of digital filmmaking, the festival spotlights the future of filmmaking with a dynamic line-up of film screenings, in-depth panel discussions and hands-on technology presentations. Sponsored by Filmless Films, Robinsons Movieworld, Swiftsure Group and Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. For more information visit http://www.movfest.com or email dotmov@gmail.com

Punish the bribe giver

September 10, 2008 § Leave a comment

The Supreme Court yesterday punished members of the Court of Appeals who reportedly took part in the GSIS vs. Meralco case bribery scandal. CA Justice Vicente Roxas was fired for violating the Canons of Judicial Ethics while his colleague, Jose Sabio, was suspended for 3 months. Other members of the committee who handled the GSIS vs. Meralco case such as Justice Myrna Vidal and Justice Vazquez were merely reprimanded and admonished. Meanwhile, alleged bribe giver businessman De Veyra is to be charged with a crime by the DOJ. 

So all participants were meted just punishment? I think not.

The Supreme Court did not answer the basic question of the People–did Meralco really gave bribe money to these justices? How many justices got bribed? And why did they not punished Meralco if it did, indeed, allegedly gave bribe money to influence the justices that led to that favorable decision?

How much bribe money changed hands when this case was being heard? And with this tainted decision, should it be proper for the Supreme Court to overturn the favorable decision? There should be a review of the GSIS vs. Meralco case.

The SC decision stopped short in identifying the conduit but never really probed deep enough to really identify who among the Meralco organization coordinated with De Veyra in the alleged crime. I don’t believe that this businessman acted alone. It is quite improbable for somebody like him to fork out 30 million pesos just because “he has personal interest” in the case? Surely, being a big-time operator, De Veyra reports to a principal, which, has not been identified properly by the SC. 

Government should order the Department of Justice, particularly the NBI, to probe deeper into this scandal and identify the shadowy figures involved in this mess. These people should be punished.